Tag Archives: Caregiving

Prepare Now For Caregiving Tasks For The Holidays

It may seem like it’s too early to begin thinking about the holidays, but once October hits the months tend to become a blur. If you’re a caregiver that is in charge of caring for your own family, holding down a job and caring for sick or elderly parents, planning and preparation is crucial to an enjoyable holiday for all involved.

What steps can you take now prior to the busyness of the holiday season so that you can enjoy both the holiday and time with your friends and family? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Make certain your aging relative is healthy before the holidays roll around. Do they need to get a flu shot or an annual check-up? Schedule those before the season picks up. Ask their primary care doctor about the medications they are on and whether they’re still up to date with everything they’re taking.
  • Know all that you can about how the stress of the holiday might impact your loved one. If your mom or dad has been recently widowed, the holidays could be a painful time for them. Be cognizant of that fact. Understand what other medical conditions they might have that could make it difficult for them around the holidays – dementia could mean they could be fearful in situations in which they aren’t accustomed to.
  • If your relatives will be traveling for the holidays, be aware that their home medical alert system with LifeFone can travel with them. You need only contact LifeFone to let them know the new location and the duration of the stay. Having their personal medical device with them when they travel is a great idea.

Caring for yourself during the holidays is as important, if not more so, than caring for the health of your aging parents. What can you do to make certain you’re healthy? Here are some tips:

  • Have a check up with your family physician and get a flu shot if necessary.
  • Make certain you take time to eat healthy meals, even if you’re on the run with errands. Pack healthy take along snacks and prepare meals at home so you’re not tempted by fast food.
  • If you can’t make it to the gym, get a piece of exercise equipment for your home that you are sure to use. Whether it’s a treadmill or a DVD of exercise routines, staying fit, healthy and active will help you deal with the holiday madness to come!
  • Take time to enjoy those holiday traditions that are solely yours and those that are part of your extended family. If you need to excuse yourself for an afternoon to work on holiday crochet projects or to do some scrapbooking or to simply wander the malls by yourself, you need to make time for yourself – your mental health will thank you.
  • Connect with other caregivers and ask how they handle holiday and family and caregiving. Caregiving can be stressful during the best of times during the year but for many of us, the holidays add additional pressure. Talking to someone in your same situation can be more than beneficial.
  • Don’t forget to ask your aging relatives what they’d like to do for the holidays. Do they have a special tradition that they’d like to incorporate? Try to make that happen so that the holidays are as memorable for everyone as they can be.

Start today, putting your holiday plans in place, whether it’s looking at a calendar and determining who will be cooking the holiday meals and when the more pre-planning you do, the more enjoyable the months ahead will be.







The Challenges And Rewards Of Caring For Two Aging Parents

Just as we are different from each of our siblings, so too are our aging parents unique in their own way. Whether your parents bicker or get along well, if the time comes when they can no longer age in place, you and other family members will need to look at options for caring for them. In some cases you and your spouse may find yourselves face with the situation where each of you had an aging relative or two that you’ve suddenly become responsible for and that makes for an even more precarious balancing act between both sides of the family as well as your own family.

What do you do, and how can you balance the duties that come along with caring for two or more aging relatives? Here are some suggestions:

  • Determine whether any of the seniors in your life can live alone. If being alone is possible with assistance, consider gifting them with a home medical alert device and a personal medical alert pendant as this can offer peace of mind to all involved as well as provide them access to immediate medical care if necessary.
  • Would hiring an in-home part-time caregiver help relieve some of the caregiving burden upon you and your family members? Would your parents be amenable to having a      “stranger” come into the house to help them out? This is something that would need to be discussed up front. Is there an outreach at the church or local religious association they attend that could provide assistance? Even getting help with cooking, cleaning, yard work or running errands can help relieve some of the burden of caregiving and allow you to simply sit and relax when you visit your parents and spend time with them rather than having to rush around to do the housework and errands.
  • If you are caring for both parents and in-laws, how do you divide the time between them so there are no hurt feelings of being left out? This could come down to a matter of “who needs the most care.”
  • You will have to learn to ask for help and delegate tasks. If you and your spouse are both engaged in caregiving and you have siblings in the area, you will need to pick up a phone and ask for help. You can’t do it all alone and you shouldn’t have to. Being an effective caregiver means knowing your limits and reaching out for help before you burn out.
  • Even if you have healthy parents, but your spouse has parents in need of care, don’t neglect to spend time with your own, healthier relatives. Feelings of hurt and neglect can quickly boil over into a stressful family situation.

Being in a caregiving situation is stressful, but can be managed with time and effort and thoughtful care. Adding a second or third elderly relative into the mix will certainly add to the challenges. Make certain you take time to remember the care you’re giving may allow your parents to age in place for a longer period of time and use the time you’re spending with them to build memories for those times when they are no longer with you.





November Marks National Caregivers Month: Are You A Caregiver?

Whether you’re caring for an aging parent or helping a family member or spouse who’s going through cancer treatments or recuperating from an accident, the role of caregiver has many different faces. November has been designated National Caregivers Month and it’s a time to take note of those individuals – and it may be yourself – who give of their time and make a commitment to help care for a family member or friend.

Understanding what care giving means

For many people giving care means helping an individual cope with daily needs. Those needs could range from preparing meals, cleaning the house, running errands or taking them to a doctor, helping them get dressed or helping with physical or occupational therapy treatments. Caregiving could also mean making sure that medications are taken, that blood sugar levels are monitored or that personal hygiene is maintained. The role of caregiver could even simply mean “being there for them” as they navigate the emotional roller coaster that could come with limited mobility or the uncertainty of treatment and its outcome.

Being thrust into the role of caregiver may mean you need to put your own emotions and needs aside. It’s also easy for many caregivers to neglect caring for themselves and eventually experience burnout and stress from the role they’ve taken on; it can lead to depression and anxiety.

Caregivers need to learn to take care of themselves first and foremost so they can be an effective caregiver. What steps can you take to make certain you are both mentally and emotionally healthy and able to continue in your role?

Here are some ideas you can incorporate into your daily routine:

  • Acknowledge your feelings. You’re “allowed” to feel anger, guilt or frustration. Your feelings are your own and need to be addressed. It’s all right to feel these feelings as caregiving can be an exhausting and sometimes seemingly thankless task. Unless someone is in that role, they will not understand what you’re going through. If that’s the case, you should connect with other caregivers so you can share your feelings.
  • Keep track of your feelings because if you’re overcome with a sense of sadness that lingers you may be depressed and should talk with a doctor. Feeling angry with yourself for your lack of patience with the person for whom you’re caring or with family members that aren’t helping out are extremely natural. You should look to the cause of the anger and address it: is it stress, fear, the need for more support?

What can you do to address your feelings?

  • Ask for help. If you don’t ask, friends and family may simply assume you’re carrying on just fine and may not consider the stress you’re under.
  • Understand that your feelings are natural.
  • Focus on those tasks which make sense during the day. If you simply don’t have time to mow the lawn or deep clean the bathroom, let it go or hire someone to do it for you. Look to those tasks that you don’t want to do or can’t do and reach out for help. Ask for help with shopping, running errands or cooking meals.
  • Take time for yourself. Ask for a day off and then do something you enjoy. Whether it’s visiting a museum, going for a walk or just taking a few hours to sit in a coffee shop and relax, you need to practice self care.
  • Don’t feel guilty asking for help. Unless someone is in your shoes, they cannot understand how difficult (and yes, rewarding) caregiving can be.

Caregivers provide a much-needed level of support for family members but in many cases they “toil in obscurity” because unless you reach out, not many people will understand that you need assistance. Even the individual you’re caring for may not be as appreciative as you’d imagine they “should” be, but you need to keep in mind that he or she is struggling to cope with the changes in their life that has lead them to need a caregiver. Working together and working with family and friends can make your role as a caregiver rewarding and fulfilling.




Medical Tests You Should Discuss With Your Doctor

Visiting a doctor is usually not high on the top of anyone’s list of “things I love to do,” but in order to maintain good health and retain the ability to age in place, certain medical tests are recommended as are annual check-ups.

Medical guidelines on required testing are continually changing and if you only visit your physician when you’re ill, chances are you are missing out on medical tests that could catch potential medical issues; the earlier they are caught, the earlier they can be treated. Being proactive about your health is the best piece of advice as you age.

Here are some items to discuss with your physician and some tests that should be performed to keep you healthy as you age:

  • Become diligent in setting up an appointment for an annual check-up. When you only visiting the doctor when you’re ill, that is not the time for him to perform an annual wellness check. During an annual check-up, your doctor will gather information about changes in your overall health, your lifestyle, your living situation, any changes in weight and any other concerns you may have. He may also recommend you get the flu vaccine annually. Other vaccines he may recommend include: shingles, this is a one-time shot given to individuals aged 60 and older; tetanus vaccines are given every ten years; vaccines for pneumonia are recommended for individuals aged 65 and older or for those with compromised immune systems.
  • Health measurement tests such as having your blood pressure checked and your cholesterol levels monitored are recommended. Your blood pressure is typically checked every time you visit your doctor, should be done at least every two years or annually if your numbers are high. High blood pressure can lead to an increased risk of stroke or heart disease. A baseline cholesterol should be taken at least every five years unless you had a test resulting in elevated numbers.
  • When is the last time you visited a dentist? You should be seeing him every six months. A professional cleaning will help catch any potential cavities and check for gum disease. Your dental health can be an indicator to your overall health.
  • Having your eyes checked should be done at least every one to three years or even more often if you are having vision problems or feel you need a new prescription for your glasses. In addition to a vision exam, your eye doctor will also be checking for cataracts, macular degeneration and glaucoma.
  • Female-specific testing includes an annual mammogram, unless you are at a higher risk for breast cancer. Your insurance provider and even your gynecologist may debate how often you need a mammogram and she is the best source for advice in this matter. Unless you have had an abnormal pap test, it is recommended to receive a screening every five years.
  • Bone density tests are recommended for both men, over the age of 70, and women, over the age of 65. A bone density test shows how many minerals and calcium you have in your bones and can let you know whether you are at risk for osteoporosis.
  • When you reach age 50, you should have a colonoscopy and then one is recommended every five to ten years, depending on the results of the initial test.
  • Male only testing involves a prostate exam which your doctor will perform when you reach age 50.

Making time to schedule an annual examination with your doctor is an ideal way to not only maintain good health but to catch any potential health issues before they become dire. Prevention can go a long way in your ability to age in place.


Senior Safety Tips And Advice

As we age, some individuals can become the target for a financial crime, identity theft, home break-in or some other scam.  Boomers raised in an era where being rude to a solicitor on the phone or door to door can actually put them in a more vulnerable position.  In some cases, those who would perpetrate a crime against the elderly will either rely on charm or bullying tactics to get the information that they seek. While a financial crime is a devastating time for anyone, it can be even worse for the elderly as they may not only question their ability to remain independent but will become fearful of living alone.

As a caregiver, there are steps you can take to protect your elderly loved ones:

  1.  Make sure the home is secure. Check the locks on doors and windows. Install a home alarm system with motion detectors and automatic indoor & outdoor lights. Make sure to post signs alerting vandals to the fact that the home has a security system. Another safety measure is to equip your relatives with a emergency medical device; these medical alert pendants provide a lifeline to outside help and assistance in the time of need.
  2. Trim all bushes around the house to eliminate any potential hiding places for a would-be burglar. Install doors with peepholes and advise them to not open the door to strangers. Never put keys under a door mat or other outdoor hiding spot. These are too easily discovered. Ask a trusted neighbor or friend that lives close to hold onto the extra key.
  3. Make certain the house number is painted in bright colors and large numbers to make it easy to find if emergency responders need to visit.
  4. Make certain additional cash isn’t left lying around the house. Keep enough cash on hand for daily needs, but keep large sums in the bank.
  5. Warn your elderly relatives to never give any personal or financial information over the phone. Make sure they are aware that no one – other than a family member – would ever be calling to solicit financial information. If your relatives are tech savvy and have signed up for online banking, make sure they are knowledgeable about the scams where it looks like their financial institution is asking them to sign in using the provided link. Their bank would never make this request, it is a scam.
  6. Don’t let your relatives make deals with door-to-door sales people. The scams perpetrated on the elderly involve everything from being overcharged for putting a new roof on the home to sealing the driveway to simply letting someone into the house so they can get the “lay of the land” and break in later. If, for example, your relatives need a new vacuum cleaner or a roof or driveway work, they should talk to you to help them get estimates from reputable contractors or take them to the store to make their purchases.
  7. If your relatives are still mobile and drive themselves to their appointments make sure they never carry more cash with them than what they need for that excursion. Also, advise them to not travel into areas with which they aren’t familiar. They should also always lock their car doors each time they get out. In some cases, it’s a good idea to lock the doors when driving along in unfamiliar locations.

These safety tips that will provide both the caregiver and the aging relative with peace of mind as they continue to age in place.


Long Distance Care-giving Tips For Your Aging Relatives

As an adult in the “sandwich generation” the idea of taking care of your own family while trying to take care of your aging parents can be daunting. Caregiving is complicated even further when you don’t live in close proximity to your aging relatives. The ability to check on their health and daily well-being is impacted as is the ability to help them with healthcare, managing money or keeping up with housework and cooking meals. Taking on the responsibility of caring for your aging parents is a difficult task in the best of times, but when you add distance into the mix, it’s complicated even further.

There are steps you can take to care for and remain involved in your aging parents’ lives even when you live hundreds or even thousands of miles away:

  • Solicit help from others. It’s almost impossible to go it alone when trying to care for elderly loved ones when you’re not in the same area as they are. Look for friends, family members, church friends, or neighbors on whom you can rely to check in on your relatives and report back. Look for someone that can help them with daily tasks if necessary.
  • Uncover community resources and take advantage of them. Look for federal, state and local senior resources in their hometown and give them a call. Find out what kind of services they provide and how you can get your parents involved in those services. They could range from a Meals-on-Wheels meal delivery service or shuttle rides to and from shopping centers or doctor visits.
  • Make certain you are involved in your parents’ medical conditions and that you are listed as a health care proxy and that you have interaction with their physician. Also, keep an up to date list of the medications and health issues your parents are dealing with and keep all of this vital health information together in one place. Ask the doctor for advice on helping your parents manage their health even though you’re not in the area.
  • Keep all important documents in a safe place in the event you’re called upon to be a health care proxy or exercise a power of attorney. You should also have copies of your parent’s driver’s licenses, home ownership and legal papers, medical insurance and other critical documents.
  • When you’re visiting make certain you schedule enough time to spend with them so you’re not feeling rushed. You want to be able to gauge their health and living conditions and address any issues you may become aware of. Don’t let the visit be all about “checking up on them.” Plan time for a movie or a dinner out or a day excursion.
  • Do a visual inspection of the home when you’re there. Is it clean? Is there food in the house? Are there any possible health hazards or trip and fall hazards? Are there minor repair items that need to be addressed? Take care of this when you’re visiting. Would your parents benefit from the installation of a  home medical monitoring device? If they’re having health issues and are not comfortable using the telephone, giving them a medical alert device could be a literal lifesaver and will provide the family with peace of mind.

As a caregiver, whether you live close by or out of state, you need to know your own limits and gauge where your strengths lie. If you have other family members that are involved spend some time divvying up the tasks and assign them to the person with the greatest skill in that particular area. Remember, at some point a decision may have to be made to move your aging parents out of the family home and into an assisted living facility and that process is easier if the entire family is involved.

Caring for a Loved One with Parkinson’s Disease and Dementia

While most individuals with Parkinson’s Disease are diagnosed over the age of 60, a growing class of younger individuals (beginning at age 30) are finding themselves living with the disease. The causes of Parkinson’s are currently unknown, but what we do know about PD is that it is a progressive movement disorder that affects the central nervous system. As of yet, there is no cure.

The onset of PD oftentimes leads to dementia. Hallucinations and severe uncontrollable muscle difficulties make patients more susceptible to cognitive impairments. Dementia only worsens over time. With each passing year, decline gets faster. While dementia is typically associated with Alzheimer’s Disease, there are numerous types of dementia.

It is estimated that 20-30 percent of those with PD will develop dementia, typically after the age of 70. Caregivers looking after someone with PD should be aware of onset signs including:

  • Impaired and slow thinking
  • Decreased memory recall and processing
  • Distraction
  • Confusion and disorientation

If someone with Parkinson’s Disease is going to develop dementia, there is typically a lag time of at least 10 to 15 years after the onset of PD. Knowing the signs of dementia will make it easier to diagnose and treat. If your loved one is experiencing anxiety, restlessness or delusions, it is likely that their dementia is not caused by Parkinson’s Disease.

The Role Lewy Bodies play in Dementia

Lewy bodies are protein deposits on the nerve cells, which are usually present in patients who develop dementia. The role Lewy bodies play in dementia is still unknown. It has not been determined whether Lewy bodies kill the cells or if the cells are more susceptible to developing protein deposits in the process of dying. Lewy bodies also play a role in damaging dopamine, the neurotransmitter involved in regulating movement. Parkinson’s patients lose the ability to regulate the amount of dopamine their body requires. As patients lose their ability to move, their thought processes are damaged as well, which makes them demonstrate signs of dementia.

Dementia induced by Medication

The type of medication your loved one is taking can also play a role in inducing dementia. Since dementia is not a normal process of Parkinson’s Disease, it can be reversed if medication is found to be the cause. Your loved one’s physician should be able to detect whether Lewy bodies are to blame or if their medication is actually responsible for the problem.

Changing Daily Living Habits

Caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s Disease is difficult enough and adjusting to dementia presents its own set of stress. Caregivers need to asses the way their loved one is cared for along with how the added stress of the disease is playing into their own life. Both the caregiver and the care recipient need to make changes to their daily routine to manage the disease.

Instead of asking your loved one what they would like to eat, offer them specific choices. Your loved one may be unable to name a specific food they want, and as a result may feel frustrated. By offering them specific choices they are able to pick an option without having to process too many choices.

Establish schedules and stick to them. It may be helpful to create a list that is located next to  your loved one’s bed that provides a detailed list of every day activities, including waking up, putting on slippers, getting dressed etc. When their daily routine is broken down, patients with PD are better able to avoid frustration since they know what to expect and the order in which they should complete certain activities.

  1. Medications may need to be locked away as your loved one’s dementia worsens. If they are unable to remember which medications to take and when, locking away their medication will make their environment a little more safe.
  2. Keep your loved one’s living environment clutter-free. By ridding their living situation of extraneous objects their decision-making processes will be a lot smoother.
  3. Remove any objects that may cause harm to your loved one. Keeping sharp objects like knives out of sight and out of reach will make your loved one’s living environment less dangerous. Small appliances, ladders and stepping stools should also only be used when under supervision.
  4. Utilize card games, puzzles, music and journals to exercise their memory.
  5. When it comes to their wardrobe, the less hassle, the better. Clothes with snaps and buttons can present a challenge, whereas slip-on clothing and velcro offer a more user-friendly alternative.
  6. Provide your loved one with a medical alert system like LifeFone to ensure help is always available to them at the touch of a button. All of their medical history, preferred doctors, and loved ones to contact in case of emergency will be on hand if they are equipped with a LifeFone pendant or bracelet.

Assessing Finances

Before your loved one’s dementia worsens it is best to develop a plan for finances and asses how their assets will be used. Consider preparing a financial and living will. Consult a financial planner to determine how their assets should be used, dissolved and distributed. You should also look into long-term care options and decide how bills should be paid on an ongoing basis. Assessing their finances in advance will deter added stress in the future.

While many people who have Parkinson’s never develop dementia, it is important to make adjustments and know your medical options for the 20-30 percent of patients who do. You will find that some adjustments can be made gradually as the dementia worsens, while other changes will need to be made right away. Communication with your loved one’s doctor is key in managing the disease as effectively as possible.

Five Ways to Celebrate Being A Caregiver


Anyone who has been in the role of a caregiver knows that it is a stressful, sometimes emotionally draining challenge, especially when you couple that with having to care for yourself, your own family and in most cases, a full time job. Many caregivers also deal with feelings of resentment and anger at siblings that aren’t pulling their weight when it comes to taking care of aging parents. Juggling care for an aging relative, work, home and private life all work to drain the emotional and physical health of the caregiver.

Dealing with your own mental and physical health when in the stressful role of caregiver cannot be ignored. However, caregiving comes with many gratifying opportunities if you take the time to step back every once in a while and count your blessings. Taking a day off or even a few hours to relax and recharge helps you offset any negative emotions that come from the role of caregiving. If you’ve equipped your family’s home with a medical alert monitoring device you can easily take time off because you can have peace of mind knowing that should there be a medical emergency, EMT’s or a simple call to a relative or neighbor is available at the push of a button on the medical alert device.

Here are a few things to be thankful for when you’re charged with being a caregiver:

  1.  Your importance in the lives of your aging parents cannot be diminished. They took care of you when you needed them and now it’s your chance to help them out as they age. They’re now looking to you for reassurance, assistance and moral support.
  2. If life’s circumstances or distance have caused you to be out of touch with your parents, taking on the role of caregiver can reconnect you. By becoming involved in their healthcare needs and adult-proofing their home, you can help them toward the goal of aging in place.
  3. While it’s never truly spoken of, being a caregiver allows you to repay your parents for all the sacrifices they made when you were growing up. Caring for them as they age allows you an opportunity to silently say “thank you for being there for me. Now it’s my turn.”
  4. Be a bright spot in their day because as we age, health issues or other problems can come up at any time. Your companionship may mean more to them than you realize. While your parents may not come out and say it, the idea that you are there for them, regardless of whether they need you for something large or small, can truly put their minds at ease.
  5. Use the time with your parents to celebrate “family”. You’ve heard it said that “laughter if the best medicine” so take time to laugh and enjoy being together. Spend some time going through photo albums, take a Sunday car ride, or turn a trip to the grocery store into a memorable occasion. The memories you make when you’re spending time with your aging loved ones will be ones you will cherish for a lifetime.

As long as you’re are aware that caregiving is a taxing and often a seemingly thankless job, remember that this is the stage of life that your parents need to turn to you for help, comfort and care.


Medical Screening Handbook for Caregivers

It is often said that one of the most challenging aspects of being a caregiver is that the role does not come with a handbook. Caregivers are usually thrust into the position with little-to-no knowledge regarding what is expected of them or how they should go about tackling the role. First and foremost one of the most important aspects of caregiving is managing your loved one’s health, and when it comes to health there is an authority caregivers can consult.

The United States Preventive Services Task Force has put together a handbook of sorts outlining recommendations for screenings seniors should undergo. These simple medical tests can be requested when you take your loved one to the doctor:

  • Blood pressure: Your loved one’s blood pressure should be checked every year. Their heart, arteries, brain and kidney depend on it.
  • Weight gain: With age comes slower metabolism, not to mention that as we age muscle replaces fat. Weight is inextricably tied to health, so making sure your elderly loved one’s weight is in check is of utmost importance.
  • Rectal exam: The rectal exam and fecal occult blood test (FOBT) will tell your loved one if they have any masses or subtle bleeding. Rectal exams help detect treatable problems in the colon or the prostrate for men. Once reaching the age of 50 individuals should also under a colonoscopy every 10 years.
  • Eye exams: Macular degeneration and glaucoma are common with old age. Once reaching the age of 65 the elderly should have their eyes checked every year to preserve and maximize their vision.
  • Hearing test: It is estimated that at least 30% of people over the age of 60 have experienced some hearing loss, most of which can be treated. Your loved one should undergo a hearing test at least every three years.
  • Bone density test: Osteoporosis can severely hinder the state of anyone’s health. If your loved has osteoporosis and they suffer a fracture, their risk of permanent disability or death greatly increases. Ask your loved one’s doctor to refer them for a bone density test so they know where they stand.
  • Cholesterol Screening: Having high cholesterol can lead to a heart attack or stroke. If your loved one has high cholesterol, it can be treated with medications and altering their diet.
  • Vaccinations: After the age of 65 it is recommended that people get a pneumococcal vaccine to protect against pneumonia. The elderly should also get a yearly flu shoot and a tetanus booster every ten years.
  • For Women: As age increases, so does a woman’s chances of getting breast cancer. It is especially important that elderly women get annual mammograms. Women over the age of 65 should also routinely undergo pelvic exams and Pap smears. Older women can get cervical cancer and pelvic exams can help discover incontinence issues as well.

By scheduling yearly visits for your loved one to get his or her health checked out, you will have the ability to prevent a lot of heartache down the road. While there may not be many guidelines when it comes to caregiving, making sure the elderly are routinely screened is one area you can completely master.

* As with all medical suggestions and advice, you should be sure to consult your personal physician for recommendations as they pertain to your care and not rely on material provided herein.

Home Medical Alert Systems Supplement In-Home Caregiving

Your aging parent or other family member has made the decision to age at home or in an assisted living facility. This is more easily accomplished now than in the past, especially through the use of home medical monitoring systems and medical alert system. A medical alert pendant or bracelet automatically calls into LifeFone’s emergency response center and notifies the designated medical contacts. With more than 30 years in the industry, LifeFone is a trusted provider of security and safety in the event of falls or other risks that face seniors living at home or in an assisted living facility.

In many cases, though having a caregiver come into the home of your aging parent on a semi-regular basis help give the members of the family a break and also many caregivers provide medical care and supervision. Just as you spent time researching the type of home medical monitoring system to have installed, you will want to spend time interviewing and vetting caregivers before making any final decisions.

Look for a caregiver that offers:

Creative ways to keep the senior interested, alert and active: Whether it’s teaching skills to cope with living at home and remaining independent to keeping them active, motivated and engaged in everyday activities, find someone who will offer loving and engaging care.

Dedication to both the individual in their care and to the family: Just as the senior needs to trust and respect the caregiver, so too should the family members. Family should feel free to contact the caregiver with questions or concerns that arise. The caregiver should also be reliable and dedicated to the task at hand and to offering undivided attention to the individual in their care.

Exercising good judgment: Home healthcare providers need to exercise judgment and confidentiality when it comes to medical issues that arise with the individual in their care. They also need to know when to use judgment and talk with designated family members if there are medical concerns or changes in the behaviors of the individuals in their care.

Homecare, coupled with the technology and safety of a home medical alert system and the bracelets and pendants, offer your aging family members the ability to stay at home and retain their independence while providing peace of mind and 24 hour care and monitoring.