Tag Archives: Caring for parents

Where to Find Outside Homecare Services For Aging Adults

If you and your siblings find your elderly parents can no longer live safely at home, it usually falls to one of the siblings to provide the home care that the elderly relative needs. This might be a very workable solution for the short term, but when the needs of the aging relative become too demanding, especially if the caregiver needs to attend to his or her own family and work, the burden of the care-giving will need to be distributed.

Issues usually arise when the aging parent needs more than just cursory care or a driver for grocery store and doctor’s visits. It’s been shown that an individual that is charged with intensive care-giving duties in addition to their own home and family obligations experience burnout and physical and emotional health issues. One of the primary reasons many elderly are placed into an assisted living situation stems from the fact that the caregiver’s health is suffering and is limiting the care they can provide the elderly relative.

Family members can help unburden the caregiver by providing opportunities to step away from the situation. This can be done by setting up a family schedule, hiring a home health aide, and equipping the aging parent’s home with a medical alert system to take away worry and fear when the parent is home alone. A home medical alert system and medical emergency pendant offer round-the-clock peace of mind for the elderly and the rest of the family.

There is no clear cut answer when it comes to easing the burden of senior care. Sharing the load with other family members can certainly offer the main caregiver an opportunity to take a day or two off to rest and recharge. If there are no other siblings or relatives available to provide respite, see if the family finances will allow for an in-home healthcare provider. In some cases, insurance policies may cover the cost of in-home healthcare. Consider too the idea of hiring someone to come in once or twice a week to do light housekeeping and even cook a few meals that your relatives can simply heat and eat. There are services that can provide relief to help ease the stress and potential burnout on the primary caregiver.

Family members need to begin building a support system to help with senior care prior to when it is actually needed. Being prepared means that once a health issue occurs you won’t have to operate in panic mode to find ways to balance caring for your own work, family and home obligations as well as caring for your aging relative. Also, as a caregiver, you also need to give yourself permission to take a day off, and having a home medical device in your aging relative’s home offers peace of mind to be able to do just that.

Making decisions for your aging parents’ care

Your parents spent so many years caring for you and maybe even your children, but now the time has come for you to make decisions on their care. How do you make the decision on what is best for them? There are many items to take into consideration and many of the decisions you need to make are based on how well your parents are currently taking care of themselves. When evaluating your parents’ situation, consider their personal hygiene, on-going medical care, any safety issues inside the home and day-to-day living which includes eating, cooking, and running errands.

Here are five tips from LifeFone, a provider of home medical alarm systems:

1. If both of your parents are still in the home, are they both at roughly the same level of health? Does one need more care and is the other parent able to provide that care?

2. Is your aging parent able to walk, move, eat, cook, and look after him or herself on a daily basis?

3. Can your parents stay in their own home or do they need assisted living care? With the installation of a home medical alarm system, will your parents be able to stay in the home for a longer period of time?

4. Do your parents need round-the-clock care or are they able to get by on a daily basis with minimal supervision.

5. Is the home safety-proofed in a way that makes it easier for them to live independently and age at home?

Once you’ve answered the questions above, you – and your aging parents – will be in a better position to make a decision on care. If your parents are healthy enough to take care of themselves and stay in the home, either on their own or with the help of a visiting nurse or with another family member dropping by, then allowing them to age at home is likely an option. If your parents are able to cook, clean and monitor their own medications then chances are they can age at their own home – which you will likely find is what they would prefer. Adding a medical alarm system will enhance the peace of mind for the family.

If there is a family member that is able to take care of your aging parents by making frequent drop-in visits to monitor their health and help out with household chores and running errands, the likelihood that your loved one can live independently at home increases. Another way to make it possible for your parents to age at home is by making certain the house is equipped for safety. You will want to make certain there are no trip or fall hazards such as loose items on the floor, throw rugs that could cause a potential trip hazard. Additionally, move as many items as possible to lower shelves for ease in reaching them without having to use a step stool or ladder.

Even if your parents are in good health, a trip or fall or any other health emergency could arise that could render them helpless and unable to call for help. Equipping their home with a medical alert system or a medical alert bracelet makes it easy for them to simply push a button to call for medical assistance. LifeFone, with its home medical alert systems, offers seniors a way to age at home while providing their family members with peace of mind.

How to Put Together a Family Caregiver Agreement

When a loved one is no longer able to completely care for themselves it’s important they have people around them helping out to make their lives easier. More than 65 million caregivers provide more than $375 billion in uncompensated care to friends and family members.  This number is staggering but reflects the love and commitment families for one another!

When your loved one is having a difficult time you may feel that it’s time to step in but you don’t have to do it all alone.  Preparing a family caregiver agreement is a great first step to take so that no one has to take on the burden of caregiving all by themselves. Each family member should play a part  in achieving a great caregiver experience .

The first thing you need to do is define your needs and the needs of the one you’re caring for. What kind of difficulties are they having? What kinds of medication are they taking? When do they need to go to see a physician? These are a few questions you should ask when preparing a caregiver agreement. You must also take into consideration the needs of those participating in the caregiving. What kind of hours does everyone work? What family obligations do they have? Do they themselves have any medical problems that need to be taken into consideration? Write down all these needs and sort them according to each individual. Continue reading

More Than Tough Love

It is no secret that people tend to be the hardest on the ones they love. Family members often shoulder the burden of their loved ones’ emotional rage, which is only amplified when that family member is also serving as the primary caregiver to their elderly parents. It is hard to discern why elderly parents turn on the child that is trying to take care of them, but often their anger is rooted in their circumstances, not the actual family member.

Our loved ones may realize they are not as mobile or active as they used to be, they may be experiencing a painful illness, they may be embarrassed  of their incontinence, or they may feel their memory waning. Whatever the cause, they often take their frustrations out on the ones they feel most safe and comfortable around. They are not consciously abusing their son or daughter, they are frustrated and take it out on family because they believe no matter how poorly they behave family won’t leave them.

When handling emotional abuse from elders, it is important to understand that your parent is frustrated, they feel as though their independence is slipping away and that death is fast approaching. As we age, we often feel betrayed by our bodies and feel humiliated for the help we require to simply survive each day. While our loved ones are undergoing a difficult time period in their life, it does not justify their negative and hurtful behavior toward their caregivers.

Detach Yourself from Insults

Although their insults may cut deep, it is important that you don’t take every insult personally. It is also important to be able to detach from the situation with love. If you are experiencing a particularly difficult period in your relationship, the best solution may simply be to take a break. If your parent is in a nursing home where you know they are receiving proper care, or you have a sibling that can take over the duties for a day or a week, allow yourself to get some distance. By spending a little time apart both you and your loved one will have time to recharge. As a caregiver, it is important to show your loved one that you will not tolerate being treated in an abusive manner, standing your ground often leads to better behavior on your loved one’s part. Being a caregiver is stressful enough without your care recipient bringing you to tears based on their poor behavior.

If your loved one lives at home with you, it may be a good idea to consider in-home care, finding a little respite will work wonders on your psyche. By detaching yourself from their care for even a short while, you may find that your parents gain a new appreciation for you. When you stand up for yourself, and remain kind, calm and loving, it is easier to get your point across. Your feelings are important, regardless of your loved one’s disposition. Taking a stand and letting them know their behavior is intolerable early on may save you a world of hurt throughout your caregiving journey.

 

 

 

Manage Caregiving Like a Business

The first day at a new job usually induces feelings of doubt, heightened anxiety and fear of the unknown. Luckily some of these fears are partially subsided once you have adequately gone over the job description and the training manual has been fully assessed. Half of the battle is discovering exactly what is expected of you. Unfortunately, there are some jobs that fall into our laps without the accompaniment of training manuals, guidelines or job descriptions, which induces a whole host of new anxieties and fears. One such job is caregiving.

Entering uncharted territory without any outside help is absolutely overwhelming. Caregiving can consume your life with chaos, disorganization and mental anguish. What many caregivers are unaware of is that it doesn’t have to be this way. There is a simple trick caregivers can employ to make their job less stressful: Manage caregiving like you are managing a business.

Caregivers Should Treat Caregiving As Though it is a Job.

Running your caregiving role like it is a business will empower you and allow you to gain a sense of control. When people are thrust into caregiving roles, they are often overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin. If you were to start your own business, you would not fly by the seat of your pants, you would line up resources, obtain legal documents and make a financial plan. The same goes for caregiving. You need to get all of your parent’s documents in order, so you have easy access to them including medical history, medications, doctor’s appointments, coordinating medical care, power of attorney and their finances. Begin looking up resources in your community like support groups for caregivers and eldercare assistance. The key to running a healthy business is to remain proactive instead of reactive.

Own your Title as the CEO.

As any good boss knows, being the CEO does not make you responsible for handling every single facet of the corporation. As primary caregiver, part of your responsibility lies in delegating the work at hand. Avoiding caregiver burnout is more easily attainable by dividing up the burden. Look to your family members for help. Your significant other, siblings and children should all play a role in the caregiving process. Assess what each person can bring to the table and delegate accordingly.

Garner Help from Outside Resources.

If your family members/employees are not willing or able to handle their fair share of the responsibility, it is your duty to bring in outside reinforcements. Take solace in home health care options, elder daycare or a geriatric care manager. While seeking outside help may cost you more financially, it is well worth the investment for your sanity. Remaining healthy both mentally and physically are very important to your caregiving role. You should not undertake all of the responsibility yourself and should focus on establishing a method of caregiving that works best for both you and your loved one.

When you assess your caregiving role as a business, you will find you have more control over your life and your responsibilities. Remaining organized, prepared and proactive will leave you feeling more at ease. By keeping your sanity you will find that you are a much better caregiver, which will benefit both you and your loved one.

Manage Caregiving Like a Business

The first day at a new job usually induces feelings of doubt, heightened anxiety and fear of the unknown. Luckily some of these fears are partially subsided once you have adequately gone over the job description and the training manual has been fully assessed. Half of the battle is discovering exactly what is expected of you. Unfortunately, there are some jobs that fall into our laps without the accompaniment of training manuals, guidelines or job descriptions, which induces a whole host of new anxieties and fears. One such job is caregiving.

Entering uncharted territory without any outside help is absolutely overwhelming. Caregiving can consume your life with chaos, disorganization and mental anguish. What many caregivers are unaware of is that it doesn’t have to be this way. There is a simple trick caregivers can employ to make their job less stressful: Manage caregiving like you are managing a business.

Caregivers Should Treat Caregiving As Though it is a Job.

Running your caregiving role like it is a business will empower you and allow you to gain a sense of control. When people are thrust into caregiving roles, they are often overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin. If you were to start your own business, you would not fly by the seat of your pants, you would line up resources, obtain legal documents and make a financial plan. The same goes for caregiving. You need to get all of your parent’s documents in order, so you have easy access to them including medical history, medications, doctor’s appointments, coordinating medical care, power of attorney and their finances. Begin looking up resources in your community like support groups for caregivers and eldercare assistance. The key to running a healthy business is to remain proactive instead of reactive.

Own your Title as the CEO.

As any good boss knows, being the CEO does not make you responsible for handling every single facet of the corporation. As primary caregiver, part of your responsibility lies in delegating the work at hand. Avoiding caregiver burnout is more easily attainable by dividing up the burden. Look to your family members for help. Your significant other, siblings and children should all play a role in the caregiving process. Assess what each person can bring to the table and delegate accordingly.

Garner Help from Outside Resources.

If your family members/employees are not willing or able to handle their fair share of the responsibility, it is your duty to bring in outside reinforcements. Take solace in home health care options, elder daycare or a geriatric care manager. While seeking outside help may cost you more financially, it is well worth the investment for your sanity. Remaining healthy both mentally and physically are very important to your caregiving role. You should not undertake all of the responsibility yourself and should focus on establishing a method of caregiving that works best for both you and your loved one.

When you assess your caregiving role as a business, you will find you have more control over your life and your responsibilities. Remaining organized, prepared and proactive will leave you feeling more at ease. By keeping your sanity you will find that you are a much better caregiver, which will benefit both you and your loved one.

Sandwich Generation Month

In the Caregiving world July is called Sandwich Generation Month. Every July we like to commemorate and celebrate the dedication, patience, and caring of those adults who are part of the Sandwich Generation. For these strong individuals every single day comes with new challenges. So we would like to celebrate and raise awareness for all they do for the ones they love.

The Sandwich generation is the generation that has the task of caring for their aging parents along with supporting their own children. This time can be very stressful for those who are part of it. Every day presents new challenges for the Sandwich Generation and these people work very hard to ensure the safety and care of their loved ones.

This Month we would like to take the opportunity to raise awareness and provide help for those who are part of the Sandwich Generation. You can find links on our blog along with tips posted on our Twitter and Facebook page throughout the month. If you are a member of the Sandwich Generation just know that you aren’t alone. Don’t let your responsibilities consume you. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help as Life Fone and other people around the world would love to give you tips and resources to make you lives easier and less stressful.

Caring for elderly parent falls primarily to one sibling

A new study suggests when adult siblings have elderly parents who are in need of care, one sibling usually takes on the bulk of responsibility.

Caring for an elderly parent can tear apart sibling relationships, especially when the division of responsibilities is less than equitable.

That’s one of the conclusions of research released Tuesday that says when adult siblings have elderly parents who are in need of care, one sibling usually takes on the bulk of responsibility.

Read more:  http://www.canada.com/life/Caring+elderly+parent+falls+primarily+sibling/4288421/story.html#ixzz1EFlNhUYN

Caring for elderly parent falls primarily to one sibling

A new study suggests when adult siblings have elderly parents who are in need of care, one sibling usually takes on the bulk of responsibility.

Caring for an elderly parent can tear apart sibling relationships, especially when the division of responsibilities is less than equitable.

That’s one of the conclusions of research released Tuesday that says when adult siblings have elderly parents who are in need of care, one sibling usually takes on the bulk of responsibility.

Read more:  http://www.canada.com/life/Caring+elderly+parent+falls+primarily+sibling/4288421/story.html#ixzz1EFlNhUYN

Eldercare Locator

The Eldercare Locator is a public, nationwide service of the Administration on Aging at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This service is designed to connect older Americans, their families and caregivers with information on senior services and help them by identifying trustworthy local support resources.

The Eldercare Locator database provides information by Zip code, City or County. We encourage you to use this resource and ease the burden of gathering information on resources available in your area.