Caregivers of Older Adults

5 Tips for Long Distance Caregivers

Posted on Wed, Nov 26, 2014 @ 10:37 AM

We can more easily find information or support for primary caregivers who live with or provide daily or weekly care for an aging parent spouse or other older adult, but that’s not necessarily the same for the long distance caregiver. Today’s families are often scattered throughout the country and even the world making it much more difficult when parents become ill and in need of care. Therefore, the once a month or perhaps the Thanksgiving or Christmas visit becomes an even more crucial time to get a clear picture of what the immediate needs are and to try to anticipate and prepare for the inevitability of changes ahead. Perhaps with little time to take care of the most necessary details, your visit may become consumed with duties leaving little time to delight in the quality conversations and reminiscing that is so essential to your family. Unfortunately that is so often the case for distant caregivers who are separated by miles but with their thoughts and hearts still so in need of connecting.

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Topics: Senior Health, Caregiver Info

Recognizing the Signs of Holiday Depression in Older Adults

Posted on Thu, Nov 20, 2014 @ 03:26 PM

The holidays can be a difficult and emotional time of year for some seniors. Seniors who are no longer able to travel to see friends and family are faced with the reality of their disabling condition. It is important as a caregiver to recognize this type of depression in older adults, and come up with ideas that might cheer them up. There are several things that can be done to get the senior smiling and in the holiday cheer.

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Topics: Depression, Mental Illness, Caregiver Info, Elder Care Issues

Wintertime Caregiver Tips for Safe Eldercare

Posted on Fri, Nov 14, 2014 @ 02:56 PM

Winter is quickly approaching and if you are a caregiver of an elderly person you are probably concerned about their well-being. As a responsible caregiver you want to make sure you are taking the necessary precautions to making the winter time comfortable, warm, relaxing and safe for the seniors. There are things that you can do to make sure you are providing proper eldercare for your loved one. 

Winterize the Seniors Room/Home

If you are caring for a senior at their home or yours it is important to make sure the home is winterized. Check for cool air coming through cracks or windows. Check the heating system to make sure it is working properly. Stack warm blankets and clothing close at hand. Seniors are at great risks for hypothermia, depression and falls during winter months.

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Topics: Caregiver Info

Medications and Seniors: Can Technology Help?

Posted on Tue, Nov 11, 2014 @ 02:15 PM

As caregivers watch their loved ones age, one thing they’re sure to notice is the growing number medications they’re required to take for a wide range of medical conditions. Each prescription added to a drug regimen makes it that much harder to track each pill and the time it was taken. Technology can help with medications and seniors by ensuring that the right medications are taken at the right time.

A number of medicine tracking or reminder apps are available for use a smartphone or tablet computer. Startup company Mango Health encourages people to stay on their medication with a mobile app that turns medication management into a game. The app includes daily reminders to take meds. Patients report that they taken their meds on schedule, or that they’ve refilled a prescription on time. Staying on schedule wins points that can be applied to rewards, such as gift cards to popular retailers.

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Topics: Elder Care Issues

Make the most of your holiday visit with your elderly parents!

Posted on Tue, Nov 04, 2014 @ 12:51 PM

The holidays are a time of homecoming, when we gather with family and share good food, good times and good conversations, but for people who don't live near their parents, going home for the holidays can also provide time to assess how elderly parents are doing at home.

Your parents may be fine, but when people get older, it can be easy to miss signs of poor health, memory problems and other issues that should be addressed before things worsen. Make your holiday visit as special as ever, but keep an open mind and a watchful eye.

Pay Attention

Look to their appearance for cues on general health and hygiene. Pay close attention to bruises, which could indicate falls or stumbles. Listen closely to what they say, and watch how they perform tasks, to check for memory problems. Spend time with them in the community to see how they conduct themselves in restaurants or stores, especially unfamiliar ones. Pay attention to their health habits, observe their surroundings at home, watch their driving, and subtly inquire about their finances.

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Topics: Stress, Caregiver Info, Elder Care Issues

LTC Services and Supports: Increasing Quality of Care for Seniors

Posted on Tue, Oct 28, 2014 @ 03:28 PM

All people, especially ones living with disabilities, benefit from long-term care and support programs. Programs that provide medical care, support services like personal home care aides, and more contribute to overall well-being.

In a study by AARP, it shows the Americans lack a national solution for adequate home and community-based long-term care services. We depend on the state governments to fulfill the need. But few of states are prepared to handle the upcoming surge of older adults.

The study driven by AARP is called Long-Term Care Services and Support Scorecard, and it’s funded by the Commonwealth Fund and the SCAN Foundation.

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Topics: Caregiver Info, Elder Care Issues, Hospice/End of Life

The Unexpected Rewards of Caregiving

Posted on Mon, Oct 20, 2014 @ 04:15 PM

Some of life's most difficult challenges come with the biggest rewards. Caregiving falls into this category. While much talk on the subject centers around the demands of being a caregiver -- and this responsibility shouldn't be taken lightly; it is a monumental, life-changing decision -- data from researchers, as well as insights from caregivers themselves, reveals some unexpectedly positive outcomes.

Time, Time, Time
One of the most common upsides of caregiving is the opportunity to spend time with a cherished family member who needs you. This experience opens up unprecedented bonding opportunities, as well as the chance to share stories, get to know each other better and create new memories. If your relationship has been rocky in the past, this time together can be quite healing.

And it's not just the relationship between the caregiver and care recipient that improves. Family members working together as collaborative family caregivers often grow closer in the process. 
Caregivers also form rewarding bonds with other caregivers they have met in support groups or through caregiving classes.

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Topics: Caregiver Info

Fall: A Time of Reflection

Posted on Thu, Oct 09, 2014 @ 10:16 AM

"Autumn has come in its predictable way; the heat of summer is giving way to cooler breezes in anticipation of winter. Change is in the air. For all of us, the changing of the seasons is a reminder that we, too, must change. In fact, it is an apt metaphor for our need to adapt to the ever-evolving circumstances of our aging lives."  

Author Patrick Abore, Ph.D. eloquently captures the importance of paying attention to the stirring within each of us as the movements of the seasons call us also to change.

Just as the season changes when the weather starts turning a bit cooler and nights get longer, so do our thoughts change as we begin to reflect on letting go and releasing those things in our lives that may have become burdensome. If you have recently become a caregiver for a parent, a spouse or other family member, there may be many changes in your life; some that may be causing difficulty or anxiety. Perhaps the person you are caring for has always lived an independent life, but now requires help to accomplish even simple tasks. Think about how difficult it must be for them to adjust to these types of transitions in life - going from something old and familiar to something new and unfamiliar. 

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Topics: Stress, Spirituality & Aging, Caregiver Info

Alzheimer's: The Memories Fade

Posted on Thu, Sep 25, 2014 @ 11:49 AM

Dementia_NovellaIt was so painful to watch; she gently and adoringly held his hand and stroked his withered face as he looked at her with a questioning look unable to recognize his wife of 56 years. The disease seemed to have crept up or perhaps it was there for a long time, yet accepting the reality was just not something anyone in the family was prepared to fully recognize.

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Topics: Stress, Elder Care Issues, Alzheimers

A Difficult Yet True Story of Elder Abuse: "How could they?"

Posted on Mon, Sep 08, 2014 @ 12:07 PM

The first words I uttered after listening to the 85 year old woman’s story – “How could they?” It was the first week into my new job as a pastoral associate in my home church when I received a call to visit a woman who was afraid of being in her own home. My first thought was that perhaps she may be suffering from dementia, but just a few minutes into her story – collaborated by her niece who had recently become her caregiver – I knew it was not dementia.  Instead it was a cruel and frightening experience that had left this lovely but fragile woman in a state of panic at every knock on her door.

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Topics: Elder Abuse, Elder Care Issues

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