Caregivers of Older Adults

Has tradition changed the way we are caring for seniors?

Posted on Thu, Jan 15, 2015 @ 01:43 PM

It had to be the coldest day of the year, but there she came with her head wrapped snuggly with a beautiful brightly colored scarf, her long woolen coat that hung loosely over her severely curved back but with a look of sheer determination as she walked through the door of the chapel. I greeted the 90 year old at the door and asked if I could help her. Her old, but kind eyes looked up at me as if to say "don't you know?" I had forgotten it was the first Friday of the month and she had come to light her candles - after all that was what her mother had taught her and she never forgot .It was a tradition that had been passed down to her.

Being careful not to be obtrusive, yet feeling a need to assure her safety, I stayed quietly in the background giving her some time and space for prayer. As I watched her carefully light each candle, I was very moved by the beauty and grace of this woman as she knelt reverently in prayer. Even from my safe distance I could hear her heart-felt words - not asking for anything - but rather a sincere prayer of thanks for the many blessings she had received. It was not just a prayer, but the ease and comfort with which she spoke; she was having a conversation with a good friend.

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Topics: Spirituality & Aging, Caregiver Info, Elder Care Issues

5 Tips for Coordinating Eldercare with Your Siblings

Posted on Fri, Dec 19, 2014 @ 10:00 AM

The responsiblies of caring for aging parents are numerous. Having siblings to help with the day-to-day tasks can be helpful as it offers an extra set of hands, divided responsibilities as well as a close family member to talk with. This can be a blessing for many - but for others the challenges of shared eldercare can far outweigh the benefits.

Shared Eldercare Challenges 
For many adult siblings the childhood differences that we assumed were long gone seem to resurface in light of this new role as caregiver. 

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Topics: Senior Health, Caregiver Info, Elder Care Issues

Celebrate the Holidays while Caring for Older Adults

Posted on Wed, Dec 17, 2014 @ 11:06 AM

Being a caregiver to a senior can be strenuous yet rewarding at times. However, the holidays are times to put all the stress aside and just enjoy being with family and the others you love. Older adults often find this time of year a bit lonesome and left out. Their children are living lives of their own and often find it hard to visit as promised. Make this holiday special for the aging senior in your life.

Plan Holiday Festivities

Plan a day to trim the tree and decorate. Since seniors should not be outside during cold months for an extensive amount of time think of festive things to do at home. Consider a night for trimming the tree and decorating the home. Give the senior their own special assignment to focus on doing. Everyone wants to feel as if they are needed so find ways to include seniors in holiday planning. 

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Topics: Senior Health, Caregiver Info, Elder Care Issues

Don't Neglect the Caregiver when Caring for Older Adults

Posted on Fri, Dec 05, 2014 @ 01:29 PM

Anyone who provides long term assistance to a loved one is considered a caregiver. It could be an ill spouse, child or an aging relative or a friend. For many this role of caregiver happens gradually and many do not even identify themselves as caregivers. Are you are assisting someone on a regular basis with their daily aspects of living such as bathing, dressing, managing medications, assistance with doctors appointments, household chores, meals, etc.?  Then yes - you are a caregiver. Perhaps you started caring for someone by just checking in on them occasionally, then you realized they needed assistance with meals, and maybe a subsequent illness or a fall meant an increased need for care. Caregiving can be a very rewarding experience and give you much needed peace of mind knowing that your loved one is receiving the greatest of care. But with that said caregiving is not always easy.

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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

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