|Elderly Care Information|
Caregiving Across The Miles?Tips for Successful Long Distance Caregiving
Caring for a parent or a loved one is a difficult job. Your duties as a caregiver become increasingly difficult as the miles increase between you and your loved one. The following are a few helpful tips in order to plan ahead in the event your loved one needs your help, as well as ideas on how to become a successful caregiver once your caregiving duties begin.
1. Have a discussion with your loved one. Years before the need for caregiving arises, discuss ideas and thoughts with your loved one. Discuss with them their thoughts on possibilities of relocation, assisted living or nursing home care, and end of life arrangements. Make sure all of their legal and financial needs have been met. Talking with your loved one ahead of time will make them more comfortable with the idea of needing help down the road.
2. Design a "Family Plan of Action". Before the need arises, get the family together and discuss responsibilities and divide them up accordingly. Devise a plan to keep in contact with those members who may be out of state by frequent phone calls, emails or set up a private chat room on the internet for family discussions. Investigate costs for care and travel expenses. Design contingency plans in the event that funds run out, level of care increases, and availability of family is limited.
3. Gather emergency contact information. Make a list of important emergency numbers such as out of town family members, family friends, physicians, attorneys, clergy, etc. To help preserve this list in the event of an emergency, place this list in a zip lock bag and store it in your loved one's freezer where they keep their ice cubes. Place a magnet on their refrigerator with a note as to the location of this list.
4. Gather important documents. Locate important documents such as social security card, Medicare and/or health insurance cards, legal documents such as living trusts, wills, and powers of attorney, all financial statements including life insurance information and real estate deeds. Inform the family regarding the location of these documents. Keep copies of powers of attorney in the event you need to make health care or financial decisions from a distance.
5. Organize and set up a network. Contact relatives, friends and neighbors who live close by your loved one. Ask them to routinely stop by and visit your loved one, and ask them to contact you if they observe anything out of the ordinary. Find out about community programs that provide services such as meals or transportation, and get them involved. Consider hiring a geriatric care manager to help coordinate the care.
6. Make the most of your visits. Schedule and attend physician appointments with your loved one when you are in town, and keep yourself informed with your loved one's diagnosis. Meet with members of your network, and ask them detailed questions about their interaction with your loved one.
7. Keep a journal. Take detailed notes of your loved one's care such as their progress, medications, changes in level of care, recent injuries, personality changes, etc. A journal will help keep the family organized, as well as provide helpful information for the physician or other caregivers who might be involved in your loved one's care.
8. Be observant. Be aware of changes in your loved one's personality, their appearance such as lack of grooming or soiled clothing. Verify that the mail is being opened and the bills are being paid. Set up a consistent schedule for communicating with your loved one, and pay attention to what they're "not" saying. Remember, your loved one doesn't want to give up their independence, and they may not always tell you the truth.
9. Re-evaluate the situation. Assess your loved one's situation and don't be afraid to make adjustments as the circumstances change. Don't hesitate asking for help from other family members, and investigate the potential for placement in a care facility or hiring a full time live-in caregiver if the family and physician deems necessary.
10. Care for the caregiver. Don't allow yourself to get to the point that you experience burn-out. Get help from other family members, as well as take time for yourself. Maintain a healthy diet and exercise daily. When caregiving becomes too much for the family, and the level of care is beyond your immediate resources, seek out other options. Don't let your guilt get in the way of providing the best care for your loved one, even if a care facility or full time caregiver must provide that care instead of you.
Above all, remember to allow your loved one to remain involved in the decision making process for as long as their decisions do not negatively impact their health or safety. Remember to discuss your concerns with their care in a sensitive manner. Your loved one deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. Be realistic about the situation, and in addition to looking out for your loved one's care, remember to look out for your own as well.
You have permission to use this article as long as the author's full bio is present as well as any hyperlinks to author's website.
Torey L. Farnsworth, CSA has over 12 years of experience working with seniors. Ms. Farnsworth's vast expertise encompasses a wide variety of senior issues ranging from adult care to elder law. Most recently, Torey served as Elder Law Director and Paralegal for a Phoenix based law firm where she provided assistance in a variety of areas including long term care planning, estate planning, ALTCS eligibility and Medicaid planning. Ms. Farnsworth is also a certified caregiver with the State of Arizona as well as a Certified Senior Advisor. Ms. Farnsworth has spent her career in senior care as her family owns and operates assisted living homes.
Ms. Farnsworth currently owns her own senior care placement business called Horizon Senior Care Referral. Her placement services are free to seniors and their families in Arizona. For more information, visit http://www.adultcarecentral.com
Nursing Home Staffing Levels: How Much Is Enough?
During the week of February 17, 2002, headlines screamed the news - more than 92% of US nursing homes fail to have an adequate number of staff to provide quality care for elderly residents. Newspapers and radio programs based their stories on the new study the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) recently provided to the Senate's Special Committee on Aging.
Honey, Where Are The Car Keys?
Q: My mother is always losing, hiding and hoarding things, I am losing my mind! What can I do to get her to stop?
Mom Wont Participate!
Q: Six months ago we placed my mother in an assisted living facility. She gets along fairly well, but we thought she would get involved with all of the activities. Instead she complains that she is very lonely, and won't participate. Do you have any suggestions?
Angels Are Reaching Out to the Elderly
I am reminded time after time of the profound effect Angels have on people. Recently, I have been receiving many emails containing examples of how the Angels are reaching through the veils to assist the elderly. The elderly respond to Angel Paintings with a knowingness of love and illumination that comes from within them. Sometimes the reactions have been as though they are recognizing an old friend.
Caring for Aging Relatives
It happens somewhat slowly in the beginning, maybe with a small cough that gets worse as time goes on. It might simply begin with absent mindedness which is totally out of character, followed by total memory lapses. What do we do when our parents eventually need taking care of after they have spent so much of their adult lives taking care of us? What precisely is a child's responsibility to them? Is it self-centered to relocate them into an assisted home? And which siblings should shoulder the responsibility? These are questions which plague families whenever a parent happens to become sick.
Stair Lifts - Straight and Curved Rails
There are two types of stairlift. Straight and curved. The first is designed for straight stairs. The footrest of the lift will normally stop level with the top stair. It may be possible to use a straight stairlift on some configurations of curved stairs.
Local Businesses Serving Seniors Prove Commitment to Quality Care
Good news! You no longer have to risk chance when it comes to selecting a reputable elder care service for yourself or for a loved one. Senior Approved Services has certified a select number of businesses in our area serving the elderly and disabled populations.
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Exercise has a very important role in the general health and the quality of life of everyone, but especially in seniors. Seniors who walk tend to look younger, sleep more soundly and have fewer visits to the doctor. Walking for 30 to 60 minutes four to six days a week will help improve osteoarthritis and decrease the risk of osteoporosis, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and obesity. Walking is the top recreational sport for seniors.
When the Box is Empty
The King had a modest kingdom. He was Danish. This meant he was proud, tall, athletic and he enjoyed a quick wit. He was married to a princess from Great Britain at a very young age. They were both really just children when they began their own family.
The Golden Years
1) What does Adrian Mitchell say we do to people when their working lives are over?
Skilled Nursing Homes - What Are They?
A skilled nursing home is a medical facility providing services similar to a hospital. The homes are staffed with licensed nurses, shared rooms, hospital beds, regular scheduled doctor rounds, meals and housekeeping. Skilled nursing homes often provide a more pleasant setting with optimal nurse to patient ratios and relaxed atmospheres.
Prevent or Delay Alzheimers Disease
Argh! Where are my glasses? I put them down . . . to do what? And when?
What You Need to Know About Helping Senior Citizens
Who Wants to End Up in a Nursing Home? NO ONE!
As a long-term care consultant for seniors and their families I have visited many different types of facilities. But my favorite type of facility to visit is adult family homes.
Baby Boomers: Will They Be Able to Afford Their Parents?
Do you worry about whether your aging parents have their "affairs in order?" You should. After all, you're the one who will have to pay unnecessary taxes and endure time-consuming court procedures if your parents don't have an effective estate plan. Without some forethought on their part and your part, you could be facing a lot of wasted time and money in addition to a lot of frustration. All of the waste and frustration can easily be avoided.
Alzheimers Care Giving While Maintaining Your Own Health
Just for a moment I want you to imagine that you are coming out of a very deep sleep. If you have ever had surgery try to remember the way you felt as you were trying to make sense of things as you awoke. As you imagine or remember this sensation do you find yourself wondering if it is morning or night? Are you trying to remember where you are? Do you have a startle reaction and think for a moment that you are late for work or forgot to pick up your children at school? I have had that upsetting feeling if I wake up in the middle of the night or even after a nap. Now imagine that same fog every moment of your life.......
Senior Care for Alzheimer?s
As a person ages, a certain amount of memory loss and confusion is quite normal. Personally, I've been known to invoke the cliché, "The older I get, the better I was!" Unfortunately, Alzheimer's disease represents a more serious loss of mental sharpness and calls for special care for seniors.
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The following are a few of the care options available for seniors who can no longer live on their own and require assistance with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL), or require skilled nursing care. Every state is a little different in terms of availability and cost, state regulations, and the specific names used for each care option:
The Best Investment You Can Make Right Now: Long Term Care Insurance
Don't think you need it? Consider this: a full 50% of Americans over the age of 50 will need long term care at some point in their lives. The average cost of nursing facility care (or home health care assistance) is $61,000 per year, and the average stay in a long term care facility is 2½ years. Can you think of a faster way to decimate your nest egg?
If Using The Stairs Has Become A Daily Struggle, A Stair lift Could Change Your Life
Using stairs is an everyday nightmare for many people. As we grow older the stairs in our home can become more of a struggle due to mobility problems associated with old age, an accident or illness. Often when out shopping or in a public place an alternative can be found such as a lift or escalator, but the stairs at home can become a daily challenge. Many people who experience difficulty climbing the stairs come to dread having to use them. For people whose bathroom or toilet is upstairs it can be even more of an issue.
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