Friday, December 31, 2010
It is rude to say I have heard this conversations several times from different family members over a period of time. Nancy was choking with emotions and the situation was very real for her. Always this question comes up about how to convince your parent. Honest answer to that is that there is no standard response to it. We have to see each as a unique case and develop our response.
"Nancy, we do not provide nannies" I said. There was a curious look on Nancy's face, like did I come to the wrong place? " Tell me more about your dad so that I can develop the best approach to help your dad". During our conversation we developed a game plan. Our caregiver will be introduced as a friend of Nancy's. She will come in and take dad out for walks, movies shopping etc. Nancy liked the idea immediately.
I have heard it too many times that in the west, people abandon their parents. NOT TRUE. What I have seen here is no different than what I have experienced in other parts of the world. The offspring here are as concerned here about their parents as they are in other parts of the world. They hurt to see their parents suffer, many go to great lengths to keep their parents healthy in their own home.
Earlier this week I met with a son who was completely emotional when we spoke of his parents. They needed care and cash was tight. Yet the son was willing to go to any lengths to provide care. During our conversation we found out that his dad was a Korean War Veteran. I asked him if his dad is getting A&A benefits. The son was not aware of it. So we helped them start the processing for A&A. On the way out, I kissed his mom's hands. I could see she was crying and thanked me profusely for treating her so humanely.
Okay guys, this is the last blog from me for this year. I promise to write again only next year. Have a safe new year everyone and let us welcome 2011. Yeah, it is going to be a great year.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
I have found this approach useful for many reasons. It is like doing new shopping all the time, while we do not put away the ones that should be removed. In effect we start hoarding things, new items coming in while the old one still remains. However, we rarely think about doing the same approach to our life, our mind. so let us take a moment to reflect on what went right, how can we be thankful to what we could accomplish in the year completed.
Recently I was attending a Geriatric Care Manager's conference. In one of the breakout sessions, there was a question about how we manage stress. AS GCMs, as care giving professionals and as professionals associated with providing care, we absorb a lot of stress that goes on in our clients life. This is only natural, the client sees us as someone whom they can open their heart to, share their problems and concerns. It is a gift that we can offer this to our seniors. However, as a result we absorb much of this stress and unless we learn how to handle this, it could affect our health. The speaker suggested a simple solution. Each night before she goes to bed, she meticulously writes down 10 things she is thankful for, in the day. It took a while for me to hit home on the impact of this suggestion. This was brilliant.
When we take a moment to be thankful, we are displacing in our mind "what went wrong" with "what went right". Human nature is such that we all ponder over issues, we search for solutions. And if we cannot find solutions or not happy with the options, unconsciously our mind keeps roaming, searching for better alternatives. similar is the situation when we had disagreeable situations during the day. We continue to be irked about it and play out scenarios in our mind. In short, we are not giving it any rest. Mind, like our body needs rest to recharge.
When we express our thankfulness, we are shifting our mind to more positive aspects of the day or the year. Our anxiety level comes down when we are able to appreciate the goodness in our daily lives. We tend to look at cup half full, not half empty. So friends, let us take a simple step of reflecting on the good things that happened to us during the year. Free our mind of worries and approach the new year with energy, love and enthusiasm. Have a great night everyone.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Paul has been taking care of his wife for about 7 years now. His wife, Andrea (not her real name) is a stroke victim and has one side completely paralyzed. Paul has been keeping good health and hence did not consider taking any help. Everything was going fine till recently when after returning from a doctor visit, Paul collapsed. He has been in hospitals and nursing homes for the last few weeks. He is very worried about the wellbeing of his wife and now himself too.
We come across several such instances. As family caregiver, the stress builds up progressively and cumulatively. The family caregiver often associates guilt, when considering some form of help. They feel guilty and feel it is their responsibility to provide care. Here is what we would normally tell someone like Paul.
You cannot be the husband, father and caregiver
You have the best intentions. However, you are as human as anyone else is, maybe a better human. However, if you try to do everything, progressively this would affect and ruin your health. Are you prepared for a day when you both will need care-giving? You should continue to be the husband and the dad and should consider getting some care-giving help. Getting some help now can avoid getting a lot of help later on.
Start with Respite Care
Paul, choose a day in the week where your wife can be taken care of by a care giver. Use this day to relax, and get your things done. Go out and do your stuff. Your wife will be well taken care of. Recently we were taking care of Janet for about 45 days when her daughter was away on vacation. Janet sends her daughter away on vacation every year as she has been the primary caregiver for her mom for several years. Janet sent her daughter on a world cruise, while we took care of Janet.
Consider few hours of help in a day
Try getting few hours of help every day. Remember out of the 24 hours in a day, you are still the primary care giver. Care giving services are there only for 20-30% of the time? You are still taking care of your wife for the rest of the time.
No Guilt Please
You should not have s sense of guilt that you are not doing enough. This often is the case. You are doing more than what others would normally do. More importantly, you are not the reason for your wife's poor health.
Hence there should be no reason for you to feel guilty about taking care of your self. In reality this is a pure act of love. You are taking care of yourself to take better care of your wife.
Always remember, stitch in time saves nine. You can contact me if you need help. I am just a phone call away at 626-639-0226
Sunday, December 19, 2010
In the senior care industry, we often find that companion care is about 70% of the service needs. Mary Ann, a client of mine (not the real name), calls me at least 4-5 times a day. She always calls to talk about some problem or the other. However, the truth of the matter is that there are no real problems that needs to be addressed. So than what is the problem that we are trying to solve? It is loneliness. Mary Ann calls to connect with me, in some ways I am her life line.When she comes on the line, she stays with me for about an hour. Bless her heart, she just needs to talk to someone.
The feeling is felt more acutely during the holiday season. The media highlights all the fun and warmth of companionship, the joy of giving and sharing. Seniors who are lonely find this the hardest of all the seasons. Mark (not the real name), another client of mine asked me where I am with my Christmas shopping. He lingered on a bit longer to add that he is not doing any shopping this time. He does not have any known friend, relative or kids. I met Mark, when he was getting discharged from a nursing home. "Son, I am going home to die" were the first words he said. Mark had a very successful life and he lived his life to the fullest. Never married and he has outlived all his friends and family.
There are things that we can do to improve this situation. To start with we can all connect with one senior in our community. Visit them, share some time with them, bring them a nice wine or something appropriate. I cam across another excellent article about seniors and loneliness in this holiday season,"Adults and Seniors Combating Loneliness This Holiday Season", http://www.articlesbase.com/elderly-care-articles/adults-and-seniors-combating-loneliness-this-holiday-season-3835088.html. Companionship is priceless and we need to realize that we are all rich in our resources to provide companionship. Make a difference in one life, that is all it takes. Have a great holiday season everyone.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
It was about 10:00 pm when I got the call from the Executive Director of a RCFE. "Sam, I need a caregiver like 1 hour back. Can you get me one?" To start with I really appreciate the fact that she called me, that shows her confidence in me. Now I am under pressure to perform. Sally's resident needed immediate care and she was on the phone just when I was ready to hit the bed. "Emergencies have always been necessary to progress. It was darkness which produced the lamp. It was fog that produced the compass. It was hunger that drove us to exploration. And it took a depression to teach us the real value of a job"......Victor Hugo.
Necessity is the mother of invention and for that same reason, I decided to make it happen. Within 30 minutes the situation was resolved and everyone was happy. The caregiver was fantastic, they asked us for more services.
Let us get back on track on our discussions. How many of us plan for emergencies? How many of us develop support systems? I am not talking about just insurance policies her, but the whole idea about planning for tomorrow. When communities develop plan on emergencies, very often the elderly and the disabled are not kept in perspective. I read a very nice article that I want to share here on Disaster Planning on Elderly and Disabled. http://ezinearticles.com/?Disaster-Planning-for-the-Elderly-and-Disabled&id=5212666
Good night every one. Today was a very good day for me and I hope it has been for all of you. I hope you all wake up bright and sparkling to carry through the rest of the day. God bless.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Molly husband suffered a stroke and unfortunately for him, his one side has been paralyzed for the last several years. For 6+ years, Molly tried everything she knew to get the insurance company to accept the claim and start paying benefits. Molly tried 3 different agencies and each time the insurance company rejected the claim. Molly ended up paying the agencies out of pocket and eventually she had to cancel their services. Molly became the principal and the only care giver.
When we got involved, we realized that the insurance companies were not being difficult. There were details to the process that needed to be taken care of. We were able to start the services within 15 days and has been servicing the client since then. Another client Maria had a different story to share. Her husband has advanced stages of Alzheimer's and she too was facing problems getting the claims processed. She had changed 5 agencies before they came to us. " No agency was willing to do the processing on our behalf", said Maria. "You can deal with your insurance company and our agreement is with you". I have come across several such cases whether there is benefit assignment or not. Maria was close to tears when we said we will do the insurance processing for her and the service is complimentary. "God bless you" is all she could manage to say.
I thought about putting this in my blog today as today was a very good day. I got the approval for claim for yet another client who thought they were not even eligible for the benefit. This was a particularly challenging case. However, we have been very fortunate that the insurance companies have always worked positively with our approach.
We we decided to structure our offerings, we kept the customer in mind. LTC insurance, unlike any other insurance, the benefits are needed when you not in the best physical health. It is a lot to expect of our seniors if we tell them that they have sort through the details of insurance claims process. We want to keep it simple for our seniors. Our seniors have given the best years for us. This is a small way of contributing back towards helping our seniors.With my background of 22 years in the corporate world, I could easily get to the details that the insurance companies wanted. The claims department loves us. "It is fun to process your files, it is so simple and all details are there for us to process it. You make our lives easier". Said Blake who is one of the claims processor.
If you or anyone that you know have long term care insurance and wants help getting the claims processed, please give us a call at 626-639-0226. We are a non-medical private duty home care agency located in Pasadena, CA.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Happy Thanksgiving From ComForcare!
Please remember to check on your elderly family members. It's the perfect time to establish a base line on behavior and make sure they are taking care of themselves. If not, please have discussions and don't be afraid to 'say what you see'. Let them know your concerns so that these discussions can continue without hard feelings. Let them know they are loved!
If you need answers to elder care questions or need help with home care in Pasadena or the surrounding area, please visit www.HomeCareConsultations.com or call 626-639-0226.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Each November, the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) celebrates National Home Care and National Hospice Month to honor the men and women who have dedicated their lives to caring for others. Below are some tips for families who may be looking into home care and what they can and should expect from the caregivers they choose. If you need more information about in home care for your loved one in the Pasadena area, the caring staff at ComForcare can help answer any questions. Visit www.HomeCareConsultations.com or call us at 626-639-0226.
A Guide to Choosing the Right In-Home Care Service and Care Giver for Seniors
By: Kori Irons
What Seniors Can Expect from In-home Care
It can be incredibly difficult for a senior to allow a stranger into his home to help with household tasks, personal care and/or transportation. There is a great deal of confusion and anxiety around what exactly "in-home care" and an "in-home caregiver" might involve and entail--not to mention how to go about hiring and supervising the help. Here are some suggestions for what seniors can expect from in-home care and some advice on how to search for the perfect assistant:
An in-home caregiver can have a variety of qualifications, depending on the depth and intensity of personal care they are able to provide. Some take care of household tasks and hep with errands and transportation, while others have medical credentials and are able to help with more medical details and nursing needs. The most popular services required of in-home caregivers for seniors include:
- assistance with mail and correspondence
- laundry and ironing
- help with grocery shopping and other errands
- coordinating and reminding about medications
- cooking and meal planning
- transportation and mobility assistance
- and companionship and other personal assistance needs
Even seniors who may have special needs such as those who are recovering from an accident or illness, or those with dementia or Alzheimer's disease, or those with other more permanent disabilities can benefit from the services of an in-home care provider. A senior may need assistance on a daily or weekly basis, or something in between. It is not necessary to hire a caregiver to be present for every hour of every day if that is not what is needed or required.
Source: Associated Content
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
The seniors in their golden comes from a generation where they are self made. They have been extremely self reliant and never accepted help from anyone. True to their credit, they are very proud of their accomplishments and would be the first one to jump up to help anyone in need. To them taking help does not come easily.
I was researching for the upcoming seminar "New Concepts in Living Well". The topics we cover are designed to improve or maintain the lifestyles of the seniors. The inputs we received from many seniors we talked to are very revealing.
- We do not appreciate being perceived as weak and helpless.
- We don't need help, just because we are not able to manage ourselves.
- We like to enjoy the life to the fullest and what can you do to support that?
- How can you enrich our lives?
I know a 92 year old client who is very excited about the new book he is working on. They always look at what they can do and not how much time is left.
Dignity is very important to them and hence in dealing with seniors we need to keep in mind what the important attributes are . Seniors still have dreams about what they can do. So in dealing with seniors, it is important to steer away from compassion and kindness. Sounds strange right? They feel it makes them look weak. Compassion in your heart should be there and should be the platform to do the right thing in a timely basis. However, the communication should be built on the foundation of how we can enrich their lives, about how we can maintain their independence and dignity.
Respect them, they are achievers and they still have a lot more to offer. I am eagerly waiting for my 82 year old client to publish his book.
November marks the beginning of National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month, a reminder that the number of people who will develop the disease is expected to skyrocket over the next few years.
Starting Jan. 1, 79 million baby boomers will turn 65 at a rate of one every eight seconds.
That is more than four million per year, according to a recent op-ed piece in The New York Times. If scientists could delay onset of the disease by five years, via better drugs, the United States could keep much fewer Alzheimer's patients from needing nursing homes, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, and Alzheimer's experts Stanley Prusiner and Ken Dychtwald said in the piece.
Currently, for every penny the National Institutes of Health spends on Alzheimer's research, Americans spend $3.50 caring for individuals with the disease, for a total of $172 billion a year. At that rate, by 2020, the cumulative total will be $172 billion a year, or $20 trillion by 2050, according to the op-ed titled “The Age of Alzheimer's."
...read more from Mcknights.com
For information about how ComForcare can help your family with home care for a loved one suffering from Alzheimer's Disease in Pasadena and surrounding areas, visit www.HomeCareConsultations.com or call 626-639-0226.
DON'T FORGET OUR UPCOMING FREE SEMINAR!
New Concepts in Living Well
San Gabriel Valley is invited to a FREE Seminar
"New Concepts in Living Well"
November 20th, 2010
Follow this LINK for details
Friday, November 5, 2010
New Concepts in Living Well
Thursday, November 4, 2010
New Concepts in Living Well
San Gabriel Valley is invited to a FREE Seminar
"New Concepts in Living Well"
November 20th, 2010
Follow this link for details:
Visit ComForcare for all of your home care needs in the Pasadena and surrounding areas.
"Nancy, my caregiver could not make it today and they sent another caregiver Claudia after about two hours. What is challenging for me is that I have never met Claudia before and I don't know what she looks like. I am in wheel chair myself and I feel very vulnerable opening the door to a stranger". Betsy, my friend brought up this conversation to highlight some of the good approaches we have adopted.
In similar situations, always the client is introduced to the new care giver by someone who has met the client before. The difference is our client is meeting with someone they already know. "It makes a huge difference" Betsy insists, "you know you are meeting with someone you know and I feel lot more comfortable opening the doors". Good point.
What we have learned so far is to think from the client's perspective. Seniors in their golden years feels vulnerable in unfamiliar situations. Our promise to our clients is that at no time will they every have to face a stranger at the door who claims to be representing our agency. My biggest benefit has been that I get to meet my client and connect with them. I enjoy their company so much that sometimes Betsy warns me "Sam, you need to get back to your office and run your business". I gently remind her, "Betsy, you ARE my business". Guess what I am enjoying every moment I spend with the seniors. !!
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Friends and Family May Be Best Detectors of Early Alzheimer's Disease
Family members and friends may be better judges of early Alzheimer’s disease than standard memory tests, a new study reports. The results could help doctors diagnose suspected Alzheimer’s at an earlier stage, when treatment may be more effective and families can better prepare for the changes to come.
The study comes from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where researchers developed a two-minute questionnaire that asked close friends and family members if they have noticed problems with memory or judgment. The survey asked “yes” or “no” questions about whether they have noticed such signs in loved ones as:
- Bad financial choices or other problems in judgment;
- Less interest in hobbies and other favorite activities;
- Repeating questions, stories or statements;
- Trouble learning how to use a tool or appliance, such as a television remote control or a microwave oven;
- Forgetting the month or year;
- Difficulty handling complicated financial affairs, such as balancing a checkbook;
- Difficulty remembering appointments; and
- Consistent problems with thinking and memory.
Survey results were then correlated with so-called biomarkers, like brain changes on brain scans or blood tests results, that are generally regarded as of Alzheimer’s. The survey proved more accurate than standard word and memory tests like the mini-mental state exam, which doctors perform in their offices to look for early signs of Alzheimer’s.
...continue reading from alzinfo.org
Alzheimer’s home care counselors at ComForcare are available to talk with you and your family about care needs for your loved one, including, how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care. ComForcare is a home care agency providing Alzheimer’s Home Care in Pasadena CA.
"My daughter cannot make it and my son is out of town, how do I make it to the doctor's appointment?" Or very often they just don't know what to do to make sure that they can get around. They are at a stage when it is no longer safe for them to be driving and hence do not have license any longer. Also they need help getting in and out of the car and also to move around. This is not a situation when they could call for cab services. The needs includes lot more than that. "Don't you know I have a problem with the left leg and also I have a bad back?" . Seniors are often worried when they have to plan a trip as to who can hep them with understanding and compassion. With the pace f today's life, family may not have the ability to take their parents around all the time. While the sandwich generation puts in a lot of effort, many times they themselves are stretched too thin.
"So how was the doctor visit?" the daughter asked. "It was alright", mom replied. "Did the doctor give any new instructions?" the daughter continued. "Yeah... he said something...... some kind of a test..... can't remember properly what he said. Yeah he also said to change some medications........ Oh I forgot reg the next appointment..... I left the card behind....". Doctors tells me that this is the most frustrating part of their work, where the communication is not reaching the family and as a result the health of the elderly suffers.
This is a typical everyday situation with the life of an elderly. The need of the hour is to offer services that understands the situation and offers solution. What we learned with these experiences, we put that in effect with our services. We offer to drive the elderly for their doctor visits. Our caregivers are trained to take notes regarding doctors recommendations on what needs to be done, when etc. They becomes the eyes and ears for the seniors. The notes are then passed on to the family members. I was discussing the new approach with a Geriatric Care Manager I work with very closely. "Sam, what you have here is very well developed and has a lot of value for the families". Health Services Director in a retirement community told me "this solves the problem we have been having for several years".
For us Seniors are not part of a forgotten society, they are the reason and the passion for our existence.
The seminar has four components, Fred Sohl will speak on "Legacy Planning", Sam Gopinathan will speak on "Home Care Services Do's and Don'ts", Bill Hunter will present on Long Term Care Insurance and finally Steve Hamlin will present Cognitive Exercises.
The seminar is co-sponsored by Convalescent Aid Society and Lake Avenue Community Foundation.
Venue Rose Room, Lake Avenue Church, Pasadena, CA
Time 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Date November 20, 2010
This is a free seminar and the location will also provide free parking
Saturday, October 30, 2010
One of the biggest challenges for Alzheimer's is to convince the caregiver to take help. Nature of the disease is such that the situation is progressively worsening. progressive and hence you do not observe any visible change on a day to day basis or hour to hour basis. You hear this often " it is not time yet". As the caregivers are living with the loved ones affected by the disease, they often fail to read the situation correctly. In their mind, it is not yet the time to take help.
Driven by a sense of responsibility towards the loved ones and coupled by fact that you are driven from one job to the next without a stop, one fails to see the big picture. The big question is "what should be done?" To start with we have to honor the commitment of the caregivers. They are the true heroes, putting everything else in front of them and putting their own health and interest the last.
Now let us get practical. Does it do anyone any good for the caregiver's health to be affected in the process? Who will take care of the affected one, if something were to happen to the caregiver? Who will take care of the caregiver themselves if their health was affected? Now you have two problems to take care of not just one?
However, try telling all these to the caregiver and you would often hear them reply "true, but I don't think I am there yet". Well are you sure? Will your physician agree with your assessment? I have dealt with a lot of family members where they are in this no win situation trying to convince their parents to bring in help. Here are some useful suggestions.
Talk to Caregiver's Physicians
Given the wonderful world of HIPPA, the physician may not be able to tell you anything. However, you can be a reporter to the physician. You can tell them what is going on with your dad or mom. The more you can tell them the better. Very often your parents are more likely to listen to their physician than you. Your report to the physician would help them give better advise to your parents. Many times they are not informed fully of the situation.
Change the Game
Do not use the word "help". Given the generation they come from they are very allergic to that term, when it comes to helping themselves. They are very often the first to jump to help someone, yet they would put all excuses and resistance when it comes to taking help. Rather than using the term "help", take the loved ones and subscribe them for day care centers or programs. Arrange ride for them to be taken to the program and back. Make sure the family care giver does not tag along. This is the time the caregiver gets a break.
Create social events. invite friends of your loved ones for lunch and once again arrange for ride to the place and back. The ride actually should be caregiver from a responsible agency. The caregiver from the agency can come pick up your loved ones for the program and bring them back. Similarly get creative to take the loved one away from the family care giver as much as possible. This gives them the opportunity to get much needed rest and recharge their batteries.
Send your family caregiver to as many support group session as possible. Hearing from similar families are much different from hearing from you.
These are just few of the suggestions. You have to be creative and keep trying.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
For Elderly, Giving Up Driving Can Be Tough
By Jenifer Goodwin, HealthDay Reporter
It's a wrenching decision that doesn't necessarily depend on age, experts say
For many Americans, driving equals independence -- the ability to run errands, go to church or visit family and friends as you please. So the decision to hand over the car keys for good can be a difficult one.
To help doctors, seniors and their family members spot the signs of someone who is too old and too frail to drive, the American Medical Association this week released the Physician's Guide to Assessing and Counseling Older Drivers. It includes screening tests, information about medical conditions and medications that may impact driving, and ways of talking to seniors about what can be an emotional issue.
Though largely directed at doctors, the guide is full of information that can help seniors and their families in determining if it's time to park the car in the garage for good, experts say.
...continue reading from healthday.com
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
When Siblings Step Up
By ANNE TERGESEN
Sisters and brothers are finding new ways to circumvent old conflicts as they take on one of the toughest roles in their lives: caregiver.
When Rene Talavera's father, Jesus Talavera, 69, was hospitalized for kidney and heart failure last fall, the 45-year-old Chicago resident and his four siblings were catapulted into an uncomfortable new phase of life: caregiving.
But even as the Talavera siblings absorbed the shock of their father's illness, they set aside old conflicts and concerns to work together. "The common thread is that you all love your parent," says Rene Talavera. "It's not about you or an argument you had 20 years ago. It's about Dad and what you can do for him."
Family cohesiveness is a tall order at any time of life. But as parents grow frail, brothers and sisters often encounter new obstacles to togetherness—at precisely the time they most need to rely on one another.
Sibling rivalry can emerge or intensify as adult children vie, one last time, for a parent's love or financial support. And even as parents grow dependent on children, the desire to cling to old, familiar roles can create a dysfunctional mess.
...continue reading from online.wsj.com
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Employer Support for Care Giving Employees
“There are only four kinds of people in this world. Those who have been caregivers, those who are caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.” Rosalynn Carter, Former First Lady
The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that in the year 2010, 54% of workforce employees will provide eldercare for a parent or parents and that nearly two-thirds of caregivers will experience conflict between demands at home and demands from employers.
Today’s employed Baby Boomers are the caregiver generation for their parents. They are finding themselves juggling care responsibilities around their employment obligations. Sometimes employees find they have no option but to take leave from work or use sick time to meet their caregiving demands.
Employers also feel the toll it is taking on their employees. A report by the AARP describes the cost to employers:
“Companies are also seeing the emotional and physical toll that caregiving takes on their workers. In one study, 75% of employees caring for adults reported negative health consequences, including depression, stress, panic attacks, headaches, loss of energy and sleep, weight loss, and physical pain.
Businesses suffer, too, by having to pay high health insurance costs and in lost productivity. That doesn’t count the promotions or assignments workers turn down that require travel or relocation away from aging relatives."
Businesses that don’t offer benefits or address eldercare wind up paying for them. A recent study by the MetLife Market Mature Institute and the National Alliance for Caregiving states that U.S. companies pay between $17.1 billion and $33.6 billion annually, depending on the level of caregiving involved, on lost productivity. That equals $2,110 for every full-time worker who cares for an adult.
The AARP states eldercare cost businesses:
- $6.6 billion to replace employees (9% left work either to take early retirement or quit)
- Nearly $7 billion in workday interruptions (coming in late, leaving early, taking time off during the day, or spending work time on eldercare matters)
- $4.3 billion in absenteeism
Typically, human resource departments work with employees on many issues that may affect their work productivity. There are programs for drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence, illness, absenteeism and child care; but, help with eldercare issues is not normally provided.
...continue reading from longtermcarelink.net
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Words for Seniors Facing Loss
By PAULA SPAN
My father is a relentlessly upbeat guy. “Up and around!” he reports when I call. “Keeping busy!” He tells me about his volunteer work, his card game winnings, the (seated) yoga class he enrolled in at the library. His favorite refrain is, “I can’t complain.” (And yes, yes, yes, my sister and I do know how lucky we are.)
He does tell me about the funerals, though. At 87, watching his peers struggle with the physical and psychological trials of old age, he goes to a lot of them. He keeps losing people he’s known for years — onetime co-workers, senior members of his synagogue, neighbors in his tightly knit apartment building.
His friend Molly, too frail in her 90s to remain alone in her house, recently moved to the Midwest to live with her son; they’ll probably never see each other again. The weekly card game now involves an entirely different group of guys than when he started years ago, and it sometimes stalls for several weeks as the players have health crises or move or die.
Replacement players are growing harder to find.
“These things keep happening when you’re over 80,” he told me. He goes to funerals because, he said: “It’s just the right thing to do. It shows that you feel bad, that you’ve lost a friend.”
What do you say to this litany? You want to offer something reassuring, something to lighten the sense of loss, but you can’t evade the reality: He’s outliving his friends and family members. His cohort is thinning.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
The Altadena Senior Center held its fourth annual Health & Information Fair on Saturday, September 25th, from 9 AM-noon.
The Health & Information Fair offered free blood pressure and diabetes screening, over thirty vendors, and much more. A free continental breakfast was being offered to the first 100 attendees. Overall about 250 people attended.
The attendees were very interested in the care management program that ComForcare offers, where the client's situation is periodically reviewed to amend the care plan.
Long Term Care insurance clients appreciated the fact that ComForcare takes complete documentation responsibility and the family is not burdened with paperwork.
Another area of significant interest was the screening process ComForcare adopts to check the background of the caregivers.
The Center is located at 560 E. Mariposa St. in Altadena, and offers a respite for seniors 55 and over to socialize, learn from over 30 classes, take trips throughout California and work in their fitness center.
Convalescent Aid Society to Sponsor Free Seminar:
"New Concepts in Living Well"
Saturday, November 20th
Lake Avenue Church Skyroom
393 N Lake Ave
Click here for more information and RSVP
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Stress and the Elderly
Contrary to what we’ve been led to believe, senior living isn’t always the way it’s portrayed in glossy sales brochures and magazine advertisements. Rather than being a carefree period of life spent on the golf course and traveling around the world, for many of today’s seniors those “golden years” are incredibly stressful times.
What causes seniors so much stress? Change is a huge trigger for stress and seniors definitely experience plenty of change. It can be in the form of declining health, death of friends and loved ones, moving, a bad financial investment, and the list goes on. Here are some other reasons why senior living is stressful.
Continue reading from thehomecaredirectory.com
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Former Pasadena exec starts anew with elderly
By Erick Galindo Staff Writer
Posted: 09/10/2010 08:44:45 PM PDT
PASADENA - On a cool Thursday in Pasadena, Sam Gopinathan, 45, drove a senior citizen to a doctor's appointment.
The new owner of a private non-medical, in-home care franchise, ComForcare Senior Services in Pasadena, was simply going out of his way to add a personal touch for one of his clients.
"One thing I've realized is that retired people just really enjoy company and I really enjoy theirs," he said. "I have several caregivers on my staff but I decided to take my client personally."
TITLE: Franchise owner
BUSINESS: ComForcare Senior Services
ADDRESS: 1350 N. Altadena Drive, Suite B, Pasadena
SECRET OF SUCCESS: Lots of business experience and a desire to provide professional service with a personal touch
Things have changed considerably this past year for Gopinathan, who spent the first 22 years of his career as an executive for three Fortune 500 companies, including the Ford Motor Co.
Last September, Gopinathan's career in corporate America took a downturn when he was let go from his position as vice president of M-S Cash Drawer, a manufacturer of cash registers and point-of-sale systems based in Pasadena.
....continue reading about Sam!
Thursday, September 9, 2010
ComForcare Home Care Sponsors Luah in Pasadena!
Vista Cove Arcadia is an RCFE with 100 plus beds. It is a top tier community and they recently celebrated Luau party for the benefit of the residents.
ComForcare Home Care was the proud sponsor of the event. We brought in Hawaiian musicians and dancers who performed for about 3 hours. Some of the residents danced along with the staff and caregivers.
It was wonderful to see the residents transported in their mind all the way to Hawaii. The room decor had beautiful tropical flavor, the chef made some wonderful tropical and Hawaiian dishes. The dancers were wonderful. they performed 5 different types of dances, each of them representing a different island and a different theme.
The residents were very happy with the outings. It is wonderful to see such smiles on the face of the elderly.
Don't forget Grandparents Day Sunday September 12th!
Thursday, September 2, 2010
September is Healthy Aging Month!
What better way to spend a summer afternoon than going to the Farmers Market! The atmosphere, the neighbors, the fresh food! For healthy aging month, going to the Farmers Market is not a bad idea. Exercise and diet are so important for all of us. Our seniors especially benefit. Enjoy this article from seniorsforliving.com and remember, for the best in Home Care Services in the Pasadena area, visit www.esangabriel.comforcare.com
Farmer’s Markets: A Gathering Place for Community Seniors
By: Michelle Seitzer
One of my favorite things about living near Amish Country is the abundance of farmer’s markets in a 30 mile radius. My husband and I try to buy the majority of our goods at the market, going only to grocery stores for things like orange juice and toilet paper.
There are a number of reasons we enjoy stocking our kitchen via the farmer’s market. The food is fresher and more affordable, we can shop at a leisurely pace and hardly ever wait in line, we’re supporting local farmers and small businesses, and when recalls dominate the headlines, we don’t have much to worry about. We’ve developed relationships with many of the vendors, sometimes stopping by their stands just to say hello even if we don’t intend to buy that day. It’s also a great place to bring our out-of-town family and friends. In fact, when my parents come to visit, it’s usually the first thing my Dad asks upon arrival: “Can we go to the market?”
A strong sense of community pervades the market. Besides befriending vendors, there are a number of regular attendees that we greet there. I always have my eye out for the seniors. Many of the mature market shoppers come dressed to the nines with a straw basket on their arm or a small metal shopping cart trailing behind them, which is clearly something they’ve done for decades.
Most of the senior shoppers arrive alone, even shop alone, but eventually, they bump into someone they’ve known for years, or maybe even someone whom they have befriended at the market. In downtown York, an old piano positioned in the middle of the market is available for anyone who wishes to tickle the ivories. Like clockwork, two older gentlemen can be spotted (and heard) on Thursday mornings, one plays as the other sings. I’ve sat there several times, enjoying the wide range of music they share, from old hymns to “My Funny Valentine” – each set is interjected with humorous comments and ready smiles for anyone who stops to listen.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Cognitive Exercises (TM) is developed from the Feldenkrais R method of reeducation for posture, movement and breathing. Inputs from Bones For Life R also has been used to develop the program.
"What you can do, you can imagine and what you can imagine, you can do" - Moshe Feldenkrais. One of the reasons that the Feldenkrais Method is so successful with people in wheelchair and/or with dementia is that it is not about what the movement looks like. There is no right or wrong way. It is about sensing the movement inside, moving with your imagination, or smaller than you ever thought you could do. It is about paying attention to yourself.
Bones For Life R is specifically designed for seniors to strengthen their bones and correct alignment in a safe and gentle manner.
Steve Hamlin is a trained practitioner of Feldenkrais Method R and Bone For Life R . More information on Steve is available at www.mybodycanlearn.com.
We have been conducting Cognitive Exercises as a community service at the following retirement communities.
1. Pasadena Highlands, 1575 East Washington Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91104
2. The Terraces of Park Marino, 2587 E Washington Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107
3. Arcadia Retirement Village, 607 W Duarte Road, Arcadia, CA.91007
When you can't be there, Call ComForcare
ComForcare Home Care
1350 Altadena Drive, Suite B
Pasadena, CA 91107
Independently Owned and Operated ComForcare is an Equal Opportunity Employer
Supporting Independence, Dignity and Quality of Life
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Caring About A Care Giver
By Byron Pulsifer
So many emotions and so many thoughts of being helpless come to our mind. If you know of someone who is dying, or who is seriously ill, our hearts always seem to rest squarely on that person. For those who are concerned about this seriously ill or dying person, we usually want to help, but can't. We are not miracle workers; we are not able to heal them no matter what we may think of doing or wanting to do. But, in all our concern shown towards this person there may be someone else who desperately needs our help but seems to be far away in the shadows of our minds.
The person, who we can help, however, is the care giver especially if this person is the primary person extending at home care. Day in and day out, they are constantly vicariously living with their loved ones pain and anguish. The ups and downs that seem to come and go as if in a blur are there continuously. There is no way to escape the pain, the sorrow, the incessant question of being able to cope after their loved one has died. So, what can you do?
Frequently, the care giver needs to know there is someone there who they can talk to, to confide their inner emotions, their own anguish, and their feelings of deeper and deeper entrapment in a spiraling course of disease that they can not alter. The endless trips to the doctor, medical tests that seem to be repeated endlessly, the attempts to control pain or the progression of the disease, or the 24/7 knowledge that their life will be forever changed with the death of their loved one, is their constant diet.
If you are unable to visit because of distance, you can call the care giver on the phone every week. Of course, you'll want to know how their loved one is, but you also want to know how the care giver is coping. This is the time when you want to develop your listening skills. Often, a good listener is more valuable than a great conversationalist. You want the care giver to feel free, to open up, and to spill their emotions out to you. And, your role is not to offer trite "I know they will get better soon' meaningless phrases.
For information about how ComForcare Home Care Services can help you and your family in the Pasadena area, visit www.esangabriel.comforcare.com.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Healthy Diet Could Cut Alzheimer's Disease Risk
Eating a diet high in vegetables, fish, fruit, nuts and poultry, and low in red meat and butter may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease, new research finds.
Researchers asked more than 2,100 New York City residents aged 65 and older about their dietary habits. Over the course of about four years, 253 developed Alzheimer's disease.
Those whose diets included the most salad dressing, nuts, fish, tomatoes, poultry, cruciferous vegetables (such as cauliflower and broccoli), dark and green leafy vegetables, and the least red meat, high-fat dairy, organ meat and butter had a 38 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer's than those whose diets included fewer fruits, vegetables and poultry and more red meat and high-fat dairy.
"Following this dietary pattern seems to protect from Alzheimer's disease," said senior study author Dr. Nikolaos Scarmeas, associate professor of neurology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. But he added that "this is an observational study, not a clinical trial," meaning that researchers cannot say with certainty that eating a certain way helps prevent the disease.
In Monrovia CA, ComForcare Home Care Services helps many families care for their loved ones. If you need information about care and assistance, please visit www.esangabriel.comforcare.com.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Formula Predicts Alzheimer's Longevity
Researchers Develop Method to Predict How Long Alzheimer's Patients Will Live
"Tell me, doctor, how long do I have?"
That, says Gregory A. Jicha, MD, is the first question patients ask after receiving a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.
Until now, the answer has largely been a guessing game. But Jicha and colleagues have developed a simple formula based on a patient's sex, age, and cognitive skills at the time of diagnosis to more accurately predict life expectancy.
"Having a better of idea of how long they will live will allow patients and families to better plan for the future," says Jicha, an assistant professor of neurology at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.
He presented his findings at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology.
Read more from webmd.com…
If you need help caring for a loved one in the Bradbury CA area, visit www.esangabriel.comforcare.com.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Avoid the 'Senior Sickness Snowball Effect' with a strong immune system
(ARA) - An emerging health trend where a relatively simple illness leads to a number of physical and lifestyle changes is impacting seniors around the country, say immune system researchers from Embria Health Sciences, co-founders of the Nourish America Senior Health Project. They've dubbed this trend the Senior Sickness Snowball Effect, which impacts the overall quality of a person's daily life and follows this recurring cycle:
* Loss of appetite
* Inadequate nutrition
* Decreased energy
* Reduction in social activities
* Decreased independence
* Limited social interaction
* Increased potential for depression, stress
* Weakened immune system
* Continued illness
* Loss of appetite
"Today's older Americans are active and often have major responsibilities that require them to be in good health," explains Stuart Reeves, Ph.D., director of research and development for Embria Health Sciences. "Unfortunately, as a person ages, their immune system becomes weaker and there is greater need for support, not just during cold weather seasons, but also throughout the year."
Embria Health Sciences established this Senior Health Project, alongside non-profit organizations Nourish America and the National Foundation of Women Legislators, to address the increased need for senior health support. This series of free community education events provides seniors with the knowledge and tools they need to maintain and manage their own health through a combination of non-profit health organization outreach activities and no-cost distribution of EpiCor, an all-natural immune health supplement, clinically shown to reduce cold and flu symptom incidence and duration.
In addition to his participation in the Nourish America Senior Health Project, Dr. Reeves offers these easy lifestyle tips that will keep seniors' immune systems going strong:
Get your grain: According to a 2008 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that a mere 18 percent of Americans 60 and older meet the dietary recommendations for daily grain intake. "Well-nourished people have fewer illnesses," says Dr. Reeves. Seniors can easily add more whole grains into their diets through a wide variety of easy-to-prepare everyday foods, including brown rice, oatmeal and popcorn.
Adopt a pet: "Seniors living alone sometimes experience a sense of isolation, which is one of the main components of the Senior Sickness Snowball Effect," explains Dr. Reeves. Studies show that when seniors establish an owner-pet relationship, their feelings of loneliness dissolve and the pet-related activities such as walking, feeding, grooming and playing improve their overall well-being.
Fill in the gaps: "Since seniors are at a higher risk of falling ill, getting the right amount of daily vitamins and nutrients is essential to their well-being, which is why taking a multi-vitamin supplement is often recommended," Dr. Reeves explains. "Some seniors would also benefit from taking a supplement specifically designed for their immune system." Dr. Reeves points out that, "EpiCor, an all-natural immune health ingredient found in a wide variety of dietary supplement products, works year-round to balance the body's immune system for optimal health." Visit www.EpicorImmune.com for more information.
Hit the mall: The mall is great place to kill three birds with one stone. You can run a shopping errand, participate in social dialogue, and get some exercise by walking a couple of laps around the perimeter. "Staying active, both physically and socially, is a key element to a healthy lifestyle," says Dr. Reeves.
"By maintaining good immune health now, seniors may avoid experiencing the Senior Sickness Snowball Effect firsthand," says Dr. Reeves. "The immune system is an important part of the body's immune defense against germs and pathogens - keep it in check and the rest will follow."
To learn more about immune health, visit www.BalancedImmuneHealth.com.
Courtesy of ARAcontent
For information about the services provided by ComforCare Home Care Services in the Pasadena CA area, please visit www.esangabriel.comforcare.com.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Are you and your doctor on the same page? Maybe not, new survey shows
Helping Americans recognize healthy habits and making them a top priority in daily life
(ARA) - Are you and your health care provider on the same page when it comes to discussing your health? Does he or she think you're doing as well at maintaining your health as you think you are? Probably not, according to a new survey conducted by
StrategyOne on behalf of GE, the Cleveland Clinic and Ochsner Health System.
While about a third of patients surveyed gave themselves grades of "A" on managing their personal health, eating well, exercising regularly, managing stress and getting preventative screenings, the majority of health care providers gave Americans a grade of "C" or lower on all points, according to the survey of more than 2,000 Americans age 18 and older, and more than 1,200 doctors, nurses, pharmacists and dieticians.
What's more, 70 percent of those surveyed admitted to avoiding their doctors at some point, even though 95 percent recognize the importance of regular doctor visits. And while 70 percent of providers say their patients only come to see them when they're sick, only 38 percent of Americans say this is true.
"Healthy living is not easy and can be overwhelming at times," says Olympic figure skating champion Michelle Kwan, who has teamed up with fellow Olympic champion Scott Hamilton, GE, Ochsner Health and the Cleveland Clinic to educate Americans on how to take simple daily steps to improve their health, and their communication with their doctors. "We learned there are times when Americans would rather lean their house than take care of their health, and with my hectic schedule, I can totally relate. You have to work to improve your health - it's not something that gets better overnight."
"It's crucial for people to take ownership of their health if they want to maintain it," says Dr. Joseph Bisordi, chief medical officer of Ochsner in New Orleans. "This is not just a question of motivation; we're seeing a significant doctor-patient communication gap. Health care professionals are eager to help people achieve better health."
So how can Americans improve their health and their communications with their physician? GE's "healthymagination: Year of Better Health for More People" initiative aims to help. On the Web site www.healthymagination.com, Americans can get advice on:
* What questions to ask your doctor about your overall health and specific medical conditions that might concern you. Developed with WebMD, the Better Health Conversation asks you a series of questions about your health status and generates suggested discussion points to cover with your doctor.
* A free mobile application for iPhones or Androids that suggests easy-to-do activities to improve your health in surprising, imaginative ways.
* An interactive tool that allows you to share health news, features and blogs with others on a variety of sites.
* Interactive data, graphically presented allows you to apply the data and learn about health issues like the major health issues facing Americans and conditions frequently experienced by people with health profiles similar to yours.
"Unfortunately the survey showed most Americans are avoiding the one person who could help them live healthier," says Bisordi. "It's time for Americans to have a more collaborative relationship with their health care providers, and we believe that improving your knowledge of good health is the best way to start."
Courtesy of ARAcontent
If you need care and assistance for a loved one in the Pasadena CA area, visit www.esangabriel.comforcare.com.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
I found this article, and decided to pass it on to you. It provides extremely helpful information that may help you with your decision to choose home care for an aging loved one in your family. If you have questions or need help in the Pasadena CA area, please visit our website at www.esangabriel.comforcare.com.
30 Reasons Your Loved One May Need a Caregiver
By Rebecca Colmer
There are approximately 37 million people over the age of 65 and 5.3 million people over the age of 85. Each year millions of older people start requiring some sort of assistance to carry out their routine daily activities. Family members (family caregivers) provide most of the help.
It is not always easy to know when to intervene. It may seem like your loved one is in a gray area somewhere between competency and incompetence.
Your loved one can have a behavior that is not life threatening but still very serious. Making an assessment is the very step.
Here are some clues that your loved one may need some extra help:
Friday, July 9, 2010
By Paula Spencer, Caring.com senior editor
What's worse –- the many challenging dimensions of dementia caregiving, like losing your privacy, worrying, assisting with daily living, filling the long hours, coping with new expenses, the anticipatory grief of watching someone you love change, and family-work stress (to name, oh, a few) –- or the thanklessness of it all?
Feeling taken for granted as a caregiver is incredibly common. Surveys indicate that more than half of all caregivers do. And yes, these understandable feelings are a stressor. What also adds stress: Feeling sheepish when you want to complain about this.
Are you feeling the stress of caregiving? Please contact us at www.esangabriel.comforcare.com.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Aging may seem like a pain, but a new study suggests that getting old is no reason to despair.
The study, based on a Gallup poll from 2008, finds that most people feel increasingly happy starting around age 50.
In general, life satisfaction is high at age 18 but sinks until about 50. Then, it starts to climb again, increasing so steadily that most people feel better about their lives at 85 than they did at 18.
"It's a very encouraging fact that we can expect to be happier in our early 80s than we were in our 20s," Andrew J. Oswald, who teaches psychology at Warwick Business School in England, told The New York Times. "And it's not being driven by things that happen in life. It's something very deep and quite human that seems to be driving this."
If you need care and assistance for a loved one in the Pasadena CA area, visit www.esangabriel.comforcare.com.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Excerpted from The Comfort of Home for Alzheimer's
By Maria M. Meyer, Mary S. Mittelman, Cynthia Epstein, and Paula Derr, Contributing writers
As a person ages, he feels less thirsty, so a special effort should be made to provide enough fluids. A person's fluid balance can be affected by medication, emotional stress, exercise, nourishment, general health, and the weather. Dehydration, especially in the elderly, can increase confusion and muscle weakness and cause nausea. Nausea, in turn, will prevent the person from wanting to eat, thereby causing more dehydration.
Preventive measures include:
* encouraging 6-8 cups of liquid every day (or an amount determined by the doctor)
* serving beverages at room temperature
* providing foods high in liquid (for example, watermelon)
* avoiding caffeine, which causes frequent urination and dehydration
If you need information about care and assistance for your aging loved one in the Pasadena CA area, visit www.esangabriel.comforcare.com.
Friday, June 18, 2010
The Evolution of Home Care
In the first century of our country's history there was no such thing as nursing homes or assisted living. Society was mostly rural and people lived in their own homes. Families cared for their loved ones at home till death took them. In the latter part of the 1800's because of an increasingly urban society, many urban families were often unable to care for loved ones because of lack of space or because all family members including children were employed six days a week for 12 hours a day. During this period many unfortunate people needing care were housed in County poor houses or in facilities for the mentally ill. Conditions were deplorable. In the early 1900's home visiting nurses started reversing this trend of institutionalizing and allowed many care recipients to remain in their homes. Nursing homes or so-called rest homes were also being built with public donations or government funds. With the advent of Social Security in 1936, a nursing home per diem stipend was included in the Social Security retirement income and this government subsidy spurred the construction of nursing homes all across the country.
By the end of the 1950s it was apparent that Social Security beneficiaries were living longer and that the nursing home subsidy could eventually bankrupt Social Security. But in order to protect the thousands and thousands of existing nursing homes Congress had to find a way to provide a subsidy but remove it as an entitlement under Social Security. In 1965 Medicare and Medicaid were created through an amendment to the Social Security Act. Under Medicare, nursing homes were only reimbursed on behalf of Social Security beneficiaries for short-term rehabilitation. Under Medicaid, nursing homes were reimbursed for impoverished disabled Americans and impoverished aged Americans over the age of 65. It has never been the intent of Congress to pay for nursing home care for all Americans. The nursing home entitlement for all aged Americans was now gone.
Over the last 40 years, there has been a gradual change away from the use of nursing homes for long-term care towards the use of home care and community living arrangements that also provide in-house care.
With Proper Planning People Could Remain in Their Homes for the Rest of Their Lives
We are seeing a trend towards working conditions like those in urban America in the early 1900's where both husband and wife are working and putting in longer hours. We are also seeing a return of the trend in the early part of the 20th century where outside visitor caregivers are becoming available to replace working caregiver's and allow the elderly to receive long-term care in their homes. In addition there is a significant trend in the past few years for Medicaid and Medicare to pay for long-term care in the home instead of in nursing homes.
Given enough money for paid providers or government funding for the same, a person would never have to leave his home to receive long-term care. All services could be received in the home. Adequate long-term care planning or having substantial income can allow this to happen.
We only need to look at wealthy celebrities to recognize this fact. Christopher Reeve, the movie star, was totally disabled but he had enough money to buy care services and remain in his home. President Ronald Reagan suffered from Alzheimer's for many years but received care at his California ranch. He was also wealthy enough to pay for care when needed. Or what about Annette Funicello or Richard Pryor? Income from their movie careers allowed them to receive care with their multiple sclerosis at home. We will be willing to bet that Mohammed Ali, who is severely disabled with Parkinson's disease, will probably never see the inside of a care facility, unless he chooses to go there to die. With the proper planning and the money it provides, most of us could remain in our homes to receive long-term care and we would never have to go to an institution or a hospital.
The Popularity of Home Care
Most of those receiving long-term care and most caregivers prefer a home environment. Out of an estimated 8 million older Americans receiving care, about 5.4 million or 67% are in their own home or the home of a family member or friend. Most older people prefer their home over the unfamiliar proposition of living in a care facility. Family or friends attempt to accommodate the wishes of loved ones even though caregiving needs might warrant a different environment. Those needing care feel comfortable and secure in familiar surroundings and a home is usually the best setting for that support.
Often the decision to stay in the home is dictated by funds available. It is much cheaper for a wife to care for her husband at home than to pay out $2,000 to $4,000 a month for care in a facility. Likewise, it's much less costly and more loving for a daughter to have her widowed mother move in to the daughter's home than to liquidate mom's assets and put her in a nursing home. Besides, taking care of our parents or spouses is an obligation most of us feel very strongly about.
For many long-term care recipients the home is an ideal environment. These people may be confined to the home but continue to lead active lives engaging in church service, entertaining grandchildren, writing histories, corresponding, pursuing hobbies or doing handwork activities. Their care needs might not be that demanding and might include occasional help with house cleaning and shopping as well as help with getting out of bed, dressing and bathing. Most of the time these people don't need the supervision of a 24/7 caregiver. There are, however, some care situations that make it difficult to provide long-term care in the home.
Please note from the first graph below that a great amount of home care revolves around providing help with activities of daily living. Note from the second graph below that the average care recipient has need for help with multiple activities of daily living. Finally, it should be noted from the second graph that well over half of home care recipients are cognitively impaired. This typically means they need supervision to make sure they are not a danger to themselves or to others. In many cases, this supervision may be required on a 24-hour basis. (Graphs were derived from the 1999 national caregivers survey, courtesy www.longtermcarelink.net.)
It is precisely the ongoing and escalating need for help with activities of daily living or the need for extended supervision that often makes it impossible for a caregiver to provide help in the home. Either the physical demands for help with activities of daily living or the time demand for supervision can overwhelm an informal caregiver. This untenable situation usually leads to finding another care setting for the loved one. On the other hand if there are funds to hire paid providers to come into the home, there would be no need for finding another care setting.
Problems That May Prevent Home Care from Being an Option
Caregivers face many challenges providing care at home. A wife caring for her husband may risk injury trying to move him or help him bathe or use the toilet. Another situation may be the challenge of keeping constant surveillance on a spouse with advanced dementia. Or a son may live 500 miles from his disabled parents and find himself constantly traveling to and from his home, trying to manage a job and his own family as well taking care of the parents. Some caregivers simply don't have the time to watch over loved ones and those needing care are sometimes neglected.
The problems with maintaining home care are mainly due to the inadequacies or lack of resources with informal caregivers, but they may also be caused by incompetent formal caregivers. These problems center on five issues:
- Inadequate care provided to a loved one
- Lack of training for caregivers
- Lack of social stimulation for care recipients
- Informal caregivers unable to handle the challenge
- Depression and physical ailments from caregiver burnout
In order to make sure home care is a feasible option and can be sustained for a period of time, caregivers must recognize these problems, deal with them and correct them. The responsibility for recognizing these problems and solving them is another function of the long-term care planning process and the team of specialists and advisers involved.
Adequate Funding Solves Most Problems Associated with Providing Home Care
None of the problems discussed in this article would be an obstacle if there were enough money to pay for professional services in the home. These services would be used to overcome the problems discussed in the previous section. If someone desires to remain in the home the rest of his or her life, adequate preplanning could provide the solution.
This planning must occur prior to retirement. The most obvious way to provide sufficient funds for home care is to buy a long-term care insurance policy when someone is younger, healthy and able to afford the lower premiums. If insurance is not an option, then money must be put aside early in life to pay for care in the future. The only other option is to be rich.
Unfortunately, very few people address the issue of needing long-term care when they are older. This leads to a lack of planning and in turn leads to few options for elder care when the time comes. Lack of planning means most people do not have the luxury of remaining in their homes and must rely on Medicaid support in a nursing home to finish out the rest of their lives.
Friday, June 11, 2010
By Chuck Parsens
As the United States people age, the focus on the number of looked for services will have to line up with the quality of the care rendered. For many years a spotlight has been placed on how well residents who reside in a nursing home are treated. Some understand that the level of care an individual obtains is dependent on how much family members are involved. Some mature children have trouble with placing their senior parents in a nursing home because of the negative press. Price is also a part in making this choice. An alternative to nursing homes is senior home care services, which allow a person to stay put in their home and receive the level of care that they will need.
Along with determining the price and care, the types of elderly home care services are chosen based on an individual's situation. Insurance companies have sought ways to trim down the costs of hospitalization and therapy services, which has opened the door for service providers who concentrate in giving these services at an individual's home. This reduces health care costs and allows an older adult to remain in their homes. The home care landscape has grown into a cutthroat business, giving greater options for people to choose from.
The advantages of having home care services rather than staying in a nursing home cannot be miscalculated. The intellectual portion of being able to keep some level of liberty can go a long way to improving the excellence of life for numerous elder adults. Most elderly only require assistance with regular, daily activities which may include transportation to doctor's appointments, grocery shopping, or bathing. Still, others may require more steady care, depending on their disease and how far it has developed.
A person who receives senior home care services can have more private attention than someone who lives in a nursing home. In a nursing home, a partial number of personnel must attend to a number of different people with varying degrees of needs. Receiving care at home can cost less than it does in a nursing home because of equipment costs that are factored into nursing homes. The annual costs of a nursing home differ by state, but in most cases, the costs far go above and beyond the median income of many older people. Those with Medicare soon find out that it only covers a little portion of long-term care, and that treatment is limited to the sort and number of days. The people that cannot come up with the money to supplement the costs of a nursing home could want to give home care services serious thought.
The topic of elderly home care is very broad in nature and I enjoy looking at all the aspects of it. Feel free to look at my other post about the options of senior home care services for your loved ones.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Chuck_Parsens
For caregiving help available in the East San Gabriel CA area, visit www.esangabriel.comforcare.com.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
“Seniors can make easy targets for fraud, whether it’s for unbelievable investment returns or fraudulent sweepstakes prizes. Fraud on seniors can happen by phone, mail, in person, or, less commonly, the Internet (because seniors are online in smaller numbers). It can happen to wealthy seniors, and those of limited means. According to the Federal Trade Commission, studies show con artists are more likely to target senior citizens than other age groups because they believe seniors are more susceptible to such scams. The FTC reports that fraudulent telemarketers direct from 56 to 80 percent of their calls at seniors. The need for senior fraud prevention has become greater than ever.”
Follow the link below to read the rest of this very informative article. If you have any questions or need help in the area, visit www.esangabriel.comforcare.com.
Friday, May 28, 2010
A crisis can bring a family closer together and illustrate strength and love; or it can drive a wedge of resentment between members. Whenever a loved one’s heath, safety or wellbeing becomes a concern, it is important to be proactive and address your loved one’s issues. If the issues come to a point of crisis, families – often spread out across several states – need to call themselves together to discuss the changes which are occurring and will occur in the future.
For help for an aging loved one in the East San Gabriel CA area, visit www.esangabriel.comforcare.com.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Age Strong! Live Long!
May is Older Americans Month—a tradition dating back to 1963 to honor the legacies and ongoing contributions of older Americans and support them as they enter the next stage in life.
This year’s Older Americans Month theme—Age Strong! Live Long!—recognizes the diversity and vitality of today’s older Americans who span three generations. They have lived through wars and hard times, as well as periods of unprecedented prosperity. They pioneered new technologies in medicine, communications, and industry while spearheading a cultural revolution that won equal rights for minorities, women, and disabled Americans.
These remarkable achievements demonstrate the strength and character of older Americans, and underscore the debt of gratitude we owe to the generations that have given our society so much. But the contributions of older Americans are not only in the past.
Older Americans are living longer and are more active than ever before. And with the aging of the baby boomer generation—the largest in our nation’s history—America’s senior population is expected to number 71.5 million by 2030.
While keeping the growing population of older Americans healthy and active will increase the demand for senior services, what is remarkable is the extent to which older Americans themselves are supporting each other. As the new generations of seniors become better educated and more financially secure than their predecessors, they are spending more time making significant contributions in their communities through civic and volunteer opportunities.
In fact, older Americans are a core component of service delivery to seniors—embodying and modeling the drive to Age Strong! Live Long! They volunteer at group meal sites and deliver food to homebound seniors; they act as escorts and provide transportation for older adults who cannot drive; they help seniors with home repair, shopping and errands; and they provide vital counseling, information and referral services. Their energy and commitment reminds all Americans—not just senior citizens and their caregivers—to do their part to enhance the quality of life for older generations.
The annual commemoration of Older Americans Month is our opportunity to recognize the contributions of older citizens and join them in providing services and support that empower the elderly. Americans of all ages and backgrounds can volunteer with programs that improve health literacy, increase access to quality health services, offer food and nutrition services, provide financial and housing counseling, sponsor social activities and community engagement, and more.
Contact your local Area Agency on Aging by visiting http://www.eldercare.gov or calling 1-800-677-1116 to find out what you can do to strengthen services for older Americans, this month and all year round.
Visit us at www.esangabriel.comforcare.com for information and assistance with elder care for an aging loved one in the East San Gabriel CA area.