Category Archives: Finding ‘Me” Time

Caring For Loved Ones With Alzheimer’s

http://www.thetakeaway.org/2011/jun/21/caring-loved-ones-alzheimers/.

Never an easy task, the above link offers support and help from Julie Noonan-Lawson. Julie talks openly about her families struggles and how they have handled the illness in her family.  The interview was conducted by Sean Corcoran, the lead reporter for WCAI radio on Cape Cod.

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What Is Home Health Care?

Simply stated it is the physical and mental supportive system and care services provided to those persons wishing to remain in their homes or assisted living apartments by a caregiver, caregiving agency, and/or assisted living environment when they can no longer perform (without help) the day-to-day activities of everyday living.

Today, many persons are opting for home care, and or home care assistance in assisted living environments as outpatient care has become the ‘norm’ for hospitals and insurance companies. Home care is appealing to many of us as we most often feel that our home is an extension of ourselves.  Receiving ‘in-home-health-care’ can be a great benefit to those recovering from surgery or other medical procedures that can limit their ability to easily take care of themselves, or maybe they just require a little extra help managing things as they grow older or maybe they are learning to live with a medical condition or disability. Whatever the scenario, I urge you to review and consider the questions below as this ‘issue’ nears closer to you and yours.

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Home Instead Senior Care Is On Cable!

Finally, we are ON AIR! Just wanted to let our BLOG, TWITTER and FACEBOOK friends and readers know that the Home Instead Senior Care cable show is on! Hope you enjoy watching and hearing from those business’ and people who offer additional support and help to the growing population of seniors. It is my hope that the cable show will offer insight into better managing our families as we all enter into the ‘golden years.’ Here’s the cable station internet, AACS link where you may view the shows that have previously aired. Each week additional shows will be added. Lots more to come…guests are already booked through August. Any ideas for what you may want to know more about, your comments and/or input is always appreciated!

Tackling Care as Chronic Ailments Pile Up

No one said it was going to be easy and with the most recent figures coming to light, all will have to agree that it isn’t going to be an easy task…but clearly our older seniors are requiring care that ‘someone’ is going to have to pay for; ‘looking away’ is not an option.

Anyone seriously interested in improving the health of Americans and reducing the costs of health care must be willing to tackle a growing and under-appreciated problem: the vast number of patients with more than one chronic illness.

The problem is actually two problems: delivering more efficient care to these patients and helping them not to get sick in the first place.

Both tasks require the cooperation of patients and caregivers, as well as the providers of health care and the agencies that pay for it — and, at least as important, a public willing to take proven steps to reduce the risk of chronic disease.

The statistics, as reported in December in a strategy report from the Department of Health and Human Services, say it all. More than 25 percent of Americans have two or more chronic conditions — which, by definition, require continuing medical care, and often limit their ability to perform activities of daily living. (The conditions include heart disease, diabetes, obstructive lung disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, asthma, H.I.V., mental illness and dementia, among others.)

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More Prevalent Than You May Believe

The story below outlines the fact that senior abuse can and does happen in all walks of life. The rich and the powerful may be as susceptible to it as those living on median (or less) incomes. Abuse may be the result of family dynamics, stress, financial issues…whatever the cause…if you see it (or think you see it) please share your findings with someone who can help before a tragedy ensues. Actor Mickey Rooney has been the alleged victim of elder abuse at the hands of his own stepkids, according to restraining orders filed Monday. The 90-year-old actor, who, born into vaudeville has had one of the longest careers of any actor, was granted court protection from stepson Chris Aber and his stepdaughter Christina Aber, after he filed a case against them charging verbal, emotional and financial abuse, and for denying him such basic necessities as food and medicine. The court documents say that both Chris and Christina Aber have been keeping Rooney as “effectively a prisoner in his own home” through the use of threats, intimidation and harassment. Read More Here

Be Sensitive to the Primary Caregiver’s Needs

Geriatric specialists note that no matter how many adult children make up a family, the responsibilities are not equally shared when parent care becomes necessary. Often one adult child emerges as the primary caregiver. If you are not the primary caregiver, maintain a sensitivity to the one who handles most of the responsibility.

Ann Landers, the advice columnist received this letter to her column…
“This is for all the sisters and brothers of caregivers who are `too busy’ with their own lives to lend a hand,” she begins. “A few years ago my life changed when my mother became ill with a progressive disease. I put all my plans on hold and little by little gave up visiting my friends, doing volunteer work, socializing, attending night school, and spending time with my husband. I now must use all my `free time’ to take my parents to their doctors’ appointments and tend to their needs. I am not complaining. My parents are wonderful people, and I consider it a privilege to care for them, but I am upset because my siblings do nothing to help me.”

Many times we are just not aware of the effort our sibling is putting into the care of our parent…we are most times too consumed with our own life and hence we just accept that the caregiver sibling is fine…I mean after-all she is not complaining …she hasn’t said anything. So a little advice to the ‘lesser’ caregivers…If another member of your family is carrying most of the load, do whatever you can to pitch in and help. If you are geographically distant, consider using some of your vacation time to provide care for the aging parent, giving the primary caregiver some time off. Or if you live nearby, call the primary caregiver and offer your services a few hours per week…if you are unable to physically help, consider calling in a service such as Home Instead Senior Care to help out.

Finally, as caregiver to an aging parent, be sure you know and respect your own limits. Otherwise you run the risk of becoming exhausted, sick, depressed, and burned out. In that condition you will not be helpful to aging parents or anyone else. Do make time for yourself and find ways to nurture your body and spirit.

Finding Time For Everyone!

Being a Parent and taking care of a parent can be quite the balancing act! Especially for Moms who seem to get the brunt of ALL caretaking duties. So take a deep breathe, realize you are not alone and find a way to share your time with yourself, your children and your parents…

Home Instead Senior Care/590 offers these suggestions:

1. Stay organized. Keep an appointment book or calendar to record doctor’s appointments, prescriptions, kid’s after-school activities and more. While it’s impossible to predict the future, mapping each day out to the best of your ability will help you to feel far less frazzled.

2. Allot equal time for children, parents and yourself (see #5). Members of the sandwich generation…adults who care for their children as well as their aging parents…often feel they are not spending enough time with their children because they are caring for their parents and vice versa. By designating specific times for each person, you’ll know everyone is getting an equal amount of attention and be more focused on staying positive rather than worrying.

3. Seek support. Caring for another human being for an extended period of time can take its toll on even the most caring and nurturing of people so don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether it means alternating days with a relative or bringing in a professional caregiver, it’s worth it to keep your relationship intact in the long run.

4. Educate yourself. Understand that while some behaviors can be changed, others cannot so learn as much as you can to keep your expectations realistic. The more you know…the less apt you will be to fall victim to unwanted ‘surprises.’

5. Take a break. Face it…YOU must find time for yourself…Even caregivers need some care sometimes. Set aside “me” time every day to do something just for you and you’ll be able to return to your caregiving duties refreshed and ready to help.