Selecting care for an aging parent is a concern shared by millions of children as their parents begin to have difficulties fully attending to their own personal and medical needs. There’s no universal right or wrong answer, but there is a best answer and right type of care based on the answers to some fundamental questions.
Give Your Parent A Voice In Decisions
Whenever possible, include your parent in his/her own care plan and decisions. Start talking about care sooner rather than when a health crisis actually erupts. A huge problem caregivers face, is resistance to care as their loved one is afraid, angry, and saddened by their loss of independence and privacy.
Numerous studies have shown that patient involvement improves both acceptance of care and care outcomes. The Mayo Clinic outlines some helpful tips to help manage resistance to care:
•Plan care talks when the parent is relaxed and open to the conversation.
• Ask their preferences and expectations.
• Describe care in a positive light, but outline the pros and cons of each option.
• Have answers to cost concerns.
• Enlist professional help from medical providers, lawyers, and care managers.
Some parents may be at a point where they’re mentally unable to contribute to care talks. If so, determine if they’ve ever created an advanced healthcare directive, such as a living will. Such documents give a voice to a parent who can no longer make their wishes clear. It also removes some of the decision burden off of care-taking children.
Consider Your Own Involvement In Care
Just as many caregivers forget to give their parent a say, some also tend to forget their own needs in selecting the best care for their loved one. It’s important to consider the following as it relates to your ability and time to attend to your parent’s care needs:
• Do you have children and/or a significant other vying for your time?
• Do you have professional obligations that keep you occupied at a set schedule, on-call hours, random or late hours?
• Can you mentally and physically attend the care needs of your loved one alone, with assistance, or not at all?
The answer to such question are often very different depending on what stage of life you’re in professionally, personally, physically, and mentally. It’s such answers that are often just as crucial as your parent’s state of health in determining the most appropriate source and type of care. Know what you can do, when you can do it, and what assistance you’ll need to do it.
Consider The Level Of Care Needed
Care for seniors can be met through an array of services and housing options. Which one is best will greatly depend on your parent’s mental and physical needs.
• Long-term Care Facilities
LTCs, also commonly called a nursing home, are available for structured, skilled 24 hour nursing care. These provide everything from medication and wound care services to daily routine group activities. As the name suggests, LTC facilities are designed for the long-term management of both acute and chronic disease process.
• Assisted Living And Independent Living
Assisted living and independent living facilities provide less structured care for those capable of attending the bulk of their activities of daily living. Assistance and guidance with things like medication reminders, transportation to and from appointments, housekeeping services, and laundry services are generally offered. The facility usually also offers community spaces for dining and group recreation. The communities are specifically for seniors, but different ones will offer different amenities.
• Memory Care Facilities
These are akin to nursing homes in structure, but they specialize in the care and security needs of people with cognitive diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s that often leave seniors physically high functioning and mentally low functioning. Note that many senior AL and IL communities are integrating separate memory and LTC facilities on the grounds to make the transition between levels of care as easy as possible for seniors and their loved ones.
• Home Health
This is a care option that can allow seniors to age in place longer. They will remain in the comfort of their own home (or a loved one’s home) with support caregivers that either provide services around the clock or come in at assigned times to perform specified duties. Home health services are vast and cover areas such as personal care, household chores, meals, medication reminders and administration, wound care, medical equipment services, and money management.
• Adult Day Care
This is a service akin to daycare for children. Skilled and semiskilled attendants attend to your parent’s safety, medical, social, and physical needs during the day. This is a good option for working caregivers planning to care for their parent at home.
Do A Trial Run
The options for care are vast, which is good for comprehensiveness of needs. However, the choices can nonetheless be overwhelming. It may take trial and error to ensure that your aging parent is both happy and receiving the level of care they need.
Start by making a list of all the must-have services. You’ll likely find multiple options for care are a fit. Narrow the list down by price consideration. Give the end list a trial run:
• Take your loved one to tour the facilities and/or meet in-home caregivers.
• Go for a meal at a facility and ask if you and your parent can sit in on a group activity.
• Ask for help from local agencies, such Area Agency on Aging, in gathering information about local options.
• Gather references and read online reviews for care service options and specific facilities.
• Since most facilities and services charge on a month-to-month basis, it’s easy to test the waters for a monthly trial.
In closing, these four check marks can help ensure your parent receives the best care possible. Just remember to give both you and your parent a voice in the decision process, understand what care is offered by what specific providers, and realize that you may have to test multiple waters before finding an exact fit.
As Seniors search for more Healthcare options and answers, Health fairs are becoming more and more a valuable resource. Healthcare can be confusing and overwhelming for many seniors and their caregivers. Health fairs offers seniors in the community the opportunity to engage with professionals in a relaxed and threatening or sterile atmosphere to discuss common health issues and concerns.
Many Health fairs focus on preventative and offer proactive information like health screenings, blood pressure checks, cholesterol blood tests, vision and hearing tests which may provide feedback to identify any risks. For example, Gulfside Healthcare Services located in Land O’Lakes Florida, is presenting a community Health fair for Seniors and their Caregivers on April 16th, featuring a “Healthcare Navigation Table of Experts” for one-on-one assistance with healthcare-related needs offering free blood pressure checks, free living wills, and access to information on Home Health, Palliative Care, Hospice Care and Elder Law.
Successful Health fairs can inspire health lifestyle changes in Seniors and provide support for their Caregivers.
Pain is a natural feeling that the central nervous system uses to inform people that their bodies are potentially in danger. Without pain, we would inadvertently harm ourselves on a daily basis, not to mention live a much shorter life. While pain is necessary for survival as we know it, some people’s central nervous systems malfunction, causing some people to feel pain throughout the day.
Surprisingly, some 50 million people in the United States alone suffer from chronic pain. As people get older, they’re more likely to face around-the-clock pain. Let’s dig into four potential treatments that are known to help people deal with constant, non-stop pain.
Money Might Not Grow on Trees, but Kratom Sure Does
Kratom refers to a tree in Southeast Asia, scientifically known as Mitragyna speciosa, which has been used by the natives of Indonesia for hundreds of years to knock the edge off of the pain they’d feel while working. Mitragyna speciosa’s leaves contain dozens of opioid-type molecules that are great at blocking pain. The plant is legal in the United States and costs no more than pennies per dose. Be sure to talk to your doctor before using any substance that might interact with any medications you might be taking already.
Physicians Can Really Work Magic in Bringing Relief to Suffering Seniors
Licensed physicians have a vast array of tools at their disposal to help people feel better, such as seniors who suffer from chronic pain. Physicians can consider your specific situation and work with you to figure out the best route for you. Whether that’s physician-approved exercises done at home or prescription drugs from a pharmacy, you’ll know it’s backed up by study and professional know-how.
Mental Health Treatment Could Help Some Seniors Deal with Pain
Cognitive behavioral therapy involves a counselor and client talking to one another with the intention of getting the client to build skills to deal with unwanted behaviors and thoughts. Even though people effectively can’t rid themselves of pain, crafting a toolbox that is filled to the brim with such mental tools can, in fact, get seniors feeling better.
Exercise is known to help people feel better. Believe it or not, certain exercises can be used to reduce pain in people with chronic pain. Although the risks of injury are somewhat high, the effects are said to be well worth it. Exercises like weightlifting and walking are great to help seniors stay active as they age and mitigate pain. Be sure to consult a doctor before you start any new regimen.
Dealing with pain all the time is one of the worst medical problems to face and can be incredibly frustrating. However, these four tips and tricks should keep any senior out of terrible pain. With the help of some trial and error and your doctor’s advice, you’ll be back to doing what you love in no time.
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Retirement is the opportunity to enjoy more free time than just about any point in one’s adult life. However, it is not a decision to take lightly. In order to become properly prepared for this major life transition, you should consider a few things. Below are four important questions that should be addressed before beginning a journey into retirement.
Am I Financially Prepared for Retirement?
One of the biggest concerns, of any retiree, is outliving their retirement funds. It is important to consider how long a retirement fund should last. Factors that should be considered are the already existing money saved up and the income generated from Social Security payments, pensions, dividend payments, and disability payments. It is also important to consider that one may live longer than expected. By preparing for a retirement that can last multiple decades, financial concerns will be left at a minimum.
How Do I Plan to Spend My Day in Retirement?
Retirement can be more than just sitting on the sofa watching TV, surfing the internet, or reading the morning newspaper. This phase of life is the opportunity to try new hobbies, create new social relations, or pursue new opportunities. Retirement is also a time to concentrate on becoming physically active. It is a good idea to have a way to structure one’s day to ensure that retirement is both productive and rewarding.
Should I Continue to Work Part-Time or Consult During Retirement?
While retirement is a time to escape the daily grind of work, one should consider if working part-time or consulting is in their best interest. A long career, in one field, can make one eminently qualified for highly part consulting or part-time work. And this added income can make retirement more comfortable and exciting.
Should I Move?
Many retirees prefer to sell their current home and move to a place more conducive to a retirement lifestyle. That can include moving to a beachfront condo, adult active community, or even seek something unique such as seeking out luxury mountain homes for sale. Retirement should be an opportunity to move to a fun, exciting, and desirable location.
Retirement should be a time to further develop yourself and explore your passions. And having a blueprint for a productive, protected, and active retirement will play a major role in the quality of this phase of life. Use the above questions to help make this unique phase of life both fruitful and rewarding.
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Moving your parents into an assisted living home is almost never going to be an easy process, and although there are many benefits to the transition, it’s inevitable that some aspects of the change will in one way or another upset them. Oftentimes, when being moved into a senior living home, parents may feel abandoned and believe that they are losing part of their identity.
Instead of having your parents feel as though they are ending the life they have always known, ensure them that they are moving into a new chapter of their lives and make the transition as smooth as possible with the following tips.
Encourage Your Parents to Participate in Community Activities
Make the transition smooth and mitigate second-guesses from your parents by introducing them to the community and encourage them to participate in the home’s activities. This should be done both before the big move and after – helping your parents make friends and get to know their way around the community.
Assisted living communities have plenty of activities for your parents to participate in, and while not all may appeal to them, some may really grab your loved ones’ attention. When residents feel as if they have a place among the community, it is bound to help their outlook on the transition and even has the possibility of making the move a little bit easier.
Make it Feel Like Home
This is where they will be living from now on, so make it feel like home. Not all assisted living homes have the idea of coziness in mind when designing the rooms, so be sure to bring over any items that can help with this. Some starter ideas to vamp up their new room for comfort is to sprinkle in family pictures and to add color to the walls with new paint or to the floor with a lovely rug. To maximize their bedroom for ultimate comfort, consider bringing in their old bed that they trust, or a new one that they will love instead of the typical assisted living mattress that is not typically designed for comfort. When you prioritize their home living space, your parents will start to recognize this as their new home in no time.
Show Your Parents That They Did Not Lose Their Independence
It’s hard to not feel protective over your parents as they switch to a new home, but don’t feel that you need to be with them at all times during the move. In fact, this can actually hurt their progress, as excessive ‘handholding’ could inhibit your parent from successfully adjusting to their new home. Let your parents feel as if they still have control over their own life, and let them choose their own schedule, their own friends, and other decisions that are most important to them.
Prepare Yourself for Bad Days
This transition is usually not going to be a walk in the park, so prepare yourself for your parents not taking to their new home immediately. You may experience some negative comments here and there, but remember that this is an important time in their lives and that this change is only to benefit them – not hurt them. Instead of taking these negative comments or feelings personally, document them and see them as an opportunity for places of improvement to their lifestyle down the road.
Just like any transition, it will take time to integrate your parents into their new home, but stay positive and know that this way they will lead a healthier and safer lifestyle.
Remember – It Will Get Easier
Even though moving your parents into their assisted living home is difficult right now, know that it will not always be this way. Soon enough, your parents will start to get used to their new lifestyle, and the more that they are involved in the community and activities, the more likely it is that they actually begin to really love it. At the end of the day, remember that you made the right choice for this situation and that you did your best during this difficult time in everyone’s lives.
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For seniors, even a minor fall can have lasting consequences on mobility and comfort. Older adults typically have weaker bones, joints, and ligaments, which are more easily broken or strained from slip-and-fall incidents. It’s impossible to completely remove all the risks from daily life in the city, but there are a few effective strategies seniors can use to mitigate common hazards.
Stretch and Exercise Regularly
Senior citizens may not feel quite as energetic as they did in their youth, but even older adults can improve their health and reduce the risk of accidents by staying in shape. It’s a good idea to talk to a doctor and fitness specialist to find a safe routine for your current physical condition. A little bit of aerobic and strength-building exercise can make a lot of daily activities much easier.
Take Your Time and Ask for Help
It’s natural to desire independence and not rely on others for help, but this attitude can come at a high cost. Seniors shouldn’t hesitate to ask for assistance when appropriate, especially when disembarking vehicles, using stairs, or navigating uneven terrain. Rushing is also a sure-fire way to slip and fall, so take your time even if it means being a few minutes late.
Try Shoes with Traction
There are plenty of footwear options specifically designed for the needs of older adults. Getting walking shoes with a solid grip can make all the difference when it comes to preventing needless injury. Seniors also need to ensure their footwear fits properly to avoid complications with foot and ankle health.
Always Check the Ground
A confident, forward-looking stride is a good general practice, but it’s also wise to keep an eye on the ground, as well. Wet or icy surfaces are among the most hazardous for seniors, especially those with diminished balance from age-related issues. It’s usually best to avoid sidewalk and pavement that hasn’t been treated for snow or ice. Don’t hesitate to ask for help if going around treacherous terrain isn’t an option.
Seniors that stay in shape and tread carefully still run a risk of a serious slip-and-fall accident when they travel the city. Even if there’s something they could have done differently, the fault isn’t necessarily theirs. In cases where a property or business owner may be liable for the accident, some seniors turn to a lawsuit settlement funding company to access financial resources they need to press a compensation claim.
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Often, aging individuals can find it challenging to maintain their hobbies they once enjoyed. This can often leave an empty space in their lives that they aren’t exactly sure how to fill. Sometimes, it can even lead to social withdrawal or a sedentary lifestyle. Therefore, it is important to stay active and engaged in activities you love as you get older. While you may not be able to participate in rigorous physical activities that you enjoyed when you were younger, there are still many fun and leisurely hobbies you can take up. The following information provides some helpful tips about pastimes you can begin at almost any age:
Puzzles and Board Games Puzzles and games are a great way to keep your memory sharp. Many people believe that they can even help to improve your cognitive abilities and prevent memory loss. Therefore, these make great activities for the elderly. Planning a game night with your friends and family is also a great way to engage with others and become more social. Planning a game night can be relatively simple. To start off, you should research some of the most popular games that your guests are likely to enjoy and then purchase a few. You can also prepare snacks or a nice dinner to make your guests feel right at home.
Arts and Crafts Arts and crafts are also another great option that can be taken up at nearly any age. If you are a creative person and enjoy making things, this could be something you can explore. You can learn how to paint, draw, sculpt, or take up photography. You can also make your own DIY projects and crafts, such as wreaths, flower arrangements, jewelry, pressed flowers, scrapbooks, and birdhouses.
Sewing In addition, if you are interested in sewing, there are many options to pursue, such as knitting and crocheting. You can knit blankets, scarves, or socks and even take up quilting. If you are interested in making your own clothing, this can also be a great way to pass the time. There are so many options when it comes to sewing, and learning these new skills can help you to make things for yourself or even gifts for your friends and family that they can appreciate for many years to come!
Coin Collecting Coin collecting can be a very rewarding and engaging activity. It can allow you to potentially make money in the future if you are able to hold onto your coins while they increase in value. Not only this, but collecting coins helps you to gain a deeper appreciation for history and culture. If it is something that interests you, you may want to visit some of your local silver coin shops to learn more about the hobby.
Overall, you shouldn’t let aging hold you back from finding new activities that you enjoy. Hobbies can help to bring a lot of fulfillment into your life and they can make a great way to pass the time on slow and boring days. You just need to find what you enjoy and turn it into a hobby or skill that you can develop!
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Every year marks a fundamental life change for tens of thousands of people in the United States: the transition from work to retirement. Many people look forward to the moment when they can step away from their job, but some also experience strong feelings of uncertainty about their newfound lack of direction. Whether you are about to retire or already have been for years, there are a few simple ways that help you get the most out of the experience.
Try New Things
It’s easy for adults to fall back on the familiar and stick to old habits, especially immediately following retirement. However, forcing yourself to explore new things can open up opportunities and make the golden years a lot more colorful. Taking art lessons, learning to cook new foods, and meeting new people are just a few ways to bring a breath of fresh air into daily life.
Mobile Living and Travel Lifestyle
Mobile and RV lifestyle isn’t a good fit for everyone, but modern vehicles often sport a number of amenities and conveniences that rival any home. Motor and mobile homes can make travel much more affordable and provides greater control over schedule, pacing, and itinerary. Many state and national parks have dedicated space for people using living vehicles, so there are plenty of interesting sites that accommodate this lifestyle.
Consider Moving to a New House
Many people working towards retirement look forward to spending more time with their family members. Checking out homes for sale near close friends and family can create an opportunity to downsize to a more efficient house and cut down on travel time. Other retirees take advantage of their freedom to find a home in an area that has a better climate, more active community, or other desirable features. Moving shouldn’t be a snap decision, but there can be lot of long-term benefits for those willing to consider a big life change.
Stay Active and Involved
Many older adults find themselves lacking stimulation or excitement in their daily life, which can eventually lead to depression or social withdrawal. There are dozens of different ways for retirees to stay active and involved with people in their community. Retirees with specialized skills can also consider getting a part-time job or consulting on as-needed basis to maintain their professional skills.
People have varying opinions and perspectives about the prospect of retirement, ranging from excitement to dread. However, these years can be among the richest and most rewarding of your entire life if you are willing to take a step into the unknown.
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For someone living with dementia, restlessness and fidgeting are common behaviours which have long been associated with agitation or stress. Together with Dementia Advisor for Alzheimer’s Society Judith Bower and UCLan Senior Graphic Design Lecturer Jane Souyave, Active Minds have been working towards creating an activity to help alleviate fidgeting and repetitive movements.
Conversing with carers of people living with dementia, the teams realised that these restless and repetitive motions were not always negative and wanted to dispel the thoughts that fidgeting is a disruptive behaviour.
Funding from the Alzheimer’s Society and UCLan’s Innovation funds have allowed the teams to work together and raise awareness surrounding communications and connection techniques for people living with advanced dementia. The ‘Positive Connections’ group was formed and worked tirelessly to come up with a concept which would later advance in to a product – the Fidget Widget.
What Is Fidget Widget
An age-appropriate activity, Fidget Widget comprises of five different handheld tactile tools which have been specially designed to help keep hands both relaxed and busy. The different tools can be interacted with in a variety of creative ways such as spinning, sliding, twisting, turning or rolling.
The variety of actions have been shown to not only keep restless hands busy, but also improve dexterity and provide stimulation and engagement as the activity is both meaningful and fun.
Fidget Widget is not just an individual activity however, it has been shown to be beneficial in both group and singular settings and is a brilliant way to get carers involved.
The Fidget Widget tools have undergone a two year testing period whereby the families of people living with dementia were supported with communication techniques using the Toolkit. The incredible feedback from the families showed the positive effect these products have had for their loved ones.
Interacting with the Fidget Widget has been shown to help enhance a persons psychological wellbeing as it provides an outlet for restless hands whilst being a meaningful and engaging activity. The creation of this product has allowed a wider understanding of restless behaviours and the ways in which we can interact with people living with dementia who may have verbal communication difficulties.
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