July 16, 2020
Sponsored by: EasyLiving Fl Home Care & Care Management
Do you dread getting on the phone with your elderly parents? Is every visit filled with complaints? Are you left feeling you can do nothing right? Today, our experts will share common complaints from elderly parents and the underlying emotions. Understanding what’s behind the complaints will reveal solutions. We’ll address seven key complaints. And, we’ll offer ideas, resources, and options.
“You’re always in a rush.”
Other related complaints you might hear include: “I never see the grandkids anymore.” Or, “Why don’t you have time for me?”
This and other complaints may have their roots in loneliness. About half of seniors report feeling lonely on a regular basis. Have your elderly parents cut down on favorite activities? They may be bored and isolated, which leads to them focusing on you.
On the other hand, they might feel rushed during the time you do have together. Maybe rightly so. You likely have a lot of tasks and competing demands. You’re just trying to be helpful and get things done for them. But, it’s easy to become a taskmaster and lose the normal parent-child relationship.
- A senior companion/concierge service can help Mom or Dad continue their favorite activities. Our companions have great success engaging elders and offering them a new lease on life.
- Give yourselves the gift of quality time. Enlist someone to handle certain tasks so you can set aside “us time”. You could hire a care manager to attend doctor’s appointments or organize paperwork, a gardener/lawn service, or a caregiver to do light housekeeping or grocery shopping. There may be community services, friends or family members who can help out too.
- Schedule a regular time together. This might be a weekly dinner or outing. If you live far away, plan to Skype/Facetime once a week to catch up. Put it on your calendar and theirs. Set aside focused time. This may help to cut down on phone calls when you’re distracted by a million things.
- Check out two great books on this topic, with ideas for handling these conversations. How to Say it to Seniors by David Solie and Another Country: Navigating the Emotional Terrain of Our Elders by Mary Pipher
“You never help me.”
Some elderly parents don’t say this directly but have a lot of complaints about things that need to be done. Or, the conversational tone will always be “woe is me” or martyrdom. They might complain about how tired they are or list all their tasks. Other parents pointedly talk about all the marvelous things that their neighbor’s son does for him.
Help for you both
You probably do a lot for them. And, you’re probably stretched thin with all your roles. It’s not a cop-out to hire someone to help. You don’t want your elderly parents hurting themselves doing things they shouldn’t. But, the reality is you can’t do it all either…and still be the son/daughter.
Pick out a few key tasks and bring in some help. Explain your boundaries and ask them to give it a try. Enlist help from a sibling or professional if you get resistance. Alternatively, get them to try it for a project or short-term need. You can’t control how they behave, but you’re in control of your boundaries and how you react. However, because we have a long, often complicated, history with our parents this can be tough. If you’re struggling, consider talking this through with a professional.
“You just want to put me in a home.”
This is often accompanied by complaints about other people’s kids or today’s society. “How awful, they just dump their elderly relatives in a home.” They may tell you horror stories of someone’s facility experiences.
Don’t promise something specific that might not be realistic. For example, don’t say “I will NEVER let you go to a facility.” Instead, reassure them that this isn’t your intention and suggest meeting with a professional to make a plan.
You can actually turn this complaint into an opportunity! Get a geriatric care management assessment to make an “aging in place plan”. The care manager will assess the home for possible safety issues. She will suggest resources. (Check out our aging-in-place checklist for some recommended resources.) The plan will prioritize what needs to be done now along with future planning. Clients and families both find this process hugely reassuring.
“You’re always nagging me. Stop telling me what to do. I’m not your child.”
Every nice chat turns into a fight. You are just trying to tell Mom what she needs to do to stay healthy. A genuine concern about Dad’s safety makes him feel like he is being disrespected. The dynamics of eldercare can be quite complicated. After all, these are your parents, not your children.
It’s all in the approach
Get some advice on how to approach the situation. You might just do a phone consult with a care manager to start. Or, you might want the reassurances of that comprehensive assessment.
Here is a small snippet of one family’s success story getting “unstuck” with the help of a care manager:
Julie (care manager) was especially helpful as we all flew in for a “loving intervention”. If it were not for Julie’s one-on-one time with our mother, and the wise counsel and respect she gave to her, I am convinced we would still be stuck…and sick with worry. Instead, Julie empowered Mom to face the next chapter of her life. She also coached us on how to have a loving intervention…
“I’m completely trapped now that I can’t drive.”
Driving was the main lunchtime topic on a recent visit to my grandfather. He willingly, though reluctantly, gave up driving. His memory is a little muddy as to how that came about at times, but he never forgets the loss. Fortunately, the family made an action plan before even approaching the driving conversation. He has a driver all lined up to help with trips that are not included at his retirement community. He set aside the funds from selling his car to pay for this.
Drive to thrive
If your parent is reliant on you or friends for rides, they will complain. Wouldn’t you? Furthermore, the results may be worse if they don’t complain about it but simply withdraw from activities. A lot of unhappiness and complaining may stem from being lonely and depressed. Make sure to set up a realistic plan so they can thrive without driving. This may include some combination of senior transportation services and a private driver.
Ride services provide a lot of freedom, especially for on-demand rides. Until recently, that required having a smartphone and navigating an app. Not all elderly parents want to (or can) do that. Now, you can request Uber and Lyft from a computer. Or even better, EasyLiving with Lyft Concierge can handle it all for you with just a phone call!
Does Dad constantly talk about what a disappointment your brother is? Or, does Mom pit you against (or compare you to) your siblings? On the other hand, you may find yourself in an ongoing battle with your siblings. Perhaps you are not on the same page regarding what Mom and Dad need. Or, one of you lives nearby and the other far away. The caregiving situation may seem unbalanced.
It may be time to get someone to intervene. A good resource to get started is this article our care management team wrote about dealing with family conflict in eldercare.
“I’m tired of eating TV dinners.”
A lot goes into meal preparation. This can get tough as someone gets older. It’s also difficult cooking for one. Plus, elderly parents’ appetites and nutritional needs often change. And moreover, most people don’t like eating alone. All this adds up to many seniors eating TV dinners or subsisting solely on snacks and sweets.
- Use a grocery delivery service like Shipt to deliver fresh foods. Eliminate the hassle of shopping. The healthier foods in the house, the less likely they’ll turn to canned goods and frozen meals.
- Hire a meal prep caregiver to come in four hours/week. She can do some light housekeeping and prepare healthy meals for the week.
- Plan a Sunday lunch together. Enjoy a weekly meal where you prepare some of Mom or Dad’s favorites. Stash some leftovers for them to eat throughout the week, or provide some extra meals they can reheat. More than the food itself, the focused time together matters (see #1).
- If you live far away or sense your elderly parents hate eating alone, consider hiring someone for both meal prep and companionship. If you already have a caregiver involved, take this into consideration in scheduling. Sometimes we think of tasks Mom needs to be done but forget about this key ingredient. Why not have the caregiver come around lunch or dinner so they can also provide mealtime companionship?
Check out more ideas, including meal delivery services, in our post How To Help Dad with Better Nutrition: Three Delicious Ways.
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October 20, 2019
By Lizzie Weakley
If you have special needs due to being an older person with one or more disabilities, don’t hesitate to consult local social service agencies. Many now offer household assistance to help maintain safety and security at home. Here are a few types of services that may be available to eligible disabled seniors.
Many agencies provide a wide range of household assistance services that can keep you safe and comfortable at home. Housework assistance may be able to send someone to your residence to help with daily basic chores like cooking, laundry, and housecleaning. This can help to reduce or eliminate the amount of time or effort you will have to spend maintaining a clean, orderly home. Dusting, vacuuming, and other related tasks may also be covered. Find out what you may be eligible for in terms of getting this work done.
While friendly neighbors may be able to help occasionally with mowing the lawn or weeding the flower beds, you might be able to get someone to assist on a regular basis. It is important to keep the yard well cared for to prevent pests and wildlife from burrowing near your home and possibly causing property damage. If they get into your home through the foundation or other entryways, that could present another problem to be addressed.
If you need rides for medical appointments or to do errands like grocery shopping, transportation might be available to accommodate people with disabilities. This may involve private transport with a regular driver or public transportation via bus or taxi. When contacting social service agencies that help older people with disabilities, ask if there is help for getting around town as needed.
Disabled persons often have family members or friends helping out with housework, yardwork, or other needs. However, many of those people have their own responsibilities to handle as well, or something might come up in their lives that will keep them away for a while. Social service agencies that work with disabled clients may be able to offer respite services. This provides a temporary substitute person who is qualified to provide necessary help until your regular caregivers or family members can resume their support.
While it is not easy living with a disability especially when getting older, it is good to know that valuable assistance is available for those in need. Find out about the type of services you may qualify for to make life more comfortable and secure.
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September 25, 2019
By Meghan Belnap
Aging is not a process that you can stop. You can, however, determine where and how you spend your time as you get older. While many like to stay in the home in which they’ve lived for years, others feel the need to move elsewhere as they get older. Below are just a few of the pros and cons of aging in place.
One of the biggest reasons why many choose to age in their own homes is because it’s familiar. It’s nice to be around the places and things that you’ve come to know, even if it might be a little harder to get around than it once was. There’s a lot to be said for being in the place that makes you feel the most comfortable, even if doing so might have some drawbacks. Thankfully, even if it isn’t a perfectly designed facility, there are a lot of ways to alter your home to make it easier for aging.
Con: Access to Care
It can be somewhat more difficult to get the care that you need if you choose to stay in your own home. This is particularly true when it come to high-quality medical machinery that you may need. If your needs are beyond what elderly home care assistance can provide, then staying at home may not be for your. However, if your needs are more basic and don’t require a lot of medical equipment, then having someone care for you in your own home can be a lot more comfortable than living in a specialized facility.
Pro: Access to Family
Being close to the people you love matters. Those who choose to stay in their own homes tend to do so because they can be close to friends and family, and doing so also allows them the chance to visit whenever they like. The thought of being somewhere that makes it less likely for people to visit is one that many people prefer to remain in their own homes rather than go away to an external facility.
Con: Emotional Isolation
Living at home does, however, come with its own isolating drawbacks. Care facilities are full of other aging individuals who are going through the same stage of life as you, and many elderly care homes have activities and access to recreational facilities easily available specifically for these people. At home, however, you may be surrounded by a much younger generation with a very different culture and view of life than you. Therefore, if you do decide to age at home, you’ll want to find ways to network with other senior citizens to avoid that sense of emotional isolation.
Choosing to age in place is, at its heart, a personal decision. While there are certainly pros and cons, how they should be weighed is up to the individual. As you get older, it’s important to take some time to think about the kind of lifestyle that you want to live and what kind of environment will give you the best chance to stay happy and healthy.
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.
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September 12, 2019
By Brooke Chaplan
There are different types of caregivers who can care for elderly or ill individuals. When you are considering hiring a caregiver for yourself or a loved one, think about the specialty areas of this health care career. Understanding the different types of caregivers will help you to choose the best individual for the job. Here are five types of caregivers who you can hire for yourself or an elderly loved one.
Live-in Caregiver Services
A live-in caregiver can provide services on a 24-hour basis seven days a week. This individual will live at and sleep in the home for long-term care or for temporary care. This variety of caregiver may also perform a variety of household duties that include cleaning tasks, laundry chores or shopping for food. Live-in caregivers are especially helpful for those who need constant assistance or care, but they do cost more due to the large time commitment involved.
Physical Therapy Caregiver Services
After someone has a stroke or an accident, the individual may need physical therapy care services to regain the use of the affected limbs or other body parts. A caregiver with an understanding of mobility issues can assist a client with exercises or other types of therapeutic services. A licensed physical therapist may teach the caregiver how to assist a client in his or her own home.
Occasional Caregiver Services
If you are responsible for caring for an elderly spouse or grandparent, then you may require respite services occasionally. This type of caregiver is only hired when you need a break from your daily responsibilities, and hiring one can give you a chance to do something different, including having fun for a day, or alternatively, something vital, including taking care of your own health needs. A respite caregiver may come and assist in the home, but can also come to an adult day care or health care facility, or just aide the family caregiver in providing assistance.
Routine Daily Caregiver Services
Infirm clients may need assistance with daily care tasks that include showering, brushing teeth or getting dressed. A caregiver may prepare nutritious meals, help a client eat and wash the dirty dishes. This is often part-time care that is only required for a few hours each day, and it may include having different caregivers throughout the week. This type of caregiver is often required for senior citizens who do not want to move to an assisted living environment.
Professional Transportation Caregiver Services
When an ill or injured individual requires frequent trips to hospitals, physician’s offices or other medical facilities, a professional transportation caregiver service is vital. This type of caregiver service may include having special vans that are equipped with wheelchair lifts and ramps. Some families are able to afford their own vehicles, but sometimes a professional service will be necessary.
How Do You Choose a Caregiver?
Choosing a caregiver can seem complicated, but if you talk to a physician and a home health care agency, then you can learn more about the process of hiring one. Make sure to think both about your needs as a caregiver and either your or your loved ones needs as a patient. Caregivers will be able to help you or a loved one have the assistance and support needed.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan
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September 5, 2019
By Lizzie Weakley
When you are responsible for finding home care for a loved one, you will want to find caregivers who you can trust. Fortunately, there are other individuals who have had the same situation, and they offer excellent advice for finding the right type of care for your loved one. Here are five tips that you can use to help you find a great caregiver.
Talk to a Physician
When you have an appointment with the senior’s physician, you can ask about the best way to find a caregiver. A physician can provide information about senior care services for patients with dementia conditions, brain trauma from a stroke or terminal conditions such as cancer. Call each nursing home to learn more about the services, and also, schedule appointments to visit the nursing homes.
Ask Your Friends
Many adults are caring for older relatives, so you can ask your friends about the caregivers that they use. Some cities have senior day care centers where you can take a loved one while you are working. There are also organizations that have volunteers who will assist with senior home care occasionally. Make a list of the different places that are recommended by your friends so that you can contact each place for more information.
You can contact an agency that has a list of trained caregivers available. These individuals have already had criminal background screening, and the office staff at the agency has verified that the caregivers have references. In just a few days, you can have a great caregiver for your loved one who recently had surgery or has dementia. Elderly home care is available each day, or you may need part-time services instead.
It is important to interview the caregivers to find an individual who meets the needs of the senior citizen. Some caregivers excel at caring for individuals with physical problems such as severe arthritis while others are able to cope better with a senior who has Alzheimer’s disease. Finding the right caregiver can make your loved one happier and healthier.
Consult with the Senior Citizen
Your loved one should provide some input into selecting a caregiver. Remember that you probably won’t stay in the home all of the time to observe what is going on, so they should select a caregiver instead. Despite having a dementia condition or physical health issues, it is essential for your loved one to have a good experience with selecting a caregiver.
It is a good idea to maintain communication with a caregiver by making telephone calls occasionally, or alternatively, by stopping by your loved one’s home at different times of the day or the night.
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July 19, 2019
By Anica Oaks
You may have heard the saying, “Grow old gracefully,” but there are many changes that occur as you move beyond middle age and into your golden years. Your 60s, 70s and beyond will be filled with various psychological and physical changes and challenges. Asking for help can make you feel weak, but you aren’t. It’s a sign of strength and self-awareness to recognize when you can no longer do something on your own.
Understand How Age Changes Things
You were probably taught from an early age that it’s important to be independent. Asking for help can make us feel like we’ve failed somehow, and you may worry that you’ll look weak and be a burden to your loved ones.
Getting older comes with some inevitable changes, and it’s important to accept these facts rather than try to go against them. Your health may decline, or you might have to live with a health condition like arthritis. You may also be dealing with feelings of loneliness and isolation now that your children are grown. If you are widowed, then facing the rest of your life by yourself can trigger deep feelings of sadness that may turn into depression.
Recognize What You Need
Are you physically struggling to get around like you used to? Maybe going up the stairs is too painful or strenuous now. Perhaps you have emotional needs that aren’t being met, but you don’t want to bother people by calling them up just to talk.
Maybe you notice some health symptoms that weren’t there before; do you have frequent chest pains, feel dizzy or have become more forgetful than you used to be? It’s natural to want to ignore these things and write them off, but getting help early can make you happier and protect your well-being.
Finding the Right Resources
The last thing you may want to do is move into a care home, but they are not all like hospitals or filled with sick seniors. Instead, there are many retirement villages and facilities that offer round-the-clock assistance while still giving you plenty of space and independence.
For those who do not have any close family or friends they can reach out to, exploring elderly home care options can make you feel empowered and give you the help you need. Make sure that you are vocal about everything that’s bothering you; it’s possible for loneliness, sadness and even fear of the future to make us come off as cold and distant.
Don’t allow yourself to become closed off from the world. As you progress through the next stage of your life, be open to asking for help, receiving love and being in the presence of others as much as you can.
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April 11, 2019
August 17, 2018
July 16, 2018
Courtesy of Janet Campbell
When you’re tending seniors, you want to provide the best possible care to ensure the best quality of life. In order to be effective and efficient it can help to create a checklist, whether mentally or physically, of the areas you should discuss on a daily basis. Follow these important guidelines to ensure you’re covering the crucial aspects of your senior’s care and making the most of home health care visits.
Sleep. As we grow older, getting sufficient sleep is an area in which many seniors struggle. It’s also an area that can have ramifications in other parts of life, contributing to a variety of mental and physical health concerns. According to The Guardian lack of sleep is linked to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, reduced ability to focus, poor memory and a shorter life span.
For seniors, the concerns are even more far-reaching, with some studies showing poor sleep quality contributing to dementia, depression and the decline of other mental faculties. These together can be a slippery slope. With health concerns mounting, some feeding each other such as obesity contributing to sleep apnea and heart disease, depression can then worsen, sleep can worsen and a vicious circle can quickly develop.
There are many ways to encourage better sleep quality. One idea is to establish a bedtime routine including a warm, relaxing bath to help unwind. Sunlight can help trigger healthy body rhythms, so spending time in the outdoors during the day can also be a boon. Physical activity can also help seniors sleep, so long as they avoid exercising within three hours of bedtime. Also offer an appropriate sleep environment, free of noise and lights. Seniors should have a comfortable bed that alleviates pain as well. For those who wake up groggy or achy, consider upgrading to a new mattress better suited for an aging body’s needs. It is best to replace your mattress every seven to eight years to get a good night’s sleep. If you dream of reducing the number of times you toss and turn each night, refer to this guide to choose a comfortable mattress.
Diet. Meeting a senior’s nutritional needs is another key way to enhance quality of life. As we age the body’s metabolism gradually slows, and as some experts point out this can mean less calories burned. Seniors should opt for foods that are nutritionally dense instead of consuming empty calories. The diet should be tapered down according to need, rather than adding the nutrient-dense choices.
The diet choices should be simple, satisfying and nutritious. Plates should be half-filled with fruits and vegetables, and whole grains should be the source of at least half of the grain choices. Whole grains include foods such as brown rice, whole grain cereals and whole grain breads. Seniors should avoid consuming excessive amounts of sodium. The diet should include healthy fat sources such as nuts, avocados, vegetable fats and fatty fish. Protein sources should include eggs, chicken, fish, beans and nuts.
Exercise. Getting sufficient exercise is another key component in maintaining good quality of life for seniors. OnHealth explains loss of muscle mass associated with aging contributes to the metabolic decline in seniors. Staying fit helps keep muscles and bones strong, helps maintain a healthy weight, and helps maintain or restore balance. Seniors who stay active can reduce their risk for health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, depression, obesity and back pain. A senior fitness program can enhance flexibility, memory function and improve mood as well.
Seniors can begin exercising at any age but should discuss a new exercise program with their physicians. Scheduling sessions can help stay on track, and celebrating progress can be an encouragement. Seniors should include aerobic, strength training, balance and flexibility exercises in their regimen. Gentle chair yoga is a good option for many seniors new to exercise.
Easing a worried heart. Has your senior been fixated or overly worried about life lately? Chatting lightly can begin loosening up a senior who has become wound too tight about the ups and downs of life. First and foremost you must listen – most folks benefit from a sympathetic ear even if their listener doesn’t give them a solution to their problem. But if there are recurring issues then you could begin gently guiding them to take some action towards acceptance, no matter how small it might be. It could be as simple as some advance planning for the inevitable, or volunteering part time.
Better health, better life. Helping a senior maintain a good quality of life is paramount. Check off these three things when visiting seniors: Ensure seniors get sufficient sleep, enjoy a healthy diet and participate in an exercise program. Make the most of home visits with these simple guidelines.
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July 12, 2018
Older Posts »
By: Darleen Mahoney
Home Health Care by definition according to Wikipedia: is, “Home care is supportive care provided in the home. Care may be provided by licensed healthcare professionals who provide medical treatment needs or by professional caregivers
who provide daily assistance.” Home Health Care provides the ability for seniors to age in place and provides other caregivers a break.
Those who might consider Home Health Care may be recovering from a procedure, have a degenerative disorder or in need of general medical care. Home Health is recommended most often by a doctor after a visit or a hospital stay because it is provided by medical professionals.
One of the benefits that Home Health Care provides is that not only is there a medical professional in the home providing the specialized care that is needed, but also provides personal services as well.
Home Health Services that may be included, but not limited to depending on what the provider offers:
- Skilled Nursing
- Physical therapy
- Pain management
- Wound care
- Prescription management
- Helping those with Alzheimer’s or dementia
Personal Services that may be included, but not limited to depending on what the provider offers:
- Grooming, like dressing and help with bathing
- Medication reminders
- Help with moving around the home
- Cooking meals
Because Home Health Care are in the home, they can work with family members daily to make sure that routines are followed, make recommendations on medications and keep the senior in their home environment longer.
The cost of Home Health Care as an option could come down to who is going to pay for the care. While a family caregiver will not receive any monies from any programs, Medicare has limited coverage for home care. When coverage is provided through Medicare it is only covered through a Medicare-certified home health care agency. Always check with your insurance provider and any other resources that may help with the expense of Home Health Care.
If you would like to age in place and explore different Home Healthcare providers in your area to see what they offer, please visit SeniorLivingGuide.com, click on the state and area of interest. Review each one carefully, weigh the options and what is important to you and your family and then schedule a call to discuss those options.
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