Monday, November 14, 2011

Motorized Wheelchairs for Seniors on the Go

If you or someone you know is experiencing mobility problems or can't stand or walk for even short periods of time, then you might want to look into a power wheelchair. These come in all different shapes and sizes, ranging from kind of the traditional looking wheelchair with a small motor, to three and four wheel scooters or even fancy motorized wheelchairs like this one. The picture here is a Pride Jazzy 600 Power Wheelchair and it is good for both indoors and outdoors. The joystick on the armrest is used to steer and control it, and it can maneuver quite nicely. If you are a senior who would still like to be active, then something like this may be just what you need.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Meals on Wheels Program

One of the most helpful programs while caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's was the Meals on Wheels program. The volunteers who delivered the meals were always friendly and encouraging. They took a special interest in the patient and even included some little extras on birthdays or other special times of the year. Our senior was on a much different schedule than the rest of the families, so it was pretty rare that they ate with the rest of the family. However, it was always a comfort to know that a special meal was already prepared, sitting in the refrigerator for when it was needed. For more information on the Meals on Wheels program visit their website: If you are caring for a loved one or you are a senior yourself and its not as easy to cook and prepare meals as it used to be, then definitely check into this program. From their website you can locate a local group in your area that can help you.

Monday, October 10, 2011

How Pets Assist With Caregiving

If you are caring for a loved one, you've probably noticed that our pets, whether it be a favorite cat or a dog, can sometimes provide tremendous comfort for those that we are caring for. Our cat Hershey used to love to lay on the recliner or bed with Grandma and snuggle up against her leg or side. She had Alzheimer's disease and was unable to move around on her own or communicate much and sometimes she would be anxious or agitated, but she seemed to be particularly peaceful when Hershey was laying besider her. What was particularly interesting is if Hershey was laying on the kid's bed or next to them and their legs were under the covers he woud go after them and play like most cats do, but not with Grandma. He seemed to sense what she needed most, and he would not paw at her feet or anything like that, but instead, he would lie peacefully beside her and just be a comfort to her.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Beware of Treatment Scams

Elderly people are common targets for deceitful con artists who claim that they are supplying remarkable cures and medical breakthroughs. Often, what they really offer is only false hope. As time goes on, symptoms are no better, perhaps worse, and a great deal of money is often lost. The worst part is that these charlatans keep older people from seeking and getting suitable medical treatment. False advertising can come from many sources, including telephone calls, e-mail, magazines, and newspapers. Some of the most prevalent fraudulent claims include anti-aging preparations, or products that promise that you can eat anything that you desire and still lost weight. Cures for serious or chronic ailments including Alzheimer's disease, arthritis, and diabetes may also be claimed. A basic rule that will serve you well, regardless of age, is when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. So, no matter what the claim, always do your own due diligence so that you can steer clear of any treatment scams.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Hospice Care

Most of us have probably heard of hospice care or hospice services, but may not know much about it or how it might be of assistance. If you are a caregiver, especially one that is caring for a loved one who is terminally ill, then hospice can be extremely helpful. Although some services may vary from organization to organization, this article will give you a brief introduction to hospice care and describe some of the services and resources that it provides.

Hospice care is not corrective care or regular medical care that is meant to cure a disease. It is normally intended to assist caregivers who are caring for someone with a terminal illness and a prognosis of six months or less to live, if the disease runs its normal course. Hospice care can be provided for someone residing in a nursing home or regular care facility, or it can be provided for someone who is cared for at home. Normally, a hospice care team will include doctors, nurses, social workers, counselors, a chaplain, home health assistants and much more.

The hospice team is able to answer all of the questions that a caregiver may have and offer helpful advice. Home health assistants and nurses can help with many of the day-to-day tasks of caregiving, including bathing the patient. A doctor is readily available to visit and check on the patient, and let you know what to expect as time goes on. Doctors and nurses are typically available around the clock, by telephone, to answer any questions that you may have. Hospice can also arrange for equipment and supplies, provide medication, and help manage any pain or discomfort associated with the patient's condition.

On top of all the medical care and resources that hospice provides, their social workers are there to encourage you and give advice on care. Counselors are also available for both the patient and family members. We saw firsthand how loving and supportive they were with the recent passing of a loved one who had Alzheimer's disease.

Keep in mind that once a patient goes on hospice care it does not have to be a permanent arrangement. If their condition suddenly improves, they can go back off of hospice care and resume regular medical treatments. Again, this is the beauty of having a highly trained and experienced hospice team that is regularly monitoring the patient's condition and who is in close communication with the caregiver.

Being a caregiver is never easy. Many of the caregivers of today who are taking care of a loved one, have never had any formal caregiver training or medical training. They demonstrate their love each day by doing the best they can to care for another. When dealing with end of life issues you do not have to go it alone. Hospice is there to come along beside you and walk with you and guide you through this very difficult time.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Long Distance Caregivers

Being a caregiver while living in another state or city, far away from your loved one is never easy. Some long distance caregivers manage all of the affairs and care for a senior, while others provide support and assistance for the primary caregiver while living far away. Here are some tips for anyone who finds themselves in either of these types of caregiving roles.

First of all, don't try to do it all on your own. Utilize other family members, friends, and neighbors of your loved one. If possible, they can stop in and check on them or provide assistance from time to time, and most importantly let you know if anything needs your attention. You may also want to arrange for special programs like Meals on Wheels or utilize home health-care services to provide some care and assistance in the familiar surroundings of your senior's own home.

Give your long distance caregiving arrangement sufficient time, so that you can fairly assess how well its working, and identify adjustments that may need to be made. Resist the initial temptation to relocate, and only consider moving your elder into your home after you have had lots of time to think about it and consider other options. This is not a decision that should be taken lightly, as it will have a major impact on your own family.

Technology is great, and it has made it even more easy to communicate regularly with those that we love. Take advantage of what is available so that you can stay in touch regularly. This may include regular phone calls, or emails, instant messaging, or Skype video conferences -- if you can set them up with a computer with a webcam and show them how to use it.

Try to be careful to save your vacation days so that you can make visits or emergency visits if necessary. You may also be able to plan some of your holiday time off so that you can visit them. This can make for some great family time together, but it also allows you to better assess your senior's current health and living conditions so that you are able to better provide for their needs.

These are just a few tips for those who are caring for a loved one from far away. Most of all don't get discouraged or beat yourself up for not doing more. Do the best that you can, and enlist the help of others. Whether you realize it or not right now, you are a tremendous blessing to the person you are caring for.

Click here if you are looking for more information on Elderly in Home Care

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Overbed Table

There are many uses for overbed tables like this one from Invacare. For someone who is bedridden or pretty much confined to a chair they are wonderful when eating, or for holding reading materials, glasses or other personal items. They can adjust to different heights and can be moved in and out of tight spots and swivel as needed. Click on the link below for more information.
Over Bed Table