Monday, November 1, 2010
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
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
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
Thursday, September 9, 2010
In this type of setting, care can range from someone stopping in periodically, to a live-in caregiver that provides 24 hour care. Some examples of non-medical elderly home care may include: preparing meals or help with feeding, assistance with bathing and grooming, light housekeeping, assisting with medication, grocery shopping, bill paying or running errands.
In our particular caregiving situation, family members have teamed up to provide much of the home care for my mother-in-law, who has advanced Alzheimer's disease. However, at times, we have enlisted the help of friends, our church family, and companies specializing in elderly home care services to provide for her needs. Even if your family is well equipped for caregiving, its important to be familiar with some of the senior home care services that are available today. Taking advantage of these services may give you the occasional day off or vacation that you need, without putting undo stress on your family or friends.
Even if you have other family members or friends that assist you in caring for a loved one, there are times when they are not available. At these times, being familiar with companies or caregivers that specialize in providing elderly home care can be important. Each local area normally has companies that offer a wide range of elderly assistance services. Normally, you can find these online by searching for the word "caregivers." However, here are some nationwide, senior care service providers, that you may want to consider.
Specializes in non-medical home care services for the elderly, allowing them to maintain as much independence as possible in familiar surroundings. They have over 300 offices across the country. Their website is: www.visitingangels.com.
Search by state for caregivers, nurses, and sitters. They offer both non-medical and medical care for the elderly and for children. Both live in and live out caregiving options are available. Their website is: www.caregiverneeded.com.
Right at Home
They can provide home health care from as little as a few hours to 24-hours a day. Services include: caring companionship, meal preparation, light housekeeping, bathing assistance, respite for family caregivers, and much more. Their website is: www.rightathome.net.
These are just a few of the many resources that are available for today's caregivers. Over the years we have been blessed to have family members and close friends that have teamed up with us to care for a loved one with Alzheimer's. However, utilizing other caregiver resources has given us much needed breaks, while still providing excellent care.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
The sad thing is a fall or a close call can cause more than a serious physical injury. Often, seniors can be haunted by a fear of falling, which causes them to sink into a more sedentary lifestyle, causing a further decline in muscle strength and mobility.
Ideally, you want your senior to be safe and avoid falls and injuries, but still be able to enjoy an active life. There are many things that can be done to help keep your senior safe and avoid falls. Here are a few tips that you may want to consider, that can help keep the senior you love safe and sound.
Sturdy Chairs and Furniture - Make sure that all of the chairs and furniture in the house are solid and sturdy. A wobbly chair or table are a recipe for disaster. Make sure that furniture is solid and secure, so when your senior grabs hold of it to steady themselves it will render the help that they need.
Railings and Handholds - Railings and handholds should be located near all stairways or hallways where necessary. Railings or grab bars in bathrooms or showers are also a good idea and can be great tools for helping to keep your senior safe and avoid an untimely slip or fall.
Adequate Lighting is Important - Normally as we age our eyesight diminishes, especially if your senior has cataracts. Make sure that there is adequate lighting to light their way, especially at night if they get up to use the bathroom. Nightlights and motion activated lights or lights on timers can be a great help for ensuring that there is plenty of light to navigate through the house. Inadequate lighting and poor eyesight are a dangerous combination, and a major cause for many falls.
These are just a few practical things that you can do that can make a big difference in keeping your senior safe. You may also want to investigate medical alert systems just in case a fall does occur. Especially if your senior lives alone, these devices can be used to render aid quickly in the case of an emergency. Hopefully, some of these tips will be helpful for keeping your senior safe and active for many years to come.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Estimates vary, but currently there are probably over 10 million older people that require some type of assistance in performing their day-to-day activities. In 2006 there were 37.3 million people that were 65 or older, representing 12.4 percent of the U.S. population. That is approximately 1 out of every 8 Americans, and is expected to grow to about 20 percent by the year 2030. The good news is that people are living longer than ever before, and people over 65 have much experience and talent to offer. In fact many folks are still healthy and active into their 80s, 90s or beyond. However, sooner of later you may be in a position where you need some assistance for yourself, or you are providing care for someone else.
If you or a loved one have limited mobility, then a portable wheelchair or motorized wheelchair may be just what you need to remain active.