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

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tips For Caring For an Elderly Parent

There are many different elder care options available today. One option that you may want to consider is elderly home care. It allows parents or a loved one to remain at home, in familiar surroundings, and still get the assistance that they need. Often, caregivers include family, friends, or caregiving professionals that provide a wide range of senior home care services. This can be an ideal situation if you are caring for elderly parents or overseeing their care, where their primary needs are non-medical care.

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.

Visiting Angels
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:

Cargiver Needed
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:

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:

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

Senior Safety - Preventing Dangerous Falls

Stumbling or falling can be particularly devastating for seniors, resulting in hip fractures, head injuries or other serious conditions. In fact, thousands of seniors die each year from injuries sustained in falls that could easily be avoided.

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.