Something New for the Sandwich Generation: The Boomerangs

sandwich generationHumans are now living longer than ever because of the progress of science and medicine, resulting in the “sandwich generation” (those caring for both children and aging parents) taking on a new role, that of the boomerang generation.

“Aging together” is the label for seniors whose mom and dad are still living and requiring good care. The result is a wave of seniors uprooting and relocating after retirement to live, once again, in close proximity to their elderly parents. And in many cases, the senior child is being affected by his or her own health conditions, further complicating the dynamics and developing a greater risk for caregiver burnout – on both sides of the equation.

Associate Professor of Gerontology Kathrin Boerner, of the University of MA, clarifies the dilemma: “For a lot of people, that is the time – if you’re in good enough health – you hope for a time of greater freedom. You’re past all the other caregiving tasks and, for most people, they can dedicate time to their own needs. But for those with very old parents, it just doesn’t happen.”

Even though the regenerated connection between older adult children and their aging parents can be good for all involved, such as through exploring shared interests that can be appreciated together, the toll that caregiving usually takes later in life can lead to increased stress levels, depression, and also physical health issues.

Thankfully, there’s a solution to supply the needed care for senior children along with their elderly parents, allowing for both to concentrate specifically on enjoying quality time together: hiring an in-home caregiver from a professional elder care agency like Endeavor Home Care. We can help in several different ways, personalized to each family’s unique circumstances, including such services as:

  • Running errands, including buying groceries and picking up medications
  • Making healthy and balanced meals
  • Assisting with light housework and washing
  • Personal care services which include assistance with showering and dressing
  • Providing transportation and accompaniment to health care appointments or fun outings
  • And much more

Our Sun City caregivers are fully background checked, trained, and knowledgeable in all aspects of caregiving. Leave the mundane tasks to us, and get back to making the most of life with those you love! Contact Endeavor Home Care at (480) 535-6800 to learn more.

 

Arthritis Pain Making It Hard to Exercise? We Have a Solution!

arthritisOlder adults are no exception to the rule that we should exercise and stay active to maintain health. But if you are battling arthritis, it can be difficult to maintain a good amount of exercise because of pain.

Fortunately, the latest recommendations ease back on the intensity of activity for seniors with arthritis, specifying that as little as just 45 minutes of physical activity weekly is enough to attain and maintain a high level of functionality – and much less overwhelming for people who have a tendency to steer clear of exercise.

As outlined by Northwestern University professor Dorothy Dunlop, “For those older people suffering from arthritis who are minimally active, a 45-minute minimum might feel more realistic.”

In spite of these scaled-back recommendations, unfortunately, as few as 10% of the elderly fighting the challenges of arthritis are accomplishing this level of activity. However, participants in a recent study who achieved the 45-minute level of moderate exercise per week showed an astounding 80% increase in sustained or improved functionality over a 2-year period of time, compared with people who were less active. And it was confirmed that even though any amount of exercise is better than nothing, the 45-minute weekly guideline is optimal.

Needless to say, always check with the older adult’s physician before beginning or modifying any activity or exercise program. With his or her consent, a great place to get started is with the Arthritis Foundation’s app, Walk With Ease, which includes goal-setting, progress-tracking, a handbook and sample online videos to demonstrate the exercises. Setting aside designated times daily for physical activity, and turning it into a top priority, may help make certain exercise becomes an ingrained routine and boosts the possibility of its success.

Additionally you can partner with Endeavor Home Care, the Arizona home care experts, for a companion to help encourage and motivate participation in an exercise program. It’s always more fun with a friend! We can also offer transportation and accompaniment to exercise programs, to parks or other outdoor locations for enjoyable walks together, to doctors’ appointments, and more. Call us at (480) 535-6800 to learn more.

The Positive Side of Dementia

dementia care scottsdaleIntroduce the topic of “dementia” at your next summer party and you’ll find the mood quickly turns from happy to heavy-hearted. For most of us, negative experiences are all that we have read, and perhaps have experienced, with this disease. And since there is still not yet a cure, it’s only natural that an Alzheimer’s medical diagnosis in a family member creates an array of concerns.

What isn’t as often mentioned – if at all – are the bright spots of dementia. Actually, studies have shown that as few as 25% of people with mild or moderate dementia self-describe their lives as negative. According to Dr. Peter Rabins, author of “The 36-Hour Day” in which the study is highlighted, and a professor at the University of Maryland, “I’ve seen that you can be a wonderful grandparent and not remember the name of the grandchild you adore. You can be with people you love and enjoy them, even if you’re not following the whole conversation.”

It can help to remember that regardless of the outward changes seen in people with Alzheimer’s or dementia, they are still the same person inside with many of the same characteristics and feelings as always. They appreciate being in a relationship with other people, find peace of mind in familiar surroundings, and enjoy meaningful, purposeful activities. It’s a matter of taking the time to better understand the person and dedicating quality time to attempting to engage in hobbies and interests that he or she enjoys.

There are a number of ways one can help foster wellbeing and a positive outlook on life for a family member with Alzheimer’s or dementia, even as the condition progresses. Helping a loved one with socialization is one of our top recommendations. Many relatives are fearful and uncomfortable around their loved one with dementia, and for that reason, tend to cut back on visits or even just abandon them altogether. It’s essential to seek out ways to help your loved one remain socially connected. Continue to visit, and hire the services of a professional in-home caregiver, such as Endeavor Home Care provides, to fill in the gaps.

Call on Endeavor’s Scottsdale home care experts at (480) 535-6800 for more ideas or to discuss additional ways to help a family member with dementia improve total wellbeing. Our professionally trained Alzheimer’s and dementia care team is available to provide reliable respite services, allowing members of the family necessary time away to rest and refresh, knowing their family member is in the absolute best of care.