Spending time with grandma

Not Sure How to Act When Visiting Someone with Alzheimer’s Disease? These Tips Can Help.

Spending time with grandmaIt may sometimes be a bit intimidating to know what to mention and how to behave when spending some time with a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. And, sadly, due to a number of inherent elements of the disease, oftentimes family and friends feel so uncomfortable that they avoid going to see the person anymore. Understanding more information on the disease and things to anticipate, and planning ahead about how to best manage challenging behaviors can help.

The chief difficulties family caregivers and friends encounter with their loved one with Alzheimer’s disease fall into one of three categories: changes in behavior, changes in memory and communication ability; and the level of difficulty will probably fluctuate based on the particular stage of the disease the senior is currently experiencing.

To help overcome these challenges while making the visit as enjoyable as you can, Endeavor Home Care’s Alzheimer’s care professionals in Arizona recommend the following approach:

Begin your visit with a smile, and be prepared to re-introduce yourself if needed.

Use very simple language and brief sentences, and talk slowly.

Refrain from arguing with or correcting the senior.

Bring photos from a favorite past memory for reminiscing.

Listen to a number of the person’s favorite tunes together, and maybe even ask him or her to dance!

Taking a walk together if at all possible, or just about any other physical exercise, can make the visit more fun for both of you.

Remain calm during your visit, even when the senior gets agitated or exhibits inappropriate behavior.

Keep a sense of respect during your conversation, understanding the senior may repeat questions and statements.

Reduce distractions in order to give the person your full attention.

Above all, bear in mind who the individual was pre-dementia, and remind the person what she or he did which has inspired you or helped you become the person that you are today.

For additional tips on effective communications with those with Alzheimer’s disease, or for specialized hands-on care assistance, contact the Arizona dementia care team at Endeavor Home Care. Our skilled dementia caregivers are fully trained and experienced in a number of tactics to make sure seniors with Alzheimer’s disease remain secure and safe and are able to live life to the fullest, with the utmost respect and compassion all of the time. Call us at (480) 535-6800 or contact us online for more details.

Beautiful Woman

How to Still Make Every Day a Great Day While We’re Getting Older

Beautiful Woman“It’s just been one of those days,” we sometimes lament, shrugging our shoulders gloomily. After all, sometimes things happen that are entirely out of our control, and some days all of these things seem to happen at the same time and make us wish we had stayed in bed! But the truth is, there are steps we can all take to turn those tough days around and discover purpose and meaning within our various daily challenges and experiences—especially those of us getting older. Read more

Mature women talking

Dividing Caregiver Costs Without Causing Family Uproar

Mature women talkingDo you recall how challenging it could be when you were young to learn the lesson of sharing with your brothers and sisters? While the incredible importance of taking into consideration other people’s feelings, and also being fair, was impressed upon us early on, it may still be a challenging goal to minimize sibling squabbles regarding complicated decisions we struggle with in adulthood – such as how to fairly divide caregiver costs and requirements for our aging parents. Read more

Caring for the Caregiver

Caring for the Caregiver: Staying Social = Staying Healthy

Let’s be straightforward: providing care for an aging loved one can be draining, stressful, and isolating. As caregiving requirements progress, especially when a chronic condition such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease is at play, family caregivers could feel that they’re in over their heads, and getting through the standard elements of the day – taking a bath, preparing of food, running errands – can seem to be a barrier too high to leap.

According to Carey Wexler Sherman, a gerontologist at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, “Caregiving is done with a lot of love and affection, but there’s a lot of loss involved. People talk about friends disappearing, about even family members not wanting to be involved. It’s a lonely business.”

Because of this, a large number of family caregivers have been found to sequester themselves. It’s tricky to schedule social excursions without knowing what sort of day Mom or Dad will be going through. It’s likewise difficult to invite friends over and face the potential need to cancel plans at the last minute. Sometimes it just seems easier to attempt to deal with everything alone. Senior geriatric social worker at Massachusetts General Hospital, Barbara Moscowitz, shares responses she hears from family members taking care of a senior with dementia: “They say, ‘I’m exhausted trying to explain to people why she’s doing what she’s doing, why they shouldn’t be angry or afraid. It’s just easier to stay home.” It seems seniors get the care they need, but who is caring for the caregiver?

Unfortunately, we know that social isolation and loneliness are connected to serious health risks : heart disease, stroke, depression, and also a greater prevalence of developing dementia or dying prematurely. Caregiver assistance is a must, both for the individual being cared for and the family members providing that care.

Endeavor Home Care provides dedicated home care solutions to families throughout much of Arizona as well as San Diego, CA, and our team is on hand to help in so many ways, through hands-on assistance with all areas regarding elder care, preparing meals, keeping the home tidy, running errands, and so much more – allowing family members much-needed time to themselves to spend with friends and in pleasant, relaxing activities – ensuring the wellbeing of all family members.

Call us at any time for the professional in-home care help you can trust, giving you the ability to attain a healthy life balance while knowing your senior loved one is in the very best hands.

Caring for Elderly Parents

Caring for Elderly Parents? Learn How to Overcome Sibling Spats & Provide Better Care

Although we would rather turn a blind eye to it, family friction is generally prevalent in some form for most of us, and within a time of crisis, is frequently exacerbated. Whenever stress levels are heightened, it’s natural to search for a target to serve as an outlet for all of those emotions; and sadly, that target is often people we’ve shared the most with over a lifetime: our brothers or sisters.

When family dynamics are preventing your from caring for elderly parents to the best of your ability, these tips can help:

  • Talk to Each Other. Even though it sounds rudimentary, it really is worth emphasizing that good communication is key to understanding different positions and getting on the same page. Documenting key points, such as financial choices, your parents’ plans, and who has decided to give assistance with each aspect of care is always a good strategy.
  • Accommodate. Share with one another what types of tasks you may be available to assist with; however, recognize that compromises may need to be made in an effort to ensure that all bases are covered. Recognize that sacrifices will likely be necessary from all individuals involved in care, and come together to identify a solution that’s as fair as possible to each person.
  • Delegate. Recognize that there is additional help available that can assist families in keeping their senior loved ones safe and thriving. Partnering with a qualified professional home care agency, such as Endeavor Home Care, provides families much-needed time to manage their own personal lives while knowing their family members are getting the very best possible care.

Planning as much in advance as possible before a care need appears is essential for cutting down on family friction later. Pull together details on how your parents would want to handle certain situations as they grow older. Would they wish to age in place at home, or move to an assisted living facility? If they’d like to remain in the home, what basic safety and accessibility modifications should be made? How would they prefer daily tasks to be managed when the need for assistance develops, such as with taking showers, getting dressed, maintaining the home, etc.?

At Endeavor Home Care in Phoenix, AZ , we recognize that complicated family dynamics are often at their highest when being confronted with care needs for a senior family member. Contact us at (623) 428-2100 in Phoenix, (480) 535-6800 in Scottsdale, or (520) 314-2600 in Tucson to learn how we can help alleviate worry and supply the solutions to care that can restore peace to you and your family.

Endeavor Home Care’s Top Elderly Travel Tips

Summer vacations are something everyone looks forward to! Exploring new destinations, leaving the worries of our everyday world behind, checking items off our bucket lists. And helping a senior loved one enjoy such a thrill makes it all the better. You will find, however, certain factors to keep in mind that can help pave the way to successful elderly travel:

  • Schedule a pre-trip physician visit. To be certain your senior family member is physically able to comfortably cope with the rigors of a lengthy car trip or air travel, and all that your intended destination has to offer, a check-up with the senior’s doctor is essential. You can use this opportunity to determine what prescription medications he or she must take along, any kind of dietary restrictions to adhere to, and any other concerns or tips to keep in mind.
  • Keep your plans senior-friendly. You’ll want to plan plenty of time for rest, and figure out the top points of interest that you want to make a goal to see, with a few other backup choices which might be added in if your elderly loved one’s tolerance allows. It’s also useful to research available amenities provided to senior citizens – motorized scooter and wheelchair rentals, accessible entrances and walkways, preferential seating and also early admission times, and so on.
  • Plan for the unexpected. Keep a directory of emergency contact numbers in your phone, and take a printed list as well. It’s also useful to verify the location of the closest hospital to where you’ll be staying, together with other possibly necessary amenities such as restrooms and areas to stop for meals, refreshments, or additional supplies. Also be sure your family member has an identification card with your name and cell phone number listed, in the event that he/she happens to become separated from you.
  • Take it easy and enjoy yourself! It’s natural to fall into a pattern of protection with our aging loved ones, and certainly we would like to keep them safe; but take care not to let the pendulum swing too far as to become restrictive or patronizing. Allow sufficient opportunities for your elderly loved one to express himself and explore to his heart’s content with openings such as, “What do you want to look at next?” or “Let’s give this a try!”

Did you realize that Endeavor Home Care offers patient, caring San Diego caregivers to provide accompaniment services that make elderly travel as safe and enjoyable as possible for families, allowing them to focus on simply taking pleasure in quality time together and making lasting memories? Call us today at (480) 535-6800 for more information!

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.

 

being a caregiver

Being a Caregiver Is No Joke. Reduce Stress with These Life Hacks.

Being a Caregiver Is No Joke. Reduce Stress with These Life Hacks.“If only there were a few more hours in the day!” If you are in the “sandwich generation,” most likely you can relate to this sentiment, as you are constantly juggling the needs of your children and the needs of your aging parents. The following tips, however, may help to shave just a few minutes off your to-do lists and make your role of being a caregiver a little bit easier.

  • Plan tasks strategically. Generate a plan for recurring duties to enhance efficiency. For example, map out all of your stops in the most well organized manner, and combine jobs such as laundry and grocery shopping for your senior loved one with your own.
  • Keep the car stocked with supplies. Stash a container of useful items in the trunk to have accessible at all times: comfortable walking sneakers, a fleece or sweater, toiletries, snack food items with a long shelf life – all that you feel might come in handy for the particular scenarios you might find yourself in on any given day.
  • Skip urgent care facilities. Urgent care visits may lead to several hours of time lost spent in the waiting room. Consider getting in touch with the physician instead to get a same-day appointment, in particular mid-morning, when the day’s cancelled appointments have yet to be filled.
  • Keep paperwork organized. Keeping copies of all important paperwork together, perhaps in a brightly colored, easily identifiable folder, is essential in the event of an emergency. Documents in the folder should include: medical insurance information, list of medications, emergency contacts, advance directive, health care proxy, and power of attorney.
  • Keep a positive outlook. Enjoying a few quiet moments the first thing in the morning to reflect on the things you’re grateful for may go a long way towards alleviating stress and setting the stage for a more productive and positive day. Repeat as time permits during the day, especially when feelings are running high.

The most beneficial tip we can suggest is partnering with a professional Scottsdale, AZ home care company, like Endeavor Home Care. We can help in more ways than you might realize, including running errands, shopping and meal preparation, light housework, and more, along with hands-on personal care and companionship. See our full service area and contact us at (480) 535-6800 and discover a stress-free life for both yourself and your older loved one!

Caring for Parents

Caring for Parents at Home? These Tips Can Make Life So Much Easier!

Caring for Parents at Home?Now that Mom has sold her car, is no longer driving and it is harder for her to get around on her own, it has been decided that you and your siblings will divide up her care needs. One of you needs to take her to the doctor’s office, beauty shop and grocery store. One of you needs to help with her housework and laundry. And certainly, the yard needs to be kept up. But there are a few additional necessary aspects to caring for parents which need to be dealt with but often go unnoticed until there’s a problem.

Consider this to-do list when assembling a plan of care for your senior loved one:

  • Keep all important personal information together, including power of attorney paperwork, advance healthcare directives or do not resuscitate orders, wills, trusts, financial information on all assets, insurance information and more.
  • Check to see if your employer offers a flexible work schedule to accommodate time required to care for the senior, or paid or unpaid leave. Contemplate the financial consequences of employment-related changes.
  • Realize the financial implications of providing care for a family member. Studies show that family caregivers spend over $5,000 every year for care needs, over and above any lost income.
  • Have all family members and friends who will be involved in providing care, as well as yourself and your senior loved one, agree upon a written agreement of care. Though it could seem unnecessary, obtaining care details outlined in writing helps eliminate future disputes.
  • Create a strategy for ongoing support for yourself, to allow for needed time for self-care and to provide a safe, trusted channel for your personal feelings. Consider available options, to include not just immediate family and close friends, but also a counselor or therapist, your place of worship, web based or in-person caregiver support groups, and disease-specific organizations, such as the Alzheimer’s Association.

Skilled Arizona in-home care providers are one more excellent source of support for older persons in need of help with proper care, as well as for the family members caring for parents or other senior loved ones. Supplemental care services allow family members to take much-needed breathers from care to take care of their own needs and to relax with some downtime. The best way someone can take care of another is to first care for himself/herself.

Endeavor Home Care has additional suggestions about putting a plan in place for senior care in Phoenix, Scottsdale and the surrounding areas, and is also here to help fill in any gaps with our full range of professional in-home care services. Call us at (480) 535-6800 for assistance.

Caring for an Elderly Family Member and Feeling Overlooked? Here’s What to Do.

Elderly Family MemberThe National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine has reported that family caregivers are “routinely marginalized and ignored within the health care system.” With about 18 million family members providing care for senior loved ones, this report is alarming, as it points to the possibility that these seniors are at risk for harm due to possibly inadequate, uninformed family care.

Here’s what can be done to ensure you are seen, heard, and given the right information and tools to help care for your elderly family members and keep them safe:

  • Be sure to list your name and phone number in your senior family member’s medical records as an emergency contact.
  • Tell your elderly loved one’s physicians what you are and are not capable of handling pertaining to his or her care.
  • Set realistic expectations for care – i.e., if your work schedule leaves your loved one without care for a period of time, that needs to be addressed.
  • Ask for training in the senior’s specific care requirements, such as dressing wounds or catheter care.
  • Look for and access resources like disease-specific associations, the local Area Agency on Aging, and a trusted professional Arizona home care agency for supplemental/respite care.

It’s also important to clearly understand HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations. There is a common misconception that as a result of HIPAA, family members are unable to obtain access to their older loved one’s medical records. The truth, however, is that if the older person has designated someone to serve as durable power of attorney for health information, it’s the obligation of doctors and hospital staff to share all medical records with that relative.

The final conclusion? Make certain you stand up for yourself and your elderly family member. Richard Schulz of the University of Pittsburgh suggests, “Advocate for your rights and make sure your caregiving contributions are recognized and supported to the extent they can be. You’re an important person in the health care system.”

Call on Endeavor Home Care at (480) 535-6800 for additional suggestions about providing the best care for your senior loved one, as well as support in filling in the care gaps with properly trained and skilled in-home senior caregivers.