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Caregiver Burnout

Steps to Avoid Sandwich Generation Caregiver Burnout

Do you have aging parents in need of help to ensure safety at home? Are you also trying to manage caring for children and family at home? If so, you are part of the sandwich generation – a generation of people, mostly in their 30s or 40s, who have become responsible for bringing up their own children while simultaneously providing care for their senior parents. The to-do lists of this sandwich generation are loaded and caregiver burnout can quickly become reality. Numerous family caregivers not only work full-time, but they’re also taking their children to and from school, after-school activities and managing household tasks on top of their caregiving obligations. There are solutions to help caregivers though, and the first step is learning how to make the situation more manageable. Read 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!

Answers to Common Lifestyle Questions After a Heart Attack

Heart AttackWhen a heart attack strikes – and for hundreds of thousands of people, that’s going to be sometime this year – there’s no time to plan a course of action or contemplate the everyday ways in which life will change afterwards. As with anything, the best defense is a good offense, and being prepared now can (literally!) save a lot of heartache later.

Hopefully neither you nor your senior loved ones will be impacted by a heart attack or heart disease, but just in case, it’s a good idea to jot down and keep these questions handy for future reference:

  1. Will I have to give up my favorite activities? Bed rest isn’t always best, and it’s very likely you’ll be able to gradually get back into pastimes you enjoy. It’s important to let your doctor know about any hobbies, interests, and exercise regimens you’d like to resume, and he or she can help you work towards that goal.
  2. What dietary changes will be needed? It’s important to work with the doctor to put together a dietary plan that’s not only heart-healthy, but one that you can stick with long-term. Keeping salt and fat to a minimum is crucial, but doesn’t mean you necessarily have to avoid them altogether.
  3. How can my loved ones help? Select several trusted family members and friends to help hold you accountable to your lifestyle changes, and to support you emotionally as you adjust to these changes.
  4. Can I still travel? There’s really no one answer that fits all when it comes to traveling after a heart attack. A general rule of thumb is often to avoid traveling by air for at least two weeks after placement of a stent. Having a discussion with your cardiologist about when and where you’d like to travel is always a good idea, to weigh out the risks vs. the benefits.
  5. What are the long-term effects I can expect? The goal, of course, is to prevent another heart attack, which means ongoing, periodic medical appointments and testing. Following your doctor’s prescribed dietary and treatment plan will go a long way towards keeping you healthy in the years to come.

Endeavor Home Care provides expert assistance and support to heart attack survivors, including preparing heart-healthy meals, running errands such as picking up groceries and prescriptions, and offering encouragement with adhering to an exercise regimen. Contact our Arizona home care experts any time for more tips, resources, and in-home care services.

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.

Proper Alzheimer’s Care

If you have a loved one that has been recently diagnosed with o e Alzheimer’s, then you undoubtedly have a million questions on your mind. One of these questions might be what kind of Alzheimer’s care is needed? Or, how can I best care for my loved one? This blog post will be focusing on just that. If you want to learn more read on.

alzheimers care

Sunlight and fresh air will be refreshing for your loved one, and will engage many of his senses, as well.

Develop a Day-to-Day Routine

One thing you should do is develop a day-to-day routine. This will make it easier for your loved one to cope with every day matters. You can do this by doing the following things: keep a sense of structure and familiarity, let your loved one know what to expect every day, and involve them in daily activities.

Communicate With Them

Another thing that you should do is communicate with them in a clear and concise manner. Doing things like keep all communication short, clear, and simple, call them by name, speak slowly, and word questions in a way that they are available to answer.

Plan Activities

Another thing that you should do is plan activities for them. Ask them about their interests and plan their activities based on those interests. Perform activities with them that use the senses such as sigh, smell, hearing, and touch. Also be sure to plan time outdoors with them. A little sunlight and fresh air will not only be refreshing but it will be good for your loved one as well.

These are just a few things you can do to help care for your loved one. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.

Senior Care Services Offer Loved Ones Personal Choice and Independence

senior care services

With a little help, seniors can have lots of independence and end a reliance on family for care.

Providing care is a 24/7 responsibility that takes place 365 days a year, for a lifetime. Understandably, that makes caregiving an impossible job for one person. Blessedly, no one has to take on all of that responsibility alone. There are other people willing to step in and lend a hand so caregivers can take time out to attend to their own needs. Oftentimes, those helping hands may be found by contacting a senior care service.

Senior care services vary in depth, breadth and purpose. Some are designed to provide skilled nursing services and others offer non-medical ones. Non-medical senior care services are primarily intended to provide seniors with opportunities for social interaction and assistance with daily activities. As such, the services may take place in the senior’s home, a public place or a business venue. Sometimes the day care programs are rigid, cold and impersonal. Other times, they’re flexible, personal and full of warmth.

The senior care programs that are flexible, personal and hospitable tend to provide the most benefits to their participants. They allow seniors to develop friendships, remain active in their communities, exercise personal choice and enjoy independence while continuing to manage their health problems at home. Plus, many of the programs’ costs are covered by long-term care insurance. The senior care services offered through Endeavor Home Care are prime examples. They can be personalized to suit a person’s needs and changed whenever necessary.

Consequently, seniors participating in the process don’t feel like they’re being treated like children. They have a choice of pre-screened caregivers and can choose when and where they receive care. Of course they can also dictate how much care is received. For instance, some seniors may merely need assistance with getting out of bed in the morning. Others may want help with the dinner dishes and light housekeeping. To learn more about the various senior care services that are available in your area, please contact us today.

Dementia Care: Hard on Them, Hard on You

Over five million people live with Alzheimer’s Disease in the U.S. What makes that figure even more staggering is that Alzheimer’s is not the only type of dementia affecting elders. When you consider the number of people who struggle with dementia of all kinds, that figure balloons. Being the caregiver for a loved one who is ill can be difficult. Dementia care adds another dimension. Dementia is usually progressive. That means we lose a bit more of our loved one every day. Communication is harder. Daily activities like bathing and caring for teeth can become confrontations.

dementia care

Reminiscing together may be a comfort to your loved one, as long-term memories are often retained.

Living with dementia can be hard on your loved one and on you, the caregiver; a few hints might help lighten your task.

There are reasons for behaviors like emptying a pots- and- pans drawer or sleeping on the floor. Maybe the person is feeling useless and needs a purpose. Folding washcloths could satisfy that need. Perhaps she is frightened of sleeping in a “high” bed and feels more comfortable on the floor where she can’t roll off. Look for the cause of a behavior and then try to accommodate it, not control it. There are worse things in life than sleeping on a mattress on the floor. Behaviors like tantrums can be terrifying for the adult and for his caregiver. Watch for “triggers” that seem to accompany the behavior. Perhaps there was a change in his routine or someone used specific words that elicited fear or anger.

Wandering is a major concern for the caregiver of a person with dementia. You might try placing alarms on the doors, or changing latches to be more challenging. Another idea is to set a regular exercise time, or a daily walk with you. One novel idea is to paint a black square or place a black mat on exit thresholds. The wanderer may perceive that as a barrier or a deep ravine that cannot be crossed.

Communication with a loved one who has dementia is hard–and becomes harder as the condition progresses. Remember that your attitude and body language telegraph a lot of information without saying a word. Get the person’s attention by saying her name and touching her. Then keep it simple. If you have to ask questions, keep the answers “yes” and “no.” If you are offering choices, show them: use the actual object or pictures and be patient while waiting for a response. Remember the person for whom you are caring is still the person he or she always was. Reminiscing may be comforting and enjoyable for both of you. Short-term memory almost always fails, but long-term memories may still be intact.

Caring for someone with dementia is exhausting physically and emotionally. Fatigue and frustration can make you resentful. Eventually, you might find it to be more than you can manage. When that time comes, a senior care service provider can save your health and your relationship with your loved one. In-home respite care can give you some free time, knowing your family member was safe and cared-for; live-in care could allow your loved one to remain in a familiar environment and free you to pursue other activities again.

Contact us if you have questions about how we could help you live more successfully as a caregiver for someone with dementia.

Deciding if Care at Home is Right For Your Loved One

care at home

Making decisions about an elderly loved one can be difficult.

There often comes a time when we must decide if our loved one might need a little extra care at home. One of the last things that we want is to take away our aging loved one’s independence. (S)he seems to be getting along fine on his/her own but you worry. So how do you decide if care at home is the right choice?

Here are a few questions you should ask yourself when making that decision:

Is your loved one getting all the care he/she needs when they need it?

Oftentimes, it is neccessary for an elderly person to be on a specific diet or certain medications. If you find that mom or dad is becoming forgetful when it comes to meeting specific criteria in his/her life it might be time to think about in-home care. A professional home care expert will make sure to remind your loved one to take any necessary medication and make sure he/she adheres to any diet restrictions.

Is housework becoming too difficult to handle?

If your loved ones’ home has turned from neat-as-a-pin to just falling short of a pig pen, it might be time to consider home care. An aging adult may find it more difficult to keep up with housework. There’s nothing worse than an aging loved one being too embarassed to have visitors because he/she can no longer keep up with household chores. An experienced home care expert can help bring pride back to your loved one and his/her home.

Are you worried when you are away from your loved one?

If you find yourself worrying about your loved one while you are away it may be time to consider care at home. Nobody can tend to someone 24 hours a day. It is exhausting and unrealistic. As the adult child, your life must go on and there’s a good chance that you have other responsibilities. If you have a job or a family of your own there’s a good chance that finding the time to check on mom or dad is challenging. Do you worry that your loved one is hindered with forgetfulness or has limited physical capabilities? If so, it is time to consider care at home.

Making decisions about an elderly loved one can be difficult. If you are faced with tough decisions about your aging loved one we can help ease your mind. To talk more about this, or anything else, please Contact Us.

Alzheimer’s Caregivers: 7 Ways to Talk About It With Others

Caregivers at home for Alzheimer’s patients face a difficult task not only of taking care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s, but also of having to redefine roles and relationships. A once-independent spouse now needs to accept the fact that they need help. A parent must now be taken care of by the children for whom they’ve provided care all their lives. It is a world that is turning unpredictably upside down for many.

caregiversAlzheimer’s, unfortunately, is one of those “invisible” conditions. If the person looks fine, then they must be fine, right? In fact, sometimes the person with Alzheimer’s may not know that they have been diagnosed with it because even those closest to them are uncomfortable discussing it. However, talking about it is the first step to understanding it and to understanding what you can do to help your loved one. Here are seven ways to talk about it:

1. Be sure the person is aware of it. “You’ve got Alzheimer’s,” is a very blunt way to approach someone, and not the best thing to do for most people. If you are going to be taking care of someone with Alzheimer’s, even if you use a phrase like “memory problems”, be sure they understand that this something that’s going to affect their lives, and that you’ll be there to help.

2. Share the diagnosis. This will help you gain support from others. It also keeps you from feeling like you have to pretend that everything is fine.

3. Talk with your loved one about how to tell others. Close friends and relatives may be told one on one. When former President Ronald Reagan chose to tell others, he did so in the form a written letter.

4. Expect that some people will not believe the diagnosis at first. Especially in its early stages, Alzheimer’s is very hard to notice. Excuses are often offered, such as “Oh, you’re (or he’s or she’s) just getting older.” Instead of trying to force them to see, just accept that they are having a difficult time accepting the diagnosis.

5. Understand that some friends and even family may become very uncomfortable at the idea. They may not know how to respond to it. If some show signs of discomfort, don’t hit them with everything at once. Ease into it a little bit at a time.

6. Let people know that cards, letters, and even visits are welcome. Let them know when good times to visit are. Even mild to moderate Alzheimer’s patients can start to feel shunned by friends and family who won’t come around because they’re unsure if they should.

7. If anyone asks if there’s anything they can do, be ready with a list of suggestions. There’s no need to take this on by yourself, and if you have friends and family willing to lend a hand, accept the offer.

Alzheimer’s is a difficult condition for both the patient and the caregiver. If you can build up a support team of people willing to help, to talk, and to listen, you’ll find you have a lot more options than you may have first thought when it comes to caring for your loved one. Contact us to see how we can help and become part of your support team.

Caregiver and Spouse in Fountain Hills, AZ: Protecting Your Marriage While Providing Senior Care

Becoming a family caregiver for an aging loved one is an incredible undertaking. You are dedicating your time, energy and effort to making sure that this senior is able to enjoy the highest quality of life possible and that his daily physical, medical and cognitive needs are addressed in a safe, effective and efficient way. While providing home care for an aging loved one, however, it is important to remember that you are still an individual with a life of your own. Many caregivers report feeling as though there personal relationships, particularly their marriages, suffer once they take on the responsibility of being a home care provider for an aging loved one. It is essential not just for your own personal health, but also the relationship that you maintain with your aging loved one that you don’t allow your role as a caregiver to completely overtake your life. You must continue to focus on your marriage, and allow this relationship to give you strength, confidence and stress relief as you face the challenging and often overwhelming realities of being a family caregiver.

Some of the ways that you can protect your marriage while providing home care for an aging loved one include:

  • Take the time every few hours to send your spouse a text message or make a brief phone call. Often just a short message is enough to ease tension and help you feel better
  • Write each other love letters and hide them in the car, by the coffeemaker or anywhere else where you know the other will find them
  • Hire home care services for one night per week so you can spend some time just focused on your spouse
  • Create plans for special outings or trips that you can look forward to. Make a commitment to hire respite care for this time so you’re able to enjoy your special plans together
  • Agree not to use your spouse as a “vent”. Don’t take your frustration or anger out on your spouse. If you feel as though you need a place to let out tension or frustration, find a therapist that will listen to you and help guide you in coping techniques.

<b”>When researching options for in-home care agencies in Fountain Hills, AZ call us at (480) 535-6800. Home care counselors at Endeavor Home Care are available to talk with you about your in-home care needs including how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care. We are an elder care agency providing home care in Fountain Hills, AZ.