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Long Distance Caregiver

Long Distance Caregiver Tips: How to Help Older Parents Remain Safe and Independent

Living at a distance from older loved ones can make the need for home care easier to miss. As a matter of fact, many adult children of aging parents never even realize that Mom and Dad need help until they return home for a visit or spend extended time together over the holiday season. If you’re a long distance caregiver for a senior loved one, it becomes that much more essential to have a plan in place for emergency situations and care.

The Mesa senior home care experts at Endeavor In-Home Care have developed these helpful tips to assist:

Plan in Advance

When you are not able to just drive across town to assist, it is imperative to have family conversations about the “what ifs” that might happen with your loved ones, including:

  • Living situation wishes dependent on severity and who is involved – consider some circumstances for debate; for instance, a fractured bone calling for a rehab stay.
  • How will you recognize when “it’s time” to implement a change? What would this look like?
  • Monetary concerns in providing care, including how much work can family members afford to miss? What third party financial support may be obtainable?
  • Advance directives for decision-making: make sure all is in order and retain a copy for yourself.

Evaluate Along the Way

When you don’t see your older parents each day, it can be tempting to want to neglect the often-uncomfortable business of evaluating health and wellbeing in favor of enjoying each other’s company, but it’s important to routinely give thought to and evaluate how your aging parents are really doing.

  • Identify the registered nurse who is working with your loved ones’ physician and stay in communication with that person.
  • Be sure there is a HIPAA Release of Information Form on file at all of your parents’ physicians’ offices so you can talk openly with the medical professionals, and make sure you have one for yourself.
  • Have frequent telephone calls with your senior loved ones to check in and help them solve any problems.
  • Maintain a list of the informal local resources: neighbors, church friends, any other family members who can be part of your senior parents’ support system. Keep in contact with that network and let them know how to reach you and that you welcome their calls.

Identify When to Travel and When to Stay Home

Problems are likely to happen, sometimes at a moment’s notice. You can’t travel for each problem, so decide ahead of time when you will travel and when you will use other resources to offer help.

  • Ask your parents if this is a real medical or care emergency. As a part (not all) of your decision-making, ask the medical professional, social worker, or nurse for details and his/her advice on whether you should travel in.
  • Can someone else locally help with the issue at hand or eyeball the situation for you?
  • It’s OK to go there just to put your mind at ease as well. If remaining home and stressing is going to be less productive for you, then maybe you should go.

Consider Engaging Endeavor In-Home Care

In-home aging care not only provides exceptional care for older individuals, it can also offer long distance family members a greater sense of peace and connection. At Endeavor In-Home Care, providers of top-rated Mesa senior home care, our professional care providers have specialized training and can:

  • Assess the circumstances
  • Recognize problems, gaps, strengths and resources
  • Monitor health, activity, nutrition, etc.
  • Screen and coordinate other services and assistance
  • Work with financial, legal and medical providers
  • Communicate regularly with family members
  • And much more

If your aging parents are in need of professional Mesa senior home care, contact the caregiving professionals at Endeavor In-Home Care at 480-498-2324. We treat your family like our own! See our website footer for our full Arizona service area.

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. 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.

At the risk of adding more to your already overflowing plate, consider incorporating these items to your to-do list:

Schedule a family meeting.

Examine the many different caregiving duties that need to be completed each day or week. Establish common expectations of how the many tasks of caregiving will be undertaken.

Get the facts and steer clear of surprises.

Caregivers should talk with their parents about how they’re managing from a financial perspective, what their preferences are for long-term care, and what plans they have made if they become ill or incapacitated.

Ask for help.

This can frequently be the most difficult thing for a family caregiver to do, but it is without a doubt the most essential. You cannot do everything independently, and that is fine! Investigate and reach out to resources such as the local Area Agency on Aging, a hospital social worker, a healthcare provider, or a religious organization. Also contact a local aging care company, like Endeavor In-Home Care, providers of top-rated Mesa respite care, to give yourself a break while making certain your loved one is well cared for.

Most importantly, know that you don’t have to go it alone. Endeavor In-Home Care’s in-home care services can give you the opportunity you need to rest and recuperate so you don’t become impacted by sandwich generation caregiver burnout. Whether the need is for just a few hours each week, full-time, live-in care, or nearly anything in between, our highly skilled care staff can offer help with a vast range of home care needs: personal hygiene, meal preparation, light housekeeping, taking care of errands, transportation, or simply friendly companionship to participate in enjoyable conversations and pastimes.

Contact us today at 480-498-2324 to learn more about our Mesa respite care services and to find out how we can assist you and your family. For information about all of the communities in Arizona that we serve, please see the footer of our website.

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.

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.

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.

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.

When You Just Can’t Be There, Consider Respite Care

respite care

Respite care can provide peace of mind to a primary caregiver.

Everyone needs a little help now and then, and that goes for caregivers as well as those they care for. While being a primary caregiver is born out of limitless love, an individual’s personal resources aren’t. In order to take care of loved ones, caregivers need to take care of themselves. Nevertheless, whether it is to deal with physical, financial, or emotional needs, the caregiver naturally wants assurances that the people they love are in good hands when they are not able to be there. Respite care might be the answer to those concerns.

Some primary caregivers seek respite care in the form of a companion who will stay with a dependent loved one for few hours while they run errands. Others find a personal care aide a godsend in to help with activities of daily living such as bathing. Many find adult daycare to be a good alternative so that they can continue to work. Still others require care for their loved one overnight so they can get a good night’s sleep. Whatever the particular need, respite care can be an answer to a prayer and give the caregiver peace of mind.

If you and your loved one are residents of the Phoenix, Mesa, Paradise Valley, Sun City, Gilbert, Tucson, or Scottsdale areas, contact us so we can discuss what options are available to assist you. You’ve made the selfless decision that allows your loved one to stay at home, but you don’t have to do it alone. We can help.

Alzheimers Care: Stage 2 of Alzheimer’s Disease

alzheimers careAlzheimer’s Disease is a condition that follows three typical stages. When you know the stage your loved one is in and how you can help them, it allows both you and him or her to feel more comfortable and get the Alzheimers care that is needed.

The first stage, mild Alzheimer’s lasts on average two to four years. As the disease progresses to Stage Two it turns into moderate Alzheimer’s and lasts an average of four years, but can last anywhere from two to ten years.

Symptoms and how you can help:

  • Sleeping disorders—Keep a routine at bedtime. This will help to signal that bedtime is coming. Do things such as wash hands and face, get on pajamas, have a snack, turn the lights on lower, and play soft music.
  • Eating disorders—Have finger foods and snacks available. Some goods ideas are fresh cut fruit and vegetables, sandwiches, cookies, tater tots, enriched drinks, and other small items that are easy to eat with the hands only.
  • Sundowner’s Syndrome—Your loved one may start to display behavior problems during the early evening hours. Try your best to keep the routine structured and the environment calm. Encourage activities that are calm starting late in the afternoon. Washing dishes, setting the table, listening to music, and washing dishes are good examples.
  • Daily activities start becoming difficult—When you see your loved one starting to have trouble doing daily things such as dressing, help them by giving simple directions with one step. Allow them to continue doing as much as they can for themselves, but you may need to mirror the required actions. For instance, brush your teeth to show them how.
  • Incontinence—Remind your loved one to use the restroom every two hours. If accidents begin happening, use adult incontinence products. Also, teach and use good hand-washing techniques.
  • Loss of communication—Your loved one will likely begin to lose the power to express themselves. They may use repetitive speech or use words out of order. Listen to the words and pick out the keywords so you can best help your family member.
  • Falls—Make your environment as safe as possible as your loved one has an increased risk for falling. Look for things that may pose a trip hazard such as footstools, throw rugs, and other things. Also, install grab bars in the shower and near the toilet. Stairs and hallways should be well lit to avoid falls.
  • Argumentative, angry, aggressive—Do not argue with your loved one or try to reason. Be gentle and try to distract them and remove them from the area if it’s highly stimulating.
  • Wandering—Keep your loved one’s environment safe and secure. Put locks on each exterior door, on both the top and bottom. You should also consider adding motion sensors to the doors to notify you that a door has been opened. Tell your neighbors about your loved one and tell the local police in case they see your loved one wandering around without supervision.

Stage 2 of Alzheimer’s Disease causes your loved one to need more and more supervision. We would love to help you. For information on this condition, 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.