Posts

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Dementia Care: How to Know When Help is Needed

dementia careIf you have a loved one who has been diagnosed with dementia it can be difficult to determine if it is still safe for them to live independently. Often family members worry but the loved one insists everything is fine and help is not needed. News stories of dementia patients wandering away from home and requiring a search and rescue effort increase concern for family members. No one wants their loved one to become a missing dementia patient. How do you determine when dementia care is required to keep your loved one safe?

First, you should be aware that it is possible to provide dementia care in home. In other words, it is not necessary to move your loved one to an assisted living facility especially at the early stages of dementia. If your loved one strongly desires to stay in their own home it can be achieved. In addition, you do not have to provide the care yourself. It can be exhausting and overwhelming caring for a dementia patient especially if you do not have the appropriate training.

To determine if your loved one needs dementia care you should ask yourself the following questions:

How do they spend their time during the day?

* Are they still able to successfully shop and cook for themselves?

* Are they consuming nutritious foods? Do they need help eating?

* Are they able to keep their house clean or are dishes and laundry piling up?

* Do they keep up with paying bills on time?

* Have there been any instances in which the water was left running or the stove left on?

* Are they able to adequately maintain their personal hygiene?

* Do they tend to wander?

* Do they wear inappropriate clothes for the weather or wear the same clothes for days?

* Do they take their medication as prescribed or do they have trouble keeping track of what to take when?

If any of the above questions were answered in a way that makes you realize your loved one is no longer capable of living independently contact us at Endeavor Home Care. We offer home care services that include errands, light housekeeping, meal preparation, grocery shopping, medication reminders, transportation for doctor appointments, and companion care in Arizona cities including Tuscon, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Gilbert, Chandler and more.