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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.

Home health care: not synonymous to home care

home care

Home care is provided by non-medical caregivers, who are screened and employed by senior care facilities who assist with activities of daily living.

The phrases “home care” and “home health care” are sometimes used interchangeably, but recently, with an increasing emphasis on geriatric care, there seems to be an emerging need to distinguish one from the other.”Home health care is a wide range of health care services that can be given in your home for an illness or injury” as defined by Medicare, which covers most of its services.

While in both cases, care is provided to your loved one in the comfort of his or her home, the type of care and the provider may be different. Home care is provided by non-medical caregivers, who are screened and employed by senior care facilities such as Endeavor Senior Care and who assist with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as preparing meals, cleaning the house, doing groceries, taking medications, etc. Home health care, on the other hand, is provided by licensed healthcare workers such as nurses, occupational therapists and medical social workers. These professionals provide in-home medical care, which is “just as effective as care you get in a hospital or skilled nursing facility (SNF)” according to Medicare.

A medical doctor will decide if home health care is the right option. After prescribing it, he or she may either choose to refer you to a home health agency available in your area or may allow you to contact one that will best meet your loved one’s needs. Either way, the home health staff will constantly be reporting back to the doctor about your loved one’s care and progress.

There may be times when both home care and home health care services are required. For example, your loved one may be in need of both personal and medical assistance. In that case, what do you do? Fortunately, Endeavor Senior Care has a registered nurse on hand and many caretakers in the Phoenix and Tuscon area. For more information on how these services differ from each other and how we can assist your loved one, please contact us at (480) 535-6800.

Home Health Care Services: Elder Depression, How To Help

Home health care services may not be thought necessary if an elderly loved one simply seems uninterested in going out, or is listless. However, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression in retirees is “a major public health problem.” And, depression is a biological and medical–as well as a psychological–illness.

home health care services

Offering daily assistance to a depressed loved one can be incredibly helpful.

The WebMD describes depression’s commonness, and its symptoms:”Late-life depression affects about 6 million Americans age 65 and older.” Seniors may complain of general aches and pains, and that they don’t sleep well, instead of the sadness and irritability typically attributed to depression.

Who is most at risk for depression? The WebMD lists seniors who are “female, single, lack a supportive social network,” and who have suffered “stressful life events.”–like the deaths of family and friends, or one’s own health problems.

White men ages 80 to 84 are more than twice as likely as any other demographic to commit suicide due to depression.

Older adults who’ve had strokes, cancer, heart attacks, diabetes, high blood pressure, previous depression episodes, family histories of depression–and who are taking certain medications–are also more vulnerable to depression.

What can we do for older family members who’ve been diagnosed as “clinically depressed?” Try to help them past the stigma that seniors typically connect to mental health treatment. “Many doctors recommend the use of psychotherapy in combination with antidepressants,” explains the WebMD.  In addition, “most depressed people find that support from family and friends is helpful.”

Psychotherapy often nudges seniors to “mentally reframe” their current circumstances.  For example, the counselor may suggest, “Moving to a condo is not the most difficult change you’ve encountered. Think of the strength you mustered when you moved overseas for your husband’s job.”

If family members can’t offer daily assistance to older adults who need extra time and attention–or who want to get out of the house and shop, attend community functions or visit peers–please call contact us.  We can help mothers and fathers follow their medication and therapy schedules, and escort them to activities that will improve moods and brighten spirits!

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 Care: Beating the Stigma Attached to Alzheimer’s/Dementia

alzheimer's care

Dementia sufferers should know that this is only a blip on the radar screens of their lives.

Almost five and one-half million elderly people in America have Alzheimer’s. It is one of the leading causes of death in the country for which there is no prevention and no cure. That figure is expected to triple by 2050. Additionally, there are different types and gradations of dementia, such as early on-set dementia and vascular dementia. Nationwide, Alzheimer’s care centers are springing up which include memory support care services. Developers see the need for care centers, they are consulting the demographic, and they are moving to supply the services.

However, Medicare doesn’t cover long-term nursing home expenses. In-home care is covered for 100 days, following which it will pay 80 percent of the costs. Medicare will pay, though, for Alzheimer’s care in the home, but only if the patient is at the very advanced stages of the disease. What about the millions of dementia sufferers who still have productive years ahead of them? The second they mention the word Alzheimer’s or dementia, they are shunned as if they were lepers. What is being done to help them?

The answer is a lot. A rather unfortunately titled article in The Guardian describes an English movement to restore the humanity to those elderly robbed of their credibility. According to Having Alzheimer’s is An Adventure, Not a Disease, a movement called “dementia friends” is being established. It will educate people regarding the origins of dementia, its sufferers’ needs and how to see dementia in a positive, instead of negative, light. In America, the movement is called Momentia, established in Oregon. Momentia instructs dementia sufferers how to accept this change in their lives and move on.

But it’s more than that. The movement teaches dementia sufferers that this is only a blip on the radar screen. They are still viable human beings with something to offer. The problem is that when an elderly person mentions the word dementia, people retreat with terrible looks on their faces. Most sufferers don’t even mention the word, which accounts for elders’ voluntary retreat from productive living. It is the general public that needs to be educated about Alzheimer’s care and dementia, not just the sufferers.

Awareness of the problem is becoming widespread, and folks are primed to do something about it. Many states have awareness and education programs for the edification of the general public. Even the United Nations has established June 15 as an international elder abuse awareness day, in response to a World Health Organization report that four to six percent of the elderly suffer some form of abuse. Financial abuse is one of the leading abuses of the elderly, and the more so if the elder suffers from dementia. Indeed, if dementia sufferers are still viable members of society, these abuses would be greatly reduced.

When you contact us about Alzheimer’s care for a loved one in Paradise Valley, Mesa, Phoenix, Sun City, Scottsdale or Tucson, rest assured you will be working with caregivers who are well educated in working with dementia patients. They, too, understand the stigma attached to dementia, and work hard to dispel such thoughts.

Caregiver Tool Kit: Packing a Day Bag for Your Aging Loved One in Paradise Valley, AZ

As a home care provider for an aging loved one you probably already know that being prepared makes a major difference in how well you are able to provide care for your loved one. Making sure that you have everything that your loved one may need will give you both peace of mind, particularly if you plan on being away from the home.

Consider the following items when packing a caregiver day bag:

  • Any prescription medications that your loved one takes along with copies of the prescriptions. Make sure the medications are in the official prescription bottles
  • Any over-the-counter medications that your loved one might need throughout the day such as pain relievers, antacids, stomach relief, eye drops, cough drops or allergy pills
  • An extra pair of eye glasses along with a case or reading glasses, depending on your loved one’s needs
  • Hard candy or gum
  • A non-perishable snack such as granola bars, trail mix or dried fruit
  • Medical information such as allergies, medical conditions and emergency contact information
  • First aid supplies including triple antibiotic cream, bandages, tweezers, and alcohol pads
  • Antibacterial gel and wet wipes for fast hand cleaning and germ control
  • Tissues
  • A paperback book, crossword puzzle book or other entertainment
  • Medical supplies for any chronic condition that your loved one may have such as diabetic testing supplies, insulin, portable catheters, incontinence supplies or oxygen

Keep all of these items in a lightweight canvas bag or messenger bag so that they are all easily accessible. Having these items at hand will help you to address needs as they arise with your aging loved one. By having these things readily available you can feel more confident about running errands or taking day trips with your aging loved one. Your loved one will also feel more relaxed knowing that he can enjoy his outings with you without worrying that he doesn’t have something that he will need. Don’t hesitate to talk to your loved one about things that he might want to include that you might not have thought of when putting together your day bag. Also remember to throw in a few things for yourself so you feel prepared for your own needs as well!

When researching options for caregivers in Paradise Valley, 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 caregivers in Paradise Valley, AZ.