Posts Tagged ‘eldercare’

Caregiving Can Take a Toll on the Caregiver

December 14, 2015

While many Seniors continue to work today well beyond the traditional “retirement age,” there are many others who are in quite the opposite situation; they are desperately in need of eldercare due to failing health. Many of these people now depend on working family members to take care of their needs.

According to recent statistics from the American Society on Aging, nearly one out of every four US households – or 22 million households -provide care to a relative or friend aged 50 or older. In addition, 40% of caregivers are also raising children and 64% work full- or part-time. The National Alliance for Caregiving reports that, on average, caregivers spend four an done-half years providing care and spend about 12 hours each week providing it.

Research suggests that the physical and emotional demands on caregivers put them at greater risk for health problems:

  • Caregivers are more at risk for infectious diseases, such as colds and flue, and chronic diseases, such as heart problems, diabetes, and cancer.
  • Depression is twice as common among caregivers compared to noncaregivers.

If you are a caregiver, don’t forget to care for yourself. Here are a few tips:

When it comes to their health, caregivers are less likely than their peers to take steps to prevent or control chronic disease. Taking care of your own health will help you to better care for your loved one longer.

  • Be wise – immunize. The CDC recommends that caregivers of the elderly get a flu shot each year, a tetanus booster every 10 years and a pneumococcal vaccination at least once.
  • Don’t neglect your health. Get a yearly check up and the recommended cancer screenings (mammogram, cervical screening, etc.).
  • Tell your doctor that you are a caregiver.
  • Tell your doctor if you feel depressed or nervous.
  • Take some time each day to do something for yourself. Read, listen to music, telephone friends, or exercise. Eat health foods and do not skip meals.
  • Find caregiver resources in your area early. You may not need their information or services now, but you will have them when you need them.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. And don’t do it all yourself. Use your family, friends, or neighbors for support. Family may help share caregiving tasks. Friends and neighbors may help with other chores.

Exploring Eldercare

August 14, 2015

It’s always too difficult to come to the realization that your parent or other aged loved one suddenly needs help taking care of themselves. After all, our older relatives typically spent their lives taking care of us. The time comes, however, when we realize that our elderly loved ones are no longer able to take care of themselves. Roles are reversed, and suddenly, we are forced to make important life decisions for them.

It may be difficult to determine whether or not your loved one is ready for eldercare services, especially if you do not live nearby or you do not see them that frequently. Additionally, though some elderly people do need help, they might be hesitant to ask for it; some may directly refuse.

So how do you know when a loved one is in need of care? It is essential that you visit their home and spend some good, quality time to determine whether or not they do need eldercare. In order to determine whether they need care, consider the following.

Signs That An Aging Loved One Might Need Care

  • Increasing Forgetfulness: Does the person forget to pay bills, or forget common household duties? Have they left the oven or stove on? Do they remember the date or year? Do they have trouble remembering family members?
  • Weight Loss: Has the person lost a great deal of weight? Do they seem more frail than the last time you saw them?
  • Messy Home/Lack of Cleanliness: Does the home seem to lack order? Does it have an odor? Is the garbage taken out, are the newspapers put away? Does the person bathe on a regular basis?
  • Low Food Supply: Does the person have enough food to eat? Are the supplies spoiled?
  • Low Medicine Supply or Misuse of Medicine: Does the person know how and what medicines to self administer? Are all of their medicines up to date? Have thy been to the doctor recently?
  • Diagnosis of Serious Medical Problem: Has your loved one been diagnosed with a disease such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or cancer? Do they require regular, professional medical attention? If they live with a loved one (such as a spouse) can the spouse take care of them adequately?
  • Loneliness/Depression: Does the person have regular visitors? Do they see family or friends? Have they recently been widowed?
  • Loss of Mobility: Can the person move adequately enough to get to the restroom or into the shower? Does the person get any regular activity?
  • Confusion: Does the person know who you are? Do they know who they are?
  • Inability to Drive/Transportation Issues: Is the person still driving? Is it safe? Are they able to run errands such as shopping or going to the doctor safely?

If your loved one is having difficulty with any of these issues, it may be time to consider some form of eldercare for your loved one.

Once you and your loved one agree that they do need care, you must investigate the options for eldercare in your area. There are a variety of different possibilities, but based on their needs as well as financial considerations you may decide upon one of the following: care by family member, in-home care by a bonded and insured company, or care at a senior living complex or in a nursing home. Based on your loved one’s financial constraints, you can help them decide which choice is best for them. If possible, take your loved one on a tour of the facilities you are considering together. Let them meet the staff and meet the other residents. Empower your loved one to be a part of the decision-making process.