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How Family Caregivers Can Manage Stress

Posted by Helen Beamer on January 10, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Have you ever seen a job posting like this?

WANTED: Caring person willing to work as necessary, from a few minutes a day to 40+ hours per week. Duties may include: meal preparation, medication management, housekeeping, transportation, financial tasks, and/or assistance with bathing, dressing and toileting.

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Topics: Home Care Planning, Caregiving, Healthy Living

To My Caregiver: What I Want to Tell You

Posted by Haley Kotwicki on November 14, 2016 at 11:00 AM

Every day at 5 a.m., I hear you wake up across the hall, rustling the bed covers. You walk quietly to the kitchen as not to disturb me, so I can sleep.
You brew the coffee for us, count out my pills for the morning and set everything on my breakfast tray. As you enter my room, you call my name, “Mom.”

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Topics: Caregiving

Providing Care for Military Caregivers

Posted by Anne Hein on November 10, 2016 at 2:00 PM

In the U.S., millions of injured, ill and disabled veterans depend on friends and family for care. In fact, according to the RAND Corporation, there are 5.5 million unpaid military caregivers in the United States.

Of that group, nearly 20 percent are caring for someone who served after 9/11. This new era of caregivers is facing unique challenges.

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Topics: Home Care Planning, Caregiving, Holidays

The Rewards of Being a Senior Caregiver

Posted by Haley Kotwicki on November 1, 2016 at 2:00 PM

When children, work and household duties cease to be the center of your world, it’s time to focus on you and decide what brings you joy. For some people, jet-setting around the world and participating in leisurely activities is what would thrill them. However, others find happiness doing something they consider meaningful that fulfills their self-purpose. Their next step needs to make a positive impact on others. 

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Topics: Aging, Caregiving

Hiring an In-Home Caregiver – What Options Are Available?

Posted by Anne Hein on October 25, 2016 at 2:00 PM

Most seniors want to age in place. According to AARP, 90 percent of those 65 and over want to stay in their home for as long as possible and 80 percent think their current residence is where they will always be. However, to stay at home, older adults often require assistance with everyday activities from bathing and going to the bathroom, to running errands and preparing meals. Family and friends can often chip in, but sometimes they are not available, they live far away or it is more than they can juggle. That’s where home care comes in. 

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Topics: Aging, Home Care Planning, Caregiving

Preventing Falls – In-Home Safety Checks and Assessments

Posted by Anne Hein on September 29, 2016 at 2:00 PM

You noticed a bruise on your grandma’s arm. “It was just a little fall,” she says. Maybe she is right, it was a minor incident. But what about the next time? Falls can be serious, sometimes fatal, for older adults. According to the National Council on Aging, every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall and every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall. Even if someone isn’t hurt when they fall, they may become afraid of falling, which can have a big impact on their life. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found the fear of falling causes people to limit their activities and cut back on social engagement. When someone is less active, they become weaker, which increases their chances of falling. Research also shows falling just once doubles one’s chances of falling again.

It’s a common belief falls are just a part of aging – that it’s inevitable seniors will fall. That’s not necessarily true because most falls are preventable. Many ComForCare/At Your Side Home Care locations offer free in-home fall safety evaluations and fall risk assessments. Our home safety check evaluates all aspects of someone’s living conditions. A trained professional will look at things such as:

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Topics: Fall Prevention, Caregiving, Safety

How to Hang Out With Your Grandparents

Posted by Haley Kotwicki on September 9, 2016 at 1:00 PM

Planning a day out/in with your grandparents can be a vigorous exercise in creative thinking: What do you do? Where should you go? What do you talk about? Thankfully, my grandma and I had very similar tastes, such as window shopping and watching “The Nanny.” However, if you don’t have shared interests or actually know much about your grandparents, besides grandma bakes cookies and grandpa listens to baseball games on the radio, then you are going to have a difficult time. The added pressures of birthdays and getting them a gift is even more stressful. You can’t make macaroni art presents if you are an adult. Trust me.

So, what’s a grandkid to do? I have made the following list of fun activities to do with your grandparents with somethingeveryone will enjoy.

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Topics: Aging, Caregiving

Are You Prepared for an Emergency? How to Help Yourself and Aging Loved Ones

Posted by ComForCare on September 6, 2016 at 2:00 PM

By Emily Lord, executive director, HealthCare Ready

The Louisiana floods in August of 2016 destroyed more than 60,000 homes and forced more than 15,000 people into shelters at the height of the disaster. These floods were not caused by a massive hurricane like Katrina in 2005 but by tons and tons of rain. No one expected rain to cause the damage on the scale it did. It is a powerful lesson that we need to always be prepared to protect ourselves and those we care for, especially the elderly who are more vulnerable than most because of limited mobility and additional health care needs.

While disaster preparedness sounds overwhelming and yet another thing to add to your to-do list, there are easy, low cost ways to protect the health of your family or those to whom you provide care. There are many organizations that provide preparedness training and toolkits, including the American Red Cross and the CDC, but they don’t always include health care preparedness. Here are a few key things to think about when planning.

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Topics: Aging, Caregiving, Safety

Older Adults and Substance Abuse: It’s Real

Posted by ComForCare on August 4, 2016 at 2:30 PM

Although not as severe or prevalent as substance abuse among younger people, substance abuse by older adults (65+) is happening and can create an equally negative impact on the older adult and their family. 

By the numbers

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s 2015 National Barometer Survey, 0.4 percent of adults age 65+ were dependent on or abused illicit drugs in 2013. To specify, examples of illicit drugs are marijuana, cocaine and prescription drugs (pain relievers, sedatives, tranquilizers and stimulants). In the same survey, 2.2 percent of people 65+ were dependent on or abused alcohol in 2013.

Looking back at the population from 2013, there were 44.7 million adults 65+. With some quick math, this means over a million seniors were having a substance abuse problem.

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Topics: Aging, Caregiving, Healthy Living

7 Ways to Pay for In-Home Care

Posted by Anne Hein on July 29, 2016 at 2:00 PM

paying-for-home-care.jpgAs you develop a long-term care plan for yourself or a loved one, several factors must be considered, such as one’s current and future medical needs, family support system and budget. Since 90 percent of people 65+ want to stay in their home as long as possible,[1] home care is a popular option.

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Topics: Home Care Planning, Caregiving, Finances

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