Hiring in-home care for my neighbor, Joe, was an ordeal. The company we chose was fine and their caregivers were great, but the quality of care wasn't the issue. The problem was that Joe resented anyone but me helping him. He locked one caregiver out of his home. He let another in but was rude to her, He did thoroughly enjoy one young man but that was only because they could discuss golf together.
The stories in this fine book showed us how others have gone through similar things with their families and that is somehow reassuring. There are some helpful suggestions but mostly there is the recognition that others went through the same thing. All we can do is our best. That is greatly reassuring during these difficult emotional times. If you are a caregiver, this is a must read. - Delores Edwards
One of the diverse topics concerning aging is whether older people would prefer to update or remodel their current home — often referred to as aging in place — or look into assisted living. Many surveys, including one from AARP, indicate that most aging Americans would rather stay in their own homes.
In the following email interview, Romilla Batra, M.D., chief medical officer at SCAN Health Plan, a not-for-profit, senior-focused organization that offers one of the largest Medicare Advantage plans in California, updates us about current thinking when it comes to the pros and cons of each type of planning. Dr. Batra is a board-certified internist with more than 15 years of experience as a medical director, clinician, and educator.
Minding Our Elders lets you know that you are not alone, that you are not going to be perfect, but you can get the job done, You do the best you can, and that is good enough. We can't be Carol, but we can learn from her going before us. What a friend to have. What a gift she gave us. – CM Jones
You're close with your parents and you see them needing help. You've watched their decline, but so far you've handled it and they've stayed in their home. You've hired out the yard work and much of the housework. But it's time now for something different. Dad's often confused and Mom's diabetes isn't being cared for properly. You are wondering, should they move in with you? Years back, having one or both parents move in with the family was relatively common. My grandmother moved in with our family when my brother and I were teens and our little sister was a toddler. My parents built a new home that could accommodate privacy for Grandma as well as a family with teenagers and a toddler. It worked.
An amazing book of stories that will touch your heart and encourage you, especially if you are a caregiver. Carol Bradley Bursack also has an excellent web site devoted to the elderly and their caregivers. - Carol Heilman
When Tony Rovere was caring for his mother he felt lost when it came to finding resources for caregivers. Because of his experience, Tony eventually founded Stuff Seniors Need at www.stuffseniorsneed.com. The site is a terrific place to go if you want to find good cell phone plans for seniors, information about hearing aids or dentures, and information on most other products and services.
Now, Tony is launching the National Caregiver Relief Giveaway to assist caregivers throughout the United States. The top prize is a multi-position lift chair. It is free to enter. You can find out more details at caregiverhappiness.com/home. There are other prizes as well, and it's free to enter. Check out Tony's website and also go to the caregiver happiness site and register for prizes. You'll have found another wonderful resource.
Just so you know, I don't have any connection to this site or it's products - I'm just a fan.
As you watch your parents or other beloved elders age, you worry. Should they have housing upgrades? Can they continue to live independently? Your intention isn’t to take over their lives but you genuinely want to start the conversation about possible future changes. How do you do this without causing a backlash?
People who read my work on a regular basis know that I am grateful to hospice for the care of both of my parents. Without the skilled, compassionate care of the hospice staff, both of my parents would have suffered far more than they did. As it was, they’d both had long, slow declines. Pain had become the focus of their lives even though they received excellent care in the nursing home. First Dad, and eventually Mom, qualified for hospice care because they were considered terminally ill with less than six months to live. I filled out the paperwork for each of them and, yes, doing so was painful for me. But not having hospice there to take care of their end-of-life needs was unthinkable.
For many caregivers, placing an elder in a home spells failure on the part of the caregiver. Even when carers know they've done all they can, a subconscious nagging voice often tells them they are giving up on their parents or spouse. I'm here to tell you that you are not giving up. You are just getting help.
Most of us are aware of service dogs, especially guide dogs for people with sight impairment, because we see them around our communities. These dogs are not pets. They are working animals and are allowed wherever the person they serve goes. Increasingly, other service dogs are being trained to help people with impaired hearing, people who have grand mal seizures and people with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. With more than five million people in the U.S. alone coping with the effects of Alzheimer’s, any attempt to help people with dementia have a better quality of life is welcome. So why not have trained service dogs for people with dementia?
Dear Carol: I’ve hired an in-home care agency to have a caregiver spend six hours a day with my mother. Mom doesn’t need a lot of care except for bathing, occasional bathroom issues, supervision for her meals and pills and some companionship. The caregiver will take Mom out shopping, as well, but this still leaves a lot of time for the hired caregiver to just sit around and talk with Mom, or read if Mom is napping. Is it asking too much that the caregiver would straighten up the house, do some dishes or even some laundry while she is there? This help is costly, so I’m wondering if I’m getting my money’s worth. Virginia
When I see some of the newer mobility aids now in in use, I immediately think, “I wish that had been available for my mom.” My mother was happy enough to have what was available at the time, but her options then were a basic cane and later, a stripped-down walker which I did my best to modify so that she could carry things with her. Fortunately, there are many more choices on the market now.