6 Wickedly Effective Ways of Knowing if Your Caregiver is Doing a Good Job

home visit doctor with senior

Imagine you’ve spent all this time in the process of hiring and training a caregiver, only to find out weeks later that she’s not going to work out. Here’s are 6 ways
to avoid hiring caregiver-duds. [Read more…]

How To Tell if Your Mom or Dad Have Alzheimer’s Disease

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Did you know that less than half (45%) of Seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or their caregiver are aware they have it?

[Read more…]

How To Get 15-20 Hours a Week of Free Caregiver Help at Home by Just Reading this Article

… a 3 minute readcaregiver help

Want to find out how to Get Help at Home for an Elderly Parent Without Going Broke in The Process? You can do it with a simple 3 Step and 5 point check list that will make it easy and effective.Get the exact process in this Free Report. Get started now!

 

One of the biggest concerns people have today regarding the care of an elderly parent, has to do with:

“What if my Mom gets to the point of needing some serious caregiver help at home, but the insurance won’t cover the services and the hours she needs… What then?”

[Read more…]

Why it’s Totally Ok To Shamelessly Lie, Cajole and Steal From Your Elderly Parents

…a one minute read

elderly parents

I asked you a few posts ago to “forget logic” with a parent suffering from Alzheimer’s or Dementia …didn’t I?

We all know that lying and stealing are generally bad things, and you are right, under normal circumstances telling lies is pretty much a bad personal policy in general.

Except, there’s nothing normal or traditional about caring for a parent suffering from dementia. So nothing you think would normally work will apply here!

[Read more…]

Living with Dementia -6 Tips for Caregivers

…a 3 min read

Caregiving for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia it’s like an Iron Man race you can’t train for, and where tempo and speed shift on you with no heads up, warning, and you have to be ready.

Needless to say caregiving for someone with dementia will either evolve you as a human being, or it will consume you.

[Read more…]

The Art and Science of Medication Management for Seniors

dreamstime_l_9027708Medication management for both seniors and caregivers can be overwhelming. In this series, we’ll look at ways to make the process less daunting. Here are some tips to get you started.

As a primary caregiver to my parents, I never imagined I’d become a medical historian, health surrogate and patient advocate — that’s quite a few shoes to fill! — all of which required me to learn a great deal about medication management when they could no longer handle their own healthcare.

[Read more…]

Caregivers: The Mind Doesn’t Ever Think it’s Old… and you are not dead yet!

caregivers

I don’t believe we grow old …I believe our body does, then it tells our mind we are, and then our spirit believes it, which is totally backwards if you asked me!

Caregivers, more than anyone else, you need to know the following:

Your mind should be calling the shots… not your body. Sure there are things in the physical realm that we don’t do as well as when we were younger… That’s Ok …I can live with that!

What you shouldn’t live with is the defeatist mindset that comes with getting old by saying, I’m too old for this sh**t, or I’m too old to try new things… And I totally hate the saying: “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”

Every time I hear that one I feel like shipping that person to a nursing home in Siberia myself!

Check these extreme seniors out!

  • Sydney Frank created Grey Goose Vodka at 74
  • Doris Self. At 81 years old, at the Twin Galaxies 1984 Video Game Masters Tournament, Doris was able to clench a world record with 1,112,300 points on Twin Galaxies’ Tournament Settings (TGTS) — which is the most difficult settings in the game.
  • 96 year old Mohr Keet…but he still took the plunge and entered the Guinness world record as the oldest bungee jumper ever. As if that’s not enough, Mohr jumped from South Africa’s Western Cape which is a 708ft drop!
  • Dorothy Davenhill Hirsch of 89 years and 109 days visited the north pole while aboard the Russian Nuclear Ice Breaker Yamal.
  • Smoky Dawson, was an Australian country music performer who at the age 92 years and 156 days released a collection of original songs in an album entitled “Homestead of My Dreams” making him the oldest person to release a new album.

There are 20 more examples you can read about …check out their stories here!

Yes you feel freaking old, everyone’s getting old everyday, and on top of that you care for someone who’s very sick and needs you everyday …that’s life, but you got A LOT still left to do…

Pick a goal, summit a mountain somewhere, hike a trail, swim a channel, bike across states, start a business …I don’t know what floats your boat …BUT YOU ARE NOT DEAD YET!

If you liked this piece, I would really appreciate if you shared it …Thank You!

320x320_crop_claudiopic –Claudio Alegre is the Chief Content Writer for Angel Home Care Services on the Web and Patient and Family Relations Advocate off the Web. He lives in Miami with his wife and 3 boys.

What To Do If Your Siblings Won’t Help With Parent’s Caregiving

caregiving

A common scenario right?  You may be going through it right now…

As with most things in caregiving, urgent communication, action, and transparency is pretty much 50% of the battle my friends.

It’s important to remain cool, calm, and collected. Even if you are upset and frustrated to no end because you are the one brother or sister who’s been bearing the brunt of your parent’s care, here’s what I have to say to you!

You are not doing it to expect gratitude or praise from anyone else, you are not doing because there’s such a thing a cosmic karma, or even because through a family agreement you are actually being paid for it, if that were an option…

You are doing it because it’s your Mom or Dad, and it’s the right thing to do!

So drop the anger, self-pity, need for recognition, and the lonesome hero act.

Stop asking for help, you don’t need them. They are in denial or not prioritizing the situation, and one day will regret not being part of the most selfless human act possible, taking care of the people who gave them everything. You only get one chance in life to repay back what your parents did for you, and YOU are doing it!

Be proud, not angry…

Here’s another reason you don’t need them:  You are a caregiving ninja! 

1. You will go to your State website and find the National Family Caregivers Support program (FLORIDA), then you’ll contact the Alzheimer’s Association and find endless caregiving training, workshops and resources.

2. You will also contact your local senior help groups and get some respite through the Local Elder Companion volunteers and who knows you may even create your own local support group with other family caregivers not getting help from their siblings either!

3. You will go to this caregiving support resources post written by the head of all-time caregiving Super Ninjas, Maria de los Angeles, and read it to learn even more ways to surround yourself with the right people and build your caregiving team.

You will find a way, you will get it done, and you’ll be a better person, son/daughter for it.

HAVING SAID THAT…!

Don’t give up on your siblings so easy. Even if they give you the 4 more popular excuses to not help:

  • I don’t have time
  • I don’t have money
  • I can’t bear to watch Mom/Dad that way
  • I live too far

Even with these excuses, keep trying, any little help is good for everyone. Open new lines of communication, get the family together in a light and easy going atmosphere and bring up the topic as natural conversation.

In the end they will thank you for pushing hard and not giving up on getting them involved. No one said doing the right thing was going to be easy!

Even then, you’ll know when to fight and when to let go. One thing’s for sure …you don’t need anyone’s permission to do the right thing!

320x320_crop_claudiopic –Claudio Alegre is the Chief Content Writer for Angel Home Care Services on the Web and Patient and Family Relations Advocate off the Web. He lives in Miami with his wife and 3 boys.

 

ahcs1

ATTENTION! Free Report Reveals Secret Formula For Getting Elder Care at Home …without going broke in the process!

We find ways to help families get the personal care services at home they need and deserve regardless of the insurance landscape or personal situation!

Call us With Your Questions or Concerns and Get Rid of All That Doubt and Uncertainty! 

CALL:   305-220-4544   [Miami Dade Area]

1-877-746-8908   [For Out of Area Families]

 

 

How to Use Twitter to Learn About Caregiving

How to use twitter

 

Social media “tweetchats” on caregiving offer a platform to connect with others and find countless resources on elder care.

As an avid, frequent user of social media, I regularly employ a great online community tool that improves my access to information on elder care. In two previous posts, I wrote about the importance of caregiver support groups and also listed some online resources for those involved in caring for seniors. Today, I’d like to go into further detail about the advantages of connecting with other caregivers on Twitter.

A TWITTER PRIMER

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the social network, here’s some Twitter basics.

Twitter is a web and mobile application where you can post 140-character messages, which are called tweets, to share with followers. When you tag a posted message with a particular word or phrase – a “hashtag” using the # sign – you can search for others tweeting about the same topic.

For my purposes as a caregiver, popular tags to follow include #caregiving, #eldercare, #aging, #alzheimers and #dementia, but there are many more.

Just today – as I wrote this post — a quick search on #caregiving yielded hundreds of tweets on the topic. I found out that Amy Goyer, AARP’s Family and Caregiving expert, was on the NBC’s Today Show earlier this morning, so I could click on a link and see a recording of the televised segment. I also discovered an audio podcast about elder care called The Aging Boomers –which I could listen to for free with one click on Twitter — as well an article about who will provide caregiving for childless baby boomers on Forbes.

I found all this with just one quick glance!

Consider the hashtag on Twitter a very powerful tool; it’s a living library of resources and information on the world wide web, but you can also search locally. By allowing Twitter to know your location, you can also find out who’s tweeting near you about caregiving.

TWEETCHATS

You can dive even deeper into the social network and get to know others who are caregiving through a scheduled tweetchat, which takes place when a group of people gather virtually online and use the same hashtag to track each other’s tweets. Tweetchats are usually one hour in length.

A Twitter chat, which is easy to follow on applications such as Tweetchat, usually features a moderator and poses a series of numbered questions followed by participants’ numbered answers. For example, when a moderator posts a question labeled “Q1,” participants answer by writing “A1″ before their tweet.

Another advantage to participating in Tweetchats or following specific hashtags is that you become familiar with service providers and retailers who cater to caregivers. As well, you might even pose a question and get an answer from others following the same hashtag — a strategy known as “crowdsourcing.”

All in all, it’s an easy way to network from the comfort of your home.

MY FAVORITE TWEETCHATS ABOUT CAREGIVING

One of my favorite tweetchats is hosted by Denise Brown (@caregiving on Twitter), founder of Caregiving.com. Every week, she goes online and moderates a chat where I get to “talk” with others interested in caregiving by following the conversation with the #carechat tag.

Sometimes tweet chats can be very specific and turn into a roundtable discussion on a particular subject. Last week, I participated in a Tweetchat focused on the hashtag #trackstress, which shed light on the amount of stress caregivers experience in their role. The conversation added momentum to the movement around a petition that encourages the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to track family caregiver stress and its source.

During the #trackstress chat, many caregivers from around the U.S. related to each other’s experiences as we tackled the question: “how does caregiving stress affect you?” I was able to connect with other caregivers, all of whom were in different stages of the process. To find a transcript of this and other tweetchats, click here.

(There are other chats organized by Caregiving.com, but not all involve Twitter. For more information, click here to visit the chat schedule page.)

LIFE EDUCATION THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA

If you’ve never tried Twitter before and aren’t able to get out much because of caregiving, you can use the platform to share concerns with others who are dealing with the same daily challenges.

No one ever goes to “family caregiver school,” which is a life education movement that I’m working on and that I’d like to see become reality so we can train on all levels of care — from what wheelchair to buy to what foods to feed to what home care service to hire for assistance — and so much more.

None of us are really prepared to become a parents to our parents. While there are so many resources with information, the process of sorting through all of it is overwhelming. Twitter and specific hashtags can provide some focus in the challenging process of caregiving for our elders as we create our own “education” online.

maria de los angelesMaria de los Angeles is an award-winning writer based in Miami who became a caregiver to her parents in 2008. Since then, she has been a passionate advocate for eldercare and caregiver issues.

ahcs1

ATTENTION! Free Report Reveals Secret Formula For Getting Elder Care at Home …without going broke in the process!

We find ways to help families get the personal care services at home they need and deserve regardless of the insurance landscape or personal situation!

Call us With Your Questions or Concerns and Get Rid of All That Doubt and Uncertainty! 

CALL:   305-220-4544   [Miami Dade Area]

1-877-746-8908   [For Out of Area Families]

 

Noise Pollution: A Health Hazard in Elder Care

noise pollution

Be aware of noise pollution when caring for the elderly.

In my last post, I wrote about music as a beneficial form of therapy for the elderly who suffer from memory disorders, which begs the question: what about the sounds of everyday life?

The Environmental Protection Agency explains the consequences of unwanted and disturbing sound, which is the basic definition of noise pollution — an environmental stressor we cannot taste, smell or see: “Sound becomes unwanted when it either interferes with normal activities such as sleeping, conversation, or disrupts or diminishes one’s quality of life.”

Noise pollution can lead to health problems, too. “Studies have shown that there are direct links between noise and health.  Problems related to noise include stress related illnesses, high blood pressure, speech interference, hearing loss, sleep disruption, and lost productivity.”

Alzheimer’s and dementia patients are particularly sensitive to stimuli that a healthy person can normally filter. In creating a safe and comfortable environment for my parents, I found myself thinking like a parent creating a healthy environment for her children: routines, which are so important for kids to feel stable, are just as important for the elderly. A typical day for my parents revolved around “quiet” time and “noisy” time.

As caregivers, we shouldn’t take any of the five senses for granted when developing strategies for care — including hearing. Patients will react differently to auditory input and so we should be keenly aware of sound “hazards” in the patient’s surroundings.

NOISE POLLUTION AS ENVIRONMENTAL STRESS

When I was caring for my mother, I noticed that some ordinary sounds – such as a loud TV — were particularly disturbing for her. She would grimace and want to retreat to what I can only describe as her “safe space” where she detached from the world.

To help her, I avoided over-stimulation without completely dulling surrounding noises. Agitation and discomfort might otherwise have affected her cardiovascular health and emotional well-being.

I knew my mother well and so I could gauge what I thought she would like or wouldn’t like based on how she reacted to the world before Alzheimer’s disease. Neurologists had no answer for me, but all I really needed to know was old-fashioned common sense. In short, just keep the patient comfortable.

Sound is energy and vibration. While an Alzheimer’s patient may not be able to cognitively understand a sound — a spoken word may be interpreted as just that, a sound with no meaning — they may certainly be able to “feel” it, which explains the positive effects of music.

CONVERSATION AS NOISE POLLUTION

Noise pollution isn’t just about unwanted sounds; it’s also about conversation. I would always ask our health aides to refrain from any conversation when standing within earshot of my father, who was then in the beginning stages of dementia and my mother, who had advanced Alzheimer’s.

Imagine being surrounded by negative conservation or even a pleasant chat that your brain can’t process for context. Eventually, the meaningless “sound” may become jarring. You’re powerless to make it go away if you’re “stuck” in your body.

In one instance, my father overheard one side of a stressful conversation an aide was having over her cellphone about money. Because he was confused at that moment, he couldn’t properly interpret what he had heard. Later, he spoke to me as if he had been involved in her dilemma, which was a needless source of stress and anxiety for him and for me as well, as I had to go to great lengths to clarify that no one was stealing his money. (This is a major stressor for the elderly who perceive they are “losing” their possessions as they gradually let go of what they once managed.)

It’s crucial, then, to watch one’s words when speaking in front of dementia patients who are still aware of surroundings.

In my mother’s case, it was impossible to tell in the advanced stages of the disease if and how her brain could interpret sound. I erred on the side of caution: even in a state of stupor in which she was completely unresponsive, I encouraged everyone who came near her to keep unpleasant sounds and conversations at bay.

While it may seem obvious that no patient or even a healthy individual would want to tolerate noise pollution, consider this: the elderly in many nursing homes who do not enjoy private rooms must endure an almost constant stream of distracting and unpleasant noises that interfere with peace and quiet: working staff, sick roommates and their visitors, loud television sets, beeping medical equipment and other sounds create a cacophony of noise.

This situation is yet another reason to consider in-home healthcare alternatives for the elderly where caregivers can control the environment.

Some Alzheimer’s and dementia patients tend to yell or wail loudly when they feel nervous, which is a whole other aspect of elder care. My parents were relatively quiet but in all cases, it’s imperative to be conscious of noise levels. (Read what worked or didn’t work for some caregivers at Caring.com’s support group.)

In my experience, I simply tried to imagine how I would feel if I were sick and bewildered, not just for the sake of empathy, but also to gauge what would be an appropriate level of noise for my parents.

If you found this post of interest and value, kindly click your favorite social button below and share.

maria de los angelesMaria de los Angeles is an award-winning writer based in Miami who became a caregiver to her parents in 2008. Since then, she has been a passionate advocate for eldercare and caregiver issues.

ahcs1

ATTENTION! Free Report Reveals Secret Formula For Getting Elder Care at Home …without going broke in the process!

We find ways to help families get the personal care services at home they need and deserve regardless of the insurance landscape or personal situation!

Call us With Your Questions or Concerns and Get Rid of All That Doubt and Uncertainty! 

CALL:   305-220-4544   [Miami Dade Area]

1-877-746-8908   [For Out of Area Families]