Archive for the ‘Aging in Place’ Category

Giving Loved Ones Independence by Stepping Back

Posted on: June 10th, 2015 by Kim McCreery

CookingAn increased number of seniors are choosing to remain at home during their elder years, even in the face of injury, illness and ongoing conditions. For adult children, caring for aging parents can prove rife with physical, emotional and social challenges, as they increase their capacity as caregiver and become more and more involved in the day-to-day tasks this critical role requires.

It’s easy to get caught up in the role of caregiver when the situation arises—your parents have done so much for you that, when they reach a point in their lives when help is needed, it’s natural for you to want to do everything you can to make sure they are taken care of. However, it’s important to remember that, for the majority of seniors, maintaining independence was a key factor in their decision to stay at home. While your efforts may be well meaning, it can sometimes be a slippery slope—it’s easy to go from caring for an elderly parent to doing everything for your parent. And often, this well-meaning hands-on caregiving can have an adverse effect on inspiring self-sufficiency and overall day-to-day freedom. As a caregiver, you should strive to promote the independence of your loved one, not take over everything.

Why is promoting independence in seniors so important?

  • Independence enables aging family members to continue making contributions to society, and feel good about that influence.
  • Self-sufficiency gives seniors a sense of achievement and self-worth, critical during their later years.
  • Being able to tackle some tasks independently promotes future self-reliance—if they can do this, they can probably handle that!
  • Independence fights frustration and feelings of futility, even in the wake of illness, injury and general aging.

In these situations, it’s important to put yourself in your aging parents’ shoes. How would you feel if there were things you could do, but weren’t allowed to because someone else had taken over? Allowing your loved ones to do things for themselves provides a sense of purpose and can make them feel self-assured. Bringing in professional assistance from a home care agency such as At Home Solutions also increases your parents’ feeling of empowerment and ability to function successfully at home.

At Home Solutions provides a broad range of companion home care services  across the greater Mesa and Casa Grande area, from light housekeeping and meal preparation to general assistance and lifestyle tasks. Many times through this outside intervention, both elderly parents and their adult children can learn to work better together to foster self-reliance, independence and a better overall quality of life. Contact At Home Solutions today to learn more.

Seniors at Risk: Dehydration

Posted on: July 11th, 2014 by Kim McCreery No Comments

 

Water makes up over 60% of our body. Water is vital to life. You can go weeks without food but only about 3-4 days without water. Unfortunately, many seniors suffer from poor hydration. The challenges of aging including a lack of thirst–our sense of thirst decreases as we age; mobility limitations that make getting to the bathroom and using the toilet more difficult; and incontinence cause some seniors to avoid drinking adequate amounts.

Best Beverages for Hydration
The best liquid to drink is water followed by beverages like unsweetened, decaffeinated tea and coffee, milk, and low sodium soups. Diluted fruit juice can be another option too. Make it half and half. Fruits and vegetables high in water content including melons, cucumbers, and berries help us stay hydrated as well. If eating is an issue, try a simple fruit smoothie made with fruit, ice, and milk. Avoid excess caffeine and concentrated high sugar beverages.

Monitor Your Beverage IntakeIce-Cold-Water1-265x300
8-10 8 ounce glasses a day is advised for most people. Keep track of your intake. Sometimes we don’t know how much we are drinking unless we monitor it. Keep a chart OR set up 8 glasses, grab a permanent marker, number them 1-8 and drink them in order throughout the day. Put each glass away once you finish the beverage inside.  Follow your doctor’s advice if you have a condition that affects or limits fluid intake.

The consequences of poor hydration include low energy, dry skin, poor circulation, constipation, medication concerns, and other potentially serious health issues.  Keeping hydrated is one of the best things we can do for our health. Make it a daily goal to drink up!

If you are concerned about a loved one, read more about the causes and effects of dehydration.

Kim

 

Creating Holiday Cheer for the Homebound: A Top Ten List

Posted on: December 12th, 2013 by Kim McCreery No Comments

 

The Holidays can be difficult for a lot of people, especially the elderly. Older folks get blue for a variety of reasons including: isolation, loneliness, depression, nostalgia, and declining physical and mental health. Taking the time to visit an older relative or friend is a wonderful gift to give and you’ll receive much in return as well!

To insure a successful, engaging visit, plan it in advance and prepare. Consider the person’s cognitive and physical abilities plus dietary restrictions then put together a care package containing cheerful items that are meaningful and appropriate. Plan a holiday activity to do together such as singing carols or making homemade Christmas cards. Lastly, think about a few upbeat recent events in your life to share. We’ve listed ten ideas to help you create a wonderful visit with your loved one.a hand jpg softa

Top Ten List

  1. Family friendly jokes and stories. Surf the internet to find them. Laughter is one of the best medicines!
  2. Era Music. Bring perennial favorites like Bing Crosby, Perry Como,
    The Lennon Sisters, and Frank Sinatra.
  3. Games and Crafts. Think checkers, cards,
    even an electronic version of Wheel of Fortune. Assemble easy tree decorations, create a collage, do a puzzle.
  4. Photos. Dig out recent and old family pictures to share. Don’t forget the video.
  5. Pets. Bring a well-behaved pet to lift spirits and calm anxiety.
  6. Children. Bring grandchildren and great grandchildren. Equip them with conversational topics and school projects to share.
  7. Food. Prepare a few favorite dishes, some to eat together and some to freeze.
  8. Tenderness. The power of touch is amazing. Hug, hold hands, brush hair, give a light massage.
  9. Soft things. Give your loved one a colorful soft blanket, sweater, or shawl.
  10. Fragrant gifts. Try a fresh wreath or cinnamon pine cones.

Make the most of your visit with your loved one! Kim

 

Long Term Care for Seniors

Posted on: December 5th, 2013 by Kim McCreery No Comments

Long Term Care is a must topic of discussion for families with older members. The timing couldn’t be better. Throughout the holiday season, families join together to share traditional festivities and reminisce of holidays past. This family-focused time presents an ideal opportunity to talk with aging family members about their wishes concerning long term care.

Due to advances in medical technology and health care, people are living longer than ever before. In addition, the traditional family, which once included built-in care for elderly family members, is fast becoming obsolete. Today, 420-medicaid-home-caretaker-helps-husband-wifeit is common for adult children to reside in locations far from their aging parents. At the same time, the costs for long-term care services continue to increase.

Long term care insurance typically covers the costs for in-home care, assisted living, and nursing home care. According to industry sources, eight million Americans currently have long term care insurance coverage, with some 400,000 new policies issued in 2007 alone. In addition, roughly 180,000 Americans with long term care insurance policies received benefits amounting to 3.5 billion dollars.*

According to the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance, 50% of those who applied for long term care insurance were between the ages of 55 and 64. Another 26% were between the ages of 45 and 54. As consumers—76 million baby boomers in particular—become aware of the cost-saving benefits of securing health discounts and obtaining more affordable coverage, the age of buyers continues to decline. In 2011, when baby boomers begin turning 65, the number of older people will dramatically increase between 2010 and 2030. In 2030, the older population is projected to be twice as large as in 2000.**

Therefore, it is important to raise awareness, assess risk, and stress the need for proper planning. The need for adequate coverage, especially for those who currently have no coverage, is fast becoming a national issue.

The Long Term Care Awareness Campaign continues to grow, involving a growing number of national organizations and government agencies. The expansion of this campaign allows more time to promote awareness and to provide in-depth educational programs.

We hope that you will take the time to analyze your needs, as well as the needs of close
family members, for long term care.

* Source: American Association for Long Term Care Insurance, 2008 LTCi Sourcebook.

** Source: American Association for Long Term Care Insurance, October 2009.

Kim

Benefits of 24 Hour Live-In Care

Posted on: September 20th, 2013 by Kim McCreery No Comments

According to AARP, Nearly 90% of people over age 65 indicate they want to stay in their home as long as possible. 24 hour/Live-in Care allows those who require around the clock care; those who may be a fall risk; or those suffering from Alzheimer’s to do just that.

What services are available with 24 hour/Live-in Care?

  • Chronic disease management support for CHF, COPD, Heart Disease, Alzheimer’s and other Dementias, Arthritis, Stroke Impairment, Diabetes, MS, Parkinson’s, and Cancer.
  • Medication reminders and documentation
  • Bathing and grooming
  • Housekeeping, laundry, and meal preparation
  • Shopping, errands, transportation to doctor appointmentsclasped hands
  • Walking assistance and light exercises
  • Companionship and suitable activities
  • Relief care for families
  • Short-term or long-term care based on need

Who might need 24 hour/Live-in Care?

    • Clients whose family live out of town and cannot provide care.
    • Clients whose family caregivers need help, a break, or who are going on vacation.

 

  • Clients who wander and cannot be left alone.
  • Clients who pose a fall risk and cannot be left alone.
  • Clients who are recovering from surgery or illness and need constant care.
  • Clients who do not want to go into an assisted living, group home, or nursing home.
  • Clients who want to move back home from an assisted living, group home, or nursing home.
  • Clients who need 24 hour care in order to be discharged from the hospital.
  • Clients who need around the clock care in the hospital per the staff.

What are the Benefits of 24 hour/Live-in Care?

24 hour/Live-in Care offers one-on-one, personalized care in the comfort and safety of familiar surroundings. Caregivers are experienced, extensively trained, and supervised. 24 hour/Live-in care provides family members peace of mind that their loved one is in good hands.

Where can 24 hour/Live-in Care take place?

24 hour/Live-in Care can take place in a private home, apartment, assisted living facility, rehab/nursing home, or hospital room.

Why use At Home Solutions for 24 hour/Live-in Care?

Since 2001, Award-winning At Home Solutions has been providing professional care to seniors and adults with disabilities. Our caregivers are bonded, insured, and must pass criminal and MVD background checks. Caregivers are experienced, extensively trained and tested, closely supervised, and a care coordinator is on call 24 hours a day. At Home Solutions takes care of all payroll, taxes, and workman’s compensation. And, At Home Solutions coordinates with Geriatric Care Managers, Home Health, Hospice, Medical Equipment Suppliers, and other community resources to make sure all required services and supplies are in place.

To schedule a free care assessment, call 1-888-496-3983.

Kim

Grandma Needs Help: Eight Warning Signs That Care in The Home is Needed

Posted on: April 15th, 2013 by Kim McCreery No Comments

Many seniors want to stay in their homes as long as possible.They value their independence and their familiar surroundings. However, the challenges of aging pose real safety concerns. Read through the following list of warning signs to determine if a senior in your life needs additional assistance.

  1. She has experienced frequent falls or near falls; she has trouble getting around.
  2. She can’t remember when and how often to take her medications.

  3. She lives alone without a nearby support system.
  4. She has difficulty maintaining a clean house.
  5. She’s afraid to bath for fear of falling or because it’s too difficult to manage alone.
  6. She has expired food and or not enough food in the refrigerator.
  7. She can no longer drive safely.
  8. She has experienced one or more of the following: depression, confusion, forgetfulness.

If you

know or suspect a friend, relative or neighbor is experiencing any of these issues, that person’s doctor should be informed immediately. In-home care can help address many of these issues. For a free care assessment, contact At Home Solutions at 1-888-496-3983. Additionally, we work with trustworthy Geriatric Care Managers who can provide additionally care options.To download a printable check-list of warning signs, click here.

Kim

Senior Care Contributes to Happiness

Posted on: March 28th, 2013 by Kim McCreery No Comments

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Most people who choose the profession of caregiving do it because they find fulfillment and happiness in helping people. I’ve talked to several of our employees who have told me that at the end of the day, they feel like they’ve made a difference by improving the quality of life for another person. I’ve also heard from many clients and their family members over the years (read some of our testimonials) and they’ve confirmed this to be absolutely true.

Our caregivers make a huge difference in the lives of seniors and adults with disabilities. They make our clients more comfortable, they provide caring companionship, and they help them stay
safe and more independent. According to AARP, “Nearly 90% of people over age 65 indicate they want to stay in their home as long as possible, and four of five in that age bracket believe their current home is where they will always live.”

So we might conclude that in-home caregiving is a win-win scenario. Caregivers are happier because they are making a difference in people’s lives and seniors are happier because their expressed desire to age in place is being fulfilled!

Kim

 

 

 

 

Aging and Caregiving: Attitude is Everything!

Posted on: February 7th, 2013 by Kim McCreery No Comments

There are only four kinds of people in the world—

1. Those who have been caregivers
2. Those who currently are caregivers
3. Those who will be caregivers,
4. And those who will need caregivers.

 Rosalyn Carter

Some things are inevitable in life.  For instance, we are all growing older. And, as Rosalyn Carter (Former President Jimmy Carter’s wife) aptly stated, most of us will need or will become a caregiver.

Aging and caregiving are equally challenging endeavors. To do them successfully, meaning with grace and dignity, both require traits such as flexibility, patience, courage, generosity of spirit, compassion, forgiveness, a sense of humor, and, perhaps most important of all, a good attitude.

Many wise people have declared attitude to be one of the keys to a successful, joy-filled life. These often well-known sages have struggled through personal adversity and therefore speak from experience. I’ve listed a few of their quotes below.

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude to me is more important than facts…. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our attitudes.  – Charles R. Swindoll

Few things in the world are more powerful than a positive push. A smile. A world of optimism and hope. A “you can do it” when things are tough. – Richard M. DeVos


I’ve learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances. – Martha Washington

It is your attitude, not your aptitude, that determines your altitude. – Zig Ziglar

At Home Solution’s is dedicated to improving the quality of life for seniors and adults with disabilities! Our caregivers bring a positive attitude along with a compassionate heart to help our clients achieve this goal.

Kim

Aging Safely in Place

Posted on: January 17th, 2013 by Kim McCreery No Comments

Senior Resource reports that about 70% of people over 65 spend their remaining years in the house or apartment where they celebrated their 65th birthday. Why? When surveyed, 89% of people 50 and older expressed a strong desire to remain in their own homes indefinitely (AARP). However, this preference may pose a challenge as physical difficulties often accumulate with advancing age.

As a loved one ages, he or she may encounter balance issues, hearing impairment, limited reach, trouble bending and more. None of these conditions are life-threatening, however, they can present challenges to a safe and happy home life.

A concept called “aging in place”allows seniors to live in their own homes, using products, services, and conveniences which offer a safer living environment. Aging in place is more than simply “staying at home”. For the senior, it translates into independence, confidence and emotional familiarity. For the family caregiver, it means modifications and safety education may be needed.

Some of the most important features of an aging in place ready home include:

  • A master bedroom and bath on the first floor
  • A low or no-threshold entrance to the home with an overhang
  • Lever-style door handles
  • No change in levels on the main floor
  • Bright lighting in all areas, especially places like stairways
  • A low-maintenance exterior
  • Non-slip flooring at the main entryway
  • An open floor plan, especially in the kitchen/dining area
  • Handrails at all steps

If a home does not accommodate these recommendations, hiring a contractor trained in aging modifications is a great alternative. The National Home Builders Association (NAHB) reports that 75% of remodelers have seen an increase in requests for aging in place work, and 60% of remodelers already perform aging in place work.

Contractors are able to modify the home to accommodate impairments such as balance and coordination, hearing impairment, limited reach, limited vision, poor strength, poor flexibility, trouble walking and climbing stairs. Some common modifications that a contractor or family member are:

Flooring

Smooth, non-glare, slip-resistant surfaces, interior and exterior

Low (less than ½ inch high pile) density carpet, with a firm pad

Color/texture contrast to indicate change in surface levels

Stairways, Lifts, Elevators and Ramps

Hand rails on both sides of stairway

Increased visibility of stairs through contrast strip on top and bottom stairs, color contrast between treads, risers on stairs, and use of lighting

Counters and Cabinets

Accented stripes on edge of counter-tops to provide visual orientation to the workspace

Base cabinets with roll out trays and Lazy Susan’s

Pull-down shelving

Loop handles for easy grip and pull

Fixtures

Grab bars in the shower and/or tub with fold down seat

Curbless shower (a minimum of 36 inches wide)

Lighted shower stall with hand-held head

Higher toilet or height-adjustable toilet

An in-home care provider understand the needs of those aging in place and can provide a free safety

check along with recommendations for making the home environment as safe and comfortable as possible. Contact At Home Solutions at 1-888-496-3983 to schedule a free safety check in Southeastern Maricopa, Pinal, or Gila counties.

Kim