Archive for the ‘The Sandwich Generation’ Category

Respite Care for Family Caregivers: Helpful and Healthy for All

Posted on: May 21st, 2015 by Kim McCreery

respite care mesaCaring for a loved one day in and day out, without a break, can take its toll. In fact, caregivers often develop health problems themselves as a direct result of their caregiving responsibilities.  To continue to provide the best care possible, caregivers need to put themselves first and take care of their own mental and physical health, as well as their own emotional and social needs. Taking time out through respite care helps family caregivers recharge their batteries and reduce their stress levels so they can continue the work of caring for their loved one without jeopardizing their own wellbeing. Respite care is helpful and healthy for all involved.

When the telltale signs of caregiver burnout pop up—such as depression and hopelessness, trouble sleeping, lack of energy and other personality changes—it’s time to take a step back from the daily responsibility of caring for somebody else, and enjoy some personal time to restore energy. Enlist the help of a friend, a family member or a neighbor, or consider help from a professional caregiver, such as At Home Solutions provides. A professional caregiver can provide emergency respite care, relief for a few days, or better yet, can assist on a weekly or monthly basis, allowing time for personal needs without sacrificing the needs of the care recipient.

Respite care can take place in:

  • An adult day center
  • The home of the person being cared for
  • A residential setting such as an assisted living facility or nursing home
  • A vacation setting

Although caring for a family member or friend can be a huge responsibility, there is no need to feel alone or helpless. Taking time away from care duties, reaching out for help and keeping a positive attitude can help the caregiver and the care recipient enjoy a better quality of life.

The following organizations provide information to caregivers on a variety of topics including respite:

  • The Alzheimer’s Association
  • The Family Caregiver Alliance
  • The National Alliance for Caregiving
  • National Adult Day Services Association

Find out about respite care options through home care services available from At Home Solutions by calling us today at 888-496-3983 or fill out our online inquiry form. At Home Solution serves the Phoenix area with quality home health care solutions through two offices: Our Mesa office serves Gilbert, Mesa, Tempe, North Chandler, Apache Junction, and Gold Canyon. Our Case Grande office serves Pinal County in south-central Arizona.

Welcome to the Sandwich Generation: Now What?

Posted on: May 6th, 2015 by Kim McCreery

Home Care Assistance for Sandwich GenerationSome 47 percent of middle-aged adults are “sandwiched” between the daily stresses of caring for aging relatives and their children simultaneously. That figure is up from 45 percent in 2005.

In addition, members of the sandwich generation experience more financial burdens, which add to their stress. And 31 percent said they feel rushed to complete daily activities and chores.

Caregiving is often a one-person show, but it does not need to be if the caregiver has support. Step one is recognizing that there are solutions. Step two is getting educated on ways to make the situation more manageable. Here are a few tips to help:

Hold a family meeting

Discuss the many different caregiving tasks that need to be accomplished each day or week. Set mutual expectations of how the many tasks of caregiving will be accomplished.

Get the facts and avoid surprises

Caregivers should talk to their parents about how they’re doing financially and what plans they’ve made if they become ill or incapacitated.

Ask for assistance

Call resources such as the local Area Agency on Aging, a hospital social worker, a physician, or a church. Call for in-home care from a local agency such as At Home Solutions. Don’t go it alone. We have trained and experienced caregivers and can help you start fixing the problems related to a life out of balance due to multiple care responsibilities.

At Home Solutions provides expert home care solutions for those caught in the sandwich generation. Our Case Grande office serves Pinal County in south-central Arizona. We’d love to hear from you, even if it is just to bounce ideas or connect you with local resources. Trying to figure out what your options are can be very overwhelming if you are doing it alone. And don’t worry, you won’t get a sales pitch, or be pressured into scheduling an appointment. Contact us today at 888-496-3983.

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.


Family Caregivers in the Workplace

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


National studies report:

• 44.4 million Americans—21% of the adult population—are caregivers to older relatives or friends. 60% of these caregivers are employed

• Family caregivers provide more than 80% of all home care services

• Of today’s family caregivers, 40% provide some level of nursing support

These trends result in the demand for workplace eldercare programs. According to a recent SHRM survey, elder care referrals are offered by 39% of companies with 2,501 to 5,000 employees, and by 31% of companies with more than 5,000 employees.

What are the employee problems?

• Coming to work late/leaving work early

• Increased absenteeism and workday interruptions, with an average of 166 lost hours of productivity per employee

• Taking unpaid leaves of absence or using personal or sick days to provide care

• Refusing relocation or work-related travel

• Refusing overtime work or new assignments

• Increased healthcare benefit utilization because often they end up more sick than the person for whom they are providing care (in fact, according to a University of Pittsburgh study, caregiver mortality rates are 63% above that of non-caregivers)

• 20% will quit their jobs to provide care full time

What are the greatest needs for working caregivers?

• Flexibility in work schedules

• Information about services and aging in general

• Support from coworkers and supervisors

• Help in making decisions about care options and related issues

If you are or know of a family caregiver who is struggling to manage work and family, contact At Home Solutions. We can help with respite (relief care), information about community resources, and much more.