The world of Medicare can be a confusing one due to the different types of coverage available, the designated enrollment periods and all the other rules and regulations that go along with a government program. Because it is so easy to get overwhelmed with information related to Medicare it’s probably wise to focus on some of the essential elements of the program.Continue reading
- Track record of caring and success. We like to talk to families they have worked with and get feedback on care, responsiveness, flexibility, and communication. Another good source is reporting agencies such the Better Business Bureau or Minnesota Dept. of Health.
- Collaboration. How much are you and your family involved in the care plan? Providers should create a plan with you and be flexible as things change, i.e. not lock you into lots of minimums.
- Care for their employees. How well do they treat the people that will be caring for your loved one? How well do they screen their employees, provide on-going training and feedback/monitoring.
- How well resourced are they? Needs often change so a strong provider agency should have the resources to accommodate a changing client. Good things to know is do they have capabilities in memory care, 24/7 care, travel, and back-up for their care givers, etc?
from the Senior Home Care Insights Blog
J. Kieser for In Home Care Advisors
At one time or another we have all experienced self-esteem issues. Most people have things they are not happy or satisfied about in their lives, but we are now learning that these types of feelings may have considerable impact on our physical health, especially for the senior population.
A recent study published in Psychoneuroendocrinology, an international journal that publishes research on the disciplines of psychology, neurology and psychiatry, found that seniors who experience self-esteem issues tend to show higher levels of Cortisol, a steroid hormone that suppresses the immune system. The study concluded that maintaining or increasing self-esteem in seniors, thus decreasing Cortisol levels, can decrease age-related health problems.
It is difficult to determine why self-esteem begins to decline at age 60, but some theories suggest that transitioning into a retirement lifestyle often means no more work, no more kids in the house and the addition of new physical limitations. A person’s education level, income, net worth, health and employment status all have some impact on self-esteem according to researchers.
The study related to self-esteem in seniors, which originated with the University of Concordia in Montreal, suggests that if we can improve the self-esteem in seniors we may be able to improve their physical health as well.
“Because self-esteem is associated with psychological well-being and physical health, raising self-esteem would be an ideal way to help prevent health problems later in life,” said Sarah Liu, who with her colleague, Carsten Wrosch, conducted the research for the study. Her comments were issued in a press release from the university.
Now that we have research showing that improved self-esteem in seniors may possibly improve physical health, the next question has to be – how do we increase self-esteem in seniors?
We build self-esteem in seniors much the same way we would try to improve the self-esteem in people of all ages. When we lack self-esteem we tend to lack self worth. Those suffering from self-esteem issues rarely experience praise, warmth or affection, which can be consistent with the lifestyle of many seniors who may live alone and have very little human interaction.
The good thing is we can change this and build self-esteem in seniors. Just like a child who lacks interaction with classmates, it is important to get a senior involved in activities where they can interact with other people. A great resource to get seniors active is the local senior community center. Most days per week there are planned activities seniors can participate in and it’s a great place to connect with other seniors, have a cup of coffee and share a discussion.
As much as human interaction is needed, so too is a sense of purpose, which many seniors may lose after they no longer have a job to go to every day. By engaging seniors in projects or activities that have determined goals, they know they are working toward something important and can enjoy the success in. Two great resources seniors can access to get involved in volunteering opportunities include Senior Corps (http://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/senior-corps) and Minnesota Seniors Online (http://www.mnseniorsonline.com/volunteer-opportunities.html).
As a society we need to do a better job of realizing that our seniors are sometimes the wisest of all of us because of their experiences in life. By engaging seniors in a conversation we can tap into a wealth of knowledge and we may benefit from their knowledge more than we ever imagined.
from the Senior Home Care Insights Blog
J. Kieser for In Home Care Advisors
The relationships we experience in life are meaningful, some more meaningful than others. Most of us would rank our relationships with our family ahead of relationships we have with most friends or work colleagues, but there is another type of relationship many families have come to grips with when a loved one is no longer able to care for themselves. There are few relationships that are as delicate as that of the patient and the caregiver.
Generally there will be two types of caregivers, either a family member or a paid caregiver.
If a family decides that some outside help is needed, entrusting someone to care for an aging parent in our absence is like trusting a daycare or babysitter to look after our children. If you are uneasy about the level of care provided, peace of mind is impossible. If you find a outside caregiver that has a good rapport with the patient and shares the importance of the loved one’s well being, many times this caregiver will end up being like an extended member of the family.
In any relationship trust takes time. This is no different in the patient and caregiver relationship, no matter whether the caregiver is a family member or someone who is paid to look after an aging parent.
Remember the Caregiver
A family member who decides to take on the monumental task of caring for a loved one should be supported and appreciated. This family member is giving up a part of their life to care for a parent, not for rewards and adulation, but out of love and compassion.
We all need time for ourselves, and if you are the primary caregiver to an aging parent, time for yourself can seem fleeting. That is why it is important to ask for help. It is crucial that other family members supplement the care for an ageing parent to provide the primary caregiver a break to manage their own responsibilities, so their life is not completely on hold. If a caregiver does not take time for themselves they soon can become overwhelmed by stress and isolation. It is important for a caregiver to express their feelings to other family members so the proper amount of support can be discussed and ultimately achieved.
Some commonly reported health-related issues many full-time caregivers report are a lack of sleep, poor eating habits and little to no exercise. The last thing we want is for the caregiver to turn into a patient, so sometimes outside assistance is needed to maintain the physical and emotional health of the primary caregiver.
In addition to receiving care-giving help from family members, sometimes additional assistance is needed from an outside paid caregiver. There are many quality professionals who can assist with the care-giving process so the primary family caregiver can find some balance between their own lives and their responsibilities as a caregiver.
Remember, taking care of an aging parent or loved one should be a shared responsibility of the entire family. Although one person may step-up and assume the majority of the care-giving duties, other family members need to provide some relief at times and outside assistance should be sought when needed. This will not only benefit the caregiver, but also the patient.
In Home Care Advisors is a local Minnesota company made up of caring senior healthcare professionals who believe everyone should be ale to live safely in their own homes as long as possible. We put that belief into action by carefully listening and assessing the needs, wants, and desires of our clients; You can get assistance via our website or call 651-252-1669….we can help.