Not long ago, actor Rob Lowe brought family caregiving into the foreground by discussing his journey of caring for his mother and the impact it had on his own life. He said, “When you’re caring for a loved one, there’s nothing you won’t do to give them as much comfort and peace of mind as you can possibly provide. Often that means you’ll skip your social obligations, wreck your diet, suffer sleep deprivation, and even risk your career.” Read more
Why don’t we face it: lots of us have a fear of doctor visits. It could be uncomfortable and downright distressing when something is wrong and we are facing the prospect of an undesirable diagnosis. Nonetheless we recognize it makes sense to complete what’s best for our health and to be conscientious about obtaining essential healthcare.
At times, the greatest lessons in life come from going through them firsthand; yet the information we can discover from those who’ve traveled a similar course before us is priceless. If you are providing care for a loved one with dementia and beginning to feel a bit bogged down in this uncharted territory, the guidelines below might help: Read more
The initial signs may be so subtle that most people wouldn’t even notice. Mom is outgoing, friendly, and conversational while visiting friends and family and while running errands. But those closest to her are beginning to pick up on concerns; like forgetting about the soup cooking on the stove, leading to a scorched pan; putting her keys in the cookie jar; or neglecting to pay bills.
As an adult child of a senior in the beginning stages of compromised safety or the ability to make sound decisions, it can be extremely challenging to transition to a higher degree of involvement and care – yet it’s also extremely important to take steps sooner rather than later.
As with broaching any confrontational topic of conversation, talking with your senior loved one about the concerns you’re seeing is likely to be met with resistance and defensiveness at first. However, it’s important to outline the precise reasons for your concern, and the negative consequences if these behaviors continue or worsen.
Responsive Home Care recommends the following approach:
- Ensure that a durable power of attorney has been assigned.
- Confirm with your siblings that the issue needs to be addressed, and discuss together what options are available for the senior’s care as needs continue to progress.
- Remain compassionate but firm in your approach. Present the choices you’ve thought through. If your parent balks at the idea of moving to an assisted living facility, which many seniors do, offer an in-home caregiver as an alternative, allowing your loved one to remain independent and safe in the comfort of home.
- Understand that it will likely take several conversations before your loved one accepts the need for assistance – which is why it’s essential to begin the process as soon as possible.
At Responsive Home Care, we’re experienced in helping seniors feel comfortable and positive about how our services can help improve safety and overall quality of life and wellbeing. When your family decides the time is right for assistance, we can help with highly customized care that can meet a wide range of needs, including:
- Meal planning and preparation
- Housework and laundry
- Running errands
- Highly specialized care for dementia
- And so much more
Whether the need is for just a few hours each week to enhance safety and socialization, full-time care, or anything in between, partnering with Responsive Home Care improves quality of life for seniors and provides peace of mind for those who love them. Contact us online or call us today at 954-486-6440 for a free in-home consultation to learn how we provide the kind of senior care Fort Lauderdale, FL families recommend most!
In marriage we agree to stick together for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health – but what doesn’t come up in our vows to each other is how to handle the increasing demands of senior care as our parents age.
Yet with our life span increasing, it’s important to have a plan in place to meet both the needs of our parents as they grow older, and the plethora of day-to-day needs, all while honoring our cherished relationship with a spouse. It’s a challenge that’s causing stress and strain for 80% of couples surveyed, resulting in detachment and less quality time together. The following areas in a marriage are particularly impacted by caring for aging parents:
- Finances. Still holding the top spot for the reason cited for divorce, financial strain is magnified when the older parent has not implemented a financial plan for long-term care. Honestly communicating frustrations with each other and working together to explore options to pay for services can help.
- Fatigue. As rewarding as it may be, meeting the needs of an elderly loved one requires a great deal of time and energy – leaving little left over at the end of the day for your spouse. Accept opportunities for assistance from others or hire professional in-home senior care help such as Responsive Home Care, so you can be sure to allow for quality time with your spouse.
- Frustration. Mounting frustration and diminished patience are two common side effects of fatigue, and sadly, we tend to lash out at those we love the most when feeling overwhelmed. Allow imperfection, practice understanding, and seek professional help if needed.
So how else can you avoid these pitfalls and maintain a strong and healthy marriage? These tips can help:
- Make sure your spouse is always a top priority. Small gestures can go a long way towards this end, such as writing a note of love and appreciation, waking up a few minutes early to share a cup of coffee together before the day becomes hectic, or setting aside time at the end of the day to talk and unwind.
- Joining an online support group for family caregivers can allow you the opportunity to vent frustrations to those in similar circumstances, alleviating stress.
- Seek out the services of a professional counselor, either for you individually or for the two of you as a couple.
Another great way to achieve a healthy life balance is through partnering with a trusted in-home care provider, like Responsive Home Care. Our team of Ft. Lauderdale caregivers offers customized respite care solutions that allow family members to take time away from parental care, while offering seniors the opportunity for enhanced socialization with a friendly and fully-trained caregiver. Contact us online or call us at 954-486-6440 to explore our Ft. Lauderdale senior care options today!
Elder Care Hollywood FL
Many elderly loved ones reach a point in their life when driving can be quite dangerous for not only them, but the people around them. If you’re worried about your loved one’s driving abilities, it might be a good idea to stage a “ride along” during which you make note of her driving so you can talk to her about it later.
Avoid Announcing that You’re Testing Her Driving Skills
If you can avoid it, don’t let your loved one know that you’re testing her driving ability. Giving her a warning means you won’t get to see her actual driving skills. Instead, you’ll see how she wants to you see her drive. On the other hand, you might make her too nervous to drive at all. So it’s best to just keep what you’re doing to yourself until afterward.
Relax and Observe
During the ride, make sure that you’re paying attention but that you’re not jotting down notes as your loved one does something. Be observant without being obtrusive. If you can, relax a bit. The goal is to allow your loved one to drive the way that she normally would drive.
Avoid Critiquing Unless There Is Immediate Danger
Likewise, you want to avoid making comments about your loved one’s driving. Saying things like, “Did you mean to change lanes without using your blinker?” isn’t very subtle. If there is immediate danger, however, such as your loved one not looking before changing lanes, those are the kinds of things you do want to mention in the moment.
Sit Down with Your Loved One Afterward
Once the drive is over, it’s time to talk to your loved one about what you saw. Open by letting your loved one know that you care about her safety and that you love her. You don’t want to beat your loved one up during this conversation, but let her know if you witnessed habits that have you troubled. On the other hand, if your loved one’s driving skills were better than you expected, let her know that you saw some good things, too.
If the test doesn’t go so well, it’s a good idea to start lining up people who can help with transportation for your loved one. Other family members and elder care providers are excellent first choices.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care Services in Hollywood FL to provide companionship, compassion and motivation, please contact the caring staff at Responsive Home Care. Call today 954-486-6440.
Caregiver Plantation FL
Spending time outside of the house with an elder who has dementia can be both frustrating and challenging. If they are in the later stages of the disease, you may have to worry about the elder wandering or displaying abnormal behaviors. While it can be terrifying and possibly embarrassing to even consider going out in public with your loved one, it is something you and the elder should do from time to time.
With these tips from other caregivers, you will be able to take the stress out of public outings with your elderly parent who has dementia.
Be prepared. Whether you are going to be away from the home for a few minutes or a few hours, prepare a tote bag of all of the items that may be needed during the adventure. You may want to include a few pairs of under garments, sunscreen, books or magazines, wipes, and anything else the elder or you may need during the outing.
Do not forget the snacks or water. Dehydration can occur at any time of the year, including winter. Bring plenty of water for your loved one to sip throughout the day to prevent it from happening to them. Also, pack healthy snacks that both you and your loved one can nibble on when starvation strikes.
Know what their poor behavior means. Older adults with dementia are not always able to communicate what they want or need. They may try to get their point across by exhibiting poor behavior. It is nearly impossible to control their behavior, but there are ways you can try to diffuse the situation. Run through a checklist in your head of things they could be trying to communicate. This includes hunger, thirst, fatigue, or pain. You may want to consider attending a dementia support group or taking a class to learn more about what the senior’s behavior could mean.
Brainstorm different explanations. If your loved one begins to act out in public, you will need to know what to say to strangers to explain the behavior. While there may be some people that will not be pleased with your explanation, others will understand your situation much better once you tell them about it.
Staying cooped up in the house all day is not healthy for anyone, including caregivers and seniors with dementia. You may be terrified to take your loved one out, but these tips should make the journey a little bit easier.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Caregiver Services in Plantation FL to provide companionship, compassion and motivation, please contact the caring staff at Responsive Home Care. Call today 954-486-6440.
Home Care Services Pompano Beach FL
If you are like many family caregivers, one of the elements of the holiday season that you look forward to the most is getting to spend quality time with your senior. This is particularly true if you are a distance caregiver who does not have the opportunity to spend as much time with your loved one as you would like. Your holiday season visits are a chance for you to reconnect with your senior and spend more time with them, as well as check in on them and ensure that they are still doing well as they age in place.
Take some time during your visit to check areas of their home to identify any risks or indications that they might be struggling with challenges and issues. One area of the home that is particularly important to check is your parent’s bathroom. Simply by its nature, this room tends to be more dangerous than others and can be a strong indication of how your parent is doing.
Some things you should check for in your parent’s bathroom to gauge their health and safety include:
• Loose towel rod. Take a look at your parent’s wall-mounted towel rod and give it a wiggle. If the towels look disheveled and it feels loose, it could be an indication that your elderly parent has been using it for physical support when navigating the room. This is not only a sign of potential challenges, but also a danger. Towel rods are not designed to withstand such weight, and it could simply collapse, causing your loved one to suffer a serious fall.
• Soap scum buildup in the shower. If your parent has always been neat and clean and you notice that their shower is not clean, it could be an indication of serious issues. They could be suffering from cognitive functioning decline that prevents them from cleaning up the home, or mental health issues that minimize their motivation. They could also be suffering from physical limitations that prevent them from being able to handle the actual task of cleaning.
• Issues with brushing their teeth. Visit your aging parent while they are brushing their teeth and pay attention to how they are doing it and their response. If they are brushing gingerly, avoiding flossing, or you notice even a little bit of blood in the sink, it could be an indication of dental health problems that could put the well-being of their entire body at serious risk.
If you have noticed that your aging parent is dealing with challenges, limitations, and other issues that threaten their safety and well-being as they age in place, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting home care services for them. An in-home senior care services provider can be with your parent on a customized schedule tailored for their individual needs, challenges, and limitations, but also for their personality, lifestyle, and goals. This means that they can enjoy a more active, engaged, and fulfilling quality of life while also staying safe and healthy. As their family caregiver, knowing that there is a home care provider with your parent can give you confidence that they are always getting the care, assistance, and support that they need whether you are able to be with them regularly or if you live at a distance and are not able to visit with them frequently.
When it comes to helping your aging loved one stay safe and healthy in the bathroom, this care provider can evaluate your loved one’s needs, provide physical support and assistance, and help guide them in keeping the room clean and neat to reduce risk.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Pompano Beach FL to provide companionship, compassion and motivation, please contact the caring staff at Responsive Home Care. Call today 954-486-6440.
Home Health Care Tamarac FL
When you first start to notice your loved one having difficulty processing information, it’s scary. The situation can be scary for your elderly loved one, too, because cognitive issues can often mean that she’s about to lose some of her independence.
Talk to Her Doctor Right Away
The first step is to talk with your loved one’s doctor right away. He can run tests to determine just how much your loved one’s cognitive abilities are being affected. Your loved one may have issues due to a health condition, such as Alzheimer’s disease or even depression, or there may be other factors. Starting out at your loved one’s doctor give him a chance to narrow down those causes.
Look at Environmental Causes
Sometimes other factors are at play when your loved one seems to be having cognitive issues. She may not be getting enough nutrition from her food, for instance, which can cause her brain to work in odd ways. If your loved one isn’t getting enough sleep, she may start to experience cognitive issues, too. These environmental causes may be something that you can pick up on yourself or your loved one’s doctor may ask about them.
Stick to the Care Plan
Once you have a plan of action in place from your loved one’s doctor, it’s important to adhere to that plan. In cases where there is an illness, such as depression, your loved one may be prescribed medication. In the case of other causes, such as not enough sleep, your loved one’s doctor may prescribe an exercise plan or changing up your loved one’s sleep hygiene to one that is more effective for her. No matter what, you’ll need to follow the plan in order to start seeing results.
Get Extra Help Now
You may need to go ahead now and start getting extra help, either in the form of other family members or even senior home health care providers. This can especially be the case if your loved one has an illness such as Alzheimer’s disease that is likely to worsen over time. Having extra help in place now will really benefit you as your loved one’s situation worsens.
As your loved one adapts to her new care plan, keep in mind that you may need to adjust it over time to accommodate her changing needs.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Health Care Services in Tamarac FL to provide companionship, compassion and motivation, please contact the caring staff at Responsive Home Care. Call today 954-486-6440.
Home Care Services Hollywood FL
The objects that you have in your home are a representation of the life that you have lived. This absolutely applies to your aging parent, who likely has objects that they have owned for decades. This does not mean, however, that they should hold on to everything that they have. Downsizing is an important task for elderly adults who are either transitioning into a new home or who have accumulated too many belongings over time and need to start clearing them out.
This goes beyond just older people holding onto items. According to a study performed by the University of Kansas, approximately 30 percent of adults over the age of 70 throughout the United States exhibit hoarding behaviors in that they had not given away any items in the previous year. Nearly 60 percent of seniors between the ages of 50 and 59, and more than 60 percent of those ages 70 to 79, however, admit that they have too many possessions. This illustrates the emotional challenge of hoarding, which happens when it is too difficult for them to let go of what they own. This could develop into a dangerous situation with excess clutter, holding onto potentially hazardous items, or filling the home with items os that it cannot be properly cleaned.
Some indications that your aging parent needs to downsize include:
• Rooms in the home that are no longer usable for their intended function because they are filled with items,
• Excessive clutter that builds up on surfaces, such as newspapers, magazines, and junk mail,
• Items that are in the home that have not been used in an extended period,
• Items that are in the home that are no longer usable,
• Having too many items to move into their new home comfortably or safely.
If your aging parent is dealing with hoarding behaviors or is transitioning into a new home and you know that they need to downsize, starting home care services for them might be one of the best decisions that you can make. An in-home senior care services provider can be a tremendous source of support and encouragement for this elderly adult so that they can better cope with the changes that are coming during this time in their life. This can also be extremely helpful when you are going through the actual process of downsizing their belongings or moving. The in-home senior care services provider can be with your elderly loved one to keep them engaged, talk them through these difficult situations, and even plan activities and outings to keep them out of the way so that they can experience less stress and anxiety during this process. When it comes to recognizing if your elderly loved one might be coping with hoarding behaviors, this care provider can monitor how your parent interacts with objects and if they might seem reluctant or hesitant to let go of items so that they can alert you to any possible areas of concern.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Hollywood FL to provide companionship, compassion and motivation, please contact the caring staff at Responsive Home Care. Call today 954-486-6440.
Elder Care Plantation FL
Transitioning your elder loved one into living in your home with you and your family is a fantastic way to ensure that they get the level of care that they need and deserve throughout their later years. This allows them to be close to a caregiver at all times, eliminating the challenges of distance caregiving, and gives you confidence that they will be in an environment that is safe, healthy, and comfortable.
Moving your parent into such close proximity with you and your family, however, can cause some awkward situations if you do not prepare for them ahead of time. One such situation is when your elderly parent attempts to discipline your children or questions how you are raising them. By taking the time to establish boundaries about your children before your parent moves in, you can help to reduce the risk of such situations and make your living situation much more comfortable and beneficial for everyone involved.
Some boundaries that you should establish about your children before your parent moves in include:
• Their privacy. Make sure that your parent understands and is willing to respect your children’s privacy. This means recognizing which areas of the home are for your children’s use exclusively and when your parent is and is not permitted in those areas as well as the fact that they should knock or ask permission to enter.
• Discipline. This is a very personal issue that you will need to discuss with your partner and come to decisions about on your own. It is important for you to be very clear with yourself as well as your parent about how much input on disciplining your children you are willing to welcome from your parent. Are they permitted to correct your children or give them punishments, or do you want them to not have any impact on their discipline at all?
• Parenting style. It is very likely that your parenting style is not exactly like that of your parent. You might have different philosophies, beliefs, and tactics from your parent, and these might be uncomfortable for your parent. Discuss these with them and make sure that they understand that you are not going to change your parenting style and that you are not open for discussion about it. For example, tell your parent that your family does not sit down for dinner at the table at the same time each night and that your children are permitted to eat snacks in their rooms even though you were not, and that you will not be changing that approach now that they are living with you.
Elder care can make a tremendous difference in the life of your elderly parent as well as your life as a family caregiver. The personalized services of a elder home care services provider mean that they will be with your loved one on a customized schedule tailored specifically to the needs, challenges, and limitations of that aging adult. This means that your parent will get everything that they need to stay safe, healthy, and comfortable, while also ensuring that they can remain as independent as possible as they age in place. As a family caregiver this can give you greater peace of mind knowing that they are in good hands whether you are able to be with them or not.
Even if your loved one has moved into your home, the services of an elder care provider mean that you can focus your energy and attention on the other aspects of your daily life, including taking care of your children, managing your home and your marriage, and keeping up with your career, as well as having time for yourselves.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care Services in Plantation FL to provide companionship, compassion and motivation, please contact the caring staff at Responsive Home Care. Call today 954-486-6440.