Planning Holidays with Elderly Parents in San Diego CA

Planning Holidays with Elderly Parents

With celebrations coming, you have time to plan for holidays with elderly parents. Obviously you’re preoccupied with making sure all the details are in place, meals, gifts, guests. Don’t forget that this is a great opportunity to check on your aging parents in a new way.

I would not advocate heavy duty conversations during your time at home. Sitting at the family dinner and saying, “So Mom, when are you moving out…” may not be the best for digestion!

Use this time for being together, for celebrating and NOT raising the anxiety level of your mother and the rest of the family. But you can still get a lot done to equip you for the important talks that you will need to have next.

What to check on. What to look for.

Take the time to really look at your folks. It may have been a while since you’ve seen them, and things have changed. You need to be able to take in what’s different. Of, course you’d rather imagine that things are the same as they always have been and always will be, but now is the best time to look closely and take it all in.

Things HAVE changed. Our minds are trained not to notice what we’re not looking for. Rather than looking for all the evidence that things haven’t changed — be open to noticing what’s different. Your aging parents may not be able or willing to tell you. Some changes happen so gradually, that they may not have noticed themselves.

These things don’t require immediate conversation, or even to be commented on at the moment. Be deliberate about your observations. Make a mental note, and then jot down what you’ve seen at the end of the day.

  • What’s different? What’s new?
  • How are they really doing?
  • What might be in disrepair?
  • What could you help with?
  • What can you encourage?
  • What can you support?

…continue reading from talk-early-talk-often

For information about Home Care in San Diego CA and the surrounding area, please contact the professional caregivers at Age Advantage, a home care agency that can help your family with all of your elder care needs. 619-660-8881.

 

The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for Aging Parents in San Diego CA

Buy, Buy Love: The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for Aging Parents
by Joy Loverde

With decades of birthdays and holidays gone by, who isn’t stumped when it comes to knowing what gifts to buy aging parents and other elderly loved ones?  By now, they’ve received their fair share of neckties and slippers, and there’s a good chance they already have everything they want and need.

Time is a precious commodity; few of us can afford to spend hours of shopping for the perfect gift, and overspending on unwanted and unneeded items.  Besides, what is treasured by older adults is spending quality time together and gifts that relay loving messages that they are special and thought of and cared about each day.

As a way to touch the heart and soul of the people who mean so much to you, here are a few gift ideas that are sure to make that happen:

  • Go back to school. Learning something new is twice the fun when you do it together. Adult education classes offer a variety of learning opportunities — from exploring ancient history and learning the computer or a new language, to arts and crafts. Spend time together taking a class.
  • Picture this. Offer to organize their photograph collection. Buy new photo albums and photo boxes, and spend a few afternoons looking at the photos together as you put them in order.
  • Write on. Give a small decorative box of stationary cards and stamped envelopes, and offer to be their personal secretary. Let them dictate letters to friends and family as you write down their thoughts and mail the letters in their behalf.
  • Sing-a-long. Attend sing-along events at movie theaters, community events and college musical venues. Singing and harmony is always fun. If they have trouble leaving the house, buy or rent a karaoke system.
  • Lead the way. Offer to chauffer your elders down memory lane by driving them around neighborhood streets and familiar places that hold special meaning for them. Pack a healthy picnic basket and enjoy the sights as you munch away.


Continue reading from Eldercare ABC Blog…

Age Advantage caregivers can answer all of the questions your family may have about home care for your loved one. Age Advantage is a Home Care agency providing home care in San Diego CA and the surrounding areas. Call us at 619-660-8881.

The Advantages Of Elderly Home Care In San Diego CA

Elderly Home Care – The Advantages
By:Bob Kohut

In many ways we are now experiencing a “perfect storm” which is making elderly home care the only viable choice for taking care of many our seniors.  With declining incomes coupled with rising expenses and a rapidly aging population, retirement communities and assisted living centers are being priced beyond the reach of many.

There are many ways to provide elderly home care – from retrofitting the home for safety to hiring professional in-home care givers.  As with many things in life there is both an upside and a downside to elderly home care.  Let’s first look at the major advantages:

  1. Allows seniors to maintain their independence.
  2. Fosters a sense of continuity of living.
  3. Preserves social networks.

Independence
To many seniors nothing is more important than maintaining their independence.  They chafe at any suggestion they may need help taking care of themselves and adamantly refuse to consider any options other than staying where they are.  Proper elderly home care lets them hang on to that all important sense of independence.  They don’t want to be a bother to their children and living at home lets them feel better about themselves and their situation.

Continuity of Living
Familiarity with their surroundings – from the home itself to the neighborhood parks, stores, and other amenities – actually promotes better mental health and a general sense of well-being.  Adapting to a changed environment can be difficult at any stage in life and it is even more of a challenge for seniors.

In addition, there is evidence that allowing seniors to relive pleasant memories of their past is a healthy thing.  It is far easier for Mom or Dad or Grandma or Grandpa to engage in pleasant reveries of Christmases past in the rooms where the events actually took place.

Social Network
Many seniors remain engaged with their neighbors and participate in community activities long after their own children have fled the nest.  If your seniors love to sit on their front porch and engage in friendly conversation with the neighborhood children as they walk by, losing that sense of social belonging can be a stressful event.

…continue reading from Eldercare ABC Blog

The home care counselors at Age Advantage can provide your family with the answers to all of your elder care questions, including how to reduce caregiver stress while providing affordable, professional care to your loved one. Age Advantage is a home care agency providing home care in San Diego and surrounding areas.

Keeping Seniors Safe at Home in San Diego

Keeping Seniors Safe at Home
by: Jeremy Mervin

If you have an elderly family member living with you, it is most important that you keep the house safe. The requirements are not very similar to what you will watch for when dealing with a baby, so do not apply the same rules here. Elderly people have many other problems which you must be mindful of, and provide for them in accordingly.

Elderly members have lots of trouble with their joints. They find it more difficult bending and reaching low. Make sure things around them are at a suitable height, and can be reached with little discomfort. Avoid making low shelves and cabinets below their waist level. In line with the same theory, make sure the bed for the elderly is also high.

There is more effort required to lie in, or get out of a bed which has a lower level. They also have a higher chance of losing their balance and suffering a fall. Use the same principle in the bathroom as well. Make sure the toilet seat is high so that discomfort is minimal. It is also useful to install a grab bar along the wall so that they can use it for support while sitting and getting up from the seat.

In the room of the elderly, and places where they frequent, make sure you have tiles which prevent skidding. It is best to have rough, textured flooring. With age, the feet wear out more, and there is a lowered ability to grip with the feet. If you have very smooth, slippery flooring, the chances of skidding and falling are greater.

Make sure the bathroom is dry at all times. For additional protection, make sure there is a way to let yourself into the bathroom even if it is locked. It is easy for the elderly to slip and fall, or even lose their balance in the bathroom. If they are locked inside, you may not know they are lying there for several hours.

It is best to provide the elderly a room which is at the same level as the other places in the house they normally use. Avoid having them to use the stairs. Keeping them in the basement is not the wisest idea unless they are not going to get beyond it.

…continue reading from ElderCareABCBlog

 
Home care counselors at Age Advantage are available to talk with you and your family about care needs for your loved one, including, how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care. Age Advantage is a home care agency providing In Home Care in San Diego and surrounding areas.

The Baby Boomer Eldercare Wake-up Call in San Diego CA

Baby Boomers’ Eldercare Wake-up Call

There are approximately 78 million reasons for boomers to jump on the long-term care strategic thinking, planning and executing bandwagon.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau report in 2009, boomers were 78 million strong based on the 2006 census.

The staggering number of aging boomers in America serves as a wake-up call to boomers to start planning for our elder care needs. We’re only more than a decade late. How’s that timeline for urgency, my fellow boomers? Our millennial wake-up call is more urgent if any of the following scenarios are sound bytes from your life. 

  • Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance: If you are familiar with LTC insurance, you get an “E,” for effort, as my octogenarian mother occasionally said about a few of her former elementary school students who didn’t quite make the grade in reading, writing, or arithmetic. If you have LTC insurance, you’re barely passing with a C-.  LTC coverage is a sound baby step, though maybe not for everyone.
  • Childbearing Profile:  You are single and childless. While having grown children is no guarantee of having at least 1 trustworthy LTC gatekeeper in your golden years, being a parent of an adult child may yield elder care dividends down the road.
  • Health:  You have been medically diagnosed with at least one chronic medical condition.
  • Family Medical History:  You have a family history of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and certain types of cancer and/or diabetes. As is said in Spanish, “¡Ojo!” (Translation: Keep an eye on that!)
  • Relationships in Your Family:  Some families can’t wait to get as far away from each other as possible as members age. If your family’s relationships are strained, don’t count on family support in your golden years. Some caregivers could tell you stories about dysfunctional family relationships that erupt in nasty feuds when aging family members need long-term assistive care.  Who are your family allies? Do you know? You should. One day in the not too distant future, your daily eldercare may depend on a family member. If that day comes, your primary (family) caregiver should be your elder care advocate.
  • Home Upkeep:  If you are a homeowner, you know that appliances and various parts of your home eventually will need repairs. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially, will you be prepared, and able, to keep up with increasing demands of homeownership as you advance in years?
  • Family’s Go-To Contact?  Your parents are older and/or starting to show signs of age-related or chronic disease health decline. You volunteered, or, Dad asked you for help with mowing the lawn after his heart attack scare. Your sibling who lives closer to your parents than you do has been calling you to vent about “little things” around your aging parents.
  • Sibling(s) Lives Closer to Your Elderly Parents: You’ve long assumed that your sibling was merely venting with those telephone calls about your parents. You never gave the conversations a second thought. Your sibling takes care of helping your parents and lives within 15-minutes of your parents’ home.
  • Financially Tangled Elder Web:  You feel blindsided when you inadvertently discover that your parents have not paid their (property) taxes for more than a year now. Then, you discover unopened and unpaid bills in your parents’ home. How, and when, did your parents’ financial affairs get so out of hand?
  • Your Emotional Roller Coaster:  You wonder what you may have missed and decide that the whole mess is your sibling’s fault. You had nothing to do with this.  You have no idea what to do, or, where to begin. You have your own life, marriage or divorce, relationship woes, job demands, financial challenges, adult child(ren) who just moved back into your home in a dismal economy, mounting debt, and more drama. You’ll help your parents because no one else in your family seems to care.
  • Stress:  Your anger mounts. You’re depressed. You stop talking to your sibling(s). You argue with your parents.

You feel so alone.

With 78 million aging boomer cohorts and 65 million caregivers in the U.S., you are part of a supportive community.  Recognizing eldercare’s red flags is one way to achieve confidence that propels you to reach out to healthcare and eldercare professionals for help. Involve your parents and siblings in decisions.
You’re not alone. It’s a family affair.

Isabel Fawcett, SPHR
Isabel has been a full-time, stay-at-home caregiver to her 85 year old mother for 2 years, and counting. She is a regular Contributor at ElderCareLink, a blogger and Twitterer. Isabel is an independent human resources consultant and former HR management professional with 20+ years of HR experience, including FMLA, workers’ compensation and the Americans With Disabilities Act. She is a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certified and last worked for the Office of the Governor in Texas before her most recent eldercare choice.  Isabel also has worked in healthcare as Assistant Director of Volunteers at Beth Israel Medical Center, New York City, and Manager of Staffing and Recruitment, Norwalk Hospital, Connecticut. She has also worked at Marriott International Headquarters in HR. Isabel is fully bilingual in English and Spanish and has been a patient care volunteer for the American Red Cross overseas.

Home care counselors at Age Advantage are available to talk with you and your family about care needs for your loved one, including, how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care. Age Advantage is a home care agency providing In Home Care in San Diego and surrounding areas.

Alzheimer’s Awareness Month Spotlights Treatment & Prevention Efforts in San Diego

Alzheimer’s Awareness Month Sheds Spotlight on Treatment, Prevention Efforts

November marks the beginning of National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, a reminder that the number of people who will develop the disease is expected to skyrocket over the next few years.

Starting Jan. 1, 79 million baby boomers will turn 65 at a rate of one every eight seconds.

That is more than four million per year, according to a recent op-ed piece in The New York Times. If scientists could delay onset of the disease by five years, via better drugs, the United States could keep much fewer Alzheimer’s patients from needing nursing homes, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, and Alzheimer’s experts Stanley Prusiner and Ken Dychtwald said in the piece.

Currently, for every penny the National Institutes of Health spends on Alzheimer’s research, Americans spend $3.50 caring for individuals with the disease, for a total of $172 billion a year.  At that rate, by 2020, the cumulative total will be $172 billion a year, or $20 trillion by 2050, according to the op-ed titled “The Age of Alzheimer’s.”

…read more from Mcknights.com


For information about how Age Advantage can help your family with home care for a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease, including how to reduce caregiver stress in the San Diego area, visit www.ageadvantagesandiego.com or call 619-660-8881.

November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

Presidential Proclamation–National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION

Alzheimer’s disease tragically robs individuals of their memories and leads to progressive mental and physical impairments. This eventually fatal disease represents a serious and growing threat to the health of our Nation, impacting millions of Americans and their families. During National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, we recommit to improving its detection and treatment, finding a cure, and standing with all whose lives are
affected by this terrible disease.

As we continue our fight against Alzheimer’s disease, we must seek new ways to prevent, delay, and treat this disease. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, we are boosting funding for promising research on risk factors, on improving diagnostic tools and therapies, and in identifying new preventive measures.

Source: www.whitehouse.gov
 

Alzheimer’s home care counselors at Age Advantage are available to talk with you and your family about care needs for your loved one, including, how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care. Age Advantage is a home care agency providing Alzheimer’s Home Care in San Diego CA.

Drug Assistance Programs in San Diego CA Keep Seniors on Track

I wanted to share this informative article from usatoday.com. Sometimes our elderly loved ones end up with so many prescriptions over the years that they lose track of what they are taking and why. By consulting with a pharmacist regarding everything your senior is taking, not only could you possibly alleviate some medications, you could also stop a potentially hazardous mix of medications that could make them sick. If you need advice or have questions about elder care in San Diego, please visit www.ageadvantagesandiego.com for information about how we can help.

Drug Assistance Programs Keep Seniors on Track
By Susan Jaffe, Kaiser Health News

Irene Mooney survived four heart attacks and still copes with high cholesterol, persistent indigestion and heart problems. Recently, she developed some dangerous new symptoms — suspicious bruising all over her body and severe fatigue. "I could barely put one foot in front of the other," she says. A pharmacist discovered the culprit: some of the very medications Mooney was taking to manage her medical conditions.

The pharmacist met with Mooney, examined her 13 medications and then contacted her doctor, who cut the dosage of one drug and replaced another, reducing her risk of uncontrollable bleeding. Mooney, 82, one of the devoted card players at her seniors’ complex, soon noticed the change. "I’ve been so much better," she says.

The help Mooney got — called "medication therapy management" — was provided by Senior PharmAssist, a Durham, N.C., non-profit group that makes sure seniors use the right prescription drugs and take them correctly to prevent harmful side effects or drug interactions.

Now, medication management is coming to nearly 7 million seniors and disabled Americans enrolled in Medicare drug plans. Under new, tougher Medicare rules that took effect in January, private insurers that offer drug coverage must automatically enroll members who have at least $3,000 in total annual drug costs, take several drugs and have chronic health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension or heart disease


…continue reading from usatoday.com

When A Loved One Needs In-Home Help in San Diego CA

When A Loved One Needs In-Home Help
By Kristen Gerencher, MarketWatch

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — The signs can hit you quickly or sneak up on you gradually. But what do you do if Mom or Dad isn’t safe living alone anymore?

"The worst thing you can do is ignore it," said Bob Mecca, principal of Robert A. Mecca & Associates, an independent, fee-only financial planning firm in Hoffman Estates, Ill.

If an elderly relative starts to need help to get through the day, families who want to avoid institutions often face two choices: hire a home-care aide or become one yourself. Both these options allow the older person to remain at home where he or she may be most comfortable, experts say, but each has its own pitfalls.

Families who choose outside help must decide what level of care their loved one requires and whether they want to go through an agency or hire a caregiver privately. And people who join the ranks of the 65 million unpaid family caregivers in the U.S. can face health-draining burnout if they don’t budget for respite care for themselves.

There are two main kinds of in-home care. Personal or home-care aides provide companionship and support a person’s activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing, preparing meals and doing laundry. Home health aides may do all those things plus tasks such as administering medication or recording changes in a client’s condition. They also may work under a nurse’s supervision.

…continue reading from marketwatch.com

Age Advantage helps many families in the San Diego area with care and assistance for senior loved ones. If you need Home Care in San Diego, please visit www.ageadvantagesandiego.com. 

 

New Alzheimer’s Guidelines in San Diego CA Aim For Early Diagnosis

New Alzheimer’s Guidelines Aim For Early Diagnosis

By: Kate Kelland

(Reuters) – Experts on Alzheimer’s disease are proposing new criteria for diagnosing the dementia which would pick it up at an earlier stage and should get more patients onto treatment or into trials of new drugs.

An international expert group said the new guidelines would revise the definition of Alzheimer’s to take into account recent scientific developments – including the use of so-called biomarkers, or biological signals, which can show if a person is at risk of the disease before they have any symptoms.

This pre-clinical stage, which can be about 10 years before dementia sets in, is widely seen as the best time to intervene in Alzheimer’s. Recent studies have shown that brain scans, spinal fluid analyses and other tests can help predict who will develop Alzheimer’s and they are becoming crucial to researchers and drug firms trying to develop new treatments.

"It’s very important for us to move from the old way of seeing Alzheimer’s disease to a new one that incorporates the importance of biomarkers," said Bruno Dubois from France’s Salpetriere Hospital.

"There is no longer a reason to wait until patients have developed full-blown dementia," said Dubois, who leads the International Working Group for New Research Criteria for the Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia, is a fatal brain disease in which people gradually lose their memories and their abilities to reason and care for themselves. It affects more than 26 million people globally and there is no cure.

A report last month said the worldwide costs of coping with dementia will reach $604 billion in 2010, more than one percent of global GDP output, and those costs will soar further as the number of sufferers triples by 2050.

…continue reading from news.yahoo.com

If you need help with Elder Care in San Diego, please visit www.ageadvantagesandiego.com for more information.