Seniors Support Center for Caregivers, Elderly Person, Home Care Option & Nursing Homes http://www.seniorssupportcenter.com Wed, 12 Jun 2013 17:45:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.1 A Guest Post: Saving For Funeral Costs http://www.seniorssupportcenter.com/a-guest-post-saving-for-funeral-costs/ http://www.seniorssupportcenter.com/a-guest-post-saving-for-funeral-costs/#comments Wed, 22 May 2013 14:11:46 +0000 Michele Bayno BSW http://www.seniorssupportcenter.com/?p=2521 Saving For Funeral Costs

Planning for old age is never a pleasant thing to do, but it is necessary in order to see that everything is covered and your family is aware of your wishes regarding potential care or funeral arrangements. The cost of going into a care home and the cost of funerals are increasing, and standard life insurance policies may not always be enough to cover the costs.

Putting money aside to cover funeral expenses is an option worth exploring if you do not wish to burden your family with the financial stress of funeral expenses. Funeral Directors can help you with funeral payment plans, so that you and your family will not have to worry about these issues when the time comes.

Easier decisions

Using funeral directors like The Co-operative Funeralcare will help give you all the information you need so that your final wishes are well informed ones. This can be from choosing between a cremation or burial, as well as the to the type of coffin.

Having a funeral plan in place before you pass away is beneficial to both you and your family as you are able to make all the decisions that you are comfortable with, and your family is not left to make the decisions during a time of grief.

Outlined costs

Having a pre paid plan also means that the cost set out in the plan is the price you pay for the funeral. These plans can be paid in one lump sum or in instalments. You would also have the convenience of having your plan transferred to another funeral home if you should need to.

Ideal for independent individuals

Having a pre paid plan makes more sense if you do not have any close family or friends to carry out your final wishes. The funeral plan provider will take note of any personal information you would want to be shared at the funeral, as well as any song requests or poems you would like to be read and this will be passed on to the funeral directors when the time comes.

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How to Help During National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month (November 2012) http://www.seniorssupportcenter.com/how-to-help-during-national-alzheimers-disease-awareness-month-november-2012/ http://www.seniorssupportcenter.com/how-to-help-during-national-alzheimers-disease-awareness-month-november-2012/#comments Sat, 17 Nov 2012 11:00:22 +0000 Michele Bayno BSW http://www.seniorssupportcenter.com/?p=2492 How to Help During National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month (November 2012)

When President Reagan designated November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month in 1983, less than two million Americans had Alzheimer’s. Today, the disease affects approximately 5.4 million.

According to The Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States and the only cause of death among the top 10 in the United States that cannot be prevented or cured. The organization projects that the number of people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias will double by 2050.

People can help draw attention to this disease and the need for research that will uncover ways to prevent, treat and someday cure Alzheimer’s by getting involved in National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month.

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

There are many different types and causes of dementia, which is a common term that describes symptoms of memory loss and thinking skills that affect a person’s ability to perform normal daily activities. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia and accounts for about 60% to 80% percent of dementia cases.

Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease and symptoms gradually worsen over a number of years. Although the risk of developing Alzheimer’s increases with age, it is not an inevitable part of the aging process.

Help for Those with Alzheimer’s

Although there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, there are medications available that can make the disease more manageable. An early diagnosis is key to helping patients maintain normal function longer by starting treatment sooner. With proper treatment, Alzheimer’s patients can enjoy a quality of life and remain independent longer than patients could years ago. Patients often live for years before their symptoms become noticeable to others.

Medications can help with early-stage issues such as memory loss, behavioral changes, anxiety and sleep issues. As the disease progresses, it’s common for people to suffer from other issues such as mood swings, agitation and depression. Different medications can be used to effectively treat many of these later-stage problems. Community groups, support groups and classes can help people understand the disease and deal with the changes that it will bring to their life. The Alzheimer’s Association, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, Alzheimer’s Disease International and other organizations raise awareness and educate and provide support for people with the disease and their caregivers.

Knowing that they are not alone can bring comfort and hope to patients and help them to plan for the future as the disease progresses. Resources are also available to help Alzheimer’s patients with legal and

financial decisions, as well as navigating Medicare and other insurance matters and social security issues.

Help for Those Caring for Someone with Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease not only affects the individual with the disease, it also affects those who care for them. Being a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s is rewarding but challenging. Caregivers have the satisfaction of knowing that they are providing the support and care necessary for their loved one to live safely and comfortably at home, but it can also be physically and emotionally demanding. It’s common for caregivers to sometimes feel overwhelmed, angry, sad, worried or isolated.

Caregivers can help themselves by researching the disease and learning as much as possible, including the stages and typical progression of Alzheimer’s. This helps them to prepare for things before they happen, which can lead to a sense of being in control instead of feeling helpless. Support groups, online resources and the patient’s doctor can be excellent sources of information and guidance. Some caregivers also benefit from joining a support group or using counseling services.

It’s important to remember that caregivers also need support. Friends and family members can help by offering to give a caregiver regular breaks, or by providing a shoulder to lean on. Caregivers should also have the opportunity to spend time with friends or doing activities they enjoy.

How you can get involved during National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month Alzheimer’s disease is a difficult diagnosis, both for patients and their families, but medical science is continuing to discover new treatments, develop insight as to causes and prevention and provide hope for a cure.

There are many ways to get involved, including donating money, volunteering, participating in advocacy efforts or participating in fundraising activities, such as The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s. The walk, which takes place in communities across the country, is the nation’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.

Visit The Alzheimer’s Association at alz.org or other Alzheimer’s support organization and find a local chapter to see a list of ways to get involved. By being an advocate for people with Alzheimer’s, the people who care for them and the research needed to develop more effective treatments, we can all work together towards a better future and ultimately toward a cure.


 

This guest post was provided by Erin Palmer. Erin writes about topics related to healthcare careers and education like online MSN programs and social work degrees for U.S News University Directory. For more information please visit: http://www.usnewsuniversitydirectory.com

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Life Over 50 http://www.seniorssupportcenter.com/life-over-50/ http://www.seniorssupportcenter.com/life-over-50/#comments Sun, 21 Oct 2012 12:22:41 +0000 Michele Bayno BSW http://www.seniorssupportcenter.com/?p=2464 *Life over 50*

It’s hard to believe I’ve finally made it. Life Insurance company, Fifty seemed too distant growing up. I still feel very young and now that I am here I might as well enjoy it. The only thing is that now I have much less concern for myself. The wellbeing of my loved ones is far more important. I want to make sure that I do everything right by them. I will be here for them now and also when I pass in a very distant future. I will leave with the peace of mind knowing that I took care of them in life and in death.

I did my due diligence because I wanted to know my options. They came down to two, term or whole Life insurance. On the one hand term life insurance is cheaper, but it does have one caveat. Should things turn out as planned and I live past my insurance policy term, I will have to renegotiate my premiums with my insurance company in ten or twenty years, and I may not be able to afford them.

On the other hand, whole life insurance gives the assurance that premiums won’t increase. Should I live to a ripe old age, whole Life insurance can provide loved ones with substantial financial security in the future. You are betting that you will live roughly until life expectancy. At one point the policy becomes equity positive, and from there it grows nicely.

This is a guest post.

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Mandate In Case Of Incapacity http://www.seniorssupportcenter.com/homologation-of-the-mandate/ http://www.seniorssupportcenter.com/homologation-of-the-mandate/#comments Fri, 14 Sep 2012 17:15:08 +0000 Michele Bayno BSW http://www.seniorssupportcenter.com/?p=2360 Mandate In Case Of Incapacity

Written By: Michele Bayno PSW

Are you wondering what you would need to do if a loved one became incapacitated? For example, your aging mother has been forgetful lately and she is making errors while writing out checks to pay the bills. Another example may be that your elderly father is suddenly repeating the same stories over and over again without the awareness that he is doing so.

These are just a few types of situations that may warrant an evaluation from a social worker. Below you will find some useful resources that will answer your most common concerns about the Mandate In Case Of Incapacity.

http://www.curateur.gouv.qc.ca/cura/en/index.html

http://www.1800notaire.ca/index-en.php

Should you require further information, an assessment or a Psycho Social Evaluation you can contact me directly at 514-425-3678 to book an appointment. I am available to provide you with the  documentation required for the completion of the Mandate In Case of Incapacity.

]]> http://www.seniorssupportcenter.com/homologation-of-the-mandate/feed/ 0 How Can A Medical Alert System Benefit My Elderly Parents? http://www.seniorssupportcenter.com/how-can-a-medical-alert-system-benefit-my-elderly-parents/ http://www.seniorssupportcenter.com/how-can-a-medical-alert-system-benefit-my-elderly-parents/#comments Sat, 08 Sep 2012 16:54:41 +0000 Michele Bayno BSW http://www.seniorssupportcenter.com/?p=2339

How Can A Medical Alert System Benefit My Elderly Parents?

Written By: Michele Bayno BA, BSW

A question I frequently get from my readers is: “My elderly parents live alone. How can I help to ensure their safety and well being?” When I visit an elderly client in their home one of the first recommendations that I make is to purchase a medical alert system. This product can benefit  an elderly couple or person who lives alone. Generally speaking, this product can benefit any person who is experiencing some form of loss of autonomy and is at risk of falling.

A common concern is the risk of falling in the home. What could happen in this type of situation? This person could remain injured on the floor for several hours until help arrives. A medical alert system  decreases this risk.

In What Type Of Situations Would A Medical Alert System Be Beneficial?

- An elderly person who lives alone.

- Any person who is at risk of falling.

- Someone who is experiencing loss of autonomy.

- Bathing can pose a risk for anyone in danger of falling and slipping while getting in and out of the bath tub. This system can be used as an additional safety measure in case of a fall.

How Does A Medical Alert System Work?

  • The system gives the ability to be Safe & Secure with SafetyCare 24 hours a day in case of an emergency.
  • When the alarm is activated, it  calls the SafetyCare EMT Monitoring Center. It gives information about the person in danger and the nature of the emergency.
  • The  alarm can be activated with the S37 wireless transmitter that comes with the Caveo 872.
  • When the alarm button is pressed on the transmitter, it automatically dials the SafetyCare Monitoring Center. Once the connection is made, you may speak hands free with the trained and certified EMT at the Monitoring Center through the Caveo 872-integrated microphone and speaker.
  • The wireless transmitter is lightweight and water-proof. It can easily be worn on the wrist or around the neck. It should always be worn in the home and placed next to the bed at night.

I strongly believe this is a wonderful tool that may benefit any individual who it at risk of any form of loss of autonomy and provide peace of mind for those who are concerned about loved ones.

 

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Elderly Issues http://www.seniorssupportcenter.com/elderly-issues/ http://www.seniorssupportcenter.com/elderly-issues/#comments Mon, 02 Jul 2012 01:19:59 +0000 Michele Bayno BSW http://www.seniorssupportcenter.com/?p=1602                                                Written By: Michele Bayno BSW

Are you, or someone you love elderly?  Today, the elderly population face many serious issues. They are sometimes subjected to everything from financial stress to social isolation. Following, I will discuss some of the most important issues that the elderly person may face. This article was written for general information only. If an elderly person is at risk, their doctor should be contacted in order to make a proper assessment of the situation.

Social Isolation

Many elderly persons are isolated. There can be many reasons for this. For example,  their spouse may be deceased or they may be estranged from their family due to distance or conflict. They may have have out lived their friends, or live too far away to visit. The elderly person may have mobility restrictions that keep them confined to their living space. Their health may also be comprised thus contributing to the problem. These are just a few examples of how an elderly person can be isolated.

Over Medication

Today, more and more seniors are over medicated with either prescription or over the counter medication. This can lead to serious health complications, and even death. What can be done about this? An adult child can accompany the elderly person to medical appointments. The adult child can also keep a list of all the medications that the elderly parent is taking. This can help avoid mistakes and over medicating. Another responsible adult who has the elderly persons best interest in mind can also be appointed for this task.

Financial Stress

Today, many elderly face poverty. This may mean not being able to:

- purchase enough food for the month,

- pay utility bills,

- pay rent,

- purchase weather appropriate clothing,

- and pay for their medication.

What can be done to assist an elderly person in this type of situation?

- The elderly person can apply for subsidized housing.

- They can apply for a public long term care facility.

- A qualified social worker can also assist by providing resources.  A qualified social worker is able to assess the situation, and refer the person to the required services and agencies.

Abuse

Abuse towards an elderly person can come in many shapes and forms:

- financial abuse,

- physical abuse,

- emotional and mental abuse,

- sexual abuse,

- and neglect.

If it is believed that an elderly person is abused, the local chapter of the  Elderly Abuse Team can be contacted. The Elder Abuse Team consists of experienced workers who have been trained to work with these issues.

If the elderly person is living in Canada, these links can be used for assistance and information:

http://www.cnpea.ca/

http://www.seniors.gc.ca/c.4nt.2nt3col@.jsp?cid=161

If the elderly person is living in the United States, these links can be used for assistance and information:

http://www.helpguide.org/index.htm

http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/ncearoot/Main_Site/index.aspx

To conclude, these are just a few of the important issues that an elderly person may face today. If you believe that an elderly person is at risk, call their local hospital or community health services. An experienced social worker can help assist with all of these important issues.

“Elderly people face a plethora of difficult issues. If you think that you have what it takes to assist the elderly with these different life changes, consider becoming a social worker with a MSW from Our Lady Lake University Online “.

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The History Of Assisted Living http://www.seniorssupportcenter.com/the-history-of-assisted-living/ http://www.seniorssupportcenter.com/the-history-of-assisted-living/#comments Fri, 03 Feb 2012 16:02:07 +0000 Michele Bayno BSW http://www.seniorssupportcenter.com/?p=1531

Thank You Monica Trivedi for sharing this important information concerning Assisted Living. Permission has been granted to reproduce this article on my website by author.

Source of Information:

http://www.assistedlivinghistory.com/

 

Below is a detailed overview of how assisted living facilities have evolved over the years, as well as some thoughts about the future of assisted living. This site is designed to be a helpful resource for any looking to learn more about what assisted living is, exactly, and the origins of this particular segment of elderly care.

What is Assisted Living?

Assisted Living is a type of elderly care that offers a level of attention and independence between those offered by nursing homes (which land on the higher end of the spectrum) and independent living (which would fall on the lower end).

Inception of the Modern Assisted Living Facility

By the late 1970s it was becoming apparent that the institutionalized setting of nursing homes was no longer acceptable for most aging seniors and their families. As advances in medicine allowed seniors to age in place, many were balking at the idea of nursing home placement. With rumors of mistreatment and neglect surrounding long-term care gaining more and more publicity, the need for change was evident.

Health, Housing and Hospitality

In the mid-70s, Dr. Keren Brown Wilson’s mother motivated her to take a stance for the frail and aging.  It is reported that as a 60-year-old resident of a nursing home, Jessie F. Richardson, asked her daughter to do something to help people like herself.  It was those words that helped motivate Brown Wilson to focus her life’s work on assisting frail and low-income elders.

With custodial care being a predominant function of nursing homes, Brown Wilson examined the aspects which were most “institutional” such as shared bathrooms, communal showers and doors that don’t lock; all of which take away a very basic right to privacy.  She wanted to devise a way to keep providing medical and daily care for older adults while also providing them with the dignity and respect they so deserved.  She told the Oregonian in 2010, “We basically combined what I call the three Hs: health, housing and hospitality.”

Known by many as the “architect” of the assisted living model, Brown Wilson jumped through financial hoops in order to secure funding for what would become the nation’s first recognized assisted living facility in Portland Oregon. In 1981 Park Place opened its doors and was a hit from the beginning. “It did things that weren’t prohibited, but that weren’t popular (at the time), like let people have a lock on their door,” Brown Wilson said.
By 1986, the model of ALs included 24-hour staffing to provide residents with personal and health-related services, but also offered expansive community area and activities designed to facilitate social-interaction.  The services provided by the facilities were individualized and could provide care ranging from medication administration and dementia care to incontinence maintenance.

Between the mid-90s and 2000, the number of assisted livings grew exponentially.  From mom and pop private establishments to large corporate (for-profit and not-for-profit) establishments, assisted living quickly became a mainstream option for aging adults.   Companies like Presbyterian Homes, Genesis HealthCare and Heartland have paved the way for advances in assisted living.

Best of Both Worlds

So, what exactly is an assisted living facility? Perhaps the best definition for assisted living can be found within Oregon’s care philosophy. It states: Assisted living… is a program that promotes resident self-direction and participation in decisions that emphasize choice, dignity, privacy, individuality, independence and homelike surroundings. Often seen as the best of both worlds, assisted livings provide their residents with the privacy and comforts of home, but also provides the necessary means to assist in activities of daily living (ADL).  Most residents of ALs need more supervision and assistance than can be received at home without outside support, but do not require the intensive medical or custodial care that is provided in a skilled nursing facility.

Today, many ALs are not only able to provide assistance with basic ADLs but also provide medical care for those who are not sick enough to be hospitalized and don’t require the care of a skilled nursing facility. There is also a trend for ALs to offer physical, occupational and speech therapy to residents in order to allow them to maintain their highest level of function. This is particularly important for seniors whose goal is to age in place.

In addition to the “traditional” assisted living facility, personal care and board homes, group homes and residential care homes fall under the AL umbrella.   These small-scale facilities are usually located in residential settings and are privately owned.  In many states, these smaller facilities do not require the same staffing levels as required by the ALFs.

The regulations for any assisted living facility are state regulated.  Each state has set forth standards which the facilities must adhere to.  The Assisted Living Federation of America lists the specific regulations for each state.

Evolution of Financial Responsibility

In the beginning, assisted livings were geared towards those who could afford to pay for their care.  It quickly became evident that the masses were not in a position to be able to pay privately for the long durations.  Brown Wilson was not only instrumental in developing the first ALF, but also for developing the first assisted living program reimbursed by Medicaid.

In most states, low-income seniors can apply for Medicaid waiver programs which will help pay for home and health services in assisted living facilities.  Unfortunately, medical assistance doe not usually cover room and board for assisted living. Often, residents are forced to give portions of their social security to the facilities as compensation.

Even though many senior citizens are living on a fixed income a vast majority still pay out of pocket for assisted living costs.  Most funds are drawn from savings, trust funds or investment accounts.  Others find their relatives willing to help pay for their long-term care.
In addition to private pay options, long-term care insurance, veteran’s benefits and in some cases medical assistance can help cover the costs of assisted living.

Growth of AL

Since 1981, it is estimated that over 40,000 more assisted living facilities have been developed nationwide. The 1990s were a period of mass expansion as  In a Harvard faculty study published in the journal “Health Affairs” it was found that there is, on average, 23 assisted-living beds per every 1,000 people aged 65 and older across the United States.  This varies state to state and does not include facilities with less than 25 beds. The top three states for assisted living are Minnesota, Virginia and Orgeon with a combined total of 193 beds per 1,000 persons 65 and over,  where as West Virginia, Connecticut and Hawaii round out the bottom three with only 13 beds per 1,000. The study also showed that the vast majority of assisted livings are located in wealthier and better educated areas and are less likely to be located in rural areas or those with minority populations.  The author of the study, David Stevenson, believes this is simply due to the fact that most ALs are paid by private resources.

SNF vs. ALF vs. IL vs. CCRC

The aging community today has more options than ever before when it comes to long-term care.  For many their ultimate goal is to preserve their health in order to stay in their private home as long as possible.

Independent Living (IL) communities provide housing for seniors who for all intents and purposes live, as the name implies, independently.  Many of these communities consist of private homes or apartments and offer only minimal assistance with home maintenance.  The underlying goal of many of these communities is to eliminate the social isolation that plagues many seniors as they become older.

Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF) provide the most comprehensive care of all the senior house options.  Also known as nursing homes, SNFs are often a last resort for many seniors.  SNFs can can provide the 24/7  support that is needed for those in declining health who need more intensive medical interventions.  Skilled nursing facilities can also be a good referral source for assisted livings.  Many nursing homes now offer post-acute rehabilitation and some residents are able to regain enough functional mobility after and injury or illness that assisted living may be a viable option for housing.

The Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) may offer aging seniors the most options.  The goal of these communities is to provide all levels of living and care to help ease the transition when failing health dictates a move to a higher level of care. Many CCRCs are private pay communities and after an initial lump-sum deposit, the cost for all levels of  care remain the same.  The goal of these settings is to provide a sense of community while helping aging seniors to keep living independently as long as possible.

AL Advocacy

Over the course of the years, several agencies have been developed to further the interests and protect aging Americans.  Without the support of these groups assisted living would not be what it is today and what it has the potential to be in the years to come.

CCAL-Advancing Person-Centered Living

Founded in 1995, CCAL is the only national assisted living consumer organization.  Its goal is to promote and foster person-center living practices by advancing policies and research.  Ultimately, helping to create a “a life centered on personal preference and values that stress dignity, choice, self-determination and individuality regardless of where they live and what services and supports they may need.”  Some of CCALs accomplishments since 1995 include:

  • Operated the only national telephone Helpline to assist consumers and healthcare professionals with questions, problems and advocacy needs related to assisted living. An internet component to the Helpline was added in 2000.
  • Published a consumer booklet, Choosing Assisted Living: Considerations for Making the Right Decision.
  • Served as the co-facilitator for the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging on an eighteen-month national initiative to develop assisted living recommendations
  • Pilot tested an innovative “Community Partnership” (CP) project, to build and strengthen collaborative relationships among residents, staff, and family members in assisted living communities.

Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA)

ALFA describes itself as the “is the shared voice of resident-centered, consumer-driven senior living and the seniors and families served. Through outreach, advocacy and media, ALFA informs the public and policymakers about the critical role senior living communities play to champion quality of life for seniors.”  It’s interesting to note that ALFA does not condone the use of the term Assisted Living Facility In fact, they believe that several commonly used terms are taboo in the industry. For example, they believe the terms house, residence or community should replace the phrase assisted living facility.  In addition words like unit or bed should be replaced by room or suite; or admissions and discharges should be replaced with move-in or move-out.

American Assisted Living Nurses Association (AALNA)

AALNA’s goal is to promote effective nursing practice in assisted living such that nurses as well as residents benefit. It is the only association dedicated exclusively for assisted living nurses.  The organization is run by volunteer nurses whose goals include sharing best-practices, promoting the professional growth of AL nurses through education, research and public policy, and developing a network of AL nurse.

National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL)

The NCAL is the assisted living branch of the American Health Care Association. Its goal is to serve the needs of the assisted living community through advocacy, education, research, professional networking and quality initiatives.   In addition to national advocacy, NCAL also fights for state-specific efforts

The Future

As the baby boomer generation ages, the need for sustained long-term care is going to be vital. Individual states which regulate ALFs may need to Assisted livings facilities will continue to be an integral part of the continuum of care. Each state will need to continue to enforce and establish new regulations to ensure the safety and well-being of society’s most vulnerable.  Perhaps one of most critical issues facing the future of assisted livings is funding.  With economic hardships hitting most or all Americans, states will need to continue conversations surrounding financial aid for the elderly.

As seniors continue to age in place, assisted living facilities will need to continue building strong relationships with outside agencies such as hospice and home health agencies.  Each of these levels of care may be vital for helping a resident remain in the assisted living even when their health is declining.  Without such agencies, the transition to skilled nursing centers is a realistic possibility for many.

Resources:
http://www.genworth.com/content/products/long_term_care/long_term_care/cost_of_care.html

http://portlandassistedliving.com/?page_id=2

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18162565

http://www.ahrq.gov/research/apr08/0408RA17.htm

http://www.susmaninsurance.com/index.php/2011/05/the-evolution-of-assisted-livingresidential-care/

http://www.rwjf.org/pr/product.jsp?id=26795

http://www.cms.gov

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“Seniors” http://www.seniorssupportcenter.com/seniors/ http://www.seniorssupportcenter.com/seniors/#comments Fri, 27 Jan 2012 18:10:11 +0000 Michele Bayno BSW http://www.seniorssupportcenter.com/?p=1498 “Seniors”

Written By: Michele Bayno BSW, BA

Seniors and their caregivers have many challenges today. A simple activity such as taking a daily bath may be difficult for a senior. Making a simple meal may also create numerous challenges. Medications may not be taken according to the doctors’ orders. Possibly, they may not be consumed at all.  The senior may be living alone, and they may be at constant risk for falling. Does this sound familiar?

The individual who is managing the daily demands of an elderly person can be presented with numerous obstacles. Care giving can become overwhelming. The person may be working full time, and raising young children at the same time. If not careful, the caregiver may be at risk for a “Burn Out”. This category of caregivers are called the “Sandwich Generation”. The Sandwich Generation are those people caring for their own young families, and their aging parents at the same time.

Many different scenarios may exist. It may be an elderly daughter caring for her aging parents. It may also be an aging friend providing companionship. Whatever the situation may be, burn out is a possible risk when one is involved with caring for seniors.

What are the signs of “Caregiver Burn out”? :

-Decreased levels of energy

-Catch colds easily and frequently

- Always tired, no matter how much sleep you get per night

-Neglect of your own needs

-Life revolves around care giving

-Feelings of resentment, anger and irritability

-  Difficulty relaxing

- Impatience towards the person you are taking care of

-  Feeling overwhelmed, anxious, helpless and hopeless

To read more about support for caregivers, you can review:

http://www.seniorssupportcenter.com/support-for-caregivers/

As can be seen, the caregiver faces many challenges. The elderly person is also faced with many issues. With many years of experience as a geriatric social worker, the most common concerns of an elderly person are:

-A senior is often afraid of the unknown. Specifically, what will happen to them once they can no longer take care of themselves in their own home.

-Will they run out of money in their old age?

-A senior often does not feel ready to be transferred to an assisted living environment. A frequent statement I hear: “The nursing home is the last stop before I die”. This is what I call the “grieving process for one’s autonomy”. It is very important to acknowledge these feelings if you are the one being relocated. It is important to talk about this process with a professional who has experience with this. This is all part of the grieving process. The caregiver also needs to acknowledge how they feel. The caregiver may also need to grieve the senior’s loss of autonomy.

-A senior is often afraid that their care needs will not be met in an assisted living facility.

I have only listed a few concerns that the elderly person may have. Many other concerns may also be present, and it is important that all be validated.

To conclude, challenges present for both the elderly and their caregivers. Being a “Senior”, and caring for one has many unique challenges. It is important that all people who are caring for an elderly person practice self -care. This will avoid a burn out. Caring for a senior can be a beautiful journey, for all those involved.

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Agency of Aging http://www.seniorssupportcenter.com/agency-of-aging-agency-for-aging/ http://www.seniorssupportcenter.com/agency-of-aging-agency-for-aging/#comments Fri, 20 Jan 2012 14:39:53 +0000 Michele Bayno BSW http://www.seniorssupportcenter.com/?p=1473 Agency Of Aging

It seems a great deal of people search these terms every month. If you have landed here it is possible that this website may have something you are looking for. We specialize in the needs of the elderly as they transition through the different stages of life. Becoming a senior can be a rewarding experience for everyone involved, however the challenges can be daunting. Information is always the best medicine . I suggest that you peruse this site and write me if you have any questions.

Thank you,

Michele Bayno BSW, BA

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Alzheimer’s Disease: What You Should Know http://www.seniorssupportcenter.com/alzheimers-disease-what-you-should-know/ http://www.seniorssupportcenter.com/alzheimers-disease-what-you-should-know/#comments Mon, 16 Jan 2012 18:51:09 +0000 Michele Bayno BSW http://www.seniorssupportcenter.com/?p=1432 Alzheimer’s Disease: What You Should Know

Written By: Michele Bayno BSW, BA

Alzheimer’s can be tricky. It can present itself with symptoms that seem innocent enough. For example, you may just be forgetting things, but we all do from time to time. According to Joseph Hanna (B.Sc. Phm., CDE, CGP), it is estimated that this affliction affects half a million Canadians and five percent of those over 65 years old. If you suspect that you or a loved one is forgetting things beyond “normal”, it is a good idea to book an appointment with the doctor to discuss any issues. The doctor will run tests to determine if there is a problem. Getting an accurate diagnosis as early as possible increases the chances of slowing down this devastating disease.

You may be unaware that they have Alzheimer’s because it often impairs judgement. You also may not be aware of the symptoms. It is important to keep in mind that there may be many reasons other than Alzheimer’s disease causing those symptoms. For this reason, it is important to consult with a doctor.

What is Alzheimer’s Disease:

-Alzheimer’s disease affects the brain by causing the formation of dense deposits called plaques as well as abnormal tangles throughout the organ. Over a period of several years, brain cells die. When this happens, the person will experience symptoms of dementia.

What Are the Symptoms of Dementia?

-one can experience behavior changes.
-one can experience personality changes.
-consistent memory loss that affects daily life more than a “normal” aging person.
-experiencing difficulties with activities of daily living.
-one can experience problems with speech.
-one can experience disorientation.
-misplacement of objects.
-decreased judgement.
-decreased abstract thinking.
(Source of Information: Joseph Hanna)

What are the Risk Factors Associated with Alzheimer’s Disease?

-increasing age.
-family history.
-genetic disorders.
-female gender.
-diabetes.
-high blood pressure.
-less than six years of formal education.
-obesity.
-head injury.
(Source of Information: Joseph Hanna)

How Can One Reduce The Risk?

-leading a healthy lifestyle.
-eating a healthy diet.
-engaging in physical activity on a daily basis.
-staying within a healthy weight range.
-maintaining normal blood pressure.
-maintaining normal cholesterol levels.
-participating in activities that are mentally stimulating.
-consuming moderate amounts of alcohol.
-quitting smoking.
-reducing your stress levels.
-protecting your head from injuries.

What are the Treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease?

-herbal medications such as ginkgo have demonstrated some promises. However, this requires further studies to prove the effectiveness.
-acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. This drug is sometimes used in combination with an N-methyl -d- asparate antagonist. According to Joseph Hanna, this may reduce the symptoms and possibly delay the progression of the disease. It is important to remember that the damage to the brain appears to be irreversible.

As always, consult with a doctor if you believe you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. This article is not to be used as a medical diagnostic tool.

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