Love Respect & Companionship
With the necessary health effect disclaimers out of the way, its time to examine how to get the most out of your caregiving experience. Your role may seem straightforward on paper. There are typical responsibilities such as preparing meals, assisting with physical needs and a broad range of day-to-day tasks. However, caregiving is also accompanied by many unwritten and unquantifiable tasks, including providing comfort and companionship, demonstrating patience and forgiving others.
How Does The Free Covid
In January, Biden announced the launch of CovidTests.gov, a website that let households order four free rapid antigen COVID-19 tests shipped by USPS. The site added four more free tests in March, and then another eight more in May. The Dec. 2022 shipments will also include four COVID tests.
Unlike some complicated government applications, ordering free tests from the Postal Service is simple. It takes less than two minutes to complete a short form asking for your name and mailing address, and the tests ship in about a week or two. Americans without internet access or those who have trouble ordering online can request tests using a toll-free phone number — 800-232-0233.
Help For Seniors Living At Home
For older adults who need assistance but want to age in place, home care professionals can offer valuable solutions. Aging in place simply means someone plans to live in their own home for as long as theyre able to, even if theyll need to hire some kind of help.
There are various types of assistance for seniors living alone. The following list includes some common things elders may need help with and suggestions for businesses and organizations that can provide those services. While hiring individual services is great for addressing one or two unrelated needs and tends to keep the overall cost down, keep in mind that in-home care rolls many different services into one point of contact. This option is especially convenient for seniors who require help in several areas.
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Heating And Energy Assistance
The federal government makes funds available to the states to help low income seniors pay for a portion of their winter heating and summer cooling costs. Although this is a federal program, it is supervised at the state level, and usually administered at the county or local level.The income limit for receiving energy assistance varies from state to state, based on state median income and the federal poverty level,and also depends upon your family size.
Contact your state agency on aging listed below for information about how to apply for this program.
How To Plan Ahead To Age In Place
Planning ahead is hard because you never know how your needs might change. The first step is to think about the kinds of help you might want in the near future. Maybe you live alone, so there is no one living in your home who is available to help you. Maybe you don’t need help right now, but you live with a spouse or family member who does. Everyone has a different situation.
One way to begin planning is to look at any illnesses, like diabetes or emphysema, that you or your spouse might have. Talk with your doctor about how these health problems could make it hard for someone to get around or take care of him- or herself in the future. If you’re a caregiver for an older adult, learn how you can get them the support they need to stay in their own home.
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Vulnerable Adults & Seniors Team
Vulnerable Adults and Seniors Team offers specialized supports for seniors who need help taking care of themselves, live in poor conditions or who lack adequate supports such as family, friends or a doctor.
You can access this program by calling Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7600 or by emailing .
Services may be suspended or modified due to COVID-19.
Tips For Dealing With Alzheimers
The challenges of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s are frequently discussed. But most people tasked with managing care for someone living with this disease are already well aware of these challenges and are looking for something more: practical tools and actionable insights for managing them. Interestingly, the following tips are very similar to what is often recommended for caring for autistic children.
1. Have a Schedule
Most caregivers feel like they simply dont have enough hours in the day. Creating a schedule can help you determine how and when to get everything done. People with Alzheimers do well with routines. In devising a routine for yourself, you may also minimize agitation and confusion for your loved one.
When designing your schedule, consider the needs of both yourself and the other relevant parties. For example: When are you best up for helping your aging loved one bathe? When is he or she most agreeable to this activity? When are other family members available to offer backup? Even scheduling routine trips to the bathroom can be a proactive strategy against incontinence.
2. Build in Adequate Time
3. Prepare to Be Flexible
4. Work with Your Loved One, Not Against
5. Commit to Communicating Better
Many caregivers experience frustration when trying to communicate with loved ones who have Alzheimers. But if you show frustration, your loved one will feel it too. Maintain a calm, gentle and positive manner throughout your interactions.
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The Importance Of Self
If youre a caregiver, the idea of taking care of yourself can be difficult. Self-care is something many people struggle with, but it seems to be especially challenging for caregivers.
Caregiving can be both emotionally and physically draining, which makes it difficult to prioritize your own needs. However, taking care of yourself is just as vital as taking care of others.
Self-care can reduce your risk of burnout, depression, and stress. It can also help you remain engaged with your loved ones and maintain your own sense of self.
To make it easier for caregivers to care for themselves, here are some ways to care for yourself to keep your own needs as important as your responsibilities.
Plan Your Day
To be a good caregiver, you have to take care of yourself first. Everything you do as a caregiver will affect your mood, your energy, and your overall health. Therefore, a huge part of self-care is taking time for yourself every day.
Set boundaries. If your responsibilities start to affect your mood and energy level, it can be a sign of impending burnout. You can help keep yourself from feeling overwhelmed by setting boundaries for when you will help your loved ones and when you will take care of yourself.
If you cannot manage your workload without multitasking, consider finding help. Either ask another family member or hire someone to take on some of the burdens of care
Try Breathing Exercises
Take a Walk Outside
Eat Healthy Food
Get Enough Sleep
Personal Care And Hygiene Services
Unfortunately, when a seniors physical and/or mental health declines, their personal hygiene often does, too. Simple tasks like bathing, brushing ones teeth, putting on clean clothes, and shaving may become tiresome or confusing and fall lower and lower on the priority list. Helping a loved one bathe may be the only solution.
However, sometimes an older adult will feel more comfortable receiving bathing assistance from a professionally trained aide than from a family member. It feels less personal and can help preserve their modesty around family members.
Trained aides who provide bathing assistance are usually only available through home care companies or home health agencies. They’ll send a specially trained bath aide to quickly and discretely help your loved one take a shower, bath, or bed bath. Personal hygiene is crucial for good health, and many caregivers turn to bathing services for seniors to avoid the discomfort of providing this intimate assistance. Personal care aides can help elders with dressing, toileting, and incontinence care as well.
Many stylists and salons have also added house calls to their offerings to cover more glamorous personal care services, such as haircuts, shaving, and nail care. But availability depends upon a seniors location.
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Questions To Ask Elderly Home Care Agencies
Ideally a home care agency becomes a familyâs trusted partner for senior care. When you meet with the administrator, getting answers to the following questions can help you avoid choosing a mismatch or substandard care.
The most appropriate educational background for a home care agency leader is in healthcare administration or public health. Typically an administrator has a masterâs degree, but competence for the role is certainly possible with a bachelorâs degree plus work experience. Longtime healthcare professionals such as RNs and psychologists also move into administrative positions.
The best home care agencies are led by people with relevant training and a genuine commitment to human well-being. If you get the sense that money is the managerâs main motivator, then itâs time to wiggle out of the interview.
Is Aging In Place Right For You
Its natural to want to stay at home as you grow older. The familiar can be comforting as we face the losses that inevitably come with aging, and your home is likely filled with fond memories and your neighborhood with familiar people. However, taking a step back to look at the big picture can help you decide whether staying at home for the long term truly is the right step for you.
Too often, decisions to leave home are made abruptly after a sudden loss or health crisis, making adjustments all the more painful and difficult. Earlier planning and examining which home care services are available can make it easier to make the choice thats right for both you and your family.
Of course, everyones needs vary, depending on factors such as how much support you have, your general health and mobility, and your financial situation. Here are some of the issues to consider when evaluating your aging in place and home care options:
Location and accessibility. Where is your home located? Are you in a rural or suburban area that requires a lot of driving? If youre in an area with more public transit, is it safe and easily accessible? How much time does it take you to get to services such as shopping or medical appointments? Its also important to consider proximity to community services and activities.
Home accessibility and maintenance. Is your home easily modified? Does it have a lot of steps or a steep hill to access? Do you have a large yard that needs to be maintained?
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The Difference Between Home Care And Home Health Care
When you look more into home care, you’ll come across the term home health care. Home care and home health care both exist to help older adults age safely in place, but there are key differences you should know about to ensure your loved one gets the care they need.
Home care is sometimes used as an umbrella term for any care a senior receives at home. However, home care primarily means non-medical, personal care, and companionship services. That’s an important distinction to know when making decisions about the services you need.
Seniors who want to recover at home after an illness, injury, or hospital stay might need home health care services. Home health care is a type of short-term in-home care that aligns with a doctor’s care plan to help a patient prevent or recover from a medical condition or surgery. Its primary focus is addressing a senior’s medical conditions.
Home health care services include:
- Short-term nursing care
- Home health aide services
What Families Are Saying
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“My mother-in-law needed short term care while she was recovering from heart surgery. A very kind woman working for Senior Advice helped us find an affordable nursing home option for respite care.”
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What Is Hospice Care And Where Is It Provided
Hospice is a type of medical care for people who are terminally ill and nearing the end of their life. Its most commonly provided when a doctor determines a patient has a life expectancy of six months or less. However, it can be provided for longer if ordered by a doctor.
Typically, a team of health care professionals provide services intended to bring comfort and manage pain. Additionally, hospice care may provide counseling, respite care, and support to family members. For older adults, hospice care doesnt include treatments designed to cure their illness.
People who decide to receive hospice care can get services in their home, an assisted living community, a nursing home, a hospital, or facilities dedicated to hospice. Most hospice services are provided at home, where a family caregiver serves as the primary caregiver.
Hospice care is different from palliative care, though the two are sometimes confused. Palliative care is a supplement to a patients current treatment that can be provided at any stage of their disease. It offers medical, spiritual, physiological, and social support for the whole person, rather than focusing on a specific condition. Oftentimes, palliative care is partially or fully covered by insurance.
Senior Companion And Friendly Visitor Programs
These programs provide seniors with a chance for social interaction with a volunteer, usually another senior citizen, who comes to visit the senior and engage in conversation, or perhaps to read to a visually impaired senior. Volunteers may also take seniors out for recreational activities or help with some light chores around the home. These volunteers can play an important role to helpprevent social isolation, and can also watch for signs that the senior is developing a new or worsening health conditionthat requires medical care.
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Resources To Help You Age In Place
Here are some resources to start with:Reach out to people you know. Family, friends, and neighbors are the biggest source of help for many older people. Talk with those close to you about the best way to get what you need. If you are physically able, think about trading services with a friend or neighbor. One could do the grocery shopping, and the other could cook dinner, for example.
Learn about community and local government resources. Learn about the services in your community. Health care providers and social workers may have suggestions. The local Area Agency on Aging, local and state offices on aging or social services, and your tribal organization may have lists of services. If you belong to a religious group, talk with the clergy, or check with its local office about any senior services they offer.
Talk to geriatric care managers. These specially trained professionals can help find resources to make your daily life easier. They will work with you to form a long-term care plan and find the services you need. Geriatric care managers can be helpful when family members live far apart. Learn more about geriatric care managers.
Look into Federal Government sources. The federal government offers many resources for seniors. Longtermcare.gov, from the Administration for Community Living, is a good place to start.
Quality Home Care From Caring Professionals In The Comfort Of Your Own Home
It all starts with you. Our at-home caregivers assist with independent daily living activities so you or your loved one can have Great Days and Meaningful Moments while receiving in-home care or assistance. Whether its ongoing assistance for post-hospital care or just extra help on a regular or intermittent basis, we can help you or your loved one at home avoiding nursing home or rehab center stays.
We know the ability to remain independent, stay in familiar surroundings, and engage socially promotes physical and mental health for our clients. And we work to find the right care plan and innovative solutions to help seniors and individuals with short- and long-term disabilities stay in their own homes.
Many of our clients are in search of a competent, caring companion to advocate for them. Some could benefit from a home care aid, homemaker or helper for daily living activities. Whatever the needs may be, our expert professional caregivers are trusted caretakers, there to make life run smoothly. Our services can be tailored to meet your specific needs, for example:
- Meal planning and preparation
- Alzheimers and Dementia care
- Hospital to home care
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Free Up Caregiver Schedules
Just because many caregivers devote their lives to aging loved ones doesn’t mean they don’t have commitments of their own. Without the right support mechanisms in place, everything from self-care to “me time” can end up being pushed aside for the more immediate mandates of caregiving. While, in some cases, family members and friends can provide assistance, in other cases their schedules do not allow them to be able to help when needed. In-home caregivers can fill this void and also provide much-needed restorative respite care.