We hear stories all the time from doctors noting that having a friend, family member or even a caregiver join their aging patient on a trip to the physician can be a huge benefit to the senior. Often times senior care can be confusing given our evolving healthcare system…not to mention many seniors have regular appointments and conditions that can be difficult to keep track of. While caregivers are a good choice, family is the best whenever possible…especially one with a direct connection to the patient. Caregivers can offer observations on general well-being of the senior but will (and should) shy away from any truly medical related information. Family can share more specific information that can greatly assist a doctor in their care. Here is an article from Everyday Health on the subject. Be healthy!
Sometimes your loved one does not need a caregiver to come in just yet. They might be quite capable and only need some navigation in where to turn, companionship and an occasional check-in. Many capable seniors benefit from long distance caregivers (often family) and it can be an effective method to keep your loved one happy and safe in their own space. Often, long distance caregivers create a network locally for their loved one (friends and neighbors) that can help be chauffeurs, arms and legs and fill in as needed. I came across some information from the National Institute on Aging I wanted to share. Take a look and be safe, happy and healthy!
One of the biggest hurdles a family faces with a loved one in need of care is often resistance. After all, a lifetime of independence hangs in the balance. It can be extremely hard for a person to give up their privacy…self reliance and sense of self-sufficiency. That being said, many people (often seniors) do reach a point where help is necessary. For some it is simply help around the house and companionship. For others, it might be more involved and include assistance with the activities of daily living (ADL’s) and personal hygiene. How does one address this and facilitate the transition?
I came across the article below written by the Mayo Clinic staff and it shares some techniques on how to bridge the subject with the person in need. We face this continually and often times, by the time help is requested, the family is in crisis mode. We encourage you to enter into a dialogue before the urgency hits. Get your loved on used to the idea of receiving help and communicate that there are plenty of resources that can do so without a loss of independence or dignity. Good caregivers see their work as more than a job…it is a calling. They go out of their way to make clients feel safe, independent and dignified and reinforce there is no shame in accepting a little help.
When I was 16, I though I was the best driver in the world! Go figure…funny how we all feel so confident in our youth! Truth is, most people start a little shaky…learn and get better and (unfortunately) eventually become shaky once again. AAA has some great resources to evaluate mom and dad’s driving skills. If you are a little concerned, maybe encourage them to check this out. And, go take it yourself…see if you too need a little brushing behind the wheel!
There is a lot of evidence music therapy can be very beneficial for seniors. Just take a look at the post entitled “What is Old Anyway”? OK, that might be a little different, but the link below takes you to an article by Today’s Geriatric Medicine that highlights a series of potential benefits from increasing memory to even aiding in exercise. Music is universally a part of culture…mom and dad need a good foot tapping just like the rest if us!