Manual Aging: Caring for Our Elders

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They may also provide limited assistance with things such as taking blood pressure or offering medication reminders. Health care. Some healthcare services can be provided at home by trained professionals, such as occupational therapists, social workers, or home health nurses. Check with your insurance or health service to see what kind of coverage is available, although you may have to cover some cost out of pocket.

Hospice care can also be provided at home. Day programs. Day programs or adult daycare can help you keep busy with activities and socialization during the day, while providing a break for your caregivers. 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.

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Here are some of the issues to consider when evaluating your aging in place and home care options:. Location and accessibility.

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Where is your home located? Are you in a rural or suburban area that requires a lot of driving? How much time does it take you to get to services such as shopping or medical appointments? 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? Support available. Do you have family and friends nearby? How involved are they? Are they able to provide you the support you need?

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Many older adults prefer to rely on family to provide help, but as your needs increase, they might not be able to fill in all of the gaps. Caregiving can be physically and emotionally exhausting , especially if it is primarily on one person such as a spouse or child. Your relationships may be healthier if you are open to the idea of getting help from more than one source.

If it becomes difficult or impossible for you to leave home without help, isolation can rapidly set in. You may not be able to participate in hobbies you once loved, stay involved in community service that kept you motivated, or visit with friends and family.

Losing these connections and support is a recipe for depression. Medical conditions.

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No one can predict the future. What are common complications of your condition, and how will you handle them? Making a budget with anticipated expenses can help you weigh the pros and cons of your situation. Alternate arrangements like assisted living can be expensive, but extensive in-home help can rapidly become expensive as well, especially at higher levels of care and live-in or hour coverage. Naturally, you have the final decision as to where you want to live, but input from family members can be helpful.

Are they worried about your safety or a health problem that will eventually require heavy care? Listening to concerns and keeping an open mind are key. If you feel overwhelmed by the upkeep of your home, cut off from social amenities, or simply want more companionship with others your age, an independent living or retirement community may be a better option. The housing is friendlier to aging adults and while residents live independently, most communities offer amenities and services. As the name suggests, independent living is more about making life easier rather than a loss of independence.

IHPI Seminar: Understanding healthcare care for the elderly: impact of patient and providers

If you or your spouse have a lot of medical needs, though, you may be better off considering an assisted living facility or nursing home. Be patient with yourself. Losses are a normal part of aging and losing some of your independence is not a sign of weakness. Allow yourself to feel sad or frustrated about changes in your home care situation without beating yourself up or labeling yourself a failure.

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Be open to new possibilities. Your loved ones may offer suggestions about home care services to make your life easier. Rather than dismissing them out of hand, try to keep an open mind and discuss the options. Sometimes, new experiences and situations can lead to you developing new friendships or discovering new possibilities. Try a trial run of services.

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  • A trial run lets you have the chance to experience the benefits of home care services without having to commit to anything long-term. Whether you engage a home care service provider directly or work through an agency, you can allay your fears by conducting some basic research. Start by seeking referrals from family, friends, or neighbors. There may be a neighbor who could regularly check-in with you or provide yard maintenance, for example.

    The Caregivers and the Elders

    Local religious groups sometimes offer meals or social activities for older adults. Ask the people you know if they have care providers they can recommend. Your doctor or other healthcare professional may also be able to provide referrals. Since the caregiver works for the agency, they take care of billing and tax issues.

    They may also be bonded for issues such as theft. If a caregiver quits or is not working out, an agency can usually find a replacement quickly, and may also provide coverage if a caregiver calls in sick. How you go about hiring home care providers will partially depend on what kind of help you are looking for.

    Hiring someone to handle shopping or yard maintenance, for example, is different from hiring someone to provide hands-on or live-in personal care.

    How to Cope with an Abusive Elder

    Despite our name, Eldercare Services proudly provides compassionate care to adults of all ages. If you have a family member who is struggling to care for themselves due to long-term special needs, chronic medical conditions, or disabilities we can provide assistance so that their needs will be met, and advocacy so that their voices will be heard.

    Explore how Eldercare Services can help in your situation—regardless of age! Our caregivers for elderly family members could help relieve stress for your entire family. We offer both round-the-clock care as well as less intensive, hourly care solutions. Find out more about our Care Management Services and determine if a care manager is right for your situation. Now with offices in Walnut Creek, serving the greater Bay Area.