Tag: support for caregivers

Selecting the Right Assisted Living Facility

Selecting the Right Assisted Living Facility

18916073_sChoosing to place your aging loved one in the care of someone other than yourself or another family member is a difficult decision. But, the bills are piling up; you have a busy job, and barely enough time to spend with friends and family. This is the realization that you can no longer care for your aging parent(s) or relative without risking their safety and your family’s financial and emotional well-being. You need help! But how do you choose the right assisted living facility?

Far too often have we heard and seen abuse and neglect at assisted living/nursing facilities.  Here are some helpful tips and things to look for that will put your mind at rest and guarantee the happiness and safety of your parent or relative.

The Facility

The quality of the facility itself is very important. This is where your loved one will live, eat, and sleep. Naturally, you want it to be a pleasant place that only encourages the comfort and happiness of your parent or relative. As a general rule, you should always look for reviews and inspection reports concerning the specific assisted living facility you are interested in. Here are three important factors that indicate a good facility:

1.   Cleanliness – The facility should feel fresh and clean. Check furniture, corners, windows, etc. to determine how thorough cleaning personnel are. Use your nose. Believe it or not you can generally get a feel for the cleanliness of a facility based on how it smells.   

2.   Outdoor Areas – Investigate the upkeep and use of the available outdoor areas around the facility. Make sure they are safe, spacious, and enjoyable. 

3.   Living Corridors – Check the living corridors. Question cleaning maintenance and the size of the room to ensure easy use, comfort, and safety.

The People Pay close attention to the staff. These are the people that will be caring for your aging loved ones daily. Are they friendly? Do they listen? Are they caring? Be sure to meet and talk with some of the staff while observing their interactions with current residents. There should also be an ample staff-to-patient ratio for your loved ones maximum care and comfort.

The Care To ensure your parent or relative is being properly cared for, here are some important questions you can ask and things you can do to determine a good assisted living facility:

  • Questions You Should Ask Yourself

Do you imagine you or your loved one being comfortable?

Are the staff and residents friendly, open, and inviting?

Are the current residents properly dressed and well-groomed?

Does the community feel fresh and clean?

Do the staff smile and treat residents with respect?

Does the area feel safe and secure?

  • Things You Can Do

Visit often and sometimes without warning

Be involved in care, medication, daily activities, etc.

Get to know the staff

Have other family members and friends stop by and visit

These tips can help you determine whether or not the facility you are considering is one in which your parent(s) or relative would be happy to live. Use your knowledge, trust your instincts, and guarantee your aging loved one’s comfort and safety by selecting the right assisted living facility.

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This article was brought to you by Country Club Retirement Campus. They provide independent and assisted living apartments, rehabilitation services, and long-term and short-term healthcare  services at four locations in the Ohio area. You might enjoy taking a moment to visit their website.

Create a Support Network in Your Hour of Need

Create a Support Network in Your Hour of Need

Online SupportPlanner from Caring Bridge
Interactive online calendar allows easy scheduling

Are you , or someone you know, facing or dealing with a health crisis? Are you desperate for a little extra help and support but don’t know where to turn?  Now, you don’t have to go it alone.

Ten years ago my husband had a heart attack. We had two high school age children who were knee deep in extracurricular activities, part time jobs, and college searches. My husband and I supported our family with our home based business, that on the best days required 24/7 attention from both of us. There was not time or energy in our days for what we were already doing let alone to deal with the extra demands of a sudden health crisis.  I didn’t know where to turn.

We called on a few family members to help out, who graciously availed themselves to us, but it was not an orderly, easy coordination of efforts and at times seemed more effort than help. Who can think, plan and organize at a time like that? I couldn’t.  CaringBridge.com did not exist at that time, at least in my world. It would have made all the difference.

CaringBridge.com is a non-profit organization that understands the difficulties inherent in coping with a life crisis. Its mission is to “amplify the love, hope and compassion in the world, making each health journey easier”.  The evidence is clear that it is fulfilling its mission.

The SupportPlanner is CaringBridge’s primary tool to assist people facing a health crisis such as the one my husband and I faced.  It is an online tool that makes coordination of support efforts thorough, easy  and efficient. It provides a centralized, virtual location to organize helpful tasks, such as the delivering of a meal, transportation, taking care of pets, etc. Only people who are invited by the user to view the planner can access the calendar and sign up for a task, ensuring privacy for the parties involved.

Several months ago, my friend Sandy was facing major surgery. She lived alone and was uneasy about the six week recovery period she was facing, when she would be unable to drive. Her sister had heard about CaringBridge.com and before Sandy even entered the hospital she had signed coordinated a full spectrum of support volunteers using The SupportPlanner and she did it all through email.  She coordinated meals, visits, errands, and drivers and Sandy received the support of a dozen well wishers throughout recovery. The support was a tremendous gift to Sandy and, I believe, resulted in a quicker, less painful recovery.

In honor of National Cargiver’s Month, I encourage you to visit CaringBridge.com and learn a little about what they have to offer.  You never know when you, or someone you care about might need support.

 

MEET HOLLY EBURNE ~ Dementia Caregiver’s Coach

MEET HOLLY EBURNE ~ Dementia Caregiver’s Coach

Holly offers group coaching and one on one coaching/mentoring for families and caregivers living with dementia.

Her coaching programs are for those caregivers who are willing to make changes in their life because they believe that they can live a life with less effort. They want someone to listen to their needs and come up with a plan specific to their situation. They know in their heart they deserve to be happy and are committed to finding a way. It takes time and are willing to take the steps necessary to feel more joy and happiness in their life.

Who would benefit most from your programs in coaching and teaching?

Baby boomer caregivers – especially women, who still have children at home or who just left the nest. They are feeling isolated and overwhelmed with juggling work, house, finances, family, and themselves. They want more free time, more energy, and…balance in their life. They are tired of the emotional roller coaster and want to know how to manage their anger, resentment and sadness over the unexpected changes in their lives.

What is unique about your skills as a Dementia Caregiver’s Coach?

I am living a balanced life in the ‘trenches’ as a caregiver for my husband, Dave-diagnosed with dementia almost 4 years ago. Being a younger caregiver (baby boomer) I understand the added challenges of having children at home, and working full-time. I also understand what it feels like to have resentment over not having the life you expected in your ‘prime’ years; and to lay awake worrying about finances, wondering how you are going to pay for future care.

I have 56 years of life experiences as a daughter, sister, mother, friend, businesswoman, and health professional. For the past 2 decades I have been studying and integrating personal growth material- books, courses, CDs, life coach exercises–into my life. This work has helped me through the lowest point in my life 2 years ago. I have found the gifts of living with dementia, without denying the reality. I have reached a peaceful place as a caregiver where I am living with fewer struggles and more joy. I am actually having fun creating win-win situations.

Professionally, I have worked in the medical profession for 32 years. In 1981 I graduated with combined degrees in Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy. My passion is coaching, inspiring and empowering patients to find simple, practical solutions for their wellbeing: physically, emotionally and mentally.

In addition, I have a Bachelor of Physical Education degree and a post-graduate Diploma in Sport Physiotherapy. This has allowed me to travel around the world with the Canadian National athletes. Working with elite athletes, and being a competitive athlete myself, I know how important it is to have commitment, responsibility, patience and belief in self.

Finally, I walk the talk. I only teach the systems and tools that are working well for our family. My daughter Amy thinks our family was tight before, but even tighter now.

VISIT HOLLY’S BLOG

ARTICLES BY HOLLY

Chris Moon-Willems ~ Founder of Relative Matters

Chris Moon-Willems ~ Founder of Relative Matters


Chris Moon-Willems is the founder and owner of Relative Matters an elderly care consultancy in England.  With over thirty years of experience as a professional in social care and NHS, as well as, five years of personal experience caring for her own aging parents, she has mastered the ins and outs of the caregiving process. She knows how to navigate the system and offers her assistance to family members who are caring for elderly parents.

Chris and her team at Relative Matters, advises and assists their clients in the arrangement and moderation of their loved ones care.  She is passionate about helping older people and guides them to find the best value solutions to their age specific challenges.  For more information visit her website Relative Matters or pick up a copy of her book: Relative Matters – the essential guide to finding your way around the care system for older people

You will also find Chris on Facebook and Twitter @ChrisMoonW

Article by Chris Moon-Willems on Aging Abundantly

Surviving Divorce

MORE RESOURCES FOR CAREGIVERS

DALE CARTER~ Transition Aging Parents

DALE CARTER~ Transition Aging Parents


Dale Carter, an Aging Advocate/Speaker/Coach, loves teaching others how to guide their own aging parent or loved one through the changes they often face. Focusing on the preservation and strengthening of relationships, Dale will show you how to save time, money and heartache.

Here is how Dale describes her journey into her role as Aging Advocate:

“I began writing my blog to share my experiences and lessons learned as I helped my mother through a health crisis. I helped her through a recovery period, helped her find interim home services, and also helped her select and move to a retirement community. I started from knowing nothing about eldercare, stages of aging or the range of options. I educated myself quickly. While I wanted my mother to have “quality of life”, I was very careful to listen to what she wanted. This was a huge learning experience for me… a major life changing experience. My perspective about aging has changed … for the better! I knew I had to share what I learned with others.”

Dale now has a website filled with information and options for support. Be sure to visit  Transition Aging Parents. You will find more information on Dale, her book (also called Transition Aging Parents) a FREE e-course, radio show, blog, videos and articles all for the caregiver. If you need support or just a little  perspective, let Dale lend a helping hand. She’s been where you are now and will walk with you on this journey with your aging parent so that you can not only survive but “thrive and find joy” in every stage of life. You will also find Dale on Facebook and Twitter.

How to Prevent and Recover from Compassion Fatigue

How to Prevent and Recover from Compassion Fatigue

Yesterday I wrote about my own personal experience with compassion fatigue in the post “What is the Answer to Compassion Fatigue” and hopefully described it in a way that is recognizable to those of you who are feeling the stress of caring too much. It is a common experience among professional caregivers of all types, as well as those individuals who are caring for an aging parent or a sick spouse or child. Women are particularly vulnerable to compassion fatigue as they tend to be the ones who nurture and provide care in a situation. Not only do others expect and depend upon them for this ability, but we seem to be designed to expect it of ourselves as well.

Giving, supporting and caring for others are one of a woman’s most precious gifts, but a strength taken to its extreme can quickly become a weakness. Caring too much can break us down, use us up and make it impossible for us not only to keep on giving but to enjoy our own lives.

The degree to which we may be vulnerable to compassion fatigue will depend on both nature and nurture. If we recognize that we may be suffering from compassion fatigue, whether it is mild or severe, it is time to take action to uncover the internal, as well as, the external causes. Here are a few steps to take to get you started along the road to recovery and prevention. In the future I will cover more specific topics in detail.

Steps to Take to Begin the Healing Process

Journal: Begin writing in a journal at least once every day. Write about your feelings, concerns, problems and issues. It doesn’t matter how well you write because no one ever has to read your journal. It has been shown scientifically that the act of writing is extremely beneficial both emotionally and physiologically. It is relaxing, cathartic and helps your mind process the stresses of the day.

Talk to a Supportive Person: Whatever you do, don’t try to go it alone. When we become overwhelmed emotionally we tend to withdraw. Compassion fatigue often results in a feeling of numbness. We may think we have nothing to talk about because our feelings are buried under exhaustion and a sense of overwhelm and hopelessness. If you do not have a friend or spouse with whom you can talk about your concerns, seek out the support of a therapist or pastor, or someone with whom you feel comfortable and can talk freely. You are not necessarily in need of answers to your care giving problems, you just need to be cared for too!

Care for Yourself: This is often the hardest thing a caring, giving person can learn to do, but it is essential when external demands intensify. Take time to do the things you enjoy doing and do so often. Slow down, find a way to do a little less and time to do nothing. Take ten minutes every day to sit quietly and do absolutely nothing – preferably fifteen minutes.  This time, without distractions or demands, allows your psyche to process all the myriad of information that it already contains. It will help you connect to yourself, to your center, to your life force and you will find that you are rejuvenated.

These three steps will get you started along the path to compassion fatigue recovery and prevention. It is only the beginning, as changing ourselves is always a process that takes time, dedication and determination.

by Dorothy Sander