Resources for Families with Loved Ones Needing Care

recources-family-with-seniors-sizedCaring for an ailing loved one can be a daunting and overwhelming task, to say the least. Aside from the logistical arrangements of ensuring transportation to doctor’s appointments or rehabilitation activities, there is also the emotional roller coaster of sadness, frustration, tenderness, and nostalgia.

Rest assured, there are resources available to provide support for those caring for an older loved one. Here is a list of just a few of the top resources available to offer guidance, answers, and sometimes just a listening ear.

1) AARP

AARP is an invaluable resource for those entering their Golden Years and for those caring for an elderly loved one. Founded in 1958, AARP now lobbies in Washington on behalf of older Americans and has several affiliate organizations that serve a number of functions. The organization has an entire webpage dedicated to “family caregiving.” There are informational links on health, financial and legal concerns, and how to maintain balance when caring for a loved one, as well as a site with links to local resources, depending on where one is located. The AARP magazine and webpages are also a great resource for information on scams targeting older Americans, as well as up-to-the-minute coverage of political topics and news affecting this demographic.

2) Retirement Communities

Many retirement communities like those in San Diego, California, offer both luxury resort living accommodations and senior care services pertaining to injuries or memory loss. Facility websites include frequently asked questions sections with information not just on that particular facility, but also key things to consider when trying to decide if such a community is the right choice for the loved one in your care. Many facilities have a rich social media presence and are staffed with employees happy to answer questions and provide reassurance in times of uncertainty and decision-making.

3) Eldercare Directory

It’s interesting to note that each state in the U.S. has an Aging Services Division dedicated to providing home and community services to older Americans. These have the goal of allowing for maximum independence. Some offered might include help with household chores, meals delivered to one’s home, health aides, and even transportation to the grocery store and to medical appointments. Some agencies may also provide legal aid or access to mental healthcare and counseling.

4) PBS

It’s not just for Big Bird and Mister Rogers! The Public Broadcasting Service has long been known for national programming that ties in with local community outreach. PBS’s “Caring for Your Parents” programming and subsequent website pages offers a wealth of resources and support systems available, along with information straight from doctors and experts themselves.

 

Keyword: senior care services san diego

 

How to Care for a Loved One Struggling with Memory Loss

care-for-memoryGrowing older has many upsides: you no longer have to work long hours. You have lived life and learned life lessons, so a certain level of wisdom has been gained. Plus, now that the kids are grown, it’s much easier to sit back and enjoy grandchildren and great grandchildren!

A painful reality of growing older for many, however, is memory loss. For the person experiencing it, it can be confusing, frustrating, and even terrifying. For the families, watching a loved one struggle can be scary and heartbreaking. While it can take on different forms and exist to different extents, those who struggle can find comfort with some simple steps that may make things a little bit easier.

1) Shared Experiences

Experts and family members alike say that one frustrating aspect of trying to help a family member experiencing this is the inability to know what to talk about. Family members who try to re-tell family stories may frustrate and confuse their loved one, which in turn leaves the family member unsure of what to say. Rather than watch communication completely break down, some programs offer a solution. A prominent community art institution, for example, offers a program where caregivers and those struggling with diseases such as dementia or Alzheimer’s can visit the galleries for free, experience a piece of art together, and then use given prompts to discuss it. Program organizers say this gives a loved one and their caregiver a shared experience to discuss that doesn’t involve long-term memory. This allows the two to interact without frustration.

 2) 24-7 Care

Family members often worry about their loved one becoming confused and wandering away from home. The loved one in turn can find this “hovering” condescending and suffocating. A good solution to meet everyone’s need might be a residential memory care facility in National City. Most such facilities offer specially trained staff and up-to-the-minute technology to ensure that one’s loved one is safe and enjoying life without being hovered over.

3) Underwhelming Environment

Such facilities cite the importance of what might seem to be an underwhelming living environment. Experts say that this is actually crucial, as dementia can make a regular home environment with multiple colors, clutter of memorabilia and artwork, and multiple rooms with varying décor feel completely overwhelming. Simplifying the loved one’s living environment can make moments of confusion a bit more bearable.

4) Patience

It’s very important for family members and caregivers to remember to be patient. Keep in mind that it is just as confusing, overwhelming, and frightening for the one who is experiencing it firsthand. With patient love and support, families can ease these stresses and come out of it all closer than ever.

 

 

Strengthening Family Relationships

family

Caring for elderly family members demands time and commitment. Some seniors also require specialized treatment and attention that family is not always able to provide. In those instances, an increasing number of families are turning to quality senior care services in the National City area. Close to home, and offering a level of care that everyone’s loved ones deserve, families are discovering the many benefits of independent and assisted living arrangements.

Being a family caregiver is challenging and frequently involves adopting or learning a new set of skills and responsibilities. Over 30 million adults in the United States have provided some kind unpaid care to a senior family member. As the nation’s population ages, that number is likely to increase.

Relying on senior care services can help alleviate some of the demands of being a caregiver. It has benefits for both parties and can result in a stronger and healthier partnership in care between parent and child or other family members.

A Labor of Love

Choosing to be a family caregiver entails a wide-range of responsibilities that not everyone is prepared for. Many adult children feel it is their obligation to care for a parent, but they soon discover that they have no idea what they are doing or how to handle difficult and delicate situations.

Family caregivers often find themselves in the midst of personal care crises, uncomfortable discussions, and other new territory like:

  • providing support during bathing and relief activities
  • cleaning up after episodes of incontinence
  • reacting emotionally to daily conflicts and behavior
  • not having the confidence to make decisions and choices
  • being frustrated and conflicted about how a family member is acting
  • not understanding or being unprepared for the complications associated with aging and health decline

Family caregivers are not professionals. They frequently lack any medical training or qualifications. In addition, they may not have ever faced a medical or personal family crisis and may not know how to act in an emergency. Providing care and support when they are confused or flustered may be especially difficult.

Relying on senior care services in the National City area can help alleviate some of the stress and anxiety that many family caregivers suffer from. Taking advantage of professional support and expert care frees up time and resources so that family can spend more quality time with their senior loved ones. Not being the primary or only caregiver alters the personal dynamics between family members. When caregivers have more time to devote to focusing on a senior family member and not their specific essential needs, they can enjoy a more fulfilling relationship.

 

Care Services One May Not Know About

holding-hands

When it comes to senior care services in San Diego, most individuals know that there are different types of housings available, such as independent or assisted living, or nursing homes and memory care. However, they may not be aware of other kinds that may work for them as well.

Residential Care Homes

Residential care homes are the type of housing offering senior care services in San Diego for those individuals who need assistance with aspects such as dressing and bathing. Usually, in this sort of setup, there are private homes made for residents who live together with one another, while receiving care from caretakers that live with them. Nursing services and amenities differ greatly between communities, so one should make sure to ask about what is offered when touring the place. They are also known as adult family homes, board and care homes or group homes.

Respite Care

Another form of housing offering senior care services in San Diego is respite care, which is made to offer a temporary break for caregivers. In this case, a resident is allowed a short-term stay, while the community cares for their specific needs. The time a resident usually spends in such programs varies from a week to a month, and this is dependent on their situation. This type of care may also be used as a get-acquainted period for the individual, to see whether they like the community and would consider moving in for a longer term. They may also be called adult day care or short-term stay programs.

Home Care

For elderly who prefer to remain in their homes but can’t manage on their own, there is home care available, which offers assistance while keeping them independent. Usually, assistance is offered for activities like dressing, bathing, and meal preparation. Further help may be provided for making appointments, transportation, or paying bills. These services vary depending on the specific needs of the individual and range from once per week to 24 hours a day. One may also find these types of services as home health care, in-home personal care or home care aid.

Being aware of all the different types of services available for seniors is extremely important, as it makes the final decision of what to choose better informed. Helping a senior stay independent for as long as possible becomes easier and more manageable when one picks the right sort of help.

 

How to Be the Neighbor You’ve Always Wanted

neighbors

Your home is the place where you feel comfortable, you can relax, and it is your safe haven. Whether you live in a penthouse and receive senior care services in San Diego or a two-bedroom apartment, your neighbors can bring you immense joy and fulfillment in your life. However, to experience that happiness, you need to be a good neighbor. Here are a few ways to do just that.

Be Outgoing

This can be challenging for introverts and more reserved individuals, but step out of your comfort zone and meet your neighbors. Introduce yourself and be friendly. When you see them outside of your home, say hi, learn their names, get to know them. If you are familiar with your neighbors and those living around you, you’ll have an increased feeling of security in your own home.

Do Things Together

You don’t need to host large events to get to know your neighbors. Invite them to your home for dinner or ask if they’d like to join you at a nearby restaurant or attend a movie. Spend time on the golf course together or invite them to a community class. There are many opportunities and events where you can extend invitations. Just remember that if they say no, it is OK and you can always invite them at a later time.

Keep Your Surroundings Clean

One of the best and easiest ways to be a good neighbor is to be clean. Take ownership in your home and take care of it. Avoid littering and placing belongings outside your door. Do your part to keep your own home and the neighborhood presentable and well taken care of.

Be Mindful of Your Noise

Keep your noise levels to a minimum. Avoid pounding on walls, turning on loud music or letting your TV reach high volume levels. Do your part to keep your noise levels to a minimum and if you are worried about the amount of noise you are making, ask your neighbors if they can hear you. Be willing to take criticism if they do address a noise level issue with you. Don’t be easily offended and work to become a more quiet, courteous neighbor.

While living situations may differ, it is important that no matter what type of home you live in, you are mindful of those who live near you. Watch your noise levels, keep your surroundings clean, be friendly and even be willing to get to know your neighbors and establish friendships with them. The better neighbor you are, the better experience you will have living in your beautiful home.

Paradise Employees Getting Their Groove on at Stand-Up!

Stand-up meetings are a fantastic way to keep everyone on the team informed and ready for the day.

At Paradise Village the team is rather ingenious at thinking outside of the box. Hence stand-up meetings that are not the usual seen at most senior living communities.

Here is a little taste of this wacky fun group and what a safety sing-a-long might look like if you shake those hips… Go team!

Independence at Home Demonstration Program Commences

Medical practices equipped to provide at-home care services for chronically-ill patients may be eligible for incentive payments under a new demonstration project created by the Affordable Care Act.

Starting this month, the Independence at Home Demonstration is calling for applications to test whether providing coordinated home-care services for patients with multiple chronic conditions will keep them out of the hospital, improve patient satisfaction and outcomes, and lower Medicare costs.

Up to 10,000 eligible beneficiaries, as well as up to 50 providers may participate during the study’s 3-year period. Applications from medical practices to the program are being accepted until Feb. 6.

“When critically-ill patients can remain in familiar surroundings, the benefits are many: the person retains greater control over their lives, families and caregivers report greater satisfaction with the care, and unnecessary hospitalizations are avoided,” CMS acting administrator Marilyn Tavenner said in a statement.

In order for beneficiaries to participate, they must have multiple chronic conditions, have received rehabilitation treatment in the last year, be covered under fee-for-service Medicare, have been admitted to the hospital in the last year, and need assistance with at least two daily activities (such as walking or bathing). CMS will track beneficiaries’ experiences through a variety of quality measurements.

To qualify for the program, medical practices must have experience providing at-home care, they must serve at least 200 eligible beneficiaries, they must use electronic health information systems, and they must provide at-home visits and have available 24/7 coverage. They must also report required quality measures. Practices may apply separately, or multiple primary care practices within a geographic area may form a consortium in order to participate.

Practices that demonstrate a specific savings target as a result of participation in the project will receive an incentive payment if they also meet at least three of six quality measures. The amount of the incentive payment will be commensurate with the savings achieved. Saving targets will be determined on a per capita basis.

If you would like more information on how this program may benefit you here at Paradise Village, contact our Executive Director for assistance.

San Diego Experiences Significant Power Outage

Yesterday, San Diego experienced a power failure, the likes of which have not been experienced before on this scale.  More than two million households were without power, from Baja, California into South Orange County.  This disrupted most all area businesses, caused extraordinary gridlock on highways and surface streets, and closed the Lindbergh  Airport for all in-bound and outbound flights.

Paradise Village residents and staff, however, took great comfort in one another and rode out the electrical disruption in style.  With ample power produced from back-up generators, Paradise Village operations continued with only minimal interruption.  Central services in the Plaza, such as restaurant dining, WiFi internet, all elevators, Club Paradise wellness facilities, and most other services did not experience problems.  In fact, the camaraderie produced through the event was extremely positive!  It even caused an impromptu social hour around both the speech from President Obama and the season opening NFL football game.

“I’m so happy with the response from staff and management and the community was quite prepared to handle this problem!” exclaimed one Paradise Village resident.

Other communities in the San Diego, without generators to back up their electrical systems, did not fare as well.  With some residents stuck in elevators and complete shut down of services and amenities, these communities had a much more difficult time during these long hours.

Thanks go out to staff and residents for such a positive response to an unprecedented blackout.  Paradise Village’s design and construction proved worthy to provide residents and employees safety and security in an otherwise daunting situation.

The Real ‘Heroes’: Sandwich Generation Caregivers

A 2008 poll revealed that more than 20 million Americans are caring for their aging parents, as well as for their own children. The role of double-duty caregiver among the “sandwich generation” has attracted attention recently as it becomes more apparent that many families are struggling to make ends meet.

In light of this, events take place throughout the United States  commemorating National Sandwich Generation Month during July. These events and the organizations behind them seek to heighten understanding of the unique needs of the Sandwich Generation and foster supportive communities. The month also raises awareness for the various support services available to caregivers.

Take time this month to learn about strategies available to the Sandwich Generation, such as incorporating activities with children and senior parents to bring family together. It is important for these super caregivers to get help for as many tasks as possible and stay flexible.