Monday, March 29, 2010

Using Trusts in Elder Care and Financial Planning — Inside Elder Care

Most individuals get involved with how to finance long term care when they or a loved one needs assistance with their care. Usually it begins when the elder or disabled loved one are still at home. Many family caregivers or members try to do it alone because they either do not know about resources available or think they can't afford to pay for the help. What many family caregivers find out is that they can afford long term care assistance by using many different avenues of funding to pay for care. Below is an article about the use of trusts and financial planning when it comes to Elder Care or the care of a disabled loved one. The information provided by Marco Chayet and Dawn Hewitt from the law firm of Chayet and Danzo in Colorado is an excellent resource for every family caregiver. If you would like more information about how to fund long term care please call us at Family Caregivers Network. We have the resources and information to assist you in your long term care planning. Your comments are welcomed.

Using Trusts in Elder Care and Financial Planning — Inside Elder Care

Friday, March 26, 2010

30 Reasons Your Loved One May Need a Caregiver in Allentown, PA

I found this article, and decided to pass it on to you. It provides extremely helpful information that may help you with your decision to choose home care for an aging loved one in your family. If you have questions or need help, please visit our website

30 Reasons Your Loved One May Need a Caregiver
By Rebecca Colmer

There are approximately 37 million people over the age of 65 and 5.3 million people over the age of 85. Each year millions of older people start requiring some sort of assistance to carry out their routine daily activities. Family members (family caregivers) provide most of the help.

It is not always easy to know when to intervene. It may seem like your loved one is in a gray area somewhere between competency and incompetence.

Your loved one can have a behavior that is not life threatening but still very serious. Making an assessment is the very step.

Here are some clues that your loved one may need some extra help:
1. Disheveled clothes
2. Stained or dirty clothes The same outfit worn everyday
3. Unkempt hair
4. Poor hygiene
5. Bad breath
6. Body odor
7. Having trouble walking
8. Having trouble sleeping
9. Dangerous driving
10. Extreme clutter in the home
11. Can't do light housekeeping
12. Items not returned to drawers or cupboards
13. Clothes strewn about or left on floor
14. Medication bottles left open
15. Medications taken out of original containers and mixed up
16. Not much food in house
17. Spoiled or rotten food
18. Unpaid bills
19. Penalties for overdue bills
20. Unopened mail
21. Put on or lost a lot of weight that is unexplained
22. Signs of confusion
23. Signs of forgetfulness
24. Signs of isolation
25. Signs of depression
26. Drastic mood swings
27. Extreme sadness or loneliness
28. Loss of interest in favorite hobby
29. Stopped doing things they used to enjoy like gardening, reading, going to church, seeing friends
30. Can't cope with everyday stress

If you do not live near your aging parents, ask a neighbor or friend to keep an eye on your parents and notify you if they notice any changes in their behavior.

Even if you determine that your loved one needs some assistance, keep in mind that they may be resistant to your help. Be gentle and compassionate when asking them to accept help.

It may take several tries before they start to accept your help. There is a big difference in offering help and completely taking away all of their independence.

However, if your parent's life is in danger and you can't find a way to intervene, call Adult Protective Services, which is a part of the Department of Social Services. They will send a nurse or social worker to your parent's home to determine the risks and find ways to protect your parent.

The caregiver role is complex and differs for everyone depending on the needs of the care-receiver. Many times, in the beginning, there may only be a few needs, such as providing transportation or helping with shopping or cooking. Over time, needs increase, requiring additional services, until the care-receiver is fully dependent on the caregiver.

Rebecca Colmer is an Eldercare Advocate, Author, Speaker, Publisher, and Caregiver Expert. You can find more caregiving tools and resources at her website:
Caregiving Tools

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Elders Abusing Their Caregivers in Allentown, PA

Elders Abusing Their Adult Children Who Are Taking Care of Them
Carol Bradley Bursack

Why do elderly parents turn on the child that is trying so hard to take care of them?

It’s not really news that people tend to be their worst with the people they love. Generally, this is thought to be the case because people feel safe enough with family to just “let it all hang out.” Their anger at their circumstances, which may or may not have to do with these family members, is the real cause.

Continue reading HERE.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Keeping Mom and Dad Safe at Home

Keeping Mom and Dad Safe at Home

Generally, elderly parents want to remain living in their own home. However, remaining in the home becomes a concern when children see their parents slowing down, perhaps even having trouble with handling stairs and doing general daily activities. Yet, with parents' mental and physical health currently not creating problems, there seems to be no imminent need to search out support services or other accommodations for aging parents.

This is now the time to evaluate the home to make it safe and secure for your loved ones -- now and in the near future -- in anticipation of aging disabilities that may occur. Help and support are available. The nation as a whole is more aware of elderly needs and services and products are becoming available at an outstanding pace.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states,
“Employment of personal and home care aides is projected to grow by 51 percent between 2006 and 2016, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. The expected growth is due, in large part, to the projected rise in the number of elderly people, an age group that often has mounting health problems and that needs some assistance with daily activities.” Bureau of labor Statistics-Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-09 Edition

This growing need for aides and services also encompasses
• home remodeling services -- making a home more serviceable to the elderly;
• safety alert systems and technology;
• motion sensors to monitor movement;
• telehealth services -- using home-based computer systems for the doctors office or a nurse to monitor vital signs and
• even a pill dispenser that notifies when it is time to take medication.
Where do you begin to make sure your elderly family member is safe and managing well in his or her home?

Visit often and at different times of the day and night. Make note of daily activities that appear challenging and where changes might be made to add safety and convenience. Remove rugs that slide -- causing a fall -- and move furniture with sharp edges. Set the water heater at a lower temperature. This will protect their older sensitive skin from scalds and burns. Be sure smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are in place.

Bathrooms are a hazard area for the elderly. Grab bars by the toilet and shower are a must to help prevent falls. There are easy to install bars at your local hardware store if you want to do the work yourself. Another item that is good to have is a shower stool or chair.

If you are not sure of what needs to be done, consider hiring a professional. There are companies that specialize in home remodeling and accommodation for seniors. Michelle Graham of Accessible Design by Studio G4 says about senior home remodel projects,
“The main thing we incorporate in all of our projects is a careful study of needs and potential needs that may develop throughout a client's lifespan.”
Keep in mind what future home adjustments might be needed for your parents to “age in place” in their home.

Home safety or medical alert companies provide GPS-based bracelets or pendants to track the elderly at home who tend to wander. Or the companies may provide alarm devices such as pendants or bracelets which allow the elderly to alert someone if there has been a fall or a sudden health-related attack. In the event an alarm has been triggered, a 24 hour monitoring service will alert the family or medical emergency services or call a neighbor depending on previous instructions. In addition there are companies that will install motion sensors in the home to monitor the elderly on a 24 hour basis.

Don't forget your parents' community as a valuable resource for helping them stay in their home. Take Margaret Muller as an example. At 82 years of age, Margaret lives alone in her small home. She manages very well with the help of her local Senior Center. The Center's “Senior Companion” program sees that Margaret is taken to the store for groceries and other needs and checks in with her often to see how she is doing. Once a day, the Senior Center delivers a hot healthy meal to her door. Having these services and visits gives Margaret the help she needs and peace of mind that she is not alone.

Neighbors, local church groups, senior centers and city centers are some places to look for assistance. Most of the time there is little or no cost for these services.

Your state aging services unit is a valuable community resource. The National Area on Aging website states:

“AoA, through the Older Americans Act and other legislation, supports programs that help older adults maintain their independence and dignity in their homes and communities. In addition AoA provides funding for a range of supports to family caregivers.”

Some of the programs the site lists are:
“Supportive Services and Senior Centers
Nutrition Services
National Family Caregiver Support Program
Grants for Native Americans
Nursing Home Diversion Grants
Aging & Disability Resource Centers
Evidence-Based Disease Prevention
Long-Term Care Planning
Alzheimer's Disease Grants
Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities”
A few thoughts on hiring home care aides or live-in care givers.
The classifieds are filled with people looking for work as aides to the elderly. Many of these aides are well-qualified, honest people who will do a good job; but, of course, there will be some not so reputable. If you are looking to hire someone, be sure you interview and check references and qualifications. You will be responsible for scheduling that person and doing payroll and taxes as well. Be very sure you hire someone trustworthy, as the elderly seem to trust these helpers more than they should and therefore can easily be taken advantage of.

A professional home care service will eliminate your employment concerns. Professionally-provided aides are usually bonded and service is guaranteed. Home care companies take care of the scheduling and payment of their employees. Home care companies cater to the elderly in their homes by offering a variety of services. The National Care Planning Council lists many of these companies throughout the country on its website .
These providers represent a rapidly growing trend to allow people needing help with long term care to remain in their home or in the community instead of going to a care facility. The services offered may include:
• companionship
• grooming and dressing
• recreational activities
• incontinent care
• handyman services
• teeth brushing
• medication reminders
• bathing or showering
• light housekeeping
• meal preparation
• respite for family caregivers
• errands and shopping
• reading email or letters
• overseeing home deliveries
• dealing with vendors
• transportation services
• changing linens
• laundry and ironing
• organizing closets
• care of house plants
• 24-hour emergency response
• family counseling
• phone call checks
• and much more.
Thomas Day, Director of the National Care Planning Council states,
“Care in the home provided by a spouse or a child is the most common form of long-term care in this country. About 73% of all long term care is provided in the home environment typically by family caregivers.”
As their caregiver, you can make the difference in the quality of life for your aging parents and if staying in their home is a possibility, you have the resources to make it happen.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Senior Home Care Service Has Many Benefits Over a Nursing Home in Allentown, PA

Here is an article that I found and wanted to pass on to you. For more information visit our website

Senior Home Care Service Has Many Benefits Over a Nursing Home
By Chuck Parsens

As the United States people age, the focus on the number of looked for services will have to line up with the quality of the care rendered. For many years a spotlight has been placed on how well residents who reside in a nursing home are treated. Some understand that the level of care an individual obtains is dependent on how much family members are involved. Some mature children have trouble with placing their senior parents in a nursing home because of the negative press. Price is also a part in making this choice. An alternative to nursing homes is senior home care services, which allow a person to stay put in their home and receive the level of care that they will need.

Along with determining the price and care, the types of elderly home care services are chosen based on an individual's situation. Insurance companies have sought ways to trim down the costs of hospitalization and therapy services, which has opened the door for service providers who concentrate in giving these services at an individual's home. This reduces health care costs and allows an older adult to remain in their homes. The home care landscape has grown into a cutthroat business, giving greater options for people to choose from.

The advantages of having home care services rather than staying in a nursing home cannot be miscalculated. The intellectual portion of being able to keep some level of liberty can go a long way to improving the excellence of life for numerous elder adults. Most elderly only require assistance with regular, daily activities which may include transportation to doctor's appointments, grocery shopping, or bathing. Still, others may require more steady care, depending on their disease and how far it has developed.

A person who receives senior home care services can have more private attention than someone who lives in a nursing home. In a nursing home, a partial number of personnel must attend to a number of different people with varying degrees of needs. Receiving care at home can cost less than it does in a nursing home because of equipment costs that are factored into nursing homes. The annual costs of a nursing home differ by state, but in most cases, the costs far go above and beyond the median income of many older people. Those with Medicare soon find out that it only covers a little portion of long-term care, and that treatment is limited to the sort and number of days. The people that cannot come up with the money to supplement the costs of a nursing home could want to give home care services serious thought.

The topic of elderly home care is very broad in nature and I enjoy looking at all the aspects of it. Feel free to look at my other post about the options of senior home care services for your loved ones.

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