Friday, February 25, 2011

Home Care Services In Montgomery County PA Can Beat Caregiver Stress

Home Care Services In Montgomery County PA Can Beat Caregiver Stress
A person who volunteers to be the live-in care provider for a family member runs the risk of encountering severe stress or burnout. Assuming the responsibility of providing elder care for a person who, due to physical or mental deterioration, can no longer live independently is very noble and can enrich the lives of both people involved; if respite care is not set in place, however, the living situation can become seemingly impossible.
The positive feelings that come from providing live-in care to a loved one can, unfortunately, become overshadowed by negative feelings. The stresses of being responsible for the care of another can result in feelings of anxiety, isolation, frustration and fear. In addition to the emotional impact, there is often an impact on the physical health of the elder care provider: The care provider often neglects their own health in favor of the needs of the recipient of their care. When the combination of emotional and physical impact goes unrelieved there are further complications for the care provider in the form of depression and feelings of inadequacy and failure based on their, self-perceived, inability to cope.
This is why there is a need for respite care. The person providing care is given a break from the amount of responsibility while knowing that the safety and well being of the person needing care are guaranteed. There are three basic types of respite available, each suited to different levels of need.
Adult Day Centers offer a community center setting. These centers often provide various programs, entertainment and socialization opportunities for the older person, yet still provide security in the form of experienced personnel to provide different levels of assistance. The majority of centers accommodate a range of participation from all-day, everyday visitors to those who only spend an hour at the center as they feel like it.
In-Home Care Services bring an experienced home care professional into the residence. The hours are more flexible than those of adult day centers and often of longer duration. In-home care professionals can be employed to watch for the person unable to live independently if the primary care provider has an outside job, if the provider of elder care simply needs an hour away for a break from daily concerns, or for an entire weekend when the caregiver needs to travel.
Assisted Living Respite Care can sometimes be found at assisted living homes, when space allows. For any number of reasons the caregiver may find themselves in a position of needing to find temporary care for an extended period of time, and no better aid can be found than in a facility that exists as a permanent residence for others that require assisted living.
The primary home care provider may initially be hesitant to use respite, but soon finds that taking short breaks from stress to focus on their own needs, both physical and mental, leaves them better able to care for their loved one. The previous negative emotions become, instead, an overall feeling of rejuvenation that leads to a happier relationship between the care giver and the care recipient.

For more information about home care in Montgomery County PA, contact the caregivers at Family Caregivers, we are a home care agency providing quality in home care and assistance to seniors in our community.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Baby Boomers’ Eldercare Wake-up Call in Montgomery County PA

Baby Boomers’ Eldercare Wake-up Call
There are approximately 78 million reasons for boomers to jump on the long-term care strategic thinking, planning and executing bandwagon.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau report in 2009, boomers were 78 million strong based on the 2006 census.
The staggering number of aging boomers in America serves as a wake-up call to boomers to start planning for our elder care needs. We’re only more than a decade late. How’s that timeline for urgency, my fellow boomers? Our millennial wake-up call is more urgent if any of the following scenarios are sound bytes from your life.
  • Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance: If you are familiar with LTC insurance, you get an “E,” for effort, as my octogenarian mother occasionally said about a few of her former elementary school students who didn’t quite make the grade in reading, writing, or arithmetic. If you have LTC insurance, you’re barely passing with a C-.  LTC coverage is a sound baby step, though maybe not for everyone.
  • Childbearing Profile:  You are single and childless. While having grown children is no guarantee of having at least 1 trustworthy LTC gatekeeper in your golden years, being a parent of an adult child may yield elder care dividends down the road.
  • Health:  You have been medically diagnosed with at least one chronic medical condition.
  • Family Medical History:  You have a family history of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and certain types of cancer and/or diabetes. As is said in Spanish, “¡Ojo!” (Translation: Keep an eye on that!)
  • Relationships in Your Family:  Some families can’t wait to get as far away from each other as possible as members age. If your family’s relationships are strained, don’t count on family support in your golden years. Some caregivers could tell you stories about dysfunctional family relationships that erupt in nasty feuds when aging family members need long-term assistive care.  Who are your family allies? Do you know? You should. One day in the not too distant future, your daily eldercare may depend on a family member. If that day comes, your primary (family) caregiver should be your elder care advocate.
  • Home Upkeep:  If you are a homeowner, you know that appliances and various parts of your home eventually will need repairs. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially, will you be prepared, and able, to keep up with increasing demands of homeownership as you advance in years?
  • Family’s Go-To Contact?  Your parents are older and/or starting to show signs of age-related or chronic disease health decline. You volunteered, or, Dad asked you for help with mowing the lawn after his heart attack scare. Your sibling who lives closer to your parents than you do has been calling you to vent about “little things” around your aging parents.
  • Sibling(s) Lives Closer to Your Elderly Parents: You’ve long assumed that your sibling was merely venting with those telephone calls about your parents. You never gave the conversations a second thought. Your sibling takes care of helping your parents and lives within 15-minutes of your parents’ home.
  • Financially Tangled Elder Web:  You feel blindsided when you inadvertently discover that your parents have not paid their (property) taxes for more than a year now. Then, you discover unopened and unpaid bills in your parents’ home. How, and when, did your parents’ financial affairs get so out of hand?
  • Your Emotional Roller Coaster:  You wonder what you may have missed and decide that the whole mess is your sibling’s fault. You had nothing to do with this.  You have no idea what to do, or, where to begin. You have your own life, marriage or divorce, relationship woes, job demands, financial challenges, adult child(ren) who just moved back into your home in a dismal economy, mounting debt, and more drama. You’ll help your parents because no one else in your family seems to care.
  • Stress:  Your anger mounts. You’re depressed. You stop talking to your sibling(s). You argue with your parents.
You feel so alone.
With 78 million aging boomer cohorts and 65 million caregivers in the U.S., you are part of a supportive community.  Recognizing eldercare’s red flags is one way to achieve confidence that propels you to reach out to healthcare and eldercare professionals for help. Involve your parents and siblings in decisions.
You’re not alone. It’s a family affair.

 Family Caregiver Network caregivers can help your family with all of your home care needs.  We are a home care agency providing affordable in home care in Montgomery County PA.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Senior Care Montgomery County PA: Happy (Or Not So Happy?) 65th Birthdays

Happy (Or Not So Happy?) 65th Birthdays – The Baby Boom Generation Hits Retirement Age

People celebrating their 65th birthday today were born 9 months after Victory in Europe Day. Their arrival marked what some consider the very beginning of the Baby Boom Generation, which (at least in the Western World) enjoyed economic abundance, rock and roll, and long life expectancy.

Many wonder, however, whether the “Golden Years” are really going to be all that golden–not only for them, but for everyone else. Experts warn that many “Baby Boomers” are alarmingly short on savings, saddled with debt, and in poor health. The questions being asked are: Who’s going to pay the bill? And how will the aging of this generation affect the social landscape?


The caregivers at Family Caregivers are here to answer all of your elder care questions. We are a home care agency providing quality and affordable home care in Montgomery County PA.

Monday, February 7, 2011

February is American Heart Month

February is American Heart Month
Heart health is an area of grave concern among healthcare professionals, policy makers and the government. Heart disease has killed more Americans than any other diseases or chronic illnesses. It is the leading cause of death among patients of all race, gender and age. About 785,000 patients in the nation suffer their first heart attack every year and 470,000 of them have recurring heart attacks in a year. It has been estimated that heart attack affects one patient in every 34 seconds in America, costing a whopping healthcare bill of $316.4 billion a year. The risks of heart disease also dramatically increases with age affecting one in every five women above the age of 65 as compared to one in every 10 women between ages 45 and 65.

For 37 years, the American Heart Association tirelessly organized and campaigned for the fight against heart disease. February is the ‘American Heart Month’ where efforts are spent to increase awareness and raise funds for research and education on heart disease.

Heart disease is a lifestyle-related condition. Risk factors that can lead to heart disease or stroke are physical inactivity, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes and alcohol. As more elderly patients tend to have high cholesterol, high blood sugar or high blood pressure conditions coupled by weaker immunity systems, healthy living to promote elderly health is one of the primary concerns during American Heart Month.

Good heart health can be attained by adopting change in lifestyle, diet and regular monitoring of one’s blood sugar level, cholesterol level and blood pressure. The following are five healthy living tips to good senior health that not only help keep heart disease at arm’s length but also increase one’s quality of life.

Regular Exercise or Physical Activity

Moderate exercise on a regular basis is the best remedy for elderly health and wellbeing. Walking, jogging, yoga, swimming, golf, dancing and others help to build strong healthy hearts and help to improve blood circulation. In fact, statistics show that a sedentary lifestyle is a leading threat to heart health; those who are physically inactive and seldom participate in regular exercise program are 39.5 percent more likely to suffer from heart disease or stroke.

Balanced Diet 
Healthy living starts with balanced diets rich in fiber and low in trans fat, sugar and sodium. Elderly patients should also consume high nutrient foods that are good for the heart and body as a whole. Greasy food and food high in trans fat found in cooking oil and meat should be avoided to prevent gradual formation of blockage in the arteries especially among elderly patients’ whose body metabolism decreases with age.

Control blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar level 
Senior health checks should never exclude regular monitoring of seniors’ blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar level as these are among the top risk factors to cardiovascular disease. Senior patients can perform regular monitoring of their conditions at home and take precautionary measures such as diet and prescribed medication if levels are higher than normal.

Maintain Healthy Body Weight
Being overweight can also lead to heart disease or stroke; it is as unhealthy to one’s heart as it is to one’s bones and joints. Excessive fats in the body can strain the heart and cause additional stress on the bones and joints. Maintaining a healthy body weight is crucial to good senior health as it helps to prevent adverse conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol that can potentially lead of heart disease.

Stop Smoking and excessive Alcohol intake

Smoking and excessive intake of alcohol are harmful habits that are especially damaging to elderly patients. Smoking increases the chances of blood clot and accumulation of fatty deposits in the arteries, hence increasing the risks of coronary heart disease. It can also increase the chances of a relapse or recurring heart attack. Smoking is also linked to many elderly health conditions such as cancer, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline.
Family Caregivers are available to talk with you and your family about your live-in home care needs including how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable home care in Montgomery County PA and the surrounding areas. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Setting Up a Plan of Care in Montgomery County PA

By Maria M. Meyer, Paula Derr, and Jon Caswell, Contributing Writers

A plan of care is a daily record of the care and treatment a person needs on a daily basis. The plan helps you and anyone who assists you with caregiving tasks.

A plan of care helps caregivers manage the day-today activities of the person in their care--medications, appointments, exercise, etc. This type of written record is also very helpful when respite (relief) care is used.

The plan of care includes the following information:
* diagnosis

* medications

* physical limitations of the care receiver

* a list of equipment needed

* diet

* detailed care instructions and comments

* services the home health care agency will provide, if using such on agency.

This information is presented in a certain order so that the process of care is repeated over and over again until it becomes routine. When the plan is kept up to date, it provides a clear record of events that is helpful in solving problems and avoiding them.

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Alzheimer’s home care counselors at Family Caregiver's Network are available to talk with you and your family about care needs for your loved one, including, how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care. Family Caregiver's Network is a home care agency providing Alzheimer’s In Home Care in Montgomery County PA.