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Tag: Caring for Parents (page 1 of 2)

Moving to a Senior Living Facility with Dementia

It’s relatively easy to find perfect residential long-term care for most seniors. There are so many different types of senior services and senior living arrangements! With all the offerings, there is something for everyone. However, it is not always straightforward when your loved one has some form of dementia.

It can be hard to tell whether the care in any senior living home is going to match up well with the progressive nature of dementia. There are a lot of factors that go into selecting a senior living home for a dementia patient. And even if you are able to get it right today, you need to know that the fit will last.


Tips for choosing the right senior living home for a senior with dementia:

Safety Precautions and Devices

Visit the facility and find out what safety precautions and devices the facility has in place. An ideal facility should have non-slip flooring, adequate lighting, grab bars, and monitoring systems. Also look at window doors and window locks. Does someone check residents in and out when they leave? Did they design their security with dementia in mind?

Dementia Trained Staff

The staff should have adequate training on how to handle seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and any other types of dementia. The facility should have attentive, compassionate and attentive staff.

Look at Special Memory Care Programs

There are a few memory-care or dementia-care facilities and programs across the country. There may not be one in your area, but you don’t know until you look for it. Search online, but also ask around. These programs can go by many names, including “memory care” and “special care”. Staff there will understand the difficult behaviors that may arise and how to diffuse them, they know how to communicate with their residents, and they are trained to recognize the subtle signs that can indicate changes in a resident’s mental and/or physical health.

A Structured Routine

There should be a structured routine for seniors living within the facility. Although this won’t affect dementia directly, it can reduce any overall stress by creating stability. Reducing any additional insecurity about what’s going on around a senior with dementia is helpful.

What NOT to Say to a Senior Choosing a Senior Living Community

Your senior loved one has made a decision to move to a senior living community, and you have the opportunity to offer them your support and encouragement, or your criticism and sadness. You may have some feelings of your own on the topic, but the decision is theirs. And that’s why it’s important to offer your support, and pay attention to their experience. After all, this isn’t happening to you. They’re the one moving.

Moving from a family house to a senior living home is definitely a personal and emotional process that is usually difficult for everyone. Maybe the person is moving from the place they have called home since they were born, or a place they have lived with their family for decades. You need to be the one moving to a senior living community to understand how difficult and sometimes demoralizing the thought of living your home can be.

You might not have bad intentions when a senior is choosing a senior living facility. But there are some words and phrases that you should avoid saying at all cost during such a time. Here are some of the things you should never say to a senior who is moving to a senior living facility.

“How Do You Know You’ll Be Safe? What’s Security Like There?”

Where your friend currently lives, is there a security system or staff? Chances are there isn’t. If there is, the senior living facility probably still does have better security.

So what worries you about safety, really? If you consider your safety concerns and decide you really do need to find out the answers, this is still not an appropriate question to ask someone who’s already decided to move. There’s no need to transfer your concerns and stress to them. Ask the facility if you’re still worried. Any senior living facility, assisted living home, or senior community should speak freely with the public about the security measures they have in place.

“This is the Beginning of the End”

For whatever reason, some people think it’s clever or witty to say this to seniors moving into assisted living or other senior accommodations. It’s not witty, it’s hurtful. It’s a universal truth that we’re all moving closer to our passing. Wherever we live.

In truth, moving into communities where medical care is more available, help with daily activities is easier to obtain, and other people around are in similar stages of life can be the beginning of a new beginning. With more community and less daily struggle.

“You Can Move in With Me”

For some reason, offers to move in with friends and relatives often seem to come after a decision to go to senior living has already been made. And it may sound nice to offer, and you may really mean it. But right now what your parent, friend, or neighbor has is a solid plan that they made after evaluating their options. Be very careful about upturning their plans unless you are 110% sure that you’re prepared, willing, and qualified to fill in for all the roles that the senior living facility would play for them. If you do make them question their path, and then if they don’t accept your offer, understand that you were too late. They made their plans and are sticking to them.

In conclusion, be mindful of the experience your aging friend or relative is having. If they’ve decided to move to a senior living facility, their wishes need to be respected, and supported. This decision is difficult for many people, and receiving criticism and doubt from loved ones doesn’t serve any useful purpose .

How to Evaluate Senior Living and Care Options

When choosing an appropriate senior living option, make sure that the place you pick suits all your needs and those of your loved ones. Whether you’re looking for yourself, your parent or your spouse, the future resident’s needs take precedence in evaluating options.

Here are the steps to take.

1.     Determine All Your Needs

Before you even start looking for an assisted living facility, you should first assess your monetary, physical, and everyday life needs. Determine the things that are going to be important not only to you, but also to any loved ones it may affect. After establishing all your needs, you’ll certainly find it easier to evaluate senior living and assisted living facilities.

Use your needs to decide whether to focus on:

  • Assisted Living
  • Independent Living Communities
  • Memory Care Housing
  • Senior Apartments
  • Nursing Homes
  • Residential Care Homes

2.     Tour the Facility

Once you’ve selected some candidates, be sure to visit each location. Check out the kitchens, social spaces, bedrooms and the outdoors. Are there nice places to walk around in nature? Check out whether the rooms have pleasing decor, and are clean and safe. Observe safety procedures and security in general and check whether there are fire extinguishers and sprinkler systems that are operational.

3.     Find Out More About the Staff

Is there enough staff at the facility you’re considering? A great facility should have a lower staff-to-patient ratio. Also find out whether the staff is well trained and how long most of them have been working at the facility. A fast turn-over is a bad sign. If possible, check how staff is hired. Do most staff have multiple jobs, or do they get paid well enough to only work one job?

4.     Understand Contracts and Fees

Check out the services being offered and which ones are included and not included in the monthly fee. Take your time to look at and understand the contract well. If possible, hire an attorney to have a look at the contract.

5.     Look for Licensing or Accreditation Reports

If you’re in a state that licenses assisted living homes, ask for the inspection reports. Besides licenses, check whether the facility has been accredited by any organization. The more licenses and accreditations, the more confident you can be that the services provided are top-notch.

6.     Find Out About Activities Offered

Check what activities are available at the facility. What are some upcoming activities? Are the activities on the schedule ones that the resident would enjoy? How often do they happen? Find out whether there are onsite and offsite activities. Finally, ask about religious services if they interest you.

7.     Look into Their Medical Services

Does this facility pick up or drop off prescriptions for residents? Some do. There are also facilities that offer residents free transportation to the hospital or to the doctor. Some facilities allow for purchase of basic medical supplies on sight. Understand what exactly happens in case the health of a resident deteriorates. Find out what type of assessments are usually done.


Art & the Painter’s Dilemma

When the flamingoes danced, the irises swayed in joys… the history of painting came alive with …

With modern touches, technology advances, anyone can become a painter, a thinker, an artist??

Think again… A couple painting that I inherited when I took over an older Doctor’s practice hung on my office walls for a few years, until one fine day, I realized the person sitting to be examined in front of me, asked me if she could have the painting in the wall of the bathroom? To my utter surprise and shock, it belonged to her late mother, she had traded / bartered that painting in the 1950’s with the previous doctor in this office for medical care and treatment.

Paintings did have a story after all… Later those other paintings that graced the walls of the office, were treasured and do even today. Think about this, brings me back to painting, the arts as a social gathering, festive merry making, as seen in the renaissance, or culture, traditions upheld , or even so history of feasts, foods, animals, nature…

Elderly appreciate art, artistic things, artistic talk or people …

Here are some of the best known ways to celebrate art with/for/by seniors:

1. An art museum / theater outing day

2. Painting , ceramics, art at place movement, event, seminar,

3. Wine with art/ food and art gathering

4. Art display and sharing

5. Creating artistic impressions with objects, produce, flowers,

6. Painting in the park, outdoors

7. Commemorating painters, their works, local, state, country or international

8. Visit to volunteering at art centers in city, senior’s center

9. Art with children or family

10. Art with pets, animals, at the zoo or elsewhere.

Art in any form, is a joy to behold. Let us relive arts and revive arts for everyone. If you have an upcoming event, art to display, we would love to see, share, and empower people across the globe to embrace arts as part of healthy living and aging. Thank you.

Tips for Maintaining High Quality of Life with Deteriorating Health

Deteriorating health is common among the aging population. Declining health doesn’t mean that you can’t live as healthily and happily as possible, though. There are so many things you can do to improve and maintain high quality of life as you age, even with a serious health condition.

How to maintain high quality of life with deteriorating health:

1.     Eat Well

Eating well is critical if you want to maintain high quality health. As you age, there might be a decreased metabolism, slower digestion, and changes in your senses of smell and taste. All these can have a huge affect on the foods you eat, your appetite, and how your body processes the food you eat. But despite of these changes, you should understand that healthy eating is more important to you now than ever. Proper nutrition is the only way to maintain good health and energy. Avoid refined carbs and sugary foods. Instead, eat high fiber vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

2.     Get Plenty of Sleep

Lack of sleep can worsen your health condition and make you even more susceptible to other diseases. Getting enough sleep will go a long way in ensuring that your quality of life remains high. If you are experiencing insomnia, sleep apnea, or any other sleep problems, see your doctor. Make sure that your bedroom is cool, dark and quiet. Playing some calm music or taking a bath before you go to bed can act as a soothing bedtime ritual and will help you sleep soundly throughout the night.

3.     Take Medications as Required

You may have some known health condition that requires medication. Many of us do. To manage your health condition and to maintain high quality of life, always take your medications as recommended by your doctor. In case you notice that your condition is worsening, you should contact your doctor immediately, and if necessary, make a plan to change how or when you take your prescription with them.

4.     Exercise

According to recent studies, regular exercise is actually the number one contributor to good health and longevity. Exercise doesn’t just add more years on earth, but it also adds quality of life to those years. Exercise boosts your mental health and will help you maintain your physical strength and agility. It also increases vitality and improves sleep. What’s more, sleep also helps diminish chronic pain. Regular exercise can also have a positive effect on your brain,  helping prevent cognitive decline, memory loss, and dementia.

5.     Get a Change of Scenery

If you’re going to go through these changes at home, you might as well do so in a beautiful setting instead. Take advantage of mobility devices, prescription glasses, heating pads, hearing aids, and whatever other tools you can to let you out of the house comfortably. Bring a friend with you in case you need any assistance, and for good company. Just being under the sky, in your favorite restaurant, or cruising a museum in a wheelchair can bring a lightness of heart that can’t be found on the couch.

6.     Find Meaning in Your Life

The ability to continuously find meaning and happiness in life is a major component in the recipe for happy and healthy aging. With deteriorating health, your life changes as you age, and you may find yourself losing hope. Engage in activities that give you purpose in life and do things that make you happy. Start a gratitude journal or set aside a gratitude reflection time daily. This will help you remain positive through any health challenges you face. Positivity can have a huge positive effect on your general health and even reduce chronic pain.


What About When Married Couples Don’t Both Need Senior Living Services?

Life expectancy continues to increase around the world and people are now living longer than before. There are also more senior couples across the world than ever before. When it comes to receiving in home healthcare or moving to a senior living facility, it’s fairly straight forward for singles. However, it becomes more complicated when only one partner in a couple needs senior living services.

You Have Options

There are more options today than ever before for this situation. Instead of one possible answer to this question, you now have many. The degree of care needed and the gap in needs between partners will have influence on what’s best for you.

In-Home Care

In-home care can be quite easy to cater to a couple with differing needs, or where only one partner needs care. A professional caretaker can help with activities of daily living, or perform nursing tasks. This scenario can be great for couples where no one needs ongoing medical supervision.

A Shared Apartment in a Senior Living Community

Moving together into a senior living community gets needs met for the partner needing caretaking services. It also sets both partners up with the knowledge that the resources to meet increasing needs are already in place where they are. If in the future both partners need care, or needs change, they will likely be able to remain in place and adapt.

Move to a Senior Living Community Campus

There can be many reasons that a couple may choose to move together to a senior living community, but not share an apartment. One may just want to be present in the community. The other may need caretaking services, assisted living, nursing services, memory and dementia care, or even hospice care. Each partner can live under the level of care they need, surrounded by others with similar needs, and still spend their days together in the senior community. This can be especially helpful when one partner needs highly specialized care that is hard to provide in-home.


Tea Time… Life’s Simple Pleasures

Tea time…is a much celebrated tradition worldwide. The elaborate tea ceremony of Japan, to the afternoon teas in England to the tea growing regions of rainy Assam in India…Tea time is a time of taking time for personal wellness, catch up on some energy, creative thinking, sharing, and companionship to continuing traditions.

When tea was a mystery, hundreds of years ago, to the current ways of shopping for tea, tea and specialty tea shops can stimulate many a taste bud…Tea time for seniors could be a sign of respect, festiveness, routine, memorable times and more…

Often in my office, seniors preferred not to be seen by me, the doctor at certain times of a day…With better understanding, I realized the evening tea had its’ place. Visiting families in Asia, Africa…tea time is considered part of social life, from tea stalls in roadsides to elaborate tea ceremonies to the everything café downtown.

Here are some truly humbling tea related things seniors shared with me in my decades as a geriatrician:

1. Tea times are not a thing of past, they are making a comeback

2. When you share an afternoon of tea, or meetup with someone, you are truly living not just being

3. A break for tea is worth every penny of time

4. Traditions and culture of tea times… part of healing, as tea contains certain chemicals, wellbeing, healthy living

5. Teas can be any, but the best tea can only be made with love

6. Tea time is special and miracles do happen

7. Hoping tea time is respected…

With those sayings… making time for life’s simple pleasures in any setting is settling, caring, showing love and paying attention to what matters to whom…Hope grandmother and grandfather’s traditions continue to grow, for our future generations… please share your favorite tea moments with grandma or grandpa. We would love to follow, and help the world fall in love with life’s simple pleasures once again,

Thank you

How Much Help is Too Much Help for Seniors?

When it comes to providing senior care for a loved one, you should know the difference between doing things for a person and doing things with a person. Most seniors (maybe all?) will appreciate when you do activities or tasks with them and not when you do things for them.

You can easily find yourself doing everything for a loved one rather than with them. Of course, its well-intentioned behavior. You’re doing what you can to make your loved one comfortable. However, this can sometimes have a negative influence on the life of the person you care for. In fact, they may feel incapacitated and start to rebel and become upset. That’s a clear sign that the “help” you’re providing is too much.

Help is too much if it doesn’t promote the independence of the other person. It’s important that you foster independence, even as you provide senior care services. There are so many reasons for this:

  • It helps fight feelings of futility and frustration, which can cause violence and rebellion
  • Your loved one will appreciate that you still see them as a person who is capable of making helpful contributions to the society
  • Promoting and sustaining a feeling of independence in your loved one allows them to retain maximum self sufficiency
  • This may soothe their fear of being a burden

So, ensure that the person you care for has the opportunity to do helpful things. Have them complete basic tasks for themselves whenever possible.

Promoting Independence

This involves providing and creating opportunities for them to contribute to maintaining their own quality of life. You can promote independence by encouraging your loved one to do certain things for themselves. Provide opportunities for activities and exercise, encouraging a healthy lifestyle, and supporting brain health through games and social interaction.

Maintaining Independence

Maintenance of independence in the person you are caring for is ensuring that the person is given all the tools to follow through with his or her willingness to perform a duty for himself or herself. For instance, you can help with ensuring home safety such as installing adequate lighting, handrails, bathroom grab bars, furniture placement, and home accessibility. These tools can help the person under your care to safely do some activities for themselves with the home, without help.


Why Efficiency Matters in Finding the Best Senior Care for Your Beloved Senior?

Why old rules don’t work? Why changes in technology are making it easier day by day for all humans in many aspects to avail of opportunities? As humans are longing for efficiency and efficient systems are here to stay. Certainly, the aging population will reach new heights by 2030 and even more so by 2050 worldwide. The mortality rates are declining and humans are living longer, thanks to scientific advances all over the globe.

Global aging is the terminology and global citizenship is our future.  The invention of airplanes changed everything, it is basic human right for any senior to have choices to live their life to the fullest and in whatever and wherever ways they plan or can afford to.

Choices make up the foundation of a strong aging healthy economy. For years… I had the opportunity to hear and enjoy some wonderful conversations my aging geriatric patient population… The insights, interests and imaginations were clear as were the pains for their transparency towards me and my staff made all the difference in being inspired and cater to them.   

Here are thoughts of why efficiency matters

  1. Families are not always nuclear and even if they are, they are influenced by many
  2. Aging is a global phenomenon and a continuing phenomenon
  3. Time is power, time is efficiency, time is forward thinking, proactive thinking, time is energy, time is a mantra…
  4. Careers, economy and finances take center stage, because the rest are like circles around them
  5. Changes in jobs, work area, work space change… so does senior care change
  6. People believe in the power of the internet… even most seniors are accepting the use of internet technology
  7. Spending an entire day or days for a task is  problematic… most are unable to  afford taking off… or more so taking off vacation time is unhealthy for the senior and their families.
  8. Choices bring about transparency, clarity, accountability… our foundation pillars and motto.
  9. Real time stuff, and artificial stuff turn off most people, authenticity is key in everything.    
  10. When we think how efficiency matters, it is also efficiency wearing different costumes…

The future will see enormous strides in diversifying efficiency, diversity, cultural integration, finding the common amongst each other… Thank you  


Why Efficiency Matters in Senior Caregiving?

There is no one set of rules that defines a caregiver. In some countries, they are referred to as caretakers or carers…Caregivers are more often family or friends or neighbors than other people from the communities.  

Caregivers provide support in ways unexplainable… not all can be the best caregivers, as there are pros and cons of being one. In this age of instant gratification, everything in a person’s fingertips, is efficiency or does efficiency matter? That is tough question… a dilemma that can set you thinking for hours. One may argue, it does not if everything is a routine and known… Or does it is still a routine… why?? Because caregivers cost money, energy and time.

Ways efficiency in caregiving helps seniors:

  1. Save time, money, energy if using a routine, most important with seniors with cognitive disabilities or challenges?
  2. Planning ahead prepares for unknown and unwelcome surprises… like noticing no diapers at home , when one needs it instantly     
  3. Understanding intimately, the intricacies of the lives of the seniors … or even finding similarities or dissimilarities… for it can avoid unnecessary arguments
  4. Agreeing or disagreeing in advance of a plan like outside activity, indoors… Meals…events etc. can save lots of …..
  5. Avoiding confrontations, as seniors have a certain way of doing things, and being efficient also calls for avoiding these… so tasks happen, like going to a dr’s office or taking a certain medicine…
  6. Saving on energy, like appliances, transportation… planning showers, meals, shopping, recipes, …preventing wasting of resources, repurposing and reusing as needed, necessary or legally/ socially approved.
  7. Conversation times can be true conversations about wellbeing, life’s simple pleasures and not about undone stuff and wrongly done stuff or even wrongly planned stuff
  8. Social interactions, more peace of mind, better sleep, decrease or eliminate burnout, crisis…
  9. Better health for both the caregiver and the senior, more likelihood of asking for support, being vocal about expectations is a good thing…
  10. Power of bliss, happiness and joys of caregiving is not lost, instead the opposite happens…

This blog is to help… not to change, but we are open to hearing comments on experiences by caregivers, please share… Caregiving education and efficiency in caregiving are critical to the aging in 22nd century… and beyond. Thank you

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