Category Archives: Age Advantage Senior Home Care Palm Bay Florida (FL)

Home Care for the Holidays in Palm Bay FL

Home Care for the Holidays
by Edyth Ann Knox

The Holidays are times of great joy, feasting and family traditions that fill us with secure and warm feelings. They are times to reestablish family ties and bonds. The Holidays are days we remember and cherish for years to come.

Yet for those caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s Disease the Holidays can be filled with trips to the doctor or the emergency room. They can be times that our loved one may show frustration, agitation or aggressive behaviors, instead of being filled with joy and good will. This can destroy the Holidays for the caregiver and the rest of the family. Many caregivers often cease participating in the Holidays altogether after a horrendous holiday.

The Holidays are times that can bring great stress for many. When you add a loved one who has Alzheimer’s Disease into the mix often the stress can become too much for both the caregiver and the loved one. You do not need to dread the arrival of the Holidays.

There are ways you can still celebrate the season by making adjustments and considerations to improve your chance of a safe and happy holiday for both you and your loved one.

Source: ElderCare Online™
continue reading……

The caregivers at Age Advantage are available to answer any questions you might have about home care for your loved one. We are a home care agency providing quality in home care in Palm Bay FL and surrounding areas. Call us at 321-676-0103.

Family and Medical Leave Act and Caregivers at Work in Palm Bay FL

Family and Medical Leave Act and Caregivers at Work

It is a safe assumption that many caregivers who work outside their homes are aware of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA.)  Even if some American workers are not aware of FMLA yet, this blog steers you in the right direction and shares one caregiver’s perspective on when and whether you wish to invoke your FMLA rights, *if eligible.

FMLA is Federal Law
FMLA requires *eligible employees to take an unpaid leave up to 12 work weeks in any 12 month period. *The 12-month window is defined by the employer’s prevailing practice or policy. With *required medical certification, *subject to employer approval the eligible employee is allowed to take the approved leave for the birth of a child, to care for a family member who has a serious medical condition, or, if the employee has a serious medical condition which requires such leave.

(*The above layperson’s descriptive of FMLA does not constitute legal advice by this blogger and/or the owner of this website and/or any third parties involved in the publication or dissemination of this blog. Comprehensive information on the FMLA is available through the U.S. Department of Labor’s website at <www.dol.gov>.)

Caregivers at Work
Some workers view FMLA as an all-or-nothing package. Nothing could be further from the truth. FML can be a strategic work and life decision if you so choose and are eligible under the law.

Timing is Everything
If the person in your care is chronically ill with multiple chronic diseases requiring primary physician, specialized medical, and other healthcare intervention, using FML for one serious medical condition may preclude using FML for other equally serious medical conditions. Such a scenario would hold true if the caregiver exhausts the 12-week FML entitlement through consecutive leave use.

I cannot and would not tell anyone else how to handle your FML eligibility. I am happy to share the conscious decision I made for 10+ years in my then-part-time caregiver-worker bee roles.

I chose to not invoke my FML for one reason only.

My mother has multiple chronic illnesses as medically diagnosed. I mindfully considered worst-case outcomes for each of her medical diagnoses.

I decided that brief hospitalizations, major surgeries without medical complications, and post-surgical weekly follow-ups were best managed through advance planning, scheduling, and careful management of my accrued (paid) leave benefits at work. Non-emergency surgeries were scheduled in advance, allowing me ample time to take an approved vacation day, or 2, while I actively monitored and evaluated whether I might need to apply for FML, or not.

For me, only, it really was that simple. I never invoked my FML right nor did I use all of my accrued leave for caregiving in any year. Think strategically is all I can say.

Isabel Fawcett, SPHR
Isabel has been a full-time, stay-at-home caregiver to her 85 year old mother for 2 years, and counting. She is a regular Contributor at ElderCareLink, a blogger and Twitterer. Isabel is an independent human resources consultant and former HR management professional with 20+ years of HR experience, including FMLA, workers’ compensation and the Americans With Disabilities Act. She is a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certified and last worked for the Office of the Governor in Texas before her most recent eldercare choice.  Isabel also has worked in healthcare as Assistant Director of Volunteers at Beth Israel Medical Center, New York City, and Manager of Staffing and Recruitment, Norwalk Hospital, Connecticut. She has also worked at Marriott International Headquarters in HR. Isabel is fully bilingual in English and Spanish and has been a patient care volunteer for the American Red Cross overseas
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Home care counselors at Age Advantage 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. Age Advantage is a home care agency providing In Home Care in Palm Bay FL and surrounding areas and can be reached at 321-676-0103.

Keeping Seniors Safe at Home In Palm Bay FL

Keeping Seniors Safe at Home
by: Jeremy Mervin

If you have an elderly family member living with you, it is most important that you keep the house safe. The requirements are not very similar to what you will watch for when dealing with a baby, so do not apply the same rules here. Elderly people have many other problems which you must be mindful of, and provide for them in accordingly.

Elderly members have lots of trouble with their joints. They find it more difficult bending and reaching low. Make sure things around them are at a suitable height, and can be reached with little discomfort. Avoid making low shelves and cabinets below their waist level. In line with the same theory, make sure the bed for the elderly is also high.

There is more effort required to lie in, or get out of a bed which has a lower level. They also have a higher chance of losing their balance and suffering a fall. Use the same principle in the bathroom as well. Make sure the toilet seat is high so that discomfort is minimal. It is also useful to install a grab bar along the wall so that they can use it for support while sitting and getting up from the seat.

In the room of the elderly, and places where they frequent, make sure you have tiles which prevent skidding. It is best to have rough, textured flooring. With age, the feet wear out more, and there is a lowered ability to grip with the feet. If you have very smooth, slippery flooring, the chances of skidding and falling are greater.

Make sure the bathroom is dry at all times. For additional protection, make sure there is a way to let yourself into the bathroom even if it is locked. It is easy for the elderly to slip and fall, or even lose their balance in the bathroom. If they are locked inside, you may not know they are lying there for several hours.

It is best to provide the elderly a room which is at the same level as the other places in the house they normally use. Avoid having them to use the stairs. Keeping them in the basement is not the wisest idea unless they are not going to get beyond it.

…continue reading from ElderCareABCBlog
Home care counselors at Age Advantage 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. Age Advantage is a home care agency providing In Home Care in Palm Bay FL and surrounding areas.

10 Ways to Be a Healthier Alzheimers Caregiver in Palm Bay FL

10 Ways to Be a Healthier Alzheimer’s Caregiver
By Paula Spencer, Caring.com senior editor

The “do’s”: Positive steps you can take while caring for an Alzheimer’s patientBeing responsible for the care of someone with Alzheimer’s disease may be one of the toughest challenges of your life. There’s no way to gloss over how taxing it can be.You can, however, protect yourself in the following critical ways. We’ll start with the “do’s” and move on to the “don’ts.”

1. Keep expectations real.
Expect periods of stability, but recognize that because this is a progressive disease, an Alzheimer’s patient’s cognitive status and ability to function will decline over time, even with medication and therapy. It’s smart to try available therapies, but bear in mind that miraculous recoveries unfortunately don’t exist.Though you can’t control the disease itself, you can control the ways that you decide to approach it. Choose to be flexible and
realistic, and you’ll be able find fresh ways to deal with challenges — ways that are workable even if they’re not always ideal. Rigid, unrealistic thinking is a recipe for resentment, burnout, depression, and getting very sick.

2. Treat yourself as well as you treat the person with Alzheimer’s.
Caregivers tend to be conscientious about making sure their charge is safe, comfortable, well-nourished, stimulated, under medical care, and generally loved and looked after. Do the exact same for yourself in order to last longer as a good caregiver.And, just in case, know how to recognize the warning signs of Alzheimer’s caregiver burnout.

3. Remember that knowledge is powerful.
Luckily — yes, there’s a positive connected with this awful disease — we’re living in a golden age of information about Alzheimer’s. Make it work for you. Call your local area agency on aging or Alzheimer’s disease chapter now to find out about nearby programs.

Learn specific strategies for dealing with difficult behaviors and how to make everyday tasks easier. Know what to expect as the disease progresses so you’re not surprised.

Find out what has worked for others.

4. Prepare to have all the relationships around you be tested.
Alzheimer’s isn’t just between you and the affected person. Everyone else in that person’s world has an individual relationship with him. Remembering this can help families or other caregivers understand why there may be differences of opinion about how to handle things.If you’re an adult child, you’ll also have to deal with the role reversal of parenting a parent. This can be difficult for both parent and child. Seek the advice of a family therapist if it becomes problematic.

…continue reading from Lauren Watral’s Blog

Alzheimer’s home care counselors at Age Advantage 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. Age Advantage is a home care agency providing Alzheimer’s Home Care in Palm Bay and surrounding areas. Call us at 321-676-0103.

Happy Thanksgiving From Age Advantage in Palm Bay!

Happy Thanksgiving From Age Advantage in Palm Bay!

Please remember to check on your elderly family members.

For those who have relied on regular telephone conversations and assessment by other closer-living relatives to gauge aging parents’ well-being, the upcoming holiday visit may be revealing. Absence – even for a short period – often allows us to observe a situation through new eyes.

It’s the perfect time to establish a base line on behavior and make sure they are taking care of themselves. If not, take notes and don’t be afraid to have discussions once there is time to talk. Let them know your concerns so that these discussions can continue without hard feelings. Let them know they are loved!

excerpt from agingcare.com

 
If you need answers to
elder care questions or need help with home care in Palm Bay or the surrounding area, please contact us at 321-676-0103 or visit www.ageadvantagepalmbay.com.

The Baby Boomer Eldercare Wake-up Call in Palm Bay FL

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.

Isabel Fawcett, SPHR
Isabel has been a full-time, stay-at-home caregiver to her 85 year old mother for 2 years, and counting. She is a regular Contributor at ElderCareLink, a blogger and Twitterer. Isabel is an independent human resources consultant and former HR management professional with 20+ years of HR experience, including FMLA, workers’ compensation and the Americans With Disabilities Act. She is a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certified and last worked for the Office of the Governor in Texas before her most recent eldercare choice.  Isabel also has worked in healthcare as Assistant Director of Volunteers at Beth Israel Medical Center, New York City, and Manager of Staffing and Recruitment, Norwalk Hospital, Connecticut. She has also worked at Marriott International Headquarters in HR. Isabel is fully bilingual in English and Spanish and has been a patient care volunteer for the American Red Cross overseas.

Home care counselors at Age Advantage 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. Age Advantage is a home care agency providing In Home Care in Palm Bay FL and surrounding areas.

Choosing the Right In Home Care Service and Caregiver for Seniors in Palm Bay FL

Each November, the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) celebrates National Home Care and National Hospice Month to honor the men and women who have dedicated their lives to caring for others. Below are some tips for families who may be looking into home care and what they can and should expect from the caregivers they choose. If you need more information about in home care for your loved one in the Palm Bay FL area, the caring staff at Age Advantage can help answer any questions. Visit www.ageadvantagepalmbay.com or call us at 321-676-0103.

A Guide to Choosing the Right In-Home Care Service and Care Giver for Seniors
By: Kori Irons

What Seniors Can Expect from In-home Care

It can be incredibly difficult for a senior to allow a stranger into his home to help with household tasks, personal care and/or transportation. There is a great deal of confusion and anxiety around what exactly “in-home care” and an “in-home caregiver” might involve and entail–not to mention how to go about hiring and supervising the help. Here are some suggestions for what seniors can expect from in-home care and some advice on how to search for the perfect assistant:

An in-home caregiver can have a variety of qualifications, depending on the depth and intensity of personal care they are able to provide. Some take care of household tasks and hep with errands and transportation, while others have medical credentials and are able to help with more medical details and nursing needs. The most popular services required of in-home caregivers for seniors include:

  • assistance with mail and correspondence
  • housekeeping
  • laundry and ironing
  • help with grocery shopping and other errands
  • coordinating and reminding about medications
  • cooking and meal planning
  • transportation and mobility assistance
  • and companionship and other personal assistance needs

Even seniors who may have special needs such as those who are recovering from an accident or illness, or those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, or those with other more permanent disabilities can benefit from the services of an in-home care provider. A senior may need assistance on a daily or weekly basis, or something in between. It is not necessary to hire a caregiver to be present for every hour of every day if that is not what is needed or required.

Source: Associated Content

November is Alzheimers Awareness Month in Palm Bay FL

Alzheimer’s Awareness Month Sheds Spotlight on Treatment, Prevention Efforts

November marks the beginning of National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, a reminder that the number of people who will develop the disease is expected to skyrocket over the next few years.

Starting Jan. 1, 79 million baby boomers will turn 65 at a rate of one every eight seconds.

That is more than four million per year, according to a recent op-ed piece in The New York Times. If scientists could delay onset of the disease by five years, via better drugs, the United States could keep much fewer Alzheimer’s patients from needing nursing homes, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, and Alzheimer’s experts Stanley Prusiner and Ken Dychtwald said in the piece.

Currently, for every penny the National Institutes of Health spends on Alzheimer’s research, Americans spend $3.50 caring for individuals with the disease, for a total of $172 billion a year.  At that rate, by 2020, the cumulative total will be $172 billion a year, or $20 trillion by 2050, according to the op-ed titled “The Age of Alzheimer’s.”

…read more from Mcknights.com


For information about how Age Advantage can help your family with elder care for a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease in Palm Bay, visit www.ageadvantagepalmbay.com or call 321-676-0103.

Promises and Aging Parents in Palm Bay FL

“Promise You’ll Never Put Me In A Home.”
By: Carolyn Rosenblatt

Mom probably made you say it.  Maybe Dad did too.  Could there be anything that causes more guilt in adult children with aging parents? It’s an almost universal plea parents make to us.  And we universally agree to what they ask, not thinking too far ahead.

When our aging parents extract this promise from us, they’re usually in pretty good shape and make it clear that they want to remain in their homes until they die.

Most people want that, and we’ll probably want that too as we age ourselves.

But, maybe no one planned on living to be so old as our parents are getting to be. Certainly no one plans on getting dementia, or being a huge burden to one’s children.  My own Mom, (may she rest in peace) who was mentally ill and frankly, a huge burden used to say “I never want to burden you children”.

Of course, she didn’t want to, and we recognized that none of us could care for her and she spent all her last years in a care facility, where her quality of life was good.

We all have limits as caregivers.  Whether they are physical, emotional, financial or family tolerance limits, we all have them.  There is only so much we can do and so much we can take before we reach the breaking point.

When we’re past our own limits, we may start to recognize that we are not going to be able to keep going as full time caregivers for our parents.

As they decline in health and require more care, day and night, sometimes with difficult to manage behaviors, it can sap our energy, wipe us out emotionally  and financially, and threaten our health and our relationships.
It can cause us to break that ill-thought-out promise we made before we and our parents really knew what we were promising. We probably didn’t understand the level of our own personal sacrifice involved when we said Mom or Dad would never be in a care facility.

My client, “Jim” took care of his Mom full time at home, with help from his wife. He, too had made the  promise. As Mom developed dementia and was unable to care for herself, as well as being unable to sleep nights, Jim grew totally exhausted.

…continue reading from forbes.com
 

If you are feeling the stress of caring for your aging loved one, Please visit www.ageadvantagepalmbay.com for quality and compassionate elder care in Palm Bay FL.

Start Thinking About Tomorrow, Today in Palm Bay Florida

Start Thinking About Tomorrow

4 reasons women should plan for later — now!
by: AARP Education & Outreach

If you’re like most women in the boomer generation, you’ve spent the past few decades of your life focusing on other people. Maybe you’ve raised kids and have been busy putting meals on the table, helping with homework and coordinating everyone’s schedules. Or perhaps you’ve been caring for aging parents and dealing with all the demands that role entails. Or you might have been focusing your energy and attention on building your career.

No matter what you’ve been doing until now, though, it’s time to shift the spotlight so that it’s focused on you. If you’re in your 40s, 50s or 60s, these are the prime years to start thinking about what might happen to you in the years ahead. The sooner you put a plan in place for your long-term care, the better prepared you’ll be for whatever the future holds. Some things to keep in mind:

…continue reading from aarp.org
 

For information about elder care in Palm Bay FL, please visit www.ageadvantagepalmbay.com.