Category Archives: Home Care Palm Bay Florida (FL)

Elder Care Palm Bay FL: What Does It Feel Like To Be 75?

What Does It Feel Like To Be 75? Say Goodbye To Spry

by Jennifer Ludden

While reporting my recent series on Aging At Home, I came across a special suit at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab. It’s meant to help 20-something engineers feel the aches and limitations of an average 75-year-old so they can design better products for them.

Think of it as working like those outfits Superheroes put on, only backward. Of course, I couldn’t resist. Now, I’m 40-something — no spring chicken. But if the crosswalk light is blinking, I can still dash across the street, no problem.

Until, that is, MIT researcher Rozanne Puleo starts strapping me into what she calls her Age Gain Now Empathy System. I pull a harness around my waist and Puleo starts attaching things to it. First, stretchy rubber bands connect from my waist to the bottom of my feet. "It will limit your hip flexion," Puleo explains.

The act of having to balance makes you more fatigued. – MIT researcher Rozanne Puleo, talking about foam-padded sandals that are part of her Age Gain Now bodysuit. That means no more sprinting. More stretchy bands restrict my arm movements.

There are knee pads and Velcro wrist braces; rubber gloves to lessen sensation in my fingers; yellow goggles to limit my depth perception. Everything on the suit is carefully calibrated to mimic the loss of function that happens as we age.

Finally, Puleo fits me into a hard hat and attaches yet more things to that. And that’s when this all starts to feel like a bad idea. It has become work simply to stand up straight. And to walk? Puleo has me in Crocs sandals, with bits of rubber foam taped to the bottom. I haven’t exactly lost my balance, but it feels like I easily could.

"The act of having to balance makes you more fatigued, makes you more tired," she says. MIT researchers say baby boomers, of course, aren’t the first to get old. But Joseph Coughlin, the head of the AgeLab, says they’re the first to say, "Wait a minute, there’s gotta be a product, a service or something to make this better, easier, more convenient." It’s much harder to dash across the street in the suit. And that’s the AgeLab’s mission.

Puleo has outfitted graduate students in her age suit and taken them grocery shopping. Each had a list of typical items a senior might want. "What we found," she says, "was a lot of the low-sugar, low-sodium items were either at the top of the shelf or the bottom of the shelf — not in a place where an older adult would have the easiest time locating."

..continue reading from npr.org

The Caregivers at Age Advantage are available to talk with you and your family about  home care and your loved one.  We are a home care agency providing caring quality and affordable home care in Palm Bay FL and the surrounding areas. Call 321-676-0103 for more information.

Caregiver Spotlight is on Work, Life Balance in Palm Bay FL

Caregiver Spotlight on Work-Life “Balance”

by Isabel Fawcett, SPHR

There’s no avoiding stress in caregiving, at work or in life. Stress, both “good” and “bad,” will always be a part of our human existence. That’s all the more reason for caregivers to be proactive in managing stress. Shining a spotlight on your work and personal life is one way to identify and better manage stress. Be prepared, though. It requires serious commitment on your part.

Are you still with me?

What is Work-Life Balance?
“Work-life balance” is a misnomer. In real-life, there is no such thing as equal balance – other than maybe on a well-calibrated scale. When humans are involved balance would be perfection. If you’re not a perfectionist, you know that human perfection doesn’t exist.

Although it may sound like an oxymoron, the word “tension” may be the better word choice. “Tension” has multiple definitions, including competing pressures that require learning how to better balance push-and-pull opposing forces. The push-pull tension of work competes with the push-pull tension of caregiving and other forces in each of our lives.

The force is truly with us, so to speak.
“Work-life balance” requires continuous prioritization by individuals, self-examination and seamlessly deriving pleasure or satisfaction in daily living. However you choose to reconcile and (de)value competing elements in your life is entirely within your control.

So much to do, so little time!
Doctors appointments, pharmacy runs, medical supplies, emerging symptoms, caregiver or elder general malaise, Medicare and other insurance tangles,  financial spaghetti bowls, family sparring, swirling emotions and more, will run caregivers into the ground if we are not mindful.

Caregivers’ Stress Management Tips
Stress management presumes gaining or re-gaining life control and greater balance.

  • Check your blood pressure at least once monthly.  Discuss your monthly readings with your physician.
  • Schedule medical appointments early mornings or as late in the day as possible. Aavoid needless back and forth between work, home, and medical offices.
  • Consider taking pre-approved vacation leave on medical appointment days. Enjoy breakfast or lunch before or after appointments, whether alone, or with your loved one or a friend.
  • Treat yourself at day’s end. You’ll feel refreshed at work the following day.
  • Consider the most strategic use of Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) based on your own preferences in addition to your elder’s medical needs. Decide whether intermittent (working reduced hours at work) or consecutive FML eases competing elements in your life. If approved by your employer, consecutive FML is a block of leave as allowed under FMLA.
  • Leave home earlier than rush hour traffic. Leave work later than rush hour traffic. Take the long way home occasionally.

May the (right) force be with you!

Home care counselors at Age Advantage are available to talk with you about your live-in home care needs including how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable home care in Palm Bay FL and surrounding areas.

When Elderly Spouses Care For Each Other at Home in Palm Bay FL

When Elderly Spouses Care For Each Other at Home Something Has to Give
By Isabel Fawcett, SPHR For LTC Expert Publications

“In sickness and in health, until death do us part,” are words used in traditional marital vows.

The harsh realities of caring at home for a spouse or domestic partner in old age can be physically, emotionally, and financially devastating.

It is difficult for aging spouses who must face and assist with their partner’s incontinence, declining health, mental confusion, uncertainty of care circumstances and medical prognosis. Some partners make a promise to self and/or partner that they will do the honors or perceive that they have a responsibility to do the caregiving at home honors – for the duration. Nothing is further from the truth, however.

A marital or domestic relationship does not mean that an aging partner should not ask for, and/or seek outside help.

Benefits of Home Care and Aging at Home
If there is any care circumstance well-suited to home care, aging spousal caregivers may
be one such ideal profile, for many reasons.

  1. If a domestic partner or spouse has less assistive care chores to do around the home, he or she is likely to have more quality moments to spend with his or her spouse or partner and others.
  2. The healthier spouse may be at home and available to provide direct supervision and daily guidance to home care workers.
  3. The spouse or partner who is chronically ill is not left alone with a home care worker for extended periods of time if his or her healthier partner is not employed outside the home.
  4. The healthier spouse has ample opportunities to enjoy respite while the home health care worker is on duty.
  5. The healthier spouse may elect to do the assistive care honors on weekends only, for example. Regardless of alternating care days elected, the healthier spouse will still be doing less, rather than more heavy-duty assistive care responsibilities.
  6. If the couple wants a less invasive home care service, they may choose meal deliveries only, be it Meals on Wheels type programs, or private company services that deliver high-end, nutritious meals to their customers.
  7. Time and effort saved through a less invasive home care program or service may lead elders to consider additional home care programs or services, if the less invasive service is similarly successful.
  8. Home care services offer sustained relief to local and long-distance family caregivers if their elders are in good hands.
  9. If the home care provider nurtures the provider-elder relationship and builds trust, elders have someone with whom they can talk as often as the service allows.
  10. Given a choice, few elders would choose institutional care over in-home support.
  11. Elder independence is encouraged with skilled home care.
  12. The healthier spouse or partner no longer feels alone. There is someone else your elder can call locally.  Long-distance family caregivers are also encouraged to periodically touch base with the direct care provider to ensure greater checks and balances.

For many individuals, home is where their heart remains. Adult children can help our aging parents keep their homes as long as it is safe for them to do so. As with other major decisions in our lives, ongoing evaluation is important. What works today may no longer be effective at some future date.

To avoid surprises, let your parents know that you need and welcome their feedback in evaluating what works and what doesn’t in their home care services. Allow your parents to retain as much decision-making authority in their lives as reasonably possible. No one enjoys feeling powerless.

What is Home Care? What Can Your Family Expect?
If your parents only require companion services, there may be local volunteers available through care agencies and religious organizations. By far, skilled nursing care is the most expensive in-home care option. Nurses are licensed, as are physical and occupational therapists.

Home health aides and nurse’s aides are trained to assist with bathing, getting dressed, toileting, lifting and other personal care needs.

Start with your parents’ treating physician and hospital-based geriatric management services. They are trained to steer families in the right direction based on exhaustive medical assessments of your aging parents’ needs.

If you think that home care is not financially affordable, remember that most long-term care alternatives are costly. By comparison, home care may be the most affordable alternative for elders and caregivers.

For information about how Age Advantage can help your family with Elder Care in Palm Bay FL and surrounding areas,  call our caregivers at 321-676-0103.

Home Health Care in Palm Bay FL

Home Health Care

Options, caregivers and paying for care
From Marian Anne Eure, former About.com Guide

Most seniors when questioned, state they would prefer to remain in their homes as long as is possible.

Seniors who go to nursing home or other assisted type facilities are unusually not in need of complex medical care but rather are having difficulty taking care of their personal needs. Unfortunately many seniors become depressed and discouraged when they move to nursing homes. Many see nursing homes as just a place where they are going to wait for death. Loss of independence is for many their greatest fear. Staying in their own home as long as is possible can mean a great deal to many older people. Familiar surroundings can be therapeutic.

Fortunately many seniors can stay in their own homes.

Home care can be a good option for many seniors. They are able to stay in the familiar surroundings of their own home, but have greater piece of mind. They will have more control over the decisions in life that can mean so much. Deciding what time to get up and what to eat can become very important, if there is a threat that those choices may be taken away from you. Nursing home care can also be very expensive, many times home care is a more cost-effective alternative.

Continue reading from seniorhealth.about.com…

At Age Advantage, we understand the importance of quality home care for our loved ones. Age Advantage is a home care agency providing caregivers and affordable home care in Palm Bay FL and surrounding areas. Call us at 321-676-0103.

Aging Gracefully In Palm Bay FL: The Benefits of Exercise for Older Adults

Aging Gracefully: The Benefits of Exercise for Older Adults
It’s never too late to improve your health
By Sharon O’Brien, About.com Guide

The notion that exercise is good for you has been around for quite a while, but until recently seniors have been left out of the picture.

Everyone Benefits from Exercise
Today, new information is emerging from research: people of all ages and physical conditions benefit from exercise and physical activity.

  • Staying physically active and exercising regularly can help prevent or delay many diseases and disabilities, including dementia.
  • The National Institutes of Health (NIH) report that even moderate exercise and physical activity can improve the health of seniors who are frail, or who have diseases that accompany aging.

Don’t Be Afraid to Exercise
Exercise and physical activity are among the healthiest things you can do for yourself, but some older adults are reluctant to exercise. They may be afraid that exercise will be too strenuous, or that physical activity will harm them.

Research from the NIH shows that actually the opposite is true:

…continue reading
Source: About.com,Senior Living

Age Advantage is a home care agency providing caregivers and in home care in Palm Bay FL and surrounding areas. Contact us for information about how we can help your loved one. 321-676-0103.

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
.
 

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.