Tag Archives: Senior Care Palm Bay Florida (FL)

Long Distance Caregivers Get Help with Aging Parents in Palm Bay FL

Long Distance Care Givers Receive Help with Aging Parents

Living in a different city or state — miles from aging parents — can be very difficult. Keeping in touch by telephone and making long trips to help parents or aging relatives with their needs can be time consuming and not nearly as effective as being available full time in person.

Mark Sessions spent two years juggling his restaurant business with multiple daily phone calls to his elderly parents, checking on their needs and answering their questions. Family vacations were spent traveling the 500 miles to his parent’s home to personally take care of home maintenance and provide health care visits to their doctor. During his last visit, Mark noticed his father had difficulty walking and his mother was confused as to which medications she was to take and at what time. This alarming change in his parent’s condition concerned Mark that his parents’ care needs required more than frequent phone calls and vacation visits. Running his business and handling his parent’s long distance care was now becoming very challenging.

According to a report by the Alzheimer’s Association of Los Angeles & Riverside, California, there are approximately 3.3 million long distance caregivers in this country with an average distance of 480 miles from the people they care for. The report also states that 15 million days are missed from work each year because of long distance care giving. Seven million Americans provide 80% of the care to ailing family members and the number of long distance caregivers will DOUBLE over the next 15 years.

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For assistance with the care of your loved one in the Palm Bay area, visit www.ageadvantagepalmbay.com.

In Palm Bay FL, What’s it Like To Have Dementia?

What’s it Like To Have Dementia?
By Frena Gray-Davidson

If you have a parent or a spouse with dementia, you probably wonder what people inside the disease feel. One thing that’s always okay is to ask them.

Dementia can be a very isolating condition. It can really affect how well people can communicate. Of course, as we all know, it certainly affects memory. It can be hard for people to even find the words or hold the thoughts they have. It makes it very hard to follow through a whole explanation about anything.

You won’t hurt a person with dementia by asking what you want to know. In fact, it might help them feel less lonely. Because of their condition, they might not be able to find you the answer you want. But that’s okay. Trying is good enough for both of you feel closer.

Five Questions People Ask About Dementia:

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At Age Advantage Senior Home Care, we understand the pressures of caregiving on family members in the Palm Bay FL area. If you need help with a loved one suffering from Dementia, visit www.ageadvantagepalmbay.com.

In Palm Bay FL, Don’t Let Your Senior Be A Victim Of Financial Fraud

One in five older Americans a victim of financial fraud: survey

New program enlists doctors to protect patients, but you can take steps now to stay safe

More than 7.3 million older Americans — one out of every five citizens over the age of 65 — already have been victimized by a financial swindle, according to a survey released Tuesday as part of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

One problem is that few professionals or adult children appear prepared to spot when an older American may be vulnerable to financial abuse. A new program launched Tuesday seeks to train medical professionals to assess when older patients might be likely to fall prey to elder investment fraud and financial exploitation.

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If you need care and assistance for an elderly loved one in the Palm Bay FL area, visit www.ageadvantagepalmbay.com.

How To Parent Your Aging Parent in Palm Bay, Florida

How To Parent Your Aging Parents

For sandwich generation, planning ahead is key to good elder care.

How do you take the car keys away from a father who taught you to drive? When did he go from wise council to frail, elderly man?

Unfortunately, the What to Expect When You’re Expecting book series on parenting doesn’t have a volume on parenting your parents. If anyone thinks dealing with aging parents is easy, they’re deluding themselves. It is often one of the most difficult challenges people face during their adult lives–and one for which they’re least prepared.

The consequences of inaction, meanwhile, can be severe. Many adult children don’t understand the complexity of the problem. Why would their parents resist setting up a power of attorney? Will they have to be dragged kicking and screaming to a senior facility? The answer all too often is “yes,” even well after it has become painfully apparent to others that they are no longer capable of handling their own affairs.

The fact is many elderly people don’t see themselves as elderly and hate being around other old people. To them, moving to a senior facility involves making a move that they feel they can never undo; they are moving in their minds from independence to dependence. Hence the kicking and screaming.

Read more from www.forbes.com…

Visit www.ageadvantagepalmbay.com for caregiving assistance available in the Palm Bay FL area.

Understanding Memory Loss in Palm Bay, Florida

Understanding Memory Loss

What is memory loss?

Memory loss is something we all experience in life. We forget familiar names, we cannot remember where we left our wallets and purses the previous evening, and we can’t remember everything needed at the grocery store without having a list. This type of memory loss is perfectly normal and as we age, such mild forgetfulness may start happening more and more.

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For caregiving assistance available in the Palm Bay FL area, visit www.ageadvantagepalmbay.com.


There’s No Place Like Home for Growing Old in Palm Bay, Florida

There’s No Place Like Home For Growing Old

“The stairs are getting so hard to climb.”

“Since my wife died, I just open a can of soup for dinner.”

“I’ve lived here 40 years. No other place will seem like home.”

These are common concerns for older people. And, you may share an often-heard wish—“I want to stay in my own home!” The good news is that with the right help you might be able to do just that.

Click on the link below from the National Institute on Aging to read more.  The tips there will help families know what to do first, the kinds of help available, where to start and what the costs are.  If you have any further questions, or need help with an aging loved one in the Palm Bay FL area, visit www.ageadvantagepalmbay.com.

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The Hidden Secret of Elder Abuse in Palm Bay, Florida

Many elderly people rely entirely on family or other trusted individuals to help them. Whether it is for physical needs or emotional needs, as people grow older they tend to need more and more help from others. This dependence on caregivers or family members makes an older person more vulnerable for abuse.

For example, an older person relying on her children to provide meals and transportation and help her with financial decisions finds it difficult to complain when one of her children takes advantage of her. If, for instance, the child takes her money, hits her or neglects her care, the parent may be threatened with loss of support from the child if the parent complains. The child may also use threats of violence to keep the parent in line.

It is estimated that 5% to 10% of elderly Americans are suffering abuse. According to the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse,

“Spiraling rates of elder mistreatment are reported by both practitioners and researchers. In a recent national study of Adult Protective Services (APS), typically the agency of first report concerning elder abuse, there were 253,421 reports of abuse of adults age 60+ or 832.6 reports for every 100,000 people over the age of 60 (Teaster, Dugar, Otto, Mendiondo, Abner, & Cecil, 2006). The National Elder Abuse Incidence Study (National Center on Elder Abuse, 1998) found that more than 500,000 persons aged 60+ were victims of domestic abuse and that an estimated 84% of incidents are not reported to authorities, denying victims the protection and support they need.”

Much attention has been focused on abuse in nursing homes but most of the elder abuse in this country is at the hands of family members or other caregivers in the home.

In 2004, Utah Adult Protective Services workers investigated approximately 2,400 allegations of abuse, neglect or exploitation of vulnerable adults. In Utah, a vulnerable adult is defined as an elder adult (65 years of age or older) or an adult (18 years of age or older) who has a mental or physical impairment, which substantially affects that person’s ability to protect or provide for themselves. The majority of the victims were females between the ages of 60-89 and 60% of the perpetrators were family members/relatives, while 24% were non-related paid caregivers.

The protective needs identified were as follows:

  • self-neglect 31%
  • physical abuse 16%
  • exploitation 19%
  • caretaker neglect 12%
  • emotional abuse 19%
  • sexual abuse 3%

In conducting the investigations, it was not uncommon to find that adults who were self-neglecting were also being exploited or abused. As stated previously, these statistics are based on approximately 2,400 cases, thus, if only one in ten cases are ever reported, it is possible that there were actually 24,000 or more cases in Utah that year. We suspect 9 out of 10 is close to the actual ratio of unreported versus reported cases in Utah.

We also believe that Utah’s lack of reporting elder abuse is not unlike other states in the country. We suspect all the states are experiencing close to the same ratios of underreporting as in Utah.

There are a number of reasons why incidents of abuse, neglect, or exploitation are not reported to Adult Protective Services or other authorities. One of the most common reasons is the victim’s fear of losing support. Many of the perpetrators are family members and the victim fears that reporting the crime will result in removal of the caregiver, as the perpetrator may face incarceration or may discontinue relations with the victim once accused, charged, or convicted. Many of these victims fear that by reporting abuse they will be left alone and expected to care for themselves or they will be forced to live in a nursing home.

Many states have implemented mandatory reporting laws to assist in the prevention of abuse, neglect or exploitation of vulnerable adults. Utah is one of the many states to have a mandatory reporting law (U.C.A. § 76-5-111). Utah law states that any person who has reason to believe that a vulnerable adult has been the subject of abuse, neglect, or exploitation shall immediately notify Adult Protective Services or the nearest law enforcement agency. Anyone who makes the report in good faith is immune from civil liability in connection with the report; however, any person who willfully fails to report is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.

It is important to note that the anonymity of the person or persons making the initial report and any other persons involved in the subsequent investigation shall be preserved and may only be released in accordance with the rules of the division (U.C.A. § 62A-3-311). In addition, all investigation information is confidential.

The following is a list of indicators of abuse, neglect or exploitation. It is important to note that the following lists are merely indicators and may not always be violations.

Signs of Abuse:

  • Unexplained bruises, welts, fractures, abrasions or lacerations
  • Multiple bruises in various stages of healing
  • Multiple/repeat injuries
  • Low self-esteem or loss of self determination
  • Withdrawn, passive
  • Fearful
  • Depressed, hopeless
  • Soiled linen or clothing
  • Social Isolation

Signs of Neglect/Self-Neglect:

  • Dehydration
  • Malnourishment
  • Inappropriate or soiled clothing
  • Odorous
  • Over/under medicated
  • Deserted, abandoned or unattended
  • Lack of medical necessities or assistive devices
  • Unclean environment
  • Social Isolation

Signs of Exploitation:

  • Missing/”disappearing” property
  • Inadequate living environment
  • Frequent/recent property title changes or will changes
  • Excessive home repair bills
  • Forced to sign over control of finances
  • No/limited money for food, clothes and other amenities

Prevention can only occur if there is awareness, the statutes are adhered to, and any suspicions of abuse, neglect or exploitation of vulnerable adults are immediately reported to Adult Protective Services and/or law enforcement.

All states have agencies that receive complaints of abuse. In some states failure to report abuse of the elderly is a crime. To contact an abuse complaint department, call your local area agency on aging. To find an area agency on aging in your area go to http://www.longtermcarelink.net/eldercare/ref_state_aging_services.htm

Please visit us at www.ageadvantagepalmbay.com if you are in need of help for an aging loved one in the Palm Bay FL area.

Putting Home Care in Palm Bay, Florida in Perspective

Here is a great article on the history of home care in the U.S.  Visit us at www.ageadvantagepalmbay.com for information and assistance with home care for an aging loved one in the Palm Bay FL area.

The Evolution of Home Care
In the first century of our country’s history there was no such thing as nursing homes or assisted living. Society was mostly rural and people lived in their own homes. Families cared for their loved ones at home till death took them. In the latter part of the 1800’s because of an increasingly urban society, many urban families were often unable to care for loved ones because of lack of space or because all family members including children were employed six days a week for 12 hours a day. During this period many unfortunate people needing care were housed in County poor houses or in facilities for the mentally ill. Conditions were deplorable. In the early 1900’s home visiting nurses started reversing this trend of institutionalizing and allowed many care recipients to remain in their homes. Nursing homes or so-called rest homes were also being built with public donations or government funds. With the advent of Social Security in 1936, a nursing home per diem stipend was included in the Social Security retirement income and this government subsidy spurred the construction of nursing homes all across the country.

By the end of the 1950s it was apparent that Social Security beneficiaries were living longer and that the nursing home subsidy could eventually bankrupt Social Security. But in order to protect the thousands and thousands of existing nursing homes Congress had to find a way to provide a subsidy but remove it as an entitlement under Social Security. In 1965 Medicare and Medicaid were created through an amendment to the Social Security Act. Under Medicare, nursing homes were only reimbursed on behalf of Social Security beneficiaries for short-term rehabilitation. Under Medicaid, nursing homes were reimbursed for impoverished disabled Americans and impoverished aged Americans over the age of 65. It has never been the intent of Congress to pay for nursing home care for all Americans. The nursing home entitlement for all aged Americans was now gone.

Over the last 40 years, there has been a gradual change away from the use of nursing homes for long-term care towards the use of home care and community living arrangements that also provide in-house care.

With Proper Planning People Could Remain in Their Homes for the Rest of Their Lives
We are seeing a trend towards working conditions like those in urban America in the early 1900’s where both husband and wife are working and putting in longer hours. We are also seeing a return of the trend in the early part of the 20th century where outside visitor caregivers are becoming available to replace working caregiver’s and allow the elderly to receive long-term care in their homes. In addition there is a significant trend in the past few years for Medicaid and Medicare to pay for long-term care in the home instead of in nursing homes.

Given enough money for paid providers or government funding for the same, a person would never have to leave his home to receive long-term care. All services could be received in the home. Adequate long-term care planning or having substantial income can allow this to happen.

We only need to look at wealthy celebrities to recognize this fact. Christopher Reeve, the movie star, was totally disabled but he had enough money to buy care services and remain in his home. President Ronald Reagan suffered from Alzheimer’s for many years but received care at his California ranch. He was also wealthy enough to pay for care when needed. Or what about Annette Funicello or Richard Pryor? Income from their movie careers allowed them to receive care with their multiple sclerosis at home. We will be willing to bet that Mohammed Ali, who is severely disabled with Parkinson’s disease, will probably never see the inside of a care facility, unless he chooses to go there to die. With the proper planning and the money it provides, most of us could remain in our homes to receive long-term care and we would never have to go to an institution or a hospital.

The Popularity of Home Care
Most of those receiving long-term care and most caregivers prefer a home environment. Out of an estimated 8 million older Americans receiving care, about 5.4 million or 67% are in their own home or the home of a family member or friend. Most older people prefer their home over the unfamiliar proposition of living in a care facility. Family or friends attempt to accommodate the wishes of loved ones even though caregiving needs might warrant a different environment. Those needing care feel comfortable and secure in familiar surroundings and a home is usually the best setting for that support.

Often the decision to stay in the home is dictated by funds available. It is much cheaper for a wife to care for her husband at home than to pay out $2,000 to $4,000 a month for care in a facility. Likewise, it’s much less costly and more loving for a daughter to have her widowed mother move in to the daughter’s home than to liquidate mom’s assets and put her in a nursing home. Besides, taking care of our parents or spouses is an obligation most of us feel very strongly about.

For many long-term care recipients the home is an ideal environment. These people may be confined to the home but continue to lead active lives engaging in church service, entertaining grandchildren, writing histories, corresponding, pursuing hobbies or doing handwork activities. Their care needs might not be that demanding and might include occasional help with house cleaning and shopping as well as help with getting out of bed, dressing and bathing. Most of the time these people don’t need the supervision of a 24/7 caregiver. There are, however, some care situations that make it difficult to provide long-term care in the home.

Please note from the first graph below that a great amount of home care revolves around providing help with activities of daily living. Note from the second graph below that the average care recipient has need for help with multiple activities of daily living. Finally, it should be noted from the second graph that well over half of home care recipients are cognitively impaired. This typically means they need supervision to make sure they are not a danger to themselves or to others. In many cases, this supervision may be required on a 24-hour basis. (Graphs were derived from the 1999 national caregivers survey, courtesy www.longtermcarelink.net.)

It is precisely the ongoing and escalating need for help with activities of daily living or the need for extended supervision that often makes it impossible for a caregiver to provide help in the home. Either the physical demands for help with activities of daily living or the time demand for supervision can overwhelm an informal caregiver. This untenable situation usually leads to finding another care setting for the loved one. On the other hand if there are funds to hire paid providers to come into the home, there would be no need for finding another care setting.

Problems That May Prevent Home Care from Being an Option
Caregivers face many challenges providing care at home. A wife caring for her husband may risk injury trying to move him or help him bathe or use the toilet. Another situation may be the challenge of keeping constant surveillance on a spouse with advanced dementia. Or a son may live 500 miles from his disabled parents and find himself constantly traveling to and from his home, trying to manage a job and his own family as well taking care of the parents. Some caregivers simply don’t have the time to watch over loved ones and those needing care are sometimes neglected.

The problems with maintaining home care are mainly due to the inadequacies or lack of resources with informal caregivers, but they may also be caused by incompetent formal caregivers. These problems center on five issues:

  1. Inadequate care provided to a loved one
  2. Lack of training for caregivers
  3. Lack of social stimulation for care recipients
  4. Informal caregivers unable to handle the challenge
  5. Depression and physical ailments from caregiver burnout

In order to make sure home care is a feasible option and can be sustained for a period of time, caregivers must recognize these problems, deal with them and correct them. The responsibility for recognizing these problems and solving them is another function of the long-term care planning process and the team of specialists and advisers involved.

Adequate Funding Solves Most Problems Associated with Providing Home Care
None of the problems discussed in this article would be an obstacle if there were enough money to pay for professional services in the home. These services would be used to overcome the problems discussed in the previous section. If someone desires to remain in the home the rest of his or her life, adequate preplanning could provide the solution.

This planning must occur prior to retirement. The most obvious way to provide sufficient funds for home care is to buy a long-term care insurance policy when someone is younger, healthy and able to afford the lower premiums. If insurance is not an option, then money must be put aside early in life to pay for care in the future. The only other option is to be rich.

Unfortunately, very few people address the issue of needing long-term care when they are older. This leads to a lack of planning and in turn leads to few options for elder care when the time comes. Lack of planning means most people do not have the luxury of remaining in their homes and must rely on Medicaid support in a nursing home to finish out the rest of their lives.

Live Your Life Well in Palm Bay, Florida

May is Mental Health Month: Live Your Life Well

Mental Health America is proud to continue its tradition of celebrating “May is Mental Health Month,” which began in 1949. This year, our theme “Live Your Life Well,” challenges us to promote health and wellness in homes, communities, schools, and inform on how to attain it. Every day, Americans are affected by the myriad challenges, stresses and demands on their lives. And every day, they seek help in responding to them. The good news is there are tested and effective tools that are readily available and free that anyone can use to help them cope better and improve their well-being.

This Mental Health Month, Mental Health America is encouraging Americans to use these tools, which form the Live Your Life Wellcampaign. Live Your Life Well™ is a national public education campaign dedicated to helping people better cope with stress and enhancing their well-being. Stress can take a huge toll on a person’s health, mood, productivity and relationships, but specific, evidence-based tools can help counterbalance these effects.

Mental Health America created Live Your Life Well™ to increase the number of people who take action to protect their mental health, both in the face of ongoing stress and in times of great personal challenge.

The heart of the program is the Live Your Life Well™ website—www.liveyourlifewell.org—that provides 10 research-based, straightforward tools and ways to apply them in everyday life. From relaxation techniques to journaling exercises to simple ways to get better sleep and improve eating habits, the materials offer a wide range of resources to build resiliency and well-being.

Visit www.ageadvantagepalmbay.com for information and assistance with home care for an aging loved one in the Palm Bay FL area.

Stress and the Elderly of Palm Bay, Florida

Stress and the Elderly

Contrary to what we’ve been led to believe, senior living isn’t always the way it’s portrayed in glossy sales brochures and magazine advertisements. Rather than being a carefree period of life spent on the golf course and traveling around the world, for many of today’s seniors those “golden years” are incredibly stressful times.

What causes seniors so much stress? Change is a huge trigger for stress and seniors definitely experience plenty of change. It can be in the form of declining health, death of friends and loved ones, moving, a bad financial investment, and the list goes on. Here are some other reasons why senior living is stressful.

Read more…

Visit www.ageadvantagepalmbay.com for help with an aging loved one in the Palm Bay, Florida area.