Offering real support and care to seniors is a challenge for many families. For those living far away from senior loved ones, the challenge is even greater.
As families spread out around the country and globe, seniors often rely on the support of loved ones who live far away. Long-distance caregiving has unique challenges, but it can be done safely and effectively.
In the US, approximately 5-7 million adults are responsible for caring for a senior family member who lives more than 26 miles away. For seniors and their caregivers, long-distance support is possible through smart strategies.
Common Challenges of Long-Distance Caregiving
Caregiving for senior loved ones is typically challenging. Coordinating services, ensuring a senior’s safety, offering companionship, and dealing with emotions are all common difficulties for families. Distance adds more complications.
As a result, common challenges of long-distance caregiving include:
Being physically limited while mentally alert can be especially difficult. There are ways to cope with this situation, though.
Many people feel that their brains stay young even as their bodies age. Physical challenges affecting mentally alert seniors can be frustrating as a result.
Many aspects of aging are challenging. The deterioration of the body is one of those challenges. For seniors who are mentally alert, coping with physical limitations can be especially difficult. There are several ways to help seniors’ mental wellbeing while they struggle with their physical health.
Signs of a Mentally Strong Senior
Can carry on fluid conversations
Remembers recent activities
Is socially engaged
Is aware of current news
Can communicate needs and challenges
Engages in mindful activities like reading
Recognizes physical changes and limitations
The Challenges of Being Alert But Limited Physically
When a person ages, they can expect to experience some deteriorat...
Did you know that each person’s risk of stroke almost doubles every decade after age 55? Caregivers and seniors must be aware of this potentially fatal condition.
May is American Stroke Awareness Month. The American Stroke Association shares facts, tips, and other important info to help individuals prevent strokes and respond to strokes in the best way possible.
What is a Stroke?
A stroke happens when blood flow to part of the brain is cut off. The cells in the brain that do not receive oxygen via this blood flow will die. The dead cells in the brain can no longer operate, meaning whatever functions they performed prior are damaged or lost.
What Causes Strokes?
There are two types of strokes:
A hemorrhagic stroke is when a brain aneurysm bursts or a blood vessel in the brain leaks
An ischemic stroke is when a blood vessel to the brain is blocked by a blood clot.
Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIAs) are “mini-strokes,” when brain blood flow stops only briefly. These are caused...
Many seniors want to maintain their independence for as long as possible. In fact, Americans over age 50 prefer to age in place, according to surveys. (www.nbcnews.com)
Technology can be a useful aid in helping seniors with various tasks so that they can remain independent and at home. Stereotypes often portray older adults as fearful or leery of using technology, but more and more seniors are using devices to help them do everyday tasks, set reminders and get transportation. Technology can help many seniors live independently, with devices that can monitor medication management, locate a lost Alzheimer’s patient or sense when someone has fallen.
Here are five different devices that can help seniors maintain their independence.
Tablets and e-readers
Many seniors are using tablets now instead of computers. Handheld tablets are easier to get to and hold on the couch or in a chair. They also have bigger screens for reading, video conferencing, checking email, sharing photos and surfing the I...
Growing older with Alzheimer's may involve some changes in your loved one's day to day activities. This also means you, as their primary caregiver, will experience a change in your life. Although there are multiple stages of Alzheimer’s, there are no real indicators of when the symptoms will transition to the next stage. But, being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease is not the end of the road. Your loved one can receive high quality assistance to keep up a high quality of life by hiring an in-home care service.
Most seniors today report that they would prefer to stay in their homes as long as possible. But as people get older, a number of age-related conditions can make living at home increasingly difficult.
If you’ve noticed that your aging parent isn’t able to take care of themselves or their homes the way they used to, it may be time to consider in-home care. Today there are a number of different home care options that can help your parents keep on top of routines and stay happy and healthy, while remaining in their home.
1. Physical Symptoms
When you give your parent a hug, you may notice that they feel thinner and frailer than before. Or maybe you’ve spotted bruises on their body. These types of physical symptoms may be signs that your parent needs some extra help at home. Significant weight loss can be a sign that your aging parent is struggling to prepare meals for themselves, or that they have trouble getting around the kitchen or possibly remembering how to cook properly (a sign of d...
Nobody would ever choose a smiley face as the perfect symbolic emoticon for a caregiver. Caregiving for an ailing loved one is just too stressful -- often triggering damaging emotions that can not only undermine your good work but harm your health, as well. Here's how to cope:
What causes guilt: Guilt stems from doing or saying what you believe is the wrong thing, not doing what you perceive to be enough, or otherwise not behaving in the "right" way, whether or not your perceptions are accurate. Caregivers often burden themselves with a long list of self-imposed "oughts," "shoulds," and "musts."
Risks of guilt: Caregiver guilt is an especially corrosive emotion because you're beating yourself up over faults that are imagined, unavoidable -- or simply human. That's counterproductive at a time when you need to be your own best advocate.
What you can do: Lower your standards from ideal to real. When guilt nags, ask yourself what's triggering it: A rigid "ought"? An unrealistic belie...
Caregiving can bring many positives into your life -- but it's also hard work, physically and emotionally. If you don't take enough self-care to replenish yourself, then caregiver stress, anxiety, and depression can build.
And that puts you on the path for caregiver burnout, a syndrome of mental, emotional, and physical depletion. "Caregiving requires a certain amount of selflessness, but it's important for caregivers to know their limits," says Caring.com senior medical editor Ken Robbins, a geriatric psychiatrist at the University of Wisconsin who's also board certified in internal medicine. "Caregivers can become so focused on the person they're assisting that they neglect their own needs."
Caregiver burnout interferes with your ability to function. Burnout also raises your risk of chronic depression and other mental and physical ailments, from hypertension and flu to diabetes, stroke, or even premature death. Caregiver burnout is also a leading cause of nursing home placement, when...
Searching for a caregiver is hard enough, but not knowing what they can do can be frustrating. One of the most common questions I hear is “What can a caregiver do in our home?”. Well, I think I can answer that question with the following:
All In-Home Care agencies in Illinois are licensed, and regulated, by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). Below, word for word, is how the IDPH defines an in home caregiver (In-Home Services Worker). It also spells out, in great detail, what a caregiver Can, and Cannot, do while providing care. This regulation is what ALL licensed Non-Medical, In Home Care agencies must follow.
Home Services or In-Home Services Worker (In Home Caregiver)
1) As defined in this Part and under the Act, Home Services or in-home services means assistance with activities of daily living , housekeeping, personal laundry, and companionship provided to an individual in his or her personal residence, which are intended to enable that individual to remain s...