Hospice provides many services to terminally ill patients, from end-of-life planning to hands-on care with a Registered Nurse who will manage the overall care. A Certified Nursing Aide is available for bathing visits and assistance with personal care. Hospice also provides a Social Worker to assist with managing family and personal issues. In addition, many hospice services provide volunteers who will visit the hospice pateint to offer companionship services and assist them with any specially requested tasks.
If you have lost a loved one and are looking for new activities to fill your day or have an interest in becoming a caregiver, contact a local hospice company to find out about possible volunteer opportunities. You will gain as much as you give.
senior, care, hospice
Alzheimer's Disease presents many challenges for the senior suffering from the disease, as well as for family members and caregivers. It is very difficult to watch someone lose their memory and their ability to communicate with loved ones. Often, the people who are closest to the senior with Alzheimer's Disease are the ones they take out their frustrations on.
"Away From Her" brings Julie Christie back to the movie screen. She portrays a senior suffering from Alzheimer's Disease She and her husband of nearly 50 years are faced with making a decision for her long-term care and eventually decide it will be best for her to move to an Assisted Living community.
The movie does a wonderful job of showing how difficult it is for loved ones to watch the disease progress. It is the 'long goodbye" and this movie helps provide perspective by telling the story from the perspective of family members and caregivers. Definitely rent this movie if you are caring for someone with Alzheimer's Disease - it does provide a few laughs and surprises, along with a few tears.
As the news media reports on the presidentail campaigns, we now all know Barack Obama is taking a couple days off the campaign trail to visit his sick Grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, in Hawaii. She was discharged from the hospital to her home and her condition is described as serious. Details of her illness have not been released but it is clear she preferred to go home to recover.
Medicare will pay for a temporary stay in a nursing home for rehabilitation after a hospital stay. Medicare does not pay for long-term care in the home nor in the nursing home. Only Medicaid, which very low-income seniors can qualify for, will pay for permanent long-term care in a nursing home (there are a few states, such as Vermont, developing in-home programs for Medicaid care). Typically states require a senior to have no more than $2,000 in assets to qualify for Medicaid benefits.
Have you had the discussion with your parents regarding where they would like to receive care if the situation would present itself? Do they prefer to go to a nursing home for recovery? If so, which nursing home in your community do they prefer? Hospitals will send a patient to any nursing home in their area, based on the discharge planner's instructions. One time I was going to a hospital to meet with a patient regarding her care needs. She had no immediate family and when I arrived, I discovered she had already been discharged and sent to a nursing home. Her Guradian thought she was going to be discharged to a different (and better) nursing home. The nursing home she was sent to was primarily a nursing home for Medicaid patients and unfortunately all the stereotypes that go with that were present (it did smell like urine, patients were medicated and parked in a room, sitting in their wheelchairs for the day). This client was uncooperative at the nursing home, as soon as she was moved back to her home she was eating and talking again and her health improved.
Every situation is different. Many times a nursing home can be the best option. But it is important to discuss the wishes for care with the senior and become educated on the options in your area. Medicaid is what it is - a regular government check the nursing facility will receive until the senior passes on. A Medicaid pateint is not going to threaten to leave if conditions are not up to par - they are receiving a free place to stay from the government and do not have that option. As nursing homes are businesses seeking to make a profit, it is important to ask the right questions. Find out what percentage of beds are Medicaid and find out the staff-to-patient ratio.
As the cost is typically nearly the same, more and more seniors are opting to go home and receive a private duty caregiver rather than go to a nursing home - - they are guaranteed one-to-one care from a caregiver where most nursiing homes have one nursing aide for as many as 12 to 15 patients.
This week, Barack Obama's campaign announced that he will be taking time off from the campaign trail to visit his ailing Grandmother in Hawaii. Barack's Grandma, Madelyn Dunham, age 86, is in declining health and her situation has become critical after being discharged from the hospital.
We will all be Caregivers at some stage of life. As a family or professional caregiver, you will experience the daily challenges of assisting someone else with their "activities of daily living". This is the term used in the care industry for all the tasks we engage in throughout the day from eating to bathing to exercising. Seniors with memory loss may also require additional reminders to maintain their daily schedule.
Hospice training teaches that the healthiest way to lose a loved one is to be able to plan ahead for their death. This allows you to better come to terms emotionally with the expected loss and to have quality time to share with them to say the things you would like. Just being able to say goodbye makes the loss a little easier.
I have found that this only comes true after the person you love has passed on. It is still difficult to make peace with the loss ahead of time, as you are still dealing with anger, sadness and perhaps denial.
I respect Barack for maintaining a relationship with his Grandmother and for making the time to spend with her to say goodbye. This sets a nice example for dealing with the loss of a loved one for other's to follow. And it also highlights how much more difficult caregiving can be when you are a long-distance caregiver. Caregiverlist tries to assist in long-distance caregiving by providing information on services in each state.
senior, caregiving, hospice
When navigating the various options for senior care, it is important to understand not only the care requirements and costs but also the short-term and long-term care needs. This can be especially challenging when Assisted Living becomes the senior's desired choice. Most Assisted Living communities charge separately for caregiving services and may have limited resources for providing nursing care and assistance for those with memory loss. This is why it is important for a senior and their family to evaluate the senior's long-term care needs before making the move to an assisted living community.
Inside Assisted Living, a website for families evaluating assisted living, today released their new research study, "Assisted Living Family Attitudes and Preparedness Report." The survey of 195 families provides an overview of important topics for seniors to understand when evaluating Assisted Living communities. These include costs, caregiving services, and facility criteria for the senior community.
The survey found that 75% of the respondents anticipate needing assisted living for a family member in the next 10 years.
You may view the survey results and learn about Assisted Living for seniors on their website: www.insideassistedliving.com
The website founder, Ryan Malone, learned about the challenges of finding appropriate senior care when his Mother suffered a stroke and shares his experience to make the process easier for other seniors and their families.
senior, care, survey
The Today Show provided a how-to on CPR this morning, including providing the tip to keep pace to the beat of the song "Staying Alive" while performing chest compressions. This is because this song keeps pace at about 103 beats per minute. A representative from the Red Cross advised that everyone should be trained on CPR and at least one member of every household should know how to perform CPR in an emergency.
You can view this informative how-to video with Matt Lauer performing CPR on a doll.
You may also watch these free training videos on CPR from the Red Cross. They also suggest that everyone have a first aide kit in their home.
Deffinitely family and professional Caregivers can benefit from learning CPR or taking a refresher to be ready to assist with any emergencies. Many seniors may have a pacemaker or be taking medications which may impact their heart by speeding it up or slowing it down. Caregivers for seniors with heart conditions are advised to be trained in CPR.
Today the government announced retired seniors will receive a raise in pay starting January, 2009. It is the largest increase in Social Security benefits for seniors in more than 2 decades. On average, seniors will receive an additional $63 per month with the 5.8 percent increase in this senior retirement benefit. Seniors can begin receiving Social Security benefit payments at age 62 or wait until age 65 for an increased benefit amount.
The typical American senior who has activated their social security benefits receives about $1090.00 per month. This amount barely covers living expenses, which can cause added stress when medical conditions require caregiving services, medications or other treaments not covered by Medicare insurance.
About 50 million seniors receive Social Security benefits and with the increases in food and gas costs we have experienced in the past year, living on a fixed income has become more challenging.
You may find out your expected monthly social security check payment, based on your current age and income, on the government's website: www.ssa.gov
senior, caregiving, benefit
Hospice care was developed as a care solution for terminally ill patients. Usually family members are involved in care services when a senior or someone younger is terminally ill. Medicare does provide for hospice care services for seniors and provides certified nursing aide caregivers, social workers and registered nurses to visit the home to assist with the senior's care needs. Family caregivers often do not realize Medicare will pay for hospice care services for seniors to help support them. Yet the support of hospice can make a difficult situation a little easier to manage.
Hospice will also assist with the emotional aspects of terminal illness for both the senior and their family and for professional caregivers, along with bereavement care. In addition, hospice will provide a Certified Nursing Aide to assist with tasks such as bathing. My grandmother moved in with my Aunt when she became terminal with cancer. While my Aunt wanted to provide for her care, it was exhausting. She appreciated the regular check -in visits by the hospice staff. The hospice Certified Nursing Aide assisted her with bathing assistance visits and the Registered Nurse gave her feedback on the progression of the cancer.
Hospice care may begin as soon as someone is diagnosed as terminally ill. There are many companies which provide hospice care and your medical doctor can usually provide a referral.
Learn more about hospice care services directly from the hospice foundation. http://www.hospicefoundation.org/
senior, care, hospice