Elders want to travel – to vacation, visit family and friends, fulfill a dream, go again to a place in memory. This may seem impossible or difficult at best. He’s blind. She has dementia. He has Alzheimer’s. She can’t go down the street without getting lost, how is she going to make it to the wedding 2,000 miles away?
Given, elder travel is different from the backpacking days of our youth, but it doesn’t have to be gone. Accompanied senior travel makes the world safer, larger, brighter, and a lot more fun for the individual.
Stage One – Getting Started
You may ask: What is a caregiver? What does a caregiver do?
According to the Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas, Inc., if you are you providing unpaid assistance to a spouse, relative, or friend who is ill, disabled, or needs help with basic activities of daily living you are a caregiver. If you help with rides to the doctor, shopping, meals, bill paying, bathing, grooming, dressing, walking or transferring to a wheelchair, housekeeping, managing medications, or arranging services to be provided by others, you are a caregiver.
A major concern for our senior loved ones is companionship. It breaks our hearts to hear the loneliness in their voices while we’re speaking on the phone or to read their emails and letters stating that they are losing their friends and feeling isolated.
For some, a remedy for this loneliness could be to have a companion animal; an animal that would provide stress relief and a whole laundry list of other positives. Research shows that it is a win-win situation for both human and non-human animal, especially if that animal comes from a shelter, rescue or foster home (http://www.ehow.com/how_2086105_benefit-from-companion-animals.html).
Should a parent become unable to care for him- or herself, questions inevitably come up between siblings over care of their parent/s: where should the parent/s live – at home, or with which sibling – who should manage their parent’s money, who will assume primary care-giving duties. Should that sibling be paid?
A Personal Care Agreement (sometimes called a Personal Services Agreement) can be an effective way to avoid misunderstandings that could otherwise arise.
New Elder Communities Take Root Where We Already Live.
Christopher Van De Moortel, President
Aging in Place and Senior Villages are beginning to sweep the country. Each “village” may vary slightly in their approach to helping seniors remain in their homes, but most have a combination of volunteer services and third party providers. From roofing contractors to picking up a prescription, their mission is to redefine how we live out our days: at home, in our homes, and not in nursing homes.
Senior Friendly Exercise Right at Your Backdoor
Gardening is an excellent form of low impact exercise for senior citizens, the disabled, and people recovering from injury. Although some heavy tasks are inappropriate for people with compromised physical ability, many others offer a great opportunity to stretch muscles, improve muscle-tone, and gently increase heart rate. Planting seeds, pulling weeds, and pruning flowers are great occupational therapy activities. Raking leaves or planting a small tree can help maintain muscle, improve your balance, and increase your heart rate.
Five Signs It May be Time to Break Up with Your Doctor
Tips for the Alzheimer’s Caregiver
A recent article by Melanie Haiken, Caring.com Senior Editor, www.caring.com/blogs/, addresses the subject: What to do when the doctor isn’t listening to you or the person you’re caring for, not carrying out your wishes when it comes to treatment and medication choices, or recommending drugs or treatments that seem inappropriate for much older patients. Here are a few examples.
Older people who bring a friend or relative to the doctor with them report greater satisfaction with their medical care. The more active the companion is in asking questions, writing instructions, scheduling appointments, or helping with transportation, the more favorable the patients’ experience.
“Visit companions are commonly present in older adults’ routine medical encounters, actively engaged in care processes, and influential to patients’ satisfaction with physician care.”
Care for You® screens its senior companions rigorously. We conduct a criminal background check and check references carefully. We require an up-to-date TB test and up-to-date automobile insurance, and conduct a driving records check if the Companion is to provide transportation.
Yes, we will keep you or your loved one with the same Companion to the greatest extent possible. This was a principle upon which the company was founded. Our experience with our own family elders has taught us that people don’t want strangers coming to their door, or a different person every day.
If your support needs go beyond the number of hours an employee would normally work in a given day or week, Care for You® will establish a Companion team, so that you will still know who is coming at any given day and time. Our objective is always to place Companions with clients in a way that facilitates the building of long-term relationships.