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Each year, millions of Americans find themselves caring for their elderly parents or aging family members at home for the first time.
**Currently, there are more than 34 million family caregivers in the U.S.
If you are one of them, clearly, you are not alone.
While the initial prospect of caring for a parent or other aging relative (or friend) can be daunting, you can take some steps to make the caregiving easier, both for you and your care receiver.
We know that this can be a rocky adjustment period so we gathered our geriatric experts and asked...
here's what they had to say...
Tiffany mentions using the resources in your area. Senior centers, support groups, associations and churches all have a lot of free resources that aren’t always utilized. Understand who can help, what they can do, and what costs money versus what does not.
With over 12 years in the medical field, pursuing her passion of caring for people in four different states and six different areas of care. She currently is the Director of Happiness and CEO at Nurse Next Door Delaware, which specializes in keeping people happy at home and giving them the option to age in place.
Bunni mentions making sure the house is safe to prevent falls. This means to move throw rugs out of the way, in case they trip on them. Install safety rails in the shower, and rubber mats in the tub. Make sure object are off the floor, and lights are bright enough, especially at night.
Licensed Marriage, Family Therapist Certified Care Manager and trained mediator with over twenty-five years’ experience in providing services for older and dependent adults. As Director of Professional Services at LivHOME, Bunni combines her leadership, program development, and professional skills to staff, families and the professionals on complex issues involving aging, caregiving, disability and long-term care.
Candy mentions being patient is a key to caring for elderly parents at home. Being patient with the elderly can be difficult, especially in a rushed society. Remember your elderly loved one has limited physical and mental capabilities. Take the time to listen to them, their stories, and especially their wishes.
Senior Placement and Home Health Advisor
Candy guides seniors and their families through the maze of senior living and home care options and provides free services for her clients (accepting commission from the facilities or home health companies pay her a commission when she places a client). She assists with attention to detail and budgets for in-home caregivers that accept Long Term Care Insurance, Long Term Care Medicaid, Medicare, Workman's Comp, LOP for PI cases, Private Pay and stays with her clients throughout.
Sharon mentions that the wishes of the elderly parent need to be addressed and dealt with. They should also have clearly stated Advance Healthcare Directives, which express their wishes in the event they cannot speak for themselves. These documents are generally prepared by an attorney or the legal aid society in your community. If these are not prepared while your loved one is mentally competent, there could be serious ramifications. Check with your local Aging and Disability Resource Center to find the legal resources nearest you.
Owner of AgeWise Solutions
Has more than 20 years of experience in older adult services, program and policy development, and aging services administration at the local and regional level. She holds a Master's Certification in Geriatric Care Management from the University of Florida in Gainesville and completed her undergraduate work at the College of New Jersey. Devoted member of the American Society on Aging and the Aging Life Care Association , an organization that is nationally recognized for professional standards and ethics in care management for older adults.
Lynne wants to make sure the elder parents nutrition need are cared for. The elderly sometimes do not eat, unless food is accessible and prepped for them. Dehydration can lead to many medical problems, therefore hydration is also important.
Has over 30 years of nursing experience, Associates Degree in business, an Associates degree in Nursing and a Bachelor’s degree in Health Care Administration. The majority of her experience is in critical care, ICU and CCU. Later in her career she worked as an RN Case Manager and for the last five years of her career was a Director of Nursing Services at a Long Term Care, Rehabilitation facility. She gained experience with the geriatric population since most of her residents were in their 80's and 90's. She retired to the beach in Delaware in 2014 and joined Nurse Next Door in 2015.
Caring for elderly parents at home is a challenge that many of us are facing, or will face down the road, so know that you're not alone.
There may come a time when your loved one can no longer reside at home. Plan ahead and use the caregiving resources available. Know the facilities in the local region and learn about their services, amenities, and costs. Planning in advance can make a future transition much easier on you and your loved one. Take the time to research and gather the home supplies you'll need.
Do you suffer from fatigue, lethargy, daytime sleepiness, or decreased vision? Then you might need energy supplements for seniors to boost your mood and energy levels. These supplements are rich in essential vitamins and minerals, that support the immune system, increase mental clarity, promote healthy joints, enhance vision, and enable you to carry out your daily activities with ease.
While gyms can be a great place to exercise and build muscle, rainy days and general lethargy can quickly put an end to a gym trip. If you want to bring a little bit of the gym into your home, there’s a wide selection of hand weights for home use you can choose from.
Digestive enzymes supplements include proteins that support the breakdown and absorption of nutrients in the body. Your body produces an amount of these enzymes itself, and the best enzyme tablets promote healthy digestion naturally. These chemicals are linked to a range of health benefits, such as reducing bloating and gas, improving conditions like constipation and helping the body absorb the maximum nutrient value of different foods.
An underactive thyroid gland can cause fatigue, slow metabolism, and weight gain. While a lifestyle change is required, using supplements for hypothyroidism is recommended to stimulate the production of the thyroid hormone. These supplements are formulated with essential vitamins, minerals, herbs, and amino acids to enhance metabolism as well as increase energy levels.