The holidays are a wonderful time for gathering with the family and celebrating the season. When visiting with your aging loved ones, you may notice some of the early indicators that they are ready for the additional support found in a senior living community. Recognizing these signs sooner, rather than later, can help you avoid making hasty living decisions due to unexpected emergencies.
Henry and Ruth were married almost 60 years when Ruth entered memory care. Suddenly, all the decisions they used to make as a couple, large and small, fell to Henry to make on his own. Fortunately, Henry and Ruth had always been planners and both had wills along with financial and medical powers of attorney.
When Ruth suddenly became unable to make informed decisions on her own, her medical power of attorney allowed Henry to make important decisions on her behalf. Just because Henry had the means to make those decisions, doesn’t mean it was easy. That’s why it’s so important to plan ahead, just in case.
Being aware of and protecting ourselves against fraud is a fact of life. Sadly, older adults are targeted more often. It’s assumed, not always accurately, by many scam artists that older adults are more vulnerable. They rely on gullibility, loneliness, and a lack of tech savvy to target older adults. However, you can help your loved ones become aware of common scam tactics and how to protect against them. Here’s how.
Maintaining a sense of independence is significant for aging seniors. They want to drive themselves to doctor's appointments, church, the bank or grocery store. They often want to stay in the comfort of their own home, but challenges such as falling and forgetting to take medication can make that more difficult. So, what are some ways to help mom and dad stay home longer while ensuring their safety?
Animal and pet therapy has long been recognized as calming and soothing for seniors — especially those in dementia and Alzheimer’s care. Many senior living communities sponsor animal therapy programs, where residents can interact with animals periodically. While those programs are wonderful, they depend on the availability of the animals — which can be limiting. That’s where Companion Pets come in.
It’s no surprise that caregivers need care, too. That’s especially true for professional caregivers, as Katie Westberg, National Director of Life Enrichment for The Goodman Group points out. “In senior living and health care, there’s a high percentage of stress and burnout in the workplace," she says. "That can lead to higher turnover, and we don't want to see that. We want to take care of our team members.”
“How are you doing?” It’s rare that a caregiver is asked that simple question. People usually focus on the one receiving care, not the one giving it.
If a friend’s mom is in the hospital, people want to know how she’s doing. If a relative is in memory care, the family wants to know the latest news. Yet the caregiver’s well-being is equally as important. It often falls on the caregivers themselves to prevent their own burnout. That’s where respite care can help.
“What’s troubling you this week? What is your biggest challenge?” asks Margie Ratcliff, Director of Volunteer Services at The Palms of Largo multilevel senior living campus in Largo, Florida. “It may not be a good month, or a good day, but I always encourage the caregivers to come and we will work it out.”