long-distance senior care

Going the Distance: How to Care for a Senior Parent Who Lives Far Away

One of the only things more challenging than caring for your senior parents is caring for your senior parents who live far away from you. Long distances present their own unique set of obstacles!

Thankfully, Home Care Assistance is going to help you handle the logistics of long-distance senior care. Take a look at our advice below and get started helping your elderly parents from a distance.

Assess the situation and know your options.

In order to provide the best care possible for your long-distance senior parents, start by assessing their situation. What is their state of health? What’s their living situation like? You may even need to gather some of this information from their current physicians, or they may have a caregiver who can give you frequent updates. Another good idea is to get the whole family together and outline who is going to be responsible for what. As an example, if you have a sibling who lives nearby the parents, they may be tasked with checking in on them on a daily or weekly basis.

Get organized and automated.

The next step is to go ahead and automate as many of your parent’s affairs as possible – start with items like automated bill pay, and auto-renewal services for newspapers, prescriptions refills, and grocery deliveries.

Think of this as if you are running a second household! Most importantly, think about what tasks YOU would want to be automated for yourself if you sometimes forgot about them or were unable to handle them.

Keep in touch.

Although it may seem obvious, we highly encourage you to try and visit your parents in person as much as you can. This is the best way for you to physically assess their well-being, check for anything else they may need, and to spend time with them. If you have nearby friends or family, and you are unable to visit your parents as much as you would like, consider encouraging some of these people to visit your parents in your absence.

If neither of the above is a good option for you, don’t worry! Technology these days is very advanced and useful for keeping in touch long-distance. If your parents are on the tech-savvy side, make sure they have the ability to stay social with you through phone calls, video chats, text messages, or email. For the parents who don’t have a great grasp on technology, ask their caregiver to share their logs and plans with you online on a daily basis, or see if they can help your senior make a video call to you.

If you need help developing a senior care plan for your senior parents, Home Care Assistance is ready to help you! Give us a call to schedule your consultation and learn about your long-distance senior care options.

senior care socialization

Connecting Generations: How Young People are Helping Older Adults Stay Social

It’s no secret that some of the younger generations, like iGen, Generations Z and X, and Millennials all seem to have the upper hand when it comes to using technology. Older adults, however, can often get left behind on their understanding of technological advancements. That’s where these younger generations come in! Those with parents or grandparents in senior care can teach them how they can stay social, too.

You can start by showing your senior the value of technology. Demonstrate how easy it is to video call a family member you haven’t spoken to in a while, or to reply to an important in email in under 10 minutes! These demonstrations will help them understand and appreciate the value of technology.

Your senior can make better use of technology when you help them understand the language. Most older adults in a senior care program probably do not know the terms and phrases associated with Facebook or Instagram, so using them won’t be helpful. Instead, break things down into an easy language that they can understand and use analogies they will be familiar with.

Don’t rush your teachings, just take it slow. Just because you can send a text in 10 seconds doesn’t mean your senior will be able to! Go through the motions slowly and repeat the steps several times so your senior can get the hang of it.

If you have a senior who is a bit forgetful, try writing things down for them. List the steps into simple instructions that your senior can read and perform themselves when you are not around to help them open the Facebook app or browse the internet.

We know it can be a bit frustrating to teach a user of technology who is not as advanced as you are, but it is best to just be patient with your senior. Having patience will help them learn to use technology at their own pace, and it is a nice gesture that tells them how much you love and care for them.

Your senior won’t always remember what you teach them on the first go around, so try and stay consistent. It may take more than one explanation or demonstration for them to get a good grasp on just what it is they are doing, so just keep with it!

Would you like further advice on connecting socially with your senior, or you would like to develop a customized senior care plan for them? If so, call Home Care Assistance! We are ready to talk with you and schedule your consultation.

millennials-providing-senior-care

Senior Care Trends: Millennial Caregivers

Millennials are probably not the first generation that comes to your mind when you think about the word “caregivers.” However, you may find it surprising that Millennials, ages 20 – 34, are stepping into roles as “primary caregivers” – a growing trend as their parents become “secondary” caregivers.

Furthermore, there are approximately 5.3 million grandchildren caring for their grandparents, with the average Millennial caregiver being 27 years old, male or female. This means that 1 out of 12 caregivers is caring for a grandparent!

In their new role as primary caregivers, Millennials are handling all of the responsibilities that come along with providing their grandparents’ senior care.

Why is this happening?

Let’s take a look at the most common reasons Millennials are stepping in to give senior care:

Compassion and Support

Millennials are all about providing support for their grandparents, simply because they are compassionate towards the older members of their family.

Deceased Parents/Grandparents

Often times, Millennials will step in as the primary caregiver because of the death of a parent or grandparent who otherwise may have been in the role.

Reciprocal Relationships

It is natural for Millennials to reciprocate a relationship with their grandparents – They want to provide senior care because their grandparents once took care of them as a child. They like being able to spend this time with them because they will miss their grandparents once they are gone.

Below are the primary ways Millennials are providing senior care for their grandparents:

Creating a Bond

Millennials feel it is important to bond with their grandparents, so they will often send mail to keep in touch. When visiting, they will take time to learn the hobbies and interests of their grandparents so they can continue passing them on as a tradition.

Running Errands and Assisting in the Home

As we age, driving, running errands, and other simple tasks become harder to do. That’s where Millennials are stepping in to help transport their grandparents or complete these tasks for them. They also contribute to household chores, like cleaning, cooking, paying bills, sorting mail, and hygiene.

Even though Millennials are content with providing senior care, they can still become burnt out in the role as primary caregiver. At this stage in life, many Millennials are still focusing on other thing things – Friends, school, careers – and so caregivers must sacrifice. Still, Millennials need support as well.

This is where we come in. Home Care Assistance helps to take on these responsibilities for caring for grandparents. With our customized programs that are tailored to fit your senior’s needs, we may just be the perfect fit for your family. To schedule a consultation and learn about your options, please give us a call!

spotting senior depression in carmel, in

How to Spot Signs of Depression in Senior Care

Did you know that depression is actually a very common issue among seniors? There are both causes and symptoms of depression in the elderly that can affect all aspects of your loved one’s life and their senior care. This is why it’s important to be aware of the signs and red flags associated with depression, which can often go unnoticed. This happens for several reasons, like a reluctance to talk about feelings of sadness, or assuming that sadness is just a part of the aging process.

It is extremely helpful to learn about both the causes and symptoms of senior depression, especially if you’re in charge of your loved one’s senior care. Doing so can help you catch the onset of depression or preventing it altogether.

The Causes

Being aware of the major causes of senior depression, listed below, can help you stop it in its tracks.

  • Isolation and Loneliness: A decreasing social circle can be the result of living alone; this is also attributed to an inability to drive or decreased mobility.
  • Health Problems: This can be caused by chronic and severe pain; illnesses or disabilities; or cognitive decline.
  • Fears: A fear of death or dying; struggling with anxiety from health issues or financial distress.
  • Reduced Sense of Purpose: Sometimes retirement can be to blame for a loss of identity or purpose; a lack of engagement in previously enjoyed activities may be due to new physical limitations.
  • Medical Conditions: Certain conditions can directly cause depression in seniors. For example: Parkinson’s Disease, thyroid disorders, Cancer and Lupus.
  • Recent Bereavements: If your loved one has experienced a recent loss of friends, family members, pets, or a spouse or partner, this can be a major cause of depression.

The Symptoms

Even after learning about the above causes, it still a good idea to recognize the symptoms, listed below.

  • Poor sleeping habits
  • Slower speech and/or movements
  • The use of alcohol or other drugs (or increased use)
  • Thoughts of suicide or death
  • Neglecting personal care
  • Sadness and despair; feelings of hopelessness; loss of self-worth
  • Loss of interest and activities; lack of motivation and energy
  • Weight loss and/or loss of appetite
  • Aches and pains that are unexplained

As you notice signs of prolonged sadness or depression in your senior loved one, it’s important to make changes to their care to help support their emotional wellbeing. Through the Balanced Care Method, Home Care Assistance aims to support both the emotional and physical health of older adults as they age. If you’re looking for support for an older family member, contact us today!

Signs your loved one may need senior care in Carmel, IN

Five Signs Your Loved One is Ready for In-Home Senior Care

Before you can begin to decide whether or not your loved one needs in-home senior care, it is helpful to first understand what just what it means and how it works. In-home senior care refers to care that is provided to seniors in their own home, for as long as possible before being placed in a facility. In-home services can be constant care – 24/7 – or it could even be select days and times each week depending on your senior’s needs.

As for the service types that come with in-home care, there is a wide variety to choose from based on your senior’s priority. Your loved one may need non-medical services (assistance with errands, cleaning, bathing cooking), socialization services (companionship), or even medical assistance. Knowing this, we still must ask ourselves: How do we know when our loved ones need in-home senior care?

Here are some of the telltale signs to look out for:

Worsening Health Conditions or Recent Accidents

If your loved one has had a recent medical scare or maybe even taken a fall, these could be signs in-home care is needed. The older your loved one gets, the higher the chances are of an accident happening again.

Not Leaving the House

Pay attention to how often (or not) your loved one leaves the house. If it has been several days at a time that they have not left the house, this could be due to a fear of driving themselves or using public transportation.

Forgetfulness

Have you noticed that your loved one seems to forget things lately? Maybe they forget to check or open the mail, or they forget where their home is after driving back from the grocery store. These are signs of memory loss and having someone to check in may be helpful.

Changes in Cleanliness and Organization

The next time you visit with your loved one, take a moment to notice two things: their appearance and their house. Do they seem clean? Are their clothes clean? Look around the house – Are things in order, or is their clutter and disorganization?

Energy Levels and Interests

Do you notice a change in your loved one’s energy level? If they have lower energy or are losing interest in activities they once enjoyed, these could be signs of the onset of depression. In-home socialization services could be beneficial.

YouTube video of the cognitive therapeutics method in Carmel, IN

Cognitive Therapeutics Method: A Success Story

Older couple walking to a small beach in Carmel, IN

Key Investment Advice for Caregivers

Our guest blog author, Steve Carr, is Partner and Director of Research for Peloton Wealth Strategists. Peloton manages custom investment portfolios and provides financial counsel on a fee-only basis for clients throughout the U.S. and internationally.

When a parent or other loved one looks to us to handle their personal affairs because they are no longer able to, the stress can be heavy. Financial caregivers are often required to make investment decisions without the benefit of key information. The following are of some of the most common investment-related decisions that you may need to make for a family member’s benefit. Read more

Senior care specialist reading a newspaper with an older man at home in Carmel, IN

Advantages of Caregivers for Post Hospitalization Recovery

For most adults transitioning out of the hospital setting, home care is the solution that offers the greatest security and happiness for the client and the most peace of mind to his or her family.

  • Working with a personal caregiver provides the individual customized attention, ranging from a few hours a day to around-the-clock care 24 hours a day.
  • Visiting therapists can cater to the specific recovery needs of a client at home. For example, to practice walking stairs, a therapist can utilize the exact staircase the patient will eventually need to climb. This level of customization is not available in a rehab facility.
  • A patient benefits psychologically from the comfort of home and has a smoother transition back to a familiar routine and lifestyle.
  • Further, patients recovering at home can benefit from full-time, 24-hour services from a caregiver; the level of care is far more personalized than at a nursing facility and families enjoy peace of mind knowing a trained professional is always at home.
Senior mother with daughter on a green bench in Carmel, IN

Understanding The Types of Senior Care

With so many senior housing communities popping up around Indianapolis and numerous in home care options, choosing care for you loved one is difficult. Here’s a brief overview of the most common types of care to help you with your decisions.

Read more

Smiling elderly woman in a wheelchair by the window in Carmel, IN

Build Strength, Balance to Prevent Falls

One in three adults over the age of 65 falls every year resulting in injuries ranging from scrapes and bruises to hip fractures. In recognition of Fall Prevention Awareness Day on September 23rd, Home Care Assistance interviewed Julie Groves, occupational therapist and owner of Therapy In Your Home – OT, PT, ST, a specialized outpatient therapy service.

Below Julie recommends tips to prevent falls and explains how an occupational therapist can help reduce fall risk in the home. Read more