Archive for December, 2013

Many Living At Home With Dementia Have Unmet Needs

Monday, December 30th, 2013

 

A recent study performed by researchers at Johns Hopkins University showed that many seniors with dementia were living with unmet health and safety needs; factors that could limit the amount of time they can stay in their home as they age.

The definition of unmet needs, according to the study, being a variety of different aspects, from safety to medical help, necessary to keep one in the home for as long as possible. All of which, if unmet, are predicative of earlier nursing home care.

The study, led by researcher Betty Black Ph.D., followed 254 people with dementia in the Baltimore area and also interviewed over 200 of their informal caregivers; meaning, non-professional helpers. The study found that over 90 percent of those studied had one or more unmet needs.

The good news is that researchers noted that a majority of these unmet needs are relatively simple fixes, like grab rails in the bathroom, clearing floors, or basic medical checkups that can all be done relative easily and can help greatly improve the amount of time one is likely to live in their home.

However, the study also found that many informal caregivers lacked access to, or were unaware, of the types of resources there are for people in their position. The result being a a mindset that they have to “do it all on their own”, or that seeking outside help was simply too much, monetarily, to employ. Neither of which being true, as there exist many different options and resources in seeking help in taking care of your friends or loved ones.

If you or a friend or loved one find yourself in this position, please know that there exist Care Advisors, like ours at Alliance Home Health Care, that are here for precisely these reasons. Meaning, they are here to help you know what can be done around the home to ensure your friend or loved one stays at home for as long as possible, and to help connect with you members of our amazing staff that can assist you and your loved one in meeting these needs.

In other words, we care about your family, and will work with you in finding whatever ways possible to help them stay at home for as long as they can.

If you require further assistance, please do not hesitate to call one of our Alliance Home Health Care Care Advisors at 317-581-1100. Or, contact us here.

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Caregiving Tips: Starting Fresh in 2014

Monday, December 30th, 2013

 

Managing the holidays as a caregiver is a tough task. The good news, though, is that the holidays are almost over. However, caregiver burnout is always a possibility after a long holiday season, so it’s important for caregivers to take some time for themselves as the new year approaches and refresh.

Below are some helpful tips for caregivers on getting a fresh start in the new year:

Make time for you:

Now is the time, as the holidays wind to an end, to not only take some time for yourself over the next week, but to also create a plan for the coming year on how to better manage your time. Enlisting help from friends and family, or Care Advisors, like ours here at Alliance Home Health Care, can help you save time, money, and stress. Additionally, planning daily breaks over each week can help you recharge and be the best you that you can be for others. Whether it’s reading a book for an hour, a short nap, or a quick walk, small breaks each day can help you refresh your mind and body.

Exercise:

There’s no argument that exercise is good for your health; both for your mind and your body. Exercise is often one of the first New Year’s resolutions made by people, but so often they are abandoned for various reasons. More often than not, though, it’s because we set expectations for exercise that we can’t meet, or do it for the wrong reasons.

This new year, try to set realistic goals for exercise. Do it for your health, and forgive, don’t give up, if you miss a day or two. Know that walking as little as 20-30 minutes a day can be beneficial to your body and mind; it doesn’t have to be a 4-mile run. If a friend or family member, or senior you’re helping, has an exercise regimen, join in and hold each other accountable. Often, having someone else in your exercise journey can motivate each other to keep moving.

Remember that helping others means helping yourself:

In a recent article about a woman sharing her secrets to living to 103, she said perhaps the greatest secret to living a longer, healthier life was volunteering and helping others. Being a caregiver means you’re helping others every day. Take pride and enjoyment in that, and be fulfilled in knowing that what you do means so much to someone else. Friends, family, those you help, all appreciate what you do, day in and day out for others; allow yourself to appreciate that. You’ll find that taking the time to appreciate what you do won’t feel as selfish as you think. In fact, it will more than likely be a reenergizing and positive experience.

If you have any other tips for our community, feel free to leave a comment below. Because, as always, as caregivers, we’re all in this together.

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