Best Apps and Digital Tools to Help You as a Caregiver

Best Apps and Digital Tools to Help You as a Caregiver

Caregiving is a full-time role. Even if you’re not providing direct care around the clock, you as the primary caregiver are responsible for ensuring your loved one’s needs are met—and that he/she is safe—24 hours a day.

Many caregivers are thinking about the person in their care every second: What if she tried to walk to the mailbox and fell? What if he couldn’t reach something in the kitchen? What if I can’t keep caring for him as time goes on?

Whether you’re present in your loved one’s home on a daily basis or not, the emotional and mental weight of bearing full responsibility for another person can be overwhelming. And over time, if you don’t add support and help, carrying that weight alone will lead to burnout.

But today’s technology can reduce a caregiver’s stress level.

We’ll outline several tech tools to make your caregiving life more manageable:

Keeping in Touch

On any given day, you’re communicating with doctors, therapists, family and friends, meal providers and more. Today’s tech allows constant communication via emails, texts, phone calls, and more—which is great for today’s on-the-go, multitasking caregivers.

And video technology (Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom, for example, all of which are free to use at a basic level) makes it easy for family separated by miles to SEE each other regularly.

But if your loved one is hospitalized, family and friends will want updates and news. And for caregivers, that can mean a ton of phone calls or texts.

CaringBridge is a free tool that helps you create a private website to which you can post all the details you want to share, including pictures or requests for/restrictions on visits, and share the link with the people of your choosing. You can also coordinate help through the site as well.

Managing Medications

About 87 percent of older adults (ages 62-85) living at home take at least one prescription medication, while 36 percent take five or more, according to JAMA Internal Medicine.

Medication management is complex, particularly for caregivers who have no formal medical training and for loved ones who may have more than one condition that can cause dangerous or even fatal interactions, side effects and more.

If the issue is one of compliance (i.e., “How do I make sure Mom takes her meds while I’m at work?”),

 offers a solution. The product costs $119.95, and is a personalized, voice-controlled reminder system that can help with medication reminders as well as reminders for appointments and everyday tasks.

MedCoach costs $4 a month unless you have a Jitterbug smartphone or Jitterbug flip phone. This service, via GreatCall, sends medication reminder messages to your phone and can connect you to your local pharmacy for refills.

PillPack works with many major insurance providers It is a service that sorts and packages all prescriptions and over-the-counter medications by the dose, then ships them to the address of your choosing (boxes are secured and unmarked to prevent theft or tampering). Each PillPack dose is labeled with the date and time it must be taken, and any as-needed meds, or inhalers, creams and refrigerated items like insulin, are sent separately.

The Sagely SMART Weekly Pill Organizer costs $34.95, and designed with seven large containers (able to store large pills) that fit on a magnetized base. The organizer includes a “PushThrough” feature, which allows you to push the pills from the lid into the container to improve loading accuracy. Lids indicate AM and PM and are color-coded and flexible for easy retrieval, with the days of the week printed in large lettering. You can also download the free Sagely Pill Reminder App, available for Apple and Android devices.

Delegating Care

Even if you’re good at asking others for help or delegating tasks, it can be a challenge keeping everyone on the same page and all the appointments and care tasks in one place. The “Care Calendar” by Lotsa Helping Hands is a great option, as are calendar programs tied to automated email/phone reminders, like Google, Outlook, or Apple. All are free.

Hint: Make sure to include reminders for yourself too, i.e. “take a self-care day” or “go get a massage” or “schedule lunch with a friend.”

Joining an Online Support Group

There are a number of closed groups on Facebook (Caregivers Connect and Caregivers and the Eldercare Community are two great examples) where caregivers can safely share challenges, celebrate victories, vent about struggles and connect with others in similar caregiving situations.

If you can’t get to a brick-and-mortar location for a support group (or you don’t feel comfortable doing so), or if you need to connect more often than the group meets, you can search for various online support groups for caregivers24/7 available on Caregiving.com.

If you’re on Twitter, check out #ElderCareChat or #CareChat for regularly scheduled real-time conversations with caregivers from all walks of life.

Monitoring Falls

Many caregivers are constantly worrying about that middle-of-the-night call to say a loved one has fallen. Wearables like GreatCall’s Lively and personal emergency response systems (PERS) like the Medical Guardian can be quite helpful in ensuring quicker responses to falls or other health incidents and emergencies. In-home monitoring systems are also becoming more popular and accessible, though many are still cost-prohibitive for the average caregiver. Costs for these devices and systems vary, but typically run around $50 a month.

6 Early Warning Signs of Dementia

Contrary to popular belief, dementia is not a normal part of the aging process. It’s not even an actual disease.

Dementia is a collection of symptoms that interfere with everyday life, and spotting these symptoms is critical to treatment.

Dementia’s first signs are often masked in the mundane questions of everyday life: Where did I put the keys? Which faucet turns on the cold water? What day did I get married again?

Too often, those early warning signs are chalked up to busy lives or the forgetfulness that sometimes comes as we age; so detecting dementia early can be difficult.

Caused by certain diseases or conditions like Alzheimer’s that affect the brain, dementia often causes changes in personality, mood and behavior.

This can make things particularly hard on a family member providing care. Professional resources can help your loved one live safely and comfortably.

Signs and Symptoms

Dementia affects each person differently, in varying degrees and at different rates. However, if you notice one or more of the warning signs in someone you love, schedule an appointment with a doctor who can make a complete assessment.

Warning signs include:

  • Forgetting things recently learned, important dates, names or other important information
  • Asking the same question or repeating the same story over and over
  • Getting lost in familiar places – Inability to backtrack or retrace steps
  • Unable to follow directions or stay on task
  • Becoming confused about time, people and places
  • Neglecting personal safety, hygiene and nutrition

Types of Dementia

Dementia takes many forms, but all are caused by physical changes in the brain.

The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s, accounting for between 60 to 70 percent of cases, according to the World Health Organization. Alzheimer’s is a slowly progressive brain disease that begins well before symptoms emerge. It is caused by changes in certain parts of the brain that result in the death of nerve cells.

As the damage spreads through the brain, so does the severity of symptoms. People living with Alzheimer’s will eventually require total medical care.

Vascular dementia is a less common form of dementia accounting for about 10 percent of such cases, according to Alzheimer’s Association. It is sometimes referred to as post-stroke dementia because it is caused by changes in the supply of blood the brain leading to death of brain tissues. Vascular dementia often strikes suddenly.

Memory, language, reasoning and coordination can be affected as well as mood and personality changes. At this time, brain damage caused by a stroke can’t be reversed but quick treatment and taking steps to prevent future strokes can minimize symptoms.

Other forms of dementia include Lewy bodies or DLB, Parkinson’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and Huntington’s disease. The specific cause of each is different.

Know Your Risk and Reduce It

Age, family history and genetic makeup are the three most important risk factors for Alzheimer’s.

Consider the following:

  • Most individuals with Alzheimer’s disease are 65 and older.
  • One in nine people in that age group and nearly one-third of people age 85 and older have Alzheimer’s.
  • People with a parent, brother or sister with Alzheimer’s are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s. The risk increases if multiple family members have the disease.
  • Scientists have determined certain genes make some people more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. This is one risk factor and not a cause of Alzheimer’s.
  • Research also indicates that older Latinos and African-Americans are more at risk for Alzheimer’s and other dementia. The reasons are still unclear.

The risk of developing dementia increases with conditions that damage the heart and blood vessels, like heart disease, diabetes and stroke. High blood pressure and high cholesterol can also increase risk. Work with your doctor to manage and control these conditions.

Living with Dementia

Anyone with dementia should be under a doctor’s care. Alzheimer’s can be treated with certain medications. Those with vascular dementia should work to avoid further strokes by managing blood pressure, treating high cholesterol and diabetes and should not smoke cigarettes.

But many can live with dementia for years with help from family, friends and trained home care professionals.

These professionals are called caregivers and they’re an outstanding resource for helping loved ones who have dementia.

Caregivers can help those with dementia by ensuring they:

  • Adhere to daily and weekly routines
  • Continue social and physical activities
  • Are kept abreast of daily details and local news
  • Use memory aids like lists, simple-to-follow instructions and a calendar with daily to-do lists

Get a Memory Screening

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America provides free, confidential memory screenings throughout the U.S. on an ongoing basis. This kind of screening can help determine if someone might benefit from a comprehensive medical evaluation. Search now to see if there’s a screening site near you. 

5 Early Warning Signs of Pneumonia in a Senior

Pneumonia is a lung infection, and very tricky in older adults.

It’s still caused by either a bacterial or viral infection that inflames the air sacs in one or both lungs.

Unfortunately, many tell-tale signs commonly associated with pneumonia in adults under the age of 65 are often not present in older adults. Older adults often have fewer and more mild symptoms. For example, the phlegm-ridden cough and high fever accompanied with teeth-chattering chills often associated with pneumonia is often non-existent in older adults. So we have to look for other signs.

Two red-flag signs of pneumonia in older adults are confusion and/or delirium, as well as a lower than normal body temperature.

Other signs, which can sometimes be confused with cold and flu, include:

  • Chest pain during breathing or coughing
  • Feeling tired or weak
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Shortness of breath

It can be hard for family members tasked with providing care to spot these symptoms.

Keeping your loved one healthy

There are a few easy steps to avoid complications and minimize the risk of pneumonia.

To avoid complications, experts recommend:

  • Rest, rest and more rest. Remember, pneumonia is sneaky and can recur. Just because your loved one feels better, he or she may not be fully recovered. It is generally better not to jump back into a normal routine until you are positive he or she is recovered. Not sure? Ask a doctor.
  • Stay hydrated. Drinking water will help loosen the mucus in your loved one’s lungs, clearing them sooner.
  • Finish medication. It is always important to take all prescribed medications. With pneumonia, doing so is particularly important as bacteria can stay in the lungs, multiply and trigger a recurrence.

Living a healthy lifestyle can greatly reduce the risk of contracting pneumonia, so it’s not a bad idea to help encourage your loved one to start doing so if they haven’t already.

If you’re a caregiver for your elderly loved one and live far away, or can’t be there 24/7, you might worry about catching warning signs like these. Read more in Don’t Wait for the Holidays: How to Be Proactive About Staying On Top of Your Elderly Parent’s Care.

How Delaying Home Care May Be Costing More Than Money

Deborah Moffatt still remembers the day she was teaching her college course on caregiving and aging when an astute student asked her how she took care for herself.

As the primary caregiver to her aging mother, who lived with Moffatt and her husband for 15 years, the professor had to think about that question. Like so many family caregivers, if she was honest with herself, she knew the answer: She wasn’t doing a very good job.

“I felt constantly exhausted,” she said, adding that her mother was healthy and mostly active until she died just before her 90th birthday.

Moffatt is hardly alone.

Self-care, necessary to help alleviate the stress and strain of caring for a loved one, is among the much-overlooked casualties of family caregiving and a hidden cost of delaying professional home care.

“Caregiving fits the formula for chronic stress so well that it is used as a model for studying the health effects of chronic stress,” according to a National Institute of Health (NIH) research paper.

While there is no doubt caring for an aging family member is tremendously rewarding and often strengthens relationships, it often creates financial, physical and emotional strain — with depression as a common side effect of caregiving.

Opting to care for a family member or delaying in-home professional care can also have a long-term financial impact on earning power and ultimately retirement savings, academic experts caution.

Hidden Financial Costs

The hard costs of caring for someone over the age of 50 is about $5,500 out of pocket, according to “Social Gerontology: A Multidisciplinary Perspective.” That is in addition to other direct health and medical costs that can vary widely.

Moffatt said she and her husband renovated their suburban home to accommodate it for her mother when she came to live with them fulltime. And she was lucky, she said, because her mother had the income to help offset other living expenses.

Moffatt said she was also lucky to have a job that was flexible and a husband who could telecommute for his job occasionally to be at home when she couldn’t be there.

That is hardly the case for most family caregivers, many of whom are juggling full-time work, children, a marriage and what’s left of their own social lives.

There are many short-term and long-term costs associated with working to balancing that all. Especially hard-hit are women, who are often the primary caregiver and who live longer than men.

Women who become caregivers for an elderly parent or friend are more than twice as likely to end up living in poverty than if they aren’t caregivers, according to Cindy Hounsell, president of the Women’s Institute for Secure Retirement (WISER).

That’s because when they take time off work they lose wages, which has long-term impacts on Social Security, pension payouts, 401K earning and other retirement savings. That can add up over time to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

A 1999 study by the National Center on Women and Aging for the MetLife Mature Market Institute found that caregivers lose $659,139 over a lifetime, the sum of reduced salary and reduced retirement benefits.

Imagine that figure with inflation.

There’s also a cost to employers as well, some of which is passed on to consumers. More than 80 percent of family caregivers reported they went to work later or left their jobs early to care for relatives. Another 40 percent moved from full-time jobs to part-time work. A 2006 MetLife study found lost employee productivity costs employers about $33 billion a year.

Physical Toll On Caregivers

Studies found time and time again those caring for older or sick relatives have a higher incidence of sickness themselves.

Such health problems include headaches, pain, arthritis, back pain, sleep disorders, elevated blood pressure and increased risk of heart disease. Other health problems include weight changes, an inappropriate use of prescription drugs and comprised immune systems, leading to an increase in common colds or other viruses.

Caring for a person with dementia causes even more severe negative health effects than other types of caregiving, per the NIH report.

Moffatt said she rarely thinks in terms of dollars when she thinks of the cost of a caregiver.

“Not having companion care or access to helpful resources creates stress on caregivers and the elder family member,’’ she said.

Masked Emotional Costs

Commonly referred to as compassion fatigue, family caregivers often report worry, anxiety and feeling overwhelmed. These stressors, according to Nancy Hooyman’s “Social Gerontology,” increase with the more difficult the care and the longer a family member provides care.

Hooyman’s text cites multiple research studies that estimate 40 to 70 percent of caregivers have symptoms of clinical depression.

“Even if caregivers do not exhibit symptoms of depression and anxiety, about 55 percent state that they feel overwhelmed by their care tasks,” per a 2012 American Psychological Association report.

Even professor Moffatt, who uses Hooyman’s textbook and has been teaching aging courses for 17 years, said she sometimes felt overwhelmed and tired.

It was one reason she hired an in-home caregiver for her mother twice a week in the last three years of her mom’s life.

That professional caregiver eased her stress and strain. She was there when neither she nor her husband could be. She played games and took walks with her mom, helped her run errands like getting her haircut and reminded her to take her medication. They often ate lunch together.

And when her mother died, the caregiver attended her funeral services. That reinforced for Moffatt that a caring relationship that had formed between the caregiver and her mother.

“Hiring a professional caregiver was one of the best decisions I ever made,” Moffatt said.

Understanding the Different Kinds of Senior Care Available

Finding the proper care for an aging loved one can be a daunting task without knowing the pros, cons and costs for each option. Many adult children feel torn between handling the daily tasks of caring for their parents themselves or relying on professionals.

In some cases, a loved one is challenged with health issues and requires assistance around the clock.

In other cases, seniors just want to stay right at home, but can have trouble standing up to walk to the bathroom or cannot drive themselves to the grocery or to a doctor’s appointment.

The truth is that our loved ones have options.

The U.S. population is aging and average life expectancy is increasing, and more than 80% of older adults indicate that they would prefer to “age in place,” according to the National Conference of State Legislators.

To fulfill that wish, options for senior care now range from the 24/7 care in a designated facility that we’ve long been familiar with — all the way down to something as simple as a professional stopping at your loved one’s home once or twice a week to help with things like bathing, light housekeeping or transportation.

We’ll explore each option below:

Home Care Services

Many families opt to keep their aging loved ones at home. They hire professionals to come to the person’s house to prepare meals, provide medication reminders and assist with bathing, clothing or other physical activities.

As of 2014, there were an estimated 12,400 home health agencies nationwide, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Forty hours or less per week of home care services is less expensive than assisted living facilities, home health care or nursing homes, according to payingforseniorcare.com, an information website established by the American Elder Care Research Organization.

It is a more convenient option for seniors who want to stay in their own home but need support to live independently.

Home Health Care

Doctor’s orders are needed to start this kind of care.

Like home care, a professional comes into your loved one’s home to provide services. However, in this case, it’s specifically for skilled health care.

That includes services like wound care, IV therapy, injections and monitoring of serious illness or unstable health status.

Home health care costs an average of $127 per day, or $46,332 yearly, according to a survey from Genworth. That makes it one tier more expensive than home care.

Retirement or Independent Living Communities

Retirement communities, also called independent living communities, are another option for your aging loved one.

This living situation is ideal for someone who can handle their daily activities independently but wishes to live in a peaceful environment around other seniors, without the responsibility of maintaining a house.

They are often apartment units and the complexes offer activities and amenities for seniors to enjoy their golden years.

The cost of retirement communities varies based on geographical locations. For example, the monthly average is $2,303 in Alabama; $4,002 in Massachusetts, and $1,859 in Illinois, according to SeniorHomes.com.

In many cases, the monthly rate includes services such as housekeeping, transportation and dining.

Assisted Living

Assisted living facilities are housing options for seniors that provide meals, medication management, transportation and assistance with dressing and bathing. Many assisted living facilities provide extra care for seniors battling Alzheimer’s, dementia, depression and other age-related illnesses.

More than 835,000 people nationwide reside in assisted living facilities, according to the National Center for Assisted Living. Roughly 70 percent of those residents are women and just over half are age 85 and older, per the NCAL.

Assisted living is often a good option for seniors who need help but still enjoy privacy. There are opportunities to socialize, require little to no home maintenance, and can often cost less than nursing homes.

However, the downside of assisted living is that it doesn’t provide the same extensive medical care as a nursing home. Medicare also does not cover assisted living facilities.

According to the NCAL, the national median monthly rate for a one-bedroom assisted living facility unit is around $3,600 — or $43,200 annually.

Nursing Home

An estimated 1.47 million seniors age 65 and older are living in nursing homes, according to the National Care Planning Council.

Nursing homes are great for elderly people who have health issues that require 24-hour nursing care. They usually can’t be cared for at home but also don’t need to be in a hospital.

Nursing staff will provide meals, medical care, as well as physical speech and occupational therapy. Staff is encouraged to develop relationships with the patients, but that doesn’t always happen.

Nursing homes aren’t always permanent homes. Some people get the help they need and go home when they recover; however, most residents live there permanently so they can receive ongoing care.

The average cost of a private room at a nursing home is $253 daily, which adds up to $$92,378 annually, according to a survey from Genworth.

The key to selecting a good nursing home is considering what’s important to your loved one; such as meals, physical therapy, religious connection or hospice care, per the National Institute on Aging.

You should also visit the homes, ask questions about the conditions, and seek recommendations from friends and social workers.

You Have Options

The reality is that you and your loved one have options.

Regardless of which method of care you feel is best for your loved one, keep in mind, task-oriented care — the type of care that involves professionals completing tasks and then leaving to service another person in need — can still leave your loved one feeling lonely.

Make a concerted effort to understand what your loved one truly needs. The best resources can help you do that.

How to Balance Work and Being a Caregiver to Your Elderly Loved One

Caregiver Services

Caregiver Services

Caregiver Work-life balance is hard enough as it is. Add in being the dedicated caretaker for an elderly parent — which can be a full-time job in itself — and it feels all but impossible.

Responsibilities stack up both at work and at home, and with your parent, not to mention the emotional and mental strain you’re battling.

Those of us who have been through it know it’s not long before it feels like you’re drowning.

More than 60 percent of working caregivers suffer work-related difficulties requiring them to rearrange work schedules, cut back on hours or take unpaid leave to provide care, according to the National Alliance for Caregiving and Caregiver.

We think we can manage it all, but oftentimes that’s not realistic and it leads to serious burnout. Especially when you’re using up all your sick time and vacation days to shuttle a parent to doctor appointments or handle other caregiver tasks and you never actually get a chance to rest. Some days you’re going to need to stay home.

Some days you’re going to turn a work project in later than you’d like. Some days it’s going to take everything you have to get dressed and make a cup of coffee. And that’s okay. It just means you might need additional support to find balance as a Caregiver.

Understanding this reality, in 1993, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was signed into federal law to prevent people from losing their jobs due to medical conditions, either their own or that of an immediate family member.

It’s not perfect — it’s unpaid leave, for one — but it’s still important for anyone acting as a caregiver to an elderly loved one to understand what the law does guarantee.

How Much Time You May Be Able Take Away from Work

If you’ve been at your employer for more than 12 months, you’ve worked at least 1,250 hours in the past year, your employer has more than 50 employees, and you or a spouse, parent or child has a serious medical condition, then you’re covered.

The benefit? You can take up to 12 weeks of leave per year, which you can take intermittently (a few hours, a half-day, a day, a week, a month at a time) or all at once.

While the law is fairly flexible in its definition of child and parent (adoptive or foster is included, as is an adult that raised you like a parent), it does not cover grandparents, in-laws, siblings or adult children.

While it’s unpaid, FMLA does allow you to keep your employer-provided health insurance, uninterrupted, and prevents you from getting demoted or fired, which provides something we all need when under the stress of acting as caretaker for an aging parent: a sense of stability.

Beyond FMLA, some states have paid family leave programs, and individual employers may have their own policies that can help too, most notably disability insurance.

Since for many of us, unpaid leave on more than an intermittent basis isn’t a viable option, having even some portion of regular pay can make all the difference, which disability insurance provides. And it varies employer to employer, but sick and vacation time may sometimes be able to be wrapped into FMLA, so a portion of the leave is paid (and know that some employers require that you use what you have remaining of this time first).

Your company’s HR representative should be able to confidentially provide the specifics for your location and employer.

Talking to Your Boss About Your New Responsibilities

If you decide to take leave, it can be scary.

First, how do you tell your boss?

Honesty is the best policy — though that doesn’t mean you must get too specific or personal. If your boss knows that you’re being forthcoming, that you’re giving as much notice as you can, etc., the person is likely to make the whole thing easier.

You’re not hiding anything. You’re not doing anything wrong. You are in a corner and using a resource available to you. If anyone does make it difficult, that’s why the FMLA is there to have your back.

But remember to set boundaries: Your employer does not have a right to require that you check in or that you be available when using FMLA time. You can give updates if you desire, but make sure you’re only doing it on your terms and to the extent you’re comfortable.

Second, what are your responsibilities?

When you request leave, your employer is required to give you all the necessary forms and information. If you know in advance when you plan to leave, you should give your employer 30 days’ notice. But the law was written understanding that, in these circumstances, there’s often no way for us to have that kind of warning — that’s part of what makes it all so challenging.

If you don’t have that kind of lead time, you are just required to give as much warning as possible. Your employer may (and has the right to) request a medical certification, but you’re not required to disclose abundant personal details. And as far as definitions go, when the law speaks of a “serious medical condition,” that generally means a condition requiring continuing treatment, or one that incapacitates or hospitalizes a person for three-plus days.

Being a dedicated caregiver can be an overwhelming task, whether it’s the car rides, housekeeping, meal prep, medication reminders or the emotional stress of watching a parent weaken and age. It’s easy to blame yourself for not doing enough when anyone filling this role has graciously taken on a monumental task. And that’s why there are resources like the FMLA to support you.

Caregiver Services


Call our Visiting Angels Office Today!

You can learn more about our home care services and our compassionate caregivers by calling 714-379-4546. You can also reach us by email or by filling out our online message form by clicking on the tab to your left.

We provide Senior Home Care in Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Fullerton and Garden Grove.

How to Plan the Right In-Home Senior Care Experience

In Home Senior Care.

In Home Senior Care

 

Hiring a professional to come into your loved one’s home is a big decision.

The actual hiring process can be overwhelming. You’re essentially inviting a stranger into your loved one’s home and trusting that person to care for your loved one the way you do.

You want to be certain that person will be responsible and respectful. You want your caregiver to develop a positive relationship with that person. You should have a good relationship with that individual, too.

The good news? All of these things are possible — and the work and effort are worth it. In Home Senior Care.

With the right planning and the right home care provider in place, everyone in the family can benefit. Consider these seven strategies for hiring the right senior home care provider:

  1. Think Positively

    It’s hard to think about letting someone else help you with the care you’ve been so faithfully providing. It’s natural to wonder if the arrangement will work — on all sides.

    But if you want the experience to be successful, you need to make success a goal.

    Trust that you are hiring a professional. Don’t expect it to fail.

    And always keep the long-term goal in mind — maintaining your loved one’s independence at home for as long as possible — and know that superior home care service will accomplish this goal.

  2. Think About the Home From a Stranger’s Point of View

    Think about how you feel when you go to a friend’s house for the first time. You don’t know where the bathroom is or where they keep drinks and snacks. You are a guest, so you wait for the host to tell you: “Help yourself to anything in the fridge” or “the bathroom is down the hall.”

    The professional caregiver is trained to respect privacy, but she is also not a mind-reader. If she’s coming to help your mother with meals, she’ll need to know her way around the kitchen and what meals mom likes.

    If you have someone coming to help with personal care tasks like grooming, that caregiver will need to know where the bathroom is, what razors your dad uses, where to find them and whether he likes the water hot or cold. In Home Senior Care.

    The more your caregiver knows, the better prepared she’ll be to meet your loved one’s needs — and the less you have to intervene or worry. And the more peace of mind you will have.

    If you’re anticipating 24/7 care, walk through a typical day and night for your loved one thinking of how he or she uses the home space. Write down your loved one’s habits, routines and preferences at home. What are the favorite foods? How does he or she prefer coffee? Think about the things that wouldn’t be obvious to someone who does not live there, like preferences with lighting or temperature. In Home Senior Care.

  3. Give It a Chance

    Like any new relationship, there will be bumps in the road. Building a bond or trust won’t happen overnight, just because you agree to a care partnership.

    You want the best for your loved one, and it will be hard to let someone else step up to provide care. Stay open-minded and know you play a vital role in helping to build trust and rapport for all parties.

    Both you and your love one will benefit if you can agree: Let’s just try this for a few weeks and we’ll go from there. In Home Senior Care.

  4. Communication is Everything

    You’ve done a lot of work to get to this point, but your continued involvement is key to making the experience the best it can be. Keep the lines of communication open. Let the caregiver know that questions and concerns are welcome.

    Above all, let your loved one make decisions and share feedback too. You might feel a connection with the professional caregiver, but if your mother doesn’t share those feelings, you may need to consider finding a better fit or investigate what’s standing in the way of a successful partnership.

    Your loved one’s needs and comfort level should be the focal point of all interactions and open dialogue is the key.

  5. Be Ready to Let Go

    This is tough for many caregivers, especially since the caregiver will be in your space, doing the things you normally did. There may be times you’ll want to step in. You may even feel jealous of the connection between your parent and the caregiver, or wonder if you did the right thing by setting up care. All of these feelings are normal.

    But again, think positively. Don’t think of this caregiver as a replacement or competition, but as a teammate, an added layer of support so that you can continue providing care in other areas.

  6. Get the Whole Family Involved

    Home and family are closely linked, so allowing the whole family to get to know the professional caregiver benefits all. Do the grandkids love visiting after school? Will the caregiver be there at that time? Having a family picnic or a birthday party for your loved one? Invite the caregiver to join. In-Home Senior Care.

  7. Be Patient, and Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes

    There may be some bumps along this road of home care, especially during the getting-to-know-each-other stage. You’re all searching to find the new normal again. This can be an awkward dance.

    Ultimately, this is a relationship with many people involved — the caregiver, you, your family, the home care company — and that means there may be disagreements, misunderstandings, miscommunication or confusion. That doesn’t mean you’ve failed.

Caregiving is hard: No one knows that better than you. And that’s why the right home care experience can be a good choice

In-Home Senior Care


Call our Visiting Angels Office Today!

You can learn more about our home care services and our compassionate caregivers by calling 714-379-4546. You can also reach us by email or by filling out our online message form by clicking on the tab to your left.

We provide Senior Home Care in Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Fullerton and Garden Grove.

How Home Care Changes Between Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Home Care Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

Home Care Alzheimer’s and Dementia

 

Alzheimer’s. Dementia. The words are used interchangeably, but there is a difference and it’s worth knowing.

Dementia is an umbrella term under which Alzheimer’s — the most common type of dementia — falls. It is not a disease; rather, the term dementia speaks in a general way to memory loss and changes in cognitive abilitiesthat are serious enough to impact day-to-day life. Alzheimer’s disease is one of the specific types of dementia that exist.

How common is Alzheimer’s? The Alzheimer’s Association says it accounts for 60 to 80 percent of all cases of dementia.

Memory loss is the symptom that is most commonly associated with dementia or Alzheimer’s, but it’s not the only one. Language is affected. Visuospatial function (that’s the ability to correctly judge the position of objects, to read a map or road signs, etc.) is affected, as is executive function (the ability to reason, focus on a task, solve problems or plan). These symptoms together contribute to cognitive decline and disrupt daily life.

If you have concerns about a loved one but do not have a diagnosis of dementia yet, set an appointment with a medical professional immediately.

Is It Actually Dementia?

Your mother often forgets where she put her keys, but that doesn’t necessarily mean she has dementia.

Some medical conditions can cause dementia-like symptoms (and in most cases, the onset of these symptoms is extremely sudden), like urinary tract infections (UTIs), which are quite common among older adults. UTI can be easily treated and reverse the symptoms.

Depression, drug interactions, excessive alcohol use, vitamin deficiencies and thyroid problems can also cause dementia-like symptoms.

Getting a Diagnosis, Directing Care Decisions

There are so many types of dementia that getting an accurate diagnosis can be quite difficult; however, since the different types of dementia present in different ways, understanding the specific type your loved one has is vital for future caregiving decisions.

For example, a person diagnosed with Parkinson’s dementia will be dealing not only with memory loss, but also with gait (i.e., the “Parkinson’s shuffle”) and balance issues, as well as vision issues, like a lack of spatial awareness or depth perception. This will make safe mobility nearly impossible without assistance.

A person with Parkinson’s dementia will probably fall more often than someone with Alzheimer’s. As the tremors of Parkinson’s intensify, basic daily tasks will become difficult, whereas many people with Alzheimer’s maintain physical abilities well after the cognitive decline begins.

Different Dementias, Different Care

As Alzheimer’s and other dementias (sometimes referred to as ADRD, Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders) are on the rise, the number of care options available have increased accordingly.

Today, there are senior living communities (assisted living, personal care homes, etc.) with wings dedicated specifically to Alzheimer’s and dementia care. There are stand-alone memory care communities. There are adult day facilities that offer specialized care for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Nursing homes provide dementia care. Hospice care for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia is available. In fact, Medicare offers a home health hospice benefit for people with Alzheimer’s.

But for the many caregivers who wish to keep their loved ones in comfortable, familiar surroundings for as long as possible, home care services—be it medical or companion care, or a combination of the two — is an ideal option.

And because your loved one will receive one-on-one care when you opt for in-home care, it is a truly personalized level of care.

What Type of Alzheimer’s or Dementia Care is Best?

Any caregiving journey is unpredictable, but adding a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s takes unpredictability to the next level. Whether you’re in the earliest stages of caring for someone recently diagnosed or still seeking a diagnosis, knowing your options is the best way to be prepared.

As symptoms progress, a professional caregiver will be critical to helping your loved one remain comfortable, safe and happy at home. And a critical part of that knowledge is being able to recognize what superior Alzheimer’s or dementia care should look like.

All care providers — including in-home, nursing homes, adult day centers, etc. — should strive to be person-centered, and involve the family caregiver to seek new and better ways of supporting seniors without limiting independence.

When seeking the right caregiver, inquire about the caregivers’ skills, training and past experiences with dementia or with your loved one’s specific diagnosis. Click here for eight great questions to ask a potential caregiver. (link article)

Here is common home care scenario to consider: A family caregiver approaches an agency because Mom needs help with bathing, dressing and her personal hygiene. If Mom needs help with these tasks because she just had a hip replacement, the agency will assign a caregiver based on that physical need and limitation. Home Care Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

But if Mom needs help with these daily tasks because she is losing cognitive ability and balance due to Parkinson’s dementia, the care provider will need to have an awareness of potential vision and gait issues and how they will impact safe, comfortable bathing. Home Care Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

The professional caregiver will also have to anticipate the possibility that these intimate care tasks will be upsetting based on the individual’s level of cognition (i.e., who is this stranger and why is she asking me to get into the shower?).

No matter what type of care you choose, your involvement as the point of care is paramount throughout the entire process. You are the best advocate for your loved one. You are the best person to communicate your loved one’s needs as dementia can rob them the ability to speak for themselves. Home Care Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

But you’re also facing an uphill battle, one that can unintentionally affect the care recipient. Be mindful of this, and seek respite when you need it.

Other Types or Dementia

Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia, accounting for an estimated 60 to 80 percent of cases. Below are nine other types of dementias:

  • Vascular dementia
  • Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB)
  • Mixed dementia
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
  • Normal pressure hydrocephalus
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome

Home Care Alzheimer’s and Dementia


Call our Visiting Angels Office Today!

You can learn more about our home care services and our compassionate caregivers by calling 714-379-4546. You can also reach us by email or by filling out our online message form by clicking on the tab to your left.

We provide Senior Home Care in Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Fullerton and Garden Grove.

Visiting Angels Fullerton

Visiting Angels Fullerton, CA
in home care Visiting Angels Fullerton, CA

“Under her care, his diabetes stabilized for the first time in three years and his meltdowns stopped. She was able to get him to do things we couldn’t get him to do. We cannot say enough about how your organization responded and provided more than we could ever have imagined to help us help our Dad.”

Experienced Elder Care Services from Visiting Angels Fullerton, CA

Choosing an elder care provider for your loved one is an important decision. It’s natural to have many requirements on your wish list for an elder care provider. Experience is often at the top of that list. Finding an experienced elder care provider is essential to ensuring your loved one receives the best possible care.

Visiting Angels is proud to offer families in Orange County and locally in Fullerton, CA access to some of the most experienced elder care professionals in the area. We only hire caregivers who are experienced in providing elder care services. Each caregiver on our team has been carefully vetted. We have a multi-step interview process and require all caregivers to submit professional references. In addition, all caregivers must participate in a comprehensive background investigation and criminal background check. We take the time needed to make sure the caregivers we hire are trustworthy individuals. We won’t hire a caregiver we wouldn’t be comfortable inviting into our own home to care for a member of our own family. Visiting Angels Fullerton, CA.

The experienced elder care providers from Visiting Angels Fullerton, CA assist with a wide range of care concerns. We commonly assist families with respite care for family caregivers, Alzheimers care, private duty care, and companion care services. Our Angel companions are experienced in providing care that includes medication reminders, hygiene assistance, dressing assistance, grooming care, light housekeeping, meal planning and preparation. If your loved one has been missing appointments or favorite activities because it is difficult to get out of the house, your caregiver can help them resume their old routine.

While it can be difficult to welcome an elder care provider into your home, Visiting Angels Cypress, CA will do everything possible to ease the transition to at home care services. We never assign caregivers to our clients without their input and direction. We’ll find out what kind of caregiver you believe is the best fit for your family and provide you with a list of caregivers who can meet your needs. After meeting with them, you’ll be able to choose the caregiver you’d like to visit your loved one at home. Visiting Angels Fullerton, CA.

Finding an elder care provider is an important decision. Call Visiting Angels Fullerton, CA today and choose an elder care provider that will bring you peace of mind.

<hr>

Fullerton is a city located in northern Orange County, California, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 135,161.[6]

Fullerton was founded in 1887. It secured the land on behalf of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. Historically it was a center of agriculture, notably groves of Valencia oranges and other citrus crops; petroleum extraction; transportation; and manufacturing. It is home to numerous higher educational institutions, particularly California State University, Fullerton and Fullerton College. From the mid-1940s through the late 1990s, Fullerton was home to a large industrial base made up of aerospace contractors, canneries, paper products manufacturers, and is considered to be the birthplace of the electric guitar, due in a large part to Leo Fender.

Fullerton is home to a vibrant music scene. It was a center for the Orange County hardcore punk music scene, producing acts such as The Adolescents, Agent Orange, Social Distortion, D.I., the “fathers of hardcore punk” The Middle Class, Gwen Stefani, lead vocalist of the alternative rock group No Doubt, was a student at CSUF and the group performed there regularly. Other popular groups and musicians from the area include Lit, 80s synthpop acts Berlin and Stacey Q, and Mike Ness. The popular singer-songwriter Jackson Browne attended Sunny Hills High School in the city. Singer-songwriter Tim Buckley also attended Fullerton College and dropped out after only a few weeks to focus on his music career.[25][26]

Contributing greatly to Fullerton’s musical heritage was the Fender musical instrument company, whose products such as the Stratocaster and Telecaster electric guitars, Precision Bass bass guitar, and Twin Reverb guitar amplifier revolutionized the music business and contributed greatly to the development of rock and roll. Leo Fender sold the company to CBS in 1964; production continued in the Fullerton plant until 1985, when the then-ruined company was sold to a group of private investors. (It was later reconstituted as Fender Musical Instrument Corporation, with its major production facilities in neighboring Corona and across the US-Mexico border in Ensenada, Baja California, and its headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona.) In 1980, Leo Fender and his original partner George Fullerton (relation to the Fullerton founder of the same name unknown) reunited and started a new company, G&L (George and Leo) Guitars, which are built in what had been Leo Fender’s CLF Research factory in Fullerton.

The Muckenthaler Cultural Center on Malvern Avenue near Euclid Avenue houses art galleries and a theater group. The former estate of the Muckenthaler family, it was donated to the city by Harold Muckenthaler in 1965. Fullerton Friends of Music, the oldest chamber music society in Orange County, perform five concerts a year at Sunny Hills Performing Arts Center, a notable classical concert venue in the county.

The Fullerton Museum Center is a multidisciplinary exhibit space housed in the old Carnegie Library downtown.

Hiltscher Park in Fullerton.
Fullerton is also home to the Fullerton Public Library. The Main Library is located on Commonwealth Avenue in Downtown Fullerton and adjacent to the City Hall. There is also a branch library, called the Hunt Branch on Basque Avenue.

Fullerton is also home to a small but diverse theater scene. Local educational institutions, such as Fullerton College and Fullerton High School’s Academy of the Arts, are the source of numerous large-scale productions. There are also several storefront theaters, including the Maverick Theater, Stages Theater and the Hunger Artists Theatre Company. The Maverick Theatre is the host for the “World Famous Skipper Stand Up Show.” Held six times a year, The Skipper Stand Up Show has, since 2006, showcased former and current skippers from Disneyland’s famous attraction, the Jungle Cruise.

In addition to the theater scene, Fullerton has garnered attention for rare and international film screenings hosted by filmmaker Steve Elkins at the Hibbleton Gallery in the SOCO district.

Fullerton maintains more than 50 city parks and is home to Hillcrest Park, the Craig Regional Park and Ralph B. Clark Regional Park. The Fullerton Arboretum comprises 26 acres (11 ha) (105,000 m²) of sculpted gardens and unusual plants in northeastern Fullerton. Additionally the city features approximately 200 acres (0.81 km2) of recreational land in the Brea Dam Recreational Area, plus an equestrian center and trails, two golf courses, a tennis center located behind St. Jude Hospital and the Janet Evans swim Complex.

Visiting Angels Fullerton, CA


Call our Visiting Angels Office Today!

You can learn more about our home care services and our compassionate caregivers by calling 714-379-4546. You can also reach us by email or by filling out our online message form by clicking on the tab to your left.

We provide Senior Home Care in Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Fullerton and Garden Grove.

Senior Home Care

senior home care services

Senior home care services provided by Visiting Angels, Orange County CA. Call (714) 379-4546 for your Free in-home senior care consultation.

With Visiting Angels Orange County as your homecare services provider, you will enjoy personalized service built around your needs. We know you have a lot of questions about home care services for your elderly loved one. The team of dedicated professionals at our Visiting Angels office is on hand to answer all your questions and to address any concerns you have. You can call our office at any time to learn about our in home care services.

Complete Homecare Services for Your Loved One

When you choose Visiting Angels Orange County as your home care provider, we begin by reviewing your loved one’s needs. We will meet with involved family members and, when necessary, consult with the physician(s) of the care recipient, social workers, hospitals, or nursing home staff. Our goal is to get a complete picture of your loved one’s in-home care needs.

Our Certified In Home Care providers will always include you as part of the caregiver planning process.

Some of the services provided include:

  • Bathing Assistance*
  • Dressing Assistance*
  • Walking Assistance*
  • Meal Preparation/Diet monitoring
  • Light Housekeeping
  • Errands and Shopping
  • Medication Reminders
  • Joyful Companionship
  • Respite Care for Family Caregivers
  • Care is Available Mornings, Mid-Day and Evenings
  • Temporary or Long Term Care is Available
  • Weekends and Holiday Care is Available
  • 24 Hour Care Available
  • More About Us

We Respond To Your After Hours Call In 15 Minutes or Less!
Nothing is more frustrating than to get voice mail when calling an in home care services agency in the evening or on the weekends. If you receive voice mail when you call Visiting Angels, our franchised home care agencies are trained to call back within fifteen minutes. We’re committed to providing you with superior home care services and to meeting your needs in the way that’s most convenient for you!

Call our Visiting Angels Office Today!

You can learn more about our home care services and our compassionate caregivers by calling 714-379-4546. You can also reach us by email or by filling out our online message form by clicking on the tab to your left.

We provide Senior Home Care in Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Fullerton and Garden Grove.

You
Can
Reach
Us
Here