The Future of Elder Care: Planning for Reality

Long-term care is expensive and many people just don’t want to go into the type of nursing home they can afford…the kind which often features shared rooms, impersonal cafeterias, and overworked-underpaid staff. Everyone wants the ideal they’ve set up in their mind whether it is for themselves or their loved one…this is the facility where living feels like home, the staff all love what they are doing, and money is a concern for no one.

For many people, living at home will never be an option because of the oft needed situation of 24 hour care needs. What is a family to do?

The truth is, Americans are getting older and we as a nation still have not come to terms with it. By the year 2050, one-third of the U.S. population will be 65 or older, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Around 4 percent of the population will be 85 or older at that point, and more than half of them will have difficulty performing some of the basic activities of daily living including include bathing, dressing, eating, walking, transferring out of a bed or chair, and using the toilet. (more…)

Challenges in Senior Care as Americans Live Longer

Today, Americans can expect to live longer than at any other time in history. For example, by the time you reach the age of 65, some research suggests you might live on average another 19 years. This isn’t unheard of, but for our elderly community, staying healthy is what’s important to reach and exceed two or more decades beyond 65.

There are many health challenges that older adults face that are generally unlike the health concerns of younger people. Below are the top 5 health issues that often impact the elderly.

1. Arthritis

Arthritis is one of the top conditions if not these top condition people 65 and older often face. Affecting around 50% of men and women over 65, it can lead to pain and lower quality of life for seniors. While the condition makes it difficult to remain active,maintaining health at this stage in live is vitally dependent on activity. (more…)

Creating New Memories

While nursing homes and other long-term care facilities provide for a resident’s basic needs, they are often just that – basic. So when the holiday season comes around, there is an opportunity for churches and members of the community to come alongside families and reach out to nursing home residents. From the first day the holiday season commences in late October to the beginning of the new year several weeks later, any of us can find ourselves coping with loneliness, depression, or a simple case of the ba-humbugs. For those who are more dependent on facility caregivers or infrequent family visits, consider for a moment how the holiday season, especially Christmas, can bring about a sense of emptiness or be an opportunity for them to experience the joy that for some may only be a distant memory of holidays past. (more…)

Nobody Is an Island: Recognizing and Addressing Caregiver Fatigue

The holidays are supposed to be a time for family gatherings, parties, traveling, and opportunities to laugh and relax with the ones you love. For some, though, the holidays have different associations, like stress, anxiety, and isolation.

Caregivers can often feel stressed during the holiday season. While others are enjoying this time of year, caregivers may feel isolated as they focus on the care of a loved one. Caregivers selflessly provide around-the-clock, unpaid care to seniors and people with disabilities. They are tasked with accompanying their loved one to medical appointments, managing their medications, and handling their financial affairs, all while balancing their own obligations. (more…)

Managing Dementia in Hospice

hospiceWhen a family member moves into a hospice situation that is coupled with the heart-wrenching difficulties of dementia, it is a challenge not only for the caregivers but for the family as well. Its one thing to know that hospice is implemented only at the final stages of life, but it can be exhausting and emotionally trying as loved ones try to engage their family member with dementia while being part of the process that seeks to bring them peace and comfort in their final days.

For many, it is still unclear what hospice is. Hospice care is a specialized care that is designed to provide support for families during an advanced illness. Hospice care generally is focused on comfort and quality of life rather than cure because of advancement or degree of illness. The goal of hospice care is to enable the patient to have an alert, pain-free life and to live each day as fully as possible. It is a life-affirming manner of care and views death as a natural process.

Involved in hospice is the concept of palliative care which focuses on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain, physical stress, and mental stress of a serious illness. In the case of hospice patients dealing with dementia, this means finding ways to assist them emotionally and intellectually, not just dealing with the physical pain that might require care via medications. (more…)