Saturday, August 18, 2007

Elder Care At Home – What Are Your Options?

Many surveys have shown that people prefer to stay in their own homes as long as possible as they age. We should not be surprised. Most of us would rather stay where we are comfortable than move to someplace unknown with new schedules and someone else's rules.

In-home care has come a long way in recent years. Seniors living at home are able to hold on to the feeling of independence while having the help they need with every day life. Being in familiar surroundings can be therapeutic in so many ways. Often the caregivers are family members at first, but before long, a new level of help may be needed. If your loved one needs or soon will need extra help, what are your options?

The decision on the level and frequency of care will often be based on health conditions as well as the realities of daily life. In-home care can be provided on a daily basis, or the caregiver may live-in to provide round-the-clock availability. How well a person is able to handle the "activities of daily living" will be a basic question. Does your loved one need regular help with eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, or transferring? The amount and frequency of assistance needed, plus the need for monitoring medications, will indicate what level of in-home care is best for your loved one.

When you select an elder care service provider, make sure that designate a Care Coordinator who will work with you and create a plan that meets your loved one's needs.

To learn more about elder care services, please visit, or call (301) 497-8968 for a complimentary in-home assessment. Dubols is committed to excellence in elder care, for we know that your loved one's health blossoms with tender care.

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About the Author:
Yewande D. Awoyemi is the administrator for Dubols Home Care. Dubols is a medical and non-Medical staffing agency that provides caregivers for in home elder care services.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Are You Drowning in Caregiving?

An area of concern that I get asked about the most is finding someone to give the caregiver a break.Most adult children fall into caregiving as a result of an incident that placed their elder in a crisis situation. After the dust settles and reality sets in often we realize that our lives have changed and this change is often not welcomed.We find ourselves unprepared for caring for our parentespecially when that care is for issues such as dementia, incontinence or immobility. A period of time goes by and then we begin to feel totally overwhelmed. Most of this feeling can be a result of trying to be ALL to our parent. We find that our life, our family, and our routine has gone by the wayside.Many caregivers try to provide care single-handedlywhile neglecting their own needs. It is commonamoung caregivers to think that their life has to comesecond to the needs of their parent. Martyrdom is common.This thinking often leads to frustration, anger and guilt. We forget that we have a right to live and that balance is necessary in everyone's life.There are solutions but they require risk. Many caregivers often fear asking for help because they fear rejection. Admitting that they cannot handle all the caregiving alone is often terrifying. Most wonder why others will not offer to help so they do not have to ask.Picking up the reins is what will help us regain control of our lives. Creating a Freedom Plan1) Get special instruction to provide thecare needed. Ask your doctor for a Medicare Occupational Therapist or a Nurse to instruct you on incontinence care,bathing, a Physical Therapist to teach you how to transfer your parent to the toilet, in/out of the car, set up an exercise routine,etc.2) Make a list of all the things that will give you a break.ex: a cooked meal twice a weeka sitter 9:00am to noon Tuesday and Thursdayplay cards with mom every Wednesday afternoon3) Join a support team even when you think you do not need it. 4) Hire a baby sitter to sit with your parent so you can have a night out with spouse or family night.5) Plan a Vacation by swapping homes with a sibling.6) Hire respite care regularly for you and your family.7) Start all this as soon as possible so your parentgets use to different people providing the care.Keep your needs list current. ANYTIME ANYONE asks if you need anything go right to this list and ask them to choose what ever they feel they can do.You will be amazed how often people will sign up to help when you are clear on your needs.

Article Source:

About the Author:Alice Endy is a Registered Nurse with advanced certification as a Gerontological Nurse. Alice has helped thousands provide care and support to their elder family members. Alice has been a caregiver for her Mother who is in her twelfth year of Alzheimers Disease.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Caregiving - Families Don't Always Play Fair

In our busy world, caregiving can become a complicated task especially when multiple family members are involved. Who will take responsibility for what tasks? Often the majority of the work is delegated to the family member who has the most available time. Caregivers placed in this position feel that this is not always fair and that their brothers, sisters, or other family members take advantage of them. This resentment creeps into family relationships. The individual with the majority of the caregiving burden burns out and their health may fail. Statistics report that caregiver stress is at an all time high resulting in physical and emotional declines. Exhausted caregivers are taken to task by family members for not doing more. Or the caregivers themselves feel guilty that they are not doing enough to care for their older adult. Many times this is a no win situation unless other family members will commit to providing support through time or money. Signs of caregiver exhaustion can be seen in the older adult through poor general appearance or hygiene, poor nutrition, dehydration, lack of socialization or missed medical appointments. At times the primary caregiver is so exhausted that they do not notice weight loss or other changes in the older adult that may be seen by other family members who express concern. It is at this point that family disagreements may occur about the best care for the older adult. Some family members may recommend facility placement or in home care because they feel the primary caregiver is unable to provide the best care.In this situation a compromise is usually the best course of action for the older adult and the entire family. The primary caregiver may feel unappreciated or victimized because other family members feel he or she is not providing the best care. While neither side may want to be seen as giving in it may be in the best interests of the older adult to compromise. Outside evaluations from physicians or case managers may also prove helpful in deciding on the best course of action. Many older adults would prefer to remain at home if the cost of care is not prohibitive or if the care necessary does not exceed what can be provided. Many times a trained personal care provider can provide the majority of care when skilled nursing is not needed. Families should know that there are many options available for assistance so that any one family member need not be overwhelmed. These include not only in home care, but day care, family counseling and other services.

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About the Author:Pamela Dombrowski-Wilson is an author and owner of In Home and Family Services, Inc. a counseling and direct care company serving older adults and their family members. Visit htp:// or for more informaion

Avoid Burnout When Caregiving An Aging ParentBy

When providing care to aging or disabled parents, many caregivers ignore the most important person involved in the caregiving process. "Who?" - you may ask? The answer might surprise you: The Caregiver.Many times caregivers get so wrapped up in attending to parent’s needs, trying to fit quality time with their own family into their schedule, and oftentimes attempting to balance a career, they forget or simply neglect to take some time for their own personal needs.As a caregiver, the results of not allocating personal time can easily lead to intense emotions such as stress, anxiety, frustration, guilt, and feeling extremely overwhelmed. Many caregivers fail to realize that these emotions and feelings could lead to caregiver burnout.If you have just taken the reins as a caregiver to your parent, or perhaps you have been serving in the role for years, you may have never heard of the term “caregiver burnout” or would even recognize the early warning signs. And you may not be aware that caregivers have an increased risk for depression, diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems.Caregiver burnout is the unpleasant side effects many adult children have to cope with when providing care to their aging or disabled parents. The signs and symptoms of caregiver burnout may display themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally.The most important thing to remember as a caregiver, and to avoid burnout, is to make some time for yourself. Whether it is treating yourself to a shopping trip, preparing your favorite meal, or going on a vacation getaway for the weekend with your own family, remember you should not feel guilty for putting your own wants and needs first.The second thing to remember as a caregiver is never hesitate or feel embarrassed to ask for help. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask a sibling or another family member for assistance. You may also consider adult day care, or respite care to provide you some relief.Even if you just need a day away from your role as caregiver, don’t let your guilty conscience persuade you otherwise. It would be better to enjoy a day of rest and relaxation to rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul before letting yourself fall into the ruts of burnout.There are proven and effective methods to combat and prevent caregiver burnout. These techniques are easy and simple daily activities. Anyone can practice these burnout-relieving techniques, whether it’s taking an early morning jog or writing in a journal before bed.You will find yourself amazed at how taking less than an hour a day can alleviate the stress and anxiety that comes along with providing care to an aging or disabled parent, especially those with rapidly deteriorating health or suffering from the heart-wrenching effects of Alzheimer’s disease.In addition of ways to prevent caregiver burnout, there are also many helpful resources available to guide you through the confusing emotions and physically exhausting situations you may find yourself in as a caregiver. If you feel you may already be experiencing burnout, talk to someone, whether it’s your spouse, friend, or physician.

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About the Author:Dana Sanders is the author of "Becoming Your Parent's Caregiver", an ebook written out of her own experience and that provides advice for the children of an aging or disabled parent. Please visit for information to help you care for your parent.