Build Muscle Through ExerciseLoss of muscle, also known as sarcopenia, is a common occurrence for many seniors. After age 30, we can lose between 3% and 5% of our overall muscle mass per year if we aren’t active. For seniors, fighting muscle loss has tons of benefits that extend past physical fitness and weight control. Your muscles help supply your organs with oxygen and nutrients. Healthy muscles can help you maintain lower blood pressure and improve endurance during day-to-day living. Moderate-intensity strength training will help improve circulation and reduce pressure on arterial walls, as well. All of this contributes to a healthier heart and a healthier you.
Add Whole Grains To Your DietFruits and vegetables are well-known as heart-healthy food choices. But did you know that whole grains have cardiovascular benefits, as well? If you love pasta, bread and baked goods, switching to the whole grain version can help you fight heart disease and strengthen your cardiovascular system. Why, you wonder? Grain products are divided into two categories: whole grains and refined grains. When a food item is “whole grain,” it contains the grain’s bran, germ and endosperm–the whole grain. Refined grains don’t contain all three components of each grain; they contain only the endosperm. When the bran and germ are removed, many of the grain’s best nutrients are removed, including dietary fiber, vitamin B and iron. The vitamins naturally contained in whole grains can help lower blood cholesterol. They can also lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity. Pay careful attention to the ingredients in your grain products. Refined and enriched grains won’t have the same heart benefits as whole grains.
Put A Little Color in Your FridgeIf you’re committed to eating heart healthy foods, the inside of your fridge should look like a rainbow. Bright, colorful foods–fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains–will be best for your heart. Add fish, eggs, lowfat milk and high-fiber selections to increase the heart benefits. Which foods have high fiber content? Lentils and green leafy vegetables are a great choice. Lima beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and edamame are just a few of the delicious, high-fiber foods to add to your diet.
Drink More WaterIncreasing your water intake can have positive effects on multiple aspects of your health. For your heart, it’s all about power. Your heart pumps around 2,000 gallons of blood each day. Plus, your body requires constant energy and hydration to function optimally. When your body is well-hydrated, it’s easier for your heart to pump efficiently. This reduces cardiovascular stress. Looking for a senior community that encourages a healthy lifestyle and helps you make smart food decisions? The Brookfield Senior Living and Memory Care is a top senior community in northwest Arkansas and beyond. Our team will help you choose a diet and exercise program that will help encourage heart health, longevity and quality of life. Contact us today to learn more about our communities and how we can help you live better.
How Can You Stay Active In Cold Weather?Wintertime is full of family-centric events, from Thanksgiving and Christmas to the always-fun New Year’s Eve. We look forward to spending time with our loved ones, exchanging gifts and eating tons of amazing food. Unfortunately, winter also brings cold weather that can make us feel lethargic, keep us inside and ruin our exercise routines. With all the holiday meals and no exercise, it’s easy to lose sight of our fitness goals. We know staying active is a huge part of living a healthy, happy life. But staying active in the face of freezing temperatures, the winter doldrums or seasonal energy fluctuations can be hard. Let’s check out a few ways you can get the winter exercise you need.
Get Active IndoorsFor many seniors, using complicated indoor gym equipment can be intimidating–so they avoid exercising until the weather warms back up. Unfortunately, lack of exercise (even just over the winter months) can lead to weakened muscles, lower energy, and even depression and anxiety. So how do you combat the cold weather but still stay in shape? Try out exercise videos or buy some home exercise equipment! If you have an internet connection, you can access thousands of exercise videos online–many of which are made especially with seniors in mind. Check out these YouTube channels for hundreds of exercise routines made for seniors: Home weights, an exercise ball or a yoga mat are also great tools for getting the exercise you need without venturing out into the winter cold.
Join a Fitness GroupIf you have friends who are also concerned about keeping their exercise routines during the winter, organize a fitness group! You can plan times to meet and take a walk around your assisted living facility or a local gym’s indoor track. If you aren’t interested in venturing out of your home, invite your fitness group over and follow a video exercise routine together. The most important part of organizing an exercise or fitness group is to encourage one another. Wintertime can bring the doldrums, so a friendly word of encouragement can be just the pick-me-up you need to power through an exercise routine.
Get Your Winter Exercise Around the HouseYour house is full of opportunities to get your much-needed exercise. If you can, consider taking the stairs once a day instead of the elevator. Make it a point to get up and walk to your bedroom or living room at back at least twice a day. Increase your water intake, and get exercise while doing it! Make it a point to consume more water each day–but use smaller glasses or cups to drink it. With smaller glasses, you’ll be finished sooner and need to get up to replenish your glass. Those extra trips to the kitchen equal extra exercise–and they add up over the course of a day! These are just a few of the ways you can stay active this winter, and keep your health on track. The Brookfield Senior Living and Memory Care is passionate about helping our residents stay active, healthy and happy. Contact us today to learn more about our facilities and how we can help you live your best life!
Early Indications of DementiaIt’s hard to diagnose dementia in the beginning stages, because the signs are subtle and vary from person to person. However, common symptoms are:
- Reduced ability to concentrate. Anyone can struggle with managing finances. Someone with dementia might not understand what numbers mean or how to use them.
- Personality or behavior changes. Anyone can get tired of an activity. Someone with dementia totally loses interest in activities they used to enjoy, or needs prompting to get involved.
- Loss of ability to do everyday tasks. Anyone can get distracted and burn a meal. Someone with dementia has trouble remembering all the steps involved in preparing a meal.
- Increased confusion and disorientation. Anyone can get lost. Someone with dementia may have difficulty finding their way on a familiar route or be confused about where they are.
- Difficulty remembering recent events. Anyone might forget an appointment. Someone with dementia forgets them more often or never remembers making them at all.
- Depression or apathy. Anyone can be down or depressed. Someone with dementia may become confused, suspicious, or apathetic, or have wild mood swings.
- Loss of language ability. Anyone might forget a word occasionally. Someone with dementia may forget simple words and substitute inappropriate ones, making the person hard to understand.
- Poor judgement. Anyone can miscalculate the weather. Someone with dementia can see snow outside without thinking a jacket is needed to go for a walk.
- Misplacing objects. Anyone can misplace the car keys. Someone with dementia might forget what the keys are for.
Is It Alzheimer’s Disease?No one wants to discover that a loved one has Alzheimer’s, a brain disease that slowly degrades memory, thought and reason. But early diagnosis is crucial for treating the disease to get some relief from symptoms and maintain a longer period of independence. Read on for a list of 10 warning signs and symptoms, adapted from the Alzheimer’s Association’s version. A person may experience these signs at varying levels. If you notice any of the signs in a loved one, have them see a doctor for further evaluation.
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life. Anyone forgets names or appointments, but remembers them later. Someone with Alzheimer’s forgets important dates or events, asks for the same information again and again, and has difficulty remembering recently learned information.
- Difficulty solving problems or planning. Anyone makes an error now and then balancing a checkbook. Someone with Alzheimer’s has trouble following a familiar recipe or paying bills.
- Confusion of time or place. Anyone might forget what day of the week it is, but be able to figure it out later. People with Alzheimer’s can lose track of seasons or the passing of time, where they are or how they arrived.
- Difficulty with spatial cues and visual images. Anyone might have reduced vision due to cataracts or macular degeneration. Someone with Alzheimer’s has vision problems leading to issues reading, judging distance and seeing color contrast, which might lead to difficulty driving.
- Problems with written or spoken words. Anyone can struggle to find the right word now and then. Someone with Alzheimer’s struggles with vocabulary, and has trouble following or joining a conversation, repeating what was just said or failing to continue the thread.
- Misplacing objects. Anyone can forget where they put something and have to retrace steps to find it. People with Alzheimer’s put things in unusual places, like leaving car keys in the freezer. They may be unable to retrace their steps to relocate an object, or accuse others of stealing it. This behavior typically accelerates over time.
- Poor judgment. Anyone can make a crummy decision once in a while. People with Alzheimer’s may use poor judgment with money, giving large sums to people they meet over the phone. They may quit taking care of their appearance and cleanliness.
- Withdrawing from work or social occasions. Anyone may feel like being alone sometimes. Someone with Alzheimer’s might quit hobbies, social outings, sports or work activities. This could be because they’ve forgotten how to complete the hobby or because of other changes from the disease.
- Mood and personality changes. Anyone can get in a particular pattern and feel irritated when it is disrupted. People with Alzheimer’s can easily be upset at home or work, especially in situations where they don’t feel comfortable. They can become confused, suspicious, fearful, anxious or depressed.
Increasing the Level of CarePerhaps your concern for your loved one isn’t about cognition at all. You may notice that Grandma prepared a delicious turkey, but she didn’t have the strength to carry it to the table. Maybe her house is dirtier than usual because her eyesight is failing, or she can’t physically sweep like she used to. There are a host of issues you may need to address while you are there or shortly afterward. Have a conversation with the older adult about what you notice. How does the older adult feel about it? Is Grandma adamant about aging in place, or is she feeling lonely and thinking it might be time for a move to assisted living? Would she like help doing certain tasks around the house, or with errands? Is it time to stop driving? If you decide to bring in home help, determine if the neighbor down the street would be a good fit, or if you should contact a professional caregiving service that screens and trains all of its employees. Do you simply need a cleaning service, or is your loved one ready for help with meals and shopping? What are her needs likely to be going forward, and is there someone, such as a family member or friend, who can help you assess them? Do you need to talk to her doctor to review medications and recommend changes in Grandma’s home so she can get around more easily? Homecoming is full of nostalgia. It can be hard to face the point when you realize that your loved ones need your help, especially when they might not be willing to admit it yet. Tread gently and seek their input, then consult with professionals if you need further guidance. Above all, accept the changes with a loving spirit and the most positive attitude you can muster for the challenges ahead.
Walk for a CurePut on your tennis shoes, grab a breast cancer pin and walk for a cure. Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure sponsors hundreds of races throughout the world during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. These walks or runs help raise money and awareness for breast cancer treatment and research. A breast cancer walk is an excellent opportunity to grab other members of your senior community and participate in a national event or walk and raise money for the cause.
Start a FundraiserIf you aren’t able to walk for the cause, there are other ways you can support National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You can create a fundraiser such as a bake sale or garage sale with others in your senior living community. Whatever fundraiser idea you decide on, it’s a great opportunity to come together as a community and help raise money for an issue that affects so many women.
Be an AdvocateHelp organize events at your senior living facility throughout the month of October. Wear pink ribbons and other pink gear throughout the month. Host events, speakers and health professionals who can talk about how breast cancer impacts those over 65. Have daily or weekly themes the community can participate in, and pass out literature throughout the month on breast cancer screening, signs and symptoms.
Help a Breast Cancer PatientIf you know anyone who is suffering from breast cancer, take the time to engage with them and assist them during this trying time. Make them a meal, have a conversation or run some errands for them. Anyway you can help to make their day a bit easier will go a long way.
Encourage CheckupsEncourage the women in your community to complete self-breast exams and schedule regular mammograms if needed. Too often women over 65 believe their days of worrying about breast cancer are over, but they are still vulnerable to the disease. The U.S. Department of Health encourages mammograms every two years for women over 55. The more proactive you are in getting checked, the better your chances of beating cancer should you get a diagnosis. At Brookfield Senior Living and Memory Care, we are dedicated to providing the best assisted living care in Arkansas. Contact us for details.
SymptomsTypically, if you are suffering from RA, you will experience symptoms such as joint stiffness, tender and swollen joints, fatigue and weight loss. Your symptoms may come and go and may vary in intensity from episode to episode. It is important to note, however, that approximately 40 percent of those diagnosed with RA experience symptoms that are unrelated to the joints. These signs and symptoms of RA may include problems with your lungs, heart, kidneys, blood vessels, bone marrow or nerve tissue.
Treatment OptionsAfter you have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis through blood tests and/or imaging tests, your physician or rheumatologist will determine an adequate treatment plan based on the severity of your condition and your overall health. You may be prescribed certain medications to decrease symptoms and pain, including NSAIDs, steroids, DMARDs or biologic agents. In addition to medication, your doctor may also recommend physical therapy or surgery. In physical therapy, you will work closely with a therapist to determine the best ways to complete daily activities in a manner that is easy for your joints to handle. You will also perform exercises to help your joints stay flexible, and you may even be provided with certain devices that will help you complete simple tasks on your own during flare-ups. While you cannot cure your rheumatoid arthritis, you can learn many ways to cope with the effects. For instance, taking all prescribed medications, staying active, and treating flare-ups with heat or cold compresses can all be helpful in managing your disorder. In severe cases, your doctor or rheumatologist may recommend surgery to repair extensive damage. After healing from surgery, you will once again work to retain your independence with a combination of medications, physical therapy and assistive devices. If you are struggling to remain independent while you cope with rheumatoid arthritis, contact Brookfield Senior Living and Memory Care today.
Staying healthy is important at every stage of life. But seniors have particular needs to help them maintain their health. Maintaining a smart lifestyle in your senior years is manageable, but sometimes you need a little bit of assistance. Consider the following tips to meet the diet and exercise goals that will help you continue living a healthy life for many years.
Balanced DietMost older adults find they don’t need to eat as much as when they were younger. Your taste buds change as you age as well, which often makes former favorites more unappealing. Therefore, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, it’s important to choose nutrient-packed foods. Choose foods such as the following:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains, such as oatmeal and whole-wheat bread
- Fat-free or low-fat dairy products, including milk and cheese
- Lean meats, poultry, seafood and eggs
- Beans, nuts and seeds
Balanced ExerciseMovement and exercise are important to help seniors stay healthy. Even if you’re dealing with a loss of mobility or balance issues, exercise can help. You just need to choose the most appropriate exercises. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, exercise can help you improve your balance and prevent falls. Health conditions such as diabetes, arthritis or a disability can still get better with exercise. Not sure how to exercise? It doesn’t have to be hard or intimidating, and you don’t have to be an Olympic-level athlete. Start by going for a walk around the block. Gradually increase your walks by 10 minutes each time. Try gentle exercises that can improve your balance, such as tai chi or yoga. Doing a variety of activities will keep you from getting bored, which makes you more likely to make exercise a permanent part of your life. If someone you love needs more help managing their health, reach out to the compassionate and highly skilled professionals at Brookfield Senior Living and Memory Care.
- Bella Vista (479) 855-5600
- Fort Smith (479) 649-7100
- Hot Springs (501) 520-0016
Many seniors have chronic medical conditions that must be closely monitored and for which they take any number of prescription medications. Family caregivers tend to get a crash course in nursing and managing medical care once they begin helping an aging loved one, and the biggest lesson many learn initially is that organization is key. This is especially true when a senior develops a need for urgent medical care.
As medical director of MyCareClinic at The Carlisle Naples, a senior community offering both independent and assisted living in Southwest Florida, and an urgent care physician at ER QuickCare, Dr. Carlos Paisan is no stranger to the complex medical issues that seniors navigate on a daily basis.
In addition to openly communicating with your loved one’s primary care physician (PCP) and knowing where the nearest walk-in clinics and hospitals are located, Dr. Paisan recommends that caregivers and seniors create an emergency “packet” of medical information that can be given to paramedics, emergency room staff, and urgent care clinicians.
“At The Carlisle, there is an envelope on the back of each resident’s door containing an exact list of their medications and dosages, a copy of their power of attorney, contact information for their doctors, and information relevant to any chronic conditions,” Dr. Paisan explains. “Paramedics know this information is there, so they can pick up this packet with everything they need and go. I think this is a great practice to adopt in any home, especially if you’re responsible for the care of an elderly person.”
Such a packet is actually quite simple to put together, since it contains copies of information that caregivers should have on file already. Dr. Paisan’s suggestions for assembling your own emergency file are detailed below.
Build Your Own Emergency Medical Folder
- Medications Include a list of all of a senior’s prescription and over-the-counter medications, their exact dosages, and how frequently they are taken. “One of the biggest problems I see in the urgent care clinic,” says Dr. Paisan, “is that patients don’t know or remember exactly what medications they’re taking. They’ll say they take a ‘water pill’ or ‘blood pressure pill.’ There are a lot of medications that interact with each other, so detailed information can be a lifesaver.”
- Allergies If your loved one is allergic to any medications, additives, preservatives or materials like latex or adhesives, be sure to include a list of these things and the severity of their reaction.
- Doctors Include the name and contact information for the patient’s primary care physician. If your loved one sees any specialists regularly for chronic conditions, such as a cardiologist or a gastroenterologist, provide their contact information as well.
- Medical Conditions Provide general information about more serious physical and mental conditions and medical history. For example, diabetes, dementia, and past cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events (with dates) are all important information to include.
- Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order If a senior does not wish to receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or intubation in the event of cardiac or respiratory arrest, be sure to include a copy of their state-sponsored and physician-signed DNR order or Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) form. (POLST forms are more comprehensive than a basic DNR but are only available in some states.)
- Medical POA If the senior has appointed you or someone else as their medical power of attorney, make sure a copy of this legal document is included in their packet. This is crucial for communicating with medical staff and making healthcare decisions.
- Most Recent Labs Including copies of a senior’s most recent laboratory tests can be very helpful for physicians who are trying to make a diagnosis and decide on a course of treatment without a complete medical history to reference. “Pertinent labs, like most recent EKGs, complete blood counts, and kidney function and liver function tests can set benchmarks that help physicians a lot,” Dr. Paisan points out. “These are basic tests, but they take time when you’re in the emergency room feeling badly while and waiting for answers.”
- Insurance Information Include copies of all up-to-date insurance cards. This information can help ensure your loved one’s medical care is billed correctly from the start, even if their original cards are left behind in the rush to the hospital or clinic.
- Photo Identification While emergency rooms must treat patients regardless of whether they have identification or insurance information, many urgent care centers typically require a picture ID to see patients. Include a copy of the senior’s driver’s license (or ID card if they do not drive) in the folder to avoid any problems.
Using the Emergency Medical FolderOnce you have gathered the records, copied them and assembled the folder, put it in an easily accessible place. If you share caregiving responsibilities with other family members, friends or professional in-home caregivers, inform them of this file’s existence and location. “Put that collection of information where everybody can find it,” Dr. Paisan urges.
This packet should be given to paramedics responding to 911 calls, and it should be brought along to walk-ins at the emergency room or urgent care clinic. In the latter cases, Dr. Paisan recommends giving the information to a staff member who is going to have direct patient contact with the senior instead of a receptionist whose only job is to check people in. “This could be a triage nurse, the actual nurse on duty once the patient is put into a room, or the physician who is in charge of their care.”
For seniors who attend day programs or spend ample time in their family members’ homes, having one of these folders available in each location isn’t a bad idea, either. Remember to update the contents of each folder as needed, though. Speak with their adult day care or senior center to see if they are able to keep the packet on file in case of emergencies. Dr. Paisan notes that, “When this detailed information is handy, it makes life easier and safer for everybody involved.”
While many people look forward to the warmth of summer, some people are at risk of heat-related illnesses and injuries during this time. In particular, senior citizens can easily get heatstroke, leading to symptoms that include a headache, nausea and vomiting, confusion and even fainting. Sunburns, bug bites and dehydration are other summer concerns for seniors. You can avoid these issues by following a few simple summer safety tips.
It’s always important to drink enough water, but it’s especially crucial in the summer. You should drink at least six glasses of water daily, and more if you’re active or outside at all when it’s hot. In addition to drinking enough water, try to limit your caffeine and alcohol intake, since these can dehydrate you.
If you live in an area that gets particularly hot in the summer, avoid going outside in the middle of the day. If you feel the need to take a walk, go in either the early morning or evening when it’s a little cooler. You can also go to a local mall to walk around while enjoying the air conditioning, or head to a gym with an indoor walking track. This way, you don’t have to stay sedentary the whole summer, but you won’t end up with a sunburn, dehydration or heatstroke while you work out.
Find Fun Indoor Activities
If you’re not in the mood to take laps around the mall, just stick to shopping there. Other indoor attractions that usually help you keep cool include movie theaters, bowling alleys, restaurants, coffee shops and senior activity centers. Basically, if there’s an indoor attraction you’ve been meaning to check out, now is the time to do it. Save your favorite outdoor activities for when it cools down in the fall.
Protect Your Skin
If you do venture outside in the summer, make sure you wear a hat and sunscreen to avoid getting a sunburn. Remember to reapply the sunscreen about every two hours, and if you’re swimming, give it a few minutes to soak in before you get back in the water. You can also protect your skin from bug bites with bug spray, such as mosquito repellent.
At Brookfield Assisted Living, we care about the safety of seniors, both in the summer and the rest of the year. If you or a loved one could benefit from assisted living services in Arkansas, come to Brookfield Assisted Living to find out how we can help.
Reasons Why Caregivers Say “No” to Help
- The Instinct to Protect While many caregivers come to terms with the fact that we can’t make our loved ones completely healthy again, we still want to be the person who provides care and safeguards their wellbeing. This protective instinct is powerful and hard to overcome.
- Guilt, the Caregiver’s Unwelcome Companion Feelings of guilt often pop up throughout the caregiving journey, even though they are usually undeserved. To make matters worse, guilt-trips are often self-imposed. Many feel that their position as a spouse, adult child or even a parent requires them to personally see to all of their loved one’s needs. Deserved or not, guilt is nearly always a useless and destructive emotion, yet it’s a common problem for caregivers.
- An Unhealthy Sense of Competition Adult children who are caring for their parents may still be trying to earn the place in their hearts as the one who did the most. Sibling rivalry, even in healthy families, seldom disappears completely. Many caregivers fight to get their family members to help but keep getting denied. For these people, sibling rivalry isn’t the issue. I recognize that the bulk of elder care, even in large families, frequently falls to one person—most often the eldest daughter. However, there are caregivers who shut out other family members who offer assistance. Most likely, they subconsciously want to be the family hero. I’ve heard from enough shut-out siblings to know that this touchy subject does need to be addressed.
- Stranger Danger We often do not trust hired caregivers, whether they are providing care in the home, an assisted living community or a skilled nursing facility. We’ve heard horror stories and may even personally know others who have had terrible experiences with hired care. We care about our loved ones and have a duty to protect them, so we fear what may happen if we are not present to monitor their care at all times.
- Privacy Issues Some people lead more private lives by default. They treat their homes as their safe spaces and consider family happenings to be extremely personal. Whether help is coming from a hired caregiver, a fellow churchgoer, a neighbor or a sibling, many caregivers are simply uncomfortable with the idea of opening up their homes and sharing sensitive information with “outsiders.”
- Financial Woes Our medical system still lacks sufficient features to keep people in their own homes with the assistance of paid help. There are some programs offered through the VA, Medicare and Medicaid, but coverage is minimal and most people do not qualify. Meanwhile, whatever assets our parents have must be used for their care. When their money is spent down, they can generally go on Medicaid, but the quality of this care may not be what we would have chosen otherwise. Therefore, many families see to the bulk of the responsibilities themselves to avoid spending money on care, but this can be detrimental in many other ways.
How Caregivers Can Accept Help
- Seek Objective Advice We may need counseling from a trusted outside person, such as a therapist or clergy member, to help us understand that we should not be expected to provide all of the care for an elderly loved one all of the time. It can be destructive for the caregiver and, in the end, detrimental to the care receiver. Caregivers need regular respite so they can provide the best possible care over the long term.
- Get Support from Your Peers Although insight from an outsider is valuable, nobody understands the inner workings of a caregiver’s life like fellow caregivers. A caregiver support group, either in person or online, is an excellent resource for caregivers who are looking to connect with people in similar situations. The AgingCare Online Caregiver Forum is a great place to start gathering tips and information from others who have been in your shoes.
- Live in the Present Ongoing guilt is useless. It is better to work proactively with your current reality than to wallow in the past about what might have been. We do all we can to help, and looking back repeatedly will only cloud our judgement and prevent us from moving forward.
- Practice Acceptance If you have requested help time and again, but siblings only give excuses and well-meaning friends and neighbors never make good on their offers, accept that they cannot be relied upon. It is your job to ensure that your loved one receives the best possible care. If someone is hardly interested or involved in their care, do you really trust them to take on any of your responsibilities? It is up to us to accept the reality of the situation and look elsewhere for the help we need and deserve.
- Don’t Fall Prey to Premature Judgments While there are many hired caregivers who are simply average, there are also many of them who are incredibly in-tune with the seniors they care for. To prevent issues early on, do your homework before hiring a home care company or selecting a facility. Make your presence known without acting like you’re an adversary. You and the professional caregivers are a team. If you’ve found a good fit, you will be able to relax and enjoy having them take on more responsibilities so that you are free to engage in your own self-care and spend quality time with your loved one.
- Find Ways to Maximize Monetary Resources Financial issues will be ongoing until we have proper, widespread support for family caregivers. We can and should pressure law makers to do more to help caregivers, but that won’t change much for those who need help now. Learn as much as you can about Medicare, Medicaid, veterans benefits, long-term care insurance, and any other options that can help fund a loved one’s care. Consult an elder law attorney, your local Area Agency on Aging, and/or a financial planner to go over your loved one’s financial situation and guide you on how to move forward.