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When families live far away from one another, the holidays may be the only opportunity that long-distance caregivers and family members have to personally observe older relatives. Family members who haven't seen their aging loved one since last year may be in for a shock at what they see and experience a natural desire to close one’s eyes, turn the other way, pretend like everything is as it used to be.
With pregnancy, one has several months to prepare...longer if you are planning for it. But with seniors it’s different. The revelation that your parents are no longer the independent, capable people you have depended on your entire life often hits you unexpectedly. Of course you realize that they will eventually slow down and need some assistance. You are aware that you may be involved with that assistance. However, you cannot predict when that inconvenient truth will surface. You cannot predict, but you can prepare. Just as a pregnancy book can guide you through the stages of development, Next Step Senior Care Inc is here to be your guide through the stages of life's autumn years.
What To Look For This Holiday Season
Be aware of subtle, yet obvious changes in your loved one's emotional well-being. Take note for signs of depression that may include loss of interest in hobbies, sleep patterns, withdrawal from activities with others, lack of basic home maintenance or personal hygiene.
Pay attention to their surroundings. Your loved one may have always been a neat freak, or a stickler for paying bills on time and you notice unsafe clutter, an overflowing hamper and piled up mail. Yes, you desire to give them respect as an adult, but part of that may now come in the form of YOU supporting them with some run-of-the-mill activities of daily living that are no longer easy tasks for them to accomplish.
Pay close attention to the way your parent moves, and in particular how they walk. A reluctance to walk or obvious pain during movement can be a sign of joint or muscle problems or more serious afflictions. And if unsteady on their feet, they may be at risk of falling, a serious problem that can cause severe injury or worse.
Weight loss is one of the obvious signs of declining health. The cause could be based on physical or emotional factors and sometimes medications. Low levels of energy will often result and cause them to no longer be capable of accomplishing some of their basic care needs.
Notice how much water they consume daily. Dehydration, a serious condition for anyone, is often overlooked in the winter months. Encourage them to drink water and use the restroom frequently during the early parts of the day when they are more alert and often have more energy. This may help them to have less trips during the night.
Bring your listening ears with you. Choose to not judge, react or criticize their current lifestyle circumstances. Take your time assessing and talking over what you see with other trusted friends or resources so you will be able to process this strange, new reality and respond appropriately, when the time is right. If you notice sudden odd behavior with your loved one, be sure to seek medical attention.
There may be other areas of concern, specific to your family member. Should this year's holiday visit open your eyes to current and potential problems or negative changes in your parent's physical or emotional state, then it's time to... put a plan of action in place.
Contact us: email@example.com, (949) 573-8504
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During November, we honor the millions of nurses, home care aides, therapists, chaplains, and social workers who make a remarkable difference for the hospice patients and families they serve.
What is Hospice & How Does It Help Everyone?
What Is Palliative Care?
To find hospice or palliative care resources in your area, please contact us.
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...the HOLIDAYS. A word that stirs up various emotions about family, food, and fun. Spending time with family can be both joyous and heart-wrenching. It’s often because we position ourselves to be “schooled” in some way, shape or form. It’s called the School of Life and the class is usually titled ‘How You Have Grown (or Not) from the Last Encounter with Family.’
Regardless of the interactions, how are you going to be the best version of you that allows for maintaining good boundaries, but allows for you to show your care and support for each of the family and friends that you are gifted to spend time with. I love the lyrics from the Michael Jackson song “Man In The Mirror”, ‘If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then make a change.’ May you appreciate and release thanksgiving for the friends and family you have around you at this season.
Make the choice to move into this holiday season with ‘Eyes Wide Open’. I encourage you to take the time to be the silent observer and check out what’s going on around you with your family and friends.
There will be a plethora of little ways you can make your world, and someone else’s, a better place. Time is a gift that you can give to both yourself and to another person, your undivided attention. Take a few moments to engage in conversation to listen, support and encourage someone around you. (Note, I did not say enslave yourself to someone for a 45 minute monologue of their woes. Gracefully extract yourself after (10 minutes) and let them know you appreciated getting a chance to connect with them.) Give yourself the gift of time to sit, breathe deeply, nap, play in a way that brings you refreshment.
As the relatives come out, choose awareness and assess how each person has changed from the last time you were with them… Be willing to ask yourself the harder questions: How is Aunt Sally is doing? What about my own parents; How are MY PARENTS doing? Dad’s been slowing down lately, do I really want to address his aging issues? If I don’t am I hiding my head in the sand and choosing to be in denial of the class we all have to take in the School of Life that most of us hate? Aging is inevitable and so is change?
This season, don’t approach the holidays with your eyes wide shut. Family get-togethers are the ideal opportunity to open your eyes, your heart, and your mind to the changes in the abilities of your senior relatives. They need you to see what they can’t so that they can walk through life’s changes maintaining a feeling of safety, support and peace of mind.
Click here to download our Checklist to Assess Daily Living Changes and move into the holidays with your ‘Eyes Wide Open’.
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In 1983, President Ronald Reagan designated November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month .
At the time, fewer than 2 million Americans had Alzheimer’s. Today, the number of people with the disease has soared to over 5 million; 1 in 10 adults are caring for someone with Alzheimer's and accounting
for approximately 18 billion hours of unpaid care.
This November, join us during National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month by showing the Power of Purple. There are many ways you can get involved:
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In the United States, there are more than 65 million people providing care for chronically ill, disabled or aged family members or friends during any given year.Those 65 million people spend 20 hours a week providing that care.That care is valued at $375 billion a year, which is almost twice as much as is spent on homecare and nursing home services combined.
As family caregivers ourselves, we know how difficult this labor of love is. That is why we work with seniors and their families who want to make
We know "It Takes a Village"....visit our website to discover how we can support you today!
10 Tips for Family Caregivers
For additional resources to support the family caregiver and their loved ones, click here.