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Secrets to Easing the Transition to Assisted Living


When we enter our later ages of our lives it can be very difficult coming to the realization that it is time to begin transitioning to an assisted living program. It is not only one of the biggest lifestyles changes to deal with but it also can be hard to understand what lies ahead. Although the transition has many negative thoughts around it, in reality it is a very positive step towards comfort and other benefits that your elder loved one can enjoy.

Many times though our elder loved ones do not directly understand or see the positive benefits from transitioning to an assisted living community. Here are some of the troublesome conditions of the move that many of us face:

  • Having to downsize in space and items. It can be difficult to go from a house to a one bedroom apartment in addition to getting rid of their personal items.
  • Changing your daily routine. Instead of having your typical dinner later at night around 9 pm, your elder may need to have it at 7pm now.
  • Dealing with the idea of being surrounded by others that are frail and disabled even when your elder is as wail disabled or frail.
  • Having the feeling of betrayal and abandonment from family and friends.
  • The ongoing idealisms of having their independence taken away from them.

Although they deal with these troublesome aspects of transitioning, many elder loved ones take it day by day and can quickly begin to cope with their new lives and find the benefits of assisted living. Such as having the opportunity to downsize in living space; it is less to keep up with and easier to get around. Another great positive that many elders find is prepared meals and snacks throughout the day. They no longer have to cook or buy groceries if they choose not to. They can simple go down to the café or wreck hall for their daily meals and snacks.

They will continue to adjust to their new home and quickly make new friends to spend their time with. With an abundance of activities, field trips and other relaxing visits; they will find many things to occupy their time with every day.

 

 

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Signs Your Elderly Parent May Be Unsafe Living Alone

With aging parents it may become apparent that they could be unsafe living alone without any assistance or someone checking up on them. It can be fairly difficult to understand the differences amongst age-related confusion, normal occurrences or something that may be much more serious. There are several different signs that can help you better understand if your elder loved one is ok to be living at home or if they need to begin the transition to an assisted living program. These signs not only will help you understand but they are also great precaution and warning signs that may lead to different diseases such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. Here are some of the signs your elderly parent may be unsafe living alone:

  • Car damage such as dents, scrapes, scratches and poor upkeep. Many times when there is an increase in scratches and they cannot recall the even it may mean they are no longer safe behind the wheel and should use other ways of transportation.
  • Receiving bruises and not knowing where they came from. This could be a sign of frequent falling, tripping and could become a worse problem if not dealt with.
  • Pan scorching may seem a mistake but if many of their pans seem to have scorching it may be because they forget they are cooking food. The outcome of this can be a worse hazard to not only themselves but neighbors as well.
  • Not the proper nutrition can be seen by an increase or decrease in weight, loss of appetite and not wanting to cook for them because of the difficulty it presents.
  • Noticing there is spoiled food in the refrigerator may mean they are leaving food out or keeping food after the “sell by” or “expiration date”. This can lead to sickness such as food poisoning.
  • Many times you may notice that there are unpaid bills and unopened mail or neglect to household chores such as cleaning or laundry.
  • Being paranoid and making inacurrate assertions such as saying untrue statements like “The news is talking about me” or “There are always people in the kitchen”.
  • Having aggression towards others because they have the feeling of being attacked either physically or verbally.
  • Sometimes elders will write checks for bills they do not have or charities that they make up on the spot. This may be because they are attempting normal everyday things but do not have the correct judgment.
  • One of the biggest warning signs is slurring words or using words that are inappropriate for what they are saying.
  • Another sign that is fairly common is memory loss. There are different types of memory loss such as benign and malignant.
  • Easily become confused or disoriented when they are in a familiar place. This may lead to wandering and getting loss which can become a tragic situation in itself.
  • Paying attention to their hygiene such as odor, incontinence, grooming and dressing appropriately for the weather.

 

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7 Tips to Avoid Elderly Heat Stroke and Exhaustion Seniors Nutrition Resources

During the hot months of the year it can be very difficult for any of our senior loved ones to keep hydrated and not over exhaust themselves. Our elderly loved ones may need some extra attention during the peak hours of the day to make sure that they are receiving enough liquids and are taking enough rest time throughout the day. Rest and water are some of the most important issues that elders face with on a daily basis, especially when it begins to warm up they may become forgetful about the importance of getting plenty of water and taking a break periodically during the day.

The University Of Chicago Medical Center specializes in studying in elder health and recently came out with a study that almost 40% of all heat-related sickness and deaths in the Nation were of those above the age of 65, senior citizens. This is a very serious issue to keep on your mind when taking care of your elder loved one. Here are 7 tips to elderly heat stroke and exhaustion senior’s nutrition resources:

  1. Make sure they drink water and plenty of it. As humans are bodies need to consume water to keep our bodies cool and hydrated, this is especially apparent in elders. Making sure they drink the adequate amount of water is imperative so they can reenergize and be able to enjoy their day.
  2. Taking small breaks throughout the day. Taking a 20-30 minute break several times throughout the day can not only refresh their body’s physical but also mentally. It will help them become more focused and have increase vitality through the day.
  3. Having a balanced diet and making sure each meal is nutrient dense. With proper nutrition our elderly loved ones will feel more comfortable, have more energy and be able to avoid decreased stamina during the day which can lead to heat stroke.
  4. Contacting your local Senior Center for Nutrition Resources. If you feel your elder loved one may not being getting proper nutrition during the day, your local Senior Center may be able to assist you in preparing healthy meals in addition to referring you to a nutritionist.
  5. Have a handheld fan available to them at all times. There are very light wait fans that your elder loved one can put in a purse or wear around their neck. Sometimes they may get a little flushed because of the heat and some cool air may do the trick to avoid heat stroke.
  6. Wearing the correct shoes and size. This may seem obvious but many elders do not have the proper footwear to walk around in as well as have the right shoe size.
  7. Asking them “How are you feeling?” By continuing to ask the how they feel or if they need to rest may save their lives. Sometimes our elder loved ones can be forgetful or stubborn and need to be reminded to take a break and have some water.

 

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The Importance of Having a Living Will

living will los angeles assisted living

About half of all American adults currently have a living will in place, which is at an all-time high but many industry analyzers are not content with that figure. There can be some sad consequences and problematic situations if you do not having a living will in place and much of it can be avoided with one.

Here is one of example of what can happen without a living will and the legal battles that may happen in return. In the year 1990 there was a young married women names Terri Schiavo living in Florida. One do she collapsed at her apartment on her face and become unconscious without a pulse or any breathing at all. Her husband quickly called 911 and she was taken to the emergency room. Doctors successfully restarted her heart and breathing but unfortunately her brain was without oxygen for far too long and was diagnosed in a persistent vegetative state. This vegetative state means there is no awareness and is almost completely unresponsive, however they still have sleeping patterns and may appear to be wide awake despite having no brain activity happening.

Her doctors did everything they could to try to improve her conditions but they were not getting any positive results. After 8 years of being in a persistent vegetative states her husband asked the hospital to remove the feeding tube which quickly started a legal battle between Terri’s husband and her parents. Her husband believed that Terri would not want to live in this state anymore, whereas her parents deeply believed that she had a small degree of awareness and was improving.. It took 7 years of legal battles and public coverage until the U.S. Congress finally stepped in to remove the feeding tube in 2005, she died 7 short days later.

If Terri had a living will in place it would have been a legally binding document that would have address her wishes if a situation like this would happen. This story is a testament of the importance of having a living will in place and reminds us of how fragile life really is. With a living will you can make sure your wishes are addressed and will assure that your family does the right thing in your honor. You can create a free living will that indeed works.

Here are some free resources to take a look at:

 

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When Home Care Is Not Enough

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Home care is a great option of your elder loved one that has low demands and does not have many needs that need to be met. Although when a senior does become frail and their demands become increasingly more difficult to manage with one individual care giver it may be time to look at other options. When your elder loved one is on their own for the first time all they may need is someone to be hired to come in and check up on them to make sure everything is going ok and assist them with small tasks around the home. Home care is a good way to start when your elder love one insists on not wanting to go to an assisted living program.

It may also seem to be a more affordable option than a nursing home or assisted living facility, which in the beginning that may be correct since your elder loved one can stay at home and just pay someone hourly to stop by every so often. But once your senior loved one needs around the clock support with going to the bathroom, getting dressed and someone there to simply keep an eye on them it will quickly become an expensive cost.

It usually starts with only having a home care giver stop by for two hours a day, three days a week. But as our elder loved ones begin to age their needs will increase and that will require someone to stop by 5 days a week 3 hours a day, then 7 days a week for 8 hours, etc. Eventually they will need a live-in aid which is very costly compared to an assisted living program.

On top of it being costly it may be a challenge finding the right caregiver that molds well with your elder loved one. In the beginning it may seem like a great pair with your elder loved one and the caregiver but over time you and your elder will begin to have problematic situations other than cost. Another problem is if you do find the right caregiver and they leave for another job, the whole searching process starts over.

Assisted living can be a great option for any elder loved one that needs assistance on a daily basis. Not only will you save money in the long-run but they will have 24 hour professional care and assistance. No matter the issue or time of day your senior loved one can receive help all for a low monthly cost compared to fluctuating priced caregivers that are not always around 24/7.

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Affordable Assisted Living: 5 Insider Secrets

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Assisted Living programs are continuing to rise in price and may be shocking out of expensive it is. It can be even more shocking when you least expect it. The average price currently in the United States for a one bedroom apartment is around $3000 per month. This is just an average and depending on the location it can be much more costly.

It can be difficult trying to figure out how to cover the monthly cost of assisted living communities because typically it isn’t a planned expense. Many senior citizens can apply for Medicaid to cover the monthly fees but it may be difficult to pass the qualifications to receive coverage. It may be difficult to figure out how to cover the charge if Medicaid won’t cover the cost and your senior loved one still doesn’t not have the funds to cover it themselves. One option is to create a “Miller Trust” where you sign over a large majority of assets and income over to the government so they can become qualified for coverage

If that is not an option there are several “insider secrets” to make sure you are not compromising the quality of life and care standards with a lower monthly cost. Here are 5 insider secrets to make sure your loved one gets the care they deserve:

  1. Take a look in a different area – Although location may be important to your senior loved one you may have to take a look in a different area because location is everything. Big cities and resort town will cost a lot more compared to smaller rural areas.
  2. See if they have any move-in specials – Many times assisted living programs may have a base price to get moved in but they may have some wiggle room to play with the pricing a bit so they can make sure occupancy stays high. Ask if they can cut you a deal such as waiving set-up fees or discounting rent for the first year.
  3. Consider a studio or shared apartment – Larger private apartments are always going to be pricier than studios and shared apartments. Many times you can save hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars by renting a studio or shared apartment.
  4. Take a glance at the inspection reports – It is difficult to understand the quality of care by just taking a look online or a quick tour. Inspection reports will help you find the premier assisted care facilities that may be more affordable.
  5. Get in touch with a Senior Living Advisor – Senior Living Advisors can help you breakdown the quality and features your loved one will receive for what they are paying for. They will help you find the perfect assisted living community that is within your budget.
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All About Older Drivers: Safety Tips and Guidelines

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Elder traffic incidents are on the rise in the United States because of the lack of precautions that are being taken before elders hit the road for a drive. With the rising amount of tragic traffic accidents caused by seniors it is becoming more apparent to the Department of Motor Vehicles and senior supports to make sure they are fully able to drive a vehicle. Many states have gone as far as to keeping senior citizens that are a danger to the community off the road and require them to retake their license test if they have any mental or physical signs.

Driving a car for a senior loved one is more than just transportation for point A to B; it is also a symbol of independence and enjoyment to our senior loved ones. In general they should not have their license taken away because they are a certain age. It should be based on if they are physically and mentally aware to drive a vehicle.

The number one thing to make sure of when you senior is driving is being self-aware. This means that they can correctly assess their ability to drive and be able to adjust their driving habits. By having the correct amount of focus and making sure they are not harm to the society is key in correct driving. This includes that your senior loved one does not have any serious side effect from their medications such as:

  • Becoming drowsy at the wheel
  • Decrease in vision both near and afar
  • Decreased reactions and coordination during timely situations
  • Decrease range of motion while driving a vehicle

Each of the listed side-effects can not only put your senior loved one in harm but also the public. If your senior loved one is currently experiencing even the smallest side-effect from medication it is best to request they stop driving and see a doctor so they can fix the problem immediately. Many times it may just be an adjustment in medication and they can safely be back on the road within days.

There are several things to be aware of when trying to understand if your senior loved one is ok at driving. Some of the signs of dangerous driving to be aware of are:

  • Common and anonymous dings, scratches and dents on the car
  • Getting confused in directions where the commonly drive
  • Not paying attention to exits, signals and road signs
  • Collecting traffic citations and notifications than recent years
  • Having a hard time changing lanes or staying in the same lane while traveling
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Alzheimer’s Warning Signs

One of the most disturbing and frightening times in your life may be when you have noticed your senior lost one has become lost and wondered off. This is both frightening for you and the senior as well and may quickly become a common occurrence. It is becoming more and more reported about in the press of an elder person who has gone missing and the family has no clue where they have wandered off to. These situations are typically because of side-effects of Alzheimer’s. Senior’s that wander of are common signs of Alzheimer disease, in fact a study was done that typically 6 out of 10 seniors exhibit this sign.

While many times than often seniors do survive their wandering ordeals, there are situations where you may not find your senior loved one and your senior loved one my forget who they are. This can be a difficult situation to overcome since both parties, the senior and you, have no clue where they are. So generally seniors that exhibit any signs of wandering, confusion or poor short term memory should be evaluated before the situation may worsen. Although there are some amazing technologies that has recently been released such as GPS tracking devices installed in shoes, there is no better assistance that a human carefully watching and checking up on a senior.

There are many warning signs that you should be aware of and to look out for to better know if you’re senior loved one is experiencing early stages of Alzheimer’s. Here are several warning signs to watch out for on a daily basis:

  • Noticing your elder loved one comes back from drives, walks or outings later than expected or usual
  • Attempting to “fulfill past duties” such as talking about going to work long after they have retired or picking up their children from school
  • Attempting to “go home” when they are currently at home already
  • Constant pacing and appears restless in their chair, bed or around their house
  • Having a hard time getting around their home and become forgetful where everyday items are such as toothbrushes or dishes
  • Asking about family members or friends that have either deceased or are no longer in their lives
  • Become quickly confused or disoriented in unfamiliar locations and environments

If you notice any of these warning signs it is imperative that you assist your elder loved one in receiving a checkup and testing for Alzheimer’s before it may be too late.

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Assisted Living vs Nursing Homes: A Self-Assessment Checklist

It may be difficult understanding the differences between a nursing home and assisted living program. In fact a large majority of Americans think they are the same thing just different ways of calling a facility that helps seniors. Learning the differences between long-term assistance can assist you at choosing which care option is correct for your elder loved one. It is perfectly acceptable to not understand the difference between the two long-term care facilities but when it comes to choosing which one if best for your situation it is imperative that you understand because it may be the difference in care and pricing.

The first thing to understand is that assisted living community regulations change between every state, so in some states they offer a higher level of care that may be more hands on compared to other states. Secondly, although you are exploring the difference between the two long-term care services there is no better recommendation that your elder loved ones doctor. They not only understand that physical and mental state of your loved one but they know which facility is a better choice. If there is only one point that you walk away with from this article it is that assisted living facilities do not offer as high level of care than nursing homes. This means that nursing homes care for elders that are either sick or very frail and cannot do the smallest things by themselves and need help performing those tasks such as brushing their teeth and combing their hair.

Here are the top things to consider in figuring out which long-term care facility is right for your elder loved one:

  • Does your elder loved one able to get around by themselves? If you your loved one can easily maneuver throughout their home and is not bedridden or in a wheelchair, then an assisted living community is most likely the right choice.
  • Does your loved one require a colostomy, chronic wound care, feeding tube or injections? If so then a nursing home will be the right choice because assisted living facilities typically do not administer such requirements.
  • Does your loved one have dementia or Alzheimer’s? Assisted living programs can typically offer assistance to your loved one if they are in the early stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia but are not equipped for later stages of these diseases. There are a host of different problems that may arise and only a Nursing home may be equipped in assisting them.
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8 Ways to Pay for Assisted Living

With the rising cost of Assisted Living communities and programs it may be difficult to figure out how to afford the monthly cost. In the United States the average cost per month is around $3,100 per month and in many areas that monthly cost is much higher. Depending on where your elder loved one prefers to live the cost may fluctuate but overall you need to have a plan on how to pay for assisted living. Many people do not think about paying for assisted living until very late in their lives, which is perfectly normal, but when the time does come how are you going to cover the costs?

Many of our senior loved ones need more assistance than you would think. They need assistance with everything from food preparation, laundry and help getting dressed every day. So making sure they can afford an assisted living community that they enjoy and meets their needs is important. Here are 8 ways to pay for assisted living:

  1. Medicaid – I many states around the Nation you can receive coverage for senior care at assisted living programs through Medicaid. Make sure though not to mix Medicaid and Medicare up when searching if your loved one has coverage because it is only available to seniors that have little assets, so generally it is a last resort option but a great place to start.
  2. Mortgage Reversal – A reverse mortgage can be a Godsend opportunity to cover monthly fees from assisted living communities. Although you may be thinking “Don’t you need to live in a house and own one to have a reverse mortgage?” Yes that is true but a reverse mortgage is a great option if you have a wife or husband needing to go to an assisted living program.
  3. Asking Family for Financial Support – Sometimes the children and other family members may need to come together and chip in monthly to cover the monthly fee.
  4. Selling a Life Insurance Policy – Selling a life insurance policy is known as a life settlement. What happens is you sell it to someone and then they receive the benefits when you die.
  5. Home Equity – Although this may not be the most preferred way to pay for assisted living it may be the only option. See what type of equity your senior loved one has and it may be the best option to quickly get them placed in a program
  6. Veteran Benefits – The (VA) has a great assisted living assistance program that may assist you in paying for care who served during wartime in addition to widowed spouses.
  7. Long-term Care Insurance – This is one of the best option to pay for assisted living programs although only 3% of Americans have a policy it can be one of the best investments made for your later years in life.

Income and Savings – The easiest route to pay for assisted living is from a savings account or recurring income.

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