Category Archives: Affordable Senior Home Care

Free Community Seminars Teach Seniors How To Prevent Dangerous Falls

 

Falling.  It’s one of the most dangerous events in a senior’s life.  70% of all accidental deaths in people over the age of 75 are due to falls.  40% of all nursing home admissions can be attributed to repeated falls that occur in senior’s own homes.  These appalling statistics and many others prompted the United States Congress to create the Elder Fall Prevention Act of 2002.  It states that “a national approach to reducing elder falls…is needed.”  One local company is responding to that call to action.

This month, Affordable Senior Home Care, a local home health care company is embarking on a community wide effort to raise effort to raise awareness of the senior fall issue and teach fall prevention strategies.  To accomplish this they are performing free fall prevention seminars for various senior, civic and church groups throughout the Ocean County area.  The company’s president, Timothy Bradshaw, calls it a mission.  And he’s pretty passionate about it.  “Do you know that 25% of seniors who suffer hip fractures die within a year of that injury?  Seniors are losing their lives to this problem.  But the good news is most falls can be prevented.  And our Fall Prevention presentation explains exactly how to do that.” Bradshaw said.

Bradshaw learned about Fall Prevention from his association with The Senior’s Choice, Inc., and international member network of independently owned home healthcare companies.  Steve Everhart, President of The Senior’s Choice, Inc. said, “I believe that for seniors, remaining independent in their homes begins by keeping them on their feet.  We are thrilled that Timothy has become a Fall Prevention Specialist and is taking this program home to his friends and neighbors of Ocean County, NJ.” Everhart continued, “Timothy’s efforts will go a long way toward helping seniors remain independent as long as possible.”

For more information about Affordable Senior Home Care Fall Prevention seminars and to schedule a seminar for your group, call Timothy at 732-279-4495.

 

Tim Bradshaw—President

Affordable Senior Home Care

Family Owned & Operated

Ph: 732-279-4495

www.affordableseniorcare.net

E-mail: Affordableseniorcare@yahoo.com

Help for Helpers

If you are feeling worn down for caring for a loved one; you are not alone. You may feel very isolated, desperately needing support of others and just some guidance about how  to make your life just a little easier while you are caring for your loved one here in Ocean County.  One thing is for sure; right here in OceanCounty, all across this state and our country many of us are struggling to care for our loved ones. According to the American Society of Aging, one out of every four U.S. households provides caregiving to a loved one over the age of 50. The National Alliance for Caregiving says that is roughly 22 million people, or 12 hours per week, or 4 ½  years of your life, providing care. No matter how you look at it; it is likely that each one of us are caring for a loved one or you will be in the future. One thing is for sure; that caring is not a short-term commitment.

One fact that we know is true, being a caregiver of your loved one takes a toll on you. This toll is evidenced both emotional and physically. Unfortunately, our own bodies do not stop needing care, while we are caring for others. Many of us are struggling to not only provide care to our loved one, but also provide for our own families, work outside of the home and try to care for ourselves.  Coping as a caregiver means being able to discern not only your loved ones needs, but knowing the importance of caring for yourself and even more important, taking an active role in providing that care.

There are some basic “caring” support measures that we must offer ourselves if we want to be caring caregivers to others, as well as ourselves. Remember, you are a “very important person” and you need and deserve proper care of yourself, especially if you are also caring and helping someone else!

  • Exercise Daily: Whatever your caregiving schedule, you can only take care of others if you take care of yourselves. Walk, run, stretch, lift weights, dance, and do whatever you do, but do some physical exercise 30-60 minutes four to six times a week. If you only have ten minutes a day to exercise, that is better than no time at all. Even a walk around the corner is a great way to clear your mind. Exercise truly does relieve stress, increases your energy level and protects your health. Strength training two times a week will help keep your bones strong and your muscles firm. This is really important if you are caring for someone else. Every morning, think through your day and try to anticipate little pocket of time your can devote to exercise. Take whatever measures you must to make it happen…do as if your life depends on it!
  • Accept you’re your own limits: As a loving caregiver, we want to be able to say; “ I can do it all”; but the truth is, we need to accept, that as much as we need to care for our loved one, we also must care for ourselves.  We must proactively ask for help and support from outside. Just remember, taking good care of yourself and your loved one, involves recruiting additional help.  Don’t wait, even if you may feel you do not need extra help now, chances are, you will need some assistance in the future. It is so much better and a great peace of mind, to have help available and “ready to go”, in advance of needing the help.  Talk to your doctor, senior care professionals, your pastor and others that you trust, about your needs. Respite care, assistance that allows someone else to come in and assist your loved one, is an excellent resource for giving you “time off” from care giving to take care of yourself.   Plan ahead by making a list of people you can recruit to help you. Having help will help you manage the extra demands of your time and give you a sense of control.
  • Relax: Daily relaxation is vital to our own health. Deep breathing, meditation, praying reduce caring stress. If possible take time at the beginning and the end of the day to practice these techniques and any other available moments.
  • Talk: Everyone needs to share their own care giving challenges and successes. It is always reassuring to know that you are not the only one having certain struggles.  Find people you can trust and share your heart with them. Join a support group for caregivers. Just know you are not alone and hearing another person’s story can be a great comfort. You very likely may help someone else as you share your thoughts and feelings.

 

  • Schedule time for yourself: You may not remember the last time you left your responsibilities and just took time for yourself. Caregivers typically feel very guilty taking time away from their loved one; especially if it is not for other responsibilities. Taking time to just do something that is not work related in any way, will actually make you a better care giver. Read a few pages from that book, window shop, take that nap or maybe just going to the beach. It is not just “O.K.”, it is vital to your well being.

 

  • Get Enough Rest: If you are lacking on your sleep, your body will soon let you know. Without proper sleep you are putting your own health at risk. Try to get at least eight hours of rest at night. If you are required to be up at night with your loved one, take naps the following day when you loved one is sleeping.
  • Eat a Balanced Diet: If you are preparing meals for your loved one, this should be a good way to manage eating healthy for yourself. Just as you want your loved one to eat well, your nutrition is vital to your health.  Keep veggies and fruit available for snacks, eat whole grains, avoid high fat and carbohydrates, increase your water intake to six to eight glasses a day and avoid concentrated sweets and too much caffeine.
  • Get Organized and Simplify: Being a caregiver, a parent, a grandparent, a worker outside the home bring many demands of your time. Control those demands by recruiting your own family to help with chores at home.  Stay organized daily with whatever method works for you. Simplify by saying no to activities that, even though they are worthwhile, may not fit the current demands of your time.

Remember, caring for a loved one is one of the toughest jobs you will ever do. At times it is frustrating, terrifying, overwhelming and exhausting. It also is one of the most rewarding jobs you will ever do. Just as you care enough to be your loved one’s helper and caregiver, caring for yourself through this season of your life will allow you to give the greatest gift of all…your love and care to another.

Affordable Senior Home Care is licensed by the New Jersey Department of Health to provide personal care services in addition to companionship, light housekeeping, errands, incidental transportation, meal planning and preparation, safety assistance and help with many more daily activities.  Schedules are flexible from a few hours/a few days a week to 24 hours live in care.  We provide a FREE in home assessment.  Telephone our office at 732-279-4495 for more information or visit our website at www.affordableseniorhomecare.net.

Marketing Director, Kevin Bradshaw—Affordable Senior Home Care

 

 

Selecting An In Home Care-Giver

So the “Aha” moment arrives.  Circumstances make you realize two things.  1) I’m not as young as I used to be, and 2) “Old age ain’t for sissies” as the great Bette Davis once said.

Gradually, or sometimes suddenly, it happens…we can’t keep up with household chores, we can’t see the street signs to drive safely, we give up cooking or we can’t walk without holding on to the furniture.  And it begins, a nagging fear that we’re losing our independence.  In fact, loss of independence is the biggest fear among seniors.  So what is the typical senior response?  Pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and keep on going, of course!  Call in the kids to help out!  They’re supposed to take care of us in our old age, aren’t they?  Unfortunately, the kids have spouses and children of their own.  And they have full time jobs, not to mention they live out of town.  It’s time for a new strategy.

Many seniors are finding the solution to remaining independent at home lies outside the family circle with paid caregivers.  Tim Bradshaw of Affordable Senior Home Care explains, “Most seniors find caregivers in two ways.  The old way is to run a classified ad or to hire a temporary service.  The senior bears all the “employer” responsibility for this kind of caregiver.”

Bradshaw recommends seniors ask the following questions of independent caregivers:

1–What client references can you provide?

2–What is your experience and/or background?

3–Do you have any certificates or training? Is it current?

4–Have you worked with Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, etc.?

5–What would you do if I had a medical emergency?

6–How much notice would I have if you could not come in for a day?  Can you arrange your own substitutes?

7–How do I contact you?

8–Are you bonded?  Have you ever been convicted of a crime?

9–Do you have liability insurance?

“These folks are usually less expensive but there’s a lot of risk involved in hiring them,” Bradshaw says.  He continues, “The downside is:

*It’s difficult to find the right person.

*You are responsible for performing a criminal background check.

*You are responsible for finding a replacement if the caregiver is absent.

*You bear the burden for withholding payroll taxes, and providing state mandated worker’s compensation coverage.

*You bear the burden for liability problems like theft from or damage to your property.”

The new way is to contract with a Companion Care Agency.  These private agencies provide “in-home, non-medical care”. The number of agencies is growing quickly to meet the demands of a fast-growing senior population.  They provide a range of services including light housekeeping, meal preparation, laundry, transportation, shopping and errands, and in many states, assistance with personal care.  These one on one services can continue should the senior move into assisted living or even a nursing facility or hospital.”

Companion Care is usually anywhere from a few hours up to 24 hours a day.  Payment is private pay and may be covered by long term care insurance policies.

Some questions Bradshaw suggests you ask a Companion Care agency:

1—Do they have references from other clients?

2—What services will they be providing?

3—What training/experiences do the caregivers have?

4—How do they supervise the caregivers?

5—Are the caregivers bonded and covered by workers compensation insurance?

6—What is the schedule for service?

7—How do I change the schedule?

8—What if I have a problem with a caregiver?

9—Does the agency have an emergency or after-hours phone number?

10—What are the financial arrangements?

11—Who owns the agency?  Is it part of a larger organization?

12—Are the caregivers employees held accountable by the agency or independent contractors accountable to no one?

13—Does the agency carry Professional Liability Insurance?

The Pros:

*Service is easily customized for each client’s needs.

*Extensive hours available.

*Staff is screened and supervised.

*Agency is responsible for all employer tasks like payroll, taxes, liability insurance, workers compensation, bonding.

*Agency is responsible for providing a replacement should the assigned caregiver fail to arrive or need a day off.

Bradshaw says, “This service is more expensive than independent caregivers but the right agency will provide the most customizable, reliable, worry-free, in-home service available.”

 

Tim Bradshaw—President

Affordable Senior Home Care

Family Owned & Operated

Ph: 732-279-4495

www.affordableseniorcare.net

E-mail: Affordableseniorcare@yahoo.com

Dementia Symptoms

Caring for a “challenging” elder can be one of the hardest things you’ll ever do, said Tim Bradshaw, owner of Affordable Senior Home Care.  With the onset of dementia, loved ones can turn on you, doing and saying things that you would have never believed they could do.  Most think it is just due to their bad temper of a lifetime and their need to control, which it is, but it is also the very beginning of dementia that intermittently makes their actions even more illogical and irrational than ever before.

Recognizing Dementia Symptoms Before It’s Too Late

The stereotype of a person with dementia is that of someone who doesn’t know what they are doing.  That’s Stage Three, but there is a long road before one gets there.

Dementia starts very intermittently and is generally ignored by families who think that these strange behaviors are a normal part of aging.  In the beginning, your loved one may have raging temper tantrum and then suddenly be sweet as pie.

Because there are usually long periods of normalcy, the tendency is to want to forget about the irrational incident instead of seeking treatment immediately.

Statistically families wait four years before they reach out for help—usually after crisis.  By that time, however, the person has gone through Stage One and is starting Stage Two already, which usually requires full-time care.

Getting medication for your loved one as soon as you recognize the early warning signs of dementia can slow its progression for two to four years, saving your family a lot of heartache and money.

Tim Bradshaw of Affordable Home Care says the 10 warning signs of dementia are:

Recent memory loss.  Your loved one may ask you the same question over and over, look at a relative and ask her name, or forget that they just told you that story and tell you again.

Difficulty performing familiar tasks, such as tying a necktie or shoelaces, or being unable to do the knitting they have enjoyed for many years.

Problems with language.  Using wrong words or being unable to remember the right word to use.

Disorientation of time and place.  Mistaking hours for days, or giving incorrect directions in the town they have lived in for many years.

Poor or decreased judgment.  While babysitting they may completely forget about the child they are supposed to be watching.

Problems with abstract thinking.  Adding becomes difficult or they may insist that a one-dollar bill is a 20-dollar bill.

Inappropriate misplacing of things.  You might find the wristwatch in the sugar bowl or a hat in the freezer.

Rapid mood swings.  Switching from tears to anger for no apparent reason.

Changes in personality.  You may notice a tendency toward fear and paranoia.

Loss of initiative.  Not wanting to get out of bed or withdrawing socially.

Tim Bradshaw—President

Affordable Senior Home Care

Family Owned & Operated

Ph: 732-279-4495

www.affordableseniorcare.net

E-mail: Affordableseniorcare@yahoo.com

Aging Parents’ Issues Surface During Holidays

For many Americans, the Holiday Season is one of the few times during the year that adults and their older loved ones spend quality time together.  Tim Bradshaw, President of Affordable Senior Home Care, a local in-home care company, encourages families to take advantage of the time when everyone is gathered together to initiate a conversation with parents and family members about “what if” scenarios and health and financial concerns.  All family members should be alert to the signs that their senior loved ones may need help.  “Most importantly,” says Bradshaw, “watch for signs of change—in health, mood or living conditions.”

10 Signs to watch for:

*Personal Hygiene problems

*Home in disarray/needing to be cleaned

*Spoiled food or insufficient food in the home

*Failure to manage medications

*Increased difficulty with mobility

*Changes in judgment, mood, or overall behavior

*Unopened mail or unread newspapers

*Missed bill payments

*Unusual Purchases

*Failing to maintain friendships

Bradshaw adds a few parting words of advice, “One of the most difficult aspects of dealing with aging parents is dealing with sibling, other family members and outsiders.  Everybody has an opinion or an agenda.  Take the lead and encourage everyone in your family to really listen to one another, respond with respect, keep a sense of humor, and stay focused on the prize—providing your parents with the best possible quality of life.”

Affordable Senior Home Care helps seniors remain at home and in control of how things are done by hiring only A-List caregivers who are fully screened, insured, bonded and certified.  Affordable Senior Home Care is licensed by the New Jersey Department of Health to provide personal care services in addition to companionship, light housekeeping, errands, incidental transportation, meal planning and preparation, safety assistance and help with many more daily activities.  Schedules are flexible from a few hours/a few days a week to 24 hour live in care.  We provide a FREE in-home assessment.  Telephone:  732-279-4495.  Please visit our website at www.affordableseniorhomecare.net.              Are you caring for your senior loved one?  Do you need some help so you can shop or go to a holiday party?

Tim Bradshaw—President

Affordable Senior Home Care

Family Owned & Operated

Ph: 732-279-4495

www.affordableseniorcare.net

E-mail: Affordableseniorcare@yahoo.com

Being Proactive with “Plan B” Special Health Needs Emergency Preparedness

Well, it’s that time of year again…when we begin to think about the whereabouts of that new flash light that we bought right before the last blizzard. I usually place mine in a well thought out location; but trying to find it or fresh batteries that fit that flashlight is another story all together when a blizzard is announced. Just as each of us needs to prepare for the possibility of natural disasters and weather related events, those with special health needs must take additional steps to insure their health and well-being.

You may not think of yourself as someone with “special health needs”; but ask yourself; can you live without the drug store being opened for more than few days? If the answer is no; you may need to take some extra precautions. You may have a loved one or a neighbor that needs someone else to help them decide what preparedness measures are needed and to assist them in caring out these measures. In determining if you or your loved one requires special health needs preparedness, the following examples of impairments and special needs may be helpful:

  • Mobility: may require special planning, assistance and equipment to leave home
  • Hearing: may need special arrangements to receive a warning
  • Visual: may require arrangements for transportation
  • Respiratory: may need a portable oxygen supply
  • Special Dietary Requirements: may need an adequate food supply
  • Medication Needs & Requirements: may need adequate supply of each medication

These are just a few examples of certain needs or limitations that require extra steps in preparing for an emergency situation. If you or a loved one has an impairment or special health need, it may be necessary for that person to have a “primary caregiver” that can assist them in not only planning but also carrying out the steps to ensure a safe emergency plan. Having a “plan B” in place, will give the individual and the primary caregiver a great deal of reassurance.

The primary caregiver would be aware of what the person’s medical and physical needs are and be responsible for carrying out an implementation plan  in a timely fashion in case of an emergency. An example may be an individual that needs assistance with walking and transportation, as well as activities of daily living.  The preparation “check list” needs of this individual may include assistive medical equipment, adequate food and medications, personal items, transportation, shelter, pet care and assistance with daily care.  Making a “plan B” for their loved one is also important due to the possible need to evacuate their home. Where they would go, what they would bring with them and who would provide transportation is an essential part of emergency planning, for the individual with special health considerations.  An individual with special medical needs may need someone to stay with them at all times. The primary caregiver would need to make sure that there is an adequate, in-home supply of such items as batteries, flashlights, water, food, medications, equipment, etc. Also essential is the “communication plan” as to who would be responsible to notify the loved one of a pending emergency and communicate with law enforcement officials and other emergency contacts.

In the winter season or in any season, special health needs preparation is not only important but vital to an individual’s health and well-being. Take a few minutes today to being “proactive” for perhaps your own special health needs or those of a loved one. Have “plan B” in place…and let’s hope and pray we never need to use it!

Affordable Senior Home Care is licensed by the New Jersey Department of Health to provide personal care services in addition to companionship, light housekeeping, errands, incidental transportation, meal planning and preparation, safety assistance and help with many more daily activities.  Schedules are flexible from a few hours/a few days a week to 24 hours live in care.  We provide a FREE in home assessment.  Telephone our office at 732-279-4495 for more information or visit our website at www.affordableseniorhomecare.net.

Help For Helpers

If you are feeling worn down for caring for a loved one; you are not alone. You may feel very isolated, desperately needing support of others and just some guidance about how  to make your life just a little easier while you are caring for your loved one here in Ocean County.  One thing is for sure; right here in Ocean County, all across this state and our country many of us are struggling to care for our loved ones. According to the American Society of Aging, one out of every four U.S. households provides caregiving to a loved one over the age of 50. The National Alliance for Caregiving says that is roughly 22 million people, or 12 hours per week, or 4 ½  years of your life, providing care. No matter how you look at it; it is likely that each one of us are caring for a loved one or you will be in the future. One thing is for sure; that caring is not a short-term commitment.

One fact that we know is true, being a caregiver of your loved one takes a toll on you. This toll is evidenced both emotional and physically. Unfortunately, our own bodies do not stop needing care, while we are caring for others. Many of us are struggling to not only provide care to our loved one, but also provide for our own families, work outside of the home and try to care for ourselves.  Coping as a caregiver means being able to discern not only your loved ones needs, but knowing the importance of caring for yourself and even more important, taking an active role in providing that care.

There are some basic “caring” support measures that we must offer ourselves if we want to be caring caregivers to others, as well as ourselves. Remember, you are a “very important person” and you need and deserve proper care of yourself, especially if you are also caring and helping someone else!

  • Exercise Daily: Whatever your caregiving schedule, you can only take care of others if you take care of yourselves. Walk, run, stretch, lift weights, dance, and do whatever you do, but do some physical exercise 30-60 minutes four to six times a week. If you only have ten minutes a day to exercise, that is better than no time at all. Even a walk around the corner is a great way to clear your mind. Exercise truly does relieve stress, increases your energy level and protects your health. Strength training two times a week will help keep your bones strong and your muscles firm. This is really important if you are caring for someone else. Every morning, think through your day and try to anticipate little pocket of time your can devote to exercise. Take whatever measures you must to make it happen…do as if your life depends on it!
  • Accept you’re your own limits: As a loving caregiver, we want to be able to say; “ I can do it all”; but the truth is, we need to accept, that as much as we need to care for our loved one, we also must care for ourselves.  We must proactively ask for help and support from outside. Just remember, taking good care of yourself and your loved one, involves recruiting additional help.  Don’t wait, even if you may feel you do not need extra help now, chances are, you will need some assistance in the future. It is so much better and a great peace of mind, to have help available and “ready to go”, in advance of needing the help.  Talk to your doctor, senior care professionals, your pastor and others that you trust, about your needs. Respite care, assistance that allows someone else to come in and assist your loved one, is an excellent resource for giving you “time off” from care giving to take care of yourself.   Plan ahead by making a list of people you can recruit to help you. Having help will help you manage the extra demands of your time and give you a sense of control.
  • Relax: Daily relaxation is vital to our own health. Deep breathing, meditation, praying reduce caring stress. If possible take time at the beginning and the end of the day to practice these techniques and any other available moments.
  • Talk: Everyone needs to share their own care giving challenges and successes. It is always reassuring to know that you are not the only one having certain struggles.  Find people you can trust and share your heart with them. Join a support group for caregivers. Just know you are not alone and hearing another person’s story can be a great comfort. You very likely may help someone else as you share your thoughts and feelings.
  • Schedule time for yourself: You may not remember the last time you left your responsibilities and just took time for yourself. Caregivers typically feel very guilty taking time away from their loved one; especially if it is not for other responsibilities. Taking time to just do something that is not work related in any way, will actually make you a better care giver. Read a few pages from that book, window shop, take that nap or maybe just going to the beach. It is not just “O.K.”, it is vital to your well being.
  • Get Enough Rest: If you are lacking on your sleep, your body will soon let you know. Without proper sleep you are putting your own health at risk. Try to get at least eight hours of rest at night. If you are required to be up at night with your loved one, take naps the following day when you loved one is sleeping.
  • Eat a Balanced Diet: If you are preparing meals for your loved one, this should be a good way to manage eating healthy for yourself. Just as you want your loved one to eat well, your nutrition is vital to your health.  Keep veggies and fruit available for snacks, eat whole grains, avoid high fat and carbohydrates, increase your water intake to six to eight glasses a day and avoid concentrated sweets and too much caffeine.
  • Get Organized and Simplify: Being a caregiver, a parent, a grandparent, a worker outside the home bring many demands of your time. Control those demands by recruiting your own family to help with chores at home.  Stay organized daily with whatever method works for you. Simplify by saying no to activities that, even though they are worthwhile, may not fit the current demands of your time.

Remember, caring for a loved one is one of the toughest jobs you will ever do. At times it is frustrating, terrifying, overwhelming and exhausting. It also is one of the most rewarding jobs you will ever do. Just as you care enough to be your loved one’s helper and caregiver, caring for yourself through this season of your life will allow you to give the greatest gift of all…your love and care to another.

Affordable Senior Home Care is licensed by the New Jersey Department of Health to provide personal care services in addition to companionship, light housekeeping, errands, incidental transportation, meal planning and preparation, safety assistance and help with many more daily activities.  Schedules are flexible from a few hours/a few days a week to 24 hours live in care.  We provide a FREE in home assessment.  Telephone our office at 732-279-4495 for more information or visit our website at www.affordableseniorhomecare.net.

Marketing Director, Kevin Bradshaw—Affordable Senior Home Care

 

 

Dementia Symptoms

Caring for a “challenging” elder can be one of the hardest things you’ll ever do, said Tim Bradshaw, owner of Affordable Senior Home Care.  With the onset of dementia, loved ones can turn on you, doing and saying things that you would have never believed they could do.  Most think it is just due to their bad temper of a lifetime and their need to control, which it is, but it is also the very beginning of dementia that intermittently makes their actions even more illogical and irrational than ever before.

Recognizing Dementia Symptoms Before It’s Too Late

The stereotype of a person with dementia is that of someone who doesn’t know what they are doing.  That’s Stage Three, but there is a long road before one gets there.

Dementia starts very intermittently and is generally ignored by families who think that these strange behaviors are a normal part of aging.  In the beginning, your loved one may have raging temper tantrum and then suddenly be sweet as pie.

Because there are usually long periods of normalcy, the tendency is to want to forget about the irrational incident instead of seeking treatment immediately.

Statistically families wait four years before they reach out for help—usually after crisis.  By that time, however, the person has gone through Stage One and is starting Stage Two already, which usually requires full-time care.

Getting medication for your loved one as soon as you recognize the early warning signs of dementia can slow its progression for two to four years, saving your family a lot of heartache and money.

 

Tim Bradshaw of Affordable Home Care says the 10 warning signs of dementia are:

Recent memory loss.  Your loved one may ask you the same question over and over, look at a relative and ask her name, or forget that they just told you that story and tell you again.

Difficulty performing familiar tasks, such as tying a necktie or shoelaces, or being unable to do the knitting they have enjoyed for many years.

Problems with language.  Using wrong words or being unable to remember the right word to use.

Disorientation of time and place.  Mistaking hours for days, or giving incorrect directions in the town they have lived in for many years.

Poor or decreased judgment.  While babysitting they may completely forget about the child they are supposed to be watching.

Problems with abstract thinking.  Adding becomes difficult or they may insist that a one-dollar bill is a 20-dollar bill.

Inappropriate misplacing of things.  You might find the wristwatch in the sugar bowl or a hat in the freezer.

Rapid mood swings.  Switching from tears to anger for no apparent reason.

Changes in personality.  You may notice a tendency toward fear and paranoia.

Loss of initiative.  Not wanting to get out of bed or withdrawing socially.

 

Please call Affordable Senior Home Care for your Free, no obligation, In Home Assessment at 732-279-4495.

 

Help For Helpers

If you are feeling worn down for caring for a loved one; you are not alone. You may feel very isolated, desperately needing support of others and just some guidance about how  to make your life just a little easier while you are caring for your loved one here in Ocean County.  One thing is for sure; right here in Ocean County, all across this state and our country many of us are struggling to care for our loved ones. According to the American Society of Aging, one out of every four U.S. households provides caregiving to a loved one over the age of 50. The National Alliance for Caregiving says that is roughly 22 million people, or 12 hours per week, or 4 ½  years of your life, providing care. No matter how you look at it; it is likely that each one of us are caring for a loved one or you will be in the future. One thing is for sure; that caring is not a short-term commitment.

One fact that we know is true, being a caregiver of your loved one takes a toll on you. This toll is evidenced both emotional and physically. Unfortunately, our own bodies do not stop needing care, while we are caring for others. Many of us are struggling to not only provide care to our loved one, but also provide for our own families, work outside of the home and try to care for ourselves.  Coping as a caregiver means being able to discern not only your loved ones needs, but knowing the importance of caring for yourself and even more important, taking an active role in providing that care.

There are some basic “caring” support measures that we must offer ourselves if we want to be caring caregivers to others, as well as ourselves. Remember, you are a “very important person” and you need and deserve proper care of yourself, especially if you are also caring and helping someone else!

  • Exercise Daily: Whatever your caregiving schedule, you can only take care of others if you take care of yourselves. Walk, run, stretch, lift weights, dance, and do whatever you do, but do some physical exercise 30-60 minutes four to six times a week. If you only have ten minutes a day to exercise, that is better than no time at all. Even a walk around the corner is a great way to clear your mind. Exercise truly does relieve stress, increases your energy level and protects your health. Strength training two times a week will help keep your bones strong and your muscles firm. This is really important if you are caring for someone else. Every morning, think through your day and try to anticipate little pocket of time your can devote to exercise. Take whatever measures you must to make it happen…do as if your life depends on it!
  • Accept you’re your own limits: As a loving caregiver, we want to be able to say; “ I can do it all”; but the truth is, we need to accept, that as much as we need to care for our loved one, we also must care for ourselves.  We must proactively ask for help and support from outside. Just remember, taking good care of yourself and your loved one, involves recruiting additional help.  Don’t wait, even if you may feel you do not need extra help now, chances are, you will need some assistance in the future. It is so much better and a great peace of mind, to have help available and “ready to go”, in advance of needing the help.  Talk to your doctor, senior care professionals, your pastor and others that you trust, about your needs. Respite care, assistance that allows someone else to come in and assist your loved one, is an excellent resource for giving you “time off” from care giving to take care of yourself.   Plan ahead by making a list of people you can recruit to help you. Having help will help you manage the extra demands of your time and give you a sense of control.
  • Relax: Daily relaxation is vital to our own health. Deep breathing, meditation, praying reduce caring stress. If possible take time at the beginning and the end of the day to practice these techniques and any other available moments.
  • Talk: Everyone needs to share their own care giving challenges and successes. It is always reassuring to know that you are not the only one having certain struggles.  Find people you can trust and share your heart with them. Join a support group for caregivers. Just know you are not alone and hearing another person’s story can be a great comfort. You very likely may help someone else as you share your thoughts and feelings.

 

  • Schedule time for yourself: You may not remember the last time you left your responsibilities and just took time for yourself. Caregivers typically feel very guilty taking time away from their loved one; especially if it is not for other responsibilities. Taking time to just do something that is not work related in any way, will actually make you a better care giver. Read a few pages from that book, window shop, take that nap or maybe just going to the beach. It is not just “O.K.”, it is vital to your well being.
  • Get Enough Rest: If you are lacking on your sleep, your body will soon let you know. Without proper sleep you are putting your own health at risk. Try to get at least eight hours of rest at night. If you are required to be up at night with your loved one, take naps the following day when you loved one is sleeping.
  • Eat a Balanced Diet: If you are preparing meals for your loved one, this should be a good way to manage eating healthy for yourself. Just as you want your loved one to eat well, your nutrition is vital to your health.  Keep veggies and fruit available for snacks, eat whole grains, avoid high fat and carbohydrates, increase your water intake to six to eight glasses a day and avoid concentrated sweets and too much caffeine.
  • Get Organized and Simplify: Being a caregiver, a parent, a grandparent, a worker outside the home bring many demands of your time. Control those demands by recruiting your own family to help with chores at home.  Stay organized daily with whatever method works for you. Simplify by saying no to activities that, even though they are worthwhile, may not fit the current demands of your time.

Remember, caring for a loved one is one of the toughest jobs you will ever do. At times it is frustrating, terrifying, overwhelming and exhausting. It also is one of the most rewarding jobs you will ever do. Just as you care enough to be your loved one’s helper and caregiver, caring for yourself through this season of your life will allow you to give the greatest gift of all…your love and care to another.

Affordable Senior Home Care is licensed by the New Jersey Department of Health to provide personal care services in addition to companionship, light housekeeping, errands, incidental transportation, meal planning and preparation, safety assistance and help with many more daily activities.  Schedules are flexible from a few hours/a few days a week to 24 hours live in care.  We provide a FREE in home assessment.  Telephone our office at 732-279-4495 for more information or visit our website at www.affordableseniorhomecare.net.

Marketing Director, Kevin Bradshaw—Affordable Senior Home Care

 

 

Free Community Seminars Teach Seniors How To Prevent Dangerous Falls

Falling.  It’s one of the most dangerous events in a senior’s life.  70% of all accidental deaths in people over the age of 75 are due to falls.  40% of all nursing home admissions can be attributed to repeated falls that occur in senior’s own homes.  These appalling statistics and many others prompted the United States Congress to create the Elder Fall Prevention Act of 2002.  It states that “a national approach to reducing elder falls…is needed.”  One local company is responding to that call to action.

This month, Affordable Senior Home Care, a local home health care company is embarking on a community wide effort to raise effort to raise awareness of the senior fall issue and teach fall prevention strategies.  To accomplish this they are performing free fall prevention seminars for various senior, civic and church groups throughout the OceanCounty area.  The company’s president, Timothy Bradshaw, calls it a mission.  And he’s pretty passionate about it.  “Do you know that 25% of seniors who suffer hip fractures die within a year of that injury?  Seniors are losing their lives to this problem.  But the good news is most falls can be prevented.  And our Fall Prevention presentation explains exactly how to do that.” Bradshaw said.

Bradshaw learned about Fall Prevention from his association with The Senior’s Choice, Inc., and international member network of independently owned home healthcare companies.  Steve Everhart, President of The Senior’s Choice, Inc. said, “I believe that for seniors, remaining independent in their homes begins by keeping them on their feet.  We are thrilled that Timothy has become a Fall Prevention Specialist and is taking this program home to his friends and neighbors of Ocean County, NJ.” Everhart continued, “Timothy’s efforts will go a long way toward helping seniors remain independent as long as possible.”

For more information about Affordable Senior Home Care Fall Prevention seminars and to schedule a seminar for your group, call Timothy at 732-279-4495.

Please call Affordable Senior Home Care for your Free, no obligation, In Home Assessment at 732-279-4495.