How To Move Elderly Parents Into Your Home Smoothly

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Many adult children would want to do this for their elderly parent, but not all of them can. We will go over a checklist of factors to consider when deciding whether this is a mutually beneficial move for the both of you.

 

What Kind of Care Does Your Senior Loved One Need?

Senior care is a very nuanced industry. There is no “one size fits all” approach to elder care. Various conditions call for unique skill sets for monitoring, administering medication, or performing physical therapy or memory exercises. For all your good intentions, it may be a real possibility that your household is simply not qualified or equipped to meet a senior’s extensive needs. So, it is important to consult with a doctor together and determine just exactly what those specific daily living needs will be and whether you are fit to help.

 

How Much Daily Assistance / Monitoring Can You Provide At Home?

More and more households in the US are dual income, and it is harder for many parents to provide the attention needed for their own children, let alone the serious health monitoring of a senior loved with dementia or other critical conditions. There are daycares for kids while parents are at work, and there are also adult daycares for seniors in many communities, but you will need to sort out whether you or your spouse truly have the time to offer the monitoring you elder loved one needs throughout the day and night.

 

Will You Both Get Along Well?

Maybe you aging mother or father could benefit from your help, but do you have a good relationship? Not every family is all rosy. Many have difficult issues they are still dealing with internally or bitter unresolved conflicts. You must never feel “guilted” into having to take in a senior loved one out of sheer obligation if your heart is not in it and you cannot emotionally invest in them.

If you do not feel called to make the commitment, then resentment and bitterness can quickly grow, leading to a nasty environment for all. Senior care is very much a team effort, and if you are not emotionally willing to work as a team to reach each other’s goals, then there is no harm in considering a senior care facility, for the emotional and psychological well-being of everyone.

 

How Senior-Friendly Is Your Home? Do You Need to Make Adjustments?

You may want to help out your elder parent in need, but is your home conducive to the care that he or she will require? Some living spaces are bad for dementia patients or seniors who could be seriously harmed by a fall. Slippery floors, unlocked doors, cluttered furniture. These can all impair the daily tasks that a senior may need for home care.   There are measures you can take to safety-proof your home (install railing, clear the clutter, set up door alarms, lay down bathroom mats, etc). So just be sure to sincerely evaluate your home before starting a home care routine with a senior loved one.

 

Can Your Senior Loved One Chip In To Cover Any Costs?

An advantage to your aging mother or father for moving in with you may be that your housing may be less expensive than a senior living facility—but you do not have to feel obligated to house them for free. Some seniors hesitate to move into an expensive assisted living community because they fear that yearly costs may quickly drain the inheritance they wish to leave their children. So, arrangements of payment for lodging in your home are often favorable to seniors.

As a family, you both can work out the best monthly/ quarterly / yearly finance arrangement to agree upon for moving in senior parents. Caregivers will quickly find that monitoring and assisting senior loved ones with daily living is a “real job,” and it is completely fair to discuss payment for the time and energy that goes into the work and providing the living space.

Non Medical Home Care

 

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One of the common duties of an in-home care provider for seniors is provision of medication. However, distributing medicine to elders is not the only task offered by home care providers. There are many important uses and needs for in-home care, even when an elder at home requires no medical assistance. Non Medical home care focuses on assisting elders at home with activities of daily living (ADLs) that are needed to be able to keep living comfortably from home.

 

The rent, amenities, and monitoring costs of assisted living can be too expensive of an investment for many seniors who require help with certain daily tasks. Home care services available to seniors span across both professional (senior care agencies) as well as informal (friends and family) networks of support. The goal of non-medical home care is to assist elders in maintaining as much personal independence as possible in their senior years.

 

With in-home care, seniors still have the freedom to rule their own roost in their familiar and comfortable living space. Sometimes nursing homes, adult day care, or assisted living facilities set rules, regulations, and requirements that may not be agreeable to certain lifestyles. Receiving non medical home care helps seniors to avoid ant-pet policies, curfews, standardized dining hours, etc. that may clash with a senior’s preferred living habits by allowing seniors more choice and more say in how to coordinate their daily living activities.

 

Non medical home care is often chosen as an option for families who want to stay close to their elder loved ones, whose schedules don’t allow for their adult children to serve as full-time caregivers. There is a variety of non medical home care options available to seniors; we will go over the specifics here:
Home Based Services – these in-home supportive services have a mission to help seniors with physical and mental limitations in undergoing daily living activities in their homes. Some services may be covered by government care, non-profits, or other specializing businesses, depending on the amount of care needed.

 

Home Care Registry –  these registries keep track of the many home care offerings and their number of years of experience to help clients understand the qualifications and expectations of the services they seek. Professional caregiver services for non medical in home care may include Home Health Aides (HHA) or Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA).

 

Home Health Care Agency – A home health care agency offers a variety of home care, specializing in providing skilled care, physical therapy, and occupational therapy for senior patients at home.

 

Independent Providers – privately hiring a non medical home care provider can place much of the screening, background checking, and hiring in your hands. This can be riskier than using a registry that keeps track of a non medical home care provider’s records, unless you have received a recommendation from a reliable source, or know the non medical home care provider personally.

 

None of these non medical home care options are inherently better than the others; each has their pluses and minuses, and in the end it is up to the family of a senior loved one to determine whether a caregiver is qualified to assisted an elder with the activities of daily living, such as bathing, dining, dressing, etc.

 

 

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When To Take Caregiving Breaks

Generational differences

 

When you, as the adult child of a senior with need, assume the responsibilities of caretaker for your elder loved one, it may become difficult to balance your responsibilities for assisting your parent with their life and finding time to live your own. Life’s special occasions and landmark events may occasionally create need for you to break away and take some time off from your duties as caregiver.

An anniversary dinner with your spouse, a daughter’s dance recital, or an important business trip may call for attention and priority. With proper planning and anticipation, your world doesn’t have to fall apart with anxiety and guilt whenever you can’t personally be around to look after your senior loved one’s needs and have to take caregiving breaks. Below we provide some helpful strategies for how to take a break from your caregiving duties while still keeping your peace of mind.

 

 

  1. Call friends and family to care-give while you are away. Typically these are the people closest to you that you can trust to monitor and care for your elder loved one properly. Another plus, is that your elder parent probably already has a comfortable, relaxed relationship with these people, and there is no risk of awkward unfamiliarity or new introductions. Usually your close friends and family will gladly help you out with monitoring a senior loved one, so it is free or relatively cheap to enlist their care.
  2. In-home care and other personal care assistants can take care of business at home when you cannot. In home care professionals and skilled nurses can be elder companions qualified to look after a senior’s needs and keep the house habitable. Trusting a stranger to watch over your loved one may be a little unnerving at first, so make sure to find someone with a good referral, whether from a friend or reliable reviews and testimonies on in-home care agency websites online.
  3. Adult day care facilities may be a good alternative to in-home care in circumstances where you have to be away for long periods of time during the day. Adult day care provides an escape from the boredom and tedium of sitting around the house all day by giving seniors who need monitoring and medical attention a social and recreational outlet under the watch of trained professionals.
  4. Assisted living may be a viable option for seniors who may still be able to live relatively independently but just need a little help with some daily tasks, such as dining, dressing, bathing, etc. Placing your senior loved one in a reputable assisted living facility nearby may allow you the security of knowing your senior loved one is safe and in good hands, with you on call to meet any additional needs if necessary.

 

Caregiving for senior parents is done by adult children of various lifestyles. Some caregivers have the time to stay at home and offer more direct, continuous care than others who may have a career to balance with their caregiving duties. Regardless of your living circumstance, there are options available to make sure your senior loved one continues to receive the care he or she requires in the moments when you must be called away. It is not neglectful to place an elder in the care of a trusted professional for times when you have other obligations to attend to or need caregiving breaks.

 

 

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Adult Care

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While Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are still in their earliest stages in seniors, you may find your senior loved one can still function and perform daily tasks independently. Seniors at the beginning of their struggle with Alzheimer’s may still effectively socialize, carry out their jobs, and drive. This is the stage where your duties of adult care for your affected senior are the least demanding. But it is no less tragic to know that worse phases of the illness are yet to come, and to watch your aging parent’s behavior and trademark personality slowly change as their mental health deteriorates.

 

Alzheimer’s is a very frustrating disease because it is currently unpreventable and incapable of being slowed or stopped in affected seniors. The best thing you as their caregiver can do is to educate yourself as much as possible about their dementia, so that you can know what to expect and how to handle eventual troubling symptoms as they arise in later stages of the disease.

 

“Early stage” Alzheimer’s is characterized by mild obstruction to a senior’s thinking and learning abilities but can still actively participate in conversation and activities, with a few hiccups perhaps. Alzheimer can often go undetected for a while during the early stages, as elders may conscious enough simply dismiss weak symptoms as “brain farts” or having “a senior moment.” The beginning phase of Alzheimer’s disease may last a few years before worsening to more noticeable and tragic effects.

 

Life After An Alzheimer’s Diagnosis

 

Once you get confirmation from a doctor that a senior loved one has Alzheimer’s disease, your approach to caring for them may be more of a partnership than extensive caregiving duties. You may be helping them remember where they were in the story they were telling, or reminding them to take their medication, without having to heavily involve yourself in every aspect of their daily routine.

 

Being able to go slow at the early stages of disease gives you a grace period where you can work with your aging parent, spouse, or extended family on planning for the long-term care strategy for a senior in later stages of the disease when the effects of the disease worsen. Not every family is in a position to provide the extensive amount of caregiving, monitoring, and medical attention that an advanced Alzheimer’s senior needs. Careers and education can be obstacles keeping an adult child from providing 24/7 round-the-clock care for a senior. Working with your aging parent in the early stages gives you ample preparation time to plan and get family finances in order for arranging the best-fitting senior care coverage.

 

Ways You Can Be Helpful In Early Alzheimer’s Stages

 

As we mentioned before, a senior at the beginning of their struggle with Alzheimer’s may only need some light assistance with daily tasks and obligations. Ways you can be a help to a senior with dementia may include:

  • Keeping track of medicines and reminding when to take them
  • Helping to manage their money or pay bills
  • Assisting with organizing events or outings
  • Finding misplaced items around the house
  • Keeping track of important phone numbers for them

 

Your Caregiving Attitude For Early Stage Alzheimer’s

 

Keeping a positive and encouraging attitude for a senior during early stage Alzheimer’s  is key to their peace of mind and reducing their stress during this rough time. You will have to muster up a greater degree of patience and slow pacing for activities than you are used to when handling a senior loved one’s affairs. As a caregiver, it is important that you remain supportive and do not make them feel like a burden. Then again, if you do not feel you are capable of providing the extent of care they need, and do view your new duties as a burden, it may be best to consider placing your senior in the professional hands of a memory care facility.

 

Not everyone is cut out for caregiving, and if you feel you are not capable of doing it with a loving and sincere attitude, it may be better to leave it to skilled nurses who have made a career out of it. Letting guilt make your decision to be a caregiver against your will can lead to an atmosphere of resentment in a home, which is not healthy for anyone in this rough time.

 

Frustration and stress can be avoided by preparing as soon as possible, and not putting off planning for senior care until it suddenly becomes imperative. Evaluating your options for the best care is not a good decision to rush. It takes time and research to get it right. Ask your doctor any questions you have about how Alzheimer’s disease may affect specific aspects of your family’s unique lifestyle, and make the needed adjustments for a smooth caregiving environment with all the family working together as a team.

 

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What is Alzheimers

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What is Alzheimers, What Are Alzheimer’s Hallucinations? 

 

When a senior has Alzheimer’s hallucinations, that senior may see, hear, feel, smell, taste things that aren’t really there. Sometimes hallucinations terrorize a senior with cognitive disorders, other times hallucinations just confuse or mislead them. Often times, dementia-induced hallucinations take the form of visions of people, images, or objects from a senior’s past.

 

Hallucinations are caused by Alzheimer’s disease as it slowly deteriorates and alters a healthy brain. False perceptions brought on by hallucinations usually don’t develop until the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease in seniors. When you suspect that a senior loved on in your care is having hallucinations, it is important to arrange a doctor’s visit for evaluation to be sure that hallucinations have not been brought on by other possible causes. Other ailments that could potentially bring on hallucinations in seniors include Schizophrenia, dehydration, alcohol abuse, and complications with medicine dosages.

 

How to Treat Hallucinations

 

Scheduling a medical evaluation can determine what stage of the disease a senior is in, and what may be the best medical treatment for an Alzheimer’s senior at that point. Usually, the initial treatment involves a non-drug approach, such as vitamins or diet change. But when these methods fail to alleviate cognition impairment, medications may be prescribed, Doctors can prescribe antipsychotic medications to seniors with developed cases of Alzheimer’s.

 

 

Handling Hallucination Episodes

 

There are strategies for coping with hallucinations for seniors who don’t whose hallucinations do not seem to hinder their ability to carry out daily life. If the hallucinations are upsetting and inhibiting to their comfort, security, happiness, or ability to socialize and interact with others, you may need to come up with a set of calming words or reassuring touches to re-stabilize an Alzheimer’s senior’s peace of mind.

 

Respond to hallucination episodes in a supportive manner and comforting words. When a frightened episode occurs in response to a hallucination, offering up quick distractions may be an effective manner to call attention away from their false sensory perceptions.

 

Modifying a hallucinating senior’s environment may be helpful in restoring peace to their living space. Objects that are prone to set them off might be best hidden or moved. Home items that make loud noises or startling sounds should be relocated to areas where a senior with Alzheimer’s can be better monitored.

 

 

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Assisted Living Checklist – 14 Questions to Ask

 

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Who Benefits from Assisted Living?

Over a million Americans enjoy the benefits of assisted living as a means to stay active and maintain a degree of independence to increase the quality of life. The purpose of assisted living is to help seniors with certain daily activities, as well as helping seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Choosing an assisted living facility can be one of the most important decisions you make in you later adult life. There are many factors to weigh in when selecting an option for your senior care, and it can be hard to think of everything when researching and asking your questions. Here is a helpful checklist of components to review when choosing assisted living to be sure you are getting the care you personally need.

Did the facility make a good first impression? √
What did your gut instinct tell you when you first came in to visit? It may be important to weigh in the feeling or vibe you got as you walked into the assisted living facility. Did the place look clean—was the staff friendly?

How much care/support is available at all times? √
It is fairly standard now for assisted living facilities to offer 24/7 availability for care and support. So if a facility offers anything less, seek elsewhere.

Is it in your price range / budget? √
Is the assisted living facility in your price range, or does it at least offer a tier of service that you can afford and still meets your needs? Bigger isn’t always necessarily better, and you may not need all the services offered on the higher price tier options.

Are the basic services provided what you need? √
Carefully review all the amenities and services available from each of your prospective assisted living options. The most common services offered to senior care residents are dining services, housekeeping, laundry, recreational activities, and sometimes transportation as well. Look to see what additional services may be offered beyond those basics, such as continence assistance, physical therapy, medications, etc.

Does the facility have a good reputation? √
All assisted living facilities are subject to regulation, inspection, and rating by government agencies. Be sure to check the reputation of any prospective assisted living facility, not only if they meet the bare minimum standards of the government, but also check testimonials from real residents. This information is made available online. If an assisted living facility does not even have a quality web site, that may be a red flag as well.

Is the facility in a good location? √
It is imperative to make sure a prospective facility is located in a good neighborhood, so a resident may feel safe. Also check to see if an assisted living facility is conveniently located near places you may want to visit frequently, like a grocery store, theater, or your family’s home. This may not matter as much if your facility offers good transportation services; but proximity can be a factor in your having access to the commodities you need or being visited as much as you would like.

How’s the view / ambiance? √
It is important to some seniors to have a great view or live in an aesthetically pleasing environment. Look around and investigate if an assisted living facility is well kept with a soothing, organized layout. Is there a garden? Does the place feel warm and inviting? If ambiance matters to you, be sure to ask these questions.

Is the floor plan easy to follow? √
Apart from pretty scenery, check if the floor plan is easy to follow and if hallways and ramps are conducive to seniors with mobility needs. Is there appropriate signage? Many seniors with cognitive impairments like Alzheimer’s may get lost in a place with a confusing floor plan.

Is the food good? √
The dining plan may be one of the most important factors. Food brings joy and flavor to life. Be sure to ask the staff what food plans are available, and ask around to get a second opinion of the cuisine quality from online testimonials.

What comes with the room? √
Does the facility offer amenities for television? Are there private bathrooms? Do rooms come with conveniences like mini-fridges?

What is allowed to be brought in (furniture/pets?) √
Make sure you find out whether you may bring in your own furniture or a pet before checking in. Evaluate the space ahead of time so you can have an idea of which of your personal belongings will fit in your assisted living facility.

What is the activity schedule? √
Research what the opportunities are for activities, recreation, socializing with other residents. It can quickly be boring at a place where there is nothing to do and no one to talk to and no way of getting to know each other.

Does the facility take feedback/complaints seriously? √
Find out how easy is it for residents to leave feedback, make complaints, or be heard by the management. Make sure there is an efficient process in place for evaluating and addressing the unique needs of residents as they arise.

Does the facility feel safe? √
Make a note of whether there are locks on the doors, alarms, or 24-hour response system alerts in rooms to call the staff for emergencies? Does the facility do background checks on employees? This will add to your peace of mind and help you feel like you are truly cared for.

 

 

 

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How Electric Scooters Keep Seniors Mobile

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Staying Mobile

 

It’s an unfortunate fact of life that as you get older, some body parts just don’t perform as well as they used to anymore. But nowadays there are many ways for elders with impaired mobility to still get around, remain sociable, and perform daily activities.

 

Seniors who are disabled, suffer from poor balance, or are prone to falls, may find a mobility scooter helpful for you moving about easily and safely. Mobility Scooters are electric powered chairs created to assist seniors and handicapped individuals with staying mobile and active.

 

Many associate mobility scooters solely as a tool for the disabled, but these battery-powered scooters are not just for the handicapped. Mobility scooters are also helpful for seniors who are recovering from illness or undergoing rehabilitation following a major surgery. For those who are not comfortable staying on their feet for as long as they would like, scooters can maintain your ability to walk by conserving your energy as you go about your day.

 

Scooters Can Be Stylish and Comfortable

 

Mobility scooters are becoming a more convenient alternative to traditional wheelchairs among seniors. They provide more comfort, speed, and storage than even up-scale electric wheelchairs. These scooters are designed to accommodate people of all weights, heights, and move at varying speeds (4-8 miles per hour) based on the needs of the senior.

 

Seniors riding around enjoy comfortable transportation, as many models feature headrests and armrests, as well as removable baskets to make shopping easier.

 

Using this convenient electronic transportation, seniors can get around more easily at home and in public to help in maintaining their hobbies and social lives.

 

Utility and Security

 

Mobility scooters safely run on electricity rather than gas, allowing seniors to travel up to 30 miles in between battery recharges for some scooter models. Different models and brands of scooters cater to different specific needs.

 

There are scooters for various budgets and applications. Some scooters are best suited to indoor usage, while others are durable for outdoors as well. There are lightweight models, solar powered models for the environmentally conscious, and models that fold up to be compact for increased portability.

 

For security purposes, a special key activates many mobility scooter models in order to avoid theft or the liability of anyone else misusing it.

 

There are some legal limitations to scooter ownership. Those with impaired eyesight, upper body strength, or hearing may not qualify to operate a mobility scooter. So be certain to check with a doctor before investing in a new scooter or buying one from a friend.

 

Mobility Solutions

 

Modern assisted living facilities are aware of the increased use of electric scooters as a mobility solution for seniors, and many elder care communities have been designed with scooter access in mind. Paths and accommodations for scooters are convenient for residents who may not require around-the-clock care, but still have trouble with mobility due to physical conditions or other affects of aging. This scooter accessibility allows these seniors to get around confidently and enjoy their community to the fullest.

 

Electronic scooters are mobility solutions for helping seniors to stay independent for longer, prevent falls, and avoid unnecessary trips to the hospital.

 

Pricing

 

The cost of a mobility scooter will depend on the model and features included. Scooter can range from a $500 basic model to a $2,000+ for luxury scooter with all the bells and whistles.
Medicare does cover the cost of a mobility scooter for certain qualifying seniors as well as the disabled, if you prove that you have a legitimate medical need for one.

 

 

Long Distance Caregiving

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Choosing an assisted living facility for a loved one can be a tough time for many aging parents and their grown children alike. Placing a loved one in someone else’s care can be difficult, but sometimes it is the most necessary option for a family. It is wise to hold some kind of family meeting ahead of time, before it becomes a matter of urgency.

 

Sometimes a senior care resident may live a couple hours drive or a plane ride away from the rest of their family; but that doesn’t mean that children still can’t play a role in being a caregiver. As a child living a good distance from your loved one in eldercare, even if you cannot serve as the primary caregiver, you can still keep an eye on them from afar.

 

If you live an hour or more away from your loved one in senior care, then you can be classified as a long distance caregiver. Even if you can’t be around all the time to help with daily tasks, there are still some important roles you can play in their lives. Some tasks of a long-distance caregiver include finance management, making arrangements for in-home care, providing emotional support, or being an emergency contact.

 

You don’t have to merely be the natural child of the senior in order to serve as a long distance caregiver. You can simply be someone dear to them who has a stake in their well-being— regardless of your own age, gender, relation to them, or income.

 

Being a long distance caregiver doesn’t require you to drop everything and come running whenever your senior loved-one has a need, but it puts you in the position to at least be ready to listen to them and set some time aside to prioritize them at some point during your week/month. It can be helpful to establish a routine for having check-ups over the phone, Skype, or visitations over a time period that works for the both of you.

 

Long distance caregivers should have a plan to expect the unexpected. Sometimes a social phone call to check up on them and share family news can turn into a more serious discussion of finances, medical needs, or other dining/living arrangements. Sometimes your senior loved one will ask for help, as certain circumstances or health developments make assistance needed. However, when you love far off, they may feel like they don’t want to burden or concern you. In this case you may have to do some detective work to discover whether they have some un-communicated needs.

 

A simple phone call to their facility may not be enough to tell whether an elder needs better help handling their daily activities. A senior may be having trouble preparing full meals or getting their level of needed attention at their facility. If they aren’t telling you about what they may consider to be burdening problems, it may be up to you to call in and ask some higher-ups about how meals are being prepared for residents or how much attention is being given.

 

If you get the impression that the facility is feeding you an insincere report and that your elder is not communicating their true needs, it may be necessary to come by and have a look for yourself. Visits can be a friendly and social matter, without creating drama. But it is wise to keep your eyes peeled for any odd indications or potential trouble areas in your senior’s living conditions. To avoid overlooking any important issues, it may be smart to draft up a list of potential problem areas to check out while visiting the facility.

 

It is not good to be overly suspicious of mistreatment, as most facilities and staff truly are doing their jobs well and looking out for the best interest of their residents. However, it is important to be attentive to the details and subtle messages being communicated by your senior, just in case. The resident you trust the facility to care for will is most precious, dear, and personally loved by you; so it is up to you as a long distance caregiver to keep a place for them in your schedule and your thoughts, even from afar.

 

Decorating Your Nursing Home Room  

Senior Citizen

Many nursing homes allow for a good amount of freedom regarding your decorating of your room and living area. However, it must be kept in mind that space is often limited in assisted living facilities. Whether you have one room or are situated in a suite, you will have to make some decisions about what to bring with you and what will fit into the living space allotted to you. Nursing homes give you more space to work with than your college dorm room did, but you still won’t be able bring everything with you.

 

Here are some tips for you to tap into your inner interior designer when making the best of what you have to work with and make it feel like home:

 

Find Out What You “Can” Bring

Before you start envisioning what your perfect room arrangement will be, it is important to check in with your senior care facility and ask about its policies regarding how you are allowed to decorate.

 

Ask questions about their policy regarding what you can hang on the walls, whether you can change the window treatments, if they provide their own pillows, what plants or pets are allowed, and what electronics are permitted.

 

Once you have a grasp on how free you are to change things around, then you can gleefully get started on arranging your space the way you like it.

 

 

Ideas For Customization

 

Here are a few suggestions for how you might customize your space. There are certainly probably many more creative things you can think of, but use this list as a way to get the ball rolling.

 

  • Be sure to start with the essentials before moving onto the less important decorative things. There are certain practical items that every room needs, like a clock, calendar, mirror that may be easy to forget when you are focused on bringing in the fun extra things. Establish a place for these basic utilities first, then organize the rest of your room around them.

 

  • Select a theme when decorating your room. As you bring in any special wall paper, photo frames, bedding, rugs, flowers, or furniture, it is nice to have a theme of commonality that ties it all together. Although, a hodgepodge “can” be a theme if you want it to. Be aware of everything’s place and position in respect to each other, and give the room a rich consistent atmosphere.

 

  • Have some extra seating available for your guests. Hopefully you will anticipate friends and family from outside and inside the facility to pay you a visit from time to time, so make the room inviting and comfortable by having some extra chairs or sofas around conducive to socialization.

 

  • Keep yourself entertained. Whenever there is not company around or tasks to do, you will have time to yourself. Make sure that you have some items around to keep your brain stimulated. Books are great ways to pass time, and although you can’t carry a whole library with you, it is a good idea to bring some of your favorites to revisit, a religious text, or that novel you always meant to start on. A T.V. can provide some great entertainment for surfing the channels, as well as using a DVD or Blu-ray player to watch some of your favorite films. It might be smart to have some movies around that visiting grandchildren may enjoy watching.

 

  • Displaying mementos can add meaning and fondness to your room. Family photos, heirlooms, cards, and letters will bring an element of nostalgia and homeliness to the environment. Your treasured memories can provide a nice conversation piece to visiting families or residential friends who want to get to know you.

 

Keep these ideas in mind when organizing your living space at your nursing home or senior care facility and you will be on your way to enjoying your stay.

 

Detecting And Preventing Elder Abuse / Neglect

Respite Care

 

Elder abuse or mistreatment includes intentional or neglectful acts by a caregiver with harmful effect on a person 60 years of age or older. Although there have been vast improvements to assisted living and senior care facilities over the past decades to ensure senior residents are cared for and accommodated properly, senior abuse is still a problem that some seniors face on a daily basis. All 50 states have laws in place to protect seniors from abuse, and the U.S. Preventative Service Task Force is working to improve the methods in place for screening and inquiring to detect abuse and neglect among seniors.

 

Laws and policies are in place to enforce the rights of seniors and protect them from all the various forms of abuse, including but not limited to:

Physical abuse: Causing pain or injury to a senior.

Emotional abuse: Causing mental pain/distress to a senior by verbal or nonverbal acts.

Sexual abuse: Non-consensual sexual acts of any sort.

Neglect: Failure to provide food, shelter, or medical attention to a senior.

Abandonment: A caregiver deserting the senior for whom they are responsible.

Self-Neglect: Failure to provide self-care tasks that endangers senior health.

 

Signs of Elder Abuse

 

In circumstances where abuse has occurred, a senior may attempt to keep the abuse a secret due to fear, shame, embarrassment, dependency on their caregiver, or other psychological reasons. The senior may also be incapable of expressing or realizing their abusive situation due to a mental condition that is being taken advantage of. There are however, some basic signs to look out for in order to discover some possible abuse that is taking place. The warning signs of elder abuse can be physical or behavioral.

Physical indications of abuse may include: bruising, burns, dehydration, malnutrition, missing medications, scalp swelling, unexplainable fractures, poor medical condition in spite of proper medical access to medicine, patterned injuries (like slap or bite marks), as well as evidence of sexual abuse.

Emotional indications of abuse may include: frequent arguing or tension between an elder and their caregiver, unaccountable changes to the elder’s mood or personality, depression, or a general state of unease.

 

Preventing/Detecting Abuse

 

In order to prevent elder abuse, it is helpful to review the testimonies and reviews of any prospective assisted living facilities when doing your initial research. Meet with the staff and get a feel for the quality, atmosphere, and community of the facility, as well as what resources are available to senior residents who are experiencing problems.

 

To detect abuse that is already taking place, be sure to listen to your loved one and monitor their behavior when in their presence. Also listen to the caregiver and gauge the vibe you notice from the interaction between the two. Intervene if you suspect that any abuse is taking place. And educate your senior loved one about what they can do if they are experiencing abuse.

Professional resources for handling elder abuse include:

  • The Administration of Aging
  • American Medical Association
  • National Clearing House On Abuse In Elder Life

 

Researching the websites and phone numbers for these facilities will equip you with your options for how to handle any dangerous situations.