Aging, Alabama Seniors, Care Giving

Do I Need Long-Term Care?

With the Obama administration’s recent decision to halt the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports program, the issue of long-term care is more important than ever. CLASS provided basic long-term care insurance at an affordable cost. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, about 70 percent of individuals age 65 and older will require some type of long-term care services during their lifetimes. Women are more at risk than men, with 79 percent of women turning 65 and needing some long-term care. Most people do not understand why long-term care insurance is needed and only a small percentage…

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Alabama Seniors, Care Giving, Care Managers

Being a Long-Distance Caregiver

Long-distance caregiving takes many forms. Many caregivers act as information coordinators by helping older adults understand the health care system and insurance. Approximately 7 million adults are long-distance caregivers, caring for aging parents who live an hour or more away. More and more older people are living alone far from their families. When you live many miles away from your loved one, the separation can complicate caregiving. Concerns about safety, nutrition, and health can be overwhelming. Following these 5 simple tips can ease the burden and potential guilt of living away from your aging loved one. Seek help from people…

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Aging, Alabama Seniors, Care Giving

Being Proactive with Long Term Care

As you age, it is vital to plan for your eventual need for long term care. None of us are immune to real life experiences such as the death of a friend, major job transition, or a life-threatening illness. Despite this fact, 65% of older adults have no long-term plan. Life planning is essential to navigating personal and financial challenges. The baby boomer generation, currently between the ages of 45 and 65, has experienced more change in their lives than any generation before them. They must be caregivers, adapt to job changes and loss, and face their own health issues.…

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Alabama Seniors, Care Giving, Care Managers

7 Tips for Talking with Aging Relatives

If you travel or plan to see family this Thanksgiving, pay particular attention to your aging parents or relatives. Do you notice any significant changes in their health or personality? Do they seem to have difficulty with small tasks? Being observant is essential to successful caregiving and planning. If you find yourself worrying about changes in your aging relatives, don’t ignore your instinct. Using our suggestions below, try starting a conversation to find out if they need assistance to live a healthy, full life. 1) Approach your aging relative separately from the larger group and speak casually at first. 2)…

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Alabama Seniors, Care Giving, Care Managers

Slow Medicine in Caregiving

Dennis McCullough, M.D., explores the concept of slow medicine in his book, “My Mother, Your Mother.” According to McCullough, slow medicine is a movement to keep elders safe and comfortable while preserving their quality of life. It requires a “special commitment undertaken by families and health professionals working together.” The concept of slow medicine focuses on elders at age 80 and beyond. Millions of families are coping with elder care needs without sufficient resources or professional advocates. By being aware of an elder’s changing needs, a medical crisis no longer dictates care. Slower decision making allows physicians to respect what…

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Alabama Seniors, Care Giving, Care Managers

May is National Geriatric Care Manager Month

Awareness during the month of May focuses on older adults and those that care for them. Professional care management is the process of planning and coordinating the care of the elderly and disabled to improve their quality of life and maintain their independence for as long as possible. A care manager is an aging specialist who helps families who are caring for older relatives. They are trained and experienced in, but not limited to nursing, gerontology, social work, or psychology, with a specialized focus on issues related to aging and elder care. In addition, the care manager is an experienced…

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Alabama Seniors, Care Giving, Care Managers

Stability and Slow Medicine: The First Station of Later Life

Stability for an elder may consist of a “set” schedule without the rigors of daily life imposed on them. A normal day consists of waking up without an alarm clock, reading the newspaper, collecting the mail, talking with friends over lunch, and taking a walk. Small illnesses or chronic conditions may come and go without much disruption to this relaxed schedule. During this time of stability (or “first station of later life”), elders and their families must be proactive and prepare for the end of this period of stability. Change is inevitable. Slow medicine means being proactive with attentive listening.…

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Alabama Seniors, Care Giving

Impacting an Elder’s Life Through Compromise

In our third entry discussing slow medicine, we explore compromise or “the second station of later life.” For an elder, changing circumstances make the station of compromise a vulnerable time. “My Mother, Your Mother” author Dennis McCullough believes the Station of Compromise is the time when careful attention and intervention can make the greatest and longest-lasting difference. Put Yourself in Their Shoes Slowly join your parents’ conversations with their doctors. Don’t turn to pills first. Realize that medications may alleviate some issues but still have consequences. Don’t be afraid to ask for a diagnosis in “plain English.” Be aware of…

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Alabama Seniors, Care Giving, Care Managers

Are You One of the 65 Million U.S. Caregivers?

Caregivers provide care for chronically ill, disabled, or an elderly family member or friend. Most often, they spend 20 or more hours every week caring for loved ones. These devoted women and men comprise an estimated 29% or 65 million Americans. With the month of November comes National Caregivers Month, which serves as a reminder that caregivers deserve to be celebrated for their love and sacrifice. They ensure that aging adults have emotional and physical support, access to health care and the opportunity to remain in their homes when they can no longer completely care for themselves. When a situation…

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