“OLD AGE, IT HAS BEEN said, ain’t no place for sissies. As minds and bodies falter, the activities of daily living get harder and harder. Children of older parents know all too well that their aging parents need varying degrees of help. When that becomes too much for them to handle, one solution is to hire a geriatric care manager.
A geriatric care manager, according to the National Institute on Aging, is usually a licensed nurse or social worker who specializes in geriatrics. The NIA calls a GCM “a sort of ‘professional relative’ who can help you and your family to identify needs and find ways to meet your needs.”
More than a home aid, geriatric care managers are specially trained and licensed professionals who can help locate the resources needed to make daily life easier. A GCM can be especially useful for elders who don’t have family members nearby. The GCM can check in on the elder at regularly scheduled times to make sure his or her needs are being met.
What Do Geriatric Care Managers Do?
The NIA says that geriatric care managers can do any or all of the following:
- Consult about challenging topics and complex issues.
- Keep family members informed about their loved one.
- Visit the home and suggest needed services.
- Help with emotional issues.
- Construct both short- and long-term care plans.
- Evaluate in-home care needs.
- Find and hire care personnel.
- Facilitate medical services.
- Look into other living arrangements.
- Provide caregiver stress relief.
A GCM is extremely helpful for elderly patients with complicated health situations. “They speak the language and understand medical terms and the things that come with aging,” says Amie Clark, co-founder and senior editor of TheSeniorList.com. The GCM can go to the doctor with the patient and help the senior understand his or her care and also report that information back to the family, says Clark, a former long-term care ombudsman who specializes in geriatric care management and senior housing advisory.
They are also great for what Clark delicately calls “complicated family dynamics” – when the parents and children don’t talk nicely to one another, or the parent won’t listen to the children but may listen to an impartial outsider. “They are a professional buffer,” Clark says, a person who can help coordinate care among the warring parties.”
Read the full article here: https://health.usnews.com/best-assisted-living/articles/when-to-hire-a-geriatric-care-manager
A new task force’s recommended urgent changes, and some reality checks.
Given the steep number of COVID-19 deaths and cases in nursing homes and lack of PPE there; the recent inability to see loved ones in assisted living and retirement communities as well as the poor pandemic communication between many operators and families of their residents, is it any wonder that senior living (also called senior housing) now has a giant black eye?
Boomers in particular — children of most senior living residents and potential senior living inhabitants themselves — often have issues with the way the $250 billion industry is run and what it offers, or doesn’t.
For many, said Robert Kramer, the insightful founder and strategic adviser to the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC), “they don’t want anything to do with it,” because of what’s happened during the pandemic.
Some boomers have seen senior living as senior dying.
In particular, boomers lacking personal experience with senior housing, Kramer said, “have mostly seen senior living as senior dying; that’s where you’re going to die.”
It’s why the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA) brought together 154 senior living industry leaders and analysts to form a task force and spent three months knocking out the new report: Creating a Path Toward the ‘Next Normal’ in Senior Living.
The ICAA report noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has “dramatically affected the operations of all senior living organizations, costing jobs, billions in lost revenue and the emerging effects of social isolation, declines in cognitive and physical function and loss of spiritual and social engagement.” It laid out what the task force said were six strategies to better serve residents, staff and families…”
Read the rest of the story here: https://www.nextavenue.org/how-to-fix-senior-living/
“(CNN)Looking on from his front porch in New Orleans, Lawrence Brooks probably never imagined he’d see this day.
“Taking care of an elderly loved one isn’t something you prepare for. Most family caregivers get to know what works and what doesn’t on-the-job. On-the-job training, especially if it entails taking care of a senior loved one, can be energy-sapping. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, caring for your loved one becomes even more difficult. The best thing you can do for you and your loved one at that point is to take a break. Even if it’s just you and your loved one in the house, you can contact an online caregiver support group and talk to someone.
To help you in your caregiving journey, here are five tips to ensure you are at your best as you take care of your loved one.
1. Listen to Your Body and Take Care of It
When you’re taking care of your elderly loved one, you may not want to take a break.
However, it’s good to listen to your body and take note of the messages it’s giving you. If you’re feeling depressed, irritable, overwhelmed, have trouble sleeping or concentration, maybe it’s time to take a break.
Some things that you can do to lift your spirits include:
· Take a break from caregiving and engage in an activity that you enjoy
· Ask for help from family members
· Talk to someone who will understand what you’re going through
· Exercise to relieve stress
· Engage in fun activities such as watching a movie with your loved one
· Set healthy boundaries and know when it’s too much
2. Have a Routine that Works
A daily routine provides structure and stability for you and your loved one. Your loved one will know what to expect, and with time the routine may become a habit. This may also mean you don’t have to struggle with your senior on the tasks that you want them to do. When your aged loved one is more cooperative, you will have a more enjoyable day.
Having a regular daily routine also improves sleep for older adults. When your loved one sleeps better at night, they will be less irritable during the day. Routine is also good for you as it improves your ability to make decisions as you don’t have to make tiny little decisions at the spur of the moment.
3. Join a Caregiver Support Group
The time you spend with your loved one will be a source of joyous lifelong memories. But this doesn’t mean you should lose yourself in the process.
Caregiving can be stressful. The emotional and physical stress can cause health issues. The help of a local or online caregiver support group can come in handy in such a situation.
Here is what you can get from such a group:
· Extensive information and tips on how to take care of your loved one
· You get to share and talk to people who understand you
· Listening to other caregivers’ experiences can help relieve stress
· Get trusted advice from caregivers advocates to help you in your caregiving journey …”
Read the rest of the article here: https://www.econotimes.com/Caring-For-Elderly-Parents-at-Home-How-to-not-feel-Overwhelmed-1591866
“Dementia may be responsible for almost three times more deaths in the United States than what is being reported, according to a new study out of Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH).
“Our results indicate that the mortality burden of dementia may be greater than recognized, highlighting the importance of expanding dementia prevention and care,” Dr. Andrew Stokes, the lead author of the study published in JAMA Neurology, said in a news release.
The study estimated that 13.6 percent of deaths in the U.S. are attributed to dementia, some 2.7 times more than the 5 percent of death certificates that stated the underlying cause of death was dementia.
“Understanding what people die of is essential for priority setting and resource allocation,” Stokes said in a news release.
For the study, the researchers analyzed information from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), which gathers data from individuals starting when they move into nursing homes. The researchers looked at data collected from a nationally representative cohort of 7,342 elderly adults from 2000 to 2009. They analyzed the correlation between death and dementia while adjusting for other variables including sex, age, race/ethnicity, medical diagnosis, education level, and region of the U.S, according to the news release. “
Read the full article here: https://www.foxnews.com/health/dementia-underlying-cause-3-times-more-deaths-us-study