“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
“Even before the first COVID-19 case was reported in Loudoun County in early March, administrators and the staffs of the many local senior care centers were gearing up for a serious health threat. In the months that followed they faced fast-changing, previously unimaginable challenges, periods of sadness and fear, and displays of amazing creativity and heroism.
During National Assisted Living Week, a time when senior communities around the country are encouraged to celebrate the individuals they serve and inform the public about this distinctive aspect of long-term care,Loudoun Nowinvited industry leaders to share their reflections on this unprecedented time.
Much of the year has been spent with everyone learning about a new virus and how it spreads, keeping up with the frequent changes in information about how to keep people protected, and getting everyone to adopt new behaviors that would curb the spread and—most importantly—keep it out of communities with fragile residents.
For many families, those harsh restrictions on in-person visitations were hardships.
“Our residents and families have been apart for many months trying to cope with this pandemic,” said Jill Adams, the director of nursing at the Inova Loudoun Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. “This has been extremely hard on both sides and understanding the importance and reasons, we must take these steps in order to keep their loved ones safe.”
“The families have been extremely understanding in these uncertain times with a pandemic that puts our population at the most risk. We cannot express our true gratitude enough to our families for their patience that has been given as we follow guidelines given to us by the state of Virginia,” Adams said. “
Read the rest here: https://loudounnow.com/2020/09/17/senior-care-workers-find-rewards-amid-the-pandemic-challenges/
“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
“While so many people throughout the world are experiencing levels of isolation and loneliness they have never experienced before because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kelly Osthoff is no stranger to those two words and the impactful meaning behind them.
Osthoff is the director of regional programs for the Colorado Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
As part of her work, she and her organization support family home caregivers — unpaid, non-professionals who are caring for their loved ones who have Alzheimer’s.
This level of care is a full-time job. It often requires 24-7 care and attention.
With it comes plenty of responsibility, stress and emotional and physical challenges.
And, while seemingly everyone has been affected by the pandemic one way or another, it may be difficult to find a population more greatly affected than home caregivers caring for people with dementia.
“Before the pandemic, being a caregiver (already) brought such emotional burden, anxiety and stress to people,” Osthoff said. “When you compound those two things — the stress of being a caregiver and then the stress of the pandemic, on top of it — there’s anxiety to keep yourself healthy so you can remain the caregiver. … You add in the complexities of living with dementia and struggling to keep up with the hygiene practices, the social distancing and just the behavioral management. It’s added stress to an already stressed-out population.”
Jillian Broce is the Family Caregiver Program Coordinator for the Weld County Area Agency on Aging. The agency assists older adults with all aspects of their daily lives, including helping to provide home care to those who need it.
For family caregivers and the people they are caring for, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced new challenges to an already- challenging home situation, while also intensifying the many challenges that already existed. “
Melanie Van Wyhe of Stillwater kept count of the days that COVID-19 visitor restrictions kept her from hugging her mom, Margaret, who resides at a long-term care center. The tally: a heartbreaking 126.
The anguish from the long wait could still be heard in Van Wyhe’s voice as she shared her family’s story during a recent Minnesota Health Department conference call. It’s no wonder. While coping with the pandemic has been challenging for all, seniors and their families had to endure long months where the only safe contact was through a window, a phone or videoconferencing.
Visitation policies eased this summer, with outdoor and some indoor visits now possible. But a worrisome resurgence of cases in long-term settings, both among residents and staff, have state health officials and caregivers concerned.
The virus doesn’t magically appear in senior care settings. Instead, its presence reflects its spread in the community, where staff and family visitors live. And that’s why all of us play a role in preventing the Van Wyhes and others from having to endure long separations again.
Social distancing, wearing masks, vigorous hand-washing and other hygiene practices are easy but important measures that can contain the virus. Getting it under control outside elder care settings helps stop it from getting inside them, which is why state long-term care providers should be heeded as they ask everyone to take these precautions.
“We have to rely on society to help us with social distancing and masking and not putting themselves in precarious situations,” said Erin Hilligan, vice president of operations for Ebenezer, the senior housing arm of Fairview Health Services.
To those who still have misgivings about masks or other measures, “Think about the vulnerable population, their caregivers and their visitors and know that you’re serving them,” said Nathan Johnson, CEO of PioneerCare in Fergus Falls. ”
Read the full article here: https://www.startribune.com/all-of-us-play-a-role-in-protecting-seniors-from-covid-19/572118622/