“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/
“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
“Seniors who benefit from animal companionship have received a helping hand in caring for their four-legged friends by way of a new collaborative funding program.
Meals on Wheels America and PetSmart Charities have entered into a three-year partnership to help provide food, supplies, and access to care for pets belonging to Meals on Wheels clients. The program, dubbed Meals on Wheels Loves Pets, has already distributed $354,500 in grants to support senior nutrition program pet services nationwide.
The collaboration is part of a strategic effort to combat social isolation and loneliness among seniors across the country by ensuring both humans and their animal companions receive the care they need to continue living together and staying healthy.
“The companionship a pet offers enhances the physical and mental health and well-being of homebound seniors, which is particularly valuable as so many older adults are feeling even more lonely and isolated amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Meals on Wheels America president and CEO, Ellie Hollander.
Pets are especially important for the 58 percent of Meals on Wheels clients who live alone, the organization says, adding that, with nearly seven million seniors living at or below the poverty line, many find it difficult to care for a pet and will often feed their animal before they feed themselves.
“This support enables programs in 33 states to provide pet supplies and care to local seniors, making it more feasible for seniors to remain safe and healthy at home with their beloved companions during this public health emergency and beyond,” Hollander says. “
Read the original arrticle here: https://www.veterinarypracticenews.com/funding-helps-senior-citizens-companion-animals-stay-together/
“An updated report by a group of specialists lists 12 modifiable factors that, if a person acts on them, could reduce their dementia risk. Before this update, the report had listed nine modifiable factors.
The 2020 report by the Lancet Commission on dementia prevention, intervention, and care appeared at the end of July in The Lancet. It provides some important updates to the previous document, which the journal published in 2017.
The Lancet Commission is a team comprising 28 experts on dementia from institutions all around the world. The report’s first author is Prof. Gill Livingston, from University College London in the United Kingdom.
The Commission also presented its conclusions at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) in July, which this year took place online.
Report co-author and AAIC presenter Dr. Lon Schneider, from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, comments on the report. He says, “We are learning that tactics to avoid dementia begin early and continue throughout life, so it’s never too early or too late to take action.”