Home Instead Senior Care, Birmingham

Taking Action and Where to Seek Help (Aging Parent Care – Part 4 of 4)

Monday, August 30, 2010

In this video “Taking Action and Where to Seek Help” Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care offers specific ideas and suggestions for getting your elderly parent to accept the assistance that can help them remain as independent as possible for years to come.

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Loss of Attention Signals and Environmental Clues (Aging Parent Care – Part 3 of 4)

Friday, August 27, 2010

In this video “Loss of Attention Signals and Environmental Clues” Mary Alexander of Home Instead Senior Care continues to describe signs of aging, this time focusing on the behaviors that signal a lack or loss of attention — from poor hygiene to unpaid bills. Physical and environmental clues can point to the fact that something needs to be done to help your loved one remain independent.

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Physical Symptoms and Emotional and Mental Changes to Look for (Aging Parent Care – Part 2 of 4)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

In this video “Physical Symptoms and Emotional and Mental Changes to Look for” Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care stresses that recognizing the physical and emotional signs of aging doesn’t take a lot of time and some symptoms you can even “hear” over the phone. The issues underlying physical and emotional signs may be tough to face, but ignoring any of them could prove dangerous and costly to your loved one.

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Aging Parent Care – Part 1 of 4

Monday, August 23, 2010

In this video series “Aging Parent Care” Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care explains that, while there are lots of good reasons seniors want to stay home, one of the fears that drives this desire is the potential loss of independence. They so much want to avoid being a burden on their families and to maintain their lifestyle that they often deny their true need for care and make bad decisions about what they really need to do to remain at home. But there are signs, and this video series tells you what to look for.

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Tips for You and the Healthcare Provider to Follow (Patient-Doctor Communication – Part 4 of 4)

Friday, August 20, 2010

In this video “Tips for You and the Healthcare Provider to Follow,” Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care discusses how to prepare for a medical appointment with your senior loved one and strategies to use during a visit with a medical provider. With the tips in this video, you can help your parent feel more confident he or she is understanding the doctor and is being heard and respected by the practitioner.

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Legal Documentation and Medical History (Patient-Doctor Communication – Part 3 of 4)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

In this video “Legal Documentation and Medical History,” Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care describes the legal medical forms and information you’ll need if you’re going to get involved in your aging parent’s medical care. For example, HIPAA does not allow your parent’s health care providers to share their medical information with anyone unless your parents can give them permission by filling out an “Authorization for Release of Information” form. This video covers variety of documents you need or may wish to consider in order to help your loved one get the best care.

This series of videos contains valuable information for anyone who is caring for an elderly person be it a parent, other relative or friend. For each topic you’ll learn helpful tips to overcome challenges and be provided with resources to make your family caregiving responsibilities a rewarding and loving experience. You may view this and more educational videos at www.caregiverstress.com

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Coach Broyle's Alzheimer's Playbook

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Our Nurse, Jennifer, attended the Canterbury-Beeson Forum on Aging this past weekend. She was thrilled that she attended it and came in talking about how wonderful it was this morning. She showed us the "playbook" given to her that Coach Broyles' developed after dealing with his wife's diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. You may download or order the book here.

A poem in the back of the playbook caught my eye and I wanted to share it with you. It's a great reminder for those of us who live with our take care of an Alzheimer's patient. 

Do not ask me to remember.
Don’t try to make me understand.
Let me rest and know you’re with me.
Kiss my cheek and hold my hand.

I’m confused beyond your concept.
I am sad and sick and lost.
All I know is that I need you
To be with me at all cost.

Do not lose your patience with me.
Do not scold or curse or cry.
I can’t help the way I’m acting,
Can’t be different ’though I try.

Just remember that I need you,
That the best of me is gone.
Please don’t fail to stand beside me,
Love me ’til my life is done.
—Author unknown

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Why it’s Important to Have Good Communication (Patient-Doctor Communication – Part 2 of 4)

Monday, August 16, 2010

In this video “Why it’s Important to Have Good Communication,” Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care discusses why good communication with your parent’s health care practitioners is so important, and how to make it happen. She urges you to look at your parent’s medical team as one that includes anyone related to their healthcare such as physical therapists, eye doctors, mental health counselors, pharmacists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, and so on. She also offers some solid reasons your support might help with communications.

This series of videos contains valuable information for anyone who is caring for an elderly person be it a parent, other relative or friend. For each topic you’ll learn helpful tips to overcome challenges and be provided with resources to make your family caregiving responsibilities a rewarding and loving experience.

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Helping Your Parents Communicate with Healthcare Providers

Thursday, August 12, 2010

In this video series Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care talks about how to help your parents communicate with their healthcare providers. This video is designed for anyone who is caring for an elderly person be it a parent, other relative or friend. The information in this video will introduce you to why communication is important, discuss the legal healthcare related documents your parents should have, and give you tips for how to have a good office visit.

This series of videos contains valuable information for anyone who is caring for an elderly person be it a parent, other relative or friend. For each topic you’ll learn helpful tips to overcome challenges and be provided with resources to make your family caregiving responsibilities a rewarding and loving experience. You may view this and other videos at www.caregiverstres.com

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Battle of the Ages

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Battle of the Ages
Free resources help families overcome resistance of seniors who need help

Just when you thought that a family caregiver’s job couldn’t get more difficult, consider this: Many of the estimated 79,500 households caring for a senior in Jefferson and Shelby Counties are trying to help an aging relative who’d rather not have help.

A study of family caregivers who responded to a survey on caregiverstress.com revealed that more than half of the respondents (51 percent) said that their aging relative was very resistant to care. These seniors often object to help whether it’s from their own children or a professional who tries to come into their homes to assist.

“This is a real problem for family caregivers worried about the safety of a senior loved one who might be forgetting food on the stove or neglecting to take their medications,” said Dan Pahos, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care® office serving the Birmingham area.

But experts say that keeping fiercely independent seniors safe at home isn’t a lost cause; there are solutions for them and their family caregivers. That’s why the Home Instead Senior Care network is launching Caring for Your Parents: Education for the Family Caregiver.

The unique, educational program includes a number of resources that address senior resistance to care as well as a variety of other topics such as choosing an in-home care provider, the signs of aging, long distance caregiving and communicating with aging parents. The free materials and videos are available at www.caregiverstress.com.

Why do seniors resist help? “If seniors admit they need help, they feel their independence is in question,” said Pahos. “Seniors believe that once they acknowledge they need help, they’ll lose control of their affairs. They are trying to maintain dignity. Unless they feel they can trust someone, they resist change. I believe it’s the fear that life as they’ve known it will be taken away from them.”

Sometimes seniors only want help from a son or daughter, which can put undue pressure on that family caregiver who feels he or she can’t call for professional help. Most caregivers can go into “crisis mode” to rally around a loved one in the short-term, “but you can't be totally immersed in a crisis mode long-term without your own family, work and health suffering,” according to family caregiving consultant Dr. Amy D’Aprix, who holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree in social work and is author of From Surviving to Thriving: Transforming Your Caregiving Experience.

The strain can take a particular toll on working family caregivers. The Home Instead Senior Care study revealed that 42 percent of caregivers spend more than 30 hours a week caregiving. That’s the equivalent of a second full-time job.

And that’s what makes countering that resistance to assistance so important. “Many times family caregivers make assumptions but never ask: ‘Mom, I’ve noticed that every time I bring up having someone come in to assist, you don’t want help. Why is that?’ Sometimes the parent doesn’t realize they’re being resistant,” D’Aprix added.

“Also, reassuring a senior loved one that you have the same goal in mind will help,” D’Aprix said. “Start with: ‘My goal for you is to be independent, too. You know I can’t be here all the time. A little extra assistance will help you stay at home.’”

Pahos said the battle to turn resistance into assistance can be fierce, like seniors who call police when a professional caregiver shows up. “Education can help arm family caregivers with the tools they need to create a win-win for everyone.”

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Tips to Help Caregivers Navigate the System

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

One out of every four persons – or more than 65 million people in the United States – serves as informal, unpaid caregivers, according to the National Alliance for Caregiving.

Providing assistance to another person who is ill, disabled or needs help with daily activities can be physically and emotionally draining. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia offers these tips to help caregivers navigate the system on behalf of their parents, grandparents and others:

• Gathering information: The first step is to gather as much information as possible about the loved one’s health and health benefits. While a loved one might be reluctant to share this information at first, experts recommend caregivers remain patient.
• Getting permission: While the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act protects patient privacy, it also can be an obstacle for caregivers. It’s critical caregivers file the proper paperwork with their loved one’s health benefits provider.
• Enrolling in a chronic disease program: Eight out of 10 Americans age 65 and older have some chronic illness. Those enrolled in a Medicare plan may have access to free programs to help them manage their diseases.
• Knowing your rights: Once the disclosure/authorization papers have been filed, caregivers can speak to a customer care agent on a beneficiary’s behalf and access information online.
• Investigating ‘extra help’: Extra help may be available to low-income people with a Medicare prescription drug plan through the Social Security office. Even if the senior doesn’t qualify for this extra help, other state and community resources may be available.
• Caring for yourself: The final and perhaps most important tip is for caregivers to take care of themselves. Get enough sleep, go for a walk, take an occasional day off, and maintain a sense of humor.

See full article here.

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Do You Have a Senior Loved One in Need That is Resistant to Care?

Monday, August 9, 2010

A study of family caregivers conducted for the Home Instead Senior Care® network revealed that more than half of the respondents (51 percent) said that their aging relative was very resistant to care.

We are here to help. Over the next few months we will post videos available to you to help you with the following topics...
1) Aging Parent Care
2) How to Select an In-Home Provider
3) Patient-Doctor Communication
4) Senior Communication Issues

All videos are from www.caregiverstress.com and can be viewed at anytime.

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Comments From Our Clients

Home Instead Senior Care demonstrates commitment to quality care through our proprietary PEAQ program, "Pursuing Excellence by Advancing Quality". Through an exclusive partnership with JD Power and Associates, CAREGivers and clients are routinely surveyed to ensure consistent delivery of high quality service. When a client rates us a 10/10 we get an alert congratulating us. Here are some of the comments that were attached to our 10 our of 10!





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Handling Your Parents’ Social Security

Friday, August 6, 2010

Don’t show up at the local Social Security office with your eldery parent’s power of attorney form and expect to to talk about his or her Social Security check. Having a power of attorney for an elderly relative may help in handling some financial matters, but is useless when it comes to handing Social Security matters.

If presented with a power of attorney form, a Social Security worker must answer, “I’m sorry, that’s not a form we recognize.” Having power of attorney or having a joint bank account with the beneficiary gives no authority for managing Social Security and/or SSI benefits. In order to handle Social Security matters for an elderly person, one must take steps with the local Social Security office to become a “representative payee.” .

So, just what is a representative payee? As a representative payee someone else, for example, a friend or relative, accepts responsibility for managing Social Security funds for a person no longer able to handle his own finances. The Social Security Administration appoints the payee to receive those benefits for the current or forseeable needs of the elderly person. A representative payee must save benefits unused to meet current needs and must keep records of expenses. At the request of the Social Security Administration, a payee must provide an acounting of how the benefits have been used or saved.
How does someone become a representative payee? One must take steps with the local Social Security office. Becoming a representative payee requires a face-to-face interview with a Social Security representative for you. The process also requires a physician’s evaluation of your parent’s ability to manage his own benefits. If more than one person applies to be the representative payee, Social Security personnel will talk to third parties—often, family members–about who is best able to take care of the elderly person’s financial affairs.

There’s another option for those who can handle their own benefits, but for whom assistance from a caregiver would be helpful. Seniors wanting some assistance from a designated family member can give formal consent by speaking by phone with or making a visit to their local Social Security office. The beneficiary can also request that a consent form be mailed to him or can upload the form from the Social Security website.

For further information, check out the Social Security website http://www.socialsecurity.gov or call toll-free (800) 772-1213.

Sourced in part from “Programs Offer Tips for Caregivers” by Ellyn Couvillion, THE ADVOCATE, JULY 20, 2009

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Home Instead Center for Successful Aging Celebrates Grand Opening

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Home Instead Center for Successful Aging celebrates grand opening in July.

Monday, July 26 marked a shining moment for the Home Instead Senior Care network as 250 people gathered to celebrate the grand opening of the Home Instead Center for Successful Aging in Omaha.

Local, state and national figures lauded the principal donors, Paul and Lori Hogan, as well as the other benefactors and the University of Nebraska Medical Center for partnering to help seniors age better and live healthier lives. The center is the only geriatric center in the state that offers comprehensive care for older adults. Services include a geriatric medicine clinic, geriatric psychiatry clinic and clinical trials involving geriatric-specific disorders.

The center has more than local and regional distinction, however, said Sharon Brangman, president of the American Geriatrics Society, which represents more than 7,000 home-care professionals who care for older adults. Few centers in the country take such a comprehensive approach to geriatric care, said Dr. Brangman, chief of geriatric medicine at State University of New York Upstate Medical University.

“I really see this as a complete example of how we can provide care to older adults,” Dr. Brangman said. “It’s a model that could be disseminated to other parts of the country.”

Paul told the crowd that the center is part of Home Instead’s vision and the vision of UNMC’s Dr. Jane Potter to create better care for seniors and a more optimistic view of aging. “We simply want to be part of the solution to better aging.”

Dr. Potter, professor and chief of the section of geriatrics and gerontology at UNMC, thanked the Hogans and others for their contributions.

“Home Instead Senior Care knows the importance of not only paying attention to the physical needs of their clients but also their social, spiritual, intellectual and emotional health,” Dr. Potter said. “The Home Instead Center for Successful Aging hopes to work in partnership with Home Instead Senior Care and its network of 50,000 CAREGivers to learn how best to assist people to age successfully in their homes.”

Lori shared with the crowd how the network’s excitement extends to our international franchise partners and CAREGivers, who have expressed enthusiasm about being a part of studies that can help seniors age better. After she and Paul presented Dr. Potter with a bouquet of flowers, the audience stood and applauded.

The three-story, $10.2 million building was open to invited guests for self-guided tours, and a public open house is set for Saturday, July 31st. The center opens for business Sept. 13th.

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New York Times Article About the Need for More Senior Medical Services

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

An article in the New York Times indicated that the population of U.S. seniors is expanding at such a rate that, “Before long, 90 percent of American nurses will have to provide care for older adults” — in part, because the country’s number of medical personnel trained to work with seniors is not keeping up with this growing need (In 2009, only 11 percent of research funding at the NIH went to support aging-related studies.)  This story is worth reading because it provides an interesting overview of important aging-related trends within the U.S. medical community, to include addressing preventable hospital readmissions of Medicare enrollees; the potential viability of the new “medical home” care-coordination concept; and the doubling by the National Health Service Corps of funding to repay student loans for “caregivers who work [with seniors] in rural and underserved urban neighborhoods.” 

See full article here.

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Brookwood Medical Center Baby Boomers & Beyond Education Series

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

 The next program is tomorrow, August 4, 2010. Please click here for more information

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It's HOT Outside...Check on Your Elderly Neighbors!

If you know someone who is home bound, elderly, and low income, please check on them today. 
Elderly suffer most in this type of heat from unconditioned homes and respiratory problems.
Need a resource try United Way 211 for general public or Positive Maturity if you have a senior in need. 

Elderly Women Susceptible to Heat Wave Deaths, Mostly From Respiratory Causes
Emma Hitt, PhD
July 16, 2010 — Researchers have defined heat wave intensity and have compared the effect of heat waves on European cities, showing a significant increase in total daily mortality with heat waves, especially in elderly women, mostly from respiratory causes.
Daniela D'Ippoliti, PhD, from the Regional Health Authority, Rome, Italy, and colleagues reported their findings online July 15 in Environmental Health.
"This study is the first in Europe to compare the impact of heat waves on mortality in different cities using a common heat wave definition and a standardized methodological approach," the researchers note.
The researchers investigated 9 European cities (Athens, Greece; Barcelona, Spain; Budapest, Hungary; London, United Kingdom; Milan, Italy; Munich, Germany; Paris, France; Rome, Italy; and Valencia, Spain) as part of the EuroHEAT project, which is evaluating the specific contribution of heat wave events to mortality, allowing for a comparison among cities. Both temperature and humidity levels during the day, as well as high nighttime temperatures, were considered when defining heat waves.
The researchers' definition of a heat wave was a period of at least 2 days when Tappmax, an interaction between maximum air temperature and humidity, was among the highest monthly 10%, or when the minimum temperature was among the highest 10%, with Tappmax above the average.
Heat waves of long duration had the greatest effect on mortality, resulting in a 1.5- to 3-fold higher daily mortality than for shorter heat waves. Duration of heat waves was defined in relation to the median length of time — heat waves lasting longer than the median were considered long duration, whereas those lasting fewer days than the median were classified as short duration. The elderly, especially women, appeared to be most at risk during heat waves, and the excess mortality was mostly from respiratory — not cardiovascular — causes.
In 2003, there was a heat wave across Europe, which was considered in a separate analysis. In the study period from 1990 to 2002 and 2004, a significant increase in total daily mortality was observed in all cities, with the greatest increase in Milan (+33.6%; 95% confidence interval, 28.5% - 39.0%) and the lowest in Munich (+7.6%; 90% confidence interval, 3.8% - 11.5%).
During the 2003 heat wave, all cities except Athens and Budapest showed an increased mortality, with the rate of mortality increasing by about more than 30% to roughly 100% compared with other years. "The greatest impact on mortality was observed in cities where heat wave episodes are rare events or were characterized by temperatures largely outside the usual meteorological conditions," the authors note.
According to the researchers, a greater effect of heat waves of longer duration and high intensity was observed in most cities, and the findings suggest that heat wave duration has a greater effect on mortality than intensity. The researchers also report that when stratified by sex and age, the greatest increase in mortality was "observed for respiratory diseases and among women aged 75-84 years."
One limitation of the trial, among others, was lack of investigation of lag time effect.
"Considering our results," Dr. D'Ippoliti and colleagues conclude, "prevention programs should specifically target the elderly, especially women, and those suffering from chronic respiratory disorders, in order to reduce in the future the burden of heat-related mortality."
The EuroHEAT Project was coordinated by the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe and was cofunded by a grant from the European Commission. The study authors have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.
Environ Health. Published online July 15, 2010.

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