Family Caregivers Planning the Care Needed for…the Caregivers

Family caregivers do a fantastic job giving of themselves to care for others. In doing so, however, they often neglect to care for themselves.

As we often discuss, the selfless act of putting their own needs last or even leaving them unaddressed hurts even the one for whom the family caregiver is doing so much – the object of their care. With more than one-third of adults in the US providing care to an older adult – a number growing with the aging population – those giving care face growing strain.

In the feature segment of this episode of the Senior Care Corner Podcast, we address the need of caregivers to include their own care as a priority so they continue giving their best to others.

Action Plan to Care for the Caregiver

Planning is as important when it comes to caring for oneself as a family caregiver as for any other major activity in life or business. In fact, it may be more important for the caregiver than in other situations because of the constraints of time and energy a family caregiver faces.

Our suggested plan includes a list of Do’s and Don’ts from which family caregivers can draw and upon which they can build based on their situations. These are some starters from our list.

  • Caregivers should take time for themselves, even if it takes scheduling and putting that time on a calendar to make it happen.
  • Caregivers should not be afraid to ask others for help in providing care and be specific in telling them what they can do to assist. Keep in mind that assistance may come in the form of providing respite for the primary caregiver.
  • Caregivers should learn everything they can about the condition or disease being faced by the one for whom they care as well as treatment options. Not to be overlooked is how technology can help keep senior loved ones stay healthy, safe and engaged with their family and the world around them.

News Items in This Episode of the Senior Care Corner Podcast

  • Medicare to Cover More Home Care
  • How Well Do You Rise from Sitting on the Floor (and what that says about you)
  • Glaucoma Cases in the US Jump 22 Percent Over Decade
  • Women Far More Likely to Live to 100 Years Old Than Men (from the US Census)

Link Mentioned in This Episode

  •  You Might Be a Family Caregiver: The Movie

Your Feedback is Valuable to Senior Care Corner

Listener feedback is important in helping, not only in making the podcast better for you but in reaching more family caregivers. Greater prominence in iTunes is given to podcasts that are more highly rated by greater numbers of people. You would be helping us and others by going to iTunes and giving us a good rating (hopefully you feel our podcast is worthy). Thank you!

Donating that Old Computer or Smartphone? Great – But Do it Safely!

Giving senior loved ones new computers, tablets or smartphones – or helping them to buy one of their own – is growing in popularity as more are becoming active online and with social networking. It sounds like tech devices were popular gifts for aging parents and grandparents this holiday season – and sometimes gifts they purchased for themselves.

What about the PC, Mac or smartphone that’s being phased out in favor of the new toy in the home? Sure, there are places you can take them for recycling, but what about seeing them put to good use by someone else who needs and will appreciate them?

Most devices we’re giving up are better than the “nothing” that others have available to them or the small number they have to share with others. If nothing else, recycling that once state-of-the-art technology keeps it from going to a landfill or at least puts it to use as scrap if not in working condition.

Who Wants Your Old Computer?

There are many places that can put old computers to good use. It might be too slow or with too little capacity for your needs, but there is likely someone who wants to use it for surfing the web, writing letters or any of the many other applications.

If you look around in your community you might find organizations seeking donations of old computers for these and similar uses.

  • Senior center or nursing home (a favorite of ours)
  • Youth recreation centers
  • Not-for-profit job search or training programs
  • Preschools
  • Other programs that don’t have the funding for the computer facilities they would like

How do you find places to donate old computers and smartphones? You might first want to ask around your community because it feels even better knowing where your help is going. Your local Administration on Aging or senior center may be able to tell you where your donation is most needed.

Do you have a favorite organization or program you’d recommend to others who want to see their old computers put to good use? If so, please leave us a comment for everyone to see. We’ll compile a list from your comments and put it on our Facebook page.

If you want home finding a new home for your electronics, you can check out the US EPA’s Electronics Donation and Recycling website for drop-off locations near you.

Safe Computer Donation

You don’t want to be punished for doing something nice by donating a computer with personal information others could turn around and use to steal your identity, especially if you’ve used your computer for doing your taxes, maintaining financial records or storing the family’s personal records.

Keeping in mind the only way to be 100% sure nobody will get your data is to destroy the hard drive, there are steps that business and others consider to be acceptable protections.

Before donating your device…

  • Be sure you move everything you want to keep to your new device and/or a backup storage device (“and” might serve you well in the long run).
  • Write down the activation or other serial number for any software or apps you plan to use on the new device but haven’t yet installed and activated.
  • When you’re completely done with your computer, use a “wipe” program to overwrite the data. Simply deleting the data or even reformatting a hard drive doesn’t protect against a savvy crook from who really wants to get at it. There are a number of good free products available online.

If you would sleep better knowing there’s no chance of the information on your old computer getting into the wrong hands, you can remove the hard drive and destroy it (or store it away in a box like some of us have done). The rest of the system is almost as usable and may even be paired with the hard drive from another computer that is otherwise unusable.

Smartphone “Cleaning”

Smartphones are computers themselves – and may have more computing power than that old personal computer you’re tossing. Care is needed when dealing with the data on them, just as it is with a desktop or laptop computer. The steps to prepare a smartphone varies by manufacturer so you should check your documentation or the website of the phone manufacturer or your service provider. It might be as easy as performing a reset on an iPhone or more complex, as it is with many Android phones.

We applaud your desire to put your senior loved one’s (or your) old device to use when you’re done with it and to help others!

Do you have a program – or know of one – that puts used computers or smartphones to work in the community? If so, please leave us a comment and we will share it.

Anti-Inflammatory Diet: What It Is & How Seniors Can Benefit

We hear in the media every day about this diet or that “superfood” and the benefits that they can have on our health.

We know that aging takes a toll on our body and mind and it is likely that our diet plays a role both positively and negatively.

As more scientific research finds that major medical diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, autoimmune diseases, heart disease, cancer, and lung ailments such as asthma are potentially caused by a chronic inflammatory process in our bodies, it makes sense to focus our attention on foods that may be contributing to inflammation.

Foods That Belong in Seniors’ Anti-Inflammatory Diet

  • A rainbow of fruits and vegetables that provide essential nutrients, flavonoids, antioxidants and phytochemicals essential for health and reduced inflammation; don’t avoid the cruciferous kinds like cabbage and broccoli.
  • Foods containing fiber that not only aid elimination but also maintain healthy GI bacteria; be sure you are including sources of soluble and insoluble fiber; look for intact whole grains and cereals, beans, as well as the fresh fruits and vegetables already listed
  • Choose foods that contain omega 3 fatty acids such as fat found in salmon, tuna, nuts, flaxseed, canola oil, and some spices such as cloves and oregano.
  • Remember variety is the key, be sure to eat different foods each week and choose fresh sources.
  • Include some soy products such as soy protein or soy milk unless told by your doctor otherwise.
  • Try some green or white tea instead of coffee.

Foods Contributing to Inflammation in our Seniors

  • Food items that are processed with numerous ingredients such as preservatives and other items not present in the raw food.
  • Trans fats or those that have been hydrogenated such as in tub margarine; read the labels to be sure they are trans fat free. Limit saturated fats primarily found in meats.
  • Those who are susceptible should avoid foods that create a reaction or intolerance, since that can set off the inflammatory process.
  • Avoid excessive calorie intake; eat the amount of food you need without excess calories leading to obesity to prevent harmful inflammation.

It is true that risk factors such as smoking, stress, obesity and lack of physical activity also play a role in our inflammatory and immune processes, but diet is one way we can make changes quickly for a positive impact.

Some of these meal changes are easy while others may take some time to  incorporate into our daily menus, it is worthwhile trying an anti-inflammatory diet to improve our senior’s and our own health. You might want to check out this selection of anti-inflammatory diet cookbooks (affiliate link) for meal preparation assistance.

Elder Justice Act – What Family Caregivers Should Know

The Elder Justice Act (EJA) was signed into law on March 23, 2010 as part of the Affordable Care Act in order to ensure available federal resources to “prevent, detect, treat, understand, intervene in and, where appropriate, prosecute elder abuse, neglect and exploitation” (from a good discussion we found by the APA).

The EJA provides protection for vulnerable adults (any person who is living in one of the covered facilities) from abuse and neglect as well as exploitation.

Facilities that are affected include nursing facilities such as long term care centers, inpatient hospice, and facilities for mentally challenged people, but does not include assisted living facilities.

Elder Justice Act Facilities Requirements

  • Any covered individual (owner, operator, employee, agent or contractor) in a facility is required to report any reasonable suspicion of a crime committed against a facility resident. Serious bodily injury must be reported to appropriate authorities immediately but not longer than two hours and a non-serious bodily injury within twenty four hours of the event.
  • Serious crimes must be reported to law enforcement within two hours and other reports must be made within twenty four hours.
  • Every person who reports suspicion must make their own report in their own words.
  • Can not retaliate against anyone with actual knowledge or reason to believe suspicious activity has occurred.
  • Individuals and facilities will receive a penalty for failing to report suspicious activity including fines and loss of federal funding.
  • Inform covered individuals in the facility and post a notice that they have rights including the right to file a complaint for retaliation.
  • May receive grants from the federal government for training, technical assistance, retention and policy development to ensure compliance.

Family Caregivers & the Elder Justice Act

If your family member is a resident in a covered facility, the enactment of the EJA and facility compliance to it should give caregivers some peace of mind.

It allows more information disclosure to improve the transparency of facilities by including information as part of the Nursing Home Compare report that is available to consumers. The report will include whether a nursing facility has had any cases of criminal violations adjudicated. It will also provide information on facility staffing and turnover data, establishes a consumer rights information page, details the services provided by an Ombudsman, five star rating information and more timely survey results.

This increased accessibility to information created with the enactment of the EJA will help family members make a better choice when selecting a facility for a loved one in your vicinity or learn more about the facility in which your senior presently resides.

The EJA will also make available funds for state adult protective services so that they can increase their ability to protect seniors. It also increases the funding of Ombudsman offices in order to make it easier for them to continue to advocate for seniors in each state as well as educate consumers.

As part of the Affordable Care Act, there will also be a nationwide background check for employees of nursing facilities to prevent people with criminal records from working with vulnerable seniors hopefully resulting in reduced elder abuse.

Knowing more about the Elder Justice Act and the improvements that continue to impact the lives of our residential seniors will give us all better peace of mind. No one wants to place their senior loved one in a facility, but sometimes this is the best option for everyone. Knowing your loved one is being cared for in a facility that has accountability and can be trusted to provide good quality care is important to us all.

If you have any questions or comments, we would love to hear from you.

Support Meals on Wheels “Made with Love” to Help Fight Senior Hunger

Did you know that hunger among American seniors is at a crisis point?

Food insecurity exists whenever the availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or the ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways is limited or uncertain.

This is the way we now describe hunger for many seniors who are unable to acquire adequate food for whatever reason, not including a personal choice to not eat (such as dieting).

In 2011, 8.4% of households with seniors (2.5 million) were estimated to be food insecure. The number of food insecure seniors is projected to increase by 50% when the youngest of the Baby Boom Generation reaches age 60 in 2025.

Senior Food Insecurity

Studies suggest that food insecurity occurs among seniors who sometimes had enough money to purchase food but did not have the resources to access or prepare food due to lack of transportation, functional limitations, or health problems. They perhaps can afford it but have no way to get to the grocery store, carry the food back, get it up the stairs into the house, cook it once it is there or are healthy enough to feed themselves or chew foods well.

Often seniors, especially those living on a fixed income, are  forced to choose between paying rent, buying prescriptions drugs needed to manage chronic diseases or purchase adequate, nutritious food. In 2010, 8.7% of seniors (3.6 million) lived below the poverty line.

According to the Senior Hunger Report published by Meals on Wheels, hunger in the general population has declined but rose in those over 60 years. The threat is greatest for those living in southern states, disabled, and aged 60-69.

Specifically, in 2010 we find that 14.9% of seniors, or more than 1 in 7, face the threat of hunger or food insecurity. This is 8.3 million seniors. From 2001 to 2010, the number of seniors experiencing hunger or food insecurity increased by 78%. Since the onset of the recession in 2007 to 2010, the number of seniors experiencing food insecurity has increased by a third.

Because food insecurity is associated with a host of poor health outcomes for seniors, we need to take action to help feed hungry seniors.

How to Help

The statistics and the jargon about why our seniors are hungry can be overwhelming. Perhaps your own senior loved one is experiencing food insecurity and is at greater risk for impaired nutrition and health.

To the rescue is the Meals on Wheels national program, which helps feed our seniors everyday whether they’re in senior centers or home delivery, by serving over one million meals a day. They provide nutritious meals delivered directly to the door of your senior in need. Most of the delivery people are volunteers who become champions and friends of the seniors they serve. It has been called the largest volunteer army in the world.

Our own grandparents were Meals on Wheels volunteers for over 20 years and found it to be one of the most rewarding experiences they had the opportunity to do over their life. Our grandfather would joke that he helped some ‘youngsters’ who needed the 85 year old man (he volunteered until he was 87!). We know that our grandparents benefited greatly by their interaction with those seniors they served every week as much or more than those they helped.

Naturally, we don’t all have the time to be a volunteer and deliver the meals. If you do, they need your help! You can also donate directly to the organization.

Here is another new and exciting way you can show your support for this worthwhile organization and your senior too. You can purchase Made With Love: The Meals On Wheels Family Cookbook for yourself, as gifts for caregivers or for friends who love to cook (or just the celebrities whose recipes are featured!).

There are many celebrities including poets, chefs, politicians and actors who share family or their own favorite recipes including Maya Angelou, Chef Mario Batali, Barbara Bush, Paula Dean, Linda Gray, Martha Stewart, Al Roker and even Big Bird.

We think this is a great way to share by not only buying books to support the organization but also sharing memories with senior loved ones and other family members by making traditions with these new recipes.

Ending hunger and food insecurity in our nation’s seniors is a worthy goal we hope everyone will support!

Family Caregiver Technology Planning for Aging in Place Loved Ones

Technology promises safer, healthier and more comfortable lives for our senior loved ones – a promise that is growing rapidly as more tech companies discover the promise aging customers have to offer them and learn how to develop products with seniors in mind, particularly those choosing to age in place at home.

Just as the needs of all seniors are not alike, technology that solves a problem for one senior won’t necessarily do the same for others. Proper planning by family caregivers is needed to determine the best tech solution for senior loved ones and assure it is implemented in a manner that meets the senior’s needs.

This episode of the Senior Care Corner Podcast discusses a process family caregivers can use to plan for identifying and solving the problems and meeting the needs of senior loved ones with technology.

Technology Planning Steps for Family Caregivers

  1. Understanding and listing the needs of senior loved one, not just the needs that we assume technology can meet but all, since we don’t know everything future (or even current) tech solutions offer.
  2. Research to determine which technologies, if any, will best meet our seniors’ specific needs.
  3. Find the best price for the selected technology.
  4. Lay out the implementation process for the technology with the objective of having a fully functional solution when completed.
  5. Plan for the support your senior loved one will need to assure the technology solution meets their needs after you leave.

We discuss each step and some examples in the feature segment of this podcast episode.

With the rapid growth in technology solutions for seniors and their family caregivers, Senior Care Corner will be increasing the coverage of specific technology products in order to be an even more valuable resource for caregivers’ evaluation processes.

News Items in This Episode

  • Study: Loneliness May Boost Odds of Dementia
  • Aging America: The Cities that are Graying the Fastest
  • Most Seniors Get a Good Night’s Sleep (Study)
  • Cleaner Air in the US Boosting Life Expectancy

We hope you’ll check back often to get our latest updates on technology and other topics of interest to family caregivers. Even better, go to the upper right of our web page to sign up to get the updates sent to your feed reader or email inbox.

Are there technology items about which you have a particular interest and would like more information? Please leave us a comment and we’ll make a point to provide an update.  Others likely share your interest so you will be helping them with your input as well!

Podcast Transcript – so you can follow along or read at your convenience

Seniors Using Their Cell Phones as … Phones

With more computing power than carried on the first moon mission, our cell phones – smartphones in particular – give us the ability to perform many functions beyond simply making phone calls. In fact, many are capable of making phone calls without using the phone system.

Most of us utilize the capabilities our phones give us to make them an indispensable part of our lives. You might feel we’ve become too reliant on them.

That’s not true of most of our senior loved ones, at least according to a recent report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

Seniors Lagging in Most Cell Phone Uses

When it comes to most of the common uses (common today, at least) for our cell phones, seniors are lagging far behind the population in general.

  • Picture taking – With our smart phones taking the place of carrying a camera for many of us, it isn’t surprising that 82% of cell phone users say they use them to take pictures. Only 44% of senior cell phone owners report doing so – and that’s by far the closest seniors get to the rest of the population.
  • Texting – Certainly another popular phone activity, done by 4 out of 5 cell phone users – – but only one third of seniors choose to communicate in this way.
  • Internet access – Use of our smart phones to access the web is growing rapidly, with 56% doing so, a value that has doubled in the last four years. Only 13% of seniors connect to the internet in this way, though.
  • Email – Half of us email with our phones now, part of what keeps too many of us tethered to the office way too much. Seniors are much less active with email on their phones, with 12% reporting use of that application.
  • Using apps – Speaking of applications, or apps, seniors are only one fifth as likely to use their phones to download apps, with 8% doing so vs. 43% of the total population.
  • Banking – Nearly 30% of Americans check bank account information, or more, with their phones while only 7% of seniors do so.

Why Seniors’ Phone Use is Different

The Pew study didn’t get into why seniors are far less likely to use their cell phones for purposes other than making calls, but we encounter a few reasons when talking with older adults – some of which can be addressed by family caregivers. Note that these reasons can apply to younger people as well.

  • Their phone doesn’t perform those functions. Many people have the same phone they’ve used for years or choose new phones without the bells and whistles many of us take for granted. For some it might be just a matter of showing them what they’re missing by not getting a phone that gives them the ability to accomplish much more.
  • They don’t know how to use their phones for these functions. Sometimes it’s as simple as showing someone what a new phone can do. Many are getting smartphones because that’s what their providers give them when it’s time to get a new phone, but no one takes the time to explain what the phones can do. That’s something most of us could address with senior loved ones.
  • Some just don’t want to do more with their phones. We’ve talked with and heard about some who want to use their phones to make calls, cameras to take pictures, etc.

Why Seniors’ Phone Use Matters

You might wonder about our purpose in quoting statistics about cell phone usage and why we feel it matters enough to dedicate a post to the information. There are a number of ways we think family caregivers can use the information to help seniors. Here are a couple of key benefits.

  • If our senior loved ones could benefit from getting greater use from their cell phones, especially if they have smartphones, this is yet another way we can help them make their lives better. Our phones link us to our communities and the world in so many ways beyond simple voice calls – – which can be a real asset to seniors who might otherwise be living in isolation while aging in place.
  • Smartphones are not the best fit for everyone, especially if they really don’t want to use their phone for more than making phone calls. If your senior is among those and just wants a phone to make phone calls, a gift of a smartphone might only complicate their life needlessly (and cause you to spend money needlessly) because they take extra steps and are inconvenient when making or receiving calls. We might also want to make sure they don’t get a smartphone pushed on them when getting a new phone, especially since they would likely also be saddled with a costly data plan they won’t use and thus don’t need.

Technology is great, but only if it helps make our lives better. If it’s technology we won’t use, more advanced technology isn’t necessarily better. Of course, if our senior loved ones can’t use it but want to do so, we as family caregivers have an opportunity to help them learn.

Depression Pays Holiday Visit to Seniors: What a Family Caregiver Can Do

‘Tis the season of joy! Maybe not…

Recently I spoke with a geriatric specialist who said “I wish they would cancel December”. This specialist was not being a Scrooge but in actuality was stating obvious concern for seniors from years of experience with elders.

Experience shows that for elders the holiday season can trigger a seasonal depression (also known as seasonal affective disorder – SAD) that can take a harmful toll on their well-being. If depression is already a concern, seasonal depression will make the current problem worse. Often it is unrecognized by even the most attentive family caregivers. Symptoms often mimic what we are expecting as part of our senior loved ones’ ongoing physical status. These symptoms can include fatigue, desire to sleep more, apathy, desire to be left alone, low energy and weight gain due to carbohydrate cravings.

Those caregivers who do recognize a change in mood may chalk it up to cabin fever over the winter months. Seasonal depression is a clinical condition which should be evaluated by a doctor and the appropriate treatment or interventions initiated. There are harmful outcomes of unchecked seasonal depression for elders including suicide who, according to the CDC, account for 16% of suicides while they are only 12% of the population. White men over 85 are at six times higher risk for committing suicide than the general public.

Holidays Contribute to Seasonal Depression for Senior Loved Ones

During the holiday season, elders can begin to experience a heightened sense of loss as memories come flooding back everywhere they look.

  • Loss of family members including their spouse, their mother or even their grandmother, their children, their siblings, and their pets. These thoughts come about during family visits, reminiscing about the “good old days” and family sharing.
  • Loss of traditions. The smell of the cookies their grandmother made when they were children, the special family side dish that is only served on Christmas Eve, missing the ability to go to church, watching a special holiday program and many other triggers that bring back childhood memories and long lost family traditions.
  • Loss of independence. As seniors look to the New Year, they may wonder what it will bring in terms of their declining health or the inevitability of life. They may have experienced health and functional declines in the past year that they continue to struggle with in terms of acceptance. Loss of functional abilities such as walking, personal care, household chores and having to allow others to do things for them can be a painful emotional loss.
  • Loneliness creeps in when family members come to visit then leave them alone again. Isolation from friends, family and their prior lifestyle can be a strong trigger.
  • Not being able to be in their own home with their own holiday decorations if they are living in a residential facility.
  • Forgetting the names of key figures in their life such as grandchildren’s names, or even their own children’s names, when they pay a holiday visit may cause a reality check that function and cognition has truly declined.

Family Caregivers Can Help Relieve Seasonal Depression

  1. Bring your senior into the light. Literally! Take them for a walk outside, sit on the porch in a sunny day or even a cloudy one, open the blinds and curtains or keep some higher wattage light bulbs in the lamp where they sit. Low light levels during the winter months can worsen seasonal depression.
  2. Talk over your concerns with your senior’s physician and get some treatment ideas from the specialist. Don’t assume that these mood changes are winter blues as they could be coming from another physical source that may need further workup.
  3. Be sure they eat a healthy diet that is rich in variety to provide essential vitamins and minerals.
  4. Stay physically active through walking or other movement activities.
  5. Continue to participate in living! Stay engaged with hobbies, events, and activities to relieve boredom and loneliness.

We all want our senior loved ones to be healthy, active and happy – not just during the winter but all year long. We may feel that sharing the holidays will bring our loved ones only joy and happiness and try to cram as much fun and family activity as can fit in a day. However, we should remember to remain attentive to non-verbal clues that the holidays are not spreading cheer to our seniors but actually setting them up for depression.

Act if you see signs of mood changes that could impair your senior’s health and you will spend a happy new year together.

When Aging in Place is Your Senior Loved Ones’ Choice: A Wish List

Choosing where to live their elder years is not an issue for many of the seniors of today and tomorrow. The reality is that our parents and grandparents, or at least most of them, want to stay put!

Many of our senior loved ones are making it known they want to live out their lives in the home they’ve loved for many years-where they raised their children, made lifelong friends and forged community ties.

Our challenge, however, to making that dream a true reality is what will it take to make that happen? Some of the answers are easy but others are not. Some of the strategies for success are in our hands while others are completely out of our hands.

Barriers to Aging in Place

  1. Our senior loved ones’ health, physical function, and mobility will be areas where we have little control except for efforts at prevention.  Once they become frail, their living choices often become more limited.
  2. If our senior’s home is not accessible for the long run, the house may not currently be aging-friendly. There may be changes you can make, both small and big, to the existing structure to allow it to meet your senior’s needs. A note of caution here – it may be easier, more cost effective, and safer to find a new more suitable home for aging in place. This might involve moving closer to the family caregivers or in a smaller, easier to maintain dwelling.
  3. Access to healthcare, essential needs such as food and supplies, and the transportation system to get them here and there may be lacking. This is something totally out of your control for a given location and may require a relocation to get closer to those vital services our seniors need as they age in place.

An Aging in Place Wish List

  • A senior who can be close to the family caregivers. If all other variables are acceptable and desirable but your senior is not close to you, then getting a network of caregivers established is going to prove essential. These could be friends, other family members, church friends, area agencies, and home health providers.
  • A strong, dependable support system for you as a family caregivers of a senior aging in place. Caregivers need help and respite in order to provide care for the long term. Having support for tasks not only required of your senior but also yourself, such as taking care of your own children, cutting your grass when you are busy with your senior loved one, etc. all take a support system to be successful. You can build on your current system and guide your family and friends in what you need to make it even stronger. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help and tell others what you need!
  • A caring compassionate healthcare team in close proximity. A team with whom it’s easy to communicate and who will give you information and guidance to meet the needs of your senior loved one.
  • In-home technology to help stay connected with your senior and to make their aging in place experience safer.  A computer system that is easy for your senior to use that will handle finances, bills, essential documents, and family connections. In the near future it may be essential to their healthcare and an asset in the control of the systems of their home.
  • Public transportation that is accessible to your senior, especially if you are a long distance caregiver. This could keep them in their beloved home longer when they become unable to drive themselves to the grocery store, beauty shop or doctor.
  • Clear guidance on the wishes of your senior if they become unable to age in place or face extreme healthcare measures. Where would they like to go in the future? You could even visit some options together now and make a list of situations that are found to be acceptable. What heroic measures do they want or not want and are their advance directives executed in case of an emergency? We recommend the FIVE WISHES as a tool to help seniors and their caregivers make decisions and desires known for all involved. Be sure everyone in the family knows what those wishes are and has a copy.

We have just begun this list and know there are many items that can be added. Every family has individual wishes that they would like fulfilled.

We would love to hear from you with your wishes to add to the list!