Articles Posted in Resources for Seniors and Caregivers

AdobeStock_270454973-300x200In the first two parts of this series, we shared organizing tips—to help you get all your documents and plans in place—and strategies for assembling your long-distance caregiving support team and extended network .

Today’s post is all about the day-to-day routines of long-distance caregiving. Each caregiver’s situation will be unique to their loved one’s specific circumstances, medical issues, and location. There are, however, three core pieces of advice that can be applied to help make any situation more manageable and less stressful.

Keep in touch on a regular basis.

AdobeStock_143996409-300x148In the first installment of this series we provided an overview of some key organizing and planning tips to help make long-distance caregiving easier. This week, we’re looking at how to build a strong support team and network to help you care for your loved one. Hopefully, you do not have to care for your loved one all on your own. But even if you have a small family or are the only person available on a regular basis, there are other people and resources you can integrate into your caregiving team.

Family

If you have other family members who will be lending a hand, it’s a good idea to have a family meeting to make sure everyone is on the same page. It’s important to decide who will be the primary giver and what each person’s roles and responsibilities will be.

AdobeStock_205385891-300x200Caring for an aging loved one can be a very challenging responsibility, even under the best of circumstances. But, when the caring must be done long distance, you add a whole other layer of complexity and difficulty. Even an hour’s distance can increase hardship exponentially in the context of our always too-busy lives.

In this first part of a 2-part blog post, we’ll give you some steps you can take that will make your new role a bit easier.

According to recent studies, approximately 5 to 7 million caregivers in the U.S. are long-distance caregivers. These people currently represent almost 15% of all caregivers in the U.S., and their numbers are expected to double by 2020. And, as expected, long-distance caregivers tend to have a heavier financial and emotional burden than caregivers who are caring for loved ones who either live with them or live locally.

images-300x168The connection between humans and dogs is one that hearkens back to ancient and even prehistoric times. Archaeological evidence of canine domestication dates back some 15,000 years, and some experts believe our interspecies love affair may stretch as far back as 30,000 years ago.

While there is still some debate about just how long we humans have been vulnerable to the charms of big, sad puppy eyes and fluffy tummies, there is no question that our relationship with these animals has evolved greatly over the ages. In the earliest days, dogs helped with hunting and guarding in exchange for a share of the food and the comforts of life in a mixed-species pack.

Today, dogs are primarily cherished companions—four-legged family members. But there are still many who pull their weight by providing all kinds of valuable services to the humans they love.

AdobeStock_56917751-300x200It’s never too late to explore your artistic side. In fact, many people discover that the second half of life is the perfect time to learn an art or craft.

Whether you decide to pick up a pencil or a paintbrush, sit down at a potter’s wheel, or strap on some dancing shoes, the arts offer countless opportunities for enrichment, fulfillment, and joy.

Many of our most beloved artists got their starts later in life. Monet didn’t get serious about painting until he was in his forties. Forty may be young by today’s standards, but in Monet’s day the average life expectancy hovered around the early sixties, making forty almost “venerable.”

AdobeStock_85578442-300x200There is no right way to grieve the loss of a loved one.

There is plenty of advice, but anyone who has first-hand experience will tell you that each of us needs to find our own way. Coming to terms with such loss is a process, and it’s one that can take many forms.

An important part of the process for many is memorializing the deceased in some way. Traditionally, commemoration of an individual’s life takes place over the course of a wake, a funeral, and a burial. These rites and rituals, with deep cultural and sociological roots, often help to give friends and family some closure. At the same time, the grave site provides a physical space where those in mourning can go to grieve, to remember, to converse with the dead.

AdobeStock_47549916-193x300By Lynda Lee Arnold

Are you thinking of moving close to your child’s home? Close…as in an in-law apartment or addition?

Many people in their later years decide to downsize and give money to an adult child for building an addition onto the child’s home.

AdobeStock_187262416-300x200We may not have flying cars or robot butlers yet, but technology is constantly edging us closer and closer to the world of the future that used to exist only in cartoons like The Jetsons. While many of the latest technology products are marketed primarily as nice-to-have devices that offer entertainment or convenience, there is a whole other application for these items. Wearables and text-to-speech programs and voice-activated devices can be very helpful, but they can be life-changing to someone who is disabled or elderly.

For people with mobility issues, impaired vision, speech disorders, and other challenges, assistive technologies can make all kinds of tasks easier. The ever-growing range of “smart home” devices is an area of particular interest. These primarily voice-activated products offer a novel solution for busy people who feel the need to multitask, but for others they can be a powerful new tool for handling the day-to-day tasks needed to remain independent.

So-called “smart home” technology  refers to devices that connect to, monitor, and control physical objects such as thermostats, blinds, security cameras, lighting, music, computers, and so forth. These smart devices are used to manage a broad range of elements including a home’s environment and energy use, ambiance or atmosphere (lighting, music, etc.), entertainment, and security.

AdobeStock_46432121-300x290Spring is nearly here, and with it the urge to do some spring cleaning. To make your seasonal chores more enjoyable, you might want to consider spicing things up with one of the two latest trends in decluttering and setting things to rights: The KonMari MethodTM or Swedish death cleaning.

Get Joyful and Tidied Up with Marie Kondo

In case you haven’t read her book or caught her Netflix show or read one of her gazillion interviews, let me first introduce you to Marie Kondo, the diminutive organizing enchantress from Japan who is leading the charge on the global tidying movement.

AdobeStock_41168140-300x225By Esther Corcoran

Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of growing older, as many people seem to think. It is a disease that impairs memory and intellectual abilities to the point where their daily life is being affected. When people notice things in their daily life changing, there are 10 early signs to be aware of and to keep into consideration before seeking medical help. 

1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life. Memory loss is one of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s, especially forgetting recently learned information. Other instances include forgetting important dates or events; asking for the same information over and over; increasingly needing to rely on memory aids (e.g., reminder notes or electronic devices) or family members for things they used to handle on their own.

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