The Rapidly Growing “Sandwich” Generation

Are you part of the “Sandwich Generation”? No, we’re not talking about a generation of people that like to eat sandwiches, it’s a newer growing group of individuals that are facing sometimes insurmountable challenges. This group is tasked with not only raising their own children, but also providing care for their elderly parents at the same time.

According to Pew Center for Research in January 2013, nearly half (47%) of adults in their 40s and 50s have a parent age 65 or older and are either raising a young child or financially supporting a grown child (age 18 or older). And about one-in-seven middle-aged adults (15%) is providing financial support to both an aging parent and a child.

Sandwich-Generation-INFOGRA

Members of the sandwich generation are oftentimes pulled (or yanked) in many different directions. The result is a mental, emotional, and financial toll that can be extremely difficult to deal with. Oftentimes, these individuals are working full-time trying to juggle the roles of several people combined. With all the added responsibilities of caring for an elderly parent can come burn-out, exhaustion, insomnia, and many other stress-related illnesses.

Here are some helpful tips to help reduce manage the added responsibilities:

◾Carve out a block of time each week to participate in a hobby or interest that is relaxing and can help you rejuvenate

◾Plan meal and schedules ahead of time to help alleviate stress

◾Talk to siblings or other family members that might be able to help go shopping, run errands, or provide companionship to your parents

◾Find a home care company that can help provide short-term “respite” care to give you a little break each week.

Enriched Life Home Care Services is available to help provide short-term/long-term and part-time/full-time care for your aging parent. We understand the importance of having someone there when you cannot be and hope you will contact us should you need assistance in the future.

Enriched Life Home Care Services  |  www.ELHCS.com

Do You Know the 10 Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease?

You probably have a family member or friend that has been affected by Alzheimer’s. Over 5 million Americans are living with the disease today. It is now the 6th leading cause of death in the US with 1 in 3 seniors dying from Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.1

Hopefully these shocking statistics have gotten your attention.

We have all forgotten things here and there and make jokes about our memory failing us as we get old. However, experiencing the memory loss from Alzheimer’s can be completely devastating to family and friends of loved ones that are affected. Awareness of the disease is key to help with early diagnosis and treatments to help ease the progression of the disease.

Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills. The Alzheimer’s association has made note of 10 warning signs and symptoms.1

dementia-blog-image-

1.  Memory loss that disrupts daily life

2.  Challenges in solving problems

3.  Difficulty completing familiar tasks

4.  Confusion with time or place

5.  Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships

6.  New problems with words in speaking or writing

7.  Misplacing things

8.  Decreased or poor judgment

9.  Withdrawal from work or social activities

10.  Changes in mood and personality

Take a moment to read these early signs in more detail by visiting www.alz.org®

If you notice any of these warning signs it is advised that you or your loved one see a doctor soon to discuss the possibility of having Alzheimer’s.

Enriched Life Home Care Services is committed to promoting awareness of Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. We also provide respite care for friends and family that are caregivers for their loved ones.

1 Source: http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_facts_and_figures.asp

Enriched Life Home Care Services, LLC  |  www.ELHCS.com

Seniors and Storms Don’t Mix

The recent increase in storms in the Midwest has led to thousands of unexpected power outages. For most of us, not having power is more of a nuisance than a life-threatening occurrence. However, for seniors living on their own, a power outage can be disastrous.

Senior adults can be left without food or water, transportation, or a way to contact family. They could also be more susceptible to a slip and fall if they have no electricity. These can all be very stressful and frightening to a senior.

Weather-Storm-Blog

Although we cannot predict when a power outage will happen, there are certain precautions that can be taken ahead of time to help minimize the risks of injury or starvation.

  • Keep items such as wheelchairs and walkers in a designated place so it can be found quickly
  • Put together a disaster kit that contains a supply of non-perishables, water, medications to last at least 3 days
  • Notify the local electric company if there is an emergency medical device in the home. They will make a note of it and your loved one will be on a list for immediate attention in the case of an emergency.
  • Make sure there are adequate flashlights and batteries located in a place that is easy to access. Do not use candles as they are a fire hazard.
  • Put together a small supply of medications and other necessary medical items
  • A list of medications or other medical information
  • Cell phone with an extra battery and charger
  • Keep some cash on hand in case local ATMs or banks are closed due to power outages
  • Turn off or unplug all major appliances, as they can be damaged when the power returns

Taking responsibility and planning in advance of any big storm is highly recommended to alleviate many potential hazards. You can get information on the radio, news, or internet to help you prepare. At Enriched Life Home Care Services, we care about the health and safety of your loved ones and hope you will take the time to help your loved ones prepare for the unexpected.

Enriched Life Home Care Services, LLC  |  www.ELHCS.com

 

A Mother’s Selfless Love: Michele’s Story

Enriched Life Home Care Services is grateful for the personal story Michele DeSocio has written about placing her mother with dementia in a care facility. We hope that her story will be a help to others that are dealing with the difficult decision of placing their loved one in a facility versus keeping them at home.

My Mom, Jean DelCampo, was 58 when I got a call asking for help. I picked Mom up and moved her in my home along with my husband and three children. At the time Mom was misdiagnosed with Bi-Polar disorder. 

Several years later my husband and I went away for a weekend, leaving Mom in the capable hands of my sister. The change in environment caused Mom to shake uncontrollably and my sister brought her to the ER. 

After 19 horrid days in a psych ward Mom was finally properly diagnosed with dementia. Mom was still capable of making her own decisions and after rehab Mom insisted on placement. 

Placement was not something my sister or I would ever have considered. We begged her to reconsider, but Mom was firm. She wanted to spare her children, she did not want to be a “burden”. We had no choice but to honor her wishes and mom was placed in a facility. Mom was sicker than we understood. I consider this to be a most unselfish act of love. 

MicheleDesoscio-mom-sister2Much to my surprise, mom was very happy and she settled in rather quickly. Since she was not as sick as many of the other men and women living there, she found purpose and satisfaction in assisting her fellow residents. Always the nurturing person I so adore, mom was so helpful that many people thought she worked there.

Our worst nightmare, placement, was not what we thought it would be. Mom was well cared for by professionals and we visited often, went on many outings and mom spent many weekends in our homes. It was a win/win. 

We did face the many challenges that come with the disease, POA, medical proxy, DNR, battles with medications, and on and on. We road the roller coaster of dementia together. 

It’s now 15 years later, mom is 73 and in the later stages of the disease. 

For those of you struggling with the decision of placement please know it can be the right thing for all concerned. 

Your family member can receive the professional care they need, under your supervision, and live a productive and happy life after being placed in a nursing home. You’ll have more control than you think. You are the advocate. You are still their daughter, son, spouse or friend. Live in the moment and enjoy what you have, not what you are losing.

Mother knows best, always a Mom

For the past 2 years I have been an advocate and Administrator for Memory People, an online support and awareness group on Facebook, founded by patient Rick Phelps in 2010 at age 57.

If you or a loved one is affected by Alzheimer’s or any dementia related diseases please join Memory People.  We don’t have a cure but we have each other. Memory People, bringing awareness, one person at a time…

https://www.facebook.com/groups/180666768616259/

Many families are currently dealing with loved ones suffering from dementia. Enriched Life Home Care Services is here to assist or answer questions you may have about caring for your loved one.

Enriched Life Home Care Services  |  www.ELHCS.com

How to Get the Right Long-Term Care Insurance Policy

Don’t grow old without it …

Long-term care insurance is getting more expensive and complicated. It’s also harder to get.

The insurance is now not very profitable for insurance companies. People are living longer, which drives up costs. Interest rates on investments are low, which makes it harder for companies to profitably invest premiums.

Some insurance companies are no longer offering the insurance.

273/365: 09/30/2013. Money, Money, Money!

peddhapati / Foter / CC BY

It pays to shop around for long-term care. The American Association for Long-Term-Care Insurance says coverage that is nearly identical to a few years ago can cost almost twice as much today. For a $150 daily benefit lasting three years for a married couple age 65, one company charges $317 a month, while another charges $594.

Besides age and health, the three factors with the most impact on premiums are: the daily benefit, the length of coverage, and the inflation protection you choose.

One insurance broker says, “The new reality is, something is better than nothing. Get what’s affordable and sustainable.”

If you select $250 a day for three years, you would have an “expense pool” of $273,750 ($250 x 365 x 3). If you use less than $250 a day, the pool of funds would stretch longer than three years.

Insurance experts say inflation protection is the most crucial part of a policy. People in their 50s and 60s need to make sure their coverage keeps up with costs. Age 80 is typically when people make their first claims.

The most expensive and most widely recommended inflation factor is 5 percent per year. Your pool of $273,343 would grow to $726,343 in 20 years.

You can also choose cash and flexibility. A few insurers offer policies with cash benefits up to half your monthly allowance and require no receipts. You need documentation from the doctor saying you require help with at least two “activities of daily living.” With the cash option, you can hire family members to care for you or even move to a resort. Most long-term care policies will only pay for home care if given by a person with a nursing degree.

According to The Wall Street Journal, some retirees are turning to permanent life insurance policies and deferred fixed annuities packaged with long-term care benefits. They avoid the risk of spending their entire savings on nursing care. When the limits of long-term-care are reached, bills are paid from the life insurance or the annuity. Whatever is left goes to the beneficiary upon the policy holder’s death.

A Little Karaoke Fun at the Senior Center

You don’t need to be a good singer to enjoy karaoke! Choosing one of your favorite tunes and belting out the words with reckless abandon is what makes it so much fun. At Enriched Life Home Care Services we believe in giving back to our community and helping to brighten the day of those who may not be able to enjoy the things that they used to. We visit nursing homes, senior centers, rehabilitation facilities, and Alzheimer/Dementia homes to help brighten the day for those that live or stay there.

SeniorCenter-Karaoke

A few weeks ago, for example we spent an afternoon doing karaoke and visiting with a wonderful group of people…and there was even some rumored dancing as well! They had such a good time that we have been invited back to do it again. This time we will be hosting a karaoke competition with them, but when you are able to give back and bring joy to people’s lives everyone has already won.

Enriched Life Home Care Services believes in helping individuals to be able to enjoy their lives the way they always have as much as possible. When we are called to provide care in their place of residence, we work closely with the individual and their family to create a care plan that helps allow them to do just that.

Enriched Life Home Care Services  |  www.ELHCS.com