CareNotes: The Home Care Newsletter Vol 2 Issue 3 | Home Care Assistance CareNotes: The Home Care Newsletter Vol 2 Issue 3 | Home Care Assistance
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CareNotes: The Home Care Newsletter Vol 2 Issue 3

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Home Care Assistance News

 

New website! Home Care Assistance unveiled our totally redesigned website recently. More than just a pretty interface, the new website includes many new features that make the site a valuable resource for anyone seeking information about senior care, such as our Resources pages and even a Home Care Assistance blog! Visit us now at www.HomeCareAssistance.com!

New locations! Home Care Assistance announces the opening of our newest offices, located in Seattle, WA and Columbus, OH! Check the Locations page on our new website to find a location near you.

 


Bad time to sell a home means an ideal time for in-home senior care

 

Do you know a senior who’s been stranded at home by the housing crisis? Thousands of seniors are now unable to sell their homes and move into assisted living facilities to get the care they need.

According to The New York Times, some seniors who have put their homes on the market as long as a year ago have received no offers. The recession has made it impossible for such seniors to move out or afford the payment of $100,000 to $500,000 deposit required by many retirement communities.

“The real danger of this housing crisis is that such seniors are not receiving the care they need to live independently,” says Larry Levine, co-owner of Home Care Assistance of MA. “They not only need care now, they’re trapped in homes that may be too large or too risky for them to manage safely.”

In-home senior care ensures seniors can live safely at home as long as they need to—or want to

Struggling home sales are no reason to endanger seniors who are struggling to perform daily activities alone at home. An in-home caregiver is the perfect solution—whether seniors are waiting (but unable) to move into an assisted living setting, or they would prefer to stay at home. (89 percent of seniors say they would rather stay at home than move into a facility.)

“When we hired a caregiver from Home Care Assistance, we thought of it as ‘just buying time until we could sell’ when we ,” said Natalie J. “But as time went on, Mom realized she never really wanted to leave this house. She just needed help.”

In-home care enables the flexibility of other financing options

An ultimate and irreversible decision, selling one’s home is a tough sacrifice for seniors to make just to pay for their care. Many seniors fear the “one-way ticket” nature of moving into assisted living—with no “home” to go back to.

A reverse mortgage is an option that can enable a senior to stay in his or her own home while the home’s equity covers the cost of a personal caregiver. US Veterans or their surviving spouses may also be eligible for the VA home care benefit from the Veteran’s Administration of up to $1,949 per month. (For more information about reverse mortgages or the VA home care benefit, contact your local Home Care Assistance and they can direct you to organizations who can help.)

Home care actually makes a more conservative option. There’s no long-term commitment. It’s flexible, too, with live-in and hourly service adjustable as needs change.

“It’s a shame that many seniors mistakenly believe that selling their homes and moving into a facility is their only option,” says Levine. “Home care makes it possible to have the best of both worlds: home and care.”

An in-home caregiver is the perfect solution—whether seniors are waiting (but unable) to move into an assisted living setting, or they would prefer to live at home. (89 percent of seniors say they would rather stay at home than move into a facility.)

An ultimate and irreversible decision, selling their home is a tough sacrifice for seniors to make just to pay for their care. Many seniors fear the “one-way ticket” nature of moving into assisted living—with no “home” to go back to.

A reverse mortgage is an option that can enable a senior to stay in his or her own home while the home’s equity covers the cost of a personal caregiver. US Veterans or their surviving spouses may also be eligible for the VA home care benefit from the Veteran’s Administration of up to $1,949 per month. (For more information about reverse mortgages or the VA home care benefit, contact your local Home Care Assistance and they can direct you to organizations who can help.)

 


Caregiver Spotlight

 

Wellington Kanshimike
Since joining Home Care Assistance of Western Pennsylvania as a Live-In caregiver, Wellington Kanshimike has enriched the life of one very special client in particular. Due to Wellington's dedication, his client has returned home, gained weight and is thriving.
“He lets Steve shine,” says Libby P., guardian of Wellington’s client who has a traumatic brain injury. “Without Wellington, Steve would not be home,” she says.
Originally from the African country of Zambia, Wellington, started his care giving journey in a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. He became a registered Pennsylvania Certified Nurses Aide in 2002.

“We have the ability to make a client’s life more pleasant and less stressful by joining their journey.”
—Wellington Kanshimike, Caregiver

Wellington’s dedication is exemplary, working over holidays and many miles from home. He is an outstanding example of the exceptional staff employed by Home Care Assistance.

 


New studies prove: Companionship is Essential for Seniors’ Brains and Health, Not Just Happiness

 

Everyone knows that friendship—or even just someone to talk to—has a powerfully mood-lifting effect, for anyone at any age. It’s nice to keep mom or grandpa company. However, it’s becoming more understood by scientists that companionship is more than just a nice thing for seniors to have.

Several recent studies have concluded that human interaction significantly improves seniors’ cognitive function, health and safety. It’s not just about keeping older people entertained. Companionship is critical.

Loneliness and isolation linked to poor physical and mental health for elderly
A March 2009 study at the University of Chicago shows that social isolation has serious effects on the physical health of seniors—and loneliness in addition to isolation causes a decline in mental health as well.

Researchers found that seniors who feel most isolated are five times as likely to report poor health than those who feel least isolated. Elderly who have no social contact with others suffer the worst health, regardless of whether they feel lonely. But seniors who also feel lonely suffer 65 percent more depression than seniors who are equally isolated but do not feel lonely.

Lack of social contact in itself may not cause seniors to experience depression. Rather, it leads from the loneliness of feeling there is no one who would help them in times of need.

“A shrinking circle of friends and family can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation,” says lead researcher Erin York Cornwell, PhD. “Our findings suggest that those who…don’t feel isolated do better with respect to both physical and mental health.”

By providing constant companionship and enabling transportation to visit friends or worship services and other social events, a Home Care Assistance caregiver helps prevent social isolation and loneliness. This is another way that live-in care can help improve the physical and mental heath of seniors who want to live independently at home.

Ten minutes of conversation improves memory as much as playing games!

Abundant research suggests that seniors who are concerned about the loss of their mental abilities should exercise their brains as much as possible.

A University of Michigan study tested people as old as 96 and compared memory test scores between those who played daily games or puzzles to others who simply engaged in social interaction. Researchers found it only takes about 10 minutes of talking to someone else to improve your memory—an improvement equal to the gamers, whose memory scores far surpasses the non-social, non game playing seniors.

The more the seniors interacted socially, the better they scored on cognitive functioning.

Lead researcher Dr. Oscar Ybarra said, “We found that short-term social interaction lasting for just 10 minutes boosted participants’ intellectual New studies prove: Companionship is Essential for Seniors’ Brains and Health, Not Just Happiness

Ybarra says the results show that social isolation may negatively effect seniors’ intellectual abilities as well as their emotional well-being.

Seniors who bring companions to medical visits report higher satisfaction and quality of care
A recent survey reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine says that having a companion accompany a senior to medical visits contributes to greater satisfaction and quality of care, especially among those in poor health.

The study, sampling 12,018 senior citizens, found that 37 percent of these seniors were accompanied by a companion.

Most companions to medical visits are more than just passive observers. 64 percent of these companions assisted with communication. 44 percent recorded physician comments and instructions for the patient and 30 percent explained physician instructions to the senior. 52 percent assisted with transportation and 8 percent provided physical assistance.

The report concludes that seniors’ medical visit companions are a valuable resource for ensuring quality of care.

Live-in caregivers can be especially helpful to seniors on medical visits—and not just for supplying transportation. On medical visits where a spouse or relative is unable to accompany the senior, caregivers can aid communication and even take notes or record visits to keep the senior’s family informed, even remotely.  After medical visits, by providing medication reminders and ensuring that doctors’ instructions are followed.

 


“2009 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts” Report Released

 

The Alzheimer’s Association’s recently released their report, 2009 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures. The report details the most up-to-date statistics about this deadly disease which now affects one in eight persons in North America aged 65 and older.
Actually, AD and other dementias affect far more people than the patients themselves. More than 10 million people in North America provide unpaid care for a person with Alzheimer’s disease. Here are some highlights from the report.

  • Alzheimer’s Disease is now the 6th leading cause of death—for people of all ages.
  • 5.3 million people have Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • Every 70 seconds, a new case is diagnosed.
  • Nearly 50% of persons over 85 years of age have Alzheimer’s disease.
  • The total annual cost of treating or caring for Alzheimer’s Disease exceeds $148 billion dollars.
  • Women are much more likely than men to have Alzheimer’s disease and dementia—primarily because they outlive men.
  • People with fewer years of education appear to be at higher risk for Alzheimer’s than those with more years of education.
  • Many regions will experience 30-50 percentage increases in Alzheimer’s cases by 2025. Some states (AK, CO, ID, NV and WY) will double.

No one should have to face Alzheimer’s disease alone—and that includes the family and other unpaid caregivers of people with AD. Home Care Assistance caregivers, with extensive experience and training in Alzheimer’s care, are available 24/7 and just a toll-free number away: 1-866-454-8346. If  a senior you know needs personal care for Alzheimer’s disease—or you’re a family caregiver who’s need a little extra help or even just a break from time to time—please call.