Senior Sense

The Flu Season

 
            We made it thru this far.  The season started early and the predictions were that it could be a bad season.  To date, I personally have not heard of very many cases of flu or other communicable diseases.  That is probably because people listened this year and got their shots early.  But be forewarned, the season is not over yet.  Therefore, we still need to take precautions.  If you have not had a flu shot this year, it is not too late to get one.  This is the best protection against the flu.  Remember, this can be a very dangerous disease.  People die from it. 

            Also remember that there are other communicable diseases that at best, can make us sick, at worst, what seems like a minor aggravation could turn into an incurable infection which could permanently damage your body or worse.  So, use the precautions that follow.

            First, always wash your hands before handling food, eating, touching an open wound, using the bathroom or touching anything in a public place.  Fortunately, grocery stores are now offering wipes for grocery carts which helps to hinder the spread of disease.  Take advantage of those wipes.  It is a good idea to always carry wet disinfectant wipes or hand sanitizer on you to protect yourself.  Use it after touching handrails or anything else that someone else might have touched.  Also, talk to your health care professional to make sure all your immunizations are current.  People around you often cough or sneeze.  You don’t know what germs they are carrying.

            If you have symptoms such as sneezing or coughing, please prevent the spread of disease by wearing a mask.  They are inexpensive and can be found […]

FEBRUARY

FEBRUARY 
            February has finally arrived!  We made it thru the long month of January, although we must admit it wasn’t as bad as in previous years.  But now our minds and bodies can look forward to a new month with longer daylight hours and hopefully, milder temperatures. This also is the month of several special days including Groundhog Day when traditionally the groundhog crawls out of his hiding place and predicts when Spring will come, Washington’s birthday in honor of our first president, Lincoln’s birthday which honors the author of the Gettysburg address and who issued the Emancipation Proclamation, President’s Day in honor of all our presidents, and the most romantic day of all, Valentine’s Day.  For many Christians, Ash Wednesday will also be observed on February 10 this year. 

            Since this is a month of so many celebrations, we would also like to honor those caregivers who so faithfully care for their older family members day in and day out.  We recognize that yours is not always an easy job.   Many of you give up rewarding jobs and careers to care for someone in your immediate family.  Strains are also put on “sandwich” generation families where the main caregiver is having to balance the needs of children, parents and grandparents.  At the same time, even though many don’t say it, we are sure that most who are cared for by family appreciate what you do.  It is not easy growing old and not being able to take care of your needs and obligations without outside help.  As one ages they are often in pain or not feeling well.  We are sure that most fear the day when they will not be able […]

Paying For Homecare Services

Occasionally, we come across a situation where we find a senior in need of services, but cannot afford them. Well, I’m excited to tell you about a service called: “Erie County New York Connects”. This service is offered to the residents of Erie County and they provide assistance to those who need help to function in their daily lives in various settings. So, similar to what we offer, but only to those who qualify. It would be worth a call if you think you or your family fall into this category. I’ve attached a link to their brochure and their office number.

(716) 858-8526 or www.erie.gov/nyconnects

http://www2.erie.gov/nyconnects/sites/www2.erie.gov.nyconnects/files/uploads/pdfs/connects_brochure.pdf

This service is great for those who only need a few hours of help per week. If you feel you need more than that, we would happy to assist you. Give a call at (716) 648-2273.

 

When a Family Member Dies

In my 32 years of working in healthcare, I have seen life come into the world and life leave it many hundreds of times. As you would expect, the birth of child is one of the most beautiful events you will every see! It’s especially wonderful when they’re your own children. Just an unbelievable experience I hope every father get’s a chance to be part of. It’s the day when a man changes into a father. From the moment they put your newborn son or daughter (in my case it was three daughters), into your arms a bond is formed. For the rest of your life, you care for and nurture your children even into their adulthood, you are there for them, helping and guiding them.

At some point along the way, the roles begin to reverse and the children you once held in your arms, who once relied on you for their very existence, turn and hold their parents in their arms and care for them in their elderly years. The once strong and vibrant parents have reached a time when they now need help. God teaches us to honor our parents and not forget them when they get old and unable to care for themselves.

Two days ago, I lost my father. He was a good man. He was a salt of the earth man who worked hard all of his life caring for his family. As his health began to fail the family surrounded him, caring for his every need. He was a proud man who loved the children he and my mother created through God, then watched his family grow with the addition of six grand children. How proud he was of them! He was also proud of his German and Irish […]

The Lone Caregiver

Yesterday, I was talking to a gentleman who was describing his relationship with his grandmother. He, like many of us, is a busy adult with young children of his own and a demanding job. Not that he was complaining, because he seemed genuinely willing and able to care for his grandmother at the drop of a hat, but he clearly understood the strain that caring for an elderly family member can bring to your life. Living only five minutes from her house, it was easy to see how he could assume this role. He, unlike many families, at least had the ability to retain the services of an agency to help him with the bulk of the work, but it didn’t come without some challenges, because his grandfather resisted having caregivers in his home. This does happen from time to time. I’ve witnessed many family members hold some resentment towards the caregivers, simply because they feel uncomfortable or feel a sense of invasion in their home.

Recently, his grandmother passed away and while his demands of caregiving have been lifted, it was clear he misses her very much and he never viewed her as burden. Just a regular unassuming guy willing to give of himself for the care of another who can’t care for themselves. Beautiful!

If you have a family member or friend who can’t care for themselves, but you don’t live five minutes away, or your current life will not allow you to drop what you’re doing and be that special caregiver,  I invite you to call us at Home Assist Senior Care. I will insure you receive the help you need to when you can’t be there!

(716) 648-2273 or www.homeassistseniorcare.com

Know Your Limits

Being a caregiver can be a very rewarding career. Its funny how so many who are just beginning their career find that so surprising! Considering the nature of the work, it never surprises me. Most employees tell me how happy they are after being paired with a client that they truly feel they’ve made a real difference in their lives. Some family caregivers look forward to giving back to the ones who raised them. Some employees say they were surprised how quickly they felt a connection to a stranger and a sense of purpose after only a short time. In fact, caring for someone comes naturally for most of us; its part of our human nature and how we were made.

The challenge to most caregivers is having a true understanding of the magnitude of the commitment it takes both physically and mentally to offer yourself in this way to another. Some employees get overwhelmed at the pace of the job at times and can walk away feeling totally drained after a day of work. The dependency can develop into an overwhelming relationship if you’re not paying attention to your needs too. Having enough time to yourself helps to recharge your batteries and keep you motivated for your next visit. We see this a lot with family members who take care of aging family members. Often the task of caring for a parent seems to fall onto the eldest child and at times getting others to help strains relationships. Some feel guilty when they begin to feel resentment toward the person they care for, but this is natural when you and you alone are the primary person responsible for every aspect of care.

Looking for help is […]

Help Your Parents Pay Their Bills.

This is the time of year when we all see those holiday credit card bills come flowing in. For many, the idea of getting caught up is never more on their minds than these first few months of the new year. Many seniors struggle in this area! As with many of our older family members, keeping up with the tasks of paying bills can be a real challenge, especially when their ability to remember these things begins to fade or perhaps their eyesight isn’t what it use to be and they simply can’t read them.

Our caregivers experience these types of scenarios every day with their clients. We help the families monitor incoming bills and make sure they are paid in a timely manor. If you have a family member that needs help in this area, please give us a call. It’s one of the main reasons families will call and ask for assistance. We can help! (716) 648-2273

 

 

 

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

We all have at one time or another made a New Year’s Resolution.  I believe statistics show that most people resolve to lose weight.  We all want to lose the extra pounds that have piled on during the past year, and the holidays haven’t helped.  So, how much do you need to lose?  10 pounds, 20 pounds, 30 pounds? More?  What are the chances that you will lose that weight?  Probably slim.  What about quitting smoking?  Same chance.  After a while, you just give up on making New Year’s resolutions.  The human body does not seem to have the ability to overcome cravings.  And so the habits go on until you have a medical emergency or learn from the doctor that you have an incurable illness.

Make no mistake. I have seen two people quit smoking cold turkey, but only after they were advised they had emphysema.  Another friend decided to quit cold turkey, fortunately, before she found she had a terminal disease.  She was a runner and remarked shortly after quitting, how much her speed and endurance had improved.  So, it can be done. The same goes for weight loss.

Statistics show that our population is getting heavier.  The obesity rates, even in children, are increasing in America.  Schools are cutting out sports and exercise programs because of budget constraints and parents are not encouraging their children to exercise.  Unfortunately, being a stay at home mom is a rarity in this society and with both parents working, neither has the time or energy to encourage exercise in their children.  More and more children are being diagnosed with obesity caused diabetis and high cholesterol, among other things.  The question is, how do we turn this around?

On […]

The Perfect Christmas Gift!

Is there a senior family member in your life who always seems to be hard to find a gift for? Have you ever considered a gift of safety and peace of mind? We here at Home Assist Senior Care can help! A home health and safety monitoring system is the solution. The device is called the: “The Electronic Caregiver” from Life Alert Medical. It protects seniors all over the country in the event of an emergency medical issue arises and gives their families peace of mind knowing their loved ones will get immediate care should something happen.  It also connects smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as well and instantly dispatchers police, fire and EMS when activated. Monitored 24/7 by EMT dispatchers, this service can be a wonderful gift for that special someone who needs just a little extra help maintaining an independent life style and all for less than $40 dollars per month and no long term contracts!

As a local distributor, we will help you set up the appropriate system that best fits your needs. Don’t let another day go by worrying about what would happen if an emergency happened to your family member. This is a great service and a very high quality product. Give us a call today for a “no cost” in-home consultation.

(716) 648-2273 or www.homeassistseniorcare.ipage.com.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all of us here at Home Assist Senior Care!

Be Grateful

What are you thankful for?  How often have you stopped this year to think of the many blessings we have?  I am thankful that I survived emergency surgery; that God gave my husband and me over 14 years of marriage before he lost his battle with Alzheimer’s; that we survived this recent snow storm and that flooding was only minimal; for neighbors and friends who have watched over me, especially during this storm, and that I am able to write this blog.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving Day, we at Home Assist Senior Care wish each of you, your families and friends, the happiest of days.  Enjoy the food and the fun of friends and family.  But please, do not forget the real purpose of Thanksgiving that of thanking God for the blessings you have received this year. Take time to gather around the table before you eat and thank God for giving us a wonderful year.

So, from all of us at Home Assist Senior Care, Happy Thanksgiving.

Hazel