It’s not easy. A growing number of families with aging spouses, parents and grandparents are facing some very tough question. Where will their senior loved ones live? Who will care for them? Where can they find affordable care? The goal for many families is to help seniors remain independent and in their own homes as long as possible. Most don’t require constant supervision or medical attention, yet. Right now, all they really need is a helping hand.
“Most seniors want to remain in the comfort and security of their own homes and can do so safely with the little bit of help,” said Scott Cantin, Vice President of Advancare, LLC. The agency provides compassionate caregivers who go to the senior’s home and help with daily living. They include such things as meal preparation, transportation, bathing, grooming light housekeeping, and medication reminders-task that have become too difficult for seniors to perform.
“Family members are the largest group of caregivers,” said Cantin. “Twenty-five million Americans currently provide eighty percent of the home care. Many have children and jobs or live thousands of miles away. It can very stressful situation. By getting some qualified assistance, the result is a happier, safer senior with less stress of family caregivers.”
When does a family know their senior needs help? According to Cantin, family members need to consider some assistance when they notice significant changes in the way senior moves, acts, thinks and responds. However, families often need some objective assistance in ascertaining the extent of the problem and deciding on a course of action. Cantin says there is no need to guess. He suggests family members ask themselves the following questions; and if there is a concern with even one of these indicators, the family discusses the issue openly, calmly and honestly.
• Has there been a medical condition diagnosed that affects daily living?
• Has driving become difficult?
• Is their weight stable and refrigerator well stocked?
• Are household chores being done regularly?
• Are there signs of moodiness such as loneliness, despair, depression, frustration, irritability or anxiety? A fear of going out of the house?
• Do you notice memory lapses and difficulty finding the right words?
• Are medications being taken regularly and on time? Does the senior understand what the medications are for and are refills on schedule?
Cantin said one of the biggest fears among senior citizens is the fear of falling, because it leads to lost confidence and decreased activity.
“Falling is the primary catalyst for hospital admissions among seniors,” said Cantin. “Falls are responsible for 40 percent of nursing home admissions and 70 percent of accidental deaths in people over seventy-five years of age. Injuries from falls cost $70 billion dollars each year.
Cantin said that the good news is the most falls can be prevented. Besides controlling internal physical factors, families can correct cluttered spaces, poor lighting, lack of handrails, unstable chairs and other environmental factors to significantly reduce the chances of a serious injury from a fall.
Advancare provides specially trained caregiver for seniors and chronically ill living in the South Florida area. The agency is a member of the Senior’s Choice network of independent companion care companies, which requires its own training and certification process for their employees. All of our caregivers must pass a background checks and ongoing.
“Our staff is comprised of experienced caregivers-good people with big hearts,” said Cantin. “They provide much needed companionship in additional to helping with tasks and chores.”
Anyone interested in inquiring about their services or who want a free assessment may visit www.advancare.net or call 305-441-9794.