I have started a Fan Page for AgingPro.com – my national online eldercare resource for family caregivers. I would appreciate it if you go http://tiny.cc/g8wbt and hit “like” to become a fan, and you will be able to follow the exciting upcoming events – including working with the Maria Shriver March for Alzheimer’s in Long Beach! Thanks for your support!
Posts Tagged ‘AgingPro.com’
I had two calls just today on a similar topic — How can I make my aging parents to “do what I want.” This question comes up a lot. The adult child sees mom or dad living in, what they consider, less than the best situation and the child thinks that things would be so much better if only they would do “X” (such as move closer to her, move to an assisted living or get caregiving in the home). The only problem is, Mom or Dad doesn’t want to do “X.”
The main thing to remember is this: People (everyone, including your parents) have the right to make their own decisions (even if they look like really bad decisions to you) for as long as they have “capacity.” Basically, “capacity” means that they understand the consequences of their decisions – the ability to receive, evaluate and communicate a decision to others. If they have advanced dementia or are in a coma, they probably don’t have capacity. Physical frailty is not sufficient in determining capacity.
If they have capacity, you can talk to your older loved one to see if they want to cooperate with what you have in mind, but if they don’t want to, nobody can make them. If you feel they aren’t safe and they refuse to get help, you could report them to Adult Protective Services (APS, available nation wide).They will do an assessment and determine if the person is safe or if they need a guardian. Powers of Attorney are documents a person signs, designating someone else to make decisions for them if they are no longer able to (such as for health care or financial decisions).
Ideally, everyone involved would talk and come up with a plan to support the older loved one in getting what they want while remaining safe and happy. If your mom or dad doesn’t want to change, the best you can do it make a “Plan B” – an alternative plan to implement when the “crisis” happens. Usually, an incident like mom falling and breaking a hip forces change. If you have a Plan B, you can sleep easier knowing you won’t be caught by surprise, because you know what your options are.
Answers to all your eldercare questions, and options for “Plan B” can be found in AgingPro’s Eldercare Basics E-Book. http://www.agingpro.com//store/Eldercare_Basics.htm
You can have peace of mind when you know you’ve looked at all your options, and made the best decision you could in the moment.
Almost every one of us wants to remain living independently in our home for our entire life. At some point, most older adults will need help to allow them to feel safe and happy in their home. Caregivers often ask what are some warning signs that it is time for your loved on to get help.
There are many warning signs that will let you know it may be time to offer assistance to your aging loved one:
1. Unopened mail or unpaid bills piling up
2. Plants not watered
3. Trash not taken out
4. Clutter around the house more than usual
5. Clothes are dirty
6. Personal hygiene has declined
7. Lack of interest in previously enjoyable activities
8. Declining memory
9. Difficulty walking or increasing incidence of falling
10. Decreased judgment
If your older loved one has one or more of these signs, you may want to talk to a professional about assessing the situation and discussing what type of care is needed. Geriatric care managers do just that. The eldercare directory on www.AgingPro.com offers a national searchable database of professional geriatric care managers. Just type in the zip code of your loved one and find the nearest resources. The Caregiving 101 article also gives practical information for all stages of caregiving.
Patiently and lovingly talking with your loved one is a good approach. Most older adults deny that they need help, “I’ve been doing this by myself for 85 years, why do I need help now!” It is true that they have been doing fine for 85 years, but as we age, we frequently need help to continue to have the best quality of life, and to be safe.
What warning signs have you seen in your loved ones that made you know/wonder if it was time they needed help? Share your experience here with other agingpro readers.
Hi, I’m Cheryl Mathieu, Ph.D., M.S.W. I’m a Certified Geriatric Care Manager in So. California, and founder of www.AgingPro.com.
I’ve created this blog to post interesting, informative and inspirational tips, tools and news for those involved in every aspect of eldercare – from family caregivers to professionals in aging. It is dedicated to helping you find what you need to provide excellent care to our older loved ones, and to making your life easier (and keep you healthy). I’m writing this blog because I believe that older adults need advocates, and that caregivers (paid and unpaid) need help accessing information and resources to do what they do – better and easier.
If you’ve had an aging loved one in need of help, you know well the challenges of navigating the healthcare system and caregiving. I’m here to help you manage all the challenges of aging – so it can be a time filled with grace, joy and peace. Imagine! It is possible.
Welcome. Feel free to read, explore and comment.
All the best,