Many seniors say ‘no, thanks’ to living with their adult kids

Posted on July 24, 2012

Article by acreamer@sacbee.com (Anita Creamer) on m.sacbee.com

In a spirit of gratitude and giving back to the parents who raised them, Bill and Jackie Merz’s daughters have extended a generous invitation.

“They both live in Chicago now,” said Bill Merz, 75, a retired Sacramento State psychology professor. “One was willing to put an extra floor on her house and install an elevator for us so we could live there. The other wanted to convert her basement for us.

“I told them we’d have somebody shoot us before we did that.”

The Merzes, who live in their own home at Eskaton Village Roseville, adore their extended, close-knit family, which also includes two sons in California and 11 grandchildren. But the idea of living with the kids in their older age leaves them cold.

“My first reaction was, ‘I don’t want you telling me what to do,'” said Jackie Merz, who is also 75 and a retired teacher and counselor.

Most older adults tend to be a bit more euphemistic about it: Typically, they say that they don’t want to be a burden to their kids, or that they don’t want to impose. But statistics show a plainer truth. In huge numbers, seniors relish their freedom, and they want to live on their own as long as they can.

In the Sacramento region, U.S. census figures show that almost three-fourths of people 65 and older live in same-generation (as opposed to multigenerational) households. National figures are even higher, with nearly 80 percent of older adults living in their own households – more than triple the number from the 1940s.

A recent survey from the research firm Gallup & Robinson highlights that sense of independence. While 53 percent of people below age 65 said they would take in an aging parent who needed their help, only a quarter of people older than 65 said they would accept an invitation to live with their grown children.

Those attitudes fly in the face of a stubborn cultural cliché, in which the grandparents, kids and grandkids grow older together under one roof – a holdover from the days when there was no choice but for the generations to live together, like it or not.

“I think the stereotype exists because we continually look retrospectively,” said Bill Merz. “It becomes a museum piece. Look at TV shows and movies about Christmas, the nuclear family they show.

“It hasn’t been that way since World War II. GIs didn’t come back from the war and move to Mom and Dad’s neighborhood. They moved to the suburbs or across the country.”

It’s been a long time since the grandparents lived one farm away, just across the prairie.

Along with postwar geographic mobility, the advent of Social Security seven decades ago provided a reliable retirement income, which for the first time allowed millions of older people to continue living in their own homes. And that financial stability has grown in the years since.

In the quarter-century ending in 2007, the number of low-income and poverty-level older Americans decreased to 36 percent from half of all seniors, according to Administration on Aging data.

Today’s economy, not sentiment or obligation, largely drives multigenerational households – but with a twist, aging experts say. With the recession hitting families hard, many grown children have moved in with their elders, or invited their parents to live with them – not because the older adults need help but because they themselves do.

“I unfortunately hear pretty often from our clients that their adult children have moved back in, and the parent who’s in their 80s doesn’t want them there,” said Rosanne Bernardy, executive director of the Ethel M. Hart Senior Center in midtown Sacramento.

“I never hear our clients say, ‘I really would like to live with my children, but they don’t want me to.’ ”

 

Relishing ‘me’ time

 

They’ve earned their freedom. For many seniors, retirement and older age are “me” time. After a lifetime of diligence and responsibility – raising children, working and taking care of their own elders – they cherish the time to themselves.

 

Take Carmichael resident Jeannie Obrien, 71, a retired real estate appraiser who’s divorced. She volunteers at the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, belongs to a photography group, gardens, reads and spends time with her friends.

And she loves living alone.

“We’ve passed our prime, but we’re out enjoying what we’ve never been able to do,” said Obrien. “I don’t have to check in with anybody. I’m out and about and doing my own thing.”

Even so, she has a standing invitation to live with her son in Sacramento. And in a decade or two or three, depending on her health and how vulnerable she feels living on her own, she might take him up on it.

“It’s a reciprocal thing,” she said. “I’ve helped him when he needs help, and he’ll help me.”

The key, aging experts say, is knowing when to make the move – and when the upside outweighs what many older adults think of as a considerable downside.

After living on their own, content in a comfortable routine, older people often find their grown children’s households chaotic, noisy and confining.

It’s not necessarily one big, happy family.

Grandparents can resent being thrust into the role of live-in baby sitter. Grandchildren can resent giving up their own freedom, and perhaps their rooms, to accommodate their elders.

“My daughter was in junior high when her grandfather lived with us,” said Dale Masters, a Northern California manager for national elder care referral agency A Place for Mom. “She couldn’t make noise in the house. She couldn’t have her friends over, because her grandfather was there.”

And older adults who move across the country, or even across the state, can face the uprooting of lifelong social networks. To live with their loved ones, they give up their neighbors and friends, their fellow church members, their doctors – the people who populate their daily lives.

The resulting sense of isolation can lead to a downward spiral into depression and illness.

“Missing that socialization with their peers is huge,” Masters said. “Folks tend to slide faster when they don’t have it.”

In her 2008 study on widows 65 and older who live alone, gerontologist Elaine Eshbaugh found that the biggest predictor of deep levels of loneliness in older women is the lack of close friends their own age, not a lack of caring family members.

“Their friends and peers are very important support systems for them,” said Eshbaugh, a University of Northern Iowa associate professor. “They prefer to rely on their friends, not their children.

“And if it comes to needing care, they prefer to go into assisted living or nursing care rather than moving in with their families.”

 

Downsides to family care

 

Despite that, many elders extract promises from their families that they won’t be sent into nursing facilities if they become frail – and many younger family members feel guilty if they don’t invite older relatives to live with them.

 

Relatives remain the caregivers of choice for older adults. As a 2010 AARP Public Policy Institute study found, more than 61 million younger family members provide ongoing care, often in their homes, to aging loved ones, with their unpaid efforts amounting to $450 billion in services.

“When families promise they won’t put their parents in a nursing home, they’re really promising to take the best possible care of them,” said Masters.

“But they can’t be three awake shifts. Some families do a fantastic job, but they’re not professional caregivers. It’s a lot of stress all the way around.”

They may miss medical crises – in particular, hydration and medication issues – until it’s too late. And as Eshbaugh pointed out, older adults are more likely to be abused or neglected by a family member than the staff of a care home.

In Roseville, Bill and Jackie Merz plan to move into Eskaton’s assisted living care one day if their health interferes with continuing to live on their own. They’ve planned for older age, and they have each other.

Ever since striking out from their native Chicago for California in 1970, they’ve prided themselves on the choices they’ve made for their family.

“We can’t imagine asking our age 50-plus children at the height of their careers to take care of Mom and Dad,” said Jackie Merz.

“We wouldn’t have our children saddled with us,” said her husband.

And their kids understand.

“I said, ‘You know you’ll always have a home here with us,’ ” said daughter Mary Merz, 50, an attorney in Chicago. “And their response was, ‘No, thank you.’ ”

Posted by:
Gabriela F. Brown, Constant Companions Home Care
http://www.constantcompanions.net
gbrown@constantcompanions.net
888.883.8393

 

Assessing Your Needs for Long-Term Care

Posted on July 24, 2012

 

Many seniors prefer the idea of staying in their homes as they age. However, care needs can change over time. Some of those needs can be met while remaining in the home. Evaluating circumstances periodically can help to assure an individual’s safety and comfort along the way.

To determine the appropriate level of care that you or a loved one may require, a full assessment of what current daily needs are as they are related to certain activities should be addressed. Asking a professional such as your doctor, nurse, geriatric care manager, or hospital discharge planner to assist you in filling out this assessment could provide a more complete view of your care requirements.

Fill out the form to indicate if you currently require help for the following activities and how often you need help.

 

Do you need help with this activity? No Yes If yes, is it sometimes or always?
How many times per day/per week?
       
Bowel/bladder control      
Eating      
Toileting      
Dressing      
Bathing      
Transferring      
Walking – indoors      
Walking – outdoors      
Go upstairs/downstairs      
Driving      
Cooking      
Housekeeping      
Yard Work      
Laundry      
Shopping      
Using the phone      
Managing finances      
Taking medications correctly      
       

 

Assessing Your Needs for Long-Term Care (cont.)

Are you currently receiving care or supervision each day? YES NO

Explain:

 

FOR WHAT: HOW OFTEN: WHO IS PROVIDING THE CARE:
     
     
     

 

List any assistive devices, i.e., cane, walker, grab bars, bed rails, modifications to communication or listening devices, oxygen, shower seat, medication reminder, Personal Emergency Response System, etc.
__________________________________________________
__________________________________________________
__________________________________________________

 

What other restrictions do you have:
__________________________________________________
__________________________________________________
__________________________________________________

 

Do you prefer having someone with you during the day? YES NO

Do you feel isolated or lonely? YES NO

Are you able to call someone for help if you would need it? YES NO

Are you comfortable with someone coming into your home? YES NO

 

Describe any other assistance needs or concerns you have that have not been asked already:
__________________________________________________
__________________________________________________
__________________________________________________

 

Condition of Your Home – Is your home ready to take care of you?

If it is determined that the level of care you require allows for you to remain at home, the next step is establishing if your home is conducive to your care needs. Physical and Occupational therapists are good resources for evaluating your home environment in relation to your need for care.

 

Considerations for comfort in your home:

 

Are there steps in your home that would be a problem for you?

Outside the house: YES NO

Change to be made: ________ Approximate cost: ________

Leading into the house: YES NO

Change to be made: ________ Approximate cost: ________

From one floor to another: YES NO

Change to be made: ________ Approximate cost: ________

Between rooms: YES NO

Change to be made: ________ Approximate cost: ________

 

Are hallways and doorways wide enough for a wheelchair or walker to get through?
YES NO

Change to be made: ________ Approximate cost: ________

 

Are counters, drawers, cabinets, stove, oven, and refrigerator at appropriate levels?
YES NO

Change to be made: ________ Approximate cost: ________

 

Are kitchens and bathrooms big enough to navigate with any assistive devices?
YES NO

Change to be made: ________ Approximate cost: ________

 

Do you need assistive devices installed? Grab bars, stair glide, ramps, etc.?
YES NO

Change to be made: ________ Approximate cost: ________

 

Submitted by Gabriela F. Brown, CSA
Constant Companions Home Care, San Diego and S. Riverside
P:888.883.8393
T:@ConstCompanions
email: gbrown@constantcompanions.net
Web: www.constantcompanions.net

Information provided by
Society of Certified Senior Advisors
1325 South Colorado Blvd., Suite B-300, Denver, CO 80222 | Phone: 800-653-1785

Medicare Covers Housecalls for Seniors – Mobile Doctors

Posted on May 8, 2012

 

For many seniors, getting to a regular doctor can be an exhausting and daunting experience, especially as they are rehabilitating from a recent illness or coping with a decline in overall health. Many seniors and their families are not aware that there are physician practices that make housecalls, accepting Medicare assignment Medicare supplement insurance plans. The cost is comparable to a regular office visit and the physician comes to your home equipped to treat virtually any medical problem that would bring you to their office or an emergency room.  Mobile medicine means that most blood tests, x-rays, EKGs, etc. can all be done in the comfort of your own home. Often, seniors are hospitalized for treatment that can very successfully be conducted in their own home, many times with fewer complications and less chance for infection. One example of this would be the treatment for pneumonia, typically a week’s stay in the hospital.

You don’t have to give up your regular physician.

Having to give up your physician is a very understandable concern. Many seniors mistakenly believe that by accepting the care of a mobile physician, they will be giving up their primary care doctor. In reality, the housecall benefit will apply for as long as getting to your regular doctor’s office is unreasonably difficult. When you are able to make it to your regular doctor again, there is no need to ‘switch back’ to your regular physician.

Plan ahead.

Trying to set up services during a crisis can be difficult and stressful. Before you need services, locate a mobile doctor practice in your area and register with them. Work with them ahead of time to determine what your insurance covers, what copays (if any) you can expect and the usual response time you can expect. Many mobile home doctors can respond fairly quickly and this is expedited if all paperwork has been taken care of ahead of time.

It is important to note that these services are not a replacement for true 911 emergencies, however they can be so valuable for chronic or urgent care situations.

Submitted by Gabriela F. Brown, CSA
Constant Companions Home Care, San Diego and S. Riverside
P:888.883.8393
T:@ConstCompanions
email: gbrown@constantcompanions.net
Web: www.constantcompanions.net

Care For the Caregiver

Posted on April 24, 2012

 

Nearly half (53%) of all informal caregivers reporting a decline of health
affecting their ability to provide care.
 In an effort to be there for the health
of a loved one, many caregivers sacrifice their own health

Caring for an aging loved one can be a challenging experience. It can be difficult to
slowly watch a family member lose their independence and often, their mental
capacities. More often than not it is a middle aged family member who takes on
the responsibility of being the primary caregiver for their parents. Without
additional support, this caregiver can quickly find themselves overwhelmed and
depressed. While many caregivers find themselves up for the challenge, others
may find it more difficult to adjust to the constant demand of being a home
care provider.

Stress and depression can come in many forms. Often, caregivers have to take a leave of absence from work, or they have to cut back their hours to be at home more often. As a result, both parties have to sacrifice and do without. The
loss of monthly capital can lead to stress as it becomes harder to pay the
monthly bills. Additionally, the loss of personal interactions with colleagues
in the workplace can leave a caregiver feeling lonely and isolated. Managing
one’s family can also be difficult and being a caregiver can also lead to
stress in the marriage and immediate family. To avoid sacrificing one’s health
and family for the care of a family member, a caregiver must provide care for
themselves first so they may be able to care for another

There are various ways for a caregiver to stay positive during the time they spend caring for someone. Rather than feeling trapped, a caregiver should do their best to encourage social interactions for both themselves and their aging parents or patients. Dinner socials, poker/bridge nights, and birthday parties should all be encouraged to maintain a festive attitude throughout the home, and to avoid it from feeling like a prison. Maintaining a clean home can help keep good spirits and inviting visitors will
give you a good reason to clean and to stay positive. The caregiver should also make an effort to invite their family to these events to help maintain closeness and to promote family interaction during this time of change.

While maintaining social interactions can help a caregiver stay healthy, many others find success by turning inwards and focusing the time on improving themselves. Some may choose to take up a hobby or learn a new skill, while
others may choose to begin an exercise regimen to improve their own health.
This can be light to moderate exercise; just enough to get your blood pumping.
Feel free to invite your aging family member to also get moving as much is
safely possible. Regardless of age, most seniors can benefit from staying
active.

 

Submitted by Gabriela F. Brown, CSA
Owner, Constant Companions Home Care
Website: http://www.constantcompanions.net
gbrown@constantcompanions.netPhone and Fax: 888.883.8393

Grief into Depression – Why Can’t Mom Just ‘Snap Out of It’?

Posted on April 3, 2012

Why Can’t Mom Just ‘Snap Out of It’?

Last year, I received a call from Sharon, the adult daughter of a potential client, Bette. Her father, Burt, had passed away a little over a year ago from an extended battle with cancer and Bette had been his primary caregiver.  Until his passing, Bette was
mobile, energetic and rarely sick. Once Burt passed away, Bette became a ‘different person’ rarely leaving the house. Her sunny, upbeat disposition had turned into an apathetic approach to everything and everyone in her life.

Sharon shared that she admired her mother more than anyone she had ever met for being able to ‘handle anything’. She had always met life’s challenges with strength and
optimism, being able to formulate a plan to overcome any obstacle put in her way. Now, she was little more than a shadow of her former self and unable to properly maintain the house, herself or any of her relationships. Sharon was concerned because she was unable to ‘snap out of it’ and Bette was beginning to decline physically.

Because Sharon’s life was so hectic, she felt terrible that she could only get over to her mother’s house a couple of times a week, and when she got there she was overwhelmed with what needed to be done, grocery shopping, cleaning out the fridge, making sure there was easily accessible meals to be prepared and questioning whether she was taking her medications as prescribed, etc. The house itself was also being neglected severely, with the bare minimum being done to keep things going.

While both Sharon and Bette would benefit from a home care worker, there were deeper issues that needed to be addressed. Bette had been the primary caregiver to her husband of 60+ years as he lost the battle with cancer. She had focused all of her energy and purpose into his care for several years. When he passed away, Bette faced a dual life transition. She had lost her life status as a caregiver and she was no longer Burt’s wife of 60+ years. With his death she was faced with excruciating loneliness and loss of purpose.  Her family had been there for her right after his death to help but had assumed that she was adjusting well and would be able to handle things. A year later, it was clear that what may have started out as a normal bereavement and grief period had extended beyond a healthy timeframe. At this time, she felt dependent on her family for care and this new dependence pushed her even deeper down.

It is not uncommon for the ‘strong and capable’ family member in this situation to experience depression due to their history of being ‘strong and capable’. Often, those around them and they themselves have the expectation that after a ‘normal’ period of time, they will ‘pull themselves up by their boot straps’, as they always have. Paradoxically, this is the person that is least likely to ask for help may be suffering silently. It is as if they are unable to see themselves as needing any help or being unable to ask for it. Additionally, physicians tend to overlook signs of depression with seniors and many assume that depression is a normal part of loss. Old assumptions and patterns are tough to overcome.

After speaking with Sharon, I advised her to make an appointment immediately with Bette’s physician regarding her decline. She also had to have a gentle talk with her mother about the possibility of being able to see a brighter world through possible interventions of medication and counseling.

We did provide a caregiver for Bette for about 4 months. In the meantime, Bette’sdoctor found the right medications and she participated in support groups. After a while, Bette turned the corner and was increasingly able to care for herself and her home again. She now does her own grocery shopping enjoys making her meal and even invites others, primarily from her support group, over for meals. Now, when her family visits, they are able to enjoy her company and provide the companionship that only family can provide. They no longer are in the role of caregiver, which is really helping to restore Bette back to her old self.

Every bereavement experience is unique, but if you have aloved one that is not improving after about two months, a visit to their physician may be in order in addition to grief counseling. Counseling and/or medications can make the fog of depression lift allowing them to slowly begin to feel pleasure and purpose again, the two reasons we ALL need to lead a satisfying life.

 

Submitted by Gabriela F. Brown, CSA
Owner, Constant Companions Home Care
Website: http://www.constantcompanions.net
email: gbrown@constantcompanions.net

2011 Tax Tips for Caregivers by ElderCarelink

Posted on March 28, 2012

With the tax deadline looming, be sure to include all deductible costs you pay for senior care on your returns. Whether your loved one is in assisted living facility or using in-home care services, you may qualify for deductions and credits for the associated costs of their care.

Here are some key tax points to consider:

1.Claiming your parent as a dependent. You must be paying more than half the cost of your parent’s care. If qualified, there’s a reduction of your taxable income. Your parent does not have to live with you. But to qualify, your parent’s annual income must be less than $3,700. See IRS Publication 501: Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information for more details.

2.Claiming modifications to your home. You may claim a medical expense for modifications made to your home in order to accommodate their medical needs. However, your parent must have been your dependent at the time (either expenses were paid or medical services were rendered). Be sure to consult your tax professional as other rules apply to claiming modifications as a medical expense.

3.Deducting the costs for medical expenses. If you are able to claim your parent as a dependent, then the IRS may allow you to claim a deduction of your parent’s medical expenses. The expenses for your parent’s medical care must exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income to qualify.

4.Deducting the costs for assisted living or in-home care. For your parents to qualify for tax considerations, a licensed health care practitioner must have formally determined during the last 12 months that your dependents are unable to care for themselves. It’s important to meet with a tax preparer to go over all of the requirements of deductions associated with your parent’s care. Remember, in each case, you must provide adequate documentation for the IRS to qualify. Taking care of your parents can be challenging. Knowing that you can ease your own burden come tax time makes it easier to opt for the right level of care for the ones you love.

Source: ElderCarelink.com

Submitted by Gabriela F. Brown, CSA

gbrown@constantcompanions.net

www.constantcompanions.net

A Few Simple Steps to Avoid Senior Financial Abuse

Posted on March 3, 2012

The time has come. You are in need of home care services. Chances are good that this need has been preceded by some sort of crisis; a hospitalization, death of a spouse
or a sudden decline in health. Likely, there are so many things to think about
and arrange. There may be a variety of service groups coming in and out of your
home to assist you in this transition; home health care, home care, hospice,
durable medical equipment, housekeeping services and an increase in friend and
family visits. The last thing on your mind may be the location and security of
your valuables and financial instruments.  This is why it is essential to locate and
secure these items PRIOR to the need for these services.

Most senior home care service companies do their best to assure that the personnel that they are sending into your home are honest by conducting background and reference checks. Here is the problem, background checks are great for weeding out the prior offenders, however, no background check can detect if someone has never been caught or predict if they are going to steal in the future. Simply put, there is no way
to guarantee that you will not be a victim of theft or financial abuse.

There are things that you can do, BEFORE a crisis (right now) to prepare yourself:

  1. Locate all valuable items, i.e., jewelry, checks, credit cards, etc.  Inventory what you have and identify if you are currently missing something. This will prevent confusion after the fact if you go look for something and it isn’t where you thought it was.  Why? We once had a client who insisted that she had left some diamond earrings in her bathroom. She accused her caregiver of stealing them. Of course, we immediately removed the caregiver and reported the worker to Adult Protective Services.  Two months later, we received a call from her daughter, apologizing that her mother had found her earrings in a different spot and hadn’t recalled moving them there.
  2. Once you do need someone caring for you at home, secure all financial instruments and jewelry in a lock box in your home. Put the key where only you would know where it is and give a copy of the key to a trusted individual or in a safety deposit box.
  3. Never give your PIN to anyone in your employ.
  4. Never allow anyone to go to the bank for you to take out cash, via check, etc.
  5. Report all suspicions or missing items as soon as possible to any company coming in and out of your home. If you are working with a home care agency make sure they are responsive to your concerns and act quickly to resolve the issue.
  6. Do not give cash or check bonuses directly to home care workers, make sure that the agency they work for is notified and has an opportunity to copy the bonus check and document the gift to avoid any future misunderstandings or opportunities for financial exploitation.
  7. If a caregiver asks you for money directly for ANYTHING, immediately report it to their agency. As benign as this may seem, it is considered ‘abuse of
    position
    ’ and is covered under the law as follows:

Financial Exploitations –Financial exploitation means a situation in which a caretaker or any other person who is in the care or custody of, or who stands in a position of trust
to, a resident, takes, secretes, or appropriates their money or property, to
any use or purposes not in the due and lawful execution of his or her trust. In
the simplest terms, the person who is acting as a caretaker unlawfully takes
money or property of the resident. This also includes a request for transfer of
property by the resident that was not carried out.

Most caregivers are good people interested in your well-being. They are also
hyper-aware that they are most likely to be blamed if something goes missing in
your home. If you follow the above guidelines, it should protect both you AND the
people working for you.

If you find that you are a victim of financial abuse or theft, PLEASE follow through with filing a complaint with Adult Protective Services and any charges against the person suspected of committing the crime. It is up to you or your family to see that charges are filed. This may be very uncomfortable and stressful but it is VITAL. Without convictions and a subsequent record to detect on a future background check, there is nothing to
prevent that same person from moving on to another agency or to hire themselves
out privately and continue their predatory ways.

Submitted by Gabriela F. Brown, CSA, Owner of Constant Companions Home Care, San Diego and S. Riverside. Website http://www.constantcompanions.net email: gbrown@constantcompanions.net

Hearing Loss – Bringing Seniors Back into the Conversation

Posted on February 18, 2012

 

Nearly one-third of people over the age of 65 are
hard-of-hearing while nearly 50% of people over the age of 85 suffer from some
form of hearing loss. Because hearing loss is usually a gradual process that
begins in one’s forties, it is commonly not recognized until it is significant.
It is important to be able to recognize signs of hearing loss, have it
diagnosed and treated.

 

Symptoms of hearing loss:

 

• Have trouble hearing over the telephone

• Find it hard to follow conversations when two or more
people are talking,

• Need to turn up the TV volume so loud that others complain,

• Have a problem hearing because of background noise,

• Sense that others seem to mumble, or

• Can’t understand when women and children speak to you.

 

Hearing loss in seniors can lead to others mistakenly
thinking that seniors are confused, difficult or apathetic. Additionally, the
senior may be embarrassed by the loss and resist seeking out medical help. The
inability to fully communicate can lead to frustration and isolation. The key
here is communication and enlisting the following strategies to bring these
seniors back into the conversation:

 

• Make sure that you are looking at the listener and you are
in a well-lit area.

• Don’t shout, this can often create increased sound
distortion.

• If there are 2 or more people present, make sure that only
one person is speaking at a time.

• Address them directly by saying their name before starting
a conversation so they have time to focus.

• Many people with hearing loss rely on lip-reading. Keep
your hands away from your mouth and avoid smoking, chewing gum or eating while
talking.

• Slow down a little but not too much. A natural and
unhurried rate of speech allows the hearing impaired person to capture more
words, read lips and facial expressions.

• If one ear is better than the other, make sure you are
directing your speech to the better ear.

• Hearing loss can include certain sound distortions. They
may hear your voice but not be able to decipher certain words or pitches.

• Minimize extra noise in the environment when have a
discussion, like turning the TV or dishwasher off.

• If possible, avoid having discussions in settings that may
have sudden loud sounds like busy streets, near construction areas or near
airports.

• Depending on the level and type of hearing loss, certain
words are almost impossible to understand, try rephrasing the sentence or find
a different word. Don’t repeat the word or sentence over and over again.

• Avoid sudden changes of topic. When the subject is changed
clearly state the new topic and look for acknowledgement before proceeding.

• Write specific information, such as appointments,
directions and schedules down, if you are talking over the phone, have them
repeat the information back as many words and numbers sound similar.

• Understand that illness or tiredness may affect any person’s
ability to follow a conversation.

• If the listener looks confused, clarify that they
understood what you were saying.

 

The best course of action to take if you suspect hearing loss
is to see a doctor as soon as possible to determine the cause and treatments
available. If you suspect hearing loss in a senior that you are caring for or
that you care about, remember to be compassionate about discussing the
possibility of hearing loss. It is important to be supportive regarding the
options and opportunity for treatment. Motivation for the decision to seek
treatment should be to increase their quality of life by providing the ability
to participate in all social interactions to the best of their ability.

 

Gabriela Brown, CSA
Constant Companions Home Care
www.constantcompanions.net
gbrown@constantcompanions.net

I passed the CSA Exam!

Posted on February 14, 2012

After months of studying, a week of classes, culminating
with a certification exam, Gabriela Brown, owner
of Constant Companions Home Care
in San Diego and S. Riverside
is officially a Certified Senior Advisor. This
certification is bestowed by Society of Certified
Senior Advisors
, the world’s largest membership organization educating and
certifying professionals who serve seniors. The course and exam, covers 23
topics that are divided into 5 main focus areas including: Social aspects of
aging, health aspects of aging – physical and mental, financial and legal
aspects of aging, government assistance for seniors, ethical communication with
seniors. With this training and certification, Gabriela seeks  to deepen her understanding of the health,
financial and social aspects of being a senior  and to enhance the ability to provide sound
advice and trustworthy resources to clients and their families.

Posted by Gabriela Brown, gbrown@constantcompanions.net, http://www.constantcompanions.net

 

 

New VA Aid and Attendance Benefit Guidelines

Posted on January 2, 2012

Effective 12-01-2011, the VA has increased the monthly maximum, “Non-Service Disability Pension” benefit, often referred to as “Aid and Attendance” to the following:

•Married Veteran-$2,019.00
•Single Veteran-$1,703.00
•Surviving Spouse-$1,094.00

These benefits are tax-free to eligible veterans and may help families defray 40-80% of their monthly long-term care expenses! Please note that the VA must see proof that the veteran or surviving spouse is paying out-of-pocket for their care, before their claim will be considered. In other words, the VA requires objective evidence of long-term care expenses. We provide these “Care Expense Statement” forms in all of our claims application attachments.

Refer all of your families/inquiries to this site: www.seniorvet.org and review the short video from Brian Williams of NBC News. Families can get information, complete VA claims applications as well as detailed instructions instantly through our user-friendly site. Best of all, our services are provided FREE of charge and overseen by a Accredited VA Claims Agent.

Forwarded from email sent to Constant Companions Home Care, San Diego, from Senior Veterans, LLC