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Caregiver and Home Care Information

Dementia Proofing Your Home

Posted by Debby Franklin on Aug 2, 2011 4:01:00 PM

Home can be a scary place for someone who has been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer's. The possibility of wandering into unsafe areas or disappearing outside the home is a constant worry for loved ones. The environment is so important to a person with dementia. They are much more sensitive to their environment and need a quiet orderly living space. It is critical to address factors such as noise, color and lighting as well as these other safety precautions:

  • Lighting-People with dementia are very susceptable to glare and to sudden changes in light levels. There is a tendency to hallucinate or to see things that aren't really there. Make sure that rooms are evenly lit and that your loved one is not going from an overly lit room to a dark one. The best lighting is glare-free. If there is a lot of glare on a table or on a surface it can distort visual perception. Avoid bare bulbs and make sure all lamps have shades. Installing automatic lighting can also be very helpful.
  • Disguise Doors-Disguising a door can prevent wandering into a dangerous place. Hang a curtain or turn the door into a mural. Studies have shown that a large red stop signd sends an understandable message to even those with severe memory loss. Install multiple locks on a door each at varying heights out of direct sight and supplement with an alarm.
  • Install Flood Alarms-Flood Alarms are inexpensive insurance in any room where a water leak or overflow might be possible. You should also consider installing faucets with anti-scald devices. 
  • Handrails-People with dementia have mobility issues. Handrails can increase their ability to function. Grab bars are also helpful so that an individual can get on and off the toilet safely.
  • Color Contrast-Since depth perception is a serious problem for people with dementia, climbing the stairs can be a big issue. Use 2 inch color tape or paint stripes going up and down the stairs. Make sure that the color is brighter than the surrounding color.
  • "Baby Proof", Latches, Gates, Motion Dectector's & Alarms-Install latches higher or lower than eye level. Use gates to deny access to unsafe areas. Use motion sensor devices that sound an alarm or turn on a light to alert you to someone wandering to an area that may not be safe.
  • Clear Clutter-A lot of people with dementia start to develop a shuffling walk as the disease progresses. Persons with dementia may not pick up their feet and also have visual depth perception issues. Remove area rugs and door sills. Make the home easy to navigate through. Avoid the urge to rearrange the furniture, keeping things in the same place is an important strategy. 

Topics: Caregiver Information

Long Term Care Insurance - 3 Things To Consider

Posted by Debby Franklin on Jul 15, 2011 12:38:00 PM

Long term Care Insurance is something that both baby boomers and anyone in their 60's and early 70's should consider.  There are 3 major trends that will have a phenomenal impact on whether or not you will need long term care:

  1. It is very likely that you will live a long life.
  2. A long life increases the probability for long term care.
  3. It is unlikely that your family will be able to provide the care.

When researching an insurance company to provide long term care insurance and when reviewing a policy to purchase, here are the critical things to consider:

  1. Chose a company that is financially solid with an excellent reputation and rating.  Don't take a policy with a company that has lower than an A rating.  You want to ensure that if you need to use the policy the company will still be around.
  2. Consider a policy that covers you for a lifetime instead of a specific number of months or years.
  3. Be certain to purchase a policy with a Protection Rider that will increase the amount of benefit coverage you will receive based on the current cost of care due to inflation and economics.

And as always when considering an investment purchase, talk to your financial advisor to see if long term care insurance is something that is right for you and your current circumstances.

Topics: Caregiver Information

Parents resisting the care they need...what to do?

Posted by Debby Franklin on Jul 8, 2011 2:34:00 PM

Many of the calls we receive concerning care for a loved one is expressed to our staff by “mom/dad is very upset with the idea of needing a caregiver, they are refusing help but they aren’t safe alone”.  “I am afraid to schedule care because they may not let the caregiver in or after a short amount of time tell them to go home.”  “I work, take care of my family and just can’t give them the attention that they need.” “I am exhausted and tired, what can I do to get them to give it a try?”

As our parent age we walk a fine line between making sure that they are safe and taken care of and taking away their pride and independence.  We are suddenly in a position of making sure the environment is safe and also respecting their choices and decisions that they are able to make.  Many times the resistance to having help is due to anger and disheartenment at the loss of independence and health.

The approach that has worked best for us over the past 17 years is talking to your parent about setting up a service that will handle the daily chores that take away from them spending time doing things they enjoy.  For example, suggest Homemaking Services like laundry, light housekeeping, and meals instead of suggesting they need a caregiver to take care of them.  We know from experience that once we have determined the right caregiver with the right personality, the client will begin to form a bond and a personal relationship of trust with their caregiver.  Once the bond and trust begin the resistance to have help involving personal care is no longer something that is dreaded or refused.

When setting up a meeting to talk to your parents it is best to focus on what they can still do, not what they can’t do.  Always encourage your parents to continue doing what they can and accept help with the tasks they can’t or are more difficult for them to do.

Debby Franklin, Owner

Topics: Caregiver Information

One Way to Assist Your Aging Parents

Posted by Debby Franklin on May 18, 2011 1:04:00 AM

Thanks for sharing these great ideas. I think this is perfect for me for the meantime. "Call local a local landscaper or lawn care professional in your loved one's area and pre-pay for a season of lawn mowing and general lawn care."

senior day care centers

Topics: Caregiver Information

Helpful practices for people that are at risk for Alzheimers

Posted by Debby Franklin on May 12, 2011 2:09:00 PM

Unfortunately, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s Disease. There are practices that can help: slow the progression, manage behavioral problems, and support family members and other caregivers.
The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) has put together a list of some practices that may be worth incorporating into your daily routine, especially if you have a family history of dementia. Talk to your doctor about these practices, as every individual is unique.

  • Consume a low-fat diet.
  • Eat cold-water fish 2 to 3 times per week.
  • Reduce your intake of linoleic acid found in margarine, butter, & dairy
  • Eat plenty of darkly colored fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins
  • Maintain a normal blood pressure.
  • Stay mentally and socially active throughout your life.

For more information regarding Alzheimer ’s Disease visit-- http://www.umm.edu/ency/article/000760all.htm

Topics: Caregiver Information

Lifestyle Management Solutions

Posted by Debby Franklin on May 6, 2011 11:59:00 AM

We are pleased to announce a new service offering, "Lifestyle Management Solutions" available this coming summer.

Now, with the assistance of Easy Living Services and its partner network, clients can take advantage of services designed to save time and reduce stress.

health flyer

Topics: Caregiver Information

Let's Talk: Having the Conversation About Senior Driving

Posted by Debby Franklin on May 5, 2011 1:06:00 PM

Discussing a senior’s continuing ability to drive safely is right up there with religion and politics as topics to avoid at dinner time. On the one side, seniors value independence and driving is the ultimate get away that represents freedom. On the other hand, traffic fatalities involving older drivers are startling and families are right to be concerned. "On the basis of estimated annual travel, the fatality rate for drivers 85 and over is nine times as high as the rate for drivers 25 through 69 years old."

A Harvard publication summarizes that it's not hard to figure out why driving becomes more dangerous with age. The passing years often bring physical limitations, such as waning vision, poor hearing, trouble craning your neck to get a good look over your shoulder, or difficulty moving your foot swiftly from accelerator to brake. Cognitive changes such as slightly slower reaction times or increased difficulty in juggling all the sensory input at a busy intersection can also affect your driving. Neurological problems caused by Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and, in some cases, diabetes can impair driving skills even more seriously.

Will discussing a senior’s driving make a difference? One study shows that of the older adults surveyed who reported that someone had talked to them about their driving, more than half said they listened to and followed the suggestions of others. Here are some pointers for initiating the difficult conversation:

  • Speak in a confidential environment
  • Be sure the speaker is someone the elder trusts
  • Create a united front with the family
  • Consider the personalities involved and who has been most successful in the past at handling difficult topics with the elder
  • Try to avoid issuing an ultimatum
  • Consider persons other than spouses and adult children to deliver the message

In the same survey mentioned above, 10% of older respondents said they would choose a close friend to initiate the driving conversation. If your elder has a police officer friend, this person might have considerable credibility.

Key things to get started are first to observe the older driver, be sure to have a recent health exam to rule out any preventable barriers to sight, hearing, or reaction time, and investigate transportation alternatives so that there are some answers along with any necessary new constraints.

Lastly, as you support your elder through a difficult transition, remember that the message may need to be repeated. Each time, share genuine safety concerns and genuine caring, and your message will get through.

Find additional resources on the topic of older driver safety at www.aarp.org.

Content Source: aarp.com

Topics: Caregiver Information

Sensational Seniors Photo Contest

Posted by Debby Franklin on May 4, 2011 9:02:00 AM

Click the here to visit our Facebook page to enter!

Sensational Seniors Photo Contest

Topics: Caregiver Information

Discount Scrubs Sales - March 30

Posted by Debby Franklin on Mar 16, 2011 4:53:00 PM

Discount Scrubs Sales

Discount Scrubs Sales - March 30

Topics: Caregiver Information

Warm Welcome to Benton House

Posted by Debby Franklin on Mar 11, 2011 8:27:00 AM

Easy Living Services is pleased to introduce a new neighbor in the Johns Creek area!

Benton House, a new seniors' community opens in April 2011 with 47 apartments in Assisted Living and 12 units in the Beacon Memory Care neighborhood.

Benton House fosters the independence of residents by supporting them and providing housekeeping, wonderful restaurant style meals with several meal choices, personal response systems and 24 hour access to staff. The staff offers medication assistance and discreet and dignified personal assistance as needed. An onsite social director makes life exciting and fulfilling each day with a variety of activities and offsite excursions. The Beacon neighborhood is designed for residents needing memory care in a safe setting.

Benton House combines dignity and choice within a framework of independence and support. Help is there when needed and this wonderful, warm, caring community will make residents feel at home.

Amenities and Services

  • Wonderful, new homelike community
  • Delicious meals with multiple menu options available at each meal
  • Weekly housekeeping and linen services
  • Discreet and dignified personal assistance as needed
  • Medication Assistance
  • Kitchenettes, including sink and refrigerator
  • Several apartments and floor plans to choose from
  • 24 Hour Access to Staff - Emergency Response System, grab bars in bathrooms, one level community
  • Full time social director for engaging events and outings, daily fitness options, including exercise classes walking clubs
  • Regular seminars and lectures on topics of interest
  • Variety of spiritual services offered
  • Concerts and other performance arts events
  • Major social event each month to invite friends and family
  • Beautiful Outdoor Courtyards
  • Media Center
  • Some apartments offer beautiful porches
  • Private dining room available for residents and their guests
  • Country kitchen for resident use, sharing stories and swapping recipes!
  • Full service beauty and barber salon
  • Memory Care - Beacon Neighborhood
  • Special daily calendar
  • Dedicated Beacon coordinator
  • High staff-to-resident ratio
  • Separate enclosed safe courtyard for residents

Arrange for your personal tour today! Contact Ms. Dawn Coons, Community Relations Director at 770-633-6464 for more information.

Benton House John's Creek, 5050 Kimball Bridge Rd, 30005 www.bentonhouse.com

Topics: Caregiver Information