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Long-Distance Family Caregiver

Posted by Debby Franklin on Nov 7, 2018 1:28:49 PM

iStock_african_american_mother_daughterOne of the most time consuming tasks a family caregiver may face is communicating. Communicating with your loved one, other family members, the medical team and the list goes on.  Providing assistance from afar can assist and relieve the work load placed on the primary caregiver in many ways.  Here are ideas for supporting your sibling caring for a loved one:

Make phone calls and take care of paper work - Schedule doctor appointments and keep a record of health issues, medications, and treatment options.  Plan your loved ones monthly calendar and send reminders. Make phone calls and line up contractors for home repairs.  Review the estimates for repairs and assist your loved one in making a decision.  Be the designated "research person".  Pay bills and become the money manager.  All of these tasks can be a major time saver for the primary caregiver.

Take the call - Whenever possible, be there to listen and offer emotional support to your siblings when it is needed.  You may be the only person in the world who truly "gets it".  I have found that just listening and validating emotions goes a long way.  Often, the primary caregiver just needs someone to hear what they are going through and to agree that they have the world's most difficult job.  

Diffuse tension - Many times our loved ones become stressed at having to make difficult decisions.  Loved ones with diminished cognitive skills, can have a very difficult times with decision making and this can lead to frustration, confusion and anger which may be taken out on the primary caregiver.  Because of the distance it can help you to remain calm and dispassionate, guiding your loved one through the decision making process and listening to concerns which all parties appreciate.

Show appreciation - Caregiving is a difficult job and often the rewards are few and far between.  Sincere appreciation goes a long way in sustaining a sibling who is handling most of the care responsibilities.  Consider a gift certificate for a relaxing spa treatment or a gift card to a movie and dinner.  This will give your sibling something nice to look forward to and let then know how much you value the sacrifices they are making to care for your loved one.

Schedule respite care - Out of town siblings simply must make the time to take over for the primary caregiver from time to time.  Besides, providing much needed respite, it is important to stay current on a parent's changing needs.  The holidays are a great time to visit and relieve an overtaxed sibling.  If personal circumstances prevent travel, consider making arrangements with a Professional Caregiver Agency to provide respite care.  A small investment in giving a tired family member the rest needed to sustain them as a caregiver is truly worthwhile.

Easy Living Services is Atlanta's most trusted source for quality In-Home Care.  Offering flexible care plans designed to guarantee safety, comfort and companionship to your loved one at home.


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Topics: elder care, caregiver, taking care of a parent, Live-In Caregiver, Caregiver Support

Caregiving Tips: Help Seniors Eat for a Better Night's Sleep

Posted by Jill Troman on Aug 23, 2015 12:17:00 PM

For many seniors, achieving a restful night's sleep is but a dream.  Restless nights lead to increased fatigue during the day, diminished cognitive abilities and many other health concerns. My Dad was notorious for taking lengthy afternoon naps due to exhaustion from not sleeping well at night.  When late evening rolled around, he finally had some energy and would stay up late watching his favorite TV shows and snacking on unhealthy foods.  Not a healthy recipe for good, restorative rest.  I wondered if there were any dietary changes or foods that might promote better night time sleeping?   Here's what I learned:

dreamstime_2037450_lady_with_dog_resized-1Helping Seniors Sleep Better

  • Research findings on the subject are mixed.  There's more information available about what foods and drinks to avoid in the evening like:  high fat food, alcohol, sugary snacks, and caffeine.  Diuretic pills should not be taken before bedtime, unless directed by a  physician. Excess liquid consumption and diuretics will have your parent's bladder waking him up all night. 
  • Milk and Dairy products are winners!  The amino acids in milk produce serotonin which slows down nerve action. The calcium in dairy products helps the brain produce melatonin which is sleep promoting. Honey mixed with dairy products like cottage cheese and yogurt provides and extra boost.  Honey actually has been shown to stabilize blood sugar levels and contribute to the release of melatonin.  
  • Almonds help relax muscles.  Snacking on some magnesium rich almonds before bedtime can promote muscle relaxation and sleep.  They're a great protein source too which can keep blood sugar levels stable while resting. 
  • Cherries are packed with melatonin.  Stock your mom or dad's frig with cherry juice or some washed, ready to eat fresh cherries.  Dried cherries can also be kept on hand for a snack. Don't even think about sugary cherry pie!  
  • Try whole grain cereal with milk for a quick bedtime snack.  Dieticians are not recommending favorites like Lucky Charms or Captain Crunch here but healthy, whole grain cereals like Grape Nuts, Total or sugar free oatmeal. Complex carbs increase tryptophan in the blood stream, activating the sleep inducing hormones, serotonin and melatonin.  Oatmeal is a dietician's top pick because it's rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon and potassium,  These are "All Star" nutrients  when it comes to great sleep.  Go one step further and encourage your parent to sweeten it with honey!
  • Bananas calm and relax.  Bananas are packed with magnesium and potassium, powerful natural muscle relaxers.  Show your parent how to use a blender to make a quick, EASY smoothie with banana, milk, and crushed ice. Delicious!
  • Chamomile tea with added melatonin is a great tonic. Dr. Oz promotes a pre bed time tea called "Tired Tea".  Make this tea by adding 18 drops or .5 ml liquid melatonin to a cup of chamomile tea.   According to Dr. Oz, the chamomile works as a mild tranquilizer and sleep inducer.  Along with regulating sleep, liquid melatonin boasts several advantages:  helps lower heart rate and blood pressure, increases immune function and blocks the body's stress response.  ( source:, blog entitled " 1 hour countdown to sleep").  

Hopefully, these suggestions will make a difference in the quality of your mom or dad's sleep.  Of course, check with your family physician first before making any dietary changes.  If sleep problems persist, consult a physician for further guidance.  

Share your suggestions for better sleep in the comments section below.  Our readers would love to learn from your success stories!

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Topics: caregiver, care

Five Things to Look for When Selecting a Caregiver

Posted by Debby Franklin on Mar 6, 2015 3:01:00 PM

nathaniel_and_mr_cato-1Becoming a caregiver is definitely not for everyone. Only a select few have what it takes to be successful. Based on twenty years of successful caregiver placements, we've compiled a list of the top personality traits for caregivers.
  1. Compassion & Empathy  A true professional caregiver feels a sense of calling to serve others.  They derive satisfaction from making the difference in the life of another.  This heart for caregiving will provide the energy and drive needed to sustain them during difficult tasks or while working with difficult individuals.
  2. Patience  Dealing with an uncooperative senior or listening to the same old story multiple times can become stressful to even the most dedicated caregivers.  Knowing when and how to appropriately "take a moment" to prevent losing one's patience is essential.
  3. Creative Thinking Skills  The successful caregiver will come up with inventive ways to deal with problems situations or overcome resistance.  For example, a senior client may refuse to bathe or take medications.  Finding a way to ease tension and approach the task from a different angel is paramount.
  4. Composure  Many tasks associated with providing personal care are unpleasant for caregiver and recipient, alike.  Often, family caregivers underestimate how uncomfortable it can be to assist a family member with bathing, dressing and grooming tasks.  Unfortunately, this can completely change the dynamics of the relationship with the family member.  Handling stressful or uncomfortable situations with confidence and grace is an important skill for all caregivers.
  5. Diplomacy  In a home care setting, caregivers are bound to encounter family members with differing ideas on how best to care for a loved one.  Conflicts are inevitable.  The professional caregiver uses diplomacy skills to diffuse tense situations and shift the focus back to the needs of the client.  Maturity is needed to manage disagreements effectively and positively.  Additionally, caregivers must refrain from giving unsolicited or personal advice, or commenting on non-care related issues.

About the Author:  Debby Franklin is President of Easy Living Services, an Atlanta-based home care agency that has been caring for seniors with Alzheimer's, Dementia and Cancer for over 20 years.  Easy Living offers flexible care plans designed to guarantee safety, comfort, companionship and personal attention to your loved one at home.

To find more helpful tips on Home Care - How to Care for Elderly Parents, go to:

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Topics: caregiver

Overcoming The Fear Of Hiring A Caregiver

Posted by Debby Franklin on Dec 10, 2014 4:46:14 PM

Senior_Couple_smiling_Terry_dollarphotoCaregivers are the ones we trust to take care of our parents and loved ones when we can't be there and when extra help is needed.  This should be a easy decision and it should bring us a great deal of relief knowing our loved ones are cared for.  Unfortunately the thought of having an unknown person in the home who has access to private information, can bring about fear and uncertainty for many who are in need of care.  

Many families feel anxious and even a little guilty at hiring a caregiver and they wonder if anyone can give the same level of care to their loved one as they can.  Your loved one is likely to react to this decision with some resistance.  Approaching the subject and coming to terms with the situation requires patience and tact.

 Here are some of the common fears and questions families have about hiring help:

  • Is the person honest?
  • Are they trained and experienced?
  • What if they don't get along and there is a lack of compatibility?
  • Will my loved one receive the attention and help that they need?
  • What about privacy and independence?
  • What if they are not kind or mistreat my loved one?
  • Will my parents still have freedom to make decisions?
  • Can I afford this?

Our loved ones are our most valuable assets and we want to make the right decisions when bringing in care. Working with a reputable experienced agency vs hiring a private caregiver can help with all of the fears and concerns of finding the right person to assist your loved one.  The Home Care agency knows the honesty, the training and experience level, and how the individual works with others.  If there are compatibility concerns or an emergency situation where additional help is needed, the Home Care agency is staffed and equipped to manage the circumstances.  We are an agency that pairs qualified, compassionate caregivers with families who need assistance. With having over 20 years of experience at matching caregivers and families our success rate at making a good match is close to spot on each time. Finding an agency with our level of experience and success rate with client satisfaction is what will help to eliminate your fears and concerns with hiring a caregiver.  

Here are important items to point out to parents or loved ones that may be resistant to hiring help. 

  • Home Care assistance can provide the safety and the day to day assistance needed to remain at home instead of going to a facility or nursing home.
  • The cost in most cases can be more affordable than in a facility or nursing home.
  • It's a way to maintain independence while staying at home.
  • Having someone to prepare meals and provide housekeeping can free them to engage in the things they enjoy doing.
  • Focus on the activities that they may no longer be capable of doing that bring enjoyment such as driving, going to social functions, and meeting friends for lunch.
  • Let them know that it will give you time for personal activities without worry and concern for their safety.
  • Help to alleviate the fear by communicating with empathy rather than frustration.  See the situation from their point of view and reassure them that the benefits of being safe at home out way the concerns.
  • Have a trial run.  Ask them to try it short term.  In most cases once they work with the caregiver all of the fears listed above are erased and this can lead to openness at receiving ongoing care. 

I have countless stories and testimonies from clients and their families telling us how the caregiver became a part of the family.  The bond that can develop between a caregiver and the person that they care for is an amazing thing to witness.  Getting care will help both you and your loved one enjoy a happier and more fulfilled life.  

For more information go to:   /blog-0/bid/102474/Home-Care-8-Things-You-Should-Know-Before-You-Hire-a-Caregiver


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Topics: caregiver

How Can Home Care Help?

Posted by Debby Franklin on Oct 9, 2014 1:00:00 PM

Loving Care in the Comfort of Home

At Easy Living Services, our clients rely on our office staff and caregivers as extensions of their own family's care team.  Since 1994, we've partnered with thousands of Atlanta area families in caring for seniors, the disabled and chronically ill adults in the comfort of home.  Easy Living's team of professionally trained and extensively screened nursing assistants are there when you can't be with reliable, expert care.  

Flexible, customized care options are available to accomodate any budget and are available on an hourly or "Live-In"/24 hr basis. Available service options include:Home Care, In-Home Care, Caregiver

  • Personal Care & Hygiene Assistance
  • Sitter Services at Home, Hospital or Rehab Facility 
  • Homemaker Services including Light Housekeeping, Laundry & Meal Preparation
  • Errands and Transportation
  • Alzheimer's and Dementia Patient Care
  • Respite and Temporary Care Coverage
  • Transitional Cardiac Care
  • Mobility & Safety Supervision
  • Cancer Home Care
  • Parkinson's Care
  • Post Hospital Transitions
  • Stroke Rehab Assistance
  • Post Operative Care
  • Cosmetic Surgery Care

Our clients enjoy our small office feel and personalized attention.  Nothing is more important to our team than the complete satisfaction of our clients and their families.  That’s why a caring Easy Living staff member is available 24/7 to discuss urgent needs and concerns.  Our agency is non-franchised which allows for flexible, customized care options; designed to meet each family’s unique needs and budget.  Care plans and service schedules are always client directed.   Contracts are never required; period. 

Our agency has recognized the need for more affordable In-Home Care options in today’s marketplace.   In order to make Home Care a viable long term care option for seniors, Easy Living Services introduced Total Care Plus.  This service plan provides complete, 24 hour care coverage for your loved one at an affordable, flat rate.  With Total Care Plus, it’s all covered; personal care assistance, homemaker services, supervision, companionship and transportation.  Total Care Plus is a excellent solution for persons with Alzheimer's and Dementia.  Now, seniors can make the decision to age at home with confidence, assured that a professional caregiver will be there to provide the supportive care they may require at an affordable rate. 

home Care, In-Home Care, Caregiver

At Easy Living, we understand that it's difficult trying to juggle everything when a family member needs care. Turn to us for the extra support your family needs to keep a loved one safe, comfortable and well cared for at home.   

We're here to help.  Call Easy Living Services today.


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Topics: Home Care, In Home Care, senior care, caregiver, homecare