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Atlanta Caregiver & Home Care Articles

What is Hospice Care?

Posted by Debby Franklin on Jun 17, 2020 12:47:52 PM


Making the decision to enlist Hospice Care for a loved one can be very emotional and overwhelming.  It signifies the end of treatment for a terminal condition and focuses on the quality of life for those with an advanced incurable disease.  Some people think using hospice means that they are giving up, but Hospice simply focuses on comfort, compassion, and gaining control of physical pain during the last stage of life.

Here are key points associated with Hospice Services:

  • Hospice is specialized healthcare whose focus is on pain management and comfort. Hospice care can be selected when it is determined that life expectancy for any terminal condition is 6 months or less.  There will no longer be treatment administered to "cure" the terminal health condition.  Please note, someone on hospice care can and many do, live beyond the six month time frame and they are still eligible to receive the services after being re-certified by the physician.
  • A person that is placed on Hospice can change their mind and leave Hospice and restart standard medical care at any time.  In some instances the Hospice care benefits the person receiving the care so much that they are able to extend their lives and leave the program.
  • Hospice can take place in a medicare approved hospice facility or in thee majority of cases, at home, assisted living or nursing facility.  If an in-facility care option is selected, the family should understand that charges for normal "room & board" will be the responsibility of the family.  Investigate out of pocket costs before making selection between in-home vs. in-facility. 
  • to qualify for Hospice Care at home, there must be a willing, able and available caregiver in the home.  Hospice provides some personal care assistance such as bathing and dressing, however, it does NOT provide full time caregivers.  Many families select professional caregivers from Home Care agencies.
  • The Hospice Care team will typically consist of a physician, nurse, social worker, counselor, physical/occupational/speech therapists, nursing assistants, and volunteers.  The regular physician can also be included as part of the team.
  • Under Hospice you will receive a host of services including: physician and nursing, medical equipment (hospital bed, wheelchair, walker, beside commode, lift, etc), drugs for symptom control and pain, homemaker services, therapy, social worker, dietary counseling, grief counseling, massage therapy, short term inpatient care if needed for pain and symptom management and short term respite care.
  • Once Hospice Care has been selected, the following costs will NO LONGER be covered under Medicare:  treatments intended to cure the terminal illness, drugs intended to cure the illness, care from any provider that wasn't established by the hospice team, room and board, care in an emergency room or ambulance, inpatient facility unless it has been set up by your hospice team.

Seeking hospice and palliative care isn't about giving up hope.  It's really about finding the appropriate level of care in one's final weeks or months.  For many, the comfort of home and spending time with loved ones is desired over the cold, sterile setting of a hospital room.  If you have made the decision to transition to hospice care and need information regarding In-Home care services, please contact Easy Living Services at 770-442-8664. We are here to help!

Atlanta Caregivers

Topics: In Home Care, Atlanta Home Care, Hospice, Caregiver Support

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

Family Caregiver Burnout

Posted by Debby Franklin on Jun 5, 2017 4:56:33 PM


Helping with the needs of a loved one is no easy task.  Millions of family caregivers are working with difficult physical and mental health situations and putting in extremely long hours with little or no back up assistance. Family caregiving can drain individuals both physically and emotionally which can result in burnout and exhaustion, leaving the caregiver endangering their own health.

Family caregiver burnout is a result of neglecting your emotional, physical, and mental health.  Persons between the ages of 66-95 who are caring for loved ones, have a 63% higher risk of dying than people of the same age who are not providing caregiver duties.  

Burnout Symptoms Can Include:

  • Physical exhaustion, drained and tired, excessive illness
  • Depression, emotional breakdowns, crying for no valid reason, sadness, feelings of helplessness
  • Inability to sleep soundly, restlessness, changes in sleep patterns
  • Increase or decrease in appetite
  • Increase or decrease in weight
  • Irritability, anxiety
  • Withdrawal from prior activities both social and personal
  • Concentration problems
  • Feeling of abandonment and abuse

The first step is to realize you may no longer be the best person to take care of your loved one.  Seek the advice of a trained professional on getting yourself back on track, and re-engage with friends and family.  Look into Respite Care and Home Care services to give yourself a much needed break.  Respite care provides an outside caregiver service to send in temporary care which can support and strengthen your ability to continue on as a family caregiver.  Respite and Home Care services can be scheduled for as little as a four hour block of time up to around the clock for several days or weeks.  Respite care can allow for you to relax and take care of important appointments and most importantly, YOU!  

For persons caring for a loved one with Dementia or Alzheimer's, it is possible to apply for a grant to help cover the cost of respite care.  The Alzheimer's Foundation of America makes a limited number of Family Respite Care Grants.  There are application deadlines in spring and fall.  Go to:  and  for more details.  You can also look into government senior organizations, churches and other volunteer groups for respite assistance. 

Home Care is typically paid by private pay or Long Term Care Insurance and can provide a world of relief. Home Care can range from companion and supervised activities,s or can include personal care such as assistance with bathing, dressing, toileting, mobility, and safety.

Consult Atlanta's Home Care expert, Easy Living Services, Inc.  Easy Living has been assisting thousands of Atlanta families with keeping their loved ones fulfilled, happy, and safe in the comfort of home since 1994.  Call us today to learn how we can help 770-442-8664.  To learn more visit /blog/119751/edit-beta/




Topics: Caregiver Support

Support for the Family Caregiver

Posted by Debby Franklin on Aug 9, 2016 2:03:13 PM

dreamstime_woman_getting_flowers.jpgMore than 29% of American adults serve as the family caregiver caring for a sick or disabled loved one.  Over 66% of all family caregivers are women.  For most it can become a full time job caring for the immediate family while helping an ill or recovering loved one.  The role of caring for another adult can over the course of time, take a toll on your health.  At least 70% of family caregivers have been reported to show significant signs of depression and the research showed that at least 17% felt that their own health became worse from caregiving.


For resources and suggestions on emotional support:

Join A Support GroupSometimes all it takes is to talk about your day to get things off your chest and to let it go.  A support group will bring you together with people who share the same day to day frustrations and the offered advice on how to cope and deal with the challenges will help the group collectively.  Support groups let you discuss your issues with a group that will see you in a non-judgmental way vs. talking with a friend or another family member.  Many churches, synagogues, hospitals and local organizations offer programs that provide caregiver support.  

Online SupportSocial media dominates our communication habits today and this is why many caregivers seek online support.  There are several discussion forums and web sites designed to provide information and reassurance along with many of the specific medical condition sites.  Facebook also has groups that focus just on caregivers and their issues. 

Stay OrganizedWith the doctor visits and notes from the visit, medication reminders, specific nutritional requirements and just appointments in general for the person being cared for and YOURSELF, you need a system to keep it all straight and to focus on what's important.  On line resources can help with the organization of information.  there are apps and sites that can help such as CaringBridge.

Keep a JournalFor many putting your thoughts on paper can be soothing and a great release from all that is pent up inside.  Writing down your feelings and events from the day is a safe place to say what you may think but could never say out loud.  Keeping a journal can be a great stress reliever.  Along with writing about everything that is bothering you be sure to include all of the good in our life and everything that you are grateful for.

Caring For YouHaving been in Home Care for over 22 years, I have seen far too many times the family caregiver putting so much emotional and physical support into caring for a loved one that they in turn become ill and end up in need of care.  It is absolutely essential to take time to care for you!  Give yourself time for things that bring you comfort, pleasure and that will nourish your mind and body.  Taking time away from caregiving isn't selfish it is a requirement to keep you healthy and strong.  Whatever brings to you happiness is something that you have to make the time to do daily and at minimum weekly.

Utilize Respite CareWith the hectic pace of life and with the approaching holiday season, this may be the perfect time to try Home Care Respite service.  Respite service provides short term temporary relief with a professional caregiver assisting and filling in the gaps for the family caregiver.  Make the decision to reduce stress, ease your mind and work load by turning to a caregiver team.  A respite caregiver can help your loved one remain comfortable and well cared for at home while your focus on your own needs!

Here is just a small sampling of the services a professional caregiver can assist with:

  • Personal Care & Hygiene
  • Medication Reminders
  • Meal Preparation 
  • Shopping & Errands 
  • Transportation to Appointments
  • Homemaker Service (laundry, vacuum, dusting, linen change, sanitation)
  • Companionship
  • Hospital/Rehab Sitter

A certificate for Caregiver Services makes a thoughtful gift for a deserving senior, a busy family struggling to care for a loved one, a neighbor or friend with a chronic illness.   Easy Living Services has supported Atlanta families in their efforts to keep loved ones fulfilled and safe at home since 1994.  Call us to speak with a Representative about your family's specific Home care needs, 770-442-8664.

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Atlanta Caregivers


Topics: Caregiver Support