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Atlanta Caregiver & Home Care Articles

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

Caring For A Parent While Keeping Sane!

Posted by Debby Franklin on Feb 17, 2014 4:10:00 PM

Caring for a loved one, Home Care Atlanta, Senior CareCaring for an aging parent can be challenging and some of the time can make us a feel like we are losing it!  It can be one of the most emotionally difficult experiences.  Not only are we juggling our own lives, but now due to the aging process the people who once took care of us need help in caring for themselves. 

When you start taking care of your parent, they give up the one thing they have always had in your relationship together, their authority.  A person who may have been irritable can become enraged; someone who is impatient can now be demanding and impossible to please.  In many instances the parent turns on the child that is trying their best to assist with their well being. 

The aging process can bring on forgetfulness, frustration, sadness and depression, personality changes, hallucinations, personal hygiene issues, hoarding, OCD and demands that all of the your time and attention be spent on them.  It’s no wonder we hear on a weekly basis “my mother is making me crazy!’

What are some things that you can do to cope on this caregiving journey?

  • Accept the fact that life has changed and changes are inevitable. 
  • Try not to take things personally.  Learn to recognize the cognitive dysfunction.
  • Many times our parents reserve their worst behavior for those they are closest to.  Consider getting your parent involved in senior activities or adult day care, depending on their physical capabilities.
  • Always seek professional help.  Therapy and medications can help with some of the aging symptoms and changes.  Your parent could also be having a side-effect of a current mediation or the dose may need to be modified.
  • Redirection is a good technique to divert from something that is occurring that is unpleasant or inappropriate.
  • Reminiscing is always a good mood enhancer.  Using long-term memory skills will most likely help your parent shift to a happier disposition.
  • When a parent becomes demanding for all of your time and attention this usually means they have become dependant on you for all of their physical and emotional needs.  This is when you have to take steps to take care of yourself!  Bring in outside help or contact the local Senior Services office in your area to find out what programs are available that can provide care assistance and companionship to your loved one.  Churches and other charitable organizations are also a good reference source. 

You hear this over and over so hear goes it one more time….don’t forget the “me” time!  Having time to rejuvenate is critical to your overall health.  Do all the things that bring you fun and pleasure and don’t feel guilty for the time spent away from caring for your parent.  Your life still needs to have you in it!

If you are finding it difficult to juggle it all - work, family, errands and other demands that often leave you over taxed.  Where do you turn when a loved ones needs are more than you can manage on your own?  What do you do when some of the care alternatives seem like a complication rather than a solution?  We understand, in fact, we have been there.

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

Finally, a real solution.  At last, peace of mind.  Call us at 770-442-8664.  

Atlanta Caregivers

Topics: taking care of a parent, caring for a loved one, Atlanta Home Care, Live-In Caregiver

24 Hour Caregiver Service

Posted by Debby Franklin on Sep 20, 2013 4:28:00 PM

24 Hour Caregiver, Live-In Caregiver, Around-the-clock caregiver, Atlanta Caregiver, Home Care, 

There's no question that evaluating 24 Hour Caregiver options for a loved one can be quite overwhelming, not to mention costly.  You might be surprised to learn that 24 Hour Caregiver service options can be among the most affordable and best values in senior care. 

24 Hour Caregiver Service refers to a caregiver that lives with the care recipient for a specified period of time (usually 3-4 days), providing 24 hour coverage. Typically when 24/7 service is set up 3 caregivers are selected to work with a specific client so that familiarity and continuity can be established between the client and the care team. The selected are team will rotate days providing what is typically called "Live-In" care. 24 Hour "Live-In" care is  billed at a flat, daily fee with rates ranging from $175 to $185 per 24 hour period.  24 Hour Caregiver Service rates are considerably less expensive on a per hour basis than standard hourly care.  In order to meet the qualifications for 24 Hour care, one of the requirements is that the client must sleep on average 7-8 hours per night without needing assistance.  If regular sleep is not possible for the caregiver, one solution is that an additional Aide can be brought in to provide nighttime coverage, on an hourly basis so that the 24 hour caregiver can get the rest needed to perform the duties during the day. Even by brining in an additional caregiver at night the total cost for care is normally much lower than hourly around-the-clock rates.

Before you dismiss 24 Hour care as too costly, consider how comprehensive the care is for the money.  Besides "hands on", personal care services such as bathing, dressing, mobility assistance and companionship, caregivers serve as Household Managers.  Consider the tasks listed below that are rolled into the job of a "Live-in" caregiver:


Household cleaning & laundry services--- a $540 per month ($135 per week) value

Personal Meal Planning/Shopping/Preparation Services--- a $450 per month value (30 home cooked, nutritious meals) 

Pet Care (feeding/walking)---a $270 per month ($9 per day) value

Errand & Transportation Service---a $320 per month value (2 local outings per week)

 

These extra services, of course, are in addition to the priceless benefit of one-on-one personal care and companionship in one's own home.  24 Hour care is especially economical for couples or those requiring significant levels of personal care.

As a word of caution---some might be tempted to search for 24 Hour Caregiver Service on their own. "A friend of a friend" may sound like an attractive option.  This person may be someone that you believe you would be comfortable around.  After all, concern about having a stranger in the home is a major hurdle for most.   You should question the motivation of people who claim they will move in on a permanent basis to care for all of the needs of an elderly person.  Professional Caregivers are real people with families, homes and their own interests. A professional, skilled caregiver will NOT be willing to move in permanently and give up their own lives without a break. He or she should possess the credentials/experience necessary to work with the elderly.  Be skeptical of those who are willing to accept room/board and tiny salaries in exchange for a loved one's total care.  Many seniors have fallen prey to dishonest "caregivers" who take advantage of the situation.

Instead, consider retaining the services of a professional In-Home Care agency. Agency personnel will handle the screening and make certain that the caregiver sent to care for your loved one is skilled, professional and has a solid track record.  Agencies also guarantee coverage if your primary caregiver must miss work.  Agency caregivers receive regular breaks so that when they return to care for your loved one; they are refreshed.

If you are finding it difficult to juggle it all - work, family, errands and other demands that often leave you over taxed.  Where do you turn when a loved ones needs are more than you can manage on your own?  What do you do when some of the care alternatives seem like a complication rather than a solution?  We understand, in fact, we have been there.

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

Finally, a real solution.  At last, peace of mind.  Call us at 770-442-8664.  

  Atlanta Caregivers

Topics: In Home Care, Atlanta Caregivers, Around-the-clock caregiver, Live-In Caregiver, 24 Hour Caregiver