Everyone that has had a friend or family member suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease understands what a tragic and heartbreaking disease it can be. For family caregivers providing Alzheimer’s home care for a loved one, the disease can present challenges that most personal care assistants don’t have to deal with.
In addition to the day-to-day struggles of providing Alzheimer’s home care for a senior, the stigma around the disease can make it difficult to educate your loved one about what they are experiencing. These stigmas often prevent patient from seeking help and can prevent them from living the best quality of life possible.
Smartphones, TVs, computers, and tablets consumer our daily lives. In fact, Americans spend an average of 10 hours a day staring at a screen. Whether used for work or entertainment, technological devices have quickly become an integral part of our daily lives. Part of the allure of these devices is their ease of use and accessibility to nearly any content the user desires. However, studies have also shown that staring at a backlit screen for long periods of time can have negative effects on brain patterns and strain our eyes.
With the snow melting and the weather warming up, most Minnesotans are putting away their winter clothes and bringing out the short sleeves. For PCAs providing in-home supportive services for seniors, now is the perfect time of year to evaluate your patient’s wardrobe and help them make the best decisions on what to wear this summer. Instead of basing their wardrobe on fashion, personal care assistants and family caregivers should focus on comfort, cleanliness, and accessibility.
There are several factors to consider when purchasing new clothes for seniors this spring:
This is the time of year when Minnesotans flock to warmer weather to enjoy a week in the sun known as spring break. This annual migration of the winter weary is observed by millions but for personal care assistants and family caregivers, getting away for a week can be difficult. Home caregivers often find it difficult to take a vacation because they cannot find a substitute PCA to cover for them while they are away or they are nervous about leaving their loved one. As a result, they miss out on the opportunity to recharge on a much needed vacation with family and friends.
Over the last thirty years, the number of people in the United States living ninety years or more has tripled; reaching nearly two-million individuals in 2010. This number is expected to continue to grow in the coming years as the Baby Boomer generation ages well past retirement. This growing population of elderly individuals means an increased demand for senior home care services. Many families are choosing to face this demand head on by caring for their loved ones themselves in lieu of formal at-home care services from a personal care assistant or home care agency.
In 2015, legislation was passed that entitled home care workers to a minimum wage, overtime pay, pay for travel time between clients, and several other labor benefits. At Best Home Care, our team of home care professionals had access to many of these benefits long before this legislation was passed however, many other Minnesota home care agencies were forced to adjust their practices.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune explains that to adhere to these new regulations, home care agencies began capping their employees’ hours in an effort to avoid paying overtime and other benefits. Personal care assistants had no other choice than to either limit the number of hours they provided home care or provide care for free. This led to a situation where the need for in-home supportive services was growing but access to it was decreasing leading to a shortage of home caregivers in many states.
Growing up, being an only child can definitely have its advantages. No hand-me-downs, the best birthday gifts, and all your parent’s attention. However, as your parents age they may require more of your attention in the form of home caregiving services.
According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, 29% of Americans provide care for a chronically ill or disabled family member. This number is expected to rise as baby boomers continue to enter retirement and require in-home supportive services. Family caregiving is becoming increasingly popular as a more affordable option compared with traditional PCA services. Children caring for aging parents is one of the most common family caregiving situations today but for only-children, this task can be especially stressful.
Over the last couple years, the home care industry throughout the United States has been facing a shortage of personal care assistants and home caregivers. This issue has been especially difficult for families with loved ones that require 24-hour or daily in-home supportive services as they are forced to provide the care themselves or turn to family members and friends for help. Families have even gone so far as to bring their loved ones to the hospital to be cared for while they search for at-home care services.
One of the largest and fastest growing communities on social media are those over 55 years old. As senior citizens become more accustomed to technology, they are increasingly flocking to social media to get news and stay connected with family and friends. Of these social media platforms, Facebook has seen the most significant rise in senior citizen users over the last two years. According to a Penn State study in 2016, 35% of seniors age 65 and older were on Facebook and that number is expected to continue rising.
One of the greatest threats to a senior’s emotional health is loneliness. Whether due to the loss of a spouse or being separated from other family members and friends, many seniors spend their days alone. This loneliness can lead to depression and negatively impact a senior’s overall health. In fact, seniors are one of the most susceptible age groups to depression and emotional health problems.
There are many steps that a personal care assistants can take to help combat depression in senior home care patients. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, this is a great time to take a moment to show a senior that they are cared for.