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Companion Care of America Newsletter
In This Issue
Aging Care has two Sides
Caregiver Facts and Figures
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1-800-633-4227 
 
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According to
Hillary Abram's book
"Aging Parents and Options in Care,"
 
Things to Consider 

Do you have sufficient financial resources to house them?


Is there a separate living area for them to allow for  privacy?  


Is your house designed and equipped for them to live with you? For instance, do you have stairs they will need to climb? Can safety features be installed in the bathrrom?

How much time can be devoted to caregiving?
 
Discuss these and other questions
with family members, neighbors and friends before making a decision.
 
TIPS:
 
Set Boundaries. Strive to maintain respect as you negotiate life-changing decisions together.
 
Talk openly. be sensitive to person's desire to maintain their independence.
 
Consider financial plans. meet with legal and financial authorities to ensure a smoother transition.
 
Enlist the help of others. Family, friends, clergy and volunteer organizations can provide assistance, support and help reduce feelings of guilt and anxiety.


Mainntain balance. Get adequate sleep, exercise, eat healthy and set aside time for yourself.
Seek professional help. Discuss your concerns with a physician.

 
 QUESTIONS:

How safe are they in the home? Do they lock the door? Turn off the stove and other appliances?
 
Are they safe while driving?
 
Has their personal hygiene or level of cleanliness changed?
 
Do they walk differently? Avoid stairs?
 
Are they experiencing loss of vision, hearing or memory?
 
How often do they leave the house? Do they make excuses about not leaving the home?
 

 

 
 
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Issue: # 1 February/2009

caregiver1

Dear Reader:
 
After doing business here in Georgia for 5 years Companion Care of America is issuing it's first newsletter for the web and mailing. We hope to keep you informed on all aspects of caregiving and all surrounding medical fields regarding the caregiving industry. 
 
Providing care for a family member in need is a practice of kindness, love, and loyalty. Most of the population will participate in the care giving process, as the caregiver, the recipient of care, or possibly both. The demand for caregiving services has increased dramatically and will continue to rise with increased life expectancies and medical advances.
 
 As the caregiving population has grown over the years, the definition of "caregiver" has taken on many meanings. Care giving for your loved facing a chronic illness, disability, or death can be taxing. Caregivers are a diverse group of people of all ages and from all walks of life - some new to caregiving, some just anticipating becoming caregivers, and others for whom providing care has become a way of life."

       Aging Care has Two Sides
 
Decisions about aging care require planning and preparation, and they also require an open mind when you're the one who is aging. "It's an issue that no one wants to deal with until there's an emergency situation going on" says Hillary Abrams, author of "Aging Parents and Options in Care," a handbook about aging care choices. "People need to know where to ask and how to find the help they need."
 
In her book, the Atlanta elder-care consult tries to equip readers - both older adults and their families - with the tools they need to make more informed, proactive choices about care to reduce emotional stress. The concise guide provides a road map complete with assessments, evaluations and worksheets to determine the financial, physical and psychological needs of older adults.

A starting point, Abrams says, is noting changes in routine, mobility and mental capacity. For instance, a loved one who neglects watering the plants, collecting the mail or handling small chores for long periods of time may suffer from depression, limited mobility or a general lack of interest. A person who revisits the same conversation repeatly may be experiencing some memory loss.
 
Any patterns observed over several months should be reported to a physician, she advises. But be prepared for resistance, she warns. Most people say, "I don't want to go into nursing home; promise me you're never going to put me away", said Abrams, noting that older adults want to maintain their independence. Incorporating them into the decision making process helps smooth the transition, she said. "You've got to convey that I'm going to do everything I can to adhere to your wishes, but if it gets to a certain point, this is what we will need to do," she said. "Their safety and health are paramount."

So, what if you are the aging parent and suspect that your adult children are ploting to take your independence away?
Ask questions, keep the lines of communication open, cooperate and understand that needing help is not a sign of weakness, said Abrams.
"If someone pushes you, we tend to push back," she said. "But your children love you and want to ensure your health and safety. You've got to meet them halfway and realize it's a give-and-take process."
 

Care Giver Facts and Figures

  • womanToday, an estimated 57% adult Americans are either providing unpaid care to an adult family member or friend or have provided this care in the past.
  • 66% of the poplulation believe they will need to provide care to someone in the future.
  • Caregiving is prevalent across all economic levels and ethnic groups. 59% Whites in the U.S. are or have been caregivers, as compared with 53% of African-Americans, and 51% of Hispanic adults.
  • Elderly spousal caregivers with a history of chronic illness themselves who are experiencing caregiving related stress have a 63% higher mortality rate than their non-caregiving peers.
  • More than half of all adult Americans have a chronic condition. Of these, as many as 412 million are limited in their daily activities and, therefore, likely to need some assistance from family members or friends. Moreover, another 12 million who are unable to live independently require ongoing care either through family caregivers or an institutional setting.
  • Half of caregivers (51 percent) say their caregiving has resulted in less time for family and friends. A substantial number (44 percent) also report giving up vacations, hobbies and social activities as a result of their caregiving responsibilities.
  • For some adults with heavy caregiving responsibilities, the impact on their ability to work is significant. According to a major study by AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving, some working caregivers reported having to take a leave of absence (17 percent), shift from full-time to part-time work (10 percent), quit work entirely (6 percent), lose job benefits (5 percent), turn down a promotion (4 percent), or choose early retirement (3 percent).
  • According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, depression is the most common health problem among family caregivers. One study revealed that anxiety was present in 17.5 percent of caregivers, compared to 10.0 percent of control subjects.
  • Among those caring for a person with dementia, rates of depression can be as high as 43-46 percent, nearly three times what is found in the general population.
  • More than half of working caregivers (57 percent) say they have to go into work late, leave early or take time off during the day to provide care.
Companion Care of America (CCA) is a personal at home caregiving service for the aging and disabled. Our main focus is to give quality care and assistance to clients in the comfort of their own home.
Companion Care can provide care for clients from 4 hours per day to 24/7 live in care. We provide non-skilled (C.N.A.) nursing services for a variety of people needing additional services for a family member or loved one. Our services range from Bathing/Showering, assistance in dressing, to running errands and going to doctor's visits, all in an attempt to provide a better quality of life for our clients.
 

277 Village Parkway
Marietta, Ga. 30067
(770) 859-0000
www.companioncareofamerica.com
 

Brad Coyle
Companion Care of America

 

Caregiving Tip for the Month:
Seek support from other caregivers
There is great strength in knowing you not alone.