Alternatives To Assisted Living

Alternatives to Assisted Living

Many people see assisted living facilities as a step up from a nursing home, which is generally the case, while assisted living facilities are also considered a step down from living at home. Most seniors would agree that they would prefer to live at home rather than being “put in a home”.

Thankfully there are alternatives to assisted living which can provide the same standard of living, safety, and care that would be required of an aging loved one. While there are many alternatives, the most preferred alternative to assisted living is home aids, or home care givers, and companion care services.

Home Aids as an Alternative to Assisted Living

Home care givers, or home aids, are a great alternative to living in an assisted living facility. Home aids allow a senior to live at home while receiving the adequate assistance they need. As an RN (registered nurse) or a CNA (certified nurse assistant), home aids are trained and qualified to provide needed assistance with basic medical needs such as giving shots, applying an IV, physical therapy, or other similar services.

Unlike an assisted living facility, which typically only has one nurse to every 20 or so residents, having a home aid alleviates any worry that your aging loved one wouldn’t receive the necessary attention he or she needs.

Companion Care as an Alternative to Assisted Living Facilities
In some cases, where an elderly loved one does not require constant, or skilled care, but rather only requires assistance with day to day tasks, then companion care is also a great alternative to being in an assisted living facility. Companion care, or elder companions, is care givers who can provide assistance with daily tasks such as cooking, cleaning, bathing, or even running errands.

Many seniors have no problem living on their own or taking care of themselves but occasionally need some basic assistance with tasks that they either struggle with, or are unable to complete due to a disability or sickness. In these cases, an elder companion can provide the required assistance on an hourly, daily, monthly, or occasional basis where needed.

While living at home is almost always preferred, many seniors defer to living in a nursing home or assisted living facility due to misconceptions. The major misconceptions being:

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of in-home care or if you are in need of in-home senior care in Phoenix, Arizona please contact us today.

The Spotlight Of The Senior Fair

[title size=”1″]Social Security & Medicare | The Spotlight Of The Senior Fair[/title]
Lipinski, a speaker at the recent senior fair, said that he hosts ten to twelve such senior events in his district every year, and most seniors he speaks to are concerned about potential cuts in Social Security and Medicare benefits.  Lipinki said that these concerns “are always on the top of the list with seniors.  It’s understandable because it’s something that seniors very much care about.”

A representative of AARP Illinois, Courtney Hedderman, was on the scene to offer updates about new legislation under consideration by national and state government that may impact Medicare and Social Security benefits for seniors:  “There are a lot of people worried that there will be cuts of Social Security and Medicare.  We inform them about new legislation and give them advice on ways to contact their local representatives.”

[title size=”2″]Veterans, Agent Orange, & Health Care[/title]
Wayne Macejak of the American Legion of Illinois also attended the Senior Fair, where he says that he often finds veterans with no idea that they are entitled to certain benefits for health issues received during combat.

Macejak references a herbicide known as Agent Orange, which was used to clear jungle foliage during the Vietnam War for combat and was later linked to the onset of many illnesses such as heart disease and cancer.  “Many people I talk to are Vietnam veterans who have diabetes and other problems.  The government has found that many of these illnesses are occurring because we sprayed the whole country with Agent Orange.”

[title size=”3″]One Resident Finds Hope With Home Health[/title]
Rich Peters, age 66, a resident of Romeoville, Illinois attended the Senior Fair to find out more about services that might be available to him.  Over the course of the evening, he spoke with a representative of a home health care company.

“I learned that home health care can save money and can still allow people to live independently.  I also think it’s a great alternative, instead of going to a nursing home.  It seems to be the way of the future.”

A Disturbing Trend In Federal Disability

It is estimated that a full 5% of America’s workforce is permanently out of commission due to the rising claims of federal disability.  The U.S. government describes this as the result of two trends:

  • On average, Americans are getting older.  With age comes multiple health concerns.
  • More women have entered the workforce, increasing the number of female workers with health conditions to nearly as many as men.

However, independent researchers and experts have begun to see evidence that Americans are using disability insurance as a kind of safety-net when the job market is down or work is harder to come by.  These people may have some ability to continue working in many sectors, but as disability tends to pay higher rates than minimum wage, it makes more sense to claim disability.

The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco estimates that 40-60 percent of the increase in disability claims is a result of the program attracting broader constituency.  It has become easier to qualify for disability because claims are being judged on subjective criteria.  And as wages in America continue to stagnate and income inequity continues to soar, disability benefits have become more lucrative for lower-wage workers.

[title size=”2″]Demands Straining The System[/title]
However, disability seems to be acting very much more like a spider’s web than a safety net, as very few people historically return to the job market during rebound periods.  This means there are fewer workers in America and more disability claimants that are dependent on those workers to pay their taxes.

Unfortunately, this also puts an enormous and unnecessary strain on the federal disability program, which is quickly running out of money.  The United States government predicts that the fund for disability will no longer be able to meet all of its claims as early as 2016.

The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco says that disability “is likely to keep expanding unless program rules and incentives are fundamentally altered.”

If someone you love is struggling with a disability, we’re here to help with trusted elder care in Phoenix, AZ and the surrounding areas. Contact us to learn more and to request a free in-home consultation.

Caregiver Stress & Distress

[title size=”1″]Caregiver Stress & Distress[/title]
Caring for a disabled relative really takes a lot out of you.  Factors that contribute to the overall stress of caring for a loved one might include:

  • Lack of time to balance caregiving with home & family.
  • Lack of time to balance caregiving with work.
  • Financial distress.

“Many different forms of stress end up causing caregiver distress.  And caregiver distress is a very serious condition.”  Says Tim Myers,  “According to professor Peter Fataliano of the University of Washington, he has basically described caregiver distress as a condition that can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, fatigue, ulcers,  severe weight gain or loss; and so it can really manifest in ways that hurt the caregiver and prevent them from doing their job of caring for their loved-one.”

Myers also notes that relying on a support group of friends, family, or church groups, and taking time for yourself are good ways to de-stress.  “Take a break.  Whether it’s just simply taking a little bit of time to watch a favorite TV program, or read a book, or take a walk, but get away from the normal situation.”

Myers also suggests prayer, meditation, and physical exercise are good ways of coping with stress.  The endorphins released from these activities helps to improve mood and decrease stress.  Also, taking time to release your emotions can help.  “It’s okay to cry.”  Myers says.

[title size=”2″]The Role Of Home Health Services[/title]
“At this point there are approximately 10 million people who are 50-plus taking care of their parents across the country.”  Myers said.

He also noted that home health services work to assist people who are trying to stay home, recognize themselves as caregivers.  “A lot of people just see themselves as sons or daughters; they don’t recognize themselves as actual caregivers.”

Home health services are designed to do much more than just provide care for the patient; they are meant to help support those already giving care to their loved one.  Home health is meant to supplement that care, allowing at-home caregivers to take the time they need to de-stress while granting access to professional care and advice.

To learn more about home care services, click here.