Getting Paid as a Family Caregiver

Getting paid as a family caregiver

When you are caring for an older adult, it can become very expensive.

There are so many out-of-pocket expenses for such things as medical supplies, prescription drug copays, home health care, and many more.

Some people had to leave their jobs or cut their hours to care for their loved ones.

What if you could get paid as a caregiver?

Getting paid as a family caregiver

It is possible; there are government programs that exist to help those caring for an older person. They are not available everywhere and not everyone qualifies, but you may qualify, so it’s worth checking into.

Medicaid Programs

There are Medicaid programs that give money to seniors to hire an in-home caregiver. The caregiver could be a family member or friend; it doesn’t have to be a professional.

Florida has its own eligibility requirements, as does each state, they also all have different names for the program.

If the senior is accepted into the program, the amount of money they receive will depend on an assessment of need and the average wage for home health care aides. You have to apply for this through your local Medicaid office.

State Programs

Some states have programs that pay caregivers for those who don’t qualify for Medicaid or for those with specific needs, such as traumatic brain injuries. To find out if your loved one qualifies, check with the local Medicaid office or department of health.

You can find out all about Medicaid and ask questions on the AHCA website, by following this link.

Veterans Programs

There are also programs available through the Veterans Department.

If you are a Veteran or the spouse of a deceased veteran you may be entitled to money you don’t even know about for your care.

One program is called Veteran directed home and community-based services and it helps Veterans of any age who are at risk of institutional placement to continue to live in their own homes.

The Veteran chooses the services that best meets their needs and they can hire in-home health care whether it be a company or a family member.

The other program offered through the VA is called aid and attendance.

Veterans, who are eligible for a VA pension and need home health care or assisted living, may be able to receive additional benefits on top of the monthly pension benefit.

These monies are paid directly to the senior and they are able to pay whomever they choose, whether it be a family member assisting them, a home health company, or an assisted living community.

So, there is help out there to get you paid as being a caregiver, please try not to stress over money.

Caregiving is hard enough on you, stressing over money will only make your stress level increase.

So, take a deep breath and remember Assisted Living Made Simple has your back!!

If you need help or encouragement as a Caregiver give us a call at 386-847-2322 or check out our Caregiver Support Group. Our Senior Advisors are here to walk with you through this journey.

Financial Planning for Seniors

Financial Planning for Seniors

4 Practical Tips to Help Seniors With Financial Planning

You may ask yourself; shouldn’t this have been done when they were younger?

Yes, perhaps, but not all of us think of this when we’re young and not all of us can do this when we’re young. So we must now plan for it as we age.

Financial Planning for Seniors

Where do you begin?

First, make a budget and stick to it.

You know how much money you have coming in each month and how much you can afford to put out each month.

Find a financial advisor; there are local programs that can help you.

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is one such program that helps seniors with many different programs for free or reduced rates.

AARP is another organization that offers free programs from other seniors who have retired, such as financial advisors who are looking to volunteer their services and assistance.

Next, set limits on the money you give to family members.

I know it’s nice to give your children and grandchildren money for their birthday and Christmas, but you may need to hold on to that money for yourself, or perhaps give them a lesser amount.

There’s a free program through the NCOA called BenefitsCheckUp and they provide community programs and services, online help, and advocacy.

After signing up, you can browse all the programs offered, find out if you qualify, and figure out how to apply for them. Go to https://www.benefitscheckup.org/ to learn more.

Be very careful with your internet/TV/phone service too.

Different companies charge so much money and if you have direct debit, you may not even know what you are paying for the service.

This happened to a client of ours, she has her internet/cable/phone service come right out of her checking account. Well, she bounced some checks because she didn’t know how much was coming out.

When she signed up for it, it was like $129.99 a month, so this is what she was taking out. Well, guess what? They were charging her, $275.00 a month!!! She said she never received a notice about the rate increase nor did she receive anything from her bank.

This woman has several children and to think that not one of them checks on her financial well-being just amazes me.

As senior advocates, we can help in situations like this. One of our advisors took her to her bank and to the places where the checks bounced and rectified the situation.

The bank is now to notify our advocate when monies run low. Our advisor was also able to downgrade her internet service and her bill is no longer direct debited from her account.

This is just one example of what a senior advocate can do for you, so should you find you need a senior advocate, someone who will go to bat for YOU with no hidden agenda, call Assisted Living Made Simple. We love our seniors and are privileged to assist you, and the best part is . . . our service to you is FREE!!

If you need help or encouragement as a Caregiver give us a call at 386-847-2322 or check out our Caregiver Support Group. Our Senior Advisors are here to walk with you through this journey.

Declutter Methods to Help with Autism and Alzheimer’s

Declutter Methods for Autism and Alzheimers

9 Simple Methods you can use to help declutter the home of someone with Autism and/or Alzheimer’s

April is National Autism Awareness Month and we thought we’d share some ways to declutter the home that will help those with Autism. The best part is, these methods will also help those with Alzheimer’s.

Declutter Methods for Autism and AlzheimersChanging a person’s environment can be very frustrating, even if you don’t have Autism or Alzheimer’s, but when you have a disorder or a disease it’s enhanced. Try to make everything the same as it always has been.

This would not be a good time to purchase new furniture, or rearrange the house.
Even the slightest little thing can be extremely upsetting.

Come up with ideas to incorporate ways to reduce frustration and anxiety and increase their understanding.

1) There are some simple things you can do like purchase an erasable calendar and have a clear, concise schedule laid out so they can understand it.

2) Give warnings when something is about to come up, Your doctor appointment is in a half-hour, we’ll be leaving in fifteen minutes. Things like this, it can ease their frustration as well as yours.

3) Avoid loud noises, flickering lights, and anything that may cause frustration or stress. This could be as simple as replacing light bulbs or turning the volume down or the television or radio.

When your home is cluttered, it frustrates the person with Autism or Alzheimer’s because they have a hard time finding things.

4) Let go of things, get rid of the old magazines lying around and keep a few of their favorites.

5) Keep floors clear from trip hazards such as throw rugs, extension cords, or anything else that may be in the walkway. They don’t always watch where they’re walking and if they trip, they can become very angry.

Check out our blog on the Senior Home Safety Checklist, this list can be attributed to everyone and shares some valuable insight to things you may never think of.

6) When decluttering someone else’s belongings, involve them in the process. You may look at that old, stained styrofoam cup as trash, but to someone with Autism or Alzheimer’s, it could be something they are emotionally attached to for whatever reason.

7) Make sure you explain to them what you are doing and why, they will most likely forget and keep asking you what and why you are doing this. This will only frustrate both of you. Put it in writing, so they can read what you are doing and why you are doing it. This will help ease the frustration levels as they can refer back to paper when they want to question it again.

8) Start in the smaller places like the bathroom or the kitchen. If you see they have five toothbrushes in the cabinet say something like, Do you use a different one for each weekday? That’s a great idea, but can we just use one toothbrush every day?

Just make sure to not sound judgemental, there is a reason they have five different toothbrushes in the cabinet, they just may not remember or know why, but it makes sense to them.

9) Declutter slowly, this is a big step and can be very upsetting. Take frequent breaks if you need to and go back to it after a nice lunch or a cup of tea. Have some meditation music playing quietly in the background to help them remain calm.

Remember, you are upsetting their world, take things slow, involve them in the decluttering process, and start small.

We are all here to assist the person with Autism or Alzheimer’s live a happy and healthy life and together we make it happen.

If you need help or encouragement as a Caregiver give us a call at 386-847-2322 or check out our Caregiver Support Group. Our Senior Advisors are here to walk with you through this journey.

Best Produce For April PLUS Recipes

April Produce that you can use in the following recipes

Best Produce for April and Yummy Recipes

You may wonder what produce is in season for the month of April, well here is a list of them for you.

Asparagus, avocado, beets, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, citrus fruits, greens, leeks, mushrooms, peas, radishes, and sweet potatoes.

I’m going to highlight two underrated yet very beneficial vegetables we should all be eating more of, sweet potatoes and beets!!!

But before I do, be sure to check out our post on the best diet to help you live a longer and healthier life. It has some wonderful information about other foods that are beneficial to you too. 

Let’s start off with a sweet potato recipe:

Did you know that sweet potatoes are a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals? They are rich in antioxidants that protect your body from free radicals and the fiber and antioxidants in sweet potatoes are helpful to your gut health. Sweet potatoes contain two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble.

Your body cannot digest either type, which means the fiber stays within your digestive tract and provides a variety of gut-related health benefits. Sweet potatoes offer various antioxidants, which may help protect against certain types of cancers.

Vanilla Bean Sweet Potato Waffles
Ingredients

Ingredients

2 small sweet potatoes, roasted and cooled
1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped (or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 1/4 cup buttermilk

Instructions

1. To roast the potatoes, place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Wrap whole, unpeeled sweet potatoes in foil, place on a rimmed baking sheet and allow to bake until a fork inserted in the potato meets no resistance. Depending on the size of your potatoes, this could take 30 minutes or so. Remove from the oven and allow to rest until cool enough to handle. Peel the potatoes, discard the peel, and mash well with a fork. Measure 1 cup of potatoes for the waffles.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.

3. In another medium bowl combine brown sugar and vanilla beans. Use your fingers to rub the two together, infusing the brown sugar with vanilla. If you’re using vanilla extract, add vanilla to the eggs and sugar after they’re beaten together.

4. Whisk in the eggs until well combined. (Add the vanilla extract here, if using.) Whisk in the melted butter, maple syrup, and buttermilk. Stir to combine.

5. Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients. Stir well to combine thoroughly. Allow it to rest while the waffle iron heats.

6. Spray waffle iron if it isn’t already nonstick. Add waffle batter and cook according to your specific waffle iron.

7. Serve warm with pure maple syrup. These waffles also freeze very well once baked.

Now, let’s take a look at beets. Beets are packed with essential nutrients, beetroots are a great source of fiber, vitamin B9, manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C. Beetroots and its juice have been associated with numerous health benefits, including improved blood flow, lower blood pressure, and increased exercise performance.Here’s an easy beet recipe that sounds absolutely DELISH!!!!

Berry-Beet Salad

Ingredients
recipe for beet salad

1 each fresh red and golden beets
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons walnut oil
1 teaspoon honey
Dash salt
Dash pepper
1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1/2 cup fresh blackberries
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts, toasted
1 shallot, thinly sliced
4 cups torn mixed salad greens
1 ounce fresh goat cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon fresh basil, thinly sliced

Directions

1. Place beets in an 8-in. square baking dish; add 1 in. of water. Cover and bake at 400° for 30-40 minutes or until tender.

2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, oil, honey, salt and pepper; set aside. Cool beets; peel and cut into thin slices.

3. In a large bowl, combine the beets, berries, walnuts and shallot. Pour dressing over the beet mixture and toss gently to coat. Divide salad greens among 4 serving plates. Top with beet mixture; sprinkle with cheese and basil.

Seasonal produce for the month of April brings something for everyone, find something you love and go get it. If you have a favorite place that has the BEST produce around, drop me a line at almsnsb@gmail.com and let me know where! I’m always on the lookout for new places to shop. Happy spring, happy shopping, and happy April!!

If you need help or encouragement as a Caregiver give us a call at 386-847-2322 or check out our Caregiver Support Group. Our Senior Advisors are here to walk with you through this journey.

You Can’t Parent Your Parent

You Can't Parent Your Parent...or can you?

You Can’t Parent Your Parent – Or Can You?

So, you think you can’t parent your parents no matter what, well think again.

The key to turning the tables is communication!

How exactly do you do this when they won’t listen?

First, remember it’s very hard for them to hear they can no longer do the things they used to. They are the ones who raised families, worked all their adulthood (some beginning in teenage years), ran businesses, carpools, and took care of YOU!

 Now you are taking care of them and it’s extremely difficult for them to deal with; it scares them!

To find out more about what scares them, read our blog titled, What are Seniors Top Fears? You might be surprised what they’re afraid of.

There are ways to effectively communicate with them so they don’t feel like a child. Make sure you talk to them, not at them, don’t scold them, praise them. Have respect and consideration when speaking to your parents, this is new for you and them please don’t talk down to them.

Remember how it felt when someone spoke down to you as a child? This is how it makes them feel too! Please don’t do it.

You Can't Parent Your Parent...or can you?

Let’s say your mom can no longer drive. Instead of telling her, “Mom, you can’t drive anymore because you can’t see, end of story.” Turn the tables and say something like, “Mom, I really don’t want you driving anymore because I can’t sleep at night worrying about you. I’m afraid you might get into an accident, will you please stop driving for me?”

No one likes to be yelled at or spoken to harshly, but if your mom thinks she’s doing you harm, she’s more likely to give up driving.

Don’t think you know what’s best for your mom or dad either.

You probably have no idea what they really want. You may think your dad wants you to hire a lawn guy, but maybe that’s his only outlet and he enjoys it.

Always ask before you make any kind of decision on their behalf.

Perhaps your parents no longer want the hassle of the upkeep on the house, but you don’t want them to leave it and you’re not ready to move into it or sell. So, you say you’ll hire all these people to help them with everything under the sun.

What are you really doing?

You’re creating more expenses for them and they’re still not happy.

Instead, ask them what they want to do. Do they want to stay in the house? Do they want to move to a condo? Do they want to move into an assisted living community?

If they choose to move into an assisted living community, they can start off in independent living and transfer into assisted living as their needs increase.

Should they require even more care than assisted living; most communities also have memory care.

You will need to ensure you find the right community so they only move one time! This is extremely important, that’s why you need a placement service or senior advisor to assist you!

Moving can be very upsetting and Assisted Living Made Simple wants it to happen one time and one time only.

If you need help or encouragement as a Caregiver give us a call at 386-847-2322or check out our Caregiver Support Group. Our Senior Advisors are here to walk with you through this journey.

Downsizing for Retirement

Downsizing for Retirement

How to Downsize Without the Hassle So You Can Enjoy Your Retirement

For some, the word “downsizing” brings up negative connotations. While it does mean living in a smaller space with fewer belongings, you’re actually getting more out of life: more money, more time, and more fun.

It’s an excellent choice for the young, who benefit greatly from the lower utility bills and freedom from the constant cleaning and maintenance that comes with a larger home, but it’s seniors like you who get the most out of it. You’ll amp up your retirement by living where you want with more hours in the day to do what you love, whether that’s gardening, fishing or playing tennis. 

You may find the process of selling your property, packing up and moving on rather daunting, and it can be complicated. However, by taking it step by step, you’ll get where you want to go with minimal headaches. Assisted Living Made Simple wants to help, so here’s how to go about it.

Set a Budget

When creating a budget, the value of your current home is the determining factor. Remember, you’re downsizing, which means looking for property that you can easily afford with the money from the sale of your current home without an onerous mortgage hanging over your head. Ideally, it would leave you with some profit left at the end for renovations, or even a taste of the finer things in life. You can use an online home value estimator to get an idea of how much your home is worth. These types of estimators can be accurate, but they can’t take into account every possible issue, such as new upgrades and problems with inspections. 

Find the Perfect Spot

Florida is still among the most popular places to retire thanks partly to its warm climate, but other destinations are gaining ground based on healthcare, community engagement and even employment opportunities, according to an article by CNBC. Take that all into consideration along with the cost of living in any area you’re considering. 

Choose the Right Home

Narrowing your home choice down won’t take long if you have some specific criteria in addition to your budget. For starters, stick with one floor, as getting up and down stairs becomes more difficult with age. Also, halls and doorways should be relatively wide for improved accessibility. Anything that requires a lot of maintenance is a definite “no.” 

You’ll also want to look at things like utilities costs and internet access. You don’t want to move into a smaller place that will end up costing you more due to high energy rates. If rates are close to your expectations, you can pinch pennies by making some adjustments, like installing smart bulbs or timers. Internet-wise, you can find affordable and simple self-setup plans through major providers that deliver all the power and speed you could want.

Purge Old Stuff

Once you’ve found the ideal property, it’s time to start planning the move itself, and that begins with a thorough decluttering. Start early, because this is going to take longer than you think. However, you’ll pick up steam by getting rid of items you obviously don’t need, such as clothes you never wear, books you’ve already read and anything that’s broken.

Select a Mover 

By not hiring a mover, you can save money hauling everything away yourself, but it’s not worth the hassle, especially when you’re a senior. There’s a lot of heavy lifting involved, and the process can be emotionally draining as you empty a place where you spent so many wonderful years. Let somebody else do that, but put some effort into hiring qualified professionals and choosing the right time to relocate.

Consider Health 

Taking health into account is particularly important for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease. Sunrise Senior Living notes that if your partner suffers from this condition, take special care, as changing environments can be challenging for them, especially if their move is due to losing a loved one. You can lessen their difficulty by ensuring the new home is as calm as possible, while scheduling outings and visits for the time of day when they’re at their sharpest.

You may feel like your life is starting anew, and that’s because in a way, it is. Downsizing can be a great way to enhance this next chapter, and with a little planning ahead, you’ll make the process as seamless as possible. 

Turn to Assisted Living Made Simple for more information on ensuring your healthy and happy retirement years.

Image via Pexels.

If you need help or encouragement as a Caregiver give us a call at 386-847-2322 or check out our Caregiver Support Group. Our Senior Advisors are here to walk with you through this journey.

Senior-Friendly Activities

Activities Every Senior Can Do

Don’t make age an issue!

The best thing to do for fitness and lifestyle while we age is to always keep moving, eat well, and stay social!

Easy, right??? 

As always, check with your doctor prior to performing any type of exercise.

Well, not so much, as we age, we limit ourselves. We don’t realize that we need to take small steps, baby steps.

As a placement service for seniors, one of the requests we get most is finding a home that offers a variety of senior activities. We’ve listed below some activities you can do whether you are at home or in an assisted living facility. 

Exercise for Seniors you can do at home.

Start with a walk down the driveway; go to the mailbox, or the stop sign, etc.

Lift a can of corn, a gallon of milk, a bag of groceries.

If you can’t walk, you can benefit from seated exercises. Chair exercises are safer and provide more support for seniors who are at risk of falling or have limited mobility.

Check out this 7 Minute Chair Exercise for Seniors

Exercising of any kind has shown to improve blood flow, mood, help build muscle, increase heart rate, and help your range of motion. Make sure there are no wheels on the chair, you also don’t want to use a folding chair as it can collapse easier. 

If you use a walker or cane, exercise is much more important to help improve your balance and you can use your device as an aid. 

While standing with your device, march in place, lift one leg out to the side as far as you can and as many times as you can, then try the other leg.

If you get tired, take a break. Remember…baby steps!!

You can do short squats with the aid of your device as well. We say short squats because we don’t want you squatting too far down. Do as many as you can, once again, if you get tired, rest.

Another great exercise is to stand at your device and lift your heels off the floor to stand on your toes. Lower your heels to return your feet to a flat position. Do as many as you can. 

If you have swelling in your feet or ankles, here are some exercises for you too.

Lie down (preferably on a bed or the couch) moving only your feet, point your toes upward then point down.

Repeat these steps as many times as you can. You can also just tap your toes while sitting, as long as your toes are moving.

Exercise Your Brain:

Perhaps you are unable to exercise your body, then please exercise your brain. There are so many activities in which you can do this.

You can do:

  • crossword puzzles
  • jigsaw puzzles
  • word search puzzles
  • solitaire if you’re alone
  • card games with others
  • draw
  • paint
  • or color to keep your mind active. 

Create a scrapbook or organize some old family photos.

Scrapbooking activity for seniors

Keeping your mind active can help increase your mood and reduce stress and anxiety.

One of the best ways to relax and boost your mood is to get outdoors!!

Vitamin D alone will help increase not only your bone density but your overall disposition. Fresh air is a great stimulator for the mind, body, and soul.

Do you see the pattern here?

As long as you start out small, you can graduate to more. Look at your area senior center, start out slow, you’re not only going to get into chair yoga classes, you’re going to make friends.

If you need help or encouragement as a Caregiver give us a call at 386-847-2322 or check out our Caregiver Support Group. Our Senior Advisors are here to walk with you through this journey.

Senior Transportation Options

Senior Transportation Options

How do I Find Senior Transportation?

Oh no, I have a doctor’s appointment, but can’t drive anymore and all my family work, how will I get to my doctor’s office?

Don’t worry, there is help out there!!

Most counties offer public transportation for seniors, you do have to register with the county office.

Best Senior Transportation Options here in Florida

Here in Volusia County, Florida it is through Votran and called the Votran Gold program. You can find out more information about this program by visiting votran.org or calling 386-322-5100.

Whether you’re living independently or in an assisted living facility, there are requirements that must be met and you can find them all on their website.

Senior Transportation Options

GoGoGrandparent is another way to get around town.

They utilize Uber or Lyft vehicles and are available in all 50 states and Canada.

They have many services other than giving you a ride, they can have groceries or food delivered to your home, and you can call and schedule medication management and reminders with them.

The number for GoGoGrandparent is 1-855-464-6872.

You can also check out their website at gogograndparent.com to view more information and check out frequently asked questions.

Uber and Lyft may have had some bad reps in the past, but they are a safe and reliable way to get around.

You do need a computer and cell phone that receives and sends texts. They will send you updates as to how close your driver is to your location and a picture with the name of your driver.

This is a safety procedure they implemented to ensure people feel safer using their company.

You can also check with your local aging agency, here in Volusia County it is the Council on Aging and their phone number is 386-253-4700.

You can also visit their website at coavolusia.org.

They offer many different programs from meals on wheels to guardianship services. The council on aging will come to your home and install grab bars or change outlet cover plates.

They have staff who can assist in bathing and dressing. There are many services the council on aging offer, please reach out to them for anything you or your loved one may need.

I found a website titled, Department of Elder Affairs, State of Florida. From there I went to programs and services and clicked on transportation.

Florida Department of Elder Affairs

There I found findarideflorida.org where you fill out a short form and it lists all the transportation options that are filed with the State of Florida and meet your criteria.

I never knew there was anything like this out there, it’s a very cool site.

Also on that website is a section named Safe Mobility for Life. If you click on it, there are many informational links. Under the Aging Road User link are other links to sites as driver wellness, driver skills, help on the road, and many others. This is an extremely helpful website and very informative.

This website, elderaffairs.state.fl.us is a wonderful site and I’m sure many people can benefit from the information. Seniors, as well as caregivers and family members, are able to find the information to the many questions and/or concerns they may have.

As you can see, there are many options for senior transportation in Florida should you find yourself or your loved one unable to drive anymore.

Please reach out to any of the above programs to schedule your ride and leave the worry behind you.

If you need help or encouragement as a Caregiver give us a call at 386-847-2322 or check out our Caregiver Support Group. Our Senior Advisors are here to walk with you through this journey.

Avoid Caregiver Burnout

Tips on How to avoid caregiver burnout

How do I Avoid Caregiver Burnout?

Are you caring for a loved one and have not been able to have any downtime due to COVID-19?

Well, you’re not alone, millions of people are suffering with caregiver burnout. It has only increased since the arrival of COVID as no one can go anywhere, so there’s no release from your 24 hour job.

Caring for a loved one who has Alzheimer’s, dementia, or any illness can be overwhelming on you and your family. Not only do you have to care for them, but you have to care for your family, your household, your job, but where do you find the time to care for yourself? It’s no wonder caregiver burnout happens to so many people. You MUST take time for yourself!!

Let’s first discuss some causes of burnout:

  • Demand on you and your time: the caregiver has to learn how to juggle, caring for the loved one while working a job, taking care of a household, and raising a family. Those who have never been in your position won’t understand. Support groups will understand, find one in your area or online.
  • Lack of control you may feel you have: you may feel you lack the skills needed to properly care for your loved one. You may also feel you lack the control over the money and resources needed.
  • Unreasonable demands: other family members and the one being cared for, have tendencies to place unreasonable demands on the caregivers. They do not do this purposely, they just don’t understand the demand on your time. Support groups will understand, find one in your area or online.
  •  Confusion over your role: if you are caring for your parents or spouse, it may be difficult to separate your role from child or spouse to caregiver.
  • No privacy: caregiving leaves little time to be alone, so you may feel you have no privacy whatsoever. Caregiving is a 24/7 job and will take its toll on you, that’s why it’s extremely important to find some down time.
  • Expectations placed on you: your loved one and family members place expectations on you that are more than likely way off base. Let your family know you cannot do it alone and their support will help you immensely.

Should you feel yourself becoming agitated at your loved one, please seek help!!!

There are support groups out there, the internet is a valuable resource to find what you’re looking for. PLEASE use it!!!

What are some warning signs of caregiver burnout:

Each individual is unique, so the warning signs can vary, but here are some of the common signs. Again, if you notice yourself having any of these signs, PLEASE seek help!!

Anger, frustration, exhaustion, anxiety, depression, denial about your loved one’s condition, more susceptible to colds/flu, can’t concentrate, irritability, trouble sleeping, moodiness, and not interested in social activities.

Finally, here are some tips to avoid caregiver burnout:

Tips on How to avoid caregiver burnout

  1. Join a support group: this is extremely important!! You can gain so much insight from others going through the same scenario you are and the support they provide is amazing!!! These groups can lift your spirits and help should you have a problem you need to work through, someone may have had the same problem and already have the solution. Assisted Living Made Simple holds three (3) of these groups a month! We are here for you!!!!
  2. Look to the internet: there are so many resources for help. The Alzheimer’s Association has a wealth of information on their site at www.alz.org. The AARP website is another great resource for help, they’re at www.aarp.org. There are also local Council on Aging’s who may be able to direct you to some resources.
  3. Take care of YOUR health: make sure you get plenty of sleep and drink plenty of water. Try to eat healthier and make regular doctor visits. Talk to your doctor about any caregiver concerns or issues you may have.
  4. Take a break: try to find someone to fill in for you, even if only for an hour so you can take a walk, watch a movie, or go for a bike ride. If you need more structured care, look for a respite program. Some communities have put them on hold due to COVID-19, but let’s hope they come back real soon.

If you are a caregiver and feel like you are burning out, PLEASE seek help immediately!! I cannot stress this enough!!

Sometimes even a phone call to a friend for a few minutes can help.

Again, Assisted Living Made Simple holds three (3) caregiver support groups a month to support one of our most valuable resources, YOU!!!!

Early Signs of Dementia

Early Signs of Dementia

Here at Assisted Living Made Simple, we talk with many family members who are dealing with a loved one that has early signs of dementia and/or Alzheimers. Most of the time it is to help them find their loved one the perfect memory care community or share some caregiver resources.

Today we thought we would tackle the early signs of dementia with our readers. 

Dementia is caused by damage to the brain cells, which interferes with the ability of the brain cells to communicate with each other.

When brain cells can’t connect together, thinking, behaviors, and feelings can be altered. The brain has many specific areas, each area controls different functions. When cells in a particular area are damaged, that area cannot carry out its actions as usual.

Different types of dementia identify with specific types of brain cell damage in the specific areas of the brain.

The area in the brain that deals with learning and memory is the hippocampus and is often the first area damaged.

Early Signs of Dementia

That’s why memory loss is often one of the earliest symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

The hippocampus is responsible for a person’s spatial memory, which affects their ability to remember directions, locations, and orientations.

There is hope, most damage in the brain that causes dementia is permanent and gets worse over time, there has been success with those problems with treatment when caused by depression, alcohol abuse, thyroid issues, and vitamin deficiencies.

What are the early signs of Dementia?

There are no specific signs of dementia, as they can vary greatly. Some of them include:

  • Problems with short-term memory.
  • Keeping track of a purse or wallet.
  • Paying bills.
  • Planning and preparing meals.
  • Remembering appointments.
  • Traveling out of the neighborhood.

Many conditions start out slowly and progressively get worse.

Don’t ignore the signs, seek medical help right away if you or someone you know shows signs of dementia.

A doctor may determine you have a treatable condition, and even if it suggests dementia it enables you more time to make a plan.

How do you test for Dementia?

Unfortunately, there is no specific test for dementia.

Doctors look at a person’s medical history, lab tests, perform a physical exam, and observe the changes in their thinking, day-to-day functions, and behaviors.

Most diagnosis of dementia are done with a high level of certainty, but the type of dementia is extremely hard to diagnose. You may have to see a specialist to determine the specific type of dementia you have.

A neurologist would be the best person to diagnose the type of dementia, but geriatric psychiatrists, neuropsychologists, and geriatricians may also be skilled in diagnosing the condition.

What is the treatment for Dementia?

First of all, there is no cure for dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Also, there is no treatment that can slow or stop its advancement.

However, there are drug treatments that may improve symptoms temporarily. There are many over-the-counter vitamins that may improve memory and help you focus. These along with prescribed medication may make dementia tolerable.

Finally, if you have a loved one that has Dementia or Alzheimers and you are looking for a Memory Care Home for them, please give us a call today at 386-847-2322! One of our compassionate Senior Advisors would love the opportunity to help you along on this journey.