A lot of people think of “the flu” as a very bad cold. Sure, many of us get over it fine, but we tend to forget that when it strikes (sometimes twice a year!), it can hit like a Mack truck! The flu is one of the most common viral infections that attack everyone—young and old—some worse than others, particularly older adults. And if you’ve ever received a flu shot, you know that last season’s shot is no longer effective this season. So, here are seven reasons why you need your flu shot this year.
You may have reasons you thought were smart at the time to NOT consider assisted living, but in retrospect, maybe you missed some of the simple facts about senior living communities that could help you as you search for options for your loved one. Here are seven terrible reasons from seniors and their caregivers that describe why they chose NOT to consider assisted living.
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A Blog by Jim Stinson, Director of Spiritual Life for United Methodist Homes “Do you Remember when, Grandma…?” As my family was waiting for Thanksgiving dinner to be ready they were doing what most families do at holiday time. They were reminiscing. Since “Grandma” always lived with us she was a source of many memories, especially as she grew older and had ever-greater senility. No one was ever sure what she would say or when she would say it.
At some point your aging loved one is probably going to need more care than you can provide as their caregiver. You may need to make a decision to hire a caregiver for your loved one or explore some senior living options together. It is important to consider the cost and benefits of both options before ruling out any of the options. Here is a quick summary to help get you started: The cost- benefits of these senior care services are detailed here:
You become a better caregiver by making your loved one’s day a little brighter--a little lighter and a lot happier each time you care for them. And it’s the simple things that are often the most appreciated. If you can “make their day,” you often unknowingly become a better caregiver. Here are six care-giving tips that will surely help to brighten your loved one’s day:
November is Family Stories Month. Interestingly enough, November is also National Lifewriting Month! These two celebrations provide a wealth of opportunities for families to connect with their elderly loved ones. So before you leave the table this Thanksgiving (and head out to do all your Black Friday shopping) take a moment to share a story, listen to a story, or write down a few words to remember those stories.
Caring for a Loved One with Depression By: Jim Stinson, Director of Spiritual Life for United Methodist Homes The Reality of Aging In her mid-eighties, not given to morose thoughts and always life affirming, my mother startled me one day with her comment. She said, “I know more people up there than I do down here.” She gestured toward the sky as she said “up there” and toward the ground as she said “down here” making sure I got the point she wanted to make. Now while I could argue with her cosmology about the location of heaven, I could not argue with her observation. The fact was she had outlived most of her family of origin; and she had outlived most of her friends. Indeed her life had changed dramatically over the previous decade. Her friends were dying with increasing frequency, as were her children and their spouses. She was speaking to a reality of aging. If we live long enough we inevitably watch many of our loved ones and friends die. “Angry Old Ladies” and “Cranky Old Men” This fact can, and often does lead to depression, an often overlooked and under diagnosed illness, among the aging. When it is overlooked and under diagnosed we are often confronted with older adults who exhibit behaviors we would recognize more readily in younger people. We meet “angry old ladies,” “cranky old men,” older adults who “just sit home and do nothing,” mothers and fathers who “do nothing to help themselves,” and so on. When we deal with these people we discover how difficult it is to care for them. In fact we often tell ourselves “there is no talking to them, they just don’t want to be different,” and other self-protecting reasons not to try.
As your parents and other loved ones age into their senior years, the time will come when they can no longer live on their own and complete everyday tasks without some assistance. There are many questions that arise during this time and a variety of options for families to consider. Who will take care of your loved one? Should they continue to live at home? Would a move to an assisted or independent living community be a good decision? Handling the changes that come during this season of life can be a bit overwhelming for any caregiver.
Crosby Commons Assisted and Independent Living Community, on the Wesley Village campus in Shelton, recently hosted a caregiver education program, entitled, “Preventing Compassion Fatigue and Burnout”, presented by Gerontologist and CEO, Donna B. Fedus, MA. This free program, offered specifically for social workers, administrators, and other health care professionals, was filled with valuable self-care techniques to help caregivers avoid the dangers of burnout in their mission and commitment to caring for others.