Senior Independence


Resolving Sibling Conflict when Caring for Aging Parents with an Elder Mediator

An elder mediator can help siblings resolve differences when caring for aging parents.

When it comes to working together to ensure the needs of your aging parents are met, even the closest of siblings could find themselves in conflict. Stress levels and emotions are, of course, running high. Add to that your past family dynamics and history, which tend to resurface during challenging times, and it’s easy to see how difficult this stage in life can be for each of you. 

The most prevalent aspects of contention among siblings include financial decisions, differing opinions on medical treatments or living arrangements, and an unfair balance of tasks pertaining to caregiving, just to mention a few.

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you and your siblings are just unable to arrive at an understanding on precisely how to best … Read More »



Care Tips for Seniors Who Have Trouble Swallowing

Seniors who have trouble swallowing can benefit from a variety of easy-to-implement care tips.

There’s nothing better than a tall, cold drink on a warm summer day, but for someone with dysphagia, this simple pleasure can be downright dangerous. Dysphagia – or trouble swallowing – affects millions of older adults, due to weakened mouth and/or throat muscles. Alzheimer’s, MS, cancer, and stroke are all culprits as well. 

Signs of dysphagia include:

Drooling
Coughing, gagging or choking when eating, drinking, or taking medication
A gurgling sound in the senior’s voice after eating/drinking

Additionally, if you suspect dysphagia in an older family member, ask him or her the following questions – and check with the doctor right away for further guidance:

Are you coughing or choking when trying to eat or drink?
Are you having frequent problems with food “going down the wrong pipe?”
Is food … Read More »



How COVID-19 Affects the Need for Care Management Services

Posted on March 23rd, by Marissa Snook in Aging, Care Manager, Caregiver Support Tip, Caregivers, COVID-19, Senior Independence. 1 Comment

The providers of in-home support services in Santa Rosa offer tips on how to make use of care management services.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been especially concerning for seniors and their loved ones. Seniors are disproportionately affected by the virus, especially those with underlying conditions such as COPD and heart issues. In an attempt to maintain social distancing and minimize contact with potential contagions, many seniors have become increasingly isolated from their family members. In the absence of routine socialization and attentive care, loneliness and depression as well as memory issues linked to dementia and other diseases can creep in. In response to these difficult circumstances, many families are seeking the assistance of care management services. 

Care managers help families ensure that their senior loved one is safe and cared for, even in unprecedented times such as these. … Read More »



Need a Lifeline? Take This Survey to Determine if Care Management Is Needed

Care management services can help families navigate care options and services.

Hiring a professional care manager could potentially make your everyday life or the life of a loved one who needs care support easier; however, is care management the best choice for your particular situation? When determining whether or not to hire a care manager, also referred to as an Aging Life Care Professional, consider the following questions:

Are your obligations or the adult’s care issues becoming more complex and numerous than can be comfortably managed alone?
Are other family needs and responsibilities getting in the way of providing the desired amount of supervision and care for the loved one?
Are care responsibilities interfering with the paid employment of family members?
Is the current family caregiver struggling to provide the required level of care and supervision due to health issues or other … Read More »



Study Shines Light on Top Family Caregiving Worries: What if I Make a Mistake?

Learn how home care services can help alleviate family caregiving fears.

“Of course Dad can move in with me!” 

Increasingly, more family members are making this commendable decision on a daily basis, signifying the start of lifestyle changes they can only fully gain an understanding of once immersed in them. And even though the rewards of family caregiving are immeasurable, it’s a role that is not without its struggles and challenges. That’s why it’s important to understand the top family caregiving worries that caregivers face. 

It may seem natural to manage everyday activities for a loved one; but it’s not as instinctive as it seems on first impression. For example, helping a loved one into the shower or bath incorrectly may lead to a fall. Inadequate incontinence care could cause skin damage and infection. Non-compliance with a recommended … Read More »



The Benefits of Laughter in Dementia Care

Incorporating laughter in dementia care can help relieve stress and instill joy.

Caring for someone you love with dementia is definitely nothing to laugh about. Yet studies are increasingly pointing towards the benefits of laughter in dementia care, and adding it may be exactly what the doctor ordered to boost well-being for a senior loved one.

As an example, an Australian study just recently revealed that humor therapy is effective in reducing agitation in individuals with dementia as effectively as antipsychotic medications, without any negative side effects. Shared laughter connects us, and assists people who have cognitive difficulties to feel understood, secure, and at ease. As stated by Lori La Bey, founder of Alzheimer’s Speaks, “When anyone is sick or having a hard time, they still like to laugh. I spend a lot of time teaching people that … Read More »



Support for Family Caregivers Brings Peace of Mind

Support for family caregivers is vital for success.

“Obviously Dad can move in with me!”

More family caregivers are making this commendable choice, signifying the start of lifestyle changes they may only truly comprehend once in the middle of them. Even though the positive aspects of providing care for an older parent are immeasurable, they’re not without a number of struggles as well.

It may seem natural to take care of daily activities for a senior loved one; however, it’s not quite as instinctive as it seems initially. For example, helping a senior in the shower or bath the wrong way can result in a fall. Poor incontinence care can cause skin damage and infection. Noncompliance with a recommended nutritional plan can bring about a wide array of health complications.

It’s no wonder that in a … Read More »



Tips for Effectively Managing Medical Issues for Seniors

Managing medical issues for seniors requires effective communication.

Out of all the many responsibilities a family caregiver faces, possibly one of the most difficult is managing medical issues. The National Council on Aging estimates that around ¾ of all seniors are identified as having at least two chronic illnesses, and they are seeing an average of four healthcare specialists.

As your senior parent’s advocate, it’s crucial to know how to communicate effectively with those from the older adult’s medical team, and also to arrive at appointments fully prepared to address any and all issues. The following four questions are a good starting point:

Are all of these prescription drugs required? With most aging parents taking multiple medications, you will want to keep an in-depth list and examine regularly with the doctor and also the pharmacist, both of whom … Read More »



Helping Family Caregivers Find Resiliency in a Time of Crisis

Portrait of a happy senior woman making a heart shape with her hands after exercising on the riverbank.

Times of crisis can sometimes bring out both the very best and also the worst in us. During the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve come across stories of people hoarding items and selling them in order to make an excessive profit, along with stories of wonderful people who selflessly met the needs of others in spite of their personal fears.

The key to weathering the storms which are certain to show up in our lives in a healthy and balanced way is resiliency. Mia Bartoletti, clinical psychologist for the Navy SEAL Foundation, works with families of people serving in the armed forces, and provides guidelines that can help improve resilience through any time of crisis.

Convey your reactions. It is common to have … Read More »



Elective Medical Procedures: Assessing the Safety for Seniors

Determine the safety of elective medical procedures with these tips.

The COVID-19 pandemic put our world on pause, including, among many other activities, medical appointments and procedures. In fact, nearly half of all adults either cancelled or put off routine medical care and elective medical procedures since the coronavirus crisis began, leading physicians to become concerned about the consequences.

As we tentatively strive for a new normal, it’s important to talk with your doctor about any procedures you might have been considering pre-pandemic, and to get answers to the following questions to help you gauge the safety of following through with them now.

Is the medical facility where I’ll be treated also treating COVID-19 patients, and are the same medical staff who will care for me also taking care of them? If so, what precautions are in place … Read More »






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