Articles Posted in Adult Day Care

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Even in the best of circumstances, the holidays can feel like a Keystone Kop comedy or a carousel spinning at a high rate of speed as each of us tries to keep up with shopping, cleaning, cooking, traveling, and engaging in social events and religious observances. When caring for an elderly relative, especially a person with dementia (PWD), the sense of fatigue – and sometimes farce – can feel almost double-fold. That is why I wish to share a few tips for surviving the holidays. Indeed, these tips are valuable no matter what one’s age or circumstances might be!

First, a tip borrowed from the commercial airlines: Be sure to put on your own oxygen mask before attempting to assist others. Self-care is an essential part of being able to help a person with dementia: At this hectic time of year, be sure that you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition, exercise and emotional support as you tend to the needs of your loved one with dementia. The commandment to “Love thy neighbor as thyself” implies that there is such a thing as a just love of self — no, not selfishness, but a proper regard to maintaining the strength and equilibrium that you will need in order to share those gifts with others. Prioritize what really matters, and don’t sweat the small stuff. Take breaks when you need them, and call on friends and other family members to pitch in and help when you feel overloaded. Often, others are happy to have the opportunity to assist.

When communicating with a person with dementia, recognize that emotional reactions and a tendency to judge are naturalhuman. However, they need not control you or a situation. As a PWD’s ability to verbalize deteriorates, he or she often will rely on body language to convey his or her emotions and wants and — conversely – to assess your mood, intentions andor sincerity. Ask yourself, what is their body language saying? What is yours saying? Clues to reading another’s mood and intentions include the following:

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Elder abuse is a crime. It can occur whether your loved one is at home, attending adult day care, or living in a senior living community. And like any other crime, you have an obligation to report it. This month, I have asked one of my trusted partners, Mike and Mary Doepke of Home Helpers Home Care of Hinsdale, to share some information on Elder Abuse:

From all outside appearances, 80-year-old Shirley seemed well cared for by the niece who had moved in with her a few months earlier. She even told her friends how she was enjoying the company and the help around the house.

Shirley had always been frugal with her credit cards, using them only when needed. So when the bank called to ask her about some recent, unusual charges on her account, she was alarmed. She was even more surprised to find out that the purchases were made by the niece she had welcomed into her home.

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Adult day can care be a very cost effective option to both senior housing placement and non-medical home care. It is an excellent alternative for the working children of seniors who aren’t ready to have the senior move to a long term care community.

Adult Day Care provides structured activities to seniors who have physical and cognitive impairments. But, each program is designed differently with regard to hours of operation, and if a medical or social model is offered. The medical model helps the senior remain as independent as possible while providing care to assist the person with their activities of daily living such as eating, toileting, taking medication, bathing (at some sites), dressing (if need be), and walking. The medical model is usually overseen by a nurse. The social model may be an option for people who are able to live alone with some help but may need socialization during the day. The social model doesn’t provide the “hands on” assistance provided in the medical model. The seniors really need to be more independent and toilet on their own. Adult Day Care may postpone a senior from being placed in a long term care community.

Adult Day Care Centers will usually have a nurse or social worker evaluate the senior before they enter a program to see if his/her needs can be met. Some seniors need more assistance than is provided. Therefore, the medical model is more appropriate for him/her.