The Cost Of Senior Care: Home Care vs. Assisted Living

the cost of senior care home care vs assisted living

It’s inevitable that questions of the cost of home care vs assisted living enter the mix, no matter how much you love, care for, and want the best for senior loved ones. Each option has its own positives and negatives and deciding which makes the most sense for your aging senior depends on a variety of personal and practical considerations. 

We like to remind families that in addition to financial costs, there are also social/emotional costs when comparing home care and assisted living or nursing home facilities. The best way to make a sound decision is to start long-term planning conversations as early as possible. Ideally, these conversations would begin before or immediately after you notice signs a senior needs support.  

Meetings should include the most important family, partner, or close-friend players, to come up with a mindful plan that accommodates all of the big picture needs – taking all of the financial and emotional costs into consideration. 

Comparing The Financial Cost Of Senior Care

Finances must be carefully considered. Many of the conditions that affect aging seniors, from regular age-related decline to Alzheimer’s or dementia, can require years or even decades of caregiving support. The two most common solutions are home care or assisted living. 

We use the reliable, research-based statistics from the Federal Long-Term Care Insurance Program as our guide to the money-based cost comparisons. According to their calculations, the average, annual cost of home care vs. senior care are: 

  • Home Care (5 days/week, 6 hours/day): $37,440 
  • Assisted Living Community: $57,600 
  • Nursing Home (semi-private room): $92,710 

There is no doubt that paying caregivers to provide care in the home is the most affordable senior care option by tens of thousands of dollars. 

Beware too-good-to-be-true monthly quotes for assisted living or nursing homes when comparing the cost of senior care 

One thing to know about assisted living facilities is that they often provide low-ball, “monthly rates,” to entice prospects. However, it is essential that you ask about “add-ons.” Services like laundry, accompanied mobility to meals or events, off-site trips, visits to the onsite barber or beauty shop, etc., can all add up quickly.  

If assisted living communities are your first choice, we understand (more on that below), but we highly recommend AgingCare’s post, The Hidden Costs of Assisted Living, so you are well-informed and know what questions to ask when you take tours or speak with their staff. 

Weighing The Social And Emotional Costs 

Of course, financial costs aren’t the only costs you should weigh when taking the steps to care for an aging senior. And, while we are a homecare services provider, we are also very transparent that home care isn’t for everyone. It is imperative that seniors not feel isolated, which can lead to depression, anxiety, failure to thrive, or exacerbate dementia and other health conditions. 

There are social and emotional costs for both home and assisted living care, and many of these decisions depend on the family structure, accessibility to peers and favorite locations/activities, relationship with the home or neighborhood, etc. 

Would the senior prefer to age-in-place, or live in a larger retirement community? 

Statistics say that the majority of seniors choose to age in place if they have the choice, but that only represents the majority. Many seniors aren’t interested in bringing people into their homes to help them. They would rather move to a new place, get situated in their room or small apartment, and begin taking advantage of the “amenities in one place” lifestyle. 

It’s a personal choice and only a good conversation can establish which version is best. 

Is there an active family and friend network at play? 

The family structure matters a great deal. If there is a healthy family, friend, and neighbor network available, bringing care into the home makes the most sense. Seniors get to age-in-place, in the comfort of their own home, and they can still have lots of social interaction with family, friends, or neighbors. The same holds true if s/he is an active member of local clubs, spiritual groups, volunteer organizations, etc. 

If seniors have sacrificed their keys and can no longer drive, home care agencies can provide a caregiver a few times a week to act as a driver and then help out with other errands, shopping, or activities that are harder for your loved one to handle on his/her own, eventually increasing care services as wanted or needed over time. 

Is the senior more introverted by nature? 

If your loved one is more of an introvert, preferring to spend most time quiet and alone by choice – rather than necessity – moving into an assisted living community may be traumatic. Innate introverts and homebodies typically fare much better when family caregivers minimize transitions and keep visitors and activities focused on the familiar. 

What Are The Projected Memory Care Needs? 

If you are interested in memory care for a senior loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s, you can go either way. Memory care facilities (much different from assisted living communities that have “memory care” services or wings, are exceptional at providing care that aligns with the foremost research pertaining to dementia care and treatment.  

That said, memory care centers cost notably more than the average assisted living communities because every resident eventually requires acute care and assistance. Most cost closer to that $90K+ price tag listed for nursing home facilities. 

If your loved one isn’t interested in moving to a memory care facility in the early to mid stages of the disease, look for home care providers who specialize in memory care, including mid to late stage dementia care, and who also offer live-in care services in case those are necessary. 

We’re Here WhenYou’re Ready

Would you like to learn more about the cost of home care services and the types of services available to Bay Area seniors in their homes? Contact us at HomeAide Home Care and schedule a free, in-home assessment.

Senior Care Resources In The Bay Area

senior care resources in the bay area

Bay Area residents are fortunate to have an impressive array of options when it comes to senior care resources. From home care and adult day care options and providers to transportation support, meal delivery, and support groups – there is a myriad of agencies and organizations dedicated to making your life easier. 

Our List For Top Bay Area Senior Care Resources 

Here are 7 of our favorite organizations that serve seniors in the Bay Area. They can be especially helpful if you are a spouse or family caregiver who is sandwiched between the demands of caring for your senior loved one and your job or children who still live at home. 

Bay Area home care agencies 

Licensed home care agencies in the Bay Area can provide invaluable support to seniors and their caregiving loved ones. Yes, we are available to provide care full-time or live-in, around the clock support. More often than not, however, we simply help to fill in the gaps for spouses or the family team of caregivers.  

We can provide errand running and shopping/grocery delivery. We can provide respite care when you need a break, or work just a day or three a week to relieve the regular caregiver(s). Our agencies are here to listen to your needs and fill those gaps with compassionate professionals. 

Your local senior center can help with senior care resources  

Do a search online for the local senior center(s) in your immediate community. First and foremost, these centers have their fingers on the pulse of senior resources within their immediate proximity. Plus, they offer their own social events and community meals that help seniors get out of the house and engage with others

While we’ve provided recommendations based on our knowledge and experience in and around our own and our clients’ communities and neighborhoods, senior centers often know about smaller or lesser-known senior care resources that aren’t on our radar. 

Meal delivery services 

If your senior loved one lives alone, or with a partner who also requires some level of caregiving, undernourishment is a real threat. Meal planning, shopping, and cooking require a substantial level of energy. If dementia, Alzheimer’s, or other age-related disabilities are in the mix, eating three healthy meals a day becomes an even greater challenge – but is of the utmost importance for managing those conditions. 

Here are a few suggestions: 

If you have plenty of family living nearby, this can also be a great way for everyone to contribute to their beloved senior’s wellbeing. Have a family meeting and brainstorm ideas for senior meal planning. The ultimate goal is to ensure seniors have nutritious and delicious meals that are easy to heat up and that align with any relevant healthcare recommendations. 

Encourage everyone to make extras and freeze them or deliver them with clearly marked labels as to what they are and how to heat (masking tape and sharpies are perfect for this). Or, consider using free, online platforms such as Meal Train to create a meal calendar and delivery schedule. 

Here are some links to help you get started: 

Adult day care centers 

Adult day care centers allow primary caregivers to go to work every day, observe routine appointments, get some weekday respite care, or enjoy a few hours off to catch up on rest, self-care, or much-needed social time with other friends and family. The following is a list of some of the most reputable adult day care centers around the Bay. 

Live Oak Adult Day Center (San Jose) 

DayBreak Adult Care Centers (12 Locations around the Bay Area) 

Mt. Diablo Center for Adult Day Health Care (Pleasant Hill) 

Mental health & grief support  

The Institute on Aging has incredible mental health and grief support options for homebound seniors. The mental health professionals who work with seniors have niche expertise in many of the areas that trouble seniors most, including: 

  • Isolation 
  • Anxiety 
  • Depression 
  • Grief 
  • Cognitive decline 

While their services used to be provided in the home, technological platforms are used as much as possible to support social distancing when needed. If your senior loved one isn’t already familiar with tech, we recommend getting him/her a senior-friendly tablet to support their process. 

Read How to Support Seniors with Technology for additional tips on creating more successful tech transitions. 

 Your local hospice provider 

Hospice is an incredible organization with an often mistaken identity. For many, the idea of “going on hospice” is the equivalent of saying, “I’m dying…” That is not the case. We’ve learned through experience that hospice clients benefit most when they sign up for available services months or even a year or so before death would be on the horizon. From in-house social services and therapeutic support, to comfort care and immediate delivery of home hospital equipment that makes life easier, hospice can help home caregivers in exponential ways. 

If your loved one has any terminal medical diagnosis (cancer, COPD, dementia, Parkinson’s, ALS, etc.), schedule a consultation with a few local hospice organizations to learn more about their services. 

We feel the same way about home care. The earlier you begin researching your options and learning more about the home care agencies near you, the more informed you’ll be when it is time to make a decision or enlist the next level of care for your loved one.  

Transportation support 

Is your senior facing the reality that it’s no longer safe to drive? That’s a difficult transition to make because, for most, it feels like the end of independence and autonomy. Help your senior loved one embrace that transition by offering transportation services s/he can use on his/her own. 

Visit the Institute on Aging’s Bay Area Guide to the Best Transportation for Seniors, which has an independent transportation option for a variety of senior needs. 

We’re Here To Help You

The caregivers here at HomeAide Home Care, Inc. have decades of experience serving Bay Area seniors and their families. We offer free, no-obligation consultations and can answer any questions you may have about the types of services that make the most sense for your loved one. Contact us today to schedule your free, in-home assessment. 510-247-1200. 

Stress Relief For Caregivers

stress relief for caregivers

Caregiver burnout is no small thing. No matter how much you love the patient, the physical, emotional, and mental challenges demanded of you by daily caregiving take their toll. This is why it’s so important to make stress relief and self-care a regular part of your caregiving routine. In fact, we believe it should be part of every caregiver’s job description. 

First, Let’s Define Self-Care 

Somehow, the term “self-care” has become synonymous with mani/pedi and massages. Those are absolutely wonderful things and should absolutely become a part of your self-care regimen if possible. However, self-care means so much more than that. It starts with the basics and then reaches out into the less tangible realms.  

For example, self-care refers to: 

  • Eating well to nourish your body and mind 
  • Establishing healthy sleep habits 
  • Getting daily exercise (preferably via some time spent outdoors) 
  • Practicing stress management (meditation, prayer, mindfulness, deep breathing, stretching, etc.) 
  • Learning to say, “no,” to give yourself extra time 
  • Recognizing the signs of caregiver fatigue/burnout so you can honor them 
  • Asking for the help you need 
  • Getting emotional/mental/spiritual support from professionals or others 
  • Practicing gratitude 

We could go on and on, but this list represents a foundation for true, nourishing self-care. From there, you can expand with whatever other wonderful treatments, healing modalities, or luxuries time and money permits. 

Make a healthy diet a priority for some stress relief 

If you don’t nourish your body with the right foods, you’ll be running on empty – and that’s not good for you or your client. Make healthy meals and snacks a priority. There are so many ways to make that happen, including with your client or loved one.  

We’ve written multiple posts pertaining to meal planning, nutrition, and so on. We are a homecare provider in the Bay Area, so our posts are geared towards seniors. However, when it comes to food, nutrition, and meal planning – the tenets are universal. Feel free to read any of the following: 

Practice healthy sleep habits 

Your body needs to rest well, and habitually, to restore energy, maintain hormone balance, and to keep your immune system healthy. If you are not getting the rest you need, it will take its toll on your overall health. 

Visit AARP’s post, 4 Tips For Better Sleep While Caregiving. Also, plenty of natural daylight by day and then a lights-out sleeping environment help the body’s natural circadian rhythm – one more reason why exercising outdoors is a good idea. We also invite you to our post about aromatherapy and how it can support relaxation, good sleep, and daytime energy. 

Make sure you’re exercising 

Exercise is about far more than weight management or cardio, it’s about clearing the mind, detoxing, getting rid of unhealthy stress hormones (cortisol, adrenaline, etc.), burning excess anxious/worried energy, and just making you plain feel good.  

Getting outside into Mother Nature while you do it is a win-win, but indoor exercise is most certainly better than no exercise.  

Actively practicing stress management 

From a yoga or meditation class or morning time spent in deep prayer to gadget-based mindfulness apps that can be used with headphones – there are so many ways to practice stress management. 

We have caregivers who set alarms hourly, or three times a day, to remind them to take deep breaths and center. You can make a conscious effort to get outside during the day – or night – to basque in the wonders of mother nature and let anxious thoughts float by like clouds in the sky. Perhaps you join a mindfulness group, or you find that gardening is the way to stress relief for you.  

It doesn’t matter how – what matters is that you are actively becoming aware of your stress levels and finding the tools to reduce them.  

Learning to say, “NO” to avoid caregiver fatigue and burnout 

We have yet to meet a caregiver who has solid boundaries from the start, especially when they are spouse/family-based caregivers. However, learning to say, “no,” is one of the best and healthiest gifts you’ll ever give to yourself and your client/loved one. Overextending yourself is always a recipe for burnout. Period. If you want to be the best caregiver you can, then you must honor your own body/needs first (remember the oxygen mask analogy?).  

It can be hard to say, “no” or to cancel plans involving something you love or “want” to do – but if your body or inner-resistor is asking you to say, “no” or bow out – please listen to and honor that wise voice. It’s your own, inner-caregiver trying desperately to do his/her job of taking care of you

Ask for the help you need 

Micromanagement is another very common facet of a caregiver. Even if you weren’t a micromanager before, it is a tendency to believe that your way is the best (and only) way and that without you the world will crumble. Even if the world doesn’t run as perfectly or neatly as you’d like, you can’t do it all without compromising yourself. 

Ask for the help you need and accept the help that is offered to you. This might include: 

  • Arranging respite care or regular breaks from caregiving 
  • Utilizing adult daycare centers in your area 
  • Asking family, church, friends, etc. to start a meal train for you (certain days? One day a week? Every day?) 
  • Hire a housekeeper or cleaner to keep up on chores 
  • Start a GoFundMe for family/friends to contribute to your cause 
  • Working with professional caregivers to take on some of the harder tasks for you 
  • Finding someone to take on night shifts for you so you can get a good night’s sleep 

Seek mental/emotional support 

Finally, we find that all caregivers benefit from intentional mental and emotional support. You are doing incredible work and only other caregivers truly understand the effects that work has on your body, mind, and spirit. 

We highly recommend that you find a way to share your experience with others, which can be immensely empowering and restorative. Examples include: 

  • Working with a regular therapist who has experience serving overworked caregivers 
  • Looking for caregiver support groups online or in your area (there is so much wisdom and compassion to be found there) 
  • Keep your feelers out and connect with others who are in the role of caregiver in your neighborhood, religious community/church, or extracurricular organizations. Even a weekly or bi-monthly Zoom or FaceTime Coffee/tea talk can provide such solace.  
  • Try connecting with your local senior center to see if they offer a support group to have caregiver connections in your neighborhood. 

Let Us Bring In Some Stress Relief

Could you benefit from some serious stress relief for caregivers? The caring and experienced staff at HomeAide Home Care Inc. are here to help. Our qualified caregivers can provide welcome respite care relief as well as weekly or monthly support to make sure you are getting much-deserved rest and time off. Contact Us to learn more at 510-247-1200.

How To Support Seniors With Technology

how to support seniors with technology

Social isolation and lack of connection are especially challenging for seniors. And, the current pandemic is making it harder than ever for seniors to safely navigate the public arena. As a result, we’ve been doing all we can to support senior clients with technology, as they learn to use a gadget and the video and social platforms that keep them connected to loved ones, friends, and the world-at-large. 

For example, technology provides multiple ways to personally engage with loved ones – even when they live hundreds or thousands of miles away. And, if you are in The Sandwich Generation, taking care of both aging parents and a family at home – you’ll appreciate that tech-savvy seniors rely less on immediate caregivers when they are able to connect with other friends, family, book clubs, and other support groups. 

Tips To Support Senior Success With Tech 

That said, technological glitches are discouraging, so you need to provide ample support to seniors who haven’t had experience with computers or tablets in the past. For seniors with cognitive decline, or who experience high levels of stress due to sheltering-in-place mandates, are more susceptible to frustrated or angry outbursts that can make them quit before they’re fully launched. 

With the right support, a senior-friendly gadget, and ample, guided practice, your senior will be on his/her way. 

Purchase a senior-friendly gadget 

Less is definitely more is seniors are on the beginning side of the technology spectrum. To that end, tech manufacturers intentionally design senior-friendly tablets and gadgets that keep things as simple as possible. 

Examples include: 

In addition to ease of use, these tablets have built-in accessibility features like larger user interfaces, easy volume adjustment, and they have live support available enabling seniors to get the help they need when they need it. 

Provide a list of senior-friendly tech support resources 

There are several Bay Area, senior-friendly tech support resources available online, via the phone, and in-person. Print a list of them and tape it somewhere visible, so your loved one has help available when s/he needs it.  

Examples include: 

Encourage your loved one to take these organization’s online tech classes (another great way to keep those neurons firing!) and get familiar with their gadget. The more they learn to do for themselves, the less they’ll need to call you for real-time tech support. 

Encourage syncing connection time with companion time 

The ideal scenario is to have someone on hand to help when seniors need it. While that isn’t always possible, scheduling a companion to come by once or multiple times per week yields exponential benefits. In addition to providing human-to-human connection, your companion can provide general support with most tech issues, OR your companion/caregiver can help seniors make the calls or online connections they need to solve the problem. 

BONUS: Syncing your connection time to hours when a loved one’s companion or caregivers is present gives you a chance to get to know the caregivers better. Our caregivers have nothing but positive things to say about how client “video chats” with family and friends have supported their bonding process with the client, deepening their connection because it feels more like being part of a family. 

Foster a positive relationship with technology to support seniors 

If your senior is new to the tech world, texting and emailing may be more challenging. However, video chats are a wonderful way to positively bring our elders into the technological world.  

To begin, we recommend scheduling a weekly (or daily, if your schedule allows it) meal or snack time. Seeing your face and hearing your voice, while both of you enjoy a meal, a drink, or a snack together, can feel almost like the real thing. 

This strategy is a win-win because social isolation can result in loss of appetite or unhealthy eating patterns, along with depression and anxiety. The satisfaction and heartwarming anticipation of weekly meal dates can literally transform a senior’s landscape, giving him/her something to look forward to each week, while allowing you to see him/her “in person,” which is the best way to assess senior wellbeing. 

Help them set up apps that align with their interests 

It’s best to start simply to avoid overwhelm. So, we don’t advise going too app crazy. However, there are plenty of apps that support senior connection, fun, engagement, learning, creativity, and wellbeing. 

Depending on their interests and needs, there are all kinds of apps that open the world to homebound seniors: 

  • Audible and/or text-based reading apps 
  • Games (cards, dominoes, board games, etc.) and puzzles 
  • Art apps 
  • Senior Blogs 
  • Medication reminders 
  • Telehealth apps from their healthcare providers 
  • Health apps such as Blue Button from Medicare 
  • Crossword, number puzzle, and word game apps 

Playing games, reading, or being read to, working on puzzles, creating art – all are available with the download of an app.  

Spend “time” with tech savvy grandchildren  

There are so many benefits from seniors spending time with their grandchildren, and bonding through tech is right up the 21st-century grandchild’s alley. Visit our post, 8 Ways to Connect With Grandchildren Online, and see if your kids are inspired by any of the suggestions. 

If nothing else, we bet your tech-savvy children, teens, and young adults could be the go-to tech support for their grandparents or elder relatives when needed, providing a win-win for both sides. 

Is your senior loved one starved for company and something to do while sheltering in place? The Caregivers here at HomeAide Home Care are available to help as much or as little as you like. We observe stringent health protocols and while they aren’t designated tech experts, our caregivers are certainly happy to support seniors with technology in any way they can. 

We’re Here To Support Seniors Any Way We Can

Contact us to schedule a free in-home assessment or to learn more about home care services and how they enhance senior health, wellbeing, and quality of life. 

Parents Caregiving For Parents: Support For The Sandwich Generation

parents caregiving for parents support for the sandwich generation

Are you a member of The Sandwich Generation? If so, you are probably working full time, taking care of aging parents, and still serving in the role of mom or dad to children who still live at home. That’s a tough order.  

To put it in perspective, the American Psychological Association (APA) has reported that women in the Sandwich Generation feel more stress than any other group due to their exponential caregiver expectations. 

Adults taking care of their children and aging parents often feel pulled in two different directions: 

  • Do you answer the call from your aging parent or do you relax and enjoy the rest of your child’s recital? 
  • Should you reschedule your own doctor’s appointment again to honor a specialist appointment for your parents? 
  • Is it okay to leave a mom or dad with early-stage Alzheimer’s home alone for an hour or two to get the errands run as quickly as possible? Or will that end up in disaster? 

If you aren’t careful, you can burn out quickly, which has a negative impact on your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.  

The Sandwich Generation Needs All The Support It Can Get! 

Unfortunately, most caregivers prioritize everyone’s needs but their own, and this is the exact opposite of how it should be. When you aren’t healthy, happy, and taking care of yourself, you are simply not able to provide quality care to the ones you love.  

Don’t ever consider “taking care of yourself” to be a selfish act. It is a gift that keeps on giving to those who depend on you.  

So, in deep appreciation for all that you do to care for your parents and your children, we’ve compiled a list of ways to support yourself as a noble member of the Sandwich Generation. 

Implement a regular schedule of respite care 

Respite care means that you are free to take some hours, a day, or even multiple days off so you can honor your personal calendar appointments. At the very minimum, we recommend booking respite care once a week or, at the very least, once per month.  

If you have other family members or family friends interested in providing respite care, you can set up a SignUp Genius for free and have a regular rotation. Professional respite care is also available from licensed home care agencies in your area. 

Consider adult day care options 

Adult day care centers operate similarly to child day care centers. They provide a safe, fun, and interactive space for seniors to get together. Some even specialize in memory care, making them a safe place for seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s.   

Read the AARP’s article, Adult Day Care: What Family Caregivers Need to Know, which provides a wonderful explanation of the service as well as how to find qualified adult day care options in your area. 

Join an in-person or online support group 

As this post goes to press, we are still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting social distancing ordinance. As a result, in-person support groups may not be an option for you. However, there are plenty of online support group options available. 

Our clients repeatedly comment on how much it has helped them to communicate with others who understand exactly what they’re going through. It makes you feel less alone. Plus, support groups give you the chance to get creative, expert, and “I’ve been there” ideas from people who are on the same journey as you. 

Click Here to view a long list of caregiver support groups to find one near you, including support groups for the LGBTQ caregiving community, or to join an online group. Professional therapists can also be a wonderful resource, helping you to manage stress and cultivate self-care tools as you navigate the hurdles along the caregiving way. 

If you’re part of the sandwich generation make time for the basic tenets of a healthy, active lifestyle 

Skipping meals, substituting healthy food for quick-and-dirty snacks, and putting off your daily exercise plan is the absolute worst thing you can do to support yourself. And, the same is true for your children and your parent(s). 

Here are some ideas our clients use to honor their health in addition to their caregiving duties: 

  • Have mom/dad over for a weekend afternoon and spend time making multiple, easy-to-store, and reheat meals for the week. Some can go home with your parent(s) and the rest remain in your fridge for easy dinners. 
  • Don’t have time to make food? Meal delivery services abound, so take advantage of them. You can have takeout delivered from your favorite restaurants via DoorDash or from meal boxes, like HelloFresh or Blue Apron
  • Exercise together using any one of a number of YouTube videos from famous instructors. Your parent(s) can do senior-centric exercises such as chair yoga or exercises with the walker, while you search for exercise programs designed for your interest and abilities. 
  • Take time each day to get outside and take a walk, look at the sky or the trees, spend some time in the garden, or simply sit on the porch sipping a cup to tea. 
  • Convert from readable to audible. If you’re an avid reader, utilize platforms such as Audible.com, so you can listen to the books while driving, cleaning, running errands, etc., that you don’t have time to sit down and read anymore.  

Make sure everyone is pulling their weight 

Remember when you put your five year old’s rain boots on, only to realize s/he had been able to put them on him/herself for two full years already? It may be time to take stock of who is capable of doing what to help out. 

  • Could a licensed teen/20-something take a turn taking his/her grandparent to the doctor? Or do the grocery shopping? Help out with dinner? 
  • Might your out-of-town/state family members take on the meal delivery coordination for your parents, which can easily be organized and paid for online? 
  • Are there extra household chores the kids can pick up to lighten your load now that you’re more actively involved in caring for their grandparents? 
  • Can other family members split or take over the adult day care or respite care bills to do their share since you do the majority of the physical, day-to-day, and logistical caregiving? 
  • Are you able to afford housekeeping help so you can spend more time relaxing at home? Even bi-monthly visits can yield extra free time for you. 
  • Have you considered using a part-time, senior caregiving service, with the costs split between your parents, yourself, and any sibling(s)?  

Learning to ask for help – or demand a fair share of help – is often essential to getting your support needs met.  

When You’re Ready For A Break

Are you looking for licensed respite care, home care, or other senior services provided by compassionate seniors in the comfort of your home – or your parent’s home? Schedule a free, in-home assessment with HomeAide Home Care

8 Ways To Connect With Grandchildren Online

8 ways to connect with grandchildren online

Snail mail and telephone calls used to be the only way long-distance grandparents could connect with their children in other towns, states, or countries. Fortunately, digital technology has made it easier than ever for seniors to connect with their grandchildren regardless of how many miles lay between them. 

Here Are 8 Ways To Connect With Grandchildren

From apps that allow you to read stories together, to video hangouts and social media platforms, we’ve put together a list of eight of our clients’ favorite ways to connect with their grandchildren online. 

Get the right gadget for you 

If you are not much of a techie, half the battle can be deciding which gadget or computer is the right choice for you. While smartphones work well, most seniors prefer to use gadgets with a larger screen, such as a tablet or a small laptop computer. 

In our recent post on Ending Social Isolation for Seniors, we mentioned Samsung’s Birdsong tablet, which is an affordable, touchscreen tablet designed for seniors. Acer and Chromebooks are other affordable options that keep things as simple and glitch-free as possible.  

Read together on Caribu

Storytime is so valuable. It supports emergent readers, familiarizes grandchildren with their grandparent’s voice, and can soothe and calm an anxious child at the end of a long day. Plus, reading and listening to stories is just plain fun. 

Caribu is a popular app that allows you to video chat with your grandchild(ren) while reading the same books. Once you’ve selected the book, it will load on your respective screens, so you’re looking at the same page at the same time. You can take turns turning pages and reading to one another (or one of you can be the sole reader as the other follows along).  

BONUS TIP: Does your senior loved one enjoy reading stories? Look into community volunteer opportunities that pair retired seniors with schools and after school programs to support beginning or struggling readers.  

Create a slideshow for some reminiscence therapy 

If your loved one has Alzheimer’s or dementia, you can put together a photo slideshow of pictures from the past. Then, use Zoom’s screen share feature and have a video chat where your grandchild gets to see the same pictures your parent or grandparent is looking at and listen to the stories that go along with it. 

In addition to learning more about your family’s roots, your children are participating in a process called reminiscence therapy (RT), which has positive benefits for seniors experiencing cognitive decline. 

WhatsApp 

WhatsApp is one of the most popular social platforms around the world, even though it has less acclaim here in North America. Unlike FaceTime, which is only available if both people use Apple devices, WhatsApp is available to all. Plus, it is a great option for parents who don’t want their children to use social media just yet. In addition to allowing free video or phone calling anywhere you have internet access, WhatsApp also makes it easy to share videos and pictures. 

Keepy 

Originally designed to help minimalist parents save important artwork, photos, and precious mementos without having to actually store the physical items, Keepy has evolved into something more.  

You can share your Keepy posts with grandparents, so they get to see and view artwork and accolades. Seniors can share their artwork with their grandchildren as well. Plus, those you’ve shared with can record their comments or feedback, which means you and your grandchildren will have precious vocal recordings of senior loved ones even after they’ve passed on. 

Speaking of art…connect with grandchildren while creating art together

The Draw Something app is like a digital version of Pictionary, minus the competition (although you can easily make it a family game…). You simply select a word and then “draw it” on your screen for the other players to guess. And, as the app’s developers reassure us, “No Drawing Skills Required! Stick figures and a sense of humor are welcome! Just wiggle your finger to create a doodle masterpiece!” 

Safety Tip: Make sure to download this one onto your own gadget, rather than your child’s, to prevent strangers from inviting themselves into the fun.  

Watch your favorite Netflix streams together 

Wish you could watch a favorite movie or show together? Now you can. The Netflix Party Chrome extension allows up to four different people to link up and watch movies together at the same time. Netflix Party synchronizes video playback and adds group chat to your favorite Netflix shows. Now your family can enjoy coast-to-coast family movie nights on a regular basis. 

Play a good ol’ fashioned game of checkers 

Checkers is good for the mind and the soul, helping those neurons to actively fire, a proven way to slow down cognitive decline. Multiplayer Checkers is another online app that allows people to play together for free. If your children can stand it, you can bring other players in on the fun, but we’ve found that it works best (i.e. minimizes sibling spats and fights) if the game is played one-on-one with grandma or grandpa. 

Do you and your family have a favorite way to connect with grandparents online? We’d love to hear about it. Share your ideas in the comment box below. 

When Your Loved One Needs Help At Home

Are you worried that a long-distance senior loved one needs more support to remain safely at home? Contact HomeAide Home Care to schedule a free in-home assessment. Our licensed in-home caregivers are happy to help your loved ones get online and connect with you and their extended family members.

Ending Social Isolation In Seniors

ending social isolation in seniors

AARP and other senior surveys cite that up to 90% of seniors would prefer to age-in-place, in the comfort of their neighborhoods and home if it were safe to do so. 

And, while safety measures such as accessible home improvements and scaled, in-home care providers are often a focus, family caregivers can forget that supporting a senior’s social life can be equally as important for his/her health and wellbeing. 

Social Isolation Causes Loneliness, Depression, & Anxiety 

Aging-in-place translates to “living alone” for the majority of seniors, and this can lead to social isolation. Age-related decline and mortality, combined with driving restrictions and mobility issues, can cause a senior’s social life to shrink at exponential rates.  

Unfortunately, a lack of social interaction leading to social isolation in seniors is linked to escalating health conditions such as: 

  • Depression 
  • Heart disease 
  • High blood pressure 
  • More rapid cognitive decline 
  • Stroke 
  • Anxiety 
  • Sleep disorders 

These findings exemplify how important it is to prioritize the health of your senior loved one’s social life, as well as their physical and mental health. 

Ideas to support a vibrant senior social life 

Here are ideas that support a senior’s social life and that work to end senior social isolation.  

Provide the support required to maintain their current social calendar 

Does your parent have a busy social calendar, filled to the brim with lunch dates, Rotary or Kiwanis meetings, social functions at their local spiritual center, hair and nail appointments, etc.? Don’t let those fall by the wayside just because s/he can’t drive anymore or isn’t able to safely or confidently use public transportation. 

Take some time to organize carpools with other members of those groups who are still able to drive, take advantage of senior-specific public transport such as Dial-a-Ride, or begin interviewing local, licensed senior care providers that offer driving as part of their services menu. 

Hire a companion to prevent social isolation

Companion services are one of the most popular in-home care options. When you hire a companion, your senior loved one instantly gains a social connection with benefits. In addition to keeping seniors company, reading, listening to music, and driving clients to and from regular social engagements, companionship services can also be expanded to include things like errand running and grocery shopping, cooking meals or keeping seniors company while they eat, dining out at a favorite restaurant, attending community events, and so on. 

Even if your loved one has transitioned into an assisted living or nursing home facility, caregivers can still support their social interaction with regularly scheduled visits that are tailored to the client’s interests and hobbies. 

Get them active as community volunteers 

There are loads of non-profit and volunteer-driven groups in your area who are looking for caring individuals with time on their hands. Does that sound like your senior loved one? Getting seniors active in their communities, providing much-needed hands-on support is a win-win for everyone.  

In addition to providing help and care to those in need, volunteering helps to make seniors feel productive, needed, and essential – something that can slip by the wayside if their long-term care plan doesn’t include social interaction. Read our post Volunteer Opportunities Are a Win-Win for Everyone to learn more about potential volunteering needs here in the Bay Area. You can double-down on the wins by getting the whole family involved in Grandma or Grandpa’s favorite charity every once in a while. What better way to spend time together as a family? 

Make sure they’re getting ample time with grandchildren 

Speaking of win-winds and time spent together as a family, study after study shows how important it is for children to spend time with their grandparents. If Alzheimer’s or dementia make it unsafe for unsupervised visits, there are still so many ways children can benefit by reading to their grandparent, listening to their favorite songs or hearing grandparents’ stories as they watch old movies or pictures. 

Grandchildren are young, vibrant, and have a unique, heart-to-heart connection when they have the time to develop a relationship. Countless studies show the benefits for children who have the opportunity to spend more time with grandparents, including greater self-confidence and more focus in school. Visit The Benefits of Spending Time With Grandparents to learn more. 

Optimize the benefits of technology for face-to-face time 

If your parent or grandparent isn’t a natural technophile, s/he is still in luck. Companies like Samsung are creating tablets that are specifically geared for seniors by simplifying the connection process. While Zoom has become a superstar during the era of COVID-19 and sheltering-in-place, Skype and Google Video Hangouts also offer opportunities to connect “face-to-face” with children, grandchildren, or peers who have relocated over the years.  

Piggy-backing on our advice to spend more time with grandchildren, seniors with younger grandkids can check out software platforms like Caribu, that allow adults to read with children while looking at the same book (via the screen, of course) – no matter how many miles are between them. 

Ending social isolation in seniors means finding ways to make seniors feel needed, wanted, and loved – something we can all understand.

We’re Always Here

Interested in learning more about companion services and other in-home care options that provide sparks of warmth and human connection in your senior loved one’s life? Contact us here at HomeAide Home Care. We’ve provided personalized, person-to-person care and companionship to Bay Area seniors for 20-years and counting. 

Inclusive Care For LGBT Elders

inclusive care for lgbt elders

As 21st century Bay Area residents, it is difficult to understand the reality most of our LGBT elders experienced as a result of sexual orientation and/or non-binary identification. Discrimination affects LGBT seniors at every level – and health care is no exception. That is why you must take such thoughtful care when selecting inclusive home care for LGBT elders and loved ones. 

Compassionate, Non-Discriminatory Care Is Essential For LGBT Elders 

Finding compassionate, non-discriminatory care is essential for LBGT seniors to age independently and as healthy as possible. According to LGBThealth.org: 

LGBT people are more likely to experience certain health issues compared to people who are not LGBT. These health issues are mostly related to the stigma and discrimination experienced by LGBT people in their daily lives—including at school or work, in public places, or in health care settings.  

While this post serves as a very general introduction to a complex topic, we highly recommend downloading the National LGBT Health Center’s Guide, Providing Inclusive Services and Care For LGBT People, to learn more about this important topic. 

In order for seniors to age-in-place, while retaining dignity and independence, they must have caregivers who understand the specific needs of the LGBT senior population. 

Topics To Consider For Creating And Inclusive And Welcoming Space 

The simple act of including a small rainbow flag symbol on employees’ name tags, a symbol of LGBT inclusion, is a big one. However, it must be backed by employees or staff who are truly inclusive and welcoming.  

Inclusivity begins with understanding the damaging impact that can occur as the result of subtle or obvious language/word choices or insensitive questions/comments – as well as how to recover if an error is made. It blossoms when our LGBT clients and patients feel free to be themselves without judgment or criticism.  

While the hope is that care for LGBT clients and patients will become second-nature, there is much work to be done until then. As the National LGBT Health Education Center confirms, “luckily with some training and small changes in protocol, it is possible to provide safe, affirming, and inclusive environments for transgender people.” 

To give you an overview of what being inclusive means, here is a list of some of the topics, considerations, and lessons put forth in the National LGBTQs Guide for Healthcare Staff: 

Understanding the common health issues affecting LGBT elders

LGBT people are at higher risk for depression, suicidal thoughts, STDs and STD-related health conditions, addiction, smoking habits, and social and family isolation. Similarly, they are less likely to observe routine health appointments if they’ve experienced discrimination in the past, and less likely to have preventative cancer screenings. 

Other barriers LGBT seniors have faced include: 

  • Limited access to basic health care 
  • Negative experiences (discrimination or even abuse) with healthcare providers or those in authority 
  • Experiencing health care providers who were not qualified or knowledgeable enough to provide high-quality care to their LGBT patients. 

LGBT clients’ expectations and triggers around honest mistakes from healthcare providers  

As you can imagine, LGBT seniors have experienced a lifetime of discrimination from society, and many have been the victims of hateful or violent verbal abuses from others. Even in the best of cases, an LGBT individual may have experienced uncomfortable or insensitive comments from those they trusted, including health care providers. 

As such, caregivers should know how to respond if they do, unwittingly, illicit a triggered response from an honest mistake, continuing to build trust with clients. 

Communication basics, including pronouns and preferred names/terms 

Caregivers should pay close attention and only use the name/pronoun(s) clients use for themselves. This also includes the terms clients use for themselves, partners, or spouses. For example, if a man refers to himself as gay, you also refer to him as gay rather than “homosexual,” regardless of your intentions to be politically correct. Acceptable vs. derogatory terms for the LGBT population have morphed through the decades and what is appropriate for him and his generation may not seem appropriate to you; our job is to honor the client’s wishes. 

Similarly, a client’s records provided by the family may state s/he is a “him,” when, in fact, she identifies as a “her.” Don’t make assumptions that information from family is correct. It’s always better to check the records provided with the patient to verify his/her preferences. 

How to handle when name/gender records don’t match 

If a client is transgender, you may experience medical, insurance, or other “official” records that do not match your client. Besides the risk of discrimination or a desire to comply with social norms, LGBT seniors may not have wanted to spend the time, energy, and emotional investment required to move through the complicated process of a legal name change. 

By checking in, “Hello there. I see you are listed as Jean, is that your preferred name or do you go by another name,” gives the client a chance to open the door so s/he and the caregivers can establish an honest, honoring, and safe baseline. 

Avoid asking unnecessary questions 

It is understandable to want to get to know your client and to be curious about his/her past. However, caregivers should let clients lead the conversation around personal or sensitive topics, particularly one as potentially heated or triggering as a person’s gender and/or sexual identity. 

Before embarking on a potential emotional land mine, consider: 

  • What do I know?  
  • What do I need to know?  
  • How can I ask for the information I need to know in a sensitive way? 

Remember that gender and/or sexuality can be fluid 

Back in the 70s and 80s, you were more apt to hear about someone being gay, straight, or lesbian – with clear boundaries. In the 90s, the term “bisexual” was used more often to help those who didn’t feel exclusively any one thing. Today, the various terms available to sexual/gender orientation or expression (or even the lack thereof) abound.  

Sexual orientation 

Sexual orientation is not the same as gender expression. A person’s sexual orientation describes their sexual/emotional attraction to others. The following terms apply to sexual orientation: 

  • Heterosexual (straight)  
  • Lesbian 
  • Gay 
  • Bisexual 
  • Asexual 

Gender identity 

A person’s gender identity is his/her own identity of being male or female. Terms defining gender orientation include: 

  • Transgender woman: A man who identifies as a woman 
  • Transgender man: A woman who identifies as a man 
  • Gender fluid: A person who does not identify, or chooses not to identify, as a single-gender.  
  • Many others as accurate vocabulary continues to emerge over time 

Ultimately, LGBT clients deserve to be respected first and foremost as individuals. From there, caregivers can work to create clear, comfortable communication channels that include the correct terms or identifications that are most important or meaningful to the client. 

We Care

Are you looking for home care providers who know how to provide inclusive care for LGBT elders? Consult with multiple local agencies, and ask them directly whether or not they have experience with the LGBT client community as well as what they do to educate and train their caregivers accordingly. These in-home assessments are free and are essential to ensure you hire the right agency for the job.  

Contact HomeAide Home Care to work with a Bay Area home care agency who has years of experience serving our LGBT elders.

How To Detect Undernourishment In Seniors

how to detect undernourishment in seniors

It may be difficult to imagine that the parent who consistently put food on the family table each and every night, and who insisted you eat all of your peas and carrots, is now malnourished herself. Sadly, that’s the case for many seniors who lack the energy, strength, or mental ability to properly plan, shop for, and prepare nourishing meals.  

Senior Health Risks Increase With Poor Nutritional Intake 

A recent post in the Journal of Clinical Medicine states, “Malnutrition is reported in up to 50% of older adults, although prevalence estimates vary substantially…and represent a major geriatric syndrome with multifactorial etiology and severe consequences for health outcomes and quality of life.” In other words, in addition to being a more widespread threat than you might realize, malnutrition results in a wide range of physical and mental side effects that compromise overall health and a senior’s ability to enjoy life to its fullest. 

Some of the most common health issues related to poor nutrition include: 

  • A weakened immune system, making seniors more vulnerable to contagions and can exacerbate existing health conditions 
  • Diminished wound healing, of particular concern to seniors with diabetes 
  • Increased risk of hospitalization 
  • Higher fall risk, which leads to more invasive medical treatment(s) 
  • Mental decline that can replicate dementia or accelerate/exacerbate existing dementia 
  • Elevated mortality rate  

Common Signs Of Undernourishment In Seniors  

Here are some of the most common symptoms or signs that a senior may be undernourished: 

Decrease in food intake 

There are multiple reasons seniors may decrease their daily food intake. This includes diminished smell and taste, lack of energy to prepare tasty foods, medications that alter the taste of foods and/or suppress the appetite, or memory issues that cause seniors to forget (skip) meals altogether.  

Poor oral hygiene leading to sore teeth/gums, missing teeth, or poorly fitted dentures also diminishes a senior’s interest and/or ability to eat. This is one of the reasons why oral hygiene should be a high priority for seniors. 

Weight loss 

Weight loss is a natural result of undernourishment in seniors. If you don’t live with or near a senior loved one, it can be hard to tell whether s/he is eating well. However, over time, you’ll notice a decrease in weight and this should never be ignored. In addition to being a sign of poor nourishment, weight loss is one of the major red flags indicating seniors need support to remain safely and independently in their own homes. 

They seem lonely and/or depressed 

Loneliness and depression are common in the senior population. The combination of age-related decline, limited mobility or driving privileges, the loss of a spouse and one’s peers over time, or having to downsize or relocate put seniors at risk for the blues or bonafide depression. For many, this also results in a lack of appetite, or the tendency to gravitate towards salty, fatty, or sugary foods rather than the healthy and nourishing foods the body needs. 

More frequent bruising or illness 

Seniors who aren’t getting their adequate doses of daily vitamins and minerals are more prone to bruising. They also may get sick more often than normal or may comment about more intense side effects of existing health conditions – all a sign of immunosuppression that accompanies poor nutrition. 

Forgetful or more extreme dementia episodes 

Nutrition is key to mental health, and that includes cognitive (memory) function. Seniors who are not eating well can become more forgetful than normal – scaring themselves and others into thinking they have dementia (FYI: UTIs also lead to dementia-like symptoms. Click Here to read more about that). Poor nutrition also exacerbates and can accelerate the side effects of existing dementia. 

Fatigue and/or increased sleeping habits 

Not surprisingly, those who aren’t eating as they should are more likely to feel lethargic and sleepy. They may even start to nap more or sleep longer at night. Lack of energy and extra sleepiness are also signs of depression and/or maybe a sign that medications need to be re-evaluated by their healthcare professional(s). 

Additional signs of undernourishment in seniors are: 

  • Unusual irritability 
  • Inability to concentrate 
  • Feeling cold more frequently 
  • Longer time required to recover from illnesses or for wounds to heal 

Any of the above signs and symptoms should be noted and reported to your senior loved one’s physician. It may be time to put a more solid nutrition plan into place. 

Tips For Preventing Or Amending Poor Nutrition 

There are several things you can do to prevent or amend undernourishment in seniors: 

  • Implement a weekly weigh-in. Have seniors or their caregivers track weight on a weekly basis for a more accurate record of weight fluctuations. This will also come in handy when you need to schedule a visit with a physician because it provides quantifiable evidence for the staff to analyze. 
  • Observe their eating habits. If you’re nearby, schedule more frequent visits around mealtimes and sit with the senior while s/he eats, noticing what is eaten and what isn’t. This can provide important clues. Is it loneliness that leads to skipped meals? Are there difficulties chewing or swallowing? Have their tastes altered (adjustments in certain medications and altering spice levels can help with that)? Are they unable or uninterested in preparing meals? Consider implementing a meal delivery service or working with an in-home care agency so seniors have an ample supply of easy, delicious, and nutritious meals and snacks on-hand. 
  • Make healthy and tasty meals readily available. From meal services such as Meals-on-Wheels (available from most community senior centers) to caregivers who can grocery shop, meal plan, and cook meals for seniors, there are ample ways to ensure seniors have access to delicious and nutritious meals. Click Here to read about anti-inflammatory diets and how they support senior health and wellbeing.  
  • Keep seniors socially engaged. Social engagement boosts energy levels, enhances mental wellbeing, and can help to increase senior’s appetites – especially if they’re gathering together for meals. If transportation is an issue, reach out to local home care providers to discuss how companion and driving services can support your loved one’s social activity and appetite. 

We Can Help You And/Or Your Loved One

HomeAide Home Care is a licensed, Bay Area home care agency. Contact us if you are concerned your senior loved one is suffering from undernourishment or may need more mealtime support. The loving attention from a caregiver, combined with easy-to-heat or eat meals and snacks can notably improve a seniors physical, mental, and emotional health.

Compassion Fatigue vs Caregiver Burnout

compassion fatigue vs caregiver burnout

Caregiving can become a one-way, energetic street. This means the majority of the caregiver’s emotional and energetic resources funnel to their clients, without any chance for the caregiver to restore and recharge her/himself.  

In the beginning phases, this is referred to as compassion fatigue. Over time, if caregivers aren’t given the breaks they need to recharge their own batteries, it morphs into caregiver burnout – and that’s a dangerous destination. 

Enlisting the support of qualified respite care is the single best thing caregivers and their families can do to prevent fatigue or burnout.  

Compassion (Caregiver) Fatigue: Are you at risk?

Seniorlink.com defines caregiver fatigue as occurring: 

“…when the caregiver feels physically, emotionally, and physically exhausted, often leading to a change in attitude. Negative feelings toward the job and the care recipient often accompany the mind state, sometimes causing feelings of resentment.” 

Anyone who serves as a caregiver is at risk for compassion, or caregiver, fatigue. Parents of minor children often “suffer” from compassion fatigue at a certain level because so much of their energetic resources are poured into their families. In fact, those who find themselves in “the sandwich generation,” caring for children at home and aging parents, are, particularly at risk. 

Caregiving for someone who is chronically/terminally ill or a senior loved one/relative puts you at heightened risk for caregiver fatigue. Eventually, if you don’t find a way to meet your own needs, caregiver fatigue leads to burnout (more on that below).  

IMPORTANT NOTE: Caregivers are often the last to notice they’re experiencing caregiver fatigue because it can creep up on you. Read this article with your spouse, partner, and loved ones. If they recognize the signs of fatigue and potential caregiver burnout, they can help you get the support you need. 

Signs of Caregiver or Compassion Fatigue 

The most common signs of caregiver fatigue are: 

  • Constant feeling of exhaustion or lack of energy 
  • Difficulty focusing 
  • Trouble sleeping or falling asleep (the brain keeps racing) 
  • Missing or forgetting your personal or family appointments, obligations, extracurricular activities, etc. 
  • Withdrawal from family, friends, or activities you use to enjoy 
  • Unexpressed (repressed) feelings of anger, resentment, frustration 
  • Being short or terse with the ones you love (family, friends, and even the loved one you take care of my say, “You don’t seem like yourself…” 
  • A feeling that you are the only one who can do this job so you just need to buck up and do it (micromanaging/control/my way is the best way) 

That final bullet point is key. The truth is that while you may certainly be “the best” at taking care of the one you love, you are not the only one who can care for them. Letting go and allowing others to help is one of the best things you can do to prevent caregiver fatigue from becoming complete burnout. 

Caregiver Burnout: The end of the road 

Caregiver burnout is similar to fatigue in how it initially expresses itself, but everything is magnified. More specifically, the anger and resentment you feel towards the person requiring your care, and/or the people you feel should be helping out but aren’t. 

Signs of more severe burnout include: 

  • Complete insomnia 
  • Lack of interest in activities or people you used to enjoy 
  • Uncontrolled depression, anxiety, loneliness, etc. 
  • Rage, anger, resentment that comes out at those around you 
  • Headaches and stomach ailments 
  • Exacerbated health issues 
  • Feelings of complete suicide 
  • A desire to harm the person your taking care of and/or yourself 

Sadly, senior neglect and abuse are far more likely to occur if a caregiver is overwhelmed, depleted, and burned out.  

Self-Care Tips for Caregivers 

There are so many things you can do, both large and small, to nourish yourself and prevent fatigue and burnout.  

Create a caregiving schedule to help with compassion fatigue

Don’t start out being a full-time caregiver without a schedule that accommodates some days/times off. These allow you to rest, recharge, attend personal appointments/social engagements, etc. These days/times off are called “respite care shifts” and respite care is available in many forms: 

Nourish yourself in the day-to-day 

People see or hear the words, “self-care” and they immediately imagine massages, mani/pedis, or a weekend retreat. All of those are lovely, but the average spouse/parent/caregiver can’t take advantage of those luxuries on a regular basis.  

What you can do is take care of yourself on a daily basis via nourishing, healthy foods, deep breaths, gentle stretches (Click Here to “take” a FREE, 30-minute, restorative yoga class at home), taking a walkout in nature, etc. Make these non-negotiables in your routine and it will help to keep your body recharged and restored. 

Avoid stimulants 

It may be tempting to drink more coffee or caffeinated tea to give you energy on those slow, sluggish, or exhausting days. In fact, drinking caffeine or using other stimulants can prevent you from getting the rest and sleep you need. Plus, it fuels a higher heart rate and can exacerbate feelings of anxiety or an inability to focus. 

Sleep when your client/loved one sleeps 

When at all possible, nap when your client naps. Or, if you can’t sleep, at least lay or sit quietly while your mind and body relax and recharge. If you are taking care of someone with dementia/Alzheimer’s or demanding needs that make it impossible to catch up on house chores, explore options and have chores done by someone else so you can be attentive when the individual is awake and can rest easy when they’re sleeping – without the feeling that there are things you need to get done around the house. 

Take A Load Off And Give Us A Call

HomeAide Home Care is a licensed, Bay Area senior care agency that understands how important respite care is to the wellbeing of primary caregivers. Contact us to explore your options so we can help you prevent caregiver fatigue and burnout. Our in-home assessments are always free.