When Siblings Disagree On Care For Parents

when siblings disagree on care for parents

One of the biggest challenges families face is when members can’t agree on care for an aging loved one. Sometimes, this occurs when a loved one’s wishes for their own life directly oppose our own – but it becomes far more complex when siblings disagree about care for their parents.

Priority #1: Avoid Contention That Agitates Your Parent

We cannot overstate how critical it is to avoid contention that agitates your parent. When a parent knows their children are squabbling or in full-blown family feuds over their care, it diminishes their quality of life. Seniors can begin to retreat, feel intimated to voice their own opinions, and may experience heightened anxiety and depression. This is the last thing you want to do to someone you love, especially in the last chapters of their life.

When siblings cannot agree on a parent’s care plan, it’s time to STOP and regroup. Fighting solves nothing, and we can confidently attest that it makes everything worse.

What To Do When Siblings Disagree On Care For Parents

Here are three things you can do to redirect the conversation, ensuring everything you do is in your parent’s best interest, immediate well-being, and future quality of life.

Have a family conversation with your parent 

If your parent can make decisions, their word should be honored regardless of whether it conflicts with their children’s opinions. In cases where their wishes aren’t affordable or are impossible, that can be addressed. Otherwise, it’s always best to honor an individual’s wishes for their life – and death. That is all you can ask for yourself, right?

Every sibling should be present so there is no ability to manipulate or coerce (or for someone to say you did). Keep a list of the areas where you disagree and then frame simple, black/white questions (no leading the witness…)

What about dementia or an unresponsive parent? 

First, people in the early stages of dementia can almost always make decisions about their care. So, don’t rule out their opinion in those first several months. In fact, that’s the exact time to enlist their support in creating a long-term care plan if they haven’t already – and documenting it for future reference. 

If the person is unresponsive, remember they can likely hear you and are more attentive to the room’s energy than you’d think. So keep negative talk or arguments out of their space and make clear, mature, and big-picture commitments to resolving the issues ASAP using neutral parties.

Refer to any potential long-term care plans, correspondence, or a will

Did your parent(s) create any type of long-term care plans? Or might they have documentation or paperwork referencing certain aspects of their wishes or hopes for aging or end-of-life scenarios?

There are a range of places your parent may have made their wishes known if you think about this from a big-picture perspective:

  • Estate plans (wills, trusts, etc.). Did they work with an estate attorney at any point? Review any paperwork of that type and look for specific instructions or clues about what your parent did or did not want.
  • Advanced medical directives. Did they ever create an advanced medical directive? If so, it may hold valuable information on the topics you’re holding in disagreement. Contact all healthcare providers and see if there is one on file. What about your parent’s close friends or neighbors? A parent may have provided copies to others – or shared wishes about end-of-life care/preferences. 
  • Emails or letters from the past. Is there a chance your parent expressed any wishes at all (I never want to live in assisted living? I don’t want to die in a hospital? I’d never want to be on life support? Do whatever it takes to keep me alive?) You may find that going through old emails or past letters offers some insights.
  • Financial plans/planners. Did your parent have a long-term relationship with a particular financial advisor or CPA over the years? You may find that individual knows details about your parent’s wishes that were never shared with you. 

Again, regardless of sibling disagreements, the goal should always be to honor your parent’s wishes to the best of your ability.

When siblings disagree schedule meetings, assessments, or consultations with neutral parties

If you can’t get a clear read on what your parent’s wishes were, and siblings can’t agree, it’s time to bring in neutral parties. First, start with your parent’s friends if any are still alive and willing to talk. Seniors often talk with their friends about their wishes, plans, and intentions even if they never formalize them. Their friends may have a very clear insight into some of the siblings’ hot topics.

After that, we recommend:

Scheduling in-home assessments with senior caregiving agencies

Local, licensed caregiving agencies provide free, in-home assessments with absolutely no obligation. During these meetings, you’ll get informed, professional insight into what would be best for your parent based on what we see. We recommend scheduling consultations with at least three different agencies.

You’ll glean invaluable information about what your parent needs and recommendations about care plans, progressive care requirements, and more. Even if you don’t decide to pursue in-home care for your aging parent, the information you receive will help unify your decisions.

If your parent has a terminal illness or is already bedbound or nonresponsive, schedule a consultation with local hospice care agencies. They provide a wealth of support – from physicians, nurses, social workers, spiritual and grief counselors, and volunteers.

Visit assisted living communities

If one of the biggest arguments is about whether or not to keep a parent at home or transfer them to an assisted living facility, touring different communities is the next logical step. If you all live out of town, this may be the best move – even if you are in doubt – because your parent has access to professional care 24/7. 

In this scenario, you can have the best of both worlds by hiring a caregiver to visit them regularly. That way, they get the best of what assisted living or memory care centers offer while still having regular personal company (and safety checks) from someone they trust.

HomeAide Home Care Helps Families Make the Best Care Choices for Parents

Is your family struggling to agree on what’s best for your mom or dad? HomeAide Home Care is honored to provide a free assessment and share our thoughts with you. We are a nurse-owned home care agency with decades of experience providing high-quality care to seniors and their families.

Contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. We’re happy to hear where your disagreements lie, assess your parent’s current situation, and make professional recommendations for your parent’s immediate and future well-being. 

Summertime Mocktail Recipes For Seniors & Caregivers

summertime mocktail recipes for seniors caregivers

Restricted alcohol intake is common for seniors with certain medical conditions, medication prescriptions, or memory loss issues. However, there are plenty of ways to use non-alcoholic drink options to honor the ritual of happy hour or poolside summertime (or any time!) cocktails. In this case, we use “mocktail” recipes, many of which offer nutritional benefits as well as non-alcoholic fun.

7 Mocktail Recipes For Senior Happy Hour

Mocktails like these aren’t just for summer or to honor a celebration. They can be a colorful way to create a daily ritual that provides cheerful, positive energy during the late afternoon lull. 

For example, we forget that seniors often struggle to complete everyday tasks. Instead of successfully making it through a day with a completed to-do list, aging loved ones often feel exhausted and diminished because of all they weren’t able to do. Once you’ve got the right level of support in place, these mocktails can become non-alcoholic drinks for seniors to look forward to, honoring the end of a day well spent.

Tonic and lime (the virgin gin/vodka & tonic)

Gin and tonic or vodka and tonic are one of the most classic of all cocktails. The great news is that the tonic itself adds the bulk of the flavor punch. Feel free to find 0-alcohol gin or vodka at your supermarket, but it’s not necessary.

If your loved one was a G&T lover, look for a food-grade Juniper essential oil. Add 1 to 3 drops to the iced tonic water to get that classic juniper flavor Gin is famous for. You may also buy good ol’ fashioned Agnostura or artisanal bitters to add extra aromatic flair. And of course, a squeeze of fresh lime finishes it off.

Mock gimlet

The gimlet is another favorite cocktail classic. In this recipe from Televeda, you mix two parts tonic water and one part regular sparkling water. Again, this gives the essence of that aromatic gin flavor. You may opt to use a drop or two of the food-grade Juniper essential oils if you have them. Add some freshly squeezed lime juice to taste (gimlets are known to be pretty citrusy, so don’t be shy.

Virgin mojito

Mojitos are a Cuban staple, and there is nothing that tastes more refreshing on a hot summer day. The flavorful combination of simple syrup, sparkling water, and muddled fresh lime and mint means the rum can disappear without anyone missing it. The Mindful Mocktail has a basic Virgin Mojito recipe, along with fun variations – including alternative sweeteners for the simple syrup, like monk fruit or stevia.

Non-alcoholic sangria

Sangria is a colorful party in a pitcher. The delicious fresh-cut fruit packs a powerful vitamin and antioxidant kick, and the right balance of tart and sweet keeps people coming back. It’s also a fun drink to serve at family get-togethers or reunions because Grandkids love them too.

Our favorite recipe so far is This One, from lovebakesgoodcakes.com. Shopping ingredients include:

  • Lemons, oranges, and limes
  • Cranberries
  • Cranberry juice
  • Grape juice
  • Orange juice
  • Lemon juice
  • Your sparkling mineral water OR lemon-lime soda of choice

Once those are mixed together, you have a drink worth toasting to.

Virgin strawberry daiquiris

As this article goes to press, the Bay Area is at the peak of strawberry season. Fresh ripe strawberries are unbeatable, so start there if you are able. Otherwise, frozen strawberries work just fine. Leave it to the mother-daughter duo at Savor The Flavour to come up with The Best Virgin Daiquiri You’ll Ever Taste, which is certainly one of our favorite drinks.

The beauty here is that a little bit of rum flavoring (typically used in baking) makes this the non-alcoholic drink for seniors they’ll ask for again and again.

Virgin mimosa

Mimosas are a brunch classic and are a great way to liven up a weekend morning. Because basic sparkling water or soda water doesn’t have the tang or kick of sparkling wine, we like Simple Joy’s use of a few ounces of  Perrier L’Orange Flavor Slim Can. It adds what’s “missing” from the lack of alcoholic bubbly options.

Mocktail recipes for cocktail shrubs

Shrubs are increasingly popular as a non-alcoholic for seniors and their families. They are tart and sweet, feature fun combinations of seasonal fruits and fresh herbs,  and use a simple syrup made with vinegar. Our in-home senior caregivers make shrubs for clients using real, fermented apple cider, red wine, or balsamic vinegar that have “the mother” in the bottle because they provide a good dose of probiotics, which can help to prevent UTIs and improve digestive and immune system health.

Check out this loveandoliveoil.com article on Fruit & Vinegar Shrubs for a detailed explanation and several fun mocktail recipes and combinations, including Strawberry & Elderflower, Strawberry Balsamic, Raspberry Rose, and Ginger pomegranate. Get creative and make shrub syrups using your favorite combinations of fresh ripe fruits and herbs. Then use the syrup to flavor iced sparkling water. 

Celebrate Happy Hour With A New Senior Caregiver & Companion

Do you think it’s time to add a little sparkle and cheer into your senior loved one’s daily or weekly routine? Connect with HomeAide Home Care, (510) 247-1200, and schedule a free, no-obligation assessment. We prioritize improving quality of life and social engagement while allowing seniors to age safely and independently in their homes or assisted living communities.

Tips To Preserve Family History For Future Generations

tips to preserve family history for future generations

Do you wish you knew more about a loved one who’s passed away? Do you feel like there are gaps in your family’s history? Unfortunately, while genealogy platforms unearth amazing facts from the past, they don’t compare with photos and personal stories about times gone by. 

7 Tips To Preserve Family History, Photos & Memories

Here are seven tips to learn all you can from family elders about your lineage and history and to preserve those memories for future generations.

Host a recorded interview

One of the most straightforward ways to learn more about your family’s history and elders’ memories is to host an “Interview” and record it. Digital recording apps do a fantastic job for you, providing a record that can be stored in the cloud for the entire family to access. Schedule recording sessions for all of the elders in your family, as well as with any of the aunts, uncles, and cousins who are natural “memory keepers.” 

You don’t need anything fancy or complicated for this type of recording. Examples of digital recording software include:

  • Recorder
  • Easy Voice Recorder
  • Voice Recorder & Audio Editor
  • Audio Recorder
  • Rev Audio & Voice Recorder

The simple act of getting loved ones’ voices on record is an amazing gift unto itself. It allows others to “travel back in time” or for young or future grandchildren to meet and feel connections with elders they don’t remember or never met.

Preserve family history by asking the right questions

You’ll be surprised how naturally these “interviews” and story collections occur once you get people started. The key is to schedule the interview at the right time of day and have snacks, tea/drinks, and other comforts at hand, so there’s no need to rush. One memory typically leads to another, so the stories may keep coming.

Visit 100 Family History Interview Questions… for ideas and inspiration.  

Have the family photo albums at hand

Get out all of the family photo albums you have, and ask siblings or aunts/uncles to dig theirs out as well. The more visual stimulation your loved one has, the more likely they will remember stories they may not have told otherwise. Don’t write off anyone with dementia or Alzheimer’s. You’ll be amazed at how much they can remember about their early childhood on a good day and with the right visual stimulation.

In fact, you may find this session, which is a type of reminiscence therapy used to support those with dementia, may lift your loved one’s spirits more than anything else.

Digitally scan or store family photos

All it takes is a single flood, fire, or moisture issues and mold to destroy family photo albums beyond repair. Plus, since albums can’t be identically recreated, most family photos are held by a single person rather than equitably shared across siblings, children, and grandchildren. 

As long as you have the photo albums out:

  • Identify and label individuals, relative time, location, and any fun tidbits
  • Take digital photos or use a high-quality scanner to preserve them all in a single cloud location
  • Consider scanning whole pages so “replica albums” can be assembled if that is a desire

Depending on the number of albums and photos, this may be a multi-session experience, which is a great way to keep seniors socially engaged weekly or monthly. You may also want to explore scrapbooking apps designed to help with creative image capturing and displays.

Create an extensive family tree

Whether you have an artist in the family or you prefer to use designated software, the information you glean through interviews and photo identification sessions can be used to round out the Family Tree. Invest in platforms like ancestry.com or myhertiage.com to fill in the gaps. 

There are also numerous platforms that take names and relevant information and add them to template family trees, many of which stretch back as far as six or more generations. The resulting family trees make fabulous gifts for the holidays or birthdays and should be a standing “artwork” in any family home.

Assemble a family cookbook

Food is an incredibly sensory stimulator, and cooking and making family favorites together is a wonderful way to bond with elderly family members. As long as you’re in the memory gathering mode, reach out to elders and extended family members and request family favorites. 

Some people may even have recipe boxes with recipe cards handwritten by their ancestors. Take photos of those to preserve them, and assemble all of the recipes digitally as well as in print for everyone to enjoy.

List and mark family heirlooms and treasures

Now is the time to name, list, and mark/record your family heirlooms and treasures. Go through your loved one’s home and start asking questions about the furniture, art, china, and other collectibles you recognize from childhood. If it seems appropriate, you can use a #2 pencil to mark items with who they belonged to, approximate date/era, etc. 

You can also use labels attached with string if that feels more appropriate. We also recommend listing them all on a document that can be stored online. If your loved ones don’t have a formal will or trust in place, this is a good time to mark who s/he’d like to be passed on to whom in the family so that there’s no tension or debate down the road.

Visit the archives.gov page on Taking Care of Your Family Heirlooms for more tips, especially if your family has a wealth of genuine antiques in the collections. 

Bonus Tip: Schedule a family reunion

Now that things are opening back up, and digital platforms are familiar to all, maybe it’s time to plan a family reunion. Let everyone know you’re working to preserve your family’s memories for future generations and have all who are interested support the cause. Collectively, the memories and stories will unfold naturally, which is a great way for the archivists to round out the information you’ve already collected. 

This is also a good time to share photos that have no names or information to the group, where chances are higher memories will be sparked.

Love the idea but struggle to find the time? Consider using a companion caregiver to help. In addition to supporting aging loved ones to remain in their homes, our caregivers run errands, prepare meals, play games, take seniors on social outings, and they’re happy to help comb through photo albums and help preserve your family’s memories during their wellness checkups and routine visits. Contact HomeAide Home Care to learn more.

Holidays Are Ideal For Reminiscence Therapy

holidays are ideal for reminiscence therapy

Memory care centers and assisted living facilities are spending more time offering reminiscence therapy to their residents. Studies have shown seniors with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia-related memory loss reap multiple benefits when they spend time in a multisensory space that honors their past – aka “reminiscence therapy.” 

Reminiscence Therapy For Seniors Boosts The Spirit 

Reminiscence therapy works to provide stimulation for every sense. So, it can include things like: 

  • Listening to favorite tunes from the past 
  • Watching old movies 
  • Going through personal photo albums and scrapbooks 
  • Singing songs from a person’s childhood, teens, and young adulthood 
  • Eating favorite family dishes and comfort foods 
  • Dancing to the music they danced to during their dating and early marriage years 

These activities stimulate the brain, encourage human-to-human connections and – most specifically – work to activate the long-term memory channels, which last longer than short-term memory channels in the wake of age- or dementia-related memory loss. 

A recent publication in Frontiers in Psychology discusses the researcher’s findings after a comprehensive meta-analysis of reminiscence therapy and its effects. The researchers found that: 

…reminiscence therapy has a significant effect on relieving depressive symptoms in older adults. Reminiscence therapy benefits older adults with chronic illness and those on antidepressants as well. The effect and cost-effectiveness of group reminiscence therapy were higher than individual reminiscence therapy. 

How To Personalize Reminiscence Therapy This Holiday Season 

You don’t need a clinical setting or a trained set of therapists to do your version of family-friendly reminiscence therapy. However, incorporating some of the basic principles of this successful healing modality is a great way to keep seniors included and energized at family holiday gatherings, rather than feeling as if they’re tucked away in the corner. 

The following are some ideas on being present with loved ones, even if they aren’t always sure who you are. We also recommend visiting, Getting Seniors Involved in Holiday Activities.  

Get out the photo albums & home movies 

By and large, the very best way to hear stories from your family history (especially for more quiet or shy seniors) is to get out their photo albums. Find a quiet space and sit down together. Ask sincere questions about who’s who. If your loved one doesn’t remember a significant person, skim right over that to avoid agitation. Then, when they perk up or seem interested in a particular photo, person, or event, encourage them to share what they remember. 

We understand it can feel frustrating and even hurtful when seniors no longer recognize or forget immediate family members and/or important events. But, always remember, it’s not personal. The best thing you can do is stay present at this moment and connect any way you can so you’re a safe, non-threatening, and loving presence. Read Connecting With & Caring For Those With Dementia for more tips on being with seniors as they are now. 

Play the old standard holiday carols rather than modern stuff 

When senior loved ones are over, skip the holiday playlists populated with contemporary classics. Instead, focus on playlists that include holiday favorites from the 30s – 70s. These are the songs seniors are most familiar with and that are carved into the memory banks. As a result, they are more likely to perk up, tap their toes, sing along, or get excited as they remark, “Oh, I always loved this song,” or, “This was one of Papa’s favorites….” 

Bake and cook together 

Food awakens multiple sensations at once – including smell, taste, and touch. Ask your parents or grandparents to share some of their favorite holiday recipes from their family’s traditions. There are plenty of standard dishes that we just don’t make anymore. If your loved one stalls or can’t find the words (a common symptom of dementia called “aphasia”), consider reviewing lists of vintage dishes that have gone by the wayside. 

To start, read through The Daily Meal’s list of recipes nobody makes any more or Eat This, Not That’s list of 30 forgotten Thanksgiving dishes

Create vintage mocktails (using their favorite drinks as the model) 

A few years back, we posted a list of Holiday Inspired Mocktails & Cocktails. Alcohol is off-limits for seniors with memory issues and those who have medication contraindications or a history of substance abuse. Vintage mocktails are a wonderful way to create the nostalgia of favorite holiday drinks without the addition of alcohol. Ask what your loved one’s favorite drink(s) are, and then search online for a “mocktail” equivalent. 

Dance the night (or afternoon) away 

Dancing was a popular pastime in the era of live bands and far less TV or screentime than we enjoy now. AS long as you have that “Favorite Music Playlist” going, have a dance party for a bit. Even chairbound seniors can enjoy holding hands and tapping or swaying to the beat. They’ll have a blast, as will anyone who participates, and it’s a great way to get normally sedentary seniors active and moving. 

Get creative together 

Holiday crafts are another way to engage the creative areas of the senior’s mind, which may operate via muscle memory if they’re doing something they often did in the past. From crocheting and knitting to making holiday decorations or decorating frames to house this year’s photo of the family holiday gathering, setting up a craft table with materials and snacks encourages family members of all ages to spend time together, to talk, laugh, reminisce, and connect.  

Studies are clear that social engagement is essential for senior health and wellbeing. The holidays offer the perfect opportunity to connect in ways that you haven’t all year long. Do you live far away and want to make sure your loved one is taken care of over the holidays? Does your senior parent or grandparent need transportation to and from some of their favorite holiday events? Contact HomeAide Home Care and learn more about how in-home senior care services can support your family this holiday season. 

Are You Taking Advantage Of Respite Care?

are you taking advantage of respite care

Caregiving takes its toll. It doesn’t matter how much you love someone, how much you feel they deserve, or the strength of your conviction that nobody can take care of him/her like you can – caregiver burnout is absolutely inevitable unless you take care of the big picture. 

If you are a caregiver or are planning to take over caregiving duties for an aging parent or senior loved one, make sure to read our post, How to Recognize and Prevent Caregiver Burnout.  

Big Picture Planning: Respite Care Is An Essential Part Of Caregiving

Respite care should automatically be included in any long-term home care plan. Period.  

When you hire a full-time professional caregiving agency, this is automatically taken care of because our employees are only allowed to work a specific number of hours per shift, and per week. In the spouse/immediate caregiver plan – things get murkier. 

What Is Respite Care? 

Respite care is a way to provide a break for primary caregivers while ensuring your loved one has expert and compassionate care in the caregiver’s absence. If your niece or sister offers to come and stay with your parent for a day or overnight, they are offering respite care. Friends or volunteers from your spiritual community may also provide occasional relief from the rigors of caregiving.  

When a care plan includes regular respite care or long-term respite care, it’s a good idea to meet with a licensed caregiving agency – especially if the senior loved one has a progressive condition.  

Professional home care providers are educated, trained, and experienced at providing care for seniors in all stages of the aging process – from those who need a bit of help getting around and preparing meals to seniors who are completely bed-bound, which demands a different level of care and attention. 

While respite care shifts typically have a minimum billing window, typically three to four hours, they can be used as intermittently as you like. Respite care can be used to help caregivers: 

  • Attend their own health and wellness appointments 
  • Resume regular religious/spiritual services and events 
  • Participate in special family events, ceremonies, and gatherings 
  • Take days, weekends, or weeks off for the sake of time off, and not because you’re having to accommodate yours or someone else’s need(s) 
  • Have the freedom to take “sick days” when they or family members are ill or experiencing an emergency and need to “take care of business” 
  • Get together with friends for weekly lunches, self-care, or whatever else you need to fill your cup and nourish your dedicated, hardworking spirit 

In addition to preventing caregiver burnout and supporting caregivers by providing regular breaks, respite care also establishes a rapport between the client and other caregivers. This can come in handy in the event of a sick day or emergency because the client already feels comfortable with the caregiver replacement. 

Make Respite Care Part Of The Plan When… 

Here are some signs that you and your family should take advantage of respite care as part the home care plan from the very start: 

There are only one or two family caregivers 

The reality is that it is impossible for one or two caregivers to provide quality, patient, compassionate, and attentive full-time care, 24/7. You will become depleted and that depletion will take its toll on your ability to care for your loved one, not to mention the negative toll it can take on your health and wellbeing. 

If your loved one requires care around the clock or more than just a few hours each day, you will either need to assemble a team of caregivers to observe regular shifts or you will need to ensure you have adequate respite care each week to give you a break. 

Your loved one has Alzheimer’s/dementia or other “progressive” diagnosis 

The care required at the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s/dementia or other “progressive” medical conditions, like Parkinson’s, is 180-degrees from the constantly increasing levels of care required as the disease progresses. Enlisting the support of respite care providers and building them into the care plan from the beginning, makes it easier to get the support you will need when things get more intense. 

You are working and/or still have children at home 

In the realm of senior care, we refer to you as “The Sandwich Generation” because you are sandwiched in between your children/work and your aging parents. It is absolutely consuming and completely depleting. Respite care is an affordable way to buoy you up as you work to meet everyone’s needs while still fulfilling your work obligations, family fun, children’s extracurricular activities, etc.  

Visit Parents Caregiving for Parents: Support for the Sandwich Generation, to learn more about that topic. 

Your family takes an annual vacation, holiday(s), etc. 

If you have to miss one family vacation or a string of traditional holiday gatherings for a single year, that is one thing. However, a decline from Alzheimer’s or dementia, chronic illnesses, or general aging decline can last for years. 

If your loved one isn’t on hospice or in the last weeks or months of his/her life, you are going to need respite care so you have the ability to balance your life while simultaneously caring for the needs of your loved one. 

You need respite care if you have children living at home 

If you have children living at home you absolutely must find a way to have stand-in caregivers at the ready. Your senior loved one enjoyed a rich, full life and s/he almost undoubtedly wishes the same for you and your family. Childhood is fleeting and so it’s imperative that in the midst of honoring your senior loved one that you also honor your children’s milestones and important events. 

Respite care is the way to make sure you can be at the game, attend the school pageant, volunteer in the classroom, or chaperone field trips.  

Would you like to learn more about how you can take advantage of respite care when creating a long-term senior home care plan? Contact HomeAide Home Care, Inc. and schedule a free assessment and consultation.

Getting Paid To Take Care Of Elderly Parents

getting paid to take care of elderly parents

Are you losing money in an effort to provide “free” care for elderly parents or family members? In an effort to save money, many children of senior parents wind up losing money as the result of unpaid time off work or having to quit their jobs altogether. 

Fortunately, there are programs available that pay children to take care of their aging parents. The amount varies depending on your situation and rarely replaces a full-time salary. However, the financial boost may be just what you need to make it possible to take time off or minimize work hours to take care of the ones you love. 

Programs That Pay Children To Take Care Of Elderly Parents 

There are no programs out there that will fully compensate you for the countless hours you’ll spend caring for your aging parents. That said, the income derived from the following programs may help ends meet, or alleviate financial stress, along the way. 

MediCal/Medicaid In-Home Support Services (IHSS) 

Medicaid services in all 50 of the United States provide some level of compensation to qualified individuals to manage their own, long-term care plan – as opposed to paying an agency to do so. In California, this can include hiring qualified children to provide care for senior parents.  

In fact, California has one of the more generous versions of this program because it also pays qualifying spouses, siblings, and extended family members. Those who provide care for qualifying individuals can get paid for everything from direct patient care to housekeeping and errand running, depending on the circumstances. 

This program is largely dependent on the income/asset value of the person requiring care. You can contact the MediCal Member Helpline to learn more about qualifications and how to apply. 

Home & Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waiver 

Have you just received a diagnosis, like Alzheimer’s or dementia, that will require a long-term care plan? If so, now is the time to apply for Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waivers. These are designed for people who get Medicaid but didn’t qualify for IHSS.  

It can allow you to care for a parent at home, rather than having to transfer him/her to an assisted living or another type of care facility if that goes against your parent’s wishes.  

If you’re trying to decide which makes more sense, home care or assisted living facility, we recommend reading, The Cost of Senior Care: Home Care vs Assisted Living, to compare the two. 

Examples of the various waivers, all of which are applied through via MediCal using the link provided above, include: 

  • Assisted Living Waiver (ALW) 
  • Veteran Directed Care (VD-HCBS) – more on veteran’s care below 
  • Multi-Purpose Senior Services Waiver (MSSP) 
  • Home and Community-Based Services Waiver for the Developmentally Disabled (HCBS-DD) 

These programs almost always have waiting lists, which is why time is of the essence. 

Veteran’s Aid & Attendance Program 

The Veteran’s Aid & Attendance Program is overseen by the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA). It was created to support veterans who are struggling to pay for home care services or care costs at other residential facilities. 

In addition to being the recipient of a veteran pension, the basic qualifying criteria for the extra Veteran’s Aid & Attendance Pension include: 

  • You need another person to help you perform daily activities, like bathing, feeding, and dressing, or 
  • You have to stay in bed—or spend a large portion of the day in bed—because of illness, or 
  • You are a patient in a nursing home due to the loss of mental or physical abilities related to a disability, or 
  • Your eyesight is limited (even with glasses or contact lenses you have only 5/200 or less in both eyes; or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less) 

You can Click Here to read more about the program and to determine whether or not your parent is eligible. 

Long-Term Care Insurance 

Sometimes, seniors forget about the funds they set aside or planned for when they need it most. Ask your parent whether s/he ever paid for a long-term care insurance plan. If s/he is suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, it’s worth a trip through the file cabinet or safe to search for paperwork. We also recommend checking in with his/her estate attorney or reviewing any will or trust to see if a long-term care insurance plan is accounted for in any of their estate documents. 

Paid Family Leave Act 

The state of California offers the Paid Family Leave Act (PFL). This legislature ensures employees have the ability to take paid time off work to care for a family member. It requires certification from your parent’s medical care provider, and you can earn 60% to 70% of your wages to do so. 

The caveat is that the plan is short-term, only allowing up to eight weeks off work. That said, a combination of your siblings, children, or adult grandchildren may make it possible to provide a long-term family home care plan, interspersing shifts with professionals as needed. 

Direct Payment From Family To Care For Elderly Parents 

Many families find that a family payment pool is the best and most affordable way to ensure their senior loved one is cared for by a family member, without causing financial stress or demise for the caregiver.  

If you go this route, it is wise to consult with an attorney or paralegal who specializes in elder care and estate planning to draw up documentation that is professional, thorough, outlines potential scenarios, and that everyone can sign. 

The combination of paying a family member, paying professional caregivers in-between times, and taking advantage of senior care resources in the Bay Area is a wise, comprehensive solution. 

A Reverse Mortgage 

Depending on the situation, your family may decide it’s beneficial to apply for a reverse mortgage. The Bay Area real estate market has only gone up in the past two to four decades, and that equity is far better used to provide high-quality, loving care at home than saved to disperse to beneficiaries after your parent(s) pass on. 

Even a very small equity line of credit, that doesn’t dramatically reduce the home’s total equity, may be exactly enough to pay for family caregivers for the time, energy, and emotional investment required when taking care of elderly parents. 

Always consult with a financial advisor or tax attorney before making any major decisions like this, and having a family meeting to gain a consensus so the decision feels equitable to all. 

Would you like to learn more about how to integrate paid family caregiving that allows you to take care of elderly parents, while also having access to professional home care providers for respite care or to fill in the shift gaps? Contact HomeAid Home Care and schedule a free assessment. 

Top 10 Blogs For Seniors

top 10 blogs for seniors

It’s always a challenge to keep homebound seniors socially engaged. And, we also know that social engagement and the human-to-human connection is invaluable to the mental, emotional, and physical health of our senior loved ones. Blogs for seniors are one more piece of the connectivity puzzle. These blogs are mostly by seniors and for seniors, which helps to send the message that, “you are not alone!” 

Bookmark These 10 Blogs For Seniors And Start Reading 

Not only are these blogs helpful (and entertaining) for seniors to read, we also recommend that caregivers and close family members read some of your loved one’s favorite blogs as well.  

Firstly, you may find that reading about another senior’s experiences and insights provides a better picture or more compassionate insight into your parent/grandparent’s day to day life and experiences. Secondly, reading the same blogs is like being part of a book club. The posts can provide mutual conversation ground that is not just about medical issues, ailments, or caregiving.  

To that end, here are 10 senior blogs worth recommending for your senior to bookmark on his/her gadget of choice. Just getting your loved one on board with tech, read How to Support Seniors with Technology. 

Senior Planet 

We’ve intentionally put Senior Planet (seniorplanet.org) towards the top because it is a resource and go-to support for seniors who are using technology to remain connected. Senior Planet is about much more than just the latest gadgets and apps and websites. Those gadgets and apps and websites are just means to an end: enabling older adults and people of all ages to come together and find ways to learn, work, create, and thrive in today’s digital age. 

In addition to that, the website offers all kinds of fun ways for seniors to engage with one another, from joining book clubs and online tech classes to support groups and chat features. 

Elder Chicks 

The Elder Chicks (elderchicks.com) website and blogs were started by senior “chicks,” Dr. Thelma Reese (now 88 years old) and Dr. Barbara Fleisher (age not stated). Click Here to watch their video about their blog and their goal to “master the art of senior life,” which has become the fun, witty, and intelligent theme across their blogging spectrum. One of our favorite aspects of The Elder Chicks’ mission is that they promote the hand-in-hand pairing of senior life/retirement and volunteerism.  

Feisty Side of 50 (geared towards females) 

Tired of all the social and cultural messages that say “aging is bad,” and that our goal should be to remain “forever young?” We are too! Not only is aging inevitable, but it is also a process that can forge ever-deeper and more meaningful connections to our wisdom, inner-strength, heart, soul, and the absolutely essential need for humor and joy. The Feisty Side of 50 is run by Mary Eileen Williams, M.A., N.C.C.C. You can also listen to her Feisty Side of 50 radio show and podcast. 

Her personal mission is to, “…reach as many of my gender and generation as possible to celebrate our remarkable history, our awe-inspiring futures, and just plain hoot and holler as only the menopausal can. We gals have overcome some pretty formidable challenges and we’re not going to let a few wrinkles stop us now. We’re bringing a whole new look and spirited style to the aging process. In fact, our next major revolution will be nothing short of astounding. So, here’s to us, the incredible, incomparable, fabulous, female boomers and to embracing life fully on the feisty side of fifty!” 

Grey Fox 

This senior blog, on the other hand, is geared towards senior men. Did your senior dad or grandfather lead a dashing and dapper life? Then he’ll love reading Grey Fox, which focuses on fashion trends for men 40 years and older, with a penchant for brands that target the older, affluent demographic. Because the website host, David Evans, is from the UK, he targets UK brands.  

Sage (dedicated to the LGBTQ community) 

There is no denying that the senior LGBTQ community is largely ignored – and that’s saying something when you consider our senior home care agency is located in California’s Bay Area! While the LGBTQ community is well-represented in the Millennial realm, LGBTQ seniors can feel very alone, and studies show members of this sociodemographic have a much higher risk of depression, anxiety, and loneliness. Read, Inclusive Care for LGBT Seniors, to learn more about how you can help. 

Another boost for your LGBTQ senior loved one’s spirit will be connecting with the Sage USA blog. The blog and organizational mission are to, “…make aging better for LGBT people nationwide. How? We show up and speak out for the issues that matter to us. We teach. We answer your calls. We connect—generations, each other, allies. We win. And together, we celebrate.” 

Sage is a phenomenal resource and they also promote a myriad of LGBT resources. We feel regular perusal of their posts will support, inspire, inform, and connect LGBT seniors and their families. 

The Senior Nomads 

Whether your senior loved one is fond of travel, or would enjoy living vicariously with other travelers, The Senior Nomads blog is centered around the travels of Seattle-based seniors Debbie & Michael Campbell.  

While they slowed down at the beginning of the pandemic, these passionate nomads revamped the way they move from place-to-place and have resumed their travels. That means their blog is chock full of informative (as well as entertaining) tidbits about their travels, experiences, and other “senior moments.” 

Viva Fifty! 

This bilingual blog serves both the English- and Spanish-speaking senior communities. The Viva Fifty! Blog is published by Lorraine C. Ladish. The posts are divided into five main categories: Mind (culture, books, mind, empowerment, money), Grace (style, hair, skincare, beauty), Body (health, nutrition, fitness, and yoga), Soul (relationships, family, dating, inspiration), and Escape (travel, leisure, dining, tech, and shopping).  

The site features a diverse group of guest posters, and we feel this one is another ideal “blog club” candidate for you and your senior loved one to share. 

The Upside to Aging 

Remember we mentioned that some of these blogs are worth the caregiver’s read? The Upside to Aging is one of those. Hosted by longtime caregiver, Molly Wisniewski (LeGrand), the blog balances the upsides (and the challenges) faced by seniors and their caregivers. Molly specializes in in-home care for clients with dementia and other memory issues, so there are plenty of posts dedicated to that realm.  

The National Council on Aging 

As professional senior home care providers, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) is one of our favorite resources for the latest studies, research, and information on aging and how to provide the best care possible for our clients. The NCOA blog can be that same resource for you, your family’s caregivers, and then seniors you care for as you navigate this next chapter of his/her life. 

Their blogs for seniors serve as an approachable, digestible synopsis of that aforementioned resource, and also keeps seniors informed about medical, legislative, and social/cultural topics particular to their demographic. 

The HomeAide Home Care Blog 

Yep, we’re biased, but we work hard to create monthly blog topics that are timely, relevant, and that provide support, insight, and informative tidbits about senior care topics. We also try to balance the equation and include plenty of posts geared towards family and private caregivers who work so tirelessly hard for the ones they love. Bookmark to the HomeAide Home Care blog and be part of a wider network of people who understand exactly what you’re going through. 

Do you suspect it’s time to bring licensed, compassionate homecare professionals to support your family’s journey through senior care? Schedule a free home assessment with HomeAide Home Care.

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. 

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