3 Reasons Families Fight about Senior Care

DLSCaring for an aging parent, or elderly spouse presents tough challenges, particularly when a crisis hits and you are suddenly faced with the responsibilities of elder care. The absolute difficulty of the task, its high cost, as well as underlying family issues can bump to create a perfect storm of discontent. But when families put aside their differences and work together as a team for the best interest of their elderly loved one, they are often able to overcome this challenge.

Here are some reasons families fight about senior care:

Money Matters
Sometimes, special expenses ascend in regards to senior care that weren’t expected or planned. Other times, money just runs out. When this happens, families often fight about who should contribute, and how much they should contribute toward the costs for care.

Possible Solution:  A good way to resolve this is to have a family meeting with all members present, whether in person or by phone. All costs should be laid out in the open, and members should be honest about what they can contribute. The significant thing is not to judge or criticize.

Parent Resists Care
Sometimes the whole family is on board and decides that their parent needs care, but the parent resists any change, tooth and nail. It’s understandable; people loathe giving up any independence, and place it highly among those things in life they prize most highly.

Possible Solution: When you’re trying to encourage a parent to accept a move to a senior community, make it clear that you’re not trying to “put them away.” Help your parent know your concerns and that they come from love.

Power Struggles
Family members most of the time disagrees about the type of care needed for their loved one. Extreme differences also tend to come to the forefront when end of life issues are confronted.

Possible solution:  It’s vital to discuss the specific needs of your aging loved one, as well as their personal wishes. Then, your family can determine which option would provide the senior with quality care, comfort and happiness. During all discussions, it is essential to consider what each family member has to say, rather than acting out emotionally.

The most significant thing to remember with family relationships is that the only behavior you can truly control is your own. Understanding, patience, and forgiveness should be extended to siblings when a family is in crisis.

Beating the Problems of Senior Care

senior-care-issuesLooking after for an aging mother or father, domestic partner, household partner or good friend provides challenging difficulties, especially when a problem strikes and you are instantly faced with the required senior care. Perhaps your aging mother slipped, is put in the hospital with a broken hip and needs to go to a rehabilitation facility or senior care facility to recover. Care giving can also begin as a result of disturbing incidents and signs that indicate a need for lengthy lasting senior care. Perhaps your domestic partner has wandered off and went missing several times. Or a long-time buddy has lost a lot of body weight and hardly ever leaves the house. You may be the only person available to provide care. Or, you may be the linchpin of a network of close relatives and friends willing to help take care of your elderly. Whatever the situation, you are not sure of the next phase, or even the first thing to do.

Take a deep breath slowly. This may be the most important advice you receive throughout the care giving journey. All along the way, remember to stop every now and then and collect your thoughts. Clear your mind and relax. It may be challenging, but it will help maintain your mood and prevent you from falling under the weight of care giving problems. Make sure you know the senior’s birth date and Social Security number. You will need these details to access many services. Collect details about medical providers. If you haven’t done so already, collect details about your loved one’s doctors and health insurance coverage.

Another good advice is to call a family meeting. Try to get as many people as possible engaged from the start. Early feedback from them will accomplish interaction and decision-making down the line. Allow all close relatives an opportunity to show themselves and their emotions about what should be done. If possible, assign a person to be accountable for each process. These are just some steps that you can follow to avoid issues or problems when facing the task of senior care.

Senior Care Health Insurance

Medical health insurance policies may help cover part of the expense of elder-care.  It is very important to know that to which a policyholder is eligible and it’s also essential to understand the restrictions of your respective insurance so you will not waste time pursuing benefits that they may never acquire.  For people doing extended planning, comprehending the limits of coverage is important to avoid misunderstandings about who covers the cost for care later on.

nursing homesAs “elder-care” is a wide term and one not utilized by most medical health insurance corporations, it is useful to consider insurance benefits in categories instead of the whole.

As the majority of senior Americans have Medicare as their main health care insurance coverage, it is helpful to be aware of its benefits and coverage. To start with, it needs to be said that Medicare is only going to pay money for medical care; it doesn’t cover the expense of personal care.  This means Medicare will not pay for assistance to help the elderly execute their activities of everyday living like bathing, grooming, eating and mobility.  Therefore with little exclusion, Medicare will not pay money for home-care or assisted living.  Medicare does cover elderly care, although not at 100% and only for a restricted time period.

In relation to medical equipment, healthcare supplies and medicines, Medicare offers benefits in each of such areas provided the items are medically important, determined by a physician and are among the list of approved items.

With regards to assisting people to age in place, Medicare will not pay for home improvements.  However, Medicare offers a distinctive program in some spots through which all of a participating senior’s healthcare requirements are covered.  These programs are usually well liked by individuals who are lucky enough to get to live in an area of the country where this sort of insurance is provided.

Deciding on Senior Housing Plan

Choosing a senior house for you or your loved one is not an easy decision. It is a tough and demanding decision for you and your family. However, when there is a serious medical problem involved, you need to consider some of your options to avoid more problems. There are so many different senior housing programs out there; you just have to make a good choice. Everyone needs a healthy, safe and fulfilling home atmosphere while you age, so you need to know the best program that offers good senior care.

senior careAs we grow old, we experienced some major changes physically or simply our current situation. Planning your future housing needs is an integral part of making sure that you can still survive as you become older. Obviously, every senior differs in needs; therefore, the senior housing choice for another person might not be appropriate for you personally. You need to match the housing plan with your lifestyle, financial needs and health condition. You can also consider living with a retirement community or a nursing home where nearly all tenants are older than 65 and senior care is proven and tested.

While you age, you need some assistance with your physical needs, including activities of everyday living. This might vary from shopping, cleaning, cooking, and taking care of pets to intensive assistance with bathing, walking around, and eating. This can arise from the sudden condition, like a stroke or heart attack, or perhaps a more gradual condition that gradually needs increasing care, for example Alzheimer’s disease.

If you are living alone and far from your family, your current home can be too hard or too costly to keep. You might have health issues making it difficult to manage tasks like house work and yard maintenance. While you age, your situation will change, buddies or family might not be as close, or neighbors may move or transfer. You may not be able to continue driving or get access to public transit to be able to get together with family and buddies. Modifying your house and long-term care can both be costly, so balancing the concern you’ll need with where you need to live requires careful evaluation of your budget.

Lowering Senior Care Costs Using Technology

There is an increasing demand for Long-term Care (LTC) in the country which is estimated to reach 27 million by the year 2050; this is according to a research conducted by the Bipartisan Policy Center. LTC is given to patients with long-term or chronic diseases, mostly seniors who have complications and inability to monitor themselves. There are many existing LTC options offered to seniors like assisted living facilities and retirement homes. They offer around the clock services with equipments to monitor the patients, as needed. However, the senior care cost may be a burden to the patient and their family.

senior care technologyMany researches and programs have been created to find a solution to reduce the cost. The ideal situation is for the senior to stay at their houses, but the lack of equipments may hinder it from happening. According to a separate study, most of the seniors (90%) prefer to stay at their homes. This is why technology is continually being improved to make it affordable and convenient to use. Researchers are now looking for ways to improve the sensor technology where it can remotely detect the vitals and the overall health of the patient. This technology will reduce the cost since the patient will no longer stay long at the hospital for monitoring and check-up. It will likely reduce the patient’s stress in transportation.

The main purpose of the sensor is to alert the hospital whenever the patient is in an emergency; for instance of fire or a fall; but their capabilities are limited. The research makes the sensors more advanced by giving it the ability to detect the real-time health condition of the patient, making it a “smart sensor”. The sensor will send a regular report to the physician as well as an emergency report that detects abrupt changes in the health condition of the patient. Improving the sensor technology will definitely lower the cost of maintenance of long-term senior care. And it will give them a sense of independence and allow them to stay closer to their home and their family.

Senior Care and Parent Reluctance

It can be painful for family members to watch a parent battle with day to day activities they used to find easy and the situation becomes even more complicated when a mother or father is reluctant to talk about his or her complications. They may worry losing their freedom, they may feel they are becoming a burden or they may simply be reluctant to recognize their need for help. They may even suffer from psychological issues or intellectual incapacity, restricting their capability to comprehend or deal with late-life changes. Luckily, a bit of understanding and planning can go a long way toward reducing the anxiety of a tough senior care conversation.

Senior-CareA good first step to determining how to bring up a complicated subject like senior care is knowing the factors why an aging loved one may want to avoid the conversation. “If your loved one is in need of senior care, he or she is likely dealing with loss, physical loss, psychological loss, the lack of independence,” says the Mayo Clinic. “Accepting care might mean relinquishing comfort and adjusting to new routines. As a result, your loved one might feel terrified and insecure, upset that he or she needs help or guilty about the idea of becoming a burden to family.”

Sadly, one of the most wrenching factors why it can be difficult to talk to a senior parent is when mental sickness or cognitive loss is an issue. A 2012 report by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies found that between 14 and 20 percent of American seniors suffer from one or more mental health problems, such as depressive disorders or substance abuse. Furthermore, more than 5 million people in America are living with Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Organization. The occurrence of these and other wellness issues in the ageing population make it more urgent than ever for family members to take charge of their loved ones’ well-being. It’s important to start by having a sincere and patient conversation.

Senior Care and Overall Wellness

Gone are the days when senior care was specifically about dealing with medical needs. Instead, the present day modern senior living facilities take a much more natural strategy, servicing the senior’s body and mind. In addition, senior living is constantly on the go from the standard elderly care facility servicing very ill sufferers, to independent living communities housing active and vibrant elderly people. As a result, the industry has adapted to offer an extensive continuum of care that focuses on the resident’s overall health and fitness.

senior-careFollowing this pattern of senior, a recent blog on Senior Care Corner provided 8 tips for helping elderly people improve and sustain their memory. It points out that “the brain function of aging can begin when we are only 45 and that by age 80, average people have lost 40% of their memory.” Many of these recommendations replicated the idea underlining dimensions of health and fitness concept, elderly people need to be pushed and involved in a variety of activities. Some recommendations in the article are to:

  • Find ways to keep them active
  • Provide psychologically exciting activities
  • Engage them in social activities
  • Get your senior connected to family, friends and other networks

Most significantly, dimension of health and fitness play a crucial part in a resident’s evolving senior care plan. The powerful changes to various measurements may illustrate a minor decrease that may need to be analyzed by the medical employees and therefore may require appropriate changes to the care plan. Such simple changes in health and fitness and practical recognition of the same along with a proper good care plan, could save communities significant money (tied to demographics, improved ADL services, lawsuits, etc.). In summary, senior health is no longer about just offering the best medical care, but is about offering the best overall care.