A co-worker of mine employs an in-home caregiver to help take care of her 80-year-old mother. The CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) is currently paid $12 per hour, 30 hours a week. Lately, the CNA has indicated she would like an increase in pay and hours. Unfortunately, due to the faltering economy, the family cannot pay any more than the current rate or provide the CNA with additional hours.
Do you think $12 an hour is a fair rate? Are you struggling to pay for outside help to provide caregiving services for your relatives?
This week, we published Caregiving journey changed my life, Jacqueline Marcell’s poignant tale of the lessons she learned while providing care for her elderly parents. Her difficult, painful but ultimately rewarding experience as a caregiver caused her to write a book called Elder Rage. Marcell discusses first hand the difficulties in getting an accurate diagnosis of senior dementia or Alzheimer’s, the conflict that can arise when the roles change in the parent-child relationship and how to manage your own stress when providing care for loved ones.
Have you had to be a caregiver for an elderly relative who was diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s? What was your experience like? Do you have advice for others in this situation?
Former television executive and author of “Elder Rage” Jacqueline Marcell shares her experience of caring for her elderly parents:
For eleven years I pleaded with my elderly father to allow a caregiver to help him with my ailing mother, but after 55 years of loving each other – he adamantly insisted on taking care of her himself. Every caregiver I hired to help him sighed in exasperation, “Jacqueline, I just can’t work with your father – his temper is impossible to handle. I don’t think you’ll be able to get him to accept help until he’s on his knees himself.”
My father had always been 90% great, but boy-oh-boy that bad temper was a doozy. He’d never turned it on me before, but then again – I’d never gone against his wishes either. When my mother nearly died from an infection caused by his inability to continue to care for her, I immediately flew from Southern California to San Francisco to save her life – having no idea that in the process it
This time of year, one naturally thinks about family and spending quality time with them. For those who are caring for an elderly loved one, this can be a bittersweet time of year. We encourage you to visit Atlanta Senior Living, a new feature on ajchomefinder that offers resources and advice for choosing the right senior home and senior care for your loved ones, as well as community support for caregivers.
Looking to volunteer this holiday season by helping seniors in the Atlanta area? DoGood provides a list of non-profits that have programs for seniors in metro Atlanta.
We would like to hear how senior relatives have positively impacted your life. What’s the most important lesson(-s) you’ve learned from your senior relatives?
It can be hard to know what the proper gift is for an aging relative or loved one. Here are 10 unique gift ideas for the seniors and elderly on your holiday shopping list. If you want even more holiday gift ideas for seniors, check out the complete list from Caring.com.
I can attest to the success of one of the items on the list, the Jitterbug cellphone. I bought this for my elderly parents this year and they absolutely love it. They had never used a cellphone before and they are not tech-savvy, to say the least, but my mom was making phone calls in no time.
What kind of gifts do you buy for senior loved ones? If you are a senior yourself, what gifts do you most appreciate?
While there has been much discussion recently about overhauling America’s current healthcare system, for now, we are stuck dealing with the present health insurance plans. For seniors, that usually means navigating the often convoluted maze called Medicare. What’s Your Gap discovered that 2/3 of seniors do not fully understand the Medicare Part D Coverage Gap. You can download a free PDF pamphlet that breaks down the gap in prescription coverage in plain English directly from What’s Your Gap. It’s worth taking a look at, especially if you expect your senior prescription costs to exceed $2700 in 2009.
If you are helping an elderly loved one navigate the health care system, do you find that dealing with Medicare is a frustrating experience? If you have any tips or advice, please share. What kind of changes in health care coverage for seniors do you hope take place once the new administration takes charge of the White House?
Alone time. If you have any caregivers in your life that you want to remember this holiday season, providing respite care could be the most appreciated gift of all. Often caregivers put aside their own needs and are consumed with caring for the needs of the loved ones in their care. This personal neglect can impact both physical and emotional health. Offer to give a caregiver an afternoon or even a weekend off, so they can recharge their batteries. If you are not comfortable providing the care yourself, hire a reputable caregiver or see if there’s a local respite care facility in your area.
If your loved one is in a facility, don’t forget about those hardworking and usually underpaid staff members. Bring by a fruit basket or even a homemade treat to show your thanks. Or consider donating your time to a local non-profit that assists seniors and others needing supervised care. You can find more holiday gift ideas on the Atlanta Holiday Guide and this caregiver gift
A recent nursing home report by the Inspector General’s Office of the federal Department of Health and Human Services paints a bleak picture when it comes to Georgia’s nursing homes. Nearly 90 percent of Georgia’s nursing homes received violations of federal health and safety standards in 2007. The national average was even worse, at 92 percent.
Despite the dismal report, there are many Georgia nursing homes that have caring staff members. In the photo above, the staff at the Golden Living center in Decatur are caring for one of their favorite residents, Georgia Ruth Merrill, who celebrated her 105th birthday at the nursing home this year.
Quality of care and quality of life issues are the most common violations reported nationally. Those that work in nursing homes cite low pay and difficult working conditions as the reason for high employee turnover and inferior care of residents.
Have you placed a loved one in a nursing home? What do you think are
Currently, there are approximately 37 million senior citizens in the U.S. In Georgia, approximately 10 percent of the population is 65 or older, and our senior population will only continue to grow.
Baby boomers are the largest health care consumer group in the country, and because of their access to modern medicine, this group can expect longer life expectancies than previous generations. Because of this trend, senior housing options have expanded greatly, especially in the metro Atlanta area.
As current or future caregivers, we encourage you to learn about the variety of senior housing and caregiving options available, and give your feedback on what has worked in your own family. We welcome your stories about the joys and struggles of caring for an aging loved one. We hope you will find Caring & Sharing a great resource, as well as a valuable part of your support system.
What senior living issues concern you the most? Is it the cost of senior housing and senior