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Here’s Why You Should Bring Your Parent To The Assisted Living Tour

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A Challenge For Adult Children: Do You Bring A Parent With You On An Assisted Living Tour?

As an experienced provider of senior care services, we know that navigating your way through the various options you have for senior living in Houston Texas isn’t easy. As an adult, finding a capable facility to care for your parents is a real challenge. Many people who find themselves shopping for senior communities and facilities ask us about bringing up the idea of senior living care or even bringing their parents along when they visit such places for the first time. There’s no hard and fast rule regarding whether this is a good idea or a bad idea. We can help you make the right choice for your own situation by looking at some of the pros and cons. Here’s a look at the advantages and disadvantages presented by key assisted living considerations:

Handling Physical Limitations

The Pros

Assisting Hands Houston | Assisted Living Facilities HoustonIt may be useful to bring along an aging parent if he or she is dealing with mobility issues or vision loss. You’ll get a first-hand glimpse of how easily your parent would be able to cope with the design of the facility. Some communities are better designed to accommodate physical disabilities than others. If your parent doesn’t have any problems navigating through the community, that counts as a plus in that facility’s favor. If they have trouble getting around, that’s a strong negative.

The Cons

Shepherding a parent through a tour may slow it down considerably. If you have limited time, it may be more productive to keep your visits fast and cover multiple communities in a single day. You could narrow your search down to a handful of the most likely possibilities before bringing your parent in.

Clearing Out Senior Living Stereotypes

The Pros

There are a lot of seniors whose mental images of senior living communities are seriously out of date. We find that exposing parents to more up-to-date pictures of senior living in Houston Texas helps to allay some of their concerns about their options.

The Cons

You may find community tours to be more productive if you’re not hampered by a parent who is being contrary and stubborn about the idea of moving into an assisted living community. It may be better to get a good grasp of the best potential communities and then introduce your parent to the ones which best fit his or her interests and lifestyle.

Senior Decision Making

The Pros

If your aging parent is still capable of making well-reasoned decisions on his or her own, getting them involved in the hunt for an assisted living community early will help to make them feel empowered and independent.

The Cons

On the other hand, if your loved one is already struggling with memory loss or is in any way anxious about the shift to assisted living, it’s probably better to screen their options in advance before you bring them to any facility. Parents who fear change can find an assisted living tour stressful.

Holding Onto Independence

The Pros

Seniors will obviously find it challenging to downsize and say goodbye to a home they’ve known for years or decades. It often gives rise to the feeling that they’re losing their independence. Selecting an assisted living facility without giving them plenty of input can worsen that feeling significantly. By including them in your research process and taking them along on tours, you’ll help your parents maintain a much-needed sense of control and independence.

The Cons

If a recent health issue is a trigger that’s set you looking for a senior community, your parent may not be physically capable of handling the stress of multiple tours. Sometimes the need to make a change in a senior’s living arrangements becomes time-sensitive due to rapid changes in his or her health. You may need to tour assisted living facilities on your own and pick out the one which looks to you like the best fit for your loved one. Note that you can at least keep your parent updated by bringing them photos, notes, and documentation to help them learn more about your choices. While this isn’t really ideal, it will help your loved one ease through the transition and maintain some feeling of independence.

Guidance For Houston Families

If you’re grappling with the changing care needs of an aging parent, Assisting Hands Houston can help you weigh your senior community options. We recommend that you contact us for any other questions you may have regarding the list of services we provide. We understand it may be difficult to decide whether or not senior living is the right choice for your loved ones. However, you do not have to be alone to make this decision. Call us today!

A Short Guide On Bringing Up Senior In Home Care

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Use These Seven Tips To Bring Up Senior Care Without Causing Any Hurt Feelings

Caring for an older parent is not an easy experience. Eventually, the need for senior care will arise and you will have to bring up this topic. Did you know that 69% of senior citizens need senior care but only 37% believe that they need this service? Accepting that one is getting older and needs help with daily tasks is not easy, which is why deciding it’s time for senior living or talking about senior care puts you in a challenging position.

Senior care can make a person feel like they are being discarded and remind them of their age or health problems. You know that you are taking care of your parents or older relatives because you love them and want what is best for them, but the person who needs senior care might not see things that way. Senior care can be a beneficial thing, both for you and for your older relative. This is not something you should put off if you’re taking care of someone who needs this service.

The key is to make your relative feel loved and honored. Use these seven conversation starters to bring up senior care without causing any hurt feelings.

1. Tell Them Why Senior Care Would Be Beneficial

You can’t bluntly tell your older relative that they need senior care because of a health problem. Don’t tell them that senior care would be beneficial because there are things they need help with or because assisted living benefits many other people. Instead, you should think of why your loved one would benefit from senior care. Think of things that would improve their standard of life and be interesting to them. Look into different senior living Houston TX options to get a better idea of the perks and amenities offered.

You could for instance mention activities, perks like fitness rooms or even the possibility of having a more active social life. Pay attention to how your loved one is responding. Some activities and perks might not sound interesting to them but others will sound like things that would improve their life.Assisting Hands Houston | Assisted Living in Houston TX

You need to build trust with your loved one. Find out about different facilities so you can really choose the place that will be best for them. Talk to them to find out more about the things they would be interested in and about what they would expect from an assisted living facility.

2. Honesty And Respect Go A Long Way

Talking about assisted living is difficult. Be honest about your feelings and about why you think this solution would be beneficial. Be polite, respectful and remember that your loved one is a person with feelings.

Keep in mind that your loved one might feel like a problem or a burden when you bring up assisted living. Explain that assisted living is needed because of the circumstances and not because of them.

Remember that senior care is needed in order to improve your loved one’s life. This is what you should focus on when you bring up this topic. Don’t make the conversation about you and about your needs and take the time to really listen to what your loved one has to say. Make them feel loved and respected and encourage them to tell you how they feel about senior care and what it would take for them to be happy in this setting.

3. Your Loved One’s Feelings Matter

Your loved one needs to feel that you are listening to them and that you care about their feelings. Listen to what they have to say and answer all their questions. Remember that this is a difficult topic and that their initial reaction might be to feel hurt and unwanted. You need to validate these emotions.

Moving into a senior living Houston TX facility represents a big step. Your loved one’s daily routine and habits are going to change drastically and they are probably experiencing anxiety at the idea of an uncertain future. They need to be reassured that their needs and quality of life will come first.

4. Redirect The Conversation On The Benefits

Your loved one is going to ask some questions about assisted living. You need to be honest and explain how it will be beneficial to them. Remember that this is not about you but about your relative.

If all your answers are about yourself, your circumstances and your obligations, your loved one is going to feel that they are a burden and that assisted living is a solution to a problem. Instead, you should focus on explaining how moving into a senior living Houston TX facility would improve their life.

5. Give Them Specific Reasons And Benefits

Your loved one will probably fail to see why assisted living would be beneficial if you stay vague and talk about their quality of life without mentioned specific things. Besides, being too vague might make your loved one feel that you are not being honest or that you don’t care about their needs.

Assisting Hands Houston | "The Talk" With Your Loved OneYour loved one needs to be reassured that you care about them and needs to know what to expect from assisted living. Mentioning specific activities, perks and benefits will help your loved one get a clearer idea of what their life in an assisted living Houston TX facility would be like. This will help ease their anxiety and they will begin understanding how senior care could be a good thing for them.

6. Make Them A Part Of The Process

Your loved one needs to feel involved in this process. Besides, it will easier to select the right senior care facility in the Houston area if you take the time to find out about the things that matter to them. Make them a part of the research process. Look at floor plans together and talk about different perks and amenities to see what gets them excited.

Schedule a tour of the places your loved one seems excited about. Don’t hesitate to visit several places. Ask your loved one how they feel about the place you are visiting.

7. Communicate And Build A Strong Bond

Your loved one might be worried about being more isolated from their family once they move into a senior care Houston TX facility. It is important to build a strong bond with your loved one. You need to visit them regularly and have follow-up conversations about assisted living. This is a difficult topic to bring up and your loved one might develop some hurt feelings if you have an initial conversation but don’t bring up the topic again to mention specific things that would benefit them.

Tell your loved one that they are important and loved. Remind them that their lives are important. This is what senior care is for and it is important that your loved one understands this.

For more information on the services we provide for your loved ones when looking into assisted living in Houston or elder in home care, please call us today at 281-540-7400!

What Is Assisted Living? A Helpful Guide

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Assisted Living: A Quick And Helpful Guide

Assisted living is quickly becoming the most popular option for the long-term care of seniors. However, it isn’t always easy to decide if it is truly time for your loved one to receive in home care. The concept was unheard of not long ago, but the National Survey of Residential Care Facilities shares that there are well over 30,000 assisted living communities serving nearly one million seniors.

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Not to be confused with nursing homes, assisted living, sometimes called residential care offers more independence to its residence. In assisted living communities, the residents receive basic services, such as housekeeping, transportation, and meals. Other services are offered, too, that assist them in their daily living, including medication needs, dressing and bathing. Assistance may also include helping the seniors make important daily living decisions and assist with transitioning from one residential community to another.

What Is The Price Of Texas Assisted Living?

The average price of assisted living in Texas was about $3,500 each month, this price is for a private one bedroom option. Assisted living prices in San Antonio, Victoria, Odessa, Austin, and Amarillo are among the most expensive for assisted living with average monthly costs ranging from $4,000 to $4,600. However, the assisted living costs vary quite a bit based on the resident, the size of the apartment, and the different types of services that are needed. The way that assisted living communities charge may vary from facility to facility. For example, some assisted living facilities charge a monthly charge and allow for a lease agreement that spans a short time, however some require long-term commitments. Also, you will find certain facilities have an all-inclusive rate that includes all services where others start with a basic rate where additional services can be added on as needed.

What Types Of Assisted Living Facilities Does Texas Have?

Texas licenses their assisted living communities based on two factors. One thing that the licensing is based on is whether or not attendance is needed during the nighttime hours. The other factor is the residents’ ability, both mentally and physically, to evaluate in an emergency situation. The types of licensing are labeled Type A and Type B. To qualify for a Type A license, the community’s residents do not require nighttime assistance and are perfectly capable of performing evacuation procedures. Type B facilities are those whose residents require more assistance during emergency situations and sleeping hours.

What Services Are Offered And What Are The Living Arrangements Like?

The living areas in an assisted living facility are often referred to as apartments. Residents typically reside in a private apartment or a semiprivate one. Each apartment is likely to include a bedroom, bathroom, and small kitchen area. Common living arrangements include one-bedroom apartments, shared or private, private studio apartments, and dorm-style arrangements. Assisting Hands Houston | Elderly In Home Care Houston TXDepending on the facility, the apartments come either furnished or unfurnished.

Assisted living facilities offer a wide variety of services. Depending on the facility, different services may be offered. Some of the most popular services include 24-hour security, including emergency call systems, dining programs, transportation arrangements, housekeeping services, laundry services, and maintenance. Many of them also offer wellness and educational programs that include exercise activities, educational opportunities, religious offerings, and social services. Medical services and daily living assistance may be offered, too. This includes medication administration, health services, and assistance with dressing, eating, toileting, and bathing. In order to offer their residents the best possible medical care, many assisted living facilities work together with home health agencies to provide health care services.

For years Assisting Hands Houston has provided Houston and its surrounding areas with unparalleled elderly in home care Houston. We will continue to work with you and your loved to find the solution or solutions that best fit your needs. We look forward to your call!

Finding The Right In Home Elder Care for Your Loved One, Priceless.

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Texas Elder Care Costs

On average, the cost of assisted living in Texas stood at $3,515 per month as of 2016. This falls slightly under the national average of $3,600 per month. San Antonio, Austin, Amarillo, Odessa, and Victoria are the areas with the most expensive assisted living in Texas, whose monthly costs ranged between $4,000 and $4,600. El Paso, Corpus Christi, Texarkana and Houston senior in home care were the areas with the most affordable assisted living, with costs ranging from $2,000 to $2,350 a month. Alzheimer’s residential care, also known as Memory care, typically adds up to $1,200 to the total monthly cost of assisted living.

Home Care

Assisting Hands Houston | Texas Elder In Home Care CostsWith home care, the average rate per hour all across Texas stands at $19. The areas with the most affordable home care include Waco, Brownsville, McAllen, and Laredo, where the hourly cost ranges from $15 to $16.50. The most expensive areas include Wichita Falls, Austin/Round Rock, Odessa, and Midland where the hourly cost ranges between $20.50 and $25. For those who need a higher level of care, home health care is also available, and typically adds about $0.50 to $1 an hour to the normal rates.

Adult Day Care

Texas enjoys some of the least expensive daily rate averages for adult day care nationwide. The average daily cost still stands at $35, and this hasn’t changed for the last two years. The most expensive areas for adult day care in Texas include Dallas, Austin, Midland, and Houston, where the cost ranges from $60 to $68 per day.

This is not bad considering the national average for adult day care is $68 per day, meaning that even in the higher end, it’s possible to find great places below this average. McAllen, Laredo, Beaumont, Abilene, and Brownsville offer the most affordable adult day care, with prices ranging from $25 to $31 a day.

Financial Assistance Programs in Texas

Medicaid is a health insurance program for disabled and low-income individuals and seniors. Originally offered as institutional and personal limited care, Medicaid waivers are now being offered by the state, which is also referred to as Home and Community-Based Services Waiver (HCBS). This program allows individuals to receive any Medicaid care as needed, but outside of the nursing home premises, such as in their community or homes. Texas made some sweeping changes with the Medicaid Care programs for seniors in 2015. In the last few years, the STAR Plus Waiver was being rolled out county by county, and it is available statewide. This program essentially provides a whole range of services for seniors, which are meant to help them live in assisted living communities or stay in their homes. This program also provides medical and non-medical care, which is provided through the various managed care organizations. The nationwide rollout of STAR Plus has allowed for the change of 3 Texas Medicaid programs. These are the Primary Home Care Program (PHC), Community Based Alternatives Waiver (CBA), as well as the Day Activity and Health Services (DAHS). These services were previously offered via the CBA program, but they are now available via the STAR Plus HCBS waiver. The services offered by the DAHS and the PHC are now provided via the STAR Plus Medicaid plan of the state.

This year also saw the launch of the new Medicaid entitlement program, which is known as the Community First Choice. One of the major difference between this program and the STAR Plus is the fact that there are no waiting lists when it comes to the provision of services. This program also comes with benefits such as personal emergency response systems, assistance with daily living activities, and health maintenance.

In order to qualify for the Medicaid program in Texas, you need to prove you have limited financial resources. As of 2016, for individual monthly income shouldn’t exceed the $2,199 per month limit and for couples, it shouldn’t exceed $4,398 a month. The asset limit under this program is $2,000 for individuals and a $3,000 limit for couples. Nonetheless, some of the Medicaid programs extend these limits to accommodate amounts of $5,000 for individual and $6,000 for couples. One’s vehicle and home are not included in the calculation of assets value.

Assisting Hands Houston | Elder In Home Care in Houston TXPeople with assets and income that exceed these limits may still be eligible for the Medicaid program in Texas. A Medicaid planning professional can work with you to find a way to allocate the monthly income in excess of the limit into income trusts. Moreover, the financial assets that exceed the limit may be converted into exempt assets in some cases. If you are an individual near the financial limits, consulting a Medicaid planning professional before applying is highly recommended, to make sure that you have the best chance of being accepted into Medicaid.

State Assisted Programs

In Texas, there are four programs meant to provide assistance to seniors that are not qualified for Medicaid. These programs include:

Community Care for Disabled/Aged (CCAD)

The CCAD program is meant to provide non-medical services and nursing support to individuals who opt to stay at home instead. These services may also be provided in foster homes and assisted living facilities.

In Home and Family Support Grants (IHFS)

IHFS provides the physically disabled individuals with some form of direct financial assistance, which can be used to support independent living, including home modifications, home health aids, as well as durable medical equipment.

Community Attendant Services (CAS)

The CAS program is meant to provide non-medical personal care and attendant services to individuals in their homes. The program has an option for the self-direction of care, which may include some family members and friends who are hired as caregivers.

DADS Services for Assisted Independent Living (SAIL)

The Goal of SAIL is to assist seniors to live independently. It provides the necessary support for home modifications, home based services, home medical equipment, etc.

Assisting Hands Houston is ready to answer your questions regarding in-home elder care and assisted living for your loved one. Please feel free to contact us or call us at 281-540-7400 today!

A Guide for Returning to Work After Retirement

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How to Return to the Workforce or Volunteer Employment After Retirement

While it has been the focal point of a lifetime of effort, retirement can be a golden opportunity to begin a new phase of life. While many look forward to the idea of a completely free calendar, retirement can be a time to continue in a delightful practice, at a slower pace or even volunteer at many of the rewarding volunteer associations.

“Retirement does not imply absence of work”, according to Paul Magnus, the acting VP for Workforce Development at Mature Services Inc. “Today professionals enjoy an active life that allows them make use of the skills they acquire over a lifetime in an endeavor they feel strongly about, or simply to increase their income”.

Mature Services is an organization of volunteers dedicated to providing training and employment opportunities to the local Ohio population over 55. This organization receives funding from the US Department of Labor.

There is an increasing number of seniors looking to join the workforce once again, this is part of a trend that started several years ago. According to numbers held by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the year 2016 18.8% of Americans over the age of 64 were employed even if only part time. The same agency predicted that this figure could rise to 23 percent by 2022.

As experienced workers, employers value these seniors for their commitment to excellence, punctuality and wise judgements.

Industries Are Calling

What is the best job for a senior citizen? Anything that makes them happy. There are many positions that are especially suited to the experienced worker, including: telemarketing, customer services, volunteer work and entrepreneurship.

Many senior favor jobs in a retail industry. Physical locations have a more flexible schedule and allow the experienced workers to address the needs of customers in a low-stress environment. Seniors who spend a lot of time at a particular store and recognize the other customers should speak with the manager about the availability of schedules and part time options.

Assisting Hands HoustonAnother ideal prospect for seniors looking for employment is a position at a call center, especially during Medicaid or Medicare enrollment times. Experienced workers are valued as they have a high capacity for empathy with customers, baby boomers or fellow citizens and can explain the specifics as they know them well.

For many people at this age, the worthy cause is even more enticing than the pay. Which is another reason retirees often choose to work for a volunteer effort. Life time skills and professional capacity is especially important to this sector and seniors are highly valued. It is also especially convenient as there is a wide variety of needs and opportunities both on a national and international level.

The YMCA has many different initiatives suitable for all age groups. This includes the Active Older Adults program, which allows seniors to participate in special field trips, exercise classes, lunches and other social events. They welcome applications from any age group because when the fit is perfect, it is perfect.

Th Y is always looking for people to fill this capacity for serving the community and improving their corner of the world. Just like the YMCA, there are many different organizations and efforts that could greatly use the experience and perspective of a senior worker with a life of experience. Older Americans who would rather work than retire can volunteer their time and skills at hospitals, food banks, churches and even other senior citizen centers around the country.

Those interested in giving of their time in this way should consider visiting the next meeting being held by a non-profit and shake hands with the other members so as to make their intention known. Meeting with the director or manager of the organization

Seniors are often thirsty for a change of scenery though they would like to remain active in their field of expertise. Local business can be contacted to see what skills are needed and in which capacity. For example, retired police officers can share their knowledge on safety and personal protection and a former teacher could spend time tutoring or substituting for other teachers. With a will to work and desire to help the possibilities are truly endless.

Retirement and Employment

Whether senior Americans would like to work or volunteer, there are plenty of options offered By Magnus to set them up with the opportunities for them.

The first step will be to think about the position you are interested in and prepare a attractive and engaging CV and resume of work experiences for the position they are interested in. Magnus reminds seniors to practice the art of selling themselves. Try to understand the needs of the employer and then become the answer to them. One tip will be to look for keywords commonly favored in this line of work and sprinkle them into your interview.

The next thing you will want to do is make yourself stand out from the others on the job market, recruiters recognize and value vibrancy and this is an important point to sell. Remember that jobs are rarely posted in newspapers anymore. A well-appointed LinkedIn presence is ideal for showing an up-to-date knowledge of the current job market.

Then there will be the interviews for positions. There is a chance that seniors will take a longer time to nail a job. Don’t be discouraged, let your journey to a job be slow relaxed and guided by what you really want to do with your time.

In Conclusion

Studies have shown that those who keep their minds and bodies active through their life live longer than those who take an early retirement. As a senior citizen, it is important to fight the notion that older Americans lose their creativity, productivity and imagination. By working on a task that you love, a senior can create a new beginning that will sail them through their senior years.

Studies have shown that people who work in the later decades outlive those who fully retire. As a senior worker, fight the stereotype that suggests that older Americans lose creativity, imagination and productivity. By working on something they love after retirement, a senior can create a whole new beginning for their golden years.

Assisting Hands Houston services many of like you and your loved ones, and strives to continue being a leading caregiver in Houston. We encourage you to contact us today or call us at 281-540-7400 for any further questions you may have! We look forward to answering them!

What To Look For When Your Loved One Lives Alone

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Dangers Associated With Seniors Living Alone

More and more older Americans live alone, however a staggering amount of these seniors are experiencing dementia symptoms and social isolation. A University College London study conducted over a decade showed the impact that isolation and loneliness has, both infrequent contact with family and friends as well as loneliness can, independently, shorten someone’s life, this is why home care services Houston is so important.

Continue reading to learn more about how dangerous it is for seniors to live alone.

Dangers Associated With More Seniors Living Alone

AARP reported that around 90% of people over the age of 65 want to continue living at home for as long as possible. There may be benefits for the emotional well-being of seniors who live at home and stay in a community that is familiar, however research has shown that a staggering amount of seniors who should receive assisted living care are currently living at home – many time alone.

The answer may seem obvious to some of us, move into an assisted living community where health monitoring, social activity and medication management come included. That being said, it can be a difficult decision to decide to move a senior citizen to assisted living, especially if you loved one is not very fond on moving.

It is reported by the Administration of Aging that around 29%, in other words 11.3 million older adults in 210, lived alone. As the same time, it is estimated that more that 12% of senior citizens 65 and older, in the other words over five million, require assistance with long term care in order to perform daily life activities.

Seniors who live in poverty or who are low-income are even more likely to live at home as opposed to in a facility, even if they are in need of more care. It is quite frankly startling to see the statistics for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s: the Alzheimer’s Association reports that out of 60-70% of seniors living in the community and struggling with dementia, 25% actually live alone.

At University College London, professor of psychology; Andrew Steptoe says that the results from the social isolation study surprised him:

He says; “Initially, both loneliness and social isolation appears to be associated with an increased risk of dying. However isolation is what really ended up being the most important.”

When It Is Unsafe to Live Alone

If what we want is for our loved ones to remain healthy and safe, it is crucial to guarantee that their living environment is appropriate to their physical needs, especially the have shown early signs of a cognitive impairment.

If you realize that your loved one requires assistance with daily activities, for example dressing, bathing, and eating, they could have cognitive functions that are decreasing; this is associated with dementia at its early or middle stages. Even in a senior’s own home, the combination of minor safety hazards and poor eyesight can put them at risk for falling, breaking a hip, and even death.

Our goal at Assisting Hands is to provide unparalleled home care services Houston. We believe that it is of critical importance to keep track of senior nutrition, physical symptoms, and mental health.

Here are a few of the warning signs that indicate it is no longer safe for a senior to live alone:
• Poor eyesight
• Issues with medication management
• Forgetting appointments
• Social isolation
• Poor nutrition or malnutrition
• Unable to pay bills on time
• Inability to keep up with daily housekeeping and chores
• Home safety hazards such as loose carpeting and poor lighting

We at Assisting Hands Houston are waiting for your call regarding any further questions you may have concerning you and/or your loved ones. If you’re not sure that it is time to seek the help that you or they may need, we encourage you to call us at 281-540-7400! You don’t have to be alone when visiting this option.

What To Look For When Deciding If Your Loved One Is Ready For In Home Care

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11 Signs It May Be Time For In Home Health Care

The decision to assist an aging adult with moving out of their present home is a very complicated one – both practically and emotionally. Above all else, you want the individual to be well and safe. But how can you be confident about whether or not the current circumstances indicate that your loved one shouldn’t be living alone any longer?

Although each situation is unique, taking a close look at the following 11 signs can provide you with some valuable information for helping make your decision.

1. Big Picture Signs That It May Be Time For Assisted Living

Always keep in mind the big red flags. There are certain situations that make things more obvious that it is a good idea to begin to think about making alternative living arrangements for your loved one.

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Recent close calls or accidents. Was your loved one involved in a fender bender (or something worse), experience a medical scare or take a fall? Who responded to the situation and how long did that take? Of course accidents happen, however as individuals grow older, the chances increase for them to keep happening.

A slow recovery. How was a recent illness (a bad cold or flu, for example) weather by the individual you care for? Was she or he willing and able to seek medical care if it was needed, or did their cold last winter turn into untreated bronchitis?

The person has a chronic healthy condition that is getting worse. Progressive problems like congestive heart failure, dementia and COPD may decline precipitously or gradually, however either way, having them means that your love one is going to need even more help over time.

Having an increasingly hard time dealing with activities of daily living (ADLs) as well as instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs). IADLs and ADLs are the necessary skills that are needed for living independently. They include things like managing medications, doing laundry, cooking, shopping and dressing. Social workers, doctors and other geriatric professionals evaluate these as part of an overall functional assessment. This is one way of getting an expert’s opinion on the situation. Sometimes difficulties with IADLs and ADLS can be remedied by the person having in home health care and other forms of assistance at home.

2. Up Close Signs That It May Be Time For Assisted Living

Hug your loved one. You can’t always see clues from a distance, particularly when you don’t see your loved one every day. There may be things you can learn through touch.

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Noticeable weight loss. Does the individual feel thinner? Are her clothes loose, or does his belt have extra notches on it? Weight loss may be caused by many different conditions, ranging from cancer to depression. An individual may lose weight due to having a hard time remembering to eat or cook or having difficulties getting to the grocery store. Watch their meal preparation skills and check the refrigerator.

Appears more frail. Does anything feel different about the individual’s stature and strength when you hug them? Is your loved one able to get out of a chair easily? Or does he or she seem unable to balance or unsteady? Compare your observations to the last time you saw your loved one.

Noticeable weight gain. Some of the common causes of weight gain may include dementia (when a person doesn’t remember eating, she or he may continue snacking and having meals all day), diabetes, or injuries that slow a person down. Someone having money problems might choose more bread, dried pasta and package goods and fewer fresh foods.

Strange body odor. A close hug might unfortunately reveal changes to the person’s hygiene habits. This can be caused by physical ailments, depression or memory problems.

Changes in appearance. See if the person’s makeup and hair look all right? Is the individual wearing clean clothes? If someone who usually wears crisply iron shirts is now wearing a stained sweatshirt it might be due to lacking in dexterity managing buttons or the person might not have enough strength to manage an iron and ironing board. A man who was formerly clean-shaven who has unkempt beard now might be forgetting to shave or forgotten how.

3. Social Signs That It May Be Time For Assisted Living

Consider the individual’s social connections realistically. With age, social circles have a tendency to shrink,which may have safety and health implications.

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Signs of having active friendships. Find out if your loved is still visiting the neighbors, getting together for outings or lunches with friends, or participating in group events and religious activities. Does your loved one keep a calendar with their appointments or talk about others? In older adults lacking in companionship is often associated with heart problems and depression. If friends have moved away or died, it can be lifesaving to move somewhere that has other people around to socialize with.

Signs of your loved one cutting back on interests and activities. Have they abandoned a favorite hobby. Have they given up a club membership or stopped using their library card? There are numerous reasons why people cut back on things, however dropping everything and not showing an interest in hardly everything is a big red flag that the person may be suffering from depression.

Spends days not ever leaving the house. It can sometimes happen due to the individual no longer being able to drive to being afraid of taking public transportation without having someone to go with them. Although many older adults are afraid of being “locked up” in a retirement home, many of these facilities provide outings on a regular basis that can help keep them more active and mobile, instead of less.

Is there someone checking in with your loved one on a regular basis? Will your loved one consider a daily calling service, personal alarm system or home safety alarm system?

Plan in place for worst-case scenario. If a disaster occurs like a flood, earthquake or fire, is somebody on standby to help? Is the plan understood by your loved one?

4. Money Signs That It May Be Time For Assisted Living

Search through your loved one’s mail. It can often provide clues to how the person is managing their money, which can be an early warning sign of having cognitive problems.

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Piles of mail in different places. If lots of mails is found scattered about it can raise concerns over how insurance bills and other issues are being managed. (Also, piles of mail can also be a tripping hazard potentially.)

Unopened personal mail. We all skip junk mail, but most people don’t ignore hand-addressed letters from people we know.

The At-Home Tests For Signs It’s Time For Assisted Living

Doctors, social workers, nurses, and even occupational and physical therapists get together to establish when an individual cannot complete activities of daily living safely and effectively. It’s usually when mom or grandma have had a stroke, end up in the hospital, and the medical team makes a decision that a loved one needs assisted living or in-home care.

Not everyone ends up in the hospital for an evaluation, though. Many just show subtle changes, leaving loved ones to wonder if it is time to send mom or dad into assisted living.

5. An Unofficial Driving Test

Let dad behind the wheel of the car. Be an observer, and do not interrupt his efforts. Does he put on his seatbelt, like he has been doing for the past 40 years? Or, is he suddenly forgetting seatbelts, turn signals, all while his attention now is distracted? Those types of changes may signify outward sign of problems. It can be dangerous to take him out on the road.

6. Many New Piles Of Clutter

If mom or dad have always been fairly neat, or at least controlled the chaos, this next trick is simple. Just observe how their home looks now as compared to “normal” periods of time. Are there piles of stuff everywhere, when they used to be neat?

Are items in appropriate places? Or, is there a trumpet in the kitchen sink? Is there an electric shaver in the freezer? These sound bizarre and almost laughable until it becomes clear that dad deliberately put them there with the intention to use them. Look for other clues that point to the confusion of facts, of how to use items, and where they belong.

Cooking Challenge

Invite them to help you prepare a meal. Only, give them commands, such as “please chop the zucchini”. Do not give them hints about where to find the items or the steps they need to take. Instead, observe them while they work. Do they go to the bookshelf in search of a zucchini, or do they go into the fridge, bottom drawer? Do they get out a knife? Or, do they take the electric shaver out of the freezer to chop the zucchini? They are dangerous if the latter is happening. That’s why they need to go to assisted living. It’s because they cannot cook or take medication safely any longer.

Shopping Excursions

Go shopping with them, and let them do the work. Observe them. Do they buy what you need to make the zucchini souffle or do they purchase 15 bags of moth balls instead?

Mail Call! Scam Alerts

They can become their own worst enemy when they start to show signs of confusion, dementia, or Alzheimer’s. That’s because they may have moments of clarity mixed with child-like belief in over-the-top fantasies. So, if a “nice young kid” stops by to offer to clean the house, they may actually get “cleaned out”, or robbed. They might easily part with money for fraudulent scams that pose as charities even.

Let’s Get Physical!

In some instances, it’s not so much the mind that’s going, but new physical limitations are holding them back. For instance, blindness or mobility problems might impact mom’s ability to bathe, dress or feed herself. She may have difficulty keeping the house neat or hygienic because of a bum hip, for instance.

There are many levels of care to offer up before getting to the spectrum of skilled nursing care. Some elderly people would rather stay in their homes. All they require is a home health professional or certified nursing assistant to come in to help them clean, cook, dress, shop and bathe.

Others might opt to put their loved one in an assisted living residence apartment. They can live there, socialize, but their meals, cleaning, and medication administration are provided. When or if they need to step up the care, there’s full-time nursing care.

7. Signs Around The House That It May Be Time For In Home Health Care

Search the living areas. At times it can be difficult to see the most obvious signs because we have become so accustomed to them.

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Lots of clutter. Being unable to throw anything out might be a sign of a physical or neurological issue. It is obviously more worrisome if a neatnik turns into a terrible slob. Pet toys or paper scattered over the floor can be a potential tripping hazard.

Signs of inadequate housekeeping. One common sign of dementia is spills that have not been cleaned up. It shows that the individual is lacking in follow-through to keep tidy. Watch for other signs of slackness such as thick dust, bathroom mold and cobwebs. Physical limitations might mean that your loved one is in need of help with housekeeping or a living situation where these things are take care of for her or him.

Bathroom clutter and grime. One common scenario is that your loved one tries to tidy up the main living areas but forgets about or neglects that bathroom. Or maybe the guest bathroom is clean but not the bathroom used by the persona all of the time. This may give you a truer picture of way your loved one is actually keeping up.

8. Plant Care and Pet Care Signs That It May Be Time For Assisted Living

Make sure you check to see how other living things are doing. Along with self-care is being able to take care of plants and pets.

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Plants that are either gone, dead or dying. Most us have plants go brown on us at times. Watch for any chronic neglect, particularly in a former plant-lover’s house.

Animals that do not appear to be well tended. Some common problems include dead fish floating in a fish tank, cat litter boxes that have not been changed in a while, and dogs that have long nails. Other red flags are underfeeding, overfeeding and poor grooming.

9. Home Maintenance Signs That It May Be Time For Assisted Living

Take a walk around the yard. Lack of yard maintenance may be signs that your loved one is don’t well at home alone any longer.

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Signs of neglect. Watch for discolored ceilings or siding that may indicate there is a leak, dirty windows, broken fences or windows or gutters full of leaves.

Newspapers in bushes. Are there newspapers being delivered to the house that are being ignored? At times the ones that can be seen in the driveway will be picked up but not the ones out in the yard.

Mail collecting in the mailbox. This indicates that your loved one isn’t getting the mail on a regular basis.

10. Get Help Searching For Signs That It May Be Time For Assisted Living

Ask others for input who know your loved one to get an even fuller and better picture of reality. It isn’t nosy when you gentle probe others for their opinions. You are being proactive, concerned and loving.

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Input from people in your loved one’s social circle. Speak to close relatives and old friends to find out what their sense is of how the individual is faring. Listen for signs that the person isn’t getting out much (“She quit our book club.” “She doesn’t come over to visit anymore.”). Pay close attention to any comments indicating ongoing concerns (“Did he have his heart test yet?”).

Medical insight. The primary doctor of your loved one, when you have the appropriate permissions, may share their concerns regarding their patient’s safety at home – or they might be able to suggest where a home assessment can be obtained or alleviate some of your concerns.

Get a second opinion. A geriatric care manager or social worker visit the homes of older adults and do informal evaluations. Although initially your loved one might resist the idea of a complete stranger checking up on them, try “prescribing” it. Some individuals will share their vulnerabilities or doubts with an experienced, sympathetic stranger that they are reluctant to admit to their family or children.

11. Caregivers’ Signs That It May Be Time For Assisted Living

Keep in mind that some information that you gather is intangible – it involves the stress levels, emotions and feelings of everyone who is involved in the situation.

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How you are doing. Although the decision for remaining in one’s home isn’t mainly about you – the caregiver, grandchild, daughter or son – your own level of exhaustion might be a good gauge of the decline in the ability of an older adult to care for herself or himself. It can require a lot of care coordination or hands-on support to keep someone at home, and that is very time-consuming. If the care that your loved one needs is wearing you out, or your children or spouse are feeling the strain from your care giving activities, then those are major signs that it is time for you to being looking for different options.

The emotional state of your loved one. Of course safety is critical, but emotional well-being is as well. If a person living alone is increasingly lonely or full of anxiety, then that might tip the scales toward moving that is not solely based on safety and health reasons.

If your loved one has community connections, a close neighborhood and full life, and appears to be thriving, then it could be worth exploring in home health care options before raising the stress level of your loved one by encouraging them to move from their beloved home.

However, if your loved one shows signs that it is a strain to live alone,it might be time to sit down and talk to them. Try broaching the subject in a neutral way when it comes to where they should live. You might discover that your loved one has the same fears for their current as well as future security and safety that you do Ask your loved one what they fear the most about staying and about moving before you start sharing your concerns about what you think needs to be done.

The Right Questions To Ask the Agency You Are Looking To Hire

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Questions To Ask A Home Care Agency During An Interview

When your family must decide on home care for a loved one, the main worry is whether that individual will get the best care possible or not. Trusting someone outside of the family with personal but essential responsibilities is a challenge. You have to do the work of finding the best provider on your own so you know when you have found the best caregiver.

Knowing what questions to ask a potential caregiver can be difficult. You and your family also have to be aware of what to watch out for during an interview that may raise red flags. Here is a list of questions to ask that will help your family get the most essential information possible from an in-home care service.

Some companies handle their intake via telephone. Others will do meetings with you in person. Sometimes a fee will apply, so ask ahead of time. With these questions, you will also have a better understanding of how well the service is committed to the individuals they care for. You will have an idea of the customer service they give. A good home care agency will have no problem patiently answering your questions.

Questions About the Business

  • How long has this firm been in home health care?
  • Do you have the state required license? (if applicable)
  • Are you insured?
  • May I see a copy of the insurance declaration page?
  • Are all caregivers bonded?
  • Do your caregivers have workers’ compensation insurance?
  • Who are your references?

Managing Care

  • What does each client’s personalized care plan entail?
  • How frequently do you go over and update the written care plan for a client?
  • How is it that you match the caregivers to the clients?
  • Do you have a set policy for communication between the client and us, the family members?

Selecting and Training of Caregivers

  • What is the process you have in place for hiring caregivers?
  • What kind of background checks do you do, if any?
  • Do checks involve drug tests?
  • Does your home care company provide training for the caregivers? What kind?
  • Do the caregivers take part in regular training and ongoing learning?
  • Can clients interview the potential caregivers and if so, is there a fee to do this?

Company Policy

  • How will you handle complaints about a caregiver?
  • How do you handle requests for new caregivers?
  • Can the caregiver get replaced before another shift?
  • What do you do if there is a no-show or a late caregiver?
  • What is your policy for minimum times and shifts each week?
  • Does your company offer any specialized services?
  • What services doesn’t your company provide?
  • What do you do to handle an emergency?
  • How are after-hours calls handled?

Payments

  • What forms do you take?
  • What do you charge for nights, weekends or holidays?
  • How often will we be billed?
  • Do you accept deposits for services?
  • Do you take long-term care insurance?
  • If you accept long-term care insurance do you bill the insurer directly or does the client pay and get reimbursed?

Please feel free to call 281-540-7400 or contact us at your convenience. At Assisting Hands Houston we are looking forward to answering any and all questions that you may have!

Brand New Technology Makes Seniors A Little Safer

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The elderly American population keeps growing as the baby boomer generation ages. An AARP survey found that 90% of senior citizens would like to remain inside their house as long as possible, which is often extremely tough, but this is all changing.

Dr. Marianne Marcus, 84, understands she is getting older, but she is not prepared to be treated like it.  “I wish to stay in my home with my husband as long as we can,” said Marcus.
She needs to feel safe, and she does not want her children to worry about her — and she definitely does not need web cameras tracking her.

“Web cameras aren’t a great thing,” she said.

“At this time, we’ve got lots of cellular technologies that keep seniors at home in their own surroundings, but in addition link them with their relatives and with their suppliers,” said Dr. Wang.  Smart phone programs like Lose It and My Fitness Pal help screen action and food consumption, and their glucose levels are measured by other uses.

“There’s learning curve at first, however as soon as they get past that, they really adore it,” said Wang.

Doctors also now advocate using well-being observation platforms, such as in home health care and assisted living alternatives where a caregiver could help in conjunction with the software.

“They get this kit, it has a tablet PC and also a package of medical devices. What her team and Morris are excited about is the tracking that is sensory. Detectors may be set any place in the house to course action.

Marcus said she can live with these varieties of technology, have someone assist her with her daily duties, and it means she can continue living by herself.

The team finished at the AT&T Foundry of Connected Health is, in addition, working on fall forecast technology. If there’s a danger of a fall, detectors will detect changes in someone ‘s motion and notify the family.