Resources to Help Seniors Who Have Few Relatives NearbyMay 24th, 2023
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Resources to Help Seniors Who Have Few Relatives Nearby
Aging brings many challenges as well as joys. While it’s generally good fortune to have a long life, it’s even better if you have family nearby to offer help and companionship. Sometimes, seniors live far from family, though. In these cases, Polish Care Services suggests you make use of the following resources for managing daily life.
Maintaining a Social Life
Loneliness can be a risk factor for health issues, and we all need companionship. Here are some ideas to help seniors develop and maintain social connections.
- Consider volunteering. After all, seniors can and do contribute an enormous amount by tutoring, mentoring, helping prepare or distribute food to those in need, fundraising, assisting with tax preparation, or working the polls during elections.
- Take a class. Post-retirement is a wonderful time to pursue interests you may not have had time for while working. Whether it’s a non-credit history or language class at the local university, or a dance or crafting class at a community center, you’ll meet others with common interests and get to explore something you enjoy.
- Take a part-time job. Although not everyone is eager to return to the nine to five grind, sometimes working a few hours a week can enhance a senior’s life by providing social connections, as well as the satisfaction of contributing effort to an important cause.
- Join a church, mosque, temple, or other organization that supports your spiritual beliefs. If you’re already a member, look into getting more involved there. It’s a great way to get to know others who share your values.
Health and Wellness
Good health is important to people at every age, and there are always things a person can do to increase their chances of staying well.
- Join an exercise class. The connection between exercise and improved mental health has been documented increasingly over the past decade. Many forms of exercise are appropriate for seniors, ranging from swimming to no impact aerobics and gentle weight training.
- Consider a mind-body practice, such as tai chi, qi gong, yoga, or mindfulness walking. These disciplines can improve cognitive functioning as well balance, strength, range of motions, and stress relief.
- Get an exercise or healthy eating buddy. Having another person counting on you can help with motivation and increase fun, whether you’re cooking a healthy meal together or meeting for a walk.
- Laughter is good medicine. It can increase the release of endorphins, and alter serotonin and dopamine levels in the body. Whether it’s a funny movie, a cartoon in a magazine, a hilarious book, or a podcast, finding reasons to laugh can make life more healthy, as well as more fun. This is yet another activity best done with a buddy.
Financial Assistance is Available
Most people worry to some degree about running out of money, managing money, or calculating and paying taxes in a timely and accurate manner. There are many local, state, and federal programs to help with planning and managing financial concerns.
- Help with the cost of prescriptions can be found via the Extra Help program through Medicare in some states. Other states have their own programs.
- Seniors and all adults may experience stress when faced with financial and other types of decisions.
- The IRS sponsors free tax help clinics for seniors. These can be quite helpful since many seniors have complex situations involving pensions, IRAs, or pre-death insurance benefits. Having free help from an expert can make the challenge of tax preparation less daunting.
Use Technology to your Advantage
While it’s difficult to visit in person fr
equently, if you live a great distance from your loved one, the internet can be a great help. Using Google Meet, Webex, Zoom, or another online program you can be in touch with family members who live almost anywhere. The internet is also a good way to shop, learn, and connect with others.
- Take some time to make sure your loved one is comfortable using the internet. Sometimes technology classes for seniors can be helpful, as well as social opportunities.
- Click for info on a useful tool for combining digital documents for your loved one so that they’re easier to find.
- Having a weekly online call with your senior loved one is a great way to stay in touch, share family news, and monitor how they are doing. While “Zoom fatigue” is something that happens to people of all ages, there are ways to counter it.
- Although an online meeting is better than no connection, it’s important to supplement it with ordinary phone calls, letters via email or US mail, and the occasional in-person visit.
Although living near the senior you care about is the easiest way to stay in touch and be of help, there are many resources for those who are at a distance. Make sure that you keep your loved one in the loop when making decisions that will affect them, and take advantage of the many programs and options available.
For exceptional services for seniors, those with disabilities, and those needing comp
anionship, visit Polish Care Services today.
Credit: June Duncan
5 Tips to Help First-Time Caregiver Manage Their ResponsibilitiesJanuary 20th, 2023
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Being a first-time caregiver can be an incredibly rewarding experience. However, it can also be overwhelming. This could be due to caregiver anxiety which makes you feel uncertain regarding the level of care you are providing your loved one. But it’s important to remember that you can always reach out to family or even professionals to assist you in caregiving. In this article by Polish Care Services, we’ll explore the best strategies new caregivers can adopt to avoid burnout while providing the highest level of care to their loved ones.
Educate Yourself About the Condition
The type and duration of care required will depend on the condition(s) your loved one is diagnosed with. A good first step will be to learn as much as you can regarding their symptoms and the best caregiving strategies you can adopt. For instance, if your loved one has a mobility disability, moving their bedroom to the ground floor and adjusting the home’s layout to their needs will make their lives much easier.
Reading articles published by medical expertsabout their condition will be the best resource for education. Additionally, you can search for videos to learn from other caregivers regarding the best strategies used by them at home.
Leverage Technology to Complement Healthcare
Many caregivers refrain from allowing their loved one to be home alone owing to the fear of safety. While their concern is justified, in the long run, this has a negative impact on mental health owing to the lack of socialization and isolation.
However, now there are various types of technology caregivers can install in their homes, such as cameras to monitor the property and check up on your loved one (if they are comfortable having cameras indoors). In addition, remote-controlled locks that send you a notification each time the main/back door is opened, as reported by Vivint, and motion sensor lights, allowing your loved ones to move freely around the home without the need to reach a switch.
Maintain Accurate Paperwork
Another area where you should leverage the power of technology is to maintain healthcare paperwork regarding your loved one. In addition to test results and doctor prescriptions, you can also include personal notes regarding your loved one’s response to therapy or other caregiving tools. Not only will this help you improve the level of care, but doctors can utilize this information to provide better treatment as well.
The best way to keep paperwork organized will be to use a document management system, for which you can try this free resource!
Ask for Help
Caregiving is a tough job to manage alone, especially for family caregivers. Hence, rather than burning yourself out trying to manage everything single-handedly, reach out to those around you for help.
This can include family members who can pitch in with caregiving, whether that be to give your loved one company, drive them to doctor appointments, or help out with home chores such as buying groceries, etc. Taking help from others will help to free up time in your day to dedicate towards self-care, hobbies, exercise, or to learn more about the condition.
Practice Self-Care Activities
Constantly neglecting your health needs is bound to lead to caregiver burnout. Which, according to Cleveland Clinic, can lead to changes in sleep patterns, mood disruptions, loss of appetite, reduced cognitive function, and more. The best way to keep caregiver burnout at bay is to dedicate at least an hour a day towards self-care activities such as:
● Exercise – which serves as a great way to stay physically and mentally fit.
● Meditation – that helps you gain control over your thoughts, helping to keep stress in check
● Music/Dance or other hobbies – engaging in activities that provide a sense of fulfillment has a positive impact on mood and self-esteem.
Trying to manage caregiving duties single-handedly is not something first-time caregivers should try. Given the importance caregiving plays in your loved ones’ life, it’s best to ask for help and take assistance from professionals. Additionally, remember to maintain notes and share them periodically with the doctor.
Credit: June Duncan
How Seniors Can Handle Common Health Care ChallengesNovember 9th, 2022
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According to statistics, senior citizens use medical services far more frequently than younger people. Unfortunately, though, senior citizens often face major challenges as they navigate the health care system. Medical errors, inaccessible providers, and high costs of care are just a few of the most common problems. Seniors who want to address these challenges can do so through self-advocacy and education. Here are some tips from Polish Care Services to get you started!
Be Your Own Biggest Advocate
Self-advocacy is an important skill for every person, and it’s even more vital for seniors who are seeking medical care. You may hesitate to question a doctor’s opinion or feel timid about asking questions, but these are important steps to take toward handling your health care. If you struggle to advocate for yourself during medical appointments, consider asking a friend or family member to come with you to your next appointment.
Other ways that you can advocate for your health include reviewing your medical bills for errors, familiarizing yourself with your health insurance benefits, and maintaining your own copies of medical records. If you decide to keep your own records, you should ensure that you have copies of medical images, too, such as x-rays. You can keep all of these images in one file by uploading them with a free online tool, combining them, and downloading the file.
Remember that self-advocacy sometimes means that you must hold yourself accountable, too. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with work and feel as though you have no time to invest in physical activity. It doesn’t take much effort to commit to small changes, though, such as walking during a lunch break or taking the stairs rather than the elevator.
Consider All of Your Options
Seniors should never settle for subpar care. You may be tempted to do this, though, if you’ve been seeing the same medical provider for a while or if switching seems like it would be too much trouble. If you’re unsatisfied with the treatment you’re receiving, you need to consider whether it’s time to seek out a different doctor. Having a positive relationship with your health care provider can correlate to better health outcomes, so it’s worth investigating.
In other cases, you may not want to switch providers, but perhaps you do want to seek out a second opinion. Doing so is an effective way to advocate for your health and ensure that you are making informed decisions. To pursue a second opinion, ask your current provider for a referral, or simply search online for other doctors in your area.
As you’re wading through the challenges of the medical system, consider whether managing your own care is the best option. In some cases, it isn’t, and a senior living facility can alleviate the stress surrounding medical care.
Something else to consider: as you’ve probably already realized, these matters can be extremely complex, and jostling a great deal of paperwork and medical records can quickly become rather confusing. To keep things a bit more manageable, try combining your files whenever possible. If you’re not super tech-savvy, this is how you can add additional pages to your PDF with ease.
Seniors Can Care for Their Health Through Self-Advocacy
Despite a lifetime of experience and knowledge, it can still be difficult for seniors to advocate for themselves. It’s essential to do so when dealing with health care, though. Seniors can make progress towards self-advocacy and protect their health by maintaining their own medical records and investing in physical activity.
Polish Care Services provides a high quality of service, compassion and professionalism for cleaning, and caregivers that will meet or exceed expectations. Call 860-255-8278.
Credit: June Duncan