Resources to Help Seniors Who Have Few Relatives Nearby

Resources to Help Seniors Who Have Few Relatives Nearby

May 24th, 2023

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Resources to Help Seniors Who Have Few Relatives Nearby Blog

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

Types of Care Options for Seniors: Long Term Care Option

March 15th, 2023

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What is Long-Term Care?

Long-term care is comprised of a wide range of support services provided over an extended time period. Long-term care is not limited solely to the elderly. Forty three percent of individuals requiring long-term care are younger than 65 years old, this may also include disabled young adults. The majority of recipients of long-term care are 65 years of age and older.

Long-term care can be temporary or permanent. However, this depends upon the underlying reason for the care.

Temporary long-term care (weeks or months) may include:

  • Recovery from an injury or illness
  • Rehabilitation after a surgical procedure
  • Rehabilitation after a hospital stay
  • End of life medical services

Reason for permanent (on-going) long-term care (months and years) can include:

  • Chronic medical conditions
  • Chronic severe pain
  • Need for supervision
  • Permanent disabilities
  • Need for assistance with activities of daily living
  • Muscular impairment caused by Parkinson’s
  • Cognitive impairment which may cause brain injury, Alzheimer’s or Dementia.

Long-term care need may be instantaneous, examples are, after a car accident, a heart attack or stroke. However, the care need increases gradually, as individuals age and become more frail or as disability or an illness worsens.

Although there are advanced studies, It is difficult to predict who will need long-term care and the duration of long-term care needs, there are several factors that increase the risk of the need for long-term care

  • As individuals age, they become more frail
  • Women generally live longer, and often need long-term care for a periods twice as long as men.
  • An individual’s risk increases with poor diet and lack of exercise, lifestyle and habits,
  • Health and family history also plays a vital role.

Categories and Levels of Long-Term Care

Most long-term care falls into the category of personal or custodial care, rather than medical or skilled care. Personal care provides assistance with what is generally referred to as activities of daily living and/or provides for the supervision of an individual who is cognitively impaired.

Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) include the normal activities necessary to live at home. These personal care activities generally fall into four category types:

  • Meal Preparation includes the planning and preparation of meals
  • Household Chores includes routine tasks necessary for the upkeep of a home such as cleaning, laundry and yard maintenance
  • Personal Hygiene includes bathing, grooming, dressing and toileting
  • Errands and Transportation includes driving and shopping assistance

It’s easy to take being able to perform activities of daily living (ADLs) for granted until you or family member experiences a chronic or degenerative condition and can no longer accomplish these tasks alone.

There are four different levels or frequency of care Long-term care:

  • Occasional assistance is performed a few times a month
  • Minimal assistance may only be needed two to three times per week
  • Significant assistance may be needed as often as five times per week
  • Maximum assistance might be needed daily.

In-Home Care

Long-term care in the home is often provided by care providers or caregivers who may be enlisted to provide housekeeping, personal care and other functions to enhance the quality of life for the individual.

Long-Term Care Insurance

With the increasing costs of long-term care, long-term care insurance may be the best way to ensure as you or your loved one get older, your long-term care needs are met and your assets are protected.

Polish Care Services provides trained and experienced caregivers to assist seniors or disabled in their home or care facilities. Call 860-255-8278 to see how our Polish Care Services caregivers can assist you or your loved one. long term care insurance long term care insurance care options for seniors

Is It Time to Move Closer to Your Senior Relative? How to Tell

November 19th, 2022

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It can be hard to be apart from your family as they age. You might be thinking about moving closer to a senior relative who lives in another city or state just because you want to see them more often, or perhaps they now need a little more support to get through the day-to-day activities they used to manage with ease. Moving for a loved one is a big decision, and there are many things that need to be taken into consideration before making the move. Today, Polish Care Services shares some tips to help you decide if it’s time for you to be closer to your senior relative.

Ask Yourself These Questions

You can start by asking some probing questions. Your answers will help reveal whether it’s time to be closer to your senior loved one.

● Is their current caretaker stressed out?

● Do you feel guilty for not visiting more often?

● How much can you afford to spend to relocate?

● Is your loved one no longer capable of living on their own (i.e., cooking, cleaning, taking care of personal hygiene)?

After you’ve asked yourself these questions, it’s time to consider what your senior relative thinks about you being closer to them.

Ask for Their Opinion

It is important to speak with your family member before making any decisions. They might not be as receptive as you think. If it’s determined that they require your care and assistance, you need to consider how they feel about you moving away from your current life, friends, and neighbors. If this is a difficult decision for you, it could be even more difficult for them. Although you may feel like it’s time to move closer together for the sake of convenience, they might not want to go through such a big change, especially if you have your own family coming with you.

You also need to consider how much care or assistance your senior relative needs. Do they need someone there all the time? Do they require an in-home nurse? Is there an adult daycare center near them? If so, does it have space available? There are many questions you’ll have to answer before moving closer.

Perhaps there are technologies and services that, if used, can allow your loved one to live independently for awhile longer. Consider hiring a gardener or housecleaner to help with daily tasks, and look for meal services to reduce the amount of cooking your loved one needs to manage. You can install a security system that allows you and your loved one to monitor the house. There are even options that will let you check on your loved one if they don’t answer the phone.

Discuss Living Situations

If you decide to make the move, think hard about your living situation. Will you buy or rent a house? Will you and your aging loved one move in together or will you live separately while still providing care? Don’t make these decisions for your loved one. Instead, talk with them and really listen to their desires and fears. emphasizes the importance of really listening and being open to your loved one’s thoughts. Be sure to discuss the following questions: Is their current home no longer sufficient for their care? Will you need to buy a home that accommodates them, you, and your family? And if so, how will that play into your decision to move?

Discuss these possibilities – including asking pertinent questions and taking appropriate considerations regarding buying a new home – with your family and get their input on the best course of action to care for your senior relative. It’s important that everyone is on the same page, as this will help reduce stress and conflict.

Preparing for the Move

If you are uncertain whether this move will be long or short term, renting might be your best option, especially if your entire family won’t be moving with you. Not only will renting make it easier to pack up and move when or if the time is right, it can be less expensive and reduce the responsibilities of home ownership while you’re also helping your loved one. For instance, you can rent an apartment in Farmington for as little as $1,550 a month.

If you choose to buy a house, your debt-to-income ratio will be a key factor in your ability to qualify for a home loan. Lenders look at your income and the amount of money you spend on expenses each month, and they compare that to your debt. To determine how much of your income would be left over to put toward a mortgage payment, you can use an online mortgage calculator. Be sure to factor in what you will do with your current home, if you own one.

Your lender will also want to know if you have any recurring monthly obligations, like car payments or student loans. Generally, lenders will prefer to see at least 36% of your income available for your mortgage payment. A larger percentage means there is less risk for defaulting on the loan.

When planning for your move, remember to factor in ancillary expenses such as moving services. And if you will be moving your aging loved one, too, it’s a good idea to consider hiring a moving company that’s experienced with moving seniors and, preferably, has a senior move specialist on staff.

Figuring Out Your Work Situation

If you are moving and caretaking will become your full-time job, then make sure you can financially handle that shift. If you still need to work, consider looking for part-time work in your new area or search for a remote position you can do while caretaking. However, if you are a business owner, you will need to decide how the move will affect your business. You could choose to keep things as is while working remotely, which requires the least amount of transitioning. But if you choose to move your entire business, including employees and office or storefront, be sure to notify your employees right away and give them options regarding relocation packages or switching to remote.

Move Forward

Deciding to move closer to an aging loved one is a big decision, particularly if you’ll have to buy or rent a home or even relocate your business. Be sure to include your family members and your loved one in this decision; however, if you feel that your relative’s health or well-being is in jeopardy, act quickly. This transition may be difficult for all of you, so try to respond with kindness and patience as everyone adjusts. Remembering that you are making these changes for your loved one’s best interests can help you to persevere during tough times.

Polish Care Services provides high quality service, compassion and professionalism for cleaning, and caregivers that will meet or exceed expectations. Call 860-255-8278.

Credit: June Duncan

How Seniors Can Handle Common Health Care Challenges

November 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


January 25th, 2020

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There are several options available to help those individuals in need of long-term care. Long term care is a type of specialized care that involves providing comfort and care for individuals who are older or who are suffering from any type of disability or illness that does not allow them to properly care for themselves.

There are different kinds of long-term care, including institutional care, in-home care, nursing home care, adult day care, and assisted living care. Each individual has their own needs and each individual has their own set of challenges when it comes to providing long term care. These can include some that are based on physical conditions, others that are based on physical conditions or mental health concerns.

For those individuals who are in need of long-term care, there are many options available to help them. There are several types of long-term care available today. These include group homes, intermediate care facilities, personal care homes, and personal care agencies. With the help of these programs you can be able to choose what you need and make your own choices. Many individuals will choose to live in their own personal care home or community residential care facilities. As you research long term care options, you should remember that each situation is unique and that no two individuals are the same.

When considering long term care options, you must first decide if you want a facility, community residential care or personal care home. It is important to consider these options before choosing one. To do this, you should research the various options.

Some of the problems with long term care is that the costs of care can become a financial burden. This is due to the fact that the medical bills tend to be substantial for the individual in need of long-term care. There are often many bills associated with long term care, so it may be wise to know what you are looking at before deciding on a particular facility or plan.

Long term care can help the individual you are caring for by providing comfort and care. This may also include help with activities that the individual needs. When you are choosing long term care options, you must know what to expect in order to be sure that you are doing the right thing. When it comes to long term care, there are different types of choices. These are rehabilitation, which is used for individuals with physical and mental disabilities, the last type of long-term care is the nursing home care.

The rehabilitation type of long-term care is a very good option for individuals who are older and are in need of some type of physical activity. Rehabilitation is used for seniors who have lived a long life and are not physically fit. They need assistance to get more physical activity. The physical activity level of a senior is sometimes the determining factor in whether or not a patient is eligible for rehabilitation. Rehabilitation can also be used to help those who are young and who are in need of socialization and the emotional support of friends and family.

It is important to speak with your family member about their options. If there are any concerns, you should discuss with them before you make any decisions. You want to make sure that you will be able to provide all the care that they need when you decide to use long term care.

If you are looking for long term care solutions in Connecticut, there is no better place than Polish Care Services. Polish Care Services is located at 254 Main Street, Farmington, CT 06032 and can be reached by telephone at (860) 255-8278. Hours of operation are 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday – Friday and Saturday from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm. On Sundays the office is closed. The 24 hour line is available for emergency situations. Feel free to visit the website at to see the list of services. You will be happy that you did!

Three Reasons to Make a Long Term Care Plan

November 5th, 2019

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Aging tends to sneak up on all of us. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make a plan for how to account for the care you or your loved one may need over the long-term. In fact, planning for long term care can help you maintain the lifestyle you’re used to. Here are three reasons why you or your loved one should create a long term care plan.

Long-Term Care Insurance Does Not Account for Everything

Many people obtain long-term care insurance as a way of planning for their long term care needs. And while it does have many benefits, you or your loved one should plan for what it does not cover such as:

· Who will be a caregiver?

· Will any family members who become caregivers need to leave or take an absence from their job?

· Who pays for expenses not covered by long term care insurance?

You Can Choose Where You Want to Be

Planning for your long term needs in advance means that you can choose whether you want to stay in your home. If maintaining your independence at home is a concern as you age, consider hiring an agency that provides in-home care services into your long-term care plan.

In home care agencies employ caregivers that help seniors maintain their independence at home by helping to cook and clean around the house, drive to appointments, and help with bathing and dressing. Even if you plan to have a family member be a caregiver, in home care providers may be able to help when a family member is unavailable.

Guard Against the Unexpected

Life has a way of throwing curveballs when we least expect them. When you plan for your own long term care or that of your loved ones, it helps make an unexpected hospitalization health challenge, or other concern a little easier to navigate. Often, unexpected events lead to disagreements among family members about what happens next. By making a long term care plan now, you will reduce the likelihood of disagreements and make sure the person in need of care gets what they want.

Planning for the future comes with its own challenges, especially where getting older is concerned. But making a plan for long term care including whether or not you need in home care is one way to make aging a fact rather than a challenge that seems insurmountable.

Polish Care Services provides trained and experienced caregivers to assist seniors in their home or care facilities. Call 860-255-8278 to see how our caregivers can assist you or your loved one. We accept various payment methods, including long-term insurance for live in or hourly care to assist seniors with in home care needs.

Prepare: Rooms in Your Home for an Elderly Loved One to Move In elderly home

June 21st, 2019

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If you have an elderly loved one in your life who has reached a stage of being unable to safely live alone, it is a kind and loving gesture to open up your home to take them in. This may be an alternate means to manage costs, and with a caregiver service, still manage the quality of care care that is required. Bringing any roommate into your home requires some changes. So, here are tips on how to get your home ready for your elderly loved.

Decide Where the Bedroom Will Be

You need to decide first which bedroom is best for them to use. In a two-story home, you will want to put their bedroom downstairs to avoid the stairs if possible. According to Science Direct, stairway falls represent a high percentage of falls and often result in severe injury. If avoiding the stairs isn’t an option, there are things that you can do to make them safer. Make sure that you have a sturdy handrail, and replace any carpet that is high fiber or slippery. You should install light switches at both the top and bottom of the stairs to ensure that they are well lit.

Bedroom Preparations

Once you have figured out which bedroom your loved one will use, you need to make the bedroom as safe as possible. The height of the bed matters when your body is less agile. Make sure that they can easily sit on the edge of the bed with their feet planted on the ground. You also want to arrange the furniture so that the room has spacious walkways, especially if a walker or cane is being used. Remove all rugs to avoid tripping, and add ample light to illuminate the room. With a few simple adjustments and modifications, this room can be a safe and relaxing retreat for your loved one.

Make Your Bathroom Safe

The bathroom can be one of the most dangerous rooms in your house. Depending on the setup of your bathroom, consider a complete remodel if it’s in your budget. Instead of a traditional bathtub/shower combo, you could install a walk-in shower with a seat and handrails. There are even showers that are curbless, meaning you do not need to step over anything to walk into the shower. Regardless of your setup, make sure that you have no-slip mats in the shower, bathtub, and around the bathroom floor. According to the Toiletsman, you may also want to consider raising the height of your toilet and installing handrails next to it. Lowering your body down and up can often be challenging and dangerous for an aging senior.

Living Room Adjustments

Like other rooms in your home, your living room may possibly need a few modifications as well. The primary objective is safety and comfort; look at the flooring and make sure there is nothing in the walkways that would be a tripping hazard, including rug corners, cords, and miscellaneous décor. Falling is the leading cause of injury in the elderly, so it is important to create safe walkways in every area of your house. Make sure that you have adequate lighting in your living room and that it is easy for your loved one to access. Install switches and dimmers near each entrance into your living space — a well-lit area is a safer space.

Once your home has been modified for your loved one, consider hiring a home care service to come in and help, especially if you still must go to work during the day. Companies like Polish Care Services will come to your home and provide a number of helpful services including personal care, cleaning, and even just companionship. With the right preparation and a little help, you will be able to provide a nurturing and safe home for your elderly loved one.

Credit: June Duncan

Senior Caregivers: Why You Should Look into Meditation and Yoga

December 20th, 2018

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In 2015, an estimated 34.2 million Americans provided unpaid care to an adult age 50 or older. These senior caregivers provide daily assistance to those who are either temporarily or permanently unable to function independently. Many informal caregivers move in with their senior loved one in an effort to support their decision to age in place.

Caregiving is a rewarding yet stressful endeavor. It is common for informal caregivers to add their new responsibilities on top of their day jobs. Furthermore, witnessing a loved one’s well-being deteriorate with time is mentally and emotionally taxing.

To help mitigate the anxiety, it’s important for caregivers to implement activities that help restore mental and physical health. Exercise is one of the best things people of all ages can do to care for their overall well-being. It supports a more positive mindset and relieves feelings of stress and anxiety. Regular exercise can even help relieve pain. Physical activity helps maintain bone health while regulating weight to mitigate pressure on joints and tendons. Exercise keeps the mind sharp and improves memory. Exercising during the day also expends energy for deeper, more restorative sleep at night. Senior caregivers can add more indoor exercises to their routines with the help of technology such as YouTube exercise instructionals, Nintendo Wii games, and fitness apps, but it’s important to break away from the screens from time to time. Joining a meditation and yoga community is the perfect way to do just that.

Meditation and Yoga for Seniors and Caregivers

Meditation and yoga go hand-in-hand. They both involve using mindfulness to connect our inner self with a higher energy; they both require practitioners to pay attention to the breath; they both attempt to clear away the restless energy we carry around by reaching for a point of stillness.

Yoga has the added benefit of being an accessible exercise for aging bodies. Many of the poses are performed in seated positions and can be modified for an individual’s physical needs. There is even chair yoga for those relegated to a mobility aid.

Yoga is therapeutic for both seniors and their caregivers. In addition to the regular benefits of exercise, the focus on the breath in yoga improves lung capacity and increases oxygen intake, which, in turn, helps cognitive function. The poses support a more stable core while enhancing both flexibility and mobility, improving overall balance and strength and reducing the risk of senior falls. The gentle exercise lowers cholesterol levels and blood pressure, which can help reverse cardiovascular disease when combined with other healthy habits.

An added benefit of joining a meditation and yoga community is the support and socialization. Both seniors and their caregivers need socialization for emotional and mental health. Socializing mitigates stress, reduces the risk of depression, builds self-esteem, and lengthens lifespan. Joining a meditation and yoga community plugs seniors and caregivers into a support system that is committed to compassion while providing the opportunity for the gentle exercise of both body and mind. Having an activity outside the home also keeps seniors and caregivers motivated while giving them something to look forward to in their routine.

There are millions of informal caregivers in the United States who help seniors perform their daily responsibilities for healthy living. An important part of maintaining both senior and caregiver health is exercise. Joining a meditation and yoga community is a great way to add more exercise to a routine while joining a group that is both supportive and compassionate. Being involved in a community help mitigate caregiver stress while enabling a longer and healthier life for seniors.

Credit: June Duncan for Polish Care Services

Healthy, Happy and Far Away: Advice for Long-Distance Caregivers

September 28th, 2018

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If you live far away from an aging parent, you may have gone years without worrying about your father or mother getting to medical appointments, the grocery, or maintaining an active social life. However, with age may come a lack of mobility, forgetfulness, or isolation, and a once self-sufficient parent is suddenly incapable of doing all those things you’ve taken for granted. Seemingly overnight, you’ve become a long-distance caregiver with a very big job of coordinating a whole lot of needs and activities.

Now, you have to determine whether your loved one requires skilled medical care, assistance with daily activities, transportation to medical appointments, companionship, or in-home mobility modifications. It’s a lot to work out, and if the answer to one or more of these scenarios is “yes,” it’ll probably require a trip and a lot of research.

Medicare Supplement

Senior care can be very expensive. Adding a Medicare supplement plan is a good idea because it can help cover expenses that health insurance will not. Benefits may include anything from prescriptions to vision and dental care, based on the plan in which your parent is enrolled. Be aware that the Medicare open enrollment period begins October 15 and ends December 7, so the sooner you can help your parent research options, the better prepared you’ll be if the need arises.

Finding Support

This is an excellent time to enlist the aid of any friends or family members who live near your parent. If that’s not a possibility, consider introducing yourself to your parent’s neighbors in case an emergency intervention is necessary. Hopefully, the neighbors will be willing and able to help with transportation, errands, and other ad hoc needs that will likely arise. Find out as much as possible about in-home health aides, or check out the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Carelike community resource finder, a free service that can help you identify services anywhere in the US (some senior care services are free and have no income requirements).

Caregiver Support Resources

Trying to carry on with so many new responsibilities can be overwhelming, especially when you live a long plane flight away. Your parent’s care needs could change at any time, so it’s important to know what to do if you have to find home care or companion services or a geriatric care manager. Do some research about local adult day cares, as well as assisted living and long-term care nursing facilities. Be prepared for the unexpected with a personal emergency response plan.


According to the National Institute on Aging, there are approximately 7 million long-distance caregivers in the US. If your parent has a special medical condition or is experiencing a mental or physical decline, a senior monitoring system provides the technology necessary to keep track of your parent and maintain peace of mind. Monitoring technology can keep you apprised of your parent’s health status, location, safety, and health. It can also keep medical care professionals apprised of the situation and increase response times if something goes wrong.


If an emergency does occur, you’ll need to have documentation that allows you to respond in a timely fashion. Also, make sure you have copies of your loved one’s medical records (don’t forget to include the names of doctors and other health care providers), proof of power of attorney, advanced medical directives, a living will, and anything you might need in case you have to travel on short notice.

If you’re a long-distance caregiver, information is a powerful asset because your parent’s care needs could change very quickly. Knowing where to turn in their community is essential because speed is of the essence when the need arises unexpectedly.

Credit: June Duncan for Polish Care Services

Helping Seniors During Seasonal Changes

September 17th, 2018

Alzheimer's Care, Caregiver Service, Elderly Care, In Home Care, Long Term Care, Senior Care Services,

The changing of seasons is one of many challenges, seniors face as they progress in years. However caregivers, family members and community can offer support that helps gives seniors the right perspective to handle the transitions that occur four times each calendar year.

Transitioning into Winter

One of the primary effect on the elderly is the transition to winter. Some cause factors are:

• Loved ones visit and socializing becomes less frequent.

• Grandchildren have less time for grandma or grandpa, as they become more immersed in school activities.

• The weather becomes colder and more unpleasant.

• The weather creates more dangerous and stressful situations.

• Preparation and extra work is needed to keep the home safe and comfortable.

• Winter helps to trigger mood and health changes, and oftentimes exacerbates mental, health and physical conditions.

How Do We Help as the Seasons Change

Although all seasonal change may be challenging for seniors and their caregivers; the transition into winter is especially important to navigate with mindfulness and care.

Here are some of the things that can be done to assist your aging loved one to have an easier transition into the colder months of the year:

Discuss the Changes
We all know that the seasonal change is around the corner, and we all have feelings about it. Openly, discuss the seasonal change, and encourage talk about the challenges that are about to present themselves. This openness and acknowledgment can ease the transition considerably.

Help Prepare
Make sure warm clothing and extra blankets, are always around and that your loved one is prepared to handle the winter’s cold – make sure the house is insulated and winterized; create and use a checklist to ensure that nothing stands in the way of keeping the home comfortable during the winter months.

The winter can be a cold, lonely time, but it’s also a time when people get together more frequently to celebrate. Make sure your senior loved ones gets a chance to take part in the celebrations, too; although the weather is getting cold, the warmth of good company and celebration can make the most difficult winter days easier to endure.

More Help With the Changing Seasons

Learn more about how to help seniors through seasonal changes. Call Polish Care Services or visit today at 860-255-8278 for your FREE consultation!