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
Is It Time to Move Closer to Your Senior Relative? How to TellNovember 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. AgingCare.com 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.
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 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