The healthcare industry is flourishing throughout the United States mainly due to the aging baby boomer population requiring increased medical and non-medical attention. Where we are in Connecticut, assisted living facilities are popping up at a rapid rate. We see crews working on weekends to complete these monstrosities that will soon be filled with elders and others seeking long-term medical support. We also see an increased number of families looking for alternative, less expensive options, like home care.
So, why home care? What makes home care a more viable option for short or long-term health care? Well, the answer is not black and white. Every family doing their research on this matter should consider their loved ones needs and preferences prior to making final determination in either direction.
Congregate with your loved one and other family members to decide what that individual needs on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. Additionally, it’s important to determine how involved family members want to be on a regular basis. You might find after you compile this information that the answer is crystal clear. Either way, it’s smart to weigh the pros and cons of home care and assisted living solutions.
Here is a brief analysis of the pros and cons of home care and assisted living.
Home Care Pros
- Each individual remains in a space that’s comfortable for them. Eases any anxiety a disruption in environment might cause.
- Individual receives continuous care from 1 or 2 caregivers instead of many different caregivers.
- Depending on the level of care required, it’s usually more effective to receive in home care.
- Care plans take on a personalized approach so the individual is receiving exactly what they need.
Assisted Living Pros
- Individuals are living with other residents giving them a less socially isolating environment.
- Families are not responsible for scheduling caregivers.
- Activities are always planned, encouraging active lifestyle.
Home Care Cons
- Back up care giving involves a lot of planning.
- The home may need modifications for safety and/or accessibility purposes.
- Social isolation can lead to other health issues, it’s something to monitor if an individual receives minimal support at home.
Assisted Living Cons
- Work force has a high turnover rate
- Quality of care isn’t always as good as in home options
- Individuals might find a change in environment as depressing and not adjust well to living in a facility which could decrease their quality of life.
Do your research. Talk to companies. Set up appointments to meet in person.
In summary, you can do all the best research there is but it’s truly important to know what will please your loved one receiving the care.
While the idea of Thanksgiving and the bright lights of the December holidays can bring about sentiments of merriment for some, there is the underlying pressure on people to enjoy themselves during the holidays. The reality is that many people feel increasingly isolated and unhappy during this season, and elders are no exception.
As people age, things that were once familiar, constant, and comfortable in life might abruptly change. People move away, pass away, and inevitably, this can affect even the healthiest and strongest individuals.
If you believe that your parent, friend, or neighbor may be depressed, there is a wide array of options. From small acts of kindness to more permanent solutions, we are offering 5 tips to make a change of positive impact.
5 Tips Towards Improving the Holidays for Elders
- Let’s start with what we think is the MOST important thing you can do during the holidays with elders. Spend time with them. Listen to what they have to say and be the listening ears they need.
- If you sense that your loved one is depressed you can reach out to their religious affiliated organization or local spiritual groups that might have arranged social service programs in place for elders in their communities.
- Invite them to holiday gatherings. Even if they can’t go, it’s nice to be remembered.
- Arrange a time to get together and make a holiday inspired craft. This gives elders a chance to exercise both fine & gross motor skills plus it stimulates the brain and leaves everyone with a keepsake! (We have suggestions on our pinterest page)
- If you sense that someone needs a higher level of care in their home, look in your area for home care companies that can provide companionship, homemaking, transportation services, etc. all year round. This can elongate someone’s life span and improve their quality of life.
Do what you can to help your aging loved one feel involved and get into the holiday spirit!
When you find a podcast you love it’s like making a new friend. You want to connect and hear from them on a regular basis. In today’s world, podcasts are a ever-growing medium to engage with subjects of interest in a easy, mobile way. We recently uncovered some mental health podcasts and video blogs that are both helpful and engaging, so today we share 3 of our new “friends” with you.
- Kati Morton, Therapist and Friend is a vlogger and LMFT who answers viewer questions on a wide range of topics including: anxiety, PTSD, eating disorders, and abuse. She has an extensive library of content on her site so you can literally spend hours learning from this very reputable source.
- The Mental Illness Happy Hour is a podcast for people curious about or dealing with mental health issues. Paul Gilmartin, a comedian, uses his own experiences with clinical depression and alcoholism as the host each episode. Paul’s guests range from artists and friends, to doctors and mental health professionals, to listeners.
- New York Times best selling author Gretchen Rubin co-hosts top-ranking, award-winning podcast “Happier with Gretchen Rubin,” with her sister Elizabeth Craft. Gretchen discusses happiness and good habits and is one of today’s most influential and thought-provoking observers of happiness and human nature.
Mental health and self care are things, we, as humans have to work on constantly. If these podcasts don’t resonate with you, there are many others available online that might. Find what piques your interest and don’t forget to always place your mental health as a priority.
Anxiety is a feeling that we have all experienced at one point or another. The nerves before delivering a big presentation, jitters on a wedding day, or the uneasy feeling of attempting to conquer a fear.
People with anxiety disorders have a perpetual and excessive fear in situations that are not threatening and might experience one or more physical or emotional symptoms. Some examples include:
- heart racing
- upset stomach
- feeling of dread
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (nami.org), anxiety disorders are the most common mental health concern effecting 18% of adults and 8% of children/teenagers living in the United States. There are several types of anxiety disorders, each hosting their own set of symptoms. It’s important to recognize when you’re feeling overwhelmed with anxiety to follow these suggestions:
- Get checked out by a doctor (typically the PCP will examine first and might recommend psychotherapy or medication)
- Try to find what triggers the anxiety
- Learn to focus on your breath
- Tell someone. It’s important to find support to help get through the tough moments.
- Remember you’re not alone. Find the support you need in friends, online resources, community resources, etc.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re doing the best you can.
They are lovingly known as the Mad Hatters. This group of 7 women reside in an assisted living facility in Hartford where ChangeInc provides one on one community support on a weekly basis with some of the residents. These women led by ChangeInc’s Community Support Professional, Annie Barclay, collaborated to achieve one goal, a goal they tackled 2 months ahead of schedule! They have now completed knitting 100 winter hats which will be distributed to Hartford area homeless shelters.
They are also collecting socks to donate in conjunction with their hats. You’re welcome to drop off new socks to our Middletown location at 1251 South Main Street. We’re open Monday-Friday 9am-5pm.
Bravo Mad Hatters!
If there is one thing that our ChangeInc home care clients treasure the most, it’s giving back to service men and women. To celebrate this Flag Day, our home care clients united to create greetings cards which they filled with sweet sentiments of encouragement and gratitude. These cards made the long trek across the U.S. to the offices of Operation Gratitude in California to be included in care packages for distribution to our troops.
We’re so incredibly proud of our service men and women and all of the individuals who take a little time to support them throughout the year.
Be the change you wish to see in the world.
Recently, on a beautiful Spring day, 37 of our clients and their caregivers gathered on the grounds of YMCA’s Camp Ingersoll to simply enjoy a day of fun. After a long and brutal winter which brought us snow into April, we were all grateful to luxuriate in the crisp, fresh air of Spring. For many of the population we serve, social isolation is a real problem. It’s a priority for our team to create opportunities for individuals to gather in the community in order to stimulate their minds and bodies.
Our clients were offered a full menu of activities:
- Painting sunsets on canvas
- Planting succulents and painting clay pots
- Pet therapy from Tails of Joy
- Caricature sketches
- Live music
- Laughing yoga
In the end, everyone went home with a smile and a memory. It may have been in the form of a physical object or a feeling of overwhelming joy. It’s just a reminder for all that sometimes all we need is a little change in our daily routine to rejuvenate the soul.
From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.