MaryWC11If you are a family caregiver of an aging loved one with increasing physical and mental decline, you may be getting close to a tipping point, not sure how much longer you can meet those increasing needs.

You may be

  • Overwhelmed by the increasing hands-on care that’s needed
  • Emotionally and physically worn out

Your loved one may be

  • Isolated
  • In need of constant or specialized supervision

The last thing you want to do is to remove your loved one from their home: their place of comfort, memories and perceived security.

What you’d really like to find is an alternative to a nursing home, including,

  • Coordinated health care and social services during the day in an environment that would allow your loved one to come home each evening.
  • A program that would cover doctor care, transportation, home care, checkups (including vision and dental care, as needed) with a focus on preventive care.
  • Onsite and ongoing physical and occupational therapy, as needed.
  • Support for you, the caregiver, including training, support groups and respite care, as needed.

The good news is such a program exists in various parts of our country.  [click to continue…]

Share

{ 0 comments }

9781512718584_COVER.indd(Many thanks to our guest blogger, Ellen J. Windham, hospice professional and author of the new book, “Hospice: The Last Responder“.  It is absolutely critical that each of us be informed about our options regarding hospice.  Otherwise, we will unknowingly relinquish control of one of the most important decisions regarding our loved one’s care … care during the end of their life.)

Mom and Dad are wonderful, after all, they raised three kids. They sacrificed and went without only to provide everything we needed growing up.  Mom has not been feeling well since Dad died and you wait with her to see the doctor. Finally he enters the room and says, I am truly sorry, there is nothing else I can do for your condition. I believe your time is getting close and we need to call hospice.

Your mom turns to look at you, your eyes meet and all of sudden you can’t breathe. You don’t know what to do. The doctor says not to worry, I will call them for you and get everything set up. The hospice nurse will come by your home. The nurse arrives and helps you with all the paperwork.  She orders what is called a comfort pack to keep your mom symptom free. The nurse tells you not to worry about your moms other medication. She will not need it, she is going to die. You are instructed to give this medicine and call all of your family because it will be tonight.

The above scenario happens and does so too often.  While your physician must make a referral to hospice and certify to Medicare, that in his opinion, someone has six months or less to live if the disease takes its normal course, it is just that, an opinion. The medical director of hospice chosen must also certify the person’s condition to be appropriate to meet the guidelines.

There are currently 5,800 different hospice companies in America and they are all different. This is a world driven by money, even hospice and death. Hospice has a marketing representative to let the physicians and hospitals know about their services so when a patient needs a hospice, they are readily available with the consent forms. Sadly, like the scenario above, they are not always there for the patient and family.

Education is vital to solve the problems in this world.  I want you to know your rights on the specific subject of hospice care. You have a choice in the hospice selected.  You have the right to question your doctor and the hospice. You have the right to take a pen and paper with you and write down or record your questions and their answers. You have a right to know what hospice is. Hospice is an entire team of people who will not only be there for your loved one, but your entire family.

Hospice is not a place, it is a philosophy of caring for the terminally ill individual at home, wherever home may be surrounded by family and friends, symptom free, for as long as possible. The hospice company you choose is not the boss, you are. The chosen hospice is there to help you and guide you with all the resources available at the most stressful time of you and your family’s life.

 

About the author
Ellen Jane Windham is an educated and skilled career professional with more than 15 years of practical hospice experience working in patients’ homes and facility environments. She is established in terminal ill-patient care including assessment, counseling and patient/family education.

In her new book, “Hospice: The Last Responder,” author Ellen Jane Windham offers patients and their families a comprehensive guide to all things hospice care. “Education is vital since hospice care is so often misunderstood,” Windham said. “This book will help you turn the fear and pain of losing someone into a memorable, and yes, even joyous event for family and friends to cherish and pass to each generation to follow.” Available in English and Spanish. ellenJWindham@outlook.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share

{ 0 comments }

Kidney Disease – Early Detection Can Save Your Life

May 23, 2016

(Many thanks to our guest blogger, Shirley Barchi, avid world traveler, hiker, lover of theatre and reading, passionate volunteer (in theatre, library and reading programs for children, and numerous athletic events)….. and now adovcate for kidney health) According to the National Kidney Foundation, more than 20 million Americans – one in nine adults – have chronic kidney disease […]

Share
[click to continue…]

Aging parent? Send to All – Reply to All

February 22, 2016

(Many thanks to our guest blogger, Cathy Fairchild, owner of Say Yes to Less and professional organizer extraordinaire!  You may connect with Cathy and learn more about her and her awesome services at www.sayyestoless.guru) I grew up in a large family – my parents raised five sons and three daughters and I was number six.  My […]

Share
[click to continue…]

Best Practices in Person-Centered Care

October 13, 2015

ATTENTION: Nurses, social workers, long term care administrators!!! Michiana Gerontology Institute’s one day conference offers 5.75 Contact hours for Nurses; 5.5 CEU’s for Social Workers and Long Term Care Administrators. Holy Cross College, Notre Dame, Indiana. Thursday, October 22, 2015. This year’s conference theme, “Best Practices in Person-Centered Care” features Viki Kind ( international speaker, […]

Share
[click to continue…]

A Daughter’s Last Words to her Mother

September 7, 2015

My mother’s funeral service was this past Friday, September 5, 2015 at Fairhaven chapel in Maryland.  My brother sang “It is Well with My Soul” in a voice that can only be described as angelic!  I then delivered her eulogy, as follows: “On behalf of my brother and me, thank you for being here today to […]

Share
[click to continue…]

Workbook for Older Drivers & Their Families – now available in South Bend, Indiana

August 7, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (July 25, 2015 . Contact:  Matt Gurwell, Founder & CEO, Keeping Us Safe, LLC.  (877) 907-8841 or info@keepingussafe.org) (South Bend, IN) – Do you wonder if the older driver in your family may be experiencing diminishing driving skills as a result of the natural aging process?  Has your parent become lost recently while […]

Share
[click to continue…]

Parkinson’s diagnosis? Amazing help & hope!

June 7, 2015

Do you recall the moment of your loved one’s diagnosis of Parkinson’s (or Lewy Body with parkinsonism)?  It is devastating because your loved one is told … you are the best you will ever be.  Your symptoms (the tremors, shuffling gait, balance issues) will only get worse. When my husband received his initial diagnosis at […]

Share
[click to continue…]

How to Help Your Aging Parent ‘Retire from Driving’

May 18, 2015

Worried about your aging loved one driving safely?  Don’t know how to broach the issue?  Fearing the conversation?   Then consider  the “Enhanced Self-Assessment Program”, a tool that has been used by thousands of families across the US and Canada.  It helps guide families and older adults through the stressful, emotion-packed and often life-threatening issue of […]

Share
[click to continue…]

Geriatrician Dr. Bill Thomas 30 City Tour: Changing the Face of Aging

May 6, 2015

Geriatrician Dr. Bill Thomas asks, “What if nearly everything we think we know about aging is wrong?  Our culture tells us that aging will change us against our will, and for the worse.  What if we decided to change aging and begin to approach life’s most dangerous game with the skill and enthusiasm it requires?” […]

Share
[click to continue…]