While there are many books for caregivers and senior care in general, few are able to distinguish themselves as part workbook, part resource and part guide. The author, Walt Sonksen has done a nice job putting all three together in this easy-to-read caregiver workbook. In this book, Walt shares life experiences, as well as those lessons learned from the deaths of his own parents. The book encompasses many aspects of family care… Such as gathering personal information and wishes, transition planning, safety concerns, caregiving options, financial and legal issues, and community resources.
This handbook is meant to be used before a crisis so the family and their designated caregivers can spend more quality time with their family member.
Plan Ahead: Tools for the Caregiver is a workbook that can be used and written in and is small enough to fit in a purse or tablet pouch. This is a tool that you will use over time and will add to it as you go along the journey of caregiving. Some of the information is specific to Oregon and Washington, the author resides in the Northwest, however a reader who is resourceful will be able to access similar information for their own area. The book is geared to the adult caregiver and is focused on senior care, but could apply to any caregiving situation (dependent children, etc…). Throughout the book you will find checklists, tidbits, personal stories and encouragement. Several well-respected leaders in the elder care field are also contributors to topics like senior living options, downsizing and moving, and mental health.
The book can be purchased on Amazon for a list price of $16.95. Additional details and a downloadable Emergency Medical Packet are available at the website, www.planaheadtools.com.
Caregiving is hard work. And it’s usually not funny. Until Jeff Foxworthy and caregiver Peter Rosenberger teamed up with AARP to provide some comic relief on the subject.
Across the country 42 million people, primarily women, between the ages 40 – 60 are faced with the challenge of providing care to their older family members and friends each and every day.
These are the unsung heros of today. These caregivers support the people we all love. Caregivers take on a variety of roles as providing this care can come in all forms. From taking mom to the doctor’s office, to managing medications, to total care of a loved one. New research from AARP suggests that caregiver’s personal health and overall well-being can be greatly affected by the physical and emotional strain of caregiving, but many caregivers are reluctant to ask for help. The Ad Council has released a series of new Public Service Advertisements (PSAs) that explore the many roles caregivers take on and provide resources to help them cope with their daily responsibilities.
Here are some resources to share to help recognize caregivers everywhere for the important work they do:
- The new website, ThanksProject.org, where you can share a message of thanks with a caregiver you know and post it publicly alongside other messages from people across the country to illustrate the number of caregivers nationwide.
- A new online quiz to help identify if you are a caregiver: click here for online quiz
- If you or a caregiver you know needs support, a caregiver support group is imperative for the health and wellbeing of the caregiver.
If you are a caregiver, or you know someone who is, please be a part of this important campaign. Visit aarp.org/caregiving for more tools and resources. And hug a caregiver today.
The Senior List® is a community-driven portal focused on linking families to quality products and senior services online. The Senior List was founded by a team that believes that transparency is the key to finding quality senior services in local communities. The problem is that most people just don’t know where to start. They usually thumb through the yellow pages, spend unproductive hours searching online, or make phone calls to friends or family. The Senior List cuts through the clutter. This is a great place to start when looking for peer-to-peer feedback on local eldercare products and services. We invite you to join the conversation by commenting and/or providing ratings & reviews throughout our site.
The Senior List also sponsors a Senior Care Directory. It’s driven by real people, just like you. Our user community voices their opinions by way of customer testimonials, ratings and reviews. By doing so, the best service providers rise to the top (and get noticed)! Businesses on The Senior List Eldercare Directory range from Senior Housing Providers, to Professional Services, and even Ancillary Services. We hope that you’ll find The Senior List to be a valuable resource. If you do, please share us with a friend!
After starting The Senior Resource Network (A leading Portland Oregon adult placement service), Amie Clark, B.S.W. turned her attention to helping families nationwide. Amie (and her team) created a website to link her clientele with the best local senior-service providers in the greater Portland Oregon area. With that, the idea for The Senior List was born. She has been a champion for seniors since graduating from the University of Montana’s School of Social Work. In 2006 she co-founded The Senior List, and the site has grown into one of the leading eldercare brands online today. Amie loves everything outdoors including; horses, gardening, long hikes, running, camping, and family time spent on the Oregon Coast
Chris Clark, Co-founder of The Senior List® has spent the last 20 years working in healthcare and related fields. He has held numerous executive positions in sales and marketing, and has worked with many of the top hospital/healthcare organizations across the USA. He is passionate about consumer empowerment (especially by way of technology) and the leverage it provides to buyers AND sellers. Chris graduated from the University of Montana with a B.S. in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Marketing. Chris loves spending time outdoors… He enjoys fishing, hiking, biking, spending time on the boat with his boys, the Oregon Coast, the Portland Trailblazers, and writing.
Business Owners: Participating on The Senior List Provider Directory can provide significant benefits. There’s a great deal of online research indicating ratings and reviews influence consumers to act. Inclusion in our directory gives you the opportunity to generate direct leads, enhance your web presence, and manage your online reputation. You also have the option of purchasing an enhanced business listing to showcase your business. Our goal is to bridge the gap between eldercare providers and consumers, so that consumers can find what they’re looking for… And businesses can be found! Savvy business owners will invite their clientele to provide ratings and reviews on The Senior List. A December 2009 study by emarketer.com showed that 49% of baby boomers use online ratings and referrals to make purchase decisions. Add your business to The Senior List directory today.
We invite you to poke around The Senior List and come back often. We’d love your participation by way of consumer reviews, and comments to our blog posts (and product review areas). This site was built for user-participation. As you can imagine, there are millions of people just like you who are eager to start a conversation, especially when it comes to products and services for loved ones. Please take a moment to share your two-cents!
Last year Suze Orman reported that she was paying around $30,000 per month for 2 full time in-home care nurses. She’s doing this for her (then 96 year old) mother because she loves her very much, AND because she can afford it. In this brief video, Suze offers advice on Long Term Care Insurance, and recommends that you get involved with your older parents money before it’s too late.
”If you have older parents, and they’re not talking to you about what they’re doing… I’m asking you to get involved with they’re money!” — Suzy Orman
What is Long Term Care Insurance?
Wikipedia has a tight and concise definition that I like: “Long-term care insurance (LTC or LTCI), an insurance product sold in the United States and United Kingdom, helps provide for the cost of long-term care beyond a predetermined period. Long-term care insurance covers care generally not covered by health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid.”
“Long-term care insurance generally covers home care, assisted living, adult daycare, respite care, hospice care, nursing home and Alzheimer’s facilities. If home care coverage is purchased, long-term care insurance can pay for home care, often from the first day it is needed. It will pay for a visiting or live-in caregiver, companion, housekeeper, therapist or private duty nurse up to seven days a week, 24 hours a day (up to the policy benefit maximum).” — Wikipedia on the benefits of LTC Insurance
Long Term Care Statistics
According to the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance:
- 8.1 Million Americans are protected with long-term care insurance.
- 322,000 new Americans obtain LTC insurance coverage in 2012.
- $6.6 Billion in LTC insurance claims paid (2012).
- Over 264,000 individuals received LTC insurance benefits (2012).
This post presents the second in a series we’re publishing called “Postcards From The Edge”. These postcards are a from a collection which has been cared for by my in-laws up in Western Montana. Rather than keep these hidden away in a box, we thought it would be fun to share some of these with our community members here on The Senior List. The postcards are circa early 1900′s and are written (mainly) by Francis Clark (1857-1950), my husband’s great grandfather. Frank was a railroad conductor and traveled around the country manning routes for The Northern Pacific Railroad.
Postcards were Frank’s primary means of communication back to his family back in Tekoa Washington, Kellogg Idaho, and Spokane Washington. They are addressed to his wife Clara, but also to other members of his immediate (and extended) family including his children. There are also several postcards in the collection from other members of the extended family to one another. The postcards a turn-of-the-century “time machine”, and take us back to a time time in history when our country was changing ever so rapidly.
Keep in mind back then there were few telephones and very limited communication methods other than by post. I hope you enjoy the series. These postcards are very personal, and we’re happy to share them with you. **Note the 1 cent stamps… The actual postmark/stamp… The addresses on the cards (just a name and city in some cases)… And of course the story that each postcard reveals.
This vintage postcard features a photo of the North Side Court Square in Bryan (Williams County) Ohio. It’s postmarked May 23, 1910 and is written by Addie Koch (a cousin) to Clara (Frank’s wife). It reads:
“Dear Cousin, Received your card and was glad to hear from you. We are all well except Grandpa has been sick since Wednesday. Had a stroke of paralysis. Can’t hardly talk. Throat and tongue is affected. It is raining today. From Addie Koch.” — Addie Koch to her cousin Clara
If you’ve visited The Senior List before you know that we love to post about technology, and how it affects the lives of boomers and seniors. One way we do this is through product reviews, and another is through informative posts about the latest happenings in eldercare. Some of the most interesting information comes from YOU (The Senior List community). When readers become engaged, the comments come alive. When the comments come alive, we can all relate and learn from each other.
Top Home Based Medical Alert Systems
One example of this is a popular post we wrote back in 2012, highlighting many of the top home based medical alert systems on the market. That particular post offers a nice list of “tethered” (to a traditional home phone line) medical alert systems, with links to product reviews. What is really interesting is the feedback in the comments located below that article. There’s a lot of great information located on that page, and we’d like to thank those of you that have shared your experiences. One of our chief goals is to continue to build a community that offers advice to others… A helping hand if you will!
“When readers become engaged, the comments come alive. When the comments come alive, we can all relate and learn from each other.”
List of Mobile/Cellular Based Medical Alert Systems
If you’re searching for a list of mobile medical alert systems (cellular based), you’ll find that here on The Senior List as well. We’ve reviewed a number of the top alert systems for seniors including GreatCall’s 5Star, the LifeTrac SecuraTrac, and the SureResponse from Verizon. We’d like to encourage our readers to utilize the comments to voice your opinion following each post if you are so inclined. In doing so, you’ll be providing feedback to others that could prove extremely valuable in their search for the right fit (and function) for any of the devices we discuss here on The Senior List. Don’t forget to offer praise where it’s due either, there are a number of fantastic medical alert system providers out there offering great services to boomers and seniors.
If you (or someone you know) is currently using a medical alert system, we encourage you to take our Medical Alert System Customer Satisfaction Poll (located in the right hand side-bar). Have a great weekend!
Many of today’s seniors living at home don’t have a son or daughter next door. The interaction with immediate family may be limited to phone calls, occasional visits, and holiday gatherings. Video Care has developed a personal communication tool with a unique approach to solving the long-distance caregiver gap by combining complex technology with a simple, elder friendly interface.
Video Care brings face-to-face companionship and interaction to the elderly through a touch screen system that requires no mouse, keyboard or computer skills to operate. A touch of the screen opens a two way video screen with a family member, caregiver or friend.
Video Care was kind enough to send me one of their systems to check out and see exactly how easy it would be for a senior with little or no computer skills. I was very impressed with the simplicity of the unit and ease to set it up. In addition to using two-way-video, loved ones can also share instant photos, videos and music. Video Care also offers a nifty senior app if you want to share videos and photos directly from your smartphone. The system can also be set up for medication, appointment, and activities of daily living reminders. Loved ones will be notified if the user does not respond to the reminders.
For professional caregivers, Video Care allows remote visits without the cost and time of driving to the home. Clients can be checked on several times a day for a fraction of the cost of a typical home care visit. Geriatric care managers could also use Video Care to check in with caregivers already in the home as a quality assurance tool, or as a problem solving option (in the case of any unusual behavior or symptoms). Video Care is currently being used by in-home care agencies and geriatric care managers as a value-add to their current client base (I think this is a fantastic idea by the way).
I had the opportunity to speak with David Trescot, Co-Founder and CEO of Video Care. One of my favorite stories he told me about Video Care users was about a daughter and her elderly mother who turn on Video Care every morning and use it as a “window” into each other’s homes. They chat, have breakfast together, and go about their day with the two-way video all day long. They’re able to participate in each other’s lives, and the daughter has peace of mind each morning when she sees her mother appear on the screen.
The other aspect I love about Video Care is that it can be used along the continuum of care for a loved one. Video Care can operate from any location that has internet access (wireless works too). I imagine the transition into assisted living or a skilled nursing facility could be greatly eased with daily check-ins and support from family and friends, even if they live on the other side of the world.
I look forward to following Video Care and others that will follow in the exploding telehealth and aging-in-place space.