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  • Showering is My New Water Sport

    I’ve always loved water sports -- swimming, kayaking, water skiing, scuba diving -- but the only water I’m sporting in these days is the shower.

    Since a bicycling accident that left me a paraplegic almost five years ago, I’ve been under doctor’s orders to stay away from the pool, the ocean, and the lake. A sleepy driver slammed into me head on, and the force of the impact thrust me off my bicycle and thrust my femur through my thigh. Today, I still have an open thigh wound, so no water for me.

  • Fingerprint Background Checks Are a Must for Caregivers

    If you’ve ever watched a crime drama, this scene is probably familiar. A beat cop hustles a criminal into the police station for booking. The intake officer records his name, takes a mug shot, tells him to empty his pockets—and then asks for his Social Security number. Right?

    Wrong. As every crime drama from Hill Street Blues to CSI has taught us, when someone is arrested for a crime, it’s the fingerprint that links them to it forever.  So why do some home care agencies rely only on Social Security numbers when screening caregivers? 

  • In-Home Care vs Assisted Living: Making the Best Choice for Your Senior

    More and more seniors prefer to age in place, and flexible in-home care options are readily available. Yet some families may still find providing in-home care overwhelming, and many seniors enjoy living with their peers in an assisted living community. With so many factors to consider, how do you determine whether in-home care or assisted living is best for your parent? Ultimately, the choice is a personal one. 

  • Downsizing Your Parents’ Home: Resources and Benefits

    If your parents are older baby boomers, it’s probably time to start talking about their future living arrangements. Though your parent may feel protective of his independence and resist downsizing to a smaller home, doing so may actually allow him to live independently longer. Plus, downsizing typically has financial benefits too.

  • How to Obtain Guardianship—and When You Should

    Realizing that your parent has become incapable of caring for herself or making reasonable decisions about her property is a heart-wrenching discovery. And if you postponed getting legal documents in place -- a power of attorney and living will -- your only option may be guardianship.

  • 5 Simple Ways to Help Your Senior Trust a New Caregiver

    Some seniors, particularly those in the early stages of dementia, may have a hard time trusting anyone other than the family member they rely on most.  Yet being solely responsible for an elder’s care can quickly become a heavy burden for that family caregiver -- no matter how loving and committed he or she may be. Reliance on a single caregiver isn’t in the senior’s best interests either, since it can lead to isolation and in some cases, may even increase the risk of elder abuse.

  • Don’t Underestimate the Power of Touch

    If you care for an aging parent, you’ve probably put considerable effort into making sure her home is safe and she has appropriate medical care. You may also keep an eye on her nutrition and help her get some exercise. Of course you want to provide whatever she needs to be as healthy as possible. But have you thought about touch?

  • Want Your Life Back? There’s No Need to Feel Guilty

    Whether you stepped in to help an elderly relative out of love, a sense of responsibility, or financial necessity, caregiving can sometimes feel like a burden – even for the most devoted family members. What frequently starts as a small role, perhaps doing some grocery shopping or cleaning, often becomes much more demanding over time.

     

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