A  Success Story – Aging and Social Isolation As I drove through a small northwest Arkansas community I stopped at the only nursing home to see a former client.  His was a tragic case of grief, depression, self-neglect, and social isolation that led to no choice other than moving this 92 year old gentleman from his farm of 60 plus years to a nursing home. His family had reported he was doing well.  I wanted to see for myself how he was adapting to the change. I entered the front lobby and I was immediately greeted by a loud “Hello young lady, how are you today!”  I turned to look at my greeter and could not believe my eyes!  Dressed in clean overalls and western shirt, with a short haircut and neatly groomed, a smile on his face and twinkle in his eye – it was my client!  I was so shocked I couldn’t reply, but did go over to shake his hand.  When I told him I had come to see him, he invited me to sit and we began a long and enjoyable visit. Mr. Bell was full of accounts of the changes that had resulted in hisRead More

Many elderly move from their home only after a critical incident that forces the move. But often the move is not the RIGHT move. By thoroughly assessing the needs for care and assistance at the time of the move, the right care facility or retirement setting can be selected to meed all the needs of the elder. Read More

Know the Basics:  Care Planning 101 I still hear people say, “I have Medicare, it will pay for a nursing home if I need it.” But –  Medicare NEVER pays for nursing home care for a long term!  It is important for all of us who are aging or have aging parents to understand care resources available to us, how to access that care and how it is paid for. You’ll know what you need to know to plan for care if you take just 5 minutes to read this: 1)      Medicare DOES pay for care in a nursing home for rehabilitation or recuperative care after a hospitalization. Medicare does NOT pay for long term nursing home care. After a three night stay in a hospital, if further strengthening, rehabilitation or skilled care is required before the patient can return home, Medicare does cover in-patient therapy in a skilled nursing home for up to 100 days. The patient can benefit from physical, occupational and speech therapy, skilled nursing, appropriate diet and 24 hour skilled care to help the patient return to their previous level of functioning for discharge.  But –  if 24 hour care is still needed after 100 days,Read More

“Why does he do that!?”  This is a common question asked by a caregiver of an individual who has dementia. Throughout caregiver literature you will read about the importance of relieving caregiver stress and fatigue.  Without the good health of the caregiver, the quality of life of the person cared for also suffers.  Repetitive questions and repetitive behaviors are among the most exacerbating  issues when caring for a person who has cognitive impairment of any kind.  We know that when the caregiver fully understands behaviors, communications and other helpful information regarding dementia, caregiver stress is relieved.  The following information is just a brief overview on repetive behaviors.  A list of recommended reading is provided at the end of this post. Repetitive behaviors and verbalization result due to the inability of the individual to retain information.  They do not recall that they have just asked that question, nor do they recall the answer. “She makes the same comment every 3-5 minutes and it drives me crazy! I get irritated and snap or yell at her, then she’s upset and I feel terrible about yelling.”                “I told him we were to see Dr. Smith on Thursday at 2:00.  He has asked meRead More