Protect Your Parent: Senior Scams You Need to Be Aware Of

It is an unfortunate fact, that today we are living in a time where people need to have their guard up for money scams. Today’s scams are often more complicated and high-tech than ever before, and the scammers do not always look like your average criminal. This means that anyone can be a victim of one of these crimes. However, seniors are particularly prone to falling prey. In fact, a Huffington Post article reports that scams targeting the elderly are costing seniors up to 12 times more than they were previously thought to cost. This is a scary number and we all hope no one we care about will be affected. If you are prepared and aware, you can protect your loved one from some of the most common scams. We’ve put together a list of a few of which you may wish to be aware.

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The Road to Alzheimer’s: 6 Warning Signs (And What to Do)

Alzheimer’s can be a scary word—in fact; it’s one of the most frightening diagnosis you can get for a loved one. However, it’s a little less scary when you’re informed and prepared. Best of all, when you catch it early, there are many treatments that can reduce symptoms and improve the overall quality of life. The key is that the disease needs to be caught as early as possible. To do this, it is important to monitor your older relatives (and even yourself) vigilantly, to make sure you observe any potential changes and catch the disease as quickly as possible. Here are six potential warning signs you should look for—and contact a doctor if you notice.

  • Memory loss (disrupting daily life) – Everyone forgets things from time to time; there is nothing abnormal there. However, memory loss that disrupts everyday life is something that is concerning. Does your mom or dad forget who you are or fail to remember things that you know that he or she should have no problem recalling? It may be that these are just signs of mental decline, or it could be that these are early signs of Alzheimer’s. It is worth having the memory loss looked into by the family doctor.
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks – An everyday task, such as doing dishes, walking the dog or completing a much-loved hobby should be second nature to an older adult. If your parent struggles with a task that used to be simple, it could be a sign that something isn’t quite right.
  • Confusion about place or time – Another worrisome sign is confusion about the current place or time. This confusion can be very scary for you, as well as your loved one. After all, not knowing where you are, or what year it is leads to a person feeling very out of place and can lead to further poor decisions.
  • Poor judgment (out of character) – One of the first signs of Alzheimer’s that many people see in their parents is poor decision-making skills. When an older adult is suddenly giving money to an untrustworthy person or making unwise purchases, it might be time to step in and protect this individual from his or herself. Poor judgment can lead to dangerous situations in the future.
  • Withdrawal from work or social life – When a person has trouble recalling facts or moving as fast as he or she once did, it is only natural that the individual might withdraw from activities that they once loved. This withdrawal can make it harder to notice the actual changes since your mom or dad won’t be engaging in as many challenging activities. If you see mom or dad begin to spend more time alone or not doing the things they once loved, it is worth investigating to find out why.
  • Severe changes in mood or personality – Although it doesn’t always occur this way, some people who are facing memory loss or other changes will respond with anger or depression. If you have noticed changes in the mood or personality of an older loved one, it could be that they are trying to cover up more serious problems. Talking with a doctor, or a psychologist, to find out the root of the problem, is often the best solution.

If you are worried about a loved one, you don’t have to face Alzheimer’s alone. Your doctor is always a great resource. However, sometimes you need a higher level of care—even full-time care. If you are considering assisted living or memory care for your mom or dad, why not reach out to us at CareChoice? We would love to discuss the different options with you and show you that an Alzheimer’s diagnosis doesn’t have to be quite as scary as you might think. Call us at (404) 402-1499 or visit our website at ourcarechoice.com to discover more. We look forward to learning more about you and your family.

Assisted Living in Atlanta: 3 Signs You Need A Senior Care Expert

As your parents get older, you may begin to notice that they have trouble with tasks that they once found easy. Perhaps your mom or dad is struggling with medical problems, or you’re starting to notice a dangerous change in their driving habits.

While you want to do everything you can for your parents, your life is hectic, too. It may not always be possible for you to be there as much as you’d like. For some families, it may be time to hire an outside caregiver. Others may find that mom or dad is more comfortable in a senior community that is designed for their unique needs.

One important thing to know is that you don’t have to go through this difficult time alone. A senior care adviser is someone who knows all about the different care options available in your area and who can give you concrete advice on choosing the best care option for your parents. But how do you know when you need to reach out to a senior care expert? Consider these three signs:

You Want to Learn the Difference Between Senior Living Communities, Assisted Living Facilities, and Nursing Homes

You’ve probably driven past these facilities or seen advertisements on television. But do you know the difference between a senior living community, an assisted living facility, and a nursing home? What about a memory care facility? Is in-home care a viable option for your active parents? When it comes to assisted living in Atlanta, as well as other senior living arrangements, there are many different options. When you find yourself curious about these options or unsure what the differences are, it may be time to reach out to an expert.

Mom or Dad is Ready For the Next Step

If you feel that your mom or dad would be better served in an environment that provides care assistance, but you don’t know how to approach the subject, a senior living advisor can be a great solution to help navigate this difficult conversation. On the other hand, it may be that you aren’t the one who wants to make a change; it may be that your mom or dad is asking about options. It can be hard for you to face the fact that your parents need a little help with day-to-day living.

This is one time when it can help to have someone else on your side to look at things from an outsider’s perspective. Since you are so close to your parents, and you have known them so long, it can be harder for you to recognize that the time is right for them to move to a senior living facility. A senior care expert will be able to show you the benefits.

You Need Answers to Your Senior Living Questions

For most of your life, your parents always had the answers. Now, you are the one who is supposed to have it all figured out. If you find that each day leaves you with more questions than answers, perhaps it is time to turn your questions over to someone who has experience with this situation.

Maybe you want to know more about the costs associated with assisted living in Atlanta, the difference between a personal care home license and assisted living license, or maybe you want to learn more about the activities offered at each community. A senior care expert can help you look at the big picture and the small details so you can understand what to expect from the next steps in the process.

No matter what stage you are at in the process of evaluating senior care options, working with a senior care expert just makes sense. Don’t try to do everything yourself — assisted living reviews in Atlanta and other resources can be very misleading. There is a lot of information to sort through and a lot of that information is bad information. You may not find the answers you need for your loved one’s specific care needs.

If you’re currently considering any senior care community, in-home care, assisted living in Atlanta or another option, we encourage you to reach out to us at CareChoice. You can reach us by email through our website or by phone at (404) 402-1499. We will connect you with one of our experienced family advocates and offer complementary guidance.

Our service is all about helping you every step of the way, from learning more about these options to the day your loved one moves in — and beyond. Call us today and you’ll quickly realize that a senior care expert is your best resource for all your senior care questions.

Aging at Home Vs. Assisted Living in Atlanta: How to Compare Independent Living Services

When it comes to your parents, grandparents, or other loved ones, you want to do everything in your power to make them happy and comfortable. Many seniors, when given the choice, would love to age at their home where they’ve been for years rather than live in a new environment such as a senior care community. Unfortunately, that is not always possible. So how do you know when caring for mom or dad at home has reached a tipping point?

Aging in the Comfort of Home

Your parents probably want to stay in their house for as long as possible. That’s understandable; after all, it is more than a house, it’s home. If your parents can manage most of their day to day tasks, you may only need to make a few changes to make their home a safer place.

  • Implement Safety Modifications – Adding modifications to the home like ramps, rails, and other accessibility options can make the home safer. Your parents will feel more secure in their ability to take care of necessary activities, and you will feel better about leaving them alone.
  • Adding Security Devices – A “push button” pendant style safety device can help you feel more comfortable when your parent must stay alone. These devices cost a small amount each month, but the benefits are well worth it.
  • Creating a Schedule – A schedule is important because it helps your loved one remember to take medication, go to appointments, and other important tasks. Plus, you can arrange to have yourself or someone else be there to help with the more difficult things.
  • Bringing in a Caregiver – A caregiver may be a necessity, and it can certainly make your mom or dad more comfortable. There are many options when searching for a qualified part-time caregiver to help your parents when you can’t be there.

When you first bring in someone to help around the house, it may start out as only a part-time situation. Perhaps this individual comes in a few times a week to clean up, help with cooking, and other tasks. Having someone to help with driving to and from appointments and shopping is great too; however, over time, a few hours a week is not long enough.

When a caregiver is needed more and more, the cost of care rises significantly; having someone full-time could run $12,000 per month—or more. As costs and care needs increase it may be necessary to consider other options, such as assisted living communities in Atlanta.

When Aging at Home No Longer Works

It could be that the cost of care has gotten too high, or health conditions have arisen that require daily medical care. Perhaps your parent can no longer manage the tasks of daily living or maybe the fear of an emergency is getting to be a bit too much to handle. When health and safety concerns become overwhelming, it is time to look for a different solution.

Choosing Assisted Living in Atlanta

You may worry that the costs associated with an assisted living facility are too high to make this an option. However, many people find that the costs are more reasonable than expected. Plus, with facilities located throughout the region, there is likely one very convenient for you and your family.

There are other advantages that cannot be measured in terms of money only. When moving from a home into a community setting, your parents will have more opportunities to socialize and have access to activities than they may not have currently. When the time is right, making the move to assisted living can be a wonderful experience for all involved.

Access Free Senior Care Advisor Services

No matter what stage you are in with your senior care search, it makes sense to have someone on your side. A senior care advisor understands the big decisions that you have to make and will work with you to determine the right solution for your particular situation.

If you haven’t yet talked to a senior care advisor, why not reach out to CareChoice in Atlanta? Our experts have in-depth information about all of the options available to you in the Atlanta area—including in-home care and senior living communities. Plus our service is 100% free to families. Reach out to us today and let us take some of the weight off your shoulders so you can relax with the knowledge that your loved one will receive the best care possible!

How Much Do Assisted Living Facilities Cost for Long-term Care?

Are you concerned about the long-term care costs for your parent or loved one? It’s one of the foremost concerns people have when they begin looking for senior care options in the Atlanta area. While the cost may seem like a stumbling block in some cases, the truth is that senior care options can be found in varying budgets.

Option 1: Independent Living Community for Long-Term Care – around $1,900 to $3,500 per month

An Independent Living Community is usually less expensive than other Georgia long term care facilities because care is not usually being provided. In these communities, residents are normally fully capable of caring for themselves. Independent Communities offer maintenance-free lifestyles for seniors to enjoy their best years. Many communities offer contracted services so when residents develop care needs, they do not have to move. These services are an additional charge to the monthly rent.

There are more than 90 Independent Living Facilities in Georgia, 40 of which are in the greater Atlanta region. The average cost of a true Independent Living Community in Atlanta is approximately $2,500 per month though some communities may charge between $1,900 and $3,500 per month.

Benefits of Independent Living Communities

  • An Independent Living Facility can be the ideal choice for a person who is reluctant to leave home, but who does require a safer environment. This type of facility has a home-like feel, since the senior has their personal space and lives a largely independent life.
  • One of the biggest benefits with Independent Living Facilities is that residents can participate in a wide range of activities provided by the community, such as games, outings, fitness activities, and more.
  • Many Independent Living residents prepare and eat meals on their own, since their apartments often have small kitchens. However, meals in the dining room can be included in the overall cost, if desired.

 

Option 2: Assisted Living Facilities for Long-Term Care – around $2,500 to $3,500 per month

Assisted Living is much like an Independent Living Community, except they are staffed to provide non-medical assistance with daily living. The goal of Assisted Living is just as the name implies. These facilities foster a discrete lifestyle aimed to provide privacy and extend independence while providing the care needed. Your parents can live in an apartment or condo and still enjoy a sense of community. Most Assisted Living Communities range from 25 to 150 units. In Georgia, communities with 25 beds or more may be licensed either as a Personal Care Home (PCH) or as an Assisted Living Community (ALC). Depending on the services provided expect to pay around $2,500-$3,500 per month for the median level of care.

Benefits of Assisted Living Facilities

  • Assisted Living Facilities are great for seniors who are still independent but need help with activities of daily living — bathing, dressing and grooming.
  • While in residence at an Assisted Living Facility in Atlanta, your parent will have access to experienced and licensed staff who assist with medication management and perform other non-medical services the resident may require.
  • 24-hour staff prepared to respond to accidents and emergencies.

Option 3: Memory Care – around $2,200 to $7,000 per month

Memory Care centers, often found in Skilled Nursing Facilities and Assisted Living facilities, are designed for seniors who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, or other forms of dementia. As with most specialized medical care, the cost for memory care is quite high. Medicaid can cover expenses for a memory care placement, but eligibility requirements must be met.

In the Atlanta area, costs range from approximately $2,200 to more than $7,000 per month depending on the needs of the senior, location of the center, amenities offered and other factors. At these facilities, residents receive help with many or even all of their basic daily activities.  With progressive diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, resident care needs are expected to increase with time.

Memory Care Benefits

  • The biggest benefit of Memory Care for seniors is that they receive specialized care for their level of memory impairment. Seniors who are proud of their ability to do the basic tasks of daily living can still do those things, but the staff will be there to help with what they cannot do.  

As you’ve learned costs vary based on the care provided. As a general rule of thumb, you can expect to pay, out-of-pocket, unless your parent qualifies for VA benefits or their insurance covers long-term care. To determine what care options are available within your unique budget, call CareChoice or contact us via message on our Contact Us form today for free assistance with navigating senior care facilities!

Heat Safety: Protecting Not Only the Kids

If the red, white and blue weren’t clue enough, the grocery sales, fireworks and talks of the Peachtree Road Race serve as our reminder the 4th of July is near. Remember to take care of yourself while celebrating outside in the heat.  Seniors especially are more vulnerable to the dangerous effects of heat. Understanding heat safety for children, adults, and senior adults is crucial to making the most out of your Fourth of July weekend! 

Below are 3 tips to keeping safe while celebrating Independence Day outdoors.

1. Drink plenty – just not the booze.

Drink a variety of fluids, and plenty of them. Opt out of caffeine and alcohol, which can cause dehydration. Dehydration can increase risk of stroke, heart attack, or kidney failure. Dehydration is also one of the leading causes for hospital admission among seniors. Replace lost sodium and potassium from sweating with drinks such as Gatorade or Pedialyte. Even if you’re not thirsty, take a drink!

2. Appropriate clothing, and timing, is a must.

While outdoors, dress for the heat. Hats, sunscreen, and sunshades are as vital as lightweight shorts and t-shirts. Plan your day to be indoors at peak hours, 11-3. If your plans require being outdoors all day, seek out shade and take frequent breaks from strenuous activities. Try soaking a small towel or cloth in cool water and placing around your neck or on top of your head to help cool off.

3. Eat right. 

While the summer heat is baking us all, limit the heat of the kitchen to the grill outside. Skip slaving over your stove for your side dishes. Complete your barbecue with fresh salads, juicy melons, pasta salads, and other easy to make cold dishes.

Confusion, dizziness, fainting, fatigue, headache, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea are all signs of heat exhaustion. If recognized, take necessary steps to cool down the victim of heat exhaustion and seek medical attention. Plan ahead and follow the recommended steps to avoid heat exhaustion to make the most out of your Fourth of July holiday! 

5 Tips To Discussing Care Options With Your Loved Ones

Adult son enjoys showing his parents how to use the new Tablet PSenior housing and care is a challenging subject to talk about with your aging parents. Both the senior and adult children understandably have many reasons to avoid having “this discussion.”

Despite 60 being the new 40, it’s never too soon to start these conversations with your parent or loved ones. Being proactive and speaking together allows everyone to understand their wishes and prevents you from making decisions for them.

Highlighted below are 5 tips to together talk about aging with ease.

1. Start now

It’s difficult to discuss financial, legal, or care matters, and discussing them with your parents likely falls last on your never ending to-do list. These are serious matters and should not be delayed till a time of crisis. Start now, in a time of health so you are prepared for the future. Delaying this “task” only adds to the stress of selecting senior housing and care.

2. Have conversations, more than once

The topic of aging is not a discussion; you should keep ongoing conversations with your parents or older family members. Facing the facts of aging is hard for both the senior and the family member and you certainly wouldn’t want to face them all at once.

3. Ask indirect questions

Losing independence can cause emotions of fear, anger, and guilt for aging adults. Seek opportunities to subtly approach the topic in a casual manner to get your parent or loved one to share their specifics. Ask for advice or share a recent experience rather than asking direct questions. Perhaps you establish your living will and share with them your decisions. Doing so allows for conversation without feeling threatening to their independence or burdensome to their family.

4. Talk beyond the money

Many feel that money is a private subject, and your parents likely agree. Thankfully, the financial talk goes beyond money. It’s not important to know your parent’s exact financials, but it is important to know how to gain access in case decisions need to be made for them. In addition to money, talk with your parents about important documents such as insurance policies, living wills, durable power of attorney, wills or trusts, social security cards, and birth certificates. If your loved one is a veteran, you’ll want to include discharge papers for all service. Work together to gather these documents and determine the best location to store, perhaps a safety deposit box.

5. Know the options

Senior housing and care are likely unchartered waters for you and your parents are scorned by the days of nursing homes and “old folk’s homes.”  Talk with a Family Advocate at CareChoice to gain insight into today’s senior living world and receive guidance on options for your specific needs. Understanding community options and available resources, such as VA Aid and Attendance benefits for veteran seniors, allows you to speak objectively with your parents. You can highlight favorite events happening at communities and encourage joining! If determined that a community is the best fit, CareChoice’s Family Advocates provide complimentary guidance and accompany you and your family along community tours. 

Call CareChoice (404) 402-1499 to start this discussion with a Family Advocate today!

Life After the Move: Transitioning to a Life with Assisted Living Services

Senior Couple Celebrating With White Wine

The stress is over – selecting the best senior care provider is the hard work. Whether an independent, assisted or memory care community is the appropriate choice, each have an improving affect on the quality of life.

Once a decision is made, you can rest comfortably knowing that your family member is receiving the support they need. Senior communities allow the aging population to keep their freedom, improve their health, and build their social network in a safe environment.

Living in a community removes the duties of homeownership, allowing residents the freedom to spend their time how they enjoy. Tasks as small as cleaning the bathroom or emptying the garbage can become equally as troublesome as yard work, repairs and other large home improvements for aging seniors. With housekeeping and laundry services included, senior living provides families with the confidence that their loved one keeps a clean and safe home.

Living alone is an easy cause of health decline, many seniors alone commonly suffer from poor mental health and malnutrition. Community living provides the novelty of never having to be alone. Communities offer a wide variety of activities, including exercise classes. No need to be a yoga pro, these classes are typically aerobics, strength or flexibility training designed for all levels of capability. Many even take advantage of technology, like Nintendo Wii, to make fitness fun! To fuel the energy to keep up with active lifestyle community living provides, proper nutrition is vital! Senior living communities provide meals and snacks daily, with a wide variety of healthy choices.

Upon move-in, residents instantly gain access to a large social network. No longer will your loved one be left alone at home waiting for their next visitor. In addition to exercise, communities offer a wide array of games, crafts, outings and other activities to enjoy with their peers. Residents can pick and choose which to attend at their leisure. Communities often host family events too; perhaps you may lose in the next Wii Bowling contest!

CareChoice is dedicated to keeping seniors active. For each senior we help with find the right community, CareChoice makes a lifestyle donation to fund activities within that community. For more information, visit ourcarechoice.com, call (404) 402-1499 or e-mail help@ourcarechoice.com at anytime.