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.

Helping Elderly Loved Ones Prepare Their Will

No one likes thinking about the “what ifs” in life—and especially those that have to do with death. However, a will can be a huge help to the family when someone passes away, whether it is expected or unexpected. Helping an elderly family member prepare a will is an enormous job, but taking on this task can help them feel more secure and may make your future jobs easier too. Here are a few tips that can make the process a little easier, and perhaps help you broach the subject with your mom or dad.

Remember to Find State-Specific Information

Each state has different laws when it comes to wills and how they are handled. Make sure the information you are referencing is correct for your particular state so that you don’t wind up in a difficult legal situation in the future. It may surprise you, but a will that is entirely legal in one state could cause a long drawn out problem in another. A little research now could save time and effort later.

Consider Consulting an Expert

While saving money by doing it yourself is always a good thing, certain tasks are too big to accomplish on your own. If you get to a point that you think the job is too big to handle alone, don’t be afraid to contact a probate lawyer. It can be less expensive to have a professional will drawn up than you may think. Doing this can help make certain nothing is overlooked.

Online Tools Are Available

On the other hand, if the will that is being created is simple, creating it online may be a good option. There are a number of online tools that make the will-making process easier than trying to deal with all the details “by hand.” An online tool can often be a happy medium between trying to do it all by yourself and spending the money hiring a professional. Just make sure you are working with a program that is up to date and reputable. Also, don’t rely on a computer program as the “final copy.” Make sure you print out a paper copy and have it notarized, to make certain it will be accepted as a legal document when the time comes to reference it.

Don’t Cross Any Lines

While you want to help your mom, dad or other loved one by setting up a will, make sure you are not crossing any lines—or leaving the appearance of doing so. Because wills are such touchy matters, it may be best to get someone else involved in the process to make certain that nothing is being done that would make anyone feel uncomfortable. Taking a few extra steps can be well worth it to ensure everyone is happy with the results.

Document Everything

With anything involving finances and legal matters, it is vital that you take the time to record as much of the process as you can. By recording, videotaping, and putting in writing as much information as you can, you will protect everyone involved in the process. Documentation is always essential, and this is something that any professional will tell you if he or she is completing the process for you.

While it is not always easy to talk about wills or any wishes about what may happen after death, it is best to make plans so that all requests will be met. Be open about this subject and encourage your loved ones to do the same. It is important to keep the lines of communication about this subject open for everyone involved. Remember that a will can always be changed later, so it is best to get something written down today—just in case the unexpected occurs. The family will be very appreciative of the effort you make.

Tap Into Your Resource Pool – Financing Assisted Living for Senior Care

When your mom or dad needs a little extra care, assisted living may be the best possible solution. However, it might look like the cost of a live-in facility is out of reach for you and your family; you do not want to shortchange your parents.

Luckily, you may have some resources available to you that you have not yet considered to help. We’ve put together a few ideas to help inspire you so you can obtain the care your loved one needs and deserves.

Paying for Assisted Living With Long Term Care Insurance

Long term care insurance offers coverage for care that isn’t usually covered by regular insurance or Medicare. This care can include assisted living, adult day care or other in-home care. If your mom or dad has a policy in place, it is likely that you will be able to tap into this resource to pay for part or all of the care. If your parents have purchased this insurance, paying for assisted living may not be quite as difficult as you think it will be.

Assets for Assisted Living

You may have already considered your mom or dad’s liquid assets when deciding if you can afford assisted living. Lack of cash doesn’t have to deter you from finding assisted living that meets your standards for quality of care.

Selling your mom or dad’s home can be a smart decision, as cash back from the sale can fund assisted living for the next several years. Other asset-related options involve selling stocks, bonds or even vehicles can be a good solution too.

Is VA a Possibility for Financing Assisted Living?

If your mom or dad served in the armed forces (or was married to someone who served), it may be possible that the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will help pay for assisted care. Although there are more than 9.3 million veterans over the age of 65, most of these individuals and their families are unaware of these potential benefits. There are service requirements to be eligible for these benefits, some of which include:

  • Service requirement: The veteran must have served at least one day during wartime. If you are trying to find the years your loved one served, you’ll find the dates in their discharge papers. (If you don’t have access to these, you can request copies from the National Archives.)
  • Financial requirements: Only those who truly need the assistance and meet the means limit as established by the VA, are eligible to receive benefits.
  • Other considerations: Even those who do not meet the needs analysis may be able to receive benefits depending on age and amount of monthly medical benefit.

Keep in mind that benefits are awarded on a case-by-case basis. If you are unsure of whether you or your loved one meets the requirements, or you don’t know how to navigate the complicated process, you can speak to someone here at CareChoice who is experienced in helping families afford the best care for their loved ones.

Get Creative

At the end of the day, the goal is to make sure your mom or dad has the best possible care—at any cost. This may mean getting a little creative. Selling property, using online sales sites and other methods of earning money may be necessary. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and do what you have to do to get care started; especially if it is just a matter of waiting for future coverage to begin.

As you can see, there are many ways to pay for assisted living—even if your mom or dad doesn’t have liquid assets available. It’s important to remember that choosing an assisted living community and deciding the best way to pay for it is a tremendous decision. You need someone on your side that understands the process.

The team at CareChoice can help. Call us at (404) 402-1499 or contact us online to learn more about the process and let us help you discover the best way to make sure your parents get in the best place for them without breaking the budget.

Caring For Someone With Dementia

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, dementia is a general term for any decline in mental ability that is severe enough to interfere with day-to-day-life. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, but the term can include issues as simple as memory loss, too. The World Health Organization reports that 47.5 million people around the world are currently living with dementia, and that number is expected to more than triple by the year 2050. No matter how severe the case of dementia, living with it can pose a challenge. If you have a loved one with dementia, it’s important that you are prepared. We’ve put together a little guidance on how caring for someone with dementia will help your loved ones feel cared for.

Be Understanding

It can be difficult, but being understanding toward a loved one with dementia is vital. Chances are that your mom or dad will not be able to do all the things he or she once did. Perhaps you will have to remind him or her of simple things like birthdays or even your name. Be patient and understanding. Your loved one does not want to be a burden to you, so do your best to make sure she does not feel as if she is. If you find yourself getting tense, or you have trouble seeing things from your mom or dad’s perspective, take a break and let someone else take over for a while so your emotions don’t get out of control.

Learn to Communicate

Communicating with someone who has dementia is not always easy. You may not be able to sit down and chat with mom or dad in the same way as you did before she or he started showing dementia symptoms. While you will learn best through experience, we’ve put together a few tips that can make communication a bit easier.

  • Set a Positive Mood – Your feelings and body language are very important in improving communication. Do everything you can to make the overall mood a positive one. A positive, encouraging atmosphere will help your mom or dad feel more positive about the interactions that occur.
  • Remove Distractions – It can be extra difficult for your mom or dad to communicate if distractions are all around. Turn off the television or radio and make communication the primary goal.
  • Keep It Simple – Reduce your reliance on jokes, sarcasm, slang and even pronouns. Make your statements simple and straight to the point. The same is true when asking questions — simple “yes” or “no” questions are best.
  • Distract and Redirect (When Necessary) – If the conversation begins to take a negative turn, don’t be afraid to turn the conversation into something new. It may be time to change the subject.
  • Reminisce – While your loved one may not always have perfect recall, chances are that reminiscing about the “good ole days” will be appreciated.

Take Care of Yourself Too

Whether you are the primary caregiver, or you are pitching in to help out a little here and there, it is important that you do not get burned out or overwhelmed. Make time to take care of yourself, too. Get a massage, check out the latest movie, or treat yourself to a gourmet latte. The key is to relax and let your mind recover so that you can be at your best to help your loved one when you get back to work.

Remember that when you are working with a loved one with dementia, you are not alone. Help is out there for you and your family; you simply have to ask for it. In many cases, a loved one with dementia may need additional assistance or even full-time care, such as a memory care community or a senior care home. CareChoice LLC offers free one-on-one help in finding the right senior care option for your loved one — including memory care. Check out our website for additional information, or call us at (404) 402-1499 to learn more. We are always here to help you and your family.

When Mom Can’t Balance The Checkbook

It can be hard for your parent to admit, but there likely will come a time when help is needed taking care of day-to-day tasks. There are many indicating signs mom or dad needs assistance. The key is spotting these signs so you can get your loved one assistance quickly and gracefully.

The ability, or lack of, to manage one’s finances is one red flag to pay attention to. In fact, studies have shown that up to 29 percent of seniors struggle with managing their money.

Have you noticed your loved one struggling with paying bills? Bigger problems might be at hand. We’ve put together a short guide on how to handle finances for seniors to help identify and deal with this important task.

Signs of Financial Troubles

Consider the following as signs that help may be needed.

Bounced Checks and Overspending

Is mom or dad writing checks they don’t have the funds to support? This is a sign of overspending. Not being able to keep up with balancing the checkbook is a serious problem, and one that needs to be caught and addressed quickly (but delicately.)

Frustration

Maybe your parent is keeping up with the finances—but just barely. Dealing with finances can be frustrating even when one’s capacity isn’t beginning to decline, so watch carefully for signs that indicate your parent is overwhelmed with the burden of keeping things balanced. Becoming frustrated with dealing with finances is a small sign, but an important one.

Inability to Adapt

Obviously, today’s banking and financial picture is much different from the way it was even a few years ago. While your mom doesn’t have to be computer-savvy, it is important that she be willing to adapt to a world that utilizes computers in banking. If not, you may need to step in and help. Remember to be patient. While common, today’s technology is still foreign to many seniors

How to Suggest Mom or Dad Needs Help With Finances

Noticing the signs that warn you that your parents may be struggling to keep up with their finances is the easy part.

Now that you have acknowledged the need to step in, how do you suggest a solution to your parent? You don’t want to make your parent feel helpless, but you want to help.

One option is offering to “streamline” finances by allowing you to help set up online payments. Sympathize with them about the frustration of monthly bills, and share with them the solution you’ve found in setting up automatic withdrawals.

Tips for Keeping Track of Your Loved One’s Finances

Once you have convinced your loved one that you need to help with balancing the checkbook and paying bills, how can you make sure you keep things in order?

Here are a few tips that may make the process easier.

Set Up Auto-Payments and Online Bill Pay

Automatic bill payment options are great solutions for many people. It eliminates late payments, but also alleviates the pressure of remembering to stay on top of everything.

Work Together

Don’t take over and leave mom or dad out of the equation. Let your parent cooperate with you to balance the checkbook and stay on top of things. Explain the options in simple terms, and let them make the final decision.

Keep it Separate

While it can be tempting to combine things in the name of “simplifying,” it will often create more of a mess. If you are taking care of your mother’s bills as well as your own, make sure you keep the payments and accounts separate. You will find it is easier to get things done, and faster when you need to find information when finances are maintained separately.

Consider an Accountant

Working with a professional may be a good solution, especially for complex financial situations. Rather than treating your parent as though you don’t feel that they are capable, treat the situation as though they have simply earned the luxury of letting someone else handle things for them. After all, it’s likely true!

Sometimes the little things, like struggling to balance a checkbook, can be indicators that it is time to consider a change. A senior care advisor can help you understand your situation, evaluate your options, and identify the best way to proceed. Perhaps it’s time to think about assisted living? Or maybe your mom or dad just requires some outside assistance.

Working with a complimentary advisor can help you discover the best solution for your family situation. If you would like to discuss your situation with a CareChoice expert, contact us online at ourcarechoice.com, or reach us by phone, (404) 402-1499, today.

Assisted Living Facilities: How Far is Too Far?

Deciding when your mom or dad is ready for assisted living is not an easy decision. In many cases, it often comes after a fall or other tragic incident and made in a short time period.

It is so important that the choice to look at assisted living facilities is a family decision. The next big choice is determining what location is ideal.

While exceptions do exist, two choices that many people have to decide between are choosing a community near their parents’ home or choosing one close to their own homes. We have put together the pros and cons of both options—to give you some guidance in this matter.

A Facility Near Your Parents’ Home

The biggest benefit to this option is that the transition may be less stressful for your mom or dad. After all, he or she may be able to go to the same church, shop at the same stores, and visit the same doctor as before transitioning to assisted living. Familiarity is especially beneficial for Alzheimer’s and Dementia care residents.

Being close by, the move itself may be more affordable. Your mom or dad will likely get plenty of visitors, too! The Harvard School of Public Health Study stated that seniors who have an active social life may be less likely to experience memory loss.

However, choosing an assisted living facility near mom or dad’s home can be less convenient for family who may live further away. Staying connected is often key to a successful transition.

A Facility Near Your Own Home

On the other hand, choosing a facility near your house, can be a good option in some cases. Your parents will love being nearby and it will be easier to include Mom or Dad.

One possible downside to moving your parents near you is that it can make the transition even more complex. If your parents live far from you, chances are that your mom or dad may not know many people in the area. The feeling of “starting over” completely makes the idea of moving to an assisted living facility even more stressful.

If you have brothers or sisters,  deciding on a community can be even more complex. While every sibling may not be available to take an active role, it is important to remain on the same page. Use these 4 tips to work together as a family.

›Get together: Don’t try to make this decision via email or phone. Get the family together and discuss it in person.

›Think About Logistics: While you may be tempted to want the parent nearby, it doesn’t always make sense. Think about keeping mom or dad in a familiar space or at least near the child who will be best able to serve the needs of the parents.

›Consider Cost:Assisted living costs can vary from one place to another. This can be a determining factor.

›Remember Mom or Dad: At the end of the day, the idea is to make mom or dad happy. Don’t let you and your siblings’ desires get in the way of keeping your parents happy.

Your family will certainly want to come together to make the choice of assisted living for your parents.While deciding on location is often the first biggest choice to choose, the next big step is determining which community can accommodate the appropriate care needed.

A senior care advisor is someone who knows about assisted living in Atlanta and can provide unbiased advice. If you reach out to us at CareChoice, we can help guide you to the appropriate community for your loved one’s care in the area you wish! If you would like to chat with one of our experts, call us at (404) 402-1499, or visit us online at, ourcarechoice.com

Five Quick Ways to Combat Caregiver Burnout  

Serving as a caregiver for your mom, dad, grandparents or other loved one can be both highly rewarding and immensely challenging. In many ways, it can be like a full-time job—without benefits! However, there is no better feeling than knowing you can pitch in and care for someone who gave their all to help you too. While it can be easy to get stressed from the caregiving process, if you take a few precautions, this will be much less likely. We’ve put together a brief guide of five ideas that may help you avoid “caregiver burnout.”

Take Time for Yourself

While taking care of mom or dad is crucial, you are important too. You need to find some time for yourself, away from the stress of caring for others. Don’t allow the care routines to keep you from doing the things you love. If you have a hobby, make sure you pursue it. If you prefer to relax with a massage or a cup of hot tea, make time for that. Visit with friends and other loved ones too. Taking time for yourself allows you to be the best caregiver you can be.

Don’t Do It All Alone

While some days it may feel like you take the burden of the work, in reality, you shouldn’t have to do it all alone. If you are the only child or your siblings don’t live close by, it can feel like you do take on all of the responsibility. However, think a bit outside the box and you might find that there are others that can help. Are there any teenagers in the family that could help with yard work, cooking, and cleaning? Could your spouse stop by for medicine time on his or her way to work? What about neighbors or friends who offer to run errands or take your mom or dad to the store? These little efforts can add up to help reduce your workload in a tremendous way.

Hire Outside Help

You may think that hiring outside services for housekeeping, yard work or even nursing is an expense you simply can’t afford. While there will be a cost involved, this is a cost that is sometimes well worth paying. While it may be a cliché, it is a cliché for a reason: time is money. Hiring someone to take on some of the more strenuous tasks will free up your days to work on other things. If this free time allows you to pursue other important matters, the cost could be worthwhile.

Utilize Free Services

In addition to paid services, have you looked into the possibility of free services? Depending on your mom or dad’s income levels and medical needs, there may be programs available that will help. These programs can include meal services, nursing or perhaps rides to and from the doctor. Each person and community may have different programs and qualifications. Check with the insurance company and your mom or dad’s doctor to find out if there are any recommendations. Additionally, look online for any community-based programs.

Consider Assisted Living in Atlanta

While you may not want to think about the possibility, there may come a time that the best option for your parent, as well as you, is to consider assisted living in Atlanta. If you have not toured one of these facilities lately, you may be amazed at how impressive they can be. Many of these communities include private apartments, full-service dining rooms, and exciting activities, as well as assistance with the day-to-day care that your mom or dad may need. Plus, unlike a nursing home or other facility, an assisted living community allows seniors to maintain a sense of independence.

Remember, if you wind up overdoing it and “burning out,” you will not be able to help your mom, dad or anyone else. That is why it is so important to take things step by step and not allow yourself to get to the burnout stage. You are NOT alone. If you have questions about senior care or would like some advice about other options, reach out to us at CareChoice. We are a trusted team of senior care advisors who can help you and your family—no matter what type of senior care arrangements you need. You can reach us by phone at (404) 402-1499 or check out our website at www.ourcarechoice.com. We look forward to helping you and your family.

Three Unique Ways To Pay for Assisted Living

As your parents reach a certain age, there may come a time when what has always worked in terms of living arrangements just does not function anymore. It may be that your mom or dad can no longer drive at night, or at all. Perhaps it is a challenge for your parent to take his or her medication according to a strict schedule. It could also become dangerous for your loved one to walk up or down the stairs and shower alone. In some cases, you can step in and help out—but is that enough? Assisted living in Atlanta is another alternative that can help alleviate the stress on you, and help assure that your mom or dad receives the care that is needed. Plus, assisted living facilities offer a chance for socialization, balanced meals, and structured activities.

The problem many families face when considering assisted living in Atlanta is cost. Yes, at first, that price may seem a bit daunting. However, with a bit of planning and consideration, you may find it is more affordable than you think. Here are three ways that you can pay for assisted living—even if you think it may be out of reach.

Remember that certain other expenses will be less

While at first the cost of an assisted living facility may seem daunting, remember that the price paid will often include much more than just “rent.” Depending on the facility, this cost will likely include meals, utilities, laundry service, activities and perhaps even cable and WiFi. Also, if your mom or dad is moving out of a full-size home, there will no longer be the need to pay for lawn service, housekeeping and other extras that go along with maintaining a home. It is vital that you compare apples to apples when looking at different assisted living facilities and make sure you pick one that gives you a solid value—not just a lower cost.

Utilize current high property values

A few years ago the real estate “bubble” burst. Many people are still living with the thought that their homes are worth what they were five or eight years ago. However, in many instances, this isn’t the case. Many homes and other properties have seen a spike in value. With this spike, it could be a very good time to sell. If mom or dad happens to have some land around the family home, this could be even more significant than you think since there is a desire for new homes, and thus the need for empty land for building. Working with a qualified real estate agent can assure you are getting a good value if you sell a home or property—and reduce the stress involved with paying for assisted living.

Consider selling unused items using consignment/eBay

Along the same lines as selling property, have you looked into selling some of the articles your mom or dad has, that no one is using? While everyone has certain family heirlooms that may not be suitable for selling, think about things that are merely taking up space. Perhaps there is some old artwork in the attic or jewelry no one has worn in decades. Even things such as vintage clothing, tools and crafting supplies can have a higher value than many people think. Selling these items can be easier than you would imagine, especially if you use a consignment service that does the selling for you. Additionally, if you are computer-savvy, eBay or other online selling tools can be a good option too. Depending on the items you sell, the value could add up quickly and be a big help with the assisted living cost.

While these ideas may help you with paying for assisted living, or any senior care solution, it is crucial that you find the ideal facility for your loved one too. With thorough research, you can rest assured that your parent is in a facility that meets all of his or her needs—without costing you more than is necessary.

 

CareChoice LLC is Atlanta’s choice for complementary guidance to senior care in the area. Our Family Advocates are knowledgeable, dependable professionals that can help you navigate the maze of senior care and find the facility that will best serve your mom or dad. If you would like to work with a Family Advocate who can guide you as you make these difficult decisions, call us today at (404) 402-1499 or visit our website at ourcarechoice.com.

How to Find Assisted Living in Atlanta That Meets Your Needs

You may have noticed a few facilities around town. You might have also viewed brochures, watched commercials, visited relatives, or just heard about options through the grapevine. There are many choices when it comes to assisted living in Atlanta.

When it comes time to choose a place for your mom or dad, having choices is a mixed blessing. These alternatives are a good thing because it means you have the best chance to find the perfect place for your loved one to call home. However, it can be an overwhelming decision. Here are three things you should do to find assisted living in Atlanta that meets your needs, and those of your mom or dad.

Talk to a True Expert

While researching the subject on your own can be eye-opening, in reality, you have a very limited scope when it comes to checking out assisted living in Atlanta. You may have toured a couple of nearby facilities or perhaps have heard about one through a friend or co-worker. The reality is that there are hundreds of options for senior care in the Atlanta area, including assisted living, residential care homes, and in-home care.

Working with a senior living advisor can be an amazing solution for you and your parents. Your family advocate will listen to your needs, look over all of the potential solutions and make suggestions from a new perspective.

Discuss Care Needs and Review Online Options

When you need to choose an assisted living community rise, you may already have a few ideas of your own. Ultimately, though, it is your mom or dad who will be calling this place home. It is important that you sit down as a family and discuss all of the care needs, the budget, all of the “wants” regarding activities and living arrangements, and perhaps some of your wants (such as a convenient location for visiting) too. Your next step may be to review a few options online. Reviewing online allows you to view the basic amenities and check out reviews from other residents and families. Perhaps you can eliminate a few options solely based on online profiles. It is best to consult with your Family Advocate at CareChoice as reviews can be misleading.  They can assist as much or as little as needed in having these conversations. As you go through this process, make sure it remains a project you work on together—so that both you and your mom or dad are pleased with the options.

Go On a Few Tours of Assisted Living in Atlanta

You can learn a lot about these senior care and assisted living communities by looking online and making phone calls. Online information can be beneficial, but you cannot get a good idea of how the facility “feels.” Nor can you experience how friendly the staff is, how welcoming the other residents are, what the rooms feel like or how delicious dinner will taste. After determining the best options with your Family Advocate, take a tour of your top choices. These are a crucial step in your decision-making process. Your Family Advocate will assist in scheduling tours at your convenience. Most assisted living communities are more than happy to schedule a tour on very short notice. Dropping by a community can also be a good idea because it will give you a better idea of what is going on day to day.

Contact CareChoice at (404) 402-1499 or visit our website at ourcarechoice.com for more information about your options for assisted living and other senior care solutions in the Atlanta metro area.
Once you have reviewed the options online, in person, and with expert guidance, you will likely have a “gut instinct” about what facilities feel best. Do not ignore those instincts. The truth is, an assisted living facility will serve as a home for your mom or dad. The employees will become both caretakers and friends. It is vital to find the right place—the one that feels right and that meets your needs. Take your time and do not let anyone pressure you into making a decision. You will know when you have found the place for mom or dad to call home.

 

 

5 Things People Don’t Think About When Becoming Their Parent’s Main Caregiver

As your parents become older, there may come a time that they can no longer take care of themselves in the manner that they once could.

At first, it may be that mom or dad can only drive in the daytime. After that, it could be that you need to help with medications. Before long, those little things add up and become big things.

Becoming a caregiver for your elderly parent is not something many of us plan for; however, it can become a necessity — both in short-term and long-term cases.

If you find yourself moving into this role, it is important to think about how it will affect your entire life. Consider these five things that many people fail to think about when they become the primary caregiver for their parent or parents.

It Changes the Relationship

When you are just stopping in now and then to check up on mom or dad, you maintain that “parent/child relationship.” Once you cross into the caregiver role, the entire relationship changes.

Sometimes, that change goes well. It can be seamless, in fact. On other occasions, it is a difficult pill to swallow for everyone involved.

Your parent may resent the fact that you are taking over, and you may resent the fact that you need to do so. It is vital that you work out these feelings, even if it involves talking with a professional.

It Is a Full-time Job

It cannot be emphasized enough how much work goes into taking care of another person. Even if you are not living with your mom or dad, you will find that you spend nearly as much time at their house as you do your own. If you are working at the same time, your stress level will be high.

If you take time off of work or away from your family to care for your parents, you may develop resentment. The time you must commit is incredible, and it is admirable that you would consider doing so.

There Will Be Added Stress and Worries

Chances are, you will find something new to worry about each and every day. Is your mom getting a well-balanced diet when you aren’t around? Are those handrails you installed strong enough? What would happen if someone came to the door late at night?

The worries pile up–it’s only natural. These concerns can quickly turn into anxiety if not managed and kept in check, which makes caring for your parents more difficult.

We suggest that people pay close attention to the things being worried about; often, anxiety becomes a habit. If they write down their concerns, they can be evaluated in a healthy way once the emotion of a moment has passed.

It is Easy to Lose Yourself

As with any demanding job, those caring for their parents are prone to falling into “caregiver depression.” It’s understandable; when you are putting someone else’s needs before your own and spending so much time focusing on taking care of them, your personal life falls down the priority line. This takes a toll on your emotions, and can manifest in a variety of ways.  

Be aware of potential feelings of sadness, loneliness, and even resentment, as they can turn into depression–which is even less conducive to caring for your loved one the way you want to. Whenever possible, remember to care for yourself; don’t run yourself into the ground trying to do it all.

Flexibility is Key

Caring for your parent is an unpredictable job; it’s impossible to know what tomorrow may bring. Whether an unexpected circumstance in your own life (perhaps your child needs a chaperone for a field trip,) or an incident with your parent (one fall could have a big impact on mobility,) the job description of caring for your parent is ever-changing.

Few people are fortunate enough to have enough flexibility in their lives to roll with the changes without complication, which is why many people look at other options — such as assisted living or care communities — to add stability to the routine.

Being the main caregiver for a parent is incredibly tough, but it doesn’t have to be something you do alone. Even if you don’t have other family members nearby that can pitch in and help, there is assistance available.

Senior Living Advisers are completely free consultants who advise and assist those considering out-of-home care or an in-home care provider. CareChoice is a senior advisory firm that offers this advice and assistance in this complicated, emotional, and confusing situation.

If you are interested in learning about assisted living in Atlanta, give us a call at (404) 402-1499 or visit our website for more information. It is our goal to reduce your worries and make the next steps easier.