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Posts Tagged ‘quality of life’

The Biggest Misconceptions About Assisted Living

Misconceptions About Assisted LivingThere are so many unfounded rumors and misconceptions about assisted living that we hardly even knew where to begin. Eventually, we decided it was best to start with the most common misconceptions about assisted living and go from there.

Loss of Independence

Many people think that moving out of their own home and into assisted living will mean losing all their independence, but that’s simply not true. It’s called “assisted” living for a reason, not “controlled” living. Our job is to assist our residents in living their best lives.

As people age and start to lose some of their ability to take care of themselves, our role as an assisted living community is to help them with those tasks, including helping out with hobbies and other fun activities as needed.

At Stillwater Senior Living, we not only have parking available for our residents who are still able to drive, we also provide transportation to those who are no longer able to drive. Wherever it is you need to go, we’ll help make sure you get there.

Big-Name Assisted Living Communities Provide the Best Care

Humans are primed to prefer the familiar, which means, when it’s time to choose an assisted living community, we’re more likely to choose one we’ve heard of over a smaller community that might not have as large of a marketing budget.

This is a mistake. You should always do your due diligence before deciding on something as important as assisted living. You’re trusting your loved ones to this building and this staff, so you had better make sure you can trust them.

Assisted living can also be very individual. A larger company might have the more well-known brand, but they might not be able to provide your loved one with the specific level of care they require. The benefit of smaller assisted living communities is that they often have the ability to be more flexible, and are sometimes more affordable because of their lower overhead costs.

Assisted Living Is More Expensive Than Staying Home

This is not always the case, and even when it is, consider the other costs associated with staying home. For example, many of those who choose to stay home rely on an unpaid family member to take care of them. While this person may be very loving and doing their best as a caregiver, if they’re not a trained professional, they may not be equipped to provide the best care. There’s always the chance they may miss something that a professional would recognize as a red flag, or they could make a simple mistake that turns out to be dangerous.

It also means having to put their own career on hold, so the financial strain imposed on the rest of the family as a result of the decision to forego assisted living actually has the potential to outweigh the costs of assisted living.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that you shouldn’t believe everything you hear and be sure to question everything you think you know about assisted living. It’s an industry that’s changing along with our society, so what may have been true of assisted living in your grandparents’ day may not necessarily be the case today.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

The Differences Between Assisted Living and Memory Care

Differences Between Assisted Living and Memory CareOnce you’ve determined your loved one needs help with daily tasks and some of the basics of taking care of themselves, it’s time to consider the level of care they need. We’ve talked before on this blog about the differences between assisted living communities and nursing homes – now it’s time to look at the differences between assisted living and memory care communities.

Assisted Living Communities

There is no federal regulation of assisted living communities, but they do need to be licensed by the state. The services offered by assisted living communities vary from one to another, so it’s important to do your research ahead of time to know what each community offers, as well as their location, pricing and payment plans.

While some assisted living communities offer just help with basic day-to-day tasks such as cooking, dressing, and remembering to take medications, others offer more extensive care, including 24-hour nursing to those who need it. Residents are often given the choice of living on their own or with a roommate, depending on their preferences and affordability. In some cases, spouses can choose to stay together, and if one needs more care than the other, each pays only for the services they need.

Memory Care Communities

There is also no federal regulation of memory care communities and only 23 states require their memory care communities to be licensed, so be extra thorough when doing your research before deciding on a memory care community for your loved one, especially if you live in a state that does not require memory care communities to be licensed. Online reviews aren’t always the most trustworthy source of information, but they can be a good starting point, especially if you can also get personal recommendations from someone you trust.

Memory care communities provide a higher level of care designed specifically to take care of residents with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases that involve loss of memory and cognitive abilities. They generally have a layout that is welcoming and easy to navigate in order to reduce stress and anxiety for the residents. They also have 24-hour measures in place to prevent residents from wandering off.

Two in One

Some assisted living communities offer memory care services in addition to their other services, usually as a separate building or wing that is dedicated to residents with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Depending on the community and the current physical and mental wellbeing of your loved one, this can be a great option for someone who’s still fairly active and alert, but might need more help with daily living as their condition deteriorates.

If your loved one is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia, or you suspect they may develop the disease later on (for example, if it runs in your family) an assisted living community that also offers memory care could provide the best of both worlds. They can start at whatever level of care they need and progress to the memory care if you and the staff decide that’s what is in their best interests.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

Communicating with Someone with Dementia

dementiaIt can be one of the hardest things to see someone you love and have counted on for a long time, and yet not be able to communicate with them. It’s safe to say dementia changes people, while also leaving parts of them more intact than ever before. Just because they don’t talk or act the way you remember, doesn’t mean your loved one isn’t in there somewhere. It might take a little more work to get them to come out of their “shell,” but it’s well worth the effort.

We’ve come up with some strategies that can help you reach the person we all know is hiding in there, but first, you have to:

Set Realistic Expectations

Don’t assume your loved one will be able to talk to you the way they always have, and don’t try to force them to do so, because that will just make things worse. People with dementia often have a hard time understanding others and communicating, so cut them some slack and avoid getting frustrated when you can’t understand them. Instead, try to come up with creative ways to convey what you’re saying, and the same goes for trying to understand their communications. Their sentences may be broken or they may try to use more hand gestures to convey their meaning, so just go with it and do your best to understand. This is hard for them, too.

Talk Somewhere Quiet

Find somewhere that’s quiet and free of distractions so both of you can focus on the conversation at hand.

Talk Normally

Don’t use baby talk or speak to them in any other condescending way. Avoid getting agitated, and talk in a calm, level voice, but don’t ever talk down to them.

Use Names

People with dementia can find conversation hard to follow when there are a lot of pronouns involved, so avoid using words like “he,” “she,” and “they.” Call them by their names, and the same goes for initiating a conversation. Don’t just say, “Hi, it’s me.” Instead, say, “Hi Grandpa, it’s Suzie.” Don’t make them guess because that will lead to frustration and anxiety. Make it easy for them and the whole interaction will go much more smoothly.

Take It One Thing at a Time

Don’t jump around from topic to topic, because they’ll be less likely to be able to follow you. Pick a subject and stick to it. By the same token, if your loved one changes the subject abruptly, just go with it. Don’t try to guide them back to what you were talking about, but listen to what they have to say. That’s the track their mind is on at the moment, so you’ll get the most out of following it, rather than trying to derail it.

Use Body Language

Nonverbal cues, such as smiling and maintaining eye contact, will help put your loved one at ease, no matter what stage of the disease they’re in. They may also find it difficult to use and interpret language as the disease progresses, so hand gestures and other nonverbal cues may be the best way to get them to understand you.

Be an Active Listener

Every conversation needs to have some give and take and that’s as true when talking with someone with dementia as it is of talking with anyone else. Always pay attention to what they’re saying and let them know (gently and calmly) if you don’t understand.

Trying to have a conversation with someone who has dementia is always going to be hard and there’s just no way around that. But with these tips, hopefully you can make the process a little easier.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

 

Traveling with Loved Ones with Dementia

traveling with loved ones with dementiaSummer is typically travel season. Whether you’re flying to a far-off destination or just taking a quick road trip to a great camping ground one or two states over, it’s perfectly understandable to want to bring mom and/or dad.

But what if the loved one you want to bring has dementia? How do you navigate all the hazards of travel with the added burden of someone who may have a tendency to become anxious in unfamiliar settings – or worse, get lost?

Making the Decision

The first step is to determine whether it’s a good idea to travel with a loved one who has a degenerative disease. They may still enjoy traveling in the early stages of the disease, but as it progresses, they’ll need a higher level of supervision and will be more likely to become confused and anxious in new situations. So the first thing to determine is the level of care your loved one needs and whether they can handle the stress of travel.

One thing that can help in determining whether they’re fit to travel is deciding where to go. Generally speaking, travelling to far-off destinations with a different language and different customs can be a lot of fun when you’re young, but to those suffering from dementia, it can be confusing and anxiety inducing. If you do decide to take your loved ones on vacation this summer, make sure it’s to a destination that was familiar to them before they got sick.

Be Prepared

The #1 tip for any successful trip is to plan ahead and prepare for all possibilities. Not only should you make sure you and your loved one are equipped with the proper clothing for all kinds of weather, but you should also plan on bringing plenty of water, their favorite snacks, and all the medications they’ll need for the duration of the trip. In addition to your travel itinerary, make sure to keep a schedule of when they need to take each medication and have the proper medication on hand at the proper time. This will mean planning ahead to take it with you if you intend to do some sightseeing or go for a hike.

In addition to packing all the necessary medications, you should keep an updated list of emergency contacts and copies of important documents.

If you will be staying in a hotel, alert the staff to your needs before you arrive so they can be prepared to help you out during your stay. Keep in mind that new locations can trigger wandering in patients with dementia as they seek out the familiar, so stay alert and take advantage of programs like the MedicAlert® + Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return®.

Timing is Everything

Finally, make sure to travel during the time of day when your loved one is at their best. People with dementia often experience increased anxiety during certain periods of the day, usually around sunset, hence the term “Sundown Syndrome.” Know when your loved one is at their best and when they tend to be at their worst and plan accordingly. During the times of the day that tend to be tough for them, be sure to have something familiar and comforting on hand that you know will help reduce their anxiety.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

Need Help Navigating Medicaid? Here Are Some Tips

medicaidMedicaid can be a wonderful thing that helps us get through tough times, but you have to jump through so many hoops to get it that more people end up confused and frustrated than grateful. No matter what stage you’re in of the application process (even if you’re just considering it as a future possibility) you should consult an elder law attorney to help you navigate the process.

Get Help

Hire an elder law attorney ahead of time to help arrange your assets to make sure they don’t exceed the limit and place you out of eligibility for Medicaid. An attorney can help you place some of your assets in a Medicaid Planning type estate plan, which will better enable you to navigate the process of qualifying and applying for Medicaid.

Plan Ahead

Because there are things that are best taken care of ahead of time, you should consult an elder law attorney right away. Don’t wait until after something terrible has already happened, because by that time it could be too late. You want to get your assets in order before catastrophe strikes and/or you start to lose some of your mental faculties. Consult a qualified attorney when you’re at your best so they can help you stay that way.

The same goes for Power of Attorney, both for healthcare decisions and financial decisions. You want to have your Power of Attorney in place sooner, rather than later, because if something does happen and you’re unable to apply for Medicaid yourself, you’ll need your Power of Attorney to apply for you, but they can only do that if the process of authorizing them as your Power of Attorney has been completed.

Do Your Research

The best practices for applying for Medicaid will vary depending on whether you’re married or single, and if married, your spouse’s situation. For example, in some cases, it might make more sense to claim more income for the Medicaid recipient if it means letting the spouse keep more resources. It’s all about finding the sweet spot that lets you get the most out of your assets and Medicaid.

Furthermore, there are plenty of other mistakes that can derail your application for Medicaid, including:

  • Failing to properly report all your assets (even if the mistake is unintentional);
  • Leaving the nursing home or long-term care community to go home or to the hospital;
  • Moving from a nursing home or assisted living community in one state to a community in a different state; or
  • Failing to properly fill out the recertification application

That’s right – as if applying for Medicaid once wasn’t enough of a hassle, the government requires you to reapply every year to make sure you still qualify. They look for new assets and income, but they also update the application process because it’s not unusual for them to make changes to Medicaid. So just because you managed to successfully apply for Medicaid last year does not mean you can just copy and paste the previous year’s information into this year’s Medicaid application.

Hiring an experienced elder law attorney is really the best way to go to make sure you get the most out of your Medicaid. You might think someone working for the federal government or for your assisted living community would be able to advise you, but the truth is most of them don’t know as much about the process as a qualified elder law attorney. Even those working for the government don’t know all the ins and outs of their own regulations, so be sure to hire an attorney who knows what they’re doing.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

Managing Hoarding Behaviors in Patients with Dementia

HoardingHoarding is its own psychological disorder, characterized by an excessive accumulation of objects to the point where it begins to interfere with the person’s life, often by covering just about every available surface in their living area and/or including keeping food and medicine that has gone bad. The person feels distress at the thought of throwing anything away, and while the disorder can be isolated, it can also be paired with other disorders, such as severe anxiety and/or depression. It may make them feel safe to know they have everything they could ever possibly need.

Hoarding can also be found in conjunction with Alzheimer’s or dementia, in which case it may be due more to confusion than out of any fear of throwing something away. Food may have been left to rot because they can’t remember when they bought it and their sense of smell has deteriorated to the point where they can’t tell it’s gone bad. Medications may likewise be left to go bad if the person can’t remember what it is, why they’re taking it, how much they’re supposed to take, when they’re supposed to take it, or when they took their last dose.

Likewise, mail may be left to pile up if they’ve lost the mental capacity for sequential tasking. If that’s the case, then someone will need to sit down and go through the mail with them to make sure no important documents are lost and bills don’t go unpaid.

Patience is A Virtue

As tempting as it is to get frustrated with hoarders and dementia patients (and doubly tempting when the two disorders are combined), it is of the utmost importance to remain calm and speak kindly and gently to your loved one. Remember that they’re not doing any of this on purpose, and if you lash out or yell at them, you’ll make them more confused and anxious, which will make everything worse.

Choose your time to talk about the hoarded objects wisely – specifically when your loved one is in a good mood. Talk them through the process of selecting items to be thrown away – if they haven’t yet lost the ability to appreciate logical reasoning, you might be able to convince them to discard much of what they’ve collected without too much trouble.

Memory Box Technique

The memory box technique is one strategy that has proven to be successful when dealing with hoarders. Choose a box to be their designated place to keep “special things.” You can even decorate it together to make the box both more special and more memorable – this has the added benefit of creating a fun activity you and your loved one can share together. Anything your loved one likes to collect can be put in the memory box, which makes it easy for you to keep track of the accumulation of those items. If their rubber band collection is getting out of control, for example, you can remove some of them and your loved one probably won’t even notice. You can also label and keep items that really are valuable, such as keys and wallets, in the box. That way, when your loved one comes to you looking for something, you can simply suggest they check their box.

How to Handle Someone Who Has Behavioral Problems Due to Dementia

Behavioral Problems Due to DementiaDementia can be scary and confusing for everyone involved. Those with dementia often feel lost, confused, and out of control of their own lives – all of which are terrifying. That fear can sometimes prompt them to lash out violently (either verbally and/or physically) against those around them, which is both painful and frustrating for the targets of their aggression.

So what should you do in such a situation? How can you calm them down and avoid hurting them?

The first step is to educate yourself. Know the signs of dementia and some of the behaviors that might come along with it.

Aggression

This can often start with the patient insisting they want something they can’t have (such as to go “home”) or that they don’t want something they can’t avoid (such as something in the environment, something in their schedule, or even the caregiver themselves). A simple statement can sometimes turn to yelling and may escalate into violence.

As tempting as it can be to argue with them, that’s not helpful. Don’t try to force the issue and don’t restrain them if it’s not absolutely necessary. Instead, try to divert their attention to something else while speaking to them in a calm, measured voice.

Confusion

Statements like “I want to go home” are often the most painful to hear out of someone with dementia who is already home. It means they’ve forgotten where they live, and they want to return to a place where they lived during another part of their lives.

The most important thing to remember is not to argue with someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia because that is an argument you will never win. You cannot reason with someone who is suffering from dementia and trying to do so often only makes things worse.

Depending on the person, explaining the change in their situation, especially through the use of photos and tangible objects, might work, but more often than not it’s best to try to distract them. Suggest going for a walk with them or getting a snack and get them to talk about other things. If they ask things like “When are we leaving?” or “When are we going home?” try putting them off by telling them you can’t leave until traffic clears up or the whether is better. Sometimes a small lie is better than trying to explain to them what they can’t (or don’t want to) understand.

Poor Judgment

This can take a variety of forms – from trouble with finances, to hoarding, to paranoid behaviors, such as accusing a loved one of stealing from them. While some of these strange behaviors are obvious, others take more subtle forms, making them difficult to diagnose. The person with dementia may not even know they’re struggling with something, and even if they do, people are rarely willing to admit they need help.

If you suspect a loved one may be suffering from poor judgment, try to find out quietly. See if you can get a look at one of their bills to make sure they haven’t missed any payments. If that’s not possible, try to have them figure out the tip at a restaurant and see if they struggle any more than they usually do.

The most important thing is to remain encouraging and reassuring. Offer to help in small ways that minimize the other person’s embarrassment. Again, don’t ever try to argue with them, and don’t ask them outright if they’re unable to handle certain situations because that won’t end well.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

Assisted Living Can Actually Improve Happiness

Assisted Living Can Actually Improve HappinessIf you’ve been struggling to convince your parents it might be time for assisted living (or if you’ve putting off the unpleasant conversation), you’re not alone. Assisted living suffers from plenty of misinformation, and despite the reasons you may have for why your parents need assisted living, have you considered how assisted living can actually improve happiness in seniors?

Researchers have long recognized the importance of social relationships on both our physical and mental wellbeing – the more socially connected we are, the happier we are and the longer we tend to live. That social connection could be one of the most important things an assisted living community can provide. In addition to help with daily tasks and medical care as needed, assisted living communities are also one of the best ways senior citizens can stay connected to the world around them.

Staying connected gets increasingly difficult as we get older. Friends and family members pass on; our kids grow up, move out and get their own lives; and staying home rather than going to an office every day means a significant decrease in social interaction. On top of all that, if we get sick or injured, we’re even more likely to stay home, which further inhibits social interaction. Going out gets harder as we age, and if we live alone, the days between visits from friends and family member can appear to grow longer and longer.

While visits from the outside community are always encouraged in assisted living, residents are not dependent on them for their social lives. Not only are they surrounded by people in their age group (many of whom are have similar experiences as they age), but assisted living communities consistently provide several recreational and social activities to encourage residents to get out of their rooms (or even out of the building, if they’re able) and mingle.

It is often by participating in the activities we enjoy most that we end up meeting the people who come to mean the most to us. Spending time with people who enjoy the same things we do is a necessary component of our mental and physical wellbeing. By providing a wide range of activities for their residents to participate in, assisted living communities help bring together people who might not otherwise meet.

What makes it even better is the fact that these interactions can continue long after the program has ended. Sharing an activity with another person is not just a great ice breaker, it can also help create a bond that lasts for the rest of their lives. There are few things more satisfying than turning to someone and saying, “Do you remember that time we …?” and having them remember and be able to commiserate with you over that memory.

Once people get over the initial stress of moving into an assisted living community, they’re more likely to report higher levels of happiness and a greater sense of belonging than they felt before they moved in. The bonds formed in assisted living can then help them live longer, healthier, and more fulfilling lives than they would have had if they had insisted on continuing to live on their own.

Moving into assisted living is not giving up on life. It’s the beginning of a whole new chapter.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

How to Talk to Your Parents About End-of-Life Care

How to Talk to Your Parents About End-of-Life CareIt’s a conversation no one really wants to have. No one likes to think about their own death or the death of their parents. While it may be tempting to put off having this awkward conversation,  here are some suggestions on how to talk to your parents about end-of-life care. It will make things much easier when the worst does happen.

In fact, having a plan in place, and knowing those closest to you are aware of and on board with the plan, can actually make aging easier. It’s a huge load off the mind to know what’s going to happen to your finances and your assets when you’re gone, and to know how you’re going to deal with the physical ailments and limited capacities that come with aging. Things like a will and long-term-care insurance may sound scary, but they’re actually designed to help you prepare for the next stage in life.

Here are some things you need to know about your parents’ end-of-life care, as well as some suggestions for how to broach the subject:

Do they have a will?

A will decides, not just where your money goes, but everything that has value to you – right down to mementos and even pets. And a verbal will isn’t enough. It has to be in writing and signed by you and an attorney. If no will exists that the court can recognize, then a probate court judge will divide the assets and decide who gets what, which can take months and cost the family members thousands of dollars.

Broaching the subject:

Let them know you’re aware it’s an uncomfortable subject, but that you just want to make sure their assets are taken care of the way they would want them to be once they’re gone.

To have a will drawn up, you’ll need to meet with a competent family law attorney who can guide you through the process.

Do they have a power of attorney?

Power of attorney gives another person the power to make legal and financial decisions when the person is no longer capable of making those decisions for themselves. Although you might assume the spouse or nearest relative would automatically be designated power of attorney in the absence of a legally binding document, that’s not actually the case. Instead, a judge will decide who will be the power of attorney, and they may or may not decide to make it the person you always assumed it would be. For example, a spouse without power of attorney can be left unable to access funds or assets to help pay for medical care, so it’s imperative to get a power of attorney put in place sooner rather than later.

Broaching the subject:

Every adult needs a power of attorney, so offer to go with your parents to have both your documents prepared together. If you’d each like to make the other your power of attorney, it would make the moment that much sweeter.

These things aren’t about tempting the Grim Reaper, they’re about accepting the fact that he’ll come sooner or later and it’s better to have a plan in place for when he comes than to leave loved ones high and dry at the height of their grief. Don’t compound the pain of loss by making the process of dealing with everything more difficult for those you leave behind.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

How to Avoid Caregiver Burnout

caregiver burnoutBeing a caregiver is a stressful job, putting a strain on your time, your resources, and most of all, your emotions. Unfortunately, there is no day off from being a caregiver. Your loved ones can’t control when they need you, and the more their abilities deteriorate, the more they’ll need you. It’s no wonder caregiver burnout can sneak up on you as all the stresses of the job pile up. Without a release, you’ll burn out, so we’ve come up with a list of things you can do to help you avoid that.

Talk to Someone

There are support groups for caregivers all over the country for people to get together and talk about the struggles of being a caregiver. Talking about your troubles always helps, even when the people listening can’t do anything to help. In the case of these support groups, knowing you’re not alone and that your feelings are perfectly normal can be a huge release and help you get back to your job as caregiver refreshed and ready to face whatever challenges may come your way.

If there isn’t a caregiver group in your area, start one of your own. If you can’t make it to meetings, just talking to a friend or relative about the strain can help relieve some of the pent-up emotions. At the very least, keep a journal where you can feel free to write it all out. Writing is an extremely cathartic exercise and has been shown to help with mental wellbeing and stability. It doesn’t even matter if you destroy everything you wrote when you’re done, what matters is the act of getting it all down on paper.

Set Aside Time for Yourself

It’s been said before and we’ll say it again: you can’t take care of others without first taking care of yourself. While many people (especially women) misinterpret taking time for themselves as being selfish, there’s nothing selfish about taking a break to recharge. On the contrary, doing so allows you to come back to the job better and stronger than ever, meaning you’re better able to fulfill your duties as a caretaker.

Be Realistic

Many of us want to solve the world’s problems, and even when we know on a logical level that it’s not possible, it doesn’t always stop us from overextending ourselves and agreeing to take on more responsibilities than we can handle.

When you take on the responsibility of caring for a loved one, it can be very tempting to say “yes” to everything. You’ll take care of their day-to-day needs and their nutritional needs and make sure they take all their medication and get them to each and every one of their doctor’s appointments, and handle all their finances, and why don’t you write up and notarize their will for them while you’re at it?

Taking care of a sick person who is losing control of their faculties is not like taking care of children (which is a full-time job in and of itself). Your senior relatives have built a life for themselves that will continue to follow them to the end – bank accounts, credit cards, savings, debt, assets, liabilities, etc. None of that includes the medical needs that can build up quickly as their body slowly deteriorates (unlike children, who are building up their capabilities as time goes on).

Know right away that you can’t handle your loved one’s life and your own life at the same time. Recognize your limits and agree to take on only a reasonable amount of duties that you know you can handle. This will mean asking for help from others and that’s OK because it means all of you will be able to provide your loved one with better care than you could provide by yourself.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.