Healthcare debates often focus on doctors, medical technology, and insurance. However, a critical componentfamily caregiversrarely takes the spotlight. Providing an estimated $600 billion worth of unpaid care annually in the United States alone, family caregivers are the true backbone of our healthcare system.Their monumental contributions are set to drive an exponential surge in adult day services for seniors. Heres why:The Invisible Workforce: Family CaregiversFamily caregivers are often close relatives who provide vital, around-the-clock care to loved ones in need. From administering medication and monitoring vitals to aiding with activities of daily living, these caregivers cover a myriad of responsibilities, usually without any formal training.This unpaid workforce essentially props up the U.S. healthcare system, particularly in the realm of senior care.With increasing life expectancies and a booming senior population, their role is not just valuable but absolutely crucial.The Hidden Costs of Family CaregivingWhile the societal value of caregiving is enormous, it is not without personal costs. According to an AARP report, about 36% of family caregivers describe their role as highly stressful.This stress can lead to mental and physical health issues, deteriorating the quality of care they can provide.Added to this is the financial burden; many caregivers have to either reduce work hours or quit their jobs entirely to care for a loved one. As noble as caregiving is, it is an unsustainable model for many families, and it comes with real-world costs that are often overlooked.Why Adult Day Services for Seniors Are the FutureEnter adult day servicesa practical and much-needed solution for the growing care requirements of an aging population.Adult day services or centers offer a flexible alternative where seniors receive care, social interaction, and medical attention, while also allowing their family caregivers some respite.Here are a few reasons why the demand for adult day services is expected to skyrocket:1. Demographic ShiftsThe senior population is growing rapidly. By 2030, the U.S. Census Bureau predicts that all baby boomers will be older than 65, meaning one in every five U.S. residents will be retirement age. This demographic bulge will generate an unprecedented demand for senior care services, including adult day centers.2. Economic SustainabilityAdult day services offer an economically viable alternative to full-time, in-home care or more expensive assisted living facilities. They not only help families but can also potentially reduce costs for Medicaid and other public healthcare programs.3. Quality of LifeThese centers are not just about healthcare; they also provide an environment for seniors to socialize and participate in activities, enhancing their overall well-being. This is an element of care that in-home services can rarely match.4. Respite for CaregiversPerhaps most crucially, adult day services offer a break for family caregivers, allowing them time to work, fulfill other responsibilities, or simply recharge, which in turn can improve the quality of care they provide at home. The Time for Investment Is NowIf there ever was a time to invest in adult day services, it is now. Federal and state policies must reflect this urgency, channeling resources and funding to facilitate their growth. Insurance companies also need to recognize the value of these services and consider them in their coverage plans.Family caregivers have long been the silent pillars supporting our healthcare system. As our population ages, their role will only grow in importance, but so will the strains on them.Adult day services offer a sustainable, compassionate solution that can benefit everyone involved. Its time we bring this critical issue into the forefront of healthcare discussions and planning for the future.
Top Tips for Reducing Elderly Anxiety at NightTrying to reduce elderly anxiety at night for a loved one? Read our top tips for the best ways to minimize elderly anxiety at night and improve their sleep quality.Alt Text: An Elderly Man Reminiscing (Image Source)Do you have an elderly loved one who experiences anxiety at night? Unfortunately, anxiety can become more common and impactful as we age, causing sleep disturbances and other issues. However, there are strategies that caregivers can use to help reduce anxiety in the elderly at night. This article will discuss tips for reducing elderly anxiety at night, including creating a relaxing environment, engaging in relaxation techniques, and utilizing innovative technologies. Read on to learn about assisting your senior family member in coping with their anxiety at night and improving their sleep quality.Related: Three Things to Consider When Taking Care of Your ParentsUnderstanding Elderly Anxiety at NightTo fully grasp nighttime anxiety in older adults, we must examine its causes and symptoms.The Causes of Anxiety in the Elderly at NightThere are various causes of anxiety in the elderly at night, some of which include:Health Concerns - Older adults may have concerns about their health, chronic illnesses, pain, and other age-related issues that can cause anxiety and worry at night.Loss of Independence - Aging can cause a loss of independence, which can be emotionally distressing and lead to anxiety.Fear of Falling - Older adults are at an increased risk of falling, which can cause anxiety and fear, especially at night when it is dark, and visibility is low.Loneliness and Isolation - Many older adults live alone, which can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation. These feelings can heighten at night with less social interaction and distractions.Financial Concerns - Older adults may worry about their financial stability, especially if they are retired and living on a fixed income.Medications - Certain medications can cause side effects such as insomnia, nightmares, and anxiety, which can be more pronounced at night.Cognitive Decline - As people age, Alzhermers, dementia, and cognitive decline can occur, which can cause confusion, disorientation, and anxiety at night.Past Traumatic Experiences - Older adults may have experienced traumatic events in their past, such as war, abuse, or loss of loved ones, which can cause anxiety and flashbacks at night.Click Here to see how teleCalm can stop late night calls!Identifying Anxiety Symptoms in Older AdultsAnxiety symptoms can manifest differently in older adults compared to younger individuals. Some common symptoms of anxiety in the elderly include:Excessive Worrying - Elderly individuals may excessively fret over health, finances, and various life aspects.Physical Symptoms - Anxiety may induce symptoms like increased heart rate, perspiration, trembling, and shortness of breath.Sleep Disturbances - Seniors with anxiety might struggle with falling asleep, maintaining sleep, or awakening too early.Irritability and Restlessness - Anxiety can lead to feelings of irritability, agitation, and restlessness in older adults.Avoidance Tendencies- Some seniors with anxiety might evade situations that exacerbate their anxious feelings, such as social gatherings or leaving the house.Memory Challenges - Anxiety can impact memory and focus, posing concerns for elderly individuals experiencing cognitive decline to some extent.Physical Complaints - Anxiety can cause physical complaints such as headaches, gastrointestinal problems, and muscle tension.Late-Night and Repeated Calling - It is important to note that according to WebMD, these symptoms can also indicate other medical conditions, and a proper evaluation by a healthcare professional is necessary to determine the underlying cause.Top Tips for Reducing Elderly Anxiety at NightHere are some tips that can help reduce elderly anxiety at night:1 Using teleCalm's Repeat Dialing FeatureWith just a few simple steps, you can customize your preferences in the teleCalm Caregiver App to stop compulsive and repeated calls.Features of teleCalm's Repeat Dialing include:Customizable Settings: Choose the number of calls (2-5 times) and the specified period of time (15-60 minutes) before repeat dialing is activated.NotificationsGentle Messages to Your Loved OneNo Additional CostAlt Text: An Elderly Woman In Her Room (Image Source)2. Using teleCalm's Quiet Hours FeatureThe teleCalm's Quiet Hours feature can block incoming and outgoing calls during specific times. Here's how the Quiet Hours feature works:Customizable Settings - You can customize Quiet Hours in the teleCalm Caregiver App to activate during specific times, such as Nighttime Quiet Hours from 10 pm to 7 am.Default or Personalized Messages - Your loved one will hear a default message during Quiet Hours. You can also record a personalized message in your voice to reassure them.Easy to Set Up - Activate Quiet Hours under the Settings screen in the teleCalm Caregiver App. Select the time ranges for Daytime and Nighttime Quiet Hours. You can also adjust or turn off Quiet Hours anytime in the app.3. Establishing a Regular Sleep RoutineA consistent sleep schedule can help improve sleep quality and reduce anxiety at night. Encourage the elderly to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.4. Creating a Calming Sleep EnvironmentMake sure the bedroom is comfortable, quiet, and dark. Encourage the elderly to create a peaceful atmosphere by playing soothing music, using aromatherapy, or using a white noise machine.5. Limiting Caffeine and Alcohol IntakeEncourage the elderly to avoid caffeine and alcohol before bedtime, as these substances can interfere with sleep quality and contribute to anxiety.6. Developing a Relaxation RoutineMeditation, deep breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation can help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation before bedtime.7. Addressing Underlying Medical ConditionsAddress any underlying medical conditions contributing to anxiety at night, such as pain, urinary urgency, or respiratory distress.8. Talking to a Healthcare ProfessionalEncourage the elderly to seek professional help if their anxiety at night is severe or interfering with their daily activities. A mental health professional or physician can provide appropriate treatment options.Click Here to Contact teleCalm Today and Start Stress Free Phone Service!Alt Text: An Elderly Gentleman Holding a Colorful Ball (Image Source)Use a Mixed Approach to Help Combat Elderly Anxiety at NightElderly anxiety at night is a common issue that can significantly impact their quality of life. Fortunately, there are several strategies that caregivers can use to help alleviate anxiety in the elderly at night, such as establishing a regular sleep routine, creating a relaxing environment, engaging in relaxation techniques, and seeking professional help. Additionally, teleCalm offers solutions such as the Repeat Dialing feature, which can help reduce compulsive and repeated callsthe Quiet Hours feature, which blocks incoming and outgoing calls during specific times. With a mixed approach incorporating lifestyle changes and innovative technologies, caregivers can help their loved ones manage anxiety and improve their overall well-being.Related: My Mom is Calling at 3AM
Adult children of aging parents are all too familiar with what it means to have those difficult conversations. Theres the one where you ask Dad to stop driving. Or try to convince Mom she needs a walker. Perhaps one of the toughest conversations to have is talking to your parents about assisted living.Many seniors choose to move into senior living communities on their own during their younger, more active years so they can easily transition to assisted living. However, its not uncommon for aging parents to hold on to the notion of remaining independent or believing that loved ones can help with the home care they need. Thats often the case even when its clear a parent requires the kind of daily care that assisted living facilities are best suited to provide.WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO TALK ABOUT ASSISTED LIVING?The answer to that question varies. Its no surprise that the effects of getting older can sneak up. Maybe youve noticed Mom is having trouble with activities of daily living (what clinicians call ADLs) like dressing, mobility, hygiene or toileting alone. Those are signs that shouldnt be ignored. If at all possible, its even more considerate to have the conversation with her about elder care before the need arises and to continue an open dialogue as the situation evolves.TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL CONVERSATION WITH YOUR PARENTTalking to your parents about assisted living isnt easy for any adult child, but its so vitally important. Here are few pointers to keep in mind as you begin:Casual Is Best: Keep your talks from seeming confrontational. Have them over a cup of tea on the porch and dont overwhelm Mom or Dad by getting too many family members involved in the discussion. Experts suggest making your initial conversations loose and casual. Get an idea of your parents attitude and desires he or she may be more open to the idea than you expected.Write It Down: This isnt a time for chatty spontaneity write down your thoughts in advance to help you stay on point and keep emotions in check. Plan to engage in several conversations of this nature and go slow. If things start to get heated, retreat and bring up the topic another time.Employ Positivity: Sometimes a parent just needs to hear out loud what they already know. But its important to word it in a positive, caring way like, Mom, youve done everything for our family and youve always been strong for us now its your turn to get a little extra help so you can relax and enjoy life worry-free you deserve it. For many aging adults, it can be a relief to have someone tell them its OK to lean on others.Sell the Benefits: There are so many wonderful advantages to assisted living in addition to daily attention by trained health care team members. Remind your Mom or Dad about the pleasure of being served delicious meals instead of having to cook; having friends and great activities just outside their door; and how nice it would not to worry about paying bills, cleaning the house, repairs, etc.Do Your Due Diligence: Sit down at the computer together and spend time browsing several senior living community websites. Youll quickly come to see that not all communities are alike in their philosophies and especially in what they offer. A community offering Life Care like Friendship Village of South Hills will allow your mom or dad to receive increasing levels of care, including long-term care, with virtually no increase in monthly costs.Seek Out Referrals: Look to friends and co-workers for recommendations. Youll be amazed at how many people in your age group have gone through exactly what youre experiencing. Their tips, advice and referrals are invaluable.Take a Tour Together: Assisted living communities love to show off the various living options and amenities they offer. Definitely plan to visit a few different communities with Mom or Dad to compare and contrast. You may even be able to arrange to have lunch together in the dining room, which is a great way to get a feel for the culture, meet some residents and sample the food