First-Time Caregiver? You're Not Alone and Hospice Can HelpTaking care of someone who is seriously ill or facing a life-limiting illness can be intimidating, tiring and sometimes frustrating. But your role as a first-time caregiver can also be rewarding if you:Lean on your hospice team for support, education and hospice-specific careFollow the advice and suggestions of experienced caregiversNearly 40 percent of Americans are providing long-term care to an older family member or friend, according to the Associated Press-NORC Centers Long-Term Caregiving Poll.1 Caregivers include 59 percent women, 41 percent men, with older caregivers likely to be caring for a parent or spouse, and those under 40 likely to be caring for a grandparent or friend.Hospice supports patients and their first-time caregiversIf your loved one has a life-limiting illness that qualifies for hospice care, start by calling VITAS to explore the home-based services and benefits that are available to first-time caregivers. Resources range from weekly visits from members of a VITAS hospice medical team (physician, nurse, aide) to home delivery of equipment, supplies and medications related to your loved ones diagnosis. Most hospice care is provided at home, wherever your loved one calls home.Explore Medicare benefits for hospice careThe costs of hospice care are fully covered for hospice-eligible patients by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance plans. Talk to your love ones doctor about the requirements for a hospice referral, knowing that primary-care physicians can remain involved in your loved ones care even after they are receiving hospice services.The goal of hospice care is to relieve the burden on your terminally ill loved one by addressing pain, managing symptoms and supporting quality of life at the end of life. Hospice also supports caregivers by providing access to a hospice chaplain, social worker, volunteer and bereavement support up to 13 months after a loved ones death.The national caregiving poll found that prayer and meditation were common sources of comfort and coping for caregivers, and other strategies and tips from experienced caregivers can help first-time caregivers avoid caregiver burnout.Just remember that if youre a first-time caregiver, youre not alone.1Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. June-July 2018 poll of 1,024 U.S. adults. https://www.longtermcarepoll.org/long-term-caregiving-the-true-costs-of-caring-for-aging-adults/
As people age, you can help them create a preventative care routine to keep them happy and comfortable for years to come. While factors such as age, gender, and family history are beyond seniors control, preventative care can reduce the frequency and severity of conditions that develop. That can mean regular immunizations and wellness checks. For example, you can: Get regularly scheduled vaccines Schedule screenings for common diseases, conditions, and cancer Create a healthier and more joyful lifestyle are all habits that can ensure better wellbeing Its a good idea to join your family member for their appointments with healthcare providers to determine what the necessary steps are to help improve their health and protect them against sickness or injury. As always, positivity and connection can be strong influencers of overall health.Here are some ways to practice good preventative care: 1. Schedule Regular Screenings for Common Diseases and Conditions: According to the National Institute of Aging, the most beneficial thing you and your loved one can do in a doctors appointment is to be their notetaker. Make a list of all the questions you might have with regards to medical testing and a list of conditions that run in your family. Help make sure these questions are answered, and take notes.As a starting point, people 65 and older can ask their primary care physicians about the following tests:High Blood Pressure Make sure your loved ones healthcare provider checks their blood pressure once a year. This can help reduce chances of a heart attack and stroke.Weight Your loved one can work with their doctor to maintain a healthy weight, which will help prevent risks for heart disease and diabetes.Vision See the eye doctor for an examination once a year to keep vision strong and detect early signs of conditions like cataracts, presbyopia, temporal arteritis, dry eyes, age-related macular degeneration, and glaucoma. Hearing Hearing loss can happen with age, but like glasses for vision, modern hearing aids can provide tailor-made correction for your specific hearing deficits. That makes a world of a difference and helps your loved one feel more connected with the world around them.Diabetes If high blood pressure, obesity, or cholesterol are concerns, then blood tests should be scheduled once every 1-3 years to ensure minimize the risk for diabetes. Exercising and eating healthy can also help decrease the risk.Depression Its important for doctors to ask questions about general mood and emotional being at least once a year. Depression can be common in older adults.Dementia and Cognitive Impairment Make sure your loved ones provider is periodically doing memory tests to see if any other testing should be done for cognitive impairment.Call your loved ones healthcare provider to learn what diseases and/or conditions they might need to be tested for.2. Schedule and Receive Screenings and Tests for Cancer:Its recommended that your loved one receive screenings for common cancers for doctors to detect it early. Breast Cancer Colon Cancer Cervical Cancer Prostate Cancer Lung Cancer3. Schedule and Receive Vaccinations for the following:A persons immune system can weaken with age, which is why many older adults are at an increased risk for diseases. Luckily, many of these diseases can be prevented, or severity can be lessened, with vaccines. Your primary care doctor can inform you as to how often your loved one should get vaccinated and whether any additional ones are necessary. Here are the following recommended vaccinations: Influenza COVID-19 Pneumonia Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis Shingles 4. Eliminate Risks for Disease by doing the following: o Quit SmokingQuitting smoking can increase ones life expectancy and lower risks of heart disease and some cancers, as well as improve overall lung function and blood circulationo Moderate Alcohol Use Limiting alcohol use can help your loved ones current medication (if they take any) be more effective and can also prevent risks of bleeding in the stomach, memory loss, sleep problems and liver disease.o Increase Exercise Physical activity can help treat and prevent many diseases and is excellent for better lung function and overall circulation! If your loved one has a difficult time performing more strenuous activities like jumping or muscle strengthening, then they can try the following:o Moderate walkingo Cleaning the houseo Gardeningo Tai-ChiIf your loved one can perform more intense physical activities without strain, then they can try the following: Yoga Working out with resistance bands and/or weights Brisk walking Swimming Eat a Healthy DietA healthy diet can be delicious and easy. A well-balanced diet should include whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and poultry, and low-fat dairy. Meal-prepping saves time and makes balanced eating easier.5. Follow the necessary steps for preventing injury Remove fall risks Have your loved ones healthcare providers do an evaluation to check balance, walking ability, bone health, speed, and heart health so they know how to take extra care Make sure your loved one gets their hearing vision checked If your loved one needs, arrange for them to see a physical therapist to work on strength and balance Look into a fall-prevention or exercise program for your loved on Check your loved ones environment for potential dangers like slick floors, loose cords, and other trip hazardsImprove home safety Lower the water temperature in the water heater to prevent burns Install smoke detectors Install alarms and automatic shut-off features on appliances If you have any questions, please contact Comfort Keepers in Grand Junction at 970-232-2165.
Managing finances can be a stressful task in any stage of life, but may seem especially daunting as you get older. If youve noticed your parents making unusual purchases, leaving unopened mail to pile up, or complaining about money more frequently, it may be time to jump in and offer them a hand with their finances.No matter how involved you are in assisting your parents with their finances, consider the following tips to ensure a successful financial management system.Consider a Power of AttorneyTo start, youll want to talk to your parents about who will have control over their financial moves. This can be a tough but important discussion between you, your parents, and your siblings, if you have them. However, ensuring your parents have proper documentation and a power of attorney is a great way to settle who will be handling the financial matters. Once an agreement has been made, its a good idea to have written consent that touches on all potential matters that may pop up moving forward.Set Intentional Financial GoalsSetting financial goals is a great way to help your parents stay on track. Whether your parents are still working a part time job to keep themselves busy, or if they are fully retired, it's always smart to discuss their financial goals. If you are becoming more involved in their finances, this is very important for you to know. This will allow you to have an idea of what next steps you need to take in order to help support their financial goals. Work together and set money goals. These goals should be measurable, attainable, and realistic. They can be anything from how much money they plan to save each month, how much they spend each week on groceries and necessities, whether they want to pay bills on time each month, or even how many months or weeks it may take to pay off any debts they may have. Make sure they are having intention when setting these goals and have an actionable plan on how they are going to achieve them. Through organization, budgeting, and providing your parents with financial assistance, you can improve their chances of attaining their goals.Promote OrganizationWhen you think of money and finance, many moving parts come to mind. Staying organized financially and having everything in order is a great way to achieve financial goals and can increase your potential for positive outcomes. To start, assess current financial standing. Get a folder together and organize paperwork, bills, credit card statements, and other financial statements. To see a spending path, develop a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet or Google Sheet to get an idea of where money is being spent and used. You can even develop a section for a budget and list out monthly payments that need to be made. Next, consider automating bill payments through online banking and set up reminders on your parents' smartphones or on their laptops and tablets. That way, you can make sure they are making payments on time and can take the hassle out of going into the system and scheduling a payment or even writing a check and mailing it to the provider. If they arent technologically savvy, put together a physical copy with payment due dates, where the payment needs to be made, and how it could be made to take out any second-guessing that could happen on your parents end.Always remember that having clear and open communication is of utmost importance. When it comes to money, theres no room for questioning. If you have ideas or see issues within your parents' finances, talk to them about it. If they are not happy with things, they will need to bring it up with you as well. Have transparency with one another to ensure success.Lastly, if your parents have mobile banking, turn on transaction notifications that they can receive from the bank. This will allow both you and them to be aware of any suspicious payments, get balance notifications, and see if their account is trending to the low end of the spectrum.Share Budgeting TipsBudgeting is one of the best ways to gain control over finances. Having an idea of what type of budgeting method works well for your parents situation can promote financial success. Reflect on the spending path you created and understand the flow of money along with how much is currently in savings and what is owed in debts. There are a variety of budgeting methods you can test out to help your parents. Heres a quick overview of some popular methods.50-30-20 Budget: This is good for individuals who have a stable income. As you divide up your salary, 50 percent of it will go towards needs, 30 percent towards wants, and 20 percent toward savings.Zero-Based Budget: This method is ideal for those who have a predictable monthly income. This may be a good idea for your parents due to their steady income from retirement money, social security, and their savings. Use spending habits from the previous two or three months as a guide. From there, map out the budget and subtract expenses from income until it reaches zero. Remember to put priority expenses at the top of the list. 70-20-10 Budget: This budget is ideal for people who dont tend to overspend their money, who have a good grasp on their finances and who like to donate. Divide income after taxes by 70 percent for spending, 20 percent for savings, and 10 percent for debt repayments or making donations.A user-friendly method of budgeting is downloading an app that does all the heavy lifting and number crunching for you. Research various apps to see what would work best for your parents and which one would be easiest for them to use and navigate.Provide Financial Assistance Where NeededThere may be a time when your parents need extra financial assistance. Although its usually ideal to keep your finances and theirs separate, supporting them in any way possible is a great way to help them navigate any difficult financial situations and achieve their financial goals.If youve decided its best for your parents to move closer to the rest of the family, you may want to research a personal line of credit or a credit card to help pay for the relocation. A move can be stressful as well as expensive, so supporting them throughout this process could ease the burden and lift the weight off their shoulders.It could be that youve taken ownership of your parents home and now need to make updates because youre looking put it on the market. Considering a personal loan, a HELOC, or dipping into your savings are great ways to finance those bigger home improvements.If youre looking to provide regular financial assistance, speak with any relevant parties and thoroughly consider whether or not you want to provide your parents with an allowance that helps them pay bills and purchase necessities when needed.Whatever the financial journey may be with your parents, do your research and talk to your financial advisor to discuss smart money moves you can make to help support their current and future financial goals.While many parents have plans for their finances as they age, there are others that might be a little less organized. Either way, providing your assistance and support through the next phase of their lives will help them stay on track with the regular payments, savings, and budgeting habits that were once part of their regular payday routines. No matter their financial situation, these tips can help support your parents and keep them financially sound for the long-term.
teleCalm stops problem calls for families living with Alzheimers & other cognitive challenges at home and in senior living communities.Our landline and cell phone service empowers family caregivers to stop unwanted incoming/outgoing calls, including late-night calls, repeated calls, 911 abuse, and deliberate/targeted fraud -- while reducing social isolation and family stress.For a great home phone solution, there's teleCalm Caregiver. This service works with regular home telephones, and replaces the existing landline service provider. If false 9-1-1 calling is an issue, teleCalm has solutions for that -- just give us a call to discuss.Our teleCalm Mobile service works with your loved ones existing smartphone and current carrier. The service includes the teleCalm Dialer app, which installs directly on their smartphone, replacing the default dialer.Both services are managed remotely by the family caregiver using the teleCalm Caregiver app.Checkout our website or give us a call using the links above to learn more and see how we can help solve your phone-related challenges.teleCalm is a veteran and woman owned company, rated A+ by BBB. All of our support team is US-based and have been family caregivers themselves.teleCalm stops problem calls for families living with cognitive challenges. Our landline and cell phone service empowers family caregivers to stop late-night calls, repeated calls, 911 abuse, and elder fraud -- while reducing social isolation and family stress.For a great home phone solution, there's teleCalm Caregiver. This service works with regular home phones and replaces the existing landline service provider.Our teleCalm Mobile service works with your loved ones existing Android smartphone and current carrier. The service includes the teleCalm Dialer app, which installs directly on their smartphone and replaces the default dialer. Both services are managed remotely by the family caregiver using the teleCalm Caregiver app.Checkout our website at teleCalmProtects.com to learn more and see how we can help solve your phone-related challenges._____________________________________________About teleCalmteleCalm improves the quality of life for families and caregivers living with Alzheimers and other dementias. We provide safe phone service for seniors living at home, in assisted living, and memory care communities. Our customers experience life-changing benefits for the senior and reduced caregiver stress. How is teleCalm safe home phone service different than other phone services?teleCalm is the safe phone service solution for seniors. teleCalm currently offers two levels of stress-free home phone service for seniors, both designed to stop problem calls and keep seniors connected with family and friends.What is the basic difference in teleCalm Trust and Caregiver?The teleCalm Caregiver service solves common challenges faced by caregivers and their loved ones. The service helps seniors maintain their independence, reduces isolation, and helps caregivers prevent everyday problems such as late-night calls, repeated calls, 911 abuse, and 100% of telemarketer/scam calls. At the heart of teleCalms service is the Caregiver app. Family caregivers subscribe to the phone service for their loved one, replacing any existing phone service provider. The family caregiver manages all the features and benefits of the service remotely through the teleCalm Caregiver app. See how Caregiver provides extra protection.The teleCalm Trust service is designed for independent seniors and filters out robocallers before they have a chance to ring through to the seniors phone. Our Trust service learns over time who your loved ones trusted contacts are based on their calling habits. See how teleCalm Trust works.Will this replace the current home phone service?Yes, teleCalm phone service replaces current home phone service, often times for less money than the current basic phone service. teleCalm also has simple pricing. All taxes and fees are included in the monthly pricing.Is internet required to have teleCalm service?No, internet is not required to have teleCalm service.Can I keep my current phone number, or the phone number of my loved one?Yes, teleCalm can transfer (port) the existing number of your loved one to teleCalm. Please note there is a $5 port charge and the transfer process can take up to two weeks. You MUST keep the current phone service until the transfer is complete. During that period, you can forward the current phone number to your new, temporary teleCalm number and begin using it right away.What if my loved one does not have a phone number?If you dont have an existing phone number, or dont want to transfer a current number, teleCalm be happy to give you a new number when you sign up.Does teleCalm support using more than one phone?There are two ways that you can use two phones:1. Where you plug the phone into the back of the teleCalm Adapter, you can plug a phone line splitter, which would allow you to plug in two different phone line cables, which would then attach to each phone. These are available on Amazon.2. However, the preferred way is: Use an expandable cordless phone system, with a base station and an extension.Here are two examples; one with an answering machine; and one without an answering machine.Does teleCalm protection work on mobile cellular telephones as well as home telephone lines?Currently, teleCalm only works on home phones. We are developing a solution for mobile phones and will be testing it in the near future.Can I install teleCalm myself?Yes, its very simple. Click here to watch a video on installing the teleCalm adapter. Also, an installation guide is included with your teleCalm adapter.How soon can I start using teleCalm once I sign up?Once you sign up for teleCalm service, your teleCalm adapter is configured and shipped within a few days. Since teleCalm adapters come plug-in ready, you can begin using the service as soon as youve completed a few installation steps and can hear a dial tone.Can the teleCalm service move locations if my loved one moves?Yes, the teleCalm service can be moved with your loved one. Please contact us to update the end users address, so that their 911 address is correct.Does teleCalm provide 911 service?Yes, we provide 911 service. During signup, you will be asked to provide the physical address of the end user. The physical address provided is used to route the 911 call to a local emergency response center.What happens when my loved one calls 911?1. If your loved one dials 911, it will immediately connect to the 911 operator in their area based on the address provided during sign-up.2. A text message will also be sent to you, notifying you that 911 was called.3. The teleCalm Rules Engine will be turned OFF automatically to make sure any 911 operator or other emergency services can call back and reach your loved one (you will be notified of this in the text message).4. The Caregiver app will show that 911 was dialed on the Dashboard and the History screen.5. Once you are confident the emergency is over, you will need to TURN ON the teleCalm Rules Engine again under Settings, Enable the teleCalm rules engine. You should also turn the Enable Outgoing Call Rules back on as well if you are limiting outbound calling (suggested).6. Also Note: You can safely verify that 911 is working by dialing 922 from your loved ones phone. This will connect to the 911 servers and the computer will read back the 911 address that is on file. It will also simulate the notification text messages to your cell phone.Does 911 service work during a power or internet service outage?911 service will not function in the event of a broadband or power outage, or if your broadband, ISP or teleCalm service is suspended or disconnected.Will my loved one only receive calls for the contacts created in the Caregiver app?Yes, provided the teleCalm Rules Engine is turned ON in Settings (default setting).How does Repeat Dialing work?The repeat dialing feature will automatically detect when your loved one starts calling the same contact over and over again, within a specified period of time, and block those outgoing calls. You can even be notified that the feature has been activated. See the blog post Repeat Dialing Feature Promotes Peace of Mind for more detail on how it works.How does Quiet Hours work?The Quiet Hours feature helps curb late night calls, and disruptive calls during work hours. The feature lets you set up two different ranges of time that your loved one is blocked from making outgoing calls. You can record a personalized message for your loved one in your own voice, reassuring them. For example: Mom, its really late and we are asleep. Please call back in the morning. Or if you need to wake me, press 5 on your phone.You can also enable or disable the press 5 to dial out. When turned on, your loved one can press any key to connect their call, even during quiet hours.How many people can use the Caregiver App?Multiple family members can use the app. You just have to share the log in information of the primary family caregiver with them.Can I disable the teleCalm calling rules at any time?Yes, through our mobile Caregiver app you can disable and enable the teleCalm calling rules in the Settings screen. When you disable the teleCalm calling rules, it becomes a standard home phone service. Telemarketers and scammers can now easily reach your loved one.How many minutes are included in my plan?Your teleCalm service includes unlimited calling minutes and no long-distance charges.Do you offer voicemail?With teleCalm Caregiver service, here is how voicemail works, with Enable Voicemail turned ON from the Settings screen: All strangers will immediately be sent to Voicemail on the Caregiver app. Your loved ones phone will not ring. All contacts will ring straight to your loved ones phone, however, if they dont answer in the 30 seconds it rings (longer than normal phone service), the call will transfer to Voicemail on the Caregiver app. Any blocked callers will not be given an opportunity to leave a voicemail. You can modify the default outgoing voicemail messages from the Settings screen. There is a different message for Contacts and Strangers. You can listen to voicemails from the Dashboard, by selecting the voicemail icon on the top right of the screen. If you want your loved one to be able to receive messages, you can use a telephone with answering machine functionality built in, or a standalone answering machine.With teleCalm Trust service, we currently do not offer voicemail as most of our customers prefer cordless home phone systems that already have voicemail built in. You can use a telephone that has the answering machine functionality built in, or a standalone answering machine.What phones do you recommend?Although we dont sell home telephones, we have strong opinions on different models based on years of experience serving seniors and listening to our customers. If you want a great landline replacement or home phone for yourself or somebody you love, we want to share the benefit of our experience. We hope you find this review of our favorite senior phones useful.