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Vol. 2 Issue 2 - March 2009
People today live longer than ever before. As a result, the need for senior care is steadily increasing. In the past, senior care primarily took place in long term residential facilities, but a growing number of families and seniors now find that home care is a viable and preferred option. According to the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, more aging adults receive home care services than ever before – “there’s no place like home” is true for millions of seniors across the country.
The appeal of home care is that seniors continue living life, the way they choose and where they choose. Home care often provides a greater sense of freedom and wellbeing than a senior can experience in a health care facility. Best of all, one-on-one care is provided from a consistent caregiver they get to know and trust.
Home care providers not only address personal care needs, but also the social and emotional needs of seniors providing companionship and a helping hand with typical activities of daily living like personal hygiene, cleaning, cooking, or doing laundry. These fundamentals sometimes may seem minor to the younger generation, but to seniors represent independence, quality of life, and a sense of dignity. How can you tell if home care is right for you? For more information please visit www.synergyhomecare.com or call your local Synergy HomeCare office.
For families with seniors who need ongoing assistance, the quality of care provided is a prime concern. But the cost of senior care is also a driving consideration, especially during these economic hard times. Research indicates that out of pocket medical expenses are 2 ½ times greater for a family with someone who needs help with activities of daily living (eating, toileting, etc)
Nationally, the average cost for a private room in a nursing home is $76,000/year. The average cost for an assisted living facility, which provides meals and nursing care is $36,000/year. Costs can vary, but families often find that home care is about half the cost, and the quality of care can equal, or exceed, that found in an institutional setting.
As a result, home care is the fastest growing segment of the health care industry because it combines cost-effective, high-quality care with the comforts of home. The result is that families stay together and seniors remain independent while saving money. Home care can prevent or postpone institutionalization and promotes wellbeing and comfort. Often, a combination of family members and hired caregivers can provide the right mix of companionship and services at a price most families can afford. To find out if home care is right for you visit www.synergyhomecare.com or call your local Synergy HomeCare office.
Our family is truly blessed with Synergy HomeCare services. We are doing a long distance home care between Hawaii and Virginia for my auntie who needs assistance with her medical appointments and other activities. Synergy provides us affordable rates, accommodates all my requests, and even last minute changes no matter what the time of day. I am able to reach them instantly. The owners and staff treats you like family and are very dependable. We can rest assured everything is taken care of without any worries. We highly recommend this company to anyone and I’m personally grateful for all their care and support in taking care of my auntie
Mona F, Arlington VA & HI
Allyson is a 49 year old software developer who lives in Seattle. Her mother, now age 79 and recuperating from hip surgery, lives by herself in their family home in Denver. Allyson remembers her mother as a highly independent woman who always took great care in her physical appearance. But now Allyson’s mom struggles to do the things needed to maintain her lifestyle; like taking a shower, getting her clothes on in the morning, and putting on makeup. Who is going to be there to help her each day?
Caring from distance can be heart breaking for busy daughters and sons struggling to maintain a balance between work commitments, their own families, and the needs of their aging parents. If you are one of the sixteen million Americans that find themselves "sandwiched" between two generations, you may wonder how you can best care for your aging parents and still maintain a balance in your own life.
Caring for your aging parents can be easier if you are armed with the right information. Your aim is the ability to have educated and focused conversations with doctors and care professionals. Begin by understanding how “Activities of Daily Living” (ADL) are used to assess the level of care needed. Doctors routinely use ADLs as a measurement for assessing the functional status of seniors regarding self care – eating, bathing, dressing, and grooming, for example. Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) gauge activities related to independent living like preparing meals, managing money, shopping, or doing housework.
There are several evaluation tools, such as the Katz ADL scale and the Lawton IADL scale that doctors use to evaluate the level and type of health care your parents may need. A quick Internet search can provide a wealth of information, or call your local Synergy office for assistance in mapping out your next steps. Having the right information will help relieve the stress and anxiety of caring for your aging parents from a distance.
Caring for a family member who needs memory care or suffers from Alzheimer’s disease is difficult. But don’t let the stress take its toll on you. Ignoring your own health is bad for both you and your loved one. According to the American Medical Association, stressed-out family caregivers experience a 63% higher mortality rate than their non-caregiving peers. Researchers at the National Academy of Sciences indicate related stress can take as much as 10 years off a caregiver's life.
What can you do to battle the stress? Experts give the following tips:
Exercise –Stretch our muscles, get your heart pumping, breathe fresh air and take a break from your responsibilities. Get to the gym, shoot some hoops, or take a walk and release endorphins that give you a sense of wellbeing.
Meditation – Meditation is a simple, low-cost way to balance your physical, mental and emotional states. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, visualization and Tai Chi can be a powerful antidote to stress. Check your local community center, martial arts school or the Internet for classes.
Medication – If exercise and meditation are not enough, your doctor can prescribe a variety of medications to battle stress and depression. These medications are well-known and trusted, but can have undesirable side effects. Be sure to consult your physician.
Remember, the best way to support your loved one with Alzheimer’s is to take care of yourself first. Synergy HomeCare can always provide some flexible help, including family respite care, which creates worry-free time for you to attend to your own needs.
www.alzfdn.org – The Alzheimer's Foundation of America was founded to assure quality of care and excellence in service to individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related illnesses, and to their caregivers and families.
www.johnshopkinshealthalerts.com – The Johns Hopkins Health Alerts is free public service from Johns Hopkins helps keep you up to date on the latest breakthroughs for the most common medical conditions which prevent healthy aging.
www.n4a.org – National Association of Area Agencies on Aging is the leading voice on aging issues for Area Agencies on Aging and a champion for Title VI Native American aging programs.
www.caremanager.org – The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers specialize in helping families with issues related to elder care, Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson’s and more.
www.ascp.com – The American Society of Consultant Pharmacists enhances the quality of care for older persons. They are patient-centered advocates for seniors at risk for medication related problems.
www.caregiver.org – The Family Caregiver Alliance is a national community-based nonprofit organization to address the needs of families providing long-term care at home.
Join the Synergy HomeCare recipe club and share your favorite recipes for easy and delicious meals. E-mail your recipes to firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion in an upcoming Synergy Star and to be featured in the special edition “Synergy HomeCare HomeCooking” cookbook. Don’t miss the mouth-watering fun!
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I wanted to tell you how happy we were with our experience
with Synergy Homecare. Crystal was a wonder. She is a very good
and caring worker. She made Liz feel so safe and well taken care
of. We appreciate all of your help and thank you for bringing
Crystal to us.
Geraldine, Redondo Beach CA
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