How to Let Your Parents Make Their Own Retirement Decisions

At 90 years old, Fred Bolhouse decided he was ready to begin considering a move to a retirement community. His wife had died 10 years earlier, and when failing eyesight finally forced him to give up driving, Fred grew tired of being home alone. He visited one or two retirement communities, and Holland Home in South Holland, Illinois, emerged as his favorite. So Fred moved in. That was six years ago, and today, at 96, Fred is “as active as I want to be,” he says. He serves on the Hospitality Ministry, which welcomes new residents and helps them acclimate to the community. He is also a member of the Food Committee, which serves as a bridge between residents and Dining Services, working to keep everyone happy and healthy. And most mornings he can be found holding court in the Holland Home Café, where, he says, “A bunch of us men sit together and talk about the women, and the women all sit together and talk about us men!” Fred and his son Ray have worked together through these life transitions, and both are pleased with the decisions that have been made. “Dad has really blossomed here,” says Ray. “He […]

Understanding In-Home Care:
a caregiver’s introduction

When you or your parents arrive at a point where some in-home help would make life easier, there is a lot of information and jargon to sift through. Understanding some of the terms used by home health agencies and private duty services can give you more confidence when you start researching your options. Types of In-Home Care The three main categories of home- and community-based services are Private Duty, Home Health, and Hospice. Some of the confusion happens because there is often some overlap within these three categories. Private Duty Private Duty usually refers to “non-medical” services such as the following, which are provided by non-licensed caregivers: Medication reminders Bathing assistance Morning and evening care (grooming and dressing) Transportation Help with laundry, meal preparation, errand-running, and more But there is also a category of Private Duty that includes medical care provided by a licensed nurse, such as: Medication set-ups and administration Injections Wellness checks Help with feeding tubes Private Duty services are not covered by Medicare or Private insurance though may be covered by some long term care policies. Home Health The Home Health category includes licensed medical services provided by registered nurses or licensed therapists. Skilled Nursing care, wound […]

Bridging the Generation Gap

If you are a member of the “Sandwich Generation” — caring for aging parents while also tending to children at home — you probably have a great deal of experience navigating between two worlds. In fact, maybe you do it so naturally that it’s not even stressful for you! But being aware of some of the specific differences between your parents’ generation and your children’s can help you be a more effective bridge. And making them aware of the differences can enrich their relationship as well. The Class of 2011 If you have children who are graduating from high school this year, consider this about the Class of 2011: These kids don’t use email — because it’s too slow. They probably never learned to write in cursive. Most don’t wear a watch — they look at their cell phones to see what time it is. They have always been able to tell who’s calling them because caller ID has always been standard. They might be more familiar with the term “Assisted Living” than “nursing home.” It’s quite possible they’ve never bought a stamp. They have never heard anyone actually “ring it up” on a cash register. The Soviet Union has […]

A dose of laughter

“Laughter is the best medicine,” says the old adage, and though science has yet to prove its healing effects, most people agree they feel better when they smile. Whether your pain is physical or emotional, you might find that a good joke or an amusing story distracts you from your troubles, and that the act of laughing releases painkilling endorphins and relaxes your muscles. With those potential health benefits in mind, we offer the following jokes, witticisms, anecdotes, and bits of comedy to brighten your day. (In fact, maybe you want to print this page and bring it along next time you visit your parents, or someone in the hospital, or someone receiving rehab!) — 5 signs you’re getting old Dialing long distance tires you out. Your arms are too short to read the newspaper. You sit in a rocking chair and can’t get it going. You look forward to a dull evening. Your knees buckle, and your belt won’t. Seniors and texting The May 2001 Reader’s Digest included these texting abbreviations specifically for seniors: BFF: Best Friend Fainted BYOT: Bring Your Own Teeth TTYL: Talk To You Louder CBM: Covered By Medicare LMDO: Laughing My Dentures Out GGPBL: Gotta […]

Practical Tips from an Experienced Caregiver: Ruth Gibson speaks

Ruth Gibson personally understands how important it is for women to nurture their connections with each other, especially as they take on caregiving roles. She is a mother and a daughter, and she has spent a lifetime growing in those roles and sharing her experiences. Ruth is also an author, an international speaker, a television celebrity, a radio personality, a Staley Distinguished Lecturer, and a certified SCUBA diver! Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the LORD. ~ Leviticus 19:32 Ruth shared some heartwarming stories, some practical suggestions, and some Scriptural truths about families and communities. The video below includes 5 minutes of highlights from her 15-minute presentation: