Rest and Respite:
Options for You and Your Family

If you are among the millions of Americans who care for children at home as well as parents who need assistance, you know how difficult it can be to plan a family vacation. Holidays or the end of the school year can mean a change in schedules, and such changes can be difficult to juggle. Even if you don’t have children at home anymore, vacationing away from your parents can seem like a source of stress rather than a time of restoration. It can be difficult to relax when you’re constantly wondering if Mom is okay. Choosing Respite The term “respite care” is well understood by senior living providers, but many consumers do not realize what respite care is or how it can benefit them. “Respite care is a short-term stay in a retirement community, an assisted living community, or even a skilled nursing facility,” explains Francine Myers of Saratoga Grove, a Providence Life Services community in Downers Grove, Illinois. “It can be a big help for families who have summer vacation plans that require travel, and they’re worried about leaving Mom and Dad on their own.” Providence Life Services offers respite care at our locations in Michigan and Illinois. […]

Seniors: Beat the Heat!

People aged 65 or older are more susceptible to heat stress and dehydration. Not only do older bodies have a harder time adjusting to extreme temperature changes, but also older people are more likely to be taking medications that can affect the body’s ability to cool itself. Prevention Even mild dehydration can drain your energy, affect your ability to concentrate, and leave you feeling tired. You can follow these tips to prevent dehydration and heat stress: Don’t wait until you’re thirsty. By the time you become noticeably thirsty, you may already be slightly dehydrated. Instead, follow the “8×8” rule: 8 ounces of water, 8 times a day. Avoid alcohol. Alcohol actually removes fluids from your body’s tissues, leaving you even more dehydrated. Rest. Engaging in strenuous activities that cause you to perspire will deplete your body’s fluids. Take a cool shower or bath. Hot water softens the oils of the skin and strips them away, allowing moisture to escape. Wear lightweight, breathable clothing. Materials like polyester can trap heat and increase perspiration. And clothes that are physically heavy require you to expend more energy just getting around. Stay inside. If your own home is not air-conditioned, consider visiting the mall or […]

How to Get the Most
out of your Rehab Program

1. Choose the best rehab in the best setting Getting the best therapy usually requires some research ahead of time. Make sure you consider not only the actual rehab services offered, but also the setting those services are offered in. If you are going to be staying somewhere for 30 days or longer, you want to enjoy the food, the social activities, the amenities, and the people. That’s what Robert found. He was recovering from surgery and needed therapy. His doctor recommended Providence. Robert was delighted with not only the therapy he received, but also the caring atmosphere and quality service. At times he would sit in the dining room and just observe the staff interacting with residents and patients. He was always impressed with their attentiveness. “People here,” he said in an interview, “they talk to you. They tell you things to help you.” 2. Do what they tell you Robert understood that quality therapy is an important part of the equation. (That’s why his doctor referred him to Providence.) But he also knew that success would depend on his own involvement too. “If you want to get well and go home,” said Robert, “you got to do what […]

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 […]