SIUE Elder Care Program. Caregiver Manual

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1 SIUE Elder Care Program Caregiver Manual

2 Table of Contents Caregiver Support...2 Types of Living Choices...3 Questions to Ask Before Signing a Service Contract...4 Activities...5 Questions to Ask a Care Manager...7 Types of Abuse

3 10 Tips for Caregivers Employees in the U.S. who are caring for an older relative are more likely to report health problems like depression, diabetes, hypertension or heart disease (National Alliance for Caregiving, 2010). As a caregiver there are measures you can take to make sure you do not become overwhelmed. The National Family Caregivers Association compiled 10 Tips for Family Caregivers. 1. Caregiving is a job and respite is you re earned right. Reward yourself with respite breaks often. 2. Watch out for signs of depression, and don t delay in getting professional help when you need it. 3. When people offer to help, accept the offer and suggest specific things that they can do. 4. Educate yourself about your loved one s condition and how to communicate effectively with doctors. 5. There s a difference between caring and doing. Be open to technologies and ideas that promote your loved one s independence. 6. Trust your instincts. Most of the time they ll lead you in the right direction. 7. Caregivers often do a lot of lifting, pushing, and pulling. Be good to your back. 8. Grieve for your losses, and then allow yourself to dream new dreams. 9. Seek support from other caregivers. There is great strength in knowing you are not alone. 10. Stand up for your rights as a caregiver and a citizen 3.

4 Types of Living Choices It is important that older adults maintain their independence and dignity in their homes and communities. Individuals who are in the search for a home look for an option that offers comfort, security, and a stimulating environment. The ability to easily access health care is also of paramount interest. While some older adults prefer to stay in their own homes and have the healthcare provider visit, others opt to use Continuing Care Retirement Centers (CCRCs). CCRCs offer several housing options depending on a resident s health and ability to function independently. These options include independent living, assisted living, nursing care and special care living arrangements. Independent living units are generally one or two bedroom, studio apartments or detached units, often referred to as patio homes or villas, for residents who can function and provide personal care without assistance. Independent living is similar to apartment or condominium living with additional services provided, such as meals, basic housekeeping and laundry. Assisted living units are designed for individuals who may have limited mobility and need assistance with daily living activities, such as bathing, dressing, eating or taking medications. Units can be a single room with bath or small apartment with bath and kitchenette. Nursing care (also referred to as health care or skilled nursing) is basically a nursing home environment usually with two persons per room, although private rooms might be available. Individuals with chronic debilitating conditions and very limited mobility that require skilled nursing will receive care at this housing level. Special care centers exist in some facilities for individuals with Alzheimer s, dementia, or other memory conditions. 4. Caregivers who are knowledgeable about the subtle differences between these levels of care will be able to choose a home for their older family that best meets their needs. The final choice is likely to reduce the economic burden on the family, but more importantly, allow the resident to maintain their dignity irrespective of health status.

5 Final Checklist Prior to Signing the Service Contract Continuing Care Retirement Centers (CCRCs) provide care to its clients under a legally binding agreement. Given the financial and legal implications associated with these contracts, families need to ensure that they meet their needs. As the caregiver, you need to understand the avenues available for redress in the event that the contract is altered. The American Health Care Association checklist provided here is a useful tool for the family and prospective resident to use before finally deciding to live in a Continuing Care Retirement Centers. Use the checklist as a reminder for issues that need to be addressed and fully understood. Visit carepathways. com/checklist-ccrc.cfm for a more detailed list of questions to also consider in signing a service to stay in a CCRC. Make sure you: Know what the basic service package includes Know all costs associated with your service package Know about additional services and their associated fees (e.g., medication management) Know the circumstances under which fees might change and how much notice is given to families and residents Understand the services planning process Understand the service contract Know about the criteria and policies associated with discharge Understand resident rights and responsibilities Know the residence s grievance policy and procedure Understand how many staff are available and their qualifications Have the name and telephone number of the staff contact person 5.

6 Activities Older adults who regularly participate in a variety of activities report feeling an overall sense of physical wellbeing and mental health, and enjoy an enhanced quality of life. Exercise slows the aging process, stimulates the brain, keeps muscles mobile and wards off many chronic illnesses (Bean et al., 2004). Ten cost-effective and engaging activities for older adults and caregivers that can be done indoors or outdoors irrespective of the time of year are: Golfing - Whether it s on an 18- hole golf course or pitch and putt, most times golfing require handeye coordination, thinking and a lot of walking. Bowling - Indoor bowling or outdoor lawn bowling contributes to balance, coordination and motor skills. It is enjoyed by all ages and abilities. It s a great sport for older adults and their families and friends to get together. Swimming Older adults can stay fit with water aerobics as it s easier on the joints. It increases the metabolism and improves cardiovascular health. Other ben- efits of water aerobics include strength, flexibility and agility. Swimming is a good, full body workout. Racquet Sports - There are many sport activities that involve using a racquet like badminton, table tennis, tennis, racquetball and squash. Although racquetball and squash are more vigorous activities, there shouldn t be any problems if you have played regularly in the past and are in good health. All racquet sports require skills, techniques, oordination, strength, speed and strategic thinking. Softball - Playing softball is a fun social sport activity for older adults. Whether it s played competitively or for leisure, it promotes muscular strengthening, hand-eye coordination and endurance. Dancing - There are different types of dancing from ballroom dancing to line dancing and square dancing and the benefits are huge. It can lower high blood pressure, control diabetes, control cholesterol levels, maintain stress levels and weight maintenance. Walking - There are walking groups that meet up in parks or shopping malls. All that is required is dressing appropriately for the weather and a good pair of walking shoes. Biking - Regular bike riding can reduce arthritis pain, hypertension and depression in seniors. There is low impact on the joints so this makes for an ideal activity indoors and outdoors. Tai Chi - Persons who practice tai chi often feel refreshed and invigorated. It focuses on the mind and body. It improves balance, mobility, flexibility, calms the mind, relieves stress and decreases hypertension. Gardening - It s a good form of physical activity. It s known to be therapeutic, helps prevent osteoporosis, and promotes relaxation and stimulation. It requires the use of motor skills like walking, bending, and stretching. 6.

7 Questions to Ask the Geriatric Care Manager Caregivers are implored to be strong advocates for their older family member(s). This advocacy may take the form of being knowledgeable about the health condition the person you are taking care of suffers from, as well as knowing the relevant questions to ask. The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers has compiled some questions that you the caregiver should ask a Geriatric Care manager who is likely to provide care for your loved one. A few good questions to ask are: 1. What are your professional credentials? 2. Are you licensed in your profession? 3. Are you a member of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers? 4. How long have you been providing care management services? 5. Are you available for emergencies? 6. Does your company also provide home care services? 7. How do you communicate information to me? 8. What are your fees? (These should be provided to the consumer/responsible party in writing prior to services starting.) 9. Can you provide me with references? 7.

8 Elder Abuse According to the Survey of Adult Protective Services, in approximately sixty seven percent (67%) of all reported cases of elder abuse, the perpetrator is a family member (NCEA, 2004). Elder abuse is a term referring to any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult. The specificity of laws varies from state to state, but broadly defined, abuse may be: Physical Abuse - Inflicting, or threatening to inflict, physical pain or injury on a vulnerable elder, or depriving them of a basic need. Emotional Abuse - Inflicting mental pain, anguish, or distress on an elder person through verbal or nonverbal acts. Sexual Abuse - Non-consensual sexual contact of any kind. Exploitation - Illegal taking, misuse, or concealment of funds, property, or assets of a vulnerable elder. Neglect - Refusal or failure by those responsible to provide food, shelter, health care or protection for a vulnerable elder. Abandonment - The desertion of a vulnerable elder by anyone who has assumed the responsibility for care or custody of that person. Visit ncea.aoa.gov to learn more about elder abuse. 8.

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