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Note: The following was published in our monthly column "Living and Loving: Elder Care in the 21st Century" in Gate House News' Concord Journal. We will continue this theme of elders and emergency preparedness in this blog with periodic articles on the subject.
We are now in the middle of the Holiday Trifecta -- Thanksgiving is past, and the year-end holidays are around the corner. Holidays can be especially stressful for those of us whose parents may be declining. This covers a wide range -- in some cases, it can be as simple as realizing that you will need to begin to devote regular efforts to help a loved manage through daily life; in others, we might face the grief of knowing, or fearing, that this is probably the last holiday season together.
Because remote family members visit so often during the holidays, we often receive requests at this time of year to help assess whether someone is still safe, and to identify the kinds of help available and what might be needed. We also notice enormous stress in uncertain adult children hoping to do the right thing with their parents while navigating uncharted waters. In this column, we will provide holiday visit guidelines, from how to manage a short trip to considering whether a member can continue to live alone, safely and unaided.
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I remind caregivers when they feel overwhelmed that their presence with the client is a powerful tool, and suggest they focus on that. The ones who "get it" -- their eyes open wider, they breathe deeper and sigh, "Yeeeessss...." This article is about the enormous power of presence (thanks Pam Ressler of Stress Resources for the pointer to this blog post!)
Hope at the End of Life by Judith Leipzig on The Being Blog
Improving home care for elderly Massachusetts senior citizens has become passion of mine, and recently I was asked to address the New England Home Care Conference in Newton, MA, on how to use web technology to improve the quality of senior care, or eldercare. So I ask the room a seemingly-obvious question: “How many of you registered for this online?” Dozens of hands went up among attendees of the largest home care conference in New England, which was the first partnership of the state home care associations in the region. I continued with more obvious questions: How many made your travel reservations online? Dozens. How many shop, pay bills, check kids’ school schedules? Dozens, dozens, dozens -- in each case, nearly everyone.
Then came the punch line.
Topics in this just-published snailmail newsletter:
Download this newsletter here: CCCnewsletterv2.1 (if you would like to receive our next newsletter by email or snailmail -- or to have it sent to a friend, client or family member --
(Email sent this evening to Clients, Families and Caregivers)
I hope you are having a lovely Christmas holiday today!
After yesterday's early storm"heads up", I'm back to encourage you in your plans to prepare households and our clients for what is now being talked about as a blizzard: up to 20" of snow and 50-60mph winds, beginning Sunday afternoon and into sometime Monday. This is being predicted to be "heart attack snow" -- meaning it's so heavy that people have heart attacks exerting themselves while clearing it. This kind of heavy snow might be hard to keep cleared from roads and driveways, and street plows when they pass by will deposit "cement-like" snow and ice at the ends of driveways. High winds with heavy snow can also bring down power lines; power outages should be prepared for.
Our custom app tracks iPhone/Android-toting seniors at risk of getting lost. Call for details!
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