An excerpt from the fantastic New York Times article by Dhruv Khullar, M.D., M.P.P., (resident physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School).
There are some 40 million Americans like my patient’s daughter. Every day, they help a parent, grandparent, relative or neighbor with basic needs: dressing, bathing, cooking, medications or transportation. Often, they do some or all of this while working, parenting, or both. And we — as doctors, employers, friends and extended family — aren’t doing enough to help them.
Caring for a loved one who lives far away can be challenging. It creates an entirely new set of obstacles related to caregiving. Concerns about your loved one’s safety, nutrition, health and care may be overwhelming. Long distance caregivers often report feeling guilty and anxious because they cannot be there often to see how their loved one is doing. Staff of the Caring Workplace and Senior Solutions can help in these situations. Long distance caregivers may hesitate to contact our office because their loved ones are out of the area so they are not aware assistance is available, but we can offer support and share resources that may be beneficial to your family regardless of the distance. There are also tips we can share to help.
It's that time of year again...Medicare open enrollment is now through December 7th. This period is the one time each year that Medicare beneficiaries can review their health and prescription plan coverage and opt to make any changes for the coming year. If they are happy with their current coverage beneficiaries do not need to take any action and they will automatically remain with the same Medigap (supplemental policy) and Medicare part D (prescription) plans or Medicare part C Advantage Plan. If a beneficiary has received notice that their current provider is exiting the market or that their costs will change in the upcoming year this is the time to look at other options.
A functional needs registry is a database of information that is intended to serve as an emergency preparedness tool. This database helps emergency response agencies identify individuals with medical conditions or physical limitations that may interfere with their ability to respond to disasters or other emergencies.
Anyone who has taken on the role of a caregiver can probably tell you that this is a journey full of ups and downs, and that at many points along the way there may be confusion about which direction to go. Many caregivers report feelings of stress and anxiety related to not knowing if they are making the right decisions or helping their loved one receive the best care possible. Fortunately, a Geriatric Care Manager (GCM) can help act as a guide or an ally throughout this journey, to ensure that both the caregiver and care recipient are able to access and understand the options available while providing emotional support every step of the way. A GCM specializes in assisting older adults and families by providing education, counseling, advocacy, and care planning to meet both their present needs and to help in planning for the future.
Each summer, as temperatures continue to rise, staff at Senior Solutions like to take the opportunity to remind our clients of the risk of heat related illness for older adults. Health issues, medications, as well as the normal physiological changes of aging, can make it difficult for older adults to endure high temperatures. There are a number of ways to avoid any issues and awareness is the first step, so we would like to share these tips:
According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, caregivers who don’t receive support from employers experience a negative impact on their careers. The Alliance’s MetLife Study of Caregiving reports that caregivers who leave work lose an average of $304,000 in benefits and wages over their lifetime.