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Neil Appleby

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How To Communicate With A Loved One With Alzheimer's Who Can't Communicate

Posted by Neil Appleby on Oct 9, 2019 8:00:00 AM

 

 

Following the meandering path of Alzheimer’s disease is remarkably challenging not just for the patient but also for you, the loved ones.

It’s crucial to unravel and cope with a range of symptoms as they present. You’ll need the utmost patience as you deal with a person who seems to be entering a different phase of life.

 

As the illness worsens and symptoms shift from mild to severe, the disease then enters the later or end stage.

 

Caregivers are instructed to apply different strategies to keep up with the patient’s uncontrollable mood swings, wearing behavior, extreme memory and cognitive function loss, and the inability to comprehend adequately or communicate clearly.

 

Communicating is central if you want to find out what the patient is feeling and how best to help them.

 

But how can you manage that when the patient has seemingly lost the ability to converse entirely?

 

Well, to help you with that, we’ve assembled some handy pointers to help you to engage with your loved one with Alzheimer's, even if they can no longer communicate.

 

Watch Your Loved One’s Behavior Closely

An older couple sitting on a bench and over looking the mountains. The wife is enjoying time with her husband who has alzheimers

Keep a close eye on all aspects of your loved one’s behavior. Note any details that change, however negligible they might seem.

 

Try to internalize and put yourself in their shoes. Think how you would feel if you completely forgot things and couldn’t conjure up the basic words you needed to communicate.

 

This way, you can better start to empathize with their condition

 

Use Memory Aids Scattered Around The House

Make a record of reminders of things your loved one needs to do.

 

Place Post-It Notes in the places your elderly relative needs to do things. Leave medication reminders in the bedroom and prompts for food in the kitchen.

 

Personalize things so it works for you and your loved one. When memory fails, reminders are valuable.

 

Encourage Your Loved One To Use a Diary

Give your loved one a diary so they can write down events that transpire throughout the day.

This will demonstrate how well they are able to remember things and to record their experience.

 

Even if your loved one finds that words are starting to fail them, encourage them to communicate however they can. Simple vocabulary is fine and drawing also works when words won’t come to mind.

 

Prep For The Day With Your Loved One

If it’s practical, get together with your loved one in the morning and review what needs to be done that day.

 

Combining this approach with physical reminders can reinforce through repetition and help your aging relative to remain independent even if their memory is starting to fail.

 

Always Listen When Your Loved One Wants To Talk About Their Condition

An older woman with alzheimers being kissed on the cheek by her husband

Even if you’re finding things are tough for yourself, try to always have a ready ear and comforting words when your loved one wants to talk about their condition.

 

Spend as much time with them as you can. Stay and focus purely on listening.

 

Be sympathetic without being patronizing. This can be a precious release valve for your loved one so allow them to use it.

 

Don’t Waste Your Time Contradicting Seemingly Illogical Statements

Never contradict anything or needlessly argue with your afflicted loved one. You’ll end up squandering energy and accomplish very little.

 

People with Alzheimer’s might believe that all they say and do is right at time so it’s best to roll with the punches.

 

Avoid Drawing Attention To Your Loved One’s Condition

While you should always be ready to listen if your loved one wants to talk about Alzheimer’s, it’s not sound practice to draw attention to their ailing memory and flagging communication skills.

 

Leave the ball in their court and try to continue with life as naturally as possible rather than dwelling on the condition.

 

Embrace Color And Number Coding

Use color and number coding for everything.

 

You could use number 1 for the bathroom and the color blue for things required (shampoo, soap, toilet paper).

 

This is a simple way to prompt your loved one’s memory without needing to rely on constant communication.

 

Use Old Video Footage

VHS tapes. Individuals with alzheimers can watch videos as a passtime

If you’ve got old videos or photos, make full use of these to give your loved one’s memory a workout. See if any faces prove familiar.

 

Remind and Reinforce

Repetition is a powerful tool when you’re looking to stretch your loved one’s ailing memory.

 

Continuously ask them about the same things every day and if they fail to respond or they don’t remember, courteously remind them the following day.

 

Be Tactile

Communication can be about more than words.

 

Don’t overlook the importance of touching and actions when it comes to communication.

 

Never Lose Your Patience

While arguably the cardinal rule, it can be tough not to lose your patience. Nevertheless, you should always refrain from snapping or becoming tetchy if your loved one forgets to take their medication yet again.

 

Remember That Alzheimer’s Impairs Logical Reasoning

Two older men sitting outside and talking. Enjoying conversation is important when your loved one has alzheimers

Logical reasoning is impaired in people suffering from Alzheimer’s so if you see your loved one suddenly do something completely out of character and seemingly without reason, don’t try to stop them or berate them.

 

Focus Fully On The Past When Your Loved One Talks

Give your loved one your undivided attention when they talk about their past.

 

If they make reference to the whereabouts of a friend or family member who has passed, it can be better to conceal the truth from them. For example, saying they can’t visit right now is better than making them feel bad to have forgotten something so important.

 

What To Do Next

Always keep in mind it’s the disease not the person that is causing the person to act and talk the way they often do under the influence of Alzheimer’s.

 

Be as patient as you possibly can be and never hold back on seeking help. Here at our assisted living facility in Beverly, we can help with all aspects of senior care. One of our most popular services at Landmark Recovery is our memory care service. This can help significantly when someone is suffering from Alzheimer’s. Get in touch today and arrange a complimentary tour of our facilities.

 

Learn More Here!

 

Topics: Alzheimers

How To Cope When A Parent Is Diagnosed With Alzheimer's

Posted by Neil Appleby on Oct 3, 2019 8:00:00 AM

 

Alzheimer’s is a chronic, progressive disease that causes brain cells to degenerate and die off.

 

The disease was first described in 1906 by Dr. Alois Alzheimer, a German psychiatrist after a patient died of a mysterious mental illness involving severe cognitive impairment and memory loss.

 

There’s no cure for Alzheimer’s although an early diagnosis can extend life expectancy from the average 3 to 10 years following diagnosis to 20 years or more.

 

Where no treatment stops or reverses the progression of Alzheimer’s and there are fully 30 million cases of this neurodegenerative disease worldwide, what do you if you find one of your parents is diagnosed with AD?

 

Before anything else, take the time to familiarize yourself with the stages of this progressive disease. Knowing what to expect and when can makes things marginally easier for you.

 

Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease

An older man with early stage alzheimers disease sitting at the table reading the newspaper

In the pre-dementia stage of the disease, symptoms such as memory loss are often chalked up to the natural aging process or perhaps stress.

 

Although short-term memory loss is one of the most common symptoms, a range of other cognitive problems can manifest. Depressive symptoms are also routine.

 

Early Stage

Known as the mild Alzheimer’s stage, the patient might still be able to live independently, drive and maintain their lifestyle even though the disease is starting to take effect.

 

Daily routines might not be impacted at the early stage of this disease.

 

As AD progresses, the patient will require increasing supervision for any tasks that are cognitively demanding.

 

At this stage, it’s all about making things easier on your loved one and ensuring their life stays as uninterrupted as possible.

 

Middle Stage

During the moderate Alzheimer’s stage, the illness is slowly progressing and major damage to the brain cells is already underway.

 

The patient may show increased episodes of confusion and memory lapses such as forgetting how to tie shoelaces or how to use the remote control.

 

They may be unable to control urinary and bowel movements.

 

Sleep patterns start to become disturbed.

 

Some people might wander off and get lost outside even if they know the area and how to get home.

 

At this middle stage, the progressive nature of the disease starts rendering many everyday activities problematic.

 

It’s commonplace at this stage to move the patient from home care to other long-term care options.

 

Late Stage

This is called the severe Alzheimer’s stage.

 

Memory and cognitive function of the patient continues to deteriorate.

 

Communication is awkward and will degenerate further to the point of total speech loss.

 

Patients become unable to perform simple tasks independently while becoming increasingly vulnerable to pneumonia and other infections. The patient becomes almost entirely dependent on the caregiver at this latter stage of AD.

 

Okay…

 

With that overarching timeline in place, what can you do to cope better if one of your parents is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease?

 

10 Ways to Cope When a Parent is Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease

A woman standing next to her mother in a wheelchair who has alzheimers disease.

While the above overview of Alzheimer’s might remove some surprise from the equation, you’ll still need some help if your parent is diagnosed with this disease.

 

We’ll walk you through 10 ways to stay on track while improving the quality of their life:

 

  1. Get Your Parent Involved In Numerous Activities
  2. Educate Yourself About Alzheimer’s
  3. Make Sure There’s Around-the-Clock Care
  4. Become the Pillar of Strength
  5. Keep Conversation Amped Up
  6. Pack Plenty of Patience
  7. Help Your Parent Stay Social
  8. Join Support Groups
  9. Keep Dangerous Things Away
  10. Consider Assisted Living

 

1) Get Your Parent Involved In Numerous Activities

Try to increase the range of activities your parents is involved with. Keeping the brain active can stave off some of the ravages of AD.

 

From crossword puzzles at home, a game of bingo outside, using a computer or tablet, reading or even watching movies, staying mentally active is key.

 

Sometimes, this can be an opportunity to start up a new activity with your parent in order to spend more time together. You can turn a negative into a positive.

 

Bottom line: keep your loved one stimulated and active. This will slow down the insidious progress of Alzheimer’s.

 

2) Educate Yourself About Alzheimer’s

A woman learning about alzheimers disease

The more you know about the nature of Alzheimer’s disease and what to expect, the more effectively you’ll be able to help your parent manage it.

 

By becoming fully aware of all symptoms you can expect, you’ll remain much more able to spot these and act on them.

 

There’s a wealth of information available online about Alzheimer’s. As always when you’re researching anything medically-related, only use trustworthy sources.

 

You can also find plenty of help offline so whatever your preferred method, learn as much as you can about the disease.

 

3) Make Sure There’s Around-the-Clock Care

As the disease progresses, your parent will need ongoing and around-the-clock care.

 

A private nurse or caregiver of some form will become essential so make provisions for this.

 

Until that day comes, do the best you can to rally round as a family. Taking turns to care for your parent can lighten the load from any one individual while providing your parent with a rich and varied caring diet.

 

4) Become the Pillar of Strength

A little boy showing someone how to be strong after learning they have alzheimers disease

Having someone in the family with Alzheimer’s disease, especially if it’s a parent, can be a very depressing situation.

 

You might have been used to both of your parents being the pillars of strength supporting the entire household. Unfortunately, things can change. You need to step into a new role and become stronger to help your affected parent along with your siblings.

 

This can be one of the most challenging aspects of dealing with Alzheimer’s as you watch your parent descend from that role of strength into one of dependence and weakness.

 

Be strong, accept that life is always moving forward and do your best to assume that position of strength.

 

5) Keep Conversation Amped Up

In order to slow down the progression of speaking functions and memory loss, your parent should always have somebody to talk to.

 

Continually engage them with conversation about everyday events, the past and more abstract topics. As you do, you’ll not only stimulate them but you can also assess their ability to remember details. Pay particular attention to their recall of newer information.

 

You should speak without distraction from the TV, computer, music or any other gadgets.

 

Focus on talking and you can again spend some fruitful time with your aging parent while keeping them mentally fired up.

 

6) Pack Plenty of Patience

A woman trying to stay calm and patient. Patience can be tested as a caregiver for someone with alzheimers disease.

Living or caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s is tough and you’ll certainly need a whole lot of patience at times.

 

As the disease progresses, your parent will exhibit more forgetfulness not just with people, names and memories but also with how to use things. In time, they will lose the ability to eat and walk, they might develop depression and potentially become bed ridden.

 

From the pre-dementia stages right on through, try to take a step back when you’re dealing with your parent. Keep in mind how patient they have been with you over a lifetime.

 

As the disease progresses, you’ll see your parent become less and less independent so stick with them and try not to snap when things get frustrating.

 

7) Help Your Parent Stay Social

Alzheimer’s disease is a debilitating illness that will cause your affected parent to lose all cognitive abilities and memory over time

 

Letting the patient deal with the condition alone can hasten its progression.

 

Whatever your parent likes doing, chances are there’s a club for it.

 

From embracing favorite past activities to seeking new interests, the more you can encourage your parent to mix with others, the better.

 

8) Join Support Groups

Members of an alzheimers disease support group meeting

Joining organizations and foundations that support the cause for Alzheimer’s disease can be uplifting as you will be surrounded by people in the same situation. Understanding will be uppermost.

 

These groups can help your family and your parent too in dealing with the illness and it’s a great chance to bond and socialize at the same time.

 

9) Keep Dangerous Things Away

Looking after people with Alzheimer’s disease can feel like watching over a toddler who is just starting to walk and touch everything he can grab hold of.

 

During the severe stage when the patient is starting to forget about things and their uses, leaving dangerous items like knives, match sticks, sharp and pointed objects around can be dangerous.

 

Take the same kind of precautions as you would with children and you’ll be perfectly fine.

 

10) Consider Assisted Living

There is likely to come a time when assisted living might become the best option.

 

Get in touch any time and we’ll be happy to help you with more information relevant to helping a parent with Alzheimer’s.

 

Learn More Here!

 

Topics: Alzheimers

How To Move Your Loved One Into A Memory Care Facility

Posted by Neil Appleby on Sep 26, 2019 8:00:00 AM

 

If the extent of the memory problems your loved one is suffering from calls for a move to a memory care facility, this is obviously a distressing time for everyone. 

 

However distressing it might be, if there’s any risk of your elderly relative falling, wandering off or generally coming to harm, a residential facility is often the only safe, viable option.

Before we outline 6 ways to move your loved one into a memory care facility the easy way, why should you consider this type of set-up in the first place?

 

Why Choose Memory Care?

A woman talking to her mother about memory care

While regular senior communities and assisted living make a wonderful solution for many circumstances, when your loved one is suffering from Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, a regular facility falls short of the mark.

If your loved one has a tendency to wander off, the security at a standard senior community is not designed to keep people in. The same goes for activities which are not designed to cater for the needs of someone troubled by cognitive issues.

Both of these flash points are neutralized with memory care since its entire purpose is to support the specialized requirements of those with degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s.

Beyond this, the color-coded layouts and personalized activities will be much more in line with those struggling with memory.

So, assuming that memory care makes the best fit for your relative and you’re committed to making the move, how can you make this tough time just a little bit easier?

We’ll give some handy pointers right now to do just that…

 

6 Ways To Ease The Transition to Memory Care

An older couple talking about a memory care facility

  1. Open Lines of Communication Early
  2. Visit The Facility Several Times Before Moving Day
  3. Try to Keep Your Loved One Away From The Chaos of Moving
  4. Make The New Environment as Homely as Possible
  5. Take Full Advantage of Transition Programs and Counseling Services
  6. Keep In Close Contact With Caregiving Staff

 

1) Open Lines of Communication Early

You should try formulating a plan for long-term memory care as soon as you can after a loved one is diagnosed with dementia. It’s only a matter of time before that inevitable day comes so you might as well set the ball rolling and get properly prepared.

If your parent or loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, involving them in the process of choosing a suitable community will maximize the chance of it being a great fit.

While this advice holds good in the immediate stages after diagnosis, how about if your relative is in the mid to latter stages of dementia?

In this case, you risk upsetting your loved one if you involve them in the move. You might be better off here taking care of as much of the logistics as you can yourself so as not to rattle your parent.

 

2) Visit The Facility Several Times Before Moving Day

If a move to memory care is now just a matter of time and you’ve chosen the best facility, you should take the opportunity to visit a few times in the lead-up to moving day.

This is a great way to ease your loved one in gently and to make the transition to residential care smoother when that day rolls around.

From meeting staff and residents to scoping out the activities, each time you visit the facility with your relative, the more comfortable and familiar they’ll find it.

When moving day comes, your loved one will already be comfortable heading to the facility and you should find they benefits strongly from this.

And as far as moving goes, you can do your part here, too…

 

3) Try to Keep Your Loved One Away From The Chaos of Moving

While it might well be vital to get your loved one involved in the process of decluttering and stripping down possessions, keep them away from the nuts and bolts of moving.

Whether you need to enlist help from friends and family or you consider it’s worth paying for professional help, ensure your relative doesn’t need to worry about getting from A to B with everything intact.

Think about leaving one family member to take your parent out to do something special while the physical move takes place. Make it as easy as you can on them at this rough time.

Once you’re fully installed, you can help greatly at this stage, too…

 

4) Make The New Environment as Homely as Possible

Make sure you’ve given plenty of thought in advance to setting up your loved one’s room.

The key goal is to make things seem like a home from home. Make certain that mementos, photographs and furnishings all come together to make your relative like this is an environment they could settle into and feel at home in.

Rather than buying lots of new stuff to fill the room with, focus instead on the old. Familiarity is just what your loved one needs at this new and exciting but frightening stage of life.

 

5) Take Full Advantage of Transition Programs and Counseling Services

As well as moving physically, your loved one will be coping with huge emotional changes.

Having accepted that they need help with day-to-day activities and surrendered their independence for the help they need around-the-clock, it’s only natural your parent will be feeling all at sea emotionally.

There are plenty of counseling services and transition programs in place that can give some support to all the family when it’s most needed.

 

6) Keep In Close Contact With Caregiving Staff

During the process of moving your loved one, make it your business to communicate with the caregiving staff.

Establish how you can contact them if required and try to build a relationship with staff early on. The better you get on with these caregivers, the more seamless your loved one’s experience will be.

Take the time at the beginning and you’ll find this is the gift that keeps on giving.

 

Next Steps

Whatever aspect of assisted living in New Mexico you might need help with, get in touch with our team here at Landmark Senior Living.

If you’d like any further help with finding an appropriate memory care facility, contact us today.

 

Learn More Here!

 

Topics: Memory Care

Understanding Medicare: What Services Does It Cover?

Posted by Neil Appleby on Sep 25, 2019 8:00:00 AM

 

When you reach the age of 65, you become eligible to enroll in Medicare.


Trying to navigate the enrollment process can be tricky, though. What’s even more difficult to understand are all the different components of Medicare. Trying to determine which parts are necessary for your long term health can be complicated and we hope to help you gain a better understanding of this today.

So, we’ll cover some basics about the Medicare program, we’ll recap the various different elements of Medicare and we’ll also discuss some services that are covered.

Firstly, a basic definition of Medicare…

 

What Is Medicare?

An older man thinking about medicare

In the United States, once a citizen reaches a certain age, they are eligible to enroll in Medicare.

This program is a national health insurance program for US citizens and qualifying permanent legal residents.

While generally reserved for those over the age of 65, Medicare can also be used by younger people in certain situations. With proof of two years’ worth of Social Security disability payments, disabled people also qualify for the most common parts of Medicare.

There are many different Medicare plans available so it can be hard to figure out which plan is the best for your situation.

We’ll dive a little deeper into that right now…

 

4 Parts Of Medicare

The number four. There are four parts of medicare

The Medicare program consists of 4 separate parts.

Part A and Part B are considered the original Medicare program although things have been further split apart in recent years.

Generally, all enrollees are entered into Medicare Parts A and B with Parts C and D being optional.

If this seems immediately confusing, we aim to clear things up for you!

 

What’s Covered By Part A – Inpatient Hospital Services

A doctor in an inpatient hospital who can help individuals with medicare.

Medicare’s Part A covers costs associated with inpatient hospital care, care in a nursing home, home health care, care in a skilled nursing facility, and in home hospice care.

This isn’t quite as straightforward as it seems, though. While Medicare Part A covers things like in-home hospice care, it won’t cover long-term care in a hospice facility.

Beyond this, Medicare Part A doesn’t cover emergency room visits and is limited to inpatient hospital care. To establish whether your stay is covered, you’ll need to know if treatment is inpatient or outpatient.

If you are seen at the hospital and receive x-rays, outpatient surgery, laboratory tests or emergency services, all of this care is deemed outpatient and not covered by Medicare Part A unless you are admitted to the hospital formally by doctor’s order.

Inpatient care begins when you are admitted to the hospital on the orders of a doctor. If you are receiving these services while inpatient, they will be covered.

 

Costs Associated With Medicare Part A

While Medicare Part A is cost-free for some, others have to pay monthly premiums for care as well as deductibles and co-pays.

The amount you will be expected to pay depends largely on your income.

 

Part B – Doctors and Diagnostics

A doctor who can treat individuals who are covered by medicare.

Medicare’s Part B helps cover the costs associated with medical testing and other outpatient services provided to you.

Where Medicare Part A covers only inpatient care, Medicare Part B covers the testing and checkups that comprise preventative healthcare.

Some of the services provided under Part B of Medicare include:

  • Ambulance services
  • Care in the Emergency Room
  • Screenings for diabetes and cancer
  • Vaccinations for flu, hepatitis etc
  • Some medical equipment

 

Costs Associated With Medicare Part B

Generally, those covered under Medicare Part A need to buy into coverage with Medicare Part B. Ensuring that both inpatient and outpatient care is covered is important so both programs are necessary.

Medicare Part B charges a monthly premium with the amount you will pay depending on your income.

Usually, if your doctor accepts Medicare, you won’t need to pay anything extra for services provided (as long as they are approved). However, if the service you need is not one that Medicare covers, you will need to pay for it yourself.

Some doctors refuse to accept Medicare and insist upon payment before providing care. You can file a claim to try to recoup a portion of the cost but this takes time.

 

Part C – Medicare Advantage

An individual getting an eye exam with their medicare advantage.

Medicare Part C is a supplemental program that allows you to receive additional care for an additional cost.

Working to fill in the service gaps left by Medicare Parts A and B, Medicare Part C is a private insurance plan.

These plans must be approved by Medicare.

If you want to enroll in Medicare Part C, you must also be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B.

When using Medicare Part C, you can expect more services to be covered including:

  • Vision coverage (exams and lenses)
  • Prescription drug coverage
  • Dental Care (preventative and certain treatments)
  • Hearing Care (exams and hearing aids)

 

Medicare Part C covers everything that is covered under Medicare Parts A and B.

Part C also pulls in the prescription coverage from Part D. Medicare Part C is similar to HMO healthcare plans.

 

Costs Associated With Medicare Part C

The costs of Medicare Part C are greatly variable depending on what services are covered as well as your location.

There are usually monthly premium payments and sometimes there are deductibles and co-payments that must be met, too.

You must use doctors and services within the network or you will have to pay for the care you receive.

 

Part D - Prescriptions

An individual getting prescriptions through their Medicare Part D plan.

Medicare Part D is available as a standalone prescription drug insurance program.

Coverage under Medicare Part D is administered by private insurance companies just like Part C.

If you have a prescription drug coverage plan from another source, you can continue to use it. However, if you have no coverage for prescriptions, you are required to use Medicare Part D.

 

Costs Associated With Medicare Part D

Depending on the plan you choose and your service area, your costs will vary.

You can expect to pay a premium depending on income and yearly deductibles that must be met before coverage with Medicare Part D kicks in.

 

Recap

So, there you have it. There are 4 different parts to Medicare, and they each cover different services:

  • Medicare Part A covers inpatient care
  • Medicare Part B covers outpatient care
  • Medicare Part C is a combination of Medicare Parts A, B, and D and is administered by private companies
  • Medicare Part D provides coverage for prescription drugs

 

All parts of Medicare require a premium depending on your income and you can expect that there will be co-pays and deductibles associated with your care, too.

Navigating Medicare can be tricky but hopefully today’s quick guide helped!

For more information about Medicare or any aspect of senior living in Hobbs New Mexico get in touch with us here at Landmark Senior Living.

 

Learn More Here!

 

Topics: Senior Tips

The Benefits of Moving to an Assisted Living Facility

Posted by Neil Appleby on Sep 18, 2019 8:00:00 AM

 

If you’re wondering whether it might be time to consider moving into an assisted living facility, what can you expect to find?

 

Well, once you’re done decluttering your home and you’re ready to make a move, you can expect help when you need it and independence the rest of the time.

 

Around The Clock Care

A green clock. At assisted living facilities, there is around the clock care when it is needed

The key selling benefit of assisted living is undoubtedly the 24/7 care, both professional and compassionate.

One of the leading reasons for anyone considering an assisted living facility is the help available with a range of daily living tasks. If you need help with dressing, bathing, general hygiene and assistance with medication, you’ll have all that on hand when you need it.

There will also always be someone ready to help if you take a tumble or suffer from any other kind of mishap.

You might very well still be fairly independent and able to go out on a regular basis but struggle to cook for yourself and eat well. That’s all taken care of in a residential facility so you can stay strong and healthy.

What else stands out about this type of living arrangement for seniors, then?

 

Transportation on Tap

Maybe you’ve already decided it’s time to quit driving. While that might solve some problems, it creates others, specifically a loss of independence.

With an assisted living facility, you’ll have access to safe and dependable transportation for all your daily needs. Whether you want to go shopping, collect some medication, go to the doctor or even dinner, transportation will be provided.

Even if you are still able to drive, the costs of running a car you use can make it less than viable. Take advantage of the community transport instead and make a more social occasion of your outing while also spending less.

 

Eliminate Social Isolation

Three older friends walking around outside of their assisted living facility

Seniors living alone can frequently experience numbing isolation. It can seem like everyone is too busy to visit or help them.

A serious benefit of assisted living facilities is the way you’ve got a community ready-made. With an infrastructure already in place, you’ll be spoiled for choice with activities and outings. You’ll have extensive opportunities to meet a range of new people. Make sure to take the time to find those with similar interests.

Staying mentally active and socializing can also help to keep Alzheimer’s and other cognitive diseases at bay.

 

Benefit from More Free Time in an Assisted Living Facility

As you advance in years, you can be left questioning why you have so little spare time now that you’re retired.

With assisted living, you’ll soon notice a whole lot more time on your hands, but why is that?

Well, you won’t need to concern yourself with regular cleaning, yard work, or maintenance. All day-to-day tasks will be taken care of leaving you to do more of what you want and less of what you don’t.

Depending on what facility you choose, you might be able to enjoy a suite of housekeeping services, too.

 

Get The Help You Need Without Losing Privacy

A caregiver with a resident at an assisted living facility watching the sunset outside

If you thought you’d need to sacrifice your privacy to achieve some of the benefits we’ve been talking about here, you’re wrong.

You’ll enjoy independence when you need it. An example of this is an I’m Okay program. Aside from three daily safety checks, you’ll be left to your own devices but completely safeguarded.

With private personal services and a private room, you’ll feel like you’re at home rather than in a care facility. Despite this, all the help you need is right there whenever you need it for the double-win.

 

Streamline Expenses with a Single Monthly Fee

Now, we won’t attempt to suggest assisted living is cheap. It isn’t. When you consider the amount of professional and emotional support you’ll be getting around the clock, you wouldn’t expect it to be cheap.

The thing is, living isn’t cheap, period. When you aggregate all the expenses involved in running a house, the bottom line is eye-watering.

So, with assisted living, you can benefit from a simple and single monthly payment. This alone frees up a great deal of time and saves you the stress of paying bills. And, when you take into account elements like not needing to run a car either, you might find assisted living is more affordable than you’d first imagined.

 

Gain From Moving Preemptively When You’re Still Healthy

A moving van. Moving to an assisted living facility is important when you are in good health.

If you put off making a move into residential care of some kind until you’re feeling unwell physically or mentally, you’re likely to run into problems. Making decisions about this kind of thing when you’re ill is inadvisable. This becomes compounded if you have a house sale to consider, so what should you do?

One option is to consider making a move into an assisted living facility before you actually need to. Once it gets to the stage where you need help with daily activities but you’re still mobile and you’re semi independent, this is a good time to start aggressively exploring your options.

We’re not talking about making a move before it’s necessary but instead, preparing yourself so you’re ready to shift when that time comes.

 

Experience Regularly Scheduled Activities

Having a broad selection of activities at your disposal will keep you entertained while also giving you a chance for some company and exercise.

When you’re looking at various assisted living facilities, you should focus on what amenities they offer within the facility and what outside activities are catered for.

From regular shopping trips, outings to sports games, or even walks outside, you’ll find yourself bombarded with plenty to do.

 

Final Word

If you feel it might be time to investigate an assisted living facility, Landmark Senior Living has a wide range of services well worth exploring so contact us for more information any time.

 

Learn More Here!

 

Topics: Assisted Living

How To Declutter A Home

Posted by Neil Appleby on Sep 3, 2019 2:31:06 PM

 

Today, we’ll give you some actionable tips on how to declutter a home the easy way.

As you go through life, you accumulate so many things like decorations for the various holidays, dusty old kids’ toys, boxes and albums packed with pictures, drawings and gifts from children and grandchildren, clothes that have gone out of style and much, much more.

Many of these items carry great sentimental value and they combine to create a lifetime of memories. This can be extremely difficult to let go of.

However, as you age, there’s an increased need to declutter and release a lot of these surplus belongings. Not only do all these objects eat up valuable real estate in your home as they become an eyesore, too much clutter can eventually become a safety hazard.

Today we’ll touch on why you need to declutter your home then show you how to accomplish this overpowering task in manageable chunks.

 

Clutter Is Problematic

A messy closet. It is important to know how to declutter a home before moving to an assisted living facility

If you’re overwhelmed by clutter, you are certainly not alone.

With 300,000 items in the average Americans home, it’s not surprising that, according to the National Association of Professional Organizers, that Americans lose an entire year of their lives looking for things lost in all that clutter.

Having boxes and bins of things stacked around the house can create a hazardous environment for you to maneuver around as well. Excessive clutter easily becomes a trip hazard, especially dangerous as you advance in years.

Even when you’re young and sprightly, it’s easy to lose important things among the mess. This is only exacerbated with time and memory loss. Don’t squander that year of your life looking for things!

Last but not least, look to the future and know that your family will have to go through all of these items when you pass. This process can compound grief and make things more difficult for your loved ones. Save them at least one job and get rid of unnecessary possessions.

Clutter creates many problems for you, then.

The good news is that you can strike now and take immediate action to start reclaiming your home from clutter.

 

How To Declutter a Home

A cluttered kitchen. Many might be wondering how to declutter a home

The main reason for most people putting off decluttering is because it seems like such a monumental task.

With a lifetime's worth of memories scattered around a home, it’s certainly a substantial undertaking but you can get this done bit by bit. Use the little and often approach to start attacking surplus belongings rather than viewing it is one unmanageable task.

 

Preparation

Start by setting aside some swathes of time to accomplish this task. As a rule of thumb, set aside anywhere from a day to a weekend per room you need to declutter.

Don’t expect to get everything done at once and look at this as a project that might last a few weeks but will only need doing once.

Gather the following supplies:

  • Trash bags
  • Boxes
  • Markers
  • Tape
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Paper towels
  • Broom
  • Vacuum

 

As you go through your belongings, you’ll want to sort them into different categories.

To make this easier, you can assemble a few of your boxes and label them with:

  • Keep
  • Sell
  • Donate
  • Trash

 

The Process of Decluttering

Go through every single item in the room including closets, drawers, cabinets, under the beds, and any other hidden storage places.

Consider each item and determine quickly which box it needs to be popped into. Having these choices already made and the boxes in place makes the process quicker and easier.

If the item you are considering is something that hasn’t been worn or used in over a year, it probably isn’t going to get used again. It’s certainly not an essential.

If you’re unsure about anything, temporarily place it in the box labeled keep as a holding bay until you decide whether to keep it or pass it on.

 

Inject Some Fun Into Proceedings

Rather than looking at this like an arduous task with a timer ticking, relax and enjoy it.

Put on some of your favorite music.

Decluttering might not be the most stimulating job but if you allow yourself to be transported back in time by the memories, you can have an enjoyable day reminiscing.

An inbuilt advantage of decluttering is that you often bring things to light you’d either misplaced or forgotten about completely.

If you really don’t like the idea of decluttering and you’re struggling for discipline, give yourself a reward once the room is finished or at the end of the day. Maybe an ice cream sundae or a fun dinner out?

 

Get Assistance If Required

Don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it, especially if you’ve got adult children.

Your children might enjoy going through things with you, reminiscing and laughing over photos and things.

Maybe they’ll even claim some of the items you’ve destined for sale or donation!

 

Challenges To Expect

As you sort through all of your belongings, you’re sure to come across certain things that will present a challenge to you and your endeavors. Decluttering can be difficult for many reasons and you need to know when it’s okay to let something go.

Many of the things we have held on to through the years have great meaning to us. An unattractive picture frame might bring back vivid memories of a favorite aunt. A misshapen vase might have been a wedding gift. A blanket might have come from a dear friend who passed away.

It’s quite understandable that we become attached to these things and that they can be tough to part with. As you age, you should consider how best to use the space you have and to determine what’s truly worth holding on to.

Aside from sentimental items, there are many other things we tend to collect without any real purpose.

Hearing aids and glasses sit in drawers unused. We hold on to them because they cost us a lot of money and they were once necessary but they do no good sitting in a drawer. Find somewhere to donate the old glasses and recycle the rest of the items. Be sure to keep your most recent pair of glasses in case of emergency, though.

Inherited items are another sticky subject. When people we love pass away and we inherit items that belonged to them, it can feel like we have inherited a part of them. It can be difficult to accept, but sometimes those inherited items do not need to be kept. If you have inherited items sitting around that aren’t being used, you should seriously consider donating them so that they are no longer collecting dust. The memory of your friend or family member would be better served if someone got use out of the item.

Old paperwork can be another thing that’s difficult to know how to handle. Tax records and other legal documents must be kept for a period of time. Of course, you also need to keep your personal documents like birth, death, and marriage certificates. Not every piece of paper is important, so you should go through paperwork as well. Use a shredder to dispose of documents if you’re concerned about security.

 

What To Do Next

Sorting through a lifetime worth of belongings and memories is not an easy task, but it’s one that should be taken on with relish, especially if you are moving into an assisted living facility in New Mexico.

Most people feel much better after they declutter and most never even miss the things they have parted with.

Lighten your load and let go of what you no longer need with a clear conscience when you declutter a home.

 

Learn More Here!

 

Topics: Senior Tips

The Pros & Cons Of Cataract Surgery

Posted by Neil Appleby on Aug 28, 2019 11:00:00 AM

 

Many people over the age of 60 live with the reality of cataracts and cataract surgery.

Cataracts is an eye condition that brings about cloudy or blurry vision which can be extremely uncomfortable.

Thankfully, cataracts can be treated by an eye doctor.

 

Why Do People Get Cataracts?

A man sitting and reading about the pros and cons of cataract surgery

As time passes, protein builds up on the lens of your eye. This makes vision cloudy and prevents light from passing through as intended.

If left untreated, cataracts can result in loss of vision.

There are a few things that can cause someone to develop cataracts including heavy drinking, smoking or any of the following factors:

  • Age – The most common cause of cataracts is age. The proteins simply build up over time, and cause problems for seniors.
  • Secondary Causes – When someone has diabetes or other medical conditions potentially harmful to the eyes, a common result is the onset of cataracts. Secondary cataracts can also be caused by overexposure to UV light, toxic substances, radiation or certain medications.
  • Congenital – Sometimes babies are born with cataracts that were caused by poor development, infection or injury while in utero.
  • Trauma – An injury to the eye can result in the sudden development of cataracts.

     

How Are Cataracts Diagnosed?

If you feel as though you might have cataracts, look out for some of the following signs and symptoms and then speak to your eye doctor about your concerns.

Symptoms to look out for include:

  • Blurry, cloudy, or foggy vision
  • Differences in how you see color
  • Difficulty with glare from lights while driving at night
  • Seeing glare during the day
  • Becoming nearsighted
  • Double vision
  • Glasses and contacts that don’t seem to help your vision

 

When you discuss these issues with your eye doctor, they can perform an exam to establish whether the cause of your eye problems might be cataracts.

Be prepared to have your eyes dilated so your eye doctor can examine your whole eye.

 

Treatment For Cataracts

An individual getting their eyes checked for cataract surgery

Generally, eye doctors prefer to begin treatment with the least invasive options available. After examining your eyes, if cataracts are diagnosed, your eye doctor will determine the best course of action for treatment.

Sometimes the symptoms associated with cataracts can be treated with glasses or contacts. If this is the case for you, your eye doctor will give you a prescription to help. Many people experience relief from cataracts in this way.

If your situation cannot be treated with glasses or contacts, your eye doctor might inform you that your best course of action is to have cataract surgery. Sometimes it might be necessary to get cataract surgery even if the cataracts are not bothering you. Cataracts can escalate rapidly creating more problems for your vision.

 

What Is Cataract Surgery?

Cataract surgery is usually done in-office as outpatient surgery.

This means you will be in and out then straight back home with no need for an overnight stay.

During the surgery, you’ll remain awake. Your eye doctor will numb your eye to ensure you don’t feel any pain. If necessary, they’ll give you medication to help you relax.

Cataract surgery typically takes around an hour to perform. To correct your cataracts, your eye doctor will create a small incision in the front of your eye, in your cornea. A tiny tool will be inserted in to this cut, and ultrasound waves will be used to break the cataract into pieces. Once it’s broken down, your eye doctor will suction the pieces out of your eye.

Your eye doctor will then insert a new lens into your eye. These artificial lenses are made from silicone, plastic or acrylic. Once the lens is inserted, the incision will be closed and you’ll be free to go.

 

Types Of Lenses

An individual holding glasses above an eye exam to see if they need cataract surgery

During cataract surgery, your eye doctor will place a new lens in your eye. These lenses help you to regain some of your vision lost to the cataracts. You won’t be able to see the lens in the mirror or feel it in your eye. Over time, it’s absorbed and becomes a part of your eye.

There are a few different types of lenses your eye doctor can choose from and they can benefit your vision in different ways…

  • Monofocal lenses have a single focus strength. These lenses can be fixed or they can be accommodating. The accommodating lenses can adjust themselves to different focuses by responding to the movement of your eye muscles.
  • Multifocal lenses have different areas of focus, much like bifocals. You can focus in different areas of the lens in order to see both near and far.
  • Toric lenses can be used to correct severe astigmatism of the eye allowing you to see more clearly.

     

What Are The Benefits Of Cataract Surgery?

Cataract surgery is generally successful with over 95% of those who have had cataract surgery reporting an improvement in vision.

Since you will be looking through a clear lens for the first time in a while, things might appear jarring at first.

You can expect some slight pain and mild discomfort as well as general itching for a few days.

Healing from cataract surgery is quick and easy, though.

 

Are There Risks Associated With Cataract Surgery?

A man reading about the risks of cataract surgery in a book

As with any medical procedure, there are some risks associated with having surgery done to remove cataracts.

Thankfully, these complications are extremely rare but you should know what they are.

Risks include:

  • Swelling
  • Bleeding
  • Retinal Detachment
  • Infection
  • Glaucoma
  • Vision Loss
  • Dislocation of Artificial Lens
  • Secondary Cataract

     

Preparing For Cataract Surgery

Your eye doctor will probably suggest you do certain things in order to prepare for your cataract surgery.

Your doctor might tell you to temporarily stop taking certain medications. If you’re taking blood thinners or medication for prostate problems, your doctor needs to know. Be sure to tell your eye doctor every medication you are on for safety’s sake.

Most eye doctors will prescribe antibiotic eye drops for use a few days before the surgery. These are used to help reduce the risk of infection.

 

Recovering After Cataract Surgery

An older man relaxing outside on a bench a few days after cataract surgery

Your eye doctor will probably have you wear an eye patch for a few days to protect your new lenses and your eyes.

You will likely experience itchiness and discomfort for a few days. At the end of the week, you can expect clearer vision and brighter colors all around.

Healing completely from cataract surgery generally takes around 2 months.

 

So, Is It Worth It?

Only you and your eye doctor can determine whether cataract surgery is the best option for your situation.

In most cases where it’s the best course of action, the pros of cataract surgery vastly outweigh the cons and clear vision is just around the corner!

 

Next Steps

Unfortunately, for a lot of seniors with vision problems, independent living can become impossible. If you or a loved one is struggling with some sort of vision issue, it may be best to seek the help of an assisted living facility in Hobbs. Landmark Senior Living is one organization that can help your loved one at this stage of their life. If you would like to learn more, please visit our website today.

 

Learn More Here!

 

Topics: Senior Tips

When Is It Time To Quit Driving

Posted by Neil Appleby on Aug 22, 2019 11:00:00 AM

 

Americans are highly independent by nature so it should come as no surprise that of the 20% of US drivers over 65, few are showing much inclination to quit driving. With the rapidly aging boomer population, this number will continue to rise.

Although staying mobile, being connected to friends and family as well as remaining involved in the community are all undeniable benefits for aging drivers, many people question whether older people should be able to continue driving at all.

While this question might be contentious, it’s an issue that needs to be addressed.

Accident research has shown that driving is statistically more dangerous with age. The American CDC reports that each day in the US, over 700 elderly drivers are hurt and nearly 20 are killed in auto accidents. In 2014, over 10 million Americans had been in an accident where an elderly driver was at fault.

Simply being older in and of itself shouldn’t prevent someone from driving. However, with age comes both cognitive and physical challenges that can make driving difficult - if not outright dangerous - for some seniors if they’re still climbing under the wheel.

If you have a loved one who’s getting older but still driving, you need to be aware of their situation so you can help determine when it’s time for them to hand over the keys.

If you’re a senior yourself, trust your family to pick up on any signs that it might be time for you to consider quitting driving. They are only trying to keep you and others on the road safe from harm and can often be much more objective than you can when establishing whether it’s still safe for you to drive.

Of course, this is often easier said than done when you’re trying to point out to someone that they should relinquish their car keys for good. Your loved one might fear becoming dependent on someone to drive them and worry about losing out on their social life. You should reassure them that this isn’t the case.

Because this can be such a tough topic to breach, we’re here to help you best answer the age-old question: “When is it time to quit driving?”

 

Is It Time To Quit Driving

An old VW bug. Many older individuals may wonder when is it time to quit driving

As people get older, they begin to experience assorted age-related health problems that can make driving physically awkward.

Older people face escalating problems with eyesight and hearing and reaction times naturally slow. Also, many older adults in America face debilitating chronic diseases that can greatly impair their ability to safely navigate the roads.

When it comes to travelling difficulties, drivers older than 65 are twice as likely to have medical problems that contribute than younger drivers. The Centers for Disease Control reports that drivers over the age of 80 are more likely to die in a crash than any other age group.

 

Prescription Medicines

If you’ve ever seen a commercial for prescription medication, you know the scope of potential side effects can be huge and worrying. Many medications that can cause problems with vision, increase drowsiness, result in confusion and induce shakiness are medications routinely prescribed to older adults for a variety of health problems.

Different medications can also interact with one another and bring about even more serious issues. If you are concerned with the medication you or a loved one are taking, be sure to speak with your doctor.

 

Hearing Difficulties

Almost one-third of all adults over the age of 65 experience problems with their hearing. Loss of hearing is a natural side effect of growing older, but it can create extra problems on the road.

If you’re unable to hear approaching sirens, loud honking horns and you’re oblivious to many other road noises, you can’t be expected to safely go about your business.

 

Health Concerns

For many people, getting older comes with a growing number of medical problems. From diabetes to Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s to heart attacks, many health conditions put everyone on the road at risk.

 

Visual Difficulties

When you’re driving, you rely a great deal on visual cues. Sound eyesight is key since up to 90% of the information needed to safely drive is relayed from what you directly see.

You need to read signs on the road, look out for hazards, watch for exits, not to mention monitor how fast you’re going. When vision become impaired with age, all of these things become more difficult for the driver which increases all-round danger.

 

Vehicle Damage

Chances are you aren’t riding in the car each time your loved one goes for a drive so you might be unaware of any damages incurred.

Be sure to periodically check the car looking for scratches and any dings more serious than a door nick.

 

Violations

If your loved one has always been a stellar driver but is suddenly coming home with tickets for traffic violations, it might be time to talk about their driving future.

 

Precautionary Measures

If your loved one is the cautious type and already aware of their diminishing driving skills, they might take preventive steps to avoid accidents.

If your dad suddenly stops going to his Thursday night bowling league and backs out of other social obligations held at night, he might’ve realized he can no longer safely drive when it’s dark outside.

 

Assessments For Older Drivers

A pair of glasses held by an individual. If youre wondering when it is time to quit driving you might want to go to your doctor for an eyesight  and hearing exam.

When things have begun to change and you just aren’t sure what the next step should be, consider taking your loved one in to the doctor for an exam.

The doctor can perform hearing and sight tests and they can also test reflexes and cognitive skills.

Be sure to speak with the doctor about medications and any interactions, too.

 

Parking The Car

A car parked. Many individuals might wonder when is it time to quit driving

Be certain to simplify the logistics of your loved one’s social life whether you drive them to gatherings and events or you arrange for alternative transport.

Most towns and cities have transport laid on for elderly citizens at reasonable cost. This might be a practical option for some.

Beyond this, taxis don’t seem quite so expensive when you’re no longer running a car.

Whatever the solution, make sure not having a car doesn’t impact your loved one. Make it easy on them as they wind down their long career on the road.

When it’s time to quit driving, remember your loved one has now lost a portion of their independence and they might fear being left marooned. Make sure this doesn’t happen when it’s time for them to quit driving.

 

What’s Next

Quitting driving can be a sign that it may be time to look for a solution to your loved one’s independent living situation. It may point toward the fact that your loved one can no longer live safely on their own. If this is the case, it may be best to reach out to an assisted living facility in New Mexico, such as Landmark Senior Living to help. If you are interested in learning about Landmark, please visit our website and reach out to schedule a free walkthrough of one of our facilities.

 

Learn More Here!

 

Topics: Senior Tips

Senior Living Medicaid Waivers

Posted by Neil Appleby on Jul 26, 2019 11:00:00 AM

Long-term senior care can be a significant financial burden but medicaid waivers can substantially ease this liability for many.

 

Navigating Medicaid and understanding the waiver programs and all they have to offer can be tough, but we’re here to clear things up.

 

Understanding Medicaid

A man signing papers. It is important senior living medicaid waivers are discussed to those who are able to benefit from them

Many people confuse Medicare and Medicaid but it’s vital to understand that these are two discrete programs. They are both government-run but intended to help different people. The programs are separately funded.

 

Medicare is a program operated by the federal government with the intention of providing healthcare to all people over the age of 65 as well as disabled people under 65. On the other side of the fence, Medicaid is a program run by both federal and state governments and its core purpose is to assist people with little by the way of money or resources.

 

Because Medicaid is operated by individual states, eligibility requirements vary slightly. Also, the programs available will differ from state to state. Recent laws also give states the ability to opt-out of requirements that make them eligible for Medicaid funding.

 

While both Medicare and Medicaid offer health insurance benefits, they don’t often cover the same services. As an example, Medicare does not offer assistance paying for personal care but Medicaid does help with this.

 

As you can see, if you’re eligible for both programs, this can be highly beneficial to you.

 

What Are Medicaid Waivers?

An older man reading about senior living medicaid waivers in a book

As previously explained, Medicaid is funded and governed by both federal and state governments. There are many federal laws pertaining to Medicare and how it must be used. In certain circumstances, the federal government will waive some rules that typically apply to the Medicaid program.

 

When the federal government grants these waivers, they allow states to operate their Medicaid programs more flexibly. These waivers help to reduce costs and expand coverage as well as improve care for targeted groups such as pregnant women and the elderly.

 

With the aid of these waivers, states have the ability to provide their citizens with certain services that can’t be provided by federal programs.

 

Different Types Of Medicaid Waivers

A stack of papers. Senior living medicaid wavers are a group of documents many seniors might encounter.

All Medicaid waivers must comply with the rules laid out in Sections 1115 and 1915 of the Social Security Act.

  • Section 1115: These waivers are known as research and demonstration waivers and they allow states to test new ways of financing Medicaid and delivering care to those who qualify. The federal government only grants these waivers if the proposition doesn’t cause any change in its budget. The federal government has recently given states additional funding for Medicaid programs and many states are harnessing this waiver to more efficiently use those funds.
  • Section 1915: Under this section, there are both (b) and (c) subsections for waivers. The 1915(b) waivers give states the ability to operate their Medicaid programs much like managed care programs. They provide for health care services, but they give beneficiaries very few choices in the care they receive. The 1915(c) waiver is known as the Home and Community-Based Services waiver and it’s used to give states the ability to provide long-term care to people in need. These waivers allow elderly people to stay in their own home or community instead of needing to head into a nursing home.

Our core focus today is on the 1915(c) HCBS waiver and how this waiver can be used to allow elderly people to benefit from long-term care while remaining at home.

 

Home And Community-Based Services Waivers

A home. Many senior living medicaid waivers are home and community based

As outlined above, this type of Medicaid waiver is used to help certain demographics in communities receive optimal care. This waiver can be used for people under 65 with disabilities as well, but our emphasis today is on senior assisted living.

 

As people age, they tend to need more help carrying out the tasks associated with daily living. Often, elderly people find themselves in institutional nursing facilities instead of being allowed to continue living at home and in their communities.

 

The 1915(c) Medicaid waiver allows for a different outcome.

 

When taking advantage of the HCBS waiver, beneficiaries are able to continue living as normally as possible. Sometimes, they are able to remain in their own homes. On other occasions, it might make the best fit to move into a relative’s home or even into a senior-focused community (that is not a nursing home).

 

Every state has different guidelines for acceptance into these waiver programs and they will also vary slightly in terms of what’s offered in their program.

 

Generally, people can receive both medical and non-medical care including elements like:

 

  • Case management and support services
  • Housekeeping services for laundry, cleaning, and shopping
  • Meal delivery services
  • Nursing
  • Personal care and supervision
  • Senior daycare
  • Safety modifications to the home and vehicle
  • Transportation to medical appointments

 

Again, not all these services will be offered everywhere or to every person who is eligible. You need to check with your specific state to find out what the requirements are as well as what services you might be eligible for.

 

Eligibility

To be eligible for an HCBS waiver, certain requirements must generally be met no matter where you reside.

 

Normally, the person must have health needs that require care in an institution like a nursing home. The goal of the HCBS waivers is to allow these people to remain in their homes and communities. If a person is elderly but not medically fragile, then they likely won’t be eligible for the waiver. A doctor must verify that this need is genuine.

 

On top of these basic medical criteria, there are also financial requirements in place. Medicaid is geared toward people who have little money and few resources so it’s highly unlikely that a person of financial means would be eligible for this waiver.

 

Final Word

If you believe you need an HCBS waiver to assist in paying for care, you should apply for medicaid.

 

Your state Medicaid agency will take your information and determine your eligibility. They can help guide you through the process and determine your eligibility for Medicaid waivers as well.

 

If you or your loved one is looking for an assisted living facility, Landmark Senior Living can help. Please visit our website and reach out to schedule a free tour of one of our assisted living facilities in Hobbs New Mexico.

 

Learn More Here!

 

Topics: Senior Living

How To Ease The Transition To Senior Living

Posted by Neil Appleby on Jul 23, 2019 11:00:00 AM

 

If you’re planning to move a loved one into senior living, transitioning to an assisted community doesn’t need to be stressful.

 

And that’s key as stress is the primary factor that triggers most seniors to think negatively about a shift to assisted living. More often than not, reluctance to move is not because your relative doesn’t want to leave home. They usually understand the need for this and look forward to some much-needed help.

 

Uncertainty and anxiety about a move, on the other hand, can drag them down unless properly managed.

 

So, we’ll look at 10 important tips today to help you ease that transition after first highlighting the three broad categories transitioning falls under:

 

  • Physical Transition
  • Emotional Transition
  • Social Transition

 

Physical Transition

A dog in a moving box. Many seniors need help when moving into senior living

This is perhaps the most easily managed part of the inevitable change looming.

 

We’ll look below at how you can ease the logistics of relocating.

 

Once installed, the adjustment to a new living space shouldn’t be problematic either. Everything from bathroom design to steps and seating will be designed with the elderly in mind. We’ve also got some handy hints on streamlining to make the new space feel like home right below, too.

 

As with many things in life, it’s the emotional side of the equation that can be harder to deal.

 

Emotional Transition

Make sure your loved one is confident that all the support they need to adjust to assisted living will be there on hand whenever they need it. Make it abundantly clear that you and the family are there to support them as well.

 

Try to pivot the focus onto what’s being gained rather than on a perceived loss.

 

Social Transition

An older couple walking along the beach. One of the beneficial transitions to moving to senior living is the social activity.

While it’s not essential for your loved one to dive deep into activities on day one, it’s important to encourage them to gradually develop a new social network within the community.

 

Isolation can create deep feelings of despair and there’s simply no need for this in a community with others in the same boat.

 

If your loved one has suffered mobility problems and found it tough to maintain their old social life, they should find this element of transitioning entirely positive. They won’t need to go out to meet people since everything is in place at the facility itself.

 

Be prepared to address all those factors involved in transitioning.

 

Beyond that, there are a number of simple strategies you can adopt to ensure the whole process of moving a loved one to senior living goes as seamlessly as possible.

 

10 Ways to Ease The Transition to Senior Living

 

1) Establish an Ongoing Dialogue

A couple talking over looking the mountain talking about senior living

What you should bear in mind here is that you shouldn’t think about simply having that conversation.

 

While it’s obviously vital to initiate that first discussion about the possibility of shifting to a senior living community when the time is right, this should be the beginning of an ongoing and open dialogue.

 

Consider that initial conversation as an ice breaker and make sure you do more listening than talking. Hear out your loved one’s concerns and fears, taking note if they press upon you their acceptance of the need for some help.

 

If you’re convinced that assisted living would be the best solution but you meet with resistance, don’t use that opening conversation as a chance to exert pressure. Take things slowly and keep talking.

 

The decision needs to come after proper consideration by all parties.

 

2) Make The Decision Together

As outlined above, there will be a physical and emotional side to the transitional period so make sure you’re on hand to help every step of the way.

 

Once a decision has been made, emotions are likely to run higher than ever. Be supportive and empathetic: after all, you’ll be in the same position yourself one of these days.

 

Again, don’t rush things here. Even if you’ve decided in principle that a move is appropriate, you shouldn’t rush choosing a facility. Make sure any communities you look at are close enough to home to make visiting easy. Ensure that the facility is tailored to what your loved one wants from life.

 

Once you’ve agreed on the facility that makes the best fit, there’s no substitute for scoping it out in advance.

 

3) Familiarize Yourself With The Facility

A little boy looking at a map. Many seniors will tour a senior living facility before moving in

Maybe you visited the facility before deciding upon the right one. If so, that’s a great start but don’t feel shy about heading to the community again once you’re sure it ticks all boxes.

 

You should ideally make regular visits along with your loved one so you can all slowly accustom yourselves to the upcoming change.

 

Take the time to speak with staff and meet as many residents as you can. By doing this in advance, when moving day comes, there will be a welcome air of familiarity rather than fear of walking into the unknown.

 

4) Start Downsizing in Advance

You should by now have a firm idea of the size of the living space your loved one will be moving into. You can use this to assess how much stuff needs downsizing. Taking charge of these logistics long before the day of the big move will remove a great deal of stress.

 

Help your loved one take care of this and use it as a precious bonding experience and a chance to reminiscence over all those belongings with a special place in your hearts.

 

Determine which possessions might be better off sold, which could meaningfully be handed down as heirlooms and which could be passed on to thrift stores or someone in need.

 

With all that taken care of, it will be much easier to laser in on the possessions your loved one really needs in order to start the next phase of their life.

 

5) Know Exactly What To Pack

A suitcase packed for senior living facilities

With downsizing complete, the job of packing should by definition be far easier. You’ll have much less clutter to wade through and none of the stress of last minute packing to negotiate.

 

Speak closely with your contact at the community so you can double down on what’s already provided and scratch this from your packing list. Of course, not everything served up will meet your loved one’s tastes so be sure to establish this by making another visit so you can see what’s required and what can stay behind.

 

6) Call For Reinforcements

When moving day comes around, call in for help from all the family. This can be used as another great bonding exercise.

 

Rather than seeing this as a sad day, view it instead as the exciting beginning of another phase in life. Appreciate that your loved one might very well be relieved to be on the verge of receiving all the help they need whenever they need it.

 

7) Personalize The Living Space

The interior decorated in a senior living facility

Once you’ve installed your loved one in the senior living community, make sure you take the time to work with them and completely personalize their new living space.

 

The key here is to recreate a home from home and to make sure everything is tailored to suit.

 

Bring along some scented candles or air fresheners so you can get rid of the sterility that often comes with this type of space. Soft furnishings will introduce an air of homeliness.

 

Ensure that all your loved one’s favorite possessions are in place and don’t leave until it’s looking just like home!

 

8) Encourage Your Loved One to Embrace The New Environment

With the new living space set up to perfection, it’s time to gently encourage your elderly relative to make the very most of their environment beyond those four walls.

 

While they don’t need to immediately immerse themselves in every conceivable activity on offer, it’s sound practice to seek out their immediate neighbors and to circulate so they can get the lie of the land.

 

9) Schedule Plenty of Advance Visits

Establishing a new routine across the board is paramount and it’s a smart move to slot in plenty of visits at a mutually convenient time so your loved one’s diary fills up with things to look forward to.

 

You can get all the family in on the act so, rather than feeling isolated and alienated, your elderly relative will be feeling the love instead.

 

10) Be Ready with Full and Ongoing Support

Two individuals touching hands. The key to moving to senior living is having a good support system

To round out, it is important to make it abundantly clear that you’re here for them every step of the way during this daunting but exciting journey.

 

Between the support you can bring to the table and that on offer in the new senior living facility, this phase of your loved one’s life should be filled with excitement and come with enhanced levels of support across the board.

 

Embrace the change and help your loved one to do the same.

 

Next Steps

When you are looking for an assisted living facility in New Mexico to help you, Landmark Senior Living is one organization that is dedicated to providing your loved one with everything they need to make their stay as enjoyable as possible. If you are interested in learning more about what Landmark has to offer, please visit our website.

 

Learn More Here!

 

Topics: Senior Living

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