The holidays are a time for recognizing those who honor us day in and day out with their service. This includes those saintly souls who care for the sick, aged, and physically or mentally challenged. So here are 10 thoughtful gift ideas for the caregiver in your life.
It was early June, our wedding was just days away, when the phone rang. It was the hospital informing me my mother was in the hospital, again. This had become so routine over the last few years that it usually didn’t alarm me. But this time they said it was different. They said they had discovered advanced lung cancer that was beyond treatment.
Whether it’s your official job or you are just helping out, being a caregiver is rewarding. You sleep better at night knowing that you’re one of the few people making a difference in this world. More importantly, you are helping someone that cannot help themelves.
My mom hated exercise! She was so averse to it that she recoiled from activity completely in her later years in the skilled nursing facility. For the last ten years of her life she was completely dependent on a wheel chair to get around. I am convinced now that had she simply stood up more often, gotten out of her bed instead of lying down most of her 24 hours a day, she not only would have lived longer, but would have enjoyed life a lot more.
No one ever wants to consider this, but our parents are not as invincible as we thought they were when we were 5. They may be our superheroes, but they are not as full proof as the cape-clad beings we used to look up to when we were younger. What we are trying to say here is that our parents will need long term care in the future, whether we acknowledge it now or later.
As so many find these expenses too expensive to pay out of pocket, they have resorted to coverage like long term care insurance. Unlike Medicare, Medicaid, and health insurance policies, this type of policy specifically works to reduce the weight of costs. Once the care requirements kick in, it acts as the barrier that keeps the policyholder’s assets and savings intact, as well as those of his or her loved ones.
Ten years ago, before founding Harmony Home Care, we noticed that my parents begining to withdraw more and more. My father's driving habits were getting very bad. They both skipped medications, quit preparing meals opting
instead for lot's of easy to eat processed foods and sugary snacks. At the time we were both busy in other careers and raising a family. We sensed something was wrong but disregarded these warning signs as just what happens when people get older. Finally after many hospitalizations, we realized we had to do something. We had made the all too common mistake of waiting too long to get my parents the in-home support they needed. Now the only choice we had left was to move them both into a nursing home. If we had brought in home care sooner, they would have had many more years to flourish at home.
My elderly mom developed a sneaky habit a few years ago. Whenever we tried to put some fluids in front of her, she would think of something else urgent she had to do in another part of the house. We didn't think much of it until she started to complain about not being herself. Headaches, nausea, confusion: these were some of her symptoms. It turned out she was experiencing severe dehydration and had acquired a Urinary Tract Infection. A couple of weeks of antibiotics, and constant reminding from us and her caregivers about drinking enough fluids, and she was fine.
If you're reading this, you're probably feeling very stressed out. Mom or dad aren't doing well and it's obvious that you need to step in. Perhaps they’ve fallen lately, or maybe they’re not eating or drinking properly, maybe forgetting their medications; whatever the reason that is causing you pain, it's more than you can handle.
Flu / Influenza is a serious respiratory illness that results in thousands of hospitalizations and even worse are the deaths that can result from this illness every year. The flu is highly contagious and very easily passed from person to person through coughing, sneezing, or from contact with an infected
person’s oral/nasal fluids.