Enriching the Lives of Seniors Through Technology and In-Home Care

In October, Always Best Care wrote a post on our blog that explained how wearable technology monitors heart rate, biometrics, and how they can be a valuable asset to non-medical caregivers, allowing them to gather more accurate information about their senior client. As the senior population continues to grow each year, dynamic technologies like GPS and sensors centered on senior involvement can help elderly family members stay at home longer. As a continuation of our previous blog post, we have listed 3 technologies that have the potential to change and improve home care services in the coming years: Sensors – Sensors are being used by more caregivers than ever before, and can be placed on windows, doors, and in many other places around a senior’s home. These sensors can alert caretakers when their elderly patient has difficulty in the bathroom, falls down, or even vital signs. GPS – In the event that a senior is away from their home, GPS allows family members or caregivers the


Securing Home Care for Veterans

Vabc2heterans have sacrificed much for the cause of freedom. However, upon returning home years after deployment, many elderly veterans are not aware of what is available to them to help them readjust to life after the military.

Senior veterans who complete their service often return home with injuries that prevent them from being gainfully employed or from living independently. It is not unusual for some veterans to be bedridden or have limited mobility. They may suffer from visual impairments or disabilities that contribute to this.

Veterans who have disabilities that prevent them from working and getting around on their own can benefit greatly from home care. Home care for senior veterans is covered under the Aid and Attendance or A&A benefit. This program provides assistance for veterans or surviving spouses and pays for home care such as monitoring the individual’s medication and assisting with bathing, dressing and feeding.

The eligibility requirements for this program include serving at least ninety days of active duty; however, the active duty does not need to be combat-related. If the active duty was served during an eligible wartime period, then only one day of service is required. Additionally, the veteran cannot have been discharged from service dishonorably.

If the surviving spouse was married to the veteran at the time of his or her death and remains unmarried, he or she may be eligible for benefits. The Veterans Administration takes into account monthly income and assets in determining eligibility.

In addition to helping seniors live life independently, non-medical home care can reduce stress that family members may experience when trying to work and care for a senior loved one at the same time. As a result, the veteran receives high-quality care that allows a spouse or other family member to continue working outside the home if needed. This reduces stress and makes it possible for the veteran and his or her family to spend more quality time together.

In summary, home care for veterans may be more readily available than most seniors think. Contact local home care agencies to find out what kind of assistance they offer, so that you can continue living a healthy life in a place where you feel most comfortable.

Activities That Benefit and Connect Youth and Seniors

There are cultures throughout the world in which the elderly are cherished members of their extended family, all of whom live together. In the not so distant past in America, this was a common occurrence. Multigenerational families lived together or at least near each other. Times have changed, though, and this is not so common today.

In recent decades, more and more Americans began living alone. Many adult children work and live in different states away from their senior parents. Because seniors are living healthier, longer lives and remaining independent longer than in past generations, elderly moms and dads are generally living self-sufficiently. Out of every eight single senior adults today, only one lives with any extended family. While children are more likely to have active and healthy grandparents, they are less likely to see them very often.

Intergenerational Relationships Benefit Both Youth and Seniors

Psychologist Erik Erikson’s pioneering work in the life stages of human emotional developmentabc8h describes the final developmental stage as occurring in a person’s. Observations have clearly shown that promoting connections between seniors and youth enhance seniors’ feelings of fulfillment. Advantages for both groups include:

  • Providing both with a sense of purpose
  • Providing a surrogate grandparent for children
  • Reducing fear children have of seniors
  • Assisting children in understanding/ potentially accepting their own aging
  • Energizing the life of a senior
  • Potentially reducing the development of depression in seniors
  • Keeping history and family stories alive
  • Helping both learn new skills

To initiate and build relationships across the generations, some suggested activities are:

  • Storytelling: great way to get to know each other
  • Reading to each other
  • Learning Skills: sharing hobbies like knitting, wood carving, fishing, baking, video games, puzzles
  • Cooking a Meal: planning, preparing and eating together
  • Scrapbooking/Phone Buddies: pairing seniors and kids who come home alone after school
  • Planting Seeds/Gardening: experiencing life cycles
  • Technology: kids teaching seniors new technology; seniors teaching kids theirs (i.e. sewing, woodworking)

The Power of Intergenerational Relationships

Caregivers providing in-home care services can help facilitate these youth-senior interactions for the elderly they serve. The benefits of these visits for seniors receiving elderly home care will include new vitality, optimism and a sense of great purpose.

Many Employers Now Allowing Pre-Tax Dollars for Senior In-Home Care

If you’re an adult child that is responsible for providing your aging parents with home care, then you know how time consuming this act of love can be. With a family of your own, and a full-time job, finding the time to take care your senior loved one can almost seem like an impossible task. The senior population in the US is set for incredible growth in the coming years, and as such, more employers are beginning to offer ways for their employees to give their parents the elder care they need. From 2008 to 2014, the share of companies offering information about senior care services has gone from 31% to 43%, says the 2014 Families and Work Institute’s National Study of Employers. What’s better, three-fourths of these same companies are allowing their employees time off to fulfill their elder care duties. The number of companies that allow their workers to pay for senior in-home care with pre-tax dollars has almost doubled since 2008, meaning that more families around the country

The Holiday Gift of Independence and Happiness

Being at home for the holidays is one of the best feelings one can have, no matter what age. Memories are built during this time of the year through warm nights huddled around the fire, large family gatherings, and warm embraces. It is memories like these that make a home what it truly is: a place of comfortable familiarity that evokes feelings of happiness. This holiday season, give the senior in your life the greatest gift that you can give them – the gift of independence! Not all seniors need extensive in-home care. In fact, many men and women only need help with simple chores like carrying in a sack of groceries to and from the car.  With Always Best Care’s Custom Care Plan, we can determine the level of care that your loved one needs. Whether it is a couple of hours a week or several hours a day, our compassionate caregivers have your senior in mind 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you need a break from caregiving, we also offer respite care plans that will give you peace o