Category Archives: Awareness & Activism

What are the most popular senior care and living options?

senior living

Contributed photo

By Guest Author Holly Klamer

When searching for senior care for your loved one, it can be difficult to know which option makes the most sense for your needs. There are many different terms out there, and they can all be a bit confusing for those who are new to the world of senior care. Here are some of the terms you need to know to locate senior living that’s a good fit for you and your family.

In-Home Care
Many people start off with in home care for their senior. This is when a caregiver comes in at regular intervals to make sure that your senior is safe and helps them with personal and medical needs. This can be everything from making sure that they take their medication to helping with cooking and cleaning or just keeping them company. This option is a good first step for seniors in need of a little bit of assistance.

Retirement Communities/Senior Apartments
There are many communities where seniors have their own apartment and live independently, but have access to resources for seniors when they need it. These communities vary widely in amenities, ranging from almost no amenities offered to lots of social and personal services available. These options are usually called senior apartments, senior communities, or retirement communities. These communities typically don’t offer medical care for their residents.

Assisted Living
Assisted living is residential living with assistance offered for cooking, cleaning, personal
grooming, and more as needed. Assisted living gives seniors help with what they need while still allowing them to maintain some independence. There are many large assisted living communities, but you can also find many smaller assisted living homes.

Memory Care
Memory care is designed specifically for those with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. It offers many of the same features that assisted living does, but with a focus on services for patients who are memory-impaired. These facilities for seniors with dementia offer personalized care and provides specialized support for its residents.

Hospice Care
Hospice care is not only for those who require end-of-life care, but for those who need constant medical support to treat chronic conditions. Hospice care can be provided at home or in an inpatient center. The focus is on palliative care, making sure patients are comfortable and not in pain.

Using this quick overview, you can determine what the best fit for your senior is. Senior citizen apartments and other senior living options provide seniors with the support and help that they need as they transition into older age.

About the Author:

Holly Klamer is a full-time freelancer writer who is a frequent contributor to blogs and websites that help provide comprehensive resources on senior living options.

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AlzAuthors releases anthology, hosting National Family Caregivers Month book sale

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November is National Family Caregivers Month. The National PACE Association says this year’s theme is “Caregiving Around the Clock.” If you’ve been a caregiver, you wholeheartedly agree with that theme!

AlzAuthors has two exciting promotions going on to mark the special month. First, the group of Alzheimer’s authors has released an anthology, Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregiving Stories, featuring the personal stories of 58 AlzAuthors contributors. I am honored to be one of the contributors. The book will be released Nov. 7.alzauthors anthology cover

AlzAuthors is recognizing and honor family caregivers of those with dementia across the country by hosting a book sale and giveaway. The eBook sale will run from Nov. 7-Nov. 13. Books will range in price from free to $2.99, to help those on limited budgets access worthy books that can help them on their own caregiving journeys.

My book, The Reluctant Caregiver, will be on sale for just 99 cents during the promotion. The award-winning collection of personal essays offers a nontraditional view of family caregiving, and includes several essays about the challenges of caring for those with dementia.

This is the last AlzAuthors book sale of the year, so don’t miss out!

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Weekend of inspiring women

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At the contributor dinner with Chicken Soup for the Soul’s Amy Newmark.

This past weekend, I attended the What Women Want conference in Atlanta. The 3-day event featured speakers from a wide range of industries, with a focus on inspiring women to take it to the next level of their business or begin a new path to career fulfillment.

The entire event was great, and gave me new ideas on how to promote my caregiver advocacy work. I was most interested in hearing the opening keynote speaker, Amy Newmark. She is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Chicken Soup for the Soul. A story about my father, French Toast, appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living with Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias.

On Saturday, Amy and her crew hosted a dinner for Atlanta-area Chicken Soup for the Soul contributors. What a fun and inspiring event that proved to be! I met people (mainly women) from all walks of life, who had shared an inspiring story that had touched their hearts. I love events where I get to have one-on-one time with people who I’d probably have never crossed paths with otherwise.

A very moving part of the conference was the Women for One’s Truthteller Tour. Women from a variety of backgrounds shared their intimate and painful yet triumphant stories in front of a live audience. If you’d like to submit your story, it is free to do so.

With so much negativity and hostility in the world right now, it was refreshing to spend a weekend with women whose mission it is to make a positive impact in other people’s lives.

What organizations or groups inspire you to be the best you can be?

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Sneaking in veggies to older people’s diets

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A healthy diet can be a challenge for many people to follow, but it can become even more difficult as one grows older. Our older relatives can sometimes seem as fussy and stubborn as we were as children when it comes to healthy eating.

There are many reasons that an older person may not get enough fruits and vegetables in their diets. Deteriorating oral health can make eating raw fruits and vegetables a challenge. That’s what happened to my mother, who used to love to chomp on carrot sticks until it became too painful to do so, after a lifelong struggle with dental issues.

My father was at the other end of the spectrum, and viewed raw vegetables with great suspicion, as if they were an alien life form. The only reason he gave was that he was afraid that anything crunchy or crisp would hurt his sensitive teeth. Dad hated going to the dentist. An apple almost killed him back in his younger days, so I could understand his aversion to that fruit.

Arthritis can make the preparation efforts required in slicing carrots or peeling an orange difficult, though there are plenty of prepared products these days that take the work out of it.

Taste buds can change with age, and with the sign of disease, including everything from cancer to Alzheimer’s. Seniors are prone to decreased appetites, which can lead to nutritional deficiencies. Medical conditions may require our older loved ones to be on a restricted diet, which may lead to resentment of further dietary interventions.

I recently was sent samples of Real Good Foods Co. cauliflower margherita pizzas. I had already tried the company’s low-carb chicken crust pizza, which I liked. Since I have celiac disease, I’m always on the lookout for a new type of gluten-free pizza. I’m not a huge fan of cauliflower but it has become quite the trend over the last year or so. You can buy cauliflower rice, cauliflower mashed potatoes and now, cauliflower pizza crusts.

The pizza crust browned nicely and the taste of the cauliflower was noticeable, but not overpowering. While there are tips on how to get the center of the crust crispier, it might actually be an advantage for sensitive older mouths if the crust remains on the soft side. (Even my crunch-phobic father loved DiGiorno pizza.)

Real Good also offers enchiladas, poppers and a breakfast pizza. (I’ve tried the enchiladas and breakfast pizza; both were tasty.)

Readers of The Memories Project can get 10 percent off their purchase by using the code Joy10 when ordering from the Real Good Foods website.

Pizza can make for a fun family meal, and when in bake-from-frozen form, an easy one for busy caregivers to prepare.  It can now be a good way to sneak in an extra vegetable and deliver a nutrition boost for our elder loved ones.

What tips do you have to give elders you care for a nutrition boost?

 

 

 

 

 

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How the voice first trend could help with elder care

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I attended Digital Book World in Nashville last week. It’s always inspiring to be surrounded by authors and others in the publishing industry who are pursuing their dreams and creating worthwhile projects.

It came as a bit of a surprise to me that voice-activated technology was among the biggest trend. As a writer, I’ve always concerned myself with the written word, whether it was in print or more likely, digital form. While I’m aware of voice-activated home devices like Alexa, and own one, I never thought about storytelling through such devices. Well, I learned last week that plenty of people are thinking about voice-first as an emerging platform for authors.

While many of the early examples and success stories involve children’s stories, I started thinking about how those of us involved in elder care may be more familiar with voice-activated technology than we think. Life Alert’s, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up,” slogan has become a meme, but the company developed one of the earlier forms of a voice-activated devices that was adopted by the masses and has helped save countless lives.

Now there is a focus on using voice to create entertainment options, and I can think of ways this could benefit those with dementia. Witlingo’s Drill Skills could be useful for dementia caregivers to engage their loved ones in a fun mental exercise. Those with dementia who can no longer read longer works may enjoy the shorter “microstory” format that voice first publishing uses.

I will be following the developments in voice first publishing and look forward to seeing how it could be used by caregivers to entertain and engage their loved ones.

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Everyone has a caregiving story

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Keynote speaker Walt Mossberg shared his insights on the future of technology.

I’m at Digital Book World in Nashville this week so this post will be brief.

I’m always amazed at just how universal the experience caregiving is, and how everyone has a story to tell about that experience. It’s so interesting to attend a conference and come into contact with so many people from all walks of life, and when they find out I write about caregiving, they are typically eager to share their own stories.

As Rosalynn Carter to eloquently said, “There are only four kinds of people in the world: those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.”

Just wanted to share this observation for caregivers out there who may be isolated and are feeling alone. You are most definitely not alone. There is a large, passionate, imperfect but striving to do their best tribe of family caregivers out there.

Don’t be afraid to share your caregiving story.

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Driving, Dementia, and the Right to Drive

The battle over driving can be one of the biggest and most heated that a family dealing with dementia has to face. Read this post from Dealing with Dementia to gain some valuable insight.

Kids want their parents to be safe, and their parents want to maintain their independence.

via Driving, Dementia, and the Right to Drive — Dealing with Dementia

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September 25, 2018 · 9:24 pm