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Have you heard the term “Sandwich Generation”?

It’s a real term! Here’s the Wikipedia definition… “The Sandwich Generation is a generation of people (usually in their 30s or 40s) who care for their aging parents while supporting their own children.” This term was added to both the Merriam-Webster and Oxford English dictionaries in 2006.

Maybe you are reading this and realized that you are a member of the Sandwich Generation. Pat yourself on the back, because you my friend are a superhero! While there are certainly benefits of living in a multi-generational family, there can also be incredible stress on the primary caregiver. Caring for children, plus the needs of an elderly parent can be a recipe for burnout. In many families, the primary caregiver is also working a full-time job.

infant-1052620_1920Below are 5 tips to help prevent caregiver burnout:
1) It helps to know that you are not alone. There are some excellent books available that address the issues you face as a caregiver. I like “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?” by Roz Chast and “The Caregiver’s Survival Handbook: How to Care for Your Aging Parent Without Losing Yourself” by Alexis Abramson.
2) Join a support group. If your parent has Alzheimer’s, there are many excellent support groups that meet in churches and in Assisted Living/Memory Care communities. The Alzheimer’s Association website offers information on support groups.
3) Give yourself a break. Ask a friend or family member to take over for a few hours so you can do something for yourself. If you have no one to help, consider a Home Care service or check out Adult Day Care centers in your community. Some memory care communities have drop in care one day a week.
4) If your senior family member is still active, be sure to check out your local senior center. There are lots of wonderful activities and would not only give you a break, but would be a way for your parent to engage with other seniors.
5) Take care of your health! It’s easy to slip into a routine of putting yourself last. Try to establish a good sleep routine, eat healthy and drink plenty of water. Share with your family doctor that you are a caregiver, and bring up any concerns you may have.

If you need help with locating Home Care or Caregiver resources, please reach out to me. If you decide it’s time to explore other options, I would be happy to help you locate Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care and Group Homes. My services are always free to families.

 

 

What is a Residential Care Home?

Most people have heard the terms Assisted Living and Memory Care, but what about …Residential Care Homes? Also called, Group Homes or Care Homes. I bet you would be surprised to know that you’ve likely driven past one, and there may even be one in your neighborhood!senior lady with caregiver

Residential Care Homes are private homes that have been converted and staffed to care for seniors. These homes can provide a high level of care, similar to a skilled nursing facility, but in a home-like setting. The seniors choose, based on their budget, either a private room or shared room. They enjoy home-cooked meals, and assistance with their personal care (bathing, dressing, incontinence care, medication management, etc.). The homes usually have 3-6 residents, but some are set up to take more. In recent years, there have been smaller, home-like facilities built for up to 20 residents. These are basically a hybrid of a Residential Care Home and an Assisted Living/Memory Care, and are becoming a very popular option.

Who is a good candidate for a Residential Care Home? Seniors with Alzheimer’s/Dementia, mobility issues, or a senior who simply prefers the feel of a smaller setting. Some of the homes specialize in memory care and are secure. Others cater to higher-functioning residents, and some are all female or all male homes.

How much do they cost? On average, most fall between $3,000 – $5,000/month depending on care needs. There are some that are less, which is an attractive option for seniors on a limited budget.

Help is only a phone call away! Do you need help determining which type of senior living option is best for yourself or a family member? I can assist you with that…and my service is always FREE to families.

Lori Williams – Senior Services  214-783-1222

Downsizing Tips

You know it’s time to make that move to senior living, BUT you’re overwhelmed by all the stuff you’ve accumulated throughout the years. I totally get that!! I’ve been in my house for 21 years and the thought of moving is daunting. Imagine 50+ years in your home? I LOVE these awesome tips for “Rightsizing” from Realtor, Tricia Spurrier.

Don’t let the fear of getting rid of your “stuff” stop you from moving onto the next chapter of your life!!!

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I’m Confused? I have Questions. I NEED HELP!!!!

-Your dad has been diagnosed with Dementia, and he has started to wander. He cannot be left alone, but you work full-time and can’t stay home with him. What do you do?

-Your mom is living alone in her house, but she’s lonely and is not eating healthy meals. She has become very isolated and lonely. What senior living options are right for her?

-Your parents live out of state, but they want to move closer to you. Mom has slight dementia, but dad is healthy and helps cares for mom. What senior living options would be best for them?

-You are a senior, tired of taking care of your house and are ready to downsize. You still cook for yourself, and you would enjoy socializing with others. What type of community should you be looking for?

These are the questions I answer every day! Actually, these are real life stories from families I have recently helped find senior living communities. Most people do not know the difference between senior living types – Independent, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Group Homes. Not to mention, amenities and prices vary significantly. It is CONFUSING!

I have 10+ years of experience serving seniors and their families in the DFW area. My goal is to educate families on the different types of senior living available and then help them narrow down their search to communities that match their need, amenities and budget. My service is always free to families. There is no need to try to figure this out alone – I’m here to help! 214-783-1222.

Did you know that loneliness and isolation can seriously affect the health of a senior?

grandmas having tea

As we get older, our social circles tend to shrink –  friends and family members move or pass away. Those who still live close by may be unable to visit due to health issues. Some are no longer safe to drive due to vision problems or memory loss. Feelings of loneliness can negatively affect BOTH physical and mental health.

5 TIPS to Combat Loneliness:

  1. Get Connected.
    • Local Senior Centers offer the opportunity for socialization with peers through group activities, exercise, day trips, classes, etc.
    • Churches – many offer groups specifically geared towards seniors and may meet weekly or monthly.
  1. Keep Learning.
    • Senior centers offer all types of classes, including computers, painting, health related seminars, etc.
  2. Get Moving.
    • Check out your senior center, or YMCA for classes geared towards seniors. Chair exercises, stretching, yoga, tai chi, walking groups, etc.
  3. Healthy Eating.
    • Often times seniors don’t feel like cooking a meal for just themselves, so they will “snack” or skip meals. Eating a healthy, balanced meal is imperative to physical and mental well-being. Consider having meals delivered through Meals on Wheels. Your local senior center may offer onsite meals, and events with meals provided.
  4. Senior Care/Living Options.
    • Home Care or Personal Assistance Service provide care or companionship in your home. Services provided may include meal preparation, running errands, help with showering, etc.
    • Independent Living communities provide opportunities for socialization, classes, exercise, meals and transportation.
    • Assisted Living communities provide all of the above, plus care for physical issues such as help with medication, bathing, dressing, etc.

Need help locating senior resources or information on senior living options in the Dallas/Fort Worth area? Not sure where to get started? Help is just a phone call away…214-783-1222.

 

 

 

Pets Welcome!

Did you know that most Senior Apartments, Retirement Communities and Assisted Living communities are pet friendly? 🐶😺

I speak with many seniors and their families who are resistant to moving because they think they will have to leave their beloved fur baby behind. The majority of senior communities allow dogs (many have size restrictions, typically 35 pounds or less) and cats. Pets are welcome in Assisted Living too, and many communities will even provide care for the pet if you become physically unable to do so. There is an extra charge for pet care.

Questions about senior living and services? I’m here to help you!

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