Resources

We have added a resource directory to our blog. We will be updating and adding more as time goes on. If there is an addition or information you would like us to include please feel free to make suggestions and we will do our best to accomodate your requests. We have also added a direct link to our Caregiver Support Chat. That link is available by clicking thr Caregiver Support Chat tab at the top of our page. We are updating our blog and adding lots of new info as well as articles. Thanks as always for your continued intrest and support!

Caregiver Support Chat

We will be meeting in chat again on on Friday evening at 7:00 pm MST. Thanks to everyone who attended Tuesday. We are looking forward to meeting new people so come and join us!!

Volunteer

Everyone wants to feel special, needed and loved.The elderly are no different.

Unfortunately many elderly are placed in a nursing home and forgotten.

In my many years of working in Long Term Care facilities I have seen residents go years without a visit or a phone call from a loved one.It is heartbreaking to see someone alone on Christmas, have their birthday go by unnoticed or to sit and watch as other resident’s family and friends come and go and wonder why no one comes to visit them.

While the nursing staff may try to be both caregiver and friend,the harsh  reality is that much of the time the staff is so busy meeting the physical needs of the residents that there is simply no extra time to have a more one on one type of interaction with them.

Nursing homes are in need of caring and compassionate individuals who would like to volunteer their time to a resident in need.A short weekly visit is all it takes to say that someone cares.For many elderly this is their only contact with a friend and can be the beginning of a wonderful relationship that benefits both the resident and volunteer.

Just reading to someone,playing a game,going for a walk,or taking the time to listen can make such a difference in the life of a resident.

If you would like to become a voulnteer,contact the Activities Director at a nursing home in your area.You can ask to be paired with a resident who is rarely visited and would best benifit from your time.

Assisted living

An assisted living community is for the elderly who may need extra supervision or help with every day tasks.

Assisted living can be thought of as the best of both worlds.Residents can have the independence they crave with the security in knowing that pesonal care and support services are available should they be needed.Assisted living communities are designed to help residents with every day needs such as bathing,dressing,personal grooming,laundry and some household chores while usually living in their own private apartment.

Although assisted living is less costly than a nursing home,it can still be expensive.Some long term care policies cover licensed assisted living and in some states Medicaid funds and waivers may be available to help with the cost.

Assisted living is regulated state by state and each state has their own policies and regulations concerning the care and services that are required to meet that states standards.

To find out what regulations your state may have go to: http://www.alfa.org/alfa/State_Regulations_and_Licensing_Informat.asp

If you need help in finding an assisted living residence the following website is a great resource tool:http://www.assistedlivinginfo.com/

Hospice care

Hospice care is end of life care that is given by health care professionals and volunteers.

The primary goal of hospice care is to provide humane and compassionate care in the last phases of a terminal illness.The caregivers give medical,psychological and emotional support to help people who are dying have peace,comfort and dignity.

Many people choose to recieve hospice care in their home,but if home care is not an option,care can also be given in the hospital,nursing home and at a hospice center.

It may take time to find a local hospice care program that meets your needs,but consider it time well spent as quality of care,personnel training and avaliability of needed services all need to be taken into consideration.

If you need help finding a quality hospice care program you can speak to your physician,contact your local health department or look in the yellow pages.

The following is a link to IAHPC directory that has listings to world wide hospice care

http://www.hospicecare.com/yp/

Facing an end of life situation can be frightening and stressful,but knowing that your loved one is receiving quality care from professional,compassionate caregivers can give you peace of mind in a difficult situation.

State surveys and nursing homes

All nursing homes that participate in Medicare and Medicaid are required by federal law to undergo an annual survey.

The purpose of this survey is to determine wether the quality of care needed by the resident and required by law is being provided by the nursing home.

Each year a survey team looks at medical records,dietary,housekeeping,staff to resident ratio,and also observe how the residents are being cared for by the nursing staff.The survey team will also inspect any allegations of abuse and neglect.

If there are any deficiencies found,the nursing home must submit a plan of corrections and has a period of time to make those corrections.Depending on the severity of the deficiency,the nursing home can face fines,removal of residents,revocation of Medicaid and medicare certifications and possibly lose their license.

The following is a link that lists the State Survey Agencies and will provide you with the contact information for your state.

http://www.carepathways.com/nhg-state-survey-agency.cfm

Knowing the survey results can be a valuable resource when choosing a good, quatity nursing home for your loved one.

The importance of a living will

A "refusal of treatment" form from o...

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Although speaking to your loved ones about your wishes when facing an end of life situation can be difficult,it is also very necessary to ensure you recieve the kind of care you want,so too is having a living will.

A living will is a written,legal document that provides directions that are to be followed by caregivers and health care providers in the event that you are unable to give consent or refusal due to incapacity.

A living will can be very specific regarding your desire for pain medication,antibiotics,feeding,hydration,the use of CPR and ventilators.

As well written and direct as a living will may be,it can not possibly cover every situation that you may face,so you may want to consider appointing a health care agent as a medical power of attorney as well.A medical power of attorney will be guided by your living will,but will have the authority to act in your behalf in situations that may not be described in your living will and see that your wishes are carried out.

Choosing someone as your health care agent is possibly the most important part of your planning as this person will have the same rights to accept or deny treatment as you would, if you were capable of doing so.You do not need to appoint a family member as a medical power of attorney and in some instances it may be better to have a non family member if your family is opposed to your wishes.

Speak with your health care agent at length about your wishes and what steps you want taken in an end of life situation.You should trust that your health care agent has your best interests at heart,understands exactly what your wishes are and will act accordingly.

The peace of mind and comfort you will recieve from knowing that your wishes will be honored is well worth the time it may take to prepare a living will.