senior lifestyleAlmost everyone reading this article will either need a caregiver or be a caregiver at some time in their life. A decade ago, the CDC (America’s health statistics ‘scorekeeper’) estimated that there were more than 34 million unpaid caregivers in the United States, mostly spouses or other family members. Typically, the family caregiver is a woman, aged 50 and caring for her mother.  This picture is a composite of the most likely situation, and it does not include the professional workers who provide in-home senior care, or senior day care.

The CDC estimate is actually low according to a 2009 study by the National Alliance for Caregiving and the AARP. They estimated that 65 million plus people in the U.S. provide some form of care for an ill, aging or disabled person. Dealing with these situations will require time, effort, patience and money no matter how well a caregiver plans, but starting to plan ahead can make things easier.

The first step is to talk this over with everyone involved. That means the person (or persons) who may need care in the future, as well as all of the family members and friends who might become involved. It is important to learn what kind of care the person involved is willing to accept, and this may surprise you.

The majority of seniors, nearly 90 percent according to the AARP, prefer to age in their own home. Doing so allows them to remain in familiar surroundings and is often more affordable than senior assisted living in a care facility. Good senior home care, senior daycare and in-home senior care can make this ‘age in place’ option a workable choice.  But let’s think ahead.

Will the home need to be modified in order to accommodate this plan? If there are stairs or other obstacles, how can they be dealt with? Make a list of the possible changes and if they are too great, consider an alternative home nearby, one that maintains connections with long-time neighbors and friends. Remember to honor the independence of the person to be helped. No one likes hearing statements like, “You have got to move into…” or “You just cannot live alone…”

OurSeniors.net Approved VendorsStart now to research the resources and alternatives available in your community.  This may include government agencies like the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, local senior centers, organizations like Meals On Wheels, church organizations and housing authorities that may have senior programs. Knowing these options now may help avoid a hasty, ill-planned decision in the future. Never forget to use the full range of resources here at Ourseniors.net, the Senior Transition Pro Team and our network of vetted, approved businesses, professionals and vendors in the OurSeniors.net Directory of Approved Vendors. These are dependable, senior-friendly professionals and service providers on whom you can count. They all carry the OurSeniors.net seal of approval.

Using these resources, seek out expert advice from professionals like social workers, senior placement advisors, elder law attorneys, estate attorneys and senior real estate specialists.

If you anticipate a need for in-home senior care, now is the time to research those providers. Generally, there are two types of senior home care available, non-medical and skilled caregiver (sometimes called a visiting nurse).  A non-medical caregiver can offer assistance to family caregivers by helping with functions like dressing and bathing, walking or mobility assistance, errands and social support.

Skilled caregivers provide a range of services that require medical knowledge.

One of the OurSeniors.net Approved Vendors, the Plan Life Care organization offers in-home senior care, house care assistance and other services from private duty, professional, insured, licensed and bonded personnel. Their unique services can make it possible for seniors to stay in their home safely. You can discover more about Plan Life Care by clicking its link, or you may phone them at 386-267-6898.

If you need any further information, or if OurSeniors.net can be of assistance in any way, please contact our professional staff by phone at 866-333-2657 (se habla Español), or by using Contact Us. Check out our website at Ourseniors.net and take an online look at our senior living magazine, OurSeniors.net Magazine  by clicking its link. You can view the entire OurSeniors.net Directory of Approved Vendors.