Professional Care Management for Seniors / Disabled Adults

For people who work and care for an aged family member, particularly when that family member lives far away, one solution is to hire a professional geriatric care manager.Learn More

HomeMaker Companion Services

Advanced Senior Solutions, HomeMaker companion services provide a trusted companion to help with a broad range of activities.Learn More

Placement / Relocation

We understand most seniors want to stay in their own home for as long as possible and our services are designed to help them do that. However, moving may become the best option. Learn More

Travel Care Companion Services

We offer customized travel assistance to seniors, and disabled adults, or anyone that would like accompaniment while traveling domestic or internationally. Learn More

Daily Money Management

Daily money managers (DMMs) provide bill paying assistance to clients who have difficulty in managing their personal monetary affairs.Learn More

How Do You Know When It’s The Right Time To Intervene With Your Parents Care?

How do you know when it’s the right time to intervene with your parents care?  This can be a very delicate situation. You don’t want to alienate your parents by prying too much into their affairs, but you certainly don’t want to wait until you get a call from the hospital ER or worse, your State’s Department of Children and Families.  To know when it’s the right time to intervene might take “seeing out of the box”.  As adult children of elderly parents, we tend to see them as they once were, instead of how they are today. Look at your parent as if you were someone other than their adult child, such as a neighbor or a caregiver.

   Of course most families are ready to act when there are obvious issues or serious incidences, but here are some early signs to look for that indicate your parent may need some intervention sooner rather than later:

· They drive only when absolutely necessary, only during daytime hours and only to places nearby home. I suggest to my client’s families that when they are here visiting they have their parent drive them around and go outside of their local comfort zone.  If you’re not comfortable with them driving you around, then that’s a red flag.

· Unopened mail, insurance or bank statements and junk mail are hidden out of view in drawers, under sheets of a spare bed or under the table cloth. (I’ve really seen this). Of course some obvious clues are late notices and returned checks because of duplicated or over payment.
· Household maintenance projects are left unattended because maybe they can’t see the water leak stain on the ceiling or ants crawling on the counter. Maybe they can’t hear the toilet running.
· Look for signs of malnourishment.  Check the pantry for outdated canned foods and the refrigerator for spoiled moldy food. Have they had to tighten their belts to the next hole or two? You can tell this by looking at their belt - there will be a wear line from the buckle from where they normally had it positioned.
· Missed medical appointments, vague responses to your questions related to their latest doctor visit (“I’m fine, don’t worry”), or they are using more than one pharmacy. Any of these can be cause for concern.

Above are just a few examples of some early signs that your parent’s functional status is declining to a point of concern. A Professional Certified Care Manager with a background in social work, public health, or gerontology can help assess their level of functioning and recommend the most appropriate types of intervention and services. 

To reach one of our Advanced Senior Solution's team members, either go to the Contact Us tab or call 727-443-2273. We’re here to help with all of your elder care questions, care needs, and much more! Call us today for a free no-obligation care consultation via phone or in person.

As Alzheimer’s Awareness Month Begins, NAPGCM Releases New Survey Findings: How to Help Loved Ones with Dementia Cope with the Loss of a Spouse

Tucson, AZ (PRWEB) June 09, 2014 -- There are creative and effective ways to help an aging parent, family member or loved one who suffers from Alheimer's disease or dementia cope with the loss of their spouse, according to a new survey of aging experts released today by the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPCGM). Remembering that there are different stages and types of dementia, making sure the surviving spouse does not become socially isolated and not rushing other major changes in their lives are among the top expert recommendations.

Americans are increasingly challenged by the need to communicate difficult information to aging family members with dementia. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as many as 5 million of the 43 million Americans age 65 and older may have Alzheimer’s disease and another 1.8 million people have some other form of dementia. And, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, the number of Americans with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias will escalate rapidly in coming years as baby boomers age. By 2050, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer's disease may nearly triple, from 5 million to as many as 16 million, barring the development of medical breakthroughs to prevent, slow or stop the disease.

As the nation begins Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, NAPGCM is releasing the results of its latest survey to help American families facing one of the most difficult of these challenges. NAPGCM polled 288 professional geriatric care managers across the country asking them to identify the most effective strategies for helping a loved one with dementia cope with the loss of their spouse. The top six strategies identified by the aging experts are:

#1 Remember there are many different stages of dementia. Your loved one’s capacity for understanding, coping and grieving can be very different depending on their stage of dementia. (Identified by 96% of survey respondents )

#2 If your loved one’s response to reminiscing about their spouse is positive, share old photos and
memories. (88 %)

#3 Make sure the surviving spouse is not socially isolated. Schedule visitors on a regular basis and help them keep up with any normal social routines they have. (85%)

#4 Reassure them there are people who care about them and will care for them. (84%)

#5 Don’t rush big changes. It may make sense for them at some point to move to a facility, or closer to family. But, if possible, give them time to adapt so there aren’t too many major life changes at once. (81%)

#6 If they choose to be included in mourning rituals for their spouse, make sure there is someone
overseeing this so if the situation becomes too stressful they can leave. (78%)

“With the rising rates of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, families are increasingly confronted with this difficult challenge,” said NAPGCM President, Emily Saltz. “Our survey shows that knowing your loved one’s stage of dementia and respecting individual differences are key,” added Ms. Saltz.

Many of the geriatric care managers surveyed expressed strong views about the need for tailoring your response to the individual, both in terms of their stage of dementia and their personality. Some individual comments included:
• “As each person is unique, each person with dementia is unique. Recognize your loved one's values,
personality and culture.”

• “There are varying types of dementia, some affecting short term memory more than others and each
type has a different appropriate response.” Other care managers surveyed by NAPGCM shared additional tips, including:

• “Do not underestimate their ability to understand, at an emotional level, what they cannot express
verbally.”

• Take cues from the affected person. If they are not aware or focused on the loss, do not remind or
instigate a conversation about the loss.

NAPGCM regularly surveys professional geriatric care managers on a range of timely and relevant issues.

Click here to see results of recent NAPGCM surveys on:
• The Use of Therapeutic Fiblets
• Financial Abuse of the Elderly
• Seniors Victimized by Medicare Observation Status Rulings
• Warning Signs an Aging Parent May Need More Help
• How to Prevent Premature Institutionalization of an Aging Loved One
The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM) was formed in 1985 to advance dignified care for older adults and their families. Geriatric Care Managers are professionals who have extensive training and experience working with older people, people with disabilities and families who need assistance with caregiving issues. They assist older adults who wish to remain in their homes, or can help families in the search for a suitable nursing home placement or extended care if the need occurs. The practice of geriatric care management and the role of care providers have captured a national spotlight, as generations of Baby Boomers age in the United States and abroad.

For more information and to find a listing of professional geriatric care
managers in your community, visit the NAPGCM website: http://www.caremanager.org

To reach one of our Advanced Senior Solution's team members, either go to the Contact Us tab or call 727-443-2273. We’re here to help with all of your elder care questions, care needs, and much more! Call us today for a free no-obligation care consultation via phone or in person.

Transportation Options for Non-Drivers


Getting around is essential no matter our age. As we get older, though, many of us may choose to stop driving or, as caregivers, decide it’s best for our parent or loved one to no longer transport him or herself. Because of this, transportation alternatives become essential.

There are a variety of transportation options out there. The trick is figuring out which is the best fit and which your loved one will feel the most comfortable with. Location, cost, convenience (for both the person being cared for as well as the caregiver), frequency and ease of use all become factors in deciding which option is best. To help you get started, here is a breakdown of many of the options.
Friends and Family
Often, the responsibility of transporting loved ones falls on friends and family. For many, this works out to be the most trustworthy and cost-effective solution. For others, however, schedules and distance will make this nearly impossible. Because you and your loved one will know and trust the drivers in this transportation network, this is also the least worrisome option. For those of you who are willing and able to be your loved one’s primary means of transport, be sure to have a back-up option should you get sick or need a break. If you are unable to be the primary transportation option, hiring a safe-driving family member or friend to provide rides on a regular basis will help to share the load while providing them with added income.

Taxis
Whether the primary mode of transportation or a backup, taxicabs are a convenient way to get your loved one to and from necessary destinations. There are pros and cons, though. The pros of taxi service are that they are almost always readily available and reasonably priced, depending on location. The cons are that drivers usually don’t help passengers into and out of their destinations, will most likely be unknown to the passenger and will not be consistent. Also, if used frequently, fares can add up. Lastly, organizing rides may fall to you, the caregiver, if your loved one isn’t able to or doesn’t like the idea of making the reservations. As with all other services, make sure to go with a reputable company to ensure the safety of your loved one.

Hiring a Private Car Service
If there is a need for transportation on a consistent basis and relying on family and friends is not an option, a car service may be a solution. Contracting with a reputable transportation service to take your loved one on weekly errands may end up being cheaper — and more efficient — than using taxis for every trip. Arrangements can be made in advance, the cost per trip may be lower than using taxis and you might be able to request the same driver each week. They may even be willing to escort your loved one into and out of their home and provide assistance with carrying packages or bags. Be sure to ask local senior services for recommendations so you make arrangements with a reputable company — especially if you plan to have someone entering your loved one’s home.

Residence Transportation Services
Many care facilities provide transportation for their residents. If your parent or loved one is living in any type of care facility, check to see if they offer this service. Many do, which is a great resource for caregivers who either can’t provide regular transportation or need a break. Often, facilities will arrange weekly trips to the grocery store and other destinations, as well as schedule social day trips. Simply check with the front desk of the facility on whether this is an option.

Volunteer Drivers
Check with local senior organizations as well as your religious institution to see if they provide volunteer transportation services. Often, churches, synagogues and religious organizations, as well as senior centers, have volunteers at the ready to assist older members of the community with errands, appointments and other necessary trips around town.

Dial-a-Ride, Van Services and Ride Sharing
Many communities provide public ride sharing services, such as Dial-a-Ride, that cater to older adults. Often, these services are run by local transportation companies or nonprofit organizations and can be very useful for getting around town. These vans and buses are unlike taxis and hired transportation services in that they run along specific routes and usually don’t cater to specific requests. Costs for these services vary by service and location. To find a service in your area, check the phonebook or use the Eldercare Locater.

Public Transportation
Depending on your loved one’s health, level of comfort and location, public transportation may be an option. This is a convenient way to get around metropolitan areas and is a great option in those areas where it’s safe, easy to follow and convenient. If you think your parent or loved one would take well to public transportation, take him on a few test runs to ensure he’s comfortable and finds his way around easily. Most major public transit systems provide rate information as well as maps on their websites.

Paratransit
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), those with disabilities are legally entitled to paratransit, as long as they meet eligibility. A system of buses, vans, cars and trains, paratransit is a public transportation service that caters to those who are unable to use regular public transportation. Those interested — or their caregivers — must contact their local transit provider, which will determine eligibility. For help with determining eligibility, visit the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund.


Source: http://www.aarp.org/relationships/caregiving-resource-center/info-10-2010/pc_transportation_options_for_nondrivers.2.html


To reach one of our Advanced Senior Solution's team members, either go to the Contact Us tab or call 727-443-2273. We’re here to help with all of your elder care questions, care needs, and much more! Call us today for a free no-obligation care consultation via phone or in person.

Tips for the Long-Distance Caregiver

Caregiving from afar is no easy task. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind while contemplating caring for your parent from a distance.
Create a Contact List
Assemble address and phone numbers of friends, neighbors, doctors, faith leaders and others in regular contact with your parents who can be reached in the event of an emergency. Include at least one person close by who can easily check in on your loved one. Consider giving this person a key to the home if your loved one approves. If you don’t already know them, introduce yourself during a visit to establish relationships should you need to reach out. Give one copy of this list to your loved one and keep a copy for yourself. These folks may also be able to help out with shopping, transportation or visits.

Collect Important Information Before a Crisis
Keep the following information organized and easy to reach in the event of a crisis.

Medical
  •         Medical records.
  •          Notes on their condition.
  •          A list of medications they take.
  •          Names and phone numbers of all doctors.
  •          Name and phone number of their pharmacy.
Insurance
  •          A list of insurance policies, the carriers and account numbers.
Utilities
  •          Company names and phone numbers for all utilities, including electric, phone, cable and Internet.
Financial
  •          A list of all assets and debts (include dollar values).
  •          Yearly or monthly income.
  •          Yearly or monthly expenses.
  •          A statement of net worth.
  •          Information on bank accounts, other financial holdings and credit cards.
 Legal
  •         Relevant legal documents your loved one has or wants to create (i.e. wills, advance directives, trusts,   power(s) of attorney).
  •          Location of important documents (i.e. birth certificates, deed to home).
  •          Social Security numbers.
Make Visits Productive
Visiting your parent or loved one should be an enjoyable event. But take advantage of your time together to assess their changing needs.

·         Before your visit, decide together with your loved ones what needs to be taken care of while you’re there, including scheduling any necessary appointments.

  •          Make a list of household items that need to be purchased and, if possible, go out and buy them.
  •          Allow time to go through mail and old papers. 
  •          Take note of anything out of the ordinary and of what they eat. Check to see what they have in their refrigerator and pantry and if it’s sufficient.
  •          Look out for safety hazards such as loose rugs, missing handrails or poor lighting.

During your visits, you may start to realize that more help is needed on a regular basis. Think about your parent’s daily needs and whether they are still being adequately met.  Are they:
  •          Socializing with friends and other relatives?
  •          Attending religious services or other regular events?
  •          Keeping up with chores or housekeeping?
  •          Maintaining their personal appearance and hygiene?
  •          Eating well with a variety of foods in the house?
  •          Opening and responding to correspondence from insurers, banks or others?
  •          Paying bills and balancing the checkbook?
  •          Scheduling and getting to doctor appointments or other important visits?
  •          Getting out to the store or recreational activities?
  •         Maintaining the home?
  •         Taking medication as directed?

If not, consider additional resources to ensure your loved one is maintaining their normal routine and staying on top of finances, mail and medications.
Be sure, however, to spend time enjoying each other's company, too. A visit that is all business won't be good for anyone.
Gather Information on Community Services
Based on your observations and discussions with your parents, you may want to look into services in their community that could help them.  Start by using the Eldercare Locator to determine which local agencies provide services where your parents live. It will refer you to the area agency on aging in your parent's community. Look for services that fit the needs of your loved ones as well as an organization that can work with you long distance. Take notes on the services offered, the application process, waiting lists and fees. If an organization requires an in-person interview with your parent, find out what documents you will need prior to the meeting and whether copies will be sufficient. If you can’t be with your parent at the meeting, consider having one of their emergency contacts stand in for you. You might be able to join the conversation by telephone. Make a list of questions you want answered and be sure to have a contact person to follow up with.

Look into Public Benefits Online
You can now go online and safely and conveniently get an idea of the different public assistance programs for which your parents might be eligible. By using Benefits QuickLINK you can find helpful state, federal and private benefits programs available where your parents live. By answering a few questions, you will get fact sheets, applications and websites for programs that can help them save money and cover costs of everyday expenses.

Get Help with Managing the Care
Most communities have professionals who can gauge your loved one’s abilities and needs and set up a plan for care. You can find this assistance through government-funded programs by using the Eldercare Locator. Another option is to hire a private geriatric care manager. A number of employers are starting to pay for these services and, if your family member has long-term care insurance, this might be covered under the policy. For a list of local professionals, visit the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers or the National Association of Social Workers.

Keep the Lines of Communication Open
Be sensitive to your parent’s view of th
e situation. At first they may not want strangers in their home, or they may have trouble facing change. Maintain a positive focus, explain how the services will work and that they are designed to help your parent remain independent. If possible, offer to contribute to the cost of care without appearing to offer charity. If your suggestions of service are rebuffed, you can have an objective third party — such as a doctor — recommend the service.

Don’t Forget Your Needs
Recognize the strain that long-distance caregiving causes, and take steps to reduce it.  Accept that it's impossible for you to provide all the help your parent needs. Give yourself credit for your efforts to determine needs, coordinate services and offer support by phone and occasional visits. Ask for help when you need it. If you don't feel that other family members are doing their share, consider a family meeting to help resolve any issues. Eat right, exercise and get enough sleep.

Mail Carrier Alert Program
In some communities, mail carriers or utility workers are trained to spot signs of trouble through the Carrier Alert Program of the U.S. Postal Service. They report concerns, such as accumulated mail or trash, to an agency that will check on the older adult. This is a service of the USPS and the NALC (National Association of Letter Carriers) in collaboration with local non-profits. To find out if there’s a program in your area, contact the local post office or NALC branch office, or ask your mail carrier for information.

Source: http://www.aarp.org/relationships/caregiving-resource-center/info-09-2010/pc_tips_for_long_distance_caregiver.1.html

To reach one of our Advanced Senior Solution's team members, either go to the Contact Us tab or call 727-443-2273. We’re here to help with all of your elder care questions, care needs, and much more! Call us today for a free no-obligation care consultation via phone or in person.

What are some of the routine medical tests for seniors?

A wide range of screening and preventive measures are available and recommended for people over the age of 65. These guidelines follow the recommendations by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and are based on extensive clinical data. 

The following lists some of the important preventive and screening measures for seniors.
  • Influenza vaccination
  • Pneumonia vaccination
  • Vaccination against shingles (60 and older; some doctors recommend starting at age 50)
  • Colon cancer screening for adults between ages 50 and 75 (younger starting age in high risk groups)
  • Breast cancer screening with yearly mammogram for females between 40 and 75 (younger starting age for high risk groups)
  • Prostate cancer screening with annual rectal exam and PSA (prostate sensitive antigen) in males above age 50
  • Osteoporosis screening with bone density scan in women above age of 65
  • Lipid disorder screening yearly for men above 35 and women above 45
  • Diabetes screening in people with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, or previous high blood sugar levels with or without symptoms of diabetes
  • Blood pressure screening at least once a year
  • Smoking cessation counseling
Other screening tests may be recommended by doctors are:
  • vision and hearing exams
  • skin cancer screening
  • cardiac stress tests
  • thyroid function tests
  • mental status exam
  • peripheral vascular disease screening
It is worth noting that even though these are general health maintenance guidelines, primary care doctors may draft an individualized plan for each person based on their personal history. 

Many of these tests are recommended to be performed periodically. As people get older, the benefits of detecting certain diseases may diminish, obviating the need for further screening. Accordingly, the patient's primary physician may help guide patients with their decisions regarding recommended health screening tests. 

Sometimes the possible risks associated with certain tests may outweigh the potential benefits. Therefore, there are times when the right decision for an individual is to not have further testing for certain conditions. 

Source: www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=22405

To reach one of our Advanced Senior Solution's team members, either go to the Contact Us tab or call 727-443-2273. We’re here to help with all of your elder care questions, care needs, and much more! Call us today for a free no-obligation care consultation via phone or in person.