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Communication Strategies for Dementia

By Flora Umukoro, 2:28 pm on March 6, 2019

It’s indescribably painful to witness the deterioration of a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, or any other type of dementia. As the disease progresses, we see minor forgetfulness gradually morph into severe impairment and eventually our loved one’s individuality itself is compromised. During my work with families I have heard many people use the phrase, “empty shell of a person” when describing a loved one ravaged by the later stages of the dementia. Sadly, dementia does indeed transform people into shadows of their former selves, but those living with dementia are far from “empty shells.” Yes, the shell may become more and more difficult to open. Some days it might not open at all. But never …

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Caregiving and Maintaining a Solid Relationship With Your Spouse

By Flora Umukoro, 2:09 pm on February 20, 2019

For many adults on the cusp of retirement, providing care for a child as well as a parent or senior loved one is a very real scenario. The average age of a family caregiver is 49.2 years old and more often than not, they are providing on average 24.4 hours per week of care for a family member, according to the Family Caregiver Alliance. In addition to these “Sandwich Generation” caregiver responsibilities, most caregivers are also married or in committed relationships. Maintaining a happy and healthy relationship is difficult enough, but add in the energy, responsibilities and time spent caregiving and the demands have the potential to cause serious trouble in a relationship. 3 Ways to Maintain …

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What to Do When Dad and Mom Have Different Living Care Needs

By Flora Umukoro, 2:10 pm on January 31, 2019

Making Decisions About Dad and Mom’s Different Senior Living Care Needs As much as your parents might like to continue living together, that may not be feasible if they have different care needs. “As caregiving becomes more difficult in the home, alternative living arrangements are sometimes necessary for the safety of the couple,” affirms Daily. Perhaps your parents won’t need to make a complete separation — a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) may have the resources available to meet each of their needs. But if that’s not the case, Dad and Mom may need to live apart. Financial resources, personal preferences and senior living community availability all play a role in determining the optimal living …

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Accounting Tips for Families With an In-Home Caregiver

By Flora Umukoro, 2:50 pm on January 15, 2019

Many families hire an in-home caregiver when a parent or senior loved one needs more care than they can sustainably provide. It can sometimes be difficult, however, for families to keep their accounting and payments to a caregiver in order when they are so focused on providing for a loved one. Read our list of seven steps that you can take to ensure your finances are in shape when hiring an in-home caregiver. 7 Accounting Tips for Families Who Hire an In-Home Caregiver A big part of getting it right is making sure you do all your accounting, payments and reporting properly. If you are considering hiring an in-home caregiver, make sure you follow these seven steps: 1. …

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Communication Strategies for Dementia

By Flora Umukoro, 4:29 pm on January 8, 2019

It’s very very painful to witness the deterioration of a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, or any other type of dementia. As the disease progresses, we see minor forgetfulness gradually morph into severe impairment and eventually our loved one’s individuality itself is compromised. Understanding how to connect and communicate with our loved ones through this time is of the utmost importance. Learn more from these communication strategies for dementia. Communication Strategies for Dementia During my work with families I have heard many people use the phrase, “empty shell of a person” when describing a loved one ravaged by the later stages of the dementia. Sadly, dementia does indeed transform people into shadows of their former selves, but …

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Amazing Benefits Pets Bring to Seniors

By Flora Umukoro, 2:17 pm on January 2, 2019

Benefits Pets Bring to Seniors It’s true; those furry, slobbery, wagging creatures can be the best of companions. Popular culture and media show us that people of all ages benefit from pets, with movies like “Beethoven,” “Old Yeller,” “Turner & Hooch” and more. But the truth is that pets are sometimes the only companions for seniors. Pets provide a comfort system and actually produce a chemical chain reaction in the brain that helps to lower levels of of the stress-inducing hormone, cortisol, and increase the production of the feel-good hormone, serotonin. In fact, pets have been shown to reduce blood pressure and stress levels in humans and can actually help lower cholesterol, fight depression and …

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More Joy, Less Stress

By Flora Umukoro, 2:37 pm on December 19, 2018

Feeling stressed this holiday season? The holidays are supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but they can sometimes bring us less joy and more holiday stress. Read our top tips on how to create a life with more joy and less stress over the holidays, so that you can enjoy the season a little more this year. 8 Tips for Cultivating More Joy, Less Stress Here are eight guidelines on how to live a life with less stress: 1. Be here now. Another way of putting this is, “Live in the moment.” If we live our lives always waiting for some hoped for the point in the future, we discard the here and …

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5 Tips to Lower Your Medical Bills

By Flora Umukoro, 2:09 pm on December 13, 2018

How to Lower Your Medical Bills After a Hospital Stay According to Business Insider, the average hospital stay in the United States costs just over $10,700 and the most expensive health conditions also happen to be some of the most common reasons why seniors are admitted to hospital. For instance, the following conditions that primarily affect seniors are consistently ranked within the top 10 reasons for hospital admission: Pneumonia: Ranked #2 out of 10 and costs an average of $9,793 Osteoarthritis: Ranked #3 out of 10 and costs an average of $15,897 Congestive Heart Failure: Ranked #4 out of 10 and costs an average of $11,500 Cardiac Dysrhythmia: Ranked #7 out of 10 and costs an …

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The Benefits of Multigenerational Activities

By Flora Umukoro, 1:26 pm on December 5, 2018

Multigenerational Activities and Their Benefits An article published by Next Avenue highlights the exceptional relationship one woman has had with Girl Scouts of the U.S. and the many benefits she has experienced from the multigenerational activities they offer over the course of nearly 50 years. During her time with the program, Kathleen Pearce has worn many hats – first as a scout, then a leader and currently, a program volunteer teaching babysitting, CPR and first aid skills to leaders and girls in other troops. Pearce credits the organization with instilling a sense of commitment in her and allowing her to play a fundamental role in the lives of so many other girls and women, all while experiencing adventure …

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10 Things to Know About Medicare

By Flora Umukoro, 7:59 pm on November 28, 2018

“Annoying,” “difficult” and “frustrating.” For anyone who has applied to Medicare, these are the typical words that come to mind when describing the application process. Part of the problem is that there are no easy, one-size-fits-all coverage options. The other part of the problem is that in an underfunded system, everyone’s on their own to navigate through Medicare as best they can. 10 Things to Know About Medicare So, what can you do to maximize your Medicare coverage while minimizing your expenses and stress? Give yourself plenty of time and read these top 10 things to know about Medicare before you turn 65: 1. After you turn 65, Medicare is your primary insurer. Do you …

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