In honor of National Family Caregivers Month, life transition planning and daily money management firm LifeBridge Solutions, LLC surveyed nearly 400 aging parents and adult children. The national survey was conducted online November 12 – 14, 2013.
Survey results indicate that adult children are generally more concerned about their aging parent’s wellbeing than the older adult is about his or her own situation. Both generations are concerned about the older adult’s general health and safety and about driving. However, the aging parents top concerns include worry about running out of money and how they will pay for care, while the adult children worry about their parent not asking for (or accepting) the help they need and about their parent’s inability to manage medications.
LifeBridge Solutions’ President Sheri L. Samotin says, “Unfortunately, adult children often live a long distance from their aging parents and don’t see them as often as they’d like. As a result, they worry about what’s going on with Mom or Dad and feel a need to put mechanisms in place to keep their parent safe. By the same token, many aging parents are adept at hiding their need for assistance from their children as they fear that their children will try to take over.” Samotin is the author of the forthcoming book, Facing the Finish: A Road Map for Aging Parents and Adult Children (www.FacingtheFinish.com).
While only 25% of the aging parents surveyed report that they are stressed because of their adult children, nearly twice as many adult children report being stressed because of their aging parents. Consistent with these results, it is not surprising that more adult children than aging parents would change something about their relationship with the other generation. However, the top thing both groups would change is to live closer to and/or see the other more often. The next most common wish for both groups is to have better relationships with one another.
According to government statistics an estimated 25% of adult children currently provide hands-on and/or supervisory care for one or more of their parents. This number has tripled over the past fifteen years and is expected to increase dramatically as the population ages. Caring for aging parents is often referred to as the new mid-life crisis.
LifeBridge Solutions, LLC, founded in 2009 provides life transition planning, daily money management and medical billing advocacy services to clients nationwide.
For more information contact:
Sheri L. Samotin, President, LifeBridge Solutions, LLC
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AARP Report Highlights Need for Innovative Long-Term Care for the Aging Baby Boomer Population; Japan’s Technological Secrets May Hold the Answers
A newly published AARP report illustrates a profound demographic shift that will have consequences for decades to come, particularly in the senior living and long-term care industry. Baby boomers are entering their retirement years, while the ratio of potential family caregivers to those who require long-term services and support is beginning to drop. Fewer available caregivers will mean the senior living industry must rapidly adapt to a surging market. The AARP’s full report is available here: http://bit.ly/156phYi
Family caregiving is a low-cost but often burdensome approach to elder care. Becoming a primary caregiver often involves leaving behind a career, among other sacrifices. Plus, these well-intentioned caregivers may not have the expertise necessary to provide the level of care needed by an aged parent. Adults in these roles often feel enormous pressure and stress, sometimes even resentment. At any rate, the nation’s changing demographics will make today’s family caregiving situation far different in the near future.
Between 1990 and 2010, there were about 7 potential caregivers for every one person aged 80-plus. That ratio is at the start of a freefall that will force society to change the way it cares for its elderly members. By 2030, the ratio of caregivers to elderly will be 4 to 1. All remaining baby boomers will have reached their years of highest risk (80+) by 2050, when the caregiver ratio will have plummeted still further to 3 to 1.
Kevin Williams, president of SeniorMarketing.com, suggests innovative thinking will be required to bridge this care gap: “Naturally, with fewer family caregivers available, the responsibility will largely shift to senior living communities, care agencies and already overextended government programs. But it will take more than simply building more communities or training more staff—assuming an adequate number of candidates are even available. Technological innovation may be the silver bullet to raise the standard of living for aging boomers, improve efficiency, and reduce costs.”
The nation of Japan, which has the greatest life expectancy and one of the oldest average populations in the world, has recently experienced a demographic transition of its own. Recently, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare put out a call for 2 million new professional caregivers, but only received 1.3 million eligible candidates. With low birth rates being the norm, that shortfall will only increase. A tech-savvy society to begin with, the Japanese have embraced robotics and automation as a solution to the elder care issue. Motorized, assistive devices can help older individuals perform tasks themselves, while automated pill dispensers can prevent dangerous medication mistakes. A recent blog post on The Economist explained Japan’s inventive approach to the elder care dilemma: http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2013/05/automation-elderly
Williams concluded: “This demographic shift is a great challenge but also a great opportunity. Forward-thinking, entrepreneurs will be leading the way in this new environment. Technology to assist with daily tasks, provide medical care, monitor, and connect seniors to loved ones is advancing at a faster pace every year. It’s not unreasonable to predict that the future will witness even better care for our future seniors.”
Baltimore-based SeniorMarketing.com was created with twin goals in mind. First, the company helps connect caregivers and seniors with local, affordable care options. Second, the company increases income for senior living communities and health care agencies.
Kevin M. Williams, President
5024 Campbell Blvd., Suite D-3
Baltimore, MD 21236
Boston Elder Care Expert A. Michael Bloom Shares Coping Strategies to Support Accidental Caregivers Tending to Ailing Moms and Dads
Filed under: Articles
Boston Elder Care Expert A. Michael Bloom Shares Coping Strategies to Support Accidental Caregivers Tending to Ailing Moms and Dads
BOSTON, May 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Mother’s and Father’s Day celebrations are approaching, yet millions of adult children care for parents year round while on the brink of burnout. Catapulted into the accidental caregiver role without warning, stressed-out kids are doing their best to hold life together when everything seems to be falling apart.
Boston Elder Care Expert A. Michael Bloom issues a timely warning. “You must seek support as a caregiver. The life you save may be your own.”
Bloom offers practical coping strategies to help family caregivers recharge their energy and avoid burnout during a free monthly Caregiving Power Hour. During these tele-sessions, caregivers get tactical solutions to get through the week ahead. Bloom wants to inspire and train caregivers to provide quality support for their loved ones while fully living their own lives.
“It’s coaching, community, and caring in the gift of an hour of sacred time that can really make a difference,” Bloom says.
Bloom knows the stressful caregiving journey well. He served as the primary, live-in caregiver for his parents during their final years. His father passed away in 2009 and, after a courageous battle with cancer, Bloom’s mother passed away in his loving arms on Mother’s Day 2012.
“Caregivers put the well-being of loved ones first which can mean putting their own needs and plans on the back burner. The regret for career or life enhancing opportunities not taken can be a bitter pill to swallow,” Bloom says.
He honors the legacy of his parents by sharing key steps along the roadmap to caregiving without regret.
- Release Crisis Mode. Stop being a victim to circumstances so you feel stronger and become laser-focused to meet your family’s needs. Supporting loved ones through medical challenges is overwhelming and scary. When you become aware that feeling like a victim or in a state of crisis is a mindset, you can successfully shift back into taking control and positive action.
- Overcome Conflict. Communicate and cope with calm and clarity. Otherwise, you will crash while riding the emotional roller coaster associated with disability or disease. Mastering your own trigger points for anger and frustration will lead you to deal effectively with the most challenging people and circumstances in your life.
- Achieve Buy-In. Motivate others to contribute based upon their individual abilities, preferences, and talents so your loved one receives the most satisfying support possible. Giving others choices for how they can serve will foster their desire to gladly help on a regular basis.
- Deliver Greatness and Compassion in Equal Doses. Become the inspiring caregiver that people cheer for and gladly support in meaningful ways. Let your compassion shine through in all actions as you support your loved one. Devote equal time for self-care so you have the energy to let your best shine through even during tough times.
- Magnetize and Motivate Talent. Create an atmosphere that attracts and retains the best people to join your loved one’s care team and experience brilliant performance. Stay positive and open to the opinions of others so you can facilitate options for the best care and support.
- Access Intuition. Trust your instincts and let your care and dedication guide your decisions. Share any concerns and questions with key support professionals. It is better to explore a concern that proves to be okay rather than ignore something that could be life threatening.
- Put Chocolate in Your Pill Box. Find ways to fuel your soul so you can thrive during the caregiver journey and develop the passion and purpose for your life beyond caregiving. Dose yourself regularly to avoid burnout while creating enduring satisfaction and success.
About Certified Professional Coach and Energy Leadership™ Master Practitioner A. Michael Bloom
Since 2011, A. Michael Bloom has revitalized the careers of hundreds of family and professional caregivers with practical, tactical soul-saving coping strategies that support them in saving lives – including their own. An in-demand New England speaker, workshop leader, and coach, Bloom has influenced hundreds of caregivers to follow a roadmap to avoid burnout and recharge their caregiving energy. The author of the forthcoming book, The Accidental Caregivers Survival Guide: Your Roadmap to Caregiving Without Regret, Bloom welcomes media interviews, speaking engagements, and the opportunity to inspire caregivers around the world via his monthly Caregiving Power Hours. Learn more at http://www.bloomforcoach.com/powerhour/.
Caring.com’s New Referral Program Supported by Leading Assisted Living Operators
Caring.com Named Preferred Provider by Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA)
SAN MATEO, Calif., May 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — A group of the nation’s largest senior living providers — including Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD), Emeritus Senior Living (NYSE: ESC), Benchmark Senior Living, and Senior Star — have chosen Caring.com as their agency of record for national buying of Internet leads for families looking for housing and care for their elderly loved ones. Separately, the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) named Caring.com as its preferred partner for Internet marketing services.
With surging demand in the U.S. senior housing market, more Americans than ever before are turning to the Internet and online word of mouth to find and select the best senior living providers for their senior loved ones. About 30-50% of the senior living industry’s leads are coming from the Internet and that number is expected to rise, as tech adoption among baby boomers and seniors alike continues to increase. Whether seeking independent living, assisted living, or memory care, about two million consumers every month turn to Caring.com to find expert guidance about their options, research local providers, and get help in making well-informed selection decisions.
The country’s top senior living providers have chosen Caring.com to increase visibility of their senior living communities, optimize inquiry-to-visit rates, and leverage Caring.com’s resources to better nurture leads from the moment the search begins, through the research and decision-making phases, all the way to community selection and move-in.
In Q4-2012, Caring.com expanded its service offering with the launch of a new toll-free referral help line. Available seven days a week to those seeking senior housing, Caring.com’s family advisors explain different types of senior living options, help identify local senior communities matched to the prospective resident’s needs and preferences, schedule tours, share and encourage consumer reviews, and answer a range of senior living questions. With this added consumer support infrastructure, as well as other new and expanded capabilities for lead qualification and nurturing, the group of senior living community partners announced Caring.com as the agency of record for lead qualification and development, starting January 1. The help line is now referring nearly four thousand prospective residents per week.
“Caring.com has been great to work with as they’ve added the referral model to their business,” said Jayne Sallerson, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Emeritus Senior Living. “Emeritus wanted to consolidate our Internet lead buying with a company we could trust, and Caring.com has demonstrated their commitment to consumers, to us, and to the industry. Their new program is showing positive signs of increased tours and conversions.”
“Caring.com has proven themselves to be a strong partner for Brookdale,” said Jim Pusateri, senior vice president of sales at Brookdale Senior Living. “Working with fewer Internet lead sources has improved our operational efficiencies, lowered our marketing costs, and improved consumers’ experience with Brookdale Senior Living.”
Separately, ALFA, the largest national association of providers of professionally managed communities for seniors, signed Caring.com as its preferred provider for Web-based lead services as well as to power the organization’s new ALFA Senior Living Community Directory.
“Caring.com is our preferred provider of Web-based services because they are an exceptional online resource,” said Richard P. Grimes, president and CEO of ALFA, which is the largest national association exclusively dedicated to professionally managed, consumer-driven senior living communities. “Caring.com’s high-quality content, easy-to-use directory, and online reviews help prospective residents and their families find the right solutions for their needs — this is good for consumers and good for senior living.”
“From the beginning, we’ve focused on building the most comprehensive and most credible online resource to help those caring for a senior parent, spouse, or other loved one,” says Andy Cohen, co-founder and CEO of Caring.com. “Unlike some other Internet resources that will only share information about those providers who pay them, we’ve stayed true to our social mission and help connect consumers to a variety of quality resources for their needs. Working with ALFA and the leading senior living communities helps enable our ability to best serve those in need of senior care — and we continue to offer referral to free and low-cost support resources as well.”
More information for senior living providers interested in partnering with Caring.com is available here: http://providerinfo.caring.com/ProviderGetListed.html Consumers can begin their search for senior housing here: http://www.caring.com/local
Caring.com is the leading website for family caregivers seeking information and support as they care for aging parents, spouses, and other loved ones. Caring.com provides helpful caregiving content,online support groups, and the most comprehensive Senior Care Directory in the United States, with 35,000 consumer ratings and reviews and a toll-free senior living referral line (1-866-824-8174). In January 2012, Caring.com launched the Caring Stars award program recognizing America’s best assisted living communities based on consumer reviews. This year, 383 communities in 40 states were named the Caring Stars of 2013. Based in San Mateo, California, Caring.com is a private company funded by DCM, Intel Capital, Shasta Ventures, and Split Rock Partners. Connect with Caring.com onFacebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn and/or YouTube.
CONTACT: PR@caring.com, 650-762-8190
ElderCarelink.com is hosting the “Share Why You Care” contest that asks caregivers to share stories about their caregiving experiences. Readers vote for their favorite caregiver to win a free spa day and in-home care of their loved one for a day.
January 7, 2013 (VOCUS) Foster City, Calif. – – ElderCareLink.com, a one-stop elder care resource, is hosting a contest this January specifically for caregivers. The “Share Why You Care” contest is designed to give a voice to the approximately 76 million unpaid family caregivers in the U.S. From January 7, 2013 to February 1, 2013 the site encourages these dedicated individuals to share their stories, struggles and memories.
As the first wave of the Baby Boomer generation prepares for retirement, many are finding themselves in caregiving positions because their parents are living longer than ever before. In some cases, plans for a leisurely retirement have been put on hold have so they can be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for aging loved ones.
“It can be exhausting being responsible for someone else all the time,” explained Vicki DeLuca, spokesperson for ElderCareLink.com. “We want our users and caregivers to know they are appreciated for all they do.”
Caregivers may submit an essay of 300 words or less describing why or how they became a caregiver and what caregiving means to them. Optionally, users may also submit a photo of themselves and those they have cared for. Essay submissions are entered automatically into the competition for a chance to win weekly $50 prizes and the submission with the most votes will be awarded the grand prize of a free spa day and in-home care of their loved one, worth $350.
“Caregivers aren’t always appreciated for all the work they do,” continued DeLuca. “The real value of the ‘Share Why You Care’ contest is that their voices can be heard.”
To see the entries or enter the contest, please visit the contest homepage and follow ElderCareLink.com on Twitter and Facebook.
ElderCarelink.com, a one-stop elder care resource, provides a community of support, advice, and caregiving resources for families in need of elder care. To date, ElderCarelink has provided information and assistance to more than one million families nationwide with finding in-home care, assisted living, nursing homes, adult day care, private duty nursing, and care management services. ElderCareLink.com is owned and operated by QuinStreet, Inc. (NASDAQ: QNST), one of the largest Internet marketing and media companies in the world. QuinStreet is committed to providing consumers and businesses with the information they need to research, find and select the products, services and brands that meet their needs. The company is a leader in visitor-friendly marketing practices. For more information, please visit QuinStreet.com
Healthy Aging: Up2Me
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 125 million people suffer from at least one chronic illness. If you are an adult with a chronic condition such as diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, chronic pain or anxiety, this Healthy Aging : Up2Me workshop can help you.
It’s also important for family caregivers to avoid developing a chronic illness due to stress and neglect of their own health and well being.
• Join this FREE 2 1/2 hour workshop held each week for six weeks.
• Learn from trained volunteer leaders who have cared for those with chronic
• Set goals for yourself.
Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health
888 W. Bonneville Ave • Las Vegas, NV 89106
Fridays: September 28 – November 2, 2012
12:30 – 3 p.m.
Sign up with Susan Hirsch at email@example.com or 702-483-6023.
Filed under: Health and Home Care, Press-Media Releases
There’s No Place Like Home
By Michael Clark
If you are on Medicare and have had a recent hospital stay, experts say there is about a 1-in-5 chance you will find yourself back in the hospital again within a month. Hospital readmissions are not only expensive they are hard on both patients and families. According to analysts, three-fourths of these readmissions are potentially avoidable.
Now, the Nevada Partnership for Value-driven Healthcare (NPV) has an initiative with an ultimate goal of reducing these hospital readmissions by at least 10%. The No Place Like Home Campaign is being implemented in Nevada by HealthInsight, the state’s Medicare Quality Improvement Organization.
Typically, problems begin when patients receive inadequate preparation for discharge from the hospital. The handover from the hospital to outpatient providers is poorly handled, and patients and their family caregivers are left to cope on their own with medical issues that they don’t understand. In fact, only about half of discharged patients follow up with their primary-care physicians after they leave the hospital, and those who don’t are much more likely to be readmitted than those who do see a doctor.
“Have we properly prepared the patient for a return home?” asks Deborah Huber, executive director of the non-profit organization HealthInsight, a prominent member of the NPV. “Poor communication is at the heart of the problem.”
Huber points out that too often people released from hospital care do not know when to go to their primary-care doctor, or which medications to take, or the costs involved. Making matters worse, there are no clear lines of authority. As a result, the system sets these individuals up to fail and creates a dangerous situation for patients, according to Brian Jack, an expert on hospital engineering.
In one study, for example, 78 percent of patients discharged from the ER did not understand their diagnosis, their ER treatment, home care instructions, or warnings signs of when to return to the hospital. Health care providers are partly responsible for this lack of comprehension.
IHI, a Boston-based nonprofit organization, advises hospitals and other institutions to use a patient-centered approach that looks at post-discharge care through a patient’s eyes. By doing “deep dives” into several patient histories, IHI says, and finding out why the patients were readmitted, it’s possible to understand where the entire process falls short and begin to fix it.
Another area that needs improvement has to do with what is called the transitions of care…do the health care providers receiving the patient know what the ones sending the patient home knows? “The patient gets stuck in the middle. They don’t know what to do,” Huber noted. And what about Advanced Planning…end of life care? Have patients and their families made these ultimate decisions? If not, these issues must be addressed. What if patients don’t want to go back to the hospital? Are they aware of what palliative care or hospice can do? “Medicare provides a good hospice benefit. The whole family can benefit from that.”
Here the goal is to make someone as comfortable as possible and give family members the support they need to help them through this difficult time. “These are the type of things I see every day with my home health patients, I see where patients would not have to return to acute if the goals set here could be obtained,” said Lucia Cleveland a home health occupational therapist.
HealthInsight’s goal is to reduce 30-day readmissions by 20% by October 2013. Finally, Huber observes “this is a community problem, not merely a hospital problem.” This community effort will produce sustainable and replicable strategies to achieve high-value health care for individuals in our communities and save potentially millions of dollars in healthcare costs.
“One way we support this statewide community effort is through a web-based campaign where providers, payers, and patients can pledge their support and become an active participant,” noted Jackie Buttaccio, HealthInsight’s Quality Improvement Manager. “The website is a one stop shop for all things readmissions with resources and tools that can be downloaded, and local success stories can be shared. “ The address is http://noplacelikehomenv.com
HealthInsight also supports this work through face to face workshops for providers to learn more about what they can change about their systems of care to keep patients safe from an avoidable hospital readmission.