We all want to lend a hand when a friend or family member is ill and unable to tend to their daily needs without assistance. The usual question for me is what can I do to help out without getting in the way? If the person has been living independently prior to their illness, they usually don’t like to ask for help.
I’ve come up with my own list of ways to help let your friend or family member know that you are there for them.
1. Find out the best times to visit. The last thing you want to do is to disturb them when they are resting.
2. Ask if there is anyone chore that they were doing daily before the illness that you can take over until they are up and around again.
3. Be a reliable presence in your friends’ life. Checking in regularly can be a huge comfort to someone who has had their life turned upside down by a medical issue.
4. Hire a manicurist/pedicurist to do a house call. Sending new soft & fluffy slippers with the manicurist is always a nice touch.
5. Providing meals is always a great help. The last thing someone who is ill wants to do is cook. If the person is homebound, reach out to other friends to help prepare and drop off meals.
6. Have a movie night. Bring a DVD, make some popcorn and watch a movie together.
7. While at the grocery store, call your friend to ask if there is anything they need you to pick up for them.
8. Offer to drive them to their doctor’s appointment.
9. Send notes and cards frequently. This lets your friend know they are often in your thoughts.
10. If they are able to get out, take them for a ride around the city.
11. If appropriate, bring humor and a light mood to them. Laughter can be a terrific medicine.
12. Let them know you admire their strength.
No situation is the same. Always remember, listen more and talk less. If after some time you notice that your friend is not progressing at home, you might want to suggest to them or a family member to look into skilled nursing assistance and or assisted living.
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My name is Marlana and I am a Baby Boomer born in 1962. While worrying about work, home, and caring for my 72-year-old father and my 94-year-old grandmother, I’m at told that I need to worry about who will one day care for me in my later years.
For those of us who thought we would be able to rely on our children, cousins or close friends as caregivers in our later years, we may be in for a big shock according to an AARP report.
According to estimates by AARP, we can expect a sharp decline in the ratio of caregivers to care, recipients, especially in the United States. AARP says currently, there are about 7 people aged 45-64 years of age to care for each person who is 80 years or older. By 2030, there will be only 4 and by 2050 there will be fewer than 3. One reason for this shortage is the number of children of Baby Boomers who represent Generation X. There are only 45 million Generation X adults compared to the 77 million Baby Boomers. The oldest Generation X adult turns 49 in 2014.
This ratio isn’t the only factor to consider. Many of the children of Baby Boomers are in a less optimum situation for providing care. Many are starting their families later and taking longer to establish their careers, and in many cases are less able to take extended time off to care for their elderly relatives.
What can we do to address this situation? Although, we don’t like to dwell upon the possibility of future physical or cognitive challenges, It is something that should be considered. Even the healthiest person can face health issues down the road, and there are a few things to consider.
1. Are your financial affairs in order?
2. Would long-term insurance be a good choice?
3. Learn about Medicare, Social Security, and the other benefits to which you are entitled.
4. Talk to your family about plans for future care.
This topic may not be at the top of my to-do list, but I realize that if nature plays out as it should, I will need to put a plan in motion now so there’s no question about who will look after me in my golden years.
For more information on the caregiver shortage please visit AARP Public Policy Institute at www.aarp.org/research/ppi/
The staff at The Wesley Communities is available to assist you and your family with questions regarding your future needs. We offer many long terms living services, including assisted living, independent living as well as at home services provided by Wesley At Home if remaining in your own home is an option. Please give us a call at 614-396-4990 with questions or to arrange a tour of our facilities, or go to www.thewesleycommunities.com/contact/
It is a fact that our immune systems will change and become weaker as we age. The thymus gland which produces T Lymphocytes, is responsible for identifying cells to fight off foreign invaders in our bodies. These cells are located within your blood which resides in your organs to fight off illness and infections. The thymus gland shrinks after adolescence so that by the time you are 40, your immune systems weaken.
As our world population ages, it will be more important than ever for our community to improve its need for a strong and balanced immune system and to promote healthy aging.
Understanding the immune system and how it works can be quite complex, but there are ways to prevent our immune systems from weakening over time. It is estimated that by the time we are 65 years of age that we don’t have the range of cells needed to fight new infections and that those you do have are exhausted.
Here are some ways we can strengthen our immune systems as we age:
- Drink plenty of water
- Get plenty of sleep and rest (8 to 10 hours)
- Maintain a regular exercise program
- Cut down on stress and anxiety
- Eat Food that contains high antioxidants (fruits and vegetables, dark greens, whole grains, dairy and meat for protein)
- Don’t skip meals and eat well-balanced meals
- A multi-vitamin and a calcium supplement especially for women
For more information on immune systems and preventative health, go to the National Institute of Health website.
Image courtesy of Photostock/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
You can spend quality time with your grandchildren AND spend wisely with your wallet while you are having fun!
Summer is a great time to enjoy the outdoors and visit amusement parks, zoo’s, waterparks and concerts, but they can be costly to your bank account. Tickets can range anywhere from $25-$40 dollars for a single ticket to local attractions for children 12 and under. This does not include the stops for lunches and the enticing souvenirs along the way.
It’s a fact of nature: Grandparents love to spoil their grandchildren. A 2002 study by AARP showed that a full 93 percent of grandparents spend money on their grandchildren purely because the enjoy it.
Take some time to plan some fun activities and get creative with ideas like cooking and baking, or arts and crafts. I came across a great website, www.spoonful.com/summer which offers 40 summer crafts for kids. I love crafting. So one weekend during a visit, I had them make treasure boxes to put special items in they want to keep. Another weekend, I had them plant flowers around my patio. I made it fun by allowing them to choose how the plants were lined up. They took pride in what they did, and call regularly to make sure I’m watering the flowers!
For creative ways to entertain the grandkids visit www.spoonful.com, www.pinterest.com, or www.favecrafts.com.
Whether you like the outdoors or prefer staying inside, Columbus has a lot to offer!
After looking into a few things, I found places that I didn’t realize existed here in Columbus. They not only sound fun but in some instances are free to enjoy.
If you enjoy museums, plan a visit to The Columbus Museum of Art located in downtown Columbus at 480 East Broad Street. According to the website, the museum was formed in 1878 as the Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts and was the first museum to register its charter with the State of Ohio. Sundays are a great opportunity to save a buck with admission being free to the public. Monday through Saturday admission is $8.00 for seniors 60 and over. If you catch a great weekend you can catch a few tunes provided by a local band, while gallery gazing. The museum is open year-round Tuesday through Sunday 10am- 530pm and Thursday 10a.m.- 8:30p.m. For a detailed calendar of current exhibitions, visit the museum’s website at www.columbusmuseum.org or call 614-221-4848.
For the motorcycle enthusiast, I found the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, located at 13515 Yarmouth Rd. in Pickerington, Ohio, open 7 days a week 9a.m.-5p.m., admission is $10. A visit to the museum offers a look back at 75 years of motorcycling history including actual bike models, classic Harleys from the early 1900s, and Ohio made Hondas. To plan your visit to the museum, visit their website at www.motorcyclemuseum.org, or call 614-856-2222.
More of a Thespian and drama lover? You may enjoy a visit to the Riffe Center Capitol Theatre located at 77 South High Street. Seniors are able to see sneak previews of different shows, called Senior Dress Rehearsals, at a discounted price. For information on Senior Dress Rehearsals call 614-460-7214