that older Americans have special issues, on July 14, 1965, President Lyndon
Johnson signed the Older Americans Act (OAA, 2010) to address their
preservation and welfare. This drove community-based resources for the elderly,
with the OAA undergoing revision in 2006 with links to the National Aging
Network Information, the State Units on Aging, and the Area Agencies on Aging. Today,
an estimated 10,000 seniors per day are turning 65 years old.
you can even know that you need to be a Caregiver, and before you know whether
your parent or loved one needs the services of a Caregiver, you must first know
about the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) (Chapter 36). If you or your loved
one needs assistance with three or four of the six ADLs, it is time to start
thinking about getting or being a Caregiver. The specific ADLs will be listed
for you later in this Chapter, but first let us look at the enormity of the
Caregiving Problem in the US.
of the status of the elderly are divided into five groups: population, health
risks, health status, economics, and health care. And as we know that women of
the Baby Boomer generation are entering menopause at a rate of 6,000 women per
day in the US, we need to take a close look at what we are doing, how we are
doing it, and how it affects the individual health of a woman.
is helpful to become familiar with a glossary of terms applicable to senior
living. There is a glossary of terms found on: http://www.alfa.org/alfa/Glossary_of_Terms.asp
, and The Family Caregiver Handbook may also help: http://www.dshs.wa.gov/pdf/Publications/22-277.pdf
.And as you move from helping your
ailing mother to helping yourself as you are ailing, a new humanistic dimension
is awakening that recognizes your individuality: http://www.ccal.org/
. And you may decide that you do not want things done for you they way they
were done to your parent. There are companies and efforts that are working to
make in-house living safer and more effective for independent seniors living
alone with health issues that need monitoring.
the future, we may see electronic scanning of the house for safety issues,
automated blood pressure and vital signs downloaded onto a central command
station for doctors or nurses to view, and fall prevention devices that alarm
the moment a fall has occurred.
may have noticed that as a daughter, you are helping to care not only for your
own children, but for your parent(s), too. Your spare time is spent giving and
giving, but your circle of people that you are taking care of has widened,
perhaps without your realization. You find yourself making appointments for
your hair or nails, or with your girlfriends, only to cancel at the last minute
because you are overwhelmed with responsibilities and you just can’t take the
time to be as nonchalant and self-caring as you once were. You have good intentions, but you are
constrained. You do this over and over again, with the best intentions of being
everywhere (like you always used to be). And then you ‘flake out’ when you
cancel, or you are just a ‘no show’ because you totally forgot about the
commitment. In time, you start to dislike yourself because you know that this
is just not ‘you’. Please do not
despair, as there are interventions that you can make that will put you in a
better position to feel like you are accomplishing your goals.
like the progression of menopause, which is slow and takes years to declare
itself, the stress and progression of increasingly supporting and caring for an
elderly parent or friend can gradually take a toll on you.You need to know that there is an Elder Care
Subculture in America. How does this apply to you as a woman?
informal care that American women provide as caregivers is valued from $148
billion to $188 billion per year. The average caregiver is female, married,
works outside the home, makes $35,000/year, and is 46 years of age (Family
Caregiver Alliance, 2012). When she takes extended lunch breaks, leaves work
early, or arrives at work late due to caregiving duties, this costs businesses
about $327 million/year. When she quits her job to be a caregiver, the cost for
businesses to replace her is about $3.3 billion/year. Taking those urgent phone
calls as workday interruptions to her job adds $3.8 billlion more to the cost
of businesses with women who are also caregivers.
let’s start off by saying that what you are going through is not just happening
to you. Part of the explanation is that two-thirds of all caregivers are women,
with 65.7 million people in the U.S as unpaid caregivers. That’s one in four
adults who are caregivers, and almost 15% of caregivers caring for an elderly
person are themselves age 65 or older. So women, this is a huge bag that we are
holding: the health care of our parents and spouses. People may just not
realize that your parent is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, for
example, and recognizing symptoms is a crucial part of getting proper care
(Helpguide, Early Diagnosis). And if you ever see elder maltreatment, there are
and a toll-free number (1-800-667-1116) to call for guidance and help.
was probably no Elder Care Subculture Training Program for you.You were asked to do little things at first.
Now, years later, you are expected to be tremendously dedicated, flexible, and
responsible as an untrained caregiver. Your role can include the more simple and
natural things like companionship and emotional support. It may progress to the
point where you are grocery shopping, making meals, paying bills, setting
doctor appointments, and even performing nursing procedures in the home. You
may administer medications, make sure medications are refilled on time, pay for
medications, haggle with insurance companies over bills or necessary equipment,
supervise other caregivers, provide or arrange for transportation, and you may
actually serve as a social worker, case manager, and care coordinator
extraordinaire. And you do all of this in the Elder’s home, as that is by far
the preference that we and our parents desire: the comfort of our own homes.
did not receive training for these duties. And it is not easy to incorporate
these tasks into your own life. You need to know that there are caregiver
advocacy groups, free support groups, and free brochures and pamphlets to cater
to your needs, so that you do not feel all alone.
you know that you are not alone, you can reap great benefit and validation for
what you do, and talk to others who know the right things to say to you. One of
the most important things that you can do during these times is to ask for
help. Now that you know there is an Elder Care Subculture out there, you can be
a part of it, add to it, get assistance from it, and even help the next person
to better deal with the issues you have already resolved.
are stronger than you think you are, and your knowledge can add to improve the
quality of life of those around you and those who will follow in your footsteps
after you. Whether you realize it or not, you are on a Journey. You have
foraged a path. You are walking in it every day, and you are contributing to
society, to your parent, and to making this world a better place.
Smile! Thank you for your Payment! Your Pay Pal transaction has been completed, and a receipt from your business purchase has been emailed to you. You may log on to your account at Pay Pal Link to view details of this transaction. The estimated shipping time is 3-4 weeks because the printer has to print your book! I look forward to hearing from you and please feel free to contact me at any time.
Just smile and know that your life can have a new beginning that changes who you are as a person.
Hey, it's okay because so many things happen and every minute of every day, something changes. So relax, click on 'Chapter One' above, and enjoy reading the first Chapter for free.
When things get a little easier on you financially, I do hope you will come back and order your book. For now, I just want to encourage you and let you know that this isn't just a story about fighting for yourself when you are sick. It is a book that teaches you, from the inside of a doctor's mind, about how the medical system works and how you can streamline your own medical care.
If you are a patient looking for a diagnosis, or your have a diagnosis and are looking for a doctor to help treat your diagnosis, these are just a few pointers that are also covered in my book:
Includes Tips on:
* Growing old
* Being disabled
* Fighting for yourself
* Looking for God's promises
* Managing a PICC line
* Managing Caregivers
* The Patient's Bill of Rights
* How doctors think
* Dealing with an Invisible Disability
* Working for Something Good to come out of Something Bad
* Working to get a Diagnosis
* How doctors write their notes
* Sample doctor's SOAP note
* Preventing Falls
* Tracking a fall with an Incident Report
* Caring for the elderly
* Using a 'Pal' system for your parent in a Nursing Home
* Exercising in bed
* Using a Sample Medication List
* Streamlining your health care
* Believing in Yourself
So relax, take a deep breath, and know that we are here to help you on your journey. Touch bases anytime, and we wish you all the good and best things in life!