The fall of 2010 brought me a gift and blessing I will never forget, being the primary caregiver for my mom through the final journey of her life. At the time, I did not always view my experience as a gift. The life lessons I learned made me a better person and have given me a perspective on life, grieving and death that have forever changed me. My mother’s gift was that of her total self, allowing me to experience with her the pain, grief, fear and vulnerability that became hers during her final journey as she struggled to maintain her dignity, independence and health. I hope my story will help other caregivers in their journey.
In November 2010 mom had to leave her home and move to a care suite in assisted living. Since spring, her body continued to betray her. Loss of mobility, falls and hospitalizations for staph infection, pneumonia and blood clots in her lungs. The move was very traumatic for all of us. I thought assisted living would bring a relief for everyone. I soon realized that was not the case. Mom needed me there to support her emotionally. Initially, I did not see her fear of being alone and her recognition that here is where she would die.
Has the recent economy made you think about continuing to work past 65? Or do you just love your job so much that you do not want to think about retiring? Remember that you are eligible for Medicare when you reach 65 years of age. If you are covered by employer group health insurance and the employer has 20 or more employees, you can defer Medicare Part B until your coverage or employment ends, whichever comes first.(more…)
There’s a hidden gem in the senior industry that many people don’t know about: Geriatric Care Managers. Who are they? What do they do? Why would you need to hire one?
Geriatric Care Managers (GCM) work with seniors and their families to guide them through the senior industry: how to find services, pay for them, screen the companies and provide ongoing consultation and support as requested. (more…)
Choosing hospice does not mean giving up. Instead, it allows those suffering from terminal illness to focus on those things that mean the most to them. Hospice can help people live their life to the fullest in their final months. Hospice also provides support to families who are helping care for others.
At Hospice of the Twin Cities, we work with patients wherever they call home, making visits to nursing homes, private homes, assisted living facilities and group homes. (more…)
Changing Health Care Trends Bring New Approaches from a New Therapy Company
For people recuperating from illnesses, injuries or surgeries, therapy can play a significant role in helping them return home from the hospital sooner while helping them stay healthy so they don’t have to be rehospitalized later.
Rehospitalization is the new watchword in healthcare. Preventing rehospitalizations has become an important new trend in the healthcare field. Minnesota Hospital Association Vice President Matt Anderson notes that hospitals now face penalties from Medicare when patients are readmitted after being discharged. Therefore, hospitals are looking for ways to prevent readmissions. One of the ways healthcare providers keep patients from being readmitted after they are discharged is to join with organizations that provide therapy services. (more…)
I have a vivid memory from when I was a kid in the ’50s. I am in the family station wagon with my sisters and parents, leaving my grandparents’ farm. My grandparents are waving goodbye from the farmyard gate; my grandfather in his bib overalls with a kind of Santa physique and my grandma, who had serious shoes – the lace-up black leather heels – bird legs and these even more serious arms that kept waving long after she stopped. I remember thinking they were old. They looked old and dressed old and moved old. You know what? They were a decade older than I am now and I can assure you, I am not old. I have the shoes to prove it! If you are at all like me, you can remember Jane Fonda in her famous striped leotard, belted, standing lean and tall in her legwarmers. Or Joanie Greggins’ perky pigtails on her TV exercise show or maybe you were a devotee of Judi Shepherd Misset and Jazzercise. Those of us who fell into a high-kicking (more…)
While caring for an older adult can be rewarding, it can also be overwhelming. You may even find it difficult to handle the normal tasks of daily living. Do any of the following statements apply to you?
I do not have enough time for myself.
I feel stressed over trying to provide care and still carry out my other responsibilities.
Sometimes being a caregiver makes me feel angry and frustrated.
Being a caregiver is negatively affecting other important relationships with family and friends.
My physical health has suffered because of my role as a caregiver.
Active aging is all the buzz. A healthy lifestyle is only 30 minutes a day away. We need to move our bodies, to work our hearts, to challenge our minds and to be with others to maintain overall fitness and health. And yet it’s so often the one thing we give up as we age.
We know we need to be active to be healthy. Limiting our activity causes our bodies, minds and spirits to deteriorate. Nordic walking, the simple addition of specially designed poles to your walk, is an easy and safe way to get the exercise that you need to remain healthy throughout your retirement years.
My name is Linda Lemke, aka the Nordic Walking Queen of the Twin Cities. A fitness walker for 24 years, I added Nordic walking poles to my routine four years ago. As soon as I had the poles in my hands and took my first steps, I was hooked. I have been trained by both LEKI and ANWA (American Nordic Walking Association) as a Nordic Walking Instructor and Trainer. Through the many classes, community events and corporate programs I led over the past 3 years I personally introduced more than 1500 people to the joys and benefits of Nordic walking. It has been my pleasure to walk with people of all ages and all fitness levels, many with activity restricting physical limitations. It is a life changing experience to participate in an outdoor “sport” that everyone enjoys while reaping the benefits of an all body workout. (more…)