Avoiding Caregiver Burnout

Avoiding Caregiver Burnout

If you are a caregiver, you know how stressful and time consuming caring for someone with dementia can be. It very easy to put your own needs and wants to the side in order to make room for all the other things that need to be done. While periodic longer breaks are important for preventing caregiver fatigue, we don’t get those very often. So, we need a variety of ways to fill our own tanks and manage caregiver stress, whether we have a few minutes or a few hours.

Top Signs Of Caregiver Burnout

Caregiver burnout is something to be aware of. This is complete exhaustion: mentally, physically, and emotionally. Some signs of burnout include.

  1. Withdrawal from friends and family.
  2. Loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed.
  3. Feeling blue, irritable, hopeless, and helpless.
  4. Changes in appetite, weight, or both.
  5. Changes in sleep patterns.
  6. Getting sick more often.
  7. Feelings of wanting to hurt yourself or the person for whom you are caring.

If you or someone you know is experiencing these signs and symptoms, it may be time for a change.

How To Avoid Caregiver Burnout

There are several ways to avoid getting burned out. Many of them involve setting aside specific time that is designated for yourself. While this may seem impossible, if you plan strategically, it can be done! Here are some ways to avoid caregiver burnout.

  1. Maintain a healthy mindset – make sure you are staying positive, setting goals, and meditating or reflecting often. Simple changes such as keeping a goal list can really change the course of a day!
  2. Get plenty of sleep – It is not secret that our bodies need sleep to function well. Make sure you are setting yourself up to get at least 6-8 hours of sleep every night.
  3. Eat Well – Nutrition can play a huge role in how we function throughout the day. Without the proper nutrients, our bodies won’t operate at optimum energy. Eat healthy foods so that you can be at your best when someone else needs you.
  4. Move Your Body – Physical activity and exercise is a great way to start your day releasing natural endorphins. Many people find that when they exercise at the beginning of the day, they actually are less tired as the day goes on. Make time for a walk or run so that you can get your blood flowing and body moving!
  5. Connect with others – Isolation is common among caregivers and puts them at risk for mental and physical issues. Try to stay connected through support groups, family and friends, social media, or just getting out and doing other things.

As you can see, there are many ways to avoid getting burn out when you feel like you are always giving 110%. Making some small changes to your daily routine can really help with not feeling total exhaustion.

Caregiving for another person requires a lot of energy and focus. Oftentimes, we find ourselves in the role of caregiver unexpectedly. When someone we love needs more support in their life, it can become a big and challenging job. If you are taking on this job alone, you are bound to become tired. Orchard at Athens understands this and is here to help. Contact us for more information about the programs we offer.

Dementia & Effective Communication

Communicating Effectively With A Person Living With Dementia

Communicating with someone living with dementia can be difficult, but this does not have to be the case. When someone has dementia, many things are changing in their brain and one of them is the temporal lobe which is the primary place of language location. When the temporal lobe is affected by dementia, people will begin to have difficulty finding words, understanding what words mean, and also talking and forming words. And yet, even though people living with dementia may not be able to understand others or express themselves, they are still able to communicate with us. We must make a few, simple adjustments with how we communicate. In this article we’ll discuss some dementia communication techniques to help you communicate more effectively.

Step 1 – Understand What’s Happening

The first step to effectively communicate with someone living with dementia is to understand what is happening to the brain. When someone is living with dementia they may:

  • Misremember events or people or may use the wrong name for people
  • They may misunderstand what you are saying
  • Lose every fourth word you say
  • Lose nouns
  • Lose comprehension, vocabulary
  • Lose the ability to produce speech, may misname something or someone, may use words that have no meaning to you
  • Speak in words salads (this sounds like a bunch of mixed up words)

Step 2 – Recognize Abilities

The second step is to recognize the abilities of that person.

Understanding brain change and having the skill to notice and support the abilities that people still have is extremely important to the quality of life for people living with dementia. Therefore it will be important, if considering senior living for someone with dementia, to look for communities that have specific training. Orchard at Athens is a senior living community in Athens GA that has specialized training. This highly qualified staff will understand and support the abilities of people living with dementia.  These abilities of people living with dementia include:

  • Rely on visual information much more than verbal information
  • Expresses themselves in actions
  • Retain the ability to sing and pray
  • Can use social chit chat
  • May use profanity to show displeasure especially it they have never used these words
  • Know their likes and dislikes

Step 3 – Make Adjustments

The third step is to make adjustments based on their abilities.

Making adjustments based on someone’s abilities does not have to be a difficult process but it will take some practice.  The suggestions below are some easy ways to make adjustments that may make a big difference for someone living with brain change. Try practicing one of the steps listed below and practice until it feels natural.  Set a goal that you can reach before you try to do each of these steps.

  • Use less words
  • Use more visual aides
  • Slow down and give more time for the person to respond  (as the dementia progresses, give more time for a response)
  • NEVER say remember
  • Be in their field of vision
  • Help them talk about something rather than try to find the word
  • Ask them to show you what they want rather than trying to get them to find the specific word

Step 4 – Continued Support

The fourth step is to never give up because we can make a big difference in the lives of people living with dementia as long as we keep trying to support them.

It can be stressful being a caregiver. Orchard at Athens is a new luxury assisted living community in Athens that is committed to supporting people living with dementia and their caregivers. Whether you have someone living in our community or are looking for support as a caregiver in the home, our staff is here to help. Please contact us to learn more.

Dementia Diagnosis

Plan For Dementia Caregiving

Finding out that a loved one has dementia can be a vey scary experience. This fear is coupled with confusion and uncertainty. Oftentimes families do not know what to do in these situations, because they have never been in them before. Dealing with sickness can be unexpected and you may not already have a plan in place, this can quickly make life much more stressful. This article will explore the many ways you can plan and prepare if you are just learning that someone close to you has been diagnosed with dementia.

Noticing Signs Of Dementia

As people age, the way their brain functions also begins to change. It can be difficult to recognize when these changes are normal versus when these changes are abnormal. The earlier dementia is recognized in an individual, the better. Below are some resources doctors and physicians may use to help determine if someone is suffering from dementia.

  •  Getting a family history of medical issues
  • Asking for family members’ input
  • Conducting a series of tests (physical and mental)
  • Brain imaging

Next Steps After a Diagnosis

Once someone has been diagnosed, it’s time to start putting a plan in place. Your life and the patient’s life is going to drastically change over time. These next steps will help you and the person you care for transition over time.

  • Determine treatment options
  • Plan out living conditions
  • Coordinate care for the diagnosed individual
  • Take an active role in meaningful activities
  • Set aside time to connect with others who may be in your position
  •  Educate yourself on the disease
  • Create a plan for the future (care, finances, etc.)

Even if you don’t stick to your plan or do all of the mentioned steps, that is okay. It is important to at least be proactive in this situation. Thinking ahead and being as involved as possible will make this situation much more manageable.

There are over 5.8 million Americans living with dementia. By 2025, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s dementia is projected to reach 7.1 million. You are not alone in your search for answers. Orchard at Athens is qualified and ready to help you find solutions in your time of crisis. When you are ready for help taking care of your loved one, please contact us.

Benefits Of Caregiver Support Groups

5 Benefits Of Caregiver Support Groups

When going through difficulties in life we can often feel alone. We tend to internalize the idea that we are the only ones experiencing a particular situation. We seek to find people who have similar experiences and can understand what we are going through. Support groups are one way to connect with individuals who understand our situation and can offer advice or comfort. These groups provide the opportunity to share and discuss both personal challenges and celebrations.

Community groups are based on the core idea that talking about the things that are bothering you has the potential to help clarify and put them into perspective.

5 Benefits Of Support Groups

Talking About Life Changes In A Non-Judgmental Space
Support groups must provide a safe space for people to share their experiences without feeling as though they are being judged. This allows each participant to feel validated in their feelings and safe with the facilitator and the group. Feeling validated and free to share in a setting that is supportive and open, can be the first step in moving toward positive opportunities.

Sharing Coping Strategies
A support group can provide new opportunities for participants to learn about coping and compensatory strategies. A trained facilitator as well as group participant personal stories offer creative “tried and true” ideas.  Groups are a good place to process and practice new ways of doing things. When individuals share their own stories, there can be many positive outcomes. Some of these outcomes include, becoming aware of personal patterns, learning to manage thoughts and emotions, building a platform on which to change habits, and exploring new skills that can lead to desired changes.

We all want to live an empowered life. Support groups can help us identify our abilities and the right kind of support we need to be able to live a confident and content life. Support groups assist participants in discovering what they are still capable of doing. They also highlight and suggest specific types of support that individuals may need. Lastly, they encourage participants to connect with themselves and one another.

Reduce Loneliness and Isolation
Loneliness and isolation have been identified as a major concerns for care partners and people living with dementia. The common perceptions of loss and limited abilities create experiences of separation and loss of relationships. Many people living with dementia become isolated because others do not know how to stay connected with them. In each of these scenarios, people begin to step away from one another. Support groups eliminate the feelings of loneliness and isolation by creating a space for people who experience similar things, forming a community, and addressing feelings of connectedness and understanding.

Coping With Grief and Loss
Support groups can help individuals cope with grief and loss of: independence or lifestyle, abilities, living situations, relationships, or communities. Grief and loss are very real experiences for people living with dementia and their care partners. A support group is a good place for them to be able to process these feelings and move to a healthier and happier life.

Orchard at Athens understands this importance and is here to support our Athens area residents with a new simultaneous support group both for people living with dementia and their care partners. Contact us to learn more about our programs.

Challenging Situations & Dementia

Challenging Situations & Dementia Part 2

The changes that happen in neurocognitive disorders can create challenging situations for both the individual undergoing change and those who care for them. Frustrating situations are common and can cause loved ones to feel confused. Below are four of the most common situations that can be difficult for caregivers.

Orchard at Athens understands situations such as these and takes the time to ensure that care partners are trained and skilled in supporting people when confronted with unexpected surprises. We choose to acknowledge persons are doing the best they can with what they have, at any moment, and we understand that as people change, they navigate difficulties to the best of their ability.

#1 Wandering

Some people living with a neurocognitive change will wander. The Alzheimer’s Association reports that 6 out of 10 people living with dementia will wander. Programs designed to assist in the monitoring and return of those who wander include MedicAlert® and Safe Return.®

Anyone who has trouble with memory is at risk of becoming lost even if they are in the early stages of a condition that causes dementia. This happens because people can get disoriented and confused about time and/or place.

The area in the brain that helps with wayfinding, navigating direction, and awareness of time (time of day, time of life, time of year) becomes affected by dementia and may no longer work as it used to.

Signs to look for that increase someone’s risk of wandering or becoming lost include:

  • Returning from a regular walk or drive later than usual
  • Forgetting how to get to familiar places
  • Talking about fulfilling former obligations, such as going to work
  • Wanting to “go home,” even when they are already at home
  • Having feelings of restlessness or physically pacing
  • Having difficulty locating familiar places inside their home
  • Looking for friends or family who live elsewhere
  • Acting as if they are doing a hobby or chore, but nothing gets accomplished
  • Becoming nervous or anxious in crowded areas, such as shopping malls or restaurants

#2 Paranoia

The medical dictionary defines paranoia as an unfounded or exaggerated distrust of others, sometimes reaching delusional proportions. If a person is feeling paranoid, they will constantly speculate at the motives of others around them and may believe certain individuals or others in general are, “out to get them.”

Some probable causes of paranoia due to conditions of dementia include:

  • Attempting to fill in “story” for short term memory details that are no longer able to be remembered
  • Mistaking information that wasn’t comprehended accurately
  • Misidentifying people that I think I know or don’t know
  • Creating reasonable and rational conclusions to mistaken information or misidentified people
  • Forgetting where items have placed or hidden
  • Experiencing a generalized anxiety due to changes in cognitive ability

#3 Shadowing

Often, shadowing appears to be driven by the person’s anxiety and uncertainty. They may feel like their caregiver is the one safe and known aspect of their life; like a physical “life line” or “security blanket.” The minute a caregiver walks into a different ​room, or goes outside, or shuts a door to use the bathroom for example, the person with dementia may become afraid, unsure and upset.

Things that may help if you are someone’s lifeline:

  • Remember you provide a sense of safety and security
  • Provide a routine and structure for the day
  • Bring in other support people early on so it is normal to have other people around
  • Provide meaningful things to do that create give a sense of purpose and importance for a person throughout their day

#4 Sun-downing

Sun-downing is a symptom of many forms of dementia. It is also known as “late-day confusion.” If someone you care for has dementia, confusion and agitation may get worse in the late afternoon and evening often because a person is more tired and the brain is having difficulty with this transitional time of the day.

Reasons for sun-downing can include:

  • A feeling that I am supposed to go somewhere or change locations
  • A need for increased activity during the day
  • Observing or seeing other people leaving or ending work and going home
  • A change in diet –eating lighter evening meals can help
  • A need to reduce stress I might be experiencing throughout my day

Our approach to care considers what is underneath behavioral expressions that can create challenging situations as described above. To find support or learn more about helpful approaches to these and other situations contact us.

Challenging Situations & Dementia

Challenging Situations & Dementia Part 1

Chronic health issues and dementia bring unique challenges for many reasons. Body and brain change create frustrations that often present in behavior expressions that confuse or surprise us. Taking the time to assess what might be underneath a challenging situation can help.

The staff of Orchard at Athens are both knowledgeable and trained with skills to minimize challenging situations and create a more supportive environment. The following 7 factors are key considerations to take when working to problem solve an unexpected behavioral expression. Often there is more to the situation than meets the eye.

#1 Think About Who A Person Has Been Throughout Their Life

  • What type of personality do they have?
  • What are some of their personal preferences?
  • What family, friends, or kind of people do they feel most comfortable with?
  • Is the person an introvert or an extrovert?
  • What is their social history?
  • What is their professional history?
  • Are they early risers or do they prefer to stay up late?
  • What sort of activities do they like or dislike?

Knowing who the person has been throughout their life is essential in supporting a person and discovering how to best meet their needs.

#2 Remember The Body & Brain Are Changing

Part 2 of this blog will explore what could be happening suddenly, unknowingly, to a person’s physiology and causing unexpected change or challenges.

#3 Assessing The Living Space

  • Is a person set up for success in their living area?
  • Is it functional and safe at the same time?
  • Can they move around simply and safely?
  • Is there signage and is it easy to understand and follow?
  • Is the space adequate for multiple people?
  • Are the sound, light, surfaces or sitting areas, calming and supportive?
  • Are there unnecessary distractions?
  • Does the furniture and décor match the needs and abilities of the people living there?
  • Are there corridors or corners where someone may get lost or stuck?
  • Does the flow of space allow people to walk and move freely without getting terribly lost or confused?

#4 Review The Daily Routine & Planned Use Of Personal Time

  • Is there a flow or routine to a person’s day?
  • Are there opportunities for novel and new experiences?
  • Is there planned time for rest and relaxation?
  • Is there an emphasis on health and wellness
  • Are leisure and fun activities included?
  • Is there an execution of productive and meaningful work/activities?
  • Are there opportunities seven days a week and outside of 9-5 business hours?
  • How many support persons or staff members are participating?

#5 Care Partners & Family

  • Is continuing education provided for care partners or families who need to learn more?
  • Are there therapeutic support group opportunities for the person, family, or care partners?
  • What is the experience or skill level of those helping with a challenging situation?

#6 Healthcare & Wellness

  • What is the current status of the health condition?
  • Is the person in pain?
  • Are they taking new medications?
  • Are side effects developing due to long use of a medication or changing conditions?
  • Could vision, hearing, mouth or foot care be creating agitation or affecting quality of life?

#7 Type Of Dementia Or Changing Stage Of A Medical Condition’s Progression

  • Different conditions present different challenges.
  • Could there be something new developing?
  • Progression of a current condition can trigger new challenges.
  • Remember while diagnosis may be the same, experiences are always unique.
  • Solutions for one person may not work for another.

There are a lot of factors that come into play and need to be tuned into when someone is living with a chronic or progressive condition. There are senior living communities and professionals dedicated to problem solving and helping people thrive and have a wonderful quality of life no matter their health challenges or physical condition.

Orchard at Athens is one such community. If you or someone you know is struggling with a challenging situation due to aging or a chronic condition such as dementia, Orchard at Athens can help. Please contact us for more information.

Dementia Caregivers with kids at home

Dementia Caregivers & Kids At Home

Most caregivers of dementia patients are family members. Nearly one-fourth of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers are “sandwich generation” caregivers — caring for both someone with the disease and a child or grandchild. If you are a caregiver, this means that at some point, the person you are caring for may move in with you or move closer to you. If you have a young child, they will likely become involved in the care as well. Explaining dementia and caring for someone with dementia could be confusing for a child.

Talking To Kids About Dementia

A dementia diagnosis is an unsure and confusing time for adults. It is only more so for a young person. Oftentimes, our first thought is to protect our children from the reality we are facing. This can become damaging for children. It is important that you continue to provide an honest environment that reassures stability and support.

Ideas For Kids To Keep The Connection

Many children will become upset when they learn or begin to understand what is happening with someone they love. As a caregiver, there are things you can encourage to nurture the bond between a child and an elderly who has dementia. Here are some ideas for how children can stay connected.

  • Have younger children draw greeting cards or pictures for their grandparent.
  • Have them play a few songs to entertain their grandparent.
  • Remind your child of the importance of physical contact
  • Plan some family outings in which your parent/grandparent comes along
  • In the case of teenagers, involve them in their grandparent’s care.
  • Play board games or card games

It is important to continuously support a child through this difficult time. Keeping an open line of communication is key. You should talk to your child honestly about what is happening and answer any questions they might have. This will make them feel safe and secure in such a turbulent time.

Family relationships are a large part of life. Keeping those relationships as normal as possible is something we strive to do at Orchard at Athens. If you and/or your family would like to see our facilities, please contact us to schedule a tour. We are more than happy to provide all the answers you need!

Providing Care While Social Distancing

Supporting Loved Ones While Social Distancing During COVID-19 Pandemic

Sometimes we find ourselves in a situation where we cannot be physically near to a loved one that needs our care. It may be that we live in a different state and simply cannot uproot our entire lives and families to move at the moment. It might be that a pandemic like COVID-19 strikes the globe and makes it impossible to be close to the people who need us. It would be easy to feel helpless in these situations. But there are ways we can still support our loved ones while practicing social distancing.

5 Ways to Support Loved Ones While Social Distancing

While we may not be there physically, we can certainly continue to show people that we love and care for them. Here are five ways to show we care while practicing social distancing.

  1. Send food – Send gift cards from local restaurants with take-out options, arrange food delivery from nearby caterers, and research grocery distribution services that can bring necessities (that you have paid for) once, intermittently or regularly.
  2. Get everyone together – Once you learn a loved one needs continuous care, it’s time to gather the troops and see who is available to help in your absence. These individuals are your closet connection to the person in care during times of isolation. Check in with primary caregivers to get daily updates on how your loved one is doing.
  3. Get connected – There are many apps that allow someone to provide care long-distance. The apps include features to help you keep track of appointments and medications with pre-set reminders or alarms. Several medical on-call systems, some offered through local hospitals, provide assistance if something happens when a caregiver is not on site.
  4. Be organized – Send your loved one reminders of appointments, personal goals, birthdays, etc. Also, be aware of their doctors, medical needs and any medications they should be taking regularly.
  5. Be prepared for emergencies – Make sure you have a plan in place for emergencies that includes who to call, what to do and where to go. You can talk to your employer about how much time off you have, paid and otherwise. Pack a suitcase with everything you need in the event you have to leave in a hurry.

Caring For Yourself

You need to remember to take time for yourself. Even though you may not be physically caregiving for someone, you are still taking on many additional responsibilities and stress. Talk to the people you trust. Accepting outside help from family and friends, being organized and prepared for whatever happens, and taking care of yourself will help you feel more confident about caring for someone you love from far away.

Orchard at Athens is here to help our community during this difficult timing. Please contact us if you have any questions or would like to schedule a tour of our community.

Caregivers Stress and Dementia

Stress For Dementia Caregivers

Everyone has stress in their life. But, as Dr McEwen says in the below video clip, not all stress is bad stress. Our brains need to be challenged on a daily basis to help it stay healthy. Some stress can be very damaging to our brain. Being the caregiver of someone living with dementia can cause this kind of stress. Dementia is caused by structural and chemical changes that occur in the brain. Being a caregiver to someone who is living with brain change, can also be emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually draining. This can cause caregivers to experience different kinds of grief, including anticipatory grief, sudden loss, complicated loss and feeling as if their loved one is lost because they seem so different. With aging and dementia,  grief is created by the inevitable loss of life. Find more about grief and grief support by visiting this website.

Negative stress can dramatically lower your quality of life, and it is important to recognize the warning signs.

Signs Of Negative Stress As A Dementia Caregiver

  • Feeling overwhelmed or constantly worried
  • Feeling tired often
  • Getting too much sleep or not enough sleep
  • Gaining or losing weight
  • Becoming easily irritated or angry
  • Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy
  • Feeling sad
  • Having frequent headaches, bodily pain or other physical problems
  • Abusing alcohol or drugs, including prescription medications

Dementia Caregiver Health Tips From Orchard

You can significantly reduce the amount of negative stress in your life by making a few small changes.  The key to making these changes is to look at your whole life. This means to take a holistic approach, which encompasses the body, heart, mind and spirit. A holistic approach to health has been proven to lower stress levels and promote a sense of well-being. Because doing too much at one time and trying to fix everything, can also increase your stress level, begin by choosing one thing to work on at a time.

Before you begin to look at things to change, it is also important to find a support system to help you make these healthy changes.  Being a caregiver can be a very isolating experience for many reasons. If family is unable to be supportive, look at places and people in your community to reach out to. Orchard at Athens will have support groups for caregivers and loved ones that focus on helping you with this journey and making it work for you and your loved one. Another great resource is the Alzheimers Association Georgia Chapter.

In one of our next articles we will look at some ways for caregivers to live a holistic healthy life. In the meantime, please contact us if you have any questions.

Caregiver Tips

Caregiver Tips & Information

Caregivers can be spouses, partners, adult children, parents, other relatives friends, neighbors or paid professionals, essentially anyone who is providing care for another individual. If you are a family member who has found yourself in the role of caregiver, it is likely that you have additional responsibilities outside of caring for your loved one. Adding the responsibility of a caregiver can easily lead to frustration and exhaustion. Rarely are family members trained to do the broad range of tasks that are required when caring for an individual with dementia. Therefore, it can be difficult to know how to care for and support them on a daily basis. In this article we provide some information about the caregiver role, and provide caregiver tips to help reduce stress.

Caregiver Role Information

Common tasks caregivers execute frequently are;

  • Household responsibilities (buy groceries, clean, cook, etc.)
  • Daily routines (getting dressed, administering medicines, taking a shower, etc.)
  • Movement (transferring to or from a chair, bed, etc.)
  • Arrange medical appointments, drive to the doctor, sit in during appointments, monitor medications
  • Communicate with medical professionals
  • Arrange for assistance—especially for someone who cannot be left alone
  • Handle finances and other legal matters
  • Provide companionship

Reducing Caregiver Stress At Home

When taking care of someone in your family who is suffering from dementia, feeling overwhelmed is common. This can lead to stress in other areas of your life.

Here are some ideas that may help reduce stress;

  • Get a good diagnosis—from a specialist or geriatrician if necessary—of your loved one’s health condition. Make sure you understand what is happening medically.
  • Learn what specific skills you might need to care for someone with whatever their diagnosis is
  • Talk about finances and healthcare wishes. Leaving the lines of communication open is key.
  • Complete legal paperwork, e.g., Powers of Attorney, Advance Directives
  • Bring family and friends together to discuss care
  • Keep them up to date on the current situation
  • Identify resources, both personal and in the community
  • Find support for yourself and your loved one

Alternative Living Arrangements

Families will look for alternative living arrangements when they no longer can support their loved one in the home.  When this happens, you may hear the following terms. Become familiar with the language that is common to senior living communities.

Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) – everyday tasks related to personal care usually performed for oneself in the course of a normal day. This would include bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, walking, taking medications, and other personal care activities.

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) – activities related to independent living, such as preparing meals, managing money, shopping for groceries or personal items, performing light or heavy housework, and using a telephone

Assessment – An assessment from a professional to determine that appropriate support that is needed for your loved one.  This may include ADLs or IADLs.

Respite Care – provision of short-term relief (respite) from the tasks associated with caregiving. Respite services encompass traditional home-based care, such as hiring an attendant, as well as care provided to the care recipient in out-of-home care settings, such as adult day services and short-term stays in a nursing home or other care facility. Respite can vary in time from part of a day to several weeks.

Caregivers & Senior Living Communities

Not every caregiver has the ability to live near their loved one. Here are some things to keep in mind when you are able to visit.

Observe your loved one during visits:

  • Are they eating properly?
  • Taking medications properly?
  • Able to get out and about to do their errands?
  • Is the house messy and unorganized?
  • Is there increased confusion?

Answering these questions will allow to assess if extra care or support is needed for your loved one. Once this is determined, you and your family can make an informed decision on how to proceed.

It is common to arrange for other individuals to provide face to face care if you do not reside near your loved one. There are several options to explore if you need someone who is geographically closer to your loved one.

Care Managers

Care managers act as a substitute family member to your loved one and can arrange for services such as:

  • Visiting nurses
  • Providing care
  • Spending quality time
  • Delivering meals

Local Support System

Try creating a support system of other people living near your loved who are willing and able to help.

  • friends
  • relatives
  • church or community service groups

Orchard at Athens is a senior living community in Athens Georgia that has trained staff to support your loved one. We refer to our staff members as Care Partners rather than Care Givers because we envision our care as a two way street. Rather doing “to” our staff works “with” your loved one as a partner in supporting their life. Please contact us to learn more about our community and how we can help.