This course focuses on the basic questions about caregiving to older adults. You will learn facts about the 65 and over population. This product is organized with Content, Objective tests, and Exercises that place you in the position of a caregiver. Animated Engagement scenarios featuring the Ayudar family illustrate the central theme of each module.
Take this course if you desire a systematic introduction to the caregiving responsibility. Over 34.2 million adult American provide unpaid care to an adult 50 or older for an economic value north of $237 billion.
If you are a caregiver, you are not alone. This course will provide you with the information you need to know the resources available to you and your care recipient. Also, learn about the health concerns that you should be concerned about as your care recipient ages. If you are interested in gerontology, this course will get you up to date on the latest statistics and projections concerning elder care in the United States. If you are aging, you will find the outline of a road map for successful aging including social, mental, and physical exercise.
Jillian and Penny discuss a trip to the grandparents' house for a birthday party. Penny is concerned because grandma and grandpa are getting older. What does this mean for her mother?
Elder caregiving is an increasing unpaid occupation in American society. Increasing your ability to distinguish between many of the myths and facts of elder caregiving is important. In addition to separating the facts from the myths, see if you can note useful resources for aging information.
Jillian confides in her husband Peter. She has some questions about her aging, and her duties to her aging parents. Peter brings up another concern that she had not considered, living arrangements.
As people age, it is important to distinguish between normal aging and problems associated with disease. Knowledge is power. More information supports greater success in aging. Research has advanced a definition of successful aging. Find out what activities can stimulate, challenge, and involve your relative or care recipient.
Review Successful Aging
Jillian discovers that Mom may not be hearing as well as she used to. Even though this is an expected result of older age, Jillian wants to know how best to approach the discussion.
As your relative ages, you will want to become more aware of what is called “normal aging.” There will be physical changes in later years, such as decreases in energy level, strength, and agility. In some cases, physical changes are due to nutrition. Some older adults will experience sensory impairment such as vision and hearing problems as a normal result of aging. The caregiver needs to be particularly alert to sensory impairments because they can lead to falls or other challenges to wellbeing. Medication management is also an important physical health consideration in older age. Careful observation of the care recipient and any changes in mood, balance, appetite, or pain may indicate a need for medical attention. Special attention should be given to the self-report of the care recipient. Complaints should not automatically be attributed to old age.
Review Physical Health Issues in Aging
Julian notices that Dad has started forgetting where he puts things. Julian is concerned and wonders how much he can help not knowing how to assess the situation.
Mental health and cognitive concerns in aging are just as important and possibly related to physical outcomes for the aged. Though depression affects a portion of Americans 65 and older each year, it often goes undetected. Memory is an important cognitive concern in older age. It is important to realize that decreased memory does not necessarily indicate Alzheimer’s or other cognitive disease.
Review Mental Health And Cognitive Concerns In Aging
Julian negotiates with his employer to rework his work schedule. He finds that his boss has his own caregiving story.
An increasing percentage of the workforce is actively involved in caring for a relative or friend over 50 years of age. According to a survey by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, 60% of caregivers also worked while providing care. Many struggle with the competing demands of work and family responsibilities. Sixty-two percent (61%) of caregivers surveyed reported asking a supervisors, coworkers, or management for accommodation related to care giving responsibilities. Accommodations are more prevalent among caregivers working full-time.
Peter returns home to find that Jillian has has a rough day. Scheduling can be an important skill ensuring that you get the balance you need in a busy day of caregiving.
A study by AARP and the National Alliance of Caregivers in 1997 concluded that a high
percentage of caregivers use positive words to describe their feelings about care giving. Balance between caregiver stress and rewards may include reciprocity training in order to develop a system of recognized contribution from caregiver to care recipient and from care recipient to caregiver. Balance may also include support services provided within the community.
Brother and Sister discuss having someone come in to assess and assist with care of mom and dad. Realizing that your community has resources can be an important part of caregiving.
Professional assessments can be important to efficient utilization of caregiver resources. A positive relationship with a professional can not only help to reduce stress, but it can be a gateway to a number of community resources. The Area Agencies on Aging is a starting point to connect with professionals and community resources.
At Rachel's 76th birthday party. A discussion ensues about the future with some uncomfortable moments, but needed interactions.
Planning for care may look different from family to family. Every family has to decide whether to engage in consumer-directed care or community-directed care. The structure and involvement of the family, awareness and cognition of the care recipient, and community factors may impact the decision.
Cynthia, the social worker, arrives to meet with Julian's parents. Julian is present as well and very impressed with the professional services worker.
Caregivers should make sure care recipients have well-thought-out life-planning arrangements that may include selecting a lawyer, drafting power of attorney, managing joint bank accounts, or composing living wills. Typically, medical decisions are made by older person’s doctors, unless a living will has been written and signed. Advanced planning can go a long way toward securing the legacy of the care recipient if the worst happens.
The family decides that Julian will move back home. Penny is thanked for the impetus she provided to get mom Jillian thinking and acting on caregiving plans.
Independent, semi-independent, and dependent adults have various living arrangement options. Living arrangements become even more important when you consider that older adults spend 20% or less outside the home. When considering the various housing options, remember that the arrangements you choose will affect the older adult’s happiness, health, mobility, and social life. Care recipients should ideally be involved in the planning and decision making.
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