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10,000 people turn 65 every day. The senior population will double between now and 2030. The number of adults caring for a parent will skyrocket in that time.

Statistics show that chronic disease has far outpaced acute disease. This means that illness will need to be treated for much longer. Add in the fact that 9 out of 10 seniors want to remain in the home and we are looking at a massive need for home care.

But without a proper home care plan in place, you and your loved one will suffer unnecessarily.

In this episode, I discuss alarming signs that your loved one needs care and essential home care information you need to help your loved one continue to live a safe and healthy life.

Here Are The Show Highlights:

  • Shocking health and aging statistics that will affect the way you care for your loved ones (2:27)
  • Why the current state of healthcare leads to the skyrocketing need for home care (3:33)
  • Why caring for a loved one could cost you $750,000 (4:30)
  • The sad reason that caregivers suffer depression at 6x the national average and how to prevent it (5:05)
  • How to determine whether your loved one needs home health or home care (9:00)
  • Troubling signs that your family member needs home care (11:34)

For daily 5-minute mind exercises, head over and like my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/hcafortworth/

You can also find additional support and resources by calling Home Care Assistance at 817-349-7599 or visit our websites https://www.homecareassistancefortworth.com/ and https://itsmyturntocare.com/.

Read Full Transcript

Welcome to “It’s My Turn To Care.” We know the challenges you face caring for someone with dementia. That's why each week we bring you tips, strategies, and most of all, support, as you navigate your role as caregiver. Let's get started. [00:15.6]

Dave: Hello. My name is Dave Parks and I'm a certified senior advisor and owner of Home Care Assistance. We're located in Colleyville, Tex., and we cover most of North Tarrant County. It's our honor and privilege to bring you this program to talk about tips, strategies, things to think about as you maneuver through the job that you have taking care of someone with dementia.

We've had a lot of great guests over the last several episodes, but today I actually want to talk a little bit about home care and we're probably going to do two or three episodes on home care. [01:05.1]

What I want to cover is why a home care can be part of your solution and part of your journey, and what exactly is home care. When should you consider home care? What are the different types of care, different types of home care? And if you choose to go with an agency, how would you pick the right agency?

Then, lastly, I have put together a list of really the top 10 must -do's to sur-thrive, because I want you to do more than just survive. I want you to sur-thrive, but I wanted to just talk through that with you. This is going to take two or three episodes, but today I definitely want to cover the why of home care. What is home care and when should you consider home care? [02:05.0]

Let me throw some statistics at you. Our senior population is going to double between now and 2030—2030 is only about nine or 10 years away—so right now, age 65 and over, we have 35 million people, and that's going to double to 70 million. Now, today, about one out of every four adults are caring for a parent and that's expected to rise to 60% over the next decade. We're going to have more people entering the senior population and more children taking care of those seniors.
Today, about the average family caregiver puts in about 20 hours of unpaid in home care per week, so that is, what, 1,000 hours a year. [03:06.5]

A couple of other statistics, 10,000 people turn 65 every day and I find this to be interesting. In 1995, more people died of chronic disease than of an acute disease. Gone are the days of getting the flu on Friday, going to the hospital and the chances were, a long time ago, that you were not going to survive the flu, for example, or pneumonia. Today, more people die of chronic disease than of acute disease.

A lot of people think, I can't believe I'm going through what I'm having to go through, and they feel they're somewhat isolated and it's unique to them. Of course, every situation is unique, but so many people are going through this. [04:01.4]

Eight of 10 family caregivers today say their work has been negatively impacted, and I saw a study not too long ago that talked about, on average, your total lifetime income could be impacted by $750,000 over a lifetime by caring for a parent. That would be things like passing up a promotion because you need to stay home closer to your parents and take care of them, so it's a very real impact.

The other thing that is very real is about six out of every 10 caregivers, family caregivers, suffer from some form of depression. Now, the average, that's six times the national average, so really about 10% of the population suffers from depression, but 61% of caregivers suffer from depression. [05:08.2]

Then, the last thing is most people want to stay in their home. They want to age in place. Nine out of 10 seniors want to age in place.

Just a few statistics to show the importance of getting some help and one of those types help is home care.
What is home care? Home care, really, if you really break it down into its simplest terms, it's really the assistance with activities of daily living and household tasks, and we provide meaningful companionship and peace of mind. [05:49.1]

But if you think about activities a day living, what are those things? Things like cooking a meal, running errands, doing light housekeeping. Some people need more help than others. They need help taking a bath, incontinence care. They need help with dressing and grooming and all those, ambulation, just help getting around the house. There are so many things that home care can help with.

I'll give you kind of three examples. We have a client that is suffering from dementia and, really, our main purpose that the family wants us there is just for companionship, to make sure that their loved one is safe. We do activities with them, maybe go to the senior center with them, go on walks with them, play cards with them. Now, our agency happens to do some very special brain stimulation activities, games activities that are interactive that can stimulate the different areas of the brain, which we'll talk more about on another episode, but that's really our main job for this one particular client. It's really just primarily, we're there for companionship and safety. [07:13.2]

Now, we do have cases where we're providing what I would call extensive amounts of care. The loved one may be suffering from dementia and they may be suffering from some other ailments or have difficulty walking. Maybe they're in a wheelchair. Maybe they're bedbound. We have clients where we're doing a lot of care, but doing bed baths, helping them with a shower, helping them dress, helping them eat, preparing a meal, running errands. All those things that we can do, we may be doing for them, so it's really a very heavy care situation. [07:55.8]

Then, there are situations where we have clients that live in senior living communities. Maybe it's a memory care, maybe it's an assisted living or maybe it's even independent living where they just need some additional care over and above what the community provides. We have a particular case I'm thinking of where they're in assisted living, but they really need 24/7 care, but they like the convenience of the meals and the security of the community, so we take care of them. We're also there. We're sort of providing supplemental care.

Now, I do want to clarify, there is a little confusion sometimes between…we get this question a lot. I have home health coming in, and so I don't think I really need home care. Home health, I'm going to explain the difference between home health and home care. [08:59.2]

Home health is going to be driven by doctor's order, so it's going to be prescribed in a sense and it's going to be for a very specific issue that the loved one is suffering from. For example, maybe they need some physical therapy or possibly occupational therapy, or they’ve had surgery and they need some wound care. The doctor will say, We're going to prescribe X number of days of physical therapy, and home health is going to come in. They are going to do their task. A nurse is going to come in and do the task at hand or a physical therapist, and then they're going to leave. They may be there from 20 minutes to an hour, and then they're going to leave. [09:51.8]

I like to describe, Where does home care come in? Home health is only in there for an hour and home care could be there anywhere from four hours a day to 24/7. The way I like to describe it is that the nurse comes in or the physical therapist comes in, does physical therapy, and then they leave, but the client is like, Hey, who's going to help me get lunch? Who's going to help me take a bath? Who's going to help me dress? Who's going to run to the grocery store for me? That's where home care comes in. They would be able to provide those services.

The other big difference is home health is generally paid for by some type of insurance, be it Medicare, a Medicare Advantage, that type of thing. Home care is generally paid for by long-term care insurance. The VA has a great benefit called Aid and Assistance that can help pay and then private pay.

Let's talk a little bit about when should you consider home care? When should you start thinking about, Maybe my parents, maybe my friend, maybe my sister, maybe my spouse does need some help. What are those indicators, so to speak? [11:15.6]

One indicator would be maybe the home is messier. It's not as well-kept as it has been in the past. Maybe there's clutter. Maybe you notice some odors, maybe the garbage is piling up. The laundry is not getting done. There are stacks of dirty dishes. I was doing a care consultation the other day and walked in the home, and it was clear to me that…of course, I don't know what the normal home setting would look like for this individual, but it was clear to me that they needed some help.
They had dirty dishes scattered over the kitchen. They had rooms with piles of just stacks of things that obviously a little organization would have been helpful. The home was pretty messy. Again, I don't know what they normally live like, but it was clear to me that they needed some assistance. [12:13.1]

The other thing to think about is poor hygiene. Are they paying attention to how they're…? Are they bathing regularly? Is their hair kept? Are they washing their clothes? Are you noticing some body odor? Are they wearing appropriate clothing when they go outside? Here in Texas, in the middle of August, are they going outside with a jacket and a long-sleeved shirt and just more clothing than they need? And we do have a few cold days. Are they appropriately clothing themselves for those days when it's really cold? That kind of thing. So, keep an eye out for that as well. [13:02.2]

Another one, which I know is a very difficult topic is are they having trouble driving? Now, I know a lot of seniors, and I’ll probably be this way, too, are extremely reluctant to give up driving privileges, but have you noticed that they're getting frequent tickets? Have you noticed any scratches on the vehicle? When you're driving with them, do you feel safe?
The other day we had a client come in and this is one of the reasons to ask for help as they were driving, and their parents were driving and they just ran a stop sign and they didn't think anything about it. They had been thinking about looking into home care and that was the thing that made them think it was time to act on that. [14:00.0]

What about if you noticed any weight loss or weight gain? If someone, let's say, normally weighs 150 pounds, all of a sudden, within an amount of time, they now weigh 165 or maybe they drop down to 135 or something like that. Just keep that in mind. Are they losing interest in meals or meal preparation, or they're starting to eat junk food all the time?
Now, I'm not really strict on diet because my mother, before she started declining, she always wanted to have cake for breakfast, which we found to be great, but if you're always having cake for breakfast or you're always having cake for breakfast and then an unhealthy lunch and an unhealthy dinner, then that could be a sign that maybe they need some care. [15:03.0]

Another thing is to watch out for are they isolating themselves? Did they use to be very social, but now they're starting to become withdrawn? We had a great guest on a few episodes ago and talking about what seems to be the problem, and sometimes you're going to require some medical help to help you understand that because it could be dementia-related. It could be that they're suffering from some sort of medical ailment. It could be their diet. Maybe they've changed their exercise program or whatever the case may be, but you need to understand that, and then having home care could certainly work with the medical professionals to make sure that they're eating a good diet or maybe they need to exercise more, or maybe it's a socialization issue. They need to get out and socialize more. [16:03.8]

Those are some of the things to think about. I'll summarize them. What does the home look like? What's their hygiene, driving issues, dramatic weight loss or gain, and isolation? Think about those things, and if you're experiencing some of those things with your loved one, then you need to talk to someone in the profession that maybe can give you some guidance.
I appreciate the opportunity to talk a little bit about home care. Next time we're going to talk about the different types of home care, the pros and cons of the different types of home care, and how to pick the right agency.

I appreciate the opportunity to talk about this with you. My name is Dave Parks and I'm the owner of Home Care Assistance. We encourage you to visit our website, www.HomeCareAssistanceFortWorth.com. We look forward to talking to you next week. [17:04.8]

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