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TOPICS OF INTEREST

Geriatric Care Managers

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DID YOU KNOW

Research has found that companies can realize a $3 to $13 return on every $1 invested in benefits programs, because such programs reduce the "hidden costs" that result when employees try to balance their work and family responsibilities.

National Study of dual earner sandwich generation couples, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

 

By reading information from The Caregiver Resource Center's website, I learned that there were services available to assist my dad while I am working. I called a few of the contact numbers provided, and there is now help in place for dad.

A. Bernard

Beaver Dam, WI

How to Tell if an Elder Needs Help

All too often, an elder wants to retain his or her independence, and doesn't want to become a burden on their loved ones. In order to maintain their independence, the elder may attempt to hide the fact that they are struggling, and are in need of assistance.

One way that you may learn of a problem, is when you receive a phone call in the middle of the night. When you answer the phone you hear "Your mother is in the emergency room, she's fallen and broken her hip." As the closest living relative you receive the call, and within minutes you are being faced new responsibilities as your mother's caregiver.

Not all problems occur as a crisis, but instead evolve in a gradual series of warning signs spanning weeks, months, or years. You may notice that the elder is having difficulty cleaning the house, cooking meals, paying bills, or that you are finding yourself speaking louder so that you can be understood.

A recurrent theme expressed, is the fear of broaching the subject of whether or not, an elder is capable of caring for themselves. In addition, once it is clear that the elder is in need of assistance, there is often confusion as to what is the best way to proceed. This is a delicate balancing act, ensuring an elder's health and safety, while maintaining their independence and dignity.

 

Warning Signs of a Possible Need for Help

The real challenge facing elders and their loved ones, is the ability to differentiate normal aging, from the warning signs that something may be wrong, requiring some form of intervention. It is important to note that we all have a bad day - our hair in uncombed, we forget an appointment, or we feel depressed; however a recurrent pattern may indicate a problem.

We are providing a list of some questions that may help you evaluate if there is a potential problem, but this list is only meant to serve as a guide. If a problem is suspected, the elder needs to be seen by a professional who can conduct a complete medical evaluation and a geriatric assessment, and help determine the best way to proceed.

1. Is the person experiencing any significant vision, hearing, or memory loss?

2. Is the person experiencing any anxiety, depression, or phobias?

3. Is the person oriented to time, place, and person?

4. Is the person able to read, write, and use the telephone without difficulty?

5. Is the person able to use public transportation, or arrange to take a cab?

6. Is the person able to perform routine housekeeping tasks (e.g. laundry, cooking, cleaning)

7. Is the person able to handle maintenance needs?

8. Is the person able to prepare meals and eat regularly?

9. Is the person able to bath independently?

10. Is the person able to dress appropriately?

11. Is the person able to manage their own finances?

12. Is the person able to handle their own banking and financial needs?

13. Is the person able to write checks & balance their checkbook?

14. Is the person able to exercise good judgment, and make sound decisions?

15. Is the person able to manage their own medications?

16. Is the person able to go shopping for groceries?

17. Is the person able to maintain relationships with family and friends?

18. Is the person able to walk, climb stairs, and remain standing?

19. Is the person able to easily and safely get up and down from a chair?

20. Is the person able to fall asleep and stay asleep?

21. Is the person able to remember family names, and appointments?

22. Is the person able to safely see & operate appliances?

23. Is the person able to drive?

24. Is the person able to hear the phone ring, and understand a conversation?

25. Is the person able to participate in leisure activities?

26. Is the person expressing any issues or concerns?

27. Is the person experiencing a sudden weight loss or gain?

28. Is the person experiencing any health concerns?

29. Is the person experiencing any bruises or cuts?

30. Is there any evidence that the person is the victim of fraud or abuse?

 

Communication is Key

It is only natural that when we become scared or concerned about an elder, our first impulse is to express our concerns, and immediately look to "fix" the problem. Unfortunately this can often make the situation worse. Unless you are faced with an emergency that threatens the elder's safety or well-being, it is wise to take some time to gather information and properly assess the situation, prior to taking any action.

As we said earlier, you are now faced with a delicate balancing act, ensuring an elder's health and safety, while maintaining their independence and dignity. Effective communication is key to ensuring that the elder and their loved ones can talk openly about their feelings, needs, and desires moving forward. Once the elder has shared what they would like to see happen, and you have gathered information about available resources, you can now work together on creating a realistic plan of action.

It is crucial to allow the elder a sense of influence and control regarding decisions affecting their future. If the history of your relationship with the elder, has been a difficult one, you may wish to seek assistance from a professional (e.g. care manager, doctor, or therapist) in order to map out a strategy for moving forward. Keep in mind that in order for there to be success moving forward, you will need cooperation and by in from the elder.

 

Don't Wait for a Crisis to Act

All too often, we receive a frantic call from an individual who is in the midst of a crisis situation, following an elder being involved in an accident, or experiencing a sudden illness. These individuals feel unprepared to respond to the situation, because they often lack basic knowledge regarding the elder's medical history, medications, insurance coverage, financial matters, or what the elder's wishes would be in the given situation. To ensure the highest quality of life for the longest time possible, it is crucial that elders and their loved ones, begin a dialogue to discuss the topic of aging. This process needs to focus on the elder's hopes and desires, short and long term goals, and their abilities and needs; while at the same time establishing a spectrum of resources that will address the elder's evolving needs.

To obtain more information or to request a consultation click on Contact Us

     

About Our Company

Employee Assistance Professionals, Inc. has over twenty five years of experience providing services for individuals, couples, families, and organizations.  Our mission is to provide a broad range of high quality counseling, outreach, and consultation services to help clients assess their needs, evaluate their relationships, define their goals, and design action plans that includes specific and practical steps to achieve those goals.

Our organizational goals are to:

  - provide services regardless of race, color, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religion
  - respect our clients' beliefs
  - support our clients' individuality, diversity, and unique needs
  - preserve our clients' independence, dignity, and confidentiality
  - offer services to individuals, couples, and families
  - consult with professionals, businesses, and other organizations
  - design and run effective Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)
  - conduct quality educational programs

 

The Caregiver Resource Center is a division of Employee Assistance Professionals, Inc.  Our mission is to assist seniors, people with special needs and their families; in understanding the aging process, facilitating open communication; and providing information, support and guidance through the caregiving process.

Our goals are to:

  - offer services that will help preserve an elder's health, safety and quality of life; while at the same time allowing them to maintain their independence and dignity.
  - provide support, understanding, and guidance to all person's who are directly or indirectly responsible for the well-being of an elder; in an effort to improve the quality of their lives.

 

In addition to working with seniors, people with special needs and their families; The Caregiver Resource Center also provides a spectrum of services for businesses and their employees.

Our services help maximize employee productivity, sustain supervisors' focus on operations, and equips senior management with an effective cost management tool.

We are available to provide services on a case-by-case basis, or as a full service company program.

 

The Caregiver Resource Center
a division of
Employee Assistance Professionals, Inc.
PO Box 122
Cos Cob (Greenwich), CT 06807-0122

For more information or to request a consultation, please contact:
Linda A. Ziac,
LPC, LADC, BCPC, CCM, CEAP, CDP
President

 

  

(203) 861-9833
Contact Us

 

Employee Assistance Professionals, Inc. and The Caregiver Resource Center have a company policy that the company's website does not display advertisements, nor do we host or receive funding from advertising, or from the display of commercial content.  

Any reproduction of the content of this website site is strictly prohibited, without prior written permission from Employee Assistance Professionals, Inc. and The Caregiver Resource Center.

Updated 10/31/17

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