So Long to Romeo, Country Home Assisted Living’s Beloved Friend

It is with a heavy heart that I mention today that my beloved Romeo, a Bichon Frison who joined us at Country Home Assisted Living in January 2004, left us in June 2017. Fortunately, he passed away in his sleep and was never in distress. Romeo will never be forgotten by me or Country Home Assisted Living’s residents and families who enjoyed his ever-uplifting spirit and spunk. He made us all smile in so many different ways. When Romeo first joined us, he was just an itty bitty guy. But he learned the ropes of living in the countryside of Elbert County and at County Home in no time. He was a greeter to anyone who came to our door. He would sit fondly next to us on the couch as we watched TV. And he was always there for the many parties and celebrations held at our assisted living facility in Parker, Colorado. His departure has been difficult. I truly miss my beloved friend. But I know he is on to a new adventure, so to him I say: “This is where we part my friend, and you will run on around the bend. Gone from sight, but not from mind, new pleasures there you will find. I will go on; I will find the strength. Life measures quality, not its length.” There are others who feel the same. Romeo added so much joy to our lives. In fact, I know many feel blessed to have known this special dog with a joyous spirit, who will never ever be forgotten. So long, dear...

Ability to Perform Activities of Daily Living Could Decide Housing Accommodations

When elderly individuals consider moving into an assisted living facility, such as Country Home Assisted Living in Parker, Colo., a number of variables come into play. Among them is the individual’s ability to perform activities of daily living. You’ve probably heard the phrase before, but maybe you aren’t sure what it means. Often referred to as ADLs, activities of daily living are basically self-care tasks – or the tasks people complete when getting up each day, such as showering, eating and going to the bathroom, or before going to bed each night. They include, but are not limited to: • Bathing or showering; • Dressing; • Performing personal hygiene and grooming, such as brushing teeth or combing hair; • Eating; • Transferring, such as getting in and out of a bed or a chair; • Ambulating or walking; • Toileting. The ability to perform ADLs without assistance is linked directly to a person’s ability to live independently. When an elderly person’s ability to complete these tasks starts to diminish, it may be time to consider looking at assisted living or an arrangement other than living independently. For some, it can mean staying at home with some in-home assistance. For others, it may mean a move to an assisted living community, such as Country Home in Parker. If an assisted living facility is chosen, your elderly loved one will be given an assessment on the level of care that they need when they move to their new home. What this means is, they are evaluated on their ability to perform ADLs. The evaluation can include everything from the person’s ability...

Medical Alert Devices Save Lives

I’m a strong believer in medical alert devices, especially for people living alone. In last month’s blog, I provided basic information and questions to ask if you or a loved one is in need of these life-saving devices. This month, I’m going to make it more personal. I’m also going to urge children to pay for these medical alert devices if their aging parents or elderly loved ones don’t see a need for the expense. Working in the senior care industry as the owner of Country Home Assisted Living in Parker, Colo., I often hear stories of elderly individuals who have fallen, including some who have died because they could not summon help. One woman fell outside after taking out her garbage on a winter day in Colorado. She died alone in the cold. Another story involves my own mother. (I said I was going to make this more personal.) My mom lived alone in Michigan. Despite repeated pleas from my brother and me, she refused to invest in a medical alert device. What happened next is sad. And it’s a situation that could have been prevented. She fell in her garage. Since she lived alone and didn’t have a medical alert device, no one could come to her rescue. It was hours before police arrived. She died trying to reach the door to her home. If she’d made it inside, she might have been able to reach a phone and call for help. But she never got that far. Please don’t let this happen to you or a loved one. Take it from me. It’s hard enough to lose a...

National Family Caregivers Month

November is National Family Caregivers Month, a time when all Americans are encouraged to acknowledge and pay tribute to those individuals who look after their elderly family members, friends and neighbors. As someone who has been caring for seniors for almost 20 years at Country Home Assisted Living in Parker, Colorado, I am always happy to recognize those who take care of others, especially the elderly. Children often sacrifice quite a bit when their parents become elderly. Some even go so far as to quit their jobs and move their parents into their homes to give them the love, care and support they need. Others spend some of their well-earned financial resources to provide for different types of accommodations, such as those offered by Country Home, an assisted living facility located in a country setting in Elbert County. I believe the quality of life is always better when family members and friends are involved in the care of elderly loved ones. As the owner of Country Home Assisted Living, I encourage family members and friends to come and visit at our quaint residence. Better yet, they are also welcome to take their loved ones out for a drive, a meal or an outing. I love seeing families together, and the joy that their relationship brings to the younger and older generations. These times that are spent together will also create many memories that will be cherished long into the future. So, whether you are caring for your loved one in your home, or in retirement community or assisted living facility, take time out of each week or month to...

Maintaining Your Finances While Care for Your Aging Parents

Children who find themselves caring for their aging parents often can lose track of their own situation. They may be meticulously watching their parent(s)’s finances while neglecting their own. They also may consider quitting or cutting back on hours worked in order to find time to be a good caregiver. In this continuation of my series on caring for aging parents and as the owner of an assisted living facility in Parker, Colorado, let me offer the following tips… 1. Look at your finances and your budget in several ways. First, make a care-giving budget. By this I mean, put together a comprehensive look at your options and what you could be spending on care-giving. That could be anything from giving up your job to take over this time-consuming task, to finding an assisted living facility that provides health care and other support. If you quit your job or cut back on hours worked, you’ll also need to take into account the benefits offered by your job, such as health insurance and retirement plans, which could be costly to replace. You also should look at your future and whether quitting a job could damage your prospects of finding work in later years. In this review, don’t forget to include your parent(s)’s resources and how they might come into play. Second, maintain your own budget. Track your income and expenses, and pay off your debt and bills. If time is becoming an issue, consider auto-pay for some of your bills. That way, they won’t be overlooked and go unpaid, resulting in needless late payment or interest charges. 2. Save for...

Sandwich Generation Month

It’s a situation not many adults thought they’d find themselves in – taking care of both their parents and their children. In fact, most people never expect to have a parent living with them, especially while their children are still at home. But it is happening more and more with an estimated 9 million+ Americans finding themselves a part of what is being called the Sandwich Generation. Since July is National Sandwich Generation Month, I thought I’d take this opportunity to look at these amazing people. First, let’s define them in general terms. Social worker Dorothy Miller originally coined the term in 1981, referring to women in their 30s and 40s who were taking care of both their children and parents. That has changed over the years to include male caregivers and people who are in their 50s. The situation has developed for three reasons: Delayed parenting. Many couples are waiting to start their families in their mid to late 30s and even early 40s. Increased life spans. With the better health care that is now available, people are living much longer. Finances. The recession, lack of retirement planning or lack of employment opportunities can bring both parents and children to the home of the middle-aged adults. While being part of the Sandwich Generation can be stressful, time-consuming and a financial burden, there are some benefits. One, in particular, is the wonderful family bonding that can occur. Younger children can really get to know their grandparents and vice versa. Elderly parents and their children can also get to know each other on a much different, deeper level that is...