End-Of-Life Decisions For Families

End-of-Life Decisions .. this is a hard subject at times.  Have you had the conversation with your parents yet about how they envision their life as they get closer to the end of it?  Most of us haven’t.  But it is time that we do.

It is important for us to think about how we want our life to be at the end, because the medical professionals around us during that time certainly aren’t going to guess what we want.  And given the tendency to overdiagnose, overtreat, and overmedicate, you may get subjected to more interventions than you ever anticipated.  The time to be considering what you or your parents might want and not want, and what you want your life to look like, is before you are in the midst of a crisis and needing to make quick decisions. Continue reading

Care Resources for Visually-Impaired Seniors

Periodically I take the time to sort through the stacks of brochures I collect and organize them so I can at least pretend to know where things are. This morning during my organizing, I rediscovered a brochure for the Audio Information Network of Colorado. This is a fabulous service I recommend to many clients who really miss being able to read the newspaper.

Poor vision is all too common among seniors and contributes to isolation and withdrawal from social connections. When you can no longer keep up with the local news or your favorite magazine, you’ve lost some of the regular routines of your life.

The Audio Information Network (AINC) understands that local information is the hardest to access for blind and visually-impaired individuals, and that is what they focus on. And, the service is free.

Audio Information Network of ColoradoAINC is among the nation’s leading resources for blind, visually impaired and print-disabled individuals, providing its listeners with free access to recorded programming 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The services allows registered listeners to access audio programs online, through downloaded podcasts, on TV or over the phone. Recorded content from over 100 newspapers and magazine articles provides everything from national news to local news and community events.


Spouses Provide Complex Care At Home

Spouses taking care of one another during illness seems a natural part of an intimate relationship. However the reality is that spouses are assuming the caregiving responsibility over long periods of time and with little or no help from professionals or other family members.

If you compare spouses to adult children taking care of a parent at home, you might say that the spouse is better off as a caregiver because they have fewer competing responsibilities than caregivers who also have young children or teenagers at home and a full-time job.  But this apparent advantage is offset by financial, health and other limitations and by the stresses of constant caregiving.

Add to that the fact that family caregivers are expected to do tasks that in the past were done in a hospital or nursing home.  In this era of complicated medication regimens, wound care, and procedures associated with complex chronic conditions, caregiving is a challenge that no one should have to face alone.

Home care agencies like Dignity Care, licensed as a Class A agency with registered nurses, are a perfect support for family caregivers who need just a little (or a lot) of extra help and expertise.

AARP’s Public Policy Institute has produced a collection of studies and reports on family caregivers that are well worth a read.