How to protect seniors -- older parents, relatives and loved ones -- who live alone. Tips on what to do in case of an emergency. Safety ideas.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Where to start when caring for your parents

We always think of our parents as smart, strong and independent people. We are not prepared to fac a complex issue with caring for them when they become old. It happens gradually, or sometimes at once - but we are always caught on a spot.

How should we care for them? There is no fit-it-all answer. What may work for one family, may not work for yours. What worked yesterday, may drastically change today. The only way to handle this is planning.

Existing rules will no longer apply, and the past lifestyles will not come back. What we can count on is the ongoing changes. Assisting elderly family members requires constant management of our attitutes and decisions.

You need to be extremely organized and keep everything in writing. Keep bills, receipts, contracts notes and other elder-care information in a safe but easily accessible place. Gather resources and information on eldercare services.

Most aging people would choose to stay in their own homes. There is a growing number of options that allow them to do so. Research all possibility, and get the credentials of the people and organizations that offer those services.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Bob's grandmother-in-law

I too was in a situation where I was overwhelmed. My grandmother-in-law has been the pillar of the family up until last year. She went from working a full-time job to needing help getting in and out of the car. She can’t leave the house alone.

My wife and I visit at least once a week and last time we were there, we noticed a bruise on her head. We asked her what happened. She said she hit her head on a cabinet door she had left open. We both knew better. It turns out that she fell and had to crawl to the phone to call her neighbor. She told her neighbor not to tell anyone, but her neighbor decided to tell us anyway. My grandmother in-law is a very strong lady and sharp as a tack, but her health seems to be getting worse.

When we ask her about her health, she just says “I’m okay.” She doesn’t want us to worry about her, so I suggested Life Alert. As anticipated, she said “I don’t need that.” I knew she would say that so I was prepared. I told her that she was right and that she does not need it, but we do. Knowing that we would worry less if she had it, she agreed. She still won’t let us clean her house or take care of her in any way, but she wears the emergency button at all times and I have her neighbor looking in to make sure she doesn’t take it off.


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Life Alert is the leading emergency response company, dedicated to solving home safety issues. With a touch of a button, Life Alert sends help fast, 24/7, whether it’s for a medical, fall, fire, or home invasion emergency, even when you can’t reach a phone. Life Alert saves a life from a catastrophic every 10 minutes and has received over 25,000 testimonials from grateful customers since 2008, and was the ONLY company former Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Koop, endorsed until his death in 2013. Founded in 1987, Life Alert has become the industry leader in personal protection but also has become a pop culture icon with their classic slogan, “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” which was ranked #1 by USA TODAY in its list of the most memorable TV commercials. In 2008, “The Martha Stewart Show” featured Life Alert and recommend them to all of the patients at the Martha Stewart Center for Living while pointing out that Life Alert is "so inexpensive yet so vital for people." Life Alert, their slogan and/or pendant have been featured in many T.V. shows such as 30 Rock, Supernatural, The Goldbergs, and Jay Leno frequently referred to their famous slogan on The Tonight Show.