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The Craftmatic® Elder Care Guide Table of Contents Determining Whether Home Care or Assisted Living is the Correct Choice ................................................. 3 Recognizing the Need for Extra Care .................................................................................................... 3 In-Home Care Options .......................................................................................................................... 3 Assisted Living Options ......................................................................................................................... 4 Prepping Your Home for Assisting the Elderly .............................................................................................. 4 Choosing a Room .................................................................................................................................. 4 Clearing Away Clutter ........................................................................................................................... 4 Decide What to Keep & What to Donate .............................................................................................. 4 Prepare Internally ................................................................................................................................. 5 How Adjustable Furniture Can Greatly Improve Your Elderly Parents' Day-to-Day Lives ............................ 5 Adjustable Beds..................................................................................................................................... 5 Electric Lift Chairs .................................................................................................................................. 6 Early Warning Signs of Dementia.................................................................................................................. 6 Get Help in Catching Dementia Early .................................................................................................... 6 Typical Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s & Dementia ............................................................................... 6 Meals and Diets for the Elderly ..................................................................................................................... 7 Adjusting Your Eating Habits ................................................................................................................. 7 Get Help with Dinner ............................................................................................................................ 7 A Few Final Tips..................................................................................................................................... 7 Avoiding Depression in the Elderly ............................................................................................................... 7 Diagnose Your Parent’s Diet ................................................................................................................. 8 Copyright 2011 – Craftmatic Adjustable Beds

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(800) 245-0205 Increase Exercise & Activity Levels ....................................................................................................... 8 Help Your Parents Find a New Hobby ................................................................................................... 8 Showering and Bathing Your Parent ............................................................................................................. 8 Make Your Bathroom Elder Friendly..................................................................................................... 9 Maintain Dignity During Bath Time....................................................................................................... 9 Use Familiar Products ........................................................................................................................... 9 Keep Conversation Going...................................................................................................................... 9 Bathe On Your Parent’s Terms .............................................................................................................. 9 Hiring a Caregiver to Help Your Parents Stay in Their Home ........................................................................ 9 Advantages of Caregivers...................................................................................................................... 9 Hire An Agency or Individual? ............................................................................................................. 10 Benefits of Hiring a Care Giving Agency.............................................................................................. 10 Finding an Agency ............................................................................................................................... 10

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Determining Whether Home Care or Assisted Living is the Correct Choice If your parents are growing old, falling prey to illness, and having trouble caring for themselves, you may be wondering if it's a good idea to bring in home care or move them to a retirement facility. We are assuming that you and/or your siblings already are checking in on your parents regularly. Ask yourself: Are you feeling overwhelmed with the new care giving responsibility? Is taking care of your parents taking too much time from taking care of your own family, career or needs? Are you worried that your that parents will slip into unhealthy lifestyles without increased care and attention? Can they still drive themselves to the market or make emergency calls in case of an accident?

Recognizing the Need for Extra Care If your parents need additional attention and you are unable to provide it, it may be time to look into bringing in part-time or full-time home care help. If your parents are still independent and stable, for the most part, hiring a care giver for them in their own home might be your best bet. These care givers can     

fix meals clean up around the house provide transportation to doctors visits or grocery stores administer medicine some services provide caregivers who are licensed practical nurses (LPNs), who can be very handy if a parent has a minor accident.

In-Home Care Options Your parents may not yet be in need of full-time care and having in-home care can keep them comfortable and perhaps increase the amount of time they are able to function on their own. Hourly rates for caregivers tend to be between $15-$25 or more, depending on your location and the level of care needed from the care giver. Part-time in-home care can be a relatively affordable means to give you peace of mind and your parents the opportunity to stay in their home. In some cases, the costs associated with hiring a care giver can be covered fully or partially by their insurance company.

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Assisted Living Options For comparison, an assisted living facility will charge about $3,000 per person per month (this usually includes meals), so the cost of having a single parent in assisted living is comparable to having a part-time caregiver come (at $20/hour) for about 40 hours a week, spread over seven days. If your parents need 24-hour care, however, assisted living may be best for them and will generally cost less (when factoring in food, utilities, etc. and other living expenses) than hiring a full time care giver. (Twenty-four hours of in-home care each day at $20/hour comes to $3,360 a week, compared to about $3,000 or so a month per parent.) If your parent has special circumstances, assisted living might cost more, but will probably still be less expensive than a full time care giver.

Prepping Your Home for Assisting the Elderly If you've decided that bringing your parent home to live with you is the best option, here are some tips on preparing your home for new residents:

Choosing a Room One of the most important, and often overlooked, decisions to make is determining which room your parent will stay in. Your parent will need a centrally located room so they don’t have to venture too far to use the restroom, reach the kitchen, or find the living room. If you have a twostory house, you will preferably want to keep them in a downstairs room. You will also want to make sure that the new room comes equipped with everything they will need to make their stay comfortable such as an electric bed or portable commode.

Clearing Away Clutter Your parent’s are not Olympic athletes, so make sure that the floor is cleared of all clutter like cords, toys, or pesky area rugs as they easily turn into tripping hazards. Make sure furniture is set up to so that walkers and wheelchairs can move around easily. Changing doorknobs from the round knob to the handle can assist the elderly also, especially those with arthritis. For those who have difficulty getting in and out of bed, an adjustable bed can be positioned to make it easier to get in and out of and you could also add a grab-bar to the adjacent wall for added support.

Decide What to Keep & What to Donate This can be difficult because over time, just about everything gathers sentimental value to your parents. Try to be understanding about their emotions during this time, but instill practicality as well. Keep the items that are truly necessary and nostalgic, but pack the rest away. Copyright 2011 – Craftmatic Adjustable Beds

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(800) 245-0205 Understand that your parents may also view this as one of the signs that they are aging a bit more than they thought. Don’t be insensitive to their feelings during this tough time. Don’t try to reorganize your parent’s belongings without a plan. It helps to decide beforehand:  Things needed everyday-to-day (clothing, bedding, books, etc.0  Important items such as papers and mementoes  Family heirlooms and furniture (you may want to put these in a climate-controlled storage facility.  Things to donate or trash.

Prepare Internally You need to meet with your family to discuss the new changes. Undoubtedly, having a new household member will be stressful to some extent, so make sure you talk it out with your children so they are clear on what the changes mean for them. Openly discuss fears, set up rules, and manage expectations and with a little luck, everything will go smoothly.

How Adjustable Furniture Can Greatly Improve Your Elderly Parents' Dayto-Day Lives There is nothing funny about an elderly individual struggling in and out of bed or their favorite recliner. As we age, our joints and muscles weaken, making it harder for us to get in and out of furniture. . Thankfully, there are many different types of adjustable furniture available today to help make the getting in and out of beds and chairs much easier for your elderly parents.

Adjustable Beds An adjustable bed can help your parents sleep better at night, and can be adjusted, making it easier to get in and out of. Beds like these adjust to numerous positions and can help support the neck and shoulders of your parents, not to mention the lower back, legs and feet. Benefits of an adjustable bed include:   

These beds can adjust to many positions enabling your parents to achieve maximum comfort at bed time. Adjustable electric beds may provide temporary relief from the symptoms of gastric reflux as well as temporary relief of nighttime heartburn. An adjustable bed may provide temporary relief from mild joint pain or arthritis.

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Electric Lift Chairs If your parent will struggle getting on and off the couch, consider a lift chair which will adjust to ease them in and out of a standing position.

Early Warning Signs of Dementia When your parent comes to live with you, it is important to keep an eye on their mental health as well as their physical well-being. If your parent seems more forgetful than usual, it can’t hurt to schedule a doctor’s appointment to run tests for dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Get Help in Catching Dementia Early In many cases, it will just be a case of forgetfulness, but keep this in mind – it is much easier to treat dementia in its early stages than after it has really taken hold. If proper medical attention is given from the early onset, you can extend the years where your parents can function and make decisions on their own. If you wait to check for dementia or Alzheimer’s, it could literally rob your parents of years of clear thinking.

Typical Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s & Dementia Here are some warning signs. Keep in mind that the symptoms do not necessarily mean that they have the disease, but it is important to ensure that they get proper testing and attention.          

Problems with language or speaking Difficulty performing tasks they've done without any trouble for years A disorientation with time and place Short-term memory loss that's affecting their job skills. Decreased or poor judgment Increased trouble with abstract thinking Continuously misplacing things Changes in behavior or mood A change in personality, especially when under stress. A loss of initiative.

Early diagnosis is crucial, According to the Alzheimer's Association, because, as noted above, "you can explore treatments that may provide some relief of symptoms and help [your parents] maintain a level of independence longer." Running tests early on can also help you, your parents and your siblings better understand the responsibilities associated with caring for someone with the disease." Copyright 2011 – Craftmatic Adjustable Beds

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(800) 245-0205 There is no shame in having dementia, and your parent should understand that. Let them know that getting tested is nothing to be afraid of and will actually help them better combat the illness if diagnosed early. Be mindful of their emotions during this time.

Meals and Diets for the Elderly When your parents come live with you, it affects every aspect of your life, including your eating habits. If your family eats out constantly, you will probably find yourself cooking at home more often, now that you have a new member in your household.

Adjusting Your Eating Habits Don’t feel like you have to cook special meals, just because you have a new member of your household. You can continue to cook dinner how your family usually likes them, but make some small adjustments as needed. If your parent needs a low-cholesterol diet, substitute chicken or fish instead of red meat. Everyone will benefit! If your parent needs a low sodium diet, cutting back on salt is easy and your family probably won’t know the difference.

Get Help with Dinner Don’t be afraid to let your parents help make dinner either. Having them help out around dinner time will boost their self esteem and even give you some much needed help around the kitchen.

You should always consult with a physician before completely adjusting your parent’s diet. These professionals can suggest -- or even plan -- a diet that will work with your parent's needs.

A Few Final Tips Your parent’s eating habits will not adjust overnight. While you might have their best interests in mind, it is difficult to change 60+ years of eating habits in a single meal. Let them have their guilty pleasures, but try to incorporate healthy foods into their diet. Help your parents exercise and stay active. Go on walks around the block with them, do some light cardio or even go along with them to yoga class. You’d be surprised what a little light exercise can do for you as well!

Avoiding Depression in the Elderly Every one of us wants to live a long, prosperous life, but we often forget about those that we will inevitably lose on our journey. Copyright 2011 – Craftmatic Adjustable Beds

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(800) 245-0205 As years go by, we will lose friends and loved ones, which can often lead to a feeling of loneliness and depression. Another factor that can lead to depression among the elderly is the realization that their bodies are slowing down. They generally can’t move as well as they used to, and slowing down is the first step towards realizing that one day we will all stop. Old age, in many ways, is all about learning to cope with loss. Studies have also shown that depression and Alzheimer’s are often linked. If you believe your parents may be depressed, here are some tips to help alleviate their suffering.

Diagnose Your Parent’s Diet A poor diet can sometimes be the cause of depression among the elderly. See to it that your parent has a diet rich in fruits and vegetables while avoiding starches and sugars. Help incorporate foods rich in Vitamin B to their diet as well as plenty of fish. The minerals found in fish can alleviate symptoms of depression.

Increase Exercise & Activity Levels Getting outside and exercising can also lower feelings of depression. Even during the winter, a little bit of sunlight can do wonders for the body and mind. Exercising with your parent will also give them a sense of companionship which can help lower depression levels.

Help Your Parents Find a New Hobby Encourage your parent to take up a new hobby. This added activity will give them something to look forward to on a daily basis and can help keep their mind sharp. If the symptoms of depression are persistent, you will want to talk to your family physician about all of your options. They might be able to prescribe some medication that can help keep their spirits high.

Showering and Bathing Your Parent Inevitably, the day will come when your parent can no longer easily bathe themselves. If you are the one in charge of looking after your parent, chances are that you will have to do the bathing yourself. This is, of course, an awkward situation for some, due to the fact that the tables are turned from when they bathed you as a child.

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(800) 245-0205 Here are some tips on maintaining dignity and respecting privacy, should the time come when you must regularly bathe your parent.

Make Your Bathroom Elder Friendly First on your list will be reconfiguring the bathroom to be elder friendly. This might involve installing hand rails, accessible shower stalls, or toilet-to-tub slider seats.

Maintain Dignity During Bath Time One of the best ways to bathe an adult without crossing any boundaries is to apply soap and water to the inside of a towel, drape the towel over their body and then lightly rub the soap and water in. This will keep them covered, and will let you avoid having to put your hands in inappropriate places. Your parent should still be able to wash their private parts which will also help alleviate the tension.

Use Familiar Products Try to use products that your parents are already comfortable with. You want to avoid as much confrontation as possible during the bathing, so make sure you are using their favorite brands of soap and shampoo. You will also want to keep the bathroom warm as well as the water in the tub or shower.

Keep Conversation Going Don’t do it in silence. Keeping a conversation going can help to alleviate some of the awkwardness of bathing an adult. Keep the conversation light and cheerful and before you know it, the bath time will be over.

Bathe On Your Parent’s Terms Finally, don’t turn bath time into a power struggle. Let your parent take baths or showers on their own terms. Don’t ignore their basic sanitation needs, but try to avoid forcing them to shower or bathe. If you are still having trouble, speak with a physician about some alternatives or helpful tips they might have.

Hiring a Caregiver to Help Your Parents Stay in Their Home If you’ve done all you can to care for your parent in your home, or if you decided that hiring a caregiver was the right decision from the start, here are some helpful tips to make that transition a little easier.

Advantages of Caregivers Caregivers can truly be a godsend and are capable of helping your parents in so many ways. They can provide transportation to the grocery store and doctors appointments, perform some Copyright 2011 – Craftmatic Adjustable Beds

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(800) 245-0205 light housekeeping, and in some cases, administer medicine or provide basic healthcare.

Hire An Agency or Individual? When hiring a caregiver, you can go one of two directions. You can either hire a care giving agency, or you can find a caregiver on your own. Finding a caregiver on your own might seem like the less expensive option, but it also opens you up to a host of liability issues. You will be responsible for worker’s comp, benefits, and so on. However, hiring a care giving agency eliminates much of that liability as it is covered by the individual agency.

Benefits of Hiring a Care Giving Agency If you choose to select from an agency, you have the benefit of testing out a few caregivers to find a perfect match for your parent. Furthermore, if your caregiver calls in sick, the agency can send a replacement which is a huge benefit over finding a caregiver yourself. Another advantage to agency caregivers is that they are bonded and insured, and usually are trained in basic healthcare. Some agencies provide caregivers who are Certified Nursing Assistants or Personal Care Attendants. Having someone with that type of training and experience, on hand, to care for your parent can really give you peace of mind.

Finding an Agency Be sure you engage an agency that is licensed in your state. You'll also want to ensure the agency has liability insurance. Medicare's new Home Healthcare Compare tool helps you find agencies in your area that have meet Medicare's approval. The guide also provides statistics on the quality of each care-giving service.

Copyright 2011 – Craftmatic Adjustable Beds

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The Craftmatic Elder Care Guide  

This guide provides tips and suggestions for those who might be caring for the elderly in their home.

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