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As a Sandwich Generation granny nanny, dealing with the multigenerational issues of caring for the elderly parents and relatives in our families along with babysitting grandchildren, I’m always on the lookout for useful, important, and/or interesting news for all of us boomers and seniors. Twitter is one of my favorite resources and that includes a bi-weekly feature, #ElderCareChat, where anyone involved in caring for the elderly – including elderly parents – is welcome to join in and share ideas and resources. I’ve been able to join in three times and they’ve always yielded a wealth of information and ideas. Here are some tips from the latest #eldercarechat –
- A new question I’ve learned to ask if I ever have to look for a care facility for an elderly relative – Is it a resident-centered facility? Also known as a person-centered or centred care approach, including dementia care, such as offering flexible meal schedules that work around the resident and not vice versa; enhanced food choices; and adjustable bedtimes. That’s a positive trend that can be as good for the facility’s bottom line as it is for the the residents, as pointed out by @PinnacleCraig.
- @JamisonBarnett suggested that when you are meeting with a senior parent’s medical advisors and other family members can’t be there but want to be – you might ask if you can record the session to share with them.
- Check local art facilities/museums to see if they have special programs for senior adults. Many offer special days, programs, discounts. @caregiving shared that some, like the New York City Museum, may even offer specific programs for those with Alzheimers Disease or other dementia symptoms
Speaking of using the arts to help with seniors with dementia symptoms, @RachelleNorman had some great info on using music to help those beloved seniors. I loved her blog article, Tips for Using Music to Help with Bathing. I know we used encouraging praise and worship hymn songs and music from my senior dad’s past to be an encouragement for him during his last two months. As she pointed out, “Music memories last longer – that’s why folks with dementia sometimes remember songs longer than other info.” Great point that I agree with and have shared at SandwichINK! And look at this fun idea for easy music with a marimba. That’s perfect for the Sandwich Generation as the grandkids would enjoy it as much as the senior parents!
I also loved what Denise – @caregiving – wrote, “Hospice provided a harpist in the hospital when my grandmother was dying. It was wonderful–for her and us.” Isn’t that sweet? 🙂
As important as it is for all of us boomers and seniors to keep exercising our brains, it’s also vital for us to exercise our bodies. Carol – @carebuzz – shared an interesting news article, Exercise & Fitness for Senior Citizens – Senior Citizens Can Be Older and Stronger with Progressive Resistance Training. She wisely pointed out it can be a great investment on our part to spend the time to help an elderly parent find some fun and physical senior citizen activities they enjoy and will do. For that matter, it’s a wise idea for all us boomers as well!
And here’s a good tip from an earlier #eldercarechat – make sure to ask if medicare/insurance covers any item you think a senior parent needs or a doctor or other medical advisor recommends BEFORE buying it. As I pointed out in “Caring for Elderly Parents? 8 Tips to Help You When They Need Surgery,” I purchased one of the lightweight wheeled walkers for seniors for my elderly dad before the doctor ordered it. Later I found out if I’d asked the doctor first, his insurance would have covered it as a DME – durable medical equipment.
All in all, some great news and resources of interest for all of us boomers and seniors involved in caring for the elderly parents in our family, as well as babysitting grandchildren. And if you’d like to join in on these interesting and informative #eldercarechat sessions, the next one is Wednesday April 20, 2011, at 1 pm EST – and every other week thereafter. See you there, when caregiving permits – just look for @SandwichINK. 🙂