Compose Your Life Song: Planning Your Final Years, Part II

ComposeLifeSongLogoThey say every moment in your life represents a note in your personal life song. If this is true, what does your life song sound like and are you happy with it so far? Are you ready to compose the final notes? In a recent survey conducted by Home Instead, Inc., 85 percent of North American seniors who have made plans for their final years agree that planning is a way for them to control how their life song ends. It’s important for seniors in Minneapolis and the surrounding communities to not only plan their retirement years, but also for the time between the active retirement years and the last days on earth. It’s never too late to enhance your song and make it an even more beautiful work of art.

To encourage conversations about loved ones’ wishes for their final years of life Home Instead Inc. has launched their latest public education campaign, Compose Your Life Song℠: Planning Your Final Years. This program will reinforce the role Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis plays in helping seniors live their final years where they choose – in their own home. The Compose Your Life Song℠ public education program offers free resources that encourage seniors and their family members to have the difficult conversations about plans and wishes for their final years, while also exploring end-of-life options, including finances and getting their affairs in order. This program also provides insurance, care and funeral planning resources.

Watch as Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis’ co-owner, Kathleen Stuck, explains what the Compose Your Life Song℠ program is all about:

http://www.kare11.com/video/life/family/sandwich-generation/sandwich-generation-seniors-make-important-decisions-via-life-song/89-8058446

5 Misconceptions About End-of-Life Planning and Hospice Care

Not many topics of conversation bring on misconceptions as end-of-life planning and hospice care do. Clearing up the confusion and recognizing the myths that often surrounds a loved one’s final days and years actually helps the family members fully understand how the senior loved one want to live to the end. Here are 5 common misconceptions:

  • I’ll think about it tomorrow.
  • It’s best to avoid uncomfortable end-of-life conversations.
  • Developing and end-of-life plan is a one-time event.
  • Hospice services should not be discussed until death is imminent.
  • Hospice care is more expensive.

Understanding each of these misconceptions and working through the myths of one’s final years and the decisions that surround that time will empower the family caregivers to help their loved ones make necessary choices and tough decisions together. It may even spark the conversation for their own plans which will benefit their children in the end. To learn more detailed information on each misconception, click here.

Final Years Planning: Where to Find Assistance

If all of this seems overwhelming, you are not alone. Communication is key when developing a final years’ plan for your loved one and talking with professionals and family members will help ensure the important aspects of the plan are in place. Following are the key aspects of a plan and the professionals who can help:

  • Consult with an attorney
  • Find a financial planner
  • Locate a funeral director

Read more tips as well as detailed information for each one by clicking here. You can also read Financial Planning for Your Final Years: 7 Questions to Consider. This will challenge you to reassess your life situation and the priorities which are important. By asking and answering these questions on a regular basis it will help to understand how your loved one’s life song will play out.

This article expands on the Compose Your Life Song℠ campaign, click here to read our first blog post.

Learn more about Home Instead Senior Care’s public education program along with free resources and tips to help guide you through the important conversations and planning for your loved one’s final years by visiting www.composeyourlifesong.com. Take action and own your destiny so your final years can be a song everyone will want to listen to. Start composing your meaningful life song today.

Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis understands the stress that working family caregivers face and offers a wide range of in-home care services, including respite care, personal care, 24-hour and live-in care and Alzheimer’s and other dementias. The loving and experienced CAREGivers at Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis offer friendly, responsive care for seniors right in your Minneapolis, Minnesota community, as well as support for the family. To inquire about any of our senior services available or becoming a CAREGiver, call us at 763-544-5988 today.

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Compose Your Life Song: Planning Your Final Years

ComposeLifeSongLogoSo many of us take the time to plan for our retirement years. Whether you hope to work on your golf game, travel the world or spend your time at a lake home, those days have been thoughtfully planned from a financial perspective. You may even have a will or living trust prepared and expressed your wishes for funeral arrangements, but what about the time between the fun, active retirement years and your last days on earth? Have you planned for that?

In a survey conducted by Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care network, 85 percent of North American seniors who have made plans for their final years agree that planning is a chance to decide how their life song ends. Los Angeles undertaker and author Caitlin Doughty understands it can be difficult to grasp the value of planning one’s final years. However, going through the planning process can create a more peaceful and meaningful transition into one’s later years and leads to what Doughty refers to as the “good death”. For Doughty, the good death includes being prepared to die, with all her affairs in order and it means accepting death as inevitable and not fighting it when the time comes.

To encourage conversations about loved ones’ wishes for their final years of life Home Instead Inc. has launched their latest public education campaign, Compose Your Life Song℠: Planning Your Final Years. This program will reinforce the role Home Instead Senior Care plays in helping seniors live their final years where they choose – in their own home. The Compose Your Life Song℠ public education program offers free resources that encourage seniors and their family members to have the difficult conversations about plans and wishes for their final years, while also exploring end-of-life options, including finances and getting affairs in order. This program will also provide insurance, care and funeral planning.

Watch as Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis’ co-owner, Kathleen Stuck, explains what the Compose Your Life Song℠ program is all about:

https://www.kare11.com/video/life/family/sandwich-generation/sandwich-generation-seniors-make-important-decisions-via-life-song/89-8058446

Tips on How to Begin the Final Wishes Conversation

Although the discussion can be difficult, knowing the final wishes of a senior loved one can bring clarity and comfort to the family members during end-of-life situations, including hospice. Tips on How to Begin the Final Wishes Conversation:

  • Don’t stress
  • Listen and keep an open mind
  • Move on if it’s uncomfortable
  • Consider using photos or family heirlooms as conversation starters

Read more tips as well as detailed information for each one by clicking here. You can also read Collette’s poignant story about how she was able to make healthcare decisions for her father knowing his final wishes.

6 Ways to Get Started on a Final Years Plan

Ok, so you’ve had the difficult conversations about end-of-life wishes. Now it’s time to move to the next step and actually plan for one’s final years. Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis understand this also is a difficult process, but one that can create a more peaceful and meaningful transition into your loved one’s later years in life. We believe that incorporating some of the tips from 6 Ways to Get Started on a Final Years Plan could lead to a more calm and organized planning process:

  • Consider personality and preference.
  • Talk it out. Communicate with loved ones.
  • Identify people who can help plan.
  • Decide how to handle finances.
  • Complete a personal planning guide.
  • Think about a bucket list.

Read more on each of these ways to get started as well as additional resources, including a Compose Your Life Song℠ Music Generator.

Working through the myths and misconceptions of making those final years’ decisions can actually empower family caregivers to help their loved ones make choices that will bring them peace of mind when the time comes.

Learn more about Home Instead Senior Care’s public education program along with free resources and tips to help guide you through the important conversations and planning for your loved one’s final years by visiting www.composeyourlifesong.com. Start composing your meaningful life song today.

Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis understands the stress the working family caregivers face and offers a wide range of in-home care services, including respite care, personal care, 24-hour and live-in care and Alzheimer’s and other dementias. The loving and experienced CAREGivers at Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis offer friendly, responsive care for seniors right in your Minneapolis, Minnesota community, as well as support for the family. To inquire about any of our senior services available or becoming a CAREGiver, call us at 763-544-5988 today.

Ambiguous Loss: Grieving a Loss That Isn’t Physical

aging_aloneWe all know the pain when a loved one passes away, but what about the ambiguous loss we feel when someone we love and provide care for suffers from dementia? Ambiguous loss refers to a loss that occurs without resolution or understanding. This type of loss often leaves a person searching for answers or closure, which in turn complicates and delays the grieving process, leading to unresolved grief.

There are two types of ambiguous loss, physical and psychological. With physical loss, the body of a loved one is no longer present. This type of loss can occur across generations in a family, such as victims of the holocaust or missing soldiers and can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder.  In the situation of psychological ambiguous loss, the body is physically present, but psychologically absent otherwise. This happens in examples such as dementia, stroke and other ways the brain, well-being and behavior of the individual is affected.

Ambiguous loss is unclear and has no resolution or closure. The loss is confusing and unpredictable. Dementia creates a feeling of ambiguous loss, causing much stress and burden on the family and caregiver.

Pauline Boss, Ph.D and researcher, suggests that ambiguous loss creates a complicated grief that goes on too long. The complication is the ambiguity and confusion of not knowing when the loss will be final. In the case of an individual with dementia, as the disease progresses to the next stage (forgetting names or dates, not able to drive anymore, etc.), the progression brings on more continuous loss. Boss refers to this as frozen grief.

With frozen grief there is no familiar ritual, only a deep on-going sadness and many unknowns. Loved ones and caregivers may feel they are in limbo with no resolution in sight. There is a feeling of hopelessness and being ‘stuck’ as well as an inability to get things done. Having to accept the loss and grieve someone who is still alive is very counter-intuitive, but it is important to grieve as you go. The losses will continue with each stage of progression of the dementia but it is important to recognize each loss as it happens and as you go along in the journey.

To learn more about this perspective of loss and grief that may resonate strongly with you and other dementia care partners, watch this informative webinar. In this webinar, Susy Favaro, LCSW, of the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, describes what many dementia care partners feel when the person they know and love has significantly changed psychologically but still physically present.

At Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis, we understand the stress that family caregivers face and offer a wide-range of in-home care services, including respite care, personal care, 24-hour and live-in care and Alzheimer’s and other dementias. The loving and experienced CAREGivers at Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis offers friendly, responsive care for seniors right in your Minneapolis, Minnesota community, as well as support for the family.

Realizing the need to bring awareness of important topics that affect the seniors in our Minneapolis communities, such as prescription medication management, preventing senior hospitalizations, keeping seniors safe online, preventing wandering and the increased risk our seniors face when they continue to drive past a safe age, Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis will continue to provide resources and tips to help keep you informed. Our senior loved ones are one of society’s greatest resources – let’s make sure they receive the best care possible. To inquire about any of our senior services or becoming a Home Instead CAREGiver, call us at 763-544-5988 today.

Thanks to You, Be a Santa to a Senior 2017 Was a Huge Success!

seniorsWe are humbled to report that once again this holiday season, Minneapolis volunteers went above and beyond to make Christmas memorable for local seniors who may not have otherwise received gifts or companionship.

The Be a Santa to a Senior® 2017 program was a huge success this year and I cannot thank the many volunteers involved enough for all your support. Without the workshop full of elves taking care of putting up the trees, selecting tags and shopping for local seniors, storing the gifts, and helping to make the deliveries, this program would not exist. A heartfelt thank you goes out to each and every one of you! We at Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis understand the holidays are a very busy time of year for all, but hopefully seeing the smiles on the faces of the seniors and knowing how much fun the volunteers had participating warms your heart as much as it does mine.

Delivering over 3,000 donated gifts, this truly was a memorable Christmas and I’d like to give a special shout out to the West Metro Fire Station who received and distributed over 250 gift bags. Overall, the donated gifts were delivered to 34 different locations!

To stay in touch and make sure that you’re informed about our Be a Santa to a Senior® program next year, like us on Facebook and you’ll see our timely updates. Check out some of the fun pictures on our Facebook page and take a moment to watch this video:

The Be a Santa to a Senior® campaign is all about helping seniors who are alone or in need. The Minneapolis office of the Home Instead Senior Care® network has partnered with local non-profits groups such as East Side Neighborhood Services in Minneapolis, Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly, Meals on Wheels, several nursing homes and low income housing to provide gifts and companionship to seniors who otherwise might not receive either during the holiday season. What began with just one nursing home has since grown into a movement. The official kickoff began with decorating Christmas trees with ornament tags inside the establishment of our participating partners. Thank you to the 2017 partners:

From there, generous donors selected an ornament tag from the trees with the name of a senior and some suggestions of what they would like. The donors delivered the item(s) back to the location in a gift bag and the Be a Santa to a Senior “elves” picked up the gifts and delivered them to seniors in nursing homes, low income senior housing, adult day centers and personally nominated individuals.

Home Instead Minneapolis is thrilled to partner each year with local fire stations. Relief associations, retired and off-duty firefighters from Hopkins, Golden Valley, Wayzata, Minneapolis, New Hope and St. Louis Park fire stations all assisted the program by picking up and storing the gifts.  When the gifts were all collected they also helped to deliver the gifts to several of the nursing homes, assisted living and senior apartment facilities in and around the Minneapolis area. THANK YOU once again to the firefighters, retired members as well as spouses and family members for being involved with our Be a Santa to a Senior® campaign! We could not pull this off without you! We appreciate your partnership and your volunteer time.

Since its inception, the Be a Santa to a Senior® campaign has attracted over 60,000 volunteers throughout North America, and has donated more than 1.2 million gifts to over 700,000 seniors who are in need of assistance or companionship. We’re doing our part here in Minneapolis and surrounding communities – you can join the movement and help a senior in your Minnesota community too!

Surviving Awkward Conversations and Determining a Loved One’s Needs During the Holidays

senior giftsThe holidays may be the only time some family members are able to come together. Situations such as long-distance travel or celebrating with in-laws may prevent having the entire family together some years. For many, the holidays mark a time of joy, nostalgia and celebration, but others are feeling maxed out. And some may be in for an unpleasant surprise if they haven’t seen parents or grandparents for a while and realize they are aging faster than expected and need help. Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis understands the added stress that is placed on families when visiting during the holidays and offers ways to manage awkward conversations as well as tips to pin-point your aging loved one’s needs.

Knowing how crushing it can be to a young boy when Grandpa’s dementia has progressed to a point where he no longer remembers the little boy’s name or the dread of having a conversation with a sibling you resent for not doing their part in caring for a parent adds to the stress of the family gatherings. Home Instead Senior Care offers some guidance to having that awkward conversation or helping you respond to these challenging situations and more.

Consider these four common scenarios caregivers or their relatives might encounter during the holiday season:

You want to discuss with siblings your need for help in caring for Mom or Dad
While speaking up to ask for help is a good way to garner help from others, is the family dinner table really the right time to address a touchy subject? Read tips to help you navigate the conversation successfully.

You’ll be seeing a relative for the first time after they have received a serious medical diagnosis
With the dire diagnosis statistics for cancer, heart disease and other serious health conditions increasing with age, the likelihood of seeing a relative who was recently diagnosed goes up each year. Consider these tips for what to say.

You notice during a recent visit that your aging parents need more help than you thought
Typically, when you speak to mom and dad, they assure you everything is fine and they don’t need help, but when you arrive to stay over the holidays you discover that isn’t exactly the case. Concern creeps in when you realize the pile of mail is quite large and their home is beyond cluttered. Read ideas of how to handle this situation.

Preparing your children for Grandma or Grandpa’s different behavior due to Alzheimer’s disease
Young children may become frightened by the often-inappropriate behaviors or symptoms of Alzheimer’s or other dementias. Keeping the details and conversation age-appropriate will help, as well as staying calm and patient. Learn tips to help prepare your children.

Be prepared to manage any changes you notice in your aging loved one.

Keep your eyes open for some common issues that can threaten a senior’s independence, such as:

• Pain
• Memory
• Depression
• Social Engagement
• Safety
• Housekeeping
• Medication

Learn details about each of the above common issues as well as how to address the issues uncovered, by reading 7 Ways to Investigate Your Loved One’s Needs During a Holiday Visit. If you’re unsure how to discuss concerns with your loved one, refer to Home Instead Senior Care’s conversation starter guide.

At Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis, our passion for serving seniors and their families runs deep. We are invested in the communities we serve and believe every family in the area deserves individualized in-home senior care with a compassionate touch to help seniors live independently at home. It’s our mission.

Caring for seniors is a job that requires a special personality with just the right touch. Could that be you? As a Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis CAREGiver, you have the opportunity to meet wonderful seniors, build fulfilling relationships, and make a difference in the lives of your aging clients. Contact Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis to learn more about the home care job opportunities and becoming a Home Instead Minneapolis CAREGiver.

If you or a loved one could use some assistance with senior care, contact us for a free care consultation to learn how we can help. Call us today at 763-634-8247.

The Trees Are Up! Find One and Be a Santa to a Senior

seniorsHome Instead Senior Care Minneapolis is proud to once again kick off the 2017 Be a Santa to a Senior® program! We have set up trees around the Minneapolis area to ensure seniors who are alone or in need receive a gift this holiday season. As once described by a senior who has received a gift from us, the Be a Santa to a Senior® program “shows there are angels on earth!” Join us in our movement once again this year to ensure seniors feel the love and be a part of our campaign.

This program targets seniors in our community who may not otherwise receive gifts or visits from family during the holidays and was first launched by our parent organization in 2003. Partnering with local non-profit and community organizations, Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis identifies seniors who perhaps live alone, do not have family members nearby, or are experiencing financial difficulties and ensures they receive a little TLC during the holidays.

Home Instead Senior Care® network is the world’s largest provider of non-medical in-home care and companionship services for older adults. The Minneapolis, Minnesota Home Instead office has partnered with local non-profits such as East Side Neighborhood Services in Minneapolis, Meals on Wheels, as well as over 25 low income senior communities and nursing homes to offer gifts and companionship to seniors in need.

You can help us brighten a senior’s life too! Home Instead Minneapolis will set up the gift trees beginning November 10th in the local businesses and retail stores that are partnering with us. The participation of the busy retail stores allows for great visibility of the program and provides a convenient way for shoppers to be part of the gift giving during the holiday season. Here’s how it works:

Head to any of the following locations:

Locate the Christmas tree decorated with ornament tags within the store. Select any ornament tag where you will find a senior’s name as well as gift suggestions printed on the tag. The next steps are to purchase the item(s) listed, place them in a gift bag, return to the store where the ornament tag was selected and deliver the gift to a store employee. We would also be delighted to take any donations of money or gift cards to ensure each gift wish is filled. To ensure timely delivery of all gifts, please return donations to the store by December 9th.

Since this amazing program began in 2003, there have been over 60,000 volunteers who have helped distribute over 1.2 million gifts to more than 700,000 deserving seniors nationwide. Join our movement and make a senior’s holiday special.

Home Instead Minneapolis is thrilled to partner with several local fire stations. Relief associations, retired and off-duty firefighters from Hopkins, Golden Valley, Wayzata, Minneapolis, New Hope and St. Louis Park fire stations are volunteering their time by picking up and storing the gifts. Once the gifts are all collected, they will also help deliver the gifts to the nursing homes, assisted living and senior apartment facilities in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area. THANK YOU once again to the firefighters, retired members as well as spouses and family members for being involved with our Be a Santa to a Senior® campaign! We could not pull this off without you! We appreciate your partnership and your volunteer time.

At this time of year, there are so many gift programs aimed at children and families in need, but we can’t forget the seniors! Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis understands there are many seniors in our local communities who have just as much need for a gift and companionship during the holidays, so join us and make a difference in the life of a senior!

For more information or to find a participating organization near you, visit the Be a Santa to a Senior® website and use the locator tool provided.

Daughters in the Workplace, part II

DaughtersWorkplace2It seems our lives are busier than ever these days. Women are navigating a career while raising children and in many cases, also caring for aging parents. The term ‘sandwich’ generation is used when an age group is caring for their parents while caring for their own family simultaneously. This sandwich generation is fast emerging and seems to be wearing many hats.

Studies show two-thirds of all caregivers are female, and many feel they have to choose between their career and caring for their family. It’s a balancing act that often leaves employers and employees alike, frustrated. This should not be the case. To help working family caregivers feel empowered to talk to their employer about their needs and to help employers understand what their employees need as caregivers, Home Instead Inc. has launched their latest public education campaign, Daughters in the Workplace℠. This program offers free resources to working family caregivers while also identifying caregiving support that may be available from their employers, as well as support for the smaller percentage of male family caregivers. This article expands on the Daughters in the Workplace℠ campaign, click here to read our first blog post.

Caregiver Friendly Business Practices

In a recent survey conducted by Home Instead, Inc., the percentage of working family caregivers who reported being “very satisfied” with their employer’s work-family policies was less than 50% in any category surveyed. In fact, the highest rating of those surveyed was given to the flexible schedule question at 44%. Knowing these numbers are not acceptable as well as the challenges that working family caregivers face, Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis wants you to know you are not alone. Home Instead Senior Care offers these Caregiver Friendly Business Practices to help guide employers in their support:

  • Empower employees to ask for what they need
  • Be flexible (and human) when needed
  • Have a back-up plan
  • Offer support
  • Respect caregiving needs

Identifying What Support You Need as a Working Family Caregiver

DaughtersWorkplace1Identifying your needs as a family caregiver is the first step in helping you manage your own health, your job, and maintaining a quality family life. Studies show having support in the following areas are important to working family caregivers:

  • Access to respite care
  • Time off from work
  • Flexibility

Read more on each of these support areas and more.

Once you’ve identified your needs, make sure your employer understands what you’re looking for and what options the company has to offer. It’s best to have an honest conversation with your employer and Home Instead Senior Care offers some examples to help get the discussion started.

Learn more about Home Instead’s public education campaign along with ideas and tips to help you stay physically, emotionally, and mentally fit by visiting www.caregiverstress.com, including a list of resources for the Daughters in the Workplace℠ program. Also, take a quiz to see what you know about the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and other benefits you may have access to when you are working and caring for an aging loved one.

Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis understands the stress the working family caregivers face and offers a wide range of in-home care services, including respite care, personal care, 24-hour and live-in care and Alzheimer’s and other dementias. The loving and experienced CAREGivers at Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis offer friendly, responsive care for seniors right in your Minneapolis, Minnesota community, as well as support for the family. To inquire about any of our senior services or becoming a CAREGiver, call us at 763-544-5988 today.

Fall Prevention

by Guest Blogger – Jon Burkhow, Director of Senior Community Services’ HOME program

senior safety mnDid you know according to the National Council on Aging (NCOA) one-third of Americans aged 65+ falls each year?  What can you do to help prevent a senior loved one from falling?  With the annual Fall Prevention Awareness day, just around the corner on September 22, 2017, now is the time to take some simple steps to reduce the risk of falls for our Minnesota older adults.

  1. Find a good balance and exercise program. Many local community centers in Hennepin County offer classes specially designed for seniors.  Also consider a Matter of Balance class in your community.  Find more details including locations near you:  http://mnhealthyaging.org/en/FallsPrevention/MatterBalance.aspx
  2. Talk with your health care provider. It is important to tell your doctor or family members if you have fallen recently.  Certain medications can increase fall risk and your health care practitioner can review these and give you an overall assessment for fall risk based on your situation.
  3. Check your vision and hearing annually. Your eyes and ears are key to navigating your environment.
  4. Get a free safety assessment from the HOME program. Learn how we can help make safety improvements to your home, such as installing grab bars, improved lighting, new smoke alarms, reducing tripping hazards inside and outside the home, and more.

It’s human nature to procrastinate but we urge you to consider being proactive and reduce your fall risk.  Perhaps, you know someone who has suffered from a fall.  The recovery can be difficult and severe.  Falls can cause serious physical and psychological injury and are common during the Minnesota winter months.  In addition to the action items above consider a quick check of your physical environment.  Here are a few things to look for:

  1. Assure that you have adequate lighting on all stairways and going in and out of your home.
  2. Make sure that you have sufficient hand railings or grab bars in these locations and use them! Try to avoid carrying heavy loads when using these transition areas as your balance and line of sight can be impaired.
  3. Remove all objects from stairways.
  4. Remove loose rugs or put a non-slip backing under them. Make sure all pathways are clear of clutter.  You shouldn’t have to walk around things to navigate in your home.
  5. Make sure that you have a good pair of indoor shoes that have non-skid soles.

Do what you can to mitigate your fall risk.  Make today the day to take action and stay safe!  If you would like more information on the HOME program, visit our website: www.seniorcommunity.org. Contact us by email at home@seniorcommunity.org or by phone (952) 746-4046.

Jon Burkhow is the Director for the HOME program. The Senior Community Services HOME (Household and Outside Maintenance for Elderly) program provides affordable home maintenance and chore services delivered by trusted professionals and community volunteers. The goal of the HOME program is to provide reasonably priced services to help adults aged 60 and older continue to live independently in their own homes.

Home Instead Minneapolis is proud to partner with and exclusively support Senior Community Services and specifically their HOME program, which applied and was carefully selected to be a recipient of a $5,000 matching grant during the 2017 GIVE65 crowd-fundraiser.

Daughters in the Workplace

Between advances in medicine and living healthier lifestyles, many seniors are living longer and more productive lives, which is causing the ‘sandwich’ generation to emerge. The sandwich generation refers to the age group who are caring for their parents while caring for their own children simultaneously. Studies over the past few decades have shown increased support for women who are juggling their careers as they raise young children, but much less attention and dialogue focusing on the unique challenges that come with navigating a career while caring for aging adults.

DaughtersWorkplace2To help working family caregivers feel empowered to talk to their employer about their needs and to help employers understand what their employees need as caregivers, Home Instead Inc. has launched their latest public education campaign, Daughters in the Workplace℠. This program offers free resources to working family caregivers while also identifying caregiving support that may be available.

In a recent survey conducted by Home Instead, Inc., a majority of the North American working family caregivers responded stating that caregiving has put a strain on multiple aspects of their lives including, but not limited to:

  • Finances (60%)
  • Physical health (74%)
  • Mental health (81%)
  • Career (81%)
  • Ability to manage a healthy work/life balance (83%)

You value your job and don’t want to jeopardize your position, but may need flexibility and understanding at times. It’s important to work with your employer and be honest with your boss when caregiving becomes difficult and you’re struggling to keep up with your workload. Home Instead’s Daughters in the Workplace℠ campaign offers support and resources for all parties involved during these unique challenges.

Conversation Starters: How to Talk to Your Employer About Your Caregiver Support Needs

What’s the best way to discuss family caregiving without the fear of jeopardizing your job? Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis believes that suggesting ideas that work for both your employer and you are best. Also, continue to work with your employer to make sure any changes to your work schedule or job are, in fact, working for all involved. To help you get the conversation started, Home Instead Senior Care offers some examples:

  • “Do you know I am taking care of my dad? I would love to tell you a little about him and what I am doing to care for him. I am looking for ways to ensure I am always doing the best I can at work and at home.”
  • “I hope you know how much I value my job. That’s why I would like to make sure that my work is covered in the event of a family emergency. I would love to learn about any services our company has that could help me. And then, it would be great to work with you to put together a plan.”

Read more examples. 

DaughtersWorkplace1

Consider 5 Ways Eldercare Could Impact Your Business

As the employer, you may believe you can’t afford to offer a family-friendly business setting, but in reality, the latest research shows that perhaps you can’t afford not to address these situations. Learn ways eldercare might be impacting your bottom line:

  1. Increased Absenteeism
  2. Decreased Productivity
  3. Loss of Talent
  4. Interruption of Sevices or Work flow
  5. Declining Morale

Five Signs That Caregiving Could be Putting Your Employee at Risk:

Being aware of signs that may be putting your employee at risk is important. Family caregiving is stressful business, especially when a person is also managing a full-time job and caring for their own family. This will eventually take its toll on your employee, which in turn may affect work productivity and even risk losing an otherwise excellent worker. Watching for these signs and using available resources will help reduce this risk.

  • Stress and depression: In a survey of working family caregivers, 42 percent report caregiving making them depressed.
  • Vulnerability to illness: In a Gallup study released in 2011 of working family caregivers, findings showed caregivers are 50 percent more likely to experience daily physical pain than non-caregivers. Working caregivers also reported a 25 percent higher incident of high blood pressure.
  • Fatigue: Although you cannot control your employees’ sleeping habits, recognize that fatigue is a common challenge facing many family caregivers.
  • Inability to focus: Fatigue and stress together make it difficult to focus.
  • Guilt: The guilt of constantly feeling spread too thin and not being able to give 100% to anyone leaves working family caregivers frustrated.

Learn more about each of these signs along with ideas and tips to help your employees stay physically, emotionally and mentally healthy by visiting www.caregiverstress.com. Also, take a quiz to see what you know about the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and other benefits you may have access to when you are working and caring for an aging loved one.

Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis understands the stress the working family caregivers face and offers a wide range of in-home care services, including respite care, personal care, 24-hour and live-in care and Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Our experienced CAREGivers at Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis offer friendly, responsive care for seniors right in your Minneapolis, Minnesota community, as well as support for the family. To inquire about any of our senior services or becoming a CAREGiver, call us at 763-544-5988 today.

GIVE65: 2017 Crowd-Fundraiser

GIVE65LogoJoin the crowd! The Home Instead Senior Care Foundation has created the GIVE65 crowd-fundraiser exclusively devoted to help non-profit organizations raise money geared toward caring for seniors. GIVE65 is the first of its kind for Home Instead Senior Care with a goal to raise money online for programs and services related directly to helping seniors and creating hope for them. Home Instead is expecting it will be a catalyst for social change and we will continue to see fundraisers like this for seniors in the future.

The GIVE65 event is a 65-hour online charitable fundraising event aimed at inspiring greater giving to non-profit organizations serving seniors. In its second year, GIVE65 2017 will take place from July 11 – 13, 2017. During this time, a limited number of approved, participating organizations compete for up to $100,000 in matching grants and are also eligible for one of two $10,000 financial rewards which recognize outstanding small, medium and large-size non-profit participants. Wondering how you can join the crowd and help make a difference for seniors? Beginning July 1st, you can schedule your 100% tax deductible donation to be given to an approved non-profit of your choice during the fundraising event July 11 – 13, 2017. By scheduling the donation in advance, you ensure the organization of your choice will receive your donation during the event time period and it also may be eligible for matching grants and additional financial reward prizes.

Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis is proud to exclusively support Senior Community Services and specifically their Household and Outside Maintenance for Elderly (HOME) program, which applied and was carefully selected to be a recipient of a $5,000 matching grant during the GIVE65 crowd-fundraiser. The goal of the HOME program is to provide reasonably priced services to help seniors continue to live independently in their own homes. Their network of reliable workers and volunteers provide indoor and outdoor chore services to residents age 60 and older in a wide service area of communities in Hennepin County, Minnesota.

A majority of the HOME program clients are low-income. Assisting residents with home and yard chores such as home repairs, safety checks, raking, snow shoveling, and yard projects, will allow the seniors to stay in their own home and community longer. The money raised through the GIVE65 crowd-fundraiser will help the Senior Community Services HOME program keep their services affordable, with a focus on staying safe in the winter months. Donated funds will be specifically used towards winter fall prevention and the incurred expenses during the Minnesota snow season.

Each year, one-third of Americans aged 65 or older fall. In fact, falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of non-fatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults. In 2000, the direct medical cost of fatal and non-fatal injuries totaled over $19 billion and $28.2 billion in 2010. This financial toll for older adult falls is only expected to increase as the population ages and is expected to reach as high as $54.9 billion by the year 2020. The HOME program will use the GIVE65 donated funds to help keep the driveways and sidewalks of over 300 seniors clear during the upcoming winter season. Ensuring fall prevention by removing the snow and ice will not only maintain safe access to and from the home, but will provide a great relief to the seniors in our Minnesota communities by providing the gift of security and independence this winter.

Jon Burkhow, HOME Program Director, says “Our snow removal program is a vital part of keeping older adults safe in their home and community. Please help us continue to prevent falls with your donation!” If you are interested in getting involved and being a GIVE65 donor or would like to learn more about Senior Community Services HOME program, you can find more details here: https://www.give65.org/SCSfallprevention

The Minneapolis area senior population needs our help and your donation to the Senior Community Services HOME program through the GIVE65 crowd-fundraiser will help. Lori Hogan, Home Instead Senior Care Foundation Vice President says “The need is great. I think GIVE65 is a rallying cry for all of us – the public and private sectors – to come together and create hope for our seniors in need.” Home Instead Senior Care understands the challenges faced when raising money for social service programs that focus on seniors in need and believe they can lead the charge in charitable giving and inspire others to work together towards a common goal.

Programs like GIVE65 are important to our local communities as the senior population grows, non-profits need financial support to maintain the programs and services they provide that give hope for seniors. Every gift will make a difference, from the minimum donation of $10 to the larger donations. Those who want to help our local seniors, including businesses, corporations and other foundations, can visit GIVE65.org to invest in the growing Minnesota senior population. And don’t forget to save the date! Beginning July 1, 2017, you can schedule your GIVE65 event donation to ensure your donation will be given to the non-profit of your choice during the fundraising time period and be eligible for matching. Together we can make a difference in the lives of the seniors in our local communities!