Tips for Seniors and Caregivers to Survive the Holidays

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Whether you’re senior with a large family or young family with small children, the holidays can take their toll on your time and emotions. That is why the Home Instead Center for Successful Aging focused on providing you these holiday stress busters.

For Caregivers

  1. Communicate your needs
    Difficult family dynamics can take center stage during the holidays. Conflict may arise if family members can no longer continue their traditional holiday roles. Let yourself be heard and invite conversation around conflicts. Communicating is the best way to help smooth out problems and avert new ones.
  2. home carePlan ahead
    Lower your level of stress by starting your holiday preparations way in advance. Make a list before the season arrives of what needs to get completed and purchased.
  3. Be flexible
    The holidays are steeped in personal, family and religious traditions. Maintaining those is a lot of responsibility for anyone, especially family caregivers, who lead busy lives while caring for aging parents. Diane K. Hendricks, social worker for the Center, recommends: “As a family, ask yourself, ‘What is important to continue and what can we adapt or let go?’”
  4. Be resourceful
    Take a look at your list from suggestion #2 and think about who might be able to help. Think about their skills and time commitment. Sometimes, people simply need to be asked. Maybe a Home Instead CAREGiver could help?
  5. Take care of yourself
    You hear it every year – don’t over-eat during the holidays and keep exercising. That’s easier said than done, for sure. Make a concerted effort to schedule time for exercise and keep healthy snacks handy to help avoid sugary holiday treats.
  6. Make time for your traditions
    One of the most important things about the holidays is creating memories with your loved ones.  Don’t let favorite traditions go by the wayside during the busy holiday season. If time or circumstances make them difficult to maintain, adapt them as necessary. Consider making volunteering for the Home Instead Be a Santa to a Senior program part of your holiday traditions!
  7. Look for comic relief
    Nothing lifts the spirit like a good laugh! Gather friends together for a game night or to watch a funny holiday movie. Or, for immediate relief, let the queen of aging humor, Mary Maxwell, give her a one word solutions for those that might not want to cook a large holiday dinner.

For Seniors

    1. Reconsider the menu
      If Mom can no longer handle preparing and cooking the traditional meal on her own, make it a group effort. It’s a win-win: Mom can supervise and the next generation can learn all the secrets to making those favorite family recipes. Involve Mom’s home care provider to do the grocery shopping and prep work.
    2. Be their eyes, hands and feet
      When arthritis prevents seniors from writing cards or macular degeneration damages eyesight and makes it difficult to shop for gifts, you can offer to take on those tasks. If time is short, suggest more efficient options such as online shopping and sending e-cards.
    3. Mix it up
      Older adults are usually most alert and at their best earlier in the day. Why not plan a holiday brunch rather than a lunch, or attend a daytime religious service instead of the evening one?
    4. Go Skype
      Distance can separate older adults from loved ones, which exacerbates loneliness, isolation and depression during the holidays. Use the latest technology to help an older adult stay connected to loved ones from afar.
    5. Think simple
      You may love seeing the family home all decked out for the season, but hauling boxes of decorations may become impossible for seniors who struggle with mobility and balance issues. Get together with family and friends and decide which holiday decorating traditions to keep and what to forego.

  • Hit the road
    You no doubt remember it as a child – those holiday light tours that you and your parents loved. A holiday driving tour is an easy way to bring back the memories and joy to an older adult who can no longer decorate. Get a list of places to visit in Minneapolis!
  • Compensate when necessary
    If hearing impairment keeps Dad from enjoying the annual holiday movie, check out the latest sound enhancement technology. If Mom is having trouble seeing the deck of playing cards, look for large print cards or activities that can help keep her in the game.
  • minneapolis holidayRelive memorable moments
    Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias will especially appreciate opportunities to tap into old memories. Read our post on preserving family memories for ideas.
  • Make new memories
    Sometimes, things must change. If an older adult can’t participate in the holiday or is hospitalized, why not create a simple video that shares highlights of the season? Or arrange to have a group sing carols to your senior loved one – traditional songs from his or her generation.
  • Get help – fast!
    One of the best ways to adapt holiday activities is to ask for help . Enlisting the help of a professional caregiver to help with meal preparation or to provide transportation for your loved one can lighten the load for families and free them up to maximize special holiday time with their senior loved one.

10 Tips to Protect Seniors from Scams

home care MinneapolisAfter reading the 3 stories of senior fraud in last month’s blog post, you might be wondering, why are seniors so often targeted, who would do such a thing and how can I prevent this from happening to an elderly person in my life? “Scam artists are specifically targeting seniors because they are the fastest-growing segment of the population, which has led to increased demands on Minneapolis law enforcement agencies,” said John Stuck, owner of Home Instead Senior Care® of Minneapolis. In addition, the National Association of Triads, a partnership of law enforcement, has identified these characteristics in some seniors that make them vulnerable:

  1. Wealth: Money is one of the most notable reasons why seniors are targeted. Scammers consider not only their disposable income but the value of their homes, property, life savings and other assets.
  2. Availability: Seniors that are retired spend more time at home and are available for phone calls and visits. Scam artists can more easily get in contact with them, often times repeatedly if their first attempt is successful, as with the woman in last month’s blog post who was scammed out of $5,000 over 2-3 months.
  3. Sickness: Chronic health issues mean that many older adults have difficulty maintaining their property and may rely on outside sources for help. Unscrupulous workers can bilk seniors out of thousands of dollars for a job that should only cost hundreds of dollars. Dementia can exacerbate the problem.
  4. Isolation: Seniors are often alone when families move away from the Minneapolis area. If they don’t have a family member or home care agency to assist them with large decisions, they can fall prey to fraud.
  5. Loneliness: Because of their isolation, seniors’ friendships often can be limited, and this can make them vulnerable to that friendly caller who drops by the house. Some scams are even perpetrated by seemingly trusted people who work to build new friendships with older adults and then prey on their vulnerabilities.

home health careCons against older adults aren’t always acts of blatant theft. They can be subtle, like the retailer who over-charges an older adult or an individual who bills for a service and doesn’t finish the job. A 2011 MetLife Study has identified three elder financial abuse strategies: crimes of occasion, crimes of desperation and crimes of predation.

  • Crimes of occasion, or opportunity, are incidents where the senior has something of value and a perpetrator is allowed easy access to it.
  • Crimes of desperation are typically those in which family members or friends become so desperate for money that they will do whatever it takes to get it. Many of these family members are dependent on the senior for resources. Some believe that, in return for care, he or she is due compensation, as with the case in last month’s blog post of our client with MS.
  • Crimes of predation, or occupation are the most popularized by the media. Most often, a trust is engendered specifically for the intention of financial abuse later. The taking of assets is by stealth and cunning.

Senior Scam minneapolisAs a result, the nonprofit National Association of Triads and Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis have launched a public information program to educate families and seniors about how to protect themselves. The Protect Seniors from Fraud program provides family caregivers with a number of important tools including a Senior Fraud Protection Kit. Download your copy today!

In it, you’ll find these 5 tips to protect seniors from scams:

  1. Add seniors to the national Do-Not-Call Registry. A study has shown that one of 10 telemarketing callers is a scammer. People may register their residential telephone number, including wireless numbers, on the Do-Not-Call Registry at no cost. To register online and for additional information, go to To register by phone, call 888-382-1222; for TTY, call 866-290-4236. You must call from the phone number you wish to register.
  2. Shred documents that could be useful to criminals, including bank statements, credit-card statements and offers, and other financial information. Documents that need to be preserved, such as tax filings and car titles, should be stored in a safe deposit box.
  3. Insist that your senior calls the local Better Business Bureau (BBB) or gets a BBB Business Review online at before acting on a phone call or a piece of mail, or agreeing to a visit from an unknown person, business or charity. Point out suspicious mailings, especially look-alike envelopes that mimic letters sent from the Social Security Administration or Internal Revenue Service.
  4. Insist that your senior never give out personal information nor agree to give money over the phone. Rather ask for written information to be sent through the mail. The best rule of thumb is to “never provide information in a phone call that you did not initiate.”
  5. Establish a strong defense by posting a “No Solicitation” notice by senior’s front door and help them to sort through his or her incoming mail. A Home Instead Senior Care CAREGiver actually prevented fraud by noticing endless magazine subscriptions, along with invoices for them!

Do these tips sound helpful? If so, download your own  Senior Fraud Protection Kit and learn 5 more!

senior careAccording to experts, the top three crimes targeting seniors are identity theft, Medicaid/Medicare and medication fraud, and financial exploitation. The demographics of an aging population and the sophistication of scammers are adding up to big losses – both financially and emotionally – for older adults. The annual financial loss by victims of elder financial abuse is estimated to be at least $2.9 billion, a 12 percent increase since 2008.

Home Instead Senior Care of Minneapolis clients is urging Minnesota families to be protect senior loved ones from scammers who may be targeting them with clever cons that could jeopardize not only their life savings but their independence.

Senior Scams Attempted on our Clients

It’s probably incomprehensible that your Dad who is the most fiscally responsible person you know or your Mom who warned you every day about “stranger danger” could get scammed. However, one recent study reported by Consumers Digest estimated that there are at least 5 million cases of elder financial abuse in the United States each year yet, according to a 2011 AARP study, only 25 percent of senior scam victims report their fraud cases to authorities. Unfortunately, Home Instead Senior Care of Minneapolis CAREGivers all too often witness scam attempts against their clients by unscrupulous people who call seniors on the telephone, knock on their doors in their quiet Minnesota neighborhood or otherwise solicit them for fraudulent purposes. That is why we developed the senior scam minneapolisSenior Fraud Protection Kit. Click here to download your kit which contains senior fraud triggers and targets, a checklist to scam proof your senior and a handy list to put next to Mom or Dad’s computer or phone of do’s and don’ts that can help protect them from scammers.

As Client Care Coordinator for Home Instead of Minneapolis, Jill Heley-Otterson is a trusted advisor to the seniors we serve. So trusted in fact, that she was recently contacted by one of our clients asking if Jill could help get her out of a “real mess” she’d gotten herself into and she did not want her husband or children to know what was going on. Jill went to her home and found out that for the last 2-3 months, she had given almost $5000 to two men that kept calling her day and night. They told her she was going to get an expensive new car and $2 million as a Publisher’s Clearinghouse winner, but she had to pay a few installments in order to collect her winnings. They kept instructing her to go to a local Minneapolis area pharmacy and purchase certain green packets. Once she added money to them, they would call her back and ask for the scratch-off code on the back in order to access the funds. It appeared that each time was around $750. She finally realized that she was being conned but, having lost so much, she kept thinking that if she just paid them ONE more time, that she would actually get the car and $2 million…and that they would stop calling her. These guys were very convincing, and knew just what to say to keep her on the hook.

The local law enforcement has no way of tracing or investigating this type of crime because the people making the calls are usually overseas and use computers to re-route the numbers. Jill worked with the client to block the two numbers she had for these men, but as they sat there, the calls immediately started up again with local numbers showing on the caller ID. The only way to stop the calls was to turn the phone off. With the client’s permission, Jill called Adult Protection to report what was happening. In the end, her family was made aware of the situation and both her home number and cell number had to be changed and family is closely monitoring the client’s finances and bills.

When a client of Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis was diagnosed with MS, even though she was not seriously ill, her son and daughter in law persuaded her to turn over all of her financial affairs to them.  In addition, she deeded the house over to them.  In doing so, she basically gave up any say she had in how her money was spent – and her son and daughter in law took full advantage of this.  They went on trips to Las Vegas with her money, bought things for themselves and took over the home by moving into it and relegating her to just being in a couple of the rooms that were wheelchair accessible.  They created a very hostile work environment for the CAREGivers.  They were only allowed to talk to the client and they could not talk to or engage with the young granddaughter that lived there also.  They would get suspicious and nasty if the client and the CAREGiver were having a conversation that they could not hear – and would yell at them about it.  Home Instead got calls from the son and daughter in law saying the CAREGivers were not allowed to purchase anything for the client (even a candy bar) unless it was approved by them and the CAREGivers were not allowed to park in the driveway, even in the winter.  The client was totally isolated from her family – not allowed to call her sister or her friends.  This is why Home Instead kept sending CAREGivers out there, simply to make sure that there were eyes and ears while authorities and family were making plans to get her out of this situation. Adult Protection was brought into the situation.  The daughter in law was also very specific in the age and appearance of our CAREGivers because she did not trust her husband with them.  The police came to the door one day because the son had snow blown the entire yard of snow onto the street, and cars could not get by.  He demanded that our CAREGiver not open the door to the police!  She did defy him, which made him very angry. All in all, this was a very hostile environment both for our client and our CAREGivers.

Our primary CAREGiver and our Client Care Coordinator helped the client make a plan to move to an assisted living facility, secretly.  It took some time and a lot of planning and when the son and his wife were out of town – she secretly made the move with the belongings she wanted with her.  The facility had extra security involved to prevent her son and his wife from having contact with her or causing trouble.  Their pictures were at the front desk (and probably still are) stating that they are not allowed in the building.  Our client was so thrilled to be reunited with her sister and other family.  She has been thriving, is happy in her new environment, still receives services from us, and is engaged in her new community.  Her son and daughter in law no longer have her money to live off of and are involved in a huge legal mess that is ongoing as far as we know.

Another scam case was less intrusive but could have been equally as damaging. A senior client of Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis had endless magazine subscriptions that just kept coming and coming! He was getting invoices for the magazines even though his current subscription is paid up for the next ten years. He didn’t realize that he’d paid so far ahead and thinks that he actually needs to pay each of these invoices. Our CAREGiver is monitoring this by insisting that together, they look at a current magazine to find the end date before paying on any more invoices. She is also coaching him to say no to telemarketers. It’s difficult for seniors who may be lonely. They may not mind hearing a friendly voice on the other end of the line… even if they are asking for something. It makes it very hard for them to say NO.

Home Instead’s mission is to help keep Minnesota seniors living safely and independently in their homes for as long as possible includes helping to protect older adults from those trying to take advantage of them.
We are proud to serve as a second set of eyes to help deter tricksters and scammers. With the legacy they leave all of us, our nation’s seniors are treasured commodities that deserve to be shielded from criminals and thieves – a mission we can all feel good about embracing.

10 Tips to Help Minneapolis Families Cope with Alzheimer’s

Issues related to aging can add stress to even the most stable Minneapolis families. Taking turns caring for a senior after surgery, deciding who’s going to mow the lawn and who’s going to assist with doctor appointments and hiring elderly home care are all typical (yet time and energy consuming) tasks for Minnesota family caregivers. Adding behavioral changes related to Alzheimer’s and dementia can push families to the brink. Watch Laurie Owen from Home Instead Senior Care and Dr. Jane Potter from the University of Nebraska Medical Center discuss the lifestyle changes for patients with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias.

“Regular communication – whether it’s by email or phone – is the single biggest key to helping families cope with Alzheimer’s disease,’’ said caregiving expert Dr. Amy D’Aprix, who developed Caring Cards exclusively for Home Instead Senior Care to engage families in meaningful communication. Here are 9 more tips from Dr. D’Aprix and the Home Instead Senior Care network to helping families stick together through the ups and downs of Alzheimer’s disease:

  1. Get an accurate diagnosis: Get several opinions, if necessary, to ensure that all family members, doctors and home health care professionals caring for your loved one know and understand the situation.
  2. Hold a family meeting: Often times, the main caregiver becomes the only person who has the important information needed to care for the person with Alzheimer’s. Gather family members together with a professional  to ensure that everyone shares the same information and gets the resources they need.
  3. Learn to manage change: Dementias are ever-changing conditions. Find a support group in the Minneapolis or St. Paul area to share with others who are facing similar challenges.
  4. Learn skills and techniques: The behavioral changes that come with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias can be difficult to manage. The resources of the e-learning Family Caregiver Training can help. Find memory activities and puzzles here.
  5. Ask the primary caregiver if they need help: The main day-to-day caregiver can harbor resentment towards others who they feel should be doing more. Look at what needs to be done and ask the primary caregiver how you can give them respite.
  6. Assign tasks: Family members who live out of town can still help with things like finances. Make a list of all that needs to be done and form an online care team to allow others to help.
  7. Ask for help if you’re the primary caregiver: Are you the only one of your siblings in Minneapolis who lives by your parent? Or maybe you’re the oldest daughter and everyone expects you to be the caregiver. Whatever the circumstance, caregivers of seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias shouldn’t try to go it alone. (Hint…see tip #6)
  8. Preserve memories: Create a video of your loved one with Alzheimer’s telling stories about their lives or design a shadow box of keepsakes. Make sure to read next month’s blog from Home Instead Senior Care of Minneapolis for more information!
  9. Tap into local Minneapolis resources: Families can’t have too much information when it comes to managing  the behavioral changes of Alzheimer’s disease. Contact a Home Instead CAREgiver who has received special training to care for those with all types of dementias.

Dr. Amy D’Aprix also prepared content for the Alzheimer’s Disease or Other Dementias Training Program called CARE which stands for Changing Aging Through Research and EducationSM. Programs like these as well as the online Family Caregiver Alzheimer’s Training were developed exclusively for Home Instead Senior Care and FREE to you!

Each e-learning class in the Family Caregiver Alzheimer’s Training  program can be completed within 5–15 minutes and include:

  • Understanding Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias
  • Capturing Life’s Journey
  • Managing Behaviors
  • Encouraging Engagement
  • Safety

To begin your free online training immediately, simply click here and “home instead facebookLike” our Facebook page.

As a Fan of our Facebook page, you’ll have access to special opportunities and resources such as this training that we offer throughout the year. Already a Fan? Click here and get Family Caregiver Alzheimer’s Training now!

How Seniors Make Volunteering Joyful and Long Lasting

senior volunteerOur parent organization, the Home Instead Senior Care® network, recently performed research on senior volunteers and found some truly interesting facts about what makes volunteering enriching and fun for people in their golden years, especially in Minneapolis.

Minnesota seniors who have learned how to give of themselves in a sustained way had some secrets to share about how to enjoy community service as long as possible. In fact 70% of the seniors surveyed said they plan to go on donating their time to special causes “forever.”

Tips from these seniors included the following:

1.  Find something to be passionate about. What have you always wanted to do? What special causes really make your heart sing? Whether it’s helping to feed the homeless at a Minneapolis shelter, being a docent, helping at a pet shelter or making baby bonnets, there is something for everyone and every passion. Finding the role that really tickles your fancy is the key to keeping it interesting.

2.  Find a cause where there is a real need. In this Minnesota economy, as you might guess, that is a very easy thing to do. Not only are there more people in need today than ever before, but non-profit and community service organizations are more taxed than ever too. The Corporation for National and Community Service conducted a survey in 2009 revealing that 80% of nonprofit and AmeriCorps organizations were feeling fiscal stress.

Some great resources exist locally and nationally to find the greatest need, including:

3.  Giggle your way out a bad day. Like any real job, volunteer roles for seniors are going to have their ups and downs, and one way to handle it is to simply laugh it off. For a quick “laugh fix,” visit CaregiverStress.comSM and “Laugh with Mary Maxwell.” Mary’s delightful perspective on life as a senior will help get rid of the bad day blues!

4.  Don’t set the bar too high. We all want things to go well, but sometimes they just don’t. Organizing events, for example, can involve many details from fliers to food, decorations, and the contributions of other volunteer seniors. Aiming for perfection can make the whole event go sour. By contrast, cheerfully taking the good with the bad and making the best of whatever challenges occur will help you and everyone around you “go with the flow.”

5. Be joyful. Just like paid work, a volunteer role may not be worth doing if there is no joy in it. Even the grittiest hands-on jobs should be things that you enjoy or even take special pride in accomplishing. Whether you’re building, baking, organizing, reading or caring for an elderly person in their home, make sure it brings you joy.

senior minneapolis6. Shrug off the critics. Volunteering takes all kinds of seniors, and some of them can take the roles and responsibilities of volunteering a touch too seriously. If faced with criticism, shrug it off – especially if it is a one time thing. The good news is that tomorrow is likely to be a better day. And if not, there are many more opportunities to explore such as caring for a person with disabilities in their home.

7. Turn the other cheek. Avoiding conflict and side-stepping turf wars has helped many a volunteer to rise above challenges that may crop up from time to time. Remember, sometimes it is best to give up ground to keep the peace, and most disagreements will simply blow over given some cooling off time.

8. Give yourself a break. Do not overdo it. The world will certainly go on if you take care of yourself and your own needs. Dedication is a wonderful thing, but the work you do in your retirement years should not drudgery, and should never supersede your own self care.

9. Ignore negativity. There is “one in every crowd,” as they say. It may be someone who looks for what’s wrong instead of what’s right, or even someone who is envious of all you accomplish. Seek out those who share your interests, have a “team” mentality, and are about the greater good.

10. Need help? Ask for it! If you are yearning to volunteer or you know a senior who is, contact Home Instead Senior Care of Minneapolis, which employs CAREGiversSM . CAREGivers can help around the house with meal preparation and light housekeeping so their clients can volunteer. What a great way to get out of the house and interact with others!

Need ideas for ways to make a difference? Here is a brief overview of the primary volunteer activities of seniors:

  • 47% volunteer with churches and religious organizations
  • 16% work in senior centers or other senior-related services
  • 10% work in hospitals or healthcare organizations
  • 10% work with schools, educational services and youth programs
  • 7% volunteer with social services and nonprofit organizations

There are as many ways to help as there are people who want to give their time. Think about volunteering in Minneapolis today. You can make a world of difference!

Be a Santa to a Senior Program a HUGE Success in Minneapolis!

In 2011, 2000 gifts were given to local Minneapolis area seniors who needed holiday cheer.
We appreciate your participation!

senior careThe faces of both the seniors and the volunteers lit up as gifts were distributed to seniors in nursing homes, low income senior housing, adult day centers and personally nominated individuals. Just a few of the senior residences include the Ebenezer Tower, Friendship Center and Augustana.

home careThis huge success would not have been possible without our partners which include Byerly’s & Lund’s Pharmacy locations, Starbucks, The Brost Clinic, Health Partners, Minneapolis Women’s Club, Upsher-Smith, Park Nicollet Orthopedic Clinic, Allina Health Clinic Medical Arts, Oakwood Elementary, MN School of Business and Herzig University.

With this experience in our hearts, we look forward to 2012 with positivity and gratefulness.

When Families Feud, Senior Parents Lose

Children of elderly parents today may find themselves in a caregiving role, and often must share that role with their brothers and sisters. What happens between these siblings can be smooth or tumultuous, depending upon a number of factors. And according to research performed for the Home Instead Senior Care Network®, the ramifications of rocky sibling relationships can have a negative impact on the quality of care for the senior.
Dementia care can be particularly trying for sibling relationships. The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease can be tricky to identify in the early stages, and the siblings may not agree on the senior’s capabilities, current condition, or need for at home care. Minnesota is home to an excellent array of home care services, enabling families to obtain personal care and companion services for senior loved ones. Making this choice provides respite care that can allow the sibling caregivers to smooth troubled waters in their family relationships.
The Home Instead Senior Care Network of Minnesota acts as the go-to resource for Minneapolis home care services, not only for Alzheimers care but for all levels of need, from an occasional home health aide to round-the-clock care. In this post we’ll cover some of the challenges that commonly occur in families with seniors who are experiencing declining mental or physical well being. Addressing these challenges through family therapy, legal counsel and respite care can make an enormous difference for both the family members and the senior.

How to Identify Family Challenges that Affect Senior Care

The most common challenges we see between siblings play out in familiar ways, including the following.

“It’s like we’re right back in childhood.” If you feel this way, you’re not alone. Adult siblings of seniors often have the same frictions crop up that they experienced as children. A desire to prove your point or a feeling that you are not being heard or respected may be a sign that your relationship with your sibling has not healed from challenges of the past.

“Mom can still take care of herself!” Some siblings may advocate assistance or enforced restrictions on a senior parent’s activities, such as driving or taking walks alone, while others feel these restrictions are demeaning to the parent and unnecessary. Some may worry that the parent is an accident waiting to happen while others feel more protective of the parent’s emotional well-being than fearful of any real or perceived dangers.

“Who is going to pay for that?” Adult siblings very commonly disagree over issues regarding estate planning, the topic of inheritance, and other financial concerns. All of these issues may crop up especially in a family where there are income disparities, perceptions that one sibling is a “favorite”, and of course anytime money and expenditures are a concern.

“When are you going to do your part?” One of the most common ailments in sibling relationships when a senior needs in home care or companion care is an inequity in the division of labor. This phenomenon, known among experts as “burden of care,” can go on for years, creating ongoing and deepening conflict among adult children who do not see eye to eye on how to shoulder the responsibilities of caring for mom or dad.

Strategies and Solutions for Feuds and Addressing Senior Needs

The challenges we’ve described, while difficult, are not insurmountable. Understanding that feuds and rivalries of this kind are common is a first step. The next step is to identify strategies to help.

Family Relationship Strategies

Dr. Ingrid Connidis, Ph.D., a sibling relationships expert at the University of Western Ontario, worked with the Home Instead Senior Care Network to develop the 50-50 RuleSM  public education program for sibling caregivers. “It’s hard on elderly parents to know their children are in conflict,” Dr. Connidis said. When a family is falling apart at the seams, the senior may be the one who suffers the most. Dr. Connidis highly recommends engaging parents in their own caregiving options as much as possible. Hold family meetings and involve third parties as needed. Professionals to consider as impartial advisors may include doctors, geriatric care managers, and attorneys specializing in family legal matters.

Senior Care Strategies

Obtaining in home care is another step to consider. Again, many resources exist in the state of Minnesota. Consider calling the Home Instead Senior Care Network of MN. Or perform an internet search on terms such as “senior care Minnesota,” “Home Care Plymouth,” and “in home care Minneapolis.” Whether home care for Alzheimers related symptoms is needed, or obtaining part time attendant services can help relieve the stresses on sibling caregivers, creating a workable strategy will help to maintain well being and quality of life for the senior.