Seniors Helping Hands
It's not easy. A growing number of families with aging parents and grandparents are facing some very tough questions. Where will their senior loved ones live? Who will care for them? Where can they find affordable care? The goal for many families is to help seniors remain independent and in their own homes as long as possible. Most don't require constant supervision or medical attention, yet. Right now, all they really need is a helping hand.
"Most seniors want to remain in the comfort and security of their own homes, and can do so safely with a little bit of help," said Robert Kimberling, President of Senior's Helping Hands, LLC. Co-owned by Robert and his wife, Terri, the agency provides compassionate caregivers who go to the senior's home and help with chores, such as light housekeeping, laundry, meal preparation, transportation, bathing, grooming, and medication reminders – tasks that have become difficult for seniors to perform.
"Family members are the largest group of caregivers," said Kimberling. "Twenty-five million Americans currently provide eighty percent of the home care. Many have children and jobs or live thousands of miles away. It can be a very stressful situation. By getting some qualified assistance, the result is a happier, safer senior with less stress on family caregivers."
When does a family know their senior needs help? According to Kimberling, family members need to consider some assistance when they notice significant changes in the way a senior moves, acts, thinks and responds. However, families often need some objective assistance in ascertaining the extent of the problem and deciding on a course of action. Kimberling says there is no need to guess. He suggests family members ask themselves the following questions; and if there is a concern with even one of these indicators, the family discusses the issue openly, calmly and honestly.
Has there been a medical condition diagnosed that affects daily living?
Is personal hygiene acceptable?
Has driving become difficult?
Is their weight stable and refrigerator well stocked?
Are household chores being done regularly?
Are there signs of moodiness such as loneliness, despair, depression, frustration, irritability or anxiety? A fear of going out of the house?
Do you notice memory lapses and difficulty finding the right words?
Are medications being taken regularly and on time? Does the senior understand what the medications are for and are refills on schedule?
Is the senior having difficulty with finances, paperwork and the mail? Does he or she know where money and important documents are?
Are appliances being left on or the house unlocked? Is trash or pet debris building up around the house?
Kimberling said one of the greatest fears among senior citizens is the fear of falling, because it leads to lost confidence and decreased activity. He recommends that, in addition to the other indicators, seniors and families determine the likelihood a fall might occur.
"Falling is a primary catalyst for hospital admissions among seniors," said Kimberling.
"Falls are also responsible for 40 percent of nursing home admissions and 70 percent of accidental deaths in people over seventy-five years of age. Injuries from falls cost $70 billion dollars each year. Individuals, caregivers and families are all impacted by falls. That's why we at Senior's Helping Hands provide a Fall Risk Self-Assessment, so we can help determine the likelihood of a fall and take steps to prevent one."
Kimberling said that the good news is that most falls can be prevented. Besides controlling internal physical factors, families can correct cluttered spaces, poor lighting, lack of handrails, unstable chairs and other environmental factors to significantly reduce the chances of a serious injury from a fall.
Senior's Helping Hands provides specially trained caregivers for seniors and the chronically ill living in the major Oklahoma City area, including Edmond. The agency is a member of The Senior's Choice network of independent companion care companies, which requires its own training and certification process for their employees. All of our caregivers must pass a background check and initial, as well as ongoing drug tests.
"Our staff is comprised of experienced caregivers – good people with big hearts," said Kimberling. "They provide much needed companionship in addition to helping with tasks and chores."
Anyone interested in more information may visit www.seniorshelpinghands.com or call 405-513-6670.