11.11.10

Assisted Living Help for Veterans

Posted in Assisted Living, Assisted Living Facilities, care at home, Caregiver, elderly and education, Elderly Care, Elderly Diseases, Senior Citizen, Taking Care of a Loved One, Texas Elderly Care Services at 12:15 pm by admin

It’s November 11th today: Veteran’s Day! Today, we honor our loved ones who served to protect our nation through many years of wars, and conflicts, and those who stood on a wall to defend our freedom. In a land where every group out there is asking for more funding, these military veterans are the ones who deserve our highest attention. Since they pout their lives on the line for us, the least we can do is make sure they have the ability to live as comfortably as possible, and have full abilities to take advantage of opportunities, just like the rest of us.

Many Veterans are now becoming senior citizens. The baby boom generation includes millions of military veterans who are now retired, or planning to retire very soon. These brave men and women, many of whom fought during the Vietnam War, one of the most difficult struggles of the last century, are now wondering what should come next. Should they stay at home, or move into an elderly care facility where their medical needs are watched over, and they are relieved of the daily responsibilities that come with living in your own home. The cost of Assisted Living, however, often seems prohibitive. So many seniors who would love to move into an Assisted Living community, end up passing it up.

Fortunately, there is help for these veteran seniors. A little known Pension fund that can be a massive benefit to these men and women. The “Improved Pension” Benefit of the Veterans Administration includes a benefit for Aid and Attendance. How much aid is available? Alot. A single veteran can receive as much as $1632 per month, and a married couple up to $1949 per month. Even surviving spouses can benefit from this. They can receive $1055 per month.

This benefit is not for those who want to move into a luxurious retirement home. It is for veterans who need medical help in a skilled nursing facility or an assisted living community and cannot afford it. The medical problems do not have to be strictly related to their service, however. And it would also cover other types of caregiving, such as home care expenses for those who still want to live in the comfort of their familiar surroundings.

Consider how much this benefit could help. Most TX Assisted Living facilities can cost between $2500 and $400 per month (although he benefit is national, of course, not just for Texans). For a married couple, this is a lot of money. However, the Improved Pension benefit can affectively cut this amount in half, making it actually doable.

Are you a military veteran who wants to retire in an Assisted Living environment? Could you use this type of financial assistance? Visit VeteranAid.org to read more about the Improved Pension benefit for Aid and Assistance, and find out if you apply. Make sure you read through the application process, as it explains in detail what documents to prepare and submit. Also, if you need to find an Assisted Living facility in Texas or any other state, use the “Find Senior Housing” tool at the top of this page.

One final word to you or your loved as you look into this benefit: Thank you. For everything.

11.08.10

Stopping Senior Illnesses Before they Happen

Posted in Assisted Living, Dialysis Assisted Living, Dimentia, Elder Care, elderly and education, Elderly Care, Elderly Diseases, pain releif, Senior Citizen, Taking Care of a Loved One at 11:07 am by admin

Seniors are living longer, healthier, and better lives thanks to public awareness, elderly care research, and a proactive shift to preventative medicine. Many of the following deadly illnesses can be prevented or managed with a healthy lifestyle and early medical intervention.

1. Heart Disease
Heart disease includes heart failure, heart attack, and arrhythmia, which impair the heart’s ability to beat regularly and effectively, impacting blood circulation. Heart disease is often found in conjunction with other conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, poor diet, and lethargy. Genetics also plays a roll in heart disease.

Heat disease prevention begins with sticking to a healthy diet and regular exercise regime as well as quitting smoking. Quickly identifying and treating potential health risks and complicating factors such as diabetes, and high blood pressure can go a long way to reducing your risks of having potentially serious heart disease. Check with your doctor if you are concerned about any of the above or if heart disease runs in your family.

2. Cancer
The types of cancers affecting seniors vary from colon cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, to skin cancer. The older a person gets, the more susceptible they are to developing any of the above cancers.

Prevention of cancer is still being heavily researched, and many scientists and doctors disagree on the best course of action to prevent cancer, but most will agree that catching cancer earlier rather than later allows time for treatment and increases your chances of survival. Annual check-ups may be your best defense.

3. Stroke (cerebrovascular disease)
The loss of speech, muscular control, or vision is cause by a stroke, also called cerebrovascular disease. A stroke is usually caused by a blood cot which either prevents blood flow to the brain or causes the brain to hemorrhage.

Prevention of strokes is tricky, but science tells us that seniors with high blood pressure or diabetes have an increased risk of having a stroke. Keeping those risk factors under control may be the best way to prevent a stroke. Also, catching early warning signs, such as a mild stroke, may give you and your doctor a strategy for preventing a major stroke.
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4. COPD
That irritating cough that just won’t go away, may not just be irritating if it’s due to COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). This disease is often associated with heavy cigarette smoking or long-term exposure to air-born toxins and starts with a deep cough and mucus in the lungs.

Prevention of COPD may be as clear cut as stopping smoking or avoiding toxic working environments. Treatments may include inhalers or surgery to alleviate symptoms.

5. Pneumonia
Cold and flu season, during the winter, is one of the most likely times for seniors to contract pneumonia, an infection or inflammation of the lungs. Pneumonia really becomes deadly when it’s combined with other chronic diseases.

The pneumococcal vaccine may prevent some types of bacterial pneumonia, and the flu shot may also prevent one type of viral pneumonia. Otherwise just avoiding gatherings during the peak of cold and flu season, washing hands before eating and after returning home. Physical and breathing exercises may also help improve your lung capacity. Avoid smoking and second-hand smoke. When using chemicals, wearing a mask and protective clothing and working in a well ventilated area may prevent aspiration pneumonia.

6. Diabetes: Type II
Type II Diabetes is also known as adult onset diabetes, and is a metabolic disorder that affects the way your body responds to insulin and stores sugar (energy). The many long-term complications from diabetes are what make it so deadly since they can affect the eyes, kidneys, heart, blood vessels, immune system, and nerves. The risk of heart attack is dramatically increased for people with this type of diabetes.

Prevention of Type II Diabetes lies mostly in correctly managing it to avoid the serious complications associated with the disease. Diet and exercise are key for managing diabetes.

7. Accidents
Accidents are not an illness, obviously, but they become a big deal when you’re a senior. Slowed reaction, decreased muscle control, and brittle bones contribute to the danger of senior accidents whether it’s a fall at home or a car crash.

Preventing accidents could be as easy as knowing your physical limitations and asking for help.

8. Septicemia
Septicemia includes any major infection that enters the bloodstream, poisoning the entire body.

Seniors should be quick to go to the doctor if they have fever, shaking chills, changes in mental status, or bleeding into the skin. The doctor may be able to localize and treat infections quickly, preventing serious major infections that lead to septicemia. Also, having flu and pneumococcal vaccines reduce a senior’s risk of developing septicemia.

9. Nephritis
Nephritis is better known as kidney disease. Nephritis is caused by toxic chemicals, bacterial infections, or alcohol abuse, which damage our body’s filtering system, the kidneys.

10. Alzheimer’s Disease
More and more attention is being turned toward Alzheimer’s Disease since complications associated with the disease can be deadly. Alzheimer’s causes loss of memory, mental reasoning, and eventually motor skills and organ function.

Alzheimer’s Disease does not have a cure, and more research needs to be done to define better treatments, but most experts agree that maintaining a healthy lifestyle with healthy diet and exercise will help, and being proactive by quickly seeking medical help may reduce your risk of developing the disease or at least slow the symptoms.

Awareness and healthy living will go a long way to protecting you or the senior you love from becoming a casualty of one of these ten illnesses. If you are looking for FL assisted living, or senior housing around the country, use the search bar at the top of the page.

09.30.10

Hospice Care Doesn’t Mean Giving up on Faith

Posted in Elder Care, Home Health Care, Nursing home alternative, Senior Citizen, Taking Care of a Loved One at 1:52 pm by admin

What happens when the doctors have done everything they can do? What happens when Elderly Care has run its course, but nothing has changed. What do you do when the medical staff has thrown up their hands and said “we see no way out of this, and we think it is time you put your parent in hospice care”?

These hopeless are, for many, the enemies of faith. How can a religious family–whether Christian or otherwise–hold on to their faith that their senior loved one can get better while at the same time discontinuing the only medical care that is sustaining them?

From the outside, it might seem like an impossible situation. And indeed, it might be. Nobody will live forever, after all. But millions of people believe in a God that can heal and sometimes does. I am one of them. And their is a very real tension for many of them: if we put our parent or grandparent in hospice care, does that signal the end of our faith? Does it mean, in other words, that we no longer believe that God is able to make the situation better? Does it mean we are giving up?
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Understanding Hospice Care

Hospice Care does not mean “a place to give up.” It is a different type of care where professionals no longer focus on curing the ailment. Rather, they focus on different types of discomfort: pain management, emotional wellness, and spiritual readiness. Hospices employ caring nurses who specialize in taking care of a patience physical comfort, and ministers who can communicate peace and love in the midst of their situations.

My father is a full-time chaplain at a hospice in Texas. As a minister, he fully believes in (and has personally experienced) highly unusual instances of immediate, unexplained healing. He believes in a God that can instantly make situations change, and diseases disappear. So why does he work in a hospice? Because he loves people, and he knows that this physical life is not all their is.

Hospices like his work with entire families, not just elderly patients. They help to foster a sense of family closeness, whether in the midst of onsite hospice care, or in a nursing home, or at home. And if the patient does pass on, they can help them through the grieving process. It is a much more holistic type of care than any other type of elderly care.

Keeping Faith While Letting Go

So how is committing your loved one to Hospice Care not giving up faith? It’s really simple, actually. When you believe God can heal, then you know he can heal a person in hospice care just as well as he can in intensive medical care. How is it giving up to say “Okay, God: the doctors can’t do anything else. So I guess it’s up to you now”?

Family members who might have to say goodbye to grandma or grandpa can rest assured that a choice for hospice care can still be a choice that is full of love and of continued faith. It does not mean “I do not believe.” Instead, it means “I believe. And I love.”

09.26.10

Respite Care Services

Posted in care at home, Elder Care, Elderly Care, Home Health Care, Nursing home alternative, Senior Citizen, Taking Care of a Loved One at 1:06 am by admin

Caregivers take on a challenging task when they decide to care for a loved one who has Alzheimer’s or dementia. As the disease progresses, caregivers and family members are often overwhelmed by the changes that often happen in their loved one. The emotional and physical strain of caring for someone you love with these progressively increasing memory and physical challenges can make continuing care at home as sole caregiver difficult or even impossible. Because of tendencies to wander or forget safety precautions, many Alzheimer’s or dementia patients are unable to be left alone for any length of time.
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These caregivers providing full-time care for their loved ones who have Alzheimer’s and dementia are extremely vulnerable to burnout. The good news? There are services available to provide respite care. Respite care centers often specialize in providing short-term care for patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia to relieve their caregivers. Respite care services are often used when care is needed for longer than a day or during weekend days and evening hours when an Adult Day Care Center is closed.
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Many caregivers are hesitant to take advantage or Respite Care because they feel uncomfortable placing their loved one in a strangers care, or removing them from their familiar home surroundings. While these concerns are understandable, respite care could very well be the only way some caregivers will be able to continue to care for their loved one for as long as possible. Respite Care Centers are staffed with professionals. Often visiting the Respite Center and meeting staff members can alleviate these concerns.

These centers provide caregivers a much-needed respite which can prevent burnout and at the same time give your loved one quality care by professionals who will ensure their safety. Taking advantage of Respite Care could prevent caregiver burnout and extend the length of time you are able to care for your loved one in the comfort of your own home.
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01.19.09

Finding Elderly Care In My Area

Posted in Assisted Living, Assisted Living Facilities, Assisted Living Referral Service, Assisted Living Safety, Caregiver, Elder Care, Elderly Care, Nursing home, Nursing home alternative, Senior Citizen, Taking Care of a Loved One, Texas Elderly Care Services at 12:03 am by admin

Finding elderly care in your area is quite difficult because facilities can be deceiving. When you arrive at an elderly care facility try to look past the fancy looking lobby and dining room chandelier. Watch how the workers are treating the residents, what kind of food is being served, and ask many questions about the care packages that they offer (bring a copy of our chart off our blog titled “Elderly Care Facilities Choice and Comparison”). Write down what they promise and keep any brochures. If you find an elderly care facility that seems to be what you are looking for, you can request a copy of the state inspection from D.A.D.S. (Department of Aging and Disability Services). According to chapter 552 of the Texas Government code you can request certain records as they should be open to the public. Also when looking for an elderly care facility for a loved one keep his or her interests in mind. Does he or she have a friend that lives at a nearby facility? Does he or she like gardens or activities? Does he or she want you to be close by to visit often? Good luck on your search for the right elderly care.

08.29.08

Facing Death

Posted in Caregiver, Elder Care, Elderly Care, Home Health Care, Nursing home, Taking Care of a Loved One at 11:00 am by admin



Facing Death is a fearful thing and it is important that the family and friends are around. If you have a loved one that is facing death be there for that person. Don’t withdraw yourself. Talk to him or her no matter how fearful or awkward it is. Even if it appears that he doesn’t understand you. Keep him comfortable. He may need help turning in bed and getting comfortable. Help him. Don’t leave him alone unless he is getting overwhelmed with visitors. Give him a chance to say what he wants to say. Tell him what you need to tell him, whether it’s getting something off your chest or sharing God’s love and salvation with him. No matter how long he has been in your life if you have not shared Christ with him now is the time. Do it before it is too late.

07.28.08

Hidden Camera

Posted in Assisted Living, Assisted Living Facilities, Assisted Living Safety, Caregiver, Elder Care, Elderly Care, Nursing home, Nursing home alternative, Senior Citizen, Taking Care of a Loved One, Texas Elderly Care Services at 1:01 pm by admin

So you put your parent in an assisted living facility. You purchase a care package that provides the amount of care that your parent needs. You see your parent quickly declining and you wonder if the facility is providing the care they say they are. You can be sure of it with a hidden camera. You can purchase a nanny camera then set it up at the far wall of your parents room facing the door. You can watch the tapes and see how often a care taker enters the room and how long they stay.

If you can’t afford a nanny camera, you can show up unannounced to visit your parent and look around the room for dirty clothes, see if the bed is fixed, check the soap in the shower and depends to make sure they are being used up. Keep the assisted living facility in check. You purchased a care package and they must provide it, no excuses.

06.23.08

Vacationing with Elderly Parents

Posted in Assisted Living, Assisted Living Facilities, Assisted Living Safety, Caregiver, Elder Care, Elderly Care, Nursing home alternative, Senior Citizen, Senior Citizen Fathers, Taking Care of a Loved One, Texas Elderly Care Services at 11:20 am by admin



Work is getting overwhelming and you are looking forward to a vacation. You start surfing the web for great vacation spots. But wait don’t forget about mom! Your parents could very well need a vacation too. Your parent’s needs might have changed over this past year making it seem impossible for them to go on a vacation. Plus it may not be a very relaxing time for you if it’s a full time job to care for your parents. But think about this, many people hire a nanny when they go on a vacation to help with their kids. Hiring someone to care for your parent on a vacation is not much different and may be a good option. Also there are assited living facilities that can accommodate your parent for short periods of time such as a vacation. Say for instance you are going to San Antonio. You could book a room at an assisted living facility for the week for your parents nearby where you are staying (there are many assisted living facilities in San Antonio) and pick them up when you are going site seeing, out to eat, or boating on the river. They would certainly enjoy that.

Make Sure Your Parents Needs are Met

If you are hiring a care taker for the trip remember to stay at places that are handicap accessible to make it easier for your parent. If you are booking a room at an assisted living facility be sure that they know your parent’s needs.

Have a good and safe vacation!

05.29.08

Moving Matters

Posted in Alzheimer's Disease, Assisted Living, Assisted Living Facilities, Assisted Living Referral Service, Assisted Living Safety, care at home, Caregiver, dementia, Depression, Dimentia, Elder Care, Elderly Care, forgetting to take medication, Home Health Care, Nursing home, Nursing home alternative, Senior Citizen, Taking Care of a Loved One, Texas Elderly Care Services at 6:05 pm by admin



Do your mother and/or father need to be moved from home to an assisted living? Do they need to be moved from an assisted living to a nursing home? Or are they at a facility that you are not happy with? Moving your parents can be the best thing that you can do for them, but it can also be the worst thing.

Moving is a dramatic change for an elderly person, especially one with Alzheimer’s disease. A move from home to a nursing home may be the best option but look into getting care at home. Moving can confuse and depress an elderly person. If your mother or father is able to, let him or her be a part of the decision.


Elderly Man Looking Out of Window

When an elderly person is familiar with a facility or the staff at one assisted living or nursing home it’s usually best to keep him there. An elderly person is more likely to willingly receive care and feel comfortable with care attendants and nurses that he or she knows as opposed to a stranger. Also when elderly people are familiar with a facility, such as knowing where the dining room, medicine, activities, and their apartment is, they are usually emotionally stable longer than if they are moved from facility to facility and getting disoriented and confused.

However, when you see your loved one needing more care than what the facility gives, you need to act quickly. There are nurses that come to where your parent is and give care to him. Some facilities have care packages that start at minimal care (such as reminders to come to meals and take medicine) and maximum care packages (such as bathing, transferring from bed to wheelchair and feeding). If the facility that your loved one is does not offer more care and getting a nurse to come and care for him or her is not an option you should not leave him or her there, moving would be a must in that situation.


If your parents are at a facility and you are not happy with the care that they are receiving, talk to the management about your complaints. They may not be aware that your parent is being neglected. Also talk with the care staff and let them know that you care about your parents and want the best care for them. Politely tell the care staff your complaints (i.e. moms hair needs to be brushed, I noticed dad lost his dentures). Visit your parents often. Keep the care staff accountable by making visits at different times of the day or maybe spend a night there if possible. If the quality of care still does not improve make a complaint to DADS (Department of Aging and Disabilities Services) and move your parents to a more quality facility.

Most importantly make sure your parent is taken good care of and is happy.

Lite-Up Texas

Posted in Assisted Living, care at home, Elder Care, Elderly Care, Nursing home, Retirement, Senior Citizen, Taking Care of a Loved One, Texas Elderly Care Services at 2:00 pm by admin



Lite-Up Texas is a government service that helps low income citizens or those on Medicaid reduce their electric bill. If you are currently receiving Medicaid, food stamps, or if your household income is 125% below the federal poverty guidelines (i.e. $13,000 for 1 resident, $17,500 for 2) then you qualify to receive the Lite-Up Texas discounts.


Many elderly citizens choose Lite-Up Texas to help them get through the costly monthly summer electric bills. With Lite-Up Texas you still have a choice to pick from any electric provider if you are in a deregulated county. So you don’t have to switch electric providers if you do not wish to or you can switch to a low cost electric provider and still get a discount with Lite-Up Texas.

With electric prices on the rise choosing Lite-Up Texas is not a bad idea for you or your loved one. Stay cool and have an affordable summer!


Austin Texas

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