How to Travel Safely When Your Loved One Has Alzheimer’s or Another Form of Dementia

When you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s or another form of Dementia, a lot of consideration has to go into your travel plans. Something unfamiliar, or what seems unfamiliar, is a simple trigger that can upset them. As their condition progresses, travel can become overwhelming. Regardless of the stage of the disease, here are some tips to help you plan a safe trip whether it be to visit family or to go out to eat.Woman supporting man on wheelchair

  1. An underrated travel must is bringing an updated list of medical information and emergency contacts. Also, don’t forget necessary medications so that if anything happens, you are prepare.
  2. On top of necessary medications, having your travel itinerary, a comfortable change of clothes, water, snacks and activities are suggested by the Alzheimer’s Association. It’s a good idea to plan your day ahead of time to avoid involving too many changes in daily routine.
  3. If you’re staying in a hotel, consider informing the staff ahead of time of any specific needs, so they have the means to help you in any situation. In general, traveling during the day is the best time for someone with Alzheimer’s or Dementia.
  4. When in doubt, go with the choice that provides the most comfort. In most cases that choice will be the one that involves the fewest changes to your loved one’s daily routine. Try to visit places that are familiar and that were visited before the onset of Alzheimer’s or another form of Dementia.
  5. A new tip is having the family member or friend with Alzheimer’s wear an identification bracelet. If not that, have your loved one carry a list of important numbers in his or her wallet in case of wandering.
  6. Lastly, set realistic expectations. As frustrating as a new illness may seem, it is important to remember the limitations the onset of Alzheimer’s or any other form of Dementia may create. If your loved one exhibits any signs of extreme fear, aggression or delusion, it may be a better keep your activities local.

Alzheimer’s caregivers frequently report high levels of stress. Multiple symptoms of caregivers include denial, anger, anxiety, and more. While you as a caregiver are focused on helping your loved one, it is also important to make sure you are taking care of yourself. If you feel stressed, reach out to friends, family, or the Alzheimer’s Association hotline found on their website www.alz.org for advice or assistance.

Sources: http://www.alz.org/care/alzheimers-dementia-and-traveling.asp

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Care for the Caregiver

As a careA woman 80 years old with his adult daughter.giver, you are always concerned for your loved one. Sometimes in the midst of things, it’s easy to let your own health and well-being slip. But it is just as important to care for yourself as it is to care for your loved one.  As simple as it is to submerge yourself in the needs of others, remember you have needs too. Here are some tips on how to care for yourself – in case you forget!

Reduce Personal Stress

When you start to feel stressed, recognize the signs. There are numerous signs of stress that can affect your coping abilities, your care giving dynamic and your relationship with the care recipient. Some early signs of stress include sleep problems, forgetfulness, irritability, denial, anger and anxiety. Sometimes it is necessary to remind yourself of what you can and cannot control. Trying to change things that are out of your control will only lead to frustration.  It is important to identify your stress relievers and employ them as often as possible. Caregiver.org suggests that simple actions such as exercise, gardening, meditation, or even getting coffee with a friend can be tremendous stress relievers for caregivers.

Set goals and Seek Solutions

When setting goals, be specific about what the goal is and what the possible steps are that you can take towards it. For example, if your goal is to take a break from care giving, take the extra step to say “I will take a break from care giving every Thursday for the next month,” and plan a stress-relieving activity such as taking a walk or seeing a friend.

Communicate

Refusing help when you need it shouldn’t be a constant choice. The phrase, ‘Thank you, but I’m fine,” is overused in the mouths of caregivers. You should be able to talk directly to people and be honest about how you feel. Asking for and accepting help is an important step in taking care of yourself. Pick the best time to make a request and prepare a list of things that need to get done. If someone offers to help, take advantage of the opportunity to get some well-deserved rest or relaxation, or to attend to your own priorities. Remind yourself (over and over if necessary) that it is OK and important to take a break from time to time.

Remember, your health as a caregiver is just as important as the health of your loved one. If you aren’t taking care of yourself, you won’t be able to effectively care for someone else. If you feel stressed, reach out to friends, family, or the Alzheimer’s Association hotline found on their website www.alz.org.

Source: https://www.caregiver.org/taking-care-you-self-care-family-caregivers

What is a Special Needs Trust Used For?

special needs adult TrustFor centuries, trusts have allowed parents to set aside money for that their children could access when they got older.

But for some parents, it’s not that simple. If you have a child or other loved one with special needs, you might worry about how they can support themselves after you’ve gone.

That’s where a special needs trust comes into play. This is a trust set up to help a disabled person who receives government benefits such as Medicaid or Social Security. It is administered by a trustee, who can be a relative, friend, or someone you designate to handle the trust.

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Planning for Special Needs Children

Special Needs KidsIt’s no surprise that having a special needs child is both challenging and rewarding.  Not only are there school and medical issues to consider, there are also the financial needs of your child.  Planning for your child’s financial well-being should be an important part of your estate plan especially since improved healthcare has allowed children with conditions such as cerebral palsy and Down’s Syndrome, to live longer.

What do you need to do to provide for your special needs child?  These things can help during the special needs child planning process.

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What to do when an elderly loved one refuses help

Care Facility - Elder Care Attorney in Bucks CountyIt’s an oft told tale these days. An 85-year-old father with failing eyesight still drives, despite being involved in some fender benders. A 70-year-old mother-in-law with severe arthritis, refuses to move into a personal care facility even though she can barely navigate the home she and her husband bought over 50 years ago.

What is an adult child to do in a situation like this? You know that a loved one needs help and you want to prevent receiving an emergency call in the middle of the night about your relative. Still, you have a job and a family of your own to take care of, so it isn’t feasible for you to drop everything to be their caregiver 24/7. Add to that, the fact that most elderly parents value their independence to the point of downplaying or denying any problems. So, what can you do to help your parents, in-laws or other relative in this situation? Here are some tips from elder law experts on how to approach your loved ones about accepting help.

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What Happens to Digital Accounts When You Die?

Facebook login screenSocial media is great, since it lets you can connect with faraway friends and family.  MP3s and online television networks like Hulu and Netflix are fun as well, since they give you the opportunity to enjoy music and television programs on any device and on your schedule.  Of course, let’s not forget about how great email is. Write a message, hit send and it’s off.

Have you ever given any thought to what will happen to your digital accounts when you die?  Like most people, you probably haven’t given much thought to your digital accounts, since it isn’t a physical thing or even an asset.  Still, it is something that you need to consider because your online accounts don’t just disappear when you die. According to Intel Security, the average person has 27 different logins.  Yikes! That’s a lot of passwords to manage, so it would make sense to set up a plan for your digital assets after your death.

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When to Seek Professional Help

When it comesWhen to Seek Help from an Elder Law Attorney to our family members, we like to think that we know what is best for them.  For the most part that is true. After all, these are people we grew up with or in the case of family by way of marriage, got to know over the years.

Yet there are times, in particular when loved ones get older and need help, that the question, “Should I seek professional help?” arises with respect to the health and financial affairs of your loved one.

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Checklist for Hiring an in Home Care Provider

Home Care Provider & Elder Care Attorney in Bucks CountyMost people prefer to stay in their own home where they are comfortable, secure, and can be independent, rather than receive care in an assisted living/personal care facility.

However, if your loved one decides to remain in his or her home, support can be provided by a home health care provider. Home health care providers offer a wide range of services to ensure that your loved one is well cared for.. When you begin looking for the right home health care provider for your loved one, consider the following list of tips to help you find the right caregiver.

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What is the Difference between Guardianship and a Power of Attorney?

Power of Attorney vs Guardianship for seniorsBoth a power of attorney and guardianship are tools to assist someone who is unable to make financial or medical decisions for him or herself by appointing an agent or guardian to act in their stead. However, these tools differ in their responsibilities and the freedom and control they give to the elder or person with special needs.

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