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Certificates help seniors who want to remain independent For Promotional Consideration | Sat, May 03 2014 12:00 PM

Seniors Helping Seniors (SHS) is currently offering Gift of Independence certificates in two-hour increments to provide flexible and cost-effective care for seniors who may be in the early stages of needing assistance.

“It is common for seniors to resist accepting assistance from anyone outside of family members and our Gift of Independence certificates offer an excellent opportunity to introduce our seniors-based caregiving services very affordably,” explained Sue Erskine, co-owner of SHS. “Many caregiving companies charge a minimum of four hours for service which can be much more than is initially required.”

The Gift of Independence certificates are an excellent way for adults who have senior parents that need assistance to introduce them to the unique caregiving solutions offered by Seniors Helping Seniors. The certificates could be presented as Mother’s Day or Father’s Day gifts which may serve as an incentive to utilize SHS services.

“An additional benefit to families is all of our caregivers are seniors who can better relate to the needs of older seniors who are not always able to fully care for themselves,” Erskine said. “Our goals are to provide the right amount of care needed, have our caregivers develop personal relationships with our senior clients and enhance their overall quality of life.”

Erskine explains that SHS clients find working with other seniors to be more comfortable because they understand and appreciate the challenges of remaining independent. “Our care providers know from their own experiences how best to assist seniors to manage a variety of non-medical tasks. Additionally, our services often are more cost-effective as they are designed to address each client’s individual needs versus charging for a standard minimum amount of time.” 
A 2012 Pew Research Center survey highlighted the financial burden and time constraints Americans in their 40s and 50s are facing. The study found that 47% of adults aged 40-59 have a parent aged 65 or older and are either raising young children or financially supporting a child aged 18 or older. In that same age group, 15% are providing financial support to both an aging parent and a child.

Erskine, a Certified Senior Advisor, cites several reasons seniors resist accepting care. “No one wants to admit they are no longer fully independent and can care for themselves,” Erskine said. “Among the more common reasons involves some form of loss – loss of a spouse or partner, memory loss or the thought of losing one’s privacy and overall independence. Any of these types of changes can become overwhelming to someone who has been living without any additional support.”

“In addition to juggling the care of senior parents and children, adults often need creative strategies in approaching their senior loved ones about accepting care for the first time,” Erskine said. “In more difficult situations, enlisting the help of professionals such as the senior’s doctor, a clergy member or other trusted friend may soften the news that help is needed.”

The services that SHS provides include companion care, light housekeeping, personal care, transportation, over-night supervision, 24-hour care, house maintenance and small repairs and yard work. In most cases the care is provided in the senior’s own home; however, the client may reside with a relative or live in an assisted living community or other group living setting and services can be provide there.

Another challenge can be recognizing the signs that a senior family member can no longer safely and comfortably care for themselves. Memory impairments, changes in mobility, mood and behavior, or erratic sleeping patterns are all signs that help might be required. Additionally, detecting changes in diet, physical appearance, household maintenance and driving habits are clear signals that should not be ignored.

The staff at the Mayo Clinic offers several strategies for managing resistance to care. These include: suggesting a trial run with a caregiver; describe the experience in a positive way; explain balancing your family’s needs with theirs; try to understand your loved one’s point of view and feelings; explain how care might prolong independence; and help them cope with the loss of independence is not a personal failing.

For additional information about Seniors Helping Seniors, its care options and the locations it serves, go to www.homecarebyseniors.com.

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