5 Ways To Celebrate Halloween With Your Elderly Parents

 

Spending the holidays with your elderly parents is the perfect reason to create more memories together and remember happy times during the past holidays. Especially if the family is involved, all of these activities will create a different atmosphere- a more dynamic one- than their everyday life.

1. Decorate Your House Together

Set the mood for Halloween by decorating your house with spooky items. You can find them in every department store, but the real deal is to make them yourself. An example could be black and orange garlands, candles, little plastic spiders on the walls, but even creating webs and carving pumpkins will help you completely change the holiday atmosphere. Ask your parents to go with you to buy the decorations or assist you in choosing where to put the Halloween-themed objects.

2. Pumpkin Carving While Talking About Childhood Memories

This one is the most common activity to do when Halloween is approaching, but it always works if you want to spend quality time with your family. Especially if you have children or nieces, pumpkin carving is perfect to make the most out of one’s own personality. You probably have done it many times before- talk about it, recall past Halloweens, discuss future plans and put some music on while doing it- you will feel relaxed afterward.

3. Dress Up!

Not everyone likes to dress up, but if you are the types of people who can’t wait for the holiday time to show your costumes off, this idea is perfect for you and your family! The most interesting activity is, of course, choosing the theme- spend time together thinking about a movie, a show or a cartoon you all like, in order to impersonate your favorite characters. Add a personal touch to the costumes- they don’t have to be perfect, but you have to be proud of them.

4. Baking

You know there will be kids who will knock on your door asking for trick or treats. Be prepared! Having candies at home ready to be gifted is simple, but what about baking special Halloween-themed desserts? You could start with cookies, pumpkin-based ones are perfect for that time of the year. Make them a particular shape- or more if you want- ghosts, spiders, witches. Elderly people love to bake, and to take their time while doing that- especially if there will be children! Putting the cookies or chocolates in little separated baskets will be a nice gesture.

5. Movie Night

It doesn’t matter if you are at the cinema or in the comfort of your own living room- movie night is always fun. Of course, you don’t have to pick the latest, most scary movie you can find- even a soft one, such as Hitchcock’s series of thrillers, will surely make your parents happy- even if they are going to fall asleep on the couch. Prepare pop corns or cookies to treat yourselves while watching and commenting your theories. Create the atmosphere in general- turn the light off, put on some nice scents and get a blanket if you get cold.

Top 25 Memorable Grandparents in Television and Movie

“Grandparents create memories that the heart holds forever.”- Author Unknown

In honor of Grandparent’s Day this week, we decided to put together a list of our top 25 favorite senior grandparents in movie and television history that have left memorable impressions in our hearts and pop culture community.

1. Grandpa Joe, Willy Wonka And the Chocolate Factory (1971)

Welcome the world of “pure imagination” and endless amounts of chocolate! This classic movie follows the fascinating journey of Grandpa Joe and his grandson Charlie as they explore the land of Wily Wonka.

2. Grandfather, The Princess Bride (1987)

A timeless bedtime story filled with princess’, giants, true love and heroes. A doting grandfather (Peter Faulk) shares this treasured story with his sick grandson in hopes to cheer him up and recover quickly.

3. Sophia Petrillo, Golden Girls (1985-1992)

The character Sophia Petrillo (Estelle Getty) in Golden Girls, is one of the most hilarious ladies in television history. This iconic golden girl is mostly known for her wisecracks, cheeky remarks and straight-forward attitude when dealing with her family and friends. Despite her bold attitude, she deeply loves and cares for her family.

4. Russel and Anna Huxtable, The Crosby Show (1984-1992)

Russel and Anna Huxtable are the lovable and respected grandparents in the outstanding TV sitcom series, The Crosby Show. Both were civil rights activists who loved to share stories from their younger days and encourage their grandchildren to make good in the world they live in.

5. Frank and Marie Barone, Everybody Loves Raymond (1996-2005)

In the American sitcom, Everybody Loves Raymond, Frank (Peter Boyle) and Marie Barone (Doris Roberts) live right down the street from their son and his family. As Ray’s parents live out their retirement, they can’t help but come off as obnoxious and meddle in their son’s family affairs every chance they get.

6. Grandpa Munster, The Munsters (1964-1966)

Grandpa Munster (AL Lewis) played a sarcastic yet charming father of Lily Munster in the timeless television series, The Munsters. You can find this undead vampire hanging around the family basement, cooking up special magic for him and his family.

7. Frank, Parenthood (1989)

A movie about a dysfunctional Midwestern family that embarks the everyday challenges of balancing home and work life. The storyline follows Gil, a workaholic who is fearful of turning out like his father Frank (Jason Robards). As news breaks that his wife is pregnant with their fourth child, Gill leans on his father Frank for guidance and possible reconciliation for the two.

8. Grandparents, Cocoon (1985)

When a suspicious alien cocoon lays its nest into a senior community pool, a set of grandparents are left to make a life altering decision; whether to go with the aliens or leave their beloved grandchildren behind.

9. Koro, Whale Rider (2002)

The Whale Rider is an enchanting story about acceptance between grandfather and granddaughter. While grandfather Koro (Rawiri Paratene) is at odds with his young granddaughter, she goes to great lengths to prove her true destiny in hopes of gaining approval by him.

10. Endora, Bewitched (1964-1972)

Taking us back to the enchanting television show Bewitched, Endora (Agnes Moorhead), is the flamboyant witch mother of Samantha Stephens. Endora refuses to embrace the mortal life her daughter has chosen for her and her family and finds all sorts of wicked ways to bring magic in the house despite Samantha’s wishes.

11. Grandpa Edwin, Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

A light-hearted comedy about a strong bond between Grandpa Edwin and his granddaughter Olive. Grandpa Edwin and the family go on a long road trip across the states so that they can see Olive’s dream play out in hopes to win a beauty pageant.

12. Madea (2005)

Tyler Perry’s, the Madea movie franchise centers our attention around a candid grandmother who will speak her mind and have no shame in her opinion, whether you like it or not. A definite laugh out loud comedy for the whole family.

13. Aurora Greenway, Terms of Endearment (1983)

This heart wrenching movie centers around a mother-daughter relationship in a span of 30 years. Aurora Greenway (Shirley MacLaine) plays both mother and grandmother to her dying daughter’s children.

14. Rose Dawson, Titanic (1997)

Rose Dawson survived the sinking of the Titanic and flashes back to her days on the ship. She goes on a journey with her granddaughter and a set of sea explorers to uncover the wreckage, treasures and memories left behind from that horrible day.

15. Jay Pritchett, Modern Family (2009- )

Jay Pritchett played by Ed O’Neill, is the patriarch of the Pritchett family in the hysterical TV show, Modern Family. On the outside, he may seem like the rigid war veteran exhibiting tough love, but in close sight he is an amazing grandfather no matter what crazy antics his family may get into.

16. Dowager Countess Violet Crawley, Downton Abbey (2010-20015)

The Dowager Countess Violet Crawley, is as blunt as they come! She is featured on the British drama series, Downton Abbey. She speaks candidly and is never afraid to give her opinion, even if it’s not what her granddaughters want to hear.

17. Gammy, The Proposal (2009)

Played by the beloved Betty White, Gammy is a straight-forward, “young at heart” individual who loves life and celebrates it as much as she can. Even if she’s about to turn 90, age doesn’t stop her from being who she is.

18. Emily and Richard Gilmore, Gilmore Girls (2000-2007)

Emily Gilmore (Kelly Bishop) and Richard Gilmore (Edward Herrman) pride themselves in being wealthy and stay true to their values in the hit TV show, Gilmore Girls. When they’re not attending the latest fundraiser or country club gathering they spend time with their granddaughter Rory, as she makes her way into Ivy League school.

19. Al “Pops” Solomon, The Goldbergs (2013-)

Al “Pops” Solomon, (George Segal) plays a Casanova-like grandfather who is beloved by his grandchildren. You can find Pops making home movies with his geeky grandson, Adam Goldberg, or giving love advice to his other grandchildren as they reach their teenage years in high school.

20. Ruby and Pops Johnson, Blackish (2014-)

Ruby (Jennifer Lewis) and Pops Johnson (Lawernce Fishburne) are the straightforward grandparents in the hit TV series, Blackish. Despite their different opinions and views on life, they come together giving advice to every day issues the family may experience.

21. Ella, In Her Shoes (2005)

A heartwarming drama about sisterhood and the bonds of family. An estranged grandmother, Ella (Shirley MacLaine), welcomes her troubled adult granddaughter into her home as they uncover family secrets and pursue reconciliation.

22. Grandma Gilmore, Happy Gilmore (1996)

Sweet Grandma Gilmore (Frances Bay) is forced out of her home due to lack of funds on her mortgage. Happy Gilmore, her grandson, will do anything for her even if that means picking up the game of golf and entering himself in a tournament to win the grand prize and win back his grandma’s home.

23. Grandma Huang, Fresh Off the Boat (2015-)

Grandma Huang (Lucille Soong) may not be able to speak English but that doesn’t mean she can’t keep up in conversation with her grandchildren. She’s willing to lend a hand anyway she wishes, even if that means helping her grandchildren play pranks on their neighborhood friends.

24. Grandma Elle, Grandma (2015)

In the movie Grandma, Grandma Elle (Lily Tomlin) is not like your traditional grandmother. She marches to the beat of her own drum and does not believe in conventional grand parenting. No matter how bumpy life gets, she is always there for her granddaughter.

25. Royal, The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

A distant grandfather named Royal (Gene Hackman), dislikes the way he handled family business in the past and wants to prove to himself and his family members that he has changed no matter how unusual his approach may be.

5 Ways to Celebrate Labor Day Weekend with Your Elderly Parents

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It is always a good idea to spend a holiday with your family. However, it can be difficult to match everyone’s needs- children have fun playing games, you would like to relax a little, your elderly parents, instead, can prefer spending quality time together, as it is a less busy period of the year. Luckily, there are many ideas you can take inspiration from to bring everyone to enjoy their time together, maybe doing something new, and creating memories to share in the future.

1. Pampering

As many and different as you may be as a family, pampering is always appreciated when it comes to relax in one’s free time. In fact, it is something out of a daily routine but that can have a huge effect on one’s overall health, even if it is just a small step. Nevertheless, it doesn’t have to be only about relaxation- it has to deal with respect and love in the first place. In fact, it would be great if you showed sensitivity to some of their needs and to dedicate your time in achieving their wellbeing. As much as annoying it could be, it can also become unexpectedly fun and will make your parents happy.

For instance, if you know they have been wanting their TV repaired for a long time and you just were too busy to do it, choosing to fix the problem and even watch a movie together can make a memorable day. Another example can be making them a well-planned lunch with a specific meal they like but they can’t prepare for some reason. If you want to do something original, instead, it can be fun to go to some beauty spa and enjoy the lasting benefits of massages and thermal water.

2. Take a Small Trip Together

How long ago have you gone with your parents on a small trip? If you can’t even remember, this could be the perfect occasion to plan going somewhere new, such as a nearby reserve, a just-opened place or a not so far away little town that has nice sightseeing attractions. Because there are so many possibilities to choose, this is the perfect activity to plan if you have a big family- everyone will find something of their taste to do and will enjoy being in each other’s company. Of course, because your elderly parents have limits, it is better to find a place in which there’s not too much walking to do. This way, the trip will be comfortable for them and not too tiring. Don’t forget to see the weather forecasts to avoid bad surprises, and decide a plan B if there is suddenly a turnaround.

3. Host a Party

One of the things elderly people feel the most is loneliness. In fact, they are often alone throughout the week as their loved ones are busy either at work or at school. For those who have difficulties going out of their house, due to health problems, for example, this issue is particularly important and has to be solved as it can lead to mood swings and depression.

The Labor Day weekend is the perfect occasion to give a new life to your parents’ house and make them experience a family reunion, along with some friends of them if possible. Planning it is the fun part, as you can ask your parents to help you organize things, such as cooking a meal, or maybe going shopping for flowers and plants to decorate the house. All of these small things make a difference in their lives and will make them happier, because they will feel involved and appreciated for their help. Furthermore, this activity is perfect for any age range, especially if playing board games together or watching a cult movie while relaxing on the sofa.

4. Go to a Fair/Farmer’s Market

Everyone loves fairs and or farmer’s market, and if your elderly parents don’t have mobility issues, this can be a great idea to have fun together. In fact, nobody is too old to enjoy themselves! Even eating a snack at a local town while watching other people playing traditional games can be interesting and will spark communication between you three. If they are passionate about a certain activity, such as bingo or farming, you could find a farmer’s market that involves these topics and, even if you aren’t interested in them, you can learn something new and listen to your loved ones while they talk about it.

5. Attend a Local Concert

Music is a fundamental part in everyone’s life and it can be extremely helpful to those who have elderly parents with some kinds of disabilities. In fact, if they have Alzheimer’s, or Dementia, doing something that involves the senses rather than the mind is effortless and successful. They may like classical music or choirs- find a local concert of your interest and ask your parents to go there together, it won’t be tiring and will make them happy. After that, you could go out to eat or come back home to relax – take with you a small gadget of the concert, such as a CD of the songs that have been played.

10 Famous Centenarians You Might Remember

Longevity is something we all wish to obtain in our later years. Health and good care are only some of the factors to a long enjoyable life. We thought we would share a list of famous centenarians who have graced our culture present and past.

1. Olivia De Havilland

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Born: July 1, 1916-
Current age: 100

Olivia De Havilland is a two-time academy award winning actress. She has been featured in 49 films throughout her career. She is best recognized for films like, The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), Gone with the Wind (1939) and To Each His Own (1946). She has lived in the United States, United Kingdom and France. Recently as of June 2017, she was named a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire during the honor’s list at Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday. She is the oldest person to have ever received such high honors. She currently resides in Paris, France. She was married two times and has two children.

Fun Fact: She was recently portrayed in the current FX’s television show Feud: Bette and Joan.

2. Bob Hope

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Born: May 29, 1903
Died: July 27, 2003 (Aged 100)

Bob Hope, born Leslie Townes Hope, was one of America’s finest comedians, actor and activist for the United Service Organizations (USO). During his involvement with the USO he would entertain for the American troops overseas and headlined over 57 times. This led him to be an honorary veteran appointed by Congress. He was also known for his NBC comedy specials that started in the 1950s and lasted into the 1970s.

Fun Fact: Bob Hope holds the record for hosting the most Academy Awards, with a total of 18 times!

3. Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother

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Born: August 4, 1900
Died: March 30, 2002 (Aged 101)

She was the mother to Queen Elizabeth II. To avoid confusion with her daughter, she took the name Queen Mother after her husband King George VI passed away in 1952. She was very popular with the British people during WWII and remained active in her public duties after her husband’s passing. On her leisure time she enjoyed gardening, fishing and horseracing.

Fun Fact: Her nicknames include; “Smiling Duchess” and “Queen Mum”.

4. George Burns

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Born: January 20, 1896
Died: March 9, 1996 (Aged 100)

George Burns was a admired American radio personality, comedian, actor and author known for his radio and television show with his wife Gracie Allen in the 1920s. Their radio show ran from 1932-1950 which had over 40 million listeners that eventually lead them to the big screen. Movies include, International House (1933), Many Happy Returns (1934), The Sunshine Boys (1975) and Oh God! (1977) to name a few. During the 1950s him and his wife starred in, The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, which was one of the top-rated shows of the decade.

Fun Fact: In 1988, Burns won a lifetime achievement award from the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. He had also won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in the film, The Sunshine Boys.

5. Kirk Douglas

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Born December 9, 1916-
Current Age: 100

Kirk Douglas is a legendary Hollywood actor, producer, director and author who began his career during the film industry’s Golden Age. Known for his iconic role as Spartacus and father to actor Michael Douglas, he currently resides in Hollywood with his wife Anne. Outside of acting, he has devoted his life to philanthropic work. He created the Douglas Foundation with his wife and assist those in need like the non-profit organization, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Fun Fact: Douglas has over 90 films he has made during his career. Honors include, Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute, Kennedy Center honoree, and recipient of the National Medal of Arts.

6. Run Run Shaw

In this Tuesday, Sept, 28, 2010 photo, Hong Kong movie producer Run Run Shaw poses for a photograph during the Run Run Shaw Prize presentation ceremony in Hong Kong. Pioneering Hong Kong movie producer Shaw died Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014 at the age of 107. No cause of death was given in a statement from Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB), which Shaw helped found in 1967. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Born: November 23, 1907
Died: January 7, 2014 (Aged 107)

Run Run Shaw was one of the most influential figures in the Asian entertainment industry. He was known for creating one of Hong Kong’s largest film production companies. Strongly influenced by Hollywood, he created a similar production studio called Shaw Brothers Studios. Eventually the studio popularized the kung fu genre leading inspiration for those American directors such as John Woo and Quentin Tarantino.

Fun Fact: Run Run Shaw was also an admired philanthropist who donated billions to education institutions in Hong Kong and parts of China.

7. David Rockefeller

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Born: June 12, 1915
Died: March 20, 2017 (Aged 101)

David Rockefeller was the oldest living patriarch of the celebrated American family, the Rockefellers. He was the grandson to John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil and America’s first billionaire. During his career in the economic industry he was a banker, chairman and chief executive of Chase Manhattan Corporation. He served in WWII in North Africa and France as military intelligence.

Fun Fact: Before his recent passing in March 2017, he was ranked the oldest billionaire of the world’s richest which was published on the day of his death.

8. Gloria Stewart

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Born: July 4, 1910
Died: September 26, 2010 (Aged 100)

Better known for her role as Rose in the blockbuster hit, Titanic (1997), she began her career as an actress in the early 1930s. Some of her other admired movies include, The Old Dark House (1932), The Invisible Man (1933) and Roman Scandals (1933). Around the 1940s she decided to step down from acting and open an art furniture shop. Here she would create beautiful pieces of furniture for fellow actors in the Hollywood community. She also took up painting and her art collections can be seen around Los Angeles.

Fun Fact: She was the oldest person to ever be nominated for an Academy Award at the age of 87.

9. Irving Berlin

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Born: May 11, 1888
Died: September 22, 1989 (Aged 101)

American songwriter, composer and lyricist, Irving Berlin, is considered one of the greatest songwriters in American history. He was born in Russia and immigrated to the United States as a child with his family where they settled in New York City. Berlin became a legend before the age of 30. Throughout his 60-year career, he wrote over 1,500 songs. Some recognized songs include, “Alexander’s Ragtime Band”(1911), “Always”(1925), “Blue Skies”(1926), “Puttin’ On the Ritz”(1930), “God Bless America”(1938). This includes over a dozen of Broadway shows and Hollywood films and eight nominations for Academy Awards.

Fun fact: He has worked with performers such as Fred Astaire, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Judy Garland, Rosemary Clooney and Cher.

10. Señor Wences

senior-wences-famous-centenarian

Born: April 17, 1896
Died: April 20, 1999 (Aged 103)

During the 1950s and 1960s, Señor Wences was a popular Spanish-American ventriloquist who made frequent appearances on CBS’, The Ed Sullivan Show. Born Wenceslao Moreno, he took up the stage name, Señor Wences. He was born in Spain and grew his craft around the globe and eventually gained popularity in the United States. While performing he was known for his quick speed and skills as a ventriloquist. While performances grew, he developed quirky catch phrases like “S’awright?” and “Hello in the box!” along with his stage puppet pals named, Johnny and Pedro.

Fun fact: In New York City on the Upper East Side, you will find a section on 54th street named “Señor Wences Way.”

5 Ways to Keep Your Elderly Parents Involved This Fourth of July

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Of all the events and holidays that normally surround our summer calendars, the hallmark is usually the Fourth of July. Along with celebrating the tradition and heritage of our nation, this holiday is usually deeply ingrained with family tradition and memories.

If you have aging, elderly parents, you know that there are a lot of significant life changes that come with growing old. The reality of aging can often hit harder around holidays as you try to accommodate all generations of your family when planning activities. There are plenty of easy ways you can make sure your parents are still involved in your Fourth of July celebration – here are some of our favorites!

1. Bring Them Along

If your parents are still able to get out and about, absolutely plan to include them on any outings! Whether you plan to check out a parade or join a barbecue at a friend’s house, your parents will love to be included in the celebration. Be sure you take steps to keep your parent comfortable throughout the day: limit their direct sun exposure, bring medicine, a comfortable chair and a light blanket in case it gets chilly.

2. Bring the Barbecue Home

Sometimes getting out of the house for an extended time is not an option, but you can bring the celebration to your parents! Plan a small barbecue at your home or theirs; this will keep them in a comfortable, familiar environment.

3. Celebrate Tradition

There are many traditions that come to mind when thinking of the Fourth of July, including singing songs, donning patriotic garb and the blasting of fireworks. All of these can still be done with your elderly parents, though you may need to modify. If you can’t get out to a local firework display, find one casting live on television or a replay on the Internet. Have your parents lead some patriotic karaoke to teach your children some patriotic tunes!

4. Fun with Food

No holiday celebration would be complete without some great food, and Independence Day is no exception. Have your parents help around the kitchen to create a spread of fun, patriotic dishes to go alongside your traditional burgers and hot dogs. You can make a range of colorful dishes using Jell-O and fruit, or beat the heat with a patriotic ice cream sundae bar.

5. Arts and Crafts

Your parents can be a great help when it comes to decorating for any gathering, especially if you also have young kids. There are plenty of patriotic arts and crafts they can do, like making flags, stars and other decor. Grandparents and grandchildren alike will cherish the memories of working together on small projects.

At the very least, we hope you are able to spend time with your entire family this Independence Day. The Fourth is a day filled with a lifetime of memories, and you can continue to make them with your elderly parents.

10 Children’s Books to Help Families Explain Alzheimer’s and Dementia to Young Ones

The assortment of memories that families build with one another will always leave a long-lasting imprint for generations to come. As each family begins a new milestone in their lives they lean on one another for support. A support system that can navigate them in good and in not so great times. When faced with difficulties, like family members losing their precious memories due to Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, understanding these moments can become confusing.

If you like many families around the world who are affected by this heartbreaking disease, explaining to your young children about grandma or grandpa’s condition can be a challenging task to say the least. To help introduce such diseases like Alzheimer’s we have gathered a collection of books that are highly recommended when discussing these important matters of the heart.

1. What’s Wrong with Grandpa? A Children’s Story About Alzheimer’s Disease-Written by Danielle Sarah Cohen

This heartfelt true story is about a ten-year-old girl and the relationship she has with her grandfather. Readers will enjoy this beautiful bond between grandfather and granddaughter as they face the many ups and downs of Alzheimer’s disease.

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2. The Memory Box-Written by Mary Bahr

A wonderful story about a grandfather who realizes he has Alzheimer’s disease and starts a memory box for his grandson. The Memory Box is a beautiful story that holds sentimental value for all readers of any age.

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3. Still My Grandma-Written by Veronique van Abeele

Read about a girl Camille and her special relationship with her grandmother. She learns about her grandmother’s battle with Alzheimer’s and finds charming ways to continue their relationship as the grandmother’s illness progresses.

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4. Always My Grandma: A Story for Children About Alzheimer’s Disease-Written by Linda Scacco

This inspiriting story helps readers explain to children and families the importance of knowing about the disease and what ways they can help their loved ones. As you read with your child you will uncover a story about a boy named Danielle, who visits his grandpa every summer. However, his most recent trip to grandpa’s house has brought change to the family and Danielle is encouraged help his grandpa any way he can.

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5. Really and Truly-Written by Émilie Rivard

A young boy named Charlie loves hearing stories about pirates, gnomes and witches especially when they come from his grandfather. However, lately Charlie has seen a big change in his grandfather’s behavior. Readers can tag along this enchanting story as Charlie encourages his grandfather whose memories are quickly fading due to his side-effects of dementia.

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6. Ferguson the Forgetful Frog: A Story About Dementia-Written by Dr. Paul J. Gerber

After first hand experience, author Dr. Paul J. Gerber, creates a story that will serve as guidance for children whose family members have been effected by dementia. Specifically geared towards children ages 5-8, this story follows a frog named Ferguson and his difficult journey he encounters along the way.

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7. Striped Shirts and Flowered Pants: A Story About Alzheimer’s Disease for Young Children-Written by Barbara Schnurbush

Children who are close to their loved one’s battling Alzheimer’s disease should also consider reading this book. Written by Barbara Schnurbush, this heart-warming story helps children understand the disease and provides ways to handle the certain situations families might face.

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8. Can I Tell You About My Dementia? A Guide for Family, Friends and Carers-Written by Jude Welton

As readers journey alongside a man named Jack, they will witness first had his perspective of coping with dementia. Readers will also learn about changes in memory, communication and behaviors that Jack faces on a daily basis.  Jack also discusses ways to help family members who are facing the same difficulties.

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9. Remember Grandma?-Written by Laura Langston

This children’s book is a wonderful interpretation of families struggling with relatives who are facing memory loss. Dive in as you and your child read about a lovely grandmother and her granddaughter, Margaret, and their journey through laughter and loss.

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10. And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer-Written by Fredrick Backham

Written by Fredrick Backham, this moving story is about an endearing relationship between grandfather and grandson. As time passes they both are dealt with difficult circumstances while the grandfather struggles to hold on to his precious memories.

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8 Ways to Improve Your Hospital Stay

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Most of us try to avoid the hospital. But if you need a hospital, make sure and do the following:

1. Pick a High-volume Hospital and Doctor

Studies have shown that patients fare better when they’re treated at hospitals and by doctors that care for many patients with a similar illness or condition.

2. Ward Off Nasty Bugs

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2 million U.S. patients acquire an infection in the hospital each year. One effective way to guard against this threat is to insist that every hospital staff member washes his/her hands with soap or alcohol gel before examining you. Wash your own hands often as well. This may be the single most effective way to prevent in-hospital infections.

3. Ask (lots of) Questions

Make sure you understand what medications and treatments you will be receiving, and ask your doctor to explain them if you don’t. If you need surgery or another serious procedure, it’s also important to know what will happen, how long it will take, and what to expect during your recovery period.

4. Know Who’s in Charge

Find out the names of your attending nurses and the doctor in charge of your care. Obtain a phone or pager number of the doctor who will track your progress inside and outside the hospital.

5. Disclose All Medications

The Institute of Medicine estimates that two out of every 100 patients admitted to a hospital experience a preventable adverse drug event. Keep a list of medications you are taking, including over-the-counter remedies and herbal supplements, and show it to every one of your doctors.

6. Avoid Surgical Site Errors

Ask your surgeon to state and mark the site of your surgery before you go under the knife. Taking this simple step may help prevent a surgery location mix-up.

7. Focus on Getting Home

Hospitals can be dangerous places. That last thing you want to do is spend more time than you need to in a building where antibiotic-resistant germs and other infectious bugs proliferate. Focus your energy on getting home as early and safely as possible. Upon discharge, ask your doctor to clearly explain the treatment plan for the rest of your recovery.

8. Bring an Advocate

Ask a family member or friend to serve as a second set of eyes and ears, to ask questions of clinical staff, and to double-check your medications and other treatments with doctors and nurses. You can also hire a caretaker to make sure you are comfortable. Go to www.professionalcaretakers.com to find an advocate for your hospital stay.

5 Ways to Spend Time with Elderly Family Members This Memorial Day

Summer is right around the corner; the kids will soon be out of school, vacations are planned and summer sports and pool days will fill your calendar. Along with being a busy time for weddings, there are several major holidays to plan around in the coming months. The first one will be here before you know it, as we remember military veterans throughout Memorial Day weekend.

If you have elderly parents or close relatives, Memorial Day weekend can be a great way to plan some time that your entire family can enjoy. Here are some of our favorite ideas!

1. Catch a Parade

The Memorial Day weekend is never complete without a parade, and chances are there is one happening near you. Parades are great for the whole family. They offer entertainment for all generations, and the relaxed environment offers plenty of opportunity to talk and share memories with your parents. Just be sure to plan for the day – have enough snacks and drinks to stay hydrated and fed, and bring an umbrella just in case!

2.Visit a Memorial or Museum

Your elderly parents likely lived through multiple wars, and may be veterans themselves. Honor the holiday and/or their service by visiting a memorial or museum. You can use this trip as an educational opportunity for the youngest members in your family, as they can learn a lot understanding how our history impacts people they know.

3. Plan a Day Trip

Most people have a three day weekend for Memorial Day, so use one of the days to take your parents on a short trip. You could pick a destination they always enjoyed visiting and haven’t been back to, or somewhere new for the whole family. They will appreciate the experience, and short car trips are great for whole family conversation.

4.Fly the Flag

If your parents are veterans, or had close friends or relatives who served, provide them the opportunity to raise the American flag at your house. You can make a small ceremony out of it with your family in the morning before doing other things. Though small, it is a nice gesture to help them honor the memory of their friends and family members.

5.Pay Respects

Honor the purpose of the holiday by going with your parents to pay respects to family members and friends who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. Take along some flowers and take time to do some light maintenance such as pulling weeds if necessary. This will also help teach values to your kids so they too can understand the importance of the day.

There are plenty of ways you can spend time with your elderly parents this Memorial Day! With some careful planning you can plan activities to honor the spirit of the holiday along with creating enjoyable family memories.

Home Health Care vs. Home Care

Most physicians and nurses understand the difference between Home Care and Home Health Care. But to the public, these services are sadly synonymous. But these terms are entirely different in the healthcare industry. Home Health Care tends to be short-term in nature, involves skilled care, and is covered by Medicare. Home Health Care is often referred to as “skilled” or “certified.”

home care and companionship

Home Care tends to be long term in nature, involves unskilled care and is not covered by Medicare. Home Care is also called “non-medical”, “in-home”, “unskilled” and “custodial.”

For clarity, when you see Home Health Care think of it as “skilled care” or “medical.” When you see Home Care think of it as “”unskilled care” or “non-medical.” Many of you will recognize that unskilled care is very demanding and requires its own special skills. Be that as it may, “unskilled” is often the term used to describe Home Care.

Because it’s easy for the public to mistake one for the other, all of us in the healthcare industry need to help the public understand the differences in terms of when each type of care may be needed, costs involved and resources available so they can make informed care decisions.

What is Home Health Care?

Home Health Care refers to care provided in the home by a licensed medical professional, such as a nurse or physical therapist. Generally, home health professionals are only authorized to perform the tasks prescribed by the senior’s physician. It is usually prescribed after a hospital visit and is targeted by the physician as a specific need, such as IV therapy. Other types of medical care that fall under the home health category include wound care, pain management, injections, occupational therapy, physical therapy and skilled nursing. If any skilled care is needed, the physician will write an order for the service with a definite time period, usually short term in nature, i.e., “IV therapy for 2 weeks.” At the end of the period, the physician will reevaluate the order.

How Does Home Care Differ from Home Health Care

Home Care focuses on helping seniors with the daily activities they need to engage in life and remain safe and healthy. Family members or professional caregivers who do not have a medical license generally can perform these tasks.

The tasks include things like:

  • bathing
  • transferring
  • toileting
  • continence
  • medication management
  • companionship
  • meal preparation
  • light housekeeping
  • transportation
  • errands

Recognizing and Solving the Needs for Home Health Care and Home Care

The need for Home Health Care is very clear as the physician has to order it and he usually assigns this order to 3 specific agencies. In most cases it is the physician who recognizes the need. However, unskilled Home Care is often overlooked as a real solution for seniors. In many cases, unskilled Home Care is the missing piece of the puzzle!

Physicians, nurses and social workers may be reluctant to suggest Home Care for a number of reasons:

  1. Home care is an additional expense for the senior and it is usually not covered by Medicare. These professionals know that it may be an added financial burden for the senior.
  2. The Medicare rules that cover Home Health Care prevent these professionals from referring a specific agency. Under freedom of choice rules, physicians and nurses may fear the repercussions of referring an agency in violation of Medicare rules. Although these rules do not apply to Home Care, this attitude carries over and hinders their ability to recognize the need and suggest Home Care.
    Home Care by its nature is Non-Medical and that is not their realm.
  3. These factors along with the additional cost of Home Care mean that it is often overlooked. However Home Care can be a vital part to the recovery procedure. By way of an example:

Mrs. Smith had knee surgery. After the surgery, she was sent home with orders for physical therapy and given the names of 3 agencies that provide Home Health Care. This order is for Skilled Care and was covered by her Medicare policy. Physical Therapy is a skilled need, and not custodial or Home Care.
Mrs. Smith is recovering well but decides to feed her dog. Long story short, she trips over her dog and is readmitted to the hospital. However, had her physician suggested she supplement her Home Health Care with Home Care, this fall may have been prevented altogether. This saves money and aggravation for Mrs. Smith as well as a readmittance to the hospital and all the associated costs.

All of us in the healthcare industry need to recognize the confusion regarding Home Health Care and Home Care and help seniors understand the difference. Through education, family and friends can understand and help recognize the need for their loved ones. Physicians, nurses and social workers need to recommend a team approach of using non-medical in-Home Care services to supplement Home Health Care services for more and more cases.

Professional Caretakers 2017 Spring Scholarship Recipient Selected

Professional Caretakers is proud to announce the Spring 2017 scholarship recipient.

First, we would like to thank the hundreds of applicants from all over Texas and the country that applied for our nursing scholarship this semester. While there was an overwhelming response in applications from hundreds of dedicated students pursuing their nursing education, there was one applicant that stood out from the rest. Professional Caretakers would like to congratulate Kristi Reed as the recipient of the Professional Caretakers Nursing Scholarship Award, Spring 2016. Kristi Reed is a current nursing student attending Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas.

Applicants for the 2017 Nursing scholarship award were asked to answer two questions in essay format:
1. Why are you pursing a Nursing degree?

2. If you could change one thing about the USA healthcare system what would it be and how would you propose implementing the change?

Kristi is pursing her education in nursing with the aspiration of joining the armed forces to serve as an Active Duty Registered Nurse in the Army Nurse Corps.

“I am finding that, personally, that there can be no greater purpose than serving others and helping those to find hope in every situation regardless of how badly it may seem at the time. When life is good, I want to be the nurse that rejoices with my patients. When life is difficult and my patients struggle, I want to be a nurse that encourages my patients to never give up on themselves, life, and always believe in a greater good.” – Kristi Reed

 

We thank Kristi Reed for her dedication to medical care and congratulate her on being the Spring 2017 recipient of the Professional Caretakers Nursing Scholarship Award. We wish her the best in her future endeavors and look forward to her continued success wherever her education and passion in nursing takes her.

Scholarship recipients are given a sum amount of $750 per semester over 2 semesters to relieve a part of cost towards tuition and books as they complete their education in the nursing field. For more information on our scholarships or to apply please see our website at https://professionalcaretakers.com/scholarship/.

Professional Caretakers is a family owned and operated business that has been providing private in-home senior and elderly care to Texas families since 1988.

nursing scholarship recipient spring 2017

Kristi Reed, recipient of Professional Caretakers Spring 2017 Nursing Scholarship. Showing her receipt for Graduation!