Staying Independent – More than just “Activities of Daily Living”

Posted December 26, 2006
When someone needs help with the basic activities of daily living (or ADL’s) its usually obvious that they should either be receiving help in the home, or moving to a community where they can receive the help they need.  ADL’s are bathing, ambulating, transferring, eating, grooming, dressing and toileting. But what about “instrumental” activities of daily living (or IADL’s)?  These are more complex activities associated with daily life that are essential to being independent.  For example: Using the telephone (looking up and dialing a number, and receiving calls) Preparing meals (planning, shopping for and preparing a meal) Managing money (writing ...
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60 is the new 40

Posted December 25, 2006
This is a picture of my grandmother and me, Christmas 1970.  She is 60 years old in this picture.  I don't know any 60 year old that has hair like that now! Second comment - who picked out that tree?  While I don't remember that tree at all, I do remember those green satin ornaments.  We had those and red ones until they fell apart.  Its actually so retro, I wish I had it now. I think I am holding a bottle of Estee Lauder Youth Dew - the irony is killing me.  Merry Christmas!
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Why I am better than any Online Geriatric Assessment Tool

Posted December 19, 2006
Yesterday I went on a website that helps families sort out care for their loved ones.  Kind of like what I do but online.  So they had this really cool questionnaire and I filled it out with a specific client in mind.  She is pretty independent and we are helping her find a retirement community closer to her daughter.  She uses a cane occasionally, but other than that has no care needs.  She still drives and is sharp as a tack.  I know because I talked to her at length on the phone to try to learn as much about ...
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Free help to set up Mom, Pop

Posted December 17, 2006
That’s the title of the article in today’s CHICAGO TRIBUNE about my services.  There is nothing like your first piece of press and to have it in the CHICAGO TRIBUNE on a SUNDAY… well, needless to say I am pretty excited.  I actually bought the early edition yesterday since I couldn’t wait.  But I had to wait until the online version came out to share it with you in my blog. Here is the article, which I note is copyright 2006 by the Chicago Tribune and was written by Jane Adler, a Chicago-area freelance writer.  Her article, 55 PLUS, is ...
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What Care Needs Should Be Considered When Choosing Senior Housing?

Posted December 16, 2006
Usually when someone calls me looking for senior living I simply ask them what the situation is and let them talk. (and talk and talk if necessary!). Many times I can glean most of the information I need to determine what the current level of care will be and what they might be looking for in a senior living building. However, I don’t always get the WHOLE story so it is up to me to probe to make sure we make the right choice. Some of the other questions I might ask or you might ask yourself are: 1. Is ...
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Part 7: How much does senior living cost?

Posted December 15, 2006
Long-term care is very expensive.  It really is unfortunate that many families and seniors think that Medicare will pay for their stay in an assisted living facility.  Medicare is health insurance.  It doesn’t care where you live or really where you are receiving the care.  I went over the range of costs in the last few posts, and also discussed that option of Supportive Living should a senior have no assists and Medicaid is their only option. When I am trying to help a family find a solution I usually ask the following questions:What do they think their budget is?  ...
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Part 6: Supportive Living

Posted December 13, 2006
supportive living facilities (SLF) are a relatively new concept in senior care.  The first one in Illinois opened up in 1999 and in 2005 the state enacted to make SLF a permanent program. See, what was happening was that there were seniors living in nursing homes that did not require 24-hour care.  Maybe they needed it when they first got there, but then the got better, yet going home alone was not an option.   These residents were on Medicaid and the state figured out that it would cost less for them to live in an “assisted living” model than a ...
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Part 5: Assisted Living

Posted December 11, 2006
Assisted living is designed for those who need help with one or more activities of daily living.  Those are usually defined as bathing, dressing, eating, transferring, and taking medications.    Care is provided by the employees of the community (or outsourced) but not hired by the family.  The buildings themselves are usually much smaller than a typical independent living building and are more home like and less apartment building like.  They suites may be private or shared and usually contain a kitchenette with no stove, as 3 meals a day are included in the cost.  Having no stove can also ...
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Christmas Cards for Seniors

Posted December 9, 2006
I just received the sweetest Christmas card in the mail from one of the lovely ladies I helped in the past.  I have it hanging by my desk to remind me why I do this. In this instance her daughter-in-law, via the Internet, had contacted me.  She had been researching options for her mother-in-law who lived out of state but was thinking of coming to the Chicago area to be near her son and D-I-L.  Her husband had recently died and she was alone in a very large home they had shared together for years. While she was still in ...
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Part 4: Independent Living

Posted December 9, 2006
Once again, we are making the assumption that these are not senior apartment that happen contain only people over the age of 65 but those that actually provide services and a minimum of one meal a day. Usually, at least here in Chicago, they are apartment style buildings – high-rise and mid-rise.  The apartments are private and range in size from studios to two bedrooms.  Most likely they all have a full kitchen with stove, as all 3 meals a day are usually not provided. Pricing can range from $1400 - $4000 a month with out any a la carte ...
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