Learn more about family resources are Senior Services of America.

Family Resources for Senior Services of America

Senior Services of America

(253) 267-8494

1201 Pacific Avenue Suite 450 Tacoma, WA

Independent Living Resources

Assisted Living Resources

Organizations

Assisted Living Federation of America

  • The Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) is the largest national association exclusively dedicated to professionally operated assisted living communities for seniors.

Senior Services of America Helpful Tips

  • Making the right choice for an assisted living community.

Senior Services of America Compare the Value

  • Monthly Cost-of-Living Comparison Worksheet
Books

The Complete Resource Guide for Baby Boomers By Darlene Merkler

  • Everything you need to know about caring for your parent  Where to Buy

Memory Care Resources

Organizations

Alzheimer's Association

  • The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care and support and the largest private, nonprofit funder of Alzheimer research.

Alzheimer's Foundation of America

  • Sign up for free newsletters.

Alzheimer’s Association/Washington State Chapter

  • Visit their website for additional information or call them directly at 800-848-7097.

Alzheimer’s Society of Washington

  • Visit their website for additional information or call them directly at 800-493-3959.

National Parkinson Organization

Paul Nussbaum Clinical Neuropsychologist

  • Who's passion is in helping people understand brain disease.

National Institute On Aging

  • Offers free resources.

CareGiving

Full Circle of Love

Dementia Care Central

  • A site for family caregivers.

Teepa Snow - Dementia Expert

  • Teepa Snow is an expert who trains and consults for agencies, facilities, and families. Read more on her website.

SASH

  • Sell A Senior's Home. A private home sale service for seniors.

Family Caregiver Alliance

  • National Center on Caregiving
Expert Advice by Elena Roppel, SSA Divisional Director of Operations - Memory Care

Forgetfulness or A Real Problem

We have all forgotten a name, or a phone number, maybe even an appointment. Do I have Alzheimer’s or another dementia or just having a bad day? Many of us will do these things and never think twice, but how do you know if you actually have a problem? Understanding the difference between forgetfulness and mild cognitive impairment can be very important for identifying real issues, and just forgetfulness. Mild forgetfulness is just that, forgetfulness. As you age you may find yourself having a hard time learning new things, remembering certain words, and even forgetting some daily tasks. These are signs of mild forgetfulness, not a serious memory problem. You can do many things to keep your memory sharp including,

  1. Learning a new skill
  2. Use memory tools such as calendars, to-do lists, and notes
  3. Get lots of rest
  4. Avoid alcohol
  5. Volunteer in your community, school or another community organization

Serious memory problems can make it hard to complete daily tasks. You may begin to find it hard to drive, shop, or talk with friends and family. Signs of a possible serious memory problem include:

  1. Not being able to follow directions
  2. Getting lost in places you know
  3. Becoming confused about people, place, and time
  4. Asking the same questions
  5. Failing to care for yourself.

If you have these symptoms contact your doctor to discuss the problems. Once you know the cause of your serious memory issue you can get the right treatment. 

 

Getting the Help You Need

Often the first time families recognize their loved ones need for help is at the holidays. Some people may have not seen the person with memory loss for a while and the changes can be dramatic. The hectic stress of the holidays can also accentuate the symptoms of memory loss, leaving the person more confused, tired and agitated than normal. Whatever the reason, the holidays leave many of us seeking advice and guidance on how to help a loved one with memory loss. Here are suggestions:

The Resource Library at the Alzheimer’s Association offers a wide spectrum of materials on memory loss.

Support Groups help caregivers discover that they are not alone in their struggles. Emotional Support as well as practical advice are offered at these groups.

Day Programs offer regular socialization for the person with memory loss as well as a break for the caregiver.

Respite Care is available when a person is not ready for full time care but the caregiver needs periodic breaks.

In Home Care offers assistance in a private home. This may allow the caregiver the physical and emotional support they need to continue providing care.

Full Time Placement in a memory care community offers security, socialization and programming by professionals with expertise in memory loss.

Whatever your needs are, there is assistance available. Give us a call, we can help.

 

I Feel So Guilty

When asked to describe the emotions associated with caring for a loved one with memory loss, the most common response is: “I feel so guilty.”

Caregivers feel guilty for: things that happened in the past; the unusual behavior of their loved one; losing their temper; resenting the caregiving responsibilities; and so much more. Some of these guilty feelings are small while others center around critical issues. The trouble with guilt feelings is that, if left unaddressed, they can interfere with healthy, effective decision making. Recognizing the guilt that surrounds caring for a loved one with memory loss can help keep it in perspective, allowing the caregiver to be more objective in their daily interactions with their loved one.

Here are some things you can do to help keep your guilt in perspective:

  • Recognize the feelings for what they are. When the source of guilty feelings are recognized they become manageable.
  • Identify how the feelings of guilt are affecting your decision-making.
  • Don’t second guess the decisions that you make.
  • Don’t expect to be perfect. It is common to feel resentful, angry and lonely at times. Accept these feelings as normal and don’t feel guilty.
  • Seek help from professionals and support groups. You need outside support and guidance to keep perspective.

Above all remember, you are doing the very best job that you can. Give yourself credit for all that you do.

 

Respite Care

For caregivers of persons with memory loss, regular respite, or periods of rest, is essential to their ability to provide good care. Often caregivers neglect their own physical, emotional and spiritual health while they are caring for a loved one with memory loss and their families. In addition, regular breaks from caregiving can often prolong the time a person with memory loss can remain in their home since the caregiver maintains their health and is better able to cope with the multitude of challenges that face them daily.

The key to a successful respite plan is that the caregiver receives a complete break. They should also be able to use the time to do something for themselves. Reading or a nap can be a real treat for someone who is providing care 24-hours a day. Here are some respite ideas:

In Home Assistance - Friends, family members or a hired caregiver can provide care and companionship while the caregiver takes a break.

Day Programs - These are structured programs designed to provide supervision, socialization and limited care for persons with memory loss. Select Senior Services of America communities can provide day program services and can also provide you with resources for tremendous day programs in your area.

Overnight Respite - Some care facilities have the ability to provide care, supervision and socialization 24-hours a day, for one or more days.

 

Meaningful Moments

Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or other dementia’s can be very difficult and overwhelming. With planning and organization you can alleviate some of the stress of caring for your loved one and help make small moments meaningful.

  • Structure your loved ones day. Try to plan activities around personal care and keep a routine as much as possible.
  • Celebrate small successes. Give praise and celebration to small victories throughout the day.
  • Stay positive and realistic. Don’t expect to be perfect. You are doing a very difficult job and may feel burdened or lonely, accept these feelings and focus on small positive moments with your loved one.

Another way to find meaningful moments is to plan activities that you can do with your loved one that will be fun and successful for the person with Alzheimer’s or other dementia’s. Here is a list of simple activities you can do at home or even while visiting your loved one in a memory care community.

  1. Flip through old photos and have your loved one tell you stories of the photos. Do not try and correct them if their story doesn't match yours.
  2. Play a board game. Something simple like dominoes, or checkers. Be realistic the game may not go your way, but they will feel the victory.
  3. Cut out pictures from magazines of vacation destinations. Paste them to construction paper and hold a conversation about your best vacations
  4. Give your loved on a manicure or a shave. Make it feel like a high end spa, or professional barber shop.
  5. Prepare a flower bouquet and deliver to a relative or friend.

 

Getting the Help You Need During the Holiday Season

Often the first time families recognize their loved ones need for help is at the holidays. Some people may have not seen the person with memory loss for a while and the changes can be dramatic. The hectic stress of the holidays can also accentuate the symptoms of memory loss, leaving the person more confused, tired and agitated than normal. Whatever the reason, the holidays leave many of us seeking advice and guidance on how to help a loved one with memory loss. Here are suggestions:

Recognize your loved ones changes. Help make a plan for caring for them during the stressful holiday time. Perhaps if a family has a large get together, the person with Alzheimer’s or Dementia can spend time in a quieter location with a few visitors at a time. Perhaps a respite stay at a memory care community can help alleviate some of the stress of the holiday season for both the caregiver and the affected person.

Below are also some resources for information on many options to help during this busy and sometimes difficult season.

The Resource Library at the Alzheimer’s Association offers a wide spectrum of materials on memory loss.

Support Groups help caregivers discover that they are not alone in their struggles. Emotional Support as well as practical advice are offered at these groups.

Respite Care is available when a person is not ready for full time care but the caregiver needs periodic breaks.

Full Time Placement in a memory care community offers security, socialization and programming by professionals with expertise in memory loss.

Whatever your needs are, there is assistance available. Give us a call, we can help.

 

Financial Options

You find yourself searching for care options for your loved one with Alzheimer’s or other dementia’s. Where to go? What’s available? How can I afford it? These are all very common questions when families are trying to find placement and care options for their loved ones. One of the biggest questions is cost and affording care. Families should do their homework way before it is time to place. Families need to understand the individual prices for different types of care communities such as adult family homes, in-home care, assisted living, independent living, skilled nursing, and memory care. Each type of community offers different services that can be tailored to your needs, these also drive specific costs. So how do you pay? Many families find it difficult to manage private pay placement especially if their loved one was not financially prepared for placement. Medicaid services can be utilized in some care communities, but not all. Medicare can only be utilized in skilled nursing facilities. So how do you untangle the web of information surrounding payment sources, payment type, and what types of care settings allowed what type of payment? Ask. Here are a list of specific questions to ask during tours and before placement:

  1. How much is the base rate? How much do the care services cost?
  2. Do you accept Medicaid? If you accept Medicaid do I have to pay privately first?
  3. Does Medicare cover any part of my stay?
  4. If I run out of money, do I have to move?
  5. Are there rental increases?

For more information about memory care services or information regarding financials, contact us.

Books

Creating Moments of Joy by Jolene Brackey

What's Happening to Grandpa by Maria Shriver

  • The author walks a girl through acceptance and a beginning understanding of her Grandpa's diagnosis with Alzheimer's. Where to buy.

Take Your Oxygen First by Leeza Gibbons

  • Protecting your health and happiness while care for a  loved on with memory loss. Where to buy.

The 36 Hour Day, Nancy L. Mace, M.A. and Peter Rabins, M.D., M.P.H.

  • A Family Guide to Caring for People with Alzheimer's Disease, Other Dementia's, and Memory Loss in Later Life. Where to buy.

A Dignified Approach to Alzheimer’s Care, Virginia Bell, M.S.W. & David Troxel, M.P.H.

  • The best friends approach to Alzheimer's care, a family caregivers guide. Where to buy.

When Love Gets Tough by Doug Manning

Coping with Behavior Change in Dementia, A Family Caregivers's Guide, Beth Spencer

  • This handbook is intended to help families understand possible causes of common behavior changes and learn to respond more effectively to 12 dementia behaviors that care partners find challenging. Where to buy.

Moving a Relative with Memory Loss, A Family Caregiver's Guide, Laurie White and Beth Spencer

  • Making the decision to move a relative with memory loss or dementia can be heart wrenching for everyone involved. This handbook offers suggestions for making the decision and transition a little easier. Where to buy.

Understanding Difficult Behaviors, Geriatric Education Center of Michigan

  • Practical suggestions for coping with Alzheimer's disease and related illnesses. Where to buy.

At the Crossroads, A Guide to Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia & Driving,

  • Research on dementia and driving and making the transition from driver to passenger. Read more.

Caring for Aging Loved Ones

  • A complete guide from Focus on the Family that provides information you need when you become a caregiver. Where to buy.
Articles

Dementia Holiday Activities That Lower Stress and Raise the Joy
By Paula Spencer Scott, Caring.com Senior Editor

Holidays with Memory Loss: 4 Tips for Sharing Holiday Pleasures
By Monica Heltemes, Caring.com Expert

Letting Go of the Car Keys
By Pam Scott, Discovery Memory Care Marketing Director

The Balancing Act of Being a Family Caregiver
By Pam Scott, Discovery Memory Care Marketing Director

Now, Where Did I Put My Car Keys? Part 2
By Pam Scott, Discovery Memory Care Marketing Director

Holidays: Time to Notice Changes
By Pam Scott, Discovery Memory Care Marketing Director

Now, Where Did I Put My Car Keys Part 1
By Pam Scott, Discovery Memory Care Marketing Director

Dealing with Memory Loss
By Pam Scott, Discovery Memory Care Marketing Director

Is Everything Really OK?
By Pam Scott, Discovery Memory Care Marketing Director

Alzheimer's and Doughnuts
By Pam Scott, Discovery Memory Care Marketing Director

Own Your Future Part 2: Your Next Move
By Pam Scott, Discovery Memory Care Marketing Director

Own Your Future Part 1: Legal Planning
By Pam Scott, Discovery Memory Care Marketing Director

Videos

Accepting the Challenge, Providing the Best Care for People with Dementia, Alzheimer’s Association

Communicating with the Alzheimer’s Type Population, The Validation Method, Naomi Feil

The Alzheimer’s Project, HBO Documentary

Respite Care Resources

Organizations

Family Caregiver Alliance

  • A public voice for caregivers. Learn more by visiting our website.

National Family Caregivers Association

  • Caregiver Action Network is the nation’s leading family caregiver organization working to improve the quality of life for the more than 90 million Americans who care for loved ones with chronic conditions, disabilities, disease, or the frailties of old age.