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Supporting Adult Day Clients and Caregivers

It is not an easy thing to walk alongside and provide care for a beloved spouse or loved one as he or she suffers the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. As we all know, Alzheimer’s disease is a thief – it steals not only memories, but also a person’s sense of identity and purpose as he or she loses the ability to do the things that have long been part of daily life.

Bob Gates lived this journey first-hand after his wife of more than 60 years, Audrey, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in July 2011.

Bob and Audrey met in 1st Grade and had their first date at the young age of 16. After graduating from high school, the couple married in 1954 and built a life together as best friends and partners. Bob’s career with Bell of PA and Bell Atlantic, which we now know as Verizon, spanned more than 40 years and took the couple to Sunbury, Pottsville, and Altoona before they settled permanently in the Harrisburg area. Audrey was a full-time mother and homemaker, raising their three children and actively helping with grandchildren as well. The couple’s favorite hobby was traveling. They traveled to many different places on the east coast, but returned time and again to Myrtle Beach, SC where they camped right on the water. An outdoorsy family, the Gates enjoyed camping, fishing, hunting, and time spent together around the campfire. The close-knit family also practiced a strong faith, which led them to serve their church and the community out of love for the Lord.

It is no surprise then, that after receiving Audrey’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis, Bob and family banded together to care for Audrey at home for as long as possible. As Audrey’s needs increased and became overwhelming, Bob found respite and support through the Adult Day program on the campus of Messiah Village where Audrey became a client in January 2017. Bob’s objectives in enrolling Audrey in Adult Day were to provide her with increased socialization, keep her physically active and stimulated, and slow the progression of her mental decline. Additionally, Bob knew that enrolling Audrey in Adult Day would allow him to recharge and renew himself as her primary caregiver and give him time to downsize their home and prepare for the next stage of life – the couple’s move to their apartment in Village Square.

“Adult Day is a godsend,” Bob says. “The team members are the most compassionate, caring, professional people I have ever seen. They are genuine – it is not an act. It takes a special kind of person to do what they do, and they are just that…special.”

The Gates moved into Village Square in November 2017, and Bob continued to take Audrey to Adult Day every day until February 2018, when Audrey was discharged from Adult Day and welcomed to the Manchester neighborhood. Now, Bob visits Audrey daily, often utilizing Kibler Bridge, which connects Village Square to Village Center. In the Manchester neighborhood, Audrey continues to receive top-notch care, and Bob is grateful for the ways that team members show love and compassion to Audrey each day.

Despite the challenges and – yes, the sadness – of Bob and Audrey’s journey, Bob is grateful. “We are highly blessed,” he says. “I have met so many people at Messiah Village that I treasure, and I am blessed to be in a beautiful community surrounded by friendly, helpful, compassionate, Christ-like people.”

Written by: Rachel Pease, Director of Development at Messiah Lifeways
Originally published in “Spolight” A Newsletter for Donors and Volunteers, September 2018

 

Carlisle Adult Day Center is enrolling new clients

The National Adult Day Services Association (NADSA) defines Adult Day programs as “a professional care setting in which older adults and adults living with dementia…receive individualized therapeutic, social, and health services for some part of the day.”

Carlisle Adult Day clients enjoy gardening with the Master Gardeners from Penn State.

Messiah Lifeways Adult Day services go above and beyond in providing a positive, nurturing programming to meet a variety of needs in clients, especially those with a dementia diagnosis. Music, art, exercise, gardening, service projects, a hot lunch, special events… everything is geared towards socialization and maintaining the cognitive and physical abilities of each client. We don’t dwell on what has been lost; we focus on what is still possible.

We’re also keenly aware of the difficulties facing caregivers in Central Pennsylvania. Adult children need to continue working, devoted spouses become weary with caregiver burnout, families and neighbors feel ill-equipped to help. Adult Day programs like ours provide a safety net – a safe haven – for the clients and their loved ones. The Messiah Lifeways Adult Day programs are also strongly connected to the Alzheimer’s Association which adds an extra layer of support through training, resources, and caregiver support groups that help the entire family.

If someone you love is unable to stay safely at home during the work week due to memory impairment or another age-related concern or you know someone who would benefit from the services at a Messiah Lifeways Adult Day Services, please feel free to help spread the word. Some additional points of interest about Messiah Lifeways Adult Day programs:

• They’re secured and thoroughly equipped to put the caregiver’s mind at ease.
• They employ team members, including several Registered Nurses, who are well trained in therapeutic programming, validation and remotivation therapy, and more.
• Focus on the client – their memories, their interests, their hobbies, to make each day meaningful and positive.
• May help to reduce the unwanted behaviors that sometimes challenges families and caregivers.

Our Mechanicsburg Center is currently on a waiting list but our Carlisle Center does have openings. Melissa Brandt, the Carlisle Center Coordinator would welcome the opportunity to give tours and talk about the admission process with anyone who is interested. The Carlisle Adult Day program is located at The Meeting House, Carlisle Campus, 1155 Walnut Bottom Road.

Melissa can be reached at: 717-243-0447 or via email at mbrandt@messiahlifeways.org

To learn more about Messiah Lifeways Adult Services, please visit MessiahLifeways.org/AdultDay.

 

Relieve caregiver stress during the holidays


Lighten your load as a caregiver this holiday season

Ah, the holiday season. It’s the most wonderful time of year- right? As we all know it can be a very busy and stressful time too. Between the shopping, cooking, and traveling it gets hectic. This is especially true for those who serve as a primary caregiver to a loved one. In particular, the “sandwich generation” may be caring for an elderly parent and bringing kids back from college for winter break. Caregivers deserve to enjoy Thanksgiving or Hanukkah or Christmas just as much as the next guy, if not more.

First comes daylight savings, then Thanksgiving and Black Friday, and just like that it’s December. Whether you need a few good hours to fight the Christmas shopping crowds or plan to travel; is it feasible to do so with a frail loved one living alone, who needs your daily attention? And for many caregivers, it doesn’t matter what season it is, there just are not enough hours in the day. However, here are several solutions that can make your life a bit more manageable.

Consider tech and other supportive services

First, there are some great technology solutions. An emergency call system, such as Philips Lifeline®, can be the difference between your loved one getting help immediately after falling versus laying there for hours before they’re discovered. The Lifeline with Autoalert can detect a fall and send a signal even if the user forgets or is unable to push the button for help. There are also versions of emergency call systems that work both in and outside the home. They feature GPS tracking technology, which is especially helpful for those with dementia who may wander. Apps and home monitoring systems like GrandCare® can provide a level of comfort and connectedness for loved ones near or far. Facetime, is available on most Apple devices or Skype are a few other ways to provide that vital face-to-face interaction.

If you have aversion to technology, another option is non-medical home care. Hire an aid to come stay with mom or dad for several hours or several days. There are number of non-medical home-care agencies around to pick from. Particularly, Messiah Lifeways at Home offers traditional home-care services like help with bathing, housekeeping, and cooking. They also provide unique home care services like replacing light bulbs and smoke detector batteries, organizing, (un)packing decorations, transportation, and even pet and plant care. Another great choice are Adult Day Programs. Messiah Lifeways Adult Day offers a day program where a loved one can come for a full or half day of activities, socialization, meals, plus receive assistance with activities of daily living. These programs are cost effective and offer great flexibility because your loved one can attend once a week or multiple days. What a great gift to give yourself, the gift of time and security.

Peace of mind for holiday travel

As family becomes more spread out, it leaves many caregivers with the predicament of traveling versus staying home for the holidays. What if your loved one can’t make the 10 hour drive or the cross country flight? This decision is tough. However, if you choose to go away for the holidays or any other time for that matter, a respite stay for the person you care for may be the answer.

Respite provides short-term or temporary care and is typically available at most personal care homes or assisted living facilities. As a respite your loved one can receive the same services a permanent resident would, like meals, activities, medication monitoring, and assistance with activities of daily living. You can arrange for the individual to stay for two to four weeks. Messiah Lifeways at Messiah Village offers respite provides a safe, secure, and nurturing place for them to spend while you are out of town. Holiday activities and cooking, plus special events like Christmas concerts and celebrations make the time even more enjoyable. Respite can also include a combination of overnights in personal care, adult day services and or home care. There are many different options to consider.

Additional holiday caregiving tips

Senior Caregiving Help During the HolidaysUnlike Santa Claus, we do not have magical powers. You cannot be in multiple places in a flash. Ask for help from family and friends and learn how to delegate tasks. Don’t try to do it all yourself. Although it may be a hard choice, you may want to re-evaluate old traditions and family rituals that involve lots of travel or preparation time. Prioritize the things that matter most. You can’t be all things to all people and don’t feeling guilty about the things you cannot change. Schedule time to do the things that you like to do around holidays. You deserve to enjoy the holidays too. Set aside time to relax and talk to your loved one about the holidays and really listen to as they reminisce.

For additional information about the many options available to make the holidays more manageable please contact the Messiah Lifeways Coaching Office at 717.591.7225 or online at coach@messiahlifeways.org.

Adapted and revised from Nov. 24, 2015 version

Adult Day Services: Enriching Lives & Supporting Caregivers

Caring for an aging parent or ailing spouse while trying to fulfill the promise of helping them age in place can be a struggle. This is especially true for a growing segment of caregivers who have a parent or spouse they’re caring for, while simultaneously still raising kids or even grandkids. Known as the “sandwich generation,” many of them are also still working, and therefore their plates are quite full, as you might imagine.

Often as the caregiver goes to work or needs to run errands, their loved one may be alone throughout the day. The fear of falling, dementia, isolation, and boredom can create an unsafe or less than desirable home life. Hiring care to look after them during the day is an option, but it can be cost prohibitive at times or it may not provide the stimulation they need or desire. Likewise, avoiding a move to a care community is counter to their goal. This is where Adult Day Services could be the solution.

Adult Day provides great balance 

Adult Day programs offer a great balance by enriching and caring for those trying to age in place, while supporting and relieving caregivers juggling their busy lives. Adult Day clients get the care, stimulation, and support they need on a daily basis. But at the end of the day they return home with their family or spouse. This takes a lot of pressure off of the spouse or the adult children as they go about the rest of their busy day. It is also reassuring for them to know that they are being cared for, eating well, having their medications administered, plus are participating in activities and socializing with their peers.

Affordable and flexible

It is also extremely affordable compared to other forms of daily care, and with financial assistance, typically through county funding, it is accessible to most everyone. Another great aspect is its flexibility. The Adult Day programs in Mechanicsburg and Carlisle are open Monday through Friday, but clients can attend as little as 1 or 2 days a week for 4 or 8 hours. They also open at 7:15 am and close around 5:00 pm to allow for early and late pick up.

Adult Day could be the solution you’re looking for

The chart below provides a great overview of the program, why it might be the right fit for you. It also gives detail on the services, support, and enrichment available to those in the program. [Hover and click on the chart for a larger view]

To learn more or to schedule a visit, please call 717.790.8224 for the Mechanicsburg Center or 717.243.0447 for Carlisle or visit MessiahLifeways.org/AdultDay.


 

Adult Day Clients Reach out to Local Animal Rescue

Messiah Lifeways Adult Day clients and team worked together to host a blanket drive to benefit the rescue pups at Speranza Animal Rescue in Mechanicsburg. On October 19, clients boarded the Messiah Lifeways bus and had the pleasure of making their donations in person as they drove to Speranza’s spacious farm. Clients were able to meet many of the rescued pups waiting for their forever homes. “It was a great day full of smiles and amazing connections,” shares Megan Stedjan, director of Community Support Services for Messiah Lifeways. “We learned that Speranza is an Italian word for ‘hope’ and hope certainly abounds when these interactions take place.” See more photos from the delightful farm visit by following Speranza or Messiah Lifeways on Facebook.

Adult Day Programs: A Lot to Celebrate

 

NATIONAL ADULT DAY WEEK- SEPTEMBER 18-24

Worthy of celebration all year long, adult day services provide care and companionship for older adults who need assistance or supervision during the day. These programs offer relief to family members and caregivers which allows them to go to work, run errands, or simply gives them time to relax, knowing their loved one is being cared for and safe.

CELEBRATE ADULT DAY WEEK SEPT. 18-24

Messiah Lifeways Adult Day offers inter-generational activity as one component of programming along with music, exercise, community outings and much more.

Affordable, flexible and stimulating
One of the greatest advantages adult day programs offer is their affordability. When compared to other forms of assistance, the median cost is very reasonable. According to the Genworth financials 2015 Cost of Care Survey, the average annual median cost of adult day programs nationally is $17,904, compared to the annual cost of assisted living/personal care which sits at $43,200 a year. Adult day (AD) programs can also be much more cost effective than if you were to hire non-medical caregivers for the same number of hours per day coming to the home. The national median daily cost of adult day is $69, which typically provides 8 hours of care, medication administration, a meal, snacks, activities and socialization. Furthermore, most states offer financial assistance through waiver programs and Medicaid.

“Adult day care and adult day health care are, without question, the most economical way to provide supervision and personal care for an elderly loved one on a daily basis.” PayingforSeniorCare.com

Adult day programs are also very flexible. Primary caregivers can have their loved one attend a program like this as many as five days a week or as little as one day per week. Many providers across the country offer full-day and half-day programs. They also have extended hours to allow for early drop off and late pick up, especially for those caregivers who have long work days.

Adult day programs fill a niche for many older adults who continue to live and focus on aging in place in their own home. For many there’s a part of staying in one’s own home that can actually be detrimental, which is the lack of socialization and stimulation, particularly with their own age bracket and peers. For caregivers and families who have a loved one living at home with them, quite often they can still feel isolated and, in certain cases, trapped in the home. Adult day programs are a great way for these loved ones to still get out, interact with others in similar situations, and participate in activities such as exercise, cooking, arts and crafts, special interests and speakers, and even religious ceremonies.

This gem of a program provides a great balance for the caregiver and loved one. Again it fortifies the ability to stay at home, but gets them out of the house on a daily basis to a caring and stimulating environment, but happily at the end of the day, they come home and sleep in their bed, in their own home, which is certainly worth celebrating.

If you’d like to learn about the Adult Day Services provided by Messiah Lifeways, please contact the Mechanicsburg location at 717.790.8224 or the Carlisle location at 717.243.0447 or visitMessiahLifeways.org/AdultDay.  Also check out these great testimonials on adult day services.

Personal Care Home Staff

Adult Day Services- A Hidden Gem for Caregivers

Being a caregiver is a selfless and rewarding act, yet it can be very daunting as well. You want the best for your loved one, but you can’t always do it alone. Many times the “best” care comes from a recharged and supported caregiver who has formed an expanded care network. Therefore, it’s important to create a strong caregiver circle that supports you and your loved one’s needs.

Caregiving resources

There are a number of strategies and resources to lighten the load for caregivers facing burnout but have also made a promise and commitment to helping their aging loved one live in their home for as long as possible. Most importantly, caregivers must take care of themselves. You cannot provide care for someone else if you’re not well yourself. Additionally, build a caregiver circle to counterbalance the care you already provide. Accept and seek help from others including other family members, friends, and professionals.

Engaging or hiring professional assistance comes in many forms, including but not limited to:

Nonmedical home care is a great way to supplement the “heavy lifting” that primary caregivers often provide. They can assist with bathing, dressing, meal preparation, medication monitoring and even one-on-one companionship. Respite care provides short term breaks for caregivers ranging from a few hours to a month or more. Home modification, durable medical equipment and technology are also becoming more common by creating a safer home environment through emergency call systems, visual monitoring and simply making the home more handicapped accessible and safe.

However, there is a particular resource from this list that is often overlooked and undervalued. This hidden gem is Adult Day Services (ADS). In general terms, adult day services provide care and companionship for older adults who need assistance or supervision during the day. These programs offer relief to family members and caregivers which allows them to go to work, run errands or simply time to relax knowing their loved one is being cared for and safe.

Affordable, flexible and stimulating

One of the greatest advantages adult day programs offer is its affordability. When compared to other forms of assistance, the median cost is very reasonable. According to the Genworth financials 2015 Cost of Care Survey, the average annual median cost of adult day programs nationally is $17,904, compared to the annual cost of assisted living/personal care which sits at $43,200 a year. Adult day (AD) programs can also be much more cost effective than if you were to hire nonmedical caregivers for the same number of hours per day coming to the home. The national median daily cost of adult day is $69, which typically provides 8 hours of care, medication administration, a meal, snacks, activities and socialization. Furthermore, most states offer financial assistance through waiver programs and Medicaid.

“Adult day care and adult day health care are, without question, the most economical way to provide supervision and personal care for an elderly loved one on a daily basis.” PayingforSeniorCare.com

Adult day programs are also very flexible. Primary caregivers can have their loved one attend a program like this is many as five days a week or as little as one day per week. Many providers across the country offer full-day and half-day programs. They also have extended hours to allow for early drop-off and late pick up, especially for those caregivers that have long work days.

Adult day programs fill a niche for many older adults who continue to live and focus on aging in place in their own home. For many there’s a part of staying in one’s own home that can actually be detrimental, which is the lack of socialization and stimulation, particularly with their own age bracket and peers. For caregivers and families who have a loved one living at home with them, quite often they can still feel isolated and, in certain cases, trapped in the home. Adult day programs are a great way for these loved ones to still get out, interact with others in similar situations and participate in activities such as exercise, cooking, arts and crafts, special interests and speakers, and even religious ceremonies.

This gem of a program provides a great balance for the caregiver and loved one. Again it fortifies the ability to stay at home, but gets them out of the house on a daily basis to a caring and stimulating environment, but happily at the end of the day, they come home and sleep in their bed, in their own home.

If you’d like to learn about the Adult Day Services provided by Messiah Lifeways, please contact the Mechanicsburg location at 717.790.8224 or the Carlisle location at 717.243.0447 or visit MessiahLifeways.org/AdultDay.  Also check out these great testimonials on adult day services.


 

Senior Caregiving Help During the Holidays

Make Caregiving Manageable During the Holidays

Ah, the holiday season. It’s the most wonderful time of year- right? As we all know it can be a very busy and stressful time as well. Between the shopping, cooking, and traveling it gets hectic, especially for those who serve as a primary caregiver to a loved one. In particular, the sandwich generation may be caring for an elderly parent and bringing kids back from college for winter break. Caregivers deserve to enjoy Thanksgiving or Hanukkah or Christmas just as much as the next guy, if not more. But sometimes there just are not enough hours in the day.

Whether you need a few good hours to fight the Christmas shopping crowds or plan to travel out of town to spend Christmas with your very first grandchild; is it feasible to do so with a frail loved one living alone, who needs your daily attention? As the holiday season quickly ascends upon us it’s good to know that there are some great options out there for those caring for an aging parent or loved one.

Beat Black Friday Blues

For many shoppers Black Friday is a holiday unto itself. Whether you think it’s a good idea or not, we know that people are determined to get up at the crack of dawn, get the best deals possible, and buy that “gotta have it” doll or action figure for the grandkids, which they will love and play with for approximately 3½ days.  You then realize as you plot your shopping trip, I need to sit with dad while he takes his shower plus restock his weekly pill box, even though he insists he doesn’t need your help.

If you have shopping to do or you’re just plain busy no matter what season it is, several solutions can make your life a bit more manageable.  Let’s explore. First, there are some great technology solutions. An emergency call system, such as Philips Lifeline, can be the difference between your father getting help immediately after falling versus laying there for hours before someone discovers him. The Lifeline Auto-Alert option can even detect a fall and send a signal if the person is knocked unconscious. Philips GoSafe emergency call system works both in the home and out featuring GPS tracking technology. Philips also offers the Philips Medication Dispensing (PMD) System, which can help dad manage his medications safely and effectively. Face time, which is available on most Apple mobile devices, or Skype can be a great way to provide face to face interaction as well to view how dad “looks” today.

If you have aversion to technology, another option is non-medical home care. Hire an aid to come stay with mom or dad for several hours or several days. There are number of non-medical home-care agencies around to pick from. Particularly, Messiah Lifeways at Home offers traditional home-care services like help with bathing, housekeeping, and cooking, but they also provide unique home care services like non skilled home-maintenance like lawn care, minor home repairs, transportation, and even pet and plant care. Another great choice are Adult Day Programs. Messiah Lifeways Adult Day offers a day program where a loved one can come for a full or half day of activities, socialization, meals, plus receive assistance with activities of daily living. These programs are cost effective and offer great flexibility because your loved one can attend once a week or multiple days. What a great gift to give yourself, the gift of time and security.

Peace of Mind for Holiday Travel

As family becomes more spread across the country, it leaves many caregivers with the predicament of traveling versus staying home for the holidays. This is especially true if the person you’re caring for can’t make the 10 hour drive or the cross country flight. This decision is tough. However, if you choose to go away for the holidays or any other time for that matter, a respite stay for the person you care for may be the answer. Respite provides short-term or temporary care and is typically available at most personal care homes or assisted living facilities. As a respite your loved one can receive the same services a permanent resident would, like meals, activities, medication monitoring, and assistance with activities of daily living. You can arrange for the individual to stay for several days up to a month. Messiah Lifeways at Messiah Village offers respite in personal care for as little as a five day stay. It provides a safe, secure, and nurturing place for them to spend while you are out of town. Holiday activities and cooking, plus special events like Christmas concerts and celebrations make the time even more enjoyable. Respite can also include a combination of overnights in personal care or adult day services and home care to supplement care. There are many different options to consider.

Additional Holiday Caregiving Tips

Unlike Santa Claus, we do not have magical powers. You cannot be in multiple places in a flash. Ask for help from family and friends and learn how to delegate tasks. Don’t try to do it all yourself. Another thing to consider, and though it may be a hard choice, you may want to re-evaluate old traditions and family rituals that involve lots of travel or preparation time. You should also develop priorities for the things that matter most. You can’t be all things to all people and don’t feeling guilty about the things you cannot change. You should also schedule time to do the things that you like to do around holidays. You deserve to enjoy the holidays too. Set aside time to relax and talk to your loved one about the holidays and really listen to as they reminisce.

For additional information about the many options available to make the holidays more manageable please contact the Messiah Lifeways Coaching Office at 717.591.7225 or online at coach@messiahlifeways.org.

What Is Aging in Place?


What exactly does it mean to “Age in Place”? Ideally, aging in place is leading a healthy and engaging life in your own “home” for as long as one chooses. And “home” should be considered a fluid term. But, if we delve deeper, we’ll discover its meaning becomes situational, conditional, and distinct to each person facing difficult life choices as they grow older and or more dependent on others.

Aging in place has become a broad term bandied about in the senior and long-term care industries for many years. At work, I use the term several times a day and provide guidance to older adults and their families on how to “age in place.” However, for those who have little or no exposure to an aging or disabled loved one struggling to live independently or safely at home, it may be an unfamiliar concept.

One way to help define aging in place, or muddy the waters, depending on how you look at it, is to dispel what it is not:

•It’s not exclusively defined by age. When you retire at 65 you’re not suddenly aging in place. Furthermore, is a healthy 81 year old still working full-time and leading a very active lifestyle aging in place? I wouldn’t necessarily say that he is. Plus, if I claimed he was, he might respectfully disagree, since I’m referring to my father-in-law. Conversely, we could reference a 45 year old female with a traumatic brain injury in which the family is doing everything they can to keep her at home as she becomes more dependent each passing year.

•It also is not defined necessarily by where you live. Someone residing in a place other than their house, such as in a retirement or 55+ community, a personal care home or assisted living, has the opportunity to age in place. Therefore, you can age in place in multiple stages and locations too.

Thoroughly confused yet? Don’t be. You can boil the term down to whether a person has a fundamental deficit or inherent need, that without help may not be able to live independently or safely. These deficits can be quite broad. It could be that because of aging, impairment or disability that person needs some home modifications: a ramp into the house, a bedroom on the first floor, or a walk-in shower rather than a bathtub. A deficit may also be due to a loss, such as the loss of driving privileges or loss of physical or mental capacities. Aging in place manifests itself if you now need assistance coming to your current living situation for the safety, welfare or maintenance of you or your household.

Another way to understand aging in place is to talk about its primary alternative. Typically, this is choosing to move to a retirement community or care facility because it could make life easier or more enjoyable or safer than living in a private residence. Statistically, if we examine the choice of aging in place versus making a move among older adults, the percentage of those who move into a facility for care is less than 15%. Thus, the majority of older adults will be living at home and opt to age in place.

There are a multitude of different services and resources that can help people stay at home and age in place. Family or hired caregivers and/or professional home care are keys to aging in place. Other options include: adult day programs, home modification, and technology such as emergency call systems, telemedicine and even the use of web cams. Additionally, home health care and hospice services, durable medical equipment, outpatient therapy and diagnostic programs bolster the effort of people living safely and healthy at home. Wellness programs, volunteering, community membership groups like Messiah Lifeways Connections, senior centers, and transportation services can help round out a healthy and engaging life in the comfort of your own home.

To learn more about aging in place options available through Messiah Lifeways Community Support Services, call 717.790.8209 or go to MessiahLifeways.org/community-support.

R-E-S-P-I-T-E: Find Out What it Means to Me

If you’d now like to get Aretha Franklin’s voice out of your head, follow me toward a completely different direction or at least to a circuitous segue for today’s blog. We’re talking about r-e-s-p-i-t-e and what it can mean to you – the caregiver, the ever-loving and devoted spouse or family member, dedicated and entrusted to the care of an aging parent or dependent loved one.

First, what does respite mean? Primarily it refers to taking or getting a break from a difficult or arduous ongoing task. And for some the “task of caregiving” can often lead to feelings of resentment, frustration, and in some cases caregiver burnout. So getting a break or respite is so important for caregivers. Many spouses and adult children have made the promise to take care of their husband or wife or parent at home indefinitely. But as valiant as that promise is, over a few years, months or even weeks, caregiving can take its toll on your health, along with your mental and emotional well-being. Fortunately, respite can be an extremely helpful way to stave off burnout and revitalize or prolong a person’s ability to take care someone that needs the help. It’s a tool that all caregivers should use or at least explore.

For those familiar with the term, the most prevalent form of respite care is having your loved one stay at a personal care home or an assisted living residence for a week or two, while you take a well-deserved vacation or an out of town business trip. Messiah Village offers such a program, and it’s a great option in the battle against burnout. However, there are two other options that can also help counterbalance the stress and impact that being a caregiver entails. Those options include non-medical home care and adult day programs. These services are not as closely associated with respite compared to overnight respite care programs, but they are without a doubt as vital, valuable and many times less expensive than respite in a facility.

Adult Day programs offer flexibility for caregivers who may still work or also have young children to care for at home. Fortunately the aging loved one, who cannot stay home alone, can come to an adult day program for up to 8 hours, while the caregiver is out of the house. At the end of the day the most satisfying fact is that the person in need has received the care, attention and stimulation they need during the day, but return home come evening time. Equally satisfying is that the caregiver gets the respite time they need or desire. Most programs, such as our very own Messiah Lifeways Adult Day program, offer full day and half day programs as well one day or multiple day options. It’s also one of the most affordable types of care out there, with the national average of $70/day and $60/day in Pennsylvania¹ for 8 hours of care.

Another form of respite is non-medical home care. Just as Adult Day can break up the day or supplement the duties of the primary caregiver, home care does the same and can be used in multiple ways and time frames. Whether it’s needed several hours here or there, at bedtime or bath time, in the middle of the night or on weekends, home care can offset the daily tasks and challenges a caregiver faces each day. Providers like Messiah Lifeways At Home can also take the burden out of responsibilities like cooking, housekeeping, and grocery shopping for an aging parent, especially for those “sandwiched” between taking care of mom and taking care of their kids. Though more expensive on a hour by hour basis than adult day, home care in Pennsylvania averages a doable rate of $21/hour, which also happens to be the national average².

The great thing about respite is that it’s not necessarily there to replace you as the caregiver, but rather to supplement your hard work and efforts and to help keep you from running yourself ragged.

And lastly don’t forget to sing…

R-E-S-P-I-T-E
Find out what it means to me
R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Take care, TCB, Oh (sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me)

To learn more about respite options available through Messiah Lifeways, call 717.790.8209. Also if you’d like to learn more about reducing caregiver burnout, join us for the next Coaching Workshop entitled “Caregiver Solutions” scheduled for Wednesday, September 18, 2013. To learn more or to RSVP, please call 717.591-7225 or online at messiahlifeways.org/events.

¹&² The 2012 MetLife Market Survey of Nursing Home, Assisted Living, Adult Day Services, and Home Care Costs- November 2012