Change Text Size
ElderCare Solutions of MI

Archive for 'Family Communication'

Spending time together as a family can sometimes be challenging if you’re trying to make the activities older adult friendly.  But spending quality time together is so important, for the youngest family members up to the oldest generation.  Those memories of happy times spent together become priceless once those opportunities for togetherness are no longer possible.  If you feel like you need a few new ideas for activities, here is a list to help jump start your imagination:

  • Movie Day (or Night) – This works well for family members of all ages, especially those with mobility concerns.  Whether watching a movie at home or going to the theater, switch off who gets to pick the movie, grandchildren, parents or grandparents!
  • Family Dinner Date – Everyone has to eat! Whether it is pouring over old recipes, choosing a new one, going to a restaurant or bringing in take out, the opportunities to share memories and stories are endless.  If cooking at home, there’s usually a way for everyone to help out.  Have a picnic at a park or bring the picnic inside if that’s more comfortable.
  • Game night – Take turns picking out the games, and be sure to vary them from creative choices like Charades and Pictionary, to more structured board games.  Grandparents can teach games that were popular during their childhood like marbles or jacks, and kids can teach them all about the latest craze.
  • A Trip Down Memory Lane – Most children enjoy hearing stories about when they were young, and when their parents were young.  And older adults have stories to tell!  Even those with memory loss usually have memories from years ago they can share.  Looking at old photo albums together often can spark a memory.
  • Visit Extended Family – Whether on a short road trip or a virtual one via web cam, try to stay in touch regularly with loved ones who live elsewhere.

The following websites offer more suggestions of family activities and games that include older adults.  Hope you find them helpful.

Planning a Movie Night,

Lynn

EmailPrintFriendlyShare
Tags: , , , , , ,

I had several calls last week from family members, asking how to talk to their parents about whether or not it was time to stop driving.  Since the topic seems timely, I decided to repost this blog.  Hope it helps…

One of the toughest conversations to have with an older adult has got to be the dreaded discussion about driving, the keys and the car.  Whether it’s a spouse who has concerns or an adult child, undeniably, that’s a sticky topic.  But, what can make it a little harder, or a little easier is how we phrase the question.  It really isn’t a question of whether or not an older adult needs to stop driving; the conversation is really about whether or not they are still able to drive safely.

One thing to keep in mind in your approach is that age alone isn’t really a determining factor.  There are people in their late 80′s who still have the functional capacity to be really good drivers, where someone 10 years younger may not.  Vision, cognition, reaction time, as well as back and neck mobility may change as we age, and are really the topic of discussion.

So how do you start the conversation?  There are a few different ways to go.  You can commiserate with new technology by saying something like “Boy, driving sure isn’t what it used to be!  Between these new blind spot mirrors on my car, and the round-abouts that have popped up, I don’t feel as confident as I used to.”  Or you may use current events to break the ice for you by saying “Did you hear about that car accident on the news?”  If neither of those approached works, you can try taking the subject back a generation by saying “I remember when Grandma gave me her car when I was a teenager.  What made her decide to stop driving?”  Hopefully one of these will let you start talking.

But the decision to stop driving threatens our very independence.  An older adult who no longer drives may fear becoming isolated and dependent on others.  So be armed with a list of alternatives including local transportation services as well as activities that provide their own transportation.  If you’re not sure what resources there are in your community, contact a local geriatric care manager or social service agency for resources.

 Grabbing my keys,

Lynn

EmailPrintFriendlyShare
Tags: , , , , , ,

Mother’s Day is a time that brings families together. But sometimes those family gatherings can leave adult children with a heavy heart…especially if Mom or Dad isn’t doing as well as they once were.  Unfortunately we all decline as we age, some of us more drastically than others.  And it is sometimes difficult to know when it’s time to step in and offer some additional support. 

Signs that an older adult may need more assistance include:

  • Stacks of unopened mail
  • Very little fresh food in the fridge
  • Unanswered messages on the answering machine
  • An older adult’s  balance is precarious
  • They seem excessively tired
  • Signs of confusion or memory loss

Any of these signs by itself may not be concerning.  But if you’re seeing more than one it might be time to get a little help.  If you’re not sure, call us and let us help you find out.

Missing my own Mother,

Lynn

EmailPrintFriendlyShare
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

One of the toughest conversations to have with an older adult has got to be the dreaded discussion about driving, the keys and the car.  Whether it’s a spouse who has concerns or an adult child, undeniably, that’s a sticky topic.  But, what can make it a little harder, or a little easier is how we phrase the question.  It really isn’t a question of whether or not an older adult needs to stop driving; the conversation is really about whether or not they are still able to drive safely.

One thing to keep in mind in your approach is that age alone isn’t really a determining factor.  There are people in their late 80′s who still have the functional capacity to be really good drivers, where someone 10 years younger may not.  Vision, cognition, reaction time, as well as back and neck mobility may change as we age, and are really the topic of discussion.

So how do you start the conversation?  There are a few different ways to go.  You can commiserate with new technology by saying something like “Boy, driving sure isn’t what it used to be!  Between these new blind spot mirrors on my car, and the round-abouts that have popped up, I don’t feel as confident as I used to.”  Or you may use current events to break the ice for you by saying “Did you hear about that car accident on the news?”  If neither of those approached works, you can try taking the subject back a generation by saying “I remember when Grandma gave me her car when I was a teenager.  What made her decide to stop driving?”  Hopefully one of these will let you start talking.

But the decision to stop driving threatens our very independence.  An older adult who no longer drives may fear becoming isolated and dependent on others.  So be armed with a list of alternatives including local transportation services as well as activities that provide their own transportation.  If you’re not sure what resources there are in your community, contact a local geriatric care manager or social service agency for resources.

 Grabbing my keys,

Lynn

EmailPrintFriendlyShare
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

One of the challenges older adults and their families face regarding an older adult’s care is the need to coordinate schedules and share information.  Seniors often see many different physicians, may be in physical therapy, and also may be  working with a homecare company.  Juggling appointments and more importantly sharing information can become challenging. 

There also may be multiple family members helping to care for an older adult, taking them to medical appointments as well as making sure there are groceries in the house.  But often times what happens at a physician appointment doesn’t get shared with other family members, who then feel left out.  Or, if there’s a change in the caregiver’s availability, who needs that information?  Who will find a replacement?

One way around this dilemma is to choose a point person to funnel all information through that pertains to an older adult.  It’s one person to call or email with updates after a doctor’s visit, one person to contact to schedule appointments or to share concerns with.  That person can then share information with all family members so no one is out of the loop.

Ideally, if a family member lives locally, has the available time and is willing to take on that role, that would be a first choice.  However, if there is no local family able to take on this role, a Geriatric Care Manager can become the family point person.  For more information about Geriatric Care Management visit http://www.eldercaresolutionsofmi.org/geriatriccare.php.

 Coordinating schedules as we speak,

 Lynn

EmailPrintFriendlyShare
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Back to top

Upcoming Events

The More You Know

An Educational Series for Older Adults and Those Who Love Them
March 7th, 14th, 21st & 28th 2012

Learn More »

See Full Event Schedule

Register for an Event

When to Call

  • Does an older adult's family live out of town?
  • Are local family members overwhelmed and need help?
  • Is an older adult about to be discharged from the hospital or rehabilitation center?
  • Do family members have differences of opinion regarding a senior's care?
  • Is a senior living in an environment that needs aging-in-place modifications?

If the answer to any of these is "yes," ElderCare Solutions of Michigan can help. Call us today.

Join Our Mailing List

Sign up to receive news and information.

ElderCare Solutions of Michigan is a division of Jewish Family Service of Metropolitan Detroit, a non-sectarian not-for-profit organization that has served the metro Detroit area for more than 80 years.