By David Heitz
As we get older, we should be enjoying life more. We have worked hard for our homes, and in retirement, we want to enjoy them. We have the extra time now to do the things we’ve always wanted to do. We don’t want to become bogged down with the little inconveniences that can come with aging.
Too often, we find that we need a little more help with the activities of daily life in our senior years. Maybe the iron has become too heavy for us to press our clothes. Maybe we are recuperating from a fall and need some extra help to get back on our feet. Sometimes even preparing meals and doing dishes may become a little more than we can handle.
Then we think, “Oh gosh, if I tell my children I need help, they may suggest putting me into ‘a place.’”
There really is no need to worry. Visiting Angels are available right here in the Pine Belt to help you remain in your home. The caring, professional staff has been fully checked out by franchisees Carter and Susan Lack, and can help you with all of your non-medical needs—from light housework, to grocery shopping, to trips to the doctor, and more.
“I would send no one into your home (or your parents’ home) that I would not send into my parents’ home,” Lack said. “Through the years, in various businesses, I have hired numerous people, and I would like to think that my instincts are pretty good.”
Lack’s Grandma Stayed at Home With Help Into Her 90s
Carter is an accountant and well-known businessman in the Hattiesburg area. He decided to purchase a Visiting Angels franchise last year, in part after considering that hired help enabled his grandmother, now 100 years old, to stay in her home until the age of 97.
With his parents living an hour away, grandma needed extra help as she entered her 90s. But there really was no need for a facility at that time. They hired an independent care professional, but that can be a bit tricky. Thankfully it worked out for Lack’s grandma, and she enjoyed her home for another five years before entering a senior home.
Visiting Angels takes the guesswork out of finding someone to help you or your parents stay in their home. Visiting Angels has not grown to 500 franchises nationwide without being at the top in the senior help industry.
For adult children, it is important to help their parents feel empowered by the decision to choose at home care. “With the assistance of elderly companion care providers, individuals continue to live active, independent lives in their own homes,” explains Larry Meigs, president and CEO of Visiting Angels. “Our caregivers provide valuable assistance to elderly individuals so they don’t have to do it all on their own. With our caregivers by their side, they have the assistance they need to complete all their tasks and enjoy their favorite activities.”
How will you know if your loved one can benefit from elderly companion care services? There are many signs to look for. They fall into several general categories: hygiene, health and nutrition, house maintenance, appointments and administrative work, and illness.
Are Mom and Dad Taking Good Care of Themselves?
Out of fear of going into “the place,” sometimes our parents won’t tell us they need help. So we need to be aware of what to look for, knowing we can suggest the help of Visiting Angels if it’s needed.
If your mother or father is not grooming themselves as well as they once did, they have lost weight, the house has become untidy, —of these things can be warning signs that they need help.
When Carter or a member of his team first visits a new client, they do a complete in-home assessment. Is the house fall-proof? A fall and a broken hip often is a point of no return home for many elderly people. It’s the last thing any of us ever want to happen, and one of the first things Carter and his elderly companion workers look for. They will suggest how to fall-proof the house if it is needed.
And they will be able to see what your loved one’s other needs are. Is the pantry well-stocked? Is the tub scrubbed clean? Does the refrigerator smell fresh?
For your part, it’s important to keep an eye out for missed appointments, unpaid bills, unopened mail, late payment notices, bounced checks, and a loss of interest in favorite hobbies or activities. All of these are items of concern.
Angels Ready to Help With Dementia Problems, Too
The above-mentioned issues may indicate memory loss, or even early signs of Alzheimer’s or some other dementia-related illness. Visiting Angels is specially equipped to help seniors with these special needs.
As part of a collaborative relationship formed by Visiting Angels and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, Visiting Angels has become the first national non-medical senior home care provider in North American to offer AFA-sponsored formal training for caregivers of people with dementia.
A large study of 8,300 seniors released in July at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference showed that loneliness leads to thinking problems. Simple companionship can not only help you or your parent with daily chores, but it also will help keep them happy, and their minds healthy.
This is important because elderly people often find themselves without their spouse, with their grown children caring for families of their own, and with smaller social circles.
If your loved one is showing signs of forgetfulness, is not taking their medications, is having difficulty walking, getting up from a sitting position, maintaining their balance, or getting around the house, elderly companion care can provide valuable assistance.
Hourly Rate, No Contract, Peace of Mind at Home
When you call Visiting Angels, Carter or Susan will be answering the telephone. And you can call for help 24 hours a day.
“This is an intimate team,” Lack said. “We can provide 24 hour care seven days a week, or take a client grocery shopping once a week. You don’t have to sign up for a certain amount of time, and the rate is not based on duties performed. It’s a simple hourly rate.”
Lack said some long-term care policies pay for their services. Veterans can also qualify for help. Sometimes the job of Visiting Angels can be as simple as getting elderly people moving again. “People will sit in an easy chair 24 hours a day. Just the act of us going in there and saying, ‘Let’s get up and walk around. Let’s go shopping.’ It just makes a tremendous amount of difference.”
Photo credits: Dean Mitchell/iStock, Highwaystarz-Photography/iStock, tomprout/iStock
For more information about Visiting Angels, contact Carter or Susan Lack at 601-336-4144.
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