Care Pathways wish’s all our families and clients a very blessed and Happy New year. I know many are dealing with multiple medical issues as well as caregiver stress. Please reach out for help in the New Year. Care Pathways is here to help and here to listen with solutions in Orange County for you or a loved one.
I have been asked many times what it takes to provide care for a senior with multiple medical needs. The answer is one that must fit the unique needs, as no two persons are alike. Not one size fits all.
Some persons do very well living in their home with assistance, while others may need a higher level of care. The difference in care depends on many factors, as well as family support, the monies to fund this care, and or medi-cal in California, which will pay for long-term care but only in skilled nursing if the senior meets the medical guidelines. Requiring assistance with dressing, bathing, incontinent care, walking, dementia care. Many other factors come into play with options for a more active senior that is private pay, assisted living, or a smaller Care Home which, is centered around a more hands on approach.
Whatever the situation you need more than just a referral to a facility, you need to know all options as well as location, ratings of facilities, do they provide an on-site nurse, is their awake at night caregivers, how is medication handled. Is transportation provided to and from doctor appointments, what activities are provided.
When choosing an agency, are they local or a nation wide referral service that just provides a data base. Most persons are not aware that facilities need to be monitored and known well by the referring agency. Care Pathways is located in Orange County and has provided families and seniors with concrete services and information for over 20 years. We are the only service that provides Social Workers as well as RN’s to assess and determine what will meet your loved ones needs. We also provide ongoing case-management services for seniors as needed. For real time help contact us at (714) 743-6309 24/7
As the year is off and running we wish to let our readers know we will be offering In Home Assessments with a Social Worker or Case Manger to help you understand all that is available in the Orange County community for care and support. A full assessment is done with your loved one and family is encouraged to meet with us at time of assessment if possible.
If you live out of area and can not attend we provide a full written report to you as well as to your loved ones primary care physician based upon our assessment with impressions and recommendations.
For more information please call us and we will be happy to assist you either by phone or with an In Home Assessment. (714) 743-6309.
Orange County seniors are faced with the high cost of living that has steadily been climbing. Many seniors are faced with impossible situations on maintaining or finding housing that is not only affordable but obtainable. The counties HUD ran program Section 8 has a very long waiting list and usually about five years from the time you get on the list till housing vouchers are available for a senior. The process is not being addressed in this election year on any level from either side. How will Orange County continue to deal with low income seniors and finding housing?
We have placed our most vulnerable population at risk and many already are living on the streets, in homes that rent just a room with substandard living conditions. These homes are not regulated like Long Term Care Board and Care Homes by the department of social services. There is no watch dog to make sure of the conditions, treatment, or licenses required to rent a room in a private home, no over-site is provided. It can be a scary and dangerous situation for an elderly person to face. More affordable housing must be built to keep up with demand that is needed. Over-site of homes just renting out a room must require a licensees to do so with checks and balances. Our state ran Medi-cal program needs to cover the cost of Board and Care and Assisted Living facilities as they do skilled nursing. Changes must be made. If you do not think this could happen to you or close family member, I can assure yo it can. People from all walks of life, people who have worked their entire lives increasingly are requiring more help in just paying for food and medications. This is not a senior problem, this is a problem that effects us at the very core of our humanity. Changes must be made and to do so we need more people who will rally round this and use your voice to bring about change.
For more information and how you can help, contact
Area on Aging http://officeonaging.ocgov.com/
When you need someone to speak for you
When families do not live close to their loved one, or there is no family, we can step in and be there for the older person to make certain their care needs are met wherever they are; at home, in a retirement home or in a nursing home. We can also make regular visits, monitoring the person’s wants and needs. We keep the family updated on the condition of their loved one through telephone and written communication.
As a senior, where can you go for advice?
The seniors’ care system is riddled with contradictions, confusion and misinformation. Add to that, other people may be telling you they have a say in what you decide because we work directly with you and your family to help you determine what is the best solution to your unique situation. We look at all aspects of your care needs, as well as your wish’s in helping you decide what is best for you or a loved one alongside your physician. You’ve always prepared and planned your path. Retirement and the future of your loved ones deserve the same attention to planning. Our consultants will work with you to determine your future goals and help you with just what you and your loved ones desire and what is available in the Orange County area. For more information contact us at (714) 743-6309 we are available 24/7 to answer your care questions.
Believe me when I say that if having a positive attitude meant good health, I would not be sick. I relied solely on being positive so much at the beginning of my journey when my husband became ill. I paid no attention to my own needs. “Its just a little pain it will go away.” I told myself. When I first started to get symptoms of being unwell. I ignored them and tried to carry on with my hectic days, hoping that the pain and sickness would go away as a result of my determined attitude to get better and push myself.
And what happened?
I ended up pushing myself way too far, getting a lot sicker and doing myself no favors as a result of not admitting that the mind cannot control everything. As well as that, I continued on as my husbands caregiver, never once reaching out for help. Until I was rushed to the hospital with severe pain in my stomach and had to undergo emergency surgery.
I think we need to understand that even the most positive person in the world does not sustain this attitude 100% of the time. Realism must also come into play. Positivity doesn’t mean only thinking of rainbows and unicorns. It doesn’t mean having to always be smiling when your world appears to be crumbling. Instead it means accepting the difficulties that come your way and deciding the best way to get through them. Part of the acceptance process is to cry about it, to be angry about it and to have occasional pity parties. Ignoring this and just focusing on the positives in your life will not only prevent you from moving on but it will result in you blocking out feelings that at some stage need to be felt. It can even kill you as in Helen’s case.
Positivity is about maintaining hope and truly believing that you’ll come out of this stronger. You do not need to pretend everything is great all of the time. If someone tells you their feelings, respect that and show concern not negating their feelings. Ask for help, find the support you may need. Do not neglect your own health when caring for a loved one. Get enough rest. Make sure you follow up with your own doctor and not ignore any medical issues you may have yourself. You cannot be the sole person to care for another no matter how much you wish to do so. For more information on local services contact Care Pathways, we are here to help and here to listen.
Information and Support
This web site offers free information and personal assistance for people dealing with macular degeneration and similar retinal diseases. If you are new to macular degeneration, you may want to start by reading What Is Macular Degeneration? and following the links to further information.
Visual loss can occur at any age, however while you may have the support of your doctor many questions go unanswered. This site offers valuable information and tools to help support you both in finding resources and to connect with others who are also going through loss of vision. It has been a lifeline for many. I encourage you to visit and you can also ask questions that you or a loved one may have. http://www.mdsupport.org/
In this day of informational age we are better connected and able to obtain referrals and service at the tips of our fingers. Or are we?
While it is true we now how more information than we can handle at times, the personal touch of human contact seems to be receding faster everyday. I don’t feel this a good thing as humans we need to feel that when we reach out for help there will be someone there at the other end of the line to answer questions. It goes much further than that to have compassion and understanding of a personal situation and one on one communication to understand what you as a family member may be going through with a parent or loved one. This personal contact cannot be found through a website, google or social media. People need people.
When Care Pathways was founded in 1999 it was and still is till this day and will always remain a beacon of light for seniors and families who are in need of human one on one contact and information that is up to date as well as reviews that cannot be found on a computer or through a generated data base. We only provide services for persons living in Orange County and surrounding areas as well as social workers who are knowledgeable and are not called Care Counselors we are social workers, case managers with a wealth of information and hold degrees in social work and RN’s.
We are as our name states Care and we provide Pathways to many services that have been vetted and approved by not only social service agencies but also that meet the guidelines we require to exceed in senior care services.
It seems just like yesterday we were in the New Year and here we are at the half way mark into July. Time has a way of flying, or so it seems. Some think as we get older time speeds up. Time is in fact the same we just have more in our memory banks than say at twenty. Which brings me to my post this month. No matter what age you are, live your life to the fullest.
Yes I know we all age, (me as well), but we have to adapt or we stand still stuck in time. There are things we may no longer be able to do and this is the time to learn something new. Change is not easy. I know we all at one time or another must give up somethings and sometimes a lot of things in life. We may have suffered an illness, a death of a loved one, the loss is great and so is pain. But the time must come when you pick yourself up after the long dark night and go forward. Going forward in whatever way you can. It might just be having lunch with a friend, going to a movie with a friend, or even just taking a walk around your neighborhood. The thought is to continue to move forward. You still matter in this world no matter your age.
It Takes a Community to Care
(LIFE SAVING MEASURES)
My Mother used to say this when I was a young child growing up, I did not realize at the time how right she was. In those days we had extended families with Aunts, Uncles, cousins and grandparents. The world has changed and so many families are fragmented and alone without the help of other family members to pitch in when an illness happens or a parent needs care. The community of extended families and neighbors was a life saving measure back in those days.
The community we live in now is one of finding solutions for a crisis situation through our local ER’s which has become a catch all for many when answers are needed.
The social workers of the ERs are heroes and many look to them for answers that are tough. You can walk into any ER on any day of the week and see the pain etched on the faces of persons who are looking for Life Support, people who have reached a crisis situation and are in need of life saving measures to help them find solutions for care.
Our unsung heroes who reach out to prevent a full blown code. Colors, numbers, or other designations may follow a code announcement to identify the type of emergency that is occurring in hospitals when life is at stake. There is no code for the Life saving measures that are taken every day by a team in an ER to prevent a fall, a stroke, intervention, services within the community it serves.
The doctors and staff are trained to recognize and respond appropriately when a crisis is in progress. There are countless hours, time and monies spent on Life Saving Measures but not many people understand this in our communities. Life support replaces or supports a failing bodily function. In treatable or curable conditions, life support is used temporarily until the body can resume normal functioning.
And so are the services that Social Workers and medical staff provide to help a patient and family through the crisis of life, information and support for their patients. 365 days a year. It is a privilege to be a part of this community of support as a social worker.