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Off topic – Caregiving of seniors at home – helpful hints

In June 2015 my wife and I invited her 102 year-old father, Ken to live with us.
He had been in a senior home.
We are in our early 70’s and retired.
Ken has a very sharp mind (I had been playing duplicate bridge with him for several years)
Ken has no chronic illnesses, never broken a bone
Ken has very poor hearing, poor sight.
Caregiving is very stressful, even with the aid of hired caregivers in both morning and evening.
It takes me about 5 hours daily to care for Ken (decreasing my time for VitaminDWiki website)
I just wanted to share with you what we have done to somewhat reduce the stress
    Henry Lahore
        Ken played Bridge on his 104th birthday and died of "failure to thrive" a month later

Reduce pain

Improve hearing


Exercise aids

Reduce lymph in legs - removed about 2 lbs in each

  • Wedge cushion - above
  • Lymph drainage massage of legs several times a day with Horse Chestnut Cream Amazon $11
    We also use a vibrator to loosen the lymph in the legs
    Occasionally add a foot and ankle massage


  • Area Agencies on Aging At AgingCare.com
    Long list of US agencies is not complete - I use many others in Washington State which are not listed
  • Air mattress – oscillating -seems to improve sleep when he cannot turn during the night, also reduce bed sores
    Alternating Pressure Mattress by Vive Amazon $65
  • Gait belt with quick release snap
    Universal Gait Belt - Transfer Belt Amazon $13
  • Tall cup with cap and straw
    Medline DYND80552H Graduated Non-Insulated Carafes Amazon $6
  • Electric heating blanket WalMart ~$30 - note: all blankets turn off in 10 hours
  • Touch metal wall plate to turn on floor lamp at night (to read his watch)
    I painted a metal plate the color of the wall, then attached metal plate to the sensor wire
    2 Touch Light Sensors Amazon 2 for $15
  • Call button (wonderful, 300 yard range)
    LEAGY Wireless Paging System Remote Call Button Amazon $17
  • Finger - Oxygen sensor with pulse rate – sometimes reads slow rate if pulse is not strong
    CMS 500DL Generation 2 Fingertip Pulse Oximeter Amazon $19
  • Display for TV/Computer is on an arm which reaches over his recliner
    AmazonBasics Single Monitor Display Mounting Arm $100
  • Powered Recliner chair ~$1000 - not Amazon They and WalMart have similar chairs for less $$))
  • Air purifier Holmes Amazon $35
    Have been using this for 10 years - greatly decreases colds, pheunomia, hay fever, smoke
    Replace filter (HEPA + carbon + ionization) about every 3 months @ cost of about $22
  • Made a 4" tall step for getting into hospital bed - with high bed he was not able to get in far enough when siting on edge of bed
  • Made one of our standard dinning room chairs 5" taller by extending the legs with wood
  • Remove added Oxygen during meals - grealy improved his appetite by being able to smell his food
    The Oxygen coming into his nose made it difficult to smell the food in his mouth
  • Set a standard $30 smartphone to just be a large clock display.
    Glued the clock/smartphone on the wall next to his bed

Caregivng artlcles at New York Times

I suspect that one of the editors/managers is now or has been a caegiver for a family member

  • A Twist on Caring for a Parent: Move Into the Home NYT Jan 2016
  • Seeing the Cycle of Life in My Baby Daughter’s Eyes NYT Blog April 2016
    ", , , while there is much debate about paying workers through maternity or paternity leave, a similar discussion does not exist around whether leave granted to those caring for parents or loved ones at the end of life, particularly those getting home hospice services, should be paid."
    ". . .we care for our young the same way people have for thousands of years yet how we die has changed significantly over just the past few years and continues to be in flux"
    by the author of the book “Modern Death – How Medicine Changed the End of Life,” coming in February 2017.
  • Supporting Children Who Serve as Caregivers NYT, Brody, May 2016
    ". . 1.4 million American children from ages 8 to 18 care for a parent, grandparent or sibling with a disability or illness, "
    ". . 22 percent of high school dropouts in this country leave school to care for a family member."
  • Who Will Care for the Caregivers? NYT Jan 2017
    ". . . economic value of their care is estimated at $470 billion a year — roughly the annual American spending on Medicaid."
    In 2015, 7 potential family caregivers for every person over 80. By 2030, 4 to 1. By 2050, 3 to 1
    " Another study found that long-term caregivers have disrupted immune systems even three years after their caregiving roles have ended"
  • Baby Boomers Look to Senior Concierge Services to Raise Income NYT May 2017
    Baby boomers getting paid $30 - $70 an hour for non-medical help
  • Caregiving Is Hard Enough. Isolation Can Make It Unbearable. NYT Aug 2017

A few references on the web

  • Neat 2015 study of non-professional care-givers mentioned in NYT
     Download the PDF from VitaminDWiki
    "Higher-hour" caregivers provide at least 21 hours each week caregiving.
    The average amount of time for higher-hour caregivers is 62 hours per week and
    they have a high burden of care (4 out of 5 in a 5-level index).
  • They are typically the sole, unpaid care provider and nearly four times as likely to be caring for a spouse or partner.


See also VitaminDWiki

Short url = http://is.gd/caregivehints

Attached files

ID Name Comment Uploaded Size Downloads
6333 Cost of infant care vs college.jpg admin 12 Jan, 2016 42.98 Kb 1160
6300 CG 19.jpg admin 05 Jan, 2016 40.46 Kb 993
6299 CG 13.jpg admin 05 Jan, 2016 40.95 Kb 1376
6298 Caregiving in the US 2015 AARP.pdf admin 05 Jan, 2016 1.15 Mb 1498