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
Ken played Bridge on his 104th birthday and died of "failure to thrive" a month later
- Magnesium Chloride topical – relieves muscle pain in about 10 minutes
mix with DMSO cream (with Aloe Vera) or Penetrex
- Wedge Cushion under legs - greatly reduces his spinal stenosis pain while in recliner and bed - also reduces lymph in legs/feet
InteVision Ortho Bed Wedge - memory foam Amazon $36
- Chair cushion - gel with knotch - reduces tail-bone pain resulting from spinal stenosis
Spine-Align Flotation Gel Cushion, Navy Ripstop Amazon $32
- "Pocket Talker" Reizen Loud Ear 120dB Gain Personal Amplifier Amazon $30
Actually better for severe hearing loss than expensive hearing aids
Plugfones $30 stay in the ears for most of the day - after 5 months we ordered for replacement tips 4 tips for $8
Lithium cells last about a week (9 times as long as normal alk cells) - about 30 cents a day
- 4 watt amplifier and headphones for television and smartphone
Kinter 12V 2 CH Mini Digital Audio Power Amplifier Amazon $14
I record the television news and play it back 30% slower with the free VLC media player Windows and MAC
Note: people over age 90 have a hard time understanding fast speech
- Vitamin D -50,000 IU every 3 days see 10 reasons why seniors need more vitamin D
Frequently encourage him to get out in the sunshine
- Omega-3 Vectomega every second day
- Lecithin - which he has been taking for past 65 years
- Kelp (Iodine) - which he has been taking for past 50 years
- Brewer's yeast (vitamin B complex) - which he has been taking for past 50 years
- Grape seed extract - reduce UTI recurrence (Ken has a foley catheter)
- Magnesium Chloride liquid - approx 1/4 teaspoon daily
- Vitamin K mixture - Super K every 2nd day
- Exercise arm with pulley put over-door
DMI Shoulder Arm Exercise Pulley Set Amazon $12
- Deskcycle - for both arms and legs
- Resistive exercise bands 4 each 4" wide ~ 5' long
- 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
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
- 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.
- http://www.caregivingathome.com/ 2005 book - great - author apparently teaches the subject to professionals
- http://www.caregiverslibrary.org on-line library with the following categories
Caregiving Basics, Caring for Yourself, Care Facilities, Checklists & Forms, Disabilities
Diseases, Emotional Issues, Employer Resources, End-of-Life Issues, Faith-based Resources
Government Resources, Home Care, Housing Issues, Legal Matters, Long-Distance Care
Medical Care. Money Matters, Other Research, Real Estate, Transportation
- A New Snapshot of America's 44 Million Family Caregivers: Who They Are and What They Do Forbes June 2015
- The Hidden Caregiving Crisis That The Election Won't Solve FastCompany nov 2016
" One in five workers today are caring for aging, disabled, or chronically ill loved ones, according to the AARP. That's some 26 million people, many of whom are distracted at work, have high rates of absenteeism, and often end up quitting their jobs because they simply can’t do it all."
"The AARP estimates that a caregiving employee costs a company $2,000 per year in lost productivity,"
- Age in Place: A Guide to Modifying, Organizing and Decluttering Mom and Dad's Home Amazon Book $13, April 2018