This month, I spotted a few useful online articles and resources that should come in handy for many of you. And if you’re joining your family for the holidays, these might spark some helpful conversations.
1. Caregiver Self -Assessment Questionnaire, from HealthInAging.org
What it is: A 1-page questionnaire about how you’ve been feeling, as you help a parent or other caree. It comes with a short list of resource websites for family caregivers.
Why I like it: It’s mostly yes/no questions, so it’s fast. This is a good way to check on yourself (or another family member who’s been doing a lot of helping). If you’re struggling, it’s important to get help sooner rather than later. To get help, try bringing a copy of this completed questionnaire to your doctor, or even to your older loved one’s doctor. You can also visit HealthinAging.org’s caregiver health webpage.
2. Video: 3 Easy Balance Exercises to Prevent Falls, from DailyCaring.com
What it is: 3 videos demonstrating easy balance exercises for seniors: the single-leg stand, the “arm-and-leg” raise, and the heel-to-toe walk.
Why I like this: Balance exercises have been proven to reduce falls, but seniors often aren’t sure just how to do them. These videos are only 2 minutes long, and clearly show how to do the exercises. I asked a physical therapy colleague for his opinion and he said these are “excellent exercises as they are easily performed and basis of more advanced. Encourage daily!” Another colleague said these can even be done with a walker.
3. Aging population prompts more employers to offer elder-care benefits to workers, from WashingtonPost.com
What it is: A news article describing how employers are starting to better accommodate working family caregivers, by offering “elder-care benefits.” Includes many moving stories of people struggling to juggle work and care for an ailing parent.
Why I like this: Many employers still don’t offer these benefits, and even when they do, the benefits — like unpaid time off to care for an aging relative — probably aren’t quite enough. Still, it’s important for people to think of asking their employers about what might be available. If enough people like you ask for flexibility and elder-care support, it should become more common for employers to offer these services.
If you know anyone who might find these resources useful, please share this post with them!
I’d also love to know what you thought of these resources, and which ones you saved for future reference. Please share your comments below!