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THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: National Caregivers Month: The Third Pillar is Patience

Patience. We learn it the hard way in caregiving. In this break-neck-speed society, caregivers are like student drivers, always trying to put our foot on the gas, but with ‘fate’, the driving instructor, firmly putting his foot on the metaphorical brake. 

Caring for young children, an elderly parent, a loved one with disabilities, or someone . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: National Caregivers Month: The Third Pillar is Patience

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: HEALTHY AGING WITH MODERN TECH AT HOME

I am pleased to host today’s guest post by Maria, our regular contributor on assistive technology here at The Caregivers’ Living Room. Maria is a freelance writer currently living in Chicago. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the U… . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: HEALTHY AGING WITH MODERN TECH AT HOME

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: HEALTHY AGING WITH MODERN TECH AT HOME

I am pleased to host today’s guest post by Maria, our regular contributor on assistive technology here at The Caregivers’ Living Room. Maria is a freelance writer currently living in Chicago. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the U… . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: HEALTHY AGING WITH MODERN TECH AT HOME

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: What Happened When Neighbors Heard a Senior Couple Weeping

A conversation I had a couple of years ago has remained vivid in my memory. My colleague came into work one day looking upset and wan. I asked him what was wrong and he told me that on his morning walk, he heard an old woman crying and calling out the … . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: What Happened When Neighbors Heard a Senior Couple Weeping

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: What Happened When Neighbors Heard a Senior Couple Weeping

A conversation I had a couple of years ago has remained vivid in my memory. My colleague came into work one day looking upset and wan. I asked him what was wrong and he told me that on his morning walk, he heard an old woman crying and calling out the … . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: What Happened When Neighbors Heard a Senior Couple Weeping

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: How Caregivers Can Spot Elder Abuse

 I am happy to host this guest post from NY lawyer Laurence Banville. In our family, we are blessed that my Mom has never displayed signs of abuse, but we are watchful and I’m glad to know all the signs. When elders become physically weak, th… . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: How Caregivers Can Spot Elder Abuse

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: How Caregivers Can Spot Elder Abuse

 I am happy to host this guest post from NY lawyer Laurence Banville. In our family, we are blessed that my Mom has never displayed signs of abuse, but we are watchful and I’m glad to know all the signs. When elders become physically weak, th… . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: How Caregivers Can Spot Elder Abuse

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Consumer Report: Best Medical Alert Systems

Last Thursday, I had just arrived at the cottage to begin our summer holiday when the telephone rang. It was my niece. Mom had fallen and was in an ambulance on the way to hospital.  As it happened, my sister was out of the country, so I quickly p… . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Consumer Report: Best Medical Alert Systems

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Consumer Report: Best Medical Alert Systems

Last Thursday, I had just arrived at the cottage to begin our summer holiday when the telephone rang. It was my niece. Mom had fallen and was in an ambulance on the way to hospital.  As it happened, my sister was out of the country, so I quickly put what food I could into the freezer and drove south to Montreal where my mother lives. When things settle down a bit (Mom’s still in the hospital, now waiting for a convalescent bed), I’ll blog about the last week and what it’s meant to me. But in the meantime, here is something that came to my attention recently – I’ve been thinking a lot about fall prevention and alert systems a lot, naturally! There’s loads of great consumer advice in the unabridged article – you can read it in full HERE. But here’s a snippet:

Our Picks for the Best Medical Alert Systems in 2016: Best Overall

Bay Alarm MedicalBay Alarm Medical is our top pick for its superior customer service and caring bedside manner.
It started with the little things: Web ordering was painless, and its crisp website has video demonstrations, a weekly blog, and clear pricing and terms. When our unit arrived, it came with a pair of spiffy striped socks, and setup was simple: just flip up its antennae and plug it in.
But where Bay Alarm really shines is the human element. When we talked to the monitoring representatives, there was a genuine warmth and calm — it was like calling your fourth-grade teacher. When we told them we were just testing the device, the rep always said some version of “I’m glad to hear that everything is okay.”
We unplugged the Bay Alarm Medical device to test its backup battery and within 20 minutes, Joseph at Central Station called to notify us that there was a loss of power signal. No other provider did this.
Bay Alarm’s cellular base station doesn’t win for its looks. It’s clunky, with just a big red “Help” button. Other cellular base stations we tested have a screen that displays the time, the strength of your cellular signal, and the status of the backup battery. Bay Alarm tells you your cellular signal by calling out “Two bars” or “Three bars,” sometimes when you aren’t expecting it — not particularly helpful, especially since we don’t know Bay Alarm’s maximum number of bars. And on average, it took 60 seconds to connect us to a monitoring center, which was slightly longer than Medical Guardian and MobileHelp.
Bay Alarm Medical’s base station isn’t subtle, but setting it up is easy and their call-center support blew us away.
However, Bay Alarm had exceptionally high backup battery life during our hands-on testing phase (52 hours compared to 30–36 hours for the competitors we tested). And while the design is very basic, it isn’t difficult to set up or operate, and it passed our range tests. Ultimately, it comes down to substance over style: We felt like Bay Alarm would best see us through an emergency.

. . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Consumer Report: Best Medical Alert Systems

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: FALL PREVENTION TECHNOLOGY – YES, IT EXISTS!

My Mom is 94 and prone to falling, so I am pleased to host this important guest post by a regular guest blogger here at the Caregivers’ Living Room. Thank you, Maria!Falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries among the elderly, according t… . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: FALL PREVENTION TECHNOLOGY – YES, IT EXISTS!

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Motherhood: The Currency of Need and Love

At the moment of birth, there is suddenly stillness and a collective intake of breath. There is recognition by everyone that a momentous and transformative event has taken place – a miracle.  A new baby is placed on a mother’s breast and life … . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Motherhood: The Currency of Need and Love

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: THE INFALLIBLE PRESENCE OF JOY

Priya Soni is a new friend and fellow caregiver. Like me, Priya has a background in theatre as well as a natural love for storytelling. Like me, she seeks meaning in her caregiving experience and wants to help others do the same.  I encourage you … . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: THE INFALLIBLE PRESENCE OF JOY

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: ASSESSING THE QUALITY AND SAFETY OF NURSING HOMES

4 Tips for Finding Quality Nursing Home CareGuest Post by Andrew EganNursing homes or assisted living facilities can help take care of ailing family members or loved ones. At their best, nursing homes can provide a valuable service and essential care d… . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: ASSESSING THE QUALITY AND SAFETY OF NURSING HOMES

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Celebrating the Holidays at Home with Seniors

Guest post by Maria RamosWhile generally a time of cheer and celebration, the holidays pose their own set of challenges for seniors and those living with disabilities. The holidays are a time for family and friends, and generally everybody wants to get… . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Celebrating the Holidays at Home with Seniors

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: DOUBLE VISION in the ER – DO THEY SEE WHAT I SEE?

My friend and colleague Vickie Cammack and I are co-writing a book of reflections on caregiving.  Vickie and I would love to know your thoughts about our work so far!  This is the first instalment from a section we’re working on abo… . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: DOUBLE VISION in the ER – DO THEY SEE WHAT I SEE?

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Taking a Risk For the Sake of Love and Family

Making dreams come true for people we love who can’t get out easily is tricky.  Take my Mom – she’s a 93-year old contrarian full of youthful energy contained in a frail and unforgiving body.   Mom has a dream that she won’t let go: to visit our son in another city about two hours away.  . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Taking a Risk For the Sake of Love and Family

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Take The Pressure Off With Tech Aides at Home

Guest Post by Maria Ramos

As life expectancies have grown over the years, many people are living longer than ever before. This is undoubtedly a good thing, but it places certain stresses on those who care for the elderly. Besides taking care of an aged parent or loved one, many individuals provide care for disabled . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Take The Pressure Off With Tech Aides at Home

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Can We Please Advocate For Caregiver Support Without Demeaning Our Loved Ones?

On the eve of the first day of National Family Caregivers Month, I’ve decided to plant a stake in the ground for the dignity of our stories in the media.  Here’s what I read in my news feed this morning and what I wrote in response.

ine Goldberg her mother, Lily, who suffers from . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Can We Please Advocate For Caregiver Support Without Demeaning Our Loved Ones?

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: How To Be A Resilient Caregiver – Especially When Change Hits Hard

Resilience is a word that’s thrown around a lot these days.  Everyone needs it and everyone wants it, especially people giving or receiving care.   And the truth is we all need resilience the most at times of big life changes or transitions.  We mine our reserves of strength and optimism when our children with disabilities . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: How To Be A Resilient Caregiver – Especially When Change Hits Hard

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: A FABULOUS INNOVATION FOR SENIORS – I LOVE IT!

Every day I scour the internet for caregiver news and innovative products.  Today I want to tell you about the best thing I’ve found in ages – this invention will help to lengthen the time seniors can live independently and it will make a real difference to our elders’ health. WHAT IS IT? 

It’s . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: A FABULOUS INNOVATION FOR SENIORS – I LOVE IT!

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Never Feel Alone Again

GUEST POST

My parents turned 70 a few years ago. It was a wonderful celebration full of friends, laughter, food, and dancing the night away. I must admit even I, an only child who often ran away at the sight of parents’ friends, had a lot of fun. But though this celebration was great, by . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Never Feel Alone Again

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: National Community Care Insurance: What’s New in Canada

According to the 2014 Global Age Watch Index, Norway is the best country to be a senior citizen or person with disabilities.  Apart from Japan (9), all the top 10 countries are again in Western Europe, North America and Australasia. Norway shifted health care resources from hospitals to home and they have a huge financial, . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: National Community Care Insurance: What’s New in Canada

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Talking Turkey About Eldercare Over the Holidays

By Jennifer Tucker, Vice-President, Homewatch CareGivers International, a home care brand whose locations provide care and support to elders so they can age safely in their own homes.

Going home for the holidays can be a joyous time of celebrating and reminiscing with loved ones.  It’s also a time to check in with relatives, and . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Talking Turkey About Eldercare Over the Holidays

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Five Tips for New Caregivers

By Jacob Edward As Americans, we tend to forget that care giving has existed for almost as long as humans have been around. Recently, with the recession in 2008, more people are living in multigenerational homes. In many other countries, multigenerational living is the norm, but for us we’re still working out the kinks. Maybe . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Five Tips for New Caregivers

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Helping Family Caregivers Face the Future

November is National Caregiving Month, so I could think of no better reason than to tell you about two new trends in caregiving.  And they’re both good news for families.

The first is called The Greenhouse Project.  It’s an international movement in humanising eldercare, but it was a small project in Wyoming that caught my . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Helping Family Caregivers Face the Future