What can you expect from Keep Mom Safe at Home in 2022?
If you’re new here, I’d like to personally welcome you to this space for caregivers, health providers, and family members who take care of their aging parents.
My goal has always been simple. And that is to be a resource for those who want to care for and assist the geriatric population.
I’ve been writing this blog for some time. I’ve shared my experience and expertise as a physical therapist and as a caregiver about what to expect when working with the geriatric population.
And today I feel like it’s about time to tell you why I do what I do.
So join me as I revisit my purpose in creating this space for geriatric care, Keep Mom Safe at Home.
Let’s get it started!
I’ve enjoyed working with the geriatric population since I was in PT school.
Hearing their stories fascinated me. I was always amazed at how different their lives were in the past.
Many of our elderly are sweet, kind, and thankful. Surprisingly, even the cranky folks can be a joy to work with.
While it’s true that there are mean or angry patients, it’s always a breakthrough for me to find a way to get a smile on their faces.
Our elders have lived in a different time. This can be the reason why they can’t process all the changes happening around them.
The anger, resentment, or even shutting down can be a response to this confusion.
I remember my grandfather who was shipped off to Korea at 19. In a short time, he became a platoon commander for engineers in charge of building bridges for the US Army.
Growing up in suburban Atlanta, I listened to his stories and wondered how different our situations were. And it was amazing for me that he had already achieved so much in his youth.
His stories became like a doorway to the past I’ll never experience. He also became like a bridge that helped me relate to those with drastically different formative years than mine.
I took these experiences and wisdom as I went on to become a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT). And it also fueled my interest especially when taking care of my geriatric patients.
As a DPT, I have worked in a variety of health care settings. I’ve also seen the good and bad sides of the medical system.
What struck me the most was the difference in the qualify of life of the elderly aging in place compared to those in a facility.
My wife and I had grandparents who got to live at home until the end of their days, which was about 98 years. And a huge part of this is because of their good health and strong cognitive abilities until later in life.
But it was the family’s strong support system that mattered. Our elders received all the love and understanding from their communities, friends, and families.
The roles each one played made it possible for them to remain safe at home and out of the medical system.
The same goes for my mom who unfortunately was diagnosed with cancer in 2012.
It was difficult for us to see cancer eat away her mind and body until she passed away in 2016. Despite that, we were able to care for her at home.
Others are not able to remain at home safely.
Many elders do not receive the same care and support to age in place. Some find themselves in facilities and nursing homes.
Often we hear of our elderly experiencing abuse of some form in facilities. And most are caused by frustrations and burnout from their caregivers.
And of all people, I understand how it feels. That’s why I started this blog.
My experience as a caregiver for my mom and other elders in the family became the inspiration to make this happen.
I know you can’t buy time, so I made it my mission to help the elderly find quality time at home with family, caregivers, and their loved ones until the end of their days.
That’s why I wanted this space to become a good resource for those who are preparing for and learning to take care of the elderly.
I want caregivers, health providers, and families to know that they’re not alone in their journey. And if it gets difficult, there’s always a place they could go to for help.
That’s what Keep Mom Safe at Home is all about.
I often read about caregiver burnout. And this causes a lot of problems for the caregiver, the elderly, and the family as a whole.
As a doctor of physical therapy, I wanted to build a resource for caregivers that they can go to if they’re unsure of what to do.
It can be difficult to navigate the health care settings without help. Everything is unknown until you experience it first hand.
Accidental falls are the number one source of pain and complications with aging parents.
Degenerative diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s are also some of the common illnesses among seniors.
These situations can cause a drastic change in the family’s dynamics.
As children, we always see our parents’ strength and power. It can be difficult to see them weak and in pain.
Then there’s the fact that not everyone has a good relationship with their parents growing up.
So it can be difficult to face the challenges of caregiving, especially for those who are experiencing it for the first time.
My goal here at Keep Mom Safe at Home is to provide resources to help prepare for the unforeseen challenges of caregivers.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed, especially for sandwich generations who have to juggle caring for kids and elderly parents.
With the right information, it can be easier for caregivers to cope with the challenges of keeping elders healthy, happy, and wealthy.
It can also be easier for them to accept unfortunate events, like death.
Home safety and aging in place matter so much to me, and that’s one of the things you could expect this coming year at Keep Mom Safe at Home.
Most people don’t notice the importance of universal designs in buildings and homes. And most of the accidental falls happen in our own houses.
Our bodies go through major changes as we grow older. Our bones become more brittle and our muscles lose strength.
Because of this, seniors have different requirements especially if they’re aging in place. And most often we don’t often notice these needs until it’s too late.
60% of falls occur inside the home with another large percentage occurring on the property.
The average hip fracture costs up to $26,000 and the average cost of a hip replacement is over $39,000.
Eventually, the injuries lead to an inability to remain at home or worse. The average assisted living costs over $3300 per month in GA and the average skilled nursing facility is over $7100/mo. For a private room and $6,700 per month for a shared room.
This is much more costly compared to making adjustments to their current home space.
And that’s what I aim to provide this year.
I want to give more tips for families and caregivers on how to create a safer space for elders aging in place.
Avoiding a fall by improving the home’s safety is the most direct way to help people age in place and stay out of the medical system.
Other ways like increasing strength and balance, checking vision, checking medications, following up with physicians, staying active, and keeping the mind sharp are as important.
But universal design to reduce the risk of falls and injury within the home is my current focus.
Check out some of the safety features you should have in your home right now.
Keep Mom Safe at Home is a passion for me.
As a doctor of physical therapy, I’d like to reach more caregivers and families to help them live and spend quality time with their elderly until their last days.
In the future, I will also be opening doors to consulting with families who need help in making sure their homes are safe and sound for elders.
For questions or inquiries, you can reach out to me at [email protected].
That's all for today.
Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!