Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ten Useful Elder Care Links

         1. Mayo Clinic Symptom Checker
    Since Boo's second stroke, it's often difficult for him to accurately indicate where his discomfort is. Often I start at his head and move to his toes. Does your head hurt? Can you bend your neck? Is that uncomfortable? This can be a long and involved process. Having a resource in which I can list the symptoms I've coerced out of Boo and then getting suggestions of related health issues and additional possible symptoms is a time saver. I have some pertinent questions I can use to further pinpoint Boo's malady. This is NOT a substitute for medical care! It does make it easier to communicate with his doctor who is often rushed and simply can't take an hour to an hour and a half to ease information out of Boo.
    This site has numerous check lists and forms. I love it when someone else does the basic outline for me. These lists do just that. Topics range from An Assessment Checklist for Family Caregivers, Legal and Financial Paperwork and Driving Skills to A Home Safety Checklist for Family Caregivers and A Nursing Home Evaluation Checklist.
    This site offers lots of useful links, including some on Medicare that we've found helpful. They also have a caregiver's handbook to view online or to download. Although it seems to be geared more toward hired or volunteer caregivers who aren't related, it still has plenty of good information.
    This site has a section with care giving information and another section with encouragement for caregivers. I haven't really gotten involved with this organization, but I have friends who are and strongly recommend it.
    There are two articles and a prayer for an unprovided death that Boo has liked. He has asked to have the article on Mother Teresa read and reread to him. This site I included not because of the wealth of information it offers, but because of how much the resources have meant to Boo.
    Stroke related resources are plentiful here. I've found them to be more current than what Boo's family doctor suggested. Several months ago I emailed a question to this site and received a prompt response.
    This site is geared toward children, but it still contains detailed information which can be helpful to those recovering from a stroke. For Boo, after two of his strokes, he had oral sensitivities. He didn't like certain textures in his mouth or mixtures of different textures. This site offered realistic ideas on how to help him desensitize his mouth and enjoy food once again. It also offers information on developing fine motor skills that we found useful.
    A multitude of interesting eye exercises can be found here. Boo cannot use them everyday; but on those days when he does see well enough, we use them. One caveat: many of the pictures I have to save to the computer and enlarge for Boo to see them. I understand that after a stroke many people can benefit from eye exercises.
    I really appreciate the free ebook of simple exercises for the elderly available here. There is quite a selection so that it's easy to add variety to Boo's exercise routine. Keep in mind that all exercise routines must be approved by one's doctor.
    There are so many software programs available to record blood pressure and blood glucose levels. This page has numerous links to those programs. Some are free; most are not. The program we use is supplied by Boo's doctor. I don't particularly care for it, but I can upload Boo's vital signs seamlessly to his doctor's office. So, I guess it's worth it.
    Join the Top Ten Tuesday link ups and post your favorite top tens.


  1. Excellent list of resources! I've been caregiving for my parents now for many years.

    My dad passed away in January after 2 1/2 years of having Alzheimer's Disease. My mom is struggling with diabetes, limited vision, and mobility issues. Having good - especially free, when possible - resources available is invaluable.

    My daughters both have sensory integration dysfunction. There are a few excellent books about sensory issues (e.g., "The Out-of-Sync Child") that might be helpful to Boo).

    My youngest daughter sounds just like Boo with regards to sensitivity to food taste, texture, and temperature. She still struggles, despite therapy, but has improved a lot. I hope Boo's sensitivities improve as well.

  2. I'm sorry for the death of your father. I know that's hard. Boo has stroke related dementia and some days that's a real struggle. I checked The Out-of-Sync Child out of the library Friday and plan to start it today. Boo's food sensitivities were most pronounced after his last two strokes. Now they only seem to resurface when he is stressed. Thank heavens! I don't know how it is with your daughters, but with Boo it seems like we meet one milestone only to slide back a little in other areas. Kind of two steps forward and one step back.

  3. This is great. Thank you for sharing. I love getting advice from someone who has lived it.