Category Archives: Age Advantage Senior Services Carlsbad CA

Happy Holidays From Age Advantage Home Care Services in Carlsbad CA

Happy Holidays From Age Advantage in Carlsbad CA

We’re thinking of you this time of year,
Wishing you happiness, joy, and cheer.
May all your days be warm and bright,
And your nights enhanced by holiday light.

Enjoy your delectable holiday foods,
As parties and gifts create holiday moods.
Favorite people play a meaningful part,
While treasured rituals warm your heart.

You are special to us in many ways,
So we wish you Happy Holidays!


Susan and Staff at Age Advantage Carlsbad CA


Poem By Joanna Fuchs


The Best Holiday Gifts for Carlsbad CA Seniors

The Best Holiday Gifts for Seniors
By Philip Moeller

Welcome to the age of gadgets, where Best Buy has become the new Toys ‘R’ Us. In assembling a gift list for seniors, there are plenty of goodies that either plug into an outlet or require a large intake of batteries. There’s just no way around them. But experts drum home some cardinal rules:

  1. Remember who the gift is really for.
  2. Make sure the recipient has a use for the gift.
  3. Make sure you or another family member can provide real-world tech support for the recipient. Your continued help needs to be part of the gift.
  4. Do not saddle the recipient with monthly service charges or other hidden fees for your gift.

"To me the question is, ‘What gift would be personally meaningful to a senior?’" says Dan Cohen, a social worker who looks at technology issues involving older people. "You know, seniors are not pining for another shirt or sweater."

His gift, he explained via e-mail, satisfies an old need with a newer tool:

"One item that will keep them engaged and give them pleasure is the gift of music. The iPod Shuffle is tailor-made for seniors. Once it’s set up, to operate it all one has to do is click-on and click-off. Someone else who is already familiar with iTunes needs to learn what their favorite music is, obtain it, set up the playlist, and load it. If the senior knows how to operate a TV remote, they’ll be able to handle this single-button operation."

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At Age Advantage, our caregivers can help you and your family with all of your home care needs. Age Advantage is a home care agency providing home care in Carlsbad CA and surrounding areas. Call us at 760-720-7272.

The Caregiver Spotlight Is on Work-Life Balance in Carlsbad CA

Caregiver Spotlight on Work-Life “Balance”

by Isabel Fawcett, SPHR

There’s no avoiding stress in caregiving, at work or in life. Stress, both “good” and “bad,” will always be a part of our human existence. That’s all the more reason for caregivers to be proactive in managing stress. Shining a spotlight on your work and personal life is one way to identify and better manage stress. Be prepared, though. It requires serious commitment on your part.

Are you still with me?

What is Work-Life Balance?
 “Work-life balance” is a misnomer. In real-life, there is no such thing as equal balance – other than maybe on a well-calibrated scale. When humans are involved balance would be perfection. If you’re not a perfectionist, you know that human perfection doesn’t exist.

Although it may sound like an oxymoron, the word “tension” may be the better word choice. “Tension” has multiple definitions, including competing pressures that require learning how to better balance push-and-pull opposing forces. The push-pull tension of work competes with the push-pull tension of caregiving and other forces in each of our lives.

The force is truly with us, so to speak.
“Work-life balance” requires continuous prioritization by individuals, self-examination and seamlessly deriving pleasure or satisfaction in daily living. However you choose to reconcile and (de)value competing elements in your life is entirely within your control.

So much to do, so little time!
Doctors appointments, pharmacy runs, medical supplies, emerging symptoms, caregiver or elder general malaise, Medicare and other insurance tangles,  financial spaghetti bowls, family sparring, swirling emotions and more, will run caregivers into the ground if we are not mindful.

Caregivers’ Stress Management Tips
Stress management presumes gaining or re-gaining life control and greater balance. 

  • Check your blood pressure at least once monthly.  Discuss your monthly readings with your physician.
  • Schedule medical appointments early mornings or as late in the day as possible. Aavoid needless back and forth between work, home, and medical offices.
  • Consider taking pre-approved vacation leave on medical appointment days. Enjoy breakfast or lunch before or after appointments, whether alone, or with your loved one or a friend.
  • Treat yourself at day’s end. You’ll feel refreshed at work the following day.
  • Consider the most strategic use of Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) based on your own preferences in addition to your elder’s medical needs. Decide whether intermittent (working reduced hours at work) or consecutive FML eases competing elements in your life. If approved by your employer, consecutive FML is a block of leave as allowed under FMLA.
  • Leave home earlier than rush hour traffic. Leave work later than rush hour traffic. Take the long way home occasionally.

May the (right) force be with you!

Isabel Fawcett, SPHR
Isabel has been a full-time, stay-at-home caregiver to her 85 year old mother for 2 years, and counting. She is a regular Contributor at ElderCareLink, a blogger and Twitterer. Isabel is an independent human resources consultant and former HR management professional with 20+ years of HR experience, including FMLA, workers’ compensation and the Americans With Disabilities Act. She is a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certified and last worked for the Office of the Governor in Texas before her most recent eldercare choice.  Isabel also has worked in healthcare as Assistant Director of Volunteers at Beth Israel Medical Center, New York City, and Manager of Staffing and Recruitment, Norwalk Hospital, Connecticut. She has also worked at Marriott International Headquarters in HR. Isabel is fully bilingual in English and Spanish and has been a patient care volunteer for the American Red Cross overseas.

For information about how Age Advantage can help you with home care in Carlsbad CA and surrounding areas,  please call the Age Advantage caregivers at 760-720-7272.

When Elderly Spouses Care For Each Other at Home in Carlsbad CA

When Elderly Spouses Care For Each Other at Home Something Has to Give
By Isabel Fawcett, SPHR For LTC Expert Publications

“In sickness and in health, until death do us part,” are words used in traditional marital vows.

The harsh realities of caring at home for a spouse or domestic partner in old age can be physically, emotionally, and financially devastating.

It is difficult for aging spouses who must face and assist with their partner’s incontinence, declining health, mental confusion, uncertainty of care circumstances and medical prognosis. Some partners make a promise to self and/or partner that they will do the honors or perceive that they have a responsibility to do the caregiving at home honors – for the duration. Nothing is further from the truth, however.

A marital or domestic relationship does not mean that an aging partner should not ask for, and/or seek outside help.

Benefits of Home Care and Aging at Home
If there is any care circumstance well-suited to home care, aging spousal caregivers may
be one such ideal profile, for many reasons.

  1. If a domestic partner or spouse has less assistive care chores to do around the home, he or she is likely to have more quality moments to spend with his or her spouse or partner and others.
  2. The healthier spouse may be at home and available to provide direct supervision and daily guidance to home care workers.
  3. The spouse or partner who is chronically ill is not left alone with a home care worker for extended periods of time if his or her healthier partner is not employed outside the home.
  4. The healthier spouse has ample opportunities to enjoy respite while the home health care worker is on duty.
  5. The healthier spouse may elect to do the assistive care honors on weekends only, for example. Regardless of alternating care days elected, the healthier spouse will still be doing less, rather than more heavy-duty assistive care responsibilities.
  6. If the couple wants a less invasive home care service, they may choose meal deliveries only, be it Meals on Wheels type programs, or private company services that deliver high-end, nutritious meals to their customers.
  7. Time and effort saved through a less invasive home care program or service may lead elders to consider additional home care programs or services, if the less invasive service is similarly successful.
  8. Home care services offer sustained relief to local and long-distance family caregivers if their elders are in good hands.
  9. If the home care provider nurtures the provider-elder relationship and builds trust, elders have someone with whom they can talk as often as the service allows.
  10. Given a choice, few elders would choose institutional care over in-home support.
  11. Elder independence is encouraged with skilled home care.
  12. The healthier spouse or partner no longer feels alone. There is someone else your elder can call locally.  Long-distance family caregivers are also encouraged to periodically touch base with the direct care provider to ensure greater checks and balances.

For many individuals, home is where their heart remains. Adult children can help our aging parents keep their homes as long as it is safe for them to do so. As with other major decisions in our lives, ongoing evaluation is important. What works today may no longer be effective at some future date.

To avoid surprises, let your parents know that you need and welcome their feedback in evaluating what works and what doesn’t in their home care services. Allow your parents to retain as much decision-making authority in their lives as reasonably possible. No one enjoys feeling powerless.

What is Home Care? What Can Your Family Expect?
If your parents only require companion services, there may be local volunteers available through care agencies and religious organizations. By far, skilled nursing care is the most expensive in-home care option. Nurses are licensed, as are physical and occupational therapists.

Home health aides and nurse’s aides are trained to assist with bathing, getting dressed, toileting, lifting and other personal care needs.

Start with your parents’ treating physician and hospital-based geriatric management services. They are trained to steer families in the right direction based on exhaustive medical assessments of your aging parents’ needs.

If you think that home care is not financially affordable, remember that most long-term care alternatives are costly. By comparison, home care may be the most affordable alternative for elders and caregivers.

For information about how Age Advantage can help your family with Home Care in Carlsbad CA and the surrounding areas, call 760-720-7272 or visit us at

Planning Holidays with Elderly Parents in Carlsbad CA

Planning Holidays with Elderly Parents

With celebrations coming, you have time to plan for holidays with elderly parents. Obviously you’re preoccupied with making sure all the details are in place, meals, gifts, guests. Don’t forget that this is a great opportunity to check on your aging parents in a new way.

I would not advocate heavy duty conversations during your time at home. Sitting at the family dinner and saying, “So Mom, when are you moving out…” may not be the best for digestion!

Use this time for being together, for celebrating and NOT raising the anxiety level of your mother and the rest of the family. But you can still get a lot done to equip you for the important talks that you will need to have next.

What to check on. What to look for.

Take the time to really look at your folks. It may have been a while since you’ve seen them, and things have changed. You need to be able to take in what’s different. Of, course you’d rather imagine that things are the same as they always have been and always will be, but now is the best time to look closely and take it all in.

Things HAVE changed. Our minds are trained not to notice what we’re not looking for. Rather than looking for all the evidence that things haven’t changed — be open to noticing what’s different. Your aging parents may not be able or willing to tell you. Some changes happen so gradually, that they may not have noticed themselves.

These things don’t require immediate conversation, or even to be commented on at the moment. Be deliberate about your observations. Make a mental note, and then jot down what you’ve seen at the end of the day.

  • What’s different? What’s new?
  • How are they really doing?
  • What might be in disrepair?
  • What could you help with?
  • What can you encourage?
  • What can you support?

…continue reading from talk-early-talk-often

For information about Home Care in Carlsbad CA and the surrounding area, please contact the professional caregivers at Age Advantage, a home care agency that can help your family with all of your elder care needs. 760-720-7272.

Choosing the Right In-Home Care Service and Caregiver for Seniors in Carlsbad CA

Each November, the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) celebrates National Home Care and National Hospice Month to honor the men and women who have dedicated their lives to caring for others. Below are some tips for families who may be looking into home care and what they can and should expect from the caregivers they choose. If you need more information about in home care for your loved one in the Palm Bay FL area, the caring staff at Age Advantage can help answer any questions. Visit or call us at 760-720-7272.

A Guide to Choosing the Right In-Home Care Service and Care Giver for Seniors
By: Kori Irons

What Seniors Can Expect from In-home Care

It can be incredibly difficult for a senior to allow a stranger into his home to help with household tasks, personal care and/or transportation. There is a great deal of confusion and anxiety around what exactly "in-home care" and an "in-home caregiver" might involve and entail–not to mention how to go about hiring and supervising the help. Here are some suggestions for what seniors can expect from in-home care and some advice on how to search for the perfect assistant:

An in-home caregiver can have a variety of qualifications, depending on the depth and intensity of personal care they are able to provide. Some take care of household tasks and hep with errands and transportation, while others have medical credentials and are able to help with more medical details and nursing needs. The most popular services required of in-home caregivers for seniors include:

  • assistance with mail and correspondence
  • housekeeping
  • laundry and ironing
  • help with grocery shopping and other errands
  • coordinating and reminding about medications 
  • cooking and meal planning
  • transportation and mobility assistance
  • and companionship and other personal assistance needs

Even seniors who may have special needs such as those who are recovering from an accident or illness, or those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, or those with other more permanent disabilities can benefit from the services of an in-home care provider. A senior may need assistance on a daily or weekly basis, or something in between. It is not necessary to hire a caregiver to be present for every hour of every day if that is not what is needed or required.

Source: Associated Content


November is Officially National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

Presidential Proclamation–National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month


Alzheimer’s disease
tragically robs individuals of their memories and leads to progressive mental and physical impairments. This eventually fatal disease represents a serious and growing threat to the health of our Nation, impacting millions of Americans and their families. During National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, we recommit to improving its detection and treatment, finding a cure, and standing with all whose lives are affected by this terrible disease.

As we continue our fight against Alzheimer’s disease, we must seek new ways to prevent, delay, and treat this disease. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, we are boosting funding for promising research on risk factors, on improving diagnostic tools and therapies, and in identifying new preventive measures.


Alzheimer’s home care counselors at Age Advantage are available to talk with you and your family about care needs for your loved one, including, how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care. Age Advantage is a home care agency providing Alzheimer’s Home Care in Carlsbad CA.

Friends and Family May Be Best Detectors of Early Alzheimer’s Disease in Carlsbad CA

November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and we wanted to share this important article from As we learn more and more about Alzheimer’s Disease, getting the information out and sharing early warning signs can help everyone from researchers to caregivers better understand this horrible disease.

Friends and Family May Be Best Detectors of Early Alzheimer’s Disease

Family members and friends may be better judges of early Alzheimer’s disease than standard memory tests, a new study reports. The results could help doctors diagnose suspected Alzheimer’s at an earlier stage, when treatment may be more effective and families can better prepare for the changes to come.

The study comes from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where researchers developed a two-minute questionnaire that asked close friends and family members if they have noticed problems with memory or judgment. The survey asked “yes” or “no” questions about whether they have noticed such signs in loved ones as:

  • Bad financial choices or other problems in judgment;
  • Less interest in hobbies and other favorite activities;
  • Repeating questions, stories or statements;
  • Trouble learning how to use a tool or appliance, such as a television remote control or a microwave oven;
  • Forgetting the month or year;
  • Difficulty handling complicated financial affairs, such as balancing a checkbook;
  • Difficulty remembering appointments; and
  • Consistent problems with thinking and memory.

Survey results were then correlated with so-called biomarkers, like brain changes on brain scans or blood tests results, that are generally regarded as of Alzheimer’s. The survey proved more accurate than standard word and memory tests like the mini-mental state exam, which doctors perform in their offices to look for early signs of Alzheimer’s.

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Alzheimer’s home care counselors at Age Advantage are available to talk with you and your family about care needs for your loved one, including, how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care. Age Advantage is a home care agency providing Alzheimer’s Home Care in Carlsbad CA.

How to Keep Seniors Involved in Social Activities in Carlsbad CA

How to Keep Seniors Involved in Social Activities
by: Maragret Dennison

Many seniors become introverted due to problems that can easily be resolved. They should be offered social activities that will keep them interested in life and emotionally healthy. One of the things that causes seniors to let social activity pass them by is an inability to hear properly.

They feel embarrassed when they have to keep asking people to repeat themselves, so they often simply pretend they can understand what is said. When this happens more embarrassment awaits them because they will either be required to answer and have no idea what to say, or they will find that they don’t get a joke while others are laughing. They may even become paranoid about laughter, thinking that they are the butt of the joke. So getting hearing aids fitted may be all you need to do to encourage social activity.

Another problem with seniors and going out to social activity is that they have often suffer from a weak bladder. This means that the building they socialize in needs to have good amenities that are close by.

Otherwise, they may fear that they won’t make it in time.

Incontinence could be the next step from a weak bladder, but even in this case, it is possible to get pads that will last for an hour or two.

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If you are seeking advice or information about elder care and assistance for a loved one in the Carlsbad CA area, please visit

Will Social Security Check Payments Affect You in Carlsbad CA?

Should Social Security Eliminate Paper Checks?
By Sharon O’Brien, Senior Living Guide

Under a government plan announced earlier this year, Social Security beneficiaries and people who receive other federal benefits will no longer be able to get their payments by check. Starting in 2013, federal beneficiaries would only be able to receive payments by direct deposit to their bank accounts or by using a pre-paid debit card issued by the government.

Several consumer advocacy groups are putting pressure on the U.S. Treasury Department, objecting to the government’s paperless plan and saying that it would lead to abuses by creditors ranging from mainstream banks to payday lenders, who make short-term, high-interest loans to seniors. The Social Security Administration has even been depositing benefits directly into accounts controlled by storefront lenders, who pay themselves first before passing whatever is left on to Social Security recipients.

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For information about how Age Advantage can help you with Home Care for a loved one in Carlsbad CA, visit