Archive for the ‘CareGiver News’ Category

Phoenix CareGiver Shows Cancer Recipe

What to cook when cancer hits

By Liz Szabo, USA TODAY

Doctors often instruct cancer patients to eat well to keep up their strength.

But for cancer patients, getting through a simple meal can be a challenge. Radiation treatments can burn the throat, making it painful to swallow. Chemotherapy can cause patients to develop mouth sores or leave people nauseated. Other patients find that chemo takes away their sense of smell or alters their sense of taste.

Two books from the American Cancer Society aim to help both patients and their caregivers overcome these hurdles. The Complete Guide to Nutrition for Cancer Survivors ($24.95), published this year, explains how good nutrition can help boost the immune system and fight fatigue.

What to Eat During Cancer Treatment ($19.95), published last year, offers 100 recipes to help patients cope with six major symptoms of treatment. For instance, there’s a brie and apple grilled cheese for patients coping with nausea. Most recipes take only 30 minutes to make.

That’s important, given that cancer patients may not have much energy to spend in the kitchen and caregivers may be pressed for time, says the cancer society’s Colleen Doyle, who edited both books.

The recipes also include foods packed with vitamins and antioxidants, Doyle says. Patients who eat well are often better able to deal with side effects of treatment and may be better able to fight off infections, she says.

"I truly believe food is medicine, and it helps people provide their body with the nutrition they need to heal," say Barbara Grant, a registered dietitian and co-author of Nutrition for Cancer Survivors.

American Cancer Society’s tips for cooking for someone with cancer:

• Ask if the person has any special requests. "Instead of just showing up with chocolate cake, ask, ‘What can I make you? What sounds good?’ " says Grant.

• Ask if you can help with groceries or offer to do the dishes, says the American Cancer Society’s Colleen Doyle, a registered dietitian.

• Offer to put together a "survival kit" in a cooler, filled with snacks and drinks, for times when the cancer patient doesn’t want to get out of bed to go to the kitchen to eat, Doyle says.

• Prepare an "on-the-go" snack mix with nuts, pretzels, dry cereal or crackers for the cancer patient to eat when away from home.

• Instead of making one big casserole, prepare individual servings to freeze and reheat, Doyle says.

• Wash your hands carefully, make sure all meats and eggs are fully cooked, and take care to avoid any kind of contamination, which can be dangerous for people with weakened immune systems.

Recipe: Tuna melt quesadilla

The recipe from the American Cancer Society addresses the common cancer treatment symptoms of unintentional weight loss and taste alterations.

Servings: 3

Prep time: 15 minutes or less

Total time: 15 minutes or less

This twist on a classic gives new life to the tuna melt. A quesadilla is a good choice when a sandwich seems overwhelming. Choose full-fat options if trying to gain weight, reduced-fat if you are watching calories.

Ingredients:

• 1 (5-ounce) can tuna in water, drained

• 1 tablespoon regular or reduced-fat mayonnaise

• 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard

• 1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion

• 1 tablespoon pickle relish

• 3 (8-inch) whole wheat or plain tortillas

• 3/4 cup shredded regular or reduced-fat Cheddar or "Mexican style" cheese

Directions:

1. In a bowl, flake the tuna. Add the mayonnaise and mustard and stir to combine. Add the onion and relish.

2. On a microwave-safe plate, place 1 tortilla and spread half with 1/3 of the tuna mixture. Sprinkle the other half with 1/4 cup cheese. Fold the tuna half over the cheese half. Microwave on high for 40 to 50 seconds, or until cheese melts. Repeat twice with the remaining ingredients. Microwaving the quesadilla instead of pan-frying or baking keeps it softer.

Nutritional information:

Per serving (1 quesadilla)

Calories: 360

Total fat: 17 g

Total carbohydrate: 31 g

Dietary fiber: 3 g

Sugars: 3 g

Protein: 21 g

Sodium: 940 mg

For CareGiver Home Care in the Phoenix or Scottsdale area see http://www.care-to-go.com

Strength and Balance Training Can Reduce Falls In Seniors

Caregiver Explains How To Prevent Falls With Better Balance

Phoenix Home CareBy John Hanc New York Times

Unintentional falls among those 65 and older are responsible for more than 18,000 deaths and nearly 450,000 hospitalizations annually in the United States, according to the Centers in Atlanta. Most of these falls are caused by a decline in that complex and multidimensional human skill known as balance.

Balance is a critical issue to older people. And more and more, at one-on-one training facilities like Mr. Morea’s or at larger health clubs, whether in yoga and Pilates studios or adult-education exercise classes for older adults, balance training is becoming a priority.

To remain upright and sure-footed, explained Dr. David Thurman, a neurologist with the center and a spokesman for the American Academy of Neurology, “there are several components of the nervous system, as well as motor or movement functions, that need to be intact.” These include the vestibular system of the inner ear, vision and proprioception, the ability to sense where one’s arms, legs or other parts of the body are without looking at them, as well as the strength and flexibility of bones and soft tissue.

“All of these,” Dr. Thurman said, “tend to degrade with age, particularly as people move into their seventh and eighth decades.”

Yet, unlike many effects of aging, balance can be improved, and the age-related declines can be delayed or minimized with proper training.

“The preponderance of evidence,” Dr. Thurman said, “shows fairly convincingly that strength and balance training can reduce the rate of falls by up to about 50 percent.”

Hence, the Department of Health and Human Services in revising its national physical activity guidelines, issued in 2008, added a recommendation for the elderly to include balance exercises as part of their overall physical activity regimen.

The problem, said Michael Rogers, an exercise scientist at Wichita State University, is that while most major public health agencies recommend 30 minutes a day of cardiovascular exercise for the heart and two or three sessions a week of strength training, “there is no real exercise prescription for balance.” So activities that promote balance tend to become integrated into other activities. Mr. Morea does this with older clients like Ms. Luftig in twice-weekly, 30-minute strength-training sessions.

Of course, while it is good to have supervision by a certified fitness professional, not to mention the benefit of a gym full of balance toys (and there are many these days, including wobble boards, balls and cushions), one does not have to work out with a personal trainer to get the benefits of balance training.

“You can do it anytime, anyplace,” said Mr. Rogers, who is research director at Wichita State’s Center for Physical Activity and Aging and teaches exercise classes to older adults. “You don’t have to be involved in a systematic program.”

He added, “You don’t have to be standing on one foot, which is often too difficult for some older people. You can challenge your balance while brushing your teeth.” Simply put one foot in front of the other while you brush, or stand with your feet closer together.

Balance training is often seen as part of a larger trend called functional fitness exercises, which are geared to helping one handle the physical challenges of day-to-day life. Around holiday time, for example, Mr. Rogers tries to prepare the elderly in his class for crowded shopping malls. He has them walk between narrow gaps, occasionally getting brushed by others. This, he said, “helps give them confidence” to face the holiday throngs.

Trainers like Mr. Morea devise balance training drills for their older clients. For example, a woman was having trouble bending down in her kitchen to reach to the back of a floor-level cupboard and retrieve cooking pots. So he developed “pot squat and reach” — a movement that basically imitated what she was doing, except on an unstable surface, so that she could develop the strength, neural connections and balance to confidently perform that movement at home.

One of the nice things about balance training is that the results can be evident fairly quickly.

“The nervous system has considerably more regenerative capacity well into the senior years than we used to think,” said Dr. Thurman. “The capacity for adjustment, compensation and even developing new skills remains there.”

Which is exactly what Ms. Luftig, who lives in Greenwich Village, has found. “I feel more confident,” she said. “In my neighborhood, you have bicycles whizzing by you all the time. You could lose your balance when they come so close. But when that happens now, I feel more stable. I have this ability that I didn’t used to have.”

For assistance in the Phoenix area contact Care-To-Go at 480-284-8611

Backlash grows against full-body scanners in airports By Phoenix Travel Companion

Backlash grows against full-body scanners in airports

Elder Travel Companion Phoenix azAs the TSA  airports try to get a handle on quick and efficient scanning at security checkpoints, new machines may not be the answer.

Our Elder Travel Companions from Phoenix and Scottsdale report longer security delays and frazzled nerves at full body scan airports.  Our seniors in wheel chairs are not subject to this screening and will continue to be checked as usual.  The Travel Companion CareGiver can be a great asset in transiting airport security.

 

By Gary Stoller, USA TODAY

Opposition to new full-body imaging machines to screen passengers and the government’s deployment of them at most major airports is growing.

Many frequent fliers complain they’re time-consuming or invade their privacy. The world’s airlines say they shouldn’t be used for primary security screening. And questions are being raised about possible effects on passengers’ health.

"The system takes three to five times as long as walking through a metal detector," says Phil Bush of Atlanta, one of many fliers on USA TODAY’s Road Warriors panel who oppose the machines. "This looks to be yet another disaster waiting to happen."

BODY SCANNERS: Concerns about privacy and health set off debate

The machines — dubbed by some fliers as virtual strip searches — were installed at many airports in March after a Christmas Day airline bombing attempt. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has spent more than $80 million for about 500 machines, including 133 now at airports. It plans to install about 1,000 by the end of next year.

The machines are running into complaints and questions here and overseas:

•The International Air Transport Association, which represents 250 of the world’s airlines, including major U.S. carriers, says the TSA lacks "a strategy and a vision" of how the machines fit into a comprehensive checkpoint security plan. "The TSA is putting the cart before the horse," association spokesman Steve Lott says.

•Security officials in Dubai said this month they wouldn’t use the machines because they violate "personal privacy," and information about their "side effects" on health isn’t known.

•Last month, the European Commission said in a report that "a rigorous scientific assessment" of potential health risks is needed before machines are deployed there. It also said screening methods besides the new machines should be used on pregnant women, babies, children and people with disabilities.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office said in October that the TSA was deploying the machines without fully testing them and assessing whether they could detect "threat items" concealed on various parts of the body. And in March, the office said it "remains unclear" whether they would have detected the explosives that police allege Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to detonate on a jet bound for Detroit on Christmas.

TSA spokeswoman Kristin Lee says the agency completed testing at the end of last year and is "highly confident" in the machines’ detection capability. She also says their use hasn’t slowed screening at airports and that the agency has taken steps to ensure privacy and safety.

The TSA is deploying two types of machines that can see underneath clothing. One uses a high-speed X-ray beam, and the other bounces electromagnetic waves off a passenger’s body.

Passengers can refuse screening by the machines and receive a pat-down search by a security officer, screening by a metal detector, or both, the TSA says.

 

For more information on an Elder Travel Companion go to CareToGoTravel.com and for Phoenix in home care caregiver see www.care-to-go.com

10 Tips To Avoid Prescription Problems In The Elderly Phoenix AZ

10 Tips To Avoid Prescription Problems In The Elderly Phoenix AZ

Avoiding Medication Problems

Numerous elders are taking numerous medicines, which increases the

likelihood of prescription problems.  Allow me to share some

excellent tips for seniors to reduce the probability of making a

mistake with their medications:
1.    Check the label when you pick up a prescription to be sure

that you have the right prescription. Read back the prescription to

your doctor and pharmacist.
2.    Keep all prescription in original containers.
3.    Be sure to contact your health care provider or pharmacist

if you have any concerns about missing a dosage.
4.    Always fill all medications at the same pharmacy.
5.    Read the patient information that accompanies the

prescriptions.
6.    Notify the pharmacist right away if there is a change in the

shape, color, size or smell of your medication.
7.    You should not share or take another person’s medication.
8.    If you are in doubt about a prescription you are taking, be

sure to consult your doctor.  Always ask about side effects that you

might experience or expect.
9.    Construct a list of the medications you are taking and share

with your Care Giver and family members. The list ought to include

the following information:
- Your name, social security number and your date of birth.  The

Pharmacy needs this information when someone else is going to refill

the prescriptions without the client present.  Your social security

number and your date of birth should be kept on a separate sheet to

protect against identity theft.
- Prescription name (the drugs being taken, both generic or brand)
- The strength (dosage)
- Instructions for using the prescriptions, including how many times

a day and what time of day medication should be taken
- What liquids or foods are being used to take or should be used to

take with meds, for example, water, juice, apple sauce etc.
- Your allergies to certain medicines as well as foods
- Pharmacy and health care providers names, addresses, contact

numbers
- Family emergency contact information

10.    When you are in skilled nursing or a hospital:
- State your name before taking any medications and always show your

wrist bracelet for identification. Ask the doctor or nurse to

identify each medicine by name before you take it.
- Ask your doctor or nurse why your prescription has not been given

at its normal time during your hospital stay.
If your medication was started in the hospital, watch for new side

effects.  If you experience new side effects or your condition is

not improving as it should, tell your nurse.  From time to time

medications need to be changed when they are not performing

properly.
Be sure to ask your doctor how long a particular prescriptions will

be needed.  Oft times prescriptions are added in the hospital or

skilled nursing facility for a temporary problem, but when you leave

the hospital for skilled nursing or your home, the prescription

remains.  A different doctor may be reluctant to terminate a

prescription from another medical doctor.
- Remind your medical doctor if you have any allergies to certain

meds and food, or if you have a condition that may possibly affect

the use of some medications.
1.    Tell your pharmacist if you are taking any dietary

supplements or over-the-counter meds.
2.    Make sure your CareGiver has an up to date prescription log

listing all prescriptions, Doctor’s name, and Pharmacy.
Make sure to only take medications that you really need and check

with your medical doctor why you are taking it, how long you will

require it, what side effects to watch for, and that it won’t

conflict with any other meds you are taking.

 

In the Phoenix area Care-To-Go, an in-home care agency can assist

you with your prescription organization.  Care-To-Go also provides

complete in-home care elder services.  Contact Care-To-Go at 

www.care-to-go.com and for an Elder Travel Companion CareToGoTravel.com

Seven Signs It Is About Time To Fire Your Doctor Reported By Scottsdale CareGiver

7 Signs It Is About Time To Fire Your Doctor Reported By Scottsdale CareGiver

What should you do if your doctor isn’t listening to you or the person you’re caring for, or not honoring your desires with regards to treatment and medication choices, or recommending prescriptions or treatment options that seem to be inappropriate for older patients. Listed here are several illustrations.

The relationship with your medical doctor is a special one and has to be taken seriously. Many times senior citizens aren’t receiving enough care from their doctor. Is the medical doctor too busy and overscheduled, or there just may be a personality mismatch. Don’t be afraid to search for a new one if you feel you are not getting the attention you require.

Whenever seniors go to their doctor it’s a great idea to bring along with you, a professional CareGiver or a trusted family member. It will serve you well to have someone else there to be sure you understand what the medical professional is saying and if you need to get more in depth information from the doctor, the advocate can facilitate. Occasionally it is simpler for the other person to ask more inquiring questions.

By way of example a doctor may try to make you feel guilty when you ask to do away with a prescription or a procedure from your regimen. You may have prescriptions from a number of doctors and they may conflict with each other. Your physician may be unwilling to stop or change a prescription prescribed by a different health professional. But sometimes the dilemma doesn’t lie in your control; what is wrong is that the physician isn’t listening to you or not taking your loved one’s age or situation into account when making medication and treatment decisions. In many cases, it’s like a bad relationship; communication has broken down and you, your family member or CareGiver aren’t getting what you need.

7 signs it may be time to fire your doctor:

1. You feel the health professional blames, ignores, or criticizes you, your caregiver or the person in your care

2. The medical doctor does not reply to your feedback, or becomes defensive or unpleasant

3. It seems the physician is not taking your family member’s pain or other symptoms seriously enough

4. You discover treatments that can help that the doctor hasn’t told you about

5. The physician doesn’t explain treatment options clearly, resulting in mistakes

6. The medical doctor prescribes medications without comparing to medications prescribed by another doctor.

7. The doctor is reluctant to organize your medication inventory when it comes from various other physicians.

When you aren’t satisfied, the best thing to do is to change doctors, and change to one you can work with to provide the best care. Doctors often say that if a patient is going to change doctors, they’d appreciate hearing it directly rather than suddenly receiving a sneak request for medical records to be sent to another medical professional. However, it’s your prerogative to find a new doctor and ask the staff to fax over the request for records. You’re not obligated to engage in another confrontation.

Either way, you’ll breathe a sigh of relief once you’re dealing with a medical professional who listens respectfully, answers your questions, accommodates your requests, takes your symptoms seriously, and works with you to develop a treatment plan you can all feel good about.

In the Phoenix, AZ area Care-To-Go offers Elder Home Care services and can assist you with doctor appointments and prescription organization. Contact Care-To-Go at 1-800-818-0407 or www.care-to-go.com  For Elder Travel Companion services see CareToGoTravel.com.

Phoenix Travel Companion Reunites A Brother And Sister After Years Apart

Travel Companion Makes Family Reunion Possible

Elder travel companion        

Phoenix Travel Companion Reunites A Brother And Sister After Years Apart

It was a picturesque spring day in April when Evelyn and her personal Travel Companion and CareGiver headed for the airport shuttle going from Burbank California connecting to John Day Oregon.  This should be a trip to remember.  Evelyn 95 was on her way to reunite with her brother Howard now 93 in Oregon.

Evelyn and Howard are the only ones remaining of five siblings who grew up on a little farm in Missouri then moved to California and Oregon in the mid 1940s.  It had been several years since the two of them had spent time together.

The trip to Boise ID went smoothly because Evelyn’s Travel Companion had scheduled an easy connection and had scheduled a wheel chair and pre-boarding for all the flight segments.  Evelyn’s Travel Companion Pam handled the bags and arranged for transportation from Boise airport to John Day OR, about a 3 hour ride.  Once checked into their hotel in John Day, Pam and Evelyn went to the ranch to reunite with Howard.

Ron, Gary, Brian, along with Donna also come to join in the get-together.  Evelyn and Howard were so excited to see each other and they lost no time in catching up.  Donna, Pam and Ron made dinner “Missouri” style which set the stage for several hours of conversation about the old days. 

During the next three days, The seniors reminisced for endless hours, never running out of stories.  They reminisced, went fishing (Evelyn caught the most fish for the dinner), looked at the scrap books, enjoyed Howard’s birthday celebration and just enjoyed their time all together.

Evelyn’s Travel Companion Pam, not only helped all the way making the trip possible, but she put forth the extra effort insuring that Evelyn was well taken care of and cared for.  Besides the trip, Pam helped with meals, baited hooks for fishing, helped organize scrapbooks and took some family pictures.  Pam roomed with Evelyn in the lodge to be certain she was well cared for and secure.

When it was time for the flight home, Evelyn and her travel companion boarded Southwest flight 405 to Oakland CA to connect to Burbank California.  The standard wheel chair and perboarding were set and the boarding in Boise went fine. 

After 30 minutes in the air, the pilot said that there was a warning light in the cockpit and we needed to return to Boise and have it fixed.  When it was discovered that the delay could be lengthly, the gate agents had everyone to get off and wait for another aircraft.  Evelyn was assisted from the plane and the circumstances was explained to her.  Pam, the Travel Companion continued to handle everything; explaining the circumstances to Evelyn, re-booking the flight connection to Oakland, assuring priority boarding once more, and handling snacks and drinks.  Thankfully the flights home were uneventful and went smoothly.

We are reminded constantly how precious family and friends can be to our well being.  Our seniors regularly let life close in on them because retaining contact with loved ones who live far away becomes too difficult.  Unfortunately, travel is one of the first things that drops out of the life of  an aging senior.  Travel Companions are a way for seniors to keep the lifestyle they love and maintain contact with friends and family.

Evelyn and Howard had a few wonderful days together and they now have more memories to last a life time.  At the last dinner in Oregon, plans were already started to schedule the next family reunion.

One company specializing in Travel Companions is Care-To-Go. For information on scheduling your Travel Companion visit CareToGoTravel.com

Phoenix Home Care Caregiver Explains 19 Home Safety Tips For Seniors

PhoenixCooking Home Care Caregiver Explains 19 Home Safety Tips For Seniors

 

Most accidents occur in the home and especially for our seniors.  Even though our seniors are in their own home and in familiar surroundings, they have a much higher accident rate than the rest of us. When you couple failing eyesight, poor hearing and decreased judgment and balance, the senior has a more difficult time moving around and staying safe. If you make the changes yourself or use a personal CareGiver, you may be able to avoid a major fall and injury to your parent.


What can you do to protect an elderly loved one from getting hurt?  Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Keep outdoor steps and walkways in good condition and clear of debris. Be sure the hand rails are clean and in good condition.
  2. Illuminate all stairways and hallways and provide light switches at both ends. Brighter lights are better.
  3. Use nightlights or bedside remote controlled switches. Yeah the clapper works too.
  4. Provide handrails in hallways and stairways.
  5. Keep a sturdy nightstand next to the bed so glasses and other personal items are within reach.
  6. Put felt or soft material over sharp edges and corners of furniture such as nightstands, tables and shelves.
  7. Tack down the edges of carpets and rugs; remove throw rugs that slide or can be tripped on.
  8. Keep pathways clear of furniture and other objects.
  9. Provide handrails in the bathroom (especially near the toilet, at the entrance to the shower and in the shower) and use non-skid strips in the shower and bathtubs.
  10. Use a shower seat and shower hose for those unable to stand in the shower.
  11. Avoid using bath oils or lotions in the bathtub or shower.
  12. Use kitchen appliances with thermostats and timers. The elderly find appliances with signal lights and buzzers easier to use.
  13. Clearly mark the “off” position on stoves and ranges so a person with diminished eyesight can immediately tell if the element is off. Try some nail polish.
  14. Set water heater thermostats or faucets so water does not scald the skin.
  15. Install smoke detectors in the kitchen and throughout the rest of the house.
  16. Keep a fire extinguisher handy and know how to use it.
  17. Arrange frequently used kitchen items in an easy-to-reach cabinet.
  18. Install one good lock that can be opened easily from the inside.
  19. Keep loose magazines and mail off the floor, seniors tend to accumulate mail clutter.

 

For a complete home assessment contact Care-To-Go at 480-284-8611 and on the web at http://www.care-to-go.com Are you getting to the point where you need someone to help you shoulder the load taking care of Mom? A Home Care CareGiver will be able to assist your senior with household tasks to be sure they are safe and happy.

Book Cheap Cruises For Seniors Now Reports A Phoenix Travel Companion

Book Cheap Cruises For Seniors Now Reports A Phoenix Travel Companion

Cruises have always been a favorite trip for Seniors. Balmy air, tropical swaying trees, soft steel drum music,; what’s not to like. Aside from the great ambiance in the Caribbean, Bahamas or Mexico, there are several reasons to choose a cruise over other types of vacation for Seniors. First, it is a place totally geared for all the seniors needs including food, activities, housekeeping, medical services and more. It is so nice to unpack once and then watch the world pass by. Other favorite destinations for Cruises are Alaska and the Mediterranean for Greece and Italy etc.

Here is your opportunity to take that great vacation you have always wanted and be totally cared for and safe all the way. Cruise ships provide everything you need including; your room, all your food, lots of activities, a hospital and pharmacy, a concierge, lots of new people to meet or enjoy your solitude.

When you need a little extra assistance along the way, a Personal Travel Companion can escort you to be sure you are well taken care of. Now you can take that dream trip you have always wanted.

We all know that vacation tour prices including Cruises vary greatly. If you book through a travel agent, the Cruise Company, Orbits or a bulk Cruise buyer, the price varies greatly. When using a Travel Companion these prices can be easily compared and you can pick the best deal for you.

Speaking of a Travel Companion, you can now take a personal travel assistant with you to be sure that the trip goes smoothly. Your personal travel companion can travel with you all the way from your door and back again. How nice would it be to have professional assistance through the airport and flight, on the cruise and back again. One company providing Personal Travel Companions can be found at http://www.care-to-go.com

Low bookings for the cruise lines means a shipload of savings for you
Don’t let the storm-tossed economy discourage you from sailing on a cruise. With fewer people booking passage and more (and bigger) cruise ships being launched, cruising has become a buyer’s market. Here’s how to find the lowest fare at the best time.

Look for bulk buyers
Check out cruise consolidators, which buy large blocks of cabins from the cruise lines at a deep discount. Most of the deals don’t include airfare, but the savings are significant, and companies such as CruiseOne.com, CruiseBrothers.com, and Cruise.com feature dozens of discounted cruises around the world every week.

Don’t shrug off "shoulder season"
Rates are lower between peak and off-peak seasons, when fewer people are escaping winter. Try sailing to Alaska in mid-May or early September; to the Caribbean in late April or September and October; to Hawaii in late August, late November, February, or May; or to the Mediterranean in March or November. If you are interested in a long haul, check when the Cruise companies are moving ships for the season between the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, or even the south Pacific. You may get a long trip for a very low price.

Check the school calendar
Avoid any time kids are on vacation, such as spring or summer break. That’s when the supply of empty cabins is usually the lowest—and prices for them are highest. Cruises are wildly affordable right after Labor Day and during the week after Thanksgiving, for example.

Wait…Wait… Okay, now book it!
If you don’t have a specific cruise date in mind, try waiting until the last minute to book online. Almost all cruise lines quietly unload any remaining inventory as the departure date draws closer. Note: "Last minute" doesn’t mean what it used to. Post-9/11 security regulations require cruise lines to close the list of passengers as much as 96 hours before sailing.

Keep That Sail a Sale
Cruise lines don’t make a profit on your cabin, so they try to separate you from your money the second they pull up the gangplank. Here’s how to keep your budget afloat.

Factor in tipping
Some cruise lines automatically add gratuities, while others still rely on passengers to make that decision. One helpful resource is cruisetip.tpkeller.com, which calculates the suggested tip per day for each major cruise line.

Stick with the main dining room
More and more cruise ships have specialty—restaurants to give passengers options beyond the cost—included main dining room and midnight buffet. But eating at one of the ships’ designer restaurants will run you extra: on Royal Caribbean International, for example, dinner at Chops Grille is $25 per guest.

Budget for booze
Don’t expect to bring your own. Most cruise lines frown on this, and some actually employ a "liquor retention team" to seize alcohol not purchased on board (the bottles are returned at the end of the cruise). Carnival now keeps your bags on a dock for several hours where they can search them, Be careful.

Have a fantastic trip!
For assistance in planning your Cruise or any other kind of travel contact Care-To-Go at 800-818-0407 or check the web at www.CareToGoTravel.com.

CareGiver Explains How To Keep Track Of Medications In Phoenix, AZ

As we age doctors prescribe more and more prescriptions. There are so many kinds, side effects, restrictions and cautions that it becomes difficult to keep it all straight and be safe. Your caregiver can help with forms to keep track. You should have a master list, a log of drugs taken each day, and a separate sheet for medications that have serious side effects or special instructions. Included here are 5 Medication Tips to keep it all straight.

The Medications List

This form should have the basic information about the medication including times to be taken and description. The information included should have name, doctor’s name, doctor’s phone and address, pharmacy phone and address. The date of birth and social security number should be here because this is how pharmacy computers identify the patient for refills.

The Medications Side Effects Sheet

This form is just what it says. The patients name, address and phone should be here of course. There should also be a listing of drug names, dosage, frequency, and classification. There should be plenty of space for side effects, special instructions and cautions. There may be one drug per page.

7 Tips For Medications

Medication Tip #1

Keep your lists of medications current as prescriptions are added and removed. Keep several copies for your reference and be sure to take one with you for each doctor visit. Another helpful idea is the list the medications by which ones are taken in the morning, at dinner, and at bedtime.

Medication Tip #2

Be sure the medications are taken the way your health provider tells you to. Your medications are intended to help improve your health now and to prevent health problems in the future.

Medication Tip #3

Be sure to take your medications even if you feel fine. Some medications are intended to run for a specific amount of time and some take a step down process to stop the medication. Most medications however, are intended to help you feel better so don’t stop without consulting your health care professional.

Medication Tip #4

  • Keep organized.
  • Have your medication list with you at all times and posted around the house where you take medications, Kitchen, bathroom etc.
  • Keep your list divided into AM, PM, and bedtime if you have medications taken at several times a day.
  • Use a pill box organizer laid out for a week and labeled for each day. You still have to mark which ones are for different times a day.

Medication Tip #5

Always talk to your pharmacist and health care provider about your entire list of medications. Often times you will have medications prescribed by several different health care providers. Be sure they all know your entire list of medications. Your pharmacist can also coordinate all of your medications in one place for you. This is especially important when you add a new one.

Medication Tip #6

Check your medication bottle label. Verify that the medication is the correct one, correct dosage and note any special instruction. The label will also tell you how many times you may refill it, the date it was filled and the date the prescription was written.

Medication Tip #7

When you need help understanding your medications, take an advocate with you to the doctors’ office and the pharmacy. Your GareGiver should be at each appointment with you. As an advocate, your CareGiver will be sure all instructions, side effects, and cautions are understood and written down. The CareGiver can then help with the lists you will keep as will as organizing you pill boxes for each week.

Be absolutely sure you understand everything about your medications. It is your responsibility to regulate your own health so if you don’t understand everything at the doctors’ be sure to have an advocate with you.

Medication Summary

  • Learn about your medications and why you take each one.
  • Talk with your health care provider and pharmacist about all your medications.
  • Keep your medication lists up to date and handy.
  • Organize your medications using a pillbox.
  • Read and understand your medications labels.
  • Take a CareGiver with you as an advocate to doctors’ appointments and to the pharmacy.

CareGivers from Care-To-Go are trained to assist the Senior in monitoring prescription drug schedules. Because Seniors have some difficulty with eyesight, hearing, judgment and memory, it is critical to have an advocate at the Doctor’s office and at home on a daily basis.

Care-To-Go can be reached at 480-284-8611 or 800-818-0407

How To Fund Care For Veterans And Surviving Spouse

in home care caregiver phoenix Many Vets are missing out on federal funds that are available for Veterans required care in Assisted living facilities, Skilled nursing homes or In-Home Care provided by a CareGiver.

The Veteran may qualify for Aid and Attendance (A&A) funding from the Veterans Administration. There are Service Requirements, Eligible Periods of War, Disability Requirements, as well as Income and Asset Requirements.

This article presents a brief overview of benefits and the requirements for qualification. For complete information contact the Veterans Administration and for local assistance contact Bob Waltz (480) 580-1444 or on the web at vaausa.com.

Aid & Attendance Program

The Aid & Attendance pension program is a benefit that may be available for veterans that are at 65 years old. The program is designed to assist with the cost of long term care in a facility or in the veterans own home. In order to qualify the veteran or surviving spouse must meet the service and income requirements.

Disability Requirements

A veteran may be eligible for A&A when:

  • The veteran requires the aid of another person in order to perform personal functions required in daily living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing or protecting themselves from everyday hazards.
  • The veteran is bedridden
  • The veteran is a patient in a nursing home or mental or physical incapacity.
  • The veteran is blind, or so nearly so as to have corrected vision of 5/200 or less, in both eyes.

Eligible Periods Of War

  • World War I        4/6/1917 to 11/11/1918
  • World War II       12/7/1941 to 12/31/1946
  • Korean War         6/27/1950 to 1/31/1955
  • Vietnam War       8/5/1964 to 5/7/1975
  • Persian Gulf War  8/2/1990 to present

Income and Asset Requirements

The income and net worth of the veteran must be approved by the VA Case worker assessing the veterans financial situation. Unlike Medicare, the requirements for veteran qualification are not as specific and up to the decision of the VA Caseworker. VA benefits are a need-based benefit and a large net worth or high income might affect the eligibility.