Since 2000, in care homes and in my own experience with other bay area seniors who sought help from Motherhealth caregivers and my own parents, my dad who died of lung cancer at 62 and my mom who still works at 77 yrs old, the following are senior care giving guide:

1. Emotional support, listening and talking with them make them sane and prevents many major ailments related to worries and medications such as neuro meds giving them more side effects such as easy to fall, constipation and stroke.
2. Know early warning signs. Small signs of body deteriorating from inability to eat, say words right away as before, lose of weight and blood shot eyes are immediate signs of cancer and other major ailments such as stroke. For Alzheimer’s Disease, during the last year you will notice the inability to walk.
3. Feeding the right food, careful of interactions with right medications and timing. My uncle took a regular iron pills the night before and died the next day since he had already undiagnosed heart problems. Many African Americans and Latinos are prone to heart disease that an unhealthy lifestyle coupled by environmental toxins can exacerbate the health issue related to the heart and major organs.
4. Know what is good for constipation from exercise, prune juice, cranberry juice, whole foods and right meds (senna, magnesium citrate, others). Careful to use proper hygiene and sanitation, wearing gloves, changing and diapering and just plain cleanliness prevent major complications such as UTI and death.
5. 24/7 care is very important for seniors who needs them. During the last days of a terminally ill client, giving comfort and loving care with all preparations in place, living will and proper estate planning can save a ton of grief to the family.
6. And surround yourself with a support system, a visiting nurse, on-call doctor, and other health care pro for it takes a village to care for a senior with terminal illness or disability.

Connie Dello Buono, CA Life Lic 0G60621, 408-854-1883 Financial Planner and health author