Month: April 2019

The Increasing Cost of Assisted Living

I was reading an article the other day written in a Philadelphia newspaper.  It’s headline was, “Why Middle Age People Cannot Afford Assisted Living.”  The writer was predicting what the future of assisted living will look like in the years to come.  From the amount of people, also known as baby boomers, who will be in need of such care to the increase in cost due to the demand for these services.  She explained how hard it is to be able to predict such expense as a family.  She also went into further details on what is covered under medicare and what needs to happen before medicare will be able to cover the costs.  In this article I will explain further to help guide you through some of the reasons for increasing costs and provide certain alternatives that may be beneficial to your family.

supply v. demand

Unfortunately, just like other industries, running an assisted living facility is a business.  They are designed to be profitable while being able to provide the highest care possible.  With that, when there is an added amount of people who need care, an imbalance forms.  These companies do not have enough employees nor resources to be able to take on the influx of applicants who need care.  This requires managers to fill positions, initiate additional training to current staff, and potentially add-on to the facility to allow for more space.

Your standard cost of living

Many of us have felt the affects of rising prices over the last decade.  Whether it be the taxes you pay on your home and car or the increase of the grocery bill, we have all paid more for these same items than we did ten years ago.  Meanwhile, the average American only saved $1,236 in 2017 according to Marketwatch.  While many of us have to save for retirement, save for our children’s college tuition, and spend more on healthcare this leaves little to no money to spend on assisted living for a love one.  Combine this with 32% of retirees living off of social security alone, and there really is not enough to cover the cost.  However, the United States has provided options to help combat the issues we have seen lately with this.

Caring for a loved one at home

In 2013 the Department of Social Services started a program called the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders.  This program was designed for three main reasons:

  • to give our loved ones the opportunity to age in place and be able to stay in the comfort of their own home
  • to help assisted living facilities with the influx of additional individuals that will be needing care over the next 20 years.  This is based on demographics.  We are reaching a time where the elderly (65+) are outnumbering the “children” (under 21) for the first time ever.
  • to provide a different option to those who may not be able to afford assisted living

Before, if your loved one was in need of assistance, staying at home would be very difficult.  A family member would have to leave their job and support both parties.  This almost made it impossible for families to do.  Additionally, there was no way for caregivers to get any type of training unless they had previously been in the medical field or they paid out of pocket to take courses.  Now, fortunately the state has funded a new program to help.

Juniper Homecare has joined partners with the State of CT to provide these services for caregivers and their loved ones to make staying at home possible.  Here are just a few of the amenities we offer.

• 30+ Registered nurses statewide

• Multilingual Nurses and Office staff offering 15+ languages

•  Proprietary technology enabling access to real-time client status for the care team

• Home Health Technology to assist with fall detection

• Vitals and medication management

• Communication between caregiver, nurse, administrative staff and care-managers

• 24/7 office support

• Caregiver respite, support and access to caregiver workshops/education.

Although the cost of assisted living has risen, please know there are options out there.  Remember, the best caregivers are family!

For more questions please contact or call (860)523-1418

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communication is connection

Caring For A Loved One Who Can No Longer Speak

Communicating without Speaking

You may wonder how difficult it may be to understand an individual whom you cannot speak with.  Most of the time, the one who cannot speak does not know how to relay their wants and needs to you either.  They can become frustrated because communicating was once much easier.  Many of us are caring for aging loved ones who can no longer communicate with us.  Seniors may lose their ability to talk, known as aphasia, which can occur from stroke, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease or a brain injury.  However, even minor difficulties in speech can be a challenge for both the caregiver and caretaker.

When losing the ability to speak, our loved ones begin to feel isolated and misunderstood, which many times can lead to anger, depression and mood swings.  It is critical for caregivers and family members to be able to communicate with seniors in any way possible.  Not just for the collective understanding, but mainly for the feeling of comfort.  This process is incredibly scary for seniors.  Always keep that in mind!

Using the sense of touch

It has been far known that the sense of touch is one of the last to be impaired by aging.  The feeling of comfort and safety is very consoling to the ones who can no longer speak like they used to.  Beginning to rely on touch to communicate will require extra attention to their non-verbal cues.  Pay attention to their facial expressions and their hand gestures.  These two actions will express a lot on how your loved one is feeling and if anything may be bothering them.

One common problem to avoid is expressing any negative emotions or gestures towards your loved one.  We completely understand that caregiving is a very difficult and demanding task for anyone to take on.  If you have children, this may take you back to when they were being a toddler.  Even though getting upset is a natural reaction to the situation, it only makes things worse.  Try to remain calm.  The more time the both of you spend together, the more you will be able to understand one another.

hearing without speaking

Even though a one-sided conversation may seem like you are talking at the person instead of with the person, this is still beneficial for your loved ones.  Continue to fill them in on what is going on in their life and the families.  Go over what your day is going to look like and any appointments that are scheduled.  Continue to ask them questions.  Look for cues or indications into what they may be feeling inside.  According to a study done by the National Alzheimers Resource Center, many seniors can continue to hear and comprehend their native language far after they become unable to speak.  You may be amazed on just how much they can still understand.

Remember, always be patient.

For more on caregiving…

7 healthy habits and tips for caregivers

You can get paid being a caregiver to your family!

How to stay positive while caregiving

Helping Our Loved Ones Cope With Loneliness

It is completely understandable as to why you may feel lonely as you get older.  Family and friends may have moved to a different city or state.  Coworkers no longer keep in touch due to the same circumstances.  And, as we unfortunately have to deal with, some of the individuals close to us may have passed away.

However, that does not mean you have to be lonely in your golden years.  There are many things you can do in your area to remain social and avoid being isolated.  Life as a senior should be vibrant, fun and entertaining almost as if you were a child again.  After all, you did work really long and hard to get to this point.  Here are a few ideas to help that our closest group of seniors have shared with us.

go on an adventure to new places

With the warm weather approaching, businesses and city parks are preparing their locations for first time visitors.  Museums are extending their hours to accommodate more people.  Shopping centers and downtown areas are thriving with new construction every day.  You might want to visit your favorite store to see the new items on the shelves.

Whatever the case is, you should look around in your area for new town events.  As a caregiver, check the local newspapers for what is happening on the town greens.  Or you may want to visit the cities website to mark your calendar with future plans.  Just getting out and being around others, even if it is the smallest social experience, it can help to avoid loneliness.

Pets help combat loneliness

Do you have a dog or a cat?  Or maybe the neighbor has a dog running around the fenced in yard.  If not, the local shelter is always looking for volunteers to help with walking and caring for their animals.  Pets are a great way to feel a sense of relief, reward and satisfaction.  Remember, our loved ones once cared for young children.  The feeling of caring for an animal helps lower anxiety and contribute to an overall boost in well being.  If the idea seems reasonable and feasible, consider adopting a pet.  this may not be the best option for everyone, but animals can provide the best form of companionship to help with the feeling of loneliness.

listen and let them teach you

As a caregiver, one of the best ways to help our loved ones to open up is to ask them questions.  You see, they have spent many years learning from others and making mistakes, they love to pass on their wisdom to the next generation.  This is a great way to connect with each other on a much deeper level.

As generations have changed and technology has advanced, some of the traditional ways people did things are no longer taught today.  But many of them had to learn efficient and effective ways of completing daily tasks.  Ask them about how they used to do things at your age.  You would be surprised on how much you learn!

Always watch for depression, especially in the long winter months.  This can be common among seniors.  If you see circumstances getting worse please consult with your local physician.



Seniors at the farmers market

Spring Is Here! 6 Activites For Seniors

It’s Time to get outside!


After what seemed like forever but was only 5 months, the cold is on it’s way out.  The warm air and bright sun over the weekend will slowly push the trees and plant life out of hibernation.  This is the time of year where we can all spend more time outside with family and loved ones.  Here are a few local activities to enjoy this spring, as well as a few health tips.

 1.  First and Foremost, Get Outdoors!

The number one goal is to be outside.  Wether you are able to be active or are able to sit on a park bench, studies from Harvard Medical have shown being outdoors has a direct correlation with your overall mood.  The sunlight tends to elevate peoples mood levels and helps relive stress.  Also, an increase amount of Vitamin D will help your body fight certain conditions from osteoporosis and cancer, to depression and heart attacks.  As long as we don’t overdo the amount of sun we take in, it is very beneficial to your overall health.

 2.  visit your local farmers market

Visiting a local farmer’s market should be high on your list this spring.  Not only will this help you get outdoors but also give you the opportunity to eat better.  You will find new and healthy fruits and vegetables to try.  Many markets also offer new recipe lists as well as classes ranging from healthy cooking to making your own soaps.  Click here for a list of farmers markets in Connecticut.

 3.  Take swimming classes at the local ymca

Now, while this may not be an outdoor activity, most people find it more enjoyable to swim when it is warm outside.  Naturally our bodies try to refrain from getting wet when the temperature is low.  Local YMCA’s have a list of classes for individuals of all mobility ranges.  Swimming is great for your heart health as well as getting those muscles pumping!

 4.  eat outside on the patio

Many of us New Englanders cannot wait to fire up the grill for the first time.  The smell of the charcoal burning has summertime written all over it.  Many restaurants are excited to open up their patio as soon as the weather starts to become enjoyable.  Ask around for new and exciting places to enjoy a meal outdoors.  For a list of the top 25 restaurants with outdoor dining click here.

 5.  take a stroll in the park

Connecticut state employees are busy this time of year doing spring cleanup in all of the city and state parks.  Many have statues explaining the history behind the land and how the park was created.  Some will host food trucks, arts and craft shows, and live music in the evenings.

While we are all excited for the warm weather to fully blossom, let’s not forget to protect ourselves from the sun.

  • Make sure to put on a high SPF sunscreen at all times, even when it is cloudy.
  • Drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
  • Watch out for allergies.  The pollen is strong this time of year.
  • Wear sunglasses!

And as always.. Have fun!




Benefits of Adult Day Centers

seniors love adult day centers

Adult Day Centers are a great resource for caregivers and seniors, but many are unaware of the benefits these centers can provide.  For caregivers, trying to balance your personal responsibilities and caring for a loved one can become stressful at times.  However, what is even more important are the benefits to seniors.

Staying inside during the winter months can take a toll on anyone.  Trying to find fun and healthy activities to do yourself is not always easy.  That is where Adult Day Centers come in.  We provide a place for seniors to engage in exciting activities, socialize with others, and enjoy life outside of their home.

How adult day services can help

Adult Day Services are planned programs that last all of part of the day. These services help older adults and those who have medical or physical disabilities continue to have an active lifestyle and involvement in the community.  Our services begin at 8am and end at 4pm.  We provide breakfast and a gourmet three-course lunch.  We also offer:

  • Door to Door Transportation
  • Nursing and Medical Supervision
  • Health Screenings
  • Shopping Trips
  • Computer Classes
  • Social Activities
  • Exersize Programs

Our daily services are all enjoyed by our members in a safe and supervised environment.

Who benefits from adult day services?

Adult Day Centers are a right choice for you if:

  • You are a caregiver in need of a short break
  • You work full time and would like supervision for your loved one
  • Seniors looking for a fun and exciting place to socialize with others

Improving the quality of life for both caregivers and loved ones is the number one priority of most individuals.  I know you may be thinking right now, should I feel guilty if I am not home with my loved one?

The answer is no.  Adult Day Centers are an amazing resource for both parties involved.

Have you ever heard the saying, “Too much of anything is not good?”

It applies in this case as well.  Being the caregiver and never getting a break will lead to stress and caregiver burnout.  This is only inevitable.  As a caregiver, you need time to be able to take care of your own personal needs as well as enjoy your life out side of caregiving.  Whether you are raising your own children, working part-time, or involved in other activities, you do not want these responsibilities to suffer due to care taking.  Living a balanced life is very important.  Remember, you must take care of yourself first before you can take care of another.

Other times it may be difficult to think if your care recipient will enjoy the day centers.  You may be hesitant to leave supervision of your loved.  That is normal.  We understand.  The staff at Juniper is very accommodating to the needs of our members.  Many seniors come with their caregiver for the day to help them feel comfortable.  And after that first day, most want to come back!

If you have any questions feel free to reach out to us!  860-523-1418

To see the exciting fun happening at our Adult Day Centers, visit our Facebook page Juniper at Regency.