Archive for the ‘Caregivers’Category

Safeway Safety Step Accessibility Products Providing Caregivers Peace of Mind

Safeway Safety Step is helping to increase safety and preserve and restore dignity for those receiving and providing care by offering affordable and reliable bathtub modification solutions that improve bathroom accessibility. According to the National Safety Council, more than 200,000 accidents occur in bathrooms every year Unfortunately, with falls so common in bathrooms, more caregivers are being called upon to help with baths and showers.

“For caregivers of aging parents and people with mobility challenges, it can be difficult to provide help with life’s daily activities that many people were so accustomed to doing themselves,” said Chris Stafford, president of Safeway Safety Step. “We also understand that it can be difficult for seniors and individuals with mobility issues to ask for help with a traditionally private activity. Providing solutions that allows those needing care to take a shower or bath by themselves helps to preserve their dignity, while caregivers find comfort in knowing that their parents are less likely to get hurt in an area of the home notorious for falls.”

The Safeway Step® converts an existing tub into a permanent walk-in shower. The Safeway Tub Door® adds a watertight sealable door to an existing bathtub, making it easier to walk into the tub while still allowing the bathtub to be completely filled. For caregivers with multi-generational homes, the Safeway Tub Door® ensures that members of the household can still use and enjoy taking a full bath.

“The most important thing for caregivers is to find solutions that help their loved ones, and given their concerns, they also need trustworthy, qualified companies that can help them make the right modifications to their homes or the homes of those they are caring for,” added Stafford. “In many cases, what is needed is not a major renovation, and at Safeway Safety Step, our focus is on working with caregivers to provide safe solutions that minimize the impact on their lives, deliver them peace of mind and preserve dignity.”

In addition to preserving and restoring dignity, Safeway Safety Step products are more affordable, costing a fraction of a complete bathroom renovation or custom walk-in shower.  Pricing for Safeway Safety Step, including installation, is $895. It can be installed without much inconvenience to the household. Whereas a renovation could render a bathroom inaccessible for weeks, installing a Safeway Step® takes less than a half-day.


12 2012

Assessing your Aging Parent’s Needs this Holiday Season

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal suggested that the holidays may be an ideal time determine if long-term care is necessary for aging parents and to better understand how their current situation may financially impact you and them in the future. With lots of people gathering for extended periods of time during the net couple of months, the writer provides four tips:

1. Assess needs

2. Take stock of benefits

3. Timing matters when it comes to health benefits

4. Factor in hospice care

Visit to read the entire article.



11 2012

Presidential Proclamation — National Family Caregivers Month, 2012


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Our Nation’s health care professionals provide essential medical services to millions of Americans, yet they do not shoulder their responsibilities alone. Family members, friends, and neighbors devote countless hours to providing care to their relatives or loved ones. During National Family Caregivers Month, we recognize and thank the humble heroes who do so much to keep our families and communities strong.

Across America, daughters and sons balance the work of caring for aging parents with the demands of their careers and raising their own children. Spouses and partners become caregivers to the ones they love even as they navigate their own health challenges. Mothers and fathers resume care for children returning home as wounded warriors. Friends and relatives form networks to support loved ones with disabilities. All of them give selflessly to bring comfort, social engagement, and stability to those they love.

Family caregivers have an immeasurable impact on the lives of those they assist, but their hours are long and their work is hard. Many put their own lives on hold to lift up someone close to them. That is why my Administration continues to support these committed individuals through programs like the National Family Caregiver Support Program and the Lifespan Respite Care Program, and through new initiatives like the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease. These efforts help caregivers access services, provide quality support, and reinforce their support through respite care options. Additionally, my Administration has pursued workplace flexibility initiatives that help caregivers balance their responsibilities to their employers with their responsibilities to their loved ones. I was also proud to sign the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act, which has helped our most seriously injured post-9/11 veterans and their family caregivers through financial support; access to health insurance, mental health services, and counseling; and comprehensive caregiver training and respite care.

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11 2012

New United Nations Report Focuses on Aging in the 21st Century

Below is an excerpt from the Executive Summary for the new United Nations report, “Aging in the 21st Century: A Celebration and A Challenge.”

The Way Forward

In many parts of the world, families have the main responsibility for the care and financial support of older dependents. The resulting costs can be extreme for working- age generations, often affecting their savings capacity, employability and productivity. However, private transfers from family can no longer automatically be considered as the only source of income for older family members.

The report shows how living arrangements of older people are changing in tune with changes in societies. Family sizes are decreasing and intergenerational support systems will continue to be exposed to important changes, particularly in the years to come. There are significant numbers of “skipped-generation” households consisting of children and older people, especially in rural areas, as a result of rural-to- urban migration of “middle-generation” adults. Consultations with older persons around the world point to many cases in which older persons provide assistance to adult children and grandchildren, not only with childcare and housework, but also with substantial financial contributions to the family.

The report stresses the need to address current societal inequalities by ensuring equal access of all segments of the population to education, employment, health care and basic social services that will enable people to live decently in the present and save for the future. It calls for strong investments in human capital by improving the education and employment prospects of the current generation of young people.

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10 2012

Preserving Dignity through Accessibility and Safety

Safeway Safety Step CEO Chris Stafford recently contributed a guest blog post to Below is an excerpt:

As fathers watch their young children grow up, the pleas for help with everything from bath time to shoelaces have quickly been replaced with “Dad, get out!” and “Dad, I can do it!” While we are all happy for our children’s new-found independence and adamantly respect their requests for privacy, it can be difficult for dads to “let go.” The fact that they have learned to and want to do things for themselves is admirable, and we certainly hope that they forever value their dignity.

As the president of Safeway Safety Step, a company that makes products for seniors and individuals with mobility challenges, my daughters’ desire for privacy and independence also made me think about our customers and their caregivers. Regardless of age, people want to do things for themselves and want to preserve their self-respect. There are certainly daily life activities and areas in the home where privacy is not only appropriate but demanded. Unfortunately, as people age and disabilities and mobility challenges make daily tasks more difficult, independence and dignity can be lost. Parents, who once filled the roles as financial, physical and emotional support to their children, may struggle to accept the fact that roles need to be reversed.

Read the rest of Chris Stafford’s guest blog post on


07 2012

Nine Reasons to Care for Aging Parents at Home

Excerpt from

If you have an elderly parent, chances are you have spent more than one sleepless night worrying about their future.

When faced with the daunting task of elder-caregiving, many don’t know where to begin sorting through all the daunting options available. But in fact, the answer may as simple as letting Mom & Dad stay put—helping them age comfortably, and gracefully, at home.

Home care is not always the best solution for every eldercare situation, particularly if the home environment is unsafe or if your parent requires a very intensive medical needs. However, for millions of American families home care is a sure bet.

Beyond the cost savings, home care offers your parents the ability to remain in their own home . By surrounding them in a safe, therapeutic environment you can prolong their health and do wonders for the well being of your entire family.

Whether or not you decide to hire a professional care, home care provides a variety of benefits for both the recipient and the family. Allowing your parent to remain at home is a seemingly minor decision that can mean so much.

Click on the link below to read the entire article.

9 Reasons to Care for Aging Parents at Home.


06 2012

The Cost of Caregiving


The following is an excerpt of a blog post written by Chris Stafford, president of Safeway Safety Step, and contributed to

Chris Stafford

“More than 42 million people across the United States are daily caregivers for an adult with limitations, and another 20 million provide care at different points throughout the year. According to recent studies, these unselfish caregivers provided contributions valued at more than $450 billion in 2009, a $75 billion increase from only two years prior in 2007. While this is an economic benefit to the country and our healthcare system, it does come at significant price to the caregivers, from financial resources, to personal time and their health. And with people living longer, we are likely to see even more older Americans taking care of their elderly parents and other family members.”

Click here to read the entire post:


06 2012

5 Tips to Help You Plan and Finance Your Aging Parents’ Elder Care Costs

The “Silver Tsunami” is leaving many families unprepared for the financial burden of financing their parents’ senior living and care, according to NPR. With a depressed economy in tandem with aging baby boomers and expensive elder care costs, the nation needs to start planning.

It seems natural for the flow of wealth to go from older generation to younger generation. Parents leave remaining wealth to their children, right? While this has been the process for many years, the uncomfortable truth is that today’s version of retirement planning is quite a bit different. It’s actually quite common for children to have to provide financially for their parents’ senior care and living situations. And this role reversal has many families reeling as the financial blow is unexpected.

Click 5 Tips to Help You Plan and Finance Your Aging Parents’ Elder Care Costs to read the entire article on


04 2012

Caregiving Affects Health of Three-Quarters of Caregivers, According to National Survey

Nearly three out of four Americans who provide care for a family member or friend who is disabled, elderly or has physical or mental limitations said caregiving had at least some impact on their health, and six in 10 said caregiving caused them to lose sleep sometimes, according to a recent national survey.

The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of the American Academy of Family Physicians in March 2012, looked at both the impact of caregiving and caregivers’ need for credible information about their family members’ changing health needs and how to balance caregiving with other responsibilities. Among its findings:

  • Nearly nine in 10 (88 percent) of caregivers felt one or more stressors associated with caregiving.
  • Nearly three out of four (72 percent) of caregivers said caregiving had at least some impact on their health.
  • Six in 10 (60 percent) caregivers said caregiving caused them to lose sleep at least sometimes.
  • Slightly more than half (52 percent) said their caregiving responsibilities caused them to neglect their other responsibilities such as meeting their own health needs, running errands, caring for their home, and spending time with other family and friends at least sometimes.
  • The challenge will grow with time. As the number of people age 65 and older increases, demand for caregiving will rise. Today, 43.5 million Americans provide care for someone age 50 and older, according to the Family Caregiver Alliance. The Alzheimer’s Association’s 2012 Facts and Figures report that 15.2 million Americans care for someone who has Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia.
  • Moreover, caregivers indicated they sought out information about their loved one’s health and about balancing caregiving with other responsibilities.
  • Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of caregivers who manage the health of those they provide care for sought information from their physician or health care provider when they had questions about the health of those they care for. Of those, nearly all (96 percent) sought information from a primary care physician.
  • More than half (57 percent) sought information on the Internet.
  • More than half (56 percent) of caregivers felt there was no single online resource for highly credible health information on caregiving.
  • More than half (58 percent) of caregivers said they were frustrated by having to go to multiple resources when they’re trying to find information on a specific health issue.

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04 2012

What to Consider When Selecting an Assisted Living Facility

Placing a family member in an assisted living facility is a major life decision for both the person needing care, as well as his or her caregivers. There are a lot of things to consider before the decision becomes a reality, from personal finances and distance from the caregiver to the food and even a gut feel about the staff. After reviewing multiple online sources, we compiled a list of the top things to consider when choosing an assisted living facility.

1. Feel – Ask yourself, how did you feel when you entered the facility? How did you feel when you took a tour of the residents rooms and talked with the staff. Did the inside feel too small or did you feel like you would get lost in the place? Certainly doubts and concerns can be resolved over time, but it is important to pay attention to how you feel throughout the evaluation period.

From “What is the overall mood of the residents? Chances are you will see some of the residents when you are visiting the assisted living facility—do they seem well kempt, happy, and in good physical condition? Sometimes, being aware of how current residents appear can give you a very good idea of the quality of the assisted living facility.”

2. Medical care – From “How are health problems handled? How does the facility handle both emergency and non-emergency problems? If you develop a medical condition, will you be able to remain at the facility? At what point would you be required to move elsewhere for medical care?”

From “Because assisted living is not as comprehensive as nursing home care, there may not be as much monitoring of your parent’s health status, and emergency medical care may not be as readily available. Be sure to find out how medical care is provided and if your parent would receive assistance getting to doctors for medical appointments.”

3. Staff – From USA Today: “The staff ratio. If most residents need a lot of assistance and there is only one direct caregiver to 10 or 12 residents, it may not be enough. Conversely, if most residents are fairly independent, a 1-to-15 ratio may be fine. Some facilities require direct-care staff to take care of residents and clean rooms, serve meals and bus dining room tables. The ratio at such a home would be different from a home with separate housekeeping and kitchen staffs. Ask about the duties expected of direct caregivers.”

From Ask about the different kinds of staff who work at the facility (nurses, aides, financial counselors, security, etc.), whether they go through a screening process, and what sort of skills or training they have. Some states require special training and certification for staff at assisted living residences—find out what the standards are in the state in question. Spend some time at the facility to observe how staff treats the residents. Talk to residents about whether they are satisfied with the way staff treats them. What are the procedures for handling complaints?”

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04 2012