Home Care Expert Insights

In Conversation with Jessica L. Cannon to Bring Her Insights on Elderly Caregiving

Providing quality senior care is crucial as our population ages. It requires personalized attention and support to address the physical, cognitive, and emotional changes that come with aging.

Quality senior care goes beyond basic assistance, focusing on independence, health, and a nurturing environment. Staying updated on research and best practices is essential.
Building relationships, fostering community, and meaningful engagement are key.

Dedicated caregivers and professionals ensure safety, comfort, and happiness. By advocating for quality senior care, we create a society that supports and values its elderly.

To shed some light on the same, we interviewed a home care industry expert to bring her perspective on elderly caregiving.

Expert QA session with Jessica L. Cannon

Who Did We Interview?

Jessica’s career began as an industry accountant, but life evolved into a leadership role as a caregiver advocate. Although she maintains her CPA license, her new professional path has helped her become a published author, ghostwriter, speaker, teacher, podcaster, and business owner.

Her life experience has become the foundation of Cannon Light Media, LLC, to mentor caregivers toward finding freedom from guilt and shame while connecting them to valuable resources as The Proactive Caregivers. Her passion for prevention encouraged her to become a Certified Dementia Practitioner to help support and educate caregivers on a broader level.

Let’s get started with knowing what our expert thinks about elderly caregiving.

Question 1: What, according to you, should families do when hiring a caregiver for their elderly?

In my experience, caregivers wait too long before bringing in help. Families should think about the specific needs of their loved ones as objectively as possible, meaning taking out the emotional factors that may be stopping them from having extra hands to help. One way is to schedule multiple meets & greets with the caregiver to interact with you in front of your loved one.

Having a stranger in their home is only an initial feeling. As the caregiver comes to spend time with the family, then you can build a trusting relationship. Fear of the unknown melts away as you empower yourself with the knowledge from each meeting. Sometimes, navigating the path to what works is first figuring out what doesn’t.

Question 2: How can caregivers maintain the independence and dignity of the elderly and their families when providing care?

Caregivers can maintain the independence and dignity of their loved ones by recognizing their loved one as an individual that still has needs and normal human desires, regardless of their age.

Just because we provide care to meet their basic needs regularly does not mean they are no longer human beings without interests, likes/dislikes, desires, or any emotional dilemmas. Find out what those items are and provide as much as possible.

Otherwise, offer to introduce them to some of your items so they feel connected.
Independence is more than clinging to a driver’s license and can also be found through social engagements or planned activities.

Question 3: How can caregivers prevent burnout and manage their work-personal life?

Preventing burnout and managing work-person life is the premise behind The Proactive Caregiver through setting boundaries, tracking calendar appointments 6 months in advance, and fueling up every day properly. Boundaries are a form of self-care that may be small or hard stops, but showing others what is important to you to protect your health is vital.

By letting the calendar manage appointments and reminders so your mind is not overwhelmed, staying in the present moment is easier. Staying stuck in the past or worrying about the future is emotionally draining. Giving your body the nutrients needed to balance your gut, help the heart, and fortify your brain is an energetic and spiritual protection from the ailments that cause Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

Question 4: How can I help my aging parents from afar?

Sometimes we hear what we want to hear or see what we want to see.

If you are not in contact with a loved one that lives afar with a clear vision of their living conditions or their needs, you may be in denial and not see the decline. When we do not have eyes on our loved ones to see their environment and absent mindedly trust that they are as fine as they claim, it is dangerous to their health and well-being. I managed as many services from afar until I had boots on the ground in her home to see she was not as fine as she claimed. My mother refused to have a care companion come into her home out of pride and embarrassment to assist her with activities of daily living before I was her full-time essential caregiver.

I finally found a care companion, brought her over, and introduced her as “my friend that lived in the neighborhood and needed more friends.” I was conflicted because it initially felt wrong to lie to Mom about this woman being a paid caregiver, but I soon felt immense relief as I watched Mom bond with the care companion.

Question 5: What advice do you give to new family caregivers?

I advise new family caregivers to follow four steps immediately; the rest comes later. First, complete their caregiver compliance documents as soon as possible (MPOA, POA, HIPA, Declaration of Guardianship, & Advance Directive).

They will be needed for many areas later as your loved one declines. Time is of the essence so they can be included in their estate and end-of-life decisions. Second, schedule time with a therapist regularly as you process the change in your life. Third, I advise the family to discuss matters openly so that everyone is aware of what is happening and understands the expectations this burden will present as lives are changed. This allows everyone involved to voice their concerns, fears, and preferences. Fourth, search for in-home care and assisted living options in your area so it can be done at your convenience and not in crisis mode.

There are excellent agencies, assisted living or memory care options, and poorly managed ones. Lighten your stress by doing research earlier than later.

Final Words

Offering quality senior care is not just a responsibility but a profound commitment to ensuring the well-being and dignity of our aging population. By providing personalized attention, fostering independence, promoting social connections, and prioritizing emotional well-being, we can enhance the lives of seniors in their golden years.

It requires a compassionate and dedicated team, staying updated with advancements, and creating a supportive community. Our expert believes in valuing and investing in quality senior care; we contribute to a society that embraces and cherishes its elderly, fostering a sense of fulfillment and respect for all.

Want to contribute to our expert insights for the 'Home Care Q/A' series?

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Want to contribute to our expert insights for the 'Home Care Q/A' series?

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