New Quiz Helps You Decide If Dear Ol' Dad Needs Help

Research shows dads won't ask for help - Quiz helps adult children have that 'oh-so tough' talk

June 14, 2011 // Franchising.com // It's one of the most difficult conversations adult children can have with aging parents, especially those stubborn dads. Can your parents live independently? Or is time to reach out for help? Just in time for Father's Day, Senior Helpers, a leading in-home care provider, has created a new quiz for adult children to determine their father's self-sufficiency. The Stay At Home Score Quiz (www.stayathomescore.com) has eight easy questions that help families make difficult decisions about the independence of their aging loved ones.

"It's a common scenario for aging parents, especially independent dads, to insist they're well enough to live in their own homes even if they're not," says Dr. John Bowling, senior care and positive aging expert, and creator of the Senior Helpers' Stay At Home Score Quiz. "After years of research, I developed this quiz to give adult children a guideline to determine their parents' needs, if they are self-sufficient, if they can live at home with help from an in-home caregiver, or if it's time to move them to a place where they get round-the-clock care."

Stay At Home Score Quiz

The quiz was developed after decades of working with the elderly and studying the aging process that may suddenly make it unhealthy and unsafe for a senior citizen to live alone.

Sample Quiz Questions:

  • Does your dad have easy access to a caring support system of family and friends whom he can rely on for daily assistance with physical, financial, and emotional needs?
  • Does your dad regularly cook for himself, shop for groceries without assistance, and keep the home well-stocked with fresh and healthy foods?
  • Does your dad maintain the same level of social activity and friendships that he did five years ago?

After taking the quiz, Dr. Bowling says adult children will have at least a good discussion point about the self sufficiency of dad or any aging loved one.

"This quiz would've been a great tool to help my mom focus on our dad's condition instead of her own emotions about not wanting to bring in outside help," says Susie Thomas of Madison, Alabama. Susie's father is 74 years old with a neurodegenerative disease called ALS. "When my siblings and I were all trying to talk my mom into hiring a caregiver for Dad, I think she felt like we were ganging up on her. It would've been nice to sit down and show her this quiz and use it as a mediator to provide an unbiased opinion. Now, we have such a peace of mind knowing my dad is in good hands."

Six Telling Signs (regarding your father) That You Should Take the Stay At Home Score Quiz (Source: the Council on Aging):

  • Poor eating habits - resulting in weight loss, no appetite or missed meals.
  • Neglected hygiene - wearing dirty clothes, body odor, neglected nails and teeth.
  • Neglected home - it's not as clean or sanitary as you remember growing up.
  • Scorched pots and pans - shows forgetfulness for dinner cooking on the stove.
  • Unopened mail, newspaper piles, missed appointments.
  • Mishandled finances - losing money, paying bills twice or hiding money.

The Stay At Home Score Quiz would have been a big help for a Senior Helpers client, Arnie, a 78-year-old veteran with mild dementia. He was suffering from depression and not eating well, until he began receiving care from Senior Helpers. "I wish this quiz had been available years ago," says licensed, clinical social worker, Anne Grasee, who cares for Arnie. "I could have introduced Arnie to Senior Helpers that much earlier." She says Arnie's life has turned around since he realized he needed outside help from a caregiver. He now has a companion who visits him and gets him out of the house on a weekly basis.

Other Study/Survey Findings About Dads

  • Dad will overwhelmingly choose to live at home and may try to prove he's independent, even when he's not. In a newly released national survey, 94% of fathers surveyed say they would rather live in their own home as they age instead of moving in with any of their children or to a nursing home or assisted living facility.
  • Since men are competitive and success oriented by nature, Senior Helpers suggests to approach Dad by acknowledging the courage it takes to ask for and accept assistance and then pointing out why it is a good idea.
  • The contrast between men's and women's help-seeking behavior is a "growing concern," according to a 2008 study from the University of Cincinnati and the Medical University of South Carolina. It found that in the U.S., boys learn at an early age that men should be strong, independent, tough and self- reliant.

HAVE YOUR AUDIENCE/READERS TAKE THE 8 QUESTION QUIZ www.stayathomescore.com

Tell the story of adult children taking the quiz and how it helped them make a decision about the best care for their aging father. We can provide:

  • Interviews with senior care experts who can talk about the challenges of taking care of elderly parents
  • Interviews with families with aging parents

About Stay At Home Score Quiz:

Senior Helpers created the Stay At Home Score Quiz, an eight question quiz adult children take to determine their parents' independency and self sufficiency. The quiz was developed for Senior Helpers by Dr. John Bowling, a professor at Southern Oregon University and an expert on senior care and positive aging. The purpose of the quiz is to determine whether aging parents can live in their own homes independently, can live in their own homes with help of a caregiver or if they need to move to a place with round the clock care. The survey of 335 men and women over age 55 with both a son(s) and a daughter(s) was conducted by a third party on April 25, 2011.

About Senior Helpers:

Senior Helpers connects professional caregivers with seniors who wish to live at home as opposed to a nursing or assisted living facility. The company has nearly 300 franchises in 42states and one Canadian province offering a wide range of personal and companion care services to assist senior living independently with a strong focus on quality of life for the client and peace of mind for their families. Senior Helpers strives to be the leading companion and personal care provider that offers dependable, consistent and affordable home care.For more information, please visit www.seniorhelpers.com.

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