PRIVATE NURSING CARE YOU CAN TRUSTHelping clients regain their health and independence while remaining in their home for as long as safely possible is at the heart ofQuality Medical Services.We respond by listening to our clients~ quality of life, care and comfort issues, as well as to those of their family and loved ones. We take to heart the task of matching the right professional to the individual needs of each client.Quality Medical Servicesprovides licensed and experienced nurses to provide the appropriate level of care in the comfort of your own home, where you want to be.CARING PROFESSIONALS PROVIDE A CONTINUUM OF CAREMost importantly, we deliver care right in thecomfort of your home, where you want to be.Many things makeQuality Medical Servicesstand apart from other nursing services. Oneof the main differences is not clinical at all.We recognize that as important as technicalskills are tohome healthcare, so is the needfor empathy and kindness. We are acompany that believes in compassionatecare that comes from the heart.
PRIVATE NURSING CARE YOU CAN TRUSTHelping clients regain their health and independence while remaining in their home for as long as safely possible is at the heart ofQuality Medical Services.We respond by listening to our clients~ quality of life, care and comfort issues, as well as to those of their family and loved ones. We take to heart the task of matching the right professional to the individual needs of each client.Quality Medical Servicesprovides licensed and experienced nurses to provide the appropriate level of care in the comfort of your own home, where you want to be.CARING PROFESSIONALS PROVIDE A CONTINUUM OF CAREMost importantly, we deliver care right in thecomfort of your home, where you want to be.Many things makeQuality Medical Servicesstand apart from other nursing services. Oneof the main differences is not clinical at all.We recognize that as important as technicalskills are tohome healthcare, so is the needfor empathy and kindness. We are acompany that believes in compassionatecare that comes from the heart.
Comfort Keepers helps seniors stay independent in the comfort of their own home by providing quality, compassionate care by screened, trained, insured and bonded caregivers. We understand that each client has unique needs and personal preferences. Our Interactive Caregiving model offers a full range of in-home services to tailor care plans that support senior mind, body, safety and nutrition.
As we enter the fall and winter season this year, things look a little different. Many seniors continue to isolate at home because of the Coronavirus pandemic and this can take a toll on their mental health.Its important for seniors to work with their families, caregivers and health professionals to develop a plan that allows them to safely take part in activities they love and maintain positive mental health through activity and connection.At any age, our health and wellbeing are enhanced by regularly participating in the things that bring us purpose, hope and joy. For seniors, taking part in these activities can be more difficult, older people who feel younger than their age show less brain aging, better memory and less depression. And studies show that staying engaged is important for a seniors mental and physical health. Medical professionals recognize that social determinants of health, especially those that affect mental, social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, impact health outcomes and quality of life.There are always opportunities for meaningful moments and joyful days with a little planning, conversation and intentional action.Fall ActivitiesFall activities tend to focus on connecting with loved ones, enjoying the turning season and spending time outside before the weather gets icy.This year, many people cant see their favorite sports teams play in person. But fall is a dream for seniors that enjoy football, baseball and hockey and there are ways to participate virtually. Seniors and their loved ones can watch together over a video call or have a socially distanced viewing party at home, as long as everyone adheres to recommended safety guidelines.Enjoying fall foliage is an activity in itself, and can be done sitting on the porch, going for a short walk or on a longer hike outside. Raking leaves can even be fun when done with loved ones.Eating is another activity that seems to be more fun in the fall family dinners for those isolating together, baking projects and Halloween fun are all opportunities for seniors to participate in activities they enjoy while maintaining their nutrition goals. Winter ActivitiesThe holidays are filled with opportunities to enjoy music, celebrations with family and community service.Holiday shopping is a fun activity usually done outside of the house. However, online shopping may be the best way for seniors to get their gifts without visiting the mall.Singing, dancing, playing instruments and listening to holiday carols are ways that seniors can enjoy music, no matter what the weather looks like outside. Streaming music services often have a wide selection, allowing seniors to pick their favorites to listen to through a phone, virtual assistant or computer.While there are ways that seniors can serve others year-round, volunteering can be even more meaningful around the holidays. Finding virtual volunteer opportunities is even easier this year writing letters, knitting blankets and finding old coats and sweaters to donate can all be done safely at home. Comfort Keepers can HelpAt Comfort Keepers, we create individual care plans for every client. These plans include wellness goals that consider physical, mental and emotional health. Our caregivers can help support physician-prescribed diet and exercise plans, provide medication reminders, provide transportation to appointments and help seniors engage in the activities they love the most. And, our caregivers can help senior stay connected with loved ones through video chats, phone calls and care updates. We believe that every senior should experience the best in life. If you have questions about Comfort Keepers uplifting in-home care services, please contact us today.
For more information on the author Comfort Keepers Fort Myers, CLICK HERE.According to CARP, more than 8 million Canadians provided unpaid care to family member or friend. More than 1 million caregivers are older than 65. The Center for Disease Control reports that over half (53%) of caregivers indicated that a decline in their health compromises their ability to provide care.*The Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) reports that 40 to 70 percent of caregivers exhibit clinically significant symptoms of depression.Caring for a senior loved one is both rewarding and challenging. Family caregivers need to remember that its important to take necessary breaks and practice self-care so they can ensure that they continue to find joy in their role.Respite care is defined as the transfer of primary caregiving responsibilities to another person, typically a professional caregiver, relative or friend, in order for primary caregivers to receive temporary relief from caregiving responsibilities. Respite care takes many forms some family caregivers choose to have someone take on caregiver duties for a few hours a week or a few hours a day. Or, some schedule respite care for longer periods of time to accommodate an extended break or vacation.This can be particularly important for those caring for a senior that has a severe illness. A study led by the Stanford Center on Longevity and Stanford University Psychology Department, which was conducted with assistance from Comfort Keepers and Clear Care, found that for older family caregivers:Caring for a loved one with a mild illness generally leaves them in the same emotional state as their peers with emotional well-being generally greater than that of younger adults.When responsible for a loved one with a severe illness, reported emotional well-being tended to be lower than those of their peers.The cause of a decrease in emotional well-being is attributed to caregivers inability to pursue their social goals and friendships.The purpose of this study was to help identify the unique challenges and stressors that family caregivers face. As a partner in this research study, we reached out to the family members and decision-makers of approximately 2,000 Comfort Keepers clients.These results suggest that older people have higher emotional well-being than younger people but not when they have a relative with a severe illness. Not all older people with ailing relatives have low well-being; rather, it depends on the severity of the relatives ailment.Caring for a senior loved one can be fulfilling and can strengthen bonds within a family. But its important to recognize that being a family caregiver can come with feelings of loss, stress and physical strain. Caregivers risk their own health and wellbeing when they don't account for their own needs or take a break when necessary, and respite care provides a convenient solution for many families.Comfort Keepers Can HelpTrusting your loved one with someone else can be difficult, but with Comfort Keepers, you can trust that he or she will be in capable hands. Our specially trained caregivers will stay with your loved one while you take care of yourself, for as much or as little time as you need. And, every client receives a custom care plans that aims to engage them in intellectual, physical and emotional exercises and activities. To learn more about our uplifting in-home and respite services, contact your nearest Comfort Keepers.office today.ReferencesCenters for Disease Control and Prevention. Caregiving for Family and Friends A Public Health Issue. Web. 2019.CARP. Caregiving by the Numbers. Web.Family Caregiver Alliance. Policy and Advocacy. Web.Alzheimer's Association. Alzheimer's and Dementia Caregiver Center: Respite Care. Web. 2017Stanford Center on Longevity. Age and Emotional Well-Being: The Varied Emotional Experience of Family Caregivers by Sarah Raposo, Jessica Barnes, Tamara Sims, Amy Yotopoulos, Lara Carstensen, Mary Bowman, Jacquelyn Kung. Web. 2017.
Aging happens. There is no getting around it.Unfortunately, conversations about preparing for our senior years often do not happen. At least not as soon as they should.In this article, Comfort Keepers offers suggestions for overcoming the discomfort that many times prevents adult children and parents from beginning these important discussions whether about long-term senior care and finances, health care, end-of-life decisions, driving, or safety around the house.The best advice is to plan carefully and think through such conversations so that they are as positive and productive as possible. Write down what you think needs to be discussed so you dont forget anything.Also, do not approach this important opportunity as The Conversation, but as an ongoing series of conversations. Address one issue at a time rather than trying to resolve everything at once. It is less intimidating that way. If you start small, you are more likely to start.Following are additional tips for starting the discussions:Begin early when your parent's health allows them to fully participate and share their wants, needs and preferences. Otherwise, your decisions may be dictated by a life-changing event and may not necessarily reflect your parents wishes.Choose a time and place that makes everyone comfortable. Avoid special family gatherings, like a birthday or holiday celebration. Choose a time that is not hemmed in by other obligations so you can have a relaxed, unhurried conversation, giving your parent plenty of time to share his or her wishes.Include other family members but meet before approaching your parent to make sure everyones on the same page to avoid an unproductive, confrontational situation.Make the experience non-threatening by letting your parent know youre concerned for his or her well-being and want to know how you can help them. Explain that you would like to help them write down their plans to help assure that they are followed. You also can help open the discussion about long-term planning by inquiring whether there are any responsibilities such as home maintenance, yard work or bill payingthey would like you or someone else to help with to make life easier.Use good communication skills. Maintain good eye contact and get close enough to your parent, without invading personal space. Closeness builds trust and allows you to speak and be heard in an even, controlled voice.Share an experience such as your own retirement or estate planning as a way to gracefully transition into a conversation about your parents thoughts regarding the future. A friend or relatives medical emergency could also serve as an opening for dialogue.Ask about records and documents. Ask your parent where they keep important documents such as insurance policies, wills, trust documents, investment and banking records, tax returns, living wills and durable powers of attorney. Explain that you want to be prepared to help them when needed. This could also serve as a way of finding out what plans he or she have already made and what needs to be done.Ask open-ended questions that encourage your parent to share feelings. Then sit back and carefully listen to learn what is important to him or her.Offer options, not advice. Pose questions and offer more than one acceptable solution. Ask your parent which choice they prefer. This involves them in the decision process and enables them to exercise control and independence.Speak with respect. Approach the discussion as a partner with your parent. In other words, make sure your parent is an active participant in the conversation. Stop to listen and respect their desire and need to maintain control over their lives. Avoid reversing roles in the discussion, that is, you acting as the parent and your parent as the child. This could cause your parent to resist your attempts to open discussion.Keep it simple. As stated earlier, do not try to resolve everything at once. The goal is to open an ongoing, honest dialogue about your parents future, to share information and to understand your parents wishes and needs so that decisions can be made.Involve third parties if your parent resists your efforts to begin the discussion. He or she may be more open to the guidance of a respected non-family member, such as a doctor, a member of the clergy, a geriatric care manager, representative of an area agency on aging or trusted friends and neighbors who may have already helped a loved one in a similar situation.Seniors Can Initiate the Conversation, TooIf you are a senior who is looking ahead and wanting to plan for the future, you do not have to wait for your children to bring up the subject. Often adult children dont like thinking about their parents getting older and are reluctant to initiate the discussion.Take the initiative. If you begin having difficulty with activities of daily living, such as bathing, driving, or managing finances, speak with your physician or other healthcare professional. Also bring up the subject with family and ask for their suggestions and assistance.Share your preferences with family and friends. Do you want to continue living at home but with the help of a caregiver who can assist with certain tasks around the house? Or if you are finding it more difficult to prepare nutritious meals for yourself, would you prefer having meals delivered or having someone prepare meals for you in your home?Learn about available services to help you as you age. Physicians, social workers, geriatric care managers and other healthcare professionals can guide you in this, and your local Area Agency or Council on Aging can provide a listing of services available in your area.
Some of the best time spent with family is simply talking and connecting. Whether its catching up over a board game at the kitchen table, making dinner, or watching a favorite movie together, having go-to activities are great fool-proof ideas to spend time with loved ones. But it can also be refreshing and fun to shake up the routine by incorporating new ideas, especially when some of the go-to activities may be feeling a bit tired. These fun ideas for families focus on activities to do with seniors, including grandparents, older parents, and elderly neighbors. Some are free or affordable, others may require some planning ahead, but all ideas can be done at home, together or apart, to bring joy and make new memories.Have a spelling bee; really challenge yourselfRead suspense or romance novels out loudOrder an herb garden online, and watch it growOrder supplies to garden in a potOrder supplies from an online crafts store for your loved ones favorite hobby or something fun and newHave your senior narrate parts of their life for you. Write down the memories and create a booklet with photos for you all to cherish.Picnic in the backyard or insideFashion show at homeWatch favorite classic moviesWatch classic TV shows from childhood together and talk about itHave fun with adult coloring booksPaint by numbers Read your horoscope every dayMake a Sundae bar at homeGather items to donateOrganize a room, a drawer or closetPhone or video calls with familyLook at old albums and yearbooksTry scrap bookingWatching the Travel Channel or History Channel Voice journalingCreate a recipe book for the familyHave fun with Snapchat filtersWatch documentariesHave a culture day. Watch a foreign film and cook a meal Play online BingoPut together a collagePlay CharadesHave a formal teaMake origamiPress flowersMake greeting cardsOrder supplies and paint rocksTry a new food or restaurantWatch old music videosStart corresponding with a pen palListen to music favorites; make a playlistDownload a new podcast or audiobookMake a family treeMake a time capsule
A kitchen is often the central gathering place in the home. Family dinners, special occasions and time shared together all happen in the heart of the home. Making sure the kitchen a safe, happy place is important. On a daily basis, many of us spend time in our kitchens, and it is easy to forget that the kitchen can be a place where dangerous accidents are not uncommon especially for seniors.When it comes to senior adults and kitchen safety, the numbers show where potential issues can occur: The National Fire Protection Association reports that three (3) in ten (10) home fires start in the kitchen, more than any other room in the house.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 76 million cases of foodborne illness occur each year, including 5,000 fatal cases. Older adults, due to a natural decrease in their immune systems, can succumb to food poisoning more easily and have a harder time fighting it off if they do.Kitchens are also areas with high fall-risk areas: items stored out of reach, slippery floors, and the likelihood that meals are carried to eat in another room.The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reports that people over the age of 65 have a 2.7 times greater risk of dying in a kitchen fire than the general population. For those that want to ensure that the kitchen is as safe as possible for their senior loved ones, there are three key areas to consider:Fire prevention and safety The primary cause of kitchen fires is unattended food seniors should never leave the kitchen when food is cooking. Automatic shut-off devices are a great tool to help seniors that have memory issues but like to spend time cooking. Loose clothing, kitchen towels and potholders can all catch fire if too close to the stove, so it is good to be mindful about fabric near flames. And, on a regular basis, a qualified electrician should check wiring and outlets to ensure safety compliance this is a common cause of fires in older homes.Foodborne illness prevention Because of the ways our bodies change when we get older, foodborne illness can become a much more serious issue. This can be prevented by properly storing food, checking fridge temperatures often, properly reheating food, cleaning old items out of the fridge and pantry often and checking expiration dates.Reduce fall risks When seniors need to reach an item, whether stored too high or too low, it can cause a balance issue that may lead to a fall. Keeping cooking items within reach is critical. Clutter on counters should be removed, bright lights are helpful, and the heaviest objects should be stored at waist level. Water is often a problem in the kitchen possible issues include spilled water from the sink, leaking refrigerators and pipe leaks. Spilled water can make kitchen floors slippery, so adding mats and checking water sources often is important.The kitchen can be a joyful place in the home, with intentional action to minimize the risk of accident or illness. Being safe in the kitchen is not just common sense and revisiting safety tips for the kitchen is never a waste of time. Comfort Keepers can help. About one-quarter of Americans over age 65 need help with everyday activities such as eating, cooking, and getting in and out of bed or a chair. Our trained caregivers can help with these and other tasks, while engaging clients in activities that improve quality of life. They can also provide support for physician approved diet and exercise plans, provide transportation to appointments and community events and can assess a home for safety issues and reducing fall hazards. For more information on how we can help, contact your nearest Comfort Keepers office today.REFERENCES:Food and Drug Administration. Food Safety for Older Adults. Web. 2011.Aging Care Kitchen Fires: Make Cooking Safer for Seniors Web. 2012.The National Fire Protection Association. Serve Up Safety in the Kitchen. Web. 2020.U.S. Fire Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Fire Safety for Seniors. Web. 2020.Caring.com. Making the Kitchen Safe and Convenient for Seniors.
For more information on Comfort Keepers, CLICK HERE.Many people worry that their senior loved ones spend too much time alone, and may be suffering from isolation. But there are many ways for people to stay connected to the older adults in their lives. And, studies show that seniors are physically and mentally healthier when they maintain social connection and foster relationships.Its important to remember that it takes a team to ensure the highest quality physical and mental care for a senior. According to the CARP, nearly one in five family caregivers is providing unpaid care for an adult with health or functional needs. There are many ways that other family and friends can provide social support and create meaningful interactions with their senior loved one.For those trying to connect with a senior in their life, they can consider the following options:Teach them something new while many seniors are adept at using technology, some could use extra help getting set up for video chats or finding sources of online connection. Helping a senior learn to use new technology can be a fun bonding experience and pays off in continued contact! And if the family member or friend isn't an expert, they can consider taking a class together.A study by William Chopik, a professor at Michigan State University, found greater technology use was associated with better self-rated health, fewer chronic conditions, higher subjective well-being and lower depression.Involve others Group video chats have never been easier to set up, and there are free options that are great for small groups or paid options for larger gatherings of friends and families. Seeing each others faces and sharing stories is a great way to stay connected.Play together online Popular board games have gone virtual! Classics like Monopoly, Scattergories and Scrabble can be played online together, and there are a host of sites with card games, trivia and other fun activities to do together. Sometimes, a game night is all it takes to make people feel closer.About one-third of Canadians 65 and older don't use the internet. Even among those who use it, roughly one-third aren't confident when performing tasks online.Spend time in-person when possible While it may not always be possible, its great to see loved ones when the situation permits. Families should take some time out of their week when possible to take their senior loved ones to community events, or plan special meals at home. This can be especially important for seniors with mobility issues that can keep them from doing the activities they love outside of the home.Become pen pals The art of writing letters may be rare today, but everyone still loves to receive notes in the mail. Send letters with updates, drawings, photos and other small mementos, and encourage the recipient to reply. Letters and cards will quickly become cherished memories that can be shared and revisited in times of separation.Consider hiring an in-home caregiver For seniors that need a little extra help around the house, a caregiver not only provides assistance with daily living, but companionship and conversation too. And, a caregiver can facilitate calls and video chats with loved ones. Caregivers are also trained to keep seniors safe in their home, and can be a great option to provide companionship during periods of illness or isolation.Comfort Keepers' Can HelpFor seniors that need companionship or help fighting loneliness, Comfort Keepers caregivers can help with encouragement, support and assistance with daily living. And, caregivers can encourage overall health through meal planning, grocery shopping, meal preparation and activities. Our custom care plans focus on physical and mental health and wellness activities. Our goal is to see that clients have the means to find the joy and happiness in each day, regardless of age or acuity.References:AARP. Tech Training Builds Connection and Confidence for Older Adults. Web. 2018.Statistics Canada. Study: Evolving Internet Use Among Canadian Seniors. Web. 2019Forbes. More Seniors Are Embracing Technology. But Can They Use It? UCSD Researchers Suggest Asking Them. Web. 2019.Psychology Today. How to Help Older Adults Fight Loneliness During COVID-19. Web. 2020.Thrive Global. How Technology can Help Seniors. Web. 2019.AARP and National Alliance for Caregiving. Caregiving in the United States 2020. Web. 2020.
For more information on the author Comfort Keepers Fort Myers, CLICK HERE.Urinary incontinence is an issue that more than half of seniors deal with, and it can affect a seniors health, social connections, and self-esteem. Managing incontinence is critical for seniors that want to maintain their independence and quality of life while remaining in their home.*New guidelines released in 2018 recommend that women be screened for issues that cause incontinence on a yearly basis.While incontinence is a highly prevalent issue, its important to remember that incontinence is treatable, and a physician can make recommendations based on the type of incontinence they diagnose.Why Does Incontinence Happen?During urination, muscles in the bladder tighten to move urine into a tube called the urethra, while the muscles around the urethra relax and let the urine pass out of the body. When the muscles in and around the bladder don't work properly, urine can leak. Incontinence can occur for short periods of time due to urinary tract infections, constipation, or as a side effect of a medication.How is Incontinence Diagnosed and Treated?Depending on the severity of the problem, a doctor may recommend any or all of the following:A urinalysis to rule out infection or blood in the urineBlood tests to check on kidney function, calcium and glucose levelsA complete physical exam and thorough discussion of ones medical historyMedicine that calms muscles and nerves to treat an overactive bladder.Exercises to strengthen the pelvic musclesIf other treatments fail, surgery may be suggested to improve bladder control.How Can Incontinence be Managed at Home?There are a few lifestyle changes that can help manage incontinence:Pelvic muscle exercises: Working the muscles that can stop urination can have a positive effect in reducing incontinence.Timed bathroom breaks: Going to the restroom on a schedule can help those with urge and overflow incontinence.Fluid and diet management: Avoid food and drinks that irritate the bladder. Its important for seniors to discuss their diet and fluid intake with the doctor before making any changes.Behavioral changes: There are some habits that can make incontinence worse. These include smoking, drinking alcohol, lifting objects that are too heavy and consuming caffeine, among others.Comfort Keepers Can HelpIf your loved one has specific care needs related to a health issue, like incontinence, we can help. Our caregivers can provide transportation to appointments, medication reminders, support for physician-recommended diet and exercise programs, and help monitor physical changes and symptoms. And, we strive to elevate the human spirit through quality, compassionate, joyful care.To learn more about our in-home care services, contact your local Comfort Keepers location today.
A kitchen is often the central gathering place in the home. Family dinners, special occasions and time shared together all happen in the heart of the home.Making sure the kitchen a safe, happy place is important. On a daily basis, many of us spend time in our kitchens, and it is easy to forget that the kitchen can be a place where dangerous accidents are not uncommon especially for seniors.When it comes to senior adults and kitchen safety, the numbers show where potential issues can occur: The National Fire Protection Association reports that three (3) in ten (10) home fires start in the kitchen, more than any other room in the house.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 76 million cases of foodborne illness occur each year, including 5,000 fatal cases. Older adults, due to a natural decrease in their immune systems, can succumb to food poisoning more easily and have a harder time fighting it off if they do.Kitchens are also areas with high fall-risk areas: items stored out of reach, slippery floors, and the likelihood that meals are carried to eat in another room. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reports that people over the age of 65 have a 2.7 times greater risk of dying in a kitchen fire than the general population. For those that want to ensure that the kitchen is as safe as possible for their senior loved ones, there are three key areas to consider:Fire prevention and safety The primary cause of kitchen fires is unattended food seniors should never leave the kitchen when food is cooking. Automatic shut-off devices are a great tool to help seniors that have memory issues but like to spend time cooking. Loose clothing, kitchen towels and potholders can all catch fire if too close to the stove, so it is good to be mindful about fabric near flames. And, on a regular basis, a qualified electrician should check wiring and outlets to ensure safety compliance this is a common cause of fires in older homes.Foodborne illness prevention Because of the ways our bodies change when we get older, foodborne illness can become a much more serious issue. This can be prevented by properly storing food, checking fridge temperatures often, properly reheating food, cleaning old items out of the fridge and pantry often and checking expiration dates.Reduce fall risks When seniors need to reach an item, whether stored too high or too low, it can cause a balance issue that may lead to a fall. Keeping cooking items within reach is critical. Clutter on counters should be removed, bright lights are helpful, and the heaviest objects should be stored at waist level. Water is often a problem in the kitchen possible issues include spilled water from the sink, leaking refrigerators and pipe leaks. Spilled water can make kitchen floors slippery, so adding mats and checking water sources often is important.The kitchen can be a joyful place in the home, with intentional action to minimize the risk of accident or illness. Being safe in the kitchen is not just common sense - and revisiting safety tips for the kitchen is never a waste of time. Comfort Keepers can help. About one-quarter of Americans over age 65 need help with everyday activities such as eating, cooking, and getting in and out of bed or a chair. Our trained caregivers can help with these and other tasks, while engaging clients in activities that improve quality of life. They can also provide support for physician approved diet and exercise plans, provide transportation to appointments and community events and can assess a home for safety issues and reducing fall hazards. For more information on how we can help, contact your nearest Comfort Keepers office today. REFERENCES:Food and Drug Administration. Food Safety for Older Adults. Web. 2011.Aging Care "Kitchen Fires: Make Cooking Safer for Seniors Web. 2012.The National Fire Protection Association. Serve Up Safety in the Kitchen. Web. 2020.U.S. Fire Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Fire Safety for Seniors. Web. 2020. Caring.com. Making the Kitchen Safe and Convenient for Seniors. Web.
We all know that we feel better when we eat well. Good eating habits, and being mindful of healthy eating goals, can improve mental and physical health, and give us the energy we need to do the activities we love.Unfortunately, too many seniors are not having their nutritional needs met. Changes in our bodies as we age, and changing dietary needs, can make healthy eating more difficult for older adults.One in three hospital patients is malnourished upon admission and almost one-third of Canadian patients (31 percent) experiences declines in nutritional status while in the hospital.The health risks associated with malnutrition can be especially concerning for seniors. Symptoms can include:Weakened immune systemPoor wound healingMuscle weaknessWeight lossDental issuesIf engaging in good eating habits is a struggle, there are steps anyone can take to ensure that they are getting proper nutrition. In addition to consulting a physician about diet or health concerns, they can also try the following tactics to get back on the right track:One out of every two older adults are at risk of becoming malnourished.Make meals a social occasion Sharing a meal is one of the most enjoyable ways to ensure that someone is eating well. This can look like making something healthy and delicious for others or reaching out to people that love to cook healthy food and offering them your company.Make healthy eating fit your budget Good food doesnt have to be expensive. A doctor or nutritionist can point patients to budget friendly, nutritious food options. And, maintaining a healthy lifestyle saves money on medical care in the future.Shop for healthy foods Having a kitchen stocked with healthy snacks and meal options is one of the most important steps to maintaining a balanced diet.Encourage people to ask for help If someone you know has concerns about their ability to plan healthy meals, shop for the groceries or if they just arent getting the nutrition they need, tell them to ask for help! In-home caregivers, delivery services, family, friends and medical professionals can all help older adults reach their nutrition goals.For those concerned about their nutrition, or the eating habits of a senior loved one, speaking to a medical professional is critical. Comfort Keepers Can HelpFor seniors struggling to maintain healthy eating habits, Comfort Keepers caregivers can help with meal planning, grocery shopping, meal preparation and support for physician-prescribed diets. Our custom care plans focus on physical and mental health and wellness activities. Our goal is to see that clients have the means to find the joy and happiness in each day, regardless of age or acuity.To learn more about our in-home care services, contact your local Comfort Keepers location today. ReferencesFeeding America. Facts about Senior Hunger in America. Web.Mayo Clinic. Senior health: How to prevent and detect malnutrition. Web. 2017.Next Avenue, Malnutrition is Affecting Too Many Older Adults. Web. 2016.Public Health Post. Malnutrition in Older Adults. Web. 2017Healthline. How Your Nutritional Needs Change as you Age. Web. 2017.
Caring for a loved one can be a rewarding experience, but its not without challenges. These challenges can be significantly more impactful for those caring for a senior with Alzheimers disease or other form of dementia. Changes in behaviors can occur for a variety of reasons, including over-stimulation, physical discomfort, confusion, exhaustion caused by sleep problems, medication, or changes in routine.Over 747,000 Canadians are living with Alzheimers or another dementia.Understanding the cause of behavioral changes is critical for caregivers, families and friends. And, its helpful for caregivers to know how to manage behaviors that will allow them to provide safe and effect support and diffuse tense situations. These behaviors can include:DepressionAnxietyConfusionAggression or angerSuspicionHallucinationsPacing or wanderingThe most important thing that caregivers need to remember is that challenging behaviors may not be entirely avoidable. Its also not the fault of the person with Alzheimers or dementia. These behaviors are sometimes a common product of the disease. And, there is specialized support a caregiver can use to help keep a challenging behavior from escalating.While there is no guaranteed approach that will work with every person or situation, there are some methods that can help caregivers manage trying times:Staying calm Its not uncommon for caregivers to feel attacked or helpless when they are caring for someone exhibiting difficult behaviors. Remembering that it isnt personal, and that its a symptom of the disease, can help caregivers manage their emotions and avoid contributing to tense or difficult situations. Arguing or reasoning can often escalate an outburst, so its necessary for caregivers to stay calm and supportiveKeeping a schedule Seniors that suffer from Alzheimers disease and other dementias often find it reassuring to have a set schedule for meals, activities and daily tasks. Creating a schedule, and sticking to it as much as possible, can help prevent anxiety, confusion and anger.Exercise Exercise, with approval from a physician, is a great stress reliever for both seniors and caregivers. And, participating in activities together helps foster important emotional connections.Participating in activities Whether its an enjoyable hobby, household chore or physician-approved exercise, participating in joyful activities has shown to help manage challenging behaviors. These can be pre-scheduled or introduced when difficult behaviors are recognized. For example, caregivers can ask for help folding laundry to ease anxiety or can play music or sing to calm someone feeling confused, angry or depressed.Mindful communication Caregivers shouldnt underestimate the power of communication. Caregivers can use soothing tones, speak in a friendly way and make eye contact to convey normalcy, understanding and compassion. This can help seniors experiencing anxiety or frustration to calm themselves. Comfort Keepers Can HelpAt Comfort Keepers, we provide specific training for our caregivers and individualized care plans to provide care and support to seniors with Alzheimers disease and to their families. Our specially trained Comfort Keepers engage clients in intellectual, physical and emotional interactions that complement medical treatment and improve the quality of life for everyone involved. And, they can facilitate stress management activities, support for physician-approved diet and exercise plans, provide transportation to appointments and will evaluate a home for safety as part of an in-home assessment. For more information on how in-home caregiving can help those with Alzheimers disease or dementia, contact your nearest Comfort Keepers office today. Referencesalz.org Canada. Alzheimers and Dementia in Canada. Web. 2019.National Institute on Aging. Managing Personality and Behavior Changes in Alzheimers. Web. 2017.Verywell Health. Complete Guide to Challenging Behaviors in Dementia. Web. 2019.Alzheimers Association. Stages and Behaviors. Web.
In many ways, stress is a part of life for all of us. But for seniors, stress can have a larger affect on physical and mental wellness.Having worries and concerns is natural, but it is more important as we get older to practice stress-reduction techniques to manage these thoughts.The great news is that stress, and the techniques to manage it, are usually easy for most people to practice. Meditation, breathing exercises, physical movement and other tactics can help seniors continue to live the best quality of life and can even improve overall wellness.Stress destroys cells in the hippocampus, a brain site responsible for memory storage and retrieval.Why is it critical to manage stress?As we continue to keep our homes and families safe during COVID-19, its even more important to focus on the mental health needs of our seniors when it comes to stress.Several studies have shown that stress is linked to mental and physical problems, from anxiety and depression to hypertension and immune system complications. In fact, its estimated that stress increases the risk of heart disease by 40%, heart attack by 25%, and stroke by 50%. Not to mention the fact that stress can also exacerbate existing conditions which can be very impactful for those with less efficient immune systems.What can seniors do to manage their stress in a positive way?Finding moments of joy and focusing on activities and hobbies that bring meaning and purpose can help seniors manage their stress. Fortunately, there are many more stress relief techniques that seniors can follow to help improve their own personal wellbeing. What senior clients use to manage their stress today can help better prepare them for any future stress.Stress Relief TechniquesConnection can help relieve stress. Seniors can call a friend or family member, have a video chat or spend time with loved ones when possible.Meditate at the same time every day or whenever feelings of stress or anxiety arisePractice deep breathing and mindfulness exercisesReach out to friends and family to connect and spend time togetherFollow a consistent exercise regimen and healthy diet, upon physician approvalJournal or jot down thoughts and feelings at the end of each day and be sure to take a moment to reflect on all the positive things that happened throughout the dayFind a virtual volunteer opportunity to give back to the communityPut together and execute a to-do list to increase productivity, decrease feelings of restlessness, and combat procrastinationJoin a yoga class or practice it at home (with physician approval)Listen to soothing or relaxing music, especially before bedFind a way to laugh, whether its by watching a funny TV show/movie or listening to a comedy albumComfort Keepers Can HelpAt Comfort Keepers, we have spent the last twenty years perfecting the art of helping seniors and other adults maintain their peace, happiness, and joy. To us, every moment in a seniors life is a unique opportunity to foster positivity, going beyond daily tasks. Our approach to care is called Interactive Caregiving, a philosophy centered around four central aspects of life: mind, body, nutrition, and safety.Whats more, our trained caregivers are selected with one specific quality in mind: empathy. Care that is empathetic is care that starts in the heart, and it allows us to meet our clients exact needs.Learn more about our unique service offering by contacting a local Comfort Keepers office.ReferencesHealthline. 16 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress and Anxiety. Web. 2018.Huffington Post. 10 Health Benefits of Relaxation by Sarah Klein. Web. 2014.American Institute of Stress. Improve Memory, Concentration, Productivity, and Health by Reducing Stress. Web. 2018.WebMD. 10 Relaxation Techniques That Zap Stress Fast. Web. 2018.
Warmer weather is a great invitation to enjoy the outdoors and nature. Staying hydrated is essential for maintaining health and keeping critical bodily functions working properly. Hydration can be a challenge for some seniors because seniors may have a diminished ability to sense thirst, notice changes in body temperature, and may be taking medications that have a dehydrating effect. Keeping a few tips in mind will ensure that seniors stay hydrated and continue to enjoy the activities that bring them joy.Older adults looking to stay hydrated throughout the day should try these tips to get started. Being dehydrated can cause confusion, headaches, elevated heart rate, muscle weakness, and fatigue. Seniors who think they may be dehydrated should discuss their symptoms with their doctor before changing their fluid intake. Seniors should discuss hydration with their doctor as only can a healthcare professional recommend how much water someone needs, and they can also provide guidance and tips on managing water intake. Create a schedule drinking a lot of water in one sitting can be difficult. However, creating a schedule that accounts for daily activity, physician-recommended intake levels, and the preferences of the senior can help keep hydration on track.Eat water-rich foods cucumbers, watermelon, apples, and other water-rich produce can help seniors get more fluids at mealtimes. Broth is also a good option.Make water more interesting For those that dont enjoy drinking water, adding small amounts of juice or flavoring to water can make it less boring. Popsicles are also a great optionespecially on warm days!Reduce water loss excessive sweating can contribute to dehydration keeping inside temperatures at a reasonable level, and being mindful of fluid loss during outside activities, can help seniors stay hydrated.Dont wait for thirst often, when seniors feel thirsty; they may already be dehydrated.Comfort Keepers Can HelpComfort Keepers can provide support for seniors that are concerned about the issue of hydration. Our caregivers can provide transportation to healthcare appointments, assist with meal preparation and planning, and provide support for physician-prescribed hydration regimens. Our goal is to support physical and emotional care goals and to elevate the spirits of our clients and their families every day.To learn more about our in-home care services, contact your local Comfort Keepers location today. ReferencesCenters for Disease Control and Prevention. Get the Facts: Drinking Water and Intake. Web. 2016.FamilyDoctor.org. Hydration: Why Its So Important. Web. 2017.Mayo Clinic. Dehydration. Web. 2018.WebMD. What is Dehydration? What Causes It? Web. 2019Healthline The Causes and Symptoms of Dehydration in Older Adults
For more information on Comfort Keepers, CLICK HERE.Eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet is a challenge that many of us struggle with. However, the health risks associated with malnutrition can be especially concerning for older adults.One out of every two older adults are at risk of becoming malnourished.Here are some signs to watch for if youre concerned that someone may be suffering from malnutrition:Weakened immune systemPoor wound healingMuscle weaknessWeight lossDental issuesIf engaging in good eating habits is a struggle, there are steps anyone can take to ensure that they are getting proper nutrition. In addition to consulting a physician about diet or health concerns they might have, they can also try the following tactics to get back on the right track:Make meals a social occasion Sharing a meal is one of the most enjoyable ways to ensure that someone is eating well. This can look like making something healthy and delicious for others, or reaching out to people that love to cook healthy food and offering them your company.Make healthy eating fit your budget Good food doesn't have to be expensive. A doctor or nutritionist can point patients to budget-friendly, nutritious food options. And, maintaining a healthy lifestyle saves money on medical care in the future.Shop for healthy foods Having a kitchen stocked with healthy snacks and meal options is one of the most important steps to maintaining a balanced diet.Encourage people to ask for help If someone you know has concerns about their ability to plan healthy meals, shop for the groceries or if they just aren't getting the nutrition they need, tell them to ask for help! In-home caregivers, delivery services, family, friends and medical professionals can all help older adults reach their nutrition goals.If you think someone you know is malnourished, watch for the symptoms listed above and share meals if you can so you can ensure that your loved one is getting proper nutrition.Comfort Keepers Can HelpIf someone is struggling to maintain healthy eating habits, consider getting support from the trusted care team at Comfort Keepers. Our caregivers can help with grocery shopping, meal preparation, and can help support physician-prescribed exercise regimens and diets. Our goal is to see that clients have the means to find the joy and happiness in each day, regardless of age or acuity.To learn more about our in-home care services, contact your local Comfort Keepers location today.ReferencesMayo Clinic. Senior health: How to prevent and detect malnutrition. Web. 2017.Public Health Post. Malnutrition in Older Adults. Web. 2017Feeding America. Facts about Senior Hunger in America. Web.
While there are many great things about getting older, we also become more susceptible to certain health conditions as our bodies age.One condition seniors have the potential to develop is thyroid disease, which affects the bodys metabolic rate. Early detection and proper treatment of either can help limit the effects of the conditions and ensure that older adults continue to live healthy, happy lives.The two conditions include:Hypothyroidism is caused by underproduction of thyroid hormones and results in a low metabolic rate.Hyperthyroidism is caused by increased metabolism when the thyroid produces too many hormones.Hypothyroidism is more common in older adults but hard to recognize because symptoms generally occur over the course of many years. The frequency of multiple symptoms decreases with age. Seniors suffering this disease may have only one or two symptoms. Presentation of symptoms depends largely on the deficiency of hormone levels in the body.An estimated 20% of women over the age of 60 have some form of thyroid disease.Symptoms of hypothyroidism vary depending on how low thyroid hormone levels are, and may include: fatigue; sluggishness; increased sensitivity to cold; constipation; pale, dry skin; a puffy face; hoarseness; high cholesterol levels; brittle hair and nails; unexplained weight gain; muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness; menstrual changes; muscle weakness; pain, stiffness, or swelling in joints; depression.Risk factors for developing hypothyroidism:Females over the age of 50 are more susceptibleHave close relatives suffer from autoimmune diseaseRadiation treatment in the upper neck and/or chest areaPrevios surgery on the thyroid glandIodine deficiencyHyperthyroidism presents itself in various ways, making it a challenge to diagnose, as some symptoms are indicative of other health conditions. As with hypothyroidism, seniors may present only one or two symptoms of this disease. Medications can cause a few of the same symptoms or even mask the signs of this disease.Symptoms of hyperthyroidism may include: sudden weight loss; rapid or irregular heartbeat; pounding of the heart; increased appetite; nervousness, anxiety or irritability; tremors in the hands and / or fingers; sweating; menstrual changes; increased sensitivity to heat; changes in bowel patterns; an enlarged thyroid gland; fatigue; muscle weakness; difficulty sleeping.Risk factors for developing hyperthyroidism:Having a close family member with hyperthyroidismHaving Graves or Plummers diseaseThyroiditis (swelling or pain in the thyroid gland)Toxic adenoma (nodules on the thyroid gland)Thyroid disease can be more difficult to diagnose in seniors. However, when diagnosed and properly treated, thyroid disease can be managed, helping ensure the best quality of life for older adults.Comfort Keepers Can HelpIf someone is suffering from thyroid disease, the trusted care team at Comfort Keepers can help. Our caregivers can assist with meal preparation, medication reminders and can support physician-prescribed exercise regimens and diets. Our goal is to see that clients have the means to find the joy and happiness in each day, regardless of age or acuity.To learn more about our in-home care services, contact your local Comfort Keepers location today. References:Mayo Clinic. Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). Web. 2019.Mayo Clinic. Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). Web. 2019.American Thyroid Association. Older Patients and Thyroid Disease. Web.MedicineNet. Thyroid and Aging Helping to Keep the Golden Years Golden. Web.
Dietary needs evolve as people age, and seniors need to know how to manage those changes to maintain physical health and wellness. Older adults need to take an active role in shaping their diet and nutrition habits to ensure more energy, better disease prevention and quality of life. Seniors should consult their physician to discuss their individual needs. Healthcare professionals can also help seniors and their families create and implement healthy eating plans.These plans often include:Increased protein and fiber intake. Protein and fiber are important nutrients for seniors. Foods high in fiber can help maintain healthy digestive systems as we age, and increasing protein intake can help seniors increase or maintain energy and strength.Whole grains have multiple benefits. Whole grains are also fiber-rich foods that not only aid the digestive process but promote healthy hearts for seniors. Cereal, rice and bread made with whole grains can easily be found at any grocery store and provide several serving choices to meet recommended daily requirements.Calcium is a key component in maintaining bone strength. Calcium can help prevent osteoporosis, especially when calcium intake is consistent. Preventing osteoporosis is critical for seniors especially those that are at risk for falls.Hydration is critical at any age. Physical changes that occur with age make hydration even more important for older adults. For those that are less inclined to drink water, there are alternatives milk, juice and broth are all hydrating liquids, and there are hydrating foods including watermelon, cucumbers and grapes.If engaging in good eating habits is a struggle, there are steps seniors can take to ensure that they are getting proper nutrition. In addition to consulting a physician about diet or health concerns they might have, they can also try the following tactics to get back on the right track:Make meals a social occasion Sharing a meal is one of the most enjoyable ways to ensure that someone is eating well. This can include making something healthy and delicious for others, or reaching out to people that love to cook healthy food and offering them some company at meal times.Make healthy eating fit your budget Good food doesnt have to be expensive. A doctor or nutritionist can point patients to budget friendly, nutritious food options. And, maintaining a healthy lifestyle saves money on medical care in the future.Shop for healthy foods Having a kitchen stocked with healthy snacks and meal options is one of the most important steps to maintaining a balanced diet.Encourage people to ask for help If someone has concerns about their ability to plan healthy meals, shop for the groceries or if they just arent getting the nutrition they need, tell them to ask for help! In-home caregivers, delivery services, family, friends and medical professionals can all help older adults reach their nutrition goals.Comfort KeepersCan HelpIf someone is struggling to maintain healthy eating habits, consider getting support from the trusted care team at Comfort Keepers. Our caregivers can help with grocery shopping, meal preparation, and can help support physician-prescribed exercise regimens and diets. Our goal is to see that clients have the means to find the joy and happiness in each day, regardless of age or acuity.To learn more about our in-home care services, contact your local Comfort Keepers location today. ReferencesCanadian Malnutrition Task Force. Nutrition Care in Canadian Hospitals Study. Web 2019.Mayo Clinic. Senior health: How to prevent and detect malnutrition. Web. 2017.Next Avenue, Malnutrition is Affecting Too Many Older Adults. Web. 2016.Public Health Post. Malnutrition in Older Adults. Web. 2017Healthline. How Your Nutritional Needs Change as you Age. Web. 2017.
The recommended daily dose of this vitamin is 90 milligrams for men and 75 milligrams for a woman.For seniors, good eating habits improve physical health, which in turn has a positive effect on mental wellbeing and overall quality of life. Vitamin intake is often an important part of maintaining a healthy diet and getting the necessary nutrients.As seniors age, vitamin deficiencies can occur for many reasons, such as skipped meals, medications interfering with the absorption of vitamins or certain health issues.One vitamin that can greatly play a role in the quality of life of seniors is vitamin C. While usually associated with colds, this vitamin plays a part in keeping older adults healthy all around. Benefits of vitamin C include:Fights off colds: Vitamin C reduces the duration and severity of some illnessesImmunity boost: Assists in the formation of white blood cells, which help fight off infectionSupports healthy joints: Helps form collagen, which helps hold skin, ligaments and cartilage togetherBuilds strong blood vessels: Helps keeps blood vessel walls strong and resistant to damageWhen people age, the need for vitamin C only increases as they become more susceptible to illness and disease. Whether it is preventing macular degeneration, heart disease, osteoporosis or cancer, vitamin C has a vital role.Seniors that want to ensure that they are getting enough of this crucial vitamin on a regular basis should talk to a healthcare professional. Typically, avoiding vitamin C deficiency is possible with a healthy diet, but some older adults find that a supplement can be beneficial. Foods rich in vitamin C are citrus fruits, bell peppers, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cantaloupe. Comfort Keepers Can HelpFor seniors struggling to maintain healthy eating habits, Comfort Keepers caregivers can help with meal planning, grocery shopping, meal preparation and support for physician-prescribed diets. Our custom care plans focus on physical and mental health and wellness activities. Our goal is to see that clients have the means to find the joy and happiness in each day, regardless of age or acuity.To learn more about our in-home care services, contact your local Comfort Keepers location today.ReferencesOregon State University. Micronutrients for Older Adults. Web. 2020.SF Gate. How Much Vitamin C Should Seniors Take in Addition to Multivitamins? Web. 2018.Next Avenue, Malnutrition is Affecting Too Many Older Adults. Web. 2016.Sixty and Me. The Importance of Vitamin C for Older Womenand a Few Problem Signs. Web.Healthline. How Your Nutritional Needs Change as you Age. Web. 2017.
Caring for a senior loved one is rewarding but challenging. Family caregivers handle various tasks and face emotional strain. Respite care provides temporary relief, allowing family caregivers to recharge and attend to their needs. It offers short-term care, ensuring quality care for senior loved ones. Caring for a senior loved one can be a rewarding yet challenging responsibility. The responsibilities of a family caregiver can include household tasks, self-care, supervision, and mobility to emotional and social support. The demands of providing care can take a toll on family caregivers' physical, emotional, and mental well-being. This is where respite care comes ina service that offers temporary relief and support, allowing them to take a much-needed break to recharge and attend to their needs.Respite care is a form of short-term, temporary care that can be provided in various settings, including in-home, at a care facility, or within a community-based program. Its primary purpose is to offer family caregivers a period of rest, relaxation, and time away from their caregiving duties while ensuring their loved ones receive quality care in a safe environment. This type of care can range from a few hours to several days or weeks, depending on the needs and preferences of the caregiver.An NIH National Library of Medicine study reports that 86.5% of caregivers found that helping care for a loved one gave them the satisfaction that their loved one is well cared for. However, it is essential to also take care of oneself so we can take care of others. One of the key benefits of respite care is that it helps prevent caregiver burnout. Respite care allows family caregivers to step away temporarily and recharge and enabling them to provide better care for a loved one in the long run.Respite care is also beneficial for the one receiving care. It allows seniors to interact with new caregivers and experience different environments, enhancing their socialization skills and overall well-being while offering a sense of independence and a chance for seniors to build new relationships and support networks.When considering respite care, it is important for family caregivers to plan and prepare ahead of time and communicate their needs and expectations to respite care providers and ensure they have all the necessary information about their loved one's medical condition, daily routine, medications, and preferences, whether a walk in the park or a joy ride to meet a group of friends. Respite care plays a vital role in supporting and providing relief to family caregivers. It allows them to take a break from their caregiving responsibilities, preventing burnout and promoting their overall well-being. It also provides benefits to seniors by providing them with new experiences, social interactions, and support networks. Quiz: Is It Time for Respite Care?Take a moment to answer some questions to help determine if respite care is an option that would benefit you and your loved one.1. How frequently do you feel overwhelmed or exhausted by your family caregiving responsibilities?a) Rarely or neverb) Occasionallyc) Frequentlyd) Almost constantlyAnswer: If you selected options c) Frequently or d) Almost constantly, it may be an indication that it's time for respite care. Taking breaks and seeking support can help prevent burnout. 2. Are you experiencing physical or mental health issues due to the demands of your role as a family caregiver?a) No, I am managing wellb) Yes, but it's manageablec) Yes, and it's impacting my well-being significantlyAnswer: If you chose option c) Yes, and it's impacting my well-being significantly, it may be beneficial to consider respite care to prioritize your health and well-being. 3. Are you finding it challenging to balance caregiving for a loved one with your personal and social life?a) No, I have a good balanceb) It's sometimes challenging, but I can managec) It's extremely difficult to find a balanceAnswer: If you selected option c) It's extremely difficult to find a balance, respite care can provide you with the opportunity to take time for yourself and maintain a healthy work-life balance. 4. Have you noticed signs of caregiver stress or burnout, such as increased irritability, sleep disturbances, or feelings of resentment?a) No, I haven't experienced these symptomsb) I have noticed a few of these symptoms occasionallyc) I am experiencing several of these symptoms consistentlyAnswer: If you chose option c) I am experiencing several of these symptoms consistently, it's a strong indication that respite care could benefit you and help alleviate caregiver stress. 5. Do you feel guilty or hesitant about considering respite care, fearing it may imply inadequacy or failure as a caregiver?a) No, I understand it's necessary for self-careb) I have some reservations, but I see the value in respite carec) Yes, I feel guilty and worry about what others may thinkAnswer: If you selected option c) Yes, I feel guilty and worry about what others may think, it's important to remember that respite care is not a sign of inadequacy but a responsible choice to ensure your well-being. Seeking support is a sign of strength and self-awareness. Remember, this quiz is intended to provide some guidance, but it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional or support network for personalized advice regarding your family caregiving situation. You Deserve a Break - Comfort Keepers Can Help. Taking care of a loved one can be an all-consuming job - but what will happen to him or her should you get physically ill or mentally exhausted from emotions and overwork? Comfort Keepers trained and carefully screened caregivers will provide care for your loved one, so you can fully enjoy your time away - without having to worry. Well perform household tasks, prepare meals, make sure your loved one is safe and taking medications, get him or her to appointments, and more. Call your local office today!References & ResourcesNIH National Library of Medicine Families Caring for an Aging AmericaAARP - How to Find a Caregiver Support Group That's Right for YouVA U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs The Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers
Being diagnosed with cancer later in life can be scary and overwhelming. A cancer diagnosis can make a person feel like their world is out of control. People often say they feel helpless and powerless after they find out they have cancer.However, many find that making a personalized plan for dealing with a cancer diagnosis can help older adults make treatment decisions and feel in control of their lives again. And, by taking intentional action, it is possible to continue to focus on quality of life and joyful moments even in a difficult time.60% of people who have cancer are 65 or older.Here are some strategies for coping with a cancer diagnosis:Absorb the information People need to give themselves as much time as they need to take in the news. Processing a diagnosis can be difficult, and the person should feel comfortable taking the time and space they need to come to terms with the next steps in their treatment plans.Encourage education As the saying goes, Knowledge is power. Encourage them to learn as much as they can about their type of cancer and the treatment options available. Health care professionals are more than willing to provide resources to help someone understand their diagnosis.Express feelings Its normal to feel depressed, angry, sad or overwhelmed after being diagnosed with cancer. There are many opportunities to talk about their feelings, whether its with someone in their life that they trust, a mental health professional or a local support group.Maintain healthy habits Continuing healthy habits is important following a cancer diagnosis. Those with a cancer diagnosis should follow a doctors advice regarding nutrition and exercise, and make an effort to take care of themselves mentally and physically.Evaluate financial needs Reviewing insurance and having a plan for how they will pay for their treatment will help relieve stress down the road.Focus on other parts of life Focusing on the things in life that can be controlled will help people remember that they have the power to decide how they live life. Comfort Keepers Can HelpIf you need help during your battle with cancer, Comfort Keepers provides services for clients with a range of needs and physical abilities. Whether it is a ride to the doctor or help around the house, our goal is to provide compassionate care that helps clients find the joy and happiness in each day.To learn more about our in-home care services, contact your local Comfort Keepers location today. ReferencesCancer.net. Aging and Cancer. Web. 2018.American Cancer Society. Coping with Cancer. Web.American Society of Clinical Oncology. Geriatric Oncology. Web.
For more information on Comfort Keepers, CLICK HERE.Being out in the sunshine is a summertime tradition. Research shows that a majority of seniors rank being outside as one of the activities that bring them the most joy. But its important to practice sun safety when it comes to protecting our skin and enjoying the long summer days safely. Skin cancer is the most common of all cancer types. About one third of all new cases of cancer in Canada are skin cancers, and the rate continues to rise. It is the most preventable.For seniors, these prevention strategies are even more important than at any other age. For most people, skin cancer is a result of a series of sun damage events that occur throughout ones life. It makes sense that someone with more years of living would be exposed to more sun damage over time.Between 40% and 50% of Canadians who live to age 65 will have skin cancer at least once.Every suntan and sunburn has the potential to contribute to future skin cancer. Factor in the increase in outdoor activity that some seniors embrace in retirement, and the fact that older adults have more sensitive skin, and its easy to see why skin cancer may be a concern for older adults.Taking a few precautions to prevent skin damage can allow seniors to continue to enjoy the sunshine without worry:Avoiding the hottest time of the day From 10am-4pm, the suns rays are the most intense. To avoid too much sun exposure, seniors should plan outdoor activities for the morning or evening. Seniors worried about dehydration, which can be made worse by excessive sweating, should also avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day.Having the appropriate cover Planning ahead to ensure that there will be shade available is an important step to avoiding sun damage. For outside activities that don't take place in areas with accessible shade, a hat or parasol can provide some protection. Sun-safe clothing can also help this can include long sleeve shirts and/or long pants. And, its important for seniors to build the habit of always wearing sunglasses when they are outside.Remembering to use sunblock For seniors that will be spending any time exposed to the sun, sunblock that is at least SPF 30 is a necessity. Sunblock should be re-applied every two hours and immediately after water activities.Practicing medication safety Seniors should talk to their physician about medications before participating in outdoor activities. Some prescriptions can cause increased sun sensitivity, and additional precautions may be necessary.Knowing the signs of skin cancer Seniors should ask their doctor to conduct an annual skin cancer assessment. Early detection is critical for treating skin cancer quickly and effectively.Comfort Keepers Can HelpFor seniors that want to get outside and enjoy the summer safely, the trusted care team at Comfort Keepers can help. Our caregivers can assist with transportation to appointments and events, can ensure warm weather safety inside and outside of the home, and can support physician-prescribed exercise and activity regimens. Our goal is to see that clients have the means to find the joy and happiness in each day, regardless of age or acuity.To learn more about our in-home care services, contact your local Comfort Keepers location today.ReferencesGovernment of Canada. Skin Cancer. Web. 2018.Skin Cancer Foundation. The Sun Keeps Rising: Why Seniors Cant Skip UV Protection. Web. 2015.Aging and Disease. Skin Cancer Epidemics in the Elderly as an Emerging Issue in Geriatric Oncology. Web. 2017.Cancer .Net. Skin Cancer (Non-Melanoma): Risk Factors and Prevention. Web. 2018.American Academy of Dermatology. Skin Cancer. Web. 2018.
For seniors with dementia or Alzheimer's disease, routines can be beneficial. Routines can help seniors feel more secure and in control of their lives and develop good habits and stick to them. Routines that incorporate joy while also creating predictability have several other noteworthy benefits. Creating a routine that brings joy is essential, and we share a few tips that can help.A daily routine is an excellent way for seniors to maintain a healthy lifestyle and enjoy life to the fullest. Adding a consistent structure to your day can benefit people of any age but is especially important to seniors physical and mental health. Routines provide predictability, which can help seniors feel more secure and in control of their lives as well as develop good habits and stick to them. But remember, routines arent all business there should be plenty of time scheduled for activities that foster joy and keep life rich and meaningful. How to Create a Routine that Brings JoySetting up a routine is empowering and creates a sense of control, which is important as older adults may not have the same control over things like physical ability and mobility. Keep in mind that the routine is not meant to be a strict schedule, but rather a foundation for structure and predictability. Get senior input: The main goal of a routine is to meet the needs of the senior, so getting their input is key. The routine should center on the seniors needs and consider their unique abilities, desires, and interests. Be sure to go over the details of what they want their days to look like. Putting too many activities into each day can cause frustration, so working on a plan together is essential. Set realistic goals: Focus on the can, not the cant, and modify activities as needed. Setting realistic goals makes them more achievable and enjoyable. For example, improving mobility or increasing physical activity gradually is better than pushing their limits right out of the gate. Measuring progress along the way will let you know when to make changes. Start with a simple routine: It doesnt have to be complicated or overscheduled. Start by including essential activities such as meals, medication, hobbies, and exercise. As seniors become more comfortable with the routine, more activities can be added or rearranged.Include enjoyable activities: Routines dont have to be boring. Focus on activities they enjoy, such as reading, gardening, walking, or spending time with loved ones. Social engagements can not only brighten a seniors day, but also improve health, so make sure to include time for the things they love. Be flexible: Allow space in the routine to make changes as needed to accommodate unexpected events or be spontaneous. Maybe Tuesday was forecasted to be rainy but turns out to be bright and sunny, you take a rain check on your craft day and start the herb garden instead. Appointments, visits with family and friends, and special outings all fall under this category, too. Prioritize nutrition: A well-balanced diet should be part of any daily routine because it supports overall health and energy levels. Regularly spaced meals help control and maintain blood sugar levels, which is especially important for seniors with diabetes. Make a schedule: A schedule gives seniors a tool to manage parts of their routine, feel more in control, and reduce stress. Writing reminders where seniors can see them, setting timers so they know when to exercise, and making to-do lists for tasks such as grooming and errands can help seniors keep track of their daily activities. Benefits of a Routine for SeniorsRoutines that incorporate joy while also creating predictability have several other noteworthy benefits, such as:Reduces stress and anxiety: As older adults begin to deal with health issues, they may feel stressed and anxious. A routine lets seniors know what to expect each day, making them less likely to feel overwhelmed or anxious. Increases feeling of safety and security: With the many changes that come with aging, seniors may experience intense emotions. If they are unsure of what the future holds, a routine can make them feel confident and safe by providing a familiar and predictable environment. It also makes it easier to plan activities with family and friends.Improves sleep: A set routine can help regulate the body's internal clock, making falling and staying asleep easier. Sleep quality directly affects energy, memory, and overall health. Establishing a daily routine can help lower anxiety and stress so older adults get better sleep and are generally healthier and feel better.Helps manage symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer's: For seniors with dementia or Alzheimer's disease, routines can be particularly helpful. These conditions have less impact on the area of the brain that controls procedural memory, so its actually easier for those with these conditions to remember and follow routines. Familiar routines can create a sense of comfort and reduce confusion and anxiety.Sample RoutineNeed help getting started? Heres a sample daily routine outline to use as a starting point:Morning:Wake up at the same time every dayDrink a glass of waterTake any necessary medicationEat a healthy breakfastAfternoon:Go for a walk or do some light exerciseHave lunchTake a nap or rest for a whileEngage in a hobbyEvening:Prepare a healthy dinnerSpend time with loved ones, socialize over the phone/virtual video meetupEngage in relaxing activity such as readingTake any necessary medicationGo to bed at the same time every nightGive the Routine a Test RunGiving the routine a test run allows everyone involved, from caregivers to seniors, to see if it supports the needs and goals as expected. A few small changes may be in orderadding something here, taking something away there, or moving activities from the morning to the afternoon. The routine may need to change over time, so regular reevaluation will let you know if it still achieving the goal.Comfort Keepers Can HelpIf you need help establishing or maintaining a daily routine for a senior loved one, Comfort Keepers can help. Our caregivers can help establish a daily routine that reduces stress and anxiety, creates a sense of control, infuses joy in every day, and boosts physical and mental well-being. To find out more, contact a Comfort Keepers location near you.References:https://alzheimersproject.org/the-importance-of-routine-and-familiarity-to-persons-with-dementia/https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/good-nights-sleep
For more information on the author Comfort Keepers Fort Myers, CLICK HERE.Maintaining our physical health as we age is an important part of overall wellbeing. Making activity part of our daily routine becomes more vital as we age but can also be more difficult.*Only 35-44% of adults over 75 are physically active.Seniors should always discuss their physical activity level and ability with their physician. For most, engaging in 30 minutes of moderate activity each day can have numerous long-term benefits.There are a variety of low-impact exercises and activities that can be beneficial for seniors. Low-impact exercise can elevate the heart rate, which in turn has physical health benefits.While it is typically easier to participate in these less rigorous types of exercise, older adults should always talk to their doctor before starting a new program.Types of low-impact exercise can include:Walking: One of the benefits of walking is that, unlike running, its easier on the joints. Plus, it doesn't require any special equipment or a gym membership. With a comfortable pair of tennis shoes and a smooth pathway, someone can start this right away. For the most benefit, keeping a brisk pace for at least 15-20 minutes is important.Swimming: What's better than minimal stress on the joints? No stress at all. Swimming provides a number of benefits, including strengthened shoulders and increased lung capacity. Seniors can also take part in water aerobics or walk on underwater treadmills.Yoga: From improving flexibility and coordination to strengthening your core, there's very little that yoga doesn't do. Additionally, yoga has been shown to improve mood, focus, and overall mental well-being.Pilates: This exercise allows for very slow and concise movements, designed to improve posture and flexibility. Like yoga, Pilates are known to improve mental well-being.Cycling: With the proper safety measure in place (including a helmet, shin pads, and appropriate configurations), cycling can do wonders for not only the cardiovascular system but also the joints and various muscle groups.Weight training: Weight training can be done at home, with small free weights or even moderately heavy objects that you can grip easily, or at a fitness center. Consistent repetition is key, as is advancing to heavier weights over time.Leg Raises: These can be done at home with no equipment. Simply stand behind a chair, and while holding on to the back of the chair, move one leg to the side and then back. Repeating this, with different variations, can help strengthen lower back and thigh muscles.Dancing: In recent years, there has been a rise in the popularity of dance class enrollment and for good reason. The constant movement in dancing classes can help circulation and flexibility. Attended these classes can also provide great opportunities to socialize and connect with others.Comfort Keepers Can HelpAt Comfort Keepers, we create individual care plans for every client. These plans include wellness goals that consider physical, mental and emotional health. Our caregivers can help your aging loved one establish a daily routine that promotes a healthy lifestyle. Whether that's taking daily walks or providing transportation to the local gym, well work to provide care that is unique to your loved one. OurComfort Keepersprovide the essentials our clients need to live a healthy, active, and independent life.To find out more about our other in-home care services, contact us today.References:Department of Health & Human Services. Facts and Statistics: Physical Activity. Web. 2017. NIH Senior Health. Exercise: Benefits of Exercise. Web. 2017.Everyday Health. 10 Surprises About Heart-Healthy Exercise by Beth W. Orenstein. Web. 2014.American Senior Communities. The Best Low Impact Exercises for Seniors. Web. 2017.AZ Central. Low Impact Exercises for Seniors by Kathryn Rateliff Barr. Web. 2017.
For more information on Comfort Keepers, CLICK HERE.Stroke is the third largest killer of Canadian adults, after heart disease and cancer. Its also the primary cause of physical disabilities and is second only to Alzheimers disease as a cause of mental disability. While people at any age can be susceptible to suffering from a stroke, nearly three-quarters of strokes occur in people over the age of 65.Women are disproportionately affected by stroke: 45% more women die of stroke than men in Canada, and because they live longer, more women are living with the effects of strokeRisk factors for a stroke include high blood pressure, genetics, gender, tobacco use, heart disease, diabetes, weight, age and the use of some medications.There are three main types of stroke that can occur:Ischemic stroke Most strokes fall into this category. In an ischemic stroke, arteries narrow or are blocked, reducing blood flow to the brain.Hemorrhagic stroke During a hemorrhagic stroke, a blood vessel leaks or bursts, causing damage.Transient ischemic attack Sometimes referred to as mini-strokes, this is a condition that is also caused by a narrowing of the arteries, but only causes temporary symptoms.Its important to note that medical attention after a stroke is critical, and time is of the essence. Anyone suffering from the symptoms of a stroke should not wait for the effects to go away or get worse. They should call 9-1-1 or visit their physician as soon as possible. Quick treatment can minimize damage and potentially save someones life.Symptoms can include:Trouble speakingConfusion or trouble understandingParalysis of the face, arms or legsTrouble seeingHeadacheTrouble walkingHeadacheVomitingNeck stiffnessDizzinessComfort KeepersCan HelpWhether the goal is healthy living to prevent strokes, or recovery after, Comfort Keepers can help. Our caregivers can provide wellness support, remind clients to take medication, provide transportation to scheduled appointments, and support physician-prescribed exercise regimens and diets. As part of an individualized care plan, caregivers can let a seniors care team know if there are changes in behavior or physical characteristics. Our goal is to see that clients have the means to find the joy and happiness in each day, regardless of age or acuity.To learn more about our in-home care services, contact your local Comfort Keepers location today.ReferencesWebMD. Top Causes of Stroke. Web. 2017.Mayo Clinic. Stoke Web.2019.Healthline. Massive Stroke Web. 2018.Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Stroke. Web.Canada.com. Stroke. Web 2018.Heart and Stroke Foundation. Stroke Report 2019. Web. 2019.
Pneumonia in Seniors: Causes, Treatments, and PreventionThere are many benefits that come with getting older, but there are also factors to be aware of when it comes to our health and wellness. As we age our bodys natural defenses become less reliable and as a result, seniors are more susceptible to infection including pneumonia.Pneumonia is an infection that affects one or both lungs and can range from mild to severe. For some, pneumonia can be fatal.Older people have a higher risk of getting pneumonia and are more likely to die from it if they do. For seniors, hospitalization for pneumonia has a greater risk of death compared to any of the other top 10 reasons for hospitalization.The additional steps that older adults take to protect their health can have long-lasting physical and mental effects. And staying healthy is the best way for seniors to continue living the highest quality of life.Why Pneumonia is More Common in SeniorsChanges to the lungs as we age: Because of changes to the respiratory system that happens with age, seniors cant always effectively clear secretions as well from their lungs. Those secretions can go down into bronchial tubes, causing the infection.Weakened immune systems: A seniors immune system has a harder time fighting off infection. And, some health issues can an even greater negative effect on a seniors ability to fight off an infection issues like an organ or bone marrow transplant, chemotherapy (treatment for cancer), or long-term steroid use.Senior health conditions: Diabetes, Parkinsons disease, chemotherapy, and HIV put seniors at a higher risk for pneumonia, as well as cystic fibrosis, asthma, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), and bronchiectasis. Surgery can also expose seniors to infections that can lead to pneumonia.Signs of PneumoniaSymptoms can include coughing, fever, chills, shortness of breath, chest pain, green or yellow sputum that comes up during coughing, fatigue, and the sudden worsening of a cold or the flu.Pneumonia TreatmentsTypically, a physician will do a chest X-ray and/or blood test to determine if a senior has pneumonia. Bacterial pneumonia, it is usually treated with antibiotics. If the infection is viral, an anti-viral medicine may be prescribed. In addition to medication, doctors may give the patient fluids, oxygen, pain relief and medical support.Reducing the Risk of Pneumonia in SeniorsSeniors should discuss pneumonia prevention with their physician to determine the best plan. Some options to help reduce the risk of pneumonia include:Get vaccinated. All people over age 65 should get an annual flu shot, as well as a pneumococcal vaccine, a one-time shot that protects against the pneumococcus, or pneumonia bacteria.Practice good hygiene: Wash hands regularly or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.Dont Smoke or Take Steps to Quit: Smoking negatively impacts just about everything in our bodies, but the lungs obviously receive a significant amount of damage. Those who smoke are at a greater overall risk of pneumonia because the lungs defense mechanisms become compromised.Practice a Healthy Lifestyle: Seniors should follow a physician-approved diet and exercise regimen. This will help bolster their immune system and reduce the risk pneumonia. Comfort Keepers Can HelpWhether senior clients are recovering from pneumonia or looking to protect themselves, the trusted care team at Comfort Keepers can help. Our caregivers remind clients to take medication, provide transportation to scheduled appointments, and support physician-prescribed exercise regimens and diets. Above all, our goal is to see that clients have the means to find the joy and happiness in each day, regardless of age or acuity.To learn more about our in-home care services, contact your local Comfort Keepers office today.References:American Thoracic Society. Top 20 Pneumonia Facts. Web. 2018Mayo Clinic. Pneumonia -Symptoms and Causes. Web.Web MD. What is Bacterial Pneumonia. Web. 2016.Aging.com. What Causes Pneumonia in the Elderly? Web. 2018.American Lung Association. Lung Health and Diseases: Learn About Pneumonia. Web. 2018.Everyday Health. Pneumonia 101: What You Need to Know. Web. 2019.
As we all prepare to keep our homes and families safe during this COVID-19 outbreak, its important to consider the needs of the seniors in our lives and in our communities.Provincial and local health agencies are taking steps to ensure that seniors are physically protected from the virus, including directives for everyone and especially those 65 and older to stay home and the closing of non-essential services. Many families are searching for guidance and solutions to ensure their loved ones are best taken care of.This isolation can take a toll a seniors mental and physical health, and its important to remember that there are things we can all do to foster connection, hope, purpose, and support for seniors during this difficult time.Families, caregivers and health professionals should work with seniors to develop a plan that allows them to take part in activities they love, follow the self-isolation recommendations of health agencies, and maintain positive mental health.Thiscan include:Ensuring basic needs are met.Caregivers, loved ones, and volunteers considered low risk (those under 65 without preexisting medical conditions) can help seniors by running errands, grocery shopping, picking up prescriptions, helping with online orders of delivery of food and supplies, and taking care of other tasks outside of the home. With self-isolation guidelines in place, seniors should remember that there are people willing to help them stay safe.Connecting with others whenever possible.Spending time with loved ones doesnt have to happen in-person to be meaningful. Video calls, Facetime, texts and emails can help seniors stay in touch with loved ones when they cant be together. Get the whole family in on connecting with loved ones.Enjoying the things they love.Life doesnt stop when staying at home, talk to your senior about what theyenjoy uncovering old favorites can lead to new memories like an at home spelling bee, a spirited gameof cards, or a renewed love of art. For any activity and hobby, theres a virtual version available. For those thatlove art, museums are offering online tours for those that cant visit. There are a host of music options available on streaming services and singing and dancing is just as fun in the living room! And, podcasts on any topic can be streamed on a phone, website or through a virtual assistant.Get some exercise.Its important for seniors to continue movement and motion through exercise, even during a period of isolation. Ensuring a seniors range of motion is still intact through daily stretching or yoga is a great way to keep moving. Keep moving by getting steps in when you can or turn up the tunes and have a dance party in the living room! Lifting light weights at home can help keep muscles strong when getting out of the house may not be an option. Many gyms and fitness professionals are offering free virtual workouts to do at home, for those that have permission from their physician to exercise.Maintain a healthy diet.When we spend a lot time at home its often easy to grab a bite anytime we pass the kitchen. Its important to keep in mind healthy options when snacking avoid too many salty or sweet snacks.And, when meal prepping remember the food pyramid fruit, veggies, calcium, grain, and proteins.Its a great time for spring cleaning!Not only is disinfecting surfaces in the home a recommended step to avoiding Coronavirus, its also a good time to consider a larger spring-cleaning project. And, a spring refresh doesnt have to be a chore seniors can make housework fun by playing upbeat music or using the time to look at photos and mementos with loved ones.Spring serves up holidays that are pure fun.Seniors and their loved ones should make it a point to celebrate occasions like Mothers Day, Easter, Passover, and the first day of spring. Whether its making a special meal, dressing up or sending cards to loved ones, holidays offer lots of opportunities for connection even when families arent together.Find joy in everyday activities.Take time to enjoy the small things card games, baking projects, a good cup of coffee, a phone call with a friend, eating your favorite food. There are always opportunities for meaningful moments and joyful days with a little planning, conversation, and intentional action.For those in need of a little extra help at home, Comfort Keepers can help. Our professional caregivers are well-trained and have the right protective equipment to provide loving and safe in-home care.Heres a list to get you started. You can do these activities with the senior in your care or even share in the activity remotely:Read suspense or romance novels out loud;Order an herb garden online, and watch it grow;Order supplies to garden in a pot;Send your senior a coffee or tea of the week;Order supplies from an online crafts store for your loved ones favorite hobby or something fun and new;Have your senior narrate parts of their life for you. Write down the memories and create a booklet with photos for you all to cherish;Picnic in the backyard or inside;Have a fashion show at home;Watch favorite classic movies;Watch classic TV shows from childhood together and talk about it;Have fun with adult coloring books;Paint by numbers;Read your horoscope every day;Try Wii sports;Make a Sundae bar at home;Gather items to donate;Organize a room, a drawer or closet;Phone or Video calls with family;Look at old albums and yearbooks;Try scrap booking;Watching the Travel Channel or History Channel;Voice journaling/journaling;Create a recipe book for the family;Have fun with Snapchat filters;Learn a language online;Watch documentaries;Have a culture day: Watch a foreign film and cook a meal;Visit a virtual museum, go to a virtual concert, ballet and opera;Play online Bingo;Put together a collage;Play Charades;Have a formal tea;Make origami;Press flowers;Make greeting cards;Order supplies and paint rocks;Plan a dream vacation;Try a new food;Watch old music videos;Start corresponding with a pen pal;Listen to music favorites; make a playlist;Download a new podcast;Make a family tree;Make a time capsule;Have a spelling bee; really challenge yourself.Submitted By: Comfort Keepers
I would take a walk in my neighborhood, but the sidewalk is rough and uneven. I cant find a direct bus route to my doctors office.Those are among the many types of challenges seniors may face in their communities. The natural consequences of aging or chronic diseaselessened mobility, corrected vision, problems with balancecan mean that something as simple as taking a walk can be a potential hazard. Falls are a leading cause of injury and death among older adults.Age-Friendly CommunitiesWith the worlds aging population on a steady rise, designing what are called age-friendly communities has become more crucial than ever. The World Health Organization describes an age-friendly world as a world in which you want to grow older. Its website explains:Age-friendly environments foster healthy and active ageing. They enable older people to age safely in a place that is right for them; be free from poverty; continue to develop personally; and to contribute to their communities while retaining autonomy, health and dignity.Sounds great for people of all ages, right? Here are some of the important elements of an age-friendly community, some of which you may already enjoy where you live:A walkable community design promotes safe physical activity, thus reducing the risk of falls. Elements such as well-maintained sidewalks, non-slippery surfaces, ramps and handrails all contribute to fall prevention.Adequate lighting is key to aid visibility, especially during the night. For example, smart streetlights, which automatically adjust to the time of the day, can keep paths well lit for seniors and help with fall prevention.Housing design also plays a role in fall prevention. Housing features like zero-step entries, single-floor living and wide doorways allow seniors to navigate their homes safely. Bathrooms equipped with grab bars and non-slip mats can significantly reduce the incidence of falls.Access to quality health care within the community is essential as well. Regular health checkups can help doctors and their patients identify any potential risk factors for falls such as vision problems or balance issues.Technology such as wearable devices that can detect a fall and send an alert or online resources for healthy aging also help create a safer environment for the elderly.Fall Prevention: A Community ResponsibilityGrand Rapids, Michigan, is one city that is working hard on ensuring it is age friendly. We have 29 action steps and were doing quite well, Jay Steffen, Grand Rapids assistant planning director, told Model D magazine in Detroit. We have the philosophy that if we can make the city work well for older adults, then it will work well for residents of all ages.Grand Rapids is also taking the important step of involving local seniors in the planning. Doing so gives city planners invaluable insights into seniors needs and preferences. It can also foster a sense of ownership and engagement among seniors, further improving their quality of life. In the U.K., the website of the Older Peoples Commissioner for Wales notes, Older people should be seen as a vital part of society and should be able to have more opportunities to participate in and contribute to our economy and our communities.What Else Helps Prevent Falls?Cities and communities around the world have taken the steps listed above and increased livability for people of all ages. Other efforts that both improve livability and help prevent falls among seniors include:Accessible public transportation: Accessible public transportation is critical for seniors who no longer drive. Planners aim to provide well-lit transport options close to residences.Green spaces: Access to parks and open spaces encourages physical activity, which can help maintain strength and balance. Planners seek to incorporate easily accessible, well-maintained green spaces into urban designs.Road safety: Crosswalks, traffic-calming measures and pedestrian-friendly signal timing are used to ensure seniors can safely cross streets.Community centers: Community centers can offer ways for seniors to engage in social activities, exercise classes and health services. Of course, these centers should be accessible and equipped with fall-prevention features.Technology integration: In more technologically advanced communities, planners use features like fall-detection sensors in public places and even smart sidewalks that can adapt to the weather and help prevent slips in icy conditions.Building communities that allow older people to live independently and with dignity is a collective effort for urban planners, health care professionals, technology experts and, most importantly, the seniors themselves. Let your voice be heard if you are concerned about fall hazards and other factors in your community that affect livability.How Right at Home Can HelpRight at Homes trained caregivers can help provide a steady hand to your loved one with balance issues, recovering from an illness or surgery, or dealing with the effects of a chronic disease. We can also help with transportation for medical appointments. Download our FREE Fall Prevention Guide to help you understand the fall risks for each area of your loved ones home and steps you can take to reduce the risk. If you would like more information, connect with the office nearest you and ask for a free in-home assessment.Right at Home offers in-home care to seniors and adults with disabilities who want to live independently. Most Right at Home offices are independently owned and operated, and directly employ and supervise all caregiving staff.
For more information on Comfort Keepers, CLICK HERE.For seniors, maintaining social connections and staying in touch with loved ones not only improves quality of life, it improves health. Socially isolated seniors have a 59% greater risk of mental and physical decline than those who do not experience social isolation, and socialization has been shown to slow Alzheimer's and Dementia patients decline.According to Statistic Canada, 5 million people (25% of the population) who are aged 65 and older, now live alone and over 40% of women over 80 live alone. By taking intentional steps to reduce isolation and reduce lack of contact, overall wellbeing is also improved.So, how can seniors foster connection and reduce loneliness?Social Media Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites can help seniors stay connected to friends and family across the country. And, many social media platforms have built in chat functions, games and other features that foster connection.Togetherness Activities For older adults, planning activities reduces lack of contact. This can be in-person, when possible, or through video chat and phone calls. Virtual or in-person activities can include good conversation, cooking and eating together, reading together, playing games, scrapbooking, or listening to music. And, studies show that planning and looking forward to an event can have mental health benefits too!Online Interaction Seniors may enjoy virtual meetups, online worship services, Facebook trivia night, virtual communities focused on hobbies, and other online activities can help people connect to others in their community without leaving home. For those that are able to go out, sharing hobbies and activities with others can bring joy and connection.Virtual Volunteers For seniors looking for a sense of purpose, there are opportunities to volunteer to help others from the comfort of home. This can include building Easter baskets for children's charities, sewing quilts for shelters, writing cards for military service members oversees and other activities that allow people to do good works in their free time.The health effects of social isolation and loneliness on seniors is equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes per day.Isolation and loneliness can be signs that a senior lacks the support and tools needed to live a healthy, independent life. However, with planning and deliberate action, fostering positive relationships and connections can be incredibly rewarding for everyone involved.Comfort Keepers Can HelpFor seniors that need companionship or help fighting loneliness, Comfort Keepers caregivers can help with encouragement, support and assistance with daily living. And, caregivers can encourage overall health through meal planning, grocery shopping, meal preparation and activities. Our custom care plans focus on physical and mental health and wellness activities. Our goal is to see that clients have the means to find the joy and happiness in each day, regardless of age or acuity.To learn more about our in-home care services, contact your local Comfort Keepers location today.References:Statistics Canada. Living Arrangements of Seniors. Web. 2018.Forbes. Technology can help the lonely elderly endure social distancing Web. 2020.Journal of Aging Research. use of Physical and Intellectual Activities and Socialization in the Management of Cognitive Decline of Aging and in Dementia. Web. 2012.Psychology Today. How to Help Older Adults Fight Loneliness During COVID-19. Web. 2020.Caring.com. Senior Loneliness: The Risks of Loneliness and Senior Neglect by Melanie Haiken. Web. 2015Forbes. Are Social Determinants the Missing Key to Improving Health? Web. 2018