BrightStar Care of Venice and Port Charlotte is dedicated to providing the best in-home care for you or a loved one. We are a Nurse Owned and Family Operated Private Duty Home Care Agency offering Companion Services (meal prep, transportation, light housekeeping), Personal Care (bathing, dressing, transfers), and Skilled Care (assessments, medication management, med box fills). We also provide Medical Staffing. BrightStar Care is Joint Commission Accredited and Awarded Leader in Excellence, Provider of Choice and Employer of Choice 2016 - 2020 by Home Care Pulse. All caregivers are background checked, drug tested, bonded and insured. We are available 24/7...Just a phone call away!
As you may have guessed from the pink merchandise flooding the stores, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. What you may not realize is that breast cancer is the second most common cancer for women in the United States, right behind skin cancer. Breast cancer research has resulted in the development of many new treatments that have saved countless lives. However, the best possible outcome would be learning how to prevent breast cancer from ever occurring in the first place.! Fortunately, there are steps you can take toward preventing breast cancer in your own life. Studies have shown that certain lifestyle changes make a big impact and can decrease the risk of breast cancer even in women who are considered high-risk.What You Should Know About Breast CancerBreast cancer begins in the breast, but it can spread when cancer cells enter the bloodstream or lymphatic system and are transported to other parts of the body. Lymph nodes are part of the lymphatic (or lymph) system, which carries lymph fluid through tissues and into the blood. The lymph fluid contains immune system cells, along with tissue by-products and waste materials. With breast cancer, cancer cells begin to grow in the lymph nodes around the breasts. These small glands are located under the arm, near the breastbone, and around the collar bone. When cancer spreads from the breast to the lymph nodes, theres an increased risk that it will metastasize (spread) to other parts of the body.Breast Cancer VarietiesTypes of breast cancer are determined by the specific kind of cells that are affected. The most common breast cancers are carcinomas. Once a biopsy is done, the doctor will test the cells for proteins called estrogen or progesterone receptors, and for the HER2 gene or protein. At the same time, the tumor cells will be examined in the lab to determine the grade of tumor. Knowing the specific proteins and tumor grade is important for determining the stage of cancer and the best options for treatment.Early Diagnosis Is CrucialCatching breast cancer early is an important part of successful treatment. Thats why its vital to check for lumps and changes to your breasts, have regular checkups, and get mammograms and other screenings when your doctor recommends it. The risk of breast cancer increases with age, and for women over 70, theres a 1 in 24 chance of developing breast cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. Treatments are highly individualized, and healthy, active, independent patients are most likely to experience a good outcome.Lifestyle Changes Can HelpWhether your focus is the prevention of breast cancer, or youve already had a diagnosis and want the best possible outcome, a healthy lifestyle is a crucial component of good health, regardless of your age. Here are some steps you can take to live a healthier life, and reduce your risk of breast cancer.Dont smoke. Smoking doesnt just raise your breast cancer risk; it increases the risk of at least 15 cancers! Additionally, smoking is linked to heart disease and stroke. One of the best things you can do for your overall health is to avoid smoking or quit if youre already a smoker.Limit alcohol consumption. Research indicates that drinking alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer, and the more you drink the higher your risk. Even small amounts can raise your risk, so stick to one drink or fewer per day.Be careful with hormonal treatments. Hormone therapy can increase the risk of breast cancer, particularly if its taken for more than three to five years. If you and your doctor decide that short-term hormone therapy is the best option for you, take the lowest dose of hormones that works for you. A common question is whether birth control pills have an impact on breast cancer risk. Before 1985, birth control pills had higher estrogen levels than they do now. This was linked to a slight increase in breast cancer risk, though that risk level returned to normal 10 years after discontinuing birth control. Todays birth control pills have not been linked to an increased breast cancer risk.Women who breastfeed have a reduced risk of cancer. Breastfeeding a baby for at least one year can help lower the risk of breast cancer, and the longer you nurse, the higher the level of protection will be.Avoid radiation as much as possible. Make sure that you only get procedures involving radiation when its absolutely necessary, as these medical imaging tests have been linked to breast cancer.Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight increases the risk of breast cancer and other medical issues. Obesity that happens after menopause is particularly significant for breast cancer risk. Staying at a healthy weight will not only reduce your risk of breast cancer but will also help your overall health.Stay active. Exercise is a great way to keep your weight in check, and research shows that women who walk 30 minutes each day have a reduced risk of breast cancer. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity are recommended each week, along with strength training twice a week.Eat a nutritious diet. Are there foods that prevent breast cancer? Not necessarily, but a diet full of nutrients can reduce your risk, and it also helps decrease the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. The Mediterranean diet is an excellent example, focused on fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
The holidays are right around the corner! When does the holiday season kick into gear for you? Some people are entirely focused on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hannukah, but for others, Halloween is the main event. There are plenty of Halloween party games for adults to make the holiday fun and festive.Planning the Perfect PartyWhether youre planning a party or just looking for a way to have some fun with an older relative or friend, we hope these ideas for Halloween party games for adults will help.Decorating is a mustBefore we even get started on Halloween games, we have to mention the ambiance youll need to make the holiday all its meant to be. Hit the local discount or party supply store for cut-outs, spiderwebs, and garlands. This can also be a great excuse for some arts and crafts, no matter what your level of artistry or coordination may be. Here are some suggestions that can be fun for older adults.Decorate some pumpkins. For some older people, arthritis may make carving jack-o-lanterns difficult. No worries! Paint the pumpkins or draw on them with Sharpies.Make some spooky flameless candles. Use craft glue to cover flameless candles in black lace for a spooky glow.Create a creepy village. Spray paint simple birdhouses in a variety of shapes and sizes, using dark colors like black, purple, and gray. Arrange them in a village, adding twigs to give the effect of trees.Dont neglect the menuWhats a party without party foods? Whip up some caramel apples, using apples, caramels, and heavy cream, dip strawberries in white chocolate to make ghosts, or create a graveyard on a sheet cake, using Milano cookies as tombstones. Or, if youd like some healthier fare, make sweet potato jack-o-lanterns, witches brooms made of pretzels and cheese, or some fun Halloween deviled eggs, complete with black olive spiders.Plan your activities There are Halloween puzzles and fun Halloween board games you can find, ranging from amusing to scary. If youd rather make your own fun instead of purchasing a game, weve got plenty of Halloween party games to suggest. Some of these can even be modified for remote playing, if you want to include some people on zoom that cant be there in person!Charades is a classic. Fun for every age, its easy for charades to make it onto your list of Halloween games with just a tweak of the clues. Have people act out the titles of classic spooky films or books, or choose Halloween-themed words like spiderweb, witch, vampire, bat, spider, monster mash, full moon, and so on. Brainstorm and see how many ideas you can find!Trivia can reveal the true Halloween lovers in your group. Readers Digest has some great suggestions for trivia questions that will make this one of the best Halloween games at your party!Halloween bingo can be a fun intergenerational game. Just change the bingo cards to read W-I-T-C-H instead of B-I-N-G-O, and use candy corn instead of bingo chips.Pumpkins arent just for decoration. Play Pumpkin Bowling, where small pumpkins or gourds are used to knock down stacks of Halloween cups. Alternatively, get a really large pumpkin and have your guests guess its weight. Allow them to get as up close and personal with the pumpkin as they need to, and collect the guesses at the end of the party, awarding a prize to the closest guess. If your guests are not ambulatory, consider a seated game like Hot Pumpkin, played like hot potato but with an orange bean bag standing in for the hot pumpkin.. Play music as you pass around the bean bag, and when the music stops, the person left holding the bean bag is out. Keep it going until theres only one person left, and award a prize accordingly.Try a game of balloon volleyball! Use a black sharpie to draw jack-o-lantern faces on orange balloons, then bat them back and forth, either standing or sitting.Some of the best Halloween games for adults arent really games at all. Hold a make-your-own costume contest, awarding prizes for the most creative costumes. If you have enough people, set up trick-or-treat stations for the costumed revelers to visit and collect candy. Share scary stories, seeing who can come up with the spookiest tale, or try team storytelling, in which one person begins a story and each other person adds to it. The sillier the story, the better! You can also pick a few classic scary movies and hold a Halloween movie marathon.
Stay Sun-Safe with These Sun Safety Tips Summer is in full swing and with it comes the long-awaited sunshine. While the sun can provide many benefits, it can also be detrimental to our health if we do not take care to protect ourselves. Whether you're spending time outdoors on a sunny day, going for a walk or just sitting on the porch, protecting yourself from harmful rays should always be a top priority. In this blog post, we will share tips and tricks on how to keep safe in the sun. Facts and Stats About Skin Cancer Staying ahead of skin cancer means staying informed about its causes, risks, and outcomes. The Skin Cancer Foundation(Opens in a new window) shares the following staggering facts and stats about skin cancer in the United States: 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70. Every hour, more than 2 people die of skin cancer in the U.S. Your risk for melanoma doubles after experiencing five or more sunburns. Early detection of melanoma leads to a 99% 5-year survival rate. Risks of Skin Cancer and Who is Most at Risk Although anyone can develop skin cancer, some people are more at risk than others. According to the American Cancer Society(Opens in a new window), those with fair skin, light hair, and blue or green eyes are more likely to get skin cancer, as are those with a personal or family history of skin cancer. Additionally, exposure to UV rays from the sun or tanning beds can greatly increase your risk. And while skin cancer can happen at any age, it's more common in people over the age of 50, says the Skin Cancer Foundation(Opens in a new window). Tips for Staying Safe in the Sun We all want to make sure that were taking the best possible care of ourselves and our loved ones, especially when it comes to protecting ourselves from the dangers of spending too much time in the sun. Overexposure can lead to serious health risks such as dehydration, sunburns, heat exhaustion even skin cancer so its imperative for us to be aware of sun protection methods during outdoor activities. Here are some sun safety tips to bear in mind when spending time outside: Apply sunscreen regularly: Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen (SPF of 30 or higher) that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. To ensure that sunscreen is evenly applied, use about an oz (a shot glass) worth of sunscreen or enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating. Wear appropriate clothing: Wear loose, comfortable clothing that covers as much skin as possible, such as long-sleeved shirts and pants. Consider sun protective clothing with UV blocking fabric. Seek shade: Stay under the shade as much as possible and always use an umbrella, tent, or other porous objects to provide shade. Again, avoid being in the midday sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., when UV rays are the strongest. Wear a hat: Wearing a wide-brimmed hat is a great way to protect your face, ears, and neck from the sun. Hydrate: Drink plenty of water being in the sun can be dehydrating. Dont be fooled by cloudy weather: UV radiation can still damage your skin, even on a cloudy day. It is important always to apply sunscreen when going outside for an extended period. Tips for Preventing Skin Cancer According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(Opens in a new window), skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S. and it affects millions of people every year. It is caused by damage to the skin cells caused by the sun's harmful UV rays. CDC research show that certain people carry risk factors that make them more susceptible to skin cancer(Opens in a new window). Whether you have risk factors for cancer or not, there are plenty of ways to protect your skin from the sun and prevent skin cancer: Monitor your medications: Some medications can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. If you are taking any prescription drugs, talk to your doctor, or pharmacist, about the potential side effects and how to protect your skin. Live a healthy lifestyle: Eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and managing stress can all have a positive effect on your skin. By living a healthy lifestyle, you can give your skin the best chance of staying healthy and avoiding skin cancer. Avoid Tanning Beds: If you're looking to get a tan, skip the tanning bed and opt for a self-tanner instead. Tanning beds expose your skin to harmful UV rays, increasing your risk of skin cancer. Get Regular Skin Checks: Schedule regular appointments with a dermatologist to have your skin checked for any signs of skin cancer. Catching it early can greatly improve your chances of successful treatment. Protect. Protect. Protect: As mentioned above, some of the most proactive steps you can take to protect yourself from skin cancer is to seek the shade; avoid the suns UV rays when they are strongest between 10 am and 4 pm; wear sun protective clothing; and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Enlist Help from a Professional Care Team It's important to take extra precautions to protect your family from the risks associated with prolonged sun exposure. But we understand that sun safety can be a challenge, especially with those who have special needs or those who require additional care. That's where BrightStar Care comes in. Our team of qualified caregivers can provide child care services(Opens in a new window) or special needs care(Opens in a new window) to help keep your family healthy and safe this summer. Contact us today(Opens in a new window) to learn more about how BrightStar Care can help! Sources: https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/sun-safety.htm(Opens in a new window)https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/sun-safety(Opens in a new window)
A balanced diet plays a crucial role in health and wellness for everyone, but its especially essential for older adults. As we age, were more at risk for having nutritional deficiencies for many reasons, including:Loss of taste sensations that result in not eating enough or eating too much of one type of food, like sweets or fast foodMedical conditions that can affect the way we eatPhysical impairments that can make shopping and cooking more difficult Seniors who dont get the nutrients they need are at greater risk for many health problems and might not be able to live as independently as they would like. But you can help your aging loved one get the nutrients they need from their diet and supplements, in addition to keeping an eye out for warning signs of nutritional deficiencies and knowing when its time to get help. Key Vitamins and Nutrients for Older AdultsOlder adults nutritional needs depend on each persons medical requirements. However, there are a few key vitamins and nutrients that nearly all seniors need as part of a healthy diet.B12 and B-Complex VitaminsThe B-vitamins help your body get energy from the food you eat and help in making healthy red blood cells. These vitamins include: B1 (thiamine)B2 (riboflavin)B3 (niacin)B5 (pantothenic acid)B6 (pyridoxine)B7 (biotin)B9 (folate or folic acid)B12 (cobalamin) All of the B-vitamins are important, but B12 has a number of important benefits, from boosting the immune system to keeping the nervous system in good shape. Older adults can get B12 in many kinds of food, such as:Dairy, if your loved one can tolerate itFish, including salmonRed meat, including pork, though older adults should only eat red meat in moderation because of other risks involved with high red meat intakeCalcium Older adults, especially women, are at increased risk of bone loss as they age. We see many older clients who have a slouch in their back because of bone and joint issues. Althought some of a person's risk depends on family history and genetic background, it can also depend on the amount of calcium in their diet.Having a calcium-rich diet can help your loved one reduce or avoid bone loss. As your loved one ages, they need to increase the amount of calcium they take in. Thats because we tend to absorb less calcium from our food as we age, so we need to take in more to make sure our bones get enough of this vital nutrient. The National Institutes of Healths Office of Dietary Supplements recommends the following daily amounts of calcium for older adults:Adult men 51 to 70: 1,000 milligramsAdult women 51 to 70: 1,200 milligramsAll adults 71 and older: 1,200 milligrams Dairy often comes to mind as the main source of calcium. While dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese are a great source of calcium, lactose intolerance and other medical issues may prevent your loved one from being able to incorporate these items into their diet. If thats the case, make sure they regularly eat a variety of other calcium-rich foods, such as:Seafood, including salmon and shrimpGreen leafy vegetables, such as collard greens, broccoli, and kaleFoods fortified with calcium, such as cereal, orange juice, and almond or soy milkVitamin D Vitamin D is sometimes called the sun vitamin because we get it naturally through exposure to sunlight. However, its not unusual for older adults to need extra vitamin D if they dont get outside much, if they live in areas that dont get much sunlight, or if they have a deficiency to vitamin D. If your loved one doesnt get enough vitamin D, they can be at greater risk for health conditions ranging from diabetes to rheumatoid arthritis and even multiple sclerosis. In addition to healthy sun exposure about 15 minutes of mid-day sunlight at least twice per week, according to the Cleveland Clinic several foods are good sources of this vital nutrient. These foods include:Beef liverEgg yolksSalmonTunaFoods fortified with vitamin D, such as milk, cereal and orange juiceMagnesium Magnesium, like calcium, plays an important role in bone health. It is also important to heart health. People who dont get enough magnesium are at increased risk for many health problems, such as:DepressionFibromyalgia, a chronic disorder that involves pain in the muscles, tendons, and jointsHeart disease, including high blood pressureInflammation issuesType 2 diabetes In addition, getting enough magnesium can also help your loved one sleep better at night. Thats because magnesium helps balance the nervous system. Magnesium is included in a number of the foods weve already discussed, such as green leafy vegetables, dairy products, and some breakfast cereals. Your loved one can also incorporate magnesium into their diet by eating foods such as:Legumes, including green peas, lentils, peanuts, and pinto beansNutsSeedsWhole grainsOmega-3 Fatty AcidsOmega-3 fatty acids, also known as omega-3 fatty oils, are well-known for their benefits to brain health. Omega-3s can also help reduce the risk of strokes and heart disease.Several types of fish are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids, including salmon and tuna. Look for cold-water fish to include in your loved ones diet, such as mackerel, herring, and sardines, as these have high omega-3 levels. If your loved one isnt a fish fan, flax seeds and pumpkin seeds also contain omega-3s. Multivitamins: When Diet Isnt EnoughIts nearly always best for your aging loved one to get the vitamins and nutrients they need from the foods they eat. However, this isnt always possible due to health issues, lack of certain foods in their area, or even personal tastes. In these cases, a multivitamin is a great option. There are many different multivitamins on the market, which can make it challenging to find the best option. Work with your loved ones doctor and/or pharmacist to find one that meets their needs. Some older adults already take a number of pills each day and dont want to take another, especially one thats as large as some multivitamins are. If this is the case, a liquid or powdered multivitamin might be a better option. Liquid multivitamins can easily go into a morning glass of juice, while powdered options can go into a milkshake for dessert. In many cases, its not the type of multivitamin thats the problem its remembering to take it. Setting daily reminders on smartphones, tablets, or smart speakers (such as Google Home or Amazon Echo) can be helpful to remind older adults and their caregivers that its time for a vitamin. Work with your loved one on the best time for them to take their multivitamin each day. Signs of Nutritional Deficiency in Older AdultsIts important to keep an eye out for warning signs that your aging loved one isnt getting the vitamins and nutrients they need. Older adults with cognitive issues, depression, or social isolation may show little or no interest in meals, so keeping an eye on appetite can clue you in on something larger thats going on. Its also important to watch out for weight changes. In some disease processes, the body loses some of its ability to absorb food and the nutrients it contains, which can lead to weight loss. Significant weight loss can lead to poorly fitting dentures, which can cause mouth pain and/or a lack of enjoyment of the food they eat. That often leads to not eating enough, which just leads to more weight loss a vicious cycle that requires medical attention. On the other end of the spectrum, weight gain from heart failure and other heart conditions, typically in the form of fluid weight, can lead to eating problems for older adults. Extra weight on the chest and around the lungs can mean your loved may experience shortness of breath while they eat, or they may have to wear oxygen during meals. This can lead to needing more calories to breathe than they get from their food, or they may skip meals to avoid feeling uncomfortable. Even changes in taste as your loved one ages can lead to nutritional issues. The tongues taste buds lose some of their ability to taste as we age, which means older adults often prefer foods with a lot of flavor, such as sugar-filled sweets. They may gravitate toward cake, candy, and cookies over more nutritious foods because they can taste the sweets better. If this is the case for your loved one, talk about steps you can take to make their food taste better, such as adding a honey glaze to salmon. Get Help for Your Loved Ones Nutritional NeedsIts often a challenge for family caregivers to manage older adults nutritional issues on their own. Working with your loved ones doctor or pharmacist, as well as a nutritionist, and any other members of their medical care team is important to ensure they get the nutrients they need. The expert caregivers at BrightStar Care can provide an added layer of security for your loved one. As part of our nurse-led care, a registered nurse oversees the care plan for each of our clients to make certain that their needs are being met. Our nurses are trained to review clients medications to confirm that there are no negative interactions with their vitamins, supplements, and dietary plans. Our care team can help streamline your loved ones nutritional support to make it work better and more efficiently for them in many areas, such as:Ensuring they eat regularlyHelping them select healthy foodsPreparing meals and helping them eat if necessaryHelping them with vitamin/medication reminders Our in-home care professionals can help bring consistency to older adults who may be used to a more structured meal schedule with their families but who arent getting that now. We offer various levels of support, from companion care to care from a certified nursing assistant, all under the oversight of one of our registered nurses. Were here to help your loved one get the best care. You may feel overwhelmed at having to manage your aging loved ones nutritional needs, but you dont have to deal with these issues alone. Call 866-618-7827 or contact a BrightStar Care home care agency near you to learn more about how we can help your loved one get the vitamins and nutrients they need.
What is Psoriasis? Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition caused by an abnormal autoimmune response. Its characterized by thick, scaly patches of skin that occur when the body generates new skin cells too quickly. Roughly 2 to 3 percent of the population(Opens in a new window), or over 8 million Americans, have psoriasis. The condition can appear at any age, but peak onset periods occur between the ages of 20 and 30 and again between 50 and 60 years old. In honor of Psoriasis Awareness Month this August, now is a great time to review how to identify and treat this condition in seniors. Psoriasis can affect your loved ones quality of life and even lead to seemingly unrelated health conditions. By catching the warning signs and beginning age-appropriate treatment, you can help prevent flare-ups. Psoriasis Causes While the direct cause of psoriasis is unknown, it results from an overactive immune system and commonly includes a genetic component. This means your risk is higher if an immediate family member has psoriasis. Many external triggers can cause psoriasis symptoms to flare up. These include: Stress Cold, dry weather Sunburn, bug bites, lacerations, and other skin injuries or infections Smoking and heavy alcohol consumption Some medications Vitamin D deficiency Everyone with psoriasis has different triggers, so its important to identify them on an individual basis. Symptoms of Psoriasis This skin condition has three levels of severity: Mild psoriasis covers less than 3 percent of the body. Moderate psoriasis covers 3 to 10 percent of the body. Severe psoriasis covers more than 10 percent of the body. The appearance, location, and severity of psoriasis vary. One person might experience a few localized areas of dandruff-like scaling, while another might suffer from vast flare-ups covering a large portion of their body. Most types of psoriasis go through cycles, flaring up for a few weeks or months and then going dormant for a while or even entering complete remission. Psoriasis most often appears on the knees, elbows, lower back, or scalp. Face psoriasis also develops in about half of people with this skin condition. The most common psoriasis symptoms include: Red patches of skin with thick, silvery scales Dryness and cracking, sometimes enough to bleed Itching, burning, or soreness Thick, pitted, or ridged nails Psoriasis can affect more than just the skin. If left untreated, it can lead to a range of health complications and increase the risk of developing certain diseases(Opens in a new window), including: Psoriatic arthritis Obesity, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes Cardiovascular, kidney, and Parkinsons disease Celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, and inflammatory bowel illnesses Low self-esteem, depression, and withdrawal from social life Seek a medical evaluation and guidance from your doctor about how to treat psoriasis in seniors. Then, keep the following treatment options in mind. Psoriasis Treatment Psoriasis is a chronic condition that may last a lifetime once it sets in. Although psoriasis is not curable, many professional and at-home treatment options are available. Consider that psoriasis treatment for seniors may differ slightly from treating psoriasis in younger populations. For instance, you may need to lower your medication dose, change medications, or try an entirely new type of treatment to see results. Topical Treatments for Psoriasis The first approach is often to apply over-the-counter or prescription-strength creams and ointments. Options for older adults include: Corticosteroids such as cortisone and hydrocortisone Vitamin D analogs Tazarotene For topical treatment to be effective, a senior must: Be able to comfortably reach and apply the medication Know how much, how often, and where to apply the medication Spend the necessary time using the medication as prescribed Psoriasis Light Therapy Moderate to severe psoriasis may benefit from light therapy. Exposing the skin to artificial and natural UV light can slow skin cell turnover and reduce inflammation. Treatment may involve taking light-sensitivity medication and visiting a medical center about twice a week for a few months. Oral or Injected Psoriasis Medications If psoriasis doesnt respond to other treatments, the doctor may prescribe pills or injectable medication. The safest options for people over age 65 include(Opens in a new window): Acitretin Apremilast Methotrexate Some biologics, including etanercept, adalimumab, infliximab, and ustekinumab Note: Cyclosporine should be used with great caution in older adults because it can cause kidney damage. Home Remedies for Psoriasis In addition to taking medication as prescribed, seniors may find relief from flare-ups with psoriasis home treatment. Heres what to try: Relieve dryness and itching with dermatologist-approved cleansers and moisturizers. Soak the affected skin in warm water with Epsom salt or dissolved colloidal oatmeal. Eat a heart-healthy, low-inflammatory diet. Psoriasis vs. Eczema People often confuse psoriasis and eczema. After all, they are both inflammatory skin diseases that cause scaling and itching, but they look quite different to the trained eye. Psoriasis has well-defined scaling lesions, while eczema is characterized by less-defined reddish or brownish patches of dry skin. Psoriasis may appear on the elbows and knees, while eczema more often develops in fold areas, such as the crooks of the elbows and knees. Psoriasis is mildly itchy, but eczema can cause extreme itchiness.
As your parents or other close relatives age, finding a safe living arrangement for them has become your top priority. Perhaps your loved one is reluctant to move to a nursing home or assisted living facility, so you have invited them to move in with you instead. You now provide the day-to-day help your loved one needs, allowing you to worry less about their safety.While it can be gratifying to serve as a family caregiver, the responsibility can also be physically and emotionally exhausting. For many, the challenge of juggling the caregiver role while tending to family concerns and work obligations proves to be too much at times. According to the Caregiving in the US 2020 report, more than one-third of unpaid family caregivers rate this job as highly stressful, and nearly 20 percent report a high level of physical strain.Plowing through challenging times may feel doable in the short term but going too long without a break can lead to burnout. Thats why every caregiver needs a caregiver themselves, someone to take over for a while so they can take a break. This service is known as respite care, and it can prove invaluable for improving the whole familys quality of life.What is Caregiver Burnout? Anyone who takes on the responsibility of caring for another person knows exactly how hard it can be. All too often, caregivers stuff down their frustration, weariness, or distress, afraid that theyre being selfish if they express these struggles. However, this couldnt be further from the truth.Consider that even professional caregivers face challenges in their day-to-day workbut unlike a professional, youre not paid for your time, and you dont get to clock out at the end of the day. Your caregiver role is 24/7, and it comes on top of all of your other responsibilities. Raising a family, managing a household, working a full-time job, paying bills, and caring for a senior loved one? No wonder youre exhausted! Signs of Caregiver Burnout Giving all your time and energy to your aging family member may be challenging even on the best days. Heres how to tell if caregiver burnout is setting in:Exhaustion: Losing sleep and missing out on every opportunity for self-care is not sustainable. Fatigue may hurt your caregiving efforts and affect your long-term health. Frequent illness: High stress and insufficient sleep are common factors in suppressed immune function. If you find yourself getting sick a lot, you know its time for a break.Declining mental health: Sadness, irritation, and depression can set in if you never get time to relax and do things for yourself.Isolation: Do you regularly skip social outings to care for your loved one? Its not selfish to want to have fun with your friends now and then.Compassion fatigue: If your patience is wearing thin, you may start lashing out at your loved one. This is a sign that you need to step out of your caregiving role for a time.How Respite Care Can Help The purpose of respite care is to provide temporary relief for the family caregiver. It ensures your loved one receives the same high-quality care you normally offer while freeing up your time to get other things done, recover from an injury or illness, or go on a trip.The key to utilizing respite care to the fullest is to consider your precise needs and find someone who can fill them. Here are three questions to ask:How much recovery time do you need? Perhaps you could benefit from having three hours off two days a week to run errands, chauffeur the kids around, or get a pedicure. Maybe you need the weekend off to attend your friends wedding. Or you might want someone else to step in for a week this summer while you take a much-needed family vacation. Professional respite care is available on both a recurring and on-demand basis to meet your needs.What level of care does your loved one require? Companionship, meal planning, and appointment transportation? Feeding, bathing, dressing, and other personal care? Medication management, wound care, and other skilled nursing services? List out everything you do for your loved one so you can make sure the caregiver you choose has the qualifications and experience you need.Who can pitch in? Before hiring a service provider, consider asking your adult siblings, extended family members, and loved ones friends who might be willing to fill in for you temporarily. Remember to be specific about when you need help and what type of care youre looking for. Be flexible with other peoples schedules, and consider accepting financial contributions from siblings who live far away.Finding Respite Home Care Services Not everyone has the availability or skills needed to care for an aging loved one. If you cant get regular assistance from family and friends, you still have plenty of options. Respite care comes in many forms. One of the most desirable is in-home respite care, which involves bringing a professional to the house. This keeps your loved one as calm and comfortable as possible because theres no need to leave the familiar home setting.BrightStar Care offers on-demand and recurring respite care to meet your needs. Our compassionate care professionals are specially trained to provide all levels of in-home care, from basic companionship to personal hygiene assistance to skilled nursing. We dont have minimum time requirements so we can step in for one hour, a few days, or weeks at a time, giving you a much-needed break. When you return, youll feel refreshed and ready to resume your caregiver role.Always rememberyou are not alone! The nurses, CNAs, and caregivers at BrightStar Care believe that providing respite care is more than just a job. Thats why were pleased to offer the most professional, compassionate care available in the comforting, familiar surroundings of home. Contact usonline or call866-618-7827to learn more about what we can do for you or to request respite care in your area.