Since 1992 Advocate In-Home Care has helped clients live at home by matching them with the best referred Care Providers for their situation, we guarantee it. Services can include Companion Care, Personal Care, Live-in Care, Alzheimers Care, Respite Care, and Assistance with Daily Activities. Visit our web site for a Free Consultation with a local Care Liaison.
Weve all experienced the exhaustion that hits us at the end of an especially hectic day. Typically, this can be remedied by a good nights sleep, allowing us to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to face the new day. Yet chronic fatigue in older adults takes exhaustion to a whole new level, causing lethargic feelings that are more difficult to alleviate.What causes chronic fatigue?A variety of health conditions and even the treatments for those conditions can cause or exacerbate chronic fatigue, including:Anxiety and depressionGriefStressDiabetesHeart diseaseCancerKidney or liver diseaseCOPDThyroid diseaseChemotherapy and radiationMedications for pain or nausea as well as antihistamines and antidepressantsAnd moreWhat can be done to help?Lifestyle choices can either help or worsen chronic fatigue in older adults. For instance, avoid:Not getting enough sleep: Strive for at least 8 hours per night, regularly going to bed and waking up at the same time each day.Consuming too much caffeine: Limit caffeine intake and skip caffeine altogether later in the day. Consider cutting current caffeine intake in half to improve energy levels.Unhealthy eating habits: Choose more nutritious foods, such as whole grains, lean meats, low-fat dairy products, fruits and veggies over highly processed foods and junk foods.A sedentary lifestyle: The right amount of physical activity is key; talk with the doctor for recommendations, but typically, the goal is 30 minutes of exercise most days.Smoking: Smoking can cause a variety of serious health concerns which further drain energy. Talk to a physician about getting help with quitting smoking.Staying productive and engaged is also crucial to preventing or lessening chronic fatigue in older adults. Explore activities that spark interest and joy, such as:Volunteering in a field of interest: at the local elementary school, homeless shelter, pet rescue facility, religious organization, etc.Taking a class to learn something new at the community college or even onlineJoining a club or group that participates in shared interests: bowling, knitting, fishing, walking, swimming, etc.Its always a good idea to schedule an appointment for a check-up if chronic fatigue is suspected. The doctor can rule out any new underlying conditions, review medications being taken and modify if needed, and provide additional tips to help.The referred care providers from American, Advocate, and Whitsyms In-Home Care are here to help as well. Their in-home care services may include transportation to and from medical appointments or fun outings, preparing nutritious meals, running errands, friendly companionship to offer motivation to stay active and engaged, and much more.Contact us to learn more about how we can help a senior you love live a better quality of life. Reach out to the office nearest you by clicking the links below to get started:American In-Home Care Serving North, Central, and West Coast of FloridaAdvocate In-Home Care Serving Southeast and Southwest FloridaWhitsyms In-Home Care Serving Southeast and Southwest Florida
On a recent walk with Mom, she misjudged the curb and rolled her ankle. While you are thankful that she only ended up with some bruises and a sprained foot, youre cognizant of the fact that she could have sustained a much more severe injury.A fall or other injury can seriously sideline older adults. In fact, according to the CDC, each year more than three million older adults are treated in emergency rooms for fall injuries. And 1 out of 5 falls causes a serious injury, such as broken bones or a head injury.To help older adults remain active and injury free, the Florida care experts at American, Advocate and Whitsyms In-Home Care share the following head to toe tips.Feet and AnklesThe foot is made up of 26 bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles, and over the course of a persons lifetime, will travel more than 200 million steps. Its no wonder then that feet and ankles bear the brunt of the aches and pains that surface during aging. To prevent foot and ankle injuries, implement these strategies:Wear proper footwear. Select and wear shoes that fit well and that match the activity being performed. If you walk regularly for exercise, get fitted for walking shoes that provide proper support, and buy new shoes every 6 to 9 months. When shoes fit properly, there is a decreased chance of developing hammer toes or bunions. Properly fitted shoes also provide support for ankles and knees.Keep feet clean. Wash feet regularly with mild soap and water, drying well between the toes to reduce the chance of infection. Moisturize the heels only and keep toenails trimmed to prevent ingrown toenails.Check the feet. Examine your feet daily to check for calluses, blisters or anything that seems unusual. Routine inspection reduces the chance for infection or fungus. If you are unable to easily check your feet, ask a loved one to help you.KneesCarrying four times your weight with every step, knees are also prone to a number of ailments as people age, such as:Cartilage tearsTendonitisSprained or strained ligamentsArthritis as a result of aging, injury, or a combination of bothTo protect knees from injury, its important to incorporate exercises that improve balance, agility, and strength. When exercising or participating in an activity that may put added stress on knees, be sure to incorporate a warm-up and a cool-down to get muscles ready.HipsThe CDC estimates that 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling. For older adults, a broken hip is not only debilitating, but it can also be fatal. In addition to fractures, older adults can experience hip pain from arthritis or weakened bones from osteoporosis. The hips are a primary source of strength and stability in the legs and help people to perform many everyday activities such as standing, walking, bending and going up and down stairs. When the hip muscles become weak, symptoms can include pain and decreased mobility.Healthy and strong hips reduce the risk of falling, making it important to engage in regular physician-approved exercise that targets and strengthens the muscles in and around the hips.ShouldersShoulders are the most flexible joint in the human body and are involved in myriad daily tasks from brushing teeth and preparing food to driving and opening doors. As the body ages, injuries such as rotator cuff tears, frozen shoulder or dislocation can occur during an exercise routine or when simply engaged in regular household chores. To guard against shoulder injuries, be sure to:Warm up and condition muscles before exercise or a household chore that may be repetitive and involve shoulder movement.Take regular breaks when engaged in an activity that requires a great deal of shoulder use, such as gardening, sweeping, washing windows, etc.To reduce the amount of stretching needed to grab items off of a high shelf, consider moving them to a shelf at eye level.WristsThe wrists are involved in nearly every daily activity and older adults are susceptible to stress injuries, fractures and arthritis in this joint. Like other joints in the body, its important to keep the wrists strong and agile. This reduces pain and helps to maintain full range of motion so that older adults are able to continue to perform a variety of everyday tasks independently.To help keep wrists and hands strong and flexible, squeeze a tennis ball or stress ball. This exercise is easy to do and can be completed almost anywhere.In-Home Care Can HelpTo help older adults remain independent and injury free, the referred care providers at American, Advocate and Whitsyms In-Home Care are here to help. Our Florida in-home care services can be customized to meet the unique needs of each individual and may include:Encouragement to complete physician-approved exerciseHome safety assessments to reduce the risk of fallsHelp with planning and preparing nutritious mealsTransportation to physical therapy or doctors appointmentsFriendly companionshipAssistance with personal care and hygiene needsSpecialized nursing careAnd much more!Contact us any time to learn more about referred in-home care for older adults by clicking the link to the location nearest you below:American In-Home Care Serving North, Central, and West Coast of FloridaAdvocate In-Home Care Serving Southeast and Southwest FloridaWhitsyms In-Home Care Serving Southeast and Southwest Florida
A diagnosis of Alzheimers disease or another form of dementia is likely to raise a variety of questions and bring about numerous emotions for both the individual diagnosed and his or her family. While life will change, there are a number of steps to take that can help ensure a practical plan is in place that helps a loved one live with dignity and independence and family caregivers receive needed support.To help families navigate a new Alzheimers diagnosis, the Florida care experts at American, Advocate and Whitsyms In-Home Care offer the following tips.Get OrganizedFollowing an Alzheimers diagnosis, it is extremely important to tackle and organize the administrative tasks that will guide an older adults care. Gathering information and having it readily available will provide an important measure of control and stability.Finances. Discuss with a newly diagnosed loved one the importance of designating a financial power of attorney who can help manage investments, savings accounts, and insurance policies. Now is also an ideal time to have a frank discussion about the older adults financial situation, the options available to fund future care needs, and any loans or debts they have.Record-Keeping. Use binders to gather and store financial records, medical records, names and contact information for the attorney, investment advisor, CPA, or other professionals. Additionally, ask the older adult to provide the names and contact information for anyone who is important to them.Calendar. To help the older adult continue to maintain independence for as long as possible, set up a physical calendar and use it to record the dates and times of medical appointments, social visits with family and friends, support group meetings, etc. Encouraging the older adult to keep a pocket-sized notebook to write down notes, details from conversations, and other information they want to remember is also helpful.Educate YourselfFor family caregivers, it is easy to feel overwhelmed not just by a loved ones diagnosis, but by the many changes that can be anticipated as the disease progresses. Maintain a one-day-at-a-time approach and look for reliable resources that can help you plan and prepare, such as:Ask the physician for resources that explain what to expect following an Alzheimers diagnosisSeek out support groups either local groups that meet in person, or groups that meet virtuallyAccess the resources available online at The Alzheimers Association, the National Institute on Aging, and other well-regarded organizationsAsk for referrals to local organizations that help families and their loved one following an Alzheimers diagnosisBuild a Support TeamCaring for a loved one with Alzheimers is a great deal of responsibility, and it is not a role to take on without support. Building a trusted care team is critical and can help provide support, strategies for care, resources, and insight into what to expect during each stage of the disease.Primary Care Physician. A trusted physician who has experience managing memory care issues and who is willing to patiently answer questions is critical. In addition to helping to manage the dementia, the physician will also continue to monitor the older adult for other pre-existing health conditions as well as any new health concerns that may arise.Memory Care Specialist. Following an Alzheimers diagnosis, it is important to make an appointment with a physician who specializes in caring for older adults with dementia. This may be a geriatrician, a neurologist and /or a psychiatrist. The knowledge and expertise offered by a specialist can help guide care and provide information about clinical trials.Geriatric Care Specialists. Social workers, care coordinators and case managers have experience and special training in working with older adults who have been diagnosed with Alzheimers. They can help develop a customized care plan and provide practical advice in navigating the stages of the disease, while helping the older adult maintain a high quality of life.Home Health Care. Partnering with a referred care provider from American, Advocate and Whitsyms In-Home Care is beneficial for both the older adult and the family caregiver. With specialized Alzheimers and dementia training, the providers we refer offer friendly companionship, medication management, assistance with personal care needs, and respite care to ensure family caregivers can take needed time away to rest and recharge.Family and Friends. Having the support and family and friends is critical when navigating an Alzheimers diagnosis. From sharing care responsibilities to providing a shoulder to lean on for support, maintaining connections to family and friends is critical for both the older adult and the family caregiver.American, Advocate and Whitsyms In-Home Care have been trusted by Florida families for over three decades. To learn more about how experienced, friendly, and high-trained referred care providers can help following an Alzheimers diagnosis, reach out to the office nearest you to learn about our wide-variety of in-home care services:American In-Home Care Serving North, Central, and West Coast of FloridaAdvocate In-Home Care Serving Southeast and Southwest FloridaWhitsyms In-Home Care Serving Southeast and Southwest Florida
For people with dementia, it's not unusual to experience sundowning syndrome. Sundowning is marked with increased confusion and agitation late in the day. While sundowning is common for many people with Alzheimers, managing sundowning symptoms can often be challenging for family caregivers.To help family caregivers, the Florida care experts at American, Advocate, and Whitsyms In-Home Care share information about understanding sundowning syndrome, its causes, and ways to help better prepare for and reduce challenging behaviors.What Is Sundown Syndrome?Sundown syndrome, or sundowning, is a state of confusion that a person with dementia experiences during the late afternoon or nighttime hours. A person might display an array of feelings during a sundowning episode, including agitation or anxiety, irritability, confusion, disorientation, restlessness, suspicion, or paranoia. These feelings often show up as challenging behaviors, such as:Yelling or shoutingPacing back and forthSeeing or hearing things that arent thereExtreme mood swingsThe exact cause of sundown syndrome isnt known, but there are several factors that can contribute to triggering these behaviors, for example:Low lightingIncreased shadows caused by the setting sun or a darkened roomFatigueHunger or thirstBoredomPainDisruption of the bodys internal clockBeing in an unfamiliar placeInfection such as a UTIDepressionWhat Are the Best Tips for Managing Sundowning Symptoms?The good news is that sundowning can be managed, and with some simple steps, symptoms can be greatly reduced. Try the following:Look for patterns in behavior. Determining your loved ones triggers in the evening is the key to reducing sundowning behavior. Keep a notebook handy to track the persons activities and behavior. Make note of any activities, environments, sounds, etc. that tend to trigger sundowning behaviors.Take care of the basics. Often, challenging behaviors occur because a need hasnt been met, and many people with dementia arent capable of advocating for their needs. Ensure the person has eaten, is well hydrated, uses the bathroom regularly, isnt feeling pain or discomfort, and isnt too hot or cold. Ensuring basic needs are met can greatly reduce sundowning behaviors.Establish a routine. For people with Alzheimers, a daily routine can be a great source of security and helps to reduce stress for both the individual and the caregiver. Ensure there are set times for waking up, eating meals, and going to bed. Any appointments or outings should be scheduled earlier in the day when the person is feeling their best.Reduce distractions. Overstimulation from loud noises, crowds, or even shadows cast from the windows in the evening can trigger sundowning. Reducing these distractions can help create a sense of calm and safety. Draw the curtains before the sun begins to set to reduce reflections or shadows. Lower the volume on the TV, and avoid having visitors over in the evening, as this can create confusion for already tired older adults.Create a relaxing evening environment. A calm and soothing environment in the evening can give you a good head start on reducing anxiety. For example, try playing soft music and lightly scent the room with a pleasing fragrance like lavender to help your loved one feel more relaxed.For family caregivers, reducing your own stress level is important in helping older loved ones stay calm in the evenings as well. Its natural to feel frustrated and exhausted at the end of a long day, but your loved one can pick up on these feelings, whether they come across in the tone of your voice or in body language. This can lead to sympathetic stress in the individual, causing them to become agitated too.Partnering with referred care providers from American, Advocate, and Whitsyms In-Home Care can help family caregivers get the breaks they need, while ensuring their loved ones continue to receive exceptional care. A referred care provider can offer a wide range of services to help your loved one, including specialized Alzheimers and dementia care , respite care services, and 24-hour care.For more information about the home care services offered by the referred care providers at American, Advocate or Whitsyms In-Home Care, contact the office closest to you.American In-Home Care Serving North, Central, and West Coast of FloridaAdvocate In-Home Care Serving Southeast and Southwest FloridaWhitsyms In-Home Care Serving Southeast and Southwest FloridaState of Florida License and Registration Numbers: 30211518, 30211651, 30211295, 30211390, 30210978, 30211293, 30211382, 30211504, 30211733, 30211535, 30211531, 30211710, 30211709, 30211045, 5661