Let's face it, being the primary caretaker of elderly parents can make it difficult to take a break from your responsibilities. But don't let that discourage you. Everyone needs a vacation! This blog will provide you with tons of helpful information on how to make sure your loved ones are taken care of while you enjoy your dream getaway.Arranging Care for Your Parent While You're AwayIf you plan on going on vacation and leaving your aging parents at home, it is important to arrange for their care while you are gone. Here are some helpful tips to get you started:Ask for Help. This can include your child, a sibling, or a friend. Make sure that they understand and can handle the needs of your loved one for the length of time you'll be away.Hire a Caregiver or Contact an Agency. Make sure they are licensed if you go with the former. They may cost less than an agency, but you will have to properly vet them to make sure they meet all requirements as an aide. If you go with an agency, you can guarantee they will meet all requirements.Ask Their Routine Caregiver for Extended Care. If your loved one already has a daytime caregiver while youre at work, you can incentivize the caregiver by paying them more to provide care for extended hours. You will have to check to make sure this meets their contracts parameters, though.Consider Respite Care. Many assisted-living communities offer short-term stays for an afternoon or even a few days or weeks. Well take a deeper look at short-term respite care for elderly in the next section.Have Regular Check-Ins. If youre worried about your loved one while youre away, try to have a plan to check in on them. This can include daily video chats or phone calls to the provider.Keep Important Documents Organized. It may be a good idea to have all documents, such as insurance or financial information, easily available for the caregiver.Purchase Travel Insurance. In the event of an emergency, you may need to cancel plans at the last minute. This will ensure you dont lose more money in the long run.Six Helpful Tips for Traveling with Elderly ParentsTraveling is undoubtedly a fulfilling experience for people of all ages. Aging should not discourage one from taking vacations. As an older adult, traveling can have several health benefits, including boosting the immune system, relieving stress, and increasing happiness, among other advantages. If you choose to bring your elderly family member along on your vacation, consider the following:Manage expectations. If your parent requires a lot of rest, the trip may be at a slower pace than what youre used to. When you discuss these expectations and plan your itinerary around your parents needs, youre bound to have a wonderful experience together no matter what your destination.Visit a Doctor Before Leaving. Once you know its medically safe for your parent to travel, refill medications and leave them in the original labeled pharmacy containers. Ask the doctor for a medication list and instructions on taking them; pack the whole stash in a zippered bag and keep it in carry-on luggage.Get Accessible Accommodations. Make sure your hotel or resort is accessible for your parent and make sure they have proper access to the food they need if they have dietary restrictions.Choose Activities Everyone Can Enjoy. When planning vacation activities, make sure they're inclusive and accessible. If walking is required, rent an electric wheelchair for your loved one. Confirm accessibility requirements ahead of time to avoid any inconvenience.Consider your travel method. If you're traveling by air, it might be a good idea to choose an aisle seat for your parent. Similarly, if you're driving, make sure to take breaks after covering long distances.Dont forget to care for yourself. This is your vacation, and everyone should return feeling rejuvenated. Consider bringing a caregiver with you to ease the burden if you can afford it, or plan a spa day to pamper both you and your parents. Make sure this vacation is enjoyable for you, as well as for them!DOWNLOAD OUR FREE CAREGIVER STRESS GUIDERespite Care for Elderly ParentsAs we mentioned earlier, respite care is temporary care for elderly patients and primary caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties. It can be scheduled for as little as an afternoon or for several days or weeks and can take place in the individual's own home, at a healthcare facility, or at an adult day center. If youre looking for long-term or weekend care for the elderly, you may want to look into respite care. Keep in mind, Medicare will cover most of the costs up to five days in a row, and Medicaid may also offer assistance. But mostly, your payment will be out of pocket. Be sure to look into other types of government help for additional financial assistance. For more information, check out the ARCH National Respite Network or Eldercare Locator for assistance in finding appropriate respite care.
t may seem peculiar to see the elderly feeling cold in hot weather but its that unusual. But why are elderly always cold? In this post, we will take a look at why the elderly are cold all the time and ways to keep them warm.Why Are Older People Always Cold?Why do old people feel cold? As people age, their skin becomes thinner and is less likely to tolerate fluctuating temperatures. Additionally, coldness results in the heart pumping less blood to the skin and tiny blood vessels in the skin constrict to conserve heat. Age can also reduce elasticity of blood vessel walls and thin out the fat layer under the skin that helps preserve body heat.There are many other reasons why elderly adults are always cold. We will list them below.Anemia. When youre anemic, you may have less blood and oxygen flowing through your body.Diabetes. In addition to causing other health issues on this list, diabetes can impact your nerves. Damaged nerves can lead to arms and feet feeling cold.Slower metabolism. As your metabolic rate decreases, your bodys response to cold increases. This can come as a result of certain body receptors not working as quickly to tell your blood vessels to constrict and maintain your body temperature.Blood vessels losing elasticity. Circulation can decrease as blood vessels lose their flexibility. This makes it harder for your body to retain heat, causing your feet and hands to feel cold.Medications. Medicine such as beta blockers, calcium-channel blockers, sedatives, antidepressants, and antipsychotics can make you feel cold as a side effect.Cardiovascular disease. This disease can impact the way blood circulates in your body, resulting in your body having difficulty retaining heat.Kidney disease. This disease can prevent your kidneys from filtering waste out of your blood, which can make your core body temperature decrease.Thyroid issues. Conditions such as hypothyroidism can affect how your body regulates hormones, which can control body temperature.Please consult your doctor about the best course of action for these conditions.DOWNLOAD OUR GUIDE TO HOME CAREHow to Keep Elderly Adults WarmWhile there are a number of conditions that can make older people feel cold, there are luckily ways to keep temperatures in check. If youre wondering how to keep elderly adults warm in bed or in other conditions, you can take some of the steps below.Keep the home heated between 68 F and 70 F.Close heat vents and shut doors in rooms that are not used often.Use weather stripping and caulk to winterize doors and windows.Have an evacuation plan in place in the event of power outages or heat sources breaking down.Create a plan for the family to check in during cold weather.Be in the know about the weather and keep winter gear such as coats, hats, scarfs, and gloves handy.Dress in warm layers, including socks and slippers for feet.Use warm blankets, especially around the feet.Change out of wet or damp clothes right away.Stay fully hydrated and try to avoid alcohol consumption, which can trigger heat loss.Eat regular nutritious meals to stimulate body temperature.Keep medication side effects in mind.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has linked loneliness and social isolation to serious health conditions in the elderly. Social isolation was associated with about a 50% increase in dementia and other serious medical conditions. With those statistics, its easy to see why staying active and involved with other people is so important as we age.So how do we encourage the elderly to participate in activities? Seniors have different tastes in food, clothing, the way they decorate their living space, and even what a comfortable temperature is both outdoors and inside the home. In this blog, we will provide helpful tips to inspire your loved one to remain active.Helping Older Adults Get Active AgainWhen it comes to encouraging your loved one to be more active, its important to keep the goal in mind. We want our elderly loved ones to be socially active and stimulated by interacting with other people, and we want them to be involved in activities they will enjoy.The first thing to do is sit down and have a conversation with your elderly friend or relative about their interests. Think of the hobbies your loved one engaged in throughout their lives. What were their passions or things that delighted them? Ask questions about the activities they loved or always wanted to pursue but were too busy to do so. Tell them its never too late to enjoy life or to pursue an old hobby. If they cant think of one, help them think of ways to get involved in a new one.What Are Good Activities for Seniors?If you are looking for some fun and engaging activities that cater to the needs of older adults, Here are some suggestions for hobbies and activities that may be enjoyable for an elderly person.GardeningCookingCard or board gamesCreative WritingPlaying an instrument or attending musical events and shows.Reading to children at the library or at their school.Exercising or joining a Yoga class.Joining the local Senior Citizens Club.Working with animals at the local animal shelter.Volunteering at a hospital or nursing home.After identifying their interests, it's time to take action. Initially, you may encounter some opposition, but there are strategies to get things moving. Here are some ideas to consider.DOWNLOAD OUR SENIOR EXERCISING GUIDEIdeas To Get You StartedProvide potting soil, pots, and plants for the gardener to get started. Help them create a container garden. Suggest joining a garden club.Help your loved one cook a meal for the family or friends. Suggest signing up for a cooking class.Find out if there is a senior organization in the area that has a group that plays games or has a trivia night. Offer to go with your loved one to see how they feel about joining the group.Suggest writing a memoir, poetry, or stories to pass along to family members and help your loved one sign up for a class.Take your loved one to a play or concert. If they enjoy it, contact the local Senior Center or other community organizations to see if they have a group that attends those types of events together.If your loved one plays the piano or another instrument, they could volunteer to play at a nursing home or assisted living facility.Retired educators might enjoy reading to children at the local library or tutoring children who need assistance.Exercise is not only important to health, but its also a great way to meet people and have fun. Joining an exercise class is a great way to keep moving and establish friendships.Animal lovers can work with the local animal shelter by volunteering to walk dogs and offer companionship to a lonely furry friend.If your loved one is physically able to do it, hospitals and nursing homes are always looking for volunteers. This is a great way to serve that community and meet new people.Today is the day! Whether its your parent, spouse, or an elderly friend, it's important to be mindful of the need to remain active and engaged as they make the journey through Golden Years. Talk to your loved one and use the tips mentioned here to motivate them to participate in activities that will keep them physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy. Remember, take it one step at a time. Encouraging your loved one to stay active requires care and patience, but it can help prevent them from becoming a statistic.
Raw honey is known for its numerous health benefits, but is it safe for our aging loved ones to eat? In this blog, we will explore ways honey can assist seniors in achieving and maintaining their overall health.Is Raw Honey Safe for Elderly Adults?Yes, raw honey is safe for elderly adults. The only age group for whom honey is unsafe is children under the age of one, as they do not have enough of an immune system yet to fight any potential bacteria in the honey. Otherwise, honey provides considerable benefits for people in most other age groups.What is the Difference Between Raw and Commercial Honey?Raw honey differs from commercial honey in that it has yet to go through the pasteurization process. It is not filtered, so while it does not have the smooth golden look of honey you usually find in grocery stores, it maintains many nutrients and enzymes that filtration otherwise removes.The Benefits of Eating Raw HoneyRaw honey is highly beneficial in managing seasonal allergies, especially when locally sourced. The bees ingest the same pollen that will make you sneeze in April and May. You can build immunity to those allergens when you eat local honey starting a few months before allergy season. It won't replace your allergy medicine, but it can help reduce symptoms and provide relief.The anti-inflammatory properties in honey can help soothe a cough or sore throat, which is why you may be reaching for honey to put in your tea when you are feeling ill. Honey also acts as a natural sweetener, a healthier alternative to sweeten your tea in place of processed white sugar.Honey can even be used for wound or burn care. Honey releases hydrogen peroxide through an enzymatic process and has antiseptic properties. A bit of honey on a small burn or cut can help with pain relief and healing.DOWNLOAD OUR HEALTHY AGING DIET GUIDEDoes Honey Help with Anxiety?Recent studies in rats show a significant reduction in anxiety after consuming honey. A spoonful of honey with some cinnamon for added flavor can help you calm down in a particularly anxious moment. (It helps that sweet things generally help us feel happier). Adding some honey to your chamomile tea in the evenings can also help promote restful sleep.The Connection Between Honey and Alzheimer'sThis article has been singing the praises of honey, so you might think suggesting honey can help treat Alzheimer's is getting carried away. To convince you, here is a super fast science lesson:Acetylcholine is a chemical in the body critical as a neurotransmitter and plays a role in memory, learning, attention, and involuntary muscle movement. Lack of acetylcholine is a cause of Alzheimer's.Cholinesterase inhibitors are drugs or other medical treatments which help to prevent the decay of acetylcholine.Honey is a great source of cholinesterase inhibitors, preventing the decay of acetylcholine and improving memory function and brain health. Honey is also full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, both crucial for brain health. So while taking honey for dementia may not cure it, it can have a positive effect.Overall, there are only benefits to eating raw honey (unless you are allergic to bee pollen). So enjoy a spoonful when you need a sweet treat, or add it to your tea the next time you can.
As people age, it can cause a change in personality. It may be concerning to see a sudden shift in a loved one, but sometimes, the cause of the shift can be pinpointed to specific physical or mental health problems. That is why it is imperative to get these underlying conditions treated as soon as possible. In this post, we will take a look at common personality changes in the elderly, the causes of these personality changes, and when to be concerned.Common Personality Changes in the ElderlyAs people grow older, they may go through various shifts in behavior that can affect their personality. Though these changes differ from person to person, there are certain characteristics that are frequently seen in elderly individuals. These personality changes may include:Agitation or moodinessAnxietyImpulsive or reckless behaviorHigher likelihood of making inappropriate comments.Quieter or more reserved behaviorWhat Causes Personality Changes in the Elderly?As people age, they may experience natural changes in their personality. However, sudden changes in an elderly person's behavior could be a sign of a more serious issue. These changes could be caused by a variety of factors, including:Dementia. Conditions such as Alzheimers can often cause loss of inhibition and decrease energy levels while increasing feelings of agitation and anxiety. Speak to a doctor to determine the best ways to manage these symptoms.Depression. Medical conditions can often trigger depression, which can create feelings of isolation. Some of these symptoms can be managed with medication or by speaking with a mental health professional.Hearing difficulties. An inability to hear properly can often cause frustration. Seniors should speak to an audiologist to see if a hearing aid is necessary.Medication side effects. Since older adults may have to take multiple prescriptions, it could result in mood changes such as irritability. Caregivers should speak to a doctor about adjustments or to see if there is a non-medicinal alternative.Stroke. This serious medical condition can leave a lasting change to a seniors personality and affect the parts of the brain responsible for decision-making, communication, and cognitive abilities.Urinary tract infections. Older adults with vaginas who develop UTIs are vulnerable to personality changes, such as agitation, mood swings, and forgetfulness. These can often mimic symptoms of dementia and seniors should receive prompt medical care.Vision problems. Untreated conditions with the eyes, such as cataracts, can often cause hallucinations. It is best to get a vision test to treat these conditions.Noticing a change in the personality of a loved one can be extremely stressful, especially if you are unsure of the cause or severity. Let's explore when it is appropriate to be worried about behavioral changes in older adults.DOWNLOAD OUR GUIDE TO DEALING WITH ELDERLY ANGERWhen to be Concerned About Personality Changes in the ElderlyElderly behavior problems are typically part of the aging process, but if a senior is feeling generally happy and healthy, there is no need to be concerned. However, if the behavior is harmful or interferes with quality of life, it can be a sign of a serious health problem. It should also be a sign of concern if the behavioral change is sudden or dramatic. As always, it is best to see a physician to rule out any physical or mental health symptoms that may be contributing to the personality changes.
Caring for an elderly parent is a full-time job in itself, so being a caregiver and working full-time seems almost impossible. This is a scary thought considering by 2025, it is expected that over half of the American workforce will be caring for an elderly loved one in addition to working.Although it can be challenging, Working full-time and caring for an elderly parent is not impossible. Achieving balance is essential for success. Here are six tips for taking care of an elderly parent while working a full-time job.1. Discuss Details with your ParentHave an open and honest conversation with your elderly parent about their wants and needs and what you are capable of providing. Make sure you know their wishes as they age and require more care. Set up a routine for care - write it down on a schedule. Add doctors and other appointments and plan them as far in advance as possible. Share the schedule with family members and anyone else who will be helping with care.2. Talk to Your EmployerMaintaining open communication with your employer is essential to ensure that your roles as a caregiver and an employee can work together. Fortunately, many employers are understanding and supportive, willing to make accommodations such as allowing you to take calls during work hours or take time off for appointments. You may even have the opportunity to work remotely either part-time or full-time.3. Prepare a Backup PlanIt's always smart to have a backup plan, or even a contingency plan, in case things don't go as planned. For instance, you could find a coworker who can fill in for you during an emergency. Likewise, think about reaching out to a family member, friend, or professional caregiving service who can help with caregiving responsibilities if you have a scheduling conflict or need a break.4. Ask for Help and Accept ItAt first, it might seem challenging to seek assistance, but with practice, it gets easier. You probably have family and friends, including those of your elderly loved one, who are willing to assist you. Assign tasks that you typically handle at home, such as grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, or walking the dog, to someone else, giving you a well-deserved break.5. Practice Self-CareYou cant take care of anyone if you dont care for yourself first. Taking care of a parent can be exhausting, and your job can likely be tiring, too. No matter how much you love your parent and your job, you need to take time for yourself. Self-care doesnt have to be complicated, expensive, or even take a long time. But it is absolutely crucial to your physical, mental, and emotional well-being that you practice self-care.6. Seek Support and CommunityRemember, you're not alone in this journey. Many are walking a similar path, and there's strength in numbers. Joining caregiver support groups or communities can provide invaluable advice and emotional support. Sharing your challenges and hearing from others can provide perspective and even solutions you hadn't considered.Consider In-Home Care ServicesAs much as you might want to do it all, sometimes it's essential to acknowledge that you need help. That's where in-home care services come in.In-home care services provide professional assistance to aging individuals right in the comfort of their homes. Whether it's for a few hours a day or around the clock, these services offer the elderly personalized care tailored to their needs. Caregivers will cater to the unique needs of your loved one, ensuring that they remain comfortable and safe.If you're struggling to juggle your work and caregiving responsibilities, consider seeking the help of in-home care services. The right support can make a significant difference, ensuring that your loved one gets the care they deserve while allowing you to remain productive at work.DOWNLOAD OUR FREE GUIDE TO HOME CAREJuggling Work and Caretaking with ResilienceBalancing a full-time job and caregiving is not easy, but with the right approach, understanding, and resources, it's possible to ensure that both your career and your loved one receive the attention they deserve. Remember, it's okay to seek help. After all, the best care comes from a place of love and a well-balanced life.
raveling with elderly parents can be a delightful experience for you and for your parents. A family meeting to plan the trip is a perfect way to make sure everyone has input and will be happy with the destination and details of the trip.Traveling with seniors, especially trips for elderly parents, can be a great way to see the world through their eyes. You may decide to travel to a familiar place your parents havent visited in years, such as the place they were born, or the town they grew up in.A nostalgic road trip will spark memories and initiate conversations to be cherished for years to come. Make sure you are prepared for frequent stops to get out of the car to stretch and use the restroom.These stops are perfect for treating yourselves to ice cream cones, fresh fruit from local fruit stands, or a steaming cup of coffee or hot chocolate if youre making your trip in the fall or winter.Everyone may have decided a new adventure would be the perfect trip. Are the mountains calling? Do you think your parents would enjoy dipping their toes in the ocean or hopping an airplane to a new and exciting destination?Safe travel for seniors should be a priority as you plan the trip. You should evaluate your parents health, mobility, and stamina. Are they able to walk long distances? What about soft surfaces such as sand or grass? Can they climb stairs? Are they able to board an airplane or shuttle bus?You can set up assisted travel options for elderly parents, such as a wheelchair transports at the airport, or making sure your destination is handicap accessible. If you plan to stay in a hotel, make sure you request a handicap accessible room.Those rooms have higher toilets and grab bars to make bathing, showering and toileting more comfortable and safer for the elderly guest. Call ahead to check on and set up the accommodation they need so your parents arent disappointed when you reach your destination.Travel tips for seniors will come in handy for any trip you take with your parents. Lets look at a few more tips for traveling with elderly parents that will make your trip enjoyable, safe and most of allfun!Check with your parents doctor to make sure it is safe for them to make the trip.Make sure they have the medicine they need for the time away. A first aid kit and basic OTC medications such as Tylenol, Ibuprofen, antacids, and Benadryl should be included.Consider buying travel insurance, just in case. Especially if you are a long distance from home or out of the country.Plan activities everyone can enjoy but dont over-schedule.Allow time for resting between activities.Always ask for senior discounts.Try to request a ground floor room if you are staying in a hotel.Pack comfortable shoes.Take frequent breaks to eat, rest and stay hydrated.Allow time for yourself. You might be able to get a spa treatment, visit a museum or go out for a brisk walk while your parents are napping.Be flexible.Be prepared for the unexpected.DOWNLOAD OUR SLEEP HABITS GUIDETraveling with your elderly parents might be a challenge but it can also be one of the best experiences youll ever have. Just be ready to adjust your schedule to a slower pace, have patience when needed and most of all, enjoy them and have fun!
Sometimes, you may notice that elderly shuffle feet when they walk and it can be quite concerning. Sometimes, they may not even notice that theyre doing it. But why do elderly shuffle their feet? In this post, we will review some of these reasons as well as some preventative measures.Reasons for Shuffling of Feet in ElderlyThere can be a number of reasons for shuffling gait in elderly, all of which may be part of a larger underlying condition. That is why it is imperative to speak with a doctor about shuffling feet. Some reasons for shuffling gait include:Loss of flexibility in feet making it hard to flex them normallySlippery floorsPoorly fitted footwearArthritis pain in jointsWeak hips and leg musclesAnxiety from a recent stumble or fallInability to maintain balanceDecreased reaction time, making them prone to fallsDecreased vision, making it hard to seeMedication side effectsDOWNLOAD OUR HEART HEALTH GUIDEShould I Be Concerned about A Senior Shuffling Feet?Dementia describes a decline in cognitive function, which can include memory loss, problem-solving issues, physical symptoms, and general changes in mood or behavior. People with dementia can often experience balance problems. If you start to notice a senior with a shuffling gait, you should speak to their doctor about whether dementia is the underlying cause. Some of these dementia side effects that can cause balance issues include:Muscle weakness. This can make it difficult to maintain balance, namely when getting up from a chair or moving around.Vision issues. Dementia can cause changes in vision, making it more difficult to judge distances and avoid obstacles.Nerve damage. Dementia can damage nerves that help seniors maintain balance.Inner ear problems. Dementia can lead to issues with the inner ear, which includes vertigo and balance issues.Side effects from dementia medications. If properly diagnosed with dementia, some of the medications used to treat it can cause dizziness and drowsiness.Dementia is not the only condition that affects gait. There are also a number of other neurological conditions that can affect an elderly persons ability to walk properly. These include:Brain tumorsCerebral palsyHydrocephalusMultiple sclerosisMuscular dystrophyParkinsons diseaseStrokeTraumatic brain injuryWhat to Do About Shuffling Feet in ElderlyShuffling feet can be quite concerning but there are a number of things one can do around the house to keep a senior safe. Below are some things you can do about elderly shuffling feet.Replace poorly fitting shoes. Whether the shoes are the main source of the problem or if theyre just a small part of a larger issue, it is important to keep the senior comfortable.Monitor medications. Upon taking a new medication, its vital to observe whether it is causing side effects, such as dizziness.Keep the home safe. Remove tripping hazards such as rigs or cords and add grab bars in the bathroom for easier maneuvering.Encourage exercise. Exercise can improve balance and strength. These light workouts can include gentle stretching or even a walk in the park with a loved one.
Summer is the perfect time to unwind and connect with those closest to you. Basking in the sun's rays can do wonders for your overall well-being, both physically and mentally. During the warmer months, many older adults feel more motivated to stay active and social.However, older adults and their loved ones should be aware of the potential dangers that come with the summer heat. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that in 2022, the average annual temperatures were among the warmest in the past 128 years. As temperatures rise, UV rays and heat-related illnesses become more intense, especially affecting the elderly. However, with proper precautions, you and your loved ones can still have a blast this summer season without any worries.Why Are Older Adults More Vulnerable to Heat?People over 65 are at risk of potential safety hazards due to extreme temperatures. As we age, it can become more difficult for our bodies to regulate themselves. This is because older adults are more susceptible to chronic medical conditions that can affect their body's response to temperature. Additionally, they may be taking prescription medications that alter their body's ability to regulate temperature or sweat. Chronic medical conditions can also change normal body responses to heat, while prescription medicines can impair the body's ability to regulate its temperature or inhibit perspiration. It's important for older adults and those around them, including neighbors, friends, relatives, and healthcare providers, to be aware of the effects of heat during the summer or warmer months and take steps to prevent them.Seniors and Heat-Related IllnessesHeat-related illnesses occur when the body becomes too hot and can no longer regulate its temperature. There are several types of heat illnesses; three of the most common are heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids. Symptoms can include feeling thirsty, dizzy, weak, uncoordinated, nauseated, excessive sweating, cold, clammy skin, or a rapid pulse.Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided. Signs of heat stroke may include fainting, changes in behavior, dry skin, a strong and rapid pulse, a slow and weak pulse, and no longer sweating despite the heat.UV Safety for Aging SkinAs we grow older, our skin naturally loses some of its thickness and elasticity. This makes us more susceptible to the harmful effects of the sun's UV rays, including sunburn and an increased risk of skin cancer. Unfortunately, many older adults may not have been aware of the importance of protecting their skin from the sun when they were younger. However, given the long-term damage that UV rays can cause, it is crucial for older adults who may have spent years soaking up the sun to take proper precautions to safeguard their skin.DOWNLOAD OUR FREE EARLY SIGNS OF MELONOMA GUIDE Seven Essential Tips to Protect Seniors in the SummerAt Griswold, we value the safety of our senior clients, especially during the summer season. To help keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy while enjoying the warm weather, we have put together a detailed list of summer safety tips. Our goal is to provide you with a practical guide that will make your summer enjoyable and worry-free.1. Regularly Visit or Consider a CaretakerOne of the best summer safety tips for seniors is to be in frequent contact with friends or family. During intense heat waves, your senior loved one should have a visitor at least once daily to ensure their health and safety. You can learn more about our services by contacting our caregiving team today at (877) 268-3277 or find a caregiver near you.2. Monitor Water IntakeExperts recommend drinking eight glasses of water daily, which is especially important for those over 65. Elderly individuals have a harder time knowing when they're dehydrated, so encouraging them to drink fluids throughout the day is important.3. Be Mindful of MedicationsIt's common for seniors to take medications on a daily basis. However, certain medications have been known to cause side effects, such as heightened sensitivity to ultraviolet rays. If you have any concerns, it's important to discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.4. Wear Breathable Fabrics Indoors and OutdoorsHaving your loved one wear loose-fitting and light-colored clothing can help keep their body cool and prevent heat absorption. Opt for breathable fabrics like cotton to regulate their body temperature. Layering is a great idea as it allows them to easily adjust to the temperature changes throughout the day. To add more protection, you can wear a hat to protect your scalp from direct sunlight.5. Remember to Apply Sunscreen!Protecting your skin from the sun is important to prevent skin cancer. Sunburn is a major cause of basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. To avoid sunburn, use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and broad-spectrum protection before going outside. Broad spectrum protection shields your skin from all types of sun rays. Remember to reapply sunscreen every two hours and apply it to the top of your head if you have less hair.6. Protect Your Eyes Against the SunWearing sunglasses is important for protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays and reducing the risk of cataracts. To ensure maximum protection, choose sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays. Wrap-around sunglasses are particularly effective as they prevent UV rays from entering from the sides.7. Stay in the AC and Limit Outdoor ActivityDuring hot summer days, seniors may have difficulty participating in their favorite activities. To protect them from the sun and heat, it's best to encourage them to stay indoors from 10 AM to 4 PM, which is the hottest time of day. It's important to spend as much time as possible in air-conditioned areas during hot and humid weather. If their home doesn't have air conditioning, taking them to places like shopping malls or public libraries can provide cooler air for a few hours.Griswold is a pioneer in the non-medical home care industry and has been setting the standard since day one. For more than 40 years, we have helped over 100,000 families, and we look forward to helping yours. Our range of non-medical home care services caters to the well-being of your loved one. Visit our care services page or contact your local office to learn more today.
We know that as our parents get older, their health becomes a top priority, and it's natural for them to reach out for help when they feel vulnerable. While it's important to respond quickly in emergency situations, unnecessary calls can clog up the system and make it harder for responders to handle genuine emergencies. Calling 911 is a dilemma many people face when a loved one lives alone. Lets take a look at why seniors call EMS repeatedly for non-essential care and what you can do to prevent it from happening again.Why Do Seniors Call EMS for Non-Emergencies?Seniors may dial 911 for non-emergencies due to various reasons. Some may experience forgetfulness or confusion, which leads them to forget their location or how to get back home. Others may feel lonely or bored and call 911 to have someone to talk to. There are also instances when seniors call 911 for minor medical issues, like a headache or upset stomach, that do not require emergency attention. It's possible for seniors to mistakenly think that 911 is the right number to call for non-emergency situations, such as hearing strange noises or seeing suspicious activity that is not immediately threatening.Seven Ways to Stop the Elderly from Calling 911Receiving a notification that your loved one has called Emergency Services can be an extremely stressful experience, especially if it turns out to be unwarranted. Here are some helpful suggestions on how to approach your loved one and prevent them from making repeated calls to 911.Find Out the Cause for The Repeat Calls.Sit down and talk about what your loved one is afraid of and address this issue with them. Listen to their concerns, fears, and needs, as this can provide valuable insights into why they may be calling 911 frequently. By understanding their motivations, you can better tailor your approach and provide alternative solutions. Do Not Threaten to Take the Device Away.In this situation, you may think removing access to a phone or an emergency alert device will solve the problem. When in fact, this could make your loved one feel more isolated and threaten their sense of independence. Not to mention it will also eliminate the ability to call 911 if a true emergency occurs. Educate Them on Non-Emergency Resources.Many elderly adults may not be aware of alternative resources available to them, such as non-emergency hotlines, community support programs, or telehealth services. Take the time to educate them about these options and ensure they have easy access to contact information for non-emergency services. Explain that continued abuse of the system could result in fines or charges. Suggest Calling Family or Friends Instead.Make a phone list and post it in plain sight with numbers that are ok to call. Tell your loved one to always call one of the appropriate numbers before dialing 911. Make sure whoever answers the phone is prepared for the occasional calls and can reassure your loved one that an emergency call is not necessary. Have Regular Check-ins.Checking in on older individuals with health concerns can address medical and emotional needs in advance and may reduce the need for emergency calls. Maybe a friend or neighbor can check in on your loved one when you are not able to. Sometimes a quick visit and knowing someone is around will eliminate the fear your loved one is having. Implement Home Safety Measures.Accidents at home are a common reason for elderly adults to call 911. Conduct a thorough assessment of their living environment to identify potential hazards and implement safety measures to offer some security to your loved one. Suggest Opportunities for Socialization.Feelings of isolation and loneliness can lead seniors to call 911 for company or emotional support. Encourage social engagement by organizing regular visits, outings, or virtual interactions with family and friends. In some cases, hiring a companion or caregiver can also provide the needed companionship and support.By understanding their concerns, educating them about alternative resources, and implementing safety measures, we can find a balance between ensuring their protection and independence while reducing unnecessary burdens on emergency services. Ultimately, a proactive and supportive approach can enhance the quality of life for our aging loved ones while promoting a safer and healthier environment for all.DOWNLOAD OUR 10 TIPS TO HOME SAFETY FOR SENIORSGet the Support You and Your Loved One NeedIf the problem continues after you try these suggestions, it may be time to have your loved one evaluated by a doctor. Dementia and confusion can sneak up on you before you realize it, and if that is one of the problems, your loved one may be ready for some supervised care or at least a home health program that can offer the help you need to make your loved one feel safe.
You often see Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, also known as CPR, on TV and in movies. Its almost impossible to watch an episode of a medical drama without seeing at least one instance of a patient receiving CPR. In these scenes, the patient is given CPR, possibly shocks from a defibrillator, and several rounds of epinephrine, after which they typically wake up and feel better.Unfortunately, this is not what CPR typically looks like, especially when performed on the elderly. In reality, successful CPR may potentially cause serious physical harm. Therefore, if you have an aging family member, it's crucial to know the risks and consider their preferences regarding CPR before an emergency situation arises.CPR Success Rate by AgeThe average survival rate after CPR is around 20% when CPR is performed in a hospital and around 10% when it is performed outside the hospital for adults. The number decreases to around 12% or lower after age 70. Those with chronic conditions have a less than 5% chance of leaving the hospital after CPR.A main factor in the success rate is how quickly CPR is performed after cardiac arrest. Other factors like the reason for the cardiac or respiratory arrest and other underlying health conditions like cancer or other diseases also contribute to the likelihood of survival after CPR.Quality of Life After CPRThe main concern when choosing whether or not to perform CPR on elderly patients is the quality of life after resuscitation. CPR can have long-term side effects, and many patients who survive CPR wish they had not had it. Some of the risks of CPR include:Broken chest bones. Smaller people or people with more fragile bones - such as the elderly - are at a high risk of broken ribs or a broken sternum as a result of CPR. Studies show 81% of people who receive CPR have broken ribs afterward.Neurological damage. When the heart stops, blood stops flowing to the brain, causing the brain to be deprived of oxygen. Brain damage begins to occur four to six minutes after the brain stops receiving oxygen. In general, around one-third of the people that survive CPR end up with neurological problems due to lack of oxygen to the brain.Vomiting. It is not uncommon for vomiting to occur during chest compressions. This can lead to stomach contents aspirating into the lungs, which can lead to infections like pneumonia.Other complications can arise, like organ damage or internal bleeding.The recovery process after CPR can be long and often requires a lengthy hospital stay in intensive care. The underlying conditions that led to the need for CPR play a huge role in the outcome.DOWNLOAD OUR FREE HEART HEALTH GUIDEKnow Your OptionsCPR is a life-saving measure that is always taken by hospital providers unless you specifically state that it should not be used. CPR is one of the few treatments that patients have to choose not to do its part of the standard protocols used by hospitals and emergency responders. In order to prevent CPR from being performed, your loved one will need a DNR, or Do Not Resuscitate order. The order must be signed by a doctor and ONLY refers to CPR, not pain medication, other medicines, or nutrition. A DNR order is legally binding and cannot be overridden.In addition to the DNR document, you can also get a medical bracelet or wallet card with the DNR information should there be an emergency. You should include the information in your advanced directive (living will) and ideally speak to your family or health care proxy about your wishes so there are no surprises or confusion.
Headaches are one of the most common medical complaints among people of all ages, both in the United States and globally. Although the causes of headaches vary, they seem to peak between the ages of 18 and 44.You might be surprised to learn that the prevalence of headaches in elderly adults tends to decrease after the age of 40. Headaches in the elderly may be a symptom of a more serious medical condition, so we will look at some of the symptoms that can cause a headache in elderly people and determine when to seek medical intervention.What Causes Bad Headaches in Elderly People?Headaches range from mild to severe and can be categorized into two basic types. A primary headache, which includes migraines, tension headaches, and cluster headaches, make up almost 98% of all headaches. The primary headache is not caused by underlying diseases, and can usually be relieved with over-the-counter medications. They dont typically have neurological symptoms associated with them, but there are certain causes or triggers that have been linked to a bad headache in a senior patient. Possible causes of a primary headache include:Lifestyle factorsAlcohol consumption, especially red wine.Certain foods, especially foods containing preservatives and nitrates.Skipped meals.StressPoor quality of sleep or lack of sleepPoor postureTooth grindingAn incorrect or expired eyeglass prescription.Excessively loud noisesTight headwear, such as headbands, goggles, or helmetsDOWNLOAD OUR FREE GUIDE TO HEALTHY AGING DIETWhat is a Secondary Headache?A secondary headache has an underlying medical condition. The headache is only a symptom of a medical problem. Possible causes of secondary headaches may include hypertension (high blood pressure), injuries such as concussions, infections like sinus infections or abscessed teeth, blood vessel issues like ruptured or blocked vessels, and head injuries. Though rare, secondary headaches can be red flags for serious conditions such as stroke, brain tumors, and aneurysms. Signs of secondary headaches include:A different or new type of headache, especially in someone over the age of 50.Abrupt or sudden onsetSlurred speechBlurred visionConfusionStiff neckGets worse with exertion or when changing positions.Wakes you up or disrupts your sleep.Worsens when coughing or straining.Intensifies when chewing food.Severe headache following a head injury.The feeling of a worst ever headache.Nausea and vomiting.Inability to move a limb.Headache Treatment for the ElderlyElderly headache treatment depends on the type of headache you have and the underlying cause of the headache. If you experience any of the symptoms of the secondary headache, you should contact your doctor immediately or go to the Emergency Room if your physician is not available. Be sure to see your doctor if your headaches are different, more frequent, worsen, or if they cant be relieved with the following treatments:Over-the-counter remedies such as aspirin, acetaminophen, and Ibuprofen can usually relieve the pain caused by primary headaches. (Use these medications in moderation.)Resting in a quiet, darkened room is often helpful if you have a migraine headache.Hot or cold compresses applied to your head or neck can be helpful.Try consuming small amounts of caffeine.Massage therapy is a great way to relax and relieve stress.Be sure you are hydrated. Dehydration can cause painful headaches.If these suggestions do not give you relief, contact your doctor or medical professional to assess your condition and to rule out the possibility of an undiagnosed medical condition. If you experience an abrupt onset headache, unrelenting or unbearable headache pain, slurred speech, or blurred vision, seek medical help immediately.
As our parents age, it's common for their role to change from a caregiver to someone who requires care. In situations where a parent is no longer able to live independently, it may be necessary for them to move in with their child. As the child in this scenario, this decision can be a difficult one to make, as it involves a significant shift in family dynamics and a change in lifestyle for both parties. In this blog, we'll discuss what you need to know about bringing an elderly parent into your home and providing care for them as they age.Should Your Aging Parents Live With You?If you're contemplating the decision to move your elderly parents or loved ones into your home, it's important to approach it with careful consideration. You often hear people say, I promised her Id never put her in a nursing home. or, Dad told me he never wanted to live in one of those places. As long as the situation is safe for everyone involved, keeping aging parents at home is a wonderful thing to do. However, there are multiple factors that should be taken into account before making any final decisions. By taking the time to explore these questions thoroughly and any other concerns that may arise, you will be better prepared to make an informed decision that benefits everyone involved.Do your parents have needs that require extra care? Before your parent(s) move into your home, it's important to determine the level of support they need and what you can provide. This means being honest about your own abilities and limitations and considering the resources available to you.Do you get along with the parent? If you were at odds with your parent while growing up, your differences will not change dramatically. However, if you were always able to settle a conflict, that relationship should continue amicably.Do your children and spouse get along with the parent? Furthermore, will they be able to adjust to a new person living in the house?Will your parent be able to live by the rules of the house? Dynamics are shifting, which means your parent will have to follow YOUR rules now. Will they be able to make that adjustment, including adjusting their levels of independence?What will your loved one do when you're not there? When you or your spouse are working, and your children are at school, your parent may feel lonely. It's important to prevent isolation for their overall well-being. There are various options to consider, such as adult day care, companion care services, volunteering, and more.Can You Afford to Take Care of Your Parent?While it is natural to have deep feelings of love and respect for our parents, it is also important to be realistic about the financial impact their care may have on our households. According to AARPs 2021 Caregiving Out-of-Pocket Costs Study, annual costs for caregiving tasks or supplies for an aging parent, average more than $7,200 per year. So what choices do you have? Here are some financial factors to consider with an elderly parent moving in:Start by making it a team effort. Talk to siblings and the parent, themselves, about budgeting and expenses. Open communication and transparency will be key to establishing a successful financial strategy for the household.Get advice from an expert. Living with children for free may affect the eligibility of elderly individuals for Medicaid or full social security benefits, as these benefits are based on income and expenses. An attorney or a social security representative can help you determine how much your parent should pay to keep their benefits.Consider charging rent to elderly parents. To determine how much to charge, figure out how much a room would cost in a senior care facility and then factor in expenses such as groceries. Remember to work together and come to an agreement on a rate that's balanced and fair for everyone involved!Claim your parent as dependents when filing taxes. Claiming a dependent can possibly offer tax deductions and ease your financial burden. However, it is crucial to ensure that you meet all the necessary criteria and rules before proceeding with any decisions.Five Tips for Preparing Your Home for Elderly ParentsPreparing your home for elderly parents can be overwhelming. However, it is essential to make appropriate house adjustments to ensure their new living arrangements are comfortable, convenient, and peaceful. Here are a few things you can do when preparing a space for elderly family members in your home:Make Your Safe and Accessible: Ensure that your home is safe and accessible for your elderly parent. Remove tripping hazards, install handrails in key areas like stairs and bathrooms, and make sure pathways are clear. Consider modifications like a walk-in shower, grab bars, and a ramp if necessary. Arrange furniture to accommodate mobility aids such as walkers or wheelchairs.Address Health and Medical Needs: Consult with your parent's healthcare professionals to understand their specific medical needs and any required assistance with medications or treatments. Set up a dedicated area for medication management and keep a record of their medical history, appointments, and prescriptions. If necessary, enlist the help of a home healthcare professional or nurse to assist with medical care.Develop a Daily Routine: Establish a daily routine that considers your parent's needs and preferences. A structured schedule can provide stability and reduce stress for both of you. Include time for meals, exercise, social interactions, and rest. Be flexible and make adjustments as needed, considering their health and abilities.Seek Support and Education: Caring for an elderly parent can be emotionally and physically demanding. Look for local support groups or online communities where you can connect with others who are going through similar experiences. Consider attending workshops or seminars to learn about caregiving techniques, resources, and coping strategies.Set Boundaries and Communicate Openly: Communication is vital in any caregiving situation. Discuss expectations, boundaries, and roles with your parent and other family members involved in the caregiving process. Be open about your feelings, concerns, and limitations. Remember that self-care is crucial! Don't hesitate to ask for help when needed and take breaks to recharge.DOWNLOAD OUR FREE 10 HOME SAFETY TIPS FOR SENIORS
As people age, joints become weaker, and it can be difficult to stand up on ones own. In this post, we will take a look at how to help an elderly person up from a chair and examine why older adults have difficulty standing up from sitting position.What Causes Difficulty Getting Up from a Chair?Being unable to stand up from sitting position can be due to a variety of factors. These include:Fear of potentially fallingImproper techniqueLack of flexibility in the anklesLimited range of motion in the kneesPoor balanceStiffness in the backTightness in the hamstring muscles on the back of the thighsWeakness in the legsIn the next section, we will review how to lift someone up from a chair.How to Help Elderly Stand UpWhen assisting an older adult in standing up from a chair, be sure to move slowly and carefully and that the path is clear of any obstacles that could trip or harm either of you. Additionally, make sure the person you are lifting can understand your instructions. Speak clearly and explain what youll be doing to alleviate any anxieties they may be facing.When doing the actual lifting, its vital to use your legs rather than your back. Stand in front of the chair, placing one foot slightly ahead for extra stability. Then position one arm around the persons torso and have them clasp their hands together over your arm. Bend your knees and lift with your legs. Keep your back as straight as possible while doing this.Now that we know how to help elderly people stand up, lets take a look at some useful items to help the elderly with difficulty getting out of a chair.DOWNLOAD OUR FREE HOME SAFETY GUIDEEight Devices for Older Adults Who Are Unable to Stand After SittingStanding from a sitting position can also be assisted through various devices. Some items that can help individuals who have difficulty getting up from a sitting position include:Chair assist tools. These affordable, portable tools can be battery-operated or come equipped with a gas spring. Some can even be inflatable.Canes or walkers. Since these are not secured to the ground, its best to use canes or walkers with caution, but they can be handy if they have a sturdy base.Furniture raisers. These devices simply raise furniture higher above the ground so seniors dont have to get so close to the ground when sitting down.Grab bars. Screw or suction these bars into the wall near chairs to help older adults lift themselves up more easily.Lift chairs. These chairs have mechanisms that help seniors stand up easily. Some even have reclining functions so they can rest comfortably.Raised toilet seats and toilet frames. Raising a toilet seat higher above the ground can make it easier for seniors to lift themselves up.Couch standing aids. Positioned underneath couches or chairs, these devices come equipped with attached grab bars to help older adults stand up more easily.Bed standing aids. These are similar to couch standing aids and can be placed under mattresses.
Have you noticed your elderly loved one seems to be eating only sweets? Dont worry, they are not just making up for their moms not allowing them to eat too much Halloween candy when they were younger. There is actually some interesting science behind your elderly loved ones craving sweet and salty snacks.Elderly Eating Too Much SugarIf you find the elderly person in your care constantly having sweet and salty cravings, it could mean something important is missing from their diet. Constant sugar cravings likely mean the body is not getting enough carbohydrates. A proper diet should include complex carbohydrates like whole grains (wheat bread, oats, etc) in addition to protein, fats, fruits and vegetables.Salt cravings are generally an indication of dehydration and pass once the senior is rehydrated. Salt intake should be monitored as it can lead to hypertension (also known as high blood pressure) which can cause harm to the heart.One way to avoid craving sugary or salty snacks is by eating three balanced meals per day along with smaller snacks throughout the day even when the senior is not particularly hungry. This assures they are receiving proper nutrition and can help prevent cravings. Staying hydrated is equally important so keep water handy throughout the day so the senior can sip as needed.Elderly Eating Only Sweets?Along with the other changes that happen to our bodies as we age, we also lose some of our taste buds. This explains why some elderly people seem to lose their appetites or suddenly want more seasoning than seems realistic on everything - 2 out of 3 taste buds can essentially disappear by age 70.Sense of smell begins to decline as well which contributes to food tasting bland. Dry mouth is a side effect of some medications commonly taken by seniors which can make it difficult to swallow. There are many factors that can contribute to eating being less fun as we age, and in order to make it more fun, seniors may start craving sugar.DOWNLOAD OUR HEALTHY AGING DIET GUIDEWhy Do Dementia Patients Crave Sugar?Dementia patients struggle with all of these eating-related changes even more than the elderly who are not suffering from cognitive decline.Studies show that dementia attacks the area of the brain - prefrontal cortex - responsible for self-restraint in food choices. So if your senior loved one is suddenly reaching for the chocolate bars more than they ever did before or are adding sugar to things that dont quite make sense, this could be a sign of the early stages of dementia.Some Healthy Snacks to Replace Sugary SweetsHere are some healthy snacks you can make for your elderly loved ones when the sugar cravings. You may even enjoy some of them yourself:Cut up fruit or berries with yogurtCut up veggies with nut butterPopcorn sprinkled with cinnamonDried fruitUnsweetened granola with fresh fruitDried apples with cinnamon yogurt dipApplesauce with cinnamonFruit and cottage cheeseBaby carrots (which taste sweeter than regular carrots)