Home Instead can help with compassionate, senior home care services. Non-medical home care focuses on helping seniors with the daily activities they need to engage in to remain safe and healthy. Many seniors need help to get their day started with assistance showering, preparing breakfast and taking their medications. Likewise, help before bedtime, or even overnight, can be an important safety net for seniors at home who often are more apprehensive at nighttime. One of the most important needs of a senior who lives alone is often simple companionship. The companionship component of a professional caregivers job can be just as vital as the physical assistance a professional will provide.
For more information on Home Instead Venice, CLICK HERE.While arthritis is common among older adults, it is not a normal part of aging. Arthritis impacts 54 million adults today, and that number is expected to grow to 78 million by 2040.Over 100 different types of arthritis might affect an aging adult, with osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) being the two most common ones. Any type of arthritis can affect a persons quality of life and ability to live independently, so it pays to talk to your loved ones healthcare provider about possible treatments to improve your relatives health and wellbeing.Common Types of ArthritisOsteoarthritis is very common and results from wear-and-tear on the joints. OA can occur in any joint, but it most often affects the hands and weight-bearing joints such as the knee, hip and spinal joints. OA symptoms often develop slowly and worsen over time.Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system mistakenly attacks tissue in the joints, causing inflammation.Any type of arthritis causes pain, stiffness and inflammation of the joints. These effects can make it difficult to move around or perform activities of daily living, such as showering and dressing. Severe arthritis even can contribute to falling.Arthritis of any kind benefits from early diagnosis and treatment. Your loved ones healthcare provider may manage this care themselves or may refer you to a specialist.As a caregiver, you also can take steps to help your loved one live with arthritis.Tips for Family caregivers to help manage an older adults arthritis:Listen and be empathetic.Take their concerns seriously and communicate with them to their healthcare provider, especially if there hasnt been a diagnosis and symptoms are present.Keep a journal of symptoms.Family caregivers can help track when and where pain occurs. They can also help to track medications taken, foods eaten and activity or movement. This information can help identify patterns and provide valuable information to healthcare professionals. The Arthritis Foundation has an app that helps track symptoms and patterns.Communicate with healthcare providers.Often multiple healthcare providers care for older adults. The family caregiver can help keep communication consistent among all of them, which helps ensure everyone is on the same page and the person with arthritis is getting the medical care needed.Encourage movement and regular exercise.Seek out exercise or movement classes. The Arthritis Foundation has several great tools to help with this including the Walk with Ease Program and Your Exercise Solution. Even small amounts of movement throughout the day can add up and significantly improve a persons symptoms. Some ideas include laps around the house (indoors and outdoors), chair exercises and stretching. Be sure to consult the older adults healthcare provider before introducing exercise into the routine.Assist with medication and treatment management.Arthritis is often treatable with medication and other remedies. Family caregivers can help ensure the treatment plans are being followed. Below are additional tips for medication management:Ask the pharmacist for an upside-down cap.Use a pill popper device for over-the-counter medications that come in foil packaging.Look into a prepackaged medication management system that has easy to open packaging such as Simple Meds.Assist with a well-balanced diet.For some people, the food they eat can impact their arthritis. Caregivers can prepare arthritis-friendly foods for their aging loved one and encourage them to eat a well-balanced diet. Learn more about arthritis diets.Encourage weight loss if needed.Family caregivers can assist their loved one in managing their weight. Excess weight can cause additional strain on weight-bearing joints such as hips and knees. Reduce body weight if needed and consult with a doctor about weight loss. Even a ten percent reduction can be helpful.Hire professional help.It is important for family caregivers to help their loved one maintain as much independence as possible. For some, it can be helpful to enlist the assistance of a professional. An Occupational Therapist can offer ideas to remain independent and keep as much functionality as possible. Professional home care can assist with tasks that are more challenging due to arthritis such as meal preparation, light housekeeping and medication management.Remain positive.Arthritis symptoms can sometimes cause an older adult to be discouraged by what they can no longer do. Family caregivers should remain positive and keep the focus on what their loved one can still do.Find creative solutions. There are many arthritis-friendly products that can make life easier. Below are some examples of creative solutions for various parts of the daily routine:CookingFoam handles and arthritis-friendly utensils.Sit while chopping and preparing foods to reduce fatigue.Use adaptive cutting boards to stabilize foods.Utilize a crockpot for easy one pot meals.Hire a home care company to assist with advanced meal preparation.For boiling foods, utilize portion control strainers that can be left in the pot while cooking and that drain the water when the strainer is lifted out. This eliminates the need to carry a boiling pot of water to the sink.Dressing and groomingInstall grab bars in shower, bathtub and around the toilet.Toilet seat risers can help reduce the effort needed to sit down and stand up.Automatic dispensers or pumps for grooming products help reduce the need to squeeze bottles.Seek out adaptive grooming products with special grips and handles.Button hooks can help with small buttons or velcro can be used to replace buttons all together.Sock aids and long-handled shoehorns can help with footwear.RecreationCard and game holders can help reduce fatigue while playing.Gripping tools on small items (ex: tennis ball on paint brush) can help maintain independence.Adaptive gardening tools can help make gardening more accessible.Family caregivers play a vital role in helping their aging loved ones cope with the effects of arthritis and maintain their independence at home. Coordinating the older adults medical care, encouraging physical activity and helping with household tasks can help your relative stay safe and well at home despite the challenges of arthritis.
For more information on the author Home Instead Fort Myers, CLICK HERE.When you visit your aging parents lately, do you sometimes notice things that seem off about them? Maybe Dad cant find his medications anymore, or Mom wont talk about that mysterious dent on the car. Maybe one time you noticed that one of them left a kettle boiling on the stove.These are universal somethings not right signs that might give you pause. You may wonder how you can be there for your parents when you cant be there all the time. You may ask yourself if its time to think about getting an in-home caregiver to help your parents age safely and comfortably at home.To help you tell if your parents may need more help than your'e able to provide, look for these signs that they may need assistance:Missed medication: Missed doses and medication mistakes can lead to very serious medical complications.Mysterious dent: Look for evidence of parking or speeding tickets, fender-benders, dents and scratches on the seniors car.Piling mail or unpaid bills: Seniors can feel overwhelmed by the simple task of opening, sorting and responding to mail let alone performing more complex tasks like paying bills or balancing the checkbook.Lost walker: Misplacing vital items like their walker or the housekeys or leaving them behind in a restaurant or retail store can indicate cognitive decline that would benefit from professional caregiving.Piles of laundry or dishes stacked in the sink: Many older adults become too tired or frail to cope with the usual housework.Poor personal grooming: Showering, shaving and other grooming tasks take energy your parents may no longer have. Or they may stop grooming because they feel unsafe getting in and out of the tub on their own.Reports of falling: One in four Americans over age 65 fall each year, and falls are a leading cause of death among older adults. That's a shame, because most senior falls are preventable.Any of these signs of decline should trigger a discussion about the types of support your aging parents need. That can be a tough conversation to have, but you need to have it to keep your parents safe and well in their own home. Use these tips to open the conversational door:Be empathetic. Try to put yourself in your parents shoes. Nobody likes the idea of becoming unable to keep up the house or take a shower safely. Try to draw out their feelings about how things are going and re-state the messages youre hearing so they know youre reading them correctly.Focus on maximizing their independence. Many older adults fear being sent away to a nursing home or some other institution. Emphasize early in the conversation that your goal is to help them stay safe and well at home for as long as possible.Develop a plan. Together, you and your parents can create a plan that meets their needs in the moment and expands as they need more help.Seek out resources. Don't try to create this plan alone.Seek out information from your Area Agency on Aging, senior centers and your local Home Instead Senior Care office. These experts will be able to help you develop a solid plan that makes life easier for Mom and Dad for years to come. You and your parents don't have to go it alone. Schedule a free, in-home Care Consult with Home Instead Senior Care to get an objective evaluation of how your parents are doing on their own. Well conduct a home safety check, review the ability to perform activities of daily living, assess medication management, perform a social assessment and then make recommendations for a care plan that will serve your family's needs today and can scale up in the future, if desired.
Talk to a friend, family member or caregiver, and they'll likely admit that stress is a part of their daily lives. In fact, more than one in three people worldwide report experiencing a lot of worry (39%) or stress (35%) during the day, according to Gallups 2019 Global Emotions Report. Especially for older adults, stress has the potential to impact long-term physical health, as well as mental stability. While its impossible to completely eliminate the stress we feel, there are proactive steps we can take today to help alleviate some of our worries.Aging can oftentimes feel like a roller coaster of emotions, especially as we are experiencing changes in our lifestyle or wellbeing, said Lakelyn Hogan, gerontologist and caregiver advocate at Home Instead. While it is perfectly natural to feel anxious during changing and uncertain times, its important that we take a moment to reflect on our stress levels and think about healthy ways we can cope.We all have an opportunity to help move our mindset from a place of fear to a place of hope. Coping with stress and anxieties can be challenging as you grow older, but doing so can offer impressive benefits to long-term health, even in small ways. The numerous benefits include improved mood, more restful sleep, lowered blood pressure and a boosted immune system, among other things.To better identify and reduce stress in our daily lives, Hogan recommends practicing these simple habits:- Practice mindfulness. Actively focusing on the good and understanding the triggers that set you off is key to identifying and mitigating stress. When feeling overwhelmed, take a moment to simply sit still and breathe deeply. Try to quiet negative thoughts by making a daily list of what's good in your life and why you're grateful.- Find happiness through health. A healthy diet and exercise can go a long way to improving mood and maintaining positivity in your life. When possible, dedicate 30 minutes a day to activities like stretching, walking around the neighborhood or relaxation yoga at home. Cant find 30 minutes a day to exercise? Break it up into three 10-minute chunks. With todays technology, you also can find activities to get you moving online or even On Demand workouts through your TV provider. Eating well can also impact wellbeing.- Build a support team. Surrounding yourself with positive friends and family is helpful when trying to stay upbeat yourself. When physical visits with loved ones aren't possible, consider using video chat platforms like Skype, Zoom or the senior-friendly Grand Pad, picking up the phone, or sending an old-fashioned letter or postcard. To forge new relationships in person, consider joining a club for older adults, having some of your meals with others or volunteering in your community.- Limit your news intake. While it is important to stay current, too much negative news can contribute to high stress levels. Choose a reputable source and commit to checking it once in the morning and afternoon, rather than grazing throughout the day. Consider keeping your mind engaged in other activities, such as reading, writing or a favorite hobby.- Laugh daily .A quick chuckle not only makes you feel good, its positive effects stay with you long after the laughter subsides. Research shows that laughter lowers stress hormones, relaxes muscles, improves mood and eases anxiety. Find activities that encourage laughter throughout the day, like reading a novel, catching up with a loved one or watching a funny video.Whether its a quick stroll around the block or giving your grandchildren a call, start small by adding one or two of these tips to your regular routine. Once you feel ready, add more. After all, the best game plan to reduce stress is one that works with your preferences and lifestyle. For more tips and activities to relieve stress, visit http://www.caregiverstress.com/senior-activities/.Click Here for Original Blog Link*
Routine visits to the doctor are a key tool in maintaining our health as we age. But over the past 12 months, many older adults and their caregivers have delayed care because of the COVID-19 pandemic, opting to cancel medical appointments due to fear of exposure to the virus.According to a nationwide survey by the National Opinion Research Center at the University Chicago, 1 in 6 older adults delayed or canceled essential medical treatment in the first month of the pandemic alone. Of those who deferred care, almost 40% put off non-essential treatment, while nearly a third went without preventative or primary care.Checkups Key to Managing Chronic IllnessBecause regular checkups are essential to maintaining good overall healthas well as preventing and/or detecting the progression of common diseasesmissing appointments can be particularly devastating for older adults managing chronic illnesses.Routine visits to the doctor are a fundamental investment in our physical well-being and become increasingly important as we age, says Dr. Lakelyn Hogan, Ph.D., gerontologist and caregiver advocate at Home Instead. Seniors are typically more susceptible to chronic diseases and conditions, and yearly checkups allow doctors to monitor and observe changes in a patients health, identify signs of illness early on and recommend the necessary treatments.Scheduling time to see a health care provider can feel overwhelming for older adults, especially with the added fear of COVID-19. The best way to navigate this process is by preparing in advance. Below, Hogan shares a few suggestions to help aging adults plan ahead for a visit to the doctor and better anticipate what to expect.5 Ways to Help Aging Adults Plan Ahead for a Doctors VisitDo your homework. Health concerns and needs change over time, and so has the current health care landscape. Before making an appointment, spend time researching which doctor best aligns with your needs and objectives for your checkup. What type of doctor are you looking for? Are they conveniently located? Are they within your insurance network? Do they have a positive reputation? What COVID-19 protocols have they put in place? Its important to be thorough in your research and find someone who will make you feel comfortable.Explore appointment options .Due to the pandemic, many physicians have expanded options to offer virtual visits. While several practices have resumed in-person checkups, some doctors may still only offer virtual visits. If preferred, telemedicine appointments offer many benefits including convenience, limited exposure to germs and increased ability for caregivers or family members to act as advocates in real time. Talk to your provider about options for the safest way to schedule your visit and make sure to plan ahead for both options, either by arranging transportation to and from the doctors office or setting up a virtual workstation with good internet connection.Bring everything needed for a successful visit. Before a checkup, prepare to bring all necessary documents, such as a list of current medical conditions, allergies and medications, as well as up-to-date insurance information, health records and test results, if needed. It is also a good idea for aging adults and their caregivers to compile a list of questions to ask and any new information that needs to be shared since the last visit. This information will help the appointment flow more efficiently and effectively. Its also a good time to ensure that vaccinations are up to date. And remember to bring up any questions about the flu or COVID-19 vaccine.Don't overlook specialists .In addition to scheduling regular visits with primary care physicians, older adults and caregivers should make plans to see specialists such as the eye doctor and dentist on an annual basis .For example, an ophthalmologist can help catch early signs of age-related eye problems, including vision loss and cataracts.Follow public health guidelines .If planning for an in-person visit, remember to follow standard COVID-19 precautions. This includes wearing a face mask, using hand sanitizer, avoiding touching your face, practicing social distancing and following any additional staff directives.While visiting the doctor is important at any age, it is especially crucial for older adults who face greater risks.For older adults or caregivers who still have reservations about visiting a medical provider, telemedicine has made it possible to visit your doctor over the phone or via video session, presenting older adults with additional alternatives to in-person visits.Whether scheduling an appointment virtually or in-person, now is the time to prioritize that annual checkup.Submitted and Written By: Home Instead - click here for more information
For more information on the author Home Instead Fort Myers, CLICK HERE.Seniors who receive a diagnosis of diabetes may feel they have to give up all the foods they love. Thats not entirely true. Sure, they may have to say no to ice cream and white bread, but you can help the senior you care for adapt by offering new choices that will satisfy his or her desire for sweets and starches while keeping blood sugar levels stable.Say yes to these 10 choices the American Diabetes Association calls diabetes superfoods:1. BerriesSome fruits contain as much sugar as candy does, but berries go on the safe list for seniors with diabetes. Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries -- they all offer a sweet touch to any meal without elevating blood sugar levels too much.2. Skim milk and fat-free yogurtChoose milk fortified with Vitamin D, which can help seniors maintain bone health. When it comes to yogurt, look for sugar-free varieties. A fruity cup of yogurt makes a great dessert for seniors with diabetes.3. Citrus fruitsAvoid fruit juices (which almost all contain added sugar) and go for the whole fruit. Oranges, lemons and limes can be eaten whole or used to add zest to other dishes. The exception? Grapefruit. Most seniors should avoid this citrus fruit because it contains compounds that may interact with medications. Be sure to talk with your loved ones physician or pharmacist to understand how foods might affect medications.4. Sweet potatoesSweet potatoes satisfy that craving for a starch with the meal but don't cause post-meal blood sugar spikes the way white and red potatoes do.5. Whole grainsWhole grain breads, oatmeal, brown rice and barley allow your senior to enjoy bread with meals. Slow-digesting whole grains taste great and generally don't negatively affect blood sugar levels the way refined grains like white flour can.6. TomatoesSeniors with diabetes can consume tomatoes to their hearts content. Tomatoes are loaded with Vitamins C and E, along with iron. Eat them raw or cooked. (Read the labels of canned tomatoes and spaghetti sauces, which can contain undesirable levels of added sugar and salt.)7. Dark Green Leafy VegetablesThese nutrient powerhouses include spinach, kale, collard greens, beet greens and many others. Seniors who take a blood-thinning medication like warfarin (Coumadin) should avoid dark green leafy vegetables, but all others can consume these with abandon. Again, be sure to talk with your loved ones physician or pharmacist to understand how foods might affect medications.8. BeansPacked with fiber, beans of all types -- navy, kidney, pinto -- provide protein along with the essential minerals magnesium and potassium.9. Fatty fishChoose fresh or frozen fish like salmon once a week or more to garner the healthful effects of its Omega-3 fatty acids. Canned salmon and tuna count, too, and may provide a more affordable option.10. NutsAlmonds, walnuts, pecans and other tree nuts provide nutrients and protein, which helps keep blood sugar levels stable. Go for unsalted varieties.Changing ones eating pattern can be very difficult, especially for elderly loved ones. Instead of telling them what they cant eat, help your senior with diabetes overcome dietary challenges by suggesting foods they can say yes to every day.