Senior nutrition

Concerned About Senior Nutrition? Learn How to Overcome Nutritional Challenges.

Concerned About Senior Nutrition?With the all the hustle and bustle of our lives, how many times do we grab a quick cup of coffee and a donut on our hurried way to work, stopping for junk food on the way home to avoid the need to cook? Younger adults with a high metabolism, optimal muscle strength, and fewer chronic health conditions can get away more easily with short-term poor eating habits; however, when it comes to senior nutrition, it’s a different story.

While our bodies go through changes in aging, the need for appropriate nutrition becomes much more critical. Seniors who are malnourished are at a heightened risk for falls, anemia, maladies, hospitalizations, and more. It’s estimated that as a nation, we spend over $150 billion annually in medical costs stemming from elderly malnutrition.

There are numerous hurdles for the elderly to overcome in order to obtain adequate senior nutrition, including:

  • Medication side effects, such as impacting taste and smell
  • Trouble eating due to arthritis or dental concerns
  • Difficulty with the tasks involved with shopping or fixing meals
  • Loneliness and depression, making mealtime less enjoyable
  • Lack of enthusiasm to prepare balanced meals when cooking for just one
  • Financial limitations

To compound the issue further, doctors’ appointments and checkups often neglect nutritional counseling. According to Simin Nikbin Meydani, director for the Jean Mayer USDA Human Research Center on Aging at Tufts, “If you go to your physician, they will weigh you and check your heart, but they are not measuring your nutritional status.”

So how can we guarantee our older family members are maintaining proper senior nutrition? The MyPlate for Older Adults from Tufts University is a great place to begin, outlining simple dietary modifications that are less inhibitive than trying a complete dietary makeover. For example, “Tea and toast can turn into a bowl of oatmeal with a banana. It’s just as easy to make,” according to Shirley Chao, of the MA Executive Office of Elder Affairs.

Another choice is to engage the services of a professional in-home caregiver, such as those at Endeavor Home Care in Scottsdale, AZ, who can help with planning wholesome, delicious meals, running errands such as picking up groceries, and spending time with seniors during mealtimes to stave off loneliness.

For more strategies for helping improve nutrition for an older adult, contact Endeavor Home Care. We can plan and prepare healthy meals for seniors – and we’ll even clean up the kitchen afterwards! We service several locations in Arizona, including Tucson, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Fountain Hills, Mesa, Sun City West, Gilbert and more.

Caring for Parents

Caring for Parents at Home? These Tips Can Make Life So Much Easier!

Caring for Parents at Home?Now that Mom has sold her car, is no longer driving and it is harder for her to get around on her own, it has been decided that you and your siblings will divide up her care needs. One of you needs to take her to the doctor’s office, beauty shop and grocery store. One of you needs to help with her housework and laundry. And certainly, the yard needs to be kept up. But there are a few additional necessary aspects to caring for parents which need to be dealt with but often go unnoticed until there’s a problem.

Consider this to-do list when assembling a plan of care for your senior loved one:

  • Keep all important personal information together, including power of attorney paperwork, advance healthcare directives or do not resuscitate orders, wills, trusts, financial information on all assets, insurance information and more.
  • Check to see if your employer offers a flexible work schedule to accommodate time required to care for the senior, or paid or unpaid leave. Contemplate the financial consequences of employment-related changes.
  • Realize the financial implications of providing care for a family member. Studies show that family caregivers spend over $5,000 every year for care needs, over and above any lost income.
  • Have all family members and friends who will be involved in providing care, as well as yourself and your senior loved one, agree upon a written agreement of care. Though it could seem unnecessary, obtaining care details outlined in writing helps eliminate future disputes.
  • Create a strategy for ongoing support for yourself, to allow for needed time for self-care and to provide a safe, trusted channel for your personal feelings. Consider available options, to include not just immediate family and close friends, but also a counselor or therapist, your place of worship, web based or in-person caregiver support groups, and disease-specific organizations, such as the Alzheimer’s Association.

Skilled Arizona in-home care providers are one more excellent source of support for older persons in need of help with proper care, as well as for the family members caring for parents or other senior loved ones. Supplemental care services allow family members to take much-needed breathers from care to take care of their own needs and to relax with some downtime. The best way someone can take care of another is to first care for himself/herself.

Endeavor Home Care has additional suggestions about putting a plan in place for senior care in Phoenix, Scottsdale and the surrounding areas, and is also here to help fill in any gaps with our full range of professional in-home care services. Call us at (480) 535-6800 for assistance.

Alzheimer's disease

Caring for Someone with Alzheimer’s Disease? Here’s What You Need to Know.

Caring for Someone with Alzheimer’s Disease?If only providing care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia came with a handbook, rather than the trial-and-error-and-trial-again method so many of us are faced with. The various stages of the disease that have to be worked through cause it to become increasingly challenging; the moment we start to feel reasonably adept at managing one phase, we’re on to the next.

At Endeavor Home Care in Arizona, we recognize firsthand how challenging dementia and Alzheimer’s disease care can be, and present the following suggestions to keep in mind that may help:

  • It is ok to make mistakes. Being human means being imperfect. Keep your expectations of yourself within reason, understanding that there will be times when you have sufficient patience and discernment, and times you wish you could do over. Don’t forget to take care of yourself; and be sure to remind yourself often that you are doing the best you can.
  • Redirecting works better than correcting. When a person with dementia is disoriented, using logic to attempt to reorient the individual can lead to disappointment for both of you. For example, if the person is looking for a childhood friend, instead of explaining that this friend died a long time ago, ask the person to tell you more information about the friend or to talk about a fun adventure they shared.
  • Don’t be afraid to accept your loved one’s alternate reality. We place a high value on truthfulness in our society, and being dishonest with a senior loved one makes us feel uncomfortable. However, if the person truly believes that he’s the author of the book you’re reading, it’s often a wise course of action to simply play along and maintain the peace.
  • Be realistic in both what the person can and cannot do. Even though our inclination may be to take control and take over everything for a person with Alzheimer’s, it’s better to stop and see what he or she is still capable of doing independently. Similarly, if the older adult begins to experience agitation over a task, it’s time to step up and help.
  • Doctors can learn something new, too. Make sure to discuss everything you’re witnessing in your loved one with the doctor during medical appointments. He or she can only deliver the best treatment plan when all of the details are on the table.

Most importantly, it’s essential for family members providing Alzheimer’s disease care to develop a good system of support. Endeavor Home Care is available to partner with you in delivering customized Arizona dementia and Alzheimer’s disease care; contact us at 480-535-6800 for more details.