How Do People Get Mesothelioma? 

Endeavor In-Home Care can help mesothelioma patients live with dignity and independence at home.

Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that develops after being exposed to a toxic substance called asbestos. Many people were unknowingly exposed to asbestos for the majority of the 20th century. It usually takes between 20 and 50 years for mesothelioma to develop after exposure, making the disease more common for seniors than younger age groups.

Out of the 3,300 people diagnosed each year, a large majority of cases involve seniors between the ages of 50 and 70. A patient is usually diagnosed after receiving a biopsy, which occurs after imaging tests show the presence of abnormalities in the linings of the lungs, abdomen or heart. Common symptoms include a persistent cough and pneumonia-like effects.

Depending on the stage, a typical mesothelioma prognosis can be anywhere from a couple of months to a few years. With aggressive treatment and an early diagnosis, there are situations where patients can extend their life expectancy. Treatments vary depending on each case and can include surgery, chemotherapy or a mix of the two. 

Asbestos is the only scientifically proven cause of mesothelioma. Here are the main types of exposure that could increase your chances of developing mesothelioma. 

On-the-Job Exposure

For decades, many occupations involved the use of, and exposure to, asbestos. Before commercial production and use of the carcinogen was regulated, companies often used the mineral on an everyday basis. They relied on this material due to its fire-resistant properties and cheap production costs, two appealing traits that led many companies to ignore the dangers.

People who worked in the military, automobile trades and construction industry were likely affected the most. Professions such as shipyard workers or electricians were other occupations highly exposed.

Most, if not all, of the branches in the military used asbestos materials heavily. Asbestos was a readily available material that had insulating and fire-retardant properties, which made it perfect for naval vessels or vehicles. Today, veterans make up one-third of mesothelioma patients, the largest group of people diagnosed with the disease. Many occupations in the military put veterans at high risk of asbestos exposure. These include boilermen, construction engineers, and shipyard workers. 

Natural Exposure

Asbestos is a mineral that can be found underground. When undisturbed, it does not pose a threat. However, if disturbed and above ground, it could release fibers into the air or soil. Although it’s a rare cause for disturbing asbestos, run-off land erosion can also play a role in contaminating water supplies such as rivers and lakes with asbestos particles.

According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, people near natural asbestos deposits should take precautions because they could be exposed by digging or shoveling dirt. Running, biking, or off-roading on unpaved surfaces can also cause asbestos fibers to be released into the air. 

Secondhand Exposure

Some mesothelioma patients never worked around asbestos, but they still could have been exposed. Many people went to work in occupations that used asbestos heavily up until the 1980s. These men and women were not only being exposed to asbestos on a daily basis but also unknowingly bringing asbestos fibers back into their homes.

This form of exposure is called secondhand exposure and put the worker’s family members and friends at risk, as this toxic substance could easily be transferred from clothing and hair. Even the simple task of doing laundry could have indirectly led to breathing in asbestos fibers.

At Endeavor In-Home Care, we help bring comfort and peace of mind to you and your loved one after a diagnosis like mesothelioma. Our compassionate caregivers in Gilbert, AZ are highly trained to provide a variety of in-home care services such as companionship, assistance with personal care needs, respite for family caregivers, and so much more. Contact us online today or call 480-498-2324 to learn more about our top-rated in-home care services in Gilbert and the greater Phoenix area.

Alzheimer’s Care Tips During COVID-19

Providing Alzheimer’s care for a loved one is hard under the best of scenarios; add in a global pandemic, one that calls for social distancing, masks, and intensive sanitation of both ourselves and the environment, and the challenge may seem insurmountable. Read more

6 Trusted COVID-19 Resources for Seniors and Their Caregivers

Being aware of where to turn with regard to the latest, most reliable information on COVID-19, particularly as it pertains to older adults and family members who take care of them, is crucial – and can be puzzling. With many resources and differing viewpoints on this earth-shattering situation, we wanted to help make it simpler to locate what you need by building the following list of reliable resources for seniors and their caregivers. Read more

A home healthcare worker, a mature woman of Pacific Islander ethnicity, helping a senior man with a walker enter his house through the front door. She is holding the walker, directing him to watch is step.

Is It Parkinson’s, or Dementia with Lewy Bodies?

Each year, thousands of American seniors are told they have Parkinson’s disease, but they do not. For a number of these people, the true diagnosis is a similar but not as well-known disease: dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB).

Dementia with Lewy bodies affects as many as 1.3 million Americans, according to the Lewy Body Dementia Association (LBDA). And that estimate could be too low, considering that a number of people who’ve been incorrectly diagnosed with Parkinson’s still have not been given an accurate diagnosis.

Signs and symptoms for the two diseases can be very similar, in particular as they progress, because they exhibit the same root modifications in the brain.

Here are the symptoms you should be aware of, according to the LBDA:

  • Intensifying dementia – Increasing confusion and reduced attention and executive function are frequent. Memory impairment may not be obvious during the early stages.
  • Frequent visual hallucinations – These are commonly complex and detailed.
  • Hallucinations of other senses – Touch or hearing are probably the most typical.
  • REM sleep behavior disorder – This can appear decades before the onset of dementia and Parkinson’s.
  • Frequent falls and fainting – Includes unexplained loss in consciousness.
  • Other psychiatric disruptions – These differ from patient to patient.

Is the correct diagnosis really critical? Diagnosing DLB quickly and properly may possibly mean the difference between life and death, according to Howard I. Hurtig, M.D., Chair, Department of Neurology, Pennsylvania Hospital and Elliott Professor of Neurology. Incorrectly treating DLB can not only result in serious adverse reactions, but could even exacerbate symptoms and prevent accurate symptom management.

Much of the confusion among doctors is due to the fact that both Parkinson’s disease and DLB come under the exact same umbrella of Lewy body dementias.

An important distinction is in the “one-year rule” associated with cognitive symptoms. Patients with Parkinson’s disease ordinarily do not present cognitive issues until at least one year after mobility symptoms start. DLB is the exact opposite, with cognitive symptoms appearing first for at least one year.

Endeavor In-Home Care offers Mesa respite care and dementia care services for the surrounding areas. Contact us at 480-498-2324 to arrange a free home care assessment or to learn more about the way we can help your loved one with dementia, Parkinson’s disease, or any other condition common in aging.

Healthy senior man in GYM leaning on spinning bicycle

The Benefits of Physical Activity for Seniors With Parkinsons

The benefits of remaining physically active throughout aging are tremendous; however, when it comes to physical activity and Parkinson’s disease, it could truly be a game-changer in the progression of the disease. Several studies are displaying direct links between exercise and Parkinson’s, including the largest clinical study up to now, in which patients who exercised at least 2½ hours each week realized a higher total wellbeing compared to those who refrained from physical activity. And that’s only the start.

The onset of Parkinson’s symptoms develops following loss of the brain cells that create dopamine. Researchers believe that exercise makes it possible for the brain to rebuild lost connections, form new ones, and continue maintaining those that are still in place. Additional studies show:

  • Gains were occurring in stride length, gait speed and balance following treadmill exercise – after as little as just one single session, and enduring for a number of weeks afterwards.
  • Motor function and coordination were enhanced in people who pedaled at a faster rate on a stationary bike – again, with results lasting for weeks after the study ended.
  • Noticeable improvements regarding the normalcy of movement were found in those with Parkinson’s who engaged in a regular exercise program in comparison to those that did not.

It’s important to notice that the outcomes achieved were reliant upon consistent, ongoing exercise. The scientific tests reported that any protective benefits occurring were discontinued if the amount and intensity of exercise was reduced or was implemented for only a short period of time. The necessary criteria for sustainable results appear to be the same as those essential to help those who’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury or stroke: intensity, specificity, difficulty and complexity.

Additional research is underway to hone in even more on the great things about physical activity for seniors with Parkinson’s disease, as well as the precise reasoning behind it. For the time being, if your loved one has been identified as having Parkinson’s disease, it is certainly beneficial to consult with his or her primary care physician for a recommended exercise regimen.

For assistance with safe, dependable transportation and accompaniment to a doctor’s appointment or workout program, or encouragement and inspiration to engage in an ongoing exercise program in the home, call Endeavor In-Home Care at 480-498-2324. Our Phoenix live-in care experts are available to improve total wellbeing for individuals with Parkinson’s disease, or any other condition of aging throughout Phoenix and the surrounding area. Contact us today to learn more about our in-home care services.

diet for older adults - phoenix senior care

Ensure the Best Diet for Older Adults by Answering These 5 Questions

The love a parent has for his or her children has no age restrictions. And regardless of age, parents often strive to protect their children from worries, which can sometimes mean masking their own concernsTo make it even more challengingfamily members often live at a distance from their aging parents, making it especially challenging to ensure a healthy diet for the older adults they love. 

One of the many challenges in growing older is the decrease in meeting nutritional needs. If you think your older loved ones are possibly not getting the nutrients they need to remain healthy and well, this quick evaluation can help identify any potential warning signs of malnutrition: 

  1. Has an older loved one complained of a loss of appetite, difficulties with digesting food, or problems with chewing or swallowing? Has he or she been eating less as a result? 
  2. Has the senior lost weight recently? Losing weight, in particular for older adults with a less active lifestyle, can be a sign that the person is not eating properly. 
  3. Is the senior experiencing mobility limitations? Being homebound can lead to dietary struggles, as it is more difficult to pick up groceries or prepare meals. 
  4. Has your loved one been under mental stress or been diagnosed with an acute disease in the past several months? 
  5. What is his or her body mass index (BMI)? A BMI of 18.5 or less can signify that he or she is not eating enough, while a BMI of 30 or higher can signify obesity.  

If when answering these questions you suspect that a senior you love might be experiencing problems with nutrition, it’s probably wise to consult with his/her doctor. The Phoenix senior care team at Endeavor In-Home Care can also help improve health and wellbeing in seniors, right in the comfort of home, through: 

  • Preparing nutritious meals in accordance with any dietary restrictions 
  • Providing transportation to medical appointments and to pick up groceries, prescriptions, etc. 
  • Light household chores and laundry 
  • Running errands 
  • Medication reminders 
  • And more  

Our trained and experienced caregivers are compassionatefully background checked, and on hand to provide as much or as little assistance as needed. Contact us at 480-498-2324 to learn more about our personalized in-home care solutions for seniors throughout several Arizona cities. 

healthy diet for seniors - elderly care in phoenix

Can a Healthy Diet for Seniors Reduce the Risk for Dementia?

There are a number of age-related concerns that can have an impact on senior nutritionbut new research is revealing that it’s more important than ever to maintain a healthy diet for seniors: the potential impact on cognitive function. And it may surprise you to learn that malnutrition in seniors is actually quite commonPer the National Resource on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Agingas many as of 35 to 50 percent of the senior residents in long-term care facilities are faced with malnutrition, along with as many as 65 percent of older hospitalized adults. 

Malnourished seniors are twice as prone to visit the physician, and three times as prone to being hospitalized. They also experience decreased muscle strength and poor healing. And that’s not all; a recent study points to the role of a healthy diet for seniors in cognitive functioning as well. Healthy Aging and Longevity research reveals a disturbing link between the dietary patterns we establish during our adult years, and age-related cognitive decline and dementia risk. 

To reduce the risk of developing dementia, the recommendation is for seniors to maintain a diet that is high in fruits, vegetables, cereals and fish, and low in saturated fats.  

Of particular note: seniors with diabetes are particularly sensitive to the foods they eat. An older person with diabetes will, for instance, experience a decline in memory function following a meal, especially when consuming simple carbohydrates, such as sugar, soft drinks, candy, etc. While the specific physiological mechanisms underlying these dietary effects are not fully known, the modulation of brain insulin is more than likely factor. 

Making the best decisions about your diet today can be beneficial in reducing the risk for cognitive decline in later years. Follow the steps below to help improve nutrition for the seniors you love now:   

  • Choose healthy options at each meal; for instancereplace simple carbs with complex ones (green vegetables, whole grains, beans, etc.)  
  • Stick to a healthy weight and BMI  
  • Control blood pressure and cholesterol levels  
  • Exercise routinely 
  • Seek help from a dietitian or the experts in elderly care in Phoenix and the surrounding areas at Endeavor In-Home Care

Although it may be easier for seniors to grab a quick snack than to prepare a healthy meal, partnering with Endeavor In-Home Care can help ensure nutritious options are always on handWe can pick up groceries (or provide transportation and accompaniment for the senior to go shopping), plan and prepare wholesome meals, and even clean up the kitchen afterwardsContact us at 480-498-2324 to learn more about our personalized, professional in-home care services for seniors in Phoenix and the surrounding areas. 

dementia care at home - mesa senior care

The Benefits of Professional Dementia Care at Home

Although an astounding number of older adults are dealing with the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease, an even greater number of family members are struggling with caring for them. Surprisingly, nearly 75% of family caregivers are managing their senior loved ones’ dementia care needs by themselves, with only 26% reaching out for professional care support. 

Naturally, families want to do all they can to satisfy their senior loved ones’ needs, but dementia caregiving can result in an exceedingly high level of both mental and physical stress. This takes a toll regarding the caregivers’ own general health over time, specifically when the disease progresses. And many family members think there is an all-or-nothing approach: either oversee the senior’s needs at home, or face moving him or her into residential care. 

Endeavor Home Care, fortunately, offers an alternative that is beneficial to seniors with dementia and to their family caregivers: the addition of certified in-home dementia caregivers to offer as much or as little respite care as needed. Read on to learn more about why dementia care at home is highly beneficial:   

  • Highly trained care. Because our care providers are both skilled and experienced in the numerous intricate components of Alzheimer’s disease, along with other types of dementia, they can proactively cope with, and more successfully manage, even the most challenging of behaviors, like wandering, aggression, and sundowning, among others.  
  • Enhanced safety. The possibility of accidents is increased for everyone with dementia. Even something which seems as easy as helping your family member into the shower or onto the toilet may pose a dangerous fall risk. Trained caregivers understand how to look for and prevent falls, keeping both you and your cherished loved one safe from personal injury. 
  • Sustainable aging in place. Sometimes, family caregivers become so stressed with attempting to meet all of a senior loved one’s needs in tandem with their own that a move to a residential dementia care facility seems inevitable. But working together with a specialist in dementia care opens up the possibility of long-term, effective care in the home.  
  • Ease of mind. Understanding your loved one is in capable hands allows you to take a breath, relax, and step away from the stresses of caregiving in order to alleviate stress and the prospect of caregiver burnout and depression.  

It’s best to look into in-home dementia care choices at the beginning of the disease, to accommodate a more seamless transition and also to make certain that your loved one receives the best dementia care at home from the startContact our Mesa senior care team at 480-498-2324 to ask about a consultation in the comfort of home, where we can establish a highly individualized plan of care that will improve wellbeing for your loved one today, and as needs change in the future. See our full Arizona service area at the bottom of our website. 

alzheimer's treatments - phoenix home care

Two Alzheimer’s Treatments that Reduce the Most Severe Symptoms

The most up-to-date Alzheimer’s statistics are worrying. The disease has become the 6th leading cause of death, rising above both breast and prostate cancer together. And while deaths from several chronic conditions, including cardiovascular illnesses, are declining, those from Alzheimer’s have jumped more than 100%. The toll the disease takes on family caregivers is similarly staggering, with more than 16 million Americans supplying over 18 billion hours of caregiving for a member of the family with Alzheimer’s. 

Although we’ve yet to find a cure for the disease, there are two distinct types of Alzheimer’s treatments which can help reduce a number of the more prevalent signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s. In the event a senior you love is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, listed below are two options the doctor may suggest: 

  1. Cholinesterase inhibitors: By hindering the breakdown of acetylcholine, a compound required for memory, attention, learning and muscle activity, these prescription drugs can provide some success for the mild to moderate stages of Alzheimer’s for some patients. Dr. Zaldy Tan, medical director for the UCLA Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Program, warns however, to be aware that results are going to be limited at best. “The best case scenario is that the patient’s memory and cognitive function may improve slightly to what it was six months to a year ago – it’s not going to turn back time,” he explains. Included in this class of medications are galantamine (Razadyne), donepezil (Aricept) and rivastigmine (Exelon).  
  1. Memantine: In the moderate to severe stages of the disease, the doctor may recommend memantine (Namenda) which takes an alternative approach compared to the cholinesterase inhibitors, avoiding the overstimulation of glutamate NMDA receptors which often will help restore limited memory functionality. Doctors will frequently add memantine to a patient’s care plan alongside a cholinesterase inhibitor once the disease advances. 

Determining the effectiveness of these treatments takes patience, as each takes 4 to 6 weeks before benefits is will be realized. And, it is crucial to weigh the benefits against any negative effects, which could include confusion and constipation in memantine, and nausea, vomiting and a reduced heart rate with cholinesterase inhibitors. 

One of the best ways to help individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease live life to the fullest is through employing the services of a specially trained caregiver who understands and will help manage the assorted struggles of dementia. Contact Endeavor Home Care at 480-498-2324 for more information on our professional, compassionate Phoenix home care services and learn how we can help a family member with Alzheimer’s.

senior diet - mesa live in care

Is It Time to Reconsider What Your Parents Have for Dinner?

A healthy senior diet is recommended for many reasons. It’s the best way to lose weight, keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the normal range, and even is believed to help prevent Alzheimer’s. If your parents don’t like to cook for themselves, a healthy diet may be hard to maintain.

Do you know what a senior’s diet should include and avoid? With age come changes to what and how much to eat. Here are the current recommendations…

Double Up on Vegetables

Some seniors do not eat enough when it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables. Your parent’s dinner plate should have fruits and vegetables on half the plate, a lean protein on one quarter, and a whole grain option on the remaining quarter.

Vegetables are important as they’re great sources of antioxidants. Cruciforms like Brussels sprouts and broccoli are a good choice for their cancer-prevention qualities. See if your parents would consider swapping out two or three meals a week for vegetarian meals to limit the amount of meat they eat.

If your mom or dad can’t chop vegetables, invest in a food processor. It can make it easy to prep ingredients when arthritis makes it hard to hold a knife. Or, hire a home care professional for meal preparation.

Get Plenty of Calcium

Calcium is a good way to prevent osteoporosis. Fat-free or low-fat dairy options are ideal. Plain low-fat yogurt is a good choice if your mom or dad hates drinking milk. You can add it to fruit smoothies each morning to mask the taste if that’s an issue.

If your parents cannot digest or stomach dairy items, look for cereals and fruit juices that are fortified with vitamin D and calcium. Orange juice is one option that often comes in a calcium-added version.

Lower Saturated Fat, Sodium, and Sugar Intake

Saturated fat, sodium, and sugar are to be avoided. All three can increase the risk of health issues like high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. While frozen meals and canned soups are easy, they’re often loaded with all three. Cooking meals from scratch is ideal.

Your parents need to get used to reading labels. They may need magnifiers when shopping for items. Many pasta sauces add sugar or corn syrup to the tomatoes to add sweetness. Sugar is often found in canned soups, packaged bread, deli meats, fruit juices, and yogurts.

If your parents don’t like to cook, they can avoid takeout and packaged meals. Call a home care agency and ask about caregivers. Caregivers provide companionship, but they’ll also cook meals, shop for food and much more to help loved ones maintain a healthy senior diet.

If you or an aging loved-one needs care, please contact the Mesa live-in care experts at Endeavor Home Care today at 480-498-2324.