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
Millions of seniors in the United States are aging in their homes without a spouse or family member living with them. While there are financial advantages to this type of arrangement, one of the biggest drawbacks is the increased isolation that many elderly adults feel. For National Cheer Up the Lonely Day (July 11), it’s an excellent opportunity for communities and individuals to look at the senior population and figure out ways to make them a little less lonely.
Senior Loneliness is Serious
Social interactions certainly decrease with age for a variety of reasons. Among the most common are moving from their established neighborhood, retirement, death of spouse and friends, long-distance family members, health obstacles and lack of mobility. With so many challenges, it’s no wonder that millions of elderly adults who live at home are chronically lonely.
Studies show that loneliness has a serious impact on an elderly person’s physical and mental health. Isolation can lead to depression, poor hygiene, poor cognitive performance, high blood pressure, injuries and accidents, slower recovery, more long-term illnesses, and even increase the risk of mortality. While National Cheer Up the Lonely Day is a powerful motivation to reach out to a lonely person, isolated elderly adults need more attention throughout the year.
How to Reduce Senior Isolation
There are many ways that family caregivers can reduce loneliness in elderly adults beyond spending time with them on a regular basis. Many people hire elder care providers to allow trained professionals to come in and interact with the elderly person. The elder care providers can manage housekeeping, laundry, shopping, meal preparation and much more. They are also excellent companions and can spend time with the elderly person doing hobbies, watching movies and even driving them to events. Hiring an elder care provider is one of the top ways for seniors to avoid loneliness.
Another thing seniors can do to avoid isolation is to get out more into the community. However, if transportation and mobility are issues, they will need help from family caregivers and elder care providers. Family members can keep an eye out for volunteer opportunities for aging adults in their schools or cities. Almost every volunteer organizations need volunteers, especially elderly adults. Some of the most popular are reading to school children, answering phones, helping with paperwork and greeting visitors. Any activity that promotes socialization can have positive effects on a senior’s physical and mental health.
Let National Cheer Up the Lonely Day Inspire Action
National Cheer Up the Lonely Day can shine a spotlight onto the chronic issue of elderly isolation and chronic loneliness. It is truly a society-wide problem that affects elderly adults and their family caregivers. There’s no better time to act to counter the serious effects that long-term loneliness can have on an aging adult’s physical and mental health.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Senior Care in Paradise Valley, AZ, please contact the caring staff at Endeavor Home Care today. Call (480) 535-6800.
The results of remaining physically active throughout the aging process are considerable. However, for people with Parkinson’s, it could truly be a game-changer in the progression of the disease. Several recent studies are uncovering direct links between exercise and Parkinson’s, such as the largest clinical study up to now, in which patients who exercised a minimum of 2½ hours weekly obtained a higher quality of life than those who refrained from physical exercise—and that’s only the beginning when it comes to exercise as a Parkinson’s disease treatment. Read more
Do you recall how challenging it could be when you were young to learn the lesson of sharing with your brothers and sisters? While the incredible importance of taking into consideration other people’s feelings, and also being fair, was impressed upon us early on, it may still be a challenging goal to minimize sibling squabbles regarding complicated decisions we struggle with in adulthood – such as how to fairly divide caregiver costs and requirements for our aging parents. Read more
It is among the more difficult decisions we face in older years, and an extremely delicate subject for adult children to initiate with their elder parents: relinquishing the car keys. Driving ourselves, while supplying an inherent experience of freedom and independence, may become extremely unsafe due to a number of variables linked to getting older. And letting go of that independence for sake of senior driving safety can feel defeating. Read more
In an ideal world, medical care would revolve around you and your own preferences, following your specific needs and wishes – fitting into your itinerary and routine, unhindered by issues such as an unwavering health care provider who sees health care options in black and white. Reality is far from perfect though, and the majority of us often tend to submit to doctors’ orders with no concept that there may be a better-suited alternative, especially when it comes to senior healthcare.
With some education, however, patients can, believe it or not, take a more proactive stance for their healthcare. Known as “person-centered care,” it involves physicians working together with patients and any other members of the family or care providers they determine, taking into consideration the patient’s preferences, values and goals, and using that information as a guide throughout all facets of care.
There are many handy steps we can all take to reach a more individualized level of care:
- Think through your healthcare goals, and write this information down to discuss with your medical doctors. And, ask that medical personnel integrate these goals into your health records.
- Become well-informed in your medical conditions and needs, and ways in which they’re having an effect on your everyday life. For instance, are you suffering from challenges with any sort of routine activities of daily living, like taking showers or dressing? Are you struggling with certain types of movements, like lifting or bending? A good assessment tool is available here.
- Be sure that discussions with medical professionals are two-sided. Fully engage in a dialogue to make sure your concerns are addressed and that you are aware of any potential complications or any other risks of treatment recommendations.
- If you have multiple physicians (for example, a primary care doctor and one or more specialists in a variety of practices), confirm that communication is happening among all. This could include requesting that documentation be shared between providers, and then following up to ensure that’s been carried out.
- Involve a trusted member of the family, friend, or professional in-home caregiver, such as Endeavor Home Care provides, in all healthcare appointments. Having someone around to jot down notes, answers to questions, and any other relevant information helps make sure that nothing falls through the cracks.
To get more tips, and for a partner in care to help ensure older adults and their loved ones have a voice in their healthcare needs, contact Endeavor Home Care, Arizona’s best home care agency. We can provide accompanied transportation to treatments and appointments, pick up prescription medications and run other errands, prepare healthy meals, and so much more for your senior loved ones in the Scottsdale and Phoenix areas. Call us at (480) 535-6800 for assistance.
It is an amazing feeling to know that you are protected, safe and cared for. Dads and moms thrive on making certain their kids are surrounded in the comfort of understanding their needs will be fulfilled, providing the safety net that permits them the self-confidence to explore the world around them. Yet there comes a point in all children’s lives when the craving for self-sufficiency is more compelling than the benefit of protection, and they have to discover firsthand what it means to stumble, fall and get back up again independently.
These types of protective instincts quite often trigger once again for adult children who find themselves taking care of parents as they age. We wish to help them to reduce risks, to ensure they are safe from harm. Yet at the same time, it’s all too easy to fall into a pattern of overprotectiveness if we’re not always careful, which can result in feelings of bitterness as well as resentment on the part of the senior parents.
According to professor of human development and family studies at Pennsylvania State University Steven Zarit, “One of the scariest things to people as they age is that they don’t feel in control anymore. So if you tell your dad not to go out and shovel snow, you assume that he’ll listen. It’s the sensible thing. But his response will be to go out and shovel away … It’s a way of holding on to a life that seems to be slipping back.”
A recent study investigated the impact of stubbornness in older adults’ relationships with their adult children. While the seniors were less inclined to rate themselves as appearing stubborn, their younger loved ones more regularly noted stubbornness as an issue. The key for adult children is in knowing their parents’ reason for digging in their heels to hold onto their freedom and autonomy, and to avoid arguing and generating an attitude of defensiveness. Clear, open and truthful communication among both sides can go far towards smoothing the waters and making sure that each individual is heard and understood.
So what is the easiest method for taking care of parents without seeking to control them? A healthy dosage of patience, respect and empathy will go a long way. Positioning yourself within the senior’s shoes and knowing the importance of self-sufficiency allows adult children to step back, instead of stepping in. Allow the additional time an older adult needs to finish a task, rather than doing it for the person. Continue to look for opportunities to show the older person you appreciate his or her suggestions and recommendations. For additional suggestions about offering care that doesn’t cross the line, contact the San Diego home care experts at Endeavor Home Care by calling (480) 535-6800. And see our full California and Arizona service area here.
“Home sweet home,” the saying goes; but if you are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s who is experiencing memory loss and insists home is somewhere other than where he or she is currently living, what do you do? When you are providing care for a loved one with dementia, unfortunately this discussion can be a common occurrence. And the bewilderment and sorrowful yearning being conveyed are nothing less than heartbreaking – and, if we’re truthful, annoying.
At Endeavor Home Care, our professionally instructed San Diego dementia care team helps families control difficult events such as this, and we recommend trying the following to help restore peace to an upset loved one with dementia:
- Instead of rationalizing, help the senior feel validated. Reasoning or arguing with a senior with dementia can actually increase frustration and unrest. Even if the older person is in the same home she’s resided in for the past 20 years, within her thoughts, “home” could represent the enjoyment she felt in her childhood home together with her parents. Her sentiments of loss are quite real, and should be acknowledged.
- Provide reassurance. Maintain a calm, soothing tone of voice and body language and take a seat next to the person, providing consolation through a hug, hand-holding, or maybe lightly touching the person’s arm, if these kinds of actions are accepted.
- Next, redirect. Once you’ve provided a soothing presence and affirmed the person’s views, redirection to some pleasurable, entertaining activity will be helpful. Taking a walk outdoors or in a different part of the house, playing favorite music, or checking out photograph collections are just a couple of suggestions; consider the particular person and incorporate the things that work best for her.
For further suggestions about helping restore peace to a troubled loved one with memory loss resulting from Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia, contact Endeavor Home Care at (480) 535-6800. We can help keep seniors safe, enrich socialization, and present them with opportunities to strengthen both cognitive and physical wellbeing through services such as:
- Patient, sensitive assistance with personal care responsibilities such as bathing and dressing
- Participating in conversations and reminiscing about the past
- Helping the senior to participate in physician-approved exercises
- Playing board games, cards or games on a tablet device with the senior
- Planning and making nutritious meals
- Running errands such as picking up groceries and medications
- Providing transport to health care appointments and other outings
- And so much more
Whether just a few hours each week of respite care for primary family caregivers are necessary, or full-time, seamless, around-the-clock caregiving is wanted, we’re always ready to partner with you to deliver the highest quality dementia care. Contact Endeavor’s San Diego dementia care experts to find out more and to arrange for a free in-home assessment.
Managing Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes is a constant challenge, even more so for seniors who may have lost some manual dexterity, have memory problems or suffer from nerve damage. In-home healthcare may be the best option for some families; however, if you are caring for a loved one with diabetes you should be aware of the following potential issues.
Blood glucose testing is the primary tool for a person with diabetes to manage their disease. Today’s glucose meters tendto be small and can be difficult to handle for persons with limited movement in the hands and fingers.
Anyone can easily learn how to operate a glucose meter; it involves a simple finger prick for a blood sample and –for most meters—just five seconds to read the result. Most diabetics are instructed to test their blood sugar 3-4 times a day.
The result of the blood glucose test will determine what the next dose of insulin or other medication should be. You’ll need to not only learn how to use the meter, but also keep a document handy with doctor’s instructions regarding how to adjust medications based on these test results. Obviously, seniors who have memory problems will need close monitoring to ensure that tests are conducted on schedule and that medications are accurately dispensed.
If your loved one exhibits odd behaviors, don’t assume that these are a result of aging or dementia! Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) reactions can cause slurred speech, dizziness and anxiety; a person experiencing hypoglycemia can appear to be drunk. If you see this kind of behavior you will want to test your loved one’s blood sugar immediately.
Finally, persons with diabetes are prone to develop sores that won’t heal, especially on their feet. If the person has diminished sensation due to nerve damage, a small cut or blister can become gangrenous surprisingly quickly, often leading to amputations. Be sure to check the person’s feet regularly; at least every 3-4 days.
Caring for diabetes is a 24-hour-a-day job that is difficult for a family member to take on; a better option might be to hire a service that provides in-home care for your loved one. If you’re fortunate enough to live in the Arizona Valley, you have the home care experts at your service: Endeavor Senior Care. We provide a full spectrum of in-home care to help your loved one live independently for as long as possible and give you peace of mind. If you have questions or would like to learn more, please contact us.
Providing care is a 24/7 responsibility that takes place 365 days a year, for a lifetime. Understandably, that makes caregiving an impossible job for one person. Blessedly, no one has to take on all of that responsibility alone. There are other people willing to step in and lend a hand so caregivers can take time out to attend to their own needs. Oftentimes, those helping hands may be found by contacting a senior care service.
Senior care services vary in depth, breadth and purpose. Some are designed to provide skilled nursing services and others offer non-medical ones. Non-medical senior care services are primarily intended to provide seniors with opportunities for social interaction and assistance with daily activities. As such, the services may take place in the senior’s home, a public place or a business venue. Sometimes the day care programs are rigid, cold and impersonal. Other times, they’re flexible, personal and full of warmth.
The senior care programs that are flexible, personal and hospitable tend to provide the most benefits to their participants. They allow seniors to develop friendships, remain active in their communities, exercise personal choice and enjoy independence while continuing to manage their health problems at home. Plus, many of the programs’ costs are covered by long-term care insurance. The senior care services offered through Endeavor Home Care are prime examples. They can be personalized to suit a person’s needs and changed whenever necessary.
Consequently, seniors participating in the process don’t feel like they’re being treated like children. They have a choice of pre-screened caregivers and can choose when and where they receive care. Of course they can also dictate how much care is received. For instance, some seniors may merely need assistance with getting out of bed in the morning. Others may want help with the dinner dishes and light housekeeping. To learn more about the various senior care services that are available in your area, please contact us today.
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