How Home Care Assistance Helps Caregivers Begin to Let Go of Guilt

Home Care AssistanceThere’s no emotional rollercoaster quite like the one ridden by family members providing care for an aging or chronically ill loved one. In our experience with home care assistance, there’s hardly an emotion that does NOT come into play at some point during caregiving – and sometimes, the majority of those emotions can happen all within the span of a day. Perhaps one of the most difficult feelings to manage, however, is guilt; feeling as though you should be doing more for your loved one and less for yourself.

When suffering under the weight of caregiver guilt, follow these 3 manageable tips:

  • Avoid isolation. Talking about your feelings with a trusted friend, family member, or professional counselor is crucial to see the situation from an objective perspective and to release the burden of carrying those feelings alone.
  • Write it down. Keeping track of your thoughts and feelings in a journal is therapeutic in and of itself, but also provides the benefit of being able to read back over your writings and learn from your experiences. Be sure to document ALL of your thoughts and feelings, but don’t forget the positive comments, in order to lift your spirits on the more tiresome days.
  • Take sound advice. While well-meaning friends and family may have lots of input on how you should or should not be feeling, nothing beats the advice of someone who’s walked a mile in your shoes. Finding a support group of other family caregivers, particularly if their loved one shares a similar diagnosis, can make a world of difference.

For more resources on providing the best possible home care assistance for your senior loved one, or to explore the option of in-home respite care, call Endeavor Home Care at 480-535-6800, or fill out our quick and easy online contact form.

Tips for Alzheimers Care

alzheimers care

Some days are better than others, so the more flexible and adaptable you are, the better care you will be able to offer your loved one.

Having a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease can be a difficult process, especially if you are the primary caregiver. Your loved one likely requires constant support, and having to know what to do and how can make you feel almost as confused as your loved one. But there are a few ways to improve the quality of Alzheimer’s care you provide:

Use schedules to your advantage. With careful scheduling, you can plan your loved one’s days so that they are as comfortable as possible. The more consistent a routine you can establish, the less confusion they will experience. In addition, if they have to do something complicated or deviate from the routine, schedule that during the time of day they are the most alert and agreeable.

Don’t turn the schedule into a crutch, however. If you rely too much on the schedule, it can actually make things more difficult for your loved one. Things may often take longer than scheduled, and that’s perfectly fine. The important part is that a routine exists, not that each day is perfectly orchestrated down to the minute.

Remain adaptable. Alzheimer’s disease progresses as time goes on, so the capabilities your loved one has now may not be there in a few years. In addition, some days are better than others. Sometimes your loved one will be worse than their usual, and sometimes they will be better. The more flexible and adaptable you are, the better care you will be able to offer them.

Take care of yourself. Just as you are responsible for caring for your loved one, you are also responsible for caring for yourself. There is no shame in needing a break or asking for help. Don’t forget that you can’t help them if you aren’t at your best.

The most important part of being an Alzheimer’s caregiver is the love and care needed to support your loved one in this difficult time in their life. As long as you try your best and are open to improvement, you will do a good job.

Contact us for more information on Alzheimer’s care.

3 Simple Ways to Support a Dementia Caregiver

dementia caregiver

Caregiving provided by a loving person can make a huge difference in the person’s life, but the process of caring for someone suffering from dementia can also become all-consuming.

When a person is caring for someone with dementia, the journey can be extremely emotional, stressful and long. It is made even more difficult because there is currently no cure for dementia and very few medical treatments are helpful. Fortunately, caregiving that is provided by a loving person can make a huge difference in the person’s life, but the process of caring for this person can also become all-consuming.

Because of the struggles involved, a caregiver for a dementia patient needs quite a bit of support from those around them. Knowing that there are people who can be relied on will help make the journey much easier. Here are three simple ways to offer support to a dementia caregiver.

Complete Simple Tasks

When providing dementia care even simple tasks, like picking up groceries, can be a challenge. In order to support a caregiver, an outsider can easily complete errands and other simple tasks around the home.

Offer an Outlet

Sometimes a caregiver simply needs a shoulder to lean on when they are struggling. Offering comfort in these times is one of the best ways that a person can help a dementia caregiver. Friends can help give the caregiver time away from their struggles so that they can relax and unwind.

Care for the Medical Needs

Sometimes the dementia patient isn’t the only person who requires medical attention. Plus, it is easy for the caregiver to ignore issues with their own health when they are caring for someone with dementia. In order to support a caregiver, watch for signs that they require medical attention themselves. It is also helpful to ensure that the caregiver is taking care of their health by eating properly and receiving medical assessments.

Although being a dementia caregiver can be a struggle, there are many ways that others can make the journey a little easier. To learn more about how to care for a dementia caregiver, be sure to contact us today.

Study Shows Those Who Care for Seniors Should Increase Protein Intake for Elderly

senior care

Sufficient protein is crucial to maintain muscle mass after age 60.

It is easy to get overwhelmed in the day to day care of the elderly, and forget there are steps you can take to prevent future problems. One of the biggest issues in senior care is the rapid decline in muscle mass over the age of 60, which leads to balance and falling issues. The result can be broken bones and head injuries which require even more care. A recent study shows that increasing protein in a senior citizen’s diet may help overall physical health.

The study, recently published in the Journal of Nutrition, followed 2600 men and women over 60 years of age for several years, recording muscle mass and protein consumption. It was found that for men needed 3 ounces of protein daily and women required 2.6 ounces to maintain muscle mass and lean muscle, which equate to physical strength and wellness.

Some senior citizens are set in their ways, and it can be difficult to introduce new, high-protein foods. Protein can befound in a variety of plant and animal sources, which should be consumed at every meal and in snacks too. Common high-protein foods include nut butter, beans, greek yogurt, fish, chicken, and cheese. If all else fails, protein shakes or nutritional drinks can help boost daily intake.

A diet high in protein is also beneficial for those dealing with heart issues or diabetes. If you are caring for a senior citizen, adding more protein to each meal will certainly help overall health. In addition, it will help seniors maintain muscle mass which leads to better mobility and independence.

For more information and help for caring for an elderly loved one, contact us.

Take a Break from Caregiving with Respite Care

respite care

You can’t be caregiver you need to be when you’re burnt out.

The commitment you made to care for your elderly parent probably means a lot to them but it doesn’t mean you have to do all of the caregiving 24/7 every day of the year alone. The most important thing for any caregiver to learn is that to be able to give yourself to take care of others, you have to take care of yourself first. Burnt out caregivers can’t give the same level of care. The stress can make them prone to depression and illness that would leave them unable to care for the ones who depend on them. Caring for a parent is hard work.

Taking a well deserved break from caregiving is not a failure in your commitment to care for your parent like they cared for you. Arranging safe, qualified, respite care on a regular or occasional basis can allow you to balance your parent’s needs with the other parts of your life. Everyone will be happier.

If you’re a member of the sandwich generation, juggling the care of your parents and the care of your dependent children, you may need respite care for your parent for only a few hours at a time while you are busy with your children’s activities or while you take your children on an active vacation that wouldn’t be suitable for a senior. If you don’t yet have children, maybe you need someone experienced in the special needs of caring for seniors so that you and your husband can enjoy an evening alone or a weekend getaway. It’s okay to get help to care for your parent no matter what you plan to do with your free time.

The Endeavor Home Care caregiving team can help give family caregivers a break. Contact us to learn more about our Chandler respite care and the areas we serve and to see how we can help you at 480-498-2324.

Vacation Worry Free with At Home Care

Summer is here, and you may be struggling with the decision of whether to take your elderly loved one on the family vacation. Certainly there are many places that offer services making this possible. It may not, however, be the best choice for either of you. A loved one who has memory loss or dementia will certainly be uncomfortable in unfamiliar surroundings, and he may struggle more. With at home care, you can travel guilt-free knowing your loved one is cared for and attended. Plus, there are several ways to include him in your summer holiday plans.

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Summer is here, and your plans shouldn’t suffer because of worry about your elderly loved one.

Of course you will call a few times while you are away. Keep the calls short enough to hold your loved one’s attention but still allow everyone to say hello and give a highlight of the trip to that point. The calls will remind your loved one of where you are and ease any fears that arise when you miss a visit.

Most of us collect souvenirs when we vacation. You might pick up one or two for your loved one, keeping his interests in mind. Unusual rocks or jars of specialty jams are great souvenirs. Take lots of pictures, too. Include family members in each one, not just scenery. When you get home, assemble the souvenirs and photos in a scrapbook. Put them in chronological order and include a simple map with your route marked. It might be nice to put in some tactile things like sand from the beach glued to a card as well.

Then, pick a family night and join your loved one for supper, going over the scrapbook together afterward. If you have visited a place that holds special significance for him, encourage your loved one to reminisce. Be sure to take a photo of all of you together with the scrapbook so that you can include the picture in the book.

While age and debilities may keep us from vacationing together, they should not keep us from celebrating as a family. For more ideas about how to keep your loved one engaged and involved in activities, contact us. We offer more than at-home nursing services. We offer at-home CARE.

Three Tips for a Smooth Transition to Home Health Care

It’s a common issue for many families. Busy sandwich generation caregivers being pulled in a million directions as aging parents struggle with the gradual loss of independence.

You begin to notice things slipping around your mother’s house, but even the most subtle mention of bringing in help yields harsh opposition. Mom just isn’t ready to welcome a stranger into her home with open arms; however, you are no longer able to handle everything.

Here are three tips for beginning the transition to home health care.

home health care

Consulting with a geriatric care manager may be a helpful step in the transition to home health care.

  • Bring in a housekeeper for just a few hours each week. Let your loved one share in defining responsibilities; he or she is more apt to accept help with household chores than personal care. Allowing time for a relationship to form will make adding additional services less traumatic.
  • Be honest. Tell your loved one you’re struggling with everything you have on your plate. Explain how much you worry and that it would help alleviate your concerns to know someone was coming in to help with medication and meal preparation while you are working. Including them in the interview and selection process will increase their comfort level.
  • If all else fails, consult with a geriatric care manager for tips on how best to handle your specific situation. A trained professional will evaluate your loved one and help design and introduce a suitable care plan.

Home health care is a great way relieve some of the pressure you, the primary caregiver, are feeling. Contact us to learn more about our services. We look forward to providing personalized, compassionate care that will give you peace of mind and allow your loved one to remain independent for as long as possible.

Respite Care: An Indispensable Part of Planning for Summer Vacations

respite care

Planning summer activities can quickly get difficult if you have a loved one who can’t be alone.

Planning for summer vacations can be complicated at times, especially when a person’s list of responsibilities includes caring for an ailing loved one. Think about it. There are many healthcare problems that may prevent a person from being alone for any extended length of time. Examples include people with dementia, paralysis, advance stage cancers and neuromuscular diseases.

So, what are the alternatives to traveling with an ailing loved one whose health would be further compromised by participation in long distance, summer vacations? For many Americans, the answer is respite care. Respite care comes in many forms. Sometimes it is provided by long-term care facilities, which may be traumatic for individuals accustom to living at home.

Other times, services are delivered in the ailing individual’s home, either by the hour or as part of live-in, in-home care. Live-in care is often the preferred method because it allows medically compromised individuals and their families to build relationships with their caregivers. This is a vital part of the respite care process, especially when trust is an issue.

In order for family members to feel safe and comfortable while on vacation, they must be able to trust surrogate caregivers implicitly. And we all know that such a high degree of trust is not achieved instantly. It is built upon over the course of continuous care. Families must also have time to work with live-in, in-home caregivers to ensure that their surrogates fully understand their loved ones needs.

In some instances, respite care includes medical services and other times it does not. Therefore, it may also be necessary for families to hire additional staff to help care for their loved ones’ medical needs during the course of a family vacation. With that said, to learn more about the types of respite care services available in the State of Arizona, please contact us at Endeavor Senior Care. We offer one-on-one Phoenix Valley and Chandler respite care services that families can trust. View our full service area here.

Caregivers Home Care: Why the Elderly May Refuse Help

As a person ages, they may find it difficult to let go and allow others to assist them. Whether it is pride, stubbornness, or just a desire to do for themselves as long as possible,  there is a chance they will refuse help.

caregivers home care

If you are unsure why the person is refusing help, as direct open-ended questions.

For caregivers, home care for the elderly is a balancing act. It will require them to learn when to step in, and when to sit back and allow the person to do certain things on their own.

Understanding Why They Refuse Help

Ageing is difficult for some to accept, despite it being a natural part of life. The person often does not want to admit they are getting older, or they fear the negative connotations associated with being labeled as elderly.

For others, accepting help can cause them to feel embarrassed, inadequate, or lead to feelings of helplessness. No one wants to feel like a burden to others, and admitting they are incapable of doing certain things for themselves is extremely difficult.

Accepting help from a caregiver can also feel intrusive. They believe the caregiver will take the last of their independence, not allowing them to make any decisions on their own.

How To Overcome Rejections

There are several things you can do if an elderly person is refusing help that they desperately need.

Ask Direct Questions

If you are unsure why the person is refusing help, as direct open-ended questions. Do they feel like it would be a burden? Are they worried about having a stranger in the house? Are they afraid of something?

Be Patient and Understanding

Let them know that you worry, but that you understand why they might not want assistance. It is important to stay calm and show patience. It often takes several conversations to convince them to accept help. Getting angry or trying to force the issue is counterproductive to what you hope to accomplish.

Start Small

Sometimes starting small can help them become more receptive to allowing others to help. Talk to them about hiring someone to help with grocery shopping, laundry, or housekeeping once a week. Once they are open to this, gradually offer more help.

Discuss Options

For the elderly, feeling as if you are losing control of your own life is the most difficult part. Discuss what they would like, and the options that are available for them. Help them to understand they still have a voice and a choice in the type of care they receive.

For more useful information on elderly care contact us at Endeavor Home Care.

Home Healthcare Agency in Arizona Welcomes AMD Awareness Month

Is your vision, or that of a loved one, slowly deteriorating? Chances are the change could be caused by age-related macular degeneration. It is a problem that affects many Arizona residents and comes in two types, both of which led to low-vision. Each February, home healthcare agencies and others in the long-term care community seek to spread valuable information about the condition as part of National Age-related Macular Degeneration Month.

home healthcare

AMD usually strikes people over age 65, but anyone can be diagnosed with the disorder.

Although the disorder largely affects people who are 65-years of age or older, it truly knows no age limit. So, anyone may end up being diagnosed with the disorder. Surefire signs that a person should consider being tested for age-related macular degeneration include, but aren’t limited to dark spots appearing in the main field of vision and incidents of blurriness when reading.

Preliminary testing may be done at home with the aid of a readily available tool known as an Amsler Grid. Primary testing should ideally be performed by a licensed ophthalmologist. Optometrists may also offer AMD testing. However, if they suspect that a person has age-related macular degeneration, they will need to refer him or her to an ophthalmologist for treatment.

Treatments used to address low-vision will obviously vary on a case-by-case basis. Among the list of treatments frequently recommended by ophthalmologists are photocoagulation, adhering to special diets, periodic eye injections andphotodynamic therapy. They may also refer patients to home healthcare agencies and other resources that can provide assistance with activities of daily living. Examples include businesses that offer low-vision patients canes, service animals, magnifying aids, large print books, speech-to-text software and Braille education.

To learn more about how people successfully cope with low-vision and age-related macular degeneration, please contact us at Endeavor Senior Care. As home healthcare experts, we work with the state’s top-notch, in-home caregivers year-round.