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Answers to Common Lifestyle Questions After a Heart Attack

Heart AttackWhen a heart attack strikes – and for hundreds of thousands of people, that’s going to be sometime this year – there’s no time to plan a course of action or contemplate the everyday ways in which life will change afterwards. As with anything, the best defense is a good offense, and being prepared now can (literally!) save a lot of heartache later.

Hopefully neither you nor your senior loved ones will be impacted by a heart attack or heart disease, but just in case, it’s a good idea to jot down and keep these questions handy for future reference:

  1. Will I have to give up my favorite activities? Bed rest isn’t always best, and it’s very likely you’ll be able to gradually get back into pastimes you enjoy. It’s important to let your doctor know about any hobbies, interests, and exercise regimens you’d like to resume, and he or she can help you work towards that goal.
  2. What dietary changes will be needed? It’s important to work with the doctor to put together a dietary plan that’s not only heart-healthy, but one that you can stick with long-term. Keeping salt and fat to a minimum is crucial, but doesn’t mean you necessarily have to avoid them altogether.
  3. How can my loved ones help? Select several trusted family members and friends to help hold you accountable to your lifestyle changes, and to support you emotionally as you adjust to these changes.
  4. Can I still travel? There’s really no one answer that fits all when it comes to traveling after a heart attack. A general rule of thumb is often to avoid traveling by air for at least two weeks after placement of a stent. Having a discussion with your cardiologist about when and where you’d like to travel is always a good idea, to weigh out the risks vs. the benefits.
  5. What are the long-term effects I can expect? The goal, of course, is to prevent another heart attack, which means ongoing, periodic medical appointments and testing. Following your doctor’s prescribed dietary and treatment plan will go a long way towards keeping you healthy in the years to come.

Endeavor Home Care provides expert assistance and support to heart attack survivors, including preparing heart-healthy meals, running errands such as picking up groceries and prescriptions, and offering encouragement with adhering to an exercise regimen. Contact our Arizona home care experts any time for more tips, resources, and in-home care services.

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.

at home care

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.

Providing Care at Home Can Be Fun

Something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behavior for the better. Be it for yourself, for the environment or for something entirely different. The only thing that matters is that it’s change for the better.

care at home

Caring for a senior is certainly hard work, but that shouldn’t prevent you both from having fun, too.

This quote is from Thefuntheory.com website and applies to everyone.

No one ever makes reference to the daily care at home given to the elderly as “fun”. As we all agree, work is not fun but making work “fun” is possible.

When a professional in-home care provider arrives, there is usually a set of duties planned to get completed during that shift. No time for fun here, or is there?

As a family member providing home care for your loved one, you wear your no-nonsense hat to work. But does that mean no fun allowed?

Making duties a little more interesting and fun will benefit both you and the person needing the care. You’ve heard the saying “Time flies when you’re having fun”. You can put that to the test.

You may have an uncooperative recipient of your services and fun might just bring them around. A smile, a chuckle or a full roar of laughter can change the environment you work in and your client lives in. Yes, it may take a few extra minutes but it will be a benefit.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

Bathing

  • Lay out 4 towels and 4 matching washcloths of different colors on the bed. Pick a color and let your client find that color and the matching washcloth. That will be your color for the day.
  • Place a few hairbrushes and combs in a container short enough for them to stand on end and be visible. Have your client pick out either all the combs or brushes.
  • Keep 3 or 4 toothbrushes in the holder. Let the client pick out the color of the day or their favorite color. Give them a cup to spittle in over the sink and laugh when they miss.

Dressing

  • Lay out a few pairs of socks and unmatch them. Let your client find a matching pair or finish matching them all if they want.
  • Lay out a short-sleeved and long-sleeved shirt and ask your client to decide which is best for the weather outside.
  • Lay out men and women’s undergarments. Hand them the opposite sex item and laugh.

As the care provider, it rests on your shoulders to set the mood for you and your client. All your clients, including those with mild dementia can benefit from these exercises helping to stimulate the mind and muscles.

Here at Endeavor Home Care in the Phoenix area, we provide professional, friendly caregivers that can bring a smile to your loved one’s face. Contact us to help place the right caregiver with your family.

Should I pay my home senior care provider “under the table?”

The last thing you need when a loved one is in need of at home senior care is to be audited by the IRS. OK, it’s not exactly something anyone wants, but the short-term savings of hiring a helper under-the-table will be quickly overwhelmed by the costs of penalties and possibly legal fees if you are caught not paying required taxes.

at home senior careA home-care agency will work with your budget and identify the best personnel to care for your family member in a home setting. And you will know that you and the care givers who are working in your home are in compliance with federal and local laws. And important, too, you will know that the people who are working on your family’s behalf are contributing to their own social security retirement accounts.

It’s not just celebrities and politicians who get caught up in “nanny-gate” situations through inappropriate hiring processes. Essentially the government likes to keep “off the books” employment to a minimum, so unless you are running a lemonade stand someone needs to be paying taxes. Your legal options are to hire a care giver directly and take responsibility for filing tax reports (which you either have to do yourself or pay your own tax provider to handle) or you can contract with an at home senior care agency and be confident that payroll and taxes are handled in a professional manner.

If you would like to consider the option of professionally managed compassionate at home senior care please contact us.