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Are Your Loved Ones Victims of Senior Bullying?

Senior BullyingNowadays, everyone is talking about bullying and how to stop it. When we were children, bullies were everywhere and seemed to get away with everything; but we’re a zero-tolerance society now when it comes to bullying. However perhaps there’s some other, less apparent sort of bullying still occurring – that of trying to play the parent to our aging parents, thus overstepping some unwritten boundaries; in some cases, to the point of senior bullying. After all, even if our parents’ choices are different than ours, their choices should still be respected as much as is possible, with safety in mind.

Sometimes it can be hard to know where the line in the sand is between being a helpful care provider for parents and taking over for them in areas they can safely manage on their own. And added into the mix are often unresolved issues from childhood that can resurface – feelings of resentment and bitterness that may find their way into an adult’s caretaking decisions.

To illustrate, there are various areas of contention that often arise between senior parents and their grown children:

  • Medical related decision making
  • Planning for end of life
  • Recommended safety modifications
  • Knowing when to stop driving
  • Managing finances

These tips can help diffuse sticky decision-making situations more respectfully and effectively:

  • Try negotiating a safer alternative for a worry like driving, such as driving only in the daylight and only on short, local trips.
  • Start with small suggestions that may be more tolerable to seniors, such as adding no-slip strips to the bathtub, moving cords away from walkways or taping down rugs.
  • Try not to compromise safety, while also keeping a senior’s wishes in mind. Ask for the senior’s input without speaking down to him or her, and you’re more likely to work together for a successful outcome.
  • Put yourself in the older adult’s shoes. Consider what it would be like to be in a similar situation and how you would want to be treated if the tables were turned.
  • However, if there are safety or health concerns, do not hesitate to contact the senior’s physician or a social worker.

And keep in mind that typically, serious discussions such as these are often better received in the presence of a trusted healthcare professional or religious clergy member or through an objective third party. Want more tips to help make tough discussions with older adults go more smoothly, and avoid the possibility of senior bullying? Contact Endeavor Home Care’s Scottsdale home care experts at 480-535-6800 for trusted, professional assistance in keeping your older loved ones safe, while allowing them to remain as independent as possible where they’re most comfortable – at home.

When You Address Senior Citizens, Is It OK to Use Endearing Terms?

Senior CitizensSweetie, honey, dear – terms of endearment such as these may be appreciated when uttered by our spouse or when directed to our very young children, but how do senior citizens react to them? In a word, many are downright offended. And while health care professionals, restaurant staff, hair stylists and others may have the very best of intentions when attaching these labels to older adults, the underlying message is one of helplessness, frailty, and inferiority.

And just as irritating, or perhaps even more so, is speaking over senior citizens to address their family members instead, as if the seniors are unable to communicate competently.

There’s also a tendency – and again, it’s usually well meaning – to step in and take over tasks for the elderly, without realizing they are often more than capable of doing things for themselves. Seeing an older person maneuvering with a cane or walker, for example, often results in someone kindly offering assistance. However, according to Judy Jellison Graves, a cancer and polio survivor, “It’s annoying when people feel like I need help with something I have no problem doing myself.”

Coined “elderspeak” or “ageism ”, this type of behavior is even considered a form of bullying by Dr. Vicki Rosebrook, Executive Director of the Macklin Intergenerational Institute. “It’s talking down to them. We do it to children so well. And it’s natural for the sandwich generation, since they address children that way.”

Improving our view of the elderly is a national need, starting with the impressions we impart to the next generation. A recent study points to a highly negative reaction to growing older by children from preschool through grade school, who concluded that becoming elderly would be “awful.”

The lesson to be learned for all of us who interact with senior citizens? Replace coddling and stereotypes with simple, genuine respect. Endeavor Home Care is taking strides each day towards this end, by providing respectful senior care to enhance independence and quality of life, with a focus on always maintaining their dignity and individuality.

Our services always begin with the creation of a personalized care plan, taking into consideration each person’s needs, desires and interests, and that plan is modified ongoing as needs change. Contact us at (480) 535-6800 if you’d like to explore a partnership with us to help your senior loved one in Arizona.

Are Home Care Services Right For Your Loved One? Consider the Following Questions.

As your elderly loved one needs increasingly more assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), you’ll likely begin considering which available eldercare options are right for your family. Many elderly people are resistant to change and fear the loss of independence they associate with long-term care facilities. Home care services are an excellent alternative for these individuals. To determine if home care is right for your loved one, consider the following questions:

home care services

If your loved one needs help with chores, and basic medical care, home care may be a good option.

How much care is needed? For those who require around-the-clock care, a long-term care facility is likely a better option than home care. However, if your loved one needs assistance with some activities of daily living, help with chores, and basic medical care, home care is a good alternative.

Where does your loved one prefer to live? This might seem an obvious question to consider, but it’s often overlooked. While most elderly people prefer the familiarity of their own homes, some might desire the companionship of community life in an assisted living or supportive living facility. For those who wish to remain at home and don’t require constant access to care, home care is an excellent option.

Are you feeling stressed out by the amount of care you’re providing to your loved one? If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your caregiving duties, home care services can help alleviate some of your stress. By having someone else help with caregiving responsibilities, you can focus on spending quality time with your loved one.

Does your loved one forget to pay bills or take medications? If your loved one forgets to take medication, is late to pay bills, or neglects personal hygiene, a home caregiver can help ensure that these ADLs and other responsibilities are takencare of in a timely manner.

Is your loved one isolated socially? As getting out of the house becomes more challenging for elderly people, feeling isolated from the outside world is often the result. Home care provides the opportunity for your loved one to have regular companionship and social interaction.

These are just a few of the questions to consider when deciding if home care is right for your elderly loved one. For more information regarding home care services, please contact us anytime.

Alzheimer’s Disease Third Stage and Homecare Services

homecare servicesAlzheimer’s Disease typically progresses through stages with Stage Three being the last and most severe one. This final period lasts anywhere from one to three years and is quite trying for everyone involved with your loved one’s care. Because of the difficulty, it is often advised to utilize homecare services for additional support.

You can help your loved one by knowing the symptoms to look for and then doing what you can to help.

  • Loss of communication—Your loved one will likely begin to lose their ability to speak. As you help him or her through their daily activities, talk with them about what you are doing as if they had the ability to respond.
  • Excessive movement—Offer activities that allow them to move in meaningful ways. Give your loved one soft material to rub, a doll to rock, or task them with wiping tables.
  • Loss of normal movement—Help them with lifting their arms and bending elbows or other movements that seem to be difficult.
  • Loss of desire to eat—Offer meal replacement drinks with as much nutrition as possible. Also, feed them fresh fruit, ice cream, or other foods they enjoy.
  • Choking—If your loved one begins having trouble swallowing, talk with their doctor or the pharmacist. Thickening agents are available and they make drinks easier to swallow. You can also offer foods that are easy to swallow such as mashed potatoes.
  • Lack of emotion—Sing songs that are familiar and look for any eye movement. Touch them frequently by brushing their hair or rubbing lotion on their arms and hands.
  • Seizures—Talk with your loved one’s doctor and they may prescribe anti-seizure medication.
  • More susceptible to infection and illness—Ask any visitors who may have a fever or cold to postpone visiting until they are well. You can also assure proper hand washing techniques and use anti-bacterial wipes on faucets, doorknobs, counter tops, and other areas that are touched often.

While there are typical patterns with Alzheimer’s Disease, it progresses differently in each person. For more information on this condition or abut how we can help, please contact us.

Senior Care at Home: Establishing a Safe Environment

senior care at homeMany seniors desire the ability to live at home for as long as possible. Often they would like to live in the same home they have lived in for years and possibly even raised a family in. Providing senior care at home is achievable. One of the first steps is making sure the home environment is still safe as the needs of the senior changes over time.

Bedrooms and bathrooms tend to be the most unsafe areas of the home for seniors with falls being the most common home accidents for older adults. Conducting an annual safety check is important to help prevent falls and allow seniors to remain at home. Here are some suggestions for things to evaluate during a safety check.

Bedroom

Look for throw rugs or torn carpet which can create a tripping hazard. Remove or attach to the floor with double-sided tape, glue or carpet staples to minimize the hazard.

Verify access to a telephone is available for night time emergencies. Consider installing a cordless phone, cell phone or emergency alert system.

Verify bed height is appropriate. It is too low if the knees are above the hips when sitting on the bed and is too high if the legs do not touch the floor when sitting. Add risers to raise the height. Remove the bed frame to lower the height.

If electrical cords present a tripping hazard because they run along the walking path use extension cords to run them behind furniture and rearrange furniture as needed.

Bathroom

Add grab bars near the shower and toilet to prevent falls.

If the bottom of the tub is slippery use a rubber mat or adhesives on the bottom of the tub to reduce the risk of a fall.

Check that the tub and toilet are at the correct height. If the toilet is too low add a raised toilet seat.

Consider using a medication organizer for pills and setting it on the countertop so it can be easily reached.

General

Do all stairwells have sturdy handrails? Ideally handrails should be located on both sides of every set of stairs. Consider having them installed or replaced if they are not present or not sturdy.

Is emergency contact information easily accessible by the senior if needed? Consider posting this information in multiple locations throughout the home.

Check for working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors on all levels of the home.

If taking care of oneself has become a challenge for a senior you love, it is worthwhile to look into in home care options. Advantages of in home care include:

Hygiene assistance
Companionship
Medication reminders
Light housekeeping
Meal planning and cooking
Complete home safety evaluation performed by an occupational therapist
Physical therapy exercises
Peace of mind for you and your loved one
And more

Having help at home can reduce the risk of accidents or injuries and extend the length of time a senior is able to continue to reside in their own home. For more information about at home care contact us. Endeavor Home Care provides quality care service in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tuscon, Mesa, Sun City and other Arizona communities.

Elder Care Questions in Sun City West, AZ: What is Parkinson’s Disease, and How Can We Help Seniors Suffering from this Illness?

For those involved in elder care, either as an occupation or out of respect for the needs of a loved one, the subject of Parkinson’s Disease may become part of their daily vernacular. As the second most common neuro-degenerative disorder in the United States, Parkinson’s Disease is most common among the 50 years of age and older population. With that said, it is also important to note that this debilitating disease process can begin in people as young as 30 years of age.

Early Signs and Symptoms

Early signs of the disease process include loss of coordination, muscle stiffness, weakened voice, tremors and loss of sexual function (in men). For many patients, the neuro-degeneration caused by Parkinson’s Disease can proceed slowly for the rest of their lifespan, meaning that, while these symptoms may not improve, they will not grow noticeably worse in a rapid time-frame. Fortunately, this means that a large percentage of Parkinson’s Disease patients will require limited elder care services beyond basic in-home care or the assistance of a private caregiver to successfully live at home with the disease.

Elder Care and Parkinson’s Disease

As caregivers, there are a few things that can be done to assist patients suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. Physical therapy, especially during the early and middle stages of the degenerative process, may be extremely helpful in maintaining the patient’s range of motion and flexibility, thus prolonging the painful stiffening of the joints and other debilitating effects of the disease. Some patients also respond well to vitamin supplement and drug therapies to reduce or slow the progress of pain, inflammation and other symptoms of the disease process. In the later stages of the process, a patient may become more reliant upon the assistance of others to accomplish basic tasks, such as shaving, brushing of teeth or bathing. Unfortunately, due to degeneration of cognitive and sensory functions, the patient may not recognize the need for added assistance so it falls to the caregiver to decide when the extra help is appropriate.

While the physical effects of Parkinson’s Disease can be devastating, the non-motor function effects of the degeneration process are often the most troubling for patients, family members and the elder care team that is trying to provide needed support. As a neuro-degenerative process, Parkinson’s disease can cause patients to suffer from depression and anxiety. The disease can also cause normally fluent speakers to lose their train of thought or develop a twitch during conversations, which makes communication difficult. Caregivers can assist the patient by displaying patience and empathy in these situations, as well as redirecting the patient when lessened cognitive function is causing them to make dangerous decisions.

By providing for the patients physical and mental needs, caregivers can ensure that those suffering from Parkinson’s Disease can continue to live a full and well-adapted life at home or in assisted living.

When researching options for elder care agencies in Sun City West, AZ call us at (480) 535-6800. Home care counselors at Endeavor Home Care are available to talk with you about your elder care needs including how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care. We are an elder care agency providing home care in Sun City West, AZ.

Elder Care in Sun City West, AZ: Wait It’s Just On The Tip Of My Tongue

What is that word? I know it. I think it starts with a P. It is on submarines. I can just see it in my head but can’t come up with the word. Minutes later, the word “periscope” pops into my head. What just happened?

I just experienced something called the tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon. This happens when you search for a word but cannot immediately recall it. You feel that the word is on the tip of your tongue. You know what the word means and how it might sound, such as recalling the first letter of the word. Your brain just can’t immediately retrieve it. Then, in just a couple of minutes the word rolls off your tongue. It is a very frustrating experience.

Psychologists have found this phenomenon to be a universal one, and it happens to people about once or twice a week. It happens more frequently as people age. Proper names often are the hard words to retrieve. Quick, who played Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone With the Wind?” If you can’t think of her name, wait until you get to the end of the column where it will be revealed.

The tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon can happen for several reasons. Perhaps a similar sounding word is recalled first, and it blocks the way for you to name the correct word. In the first example, the word telescope could have blocked finding the name periscope. If you could just get the word telescope out of your head, you know you could find the right word. Telescope is stuck there, and it is only when you relax and give up searching that your brain is free to retrieve the correct word.

Blocking also can interfere with identifying music. Playing a song may bring up the memory of another song or musical group difficult to name. When the song ends, and if you can get it out of your head, you are able to come up with the name of the other song or group.

Another explanation comes from examination of how words are held in your memory. Words are made up of letters that create sounds and represent meaning. These elements are processed in different parts of the brain. According to a study by Dr. James at UCLA and Dr. Burke of Pomona College, your brain must find the connections between the visual, sound and meaning of the word to retrieve it. Connections weaken over time, so if you haven’t used or thought of the word for a long time, it may be harder to retrieve.

Proper names may be frustrating to find because there is less of a connection. After all, how long has it been since you have seen “Gone With the Wind?”

It is very annoying to have a word on the tip of your tongue, especially when it happens more frequently as you get older. The trick is to keep those connections active. Doing crossword puzzles, reading, playing memory games will help keep those connections sharp. Learning and using new words in writing and in speech also helps. Finally, relax when that word is on the tip of your tongue. It will come to you sooner or later.

Answer: Vivien Leigh

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When researching options for elder care agencies in Sun City West AZ, home care counselors at Endeavor Home Care are available to talk with you about your elder care needs including how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care. We are an elder care agency providing home care in Sun City West, AZ.