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Why Hydration is Imperative in Eldercare

It might be a matter of amusement when people afraid of the water consider their bodies contain it. The brain, skin, organs and even the bones are made of some percentage of water. Water carries impurities out of the body, helps to maintain body temperature, lubricates the joints and carries necessary nutrients throughout the body. Dehydration occurs when the body doesn’t get enough incoming water. Men generally need about three liters per day, while women require two liters per day to remain properly hydrated.

Hydration in the Elderly

senior hydration - companion care chandler az

Staying hydrated is important, as the senior body’s water content naturally decreases with age.

On the other hand, it’s not so funny when it’s our parents or other elderly family members. What isn’t generally recognized is that the senior body stores and uses its fluids (read water) differently. First, the senior body’s water content naturally decreases. Second, aging kidneys are less able to process water and sodium, resulting in inability to contain water during dehydration. Third, the bell inside our elders stops going off with age, the one reminding them that a drink of water would be a good idea. Elders’ thirst button gets turned off, too, so they simply don’t remember to drink anything.

Consequences of Dehydration in the Elderly

Physical events like slip and fall occasions are only the second act of the play. The first act begins in the mind of the senior. The embarrassment of incontinence prevents many elderly persons from drinking the proper amount of water. They are embarrassed at using the bathroom so many times. Confusion or the beginnings of dementia mean elders who simply don’t remember if they’ve eaten or drunk anything in a given time period. Also in the mind of the senior, asking for help due to inability to fetch a drink for himself is another cause of embarrassment. If elders live alone, they perhaps have trouble carrying a bottle or glass of water due to arthritis or the shaking common with other diseases. Frustration, fear and embarrassment cause many seniors to just forget it all together.

The damage done to the elderly body is manifold. Many medications seniors take for various ailments and diseases deplete their bodies of necessary fluids. Since the organs are made primarily of water, they will weaken. The brain, deprived of water, will develop headaches. Bones become brittle, skin dry and subject to injuries and fatigue. Kidney failure and seizures are common. The second act, therefore, is a weakened body susceptible to falls and coma.

How Can We Help Them?

Just saying “oh, all you need is a bottle of water” isn’t enough. Seniors won’t remember, nor will they get it themselves. They need help. Most senior hospitalizations are due to dehydration. More senior deaths are due to dehydration, not the falls it caused. Most eldercare includes monitoring the state of the senior’s hydration. It is necessary to his or her longevity. In the case of an assisted living facility, the personnel will monitor the senior’s water intake. Endeavor In-Home Care, trusted providers of companion care Chandler, AZ and the surrounding areas depend on, can help ensure the hydration and health of your loved one. Please contact us today.

Preparing a Senior to Accept In Home Care

It is common for an aging adult to no longer be able to live alone in their home without assistance. Most people don’t want to admit their age is affecting them and that they need help. Often they fear losing independence if they acknowledge they need help. Some seniors may fear family members will remove them from their home and move them to an assisted living facility. In reality, in home care is a wonderful solution allowing a senior to maintain independence in their own home but providing the assistance needed to complete daily tasks.

in home care

Highlighting the positive aspects of in-home care will help ease the transition.

If you have a loved one who is showing signs that they can no longer live on their own, make sure you maintain frequent contact. This will allow you to monitor and assess the living situation to verify that you are correct in your evaluation. In addition, consider talking about the living arrangements with other family members to see if everyone has the same point of view. Make sure all family members are on the same page before you broach the subject with your loved one. This way when the elder discusses in home care with any family member the response will be consistent.

It is best to make your case that in home care is needed by providing specific examples. If your loved one is forgetting to take medications or having difficulty preparing meals express your concern for their well-being. Cite ways in which day to day life has become too difficult for the elder and how burdens can be eased with assistance. Highlight the ways in which the in home care will be helpful to your loved one. In addition, emphasize that in home care will provide companionship as well as assistance. For additional information about in home care for your loved one and how to prepare them to accept the assistance they need contact us.

Senior Care at Home: Think About the Stairs

Often household injuries occur due to a fall down the stairs. A small slip can result in a broken bone especially for a senior. Many seniors want to stay in their own home so it is necessary for loved ones to make the environment as safe as possible. Since it is typically not possible to remove stairs from an existing home and install ramps here are some other tips to increase safety of stairs.

Railings

Verify existing railings are securely installed. When pulled on they should not wiggle at all. If railings do not exist it is strongly recommended they be installed. It is best to install railings on both sides of the stairs. Also, verify your loved one uses the railings when going up and down the stairs. Use of railings significantly decreases the risk of falls.

senior care at homeClear Clutter

Items left on the stairs are a tripping hazard. Nothing should be left on the stairs at any point. If your loved on likes to put items on the stairs that need to be brought to another floor consider placing an empty basket adjacent to the stairs where they can accumulate items to transport. The key is to not put the basket actually on the stairs but instead adjacent.

Lighting

Stairs need to be well-lit. Sometimes this is an issue with stairs leading to the basement. Consider installing higher wattage bulbs over staircases or add reflective tape to the edge of the steps.

Duplicate Items

It is best for your loved on to walk up and down the stairs without trying to carry items at the same time. This will allow them to have free hands to hold onto the railing. Ask what type of items they typically find they need to carry up and down the stairs. If possible buy duplicates of these items so they have one upstairs and one downstairs eliminating the need to transport the item. For example, if they are carrying a water cup upstairs consider purchasing disposable cups to keep upstairs.

Care at Home

Taking the above steps will help lower the likelihood of a fall. However, you may still worry that your loved one is no longer stable enough to traverse the stairs. This does not mean you need to move your loved one. Instead consider the option of senior care at home. A home care aide can help with light housework, meal planning and preparation, medication reminders and provide companionship for your loved one. In addition a safety assessment can be conducted of the home to identify areas of improvement that will help reduce the risk of injury. For more information about at home care contact us. Endeavor Home Care offers senior care in many Arizona communities including Scottsdale, Phoenix, Sun City, Mesa and more.

Home Care Services and the Flu in Scottsdale, AZ

While providing home care for an aging loved one, you will hear a considerable amount about the flu. You will hear that it is exceptionally dangerous and can cause incredibly serious consequences for seniors. Hearing this, however, does not necessarily prepare you to provide appropriate care for your aging loved one. If you are considering hiring home care services for your aging loved one it is critical that you are fully educated on influenza and can share this information with the in home care provider to ensure that your senior loved one is receiving the level of care that he needs throughout the dangerous flu season.

Here are some important facts about the flu:

  • Up to 20% of the population will get the flu each year
  • Each year more than 200,000 people end up admitted to the hospital due the flu and around 36,000 will die
  • The flu spreads primarily through coughing or sneezing. It can also be spread when a person touches a surface that has been contaminated with the virus
  • The virus can be spread for up to a day before the symptoms even develop and up to five days after they appear

It is important to keep these things in mind when preparing for the flu season with a home care services companion because the health of the companion will be vital to the health of your aging loved one. It is vital that the in home care provider does not come to work if she has been in contact with people that are infected with the flu or is feeling any symptoms.

Symptoms of the flu include:

  • High fever
  • Chronic headache
  • Fatigue
  • Dry cough
  • Sore or scratchy throat
  • Runny nose
  • Stuffy sinuses
  • Achy muscles and joints
  • Nausea and diarrhea

It is also important to keep track of any of these symptoms arising in your aging loved one so that prompt medical attention can be sought. Though most home care services companions are familiar with potential complications related to the flu, it is important that you discuss them with the companion to ensure she understands your expectations regarding the care of your loved one should he contract the flu.

Complications can include:

  • Ear infections
  • Sinus infections
  • Pneumonia
  • Dehydration

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

September is Healthy Aging Month: Home Care Services in Scottsdale, AZ Can Help Seniors Get Healthy and Stay Healthy!

Here are just some of the ways home care services can assist seniors who want to get healthy and stay healthy, after all – it’s never too late to start taking care of ourselves!

EAT FRESH. Make a commitment to add more fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet. September is still harvest time in many areas so seek out local farmers markets and buy local produce. Make it a point to try to make foods from scratch… skip the processed foods as much as you can. How much do you need to eat? Home Care Services can help by preparing light meals and helping with grocery shopping.

TAKE A WALK. Walking with a companion can keep the energy level high and the motivation strong to improve each day. Seniors don’t have to walk long distances, start small and work your way up to longer walks. Walking is good for your overall health and can even be done around the house, at the mall, or around the neighborhood.

DO SOMETHING NEW. Tired of the same old scene? Seniors can go on short day trip to new places, visit new museums, parks and other places that give them a fresh perspective. Look online for recommendations in your area for short trips that are within an hour drive of your area.

GET SOCIAL! Good health for the mind is just as important as good health for the body. Seniors can invite friends over for lunch, participate in church groups, book clubs, senior center activities, card clubs and more.

HealthyAging.net gives us this advice for staying “BRAIN” healthy:

“If you think old, you ARE old. A decline in memory is not always a function of serious disease, like Alzheimer’s. Sometimes memory loss is caused by factors that can be changed — such as diet, medication misuse, depression, etc… At the National Institute on Aging, research is showing that memory may be like other parts of the body. Research showed that the very gradual declines in memory take place until age 70 — when the pace increases, but not so much as to impair us. The conclusion?

The processes of normal aging do not rob you of your memory.

The greatest enemy to the healthy senior mind is depression. New activities, hobbies, and exercise are wonderful anti-depressants. If you truly are depressed, don’t bear it alone — SEEK HELP!

Stay active doing things that use your memory:

• Take a class, play games, be with people

• Pick up the phone now and call someone, just to “chat”

• Volunteer your time. Get involved with a cause you believe in or in something that interests you

• Seek out variety and challenge in your daily life

These are just a few tips for Healthy Aging in September 2012- Healthy Aging Month!

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