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Early Warning Signs that in Home Care is Needed

There is nothing easy about watching our loved ones grow old. They are the ones that we have always turned to in a time of need, but now the roles are reversed and they find themselves leaning more on others. Becoming the caregiver to someone who has always given back to you can be difficult. One of the most important things that you can do when in this situation is to look for early warning signs that in home care is needed.

in home care

It’s time to consider in home care if your loved one is showing symptoms of Alzheimer’s or dementia.

One early sign that a loved one may need homecare is related to their memory. While it is common for people to repeat themselves on occasion, you should definitely note if your loved one does so more than normal. This could be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia or could even be the sign that a stroke has occurred.

Another sign that you should look for is your loved one forgetting common things and misplacing things. Keep in mind that it is not abnormal to forget or misplace something, but putting things like a purse or a pair of shoes in the refrigeratormay be a sign that something more serious is going on.

Other more subtle issues may be reason for concern as well. For example, dramatic mood changes or sudden decreases in interests, appetite or energy may also be a sign that homecare is needed. While these problems can appear in anyone, they often point to more serious health concerns in the elderly.

If you notice any of these changes in your loved one, you may be surprised to find that this could be an indication thathomecare is needed. For best results, consult your loved one’s regular doctor privately about their specific needs. In order to learn more about the signs that indicate that your loved one may need homecare, please contact us.

The Elderly and the Internet: Applying Mom’s Wisdom To In Home Care

in home care

Websites like Facebook and services like Twitter help give seniors that social interaction where they might otherwise feel alone and isolated.

Seniors who can’t get around like they used to may turn to the internet for their social activities. Websites like Facebook and services like Twitter help give seniors that social interaction where they might otherwise feel alone and isolated. This usually leads to a lot of time at the keyboard. To help avoid repetitive stress syndrome, remember what your mother told you growing up, and apply it to your in home care plan.

“Sit up straight!”

Mom was definitely right about this one. Sitting up straight, not slouching, can be very difficult if you’re at your computer for long periods of time. Muscles want to relax, not remain in a rigidly upright position. As they relax, however, they start to put strain on tendons as your whole frame relaxes. This, in turn, leads to inflammation. If you notice Mom or Dad hunching over at the keyboard, try to find a way to make it easier for them to sit upright. Sometimes a wireless keyboard will do the trick as it allows the user to recline instead of having to lean forward to meet the desk.

“Don’t sit so close to the TV!”

While sitting too close to the monitor can lead to eye trouble, having the computer and peripheral equipment properly placed can help reduce over-stressing muscles and tendons. Laptops are particularly problematic as they are often placed on the lap. This makes a user’s head tip down so they can see the screen and keyboard. This puts unnecessary strain at the neck and shoulders. If they’re resting their arms on the arms of the chair, their elbows will also feel it. Be sure to place peripherals where they can be comfortably reached while maintaining a healthy posture. Use speech recognition software or other adaptive technology to help.

“You’ve been sitting there too long! Go outside and play!”

Taking a break from repetitive tasks is important. It keeps them from being, well, repetitive. If a person has limited movement, they can still take a break by doing anything that doesn’t put them back in front of the monitor. For example, they can get a snack and eat it someplace else. If they eat it in front of the computer, they’re probably going to be too tempted to keep doing what they had been doing.

If they can’t easily get way from the computer, introduce them to other activities that don’t use the same action. For example, if they’ve been doing a lot of “point-and-click”, suggest they open an eBook or go to a heavily text-based website and read. (Wikipedia has a “random article button”. While user-generated content may have accuracy issues, it’s at least entertaining if not educational!)

“Clean up your room! It looks like a disaster!”

Keeping the computer area free of clutter will give them room to stretch and to move around. Being encased in stuff can make a person inadvertently start to hunch down and keep them from moving easily. This can keep a person from taking much-deserved breaks.

“Relax, it’s not the end of the world!”

Even if the computer area is well-organized and free of clutter, they take regular breaks, and get away from the screen once in a while, they can still have problems with Repetitive Stress Syndrome. Why? Repetitive stress in day-to-day life can keep a person tense and wound up. This steady pressure on your muscles will cause damage to your muscles and tendons as well as your state of mind.

Learning how to prioritize concerns and how to cope with situations that can’t be controlled is paramount to good health. According to Statistic Brain, more than 3 quarters of the US population has regular stress, with more than half suffering mentally and/or physically from it. By learning how to cope with stress, whether through a therapist or simple relaxation techniques, they’ll not only better avoid repetitive stress syndrome, but may also discover a healthier lifestyle!

RSS’s Other Names

Repetitive Stress Syndrome goes by many names: bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, Dupuytren’s contracture, epicondylitis, ganglion, rotator cuff syndrome, tendonitis (or tendinitis), tenosynovitis, trigger finger, or writer’s cramp. Whichever form you have, it’s not pleasant at all. It’s very uncomfortable and can be very damaging if left untreated.

Mom was right

She was either your best friend, or she was a creature from another planet. Whether she gave you these tips as gentle nudges or as thundering commands from on high, the fact is that these simple things can help reduce anyone’s chances for developing Repetitive Stress Syndrome, especially seniors. If they have done all of these things and continue to have problems with pain, tingling, numbing, or weakness, they should see a doctor. They might be able to get away with anti-inflammatory medication or a heat pack. But if it’s a more developed stage of Repetitive Stress Syndrome, the doctor will know what is needed to treat it.

For more help and resources in taking care of your elderly loved ones at home, contact us.

And if you hear your mom saying “I told you so!”, just admit she was right on this one!

Memory Care You can Use to Connect with Your Loved One

memory care

Enjoying activities like painting, drawing, and playing music, can help strengthen memory.

When an older family member struggles with memory loss and dementia, we often lose the ability to communicate with them in a way that is satisfying to both of us. Although there is a caregiver in the home so we don’t worry about their safety or health, and we know that trained aides use memory care techniques to sustain our loved one’s cognitive abilities, we want to do something ourselves to hang onto the bond we have with our loved ones.

Trained workers use Reality Orientation, Fantasy Validation, Music and Art Therapy with other techniques to connect with elderly clients, but there are some things you can do too, using the same principles, to maintain the bond with your elderly family member. Playing music, making art and cooking together are all great ways to connect with loved ones who are limited in their communication. Besides that benefit, studies show that these therapies can reduce pain and discomfort in the elderly.

When you play songs from their youth, you stimulate memories that can foster your loved one’s ability to connect with you. They often reminisce, and you may even learn something about your past from engaging them at that level. Research also shows that the mind uses organization tasks to process the music and that can help people reinforce cognitive abilities. When you introduce rhythm and respond to it by moving or dancing with your loved one, you further tap into that organizational element.

Drawing, painting or coloring with an impaired elderly person enables connection by accessing emotions and pleasure areas that the person has trouble verbalizing. When language begins to slip away, emotions are still strong; drawing, using color and texture can activate those emotions and the memories that rise with them.

Even cooking with your loved one is a powerful tool. Food, in its preparation and in the eating of it, is so important to family life and to who we are as individuals( especially women). Simple recipes like scrambled eggs, cakes and cookies, even making a peanut butter sandwich together, can bring back those emotional memories of family that connect us to our loved ones.

For more information on how to enrich your loved one’s life, or to find out how a live-in aide can give you peace of mind,contact us. Together,as a team, we can keep your family ties stronger, longer.

In Home Care: How do You Know When it is Needed?

Many of us have elderly parents or loved ones who live independently and seem to be doing well. At some point, however, you may have a nagging feeling that they aren’t faring as well as they seem to be. Something is wrong. Perhaps your loved one doesn’t need to be in a long-term care facility or even assisted living, but what are the signs they may need in home care ?

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Your loved one may not need long-term care in a facility, but in-home care may be a helpful option for many.

First, it might be something as small as a pile of unopened mail that grows daily. A review of the mail might reveal overdue bill notices. Consistently missing important appointments may signal that your loved one needs help. Another sign is a change in personal habits. Someone who has always been clean and neat may become disheveled and have body odor. This may mean she forgets to shower or is afraid to get into a tub. She may lose interest in activities or hobbies she has always enjoyed. You may notice that the home, which formerly was kept spotlessly, now is dirty and there might even be a smell of urine. Your loved one may show hesitation when doing familiar tasks, or even forget how to do them entirely.

Sometimes you will notice spoiled food in the refrigerator. That happens to all of us, but when it happens again and again, or when the loved one prepares and ingests the spoiled food anyway, there is a danger in not addressing the problem. Older people who live on a budget and who subscribe to “Meals-on-Wheels”-type programs may hoard leftover food, sometimes forgetting to refrigerate it.

A check of medications may show you a discrepancy. There might be more tablets than there should be ( forgetting to take the medication) or too few (taking too many). The medications may be out-dated. Another thing you might notice is unexplained bruises or scrapes (and dents on the car).

When you begin to notice these signs you may be frightened, but you needn’t be. Few people develop them all at once. Usually people who are experiencing some trouble that makes it difficult or dangerous for them to live unassisted can still function more-or-less independently with some help. For ideas on how to help your loved one deal with lessened abilities or for information on caring and dependable assistance at home, contact us.

Senior Care Services: No Guilt Trip

Did you know that one in five Americans is a caregiver? It’s true; twenty percent of us care for an elderly or disabled person at home. We try to be super-human and balance our jobs and family with caregiving duties, but that seldom works. Caregivers burn out. They get frustrated and angry, they have more sick days and they are exhausted. Added to that, most caregivers of people 65 or older are in their 60s themselves. That means they may be dealing with some age-related arthritis or other health issues themselves.

senior care services

An in-home caregiver can provide socialization for your loved one, while protecting you from caregiver burnout.

If you are one of the twenty percent, you may have considered arranging for senior care services but you feel guilty at the prospect of hiring someone to help. You feel justified in having someone administer medications or lift your loved one for baths, but the idea of someone who will come and “just sit” makes you uneasy. After all, you are there and you can visit with your loved one, you can do dishes and vacuum, you can give massages and treat wounds.You can give adequate care without the added expense of in-home senior services.

Well, first, in-home caregivers seldom “just sit.” They read to the patient to keep them alert or they visit to give them socialization. Beyond that, the service caregivers can help with light housekeeping. That is where the guilt often surfaces. After all, if you are there, why let someone else do the work…and why pay to have it done?

The answer is simple: it will keep you from burnout and the associated illnesses it brings. Seventy-five percent of family caregivers are women, and women need more socialization. In short, you need to get out from time to time. In addition, the service doesn’t provide all the care. You do a lot. You are the “first responder” in the morning and the one who answers the call at two a.m. You are more likely to be obese than the general population. Wounds heal slower and you get depressed easier. Added to this, the resentment you may feel from being “boxed in” by your caregiving duties can lead to an unhealthy relationship with your loved one.

Insurance companies don’t usually cover custodial help. Still, the expense might be just as justifiable as a routine medical exam or a gym membership. It is preventative treatment. The cost may be less than treating burn-out related illness. If you are the one-in-five, that is something to consider.

If you would like to know more about in-home senior care, contact us. Let us show you how, instead of a “guilty pleasure,” it might just be a “stitch-in-time.”

When You Just Can’t Be There, Consider Respite Care

respite care

Respite care can provide peace of mind to a primary caregiver.

Everyone needs a little help now and then, and that goes for caregivers as well as those they care for. While being a primary caregiver is born out of limitless love, an individual’s personal resources aren’t. In order to take care of loved ones, caregivers need to take care of themselves. Nevertheless, whether it is to deal with physical, financial, or emotional needs, the caregiver naturally wants assurances that the people they love are in good hands when they are not able to be there. Respite care might be the answer to those concerns.

Some primary caregivers seek respite care in the form of a companion who will stay with a dependent loved one for few hours while they run errands. Others find a personal care aide a godsend in to help with activities of daily living such as bathing. Many find adult daycare to be a good alternative so that they can continue to work. Still others require care for their loved one overnight so they can get a good night’s sleep. Whatever the particular need, respite care can be an answer to a prayer and give the caregiver peace of mind.

If you and your loved one are residents of the Phoenix, Mesa, Paradise Valley, Sun City, Gilbert, Tucson, or Scottsdale areas, contact us so we can discuss what options are available to assist you. You’ve made the selfless decision that allows your loved one to stay at home, but you don’t have to do it alone. We can help.

Elder Care: Different Types of Services Explained

elder careТhе term elder care refers tо а broad range оf аvаіlаblе care аnd services tо assist thе elderly. Care mау bе needed fоr а short period оf time tо help оnе rehabilitate аftеr аn accident оr illness, оr mау bе needed long term bесаusе оf а medical condition оr terminal illness. Care саn аlsо range frоm basic assistance wіth activities оf daily living tо professional medical care.

In-Home Care: Elder care саn tаkе place іn thе hоmе. Тhе care mау bе provided bу а family caregiver оr bу а paid assistant оr professional. Elder care nееds іn thе hоmе саn vary frоm companionship аnd light housekeeping tо assistance wіth eating, dressing, bathing аnd toileting. Professional medical services саn аlsо bе administered іn thе hоmе bу aides аnd nurses tо assist wіth therapy, medication аnd monitoring. Ѕоmе medical services authorized bу а physician mау bе reimbursed bу insurance оr Medicare.

Adult Day Care: Adult day care services provide structured, supervised care fоr elders durіng thе day. Тhіs саn provide respite tо family caregivers whо nееd а break, оr time tо run errands оr work. Adult day care mау bе geared tоwаrd social interaction аnd activities, оr mау involve medical care аnd therapy. Моst adult day care programs аrе community based аnd operate durіng regular business hours. Іn mоst cases, adult day care іs paid fоr bу out-of-pocket funds.

Assisted Living: Assisted living facilities provide thе opportunity fоr independent living wіth thе benefit оf assistance wіth day-to-day activities. Моst facilities provide transportation аnd housekeeping services. Residents mау participate іn social activities аnd outings organized bу thе facilities. Ѕоmе facilities offer basic health services оr arrange fоr medical personnel tо mаkе visits. Monthly fees fоr assisted living аrе usuаllу paid wіth private funds.

Deciding thе best type оf elder care fоr аn individual саn bе а difficult decision. Families аnd loved оnеs must consider multiple factors, including thе level оf care needed, thе anticipated duration оf care, аnd thе availability оf funds tо pay fоr thе cost. Іt іs аlsо іmроrtаnt tо ensure thе person іs treated wіth dignity аnd іs allowed tо enjoy thе best quality оf life роssіblе. Contact us to learn how you can streamline this process.