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senior diet - mesa live in care

Is It Time to Reconsider What Your Parents Have for Dinner?

A healthy senior diet is recommended for many reasons. It’s the best way to lose weight, keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the normal range, and even is believed to help prevent Alzheimer’s. If your parents don’t like to cook for themselves, a healthy diet may be hard to maintain.

Do you know what a senior’s diet should include and avoid? With age come changes to what and how much to eat. Here are the current recommendations…

Double Up on Vegetables

Some seniors do not eat enough when it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables. Your parent’s dinner plate should have fruits and vegetables on half the plate, a lean protein on one quarter, and a whole grain option on the remaining quarter.

Vegetables are important as they’re great sources of antioxidants. Cruciforms like Brussels sprouts and broccoli are a good choice for their cancer-prevention qualities. See if your parents would consider swapping out two or three meals a week for vegetarian meals to limit the amount of meat they eat.

If your mom or dad can’t chop vegetables, invest in a food processor. It can make it easy to prep ingredients when arthritis makes it hard to hold a knife. Or, hire a home care professional for meal preparation.

Get Plenty of Calcium

Calcium is a good way to prevent osteoporosis. Fat-free or low-fat dairy options are ideal. Plain low-fat yogurt is a good choice if your mom or dad hates drinking milk. You can add it to fruit smoothies each morning to mask the taste if that’s an issue.

If your parents cannot digest or stomach dairy items, look for cereals and fruit juices that are fortified with vitamin D and calcium. Orange juice is one option that often comes in a calcium-added version.

Lower Saturated Fat, Sodium, and Sugar Intake

Saturated fat, sodium, and sugar are to be avoided. All three can increase the risk of health issues like high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. While frozen meals and canned soups are easy, they’re often loaded with all three. Cooking meals from scratch is ideal.

Your parents need to get used to reading labels. They may need magnifiers when shopping for items. Many pasta sauces add sugar or corn syrup to the tomatoes to add sweetness. Sugar is often found in canned soups, packaged bread, deli meats, fruit juices, and yogurts.

If your parents don’t like to cook, they can avoid takeout and packaged meals. Call a home care agency and ask about caregivers. Caregivers provide companionship, but they’ll also cook meals, shop for food and much more to help loved ones maintain a healthy senior diet.

If you or an aging loved-one needs care, please contact the Mesa live-in care experts at Endeavor Home Care today at 480-498-2324.

Elderly Care in Mesa AZ: Finding the Best Doctor

Finding the Best Doctor for Your Mom’s Changing Health Needs

As your mom gets older, her medical needs may change. At one point, her visits to the doctor would have been geared toward OB/GYN care and yearly medical exams. Now, she needs to have her bone density checked. She might need memory care visits or help with proper nutrition as she ages. She could be moving to be closer to you and needs a doctor nearby.

If your mom has outgrown her doctor or needs one in a new location, she’s not alone. Moving her to another doctor who specializes in elder care is a big change, but it can be a beneficial change. If you need to make a change, here are some ways to make the transition go smoothly.

 

Read Reviews

Look online for reviews. You can get a feel for a doctor’s personality and skill. Remember that people may emphasize the bad. See if there are follow-up reviews to get a full picture.

Look for patterns. If you find a doctor has dozens of reviews saying there are billing errors, it’s likely that’s true. If there are dozens of reviews calling the doctor friendly and approachable and one that says the doctor is standoffish, it’s more likely that the friendly and approachable aspect is true.

Read reviews in several spots. Google, Yelp, Facebook, and Healthgrades are all places to start. Look specifically for verified reviews that prove the reviewer really did see that doctor.

 

Ask for Referrals

If your mom likes her doctor, ask that doctor for a referral. The doctor may not specialize in geriatric care but knows someone who. Ask friends and family members for suggestions, too. When you have suggestions, start reading reviews.

 

Look at Office Hours

There’s a doctor in the right area who gets great reviews. You look at the office hours and the doctor is only at that location until noon. That might not be convenient if you’re the person who drives your mom to appointments and works during the week.

 

Schedule an Introductory Meeting

Schedule a meeting to meet the new doctor. Your mom can ask questions and make sure she likes the new doctor. If there is a personality clash, it’s better to know before you schedule a full medical exam.

With a doctor you and your mom can trust, a caregiver can cover the aspect of socialization when aging at home. Elder care services like companionship and transportation ensure your mom is able to spend time with other seniors and with someone each day at home.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring elderly care in Mesa or the surrounding area, please contact the caring staff at Endeavor Home Care today. Call  (480) 535-6800.

Elderly Care in Mesa AZ: Parent Cataracts Risks

Can You Protect Your Parent from Cataracts?

June is Cataract Awareness Month.

As a family caregiver, this is an ideal opportunity for you to take steps to help reduce the risk your parent will suffer from cataracts. While there is no sure way to completely prevent the development of cataracts, taking certain steps can reduce the risk, and can even slow the development of them.

 

Some ways you can help to protect your aging parent’s vision by reducing the risk of cataracts include:

● Encourage your aging parent to visit their eye doctor regularly. Regular visits allow a doctor to monitor your parent’s eye health and detect changes that could indicate the earliest stages of cataracts. This enables them to recommend a treatment and management approach that is right for your senior parent.

● If your parents smoke, encourage them to stop. Smoking increases the pressure within the eye and is shown to increase the risk of developing cataracts as well as other eye health issues. Talk to the doctor about safe and effective ways they can quit smoking.

● Work with your parent to make sure they are managing their other health problems effectively. If they are suffering from diabetes or high blood pressure, for example, their risk for developing cataracts is increased. Not managing these health issues effectively further increases this risk, and can also put them at greater risk of more serious consequences. the personalized services of an elderly care provider can be instrumental in assisting at your parent with proper management of their health issues.

● Make sure your parent wears sunglasses anytime they will be exposed to the sun. Look for sunglasses with broad-spectrum protection from UVA and UVB rays. Glasses that curve around the sides of the eyes and the feature of large lenses are most effective at blocking rays that may come from an angle or above.

● Encourage your aging parent to eat a healthy, balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables. The antioxidants contained within these foods can protect eye health and reduce the risk of problems such as cataracts.

The low vision that can result from cataracts and other eye health problems can make a dramatic difference in your parents quality of life, health, and safety.

Fortunately, starting elderly care for them can be a highly effective and meaningful way to help your parent cope with these issues. An elderly home care services provider can be in the home with your senior on a customized schedule to provide highly personalized services designed to help your parent cope with diminished vision while still maintaining as much independence and activity as possible. Services such as physical support and assistance, help with personal care tasks and housekeeping tasks, and support in making good lifestyle choices can help your parent to stay safer and healthier even as they cope with eye health problems and vision limitations.

 

If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elderly Care in Mesa, AZ, please contact the caring staff at Endeavor Home Care today. Call  (480) 535-6800.

Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/

https://lasik.ucla.edu

Senior nutrition

Concerned About Senior Nutrition? Learn How to Overcome Nutritional Challenges.

Concerned About Senior Nutrition?With the all the hustle and bustle of our lives, how many times do we grab a quick cup of coffee and a donut on our hurried way to work, stopping for junk food on the way home to avoid the need to cook? Younger adults with a high metabolism, optimal muscle strength, and fewer chronic health conditions can get away more easily with short-term poor eating habits; however, when it comes to senior nutrition, it’s a different story.

While our bodies go through changes in aging, the need for appropriate nutrition becomes much more critical. Seniors who are malnourished are at a heightened risk for falls, anemia, maladies, hospitalizations, and more. It’s estimated that as a nation, we spend over $150 billion annually in medical costs stemming from elderly malnutrition.

There are numerous hurdles for the elderly to overcome in order to obtain adequate senior nutrition, including:

  • Medication side effects, such as impacting taste and smell
  • Trouble eating due to arthritis or dental concerns
  • Difficulty with the tasks involved with shopping or fixing meals
  • Loneliness and depression, making mealtime less enjoyable
  • Lack of enthusiasm to prepare balanced meals when cooking for just one
  • Financial limitations

To compound the issue further, doctors’ appointments and checkups often neglect nutritional counseling. According to Simin Nikbin Meydani, director for the Jean Mayer USDA Human Research Center on Aging at Tufts, “If you go to your physician, they will weigh you and check your heart, but they are not measuring your nutritional status.”

So how can we guarantee our older family members are maintaining proper senior nutrition? The MyPlate for Older Adults from Tufts University is a great place to begin, outlining simple dietary modifications that are less inhibitive than trying a complete dietary makeover. For example, “Tea and toast can turn into a bowl of oatmeal with a banana. It’s just as easy to make,” according to Shirley Chao, of the MA Executive Office of Elder Affairs.

Another choice is to engage the services of a professional in-home caregiver, such as those at Endeavor Home Care in Scottsdale, AZ, who can help with planning wholesome, delicious meals, running errands such as picking up groceries, and spending time with seniors during mealtimes to stave off loneliness.

For more strategies for helping improve nutrition for an older adult, contact Endeavor Home Care. We can plan and prepare healthy meals for seniors – and we’ll even clean up the kitchen afterwards! We service several locations in Arizona, including Tucson, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Fountain Hills, Mesa, Sun City West, Gilbert and more.

The Surprising New Findings on Saturated Fats and Heart Health

New Findings on Heart HealthIt’s difficult to plan healthy meals when what is recommended as “healthy” seems to change from one month to the next. The initial recommendation was that saturated fats found in items such as butter, red meat and fried food were unhealthy, but later research indicated that there wasn’t enough proof that people who gave up or reduced the amount of these items considerably improved their heart health – and therefore, we were given the go ahead to choose butter over margarine yet again.

However, as reported in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, scientists clarify that the lack of noticeable results in reducing saturated fats is more likely related to equally poor dietary choices made in place of those fats – such as refined carbs. Subjects who instead replaced saturated fats with more healthy options, such as olive oil and whole grains, did decrease their heart disease risk by as much as 25%.

According to Adela Hruby, one of the researchers in this study, “We know that people don’t just drop 10% of their calories…and not replace them with other things. What they are adding in to replace what they’re not eating is really important.”

The research, led by Dr. Frank Hu of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, was extremely thorough, tracking about 130,000 male and female participants over 30 years. The study tracked dietary choices and heart-related conditions, and it was noted that subjects who substituted carbohydrates for saturated fats were realizing a virtually equal risk of heart disease – something that was missed in other studies that determined it was not significantly beneficial to heart health to cut back on saturated fats.

So what can we learn from this study? Improving our heart health can best be achieved by not just reducing saturated fat in our diet, but by also selecting healthier foods than processed flour-based products and those with a high sugar content.

Endeavor Home Care, serving seniors throughout the Scottsdale, Phoenix, Sun City and Tucson, Arizona areas, is also eager to plan and prepare heart-healthy meals that are not only nutritious, but delicious, helping local seniors to reduce their risk for heart attacks and heart disease. We can also help make sure that seniors are:

  • Making good dietary choices, and can help with obtaining groceries so that healthy, fresh foods are always stocked.
  • Taking medications as prescribed
  • Participating in doctor-approved exercise programs
  • Safely brought and accompanied to appointments and other outings
  • And much more

Give us a call at 480-535-6800 to learn more.

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!

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.

Memory Care: Stage One of Alzheimer’s Disease

memory care calendar

Using a calendar that’s visible helps people with memory issues feel more comfortable

Alzheimer’s Disease typically follows recognizable patterns in its progression. In each of its three stages, there are specific behaviors and symptoms that are considered “normal.” It is helpful to know these stages as a caregiver so you can make the best decisions for the memory care of your loved one.

If your family member is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, he is in Stage One that typically lasts for two to four years.

Symptoms and how you can help:

  • Time or place disorientation—Avoid arguing and don’t correct your loved one all the time. Offer a gentle reminder of where you are and what is going on.
  • Short-term memory loss—Consider using a board of some sort that shows the day of the week and date. You can place appointment reminders here, too. Also, use this area to keep glasses, keys, and other things used on a daily basis.
  • Lack of energy—Encourage naps each day during appropriate times.
  • Hard time concentrating—Don’t expect the Alzheimer’s patient to focus on a task for longer than 20 minutes.
  • Short tempered, rage, over-reaction, hysteria—Do your best to keep routines. This will help your loved one know exactly what to expect. Also, do not respond to everything, it is the disease talking. Try to stay calm.
  • Depression—Severe depression is experienced by nearly ¾ of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Watch for depressive behaviors and talk with your family member’s doctor about these behaviors you may witness. It can be helpful to use an anti-depressant to treat the depression.

Helping your loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease can help you, too. For more information on this condition, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Senior Care at Home in Mesa, AZ: Great Foods for a Heart Healthy Diet

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), coronary heart disease affects almost 5 percent of the population. Heart attacks occur in over 3 percent of the population, while heart failure affects approximately 2 percent of the population. Obviously, heart health is something that no sector of the adult population can ignore.

Some of the factors that may increase the risk of heart disease or heart attack include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity, smoking and/or physical inactivity.

However, reducing the risk of heart problems is possible through simple lifestyle changes such as increasing exercise and choosing a healthy diet. The same is true for young adults and seniors alike.

Here are some great heart-healthy foods to incorporate into senior care:

– Fresh fruit and vegetables

According to WebMD, fresh vegetables and fruits help remove free radicals from the bloodstream, which helps maintain the health of blood vessels.

Some of the best heart-healthy produce includes blueberries, which are high in vitamin C, antioxidants, beta-carotene and potassium, as well as carrots, which are high in alpha-carotene and fiber. Try adding shredded carrots to pasta sauce or zucchini bread batter for an added heart healthy boost. Put blueberries on oatmeal or eat some for a quick snack.

Other heart-healthy fruits and vegetables include broccoli, spinach, red bell peppers, sweet potato, oranges, asparagus, cantaloupe, squash, tomatoes, papaya and other berries. All are high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and easy to incorporate as a side dish or snack for seniors.

– Whole Grains

Look for bread products that are labeled “100 percent whole grain” and list “whole wheat flour” as the first on the ingredient list for the most heart-healthy benefits.

One whole grain that appeals to many seniors is a bowl of oatmeal, which provides omega-3 fatty acids, as well as calcium, soluble fiber, potassium and magnesium. Add a little milk and some fresh fruit to make this a healthy and delicious breakfast.

– Beans and Legumes

High in fiber and protein, beans and legumes offer a low fat, satisfying way to feel full. Add some kidney beans or black beans to a broth-based soup with vegetables and whole grain pasta to add soluble fiber, B-complex vitamins, magnesium and niacin in a satisfying and nurturing meal. Soup is also easy to freeze and defrost for senior care providers.

– Fish

The omega-3 fats in fish help increase heart health and may even reduce inflammation. Buy some grilled salmon and add it to a salad for an easy way to add omega-3 fatty acids and protein.

Tuna is another fish that is easy to incorporate into a senior’s diet. Buy canned “light” tuna, mix some with some low-fat mayonnaise and mustard, add to whole wheat bread for niacin, omega-3 fatty acids, and foliate for a quick and easy lunch or dinner.

– Brown Rice

Like whole wheat bread, brown rice adds fiber, vitamins and minerals where white, processed pasta and bread items do not. Brown rice has B-complex vitamins, niacin and magnesium. Pick up some steamed vegetables and brown rice from a local Chinese or Thai restaurant for an easy meal for an at-home senior.

– Tea

Tea is high in flavonols and catechins, which are good for the heart. Brew up a nice afternoon cup of tea or brew some sun tea and pour it over ice for a delicious, healthy beverage.

While many of these foods are easy enough for many seniors to eat and prepare on their own, home care services can also help grocery shop, prepare meals and snacks. This will help ensure that a healthy variety of heart-smart foods is provided on a daily basis.

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

Senior Care in Mesa, AZ: Good Foot Health Means Longer Independence

Most of us take having healthy feet for granted most of our lives. After all, other than some periodic cleaning and perhaps a pedicure or two, there is not much that needs doing to keep our feet in good shape. However, as you age, foot care becomes more and more important and is an essential aspect of health care for seniors.

Basic Daily Care

Good senior care includes taking care of the entire body, top to bottom. Some basic elements of caring for the feet can help prevent problems and identify potential issues as they arise.

• Wash the feet with warm water and gentle soap, such as baby wash, and then dry thoroughly. Be certain to dry around and in-between each of the toes as well.

• Check the feet daily to look for any sores, blisters, cuts, swelling or infected toenails.

• Apply antibiotic ointment to any sores, blisters or cuts and cover with a clean bandage.

• Apply gentle, unscented lotion to feet and work in well, then wipe away any excess. Avoid getting lotion into any sores, cuts or blisters.

• Encourage the senior individual to wear clean socks and supportive shoes every day to keep the feet dry, clean and protected.

Basic Weekly Care

Once a week, carefully trim the toenails straight across using clean trimmers. Do not cut the toenail any shorter than the end of the toe and file down any rough edges.

Another element of senior care that most seniors will appreciate is a weekly foot rub. This increases circulation to the feet, which also helps prevent problems and feels quite nice as well. Perform the massage after the feet are clean and lotion is applied.

Overall Basic Care

One of the best ways to help a senior take care of their feet and overall health in general is to encourage daily physical activity. Exercise increases blood flow throughout the body, reduces fatigue, increases energy and improves immune system functioning.

An excellent form of physical exercise for most seniors is walking, as this is a low-impact exercise performed at a comfortable rate. Aim for at least 30 minutes of walking, 5 times a week.

In addition, some specific foot exercises will help keep those feet in tip-top form:

• Hold a table edge and lift up onto the toes. Rock back onto the heels and lift up the toes. Repeat 20 times.

• Place marbles on the floor and have the senior pick the marbles up with their toes.

• Sit down and flex the toes up, then point down. Repeat five times and then rotate each ankle in both directions five times as well.

Foot care is an important part of senior care and should be a daily part of caretaking efforts in order to help maintain a high quality of life and prevent potential issues. Once foot problems set in, most seniors have difficulty walking and begin to lose what independence they have left.

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