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Elder Care in Scottsdale AZ: Signs of Alzheimer's

Is Your Parent’s Difficulty with Problem Solving Normal or a Sign of Alzheimer’s?

Everyone has trouble solving problems or getting organized at times in their life.

When, however, may these signs of difficulty indicate that there could be something more serious happening? Alzheimer’s disease is an issue that most family caregivers put a considerable amount of thought into throughout their care experience with their senior parent, and it is important to be able to recognize early warning signs of the progression. While memory loss is the first thing that most people think about when they consider the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, the reality is that there are many other signs that could indicate that your senior is at the beginning of their progression with the disease.

 

One early warning sign of Alzheimer’s disease is difficulty solving problems or making plans.

While it is perfectly normal to occasionally experience confusion when making complex plans or when managing a challenging task, such as balancing a checkbook, if your parent is having frequent or marked difficulty with planning or problem solving, it may be time to discuss it with their doctor.

 

Some problem solving or planning difficulties that may be an early warning sign of Alzheimer’s disease include:

-A marked difficulty with concentration and seeming distracted when they should be focusing on a specific task

-Difficulty following a set of tasks, particularly something familiar such as a recipe that they have made several times before

-Inability to keep up with their regular household bills

-Receiving cut-off notices for their utilities

-Getting overdraft notices for their bank account

-Inability to make simple organizational choices such as how to put items away in a drawer or linen closet

 

Starting senior care for your aging parent can be one of the best decisions that you can make for them during the course of your care journey.

Having a senior home care services provider in the home with your aging parent can ensure that they have ongoing access to the care, support, and assistance that they need to manage their individual needs, challenges, and limitations in the ways that are right for them while also respecting the care that you give them on a regular basis. This means that your parent can stay healthy, safe, comfortable, and happy while also pursuing a lifestyle that is an active, engaged, and independent as possible throughout their later years. As their family caregiver, this will give you confidence and peace of mind that your senior will get everything that they need both when you are with them and when you are not.

 

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

Source:

https://www.alz.org

care plan

Why It Pays to be Proactive When Talking About a Financial Care Plan

It’s a sensitive topic to go over with aging parents, but one which needs to be resolved at some point: a financial care plan. Many adult children are reluctant to step into their parents’ financial matters until there is an obvious need, but beginning the discussion ahead of the need provides ample opportunity to ensure everything is in order. Read more

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.

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.

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.

Elder Home Care Agency in AZ Embraces Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

eldercare home care

Our caregivers can handle many of those tasks that are difficult for those undergoing treatment for colorectal cancer.

Do you or someone you know suffer from colorectal cancer? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s figures, the disease negatively impacts the lives of more than 130,000 people each year. Subsequently, the United States government has once again set aside March 2015 as the month to remind people of the deadly disease and its consequences. As such, all of the people associated with our eldercare home care are embracing the initiative too.

Arizona residents diagnosed with colorectal cancer don’t have to go it alone. Our elder home care agency can provide comforting, important services to them while they undergo potentially lifesaving treatments, like radiation therapy, surgery and chemotherapy. For example, all three treatments are known to drain a person of energy and leave them unable to complete basic tasks. Our caregivers can handle many of those tasks, like running errands, picking up the mail, washing the bed linens and preparing a bowl of soup.

We can also stay on after the treatments are over and provide additional, supportive care that colorectal cancer patients and their families may need. For instance, the person may want someone to walk with them as they build their strength back up. They may also crave someone to talk to, drive them to follow-up appointments, pick up colostomy supplies or just hold their hand at particularly rough times of the day.

To learn more about the wide variety of home care options available to elderly people diagnosed with colorectal cancer, please contact us at Endeavor Home Care today. All of our home caregivers are rigorously screened, trained, bonded and insured to meet Arizona’s regulatory standards. Plus, with our team, customized care plans are the norm, not the exception. So, Arizona’s families can rest easy that their loved ones will receive high-quality, individualized care year round.

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 ?

in home care

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 and a simple solution to health-care-associated infections (HAIs): handwashing.

It seems like a simple solution to healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), but hand washing remains one of the single-most preventatives as outlined in a 2014 strategy updates for acute care facilities, and a policy that applies to in-home care providers as well.

senior care

Hand-washing is still one of the most effective measures to take against the spread of infection.

In addition, notes the report, performance in these and other areas are being measured to assess outcomes centered on the prevention of healthcare associated infections, which can be a primary concern for senior care providers.

Infections were categorized by their prevention recommendations and given a low-to-high ranking based on the evidence gathered.

A focus on implementing specific methods of intervention proven to mitigate HAI situations, particularly during the initial outbreak of infections are determined.

By turning attention to locations in the hospital at high risk for HAIs, or certain categories of patient diagnosis, prevention strategies can be initiated throughout the entire hospital.

“Basic practices include recommendations where the potential to impact HAI risk clearly outweighs the potential for undesirable effects….Special approaches include recommendations where the intervention is likely to reduce HAI risk but where where there is concern about the risks for undesirable outcomes, where the quality of evidence is low, or where evidence supports the impact of the intervention in select settings…or select patient populations.”

Primary considerations for basic approaches include common areas that could preceded an instance of infection. As such, a few of the ongoing contributors to HAIS include:

—pneumonia caused by ventilator gateways

— Clostridium difficile infections

— Infections around surgical sites

— UTI infections associated with catheters

Always on the radar, too, are routines associated with daily useage of syringes and needles; in the latter case the concern is the re-use of these items; also, the lapse in judgement is suspect when a single vial of medication is considered ‘ok’ to use for multiple patients.

Looking for home care for your aging parent, or family member? Contact us to learn more about our care-giving services.

Alzheimers Care: Stage 2 of Alzheimer’s Disease

alzheimers careAlzheimer’s Disease is a condition that follows three typical stages. When you know the stage your loved one is in and how you can help them, it allows both you and him or her to feel more comfortable and get the Alzheimers care that is needed.

The first stage, mild Alzheimer’s lasts on average two to four years. As the disease progresses to Stage Two it turns into moderate Alzheimer’s and lasts an average of four years, but can last anywhere from two to ten years.

Symptoms and how you can help:

  • Sleeping disorders—Keep a routine at bedtime. This will help to signal that bedtime is coming. Do things such as wash hands and face, get on pajamas, have a snack, turn the lights on lower, and play soft music.
  • Eating disorders—Have finger foods and snacks available. Some goods ideas are fresh cut fruit and vegetables, sandwiches, cookies, tater tots, enriched drinks, and other small items that are easy to eat with the hands only.
  • Sundowner’s Syndrome—Your loved one may start to display behavior problems during the early evening hours. Try your best to keep the routine structured and the environment calm. Encourage activities that are calm starting late in the afternoon. Washing dishes, setting the table, listening to music, and washing dishes are good examples.
  • Daily activities start becoming difficult—When you see your loved one starting to have trouble doing daily things such as dressing, help them by giving simple directions with one step. Allow them to continue doing as much as they can for themselves, but you may need to mirror the required actions. For instance, brush your teeth to show them how.
  • Incontinence—Remind your loved one to use the restroom every two hours. If accidents begin happening, use adult incontinence products. Also, teach and use good hand-washing techniques.
  • Loss of communication—Your loved one will likely begin to lose the power to express themselves. They may use repetitive speech or use words out of order. Listen to the words and pick out the keywords so you can best help your family member.
  • Falls—Make your environment as safe as possible as your loved one has an increased risk for falling. Look for things that may pose a trip hazard such as footstools, throw rugs, and other things. Also, install grab bars in the shower and near the toilet. Stairs and hallways should be well lit to avoid falls.
  • Argumentative, angry, aggressive—Do not argue with your loved one or try to reason. Be gentle and try to distract them and remove them from the area if it’s highly stimulating.
  • Wandering—Keep your loved one’s environment safe and secure. Put locks on each exterior door, on both the top and bottom. You should also consider adding motion sensors to the doors to notify you that a door has been opened. Tell your neighbors about your loved one and tell the local police in case they see your loved one wandering around without supervision.

Stage 2 of Alzheimer’s Disease causes your loved one to need more and more supervision. We would love to help you. For information on this condition, contact us.

Reasons to consider at home senior care

at home senior careTaking care of the elderly can be a tricky business. Naturally, you want to ensure that your senior relatives are getting all the support that they need and deserve as they get older. However, doing it yourself, providing them with personal attention, is all too often simply out of your reach. You have other commitments- jobs, children, friends. Finding the time needed to properly attend to your elderly relatives can be, at times, downright impossible.

On top of that, you might not have the skills needed to give your relatives the care that they deserve. Do you know how to operate a dialysis machine? Administer an injection? Can you tell an ordinary cough from a potentially life-threatening complication? Can you treat bedsores? Do you have the time to learn how to do these things? If not, you may have to admit that you’re simply not capable of giving your elderly relatives the care they deserve.

And that’s saying nothing about how downright disgusting caring for people suffering from dementia or otherwise unable to care for themselves can be. Changing bedpans is an unenviable task.

So, if you’re having problems looking after your parents, grandparents, or other elderly relative, you should admit to yourself that you’re out of your depth and need help. Then, do some research and seek out providers of at home senior care, who will provide much-needed aid and expertise for the people you care for. Both you and they will be glad you did.

For more information, contact us.