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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.

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!

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.

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.

Remind Your Favorite Senior to Take Care of Her Health: October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Tucson, AZ

One of the most important things a woman should be sure to include in her medical care is breast cancer prevention. That’s why October is designated as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, when doctors, government agencies and organizations collaborate to raise awareness about cancer and promote access to health care for both young women and seniors.

History

The awareness month was initiated more than 25 years ago. The campaign has been involved in keeping the issue in the public’s eye, promoting and tracking research and empowering women to learn all they can about this important health care issue. Partners in the mission include major health organizations, such as American Cancer Society, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, CancerCare, National Medical Association and many more.

Early Intervention

This is a good time to remind women of the importance of doing their own breast check each month and of getting mammograms when appropriate. The National Cancer Institute recommends women 40 and older getting a mammogram every one to two years. Those with a higher risk of the cancer because of family history or other genetic risks are advised to ask their doctors about starting mammograms earlier.

Advocacy

The month is often recognized in some communities by fundraisers, races and other gatherings as a way to promote awareness and raise donations for research or local cancer care. What’s more, many merchants participate in the Pink Ribbon Campaign, selling products with the pink ribbon logo and donating a portion of the profit to cancer research.

About The Disease

Experts say one in eight women will be diagnosed with the cancer in her lifetime. The good news is that with early diagnosis and improved treatment options from ongoing research, many cancer patients are living longer or beating the disease altogether.

Local Events

To find out about events marking the month in your community, contact your local office of the American Cancer Society or check the, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer website, where you can search by location and date. If your community is not planning an activity, see how you can get involved to organize a fundraiser and raise awareness in your area.

Finally, remember that cancer awareness and care is something that should be ongoing throughout the year. Remind seniors in your community about how early diagnosis can make all the difference.

When researching options for senior care agencies in Tucson 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 Tucson, AZ.

Senior Care in Tucson, AZ: August is National Immunization Month- The Importance of Flu Shots for Seniors

Immunizations are essential for prevention against serious life-threatening infections and diseases.

Many illnesses are contagious and can cause serious complications. Influenza is an illness that affects the respiratory system and individuals that catch the flu viruses can develop symptoms that range from mild to severe. Severe complications from the flu can lead to serious health problems and even result in death. Specific groups of people are at a higher risk of developing complications including young children and the elderly. August is recognized as National Immunization Awareness Month to help raise awareness of preventable diseases and the importance of vaccinations to stay healthy.

Seniors and Influenza

Seniors are more susceptible to the flu virus due to the immune system weakening with age. One of the most common complications of the flu is pneumonia. Symptoms of pneumonia may be treatable at home; however, hospitalization is often required for those with compromised immune systems. Receiving a vaccine for influenza can reduce the chances of developing pneumonia and other illnesses that often occur after having the cold or flu.

The “Flu Shot”

The influenza vaccine can help protect against three types of flu strains that are predicted to be the most commonly spread throughout the upcoming flu season. The viruses used in the flu vaccine may change each year depending on the research and estimation that helps to predict what strains will be the most harmful and widespread. The flu shot contains killed virus and is administered through a needle typically in the upper arm. Shots are approved for individuals six months of age and older.

The three different types of flu shots available include:

• Regular shots approved for those six months and older

• Intradermal flu shots for people ages 18 through 64

• High-dose flu shots recommended for those over the age of 65

Antibodies begin to develop in the body within two weeks of vaccination to provide protection against the most harmful strains throughout the flu season.

Seniors are advised to receive the flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available in their area. A healthcare professional can help determine what type of vaccine is right for an individual. In addition to receiving the flu vaccine, everyday measures such as eating right, getting an adequate amount of exercise and drinking plenty of fluids can also help seniors stay happy and healthy throughout the flu season.

When researching options for senior care agencies in Tucson 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 Tucson, AZ.

Senior Care in Tucson, AZ: Take a Walk! Seniors Benefit From Walking with a Companion

Physical fitness is essential for good physical and mental health. Walking may be one of the safest forms of exercise for seniors due to the moderately low risk of injury. Walking regularly can help lower blood pressure, stabilize blood sugar levels and significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. It may also slow the aging process and helps minimize the risk of developing age-related illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Senior Care Companions Keep Seniors Healthy

Seniors who live independently at home can receive many benefits from in-home care provided by professional caregivers. Senior care providers can provide companionship for individuals who enjoy the company of others. Having a companion can help to reduce the feelings of loneliness and insecurity that may be associated with being alone. Staying healthy is often a high priority for seniors living at home and exercising with a companion can encourage an active and healthy lifestyle.

In-Home Care Companions Provide Motivation!

Walking with a companion can increase motivation while making the exercise more enjoyable and entertaining. Walking around the neighborhood routinely can become dull and uninspiring; however, walking with a partner can encourage conversation that can help make the walk more pleasant. A trusted in-home senior care professional can give seniors the support they need to keep engaging in the exercises they enjoy to remain as active and fit as possible.

Companions Provide Safety

Walking around the neighborhood alone can be discouraging to many seniors. The fear of injury or being approached by an intimidating individual may contribute to the feeling of insecurity many seniors may experience while walking alone. Walking with a trusted partner can help minimize the feelings of uneasiness while pursuing their goal to be fit and healthy. Many seniors feel reassured when they have someone with them at all times who can call for help in the event of a fall or other type of emergency.

In Good Company….

Enjoying the company of others is often helpful with increasing the quality of life for many individuals and is also extremely important in maintaining good mental health. Caregivers can assist with coordinating an exercise routine based on the individual needs of the senior and encourage them to participate regularly. Safety and companionship are two of the most important services that a senior care professional can offer.

When researching options for senior care agencies in Tucson 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 Tucson AZ.