You may not be able to be the caregiver you want to be, especially if you can’t be in the same place as your senior. So it’s important to know what tools can help you to be a better long-distance caregiver.
A Place to Keep Everything You Need to Know
There’s a lot of information you’re juggling as your senior’s caregiver. When you’re giving care from a distance, that can feel even more disorganized for you. What’s really important is for you to find a way to get yourself to a point where you can lay hands on whatever you might need at any given moment. Storing documents electronically might be the best option, especially if you need to access that information from anywhere.
Her Doctors and Specialists
You may not be able to be there at every medical appointment, so it helps to have a relationship with your senior’s medical team. When you or she have questions, it helps when you know who to contact and how to get in touch with the right people. Understanding your elderly family member’s current and future health is a vital part of being able to meet her needs.
Alarms and Reminders
There’s more than just information you’re keeping track of. Between your life and your senior’s life, there’s plenty that has to be done at a specific day or time. With electronic reminders and alarms, you’re going to be much more able to keep track of what needs to happen when. Most smartphones and laptops have built-in applications that allow you to set reminders. They’re even easier to use if you use the electronic personal assistant that’s built-in to most smartphones.
An Alarm System
You might feel better knowing that if your senior has a true emergency, she’s able to get the help that she needs. Personal alarm systems and home alarm systems are one way to do this. The home alarm may come along with a variety of tools, including fall detection and other services. If a personal alarm is more your senior’s speed, that gives her a way to access emergency services with the push of a single button.
Some Boots on the Ground
One of the most useful tools you might have, though, could be elder care providers. These are folks with experience helping aging adults with a variety of needs. Elder care providers are also a perfect way for you to know exactly what’s going on with your senior, even if you’re not able to be there with her.
It's tough to be a long-distance caregiver, so anything that makes your job easier is something that you need to embrace.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care Services in Skokie IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
If your senior isn’t moving around as well or as often as she used to, that could be a bigger red flag than you realize. There are some big reasons why she might be restricting her own mobility. Understanding those reasons and what they mean is important for you as her caregiver.
She’s Worried about the Possibility of Getting Hurt
Your brain might go to all sorts of possible calamities, but there might not be anything wrong, yet. Your senior might be more worried about what could happen than she is about anything that has actually happened. That fear can cause her to immobilize herself, just in case she might do something that causes her to experience an injury. When she does need to be mobile, though, she may have created a self-fulfilling prophecy for herself.
Old Aches and Pains Are Acting Up
Old injuries can act up and that might cause your senior to move a little gingerly or reserve movement for necessary activities. This is especially true during colder weather or when there’s a storm brewing. Your elderly family member may be perfectly familiar with this, though, especially if the injuries are much older ones that have acted up for a long time.
Her Muscle Tone Is Decreasing
If your elderly family member has lost muscle tone and strength, that makes moving difficult. Unfortunately, that’s a self-fulfilling prophecy because if it’s difficult to move and she moves less, she’s also going to continue losing muscle tone. Her doctor may recommend that your senior starts an exercise program. She doesn’t have to do anything complicated to slow down the muscle loss that she’s experiencing.
She’s Had a Fall
You may not know if your elderly family member has had a minor fall already or not. But if she has fallen, that can make her feel uncomfortable moving more, just in case she falls again and it’s worse than the first one. Falls are scary and they can really cause your senior to start to think about her mortality. She’s also doubled her chances of falling again if she’s fallen once.
When you start to notice that your elderly family member is having trouble with mobility, it might be time to get her some more help. Make sure that you also talk with her doctor, but it could be essential to hire elderly care providers now to assist her with large and small tasks that are giving her difficulty.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elderly Care Services in Glenview IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
Do you have a loved one with dementia? If so, there are some things you should know about taking care of them. Keeping someone with dementia stimulated is important. There are many activities that will help you to do this. Before learning more about the activities that will help, remember to share this information and what works with other family members and the home care providers that help to care for your loved one.
Singing to Music
One of the ways to keep your loved one stimulated is by singing to music. You should pick some music from your loved one’s young adulthood or even childhood if you can. If you don’t know what type of music they listened to at that point, just choose their favorite music now. Listening to and singing along to music can help your loved one to remember happy memories from earlier in their life.
You can also get your loved one to start doing chores around the house. These should be simple chores such as cleaning off the table, folding laundry, helping to unpack the groceries, sweeping the floor, or even dusting. By helping with these chores, your loved one is going to stay physically and mentally stimulated.
Completing Art Projects
Another way to keep your loved one stimulated is by helping them to complete art projects. These don’t have to be anything fancy. They can paint a picture frame, decorate a birdhouse, paint a picture, or anything else they might enjoy doing. Everyone has some artistic side. Pushing this side out of your loved one can help to stimulate them.
Making a Scrapbook
You can help to stimulate your loved one by making a scrapbook with them. Pick out some older photos and newer ones if you would like, as well. Choose some borders that are already precut and have your loved one pick some up. They can also place stickers on the pages, too. Putting a scrapbook together might spark some memories in your loved one.
Your loved one can also get stimulated by doing physical activity. Activities such as walking, stretching, and yoga are all great for those who have dementia. They help to stimulate both the body and the mind.
Caring for a Pet
Getting a pet to have your loved one care for can be a good idea. Caring for a pet can help to stimulate your loved one’s mind. It can also help them to get the physical activity they need, as well.
These are some of the activities that can help to stimulate someone with dementia. Get your loved one into doing these things starting today.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Chicago IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
Carbon monoxide poisoning unfortunately happens all too often. It has killed many people, including many elderly adults. Carbon monoxide can form in a home from many causes including heating systems, space heaters, water heaters, cooking ranges, gas stoves, furnaces, and other things, too. If these fumes build up in the home, it can be deadly.
As a family caregiver, it is important that you and elder care providers know the carbon monoxide symptoms to watch out for in elderly adults. Recognizing the symptoms early could save their life.
While there are hundreds of things that could cause your elderly loved one to have a headache, it is important to know that this is one of the many symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. If your loved one starts experiencing a headache out of nowhere, it could signify a carbon monoxide leak in their home. This is something that should be checked out right away.
Your loved one might experience body weakness if they are exposed to carbon monoxide, as well. They might feel that it is difficult to stand up. When they get up, they might feel like they are weak in their legs or arms. Their entire body could feel worn out, as well. If you notice your loved one is experiencing body weakness that seems to come out of nowhere, get them out of the home right away and have someone test their home for carbon monoxide poisoning. You should also get your loved one straight to the emergency room or doctor’s office.
Nausea or Vomiting
With carbon monoxide exposure, you might also notice that your loved one is getting nauseous or they might start vomiting. This means the carbon monoxide has gotten into their system. If the cause for their nausea and vomiting is due to carbon monoxide exposure, make sure you get them to a medical professional right away.
Shortness of Breath
Has your elderly loved one suddenly become short of breath in their home? This might be happening while they are sitting down or it might happen as they stand up from a chair or couch. If your elderly loved one has become short of breath, it is important to have them checked out by a doctor. They could have been exposed to carbon monoxide. If this is the case, be sure they don’t return to their home until they are cleared to do so.
These are some of the symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure to watch out for in your elderly loved one. Keep an eye out for these symptoms to help keep your loved one safe.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care Services in Evanston IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
The flu is very common in the elderly. In fact, in recent years more and more elderly adults are falling ill to the flu and even dying from it. There are many forms of the flu that elderly adults can get. Some of the symptoms of the flu include a sore throat, muscle aches, headaches, loss of sleep, and much more. If your elderly loved one catches the flu, they are likely to feel worn down and not want to do anything.
You can help your loved one to prevent the flu with the following tips.
Getting Enough Sleep
One of the best ways to help your elderly loved one to prevent the flu is making sure that they get enough quality sleep. Sleeping is a great way to prevent many different types of illnesses. With sleep, the body is able to release the proper proteins that help to fight off stress and illnesses. In addition, the loss of sleep lowers the number of antibodies the body needs to fight off the flu. If your elderly loved one isn’t getting enough sleep as of now, talk to their doctor to see how they can get better sleep.
In addition to making sure that your elderly loved one gets quality sleep, you can also make sure they get the flu shot every year. These shots help with the prevention of the flu, especially in young children and elderly adults. The flu can bring about very serious symptoms in your elderly loved one. Helping to prevent the flu in the first place is one way to fight against this nasty illness.
Washing Their Hands
You and your loved one’s caregivers should also make sure that your elderly loved one is washing their hands often. This is one of the best ways to prevent illnesses including the flu. You should also make sure that you and their caregivers go through their home and disinfect everything often. This will prevent the spread of germs, as well.
If your elderly loved one does get the flu, you want to make sure you are prepared by stocking up on things they might need. Some of these things include cough drops, fever-reducing medicines to keep their temperature down, and easy-to-eat foods.
These are some of the best tips for helping your elderly loved one prevent the flu. Now that you have these tips, get working on them right away. Flu season is here and you want to make sure to keep your elderly loved one as healthy as possible.
Sources : https://www.cdc.gov/flu/highrisk/65over.htm
If you or an aging loved one are considering Homecare Services in Northbrook IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
If you care for an elderly loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, you know already that there are complications. If you are new to caring for this loved one, you might not yet know about the complications that arise during bathtime. However, there are some tips that can help to make bathtime go smoother for you and your loved one. If a senior care provider is in charge of bathtime, make sure they have these tips available to them, as well.
Empowerment Means Everything
One of the things that you want to do with your elderly loved one is to empower them as much as possible. When someone lives with this disease, they feel like they are losing control and their independence. This is why it is very important that you and their home care providers give them choices every day. In the instance of bathtime, instead of telling them they have to take a bath now, ask them “Would you like to have your bath after breakfast or now?” This makes them feel like they are in control. When they feel in control, they are less likely to have behaviors.
Privacy is Important
Yes, your elderly loved one is going to need help taking a bath. However, you and their senior care providers should still make sure to respect their privacy. If your loved one can hold the towel on their own, you can have them do that while someone gets them undressed. You could do this same thing for when they are getting dressed, if possible. It will make them feel more comfortable and like their privacy is being respected. If they can still get themselves dressed, turn away after helping them bathe, so they can pull their own clothes on.
Many people with Alzheimer’s disease will get angry when they are told it is time to take a bath or a shower. However, if you make the bath or shower a part of their routine every day, this can reduce the behaviors they have. They will be used to taking a bath or shower at a certain time every day, so it won’t be as big of a deal as if they were only taking one every few days.
Get More Help
If you are becoming overwhelmed with bathtime and your loved one’s behaviors, it might be time to hire some more help. There are people who are experienced in handling the behaviors of someone with Alzheimer’s disease. If you don’t already have senior care providers there to help you and your loved one, make the call today to hire them.
These are some of the tips for making bathing more successful and easier when someone has Alzheimer’s disease. Use these tips to help bathtime go smoother for your elderly loved one.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Senior Care Services in Highland Park IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
A few months ago our children decided it was time that they got us help. We were not happy about it.
A few days later our son introduced us to JC. She entered our home and took over! She does things I never heard that 'caregivers' do. She is pleasant, always happy, and an all-around nice person to spend time with. Whoever she is working for is a lucky person.
We thank our son for finding her to help us often.
DK & KS
If you or an aging loved one are considering Caregiver Services in Wilmette IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
It is important for many seniors to remain in their houses for as long as possible, which is why many choose to receive elderly care while they age in place in the comfort of their own home. The winter season brings unique safety concerns for family members of seniors home alone, but there are ways that you can be proactive about their health and safety this season to keep them warm, safe, and happy there.
Here are a few tips for keeping your senior parent or loved one safe at home this season:
Be prepared for ice and snow
Have a plan in place for days when ice and snow are an issue for your loved one getting elderly care at home. Be prepared by having items on hand such as salt or ice melt, tools to scrape ice and snow off of vehicles, proper footwear such as snow boots with good tread for traction, and a person responsible for cleaning walkways and driveways. Make sure that your senior knows that they need to stay indoors and not attempt to go outside to do things such as pick up the paper or check the mail where they could slip on ice or snow and get injured.
Watch for scams
It may be the season of giving, but be sure that your senior doesn’t get scammed in the process. There are many ways that people can give to those less fortunate this time of the year, but scammers are out there waiting to prey on people, especially the elderly, and take advantage of their good-natured and very generous dispositions. Talk to your senior about scams and make sure that if they give any sort of monetary donations that they check with you or their caregivers first. There are ways to check the legitimacy of charity organizations, and your senior should never be pressured to make a decision immediately on the phone or in person if someone comes to their door.
Stay warm in a safe way
If your senior has a fireplace, furnace, or wood burning stove that they use as their heat source, make sure that it gets checked out annually so that there are no safety concerns for your elderly parent or loved one receiving elderly care at home.
Have chimneys and stoves cleaned and inspected, and be sure your senior is aware of fire hazards and what to do in an emergency. Have an elderly care provider with them at all times when using fireplaces or space heaters, and use caution as these items can be dangerous and deadly.
If your senior has a tendency to try and save money by not using appliances such as the air conditioner or furnace, make sure their caregivers are aware so that they can be watchful for this. Seniors refusing to use heat or failing to report when their heat isn’t working properly can be in a dangerous position when temperatures slip below freezing.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elderly Care Services in Deerfield IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
It’s the season of gift-giving and money-spending and what seems like a never ending list of people to shop for and things to do. If you or your senior who is receiving home care are looking for ways to cut down on the spending or give more meaningful gifts this year, we have a list of some ways to help you achieve that, while still celebrating with your loved ones like usual.
Using old or new photographs of your senior or their loved ones is a great and unique way to make memorable gifts that will be cherished by members of your family forever. You can put them into an ornament, a gift like a mug or a coaster, or just frame some special family photos that your senior hasn’t seen in a while but that would be sure to make them smile.
Use your talents
Does your senior have any special talents that could be used to make personal gifts for friends and family this season? If Grandma or Grandpa who are receiving home care enjoy knitting or crocheting, drawing or painting, woodworking or any other special craft or hobby, help them come up with ideas on how they can use their talents to make cost-saving and special gifts to give to the family this year.
If you like the traditional way of gift buying and giving, but are afraid that the spending limit gets to be too much, go ahead and be proactive by letting the family know that this year there is a spending limit. Often seniors are on a fixed or limited budget, but still love the idea of showering their loved ones with holiday gifts. By setting a limit, they can still be involved in the joy of giving gifts with a little less strain on their wallet.
Another way to still give gifts but save a considerable amount of money is to draw names. Instead of every person in the family buying gifts for one another, which can quickly add up in the spending department, you can put everyone’s names in a bowl and take turns drawing them out. When you draw a name, that’s the only person you buy for, so instead of receiving numerous gifts, each person receives one personalized gift just for them. You can keep it a secret or announce the names as you draw.
Nix gifts altogether
If buying gifts isn’t especially important to you, or you just can’t afford it this year, consider making a fun guideline this year where everyone has to hand-make presents. These can be as simple as a hand-drawn or written card, a wreath for the window or door, or a book of coupons for things such as a shoulder massage, a home-cooked meal, or lunch with your senior or other family member.
Another idea is to do a family night in lieu of gift giving, where you can pick a theme such as movies and popcorn, baking together in the kitchen, or a game night. This way, the family gets to be together while making memories that will long outlast any gifts that would normally be given.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Wilmette IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
With dementia, there are many side effects of the disease, that you may not be aware of. Learning more about dementia can help you to assist your loved one who has this disease. The more you know about dementia, the more you can be there for your loved one, as well.
One of the effects of dementia is complex attention. This is someone’s ability to keep focused, stay attentive, and be able to multitask. If your loved one isn’t able to do these things anymore, they could have dementia. This is something you should keep a close eye on, as distractibility could be a sign of many things. However, if they have lost their attentive skills and they have other effects of dementia, they might get diagnosed with this disease.
Executive functioning is someone’s ability to organize, plan, and to make important or even basic decisions. When you think about how your elderly loved one is doing, do you notice any issues with their decision-making skills? Have they become disorganized lately? Are they unable to make plans or stick to plans that are made for them? If you do notice issues with their executive functioning skills, they could have dementia.
If your elderly loved one does have dementia, they might experience memory-related issues. They may be unable to retain information. In addition, they may have issues with their short-term or long-term memory. Memory issues are very common in those who have dementia. If your elderly loved one has an elder care provider, have them look out for memory loss in your loved one, as well.
Do you notice that your elderly loved one can’t seem to find the right words to go in a given sentence? Maybe they mix words up that shouldn’t be said in a certain situation. They may not understand some of the things that are being said to them. These issues are common in those who have dementia.
Perceptual Motor Skill Issues
These skills are the ability to comprehend what is said and be able to translate things that are said into something meaningful. Is your elderly loved one still able to do this? If they aren’t they could have a dementia diagnosis.
Is your elderly loved one still able to understand and express their emotions? If they aren’t then they could have dementia. Pay attention to this. You might notice they have a difficult time verbally expressing their emotions. They may get angry or frustrated because of this, too.
These are some of the effects of dementia that you might notice in your elderly loved one. If these are effects that you notice, have them assessed by a doctor right away. The sooner they get a diagnosis, the sooner they can get the help that they need.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care Services in Arlington Heights IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.