It’s no secret that our skin changes as we age. In elders, the skin isn’t as firm and supple as it once was, and it is more susceptible to dryness. Dry skin can also lead to scratches, bruising, discomfort, rashes and certain chronic conditions. Part of your role as a family caregiver is to look out for your elder loved one and make sure their physical and mental needs are met. This includes creating an elder care routine that all family members and home care assistants will follow that focuses on your loved one’s skin care.
Here are 7 ways to prevent dry skin conditions in elder loved ones.
1. Drink Lots of Water
Hydration is the key to reducing dryness in the skin. Elders may not consume as much water as they should for various reasons, but the skin needs as much as it can get. Sometimes, chronic conditions like diabetes or kidney issues can trigger skin dryness, so lots of water will benefit the entire body.
2. Use Unscented Lotion and Soap
Elderly skin can be more sensitive to perfumes, dyes and chemicals, leading to itching and rashes. Make sure your elder loved one is using mild soaps, deodorants and lotion as part of their elder care routine.
3. Wear Sunscreen Every Time
The skin grows less resistant to damage form UV rays with age. Also, sunburns can produce more intense negative effects in elders than in others. Whenever they go out into the sun for activities like gardening, walks or sporting events, elders should wear a strong sunscreen to protect them.
4. No Hot Baths or Showers
Hot water from baths and showers can dry out the skin, so make sure your loved one only has warm water during these times. Sitting in hot tubs and even swimming in pools laden with chemicals can increase skin dryness. If your elder enjoys these activities, encourage them in moderation.
5. Invest in a Humidifier
Especially in dry climates, seniors face an uphill battle in keeping their skin from drying out. A room humidifier can launch tiny water particles into the air, boosting humidity and making the skin less dry. A bonus side effect of a humidifier is reduced dry coughing as well.
6. Stop Smoking
Smoking is a bad habit that can affect the skin greatly by making it look leathery and dry. Even if the elder doesn’t smoke, skin can still be affected by being around others when they are smoking.
7. Trim Fingernails
With dry skin, elders will want to get to every itch vigorously. However, aging skin is much thinner and more delicate so long nails can actually open the skin up and cause wounds. Because skin takes longer to heal in the elderly, it’s a good idea to avoid this if possible.
These effective skin care tips for elders will bring them long term benefits because they won’t have to suffer the discomfort of dryness. Also, they will look and feel better overall when their skin is healthy. There’s no doubt that elders care about how they look and feel, so encourage them to follow the tips and techniques that lead to better skin health.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care Services in Highland Park IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
Stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability throughout the United States, and the fifth leading cause of death. Each year nearly 800,000 people suffer from strokes, with 1 in 4 of those experiencing a second or further subsequent stroke. As a family caregiver, these statistics underscore the importance of understanding stroke and its risks so that you can help your parent to avoid suffering such a medical emergency, or can cope with it as well as possible should they suffer a stroke during their later years. One question you might have is whether there is more than one type of stroke.
Used as a blanket term, “stroke” actually applies to three conditions. Understanding the difference between these enables you as the caregiver to help your parent manage their condition in the way that is right for them.
The three conditions referred to as “stroke” include:
• Ischemic stroke. Accounting for approximately 87 percent of all cases of stroke, ischemic stroke occurs as a result of clots. When a clot forms it can obstruct a blood vessel, preventing blood flow from accessing the brain.
• Hemorrhagic stroke. Encompassing two different types of weakened blood vessels, hemorrhagic stroke occurs as a result of a blood vessel rupturing. Arteriovenous malformations and aneurysms are the two types of weakened blood vessels that lead to these strokes. This happens most frequently as a result of high blood pressure that is not properly managed or controlled.
• Transient ischemic attack. Also referred to as TIAs, transient ischemic attacks are sometimes known as “mini strokes”. These occur as a result of temporary clots. Considered warning strokes, these events are very serious and can be an indication of another, larger stroke coming soon.
Starting caregiver services for your aging parent can be an exceptional way for you to help your parent achieve and maintain a higher quality of life as they age in place. A caregiver services provider can be with your aging loved one on a schedule that is right for your them, ensuring that they get all of the care, support, and assistance that they need while also making sure that you remain at the forefront of their care routine.
This means that they are able to give your loved one a personalized set of services tailored to their individual needs, challenges, and limitations to help them manage these in the way that is right for them while also encouraging them to maintain as much independence, activity, and engagement as possible.
If your elderly parent is at increased risk of suffering a stroke or has recently experienced such a medical emergency, this care can be particularly beneficial. Through offering reminders to help your parent stay compliant with their medications, treatments, and guidelines, and helping them to make good lifestyle choices, this care can help your parent to remain healthier throughout their later years. In your role as their family caregiver, this can give you confidence and peace of mind that they are getting everything that they need both when you are able to be with them and when you are not.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Caregiver Services in Northbrook IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
COPD is an abbreviation for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. It is a general term that is used to describe conditions that are progressive and affect the lungs, such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. When a person has COPD, the airflow from the lungs is obstructed.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, COPD affects 12 million people in the United States and another 12 million are undiagnosed. The large number of undiagnosed people with COPD is believed to be because many people think that it is normal to experience increasing breathlessness with age.
In addition, the symptoms of COPD in its beginning stages are mild and may go unnoticed. The good news is that COPD is treatable and it is possible for those with COPD to keep the symptoms under control and live a good quality of life. Because COPD is a treatable condition that affects so many senior Americans, it’s important that caregivers recognize the signs and symptoms of COPD so that the seniors in their care are able to get the necessary medical attention.
What causes COPD?
The majority of cases of COPD in America are caused by smoking and inhaling second-hand smoke, but COPD can also be caused by prolonged exposure to pollutants that may be inhaled. Work environments in which people are exposed to dust, fumes, and chemicals may contribute to COPD. Genetics also play a role in COPD, so it is possible for a person who has never smoked or worked in an area that exposed them to pollutants to get COPD.
What are the symptoms of COPD?
COPD symptoms are so mild at the start that they usually aren’t noticed until the lungs are damaged to a significant extent. The symptoms of COPD get worse over time, especially if the person is still being exposed to cigarette smoke or other pollutants.
The signs and symptoms of COPD are:
How can you help your senior parent manage COPD?
There are many medical treatments available to help people with COPD, such as oxygen therapy, medications, and surgery. In addition, you and your senior parent’s caregivers can help implement some lifestyle changes that will improve your parent’s quality of life and help them to live longer with COPD. Some of the changes you can help your parent make are:
If you or an aging loved one are considering Senior Care Services in Deerfield IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
You’re probably familiar with the age-old urge to reach for a candy bar when you’re feeling sad. A candy bar here and there every now and then is fine, but when it becomes two candy bars, or three, or six, plus a double-decker hamburger and a bag of chips, we’re talking about something a little more serious than just comfort food.
As people age, their eating habits change, leading to a prevalence of eating disorders among elders. Some lose their appetite and want to eat very little, or not at all, but others overeat, and consume a lot more food than is healthy.
The reasons behind this are varied, but in many cases, overeating can be caused by an emotional problem. If you or your elder care aide have noticed your elder loved one eating more than is healthy for their body type and weight, it could be a sign that something is bothering them on an emotional level. This is especially true if they are sneaking food, or hiding it so that they can eat more of it when you aren’t looking. Food is a comfort to them, and they believe that it will fill some sort of hole inside them. Unfortunately, though, unhealthy eating habits only serve to make their problems worse.
Greasy, fatty, and sugary foods can take a toll on anyone’s health, and have actually been proven to cause depression more than they treat it. Overeating is not a way to feel better – in fact, it will make them feel worse. The best thing to do is to work with your elder care aide to try to find healthier foods for them to snack on, and to identify the reasons why they feel they need food to heal themselves emotionally in the first place.
Here are some questions to ask yourself or your elder if you suspect that they are an emotional overeater. The answers could go a long way toward eliminating the problem, and getting them healthy again.
Did your aging parent recently lose a spouse?
Did they recently change from living independently to living with you in your home?
Are they concerned about a health condition?
Do they feel as if they are a burden on the family?
Are they depressed, anxious, or worried?
Are they simply bored?
Any of these reasons could be the culprit behind emotional overeating. If your loved one lost a spouse or someone they cared deeply about, they will be sad and depressed, which will lead them to look for comfort in food. A loss of their independence could be a painful adjustment to them as well, and will lead them to look for the same kind of comfort.
Guilt, worry, and depression can all be causes too, but boredom could be one of the most serious of all. Just as you are familiar with the urge to reach for chocolate when you’re sad, you are probably just as familiar with the inclination to eat when you are bored. You have nothing else to do, so why not eat? It seems like a nice way to pass the time.
This isn’t healthy for elders, though (or for the rest of us), so if you suspect that your senior is overeating out of boredom, help them to find something fun and engaging to do to stimulate their brains. This can even be helpful in treating the other emotional causes as well, because if the senior is happy, there is no reason to look for comfort anywhere besides inside themselves.
If an emotional overeating problem gets severe, though, be sure to make a trip to the doctor to rule out other medical causes, and to find a way to help your aging parent get healthy again.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care Services Wilmette IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
Family is often there for loved ones. They want to support those who matter most to them. Whether it’s an elderly parent, brother or sister, aunt or uncle, or anyone else, when a family member faces a serious challenge, especially following a hospitalization, those loved ones step up to provide some care and support for them.
However, that might not be the best solution. Nothing is better than an experienced home care services aide, visiting nurse, or physical therapist at supporting an elderly person through their recovery. That’s because there may be certain limitations on the family caregiver.
The senior might not listen.
If an adult child is supporting an elderly parent, that parent may have a difficult time listening to the advice he or she offers. If they are not willing to listen to their advice, that could put the senior in a compromising situation and may limit their ability to recover from this serious medical emergency, surgery, or injury.
It’s easier to get frustrated.
Far too often a senior may get frustrated with his or her spouse, especially if they feel their husband or wife is trying to limit their activity, tell them what they can or can’t do, or give them advice they simply don’t want to hear.
People don’t want to hear what they can’t do. They want to be encouraged. They want to believe it’s still possible for them. It’s a lot easier for somebody to get frustrated, angry, and even belligerent with a spouse or other family member than it is to get angry with a professional, experienced caregiver.
That family member may not have any experience with this.
When a family member is trying to offer care and support to a loved one, but they have no experience doing this type of thing in the past, they might make mistakes, overlook important issues, and not offer the kind of support that is truly beneficial to the recovery.
This is especially true when that elderly loved one was hospitalized due to a heart attack. After all, wouldn’t exercise increase the risk of another heart attack occurring? Not usually and more doctors are advising their heart attack patients to exercise regularly because this is the only way to strengthen the heart muscles.
There are plenty of reasons why home care services support is a far better option than relying strictly on family members following hospitalization. By hiring home care services support, the senior can increase the chances of making a full recovery and avoiding having to be readmitted to the hospital once again.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services Arlington Heights IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
Emergencies and disasters such as severe weather can occur very suddenly with little to no warning, potentially putting your aging loved one in a dangerous situation. While these events can occur when your elderly parent is at home, there is also the possibility that they will encounter such a situation when they are in a vehicle with you or a care provider.
Just as you take steps to protect your parent and give them what they need in such an event if they are at home, it is extremely important that you also have such preparedness supplies in the vehicle so that if a disaster or emergency occurs while you are on the road, you can get through the situation as safely, healthily, and comfortably as possible.
Some of the items that you should have in your emergency preparedness kit for your vehicle include:
• Potable water in containers that are not susceptible to heat
• Non-perishable, nutrient-dense food such as protein bars or dried fruits and nuts
• First aid kit containing basic supplies such as alcohol swabs, bandages, burn relief cream, and over-the-counter medications including pain killers and stomach relief
• Blankets to provide warmth, but also to protect you in the event of flying debris
• Extra clothing
• Basic vehicle repair items such as oil, antifreeze, non-potable water, a jack, flat tire repair, and flares
• Emergency contact information for members of your parent’s personal care network so that you can get in touch with these people should an emergency occur.
Starting homecare for your elderly loved one can be one of the best decisions that you can make for them during the course of your caregiver journey with them. An in-home senior care services provider can be with your aging parent on a customized schedule to ensure that your parent gets the care, support, and encouragement that they need both when you are able to be with them and when you are not. This ensures that they are able to live the quality of life that they desire and deserve while pursuing an active, engaged, and fulfilling lifestyle with as much independence as possible.
When it comes to emergency situations, a homecare provider can help your parent to feel more confident in their preparation for these situations so that they are able to handle them in the best way for them. Immediately following an emergency, this homecare provider can offer support, supervision, and assistance that will enable your parent to take the steps that they need to, while also enabling you to do what you need to do to get them back to their normal life as soon as possible.
This care provider can help your loved one build an emergency preparedness kit to keep in the vehicle, and review this kit regularly to ensure that everything inside it is up-to-date and in good condition. This ensures that everything inside is as safe, effective, and beneficial as possible in the event that your parent faces an emergency or disaster.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Homecare Services Lake Forest IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
Home Care Skokie IL
The stroke may have been mild or it could have been severe. When a loved one is in the hospital following a stroke, family members have many questions. Minutes can feel like hours in the waiting room, anxiously anticipating what the doctor may have to say.
When a person has been stabilized, they will be facing a period of time for recovery. Recovery will start right then and there. While the senior will probably go through a battery of tests and support, maybe even staying in the hospital for a couple of weeks and being moved to a nursing home for a few weeks before being discharged and sent home, the recovery starts the moment they are stabilized.
Maximizing chances of a full recovery also begins right then. That’s why family members and friends should be aware of the recovery process. No one wants to see their loved one back in the hospital before too long. However, people are readmitted within 30 days of their discharge far too often in this country. While the federal government continues to place increased pressure on hospitals to reduce these rates, individuals and their families (their support systems) can take steps to reduce those rates and improve chances of recovery.
Follow doctor’s instructions.
The doctor will provide instructions for each patient upon discharge. These instructions could entail the services and support they should consider, diet, prescription medication, exercise, and much more.
It’s not going to be easy during recovery following a stroke, especially with regard to physical challenges, but when a person begins ignoring their doctor’s instructions, they increase the risk of having to be readmitted to the hospital before long. They also limit the chances for their recovery.
A person who has lost mobility, strength, and even agility may see exercise as being nothing but an extreme challenge they would rather avoid. However, exercise is the only way to regain strength and mobility.
A person who has been told he or she will not regain the use of one side of the body may not see the benefits in exercise at all. However, it could be essential for them to maximize their quality of life moving forward.
Having the right support is crucial to a good recovery. Family members and friends may have the best intentions, but unless they have prior experience supporting seniors through this type of challenge, they may not offer the best option.
Relying on home care support services may improve the chances the senior recovers as well as can be expected following a stroke.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services Skokie IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
Senior Care Glenview IL
As a family caregiver you know the important role that you play in your parent’s life. It is vital to remember, however, that the rest of the family is important as well. Your children can be a valuable component of your care relationship with your senior, bringing energy, vitality, and fun into their life, and giving them the opportunity to making meaningful memories and learn more about the people who have come before them.
If your senior loved one has undergone extensive changes since the last time that your child spent time with them, or they have not spent much time with them, it can be challenging for them to visit. Planning ahead can make these visits smooth, comfortable, and meaningful for everyone involved.
Use these tips to talk to your children about visiting a senior grandparent:
• Be honest about any changes. Even if your child is very familiar with your parent and has had a good relationship with them, if your senior has undergone changes due to physical, cognitive, or emotional ailments, it can be stressful for your child. Be open and honest with them about what your parent has gone through and differences that they may notice. This will help them to feel more prepared and less nervous when they do see your parent.
• Remind them of their importance. Help your child to understand how important they are to your parent’s life. Children can feel nervous and uncomfortable around older adults who have undergone personality changes or who no longer have the physical ability to enjoy as many activities together as they once did. Reminding them that they can still play an important role in their grandparent’s life and be valuable to them in new and different ways can help them to feel more comfortable in their visit and even inspire them to do more with your parent when they are with them.
• Give them suggestions. Especially if it has been a long time since your child has seen their grandparent, they might not know what they are supposed to do when they see them. This can make them feel out of place and reluctant to go. Offer suggestions for ways that they can connect with their grandparent during their visit. Suggest that they share a favorite hobby or activity, show them pictures or artwork, or talk to them about school. Encourage them to make connections with them and just let their relationship grow without feeling nervous or pressured.
Starting senior care for your aging parent can be one of the most nurturing, compassionate, and effective decisions that you can make for your aging parent throughout the course of your care journey with them. A senior home care services provider can be with your elderly loved one on a schedule that is customized to their specific needs, challenges, and limitations, but also their personality, goals, and preferences. This ensures that they are able to stay as healthy, safe, and comfortable as possible while also living the lifestyle that is right for them.
Having a senior care provider in the home during visits can also be instrumental in making these visits comfortable and safe for your parent while also ensuring that you can handle the care tasks that you need to and focus on your children or other needs. This ensures that your entire family is able to enjoy the visit as much as possible while also feeling confident that your parent’s needs are met effectively.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Senior Care Services Glenview IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
Elderly Care Lake Forest IL
According to cancer.net, age is the “greatest risk factor for developing cancer.” If your elderly parent has been diagnosed with this disease, know they are not alone—over 60 percent of those with cancer are over the age of 64. This age group has common concerns when facing this diagnosis.
Other Health Issues
A common concern among the elderly and their family is the existence of other diseases and how those may be affected by cancer treatments. Chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease may have an effect on treatment protocol and the body’s response. In addition, it’s easy to forget the need to care for pre-existing conditions with a diagnosis of cancer looming in the field of vision. Some of the existing medications may need to be revamped in order to treat the cancer most effectively. Be sure their oncologist has a list of all current medications, over-the-counter drugs, and supplements in order to ensure the best outcome.
If your loved one has a current heart or lung problem, you will want to discuss possible issues related to cancer therapies. Some cancer drugs can increase the risk of congestive heart failure, increase blood pressure and diminish lung capacity.
If they have diabetes, it will be vital to keep a close eye on their blood sugar levels. Chemotherapy has been shown to raise blood sugar levels. Document all statistics when this is checked and bring them in to all appointments. There are a number of varying strategies regarding medications and cancer therapies that the doctor can alter in order to ensure diabetes remains in control and cancer treatment is at its optimum.
Cancer treatment can lead to nausea and vomiting. This may promote less intake of food when your loved one’s body needs good nutrition the most. Be sure to discuss these concerns with their health care providers. Providing them with easy to digest food such as smoothies, vegetable omelets and soups also helps maintain a healthy diet.
You will want to help your loved one’s immune system remain as strong as possible during treatment. Maintaining a healthy diet with at least seven servings of fruits and vegetables is one of the most important aspects in keeping the immune system strong. What they keep out of their diet can sometimes be just as important as what they put in. Alcohol and nicotine are immune-suppressants making limiting these substances an important part of their dietary plan.
By supplying your loved one’s doctor with all the necessary information they need, you help give your parent the best chance possible for successful treatment and recovery. Times like these may also require more support for your parent when they are home. Consider obtaining the services of an elderly care provider who can prepare healthy meals, assist with the daily activities of living, remind your parent when it’s time for their medications and become a close companion during a challenging time.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elderly Care Services Lake Forest IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
Home Health Care Evanston IL
Charlene was never really the type of person who had to receive accolades from others. She was confident in herself, her abilities, and her talents. It wasn’t a big deal whether or not she received something from others; she continued to provide support when needed.
When she began taking care of her elderly mother, she assumed it was going to be an easy task. Her mother had been hospitalized following a minor heart attack, and while it was certainly a stressful situation for Charlene and the rest of the family, their fears and concerns were quickly allayed by the doctor who suggested their mother would make a full and healthy recovery.
She was going to need support.
The doctor highly recommended some type of home health care. That’s when Charlene decided to take it upon herself to become a caregiver. She didn’t see it as being a caregiver, but rather offering the type of help somebody needed when they needed it most.
Before long, though, the simple things that took very little time for Charlene to complete at her mother’s house evolved into something much bigger than she expected. Her mother seemed to be having difficulty getting through the day. She was worn out and fatigued. Charlene and her mother both assumed this was the result of the heart attack, but then began to suspect prescription medications were the issue.
They contacted her mother’s doctor and, after a few adjustments to the plan, things seemed to be getting back on track.
However, Charlene’s mother seemed to call on her more and more frequently and that was adding stress to her life. As more stress and anxiety began to impact her, Charlene became a bit too resentful of her mother and the situation. Her mother never really said thank you for the work she was doing.
One evening, when she finally had a chance to be home, alone, with no interruptions, she started wondering why she was feeling this way. She didn’t like it.
Charlene simply didn’t need gratitude.
She didn’t need it and she didn’t want it. She began offering gratitude instead. Wherever she went, Charlene started saying thank you to anyone and everyone, from the person who held the door open a second longer so she could grab it, the checkout person at the supermarket, the young teenager who bagged the groceries, and just about everyone she came in contact with.
That little bit of gratitude she shared helped her feel better. It eliminated a lot of stress. Charlene was onto something; when people offer gratitude, it provides a great feeling.
There are millions of family caregivers like Charlene all across the country dealing with so much stress and anxiety it sometimes feels impossible to get over or around. With a little bit of gratitude being extended, it can go a long way.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Health Care Services Evanston IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
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