The issue of infections and the vulnerability of elderly adults to such infections and their consequences is something that should be a priority for any family caregiver. As a family caregiver for an elderly adult who is in the advanced stage of Alzheimer's disease, however, this can be even more important. Seniors who are at this stage of this disease can be particularly vulnerable to infections and to the serious consequences of these infections, making it essential that you understand not only the risk that they are facing, but also what you can do to protect your parent.
The increased vulnerability to infections can be caused by a variety of factors. Seniors at this stage have less mobility so they do not move around as much, putting their body at greater risk. They are also less likely to be able to follow through with basic care tasks that can protect their body. Fortunately there are things that you can add to your care routine that can ease this risk and protect your parent from infection.
Some ways that you can help reduce the risk of infection in the later stage of Alzheimer's disease include:
Starting home care for your parent can be an exceptional way for you to ensure that your senior is getting everything that they need to maintain their quality of life as they age in place. The highly personalized services of an elderly home care services provider are tailored to your parent as an individual. This means that they will specifically address your parent's challenges, needs, and limitations while encouraging them to live a lifestyle that is as active, independent, and fulfilling as possible as they age in place.
These services can include anything from safe and reliable transportation that allows your parent to go where they want and need to when they want and need to rather than waiting for you to assistance in fulfilling activities of daily living to companionship to boost mental and emotional health. As their family caregiver, this can give you peace of mind and reassurance that your senior is in good hands even when you are not able to be with them.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Glenview IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the number one cause of injuries and fatal injuries in older adults in the United States. Falls and the fear of falling can lead to disability and loss of quality of life. Preventing falls is an important part of being a family caregiver for an elder. Below are some tips to help prevent your aging family member from falling.
Talk About Falling
Simply talking to seniors about falling can help. Ask if they worry about falling. If so, find out why they worry and suggest that they talk to their doctor about dizziness, loss of balance, or previous falls. It’s common for older adults to be aware that there is a risk of falling, but to believe that they will not fall, even if they have fallen before.
De-Clutter the Home
Clutter in the home can be a tripping hazard. Get rid of things that are lying around, like stacks of newspapers or magazines. It is especially important to remove anything in walkways that the senior could trip over.
Have Vision Checked
Elders who do not see well are more likely to fall. Talk to the eye doctor about reducing fall risks. Bifocals can make it difficult for people to focus while walking on stairs. Tinted glasses make adjusting to light changes more difficult. If your parent has low vision, see a doctor who specializes in low vision and ask about aids.
Make Frequently Used Items Easy to Reach
Reaching for items that are difficult to get to can result in falls. Store things the senior uses often in places that are easy to get to. Also, purchase grabbers that extend reach without needing to bend over or stand on ladders.
Install Grab Bars
Place grab bars in the bathroom for your parent to hold on to when exiting and entering the bath or shower or when using the toilet. Make sure that all stairwells have handrails.
Choose Proper Footwear
The right shoes can make a difference. Elders should wear shoes that fit well and have good traction. They should avoid shoes that are floppy, slip off the foot, or that have high heels.
If your parent worries about falling or is at greater risk of falling due to health conditions, hiring an elder care provider could keep them safer. An elder care provider can help to keep the house tidy, eliminating clutter. They can also make sure the home is well-lit, changing lightbulbs when they burn out. Having an elder care provider check in on your parent at least once per day also helps ensure that, should they fall, someone will find them in a timely fashion.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care Services in Chicago IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
Many elderly people who aren't supposed to drive any longer may not actually stop driving. This can be a terrifying discovery for you as a caregiver when you realize that your unlicensed senior is out driving around.
Determine How and Why it Happened Once She's Safe
It's important for you to figure out why this situation happened and how it was able to occur. Your senior may have a spare set of keys that you didn't know about, for example. She may feel justified in what she's done, but it's vital for her to understand that if she no longer has a driver's license, she's actually putting other people in danger when she's behind the wheel. She also needs to realize that there could be legal consequences for her.
Make Other Transportation Options Difficult to Ignore
One of the biggest ways to make sure that your senior has transportation options available is to ensure that they're impossible to ignore. You can do this by hiring elderly care providers to offer transportation right then or you can set up a system within the family where members sign up for a day or "shift." If the transportation is available immediately, your senior doesn't have an excuse.
Disable the Car or Sell It
For some elderly adults, the temptation of seeing a vehicle right there is just too much. You might need to talk to a mechanic about how to safely disable the car so that it cannot function any longer. If that's still too distracting for your senior, then it might be necessary to sell the car instead. The idea is to help your aging adult to let go of the idea that she needs to drive.
Contact the Department of Motor Vehicles
If you're concerned that your elderly family member might try this again, it's a good idea to contact your local department of motor vehicles and ask them what options you might have. They can let you know the specific laws in your area that apply to your situation.
Hopefully your senior will understand the gravity of the situation and agree not to do this again. If she's still determined to drive, however, you may need to explore what other options are available for you.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elderly Care Services in Evanston IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
According to the National Council on Aging, 8 out of 10 elderly men and women have at least one chronic condition. Do you know what the top four chronic conditions are? Does your mom have one or more?
Here's what you need to know.
#1 – Cancer
John Hopkins lists breast, colon, lung, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and prostate cancer as the most common forms in the elderly. Treatments depend on the type of cancer and how advanced it is. In some cases, surgery may be required. Chemo and radiation are other common treatments.
You'll need to make sure your parent stays hydrated and eats enough. It's also important to make sure transportation isn't a problem. Your mom is going to have plenty of appointments with specialists as she fights whatever cancer she has.
#2 – Diabetes
There are more than 12 million men and women in the United States with diabetes. Estimates put the number of people with pre-diabetes at 57 million. If your mom has diabetes, she has a higher risk of heart disease or stroke.
It's important that your mom gets enough exercise and eats a diet that's low in added sugars. She needs to check her blood sugar levels regularly and use insulin or glucose pills to keep her sugar levels stabilized.
#3 – Heart Disease
The American Heart Association says approximately 70 percent of all men and women in between the ages of 69 and 79 have cardiovascular disease. It increases to 83 and 87 percent of men and women, respectively, after the age of 79.
Medications and surgical treatments are commonly used to fight cardiovascular disease. Heart transplants are also possible. If your mom reaches the point that a surgery is needed, she's going to need help at homecare services. The help she needs will range from medication reminders to assistance with tasks like laundry and housework.
#4 – Stroke
There are hemorrhagic and ischemic strokes. Hemorrhagic involve a ruptured blood vessel, while ischemic involve a clot. Ischemic strokes account for approximately 8 out of 10 strokes. Urgent attention is needed to restore blood flow to the brain and prevent further damage. That's why FAST is so important.
F - Facial changes
A - Arms fall down
S - Slurred speech
T - Take immediate action!
Medications to break up the clot or reduce bleeding into the brain are usually the very first step. After that, a surgical procedure may also be required.
If your mom has a chronic condition, it's important to keep her safe and reduce stress. Homecare services are a good way to ensure she doesn't over do it. A caregiver can take over or help with laundry, meals, and light housework. When you visit, spend your time enjoying each other and not worrying about getting the house cleaned or shopping completed. Call our homecare agency to learn more.
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.
Happy New Year to those who celebrate Rosh Hashanah!
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Deerfield IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
Recognizing risks that your senior is facing is one of the most important parts of helping them to protect their health and move through this experience in the best way possible. One risk that they may face is the possibility that they will suffer high levels of distress. “Distress” refers to the negative emotions and feelings that your parent could experience as a response to their cancer diagnosis and treatment, and can include depression, anxiety, fear, and hopelessness. While some such feelings are normal, when they reach high levels they can be detrimental to your parent’s health, well-being, and quality of life.
Some ways that your parent might be at higher risk of distress in their cancer journey include:
• Cognitive impairment or decreased cognitive functioning
• Language barriers with those on their care team
• Communication impairment
• Physical limitations such as mobility problems
• Suffering from more than one disease at once, referred to as comorbidity
• History of depression
• History of substance abuse, including alcohol
• Experiencing family conflicts, particularly as related to their cancer journey or treatment options
• Suffering from financial problems that might block them from pursuing the aggressive care approach that they desire, or from living the quality of life that they want
• Not having enough social support from family, friends, or others
• Living alone, particularly if they are isolated and not able to be visited by friends and family frequently
• Suffering from symptoms that are not well-controlled by their treatments or that emerge from their treatments.
If you have found that your aging parent’s challenges and needs are more than you can handle as their family caregiver, or your own personal limitations and schedule have become such that you are not able to fulfill their needs in the way that you think they deserve, now may be the ideal time to consider home health care for them.
As a family caregiver, it is your priority to make sure that your senior has the care, support, and assistance that they need to live their highest quality of life possible. Sometimes this means recognizing care gaps that might exist in your routine and finding ways to ensure that they are filled. A home health care provider can address these gaps, filling them in the way that is right for your parent, and for you, with highly personalized services tailored toward a lifestyle that is safe and healthy, as well as independent and fulfilling.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Health Care Services in Highland Park IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
Having a recommendation to start exercising and the "all clear" from your aging adult's doctor doesn't automatically make exercise fun. Trying some of these suggestions might help at least a little bit, however.
Find Activities that You Truly Enjoy
The less that exercise feels like a chore to you and your aging adult, the easier it will be to stick with it. Start making some lists of activities that involve movement that your elder care recipient enjoys doing. You may find that you want to modify some of those activities or look for activities that are similar to those that she already enjoys.
Add a Little Bit of Competition to the Mix
Fitness tracking companies usually have a component in their app that encourages users to compete against other people who use the same tracker. The reason that this works is because it can be really effective. Find little ways to compete with your senior as you both exercise. You might find it motivates both of you.
Find a Distraction During Exercise
One of the worst things about hating to exercise is thinking about how much you hate exercise while you're doing it, that's why you and your elderly family member need a distraction. Turn on a movie or a favorite television show. In fact, you might save a specific favorite show to only watch while you exercise. Another option might be listening to your favorite music or even to audiobooks or podcasts.
Make Exercise a Social Event
Some people are much more motivated by social adventures and if that's the case for your aging adult, then it might be a good idea to contact senior centers and agencies that help the elderly to find out what opportunities exist for your care recipient to exercise with other people her own age. She might just meet some new friends.
Add Exercise in Smaller Ways
Another way to help motivate your senior family member is to incorporate more activities into every day that involve moving, but might not actually be exercise. Moving is the end goal, after all, and if you and your aging adult can get some more movement into every day, that's a win.
When you find a system that works for your elder, share it with the other people in her life such as other family members and elder care providers. They can use the information to help your family member stay more active, too.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care Services in Deerfield IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 7 million Americans over the age of 65 experience depression every year. Although it’s a common and serious mood disorder, it is not a natural part of aging. Depression, ultimately, affects one’s ability to perform the everyday activities of living.
“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.”—C.S. Lewis.
Change affects everyone. For those in their senior years, however, change can feel relentless. From chronic diseases to changes in their household environment and the people they love, change can feel like a never-ending shadow in one’s midst. The sun begins to dim, the smile fades and a progressive melancholy takes over.
In many people, the symptoms of depression can be easily detected. They will exhibit extreme sadness and talk about problems and difficulties as if there were no solutions. Hope has disappeared. You notice increasing apathy and the reluctance to go out and socialize. In the elderly, the signs of depression may not be so noticeable.
Surprisingly, sadness is not always reported in a senior experiencing depression. For those in their elder years, complaints of a stomach ache, headache, or other types of pain may be their primary symptom. They may complain of difficulty sleeping and appear increasingly irritable. Other symptoms associated with depression in the elderly include difficulty concentrating, increasing fatigue and slowing down when moving and talking.
Depression may occur in conjunction with other diseases such as cancer, heart disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s or stroke. Any chronic disease that is painful, disabling, or life-threatening can lead to depression. The medications your aging family member takes for their various diseases may also be a contributing factor.
If you suspect depression has entered your parent’s life, call their physician or psychiatrist right away. According to WebMD, only 10 percent of the elderly population that is depressed receives treatment, and yet depression can have serious consequences, including an increased risk of heart disease.
How to Help
Due to the possibility of drug interactions and the susceptibility of the elderly to the side effects of drugs, many physicians will begin psychotherapy and lifestyle changes before intervening with medications. You can help by being there to support them through their many changes and help them make the necessary lifestyle adjustments. This may include getting them into a regular routine that includes 30 minutes of a daily exercise that they enjoy and a healthy diet loaded with fruits and vegetables and limited in processed foods, alcohol and nicotine. Come up with activities that they’ll consider joining in such as lunch at their favorite café, a stroll through the neighboring green space, or a local class in Tai Chi.
Home Care Services Provider
It’s important for someone under the spell of depression to have someone by their side and remain socially engaged. Consider obtaining the services of a home care services provider. They can assist with daily tasks, prepare healthy meals, run errands, and join your aging family member on social outings and on neighborhood walks.
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.
Gentle Home Services would like to thank Joan Ente, AM, LCSW, CJE SeniorLife for her very informative presentation for our staff on Creative Ways to Engage with Clients. Thank you for attending.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Senior Care Services in Chicago IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
Just because your elderly loved one has been diagnosed with heart failure, that doesn't mean that life as she knows it is over. Sure, she may need to modify some of her habits, but that's a small price to pay for her to live a healthier life with fewer chances of experiencing serious heart issues.
Watch for Specific Symptoms
Your elderly loved one's doctor will let both of you know what you should watch out for that might indicate that your loved one's heart failure is getting worse. These might be symptoms that the medication isn't working or that her heart is under stress.
Some of the signs to watch for include:
Follow Medication Instructions and Other Advice from Doctors
Your loved one's doctors are going to have some very specific instructions for her regarding her lifestyle, her health, her diet, and her medications. It's really important to follow those instructions as closely as you possibly can. Failing to do so can impact your loved one's health in a negative way.
Pay Attention to How Secure Your Loved One Feels
Some elderly loved ones no longer feel safe on their own after they learn that they have heart failure. If that's the case for your loved one, you might want to look into ways to help her to feel more secure. One way to do that might be to make sure she has someone with her during the day if you're not there. Hiring elderly care providers or asking other family members to stop by can help your loved one feel less alone.
Join a Support Group
Having a support group that you can turn to can help you to accept your own feelings about your loved one's health issues. You'll also learn ways that you can help her to stay as healthy as possible. The more you meet other caregivers who are dealing with similar issues, the less alone you'll feel, too.
Talk to your elderly loved one regularly about what would help her to feel safer and happier. Then you can modify your plans accordingly.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elderly Care Services in Arlington Heights IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
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