Watching somebody you love struggle is never easy. You want to swoop in and save them. You want to help however you can. Maybe this is how that other family member got involved in supporting the senior in your life.
Yet, now you see the reality of being a family caregiver. Maybe it’s not directly impacting you with stress and anxiety, sleepless nights, and constant worry, but it is indirectly affecting you and everyone else in your family.
A lot of people see it as their responsibility, their job, to look after an aging parent, grandparent, or other loved one when the need arises. After all, you love this elderly person and want them to be safe and healthy.
However, devoting a significant portion of your life to helping an aging family member is going to be stressful. There is no way around it. Despite your best efforts, maybe you have done everything you can to help this other individual be a primary family caregiver, but you see them continue to struggle.
They are overwhelmed.
Many family caregivers can easily become overwhelmed. That’s because they assume this is going to be an easy job. After all, it’s out of love, not compulsion. So, they stop by and help however they can, but eventually they give up more and more of their life to supporting this aging individual.
Before anyone realizes it, they are simply overwhelmed. Maybe you call or text and check in, but barely ever hear back anything more than an ‘okay’ or an ‘I’m fine.’
This year, talk about professional home care services.
Many people become family caregivers out of a sense of duty or even feelings of guilt if they consider not supporting an aging loved one. Others do it because they don’t truly understand the value of home care.
It’s a good idea to sit down and talk to this family member who is struggling as a caregiver about home care. Explain that they don’t have to continue going on this way. Let them know it’s okay to admit they are overwhelmed.
Learn everything you can about home care so that when the time comes you can explain why it is the best option in situations such as this. They don’t have to feel guilty or as though they are telling this elderly loved one they no longer care.
The more people realize the benefits of home care, the more they understand why it truly is a sign of love.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Skokie IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
Seniors often want to continue living in their own home for as long as possible – a practice called “aging in place”. Countless memories are made in a home. It’s familiar, comfortable and can make people feel connected to their loved ones who may have grown up, moved out or passed on.
Aging in Place Successfully
Unfortunately, aging in one’s family home rarely works well without some sort of planning and modification along the way – exactly what will depend on your unique home, health, preferences and situation. Planning ahead and making modifications before they are needed is one of the best ways to prevent problems and set yourself up for success.
What health concerns are you and your partner currently facing? It’s a good idea to talk with your doctor or physical therapist regarding any recommendations. Modifications such as grab bars, ramps and adequate lighting can prevent a catastrophe before it occurs, so it’s a good idea to get them into place sooner than later. Replacing standard door knobs and faucets with lever style ones can help seniors with arthritic hands. Replacing low, cushy chairs or couches with sturdy, supportive ones can enhance independent mobility and conserve energy. You may prefer to start learning about what’s likely to help you in the future, and make gradual changes towards the overall goal. If the situation is a bit more urgent, ask your doctor about a professional home safety evaluation and take care of it all as soon as possible.
Familiarize yourself early with your homecare agency. Get to know what services they can offer, and what kind of information they’ll ask from you. It’s a fairly simple process, but if you can avoid having to scramble in the midst of a crisis, you’ll thank yourself later. Some seniors opt to set up services on a limited basis earlier than they really think they need it — and then find that they love it! It turns out that they benefit more than they realize from that little bit of help around the house, the pleasant company and the peace of mind.
Homecare services are customized from an extensive list of options, Mix and match as you see fit, tailoring each to your own, unique needs and preferences, and then set your preferred schedule. One thing people appreciate about homecare is that it's easy to talk to the agency about these details, and then they sort everything out with their trained and vetted professional aides. Homecare services may include:
Homecare services can be set up anywhere from a couple hours at a time on sporadic occasions to 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Give our homecare agency a call to find out more so that when the time comes, you’ll be ready.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Homecare Services in Glenview IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
Do you want to give your elderly parent the best care? If so, you must consider all the needs that your parent has. They may need help with medications, housekeeping, transportation, and other tasks. However, you must also consider your elderly parent’s social life. Research shows that senior citizens need friends and family. They need to be able to spend time with others regularly or they get very lonely. If your elderly parent doesn’t have friends or family members that visit regularly, you can hire caregivers for companion care services. These caregivers can offer many benefits for your elderly parent.
One of the best things about getting companion care for your elderly parent is that they get to have regular conversations with someone. You might call your parent and talk to them sometimes. However, your elderly parent might need someone to be there, face-to-face with them. By having caregivers come and offer companion care services, your parent gets to converse with them about everything from entertainment to the news to memories.
Another reason why your elderly parent might need companion care is to feel safer. If your parent lives alone, they might not feel very safe. This is usually the case when someone loses their spouse. After living with someone for many years and then having to live alone, it can cause someone to feel scared. However, if you hire caregivers to be companions for your elderly parent, it can make them feel much safer and secure in their home.
Daily Household Tasks
While the main reason for companion care services is companionship, the caregivers can also help with some daily household tasks while they are there. For instance, if your elderly parent needs a ride to the store or to run errands, the companion care provider can take them. If your parent needs help with dishes after a meal, the caregivers can assist with this, as well.
There are many benefits of hiring caregivers for your parent. If you get companion care services for your elderly parent, the caregivers can provide companionship. They can help your parent feel more safe and secure in their home. The caregivers can also help with certain daily household tasks and transportation.
If you feel that your elderly parent is lonely, you can help them by hiring caregivers. Sure, you may spend time with your parent or call them. However, sometimes the elderly need someone outside of their family to spend time with. If this is the case, a companion care provider could be there for your parent.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Caregiver Services in Chicago IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
Very often family caregivers find that their senior needs help sooner than expected or that her health has changed rapidly. This is particularly troubling when you live farther away from your senior and are suddenly trying to offer more care from a long distance. There are still things you can do to make that caregiving experience more effective.
Do What You Can to Visit and Make it Count
Visits are huge for you and your senior when you don’t live near each other. But it’s possible that you won’t be able to visit nearly as often as you want or need to. That’s why you need to figure out what you are able to do and make plans well in advance whenever possible. When you are visiting your senior, it’s going to be really important that you do what you can to make the most of that visit. You’re there not just to check up on your senior, but also to spend some quality time with her. Both are important features of that visit.
Set up a Few Sources of Information for Yourself
Information is your biggest and best tool when you are a long-distance caregiver. That may mean that you need more than one source of information about how your elderly family member is doing. You’re going to want to hear from her, of course, but there may be things she doesn’t want to tell you because she doesn’t want you to worry. Having other sources, like her doctor’s office or senior care providers who stop in and check on her for you, is really crucial.
Set up a Plan for Communicating
Having a communication plan is another part of this process that makes a big difference. If you and your senior know that you’re going to touch base in specific ways, that allows you to know that all is well. When your senior doesn’t check in according to that schedule, that might be when you become concerned. Having backup plans can also help, especially if your elderly family member is determined to do as much on her own as possible.
Caring from your elderly family member from farther away is definitely possible, but it may involve using techniques and resources that you weren’t expecting to need. Recalibrating your own expectations a bit can help, as can using every bit of the options that are available to you both.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Senior Care Services in Evanston IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
Something that you might not think about is how important food safety is for your senior’s well-being. If she’s eating foods that are unsafe, that ups her risk for foodborne illnesses and can wreak havoc on her body and her immune system.
Use Proper Handwashing Techniques
Washing hands properly is key to reducing so many different problems, including the contamination of food while cooking. You want to use warm water and plain soap. Rub the soap into your hands for at least 30 seconds and make sure to get in between fingers and the backs of your hands. Rinse well and wash your hands several times while cooking to reduce the likelihood of cross-contamination.
Only Thaw Food in the Fridge
You might have thawed food on the counter or in the kitchen sink for years, but it’s not a recommended technique for thawing food. The reason for that is that bacteria start to grow on foods immediately as they start to thaw. The time it takes for the food to completely thaw out is also plenty of time for bacteria to have a party. The better plan is to thaw foods overnight in the fridge or to use the microwave defrost setting.
Make Sure Food Is Thoroughly Cooked
When you’re deep in the cooking process, don’t jump the gun and try to get foods on the table too fast. You need to make sure that meats in particular are cooked to the proper temperatures. Instant-read meat thermometers can make this error proof. It’s much better to take your time and get the food to the right temperature.
Get Leftovers into the Fridge ASAP
After eating, leftovers can’t just sit around. It’s more of that bacteria growing problem. Food can cool on the counter for a little while, but it’s best to get leftovers into a container and stowed in the fridge or freezer as soon as possible. It also helps to make sure that your senior’s fridge and freezer are set to proper temperatures. There are guides inside most refrigerators to help with this process.
Learn the Signs of Food Poisoning
It’s vital that you know what the signs of food poisoning are, just in case. If your elderly family member starts to experience a fever or starts vomiting or experiencing diarrhea, that’s a big sign of trouble. Her doctor may ask you to keep an eye on those symptoms and watch for signs of dehydration. If your senior can’t keep any water down, she may need to go to her doctor.
Your elderly family member may need some extra help with eating safe meals, especially if cooking has become difficult for her. Working with home care providers is a great way to make sure your senior is eating healthy, home-cooked meals.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Northbrook IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
Gentle Home Services was so proud to see Yolanda Martin be recognized as one of over 200 nominees for Caregiver of the Year.
"Did you ever have the pleasure to have someone come into your life that has a special twinkle about them? Well Yolanda has that twinkle! You just instinctively know that this is someone special. Is it the personality, the smile, the gentle touch, the way she interviewed, the references? It’s everything, she is the whole package and then some. We are so honored that she walked into our agency to share her gifts with us", says Susan Scatchell, Director of Business Development.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Caregiver Services in Deerfield IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
Your dad has arthritis and the pain is making it hard for him to do the things he's used to. He feels the pain quickly when he tries to take a walk. He can't sleep through the night without waking up with a stiff, sore knee.
When arthritis pain impacts his daily routines, what can your dad do? How can you help him? Here are some of the ways arthritis pain is best managed.
Talk to His Doctor About Therapeutic Exercises
Ask your dad's doctor if there are exercises he could do that would help with arthritis pain. He may need to work with a physical therapist at first. If it eases the pain, it's worth it. You or an in-home care services provider can help him continue the exercises at home.
Keep Hot and Cold Packs on Hand
Sometimes, heat and ice can ease joint pain. Keep a hot pad and reusable ice packs on hand for days when the pain is severe. Alternating between the two might help.
If you don't have a hot pack, your dad may find it beneficial to soak in a tub filled with warm water. Epsom salts can help with pain, but he does need to ask his doctor if they're recommended if he has certain health issues.
Try Foods That Fight Inflammation
Choose foods that fight inflammation to see if it eases his arthritis pain. An anti-inflammatory diet focuses on fish, leafy greens, red peppers, ginger, garlic, and heart-healthy oils like avocado and olive. Turmeric is also advised due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Swimming is a good way to exercise when you have arthritis. The body's buoyancy in water lessens the pressure on the joints. If your dad has a pool at his home, he's already set up. If he doesn't he can find a local pool and see if they have hours or classes dedicated to older adults or those with arthritis. He could also look into having a lap pool put in his yard.
Let Others Help
What in-home care services will help your dad the most? If he has a hard time holding a knife and fork, he might want someone to cook meals for him. If he can't turn his neck or back far enough to safely check blind spots while driving, transportation services are important.
Talk to our in-home care specialist about your dad's health and tasks around the home. You'll work together to create an elder care plan that matches his changing abilities.
If you or an aging loved one are considering In-Home Care Services in Highland Park IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
It might be obvious to you that it’s time for some extra help from elder care providers, but the same might not be true for your senior herself. What you’re going to need to do is talk about what is happening and the solutions you each see as viable.
Approach the Idea Carefully
When you decide to tackle this topic, do it carefully. This is especially true if you know that your elderly family member is likely to be sensitive to the idea. Let her know what you’re thinking and why you think that bringing in elder care providers will be good for her and for you. If you’ve got specific examples about how this can help, share them. For example, elder care providers may be able to handle meal preparation or keep the house neat as a pin. Use those specifics when you can.
Try Not to Stray Too Far from the Message
It’s often tempting to let the conversation slip to other topics, especially if things are getting a little more rambunctious than you might have expected. But if you’re going to come to a consensus on this topic, you have to stick with it. Gently redirect the conversation back to elder care services and what they can do for your senior.
Hear Her Out
Part of what that means, though, is really listening to your senior. What are her concerns? What is she afraid will happen? If she’s concerned about having strangers in her home, talk about that. Look into what you can do to help her to feel more comfortable with that issue. Is she worried that this means you’re trying to get her to move? Talk about that. The only way to get to the bottom of all of this is to talk through it.
Work Together to Compromise
Together you and your elderly family member can come to an agreement about what type of help is right for her and that meets her needs without upsetting her. You might not get everything that you want from compromising, but you might get more than you expect. For instance, your senior might agree to let elder care providers drive for her but she doesn’t want help other than that just yet.
Overall, what you’re trying to do is to do the best that you can for your senior, especially in terms of ensuring that she’s as safe as possible.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care Services in Wilmette IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
Gentle Home Services – Deerfield, IL is proud to announce a new partnership with Tamarisk Northshore. Gentle Home Services is the new on-site wellness provider for residents of Tamarisk Northshore. Located at 1627 Lake Cook Road in Deerfield, Tamarisk is on the same campus as Weinberg Community for Senior Living.
Tamarisk Northshore just opened its doors in early September and new residents are moving in daily. With a choice of beautiful apartments and a wealth of activities and amenities, Tamarisk NorthShore offers comfort, convenience and a vibrant community. It provides an elegant-yet-easy going lifestyle that nurtures health and happiness.
Gentle Home Services will be providing a la carte services to the residents to help them maintain their independence. Residents will be able to get incremental assistance with tasks such as bathing, dressing or escorts to activities. Gentle Home Services has been providing caregiving services in the Chicagoland community for over 30 years.
Tamarisk Northshore is managed by CJE SeniorLife and offers 240 studio, one- and 2-bedroom apartments. Executive Director, Drew Kowalski said, “It has been exhilarating to be part of this project, almost from the ground up. I can’t wait to welcome our residents and ‘wow’ them with our incredible dining venues, our robust array of life enrichment opportunities, and amazing amenities.”
Gentle Home Services has a specialized program for these types of senior living environments. For more information check out gentlehomeservices.com or tamarisknorthshore.com.
One of the challenges many family caregivers to seniors with dementia encounter is the senior’s refusal to change their clothing. While this may not seem like a big deal at first, if it persists, it can lead to hygiene problems. This can be unhealthy for the older adult and make them unpleasant to be around for other people. If your older family member is refusing to change clothes or giving you trouble during dressing, here are some tips to help.
Determine if Clothes Really Need to Be Changed
It is most people’s habit to change their clothes every day and to put on pajamas at night. However, it may not be necessary to do so. When the senior is particularly opposed to changing, you may be able to just let them stay in the clothes they are in. Consider that most people wear an article of clothing a few times before washing it anyway. So, if the senior isn’t dirty, it may be best to avoid the argument altogether and just let them stay in the clothes they are in, even for sleeping. It may be easier to get them to change at another time.
Purchase Duplicate Outfits
If your aging relative has an outfit they tend to gravitate toward, it might be best to buy duplicate items. The senior isn’t likely to know the difference, so they will think it’s the same outfit. This way, you can wash one outfit while they wear the other.
Offer Clothing Choices
One of the reasons your aging relative may resist changing is because it is something they can control. Dementia can make seniors feel like they have very little control over their lives, so they may refuse to dress simply because it is something they can be in control of. One way to make dressing easier if this is the case is to give the older adult clothing choices. For example, get two shirts from their closet and ask which they want to wear. Continue to do this until they are dressed.
It’s okay for caregivers to be a little sneaky with their aging relative’s clothing. For example, if you know they are going to want to put the same outfit on in the morning, wait for them to fall asleep and remove it from their room. If they don’t see the clothes in the morning, they probably won’t remember them. Or, while the senior is bathing, remove the clothes from the bathroom.
Home care services providers are able to help seniors with dementia to change clothes as often as needed to keep them clean and healthy. Because home care services providers are trained and experienced, they often have tricks of their own that they have discovered are successful with other seniors. In addition, a home care services provider knows how to preserve the older adult’s dignity and may be able to take much of the difficulty out of dressing.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Arlington Heights IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.