According to an article posted on the WebMD website, about 100 million people in the United States suffer from chronic pain of some sort. Many more have short-term aches and pains, too. Being in pain can significantly affect your aging relative’s quality of life. It can keep them from being able to perform daily activities and cause them to withdraw from social activities. Pain can also keep them from getting enough physical activity, which can negatively impact their health in other ways.
If your older family member has aches and pains, there are ways to help them feel better. Below are 5 things to try that can ease the pain.
#1: See a Doctor
If the older adult has not talked to a doctor about the pain they are experiencing, it’s important that they do so. Pain is an indicator that something is wrong and needs to be treated. The doctor may be able to prescribe medication to reduce pain or refer the senior to a physical therapist.
Exercising can reduce chronic pain because it strengthens muscles. Stronger muscles help to support joints damaged by arthritis. In addition, exercise increases blood flow around the body, which can help with healing. To get the best results from exercise, older adults should include both aerobic exercise and strength training in their routine.
#3: Improve Sleeping Position
Pain can keep your aging relative from sleeping well at night. A lack of sleep can then make them feel worse. By improving their body position while sleeping, seniors may be able to reduce their pain. Purchase some extra pillows to support the body. One of the most important things is to keep the neck in a neutral position. Avoid putting too many pillows under the head so that the neck is bent. It can also help people who sleep on their side to place a pillow between their knees. Those who sleep on their back may be able to relieve back pain by sleeping with a wedge under their knees to reduce pressure on the back.
#4: Use Over-the-Counter Pain Killers
Taking over-the-counter pain killers can reduce pain. However, it’s important that older adults talk to their doctor about which pain killers are right for them. Some kinds of over-the-counter medications can interact with prescription medications or should not be used if a person has certain conditions.
#5: Use Home Care Services
Home care services providers can assist with pain management in several ways. A home care services provider can remind the older adult to use medications recommended by the doctor. In addition, a home care services provider can give the senior a gentle massage to relieve pain. They can also take on household tasks, like cleaning and cooking, so that your older family member can rest and reduce the risk of aggravating the sore area more.
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.
All sunscreens are not created equal, but to know which one is best for their elderly relative, caregivers need to be able to read and understand the information on the label. Unfortunately, a study conducted in 2015 found that only about 43 percent of people who responded to a survey didn’t have a clear understanding of what SPF means. If you’re not sure how well you understand the information on sunscreen labels, learning more can ensure the one your elderly family member uses is right for them.
Below are the basic parts of a sunscreen label and what you need to know about each.
SPF stands for sun protection factor. It provides information about how much of the sun’s rays the sunscreen filters out. Sunscreen with an SPF of 15 filters out 93 percent of the sun’s rays. SPF 30 blocks 97 percent. The SPF can give caregivers some idea of how long their aging relative can stay out in the sun before a sunburn will begin. According to the skin cancer foundation, if the senior’s skin starts to get red in 20 minutes, using an SPF 30 sunscreen lets them stay outside 30 times longer. However, they also caution that those numbers are determined in a lab and not in real world situations. Sunscreen should be reapplied every 2 hours or sooner if the elderly adult has been swimming or sweating.
Waterproof or Water Resistant
If a sunscreen claims to be waterproof, don’t believe it. Sweat and water will eventually wash the sunscreen away. In fact, the FDA does not allow manufacturers to use “waterproof” on labels anymore. Instead, labels should use the terms “water resistant” and “very water resistant.” Sunscreen that is water resistant can last 40 minutes in the water before it needs to be reapplied. Very resistant sunscreen must be reapplied after 80 minutes in the water.
Caregivers should choose sunscreens that offer broad spectrum protection. That means the sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Both of these kinds of rays can damage the skin and lead to skin cancer.
When reading the label of a bottle of sunscreen, caregivers may notice they use different kinds of active ingredients. There are two kinds of active ingredients used in sunscreens: physical barriers and chemical barriers. Physical barrier sunscreens are those that use zinc or zinc oxide. They are like a shield, physically blocking the rays of the sun from reaching the skin. They work well for people with sensitive skin. Chemical barrier sunscreens use oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, or octinoxate. They absorb rays from the sun before they can reach the skin. This kind of sunscreen is usually easier to rub into the skin and doesn’t leave the skin with a layer of white cream.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elderly Care Services in Highland Park IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
AB called to report they had a terrific birthday lunch for their aunt today and our caregiver was WONDERFUL. The family is so thankful and couldn't have been happier with our services. They will plan to use us in the future when the needs arises.
Shared this with E and thank her for doing a lovely job.
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.
Memory concerns are a big deal for your senior because they can hinder her ability to do a variety of things. They can also be creating big safety issues for her.
Her Fridge and Freezer Are Full of Bad Food
Food inevitably goes bad. If your senior is keeping up with that fact, though, she’s going through her pantry, her fridge, and her freezer regularly and cycling through the food that has spoiled or is about to spoil. Memory issues make that task infinitely more difficult for your senior. She may forget to do this at all or she might forget that food does spoil. Regardless, food that is not good any longer is a significant health risk for her.
She’s Missing Appointments More Often
Appointments can be another red flag, especially if your elderly family member has always been a stickler for being prompt. Even with all the right tools, like a calendar or a digital app that sends her reminders, your elderly family member’s memory might keep her from getting to all of her appointments. This is especially a problem when it comes to medical appointments that she needs to get to regularly.
She’s Hiding or Ignoring Mail
Your senior might not like what’s in her mail, especially if she’s finding a lot of bills or mail that makes her feel uncomfortable. A big cause for this is that memory problems can make her feel anxious or as if she’s not able to do what she needs to do with the mail. Best-case scenarios usually involve her leaving unopened mail in a pile out in the open. But in a worst-case situation, she might be hiding her mail.
Prescriptions Aren’t Being Filled Regularly
Your senior might rely on some very important prescriptions, but if she’s not keeping up with getting them filled, that’s a problem. She can’t take the medications regularly if they’re not there for her, regardless of whether she remembers them or not. Automatic refills can be an option here, but it’s a good idea to have a fail-safe notification system set up so you’re aware, too.
If your senior is having significant memory issues, talk with her doctor. It might also be a good idea to hire homecare providers who can take care of some of the situations she’s not able to manage on her own. This is an especially important step if you’re not able to step in for your senior yourself.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Homecare Services in Wilmette IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
Your senior’s living space can tell you a lot about what’s going on with her, even when she’s reluctant to share the same information. As a caregiver, you’ll find yourself looking for clues to help you understand what your elderly family member needs and how to best help her.
Lots of Little Things Haven’t Been Handled
Whether your senior owns her home, lives in an apartment, or has some other arrangement, there’s some sort of maintenance that needs to happen on a regular basis. Some of that may be things she’s been handling on her own, but if you’ve noticed that’s falling by the wayside, there might be other issues. Look for simple maintenance that is really important, like light bulbs that have burned out. When those are in easy locations to change, it doesn’t make sense for them to be ignored unless there’s something else going on with your elderly family member.
Cleanliness Is a Problem
You have a good idea how clean your elderly family member’s home has always been. If her standards are slipping now, that might be because she’s unable to keep up with those standards with her current health issues. Talk to her about what might be happening and whether you or senior care providers can pick up the slack for her. If she’s open to that solution, she can take that energy and put it toward activities that she’ll enjoy a good bit more.
Odd Smells Are Another Problem
Odd smells are a combination problem. They can show up with maintenance issues, like leaks behind walls or appliances that aren’t working properly. But they can also be an indication that there are cleaning problems. If your senior has been stockpiling food in the freezer for instance, it can still go bad over a long period of time. It can eventually create a stench that won’t be solved until that freezer is cleaned out. There may be other similar causes around your senior’s home that need deeper investigating.
Your senior might not be willing to accept your help, but if she’s facing these issues, she needs help from someone. Very often aging adults are more willing to accept assistance from senior care providers. They might worry that family members will be more judgmental or will be more willing to make them move. Look for answers that help your senior without creating anxiety or hard feelings.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Senior Care Services in Arlington Heights IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
Gentle Home Services is so pleased to announce that their dynamic team of Business Development Directors received recognition in various positions.
Colleen Muscarella (pictured on left) joined Gentle Home Services over two years ago and continues to serve on the Deerfield Bannockburn Riverwoods Chamber of Commerce. Colleen also chairs the Health and Wellness Lunch and Learn Networking Group on the North Shore. The group is designed for Professionals in the Healthcare Field and provides a platform for networking, education and referrals.
Susan Scatchell (pictured on right) joined Gentle Home Services in 2017 and quickly jumped into the Home Care Association of America IL Chapter as the Subcommittee Chair for Advocacy and Communications and Continuity of Care Chicago Chapter secretary. Later this summer, Susan will assume the role of the State Treasurer for the Continuity of Care State board.
The Home Care Association of America is the single largest professional organization for home services and home nursing care providers. The association encompasses a broad range of services that supports seniors' well-being, protects their interests and sets the standard to deliver high-quality care. There are over 175 members in Illinois and we are fortunate to have a voice in the leadership for Illinois.
The Continuity of Care Organization exists to enhance the concept of continuity of care as both as essential part of the health care continuum and as integral to total patient care. It serves as an advocate for legislative and community related health concerns and issues by identifying and communicating them to the members, working in tandem with other allied organizations, and supporting standards of professional competence which identify, structure, and promote a multi-disciplinary approach to continuity of care.
"We couldn't be more pleased with how Colleen and Susan represent Gentle Home Services and find creative methods to advocate for older adults through education and advocacy programs like Continuity of Care, our local chamber and the Home Care Association", said Michael Berliant, co-owner and President.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Health Care Services in Deerfield IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
Friend Center Memory Café
Dancing Through the Centuries and Alzheimer’s Research
Thursday, July 11, 4 pm, Deerfield
Ariele Riboh, LCPC, NCC, R-DMT
Owner, Moving Toward Health
In dance/movement therapy we utilize movement as a means of creativity and self-expression. Through an exploration of music and dances of our past, we will seek to remember, connect, move and have fun.
The Memory Cafe is sponsored by Gentle Home Services and CJE Senior LIfe
on the Thursday every month.
For More Information Click Here
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.
Mazel Tov to Gentle Home Services and CJE Senior Life as they celebrate a 10-year partnership.
Since 1972, CJE SeniorLife has enhanced the lives of older adults and their families through a comprehensive network that includes housing, health care, community services, health and wellness education, life enrichment programs and applied research. Gentle Home Services has been one of their preferred home care providers for the past 10 years providing quality professional caregivers to support the lives of older adults in their residence or one of the CJE communities, adult day or The Friend Center.
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.
Balancing work responsibilities and life responsibilities might be something that is literally keeping you up at night. No matter how much you do for each aspect of your life, you probably feel as if it just isn’t enough. What you need is a plan and some help.
Look at the Reality of Your Situation
It might help to take out a piece of paper and list out your responsibility. You might also find that spending a few days or a week making a time map helps you to see where your time and your energy go during the week. This gives you a way to really investigate the reality of your situation and where you’re most out of balance. Don’t worry about doing anything with this just yet because you’re still investigating. You need more information first.
List out Your Potential Resources
Where can you turn for help? You might have other family members who could pitch in and help more and you might have options available through your employer. Investigate what is available through your employee assistance program. Another option you might have overlooked is hiring home care providers. They can free up your time in regards to caregiving so that you can devote more time and energy to work when you need to be doing so.
Make a Flexible Plan
When you’ve got your time mapping and your resources together, you can start to see where you have gaps and where you need to adjust what you’re doing. Home care services can help you to fill those gaps so that they’re not taking over. Remember, though, that whatever plan you make needs to be flexible. Life has a way of changing things up on you when you least expect it.
Don’t Forget about Yourself
Do not leave yourself out of your equation. You have a responsibility to yourself to participate in your own self-care. If you’re not making self-care a priority, all the plans in the world are not going to give you what you’re missing. Life and work balance can only balance out when you’re a part of that math.
Few situations in life truly are “this or that.” You may have a great many more options than you realize to help you to balance your job with being a caregiver. Take a deep breath and look for ways to adapt your plans to help them work for you more effectively.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Lake Forest IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
When your senior doesn’t want to move and the budget doesn’t allow you to completely redo her home, you have to look for home improvements that make a big difference quickly.
These ideas can do just that.
Handrails are inexpensive and you can install them anywhere that you can find the wall space. Make sure that if you’re installing them yourself that you do so with the proper anchors or that you install them directly into wall studs. Put handrails in the bathroom, in long hallways, and anywhere else your senior might have difficulty. Talk to your senior about where she’d like to have a handrail. Her answer might be one you didn’t think of and might turn out to be an essential spot.
Swapping Traditional Versions for Walk-in Tubs
Traditional styles of tubs and even shower stalls involve forcing your senior to raise her leg up and over an obstacle. While that might be fine when she’s a little younger and has better balance, it can be a big problem once her balance becomes more of an issue. Walk-in tubs and showers are a lot easier for her to access and can significantly decrease the likelihood of her falling. They’ve become a lot more affordable, too, which can make the idea even more appealing.
Improving Lighting Everywhere
Better lighting is always a solid answer for your aging family member. As her eyesight changes, she might find that brighter lights help her to continue to be able to see. Take a look at where existing lighting fixtures and lamps are located. Where possible, swap out lower wattage bulbs for brighter ones, including LED bulbs. If the fixtures can’t support brighter lighting, swap them out for newer ones that can handle the newer types of brighter bulbs.
Installing a Stair Lift
Installing a stair lift is a little bit more of an investment, but it’s one that can be worth it. Stairs can be extremely dangerous for someone who has balance issues, even if there’s a sturdy handrail in place. If your senior has had some close calls or even avoids her stairs because she’s afraid of them, a stair lift can be the answer you want. Stair lifts also help your elderly family member to conserve some of her energy to devote to other tasks and activities.
Home improvements can be life-changing for your aging adult. It’s also important that she has the support of people she and you can trust when she needs help. Home care services providers are there for your senior to support and to help her in all the ways that she needs.
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.