If your elderly family member has found that it’s difficult to eat, a soft food diet may be something to consider. It’s a lot easier to make dietary changes for your elderly family member when she’s got help, so companion care at home may be something to consider as well.
Here are Some Options to Try
Soups are usually a good choice if chewing or eating hard foods is difficult. There are so many different options for nutritious and filling soups that can make meals much easier for your senior. You can even puree the soup to make it a little thicker if necessary.
Some fruits, like berries, can get soft and easier to eat on their own. But others might need a little help from a blender or a food processor in order to make eating them easier. Foods like applesauce and pureed bananas can be flavored with other ingredients and offer lots of nutrition.
Eggs are really easy to incorporate into a soft food diet for your senior. Scrambled, poached, or even soft-boiled eggs are all easy to eat and they’re full of nutritive value. There are lots of recipes out there to make eggs much more interesting if your senior finds eggs to be boring on their own.
Meat and chicken can still be tough to eat, even when it’s cooked to be as tender as possible. But fish is almost always easy to eat, particularly when broiled, baked, or steamed. Fish gets very soft when it’s cooked to perfection, and it’s high in omega-3 fatty acids that are wonderful for brain and body health.
You can put almost anything in a smoothie, from fruits to vegetables. It’s also easy to include other high-nutrient ingredients, like flax seeds, that grind up into the smoothie. Experiment to find ingredients and add-ins that your senior enjoys.
Oatmeal is a fast and nutritious choice, too. You can also add plenty of different ingredients to oatmeal to make it more appealing while also leaving it easy to eat. Herbs and spices like cinnamon along with pureed fruit can give your elderly family member so many different choices for her oatmeal.
Bring in Companion Care at Home Services
When your elderly family member needs a softer diet, it can be tougher for her to keep up with that. Bringing in companion care at home helps to ensure that your elderly family member isn’t alone and that she’s got help with those kinds of tasks. Companion care at home providers can help her to have foods that she loves and that she’s able to eat easily.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Companion Care at Home Services in Evanston IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
Seniors who are aging in place need to have their physical needs met but they also need to have a sense of purpose and a reason to get up each day. Combining crafts and a purpose help seniors stay busy, maintain brain health, and do some good in the world. Doing crafts can be a fantastic way for seniors to keep their dexterity and strength in their hands while also giving themselves a brain work out as they solve problems and use creativity to make things. If your senior has help from 24-hour home care they can assist your senior through the process.
There are many organizations that collect handmade items like socks, hats, scarves, gloves, blankets, and other items. They then distribute these items to people and charities that need them. By doing crafts that will be donated seniors are able to get the many physical and mental health benefits associated with both crafting and volunteer work.
Some of many things that seniors can make to donate are:
Cage Blankets For Shelter Pets
There are many organizations that collect and donate handmade blankets that are sized for pet shelter cages. Dogs and cats who are shelters all over the country are given a little comfort and joy by having soft handmade blankets to sleep on instead of paper or a scratchy towel. Blankets can be made from fleece or they can be knitted or crocheted. Some shelters and rescues let the pet take the blanket when they are adopted so they go to their new home with their own special donated blanket. Foster pet parents who take care for orphaned kittens and puppies often rely on handmade blankets to keep the babies warm.
Quilts For Sick Children
There are also organizations that give away handmade quilts and blankets to children who are very sick and need to be hospitalized. The blankets provide comfort and warmth to children who need both because they often scared and disoriented in the hospital. A handmade quilt or a crocheted blanket is often very soothing for children going through a tough ordeal.
Hats, Gloves, and Scarves For The Homeless
Warm hats, gloves, and scarves for people who are living on the street or in shelters are always in high demand. If your senior loved one likes to knit or crochet there are plenty of organizations that would love to have them to donate some handmade scarves, hats, and gloves.
Face masks are something that everyone needs know and often people can’t afford cloth masks. Making face masks that will be donated to other seniors, children, and those at high risk of becoming ill if they don’t have a mask is a very worthwhile way for your senior loved one to spend their time.
How 24-Hour Home Care Can Assist
Getting supplies can be a problem sometimes but 24-hour home care providers who look after your senior loved one can help them shop for supplies or order them online. And 24-hour home care providers can also help ship the items that your senior loved one makes to an organization that can use them.
If you or an aging loved one are considering 24-Home Care Services in Northbrook IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 4, 2021 Melaney.firstname.lastname@example.org
With Cases on the Rise, Illinois Launches Site to
Share Vaccination Data in Long-Term Care Facilities
SPRINGFIELD – To help ensure transparency, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH)
announced today that COVID-19 vaccination data for both residents and staff in long-term care
(LTC) facilities is now available on the IDPH website at
http://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19/long-term-care-facility-data. Given that LTC facilities have
experienced a significant portion of COVID-19 deaths, particularly early in pandemic, this
resource will be critical for tracking COVID-19 vaccinations for both staff and residents in
facilities across state.
“To help keep long-term care residents as safe and healthy as possible, we want to make sure residents and their loved ones know the vaccination rates where they reside so they can make the best decision on where to live, and also advocate for increased vaccination rates,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “Some of our most vulnerable residents live in long-term care facilities and in order to better protect them, COVID-19 vaccination rates in many facilities, especially among staff, need to increase. The vaccine is the primary way to get to the other side of this pandemic. We need to continue to reduce spread of the virus by wearing a mask and getting as many residents and staff vaccinated as soon as possible.”
The new site will display an interactive map where the user can choose to view either the
percentage of staff or percentage of residents who have been vaccinated. The site will also show
weekly confirmed cases, total confirmed cases, weekly COVID-19 deaths, total COVID-19
deaths, and vaccination rates.
The data is derived from the Nursing Home COVID-19 Public File, a federal resource that
includes data reported by nursing homes to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s
(CDC’s) National Healthcare Safety Network Long Term Care Facility COVID-19 Module:
Surveillance Reporting Pathways and COVID-19 Vaccinations. Nursing homes are required to
report vaccinations of residents and staff to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. More
information about these guidelines can be found in the Vaccination Immunization Requirements
As part of the Pritzker administration’s commitment to protecting LTC facility residents and
staff, IDPH will report the most up to date information that is currently provided. While local
health departments and LTC facilities continue to have the most up-to-date data, the information
on the IDPH site is provisional and will be updated on a weekly basis.
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.
Figuring out what to do in certain circumstances can be difficult. Even during the best of times, struggles can cloud our perspective. These struggles can make it difficult to make good choices. If your elderly father needs support or assistance at home, some level of care, the best place to turn is a home care agency.
However, you may not fully understand the different types of home care that are available. This could make it a little bit difficult to figure out if he needs a home care aide or something more medically oriented, such as a visiting nurse. Also sometimes referred to as a home health care provider, this type of medical professional is going to be able to administer medications, check vital statistics and perhaps relay that information to your father’s doctor for proper monitoring, change wound dressings, and so much more.
How to determine the needs of the senior.
If you have been supporting your father as a caregiver for a while, you probably have a pretty good idea of what he needs right now. If he needs help getting out of bed, preparing a meal, keeping his house clean, or maybe even getting to those doctors’ appointments every once in a while when you are not available, this would perfectly describe what a home care aide offers.
A home care aide is an individual who can support elderly or disabled clients in the comfort of their homes with any number of tasks associated with daily life. This could include helping your father take a shower, go to the bathroom, get dressed, or even prepare a meal.
If your dad has trouble doing the laundry now, struggles to take out the garbage or bring it back in, can’t seem to get to the mailbox to check for deliveries each day without struggling, then a home care aide would be perfect.
What if your father needs this and direct medical attention?
Some home health care providers, or visiting nurses, will assist with some of those basic tasks of everyday life, but if your father needs more significant, regular assistance with daily tasks and medical support, then he very well might need both a home care aide and a visiting nurse.
Is that possible?
Yes, absolutely. If you hire a home care agency to provide support for your aging father, that agency may not have visiting nurses on staff, but the home care aide can be hired for the times when he needs assistance with those basic tasks of everyday life.
Then, you can also reach out to an agency that provides in-home nursing support, such as a visiting nurse or home health care provider, to support him with those direct medical needs.
Always start with the home care aide. Since your father needs help with these tasks commonly associated with everyday living, that is where you start. Then, you can fill in the gaps as needed with other supportive professionals.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Highland Park IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
For one reason or another, your dad seems to be giving up on eating well. He's relying more on takeout or fast food. He has frozen pizzas all the time, and you're worried about his health. How do you and his home care aides get him to follow the guidelines his doctor offered about focusing on fresh produce, whole grains, and calcium-rich dairy?
Talk About Shopping
As you age, it gets harder to read the fine print on food labels. Your dad's doctor asked him to watch his sodium intake. He'll struggle to choose items with no added salt or low enough counts if he can't read a label. It's time to discuss having someone tag along on his grocery shopping trips and read the labels for him.
Your dad should also learn how to stick to his budget while also choosing quality ingredients. Dried beans contain many essential nutrients, and they're affordable. His family caregiver or home care aide can help him make these decisions.
Create Meal Plans in Advance
You ask your dad what he wants to eat all week. He asks for foods that he's not supposed to eat anymore. He wants a sausage pizza, burger and fries, macaroni and cheese, and ramen.
With each of these, he can have them with a few alternations. Instead of a traditional pizza crust, make pizza dough with whole grain flour or make a cauliflower crust. For the burger and fries, make a turkey burger and make baked sweet potato fries. Make ramen from scratch.
If you come up with healthier takes on his favorite meals, he still gets the meals he wants. He's just enjoying a different spin on them. Make up the weekly meal plan and create the shopping list from that plan. It makes it easier to cook the meals when ingredients are available and thawed.
Research Meal Preparation and Home Care Services
Your dad may need someone to cook for him. If he struggles to chop, slice, dice, and mince ingredients due to arthritis pain or medication side effects, it helps to have someone else make his meals and snacks.
Ask him why he's relying on takeout, fast food, and frozen meals. Once you better understand his frustrations with meals, you'll know where he needs help. He wants someone to read the recipe and help him follow the steps. He might need a caregiver to do the prep and let him do the cooking.
Once you have discussed having someone cook your dad's meals and prepare his snacks, come up with a list of questions everyone in the family has. Once you've jotted down those questions or concerns, call our home care agency to ask them. You'll learn more about pricing, services, and more as you talk to the home care specialist.
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.
In June 1982, President Ronald Reagan declared that July would be National Peach Month. Proclamation 4947 celebrated peaches as a vital part of the U.S. food supply and, therefore, economy. Since that year, July has been a month for people to come up with ways to pay tribute to this stone fruit. While peaches are available throughout the year, July is when they're the ripest. It's easy to find large, juicy peaches in stores across the country. When you do purchase a bag of peaches, they become handy, nutritious snacks. Here are some of the best ways that you or their homecare aides can turn peaches into quick snacks that meet your dad's nutritional needs.
What Nutritional Benefits to Peaches Offer?
A medium peach only has around 50 calories, so it's not a high-calorie snack. It has plenty of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K, and iron. The number of antioxidants in peaches can help with cell health and immunities. Vitamin C is also helpful in iron absorption and encourages the production of collagen in the skin cells.
Quick and Easy Snacks
By itself, a peach is an easy snack. Wash it and have your dad eat it whole. If your dad needs his fruit pitted, it takes very little time. You can remove the pit and cut the peach into cubes or slices in seconds.
Make a smoothie for your dad. Take a ripe peach and remove the pit. Place that in a blender with a cup of frozen blueberries, a banana, and a cup of unsweetened, plain kefir or almond milk yogurt. Blend that until smooth.
Puree three peaches in a food processor and add ½ cup of unsweetened applesauce. Mix in ¼ cup of almond butter, a mashed banana, and 2 tablespoons of hemp or flax seeds. Once that's thoroughly combined, add 2 cups old-fashioned oats, ½ cup of flaked, unsweetened coconut, ¼ cup of chopped walnuts, 1 ½ teaspoons of cinnamon, and ¼ teaspoons of ground cloves. Form into balls and refrigerate overnight.
Could meal preparation services ensure your dad makes healthier choices for his meals and snacks? Has his doctor suggested he needs to improve his diet to prevent a chronic health condition? His diet needs to change if he's been diagnosed with common diseases like diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure.
Homecare aides can come to his home and make sure he's buying the right foods and focusing his meals and snacks on whole foods rather than processed ones. Call our homecare agency and schedule caregivers today.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Homecare Services in Arlington Heights IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
Professional CEU Event
Gentle Home Services is a Corporate Education Circle sponsor for the North Shore Senior Center. We are pleased to sponsor an upcoming educational program on Tuesday, June 22, 2021, from 3:30 – 5 p.m.
Identifying and Responding to the Mental Health Needs of Older Adults Presented by: Nathaniel Ekman Executive Director of NAMI Cook County North Suburban
Click here to register
Click HERE to Download the Flier
1.5 CEUs will be available. No fee will be required. A complete evaluation will need to be submitted after the webinar in order to receive a certificate. Attendees must be present for the entire program.
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.
As the weather warms up, there are a lot more things that you and your senior might want to do outside. Make sure that you’re both protected from heat and sun, including trying some of these activities during the cooler parts of the day rather than at the height of the heat.
Start a Garden Together
Gardening is a great way to build strength and stamina. It has the added benefit of providing tasty foods, if your garden includes edible plants. Whether your senior is physically able to help garden or not, this is an activity that you can engage in together. Let your senior help with whatever she’s able and willing to do. Spend the time talking and enjoying being outside.
Take Regular Walks with the Help of Homecare Aides
Walking is fantastic exercise, both for you and for your senior. Even if she uses a walker or a wheelchair, you can take a walk together. Keep her limitations in mind and use that time together to talk and to enjoy being outside together. These walks don’t have to be long at all for you both to get positive benefits.
Set up Some Bird Feeders
If your elderly family member’s mobility is greatly reduced, there are still ways for her to enjoy being outside. One really exciting way to do so is to set up multiple types of bird feeders with different types of seeds. That’s going to attract a lot of different varieties of birds, who all do unique and amazing things. Even if you and your senior simply sit outside and watch the birds, that’s still an enjoyable way to be out in the fresh air.
Explore Community Activities
Many communities have activities planned for warmer weather that allow for social distancing and safe fun. It might be a good idea to explore those different options that are available near your elderly family member and see what is appealing to her. When she’s feeling up to more involved activities, take advantage of that opportunity.
Some of these activities might be ones you want to do more often with your senior but aren’t able to, for one reason or another. That doesn’t mean your senior can’t, though, especially with the help of homecare providers. They can help your elderly family member to safely engage in outside activities during the day, and then you and your senior can talk about what she saw and experienced.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Homecare Services in Lake Forest IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
When you’re working to make sure that your senior is as safe as possible, you need to pay close attention to flooring issues that could cause your senior to trip. Home care services providers can help by implementing these changes.
You might wonder what lighting has to do with floor hazards, but if your senior can’t see what’s happening on the floor, she might just experience a fall. Motion-sensing night lights could be a good option overnight, and brighter LED bulbs could help in existing lighting fixtures. Finding out what your senior can and can’t see is important.
Runners and Throw Rugs with Tall Edges
Throw rugs and runners can be hazards for a lot of reasons, such as rolling up or slipping on the flooring underneath. But there’s another possible issue, too. If the edges of the runner or rug are tall, your senior may be more likely to stumble or have difficulty with things like using a walker in that area. Swapping out the rug for one with a lower profile or removing it completely may be a better idea.
Wet Floors and Spills
Wet flooring of all sorts tends to be more slippery when it’s wet. This is true especially in bathrooms and kitchens, but it can happen anywhere in the house. Cleaning up spills as soon as they happen is really crucial so that your senior doesn’t walk through it and slip. In the bathroom, take steps to make the floor less slippery by using anti-slip rugs or mats and by adding handrails wherever possible.
Wires and Cords
Wiring and cords can hide in plain sight, especially if your elderly family member has vision issues. Make sure to keep cords and wires out of the path of traffic. Tuck them behind furniture and do what you can to keep them as contained as possible.
Clutter or Narrow Passages
Having narrow pathways, especially in areas your senior uses often, or having a lot of clutter on the floor can make it difficult for your senior to maneuver safely. You may need to consider helping her to rearrange furniture. It’s also important to find new storage areas for items that are taking up space that is better used for safe walking.
Getting Help from Home Care Services Providers
Something else that can help you to find all of the flooring hazards that are affecting your senior’s safety is to hire home care services providers. They can help you to stay on top of what is causing potential problems for your elderly family member.
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.
In just 40 seconds, a U.S. resident has a stroke. Close to 800,000 people have a stroke each year. Not everyone survives a stroke, though there are ways to improve the odds of survival. FAST (Face, Arm, Speech, Take Action) is important to know. Here is more information for you and your loved one's elder care provider should know.
The faster the stroke victim gets treatment, the better the odds of survival. It's estimated that getting treated in an emergency room within three hours of the stroke is all it takes to lower the risk of permanent disability. If your mom or dad has a stroke, it's essential to understand what happened and what comes next.
Two Main Types of Strokes
There are two main types of strokes. Around 87 percent of them are caused by blockages and called ischemic strokes. There is another type that occurs when a blood vessel ruptures and leaks blood into the brain. A severe, unexplained headache often precedes hemorrhagic strokes.
Some people experience transient ischemic attacks (TIA), which are minor strokes where the blockage resolves itself in a matter of minutes. It's a precursor to a major stroke and requires medical treatment as quickly as possible. Around 33 percent of people who have a TIA and don't seek medical treatment have a major stroke within the next 12 months.
What Happens at the Hospital
The treatment given at the hospital depends on the type of stroke. If it's a brain bleed, your parent may require surgical intervention to fix the ruptured vessel. An ischemic stroke is treated with powerful medications that break up the clot. At that point, the patient will be on blood thinners for life.
The severity of the stroke is also a factor. If the stroke left your parent unable to talk, walk, or swallow, physical, occupational, and speech therapies are needed to restore as much function as possible. Before your parent is sent home, your mom or dad will likely go to a rehabilitation community to restore brain function and mobility.
Swallowing is one of the skills that is usually impacted during a stroke. If your mom or dad cannot swallow, there is a risk of aspiration pneumonia. This occurs when your parent can't swallow saliva properly and ends up inhaling the saliva and mucus into the lungs, where an infection sets in. The infection has to be treated with medications.
Getting the Home Prepared and Elder Care Services
While your parent is recovering in the hospital, it's an excellent time to get the house set up for the return. These are the things to focus on.
Finally, arrange to have elder care aides available to help with household chores, meal preparation, showers/personal care, and transportation. Call our elder care specialist, discuss your parent's health issues, and make sure caregivers are lined up for the day your parent returns home.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care Services in Glenview IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.