If your elderly parent has recently finished their lung cancer treatment, or is approaching the end of their lung cancer treatment, it is likely you have heard their doctor talk about a survivorship plan. This can be a very important part of their life after treatment, and as a family caregiver, you will play a critical role in helping them to develop it, as well as to carry it through.
Each element of a survivorship plan is designed to maximize the benefits of treatment, improve your parents health, maintain health, and help your parents make the most of their future years.
As with other elements of your parent's experience with cancer, including their treatment, care, and management efforts, a survivorship plan will be a very personal to them. This survivorship plan is developed specifically to help your parent with their own individual health needs.
These care plans generally feature several elements, which can include:
* A schedule for follow-up visit
* A schedule for follow-up exams and tests, including early detection screenings
* A schedule for follow-up evaluations to determine long-term effects of treatments your parents underwent, or the cancer itself
* The side affects your senior might experience, and which ones you should look out for
* Guidelines for how to effectively manage side effects, and when they warrant a visit to the doctor
* Instructions for good lifestyle choices, such as dietary guidelines, exercise, germ control, and more that will help keep your parent healthier.
Once your parent has a lung cancer survivorship plan in place, you can use it to create your care approach. Including elderly care in this phase as you did during treatment can continue to help your parent pursue a healthier, more satisfying, and more meaningful quality of life as they age in place.
In your role as a family caregiver, you will need to use a wide variety of tools and resources to fulfill your parent's needs. One of the most important resources you can use is elderly care. Due to the completely customizable nature of elderly care, you can utilize this resource to fill whatever care gaps might exist in the care routine you already give your parent.
Whether your schedule is busy and you are unable to be with your parents as frequently as he would like to be, you have limitations that keep you from managing certain tasks, or you simply feel your parent would benefit from more diversified care, an elderly home care services provider can step in to manage these needs effectively and efficiently. As a family caregiver, this can give you peace of mind knowing your senior is able to live the highest quality of life both when you are caring for them directly, and when you are not.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elderly Care Services in Chicago IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
Asthma is a condition that causes the tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs to become inflamed. The insides of the tubes become sensitive to irritants, like allergens. Narrowed airways make it hard to breathe and cause coughing, wheezing, and a tight feeling in the chest. Although it’s important for older adults with asthma to follow the doctor’s treatment plan, new research suggests that the way asthmatics eat may affect their symptoms.
Asthma and Diet Study
A study conducted in France recently looked at the way people ate and their asthma symptoms. The study involved more than 34,000 participants. Approximately one fourth of the men had at least one symptom of asthma and a little more than a fourth of the women did, too.
The study showed that men who consumed a healthy diet had a 30 percent less chance of having asthma-related symptoms. Women were 20 percent less likely. The researchers defined a healthy diet as one that included lots of vegetables, fruit, and fiber.
Dietary Steps to Reduce Asthma Symptoms
While there isn’t a specific diet for managing asthma, doctors at the Mayo Clinic suggest taking these steps to help:
Eat for a Healthy Weight: Older adults who are overweight should seek to lose some weight. Excess weight can make asthma symptoms worse. Losing even a few pounds can make a difference.
Stay Away from Allergy Triggers: People with asthma are more likely to have food allergies. Having an allergic reaction to a food can trigger asthma symptoms.
Get More Vitamin D: Having severe asthma has been associated with low vitamin D levels. Eating foods that contain vitamin D, like milk, fish, and eggs, can increase levels as can spending some time outside in the sun.
Eat More Produce: Fruits and vegetables antioxidants and vitamins that may reduce inflammation.
Avoid Foods with Sulfites: Sulfites are a kind of preservative found in foods like pickles, dried fruits, and wine. They can cause asthma symptoms for some individuals.
In addition to possibly reducing asthma symptoms, eating a healthy diet can also improve the overall health of older adults. If your aging family member struggles to eat a healthy diet, home care services can help. Home care services providers can assist with planning meals. When it’s time to grocery shop, a home care services provider can drive the senior to the store and shop with them. Home care services providers can also prepare healthy meals and clean up afterward.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Evanston IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
Clients and Caregivers are invited to the
Gentle Home Services
End of Summer BBQ
Friday, September 7, 2018
570 Lake Cook Road, Deerfield (North Parking Lot)
rsvp by 8/31 847-444-1222
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.
Eric Johnson, owner of Movement Revolution is an experienced exercise physiologist who has been developing exercise programs for Parkinson's Disease for 10 years. Continued exercise is one of the best ways to manage the disease, increase mobility, and improve quality of life.
Eric will be discussing the benefits of daily exercise for Parkinson's Disease and demonstrate specific examples of exercises that caregivers can do with their clients empowering them to function better every day.
August 23, 2018, 5 pm - 7 pm
Gentle Home Services, 570 Lake Cook Road, Deerfield
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.
Per the USDA, food-borne illnesses are more common in the summer months. Picnics and outdoor family gatherings are good reasons why it increases. Temperatures are warmer and tend to be ideal for the formation of bacteria. Bacteria that cause food poisoning grow best at temperatures of 90 to 110. In the sun, it's easy to maintain that temperature range.
Food safety is important throughout the year. It's really important to be cautious when packing a picnic or planning an outdoor gathering.
Here are the areas where you need to be extra cautious.
Don't Ignore Food Safety Practices With Salads
Many people don't think of mayonnaise as being an ingredient to keep cold. After all, it's in the normal aisles in a grocery store. Mayonnaise contains eggs. When mixed into something like a potato salad, the ingredients together can grow bacteria and lead to food poisoning. All salads should be kept cold at 40 degrees F or lower.
Ice packs within a cooler will keep salads from warming up. If possible, save up ice packs from meal kit services. Those larger ice packs will last hours, if not days, in a cooler. Your perishable items stay nice and cold for the entire day.
Do Not Cross-Contaminate
You have your burgers on a platter and head outside to the grill. Before the burgers finish cooking, have you washed that platter? If not, you're asking for cross-contamination. The raw meat juices will contaminate the burgers.
You need to wash any utensils that touch raw meat before you use it on cooked meats. If you're going on a picnic, the raw meats you bring cannot be on top of cooked foods. Bring two coolers. One should have the raw meats. When you're done, use hot, soapy water to wash out the raw meat cooler.
Use an Instant-Read Thermometer
Do not remove meats from the grill until you've checked the internal temperature. Chicken and turkey need to be at 165 degrees F. Hamburgers should be cooked to 160 degrees F. Steaks and pork must be cooked to a minimum of 145 degrees. Use the guide at FoodSafety.gov to ensure you're cooking meats to the right temperature.
If you care for your mom or dad, you may find it hard to focus on food safety when planning an outing. You can't let it lapse. Hire a caregiver to provide senior care services every now and then. You'll get a break and be able to focus on planning the outdoor meal. Call our senior care agency to discuss respite care services.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Senior Care Services in Northbrook IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
When an older adult is diagnosed with dementia, family caregivers may jump to make changes before it’s time. This is often the case with driving. It can be your first instinct to take their keys away because you fear they’ll make a dangerous mistake or become lost. However, many people with dementia are able to continue driving safely through the early stages of the disease.
How to Decide
The first step to knowing when it’s time for a person with dementia to stop driving is to have their driving skills evaluated. This step should take place as soon as possible after the diagnosis is received. This will give you a baseline to work from and could help with the conversation when it’s time to take the keys away.
Some State Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMVs) offer evaluations or may be able to direct you to an agency that does. In fact, some states require that a person with dementia visit the DMV for a test. Contact the DMV where the senior lives to learn more about laws in their area.
If the initial evaluation shows the person can still drive, they’ll need ongoing evaluation and monitoring. Some things that may indicate it’s time to stop driving are:
Talking to the Dementia Patient About Driving
When it is time for your aging relative to stop driving, the conversation may not be easy. Be patient with the older adult. Imagine yourself in their position and think about how hard it would be to give up your own driving privileges. The Alzheimer’s Association offers the following tips for starting the conversation:
Giving up driving doesn’t have to mean that the dementia patient loses their independence. One way to allow them to continue to get out of the house and do the things they enjoy is by hiring a home care provider through an agency. Home care providers can be scheduled to come as often as needed through the week. They can drive the senior to the places they need or want to go, such as the grocery store, restaurants, religious services, or to the houses of friends and family. Home care providers can also drive the older adult to medical appointments and take notes for them so that the information can be passed on to family caregivers.
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.
When you make the decision to be a family caregiver for your aging parent, you know you are entering a potentially challenging chapter of your life. While fulfilling your seniors' needs, you must also keep up with the rest of the tasks and responsibilities of your life. This can mean losing sleep, pushing yourself harder, doing more everyday, and eventually pushing yourself to and beyond your limit.
This can result in fatigue, which is a potentially serious condition that goes beyond tiredness and can be a real detriment to your health and well-being. Though anyone can experience fatigue, some people are at higher risk of not only developing the condition, but also suffering serious consequences as a result. Understanding your own particular risk for experiencing fatigue during your caregiver journey can help you to feel more in control, and take the steps necessary to protect yourself and your care efforts.
Some risk factors for experiencing fatigue include:
If you have been struggling with fatigue as you go through your caregiver journey with your aging parent, you do not need to feel as though you are alone, or as though you are experiencing something 'normal' that you just have to deal with. Fatigue goes beyond the normal level of tiredness family caregivers experience, and can be detrimental to your health and well-being, as well as to the quality and effectiveness of the care you give.
Fortunately, you don't just have to deal with fatigue. Starting home care for your parent can be a highly effective way to help you get the rest you need, care more for yourself, and still feel confident your loved one is getting all the care and support they need.
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.
What makes seniors fall down so often? The answer is there is isn't just one cause. Several factors can lead to falls. Your family should sit down and discuss these factors with your parents and take preventative action to keep falls from happening.
The Side Effects of Medications
Any medications that have a side effect like dizziness or drowsiness poses an issue. The medications are a necessity when it comes to health, but the side effects add new risks.
If your parent is taking a new medication, make sure someone is there to monitor them for a few hours after taking the pill. Eventually, you'll know if the pills make them dizzy or not. If they do get dizzy, someone is there to tend to them while they sit and let the dizzy waves pass.
Muscle Weakness and Joint Pain
Weakened muscle tone is an issue some seniors face. It's more common for seniors who do not exercise regularly, but it can happen to anyone. The joint pain from arthritis is another issue that seniors face. If it's hard to maintain balance because of pain and weakened muscles, a fall is likely.
Exercise to tone and strengthen muscles will help. Talk to a doctor about the best exercises for your mom or dad. If arthritis is present, it's also important to ask about the best pain management methods.
Avoid a fall risk by having your parent's home examined for hazards. Some of the most common issues are decorative rugs that slip on wood or tile flooring. They also have a tendency to curl on the edges. Remove these rugs entirely or add rubberized backing to keep them positioned.
Loose railings on stairs is another hazard. Your parents need sturdy support while walking up and down stairs. If a railing is wobbly or pulls away from a wall or post, it's increasing the risk of a fall. Tighten all railings if needed.
Many falls occur in the bathroom and kitchen. In the bathroom, wet flooring both inside and outside of the shower/tub pose hazards. Non-stick decals on the shower or tub floor will help, but grab bars are essential. As your mom or dad get in and out of the shower or tub, they have a supportive bar to hold for balance.
Fix any issues and keep your mom or dad safe by having a senior care provider on hand as needed. It's ideal to have a senior care professional around after taking medications, getting out of the shower, or carrying laundry. Caregiver services make sure your parent has help and is able to avoid a move from the family home. Call our senior care agency to learn more about services in your parent's hometown.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Senior Care Services in Wilmette IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
If you are looking for ways to prepare and serve more nutritious meals to your elderly relative but simply don’t know where to start, consider adding more leafy greens. Not only do greens like spinach, kale, chard, collared greens, mustard greens, arugula and many more varieties provide the body with vitamins and minerals, they also help with digestion and weight loss.
Nutritionists recommend that people, especially aging adults, eat several different kinds of leafy green vegetables every day. However, this is often easier said than done. After all, people of all ages have a hard time eating enough leafy greens, even seniors. Thus, it’s your duty to do what you can to incorporate delicious and nutritious leafy greens into common meals for your aging relative.
Here are several dishes that make it easy to put leafy greens on the menu for your aging loved one:
Stir fry: A stir fry is the ultimate healthy meal, because it requires all kinds of vegetables and lean meat. All the ingredients, including the leafy greens, are sautéed and drizzled with sauce. Everything is served over rice, making a filling delicious dish.
Soups and stews: From mustard greens to kale and everything in between, few ingredients add as much nutritional punch to soups and stews as leafy greens. Because they wilt when heated, leafy greens provide additional fiber, flavor and texture to these kinds of meals.
Fruit smoothies or green smoothies: Adding spinach or kale to a fruit smoothie or chocolate banana smoothie is a sure-fire way to sneak in some leafy greens. With strong flavors blended with ice, yogurt and more, many elderly adults don’t even realize they are eating leafy greens.
Egg dishes: It’s common to add leafy greens like spinach to egg-based dishes like quiche or frittata. Not only does it add a pleasant flavor, but the green looks so appetizing against the bright yellow egg mixture.
Wraps and sandwiches: While iceberg lettuce is an acceptable leafy green, usually the darker the leaf the more nutrients there are. Add in romaine lettuce or spinach on your elderly loved one’s favorite sandwich and know they are getting a real boost in nutrition.
Salad side dishes: Salads don’t have to be boring when you incorporate flavorful leafy greens beyond pale green lettuce. Add in romaine, kale or chard and top with lean protein like beans, eggs or chicken for a healthy and complete side dish or main meal.
It isn’t all that hard to incorporate leafy greens into your elderly parent’s daily meals. As long as you and the homecare assistant make it a priority, you’ll be able to discover dozens of ways to make your aging parent’s diet heathier with the addition of leafy greens.
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.
If your aging mom or dad is suddenly sneezing and complaining of a fever and sore throat, you may just write it off as a late season cold. However, it’s more likely that your elderly parent is suffering from seasonal allergies. In the spring and summer, plants and trees blossom and send lots of pollen into the air. In some people, that pollen triggers the body to release antibodies that flood the system that produce allergy symptoms.
Before you run off to the store for some over-the-counter allergy medicine, learn all you can about what elderly people really need when they are hit with seasonal allergies.
Seniors Struggle with Seasonal Allergies
While many people suffer from seasonal allergies, elderly adults may have a harder time dealing with the symptoms as well as finding successful treatment. With age comes a weakened immune system, making it easier to succumb to health complications from seasonal allergies. Often, seniors are also dealing with other chronic conditions.
It’s easy to misdiagnose seasonal allergies in elderly parents when they have many other chronic conditions they are dealing with. Seniors need to see a doctor when they have seasonal allergies so that their health isn’t negatively affected. It’s up to you to get them to the appointment as soon as possible so they can get some relief. If you can’t for some reason, a home care assistant can transport them as needed. You should never ignore seasonal allergies in your aging mom or dad, thinking that it will go away eventually.
Why Antihistamines are Bad for Seniors
Only a doctor should say whether your elderly parent should take an antihistamine for their seasonal allergies. That’s because antihistamines, the drugs that are usually given to treat allergy symptoms, can sometimes do more harm than good for the elderly.
Seniors can have very bad reactions to antihistamines such as dizziness, high blood pressure, dry membranes, and more. Antihistamines may also react badly with other medicines that your elderly mom or dad are already taking. Always listen to the doctor when it comes to treating their seasonal allergies.
How to Minimize Pollen Exposure
You can reduce the amount of pollen your aging parent is exposed to, and you can also inform others who work with them when you aren’t there, such as other family members or home care aides. Always look at the pollen count each day and keep your mom or dad indoors when it is high. If you or the home care aide must take your aging parent outside, they should wear a hat and sunglasses.
Don’t track pollen into the home either, and keep the doors and window shut. Use the dryer instead of hanging laundry outside to dry and stop wearing outside shoes in the house. Home care aides can wash bedding frequently and vacuum and dust often to stay ahead of pollen. These efforts will pay off immensely by cutting your mom or dad’s exposure to pollen.
Spring and summer will always be a battle against seasonal allergies for you and your aging parent, but with a good plan to avoid pollen and lots of input from the doctor, you can make your elderly mom or dad as comfortable as possible.
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.