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Falls in Older Individuals

Falls are common among older individuals. Once someone has had a fall, there is a higher chance they will fall once more. However, the fear of falling can take over their life. They might start to worry about doing their usual activities and therefore lose their sureness and even their independence. Knowing what causes falls will enable older individuals to fight their fears and decrease their risk of falling.

 

Causes

Falls can be caused by a number of different factors. Such as, physical conditions that impair quality or balance, hazards within the setting, or dangerous scenarios.

 

Physical impairments that increase the chance of a fall:

  • Trouble with balance or walking
  • Poor vision
  • Numbness in the feet
  • Muscle weakness
  • Blood pressure or irregular heartbeat

 

Dangers within the environment are a large cause of falls. Falls might occur when individuals do not notice the hazard or do not act quickly enough after the problem is detected.

Environmental hazards that increase the chance of falling:

  • Insufficient lighting
  • Loose rugs
  • Slippery surfaces
  • Electrical cords or objects within the path of walking

 

Prevention

Here is a list of some things older individuals can do to help reduce the chance of falling:

  • Balancing exercises (supervision may be necessary) like standing on one leg will improve stability. Several senior centers provide free or inexpensive group exercise classes tailored specifically for senior’s needs.

 

  • Wearing appropriate footwear. Shoes that have a firm grip, support your ankles, and flat heels are safest.

 

  • Standing up slowly when transitioning from sitting or lying down and taking a while before beginning to move.

 

  • Having vision checked regularly and wearing glasses with the proper prescription. Treatment of eye conditions that limit vision, may also help.

 

Hazards within the home should typically be removed or corrected.

  • Lighting is improved by increasing the number of lights or changing the type of lights used. Adequate lighting for stairways and outside areas used in the dark is important. Steps must have durable and secure handrails.

 

  • Grab bars are installed beside toilets, tubs, and different places for those who would like something to hold onto to get on their feet.

 

  • Loose throw rugs should either be removed, taped down, or should have nonslip backings.

 

  • Frequently used home items should be kept in reachable areas between waist and eye level, so they can be reached without stretching or bending.

 

Learning the way to safely handle possibly dangerous situations is beneficial. Pay attention to potential hazards and consider ways to accomplish daily tasks a lot safer.

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Bringing Awareness: Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a diagnosable mental illness that is a form of major depression related to changes in seasons. In most cases, Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms appear around late fall or early winter and fade away during the warmer days of spring and summer. Symptoms may start mild and become more severe as the season progresses. About 5% of Americans experience SAD each year.

Here are some signs you could have Seasonal Affective Disorder:

1.     You struggle with an irregular sleep pattern. 

Seasonal Affective Disorder is caused by changes in our circadian rhythms, melatonin, and serotonin. With daylight savings, it gets darker earlier. The faster it gets dark outside, the more it can disrupt our internal clock, which will cause our body to produce too much melatonin and lower our serotonin, making us feel drowsy too early in the day. This can mess with our sleep pattern. Both melatonin and serotonin governor sleep and wake cycles so when the levels alternate it can make a good night’s sleep virtually impossible. We recommend taking a warm bath before you get into bed or light up some lavender candles to help your mind and body calm down after a long day. The more relaxed you feel the sooner you will fall asleep.

2.     You are experiencing a change in appetite and weight.

With the cold weather, it is tempting to cuddle up in front of the TV and binge on junk food. It is important to eat foods high in nutritional value. If you have a craving for foods high in carbohydrates, we suggest you eat whole grains and add some bananas to your oatmeal. This will boost your serotonin levels. Foods such as fish, walnuts, and soybeans, can also help to improve your mood.

3.     You no longer enjoy your usual hobbies.

Some days you just don’t want to do anything after you get home from school or work but if this starts to become consistent it might be SAD kicking in. Losing energy or motivation to do your favorite activities is a clear sign of this condition. Go outside for some sunlight! Getting your vitamin D is essential. If you are not getting enough vitamin D you can experience fatigue and body aches. If possible, we suggest going out in the morning, This way you can start your day off right with some fresh air. 

4.     You have regular mood swings. This is something I struggle with a lot. the waterworks are no joke and when they happen sometimes, they come out of nowhere. It’s okay to cry but we hope if you’re in the same boat please don’t hesitate to reach out to loved ones. 

5.     You withdraw from others. It’s natural to cancel plans when a snowstorm is coming, but if you are uninterested in socializing 24/7 this is a concern. Come out from your covers and give your friends and family a call. They want to be there for you. They will understand when you bring up SAD.

6.     You get suicidal thoughts. It might feel like a dead-end is approaching when winter is lingering, but please remember that spring is right around the corner. If you need to talk to a professional, we have provided some suicide hotlines. We care about your well-being and want to remind you that you have people to lean onto. 

Suicide Hotline:

Call: 1-800-784-2433 OR Text: 1-800-799-4889

Suicide Hotline in Spanish: 1-800-273-8255 (Press 2)

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Why Consider Home Care as a Career?

We live in an unusual time. With the most noteworthy joblessness rate since the Great Depression, it is a time of uncertainty for several individuals and families. As we all try to stay safe amongst COVID-19, the added stress of financial and career uncertainty can be overwhelming.

For those of you who are struggling financially right now or have lost your job and are not sure what to do, we suggest considering a career in home care.

We all are having to deal with sheltering in place and staying home as necessary. But, for older ones and others at high risk, staying home could mean their life. As we continue to battle this virus, any other health challenges people are facing unfortunately remain. Particularly for seniors, small tasks around the house, picking up groceries, and getting to medical appointments are especially difficult.

Trusted home care professionals are keeping these ones safe, happy, and healthy at home, and are relieving stress and burdens for the families of those needing extra care. So, whether you are working in healthcare, or you are seeking to transition from another field, a career in home care is particularly gratifying.

Current Healthcare Workers
All those working in doctor’s offices, hospitals, and clinics. We know that your jobs are now more stressful than ever. Yet, your desire to help people is just as strong. Here are a couple of reasons why a becoming a caregiver may be appropriate for you:

Flexibility- Perhaps you have family members to take care of, or maybe you just need more control over your schedule. When working in home care, you can often set your schedule to make certain that you can take care of the important matters in your life.
A change in scenery- We cannot imagine all that you have seen and dealt with at this time we are living in. It is more than understandable if you are burned out. Whether you are burned out, or simply need a change in scenery, making the switch to home care offers a new way to use the skills and training you have acquired during your career.
A closer relationship with your patient- Many nurses feel that it is rewarding to provide long-term care for patients. In a home care career, you will be joining your patients in their homes. You will get to know them and get to see their successes and help them when things become challenging.
Develop skills- Here at Help Home Care, our employees continue to develop existing skills, as well as learn new ones. You will have plenty of opportunities to grow.

Career Changers
Hospitality, retail, and other industries have taken a massive hit as the world faces the COVID-19 pandemic. A new career in home care as a caregiver is perfect for those who are interested in transitioning to an exciting, and rewarding role. It is an especially good fit for those who enjoy working with people. Why?

You Get to Make a difference- Every job is important, but it is incredibly rewarding to be personally involved in the health and happiness of those who need our help. The help of a caregiver keeps many older ones happy, healthy, and comfortable at home, rather than in a nursing home.
No day is the same- When you have a career in home care, every day is different. Your workplace is the home of your clients. Rather than having to sit in front of a screen all day, you are on the road and visiting with client patients, chatting about their day, and making a major impact.
Companionship in a time of physical distancing- The effects of the current pandemic have come down especially hard on all of us who are physically distancing from friends and loved ones. Not only will you be providing companionship to seniors who are often lonely, but the company of your clients will also be good for your mental health.

Join HHC and you will become part of a passionate group of home care providers who genuinely care about having a positive influence on the people in our communities. We would love to have you on our team.

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Home Care Services Over Nursing Home Placement

It is normal to experience a level of stress as your parents begin to age. Their health condition worsens, their bodies grow weaker and their memory may begin to fade. They become more susceptible to accidents and injuries. At some point, searching for senior care options becomes necessary. As a capable son or daughter who deeply loves their parents, you might want to deal with the issue yourself. However, it may not be practical or possible for you to do so. What can you do to see to it your aging parents receive the care they need?

Oftentimes, families facing these circumstances have felt that they had no other choice but to place their loved ones in a nursing home facility. While this option may be appropriate for some, many of those placed in nursing homes could thrive and find life more fulfilling in a non-institutionalized environment. Many older ones currently living in large congregated settings feel threatened and are in fear of succumbing to sickness, neglect or attack of one form or another. Others simply long to enjoy the opportunity to engage the company of younger individuals outside of their diminishing age group. In addition, family members influential in placing older relatives in facilities often feel shame in having had to make such a decision. They also wonder about whether or not their loved ones are being well taken care of in an environment that may be more restrictive.

For these and many other reasons more and more people have strongly considered the advantages of arranging for their loved ones to receive home care over nursing home placement.

Many older ones have lived in their homes for many years and cannot envision relocating. Some have stated, “…don’t send me to a nursing home.” If you are an older adult, you most likely feel a similar way. 

Here are some reasons why home care may be a better option: 

  •       You can be certain that the home care caregiver will provide your mom or dad with individualized care. Unfortunately, that is not the case in nursing homes, where in most cases the residents far outnumber the team of health care providers on staff. As a result, many have complained about their parents not receiving immediate attention from staff members when they need it.
  •       Your parents will likely feel more comfortable in a familiar home environment whether that be their own or that provided by the agency within the community. Nursing homes are devoid of the freedom and independent life choices older ones long to hold on to.  There’s simply no substitute to experiencing the comfort of their favorite chair, the view from a favored spot of the house, and the interactions of those both young and old who stop by to visit to check on them throughout the week. With home care, your parents would truly be able to cherish life’s enriching experiences.
  •       With an at-home caregiver, your parents can continue to take advantage of opportunities and freedoms that are afforded them despite their advancing age and the limitations their health condition might otherwise place on them. The same cannot be said of nursing homes where restrictive policies and procedures significantly limit what residents can and cannot do.  
  •       At home, your parents can enjoy the food that they like. Nursing homes plan meals for vast amounts of people, and on certain days the food may not be to your parent’s liking. While the meals prepared by the caregivers for your parents would be in accord with whatever dietary restrictions their doctor may impose, the meals would nonetheless be tasty because they all contain a dash of love as an underlining ingredient.

In conclusion, before you attempt to persuade your older parents to move into a nursing home, reconsider your options. It might turn out that home care is the most ideal course for you and your parents.

For further assistance with considering your options, please feel free to contact Help Home Care at admin@helphomecare.com.

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Have Fun – Enjoyable Activities for Older Adults

As you grow older, some of the things you have always loved to do become more difficult than they ever were before. This is a challenging part of aging but something you should keep in mind is, there are lots of appealing and valuable things you can do to improve your health and attitude. Below is a list of activities and hobbies that are sure to keep you entertained as you age.

 

Birdwatch

One popular activity is birdwatching. Birdwatching exercises both your mind and your body. It is a wonderful way to get outside and active. Another great thing about birdwatching is that it is one of the most affordable activities there are. All you need is a field guide and maybe a pair of binoculars!

 

Get to Cooking

Most people have been cooking and baking for years. Many do not realize that cooking and baking can have a good effect on your mental health. Cooking stimulates your senses, it makes you (and whoever you are sharing with) happy, and it can be an outlet to express creativity. If you are searching for an activity to take part in, you may want to dive into an activity you have known all your life and head to your kitchen!

 

Start a Garden

Gardening is an activity that is beneficial both mentally and physically. It improves your memory and attention span, lowers stress, and boosts the feeling of relaxation. When gardening, you are adding to the beauty of your surroundings. You may even be putting food on the table in the process, depending on what you choose to plant. Gardening is an activity you do not have to wait to begin. All you need to start your garden is some land, and seeds from your neighborhood home shop.

 

 

Go for a Walk

One of the best ways to get some exercise and take in the beauty of nature is, going on a walk. Walking helps preserve mobility and independence as you age. It is a low impact activity, where even something as simple as taking a stroll through the park can help keep you in shape.

 

Draw or Paint

Painting and drawing are some hobbies you could incorporate into your everyday life. Not only is painting and drawing peaceful activities and a lot of fun, but there are many other benefits that you can enjoy if you make it your new hobby. Painting and drawing help to enhance fine motor skills, increase brain activity, and work on concentration. All you need is paper and a pencil! If you feel you would like some more professional art tools, you should be able to get all you need and more at your local craft store.

 

Do What You Love

Doing the things that you love will help you to live a happy and healthy lifestyle. All the activities listed are great opportunities for you to exercise your brain, body, and heart. By becoming more active, you will find more enjoyment in your free time. So come on, have fun, and get active!