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Advantages of In-Home Care During the Warmer Seasons

Spring and summertime are some of the best seasons to enjoy time outside. After spending most of your time indoors during winter it feels good to get out and take in some sunlight. For some seniors it can be hard to get outside, thus in-home care can be helpful. Here are a few of the benefits of in-home care during the warmer months.

 

Senior Health

Getting outdoors is a great thing for anyone’s health and having a professional home caregiver helps seniors to do so. Sunlight offers a great source of vitamin D that can improve brain function, help lower blood pressure, strengthen bones, and boost the immune system. Walking and moving around outside can help blood circulation and give older ones a nice cardio exercise.

While it is great to get out and enjoy the sun, it can be harmful if you are not careful. Caregivers make sure that their patients apply sunscreen when going outdoors to protect them from harmful UV rays. They also do well to make sure their patients are not out when the temperatures are too high and always have a good amount of water with them for proper hydration.

 

Support for Family Caregivers

During the warmer months, many people tend to travel or go out more. This can be difficult if you have a loved one to look after. You may feel like you are not able to have some downtime or vacation. With professional home care services, you will not need to worry. You can hire a caregiver to help care for your loved one. This will make it so that you can a little more flexibility and take the time off that you need.

 

Maintaining a Comfortable Indoor Temperature

With the temperatures rising outside, your indoor temperatures will increase as well. Some older ones can become forgetful, especially while living alone, and may not notice the lack of proper air conditioning. This can be dangerous and even fatal. Having home care services will help with making sure that the house remains at a comfortable and safe temperature.

Consider whether in-home services are a good option for your loved one.

 

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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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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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Dementia

‘Dementia’ is a term used to describe a wide range of symptoms of cognitive impairment. Witnessing dementia in a parent is one of the hardest things we might face as adults. As we see our parents become dependent and disabled, we confront the vulnerability of someone who at one time we viewed as strong and powerful. There are many types of dementia and managing dementia can be overwhelming. We must balance worry and the realization that roles have changed. To make dealing with this challenge somewhat less difficult, let us get acquainted with three of the most common types of dementia and their symptoms.

3 Common Types of Dementia:

 

Alzheimer’s disease

 

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the most common type of dementia, affecting many Americans over the age of 65.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease often mirror signs of common stress, and it can be easy to overlook symptoms for a while, not realizing a bigger problem could be at hand. Though symptoms such as not being able to focus, forgetfulness, and negative attitude, are symptoms that could result from something as simple as not getting enough sleep at night, these are also common indicators of early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Other symptoms of the illness include:

  • Inability to recall numerical sequences like phone numbers and addresses
  • Difficulty planning and solving problems
  • Trouble completing or remembering to do everyday tasks like self-care and chores
  • Forgetting material that you just watched or read, as well as misplacing things often
  • Withdrawing from social situations and changes in personality

Vascular Dementia

Vascular Dementia is a type of dementia that involves impairments in cognitive function caused by damage to blood vessels caused by multiple strokes. Some specialists favor the term “vascular cognitive impairment” (VCI) to “vascular dementia” because they feel it conveys the concept that vascular thinking changes can range from mild to severe.

Symptoms of Vascular Dementia:

The symptoms of vascular dementia depend on the part of the brain affected and the extent of the damage. Similar to Alzheimer’s disease, the symptoms of vascular dementia are often unrecognizable for a long time. They may include:

  • Confusion
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • The decline in the ability to analyze a situation, develop an effective plan and communicate that plan to others
  • Memory loss
  • Significant slowness of thought

 

Lewy Body Dementia

Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) is a progressive brain disorder in which proteins, called alpha-synuclein, accumulate inside certain brain cells. These accumulated proteins, called Lewy bodies, cause damage to brain cells in areas of the brain that affect mental capabilities, behavior, and movement.

Symptoms of Lewy Body Dementia

Symptoms of LBD may resemble the symptoms of other neurological disorders. For instance, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Yet, cognitive symptoms tend to show earlier in dementia with Lewy bodies than in Parkinson’s disease dementia. The effects of LBD show in each person differently and vary in severity.

Common symptoms of LBD include:

  • Movement disorders
  • Poor regulation of body functions (autonomic nervous system)
  • Cognitive problems
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Depression

 

While cures for dementia continue to baffle the medical world, that does not stop us from learning about different dementias and adjusting our ways of dealing with those who have it. We want to love and care for those we know with dementia to the best of our abilities.

https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/what-is-dementia

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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!