January Newsletter

Purpose Statement

We are the extended family when the family can’t be there. Our goal is to make life easier by delivering the same exceptional care we would expect for ourselves and our families. We will provide services to support any individual wherever they call home.

Caring Corner

5 Questions to Help You Know if Your Aging Parents Need More Care

 By Vicki Crow and Brian Day

It’s hard to think about your parents getting older, but necessary. Often, small changes in health have a big impact on well-being and safety. If you’re concerned about your parents and whether they can live on their own, ask yourself these questions: 

  1. Are your parents safe when driving?

Problems with vision, arthritis and medications can make driving much more difficult in the senior years. If your parents have received a moving violation or experienced an accident, it might be time to evaluate their safety on the road.

 

  1. Are your parents experiencing normal memory loss?

Seniors do have some memory loss as they age. Signs that it might be more serious are:

  • Getting lost in familiar places
  • Inability to follow directions
  • Confusion about people, time and places
  • Asking the same questions over and over 
  1. Can your parents take care of themselves? 

If you were to ask your parents, they would probably tell you, “of course, we can take care of ourselves.” Instead, look around for signs that housework is being neglected, clothes aren’t being washed regularly or the yard isn’t being taken care of. It might be that your parents are depressed and don’t have motivation to attend to themselves, or it could be that physically they are unable to do everything the used to do.

 

  1. Are your parents managing their diet?

Weight loss can be a sign that your parents aren’t eating properly. You may have to be a detective to figure out why. For example:

  • Are your parents able to get to the store and shop?
  • Do your parents have financial issues that might limit what they can buy?
  • It is a loss of taste or smell? Many medications affect the senses.
  • Can your parents still cook? It might be difficult to grasp spoons or use a can opener.
  • Is it an underlying condition? Cancer, malnutrition and dementia can cause a person to lose weight.

 

  1. How are your parent’s spirits?

Are your parents still social and seeing friends and family? Do they have hobbies? What is their mood? If you’re seeing changes, it might be time to look at why.

 

Home Helpers of Walnutport has resources to help you take care of your aging parents. From a free home safety check to a caregiver match, we provide affordable care that improves your parent’s quality of life. Whether you live down the street or across the state from your parents, you’ll have peace of mind that your mom and dad are taken care of.



Keep Seniors Safe and Warm in Their Homes

 By Vicki Crow and Brian Day

Record-breaking low temperatures are all but inescapable this winter, with every state except Hawaii recording below-freezing weather on one recent morning. Staying warm in the middle of an Arctic blast is always a hassle, and we certainly endorse all the good advice offered about covering up hands and ears and dressing in layers.

 

But because the cold weather is a particular threat to the oldest and youngest among us, I wanted to offer a gentle reminder to be extra vigilant in checking on elderly loved ones during extreme weather.

 

Older adults are more vulnerable to hypothermia, a serious condition in which body temperature drops significantly. This is compounded by the fact that they may not show the signs and symptoms of low body temperature – or recognize them – the same way they once did. Which means, some things they didn’t pay much attention to when they were younger might now be detrimental to their health.

 

One culprit is a home that is not adequately heated. This can be due to a conscious choice, malfunctioning heating and ventilation, or because of poor sealing or insulation. Homes that have a consistent temperature as “warm” as 65 degrees Fahrenheit can leave older people vulnerable to hypothermia after prolonged exposure, according to the National Institutes of Health.

 

To enhance your senior’s comfort and safety, check in with them often. If you suspect they are reacting poorly to the weather outside, even though they’re spending most of their time inside, try these tips:

 

  • Confirm their heating system is functioning properly, and the thermostat is set to at least 68 degrees
  • Check for leaks or drafts, especially around windows and doors
  • Temperatures can vary from room to room and even within the same room, so look for a warmer place as a temporary home base
  • Consider the use of a remote thermometer or Wi-Fi-connected thermostat that permits you to monitor room temperature
  • If you suspect the home is not adequately heated, find another place for your loved one to stay temporarily while you sort out a solution

 

Most important, if you notice any symptoms of hypothermia – sudden clumsiness, slurred speech, stiff hands, shallow breathing – seek medical attention immediately.

 

A winter wonderland can be beautiful, but brutal. This is truer as we age. Let’s make sure those we care for are in an environment that protects their health and safety while respecting their independence for as long as possible.



Why Is Recording Your Parent’s Weight Important As They Live with Heart Failure?

 By Vicki and Brian Day

If you are a family caregiver for one of the approximately five million people throughout the United States who are currently living with heart failure, one of the care and management recommendations you are likely to have received is to make sure that you weigh your parent regularly and record these weights. Understanding the importance of this process illustrates why you need to make this a consistent part of your care and how you can utilize this information effectively.

Heart failure occurs when the heart muscle is weakened to the point that it is no longer capable of pumping sufficient blood through the body. This can occur for a variety of reasons, including history of heart attack, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and other factors. When the heart is incapable of pumping enough blood through the body, it is also not able to pump waste products out of the body. This can lead to a tremendous amount of fluid building up throughout the body, which can manifest itself as swelling period while this can occur in any place in the body, it is particularly common in the hands, feet, and limbs. This swelling can be uncomfortable and unsightly, but it can also be potentially dangerous for your elderly parents. Swelling indicates that there’s too much fluid in the body, and that the heart is not pumping properly. This puts additional strain on the heart and can lead to further damage.

Weighing your aging parent daily is a way to monitor the amount of fluid that is in their body. Recording their weights allows you to detect any sudden increases that might indicate that their body is retaining too much fluid and could be in danger. It is generally recommended that you alert your parent’s medical team if they experience an increase in weight of three pounds or more. If this happens, get in touch with their medical team as quickly as possible and share their weight records. The doctor may want to see your parent as this could be an indication that they need an adjustment to their care or treatment. For most effective record keeping, weigh at the same time and wearing the same type of clothing each day.

If you are concerned that your aging parent has needs and challenges that you are unable to meet effectively, your schedule or limitations have changed and altered your ability to give your senior the care that they need, or you simply feel that your parent could benefit from additional support, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting home care for them. An in-home senior care services provider can step in to fill care gaps and meet needs that you are uncomfortable or unable to manage yourself. This can not only ease your caregiver stress, but can also ease stress and anxiety for your aging parent. Through the personalized services of a care provider your parent can remain healthy, happy, safe, and comfortable, and pursue a more active and independent lifestyle as they age in place. This can support a better lifestyle and stronger relationship for your both of you.

IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING HOME CARE IN NORTHAMPTON, PA, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT HOME HELPERS. CALL TODAY! (610) 365-4266.



How Can You Make Diet Changes Smoother for Your Parent?

 By Vicki and Brian Day

Making major changes in your life can be daunting and stressful for anyone. For elderly adults, however, this can be particularly difficult. Not only do they have a lifetime of habits and routines behind them, but many seniors already feel as though their autonomy and control over their own lives is threatened by their need for care and assistance. Needing to make further changes can seem intimidating. Helping your parent to recognize the value of changes such as improving their diet, however, can help to motivate them to make better choices and enjoy a healthier and more fulfilling quality of life as they age in place.

Use these tips to help make changing your parent’s diet smoother and easier for them:

  • Start with small changes such as cutting down on soda, sugary drinks, and alcohol. Replace these with water for the combined benefit of reducing sugar, calories, and additives, and boosting hydration.
  • Encourage your parent by celebrating the small changes that they make. Recognize that these changes are accomplishments and help them to feel a sense of achievement to keep them motivated.
  • Sit down and talk to their doctor about the changes that you should be making for your parent. Remember that while there are some basic guidelines that apply to most people when it comes to eating a healthy diet, these do not necessarily apply to all people, and it is extremely important to evaluate your parent’s health and any conditions that they might be living with in order to ensure the dietary changes that you make for them are healthy and safe.
  • Rather than making the changes yourself or pushing these changes on your parent, make them an active part of it. Ask them to help you choose new recipes, to find new ingredients and healthy food options that they would like to try, and to help you with grocery shopping and meal preparation. Making them an active part of their dietary changes will Empower your parent and encourage them to stay motivated and comply to these changes so that they get the most benefit possible.

Starting senior care for your aging loved one can be one of the best decisions that you can make during the course of your caregiver journey with them. A senior home care services provider can be in the home with your parent on a fully customized schedule, meaning that they will have continued and reliable access to the support, care, assistance, and companionship that they need to manage their individual needs and challenges, as well as to support their quality of life. The highly personalized services that such a caregiver can provide will help your aging parent stay healthy, safe, happy, and comfortable, while also encouraging them to live a lifestyle that is as independent, active, and fulfilling as possible as they age in place.

IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING SENIOR CARE IN NORTHAMPTON, PA, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT HOME HELPERS. CALL TODAY! (610) 365-4266.



Why Is Goal-Setting Important for Elderly Adults?

 By Vicki and Brian Day

The new year is upon us and for many people that means a time of setting goals and making resolutions. As a family caregiver, the concept of goal setting can be important part of making sure that you are aging loved one gets the care that they need and is also able to live the quality of life and lifestyle that they desire and deserve. There’s a common misconception that setting goals is just for younger people, or for those who are pursuing major aspirations. The truth is that setting goals is something that all people should do as a way of making the most out of life. Encouraging your parent to not only set goals in their lives, but also to pursue them, is a fantastic way to help them to pursue and maintain High mental emotional health, physical well-being, and fulfillment as they age in place.

Some reasons that setting goals are important for elderly adults include:

  • Goals encourage your parent to continue finding things in their life that interest and excite them. Whether the goal is to lose weight, to learn a new language, or to achieve something new in their favorite hobby, when they set that goal, they have something to reach for and a means of discovering new aspects of themselves and the world around them.
  • Goals help to motivate your parents and keep them working towards something, even if that is just their best possible health and well-being. When they have a goal, they are able to see when they have accomplished and aspect of that goal. This gives them a sense of achievement and helps to keep them moving forward.
  • Goals are a way to take an aspiration or a dream that seems completely unattainable and break it down into smaller, more accessible chunks so that it seems possible. If your parent is always wanted to accomplish something, or they are given a major goal by their doctor such as losing a large amount of weight or getting more active on a regular basis, they might feel as though it is too big of a dream or aspiration and that they are not able to do it. If they have smaller goals, however, it is easier for them to work toward those steps, enjoy the sense of accomplishment that comes when they get them, and then move forward with the next goal.

If you have been looking for ways to enhance your aging parents quality of life as they age in place, starting elder care for them may be the ideal solution. An elderly home care services provider can create a highly personalized approach to your parents care that includes services specifically tailored toward their individual challenges, needs, and limitations. These services are designed to not only help your parent to manage their needs in the way that is right for them, but also to support a lifestyle focused on mental, emotional, and physical health, independence and autonomy, and fulfillment. These services can include everything from safe and reliable transportation, to companionship, to assistance with personal care needs and activities of daily life.

IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING ELDER CARE IN SLATINGTON, PA, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT HOME HELPERS. CALL TODAY! (610) 365-4266.



What Do You Know About Type 3C Diabetes?

 By Vicki and Brian Day

You know all about type 1 and type 2 diabetes. What do you know about type 3C? Have you even heard of it? In a 2013 report in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, it’s reported that as many as 10 percent of all cases of diabetes are most likely type 3C.

How the Pancreas Works

The pancreas is part of the digestive system and helps break down the foods you eat. It also produces insulin to help regulate the sugar that makes its way into the bloodstream after you eat. The pancreas helps the sugars convert to glucose, which is needed to provide energy to your cells. It also helps the liver store the glucose for energy needs in the future. If sugar stores get too high or too low, it can cause detrimental effects on the rest of the body.

If something happens to the pancreas and insulin production, problems occur. With type 3C diabetes, the disease forms when inflammation in the pancreas kills certain cells. As the cells die, insulin is released in smaller quantities, which leads to a loss of control over blood sugar levels.

How Do You Treat Type 3C Diabetes?

Pancreatic inflammation involves a dietary approach to increase fiber and not indulge in too many fatty foods. It’s also advised to stop drinking alcohol and smoking. A doctor may want to do ultrasounds to check for issues causing the inflammation. Oral supplements to increase pancreatic enzymes may also be recommended.

Some doctors recommend usage of vitamin D, as well, to prevent osteoporosis. The concern is that some cases of pancreatitis cause low calcium levels. Next, your mom or dad will need to control insulin levels through the use of insulin or oral glucose tabs.

If you suspect your mom or dad has this form of diabetes talk to the appropriate doctor. If one of your parents has chronic pancreatitis, ask if type 3C diabetes is a concern. Once there’s a diagnosis, you can work with your parents to find a treatment that works.

Caregivers can help your parents with meal preparation. If your parent’s diet is hard for them to manage by themselves, it’s helpful to have someone around who can help them plan healthy meals. Caregivers can also take them shopping for groceries, put groceries away, and prepare meals. Learn more about the services available from a senior care agency by giving the agency a call.

Sources:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3831209/

IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING CAREGIVERS IN NORTHAMPTON, PA, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT HOME HELPERS. CALL TODAY! (610) 365-4266.

Caregiver Central 

We would like to wish a Happy Birthday to the following staff members, we hope you have an awesome day.

Donna Johnson      January 19

Barbara Scully       January 24

Iesha Pridgen        February 8

The following team members are celebrating work anniversaries this month we would like to thank them for all they do for our clients.

Karen Lance      1 Year

Eileen Miller      1 Year

Kerry Boyer       1 Year

Laurie Hernandez    1 Year

January newsletter