Community Blog

The Skinny on Sweeteners without the Sugar

We’ve heard it all before. Sugar is bad for you, and some artificial sweeteners are not so great, either. Added sugar can contribute to type 2 diabetes, high triglyceride levels, low HDL (good cholesterol) levels, tooth decay and overall poor nutrition. Now it turns out that sugar may be a contributing factor to Alzheimer’s disease, so it is especially important that seniors watch their sugar intake. Cutting back on added sugar may be harder for some people than others. Studies indicate that people with a “sweet tooth” have genetic markers that can predict their preference for sugary foods. By using sugar substitutes and artificial sweeteners, you can help control sugar intake for yourself and your loved one.

The Golden Years: Improving the Quality of Life

Many of us have parents who have lived their busy lives and who are now looking forward to the “golden years.” But the fact is that aging often comes with physical disabilities and a loss of mental acuity that make enjoying life more difficult. Fortunately, in today’s world, there are options for aging seniors to live active, socially connected lives in a safe environment for a wonderful quality of life.

Technology for Caregivers

Caregivers can leverage a wide range of technological solutions that improve care and relieve stress.

Important Tips for Aging in Place at Home

While transitioning to a healthcare facility like an assisted living or a nursing home may become necessary for some aging seniors, chances are your loved one would prefer to age in place at home for as long as possible. It makes sense to plan for present needs as well as the future. The National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the highly regarded National Institutes of Health (NIH), funds research on aging and offers suggestions for seniors to remain at home. Contacting a reputable home healthcare agency to provide an experienced caregiver can allow your loved one to remain independent in familiar surroundings.

5 Delicious Superfoods for Seniors

While superfoods have been found to be beneficial for everyone, they can be particularly important in a senior citizen’s diet. More and more, scientists are finding that superfoods can help control inflammation and other symptoms as you age. An experienced in-home caregiver can help your aging loved one work a variety of superfoods into a healthy diet to manage inflammation and prevent disease.

Understanding Alzheimer Disease

Alzheimer Disease is a form of dementia that most often occurs in patients age 60 and older. A skilled in-home caregiver can help take care of aging seniors who suffer from the disease.

Check your Aging Parents this Holiday Season

The winter holiday season is a perfect time to check up on your aging parents to make sure they are handling things well, especially if they live alone. Take the time to make an assessment of their home and their lifestyle to see if your loved ones are eating well, practicing good hygiene, getting around and taking care of business by responding to mail and balancing the checkbook. If there are problems, you may find that they need some help from a companion or an in-home caregiver.

Home Health Care Agency or Hire Direct: The Best Way to Hire an In-Home Caregiver

Many senior citizens want to remain in familiar surroundings in their own home as they age. However, at some point it may become apparent that they need help with activities of daily living. The support of an in-home caregiver can support seniors by preparing meals, assisting with personal hygiene, and providing transportation to doctor’s appointments and social activities and more.

Are You Asking the Right Questions about Your Home Health Care Agency?

You have reached the point where you understand that your aging loved one needs more help than you are able to give. Maybe you have other family and work obligations, or you might be an adult child of an aging senior with health problems of your own. You realize that an in-home caregiver can offer assistance that you can’t provide.

Taking Away the Keys to the Car

Children of aging senior citizens are often faced with having difficult conversations with their parents. While it is important for elderly loved ones to remain as independent as possible and keep up with the freedom to do things they enjoy, safety has to come first. When it comes to driving, adult children may find themselves in the position of explaining to their parent that it is time to give up the keys to the car.

How to Talk to Your Aging Parent

Dealing with aging seniors can be challenging, but it is important not to vent that frustration by using a poor choice of words and a confrontational tone. It is likely that your aging parents are aware of their failing memory, their diminishing physical abilities and their reliance on caregivers. Addressing seniors in an aggressive tone comes across as disrespectful and can create a vicious cycle of annoyance, anger and guilt in you, the caregiver.

How to Have a Difficult Conversation with your Aging Parent

It takes a lot to have a difficult conversation with anyone, let alone an aging parent. But members of the “sandwich generation,” often Baby Boomers who are getting up there in years themselves, find themselves in a situation where they have to act as a parent to their own parent. As they age, seniors often lapse into forgetfulness, repetition and decreasing cognitive ability, triggering a toxic mix of anger, pity, fear and annoyance in their adult children. The solution can be as easy as hiring an in-home health caregiver to shoulder some of the responsibilities.

Medical Equipment that Can Help Seniors

Today there is a wide range of assistive devices that can help your loved ones stay independent at home for as long as they possibly can. Caregivers who are aware of the needs of aging seniors can choose from medical equipment for bathing, sleeping, eating, mobility and household needs.

Nutrition Tips for Seniors

We’ve all noticed that some people seem to age well and maintain a high level of mental agility, physical energy and a remarkable positive attitude. Even if you have never paid much attention to your eating habits in the past, this stage of life demands an improved diet. As a senior citizen you should know that eating a healthy diet can help you stay in good physical shape, enhance your mental alertness, enable you to feel better and enhance your chances of living a longer life by reducing the risk of disease.

Traveling with Senior Citizens

A senior citizen should arrange to see the doctor for a pre-travel checkup around four to six weeks ahead of time, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). During the visit the doctor can review the patient’s medications and illnesses, and make recommendations for vaccines. The doctor can also offer advice like avoiding places with a high altitude or extreme climate and making sure the trip is not too strenuous for heart patients.

Managing Chronic Pain in Seniors

As the population segment of aging seniors grows in the United States, health care workers, physicians, family members and caregivers are paying more attention to the chronic pain that often accompanies the aging process. According to the NIH (National Institutes of Health), 50 percent of seniors living on their own and up to 85 percent of seniors living in care facilities suffer from some form of chronic pain. Caregivers can help identify seniors who suffer from chronic pain, and keep them on track to avoid the social isolation, depression and anxiety that can come with the condition.

When Your Aging Loved One Needs Help

Seniors who live independently may enjoy their freedom, but as time goes by they may need some assistance with meal preparation, hygiene and transportation. As an adult child of an aging loved one, notice signs that your parents may need help and be aware of solutions that will allow them to remain at home. Sometimes all it takes is a compassionate in-home caregiver to provide the support and companionship they require.

Senior Safety Checklist

It is important to evaluate the living conditions of seniors who live independently on a regular basis. An environment that was fine just a month ago may now pose a problem. Assess the home with your loved one’s diminishing abilities and special requirements in mind to make sure they are in safe surroundings. A qualified in-home health caregiver can help you assess the situation and recommend modifications that can prolong the senior’s ability to remain at home.

Is It Alzheimer’s?

As people age they often notice that they are experiencing increasing problems with memory. It is estimated that approximately 40 percent of all seniors over the age of 65 suffer from memory loss. While some age-related memory impairment is a normal part of the aging process, severe memory loss accompanied by declining thinking and reasoning skills can be a sign of an underlying medical condition, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. For adult children of aging parents, figuring out whether their loved one has Alzheimer’s and is in need of a trained health caregiver can be difficult. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are some early warning signs that can point to the disease.

Should Aging Seniors Live on Their Own?

Many senior citizens feel that they are capable of living independently, but the fact is that as time goes by they may struggle with daily activities that used to be routine. Simple acts like bathing, keeping track of medications, planning meals and straightening up the house can often become monumental tasks. At this point, family members may wonder if it is time to consider an independent living facility or a nursing home. For seniors who value their independence, simple changes like modifying the home, purchasing specialized equipment, checking for safety and enlisting the assistance of an in-home caregiver may be the answer to remaining independent in familiar surroundings.

Are Your Parents Taking their Meds?

You might assume that your aging parents are taking their medication as directed, but you may be in for an unpleasant surprise. People over 65 generally take several prescription and over-the-counter medications every single day, and trying to keep track of it all can prove to be a major challenge for aging seniors. Part of the problem is that seniors often fill their prescriptions without truly understanding what the medication is and what the medication does. They may run at risk of health issues if they take the wrong dosage, skip a day here and there or combine the drug along with herbal supplements and non-prescription drugs. Seniors living at home can benefit from a home health caregiver who can keep seniors on track by making sure they take their meds as prescribed.

Action Plans for Seniors and their Caregivers

As you probably know, home health caregivers assist aging seniors by taking them shopping for food and driving them to their doctor’s appointments. In fact, in-home caregivers commonly engage in these activities and many more. When you hire a caregiver, it makes sense to develop an individualized action plan to address the senior’s needs and help them remain as independent as possible.

What’s in the Refrigerator? Monitoring Nutrition for Seniors

Adult children of aging seniors might assume that their elderly parent is eating well, but this may be far from the truth. The loss of a spouse, changing medical dietary requirements, ineptitude in the kitchen and physical or mental frailty can all contribute to a lack of healthy eating. As people age, their sense of taste and smell can diminish and they may not look forward to meals as they once did. A trained and caring in-home caregiver can provide companionship at meal times and monitor senior eating habits with meal planning, shopping and food preparation.

How to Help Aging Seniors Avoid Isolation

As people live longer, there is a risk that they will become more isolated as the years go by. Decreased mobility, a shrinking social network and living alone due to the loss of a spouse can intensify the problem. Unfortunately, social isolation has been linked to a range of serious health effects in the elderly, including dementia and mortality. Sometimes the solution to rejoining the world is as simple as having transportation to a beloved activity with treasured friends.

Tips for Choosing a Home Health Care Agency

Here are some tips for obtaining a companion or aide who will take some of caretaker duties away from you and provide much needed assistance to your aging parent. Choosing the right agency will ensure that the companion you hire will have the background and supervision required for your peace of mind.

6 Early Warning Signs your Aging Parent Needs Help

Even as they age your parents are still your parents, so sometimes it is difficult to admit that they are getting to the point where they need in-home health care. Even if they have managed to live on their own for years, there comes a time when you may notice signs that there are health or safety problems and you need to become more involved by contracting with a home care agency. Or, perhaps you have been involved with daily care, and you feel it is time to enlist the help of a health care professional so that you, as the caretaker, can find it easier to balance your own responsibilities like work and family.

How to Pay for Home Health Care

Home health care can be a cost-effective option, especially if your loved one has a long-term care insurance or qualifies for veterans benefits. To offset the costs, it is important to understand the resources that are available.

The 5 Top Benefits of Home Health Care for Seniors

Home health care can provide important benefits to both the senior who needs the help as well as the relative who has become the caregiver. Home health care companions can extend the time an aging senior can remain at home in familiar surroundings while maintaining a level of independence and dignity. By contracting for home care services, you can avoid costly stays in assisted living facilities and nursing homes.

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