Community Blog

The DASH Diet to Lower Blood Pressure

Many aging seniors find that they now have high blood pressure, even if their blood pressure was within normal range their whole lives. Different kinds of prescription drugs may help, but before going on medication it might make sense to try altering your diet and eating less to lose weight, stay healthy and lower your blood pressure. The DASH diet, or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, is designed to treat or even prevent high blood pressure. The DASH diet offers suggestions that can also prevent a wide range of other diseases, including stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis and cancer. An in-home caregiver can help your loved one eat a heart healthy diet.

Tips for Preventing Senior Falls

Older folks are more prone to falling, and to make matters worse they don’t heal as quickly as they once did. Ongoing health issues like heart disease, diabetes and circulation issues can affect balance, and many prescribed medications cause dizziness. In addition, the senior’s coordination, muscle strength and reflexes may have diminished, and they may suffer from osteoporosis that causes brittle bones that break more easily. Unfortunately, a slip and fall can result in a dramatic change in the lifestyle of an aging senior.

Be Proactive when Caring for Aging Skin

There is no question that the skin changes as seniors age, but there are steps you can take to help your loved one reduce the adverse effects of aging. Sometimes skin problems are the result of medications, but often concerns arise after a lifetime of bad habits and other issues that may occur in older adults. To make matters worse, older people take longer to heal than their younger counterparts. Here are some common skin problems in the elderly and how to remedy the situation.

What to Do about Common Problems in Aging Seniors

The body changes as we age, and many seniors suffer the effects of shrinking bones and muscles, memory loss and increased susceptibility to disease and infection. Here are some problems that are common in older folks and often affect people in the 60’s and 70’s as well.

Tips for Helping your Patient in the Shower

As a caregiver, one of your responsibilities will be to help your patient maintain good hygiene and take regular showers or baths. Seniors may feel embarrassed and they may be upset that they need such personal, hands-on help. Here are some tips for making bath time easier, safer and quicker.

3 Ways to Pay for In-Home Caregiving

You may be helping your aging parents remain in their own home by assisting with chores like shopping and housekeeping. However, there may come a time when they need more help than you have the time to provide. Hiring a caregiver for elder care and homemaker services can be a lifesaver. But how can you pay for the help your parents need? It turns out that there are many resources that can help with caregiving bills, including long-term care insurance, Medicaid and Veteran’s Administration (VA) programs.

Build a Great Caregiver Resume

In-home caregivers are in more demand now than ever to help an ever increasing population of aging seniors. If you want to work for a caregiving agency that will give you the support, flexibility and stability you are looking for, take the time to put together a great resume. When you are finished, read it over a couple of times and try to see your resume through the eyes of the employer.

What Caregivers Do

If you are thinking about becoming a caregiver, you should know that the job can be challenging but very rewarding. While every situation is different, there are some basic tasks that most caregivers perform. These are some of the main duties you will perform as an in-home caregiver for aging seniors.

Wound Care for Seniors

Wound care is an important issue for seniors. As they age, their skin becomes thinner and loses moisture and the connective tissue it needs to keep it strong. To add to the problem, as people age the ability of the body to repair itself is weakened. Unfortunately, delay in the healing of wounds may lead to an increased vulnerability to infection. An in-home caregiver from an elder care agency can provide support to aging seniors by driving them to the doctor and helping the senior follow doctor’s orders to care for the wound.

5 Delicious Superfoods for Good Health

Chances are you have heard the term “superfoods” and the claims that they help you live a longer and healthier life. But do superfoods really do the job we think they do? Research is ongoing, but indications are that some foods that are jam packed with the nutrition we need to prevent health conditions like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Superfoods can bolster intestinal health, avert premature aging and reduce inflammation. Here are some of the best.

Don’t Overlook Dangerous Drug Interactions

It’s no secret that seniors are prescribed multiple medications for all kinds of conditions, from high cholesterol to depression. But the more medications you take, the greater the chance for adverse interactions between drugs, alcohol and certain foods. It is a good idea to fill all your prescriptions at the same pharmacy and speak to your doctor about drug interactions when you are prescribed a new medication, supplement or over-the-counter pharmaceutical.

Is Summer Heat a Risk for Aging Seniors?

Now that the hot summer months are upon us, caregivers have to be aware that even slight changes in temperature can lead to heat stress in people 65 and over. A recent Harvard study found that even a 2 percent increase in temperature can lead to increased death rates for the elderly with certain health chronic health conditions. The risk of death from heat stress can increase up to 4 percent for seniors with diabetes, and an increased risk was reported for seniors with chronic lung disease, heart failure and those who have suffered a heart attack. To make matters worse, the elderly sometimes do not realize that they are overheating and in harm’s way. Having an in-home caregiver to monitor the situation can be a lifesaver.

Tips for Caregivers to Deal with Stress

As an in-home caregiver, you know that your job gives you great rewards. But caring for the elderly can also come with a great deal of stress. Fortunately, there are easy ways to deal with stress and avoid burnout. You are aware that you bring companionship and joy into the lives of aging seniors, and you have the satisfaction of knowing that you contribute to their independent lifestyle. But taking care of another comes with a lot of responsibility, and caregivers bear responsibility for seniors who may need help with the activities of daily living, such as dressing, bathing and preparing meals as well as medication management and transportation. Some may have medical conditions as well. Caregivers who provide senior in-home care services need to be proactive when it comes to dealing with stress.

5 Ways Home Care Agencies Support Caregivers

In-home care by a trained professional allows aging seniors to remain at home in familiar surroundings, even when they need help with their activities of daily living. Responsible caregivers providing senior home healthcare services and elder care assistance provide exceptional in-home care. To perform their caregiving duties and care for aging seniors, caregivers need the support of a compassionate home care agency.

When Seniors Pop Too Many Pills

Almost a third of hospital admissions result from the effects of drug interactions, and every year thousands of seniors sustain hip fractures as the result of dizziness induced by overmedication. Many of these same seniors are also on the road. According to the American Association of Consultant Pharmacists, people ages 65-69 take 15 prescription medications per year on average, and people over the age of 80 take even more. Fortunately, seniors with in-home caretakers have the support they need if they run into trouble with medication.

Act FAST to Prevent Disability from a Stroke

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a stroke kills someone in the United States every four minutes, amounting to 140,000 deaths each year. Almost 90% of all strokes are called ischemic strokes where blood flow is blocked to the brain. While strokes can occur at any age, the risk increases with age. Strokes are a special concern for seniors over the age of 65. More than half of people who survive a stroke in that age bracket are left with reduced mobility, along with other problems. It is important to be able to recognize warning signs that a person may be suffering a stroke. With fast action, some disabilities and even death may be avoided.

7 Important Tips for Dealing with Difficult Parents

When your elderly parents need help but become stubborn, it can be a difficult situation. You have to remember, they took care of you, and now it’s your turn to take care of them. That doesn’t make it any easier to take away the car keys, get rid of unsafe decorations like area rugs and glass tables and give advice about healthy eating and exercise. Sometimes an aging parent is just not receptive, and hoping for gratitude is often too much to ask. Hiring an in-home care agency can take the pressure off by freeing up your time and enabling you to work on a positive relationship.

When it’s Time for Hip Replacement Surgery

Over 300,000 hip replacement surgeries are performed annually, many of them on patients ages 75 and older. Seniors who are in reasonably good health can benefit from pain relief and greater mobility, just as younger patients do. Older folks are more likely to need hip replacements because the severity and rate of osteoarthritis, dubbed “wear and tear” arthritis, increases with age. Total replacements are also used in the event of a fall and resulting hip fracture. If your loved one is considering total hip replacement surgery, be aware that s/he will need some help during recovery. Elder home care is a good way to insure your aging loved one’s needs are met.

Living Longer – Is it All in the Genes?

We tend to believe that longevity is all in the genes, butt recent research indicates that that may not be the case. According to a study conducted by scientists at MIT, Columbia, Harvard and the NY Genome Center, it turns out that genetics count, but they play a small part in predicting how long people will live. It turns out that lifestyle and environment have a far greater effect on longevity. A home healthcare aide can help your loved one follow healthy lifestyle choices.

Live Healthier with a Mediterranean Diet

No doubt you have heard about the Mediterranean Diet, but what is it, and what are the benefits? The name comes from the cuisines common in countries that border the Mediterranean Sea, like Italy, France, Greece and Spain. People in those countries tend to eat lots of fish, fruits, fresh veggies and healthy grains prepared with olive oil and accompanied by the occasional glass of red wine. This diet is in stark contrast with the food many Americans eat daily, like hefty portions of meat, unhealthy fats and processed food. An in-home caregiver can help your aging loved one stay on track with a healthy diet.

5 Reasons Why Seniors Should Own a Pet

Taking care of a furry friend can benefit seniors who have a pet as a companion. When taking care of an animal becomes more difficult for elderly pet owners, an in-home caretaker can help. Make sure to choose the right breed and consider an older pet from a shelter for an older pet owner.

How to Find the Right Homecare Job

If you are looking for a senior homecare job in the Boston area, you should know that not all in-home healthcare agencies are the same. As a caregiver, you bring an interest in people and their well-being, and you get satisfaction when you can help others enjoy life. Make sure to choose an agency that is properly licensed, and check to see if there are any valid complaints. It is important to find a homecare agency that has a good reputation and offers a professional atmosphere. Look for a top agency that provides the support you need and a caring environment.

Is Alzheimer’s a Form of Diabetes?

Family members and in-home caregivers may notice changes in behavior that indicate the onset of Alzheimer’s. Studies now show that the disease can be considered a form of diabetes. The good news is that if Alzheimer’s is really Type 3 Diabetes, it is possible to make changes to lower your risk. Studies are ongoing, but the evidence is piling up.

Diagnosing Cataracts in Seniors

An in-home caregiver may notice that your loved one is having difficulties as a result of vision problems. Cataracts are often the culprit. Cataracts are a normal part of the aging process. Estimates show that by the age of 80, over 50% of seniors in the United States will have developed cataracts in one or both eyes. An ophthalmologist can diagnose the disorder and rule out other common causes such as macular degeneration and glaucoma.

Are Opioids Safe for Seniors?

As Bette Davis famously said, getting old is not for sissies. There is no doubt that seniors can face all kinds of issues from medical conditions like debilitating pain as they age. When over-the-counter medication is not enough or is not appropriate, opioids may be prescribed for pain. However, family or an in-home caregiver may notice that seniors on opioids suffer from a range of negative side effects even as their pain subsides. So should seniors take opioids for pain?

How to Avoid Caregiver Burnout

Caring for someone who is aging or ill can be very rewarding, but there may be times when you may feel overwhelmed. After all, you might have other responsibilities like family and work, and caregiving can be extremely time-consuming. It is important to recognize signs of stress to avoid burnout. That way you can address the issue and continue to support the people who are counting on you.

Are You Eligible for a VA Pension?

You may have heard that there is a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) pension. The VA pension provides benefits to help veterans get the help they need. The VA pension provides tax free monthly benefit payments to wartime vets who meet eligibility requirements and have financial need. Pension payments can be used for an in-home caregiver, an assisted living facility or a nursing home.

Benefits of Tai Chi for Seniors

Seniors who have been active for their entire lives might find that they now suffer from disorders that prevent them from participating in the activities they once loved. Tennis, golf, bowling and Saturday morning basketball games may now be a thing of the past. Fortunately, low-impact physical activities like tai chi can provide physical and emotional benefits to the older generation with disabilities that make other activities off limits. If tai chi is not offered closeby, an in-home caregiver may be able to provide transportation.

Pet Benefits for Seniors: Myth or Truth?

You may have heard amazing claims about pet ownership for seniors, from companionship to health benefits and even psychological advantages. The claims are so numerous and wide-ranging that you might wonder if they are true. It turns out that ongoing studies indicate pets can actually provide multiple benefits to seniors. If you are considering pet ownership for your aging loved ones, determine whether they have the physical ability to care for the animal. An in-home caregiver may be able to help.

Fun Things to Do when the Grandkids Visit

Making the most of time spent with the grandkids is a priority for many seniors. Thinking of some fun things to do can insure that the grandchildren will enjoy coming back to have fun with you.

5 Easy Tips for Managing Medication

As your parents age, it can become more difficult to keep track of prescription drugs. An in-home caregiver can help by picking up prescriptions at the pharmacy, monitoring your loved one and alerting you to problems should they arise. Fortunately, there are some easy strategies you can follow to help your loved one take the right prescription drugs in the right combination and at the right dosage.

Living Well through Independent Living

For many seniors over the age of 55, independent living is a good choice. Independent living can provide just the right amount of support to allow seniors to enjoy life while maintaining their autonomy as much as possible. Best of all, independent living facilities are likely to allow seniors to bring along their in-home caregiver for one-on-one attention and assistance with daily personal care.

Solving Common Age-Related Vision Problems

It comes as no surprise that as people age they often experience changes in their vision. A minor eye problem can turn into a major issue if left untreated. For seniors and others, poor vision can affect their quality of life by decreasing their ability to drive, increasing a risk of falling and accelerating a loss of independence. It is important to have your vision checked by a healthcare professional at least once each year, especially if you are over 60.

How Friends Help you Age Well

You have probably noticed that as time goes on, some people age better than others. While good genes play a part, inherited traits are only part of the story. The good news is that lifestyle changes can make a difference and many factors that influence aging are within our control. Studies indicate that healthy eating, restful sleep, refraining from smoking and regular exercise can make you look and feel younger. Now it turns out that having friends and maintaining a strong social network can also help you turn back the clock.

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.

Load More