Have you ever gotten out of bed and said, “It’s likely to be one of those days!” Maybe your alarm didn’t go off, the hot water heater decided to stop working, and the dog chewed up one of your most loved shoes overnight. Then consider if every day were “one of those days!” For someone coping with a chronic disease (and that’s the majority of the older adult population), day-to-day struggles and challenges can be a given.
Responsive Home Care, providing home health care in Coral Springs, FL and throughout Broward County presents a few steps that seniors can take to discover and maintain a life of joy, even throughout the face of chronic illness. For example:
- Follow passions. Seeking purpose and meaning in each day is vital – and attainable. Many seniors find gratification in aiding and supporting other people. Others thrive on being lifelong learners. For some it can mean documenting earlier times for the next generation. Brainstorm ideas until you arrive at one that sparks passion, and then make it a real possibility.
- Practice positivity. One smart way to accomplish an even more positive take on life is by journaling. Encourage your elder loved ones to start every day by developing a summary of everything they’re thankful for that morning, including the relatively ordinary: the smell of fresh coffee brewing, a cat curled up in a sunbeam, an upcoming lunch date with a relative. At the conclusion of every week, sit together and read back through the prior entries for a quick and effective pick-me-up.
- Try to avoid negativity. Including a measure of positivity as mentioned above can naturally result in minimized negativity, but there are additional steps which can be followed as well. For instance, provide for breaks from activities that induce frustration, allowing for needed time to de-stress. Place the emphasis on undertaking tasks which can be executed successfully, and find an alternate solution for those that are much too challenging, such as assigning those tasks to another relative or friend, or employing the services of a specialist.
- Get out of the house. Preserving as active a lifestyle as possible outside the home is usually so energizing for older adults. Help your elder loved ones go out for hair appointments, shopping adventures, visits with relatives, along with other fun outings, as much as they are able. Even simply stepping outdoors and relaxing on the front porch when weather allows can substantially enhance someone’s spirits and outlook.
At Responsive Home Care, it is our aim to help older adults attain the highest possible quality of life without exception. Our professionally trained and experienced caregivers provide pleasant companionship, interesting activities, transportation, and more. Contact us at 954-486-6440 and discover the difference our home health care Coral Springs, FL services can make for your loved one! See our full Broward County service area.
Not long ago, actor Rob Lowe brought family caregiving into the foreground by discussing his journey of caring for his mother and the impact it had on his own life. He said, “When you’re caring for a loved one, there’s nothing you won’t do to give them as much comfort and peace of mind as you can possibly provide. Often that means you’ll skip your social obligations, wreck your diet, suffer sleep deprivation, and even risk your career.” Read more
Why don’t we face it: lots of us have a fear of doctor visits. It could be uncomfortable and downright distressing when something is wrong and we are facing the prospect of an undesirable diagnosis. Nonetheless we recognize it makes sense to complete what’s best for our health and to be conscientious about obtaining essential healthcare.
At times, the greatest lessons in life come from going through them firsthand; yet the information we can discover from those who’ve traveled a similar course before us is priceless. If you are providing care for a loved one with dementia and beginning to feel a bit bogged down in this uncharted territory, the guidelines below might help: Read more
The initial signs may be so subtle that most people wouldn’t even notice. Mom is outgoing, friendly, and conversational while visiting friends and family and while running errands. But those closest to her are beginning to pick up on concerns; like forgetting about the soup cooking on the stove, leading to a scorched pan; putting her keys in the cookie jar; or neglecting to pay bills.
As an adult child of a senior in the beginning stages of compromised safety or the ability to make sound decisions, it can be extremely challenging to transition to a higher degree of involvement and care – yet it’s also extremely important to take steps sooner rather than later.
As with broaching any confrontational topic of conversation, talking with your senior loved one about the concerns you’re seeing is likely to be met with resistance and defensiveness at first. However, it’s important to outline the precise reasons for your concern, and the negative consequences if these behaviors continue or worsen.
Responsive Home Care recommends the following approach:
- Ensure that a durable power of attorney has been assigned.
- Confirm with your siblings that the issue needs to be addressed, and discuss together what options are available for the senior’s care as needs continue to progress.
- Remain compassionate but firm in your approach. Present the choices you’ve thought through. If your parent balks at the idea of moving to an assisted living facility, which many seniors do, offer an in-home caregiver as an alternative, allowing your loved one to remain independent and safe in the comfort of home.
- Understand that it will likely take several conversations before your loved one accepts the need for assistance – which is why it’s essential to begin the process as soon as possible.
At Responsive Home Care, we’re experienced in helping seniors feel comfortable and positive about how our services can help improve safety and overall quality of life and wellbeing. When your family decides the time is right for assistance, we can help with highly customized care that can meet a wide range of needs, including:
- Meal planning and preparation
- Housework and laundry
- Running errands
- Highly specialized care for dementia
- And so much more
Whether the need is for just a few hours each week to enhance safety and socialization, full-time care, or anything in between, partnering with Responsive Home Care improves quality of life for seniors and provides peace of mind for those who love them. Contact us online or call us today at 954-486-6440 for a free in-home consultation to learn how we provide the kind of senior care Fort Lauderdale, FL families recommend most!
The most recent Alzheimer’s statistics are sobering. The disease is now the 6th leading cause of death, rising above both breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. And while deaths from other chronic conditions, such as heart disease, are declining, those from Alzheimer’s have increased by more than 100%. The toll the disease takes on family caregivers is equally staggering, with over 16 million Americans providing over 18 billion hours of care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s.
Although we’ve yet to discover a cure, there are two distinct types of Alzheimer’s disease treatment options that can help ease some of the more prevalent symptoms. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, here are two options the doctor may suggest:
- Cholinesterase inhibitors: By blocking the breakdown of acetylcholine, a chemical crucial for memory, attention, learning and muscle activity, these medications can provide some benefit in the mild to moderate stages of Alzheimer’s for some patients. Dr. Zaldy Tan, medical director of the UCLA Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Program, cautions, however, to keep in mind that results will be moderate at best. “The best case scenario is that the patient’s memory and cognitive function may improve slightly to what it was six months to a year ago – it’s not going to turn back time,” he explains. Included in this class of medications are galantamine (Razadyne), donepezil (Aricept) and rivastigmine (Exelon).
- Memantine: In the moderate to severe stages of the disease, the doctor may prescribe memantine (Namenda) which takes a different approach than the cholinesterase inhibitors, preventing the overstimulation of glutamate NMDA receptors which in turn can help restore limited memory functionality. Doctors will often add memantine to a patient’s treatment plan in addition to a cholinesterase inhibitor as the disease progresses.
Determining the effectiveness of these medications requires patience, as both take 4 – 6 weeks before results will be realized. And, it’s important to weigh the benefits against any negative side effects, which can include confusion and constipation in memantine, and nausea, vomiting and a decreased heart rate with cholinesterase inhibitors.
One of the best ways to help those with Alzheimer’s disease live life to the fullest is by engaging the services of a specially trained caregiver who understands and can help manage the varied challenges of dementia. Contact Responsive Home Care online or call our care team at 954-486-6440 to learn more about our professional, compassionate services for seniors and how we provide the kind of dementia care Florida families recommend most.
In marriage we agree to stick together for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health – but what doesn’t come up in our vows to each other is how to handle the increasing demands of senior care as our parents age.
Yet with our life span increasing, it’s important to have a plan in place to meet both the needs of our parents as they grow older, and the plethora of day-to-day needs, all while honoring our cherished relationship with a spouse. It’s a challenge that’s causing stress and strain for 80% of couples surveyed, resulting in detachment and less quality time together. The following areas in a marriage are particularly impacted by caring for aging parents:
- Finances. Still holding the top spot for the reason cited for divorce, financial strain is magnified when the older parent has not implemented a financial plan for long-term care. Honestly communicating frustrations with each other and working together to explore options to pay for services can help.
- Fatigue. As rewarding as it may be, meeting the needs of an elderly loved one requires a great deal of time and energy – leaving little left over at the end of the day for your spouse. Accept opportunities for assistance from others or hire professional in-home senior care help such as Responsive Home Care, so you can be sure to allow for quality time with your spouse.
- Frustration. Mounting frustration and diminished patience are two common side effects of fatigue, and sadly, we tend to lash out at those we love the most when feeling overwhelmed. Allow imperfection, practice understanding, and seek professional help if needed.
So how else can you avoid these pitfalls and maintain a strong and healthy marriage? These tips can help:
- Make sure your spouse is always a top priority. Small gestures can go a long way towards this end, such as writing a note of love and appreciation, waking up a few minutes early to share a cup of coffee together before the day becomes hectic, or setting aside time at the end of the day to talk and unwind.
- Joining an online support group for family caregivers can allow you the opportunity to vent frustrations to those in similar circumstances, alleviating stress.
- Seek out the services of a professional counselor, either for you individually or for the two of you as a couple.
Another great way to achieve a healthy life balance is through partnering with a trusted in-home care provider, like Responsive Home Care. Our team of Ft. Lauderdale caregivers offers customized respite care solutions that allow family members to take time away from parental care, while offering seniors the opportunity for enhanced socialization with a friendly and fully-trained caregiver. Contact us online or call us at 954-486-6440 to explore our Ft. Lauderdale senior care options today!
We’ve all encountered helicopter parents, especially when a son or daughter leaves for college. In fact, we could possibly be guilty of hovering a touch too closely ourselves. Learning that appropriate harmony between caring and overstepping our boundaries is not easy. Read more
Do you remember that feeling as a child when the school bell rang, indicating the end of arithmetic and the start of the best part of the day: recess? There was a tremendous sensation of freedom dashing out onto the playground, leaving behind the pressure of school work for a quick period of unstructured play. Read more
As soon as the door swings open and your senior loved one wraps you in a warm hug, through the joyous holiday dinner and each timeless family custom, possibilities abound for not simply high quality time together, but also to assess how your parent is truly doing and if any red flags are detected. Read more
It’s so easy to fall into a more sedentary lifestyle in our later years, especially if aches and pains from aging muscles and chronic conditions such as arthritis are a factor. But new research shows that even short bursts of high-intensity exercise – less than 15-minute intervals – can make a significant difference on the health and wellbeing of older adults.
Case in point: a recent study of adults over age 55 involved briskly walking for three minutes, followed by slower walking for another three, resulting in better blood pressure and stronger endurance levels than walking at a steady, moderate pace for the same duration.
Testing on frail, sedentary laboratory mice equivalent in age to 65-year-old humans showed that a program of high-intensity interval exercise on a treadmill, three times weekly over a period of four months (equivalent to eight human years) were stronger, had greater muscle mass and endurance, and were more active than their sedentary counterparts.
Dr. Bruce Troen, professor of medicine and head of the division of geriatrics at the University of Buffalo and conductor of the study, found most impressive that “the animals had tolerated the high-intensity training very well, despite their advanced ages.”
Responsive Home Care’s Florida senior care services team urges seniors to check with their physicians for approval to begin a high-intensity exercise program, or other activities to enhance health and wellbeing and improve the condition of aging muscles. And our care team is happy to help implement and provide the encouragement to enable seniors to stay on track and reap the rewards. Contact us at 954-486-6440 for assistance!