What motivates you to push forward every day? If you are part of the sandwich generation, taking care of both older and younger loved ones, your list is probably quite long! However, for aging adults, as the nest empties, it becomes important to redefine their identity and learn new ways to bring meaning to each day. Read more
Once you realize that an aging loved one could benefit from starting home care services, it’s not uncommon for the aging loved one to be resistant to the idea. After all, acknowledging the need for assistance is not easy, especially for an individual who values their privacy and independence. However, it gets more challenging when another family member is the one in denial about starting home care. When you’ve reached an impasse within your family in regards to the need for senior care, there’s one very likely culprit to consider: denial. Read more
Do you ever feel lost or disoriented after waking up from a dream? The dream seemed so real, and it takes a few minutes to regain your bearings. For someone with dementia, this confusion is part of everyday life. Our goal in providing care for someone with Alzheimer’s is to help provide as much stability as possible, and one of the simplest ways to achieve this is by building a daily routine for seniors with dementia.
How Can a Daily Routine for Seniors With Dementia or Alzheimer’s Help?
Short-term memory loss makes it challenging for someone with dementia to learn and remember new things. A familiar routine helps build self-confidence, reinforce a sense of independence, and minimize anxiety.
To establish the most comfortable routine for a senior loved one with dementia, try the following:
- Make it meaningful. Include time every day for responsibilities that increase the person’s self-worth and sense of purpose, according to their abilities: folding laundry, sorting papers, mixing a salad, etc.
- Choose activities that relate to lifelong interests. Consider the person’s particular interests and incorporate those in some manner into their routine: music, gardening, fishing, knitting, etc.
- Follow their lead. Retain any routines the older adult already has established: a morning shower before breakfast, meals at the same seat at the table as always, an afternoon television program, a walk after dinner, etc.
- Adjust as needed. Over time, as the disease progresses, the person’s ability level will change, making it harder to accomplish parts of their routine. The goal should be to always make an effort to provide as many opportunities for independence as possible, even if modifications are needed.
Obviously, life doesn’t always make it easy to follow a daily routine. Even family caregivers require time away for at least a few hours a week. It can be helpful for the person in your care to have a respite caregiver step in before you take time away, incorporating them into their regular routine . That will likely make it easier for you to step away, knowing the senior is already familiar and comfortable with their professional caregiver.
The best care experience for seniors with dementia requires specialized training and expertise. Our dementia caregivers are experts in providing creative, patient care and easing the difficult symptoms of the disease, and we are here with just as much or little assistance as you need. Contact us any time online or at (954) 486-6440 for a complimentary in-home consultation for additional information about our Alzheimer’s care in Fort Lauderdale and the nearby areas.
What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you see someone in a wheelchair? Do you assume that the person is less-than or in need of being fixed? Do you presume they need special treatment, as though a physical disability impacts intellect as well? How does your thinking shift to see someone standing upright, without the need for a wheelchair; would you think they were better-abled than the wheelchair-bound senior?
These are difficult questions that require honest answers if we are to understand fighting ableism and to respectfully interact with those who are differently abled.
What Exactly Is Ableism?
Ableism is identified as “the discrimination of and social prejudice against people with disabilities based on the belief that typical abilities are superior.” It contributes to harmful misconceptions and stereotypes, which makes fighting ableism vital for seniors with disabilities.
The Two Sides to the Disability Coin
People who have visible disabilities experience ableism in a variety of forms: being spoken down to or asked intrusive questions, exclusion from places that are inaccessible, being forced to wait to use an accessible restroom stall while in use by an individual who could be using a standard stall, etc. On the other hand, there are many disabilities which are not as easily noticeable (such as hearing impairment, Alzheimer’s disease, or a heart condition), accounting for up to 80% of the disabled population. These individuals may have their concerns minimized and need to fight harder to receive any accommodations needed.
No matter whether a disability is hidden or apparent, there are steps we can all take in fighting ableism and promoting equality and inclusion:
- Never speak over or around the individual, addressing a caregiver first. Speak directly to the individual, and if help with conversing is necessary, the caregiver can then step in. Don’t forget that the person is an adult, and should always be spoken to as such.
- Treat everyone in the manner in which you would want to be treated. Look them in the eye. Say hello. Engage them in a conversation if they welcome the social interaction.
- Avoid trying to think for the person or impose your help. Offer assistance in an open-ended manner if it seems warranted, giving them the option to let you know if they would like your help or not.
At Responsive Home Care, we are dedicated to treating each individual we serve with respect and dignity. We can help someone you love with a complete selection of individualized in-home care services which can include:
- Help with walking and transfers
- Planning and preparing healthy meals and providing assistance with feeding when needed
- Accompaniment to appointments
- Companionship to brighten each day through conversations, activities, games, arts and crafts, exercise, and more
- Discreet personal care support, for safe baths/showers, restroom use, getting dressed, etc.
- Specialized care for chronic health needs, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease
- And so much more
If you need help from Responsive Home Care, the top provider of home care services, including dementia care in Fort Lauderdale and the nearby areas, contact us online or at (954) 486-6440 to find out more and to request a free in-home consultation.
There is almost always nothing “routine” about routine checkups at the doctor. You may arrive to your appointment perfectly fine, but leave with orders for blood work along with other medical tests a doctor recommends to help keep you as healthy as possible. These tests might be nothing more than a minor inconvenience for you, however trying to manage the challenges of medical tests for older adults can be overwhelming for many reasons: transportation problems, thinner skin, mobility issues, cognitive difficulties, fragile veins, and so much more.
There are steps you can take to advocate for and help an older loved one manage the challenges of medical tests more easily. For example:
- Find out if tests can be carried out in the individual’s home. Home health care is becoming an increasingly viable option for blood work along with other tests.
- If the aging adult has to leave home for the test, call the facility where the test will be conducted ahead of time. Find answers to any specific questions you may have about parking, drop-off location, the best time of day to schedule for the test, etc.
- Providing a urine or stool sample can be challenging. Ask the doctor for any recommendations to help make the process easier, for example, a receptacle to position over the toilet as opposed to using a cup. Make sure the bathroom floor is clean and dry and that any bathmats or throw rugs are removed, and encourage the person to hold onto a grab bar during the collection process to prevent a fall.
Can Home Care Services Help Manage the Challenges of Medical Tests for Aging Adults?
An in-home caregiver from Responsive Home Care can:
- Pick up prescriptions and provide medication reminders to make certain that meds are taken exactly as prescribed
- Provide accompaniment to medical appointments, tests, and procedures, while assisting with mobility support as needed
- Take notes to make sure doctors’ orders are understood and followed
- Help the person to get settled safely back at home afterwards, and provide companionship and oversight to watch for any changes in condition that should be reported
- And so much more
Also, many individuals feel much more comfortable receiving assistance for sensitive medical matters from a trained professional. Our caregivers are skilled in discreet and respectful support with personal care needs, allowing family relations to step back and offer the older adult with privacy.
Contact us online or at (954) 486-6440 to arrange for the support necessary for someone you love. We offer a free of charge in-home consultation that will help you understand your options, so contact us today to learn more about our senior care in Hollywood, FL and the nearby areas!
Following the holiday feasts, many people choose to reduce their calorie intake. But when a senior loved one refuses to eat altogether or is making unbalanced or unhealthy dietary choices, it is important to look for the cause associated with this behavior and to recognize how to encourage them to get on track with healthier eating.
Why Do Senior Eating Habits Change?
There could be many factors at play when a senior does not want to eat or when they begin to make poor dietary choices – as well as many ways you can help overcome them:
- Issues with dental health. Speak with the dentist to determine if dentures should be refitted or if there are any other dental concerns that need to be addressed. You may want to provide foods which are softer and/or cut them into smaller pieces. Lentils, ground meat, and beans, for example, are easier to chew than a steak or pork chop.
- Low vision. If the senior is unable to see clearly, they may regard foods differently and lose interest in eating. Vision problems can also make it more difficult and even dangerous to prepare meals as well as get out to pick up groceries. Offer to help with shopping and meal prep (or let us help!) and serve foods that are brightly colored and contrasted to the colors of serving dishes, place mats, the tablecloth, etc. so they’re more easily seen.
- Side effects from medications. Schedule an appointment with the physician for a complete review of all medications being taken, and find out if one or more could be leading to a loss of appetite or troubling gastrointestinal side effects. See if the medication can be changed to something more tolerable or if perhaps the dosage can be changed.
- Loneliness. This is a standard problem among older adults, and can make mealtime less enjoyable. Share meals whenever possible with a lonely senior loved one, invite friends and neighbors to join them, or contact Responsive Home Care for a caregiving companion to assist.
- Loss of taste or smell. Aging as a whole often results in a dulling of these senses, which may affect the satisfaction of eating. Try experimenting with more aromatic and flavorful spices and herbs while preparing meals, such as ginger, garlic, and thyme.
Responsive Home Care is here for older adults struggling to keep up a healthy diet, for whatever reason. When a senior does not want to eat at their regular mealtimes, we can partner with you to help provide senior loved ones with every chance to once again enjoy meals and establish improved eating habits. Contact us online or at (954) 486-6440 to discover how we can help with our services for elder care in Hollywood, FL and the nearby areas.
Everyone goes through good days and bad days, and everyone is entitled to negative thinking or irritability every now and then. If you are caring for an older adult who appears to have fallen into a routine of continual negativity and complaining, there could be a reason for it. It’s worthwhile to explore whether or not a health issue may be the culprit for negative mood changes in a senior.
The following are several possibilities for chronic negative mood changes in a senior and how you can help.
- Urinary tract infections. A UTI’s classic signs and symptoms of pain, burning, and urgency to urinate may include additional side effects for seniors, including angry outbursts, irritability, confusion, as well as other alterations in behavior or mood. Speak with the physician to rule out a urinary tract infection if you observe these types of uncharacteristic behaviors.
- Pain. A recent research study discovered that participants who are experiencing chronic pain reported an increase in negative moods, including fatigue, anger, tension, depression, anxiety, and more. It’s worthwhile to share any of these mood changes with the physician, as these kinds of mood changes actually impact the effectiveness of pain management treatments.
- Dementia. Mood and personality changes are typical in dementia. It is crucial to understand that these changes are a symptom of the physiological changes in the brain, and are not a representation of the person’s own choices and decisions. There are medicinal and natural treatment choices that can help the person feel calmer and less agitated that you may desire to explore.
- Medication side effects. A number of medications – including those designed to help with mood, such as antidepressants – may cause troublesome mood swings. Medications for blood pressure, inflammation, and seizures may cause personality and behavioral changes in some people. Again, talk with the physician and go through the senior’s prescriptions to determine if the problem stems from one medication, or possibly the interaction of multiple meds together.
Negative mood changes in a senior can arise from loneliness or boredom, too. No matter the reason, constant negativity can be taxing for a caregiver’s personal sense of wellbeing. It is important to be able to step away from your caregiving role on a regular basis, and to make this time away a top priority. The senior will also benefit from the chance to spend time with different friends, family members, or a professional caregiver. These breaks are a healthy part of your caregiver/care receiver relationship – for both of you.
Responsive Home Care’s caregivers are wonderful companions to help brighten the mood of the older adults we serve. All of our care staff are fully trained, background checked, and experienced in a wide range of in-home care services for seniors. If you’re looking for an award-winning home care company in Ft. Lauderdale, FL or the nearby areas, contact us online or at (954) 486-6440 to learn how we can help someone you love, while allowing you the time you need to rest and rejuvenate.
Do you recall learning the order of colors of the rainbow as a child? A lot of us were introduced to Roy G. Biv to master this feat – one of many mnemonics we learn that, interestingly, often stay with us for a lifetime.
As we age, it’s expected to experience some level of memory impairment; and naturally, it’s even more pronounced when Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia is a factor. Scientists are constantly aiming to locate effective ways to improve memory and cognitive functioning, and have observed some interesting findings on “old school” strategies such as mnemonics. Here’s what they have recently discovered:
Mnemonics produces a link to a memory through a phrase, abbreviation, song, etc. This training yielded great results in increasing activity in areas of the brain that are affected by dementia, leading to improved retention of information.
There are a multitude of mnemonic strategies that are very effective in improving memory. For example, try mnemonic keywords. Mnemonic keywords are fun and creative ways to memorize words in another language. It involves selecting a word that’s much like the new word you want to learn, and visualizing an image that brings the two words together. For instance, if you’re wanting to remember that chapeau is French for the term “hat,” you might picture Charlie Chaplin along with his famous black hat. The “Chap” element of his name can trigger the initial letters in chapeau, and the memory will stick.
Spaced Retrieval Training
This strategy involves gradually increasing the amount of time between memory tests, and was shown to also be highly effective for those with dementia. Compared to mnemonics, however, there was actually a decrease in brain activity, which led medical researchers to determine that the information had been processed more efficiently.
This training method is very effective in increasing independence and minimizing anxiety for those with cognitive challenges. Choose a desired event or activity for the person to keep in mind, such as a lunch date with a buddy on Friday. Start by asking the person a question to establish whether or not the memory is already in place. If not, remind them they are having lunch with John on Friday. Wait 15 seconds, and ask the individual the question again. If the memory is in place now, increase the time to 30 seconds, and ask again, continuing to double the time and ask again. If the person does not remember after 15 seconds, keep repeating the process every 15 seconds several more times before determining that it is not an effective technique, at least not for this particular event or activity.
Both strategies are simple, drug-free approaches to incorporate into the treatment for someone during the early stages of Alzheimer’s, or even for anyone who is looking for approaches to improve memory.
Let Responsive Home Care provide additional resources and support for someone you love with dementia. Our creative approaches to help improve memory make the most of an older adult’s cognitive functioning, independence, and wellbeing. Contact us online or call (954) 486-6440 for more information about our home care assistance in Fort Lauderdale and the nearby areas.
You’ve come to the realization that the family home is just way too much for your mother and father to take care of. A smaller home became available just around the corner from you that’s ideal: a lovely flower garden in the backyard, a bright, cheerful kitchen, and no stairs to navigate. Now it’s time to begin the downsizing process. The only problem? Mom has dementia.
It’s not uncommon for seniors with dementia to struggle with change. Leaving the familiarity of home and moving into a brand new one can increase feelings of agitation and anxiety, but there are strategies to help ease the transition.
- Pace yourself. It’s natural to want to rip the band aid off and make the downsizing process as quick as possible for seniors with dementia. However, a better approach in this situation is taking time to discuss the upcoming changes with the older adult, one step at a time. Keep a consistent and calm demeanor, and empower the person to maintain as much control over the required decisions as possible.
- Maintain memories. Take pictures and/or videos of some of the items being donated or discarded and use them to create a scrapbook for the older loved one. This helps aging loved ones to revisit the items anytime they would like, and can also be used to spark conversations and reminiscing after the move.
- Create a system. Donating and discarding seniors’ possessions are necessary parts of the downsizing process. Again, include the individual in the decision-making process to the greatest extent possible. There will probably be specific items the older adult can’t stand to part with, which can be placed into storage if the new living arrangement can’t accommodate them. If there are items the senior rarely uses or sees, however, it might be easiest to have those removed before involving the person in the process.
- Set up the new home yourself. Arrange the senior’s most loved furnishings and items of comfort in the new living environment before bringing them in. Include photographs of friends and family near the bed, so they can see them when they go to bed and first wake up. Then bring the senior loved one in, and help with rearranging anything they’d like adjusted. This process will lessen the anxiety that may occur for someone needing to unpack and figure out the best locations to place items in a brand new environment.
Our Alzheimer’s care team is thoroughly trained, experienced, and highly skilled, and we are available to help through the downsizing process and beyond for seniors with dementia. Reach out to us at (954) 486-6440 or online for more information about our caregiver services in Fort Lauderdale, FL and the nearby areas.
The banana you eat in the car on the way to work could be helping to reduce your risk of suffering a stroke! In a recent study of nearly 100,000 women ranging in age from 50 – 79, it was discovered that consuming a higher level of potassium resulted in a lower stroke risk for women by as much as 12%, and by 16% for the most common type – ischemic stroke. Not only that, but those with a higher potassium intake were 10% less likely to die from any cause.
It’s worth noting that blood pressure also played a role here. Those without high blood pressure showed even more promising results, a full 21% less likely to suffer from an ischemic stroke and 27% reduced risk of stroke altogether. This led researchers to suggest that those at risk of developing high blood pressure may benefit from increasing their intake of potassium to prevent future complications.
Great sources of potassium to help lower stroke risk for women include:
- White beans
- Leafy greens
- Sweet potatoes
- White potatoes
- Dairy foods
Remember, it’s important to consult your physician before making any dietary changes, including adding more potassium to your diet, as consuming too much can be dangerous, especially for the elderly and those with kidney disease.
Did you know Responsive Home Care offers meal planning and preparation services, in accordance with any prescribed dietary plan? We can help increase potassium in a senior’s diet to help lower stroke risk for women as they age.
There are a variety of other ways we can help improve quality of life for older adults, right in the comfort of home, such as:
- Accompaniment to medical appointments and procedures, enjoyable outings – anywhere and anytime a senior needs or wants to go
- Companionship for conversations, reminiscing, fun activities, exercising, and more to brighten each day and alleviate loneliness and isolation
- Assisting with shopping for healthy food choices, picking up prescription refills, and more
- Light housekeeping and laundry, to ensure a clean and organized home environment
- Specialized care for those with chronic health needs, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, COPD, etc.
- And so much more, according to each person’s individual needs
All of our services begin with a complimentary planning meeting in the senior’s home. This provides us with the opportunity to get to know the person and the challenges they are facing, and to create a customized plan of care to enhance safety, comfort, and independence.
Contact us online or call (954) 486-6440 to learn more about Responsive Home Care, the leading home health agency in Hollywood, FL and the nearby areas, and how we can make life the best it can be for someone you love!
It’s no surprise that many seniors, just like anyone else, prefer carbs to carrots, making it challenging to guarantee that their nutritional needs are being met. The CDC shares that just one in ten seniors are meeting the recommendation of at least three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit every day. Many researchers have reported that seniors who do follow these guidelines reduce their risk for diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic health issues, and subsequently live longer lives.
Maybe it’s time to think outside of the box to promote healthier eating habits in a senior’s diet. For example:
Make it crunchy. There are so many nutritious alternatives to greasy potato chips for a crispy snack or as a side to enjoy with a sandwich. Pick up a few for the older adult in order to see which ones they prefer: kale, sweet potato, beet, radish, green bean, eggplant, and much more. Or try freeze-dried fruit, another crunchy and nutritious alternative.
Make it smooth. If you’re looking to add a few superfoods to a senior’s diet, smoothies and sauces are great ways to do so. You can create a refreshing, delicious drink by blending a little spinach, yogurt, and fresh fruit. Or experiment with pureeing different vegetables to mix in with marinara sauce: zucchini, carrots, kale, bell peppers, etc.
Opt for convenience. Slicing, peeling, chopping, cooking – the numerous steps needed to prepare some vegetables and fruit make it easier to just grab a prepackaged snack. Try to find healthy alternatives that are just as easy to grab and enjoy, like ready-to-eat salads, baby carrots, or other cleaned and sliced veggies, individual cups of fruit, bananas, etc.
Freeze it up. Make your own simple, healthy frozen snacks by blending fruit with a small amount of juice or water, pouring into popsicle molds, and freezing until solid. These also make a wonderful multi-generational activity! Invite the family members over, let everyone choose their favorite flavor to make, and then spend some quality time together as you wait for them to chill before enjoying your personal creations.
Join a CSA. If you’ve never considered a CSA, now is an ideal time to explore this option. A CSA (community supported agriculture) is a subscription service for fresh produce from local farmers. Discover more and find a CSA near you here.
Responsive Home Care’s caregivers are skilled in preparing delicious, healthy meals based on each person’s individual preferences. We are available to pick up all of the ingredients too! Just give us a call at (954) 486-6440, or contact us online for assistance with enhancing a senior’s diet with the help of our elderly home care in Hollywood, FL and the nearby areas.
“You are always free to choose what you do with your life. To make changes in your future, make new choices today.” – Brian Tracy
It’s not always easy to choose where to live as you age. The majority of seniors would like to age in place in the comforts of home for a lifetime; however, it’s not without challenges. Can it be safe? What about mobility issues or other physical limitations? What if a senior falls and cannot get up?
Fortunately, there are a large variety of solutions which make aging in place possible for older adults. For example, technology is constantly developing and evolving, providing solutions to the difficulties that may surface as we grow older. Just consider a few of these tech devices and how they are improving life at home for seniors!
Smart devices provide peace of mind to a senior living alone as they age in place – and to the members of the family who love them. Aging adults can choose specific devices that solve a particular problem, like a smart door lock, doorbell, or fire alarm. They can also choose an entire smart security system with all of these features and much more.
Additionally, a smart speaker system such as Amazon Echo or Google Nest Audio works by voice command, a vital component to a home technology system. This way, a senior can simply say what they need, even if they need to call for help, and technology takes care of it.
Remote Patient Monitoring
Remote patient monitoring connects patients to their doctors in innovative ways: wearable devices to trace vital signs, smart pill bottles with sensors, bio-ingestible capsules older adults can swallow, even electronic tattoos that will measure the progression of pneumonia. This solution is a step further than telehealth appointments, delivering more comprehensive data on an individual’s condition than can be detected via a video chat.
Whole Home Automation
For seniors who are ready to jump into technology with both feet, a central control system will allow for a variety of functions to be done at the touch of a tablet or smartphone, such as lights, security cameras, sensors, window shades, thermostat, music, Wi-Fi, and so much more.
Michael Miller, author of My Smart Home for Seniors, sums up the advantages of technology for seniors: “Technology helps all homeowners, but especially seniors, by automating things that are a pain or difficult to do.”
Of course, a human touch is definitely essential for safe and independent living at home, regardless of how many tech tools we utilize! Contact Responsive Home Care online or at (954) 486-6440 for individualized caregiver services in Fort Lauderdale and the nearby areas that will help seniors live life to the fullest.