Broward County Family Caregiver Common Stress Point: Making a Mistake

Partnering with an agency like Responsive Home Care can reduce the trepidation and anxiety in managing care at home successfully.

“Of course Grandma can move in with me!”

Increasingly more family caretakers are making this commendable choice every day, signifying the beginning of lifestyle changes they can only truly have an understanding of once immersed in them. And even though the positive aspects of providing care for an older parent are immeasurable, they’re not without a variety of dilemmas as well.

It might seem second-nature to take care of daily activities for a senior loved one; yet it’s not quite as intuitive as it seems initially. As an example, helping a senior in the shower or bath the wrong way may lead to a fall. Poor incontinence care could cause skin damage and infection. Noncompliance with a prescribed dietary plan can lead to a variety of health problems.

It is not a surprise that in a newly released report shared by AARP, “Home Alone Revisited,” a lot of family caregivers mentioned anxiety over the possibility of making a mistake in the care they provide. The study features responses from a survey sent to over 2,000 family caregivers, who revealed that although they believed their care was making it possible for their family members to stay at home instead of moving to an assisted living or nursing home setting, they expressed anxiety over their experience to do the tasks needed.

Respondents in the study divulged that the most emotionally frustrating element of caregiving is incontinence care. And, nearly ¾ of family caregivers surveyed are regularly performing medical duties in relation to pain management – tasks for which they wished they had obtained better training and recommendations from the senior’s medical care team.

Heather Young, dean emerita at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at the University of California, Davis (and co-author of this report) explains that, “Too often (family caregivers) are unprepared and do not get the support they need to assume these important roles.”

Asking for help and training in unfamiliar tasks is critical for family caregivers. Those who partner with an established in-home care provider, such as Responsive Home Care, can reduce the trepidation and anxiety in managing care at home successfully. Our caregivers are professionally trained in the countless intricacies of aging care, and can provide family members with valuable guidance and education. We also offer trusted, reliable respite care services that make it possible for family caregivers to step away from their care responsibilities while knowing their senior loved one will be safe and well cared for.

Call us today at 954-486-6440 or contact us online for a free in-home consultation to find out more.

How to Help a Loved One with Alzheimer’s when Wandering Occurs

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Alzheimer’s disease often causes a person to wander, possibly into a dangerous situation. Learn more about how to keep your loved one’s home safe to prevent wandering.

Of the numerous ramifications of Alzheimer’s disease, perhaps one of the most worrying is the person’s tendency for wandering and also the potential dangers that can develop if the senior becomes disoriented or lost. Alzheimer’s wandering can occur any time the older adult is:

  • Frightened, confused or overwhelmed
  • Searching for someone or something
  • Bored
  • Attempting to preserve a familiar past routine (for example, going to a job or shopping)
  • Taking care of a simple necessity (such as getting a drink of water or going to the bathroom)

The objective is twofold; to help keep your loved one safe, as well as to make certain his / her needs are fulfilled to try and stop the desire to wander. Try the following safety measures if your senior loved one is likely to wander:

  • Make sure the home is equipped with a security system and locks that the senior is not able to master, such as a sliding bolt lock above his or her range of vision. A variety of alarms can be found, from something as simple as placing a bell over door knobs, to highly-sensitive pressure mats which will sound an alarm when stepped on, to GPS products that may be worn, and more. It is also wise to register for the Alzheimer’s Association’s Safe Return Program.
  • Conceal exits by covering up doors with curtains, positioning short-term folding barriers strategically around doorways, or by wallpapering or painting doors to match the surrounding walls. You could also try placing “NO EXIT” signs on doors, which can sometimes dissuade those in the earlier stages of dementia from trying to exit.
  • Another danger for those who wander is the elevated risk of falling. Go through each room of the home and tackle any tripping concerns, such as removing throw rugs, extension cords, and any obstacles which might be obstructing walkways, installing extra lighting, and placing gates at the top and bottom of stairways.

It’s important to keep in mind that with guidance and direction, wandering is not necessarily a problem. Take a walk with each other outside if weather allows and the senior is in the mood to be mobile, providing the added benefit of fresh air, physical exercise, and quality time together.

Although often difficult to manage, the dementia care team at Responsive Home Care is specially trained to be equally vigilant and proactive in deterring wandering and to employ creative approaches to help seniors with dementia stay relaxed and content. Reach out to us at 954-486-6440 to learn more about Alzheimer’s from the best home care company in Fort Lauderdale, FL!

Paranoia in the Elderly: What to Do When Dad Seems Irrational

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It surprises some to learn that paranoia in the elderly is a common issue. Learn more about how to respond to an aging parent that may be acting irrational.

“Listen to me, there’s a dog inside my closet! I hear it growling all night long. We need to find its owner!”

Hearing a senior loved one voice worries that you know to be false is unsettling – but not abnormal. The initial impulse may be to try to rationalize with the individual with a response such as, “Nonsense! There’s absolutely no way a dog could have gotten into your closet!” Yet for various reasons, this is often the least successful solution to take care of paranoia in the elderly.

Instead, at Responsive Home Care, we encourage the following approaches in order to help restore a sense of calm and well-being:

  1. First and foremost, arrange an appointment with the senior’s physician. It is vital that you discover any cognitive problems in order to be certain he or she receives appropriate treatment if needed. There also could be prescription side effects at play.
  2. Find out the thinking associated with the irrationality, and then determine how to remedy the situation. For example, perhaps the heating and cooling vent near the closet is starting to become loose, or an air vent is blowing onto a row of hangers and leading to an unusual sound.
  3. In lieu of trying to correct the senior loved one, respond lovingly with assurance and empathy. Concentrate on accepting the feelings being conveyed, as well as on having the person know that you will be there to help. Accompanying the senior into another area and providing interesting distractions, such as listening to music, baking, gardening, or browsing through photos together, can help restore calm.
  4. One of the smartest ways to overcome any obstacle is as simple as finding out what has assisted others in the same situation. Think about joining an in-person or online community of family caregivers, allowing for the exchange of helpful knowledge and information. A number of choices are available, such as AgingCare.com’s caregiver discussion forum.
  5. Seek the support of a professional home care provider, such as Responsive Home Care providing home health care in Pembroke Pines and the surrounding area. Our caregivers are skilled at assisting the elderly to remain active and involved, and in helping to ease challenging and difficult behaviors. Partnering with an established and reliable caregiver also will provide you with much-needed respite to take a break from caregiving duties while being confident your loved one is receiving top quality care.

For more advice on helping your senior loved one through obstacles with growing older, dementia or chronic illness, reach out to the specialists in home health care in Pembroke Pines and the surrounding area at Responsive Home Care. We are always readily available to answer any questions, share resources specific to the challenges you are encountering, and to provide a free in-home consultation and development of a customized care plan to improve wellbeing for a senior loved one. Contact us any time at 954-486-6440.

Important Updates from the 2019 Alzheimer’s Association Facts and Figures Report

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The report is in: Learn new Alzheimer’s facts and figures here.

2019 Facts and Figures Report, and with a staggering 5.8 million Americans presently diagnosed with the disease – including one out of every ten older adults – it is essential for all of us to be familiar with the latest innovations in research and treatment plans.

Read more

The Importance of Partnering with Professionals for Dementia Care

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Learn how partnering with Fort Lauderdale elderly care experts, Responsive Home Care can help you with dementia care for a loved one.

While an incredible number of older adults are struggling with the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease, an even greater number of family members are trying to cope with caring for them. Incredibly, nearly 75% of family caretakers are managing their senior loved ones’ dementia care needs on their own, with only 26% seeking professional care assistance. Read more

Top Tips for Supporting Someone With Dementia

Senior women at home.

If you’re supporting someone with dementia and feel like you’re in uncharted territory, use these guidelines from our Sunrise elderly care experts.

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

In Caring for an Aging Parent, Are You Overstepping Boundaries as a Helicopter Child?

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Learn how to avoid overstepping boundaries when it comes to senior care for parents.

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

Ft. Lauderdale Home Care Experts Share 5 Signs of Dementia to Watch During the Holidays

A happy grandmother with her family on Christmas Eve

Learn the warning signs of dementia in this article by the Ft. Lauderdale home care experts.

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

Caregiver Tips for Going in Public with an Elder who has Dementia

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Caregiver Plantation FLSpending time outside of the house with an elder who has dementia can be both frustrating and challenging. If they are in the later stages of the disease, you may have to worry about the elder wandering or displaying abnormal behaviors. While it can be terrifying and possibly embarrassing to even consider going out in public with your loved one, it is something you and the elder should do from time to time.

With these tips from other caregivers, you will be able to take the stress out of public outings with your elderly parent who has dementia.

Be prepared. Whether you are going to be away from the home for a few minutes or a few hours, prepare a tote bag of all of the items that may be needed during the adventure. You may want to include a few pairs of under garments, sunscreen, books or magazines, wipes, and anything else the elder or you may need during the outing.

Do not forget the snacks or water. Dehydration can occur at any time of the year, including winter. Bring plenty of water for your loved one to sip throughout the day to prevent it from happening to them. Also, pack healthy snacks that both you and your loved one can nibble on when starvation strikes.

Know what their poor behavior means. Older adults with dementia are not always able to communicate what they want or need. They may try to get their point across by exhibiting poor behavior. It is nearly impossible to control their behavior, but there are ways you can try to diffuse the situation. Run through a checklist in your head of things they could be trying to communicate. This includes hunger, thirst, fatigue, or pain. You may want to consider attending a dementia support group or taking a class to learn more about what the senior’s behavior could mean.

Brainstorm different explanations. If your loved one begins to act out in public, you will need to know what to say to strangers to explain the behavior. While there may be some people that will not be pleased with your explanation, others will understand your situation much better once you tell them about it.

Staying cooped up in the house all day is not healthy for anyone, including caregivers and seniors with dementia. You may be terrified to take your loved one out, but these tips should make the journey a little bit easier.

Source: http://www.caregiverstress.com/dementia-alzheimers-disease/elder-care/tips-to-make-outings-easier-when-a-senior-has-dementia/

If you or an aging loved one are considering Caregiver Services in Plantation FL to provide companionship, compassion and motivation, please contact the caring staff at Responsive Home Care. Call today 954-486-6440.

What Can You Do When You Think Your Elderly Loved One is Having Cognitive Issues?

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Home Health Care Tamarac FLWhen you first start to notice your loved one having difficulty processing information, it’s scary. The situation can be scary for your elderly loved one, too, because cognitive issues can often mean that she’s about to lose some of her independence.

Talk to Her Doctor Right Away

The first step is to talk with your loved one’s doctor right away. He can run tests to determine just how much your loved one’s cognitive abilities are being affected. Your loved one may have issues due to a health condition, such as Alzheimer’s disease or even depression, or there may be other factors. Starting out at your loved one’s doctor give him a chance to narrow down those causes.

Look at Environmental Causes

Sometimes other factors are at play when your loved one seems to be having cognitive issues. She may not be getting enough nutrition from her food, for instance, which can cause her brain to work in odd ways. If your loved one isn’t getting enough sleep, she may start to experience cognitive issues, too. These environmental causes may be something that you can pick up on yourself or your loved one’s doctor may ask about them.

Stick to the Care Plan

Once you have a plan of action in place from your loved one’s doctor, it’s important to adhere to that plan. In cases where there is an illness, such as depression, your loved one may be prescribed medication. In the case of other causes, such as not enough sleep, your loved one’s doctor may prescribe an exercise plan or changing up your loved one’s sleep hygiene to one that is more effective for her. No matter what, you’ll need to follow the plan in order to start seeing results.

Get Extra Help Now

You may need to go ahead now and start getting extra help, either in the form of other family members or even senior home health care providers. This can especially be the case if your loved one has an illness such as Alzheimer’s disease that is likely to worsen over time. Having extra help in place now will really benefit you as your loved one’s situation worsens.

As your loved one adapts to her new care plan, keep in mind that you may need to adjust it over time to accommodate her changing needs.

If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Health Care Services in Tamarac FL to provide companionship, compassion and motivation, please contact the caring staff at Responsive Home Care. Call today 954-486-6440.

What Are the Best Ways to Help a Loved One with Dementia Get Over Reluctance to Bathe?

Home Care Tips for Coping with Alzheimer’s

Elderly Care Sunrise FLIf your elderly loved one has dementia and is refusing to bathe regularly, you may find yourself frustrated by the problem. This is unfortunately common for loved ones who have dementia, but the situation is still resolvable.

Take the Process a Tiny Step at a Time

Sometimes when your loved one is reluctant to take a shower or a bath, it’s the full idea of the process that is scary to her. One way around this is to take the bathing process one small step at a time. You might start with offering to wash her hair or washing her arms. Once you gain some ground, you can try the next tiny step.

Make the Bathroom as Comfortable as Possible

For some elderly loved ones, the bathroom can feel like a sterile, cold place. That can make her even more reluctant to bathe. Consider making some small changes to the bathroom to make it much more comfortable for your loved one. Switch out older towels for fluffy, luxurious towels. Consider using a towel warmer or at least sending the towels through the dryer before bath time. Ask your loved one what would make the room and the experience cozier for her.

Pay Attention to Specific Fears or Objections

Sometimes elderly loved ones who have dementia have very specific fears or reasons that they are reluctant to bathe. Some are afraid of falling, for example. If that’s the case for your loved one, devise solutions that ensure that she won’t fall, such as non-slip rugs, grab rails, and shower chairs. Other elderly loved ones with dementia may fear their reflection in a mirror because it appears to be someone else watching them. Solving that problem could mean removing or covering mirrors in the bathroom until the bath is over.

Enlist the Help of Someone Else

For many elderly loved ones, having a family member bathe them is too embarrassing to contemplate. Your loved one may feel so strongly about this, in fact, that she puts off bathing completely. Having someone else to help her, such as an elder care provider, can be exactly the right solution for your loved one in that case.

Keep track of the days that your loved one has bathed on a calendar so that you can show her if she needs a little more convincing.

If you or an aging loved one are considering Elderly Care Services in Sunrise FL to provide companionship, compassion and motivation, please contact the caring staff at Responsive Home Care. Call today 954-486-6440.

CAN THE MIND DIET REALLY AFFECT YOUR RISK OF ALZHEIMER’S?

The old adage “you are what you eat” is taken up a notch, thanks to researchers at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center, who have discovered, at least observationally, that the MIND diet may ward off the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, such as cognitive decline and memory impairment. Including parts of both the Mediterranean and DASH diets, which are aimed at controlling blood pressure and improving heart health, the MIND diet goes a step further to address cognitive issues.

None of the 923 people who participated in the study had been previously diagnosed with any type of dementia. At the end of the 4 ½-year study, those who closely followed the guidelines of the diet were determined to be at a 53% reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s. And even those who only moderately adhered to the diet had their risk reduced by 35%.

Of particular note, those who ate at least one serving of green vegetables each day had a “dramatic decrease in the rate of cognitive decline…the equivalent of being 11 years younger in age,” according to Dr. Martha Clare Morris, professor of neurological epidemiology at Rush.

With a follow-up study underway, we certainly haven’t heard the last of the potential benefits of the MIND diet. Visit The Wall Street Journal to read the full article.