Discussing a COPD Diagnosis: How to Communicate Well with Those You Love

happy-senior-man-holding-oxygen-mask-with-copdIt began with those in your inner circle, and it has gradually been spreading outward to friends and acquaintances. Discussing a COPD diagnosis and knowing how to reply to the various questions that arise about it could be uncomfortable – for you personally, and for those you are speaking with as well.

Surprisingly, you could find that the largest challenges come in speaking with your primary caregiving partner – the individual who is closest to you. The caregiver/care receiver relationship can bring up a number of emotions. The individual on the receiving end of care may feel self-conscious and insecure as a result of needing assistance, which may result in feelings of anger and frustration, just to name a few. The care provider may feel incapable of meeting each of the required needs, regretful for mistakes made, and downright fatigued from trying to handle someone else’s care needs with their own.

There are several key techniques to improve communication with your caregiving partner:

  • Make sure you are both completely knowledgeable about COPD, the corresponding symptoms and treatment plans, as well as its typical progression. The doctor can offer educational materials for both of you to better understand what you are facing.
  • Don’t beat around the bush. Honestly and clearly express your emotions and needs.
  • Listen to your partner – and let them know they’re being heard. Maintain eye contact, nod or use other nonverbal indicators to demonstrate you’re listening.
  • Be assertive without being controlling. Your emotions are valid and deserve to be shared in a constructive way without lashing out at the other person.
  • Avoid argumentative phrases and words, such as, “You always…” or “You never…”. The individual is probably going to become defensive, intensifying hurt feelings.
  • Remind yourself that no one is a mind-reader. If you are assuming your caregiving partner knows what you’re thinking or how you’re feeling simply by your actions, it opens the door to misunderstandings.
  • Maintain empathy and respect for each other. You both are facing new and evolving challenges, and will both make mistakes. A little grace will go a long way.

It’s also a wise idea to call a time-out if emotions start to intensify. Take a break from one another and concentrate on calming activities, such as reading, listening to music, exercising, or writing in a journal. When you both feel calmer, try the conversation again.

At Responsive Home Care, we understand the frustrations that can arise when managing a chronic health condition like COPD, and we’re available to help. Our friendly caregivers make ideal companions to talk with and to spend time with, engaging in enjoyable activities together. We work with family caregivers to make sure they have time required for self-care, while enhancing the lives of the seniors for whom they care. Contact us any time to find out more about our home care in Plantation and throughout the area.

Solutions for Aggression in Alzheimer’s: How to Safely Respond Using the 6 R’s

adult-son-talking-to-senior-father-with-dementiaOf the many difficult behaviors common in Alzheimer’s, probably the most challenging to manage is aggression. A senior who may have always been mild-mannered can abruptly lash out in outbursts that can be truly alarming: hitting, cursing, kicking, yelling, biting, or throwing objects. How can you, as a family care provider, find solutions for aggression in Alzheimer’s and safely help reestablish a feeling of calm?

First of all, remind yourself that the aggression is a result of the disease. It’s not something the senior can control, and it is not intentional. That said, it needs to be diffused in order to keep both you and the older adult protected from harm.

The 6 R’s of Managing Difficult Behavior,” developed by Dr. Peter Rabins and Nancy Mace in their book The 36-Hour Day, could be an effective solution for aggression in Alzheimer’s. Read through and refer back to them so you’re prepared for the next burst of aggression.

The 6 R’s

  • Restrict. Maintain a calm demeanor and tone of voice while you work to help the individual withdraw from the behavior.
  • Reassess. Think through what could have provoked the incident. Causes may include physical pain, too much noise or other distractions in the room, hunger, thirst, fatigue, etc. Keeping a journal of what was occurring before and during each incident can help provide clues.
  • Reconsider. Empathize with the older adult by picturing yourself fighting a disease that impedes your ability to clearly communicate your needs and wishes, to accomplish tasks independently which were once so easy, to feel disoriented and confused, etc.
  • Rechannel. Redirect the person to a pursuit the individual enjoys, or relocate to an alternative environment, such as moving out onto the front porch or going to the dining area together for a snack.
  • Reassure. Let the older adult know that everything is ok and that you are there. In the event that the individual responds favorably to touch, place your hand on their shoulder, offer a pat on the back or hug, or take their hand in yours.
  • Review. Note in your journal what went well – or what did not – to help in using the most effective response if the aggression arises again.

Knowing that aggression may develop at any time in a person with Alzheimer’s, it is helpful to evaluate the home environment and take measures to ensure it is as comfortable and calming as possible, for example:

  • Playing relaxing music the senior enjoys in the background.
  • Placing comforting and familiar objects within quick access.
  • Staying clear of television shows that may show violence or other unsettling images.
  • Opening the window blinds during the day to allow lots of sunlight to stream in.

Responsive Home Care is here for you as well with highly trained dementia care home health aides in Weston, FL who understand the intricacies of the disease and how to best manage the related challenges. Reach out to us for more information on our in-home dementia care. See our website for a comprehensive list of the communities we serve.

How to Be a Supportive Family Caregiver for Someone with a New Diagnosis

family-caregiver-talking-with-senior-womanIt may have been suspected, or maybe broadsided you out of nowhere. Mom has just received the official diagnosis for a progressive disease that’s going to make independent life a challenge. While there are lots of unknowns, one thing is for sure: she is insistent about remaining at home – meaning you may need to learn how to be a supportive family caregiver.

If you are feeling a bit stressed with what to anticipate next, these guidelines can certainly help.

  • Learn as much as you can in regards to the disease. The senior’s physician can provide you with resources and educational materials that will help you know what to anticipate and also to gain confidence in your caregiving role.
  • Get organized. Create a binder in which to store important paperwork: prescription details, test results, contact information for physicians’ offices and the pharmacy, and any other important medical information. Start a journal to help keep track of any changes in condition or concerns that arise, along with the details surrounding those changes.
  • Set aside past hurts. A new diagnosis could cause old family dynamics to resurface. If unsettled issues are interfering with your ability to provide the best care, seek the support of a professional counselor to effectively work through them.
  • Establish boundaries together. Speak with the senior about how much and what sort of help could be beneficial. It is normal to want to step in and take over, but it’s vital for the individual to maintain as much independence and control as possible.
  • Take proper care of yourself, too. Your own personal health and wellness are equally important. And, the level of care you provide can be compromised if your own needs are not being met. Prioritize and designate time each day for self-care by seeking out and accepting assistance from others.

It’s important to know about the chance for depression and caregiver burnout, and to take the appropriate steps immediately in the event that you start to experience red flags such as:

  • Increased anxiety, agitation, and irritability
  • Retreating from social interactions
  • Lack of interest in once-enjoyed hobbies
  • Resentment
  • Loss of appetite
  • Issues with falling or staying asleep
  • Difficulty with concentration and focus
  • Exhaustion

Locating a dependable care partner provides time for you to see a physician for a checkup to rule out other potential health problems, to speak with a therapist to effectively work through the many emotions involved with caregiving, and to relax and recharge.

The Weston home health care team at Responsive Home Care is here with further resources for family caregivers, as well as skilled, dependable respite care services that enable a healthier life balance. Reach out to us for a complimentary in-home consultation to find out more about our services and list of communities served.

Are You Falling for These Common Hospice Misconceptions?

If you knew that a significantly better quality of life could be achieved for someone you care about, you wouldn’t hesitate to explore that option. Yet one of the most beneficial types of care – hospice care – is one that family members shy away from, because of many different hospice misconceptions.

Hospice is intended to help someone with a life-limiting illness obtain relief from pain along with other difficult symptoms, while benefiting from comfort as well as spiritual and emotional support. Hospice care is available around the clock, both for the person needing care along with family members. And, for anyone covered by Medicare, hospice care is available for a very low cost or possibly at no cost. Many additional insurance policies cover hospice care too.

Here are some of the top myths and the real facts you should know about hospice care:

Hospice is only needed at the very end of life. Lots of people mistakenly assume that hospice services are for a person’s last day or two, when in fact, the earlier hospice care is started, the better. The criteria for Medicare-covered hospice services are simply for a doctor to certify that the individual could die within six months. The hospice team and the doctor continue to monitor and modify this prognosis ongoing, either discharging the individual from hospice if improvement is noted, or recertifying if life extends beyond six months.

A person can no longer receive medical treatment while on hospice. While it is correct that typically aggressive treatments that won’t lead to a cure are discontinued, the goal of hospice care is to help an individual with pain and symptom management. Treatments designed to improve the person’s level of comfort are an integral part of hospice care.

Hospice takes place in a facility or at a hospital. Hospice care is available anywhere the individual and loved ones wish. In-home hospice care is readily available for individuals who opt to remain at home for a lifetime or in a facility setting, if preferred. Whatever the living arrangement, hospice care is brought to that individual – eliminating the need to go out to physician’s appointments.

Hospice care is a holistic approach to meeting the needs of the person receiving the care, in addition to his or her loved ones. Beginning care as soon as possible allows maximum time to take advantage of the resources, support, and comfort necessary for the most peaceful transition possible.

For answers to any other questions about hospice care, call Responsive Home Care at 954-486-6440. We can share additional information with regards to the benefits of hospice care and provide you with a free consultation to talk about the options that are available to you for in-home care in Plantation and throughout the surrounding areas.

 

How to Help Your Loved One When Alzheimer’s Affects Sleep

If it feels like a senior with Alzheimer’s has completely rewritten the rules on when and how to sleep, you are not dreaming—Alzheimer’s affects sleep. For reasons that are not yet fully understood, a number of people with dementia experience changes to their circadian rhythm, leading to sleepless nights and drowsy days.

The progression of the disease is one contributing factor. Damage to brain cells causes increased weakness, making everyday activities and tasks exhausting. Medication side effects from commonly-prescribed dementia treatments can further exacerbate the issue.

Why a Good Night’s Sleep Is Crucial for a Senior with Dementia

Decreased sleep quality in dementia may lead to an increase in restlessness and delusions and can result in serious safety concerns, including the potential for a senior to wander away and become injured or lost. Not just that, but a senior loved one who is sleepy during the day will also be less likely to engage in healthy activities, such as spending time outdoors and exercising.

And, for a busy family caregiver who also needs rest, it is typically quite a challenge to meet all of the person’s care needs during the day and throughout the night as well.

Ways to Help

Try these strategies for a senior whose sleep patterns are disrupted:

  • Talk to the physician, first of all, for a review of medications. Changing the dosage timing every day may be all it will require to make a difference.
  • Maintain a routine like going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. Limit caffeine, naps, and heavy meals later in the day.
  • Incorporate bedtime activities that are soothing, for example, a warm bath, reading, turning off the television, and playing quiet, calming music.
  • If wandering is a concern, a wireless bed exit pad can notify you as soon as the senior gets up so that you can assist.
  • Try placing a clock that distinguishes between nighttime and daytime near the senior’s bed.

You may want to encourage a senior to try sleeping on their side rather than the back or stomach as well. Recent reports revealed a possible link between side sleeping and much more effective clearing of brain waste, such as excess beta-amyloid. Note that this study was conducted on laboratory animals, and it’s unclear yet whether the results carry over to humans.

Responsive Home Care is available to help as well, with overnight caregivers who are awake and alert, looking after the older adult’s needs throughout the night, so you can get the rest you need. Our care team members are fully trained and experienced in creative, patient approaches to meeting the unique care needs of those with Alzheimer’s disease. Give us a call at 954-486-6440 to learn more about our specialized Fort Lauderdale elderly care offered throughout the greater metropolitan area.

Tips to Help You Become a Champion Caregiver for Elderly Parents

caregiver for elderlyIf someone were providing care services for you, how would you want that caregiver/care receiver relationship to look? What qualities would shift that degree of care from ordinary to extraordinary?

Taking care of an older loved one at home is a noble and selfless commitment. It’s never a responsibility that should be taken lightly, or taken on halfheartedly. These tips make it possible to become not just a fantastic caregiver, but a care champion who empowers an older adult to thrive.

Foster independence. No one wants to feel as if they’re no longer self-sufficient, or that someone is coming in and taking over. Encourage and motivate the senior to do what they are able to do safely and comfortably on their own, providing whatever support is necessary along the way.

Practice empathy. It’s a helpful exercise to routinely put yourself in the senior’s shoes and consider how you would like to be treated if roles were reversed. This may mean setting your own personal feelings aside to better understand those of the other person.

Be creative. Think outside of the box for ideas to brighten every day. For instance, declare Mondays to be “Milkshake Mondays,” experimenting with making and sampling new flavors together. If the senior loves dogs, invite a pet therapist over or spend an afternoon at the local humane society. Have a movie marathon day featuring all of the senior’s favorite films. The ideas are limitless!

Let Responsive Home Care’s trained and experienced care experts assist with additional ideas and help with care needs in the home. Call us at (954) 486-6440 to request a free in-home consultation.

Senior Home Care Tip from the Pros: Create and Follow a Daily Schedule

senior home careLife, especially but not just during the pandemic, can be filled with uncertainty. For seniors who are feeling less in command of particular facets of life, such as losing physical or cognitive functioning, concentrating on what can be controlled is empowering.

A great place to start is by establishing a regular routine, personalized to a senior’s particular interests and needs. Keep in mind that the senior’s routine is certainly not meant to be a strict regimen to be adhered to, but merely the basis for structure and predictability. With the older adult’s direction and input, decide on a preferred framework for every day. A sample daily routine may look like this:

  • Wake up at 7:30 a.m.
  • Take care of personal hygiene needs and get dressed
  • Enjoy breakfast on the back patio while listening to favorite music
  • Engage in light exercise and stretching
  • Work on a puzzle or art project
  • Pack a picnic lunch to take to the nearby park
  • Run an errand
  • Spend some quiet time reading or taking a short nap
  • Make dinner together and tidy up afterwards
  • Take a bath
  • Watch a movie
  • Go to sleep at 10 p.m.

Daily routines are helpful for older adults and their caregivers alike, in many different ways:

  • Routines lower stress and anxiety. Routines are calming and comforting, eliminating the need to wonder and worry about what’s going to occur next, who will be there to assist, and how to ensure that everything is going to be taken care of.
  • Routines create better sleep. Research has shown that sticking with a daily routine aids in sleep quality in addition to the ability to fall asleep and remain asleep.
  • Routines allow for high quality time with friends and family. Older adults and those who care for them can establish routines that incorporate enjoyable time together. Include favorite pastimes, weekly lunch dates at a favorite restaurant, even an end-of-the-day hug.

Our care team is skilled at creating customized care plans and schedules in order to make each day the very best it can be for older adults and those who love them through a full range of in-home support services, including:

  • Morning wake-up assistance, including personal hygiene and cooking a nourishing breakfast
  • Engaging companionship throughout the day and evening – whenever needed
  • Light housekeeping and laundry
  • Shopping and other errands
  • Medication reminders
  • Accompaniment to outings, visits with friends and family, medical appointments, etc.
  • And many others, in accordance with each senior’s specific needs

Call us any time at (954) 486-6440 for more information and to request a free in-home consultation.

Tips for Respecting Elders in How you Speak to Them

Watch what occurs at your next family get together when a new mom places her infant in someone’s arms. The individual is likely to transition instantly into baby mode: a high-pitched, sing-song voice, exaggerated facial expressions, and overly-simplified speech. Of course, this is quite normal and actually beneficial to a baby’s growing brain.

Hopefully, however, when that baby’s great-grandfather enters the room, loved ones refrain from reacting similarly and are better at respecting their elders. Yet it happens so frequently, and can be so damaging to the elderly, that there is a term to describe it: elderspeak.

A recent research study by Susan Kemper, a professor specializing in gerontology at the University of Kansas, matched elderly listeners with younger speakers. In spite of the seniors’ instructions just to listen without interrupting while the younger people spoke to them – thus leaving no suggestion to the speakers that they were having any challenges understanding what was being said – in a great majority of cases, the speakers resorted to elderspeak.

It’s worthwhile to note as well that older adults regularly refrain from using elderspeak with each other. Studies have shown that for a great many older adults, elderspeak conveys superiority and a cold attitude.

Why It’s Harmful

Simply put, elderspeak can be considered belittling and patronizing. It conveys beliefs of inferiority and incompetency to older adults, instead of the admiration and respect they deserve. While typically well-meaning and meant to convey endearment, it frequently has the reverse effect.

What to Do Instead

  • Thoughtfully consider how to address the elderly in your life. Many older adults find terms like “young lady,” “honey,” or “dearie” to be offensive.
  • Use caution when modifying how you communicate with an older adult in accordance with individual need. For example, speaking clearly and slowly while facing a senior loved one with hearing loss is helpful. A high-pitched voice, however, can actually further distort the words. An older adult with memory issues can better follow the conversation if it’s broken down into simple, short sentences and yes-or-no questions. This can easily be accomplished without resorting to baby talk.
  • Don’t forget that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, as each person has unique preferences and challenges. An open and honest conversation with the person about how precisely they would like to be addressed and spoken to is the ideal path to ensure you’re engaging with them appropriately.

At Responsive Home Care, we place a great emphasis on respectful interactions with each and every senior in our care. Contact us at (954) 486-6440 for an in-home consultation to learn how we can help promote independence for older adults with personalized in-home support.

How Does Dementia Progress? What Families Should Expect

Female home carer hugging senior male with dementia

“How does dementia progress?” is one of the top questions asked after a loved one is diagnosed.

When a loved one is diagnosed with dementia, one of the first questions in most people’s minds is how does dementia progress in the weeks, months, and years to come. We know that the hallmark of dementia is the progressive decline in cognitive abilities and the skills required to manage daily life. Yet each person progresses through these changes differently. There are a variety of factors that can impact the rate of decline, including:

  • Medications the senior is taking
  • Overall health and physical makeup
  • The network of support in place
  • The person’s general emotional wellbeing and resilience

There are additional determinants to factor in based upon the specific type of dementia diagnosed. For instance:

  • MCI (Mild Cognitive Impairment): Mild cognitive impairment impacts up to 20% of seniors. More than the normal minor cognitive decline experienced in aging, MCI involves problems with language, judgment, thinking, and memory that are obvious to the senior individually and often to others as well. Researchers found that about 38% of seniors with MCI later developed dementia. The other 62% never progressed further than MCI – and in some cases, their condition actually improved, for unknown reasons. Signs of MCI include forgetfulness, depression, impulsiveness, anxiety, apathy, aggression and irritability, and more.
  • Vascular Dementia: Because vascular dementia is caused by a blockage in blood flow to the brain, the type of blockage will impact the progression of the disease. If small blood vessels are blocked, for instance, the decline will typically occur gradually. Major blood vessel blockage can cause a sudden onset of symptoms, followed by intense periods of change thereafter.
  • Lewy Body Dementia: Progression of Lewy body dementia may be gradual, but may also include widely varying degrees of alertness and attention in the early stages. One day may find the senior lucid, while the next day – or even several hours later – could bring confusion, hallucinations, and memory loss. In the later stages of the disease, agitation, restlessness, aggression, tremors, and stiffness become more prevalent.
  • Frontotemporal Dementia: Unlike other types of dementia, short-term memory is usually not impacted in the early stages of frontotemporal dementia. Instead, early symptoms include behavioral changes, such as distraction, apathy, rudeness, and disregard for social norms. As the disease advances, problems with language become apparent as well, along with memory loss, vision problems, and other typical symptoms seen in Alzheimer’s disease.

Contact the dementia care team at Responsive Home Care for more helpful resources to help you better understand and care for someone you love with dementia. We’re always here to assist with compassionate, creative care to make life more fulfilling for a senior with dementia, and to help family members achieve a better life balance. Reach out to us online or give us a call us at (954) 486-6440 to learn more about our elder care in Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding areas.

Medications That Increase Fall Risk for Seniors: Startling New Stats

woman speaking with a female medical professional via video chat

Medications that increase fall risk for seniors should be closely monitored by a physician in order to keep older adults safe from side effects that put them at risk.

We’ve long known that there are certain medications that increase the fall risk for seniors. Twenty years ago, just a little over half of older adults were impacted by that risk; yet today, that number has risen dramatically – to a full 94% of seniors who are now in danger of falling as a result of medication side effects. Not only that, but deaths from such falls are occurring at more than double the previous rate.

Researchers who discovered this increasing concern also found that between 1999 and 2017, senior prescriptions for medications that increase fall risk were filled over 7.8 billion times. This includes a spike from 12 million antidepressants in 1999 to more than 52 million in 2017.

The study doesn’t specifically pinpoint these medications as the cause for fatality in the falls experienced, but indicates the need for further exploration into the dosages being prescribed. Joshua Niznik of the division of geriatric medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine notes, “We’re starting to understand now that the dose of the medication that someone is on is really what we should be looking at probably with the greatest level of scrutiny, and that really has a strong correlation with falls.”

It’s crucial for seniors and their doctors to work together to strike the ideal balance between managing the conditions that require these medications and preventing further complications from a fall.

Amy Shaver, postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions, and lead author of the study, explains, “These drugs are all necessary medications, but there needs to be a conversation about risks and advantages, that pro-con conversation about: For this particular patient at this particular point in time, what can we do?”

Prescriptions that are specifically linked to fall risk include those for depression, blood pressure management, seizures, pain, and psychosis, among others. Women are most often prescribed these types of medications, and those 85 and older are experiencing the highest spike in fall-related deaths.

One step that seniors can take is to have the home assessed for fall risk and to implement any recommended safety measures. Responsive Home Care is pleased to offer an assessment, scheduled at your convenience. We can also help reduce fall risk through:

  • Ensuring medications are taken exactly as prescribed
  • Assisting with safe walking and transfers
  • Encouraging seniors to engage in doctor-approved exercise programs to strengthen balance, flexibility, and strength
  • And more

Email or give our trusted care team a call at (954) 486-6440 to learn more about our senior care in Fort Lauderdale, FL, and the surrounding communities, and to schedule your assessment today!

Tips for Taking on the Role of Family Caregiver

Tips for Taking on the Role of Family Caregiver

Taking on the role of family caregiver may feel overwhelming at first, but we’re here to help get you started.

It may have come completely out of the blue: an unexpected fall that led to a fractured hip and the need for Mom to have help and support to remain at home. Or, it may have been building up over time, such as through the slow and incremental progression of dementia. Regardless of the circumstances, you’ve now found yourself in the role of family caregiver, and perhaps are wondering exactly what that means and how to navigate these new waters.

First of all, take a deep breath, and a moment to appreciate the selflessness of your decision. Caregiving is a noble and incredibly rewarding endeavor, yet not without its challenges. A little proactive planning will go a long way towards a smoother transition to care, both for yourself and your loved one. A good starting point is to think through how you would both like each day to look, creating a simple timeline to list out the daily tasks and activities that will need your attention. For example:

  • 7 a.m.: Help Mom get out of bed, showered, dressed, and ready for the day
  • 8 a.m.: Make breakfast and clean up
  • 9 a.m.: Take Mom to physical therapy and/or exercise class
  • 11 a.m.: Run errands with (or for) Mom
  • 1 p.m.: Prepare lunch and clean up
  • 2 p.m.: Help Mom get settled in for afternoon activities: a movie, nap, reading, puzzles, engaging in a favorite hobby or pastime, etc.
  • 6 p.m.: Make dinner and clean up
  • 8 p.m.: Help Mom with bedtime tasks – a bath, changing into pajamas, brushing teeth, etc.
  • 10 p.m.: Help Mom get into bed

Your list will look different for each day, of course, but this provides a helpful outline to let you know when you may have a little downtime to yourself, and when you’ll need to provide hands-on help.

This is also a good time to establish boundaries together – and to agree to stick to them. Again, these will vary for each person and on different days, but decide what is important to each of you: having a designated time each day for self-care and personal time when family and friends may come to visit, whether or not you want to maintain a job outside of the home, etc.

Know that as the leader in home health care in Deerfield Beach and the surrounding area, Responsive Home Care is always available with the backup care needed to ensure you are able to take care of yourself, too – something that is extremely important in your role as family caregiver. Call us at (954) 486-6440 or visit our Caregiving Resources to find out more.

Four Ways to Help Older Adults Maintain Dignity and Independence

Help Older Adults Maintain Dignity and Independence

Allowing seniors to make decisions for themselves is just one way to help older adults maintain independence.

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks of caregiving for an older adult you love. There’s so much to be done, and often it’s just easier and more efficient to do it all yourself, letting your loved one relax. After all, our elders have taken care of everything for a lifetime; don’t they deserve a break?

The reality, however, is that it is important to help older adults maintain dignity and independence by allowing them to do as much for themselves as possible, which creates a sense of purpose and meaning. And while ensuring safety is, of course, paramount, there are ways to empower a senior in your care to remain in control as much as possible. Check out these tips from Responsive Home Care, a leading senior care company serving Ft. Lauderdale and surrounding communities in Broward County:

  • Work together on tasks. While standing at the kitchen sink and scrubbing pots and pans may be difficult or unsafe for a senior, perhaps he or she can sit at the table and dry them. The senior may not be able to bake a cake from start to finish, but can mix ingredients as you reminisce about recipes made over the years. It may take a little thought, but it’s worthwhile to find ways to alter tasks to include the senior’s help as much as possible.
  • Allow for decision-making. Look for opportunities to ask for the senior’s input, allowing him or her to remain in control. Rather than assuming he or she will want a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch, ask. Before automatically accompanying the senior into the doctor’s office for an exam, ask if he or she would like you there. Having a say in even the smallest of decisions can make a big difference in self-esteem.
  • Ensure safety with respect. Safety is, of course, paramount, but there are ways to ensure a senior stays safe without overstepping boundaries. Medical alert systems, for example, are a great way to foster independence in seniors while providing them with the means to call easily for help when needed.
  • Partner with professionals. Some seniors balk at the thought of their adult children assisting them with personal care needs, such as using the toilet or taking a bath. A professional caregiver, who is trained and experienced in helping seniors maintain dignity while staying safe, is often a more agreeable solution.

Contact the aging care team at Responsive Home Care to learn more about our trusted in-home care services, always provided with the respect and attention to dignity seniors deserve. As the leading senior care company serving Ft. Lauderdale and the surrounding area, we’re available for as little as a few hours each week up through and including 24/7 care. Call us at (954) 486-6440 today!