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.

Finding Meaning and Purpose Later in Life

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As we age, life changes, but the need for purpose does not. Learn how to help seniors find new meaning for everyday life.

Think of an ordinary day in the life of a senior loved one. Ideally it provides a number of positive and enriching experiences: savoring breakfast, participating in a satisfying activity or interest, visiting with a good friend or member of the family, watching a favorite TV show. Nonetheless, there’s a distinction between positivity and purpose; and the value of a life rich with significance is now more widely known, particularly in the life of aging parents.

Viktor Frankl, world-renowned psychiatrist and survivor of the Holocaust, explains poignantly, “What matters is not the meaning in life in general, but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment.”

For individuals whose identity has been devoted to a profession and raising a family, and who now are in a season of retirement and fulfilled family responsibilities, it can be hard finding meaning and purpose later in life. At Responsive Home Care, we make it a priority to help seniors determine their interests and channel them into meaningful activities, such as:

  • Volunteering. For a senior who loves kids, tutoring, reading to, or mentoring students at an area school is a great option. Other individuals may care greatly about assisting veterans, and assemble care packages of personal care products and snack food items to send overseas. Or for animal lovers, bringing treats, blankets, and an affectionate heart to a pet shelter could be very fulfilling.
  • Learning. It is true: you are never too old to master something new. Go to a nearby community college, library, or senior center to find classes or online programs that might appeal to your senior loved one.
  • Helping at home. Well-meaning family caregivers often take over household chores to free their senior loved ones from the tasks they’ve taken care of during their lifetime. Unfortunately, this can have the negative effect of leaving older adults feeling as though they are no longer useful. Engage the senior in work and responsibilities throughout the home which are typically within his / her expertise and interest, such as assisting with organizing meals, folding laundry, sorting nuts and bolts in a toolbox, etc.
  • Documenting family history. Supplying the next generation with the rich genealogy and family history and stories experienced firsthand is a treasure that only older adults can offer. Help your senior loved one document his / her lifetime legacy in a scrapbook, writing, or video recording, and then share with friends and family.

And, call on Responsive Home Care when it comes to tailored in-home assistance that helps older adults discover satisfaction and purpose, while continuing to be safe and comfortable in the familiarity of home. We’re able to offer transportation to engaging and meaningful activities, help plan and implement ideas to accomplish right in the home, or simply just look after some of the everyday tasks in the residence, including cleaning and cooking, allowing family members to savor high quality time with one another. You can contact us any time at 954-486-6440 to learn more about our senior care in Hollywood, FL and the surrounding areas.

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.

Workers Are Leaving Jobs Due to Imbalance in Employment and Family Caregiving Responsibilities

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Holding down a job and being responsible for family caregiving can create stress on employees. Find out more here.

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

How to Help Dad Overcome His Fear of Doctor Visits

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.

A senior man of African descent is indoors in a hospital room. He is watching his female doctor using a tablet computer. She is explaining a medication schedule to him.

Our senior care services in Pembroke Pines and the surrounding area include helping older adults overcome a fear of doctor visits.

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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

How to Confront Aging Parents About Care Assistance

An adult daughter and her mother spending time together

Learn tips to address aging parent’s safety at home.

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:

  1. Ensure that a durable power of attorney has been assigned.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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:

  • Companionship
  • Meal planning and preparation
  • Housework and laundry
  • Transportation
  • 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!

How to Maintain a Healthy Marriage While Caring for Aging Parents

Mature couple holding hands

Use these tips to make caring for elderly parents and maintaining your marriage less stressful.

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!

How to Test Your Loved One’s Driving Skills Yourself

Elder Care Hollywood FL

Elder Care Hollywood FLMany elderly loved ones reach a point in their life when driving can be quite dangerous for not only them, but the people around them. If you’re worried about your loved one’s driving abilities, it might be a good idea to stage a “ride along” during which you make note of her driving so you can talk to her about it later.

Avoid Announcing that You’re Testing Her Driving Skills

If you can avoid it, don’t let your loved one know that you’re testing her driving ability. Giving her a warning means you won’t get to see her actual driving skills. Instead, you’ll see how she wants to you see her drive. On the other hand, you might make her too nervous to drive at all. So it’s best to just keep what you’re doing to yourself until afterward.

Relax and Observe

During the ride, make sure that you’re paying attention but that you’re not jotting down notes as your loved one does something. Be observant without being obtrusive. If you can, relax a bit. The goal is to allow your loved one to drive the way that she normally would drive.

Avoid Critiquing Unless There Is Immediate Danger

Likewise, you want to avoid making comments about your loved one’s driving. Saying things like, “Did you mean to change lanes without using your blinker?” isn’t very subtle. If there is immediate danger, however, such as your loved one not looking before changing lanes, those are the kinds of things you do want to mention in the moment.

Sit Down with Your Loved One Afterward

Once the drive is over, it’s time to talk to your loved one about what you saw. Open by letting your loved one know that you care about her safety and that you love her. You don’t want to beat your loved one up during this conversation, but let her know if you witnessed habits that have you troubled. On the other hand, if your loved one’s driving skills were better than you expected, let her know that you saw some good things, too.

If the test doesn’t go so well, it’s a good idea to start lining up people who can help with transportation for your loved one. Other family members and elder care providers are excellent first choices.

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

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

Caregiver Plantation FL

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.

Checking for Health and Safety in Your Parent’s Bathroom This Holiday Season

Home Care Services Pompano Beach FL

Home Care Services Pompano Beach FLIf you are like many family caregivers, one of the elements of the holiday season that you look forward to the most is getting to spend quality time with your senior. This is particularly true if you are a distance caregiver who does not have the opportunity to spend as much time with your loved one as you would like. Your holiday season visits are a chance for you to reconnect with your senior and spend more time with them, as well as check in on them and ensure that they are still doing well as they age in place.

Take some time during your visit to check areas of their home to identify any risks or indications that they might be struggling with challenges and issues. One area of the home that is particularly important to check is your parent’s bathroom. Simply by its nature, this room tends to be more dangerous than others and can be a strong indication of how your parent is doing.

Some things you should check for in your parent’s bathroom to gauge their health and safety include:

• Loose towel rod. Take a look at your parent’s wall-mounted towel rod and give it a wiggle. If the towels look disheveled and it feels loose, it could be an indication that your elderly parent has been using it for physical support when navigating the room. This is not only a sign of potential challenges, but also a danger. Towel rods are not designed to withstand such weight, and it could simply collapse, causing your loved one to suffer a serious fall.

• Soap scum buildup in the shower. If your parent has always been neat and clean and you notice that their shower is not clean, it could be an indication of serious issues. They could be suffering from cognitive functioning decline that prevents them from cleaning up the home, or mental health issues that minimize their motivation. They could also be suffering from physical limitations that prevent them from being able to handle the actual task of cleaning.

• Issues with brushing their teeth. Visit your aging parent while they are brushing their teeth and pay attention to how they are doing it and their response. If they are brushing gingerly, avoiding flossing, or you notice even a little bit of blood in the sink, it could be an indication of dental health problems that could put the well-being of their entire body at serious risk.

If you have noticed that your aging parent is dealing with challenges, limitations, and other issues that threaten their safety and well-being as they age in place, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting home care services for them. An in-home senior care services provider can be with your parent on a customized schedule tailored for their individual needs, challenges, and limitations, but also for their personality, lifestyle, and goals. This means that they can enjoy a more active, engaged, and fulfilling quality of life while also staying safe and healthy. As their family caregiver, knowing that there is a home care provider with your parent can give you confidence that they are always getting the care, assistance, and support that they need whether you are able to be with them regularly or if you live at a distance and are not able to visit with them frequently.

When it comes to helping your aging loved one stay safe and healthy in the bathroom, this care provider can evaluate your loved one’s needs, provide physical support and assistance, and help guide them in keeping the room clean and neat to reduce risk.

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