The COVID-19 Crisis Resources Seniors and Family Caregivers Need

crisis resources - home health services fort lauderdale fl

These trusted crisis resources can help keep you safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Understanding where to turn with regard to the latest, most dependable info on COVID-19, particularly as it relates to the elderly and family members who take care of them, is extremely important – and complicated. With many resources and differing opinions on this serious topic, we want to help make it more straightforward to locate what you need by sharing the following list of trusted crisis resources.  

  • AARP Answers Common Questions About COVID-19: AARP provides a running bulleted list of all of the most current updates connected with COVID-19, as well as what seniors should do to minimize their chance of contracting it and answers to several common questions. 
  • COVID-19 Guidance for Seniors: The CDC’s COVID-19 Guidance for Older Adults web page consists of a great deal of information, such as assistance with calculating who is at greater risk, symptoms, methods to protect yourself, a checklist for the home, stress and anxiety coping advice, plus much more. 
  • Coronavirus: What Seniors and People With Disabilities Should Know: ACL offers details on what older adults and those with disabilities need to know to reduce the risk of catching and spreading the disease, in addition to signs and symptoms, state-by-state guidelines, and an extensive directory of federal and non-federal resources. 
  • CaregiverSpecific Resources/Articles on COVID-19 Safety: The Family Caregiver Alliance offers caregiver-specific resources and articles to help family caregivers increase the protection of the older adults within their care. 
  • Extensive Commonly Asked Questions List on Caregiver COVID-19 Issues: DailyCaring, an award-winning website dedicated to caregivers, created a common questions page to provide answers to dozens of questions, including precautions to take when visiting an older adult’s house, information on how to sanitize packages, proper handwashing techniques, and so much more. 
  • NAHC COVID-19 Resources: The National Association for Home Care & Hospice advocates for the scores of older adults who receive in-home care, as well as for people who provide that care. Their COVID-19 information page offers articles, webinars, interactive tools, and much more.

For further resources to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and for safe, trustworthy, in-home care to enhance wellness and comfort for the older adults you love, get in touch with Responsive Home Care, the top providers of home health services in Fort Lauderdale, FL and the surrounding area, any time. Following a stringent protocol to ensure the safety of the older adults we serve, we can assist with an array of home care services, which include:  

  • Buying groceries and running other errands, to enable seniors to stay safe in the home 
  • Planning and preparing delicious meals 
  • Companionship to ease loneliness and stress through conversations, films, hobbies/interests, games, puzzles, and much more 
  • Keeping the house thoroughly clean and sanitized 
  • Medication reminders 
  • Specialized care for people with dementia 
  • And many others 

Connect with Responsive Home Care at 954-486-6440 for an assessment within the safety and comfort of home, to learn the way we can assist your loved ones. 

Lower Blood Pressure with One Small Change to Your Drinking Water

happy senior couple outsideGreat news for the more than 116 million Americans fighting hypertension – and, for the rest of us who’d like to prevent it. Recent research shared in the Journal of the American Heart Association links magnesium and calcium to lowered blood pressure, and it could be as easy as adding these minerals to drinking water to lower blood pressure.

The surprising results of the study revealed that those who drank salinated water, compared to those who drank freshwater, experienced lower blood pressure levels – believed to have been from the positive benefits of calcium and magnesium outweighing the negative impact of the sodium.

And while the resulting lowered blood pressure readings were small, Dr. Robert M. Carey, professor of medicine at the University of Virginia shares, “I think it’s pretty clear from many different studies that a small reduction in blood pressure, done consistently, can have a major impact in reducing cardiovascular disease and stroke.”

While further research is needed, this proactive approach would change the way hypertension is currently managed – by preventing it, rather than waiting until a diagnosis and then making lifestyle changes. It’s also important to note that at this time, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics does NOT recommend the use of vitamin/mineral supplements for chronic conditions, but instead advises following a nutrition-rich diet to obtain them naturally when possible.

For those diagnosed with heart disease or any other chronic disease, Responsive Home Care can help by planning and preparing nutritious meals, encouraging a more active lifestyle, providing transportation to medical appointments, and so much more. Contact us at 954-486-6440 to find out how we can help a senior you love achieve a healthier way of life! To learn about all of the areas that we serve, please visit our Service Area page.

Easy Tips for Being the Best Caregiver for a Senior at a Medical Appointment

senior couple visiting a doctor

Family caregivers are uniquely positioned to be the best advocates for seniors at medical appointments.

Of all of the many responsibilities a family caregiver encounters, potentially one of the most overwhelming is managing health conditions. The National Council on Aging reports that around ¾ of all seniors are clinically determined to have at least two chronic diseases, and they are seeing an average of four medical experts.

As your aging parent’s advocate, it’s very important to know how to communicate effectively with those on the older adult’s medical team, and to arrive at appointments completely prepared to address all concerns. The following four questions are a great place to start:

  1. Are all of these medications essential? With most seniors taking several medications, you will need to keep a detailed list and evaluate it periodically with the doctor, along with the pharmacist, each of whom will be able to make sure there aren’t any duplications prescribed by different specialists, or any contraindications between meds.
  2. If prescribing something new, what unwanted side effects might we expect to see? Evaluating the benefits vs. the potential health risks for any new medication is very important, as there may be situations when troublesome side effects overshadow any positive benefits. And in case the physician shares a blanket statement such as, “Most people do not encounter any problems with this medication,” make sure to follow up to learn more about people who DO encounter problems.
  3. What’s the most effective way to decrease pain and discomfort? We’re all familiar with the opioid epidemic, and also the risk of addiction, as well as other problems that come with taking prescription pain medications. However, unaddressed pain can bring about both slowed healing and considerable emotional stress, both for the individual experiencing pain along with his or her caregivers.
  4. If this were your grandfather, what would you do? Inviting the doctor to step into your shoes is an extremely helpful method to gauge the way you may wish to proceed. There may be less invasive or aggressive means to managing a problem which you might want to explore first.

To get more tips on ensuring an older adult you love receives the best possible care, get in touch with the Ft. Lauderdale caregivers at Responsive Home Care. We’re here to help through:

  • Accompanying a senior loved one to healthcare appointments and procedures, making certain that questions are addressed
  • Ensuring medications are taken just as prescribed
  • Proactively monitoring for any changes in condition, such as medication side effects, and reporting them promptly
  • Planning and preparing healthy meals and providing encouragement to stay physically active to enhance health
  • And much more

Our qualified Ft Lauderdale caregivers are available across a large service area in Broward County.  To get started on a better quality of life for an older adult, contact Responsive Home Care at (954) 486-6440 to request an in-home consultation and learn more about options in Sunrise for elderly care.

Risk of Alzheimer’s: Why Is It Higher for Women?

erase Alzheimer'sResearchers are at long last starting to get a handle on why the risk of Alzheimer’s is so much higher in females than in men. Currently, up to 2/3 of people with Alzheimer’s in the United States are female, and as researchers continue to better comprehend the specific nuances behind this pattern, we are able to begin to address them.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association’s Director of Scientific Engagement, Rebecca Edelmayer, “Women are at the epicenter of Alzheimer’s disease as both persons living with the disease and as caregivers of those with dementia. Over the last three years, the Alzheimer’s Association has invested $3.2 million into 14 projects looking at sex differences for the disease and some of the findings today may explain risk, prevalence, and rate of decline for women.”

The historic notion has been that females essentially have a greater than expected lifespan, and we realize that Alzheimer’s is more prevalent as people get older. Nonetheless, the theory has shifted to also include the following further determinants:

  • Biology. Vanderbilt University Medical Center scientists found that females with mild cognitive impairment had a more accelerated spread of tau (the protein within the brain connected to loss of brain cells), along with a higher extent of tau network connectivity, than that of males.
  • Memory. An investigation carried out by the University of California at San Diego School of Medicine discovered higher scores on verbal memory tests in women than men, which may bring about the potential of women’s brains to compensate for cognitive impairments and to the postponement of a medical diagnosis and subsequent treatment.
  • Employment. Memory decline in women ages 60 – 70 who seldom were employed was greater than in females with regular employment, according to the conclusions of a report conducted by the University of California Los Angeles – indicating that “consistent cognitive stimulation from work helps increase cognitive reserve in women.”
  • Lifestyle. Since a healthy lifestyle, particularly a reduced incidence of stress, helps decrease Alzheimer’s risk, women can be especially vulnerable – since they are typically in the role of family caregiver, a known inducer of stress.

Each one of these results focus on the need for women to take care of their own overall health, and Responsive Home Care, the top providers of home health Hollywood, FL and the surrounding area can find, is prepared to assist. We offer the dependable respite care that allows family caregivers to take much recommended breaks from caring for their loved ones while focusing on self-care. Our caregivers are specially trained and experienced in meeting the unique needs of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, giving loved ones the peace of mind in knowing their cherished older adults are getting the best care. Contact us at 954-486-6440 for more information.

The Newest Approach to Chronic Illness: Empowering Patients to Take Control

Patients with chronic illness may feel more empowered when given the opportunity to communicate their own health care goals.

Regarding chronic diseases, seniors are the experts, hands down, with as many as three out of four seniors impacted by several conditions that are ongoing, require long-term medical attention, and place limits on activities. With the never-ending barrage of bloodwork along with other tests, physicians’ appointments and procedures, and medications, managing chronic diseases can take both a physical and emotional toll, and might quickly become stressful.

Dr. Mary Tinetti, chief of geriatrics and internist at Yale School of Medicine, points out, “Once you get three, four, or five and six diseases, several things happen: Number one, almost guaranteed, trying to get one of these diseases under control is going to make one of the other diseases worse. Number two: The more we ask people to do, the more overwhelmed they get and the less they are likely to do.”

For these reasons, Dr. Tinetti has developed the Patient Priorities Care approach, with the objective to decrease the burden of treatment by empowering patients to communicate their personal health care goals – determining what matters most to them. A plan of care will then be created to best meet those goals. For instance, one person’s goal could possibly be to improve total wellbeing in the short-term, while another person may seek to increase longevity of life. It also takes into consideration activities the individual enjoys and how to discover a means for him or her to continue to take part in them.

The Patient Priorities Care method builds upon the Minimally Disruptive Medicine strategy established ten years ago, which also seeks to ease the stress of chronic condition treatment, but which did not comprise the key aspect of introducing feedback from patients to understand what means the absolute most to them.

Ultimately, what many seniors ascertain is they desire to limit “unwanted care,” which they understand requires a lot more than the benefit they are going to receive from processes such as diagnostic tests and procedures. To that end, aging adults and their families can take advantage of these beneficial resources to get more successful, self-directed care, such as a conversation guide, summary of health goals, and a lot more.

At Responsive Home Care, we are focused on discovering what is most essential to the older adults within our care, and to providing the level of care that helps them thrive and reach their goals. It is why our care is fully personalized, and always starts off with discovering as much as possible about every individual and what his or her goals encompass – and then developing a plan of care to help achieve those goals. Reach out to us at 954-486-6440 for more information.

Top Tips to Use Your Time Wisely at the Doctor

doctor visits for seniors - senior care company ft lauderdale

At Responsive Home Care, we’re always available to help seniors through medical appointments and procedures in a variety of ways.

On any particular day, a physician usually has close to 20 patients to see – in addition to calls, paperwork, and other administrative duties. It leaves precious little time spent with each person, which is why it is essential to take advantage of that time and ensure you clearly understand the outcome of doctor visits for seniors.

At Responsive Home Care, our caregivers provide accompaniment for seniors to medical appointments, and suggest the following strategy:

Don’t be reluctant to ask questions. With such a time crunch, your physician may tend to communicate information to you quickly, that’s why it’s up to you to hit the pause button to make sure you fully comprehend everything that is being said and to speak up with any questions you may have, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant it may seem they are.

And, strategize in advance for those questions. It can be tricky to absorb everything being shared with you in the couple of minutes spent together with the doctor. Preparing a list of problems ahead of time will help ensure nothing slips through the cracks. Several questions to consider include:

  •  Exactly what are the long and short term effects of my condition?
  •  What could be the reason for this disorder?
  •  Is there a remedy?
  •  Where may I obtain additional resources?
  •  Will I need any medical tests?
  •  Are there any kind of possible negative effects from those tests?
  •  When can I receive the test results?
  •  What medications exist to help with my health problem?
  •  What are the potential adverse side effects of these drug treatments?
  •  Are there any kind of lifestyle changes I ought to think about making?

Take excellent notes. Bring along paper and a pen, or utilize the notes section of your smartphone or tablet, and jot down responses to your questions along with additional information the doctor provides. It may be helpful to have a dependable family member or professional caregiver from Responsive Home Care with you during the appointment to make sure all things are understood.

Include other medical experts. Bear in mind that although the information provided by the physician is important, other individuals within the senior’s medical team could possibly offer valuable insight as well: nurses, pharmacists, physician assistants, dieticians, physical therapists, etc. Check in with these professionals for additional assistance with carrying out the doctor’s guidelines if warranted.

At Responsive Home Care, a top senior care company Ft. Lauderdale and the surrounding areas trust, we’re always available to assist seniors through medical appointments and procedures in a variety of ways, as well as to help carry out doctors’ recommendations after returning home. We’re able to provide accompaniment to appointments, medication reminders, preparation of meals that are in adherence with any prescribed dietary plan, and many other tasks to ensure optimum health for seniors. Contact us online or call our care team at 954-486-6440 for more information about how to make the most of doctor visits for seniors!

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 team in home health care in Coral Springs, FL 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 our team in home health care in Coral Springs, FL at 954-486-6440 or contact us online for a free in-home consultation to find out more.