Coping with Incontinence and Dementia

senior woman drinking orange juice

ntinence and dementia often go hand-in-hand. Learn how to best handle care for incontinence with the senior you love.

Dementia care calls for both compassion and creativity to manage a range of complicated behaviors and effects, and that’s particularly true in relation to incontinence, something that is incredibly common in Alzheimer’s along with other types of dementia. These tried-and-true techniques are usually effective in minimizing the effect of incontinence and curtailing an escalation of emotions in someone you love with dementia.

  1. Choose your words very carefully. As opposed to talking about incontinence products as “diapers,” for example, call them “briefs” or “pull-up underwear.” Nevertheless, take the cue from your senior loved one; if she or he prefers to utilize the term “diapers” and appears confident with that, then follow along.
  2. Clean out regular underwear from the senior’s dresser. To avoid confusion or opposition to wearing incontinence products, be sure those are the sole option in his or her wardrobe.
  3. Test various products. With different brands, sizes, and absorbency levels on the market, it might take some trial and error to discover one that’s most comfortable and effective.
  4. Use backup products overnight. To help prevent the older adult from waking up throughout the night from incontinence-related issues, try inserting booster pads inside the absorbent underwear, and use products marked for heaviest coverage. Waterproof mattress protectors and disposable bed pads are usually also extremely helpful.
  5. Ensure quick access into the bathroom. Perform a walk-through of the areas the older adult spends time in to estimate how easy it really is for him or her to reach the bathroom. Specifically, remove any clutter, cords, or throw rugs in the senior’s walking path to protect against falls.
  6. If an accident does occur… Maintain a calm demeanor so as not to offend (or further upset) the older adult, and say something like, “It would appear that something may have spilled on your pants; let’s get you some clean clothes,” or “It seems like your pants are wet; that happens every now and then.”
  7. Address unwillingness to keep products on. For older adults who regularly make an effort to remove incontinence products, first see if you’re able to uncover the particular reason why. If uncomfortableness is an issue, try several types of products for one that will be more comfortable. Or your senior loved one may be attempting to change if there’s a feeling of wetness.

In all instances, watch the older adult’s skin for warning signs of rash or irritation, and contact his or her medical professional if noted.

For more incontinence care tips, or to find out about Responsive Home Care’s dependable, professional care for assisting with incontinence and dementia, reach out to us at 954-486-6440 for senior care services in Fort Lauderdale, FL and the surrounding area.

The Elevated Danger of Dehydration in Seniors and How to Help

Senior woman at home drinking hot drink and smiling at the camera

Seniors are among the group with the highest hospitalizations due to dehydration. Learn how to reduce the risk with these easy prevention methods.

Did you know that almost one half of all older adults are chronically under-hydrated, based on a new scientific study conducted at UCLA? Not just that, but seniors over age 65 account for the highest group of hospital admissions as a consequence of dehydration.

Dehydration can easily sneak up on seniors, who often have a reduced sensation of thirst, may experience medication side effects that cause hydration problems, or who erroneously believe that drinking less will decrease incontinence issues.

Senior dehydration can be extremely dangerous, increasing the risk for health issues which include:

  • UTIs
  • Kidney stones and/or failure
  • Blood clots
  • Seizures
  • Hypovolemic shock
  • And many more

Dehydration can be identified by the following symptoms:

First stages:

  • Reduced amount/darker-colored urine
  • Dry mouth
  • Feelings of weakness, dizziness, and/or lower energy
  • Muscle cramps
  • Irritability

Advanced stages:

  • Confusion and disorientation, including difficulty walking
  • Low blood pressure levels and weakened, faster pulse and breathing
  • Stomach bloating
  • Sunken, dry eyes
  • Skin that is wrinkled with no elasticity
  • Worsened muscle cramps and contractions, and/or convulsions

While we often pay more attention to hydration when the air temperature is elevated, it is important for seniors to consume sufficient fluids throughout the year. A quick and easy formula to find out how much, on average, an older adult should drink every day is to divide his or her body weight by three, and have him or her take in that many ounces of water. As an example, if a senior loved one weighs 180 pounds, he or she would need to have a minimum of 60 ounces of water each day.

Try these guidelines to ensure the older adults you love stay healthy and hydrated:

  • Plain water is best, but take into account other types of fluids, including soup, juice, fruits, and vegetables. Abstain from sugary and caffeinated beverages.
  • Place bottled water, or a small pitcher of ice water and a cup, near the older adult to prompt him or her to sip on it conveniently during the day.
  • Try various temperatures. Sometimes a warmed cup of water is more comforting than an icy one. You may even try heating up juice and other beverages to figure out if they are more appealing, or provide popsicles if needed.

The experienced in-home caregivers at Responsive Home Care are experienced in imaginative techniques to help older adults stay hydrated, and in monitoring fluid intake to ensure adequate fluids are consumed every day. Contact us at (954) 486-6440 to learn more about how we can help enhance the health of senior loved ones with Sunrise in-home care, in the convenience and familiarity of home. We provide home care services throughout Broward County.

Taking Care of YOU: Family Caregiver Injury Prevention Tips

Learn how to prevent experiencing an injury yourself as you care for a loved one at home.

While the ultimate goal is to increase health and safety for the seniors they love, family caregivers, regrettably, oftentimes wind up compromising their very own health along the way. The truth is, an astounding 94% of caregivers in a recently available study carried out by Ohio State University revealed musculoskeletal pain in more than one part of their body – and 66% noted this pain influencing their quality of life.

And know that a “family caregiver” can describe anyone in the family who assists another individual with day to day activities. As reported by the Family Caregiver Alliance, this suggests 34 million Americans are at risk of becoming injured through the home care services they provide.

At Responsive Home Care, we know firsthand the degree of lifting, bending, and weight-bearing necessary in satisfying the care needs of a senior loved one, and that’s why each of our professional caregivers is competent in techniques that safeguard both themselves and the seniors in their care. Injuries might result from even the most basic of tasks that require more physical strength than you might realize: shopping and running errands, cleaning the home, performing laundry chores, cooking, and especially transferring a senior loved one to a chair or bed.

To help family caregivers reduce the chance of injury, we provide the following family caregiver injury prevention tips:

  • Let assistive devices do the lifting. For seniors with mobility issues, transfers, for instance from a bed to a couch, are among the most common factors behind injury to those taking care of them. Not just that, but the likelihood of the senior falling and acquiring an injury are heightened. Caregivers should look into equipment like a Hoyer lift to help with safe transfers (but realize that proper training will be required).
  • Employ safe movement practices. We’ve all heard the adage, “Lift with your legs, not with your back,” but prior to lifting a finger, caregivers should take a brief assessment of their own physical status. If pain is felt in any of the joints or back, it is a sign that the body could have been pushed beyond its capability – and an alternative way of helping your senior loved one should really be investigated.
  • Find help. The best way to try to avoid injury in caregiving is through acknowledging your limitations, and calling in professionals when warranted. The Sunrise elderly care team at Responsive Home Care is fully experienced and skilled in supplying a full range of senior care assistance, helping family caregivers and older adults alike to stay safe and well.

Contact us and our Sunrise elderly care team at 954-486-6440 to inquire about an in-home consultation. We can perform a safety assessment of the home, provide you with information that can help in your caregiving journey, and offer the highly customized, professional in-home care services that allow families the chance to simply enjoy quality time with the seniors they love.

The Power of Positive Thinking: How to Overcome Caregiver Stress

Responsive Home Care is the ideal solution to achieve a healthier life balance – both for family caregivers and the older adults in their care.

Our facial expressions reveal so much to people around us, and when you are experiencing an abnormal degree of stress, well-meaning friends will certainly notice it, perhaps encouraging you to essentially, “Cheer up, buttercup!” In reality, of course, it requires a lot more than a few words to turn our mood around and to help us overcome caregiver stress.

Recent research supports the idea of positive thinking as a method to decrease levels of depression and anxiety which occur when we are flooded with stress – something essential for busy family caregivers to take to heart to reduce the possibility for burnout.

Judith Moskowitz, lead psychologist in the research project who subsequently created a course to overcome the unpredictable manner of emotions so frequent in individuals providing care for a senior loved one, says, “We’re not saying don’t be sad or upset about what’s going on. But we know people can experience positive emotions alongside that negative emotion, and that positive emotion can help them cope better.”

The primary techniques in her program include the following:

• Keep a journal of things for which you’re grateful – including the small things.

• Identify at least one uplifting event every single day.

• Talk about this occurrence with your family on social networks.

• Establish one new goal every day, and keep track of your progress in achieving it.

• Identify one of your talents and contemplate how you’re making use of that skill.

• Undertake one daily simple act of kindness for another.

• Think about a negative event, and then discover a way to view it in a positive light.

• Practice focused breathing and mindfulness to bring back a sense of calm.

For those of you providing care for a loved one with dementia, the need to concentrate on positives can be much more vital to overall wellbeing. Family caregivers who participated in a recent five-week study where the effectiveness of these coping skills was evaluated documented a decrease in depression scores of 16%, and a decrease in anxiety of 14%.

In addition to the strategies above, it is necessary for family caregivers to stop isolating themselves and trying to manage their caregiving duties solo, which can very quickly bring on caregiver burnout along with other significant health problems. Partnering with an established Sunrise elderly care, like Responsive Home Care, is the ideal solution to help in achieving a healthier life balance – both for family caregivers and the older adults in their care.

Life is indeed stressful, but we are ready to help! Contact Responsive Home Care, the leader in home health care in Pembroke Pines, and let us help you overcome caregiver stress so that you can concentrate on self-care and good quality time with those you love.

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

Shot of a thoughtful businesswoman looking out of an office window

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

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

helicopter-parents

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

Senior Care Strategy: Incorporate “Play” to Strengthen Both Mind and Body

Happy funny senior couple playing hulahoop in park

Learn about the senior health benefits of “play” and how home care in Coral Springs, FL can help.

Do you remember that feeling as a child when the school bell rang, indicating the end of arithmetic and the start of the best part of the day: recess? There was a tremendous sensation of freedom dashing out onto the playground, leaving behind the pressure of school work for a quick period of unstructured play. 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

What Can You Do if Your Elderly Loved One Won’t Let Elder Care Providers In?

You finally took the step of hiring senior care providers for your loved one, but she’s not having that at all. Now what can you do?

Senior Care Deerfield Beach FL - What Can You Do if Your Elderly Loved One Won't Let Senior Care Providers In?

Senior Care Deerfield Beach FL – What Can You Do if Your Elderly Loved One Won’t Let Senior Care Providers In?

Don’t Force Your Loved One to Accept the Situation at First

It’s tempting to simply set up time with your loved one’s new senior care providers and then make it happen, no matter what. The problem is that your elderly loved one can see that as a situation that she needs to rally against and it can make the problem even bigger. If your loved one is actively against having home care providers with her, you may need to try other steps first.

Start out Slowly and with Small Tasks

One way to do that is to start out slowly and with simple, small tasks at first. You might invite in-home senior care providers in to do a few household chores while you’re home, for example. This can help your loved one to get used to the idea of other people even being at the house and helping out. You might also want to focus these initial tasks on things that the senior care provider can do specifically for you, not necessarily directly for your loved one just yet.

Listen to Your Loved One’s Objections

Your loved one may want to share with you exactly why she’s not okay with this idea and that’s a good thing. Make it a point to listen carefully to what her objections are and see if you can determine what the underlying causes of those objections might be. Your loved one might be afraid to be vulnerable in front of someone that she doesn’t know, for example. This can be extremely difficult, but it’s important to try to understand what your loved one’s objections really mean.

Give it Time

Ultimately, you may simply need to give the situation time and come back to it at a later date. Periodically bring the idea up again and try again. You may find that after your loved one thinks about the situation for a little while, she’s much more amenable to the idea.

Keep talking to your loved one and let her know that you love her and that you can use the extra help.

Contact Our Professional Elder Care Providers

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

How Can You Tell When Your Senior Loved One Really Needs Some Extra Help?

It’s not an easy task to determine when your senior loved one needs additional help from you or from a full service private duty home care company. Your loved one might not even want to talk about the subject, making the conversation even more difficult.

Home Health Care Coral Springs FL - How Can You Tell When Your Elderly Loved One Really Needs Some Extra Help?

Home Health Care Coral Springs FL – How Can You Tell When Your Elderly Loved One Really Needs Some Extra Help?

Your Loved One’s Home Doesn’t Look Right

You’ve likely become quite accustomed to how your loved one’s home looks when she’s feeling well and able to keep up with everything. You’ll probably notice quite quickly if her home starts to look different or just not right. That feeling can be one of your first clues that something is going on with your loved one.

Your Loved One Doesn’t Seem to Be Able to Manage Daily Activities

Activities of daily living is a description that applies to the activities that your loved one needs to do every day simply as a part of her normal routine. These kinds of activities include bathing herself and getting dressed every day, brushing her hair, eating healthy meals, and just taking care of the basics of life.

Your Loved One Has Unexplained Injuries or Wounds

If you’re noticing that your loved one has injuries or wounds that weren’t there the last time you saw her and she can’t tell you what happened, that’s a cause for concern. These injuries can be a sign that your loved one is falling or otherwise isn’t having an easy time taking care of herself.

Your Loved One Is More Out of Touch than Usual

Some elderly loved ones have always been a little lax about returning phone calls or answering the phone when you call, but if your loved one is more difficult to reach than ever before, that’s a sign. She may not hear the phone or she may have emotional responses that leave her unwilling to talk to you. It’s important to be able to check in with your loved one, and if she doesn’t get better about it after you tell her you’re worried, there may be more going on.

Your Loved One Doesn’t Seem as Involved in Her Life

If you’re starting to notice that your loved one is not opening her mail, neglecting to pay major bills, or otherwise seeming to be uninterested in her own life, you may need to intervene. These are all signs that your loved one could be overwhelmed or simply out of touch with what she needs to be doing.

Your elderly loved one may need your help, but she may still resist a bit, so there may still be some convincing for you to do.

As the best home care company in Fort Lauderdale, FL and the surrounding area, Responsive Home Care is here to help you and your senior loved one by providing companionship, compassionate care, and so much more. Contact our caring staff today at 954-486-6440.

Medications that may be Causing Fatigue

Fatigue is a common complaint among the elderly population. According to a study published in the Journal of Gerontology and conducted at Columbia University Medical Center, “almost 1 in 5 senior citizens report that they have so little energy that they spend most of the day sitting on the sofa.” Not only do caregivers, family and friends begin to think of it as a normal process of aging, but doctors and other home health care providers may as well.

Home Care Plantation FL - Medications that may be Causing Fatigue

Home Care Plantation FL – Medications that may be Causing Fatigue

The truth is that there is often an underlying cause contributing to fatigue. Several possibilities exist including heart and kidney disease, lung disease, anemia, depression, social isolation and the side-effects of medications.

A few of the Medications that may be the Culprit

Antibiotics. Several drugs prescribed to treat bacterial infections can cause fatigue. These include amoxicillin, azithromycin and levofloxacin. According to a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “at least 30 percent of antibiotics prescribed in the United States are unnecessary.” While antibiotics can be life-saving drugs, be sure your parent’s doctor has confirmed a bacterial infection before administering.

Blood pressure medications including beta blockers. A few common brand names include Prinivil, Zestril, Lasix, Lopressor and Tekturna. Fatigue may result due to the body’s reduced heart rate and depression of the central nervous system. These drugs may also deplete the body of vital nutrients.

Statin Drugs. These medications are used to lower cholesterol levels. Common names include Lipitor, Crestor and Zocor. Statins are shown to inhibit muscle growth as well as the production of energy in cells.

Tranquilizers or benzodiazepines. This medication is commonly used to treat anxiety, depression, insomnia and muscle spasms. Common brand names include Xanax, Valium and Ativan. Increasing doses can promote fatigue and dependence, particularly among the elderly.

Proton pump inhibitors. These drugs are used to treat acid reflux and digestive disorders. A common over-the-counter remedy is Prilosec. Unfortunately, these drugs may deplete magnesium ultimately leading to fatigue. A change in diet can often resolve this issue.

Antidepressants. Common antidepressants include Prozac and Zoloft. These drugs inhibit the normal function of serotonin and norepinephrine, neurotransmitters in the brain.

How to Help

Make a list of all medications, including over-the-counter and natural supplements that your parent is taking. Make an appointment with their primary health care provider or pharmacist to discuss the medications including potential side-effects and interactions. There are often actions that can be taken to limit potentially life-altering side-effects. These include changing the dose, the medication, or the time it is taken.

It may also be possible to institute lifestyle changes and use alternative therapies in place of some medications. As the family caregiver, you are your parent’s advocate. Knowing you have done all that can be done to ensure productive and happy years as they age will provide peace of mind for both you and your parent.

Resources:  http://www.cumc.columbia.edu/publications/press_releases/anergia-gerontology-mathew-maurer.html
https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0503-unnecessary-prescriptions.html

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

How Seniors Can Maintain Healthy Bones

Home Care Deerfield Beach  FL

Home Care Deerfield Beach FLThe bones become increasingly brittle as seniors age. Weakened bones occur for a number of reasons, one being the fact that many older adults lack the amount of calcium and vitamin D their bodies need to keep their bones healthy. If your loved one lived by themselves, they may need help and encouragement from caregivers or home care providers in order to make healthy choices for their body.

Tips for Healthy Bones

Increase Vitamin D Intake
Vitamin D helps the bones absorb calcium in order to keep them healthy and strong. Adults between the ages of 19 and 70 should receive 600 international units per day, while adults over the age of 71 should have about 800 international units. Vitamin D can be found in egg yolks, fortified cereals and milk, tuna, sardines, and sunlight.

Eat Plenty of Calcium
Getting plenty of calcium each day will protect the body from osteoporosis and other disease that could affect the bone density. Adults between the ages of 19 and 70 should have about 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day, while adults over the age of 71 should have 1,200 milligrams. Calcium can be found in dairy products, almonds, kale, broccoli, and soy products.

Exercise More
By getting plenty of exercise per day, the bones will become stronger and will reduce the risk of bone loss. Weight bearing exercises are low-impact exercises that will keep the elder healthy without over exerting themselves. Walking, climbing stairs, jogging, and walking will help keep their bones strong.

Refrain from Using Substances
Alcohol and tobacco use can actually cause the process of losing bone mass to speed up. To prevent this from happening, avoid using these substances. If they must drink, men should have no more this two drinks and women should only have one drink.

Pay Attention to Their Recent Health History
Has your loved one been hospitalized for a hip fracture or broken bone? If so, they could be suffering from bone loss. Talk to their doctor to get tips in how to salvage their bone density and strengthen it for a healthy future.

Lose Extra Pounds
If your loved one is overweight, they could be putting more stress on their bones and joints. Encourage your loved one to eat a healthy diet, exercise, and get plenty of rest in order to lose. Any extra weight their body is holding on to.

Bone health becomes even more important with age. Help your loved one keep their bones healthy and strong for years to come by following these tips.

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/bone-health/art-20045060

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