If you’ve ever observed young children at the park, you know how quickly friendships are formed. A small group might be playing hide-and-seek, and a newcomer dashes over with a breathless, “Can I play?” In most cases, the response is a resounding, “Sure!” and thus – instant friends. Read more
What motivates you to get up out of bed every morning? The answer is different for every single one of us, of course, but there is one commonality: it could allow you to live longer. Scientific studies are answering the question, “Does having a sense of purpose help us to live longer?” with a resounding “Yes!” as evidenced in Japan, the country with the highest life expectancy on earth.
Interestingly, there’s no word for our definition of “retirement” in the Japanese language. Instead, there is a focus on maintaining purpose and meaning beyond a person’s working years and defining themselves according to their current pastimes and passions.
So just how can we help older adults – and ourselves – stay involved with what ignites interest and makes a difference in the world around us? Below are a few inspiring ideas to get you started:
Cultivate a sense of compassion for others. There’s no shortage of suffering in this world, and there is something that all of us can do in some way to help lessen the struggles of somebody else. Have a conversation with the older adults in your life about who or what touches their hearts the most – homelessness, mental health, single parents, stray animals, veterans, etc. Direct that compassion into action by brainstorming ways to make a direct impact.
Prioritize family. With so many families living far away from each other, and even further separated recently as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, make a plan to close the gaps and bring family members closer together. Plan a backyard holiday gathering or family reunion. Commit to a video chat or phone call with a different member of the family weekly to reconnect and get caught up on their lives. Work on documenting your life story, and that of past generations, to share with children and grandchildren.
Redefine retirement. For a senior loved one who is already retired from one career, consider another. Is there an unrealized dream that could be explored, such as earning a degree in a different field of interest? Look into volunteer or part-time job opportunities that offer the opportunity to learn something new while serving others.
Take time to play. Meaning and purpose are found in lighthearted endeavors too! Sports, hobbies, art, music, travel, exploring nature, reading, and many other engaging and fun activities provide possibilities for self-expression and a more enjoyable life. Betye Saar, a 93-year-old artist, explains, “… the creative part of me is forever young.”
Responsive Home Care’s caregiving team is full of innovative ideas to help older adults continue to take pleasure in a life of purpose and meaning. Contact us any time online or call us at 954-486-6440 for additional tips and to find out more about our personalized senior home care in Pembroke Pines and the neighboring communities.
As we’re finally easing our way out of this pandemic, we’re finding more about how it has harmed senior loved ones – both physically and emotionally. We know older adults have been at a higher threat of serious issues and death due to the COVID-19 virus, although the impact of 15 months of social isolation and physical distancing is similarly distressing.
Dr. Jonathan Bean of the New England Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center at the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System has noticed a “significant decline in functioning” in both his elderly patients and his own mother. Whereas she had been able to walk with the assistance of a walker, be involved in conversations, and participate in other activities of day-to-day life independently pre-pandemic, her self-care and cognitive abilities have diminished dramatically.
Physical therapy Linda Teodosio confirms, explaining, “Immobility and debility are outcomes to this horrific pandemic that people aren’t even talking about yet.” She is noticing a considerable uptick in both falls and chronic disease exacerbation – likely based on poor lifestyle choices due to the pandemic, such as unhealthy food intake and reduced exercise.
As a result, increasingly more older adults require physical therapy as well as other rehabilitative services. Some health plans are addressing the issue by following up with seniors to confirm their wellbeing and also to help connect them to the services they require to restore their strength. Surprisingly, as much as 20% of an older adult’s muscle mass may be lost by just not walking for up to five days, according to physical therapist Sabaa Mundia.
Before leaping into a new exercise routine, however, it’s essential that seniors first schedule an appointment with the physician for a complete exam and recommendations on safe, ability-appropriate exercise. Then make a plan to help the seniors in your life to follow a healthier lifestyle that includes a good amount of exercise.
Let Responsive Home Care help the seniors in your life stay as physically active and engaged as possible to remain strong post-pandemic. Our home caregivers are always on hand to supply the motivation and encouragement to help seniors make physical activity a routine part of every day. We are able to also provide accompaniment to exercise classes, the fitness center, the pool – wherever and whenever a senior wishes to go. Sometimes, just adding in a regular walk with one of our friendly caregivers can make a world of difference in how older adults feel!
Contact us for a free in-home consultation to learn more about how we can help.
While circus clowns and comedians may stir audiences to laughter over such stunts as slipping on a banana peel, there is nothing funny about falling when it comes to aging parents, who are at an elevated risk for serious injuries, which could lead to an extended rehabilitation process. Not only that, but there’s a lesser known complication that typically arises from an older adult’s fall: a fear of falling again which can be significant enough to impact quality of life and health.
As the saying goes, “Once bitten, twice shy.” It’s natural – and sensible – for an older adult who has fallen to want to take precautions to prevent a subsequent fall. Yet for most, the fear of falling prevents essential physical exercise, bringing about weakness and reduced balance confidence, each of which can actually boost the likelihood of falling again.
Instead, it’s essential for senior loved ones to:
- Strengthen muscles. Ask the doctor and/or physical therapist for appropriate exercises to engage in after a fall. Building strength is an essential component to preventing future falls.
- Assess the home. Walk through the older adult’s home to check for any cords, clutter, throw rugs, etc. which can cause a tripping hazard. Make sure there is sufficient lighting and install grab bars in the bathroom and anywhere else supplementary support might be helpful.
- Discuss it. Seniors may feel embarrassed for having fallen; however, it’s important to talk about what happened in order to decide what precautionary measures can be taken to make sure that it doesn’t occur again.
It’s also helpful for older adults to create goals, with the aid of a medical professional, and to start to work towards attaining them. The goals must be reasonable and fairly easily attainable in order to instill confidence, for example being able to walk up and down the stairs independently while holding the handrail over the next two weeks, or walking the total length of the backyard within 4 weeks.
Once an objective has been set, define the steps necessary to attain that goal. What types of training can help strengthen the muscles essential to go up and down the stairs, or to take an extended walk? And if the goal is not achieved, consider what prevented the accomplishment, and what additional steps could be taken to set and reach a brand new goal.
Most importantly, be sure to provide reassurance and support to cheer a senior on towards regaining his or her self-assurance and confidence and to lessen any fear.
For more fall safety tips for seniors, or to arrange for a no cost in-home safety assessment, call our experts in home health care in Plantation and the surrounding areas at Responsive Home Care any time at 954-486-6440.
Have you ever gotten out of bed and said, “It’s likely to be one of those days!” Maybe your alarm didn’t go off, the hot water heater decided to stop working, and the dog chewed up one of your most loved shoes overnight. Then consider if every day were “one of those days!” For someone coping with a chronic disease (and that’s the majority of the older adult population), day-to-day struggles and challenges can be a given.
Responsive Home Care presents a few steps that seniors can take to discover and maintain a life of joy, even throughout the face of chronic illness. For example:
- Follow passions. Seeking purpose and meaning in each day is vital – and attainable. Many seniors find gratification in aiding and supporting other people. Others thrive on being lifelong learners. For some it can mean documenting earlier times for the next generation. Brainstorm ideas until you arrive at one that sparks passion, and then make it a real possibility.
- Practice positivity. One smart way to accomplish an even more positive take on life is by journaling. Encourage your elder loved ones to start every day by developing a summary of everything they’re thankful for that morning, including the relatively ordinary: the smell of fresh coffee brewing, a cat curled up in a sunbeam, an upcoming lunch date with a relative. At the conclusion of every week, sit together and read back through the prior entries for a quick and effective pick-me-up.
- Try to avoid negativity. Including a measure of positivity as mentioned above can naturally result in minimized negativity, but there are additional steps which can be followed as well. For instance, provide for breaks from activities that induce frustration, allowing for needed time to de-stress. Place the emphasis on undertaking tasks which can be executed successfully, and find an alternate solution for those that are much too challenging, such as assigning those tasks to another relative or friend, or employing the services of a specialist.
- Get out of the house. Preserving as active a lifestyle as possible outside the home is usually so energizing for older adults. Help your elder loved ones go out for hair appointments, shopping adventures, visits with relatives, along with other fun outings, as much as they are able. Even simply stepping outdoors and relaxing on the front porch when weather allows can substantially enhance someone’s spirits and outlook.
At Responsive Home Care, it is our aim to help older adults attain the highest possible quality of life without exception. Our professionally trained and experienced caregivers provide pleasant companionship, interesting activities, transportation, and more. Contact us at 954-486-6440 and discover how we can make a difference by providing a home health aide in Fort Lauderdale, FL or the surrounding areas! See our full service area here.
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