Laughter and Health: The Connection Is Sure to Make You Want to Start Smiling!

Happy Senior Woman

Discover the connection between laughter and health.

Have you ever caught yourself getting ready to bubble over with uncontrollable laughter at the most ill-timed moment – in a crowded elevator, a hushed waiting room, or a religious service? While there are, certainly, times when we will need to stamp down the silliness, writer Jane Heller explains that, “Humor can keep us balanced, even in the grimmest of times. It reminds us that despite illness and disability, there are moments of real joy in life and we need to embrace them.”

The connections between laughter and health are phenomenal, including:

  • Releasing endorphins that ease tension
  • Fortifying brain connectivity
  • Supplying a social boost
  • Relieving pain
  • Improving the immune system
  • Boosting mood
  • Defending the heart from coronary disease
  • Revitalizing circulation and muscle relaxation, both of which minimize stress
  • And so many more

Even though there is absolutely nothing funny when it comes to receiving a difficult medical diagnosis for someone you care about, there are methods to keep up an underlying feeling of positivity that may result in more possibilities for laughter:

  • Be deliberate about placing snippets of humor throughout your home/office; for example, a popular comic strip, meme, funny photographs, etc.
  • Look into a laughter yoga class – yes, there honestly is such a thing!
  • Adjust your reading material and TV viewing to incorporate additional lightheartedness. Include joke books – or browse the internet for new jokes to add to your collection.
  • Spend time with loved ones and close friends who raise your spirits. Reminisce over prior memories together that make you laugh, and create new ones!
  • Discover how to laugh at yourself, switching your internal dialogue from reprimands for errors to comfort in recognizing we are all human.

Interestingly, even if you don’t feel like laughing, rewards can still be achieved through faking or forcing laughter, according to certified health coach Nancy Kalish.

At Responsive Home Care, the top providers of senior care services in Pembroke Pines and the surrounding area, we understand the link between laughter and health, and our caretakers make it a point to bring happiness to seniors every day. Our friendly senior companions spend quality time with older adults, participating in conversations, games, puzzles, exercise, fun outings, and of course, laughter. And with our full selection of in-home care services, which include meal preparation, light housekeeping, and looking after personal care needs, family care providers together with the seniors they love are able to spend more quality time simply enjoying each other’s company. Allow us to help brighten your world! Contact us at 954-486-6440 any time to learn more and to schedule an in-home consultation.

Top Tips to Use Your Time Wisely at the Doctor

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 each visit.

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, 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!

Finding Meaning and Purpose Later in Life

senior care in Hollywood FL

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 elder care in Hollywood, FL and the surrounding areas.

Paranoia in the Elderly: What to Do When Dad Seems Irrational

home health care Pembroke Pines

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.

Important Updates from the 2019 Alzheimer’s Association Facts and Figures Report

Closeup of various reminders attached with magnetic thumbtacks on metal

The report is in: Learn new Alzheimer’s facts and figures here.

2019 Facts and Figures Report, and with a staggering 5.8 million Americans presently diagnosed with the disease – including one out of every ten older adults – it is essential for all of us to be familiar with the latest innovations in research and treatment plans.

Read more

Secrets to Happiness Despite Pain or Chronic Illness

Seniors experiencing pain or chronic illness can still experience joy. Learn how to help here.

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, providing home health services in Pembroke Pines, FL and throughout Broward County 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 the difference our home health services in Pembroke Pines, FL can make for your loved one! See our full Broward County service area.

The Importance of Partnering with Professionals for Dementia Care

Shot of a daughter visiting her senior mother in hospital

Learn how partnering with Fort Lauderdale elderly care experts, Responsive Home Care can help you with dementia care for a loved one.

While an incredible number of older adults are struggling with the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease, an even greater number of family members are trying to cope with caring for them. Incredibly, nearly 75% of family caretakers are managing their senior loved ones’ dementia care needs on their own, with only 26% seeking professional care assistance. 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.

Read more

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

Have You Heard About These Alzheimer’s Breakthroughs?

microscope with lab glassware, science laboratory research and development concept

Learn more from the best home care company in Fort Lauderdale FL about these latest Alzheimer’s breakthroughs.

Groundbreaking research is zeroing in ever nearer to the eradication of Alzheimer’s disease, this time around two medications already developed and approved by the FDA. This permits accelerated clinical trials and hopefully fast-tracking us nearer to a treatment.

The first, surprisingly, is a medication utilized in treating HIV. Scientists are finding that the genetic blueprint in Alzheimer’s patients is altered as the disease advances, very similar to the genetic shuffling which occurs in those with HIV. The theory is that putting a halt to the movement of these certain genes may prevent the progression of the disease.

According to lead investigator Jerold Chun, “For the first time, we can see what may cause the disease. We also uncovered a potential near-term treatment.”

Secondly, scientists at Mount Sinai have found that medications used to reduce blood sugar in diabetics, such as metformin, might have a direct effect in decreasing the plaques and tangles connected with Alzheimer’s disease. Although this may be helpful right away for diabetics with Alzheimer’s who are already taking this medication, further research is necessary before testing on Alzheimer’s patients without diabetes as a result of potential for dangerously low blood sugar as well as other negative effects. Encouragingly, the research results add another piece to the puzzle of dementia.

These findings “…point us to the biological mechanisms that are being affected by those drugs. Hopefully, now we can find drugs that would have similar effects on the brain without changing the blood sugar levels,” said Vahram Haroutunian, professor of psychiatry and neuroscience of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

With as many as 6 million Americans currently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and a predicted leap to 14 million diagnoses in the next 40 years, it’s imperative for medical scientists to gain ground on more fully comprehending the cause, effective treatment options, and ultimately a cure, for this disease which has truly become an epidemic.

The Alzheimer’s care experts at Responsive Home Care will continue to track these and other advances, while providing the top quality care that enhances general wellbeing while providing family members much-needed peace of mind. Our caregivers are fully trained and exceptionally skilled in helping manage some of the more difficult aspects of Alzheimer’s disease, such as wandering, aggression, sundowning, inappropriate behaviors, and many more. And our objective is always to be certain seniors with dementia have the ability to live life to its fullest potential, while remaining secure and comfortable at home.

Give us a call at 954-486-6440 to learn more or to request resources that will help you and your senior loved one navigate the experience of Alzheimer’s disease.

Help Prevent Senior Loneliness with This Simple Questionnaire

Serious senior woman in her 90s, with eyes closed.

Responsive Home Care, providers of senior care in Hollywood, FL and surrounding areas provides tips to improve health by preventing senior loneliness.

With over 325 million people living in the United States alone, it’s difficult to imagine that loneliness would be so widespread. Nevertheless, over 50% of the elderly live alone, and more than a million of them are estimated to be chronically lonely. In reality, almost 1/2 of older adults studied stated that their primary source of company is the tv.

Being lonely may result in acute health concerns as well, reported to have as significant an impact as smoking cigarettes and being overweight, and can contribute to depression, hypertension, dementia, and also an earlier mortality rate than others who happen to be socially connected.

What are ways to ensure your senior loved ones avoid sinking into isolation? The Campaign to End Loneliness recommends using the following measurement tool. Check in with the older adults in your life to assess their answers to these three statements:

  1. I am content with my friendships and relationships.
  2. I have plenty of people I feel comfortable asking for help at any time.
  3. My relationships are as fulfilling as I would like them to be.

If loneliness is a problem for a loved one in your life, there are a number of things you can do to help:

  • Consult with your senior loved one’s neighbors, friends, and members of his or her religious organization in order to coordinate weekly visits.
  • Take advantage of technology, including Facetime and Skype, to allow the senior to be connected remotely.
  • Explore available activities and courses for seniors from the nearest community college, senior center, and gym.

It is also essential to eliminate clinical depression or any other health conditions as the underlying reason behind your loved one’s loneliness. A senior who’s isolating herself/himself on account of mental or physical conditions requires professional healthcare services to address the problem and receive relevant care.

One of the best ways to alleviate loneliness in seniors is through engaging the services of Responsive Home Care. Our caregiving companions spend quality time with senior loved ones through:

  • Friendly conversations
  • Engaging in fulfilling pastimes such as playing games, cards, exercise, hobbies, and favorite pursuits
  • Sharing mealtimes with each other
  • Providing the transportation and accompaniment necessary to help seniors stay active in the community around them
  • And much more

Contact us any time at 954-486-6440 for help in making certain that your senior loved one is socially active and experiencing life to the fullest!

[MS1]

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