Fall Safety Tips for Seniors to Regain Confidence And Strength After a Fall

senior woman receiving assistance from caregiverWhile 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 tips on preventing falls, or to arrange for a no cost in-home safety assessment, call the aging care experts at Responsive Home Care any time at 954-486-6440.

Elderly Care Tips for Deciding if a Medical Procedure Is Now Safe for a Senior

masked senior man talking with healthcare professionalThe COVID-19 pandemic put the world on pause, including, among a great many other activities, healthcare appointments and procedures. In fact, nearly 50% of all adults either canceled or delayed routine health care and elective treatments since the coronavirus crisis began, leading medical professionals to become concerned about the consequences.

As we tentatively strive for a new normal, it is important to talk with your health care provider about any procedures you might have been taking into consideration pre-pandemic, and to get answers to these questions to help you assess the safety of doing the procedures now.

  1. Is the healthcare facility where I will be taken care of also treating COVID-19 patients, and are the same medical staff who will take care of me also taking care of them? If that’s the case, what safeguards are in place to guarantee my safety?
  2. What are the facility’s cleaning/disinfecting policies?
  3. Will I need to be tested for COVID-19 before my treatment?
  4. Are medical personnel being tested for COVID-19? If so, how often?
  5. Do I need to wear a mask? Gloves? Any other personal protective equipment?
  6. Are there any items that I cannot bring with me, for example clothing, books, a phone or laptop?
  7. Can I complete paperwork ahead of time?
  8. May I wait outside or in my car until I am called in for my procedure?
  9. Can a relative or caregiver come with me?
  10. Is follow-up provided in person, or may I make use of telehealth?

In addition there are post-procedure considerations to think through. Many people face concerns with regards to the chance for contracting COVID-19 after being in the hospital, so talk with your medical professional about the need to self-monitor for symptoms, as well as for tips about any further preventative measures you might need to take, such as avoiding contact with others for some time, wearing gloves or a mask in the house when others are there, additional sanitizing measures to take, etc. Your doctor may recommend taking your oxygen levels and temperature at home. If so, make certain to obtain a thermometer and pulse oximeter.

Once you are comfortable with the answers you’ve obtained along with the assurance that the procedure is safe to schedule, contact Responsive Home Care. Our caregivers can help make sure everything is taken care of before, during, and after your procedure, including organizing transportation, picking up groceries and prescriptions, helping you get situated back at home and monitoring for any changes in condition, and much more. Contact us any time at 954-486-6440.

How Do You Keep Senior Loved Ones Safe During the Pandemic and Still Get Out?

senior woman outside with male caregiverAfter months of isolating from family and friends, many people are now getting out and about instead of staying at home. Nevertheless, for seniors in particular, is it safe to think about going out at this time?

Unfortunately, there’s no cut-and-dry answer to keep senior loved ones safe, and a range of criteria need to be taken into consideration to arrive at the best possible decision for every single person. For instance:

  • What health problems is the senior encountering?
  • How challenging has it been for him or her to be separated from family and friends?
  • Is the incidence rate of the virus subsiding or spiking within your town?

As a family caregiver, the best place to get started is sitting down and having a one-on-one discussion with the older adult. If for example, your senior loved one is adamantly and fervently set on a certain activity, such as seeing the grandchildren or going on a walk at the community park, be sure he or she thoroughly understands the potential risks involved.

Make sure you are up to date as well on the most current news from trusted sources on any new recommendations and/or precautions. Consider this information as only one component of your decision-making process, however, as opposed to an end-all perspective.

Then, broach the subject with the older adult’s medical practitioner for an expert opinion as well as for assistance with weighing potential risk factors against the benefits of increased socialization and engagement in the community. You might also wish to talk to other family members and carefully consider their input as well before making the final choice on how best to proceed.

Most of all, take plenty of time to ensure you are doing what’s most suitable for your loved one’s overall health and wellbeing, rather than making a snap decision that you might later regret. If you’re still uncertain about what to do, it could be wise to try to avoid venturing out with the senior for the present time and revisit the matter at a later date. And remember that you always have the option to change your thinking if for any reason you are uncomfortable with the first decision.

Whether you and your loved one are comfortable with the choice to go out and about, or decide to continue staying at home, you can rely on Responsive Home Care to help out with companionship, grocery shopping, meal preparation and a variety of other types of assistance, always in compliance with recommended safety protocols. Give us a call at 954-486-6440 any time to find out more about our elderly home care in Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding area, or to schedule a no cost in-home consultation.

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. 

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!

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.