Establishing Boundaries Before Your Elderly Loved One Moves in With You

Home Care Services Deerfield Beach FL

Home Care Services Deerfield Beach FL

There may come a time in your caregiver journey with your elderly parent when it becomes desirable or even necessary for them to transition into your home. This can happen for many reasons. Your parent may be suffering from physically limitations and challenges that are too great for them to manage moving around their home safely and independently. They may have developed cognitive decline that keeps them from being able to remain independent while still taking care of themselves. They may no longer have an emotional support system in their current living area due to the loss of friends and family members. They may simply want to be closer to your family and enjoy the benefits of living in a multigenerational home as they age in place.

Whatever the reason behind them wanting to make this change, if your aging loved one is going to transition into living with your family it is important that is done in a way that is respectful to everyone involved. By preparing ahead of time and establishing boundaries, you can ensure that the move is one that is beneficial to everyone in the family, rather than one that may cause discomfort.

Use these tips to help you create boundaries that will allow the entire family to live comfortably and happily together as your parent ages in place: 

  • Living space. When your parent moves into the home it should be clear what space is theirs. This should include a private sleeping area that is separate from other areas of the home so that they have privacy and do not feel as though they are impeding on the activities of anyone else. Make sure that they know which bathroom to use, which areas of the home are common grounds, and which areas of the home are kept private to specific members of the family.
  • House rules. Every home has rules and they should apply to everyone living in the home, including your elderly parent. Go over these house rules with your loved one before the move to prevent any uncomfortable moments or others feeling discouraged because they are held to standards that are not being upheld.
  • Care boundaries. The most important discussions that you will have when your elderly parent moves into your home will revolve around who will care for who, and how often. Simply because your parent is making the transition into living in your home with you and the rest of your family does not mean that you need to be responsible for all of their care. If your parent will need personalized care and support while they are living in your home and you are not planning on being the sole provider of that care, consider a home care provider. This in home senior care services provider will be able to come into your home and offer personalized care for your loved one. Likewise, do not automatically assume that your parent is going to be a built-in babysitter for your children. Discuss whether you will expect your parent to help care for your children, how much they would offer in this care, and what parenting style and guidelines they must stick to.

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

How Can You Protect Your Senior from Hospital Delirium?

Home Care Sunrise FL

Home Care Sunrise FL

Hospital delirium, also sometimes referred to as hospital-induced delirium, impacts approximately 7 million people throughout the United States each year. Among those people who enter the intensive care unit, regardless of the reason, 30 percent will develop this condition. For those who do, there is a 30 percent greater chance that they will experience long-term and even permanent decline in cognitive functioning and double the risk of mortality. Though this condition can and does occur in people of all ages, older adults are at the highest risk.

This condition is a sudden and very noticeable change in cognitive functioning or mental status for a person who is in the hospital. Though there is the perception that only very old or already impaired people are the only ones who become delirious in the hospital, this is not the case. In fact, seniors who are in relatively good health and have not developed cognitive difficulties outside of the hospital can still develop delirium when undergoing treatment. This makes it absolutely essential that you pay close attention to your parent’s health, wellbeing, and condition while in the hospital so that you can detect if they are starting to develop delirium and get them the proper treatment and home care services quickly as possible.

The fortunate news is that approximately 40 percent of cases of delirium are completely preventable and others can be made far less impactful. Some ways that you can help protect your parent from hospital delirium include:

  • Stay with them. Be with your parent as much as possible while they are in the hospital. This will help keep their minds stimulated and reduce anxiety, depression, and isolation that increase the chances of this condition developing. Create a care network of friends and family who can spend time in the hospital so that your parent is alone as little as possible
  • Monitor their basic needs. Some of the greatest risk factors for developing hospital delirium are actually some of the most basic of needs. Lack of sleep, dehydration, and malnutrition can make your parent far more vulnerable to this condition. Unfortunately these can be overlooked by medical staff who often rely on a patient asking for things rather than offering them. Monitor your parent and make sure that they drink enough, eat enough, and get enough sleep. Ask that the medical staff not enter their room at night if at all possible, and make sure that there is as little light in the room at night as you can to help them get enough sleep
  • Keep them active. Your parent may not be able to get up and walk around during their time in the hospital, but there are other ways that you can get them active. Encourage them to sit up in bed rather than lying flat all the time. Play games with them that stimulate their mind and encourage cognitive processing and memory skills. Encourage them to move in ways that they can, such as tossing a ball back and forth with you or even waving their arms and dancing to music that you play quietly on your phone or other device.

A home care provider can be a valuable asset if your parent has recently spent time in the hospital. Having this type of home care provider available when your parent transitions into care back at home and throughout at least the first few weeks of being at home dramatically reduces the chances that your parent will be readmitted to the hospital. This gives them fewer opportunities to develop delirium, protecting them from the potentially catastrophic impact on this condition.

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

How Can You Communicate Better as a Family Caregiver?

Elderly Care Coral Springs FL

Elderly Care Coral Springs FL

Communicating with other family members and elderly loved ones as a family caregiver can seem frustrating. When the elderly care provider comes over, you can share information without any problems, but asking your teenager for help is out of the question, right? Unfortunately, the problem could lie in how you’re trying to communicate, especially if that communication is born of frustration.

Focus on Yourself Rather than the Other Person

When you communicate using something called an “I statement,” you’re putting the emphasis on your own feelings and needs rather than expressing the same information in the form of a commentary on someone else. So instead of starting out by telling a loved one that “You always forget to do what I’ve asked you to do,” try starting out with an “I statement.” One that might work is, “I feel ignored when you forget to do what I’ve asked you to do.” So the next time that your teenager forgets to unload the dishwasher, the exchange might be able to start out differently.

Comment on Behaviors, Not the Individual

Another common problem when caregivers are frustrated is that the statements sometimes come across as a commentary on the faults of the person to whom the caregiver is speaking rather than a complaint about the behavior itself. Using the first example, the emphasis is more on the teenager “always” forgetting something, which is a fault or flaw. By commenting on the action and how it makes you feel, you can communicate without bringing accusations into the mix that can result in hurt feelings for everyone.

Ask Directly for What You Need

As humans we often forget that the other people in our lives can’t read our minds. If your husband walks past the trash can and comments that it’s really full but doesn’t empty it, that can be a situation that causes extreme frustration. Left to fester, you might build the situation up in your mind adding tidbits that aren’t necessarily true, such as, “he saw the trash was full and he doesn’t want to help” or “he doesn’t ever want to do anything.” By being more direct and asking, “Honey, can you empty that for me? I’ve got to finish this task,” you can get the help that you need more directly.

Practice some of these types of exchanges with your elderly loved one and other family members until it feels more natural to you.

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

Compassionate Caregiver: Helping a Parent with Cognitive Challenges Navigate Early Holiday Displays

How to Help a Parent With Cognitive Challenges Navigate Early Holiday Displays

Caregiver Hollywood FL

The summer months have returned which means it is time to start thinking about…Halloween? It may seem like the stream of holidays that will occur between October and December are so far away they do not even need consideration right now, but the truth is that retailers have been thinking about the holidays for quite some time already. New Halloween products are already being announced and will soon line the shelves in many stores. Within just a few weeks, well before your memories of the Fourth of July have faded, Christmas ornaments and trees will start to creep onto displays. While this might just be something that you barely register if you are not looking for these particular products, it can be extremely confusing for an elderly adult who is coping with cognitive challenges.

Cognitive challenges such as those associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia can make it extremely confusing for your parent to encounter holiday displays during the summer months. This is especially true if you happen to go to one of the variety home décor stores that tend to have both Halloween and Christmas items up at the same time, sometimes in the same area. This can cause your parent to feel confused and out of control, creating anxiety and possibly leading to negative reactions such as combative behaviors.

As a caregiver use these tips to help your parent with cognitive challenges navigate early holiday displays throughout the summer months:

• Talk to management. If there are new stores in your area or you are considering visiting stores that you are not familiar with, talk to management about their holiday displays. Explain the situation and ask when they anticipate having Halloween items on display, and then when they intend on introducing Christmas items. Do not expect any details about what types of products they will have, but they may be able to give you a basic idea about when these items may arrive.

• Check ahead of time. If you have not been able to confirm these details with management or they only gave you a basic time frame, go for a visit to the store before bringing your parent. Review where the holiday displays are and figure out if there are other routes that you can take through the store to get to the place that you need to be. You may not be able to avoid all of the displays, but you can reduce the chances that your parent will find themselves in the confusing situation of being surrounded by holiday displays in the middle of summer.

• Talk about it. If you cannot avoid the displays, or you find yourself in a store with them that you did not expect, be prepared to confront the situation. Do not talk about it in terms of knowing that it is confusing or upsetting your parent. Instead, confirm that it is not the appropriate season for those items in a casual way that will help your parent understand the displays and make them make sense in their perception. For example, try saying, “Are you excited to see the Christmas decorations so early? I am looking forward to building our collection.”

If you or an aging loved one are considering in-home caregiver services to provide companionship, compassion and motivation, please contact the caring staff at Responsive Home Care for a home health aide in Fort Lauderdale, FL or the surrounding area. Call today 954-486-6440.

4 Home Safety Tips for When Your Loved One Has Memory Issues

Home Health Care Plantation FLHome Health Care Plantation FL

Whether your loved one is in the beginning stages of dementia or has memory issues for another reason, home safety can be challenging. Try some of these tips to make the home safer for your loved one with the help of your home health care providers.

Child-proof Doors and Cabinets
If your loved one tends to wander or there are cabinets that may contain something you don’t want your loved one to have unfettered access to, there are child-proof door knob covers and cabinet locks that you can install. You may only want to use them during certain times of the day or when your loved one is more likely to wander. In that case, they’re easy to remove and put back in place when you need them.

Lock Away Household Chemicals
Household chemicals should always be stored somewhere that your loved one can’t access them. This is especially true for any containers that look like something that’s similar but harmless. Cleaning supplies, painting supplies, insecticides, and other chemicals can all be kept in the garage in a locked cabinet. If you need to keep them in the house, try keeping them in a closet or cabinet that you can secure with a lock.

Clean Out the Refrigerator Weekly
If your loved one has significant memory issues, sometimes that can extend to not realizing that food isn’t safe to eat. To keep this problem from becoming a serious one, make it a point to clean out the refrigerator every week without fail. You can also start to label leftover containers with the date they were refrigerated so that you can keep better tabs on what should stay and what should go.

Do Regular Safety Checks
Doing a regular safety sweep of the entire house can help you to spot problems before they become too big. Clutter or overloaded outlets are two problems that can crop up quickly without you realizing it unless you start to look for them. Set a regular time to go through the house and to make sure that there isn’t anything dangerous lurking anywhere.

If you need extra help figuring out how to make your loved one’s home safer, try talking to your loved one’s home health care providers. They’re skilled at spotting dangerous situations for loved ones with memory issues.

If you or an aging loved one are considering in-home Home Health 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.

4 Tips to Help You and Your Loved One Eat Healthier

Senior Care Lauderhill FL

Senior Care Lauderhill

Both you and your senior loved one can benefit from eating heathier foods than you may be used to eating. The problem comes in when you’re trying to change years, and sometimes decades, of bad habits.

Plan Ahead for Meals and Snacks
If you’re used to just shopping for random items at the grocery store, this tip might be difficult for you. But if you can learn to shop only when you have a solid plan in hand, then you’ll have healthy ingredients in your fridge and pantry for when meal times roll around. Look for nutritious recipe ideas and then start to build a grocery list from those. As you start eating healthier more regularly, you’ll find that you’re building up some staples that you’ll always keep on hand.

Focus on All the Delicious Healthy Foods Out There
When people first change their eating habits, it’s not unusual for them to bemoan the foods that they can’t eat anymore. The reality is that there are a lot of really delicious foods out there that are also nutritious. As you get more used to eating those types of foods, particularly fruits and vegetables, you’ll start craving the unhealthy foods less often. That doesn’t mean you have to give them up entirely, either. You can enjoy them now and again for a treat.

Eat Smaller Meals More Often
If you find that you’re hungrier throughout the day on your new eating plan, consider switching to more frequent meals that are a little smaller. This can help your body to adjust and it keeps your blood sugar at a more consistent level throughout the day. Switching to more frequent meals may also help to keep your loved one more interested in eating throughout the day.

Start the Day with Breakfast
Often people who are looking to lose weight skip meals and breakfast is a frequent casualty. Your body needs fuel with which to start the day, though, and breakfast is not a meal that you want to skip. Start out with protein from eggs or even cottage cheese and fruit. Oatmeal is another good choice because it’s got plenty of fiber and other nutrients.

Eating healthy meals doesn’t have to be complicated. If you need additional ideas about helping your senior loved one to get on board, ask your loved one’s senior care providers for ideas.

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

Responsive Home Care Wishes Mr. Goldhaber a Happy 102nd Birthday

Elderly Care Deerfield Beach FL

Elderly Care Deerfield Beach FLhappy birthday

Happy Birthday Mr. Goldhaber!

Responsive Home Care would like to wish Mr. Goldhaber a happy 102nd birthday! Pictured here with Mary, our Director of Client Care, Mr. Goldhaber enjoys his morning newspaper, visiting with friends at the dining hall, and many of the other activities offered at The Forum.

Mr. Goldhaber is a happy resident of The Forum at Deer Creek, which offers independent and assisted living, rehabilitation, short term and seasonal stays, and skilled nursing care. Residents enjoy nearby golf, fine dining, tennis, an onsite beauty salon, and a beautiful heated swimming pool and fitness center. All the Five Star Senior Living properties are focused on keeping residents happy and healthy by focusing on wellness and by offering activities such as card games, movie nights, exercise classes, and a weekly happy hour.

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

6 Tips for Caregivers Who Are at the End of Their Rope

Elder Care Pompano Beach FL

Elder Care Pompano Beach FL

Caregiving is one of the most stressful things that you can do, but it’s also one of the most rewarding. If you allow yourself to become burned out, you won’t be the caregiver that your elderly loved one needs. Here are some strategies you can use to avoid that.

Share the Burden
Many times caregivers worry that if they ask for outside help, that means they’re not a good caregiver or they don’t care about their elderly loved one. The truth is that neither of those are facts if you get outside help. Talk to friends and family members about helping out or hire elder care providers who can offer assistance. Don’t shoulder the burden all by yourself.

Talk to Someone
Family caregivers tend to bottle up their emotions because they’re afraid that once they open up, they won’t stop crying, or yelling, or expressing their emotions in some other way. Being able to vent those emotions periodically is really important though, and everyone needs someone they can talk to. Try a friend or relative or even a therapist if that’s more comfortable, but talk to someone.

Accept That You Have Limits and Pace Yourself
As a family caregiver, you do have your limits. You don’t know how long you’ll be caring for your elderly loved one, so it’s essential that you learn to pace yourself so that you don’t reach those limits today or even tomorrow. Balance yourself out so that you have something left to give.

Foster Independent Relationships
It’s tough to maintain friendships and other relationships when you’re busy caring for your elderly loved one. You absolutely have to make time for those connections, however. Do what you can to maintain those relationships, even if it’s just phone calls and text messages for a little while.

Maintain Your Sense of Humor
You really can find humor in any situation, but you have to allow yourself to see the funny side of it. We all need to laugh. It’s healing and it helps you to feel good even when everything else doesn’t feel so great. Learn to laugh at the hard stuff so that it doesn’t break you.

Use Anger as Fuel
As a family caregiver, you’re going to feel anger. You might be angry at your loved one’s illness, you might be angry at your loved one. Those situations happen. Turn that anger around and use it as fuel to keep you going. Maybe it helps you to keep exercising even when you don’t want to or maybe it helps fuel the fire that has you looking for medical answers. Regardless, anger can be a strong fuel if you don’t let it burn you down.

Caregiving is tough work, but it doesn’t have to beat you up.

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

Caregiver Tips: What to Do if a Senior with Alzheimer’s Needs EMS Assistance

What to Do if a Senior With Alzheimer’s Needs EMS Assistance

Caregiver Pembroke Pines FL

As a family caregiver, you never want to think about your aging parent needing emergency medical assistance. Unfortunately, this is something that happens quite often, particularly among very mature adults. If you are caring for a senior with Alzheimer’s disease, a situation requiring EMS attention could be even more stressful. This makes it essential that you prepare carefully for the potential of needing EMS so that if the situation arises, you can feel more confident and get through it with less stress.

Use these tips to help you prepare for and handle a situation in which a parent with Alzheimer’s disease needs EMS assistance:

  • Post warnings. If your parent is known to have challenging behaviors associated with their Alzheimer’s disease, such as combative behaviors, aggressive behaviors, or wandering, it is important that the EMS personnel know about these challenges. This will help them to better structure their approach to your aging loved one, and can ensure that they use the proper steps to avoid potentially disastrous situations. Consider posting notices on the front door or in a readily visible place in the home that announces these challenges so that the EMS will know immediately even if you do not have the opportunity to tell them.
  • Talk about it. Though your parent is likely to still be confused and upset about the situation, if you have talked about the need for EMS before, it can help to keep the experience less stressful. Talk about situations in which you might need to call for EMS, what would happen, and what your parent could expect. If you do need to call for such assistance, tell your parent that you have done it, why you have done it, and how the situation will likely unfold.
  • Keep the environment calm. The more sensory stimulation that is going on around your parent, the more likely they are to experience stress, anxiety, and increased symptoms. Do what you can to make the environment as calm as possible. This includes turning off the television or radio, getting as many people out of the house as possible, and asking that the EMS speak with lower tones of voice. If your parent does not have hearing challenges, screaming or loud talking will just cause anxiety and even fear. Be an example of calm in your behavior and your attitude toward the situation.
  • Go with them. If your parent needs to be taken away from the situation in an ambulance, insist that you go along with them. Being taken away from you by people who they do not know in a strange vehicle can be a terrifying experience. Having you there will provide a greater sense of security and ensure that you are there to advocate for your parent throughout the experience.
  • Keep them involved. If your parent is cautious, they should be the central focus of the experience. This means that the EMS workers should not talk to you, but rather to your parent as much as possible. You can be there to answer questions and provide information, but you should always make sure that your parent is shown respect and dignity by being spoken to directly about the situation. This will help to reduce anxiety and create a sense of calm and control.

If you or an aging loved one are considering in-home caregiver services to provide companionship, compassion and motivation, please contact the caring staff at Responsive Home Care, the top provider of dementia care in Fort Lauderdale and nearby areas. Call us today at 954-486-6440.

Responsive Invites You to Join us for a Sock Drive

Homecare Deerfield Beach FL

                                                                                                                          Homecare Deerfield Beach FL

Help a homeless man, woman or child!
Responsive invites you to join us for a sock drive! Please donate new men’s, women’s and children’s socks between now and June 1st, and help make a difference for a homeless person in our community. Bring your donations to our office at 2949 W. Cypress Creek Road, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 (Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:00pm), or call us so we can arrange a pickup.

Responsive recently donated a bike that will help a homeless man go back and forth to his new job! We are very proud to have helped in this way, and look forward to making an even larger impact with the sock drive. Donate a pair of socks and join us in making a difference!

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

The Importance of Sunscreen for Seniors

Elder Care Sunrise FLElder Care Sunrise FL

Every year when the weather warms up, people start going outside more often. The beaches become full, people start their gardens for the year, some people even enjoy walking around their neighborhood every day. It’s common to see people rubbing sunscreen on their skin at the beach, but how many people think to apply sunscreen when they’re heading out to shop, or go for a walk through their neighborhood?

Some startling statistics about the sun and skin cancer:

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the sun’s ultraviolet rays can damage skin in 15 minutes.
In the United States alone, nearly 5 million people are treated for skin cancer. (1)
When skin becomes tan, that’s the body indicating it has been injured by ultraviolet rays.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. (2)
In 2012 there were 67,753 people diagnosed with melanomas of the skin (39,673 men and 28,080 women). (2)
In 2012 9,251 people died from melanomas of the skin (6,013 men and 3,238 women). (2)

The sun poses a serious threat to everyone who fails to protect their skin appropriately, and it’s even more dangerous to your aging mom and dad. When people get older, their skin thins and becomes fragile. This article presents 4 tips that will help keep your parent’s skin protected from damaging ultraviolet rays.

1. Sunscreen should always be applied whenever your parent leaves the home. It’s important to apply that sunscreen to their face and any parts of the body that will be exposed to the sun’s rays. The CDC suggests sunscreen be a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15+ protection. Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours.

2. Your parent should never sunbathe. Even with sunscreen, sunbathing should be avoided.

3. Help your parent to choose clothes that will help protect their skin, but not cause them to be hot while outside. Sunglasses and hats are also good protection against the sun.

4. When outside, your parent should stay in the shade as much as possible. Even with the precaution of sunscreen, shade, especially at midday, will help keep them protected.

If you live somewhere that has a winter, the coming of spring and summer is always a cause for celebration. Your mom and dad can celebrate too. With knowledge of how dangerous the sun can be and precautions added to their home care, there’s no reason spring and summer can’t be enjoyed by your entire family.

(1) Skin Cancer Prevention Progress Report 2015. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Dept of Health and Human Services; 2015.
(2) U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group. United States Cancer Statistics: 1999–2012 Incidence and Mortality Web-based Report. Atlanta (GA): Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Cancer Institute; 2015.

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

Responsive Home Care’s New HR Manager

Home Care Tamarac FLMisty Willard SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Responsive Home Care is pleased to announce that Misty Willard, SPHR, SHRM-SCO, joined the team in January as Responsive’s new HR Manager. Originally from Connecticut, Misty comes to the home health care industry with over ten years of human resources experience in the environmental consulting and disaster remediation fields, and is a certified senior professional with the Society of Human Resources Management and Human Resources Certification Institute. With her degree in education from the University of Richmond, she is well versed in training and development as well as organizational management and regulatory compliance.

Outside of her position at Responsive, Misty is an avid paddle boarder and enjoys spending time on the waters of Fort Lauderdale with her husband and friends. She is also active with several animal rescue groups in South Florida and works hard to assist animals in need.

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