Hey there, October! The leaves are turning, and the air has that special autumn crispness. It's a lovely season, but for some of our senior loved ones, it can also mean the return of those pesky fall allergies. As caregivers, we want to make sure our seniors enjoy this season without the sniffles and sneezes. So, here's a friendly guide with some practical tips to help seniors battle fall allergies and stay comfortable!
Our seniors' homes should be cozy havens, not battlegrounds for allergens. We'll talk about simple steps caregivers can take to make the home an allergy-free zone. This includes regular cleaning routines, using air purifiers, and keeping windows closed on days when pollen counts are high.
When allergies strike, it's good to have some tricks up our sleeves. We'll explore both natural and over-the-counter remedies that can bring seniors relief. Imagine cozying up with a soothing cup of herbal tea, inhaling steam, or enjoying the sweetness of honey – all simple remedies that can make a big difference.
Sometimes, allergies can get serious. We'll chat about the signs caregivers should keep an eye out for, indicating it's time to consult a healthcare professional. After all, the well-being of our seniors is our top priority.
Seniors shouldn't miss out on the beauty of fall just because of allergies. We'll suggest outdoor activities that are less likely to trigger allergies, so our seniors can soak in the season without the sneezes.
With these tips in hand, caregivers can help seniors embrace the joys of fall without the hassle of allergies. Let's ensure our seniors have a cozy, allergen-free autumn so they can relish every moment of this beautiful season. 🍂
Joint pain or even chronic pain is something that inevitably comes with aging. As the body gets older every year there are certainly body pains that may arise in the back, hands or other joints in the body.
Finding the Source
It can be hard to figure out how to go about everyday activities or even bear with the pain of arthritis. There are two types of arthritis – osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the more common kind that comes with age. Rheumatoid arthritis is more severe and typically attacks the body in a progressive way.
There are ways to ease the pain particularly with osteoarthritis. Make sure you always consult with your doctor who can prescribe treatments and even prescriptions and other solutions as necessary for your specific pain(s).
While it may seem counterproductive to stay active especially as the pain may seem unbearable, it’s actually best to stay as active as possible to reduce further pain or weakened muscles. By staying inactive can lead to other issues or other unwanted pains.
A sneaky factor that may be associated with the pain is stress. Stress has a way of amplifying the pain of chronic conditions so finding ways to lower the stress and taking care of the mind and body have a double-edged benefit.
Ways to decrease stress include keeping a journal, having a confidante to turn to when feeling overwhelmed or stress seems to be surmounting and finding a relaxing activity or just taking time to unwind.
Treat with Heat...or Keep it Cool!
Another treatment is hot and cold therapy. You can do this by applying a cold press to help reduce inflammation and then using a heating pad to increase the circulation and stimulate some of the body’s natural healing process.
Individually Tailored Care
Other alternative treatments to discuss with your doctor include acupuncture, chiropractic treatments, bio feedback and even meditation. Properly using medication is another useful remedy. Finding the right treatment will depend on the person and what you and your doctor agree is best. Sometimes it may be a game of trial and error until a remedy comes about to decrease the pain.
Our goal is to help your loved ones be as comfortable and self sufficient as possible. Your loved ones will feel right at home with our care team. Give us a call for a free Senior Care consultation!
1 in 4 Seniors are Diagnosed with Diabetes
Diabetes is an ailment that prevents one’s body from regulating sugars properly which can lead to elevated blood sugar and possibly other negative health risks. Sometimes it can worsen other conditions such as heart disease or kidney disease.
Symptoms to Watch Out For
Once diagnosed, diabetes is able to be effectively managed but it’s very important to seek help and maintain care. If you think you have diabetes or even if something feels off, it’s always a good idea to make an appointment with your doctor and get checked out. There are certain signs to be aware of. They can include: excessive thirst or hunger, frequent urination, unexplained weight loss and fatigue for Type 1 diabetes. For Type 2 diabetes, the symptoms can include the aforementioned plus wounds slow to heal, confusion, blurred vision, depression and numbness/tingling in hands or feet.
If you visit the doctor and are confirmed with a diagnoses, there are things to keep in mind. Ensure that you or your loved one is up to date on understanding their diagnosis and how to treat it. There will most likely be changes whether it’s for diet, exercise or medication. This may be a bit overwhelming so take the information in steps if needed.
Monitoring Glucose Levels
Once a diagnosis is revealed, many seniors will need to keep an eye on their glucose levels. Make sure the doctor gives precise instructions that are easy to follow. With medication, emphasize the importance of it. Missing a dose can have dramatic negative effects. Set reminders whether it’s with an alarm, a physical reminder or prompt in an obvious place.
As for exercise, 30 minutes of daily activity or at least five days a week is ideal. If this is too much, start with what is possible for the senior. Perhaps short bursts of activity in ten minute intervals is an easier start. Just make sure to check with your doctor regarding what is best for yourself.
One Day at a Time
When it comes to diabetes diagnosis and management, it’s important to take steps to ensure a healthier you. Take it in stride and do what you can. Our qualified at home care providers in Columbia can help with these medication reminders and help keep diabetes in check for your loved one. Schedule a consultation today!
See how Hands and Hearts Home Care can Make a Difference!
For all people, communication is vital to building and keeping relationships due to the fact that it is exactly how we share needs, problems, and connect to each other. Interaction is more than words-- a subtle combination of perspective, intonation, facial expressions, and also body language. Inevitably, individuals with Alzheimer's will certainly have difficulty connecting in nearly every facet. For in-home caregivers, it is very important to comprehend what communications adjustments can happen throughout the condition, how to reply to these modifications, as well as exactly how to successfully connect as dementia proceeds.
Adjustments in Interaction as Dementia Proceeds
Alzheimer's condition is a modern form of mental deterioration with symptoms of the illness aggravating gradually. People with Alzheimer's experience differences in interaction that can make talking and following instructions frustrating for both the caretaker as well as the individual with dementia.
Problems in communicating with Alzheimer's suffers can include:
Repetition of stories
Describing items rather than identifying them
Speaking much less
Depending on hand motions as well as gestures more than words
Problems recalling the right words
Lost train of thought
In the later phases of the disease, individuals may depend only on nonverbal communication, utilizing vocal noises or facial expressions.
In each stage of the illness, communicating with your patient will have unique challenges. Due to the fact that Alzheimer's as well as associated types of dementia impact each person differently, presumptions can not be made concerning the interaction capabilities of an individual.
Typically, these pointers can help friends and family members connect better with aging seniors as the disease advances.
5. Prevent Open-Ended Inquiries
Ask basic "yes" or "no" questions to help them make decisions less complicated, removing confusion and disorientation.
6. Speak Gradually and Plainly, Giving Simple Instructions
It is helpful to handle more difficult challenges one thing at a time to avoid confusing your loved one.
7. Your Eyes Show You Care
Maintaining eye contact is a simple way to show your loved one that you care about them and that you're listening to what they have to say.
8. Minimize Distractions, Chose a Quite Setting for Conversations
The focus of the conversation will be more easily conveyed, and you'll be able to provide your loved one the chance to consider and ask questions.
9. Make Introductions Facing Your Patient
Those who suffer from dementia eventually begin to not remember names or faces. Sometimes introducing yourself will help them be more relaxed. Approaching them from the front helps in case their field of vision fails over time. They may not see you coming from behind and could be startled unless approached straight on.
10. Understanding Your Role in Their Well-Being
At some point your loved one could forget your name and face, but the time you spent being present with them, and your friendship with them play a vital role in their well-being. A little love goes a long way
Need help with Dementia Care in Columbia, SC or the surrounding areas? Give Hands and Hearts a call today!
It's a no-brainer!
Supporting your brain’s health is essential for your physical and mental well-being. As people age, there are proven strategies for taking care of your mind. Brains are constantly adapting and changing day by day. The brain’s ability to creating new cells and neural connections is called neuroplasticity.
Your brain needs the proper tools to keep it running properly. Even the smallest daily habits if done consistently have the opportunity to protect your brain from early onset of and/or progression of cognitive diseases such as Dementia and Alzheimer’s. Check out some of these tips for keeping your mind young.
Get enough sleep each night. When you sleep, it boosts your ability to think more clearly and sharp the next day. Not getting enough sleep one night, say less than six hours, can impact your ability to think clearly the next day.
Speaking of boosting your brain’s ability to think clearly, get gaming. This means brain games and card or board games to keep the mind sharp. When seniors don’t stimulate their brains with new information, this vital organ can deteriorate from lack of use. It’s comparable to how muscles weaken from lack of exercise.
Examples of stimulating brain games include crossword puzzles, Sudoku puzzles and card games. Many stores or newsstands carry puzzle books and games. For seniors who may be creative, adult coloring books are another brain activity.
The right fuel for the job!
The next tips are all about nutrition and exercise. Exercise increases the oxygen levels to the brain which can help keep everything running smoothly. While you may not exercise like you did at 20, the simplest activity such as walking and stretching can have such an impact. The key is to find something you like without potentially putting you in danger.
It’s spring time finally! Birds are chirping, flowers are starting to bloom and the longer days call for much needed fun even if we are still in a year-long pandemic. Vaccinations are also available to those interested which means older Americans can feel a little safer about venturing out.
While there are still precautions from the CDC, there are still many activities safe for seniors to participate in whether at home or in a safer and socially distance space. Perhaps one of the first things on one’s agenda is hugging a friend or the grandkids or maybe it’s picking up a new hobby or it could simply be catching up with a friend over coffee, in person. Whatever the case, check out some ideas and remember to still be safe and cautious during this time.
Let's Go Fishing!
Fishing is a wonderful outdoor activity for older people as it doesn’t require a lot of mobility and can be done with anyone. It doesn’t require too much gear and can be done anywhere from small ponds to huge lakes. It may require some extra care if someone is in a wheelchair but being in the outdoor air is good for the soul. Just remember to bring a sunhat and plenty of water and bask in this perfect socially distant activity.
Take a Swing!
Another sport that is perfect for beginners and experts alike is golf. Visit a driving range or the golf course depending on your mobility preference. Many golf places also have instructors on hand who know a thing or two about being patient. This is another outdoor activity and social distancing is easy because you’ll definitely want to be at least six feet away from the person with the club. This is also a perfect place for seniors and grandkids to hang out bridging their bond.
Make a Bird Feeder
Bird watching provides some sort of calm and this activity is great for nature. Grab a friend or family member and go shopping for supplies and then bring it all home to assemble. A bird book will also be a great read as you learn about the sweet tweets hanging out on the feeder. Even if you end up buying a bird feeder, the time together with a loved one is good for the soul.
Dress up your Door with a Wreath
Nothing says welcome like a spring wreath on the front door. This activity could take a while but is a great shopping activity plus bonding time as well. The creativity needed to make the wreath is also a brain booster. Look up some inspiration online or at a craft store and get fancy.
Invite the grandkids over and let them play in the yard while you enjoy safe and distant time apart. Or get together at a local park or rec center. Splurge an ice cream treat for the kiddos and catch up on the past year. As always, practice safe guidelines per the CDC.
Staying at home IS an option with Hands and Hearts Home Care!
There’s a different type of stranger danger these days. While young kids are taught about the pitfalls of talking to people they don’t know, there’s another danger of elders being lured by online scammers. It can often be more difficult for seniors to know when they are being scammed over the phone or online since there’s no face-to-face contact. It’s estimated that about $30 billion is lost by seniors each year due to online scams.
Scammers are also taking advantage of Coronavirus vaccines by focusing on health and financial concerns and all the virus-related concerns. However, there are ways to not fall victim to these predators. If you or someone you know is a senior citizen, make sure you know the risks of scams, what to look for and how to report them.
Know Who's Calling
Do not answer phone calls or text messages from unknown callers. If you do answer a phone call or check an email, never ever share personal and financial information. If you feel pressure from someone, always play it safe and never give your personal information. Hang up if you have to. In this instance, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Remember government agencies will never call you to ask for money or for personal information. If you receive a text message or email, never click on links or call the number associated with the message.
Look Out for Scammers
Scammers will use charity organizations to manipulate people into donating money. You can always check out the legitimacy of charities by heading to the FCC website. There are many nonprofits – big and small – so make sure you’re familiar with them before you give out money.
With the ongoing pandemic, people are using and abusing the capitalization of virus vaccines, contact tracing and stealing insurance information. Be aware and don’t let your guard down. Make sure you talk with any elders in your life to make sure they are aware.
Use Anti-Virus Software
Another thing to do is install and keep up to date anti-virus software on computers and cell phones. If you need help with this, ask a family member or someone you trust about installing this software. You can also ask for help about blocking anonymous calls on cell phones.
The FCC has a wide array of information warning about online scammers, robocalls and Coronavirus abusers. Make sure you talk with your loved ones who may fall prey to these predators. Having these conversations will help them stay safer online and aid in protecting their identity.
Hands and Hearts is Here to Help!
At Hands and Hearts Home Care Our goal is to keep your loved one safe, happy, and healthy as we provide excellent In Home and Respite Care in Columbia, Lexington, and the Surrounding Areas. Give us a call today to talk to one of our Home Care Specialists to develop a customized care plan to meet your family's needs!
If caregiver burnout is draining your emotional battery, consider giving yourself the gift of respite care. Since August is Respite Care Month, read on on why respite care is such a great solution for your loved one.
Caring for aging family members takes a lot of mental strength so it’s not surprise that caregiver burnout is such a widespread issue. After all, you want to help your elderly parent or relative but often times it can just be too much. Caring for an aging adult plus your responsibilities at your job, with your family and the can lend itself to a major toll on your own health.
No Guilty Feelings
You want your aging loved one to be taken care of and while certainly no one knows your loved one like you do, sometimes you need the relief in order to take care of yourself. You have many other responsibilities but remember not to feel guilty for finding outside sources to provide proper care. Remember respite care providers hire professional caregivers who have been properly trained and background checked.
Finding the right respite care provider for your relative may take some work, but it’s worth your effort. Having respite care for your loved one allows you to recharge your batteries and keep on loving him or her for the journey ahead. If you continue providing around the clock care, it’s only a matter of time before your physical and/or mental health spiral downhill.
Now that you’re thinking of respite care for your loved one, the financial burden may be another hurdle to overcome. There is the possibility of organizations offering grants or other resources to help with the cost. If the wait is too long, consider free or low-cost networks of support including but not limited to religious groups, volunteer organizations or family and friends. Instead of receiving gifts, try asking for respite care funds instead.
Remember you may also start with one or two days to ease into respite care or even just a few hours depending on your loved one’s need. Don’t forget to ask your own family for support as well. If they cannot personally help with caregiving, then they will most likely offer the funds.
Types of Care
There are a variety of different respite care to suit your loved one’s needs and wants along with your finances.
In-home services include: companion, home health aide, homemaker and skilled care service. Companion services help with companionship and supervised activities only while a home health aide provides assistance with activities like bathing, dressing and exercising. A homemaker helps with planning meals and daily chores like laundry and shopping and a skilled care service person helps with medical needs. There are also adult day services and residential facilities if your loved one requires more supervision.
Hands and Hearts Home Care is Here for You!
You know your loved one best so it’s important you remember what they can tolerate and need. If you need to talk with someone with any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us anytime!
Columbia has earned the nickname "Famously Hot" for a reason! July and August feel like the hottest months of summer. It’s especially important for senior citizens to be proactive and keep cool to avoid heat related illnesses particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are vital steps to take to minimize the risk of health issues that may be caused by high temperatures.
The simplest and most basic steps including drinking plenty of water, having access to air conditioning and wearing clothing and accessories offering sun protection. The main health problems exacerbated by summer heat are dehydration, heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
Know the Warning Signs
Knowing the warning signs for these heat related health issues can help seniors or their caregivers to seek and receive help early on. Dehydration is having a loss of water in the body and signs include weakness, headache, muscle cramps, dizziness, confusion and passing out. Heat exhaustion is caused by too much heat to the body and can lead to a heat stroke. Signs for exhaustion include heavy sweating or no sweating, muscle cramps, weakness, paleness, headache, nausea or vomiting and a fast or weak pulse.
If symptoms progress, a heat stroke may occur. This is when the body temperature has a dangerous rise to 103 or more. Other symptoms include red, hot and dry skin, a fast pulse, headache, dizziness, nausea or vomiting and passing out. Check out these tips below to help keep symptoms at bay and stay safe and cool during the dog days of summer.
Water, Water, & More Water!
It’s especially recommended for elderly to stay hydrated. This may be difficult and seniors may not think about drinking water during the day. In addition to drinking enough water, they should avoid drinks containing caffeine or alcohol and this may increase dehydration. If you must be outside, drinking sweat replacement drinks can replace extra fluid lost.
Also, cotton fabrics and other breathable fabrics can help your body regulate its temperature. When it comes to protecting your head, a hat with a broad or wide brim and sunglasses are a must. Let’s not forget the sunscreen either because skin cancer is still a real threat. An umbrella can also help protect you from the sun. Picnic table umbrellas or beach umbrellas are a perfect accessory.
Exploring the World from your Couch!
Summertime is a perfect time to catch up on some reading or start something new. After all, the extreme heat and humidity call for plenty of inside lounging and ice cold lemonade. There are an array of options to check out books whether you go to the library, buy online or from the bookstore or perhaps you enjoy EBooks.
Stay Entertained & Keep your mind sharp!
Whether you need (or desire) large print books is a personal decision and one that is readily available at your local library or even through Amazon. If you do read EBooks, there’s the option to magnify the font. If you don’t read EBooks and want to try, ask a family member or friend for assistance on getting started. The first step is to purchase a tablet of your choice and have a store or several stores to purchase EBooks.
There are many genres to choose from but let’s focus on some fun fiction reads. Reading is not only a relaxing activity but it’s also stimulating for your mind and can keep the cognitive processes going strong while potentially keeping memory delays at bay. Another fun way to incorporate reading is by joining a book club which can help keep the loneliness away.
Stories Keep Us Connected
Our In Home Caregivers at Hands and Hearts would be glad to share a story with you! Let us know what questions you have about our services today!