Spring is here, and as it gets hotter outside, seniors are advised to stay in and keep cool. Seniors can be especially prone to heat-related illness, so staying comfortable is of utmost concern for seniors and their caregivers. But staying safe and comfortable in spite of the heat doesn’t have to be boring! Help at Home has compiled this list of fun summer activities for seniors:
- Visit a local bookstore and enjoy an iced coffee while reading a book or a magazine.
- Go for a swim or take a water aerobics class.
- Go see a movie.
- Visit a museum like the Naples Museum of Art in Naples, the South Florida Museum in Bradenton, the Alliance for the Arts in Fort Myers, or the Ringling in Sarasota.
- Go to a festival or antique fair. If the festival is outdoors, be sure to bring plenty of water and limit the amount of time spent in the heat.
- Go to the library and check out books. If reading is difficult, consider audiobooks. Many libraries also offer classes and workshops for the community.
Staying active, healthy and safe is a priority for every senior. If you are taking care of an aging loved one and find that you need help, contact Help at Home. Our home caregivers will be happy to answer any questions you have about our services and offer assistance with whatever you need.
If you’ve ever had a cat or a dog, you know that enjoying their company can be calming. In fact, one researcher at Miami University has studied the health effects of owning a pet and he reported some interesting findings. “We found that pet owners, on average, were better off than non-owners, especially when they have a higher-quality relationship with their pets,” says Allen R. McConnell, PhD. At Help at Home, we are interested in the health and well-being of the seniors and families we serve, so here are some ways that enjoying the company of a cat or a dog can benefit you and your aging loved one.
Health Benefits of Pets for Seniors
Petting your cat or dog is a great way to relieve stress. Pets help combat loneliness, especially if a senior lives alone. Some seniors find that owning a pet can help connect you with other people. Alan Beck, ScD, director of the Center for the Human-Animal Bond at Purdue University puts it this way “If I saw you walking down the street, I couldn’t comfortably start talking to you if I didn’t know you, but I could if you had a dog, it’s an acceptable interaction that otherwise wouldn’t be possible.”
In addition to the emotional support provided by a loving pet, seniors may find that having a pet can have physical benefits as well. In one survey on the benefits of pets for seniors, 71% of respondents said that their pets make them feel better when they feel physically bad. People who own pets typically have lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and lower triglycerides than people who do not have pets. The American Heart Association has even stated that living with a pet can be associated with lower risks of heart disease.
Of course, seniors should take into account their mobility. If your aging loved one is still active, then owning a dog is a great way to help them stay active, but if they’re slowing down, a cat to curl up on the couch with may be the better choice. Seniors should also consider the logistics of caring for their pet such as how to transport them to the vet when needed or a contingency plan for care of the pet in case anything happens. Caring for an animal can be a rewarding experience for anyone, at any age. Local animal shelters are full of animals waiting to be rescued that have much to offer your aging loved one. For more information on senior well-being, visit our blog. If your aging loved one could benefit from in-home care, please contact us to learn more about the services Help at Home has to offer.
When you’re looking for the right home care agency to provide in-home care to your senior family member, you have many options to weigh. Planning and discussing your options with your family is important, and fortunately there are a number of resources available to aid in the discussion and help you make the best decision possible for the care of your loved one. At Help at Home, we are proud to participate in the Caregiver Quality Assurance program. Look for the Caregiver Quality Assurance logo when choosing an agency, here’s why:
The Caregiver Quality Assurance program identifies home health care agencies that go above and beyond when selecting quality caregivers to join their team. The program provides advanced psychological testing to home care agencies for use during the hiring process, which aids in selecting caregivers that are “trustworthy, dependable and qualified to provide top quality care.” Help at Home uses these assessments to make sure that we only hire the best possible caregivers.
Help at Home knows how important the decision to choose a home health care provider is. We want to assure you that working with us will mean the highest possible quality of care for your loved on. We screen all applicants carefully – we perform motor vehicle checks, check for sexual offender registration, abuse screening through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, moral character notarization, and of course, we use the Caregiver Quality Assurance program.
For more helpful resources to aid you in selecting a caregiver, visit our Helpful Links section, or contact Help at Home to discuss your family’s needs with a case manager today. You will see for yourself how our carefully chosen caregivers exceed the unique needs of every patient.
The seniors in your life undoubtedly have many untold stories that your family would enjoy hearing. Help at Home’s caring professionals know from personal experience that there are plenty of tales to hear from members of our older generations. Don’t be left out, preserve your family history by spending time with your loved one and listening to their stories. Here are some ways to get them talking.
Keep in mind the importance of just talking to seniors and spending time with them to hear their stories. They will be more engaged if you ask them questions. As they think over the details, the mental stimulation may also provide a lift in morale, since people tend to enjoy talking about themselves. Be careful not to over-question them though, as seniors with dementia may become confused or distressed.
Take time to examine old photographs together, to help stimulate memories. Looking at old photographs can remind your loved one of details and stories that they may have otherwise forgotten.
Suggest they keep a journal. Not only does this help preserve memories for family members in the future, but studies have shown that keeping a journal can lead to improvements in working memory and cognitive functioning.
Pitching in for Family Members Who Need a Break from Senior Care
Stories of previous generations certainly help us put our lives in perspective and bring us closer to our loved ones. However, it can be difficult to enjoy learning from this history if you are worn out from trying to take care of your own children as well as the seniors in your life without a break. This is where the team at Help at Home can be of service. Our in-home care professionals are standing by to give you a break and to make sure your senior stays safe, healthy and well cared for. Give us a call for details on our senior care programs today.
At Help at Home, one of the most serious aspects of our job is to keep an eye on seniors for signs of illness while we provide them with in-home care. Since January is Thyroid Awareness Month, we wanted to take this opportunity to remind everyone about the dangers of thyroid disease.
About the Thyroid
The thyroid is a small gland that produces hormones for regulating your metabolism. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid produces insufficient hormones, leading to weight gain, depression and fatigue. Hyperthyroidism happens when you produce too much thyroid hormone, with symptoms such as disturbed sleep, weakness and irritability.
Approximately 20 million people in the United States have thyroid disease, according to the latest statistics from the American Thyroid Association. Unfortunately, as much as 60% of people with a thyroid condition are unaware that anything is wrong.
Thyroid awareness is important because elevated levels of thyroid hormone can lead to cardiovascular disease with hardened arteries. Thyroid problems can also contribute to osteoporosis, which is a disease seniors need to stay in front of because of the dangers of falling and breaking a hip.
Being on the lookout for signs of illness in seniors such as thyroid disease is just one of the many services our team provides during in-home care. If you could use some help taking care of an aging relative, you’ll be glad to know that Help at Home now offers service to seniors in Naples, Bradenton, and Sarasota, Florida. To learn more about our compassionate approach to in-home care, please contact Help at Home today.
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It’s never too late to change jobs. Some people are lucky enough to know what kind of a career they want right from the start, while others may need to explore a series of options until they find their dream position. The licensed professionals at Help at Home understand that while many individuals are at least somewhat familiar with the duties of being an in-home care worker, not everyone can tell at first glance whether a senior care career would be right for them.
Helping Seniors and Their Families as a Professional Caregiver
Seniors who do not want to move to a nursing facility or retirement center can thrive at home if they have family, friends and professionals available to provide assistance and keep them safe.
As much as family members would like to, no one can help a senior full-time without taking regular breaks. Adult children of seniors in particular run the risk of burnout when they try to take care of their own kids as well as their parents. You can be there for them whenever they need time off to recharge their batteries.
Characteristics of Excellent In-Home Care Providers
Members of the Help at Home team share a number of character traits and abilities, including:
In-home care professionals usually have a sincere desire to help others. The best ones are also willing to continue with their education, since medical science is constantly evolving.
If you’re committed to a career path that allows you to use your natural abilities and make the world a better place, in-home care may be just the job you’ve been looking for. We are proud to offer service in the Bradenton, Naples and Sarasota, Florida region and beyond. For details about senior care career opportunities, please connect with Help at Home today.
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