Caring for an elderly loved one requires more than helping with everyday activities. In addition to helping your family member run errands, complete chores around the house and accompany them to doctor appointments, you likely look out for their health as well. Age-related eye diseases are common among seniors, but as a loving family member, you can help your senior protect their eyes. Diet and lifestyle can make a huge impact on eye health. At Help at Home, we’ve compiled some tips for helping your senior prevent age-related eye diseases.
Wear Sunglasses. Harmful UV rays from the sun have been linked to many types of eye damage. If your eyes are continuously exposed to UV rays and HEV rays, or blue light, you run the risk of developing cataracts, pingueculae, pterygia or macular degeneration. Wearing sunglasses that protect your eyes from 100% of UV rays and most HEV rays is one of the best ways to prevent vision problems later in life. When you and your elderly loved one leave the house, make sure you both wear quality sunglasses that block UV rays and protect against HEV rays to prevent age-related eye diseases.
Diet can also play a part in eye health. Just like any other part of your body, the eyes need proper nutrition. An unhealthy diet high in saturated fat and sugar can increase the risk of eye disease, while healthy foods can help prevent certain eye diseases. Try to incorporate foods rich in vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, and healthy proteins into your diet to maintain healthy vision. Always consult your doctor or nurse practitioner before making drastic changes to your diet.
At Help at Home, we want you and your loved one to be happy and healthy. Learning how to take care of your health and prevent future diseases is key to healthy aging. Visit our blog for more senior health tips, or to learn more about our senior caregiving services!
An aging parent’s health is a concern on the mind of any adult child, but if you notice slight changes in your senior parent’s personality, you may be interested in their cognitive health as well. In many cases, it can be difficult to tell the difference between Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and dementia. Perhaps a once sharp senior who had no problem recalling information is finding that their memory is slipping. Some memory loss or decrease in cognitive ability is a normal part of aging to an extent, but in some cases, this can turn into dementia. How can you tell early on which is which?
Know the Difference
Mild cognitive impairment is sometimes confused for dementia because the signs are similar. MCI is not as severe though as Alzheimer’s or other cognitive diseases. While MCI may result in slight noticeable changes in cognition, dementia makes normal every day tasks extremely difficult. Dementia can make it a challenge for seniors to drive, keep track of their medications, or even make decisions. MCI, however, although inconvenient, does not interfere with daily tasks.
Even though mild cognitive impairment isn’t as debilitating as dementia, it should still be taken seriously and identified as early as possible. Studies have shown that MCI increases your risks of developing dementia. If one of your family members is aging and you think they may have MCI, visit our blog to learn more about how your senior can improve their memory, or check out these memory boosting strategies compiled by Psychology Today.
There’s no way to tell whether or not mild cognitive impairment will turn into dementia, but if you see the signs of MCI, you can work to decrease the chances it will progress. Work on developing good memory habits and keeping up a healthy diet. The caregivers at Help at Home are happy to provide companion care services to help seniors stay cognitively engaged. Our trained caregivers have experience working with seniors who have either mild cognitive impairment or dementia. Contact Help at Home to learn more about how our caregivers can assist.
*If you notice a sudden change in your loved one’s cognitive abilities, consult your physician or call 911, as this could be a sign of a stroke.
When your aging parent is having difficulty seeing, moving around or maintaining balance, you’ll want to pay special attention to safety issues, especially during the commotion of holiday festivities. Over the years of providing in-home service for seniors, the caring professionals at Help at Home have noticed some holiday dangers that families sometimes forget to keep in mind. Here are some tips to keep seniors safe this holiday season.
Look at Your Home from the Point of View of a Senior
At Help at Home, we review homes for safety issues when we arrive to provide senior care. When you examine the home from the point of view of an aging relative, it’s easier to spot potential dangers, much like when you baby-proof a house.
During the holidays, there is a higher risk of fire due to increased candle and fireplace usage. Don’t leave lit candles unattended. Avoid putting candles near the edge of a table where a senior might unwittingly knock them over or catch the flame on a sleeve. Use a metal screen to prevent glowing embers from escaping the fireplace and catching the room on fire.
As your family opens presents, the floor tends to get littered with discarded wrapping paper, bows and other decorations. The mess presents a slip-and-fall danger. Help at Home advises you to keep seniors safe from trip hazards by using bags to collect wrapping materials for re-use or recycling.
Choose sturdy decorations for the tree instead of delicate glass ornaments. Colored glass globes can shatter if they fall on the floor, leaving a cutting hazard for unwary seniors.
Seniors with blood sugar issues may be tempted to overindulge when offered holiday treats. Provide some healthier options, such as a vegetable platter. Remember to refrigerate leftovers as soon as possible to avoid food poisoning.
Keeping seniors safe at home is our top priority all year round. For details on the in-home services we provide for seniors or to learn more about how we can help you with an aging parent, please contact Help at Home today.
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Do you sometimes feel like you are not being heard in your family? According to a New York Times article, the average person deals with hearing loss for 7 to 10 years before finally getting hearing aids! At Help at Home, we sometimes find that seniors would rather pretend to be able to hear what their friends and family are telling them than get fitted for a hearing aid. No one wants to get older, and no one wants to admit that their hearing is declining, but if hearing aids can help your senior stay involved and connected socially, it’s important to approach your senior and gently broach the subject.
Bringing up a Sensitive Topic
Over the years, the team at Help at Home has found that there are a few easy things you can do to get the conversation started about hearing aids:
- Prepare for your conversation by doing some research about the nature of age-related hearing loss and how hearing aids can help.
- Explain that you don’t want your senior to miss out on favorite activities, such as playing cards with friends.
- If your loved one is afraid of how it will change his or her appearance, explain that the latest models are very small and discreet.
- Remind your parent that he or she could use a hearing aid to understand what the grandchildren are saying!
You Deserve a Break
It’s not always easy to take care of an aging parent, especially if you feel like you don’t have the time to take a much-needed break. To avoid caregiver burnout, many adult children of aging parents find it useful to bring in some outside help. This is where the team at Help at Home can be of assistance. To learn more about arranging for in-home senior care in Naples, Bradenton and Sarasota, please get in touch with Help at Home today.
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Emotional and physical well-being depend on a number of factors, such as diet and exercise. Social interactions however, are equally important when it comes to overall wellness. Developing and maintaining positive relationships has been linked to living longer, more satisfying lives. For some seniors though, it can be difficult to get the social interaction that they need, especially if they live alone. Help at Home recognizes this and offers companion care solutions so that your aging loved one can continue to live a happy and healthy life at home. Socializing for seniors is a must.
As much as you’d like to, it’s just not possible to spend all of your time with your aging loved one. Busy work schedules, caring for children, and home responsibilities can make it difficult to give your senior the attention they need at times. While nothing can take the place of quality time spent with your family members, the friendly and compassionate caregivers at Help at Home can provide social interaction and mental stimulation. Our companion care services are completely customized to the individual needs of each senior. If your aging loved one lives at home alone, they may appreciate having someone to visit them and accompany them while running errands, taking care of tasks at home, or just passing time.
Social interaction benefits everyone, but socializing for seniors is especially important. Satisfying relationships provide seniors with an improved sense of belonging. Not only is the emotional benefit tremendous, but social activity can boost memory and cognitive functions. Playing games, reading, or accompanying seniors on trips are just some of the ways our caregivers can help. Help at Home has offices in Bradenton, Sarasota, and Naples to help you. Please contact us for more information about our companion care services.
The holidays are a time for friends and family to come together. Unfortunately, if your aging loved one has suffered the loss of a spouse, they may feel the pain even more acutely during this time of year. You no doubt want to provide emotional support to ease the pain, and the team at Help at Home empathizes with your situation. We want to let you know that during times of sadness, listening and spending quality time with an aging widow or widower can do a world of good.
Here are ways you can help an older widow or widower in your family who is feeling sad during the holidays:
- Offer your shoulder and your ear. Hugging your parent and just being there to listen can help enormously. Talking about your feelings is essential – acknowledging sadness can lift your burden, especially when you share your thoughts and feelings with someone close to you.
- Get moving. Physical activity promotes health, helps reduce tension and is an excellent method to lift your mood. Take your loved one for a walk or participate in some light exercise. Be sure to consult a doctor first to see what form of exercise would be appropriate for your senior.
- Help others. Shifting your focus outward and looking for ways to help others is a great way to cope with sadness. Assisting others by serving meals to the homeless or volunteering at your local charity with your aging family member can help both of you cope with loss.
If you could use some help with in-home care for your aging parent, especially during the busy holiday season when complex emotions and grief can feel overwhelming, we are standing by to help give you a break. To learn more about the services we provide or to arrange for help with in-home senior care, please call Help at Home today. We have offices in Sarasota, Bradenton and Naples. A case manager near you will be happy to help you find a customized care solution that works for your family.
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