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 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.
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.
In your role as a family caregiver, one of the most effective and important tools that you have is awareness. Part of this is understanding the risks that your aging parent is facing and being able to detect when your senior might be suffering from a serious health complication such as Parkinson’s disease. This level of awareness enables you to give your aging parent the type of care that is right for your senior to help reduce their risks or guide them in managing the conditions that do arise in their later years. Being able to recognize the early symptoms of disease can help you to detect the possibility of such illnesses early, which can ensure that your senior gets the medical attention that they need, and can create an approach to care that will help them to manage this condition effectively as they age in place.
Some of the early signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include:
• Tremor. Approximately 70 percent of those who develop Parkinson’s disease will experience tremors. Most often this shaking will begin in the fingers, hands, or even the lip. This tremor often happens when their hand is relaxed.
• Diminished sense of smell. The sense of smell is an important part of how your parent interacts with the world around them. Having more difficulty smelling when it is not related to other issues such as a stuffy nose could be an early indication of Parkinson’s disease. Pay particular attention if your loved one has difficulty detecting specific smells such as dill or licorice.
• Changes in sleep behaviors. It is normal to have a bad night of sleep every once in a while, but if your parent has started struggling with sudden movements, thrashing, or kicking while sleeping, it may be something to bring up with their doctor.
• Mobility issues. Watch your parent as they move about their house. Slow movements, hesitation, and periods when they seem “frozen” or “stuck” might be early signs of this developing disease.
If your aging parent has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease or their symptoms have increased to the point at which you do not feel confident that you are giving them all of the care they need, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting elderly care for them. An elderly home care services provider can be with your aging parent on a customized schedule that is right for their individual needs, challenges, limitations, and symptoms so that they can pursue an active, engaged, and fulfilling lifestyle while remaining safe, healthy, comfortable, and as independent as possible. This care provider can help your parent to understand the condition that they are facing and the instructions, guidelines, and prescriptions that were set forth for them by their doctor. They can then give them support, encouragement, and reminders to help them remain compliant with these instructions and make the lifestyle choices that are right for their needs. Not only does this help your senior to manage the symptoms that they are experiencing now, but also enables them to better prepare for the future symptoms that might develop later in their journey with the disease.
Emergency situations such as weather disasters, fires, and other such events can put your parent in physical danger, but this is not the only reaction that you must consider when preparing your elderly loved one for the possible of such an event. You must also take into consideration the emotional impact that these events can have on your senior. These emotional impacts can linger for long after the event itself comes to an end, and make a serious impact on their health, well-being, and quality of life moving forward. Focusing on helping your parent recover emotionally from the disaster is an important part of getting them through the situation and minimize the impact moving forward.
Some signs that your aging parent is suffering from serious emotional issues related to a disaster or emergency include:
• Emotional or physical fatigue
• Feeling “drained”
• New difficulty making decisions
• Struggles with staying focused
• Irritability or feeling frustrated
• Increased instance of arguing or lashing out at friends and family
• Feeling sad
• Increased feelings of loneliness or worrying
• Feeling numb or empty
• Marked changes in sleep patterns
• Eating more or less
Use these tips to help your elderly parent recover emotionally from a disaster or emergency:
• Talk to them about what they went through and their reactions
• Reassure them that what they are feeling is normal and that it is alright that they are struggling
• Tell them what you are going through so that they know they are not alone
• Encourage them to seek out support such as in a group or with a therapist if they are having a difficult time
Starting home care for your elderly loved one can be one of the best decisions that you can make for them during the course of your caregiver journey with them. An in-home senior care services provider can be with your aging parent on a customized schedule to ensure that your parent gets the care, support, and encouragement that they need both when you are able to be with them and when you are not. This ensures that they are able to live the quality of life that they desire and deserve while pursuing an active, engaged, and fulfilling lifestyle with as much independence as possible. When it comes to emergency situations, a home care provider can help your parent to feel more confident in their preparation for these situations so that they are able to handle them in the best way for them. Immediately following an emergency, this care provider can offer support, supervision, and assistance that will enable your parent to take the steps that they need to, while also enabling you to do what you need to do to get them back to their normal life as soon as possible. The emotional support this care provider can offer your loved one can be instrumental in helping your parent get through this situation and return to their normal lifestyle in the best way possible. This can reduce fear and anxiety and make them feel more confident about handling future disaster situations
Gradually you may start to find that your elderly loved one is running fewer and fewer of her own errands. She may ask for help, but she’s just as likely to simply stop running those errands and let them pile up or fall by the wayside. It’s important to find a solution for her that works.
Run them for Her
The most obvious solution, of course, is to start running your loved one’s errands for her. This may be something that you can do easily, especially if your errands tend to overlap with hers. If you have other responsibilities that pull you away, however, it may be difficult for your to be able to handle all of your loved one’s errands on your own.
Look to Other Family Members
Another solution is to break up your loved one’s errands and find out if other family members are able to handle some of them for you. This is a great way for other family members to help when they want to be of assistance but really aren’t sure what they can do. They may even be able to take over these tasks regularly for your elderly loved one.
Enlist the Help of Friends and Neighbors
There may also be friends and neighbors who are eager to help your elderly loved one. Some of those errands may be smaller ones, such as picking up an item or two at the grocery store when they’re already going to be there. If a friend or neighbor is offering to help, try starting out with a small errand or two and see if that works for both of you.
Hire Senior Care Providers
Hiring senior care providers to help your loved one run her errands helps your loved one to preserve some of her own independence. She’s able to run errands but she has someone with her, so that gives you a bit of peace of mind. You know that she’s in good hands while she’s out and about as opposed to being completely on her own.
Finding a solution for your loved one’s trouble running errands before the tasks become impossible for her can help your loved one to thrive at home.
Danielle Santana, our Director of Business Relations, attended the “Share the Care Event” at the Autumn of Sarasota on Wednesday, Feb. 8. The event was designed as a caregiver resource day to help answer questions by a panel of expert Physicians and resource tables to educate caregivers in the community.