According to AARP, 77% of adults age 50 and up prefer to age in place over moving to any kind of assisted living facility. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define aging in place as the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level. Aging in place promotes life satisfaction, a positive quality of life and self-esteem, and many other health benefits that improve health, wellness, and happiness of elderly adults well into their later years of life.
Benefits of aging in place include:
When an elderly adult states that they would like to remain in their home but their loved ones decide otherwise, it can create tension between the family, as well as feelings of anger, grief and sadness, and stress for the elderdly adult being forced out of their home. These negative emotions can play a huge impact on the elderly adult’s mental and physical health. There is a solution though that allows elderly adults to stay in the comfort of their home safely as they age. In-home care providers offer companionship and assistance with daily tasks that may become more difficult over time such as:
An in-home care provider offers peace-of-mind and a break for family caregivers, knowing their loved one is safe and being cared for by professionals. To elderly adults, care providers offer them assistance while still allowing them to maintain a sense of independence and empowerment.
Loneliness and feeling isolated becomes a huge problem for elderly adults living in care facilities with structured social activity times and rules regarding when patients are and are not allowed to be out of their rooms. When elderly adults get to stay in their communities they maintain regular access to:
Living in their home with the assistance of a home care provider allows for different forms of positive social stimulation on their desired schedule.
The average cost of a full time home care provider costs less than half the amount of a semi-private room in a care facility. A bed in a shared room at an assisted living facility typically costs anywhere between $10,000 and $20,000 and a private room can cost upward of $70,000. Elderly adults with specialized care requirements can expect to pay more on top of these costs. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, seniors who choose to age in place can save thousands of dollars per month in care costs.
Many elderly adults’ homes are either paid off or close to it, making monthly expenses much cheaper than if they were living in a care facility. Home Care, Recharged offers free consultations with experienced care providers who can help explain price breakdowns and comparisons between the costs of in-home assistance and care facilities.
Age-related memory loss and Dementia affect a person’s short-term memory exponentially more than long-term and preserved skills. For more information about memory loss and dementia in elderdly adults, check out Alzheimer’s and Dementia: The Benefits of Home Care. Moving an elderly adult to a new setting and social environment strips them of foundational long-term stimuli, resulting in stress, confusion, and can even potentially speed up the rate of cognitive decline.
The comfort and familiarity of home reduces the confusion and fear that an elderly adult is likely to experience when they are moved into an unfamiliar environment. In-home caregivers with experience in memory and cognitive care hold invaluable knowledge and skills in:
The experience of moving into a senior care facility is already a very stressful experience, as with any move, but this experience can be especially traumatizing to elderly adults because most nursing homes or assisted living facilities are extremely limited as far as what furniture and personal belongings that they can bring with them and have strict rules in regards to pets. Having to give up their beloved pet so they can move into a facility they didn’t want to, in the first place, is an absolutely devastating moment for an elderly adult.
Mental health has a huge effect on a person’s physical health, and as we age this impact becomes greater. The health and well-being of an elderly loved one isn’t solely based upon clinical care, but also their comfort and happiness. Elderly adults are far more comfortable and happy through the aging process when they are surrounded by:
Moving into a nursing home or other form of assisted-living facility poses many potential health and safety risks to elderly adults.
Aging in the consistent and safe environment of their own home reduces an elderly adult’s risk of getting sick and provides a better quality of life. With the added assistance from an in-home care provider, clients and their families can rest assured that they are safe and regularly monitored to catch any potential illnesses as soon as possible for the best health outcome to the client.
According to an AARP survey, 90% of older adults nationwide want to remain living in their home for as long as possible. The assistance of an in-home care provider can make that possible, though there may be some potential home features that may require some modifications to aid in the care and safety of your elderly loved one. Creating clear pathways throughout the home, marking changes in any floor level changes, and ensuring that regularly used appliances and rooms (like the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen) and as close together as possible are some easy ways to make home life easier for your elderly loved one.
Potential hazards, repairs, and modifications that may be necessary can be easily missed by someone inexperienced in elderly care, so a home safety assessment is highly recommended. Information about a professional home safety assessment by Home Care, Recharged and some simple tips can be found in Falls at Home: The Risks and Prevention Tips, so that your loved one can have the safest and happiest experience through the aging process, while remaining in their beloved home.
Created by: Bailey
Has anyone ever told you that you should walk more? If so, have you ever wondered why? Walking seems like such a simple activity, you’d never expect it to have so many incredible health benefits on the body. First and foremost, it’s free exercise! No monthly charge for a gym membership or any kind of financial obligation required, and you still get the fat burning effects you want. Walking is a low impact activity, putting much less stress on joints, tendons, and ligaments compared to running or other high intensity forms of exercise.
It can also be an extremely relaxing activity, giving people the ability to take a break from the stress of the day and enjoy the nature around them as they walk. As if these benefits weren’t enough, walking for even just a half hour per day can have monumental benefits to your physical and mental health.
A brisk 30 minute walk can burn 200 calories, which is equivalent to 20 minutes of intense biking under certain conditions. Researchers at Harvard Medical School found that participants in their study on weight-promoting genes who walked for an hour each day at a brisk pace experienced half of the weight gain effects by these weight-promoting genes compared to those that did not walk. Walking for even just 15 minutes can reduce a person’s cravings for sugary foods or chocolate, even those pesky stress cravings!
Walking for 7 hours per week can reduce a person’s risk of developing breast cancer by up to 14%, and is highly recommended to women that have a greater risk of developing breast cancer due to certain factors such as being overweight, hormone supplementation, and family history.
Taking a 30 minute walk each day can stop the loss of bone mass and density, especially in people suffering from osteoporosis. Walking also lubricates joints, strengthens their supporting muscles, and enhances the supply of oxygen and nutrients brought to cartilage and joint cells. Walking 5 to 6 miles each week can greatly reduce the inflammation and pain experienced in arthritic knees, hips, and ankles, and can even prevent the development of arthritis from occurring.
In a research study performed on over 1,000 men and women who all walked for a minimum of 20 minutes per day, at least 5 days a week, it was found that 43% of participants experienced fewer sick days than those who only exercised once a week or less. Participants who did walk at least 5 days also reported that if they did get sick, their symptoms were milder and did not last as long as those who did not walk.
Walking is a great form of exercise to tone and strengthen core and leg muscles. It’s a great way to shape up muscles while losing weight and build the strength required for other activities like playing soccer with the kids or going for a bike ride along the beach with your loved one. Core and leg strength also becomes more important as we age to keep us fit, healthy, and independent. Working the hip and leg muscles while walking helps maintain range of motion, relieve weight-bearing pressure on joints, and maintain core strength and balance.
Walking for at least 30 minutes per day can strengthen the heart muscles, lower blood pressure and reduce symptoms of Hypertension, reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, and improve circulation throughout the body. Blood circulating throughout the body transports vital nutrients and oxygen to all cells, bringing them the fuel they require to function optimally. Healthy circulation is key to optimal body system functions and overall health and wellness. For people who may be prone to blood clots, walking every day can greatly reduce this risk. As you walk, the calf muscles and the blood vessels that run through them contract and relax, forcing the flow of blood through and out of the lower extremities, reducing the formation of clots. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a common condition in adults over the age of 60, increasing the potential formation of blood clots in the legs. Going for a half hour walk in the morning or evening is a great start or end to the day, while also combating a DVT clot from forming.
Walking can be a great, natural treatment for insomnia in older adults. According to the Arthritis Foundation, one study performed on women ages 50-75 documented that those who took an hour-long walk every morning experienced greater relief from their insomnia symptoms than those who didn’t add walking to their treatment plan. Going for a walk in the morning has been known to alter the body’s natural secretion of the sleep hormone, melatonin, increasing the onset of nocturnal melatonin in the evenings when our bodies’ circadian rhythm shifts from daytime energy to nighttime rest mode. An evening walk can reduce cortisol (the stress hormone) levels, promoting relaxation as well as elevate the body’s core temperature. About 30-90minutes after the walk, the body’s core temperature begins to fall, facilitating sleepiness.
Walking can improve mood in many ways. The sense of accomplishment a person may feel after going for a walk can improve someone’s attitude for the rest of the day. Humans are a social species, so spending time with a loved one and socializing while enjoying the nature around them can alter a person’s attitude without even realizing it. At the scientific level, exercise stimulates the body to release endorphins, also known as “feel-good hormones”, which promote feelings of happiness and relaxation to improve a person’s mood. Think of it as your body’s way of “rewarding” you for taking care of it by exercising, walking improves overall health and the body’s ability to function optimally so as a “thank you”, your body releases endorphins in the brain to make you feel happy and relaxed. The more steps you take, the more your body “thanks” you by releasing more endorphins!
Similar to the way walking increases the strength of leg muscles, it also increases the strength of the muscles surrounding the lungs that are responsible for their expansion and contraction as you breathe in and out. This increase in lung capacity and function improves their ability to circulate more oxygen and carbon dioxide in and out of the body. This also improves oxygen levels in the bloodstream to be brought to cells in the body for improved function, resulting in improved cell health, better waste elimination from the body, increased energy output, and improved natural healing function by cells in the body.
You may remember back in the Home Care, Recharged blog article Brain Power Foods, the correlation between cardiovascular health and brain health was mentioned, discussing the importance of healthy blood circulation and fueling the brain. The brain itself is mostly made of fatty tissue containing billions of neurotransmitters, cells that relay messages through the nervous system to respond to environmental stimuli, control thought, emotion, preserve memories, perform motor skills, and control every autonomic and somatic function in the body. All cells require oxygen and nutrients to function optimally, including these brain cells. There is about 400 miles worth of blood vessels and capillaries spread throughout the brain to fuel these cells, which is where walking comes in. The benefits that walking has on cardiovascular health, circulation, and lung function means that there is more oxygen and nutrients made available to these brain cells. This improves their health, function, and life expectancy, thus slowing down the rate of decline in mental functions and reducing the risk of developing age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Losing our sense of independence is often one of the biggest fears we have as we age. Our bodies begin to slow down and our physical and mental abilities begin to decline. Muscles and joints begin to stiffen and remembering simple tasks becomes harder. Daily walking for at least 30 minutes offers the body the help it needs to stay in its best shape! Muscles and joints stay stronger, mood stays better, and the brain maintains healthy cells for optimal function. As we get older, the importance of exercise increases in order to keep our bodies as healthy as possible. Walking every day offers our bodies the physical and mental benefits it needs to aid in our fight to maintain our independence and grow old gracefully and happily.
All of these benefits work to enhance life expectancy and the quality of that longer life! Research shows that daily exercise, especially walking, by people in their 50s and 60s, are 35% less likely to pass away in the next 8 years when compared to non-walkers. That percentage increases to 45% less likely in those with underlying conditions!
So now that you know, what are you waiting for? Get out there and enjoy the nature around you while you walk to a happier, healthier, and longer life! If you need assistance getting outside or if you just want a walking companion, our Home Care Providers and Nurses can be available to assist you.
Created by: Bailey
Wound care can be complex and time consuming, depending on the severity of the wound. It can be as simple as cleaning and bandaging a paper cut or as advanced as caring for skin necrosis caused by radiation therapy. Certain factors such as nutrition or medical conditions like diabetes can affect wound healing, making the process slower and putting patients at a higher risk of complications. Healing from any kind of injury or surgery at home is more cost-efficient and comfortable, but that doesn’t mean the level of care and knowledge of medical professionals is out of reach. In-home nurses and care providers are available for short- and long-term wound care to help patients optimize their healing time and reduce the risk of any potential complications.
Some common injuries/wounds that often require wound care assistance include:
Regardless of the severity of the injury and whether professional assistance is needed, there are certain factors that can affect the rate of wound healing. Education about these factors is key to ensure a patient is doing everything they can to support the body’s natural wound healing process.
There are many reasons why someone would need the support of an in-home wound care nurse. Wound care can be complex and overwhelming, having the experience and knowledge of a skilled nurse provides many advantages to patients and their families. They are there to monitor and document progress, provide education and guidance on wound care and pain management, safely change wound dressings, and address any complications or concerns that may arise during the healing process.
In-home wound care nurses offer benefits to patients and their families during the healing process by:
In-home wound care assistance is often recommended by a patient’s doctor if they feel it may be necessary. Patients can also simply call their physician for a referral if they feel they may be unable to care for themselves. Your doctor can send an order directly to Home Care, Recharged for skilled wound care nursing.
You may benefit from in-home wound care assistance if you have:
Created by: Bailey
Tripping and falling is a dangerous accident for anyone, but the risks and consequences of a fall increase greatly as we get older. Falls are the leading cause of injury and injury-related deaths in people over the age of 65. As of 2018, the fall-related death rate was 64 deaths per 100,000 older adults and increasing. Falls are one of the biggest threats that elderly adults face to their independence and ability to stay living in their home, but falls are not an inevitable part of aging! There are many ways to reduce the risk of a fall and the severity of injury in the event that a fall were to occur.
It’s important to recognize the health conditions and natural signs of aging, known as internal factors, that can increase the risk of experiencing a fall. Natural changes that occur with age like reduced vision and hearing, reduced muscle strength, and decreased bone density all tend to occur with age, and they can not only increase the risk of a fall, but also increase the severity of a fall-related injury. Health conditions that are associated with older age like Arthritis, Heart Disease, and Vertigo are conditions that can increase a person’s fall risk. Medications can also affect a person’s fall risk because certain medications or combinations of medications can cause dizziness and/or drowsiness. A person is more likely to experience a fall if they are taking four or more medications at one time or if there has been a change in their medications within the past two weeks as their body adjusts.
There are also environmental situations that impact a person’s fall risk, these are known as external factors. These external factors can be present in a person’s home, their neighborhood, and anywhere they may travel during the day.
Preventing falls from ever happening is impossible, but there are many tips and strategies that can greatly reduce the risk of a fall and the severity of injury from a fall. It is crucial to educate ourselves, our loved ones, and any staff involved in routine care about the risks and dangers that falls impose, and the importance of taking precautions to prevent them. Evaluating the conditions of an older person’s home is an important first step in working towards fall prevention. You can evaluate the home yourself, or if you can hire an expert in this topic perform an evaluation. Home Care, Recharged has Registered Nurses that are highly qualified and legally authorized to perform a home safety assessment and make suggestions to reduce fall risk.
Home Care, Recharged can provide home safety assessments and help you create a comprehensive plan to reduce the risk of falls in your, or your loved ones, home. Our professional and compassionate team is ready to help you navigate the next steps towards comfort and safety. Call us at 352-565-7155 for guidance and assistance in getting you Recharged at home!
Created by: Bailey
When you hear Home Care, you may think about an elderly person needing assistance at home. Although this is true and one of the most common reasons that a home care agency is utilized, there are other types of home care available to assist anyone in need, regardless of age or type of condition, including home-based nursing. Home Care is a broad term that includes professional and paraprofessional supportive care services. This care is beneficial to allow someone to stay in the comfort of their own home and may prevent extended hospital stays or the need to move in with a family member or move to an assisted living facility. Home Care and Home-Based Nursing can provide temporary or ongoing care.
Non-clinical care that is often provided by a Home Health Aide, under the supervision of a Registered Nurse. Services that are provided are based on the individual needs of the person receiving care and include socialization, companionship, light housekeeping, meal preparation, medication reminders, transportation, errands, pet care, help with walking and transferring, and assistance with hygiene, bathing, and toileting.
Some of the most common reasons that someone would benefit from Home Care may include:
Skilled Care that is ordered by a healthcare professional with prescribing authority, such as a Medical Doctor or Nurse Practitioner. Nursing care may include but not limited to: Disease Education, Chronic Illness Management, Medication Administration including Nebulizer, IV Therapy, IM injections, PICC Line Dressing Care, Specimen collection such as Blood or Urine, Foley Catheter Care including insertion and removal, Wound Care, Home Safety Assessment, Coordination with healthcare professionals and community resources.
Some of the most common reasons that someone would benefit from Home-Based Nursing include:
Some of the most common diagnosis that would benefit from Home Care and/or Home-Based Nursing include but are not limited to:
It is important to mention that Short Term or Temporary In-Home Care and/or Home-Based Nursing can also be beneficial for adults of any age for a wide variety of reasons, such as:
Navigating through the process of finding the right type of home care can be challenging and overwhelming. Home Care and Home-Based Nursing Care are both available at HOME CARE, RECHARGED.
Our team of Home Care Specialists are always available to discuss what in-home care solution may be right for you or your loved one. Call now to speak to one of our Home Care Specialists: (352)565-7155.
One of the hardest decisions we must make as a child, grandchild, or responsible relative to an elderly loved one is what to do when they reach the point in their life where they can no longer safely live on their own. That decision comes much sooner when your loved one suffers from some form of dementia. Dementia is the term used to categorize a group of symptoms relating to the progressive decline in a person’s mental abilities caused by a specific type of brain cell degeneration and damage. One of the most common diseases with dementia symptoms is Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease of the brain that gradually destroys memory and cognitive function. This is caused by an abnormal buildup of proteins in and around the brain cells and their connections, causing them to degenerate and eventually die at a rapid rate. Approximately 5.8 million people aged 65 and older in the United States alone are currently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and although it is considered to be a “disease of age”, Early-Onset Alzheimer’s, which affects people as young as 30 years old, makes up 6%-7% of that population. Regardless of age, this disease slowly causes the brain to atrophy, or shrink, as it destroys a person’s mental abilities.
There is a common misconception that Alzheimer’s is a deadly disease of the brain, but this is not necessarily true. The disease itself is not the cause of death for those who suffer from it until their end of life. As the disease destroys more and more brain cells, the symptoms become progressively worse. In its adolescence it noticeably affects a person’s memory and ability to concentrate or multitask. You may notice your loved one repeating questions or statements during conversation, or they lack the focus to hold a conversation all together. They begin to struggle with comprehending abstract concepts, especially numbers and mathematics. This becomes a serious issue as the disease progresses because as they lose their ability to perform mathematical functions, paying bills becomes an impossible task and they may forget that they even have bills to pay at all. As the disease matures it begins to have detrimental effects on the portion of the brain that controls cognitive abilities and fine motor skills.
At this stage it is common for your loved one to lose the ability to perform familiar tasks like:
Eventually the debilitating effects on the brain leave your loved one unable to perform any task or motor skill on their own, including feeding themselves, swallowing food or drink, and moving any body part.
When a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another progressive disease of the brain, it is usually recommended that they receive some kind care and supervision. Hiring an in-home caregiver is often the best option during the early to middle stages of these dementia related diseases. There are many incredible benefits to providing home care during these stages over admitting your loved one to some form of facility right away. During the early stages, the person suffering from Alzheimer’s, or another form of Dementia is aware that something is beginning to go wrong in their brain. It can be very frustrating and confusing, depressing, and even aggravating to your loved one as they cannot control the changes occurring. Giving them the ability to remain in the comfort and security of their home as they adjust and accept what is happening can greatly decrease the stress your loved one must endure during this already difficult time. An experienced and compassionate caregiver is usually better prepared to hold your loved one’s hand and support them through this process. In-home care providers are trained to manage the mood swings, confusion, and possible delusions that accompany the progression of the disease. In-home care can also provide relief to a family struggling to manage all the demands required to provide safety and comfort to a loved one requiring constant care and supervision.
One of the most comforting benefits of home care is the ability to provide the opportunity to continue preserved skills more often than if they were in a care facility with scheduled activity times. Preserved skills are enjoyable skills or capabilities that remain preserved as the symptoms of their disease worsens. Talents such as singing or dancing, creating art, reading, or listening to books or music, and reminiscing on great adventures in their past are common preserved skills that can provide joy and comfort to your loved one during this difficult time. The one on one, personalized care that in-home care provides allows a greater ability to do what they love, boosting morale and fighting depression, and ultimately maintaining their health and quality of life.
As Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia progress, it is not uncommon for your loved one to go through a period where they suffer from a group of symptoms referred to as “Sundowning”. During this phase your loved one can experience increased feelings of confusion, anxiety and fear, and agitation. They may become restless, paranoid, disoriented, and suffer from hallucinations. Research has shown that those suffering from Sundowning in their own home, a familiar and comforting environment, experience much milder levels of negative emotions and behaviors than those in facilities that are unfamiliar and uncomfortable to them. By including an in-home care, managing the period of Sundowning is much less stressful to you and your loved one.
The need for 24-hour care and supervision can put increased amounts of stress on a family trying to provide the best possible care for a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia. On top of physical wellbeing, quality of life and emotional health can impact the rate at which the disease progresses. A comforting environment, like your loved one’s home, can provide feelings of safety and happiness to them, and a happier brain is a healthier brain.
Home care provides the ability to offer professional and experienced care, structure and routine, safety and security, and stress relief for you, your family, and your loved one throughout these challenging times. Home care provides the benefits and abilities to offer your loved one the best quality of life possible, while also providing you with the comfort of knowing that your loved one will have the opportunity to spend their days receiving the most compassionate and experienced care available in the comfort of their own home.
Created by: Bailey
Did you know that Urinary Tract Infections, also known as UTIs, are often confused with known signs of Alzheimer’s Disease in senior adults? The confusion between this common and usually easy to treat infection and that of the currently incurable brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, has to do with some of the surprisingly shared symptoms.
Understanding the differences could help you or a loved one from a preventable hospitalization.
So, what is a UTI?
A urinary tract infection is an infection of the urinary tract. The urinary tract includes the bladder, kidneys, ureters, and urethra. These infections are usually bacterial infections; however, they can also be fungal infections. The infection may occur due to fecal bacteria entering the urethra where urine is released from the body. If the person’s immune system is weakened or stressed, the body may not be able to fight off the bacteria on its own.
Typically, when a healthy adult gets a UTI, the symptoms are easy to identify, and the infection is simple to diagnose. The most recognizable symptoms of a UTI include:
When a UTI in a healthy adult goes untreated, they also may experience fever, pain in the lower to mid back where the kidneys are located, nausea with or without vomiting, and fatigue.
As we age our immune system weakens and becomes less capable of destroying invasive bacteria before it spreads and creates an infection. These weaker immune systems may not be as capable at fighting off invasive bacteria like the immune system of someone much younger.
Did you know that senior adults are more prone to develop a UTI? This vulnerability to this type of infection is contributed to not only the expected changes to our bodies as we age, but also secondary to some health conditions that are more common in senior adults.
When an older adult develops a UTI, these common symptoms may not be present, or they may be too subtle to notice.
Senior Adults instead may experience:
While some of these symptoms are part of the aging process, it is important to recognize if there is a sudden change in their abilities and their behavior as it may be a UTI. When left untreated or improperly treated, Urinary Tract Infections carry a dangerous risk in older adults since their immune systems are weaker. They are more prone to developing kidney disease or secondary infections. Severe UTIs can become serious enough that the bacteria spreads through the body, leading to Sepsis, which can be potentially fatal.
Additional things that increase the risk of a UTI in a senior adult include but are not limited to:
Preventing future UTIs can be achieved by some easy to adapt habits:
Oftentimes it can be embarrassing for your loved one to discuss their personal habits and changes to their body with you or they may not experience any urinary symptoms, so it is important to be aware of and recognize the symptoms of a UTI in senior adults.
If you believe that a UTI may be present, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
To learn more about In-Home Care Solutions, such as Home Care and Home-Based Nursing, call HOME CARE, RECHARGED at 352-565-7155 to speak with a knowledgeable
Home Care Specialist. You may also request to schedule a Free In-Home Consult.
As we get older it seems like those little “oops, I forgot” moments start to occur a little more frequently than they used to. Often, we laugh it off and move on like it’s no big deal, but unfortunately, without understanding why these moments are happening and how to deal with the underlying cause, these little moments have the potential to progress into much more serious issues. As we age, our body needs more help to perform its normal functions since it cannot keep up on its own. Decades of exposure to environmental stresses, dietary and lifestyle choices, simple aging, and other factors can take their toll on our bodies. The toll on our bodies becomes much more noticeable and prevalent with time, and most commonly directs most of its damage onto our most precious organ, the brain.
Thankfully scientific research of age-related diseases, particularly the brain, has been able to determine certain factors that increase a person’s risk of developing these as well as discovered many natural sources of nutrients that can help lower a person’s risk and help slow the progression in older adults diagnosed with one of these dementia-causing diseases. There are many foods and supplements that are known to boost memory and brain health in adults. It seems like as we get older, doctors are always telling us to eat a diet that is “heart-healthy” to lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases, but that low sodium and low saturated fat diet is also beneficial to your brain’s health. The brain is filled with blood vessels to nourish brain cells, so a healthy vascular system is good for your brain too! On top of eating a “heart-healthy” diet, there are specific foods that are filled with antioxidants and proteins that are vital to brain function, seven of which are easy to obtain and pretty tasty too.
Eating a brain-boosting diet is much easier and more enjoyable than people tend to think. Some small changes like decreasing your consumption of red meats, sodium, sugar, and saturated fats; along with increasing your consumption of fish, poultry, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables can help improve your memory, mood, and cognitive function, as well as decrease your risk of developing a neurodegenerative disease. It’s never too early to start taking extra care of your body, and a well-nourished, happy brain is a healthy brain!
Sometimes it can be difficult to consider hiring an at home caregiver for an aging family member. It can be hard to accept that they are getting to a point in life where they cannot be as self-sufficient as they were a few years ago. The thought of trusting someone else to care for your parents with as much love and compassion as you would is often a very challenging task to achieve. As adults with our own daily responsibilities, it is usually very difficult to be present enough to provide the level of care and supervision required to ensure your loved one’s safety and happiness every day. Accepting all of these concerns as they present themselves in your life is easier said than done, but it is absolutely crucial to welcome these concerns and plan accordingly. Home care provides the care and companionship you want for your mom or dad, and lifts the stress of worrying about them every day off your shoulders. But what are the warning signs that it may be time to hire at-home help for your loved one? The “silly” mistakes or forgotten responsibilities could be signs of a much more serious issue than simply experiencing a moment of error.
Some of the most obvious signs that a loved one could be needing more help at home are simple but uncharacteristic changes in their life. Some of the most common signs are spoiled food left in the fridge for extended periods of time or mail that has been sitting on the counter unopened for weeks. Bank notices of bounced checks or overdue bills and late payments and missing important or regular appointments are also very common. If you go over to your parents’ home and notice piles of dirty laundry or clutter building up around the house, it is more than likely that they can no longer keep up with basic household chores and responsibilities the way they used to. Unfortunately, it is also a common occurrence to see unexplained dents and scratches on mom or dad’s car and for them to be unable to explain where they came from or even remember driving the car anywhere.
Oftentimes, as a person ages, their personal hygiene begins to decline and the thought of taking care of one’s physical needs becomes less urgent. You may notice your mom isn’t keeping up with her usual haircut or styling it every day the way she used to. Dad may have strong body odor, dirty fingernails or feet, and unexplainable bruises and scrapes on his body from not bathing every day and not making the conscious effort to be careful around the house. Drastic changes in weight are also a sign that your loved one may need someone with them consistently to help. Drastic weight loss could be a sign that they are simply not eating enough, whether it be a lack of available food, the inability to cook for themselves, or simply forgetting to eat, it is vital for an elderly person to maintain a healthy diet in order to support their immune system and basic body functions. On the other end of the spectrum, rapid and extreme weight gain or obesity can be just as dangerous to an elderly person. Excess weight can lead to diabetes, congestive heart failure, and many other illnesses. The weight can also put strenuous pressure on the body’s joints, which typically become more frail with age already. Arthritis is much more severe in overweight people and combining that with the typical effects of aging on the body can put your loved one at higher risk of a serious injury or fall. If you notice that your loved one has put on an excessive amount of weight, it is important to recognize this as a sign that they may need more help and supervision every day. This can be a very sensitive subject to discuss with your aging parents, which is totally understandable. No one wants to be told that they have put on weight, or be made to feel like they are not responsible enough to care for themselves. As difficult as this conversation may be to have, it is crucial to explain the dangers and risks to their health in a way that does not come off as offensive, but instead from a place of care and love. One of the most urgent and alarming signs that a loved one requires daily assistance is an injury resulting from a fall or other dangerous situation that occured in the home, especially if they live alone. This is a very serious problem that must be remedied as soon as possible for the safety of your family member. If grandma or grandpa falls somewhere in their home and cannot get up on their own or get to a phone to call for help, the potential result of this situation is devastating to even think about.
Ultimately, it is very important to be aware of your loved one’s typical daily routine and way of living, and to be able to recognize uncharacteristic changes in these habits and behaviors. As difficult as it may be to accept that they are reaching an age where independence could place them in a situation where they are at risk of serious injury or another age-related issue, it is crucial to consider their quality of life and well-being over anything else. Home care can offer cost efficient help to your loved one without the stress and anxiety of completely uprooting their life by moving them into some kind of care facility where they are more likely to feel uncomfortable or scared for their remaining time in this life. We all want peace and comfort for those we love, and thanks to the assistance offered from home care providers, it is simpler than ever to cater to the needs of our loved ones without adding any stress or negative situations to their lives.