Category Archives: Personal Care Tips

What Does it Mean to Be Part of the “Invisible Workforce”?

Elder Care Gresham TX - What Does it Mean to Be Part of the "Invisible Workforce"?

When you’re a family caregiver, that’s likely only one of your titles. You might also be so many other things to so many other people. The problem is that some of your most important work is also some of what most people don’t recognize as much as they do your other accomplishments.

What Is the Invisible Workforce?

The term “invisible workforce” is a reference to people who put in full-time hours and effort, but usually aren’t recognized for that work. If you’re a caregiver, then you’re likely a member of the invisible workforce. On top of that, you likely have other responsibilities, including an actual full-time job that demands a lot of your time and your attention.

Caregiving Is a Full-time Job

You may not think about it like this, but caregiving really is a full-time job. You’re on call as well, which can lead to additional stress. The hours that you put into caregiving are likely to be hours that you would normally use to rest or to do other things for yourself and for others in your life. Now you’re spending that time in a very different way.

You Can’t Do This Without Some Support

Everyone likes to think that they can handle complicated situations like caregiving on their own. While you can do quite a bit on your own, you do still need support here and there. One of the best ways to get the support you need is to hire elder care providers. They’re experienced in all the ways that caregivers and care recipients need assistance. They can lighten the task load of caregiving so that you can get way more accomplished.

You’re Looking for a Balance

What you’re ultimately trying to do is to create a balance for yourself. This balance is going to mean that you’re caring for your elderly family member, for yourself, and for your other responsibilities without stressing yourself out or putting your own health at risk. Balance looks slightly different for everyone, so you’ll need to find your way with it. When you start to feel as if you’ve landed on a system that works, you are on your way.

Working to achieve a balance between caregiving and the rest of your responsibilities can go a long way toward helping you to feel less invisible. Maintaining a balance is a lot easier than finding it, so you’re doing the difficult work first so that you can enjoy that labor down the line.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elder Care Services in Gresham TX to help with errands, appointments, light laundry, companionship or any other reason, call the caring staff at Home Aid Caregivers today.  (903) 533-1300

Tips for Dealing with Criticisms During Your Caregiver Journey

Caregiver Chandler TX - Tips for Dealing with Criticisms During Your Caregiver Journey

Being a family caregiver for an elderly adult can be one of the most challenging experiences you face in your life. When you feel as though you are not getting support from those around you, and are receiving criticisms from those watching your care efforts, it can be even more difficult. Often family caregivers for aging adults are criticized for their care efforts by other members of their family, such as their siblings, or the siblings of their aging parent.

These criticisms can be very stressful, and have a negative impact on emotional health, as well as your ability at to care for your senior effectively. Coping with these criticisms effectively is essential to not only maintaining your own well-being throughout your efforts, but also protecting your relationship with your parent, and making sure you are giving them the highest quality of care possible.

Use these tips to deal with criticism during your caregiver journey:

Consider whether it is really criticism. Family members and friends may truly want to help, and offer what they think is guidance and advise, but that you perceive as criticism. Really evaluate what has been said to you, and who said it, and determine if it was given in a negative spirit. While unsolicited advice and interference may it be aggravating and frustrating for you as a caregiver, it has less of a negative impact than blatant criticism.

Confront it. Particularly with subtle forms of criticism, the criticizer may not actually want for you to respond to them, or to even acknowledge it. Confronting them about it, and expressing your distaste and the fact that you do not need their input makes it clear you know what’s happening, and that you do not want it to continue. If it does, it is grounds for more strategic moves, such as not associating with them, or limiting their contact.

Collaborate. Suggest to the person that they should be more involved. If they have so many suggestions, or disagree so strongly with your choices, they should step in and modify the care approach. Give them the opportunity to be actively involved and manage some of your parent’s care. They may quickly find their criticisms are ungrounded, and their recommendations for how to handle things are impractical. If they don’t, you have found help to reduce your stress.

There may come a time in your caregiver journey when you are unable to give your parent the care they need for a set period of time. Whether this is a few hours or a few days, you may worry about your senior not having this support and assistance. Fortunately, respite care can be there for you.

A respite home care provider can step in when there is an urgent or temporary need for care so your parent does not go without the care they need when you are unable to be with them. This can be because you become ill and do not want to spread your germs to your parent, you must be with your children for an event, or you simply need some time away from your care efforts. You can feel confident this in-home senior care provider will follow your senior’s schedule as closely as possible, and help your loved one stay safe, healthy, and comfortable until you return.

Source:  https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/caregivers/expert-answers/caregiving-guilt/faq-20396864

If you or an aging loved-one are considering Caregiver Services in Chandler TX to help with errands, appointments, light laundry, companionship or any other reason, call the caring staff at Home Aid Caregivers today.  (903) 533-1300

Four Signs Your Senior Might Not Be Doing as Well as You Thought

Home Care Services Whitehouse TX - Four Signs Your Senior Might Not Be Doing as Well as You Thought

When you’re a caregiver, you have to use a variety of different bits of information to determine when you need to step in and offer more help. Some of the pieces of information that you might be digging for can be pretty subtle, too. Your senior’s appearance can offer many of these clues for you to interpret.

Her Overall Appearance Is Different

If you can’t visit with your aging adult as often as you might like, video conferencing can be the next best thing. It allows you to see your elderly family member instead of just talking to her over the phone. During video calls, you might notice that your elderly family member just doesn’t look right. You might not be able to put your finger on it completely, but having a visual on the situation can be an important way to get more information.

She’s Gained or Lost Weight

Losing or gaining weight can be a sign that something else is going on with your elderly family member. Some of the situations that can cause changes in weight are emotional and mental, such as depression, but others involve existing health issues. Medications, for instance, that help your elderly family member with chronic health issues can have long-range effects.

She Seems Frailer Than She Was

If your elderly family member is looking as if she’s a little more fragile than usual, there could be a reason. Watch how she gets up from a seated position and pay attention to how she feels when you hug her, if you’re able to do so in person. If you’re not able to see her in person and hug her, then watching for stability issues and other difficulties is an important way to gauge frailty.

She’s Putting off Seeing You in Person

Sometimes the biggest sign that there’s something wrong is that you can’t get any sort of understanding of what is going on. This might be most obvious if you’re trying to visit with your senior and she’s making excuses to avoid seeing you. There are definitely times that you might want to visit that aren’t necessarily convenient, but when you can’t seem to find any time to meet up with your elderly family member, that is something to delve deeper into.

Home Care Services providers can help you to keep track of all of these types of issues. Even if you can’t be there with her in person as often as you would like, they can check in on her and make sure that she’s got her needs met.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Care Services in Whitehouse TX to help with errands, appointments, light laundry, companionship or any other reason, call the caring staff at Home Aid Caregivers today.  (903) 533-1300

National Eye Exam Month and Your Aging Loved One

Because August is National Eye Exam Month, many family caregivers are focusing on the importantance of their aging loved one’s eye health. Seniors over the age of 65 are most likely to develop significant vision loss and serious eye diseases that can affect sight. From partial vision loss to total blindness, aging adults with eye issues will need to rearrange their situation to stay as self-reliant as possible. Homecare providers can be an effective solution for seniors who may struggle with vision challenges.

Common Eye Issues in Aging Adults

Millions of aging adults suffer from partial to full blindness due to a range of eye diseases that develop with few initial symptoms. Much of the time, symptoms can only be detected via a professional exam. While treatment can slow down or even halt progression for some conditions, many seniors still spend their later years with vision impediments.

The most common eye diseases that affect seniors include:

Dry eye: Where the tear glands and ducts can’t create the moisture needed to lubricate the eyes.

Cataracts: Where the eye lens becomes clouded, obstructing vision.

Glaucoma: Where pressure on the optic nerve, caused by fluid buildup, causes partial to full blindness if not managed properly.

Diabetic retinopathy: Where the blood vessels in the eye become permanently damaged due to fluctuating blood sugar.

Age-related macular degeneration: Where retinal damage affects the central vision, causing partial to full blindness.

Any of these eye conditions and diseases require an elderly adult’s lifestyle to change so that they can remain safe and healthy. Regular eye exams can slow down or possibly prevent further decline in their vision.

Helping Aging Loved Ones Adapt to Vision Problems

Helping an aging loved one with vision-related lifestyle changes is critical to their safety and quality of life. One of the best ways is to hire a homecare provider who can provide support, companionship and professional expertise. The homecare provider can assist the senior with adaptive living techniques, mobility, assistive devices and advice.

Even if an elderly adult still has partial vision, a homecare provider can be extremely helpful. They can make sure the home is well-lit and that obstacles that might cause a slip and fall are eliminated. Homecare providers can assist with organizing household items and setting up consistent locations for things so that the senior will be able to function as well as possible in the house. Homecare providers can also work with the elderly to use assistive devices for vision loss like magnifiers, lights, electronic devices, audio products, and reduced glare options for screens.

It’s important for family caregivers to remember that even though their aging loved one has vision impairment, they should still be encouraged to be as self-reliant as possible. A professional homecare provider will work with partially or fully blind seniors so they can stay as independent as possible.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering Homecare Services in Lindale TX to help with errands, appointments, light laundry, companionship or any other reason, call the caring staff at Home Aid Caregivers today.  (903) 533-1300

5 Steps to Lengthen Your Parent’s Life

Statistics show that the average American can expect to live to be around 80 years of age. That’s not a bad age to aspire to, but what if your aging parent could add years to their life? A new study shows that by doing just five things, it’s possible for a person to lengthen their life. And, it’s not just an extra year or two. People who follow five steps could add a whole decade.

Researchers say the information gained from the study is important because it shows the impact that diet and exercise can have on overall health. What’s more, the steps are not complicated and can be accomplished by anyone with some determination, work, and a little support from the people around them. Truthfully, the five steps aren’t revolutionary. You’ve likely heard them before, but since research shows that only about 8 percent of Americans stick to all five steps, they bear repeating.

The five steps that could lengthen your parent’s life are:

Don’t Smoke

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that “cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.” People who smoke are two to four times more likely to develop heart disease or suffer a stroke than non-smokers. They are also 25 times more likely to get lung cancer. The good news is that when a person quits smoking, their risk of heart disease drops by half in just one year. In 10 years, they have a 50% lower risk of dying from lung cancer.

If your parent smokes, a home care provider can help them to quit by encouraging them, reminding them to use strategies and medicines recommended by the doctor, and distracting them when the urge to smoke strikes.

Eat a Healthy Diet

According to the researchers, a healthy diet includes vegetables, fruit, whole grains, beans, fish, good fats, and poultry. Red meats, sugar, and sodium are eaten in small amounts.

A home care provider can cook healthy meals for your parent that follow all of these suggestions. They can even offer companionship during a meal and clean up afterward.

Exercise Regularly

The researchers said that extending a life required only 30 minutes of exercise per day, such as a brisk walk. There was no need to join gym or buy expensive equipment.

A home care provider can go for walks with your parent, offering them a steadying fall to make sure they don’t fall. Or, they can drive the senior to a group exercise class.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

By following a healthy diet and exercising, your parent will likely lose weight. If you’re unsure of what a healthy weight for them would be, ask their doctor.

A home care provider can assist with weight loss by encouraging your parent and celebrating their successes with them. It can be helpful to track what they eat, when they exercise, and weight lost since seeing results can inspire the senior to keep going.

Drink Alcohol Only in Moderation

According to the Mayo Clinic, drinking in moderation can reduce the risks of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. They say that moderate drinking means no more than two drinks per day for men and one for women.

Sources:  https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/news/20180430/take-these-5-steps-to-live-10-extra-years#1

https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/effects_cig_smoking/index.htm

https://smokefree.gov/quitting-smoking/reasons-quit

If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Care Services in Chapel Hill TX to help with errands, appointments, light laundry, companionship or any other reason, call the caring staff at Home Aid Caregivers today.  (903) 533-1300

What You and Your Elder Need to Know about Dry Eye

Elder Care Noonday TX - What You and Your Elder Need to Know about Dry Eye

You may have seen commercials about dry eye or talked to other people who are experiencing dry eye, but you may not realize just how common it is. In fact, many people who battle dry eye don’t realize that’s what is causing them problems.

Here’s what you need to know.

Dry Eyes Are Common

Most people tend to think of eyes as fairly static parts of the body, but they do change, especially because of age. Some people’s eyes simply don’t make enough tears. This condition can pop up at any age. Older adults are more likely to experience dry eyes because their eyes stop producing tears as much or because of medications that they take. Your elderly family member may also be more sensitive to environmental changes.

You Might not Realize Your Eyes Are Dry

Your elderly family member might not realize that what she’s dealing with is dry eyes. She may describe pain or irritation in her eyes rather than dryness. Some people experience what feels like a scratchy sensation, as if there’s something between the eyelid and the eye itself. If your elderly family member mentions anything that feels different about her eyes, it’s worth investigating further.

Treating Dry Eye Is Easier than You Think

While dry eye is incredibly irritating, it can be easier to treat than your senior might think. One of the easiest treatments could involve eye drops. Some might be used at night while your senior sleeps. Another option is to determine whether medication side effects are to blame. In those cases, altering dosage or switching medications can help. Also, some people find that changes to their diet that include more omega-3 fatty acids can help.

Schedule Regular Eye Appointments

The best defense against lasting damage from dry eye is regular eye appointments. If it’s been a while since your aging family member’s last eye appointment, it’s time to make a new one. Make sure that you address any concerns your elder family member has mentioned about any new symptoms with her eyes. Between a physical exam and an evaluation of her medical history, your senior’s eye doctor can help to narrow down a cause.

Helping your elder family member to deal with dry eye can ensure that she’s covering all angles of the situation. You may even want to consider hiring elder care providers to give her even more help when you can’t be there.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elder Care Services in Noonday TX to help with errands, appointments, light laundry, companionship or any other reason, call the caring staff at Home Aid Caregivers today.  (903) 533-1300

Steps to Take Before You Leave for a Vacation Without Your Senior

Homecare Flint TX - Steps to Take Before You Leave for a Vacation Without Your Senior

It can be fun, exciting, and beneficial to travel with your aging loved one, but this is not always possible. You may be planning a vacation just with your partner, just with your children, or to a destination your parents cannot or do not want to visit.

Being a caregiver does not mean having to give up things in your life that do not involve your parents, and sometimes taking a break from your caregiver efforts can be exactly what you need to ease your stress, boost your mental and emotional health, and come back refocused and refreshed. If you are planning on a vacation without your senior, however, it is extremely important that you plan ahead and make sure the proper preparations are in place to ensure your parents stays safe and healthy while you are away.

Some steps to take before you leave for a vacation without your senior include:

  • Alert all members of the care team that you will be gone, and include the dates of your trip. This will let them know that your parent may need further assistance and support during this time.
  • Make sure that your aging parent’s home is stocked with items they’ll need during your trip, including healthy food, any prescription they need to take, over-the-counter medications they use, housekeeping supplies, toiletries, and others.
  • If your parent has a neighbor you know and trust, tell them about your vacation and ask if they can keep an eye out on your parents and their home. Ask that they let you know if they notice anything suspicious, or are concerned.
  • Look into homecare. Homecare steps in when you need time off from your care efforts. Whether it is just for a few hours or for several days, this type of care seeks to fill care gaps on an urgent or temporary basis, and maintain as much of your parents schedule and routine as possible.
  • Create notes and lists for the homecare provider that can help them to maintain your parents schedule and routine as much as they can. These notes can include things such as any allergies or other difficulties your parent might have, their preferences for food, entertainment, or other things, and a schedule or list of routines for the day.

Homecare can be a fantastic way to enhance your aging parent’s quality of life as they age in place. A homecare services provider can be with your parent on a customized schedule to ensure they have continued access to the level of care, assistance, and support that is right for them. These care services are specifically designed for your aging parent as an individual.

This means they will keep your parent’s needs, challenges, preferences, personality, and goals in mind so they can pursue a lifestyle that is independent, active, and fulfilling while staying healthy and safe. Services can include safe and reliable transportation, assistance with errands such as grocery shopping, help with housekeeping tasks, personal care and activities of daily living support, meal preparation, medication reminders, companionship, and more.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering Homecare Services in Flint TX to help with errands, appointments, light laundry, companionship or any other reason, call the caring staff at Home Aid Caregivers today.  (903) 533-1300

How to Help a Senior Pick the Right Dog

Senior Care Whitehouse TX - How to Help a Senior Pick the Right Dog

Dogs make great companions. They dish out unconditional love and they’re great listeners. Their warm brown eyes, twitching noses, and wiggly tails are absolutely smile inducing. More than that, there are real health benefits to owning a dog. Research has shown that pet ownership can lower blood pressure levels. They can also keep seniors more active. In addition, people with pets who have had heart attacks live longer than those who do not have pets.

So, with all those benefits, perhaps you’re considering helping your aging adult family member to adopt a pet. April is a good month to do that because it’s National Pet Month. Many shelters and rescue organizations are holding special events or offering lower adoption fees in celebration.

Does Breed Matter?

Well, yes and no. It doesn’t matter if the dog is purebred or mixed when it comes to the health benefits or love they give. However, the breed or breeds of the dog can matter in terms of what matches the older adult’s lifestyle. The breed of a dog plays a role in how active the dog is and what kind of grooming they need. For example, an active dog bred for hunting might not be a great choice for a senior who can’t keep up. Or, a dog with long hair that will require professional grooming might be a financial strain for an older adult on a fixed income.

Puppy or Adult?

There’s no denying the cuteness factor of a puppy, but an older dog might work better for a senior. Puppies require a lot of care. They have to go outside a lot while they are still training. They are also more likely to chew on inappropriate items and have a lot more energy. An adult dog is usually housetrained, and they often know some basic commands. In addition, their personality is already formed, so the senior will know exactly what they are getting.

Other Considerations

There are, of course, other things to consider when a senior is thinking about adopting a pet. For one thing, adopting a pet should be for life. You’ll need to consider what will happen to the pet if the senior should pass away or have to move to a long-term care facility. Make sure there is someone willing to take the dog in.

Also, dogs require care, no matter what age or breed they are. Someone needs to feed and water them, take them outside, and take them to the vet. However, an older adult’s limited abilities don’t have to prevent them from having a dog. A professional senior care provider can assist with basic care, like feeding and watering. A senior care aide can also drive the senior and their dog to the vet’s office for check-ups, shots, and other care. Professional caregivers can even assist the older adult to go for a walk with the dog, ensuring both the pet and the senior get some exercise.

Sources:  http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/choosing_dog.html

https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-choose-the-right-dog-1117320

https://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/features/health-benefits-of-pets#1

If you or an aging loved-one are considering Senior Care Services in Whitehouse TX to help with errands, appointments, light laundry, companionship or any other reason, call the caring staff at Home Aid Caregivers today.  (903) 533-1300

Why Family Members Need to Hire In-Home Caregivers

Caregiver Bullard TX - Why Family Members Need to Hire In-Home Caregivers

When your aging mom or dad can no longer take care of their daily needs, you have some big decisions to make. Of course, you want to make sure they are healthy and safe, but the demands on your own life prohibit you from being there for them all the time. Before you start looking at long-term care facilities, consider a caregiver from an agency. You’ll be able to find a caregiver that can help your aging parent stay at home without worry or fear.

Who Needs an In-Home Caregiver?

Because of illness, injury, surgery or simple old age, many seniors reach the point where they struggle to compete the daily tasks of living that are necessary to maintain independence. When elderly adults struggle with things like showering, dressing, cleaning, cooking and driving, they need help. Of course, family members are the first choice, but it can also make sense to hire a trained and experienced in-home caregiver.

The best part about in-home caregivers is that the level of service is flexible. If your aging parent can handle some tasks but not others, the senior care assistant only needs to come a few days a week. If your elderly relative requires more care, you can arrange for companionship around the clock. There’s no better way to make sure your loved one is safe and healthy than by hiring an in-home caregiver.

Finding the Best In-Home Assistants

It’s not easy to hire a stranger to care for your loved one, but with the right process, you’ll be able to find someone that works out for everyone. The most important first step is to find agencies that are compliant with your state’s laws and regulations regarding home care. Then, you’ll need to check that the agency employs people that have passed an extensive background check and drug screening. The best caregivers are properly trained in everything from CPR to dealing with dementia.

Of course, you need to outline what services you need from the in-home elderly care assistant. Most people want the aide to perform a range of tasks such as light housekeeping, hygiene and personal care, laundry, meal planning and preparation, running errands, driving to appointments, medication reminders and companionship. You should also check with the agency about their process for dealing with any emergencies that might arise.

Benefits of an In-Home Elderly Care Assistant

Seniors that can no longer live independently will benefit from an in-home caregiver in many ways. Of course, they can continue to live in their own home and in their own community instead of moving to a long-term care facility. Seniors also get their physical needs taken care of without the struggle and safety issues they would face if living on their own. Seniors are also at risk for many problems, from slip and fall accidents to depression. A senior care assistant can help alleviate many of these kinds of issues.

Finally, family caregivers can benefit by knowing their loved one is in good hands. They don’t have to feel the guilt of not being there and they can take care of other areas in their life. There’s really no downside to hiring a caregiver to help an elderly relative, so if family members are interested, they should start the search today.

Source:  https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/home-care/info-2018/hiring-caregiver.html

If you or an aging loved-one are considering Caregiver Services in Bullard TX to help with errands, appointments, light laundry, companionship or any other reason, call the caring staff at Home Aid Caregivers today.  (903) 533-1300