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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

Approaching a Senior Upset by Sundowners

Home Care Services Gresham TX - Approaching a Senior Upset by Sundowners

Sundowning can be a very difficult element of your parents progression with Alzheimer’s disease. Generally it occurs in the moderate stage of Alzheimer’s disease and then disappears during the later stage. Sundowning impacts approximately 20% of those living with Alzheimer’s.

Those who experience sundowning are upset and disoriented by the setting of the sun. As the end of the day approaches, they begin to feel anxious, confused, disoriented, and often upset. Not only can this be very difficult for your senior, it can also be potentially dangerous. Knowing how to approach an elderly adult with sundowning who is awake and upset can be critical to keeping you both safe, and managing the condition effectively.

Use these tips to help you approach a senior awake and upset by their sundowning:

  • Stay very calm when approaching your parent. Seniors with alzheimer’s disease often react strongly to the verbal and non-verbal cues of those around them. This means if you look or sound upset, angry, or frustrated, they are likely to get more anxious and even lash out.
  • Evaluate them to determine if they have any personal needs at that particular moment. These needs can include hunger, thirst, the need to use the restroom, or pain. If you identify a need, do your best to fulfill it effectively.
  • Be gentle with your senior, and carefully remind them of the time of day, and that they should be calming down and resting.
  • Be supportive and encouraging. Reassure them that they are safe and that everything is alright.
  • Avoid restraining them. Pacing can be soothing to those dealing with sundowning, so allow them to do so with your careful supervision.

It is easy to feel overwhelmed when you are a family caregiver for a senior with Alzheimer’s disease. If your aging parent is dealing with this disease, or they have progressed farther in it and their needs and challenges are now more than you feel you can handle effectively on your own, consider starting home care services for them.

A home care services provider can be a valuable addition to your care routine. Through a set of highly personalized services, this home care services provider can understand your parents challenges and needs, meet them in ways that are right for your parents, and also prepare them for the next stage of their progression.

Those living with Alzheimer’s disease progress through the disease at a pace that is personal to them. This means you cannot predict when your parent will progress further, or the types of challenges and symptoms they will develop. Having home care services as an element of your care routine can mean greater confidence and peace of mind for both your senior and you.

Source:  https://www.alz.org/care/alzheimers-dementia-sleep-issues-sundowning.asp

If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home 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

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

What Might Your Senior Need in Order to Manage a COPD Flare?

Elderly Care Chandler TX - What Might Your Senior Need in Order to Manage a COPD Flare?

While COPD is troubling enough on its own, flares can crop up with very little notice at all. Being able to respond quickly with a plan you and her doctor have put in place can help your elderly loved one to recover quickly from a COPD flare. Double check your existing plan to make sure that you’ve got all of your bases covered.

A Rescue Inhaler

Your senior may have an inhaler that she uses every single day as well as another one, often called a rescue inhaler. The rescue inhaler is one that your elderly family member uses to help her open up her airways when they’ve become too constricted for her to be able to breathe easily. While other inhalers may work for longer periods of time, they’re also slower. These medications are formulated to work quickly.

Oral Medications

Your senior’s doctor may also prescribe oral medications after she experiences a flare. These are typically corticosteroids. They work to keep your elderly family member’s airways as open as possible after the flare so that she can continue to breathe. If there is a lot of inflammation in her lungs, your senior may find that she’s taking oral steroids for longer periods of time.

Oxygen Therapy

Supplemental oxygen is something that might become necessary for your elderly family member in the later stages of COPD. It can also help if she becomes extremely panicked when she’s unable to breathe easily. Oxygen therapy may feel complicated to operate at first, but as you and your elderly family member become more accustomed to the equipment, it’s easier to manage.

Treatment in a Hospital Setting

If the situation is severe, your elderly family member may need to go to the hospital. At the hospital, they may need to give her intravenous medications or other therapies in order to help her to breathe. She may also get other medications, such as preventative antibiotics to help prevent pneumonia or other lung infections from taking hold. If your elderly family member is very lucky, she may not need to be admitted to the hospital in order to continue treatments.

It’s really important that both you and your senior understand the treatment plan recommended by your elderly family member’s doctor. Having elderly care providers available can help you to follow that plan closely, especially when you’re still getting used to oxygen tanks, inhalers and other equipment you might need.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elderly Care 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

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

What Happens When Your Mom’s Gallbladder is Infected?

Elder Care Lindale TX - What Happens When Your Mom's Gallbladder is Infected?

Cholecystitis is a condition in which the gallbladder becomes inflamed. It’s typically caused by gallstones. If your mom’s gallbladder becomes infected, she needs medical treatment as quickly as possible.

Some people never experience symptoms. It’s believed that the stones at this point are still small. As they increase in size, they can cause a blockage. If your mom has pain in the center of her abdomen that may spread through the back to the right shoulder, seek medical care. She might also have a fever, nausea, and vomiting. Left untreated, the gallbladder may rupture.

What the Gallbladder is

The gallbladder is a small pouch that sits below the liver. It holds bile that is released from the liver into the small intestine. In the small intestine, the bile aids digestion by breaking down fats. When the gallbladder isn’t working effectively, the flow of bile slows and can crystallize to form gallstones. Women and overweight people are more likely to develop gallstones.

Tests She’ll Undergo

At a medical office or in the ER, some of your mom’s blood will be drawn to see if she has an infection. A CT scan will be used to see if there are gallstones or inflammation. The doctor may also run a test that checks the production of bile in the gallbladder and flow into the liver and small intestines to see if there is a blockage.

What Happens Next

Depending on the test results, your mom may be prescribed antibiotics to battle any infection. Pain medications will also be used to help ease severe pain. After that, a procedure to remove gallstones may be necessary. In some cases, the entire gallbladder will need to be removed.

When a gallbladder removal is needed, the surgery has become much simpler in the past ten or so years using laparoscopic cholecystectomy. A small incision is made and with the help of small scopes, the gallbladder is removed from the liver and removed through the incision. Per Arizona Digestive Health, many patients are able to go home the same day.

After a gallbladder removal, your mom should take it easy for a week. Look at elder care services to make it easier for her to recover. Elder care aides can help her with laundry, light housework, dishes, and meals. A caregiver can also drive her to follow-up appointments. Call our elder care agency to discuss her upcoming surgery and services she’ll need as she recovers.

Sources:  http://www.arizonadigestivehealth.com/health-topics/gallstones/

If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elder Care 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

Why Is Hearing Loss Such an Important Concern?

Home Care in Tyler TX: Why is Hearing Loss Such an Important Concern?

Losing her hearing can be frustrating for your aging adult, but it’s a concern for other reasons, too. Talk with your elderly family member’s doctor about how hearing loss could impact her now and in the future.

It’s Inconvenient, but There’s More

Hearing loss is definitely inconvenient for your aging adult. She might miss out on conversations or have trouble keeping up with her favorite activities. But it can also be a safety hazard. If your senior can’t hear alerts, alarms, or other indications of trouble, she might not realize what’s going on. There are ways around this, but adapting to using those types of tools after decades of relying on her hearing can be difficult.

There’s Also an Emotional Component

Besides the average issues, your senior might start to feel left out of conversations or activities with friends and family. That can lead to anger, depression, and even to withdrawal from everything. Your senior may be grieving the loss of her hearing just as she might grieve the loss of a dear friend. Her hearing has always been with her in some form and to lose it is painful.

It Might Affect Cognitive Abilities

Hearing appears to be a big part of cognition in a variety of studies. In multiple cases, researchers found that people experiencing hearing loss also scored lower on cognitive tests. Much of this seems to be connected with the brain trying to accommodate the lack of auditory input to help it solve some problems and complete some tasks. Hearing aids can help, but only if your elderly family member’s hearing loss is such that these devices are able to help her to hear.

Some People Experience Mobility Problems

The inner ear is highly involved in maintaining balance as your senior walks and stands. If her hearing is damaged, your elderly family member’s inner ear may not be receiving the data it needs to help translate proper balance information to the brain. This can lead to significant trouble with balance and mobility for your aging adult, even if she’s never had trouble with those issues in the past.

Talk with your elderly family member’s doctor about how her hearing loss is affecting the rest of her life. Once you have a plan, you can work with your aging adult to set her up for success. Home care providers can help you to make accommodations that make life easier for your senior, even with hearing loss.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering home care in Tyler 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