November 15, 2018

Senior Health: Understanding the Holiday Blues

Filed under: Seniors Health — Tags: , , , , — seniorlivingguide @ 12:06 pm

By: Darleen Mahoney

Oh, the holidays! The season where everything is jolly, trees are twinkling, children’s eyes are glistening, and tables are surrounded by family’s laughter and love. This is not necessarily the case for everyone, especially for seniors. As seniors age, they may no longer feel like celebrating the holidays anymore. For them the holidays may take on a different meaning and can make them sad, depressed or feel anxious. A few key seniors health during the holidaysindicators of (SAD) Seasonal Affective Disorder, may be unusual fatigue or sadness or little interest in the holiday season in general.

There may be different triggers that may cause these feelings of melancholy over the holidays. Digging deep into the heart of the matter with a frank conversation will help you to make sure that your loved one has a more joyous holiday season.

Seniors may reflect on holidays past, struggling to find the joys in the present. It’s okay to treasure those old memories and keep them in a special place in their heart. Its also okay to enjoy the present holiday and find joy in making new memories.

The death of a loved one during the holidays can also be a trigger. Even if the loss occurred many years ago, it brings up memories of the loss itself bringing on feelings of grief and emptiness. There may be guilt if they are having a good time.

Take the time to talk through how your loved one is feeling and let them know that their feelings are normal. Everyone grieves in their own way. Ask them what their wishes are to help them handle it as you acknowledge their feelings together.

Here’s a few ideas:

  • Light a candle in memorial
  • Place the person’s picture in a special place
  • Family dinner where everyone shares a special memory

Stress is another factor that can cause depression and/or anxiety among seniors. Pressure from family and friends to attend holiday celebrations the same way or differently than in the past. Keeping a senior occupied with the festivities of the season may very well be therapeutic, but nothing can ruin a holiday occasion faster than having so much to do that that you can’t enjoy the holiday. The idea of baking, decorating, shopping and all the traditions that are enjoyable may become overwhelming if overscheduled. Prioritize what is important and be realistic. Focus on what you and your loved ones need rather than what others expect of you.

Financial pressures can also cause depression for seniors on limited budgets. Not only are they purchasing gifts, but additional holidays meals and their heating expenses tend to increase. This season is an overall expensive time of year.  Reminding your loved one that it truly is the thought that counts when it comes to gift giving and here are a few suggestions:

  • Baked Goods
  • Drawing Names
  • Handmade Gifts
  • Passing Down Family Heirlooms

Keep in mind that there is a difference between the holiday blues and depression. If you feel that your loved one is experiencing something more than the blues, seek the advice of a professional.

Perhaps the most effective cure to the holiday blues is a few simple physical gestures of affection such as a hug or holding a loved one’s hand. These simple acts can reduce stress, anxiety, while bringing joy and love to both of you.

As a caregiver or family member of a senior suffering with the holiday blues, make it your mission to get involved. You can make a significant difference and lessen the holiday blues for your loved ones for a more enjoyable holiday season for all.

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August 17, 2018

Aging in Place- Not Just A Buzz Phrase

By: Darleen Mahoney

Aging in PlaceCertainly, you are hearing the term “Aging in Place” more frequently. Have you wondered what this really means? The very clear definition of Aging in Place is quite simple. It defines a person living in the residence of their choosing for as long as they are able, as they age. This includes the ability to receive any home health care services or other services over time even as their needs change. Ideally, the goal would be maintaining a higher quality of life for a elderly person as they are in the home of their choice, addressing their health, social, and overall emotional needs.

Why are some seniors choosing the Aging in place option?

  • Comfortable and familiar environment
  • Feeling of Independence
  • Convenience to familiar services
  • Security
  • Close to family

Ideally, Aging in place is a well thought out plan that you have in place for your future long before it becomes necessary. It requires specific financial planning, choices and making your choices clear to your family and friends. Aging in place does not necessarily mean that you are burdened with doing everything yourself, there are multiple resources available such as the National Council for Aging Care.

Home modifications should be considered when making the decision to Age in place. Today, there are products that exist that allow people to change their homes to fit their physical needs. You do not have to outgrow the place you love. There are even home remodelers that specialize in making a home “senior friendly” or “senior safe”.

As you consider making home modifications and weighing your options, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development notes why aging at home may save money for some seniors. If a senior no longer has a mortgage to pay and would need to make improvements on their current home to sell, it may be advantageous to remain in their own “mortgage free” home and make renovations that would suit their senior lifestyle and age in place.

When deciding if Aging in place is ideal for you, making a list may be a good option. Its important to be honest and consider what your physical, emotional, social, and financial capabilities will be. You need to ask yourself a few basic questions:

  • Is this the ideal solution for me to spend my Golden years?
  • Is this the environment that I see myself in? Do I not want to be in a more social environment?
  • Am I concerned that I might need additional healthcare that may not be available if I Age in place?
  • Will I require multiple home care services?
  • What are my other options, and have I weighed them?

You have decided that Aging in place is the best of option for you.  You need to start planning but want to make sure that you are making the right choices and planning correctly. The good news is that The National Aging in Place Council provides a planning template to simply your steps and helps you plan accordingly, providing peace of mind as you move forward. The Council also provides great information with practical advice.

While Aging in place, a home health care service can provide many benefits for you medically and many other personalized services. When deciding on which home health care service you might like to choose, please visit SeniorLivingGuide.com and review each one to see what they offer and which one is the best fit for you.

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July 12, 2018

Be in The Senior Housing Know: Home Health Care

By: Darleen Mahoney

Home Health Care by definition according to Wikipedia: is, “Home care is supportive care provided in the home. Care may be provided by licensed healthcare professionals who provide medical treatment needs or by professional caregivers

Home Health Care providing assistance to elderly woman

who provide daily assistance.” Home Health Care provides the ability for seniors to age in place and provides other caregivers a break.

Those who might consider Home Health Care may be recovering from a procedure, have a degenerative disorder or in need of general medical care. Home Health is recommended most often by a doctor after a visit or a hospital stay because it is provided by medical professionals.

One of the benefits that Home Health Care provides is that not only is there a medical professional in the home providing the specialized care that is needed, but also provides personal services as well.

Home Health Services that may be included, but not limited to depending on what the provider offers:

  • Skilled Nursing
  • Physical therapy
  • Pain management
  • Wound care
  • Prescription management
  • Helping those with Alzheimer’s or dementia

Personal Services that may be included, but not limited to depending on what the provider offers:

  • Grooming, like dressing and help with bathing
  • Medication reminders
  • Errands
  • Help with moving around the home
  • Cooking meals

Because Home Health Care are in the home, they can work with family members daily to make sure that routines are followed, make recommendations on medications and keep the senior in their home environment longer.

The cost of Home Health Care as an option could come down to who is going to pay for the care. While a family caregiver will not receive any monies from any programs, Medicare has limited coverage for home care. When coverage is provided through Medicare it is only covered through a Medicare-certified home health care agency.  Always check with your insurance provider and any other resources that may help with the expense of Home Health Care.

If you would like to age in place and explore different Home Healthcare providers in your area to see what they offer, please visit SeniorLivingGuide.com, click on the state and area of interest. Review each one carefully, weigh the options and what is important to you and your family and then schedule a call to discuss those options.

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