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 16, 2018

Make the Most of Home Health Care Visits: A Daily Comfort Checklist

Filed under: Healthcare,Home Health Care,Seniors Health — Tags: , , — seniorlivingguide @ 11:26 am

Courtesy of Janet Campbell

When you’re tending seniors, you want to provide the best possible care to ensure the best quality of life.  In order to be effective and efficient it can help to create a checklist, whether mentally or physically, of the areas you should discuss on a daily basis.  Follow these important guidelines to ensure you’re covering the crucial aspects of your senior’s care and making the most of home health care visits.

Sleep.  As we grow older, getting sufficient sleep is an area in which many seniors struggle.  It’s also an area that can have ramifications in other parts of life, contributing to a variety of mental and physical health concerns.  According to The Guardian lack of sleep is linked to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, reduced ability to focus, poor memory and a shorter life span.

For seniors, the concerns are even more far-reaching, with some studies showing poor sleep quality contributing to dementia, depression and the decline of other mental faculties.  These together can be a slippery slope.  With health concerns mounting, some feeding each other such as obesity contributing to sleep apnea and heart disease, depression can then worsen, sleep can worsen and a vicious circle can quickly develop.

There are many ways to encourage better sleep quality.  One idea is to establish a bedtime routine including a warm, relaxing bath to help unwind.  Sunlight can help trigger healthy body rhythms, so spending time in the outdoors during the day can also be a boon.  Physical activity can also help seniors sleep, so long as they avoid exercising within three hours of bedtime.  Also offer an appropriate sleep environment, free of noise and lights.  Seniors should have a comfortable bed that alleviates pain as well.  For those who wake up groggy or achy, consider upgrading to a new mattress better suited for an aging body’s needs. It is best to replace your mattress every seven to eight years to get a good night’s sleep. If you dream of reducing the number of times you toss and turn each night, refer to this guide to choose a comfortable mattress.

Diet.  Meeting a senior’s nutritional needs is another key way to enhance quality of life.  As we age the body’s metabolism gradually slows, and as some experts point out this can mean less calories burned.  Seniors should opt for foods that are nutritionally dense instead of consuming empty calories.  The diet should be tapered down according to need, rather than adding the nutrient-dense choices.

The diet choices should be simple, satisfying and nutritious.  Plates should be half-filled with fruits and vegetables, and whole grains should be the source of at least half of the grain choices.  Whole grains include foods such as brown rice, whole grain cereals and whole grain breads.  Seniors should avoid consuming excessive amounts of sodium.  The diet should include healthy fat sources such as nuts, avocados, vegetable fats and fatty fish.  Protein sources should include eggs, chicken, fish, beans and nuts.

Exercise.  Getting sufficient exercise is another key component in maintaining good quality of life for seniors.  OnHealth explains loss of muscle mass associated with aging contributes to the metabolic decline in seniors.  Staying fit helps keep muscles and bones strong, helps maintain a healthy weight, and helps maintain or restore balance.  Seniors who stay active can reduce their risk for health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, depression, obesity and back pain.  A senior fitness program can enhance flexibility, memory function and improve mood as well.

Seniors can begin exercising at any age but should discuss a new exercise program with their physicians.  Scheduling sessions can help stay on track, and celebrating progress can be an encouragement.  Seniors should include aerobic, strength training, balance and flexibility exercises in their regimen.  Gentle chair yoga is a good option for many seniors new to exercise.

Easing a worried heart. Has your senior been fixated or overly worried about life lately? Chatting lightly can begin loosening up a senior who has become wound too tight about the ups and downs of life. First and foremost you must listen – most folks benefit from a sympathetic ear even if their listener doesn’t give them a solution to their problem. But if there are recurring issues then you could begin gently guiding them to take some action towards acceptance, no matter how small it might be. It could be as simple as some advance planning for the inevitable, or volunteering part time.

Better health, better life.  Helping a senior maintain a good quality of life is paramount.  Check off these three things when visiting seniors: Ensure seniors get sufficient sleep, enjoy a healthy diet and participate in an exercise program.  Make the most of home visits with these simple guidelines.

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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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