September 17, 2019
By Anica Oaks
The diagnosis of Alzheimer’s in a loved one can be a disruptive event. You may have many concerns and questions about managing the condition at present and what will happen in the future. Fortunately, family members have several options to ensure their loved one receives appropriate care for their special needs.
Adult Day Care Centers
Adult day care center are a new concept that provides daytime caregiving for seniors and those with memory problems in a stimulating, social environment with trained personnel who supervise activities. Individuals can participate in a variety of group activities, which helps to provide mental stimulation and physical exercise.
Individuals who choose to provide full-time care for their loved one with Alzheimer’s may occasionally have other obligations that take them away from care. Respite care is a system that provides experienced, compassionate care for the loved one, while you are out of town or are taking a break from the demands of caregiving.
Assisted Living Care
Assisted living centers are facilities that offer separate living quarters for residents, but also a range of services to make every life more manageable for them. The facilities generally offer group dining rooms, housekeeping services, group activities and field trips to local events. Assisted living centers offer a measure of independence and privacy, but with ongoing supervision and medical support. They provide careful building security; which can be important for individuals who tend to wander.
At-Home Senior Care
Many seniors prefer to stay in their homes, and home health care agencies offer a variety of services to help these individuals receive necessary care in the comfort of their own homes. You can choose the level of senior care your loved needs and add more features, when needed. In-home caregivers can often be the best solution for working family members who still need to provide care for elders and are concerned about the disruption of changing the loved one’s living situation.
Nursing Home Care
Nursing home care provides comprehensive, 24-hour care for individuals who may be in the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease and need full time care. These facilities also have the ability to manage the medical problems that are involved in those who are dealing with Alzheimer’s disease.
Each family has their own needs, and the care needs of your loved one may change over time. Careful consideration of your loved one’s current situation, and consultation with the individual’s physician, can help you determine the best option to ensure their safety and health.
September 12, 2019
By Brooke Chaplan
There are different types of caregivers who can care for elderly or ill individuals. When you are considering hiring a caregiver for yourself or a loved one, think about the specialty areas of this health care career. Understanding the different types of caregivers will help you to choose the best individual for the job. Here are five types of caregivers who you can hire for yourself or an elderly loved one.
Live-in Caregiver Services
A live-in caregiver can provide services on a 24-hour basis seven days a week. This individual will live at and sleep in the home for long-term care or for temporary care. This variety of caregiver may also perform a variety of household duties that include cleaning tasks, laundry chores or shopping for food. Live-in caregivers are especially helpful for those who need constant assistance or care, but they do cost more due to the large time commitment involved.
Physical Therapy Caregiver Services
After someone has a stroke or an accident, the individual may need physical therapy care services to regain the use of the affected limbs or other body parts. A caregiver with an understanding of mobility issues can assist a client with exercises or other types of therapeutic services. A licensed physical therapist may teach the caregiver how to assist a client in his or her own home.
Occasional Caregiver Services
If you are responsible for caring for an elderly spouse or grandparent, then you may require respite services occasionally. This type of caregiver is only hired when you need a break from your daily responsibilities, and hiring one can give you a chance to do something different, including having fun for a day, or alternatively, something vital, including taking care of your own health needs. A respite caregiver may come and assist in the home, but can also come to an adult day care or health care facility, or just aide the family caregiver in providing assistance.
Routine Daily Caregiver Services
Infirm clients may need assistance with daily care tasks that include showering, brushing teeth or getting dressed. A caregiver may prepare nutritious meals, help a client eat and wash the dirty dishes. This is often part-time care that is only required for a few hours each day, and it may include having different caregivers throughout the week. This type of caregiver is often required for senior citizens who do not want to move to an assisted living environment.
Professional Transportation Caregiver Services
When an ill or injured individual requires frequent trips to hospitals, physician’s offices or other medical facilities, a professional transportation caregiver service is vital. This type of caregiver service may include having special vans that are equipped with wheelchair lifts and ramps. Some families are able to afford their own vehicles, but sometimes a professional service will be necessary.
How Do You Choose a Caregiver?
Choosing a caregiver can seem complicated, but if you talk to a physician and a home health care agency, then you can learn more about the process of hiring one. Make sure to think both about your needs as a caregiver and either your or your loved ones needs as a patient. Caregivers will be able to help you or a loved one have the assistance and support needed.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan
September 5, 2019
By Lizzie Weakley
When you are responsible for finding home care for a loved one, you will want to find caregivers who you can trust. Fortunately, there are other individuals who have had the same situation, and they offer excellent advice for finding the right type of care for your loved one. Here are five tips that you can use to help you find a great caregiver.
Talk to a Physician
When you have an appointment with the senior’s physician, you can ask about the best way to find a caregiver. A physician can provide information about senior care services for patients with dementia conditions, brain trauma from a stroke or terminal conditions such as cancer. Call each nursing home to learn more about the services, and also, schedule appointments to visit the nursing homes.
Ask Your Friends
Many adults are caring for older relatives, so you can ask your friends about the caregivers that they use. Some cities have senior day care centers where you can take a loved one while you are working. There are also organizations that have volunteers who will assist with senior home care occasionally. Make a list of the different places that are recommended by your friends so that you can contact each place for more information.
You can contact an agency that has a list of trained caregivers available. These individuals have already had criminal background screening, and the office staff at the agency has verified that the caregivers have references. In just a few days, you can have a great caregiver for your loved one who recently had surgery or has dementia. Elderly home care is available each day, or you may need part-time services instead.
It is important to interview the caregivers to find an individual who meets the needs of the senior citizen. Some caregivers excel at caring for individuals with physical problems such as severe arthritis while others are able to cope better with a senior who has Alzheimer’s disease. Finding the right caregiver can make your loved one happier and healthier.
Consult with the Senior Citizen
Your loved one should provide some input into selecting a caregiver. Remember that you probably won’t stay in the home all of the time to observe what is going on, so they should select a caregiver instead. Despite having a dementia condition or physical health issues, it is essential for your loved one to have a good experience with selecting a caregiver.
It is a good idea to maintain communication with a caregiver by making telephone calls occasionally, or alternatively, by stopping by your loved one’s home at different times of the day or the night.
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October 18, 2018
By: Darleen Mahoney
As the hot days of summer fade away and the leaves begin to change and the weather gets crisp, the season of fall is most welcome. Fall is not the only season that arrives in October, but a most unwelcoming season arrives as well…. flu season. Flu season is most active between October thru May. As this season is upon us, its important to be proactive in flu prevention, symptoms and treatment. The flu season is not the only season you want to experience, but the one you want to avoid.
While a flu diagnosis is serious regardless of age, a flu diagnosis in Seniors carries greater risks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that adults 65 and older are at greater risk of complications from the flu because they may have weakened immune systems. The CDC estimates that between 70%-85% of seasonal flu-related deaths and 54%-70% of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations occur in those over the age of 65.
A flu vaccine is the best option in flu prevention. It is recommended that Seniors and their caregivers receive the flu shot every year. The best time to get a flu shot is October thru November, so mark your calendars! The CDC reports that the flu vaccination may reduce the risk of getting the flu by 40-60%. The CDC recommends that even Seniors with weakened immune systems receive the vaccines, the vaccine can still protect against the illness and can weaken the flu strain if the immune suppressed Senior comes in contact with the flu virus.
Other ways to avoid getting the flu:
- Washing hands and wrists/ Hand sanitizer when more convenient
- Avoiding people who are sick
- Get plenty of rest
- Eat healthy, boost immunity
- Getting exercise-this could reduce your risk by a third
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth-this is how the germs enter the body
- Sanitize your Mobile devices
- Adding Vitamin C-Boost your immune system
The onset of flu symptoms can happen very quickly, some people developing symptoms one to four days after exposure to the virus. Seniors may develop the flu and their symptoms look very different than typical flu patients. Therefore, Seniors who have the flu are misdiagnosed or delayed in their diagnosis and therefore can progress into a more serious health problem. Most flu symptoms include a fever over 100 degrees, many Seniors with the flu do not have a fever, cough, or a sore throat.
Symptoms in a Senior may include:
- General discomfort, knowing something is clearly wrong
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
- Abdominal Pain
- Flu-like symptoms that get better and then worse
- Swollen mouth/throat
If you’re over the age of 65 and experience any of these symptoms, visit your physician right away to reduce the potential risk of a flu diagnosis. If you see your doctor within the first 48 hours, your doctor may prescribe you an antiviral medication. When taken at the onset of the flu, this medication can reduce the symptoms and the severity of your illness.
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October 11, 2018
By: Darleen Mahoney
You’ve heard the term Sundowners syndrome. Are you a caregiver or know someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s that has sundowning? It is a neurological phenomenon that exists with those suffering from a form of dementia or delirium. Sundowning seems to be more frequent in the middle stages of Alzheimer’s disease and mixed dementia.
What causes this syndrome is believed to be caused from the inner “body clock” of the brain that signals when you’re awake and when your asleep, this breaks down in people with Alzheimer’s. There may be specific triggers in your loved one, taking notes to understand these triggers is a good idea.
Factors that may aggravate Sundowners Syndrome:
- Shadows and low light, causing fear
- Separating dreams from reality
- Infection, more commonly a UTI
- Low Lighting
- Unfamiliar environment
Sundowning isn’t a disease on its own, but it is a variety of behaviors that typically occur at a later time of day and may go into the night that affect people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Those with sundowners are confused, experience anxiety, ignore directions, and potentially show aggression. They may begin to pace or wander.
There are steps that you can take to help manage this challenging time of day as it seems the fading light is the trigger, but the symptoms can get worse throughout the night. As a caregiver, this can be frustrating and exhausting for you. The steps you take will help keep your loved one safe, but also help them reduce their Sundowners symptoms.
- Have a regular daily routine
- No smoking or alcohol use
- Limit sweets and caffeine to the morning
- Smaller meals at night, larger meals at lunchtime
- Avoid late day naps
When it is time to go to sleep, take extra steps to provide a quiet relaxing environment:
- Close curtains and blinds, shadows are a huge problem
- Fix the room temperature to their liking
- Keep the house quiet, noise can make them paranoid
- Especially a visible television with the flashing lights and noise
- Put on relaxing music
You may also consult with your loved one’s physician about Melatonin at night time and any other recommendations that they may have.
You have tried to keep your loved one that is experiencing Sundowners quiet and relaxed, but they are still getting up and they are confused, and you are unsure how to respond.
- Do not argue with them
- Tell them everything is OK, be reassuring
- Let them get up and move around, just stay close to them making sure they are staying away from stairs and anything used to harm themselves
- Remind them what time it is and that its nighttime or bedtime
- DO NOT physically try to restrain from walking around
- Above all….STAY CALM
You may want to consider purchasing a baby monitor to be aware when they are getting up in the middle of the night.
As a caregiver with a loved one with Dementia or Alzheimer’s it’s such an emotional, physical, and time-consuming journey that Sundowner’s is just another piece of a puzzle to this disease that will never truly fit together and make any sense to most caregivers. Taking take to take care of yourself will only make you a better caregiver for your loved one, there is help in the form of support groups in your local areas and The Alzheimer’s and Dementia Resource Center offers support as well. Its also important to get away and have time for yourself, its important to have a well trusted Home Health provider that allows you time away to decompress and refocus so that you can be a better caregiver.
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