September 19, 2019

4 Ways to Help Make the Bathroom Safer for the Elderly

Filed under: Senior Safety — Tags: — seniorlivingguide @ 4:02 am

Seniors Bathroom SafetyBy Brooke Chaplan

For most elderly adults, the bathroom is one of the most dangerous areas in their homes. The combination of water and slippery surfaces such as tile poses a serious risk for falls. Seniors may also find it hard to steady themselves as they lower themselves to sit on a toilet or try to climb into a bathtub. Now that your loved one is getting older, you may need to make these four changes to his or her bathroom to protect him or her from injury.

Install a Comfort-Height Toilet

Older adults tend to struggle with health issues that make it hard to use the bathroom. For instance, seniors with arthritis will find it harder to lower themselves on to a toilet and stand back up. A comfort-height toilet reduces the strain on your loved one’s lower legs so that he or she is less likely to lose his or her balance while changing positions.

Do a Tub-to-Shower Conversion

Bathtubs often have high ledges that are hard for seniors to step over. Trying to step into the bathtub can also cause a senior to slip on a wet surface and fall. Tub-to-shower conversions are an effective way to instantly make your loved one’s personal hygiene routine safer. Roll-in showers eliminate any ledges that could cause your loved one to trip and fall. When you are planning your bathroom remodeling project, be sure to mention if your loved one has mobility issues. Your remodelers will have experience working with a variety of needs and may have other suggestions for improving mobility and safety.

Consider the Ease for Cleaning

As you plan the tub-to-shower conversion, be sure to think about the types of surfacing that you want in this new bathroom feature. Although tile is pretty, it requires grout that can be hard for seniors to keep clean. Consider having the shower installed with a smooth, grout-free surface that your loved one can easily wipe down. This eliminates the need for them to stand on a wet surface for an extended period of time. Of course, as people age, it becomes harder to bend and kneel to clean, so also consider ensuring that someone other than your aging loved one has to clean the floors in the bathroom.

Make Sure to Add Handrails

Your loved one may still lose his or her balance on non-skid surfacing. Seniors may also be apprehensive about showering if they have ever experienced a fall. Handrails give seniors support as they move around the bathroom. Be sure to add handrails near the toilet and in the shower so that your loved one always has a safe place to grab onto if he or she feels unsteady in the bathroom.

Making a few changes to your loved one’s bathroom is well worth the effort. With a safe bathroom set up, you can feel confident encouraging your loved one to live independently in his or her home. Once the bathroom is complete, just ask your loved one to let you know if he or she encounters any new challenges so that you can immediately respond to his or her needs.

 

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

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September 17, 2019

What Are Your Options When a Loved One Develops Alzheimer’s?

Memory Care OptionsBy 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.

Respite Care

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.

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September 12, 2019

Understanding the Different Types of Caregivers

Filed under: Caregivers,Home Health Care,Seniors — seniorlivingguide @ 2:46 pm

 

Caregiving for seniorsBy 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

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September 5, 2019

How to Find Home Care for Seniors That You Can Trust

Filed under: Aging in Place,Caregivers,Home Health Care — Tags: — seniorlivingguide @ 4:31 am

Find Home Care for Seniors That You Can Trust

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.

In-home Caregivers

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.

Interview Caregivers

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.

Maintain Communication

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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August 21, 2019

Aging in Place: Top 4 Qualities in the Ideal House for Retirement

Filed under: Active Adult,Aging in Place,Retirement Planning — Tags: — seniorlivingguide @ 4:51 pm

Home Qualities for RetireesBy Meghan Belnap

Aging in Place: Top 4 Qualities in the Ideal House for Retirement

Retirement is a challenging time that can be made less stressful if retirees already live in a home that’s designed to meet their needs. While homeowners can renovate their property to better suit this new stage in their life, it’s often easier to search for a home that is already appropriate for retirement and its unique challenges. Keep the following in mind when shopping for a home perfect for with retirement.

Choose a Home with Wide Hallways

Aging makes it harder for homeowners to get around the house. Furthermore, along with old age comes the need to use the likes of canes and wheelchairs. Homes with wider hallways will make it easier to use these new tools and will also reduce the likelihood of injury.

Find a House with No Stairs

When on the hunt for properties that are better suited for retirement, homeowners should look for properties without stairs. While stairs may make a property more appealing for younger and larger families, homes with stairs and multiple levels aren’t ideal for retiring individuals as they can easily lead to falls and similar accidents. As such, homeowners searching for the best properties for retirees should consult with local real estate services to help them find one-story homes in their area.

Pick a Property with Handrails

Though handrails aren’t always a common find in most homes, buyers that are of retirement age should keep this feature in mind. Having handrails in potentially dangerous areas around the house will make it simpler for homeowners to navigate the property. For example, as older people tend to fall easily when in the shower, it’s ideal to have homes already designed with handrails as their presence will help to eliminate the likelihood of falls.

Buy a Home with Access to Natural Lighting

In addition to being designed with homeowners’ safety in mind, properties that are ideal for retirement also offer health benefits to its inhabitants. Homes built with ample windows will have increased access to natural lighting. This allows homeowners access to vitamin D, an essential nutrient that will help improve one’s mental and emotional state.

The right house will make easing into one’s retirement less of a challenge and more of a transition. These properties help to limit any unnecessary dangers while providing homeowners with benefits that will improve their overall quality of life. Keep this guide in mind as you search for the right home for retirement.

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August 19, 2019

4 Tips for Keeping Your Home Safe as a Senior

Filed under: Aging in Place,Senior Safety — Tags: — seniorlivingguide @ 2:28 pm

senior safety at home tipsBy Lizzie Weakley

As we age, a lot of things change. Our hearing and eyesight may not be as sharp, and our mobility could be reduced. Meanwhile, we typically spend more time at home because we’re retired. This combination means that it is more important than ever to be safe at home, and these four tips can help you achieve that.

Keep It Simple

The last thing you probably want is to make your home feel like a fortress, even though you’d like it to be as safe as one. The more things you can add without creating extra effort for yourself, the more effective your safety plan will be.

Choose a home security alarm system that is easy to activate and deactivate. The more codes and buttons you need, the less likely you are to arm it. Get smoke detectors that are hard-wired to reduce battery demands, and think about installing some “smart home” controls to help you improve security when you’re away.

Ramp Up Your Security

With such great technology available today, home security systems can provide you with much better protection. Video systems can capture clear footage of intruders and trespassers. The system can also link to your phone while you’re away.

Think about your lifestyle and what would help your alarm system serve you better, and then add on the features that will benefit you the most.

Increase Security in Unused Spaces

As your kids grow up and move away, some large areas of your home may no longer be used regularly. As a result, these areas may have insufficient security.

If you have bedrooms that are rarely used, make sure not only to lock their windows but also their doors to further complicate a break-in attempt. The basement door that the kids always entered can now be dead bolted, and outdoor lights that once were too bright in the kids’ rooms can now be installed.

Remove Fall Hazards

It seems that we sometimes learn to ignore certain safety hazards that we have worked around for years. Slipping area rugs, dangling power cords, and poorly-lit areas only need to be dangerous one time to cause an injury.

Have someone walk in and around your home, looking for the things that you have gradually tuned out. Let them help you correct hazards. After all, you only have to fix it once to be safer every day.

Home safety is all about getting things in place and allowing them to work while you go about your daily routines. A few simple steps like these will greatly improve your safety as a senior.

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August 6, 2019

5 Low-Stress Tips for Managing Your Finances After Retirement

Filed under: Financial Planning,Retirement Planning — Tags: , , — seniorlivingguide @ 4:21 pm

Low Stress Retirementby Anita Ginsburg 

Making the transition from being an employee to living on a fixed income as a retiree is a difficult process for many people, and that is why you need to take a look at your financial future well before your last day of work. With the proper financial plan in place and a little bit of foresight, you will be able to avoid some of the most common mistakes that retirees make.

Come Up with a Detailed Budget

Many experts agree that writing out a comprehensive budget is one of the most important steps in this process. You won’t be able to properly manage your finances after you retire if you don’t track all of your expenses and sources of income. Once you have a budget, it will be much easier to live within your means.

Establish an Emergency Fund

There are quite a few reasons why a retired individual should set up an emergency fund. As you grow older, you might have to deal with a wide array of serious medical issues, and treating those conditions is going to add up. Even if you have excellent insurance, paying the deductible could still be quite costly. You could also experience other common mishaps such as burst pipes in your home or emergency repairs for a vehicle.

Double-Check All of Your Insurance Policies

At least once a year, you should take a look at all of your insurance policies to make sure that you have adequate coverage. Your insurance needs are constantly going to change, and having the right coverage could help you avoid a few major headaches. In addition to health insurance and your homeowner’s policy, you might also want to consider coverage for potential end-of-life expenses and funeral costs.

Explore Financial Assistance Programs

There are hundreds of financial assistance programs for seniors, and signing up for those programs could save you huge sums of money. Many state governments offer financial assistance to seniors for basic expenses such as groceries and utility bills. You might even be eligible for discounted home upgrades like solar panels or a tankless water heater.

Downgrade Whenever Possible

As you grow older, you will probably be able to downgrade quite a bit without altering your lifestyle too much. Instead of leasing a brand new car, you should consider purchasing a reliable used vehicle with excellent safety ratings. Many retirees also sell or rent out their larger homes and move into smaller condos.

Planning out your finances for your retirement years might seem like a stressful task, but that extra work is going to pay off in the end. These few tips will allow you to enjoy your retirement years instead of constantly worrying about money and unexpected expenses.

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August 1, 2019

How to Take Care of Your Home as a Senior

Filed under: Real Estate,Seniors — Tags: , — seniorlivingguide @ 1:21 pm

caring for a home as a seniorBy Lizzie Weakley,

Home maintenance gets more difficult as you get older; but with intelligent upgrades and smart planning, you can greatly reduce your burden. Try these tips to keep your home in excellent shape throughout the years.

Upgrade Your Floors

High pile carpet isn’t just difficult to take care of; it’s also easy to trip on. Make your house safer and easier to maintain by switching to non-slip flooring. Look for vinyl laminate or another material that you can easily keep clean. If you decide to include decorative rugs, remember to choose thin, flat mats that won’t cause you to trip.

Make a Maintenance Schedule

It’s easy to forget important maintenance tasks as the years go by. Create weekly, monthly, and semi-yearly maintenance schedules that list all of your necessary jobs. Include things like cleaning out gutters, checking on the condition of your plumbing, and changing air filters. Once you have a list, it will be easy to identify the tasks you can complete and the tasks that you need help with.

Modernize Your Electrical Mains

The modern world requires a surprising amount of electricity. Modern appliances and entertainment devices all use a higher voltage than older models. If you’re still using an old power source, an electrical mains upgrade may be in order. This is a low-hassle job that can usually be handled in a single visit. Once the upgrade is complete, you’ll be able to use all modern appliances without risking a short circuit or an overload.

Hire Lawn Care Professionals

You deserve to have a beautiful yard without spending time mowing the lawn or weeding the garden. Talk to a lawn care professional about regular seasonal maintenance. Contractors can help you cut tree branches, prune bushes, reseed your lawn, and turn over the soil in your garden. Even if you like taking care of your lawn, save your health by hiring a contractor for the more difficult tasks.

Install Window Tint

When direct sunlight enters your home, it fades your possessions, peels your flooring, and increases your heating bill. A layer of tinted window film is a quick and easy fix that will keep your house significantly cooler in the summer. Window film can be cleaned directly, and it peels off without damaging the glass underneath.

Home maintenance is an endless task that follows us as we age. Work with local contractors to keep your home in excellent condition and greatly improve your quality of life.

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July 26, 2019

5 Tips for Handling Back Pain that Every Senior Should Know About

Filed under: Aging,Healthcare,Seniors Health — Tags: , , — seniorlivingguide @ 10:44 am

Back Pain Management for Adults
By Lizzie Weakley

Don’t let consistent back pain slow you down. As soon as you notice discomfort in your upper or lower back, take steps to reduce it so that you can return to your normal life.

Get More Sleep

A healthy night of sleep will actually increase your pain tolerance for the next day. As you get older, it’s easy to start sleeping only a few hours a night. If your pain is bothering you, add a few more hours; you might notice a significant difference.

On the note of sleep, make sure that you’re sleeping on a quality mattress. Firm mattresses offer significantly more support than soft ones and can keep your back in a healthy position.

Stay Active

Just like any part of your body, your back muscles need exercise to be strong. Even if your pain is acting up, attempt to fit in a little exercise each day. Go for walks to keep your lower back muscles active. If you live in a community that offers activity programs join in! Use gentle stretches to slowly strengthen weakened areas. Find a sport or an activity that keeps you moving without putting you through undue stress.

If you aren’t sure about any physical activity, check with your doctor. They may have suggestions specific to your unique physical condition.

Visit a Chiropractor

Back pain can be caused by many different factors. A chiropractic clinic, such as Burman Chiropractic Clinic PC, will be able to assess your pain and offer specific forms of advice.

Most chiropractors can help you immediately relieve your pain through massage or other treatments. They can also make sure you’re standing in a healthy posture, give exercise recommendations, and suggest specific forms of physical therapy.

Use Heat and Cold Intelligently

An ice pack will help you with immediate bouts of pain. The ice will numb the surrounding nerves and reduce inflammation. Use ice for about 20 minutes, then give the nerves in that area a rest.

Heat is used to relax muscles. Consistent heat therapy can reduce tension in a specific area. Try applying a hot pad to your back each night. You can also take a hot shower or soak in the tub. Don’t keep heat on an area for extended periods of time; if you feel uncomfortably warm, take a break and reapply the heat later on.

Buy a New Pair of Shoes

Your shoes dictate your posture throughout the day. Old or worn-down shoes could be the source of your back pain.

Find a pair of shoes that fit well and move the pressure away from your back. Different people have completely different posture needs, so talk to your doctor or chiropractor for specific recommendations.

Address your back pain as soon as you notice it. Your problem may be correctable with medical attention or simple lifestyle changes. If you maintain your health and exercise consistently, you will notice a significant reduction in the pain that you experience.

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July 19, 2019

How to Ask for Help in Your Golden Years

Filed under: Aging,Aging in Place,Home Health Care,Seniors — Tags: , — seniorlivingguide @ 3:49 pm

How to Ask for Help in Your Golden YearsBy Anica Oaks

You may have heard the saying, “Grow old gracefully,” but there are many changes that occur as you move beyond middle age and into your golden years. Your 60s, 70s and beyond will be filled with various psychological and physical changes and challenges. Asking for help can make you feel weak, but you aren’t. It’s a sign of strength and self-awareness to recognize when you can no longer do something on your own.

Understand How Age Changes Things

You were probably taught from an early age that it’s important to be independent. Asking for help can make us feel like we’ve failed somehow, and you may worry that you’ll look weak and be a burden to your loved ones.

Getting older comes with some inevitable changes, and it’s important to accept these facts rather than try to go against them. Your health may decline, or you might have to live with a health condition like arthritis. You may also be dealing with feelings of loneliness and isolation now that your children are grown. If you are widowed, then facing the rest of your life by yourself can trigger deep feelings of sadness that may turn into depression.

Recognize What You Need

Are you physically struggling to get around like you used to? Maybe going up the stairs is too painful or strenuous now. Perhaps you have emotional needs that aren’t being met, but you don’t want to bother people by calling them up just to talk.

Maybe you notice some health symptoms that weren’t there before; do you have frequent chest pains, feel dizzy or have become more forgetful than you used to be? It’s natural to want to ignore these things and write them off, but getting help early can make you happier and protect your well-being.

Finding the Right Resources

The last thing you may want to do is move into a care home, but they are not all like hospitals or filled with sick seniors. Instead, there are many retirement villages and facilities that offer round-the-clock assistance while still giving you plenty of space and independence.

For those who do not have any close family or friends they can reach out to, exploring elderly home care options can make you feel empowered and give you the help you need. Make sure that you are vocal about everything that’s bothering you; it’s possible for loneliness, sadness and even fear of the future to make us come off as cold and distant.

Don’t allow yourself to become closed off from the world. As you progress through the next stage of your life, be open to asking for help, receiving love and being in the presence of others as much as you can.

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