How Can You Help Your Loved One Stay Emotionally Healthy?

Your loved one has a variety of different needs that you’ll help her to meet during your caregiving journey. One that is very important is helping her to keep her emotional health and well-being positive. There are a lot of different aspects that feed into emotional health, so you’ll need to look at a variety of possible solutions.

Home Health Care Brooklyn NY - How Can You Help Your Loved One Stay Emotionally Healthy?

Home Health Care Brooklyn NY – How Can You Help Your Loved One Stay Emotionally Healthy?

Talk to Her Doctor

Your loved one’s doctor can help you to spot potential issues that can contribute to poor emotional health for your loved one. for instance, medication side effects or even vitamin deficiencies can be a potential issue. Working with your loved one’s doctor helps you to get to the root of potential causes much more quickly.

Get Some Exercise In

While you’re at her doctor’s office, make sure that it’s safe for her to start an exercise plan. If your loved one is cleared for physical activity, start finding ways to exercise with your loved one. This can be as simple as taking a walk together in the morning before the weather warms up or doing some stretches together before bed.

Make Some Plans

Often people can become sadder than they anticipate if they don’t have something to look forward to. If your loved one’s schedule consists mostly of doctor’s appointments and other obligations that aren’t very enjoyable, it’s time to add some other activities in there. Start scheduling events that your loved one might be able to look forward to and know that they will be enjoyable.

Help Her to Avoid Isolation 

If your loved one isn’t being as social as she used to be, that can take a toll on her emotional health. Start lining up some visits with friends, family members, and neighbors so that your loved one has some company. That’s not always possible, of course, and your loved one might need more company than that. That’s when hiring elderly home health care providers can come in handy to keep your loved one occupied and interested each day.

Your loved one’s emotional health may ebb and flow depending on what she’s going through at any given time. Try to be understanding of any particularly difficult issues or times of year for her.

If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Health Care Services in Brooklyn NY, please contact the caring staff at Gentle Hands Home Care.

Five Energy-Efficient Ways to Cool Your Mom’s Home

May 26th is National Heat Awareness Day. This is a good time to stop and look at your mom’s home. If she’s going to age in place, as her caregiver you need to take measures to make sure she’s not overheating on the hottest days of summer.

Caregiver Long Island NY - Five Energy-Efficient Ways to Cool Your Mom's Home

Caregiver Long Island NY – Five Energy-Efficient Ways to Cool Your Mom’s Home

Bring in Cooler Night Air

Before your mom goes to bed, set up window fans in as many windows as possible and turn them on to bring in the cooler night air. Before the sun starts heating the house, make sure you trap that cooler air using the next step.

Close Doors, Windows, and Curtains

When it’s hot out, shut doors and windows. Use light-blocking curtains to keep the sunlight from coming in and heating up the home. If your mom doesn’t have curtains, hanging sheets or towels will help.

Create an Icy Blast

Fill a bowl with ice and place it in front of a fan. When you turn on the fan, the melting ice will help cool the breeze. If your mom has space in the freezer, you can fill a metal bowl and place it right in the freezer to create one large block of ice.

Don’t Rule Out Air Conditioning

Your mom can stay comfortable using an air conditioner. You will need to invest in an energy-efficient model, but they’re not as expensive as they once were. These air conditioners have built-in thermostats that turn the unit on and off to keep the room at a set temperature. You can also save money by shutting off rooms your mom doesn’t use.

Keep Appliances Turned Off

Many of today’s appliances give off decent amounts of heat. The TV is one appliance you’ve probably noticed gives off a lot of warmth. A computer is another. On the hottest days, skip TV or computer use and read books or play board games instead. You also don’t want to turn on the oven. Stick to sandwiches, salads, or grilled fare.

Hire a team of caregivers to check on your mom when you can’t be there. A caregiver service can help you get the right team together at a schedule that makes sure your mom is well looked after. Don’t worry about her independence being taken from her. Caregivers are there to help and offer companionship. With a home care service, your mom can age at home safely and have someone there to make sure your mom doesn’t overheat.

If you or an aging loved one are considering Caregiver Services in Long Island NY, please contact the caring staff at Gentle Hands Home Care.

Are You Worried About Your Elderly Loved One Driving a Car?

You aren’t alone if you are wondering whether your aging loved one should still be driving. After all, seniors often struggle with the demands of driving as they age. Instead of confronting your elderly loved one about their driving abilities, you can take several steps to either reassure yourself that they are still capable of driving or whether they need to stop driving permanently.

Elderly Care Manhattan NY Are You Worried About Your Elderly Loved One Driving a Car?

Elderly Care Manhattan NY Are You Worried About Your Elderly Loved One Driving a Car?

Personal Observation

The best way to do a personal observation is to take a ride with your elderly loved one to see how they do. As you are watching, take note of their ability to operate the vehicle safely. Be aware of whether they are practicing safe driving habits and are aware of their place on the road. Watch for any physical conditions that may be limiting their ability to safely drive, such as poor vision, inability to turn the neck and head, or reduced reaction times.

Physician Opinion

Another place to get objective information about whether your elderly loved one should still be driving is from their doctor. While a doctor won’t be able to disclose private health information to you without permission, you could volunteer to accompany your aging loved one to a physical exam. You should ask specifically about any physical limitations they may have that could affect driving. Also, inquire about medications your loved one may be taking that could interfere with their ability to safely operate a vehicle.

Official Driving Performance Evaluation

In many states, elderly drivers are required to renew their license in person after taking a few tests designed to evaluate ability. Seniors may be asked to take a vision test confirming their eyesight is adequate. Sometimes they will be asked to take a driving performance evaluation so the motor vehicle department can verify they still have the ability to take on the responsibilities of the road. If the examiner feels that they are not practicing safe driving, they will suspend or not renew the senior’s driver’s license. If they feel the senior is still capable of driving, they will issue the license right away.

The Elderly Need Transportation

With all this information, you’ll be able to figure out whether your aging loved one truly should be driving or whether it’s time to make alternative transportation arrangements. If the senior is no longer able to drive, it’s critical that they still have access to all the stores, activities and social events they love. One way to ensure seniors have the transportation they need is to hire a senior care agency to provide basic services for seniors, such as cleaning, small chores, cooking and driving. You can work with senior care aides to set up a schedule of where your loved one needs to be and when. Other options include driving services and arranging rides with friends and family members.

Instead of worrying whether or not your elderly loved one should be driving a car, take steps to observe and evaluate their abilities. If doctors and driving examiners support your own suspicions, you can take the next step and set up a senior care plan that won’t leave your loved one isolated and stranded when they can no longer drive.

Source: http://seniordriving.aaa.com/resources-family-friends/conversations-about-driving/facts-research/

If you or an aging loved one are considering Elderly Care Services in Manhattan NY, please contact the caring staff at Gentle Hands Home Care.

Is Your Aging Parent at Risk for Suffering a Stroke?

May is National Stroke Awareness Month. As a family caregiver this is the ideal opportunity for you to learn more about this condition and how it can impact your parent’s life as they age in place. Understanding this condition enables you to give your elderly loved one the level of care that they need to properly handle their condition and maintain their quality of life throughout their later years. This starts with recognizing the risk factors that your parent may have that might increase the chances that they will suffer this type of medical emergency.

Home Care Hicksville NY - Is Your Aging Parent at Risk for Suffering a Stroke?

Home Care Hicksville NY – Is Your Aging Parent at Risk for Suffering a Stroke?

Some of the risk factors for stroke that your elderly loved one can change include:

• High blood pressure, particularly high blood pressure that is not properly managed
• Diabetes, particularly diabetes that is not properly managed
• Smoking
• Eating an unhealthy diet particularly one that is high in cholesterol, saturated fat, trans fat, and salt
• Obesity
• Lack of physical activity
• High blood cholesterol
• Atrial fibrillation
• High levels of stress

Some risk factors for stroke that your aging parent cannot change include:

• Being over the age of 64
• Sickle cell disease
• Heart disease
• Being a woman
• Personal history of stroke
• Family history of stroke
• Being black or Hispanic
• Alcohol abuse
• Not getting enough sleep
• Drug abuse

If your aging parent has any of these risk factors or you are concerned about their risk, do not hesitate to get in touch with their doctor to discuss their health. The doctor can tell you about your parent’s personal risk and what you can do to help them reduce that risk. They can also better prepare you for the type of care that your aging loved one will need in the event that they do experience such a medical emergency during their later years, including helping you to know how to properly respond if you notice the early warning signs of a stroke.

Starting home care for your aging parent can be an exceptional way for you to help your parent achieve and maintain a higher quality of life as they age in place. A home care services provider can be with your aging loved one on a schedule that is right for your them, ensuring that they get all of the care, support, and assistance that they need while also making sure that you remain at the forefront of their care routine.

This means that they are able to give your loved one a personalized set of services tailored to their individual needs, challenges, and limitations to help them manage these in the way that is right for them while also encouraging them to maintain as much independence, activity, and engagement as possible.

If your elderly parent is at increased risk of suffering a stroke or has recently experienced such a medical emergency, this home care can be particularly beneficial. Through offering reminders to help your parent stay compliant with their medications, treatments, and guidelines, and helping them to make good lifestyle choices, this home care can help your parent to remain healthier throughout their later years.

Sources:  https://www.cdc.gov/stroke/facts.htm
http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/AboutStroke/Impact-of-Stroke-Stroke-statistics_UCM_310728_Article.jsp#.WQY9RtLyu00
http://www.stroke.org/stroke-resources/raise-awareness-stroke/national-stroke-awareness-month
http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/AboutStroke/AmericanStrokeMonth/5ThingstoKnowAboutStroke/5-Things-to-Know-About-Stroke_UCM_463277_Article.jsp#.WQY9G9Lyu00

If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Hicksville NY, please contact the caring staff at Gentle Hands Home Care.

Common Skin Conditions in Aging Loved Ones

Just like other organs that don’t function as well with age, the skin isn’t resilient as it once was. Aging loved ones are more susceptible to skin irritations and problems than when they were younger. The good news is that with regular habits to promote healthy skin, seniors can reduce the risk of skin issues.

Home Care Services Little Neck NY - Common Skin Conditions in Aging Loved Ones

Home Care Services Little Neck NY –
Common Skin Conditions in Aging Loved Ones

However, as seniors age, they may not be in a position to attend to their skin care needs as well as they should. That’s where home care sevices and family caregivers can step in and make sure they are doing everything they need to avoid high risk practices and do what they need to in order to keep the skin nourished and healthy.

Here are some common skin conditions in aging loved ones and what you can do about them:

Dry Skin

Aging skin has a difficult time retaining moisture, so seniors are especially prone to dry skin. Dry air, lack of hydration and even as a result of certain conditions like diabetes can also trigger dry skin. When seniors struggle with dry skin, they often scratch it so hard that they break the skin. Not only does this look unsightly, it opens the door to wounds and infections. To help reduce the itching and discomfort, seniors can drink plenty of water, use light lotions and turn on a humidifier if needed.

Skin Coloration and Growths

From skin tags to cancerous growths, aging skin is subject to a range of things that could be serious but usually aren’t. Brown age spots are common on the hands, arms and face but pose no health issues. Flesh-colored skin tags may cause irritation but are also not harmful. All unusual growths should be reported to a doctor to make sure that skin cancer is not present. Home care services should be instructed to watch for unusual growths as they perform hygiene and grooming tasks with their elderly clients.

Wounds and Bruises

From scratches that break the skin to pressure sensitive ulcers, wounds take longer to heal in the elderly. Of course, this gives bacteria and viruses a much better chance to cause infections in their bodies. For those in frail health or that are recovering from surgery, infected wounds can cause a lot of additional health problems. Open wounds can also cause pain, frustration, stress and more in seniors. Along with open wounds, seniors might also suffer with prolonged bruising, which could take quite a bit longer to heal and may signify a serious issue internally.

Chronic Skin Conditions

Seniors can suffer from a number of skin conditions that can affect the appearance of the skin and cause pain, stinging or itchiness. Common skin conditions include psoriasis, dermatitis, pruritus, herpes zoster, xerosis and purpua, just to name a few. Seniors can also develop skin cancer, even if it has been years since they’ve spend a lot of time in the sun. From benign to serious, each of these conditions need to be treated by a doctor.

Healthy skin in seniors can make a real difference in how they combat illness, withstand infections and enjoy their day-to-day life. With a little coordination between home care services and family members, seniors can reduce the risk of common skin conditions.

Source:  https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/skin-care-and-aging

If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Little Neck NY, please contact the caring staff at Gentle Hands Home Care.

Encouraging the Use of a Walker for Your Aging Parent

Mobility issues can arise in the elderly for numerous reasons. From a loss of balance as a result of medications or a disease process, or due to injuries, loss of muscle tone, or chronic conditions such as arthritis. Loss of mobility can lead to loss of independence and an encroaching sense of isolation. Helping your parent to remain as active and independent for as long as possible is one of the greatest gifts you can offer them.

Home Health Care Nassau County NY - Encouraging the use of a Walker for your Aging Parent

Home Health Care Nassau County NY –
Encouraging the use of a Walker for your Aging Parent

The Stigma

To the elderly, the progression to the use of a walker can symbolize further decline, one more aspect of life that age has laid its mark on. They see people using walkers or canes and say to themselves, “That’s not for me.” Rarely do humans see themselves as others see them. Though the body is 80, their mind may be just rounding their 60th year and the image of a stooped over elderly person pushing a walker does not enter the realm of their own self-image.

Physician or Physical Therapist

If they are hesitant to take your advice, consider making an appointment with their physical therapist or primary health care provider. They can come from a position of authority and probably have several stories they could share regarding the consequences of people that chose not to use a mobility device and paid the consequence.

The Benefits

Walkers can keep your parent’s independence longer by providing a tool to allow them to continue to remain mobile despite possible physical limitations.

Not becoming one of the statistics: Ninety-five percent of hip fractures are the result of falls. One-quarter of Americans over the age of 64 fall every year.

Increasing sense of empowerment allows them to partake in activities and social events they may have previously stayed away from due to mobility issues.

The Appropriate Mobility Device

According to a CDC study, between the years of 2001 and 2006, 47,000 seniors were treated in emergency rooms due to the improper use of canes and walkers. Mobility devices need to be fitted by a professional to ensure they are the correct height and weight and the appropriate model for your parent’s use. Some will be able to use walkers with wheels while others will not. A physical therapist will be able to show them the proper use techniques including walking and getting up or down from a seated position, giving them the greatest chance for success.

Home Health Care Provider

A home health care provider can assist your loved one with the daily activities of living while still helping them retain as much independence as possible. This type of care is called interactive—they provide assistance while still letting your parent do what they can within the framework of what is safe for them considering their physical and sometimes mental restrictions.

Resources: https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adulthipfx.html
https://www.lifestation.com/convince-parent-use-walker-cane.php

If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Health Care Services in Nassau County NY, please contact the caring staff at Gentle Hands Home Care.

April 23rd is National Take a Chance Day

April 23rd brings us National Take a Chance Day—a great reminder that life is short and dreams should not be shoved in the “I’ll get to someday” corner. Having dreams and goals is the cornerstone to a life lived with passion. So, stir up those dust balls and let this day remind you of your fondest hopes and aspirations.

Caregiver Jamaica NY - April 23rd is National Take a Chance Day

Caregiver Jamaica NY –
April 23rd is National Take a Chance Day

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”—H. Jackson Brown.

If you look back at your life, is there something that you wish you’d done? There are few people that cannot recall at least one of these actions left undone. Replaying the mistakes or “should have beens” does little to create a happy life. You can, however, decide that from this moment forth you are going to say “Yes” to life.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”Lao Tzu

Take a Chance Day is all about taking one step toward a dream or goal. People have a tendency to look at something desired and see the accumulated steps required to get there. It’s like climbing Mt Whitney by looking at the peak and continually thinking about how far you have to go. But in doing so, you miss the nuances of the climb. You lose the gifts along the way such as the sky pilot, a wildflower that blooms above the tree-line, or the red tail hawk hovering overhead.

Break down your dream into bite sizes. For instance, you want to write a book. Do you know that if you write only three pages a day you will have the first draft to your 300-page novel completed in only 100 days? That’s just a little over three months!

“Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.”Joseph Campbell.

Being a family caregiver is often about completing important daily tasks, but it’s important for both you, as a caregiver, and your parent to remember to enjoy some quality time together. One such shared inspirational activity is creating a bliss board, also known as a vision board. Grab a stack of magazines, scissors, some glue and two poster boards. As you’re leafing through the magazines, cut out pictures and words that strike a chord in you—a “Yes, I’d love to do, be or have that someday.” Then glue them on the board to create a beautiful vision of what you’d like to create in your lives. If your parent carries the belief that it’s too late in the game, consider the following:

Duncan Hines wrote his first food and hotel guide at the age of 55 and sold the company that developed Duncan Hines cake the right to use his name at age 73.

Lauran Ingalls Wilder, author of Little House on the Prairie, published her first novel at the age of 65.

Grandma Moses picked up her first paintbrush at the age of 76 after arthritis left her unable to continue with embroidery—her first love. She continued painting for 25 years and eventually saw her paintings sell for upwards of $10,000.

Resources:  http://quoteinvestigator.com/2011/09/29/you-did/
http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/143093-follow-your-bliss-if-you-do-follow-your-bliss-you
http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/21535-the-journey-of-a-thousand-miles-begins-with-a-single
https://www.inc.com/bill-murphy-jr/14-inspiring-people-who-found-crazy-success-later-in-life.html
http://mentalfloss.com/article/24688/10-people-who-switched-careers-after-50-and-thrived

If you or an aging loved one are considering Caregiver Services in Jamaica NY, please contact the caring staff at Gentle Hands Home Care.

April is Car Care Month – Is Your Car Safe?

When spring rolls around and the weather gets warmer, people start thinking about taking road trips. That’s why April is National Car Care Month. Now is the time to make sure that anything you’ve neglected over the winter gets taken care of so that your car is safe for the extra miles of summer vacations.

Senior Care Massapequa NY - April is Car Care Month – Is Your Car Safe?

Senior Care Massapequa NY – April is Car Care Month – Is Your Car Safe?

This is especially true if you have a senior parent who regularly rides with you. After all, you wouldn’t want to break down on the side of the road with your mom or dad in the car! If your parent still owns his or her own car, or if you have a car that is used by someone providing senior care to your parent, you should also take time to make sure that car is in safe working condition.

If you’re like many people with a busy schedule, you may have slipped on getting your car regularly serviced. You may not even be aware of how often some services should be performed. If that’s the case, don’t worry! You’re not alone! A recent survey by the Car Care Council discovered that as many as 25% of cars are low on oil or have dirty oil. In fact, 89% of cars were in need of some sort of maintenance.

So, what are some of the things you should be checking on your car or the car of a parent who requires senior care? Here are just a few:

  • Watch for lit dashboard indicator lights and address issues immediately.
  • Replace burned out headlights.
  • Check oil and windshield wiper fluid levels frequently.
  • Monitor the tire pressure and condition.
  • Have a mechanic perform a three month or 3,000 miles check regularly. This check includes oil, transmission fluids, belts, battery, tires, etc.
  • Every six months or 6,000 miles the car should undergo a more thorough check, including the normal three month items and additional items, like windshield wiper blades and chassis lubrication.
  • Once a year the car should be thoroughly checked over for any problems that need correcting, such as improper wheel alignment or steering and suspension issues.

If the parent receiving senior care is in a wheelchair, you may have a vehicle that has been modified for wheelchair access. If that is the case, April is also a good time to have the ramp checked. You may also want to take advantage of the warmer weather to give your modified vehicle a good cleaning since the floors and extra nooks and crannies involved in keeping a wheelchair in place can collect a lot of dirt during the winter months.

If your car maintenance has fallen a bit behind, April is a great time to get back on track. Many garages and car dealers offer free car care events during National Car Care Month. These events can help you learn more about keeping your car safe for yourself and your loved ones.

Source:  http://www.carcare.org/car-care-month/

If you or an aging loved one are considering Senior Care Services in Massapequa NY, please contact the caring staff at Gentle Hands Home Care.

How Can You Change Your Family’s Mind When it Comes to Getting Help with Caregiving?

Sometimes it’s tough being a family caregiver, especially when no one else in the family seems to be offering up their own time and energy to help out. Is it possible to change their minds about helping more? Possibly.

Determine to What Extent You Need Help

One mistake that family caregivers can find themselves making is that they don’t have a strong handle on what they need help with, exactly. If that’s the case for you, you need to sit down and start making a list and clarifying it. You might find that the help you need is beyond the type of help that you are likely to get from other family members. In that case, it makes sense to hire home care providers instead.

Home Care Brooklyn NY - How Can You Change Your Family's Mind When it Comes to Getting Help with Caregiving?

Home Care Brooklyn NY – How Can You Change Your Family’s Mind When it Comes to Getting Help with Caregiving?

Split up Your Requests and Share the Wealth

Once you know what you need help with exactly, you can go about determining who to talk to about the situation. Asking one or two family members for help is not likely to net you the results that you want. You’ll need to break up tasks and spread them out among several family members. You’ll have smaller tasks and you’ll have a better chance of getting a “yes.”

Let Go of Your Expectations

It’s not uncommon at all to have a set of expectations about what is going to happen when you talk to other family members about offering up some help. The problem is, it’s easy to be disappointed when your expectations aren’t met. Before you even talk to your family members, let go of any expectation about their answers. Accept that a “no” is going to be just as helpful as a “yes,” because it allows you to make a decision and get a solution in place.

Accept that Another Solution Might Work Better

While it’s usually preferable to have other family members pitching in more often, that’s not always feasible. You may come to a point at which you need to accept that another solution may simply be better for everyone involved, your elderly loved one included. Again, this isn’t a bad thing at all. It allows everyone to help out to the extent that they can and it enables you to get the help that you need, even if that’s from external sources.

Gaining experience with caregiving will help you to understand more clearly what you and your loved one need in terms of extra help.

If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Brooklyn NY, please contact the caring staff at Gentle Hands Home Care.

Three Benefits Spring Brings for Recovery

Every season has its benefits. As people get older, though, winter begins to lose significant appeal. For an elderly loved one who may have recently been hospitalized, or maybe had been hospitalized a couple of months ago, winter can be a burden. It may be a season that doesn’t seem to want to end.

Elderly Care Bronx NY - Three Benefits Spring Brings for Recovery

Elderly Care Bronx NY – Three Benefits Spring Brings for Recovery

People don’t get outside during the winter as often as other months.

This is especially true for the elderly who have limited mobility, diminished strength, and are not as active outside as they once were. When winter rolls in, especially in the northern portion of the country, it brings in cold, snow, and other conditions that make it difficult for somebody to enjoy outdoor living.

A senior may be advised to avoid going for walks outside or for exposing themselves to extreme cold for very long. This means more seniors have a tendency to be cooped up during the winter months, so when spring arrives it can provide a lot of benefits, including an emotional boost. Here are three other benefits to consider.

Benefit #1: Better optimism and an improved attitude.

There’s something about longer days, more abundant sunshine, and warmer temperatures that helps people be more optimistic. Just getting outside and feeling those warm sunrays cascading over your skin can help inspire even the most ornery individual.

The same is true for elders who may be going through some type of recovery. When they have something to look forward to, something to feel great about, such as this warming trend, they may be more inspired to do what’s necessary to avoid a hospital readmission.

Benefit #2: More outdoor activities.

Simply going for a walk, heading to a park and sitting down watching the birds and squirrels, or even gardening can all be activities that provide the senior some emotional and physical benefit. When people are more active, they have a tendency to be healthier. When people age, it becomes more difficult to maintain muscle mass and, subsequently, balance.

When an elderly person is working through recovery and is advised by their doctor to exercise, nothing is going to inspire them more than being able to do some outdoor activities.

Benefit #3: Improved safety for some.

Once winter is over and the risk of frozen precipitation or ice freezing on walk areas ends, safety can improve. The elderly may even be able to open the windows and enjoy some fresh air without worrying about the cold nights and frigid temperatures.

Now that spring is here, recovery for an elderly loved one may begin to improve.

If you or an aging loved one are considering Elderly Care Services in Bronx NY, please contact the caring staff at Gentle Hands Home Care.