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.

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April 23rd is National Take a Chance Day[/caption]

“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:  https://quoteinvestigator.com/2011/09/29/you-did/

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.

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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:  https://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.

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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.

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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.

The Letter ‘S’ Is Vital for Health and Vitality as Seniors Age

As people get older they will be dealing with different challenges every day. Strength and muscle begin to decline well through a person’s 60s and into their 70s and 80s. Even if they exercise regularly, they can expect to lose more and more strength every year. Eventually this can affect their balance and ability to perform certain tasks throughout the day.

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What’s the letter ‘S’?

This basically stands for Safety. In order to improve safety and keep it as positive as possible for people as they get older, it’s important to maintain the right focus.

How does a person stay focused on safety?

They acknowledge their limitations. Some of these limitations could be due to mental challenges or other emotional issues, the more likely it has to do with their physical characteristics, strength, and balance. If a senior is unwilling to admit he or she is having difficulty getting up on a stepladder to get something down from the closet, they may continue to do these simple tasks without a second thought.

That’s going to diminish health and vitality, especially if they stumble and fall off the ladder. There’s no point in putting somebody at risk when there are other options.

What other options are there?

Relying on family members and friends, even neighbors, may be one of the first option people think about, but hiring professional senior home care support services is one of the best ones to think about.

Seniors can no longer take these things for granted.

In our 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s, we often take many things about our physical capabilities for granted. Some people who never broke a bone or severely sprained an ankle or knee may have no clue that they are not invincible.

However, when they reach their 60s, 70s, or 80s, they will see how frail and fragile they can be. It’s important not to take mobility and physical ability for granted. When you don’t take things for granted, you have a tendency to focus on doing the right thing to make sure you remain as active and safe as possible.

When a person reaches a certain age, they need to be honest with themselves about their ability, assess every situation for potential safety issues, and, when necessary, be willing to hire a senior home care aide for assistance.

When seniors remain safe at home, it can be important not just in the short-term aspect of their life, but well into their future.

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

What Should be in Your Elder Loved One’s Emergency Preparedness Kit?

In your role as a family caregiver, your elder parent’s safety is one of your top priorities. This means not only taking steps to ensure that their home is secure and they make good lifestyle choices, but also preparing for the possibility of emergency situations and disasters that can occur quickly and put your parent in serious danger.

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There are many things that you can do to help keep your loved one safer in these situations, but one of the most important is making sure that they have an emergency preparedness kit packed, ready, and easily accessible so that they can get to it easily if an emergency situation arises. This kit should contain the items your elder loved one might need throughout a disaster or weather emergency to help them handle their needs and stay safe, healthy, and comfortable.

While your loved one will need to add items that are personal to their individual needs and challenges, some of the basic items that should be included in any emergency preparedness kit include:

• One gallon of water per person, per day, with a minimum 3-day supply if you plan for your parent to be evacuated, or 2-week supply if they will remain at home during the emergency
• Non-perishable foods that require no heat or water for preparation
• Flashlight and extra batteries
• Hand-crank or battery-operated radio and extra batteries
• First aid kit
• Multi-purpose tool
• Hygiene items
• Sanitation items
• At least 7-day supply of all medications, including over-the-counter items frequently used, if possible
• Extra clothing
• Blankets
• Copies of important personal documents such as birth certificate, passport, prescriptions, deeds, and insurance information
• Emergency contact information
• Cell phone and emergency charger or battery
• Information about local shelters

Starting elder care for your aging loved one can be one of the best decisions that you can make for them as their family caregiver. An elder home care services provider can be with your parent on a customized schedule to ensure that they get the level of care, support, and encouragement that they need throughout their later years to remain happy, healthy, comfortable, and safe, while also pursuing as much independence and activity as possible.

When it comes to helping them handle emergency situations, this elder care provider can help your parent understand the risks that they are facing, ensure that they have the emergency preparation supplies that they might need to help them through the situation, and even plan preparedness activities such as running drills to help with the possibility of evacuation or other disasters.

When it comes to helping them to create and maintain their emergency preparedness kit, this care provider can help your parent evaluate what they might need, source and store the items, and frequently check the items to ensure that they are still valid and in good condition. This ensures that the kit is ready in the event that it is needed, and is in the best condition possible. As a family caregiver this can give you a tremendous sense of relief knowing that if your elderly parent does face a disaster situation, they will be ready to do what they need to do to get through it in the best way possible.

Source: https://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/be-red-cross-ready

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

Tips for Controlling Fluids in an Elderly Adult Suffering from Congestive Heart Failure

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If you are a family caregiver for an elderly adult who is suffering from congestive heart failure, one of the recommendations that you have likely received from their doctor is to limit the amount of fluids that your aging parent consumes daily. Congestive heart failure can lead to fluid retention throughout the body, which can then put even further strain on the heart. Limit the amount of fluids that your aging parent consumes daily will help to prevent this strain as well as reduce the risk that they will experience difficult swelling.

For many aging adults, controlling fluids can be challenging. Helping them to adjust their lifestyle can make this easier for them while they journey with congestive heart failure as they age in place. Fortunately there are ways that you can simplify this guideline and help your parent make it a normal part of their routine.

Use these tips to help your loved one control fluids as they deal with congestive heart failure:

• Fluid is not just water. When it comes to controlling your parent’s fluid intake, it is important to remember that this does not just mean the water that they drink. Foods that are comprised largely of liquid are also considered fluids. This includes soup, ice cream, gelatin, very juicy fruits, and ice pops. Make sure that you pay close attention to these foods and count them as part of their fluid intake.

• Measure their glasses. Most people do not know how much their glasses hold and merely estimate what they consume when they drink out of them. This is not adequate when controlling the fluid intake for seniors with congestive heart failure. Measure how much your parent’s drinking glasses hold, and encourage them to accurately measure each fluid that they consume.

• Ease dry mouth. Your parent might struggle with feelings of dry mouth or dry throat when they are not permitted to consume as many fluids as they usually do. Help them to ease these feelings without increasing their fluid intake by encouraging them to suck on hard candy, chew gum, use mouth moisturizing products, or rinse their mouth with water and spit it out before swallowing.

If your aging parent has been dealing with congestive heart failure or their condition has worsened to the point at which you do not feel as though you are able to handle their needs properly, now may be the ideal time for you to start home are for them. An in-homecare provider can create a course of management and care that is right for their individual needs while also supporting a lifestyle that is active, engaged, and fulfilling for them.

This can include helping them to understand their condition and how it has impacted their health and quality of life, as well as the recommendations that their doctor has given them to manage their condition properly and stay as healthy as possible as they age in place.

When it comes to helping your elderly adult stay healthier and safer by controlling their fluids, this homecare provider can be a valuable source of support and encouragement. They can help your parent to remember the fluid intake guidelines that their doctor gave them and make meaningful changes to their regular routine that will help them to comply with these guidelines. This can help to ensure that they are able to live an active, satisfying, and enjoyable life while keeping their heart as strong as possible as they age in place.

Sources:  https://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/docs/fs_heart_failure.pdf

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

Quick and Easy Ways to Bump up Your Loved One's Nutrition Levels

Home Care Little Neck NY

Home Care Little Neck NYYour elderly loved one has spent many years choosing her own food, but she may be at a point where she needs to consider nutrition over her favorite food items. Adding more nutrition doesn't have to be a chore, however.

Add Just One More Vegetable or Fruit Each Day

Sometimes it's intimidating to suddenly start eating five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. That can even be one of the reasons that your elderly loved one drags her feet about changing her eating habits. But adding just one more fruit or vegetable serving each day can make a big difference with a small action.

Choose Whole Grain over Enriched White Bread

Enriched white bread often uses bleached flour that is missing some of the key nutrients, whole grains, and fiber that your elderly loved one really needs in her diet. Whenever possible, start looking for whole grain breads to quickly bump up the nutrition level of even a slice of toast.

Eat from the Rainbow

When your elderly loved one eats a variety of colors of fruits and vegetables, what she's really doing is enjoying an array of vitamins and minerals. Choosing fruits and vegetables from all of the different color families helps to ensure that your loved one is getting nutrients from all across the spectrum. It's also an easy way to tell at a glance that your loved one has a varied selection of choices.

Consider a Supplement

Depending on your elderly loved one's needs, supplements might be a good idea. Your loved one's doctor can run blood tests and determine where she has need of additional nutrients. These should be taken according to his recommendations because some can interfere with medications she may be taking.

Talk to Your Loved One's Doctor

Beyond supplementation, it's a good idea to talk to your loved one's doctor about her nutritional needs. He may recommend a specific diet or even recommend that you work with a dietician or a nutritionist. All of these options can help you to make sure that your elderly loved one is getting all of the nutrition that she needs.

Your loved one's elderly home care providers may have some additional ideas that can help you to increase your loved one's nutritional levels.

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.

Top Mealtime Tools for a Senior with Alzheimer’s Disease

Home Care Services Nassau County NY

Home Care Services Nassau County NYCaring for an elderly adult poses a wide variety of challenges for your elderly loved one and for you as their family caregiver. It is important that you not only recognize these challenges, but equip yourself with coping tools to help you address these issues effectively to give your senior the safe, healthy, and comfortable lifestyle that they desire and deserve.

Mealtime issues are particularly common among elderly adults suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. They might not get the nutrition that they need, may resist eating certain foods, or may struggle with swallowing. Fortunately there are tools that you can use to help make mealtime easier for your parent and encourage better nutrition as they get older.

Top mealtime tools for a senior with Alzheimer’s disease include:

• Colored tableware. Elderly adults who are dealing with Alzheimer’s disease might not be able to recognize the foods that they are eating or might get confused about what they are supposed to be eating. Using colored tableware can make it easier for your parent to identify what they should be eating and make it more obvious in its surroundings. Colors such as red and orange are also thought to stimulate appetite, potentially helping your senior eat more.

• Adaptive utensils. Many elderly adults with Alzheimer’s disease struggle with mobility which can make it difficult for them to use eating utensils properly. Consider adaptive utensils such as weighted forks and spoons. These make it easier for your parent to lift and guide them for more control and more confident eating.

• No-spill cups and dishes. Difficulty with body control, confusion, and altered spatial clues can make it common for your elderly adult to knock over cups and dishes. This is not only frustrating, but can be upsetting as well, potentially leading to negative behaviors. Look for cups and dishes designed to remain upright and not spill, including those with suction cups on the bottom to keep them in place. This will make it easier for your parent to get to their food and prevent accidents.

If you have been considering ways to help your elderly loved one live a higher quality of life as they age in place, starting home care services for them may be the ideal solution. The highly personalized services of a senior home care services provider are designed specifically with your elderly loved one’s needs, limitations, and challenges in mind, while also promoting as much independence, activity, and engagement as possible. This means that they will be able to live a lifestyle that is safe, happy, healthy, and fulfilling as they address their needs in a way that is right for them.

For a senior who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, this personalized, attentive care can make a tremendous difference in their comfort, security, and health, giving them the opportunity to make more out of their later years as they cope with the effects of their dementia. This home care services provider can be with your parent during mealtime to help them address the particular issues that they face, preparing meals for them, sitting with them to provide companionship and support, and even providing physical assistance with eating so that your loved one gets the nutrition that they need and avoids potentially serious dangers and complications.

Source:  https://www.alz.org/care/alzheimers-food-eating.asp

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

What You Should Know about National Donor Day

Homecare Massapequa NY

Homecare Massapequa NYWhen you think of February 14, you likely first think about Valentine’s Day. As a family caregiver, however, you should be aware of another observance that makes the hearts so popular in Valentine’s decorations even more meaningful. February 14 is also National Donor Day, a day set aside to raise awareness about organ donation, what it means for those in need of donations, and how it can impact the lives of those who choose to give the gift of life through donation. Understanding this can help you to guide your parent toward the decision that is right for them as you make the choice that is right for you. For many elderly adults, knowing that they are an organ donor gives them a great sense of pride and confidence that they can still do good even when their life has come to an end.

What you should know about National Donor Day and organ donation includes:

• 95 percent of adults report that they support organ donation.

• Throughout the United States there are approximately 2,091 children who are waiting for an organ transplant.

• There is no age limit to be an organ donor and organs have been used from donors of all ages. The oldest organ donor on record to have donated an organ to a recipient was 92 years old.

• Even people with medical conditions can be an organ donor. Health issues do not always impact all organs and tissues of the body, meaning that even if one area of your parent’s body is impacted by a health complication or disease, they may still be able to donate other tissues or organs.

• Being an organ donor does not impact the quality of care that your parent will receive at the hospital or doctor if they become ill or have an accident.

• Your parent can still follow through with end-of-life arrangements, including having an open-casket funeral, if they are a donor.

If you have been looking for ways to enhance your parent’s quality of life and help them to live a lifestyle that is safe, healthy, comfortable, active, and independent, starting elder homecare for them might be the ideal option. An elderly homecare services provider can be with your parent on a customized schedule to ensure that they get the care, support, and assistance that they need while also promoting as much autonomy as possible. They can then devise a course of management and care specifically tailored to their needs so that they can have the highest quality of life no matter what the level of care they require.

As their family caregiver knowing that your senior has an elderly homecare services provider with them can give you greater confidence that they will have everything that they need both when you are with them and when you are not. This can help to reduce the chances that your parent will suffer issues such as depression, loneliness, isolation, and loss of motivation, and boost their ability to make the most of their later years.

Sources:  https://www.donoralliance.org/events/national-donor-day/

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