Categories
Family Caregivers Getting Help

Build a Team When Caring for Your Aging Parents

 

Two neighbors were chatting, and one asked the other how she’s been doing after her mom’s stroke. The neighbor often heard the other neighbor leaving for the hospital very early in the morning. She also knew about the care needs of the dad, who had dementia.

The other neighbor admitted she was feeling overwhelmed. As the medical power of attorney, she felt the pressure of making medical decisions, being on-duty at all hours to help her dad, and being present at the hospital.

She wasn’t sure she could keep up. In addition to the dozens of daily to-do tasks, she had to maintain a calm emotional state and be the leaning post for her parents.

Does this sound familiar? When was the last time you looked at your dad’s care needs in terms of your health? If you’re doing everything for your parents and little for yourself, it’s important to change that. It’s time to build your team.

The Goal of a Team

Why is a team critical? Caring for aging parents is emotionally challenging. Even if they’re always cooperative and upbeat, it’s hard seeing your parents’ abilities change. As much as you don’t want to think of them struggling to do things like cooking their meals, driving a car, or doing their own shopping, the day will come when they need help.

With a team in place, you have an emotional support system in place. Whether your other family members are involved or have professional caregivers, you have someone else available to compare notes, vent frustrations, and celebrate unexpected moments.

A team also ensures you have days off when you need them. If you’re the primary family caregiver and wake up feeling sick, you shouldn’t help your parents out. First, you need time to heal. Second, you don’t want to make them sick. They may not bounce back as quickly as you can.

How Do You Build a Team?

Where do you start? Talk to the rest of your family and any close family friends. You want to see if anyone is willing to help out each month. Your brother may have Fridays off and be happy to spend the day doing meal prep for the next week. Your cousin may be willing to pick up your mom and bring her along on grocery shopping day.

Discuss the things your parents cannot do without assistance. If they need medication reminders, that’s a daily task. If they need someone to do the laundry, that’s a weekly task. Create a care schedule that fits their requirements. Plan accordingly from that care schedule.

When you don’t have anyone to help with your parents’ care needs, call a home care agency. You want to have home care aides fill in gaps as needed. This way, your parents never have to go without, and you don’t have to reschedule your pressing appointments and responsibilities to make sure you’re free.

If you are considering home care in Almena, MI, for an aging loved one, please call the caring staff at Fresh Perspective Home Care at (269) 329-4717. We are here to help!

Categories
Home Safety Senior Safety

Making Your Senior’s Home Safe for Home Health Care

Each June, National Safety Month focuses on making workplaces a safe place for their employees. Your dad has a home health care nurse. Have you ever stopped to think about his nurse’s safety? You should.

It’s easy to make your dad’s home as safe as possible for him and his care nurses. Here are the steps to take to keep your dad’s home health care nurses safe and secure.

Keep Up With Weather Conditions

After a snowstorm, ice and snow can make a sidewalk or front steps dangerous to try to walk on. Before the nurse is scheduled to arrive, shovel and apply a product that melts the ice. There are pet-friendly deicing agents.

Home Health Care in Pavilion MI
Home Health Care in Pavilion MI

In the spring, summer, and fall, check sidewalks and stairs for fallen branches and wet leaves. After mowing, sweep away grass clippings. Make sure a heavy rainstorm hasn’t sent gravel or mulch into the walking path.

Install Brighter Lighting

Dim lighting increases the risk of walking into things. Instead of an old light fixture that leaves dark corners, install bright LED lighting that reaches every corner of a room. You might upgrade with LED light bulbs or cost-effective ceiling-mounted LED fixtures that have settings allowing you to choose the brightness level.

Check the Flooring

Your dad’s flooring is probably pretty safe, but how closely have you really looked at it? If his nurse is coming up the stairs, are they wood and slippery if she has to take her shoes off? Is any of the carpeting loose? If there are issues, you need to address them.

Consider upgrading all of his floorings to non-slip vinyl planks. They look like wood, but the textured surface is non-slip, even if it’s wet. Once it’s installed, avoid the desire to decorate with throw rugs. If they don’t have a rubberized back, they can slip when you step on them.

Watch for Insect Pets

Walk around the property. Look for hornet’s or wasp’s nests on the eaves, under deck stairs, or in trees close to the home. You don’t want the nurse to get stung. If there are signs of these stinging insects, spray them and remove the nest or hire a professional.

You also want to address any flea issues your dad’s pets may have. Fleas are not fun to have in the house, so hire an expert if you need help getting rid of them for good.

Talk to a home health care specialist and ask about other things you can do to make sure nurses are safe when they’re working in your dad’s home. As you’re given tips, make sure you make the changes that are needed.

If you are considering home health care in Pavilion, MI, for an aging loved one, please call the caring staff at Fresh Perspective Home Care at (269) 329-4717. We are here to help!

Categories
Benefits of Home Care Home Care

Tips for Transitioning to Using Home Care Services for Your Parent

If you have been caring for your elderly loved one and recently noticed they need more help, you are not alone. You may want to do everything you can to help your elderly loved one. However, if you are like many other family caregivers, you probably already have your schedule pretty full. If this is the case, you don’t need to worry because home care providers can help. If you don’t think your elderly loved one will transition well with home care services, there are some tips that might help.

You Can Be There

When the home care provider goes to see your elderly loved one on the first day, this might cause some worries. Your elderly loved one might be concerned about someone coming into their home. They might think that the home care provider will just do everything for them when they don’t need that much help. Maybe they aren’t sure how the home care provider will help with things. It might make your elderly loved one more comfortable to have you with them when the home care provider first shows up. You can ask if this is something they would like. If so, hopefully, you can work it into your schedule, so that your elderly loved one transitions better into the home care services.

Prepare Medical Information Ahead of Time

If your elderly loved one is going to get home care services, be sure you prepare their medical information ahead of time. For instance, if your elderly loved one is diabetic, be sure the home care providers know about this. If they have a heart issue or take certain medications, be sure the home care providers know these things, as well. The more the home care providers know about your elderly loved one’s medical conditions, the more they can help to keep them safe and healthy.

Emergency Contacts

Who should the home care providers call in case of an emergency? Sure, they should call 9-1-1. However, there may be other people that you want them to contact. Should they call you? Is there another number you want the home care providers to have in case they can’t reach you? Is there are certain hospital that you want your elderly loved one to go to if there is an emergency? Be sure the home care providers know about this.

Conclusion

These are some of the tips for transitioning your elderly loved one into home care services. Now that you have this information, you can share it with your elderly loved one. Hopefully, this information can make them and you more comfortable when starting up the home care services.

Sources
https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/aging-place-growing-older-home

If you are considering home care in Marcellus, MI, for an aging loved one, please call the caring staff at Fresh Perspective Home Care at (269) 329-4717. We are here to help!

 

 

Categories
Caregiver Stress Family Caregivers

Have You Stopped to Think About Your Own Self-Care Goals?

When was the last time you thought about self-care? Your teen has a game and wants you there. Your younger child needs your help with a research project. Your boss needs you to work overtime again. Your spouse has a business function and doesn’t want to go alone. During all of this, you’re also helping your mom and dad with their daily activities of living.

It’s easy to get caught up in helping others and lose track of yourself. Pushing off self-care isn’t ideal. The best case scenario is that you become exhausted and have to walk away for a bit. Family caregivers often push off things like dental appointments or medical exams. While it’s easy to put yourself last, your health and wellness won’t wait for you to catch up.

Things Family Caregivers Need for Self-Care

Self-care is more than seeing your doctor, eating the right foods, and exercising. It’s also about your mental health. It would be best if you took time off to do things you enjoy. You love to fish, so be sure to make that part of your self-care agenda.

You haven’t gone out with your friends or spouse in months. Take time to go out, socialize, and release your stress. Maybe, you haven’t found time to go hiking even though it makes you happy. It’s time to go hiking.

Sleep is another vital part of self-care that family caregivers overlook. Experts feel adults need seven or eight hours of sleep each night. Eight is ideal. When was the last time you were able to get in all eight hours?

Take a night off. Have dinner early, take a relaxing bath, and head to your bedroom. If you have kids at home, your partner can take care of them for the rest of the night. Read a book while your body winds down from a busy day. When you feel tired, turn off your reading light and go to sleep.

Discover the Benefits of Respite Care

Stop right now and think about the things you haven’t done for yourself. Come up with a list of the most important to the least important. Catching up on medical exams, dental visits, and eye exams needs to be near the top. Socialization and time to yourself need to follow. Now, make sure you start crossing off that list.

Professional caregivers from a home care agency help you out by assisting your parents. Take some days off, see your doctor, go out with friends, and stay in bed all morning. You’ll return to your parents refreshed, feeling better about yourself, and ready to provide the best care possible. Schedule caregivers today.

If you are considering caregivers in Paw Paw, MI, for an aging loved one, please call the caring staff at Fresh Perspective Home Care at (269) 329-4717. We are here to help!

Categories
Home Safety Senior Safety

Technology That Can Help Your Mom With Aging Alone

As of 2018, approximately 14.3 million older adults lived alone. Of those, 9.5 million were women. If your mom’s expressed the desire to age at home, she’s not the only one. Around 44 percent of U.S. women who are 75 or older were living alone in 2018.

Living alone doesn’t have to mean risking your safety and being lonely. Your mom can live independently in her home with a helping hand as needed. Advancements in technology are making it easy to live alone without living at risk.

Smart Speakers

Start your mom with a smart speaker. Most allow her to command her TV without needing to understand a complicated remote. She can use her smart speaker for reminders, to make calls to family members, and to play music.

Smart speakers can recite a recipe to her while she cooks. They can tell her the weather and news. They can also control lights throughout the home if she pairs them with smart light bulbs.

Smartwatches

A smartwatch is a helpful device when your mom lives alone. The Apple Watch is one that many recommend as it offers some of the best features for aging adults. Fall detection is one of the features, but other companies offer fall detection. Shop around for the watch that fits your mom’s needs.

The Apple Watch stands out as newer models have ECG readers that can alert your mom if her heart isn’t beating normally. It stores information that paramedics need to know in an emergency. It has a button that your mom can push to alert emergency services if she needs help.

Security Systems

Security systems are for more than keeping intruders out. They can alert you to someone at your mom’s door. You can interact with the person and send salespeople and possible scammers away. Interior cameras can be placed in areas for you to make sure your mom is up, showered, and moving around the house each day.

Today’s technology also offers sensors that alert you to issues within the home. If a pipe bursts, the system alerts you. If a window or door is left open, you can get alerts.

Smart Smoke Detectors

Smart smoke detectors offer both you and your mom the peace of mind you need. If she is hard of hearing, you may worry that she’ll never hear the alarm. When a smart smoke detector senses smoke, fire, or carbon monoxide, the alarm goes off.

The bonus is that you can also set alerts to go to home care aides, neighbors, and family members. You’ll know if there is an issue and can make sure your mom is okay.

Pair today’s home technology with the personal touch that home care offers. Caregivers can help your mom with housekeeping, laundry, transportation, and meals. They also offer something that technology lacks. Home care aides provide companionship as often as your mom needs it.

Sources:
https://acl.gov/sites/default/files/Aging%20and%20Disability%20in%20America/2018OlderAmericansProfile.pdf

If you are considering senior care in Galesburg, MI, for an aging loved one, please call the caring staff at Fresh Perspective Home Care at (269) 329-4717. We are here to help!

If you are considering senior care in Galesburg, MI, for an aging loved one, please call the caring staff at Fresh Perspective Home Care at (269) 329-4717. We are here to help!

Categories
Alzheimer's and Dementia Signs and Symptoms

When Mom Can’t Swallow, Here’s What to Do

Late-stage Alzheimer’s disease comes with many challenges. At its most severe, Alzheimer’s may cause your mother or father to have difficulty swallowing. This happens concurrently with a loss of interest in food.

Don’t panic. There are many ways to mitigate this issue. Try some of the following:

Introduce Soft Foods
Home Health Care in Almena MI

There are many foods that require little to no effort to swallow that also provide good nutrition. Several dairy products provide easily consumed whole protein, including:

  • Whole milk. Whole milk doesn’t have to be chewed and goes down easily. Most late-stage Alzheimer’s patients need whole, rather than reduced fat, milk because they are experiencing weight loss.
  • Ice cream. Especially if your parent has a sweet tooth, this is a tempting treat.
  • Flavored yogurt. Plain yogurt may taste too sour for a late-stage Alzheimer’s patient, but yogurt that is sweetened with fruit and sugar is extremely palatable, and it’s loaded with protein. Some yogurts pack a quarter of the day’s protein requirement in one cup or less.
  • Applesauce. Applesauce has good fiber and nutrients while being very easy to swallow and digest.
Grinding and liquidizing foods

Most foods, and certainly all fruits and vegetables, can be reduced to a sauce or liquid form, either in a blender or food processor. You don’t need any equipment more specialized than an ordinary blender to do this.

Fruits and vegetables like cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, apples, bananas, berries, and boiled potatoes have enough moisture in them to be easily blended without adding fluid. When blending nuts, meat, or harder vegetables, like garbanzos, cabbage, and raw bell peppers, you will need to add some oil, some soup broth, or some salad dressing to get the product down to a liquid.

Eliminate choking hazards

Encourage your senior to take her time chewing and eating. You can model slow, careful eating by doing it yourself. If your senior tends to drink or eat too quickly, keep portions small. You can serve seconds if need be.

Make sure that your parent only eats when sitting upright in a chair. Alzheimer’s patients should not eat lying in bed or when in a reclined position, because that could lead to choking. Late-stage Alzheimer’s patients may need a chair with tall sides, ending in arm rests, and an installed tray to prevent the patient from falling while eating.

How Home Health Care Can Help

While hired home health care isn’t required for patients with late-stage Alzheimer’s, be aware that it can be very difficult to care non-stop for someone who needs this level of monitoring.

Home health care aides are trained specifically to understand and meet the challenges of caring for patients with severe cognitive deficits. They can undertake the difficult work of managing medications, preparing safe, nutritious meals, and other tasks that may be physically or emotionally too demanding for family members.

In conclusion, late-stage Alzheimer’s patients need an unusual level of competent care. Even the most dedicated caregivers will need to take a break now and then. It is wise to make a list of things you can manage and things you cannot manage. Then find help with the list of things that are too much.

Sources

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/coping-late-stage-alzheimers-disease
https://www.seatingmatters.com/chairs-for-dementia-patients
https://www.businessinsider.com/yogurts-with-the-most-protein-2016-4

If you are considering home health care in Almena, MI, for an aging loved one, please call the caring staff at Fresh Perspective Home Care at (269) 329-4717. We are here to help!
Categories
Elder Care in Pavilion MI Music and Seniors

Using Music to Keep the Mind in Shape

We might all listen to very different kinds of music, but research has shown that listening to, performing, and enjoying music in any of its myriad of forms, keeps the brain engaged in the aging process. It is a workout for the brain in a way that’s similar to physical activity being a workout for the body. Not only does it engage multiple areas of the brain, music can be used to reduce anxiety, improve sleep quality, elevate mood, and stimulate memory.

Looking for some fun ways to get more music into your aging parent’s life? The possibilities are endless, even during the current state of the world where live concerts are much more few and far between than they used to be.

  • Go to a concert. Yes, we just said that concerts are few and far between and at this point, no one is meeting with hundreds of others inside orchestra halls to listen to a concert but as the weather warms up, you can look for smaller concerts that will pop up. It might be a string quartet in a local garden or a guitarist playing at an outside event. Look for these types of activities that provide safe and enjoyable engagement with live music. Your elder care provider can help with transportation if needed and might even enjoy joining your parent at these mini concerts.
  • Watch a musical. Help your parent find a good musical on a streaming channel or using her DVD player. She can choose something that evokes good memories from long ago or find a new musical that is nothing like she’s ever watched before. New music can challenge a brain in a way it hasn’t been challenged before, forcing the listener to find the musical notes in new and unique ways.
  • Have a sing-along. If your parent is still no longer able to gather with extended family, arrange for a Zoom sing-along where each person gets to pick their favorite song to have everyone sing along with. Adding stories to why the songs were picked, builds connections, and might introduce your parent into some new music that she has never had the chance to experience yet.
  • Pick up an instrument. Even if your parent hasn’t played the piano in 20 years, sitting down in front of one may bring up great memories and create some stimulation in parts of her brain that haven’t been used in decades. Your parent can also learn a new instrument! Find a used instrument at a second-hand store or online and let your parent start to practice something completely different. YouTube has tons of instructional videos for just about every instrument out there. Having your elder care provider help your parent find the right video (or purchase a book) will increase brain sharpness by having to learn a completely new skill.

As your parent plays around with different types of music, have her focus on what makes her feel good, what creates more stress, and what is relaxing. Music affects different people in a variety of ways so helping her find the music that creates the most positive experience will keep her coming back for more.

Source: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/keep-your-brain-young-with-music

If you are considering elder care in Pavilion, MI, for an aging loved one, please call the caring staff at Fresh Perspective Home Care at (269) 329-4717. We are here to help!

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Fresh Perspective Home Care Home Care in Kalamazoo MI

FRESH PERSPECTIVE TEAM UPDATE

Congratulations to our newest Caregivers. Welcome to the Fresh Perspective Home Care Team!

02/01/2021 – Justin Mead

02/02/2021 – Jayla Lockhart

Happy March Birthday Wishes:
3/2 Justin Mead
3/20 Jamie Payno
3/20 Trieste Buchanan
3/23 Penny Bishop

And a big THANK YOU to our Team Members celebrating March Anniversaries!

1 Year – Adrianna Eaton, LPN
7 Years – Jill Henry, LPN 7 year

Categories
Caregivers in Portage MI Fall Prevention

Five Areas Where You Should Focus on Fall-Proofing

Falls are very common as you age. Some falls are minor, but more than 800,000 older adults end up in the hospital after a fall. Head injuries and hip fractures are two of the most common reasons for a hospital stay after a fall.

Why do older adults fall more often? There are several factors, ranging from the side effects of medications taken for chronic health conditions to joint pain from arthritis. Find out where you should focus your fall-proofing measures in your dad’s home.

Entryways

Entryways are an important area to focus on. If your parents don’t have a spacious entry, they may take off shoes near the door. It might be the place that umbrellas, coats, and bags are set. If that’s the case, they all pose a tripping hazard.

Lighting in entryways may not be bright enough as the entryway transitions to stairs. If there are shadowy areas, it can lead to a trip and fall. Entries also tend to have tile flooring. If it’s wet, it’s slippery.

Kitchen

Kitchen falls usually occur for one of two reasons. Water on a linoleum or tile floor can lead to slips. A non-slip kitchen mat near the sink and stove will help.

The other issue is reaching things in high cupboards. If your parent’s balance skills aren’t what they used to be, climbing onto a chair or counter to reach something can be dangerous. A step-stool with a sturdy handrail is important.

Sidewalks and Driveway

Sidewalks and driveways need to be clear of slippery leaves, packed snow, ice, and fallen branches. If a section of the sidewalk has cracked and is at different heights, it can pose a fall hazard. Those issues should be addressed.

Inside and Outside Steps

Make sure stairs both inside and outside the home have sturdy rails. Check that the stair treads are not loose. If anything is loose, fix it.

Bathroom

If the floor is linoleum or tile, it’s going to be slippery when wet. Switching to non-slip vinyl plank flooring is a safer move, but it does require money. If there’s no money in the budget, make sure there are non-slip bathmats.

Add grab bars inside and outside the bathing area and near the toilet. It’s also helpful to add a non-slip rubber mat to the bathtub or shower floor to make it less slippery.

Do you need help making sure your dad doesn’t fall again? With caregivers stopping by each day, you can have someone in his home at the times he’s most likely to fall. If he gets dizzy after taking his blood pressure medications, caregivers can make sure he sits down and watches a movie until the dizziness passes.

Talk to a home care agency about caregivers, medication reminders, and companionship services. You should also ask about having caregivers there to support your dad as he gets out of bed, stands up from the sofa, and steps out of the bathtub or shower.

Sources:
https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adultfalls.html

If you are considering caregivers in Portage, MI, for an aging loved one, please call the caring staff at Fresh Perspective Home Care at (269) 329-4717. We are here to help!

 

Categories
Alzheimer's Side Effects Home Care in Marcellus MI

Alzheimer’s Disease and Communication – How Can You Help?

Were you aware that there are millions of people who have Alzheimer’s disease? One of the things that you should know about this disease is that it affects the communication skills of the person who has the disease. Family caregivers often struggle to communicate with their elderly loved one when they have Alzheimer’s disease. However, there are some ways that you and elderly care providers can help to better communicate with your elderly loved one.