Monthly Archives: January 2015

9 Ways to Improve and Maintain Good Eye Health

Eyesight is perhaps one of the more widely known effects of aging. As we age it iAs we age our eye health slowly slips away. These tips will help your elderly loved one maintain healthy eyes.s normal for our eyesight to be negatively impacted. In addition to the normal effects of aging on our eyes, senior citizens are also at a higher risk of eye conditions such as cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma.

CATARACTS

It is estimated that 24 million Americans over the age of 40 have a cataract in one or both eyes. These cataracts normally develop slowly and will eventually lead to blurred vision, sensitivity to bright lights and glare, and trouble seeing at night, and an increased risk of falling. There is no cure. Surgery is the only effective treatment.

MACULAR DEGENERATION

The macula, is a tiny area near the center of the light-sensitive retina, it helps produce sharp close-up vision. Damage knocks out central vision. A combination of factors including family history, smoking and sunlight all play a part in its development. Like Cataracts, there is no cure. The therapy of high levels of anti-oxidant vitamins and minerals could help slow down the progression.

GLAUCOMA

Some researchers no longer think of glaucoma as solely an eye disease, but rather as a neurological disorder that causes nerve cells in the brain to die. Eye pressure is a risk factor but doctors also look for changes in the loss of peripheral vision and damage to optic nerve. Untreated, glaucoma can cause blindness. There is no treatment to undo damage caused, doctors can only prevent further damage. Treatment is usually eye drops to lower pressure or possibly surgery to improve the flow of fluid out of the eye.

Even though the degradation of vision is a normal part of aging, there are several steps one can take to help reduce the effects of aging on eyesight. Taking the following steps will help increase eye health:

  1. Maintaining a healthy diet
  2. Reducing screen time
  3. Keeping regular eye appointments
  4. Get enough sleep
  5. Exercise your eyes
  6. Don’t smoke
  7. Wear sunglasses to protect against UV light
  8. Control Diabetes
  9. Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol in check

If you still have questions and concerns about how to help your elderly loved one maintain their eye health please feel free to contact us. We can help your family establish a care plan to personally accommodate your loved one needs.

Wiser Home Care Services: Care for the ones you love!

Balance Exercises for the Elderly: Why Balance is Necessary

The New Year has just begun and we hope that you are doing well with your New Year’s resolutions. Last week we started a four week series exploring the different aspects to one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions: Exercise. Our topic focused on exercise through stretching. This week will be discussing another very important aspect of an effective exercise routine: balance exercises.

Balance exercises are a great way to reduce the risk of a fall for the elderly and maintain health.

Balance exercises, just like stretching exercises are key to any exercise routine for older adults or seniors who wish to maintain or increase their fitness level in 2015. Balance exercises generally deal with building the muscles in the legs. By building and maintaining this muscle group, an older adult loved one will reduce their likelihood to suffer from an injury caused by a fall and complications that arise after a fall. Independence is important to our loved ones, and avoiding falls is key to keeping that independence. Here is a list of great exercises that build leg and hip muscle strength.

Other great ways to practice balance exercises are to incorporate them throughout your normal daily routine! Simply sitting down and standing back up can be a great way to build muscles and increase balance. You can also encourage your loved one to balance on one foot for small periods of time. When doing so make sure there is a suitable object near for support in case your loved one tires or becomes off-balance.

As always, start slow when starting a new exercise routine. It is a good idea to add exercises slowly to your exercise routine and focus on different muscle groups on different days. This will give your body time to recover and keep your loved one safe by not over-tiring any one area of the body.

Next week we will devote our blog to a third kind of exercise, strength exercises. Make sure to check back to learn why strength focused exercises are an essential part of your loved ones routine!

If you still have questions and concerns about how to help your elderly loved one start exercising more please feel free to contact us. We can help your family establish a care plan to personally accommodate your loved one needs.

Wiser Home Care Services: Care for the ones you love!

Exercise Through Stretching

Elderly Exercise Tips for Safe Stretching

We are entering the second full week of January. The holiday rush is over, winter is underway, and most people are working hard to stay on top of their New Years resolutions.

According to statistics compiled by the University of Scranton, nearly 62 percent of Americans made resolutions for the New Year and a majority of these people made resolutions in regards to their health. These include resolutions to:

  • Lose weight
  • Live a healthier lifestyle
  • Maintain healthy exercise routines

Even if you or your elderly loved one didn’t make one of these New Years resolutions this year, it is never too late to begin living a healthier and more active lifestyle. As we all know, regular physical activity and exercise is good for us! This is especially true for our elderly loved ones.

There are many benefits to developing a good exercise program for your elderly loved one. It is recommended that the elderly participate in at least 15 minutes of physical activity each day. Helping our elderly maintain an active lifestyle not only helps them regulate their weight but it also helps them reduce their risk of diseases and manage healthy stress levels. Studies also show that keeping our elderly active also helps them:

  • Increase their self-esteem
  • Maintain good balance
  • Reduce their risk of experiencing a life altering fall

Considering the importance of helping your elderly loved one maintain a healthy lifestyle, we spoke with our caregivers and they gave us a list of their favorite exercises to do with their elderly clients. In this blog we will be focusing on one of four aspects of a healthy exercise routine for the elderly: stretching exercises.  In future blogs we will also be discussing strength exercises, balance exercises and endurance exercises all tailored to your elderly loved ones.

Stretching exercises are extremely important because they help maintain mobility and range of motion. Flexibility is especially key in keeping your loved ones active because it relieves tension within the joints and fights the loss of movement. Maintaining range of motion is key in keeping an active lifestyle for any older adult.

The following are some great stretching exercises to do with your elderly loved one.

  • Upper Body StretchesFocuses on upper back, neck, and arm mobility.
    • Shoulder Rolls
    • Neck Rotation
    • Arm Raises
  • Lower Body StretchesFocuses on hip, ankle, knee and leg mobility
    • Calf stretch
    • Ankle Circles
    • Hamstring Stretch

Things to remember when stretching:

  • Start slow- stretching should be relaxing, not painful
  • Incorporate new stretches slowly as well
  • Breathe while you stretch
  • Don’t move quickly, instead move your body slowly and easily
  • Try to hold a stretch for up to 30 seconds

An effective exercise routine should aim to incorporate stretching exercises 2-3 times per week. This with other exercises will help your elderly loved one to maintain or improve their health in 2015. Here’s to a healthy New Year!

If you still have questions and concerns about how to help your elderly loved one start exercising more please feel free to contact us. We can help your family establish a care plan to personally accommodate your loved one needs.

Wiser Home Care Services: Care for the ones you love!

This blog touches on how to reduce constipation for elderly citizens.

How-To Approach and Reduce the Risk of Elderly Constipation

Constipation amongst our elderly loved ones is a prevalent issue. In fact, according to some studies, nearly 20% of elderly citizens living in communities and up to 50% of elderly living in nursing homes suffer from it.

Some seniors may be reluctant to discuss their issues of constipation. As caregivers and family members, it is our responsibility to help our seniors deal with this uncomfortable and possibly health threatening issue.

There are several factors that can cause older adults to have difficulty having bowel movements leading to constipation. Factors such as: many medications, reduced intake of fluids and fibers, as well as increased intake of fluids and fibers.

The following are some tips from the Wiser Home Care Services caregiver staff to help reduce your or your elderly loved ones risk of constipation.

Increase Fluids

Make sure you or your senior is getting enough fluids. Drinking at least 3-5 12oz glasses of fluids is recommended. Fluids can be juice, water, teas, etc. Try to avoid caffeinated drinks. 

If water isn’t appealing, try putting lime, cucumbers or lemon in it to add some flavor. Also, crystal light and other manufacturers have come up with flavors that you can choose from and squirt directly into water for added flavor. Have a number of these on had for your seniors to choose from and if possible use themselves.

Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables

Getting enough raw and cooked fruits and vegetables also helps in aiding normal bowel function.

Stay Active

If your client is mobile, encourage them to walk, dance, or participate other physical activities.

Finally, if none of these help and you or your elderly loved ones feel the need to use an over-the-counter fiber aide or stimulant, such as laxatives, please consult a physician before using.

If you still have questions and concerns about how to help your elderly loved one with constipation please feel free to contact us. We can help your family establish a care plan to personally accommodate your loved one needs.

Wiser Home Care Services: Care for the ones you love!