Monthly Archives: July 2015

What is Dementia and How Do You Care For It?

What is Dementia and How Do You Care For It?

Have you ever had a lapse of memory and innocently joked about having a “senior moment”?

You’re not alone. A lot of people believe that loss of memory is just a fact of aging. However, even though dementia is most common amongst the elderly, it is NOT considered a normal part of aging.

In fact, dementia is a chronic, progressive syndrome that is caused by a number of brain illnesses. Like any illness, there are several different forms of dementia with the most common being: Vascular (after a stroke), Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 47.5 million people worldwide are currently living with dementia and this number is expected to triple by the year 2050.

Dementia can progress differently in each person; changes in behaviors, decision making, problem solving, memory, and confusion. In addition, there could be trouble swallowing, speaking and sleeping.

As you can imagine, when an individual is diagnosed with dementia it does not only affect them, it affects their loved ones and caretakers as well. Caring for someone who suffers from dementia takes a big toll on the caregiver and often requires them to look for outside help and support to remain strong.

At Wiser Home Care Services we understand the challenges of caring for a loved one with dementia and our caregivers receive special training to care for seniors with these needs.

Wiser Home Care Services works with all medical professionals involved to develop a consistent plan of care tailored to the needs of each client

Additionally, Wiser Home Care Services can provide support to a family caregiver when it comes to disease management. This allows families to spend more quality time together while Wiser Home Care takes care of the needs of daily living.

If you care for an elderly loved one and would like help of any kind please feel free to contact us.

6 Ways To Prevent Heat Illness This Summer

6 Ways To Prevent Heat Illness This Summer

A combination of long stretches of hot weather and a lack of precipitation has made this summer one for the record books here in the Pacific Northwest. In fact, with only .23 inches of precipitation in Seattle during June, it was the fourth driest June on record.

The warm weather is a nice change compared to the normal rain here in the Pacific NorthWET.  However, the heat poses several dangers including an increased risk of wildfire, but perhaps even more dangerous is the increased risk of heat illness for our elderly loved ones.

According to the Center for Disease Control anyone could be at risk of heat illness but older adults are particularly vulnerable because they do not adjust well to sudden changes in temperature, may have an already existing condition, or may take a prescription medicine that affects how the body adjust to temperature.

Having a good knowledge of the warning signs and ways to prevent heat illness will not only keep your elderly loved one comfortable this summer, it may even save their life.

Heat illness comes in two forms, heat exhaustion and heat stroke, with heat stroke being the most dangerous.

Heat Stroke is characterized by a body temperature above 103 degrees F, red, hot and dry skin with no sweat, and a rapid pulse.

Heat exhaustion, the milder form of heat illness, has some of the following symptoms: heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness and cool, moist skin.

Now that you know the warning signs, we have compiled a list of tips to help prevent your elderly loved one from experiencing them.

  1. Drink cool beverages such as water and gatorade that replenish, hydrate and restore electrolytes
  2. Avoid alcoholic beverages because they actually increase the risk of dehydration
  3. Rest and if possible stay in a place with air conditioning and stay indoors
  4. Wear lightweight clothing
  5. Avoid strenuous activity
  6. If you can’t spend all day with your elderly loved one, try to at least visit them twice a day to check for possible warning signs of heat illness

Finally, if you care for an elderly loved one and would like help developing a care plan of any kind please feel free to contact us. Wiser Home Care Services can help your family establish a care plan to personally accommodate your loved one’s needs.