Monthly Archives: November 2015

Respite Care: What is it and Why Do You Need it?

Respite Care: What is it and Why Do You Need it?

Whether it is by choice or due to tight finances, many people choose to forgo putting an elderly or sick loved one in a care facility and opt to take on the responsibility of caregiver.

In the United States alone it is estimated that nearly 44 million people care for their elderly parents and/or relatives.

While caring for a loved one can be fulfilling and rewarding, it is also often stressful and demanding. Many of these family member caregivers balance jobs, families of their own, their personal lives and caring for the sick or elderly relative.

Between all the responsibilities it is easy to see how one may feel like there is not enough hours in the day. In fact, there usually isn’t enough hours in the day to juggle all of the aforementioned responsibilities. Nonstop care taking is very emotionally and physically draining and can lead to some health issues for the caretaker themselves.

Wiser Home Care Services understands how draining caring for a loved one can be. We strongly believe that in order to be an effective and patient caregiver one must take care of oneself. No matter how much we love the people we are caring for and may want to care for them, it is still necessary to have breaks.

To help alleviate the stress, Wiser Home Care Services offers in-home respite care so the family can take care of other responsibilities and obligation or just have some down time to recharge.

Wiser Home Care Services can be there overnight so you can sleep, or just a few hours a week so you can:

  • Run errands, shop or exercise
  • Spend time with friends
  • Attend meetings or activities
  • Make a doctor or hair appointment
  • Enjoy much deserved quiet time

Respite care services give you a chance to leave home knowing that your loved one is with a professional, well-trained caregiver. Setting up respite care is easy, it can be a few hours a week to run errands, or 24-hour care so you can take a vacation or go on a business trip.

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 and help prevent falls and fall-related injuries.

11 Thanksgiving Tips for the Elderly

11 Thanksgiving Tips for the Elderly

Depending on who you talk to, you will get a differing opinion on when the holiday season officially starts. Some will tell you that the holiday season starts when you first start shopping for presents other will say it starts on Thanksgiving. We prefer that latter. Which puts us exactly 3 days from the hustle and bustle of the holidays!

If you can’t tell, we are a little excited. For many, the holiday season marks happy times spent fellowshipping with friends and family over gloriously prepared meals. This often means long days in the kitchen or on the road traveling depending on if you host or simply attend a Thanksgiving meal.

In fact, this coming Thursday it is estimated that nearly 39 million families will be traveling to another location to enjoy the glorious feast.

While this is a glorious time of the year for most, it is important to remember that for many of our elderly loved ones it can create a mixture of emotions ranging from happiness, gratitude and love to sadness, loneliness and stress.

To help you and your elderly loved ones make this a Thanksgiving feast of happiness and good memories we have compiled some turkey day tips.

Travel

  • Plan ahead – If you’re planning on taking an elderly loved one somewhere for Thanksgiving it is important to plan your route and timing ahead. Traffic can cause stress and be tiring.
  • Take breaks – If the trip will take more than an hour plan intermittent breaks to stretch legs and go to the bathroom.
  • Pack – Make sure to pack extra, weather appropriate clothing, snacks and all the necessary medications.

Around the House Safety

  • Keep walk ways and floors clean to prevent a slip or fall.
  • Help your elderly loved one if they need to carry or reach something heavy.
  • Have fun things planned during the wait for meal time.

Meal Time Safety

  • Make sure to turn off burners that are not in use to prevent accidental burns. Try to never leave the stove or fireplace unattended.
  • Avoid cross contamination of raw foods and make sure to cook meat and all sides to the proper internal temperature.
  • Keep proper nutrition in mind. Try to minimize use of salt or spicy foods as they will raise blood pressure.
  • Don’t let your elderly loved one dine alone. Not only is this sad, it is also dangerous in case of a choking incident.
  • Drink in moderation.

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 and help prevent falls and fall-related injuries.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The ABC's of Alzheimer's

The ABC’s of Alzheimer’s

For loved ones, patients and caregivers alike, dementia can be a difficult and scary disease to live and work with. We decided several weeks ago that it would be helpful to share our knowledge of dementia in an effort to help others who may be suffering or helping a loved one live with dementia.

This week we will cover the final most common form of dementia, Alzheimer’s. All of our past blogs are archived so if you would like to view our blogs regarding the other two common forms of dementia, vascular and Parkinson’s, please click here.

With nearly 44 million people worldwide suffering from Alzheimer’s the cost for caring for Alzheimer’s globally tops $605 billion. In the United States alone, Alzheimer’s sufferers paid nearly $226 billion in healthcare costs this year.

Furthermore, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, the disease is the 6th leading cause of death in America. In fact, Alzheimer’s is the only cause of death in the top 10 leading causes that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed.

Much like other forms of dementia, the key to having an upper-hand in the fight against dementia is having knowledge of symptoms, how to reduce you or your loved one’s risk through diet and healthy living and of course early detection. In the remainder of this blog we will cover each of these in detail.

The Down Low

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. The initial stage of Alzheimer’s starts with memory loss then as it progresses the next part of the body to be affected are the emotions and inhibitions. Additional symptoms can include confusion, anger, mood swings, language breakdown and long-term memory loss.

There are many causes of the disease including family genetics. It is known that some susceptible demographics are people over the age of 65, people with down syndrome and those that suffer from obesity.

Reduce Your Risk

Like we mentioned earlier, once the disease has set in, there are no ways to cure it. However, there are many steps you can take to help reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s. Other than maintaining a healthy lifestyle and diet, participating in brain strengthening exercises is a great way to reduce your risk. Brain strengthening activities include: board games, reading, playing instruments and dancing.

Treatment

Even though there is no cure to Alzheimer’s there are an abundance of clinical trials and treatment options including sensory therapy and alternative medication.

Caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease involves specialized services that differ from other types of senior housing.

What is the best type of care for a loved one with the disease? Alzheimer’s care is often delivered in an assisted living or nursing home setting usually in a separate floor or unit. Generally, the residents live in semi-private apartments and have structured activities delivered by staff members trained in Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Most of these living environments have secured areas to prevent wandering, a common symptom of the disease. Often, residents have access to outdoor walking paths or gardens which are within secured areas.

Stand alone memory care communities called Alzheimer’s special care units or memory care units also exist to better meet the specialized needs of residents with the disease. These memory care communities have been designed specifically for seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and often have features like a circular layout to ensure a resident won’t encounter a ‘dead-end’ in a hallway (a potential source of stress for advanced cases of Alzheimer’s).

When making a decision, it is important to ask if there is specialized care offered for residents with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.

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.