Monthly Archives: March 2016

Elderly Spring Crafts for a Rainy Day

Elderly Spring Crafts for a Rainy Day

Have you ever heard the old adage, “April showers bring May flowers”? This year, in the Pacific Northwest, we think it should be “March showers bring April flowers”. While all the rain produces some stunning early bloom flowers and tree buds, it makes it difficult to get outside and enjoy them.

In an effort to help people through the month of March, as well as learn about crafting and all it’s benefits, the Craft and Hobby Association founded National Craft Month in March of 1994 and it has been going strong ever since.

According to the Craft and Hobby Association blog, National Craft Month has grown from only a few craft manufacturers in the beginning; into an international celebration with millions of craft hobbyists participating in it world-wide.

The art of crafting holds many benefits for the elderly. Not only is it a great way to pass the time, but using your brain and motor skills to be creative helps increase brain health and overall happiness.

To help your elderly loved one get the most out of National Craft Month we have gathered several of our favorite Spring-time crafts. We hope you enjoy them as much as we have. Happy Crafting!

  1. Strainer Flower Pots- In this easy craft your elderly loved one will turn a metal colander into a hanging flower pot. All you need is a colander, dirt, twine and your elderly loved one’s favorite spring plant or seedlings. You can find the tutorial here.
  2. Sew Fun!- We love puns almost as much as we love sewing. This blog (Click Here) has several great sewing projects for beginners. Several of them are Summer-themed, which means they are perfect to start in Spring so they can enjoy the finished product all summer long.
  3. We’re Just ‘Planing Around- All the elderly men will get a kick out of this clothespin airplane craft. (See it here). The fun doesn’t stop when the plane is finished though, hold a clothespin airplane race to see whose can fly the best.
  4. This one’s a Dandy- Ok, so it might be for kids, but trust us when we say, it is fun for people of all ages. This craft uses plastic forks and paint to create beautiful dandelion art. Find it here.
  5. Ch-Ch-Chia- Did you ever have a chia pet growing up? They typically resemble a head and if you pour water on them they sprout grass. This simple tutorial shows you how to make your own hedgehog chia pet by using a sock, water and grass seed.
  6. Can you do the Can Can?- With the exploding popularity of Pinterest, Mason jars aren’t simply for canning anymore. This blog shows several cool crafts you can do with your elderly loved one to turn their mason jars from sham to glam.

Whatever craft you choose to do with your elderly loved one, the most important thing is that you have fun. We would love it if you shared your craft experience and pictures with us.

As always, If you care for an elderly loved one and would like help developing a care plan please feel free to contact us. We can help your family establish a care plan to personally accommodate your loved one’s needs.

5 Ways to Celebrate Easter with Your Elderly Loved One

5 Ways to Celebrate Easter with Your Elderly Loved One

This weekend, all across the world, people are planning for and attending Easter egg hunts, services and family gatherings. In fact, in preparation for this weekend, nearly 120 million pounds of candy was purchased, including 60 billion jelly beans and 90 million chocolate bunnies.

While everyone loves chocolate bunnies and jelly beans, the best part of Easter is getting to see family and friends. However, for our elderly loved ones, this can prove to be a challenge. Especially for those who have limited mobility or live in senior housing. To ensure your elderly loved one gets to have the best Easter, we have compiled several ideas for ways you can include your senior in Easter activities.

The Pick-Up

If your elderly loved one is healthy enough to travel, pick them up and bring them along on your Easter day activities. It can often be a challenge for elderly to get out on their own, so any chance they have to get out should be maximized. Make sure you plan ahead so that you reduce the possible stress being ‘out’ can cause your loved one. Finally, if they are not healthy enough to travel, bring Easter to your elderly loved one.

Build a Basket

No matter how old you get, you are never too old for an Easter basket. Who doesn’t love a little candy and peeps? When building your loved one a basket, keep in mind their dietary restrictions. There are many candy stores that specialize in old-fashioned candy. Surprising your elderly loved one with a favorite candy from their childhood could bring back happy memories. If they can’t have much candy, consider a gift card or coupon for a day out, Netflix subscription, book or maybe their favorite magazine.

Take a Trip Down Memory Lane

Talk to your elderly loved one about Easters in the past. If they have any particular Easter traditions, such as a favorite Easter dish, a church service or any other Easter event, try to replicate them. This will help them feel special, included and is a great way to carry-on family traditions from one generation to the next.

Plan a Creative Easter Activity

Easter activities such as coloring eggs, participating in an Easter egg hunt or decorating Easter treats aren’t just fun for kids. People of all ages can enjoy these activities and it is a good way for elderly loved ones to interact with grand or great grandchildren. For more Senior Easter activities check out our last blog post on the subject here.

The Kodak Moment

Capturing every special Easter memory in video or picture is a good way to preserve the memories you make for years to come. In addition, your elderly loved one would probably appreciate pictures from the holiday to hang in their living space.

If you care for an elderly loved one and would like help developing a care plan please feel free to contact us. We can help your family establish a care plan to personally accommodate your loved one’s needs.

Happy Easter from Wiser Home Care Services.

5 Senior Friendly Spring Cleaning Tips

If you’re reading this blog it means you survived the first week of Daylight Savings Time. In fact, Spring is now upon us! This year, Spring officially started on Sunday March 20, and if you can’t tell, we are fairly excited for spring and all it brings. Longer days blooming flowers, warmer weather, more time to be outside; Spring is a great time.

Spring often signifies new beginnings, growth and a shedding of the old. For this reason, many people find the arrival of Spring as a good excuse to do some cleaning, Spring Cleaning.

This annual activity is usually despised by many, but the end result far outweighs the monotony of the task. For senior citizens, spring cleaning not only tidies up their place of residence but it also helps increase their safety. To help with your elderly loved one’s Spring Cleaning we have compiled the following list of tips:

Make a Checklist and Enlist Help

This may seem as a no-brainer but it is an important first step. Include your elderly loved one and anyone else who can help, the more the merrier. Make a game plan of everything you want to accomplish during Spring Cleaning and set a time that works for everyone. Since it is their place to live, it is important to respect the wishes of your elderly loved one. Keep in mind, while having a game plan is a part of the road to success, you will also want to be flexible and work around your loved one’s schedule to keep them from getting to exhausted.

The Fridge and Cabinets

When people think of spring cleaning they often jump to outdoor chores, cleaning attic places and dusting. While these are parts of spring cleaning, there are additional places that are just as important such as the fridge, cabinets and pantry. Check all food and perishables to make sure they are within a safe expiration date. You will also want to check noodles, rice, cereal, flour, sugar and any other possibly open-container foods. These foods attract mice and insects and need to be monitored.

Finally, check the medicine cabinet. Make sure all the necessary medications are filled and everything is up-to-date as far as expirations go. Spring Cleaning is a great time to replenish first aid items and go over a renewed emergency plan. Your emergency plan should layout what the proper protocol is for falls, injuries, break-ins, natural disasters, etc.

Do the Clutter Bug

If you don’t know, the clutter bug is like the jitter bug but you clean. Ok, so we just made this up, but it is really important to clean up any clutter that has accumulated in your loved one’s house. Make sure all walkways, stair cases and common areas are free of clutter. This will reduce your loved one’s chance of experiencing a fall.

Deep Clean

Make sure you deep clean the whole house, this includes dusting, vacuuming, picking up, sterilizing and cleaning most surfaces in the house. Pay a lot of attention to the bed room, kitchen and bathrooms as these are the high-traffic areas in the house.

Annual Maintenance

Finally, check and fix anything that is in disrepair around the house. Check for loose boards and flooring, loose grab bars, missing shingles, etc. In addition to general maintenance, Spring Cleaning is also a great time to replace the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, check light bulbs and change water/air filters in the house.

As always, if you care for an elderly loved one and would like help with Spring Cleaning or developing a care plan please feel free to contact us. We can help your family establish a care plan to personally accommodate your loved one’s needs.

4 Time Change Tips to Keep Your Elderly Loved One Safe

4 Time Change Tips to Keep Your Elderly Loved One Safe

It only happens once a year and its arrival is often bittersweet. Even though an hour of sunlight is gained, it comes at the cost of an hour of sleep. Finally, if you live in Arizona or Hawaii then you won’t observe it. What is it?

If you answered Daylight Savings Time, then you’re correct. This year, Daylight Savings Time officially begins on Sunday March 13 at 2 a.m. At this time, the official time on clocks will be rolled forward one hour.

Losing an hour of sleep can be fairly challenging. This is especially true for our elderly loved ones. Ultimately, the time/schedule change and loss of sleep can prove to be fatal.

According to statistics, due to the loss of sleep and increased stress from exhaustion, automobile accidents and heart attacks increase in frequency during the days following the spring time change. These aren’t small increases either. Scientists have found that on the Monday after Daylight Savings Time begins heart attack rates increase by an astonishing 24 percent.

With these numbers in mind, we have compiled a list of tips to keep your elderly loved one safe and well rested during this year’s time change.

Sleep Schedule

Despite the time change, keeping your loved ones normal sleep schedule is important. It is recommended that they try to stay within 20 minutes of their pre-time change sleep routine. After a couple of weeks the body will adjust itself to the new hours. Make the change gradually to avoid any unnecessary risks due to exhaustion.

Drinking Time

Your elderly loved one may find themselves desiring more coffee to boost their energy during the time change. During the morning hours, caffeine is ok to consume but it should be ingested with caution. In the afternoon and evening your elderly loved one should refrain from caffeine and alcohol because these substances can inhibit healthy sleep patterns.

Vitamin D and Exercise

Due to the lack of sunlight during winter, by the time Daylight Savings Time rolls around our bodies desire an ample amount of Vitamin D. A good way to do this, is opening up curtains and letting the sunlight in. If you have a chance to get outside, the sun will help increase your mood, Vitamin D and energy. Sunlight is also proven to help keep the bodies internal natural rhythm in check. In addition, having at least 30 minutes of physical activity during the day has been proven to help you sleep better.

Success is in the Preparation

Finally, it is important to prepare for a good night of sleep. This means your elderly loved one should turn off electronics at least an hour before their normal bedtime. In the hour leading up to falling asleep, they should relax and read a book or take a bath. Their room should be clean, dark, quiet and cool to allow for a sound night of sleep.

As always, if you care for an elderly loved one and would like help developing a care plan please feel free to contact us. We can help your family establish a care plan to personally accommodate your loved one’s needs.

The Caregiver's Guide to Reducing Heart Attack Risks

The Caregiver’s Guide to Reducing Heart Attack Risks

Even with the extra day, it felt like February flew by. Before we know it, it will be spring and the birds will be singing and the flowers will be blooming. Even though it is no longer officially Heart Health Awareness Month, we personally believe that heart health should be a subject of conversation during any month of the year.

The statistics regarding heart attacks could cause a heart attack, which is why this week we are choosing to lead by example by discussing the topic of heart attacks.

According to the Heart Foundation, in America someone has a heart attack every 34 seconds. Furthermore, every 60 seconds, someone in America dies a heart disease related death. These statistics equate to nearly 720,000 Americans suffering from heart attacks each year. For roughly 505,000 of these people it is their first heart attack. However, for the remainder it is their second or third heart attack.

Unfortunately, once a loved one has suffered from a heart attack, they are even more vulnerable than before. Even though heart disease can be hereditary, like many diseases we have blogged about, if you take the right precautions and have an idea of what to look out for, you and your loved one’s chance of experiencing heart disease can be lowered.

Precautionary Steps

As we mentioned in our previous heart health blog, there are many steps you can take to help reduce you or your loved one’s risk of experiencing a heart attack. The following are some great precautionary tips:

  • If you smoke, quit smoking.
  • Health experts recommend 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise each day. This could include walking, bicycling, swimming, etc.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Eat a diet rich in heart healthy foods and stay away from fatty, greasy and high cholesterol items.
  • Maintain healthy blood pressure and sugar levels.
  • Keep stress to a minimum.

The Symptoms

Despite all the precautions you take, there is still a chance you or your loved one could experience a heart attack. Knowing what to look out for will give increase the likelihood of a healthy recovery. Here are some common warning signs to look out for:

  • Chest pain or discomfort- This often happens in the center of the chest and last for more than a couple minutes. The sufferer will often feel pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
  • Pain or numbness in the upper body including the arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Cold sweats
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Light headed, dizzy or fainting
  • Sleep problems, fatigue and lack of energy

If you or your loved one is feeling any of the above symptoms or anything out of the normal do not hesitate to call 911. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Wiser Home Care Services Can Help

As always, if you care for an elderly loved one and would like help developing a care plan please feel free to contact us. We can help your family establish a care plan to personally accommodate your loved one’s needs.