Monthly Archives: June 2016

Cats: The Purrfect Elderly Companion

Many people joke about growing old to become a ‘crazy’ cat person, in which they live alone with a plethora of cats. While this version of a cat person is a little extreme, cats actually do make great companions for our elderly loved ones.

Considering June is National Adopt-a-Cat-Month, we decided it would be a great time to discuss how to find the perfect furry companion, or should we say purry companion, for your elderly loved one.

Cats not only provide lonely seniors a companion, research shows that pets can improve an elderly loved one’s mood and overall health. Studies show that pets can give seniors a sense of responsibility which helps decrease depression and loneliness.

Although dogs make great pets as well, cats are typically the best option for our elderly loved ones since they are perfectly content with staying inside all day. In addition, they also only need 30 minutes of active play each day, which does not require the owner to be mobile.

The following are some things to consider as you look for a cat for your elderly loved one.

Adopt. Don’t Shop.
Each Spring (kitten season), thousands of new kittens join the millions of cats already living in shelters all across the country. While many of these shelters hold on to the cats as long as they can, there comes a point when they need to humanely deal with the surplus. Adopting a kitten could potentially save its life.

Kitten or Adult
Age is one of the most important things to consider when choosing a cat. Many cats have lifespans as long as 15-20 years. If your elderly loved one would like a kitten, ask them to consider who would take care of it if anything happens. In addition to lifespan, many kittens have not been house-trained. This can be a difficult task for an elderly loved one who has limited mobility.

The Cat’s Meow
Finding a cat with a calm and loving temper is critical. Shelter cats can span a large spectrum of temperaments ranging from loving and playful to mean and aggressive. Finding a cat with a personality that compliments its owner will ensure a successful, loving and long relationship.

Budget
Many elderly live on a limited budget. Before your elderly loved one commits to a cat, make sure they consider the long and short term budgetary commitments it takes to keep a cat healthy and happy. Consider possible vet bills, cat toys, adoption costs, cat food, cat litter etc.

Cat-Proof
Cats will find anything and everything you don’t put away. Experts recommend keeping open food off countertops because if you do, your cat will most likely jump on the counter to grab the food. You will also want to ensure small items and electric cables are picked up.

Follow-up
Once your elderly loved one has chosen their purrfect companion, give them some time alone to get acquainted and build their companionship. Check in periodically to make sure everything is still going great. Finally, make sure your elderly loved one knows you are available if they need help with the cat or any cat-related errands.

We hope this helps you and your elderly loved one find the perfect purry companion.

5 Ways to Go Above and Beyond This Father's Day

5 Ways to Go Above and Beyond This Father’s Day

Whether it is their rub-some-dirt-in-it parenting style, consistent lack of fashion or their abundance of ‘dad’ jokes, fathers are often the butt of many jokes. Despite all the jokes, we can’t deny how much we love our fathers.

This Sunday, all across the world, families will get together, grill, laugh and have a good time in celebration of everything our fathers do for us. Although Father’s Day didn’t officially become a nationally recognized holiday until 1972, the first proclaimed celebration of fathers took place here in Washington on July 19, 1910.

Inspired by Mother’s Day, Sonora Dodd of Spokane, Wash. rallied the support of local and state businesses and government in an effort to show fathers the appreciation they deserve for their parenting efforts. While the celebration was a success and it gained the support and nationwide recognition of the President of the United States, it still took 62 years for it to be officially signed into proclamation.

According to a study, if parents were paid for all the chores they do, fathers would make 75% less money than their female counterparts. Sure, statistically speaking, our fathers do a lot less for us than our mothers do, but who else would’ve taught you how to throw a fastball, ride a bicycle and burp on command?

To show your father just how much he means to you, we have collected several great father’s day gift and celebration ideas.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game!
Let’s face it. Most dads are avid sports enthusiasts. For Father’s Day you could invest in a new set of clubs, fishing rod, baseball glove or any other sports equipment. In addition, spending time with your father watching a live sporting event is a great way to share his passion and build memories.

Have a Nice Trip, See You Next Fall.
It’s always fun to look in old family albums and take a trip down memory lane. Take it one step further this year and plan a road trip to your father’s old stomping grounds. Not only will he love getting away for a while but the memories made on road trips last a lifetime and the nostalgia will create a perma-grin on your father’s face.

Go Digital
If a road trip isn’t feasible, consider digitizing and backing up all of your father’s photos. This will ensure, that the photos stay around for years to come. He will love the trip down memory lane, and you might just learn a new thing or two about your father.

Hello Dad, Meet the 21st Century

Give your father a tablet such as an Amazon Kindle or Apple iPad, then spend the day teaching him how to use it. You can load his favorite books, news outlets, tv shows and games on it for him. Tablets bring our elderly loved ones hours of companionship and entertainment. In addition, you can set them up for Skype or messaging so that you can stay connected with them easier.

Do His Chores

Keeping up with all the chores of living in your own place or having to run errands can be tough for our elderly loved ones. Spend the day cleaning your father’s place of residence, mowing the lawn, weeding and running errands. He will be forever grateful.

We hope these ideas inspire you to give your dad the best Father’s Day he would never ask for.

From all of us here at Wiser Home Care Services: Happy Father’s Day.

5 Ways to Keep Your Senior Safe This Summer

5 Ways to Keep Your Senior Safe This Summer

Whew!! With temperatures during the day nearing triple digits and evening temperatures cooling off to a muggy high 70’s to low 80’s, we have had a hot couple of days. While the heat is a nice alternative to the typical rainy Washington weather, it can make it difficult to get things done, uncomfortable for people not accustomed to the heat(almost everyone in the NW) and it ultimately poses a dangerous risk for our elderly loved ones.

While anyone is at risk of suffering a heat-related illness, the Center for Disease Control reports that older adults are particularly vulnerable because they often 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. Furthermore, according to research conducted by the University of Chicago Medical Center, over 40% of heat-related fatalities in the United States were among people over the age of 65.  

Considering it isn’t even summer yet and we have already had several days over the 90’s, it looks like it is going to be a long, hot and dry Summer. Despite the heat, with the right precautions, it is still possible for your elderly loved ones to safely experience all the usual Summer fun. To help you prepare for a fun-filled safe and hot summer, we have compiled some elderly summer safety tips. We hope you enjoy them!

Play it Cool
Keep an eye on the upcoming weather for potential heat waves. In the midst of a Summer heat wave, make sure you plan your activities and errands around the weather. If you must be outside, try to complete these activities in the morning or evening hours when it is cooler. Try to keep doors closed, lights dim and fans/air conditioning on. If you are still having trouble staying cool enough, there are many public places that have AC and welcome seniors during heat waves. We recommend checking your local library or senior center first.

Bottoms Up
In the hot summer months it is even more to drink plenty of water because most heat-related illnesses stem from dehydration. Experts recommend giving seniors sweat-replacement fluids that contain salt and potassium to make up for the lost fluids due to heat. In addition, when taking medication, your elderly loved one should drink 8 oz of water. You should also stray away from caffeinated beverages such as coffee. These beverages often diuretics and deplete our bodies of necessary fluids.

Dress For Success
Dressing appropriately for the weather is important. We recommend dressing in layers since sitting in an air-conditioned building can get cool. This will allow your elderly loved one to keep a moderate body temperature without getting too hot or cold.

Give Them a Ring
Since hot weather poses such a risk to the elderly population, it is important to keep lines of communication open and to check in with them frequently. Not only will this give you peace of mind and a chance to remind them to stay hydrated, they will love the company.

Cover Their Eyes and Skin
A common side-effect of aging is the degradation of vision. The bright summer sunshine will not only irritate and pain your elderly loved one’s eyes, it can also speed up the loss of eyesight. Always keep a pair of sunglasses close when you plan on going outside. In addition, don’t forget to use some sunscreen to protect their skin from harmful UV rays.

Now that you have an idea of how to keep your elderly loved one safe this summer, go out and have fun.

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.