Monthly Archives: December 2016

The Comprehensive Guide to Elderly New Year's Resolutions

The Comprehensive Guide to Elderly New Year’s Resolutions

The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is always an interesting one. Depending on your profession, it is either extremely busy or extremely slow. However, for many, the lull between Christmas festivities and New Year’s Eve parties presents just enough time to reflect on the past year.

It is in this time of reflection that many resolve to do things better in the upcoming year. In other words, a New Year’s Resolution is born. As you may already know, these resolutions often involve self-improvement or education, body weight, finances or relationships.

Per History.com, the practice of making New Year’s resolutions dates back at least 4000 years ago. The ancient Babylonians were the first to hold recorded celebrations in honor of the new year, and subsequently are said to be the first to make New Year’s resolution.

Today, making a New Year’s Resolution is still widely popular. In fact, statistics estimate that nearly 45% of all Americans will make at least one resolution for the upcoming year.

We believe that you can teach an old dog new tricks, and it is never too late to better yourself. Holding true to our belief, we thought it would be fitting to blog about six possible New Year’s Resolutions your elderly loved one could make for 2017.

The Dietary Resolution
By far, one of the most popular resolutions people make, is to eat healthier in the new year. For our elderly loved ones, this means eating more fruits, veggies, whole grains, fish, low-fat dairy and healthy fats. They should achieve this by eating at least 5 servings of fruits and veggies with a variety of deep colors.

Make sure you also choose fiber rich grains like whole-grain bread, brown rice and whole grain pasta, less fatty meat such as fish, tuna and salmon, and hearty sources of calcium and Vitamin D such as milk, yogurt and cheese. For the healthy fats, try olive and canola oils instead of butter.

The Exercise Resolution
The next most popular resolution people make is to exercise more. Staying active as we age is of the utmost importance. Being active and exercising helps keep bones strong, prevents falls, reduces stress and helps stave of depression.

It is important to note that you don’t need to spend hours in a gym to stay active. Many malls have “Mall Walker” programs in which people get together to walk laps around the mall. Another great activity to stay active and help reduce your risk of a fall is practicing Tai Chi or yoga.

The Organization Resolution
The start of a new year, as you are packing up the Christmas decorations and finding homes for all your Christmas presents, is a great time to get organized. We’re not just talking about deep cleaning your house. Rather, take some time in the new year to collect and organize important documents such as your insurance, will, financial and medical information. This is a tedious task but it is worth it.

There is a fun side to the organization resolution. To break up the monotony of going through documents, you could also go through and organize old family photos and home videos. This will help make sure your family heritage is preserved for generations to come.

The Healthy Resolution
Wait a second, didn’t you just go over this in the dietary resolution? Well, sort of. However, there is a lot more to being healthy than just eating better. In the New Year, your elderly loved one should resolve to make healthier all-around choices. This includes considering a multi-vitamin, consuming less alcohol, quitting smoking and seeing their health provider on a regular basis.

In addition to the basics we just mentioned, your elderly loved one should make it a goal to be open with you or a friend when they feel depressed or anxious. This will help fight an alarmingly increasing trend of elderly depression.

The Falls Prevention Resolution
As you may know, falls are a leading cause of accidental death for our elderly loved ones. However, taking the right precautionary steps can greatly decrease the likelihood of a fall. These steps include maintaining safe walking spaces, keeping hallways and stairs clutter-free, installing strategically placed grab bars and fall protection mats or flooring.

In addition to home modifications, your elderly loved one can taking physical steps to reduce their risk of a fall such as exercising more, practicing balance exercises and having regular checkups.

The Friend-solution
Finally, in the new year your elderly loved one should make it a goal to make at least one new friend and reconnect with old ones. Many seniors report that having friends helps increase the happiness in their life.

We hope this lists helps your elderly loved one set some healthy, attainable goals for 2017. As always, if you care for an elderly loved one and would like help caring for or developing an extensive care plan, we can help. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for the Elderly

The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for the Elderly

The Christmas Countdown is ticking and now we are in the single digits!! Before we know it, we will wake up to find presents under the tree and be in the presence of our loved ones.  What a glorious morning it will be.

While the fact that Christmas is quickly closing in on us is exciting, it may also be stressful for those of us who have not finished Christmas shopping yet. Don’t fret though, we will help you find the perfect gift.

Since one of our favorite things about the holidays is picking out the perfect present for everyone on our list, we thought it would be fitting to share the holiday cheer by blogging about great gift ideas for caregivers and the elderly. Last week we covered gifts for caregivers, you can find that blog here.

If you have an elderly loved one on your list and you aren’t sure what to get them, you will want to keep reading. We have some great ideas!

For the Loved One that Enjoys Games
Games are always a great gift to get elderly loved ones. They help pass the time and create some great opportunities to bond and make memories with family and friends. Here are some of our favorite newer games:

  • Grandparent Talk- This deck of cards will help get the conversation rolling with several great questions to ask your elderly loved one.
  • Bananagrams- This scrabble-type word game is a blast to play. Race your loved one to see who can build the most words the fastest.
  • Card holder or Automatic shuffler- Unfortunately, as we age it can be tough to hold cards or shuffle. These gifts will help your elderly loved one play cards for years to come.
  • Game books- Crosswords, word searches, Sudoku, etc. These are all great gifts that help pass the time and keep your elderly loved one’s cognitive thinking strong.
  • Jigsaw puzzles
  • Adult coloring books

For the Loved One Who Is Living Independently
Maintaining independence and aging-in-place is an increasingly popular trend lately. If your loved one is living independently these gifts will be great for them:

  • Fall protection mats or flooring- If you fear your loved one may fall, these products could ultimately save their life.
  • Personal emergency response system- These wearable devices are like life-alert and will notify family members and professionals in case of emergency.
  • Medication Management systems- Thanks to technology there are automatic systems that allow you to fill your elderly loved one’s medications and dispense them through an online portal.
  • Talking clock- If your loved one has vision issues, a talking clock is a thoughtful gift.

For the Loved One Who Needs Help with Errands
Everyone loves having help with daily chores and errands. These gifts will help make your elderly loved one’s life a lot easier.

  • Smart Shopper Grocery List Organizer- This device allows your elderly loved one to make their shopping list by talking to it. The device will then categorize the items and print it off for your loved one.
  • A meal subscription- Always making yourself food can be a drag and difficult. Services like meals on wheels is a nice and thoughtful present.
  • A Roomba- This robotic vacuum automatically cleans rooms! Need we say more.

We hope this list helps you find the perfect gift for your elderly loved one. In the end, while things are nice, the best gift you can give your elderly loved one if your time.

Happy Holidays from Wiser Home Care Services.

The Ultimate Caregiver Holiday Gift Guide

The Ultimate Caregiver Holiday Gift Guide

Are you dreaming of a White Christmas? We certainly are, and with all the cold weather and potential snow flurries in the forecast, it just might happen.

Here in Western Washington it is certainly a rare treat to have a white Christmas. In fact, since 1891 (the year weather began to be recorded in Seattle), there have only been 7 Christmas days that have had snow:

  1. 1909
  2. 1915
  3. 1944
  4. 1965
  5. 1990
  6. 2007
  7. 2008

Enough about the weather though. Have you finished your Christmas shopping? If no, we hope you have at least started since time is quickly running out. Chances are, you may have some people on your list that are difficult to find the perfect present for. If that is the case, we have you covered.

Since giving is the best part of the holiday season, we scoured the internet for the hottest, trending gifts this year. This week we will share some of our great gift ideas for the Caregiver on your Christmas shopping list. Finally, next week we will wrap up (pun intended) our holiday gift guide by discussing great gifts for your elderly loved one.

The Day Out
Caregivers have an extremely challenging and stressful job so anything that can help the caregiver on your list relax is a great idea. Here are some possible gift ideas in this category:

  • A gift card for a massage, manicure or pedicure
  • If the caregiver is a foodie, a gift card to a nice restaurant would certainly top the list
  • Tickets to a sporting event, comedy show, play or movie

A Helping Hand
Family caregivers spend every waking moment they have taking care of their sick or elderly loved one. Lending a helping hand for daily errands could give them a much-needed break. Here are some possible errands you could run:

  • Offer to grocery shop
  • Clean up the living space
  • Cook them a couple days’ worth of meals
  • Invest in a lunch or dinner delivery service for them
  • Do yard work
  • Run to the pharmacy
  • Offer to help care to ease the load
  • Invest in an evening of respite care services so they can go out

The Wrap-able Gift
Everyone loves getting a gift under the tree that they can unwrap on Christmas morning. Here are a couple gifts you can put under the tree for the caregiver on your list.

  • Their favorite magazine and a year subscription to it
  • A personalized coffee cup
  • A nice calendar
  • Bath and beauty products
  • A kindle or tablet with their favorite books and music on it
  • Puzzles
  • Sudoku, Crosswords, word searches and other mind puzzles
  • Caregiving books
  • Automatic pill dispenser
  • Framed photos
  • Candles
  • Gourmet coffee, chocolate, tea or wine
  • A bouquet of their favorite flowers
  • Craft supplies
  • Anything related to their favorite hobby

We hope this list helps you find the perfect gift for the caregiver in your life. In the end, while things are nice, the best gift you can give a caregiver is words of encouragement, an ear to listen and a shoulder of support.

Happy Holidays from Wiser Home Care Services.