Monthly Archives: May 2017

5 Ways to Help Your Elderly Loved One Age Out Loud

 

If you think about it, we truly owe our lives to our elderly loved one’s. Not only are we here, living and breathing, because somewhere down the line our elderly loved ones fell in love, but we have them to thank for paving the way to all the modern-day successes and technology we enjoy.

Their hard work and contributions to America’s past, current and on-going success deserves recognition, which is why President Donald Trump declared the month of May to be National Older American’s Month. According to President Trump the goal of Older American’s Month is to “thank our seniors and recognize the enormous contributions they make to the Nation.”

Each year Older American’s Month is planned around a central theme by the Administration for Community Living (ACL). For 2017, the ACL designed the theme “Age Out Loud” which focuses on giving the aging a new voice – one that reflects what today’s older adults have to say.

So, how can you celebrate Older American’s Month and help your elderly loved one “Age Out Loud”?

Keep reading to learn 5 ways you can help encourage them to Age Out Loud.

  1. Talk to the Elderly
    Our elderly loved ones have a lot of wisdom they would be more than happy to share with us if we simply took the time to ask them questions and listen to what they have to say. This will help you learn about their experiences and help them Age Out Loud.
  2. Help Them Organize Their Memories
    Many people have memory boxes where they store cards, pictures, letters and any other memorable items. Offer to help your elderly loved one organize their memories into a scrap book or photo album. This will give you time with them and allow them to share their memorable past moments with you.
  3. Consider Doing an NPR Story Corp Interview
    NPR has an ongoing recording project known as Story Corp in which friends, associates and loved ones can record each other during an interview or oral storytelling session. These interviews are archived for public access, and some even make it onto the weekly Story Corp broadcast.
  4. Help Them Tell Their Story
    Keeping record of your elderly loved one’s life experiences for generations to come is a great way to help them age out loud and leave a lasting legacy. One way to do this is to sit down with your loved one and help them write out many of their memorable life moments. You could also share this on social media or via a blog.
  5. Help Them Age Their Way
    Even though we can’t stop getting older, we can take control of the aging process and age the way we want. Many older Americans are doing this by trying new careers and hobbies and taking control of their health. Help your senior Age Out Loud by recommending a potential new hobby, or maybe even a fun college course.

We hope this list helps you start thinking of ways you can help your elderly loved one Age Out Loud. As always, if you would like more help, feel free to reach out to us here at Wiser Home Care Services. We can help your family establish a care plan to personally accommodate your loved one’s needs.

The Wiser Home Care Guide to Preventing Strokes

Did you know that in the United States someone has a stroke every 40 seconds? That adds up to more than 788,000 stroke victims each year. What’s more is that 80% of strokes are preventable.

For something so avoidable, you might be wondering why the public doesn’t have a better handle on preventing strokes in the first place. The answer, like most things, is that people simply aren’t aware of the steps they need to take to prevent them.

This is why in May of 1989 President George H. W. Bush signed the Presidential Proclamation 5975 declaring May as National Stroke Awareness Month. Each May since that year, the government, National Stroke Association, American Heart Association and several non-profits combine efforts to raise awareness of the deadly force of strokes.

There are two main steps to helping prevent strokes:

  1. You should know the preventative measures one can take to lower their risk
  2. You must understand the symptoms

Over the next few paragraphs we will discuss each one of these steps in detail. Keep reading and you could potentially save a life!

Preventative Measures You Can Take
As we mentioned earlier, statistics have found that 80% of strokes that occur are completely preventable. So why aren’t they being prevented? The answer is: lack of knowledge regarding the correct steps one should take.

Below are four things experts suggest you can do to lower you or your loved one’s risk of experiencing a stroke.

  1. Keep Your Blood Pressure at a Health Level
    Did you know that high blood pressure nearly quadruples your risk of a stroke? To keep your blood pressure at a healthy level we suggest a low-salt diet that is rich in veggies and fruits, as well as exercising regularly. If you or a loved one have been prescribed medication to help regulate your blood pressure you need to remember to take it consistently.
  2. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise
    Did we mention exercise? We can’t stress this enough. Health professionals recommend aiming for at least 30 minutes of exercise-type activity five days a week. You have probably heard the old phrase “2 birds, 1 stone”, well exercising is “3 birds, 1 stone”. Not only does it increase your cardiovascular health it helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers blood pressure. All 3 of which, lower your risk of experiencing a stroke.
  3. Moderate Alcohol Consumption
    Unlike smoking, which you should quit immediately, it is ok to drink alcoholic beverages– just in moderation. Just make sure you watch your portions. If you do decide to keep drinking, make red wine your first choice, as it is the healthiest option.
  4. Visit Your Doctor
    The old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” may be funny but you truly shouldn’t live by that mantra. We recommend having regular checkups with your doctor to make sure your body is working the way it should. Some health irregularities that you should keep an eye out for are: atrial fibrillation, diabetes, high cholesterol and atherosclerosis. Each of these can increase your risk of a stroke.

Now that you know some of the steps you can take to lower your risk of a stroke, it is equally as important to understand what the possible symptoms are that lead to a stroke.

Considering that each minute a stroke goes untreated nearly 2 million brain cells die, having an awareness of prevention methods and warning signs can ultimately save the life of your elderly loved one.

So, what are some of the symptoms of a stroke?
The American Stroke Association recommends watching for:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arms or legs
  • Quick onset confusion, trouble speaking or difficulty understanding
  • Vision issues
  • Trouble walking, dizziness and balance issues
  • A severe headache that comes up suddenly
  • Lack of coordination

Men and women also display stroke symptoms differently. In addition to the above symptoms, women should also be cautious of sudden:

  • Hiccups
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Palpitations

Another good way to remember the warning signs of a stroke are by remembering the acronym F.A.S.T which stands for:

F- Face drooping
A- Arm Weakness
S- Speech Difficulty
T- Time to Call 911

These are just a few of the many ways you can help your elderly loved one reduce their risk of experiencing a stroke. If you would like more help, feel free to reach out to us here at Wiser Home Care Services. We can help your family establish a care plan to personally accommodate your loved one’s needs.

Forget the Flowers This Mother’s Day. We Know Exactly What She Wants.

“The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.” – Honore de Balzac

What more can be said about our amazing mothers? They have known us the longest, changed our diapers and put up with us in our teen years and they still love us. We truly owe them our life.

After all they have done for us, doesn’t it seem like a single day of celebration is not enough? We certainly feel that way. With that being said, some of you may be feeling the pressure to make the one ‘official’ day that they have the best it can be. So, what can you do to make your mother’s special day the best it possibly can be?

Keep reading to find out…

What if she already has it, or what if she doesn’t like it? Is it good enough? These are valid questions that make finding the perfect present for mom difficult. Over our years of caregiving experience we have learned a lot about what our elderly loved one’s like. Below are some ideas to get you started.

Digitize Their Albums
Our elderly loved ones often have hundreds if not thousands of photos of years past in albums or simply laying around. As a gift, you could scan these onto a computer, zip drive or the cloud. This way they will be safe for years to come and will be easily accessible to view.

The Gamer
We all know our elderly loved ones enjoy playing card games and board games, but did you know that playing video games has recently become a popular trend for the elderly? It might be out of the ordinary but grandma may love a new gaming system. Video games are not only a great way to pass the time but give our senior loved ones a good brain and body workout, which can also help fight dementia.

Do the Robot
No one likes cleaning, but as we age cleaning is not only a despised chore it can become a difficult one as well. Grandma will be doing the happy robot dance if you invest in a Roomba for her. If you don’t know what a Roomba is, you can check out their website here:

Help Grandma Set the Mood Safely
Did you know that loved ones over the age of 85 have the highest fire death and injury rates of any age group? Keep grandma safe by investing in some flameless candles. They give off the same amount of light but keep grandma safe in the process.

The Gift of Food
Everyone loves food and most can agree that having someone cook for you is a nice break from the norm. Whether you buy grandma a monthly subscription to a food service or you cook her several meals that can be frozen and eaten later, she will love them.

Be Her Technology Guide
Does grandma have a DVR, tablet, smartphone, computer or a social media account? Modern technology is amazing, but can be difficult and frustrating for elderly loved ones to teach themselves how to use. Instead of buying grandma something, spend some time with her and teach her how to use it properly. You could even help them set it up with fun and helpful apps or games for them to use.

Although getting a gift is always nice, we can guarantee you that your elderly loved one would almost certainly rather spend time with you. Below we have gathered some fun Mother’s Day activities you could do with your mom or grandma.

  1. Take her out to eat at her favorite restaurant.
  2. Find a local garden and take her for a stroll through it to check out the flowers.
  3. Is she a sports fan? Find a local sporting event to attend.
  4. If she is religious, join her for her weekend service.
  5. Everyone loves shopping. Take her out to the mall and let her pick something out.
  6. Relax and watch her favorite movie or tv show with her.
  7. Have a board game tournament.
  8. Bake or cook together.

We hope these ideas help you create the most memorable Mother’s Day for your mom. From all of us here at Wiser Home Care Services, Happy Mother’s Day.