In spite of its reputation for being viewed as the season of joy, the combination of seniors and the holidays can lead to profound feelings of unhappiness for many older adults. Yearning for holidays past, despair over the loss of family and friends, and worrisome changes to health can intensify throughout the holiday season, and it’s important to take the appropriate steps to help older loved ones avoid the downward spiral into depression.
If an older adult you love is feeling blue this holiday season, begin by asking yourself these three questions
Could it possibly be normal nostalgia? Wistful feelings of nostalgia, thinking of pre-pandemic holiday get-togethers and celebrations, are normal for all of us. See if the older adult’s sadness is lifted immediately following a journey … Read More »
Caring for someone you love with dementia is definitely nothing to laugh about. Yet studies are increasingly pointing towards the benefits of laughter in dementia care, and adding it may be exactly what the doctor ordered to boost well-being for a senior loved one.
As an example, an Australian study just recently revealed that humor therapy is effective in reducing agitation in individuals with dementia as effectively as antipsychotic medications, without any negative side effects. Shared laughter connects us, and assists people who have cognitive difficulties to feel understood, secure, and at ease. As stated by Lori La Bey, founder of Alzheimer’s Speaks, “When anyone is sick or having a hard time, they still like to laugh. I spend a lot of time teaching people that … Read More »
Being a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or any other kind of dementia requires empathy, creativity, and patience, the capacity to step away from your individual reasoning and logic and realize why a specific behavior is occurring, and then to understand just how to effectively manage it. That is certainly the case with senior personal care needs, such as a loved one who won’t change his/her clothing, in spite of how dirty or unkempt an outfit has become.
There are several reasons why a senior with Alzheimer’s disease may insist upon wearing the same outfit, including:
Memory or judgment problems, including losing track of time or thinking the clothes were recently changed
The comfort and familiarity of a particular piece of clothing
A need to maintain control
Struggles with … Read More »
Disbelief. Shame. Awkwardness. Discomfort. Many of these types of feelings can cycle through a family caregiver’s heart when a loved one with dementia displays disinhibited behaviors, such as:
Rude or tactless comments
Inappropriate sexual advances or remarks
Removal of clothing at improper times
And other socially unacceptable actions
The complicated changes that occur to the brain in Alzheimer’s disease may cause a complete turnaround in an older adult’s personality and behaviors, such as a formerly genteel grandma suddenly swearing like a sailor. For an individual who is confused, uncomfortable, disoriented, or has simply forgotten social skills and graces, these behaviors are actually quite common, so it’s crucial to learn how to specifically manage them should they arise in someone you love.
Hired Hands Homecare’s Alzheimer’s care experts suggest trying the following tactics … Read More »
“Obviously Dad can move in with me!”
More family caregivers are making this commendable choice, signifying the start of lifestyle changes they may only truly comprehend once in the middle of them. Even though the positive aspects of providing care for an older parent are immeasurable, they’re not without a number of struggles as well.
It may seem natural to take care of daily activities for a senior loved one; however, it’s not quite as instinctive as it seems initially. For example, helping a senior in the shower or bath the wrong way can result in a fall. Poor incontinence care can cause skin damage and infection. Noncompliance with a recommended nutritional plan can bring about a wide array of health complications.
It’s no wonder that in a … Read More »
If you are feeling somewhat disheartened in your family caregiving role, take heart; you are in good company. Providing care for a senior loved one is probably the most complex role we can hold: highly fulfilling on the one hand, while at the same time discouraging and ever-evolving, often leading to feelings of uncertainty about whether we are up to the challenge and providing the best care.
It is why a number of family caregivers battle against some or all of these types of feelings:
Guilt: You may feel as though you are not doing as much as you really need to in order to help your senior loved one, that you’re self-centered for wanting time away for yourself, or that you’re inadequate to provide … Read More »
Long-term care insurance can provide extraordinary peace of mind, but accessing those benefits can end up being a confusing experience for seniors and their family members. To help guide families through the process, Hired Hands Homecare, the leader in home care in Rohnert Park and the surrounding area, provides this helpful overview.
What services are covered?
Prior to filing a claim, it’s important to thoroughly read through a copy of the long-term care insurance policy in order to gain an understanding of the types of services the policy covers. If you don’t have a copy of the policy, reach out to the carrier to request one.
While all policies differ in what they cover, long-term care insurance usually covers non-medical services at home, provided assistance … Read More »
Did you know…nearly half of all older adults are chronically under-hydrated, according to a recent study conducted at UCLA? Not only that, but seniors over age 65 represent the highest category of hospital admissions due to dehydration.
Dehydration can quickly sneak up on seniors, who often have a lessened sensation of thirst, who may experience medication side effects that cause hydration problems, or who mistakenly believe that drinking less will prevent incontinence issues.
Senior dehydration can be extremely dangerous, increasing the risk for health concerns such as:
Kidney stones and/or failure
And many others
Dehydration can be detected by the following symptoms:
Reduced amount/darker-colored urine
Feelings of weakness, dizziness, and/or fatigue
Confusion and disorientation, including difficulty with walking
Low blood pressure and weakened, faster pulse and breathing
Sunken, … Read More »
If you’re feeling a bit discouraged in your role in caring for aging parents, take heart; you’re in good company. Providing care for a loved one is perhaps one of the most complex roles we can hold: highly rewarding on one hand, while simultaneously frustrating and ever-evolving, often leading to feelings of doubt about whether we’re up to the challenge and providing the best possible care.
It’s why so many family caregivers struggle with some or all of these types of feelings:
Guilt: You may feel as though you’re not doing as much as you should to help your loved one, that you’re selfish for wanting time away to yourself, or that you’re inadequate to provide the help your loved one needs.
Helplessness: There are some circumstances when you simply … Read More »
Stress for a family caregiver is inevitable, and actually, not necessarily always a bad thing. After all, as the saying goes, “A diamond is just a piece of charcoal that handled stress exceptionally well.” Yet especially for family caregivers, the level of stress can quickly escalate and become overwhelming, and if not managed effectively, lead to serious health concerns.
Try these tips to minimize stress and achieve a healthier and more relaxed lifestyle – both for yourself and those you love:
Change your self-talk. Throughout the course of your day, you may find yourself entertaining thoughts such as, “I can’t do this!” or “Everything is going wrong!” Pause when negative thinking begins to intrude, and say to yourself instead, “I can handle this, one step at a time,” … Read More »