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 »
Determining when to shift focus from proactive cure attempts to hospice care can be difficult for the loved ones of someone diagnosed with a life-limiting condition. Understanding what hospice care is and the benefits it provides is a crucial first step. Hospice care offers supportive social, emotional, and spiritual services to the terminally ill and their families, primarily in the patient’s home.
Hospice is typically recommended when:
The senior’s physician does not believe there is a viable treatment option available.
The prognosis is six months or less to live.
The patient is enduring treatment that is neither life-prolonging nor enhancing quality of life just to avoid addressing the unpleasant facts with family and loved ones.
Family and loved ones are postponing a discussion about end of life because of a … Read More »
Unfortunately, there are quite a few misconceptions regarding mesothelioma, the rare and aggressive disease caused by asbestos exposure. Some people ask, “Is mesothelioma contagious?” Others believe the disease is linked to smoking.
These incorrect assessments range from how people develop mesothelioma to where the disease forms within the body. Other mesothelioma myths include the demographics affected by mesothelioma, the amount of asbestos exposure needed to develop the sickness and the legality of using the substance in the United States.
Below are some common myths and misconceptions about mesothelioma and asbestos, as well as the realities of the disease:
Myth 1: Smoking Is Linked to Mesothelioma
Smoking is not linked to mesothelioma. The act does not cause or increase your risk of developing the disease. The disease forms along the mesothelium, which is … Read More »
Family financial matters are oftentimes a taboo subject, and in addition, the root of many different controversies, heightened emotions, and misunderstandings. And for a number of today’s older adults, who maintain a “Depression era mentality” from many years of saving for a rainy day and learning to “waste not, want not,” it may be hard for them to grant access to finances to adult children, and to acknowledge the necessity to spend some of those personal finances on caregiving needs.
Talking with an aging parent about finances is most efficient when begun before the need arises, appreciating it might take numerous discussions before an understanding can be reached. These conversation starters can certainly help:
“Dad, at some point, we have to make some choices in regards to … Read More »
Researching where to turn for the current, most dependable information about COVID-19, especially as it relates to older adults and people who take care of them, is extremely important – and can be difficult. Because of so many sources and differing opinions on this serious subject, we wanted to help make it more straightforward to locate what you need by building the following list of trusted resources for seniors and family caregivers.
COVID-19 Guidance for Seniors: The CDC’s COVID-19 Guidance for Older Adults web page includes a great deal of information, including help determining who is at higher risk, symptoms, how to protect yourself, a checklist for the household, stress and anxiety coping advice, and much more.
Coronavirus: What Seniors and People with Disabilities … Read More »
We all desire the best for our loved ones – it’s only natural. Yet in some cases when families are involved in an older person’s care, feelings about what is best may clash. This can cause family members to fight with each other as opposed to working together. This is when it’s often a good idea to enlist the help of an outside person like a geriatric care manager (GCM), one who realizes what seniors need for long-term care and how to accomplish getting this care.
Older adults, on average, take as many as 15-18 different prescriptions each day, so it’s no surprise that so many seniors end up missing doses or taking incorrect doses of their medications. And there are serious health complications that can occur as a result of these medication errors. One solution is the pill organizer: such a basic idea to simply put the right medications into the right little boxes each day. Problem solved, right?
Determining the best diet for seniors can be challenging. With the many factors that impact an older adult’s ability to maintain a healthy diet, it’s important to know how to obtain the most nutritional punch for the foods your older loved ones are willing or able to consume.
Nutritional supplements, such as Boost and Ensure, are often recommended for the elderly, in order to ensure necessary vitamins and minerals are consumed each day, but many people wonder how these drinks stack up to real, natural foods. We decided to find out!
We first looked at two healthy food options that are easy, convenient, and low in cost for seniors to enjoy for breakfast or a snack: low-fat yogurt, and an orange. Together, these foods offer … Read More »