Today’s older adults are overrun with an explosion of hi-tech products focused on bettering their independence and safety and providing life enhancement. With the touch of a button or two, older adults can automatically visit “in person” with friends and family through Skype, wear a pendant that takes action with emergency help and support when necessary, and even remain safe from getting lost with specialized receptors attached to clothes or shoes.
The issue becomes how to encourage older adults (and family members who care for them) to shift from a low-tech frame of mind to embracing all that’s available to them, something that is continually top of mind for us at Hired Hands Homecare. AARP reports that only 7% … Read More »
While we may envision a Norman Rockwell-worthy Thanksgiving celebration, with the whole family enjoying quality time together and Grandma’s traditional feast, the reality for many families includes something unexpected: a hospital visit. In fact, statistics show that E/R visits for the elderly jump an astounding 10 – 20% during the holidays.
While pinpointing the exact reasoning behind this increase is difficult, it stands to reason that one factor could be family members who haven’t spent time with an elderly relative in the months prior to the holiday season, only to discover then that his or her condition has deteriorated.
Dr. Tamara Kuittinen of Lenox Hill Hospital explains, “It’s an issue of out of sight, out of mind for many people. If you haven’t seen your mom in six months, you may not be fully aware of the aging … Read More »
As much joy as the holiday season brings, there’s also often an overwhelming level of stress, particularly for busy family caregivers who are already stretched thin. The additional responsibilities of shopping, baking, attending parties and events, and so much more can make it difficult to feel that all is calm and bright!
At Hired Hands Homecare, the top providers of elder care in Marin and the surrounding areas, it’s our goal to partner with families to provide the dependable, professional care services that help restore a healthy life balance – even (and especially!) during the hectic pace of the holidays. One of the many ways we can help is through planning and preparing nutritious meals for seniors, and when stress levels are elevated, including these types of foods has been shown to help.
Whole grains. A great source of serotonin … Read More »
The holidays are the perfect time to reconnect with family and friends, but let’s be honest: it’s often also a time for overindulgence in unhealthy food choices. With a variety of rich, fatty, and sugary delicacies offered at every turn, it’s difficult to follow a healthy diet, which can result in significant health concerns for individuals with diabetes.
The latest guidelines from the Endocrine Society concerning diabetes management and the elderly are unexpected, to say the least: lower blood sugar isn’t always best. And for individuals who’ve been maintaining a routine of finger pricks, insulin injections, and keeping careful track of food intake, this alteration may be a bit hard to swallow.
Known as de-intensification, geriatricians are now often taking the strategy with older adults that the benefits to be attained by aiming for rigid blood sugar control are not outweighing the health risks inherent with aging and illness. When A1c and blood sugar levels are held at low levels in the elderly, for instance, it may possibly result in an increased frequency of hypoglycemia and also kidney failure.
With up to one in … Read More »
Have you ever gotten out of bed and said, “It’s probably going to be one of those days!” Perhaps your alarm didn’t go off, the hot water heater decided to stop working, and the dog chewed up one of your favorite shoes overnight. Then imagine if every day were “one of those days!” For an individual living with a chronic disease (and that’s much of the elderly population), routine struggles and challenges can be a given.
However, there are many steps that older adults can take to realize and maintain a life of joy, even in the face of chronic illness. For instance:
Follow passions. Discovering purpose and meaning in each day is essential – and possible. Many seniors find gratification in assisting and supporting … Read More »
When it comes to chronic diseases, the elderly are usually the experts, hands down, with as many as three out of four older persons impacted by several conditions that are ongoing, necessitate extensive medical treatment, and put limits on activities. With the continuous barrage of bloodwork as well as other tests, doctors’ appointments and procedures, and medications, managing chronic conditions usually takes both a physical and emotional toll, and may very quickly become overwhelming.
Dr. Mary Tinetti, chief of geriatrics and internist at Yale School of Medicine, states, “Once you get three, four, or five and six diseases, several things happen: Number one, almost guaranteed, trying to get one of these diseases under control is going to make one of the other diseases worse. Number two: The more … Read More »
In Isaac Asimov’s opinion, “The easiest way to solve a problem is to deny it exists.” It’s a standard feeling for many family caregivers when their loved one is faced with a chronic disease diagnosis, such as dementia. Even though this can instill some measure of comfort in thinking that life can carry on like it always has, if only we don’t acknowledge this new reality, the truth is that acknowledgement is extremely important in order to get the necessary support.
It is understandable for a family member to wish to deliver all of the care a senior loved one needs. Nevertheless, frequently in the crux of denial are feelings of guilt, helplessness, and in some cases incompetence in the ability to “fix things.” And you will … Read More »
Eating healthy is especially crucial for those undergoing chemotherapy or another type of cancer treatment, but one of the major side effects preventing patients from eating well is a change in how foods taste. It’s important to overcome this and other obstacles to healthy eating in order to maintain the strength needed for chemotherapy treatments and protect against infections. Eating a balanced diet may even help cancer patients better manage higher doses of certain types of medications.
When experiencing challenges with taste changes that interfere with adhering to a recommended dietary plan during cancer treatment, the following cancer nutrition tips from Hired Hands Homecare, providers of the home care and specialized dementia care Pleasanton, CA seniors need, can help:
Experiment with different food temperatures. For some … Read More »
Besides helping to manage our mouse and rodent population, it may be hard to think of anything beneficial about snakes – especially poisonous ones. Yet there may be a surprising silver lining to slithery serpents: innovative cancer treatment options.
Just ask Steve MacKessy of the University of Northern Colorado. He’s been collecting and studying snake venom for decades, freeze-drying the venom to retain its properties. He still works with samples gathered as many as 40 years ago, sharing, “A lot of other protein drugs are inherently unstable, but venoms in particular are designed to be stable under bad conditions.”
Because the toxins in the venom bind very specifically to the receptors of its prey, they have the potential to target only the cancer cells themselves, unlike current … Read More »