Senior Health


Helping Family Caregivers Find Resiliency in a Time of Crisis

Portrait of a happy senior woman making a heart shape with her hands after exercising on the riverbank.

Times of crisis can sometimes bring out both the very best and also the worst in us. During the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve come across stories of people hoarding items and selling them in order to make an excessive profit, along with stories of wonderful people who selflessly met the needs of others in spite of their personal fears.

The key to weathering the storms which are certain to show up in our lives in a healthy and balanced way is resiliency. Mia Bartoletti, clinical psychologist for the Navy SEAL Foundation, works with families of people serving in the armed forces, and provides guidelines that can help improve resilience through any time of crisis.

Convey your reactions. It is common to have … Read More »



Elective Medical Procedures: Assessing the Safety for Seniors

Determine the safety of elective medical procedures with these tips.

The COVID-19 pandemic put our world on pause, including, among many other activities, medical appointments and procedures. In fact, nearly half of all adults either cancelled or put off routine medical care and elective medical procedures since the coronavirus crisis began, leading physicians to become concerned about the consequences.

As we tentatively strive for a new normal, it’s important to talk with your doctor about any procedures you might have been considering pre-pandemic, and to get answers to the following questions to help you gauge the safety of following through with them now.

Is the medical facility where I’ll be treated also treating COVID-19 patients, and are the same medical staff who will care for me also taking care of them? If so, what precautions are in place … Read More »



Can Your Aging Parents Afford Long Term Care?

It’s important to discuss long term care with your aging parents.

Millions of Americans struggle with the question of whether their elderly parents can afford long term care. Financial matters can be a sensitive topic, and when it’s time to start thinking about long-term care needs, holding an open and honest discussion about how your parents will be able to afford long term care services is crucial.

To that end, our Sonoma home care team has compiled the questions below to help you get started:

What are your parents’ assets? A good starting point is to determine approximately how much money your parents have available in cash, investments, and Social Security. This provides a basis for covering for long term care expenses.
Do your parents anticipate the need for financial assistance? People are living longer than ever before, … Read More »



Senior Caregiver Support Tip: Detecting and Preventing Dehydration

Learn to spot and prevent senior dehydration.

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:

UTIs
Kidney stones and/or failure
Blood clots
Seizures
Hypovolemic shock
And many others

Dehydration can be detected by the following symptoms:

Early stages:

Reduced amount/darker-colored urine
Dry mouth
Feelings of weakness, dizziness, and/or fatigue
Muscle cramps
Irritability

Advanced stages:

Confusion and disorientation, including difficulty with walking
Low blood pressure and weakened, faster pulse and breathing
Stomach bloating
Sunken, … Read More »



Advance Health Care Directives Provide Peace of Mind

Advance health care directives help individuals ensure their care wishes are met.

Life is unpredictable. And although an advance health care directive can be easy enough to put off, planning end-of-life choices now can help provide peace of mind that your standards and wishes about your health care will be listened to in the future. Additionally, it will ease the responsibility of decision-making on your family members.

Advance directives typically include these documents:

Living will. This written, legal document outlines the kinds of health care procedures and life-sustaining measures a patient would or would not like, such as mechanical breathing (respiration and ventilation), tube feeding or resuscitation.
Health care power of attorney (POA). The health care POA is a legal document that identifies an individual to make health care decisions on the patient’s behalf if the patient … Read More »



Questions You Need to Ask Your Aging Parents

Learn about your aging parents’ wishes by asking a few key questions.

We’re all familiar with Benjamin Franklin’s sage advice: “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” This has special significance when it comes to our aging parents, and to finding the answers to a number of important (as well as engaging) questions: from the practical knowledge of what their wishes are for their remaining lifetime, to what their favorite hobbies were as a child – and anything in between.

It’s a good idea to let your parents know that you have some questions you’d like to ask, and then schedule a time that will be uninterrupted, inviting siblings or other family members to attend as appropriate. Then prepare your questions in advance, thinking through ideas such as:

Do you have a power of attorney? … Read More »



Dementia Caregiver Tips for COVID-19

Our team is here to keep you informed with the most useful dementia caregiver tips for COVID-19.

Providing caregiving assistance for your family member with dementia is complicated under the best of conditions; mix in a global pandemic, one that calls for social distancing, masks, and meticulous sterilization of both ourselves and the environment, and the challenge may seem impossible.

Hired Hands Homecare’s team of caregivers offers the following dementia caregiver tips to help reduce anxiousness and irritation for those diagnosed with dementia, while keeping both them and their caregivers safe:

Make self-care a top priority. Now more so than ever, it’s extremely important to assess your own personal degree of stress, and take action to make sure you’re healthy – both physically and emotionally. You can only supply the best help for a senior loved one if your … Read More »



The 6 Best Coronavirus Resources for Seniors and Family Caregivers

Our team is here to provide the best resources for seniors and keep your family safe

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 Coronavirus 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 … Read More »



Why You Should Seek Help from an Aging Life Care Professional

Make the best care choices with the help of Hired Hands Homecare and an aging life care professional.

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.


Options for Helping Older Parents Age at Home

Hired Hands Homecare is experienced in helping older parents live comfortably and safely in their own home.

Ask most older people if they wish to age at home, even if they are struggling with aging-related issues, and the response is in most cases a resounding “yes!” Having to move away from their home, a place with so many memories, can be distressing, even if they admit that it’s getting more difficult to cope. Yet, wishing to continue to be at home and having the ability to stay at home, all alone, are two separate things. So what can you do? Even as a 24/7, around-the-clock family caregiver, you are not able to do it all by yourself. You need help and it could be that in-home care is the solution.





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Helping Family Caregivers Find Resiliency in a Time of Crisis

Portrait of a happy senior woman making a heart shape with her hands after exercising on the riverbank.

Times of crisis can...