Lots of people go through periods of time when they simply want to be left alone for a bit with their thoughts, to think through situations in their lives without any distractions, or just to experience some downtime. For older adults, however, being isolated for an extended period of time may be indicative of a more serious condition: senior depression.
At Hired Hands Homecare, our caregivers have shared the journey through depression with many seniors, and would like to offer help. The most important first step is to contact the older adult’s doctor as soon as possible if you suspect he or she is struggling with depression. Depression is treatable, and the sooner, the better.
Keep an eye out for these signs of senior depression in your loved … Read More »
Do you remember that feeling as a young child when the school bell rang, indicating the conclusion of science and the start of the best part of the day: recess? There was an immense feeling of freedom bounding out onto the playground, leaving behind the pressure of school work for a quick period of unstructured play. Regrettably, for the majority of adults, this is just a happy but distant memory. Play for seniors isn’t usually something that’s considered by many adults. Nevertheless, is it possible, and even worthwhile, to recapture the enjoyment of playing?
We have all heard about helicopter parents, particularly when a daughter or son leaves for college, but what about a helicopter child? Truth be told, we may be guilty of hovering a bit too closely ourselves. Finding that optimal harmony between caring and overstepping our boundaries is not easy.
With over 328 million people residing in the U.S. alone, it is hard to believe that senior loneliness would be so prevalent. And yet of the number of older adults living alone, more than 60% of them report being chronically lonely.
A quick Google search for the word “aging” produces topics such as “coping with aging,” “what you can do about aging,” as well as “the cure to aging.” The pessimistic connotations to aging are, regrettably, so embedded in our society that it is estimated that by 2027, the aging care industry will be worth $83.2 billion. While it’s very easy to get caught up in the issues that may be realized in aging well – health concerns, the passing of family and friends, and cognitive issues – what’s getting lost in the shuffle are the remarkable benefits of growing older.
Senior falls are all too frequent and may have serious outcomes. Taking preventative measures is key, such as examining the house for fall risks like area rugs and various tripping hazards, inadequate lighting, and a lack of appropriate grab bars and railings. But there is also a new strategy being advised now: creating a fall plan of care, which, when utilized correctly, has been shown to reduce fall-related emergency room visits up to 40%.
So while we absolutely don’t want to plan for a loved one to fall, we are able to be better equipped by helping the person take the following steps:
Stay vigilant – Avoid letting your mind wander and instead maintain your full focus on your surroundings.
Check vision … Read More »
Of the many responsibilities a family caregiver faces, perhaps one of the more difficult is managing health concerns and knowing what questions to ask the Dr. as your parent’s caregiver. The National Council on Aging estimates that approximately three quarters of all seniors are clinically determined to have at least two chronic illnesses, and are seeing on average of four medical specialists.
Hired Hands Homecare, offering in-home care in Napa, CA and the surrounding communities, offers these simple tips to communicate effectively with those on the senior’s medical team:
Are all of the medications essential? With most older adults taking many medications, you’ll need to keep an in-depth list and review occasionally with the doctor along with the pharmacist, each of whom should be able to make … Read More »
More than one out of every three 60-year-olds is currently taking five or more prescription medications, so it’s no wonder that problems occur from overmedication. Polypharmacy in older adults is defined as “…when an adverse drug effect is misinterpreted as a new medical problem – leading to the prescribing of more medication to treat the initial drug-induced symptom,” and can cause a number of additional health risks or worsen existing health conditions.
It’s a good idea for older adults and their caregivers to work together on a plan of de-prescribing. These tips can help:
Compile a list of all medications the senior is taking, including prescription meds, over-the-counter meds, and vitamins/herbal supplements, and share with the senior’s physician and pharmacist.
Request an evaluation of the medications themselves as … Read More »
In an innovative, ongoing trial, deep-brain stimulation – more commonly used for Parkinson’s patients – has recently been tested on stroke survivors. Physicians are hoping that the end result associated with the deep-brain stimulation treatment – which involves implanting an electrode to stimulate a particular portion of the brain – will restore mobility in stroke recovery patients and place an end to the paralysis that so many often experience after a stroke, making the future of home care for stroke patients look much brighter!
To be able to comprehend how a stroke hinders normal brain activity, Laurie Ann Bonkoski, a speech therapist, compares a stroke to a home whose front door has unexpectedly become obstructed by a fallen tree. In her studies, she’s determined to sidestep that … Read More »
Juggling the numerous medical appointments, procedures, tests, medications, lifestyle changes, and more is a way of life for the many seniors with chronic health needs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a full 85% of seniors have at least one chronic health care need, and 60% are diagnosed with two or more. The challenges may seem overwhelming. But there’s one essential component to effectively managing a chronic health condition: care management.
Diagnoses such as diabetes, COPD, heart disease, and more are life-changing. They impact a person’s mental as well as physical health, and it’s important to enlist help in meeting all care needs. Geriatric care managers, also known as aging life care specialists, are skilled professionals with expertise in meeting all of the diverse … Read More »