There’s nothing better than a tall, cold drink on a warm summer day, but for someone with dysphagia, this simple pleasure can be downright dangerous. Dysphagia – or trouble swallowing – affects millions of older adults, due to weakened mouth and/or throat muscles. Alzheimer’s, MS, cancer, and stroke are all culprits as well.
Signs of dysphagia include:
Coughing, gagging or choking when eating, drinking, or taking medication
A gurgling sound in the senior’s voice after eating/drinking
Additionally, if you suspect dysphagia in an older family member, ask him or her the following questions – and check with the doctor right away for further guidance:
Are you coughing or choking when trying to eat or drink?
Are you having frequent problems with food “going down the wrong pipe?”
Is food … Read More »
The isolation and fear brought on by COVID-19 has had a profound impact on mental health and wellbeing in older adults. In a Kaiser Family Foundation poll, nearly one half of seniors surveyed stated that their level of stress and worry has adversely impacted their own health. And even though it still may be risky to visit in person with older adults, it’s critical to stay in frequent and regular contact in order to watch for any changes or signs which could indicate a mental health concern.
As psychiatrist Judith Feld, MD, MPH, states, “If a senior usually really enjoys a call with a grandchild, for example, but that seems to have changed, maybe you need to ask more questions, such as, ‘How can we be of help?’”
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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 senior holiday 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 … Read More »
Think about the most perfect holiday season you can possibly imagine. While that image may vary a bit for each of us, it typically includes lights, gifts, good food, and traditions handed down through the generations. Yet what most definitely rings true for all of us is the happiness in spending time with the people we love. Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused us all to rethink how to safely enjoy the holidays with seniors during a pandemic. With a bit of ingenuity and creativity, however, it’s feasible to bridge the gap while making new memories with the seniors you love, even if you cannot be together with them in person this season.
Our aging care professionals have collected several suggestions to help you celebrate the holidays with seniors during a pandemic:
Adjust traditions. Think through the traditions that mean the … Read More »
As experts in elderly care in Santa Rosa and other California cities, we understand that recovering after a surgical procedure can take time, especially for older adults. Not only do aging bodies take longer to heal, but together with reduced mobility and a multitude of directions for medications, physical activities, follow-up appointments, and dietary restrictions, there is a lot to help keep tabs on after a hospitalization. So what is the best way to assist an elderly parent after a hospital stay?
Recent research conducted by IPC, The Hospitalist Company, revealed that nearly one out of every five discharged patients required assistance with at least one thing that had the possibility of affecting their recovery. Other similar studies have shown that bringing in professional … Read More »
The intricate steps needed to make it possible for us to see are mind-boggling. Within the blink of an eye, our brains have the capability to take transmitted details from the environment around us, translate that information based upon input from other senses, thoughts, and experiences, and then build an understanding of that information to help make us conscious of what we are seeing.
It’s unsurprising that Alzheimer’s impacts vision, and therefore people with Alzheimer’s can encounter misperceptions and visual deficits, particularly in the aspects of:
Depth and/or color perception
What’s more, individuals who have Alzheimer’s can frequently encounter an altered sense of reality in the form of illusions. For instance, someone with Alzheimer’s disease could see a shadow on the ground, and mistake … 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 »
Did you realize…approximately 50% of all older adults are chronically under-hydrated, according to a recent study conducted at UCLA? Not only that, but seniors over age 65 account for the highest category of hospital admissions because of dehydration.
Dehydration in seniors can sneak up quickly because they often have a decreased sensation of thirst, can experience medication side effects that can cause hydration problems, or they mistakenly believe that drinking less will reduce incontinence issues.
Senior dehydration is extremely dangerous, increasing the risk for health issues such as:
Kidney stones and/or failure
And many others
Dehydration is generally detected by the following symptoms:
Decreased amount/darker-colored urine
Feelings of weakness, dizziness, and/or exhaustion
Confusion and disorientation, such as problems with walking
Low … Read More »