Caregiver Support Tip
If you find yourself handling all of the care responsibilities for an aging parent while your siblings distance themselves from offering help, you’re not alone. In fact, as many as one out of every two family caregivers are taking care of an aging loved one on their own, according to a recent report from AARP. What can you do when family members refuse to help with senior care?
There are several reasons why siblings may shy away from supporting you in the care you’re providing. We’ve compiled the most common, along with what you can do to remedy the situation.
They don’t realize there’s a need for help. It may very well be that from … Read More »
If you’re the primary caregiver for someone with dementia, you may be quite familiar with the challenges experienced in trying to find a quiet moment or two alone – to use the restroom, take a quick shower, or even simply walk into another room. Seniors with dementia can experience heightened anxiety and fear when a loved one is out of sight – a condition known as shadowing. And the behaviors that result can be extremely difficult to manage: anger, crying, or repeatedly asking where you are, to name a few. If you’re struggling with how to overcome dementia shadowing, our dementia care experts have a few tips for you to try.
What Causes Dementia Shadowing?
It helps to understand the reasoning behind shadowing. You are the person’s safe place, the one who helps them to make sense out of … Read More »
For seniors and anyone else with a lung condition like COPD, maintaining the best possible air quality within the home is vitally important. But are humidifiers for COPD the right solution? The answer isn’t a simple yes or no. If the air is too dry, for example, it can cause or exacerbate health problems including:
Chapped, dry, or itchy skin
Aggravated allergy, asthma, and cold/flu symptoms like congestion
However, air that is too humid can cause mold and mildew to grow, which can lead to a host of health problems along with potential damage to the home.
Humidifiers, when used properly, can help maintain the ideal level of moisture in the air (between 30 and 50%), and in particular for those … Read More »
Take a moment and look around your home and surroundings – the pictures on the walls, collectibles, furniture, books, and memorabilia that all are part of the story of your life and who you are as an individual. Now think about having to part with most of those items in order to move into a smaller home or a family member’s home. You can imagine how overwhelming it would feel. It’s important to keep this in mind if you’re helping your parents downsize.
How Can I Help Make Downsizing Easier?
If your parents are faced with the need to downsize, there are a number of steps you can take to simplify and ease the process. These guidelines from a professional organizer are a great place to … Read More »
Parkinson’s fatigue affects as many as one in two people with the disease, but until recently, we haven’t fully understood just how debilitating this condition actually is. A study is providing us with the insight we need to comprehend the impact of Parkinson’s fatigue, and what we can do to help someone experiencing it. Led by Duke University’s Sneha Mantri, MD, the goal of the research was to gain firsthand patient insights to know how to better address this challenging condition.
Three distinct areas of fatigue were investigated in the study: physical, emotional, and cognitive. Participants were asked to describe their level of fatigue, and the terms they used were quite revealing, including feeling unmotivated, overwhelmed, isolated, lacking energy, and as if they were “walking through molasses.”
Parkinson’s fatigue … Read More »
While comedians and circus clowns may stir audiences to laughter over such stunts as slipping on a banana peel, there’s nothing funny about falling when it comes to seniors, who are at an elevated risk for serious injuries which could lead to a long rehabilitation process. Not just that, but there’s a lesser known complication that typically comes from a senior’s fall: a fear of falling again which is extreme enough to impact quality of life and health. Knowing how to help seniors after a fall to feel safe and secure again is crucial.
As the saying goes, “Once bitten, twice shy.” It is natural – and sensible – for a loved one who has fallen … Read More »
In the past several years since COVID-19 became a household term, seniors, who are most vulnerable to severe complications from the virus, became more isolated in order to stay safe. And while we already were aware that there are health risks connected with loneliness and isolation, we’re now beginning to realize another serious concern: how isolation and Alzheimer’s progression are linked.
Since people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia may struggle to understand and follow safety precautions, like wearing face coverings, reporting symptoms, and social distancing, isolation for these individuals became especially critical. But while maintaining these seniors’ physical health was the top priority, it’s also important to pay attention to their emotional wellbeing, which can also be negatively impacted without sufficient … Read More »
Dementia delusions can come seemingly out of thin air: you place your loved one’s favorite chicken salad sandwich in front of her – light on the mayo, no onions – something she typically enjoys. But today, she pushes the plate away and will not take a bite, insisting that you’ve poisoned the food.
Or, you’ve provided your loved one with a meaningful activity that links her to a significant time in her past career, sorting paperwork. Out of the blue, she accuses you of tampering with the documents in order to steal money from her banking account.
How can you respond to dementia delusions or hallucinations without further agitating the person? Try these strategies:
Keep a controlled, soothing, understanding tone. It might be instinctive … Read More »
Of the many and varied challenging behaviors someone with Alzheimer’s may experience and display, perhaps the most heartbreaking is uncontrollable screaming and/or crying. Seeing a person you love in an inconsolable state of mind, and being completely unsure how to help or to understand what’s causing these extreme emotions of Alzheimer’s, is both painful and frustrating. How can you help a loved one with dementia feel calmer?
To begin with, realize that crying and yelling in dementia can occur as the result of:
Delusions, delirium, or hallucinations
An uncomfortable environment
Or a number of other factors
For the short-term, try these strategies to help:
Stay calm yourself, speaking to the senior in a soft, soothing tone of voice.
Try to uncover what’s causing the outburst. Maintaining a … Read More »
In an ideal world, we could manage to perfectly compartmentalize our caregiving duties, staying with a routine that met your aging parents’ expectations, while allowing enough time to take care of our assortment of other responsibilities. But needless to say, life doesn’t follow our desired script, and conflicting needs are frequent when caring for an aging parent. Many older adults resist the need for help, while others may come to depend too heavily on an adult child, leading to unfulfilled expectations and ultimately disappointment for both parties.
Hired Hands Homecare’s aging care professionals provide the following tips to help clarify expectations and communicate successfully:
Focus on empathy. As opposed to pulling away from an older loved one whose expectations seem unrealistic, stop and empathize. Think … Read More »