Elder Care Questions in Sun City West, AZ: What is Parkinson’s Disease, and How Can We Help Seniors Suffering from this Illness?

For those involved in elder care, either as an occupation or out of respect for the needs of a loved one, the subject of Parkinson’s Disease may become part of their daily vernacular. As the second most common neuro-degenerative disorder in the United States, Parkinson’s Disease is most common among the 50 years of age and older population. With that said, it is also important to note that this debilitating disease process can begin in people as young as 30 years of age.

Early Signs and Symptoms

Early signs of the disease process include loss of coordination, muscle stiffness, weakened voice, tremors and loss of sexual function (in men). For many patients, the neuro-degeneration caused by Parkinson’s Disease can proceed slowly for the rest of their lifespan, meaning that, while these symptoms may not improve, they will not grow noticeably worse in a rapid time-frame. Fortunately, this means that a large percentage of Parkinson’s Disease patients will require limited elder care services beyond basic in-home care or the assistance of a private caregiver to successfully live at home with the disease.

Elder Care and Parkinson’s Disease

As caregivers, there are a few things that can be done to assist patients suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. Physical therapy, especially during the early and middle stages of the degenerative process, may be extremely helpful in maintaining the patient’s range of motion and flexibility, thus prolonging the painful stiffening of the joints and other debilitating effects of the disease. Some patients also respond well to vitamin supplement and drug therapies to reduce or slow the progress of pain, inflammation and other symptoms of the disease process. In the later stages of the process, a patient may become more reliant upon the assistance of others to accomplish basic tasks, such as shaving, brushing of teeth or bathing. Unfortunately, due to degeneration of cognitive and sensory functions, the patient may not recognize the need for added assistance so it falls to the caregiver to decide when the extra help is appropriate.

While the physical effects of Parkinson’s Disease can be devastating, the non-motor function effects of the degeneration process are often the most troubling for patients, family members and the elder care team that is trying to provide needed support. As a neuro-degenerative process, Parkinson’s disease can cause patients to suffer from depression and anxiety. The disease can also cause normally fluent speakers to lose their train of thought or develop a twitch during conversations, which makes communication difficult. Caregivers can assist the patient by displaying patience and empathy in these situations, as well as redirecting the patient when lessened cognitive function is causing them to make dangerous decisions.

By providing for the patients physical and mental needs, caregivers can ensure that those suffering from Parkinson’s Disease can continue to live a full and well-adapted life at home or in assisted living.

When researching options for elder care agencies in Sun City West, AZ call us at (480) 535-6800. Home care counselors at Endeavor Home Care are available to talk with you about your elder care needs including how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care. We are an elder care agency providing home care in Sun City West, AZ.

Learn More About Assistance for Caregivers in Sun City, AZ through the “Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregiver Center Online”

Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that generally affects elderly individuals over 60. It is the most common type of dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Alzheimer’s Disease and other types of dementia effect a person’s memory, visual perception, language skills and thought processes to the extent that they have a difficult time functioning. dementia can cause them to forget how to perform basic functions, such as getting dressed or eating.

Most patients suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease and other types of dementia require total care, which means that their family members, spouses or others need to be with them at all hours of the day. Caring for patients with different forms of dementia can be emotionally and physically draining. Many people taking care of these patients feel overwhelmed and alone.

The Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregiver Center provides different tools for caregivers to get information and connect with others in similar situations.

Being a caregiver doesn’t always come naturally. The caregiver center looks to educate individuals on how to take care of someone with Alzheimer’s Disease or another type of dementia.

On the website, people can find answers to common questions about Alzheimer’s Disease, tips for caring for someone with Dementia, advice on training resources and an online calendar for families taking care of dementia patients.

On the website, alz.org/care/overview.asp, a person caring for an Alzheimer’s patient can also find information about different stages of dementia; ways to take care of patients as they start to lose their ability to function and suggestions for caregivers to engage and entertain patients.

Caring for a patient with dementia or being in the early stages of dementia often causes a person to feel isolated or frightened. The center’s website features message boards where people taking care of patients or suffering from dementia can communicate with each other.

The forums provide special areas for patients, spouses and partners, young people with dementia and people who have lost loved ones. On the forums, people can reach out to others to talk, find out information, share poems or learn about recent clinical trials.

Sometimes people who care for dementia patients want to meet people experiencing similar challenges and emotions. The center’s website provides links to local Alzheimer’s and dementia support groups, where people can meet in person and chat with others who are also caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s Disease.

During the support group meetings, people can talk about common issues, share their feelings and find out more about resources available to caregivers.

When researching options for in-home care agencies in Sun City, AZ call us at (480) 535-6800. Home care counselors at Endeavor Home Care are available to talk with you about your in-home care needs including how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care. We are an elder care agency providing caregivers in Sun City, AZ.

Senior Care in Paradise Valley, AZ: The Challenges for Seniors Diagnosed with Type-2 Diabetes

Seniors diagnosed with Type-2 Diabetes have many challenges to face to keep their health on an even keel. Once diagnosed, some important lifestyle changes need to be made, and those changes could be complicated depending on the senior’s overall condition.

Diet and Exercise

Diet and exercise often are the first lines of defense when it comes to controlling diabetes. For those on fixed incomes, affordable food sometimes does not add up to a balanced diet. If a senior has additional health issues and does not exercise, then starting a workout routine can be a daunting prospect. The goal should be to apply corrections in both of these areas as much as possible.

Medical Guidance

Medical guidance can help a senior learn more about nutrition to make better choices at the grocery store. Starting an exercise routine can depend on the person’s condition. Even as little as two, 10-minute sessions a day could begin to make a difference in overall health. The key motivator is that diet and exercise help manage this disease effectively in many patients.

Transportation

Transportation to and from medical appointments also can be an issue. With a diabetes diagnosis, more health monitoring is necessary to maintain appropriate levels of treatment. Senior care services offering transportation may be able to help. Qualifying seniors also may be able to participate in local government transit programs at reduced cost, which may provide rides to and from doctors’ offices.

Lack of medical assistance because of tight finances may be at the root of most undiagnosed diabetes cases. Type-2 Diabetes, left untreated, can damage kidneys, lead eventually to blindness and cause other life-threatening conditions. If these conditions already are taking hold, there can be additional challenges and expenses to maintain the senior’s quality of life. These challenging elements are why early detection is crucial.

Check-Ups are VERY Important

Make the time for checkups with your doctor and make note of any physical changes you may be experiencing, such as excessive thirst or fatigue. Taking control of diabetes is much easier and cheaper to confront in its earlier stage than trying to manage an advanced case. The challenges, while daunting at first, can be tackled one by one with planning, knowledge and outside assistance.

When researching options for senior care agencies in Paradise Valley, AZ call us at (480) 535-6800. Home care counselors at Endeavor Home Care are available to talk with you about your senior care needs including how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care. We are an elder care agency providing senior care in Paradise Valley, AZ.

Senior Care in Fountain Hills, AZ: Pay Attention to Your Bones During National Bone and Joint Week Oct. 12-20

Did you know that almost half of Americans age 18 or older are limited by a bone-related disorder like back pain, arthritis, osteoporosis, sports trauma, or fractures?

That’s why October 12-20 has been designated as National Bone and Joint Awareness Week. The goal is to raise awareness of various bone disorders so that the public is more informed, and health care practitioners can focus on prevention.

National Bone and Joint Awareness Week began as an initiative of the global Bone and Joint Decade program. Healthcare industries, government agencies, and physicians are working together with the goal of improving the prevention of disorders of the bones.

Let’s take a look at two bone and joint disorders that affect many Americans, with a focus on education and prevention.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is the most common disorder of the bones in the United States. It affects almost one in four men and one in two women. The condition is progressive and debilitating. It can greatly restrict one’s freedom and range of movement, leading to high rates of spine and hip fractures. In turn, these injuries tend to make an already fragile person more sedentary.

Another way to prevent osteoporosis is through weight-bearing exercise. The body responds to this type of exercise by building bone mass to support any additional muscle and the force generated by that muscle. This may sound like a daunting task, but you don’t have to be an Olympic athlete to see benefits from this type of exercise.

Moderate lifting with some small hand weights is all that is required. Be sure to start with weights you can handle and add weight very slowly. Always listen to your body and rest between exercise days to allow your body time to recover.

Arthritis

Arthritis is a common disorder of the joints, which causes pain, inflammation, and limited range of motion in the joints. A joint that is swollen can be damaged over time. Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis related to aging.

Medications are typically prescribed to treat arthritis. Anti-inflammatory drugs help reduce the swelling and can reduce pain. Pain killers are also sometimes prescribed to helps manage the pain.

Preventing Arthritis

In addition to Vitamin D, getting adequate exercise is important. Maintaining a healthy weight eases the burden on knees. Glucosamine Chondroitin supplements help many arthritis sufferers. Another great supplement is hyaluronic acid. These supplements help build and maintain cartilage that helps cushion joints.

When researching options for senior care agencies in Fountain Hills, AZ call us at (480) 535-6800. Home care counselors at Endeavor Home Care are available to talk with you about your senior care needs including how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care. We are an elder care agency providing senior care in Fountain Hills, AZ.

Video: Home Care Phoenix AZ: How do I know if my aging loved one is ready for home care services?

Home Care Phoenix AZ: How do I know if my aging loved one is ready for home care services?

How to Afford Home Care in Mesa, AZ for Veterans or a Surviving Spouse

The VA Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit is one way for veterans or their surviving spouses to afford in-home care. Before applying for the VA Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit for a Veteran or Surviving Spouse – Get Organized! Make sure you have all of your paperwork in order and copies of all important documents PRIOR to filing. More importantly GET HELP. See notes below.

See links to important documents at the bottom of this article.

Step 1:

First, the Veteran must have certified copies of his or her discharge papers. If the Veteran has a copy of his or her DD 214, take it to a local Veteran’s office where they will make certified copies at no charge. If there is no copy available, contact the VA to get a copy.

Step 2:

Second, the Veteran must have a medical reason for needing home care. They must be considered homebound. The medical reason does not have to be a serious or life-threatening condition. The home care agency will have a doctor’s report to be completed by the Veteran’s doctor. A copy of this report must be filed along with the application.

Step 3:

Third, to qualify financially, an applicant must have on average less than $80,000 in assets, excluding their home and vehicles.

Step 4:

Fourth, the Veteran must actually be receiving home care services at the time of application. The application process takes from three to six months and is retroactive to first day of the month the application was originally filed. For this reason, make sure your Veteran has the funds to cover the entire cost of home care for at least the first six months. Once the application is processed, the Veteran will receive a lump sum check for the retroactive benefit, then a monthly benefit check from that time on.

Important Documents for the VA Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit

• Standard Form 180 – Requesting Military Records

• Use VA Form 21-526 to apply for compensation and/or pension benefits.

• VA Form 21-534 to apply for benefits as a surviving spouse.

• Nursing Home Status Statement

• Physicians Statement for Need for Regular Aid and Attendance

• AUTHORIZATION TO DISCLOSE PERSONAL INFORMATION TO A THIRD PARTY

• Use VA Form 21-601 to apply for accrued benefits due the beneficiary but not paid prior to death.

The veteran must have served during a period of war as defined by the VA.

• Indian Wars: January 1, 1817, through December 31, 1898. The veteran must have served thirty days or more, or for the duration of such Indian War. Service must have been with the U.S. forces against Indian tribes or nations.

• Spanish-American War: April 21, 1898, through July 4, 1902, including the Philippine Insurrection and the Boxer Rebellion. Also included are those individuals engaged in the Moro Province hostilities through July 15, 1903.

• Mexican Border War: May 9, 1916, through April 5, 1917. The veteran must have served for one day or more in Mexico, on the borders thereof, or in the waters adjacent thereto.

• World War I: April 6, 1917, through November 11, 1918, extended to April 1, 1920, for those who served in the Soviet Union. Service after November 11, 1918, through July 2, 1921, qualifies for benefits purposes if active duty was performed for any period during the basic World War I period.

• World War II: December 7, 1941, through December 31, 1946, extended to July 25, 1947, where continuous with active duty on or before December 31, 1946.

• Korean Conflict: June 27, 1950, through January 31, 1955.

• Vietnam Era: August 5, 1964, through May 7, 1975.90 However, February 28, 1961, through May 7,1975, for a veteran who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period.

• Persian Gulf War: August 2, 1990, through a date to be prescribed by Presidential proclamation or law.

• Congress has not enacted legislation that would make the periods covering the 1983-1984 Lebanon crisis or the invasions of Grenada and Panama wartime service.

Resource: http://www.HelpforAgingVeterans.com

When researching options for home care agencies in Mesa, AZ call us at (480) 535-6800. Home care counselors at Endeavor Home Care are available to talk with you about your home care needs including how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care. We are an elder care agency providing home care in Mesa, AZ.

Senior Care in Scottsdale, AZ: Have You Had Your Flu Shot? It’s TIME!

If you are age 65 or older it is extremely important that you do not skip getting your flu shot. It is simple, readily available, and affordable. Most importantly it can be lifesaving.

The Most Common Causes of Death in the U.S.

Influenza and Pneumococcal are the most common cause of death from diseases that could have been stopped by a vaccine within the United States. Over 20,000 people in America die from flu epidemics each year. Over 100,000 are at least hospitalized. Adults diagnosed with diabetes and seniors over 65 are the most likely to be victims. The saddest part is that it can all be avoided by being sure to get a influenza shot each year.

Why is the Flu so Dangerous?

There are a few unavoidable reasons why the flu is so dangerous to seniors. The immune system weakens with age. This makes it much easier to catch the flu virus. Once sick, many of the elderly cannot care for themselves properly, especially if they live alone. While sick, many everyday tasks can feel impossible to them. They can become sicker and even dehydrated as a result of having the flu. Add to that the fact that most of them already have life threatening health issues that can become more serious when the flu virus infects their body.

All of this pain and suffering due to the influenza virus is so senseless in many cases. Shots are free under Medicare and readily available from health care providers. Many times clinics are set up at local drug stores. Anyone 65 or older, in nursing or assisted living facilities, those with heart problems, kidney disease, or lung problems need to speak to their health care providers about getting vaccinated.

Remind Your Loved Ones

If you are a senior over 65 or have a loved one that is, encourage them to go out there and get a flu vaccine. Call your doctor or local hospital for a list of times and locations where the influenza vaccine is being offered. There is virtually no risks involved, so don’t worry. It is a myth that you can catch the flu from the shot, due to the fact that it is created using the virus that has already been killed.

The risk of illness and death is much higher when seniors do NOT receive their annual flu shots. Get yours today!

When researching options for senior care agencies in Scottsdale, AZ call us at (480) 535-6800. Home care counselors at Endeavor Home Care are available to talk with you about your senior care needs including how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care. We are an elder care agency providing senior care in Scottsdale, AZ.

Senior Care and Depression in Phoenix, AZ: Watch for the Signs and Symptoms in Your Aging Loved One

October has been designated as National Depression Awareness Month. This is the time of year when summer gives way to fall, with leaves changing colors and sometimes moods changing as well. Less sunlight in the fall and winter months usher in feelings of depression for too many people, especially seniors.

National Depression Awareness Month was created to help raise awareness about the life-altering effects of depression. Many people are still not familiar with the symptoms of depression in themselves or others.

Seniors and Depression

Getting older presents many challenges and changes. Things like the death of a loved one, retirement, medical problems, and increased isolation can cause depression. This mood disorder is not a normal condition of aging. It can rob you of your enjoyment of life, sapping your energy and mood. It can also make you have trouble sleeping or eating.

Fortunately, there are many ways to overcome depression, regardless of what challenges you may be facing. Many, many people have suffered from depression and overcome it. Recognizing the symptoms is the first step towards getting back to a happy and fulfilled life.

Depression Symptoms

The symptoms of depression can vary from person to person, but there are some general ones to be aware of. Keep in mind that a given person may suffer from any or all of these symptoms at the same time.

* Persistent sad or empty mood

* Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, worthlessness, or guilt

* Loss of energy or interest in normal activities

* Difficulty sleeping or concentrating

* Irritability, crying spells, anxiety or panic attacks

* Thoughts of suicide

* Pain that does not respond to treatment

One thing to consider is that depression is a side effect of a number of widely prescribed drugs. If you are taking multiple prescription drugs, the risk increases.

A number of commonly prescribed drugs have been known to cause depression, including blood pressure medication, sleeping pills, beta-blockers, calcium-channel blockers, Parkinson’s medication, ulcer medication, steroids, and estrogen among others.

It can be difficult to sort out which medication is potentially causing your depression, but one tip-off is if you begin to experience depression symptoms soon after starting a new medication. If this should happen to you, report it to your doctor right away. He might be able to lower the dosage or find an alternate medication.

If you suspect you, a family member, or friend is suffering from depression, Senior Care services can help by providing companionship and socialization for seniors who otherwise might feel lonely during the day.

When researching options for senior care agencies in Phoenix AZ, call us at (480) 535-6800. Home care counselors at Endeavor Home Care are available to talk with you about your senior care needs including how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care. We are an elder care agency providing senior care in Phoenix AZ.

Remind Your Favorite Senior to Take Care of Her Health: October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Tucson, AZ

One of the most important things a woman should be sure to include in her medical care is breast cancer prevention. That’s why October is designated as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, when doctors, government agencies and organizations collaborate to raise awareness about cancer and promote access to health care for both young women and seniors.

History

The awareness month was initiated more than 25 years ago. The campaign has been involved in keeping the issue in the public’s eye, promoting and tracking research and empowering women to learn all they can about this important health care issue. Partners in the mission include major health organizations, such as American Cancer Society, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, CancerCare, National Medical Association and many more.

Early Intervention

This is a good time to remind women of the importance of doing their own breast check each month and of getting mammograms when appropriate. The National Cancer Institute recommends women 40 and older getting a mammogram every one to two years. Those with a higher risk of the cancer because of family history or other genetic risks are advised to ask their doctors about starting mammograms earlier.

Advocacy

The month is often recognized in some communities by fundraisers, races and other gatherings as a way to promote awareness and raise donations for research or local cancer care. What’s more, many merchants participate in the Pink Ribbon Campaign, selling products with the pink ribbon logo and donating a portion of the profit to cancer research.

About The Disease

Experts say one in eight women will be diagnosed with the cancer in her lifetime. The good news is that with early diagnosis and improved treatment options from ongoing research, many cancer patients are living longer or beating the disease altogether.

Local Events

To find out about events marking the month in your community, contact your local office of the American Cancer Society or check the, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer website, where you can search by location and date. If your community is not planning an activity, see how you can get involved to organize a fundraiser and raise awareness in your area.

Finally, remember that cancer awareness and care is something that should be ongoing throughout the year. Remind seniors in your community about how early diagnosis can make all the difference.

When researching options for senior care agencies in Tucson AZ, call us at (480) 535-6800. Home care counselors at Endeavor Home Care are available to talk with you about your senior care needs including how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care. We are an elder care agency providing senior care in Tucson, AZ.