Caregivers Home Care: Why the Elderly May Refuse Help

As a person ages, they may find it difficult to let go and allow others to assist them. Whether it is pride, stubbornness, or just a desire to do for themselves as long as possible,  there is a chance they will refuse help.

caregivers home care

If you are unsure why the person is refusing help, as direct open-ended questions.

For caregivers, home care for the elderly is a balancing act. It will require them to learn when to step in, and when to sit back and allow the person to do certain things on their own.

Understanding Why They Refuse Help

Ageing is difficult for some to accept, despite it being a natural part of life. The person often does not want to admit they are getting older, or they fear the negative connotations associated with being labeled as elderly.

For others, accepting help can cause them to feel embarrassed, inadequate, or lead to feelings of helplessness. No one wants to feel like a burden to others, and admitting they are incapable of doing certain things for themselves is extremely difficult.

Accepting help from a caregiver can also feel intrusive. They believe the caregiver will take the last of their independence, not allowing them to make any decisions on their own.

How To Overcome Rejections

There are several things you can do if an elderly person is refusing help that they desperately need.

Ask Direct Questions

If you are unsure why the person is refusing help, as direct open-ended questions. Do they feel like it would be a burden? Are they worried about having a stranger in the house? Are they afraid of something?

Be Patient and Understanding

Let them know that you worry, but that you understand why they might not want assistance. It is important to stay calm and show patience. It often takes several conversations to convince them to accept help. Getting angry or trying to force the issue is counterproductive to what you hope to accomplish.

Start Small

Sometimes starting small can help them become more receptive to allowing others to help. Talk to them about hiring someone to help with grocery shopping, laundry, or housekeeping once a week. Once they are open to this, gradually offer more help.

Discuss Options

For the elderly, feeling as if you are losing control of your own life is the most difficult part. Discuss what they would like, and the options that are available for them. Help them to understand they still have a voice and a choice in the type of care they receive.

For more useful information on elderly care contact us at Endeavor Home Care.

Home Healthcare Agency in Arizona Welcomes AMD Awareness Month

Is your vision, or that of a loved one, slowly deteriorating? Chances are the change could be caused by age-related macular degeneration. It is a problem that affects many Arizona residents and comes in two types, both of which led to low-vision. Each February, home healthcare agencies and others in the long-term care community seek to spread valuable information about the condition as part of National Age-related Macular Degeneration Month.

home healthcare

AMD usually strikes people over age 65, but anyone can be diagnosed with the disorder.

Although the disorder largely affects people who are 65-years of age or older, it truly knows no age limit. So, anyone may end up being diagnosed with the disorder. Surefire signs that a person should consider being tested for age-related macular degeneration include, but aren’t limited to dark spots appearing in the main field of vision and incidents of blurriness when reading.

Preliminary testing may be done at home with the aid of a readily available tool known as an Amsler Grid. Primary testing should ideally be performed by a licensed ophthalmologist. Optometrists may also offer AMD testing. However, if they suspect that a person has age-related macular degeneration, they will need to refer him or her to an ophthalmologist for treatment.

Treatments used to address low-vision will obviously vary on a case-by-case basis. Among the list of treatments frequently recommended by ophthalmologists are photocoagulation, adhering to special diets, periodic eye injections andphotodynamic therapy. They may also refer patients to home healthcare agencies and other resources that can provide assistance with activities of daily living. Examples include businesses that offer low-vision patients canes, service animals, magnifying aids, large print books, speech-to-text software and Braille education.

To learn more about how people successfully cope with low-vision and age-related macular degeneration, please contact us at Endeavor Senior Care. As home healthcare experts, we work with the state’s top-notch, in home caregivers year-round.

New Year’s Goals for Caregivers

Whether or not we make New Year’s resolutions, the holiday is a great time for caregivers to take stock of their emotional assets. After a year or more of making certain a loved one is receiving the care he needs, you may have sacrificed your own physical or emotional well-being. Here are some questions you might ask yourself to determine how you are faring.


Ask yourself a few questions to determine how you’re faring in your role as a caregiver.

Do you make certain to allow some time for yourself, away from the loved one you care for? If you have a family, do you take time to do things with them? Asking for help is not a sign you aren’t doing your job; it is an indication that you are caring for yourself as well. In the year ahead, promise yourself some well-deserved down time. In-home care agencies can provide respite for a few hours, a day or a week or more to give you time to relax. Of course, you could hire a neighbor or relative, but the agency trains its personnel to handle emergencies and understand the limitations your loved one may have.

Did you get your flu shot? You cannot care for a loved one if you are ill. The strain that is making people sick this year may be different, but the shot may lessen symptom severity and shorten the duration.

Are you feeling overwhelmed? Determine to learn more about the issues your loved one is having. Just knowing what to expect in the future, what is normal and when you should get more help can significantly lessen your own stress level.

Are you depressed? Of course, as caregivers we all get down sometimes. Seeing someone we love struggle with impairments and illness is hard, especially if that impairment is dementia. Caregivers of elders with dementia are twice as likely to have depression as the general population. Some of the signs of depression are: a change in eating patterns or an unusual gain or loss of weight; a change in sleep patterns; constant fatigue; loss of interest in things you have always liked to do; being easily angered or frustrated with little cause and thoughts of suicide. If you have any of those symptoms, and if they have persisted longer than two weeks, you should see your doctor.

Do you know how your loved one stands in relation to insurance benefits and savings? These are crucial details for a caregiver to know. Evaluating your own and your loved one’s financial resources at the beginning of each year helps you plan ahead, and gives you an idea of the options that may be available to you.

Whether you call them resolutions or just goals, the Near Year holiday is a great time to assess how we are doing and plan to make the coming year as stress-free as we can.

If you would like to talk to someone about your resources and challenges, or if you would like to learn more about in home care contact us. We can help you meet your goals to provide the best care for your loved one and for yourself.

Memory Care can Slow Memory Loss in the Elderly

We all experience some degree of memory impairment as we age. While it affects everyone differently and at a different stage of aging, it is estimated that after late middle age we lose one percent of our brain cells every year. For many, it is as simple as forgetting where the car keys are or not being able to recall someone’s name in a conversation. For others, though, memory loss is a more serious matter. Our loved ones can forget to take medications, for example, or forget that they have already taken them and double-dose.

memory care

Doing mentally challenging activities like crossword puzzles has been shown to slow memory loss.

Because memory loss is one characteristic of Alzheimer’s or dementia, not being able to remember things can be terrifying to an elderly person who desperately wants to maintain the independence of living at home. Some researchers believe that the loss of daily work and physical activity takes away the meaningful structure around which we anchor data. Others think older people have so much more data stored in their memories that it is just more difficult to access.

No matter what the cause turns out to be, we know that there are steps we can take to exercise the brain and prevent or slow memory loss. One of these steps involves physical activity such as walking or targeted exercise. Another thing that may help stave off memory loss is regular reading and, in addition, discussing the book or article. Playing board games is helpful too, because it encourages critical thinking skills. Doing crossword puzzles and other mentally challenging activitiescan be effective; recent studies seemed to show that doing the crossword in the New York Times four times a week reduced the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by 50% over those who did the puzzle only once weekly.

That is encouraging. Just the presence of someone in the home offering companionship and challenging your loved one to exercise the body and the brain can make a difference. That is why we offer memory care as a component of our in home care for the elderly. Our trained staff can be the “nudge” your loved one needs to slow or prevent additional memory loss.

For more information on how we can help your loved one stay happier and healthier longer, contact us.

Senior Care at Home: Keeping Loved Ones Safe in Winter

senior care at home

They may get along in the summer with just a daily “check-in” or two, but winter weather brings new challenges for the elderly.

With the arrival of colder weather we pull out the sweaters and gloves. We put up the storm windows and we make sure the snow shovel is where we can get to it. We weatherize the homes of our elderly loved ones too, and feel more confident that they will handle the frigid temperatures well. After all, they seem to get along in warm weather with just a “check-in” once or twice a day. The elderly, though, are less able to deal with cold weather rigors. That is especially true for those who have impaired abilities.

Because we lose the ability to maintain a normal internal body temperature as we age, the elderly may need more insulation in the form of layers of clothing and even keeping the thermostat higher. This is complicated, according to the American Heart Association, because older people seem relatively insensitive to moderate cold. They may not dress warmly enough because they don’t feel cold. If an impaired elderly person went for a walk in cold weather, for instance, they might not know that they had hypothermia before they were in danger. Frostbite can occur in minutes.

Another warning about those healthy “constitutionals” in cold weather: just being outside in cold weather can exasperate heart problems. That is compounded if the person decides to sweep off a walk or shovel a driveway. The elderly are more at risk of falling on icy walks as well, and even if they don’t break a bone, they may lie unnoticed for some time.

Colds and flu are more prevalent in winter. Pneumonia is one of the worst enemies of the elderly. Well-meaning friends dropping by can unleash a host of germs and viruses.

Winter weather is often accompanied by SAD, or seasonal affective disorder. In other words, some people get depressed in the winter more than in other times of year. This is often attributed to shorter periods of sunlight that we need to maintain emotional and physical health. Sunlight also affects the production of vitamin D. That vitamin is vital for a number of body processes, including preventing osteoporosis. Unfortunately, as we age our bodies become less efficient at producing the vitamin from sunlight, and especially when it is limited.

Of course, there are measures we can take to deal with the colder weather. We dress in layers, we wash our hands more often, we take vitamins and we arrange to keep our walks ice-free. Perhaps your loved one is still able to address the cold weather risks and savvy enough to get help when she needs it. If you have been wondering if she needs assistance, however, this may be the time to consider senior care at home.

For ideas on how to safeguard elderly loved ones this winter, or for questions about in-home senior care, contact us. We can help.