Do you have aging parents in need of help to ensure safety at home? Are you also trying to manage caring for children and family at home? If so, you are part of the sandwich generation – a generation of people, mostly in their 30s or 40s, who have become responsible for bringing up their own children while simultaneously providing care for their senior parents. The to-do lists of this sandwich generation are loaded and caregiver burnout can quickly become reality. Numerous family caregivers not only work full-time, but they’re also taking their children to and from school, after-school activities and managing household tasks on top of their caregiving obligations. There are solutions to help caregivers though, and the first step is learning how to make the situation more manageable. Read more
Home health care services may not be thought necessary if an elderly loved one simply seems uninterested in going out, or is listless. However, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression in retirees is “a major public health problem.” And, depression is a biological and medical–as well as a psychological–illness.
The WebMD describes depression’s commonness, and its symptoms:”Late-life depression affects about 6 million Americans age 65 and older.” Seniors may complain of general aches and pains, and that they don’t sleep well, instead of the sadness and irritability typically attributed to depression.
Who is most at risk for depression? The WebMD lists seniors who are “female, single, lack a supportive social network,” and who have suffered “stressful life events.”–like the deaths of family and friends, or one’s own health problems.
White men ages 80 to 84 are more than twice as likely as any other demographic to commit suicide due to depression.
Older adults who’ve had strokes, cancer, heart attacks, diabetes, high blood pressure, previous depression episodes, family histories of depression–and who are taking certain medications–are also more vulnerable to depression.
What can we do for older family members who’ve been diagnosed as “clinically depressed?” Try to help them past the stigma that seniors typically connect to mental health treatment. “Many doctors recommend the use of psychotherapy in combination with antidepressants,” explains the WebMD. In addition, “most depressed people find that support from family and friends is helpful.”
Psychotherapy often nudges seniors to “mentally reframe” their current circumstances. For example, the counselor may suggest, “Moving to a condo is not the most difficult change you’ve encountered. Think of the strength you mustered when you moved overseas for your husband’s job.”
If family members can’t offer daily assistance to older adults who need extra time and attention–or who want to get out of the house and shop, attend community functions or visit peers–please call contact us. We can help mothers and fathers follow their medication and therapy schedules, and escort them to activities that will improve moods and brighten spirits!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Many seniors desire the ability to live at home for as long as possible. Often they would like to live in the same home they have lived in for years and possibly even raised a family in. Providing senior care at home is achievable. One of the first steps is making sure the home environment is still safe as the needs of the senior changes over time.
Bedrooms and bathrooms tend to be the most unsafe areas of the home for seniors with falls being the most common home accidents for older adults. Conducting an annual safety check is important to help prevent falls and allow seniors to remain at home. Here are some suggestions for things to evaluate during a safety check.
Look for throw rugs or torn carpet which can create a tripping hazard. Remove or attach to the floor with double-sided tape, glue or carpet staples to minimize the hazard.
Verify access to a telephone is available for night time emergencies. Consider installing a cordless phone, cell phone or emergency alert system.
Verify bed height is appropriate. It is too low if the knees are above the hips when sitting on the bed and is too high if the legs do not touch the floor when sitting. Add risers to raise the height. Remove the bed frame to lower the height.
If electrical cords present a tripping hazard because they run along the walking path use extension cords to run them behind furniture and rearrange furniture as needed.
Add grab bars near the shower and toilet to prevent falls.
If the bottom of the tub is slippery use a rubber mat or adhesives on the bottom of the tub to reduce the risk of a fall.
Check that the tub and toilet are at the correct height. If the toilet is too low add a raised toilet seat.
Consider using a medication organizer for pills and setting it on the countertop so it can be easily reached.
Do all stairwells have sturdy handrails? Ideally handrails should be located on both sides of every set of stairs. Consider having them installed or replaced if they are not present or not sturdy.
Is emergency contact information easily accessible by the senior if needed? Consider posting this information in multiple locations throughout the home.
Check for working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors on all levels of the home.
If taking care of oneself has become a challenge for a senior you love, it is worthwhile to look into in home care options. Advantages of in home care include:
Meal planning and cooking
Complete home safety evaluation performed by an occupational therapist
Physical therapy exercises
Peace of mind for you and your loved one
Having help at home can reduce the risk of accidents or injuries and extend the length of time a senior is able to continue to reside in their own home. For more information about at home care contact Endeavor In-Home Care, a top-rated Mesa respite care and in-home care provider for the surrounding areas.
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.
Those of us who provide caregiving to seniors may be distressed to find that our senior seems to sleep less than the rest of us do or less and less as time goes on. However, there is an important difference between normal age-related changes and those caused by illness or other problems.
According to the National Institute of Health, the average healthy adult requires between 7 ½ and 9 hours of rest a night. However, the NIH also found that those of advanced age may fall on the low end of that spectrum and only need about 7 ½ hours of rest per night on average. This is due to normal age-related changes in the body including changes in melatonin and other related hormones.
In addition, research has shown that older adults tend to go to bed earlier and wake earlier than others, called advanced phase syndrome. This is a normal age-related pattern.
Every individual is different in terms of rest needs, so caregivers should watch to make sure that the individual wakes up rested and maintains normal energy levels throughout the day. If so, the senior is likely getting the rest that they need, even if the actual amount of rest is less than expected.
The most important factor of rest for anyone, including seniors, is the quality. If someone has difficulty relaxing, wakes often, feels tired in the morning and is tired throughout the day, there is likely an underlying medical issue.
If the senior snores loudly, this may indicate that the individual has obstructive apnea, often caused by obesity, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease or other issues and a health care professional should evaluate this.
Other potential health care problems may include restless leg syndrome (RLS), gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD), diabetes and Parkinson’s disease, all of which might cause rest issues. If you are concerned about the quality of rest the senior is experiencing or any other symptoms or issues, schedule a physical exam by a health care professional.
Some simple changes are often enough to improve the quality of nightly rest:
– Reduce caffeine intake
– Shorten daily naps
– Exercise daily
– Stop liquid intake after dinner to help prevent the need to urinate during the night
– Turn off the television before bed
– Set a regular schedule
Proper senior caregiving includes helping the senior establish healthy sleeping patterns to aid them in feeling as rested and energetic during the day as possible, which in turn leads to an increased feeling of overall well-being.
When researching options for caregivers 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 home care in Sun City, AZ.
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