It is among the more difficult decisions we face in older years, and an extremely delicate subject for adult children to initiate with their elder parents: relinquishing the car keys. Driving ourselves, while supplying an inherent experience of freedom and independence, may become extremely unsafe due to a number of variables linked to getting older. And letting go of that independence for sake of senior driving safety can feel defeating. Read more
We desire the right health care for our loved ones, but is it possible that on occasion, less is best? Based upon a recent report published in Plos One by Dr. Martin Makary, professor of surgery and health policy at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, a full 21% of medical care we receive is unneeded – meaning that millions of individuals subjected to various treatment plans, screenings and scans are getting little if any benefit. And these kinds of unwarranted health services come at a cost: up to $210 billion each year, as reported by the National Academy of Medicine. Read more
Although we would rather turn a blind eye to it, family friction is generally prevalent in some form for most of us, and within a time of crisis, is frequently exacerbated. Whenever stress levels are heightened, it’s natural to search for a target to serve as an outlet for all of those emotions; and sadly, that target is often people we’ve shared the most with over a lifetime: our brothers or sisters.
- Talk to Each Other. Even though it sounds rudimentary, it really is worth emphasizing that good communication is key to understanding different positions and getting on the same page. Documenting key points, such as financial choices, your parents’ plans, and who has decided to give assistance with each aspect of care is always a good strategy.
- Accommodate. Share with one another what types of tasks you may be available to assist with; however, recognize that compromises may need to be made in an effort to ensure that all bases are covered. Recognize that sacrifices will likely be necessary from all individuals involved in care, and come together to identify a solution that’s as fair as possible to each person.
- Delegate. Recognize that there is additional help available that can assist families in keeping their senior loved ones safe and thriving. Partnering with a qualified professional home care agency, such as Endeavor Home Care, provides families much-needed time to manage their own personal lives while knowing their family members are getting the very best possible care.
Planning as much in advance as possible before a care need appears is essential for cutting down on family friction later. Pull together details on how your parents would want to handle certain situations as they grow older. Would they wish to age in place at home, or move to an assisted living facility? If they’d like to remain in the home, what basic safety and accessibility modifications should be made? How would they prefer daily tasks to be managed when the need for assistance develops, such as with taking showers, getting dressed, maintaining the home, etc.?
At Endeavor Home Care in Phoenix, AZ , we recognize that complicated family dynamics are often at their highest when being confronted with care needs for a senior family member. Contact us at (623) 428-2100 in Phoenix, (480) 535-6800 in Scottsdale, or (520) 314-2600 in Tucson to learn how we can help alleviate worry and supply the solutions to care that can restore peace to you and your family.
The online world supplies us with quick responses to almost any question we are able to imagine, learning opportunities beyond what we could have thought of a generation previously, socialization enhancement, and much more. Among the most enjoyable online innovations for those who are in the senior care profession has been brain training programs – computer games for seniors like memory games and puzzles promote improved cognitive functioning. But how well do they actually do the job? Read more
In an ideal world, medical care would revolve around you and your own preferences, following your specific needs and wishes – fitting into your itinerary and routine, unhindered by issues such as an unwavering health care provider who sees health care options in black and white. Reality is far from perfect though, and the majority of us often tend to submit to doctors’ orders with no concept that there may be a better-suited alternative, especially when it comes to senior healthcare.
With some education, however, patients can, believe it or not, take a more proactive stance for their healthcare. Known as “person-centered care,” it involves physicians working together with patients and any other members of the family or care providers they determine, taking into consideration the patient’s preferences, values and goals, and using that information as a guide throughout all facets of care.
There are many handy steps we can all take to reach a more individualized level of care:
- Think through your healthcare goals, and write this information down to discuss with your medical doctors. And, ask that medical personnel integrate these goals into your health records.
- Become well-informed in your medical conditions and needs, and ways in which they’re having an effect on your everyday life. For instance, are you suffering from challenges with any sort of routine activities of daily living, like taking showers or dressing? Are you struggling with certain types of movements, like lifting or bending? A good assessment tool is available here.
- Be sure that discussions with medical professionals are two-sided. Fully engage in a dialogue to make sure your concerns are addressed and that you are aware of any potential complications or any other risks of treatment recommendations.
- If you have multiple physicians (for example, a primary care doctor and one or more specialists in a variety of practices), confirm that communication is happening among all. This could include requesting that documentation be shared between providers, and then following up to ensure that’s been carried out.
- Involve a trusted member of the family, friend, or professional in-home caregiver, such as Endeavor Home Care provides, in all healthcare appointments. Having someone around to jot down notes, answers to questions, and any other relevant information helps make sure that nothing falls through the cracks.
To get more tips, and for a partner in care to help ensure older adults and their loved ones have a voice in their healthcare needs, contact Endeavor Home Care, Arizona’s best home care agency. We can provide accompanied transportation to treatments and appointments, pick up prescription medications and run other errands, prepare healthy meals, and so much more for your senior loved ones in the Scottsdale and Phoenix areas. Call us at (480) 535-6800 for assistance.
It is a common problem for many older adults – falling and staying asleep for a full night’s rest. Other than feeling a tad foggy the next morning, however, and feeling the need for an afternoon snooze to catch up on lost sleep, the actual repercussions have felt negligible. That is, until a recent study suggested a potential link between chronic insomnia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Deep sleep enables the brain to remove toxins, such as the amyloid plaques related to Alzheimer’s disease, and it appears that a build-up of these toxins is shown to harm the brains of lab animals. Consequently, a human study is launching to better understand the interconnection and its impact.
Through the use of a strong MRI system, the strength of the brain’s signal to get rid of toxins can be reviewed: a strong signal in brains whose toxin elimination is successful, and a less strong signal in people who may be developing Alzheimer’s. The objective will be to assess if too little deep sleep does, in fact, affect the likelihood of a future Alzheimer’s diagnosis, and if so, to determine the best treatment options to improve sleep quality.
The difficulty in the human leg of the trial will be in assisting people to feel comfortable enough in the MRI machine to achieve the natural stages of sleep, between the noise and cramped and sometimes claustrophobia-inducing quarters. However, it’s a much more feasible and less-intrusive option than the laboratory animal study, which involved creating a window in the skull and watching the brain with a strong microscope and laser. And the payoffs may potentially be life-changing: identifying people at risk for Alzheimer’s disease because of inadequate sleep, and opening doors to new treatment options.
Per Bill Rooney, director of Oregon Health & Science University’s Advanced Imaging Research Center, “It could be anything from having people exercise more regularly, or new drugs. A lot of the sleep aids don’t particularly focus on driving people to deep sleep stages.”
Financing for human trials is currently in place, and the research is slated to start this year.
Are you currently providing care for a senior loved one and finding it challenging to get a restful night’s sleep? Or does your family member have a problem with sundowning, chronic insomnia, or other issues that make evening sleeping tough for you both? Contact the Arizona and San Diego senior care experts at Endeavor Home Care for overnight respite care, offering you the chance to sleep while knowing your family member is safe and sound and well cared for!
“Home sweet home,” the saying goes; but if you are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s who is experiencing memory loss and insists home is somewhere other than where he or she is currently living, what do you do? When you are providing care for a loved one with dementia, unfortunately this discussion can be a common occurrence. And the bewilderment and sorrowful yearning being conveyed are nothing less than heartbreaking – and, if we’re truthful, annoying.
At Endeavor Home Care, our professionally instructed San Diego dementia care team helps families control difficult events such as this, and we recommend trying the following to help restore peace to an upset loved one with dementia:
- Instead of rationalizing, help the senior feel validated. Reasoning or arguing with a senior with dementia can actually increase frustration and unrest. Even if the older person is in the same home she’s resided in for the past 20 years, within her thoughts, “home” could represent the enjoyment she felt in her childhood home together with her parents. Her sentiments of loss are quite real, and should be acknowledged.
- Provide reassurance. Maintain a calm, soothing tone of voice and body language and take a seat next to the person, providing consolation through a hug, hand-holding, or maybe lightly touching the person’s arm, if these kinds of actions are accepted.
- Next, redirect. Once you’ve provided a soothing presence and affirmed the person’s views, redirection to some pleasurable, entertaining activity will be helpful. Taking a walk outdoors or in a different part of the house, playing favorite music, or checking out photograph collections are just a couple of suggestions; consider the particular person and incorporate the things that work best for her.
For further suggestions about helping restore peace to a troubled loved one with memory loss resulting from Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia, contact Endeavor Home Care at (480) 535-6800. We can help keep seniors safe, enrich socialization, and present them with opportunities to strengthen both cognitive and physical wellbeing through services such as:
- Patient, sensitive assistance with personal care responsibilities such as bathing and dressing
- Participating in conversations and reminiscing about the past
- Helping the senior to participate in physician-approved exercises
- Playing board games, cards or games on a tablet device with the senior
- Planning and making nutritious meals
- Running errands such as picking up groceries and medications
- Providing transport to health care appointments and other outings
- And so much more
Whether just a few hours each week of respite care for primary family caregivers are necessary, or full-time, seamless, around-the-clock caregiving is wanted, we’re always ready to partner with you to deliver the highest quality dementia care. Contact Endeavor’s San Diego dementia care experts to find out more and to arrange for a free in-home assessment.
“If only there were a few more hours in the day!” If you are in the “sandwich generation,” most likely you can relate to this sentiment, as you are constantly juggling the needs of your children and the needs of your aging parents. The following tips, however, may help to shave just a few minutes off your to-do lists and make your role of being a caregiver a little bit easier.
- Plan tasks strategically. Generate a plan for recurring duties to enhance efficiency. For example, map out all of your stops in the most well organized manner, and combine jobs such as laundry and grocery shopping for your senior loved one with your own.
- Keep the car stocked with supplies. Stash a container of useful items in the trunk to have accessible at all times: comfortable walking sneakers, a fleece or sweater, toiletries, snack food items with a long shelf life – all that you feel might come in handy for the particular scenarios you might find yourself in on any given day.
- Skip urgent care facilities. Urgent care visits may lead to several hours of time lost spent in the waiting room. Consider getting in touch with the physician instead to get a same-day appointment, in particular mid-morning, when the day’s cancelled appointments have yet to be filled.
- Keep paperwork organized. Keeping copies of all important paperwork together, perhaps in a brightly colored, easily identifiable folder, is essential in the event of an emergency. Documents in the folder should include: medical insurance information, list of medications, emergency contacts, advance directive, health care proxy, and power of attorney.
- Keep a positive outlook. Enjoying a few quiet moments the first thing in the morning to reflect on the things you’re grateful for may go a long way towards alleviating stress and setting the stage for a more productive and positive day. Repeat as time permits during the day, especially when feelings are running high.
The most beneficial tip we can suggest is partnering with Endeavor In-Home Care, the top provider of professional at-home care in Scottsdale, AZ and the surrounding communities. We can help in more ways than you might realize, including running errands, shopping and meal preparation, light housework, and more, along with hands-on personal care and companionship. See our full service area and contact us at (480) 535-6800 and discover a stress-free life for both yourself and your older loved one!
With the all the hustle and bustle of our lives, how many times do we grab a quick cup of coffee and a donut on our hurried way to work, stopping for junk food on the way home to avoid the need to cook? Younger adults with a high metabolism, optimal muscle strength, and fewer chronic health conditions can get away more easily with short-term poor eating habits; however, when it comes to senior nutrition, it’s a different story.
While our bodies go through changes in aging, the need for appropriate nutrition becomes much more critical. Seniors who are malnourished are at a heightened risk for falls, anemia, maladies, hospitalizations, and more. It’s estimated that as a nation, we spend over $150 billion annually in medical costs stemming from elderly malnutrition.
There are numerous hurdles for the elderly to overcome in order to obtain adequate senior nutrition, including:
- Medication side effects, such as impacting taste and smell
- Trouble eating due to arthritis or dental concerns
- Difficulty with the tasks involved with shopping or fixing meals
- Loneliness and depression, making mealtime less enjoyable
- Lack of enthusiasm to prepare balanced meals when cooking for just one
- Financial limitations
To compound the issue further, doctors’ appointments and checkups often neglect nutritional counseling. According to Simin Nikbin Meydani, director for the Jean Mayer USDA Human Research Center on Aging at Tufts, “If you go to your physician, they will weigh you and check your heart, but they are not measuring your nutritional status.”
So how can we guarantee our older family members are maintaining proper senior nutrition? The MyPlate for Older Adults from Tufts University is a great place to begin, outlining simple dietary modifications that are less inhibitive than trying a complete dietary makeover. For example, “Tea and toast can turn into a bowl of oatmeal with a banana. It’s just as easy to make,” according to Shirley Chao, of the MA Executive Office of Elder Affairs.
Another choice is to engage the services of a professional in-home caregiver, such as those at Endeavor In-Home Care in Scottsdale, AZ and nearby areas, who can help with planning wholesome, delicious meals, running errands such as picking up groceries, and spending time with seniors during mealtimes to stave off loneliness.
For more strategies for helping improve nutrition for an older adult, contact Endeavor In-Home Care, the top provider of home care in Scottsdale and throughout the surrounding areas. We can plan and prepare healthy meals for seniors – and we’ll even clean up the kitchen afterwards!
Now that Mom has sold her car, is no longer driving and it is harder for her to get around on her own, it has been decided that you and your siblings will divide up her care needs. One of you needs to take her to the doctor’s office, beauty shop and grocery store. One of you needs to help with her housework and laundry. And certainly, the yard needs to be kept up. But there are a few additional necessary aspects to caring for parents which need to be dealt with but often go unnoticed until there’s a problem.
Consider this to-do list when assembling a plan of care for your senior loved one:
- Keep all important personal information together, including power of attorney paperwork, advance healthcare directives or do not resuscitate orders, wills, trusts, financial information on all assets, insurance information and more.
- Check to see if your employer offers a flexible work schedule to accommodate time required to care for the senior, or paid or unpaid leave. Contemplate the financial consequences of employment-related changes.
- Realize the financial implications of providing care for a family member. Studies show that family caregivers spend over $5,000 every year for care needs, over and above any lost income.
- Have all family members and friends who will be involved in providing care, as well as yourself and your senior loved one, agree upon a written agreement of care. Though it could seem unnecessary, obtaining care details outlined in writing helps eliminate future disputes.
- Create a strategy for ongoing support for yourself, to allow for needed time for self-care and to provide a safe, trusted channel for your personal feelings. Consider available options, to include not just immediate family and close friends, but also a counselor or therapist, your place of worship, web based or in-person caregiver support groups, and disease-specific organizations, such as the Alzheimer’s Association.
Skilled Arizona in-home care providers are one more excellent source of support for older persons in need of help with proper care, as well as for the family members caring for parents or other senior loved ones. Supplemental care services allow family members to take much-needed breathers from care to take care of their own needs and to relax with some downtime. The best way someone can take care of another is to first care for himself/herself.
Endeavor In-Home Care, the leading provider of home care in Chandler and nearby areas, has additional suggestions about putting a plan in place for senior care, and is also here to help fill in any gaps with our full range of professional in-home care services. Call us at (480) 535-6800 for assistance.
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