Home Safety – Preparing For the Winter

House-during-winter bungalow during a cold winter day, snowy weather

Winter storms and cold weather can be dangerous, so it’s important to plan and prepare for the winter. Here are a few steps you can take to stay safe during the winter:

  1. Winter-Proof Your Home
  • Install weather stripping, storm windows, and insulation.
  • Insulate water lines running along exterior walls.
  • Clean out the gutters.
  1. Check Your Heating Systems
  • Get your heating system serviced professionally, making sure it’s clean, ventilated, and works properly.
  • Inspect and clean chimneys and fireplaces to prevent carbon monoxide (CO) emergencies.
  • Install a smoke detector or replace batteries that should last the winter
  • Have a safe alternate heating source available.
  1. Stock Up on Food

Essential supplies like food and water need to be kept stocked in case of a blizzard or some storm that makes it dangerous to step outside for a while.

  1. Watch for Water Issues on the Roof

Check the roof for the following problems:

  • Excess snowfall
  • Icy Gutters
  • Icicles
  1. Prepare for Possible Power Outages

You are more likely to experience a power outage during the winter season. With icy conditions and heavy snowfall, power lines get affected, and power outages become common. Stock up on flashlights and batteries and be sure to have nonperishable food items stocked in your pantry.

  1. Keep a Fire Extinguisher At Home

It is important to have a fire extinguisher in the house at all times, especially during the winter. During the colder months, you may use items that you only utilize during the winter, such as the fireplace, a space heater, and a gas stove.  In the unfortunate circumstance of something going wrong and a fire starting, you should have a fire extinguisher on-hand and ready to use.

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Use Holiday Visits to Assess Senior Well-Being

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The holidays allow family members of all generations to see how one another is doing and whether anyone may need help or encouragement during this time.

If you are visiting a parent or senior loved one over the holidays, you can also use your visit as an opportunity to assess their well-being.

  1. Emotional State

Keep an eye out for changes in your loved one’s moods and behavior. You can’t always gauge someone’s emotional state over the telephone, even if you speak to them every day. Look for signs of depression and anxiety, including withdrawal from social activities, changes in sleep patterns, loss of interest in hobbies, and changes in basic home maintenance and personal hygiene. The latter can be an indicator of dementia or other physical ailments like dehydration, which often happens to elders in the winter months and can be serious. If you notice sudden odd behavior in your loved one, such as confusion or agitation, be sure to seek medical attention. These are common symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI), which is prevalent in seniors and easily resolved with antibiotics.

  1. Weight Loss

One of the most obvious signs of bad health, both physical and mental, is weight loss. Possible causes of noticeable weight loss could be cancer, depression, or dementia. Certain medications and aging, in general, can also change the way food tastes and/or result in a loss of appetite. If weight loss is evident, talk to your loved one about your concerns and schedule a doctor’s appointment to address the issue.

  1. Balance and Mobility

Pay close attention to the way your loved one moves and how they walk. A reluctance to walk, changes in gait or obvious pain during movement can be a sign of joint, muscle, or neurological problems. If your loved one is unsteady on their feet, they may be at risk of falling, which can cause severe injury or worse. If you notice changes in their mobility and coordination, make an appointment with their doctor to discuss options to keep them safe and mobile, such as pain management, physical therapy, and mobility aids.

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Halloween Activities for Older Adults

Two-Pumpkins Two glowing Halloween pumpkins on black background

Halloween isn’t just for kids. It’s a great excuse for seniors to dress up, do some spooky crafts, and, of course, eat goodies. Here are five activities your senior loved ones can enjoy:

  1. Movie Nights.

What’s Halloween without a spooky movie? Here are some of our favorites that are fun for all ages:

  • Hocus Pocus: a light-hearted comedy about witches seeking revenge, featuring Bette Midler.
  • Casper: based on the comic book character, this movie is about a ghost who wants to make friends.
  • The Witches: a humorous movie about outsmarting an evil witch, played by Angelica Houston, and her plan to turn all children into mice.
  1. Spooky Photos

Photo props are great for creating fun memories. Pull together old clothes and accessories or create your props using craft sticks and paper. Use them at a Halloween family gathering and take lots of photos to cherish for years to come. 

  1. Halloween Snacks

There are a lot of other snacks to enjoy apart from the candy. For a senior-friendly take on candy apples, make or buy caramel apple dip and serve with sliced apples. Create a sweet and salty snack by mixing candy corn with either popcorn or peanuts. 

  1. Make a Mask

There is no need for a full costume when seniors can be just as festive in a simple mask. It’s easy to make your own with a plain masquerade mask and craft supplies like feathers, rhinestones, and glitter. Have your senior parent wear the mask on Halloween night to surprise their grandkids or unexpecting trick-or-treaters.

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Tips on How to Boost Memory

Brain diagram in human head

Everyone has moments of forgetfulness from time to time, especially when life gets busy.

While this can be a completely normal occurrence, having a poor memory can be frustrating.

Genetics plays a role in memory loss, especially in serious neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. However, research has shown that diet and lifestyle have a major impact on memory too.

Here are several evidence-based ways to improve your memory naturally.

  1. Have Food Known to Improve Memory
  • Avocado
  • Berries
  • Almonds
  • Coconut Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Cold-Water, Fatty Fish
  • Green Leafy Vegetables
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Eggs
  • Green Tea
  • Fermented Foods
  • Sea Vegetables
  • Turmeric
  • Walnuts
  1. Avoid Sugar

Eating too much added sugar has been linked to many health issues and chronic diseases, including cognitive decline.

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Fall Prevention Awareness Week

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Among older adults, falling is the leading cause of trauma, injury, or even death. Falls can take a toll on older adults quality of life and independence.

Fall Prevention Awareness Week September 23rd – 29th.

We’ll examine, the seriousness of falls along with ways to reduce the risk of falling.

While age increases the risk of falling, other factors such as chronic disease and vision loss also contribute to falls. Below are several ways of preventing or minimizing the risk of falling.

  1. Regular Exercise and Activity

Regular exercise and activity help promote muscle strength and balance, thus lessening the risk of falling.  It's also good for overall physical and mental health.

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When is it Time to Hire Home Care Services?

Nurse-taking-care-of-older-adult An older adult being cared for by a nurse

Home care services can be a good solution for older adults who want to maintain their independence, but  who need help with their medical procedures or day to day living. Every situation is different, but there are a few signs that may indicate it’s time to hire a home health aide.

  1. Balance Issues

Does your loved one walk in an unsteady manner that worries you? Do they experience pain while sitting or walking? If they do, they may be at risk of falling. So it’s best to hire help to them get around.

The inability to stand for long periods can make many aspects of home life more difficult. It can be hard to do basic chores like sweeping, vacuuming, or cooking. Home elder care will help with everyday chores and housekeeping. They will also help plan and cook nutritious meals, follow dietary guidelines, and keep track of intake if it is necessary for medical care. This can take a significant burden  from seniors  who have difficulty walking or standing.

  1. Forgetfulness

Although mild forgetfulness is a common part of aging, chronic forgetfulness is a problem. If you are worried about your loved one’s memory, then you might need to consult a doctor. A home health aide supports the senior deal with memory lapses, reducing the impact of memory loss.

  1. Missed Medication

With age comes more medications. As the number of medications increases, it can be difficult to keep track of what to take when and what might interact. One of the leading causes of ER visits in older adults is medication interaction, so it’s important to take these issues seriously. If you or a loved one is having a hard time keeping track, a home health aide can help keep records and make sure that all medications are taken at the correct time. Home care services can also include checking vital signs and mental state for conditions that require continuous monitoring.

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It's good to know that you should consider a home care service if you have a loved one who has balancing problems. My uncle has a ... Read More
Wednesday, 18 September 2019 15:32
Guest — Darrien Hansen
It makes sense that you should hire a professional if your elderly loved one experiencing issues with maintaining their balance. M... Read More
Monday, 14 October 2019 18:44
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Summer Safety Tips for Older Adults

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Summertime is a time for fun and leisure; but for seniors, the heat and sun can be dangerous without proper precautions. Many older adults have conditions such as asthma, thyroid disease, and high blood pressure or heart problems that require some preparations to avoid overexposure to the sun. Here are some great tips that aging adults can use to make sure they have a fun and safe summer.

  1. Stay Hydrated

Seniors are more susceptible to dehydration than younger people because they lose their ability to conserve water as they age. They can also become less aware of their thirst and have difficulty adjusting to temperature changes. So it’s important to drink water often. Aim to have about 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. Try to avoid caffeine and alcohol or anything that could dehydrate your system.

  1. Apply Sunscreen & Wear a Hat

Before going outside, apply sunscreen and put on a hat. Seniors especially need the extra sun protection to help keep them healthy. It’s also a good idea to gently remind loved ones about re-applying sunscreen every few hours.

  1. Wear Loose Fitting Clothes

As a general rule, the best fabrics for warm weather are lightweight and made from natural materials such as cotton or linen. Natural fabrics offer more comfort than synthetic fibers. Stock your summer wardrobe with light-colored and loose-fitting clothes to help feel cooler and more comfortable.

  1. Protect your Eyes

Vision loss can be common among seniors, and too much exposure to the sun can irritate eyes and cause further damage. Wearing sunglasses can protect your eyes from harmful UV rays and preserve your vision. Sunglasses can also slow the development of wrinkles around your eyes, delay the onset of cataracts, protect against glaucoma-related light sensitivity, and shield you from distracting glare while you drive.

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Guest — Senior Advice
hi your post is fantastic with a lot of useful information. Thank you for your guidance. Keep sharing.
Monday, 05 August 2019 12:19
Guest — Cassidy woods
Thanks for sharing content loaded with great information with us. I'll bookmark your site for future read.
Wednesday, 14 August 2019 13:40
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Summer Activities for Older Adults

Older-Adults-Swimming Seniors swimming and smiling in the ocean

The weather is getting hotter, making it the perfect time of year to enjoy spending time outdoors. If you’ve reached retirement age, the old summer tradition of visiting an amusement park to ride the roller coasters is probably no longer your cup of tea. If it is, more power to you; keep riding those coasters until you can’t take it anymore. If you’re like most seniors, though, you’re probably looking for something a bit more mellow. Read on for ten fun summer activities.

  1. Going to a Musem

Many museums offer discounted tickets for seniors, so don’t miss your chance to take advantage of these money-saving opportunities. Tour an art or natural history museum in your area, or look for something a bit out of the ordinary. Museums are popping up all over the country with focuses on niche interests, like collectibles, specific points in history, particular regions and more. A quick internet search can reveal a plethora of opportunities in your area, with some just a short train or bus ride away.

  1. Fishing 

Fishing is a relaxing activity that appeals to older adults. Seniors might enjoy spending time with old friends or a grandchild. Seniors can go to local fishing spots during the early morning hours or in the evening—basically when temperatures are not too intense. 

  1. Attending Local Outdoor Events 

Weekly outdoor events are becoming popular in many communities. Some places offer concerts, which give seniors a chance to hear their favorite songs, while others feature live plays or outdoor movies weekly. These outdoor events tend to take place in the evenings when it’s cooler.

  1. Bird Watching

Invest in a bird feeder and you can enjoy many hours of bird watching. This can be a more in-depth activity if you borrow books from a local library and identify the various birds you see. A pair of binoculars can be useful in seeing further and could help with vision issues.

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Diet and How it Can Help Your Memory

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Even though a plate of fries and a beef burger sound delicious, you might want to know this before you order: what we eat has a high chance of affecting our memory.

Research has shown that the probability of developing dementia and having poor memory is linked to the consumption of saturated fat. Saturated fat increases blood and cholesterol levels, which speeds up the formation of beta-amyloid plaque in the brain. This plaque damages the brain and causes Alzheimer’s.

Confused about what to have for lunch now? Here is a list of foods you can have, which will also boost your memory.

Fish

Salmon, mackerel, tuna and other fish are linked to lower levels of beta-amyloid proteins in the blood and are, therefore, good for health. Further, eating fish, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, is crucial in the proper functioning of neurons.

Salads

Having salads does not only keep your body in shape, but also your mind. Martha Clara Morris, director of the section on nutrition in the Department of Internal medicine at Rush University, clarifies that salads make for a good diet as they are high in Vitamin E.  This potent vitamin helps in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease by protecting nerve cells.  

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Guest — David Thompson
Very Useful Tips! I'll surely give them a try. Thanks a lot and Keep Sharing.
Thursday, 28 March 2019 13:05
Guest — David Thompson
Very Useful Tips! I'll surely give them a try. Thanks a lot and Keep Sharing.
Thursday, 28 March 2019 13:12
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When to Use a Care Manager

Feeling confused about when to hire a Care Manager? We’ve compiled a list of situations when hiring a Care Manager would be beneficial:

1.     When you want to save money

Many people believe that engaging the services of a Care Manager is expensive and beyond their reach. This is often a short-sighted view. Hiring a Care Manager can often save money. Yes, the initial cost may be high and often not covered by insurance, but a Care Manager can help you avoid costly mistakes.

Care Managers know the medical system, senior living communities, and local specialists better than any other senior resource.  Recommendations by a Care Manager, who are usually trained as a social worker or are a registered nurse,  can save you from making uninformed and hasty decisions. They can also assist in developing plans for future care and act as an honest agent of communication between the power of attorney, financial planner and elder law attorney.

2.     When you’re confused about services

Trying to find the right care for an older adult can be confusing. Good news – there are a lot of choices out there. Bad news – there are a lot of choices out here. Hiring a Care Manager to navigate through these unchartered waters is indispensable. A Care Manager knows their local resources, a company’s reputation, and cost factors. If staying within a certain budget or remaining within a specific insurance plan is important, a Care Manager can guide you through all your options.

3.     What specialist to choose?

If a specialist, new primary care physician, or alternative treatments are on the table, a Care Manager can provide recommendations about local experts. It’s important to recognize that a Care Manager is working on your behalf. They receive no compensation from an outside source. They work for you and are looking out for your wellbeing. Thus, Care Managers can recommend a specialist for a particular treatment. They can also attend the doctor’s meeting with you, and they can help you communicate with your healthcare professional.

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How to Care for Your Aging Parents

Many adult children return home for the holidays and notice for the first time that their aging parents are not able to do as many things as they previously could perform. Often they notice the house is no longer well kept, the outdoor garden is overgrown, and old family friends have moved away. As older adults age in place here is four useful tips for helping to maintain health, wellness, and social connections.

1-    Stay in contact

Isolation causes depression,  a major factor in the declining health of older adults. As we age, it is critical to remain engaged and connected to the outside world. Thus remain connected to your older adult. Call once or twice a week and check in. Many older adults suffer through a sense of loss as they age. Thus, hearing a familiar voice on a regular basis can help them realize that they are not alone and others care for them.

2-    Visit in person

Calling and talking on the phone can never replace an in-person visit. A visit can help put a smile on your loved one’s face, and it enables you to determine how they are doing. It may be difficult to visit regularly,  but try to schedule quality time with them as they need you. If you can only see them once or twice a year, try communicating using video call platforms like Skype and FaceTime. While these applications are not as meaningful as an in-person visit, they offer the potential for connections and will be appreciated by your loved one.

3-    Hire a caregiver

Caregiver companionship is another option to consider for older adults who live alone, especially those who are homebound because of frailty or dementia. Companion care is primarily emotional support and companionship for seniors who are generally healthy and who want to remain independent at home. Most importantly, companions function as an extra set of hands, eyes, and feet to the person you care for when you can't be there. Companions can assist with meal preparation, light housekeeping, laundry, grocery shopping, and errands. Companions provide valuable social benefits, decreasing isolation and improving the quality of life. Warm relationships are often formed when a consistent companion is on the job -- a boon for both the companion and the older adult.

However, do not let the presence of a caregiver Companion take your place. It means the world to older adults when young people visit them.

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I really appreciate your thoughts, because providing care to aging parents is a major issue faced by new generation. The main prob... Read More
Thursday, 11 April 2019 06:37
Guest — Cassidy Woods
As our parents get older, they may begin to move more slowly or forget what they are doing. Depending on the state of the health, ... Read More
Wednesday, 17 April 2019 07:07
Guest — Cassidy Woods
As our parents get older, they may begin to move more slowly or forget what they are doing. Depending on the state of the health, ... Read More
Wednesday, 17 April 2019 07:52
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Traits of the Best Caregivers

A caregiver is responsible for the health and happiness of our loved ones. Hence, it is essential to find the most suitable caregiver for them. How do you know who is a good caregiver? When evaluating caregivers, look for the following traits:

Compassionate

While selecting caregivers, it is essential to ensure that they are compassionate. Compassion maintains and sustains a bond between the patient and the caregiver. It also enables caregivers to put themselves in the patient’s shoes and understand what they are going through. Empathizing with the elderly can help ease their discomfort.

Patient

As the elderly grow older, their bodies and minds work slower than they used to. They forget things easily and need to be reminded of even daily chores, repeatedly. For this reason, caregivers must be patient, so that they remain calm and collected while taking care of your loved one. Being patient means that they will understand if things do not go as quickly as planned and if the patient is being stubborn.

Attentive and responsive to situations

It is crucial for a good caregiver to be attentive. An elderly patient needs constant care and attention. It is the caregiver’s job to continuously monitor, and recognize the needs of the patient, even if he/she cannot communicate them.

The caregiver also needs to pay close attention to early warning signs and observe any change in skin color, appetite, physical condition, and behavior. Sometimes, the patient is unaware that they need help and the caregiver, noticing the signs, must respond to them immediately.

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Thanks for pointing out that while selecting caregivers it is essential to ensure that they are compassionate. My sisters and I ar... Read More
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How to Improve Your Memory as You Age

We all tend to forget things. And as we grow older, we all start to notice some changes in our ability to remember things. For example, you’re peering into your refrigerator and can’t remember why. Or you are unable to recall a familiar name or place during a conversation. Memory lapses can happen at any age, but we often become overly concerned as we get older because we worry they may be signs of dementia or loss of intellectual function.

According to the Harvard Medical School, significant memory loss in older people isn't a normal part of aging—but is due to organic disorders, brain injury, or neurological illness, with Alzheimer's being among the most feared.

Even though forgetting is common and normal, and most fleeting memory issues that we experience with age reflect normal changes in the structure and function of the brain. With decades of research, there are various strategies we can use to protect and sharpen our minds. Here are a few to try.

Keep Learning

Just as physical activity keeps your body healthy, mentally stimulating activities can help your brain stay in shape. Experts think that continuous learning and education can help keep memory strong by getting a person into the habit of being mentally active. Challenging your brain with mental exercise is believed to activate processes that help maintain individual brain cells and stimulate communication. Many of us have jobs that keep them mentally active, but pursuing a hobby or learning a new skill can function the same way. Read; join a book club; play mahjong or bridge; research your family history; do crossword or jigsaw puzzles; pursue music or art; design a new garden layout. Building and preserving brain connections is an ongoing process, so make lifelong learning a priority.

Stay Physically Active

Maintain a balance between mental and physical exercises. Physical exercises increase oxygen to your brain and decrease the risk of memory loss diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Physical exercise also plays a crucial role in neuroplasticity, which ensures new neural connections. Thus it is important to engage in aerobics, light yoga or other exercises to help keep the brain’s neurons firing.

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Fall Prevention

Falls are common. We all trip and hurt ourselves, but as we grow older, the risk of serious injury increases. Experts estimate that approximately one-third of older adults 65+ fall one or more times a year. In fact, falls are the leading cause of injury among older adults. As we age, physical changes and health conditions — and sometimes medications — make falls more likely. While fear of falling does not need to rule your life, there are ways to prevent falls. Here are six simple fall-prevention strategies.

Make an appointment with your physician

Begin your fall-prevention plan by making an appointment with your primary care physician. Review with your doctor:

1). All prescriptions and over-the-counter medications and supplements you are taking with your doctor and discuss side effects. Do any increase your risk for falling? You may want to ask your physician to consider changing medications or weaning you off those that may make you tired or affect your thinking.

2). If you’ve fallen within the last year, discuss how and where you fell. If you almost fell but were caught by someone or managed to grab hold of something just in time, be sure to discuss with your physician. These details may help your doctor identify specific fall-prevention strategies.

3). Discuss all your health conditions and how comfortable you are when walking. Your doctor should evaluate your muscle strength, balance and walking style as well as examine your eyes and ears. Your physician may also verify that your vitamin D levels are within the normal range, to ensure strong bones and muscles.

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Summer Activities for Older Adults

Leisure time for older adults helps promote mental, social and physical wellbeing. It also helps prevent depression-related problems that may arise from a sense of isolation and disconnection from society. Not sure how to entertain your senior loved ones during the hot summer season? Take a look at these ten outdoor and indoor activities that can keep your loved one entertained, while promoting positive mental and physical health.

1- Go swimming

Splashing around in a private or public pool is a fun and relaxing way to spend time with a variety of people. Swimming is an excellent physical activity that is light on the joints and helpful in strengthening muscles.  Swimming strengthens core muscles, improves body posture and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Water exercise is the only non-weight bearing workout that eliminates the risk of accidental falls during exercise. It is a wonderful summer option to beat the heat of the summer while staying in shape.

2- Go fish

Fishing is a great activity that is accessible even to those who are restricted by a wheelchair or walker. It’s easy to drop a fishing line from a dock (pier or along a riverbank), cast a rod into the water and socialize while waiting for the next catch. Make an afternoon out of this outing and don’t forget to pack your snacks, drinks, and a blanket.

3- Get your hands dirty

A great summertime activity is gardening. It provides an opportunity to take in the fresh air and engage in physical activity, which is not that strenuous.  Individuals may garden in a backyard or community garden where volunteers are highly appreciated.

4- Work for a cause

Find a good organization to volunteer your time and energy. Volunteering is extremely beneficial. Working for others gives a sense of purpose, something we all question as we age. Philanthropic organizations, churches, schools or green societies are some organizations that can help keep your loved one engaged while offering a sense of purpose.

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Top Tips for Finding the Right Caregiver

Most people want to continue to live in their own homes for as long as possible. For those who are older or dealing with a disability, remaining in their home can often be a challenge without outside help. For many individuals requiring assistance with their daily activities, they often rely on unpaid care provided by family members and friends.

More and more, older adults and their families are recognizing the benefits of hiring paid caregivers. Professional caregivers help seniors not only remain in their homes longer, but they provide additional comfort and safety. They also offer families peace of mind. More people are finding that they can afford paid caregivers because many state governments and insurance policies cover the cost of private outside help.

So how do you find the right caregiver for your particular situation? Here are a few tips for choosing an in-home caregiver:

1.     Assess home care needs

Before you go out looking for a caregiver, know exactly why a caregiver is needed. Is there a requirement for more assistance with health care, personal care or household care? Is home health care the primary focus with the additional support required for physical therapy or medication management? Or is there more of a need for non-medical personal care such as bathing, dressing, toileting, and meal preparation? Maybe the focus is on providing a companion to escort or drive the older adult to appointments and outings. Do they want someone to help with housecleaning, shopping, running errands, bill paying or money management?

Determining what is required and the type of experience and skill sets a caregiver has to offer is a crucial component in finding a caregiver who is the right fit. Selecting a caregiver that matches the needs of your loved one is crucial for helping their overall health and wellbeing.

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I love the advice to create a description for the type of healthcare provider you want to hire. My mother is struggling to carry o... Read More
Friday, 28 December 2018 21:38
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How to Beat the Summer Heat for Older Adults

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As summer rolls in, the number of older adults who suffer from heat stroke and dehydration increases. Those 75 and above, are the most susceptible to heat because it takes their bodies longer to cool down. Dehydration diminishes a person’s ability to regulate their body temperature, thus placing them at a higher risk of developing a heat illness. That’s because when we age, our bodies become less efficient at regulating temperature. Older adults don’t sweat as much as young people, which is one of the body’s most important heat-regulation mechanisms.

There are a variety of lifestyle and health factors that increase the risk of developing a heat-related illness among this population:

  • Dehydration
  • Chronic illnesses such as heart and kidney diseases; blood circulation conditions
  • Prescription medications that reduce sweating
  • Salt-restricted diets
  • Overdressing
  • Lack of airflow or access to air conditions

Help your older loved one beat the heat by taking the following steps.

Proper ventilation at home

Try to maintain a cool environment at home. Central air conditioning is the best option, but if that is not possible, a window air conditioning unit will also work.  Alternatively, fans can also provide relief. Make sure to position fans near windows while keeping all windows in the house open to allow continuous circulation of air.

Make use of air-conditioned public spaces

If air conditioning is not an option in the home, then take your loved one to public spaces with air conditioning. Some great options include a shopping mall, library, restaurant or even a local senior center.

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4 Simple Ways of Helping Someone Cope with Sundowning

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4 Simple Ways of Helping Someone Cope with Sundowning

If you have a loved one who suffers from dementia, you might also notice a change in their behavior as late afternoon and early night approaches.  Doctors call this ‘Sundowning, a ‘Sundown Syndrome’, or even ‘late day confusion’.

People suffering from Sundown Syndrome may show the following symptoms during the latter half of the day:

  • Anxiety and agitation
  • Sadness
  • Restlessness
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Mood swings
  • Hallucinations or delusions
  • Extreme pacing
  • Wandering
  • Rocking

For some people, the symptoms they face diminish immediately. However, for some, they continue on, disturbing their sleeping schedule: leaving them wide awake at night and making them sleepy during the day.

Preventing Sundown syndrome is impossible, however, as a caregiver you can engage in a number of techniques that can help reduce the ‘late day confusion’ and agitation that your loved one faces.

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10 Things Everyone Should Do As We Age (And that your Care Manager Can Help You Carry Out)

  1.  Identify a trusted person Identify a trusted person or persons to receive your essential documents. We’ll call this person the Information Keeper. This may be an adult child, a long-time friend, or someone who can be counted on as absolutely trustworthy. Set a date for this person to review this checklist.
  2.  Choose one or two people to become your legal and/or durable medical power of attorney (DPOA). Include these names, signed and notarized in the estate plan documents. But it is surprising how many families don’t have one when they need it. A generic DPOA form can also be downloaded free from the internet.
  3.  Have a signed advanced healthcare directive and fill out a Medical Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST). Competent elder care attorneys should also include this document in the estate plan. This document is available for free from your physician’s office or from the internet for free. It is vitally important that you express your end of life wishes now, so that family members don’t have to make those decisions for you.
  4.  Make a list of all bank accounts, passwords, investment records and financial planning. The professionals you are working with should be on the list. And you should give permission in writing to each of them, such as your accountant, elder care lawyer, and financial advisor to communicate with your appointed trusted person.
  5.  List all of your insurance policies and provide the location of these written documents. This includes life, disability, health, property, and anything else you own that will protect your heirs. Millions of dollars of life insurance proceeds go uncollected each year because the beneficiaries do not know that the policies exist or that they are the recipients.
  6.  Make a copy of your mortgage statement, other loans and debts, financial statements, and bank statement. These should be updated quarterly as they change and amounts fluctuate. If you become incapacitated, your designated person would need to step in and handle your affairs. Make sure they have the financial information necessary.
  7.  Make a list of all physicians, care providers, medications and allergies you take and give the list to the Information Keeper along with written permission to speak with your doctors. This could be a life-saving measure if you are unable to communicate. This one is simple and won’t take much time.
  8.  Talking about death and your burial wishes to your family is difficult but do it anyway. Create or have on hand information about your wishes for burial or disposition of your remains.
  9.  Update your will and/or trust with your elder care attorney. Laws vary by each state and these need to be current in the state where you now live in retirement. If you’ve never gotten around to updating your will or trust, then make a date and see a lawyer.
  10.  Call a family meeting to discuss the items on this checklist. Transparency is critical to avoid conflicts down the road. Everyone should know your wishes.
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First Quarter: Corewood Care Giving Back

First Quarter: Corewood Care Giving Back

At Corewood Care we strive to give back to the community and provide the community with the resources they need. Below is an overview of some of the events we have sponsored this quarter.

Thank you to everyone who has been a part of our events so far this year. Make sure to explore our social media pages to learn about future Corewood Care events!

Parkinson’s Foundation of the National Capital Area (PFNCA) Event – Corewood Care, Kensington Park and Kendra Scott came together to support the Parkinson’s Foundation of the National Capital Area (PFNCA).  The event took place at Kendra Scott in Downtown Bethesda this April. 20% of all proceeds were donated to the PFNCA. Kendra Scott is a woman owned business, offering beautiful and affordable jewelry.

Caregiver Stress Relief Seminar – As part of our community seminar series, our team held a Caregiver Stress Relief Seminar at Brookdale Olney Assisted Senior Living this April.  Our Care Management team spoke to caregivers and individuals who needed support. If you are a caregiver in need of stress relief information, check out the Mayo Clinic’s resources. Learn how respite care and support groups may be of help to you. 

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27 November 2019
Corewood Care Blog
Winter storms and cold weather can be dangerous, so it’s important to plan and prepare for the winter. Here are a few steps you can take to stay safe during the winter:Winter-Proof Your HomeInstall weather stripping, storm windows, and insulation.Ins...
26 November 2019
Corewood Care Blog
The holidays allow family members of all generations to see how one another is doing and whether anyone may need help or encouragement during this time.If you are visiting a parent or senior loved one over the holidays, you can also use your visit as...
31 October 2019
Corewood Care Blog
Halloween isn’t just for kids. It’s a great excuse for seniors to dress up, do some spooky crafts, and, of course, eat goodies. Here are five activities your senior loved ones can enjoy:Movie Nights.What’s Halloween without a spooky movie? Here are s...