Corewood Care Blog

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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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Guest — David Thompson
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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Guest — Steele Honda
Thanks for pointing out that while selecting caregivers it is essential to ensure that they are compassionate. My sisters and I ar... Read More
Monday, 05 August 2019 22:18
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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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Suite 700
Bethesda MD 20816

(301) 909-8117

Licensed by the MD Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene, Office of Healthcare Quality as a Residential Service Agency License # R2911.

Licensed by the DC Dept. of Health as a Home Support Agency, License # HSA-0002 and as a Nurse Staffing Agency, License # NSA-0468.

Licensed by the VA Dept. of Health as a Home Care Organization License # HCO-191890.


 

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