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Common Signs and Symptoms of Dementia

Dec, 22, 2019

Dementia is an umbrella term that includes a number of progressive diseases that cause the brain to fail, including Alzheimer’s. Symptoms vary with aging adults in dementia care but generally will include cognitive impairment, communication problems, and continued loss of memory.

When someone has memory problems, it could be quickly considered dementia, but dementia care patients typically also have impaired language skills, a challenge focusing, and a loss of logical reasoning, too.

Here are some detailed symptoms that trigger valid concerns of potential dementia in an aging loved one:

  1. Short-term memory issues

Short-term memory issues may be so subtle that they can be missed for a long time. An older loved one might easily talk about events from years ago. Everything may go smoothly unless questions about earlier that day or the past week enter the conversation. Perhaps the aging adult has been losing things lately, too. When short-term memories cannot be retrieved, it’s a warning sign that this person may be needing dementia care soon.

  1. Difficulty communicating

Expressing thoughts clearly eventually becomes a problem for dementia care patients. A loved one may have noticeable difficulty and frustration trying to communicate a simple subject or personal need. Patience is required as he or she struggles for words, leaving family and friends with a good reason for genuine concern.

  1. Mood or personality changes

Mood or personality changes are a symptom of dementia, as well. Depression is common during early stages, as the aging adult might recognize his or her lack of clarity and feel hopeless. Another change could be a personality shift from normally being reserved in conversation to becoming outgoing or argumentative.

  1. Lost interest in activities

If your loved one has lost interest in his or her usual passions, hobbies, sports, or activities, there should be cause for concern. If the senior seems apathetic and doesn’t engage or connect with family or friends anymore, consult a doctor who specializes in dementia care for advice.

  1. Difficulty in daily tasks

Inability to balance a checkbook, forgetting events on the calendar, wearing mismatching clothes could all be indications of a bigger problem. When everyday activities become a challenge, he or she will need guidance to get the right help.

  1. Lost recognition

When a familiar loved one’s face isn’t recognized, sentences are left unfinished or fragmented, without the older adult even noticing the problem, there is definitely a good reason to seek help from a dementia care expert.

Concierge Care understands how difficult it can be to watch a loved one struggle with dementia. It’s vitally important that caregivers can still take care of their own health and ask for help as needed. Call Concierge Care today at 888-205-9940 to inquire about our quality dementia care services.

Volunteer Opportunities for Older Adults in Senior Care: Why Seniors Should Volunteer Their Time

Dec, 08, 2019

Volunteering as a senior doesn’t just benefit those receiving the help — it benefits the senior who is helping, too! 

Volunteer activities promote positivity in other aspects of a senior’s life, including within their family and personal relationships. Additionally, volunteering paints a positive picture for senior citizens and how they interact as a part of our society and how they are perceived by other generations. 

Still need more convincing? 

Read through four more great reasons why volunteering time as a senior can be so rewarding for everyone involved! 

It Keeps Them Mentally Stimulated

When seniors participate in social activities and engage in their hobbies, it can lower their health risks, which include Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia. It can even improve longevity! When seniors are volunteering, they’re staying mentally active, which overall helps to improve and maintain their cognitive abilities. 

It’s a Healthy Physical Activity

With mental stimulation and volunteering comes physical activity, too! Whether a senior is helping to build a home or walk the grounds of a museum, volunteering does wonders to promote getting physical and active while on duty. This is a great benefit because being physically fit and active helps to fight off many common diseases and injuries that come with the aging process.

It Prevents Isolation and Depression

Getting involved in volunteer work means plenty of social interaction with all the other volunteers and leadership teams. Friendships and relationships are often formed from volunteering together, and this is a great way for seniors to battle any feelings of loneliness or isolation they may have been feeling or help to prevent them entirely.

It Keeps Them Social with Other Generations

It’s no surprise that most volunteers are made up of younger generations who are encouraged to do volunteer work to improve their educational prospects. This makes for the perfect opportunity for senior citizens to bridge the generation gap! Seniors can help teach the younger generations a few things about life, but they also have much to learn from young people, too.

For more information on volunteering as a senior, or about our senior care services, call Concierge Care today and schedule your consultation! 

Senior Health: Is Keto Safe for Seniors?

Nov, 15, 2019

Who on earth could possibly cut bread, pasta, rice, sweets, and all the other sugary, carb-heavy foods we love completely OUT of their life? We know the answer – welcome to the Keto Diet. This fad diet has been making waves with many people successfully losing weight as a result of cutting out the carbs and sugar! Have you been wondering if it’s for you? If you’re a senior and you’re wishing to shed a few pounds, keto could be a good solution for you. But first, let’s make sure the keto diet for seniors is a safe diet choice. 

The Keto Essentials

Before you get started on the keto diet for seniors, you’ll want to understand how it works and what’s going to be required of you. Each day, between 70 and 80 percent of your total calories will come from fat; 10 to 20 percent from protein; and just 5 to 10 percent from your carbohydrates. Yes – Keto is definitely a low-carb, high-fat diet! It also demands quite a bit of your attention. You can expect to measure and weight all of your meals to make sure you are taking in (and keeping out) the correct nutrients. 

Are You Healthy?

Since the keto diet cuts out significant food groups for a regular diet, it’s fairly important that you are at least in moderate health before you begin keto. If you’re suffering from any eating disorders, this diet is not recommended for you. If you struggle with uncontrolled diabetes, again, the keto diet for seniors is not recommended for you. However, if you struggle to take in specific nutrients, like B12 or fats, for example, then the keto diet can work wonders! It is also a great diet tool to help control blood sugar.

Talk to Your Doctor

The smartest thing you can do before beginning ANY diet is to have a conversation with your doctor. This is an important, ultimate step because your doctor can assess your overall health, note any red flags or specific conditions, and help you make a clear choice on whether or not to begin the keto diet. 

Do you still have questions about the keto diet for seniors? Would you like to know more about your home care options? Call Concierge Care today and schedule your consultation!

5 Tips for Healthy Aging

Nov, 02, 2019

While we’re younger, it is totally normal to feel as if we’re invincible to the aging process. However, aging is inevitable! You can’t stop it, but what you CAN do is to begin healthy habits now so you can age as healthily as possible. Just take our 5 tips below.

Eat well. Start things off with taking care of your body from the inside out. Keeping a healthy gut can be as easy as including many whole-grains foods, fruits, veggies, and meats (or alternative protein sources). Make sure you’re steering away from fast food and processed meals, which usually contain way more than the recommended sodium intake each day.

Keep your body active. Live an active lifestyle early on! Practicing regular exercise will prove beneficial as you age, and you will find that you may be able to retain your independence for longer than the average senior. Staying physically fit also helps to improve your mental health, and it works to prevent common ailments like heart disease, depression, and diabetes.

Maintain your cognitive abilities. Keeping your mind stimulated is equally as important as keeping your body moving. Research proves that keeping your cognitive abilities sharp will prolong any cognitive decline and can prevent Alzheimer’s Disease. Engaging in activities like sudoku and word searches, or even physical activities like taking dance lessons or learning a new instrument, can help to keep your mind moving.

Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Just because you’re aging doesn’t mean sleep becomes less important! You will still want to make sure you’re getting between 7 – 9 hours each and every night. Being physically and mentally active can help you get a more restful sleep, too. A lack of sleep can cause unwanted issues, such as depression and memory problems.

Keep your stress levels as low as possible. This can become more exhausting to do as we age, but it really just means you’re going to have to learn new ways to cope with stress and new stressors you may encounter. Taking care of yourself by incorporating all of the aforementioned will naturally help to keep high stress levels at bay.

Ready to be proactive and create a senior care plan? Call Concierge Care today to schedule your consultation! Together we will build an active plan that works for you.

End of Life Care: How to Start the Conversation

Oct, 14, 2019

If you bring up the topic of end of life care, many individuals will tell you that they do not want their family burdened by making tough decisions when the time comes. Even though it certainly is not easy to discuss end of life care with a loved one, it is extremely important to talk about their wishes so you or an appointed family member can honor them. The most difficult task just getting the conversation started. End of life care focuses on the comfort and treatment an individual will receive (or not receive) at the end stages of their life and following through with all of their wishes.

Experts recommend having this conversation around the holidays when the family is the most likely to be together. Or you can also speak with your healthcare provider about your preferences and options for end of life care during a routine appointment. Discussing a care path or a change in the goal for care may be difficult for family members and close friends. Understandably, it may be frightening and can cause stress.

To help make this conversation easier, here are some items to consider when preparing to discuss plans for care with your loved one:

  • Do you plan on continuing to cure the illness/injury?
  • Do you prefer palliative or curative care?
  • How do you feel about an extended hospitalization such as nursing homes or even hospice care?
  • What decisions regarding care do you want to entrust to others, and who do you want to designate to make decisions?
  • Have you shared your care preferences with that person and taken the necessary steps to ensure he or she is recognized as the executor?

It is ideal to start the discussion about end of life care sooner rather than later. The United States’ health care system is designed to treat in the absence of a clear decision from the family, which means the system will offer an individual everything it has to offer. Depending on your loved one’s preferences, this may not be their desired course of treatment. After having the conversation, it is important to document his or her wishes for their end of life care and place it in a file for safekeeping. Having this discussion allows you to make the proper plans and grants your loved one’s wishes to be fulfilled.

If you need further advice regarding end of life care discussions, or you would like more information about enrolling your loved one into senior care services, call Concierge Care for your consultation today.

Tips for Communicating Well with Seniors

Sep, 28, 2019

The baby boomer generation continues to age, making this U.S. population the first to outnumber children for the first time ever in our country’s history. In about 10 years, it’s predicted that almost one out of five people will be of retirement age.

Therefore, if you aren’t a boomer yourself, chances are you have family members or friends in that age bracket. If not, you might be employed working in senior care of some variety. Either way, it’s smart to be able to know how to communicate well with our older adults.

Since vision, hearing and memory problems become more common as we age, conversations with older adults can be rather complicated.

Here are 5 tips for communicating clearly and respectfully with the older adults you know.

  • Enunciate your words clearly. Older adults with hearing loss often appreciate when people speak just a little more slowly and enunciate clearly when speaking to them. Increase your volume when talking and take time to pronounce words clearly.
  • Noisy backgrounds are challenging. Conversations are most challenging when there is music, TV, or any background noise. Try to find a quiet restaurant when dining out and when possible, position yourself so your face and non-verbal language is more easily seen.
  • Laughter is medicine so offer up a dose. Tell Grandma a good joke or watch a funny movie with her. Get her to laugh as often as you can. It’s so healthy for both of you.
  • Actively listen. If you take the time to listen without interrupting, Grandpa will feel more valuable. Allow him to have long pauses in between words as he is reminiscing. Be patient.
  • Encourage the memories to be shared. Older adults have a wealth of information that can’t be found in books. Visit someone in senior care whenever possible and encourage him or her to share the stories, wisdom and knowledge that only comes with age.

Always show respect, patience, and kindness to our older population in senior care. These older adults have likely lived through a number of wars and numerous presidents. Try to pull out their tales and sit back to listen and enjoy.

Be sure your loved one in senior care has quality care and communication. Call Concierge Care today to learn more about how we can help.

4 Ways Seniors Can Stay Young

Sep, 09, 2019

No one can stay young forever. However, seniors with home care feel best when they continue with the activities that were previously enjoyed in their younger years.

Help with home care may initially be resisted, but a qualified caregiver can bring joy back into the life of an aging adult.

A caring home care provider knows there are 4 ways to help seniors stay young:

  • Healthier food can be provided with meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking prep. A senior can get out the old recipes and start cooking again. More fresh vegetables and fruit and less processed foods makes a difference in looking and feeling good.
  • Expanded social opportunities with consistent communication and laughter is imperative for adults to have good cognitive health. And who doesn’t want more fun! Isolation is a killer. Having a companion makes a difference for anyone in home care.
  • Increased activity levels with a reliable companion and driver will mean more physical activity and social events. Walking with a partner feels safer and becomes an enjoyable event. Incorporating daily strengthening exercises is beneficial for managing chronic illnesses and makes a difference in overall health and wellness, too.
  • Learning becomes fun when someone else is involved. Playing games at home with a friend can keep the brain sharp. Joining a book club or taking advantage of library events is smart, as well. When a senior is no longer driving, a caregiver provides opportunities and experiences, keeping the brain from becoming dull.

Why should anyone lose their vibrancy or stop doing the things they’ve always loved? Involvement with people, projects and the outdoors is vital to a healthy mind and body.

With proper care and consideration, adults can look and feel young longer than ever before. Have you considered a home care assistant to help you or a loved one have a higher quality of life? Call Concierge Care to talk about home care options today!

6 Communication Tips For A Person With Dementia

Aug, 30, 2019

Finding out you’re loved has Dementia is hard enough, learning how to effectively speak to them is a whole other challenge. Concierge Care has put together a few tips to help guide you through the communication process for a person with Dementia.

6 Communication Tips For A Person With Dementia in Florida

Caring for a senior with dementia is no easy task and you never have to do it alone. With around 50 million people worldwide suffering from dementia, you are not alone in providing care for your senior. Concierge Care offers professional dementia care services for your loved ones in Florida. Call us today at 888-205-9940 for a free Dementia Care consultation!

Understanding Nutrition as Seniors Age

Aug, 21, 2019

it’s not always easy to provide healthy meals and adequate nutrition for your loved one in senior care. Most seniors have preferences for food and some may even prefer a specific eating lifestyle, such as vegetarian, fruitarian, or pescatarian.

Making nutrition even more complicated, each doctor may recommend specific foods or nutrients for any chronic conditions. Physicians might restrict salt, sugar, fats or meats because of diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, and other conditions. It’s best to manage food choices as much as possible by keeping only the recommended foods available.

Many older adults take multiple drugs regularly. Vitamins and supplements add another challenge for people in senior care because of potential drug interactions.

Nonetheless, just when you think you have a good understanding of what is necessary for your loved one in senior care, he or she may simply refuse to eat or accept diet limitations. That’s another issue and it’s important to remember to be respectful of personal wishes for lifestyle choices.

Learning about the nutritional needs of your loved one in senior care is essential as part of quality health management, but family and caregivers can only do their best.

4 chronic conditions with symptoms that may be lessened or even eliminated by special diet choices:

Arthritis – With 54 million people afflicted in the U.S, arthritis can cause considerable pain, but eliminating foods from the nightshade family and eating an anti-inflammatory diet may help by reducing discomfort and inflammation.

Diabetes – Diabetes, and prediabetes affect over 100 million U.S. adults. A low-carb, low-sugar diet is considered best for better blood sugar maintenance.

Heart Disease – Cardiac problems may be helped by reduced-sodium diets. Typically, eating less sodium lessens ankle and leg swelling. A weight-loss diet would be preferred when someone is overweight.

Dementia – Dementia (including Alzheimer’s) can be a big challenge. People in senior care who have dementia may forget to eat altogether and they might have higher cognition with a diet lower in saturated fats. When dementia progresses, there may be a difficulty with swallowing and eventually, a soft diet will be required.

Prevent your loved one’s loneliness by eating together at mealtime when possible. If you can’t be there, remember to call us at Concierge Care. Our compassionate caregivers working in senior care will help encourage good nutrition, bringing peace of mind for you and your family. Give us a call today!

How To Pay For In-Home Care

Jul, 23, 2019

When you want the best for your loved, consider professional home care for chronic health conditions or recovery from acute illness or surgery. The option of home care can allow people to remain in the comfort of their own homes, in their familiar surroundings, with the continuation of their regular daily routines. The lifestyle and care go beyond a small room provided in an assisted living facility. It’s the best option for quality assistance that allows the dignity of aging in place.

Knowing that care is a good choice for your family needs, how do people pay for it? Benefits are partially determined by medical need. Insurance is more likely to cover medically necessary care and unskilled care may require private payment and some creativity.

Ways To Pay For In-Home Care

Private or long-term health insurance policies may cover professional home care when someone cannot take care of their normal activities of daily living, but the need must be qualified and requested by their medical doctor. Each private health insurance plan has different coverage requirements, so the policy needs to be carefully reviewed.

Life insurance policies can sometimes be surrendered for their cash value and some have a loan or cash advance option. Some policies can even convert to long-term care or life care benefit account.

Medicare may provide payment for short-term medical home care for people over age 65. The patient may have a Medicare Advantage plan that includes home care services, as well. Medigap (Medicare supplemental insurance) is additional coverage to receive benefits beyond regular Medicare options, covering things like copays and deductibles.

Veterans need to check their benefits, too. They may have a benefits package that provides for home care as an alternative to assisted living or a nursing home. Some programs are specially created to meet needs like bathing, dressing, monitoring medication, and more.

Some adults elect companion care and pay for it from their savings, retirement accounts, investments or by using the equity in their homes through a reverse mortgage. Recreational or extra vehicles that are no longer used can be sold to cover costs of care.

If none of these above options are available, contact the local Agency on Aging to inquire about public assistance programs in your area.

Call Concierge Care at 888-205-9940 to ask questions about home care options for you or your loved one today.

What You Need To Know to get Your Long Term Care Insurance Claim Paid

Jul, 16, 2019

Paying for long-term care (for yourself or a loved one) can be a financial challenge if you don’t know the legal options available to you. How well do you understand your long-term care insurance? Would your insurance company deny your long-term care claim? Let’s make sure the answer is no.

Be sure to have a copy of the policy so you can review it carefully. Older policies may only provide for “Nursing Home” benefits that include payments for room and board or “Home Health Care” that includes a qualified Home Health Care Provider. Newer policies often provide benefits for both.

Older policies focus on “medical necessity.” Newer policies refer to the ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL). If the patient can’t eat, bathe or dress without assistance, you’ll probably meet your policy’s criteria for long-term care benefits.

Still, not performing activities of daily living may not be enough. A physician must first confirm that the patient cannot perform their ADL’s. Then, the doctor must recommend that the patient should go to an appropriate long-term care provider.

Once you see that the doctor has made recommendations in an established “Plan of Care” that matches the type of care covered under your policy, the claims process can be started.

In the claim, take time to add more details required, along with all evidence that could add to your case. Include the doctor’s statement that long-term care treatment is necessary and then submit your claim. Once it’s filed, communicate everything in writing, if possible, and file all communication in an easily accessible place.

Next, your claim will be assessed in person or by phone to verify the need for long-term care. The long-term care provider will also have a role in the claims process, filling out their own forms to prove they qualify for eligibility with your specific policy.

Most insurance companies pay claims on a timely basis, yet others may stall claims, causing great frustration. Don’t let your insurance company take advantage.

If you think that your insurer has unfairly denied your claim, a reputable attorney experienced in the intricacies of this type of law should be called.

Are you considering long-term care for yourself or a loved one? Call Concierge Care today at 888-205-9940. Concierge Care may be able to help.

5 Alzheimer’s Home Safety Tips

Jun, 30, 2019

Alzheimer’s care becomes increasingly difficult as the disease progresses. Your aging loved one will become more prone to falls and wandering even when safety is your top concern. Of course, you want to keep older adults in your care as safe as possible.

Here are 5 suggestions for safety with in-home Alzheimer’s care:

  1. Systematically check for potential hazards

On a daily basis, look through each room in your home possible safety issues.

  • Check the medicine cabinet to be sure child-resistant caps are used on medication containers or lock the cabinet.
  • Use a bed alarm or monitoring device in the bedroom.
  • Use plastic or metal drinking cups rather than glass.
  • Keep garage and outdoor sheds locked. Vehicles, bikes, gasoline and sharp tools need to be out of sight or inaccessible.
  • Remove any weapons from the home or lock them up safely.
  • Lock the laundry room door.
  • Reduce and eliminate decorative items. Household plants are sometimes poisonous and valuable items could be accidentally broken.
  1. Reduce the likelihood of falls

  • Bathrooms must have grab bars in the shower/bath and by the toilet. Non-skid bath mats prevent slipping.
  • Install handrails and safety gates at the top of the stairs.
  • Don’t keep clutter in walkways or on staircases. Consider brightly colored tape to mark the edges of steps.
  • Use 2-way light switches (top and bottom of the staircase).
  • Keep pathways to the bathroom well lit.
  1. Continuously re-evaluate needs as the disease progresses

  • In the kitchen, use stove safety knobs and childproof latches on cabinets. Everything must be looked at differently when someone needs Alzheimer’s care. Even refrigerator magnets can be dangerous.
  • Consider assistance in the home. Alzheimer’s care is overwhelming when left to just one or two people.
  1. Be prepared for emergencies

  • Check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Keep a first aid kit updated and emergency phone numbers handy
  • Keep updated with your CPR certification.
  • Put a spare key outside the house or outside your neighbor’s house
  1. Consider electricity a hazard

  • Keep electrical items unplugged.
  • Store cords safely.
  • Disconnecting the sink disposal may be necessary.

Remember that Alzheimer’s care is difficult on the caregiver. Respite care is vitally important. Don’t wait until you’re too stressed and feeling overburdened before calling for help. Concierge Care is here for you. Call today to ask about assistance in Alzheimer’s care for you and your loved one.

Early Signs of Alzheimer’s

Jun, 10, 2019

Early detection really does matter when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease.  You want to be sure that you are on top of these warning signs so that you can be on the look-out in the event that the condition begins to set in.  Chances are that the individual suffering from Alzheimer’s is not going to realize that any of these warning signs are actually taking place.  It is up to their family and friends to be aware of these things so that they can jump in when the time is right to help you get the medical assistance you need.

5 Early Signs of Alzheimer’s

Memory Loss Taking Over Daily Life

One of the key cogs of Alzheimer’s disease is that of memory loss.  This is arguably the most common sign of Alzheimer’s, especially when it is just beginning to set in.  People with Alzheimer’s in Jacksonville, FL and abroad are going to start to forget about the information that they just recently learned.  An example is someone reading the newspaper to see what the weather is going to be around, only to forget what they read four or five minutes later.  Other examples can also include forgetting dates, stories they have told, repeating things, and so on.

Issues Completing Typical Routine Tasks

There is also a lot to be said for issues with completing routine tasks.  Another main sign of Alzheimer’s disease is that familiar tasks that need to be completed at home simply do not know how to be done.  This could be something as simple as turning on the television, managing a budget, changing out a trash bag.  Things that the individual knew how to accomplish prior to Alzheimer’s, but all of a sudden is starting to really struggle within their daily life.

Mixing Up Time and Place

Time and place is also something to pay attention to from an Alzheimer’s detection perspective.  It is common for people with Alzheimer’s to mess up the time of day, lose track of dates, and so on.  An example would be someone waking up at midnight, only to think that it is noon time.  This misconception of what is day and night is a warning sign of Alzheimer’s.

Losing Things Quite Frequently

Someone who has Alzheimer’s disease may actually place things in very odd places.  One of the more common items that get placed in a strange location is a woman’s pocketbook.  This forces the individual to lose track of things and have to find them again.  Losing things frequently is one of the warning signs.

Mood Swings and Poor Judgment

A person’s mood is also going to change quite a bit as a result of Alzheimer’s.  Not being able to judge social situations and showing mood shifts at a rapid rate is a sign of Alzheimer’s as well.

Awareness is very important when it comes to Alzheimer’s early warning signs.  Earlier detection can help an individual suffering from the disease to get the help that they need.  This can help them maintain a high quality of life for a much longer period of time.

Have a loved with early signs of Alzheimer’s?  CallConcierge Care today at 888-205-9940 for a free in-home consultation!

 

How to act around someone with Alzheimer’s

May, 22, 2019

It’s hard to watch someone you love deteriorate physically but Alzheimer’s Disease creates unique communication changes and problems, in addition to physical challenges. People in Alzheimer’s care will struggle to express themselves and eventually won’t be able to verbally communicate their needs.

One in ten people in the U.S. have a family member in Alzheimer’s care at any given time so we can all profit by learning how to communicate with our suffering friends and loved ones. As with other forms of dementia or brain disorders, there are prescribed specific approaches that help us better connect.

Asking detailed questions to people with memory problems will probably be a fail. Instead, open-ended questions may keep the conversation going longer and your loved one will feel more comfortable and connected with you. If you want to extend your connection,

How To Talk To Someone With  Alzheimer’s

  1. Minimize distractions. Eliminate or reduce stimuli so your loved one is better able to focus on your words. Speak in short sentences.
  2. Listen patiently. When interacting with your loved one, be patient and ask minimal questions.
  3. Be compassionate. Go along wherever the conversation takes you. Don’t correct any delusions or laugh at your loved one.
  4. Non-verbal cues can be helpful. Make good eye contact and smile often, easing your loved one, even if they don’t recognize who you are.

Your loved one may not express his or her emotions or thoughts well and will likely have trouble with comprehension so it will be up to you to offer agreement, accept blame, be cheerful, distract and be reassuring to him or her that all is well each time you visit.

Don’t argue or confront, question or try to reason with someone in Alzheimer’s care and don’t take it personally. Unfortunately, memory disorders continue to worsen and you’ll have to muster up forgiveness, patience and acceptance throughout the process. Try to actively remember you’re loved in their best of times and be respectful towards them.

When you need assistance with Alzheimer’s care, remember that Concierge Care is here to help. Call us today at 888-205-9940 with any questions you may have.

When Should You Help Your Loved One Manage Multiple Chronic Conditions?

May, 15, 2019

With three out of four Americans over 65 years of age living with one or more chronic medical conditions, you may find yourself responsible for obtaining elderly care for a loved one. When is it time to help with the management of a loved one’s illness? How do you know when it’s time to step in or step up to help?

And if you are an older adult suffering from chronic conditions yourself, when is it time to ask for elderly care assistance?

The most common chronic health conditions are heart-related diseases, which can include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, chest pain, and stroke. Following closely behind is arthritis and diabetes. In the early stages, people remain independent without assistance or additional elderly care.

Disease progression eventually creates further complications. People with multiple conditions may require medical care by different doctors or specialists and need to manage a number of prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs, as well. Additionally, there may be dietary restrictions and treatment regimens to follow.

You’ll usually know that you or your loved one needs elderly care assistance if:

  • A medical crisis occurs creating an immediate need after hospitalization.
  • There are memory issues creating the need for medication management.
  • The patient is losing weight or showing signs of malnourishment.
  • Medical instructions continually get lost or the instructions aren’t understood very well.
  • Medical records and medications are not being coordinated or managed and bills aren’t getting paid.

So what can you do when you see these signs? Whether it is you, or a loved one, try to accept that multiple medical conditions can require additional assistance, even if just temporarily.

If you are helping a loved one, offer to become part of his or her care team while at the same time, respecting their abilities and strengths. Aside from medical care, help to create goals that include self-care and continued social activities. Keep an eye out for depression as lost independence can be a difficult adjustment.

Call Concierge Care today at 888-205-9940 to talk about elderly care that allows the patient to remain at home. Often, assistance with meal preparation, chores, light housekeeping, or transportation to medical appointments makes living with multiple medical conditions much easier and improves quality of life. At Concierge Care, we offer professional elder care that is supportive and caring.

Medication Management: Preventing Future Health Problems

Apr, 17, 2019

Medications must be taken as prescribed in order to be safe, but older adults often make errors that lead to emergency room visits 450,000 times per year. Not only do seniors take more prescription medications than any other group, but some aging adults are also struggling with memory problems which make their situations worse. Sometimes an aging adult either takes too much medication or not enough, sometimes on a wrong day, or wrong time of day. Medication management can be further complicated by interactions from foods, supplements or other drugs. The good news is that there are ways to improve medication management for seniors.

Here are 4 Tips For Medication Management to keep in mind:

  • Bring an up-to-date list of prescribed medications and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs whenever going to the doctor and then again to each trip to the pharmacy. Note the prescribed dosages and dates/times of doses taken.
  • You may have a number of doctors, but try to stick to one pharmacy, if possible, to minimize the risks of unknown drug interactions. Get to know your pharmacists and don’t be afraid to ask questions. They are highly knowledgeable about medication uses and may even have more time available for your questions than your doctor.
  • Use pill organizers. With so many varieties, there has to be one that will be perfect for you. Some have the days of the week on them and some are marked with AM and PM on them. Also, there are special pill bottles that have built-in LCD clocks, which unlock at the right time for your dose.
  • Try a medication reminder system using technology. Be accurate with medication management by implementing smartphones, tablets and voice assistants for timely reminders.

Sometimes, an older person needs additional aid with their medication management. If your loved one is cognitively impaired or is failing to take medications at the right time or dosage for any other reason, you may need to get further assistance to keep him or her safe.

Concierge Care is here to help you or your loved ones. We understand the importance of medication management. Please call our office today at 888-205-9940 to see if we can help.

Veterans Care: Help Applying for Aid and Attendance

Apr, 02, 2019

If you’re a veteran in need of elderly care for yourself or your spouse, be sure you look into Veterans Aid and Attendance benefits as a possibility.

Aid and Attendance, with maximum benefits up to $25,000 annually, can potentially assist in paying for long-term elderly care. Applying for veterans assistance can be complicated, so it’s important to find qualified assistance with the application process before submitting your request. In order to qualify, applicants must have at least 90 days of active duty, with at least one day period of war, be over 65 years old need elderly care, and meet specific income and net worth requirements.

If you think you might qualify, find help with the application process, but be sure you don’t have to pay for it. Organizations cannot legally charge you for their assistance, but some may try to sell you a service instead, so just look for help that is free with no strings attached.

You can contact your regional office of the Department of Veterans Affairs for direction and resource information.

Here are some organizations that often make free assistance available to the public:

  • The American Legion (Veterans Claims Assistance)
  • Disabled American Veterans (National Service Program)
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars (National Veterans Service)

When you’re looking for someone to help with the application process for elderly care benefits, be sure to ask about their experience. Even phone calls to the VA can leave you with bad advice, so double-check any guidance you receive. Prepare good questions for them in advance, too. How often have they provided this type of help and how well do they really understand the system? You might even ask about references to be called regarding their services.

File as soon as you think you might need elderly care benefits. They’re paid retroactively based on the date of your application, so get it done quickly so you can receive maximum payments for your elderly care.

Concierge Care wants to help you age in place in your own home if possible. If you can’t get veterans assistance, we may be able to help you find another resource. Give Concierge Care a call at  888-205-9940 today.

Simple Steps to Prevent Falls in the Home

Mar, 29, 2019

Taking steps to prevent falls for people in senior care is a priority, especially since falling is a leading cause of injuries for people over the age of 65. Broken bones and other injuries are frightful realities, causing some aging adults to lean toward inactivity, which can then start a downward spiral to depression and isolation.

What can be done to help yourself or a loved one reduce the risk of falling? Education leads to prevention. Many falls can be avoided since there are commonly known factors that lead to falling. Here is a list to consider.

5 Steps To Prevent Falls At Home

  1. Work on balance. Coordination and balance diminish during the aging process, making it easier to fall. Most communities have strength and balance classes for seniors that are found to be helpful.
  2. Keep an eye on vision problems. Vision often becomes impaired as a natural part of aging so people in senior care may need watchful eyes helping to make sure there aren’t any tripping hazards on the floor or steps. Be sure that eyeglass prescriptions are regularly checked and updated. Consult with a low-vision specialist for the best ways to see safely.
  3. Medications need to be considered carefully. Monitor medications that might have side effects of dizziness or dehydration, which can both lead to falls. Drug interactions must be checked often by a doctor or pharmacist, as well.
  4. Modify the environment as needed. Grab bars, non-slip rugs, and bath mats, good lighting are all parts of a safe environment. Be sure to have two-way switches for both sides of hallways and staircases. Install hand railings on both sides of the steps. Ensure there are nightlights bright enough to help on the path to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
  5. Consult a physical therapist. A professional physical therapist who works with people in senior care may prove to be helpful. He or she can assess gait, strength, and flexibility, providing the adult with exercises or specific walking aids that can help.

For more ideas on how to make a home safer, contact Concierge Care at 888-205-9940. We can provide information to keep you and your loved ones in senior care safe at home.

3 Steps to Take Before Filing a Long-Term-Care Insurance Claim

Mar, 06, 2019

Insurance companies pay out billions of dollars in benefits annually for long-term senior care insurance claims. Some consumer advocates and lawyers say that many aging adults needing senior care struggle for months, or even years, to have their claims paid.

Insurance companies often find loopholes which allow them to deny claims. It’s essential to know what is covered by a specific policy and what might also prevent it from being paid.

Here are three things you can do now before filing a long-term senior care insurance claim.

  • Know what your deductible or elimination period is. Some policies state 20, 60 or 90 days and some differ on how those days are counted. One policy might use calendar days after the claim is filed and others might use the days after the doctor has certified the need. Another policy may consider “service days”, which would only be the days you’re paying for a home health aide during the waiting period. If you have a 60-day waiting period, a caregiver may have to help with 60 senior care visits before the policy will begin to pay for services. This means the aging adult or the family will have to pick up the tab in the interim period.
  • Be prepared to file quickly. The insurance company will probably request medical records and sometimes even send a nurse or social worker for an assessment before approval of the claim. Get documentation from the physician as soon as possible.
  • Understand the disability test. The aging adult needing senior care will have to prove cognitive impairment or that he or she needs help with two or more activities of daily living (ADL). A licensed healthcare provider must certify in writing that the adult needs help with bathing, eating or other items on their test.

Insurance claims for long-term senior care can be challenging but Concierge Care can help you with this process. Call us today at 888-205-9940 to talk about professional senior care services. We can help you understand the different types of care that can be provided for you or your loved one.

How to Tackle the Bathing Challenge

Feb, 27, 2019

Hygiene is vital to older adults in senior care and yet this priority often creates resistance and anxiety in seniors needing help. It may be a challenge, but people working professionally in senior care have found specific methods that work best.

Here are 10 tips from the experts.

Bathing

  1. Create a schedule for your loved one’s baths so he or she doesn’t have unnecessary anticipation or anxious feelings.
  2. Safety first. Be sure to have multiple grab bars and non-slip surfaces in the bathroom.
  3. Consider a walk-in tub or a bathing chair to ease the transition into the bathtub or shower. Perhaps just a sponge bath is truly enough some of the time. Specialty products like body sugars and scrubs aren’t necessary.
  4. Arrange soap, shampoo, sponges or washcloths close by so they are easy to reach. Set out the towels and place a robe or the clean clothes nearby.
  5. Check the water temperature before the senior undresses and then again throughout the bathing process.
  6. Don’t allow distractions from a cellphone. Be sure it is silenced, yet nearby.
  7. Keep a calm demeanor to ease the tension or awkwardness for both of you.
  8. Another reason bathing is essential to senior care is the opportunity it provides to check for any broken skin, irritations or rashes that the adult might not have noticed or complained about.
  9. Help the older adult, yet it’s important to let him or her do as much as possible. Look for specific items, like electric toothbrushes, that can make the process easier for people in senior care.
  10. After bathing, conclude with a favorite activity, or a snack, tv show, or something enjoyable so that he or she has a happy ending to the bath time. This may help with resistance for the next time.

Dealing with Resistance

Be compassionate at bath time. Elderly adults in senior care are often fearful of falling. They might also feel sad and embarrassed about their need for help, as well. Older people needing senior care for memory issues may become extremely resistant to bathing. Do your best to comfort them with a relaxed environment and consider their needs and feelings.

If you are dealing with too much resistance at bath time or think that bathing is beyond the care you feel qualified to do for your loved one, call Concierge Care. Our professionally-trained caregivers are available to help with hygiene and more. Call us today at 888-205-9940.

When is it time to take the keys away?

Feb, 05, 2019

In most families, the time arrives when there are concerns and conversations about a loved one’s driving skills. Age should not be the only determining factor in this matter, but whether or not the senior is a potential danger while driving.

If someone already has senior care that provides transportation, the situation is easily remedied. Caregivers can drive the older adult safely to appointments and social events.

However, when an older adult doesn’t have a helper or a community senior care vehicle, the older adult may find it much more difficult to give up his or her keys. In any case, people in their nineties can be driving safely and some people in their fifties shouldn’t be on the road. That’s because there are many factors that contribute to an ability to drive safely – physical and mental health conditions, prescription drugs, and age-related changes, for a few.

Note that if an aging adult has a serious new diagnosis, seems to be unfocused, inattentive or reckless, someone may have to help assess the situation and take immediate action, providing the appropriate senior care that will keep everyone safe.

If there’s no immediate concern, consider the following. There are numerous reasons to consider whether someone older should be driving. Declining vision as a result of cataracts, macular degeneration, or glaucoma may become a problem, although sometimes the condition only requires that the senior stops driving in the dark or at night. Another age-related condition may be hearing loss, which makes it harder, or impossible, to be alerted by drivers’ horns and emergency sirens, or even atypical noises from their own vehicles. And, another issue that is all too often seen in the newspapers is a pedal misapplication, as a result of lost coordination and reaction speed, resulting in pressure on the gas pedal instead of the brake.

Sometimes, aging adults resist any senior care assistance as long as possible. The time may come when family or trusted friends must step in, or step up, and take the keys away. Still, there are ways to do so with respect, allowing the aging adult to maintain his or her dignity.

If you need to have this conversation about senior care with your aging loved one, call Concierge Care first for suggestions. We understand and have compassion for seniors who must give up driving. Call our office today for helpful tips.

How To Alleviate Caregiver Guilt

Jan, 15, 2019

Whether you’re caring for someone you love in your home or you’re a caregiver looking after someone you love in a nursing home or assisted living facility, caregivers usually have one thing in common: It’s the feeling of guilt. Some caregivers stress over being so busy in their own personal lives that they can’t attend to their parent or friend as much as they would like. Some are taking so much time to care for their loved one that they become exhausted. In any case, excessive guilt and sadness can leave a caregiver feeling depressed which over time can lead to their own illnesses.

What is the solution for coming to terms with guilt? How can one focus on being proud to be a hard-working, compassionate, and well-meaning caregiver?

The following caregiver ideas may help:

Don’t expect to always feel guilt-free. Guilt may be built into the very nature of our species for group survival, but once you know and accept that, you may be able to reduce it by being more mindful about it.

Accept that you may not have a cure or remedy. Of course, you may feel sadness seeing a loved one suffer and you want to find relief for him or her. Nonetheless, this may be impossible, and you may have to face that realistically.

Find some balance whenever possible. You may have loving relationships with children and spouses or dear friends that need to be maintained, as well. Don’t commit all your energy resources to caring for one person. You’ll need to recharge with other social connections, as well.

Take breaks. You’ll definitely feel better and will probably truly become a better caregiver after taking a break. Ask for help. Use respite care so you can get away from the situation, even if just for a day at a time.

Get some sleep. Caregivers tend to care for a loved one while setting aside their own physical needs. If you are exhausted from caring through the night, your emotions won’t be as stable. Be sure that you aren’t doing more than what is physically possible.

Remember that Concierge Care is here for you. Take some time to yourself or get some needed rest knowing that your loved one is in good hands. Call Concierge Care at 888-205-9940 today to inquire how we might be able to help you and your loved one.

Top 5 Early Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

Dec, 27, 2018

When you’re searching for your misplaced car keys once again, do you worry about your brain health? How about when you’re introduced to someone and immediately forget his or her name? Don’t worry. Typically, these are just normal memory lapses of people with normal brain health.

You may have a greater concern when a loved one is forgetting appointments on a regular basis. Maybe he or she gets lost while driving in a familiar area? These are not normal problems. In fact, these may actually be early symptoms of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is the most commonly seen type of dementia, and if memory loss has escalated to that level of problems, you’ll want to start considering Alzheimer’s care for your aging loved one.

Alzheimer’s disease is debilitating, mercilessly deteriorating the brain until death. Families need to make a plan for Alzheimer’s care as soon as possible after it’s been diagnosed, and far before it gets to the later stages.

There are ways to recognize Alzheimer’s disease in its early stages, so you can get help more quickly. Here are symptoms to keep in mind:

Five of the Early Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

  1. I already told you that! When you find that your loved one is asking the same question repeatedly, forgetting that you already gave him or her the answer, it’s a red flag that there may be a serious problem.
  2. Lost and found! If you find that your loved one is losing things repeatedly, or you’re finding things in strange places, there’s a reason for concern.
  3. Social withdrawal: A change in social habits can be a cause for concern. If aging loved ones begin to withdraw from their favorite social events without any reasons, seek professional advice.
  4. Challenges with reading, writing and speaking: Problems with reading, writing or speaking normally, can be symptoms of Alzheimer’s, especially with difficulty remembering everyday words.
  5. Are the bills paid correctly? If you realize your older loved one has problems paying the bills or balancing checkbooks, you’ll need to be prepared. Money management becomes impossible with Alzheimer’s. Get a plan in place for Alzheimer’s care before it’s too late.

If you’re considering that your elderly loved one may be suffering from Alzheimer’s, you might feel overwhelmed. It’s hard on families, and denial of the difficult situation is common.

Remember that it’s better to proactively seek a correct diagnosis so you can prepare a plan for Alzheimer’s care before the disease advances further.

Be sure to connect with Concierge Care at 888-205-9940. Ask for help and information about Alzheimer’s care so you can be fully prepared!

How to Pay for In-Home Care Services

Dec, 13, 2018

The trend of seniors choosing home care in order to remain in the comfort of their own homes wisely continues! It’s smart for all families to consider the options that allow them to stay close to all they know and love.  When home care is desired, how can an elderly person or family pay for this professional help?  You may be surprised at the options available.

5 Ways To Pay For In-Home Care Services

Private Insurance

Private long-term care insurance almost always covers in-home care. Alternately, some life insurance policies can be converted to cash to help pay for caregiver services.  We recommend you have your policy thoroughly reviewed by an expert to understand exactly how much it does cover.

Private Pay

Some older adults choose to pay for in-home care from their own savings, investments, or the equity in their homes.  They also might consider liquidating assets like vacation homes or recreational vehicles that are no longer being used, in order to create another source of cash. In other circumstances, children, siblings or extended family might pool their assets to contribute as a group for their loved one’s caregivers.

Public Benefit Programs

Elderly adults without substantial assets, or who are living on a smaller limited income, may qualify for assistance from veteran’s benefits, Medicaid, Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) or another state program, depending on where they live. A good place to start researching resources for in-home care is the local Area Agency on Aging.

Assistance for Veterans

There are programs specifically created for veterans and their spouses who need trained in-home care for bathing, dressing, monitoring medication, and more. A program called Veterans Aid and Attendance (A & A) is available to those who meet their qualifications. The program has an equation for eligibility, which includes exclusions for personal property and the mandatory passing of an “Income and Asset Test.”

We recommend you contact an expert who is a VA-accredited claims agent for more details or visit the website of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to learn more about this program.

Request a Local Volunteer to Fill in the Gaps

There are people who volunteer through their local churches, schools, or community service programs who are willing to offer home care services at no charge to aging adults and families.

This volunteer may not be professionally trained, but can easily handle errands, light housekeeping or chores.  However, when it comes to assistance with personal care needs or complex medical conditions, a licensed professional home care agency should be consulted.

For more information please feel free to call Concierge Care at 888-205-9940 to talk further about our home care referral options for you or your loved ones today.  We would be happy to provide you with a free in-home consultation and connect you with the experts that can assist you with your individual needs.

In-Home Care vs. Nursing Homes

Nov, 26, 2018

Families sometimes need to assist their older loved ones with deciding whether they should age in place with in-home care or find a new, permanent home in a nursing home. It’s sometimes a tough conversation and decision to make.

Why Choose In-Home Care Services over Nursing Homes?

Fortunately, there are options that are somewhere in the middle of fully independent living and long-term, or permanent care, in a nursing home.

It’s almost always the aging adult’s preference to stay in his or her comfortable and familiar surroundings, especially considering that some seniors may have lived in the same house for 20, 30, or more years.

  • Staying at home brings a sense of comfort that cannot be duplicated elsewhere. Just having their sentimental items around that have memories attached to them can bring a sense of peace to seniors.
  • In a practical sense, continuing in one’s own house with in-home care allows a greater safety, since the senior knows all the details of the house. He or she would already be familiar with walls, floors, corners and even the placement of furniture. The cozy sounds of home cannot compare to the noises from medical machines and alarms from patient call cords in a nursing home.
  • If constant medical care is necessary, skilled nursing facilities may be best. However, constant care may be more than what is actually needed, and constant care may even feel smothering to some people. If someone is still capable of many things on their own, only a few hours of in-home care per day may be needed.
  • A caregiver helping a few hours daily with household tasks and providing social interaction can be adequate. This maintenance of independence provides a priceless benefit to mental and emotional health, and may even prevent the onset of dementia.
  • Even aging adults who want or need small amounts of care benefit from a caring one-on-one relationship. Nursing home staff, are spread thin with a high quantity of patients, always bordering too many. Alternately, in-home care can provide ample time to the patient, or even as much as desired, creating an emotional bond.

Contact Concierge Care at 888-205-9940 to learn more about how in-home care can offer more options to you and your loved ones!

4 Benefits of Companion Care

Nov, 13, 2018

Feeling emotionally connected is essential to human well-being. Everyone needs to have a sense of purpose and be motivated to get up in the morning. Companionship is more than helpful for aging adults. It can actually help elderly people thrive!

Sadly, older people sometimes struggle to keep socially active. Adult children might be busy (or even overwhelmed) with their own daily schedules, and their children’s schedules, as well. They may not have enough available time to be able to share often with their aging parents.

As people continue to live longer, they also suffer through the continued loss of family and friends who have become ill, moved away, or died. Sometimes an older adult could remain happier and live independently if he or she just had a companion to help out with some of the responsibilities. Adding some social time together would be a wonderful bonus!

What can we do to help our older loved ones, family or friends?

Here are 4 benefits of companion care to consider:

  • Companion care can include cooking, light housekeeping, meal preparation or more. As an older adult is struggling to maintain independence, companion care can provide the adult with a sense of empowerment and the ability to age at home.
  • An older adult can maintain a sense of dignity. He or she doesn’t have to struggle with feeling like a burden to neighbors, friends or family.
  • Companion care provides friendship. How nice to have a person in proximity to talk with, and share thoughts and feelings! Conversation allows people to express themselves.
  • Staying home alone all the time can feel scary. Companions trained to deal with emergencies can be a comfort. Aging adults are less likely to be taken advantage of in financial scams when they’re not alone, too.

Care services can keep seniors active and lively. They can eliminate the boredom of long lonely days. Seniors with companions can go more places, enjoy hobbies again, dine out, or go to movies. More activities can improve or enhance their quality of life.

Concierge Care can help you or your elderly loved one by referring compassionate companion caregivers, whether for a few hours, days, or longer.

Companion care professionals can provide lasting friendships that make a real difference in the lives of older adults. Call Concierge Care today at 888-205-9940 or fill out our form here for more information!

5 Tips For Interacting With Seniors

Oct, 31, 2018

In about 12 years, the entire baby boomer generation will be older than age 65, and this older population is expected to outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history. By 2030, one out of five people will be of retirement age. Many will need senior care. What does that mean for our society?

Family, friends, and anyone working in senior care will all need an understanding of the aging population and the best ways to interact with elderly people. Communication can be complicated by hearing or vision loss, a decline in memory, slower cognitive processing, and physical separation from family and friends.

Here are 5 tips for interacting with seniors that may be helpful when communicating:

  1. Articulate clearly and distinctly. Since many older adults have hearing loss, speak in shorter, simple sentences, just a bit louder, and slower, if you notice they are having difficulty hearing or understanding. Adjust your volume as necessary, being careful to use a gentle voice so you don’t appear condescending.
  2. Background noise can be a challenge. Noisy restaurants, music, TV or radio programs all create distracting background noise, making it harder for seniors to discern your words. Be sure you are positioned at the same level – seated or standing – so the older person can read your face and non-verbal language.
  3. Laughter is medicine. Humor and a smile are the best icebreakers for building rapport and creating comfort with someone you don’t know. Do you know any good jokes?
  4. Learn to listen. Be patient without interrupting. Get comfortable with long pauses without feeling like it’s necessary to fill in the silence.
  5. Allow memories to flow. Sharing stories from the past can help someone feel valued. When a senior can share their wisdom and skills, they usually become more comfortable engaging in conversation.

Be especially respectful when speaking with aging adults in senior care, keeping in mind that these people have lived most of their lives in a completely different cultural experience. Remember to be patient, also. They often get tired later in the day, as well, making it a greater challenge when trying to learn new things and comprehend new subjects in the evening.

Communication is a complex process, but the vast experiences of older adults make time with them invaluable and worth the extra effort that may be required.

Be sure your aging loved one has the best senior care possible. Call Concierge Care today at 888-205-9940 to learn more about how they can be of assistance.

4 Healthy Ways To Manage Caregiver Anxiety

Oct, 11, 2018

4 Healthy Ways To Manage Caregiver Anxiety in Florida

Being a caregiver can be one of the toughest jobs there is. And although many will say they understand just how hard it is, they really can’t unless they have been in a caregiver’s shoes. The most important thing to keep in mind is that, as a caregiver, you need to manage your own health just as much as the person you are caring for. That means recognizing and acknowledging the warning signs that you may be experiencing stress which can quickly lead to anxiety.

We all experience, at one time or another, the anxiety caused by being overstressed. However, when a caregiver experiences stress-related anxiety, it can be all-consuming to the point of being totally overwhelming. There are several ways to manage this anxiety, that will help to get your life back onto an even footing.

1. Pinpoint The Issue

Singling out your issue and addressing it head-on is one way to manage both the stress and accompanying anxiety of being a caregiver. Determine which triggers for anxiety are present and address them individually. This will make the task not so daunting and not feel like such an impossible endeavor. For example, if you feel you are not performing a particular task in the proper manner, don’t be afraid to ask for an opinion. You can arrange for a nurse or certified individual to visit the house and either give you a refresher course or maybe a full retraining.

2. Support Groups

The best service you can offer yourself, as a caregiver, is that of finding a group of peers who understand and truly relate to your current situation. A weekly support group, where others like yourself can gather and discuss your fears, your highs, and your lows can go a long way to helping you better manage your anxiety. If you are unable, or unwilling, to leave the house, there are a multitude of similar groups online that are just as supportive and beneficial

3. Live In The Moment

Although this one may be one of the toughest, just practicing mindfulness and learning to live in the moment can go a long way to relieving anxiety. Perhaps take a course or research into the various calming techniques such as deep breathing techniques, meditation, and even prayer can help you to achieve more focus on the current task, and not worry about what is down the road.

4. Accept Help

This is one of the major triggers of caregiver anxiety. No one likes to ask for help and they tell themselves they can do what all needs to be done. However, when it comes to caregiving, this is not necessarily the case. Don’t be afraid to ask family or friends to step in, even for just a few hours, so that you may have some away time to refresh and recharge.

If you have questions about caregiving or would like to learn more about respite care, please call us at 888-434-4648 or fill out our contact form We’ll be happy to answer your question or connect you with someone who can help.

When Is It Time To Get Additional Care For A Loved One?

Sep, 27, 2018

As your family begins to grow and distance itself from your elderly loved ones, it becomes increasingly difficult to find time every day to help them and be there for them. It’s hard to watch your loved one become lonely and incapable of taking care of themselves as they grow older. it’s difficult to balance taking care of them on top of supporting our own family, working, having a social life, and more. We want to help you in giving them the same companionship and support they provided throughout your lives.  Concierge Care’s caregiver referral services may be the perfect solution to the increasingly difficult issue of leaving your elderly loved one alone for too long. Certified Nursing Assistants and Companions can provide a wide range of benefits for the aging person that’s unable to take care of themselves. Before you decide on a personal caregiver, it’s important to know when it’s time to get your loved one the care they deserve.

When is it time to get additional care for a loved one?

  • Medication Mismanagement
  • Deteriorating Driving Abilities
  • Dirty or Cluttered Environment
  • Signs of Malnutrition

Medication Mismanagement

As our loved one grows old, it’s important that they take a wide assortment of vitamins and pills every day to stay healthy. As we get older, our memory becomes increasingly weaker, making it much harder to remember how many pills a person has to take and how often they have to take them a day. As the leading cause of hospital visits for elders, it’s extremely important to monitor their medication intake as to avoid any dangerous and potentially fatal situations. A caregiver is able properly remind your loved one of the right pills to take every day and assure that your loved one will be taken care of every single day.

Deteriorating Driving Abilities

Driving is an important aspect of an elder’s life. It not only provides them with added mobility to go wherever they want, but it’s also a matter of independence. Being able to leave and go somewhere whenever they want is incredibly crucial. Losing your license is an incredible hardship on an elder that can take a huge emotional toll on them. With a Concierge Care referred caregiver, an elder is able to leave and go wherever they want. Whether it be to a doctor’s appointment or just to the local grocery store, the elder is able to mobilize and go wherever they want without having to ever wait on someone else.

Dirty or Cluttered Environment

A cluttered or dirty environment can be another sign that a senior may need additional help. If a loved one’s home is messy and in disarray, it may be possible that the elder is incapable of keeping up with their daily chores. Referred Companion caregivers can provide home care services to assure that the elder’s living space is tidy every single day. A clean-living environment can drastically improve an elder’s mood and standard of living.

Signs of Malnutrition

Another sign of a loved one needing home care is malnutrition. You may notice that their loved one is not eating as much as they used to and are rapidly losing weight. This can endanger their life as malnutrition and weight loss can put the elder at harm for a loss in energy as well as loss of essential fat and muscle mass. Companion care referral services will ensure that your loved one is receiving the proper nutrients every single day to keep them healthy and happy every single day.

It’s hard to see your loved one become incapable of caring for themselves, which makes it incredibly important to find companion caregiver that can help them every single day. It can be overwhelming trying to find the right caregiver for your loved one and impossible to differentiate the ones that will actually help your loved one and those that aren’t qualified to provide the services you desire. Concierge Care is a caregiver referral service that is able to identify and screen quality companion caregivers and find the best ones for your unique situation. Contact Concierge Care by calling (888) 205-9940 to learn more about their services today!

The Importance of Staying Healthy While Caring For Others

Sep, 21, 2018

Staying Healthy While Caring For Others

As we grow older, we’re forced to step away from our daily life and perform home health care services for a loved one. We end up caring for our parents as they once did for us. Sometimes we cannot afford home health care despite needing to give constant care. This often results in taking up a second job of caring for them ourselves. For someone with their own kids to deal with and a job, this can be harmful to the health of the caring family member. It is important to help, but it is also important to maintain our own health at the same time. Even if it is only for a short while, hiring a Concierge Care referred caregiver can help the entire family.

The Effects of Overworking and Isolation

Isolation is one of the aspects of caring for others that can mentally wear on the caregiver. Caring for a person with dementia can be a very taxing process on a person. A elder with dementia requires someone to help them perform the same task every day, which can take a toll on someone. It’s imperative for the caregiver to take a break every once in a while. This can be problematic considering someone with dementia needs supervision at all times. A Concierge Care home health care referred nurse can provide the original caregiver with a much-needed break. Everyone has their own issues to deal with and taking a break to deal with them will be beneficial. Interacting with other people who they care about and resting is important for the mental health of the caring family member.

Composed of persons aged 40-60, the “Sandwich Generation” have their own kids to care for as well as their aging parents. On top of a full-time job, these duties can be exhausting. Taking short naps throughout the day works wonders for the body and brain. Finding a comfortable place may be difficult at certain times, but suitable napping places should be fit into a busy schedule. Clean off a table or bring a pillow. Whatever allows a couple minutes of comfort and eye closure is better than nothing.

Get Help From A Home Health Care Nurse

The burden of care is not the duty of one person. Even if other family members are not able to help they can provide funds for a caregiver. Skip small, unnecessary trips by asking others. This will be much more convenient at a very small cost to someone who is closer in proximity.

Concierge Care is the very best nurse referral service. A Concierge Care referred nurse can even provide 24-hour live-in care. Hiring a professional caregiver will not only help the loved one who is aging, sick, or injured, but also their family. Call Concierge Care today at 1-(888) 334-3435 to get your loved one the best possible help imaginable.

Legal Documents Seniors Should Have in Place

Aug, 20, 2018

 

There are 4 main legal documents of high importance each senior should have. These are:

1.    Revocable Trust

The Revocable Trust is a legal document of extremely high importance. This document carries similarities to a will. It will guarantee your loved one the right to maintain control over their estate while performing the asset transfers to beneficiaries (to children for example). Seniors will be able to point out which type of property- assets, jewelry, or investments- go into the trust and who will become the main beneficiary. The revocable trust will prohibit that their estate becomes probate at the time of their death.

2.    The Will

The will is yet another legal document that allows your elderly loved one to decide who the main beneficiaries of the assets are after the death. A will is an extremely important document not only for seniors, but for everyone that has dependent children. Through this will, adults are able to designate whom they would like as guardians for their children. In the absence of a will, the Court will decide upon the issue of the assets and guardianship for the dependent children.

3.    Advanced Directive

Also known as a Medical Directive, this is a legal document which highlights the main wish of the owner regarding the type and level or care he/she would like to receive if and when becoming ill. Such a medical directive can clearly say whether or not the senior would like artificial breathing/eating support. Some people do not wish to extend their life if such an unfortunate event happens and they need to become artificially ventilated for breathing or get food through a tubing system. The Advanced Directive clearly outlines the wish of your elderly loved one regarding care and support if a time comes when he/ she is incapacitated and cannot make a decision anymore.

4.    Healthcare Power of Attorney

The power of attorney for health care is a legal document that gives you the right to make healthcare-related decisions in the name of your elderly loved one. Such a document is extremely important and should be outlined in time. In the event your loved one becomes incapacitated, you (the child) can make an effective decision regarding the health care needs and requirements of your loved one. In the absence of such a document, you would need to go to Court in order to become appointed as a “conservator”. This is an extremely lengthy and also costly process that can be easily avoided with such a legal document.

Concierge Care can refer you to a local person that may be able to help if needed.  We hope this helps!

Concierge Care – Jacksonville, Ocala, Palm Coast, Tampa, Ormond Beach, Daytona Beach, Villages Florida

Fall Prevention in the Home

Screen Shot 2018-08-14 at 2.34.52 PMFalls can put elderly at risk of serious injuries. According to statistics in the healthcare field, at home falls represent the leading cause for both fatal and non-fatal injuries in people 65+ years of age. Head injuries, broken bones or fractures of the hip are only a few of the risks the elderly can face if a fall happens in their home. Here are some of the most important fall prevention steps you can take to help your elderly loved one avoid such risks

Front of the house

You should start with fall prevention measures right in the front of the home. Make sure to check out the front steps and perform any necessary repairs such as fixing uneven stairs, any possible cracks or wobbly steps to prevent the risk of falls. Also, you should ensure there is good lighting around the front door, and if needed you should install a grab bar along the steps to help the senior take the stairs safely and securely.

Changes in the kitchen to prevent falls

All the most commonly used items in the kitchen should be arranged to be within easy reach. For example, don’t keep plates and glasses on upper shelves. Move them on the lowest shelf, so that your elderly loved one will not have to use any chair and then lose their balance and slip/fall. Ensure there are no rugs available in the kitchen, as these scatter rugs can become a hazard for slipping and falling. Replace them with anti-slip mats and special rugs.

Safety on the stairs inside

Ensure the stairs are not cluttered with items. Keep the entire area free from items, and help seniors visualize the stairs better by using colorful tape along the edges of the stairs. Use the colorful strip not only on the top of the stair but also around the edges of the stairs to secure the tape perfectly.  If the stairs have only one row of the railing, you should get handrails on both sides. This will help the elderly stay balanced and feel more secure while using the stars.

Fall prevention in the bathroom

The bathroom is one of the highest risk places for falls in the home. Make sure the shower or the tub has a high-quality anti-slip rubber mat. Next, you should install a grab bar at the tub, but also by the toilet to help seniors use these sanitary items with greater ease. Shower chairs and shower heads that can be handheld are also a few additions that will help to lower the risk of slip and falls in the bathroom.

Reasons Families Fight Over Caring for Seniors

Screen Shot 2018-08-14 at 2.26.25 PMOne of the most stressful family decisions is when there is a need to take care of an elderly loved one. This is also a time for conflict when different family members fight over who should take care of their loved one, who should invest more efforts, or who should give up some comfort in their life and invest more time to take care of the loved one. Working as a great powerful team for the best interest of the elderly loved one should be ideal…but this is something not easily achieved. So what are some of the main reasons family members fight over caring for a senior loved one?

Different views upon care needs

Siblings, for example, might have different opinions regarding the care needs of their senior parent. One child might say that their father should stay at home, while the other might argue that their father requires immediate professional help and he should be in a professional caregiver setting.

Seniors refuse care

Nobody wants to give up their independence and it is difficult to accept that they need help. When a senior resists any type of care, the family should unite and take all the patience to help their elderly loved one take the right decision.

Only one child does all the hard work

When only one single family member takes care of an elderly loved one, sooner or later there might arise some conflicts. When the rest of the family members do not offer their help, the main caregiver might eventually struggle with caregiver burnout, stress and anxiety.

The main caregiver(child) will not involve the rest of the family members in decision making

It might easily happen that the main caregiver who performs all the caregiving tasks will not involve the rest of the family in the decision making process. This fact might bring along tension and unnecessary conflicts.

Caregiving & raising a family at the same time

Statistics show that caregivers are mainly women. These women want to perform their caregiving tasks but at the same time they need to focus on their own family life. They need to raise children, and take care of family tasks at home. At some point the caregiver might struggle with irritation and caregiver burnout symptoms.

Some other reasons that might raise such fights over the care of an elderly loved one also include the estate and inheritance issue, the need to care for both parents at the same time, balancing personal and caregiver life and many other.

Traits to Look for in a Good Caregiver

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When searching for a caregiver for your elderly loved one, you should ensure the respective person has some important character traits. You want the best care for your loved one; you want to know him/her safe and happy. Regardless of whether you will hire a caregiver through a home care agency or a caregiver who works independently, make sure he or she possesses some of the following common character traits:

Patience- Caregivers who need to look after a senior must be patient. If someone is patient, it means that they are able to understand that there can arise several unexpected changes along the way, or that daily tasks cannot be performed as fast as they wish or as fast as they have planned for the day.

Trustworthiness- Caregivers most of the times live in the house of the patient. Therefore, they have direct access to the belongings of that person. It is extremely important to choose a caregiver that is trustworthy and with a good reputation in the field. You should also check a few genuine references before hiring.

Empathy- Caregivers must have what is called compassion. They need to be patient and understanding, especially if they need to take care of a senior with a disease such as Alzheimer’s for example. When someone has empathy, it means the respective person is capable of understanding how difficult it is to cope with the respective underlying disease or how difficult it is to become dependent on another person for personal care tasks.

Good listener- You want to hire a caregiver who is not only compassionate but one who can also listen. Elderly people like to be in a pleasant companion, having someone to whom they can talk to. The caregiver becomes a good friend and a good listener in this case.

Dependable person- The caregiver must show that he/she is available whenever needed. You may need help only a few hours a week, but you also might have to hire a caregiver for a full-time job. This means the caregiver must show up every single day and perform all the necessary duties. You should be able to count on that person that he/she will be present whenever needed so that you can go on with your daily tasks without being anxious that the caregiver might be late or might not arrive at all when needed the most.

A good caregiver is a very good communicator, knows how to handle well emergency situations, shows commitment and encourages the patient. Last but not least, a good sense of humor should also be included on the list because even the most tragic situations need a smile now and then…

Concierge Care – Senior caregiver referral services – Jacksonville, Ocala, Ormond Beach, Villages, Tampa, Ft. Myers Florida.

What To Know About In-Home Senior Care

Taking care of a senior can be difficult and emotional. In-home senior care is an excellent service for taking care of an older loved one. Concierge Care provides in-home care to senior citizens who may be suffering from a chronic illness, surgical recovery, in hospice, or an older person who is need of daily care. Utilizing this service is great for a senior citizen as they will be cared for by nurses and other qualified professionals. It is essential for the family to understand in-home care and the kind of care their loved one will receive.

What To Know About In-Home Senior Care:

  • Types of In-Home Health Care
  • How to Choose the Best Kind Of Care
  • Paying For In-Home Senior Care

Types of In-Home Health Care

There are various types of in-home health care services for seniors. Live-in nurses are great for senior care. A Live-In nurse will provide complete care for a loved one day and night. These Registered Nurses (RN) are qualified professionals who will provide this care in the comfort of the patient’s own home. This results in comfort and security for the patient. Nurses can help patients with bathing, dressing, and other specialized medical services. Other services include physical, occupational therapy, speech and language services. A Home Care Helper is a non-medical in-home care provider that can assist with errands, chores, hygiene assistance, meal preparation, and light housekeeping.

How to Choose the Best Kind Of Care

Choosing the right kind of care for a senior is important. Seniors may be stubborn and not understand the reasons for which in-home care is necessary. However, explaining this to a senior in the correct manner will persuade them to accept the need for in-home care services. Depending on the senior’s needs the level of care can be determined. It is essential to make a list of factors and evaluate each agency based on that list to find the best fit. Concierge Care provides the best kind of in-home care services in Jacksonville and the surrounding area.

Paying For In-Home Senior Care

Medical services are often quite pricey and may be a financial burden to the family or the senior citizen. As a result, federal health insurance programs such as Medicaid are implemented and guarantee coverage for people over the age of 65. This program is the primary payer nationwide of long-term care services. Many agency services are covered by Medicaid which includes the cost of prescription drugs and other medical services. Therefore, this will reduce the financial responsibilities of the family involved. Concierge Care accepts long-term care insurance and Veteran Benefits (VA) and may also cover various services.

Choosing the best kind of in-home care for a senior is an important decision. Concierge Care provides exceptional in-home senior care for a senior in need. Our referral services have proven to show a significant improvement in the quality of life of our clients and their families. Call us today at (888) 334-3435 to find out how we can improve the quality of care and life for a loved one!

Common Issues of Aging

Unfortunately, getting old comes with more issues than just the first few grey hairs, a few wrinkles or forgetting where you put your glasses. Aging can bring along plenty of health complications, but it is important to keep in mind that there are several measures that you can take to prevent the most complex signs of aging. Healthy aging should become your priority and with some changes in your lifestyle and diet, everything can be achieved.

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The most common health issues of aging include
– The appearance of chronic diseases- studies in the field show that well over 90% of the seniors struggle with at least one underlying chronic disease, and over 60% have at least 2 chronic diseases. Some of the leading health conditions among seniors include heart disease, diabetes, stroke complications or cancer.
– Memory loss complications- cognitive health problems also represent leading health complications among seniors. One of the most common health issues is dementia. In the US alone, there are currently over 5 million seniors over the age of 65 who struggle with Alzheimer’s. Unfortunately, there is no cure available for Dementia, but the physician can prescribe the correct treatment plan and the right medications which help keeping the disease under control and manage better the disease.
– Malnutrition-related diseases- malnutrition is a serious problem among seniors. When underdiagnosed, or not diagnosed in time it can lead to other complications such as severe weakness of the muscles or an extremely poor immune system response. When the immune system is too weak, the body cannot fight infections anymore so other more dangerous health complications can appear. There are several reasons that can lead to malnutrition in seniors and these include forgetting to eat (in the case of people with dementia for example), not being able to afford quality food, alcoholism complications and more. It is important to make gradual changes in the diet of a senior in order to reverse malnutrition. Seniors should increase their intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, and drastically reduce the consumption of salt and saturated fats.

Some other common issues of aging might include substance abuse, bad oral health, hearing or visual impairments, bladder health complications and more. Remember that many of these common health issues of aging can be prevented or reverted to some extent. It just takes more control over your lifestyle and dietary habits and of course more regular and rigorous doctor
checkups than when you were younger.

Staying Healthy During Senior Years

Adopting a healthy lifestyle as you age is of primordial importance. Aging does not necessarily have to mean “getting old”. If you will accept that aging is just a natural part of life with its good and bad periods you will become a happy and also healthy senior. Once you accept these challenges of aging, you need to invest some efforts into making the changes that will help you stay fresh, feeling and looking well.

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Stay physically active
Make sure that you introduce regular physical exercise in your daily routine. You don’t have to go the gym and perform heavy physical exercises. You can stay fit even with half an hour brisk walking every day. This habit will help you boost your immune system and your general wellbeing.

Time to eat healthy
After 60 or 65 it is really important to pay attention to what you consume. Introduce fresh fruits and vegetables in your everyday diet. Consume less salt and reduce fat intake as much as possible. This habit will help you feel and look energized and also lose a few extra pounds which is important for your overall wellbeing.

Hydration is of maximum importance
Your heart, your joints, your blood, your stomach…every single organ in your system will start functioning better if you stay well hydrated. Never “forget” to drink enough pure water- at least 2 liters every day. Hydration is also important for your skin, helping it look plump and radiant. Remember, the glow comes from the inside!

Keep in touch!
Stay socially active during your senior years. Keep in touch regularly with friends, family members and plan your dinners, visits and walks in nature with your dear ones. Staying connected with everyone you love helps you age naturally and beautifully on the inside and outside.

Regular checkups
Regular checkups with your doctor are extremely important. This way you can catch every single chronic disease or problem right in its incipient phase. You don’t have to wait to feel sick until you make your doctor’s appointments. Regular checkups will also give you the peace of mind you need that you are in control of your health and well being.

Changing Bad Habits
Now is the time to change some of your bad habits. Talk to your doctor about help with quitting smoking. Also, try to limit your alcohol consumption to one drink or glass of wine a day.

Top 5 Qualities When Hiring Caregivers in Jacksonville

Aug, 06, 2018

There is a time in life when caregivers might need to help a relative or loved one in Jacksonville. At this point in time, it is essential to have the right guiding principles when choosing the best institution for companion care needs. There are various types of senior caregivers in Jacksonville that offer different services to different individuals depending on the particular need. It’s important to conduct some research to find the best fit for companion services. First and foremost, consider the compatibility of the services depending on the needs. Consequently, make sure to be are aware of the services offered by the home health care company before hiring.

Reliability

Reliability is an important consideration that should always be made. It is a vital service to have the companion care whenever it is needed. This basically means that the company should be readily available at the particular time when called. Ensure that the company is reliable before hiring in-home caregivers in Jacksonville.

Are They Insured?

Insurance is another issue that comes into question when hiring private caregivers. The company needs to be insured so that it can be able to provide the required services to its clients. This means that if something was to happen in their care, they should be responsible for the wellbeing during the entire time. It is necessary to perform research on different senior caregiver institutions before settling on a particular one.

Experience

Experience is yet another consideration that should not be overlooked at any particular time. A well-experienced institution knows the dos and don’ts of the industry. They have the experience of effectively working towards ensuring that their clients are well taken care of.  They also know what to avoid and how to resolve issues.

Quality

Quality of the services rendered is an essential component when it comes to choosing caregivers in Jacksonville. Look for something that will satisfy the relatives or loved ones that are being taken care of. The quality of the services offered should be top notch.

Expertise

Expertise is yet another factor that should be put in place when choosing home caregivers in Jacksonville. The individuals need to be experienced professionals who have been doing this job for a considerable amount of time. They will know what types of medications the patients need and how to administer them.

At Concierge Care, we provide companion services and in-home care for the elderly. Our staff helps place the right care for seniors. We believe that seniors can live happy and fulfilling lives in the safety of their own homes. For a free consultation, contact us today at 1-888-334-3435.

Benefits of Companion Care in Daytona

Jul, 12, 2018

As people advance in age, they tend to be lonely and feel abandoned, and this is where companion care in Daytona chips in to provide aging parents or relatives with intensive care and companionship. Our dedicated and experienced staff offers emotional support to loved ones in a surrounding they understand and recognize. Many people, especially the sick and old, become uncomfortable when subjected to a place or surrounding they are not familiar with. At companion care in Daytona, we bring professional services right to the home.

At Concierge Care care of Daytona, we strive to provide expert and quality home care services to all our clients to ensure it is at par with their individual needs. We are focused on improving the well-being and health of aging loved ones with our highest standard of home care services. We study well our client’s personalities, likes, histories, and even favorites to help us in planning the best services to offer them to ensure they are well stimulated and happy.

Our companion care services are way above average, and we work round the clock to provide the quality of life needed. Other benefits of companion care in Daytona include:

  • Daily schedule assistance
  • Your loved ones get to engage in enjoyable activities like games, reading, crafts and many others
  • Supporting your loved ones with house chores and other tasks
  • Fosters a sense of independence
  • Medical care and assistance when needed
  • Maintaining personal hygiene
  • Your loved ones will stay safe and happy all day long
  • Running errands
  • Help with cooking and dietary planning

Caregivers help in a variety of ways by monitoring, managing and improving the health and well-being of clients. Leave relatives and loved ones in the able hands of companion care in Daytona, and we will ensure he/she ages gracefully. Contact Concierge Care today at 1-888-334-3435 for a free consultation.

All About Jacksonville’s Best Care Givers

Jul, 11, 2018

Looking for medication and health services is a challenging task that needs intensive planning and spending. Caring for a sick relative is a tedious task that requires a lot of time and dedication which consumes a lot of valuable time. Many people are busy in jobs and pursuing their careers which leaves limited time to care for a sick relative. This is where home health care comes in to provide the much-needed health support to the patient.

Skilled and trained caregivers at Concierge Care in Jacksonville will give the patient a perfect transition from the healthcare facility to home. This is the time a patient needs critical care to ensure he/she recovers well and avoid any chances of the illness advancing rather than subsiding. The caregivers will ensure all the prescribed medicines are available to the patient to speed up recovery. They also make appointment follow-ups and ensure the patient eats nutritious and balanced foods as specified by the doctor to help boost the patient’s health.

Specialized Services Offered by Caregivers in Jacksonville Include:

  • Disease self-management training
  • Management of new medications
  • Home safety evaluation
  • Light housekeeping
  • Physician appointments follow-ups
  • Discharge coordination
  • Fall prevention evaluation
  • Personal care

This will ensure loved ones will recover under favorable conditions without any complications. Trust that the caregivers of Concierge Care in Jacksonville to provide the patient with specialized home healthcare services that meet medical standards for quick and fast recovery. Contact Concierge Care today for a free consultation at 1-888-334-3435

Green Light A Vet. Let’s Show Our Support!

Jul, 11, 2017

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjbgNAlXOqw

Green Light A Vet – Jacksonville Pick-up Locations

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Pick up your green light from the following locations:

 

1. Harbor Chase of Mandarin-  http://www.harborchase.com/senior-living/fl/jacksonville/harborchase-of-mandarin/

2. Harbor Chase of Jacksonville-   http://www.harborchase.com/senior-living/fl/jacksonville/harborchase-of-jacksonville/

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3. Starling at Nocatee-  https://starlingliving.com/communities/starling-at-nocatee/

Starling at Nocatee

4. Seagrass Village of Fleming Island-  https://seagrassvillagefi.com/

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5. Benton House at Oakleaf-  http://www.bentonhouse.com/senior-living/fl/jacksonville/benton-house-at-oakleaf/Benton House

6. The Windsor at Ortega-   http://www.legendseniorliving.com/locations/the-windsor-at-ortega.php
The Windsor

 

7. Anthem Lakes Waterview Senior Living –  https://www.anthemlakes.com/
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8. Concierge Care – https://www.conciergecarefl.com/contact-us/

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Alzheimer’s Care Solutions: Home or Away from Home?

Dec, 13, 2016

Alzheimer’s is a health condition where the symptoms get worse over time. Therefore, many family members looking for a care solution need to consider the needs and requirements of the patient. While at an early stage a few hours of in-home care would suffice, later stage Alzheimer’s is more demanding in terms of care. Let’s check out some of the most popular care solutions for Alzheimer’s disease patients:

Caregiving in the home by a family member

Many family members will want to take care of their elderly loved ones themselves. In such cases, you need to carefully check all the educational/informational resources regarding the disease of your loved one. There are many online free sources that will teach you about important aspects of Dementia/Alzheimer’s and how to properly take care of a patient with such a disease. Caregiving in the home performed by a family member is typically recommended only in the early stages of the disease, when the patient does not require highly skilled solutions.

Formal in-home care solutions performed by skilled personnel

If the disease has already progressed with memory loss, wandering and behavioral changes becoming overwhelming, you may want to consider formal in-home caregiving solutions. For example, a caregiving referral agency can help you find the perfect candidate that will take care of your loved one in his/her home. By opting for his solution you will get peace of mind your dear one is properly looked after, and thus you get time on your own to focus on other tasks.

You may need to hire only a part time home caregiver, or a caregiver on a 24-hour basis (live-n caregiver). You should definitely discuss these details with the best experts in the field, and they will assist you in finding the right candidate for your requirements. Some family members also opt for day centers, where the patient is being transported to and from the center and there he/she has the chance to socialize with other patients while being under constant supervision by skilled personnel.

Assisted Living/ Nursing Homes for Advanced stages

In case your loved one does not need skilled clinical care, but does need help with almost all activities of daily living you may consider an assisted living facility. On the other hand, patients requiring skilled medical care should opt for nursing home facilities. Both care solutions involve room and board, with the difference that in a nursing home the patient benefits of non-stop medical care and supervision.

Caregivers & Seniors: A Special Bond

care8In-home caregivers assist people with certain health conditions with activities of daily living. Most commonly, family members hire caregivers to help seniors with Dementia or Alzheimer’s, or seniors with disabilities/health conditions. If you are currently looking to hire such an expert to take care of your elderly loved one for a few hours a day, or even looking for a 24-hour in-home care giving solution, you should know about the importance of a good relationship and special bond between the senior and the caregiver.

More specifically, before hiring such help, make sure you spend enough quality time with the respective candidate discussing both personal and medical aspects about your loved one. Caregivers need to step into this job having enough precious information about the person they will take care of on a daily basis. The caregiver and your loved one will become extremely close partners, even very good friends. They will spend a lot of time together each day, and for this caregiver-patient relationship to work, it takes patience, understanding, and good communication.

As a family member getting ready to hire the services of a caregiver, there is certain key information you should communicate to the candidate. Sit down with the caregiver and have a nice discussion where you will inform the caregiver about the following:

  • The main hobbies, likes and dislikes of your loved one. This information will help the caregiver give a very good impression right from the beginning and entertaining the patient by using the most efficient strategies. The caregiver will be able to approach the patient in the most friendly manner when  he/she knows these facts
  • Information pertaining to the medical background of your dear one- any underlying health issues, past and current treatments, required prescription medication, etc.
  • Nutritional requirements- if the patient has diabetes for example, there are certain meal plans that must be followed. Or, if your dear one struggles with high blood pressure there is again need to pay attention to the meal preparation process
  • Personality related changes and issues- patients with Dementia  struggle with many such behavioral changes, and the caregiver should know about them
  • Information pertaining to friends, social outings, family events and habits

Remember that by providing the caregiver with all this information you will help building a much stronger bond between your loved one and the caregiver right from the beginning. It is also important that you and the caregiver have seamless communication, and thus together you are looking for the best interest of the patient.

Referred Caregivers Bring Back Balance in your Family & Life

care7Dealing with your loved one who has developed Dementia is not easy. You do have a life of your own where you must provide for your family, run errands, take care of your children, but also take care of your loved ones struggling with such a debilitating condition. You feel your life has turned upside down, and you feel incapable of managing even the routine tasks in your life. You feel that the time you have is never enough, and you cannot fully concentrate on anything anymore…maybe it is time to bring back the balance and calmness in everyone’s life by hiring specialized help.

You should definitely look for an in-home caregiver who can help your loved one with activities of day living. This would help you get more time to focus on your life responsibilities, while never giving up on your loved one. The fact that you hire someone to take care of your elderly parent for a few hours a day doesn’t mean that you are putting the responsibly into the hands of a stranger. It simply means that your loved one is looked after properly and professionally, while you will bring back a healthy balance in your family environment.

How can a home caregiver help your elderly loved one?

A caregiver is a highly skilled and experienced professional who will ensure to provide your elderly loved one with all the assistance he/she needs. Some patients require assistance with minor tasks such as paying the bills or preparing the snacks and meals. Others might need more help such as walking around/getting transferred to and from medical appointments or social outings, but also help with getting dressed, taking a bath or eating.

The degree of help required highly depends on the stage of Dementia or Alzheimer’s. Patients with advanced stages of the disease will need particularly more attention, as they might struggle with triggers of wandering, and they can also struggle with complex memory loss issues. In such cases, they are not able to remember taking their medication in time for example, and then a caregiver is there to offer assistance. Also, the caregiver will ensure the patient is not left alone at all, so that he/she will not be able to start wandering and get lost.

Help for the family members

The caregiver also plays a key role in the communication and encouragement process of the family members during such difficult times. The family members need assurance their loved one is doing well and that he is cared for properly. This way only a happy and healthy balance can be indeed restored in the family.

Memory Aids & Apps for Patients with Dementia

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Gradual memory loss is unfortunately, the ‘trademark’ sign of Dementia or Alzheimer’s in people with more advanced age. The risk of developing this disease is out there for everyone, but if your loved one already struggles with any form of dementia, you should know about the importance of keeping the mind entertained and helping them remember as much as they can. People with Alzheimer’s tend to forget a great deal of things about their personal life, about their past. They can forget their name, address or the name of their favorite granddaughter. They cannot find their home even in extremely familiar environments.

So check out below to discover a few truly helpful applications that can help a patient with dementia remember more and remember better. These apps can assist them in leading more comfortable and self-confident lives

Book of You: Interactive Reminiscence Therapy App

Book of You is an app specifically developed for patients with Dementia and Alzheimer’s. The app helps the patient recreate his/her life story by using music, photographs, different keywords and phrases or even short videos. Both family members and home caregivers are encouraged to use this little app together with the patient in order to help him/her remember important dates and beautiful life events. The app highly encourages communication, and it definitely helps improve the mood and wellbeing of a person struggling with Dementia.

MindMate: Feeling Better Day by Day…

MindMate is yet another iPad/smartphone or tablet application designed to help fight off frustrating signs of memory loss. People in earlier or even more advanced stages of Dementia will find this app extremely useful. This is an app helpful for the patient but also very useful for caregivers and family members who need to take care of a patient with a cognitive impairment.

  • Highly interactive and fun games that stimulate brain activity
  • My Life – a platform where patients are allowed to build up their life story by gathering photos, music, preferred movies, games, food recipes and more.
  • TV & Music- fun and interactive games, puzzles and quizzes based on classic movies and favorite TV shows from the past.

These are only 2 of the most relevant and useful applications specifically created for patients with Dementia and Alzheimer’s. You are welcome to check out these apps, and read many detailed and unbiased reviews of people who actually used the apps.

Important Personality Traits of a Home Care Provider

care6 So you have decided to hire professional help for our loved one. Your senior family member needs assistance with activities of daily living, so you need to ensure that you will bring a highly skilled and experienced professional in your home. It is extremely important to mention that before making any hiring decision, there are certain personality traits or qualities you should look for in the home referred caregiver candidate. Let’s check them out:

Good communication

One of the first things you should notice during an interview, is that the candidate is indeed a very good communicator. The candidate should respond calmly and courteously to your questions, and ask some questions himself. By asking you different questions, the candidate shows he/she has a genuine interest in getting the job and assisting your elderly loved one in the best possible way. If you notice that the candidate barely answers your questions, and that he/she is not an open person, you should skip to the next candidate on the list.

Experience matters

Even though you can read some extremely good references on paper, this is not everything. You should ensure the candidate has several years of experience working in a similar field of interest. Many home caregivers have been working for years as experts in nursing home facilities, private senior care homes, or even hospitals. The greater the positive work experience, the higher the chances you will bring home a truly good professional.

Compassion. Bond. Attentiveness

Working as an in-home caregiver for a senior with Alzheimer’s, Dementia, or a physical disability is challenging and demanding. Arrange your interview in such a way that your elderly loved one is present as well, at least for a part of it. This way, you can immediately notice if the candidate is compassionate, capable of communicating well with your parent and if there is a certain bond forming from the first minutes. A good professional is capable to adapt instantly to any situation or person. He recognizes signs and symptoms of the illness and is capable to carry out good communication and interesting conversations with the patient.

Patience is key

Taking care of a person with Alzheimer’s takes a great deal of patience. It would be good if you could schedule at least a few hours of trial work with the respective candidate before hiring. This way, you can check out if the worker has indeed the required patience and skills to adapt to any situation while taking care of your loved one.

Alzheimer’s & Dementia Home Care Solutions

care5Caring for a patient with Alzheimer’s or dementia is difficult. Family members often need to monitor and care for the patient on a 24-hour basis, and this can eventually have a toll on their personal life and lifestyle. This is why, many opt for personalized home care services, such as hiring an expert to take care of the patient in their home. At times, having an expert for a few hours a day is sufficient, while at other times patients require non-stop care and assistance in their home.

Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s and Dementia are health conditions that worsen with time. If a patient struggles with milder memory loss at the onset, this may develop later in extreme confusion, disorientation, and heavy memory loss. Personalized home care services are very useful for these patients and their families, as they receive true support to overcome many challenges. Maintaining a patient with dementia busy is indeed important. Otherwise, they can start wandering and thus become exposed to higher risks.

A professional in-home caregiver can assist the senior with many daily activities. For example, the care provider can take the senior for regular walks, or perform the daily physical exercise routine with them. Then, the provider will be present during social outings such as visiting a friend, welcoming a visitor in the home, going out to the theatre, or shopping.

Some other services offered by caregivers to patients with Alzheimer’s / Dementia include:

  • Ensuring the home is a safe environment for the patient- preventing slips, falls or other injuries within the home
  • The patient is constantly monitored during the time the provider performs his shift in the home of the patient
  • Prepares nutritious meals for the patient, ensuring they receive the daily recommended dose of vitamins and minerals for good system functioning
  • Steps in and manages behavioral changes that accompany these health disorders- mood changes, wandering triggers, anger management, communication issues, etc.
  • Provides assistance with personal care such as bathing, dressing, eating, personal toiletry

Caring for a patient with Alzheimer’s or Dementia is challenging, but families need to understand there is help available and they should take advantage of it. When you hire the services of a part-time home care provider it does not mean you are shifting your responsibilities to third parties. It means that you are a caring, loving family member who also needs time to carry out responsibilities and tasks imposed by life itself: work, take care of your kids, work so that you can help and provide for your elderly loved one.  

Help is available, you just need to reach out!

How to Manage Wandering Triggers in Patients with Dementia

care4Several clinical studies show approximately 60% of the patients with Dementia will start wandering. The patient typically cannot remember how to find his/her way back home in extremely familiar places. Patients forget their name, their address, and can become extremely confused and disoriented even in places they used to know extremely well. Experts consider wandering quite a dangerous side effect of Dementia/ Alzheimer’s mainly because the patient can expose himself to several risky situations.

As a caregiver for a patient with dementia, it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of wandering and implement strategies to prevent this occurrence:

  • Wandering may be a sign of boredom and restlessness for a patient with dementia. This is why it is important to implement a rigorous schedule where the patient is kept busy with different tasks. There should be a time for eating, a time for bathing, a time for taking a nice walk, or playing a game. A regular physical exercise program can also help reduce the occurrence or the “need” to wander.
  • Installing some barriers can also be helpful. For example, the patient should not have access to opening locks and doors, so that he cannot wander freely when no supervision is available
  • Closely monitoring patients with wandering triggers is another effective option. You can install security/monitoring systems to keep an eye on the patient at all times. Some people even use the baby monitor in order to listen to their dear ones while sleeping or being in their room alone
  • Hiding certain personal items may also keep the patient away from triggers of wandering. For example, many patients with dementia know they should not go outdoors without good shoes, their purse, umbrella or favorite coat. When they cannot locate these items easily, they might reconsider going out.

Care providers, whether family members or specialized personnel should not be afraid of implementing even more extreme strategies to prevent wandering symptoms. For example, some families opt for medical ID bracelets.  These bracelets contain personal and medical information imprinted on them, such as the name of the patient and the condition (such as Alzheimer’s) and a phone number of a close relative. In case the patient wanders and is found confused on the streets, someone will notice the bracelet and immediately call the respective phone number.

Such a medical bracelet is also extremely useful in case of a medical emergency. Paramedics and physicians instantly recognize the medical ID bracelet and then the risk of misdiagnosis or a wrong course of treatment can be avoided.  

Just some things to think about!  : )

Seniors SOS: When is it Time to Seek Help?

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More than 95% of the seniors would love to age in the comfort of their homes. They are used to a certain lifestyle and habits of a lifetime, to getting together with their dear family members and maintaining their relationship with friends. Unfortunately, aging in the comfort of their home is sometimes not possible when the senior becomes disabled or becomes ill with a condition that results in severe cognitive impairment. So is it possible to recognize those alarm signals that show you it is time to seek help for your loved one?

Paying attention to several aspects is important

You may notice that your loved one is more and more depressed, that the home looks untidier than usual or that your elderly dear one forgets to take regular baths and wear nice and clean clothes. These are moments when you should ask yourself the question whether you should step in and help. If you are caught up with your own hectic lifestyle like working, taking care of your kids and family…it is almost impossible to fully focus on your loved one and assist him closely.

What can you do? You should look for a part-time home care assistant who will help your dear one with all these tasks. The home care provider can assist your elderly parent with the following:

  • Walking assistance
  • Planning healthy meals & helping with feeding
  • Cleaning up the house & taking care of the laundry, ironing, and associated tasks
  • Paying the bills
  • Accompanying your loved one to medical checkups or social related outings
  • Help with dressing up, bathing and other personal toiletry and cleanliness tasks
  • Administering prescribed medication at required times, or performing basic medical tasks such as measuring blood pressure or changing the catheter

Further signs that help is required

  • Your loved one complains of slip & fall accidents in the home
  • Sudden weight loss & appetite loss
  • Losing interest in things that used to preoccupy him/her
  • Cannot properly manage the required medication. Skipping to take them, or taking multiple doses, mixing up prescription medications
  • Not capable anymore of taking care of important errands such as paying the bills in time or managing any paperwork
  • Forgetting important dates, events
  • General feeling of confusion and certain personality changes. Memory loss and the incapability of concentrating even on easy tasks. These might be signs of Alzheimer’s disease, so it is important to start with a thorough medical checkup to get a clear diagnosis.

If you notice any of these signs persisting, you should definitely seek for assistance. You are the one who needs to take an important decision, such as bringing your loved one to live with you, looking for a nursing facility or searching for the most efficient and caring in-home senior care service provider to refer a quality caregiver ASAP.  

Is Home Care the Right Choice for My Loved One?

care2There is a lot of general debate going on regarding whether nursing homes or private home care represents the best choice for a senior loved one.  As people grow older they become extremely attached to their homes, to their personal things, habits and main lifestyle. The truth is that it is quite difficult to help a senior become used to living in an unfamiliar environment, especially in a nursing facility. If you need to make the choice for your loved one, it is important to carefully weigh the benefits/drawbacks of each solution.

Important questions to ask yourself before deciding

Is your loved one capable of leading an independent lifestyle, but he/she is in need of some help to carry out regular tasks? For example, your loved one can eat or dress up without help, but needs assistance with other tasks such as paying the bills, shopping, cooking or bathing. In such a case, the most efficient solution is represented by home care. For example, a referred caregiver can visit the home of your loved one on a daily basis and provide assistance with all these tasks.

Does your loved one struggle with Dementia or Alzheimer’s and needs assistance with many routine tasks? Does your loved one need continuous supervision? In such a case, you can opt for nursing care, but homecare also represents a viable solution. In such a case, you may need to opt for a 24 hour live-in home care and here the experts will actually live with your loved one, providing assistance with all necessary tasks throughout the day or the night.

Custom tailored solutions to your individual needs

Each situation is unique, so the requirements differ from one case to the other. However, if you would like to provide your loved one with the most comfortable and caring lifestyle and environment, opting for home care seems to be the best solution. You should avoid isolation at all costs, and ensure that your loved one indeed gets all the help he/she needs with tasks that are difficult to carry out.

You can discuss your requirements with an in-home care provider, and the specialists will help you select the best option/schedule of care for your dear one. Take your time to read online as much information as you can, pertaining to the health condition and special needs of your dear one. There are plenty of free informational/educational resources available online, which will surely help you make a well-informed decision.

Tips for Finding the Best Home Care Services

care1Finding home care services for seniors might be a challenging task.  With a quick online research you can come across hundreds of results, but how can you know which are the most trustworthy and efficient ones? You should check out the following 3 tips that will help you find the right home care solutions for your loved one:

References may work wonders

Sometimes, you don’t even have to look too far to find the right solution.  Start asking around in your circle of friends and acquaintances maybe they can recommend a certain agency.  If an acquaintance highly recommends a given home care provider company, it means they are satisfied with the respective services. Always ask around, you may come across the best services quite soon.

Always interview before hiring

Even if the expert has some of the most outstanding references, you will need to sit down for an interview.  You want to talk to the person taking care of your loved one, and find out more personal details before making a final decision.  Is the caregiver friendly? Is he/she a patient person? Does he/she have plenty of experience in the field? Who recommends or referred him/her? Make a list with all the important questions you want to ask the caregiver during the interview.  You should make a list, otherwise, you might forget to ask truly important questions during the interview.

Communication is the key to everything

You need to have seamless communication with your agency and with the potential referred caregiver. If the home care provider does not communicate well, it will not be a good choice for your elderly loved one who might in turn struggle with communication issues. The caregiver must be an extremely patient, caring and perfectly communicating person. Otherwise, it will not work out and maybe it is time to move on to the next caregiver on the list or the home care agency may be able to refer a better fitting care taker.

Finding the right home care provider or home care services is not impossible, but it takes time. You don’t want to go through several trial and error situations; this is why you should choose the right one right out the door.  

About Home Care for the Elderly

Sep, 21, 2016

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What is non-medical home care?

Non-medical home care is assistance offered by a caretaker at the home of the patient. There are plenty of agencies specializing in non-medical home care services for seniors, people with disabilities, patients who require everyday help in the home after a surgery, etc.

You need to understand that non-medical home care means that the caretaker offers assistance with all necessary tasks, excluding medical related care. If your elderly dear one needs help to walking around the house, or of he/she needs help with preparing the meals or assistance with administrative tasks, a caretaker can definitely help.

The caretakers offer assistance with what is called ADL- Activities of Daily Living. From bathing and dressing and up to cleaning the house or preparing meals, a non-medical home care provider can help.

Who can consider Non-Medical home care solutions?

People who require assistance with ADL. Besides seniors, such solutions might be needed by a person currently under recovery from an accident/surgery or a person with a certain disability. In home care is extremely valuable, as the caretaker provides services in the home of the patient, while helping the patient maintain a degree of independence.

What are the exclusions

As its name suggests, non-medical home care services do not include medical related solutions such as changing the bandages, IV treatments, or administration of medication. It is also important to keep in mind that an in-home care provider will not provide services that are not included in the contract. This is why, you should always carefully read the list with the available services and the inclusions in the contract. Your elderly relative might need help with everyday bathing for example, but the service might be excluded.

Non-Medical Care general inclusions

Analyze carefully the fine print provided by the agency before signing the contract. Generally, the in-home care services will include the following:

  • Help with dressing & bathing
  • Assisting with shopping and administrative tasks (paying the bills)
  • Personal care hygiene
  • Socializing with the patient
  • Cleaning around the house + preparing the meals
  • Providing help with transportation
  • Accompanying the patient to different places (restaurant, theatre, shopping, etc.)

Finding the right home care services provider is not so difficult. You just need to invest quality time into research and ensure that the agency offers the types of services that your relative needs.

How to Deliver Skilled Care for a Patient when Dementia Interferes

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Caring for a patient with dementia is challenging even for skilled caregivers. However, there are certain rules and dispositions that you should follow in order to deliver the best quality of care for a patient struggling with dementia:

Caregiver-patient communication

When communicating with a patient who has dementia, it is extremely important to follow these guidelines:

  • Always introduce yourself by your name. If possible, wear a name tag, so that the patient will never get confused about who you are, or what your name is
  • Show a great deal of patience and talk in a soft tone of voice, always. Remember, even if the patient seems more aggressive in tone, it is the fault of the disease. This behavior should be accounted to dementia, and not to the person himself
  • Never approach the person from behind. He/she might feel threatened and become aggressive. Approach the patient from the front, and approach gently
  • Try to use simple, uncomplicated words and phrases. Short sentences are better understood by a patient with dementia

The caregiver interprets behaviors

Each type of behavior coming from the patient is a certain form of expression. As a caregiver, you need to learn how to “read” and understand this behavior and form of expression. For example, when the patient refuses to consume certain foods, he might dislike the taste. Change the type of food and try again. Also, refusing to eat might also mean that the patient is struggling to swallow the food (the patient feels pain when swallowing). You should report this to the primary care doctor of the patient.

The patient does not allow you to dress him/her. He becomes sort of aggressive in body language, and should treat this is a direct result of pain. The patient might have arthritis for example, or an open wound somewhere that is causing the discomfort. When the patient does not allow you to undress him/her before bath, it may be due to the fact the patient treats this as a direct and personal attack. You should show patience, and introduce the patient into a calm and serene environment with the bathtub already filled with water. The bathroom should be warm and cozy, and you should also use a nice smelling shower gel, bath creams and other such comforting items. Understanding the body language of the patient will ease your job as a caregiver, and your relationship with the patient.

Our veterans served us well so we do everything we can to serve them well

screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-9-17-33-amCaregiving for a veteran is an honor to you as a professional healthcare provider. Veterans once gave an oath they will defend the country with their lives. Now, it is our turn to offer them all the care and compassion they need. So what do you need to know before starting to care for a veteran with Alzheimer’s? …

People who are diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s develop certain mental changes, but each and every patient will experience these changes differently. What is most important, you need to be extremely supportive and understanding of their condition. That person defended his country so that you can have a better life today. Our veterans served us well, so now it is time that we do everything possible to offer them the best of care and attention.

Dementia & physical changes

Some of the most common physical related changes that are associated with a disease such as Dementia include:

  • The patient cannot remember how exactly to brush his/her own teeth.
  • The patient may develop incontinence
  • Changed eating habits
  • Issues regarding vocabulary use (speaking and understanding)
  • Problems with reading or writing

Watch out for any of these signs, and be prepared to help the veteran senior carry out properly all the required tasks. Remember, dignity is the most important when handling such sensitive matters.

Dementia & Mental related changes

Depending on the progressive state of the disease, patients with dementia may develop the following mental related changes:

  • Forgetfulness – from mild to severe depending on disease progression
  • Trouble with remembering even some of the most recent events. In such cases, you should have a lot of patience and use storytelling to help the patient remember
  • Forgetting names of people, places events, etc. As a caregiver, it is best if you wear a name tag while you are in the home of the patient. Help him by consistently reminding who you are and why you are there. Make the patient feel extremely comfortable when around you.
  • Sometimes delusions or hallucinations may appear

Caring for a veteran with Dementia or Alzheimer’s is a sensitive issue. However, you should do your best to offer top quality professional care to someone who once fought with all his powers for this country. You can also find plenty of useful expert resources online on the topic of caregiving for veterans with Dementia.

 

The importance of Senior Independence and how we may be able to help

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Regardless of age or health condition, everybody needs a certain degree of independence. This feeling of independence is often times the most precious thing for seniors. It is that part of life they consider they can still control- preparing their own meals, taking a bath, consuming their meals, dressing up or combing their own hair. Independence also means freedom, and it means they do not represent a burden to their relatives or caregivers.

Even if you, as caregiver must be present more than 8 hours a day in the home of the senior, you must encourage this independence. Due to given mental or physical limitations, a senior with dementia, for example, will need ongoing assistance. However, there are several things that the senior can perform on his or her own, and you should encourage these practices. If you notice that the senior refuses to be fed at the table, encourage him to eat alone. If you notice that the senior put his/her clothes on, then you should allow him to perform the task. Even if it takes much longer, and even if you know that you need to lend a helping hand with the task, you should still engage the senior to perform the task on his own.

Then, there are seniors who need assistance only with cooking, doing the groceries and cleaning the house. The senior is still in control of the other aspects of his life, and as a caregiver you should respect that. Then, some seniors are also capable of taking an active part in cleaning, shopping or cooking. Engage the senior as much as possible in these tasks, and he will feel much better. Some other activities you should definitely engage them include: going for long walks, having meaningful conversations, watching TV together, playing games and in general…socializing as much as possible.

When seniors are allowed and encouraged to actively take part in such daily activities they will gain a higher sense of purpose. They will feel more self-confident and accomplished, and further develop their sense of independence. By encouraging independence in seniors with certain physical or mental limitations, you play an extremely important part in maintaining their quality of life. Remember that for the greatest majority of seniors it is possible to achieve this sense of independence, it just takes a little help and understanding from your part.

Infection control on the home front- essential guidelines

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Cleanliness and disinfection are two of the most important words when it comes to taking care of a patient at home. Caregivers must always be on the lookout to perform perfect sanitation, because bacteria, viruses and germs might all represent a great risk for spreading infection. Caregivers need to protect themselves and to protect the patient from getting infected. Then, there are many diseases that can be spread between people, such as respiratory infection (Pneumonia), a cold/flu, AIDS and also the gastrointestinal infections.

Controlling the spread of infection at its roots

As a caregiver to a patient at home, you need to pay extreme attention to infection control. There is a full set of problems that can elevate the risk of infection. These factors include very poor personal hygiene, underlying chronic diseases, even dehydration and ongoing stress/anxiety. You should always attentively analyze your patient and ensure he/she has washed the hands properly, that the skin is cleaned correctly during bathing, and that the patient takes his/her medications for chronic diseases according to the prescription.

Sanitizing your hands is of primordial importance

In order to control efficiently the spread of infections, sanitizing hands often is a top requirement. As a caregiver, you must always wash your hands immediately before/after you have dressed the patient or helped him/her take a bath. It is also important to sanitize your hands after removing your gloves or any protective type of garment you are required to wear. If you also need to take care of the preparation of meals, you must wash your hands thoroughly before and after this task. If your hands come in contact with any bodily fluids of the patient, you must sanitize your hands thoroughly.

The importance of wearing gloves

Caregivers must have upon them disposable gloves and they should use them quite frequently for performing different tasks. Whenever you come in direct contact with bodily fluids (high risk of infections!), blood, skin that is non-intact (such as when you need to dress open wounds), the mucous membranes of the patient, you must always wear gloves to reduce the risk of infections. Also, if you struggle with any medical issues such as an open wound on your hands, or skin problems such as dermatitis you should wear gloves at all times while caring for the patient. Only use disposable gloves that are intact, and dispose of them when you performed one task. Wash/sanitize your hands after taking them off, and don’t forget to use another pair of gloves for the next task.

 

The newly discharged senior- special care for transitions

When seniors are discharged from a health facility, this fact often times comes with plenty of challenges.

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Unfortunately, many seniors are discharged quite early from the hospital because of insufficient health coverage.  This means the senior does still feel ill, maybe quite weak as well. Such seniors are not basically capable of going home and taking care of themselves until they get well completely. In such cases, they need help from a professional caregiver at home, so that they can recover as soon as possible.

Medication check

During hospitalization, seniors are quite often given medications that can do more harm than good. These new medications may come into interaction with other supplements and medicines the senior has been taking for years at home. It is extremely important that there is one single person involved in overseeing all medications that the senior takes. For example, the professional caregiver must always carefully analyze the entire medication history of the patient. He will check all the medicines taken, plus check all the vitamins, minerals and supplements the senior has been taking by himself. These medications can interact with each other, and may cause serious side effects.

The importance of hiring a caregiver

When considering hospital discharge, the number one issue of concern is indeed represented by the medication-related problems. Moreover, the newly discharged senior will almost always require extra help. Depending on how long he/she has been in the hospital, getting back to everyday life with all the relevant tasks may be very challenging. The senior might have to dress his wounds, and he might need to rest for at least another 3 weeks at home. This is when the family of the patient should definitely ensure the senior relative will not be left alone at home. Hiring a specialized caregiver is the best thing you can do, in order to help your loved one recover comfortably and with the right type of professional assistance.

After the hospital discharge, the caregiver should always consult with a doctor, who will evaluate the medications of the senior. The caregiver must learn how to administer the medications to the senior while at home. The caregiver will also be able to contact the doctor any time needed should there be any questions or concerns regarding the senior who has been recently discharged from the hospital. Caregivers can also access plenty of high authority resources that they should consult to get even more valuable information on the topic.

We’re here for you if you need any help!   www.conciergecarefl.com

 

Part 2 – The family/caregiver partnership- communication is key

So you have hired a caregiver for your elderly loved one. It is extremely important that you set right from the beginning all the rules and tasks that need to be fulfilled by this professional. Good communication is key here, as you need to constantly inform the caregiver about any changes in these requirements. Some caregivers only fulfill general tasks such as preparing meals, helping with dressing, and going out for walks. Others, will also fulfill medical related tasks such as measuring blood pressure, blood glucose levels, preparing and administering the required medication every day.

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You should stay in constant communication with the caregiver. If you two have a good relationship, this will have a positive effect on the wellbeing of your elderly loved one. You and the caregiver must be good partners here, and discuss everything related to the personal care of your relative. A good caregiver will also encourage that you take part in the daily activities that are performed. For example, when you visit your relative you should give a helping hand in dressing, bathing or whatever task needs to be performed. You must maintain a close connection with your loved one, even if these tasks are now being taken care of by a professional.

Spend enough quality time with your relative. This is of primordial importance, and never leave all the tasks into the hands of the caregiver. Of course, he will perform all tasks that are assigned to him but it is important that you take an active part in the caregiving process. You should ensure your relative feels that you are still very close to him/her, even though now a professional caregiver arranges everything that is needed.

When the caregiver goes with your loved one for a walk, make sure you are present too. When the caregiver prepares your elderly for a nice breakfast, ensure you are present as well if it is possible. You don’t have to be there every single day, but you should be actively participating in the caring process as often as possible. If you maintain good communication with the caregiver, the two of you will be able to offer your relative the best of care. Ensure that you maintain the best quality of life for your relative, where he feels he is not abandoned. He just receives specialized care because you have to work, but you are present in his/her life as much as you can.

 

The family/caregiver partnership- communication is key

Good communication is an essential part of the relationship between family members and caregivers!

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If you have trusted your elderly loved one into the skilled hands and knowledge of a caregiver, you should make sure to maintain good communication.  Before you even make a final decision of hiring a caregiver, you need to pay attention to several factors. You need to run an extensive interview and ensure that you and the potential caregiver can communicate very well.

Check his/her references, and use that half an hour of the interview to check if you have a certain compatibility with the respective person. The caregiver will spend several hours every day with your loved one, so you need to trust a highly professional person. You are also welcome to ask several questions the caregiver:

  • How many patients did he/she care for in the past?
  • Did he/she manage to get along well with the family of the patient? Were there any issues along the years? If yes, please ask him to explain in more detail.
  • What about his/her skilled care training? Will the caregiver be able to take care of all aspects from medications, preparing meals, bathing, walking, etc. Not all caregivers are qualified to administer medications, perform routine medical tasks such as measuring blood pressure for example. You need to know from the start which tasks will the caregiver undertake regarding the care of your relative.
  • Is the potential caregiver a friendly, respectful person who really shows he/she has plenty of experience in the field? Often times, even if you consider the candidate highly professional, you may not get along on a personal level. It is extremely important that you can communicate very well with the caregiver of your elderly relative.

Besides communication, cooperation is yet another extremely important factor when it comes to the relationship between caregivers and family members. Of course telling if cooperation will work fine is difficult when you are at the interview phase. However, if the caregiver shows signs of openness and friendly communication, also a willingness to help the family the best way he/she can, you can rest assured you will have a good relationship.

A good caregiver will encourage care involvement from family members.  He/she will ensure to stay a positive link between

He/she will encourage a positive link between the senior and his/her relatives.  Even so, it takes at least 2 to 3 weeks until you can tell for sure if the respective caregiver is the professional that you have been looking for.

Let us know if we can help you or your family in any way.   www.conciergecarefl.com

 

Huge Signs of Malnutrition in Seniors

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Malnutrition is basically the lack of a proper nutrition, where the patient struggles with an essential lack of minerals and vitamins. Especially seniors need to follow a proper dietary plan that is rich is such essential nutrients. Seniors are at higher risk of developing certain diseases by missing good nutrition. Their bones can get extremely frail, their musculature becomes weak, and their immune system will become very weak as well. So let’s check out some of the most obvious signs of malnutrition in seniors:

  • You can notice that your loved one has skin that is extremely saggy. This means there is a loss of adipose tissue in the system, where important fat cells are lost.
  • The first signs of depression occur because of an improper dietary plan: nervousness, lack of interest in everyday tasks, not big able to sleep well, social withdrawal, etc.   Your loved one may need increased amounts of essential minerals and vitamins in their diet to maintain a healthy nervous system.
  • Extreme sensations of feeling cold, even when the environment is proper and cozy for everybody else. These are the signs of a very poor circulatory system.
  • Wounds take more time to heal, and or loved one cannot recover easily from a banal infection such as a cold
  • Muscle and tissue mass is visibly reduced
  • Apathy and tiredness without an underlying reason

More advanced signs and symptoms of malnutrition in seniors

  • The skin of your relative has become quite pale and cold to the touch. You can also observe skin lost almost entirely its elasticity and it has become quite thin
  • Sunken eyes and hollow cheeks. As the skin lost its qualities, these might be the first signs you can easily notice on the face
  • Hair has become thin, frail and falling out quite easily

Seniors need to consume a high-calorie count dietary plan, but you should also not forget about diversity in fruits and vegetables. You should work out a dietary plan for our dear one, or you can also consult a dietician for such planning of the meals for your relative.

Take your time to research online, and find out which are those essential vitamins and minerals that should be included in the everyday diet. You could also ask the GP for a dietary supplement subscription (Vitamin complex, Minerals complex, a mixture to increase the appetite, to help with blood circulation, etc.).

Understanding the Personality Changes of Dementia- it’s not personal.

Dementia is a brain-related disease that unfortunately causes many long-term negative effects. The ability to think and to remember are the most affected, and this in turn, leads to severe personality changes. As a healthcare provider, it is extremely important to understand how the disease progresses, and have a professional approach to all these personality changes. If a dementia patient has negative behavior, remember that it is not personal. You just need to learn how to handle everything in an utmost professional manner.

Some of the main behavioral issues arising in a patient with mid-stage Alzheimer’s include the following:

  • Aggressiveness
  • Wandering
  • Difficulties in speaking
  • Difficulties in eating
  • Difficulties in remembering every day routine tasks
  • Sleeping disorders
  • Hallucinations

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Patients exposed to all sorts of environmental changes will develop behavior related problems. Physical discomfort, surroundings that are unfamiliar, loud noises, or different environments can all accelerate the negative behavioral problems. As a professional caregiver, it is important to ensure the patient finds himself in a relatively soothing environment where the routine is respected. This will help reduce the main stress factors, in turn making the patient more calm and cooperative.

Reducing stress factors to encourage positive behavior

Behavioral issues in a Dementia patient are never on purpose. It is the disease that dictates all these changes, so it is your responsibility as a caregiver to try to comfort the patient a much as possible. Reducing stress factors is yet another highly important practice. When stress levels are reduced, the patient will feel comfortable in his own surroundings. This in turn, leads to a calm state of mind and better cooperation for routine tasks that need to be performed.

  • Performing light physical exercise- Dementia patients require physical exercise in order to keep their joints and muscles in good shape. However, such regular exercise helps greatly in relieving stress. Just ensure to perform together very light, uncomplicated exercises to help with better oxygenation and create a “feel good” vibe.
  • Bringing back the past- Indeed, helping a Dementia patient remember his familiar, most loved memories can help greatly. If the patient does not receive too many visitors, it is a good idea to watch together a few family photos, or ask the patient to tell about his/her life. This is a very good stress reliever technique, and it may help bring back good memories.

www.conciergecarefl.com

Home Safety for Seniors in their Own Homes

Jul, 11, 2016

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As a skilled caregiver, it is important to know about the dementia considerations regarding home safety for the seniors in their own home. Keep in mind the following, and you will be able to provide the patient with the most correct and comfortable type of care in their home:

  • Seniors with dementia struggle with impaired judgment- they can easily forget how to operate certain household items for example. They may also dress up in a way that is inappropriate to the actual weather conditions. Always have in mind to help the patient feel comfortable in their own home, and watch attentively all their actions so that you can intervene when needed.
  • Many caregivers place written notes on the fridge, on the bathroom mirror, and so on. These notes act as certain reminders, but you should keep in mind that later stage dementia patients might lose their ability to actually read and comprehend what is written on these notes.
  • Dementia patients can become extremely anxious and fearful even in very familiar surroundings. You should help in comforting them, even while at home. Dementia patients also may struggle with a deterioration of their senses (such as vision, hearing, general perception of surroundings, etc.)

Home safety tips to keep in mind

  • Dementia patients should be restricted access to items such as the keys of the car, certain dangerous power tools, scissors & knives, or any other objects that could represent a risk.
  • All controls on the stove should be locked. Many stove tops do have child lock features, so look for them
  • Hide away all types of chemical substances such as cleaning supplies, and lock up safely all the medications.
  • All the electrical appliances should be unplugged when they are not used. Pay careful attention that the patient cannot have access to any of these appliances.
  • Prevent the wandering of patients with dementia by safely locking all doors. It is also advisable that certain motion sensors be installed so that you are immediately alerted if the patient is trying to get out the doors.
  • Analyze carefully the stairs in the house and ensure that the carpets are very well attached to the stairs, and that the handrails are very firmly attached.

 

Invest quality time in outlining a fall and accident prevention plan at the home of the senior. This way, you will ensure all inherent risks are minimized.

Infection Controls On The Home Front- Essential Guidelines

Cleanliness and disinfection are two of the most important words when it comes to taking care of a patient at home. Caregivers must always be on the lookout to perform perfect sanitation, because bacteria, virus’s and germs might all represent a great risk for spreading infection. Caregivers need to protect themselves and to protect the patient from getting infected. Then, there are many diseases that can be spread between people, such as respiratory infection (Pneumonia), a cold/flu, AIDS and also the gastrointestinal infections.Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 4.40.28 PM

Controlling the spread of infection at its roots

As a caregiver to a patient at home, you need to pay extreme attention to infection control. There is a full set of problems that can elevate the risk of infection. These factors include very poor personal hygiene, underlying chronic diseases, even dehydration and ongoing stress/anxiety. You should always attentively analyze your patient and ensure he/she has washed the hands properly, that the skin is cleaned correctly during bathing, and that the patient takes his/her medications for chronic diseases according to the prescription.

Sanitizing your hands is of primordial importance

In order to control efficiently the spread of infections, sanitizing hands often is a top requirement. As a caregiver, you must always wash your hands immediately before/after you have dressed the patient or helped him/her take a bath. It is also important to sanitize your hands after removing your gloves or any protective type of garment you are required to wear. If you also need to take care of the preparation of meals, you must wash your hands thoroughly before and after this task. If your hands come in contact with any bodily fluids of the patient, you must sanitize your hands thoroughly.

The importance of wearing gloves

Caregivers must have upon them disposable gloves and they should use them quite frequently for performing different tasks. Whenever you come in direct contact with bodily fluids (high risk of infections!), blood, skin that is non-intact (such as when you need to dress open wounds), the mucous membranes of the patient, you must always wear gloves to reduce the risk of infections. Also, if you struggle with any medical issues such as an open wound on your hands, or skin problems such as dermatitis you should wear gloves at all times while caring for the patient. Only use disposable gloves that are intact, and dispose of them when you performed one task. Wash/sanitize your hands after taking them off, and don’t forget to use another pair of gloves for the next task.

 

The Family/Caregiver Partnership- Communication is Key- Part 2

Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 4.28.44 PM So you have hired a caregiver for your elderly loved one. It is extremely important that you set right from the beginning all the rules and tasks that need to be fulfilled by this professional. Good communication is key here, as you need to constantly inform the caregiver about any changes in these requirements. Some caregivers only fulfill general tasks such as preparing meals, helping with getting dressed, and going out for walks. Others, will also fulfill medical related tasks such as measuring blood pressure, blood glucose levels, preparing and administering the required medication every day.

You should stay in constant communication with the caregiver. If you two have a good relationship, this will have a positive effect on the wellbeing of your elderly loved one. You and the caregiver must be good partners here, and discuss everything related to the personal care of your relative. A good caregiver will also encourage that you take part in the daily activities that are performed. For example, when you visit your relative you should give a helping hand in dressing, bathing or whatever task needs to be performed. You must maintain a close connection with your loved one, even if these tasks are now being taken care of by a professional.

Spend enough quality time with your relative. This is of primordial importance, and never leave all the tasks into the hands of the caregiver. Of course, he will perform all tasks that are assigned to him but it is important that you take an active part in the caregiving process. You should ensure your relative feels that you are still very close to him/her, even though now a professional caregiver arranges everything that is needed.

When the caregiver goes with your loved one for a walk, make sure you are present too. When the caregiver prepares your elderly for a nice breakfast, ensure you are present as well if it is possible. You don’t have to be there every single day, but you should be actively participating in the caring process as often as possible. If you maintain good communication with the caregiver, the two of you will be able to offer your relative the best of care. Ensure that you maintain the best quality of life for your relative, where he feels he is not abandoned. He just receives specialized care because you have to work, but you are present in his/her life as much as you can.

The Family/Caregiver Partnership- Communication Is Key

Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 4.22.16 PMGood communication is an essential part of the relationship between family members and caregivers. If you have trusted your elderly loved one into the skilled hands and knowledge of a caregiver, you should make sure to maintain good communication. Before you even make a final decision of hiring a caregiver, you need to pay attention to several factors. You need to run an extensive interview and ensure that you and the potential caregiver can communicate very well.

Check his/her references, and use that half an hour of the interview to check if you have a certain compatibility with the respective person. The caregiver will spend several hours every day with your loved one, so you need to trust a highly professional person. You are also welcome to ask several questions the caregiver:

  • How many patients did he/she care for in the past?
  • Did he/she manage to get along well with the family of the patient? Were there any issues along the years? If yes, please ask him to explain in more detail.
  • What about his/her skilled care training? Will the caregiver be able to take care of all aspects from medications, preparing meals, bathing, walking, etc. Not all caregivers are qualified to administer medications, perform routine medical tasks such as measuring blood pressure for example. You need to know from the start which tasks will the caregiver undertake regarding the care of your relative.
  • Is the potential caregiver a friendly, respectful person who really shows he/she has plenty of experience in the field? Often times, even if you consider the candidate highly professional, you may not get along on a personal level. It is extremely important that you can communicate very well with the caregiver of your elderly relative.

Besides communication, cooperation is yet another extremely important factor when it comes to the relationship between caregivers and family members. Of course telling if cooperation will work fine is difficult when you are at the interview phase. However, if the caregiver shows signs of openness and friendly communication, also a willingness to help the family the best way he/she can, you can rest assured you will have a good relationship.

A good caregiver will encourage care involvement from family members. He/she will ensure to stay a positive link between patient and his relatives. Even so, it takes at least 2 to 3 weeks until you can tell for sure if the respective caregiver is the professional that you have been looking for.

Signs of Malnutrition in Seniors

Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 4.13.06 PMMalnutrition is basically the lack of a proper nutrition, where the patient struggles with an essential lack of minerals and vitamins. Especially seniors need to follow a proper dietary plan that is rich is such essential nutrients. Seniors are at higher risk of developing certain diseases by missing good nutrition. Their bones can get extremely frail, their musculature becomes weak, and their immune system will become very weak as well. So let’s check out some of the most obvious signs of malnutrition in seniors:

  • You can notice that your loved one has skin that is extremely saggy. This means there is a loss of adipose tissue in the system, where important fat cells are lost.
  • The first signs of depression occur because of an improper dietary plan: nervousness, lack of interest in everyday tasks, not big able to sleep well, social withdrawal, etc. Your loved one needs additional essential minerals and vitamins in their diet to maintain a healthy nervous system.
  • Extreme sensations of feeling cold, even when the environment is proper and cozy for everybody else. These are the signs of a very poor circulatory system.
  • Wounds take more time to heal, and or loved one cannot recover easily from a banal infection such as a cold
  • Muscle and tissue mass is visibly reduced
  • Apathy and tiredness without an underlying reason

More advanced signs and symptoms of malnutrition in seniors

  • The skin of your relative has become quite pale and cold to the touch. You can also observe skin lost almost entirely its elasticity and it has become quite thin
  • Sunken eyes and hollow cheeks. As the skin lost its qualities, these might be the first signs you can easily notice on the face
  • Hair has become thin, frail and falling out quite easily

Seniors need to consume a high-calorie count dietary plan, but you should also not forget about diversity in fruits and vegetables. You should work out a dietary plan for our dear one, or you can also consult a dietician for such planning of the meals for your relative.

Take your time to research online, and find out which are those essential vitamins and minerals that should be included in the everyday diet. You could also ask the GP for a dietary supplement subscription (Vitamin complex, Minerals complex, a mixture to increase the appetite, to help with blood circulation, etc.).

Tips for Hiring a Suitable Home Care Provider

homeIn-home care providers can represent extremely reliable help, if you are struggling with a disability or you are after an illness/surgery and need assistance. However, you should keep in mind that hiring a good care provider is not easy.

If you require help only with shopping, paying the bills and garden maintenance, your job is easier. On the other hand, if you need an assistant for personal care such as preparing your meals, helping you with bathing and dressing up, you need to look for more specialized care.

Check out below a few very useful tips on how to hire a care provider suitable for your needs and requirements:

  • Face to face interview– this is extremely important. You must interview each and every candidate, and see what your first impression is. Ensure there is a good communication between the two of you, and that you feel comfortable around this person. Interviewing candidates in person is a must even if you are hiring through an agency. After all, you are going to live with this person in your home for several hours every day.
  • Experience & competence– Ask the candidates about their experience with in-home care, and don’t forget to ask for references. You must ensure your caregiver is well acquainted with the types of tasks he/she is required to perform, and that he/she has enough prior experience in this field.
  • Read carefully the contract– if you hire a caregiver through an agency, you will receive a contract. Read carefully the contract, and see which services are fully covered. There might be certain services such as bathing for example that can be excluded. In such a case, you need to pay a separate fee for this service. It works pretty much like your insurance coverage. Make sure you understand what is included and the exclusions.

What to do if you hired the caregiver but you don’t feel comfortable with him/her?   You shouldn’t make any compromises, but call the agency and ask for a replacement.  If you don’t feel fully comfortable around this person, and if there is no good communication existent, you can search for somebody else.

That contract you sign is not a document that can force you to accept the services of someone you don’t feel comfortable around. Simply call the agency and inform them about your problem.

Things you Need to Know About In-Home Care Services

Did your loved one just go through a stroke? Do you currently struggle with a disability? Then, you should definitely consider researching the in-home care services available in your area. A caretaker can help you or your loved with everyday tasks, and with the overall recovery process. Improve your quality of life and overcome everyday obstacles with more ease.  Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 3.50.58 PM

About in-home care services

In-home care solutions are designed for people with a certain disability, who need help with tasks such as eating, bathing, shopping, taking care of everyday administrative tasks, etc. In home care services can prove extremely beneficial if you have difficulties caring for yourself or if your loved one struggles with problems such as a disability, recovery after a stroke, or recovery after a surgical intervention.

A specialized healthcare professional will visit your premises as often as needed to offer you help with these tasks. The caretaker will provide help with personal care, preparing your meals every day, assisting you with eating, bathing or changing your clothes.

Who can offer you in-home care services?

In-home care services can be offered by private health care agencies, professionals working in the public system or private individuals. As you will conduct your research, you will notice there are plenty of such provider options available, you just need to choose the one that mostly suits your needs, requirements and available budget. In order to make the best possible decision, you should research carefully, and read as much as possible about the different services offered by each provider available in your area.

About the services offered

Each provider is focused on a certain set of services offered through in-home care. Some providers focus on healthcare-related solutions such as helping you take your medications, or assisting with other healthcare-related tasks in your home. They might not offer personal services such as preparing your meals or assisting with your bathing routine. This is why it is extremely important to research carefully and ensure the provider you hire offers the types of services you need the most.

References are important

In your quest for the perfect in-home care provider, you should always consider references.  You need to hire the services of an agency that has a very good reputation and a provider with many positive reviews from other patients. Before making the final decision, always check references and credentials, to ensure you will receive the services at the highest standards of quality.

Advances in Early Testing for Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common causes of premature senility. The disease is basically a progressive mental deterioration, leading to permanent brain damage that interferes hugely with the patient’s personal life, well-beingScreen Shot 2016-07-11 at 3.45.24 PM and health. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s but the entire research world hopes to be able to find a way to diagnose Alzheimer’s before the destructive symptoms start to show. Just as with any other life threatening disease, Alzheimer’s can be managed much better if caught in its early stages.

Researchers from all over the world continue assiduous studies in this direction. They try to identify new ways in which it is indeed possible to diagnose the disease in its earliest phase. Some of the most important advances in early testing for Alzheimer’s disease include:

Early stage detection with the help of biomarkers study

Biomarkers (“Biological Markers”) are genes or molecules which have an extremely important genetic role- that of being able to ‘tell’ if there is a certain physiological damage/disease present in the human system. The greatest majority of experts in the field agree that biomarkers study represents the most accurate diagnosis tool for Alzheimer’s for the future.

Deep research and study of the biomarkers results in an accurate and very reliable indication of the presence of a certain disease. Today, a large number of biomarkers are studied to make it possible for early detection of Alzheimer’s disease. However, there are not available any validated and clinically acceptable biomarkers for Alzheimer’s, but researchers are quite positive that genetic risk profiling, Brain Imaging or Cerebrospinal Fluid Protein research can prove as very promising pathways in this field of study.

Earlier detection with Brain Imaging

In regards to early detection of Alzheimer’s, brain imaging is yet another highly promising path of research. Today, healthcare providers use MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), CT or even PET scans in order to check for brain-related disorders and problems. Specifically, an expert looks for amyloid plaque formation in the brain, which is a sign of Alzheimer’s, but which can also be an indication of other brain related disorders.

Experts in the field are quite positive about the fact that Neuroimaging as a whole is indeed a field of research that can prove extremely promising in the early detection of Alzheimer’s.

Some other pathways used in the research for early detection of the disease include the analysis of Cerebrospinal Fluid proteins, genetic risk profiling, blood proteins analysis or giving more clinical consideration to Mild Cognitive Impairment as being an inherent risk for developing Alzheimer’s later on in life.

The importance of medication adherence for senior health

Jun, 20, 2016

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Medication non-adherence means that seniors are not taking their medications just as prescribed. This could result in several negative impacts on the overall health and wellbeing of the patient. Some patients fail to follow the prescriptions and they forget to take their medications on a daily basis. Others might easily overdose in their medication, which again can have severe negative effects on overall health.

Are older adults at greater risk for medication non-adherence?

There are several factors that can play a role in the medication compliance process of an elderly adult. Seniors might lack proper education on how to administer their medication correctly, they might be given instructions that are just too vague, or the medications are too expensive for what they can afford to pay.

There are several studies conducted in the field, and they all show that approximately 35% to 40% of the elderly patients do not take their medications as they have been prescribed. They will either not take these medications at the right time, or they will not take them in the right dosage. Most of the seniors are prescribed several types of medications, with each having a different prescription and dosage.

Improving medication adherence is of major importance

Almost 30% of the hospital admissions regarding seniors are accounted to medication nonadherence. Then, the exact same problem might lead family members to seek professional care for their elderly loved one, such as admitting them into long-term care facilities where they are under strict supervision regarding all aspects of their life (including the proper administration of medications).

Medication non-adherence results quite often in:

  • Ineffective treatments
  • Worsening of the disease/condition of the senior
  • Toxicity as a result of overdose
  • Severe health complications

Educating seniors, family members and non-skilled caregivers regarding medication adherence

It is extremely important to educate properly the senior, his family members or the caregiver regarding the importance of medication adherence. As earlier noted, many seniors fail to take their medications as prescribed because they do not understand the negative side effects this might cause.

Also by educating family members on the issue, they will ensure their elderly loved one takes his/her medications just as prescribed, at the right time and in the right dosage. There are also several helpful tools available such as a Pill Counter which helps patients taking their medication always in the right dosage.

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It’s not personal! Understanding the Personality Changes of Dementia

Jun, 03, 2016

Dementia is a brain-related disease that unfortunately causes many long-term negative effects. The ability to think and to remember are the most affected, and this in turn leads to severe personality changes. As a healthcare provider, it is extremely important to understand how the disease progresses, and have a professional approach to all these personality changes. If a dementia patient has negative behavior, remember that it is not personal. You just need to learn how to handle everything in an utmost professional manner.

Some of the main behavioral issues arising with a patient with mid-stage Alzheimer’s include the following:

  • AggressivenessScreen Shot 2016-06-03 at 12.08.04 PM
  • Wandering
  • Difficulties in speaking
  • Difficulties in eating
  • Difficulties in remembering every day routine tasks
  • Sleeping disorders
  • Hallucinations

Patients exposed to all sorts of environmental changes will develop behavior related problems. Physical discomfort, surroundings that are unfamiliar, loud noises, or different environments can all accelerate the negative behavioral problems. As a professional caregiver, it is important to ensure that the patient finds himself in a relatively soothing environment where a routine is respected. This will help in reducing the main stress factors, in turn making the patient more calm and cooperative.

Reducing stress factors to encourage positive behavior

Behavioral issues in a Dementia patient are never on purpose. It is the disease that dictates all these changes, so it is your responsibility as a caregiver to try to comfort the patient a much as possible. Reducing stress factors is yet another highly important practice. When stress levels are reduced, the patient will feel comfortable in his own surroundings. This in turn leads to a calm state of mind and better cooperation for routine tasks that need to be performed.

  • Performing light physical exercise- Dementia patients require physical exercise in order to keep their joints and muscles in good shape. However, such regular exercise helps greatly in relieving stress. Just ensure to perform together very light, uncomplicated exercises to help with better oxygenation and create a “feel good” vibe.
  • Bringing back the past- Indeed, helping a Dementia patient remember his familiar, most loved memories can help greatly. If the patient does not receive too many visitors, it is a good idea to watch together a few family photos, or ask the patient to tell about his/her life. This is a very good stress reliever technique, and it may help bring back good memories.

 

Recognizing depression in elderly family members- a guide for caregivers

Jun, 02, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 8.58.20 AMRecognizing the signs and symptoms of depression in your elderly loved one is extremely important. Early recognition of these signs will help you get the appropriate type of care for your loved one. The elderly who are living alone, in a more isolated manner are most likely to develop depression. They feel not only lonely, but also useless which further aggravates the impact of depression. Medical problems, retirement (basically withdrawal from social life), loneliness, the loss of a loved one…are all potential triggers of depression in the elderly.

Main signs & symptoms of depression in the elderly

  • Persistent feeling of sadness. If your loved one is lately feeling much more sad than in general, this could be a red flag of depression
  • The inability to get a good night’s sleep. If your loved one tells you about sleep disturbances, restless sleeping, the inability to fall asleep or even oversleeping, you should pay a closer attention to the wellbeing of your elderly relative.
  • Loss of appetite/ sudden weight loss
  • Feelings of extreme fatigue without apparent reason
  • Losing interest in hobbies once he/she enjoyed. Withdrawal from society, friends and family
  • Not leaving home too frequently. Always coming up with excuses why he/she cannot pay a visit.
  • Use of alcohol/ increased use of drugs/
  • Persistent lack of motivation & low energy levels
  • The elderly complains consistently of pains and aches
  • Increased anxiety/ sudden memory loss issues
  • Speech and movement that is somewhat slowed

Paying attention to underlying medical conditions

The truth is that depression can easily be triggered by an underlying, diagnosed or undiagnosed medical condition. There are several disabling or even life threatening health conditions that can intensify the signs of depression with each day. Some of the medical conditions representing a risk for depression onset include: Thyroid related disorders, Dementia & Alzheimer’s Disease, Heart complications, or Stroke.

You should also pay attention to the medication your elderly loved one is taking. Often times, prescription medications can trigger depressive signs and symptoms. Ensure to carefully read the labels of each medication and if needed discuss with the doctor to switch certain prescription medication (especially if you consider depression might be a direct side effect of the medication).  Blood pressure medications, Steroid based medications, Anxiety and Sleeping pills can all trigger depression or make it much worse.

 

Knowing your limitations is key to caregiver success

May, 27, 2016

Being a caregiver for a Dementia patient is extremely challenging on both physical and emotional levels. Especially if you have a close connection with the patient, such as a family member, things can be even more burdensome. It is difficult to see your loved one losing the ability to think clearly, to remember cherished memories or to perform easy routine tasks. However, this is something you need to deal with but you also need to keep in mind that you have your own limitations as a person. You need to pay attention to yourself, to stay strong and calm so that you are capable of providing ongoing care to your loved one.

Know the exact problems   Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 1.53.26 PM

As a caregiver, you need to know exactly what you are dealing with. Discuss the general needs and requirements of the patient with a doctor. Know what to expect and how you should handle difficult issues. Always have on your side a healthcare provider whom you can contact anytime should you have questions or concerns.

Get training

In order not to drive yourself crazy with the overwhelming tasks, you should get some sort of training. Look around in your area if you can find any caregiving courses that you can take. By taking such a course you will get important knowledge on how to take care of your elderly loved one in the most efficient way. The courses do not cost a fortune, and they generally last a few weeks. You should make an effort and take the course. It will prove extremely helpful for both of you.

Be realistic

Unfortunately Alzheimer’s is a disease with a progressive worsening over time. The greatest majority of NCD’s do not have a cure, so you need to stay realistic, yet learn that you should never give up. Stay as positive in your approach as possible, and offer your loved one a serene and soothing environment where he/she can live with dignity. You should never allow yourself to reach your ultimate limits. If you feel you cannot handle it anymore, then it is time to offer your loved one the best alternative and search for a skilled caregiving facility.

We know that a family member or friend may be the best solution for many dementia patients but the caregivers for hire through Concierge Care can be a great supplemental or add on to your loved one’s care schedule if the need arises!   We’re always here for you and your family!    Call or email us at any time!

 

5 Ways to Encourage Mobility in Frail Seniors

May, 26, 2016

Maintaining good mobility is extremely important even at an advanced age. If your elderly loved one shows signs of fatigue, excessive sleepiness, lack of appetite and loss of interest in almost anything, you need to step in. Help your loved one get enough physical exercise throughout the day to maintain good bone health and a strong musculature, but also a good emotional stability.

Let’s check out the top 5 ways in which you can encourage mobility in the elderly  

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1.    Take a walk every day

If you are a caregiver for your elderly, encourage him/her to take a nice walk every day before or after meals. Getting out on the fresh air will help not only with good mobility, but also with an increased appetite and a better overall tonus and mood. If the elderly refuses to go, simply tell him/her you are going to meet with the grandchildren, or that you are going to have a surprise meal when you are back. In many ways, the elderly are like children, so you really need to reinforce your will in some way or another.

2.    Outdoor Walks in Nature

If possible, take your loved one a short trip now and then. Also take your camera and encourage him/her to take nice photographs of natural landscapes. This way, you can both perform a nice hobby hike and also exercise through walking. Of course, the length of the trip highly depends on the physical condition of your relative.

3.    Physical exercise at home

Suggest a routine of light gymnastics exercises each evening before sleep. You should work out a set of really light exercises such as stretching, lifting light weights while listening to music, etc. You should come up with a different set of exercises for every day in order to maintain diversity. Walking or playing fetch with the family dog is also a form of light physical exercise that can greatly help maintaining mobility in seniors.

4.    Indoors exercise bike

Yet another fun and entertaining way of encouraging mobility is to purchase an indoors exercise bike. Tell your loved one to use the bike for light exercising at least 20 minutes every day. Many seniors love using such home sports gear, so you might get lucky with your idea.

5.    Home chores

Perhaps it is time you take a break from doing the laundry, washing the dishes or vacuuming around the house. Tell your relative you could really need some help with these chores from now. This is yet another ingenious idea for encouraging mobility in a frail senior. Take it easy, but still let your loved one perform the easier tasks at home (under your supervision of course!).

www.conciergecarefl.com

Alzheimer Patients Communication Techniques

May, 19, 2016

Do’s in communicating with an Alzheimer patient

  • Always keep a friendly, soft tone of voice even if you notice the patient is becoming somewhat aggressive in communication. It is the disease doing it, not the person.
  • Always observe the non-verbal communication of the patient. For example, someone licking his/her lips frequently might be thirsty, but might not be able to express that verbally.
  • Try to discuss frequently about familiar things, events, people. Alzheimer patients struggle with great brain damages, so they need constant reminders about familiar things. Help the patient remember dear memories or talk about family members and events that represent a pleasant memory for the patient.
  • Smile often when talking, and speak in a slow and calm manner
  • Praise the person as soon as possible. This will help raising their self-confidence, which is extremely important for a person struggling with such a disease
  • Be patient and wait for the answer. Patients with Alzheimer’s need time to process information and they need time to express themselves. Communication will not go as fast as with a healthy person, so just be patient.
  • Maintaining eye contact while talking is important. This will help the patient assimilate better what you are talking about, and maintaining eye contact is a sign of friendliness and kindness in any communication.  Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 11.37.39 AM

Don’ts in communicating with an Alzheimer patient

  • Arguing is the worst you can do. Alzheimer patients can easily become aggressive in their communication; there is no need to amplify this effect. Remember, you are the caregiver so you need to show understanding, calmness and patience
  • Communicating while you are angry. When you are angry because the patient doesn’t seem to cooperate, it doesn’t help trying to communicate. Calm down and try explaining things again later.
  • Using a demanding tone. This is not good for anyone. Show respect when you are talking to an Alzheimer’s patient and keep in mind that all that aggressiveness or inability to communicate is caused by the disease, and not by the person.
  • Treating your patient like a child in communication. There is no need to use baby talk with your patient, but try to communicate the way you do with an adult.
  • Using complex phrases. This is yet another mistake, because patients have a huge difficulty in understanding complex phrases, nuances in speaking or irony. Use simple and clear language, while waiting patiently for an answer.

Things you Need to Know About In-Home Care Services

May, 16, 2016

Did your loved one just go through a stroke?  Do you currently struggle with a disability?   Then, you should definitely consider researching the in-home care services available in your area.   A caretaker can help you or your loved with everyday tasks, and with the overall recovery process. Improve your quality of life and overcome everyday obstacles with more ease.

About in-home care services

In-home care solutions are designed for people who need help with tasks such as eating, bathing, shopping, taking care of everyday administrative tasks, etc.   In home care services can prove extremely beneficial if you have difficulties caring for yourself or if your loved one struggles with problems such as a disability, recovery after a stroke, or recovery after a surgical intervention.   Services can range from personal care, companionship, cleaning of the house, transportation, etc.

A caring nurse will often visit your home to help talk through possible options on the front end.   Thereafter the loving caregivers will provide help with personal care, preparing your meals every day, assisting you with eating, bathing or changing your clothes.

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Who can offer you in-home care services?

In-home care services can be offered by private healthcare agencies.  As you will conduct your research, you will notice there are plenty of such provider options available, you just need to choose the one that mostly suits your needs, requirements and available budget.  In order to make the best possible decision, you should research carefully, and read as much as possible about the different services offered by each provider available in your area.  Make sure that the agency is boned, insured, and accredited to ensure that the level of care and protection to your family member is there.

About the services offered

Each provider is focused on a certain set of services offered through in-home care.  Some providers focus on healthcare related solutions such as helping you take your medications, or assisting with other healthcare related tasks in your home. They might not offer personal services such as preparing your meals or assisting with your bathing routine. This is why it is extremely important to research carefully and ensure the provider you hire offers the types of services you need the most.

References are important

In your quest for the perfect in-home care provider, you should always consider references.  Hire the services of an agency that has a very good reputation and a provider with many positive reviews from other clients.  Before making the final decision, always check references and credentials, to ensure you will receive the services at the highest standards of quality.

First Subtle Signs of Dementia

Apr, 28, 2016

Exact diagnosing of dementia can be extremely confusing and difficult even for healthcare providers. This is so because the general signs and symptoms of dementia can actually be the sign of some other disease or health problem that is only temporary. However, there are several subtle signs that if present at the same time can actually be a very sure indication that this is an onset of dementia.

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If you notice that your loved one struggles with memory related problems, this could indicate the start of dementia. According to experts in the field, in order for a patient to be diagnosed with dementia there must be present minimum 2 different impairments. For example, your loved one could struggle with a clear memory loss problem and difficulties in communicating or difficulties in remembering the name of things (language related issues). Language, focus, communication, and reasoning are the four clearest types of impairments a patient with dementia onset struggles with.

Not being able to find the right words

In case you notice that your loved one has huge difficulties in trying to explain everyday things, or problems with basic communication, you should consider medical help. A typical conversation with a patient who has dementia is extremely ‘elongated’- it takes much more time to conclude a phrase or a simple conversation than with people who do not have dementia.

Mood swings

Yet another typical sign of dementia is represented by sudden changes in mood. It is not difficult to notice that your loved one is struggling with depression, feelings of loneliness and a lot of sadness. As already noted this symptom, if present isolated does not necessarily indicate dementia. However, if depression is present alongside memory loss or communication problems, your loved one might be susceptible to developing dementia.

The inability to complete regular tasks

It could be an early sign of dementia if your loved one is suddenly not capable of performing everyday tasks that he/she completed so effortlessly in the past (arranging clothes on a hanger, dusting, even flipping the pages of a book, eating or dressing).

Immediately as you notice such problems present in your elderly parent, you should get medical help. A thorough checkup is needed, and if the diagnosis is confirmed you will need to be prepared for several upcoming issues. You will need to learn to cope with the health problem of your dear one, and learn to provide your patient the best possible assistance throughout all stages of the disease.

Big Benefits of Home Care for the Elderly

Apr, 26, 2016

Home healthcare is becoming an extremely popular solution for people who require assistance. Seniors struggling with a disability or a health condition such as Alzheimer’s disease prefer to continue living at home, rather than going to a nursing home.

They prefer living at home, in an environment filled with affection, among people and things they know for a lifetime now. As someone who needs to take care of an elderly parent, considering in-home care might represent the best solution you can consider. Keep reading to find out the main benefits of choosing home care instead of a nursing home:

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In-home care means that a highly skilled and experienced assistant will help your dear one with everyday tasks. The assistant will focus solely on your parent with everything that he/she needs. In a nursing home, seniors do not benefit of such close attention.

If you are hiring an assistant through an agency, just make sure to have a personal interview with each candidate. Ensure your parent will benefit of the care of a professional who indeed has the experience and knowledge to take care of your elderly parent.

Saving time- get more quality time with your dear one

If you remain the main caregiver for your elderly parent, you will not have the time to take care of all important tasks. Home care services can help you save precious time, because the professional will focus on all tasks delegated to him: doing the laundry, cleaning, shopping, preparing the meals, and more. This way, you have more quality time at your hands that you can spend with your loved one.

Improving quality of life

A caregiver can help seniors improve their life quality. When a caregiver is present at home for several hours a day, this means your loved one will get important social interaction with someone outside the family. The caregiver is a professional who knows and understands the needs of an elderly person struggling with a certain condition.

The caregiver knows how to prepare meals, how offer advice and counseling on a psychological level or how to ensure all important tasks are being taken care of within the required timeframe.

If you have considered in-home care services for your elderly parent, you should start with a thorough research. Ensure to find an agency that is reputable and experienced in the field, offering top quality solutions on a reliable budget.

Concierge Care may be able to help.

 

Advances in Early Testing for Alzheimer’s Disease

Apr, 08, 2016

Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common causes of premature senility. The disease is basically a progressive mental deterioration, leading to permanent brain damage that interferes hugely with the patient’s personal life, wellbeing and health. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s but the entire research world hopes to be able to find a way to diagnose Alzheimer’s before the destructive symptoms start to show. Just as with any other life threatening disease, Alzheimer’s can be managed much better if caught in its early stages.

Researchers from all over the world continue assiduous studies in this direction. They try to identify new ways in which it is indeed possible to diagnose the disease in its earliest phase. Some of the most important advances in early testing for Alzheimer’s disease include:Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 1.20.43 PM

Early stage detection with the help of biomarkers study

Biomarkers (“Biological Markers”) are genes or molecules which have an extremely important genetic role- that of being able to ‘tell’ if there is a certain physiological damage/disease present in the human system. The greatest majority of experts in the field agree that biomarkers study represents the most accurate diagnosis tool for Alzheimer’s for the future.

Deep research and study of the biomarkers results in an accurate and very reliable indication of the presence of a certain disease. Today, a large number of biomarkers are studied to make it possible for early detection of Alzheimer’s disease. However, there are not available any validated and clinically acceptable biomarkers for Alzheimer’s, but researchers are quite positive that genetic risk profiling, Brain Imaging or Cerebrospinal Fluid Protein research can prove as very promising pathways in this field of study.

Earlier detection with Brain Imaging

In regards to early detection of Alzheimer’s, brain imaging is yet another highly promising path of research. Today, healthcare providers use MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), CT or even PET scans in order to check for brain related disorders and problems. Specifically, an expert looks for amyloid plaque formation in the brain, which is a sign of Alzheimer’s, but which can also be an indication of other brain related disorders.

Experts in the field are quite positive about the fact that Neuroimaging as a whole is indeed a field of research that can prove extremely promising in the early detection of Alzheimer’s.

Some other pathways used in the research for early detection of the disease include the analysis of Cerebrospinal Fluid proteins, genetic risk profiling, blood proteins analysis or giving more clinical consideration to Mild Cognitive Impairment as being an inherent risk for developing Alzheimer’s later on in life.

www.conciergecarefl.com

7 Warning Signs that a Senior May Require In-Home Care Services

Apr, 06, 2016

If you notice that the general behavior of your elderly relative has changed drastically over the last period, maybe he/she needs some help. Your dear one does not pay attention to wear clean and nicely ironed clothes like before, he/she tends to be more and more forgetful, and he/she does not go out as often as before. It is time to look for an in-home care provider agency and hire the services of a caretaker.

Important signs indicating that your loved needs home care services:Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 8.24.56 AM

  • Things around the house are extremely unorganized. Clothes just keep piling up, there is no fresh food in the fridge the dishes are also piling up.
  • You can notice bruising on the arm or leg of your loved one. These can be clear signs of slips and falls, and signs that professional assistance is required.
  • You can clearly see that your relative has difficulties walking around the house and taking care of routine tasks- laundry, personal hygiene, preparing meals, etc.
  • The house is not well aerated. You can notice strong, unpleasant smells in the house.
  • Loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss. Your dear one does not respect a balanced diet, and tends to forget to consume enough food and enough liquids for good hydration.
  • You can clearly notice mood swings. Once you can see your relative is extremely sad and feels lonely, while at other times there is an unexplained cheeriness noticeable.
  • Your relative has been recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s onset. This is the moment when the family gets together and discusses the possibilities. There is the nursing home option available, but also the home care solution. In home care is especially recommended in the early stages of the disease when symptoms are not crucial requiring 24 hour assistance yet.

Home care services can prove extremely helpful in such cases. A professional will arrive to the home of the patient and spend several hours every day, carrying out a wide range of tasks. These tasks may include:

  • Help with personal hygiene care- bathing, dressing up
  • Laundry, ironing vacuuming, preparing the meals
  • Reminding the patient to take prescribed medication
  • Help with transportation (to and from the clinic, doctor’s appointments, socializing)
  • Offering companionship
  • Administrative tasks- paying the bills, collecting the mail, etc.
  • Help with shopping/groceries
  • Reminding the person about upcoming events, appointments

Contact us today for a free assessment to see if we may be able to help!   www.conciergecarefl.com

Warning Signs that a Senior Requires Home Care Services

Apr, 04, 2016

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If you notice that the general behavior of your elderly relative or family member has changed drastically over the last period of time, maybe he/she needs some help. Your loved one does not pay attention to wear clean and nicely ironed clothes like before, he/she tends to be more and more forgetful, and he/she does not go out as often as before. It is time to look for an in-home care provider agency and hire the services of a caretaker or caregiver.

Important signs indicating that your loved needs home care services:

  • Things around the house are extremely unorganized. Clothes just keep piling up, there is no fresh food in the fridge the dishes are also piling up.
  • You can notice bruising on the arm or leg of your loved one. These can be clear signs of slips and falls, and signs that professional assistance is required.
  • You can clearly see that your relative has difficulties walking around the house and taking care of routine tasks- laundry, personal hygiene, preparing meals, etc.
  • The house is not well aerated. You can notice strong, unpleasant smells in the house.
  • Loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss. Your dear one does not respect a balanced diet, and tends to forget to consume enough food and enough liquids for good hydration.
  • You can clearly notice mood swings. Once you can see your relative is extremely sad and feels lonely, while at other times there is an unexplained cheeriness noticeable.
  • Your relative has been recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s onset. This is the moment when the family gets together and discusses the possibilities. There is the nursing home option available, but also the home care solution. In home care is especially recommended in the early stages of the disease when symptoms are not crucial requiring 24 hour assistance yet.

Home care services can prove extremely helpful in such cases. A professional will come to the home of the patient and spend several hours every day, carrying out a wide range of tasks. These tasks may include:

  • Help with personal hygiene care- bathing, dressing up
  • Laundry, ironing vacuuming, preparing the meals
  • Reminding the patient to take prescribed medication
  • Help with transportation (to and from the clinic, doctor’s appointments, socializing)
  • Offering companionship
  • Administrative tasks- paying the bills, collecting the mail, etc.
  • Help with shopping/groceries
  • Reminding the person about upcoming events, appointments

The Concierge Care in Jacksonville and Ormond Beach Florida would love to help if needed!   www.conciergecarefl.com

Best Physical Exercise Tips for the Elderly

Mar, 30, 2016

Seniors need to respect a healthy and regular schedule of physical exercise in order to maintain good mobility, good health and a general sense of wellbeing. If you notice that your elderly dear one does not exercise enough, and that he/she became quite inactive then it may be time that you remind them how important physical exercise is.  Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 8.28.34 AM

Physical exercise strengthens the immune system

With regular walks outdoors, slight jogging or water aerobics, seniors will enjoy a much stronger immune system. This also translates into fewer colds, flu syptoms, allergies and other discomforting signs and symptoms of such immune system related diseases. You should not try to reinforce a strenuous physical exercise upon your loved one, but it is enough if he/she will perform such activities for only 30 minutes every day.

Physical exercise improves cardiovascular function

With regular physical exercise, blood circulation becomes better, and the heart becomes stronger. For someone 60+ years old, it is extremely important to pay attention to a good circulation and to heart protective habits (such as regular exercise, consuming meals very rich in vitamins and minerals, etc.)

Physical exercise strengthens the digestive system

Inactivity most often translates into a slow digestion. This also means that seniors need to take all sorts of over the counter medications to be able to digest better. All these can be avoided, and the digestive system becomes more efficient if the person respects a regular schedule of physical exercise.

Lower risk for Alzheimer’s

It has been proven that regular stimulation of the brain and the physique helps lowering the risk for Alzheimer’s/ Dementia. Regular exercise encourages better balance in the elderly, and an overall stronger body which means these seniors are less exposed to accidental falls in the home because of a weak body.

Physical exercise tips for seniors:

  • Joining the local gym for special senior gymnastics
  • Water aerobics- helps strengthening musculature and it also works on a psychological levels (meeting new people, avoiding isolation so common in the elderly)
  • Swimming, cycling or walking for at least 30 minutes a day.
  • Strength training- once or twice a week helps strengthening bone density & musculature
  • Flexibility and stretching exercises are also important. Stretching exercises should be performed before the regular exercise program, to help warming up the muscles and thus reduce stiffness and soreness.

Before engaging in any type of physical activity, it is imperative to get the advice of a licensed physician. Seniors struggling with certain conditions might be forbidden to practice strength training or water sports for example.

 

Protect your Brain & Reduce the Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

Mar, 28, 2016

Mainstream knowledge regarding Alzheimer’s is that you cannot actually prevent it in any way. Once the disease is there, you can only hope that things can be made easier with the help of proper medication…

The good news is that research has made a huge leap in this direction, and it proved that people can do several lifestyle-related changes that can help preventing Alzheimer’s. Regular physical exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, regular physical checkups and ‘brain training’ related tasks can all play a major role in reducing the risk of one of the most terrifying and debilitating diseases: Alzheimer’s.  Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 4.42.22 PM

Introduce regular physical exercise in your schedule.

Regardless of whether you are 30 or 50, psychical exercise can be equally beneficial to your entire system. It helps enhancing your mood, it makes you muscles stronger, and it helps with eliminating toxins from your system. Experts recommend that people should follow a routine of at least 3 hours of moderate exercising on a weekly basis. Did you know that with regular physical exercise you can actually reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s even by 50%? It is worth starting to think about what are your favorite sports.

A healthy diet promotes healthy energy production for the brain

With Alzheimer’s everything starts with the brain. Memory loss, depression, the inability to perform everyday tasks, confusion, the inability to carry on a basic conversation…are all brain related impairments associated with Alzheimer’s. Now, if you will start following a healthy diet, you will give your system and your brain the right nutrients it needs to develop the right types of signals and connections in your body.

Limit your dairy and meat intake to a minimum, and focus more on crispy vegetables, fruits, olive oil, fish, and plenty of grains. Protect your brain cells from damage by consuming larger amounts of green tea, fatty dish, blueberries and ginger on a regular basis. Eating 5 small meals rather than only 3 will help you maintain good insulin levels, and stay away from brain inflammation-related problems by cutting out from your diet prepackaged foods and white flour + sugar based foods.

Start making a change today. It is important to shift towards a healthier lifestyle, not only because we want to avoid Alzheimer’s disease, but also because we want to avoid the hundreds of other highly dangerous diseases that can leave irreversible marks on our system.

Concierge Care – In-Home Senior Care Jacksonville, Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach Florida

Important Evaluation Factors to Consider when Deciding to Get In-Home Care

Mar, 18, 2016

If you are struggling with a disability, or any health condition that does not allow you to fully take care of yourself, you should consider professional help. Namely, you have two options: choosing a nursing home or the in-home care system.

Certainly, most people would like to stay at home instead of going to a nursing home or other facility. Is staying home the right choice for you?   What are some important evaluation criteria to consider when deciding to get in-home care? Keep reading to find out.  : )

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  • In-home accessibility– what types of home modifications do you need to make in order to have free access in your home? Do you/Will you need to use the wheelchair? If yes, then you need to reach all cupboards in your home, and eliminate any obstacles to use your wheelchair without problems. You really need to weigh your options very well, and decide which solution suits best your current and future health condition. If your condition is temporary, you can consider in-home care. However, if your situation is predicted to worsen, you might need more professional help on a 24-hour basis.
  • Family & friends support– can you rely on your family members for help whenever you need it? There is shopping that needs to be done, administrative tasks to be taken care of, and personal care issues where you require help. If you cannot count on your family members for such support, but you still want to continue staying at home, you will need daily assistance from a caretaker.
  • Socializing- can you leave your home with ease? Can you meet with your friends and family whenever you want? Isolation can be a huge problem that has serious repercussions on your quality of life and wellbeing. Even though you are now facing health issues, you need to continue staying active and socialize as frequently as possible. Consider this side as well when you are making your choice.
  • What can you afford? Research your options and calculate how much it would cost you to receive the in-home care you need. Which solution is the most affordable to you? Do you need 24-hour coverage, or will having someone visit once a day cover for your current needs? Healthcare and personal care assistance can get quite expensive, and you can run out of budget very quickly. This is why it is important to plan ahead and make some estimative calculations on how much would everything cost you in the long run.

www.conciergecarefl.com – Jacksonville, Ormond Beach, Daytona Beach Florida.

Stress Management Techniques to Prevent Dementia & Alzheimer’s

Mar, 16, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 9.13.16 AM Severe stress can have a very bad influence on the good functioning of the brain. Living in today’s hectic world, it is no wonder that more and more people struggle with different levels of stress. Too much stress can lead to shrinkage of certain parts of the brain that are responsible for memory, and as you might already know memory loss and other related impairments represent the number one risk for developing Alzheimer’s. Therefore, here you have several important stress management techniques that can help you prevent such dangerous brain related impairments:

Introduce relaxation in your daily routine

Every single day you should allocate at least 20 minute for deep relaxation/meditation. Relaxation helps you manage stress much better, and it helps you clear your mind from any negative thoughts. Relaxation can be active such as simply taking a walk, or it can be deep meditation such as Yoga.

Breathing techniques

When you are under a lot of stress, your breathing becomes heavier/faster. When your breathing is not regular your brain does not receive enough oxygen. Therefore, oxygenize your brain by trying to breathe in deeply as often as you can. Abdominal breathing helps regenerating your entire system, and also gives your brain the right mounts of oxygen.

Try a new hobby- do what you like more…

Arts and crafts can be extremely useful in trying to manage your stress levels. Just put everything aside for a certain period and engage in your favorite hobby: knitting, doing puzzles, watch movies, reading your favorite novel and even writing poetry. When you are under a lot of pressure and you feel stress is overwhelming, the only way to make things better is to focus on something else.

Healing laughter

Stress is sadness, feelings of loneliness and unmanageable problems. Focusing only on work and administrative tasks or chores is not a good for you or your brain. Fun, laughter, more cherished moments spent with your family and friends can have a healing effect on your entire system. You will feel regenerated and you will be able to think much clearer and take the right decision…if you ensure to put fun and laughter on an important pedestal in your life.

It is said that a healthy sense of humor helps fighting off stress like no medicine out there. Enjoy funny moments with your loved ones and don’t forget to maintain a strong sense of humor in front of all the difficulties coming your way.

Choose a Good Lifestyle: Top 10 Habits that will Help you Stay Fit

Mar, 15, 2016

Intellectual decline is the number one risk factor of aging. Moreover, certain intellect decline symptoms may represent a signal of alert for developing Alzheimer’s disease. Now, research shows that as long as you ‘train your brain’ with enough intensity you can take little steps in preventing such a debilitating disease. Check out this top 10 list for things you can do to age beautifully and keep your brain as sharp as possible:  Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 8.55.43 AM

  1. Don’t let your brain ‘age’. Use it for complex puzzle solving, for assimilating new information. Your brain needs workout just as your body needs regular exercise to stay fit.
  2. Aging doesn’t mean you have the ‘right’ to sit on your couch all day and watch TV shows. Don’t allow obesity, depression or inactivity to take over the good functioning of your body and mind.
  3. Physical exercise is a must. Perform at least 3 hours of moderate exercise per week to maintain your fit levels up – body & mind!
  4. Eat healthy. If you consume the right nutrients, your brain will get the right oxygenation levels and your system will stay strong.
  5. Take care of your blood vessels. Ensure you take your hypertension medication and that you do everything possible to maintain good blood circulation. Hypertension is a huge enemy for the blood vessels in your brain.
  6. Take your daily vitamins. You need them now more than ever. Talk to your doctor about prescribing the right complex of vitamins to help you stay energized and healthy.
  7. Eliminate from your life white flour and sugar. You don’t want to struggle with diabetes and you don’t want to end up with obesity for old age. Keep your system and brain healthy by cutting out from your diet prepackaged snacks, too much meat, and sugary foods.
  8. Follow the directions of your doctor. Don’t just keep those medicines in the drawer. The fact that ‘you feel good’ doesn’t mean there is no serious damage undergoing.
  9. Exercise your lungs. Take very deep breaths, and practice abdominal breathing as often as you can. This type of breathing maintains your brain well functioning and well oxygenated.
  10. Take your brain for a walk. Get out of the house as much as you can. Take long walks on the fresh air, or sip your morning coffee outside. Fresh air does wonders to your body, soul and brain.

Depression in Seniors: Building our Mental Muscles

Mar, 11, 2016

Depression is quite a serious psychological disorder that affects millions of people around the world, every single year. Those at the highest risk for developing depression are seniors, who feel they are not needed anymore as much. They start to lose interest in daily activities, they isolate more from the outside world and they struggle with a constant feeling of sadness. Psychological counseling, combined with proper medication will help healing from depression. Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 7.45.14 AM

On the other hand, if the signs and symptoms of depression are caught early, there are plenty of things that can be done to reverse the problem. Also, if you pay special attention to your senior loved one in moments of greater vulnerability (such as an illness, a disability, after a stroke, etc.), depression can be avoided altogether.

Some important tips to help building mental muscle, feel better & avoid depression:

  • Eliminate negative thinking– every single day, try to find something you are appreciative about. Give thanks for the fact that you are alive, for the fact that you have a beautiful family and that your loved ones are healthy. With this practice, you will change your attitude towards life, and with more positivism it is easier to avoid states of depression.
  • Socialize- work out a pattern. Socializing is when family comes to visit you, and socializing can be a nice cup of tea shared with your caregiver in the afternoon. You don’t necessarily have to go out of the house in order to socialize. Just make sure you interact with people you like and love every day.
  • Time for a hobby– there is no better way to build your mental muscles and dexterity than engaging in your favorite hobby. This can be solving a puzzle, reading a detective story, sewing, or even reading a few funny stories/jokes. Do everything it takes to be surrounded by many positive tasks throughout the day, and you will feel better and look better. Avoid depression altogether.
  • Fresh air- even ten minutes spent on the fresh air every day will change your entire mood. Take a few deep breaths, and admire the little beauties of the outdoor environment. If you can’t take very long walks, it is enough if you spend an hour in your own garden, or on the patio. Just get out to fresh air and you will see that your entire thinking and appetite for life will change.

Call Concierge Care In-Home and Live In Care if we can help you in any way!   www.concergecarefl.com

Choosing the Right Long Term Care Insurance

Mar, 10, 2016

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Buying insurance is never easy, especially because there is a huge pool of providers out there competing with each other. However, when you are about to purchase Long Term Care insurance, you need to know that you make an investment in your future health and wellbeing. You need to research well, and keep in mind several factors that will help you make a well informed decision:

WHEN you buy the insurance is important

The sooner, the better. Buying a Long Term Care policy while you are young will bring you plenty of benefits. Insurers like to know they offer their products on a risk free basis. When you are young you are healthy, so you have plenty of years ahead in which you will make payments, without needing coverage. Buy Long Term care insurance as soon as possible, and enjoy great coverage by the time you need it, if you will need it.

Pay attention to the details

Choose a steady provider. Ensure the premiums of the policy will not change, and also ensure that you can afford to pay these premiums. If the payments on your policy will be interrupted in the future (provided you cannot pay them anymore) the policy will be cancelled. Research well, and buy insurance through a reliable and reputable provider.

Talk to an expert

If you are not sure which type of insurance to buy, or if you consider that there will be great changes in your financial situation, talk to an expert. A highly skilled and experienced financial adviser can provide assistance and explain all your options. He will teach you about the best ways to make savings for your future, or which type of Long Term Care insurance policy would best suit your needs, considering your current situation.

What’s included

Just like any other insurance policy, a Long Term care insurance will have its inclusions and limitations. It is important to read carefully the maximum amount covered in the policy, and the exclusions. You may be glad to find a low cost policy, but this one will most probably have plenty of limitations. You have the right to know exactly what is included and what is excluded, as well as the maximum amount covered in the policy. If you do not clearly understand all these provisions, you should ask an expert to explain them to you.

If we can help in any way please let us know!   www.conciergecarefl.com

What is Long Term Care Insurance

Feb, 25, 2016

Long term care is the type of assistance provided to people with disabilities, seniors or to any other person requiring help with activities of daily living. Some people require only a few hours of help every day with personal care issues such as dressing, preparing the meals or bathing. Other people might require more specialized help in the form of medical assistance (administering medications, IV treatments and so on).

People who do not have the correct type of coverage will need to pay out of pocket for these services if and when needed. However, the good news is that specialized Long Term Care insurance can offer the required coverage for such services. Such insurance is different from the one provided by your employer. Long Term Care insurance is typically provided through private insurance networks.

Buying long term care insurance

Before you actually sign for a policy, it is extremely important to perform a thorough market research. The market is simply flooded by private insurers offering all sorts of long term care insurance options. Read carefully everything online and in the fine print. Ensure that there are plenty of important inclusions in your policy, and not too many restrictions.

Just as with any type of insurance, a long term care policy provider can suddenly increase the policy premiums. A wise idea is to check the premium rate history of the provider and see how often and to what extent did the provider increase the cost of these types of policies.

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 8.43.53 AMOther important facts to keep in mind:

  • Check the coverage limits of your policy before purchasing it. Are these limits reasonable, or will you pay for long years for a coverage that is very poor?
  • Research well and see if you can find a provider that offers coverage for the care costs for lifetime. This means the insurer will pay for the care costs, regardless for how long this type of care is needed. It might be difficult to find a long term care policy on such good terms, but it is not impossible.
  • Medical checks are typically required when you are about to purchase such insurance. If you have pre-existing conditions, or you present a generally poor health, the provider faces risks and thus might not make you eligible for the insurance policy.
  • Long term care insurance may cover for the costs of your care at home or in specialized institutions.

Essential Nutrition Tips for your Elderly Dear Ones

Feb, 22, 2016

A well balanced diet with plenty of vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients will help maintaining a good health while aging. The dietary needs of aging people are much more different than the needs of a younger adult. You need to ensure that your senior loved one gets all the essential nutrients in their everyday diet, and this will help them avoid the risks of several diseases (from simple colds and flu and up to more serious internal or memory related problems). meal

Seniors need more Calcium

With aging, the bone system becomes more brittle and exposed to risks such as arthritis, osteoporosis or even broken bones from a simple fall. Increase the daily intake of Calcium for seniors, but keep in mind that diversified food is important. People 55+ require at least 1200 milligrams of Calcium per day. This requirement can be reached either by taking supplements or by eating plenty of Calcium rich foods such as dairy milk, soy milk, leafy greens, turnip greens, etc.

Seniors need more Omega 3 fatty Acids

These types of fatty acids are known to prevent important health risks such as arthritis, heart complications or even cancerous diseases. Introduce in the diet of your loved one at least 3 servings of fish per week, and ensure they consume on a regular basis Omega 3 fatty acid rich foods such as walnuts, flaxseed oil or canola oil.

Seniors need less Sodium

If your loved one struggles with hypertension (high blood pressure), it is important to reduce immediately the sodium intake. Foods that are high in sodium include prepackaged or frozen foods, and processed foods. These are much higher in sodium content than table salt. Ensure your loved one consumes on a regular basis low sodium based nutrients such as beans, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and grains.

Seniors need more hydration

Seniors tend to ‘forget’ to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Their hydration needs are just as important as the needs of someone much younger. Therefore, ensure your loved one drinks liquids often (besides water, hydration is ensured by consuming soups, fresh juices, and tea). Dehydration can be easily noticed in the urine. If the urine is golden and of a clear consistence, then the body is properly hydrated. If the urine is of a cloudy consistence, the system is dehydrated and it needs more fluid intake.

If our Jacksonville or Ormond Beach teams can point you in the right direction just let us know!   www.conciergecarefl.com

Main Benefits of Early Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease

Feb, 19, 2016

Early detection of Alzheimer’s or other memory-related problems has plenty of advantages. Just as with almost every other life-threatening disease, early detection of Alzheimer’s can help slow down/stop the problem at its roots.  Let’s see which these advantages of early detection are:

  • You can start proper medical treatment– the disease is caught early, and the healthcare provider can work out a really efficient health plan to help with the recovery process. Side effects and progression of Alzheimer’s can be slowed down if the disease is caught early enough.
  • You can learn about the newest available treatment options, clinical trials, etc. Once the disease is detected in its early stage, you have plenty of time to research treatment options, to get professional medical advice that helps slowing down the progress of dementia, or enroll in certain clinical trials that are available for this particular disease.
  • Get the knowledge you need. When the disease is detected early enough, you will have the time to become really educated on the subject. You can invest quality time into research and reading clinical materials upon this subject. You and your family can then get prepared for everything that will come in the next stages of the disease. With proper knowledge and education, you will always be prepared to confront with any difficulty/complication that will arise in the future
  • Make the necessary arrangements. For example, you can take your time to make living or home modification arrangements. If you live alone, you might want to consider a nursing home or make arrangements for in-home living (home modifications, discussing with a home living agency regarding the services offered, hiring a caretaker, etc.)
  • Join support groups– you will be able to join several support groups where you will meet people struggling with the same condition. You will learn how to cope with what comes ahead, and what other necessary steps you should take to improve your quality of life.
  • Giving a boost to you lifestyle. Early detection of any health problem is like triggering an alarm signal. You can start by cutting out from your life all the hazards and make truly important changes. Introduce physical exercise in your everyday schedule, change your diet, or stimulate your brain with more helpful activities. Such healthy habits will help you look and feel much better, and of course reduce several collateral risks.

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Deciding to Live at Home: Making the Necessary Modifications

Feb, 15, 2016

The greatest majority of seniors struggling with a disability or needing rehabilitation after a disease (such as stroke, Alzheimer’s, etc.) wish to keep living at home. They want to be surrounded by their loving family and by things they know so well. Deciding to live at home is an extremely important decision, and one of the first things to consider is what kinds of home modifications are needed to make in-home living comfortable.  Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 9.14.27 AM

Check out below a few of the most common difficulties that seniors with health problems need to overcome, and the available modification related options:

  • Not being able to get out of the home without help- a senior living with a disability, or a mental related illness requires assistance when getting in and out of home. The installation of a temporary or permanent ramp should be a helpful solution. There are many companies out there offering professional wheelchair ramp installation services. Most of the times, installing a ramp takes only a few hours.
  • Not being able to climb stairs (weakened legs)- many seniors will opt for the installation of sturdy handrails on both sides of the staircase for help. This way, you do not have to become dependent of assistance all the time when you need to climb the stairs to go to your bedroom.
  • No being able to take a shower/bath without assistance- installation of grab bars, or a shower seat can help seniors bathe or take a shower without assistance.
  • Narrow doorways (cannot pass through with the wheelchair)- an important home modification in this case is to install swing clear hinges (or create wider doorways so that wheelchair assisted transportation is easy).
  • Cannot reach countertops, cabinets, etc.- this is a larger scale modification where lowered countertops need to be installed and a full kitchen transformation may be required.

These are only a few examples of the home modifications that might be required if your senior loved decides to live at home, but needs assistance with daily living. Depending on the type/complexity of the modification, this might require a larger investment. This is why it is important to calculate carefully if the modifications will indeed give your loved one the independence and freedom of movement needed, and if these modifications are indeed worthwhile financially speaking.

Keep in mind that home modifications do not necessarily grant the independence and autonomy needed for an older adult to live at home (24 hour assistance might be also needed, and then a nursing home can represent a more efficient solution).   If we can help guide you in any way just contact us at support@conciergecarefl.com.

Identify Fall & Safety Hazards in your Home

Feb, 12, 2016

Deciding to live at home requires plenty of preparations.  Struggling with a disability or a health condition such Alzheimer’s, means that the patient needs ongoing assistance. Besides the help offered by a caregiver, it is also important to ensure that the patient has a high degree of independence and autonomy.

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Around the house there might be certain obstacles present that can prove extremely dangerous. The inability to climb the stairs without assistance or not being able to reach the countertop because of the wheelchair are all frustrating situations. Before deciding to live at home, it is important to identify fall and safety hazards at home and make the necessary improvements.

  • If you struggle with mobility issues, you should install handrails on both sides of the walls inside the house and outdoors
  • If you need to use the walker or a wheelchair, you should install ramps wherever needed
  • Install door levers instead of knobs
  • To avoid fall risks in your home, you should remove all throw rugs from the house. If you do not wish to remove them, then purchase anti-slip padding than can be placed underneath these rugs. Place non-slip strips on the stairs
  • Bathroom and shower modifications: grab bars and bath/shower chairs
  • Remove raised thresholds throughout the home. Older people who need to use the walker or a wheelchair expose themselves to accidents if there are raised thresholds (it is also extremely difficult to use the wheelchair and pass the threshold)

Other fall & safety hazards in the home

When you or someone dear to you is exposed to the risk of falling, all obstacles need to be removed. Sometimes, such a small obstacle as a pair of shoes placed on the stairs can cause a fall to an older adult.

Make sure to reorganize the entire home so that such all hazards are completely eliminated. It is best to place everyday items nicely organized into cabinets, rather than leaving them scattered around. Another good idea is to improve the lighting system inside and outside the home, as seniors generally struggle with a weaker vision and banal items that are not well visible can represent a fall risk.

The best thing to do is prepare a checklist with all the modifications needed around the house and then perform these changes step by step.

Concierge Care can help you and your family find a caregiver that can also help identify these home safety concerns if needed.   Contact us at www.conciergecarefl.com.

People Need People: Socializing for Happy & Healthy Aging

Feb, 11, 2016

Socializing is extremely important especially while aging. Unfortunately, most of the people struggling with a disability or other health problem will become secluded from society, friends and even family. This will slowly lead to feelings of loneliness, sadness, and even depression. It is important to understand that social isolation has a negative impact not only on psychological well being, but also on the health of the entire immune system.  Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 8.37.23 AM

Increasing the social activities in your life is of primordial importance. Keep reading to find out a few healthy socializing tips that will help you age happily:

  • Become interested in a new skill. For example, take courses and learn how to use the computer, or even learn a new language. This way, you will interact with other people who share the same interests, and you will also keep your brain entertained and healthily functioning.
  • Join the local gym. There are plenty of gym or aerobics (water aerobics) courses held specifically for the seniors. Join the gym and engage in a physical activity, while you will also make new friends and spend quality time with other people of the same age.
  • Volunteering- this is yet another very healthy occupation that works on two important levels: you will spend time with other people on an everyday basis, and you will also perform charity work. Help other people in need by offering your skills and knowledge through a volunteering program. Choose a program that is comfortable to you, and easy to perform such as serving food at the local shelter or packaging charity items for the needy.
  • Schedule a meeting with friends once a week. Organize a tea party once a week and gather your old friends, asking them to join. This doesn’t necessarily has to be a tea party, but it can be a close book group, a knitting group, or any other hobby/skill/interest related group that you wish.

If someone dear to you is currently struggling with feelings of loneliness, you should encourage socializing. Help your loved ones enjoy life to its fullest and come up with creative ideas regarding new ways of socializing. Don’t let isolation take over your life, or the life of someone you love. Don’t get down the spiral of loneliness…because there is no need to. There are so many fantastic ways in which you can enjoy an active lifestyle, even if at the current time you struggle with an illness or a disability.

We would love to help if needed!   www.conciergecarefl.com

Caring for a Patient with Dementia: Washing & Bathing Practical Advice

Patients with dementia require regular assistance with daily personal care activities. As the disease progresses and becomes more critical, so do the assistance requirements increase as well. Keep reading to find out the most practical tips on how to offer help with the washing and bathing regimen for a patient with dementia:

The caregiver needs to be present while the patient washes- it is important not to leave the dementia patient alone while washing in the shower/tub. The patient is exposed to the risk of slips and falls, but a dementia patient will also have feelings of stress, anxiety and disorientation if left alone in the shower.  Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 8.27.34 AM

Make bathing a pleasant experience for the patient- Ensure the bathroom is warm enough, and use pleasant aromatherapy bathing products for calming the senses. This will give a pleasant feeling to the patient, and he/she will cooperate extremely well when bathing/washing time arrives.

Keep the environment organized if you need to assist actively with bathing/washing. Ensure you prepare all the items you need at your hand’s reach. Soaps, shampoos, bubble bath, sponges and fresh & clean towels must be prepared before undressing the patient and inviting him to bathe.

Use skin moisturizers– it has been scientifically proven that dementia patients with a dry and flaky skin experience feelings of anxiousness quite often. Itchy, irritated skin represents a constant bothering situation, so you should make sure to moisturize the skin of the patient properly after each bath/shower. Use skin lotions containing calming essences such as chamomile, lavender, or rose extracts.

Constant body checkup– bathing time is also the time when you should perform a quick check up on the body of the patient and look for any sores, irritations, or allergic reactions on the skin. If you can see anything of concern, you should inform the GP right away. Also, there might be bruises present from falls or skin irritations caused by certain fabrics for example that the patient will not inform you about.

Shallow bathing water is the best– ensure the entire bathing environment is comfortable for the patient and that it does not cause any stressful situations. Deep bathing water can represent a stress factor, so pay attention to this detail. Another good idea is to use a special bathing chair, because this will give a sense of security and safety to the patient. There are many types of fixed or rotating shower/bath chair systems available, and it can be a wise step to opt for such an assistive device.

www.conciergecarefl.com

Caring for a Patient with Dementia: Eating & Drinking Practical Advice

Poor appetite is a common symptom in patients with dementia. Both physical and mental wellbeing is maintained by proper hydration and a healthy diet. However, patients with dementia struggle with several difficulties with hydrating properly and eating, so it is the task of the caregiver to ensure the patient receives proper nutrition.

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 8.01.43 AMPatients with dementia also must receive a diet which is higher in calories, nutrients and vitamins. If a balanced nutritional schedule is not respected, the patient can lose weight, or struggle with symptoms such as constipation, dehydration, headaches, urinary tract infections and other.

Check out a few important appetite-related behaviors in patients with dementia, and the steps you should take if you notice these changes

  • Sadness, feelings of loneliness, depressive states– these psychological signs are quite common in people with dementia. When someone struggles with depression, he/she will also refuse food. If you notice such changes in the person you are taking care of, it is important to signal this to the GP immediately.
  • Problems with communication– the dementia patient might actually be hungry, and this is why he/she is not able to communicate properly. Patients with dementia will refuse food if they don’t like the taste, but they will not inform you that the food is not to their liking. You need to display a lot of patience and diversify food as much as possible (different tastes, different colors & aromas to create this diversity)
  • General pain – if a patient with dementia struggles with signal pain, he/she is most likely to refuse food. Swallowing the food can also become uncomfortable if the patient has a toothache or sore gums for example; this is why it is important to get regular dental checkups.
  • Feeling of tiredness– if you notice that the patient struggles with a general feeling of tiredness and refuses food, you should ensure to offer food when the person is most alert/active. It is more likely he/she will accept the food during such stages of higher alertness.
  • Changes in appetite can be caused by a new medication. Ensure to carefully read the label of all the medications needed, to see if a loss of appetite is among the symptoms. Often times, taking vitamin supplements will restore the appetite of the patient in such a case. However, the supplements should always be prescribed by a licensed physician.   www.conciergecarefl.com

How to Encourage Appetite in the Elderly

Feb, 08, 2016

Seniors, in general, must consume increased calories, vitamins, and minerals for a good functioning of their system. If you take care of someone with dementia, you need to pay particular attention to a good and balanced nutrition. People with dementia struggle with a weakened appetite either because of the ongoing pain or because they simply refuse the foods they do not find delicious. Find out below a few important tips on how you can encourage appetite in the elderly patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

Instead of respecting a regular meal schedule, it might be better to offer the patient several delicious snacks and smaller portions of food throughout the day. Ensure the meals contain plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, but also nuts and seeds high in Omega 3 fatty acids and essential minerals.

Stimulate the appetite of the patient by serving food that looks extremely attracting. Decorate food, but also ensure to use different spices and aromas that are attractive. Making a patient with dementia consume enough food might be difficult, this is why you need to do everything possible to encourage appetite.

Diversified food is important. When you are planning the meals, make sure they are diversified. Offer the patient fresh fruit juices, or smoothies containing milk, fruits, and seeds. Offer such snacks in between meals, or whenever you notice the patient is active and willing to cooperate regarding food consumption.

Patients with dementia might struggle with very bad oral health, and this does not allow them to chew and swallow food easily. If so, consider preparing plenty of soft foods such as milkshakes, juices, and generally plenty of foods prepared with the help of the blender (purees).

Dementia is a condition that causes great damages to the brain. This means that patients may not recognize the food they are offered, or may not understand the importance of proper nutrition. As a caregiver, you need to arm yourself with enough patience, creativity but also consequence to help the patient consume enough quality foods every single day.

Diversity is perhaps the most important, and you may also tackle the curiosity of the patient to taste different types of foods. If you have knowledge of certain foods that the patient likes, you should prepare those foods most often. Or, become creative and combine favorite foods by adding plenty of nutritious and essential foods as side dishes.

 

Caring for the Elderly: Rehabilitation After Stroke

Seniors are highly exposed to the risk of a stroke, and it is important to be very well prepared for patient aftercare. If your dear one just went through a stroke, you may have noticed that he/she has an extremely difficult time coping with the consequences.

The inability to carry out daily tasks as they did before, or having great difficulties in walking will result in disappointment and frustration. That is understandable, but you as the nearest person offering aftercare at home need to know how to ease the pain and improve the quality of life of you loved one after a stroke:

It takes time & patience to heal after a stroke  Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 8.29.29 AM

The most important type of help you can offer for someone who has went through a stroke is emotional support. Be very patient and display a positive life attitude, to help your loved one recover comfortably. If needed, get professional help, such as hiring a skilled nurse to provide in-home care for a few hours each day.

Also ensure to provide a healthy and happy environment for the stroke patient, and engage him/her in a daily routine filled with proper physical exercise (outdoor walks, light gymnastics, etc.)

Get the family involved

Your loved one needs company, and needs to feel that he/she still plays an important role in family life. Talk to your sisters/brothers or other family members and agree upon a caretaking schedule. You should not undertake the whole responsibility, but it is imperative that all close family members take an active part in providing emotional support and real assistance to your dear one.

The physical part of healing

Besides emotional healing, a stroke patient needs to work hard on recovering on the physical side. Try to engage you dear one into a routine of physical exercise, including Yoga exercises, water aerobics, muscle training, or other lighter sports.

Research has shown that it is extremely beneficial for patients to strengthen that part of the body which has not been affected by the stroke. Strengthening one side of the body (the left or the right, depending) will actually cross-train the affected side of the body as well. If the stroke affected the left side, the patient needs to engage into strengthening exercises for the muscles on the right side. This will implicitly help strengthening the left side of the body that is now much weaker after the stroke.

Great Physical Exercise Tips for Seniors

Feb, 04, 2016

Seniors need to respect a healthy and regular schedule of physical exercise in order to maintain good mobility, good health and a general sense of wellbeing. If you notice that your elderly dear one does not exercise enough, and that he/she became quite inactive it is time you remind them how important physical exercise is.

Physical exercise strengthens the immune system

With regular walks outdoors, slight jogging or water aerobics, seniors will enjoy a much stronger immune system. This also translates into fewer colds, flus, allergies and other discomforting signs and symptoms of such immune system related diseases. You should not try to reinforce a strenuous physical exercise upon your loved one, but it is enough if he/she will perform such activities for only 30 minutes every day.

Physical exercise improves cardiovascular function Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 1.05.09 PM

With regular physical exercise, blood circulation becomes better, and the heart becomes stronger. For someone 60+ years old, it is extremely important to pay attention to a good circulation and to heart protective habits (such as regular exercise, consuming meals very rich in vitamins and minerals, etc.)

Physical exercise strengthens the digestive system

Inactivity most often translates into a slow digestion. This also means that seniors need to take all sorts of over the counter medications to be able to digest better. All these can be avoided, and the digestive system becomes more efficient if the person respects a regular schedule of physical exercise.

Lower risk for Alzheimer’s

It has been proven that regular stimulation of the brain and the physique helps lowering the risk for Alzheimer’s/ Dementia. Regular exercise encourages better balance in the elderly, and an overall stronger body which means these seniors are less exposed to accidental falls in the home because of a weak body.

Physical exercise tips for seniors:

  • Joining the local gym for special senior gymnastics
  • Water aerobics- helps strengthening musculature and it also works on a psychological levels (meeting new people, avoiding isolation so common in the elderly)
  • Swimming, cycling or walking for at least 30 minutes a day.
  • Strength training- once or twice a week helps strengthening bone density & musculature
  • Flexibility and stretching exercises are also important. Stretching exercises should be performed before the regular exercise program, to help warming up the muscles and thus reduce stiffness and soreness.

Before engaging in any type of physical activity, it is imperative to get the advice of a licensed physician. Seniors struggling with certain conditions might be forbidden to practice strength training or water sports for example.   Concierge Care can help!

 

Assistive Devices to Consider for Better In-Home Living

Jan, 28, 2016

When deciding to live at home, there are plenty of preparations that you need to think about. Besides a caretaker visiting your home on a daily basis and assisting you with personal care, you will need to make certain home modifications and purchase assistive devices. These devices will help improving the quality of your life overall, and give you a certain degree of independence.

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Bathroom & Bathing assistive devices to consider
– Walk-in bathtubs- an extremely helpful solution for people with limited mobility. Besides making bathing independently more accessible, such a bathtub is also much more safe, secure and comfortable than a shower cabin.
– Double rail handles for the shower- very helpful for people with a disability, or those exposed to the risk of falls in the home. The rail handle allows you to get a firm grip of it and feel secure while you are standing or sitting on a shower chair. This type of assistive device has been developed to help people with limited mobility entering and exiting the shower or the tub. Amputees, stroke victims, patients with dementia or those with a disability will find the rails quite useful.
– Toilet lifts- there are many such products available, and they are intended for use by seniors or people with limited mobility who need assistance when sitting down or getting up from the toilet seat.

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Bedroom Assistive devices to consider
– Bedroom rails for assisting with getting out of bed- useful assistive device for patients with limited mobility who cannot get out of bed without getting hold of a firm device. The system is also useful for wheelchair bound patients (getting out of the bed and into the wheelchair with assistance)
– Bed mobility systems- such a system provides the elderly/disabled patients with the independence and mobility they need sitting up in the bed, getting in or out of the bed without help from the caretaker.
– Adjustable bed rails- advisable for patients who are exposed to the risk of falls. The bed rails will offer the safety and security needed for dementia patients.
– Turning beds- designed for patients who need to be turned on the side at regular intervals to prevent bed sores. This type of mechanism is also extremely useful for obese patients, or patients with limited mobility who need to be turned into most secure and comfortable sleep positions.

Home Care Plain And Simple!

Jan, 27, 2016

Old age sometimes comes with too many problems. A stroke, a disability, Alzheimer’s disease or a more difficult surgery requires the right aftercare solutions. Quite often, people in such conditions decide to pursue in –home care instead of going to a nursing home. We all like to know that we can live at home, with our dear family, in familiar surroundings.

Thanks to in home care services, living at home is now possible for anyone struggling with such a health condition. There are plenty of home care agencies offering specialized in home care services for the elderly. These services come in the form of occupation therapy, nursing care, speech therapy, social services & solutions and more. Every patient selects the types of services mostly suited to his/her individual needs.

A home care provider will arrive to your home every day and perform the necessary tasks. Some patients need help with the preparation of their meals or bathing, while others need professional help with speech therapy or learning to use certain assistive devices.  meds

Home care services can prove extremely useful if your close family members cannot afford to spend too much time with you, providing you with all the help you need. Your children need to work and provide for their family, but they can come and visit extremely often and help with shopping, cleaning around the house or just spending quality time with you. For the rest of the tasks, a home care provider is extremely helpful.

Patients in difficult financial situation can benefit from social services. A social worker will help in providing assistance with finding the resources needed to pay for your care. Social workers also offer emotional support and proper counseling for the patient, but also to close family members to help them cope with the new situation.

Home based care represents an extremely widespread solution for the elderly who need ongoing assistance, but do not wish to check into a nursing home or other such live-in senior care facility. You can look up a home care providing agency and hire a home care provider suitable for your exact needs and requirements. Remember that you always must perform a face to face interview with the candidates before making a hiring decision. You must ensure that you feel extremely comfortable with the respective provider, and that he/she has the experience and knowledge it takes to provide you with the needed solutions.

Activities to Keep those with Dementia Engaged

Jan, 21, 2016

Dementia patients need to be stimulated constantly, since memory, thinking and behavior are the most affected in this disease. Unfortunately, dementia or Alzheimer’s is a disease that progresses slowly, but progresses towards the worse. This is why it is extremely important that if your loved one struggles with such a disease, you should maintain him/her engaged through several beneficial activities.

  • Activities that stir good memories are extremely precious for Dementia patients- This is why, you should often look through the family album together, tell stories and bring back good memories. As the disease progresses, there will be less and less involvement and interest from the part of your loved one, but you should still try to enforce this pleasurable activity.
  • Listening to pleasant music while performing a task together- select a nice tune, and propose your dear one to perform a hobby. For example, you could cook something together. Choose a recipe that is not too demanding, and ensure your dear one is indeed involved in this task. Or, you can do crafts together, something easy and very low demanding (painting for example, or knitting in an easy pattern)
  • Discuss pleasurable news- read out loud the newspaper to your dear one, but try to select those types of news that are pleasurable, funny, etc. Involve your dear one in a discussion on the topic, and you will notice his/her interest and willingness to open up. Instead of reading the newspaper you could also choose to watch a nice movie together, or select an episode from his/her favorite TV show.
  • Do puzzles together- an extremely good brain trainer and dexterity developer. Choose a puzzle with a lower level of difficulty and encourage your dear one to build up the puzzle piece by piece. Offer your help if you notice your loved one is confused about how to build the puzzle.

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There are plenty of such similar activities you can perform together with your dear one suffering from dementia. This disease is progressing towards the worse, so you should use all your forces and available resources to spend as much time as possible together.

Spend quality time, and spend it whenever an occasion arises. You should also have a great deal of patience, and take care of your aged and sick parent just like you would take care of your child- with a lot of tenderness, love and patience.   www.conciergecarefl.com

Caring for the Elderly: Rehabilitation After Stroke

Jan, 19, 2016

Seniors are highly exposed to the risk of a stroke, and it is important to be very well prepared for patient aftercare. If your dear one just went through a stroke, you may have noticed that he/she has an extremely difficult time coping with the consequences.

The inability to carry out daily tasks as they did before, or having great difficulties in walking will result in disappointment and frustration. That is understandable, but you as the nearest person offering aftercare at home need to know how to ease the pain and improve the quality of life of you loved one after a stroke:

It takes time & patience to heal after a stroke
The most important type of help you can offer for someone who has went through a stroke is emotional support. Be very patient and display a positive life attitude, to help your loved one recover comfortably. If needed, get professional help, such as hiring a skilled nurse to provide in-home care for a few hours each day. stroke

Also ensure to provide a healthy and happy environment for the stroke patient, and engage him/her in a daily routine filled with proper physical exercise (outdoor walks, light gymnastics, etc.)

Get the family involved
Your loved one needs company, and needs to feel that he/she still plays an important role in family life. Talk to your sisters/brothers or other family members and agree upon a caretaking schedule. You should not undertake the whole responsibility, but it is imperative that all close family members take an active part in providing emotional support and real assistance to your dear one.

The physical part of healing
Besides emotional healing, a stroke patient needs to work hard on recovering on the physical side. Try to engage you dear one into a routine of physical exercise, including Yoga exercises, water aerobics, muscle training, or other lighter sports.
Research has shown that it is extremely beneficial for patients to strengthen that part of the body which has not been affected by the stroke. Strengthening one side of the body (the left or the right, depending) will actually cross-train the affected side of the body as well. If the stroke affected the left side, the patient needs to engage into strengthening exercises for the muscles on the right side. This will implicitly help strengthening the left side of the body that is now much weaker after the stroke.

The Alzheimer’s Patient and Home Care

Dec, 17, 2015

The Alzheimer’s Patient and Home Care

About Alzheimer’s – Approximately 4.5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease; most are over age 60. The older one gets, the greater is the chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Research is making progress, but the cause is not yet known and there is no cure. More than 100,000 people a year die with Alzheimer’s. The disease was described in 1906 by a German pathologist, but has become a more worldwide concern in recent years because we are living so much longer. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. In the last stage, Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders (ADRDs) have similar symptoms and effects. In Alzheimer’s disease, brain cells die and the person loses memory, reasoning, judgement, and thinking skills. By supporting remaining abilities, we can help the individuals and family caregivers manage these losses. alz-santa

The Person with Alzheimer’s
It is important to remember that persons with Alzheimer’s have led full and interesting lives, even though in their later years they may appear distant and unresponsive. Having the family share stories of the person, or reading a short biography of the person’s life, may help to bring the actual events and facts alive for you. Knowing what was important to your patient, or thinking about the history the individual lived through may help you to relate to the person better at this important time of his life.

Advanced Alzheimer’s
Our home health agency treats patients with every kind of terminal condition and many different forms of dementia, including persons with ADRDs. A proper assessment of a patient addresses the needs of the person and his or her caregivers and family in a comprehensive fashion. This is especially important to the family of a person suffering from ADRDs, since this person may have difficulty communication his or her needs to family members. More than those with other diseases, these patients spend a long period at the end of their lives bed bound, mostly unresponsive, and in need of total care. As with all of our patients, it is the goal of our home care program to care for the ADRD patient while supporting and comforting the family and loved ones regardless of the setting or the patients daily abilities. These communication challenges become part of the task of you, the caregiver.

At the end stage, a person with Alzheimer’s will spend a lot of time sleeping. This may be interrupted by aimless activity, they may sometimes be even frenzied, and voice sounds that may resemble moaning or crying. There will usually be weight loss and the need for complete bowel and bladder care. The person cannot express needs in any usual way. These extreme care needs may be devastating to family caregivers, and our home care staff must be prepared to assure the safety and comfort of the patient while supporting care giving families through the last phase of this incurable disease.
Persons with Alzheimer’s can often provide no feedback on how effective care is. Nevertheless it is the task of our HHA staff to make sure the patient’s care needs are met in a satisfactory manner.

The Family Caregiver
Families provide over 75% of all care for persons with Alzheimer’s disease. Most families will have been providing care for many years by the time the loved one is admitted to our agency for home care. Caregivers can tell us so much about how to help the patient. These caregivers have often changed their lives because of the needs of the person with Alzheimer’s disease. By respecting and appreciating family caregivers, we can help them accept their own sense of loss and daily burdens.
In the final stages of ADRDs, family caregivers must observe and manage the loss of appetite, staying in bed, unable to provide and self-care and curling into a fetal position all while the patient cannot verbally communicate needs. The caregiver may be frustrated and uncertain. The home care staff has a responsibility to advise and support the caregiver’s efforts, and recognize there is often “burnout” and exhaustion in these families. Supportive help is critical as the death approaches.

Communication
Those who have Alzheimer’s disease often have many years of slow decline due to brain changes from the disease. Yet, persons with Alzheimer’s disease often retain social skills quite far into the illness. Communication is critical at all stages, even at the end. Here are some communication tips for the later stage:
– Say who you are
– Use simple words & phrases
– Do not talk about or over patient
– Use the patient’s name
– Do not expect an answer
– Repeat the same message often
– Get close- touch if appropriate
– Singing is communication
– “Being with” is communicating
– Speak slowly and clearly
– Do not ask questions
– Music and tactile objects foster comfort
– Read to the patient

Home Care and Alzheimer’s
Home care is a very helpful choice for both the person with Alzheimer’s disease and their families because it provides the very kind of care that is most important- service in the comfort and familiarity of the patient’s own place of residence. Criteria for come care admission, for persons with end stage dementia, may not always be well known- the issues of mobility, nutrition and weight, verbal communication problems with infection and over decline are evaluated. The psychological and physical support provided by home care teaching and supportive equipment can greatly relieve the family caregiver.

For more information and great resources visit the alz.org. www.conciergecarefl.com

Top 5 Reasons the Elderly Need Companionship

Aug, 24, 2015

Whether you are interested in hiring a professional companion or if you are hoping to spend more time with your elderly loved one, you are most definitely doing something wonderful for that aging person.

Aging is difficult and a lack of companionship, friendship and bonding can take a psychological and physical toll. A person who is already getting older or may suffer from a variety of illnesses will benefit immensely from the simplest thing in the world – someone stopping in to say, “Hi!”

1. Help with cooking and nutrition

Nutrition is a huge part of geriatric health. However, cooking and cleaning can become challenging as a person ages. A companion can help to prepare healthy and balanced meals. They can also help an elderly person with shopping. If you are attempting to care for an aging parent it is important to know that you do not have to do it all on your own. You have options out there and you can hire a professional to come in and spend time with your loved one or parent. This is not giving up on them or casting them aside – it’s providing them an advantage. You can still visit often but you may decide that the cooking, shopping and cleaning are better left to the companion.

2. Chances to get out of the house

Many elderly people lose the ability to drive safely. It can be quite demeaning and even shameful for an older person to lose their car and/or freedom to get up and go as they please. Once again, you do not have to do all of the driving. You are not a bad person if you ask for help and have them driven by a trustworthy and well-trained professional.

3. Opportunities to have conversation

Conversation and discussion of current events (or even just neighborhood gossip) are important for keeping an older person’s mind sharp. In addition, it is an unfortunate truth that, as we age, we tend to get less respect and are not engaged in conversation often. A companion who goes out of their way to talk with an aging person (and ask for their opinions or thoughts!) can be a great psychological benefit for a person who feels obsolete. Of course, you will want to spend time talking with your loved one but you can’t make yourself available for that at all times. You likely have other work, social and family obligations. If you can hire a companion to come by once a day (or once a week, whatever you feel is best) then they can also spend time stimulating your mom or dad’s mind and keeping them sharp and

4. Advice in situations where an elderly person may lack knowledge

The world is changing very quickly and, with the dawn of technology, it is becoming harder and harder to keep up. Often older people are overwhelmed by the internet, cell phones and so on. They are also more easily duped into scams by con artists who prey on older and trusting folks. You or a companion can help with computer skills or get them signed up for social media. Whatever it is that will make the elderly person feel more engaged with the world.

5. Something to Look Forward to

We all need something to get out of bed for, right? We need to look forward to something… even it is small. For many young parents, it’s the kids. Some days we may just look forward to getting to work and seeing our coworker friend. Other days it may be a big trip coming up. However, elderly people often have less going on and fewer things to be excited about. A companion or friend gives that person a reason to get up and get dressed for the day and may be the highlight of their whole week!

In the end, whatever you decide to do for your loved one, you should know that you are acting out of love and concern. You wouldn’t have read this article or be contemplating how to help them if you didn’t care deeply about their well-being. You, however, are not alone and should not take all of the work on yourself. Imagine if you NEVER hired anyone to help you with your kids. They never went to school, stayed with a sitter or stayed over and gram and gramp’s. You would be crazy, right? Well, as you transition from the one being cared for to the caretaker, you will need support and help just as you do (or did) with your children. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for it.

Do you ever ask yourself….Should my Parents be Driving?

Jul, 29, 2015

There comes a time for many of us (more than ever in history, actually, as people live longer and longer) to transition from the child to the “parent” with their mother, father or both. This journey will not be easy for anyone but it will be rewarding. Along the way, there will be points at which you need to “put your foot down” or set boundaries.

seniors

Freedoms like living alone, being able to work or even do certain household tasks, over time, will be denied to them. Unfortunately, elderly parents with children who are not vocal enough about safety issues often die… in house fires, from falls, in the bathtub.

An important (albeit uncomfortable and likely saddening) marker on the path of caregiving is the point at which you finally “take the keys.” Some seniors are self-aware enough to decide not to drive on their own. However, often the reaction is resistant toward the change. The truth is, though, if you have their best interest at heart, you should do whatever you need to do to keep them safe, including calling the DMV to talk about the possibility of having their license taken.

But, before you do anything. Go through 3 relatively simple steps to clarify your feelings and do a little research.

Observe

Go on a ride and see how they drive. Do NOT tell them that they are being tested but just ask them to drive a short distance.

Discuss it with a doctor

Make an appointment with a doctor who can examine your loved one and decide whether they deem them fit to drive.

Talk with them

Depending on what you find out in the first 2 steps, have a honest and open conversation with your parent about your concerns and allow them to voice their own feelings and opinions.

Ultimately, this will not be a fun process for you or your parent. Each time you come to these moments where you have to take control of a situation you will feel a sense of loss and grief. However, looking after your loved ones is a part of life that can be very fulfilling.

How to Step into the Caregiver Role with your Parents

Jul, 22, 2015

Obviously our Concierge Care team would love to step in and help with in home caregiver services right now but we know and support that this need may come in time.   Prior to that need the children of seniors can be the absolute best caregivers as long as they have the bandwidth to do it well.

At some point, it is likely that your parents will need help with their daily activities. Because people are living longer and longer, adult children are becoming more and more likely to end up in a caregiver role to a parent or loved one than ever before. If this is the case for you, you should begin by reading about caregiver’s guilt.

Once you have a basic understanding of what you can expect emotionally, follow these 5 steps to stay on track and “in the know.”

dock1. Get a grasp on their finances

Their debts, savings, social security or disability checks as well as any royalties or other ongoing income should be analyzed. If this is not something you feel comfortable doing, hire an accountant. As people age, sometimes their financial judgment may falter and they, sadly, become targets for predators looking to scam them out of money. Understanding their finances will help you to look out for them. In addition, the day may come when you will need to take charge of their accounts (if you haven’t already). When and if that happens, you don’t want any surprise credit card debts or to find out that they have depleted their savings.

2. Begin attending doctors’ appointments

You will need to become an advocate for your parent in a variety of ways. Perhaps the most important role for you as an advocate will be in regard to their health care. You should open up the lines of communication with their doctors, psychologists, social workers and the like. Read all about their conditions and check all of their prescriptions. Become aware of all care plans and take the time to ask questions of physicians, if necessary. Pose the questions that your loved one may not even consider.

3. Keep their home safe

Go through our home safety checklist as well as our article about fall prevention. In addition, you may need to make the tough decision of moving them out of their home.

Whatever you decide to do, follow your instincts and respect their feelings. This process is difficult for the aging loved one.

4. Seek out ways to help them retain their autonomy

The elderly do not want to spend the last years of their lives totally dependent on others.  Though they may need your help for many things, be sure to allow them to do whatever it is that they are still capable of handling. Even the smallest freedoms can make all of the difference. For example, if they are not able to safely use the stove or oven anymore, but can still handle cooking a meal in the microwave, be sure to keep foods that can be microwaved on hand. This will give them the independence of being able to prepare a meal for themselves…something most of us take for granted.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember as you and your loved begin down this path is that you still matter and that self-care is essential to not just your well-being not but that of your parent, as well. In addition, please read our series about the psychological effects of taking on this role.

There will be guilt, anger, fear, sadness and much more as time goes on and each of those experiences and feelings is valid. Take care of your loved one and work to be an advocate but also be sure to advocate for YOURSELF every now and then.

4 Ways to Deal with Caregiver’s Guilt

Jul, 16, 2015

If you are a caregiver to an elderly loved one, let’s start by saying that you are amazing. It is a tough job and to do it with patience and grace is truly a gift to your family member or friend. Pat yourself on the back.guilt

Now, admit it. You are racked with guilt about your parent or loved one. You question every decision that you make. You lose sleep and stress yourself into body aches and migraines. OK, hopefully it is not quite that bad but caregiver’s guilt is a real phenomenon that needs to be addressed and self-care and a sense of self-worth are essential.

In this article we will cover some ways in which caregivers tend to beat themselves up. If you are telling yourself one or more of these things, then stop RIGHT NOW.

1. If I feel guilty, there must be a good reason.  Not true. Feeling guilty is sometimes a sign of your conscience kicking in and other times it is just nervousness or worry creating circular guilt.

An example of what you might tell yourself:   “I can’t believe I snapped at Dad about him asking for a glass of water. I am a bad son, a bad person and he deserves better.”

A better alternative:  “I shouldn’t have snapped at dad. Maybe I should do some yoga this evening to unwind.”

2. “I don’t matter. Mom matters more. I can do things for myself later.”  Putting yourself last is not good for anyone. If you need a break, take one. If you are feeling stressed, go do something that makes you happy. Self-care (link to self-care article) is essential to your ability to be a good caregiver. In addition, never feel bad for hiring professional help. A companion, a nurse, a social worker or a counselor can be of service. You could also call upon your local church to see if they have any volunteers.

3. “If I am not doing it all then I am not doing enough.”  What is “enough?” How will you reach it? When would it happen? Under what circumstances?

If you can’t answer those questions then stop striving for a goal that you can’t even define. It’s a waste of time and will always leave you feeling let down.

4. “My feelings don’t matter. Having feelings is self-indulgent.”  If you are feeling guilty or overwhelmed you may feel guilty for feeling guilty.

If you are happy or having fun while your parent is not able to engage in the activities, you may feel guilty.

Stop it! If you feel happy, be happy. You deserve to be happy. Having the responsibility of caring for your parents is a big job and feeling emotional, confused or nervous is natural. Your guilt is also natural. You should acknowledge that guilty feeling and then allow it to pass but never deny that it exists.

Caregiver’s guilt is similar to maternal guilt. It’s that nagging feeling that you are not doing enough or that you are letting an important someone down. The sense that you could always be doing more is very real and can create a great deal of anxiety and/or depression. You will not be as good of a companion and caregiver to a person you care for when you are not happy and healthy yourself. So give yourself a break. You deserve it.

Our Concierge Care team in Jacksonville, FL is a personal care company that would love to step in and relieve a family caregiver if the need ever arises.   www.conciergecarefl.com.

Caring for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s: The Basics

Jul, 14, 2015

Alzheimer’s is tough. It is tough for your loved one. It is probably even tougher for you.  There are, however, ways to make the burden a little smaller and the emotional toll a little less devastating. While no one can tell you how exactly to deal with the disease or its effects on your family, we can give you some basic tips so that you can take the very best of your loved one possible.

love

1. Exercise

Seniors should be exercising (link to exercise article?) and staying in shape as they age. If one lets oneself go as they age, they will likely succumb to illness, or even death, as their immune system falters and their hormones go out of whack. However, alzheimer’s sufferers need exercise even more than the average elderly person.

2. Nutrition

Nutrition is essential for the elderly. Being on fixed incomes, the inability to get up and around to cook and depression can all lead to less than stellar eating habits. Alzheimer’s patients are also likely to have difficulty remembering to eat. Make sure that your senior is eating well and often. (link to nutrition article?)

3. Establish a consistent routine

Alzheimer’s patients need the same kind of consistency and structure that a toddler might require.  Changes in schedule can confuse and upset elderly dementia patients. If at all possible, keep their schedule identical each day.

4. Engage them in activity daily

Minds deteriorate much more quickly when they are not used. If your loved one is not engaged, socialized and out of the house often, they will often decline much sooner.

5. Allow them to do as much as they can for themselves

Nobody wants to feel useless or like a burden. Resist the temptation to do everything for your loved one… until the time if or when it becomes necessary for their safety and health.

6. Use simple instructions

This will also help with allowing them to do more for themselves. Complicated multi-step directions can be overwhelming and exhausting to a person who is losing certain mental functions. Try asking them to do one simple thing at a time and breaking down complex tasks for your elderly loved one.

7. Take time for yourself

Caregivers cannot allow themselves to get lost in the process of looking after an elderly loved one. Alzheimer’s, in particular presents challenges that can make the daily tasks of caregiving exhausting and emotional. Self-care (link to self care article) is of the utmost importance so that you can be the best that you can be… for yourself and for the senior that you love.

At the end of the day, when you rest your head on the pillow, please remind yourself that you are working hard.  Try not to get down on yourself for feeling frustrated with your parent or loved one. Understand that you are allowed to feel exhausted and tired. In short, do your best and then give yourself a break. That is all that anyone can do.    www.conciergecarefl.com

Caregiver Quiz: Are you Taking Time for YOU?

Jul, 09, 2015

Caregiver Quiz: Are you Taking Time for YOU?    If we don’t care for ourselves then we cannot be of service to those we love.

stress

If we don’t care for ourselves then we cannot be of service to those we love.  Caregiver’s guilt can make you feel that you are last priority or that your needs don’t matter. However, that just isn’t the case. You do deserve time to yourself to get happy, relax, refresh and self-evaluate. All of those things can only make you a better caregiver and companion to the elderly person that you love so dearly.

Take our short quiz to decide if you are making enough time for self-care!

 

1. How many days a week do you leave the house on your own (other than to go to work)?

a. Twice

b. Zero

c. I can’t even remember

d. Not every week but maybe every month

 

2. What is your morning routine?

a. A bit of yoga to start the day

b. A quick shower and a cup of coffee

c. A leisurely morning with your elderly loved one

d. It’s a blur

 

3. How often do you spend money on yourself? (It doesn’t have to be a lot of money!)

a. About once a week I buy something that I need or want, just for me.

b. Never

c. Not often

d. Only if no one else in the family needs anything

 

4. If you are feeling tired, your support system for yourself and your loved one is:

a. A senior care specialist

b. No one

c. The neighbors if they are around

d. Your spouse if they are not working

 

As you may have guessed, answering all A’s indicates that you are caring for yourself. However, if you

mostly answered with other letters, you may want to reconsider your routine and carve out a little “me

time.”

7 Great Ways for Seniors to Get Exercise

Jul, 06, 2015

seniorexerDespite some common misconceptions we ofter hear at Concierge Care: senior citizens still need (and often want!) physical activity. They are not all fragile, frail or going to “break a hip.” Of course, there are medical issues that can make elderly exercise and fitness challenging but it can (and should) be done! Here are some ideas for low impact exercises that may be fun for your loved one. They may also great time to bond and spend time with them.

1. Walking

Even just a quick walk up the street in the morning or strolling through the neighborhood walking the dog will be a great energy boost and will get the heart and lungs going.

2. Swimming

Swimming is great for those with arthritis or other pain. Swimming laps may sound daunting but a nice leisurely swim with the grandkids might be a tempting invitation that they can’t pass up. Water aerobics classes are also very popular with seniors and provide an opportunity for socialization.

3. Cycling

Cycling is low impact and takes stress off of the knees. In addition, it can be done indoors or outdoors at any time of day or in any weather.

4. Stretching

Stretching is vital for muscle health, coordination and overall fitness. It is also an easy and safe way for seniors to get moving. What is probably greatest about stretch exercises for seniors is that they can be done at home, before bed, in the yard or wherever else they might like… at any time of day. Senior yoga classes may be held in your community. Check your county website.

5. Gardening

Gardening is a fun and convenient way for seniors to get outdoors, enjoy nature and exercise gently. It is also an activity that will give their life meaning and make them feel productive.

6. Light weights

Two or three pound weights are ideal for the elderly and will build muscle and increase the effectiveness of cardio. Simple exercises like bicep curls or military presses will work the upper body and elevate the heart rate. Carrying them while walking or swimming will also intensify those exercises. No matter how old that a person gets, the need to take care of oneself and be active and engaged with the world never ends. If your senior is gaining weight, losing mobility or seems to need a mood lift, then seeking out exercise solutions for them is a great way to get them out of their “funk.”

5 Ways to Feel Good About Leaving Your Parents in Their Home

As our parents age, it can become increasingly stressful for them to live alone. It is stressful for both you and your parent or parents. There are two very valid points of view that can cause that stress:Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 9.57.06 AM

The first is the Point of View of the parent:

“I am an adult. I have worked all of my life. I am not an invalid and I am not dying. I deserve to be able to live on my own in my own home that I paid for with my own money! I am not comfortable with senior living or a retirement home because I view that as a symbol of my loss of freedom.”

The second is the adult child’s:

“My parent is aging and has worked so hard all of their life. They are not dying or handicapped but they are having some minor health issues. I would hate to think of them getting into a troublesome situation with no one around. I know that they do not want to be in a “home” and I don’t want them to get hurt,

So, now that we have expressed two very possible viewpoints, let’s try and come up with a compromise that might work for both parents and children. In order to do that, you will have to engage in some honest and forthright conversations about both your concerns and theirs. Here ae 5 simple steps that you can take to find that compromise and make everybody happy.

1. Make a list of household chores that need be done. Have your parent or parents note which ones that they can handle and which ones they may need help with. For example, they may still feel capable of cooking but not of carrying in their dinner groceries. You can then decide who will help them with those things that they cannot handle. That person could be you, a friend, a neighbor or a hired senior care specialist.

2. Talk at length about their medicines and be sure that you know everything that they are taking. Ask to be listed as an emergency contact with their doctors, if you are not already. Help them set up a system for taking their medications that will ensure that they take everything that they need at the correct times. Again, if they feel that their medications are too big of a responsibility then this task can be delegated. If they seem confident that they can handle it but you have your doubts, ask for a compromise where you can check their pills daily and help them to remember.

3. Try and engage them with the world and create a social life for them, if possible. If your loved one already has a rich social life and a full calendar then this may not apply. However, most elderly people tend to feel a bit isolated and lonely. Many can’t drive, or can’t drive far. They may also not be able to get around very well. In addition, as they age, some of their close friends and family will likely start to pass away. The more people that your loved one interacts with, the greater their network of help should there be an emergency. It is, in essence, a support system. It is also a great way to know that they are being “checked in on” because their friends or neighbors stop by their home or call them. If they are concerned, they can contact you. It may sound like you are setting up spies to snoop but it’s not that. It’s a safety measure.

Plus, they will benefit emotionally and psychologically from socialization. If your loved one can’t drive, you may feel the stress of attempting to cart them around to their friends’ houses or getting off of work early to drop them off at the senior center. However, you may want to consider hiring a professional companion to help with those duties.

4. You may want to consider modifying the home. There is no need for a full renovation but some simple changes can make a house much friendlier for seniors. For example, a chair lift on the stairs or some stools or seats in the bathroom. It’s simple things like this that will make your parents much safer in their home. You can also add automatic lights that come on when a person walks by to prevent nighttime falls. Things like that are simple and not terribly pricey. However, they will give you a huge sense of security when you are not with them.

5. You can also hire help who can visit once a week, every day or somewhere in between. We have touched on this in every other section, but the truth is that you are not responsible for their care from sun up to sun down. You are not a bad person if you hire help to check in on them. Why would you ever be a bad child for seeing that their needs were met? If you are hiring help for your parents, then that is a sign that you are, indeed, a very good and caring At the end of the day, this transition will be hard for both you and your parents. As they age, your role in their care will increase steadily. That doesn’t mean that you have to take over everything or strip them of every freedom. What it does mean is that you need to be prepared for the fact that, moving forward, you will have to make compromises with your parents A LOT.

5 Ways to Ensure that Your Elderly Parents are Taking their Medications

medmngtAs your parents age, you may feel a lot of anxiety about their medical care. As an independent adult, it is important to be aware of your prescriptions, health problems and issues. However, as a senior it is imperative. Missing doses of medicine or lacking awareness of symptoms can be dangerous for an elderly person with a serious disease like diabetes or heart disease. Because your parent or loved one may not be able to remember and retain all of this important information, you should step forward as a healthcare advocate. The first step in that process is to make sure that they are taking all of their

1. Talk to their medical team

You should become a vital member of their care team and be present at appointments. You should also communicate often with their healthcare providers including physical therapists, counselors and nutritionists. Your loved one will need to sign off for you to be informed of their health and medical records unless you have been declared their legal guardian.

2. Know what they are taking

Know exactly what they are taking and the dosages. Make a printed chart for both yourself and for

3. Organize a pill box for them

Get a pill box that they can use to keep their prescriptions in order. This will always be an easy way to check to see if they have remembered.

4. Make notes when taking them to appointments

When you escort them to doctor’s appointments, bring a notepad or a piece of paper and a pen. As the visit progresses, take notes. It is hard enough remembering your own healthcare issues and drugs, you cannot possibly memorize theirs too.

5. Hire help

This is a big source of guilt for some caregivers who feel that they should be the only looking after mom or dad. However, when caregivers ask for help and are able to take breaks they are better for themselves and their loved one. Hiring a senior care specialist to check in with them and look over their prescriptions will give you peace of mind… and a break!

A quick note about YOU: Parental caregiving is hard and can feel overwhelming. It is much like parenting children but much more emotional and sad because you are experiencing the inevitable loss of the parents of your youth. The once strong and healthy man who carried you on his back may now be fragile and confined to a wheelchair. Your beautiful aunt with the beautiful red hair may have lost it all in chemo. The experience of watching your parents age is hard and you need time to process your own emotions and take care of you with some self-care (would link to self-care article).

Prescription medicines are vital to many seniors’ lives. They cannot afford to forget their medicines too many days in a row… or to take too many the next day. Running out or not being able to find them can also be a huge issue. As your parent’s medical advocate, you will be in charge of seeing to it that all of their drugs are being taken responsibly. However, please remember that in all facets of parental caregiving, you must allow others to help you.

5 False Stereotypes about the Elderly

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 9.04.09 AM

There is a common and unfair perception that getting old is like getting stale. People think that the elderly give up, let go and wait to die and that aging is a miserable downward spiral. Stereotypes about their personalities, interests and social interests are also prevalent. Because the elderly depend so much on their support system for socialization as well as other aspects of life.

1. They don’t want to progress.

Many older people are interested in learning new things, engaging in new activities and even attending college classes. Some retirement facilities are now building near university campuses so that their residents have easy access to continuing education.

2. They are homebodies and introverts.

Humans are social creatures and isolation is not good for anyone. While older people may have limited mobility and some other health issues, they still want to be engaged with the outside world.

3. Deterioriation of the body and mind and are unpreventable and inevitable.

Yes. As we age, it is inevitable that our bodies will begin to slow down and change a bit. However, those who spend more time socializing, working or engaging in meaningful projects live longer and happier lives.

4. Elderly people do not want or need sex and romance

Elderly people do want to date and fall in love. It is not hard to imagine why. So, while the idea of your elderly loved one wanting intimacy with another person may seem strange, it is not strange for them at all.

5. Older people are bitter and crotchety

Of course, some old people are crotchety, cranky and rude. But, that is also true of some young people. The truth is, people who were always pleasant and amicable are not likely to turn into bitter and hateful elderly people. However, dementia can play a role in this and you may see mood swings and other symptoms (link to alzheimer’s article?) that change a person’s behavior as they age. However, on the whole, it is not fair to categorize all elderly people as unfriendly, rude or angry.

There is a great deal of ageism in America and the general thought seems to be that old people are washed up, sick, rude and stuck in their ways. However, that is a highly generalized stereotype. Many aging people are still active and engaged with life and feel just as alive as ever.

How to Talk to Your Aging Parents about “The Next Step”

Jun, 03, 2015

Have you had “The Talk?” with your mother, father or both about what your family will do when they become incapable of taking care of themselves and may require medical care and assistance at home?

OR are you just sweeping it under the rug because the topic is challenging and a bit painful?

If you have been avoiding bringing it up, then you are not alone. 61% of adult children have not spoken with their elderly loved ones about the decisions that will be made about long-term care. A survey conducted by Harris Interactive revealed this and many other intriguing statistics about American attitudes toward long-term care.

pic2The avoidance of these discussions became even more evident when, in the same survey, it was found that those who DID talk with their parents about the issues did not typically discuss details about the options – long term care, assisted living, home healthcare, etc. Only 40% of respondents had really gone into the particulars with their parents.

It is not hard to imagine that this subject would be difficult. You may be using any of the following excuses to get out of the conversation:

  1. They are still healthy and do not need care at this time.
  2. They will get upset or think that you are trying to get rid of them.
  3. You will become emotional.
  4. You aren’t sure how your family will pay for the care that they may need.

However…

  1. An older person’s health can deteriorate unexpectedly.
  2. Your elderly parent may become uncomfortable when talking about their care but you should remind them that you are asking them so that you can be prepared to try and carry out their wishes. Reassure them that you love them and only want what’s best for them as they grow older.
  3. This topic is painful for many adult children because it signifies that their parents are losing independence and that they will not be around forever. However, the need to have the dialogue it should outweigh your selfish desire to put off the discussion.
  4. Deciding how to pay for elderly care should be handled ASAP. There are insurance policies, savings accounts and other options to make long-term care more affordable. The sooner you create a plan, the less stressful it will be when the time does come.

When it is ultimately time to find a solution for your mother or father, you will feel a great deal better about it if you have spent time talking through their feelings and preferences. These talks will also prepare YOU for what will eventually come. Aging is a part of life, but it can be hard to see someone who was once strong and able become less so. This difficulty will only be amplified if you are not prepared and ready to do what needs to be done.

To research some of your options for homecare services, click the logo at the top of the page to start.

 

Senior Care, How to Continue to Motivate an Elderly Loved One

May, 06, 2015

Happy Seniors Showing Thumbs Up

One of the hardest things for elderly family members of loved ones is trying to motivate the seniors out there to keep on living active and healthy lifestyles.  It can be a trying experience to get older.  As you age, you begin to lose a lot of the friends that you had growing up over the years.  You may lose your spouse, loved ones, people you cared the most about.  WHen it comes to situations like this, in home senior care can prove to be quite valuable to helping boost that level of motivation to get an elderly person from one day to the next.

Set Them Up on a Daily Routine

In home senior care is all about one-on-one attention.  A professional caregiver is going to come to the home of the senior where he or she is going to be most comfortable.  They are going to assist them with whatever they may need whether it be with dealing with a medical disease, medications, exercise, daily tasks, and so on.  When they do this day after day, seniors are going to get back into a daily routine.  They’ll have something to look forward to and have an understanding of things that they need to get done daily and are going to be expected to get done with the help of their caregiver.  This gives them motivation to do what they need to do day to day.

Give Them Motivation Through Companionship

Everyone does better when they have a companion by their side.  Companionship is very important as it means that you have someone there to talk to you, go for walks with you, play games with you, and so on.  Unfortunately many seniors out there are going to lose their friends and companions as the years go by.  This can be very difficult on the mental state of an individual.  In home senior care can motivate an elderly loved one simply by having a caregiver visit that person and spend time with them daily.

Boost Their Mental Self-Esteem

When a senior has the ability to have things to look forward to day to day it is going to boost their self-esteem a great deal.  It can be something as simple as looking forward to going out for a walk with someone, taking a pet for a walk, going to visit an animal shelter, any task really.  As long as they know they are going to get to do something, be visited by someone, and be cared for where they need the help, it is going to be a major self-esteem boost from top to bottom.

In home senior care can and has proven to be a major motivator.  In home senior care in Jacksonville, FL can help get an elderly loved one in need the assistance they require with daily tasks, companionship, and much more all with the goal of boosting their self-esteem and overall motivation for quality of life.

How to Plan a Senior Care Exercise Plan for an Elderly Person

Problems

Just because we get older does not mean we no longer need to exercise.  A regular exercise plan and a quality diet is important for everyone, whether you are ten-years old or ninety-years old.  This is exactly why so many in home senior caregivers push to try and get an exercise plan set up for whomever they are taking care of.  WHen you are getting older, it remains absolutely vital to not only exercise your body, but your brain as well.

Start With Exercises They Can Handle

An exercise plan for a senior should be geared about that individual person.  Going for a five-minute walk may be enough in the daily routine of an individual depending on the state that they are in.  It is important to work towards goals though and the exercise plan should be based around that.  Maybe the first four weeks focus on getting them ready to walk a half-mile.  If they succeed, push onward from there.

The exercises should not just be limited to physical stuff either.  Brain games are also important to exercise the mind and help them work their brains.  This can be accomplished with crossword puzzles, card games, among other things.

Take Part in the Exercises With Them

Seniors are going to be much more likely to stick to an exercise plan when they have someone their to help them and do it along with them.  Taking part in the exercises with the senior, whether you are a loved one doing it or an in home senior care provider in Jacksonville, FL is going to motivate them day to day.  The more that they have someone by their side, they more that they are going to push.  They’ll want to exercise to get to spend time from a companionship sense.  They’ll also be held accountable for what they are doing day in and day out.

Don’t Forget About the Diet

All of this exercise is great, but you do not want to forget about the diet.  A senior can walk miles and miles a day.  If they end up at a fast food restaurant for breakfast, lunch, and dinner though it is not going to help them in any way at all.  You need to set up a sound diet plan that they can adhere to on top of the exercise.  It is the combination of these two things that is going to lead them down a road of good health.

Getting a senior set up with an exercise plan can take some work.  You need to understand the person and what they are capable of.  You also need to figure out what they are comfortable doing.  From there, work in physical and mental exercises, along with a sound diet, and watch the results happen.  Seniors can improve vastly in physical and mental health with some exercise of the body and brain.

How In Home Senior Care Can Assist an Elderly With Their Diet

Young help Old

Diet is important for everyone of all ages.  If you eat healthy when you are 10, 20, 80 and so on, you are going to have good physical and mental health in all likelihood.  Planning out a diet for an elderly person can be a trying experience though.  As we get older, it can become much more difficult doing things such as going out grocery shopping, understanding and planning out healthy meals, and especially preparing the meals themselves.  This is where an in home senior care in the Jacksonville, FL area can come into play to help seniors still living at home.

Helping Them Plan Out Meals

An in home senior care provider can do a lot to help the elderly plan out their meals.  This should start at the beginning of the week to map out a sound diet for the week ahead.  Things that are likely going to be focused on include the nutritional value of the food that they are consuming, and what they need to focus on based on their body type.  If the senior is overweight, perhaps more of a diet that is low-calorie could be in order or something with less fatty foods.  An in home senior care provider can help map out a meal plan that is going to get them the nutritional value that they need.

Assisting with Grocery Shopping

You can have the best meal plan in the world but you need to be able to have the ingredients to cook what you had in mind from the start.  In home senior care providers in Jacksonville, FL can assist with grocery shopping at times when it is needed.  They can also help seniors get set up so that groceries can be delivered right to the house by a local supermarket.  Both of these solutions are ideal for seniors who maybe are no longer able to drive on their own to a grocery store and buy everything that they need off of a list.

Meal Preparation

Meal preparation is the last area where seniors typically need the most help.  Having a diet plan and all of the ingredients may not be enough if you are unable to prepare the meals on your own.  In home senior care in Jacksonville, FL can help with meal prep and this serves two purposes.  First, you are going to be able to have the meals prepared properly to be enjoyed and second, it gives the elderly a chance to have some added companionship.  Serving this dual purpose can be highly beneficial for seniors living alone at home.

A quality diet is extremely important for the elderly.  If you have a loved one receiving in home senior care in Jacksonville, FL, inquire as to what they are doing to help them with their diet.  What you may find is that an in home senior caregiver can help them with their diet in many ways when they are given a chance.

Financial Planning for the Elderly to Get Ready for Senior Care Needs

grandchild visits grandmother

It is inevitable that we are all going to get old eventually.  Just like we needed assistance when we were children, as we grow into seniors, we are again going to need help getting through life’s daily tasks that are set before us.  This is why it is so important to get all of your ducks in a row in terms of financial planning for this need.  Senior care needs can range from in home senior care services to prescriptions, paying for doctor visits, surgeries, and so on.  Planning ahead can help you in that you won’t have to worry about where funding is going to come from when the care is needed most.

Having a Family Discussion Around Options Available

If you are a senior citizen or you have a loved one that is going to be a senior soon, have a family discussion around the options that are available to them from a financial sense.  This will give you and the entire family a chance to understand the finances and be able to make decisions if someone other than the senior himself or herself has to do so.

Looking into Insurance

There typically are insurance options available to seniors out there to help pay for everything from in home senior care to prescriptions and doctor visits.  Medicare and Medicaid are typically good places to start for seniors, but these typically will not cover in home senior care.  Long-term care insurance may be necessary or some type of life insurance plan if you are hoping to go that route to get the in home senior care paid for.

Assessing the Savings That Are Available

You may also have some savings available that can help with paying for the in home senior care.  It is important to assess what savings are available so that you do not borrow money or anything when you simply do not need to.  Not all seniors are chock full of savings though, which is why they end up going with one of the other alternative options out there.

Relying on a Reverse Mortgage as Another Quality Option

Seniors who decide to remain the comfort of their own homes typically will turn to a reverse mortgage to help them with their finances.  This great option can allow a senior to essentially borrow money based on whatever equity that they have built up in their home.  This can then be flipped to assist in paying for in home senior care.

It is vital for a senior to understand his or her financial condition.  The same can be said for the family of those senior citizens.  The more that is known and planned out ahead of time the better off you are going to be when the time comes where you are in desperate need of in home senior care services in the Jacksonville, FL area or abroad.

End of Life Care, Putting a Smile on the Face of a Senior Citizen

Hands Of The Old Woman

End of life care is something that not many people want to talk about simply because it can get a bit depressing.  What family members and even those who are going through the end of their life need to understand, though, is that there is still time to live a quality of life, have a smile on your face, and be genuinely happy.  This is where end of life care comes in as provided by an in home senior care provider.  This type of service and care can do wonders to putting the smile on the face of a senior citizen as they live out the time that they have left in their home.

Allowing the Senior Citizen to Remain Home and Comfortable

End of life care service providers can put a smile on the face of a senior citizen simply by allowing them to remain in the comfort of their own home.  You cannot understand just how important it is for a senior to be home.  To get old and to go to a nursing home can be quite depressing and scary for seniors.  They have grown up in the house that they are in and it is where all of their things are, their memories remain, and where they feel most comfortable.  End of life care can put a smile on the face of a senior simply by letting them stay home.

Providing a Quality Sense of Companionship

Senior citizens do not want to go through the end of their life alone.  End of life caregivers can do a lot simply by being there for their loved one.  They’ll be there to talk to them, be a companion, go for a walk, eat meals, share stories, play games, etc.  It is all about spending quality time so that the senior citizen never has to feel s though he or she is all alone.  Chances are a senior, as they approach the end of their life, does not have many friends left.  It can feel like isolation living all alone and end of life caregivers can help erase that scary feeling that can lead to depression and sadness.

Giving Motivation to Progress Each Day

Senior citizens who are approaching the end of their life need to find motivation in any way that they can.  One of the best ways is for an end of life caregiver to give them that motivation.  When the caregiver says goodbye and that he or she will see you tomorrow, it gives that person something to look forward to in the next day and can be quite invaluable.

End of life caregivers can do wonders for seniors who are approaching the end of the road.  They can help them by allowing them to remain living a high quality of life in the comfort of their own home.  They can also help by motivating them to make it from one day to the next and will push them forward thanks to the companionship that they are going to provide.  This is all with the goal of keeping a smile on their face.

Brain Games and How They Can Assist an Early Alzheimer’s Patient

A senior adult couple sitting at a benchand, enjoying their time

Anyone who has ever had a loved one suffer from Alzheimer’s or is suffering from Alzheimer’s themselves will ask what they can do to help the brain?  We all know at this point that there is no current cure for Alzheimer’s out there.  This has left us all wondering what can be done at the very least to slow the progression of the condition.  There have been a lot of myths released over the years and also some truth revealed behind a few of them.  One thing that consistently pops up, though, as a way to help at least slow the progression of Alzheimer’s a bit, is the use of brain games.

Understanding How Alzheimer’s Can Impact the Brain

Alzheimer’s can impact the brain in so many ways.  It is a degenerative disorder meaning that it is going to progress over time.  The symptoms that you see a loved one suffering from due to Alzheimer’s today are likely going to be far worse a few years from now unfortunately.  Alzheimer’s can impact the brain in a variety of ways including things such as having an impact on short-term memory retention, the general mood of the person, and even their ability to read and/or write.  General communication becomes much harder for someone suffering from Alzheimer’s, as does daily tasks such as cleaning up the house, cooking, taking a shower, etc.

Where Brain Games Come Into Play

So where do brain games fit into this equation?  Well we all know that we are always pushed to get as much exercise as possible.  This exercise plan that we usually try and follow though is more intended for our physical bodies more than anything else.  With brain games, the idea here is to exercise your brain to help make it stronger to try and fight off the progression of Alzheimer’s at each pass.  Think of brain games similar to how you would going to a gym and going for a run or going out for a long walk during the day  When you break a sweat it is usually a good indicator of a solid workout.  When you are taking part in a brain game where you are in deep thought to solve some type of problem, this same level of exercise is being exhibited from your brain.

Setting Up A Daily Routine of Mental Exercise

With brain games, you want to set up a daily routine.  Work with your in home senior care provider in Jacksonville, FL to see what would work best for you and what is going to prove to be the most worthwhile.

Brain games do not have to be extensive, overly time-consuming or anything like that.  They would be something as simple as doing the crossword puzzle every day in the newspaper or playing a game of cards or memory match.  As long as you are working your brain you are going to be doing good in your fight against Alzheimer’s and its progression.

What are Companion Care Services and How Do They Help Seniors?

Apr, 30, 2015

Senior Woman In A Wheelchair

We all typically grow up surrounded by friends, loved ones, families, and so on.  As we get older though, we begin to lose many of these people that mean so much to us.  Senior citizens as they approach the end of their lives strive for companionship.  They seek out people to spend time with them, share stores with them, play games, and so on.  This type of companionship is often lost when you lose a loved one or a family member who meant a lot to you and spent a great deal of time with you.  In-home care providers are now providing companion care services that can help to fill this void experienced by so many seniors in the Jacksonville, FL area.

What are Companion Care Services?

The whole idea of companion care services is to get someone to the home of where an elderly person resides and to spend time with them.  This allows for a skilled provider to be there to have interactions with the elderly.  They’ll strive to build a friendship with them, provide them with transportation to doctor appointments and such.  They’ll also help them out with daily tasks such as changing sheets on the bed, doing dishes, and so on.

Companion care services are not so much about providing actual care in the same vein as a nurse would to a sick person.  Instead, companion care services focuses largely on ensuring that the elderly can remain living in their homes for as long as possible and have the care and support that they need to keep pushing forward.

The Benefits of Companion Care Services

The elderly can get a lot of benefits out of these services that are available in the Jacksonville, FL area.  First, most senior citizens want to be able to live their normal lives in their own homes.  Very few want to voluntarily leave their homes for a nursing home or something like that.  Companion care services allow the elderly to remain in their homes longer and continue to keep things up in a sound fashion.

Companion care services is also great for the overall self-esteem of an elderly individual.  When you have service providers coming to the home to provide assistance to these people and also to be their friends, they’ll get a real sense of joy and an improved quality of life out of that whole experience.  Sometimes the elderly simply want to feel like someone is there to help them and it will make all of the difference in the world.

Companion care services are an invaluable asset to have for the elderly.  These services allow the elderly to make a connection with someone who also wants to connect with them.  This isn’t a forced friendship.  This is about the elderly being able to spend time with someone whom they can try and connect with and really share a bond.  That bond can drive forward positive self-esteem and a higher quality of life.

The Importance of Medication Management for the Elderly

Apr, 29, 2015

Nursing Home Care

One of the biggest problems in this day and age when it comes to the elderly is medication management.  The elderly are typically great at going to see a doctor on a regular basis, getting blood work done, having care provided to them at these sites, and so on.  They’ll leave a doctor’s office with a prescription for medication, get it all filled, and away they go.  The problem is that the elderly are now on so many different medications that it can be nearly impossible for them to try and keep up with it.  In the end, this is where medication management really comes into play.  It focuses on your loved ones to ensure that they are getting the medications that they need so that they can stay healthy, strong, and in high spirits.

Medication Management and Where it Begins

Medication management is something that can require a lot of time and effort.  How many times have you seen your loved one get completely confused as they sit there and try to fill up their pill box for the week from their jars?  It can be nearly impossible to keep track of all of this stuff, especially if you are of an older state.

Medication management services in the Jacksonville, FL area is all about ensuring that the elderly can continue to live on their own, but are also going to be able to keep up with all of the medicine that they need to take on a daily basis.

How it Works and Helps the Elderly

These services typically start with a Registered Nurse that is going to be on-site at the home of the individual.  They’ll be there to help them go through all of the medication that they have and begin to organize it.  This could be done with pill boxes or in some other fashion.  The inventory of the medication is the first step to ensure that nothing gets missed.  Each medication has obviously been prescribed for a reason and managing each is vital to the health of the person.

The Registered Nurse is going to be there to help the elderly person in educating them and training them on why they are taking each pill.  They can set up a reminder timer to help them know when it is time again and have a list for them that they can check off as they take each pill.  It is all about organization and staying on top of what needs to be taken and when.

Medication is important to the health of seniors.  These medicines can do a great deal to manage diseases so that the elderly can remain positive and strong at all times.  Managing these medication is important and ensuring that everything gets taken in the right amounts and when it is needed is equally as important.  In the end, medication management is supposed to help the elderly organize and understand their medications.

The Importance of Ensuring Companionship for a Sick Elderly Person

Apr, 28, 2015

caring african medical nurse comforting senior patient in office

As we get older, companionship becomes that much more important for the elderly.   They likely have lost family, loved ones, and so on along the way.  This loss can be trying for an elderly person and when they become sick, they miss that sense of companionship that much more.  A sick elderly person needs a companion for so many reasons.  It is for their physical health, their mental health, and to just get them through another day overall.  Companionship services in the Jacksonville, FL area can help get these individuals what they need in terms of support on so many different levels.  Let’s take a closer look.

Assisting With the Physical Aspect of Life

Companionship service providers are going to be able to do a lot with helping the sick elderly with the physical aspects of their life.  Take an example of someone who is trying to recover from a hip surgery.  This elderly person went through rehab and has now chosen to go back home versus going to a nursing home.  A companion can be there to help them to go for a walk with them every day.  It can be nothing more than just having that person there to walk with them, hold their hand if they so need it, and be there for them if they feel like they should sit down and take a break.  This type of assistance with the physical aspects of life can be had through companionship service providers.  The sick elderly do not need to do these types of things on their own.

Improving Mental Health

Mental health can go a long way for someone who is feeling sick and down in the dumps.  When their mental health remains strong, it can really do a lot of assistance to pushing them forward, getting them looking ahead to the next day.  Elderly, especially when they are sick, need something to focus their attention on.  They need to be able to look ahead with a smile.  Companionship is something that they long for and when they get care in that form, they look forward to the visits.

Mental health can be assisted in so many ways.  It could be as simple as looking forward to playing a game of checkers with a companion or cards.  These types of small activities, which may not seem like much, can make a world of a difference for someone who is sick and elderly.

Companionship is of the utmost importance for the elderly.  It can help them in so many ways in both a physical sense and a mental sense.  When they can have a companion visiting them in their home they’ll be able to experience once again what it is like to have a loved one living with them and there to help them with daily tasks.  This, on top of the love that his or her family is also providing, can help the elderly push forward in a positive direction when they are not feeling well.

Should Your Elderly Loved One Be Receiving Homemaker Services?

Apr, 27, 2015

nursing home

As people get older, they try and cling on to their current lives and their comfortable surroundings for as long as possible.  Very few elderly people want to go to a nursing home and leave the place that they have spent so many years in.  There does come a time that it may be necessary, but there are services that can help the elderly stay home, maintain a high quality of life, and remain quite happy.  One of these types of services is known as homemaker services and what these services provide can be invaluable to the quality of life of your loved one.

Why the Elderly Need These Services

Daily tasks simply get more difficult as you get older.  What used to be quite easy to accomplish, such as changing the sheets on a bed, using the iron, washing clothes, doing dishes, are not that easy anymore.  These tasks can get difficult for an elderly person to complete and when they get difficult, they simply are not going to get done as effectively and as efficiently as possible.

The dangers of the elderly remaining home alone is that they can danger themselves.  This is especially the case if they are trying to use an iron when they simply cannot function it the way that they used to.  Many emergency room trips are a result of the elderly simply trying to do tasks that they used to be able to do, but are no longer capable.  Even changing a light bulb is an example of these.

Getting the Elderly the Help Needed

Homemaker services aim to provide the elderly with assistance in these key areas.  What is going to happen with these services is that you are going to be able to get a skilled professional on-site to the home of your loved one on a periodic basis.  It could be something such as a daily check-in that is going to take place.  When they get to the home of the elderly they’ll be there to help them complete many of these routine tasks.

What is accomplished with homemaker services is that you are not going to have to worry about your loved one getting hurt taking care of their own home.  This reduces the danger that they pose to themselves in a big way.  You’ll be able to know your loved one is going to be getting assistance at keeping up with their home, all while their self-esteem and quality of life remains in-tact as they are getting to live where they love to be.

Elderly individuals typically have a higher quality of life and an improved spirit when they are able to continue to live home as they get older.  Homemaker services can help your loved one in the Jacksonville, FL area get assistance that they need with these types of daily tasks.  This allows your loved one to stay right where they belong, in the comforts of their own home.

Risky Behavior: The Consequences of Insufficient Care for Seniors

Apr, 24, 2015

Family Love

It can be of great risk when you have a senior citizen that is not receiving the level of care that he or she needs.  It falls on all of us as residents of the Jacksonville, FL area to ensure that we are taking care of our loved ones as they reach the age of seniority.  This means not only caring for them ourselves, but ensuring that they are getting professional care as well.  There is only so much that we can do and there comes a time when a professional caregiver needs to be there to help them maintain a quality of life that they so much desire.  Failing to get them this care puts them at great risk to a variety of consequences.

Being Unaware of a Progressing Problem

It is important to always monitor a senior citizen as they can have progressing medical conditions without you even realizing it.  Think about someone that is starting to show the early signs of dementia.  If you are not with this person every single day you may not even realize that they are starting to have this progressing condition.  Spending more time with them would allow you to see it, but the reality is that you have a job to go to every day and a lot of other requirements to meet.  A professional caregiver visiting a senior every day would notice this type of progression and get them help.

Failing to Manage a Medical Condition

Once a medical condition has been discovered it is important to manage it.  This means helping a senior with their mental and physical health, keeping up with their prescriptions, getting them to appointments, and so on.  When you do not have a professional care giver there to help you are likely going to find that the senior’s medical condition is not going to get the attention that it needs.  Failing to have a professional help manage a medical condition of a senior can allow it to worsen quickly.

Putting Senior Citizens at Risk

The other major risk here when a senior does not have professional care is that they are at risk to themselves.  Seniors need an in-home care provider in the Jacksonville, FL area to likely take care of their daily tasks.  Your loved one may no longer be fit to do things such as cook, clean, lift heavy objects to move things around.  This is where a professional caregiver comes into play, to help reduce the risk senior citizens pose to each of them.

Senior citizens are in need of professional care whether they want to admit it or not.  Just like we needed help when we were growing up, seniors need this same level of help with medical conditions, daily tasks, and so on.  Getting them the care they need helps them to avoid the consequences lack of care presents.

In-Home Senior Care and Its Link to Quality of Life for Senior Citizens

Apr, 22, 2015

nurse helps elderly woman at breakfast

There is nothing more important than quality of life for senior citizens.  Quality of life is a term that gets thrown around a great deal but has many different meanings.  What quality of life means in this sense is allowing a senior citizen to continue to live the life that they want to live.  To keep them mentally and physically healthy so that if they want to walk down the street with their grandson or take their dog out, they can do that.  Just because you are a senior citizen does not mean that you have to give up on everything in your live that you have loved.  Maintaining a high quality of life is about keeping the life you want and pursuing it every day.

Getting Assistance to Maintain the Quality

Senior citizens do need assistance when it comes to their quality of life.  They want to be able to continue to do all of these things, but as they get older, they may not be able to do them on their own anymore.  What can be of great help to these individuals is in-home care providers.  What these in-home care providers in Jacksonville, FL are going to do is to come on-site to the home of the senior citizen.  They are going to be there to help him or her in whatever is needed.  Perhaps the person needs to get some assistance with managing their medication on a daily basis.  Maybe they need help getting an understanding of what exercises they should be doing to help them physically and mentally?  These types of things can all be taken care of by an in-home care provider.

Allowing a Senior Citizen to Stay Home

Most senior citizens want nothing more than to be able to stay home where they are most comfortable.  It can be quite difficult for someone to maintain a quality of life that they have come to expect from a nursing home where they simply lack that same level of comfort.  In-home care providers can bring the care right to the doorstep of the senior citizen.  They’ll be there every day to help them manage any conditions that they have, help them with anything in the home that is needed and be there as a companion.

The end goal of in-home care providers in the Jacksonville, FL ares is to be there to assist the elderly and to allow them to live the life that they want to live.  No one should be forced out of their home because they need daily help managing a condition or organizing medication.  In-home care providers can be there every day so that the senior citizen can remain where he or she is comfortable and get the same level of treatment they would get, only much more personal and attentive, as they would if they were in a nursing home.

In-Home Care: Special Concerns for the Alzheimer’s Patient

Apr, 20, 2015

Son & Elderly Father

A medical condition such as Alzheimer’s is something that needs to be taken very seriously.  In terms of the type and level of care that is provided by an in-home senior care provider, there are special considerations that need to be made when working with someone who has Alzheimer’s.  This is due to the unique nature of the condition and how it can alter people both physically and mentally over time.  Let’s take a look at some special concerns an in-home senior care specialist in the Jacksonville, FL area should be aware of when working with an Alzheimer’s patient.

Awareness of How Alzheimer’s Impacts Mood

The mood of a person can be greatly impacted if that individual is suffering from Alzheimer’s.  One of the conditions of Alzheimer’s, no matter what stage it is in, is that it can cause a variety of mood swings.  This can cause someone to be as nice as pie one day and then as rude as anything a day later.  An in-home senior care specialist in the Jacksonville, FL area needs to be aware of this.  If they visit an Alzheimer’s patient and run into a bad day with that patient, they’ll need to know it is nothing personal and it is the condition more than anything causing the problem.

Knowing to Assist With Daily Tasks

Alzheimer’s patients need more help with daily routine tasks than other patients do.  Think about an Alzheimer’s patient that is living alone and trying to keep up with all of the house tasks.  This could be doing things such as cooking on the stove, doing laundry, making the bed, and so on.  An Alzheimer’s patient may be putting themselves at risk by doing these types of things.  An in-home senior care provider that knows when to provide assistance with daily tasks can help mitigate the risks the condition presents.

Helping to Stimulate the Brain

One of the best things that an in-home care provider can do to help an Alzheimer’s patient is to stimulate the brain.  Talking about stories, playing some brain games, all of these things can help with stimulation and can slow the progression of the condition according to some studies.  Brain stimulation is similar to going to the gym and lifting weights.  You want your brain to get a workout if you have Alzheimer’s so that it can remain as strong as possible and fight off any symptoms that it can.

In-home senior care providers in the Jacksonville, FL area need to be aware at all times of the unique nature of Alzheimer’s.  It is not an ordinary condition and there are special considerations that need to be made if you have a patient suffering from it.  Awareness of the condition and the symptoms of it can help an in-home senior care provider ensure that they are doing all that they can  to keep the patient comfortable, upbeat, and keep their brain stimulated so that they are mentally prepared for another day.

How to Finance Senior Care

Apr, 17, 2015

Nurse in aged care for the elderly

We all have a loved one that has reached the age where they are now considered a senior citizen.  Whether they have a medical condition or not, they likely need some form of senior care to help them maintain a high quality of life.  This could be to help them in terms of companionship, help them organizing their prescriptions, getting exercise, or something else.  What many families struggle with, though, is how exactly to finance the senior care that is needed.

Senior care is a tricky thing because it is a necessity that also comes with a price tag.  That price tag though usually cannot be offset by going to work, as few seniors can still do that on a daily basis.  So what are you as a family member to do to help your loved one finance senior care and get the professional help that they so dearly need?

Using Long-Term Care Insurance

One option, if you plan far enough ahead, is to use long-term care insurance.  This type of insurance is offered in the United States and Canada and can help pay for costs of senior care that private medical insurance will not cover.  This could include in-home care, assisted living, respite care, among other things.  The important thing with long-term care insurance is that you want to be sure that it is purchased before the care is actually needed.  Once some health issues start to pop up few insurers are going to offer the coverage at an affordable price.

Using a Reverse Mortgage or Other Financial Means

Outside of insurance, the other major way in which senior care is usually paid for is with a reverse mortgage.  This is also known as a home equity conversion mortgage in many circles.  The idea here is that you are taking the equity that you have in your home and turning it into cold hard cash.  You qualify if you are over the age of 62 and have equity in your home.  There are no restrictions at all in terms of how much money you take and what you actually do with it for the most part.  If you are a senior citizen that is in need of care but can’t afford it, tapping into this savings arena can be a way to get the necessary cash.

Financing senior care can be difficult, but it is not impossible.  There are avenues you can take with insurance, reverse mortgages, and other means.  Not all of us have a savings account that is just sitting there with cash to pay for in-home care.  Health costs are always on the rise and the need for senior care in the Jacksonville, FL area has never been at a bigger spike.  The important thing to know, though, is that there are options out there to take advantage of if you are a senior or a loved one of a senior in need of care and financial advice.

 

How End of Life Care Can Assist With the Quality of Life of the Elderly

Apr, 15, 2015

nursing home

There is nothing worse than looking a loved one in the eyes and trying to cheer them up when you both know that loved one is at the end of the road, they are dying.  It can be one of the most challenging things that you will ever face in your life, your loved one as well.  The pain and stress that comes along with this can be sometimes too much for one family to bear.  There are ways to get assistance for your loved one though and be sure that they remain in high spirits, get lots of love, comfort, and support on top of what you provide, and maintain a high quality of life.  End of life care services in the Jacksonville, FL area provide this level of assistance and can help the elderly in a big way.

Keeping the Spirits of the Elderly High

Your loved one is going to be down from time to time, especially if they know they are at the end of their lives.  They need to be aware, though, that life is not over yet.  There are still opportunities to do things and take part in activities that they love.  Their quality of life does not need to go out the window to the point where they are just sitting around and waiting for that terrible moment to arrive.

Caregivers in the Jacksonville, FL area are trained to ensure that the spirits of the elderly remain high when they are approaching the end of their lives.  The companionship, if you have ever seen it take place before, is truly special.  They’ll come on-site to where the elderly are and spend time with them, sometimes every single care.  This type of care is not so much about managing a disease, it is more than that.  It is about being there to provide love and support.

Benefits of the Services

End of life care providers are going to be focusing on a variety of things with your loved one.  They are going to be there to help them with advanced care planning as well as the privacy that they so much desire.  They’ll be there to supervise them at all times and also coordinate any end of life care that may be necessary.

A lot of their focus is going to be on personal care assistance and pain management.  The idea here is to ensure that your loved one is as comfortable as possible.  They are extremely skilled in these areas so that your loved one can remain feeling as good as possible considering the circumstances.

Knowing that your loved one is being cared for and has someone there to visit them and spend time with them is invaluable.  These caregivers are truly invaluable companions that can help the elderly, at the end of their lives, maintain high spirits and continue to enjoy as much of life as they have left.

Demand for Senior Care on the Rise

Apr, 13, 2015

The need for quality senior care for those past the age of retirement has never been higher in the state of Florida.  Now more than ever there is an abundance of senior citizens that are either looking ahead or are already at the point where they need to figure out a plan for their own care.  Senior care as a demand is on the rise and it falls on establishments such as Concierge Care in the Jacksonville, FL area to try and fill the void and ensure that every senior that is in need of care gets what they desire and what they require for a higher quality of life.Elderly Care

The Reason for the Rise in Demand

Demand for senior care is on the rise due to the fact that there are now millions of baby boomers out there that are senior citizens.  Millions of these baby boomers are going to be of age 80 or older in around a decade.  These millions all fall under the demographic of those that are going to require senior care.

As you get older, you need assistance with the task of daily life that you have to take on.  This includes dealing with ailments, having restricted mobility, having to manage medical conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, and so on.  With all of this comes cost and the need for are to allow for a better quality of life to be lived.  The higher the demand out there the bigger the need for caregivers and institutions to organize and administer the care.

Where Senior Care Comes into Play

Senior care for these millions of baby boomers comes into play to help ensure that every single one of these senior citizens has a tremendous second-half of their life.  No senior citizens should go without the necessary care that they need to life comfortably.  Whether it is senior care in the form of medical condition management, helping organize prescriptions, it all goes towards helping seniors live better.  Even a care giver in the Jacksonville, FL area that just visits a senior every day for companionship purposes can go a long way to helping build their mental health so that they are always looking forward to the next day ahead.

Senior care demands are on the rise across the Jacksonville, FL area and abroad.  As more and more seniors reach the age of needing care, no matter what kind it is, they are going to be seeking out where to get it from.  Caregivers that specialize in in-home senior care, such as Concierge Care in the Jacksonville, FL area, are positioned to help these seniors in their time of need.  These people gave so much throughout their whole lives, likely raised children, and made great sacrifices.  This is why as demand for senior care rises, it falls on all of us to ensure that they have the care to be taken care of and have the quality of life that they deserve.

7 Insider Tips to Help You Maximize In-Home Senior Care

Apr, 06, 2015

The term senior care is thrown around all of the time and it can truly mean a variety of different things.  What in-home senior care is all about though is having a professional caregiver go to the home of a senior citizen to take care of them.  This could be to help them with a medical condition, it could be to help them organize prescriptions, get appointments in order, or even take care of daily tasks.  You want to be sure you are maximizing the in-home senior care you or your loved one is receiving.  Here are some tips to keep in mind to ensure that this happens.

Elderly woman and young woman shopping on internet

Make Sure the Provider is Compatible

Before you have an in-home senior care provider in the Jacksonville, FL area signed up help you every day, make sure they are compatible.  This means to meet with them and see if their personality meshes with yours.  If you two are polar opposites, this may not be someone you want to help you or you will be willing to allow yourself to get help from.

Don’t Be Afraid to Make Requests

In-home senior care providers are there to help senior citizens.  It is as simple as that.  Do not be afraid to make requests, even if they seem foolish or simple.  Asking or requesting can help you get the assistance you truly need.

Make Friends with Your Provider

The in-home caregiver that is visiting you every day is going to be there to be your companion just as much as they are there to help you feel good physically.  Try and make friends with your in-home senior care provider.  It will make the whole experience that much more enjoyable.

Plan a Schedule out That Fits a Lifestyle

Ask to have your in-home senior care provider visit you on a time that works for you. If you like to sleep in during the morning hours, don’t have them come at the crack of dawn.

Share as Much Medical Information as You Can

Sharing information is pivotal so that you can get the care and attention you need where it is needed the most.  Share information with your senior care provider about how you are feeling so that they can remain aware and try and help you as best they can.

Ask Questions

Did you wake up and feel a strange pain this morning?  Are you wondering how a certain medicine will actually help you?  These are all great questions to be asking your in-home senior care provider.  The more you ask, the more you’ll know and the more they’ll learn about you.

Enjoy the Company

The last tip is to enjoy the company that they are providing to you.  Having a companion in an in-home senior care provider visiting you every day is a real treat.  Do not take for granted the time that they are there.  Make friends, talk about various topics of interest, and enjoy the company overall.

Insider Tips for Seniors (Infographic)

Apr, 02, 2015

Knowing someone will always be there to help take care of your aging family members when you are not able to is priceless. However, many families are concerned about whether or not their loved ones will get the most out of their in- home senior care. After taking a look at this infographic, you’ll gain a better understanding of the importance of investing in this kind of service.

How to Find the Perfect Senior Caregiver to Help Your Loved One

Mar, 30, 2015

You may have a loved one that has reached the point in their life where they need to get some assistance for their wellness.  They may be suffering from a medical condition or they simply may not be able to complete all of their daily tasks with the same accuracy and precision as they used to.  When this time comes you are going to need to help them find the perfect senior caregiver so that they can get the help they need.  It can be difficult trusting a caregiver to take responsibility for your loved one, which is why there are some steps to take to ensure you are comfortable with the decision you make.

Helping A Sick Elderly Woman

Start With In-Home Care Providers

Step one is usually to start with an in-home care provider.  You likely do not want to have your loved one end up in a nursing home where they are swarmed by many other patients and fighting for the attention of nurses, doctors, and so on.  In-home care providers make for a great starting point to find someone a senior caregiver that they can trust.  The important thing to note with in-home care providers is the added comfort level that your loved one is going to have.  What in-home care means in the Jacksonville, FL area is that you have a medical professional coming to the home of your loved one to help them in any way that they can.  This allows them to stay right where they are and let the help come to them rather than them having to be driven somewhere for care they need.

Focus on the Comfort Level and Expertise Balance

As you begin to meet all of these different types of in-home care providers, you need to find a balance between who you are comfortable with and who is going to have the expertise that is needed.  Talk to the in-home care providers and get a sense as to how compatible they are with your loved one.  An in-home care provider is just as much as companion to your loved one as he or she is going to be a nurse to them.  If your loved one is comfortable with the individual that you have chosen then they are going to likely be far more receptive to the care that the person wants to provide.

In-home care providers are great options as senior caregivers in the Jacksonville, FL area.  They come to the aid of your loved one to help them not only with their medical condition and keeping up with prescriptions and such, but also assist them with their daily life and their activities.  The end result is allowing your loved one to maintain a quality of life that will keep their high in spirits and keep you high in their heart.  They’ll be thankful for the patience that you took to ensure their senior caregiver was not only there to help them, but also to provide them comfort.

How In-Home Care is Superior in Every Way to a Retirement Home

Mar, 23, 2015

beautiful elderly couple

When you begin to get older you have some choices to make in terms of how you are going to handle your wellness.  There are many seniors out there that simply need some assistance with their daily life.  This could mean needing assistance keeping up with a doctor’s appointment schedule, prescriptions, bathing, cooking, and so on.  The option that many seniors are left with is to either go to a retirement home or a nursing home, or seek out in-home care.  The latter is becoming the more and more popular choice among the elderly across Jacksonville, FL and abroad and the reason is simple; they get to keep their current life in-tact while receiving medical care that is going to really help their wellness.

The Comfort of Your Own Home

The factor that really stands out with in-home care versus a nursing or retirement home is that the senior citizen gets to stay in his or her house.  No matter how you slice it, there is nothing more comfortable than being in your own bed at night, having your couch with your television.  This is where you have become comfortable over the course of decades likely and this is probably where you want to stay.  With in-home care provided in the Jacksonville, FL area, you are letting a medical professional essentially come to you to provide the care you need.  This means you get to stay right where you belong, in your home.

The Ability to Better Manage Conditions

In-home care has also been found to be a great way to manage medical conditions.  Say you are someone who is dealing with something such as dementia.  You can do the majority of things in your daily life, but you need assistance with more detail-oriented tasks.  In-home care can allow you to stay at home where you are comfortable, but also to be sure that you have someone visiting you on a frequent basis so that you have that companionship and you have someone there to care for your condition when you need them.

More One-on-One Attention

The attention that an in-home care provider can give to you is second-to-none.  One-on-one attention means that you are going to have a nurse there to talk you through things, give you advice, and so on.  They are not going to be on a time-limit where they check on you for five minutes and then go to the next room for the next person.  With in-home care, they are there for you and you alone to be sure your wellness is where it is supposed to be.

In-home care providers can do a lot of good for seniors, no matter what their medical condition may be.  The comfort of being able to stay in your own home should not be understated.  When you can get the care you need and still have your own bed to sleep in at night, you’ll be able to retain your quality of life and keep up your wellness at the same time.

 

How Brain Games Can Help Deter the Progression of Dementia and Alzheimer’s

Mar, 16, 2015

One thing that the elderly always want to know about is exactly how they can halt the progression of dementia and Alzheimer’s.  The thing with these medical conditions is that there is no cure out there.  There is no way to magically reverse the signs that these conditions have started to develop in an individual.  All you can really do is to try and put in the work to exercise your brain to slow the progression of them.  This is where brain games come into play in a big way.  Just like you exercise your body, exercising your brain can do a lot to keep it strong, sharp, and able to slow down just how quickly dementia and Alzheimer’s take a hold of you.

Wrinkled Hands

Fighting off the Common Signs of Dementia and Alzheimer’s

Brain games are all designed around keeping your mind sharp in one way or another.  The most common signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s revolve around your brain and your memory.  When people think of these conditions they immediately start to think about memory loss.  They may also think about you having issues with reading and writing, solving basic problems or completing daily tasks with the same effectiveness and efficiency that you have always had.  This is exactly what brain games combat from a symptom perspective of the conditions.

Brain games are all about working the brain to help you retain your wit when it comes to all of these symptoms.  These brain games can be as simple as a memory match game or a crossword puzzle.  The whole idea here is to work our brains to the point where we have to think about what we are doing and challenging ourselves.

Taking Part in a Daily Brain Game Activity

The answer for the majority of the elderly suffering from the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia is a daily brain game activity.  Just like you would plan out an exercise and diet regimen for any medical condition, a brain game is also quite invaluable.  Planning out a daily brain game activity with your Jacksonville, FL area in-home care provider can assist you in keeping your brain sharp and ready to take on anything that the day may throw your way.  Varying the daily brain games can also assist you in not only keeping your brain active, but maybe even learning a new thing or two.

Daily brain games are an invaluable tool for the elderly to use when it comes to dealing with Alzheimer’s and dementia.  Daily brain games are going to go a long way to slowing down the progression of the conditions and keeping your wit where it should be.  We have worked so hard for our whole lives to build up a wealth of knowledge and experience.  Exercising our brains, just as we do our bodies, can help us be sure that we do not lose everything that we have gained for so many decades.

How a Reverse Mortgage Can Help the Elderly with Finances

Mar, 09, 2015

Senior Woman Holding Hands With Young Lady

One of the hardest things that the elderly have to deal with as they develop medical conditions over time is having the finances to ensure they are cared for.  The elderly need long-term care solutions, whether they are in Jacksonville, FL or Boston, MA.  Thankfully, there are solutions to help those out there in need of a financial boom to front the cost of in-home care, doctor’s appointments, prescriptions, and so on.  The answer is none other than a reverse mortgage.

What is a Reverse Mortgage for an Elderly Person?

A reverse mortgage is a pretty straightforward financial tool that the elderly can utilize.  If they are over the age of 62 and they have a property that they either own outright or have a significant amount of equity in, they can use that equity to their advantage to get access to cash, while still keeping their home.  Some people as they get older do not want to leave their home.  They would rather have in-home care for their medical conditions and help with daily life rather than going to a nursing home.  Reverse mortgages can make this a reality.

When you go the route of a reverse mortgage what you are essentially doing is borrowing against the equity that you have built up already in your home.  It is taking a mortgage on your equity so that you can get a lump sum payout that can be utilized to fund any medical care that you may need.  There are a slew of repayment options from financial lenders out there that can make this option something that is appealing and certainly workable to anyone who sees it as something that could be helpful.

You Are Using Your Own Money

The thing with property as we get older is that none of us want to give up on our homes that we have worked so hard to attain.  The equity, though, is often lost in the home.  If you never have the intention of selling your home, then the equity is always going to be there.  With a reverse mortgage, you are borrowing essentially against your own money you have put in.  This gives you access to the funds without having to give up on the home that you love so much.

In-home care is an invaluable tool for the elderly across the Jacksonville, FL area and abroad.  This type of care can keep them in their home where they are comfortable but also get them the attention that they need to deal with medical conditions and live a life full of wellness.  With a reverse mortgage, they may have the ability to have access to funds that will allow them to get this treatment and be able to afford it quiet comfortably.

Five Signs that it is Time to Get Someone outside Help for Dementia

Mar, 02, 2015

Elderly couple at sunset

One of the important factors to remember with dementia is that you need to know when to execute a plan to get the patient the assistance he or she needs.  Elderly people begin to develop dementia far earlier than you may think.  Once it starts to develop, it is important to know the signs so that you can get someone the help that they need before it is too late.  There are some very common signs of dementia to look out for and doing so can allow you to really ensure that you bring in an in-home care provider to assist the individual where they need it most before their quality of life takes a dip.

Issues with Memory Loss

One of the most common signs of early dementia is memory loss.  This type of memory loss is going to be such that it will disrupt the daily life of an individual.  Examples of this can include simply forgetting a story that you just told them or missing out on an important date they should know, such as their own birthday.

Trouble with Familiar Tasks

We take for granted the knowledge that we have to complete familiar tasks on a daily basis.  Things such as cleaning clothes, cooking, going to the bathroom, taking a shower, these are all familiar tasks we do every day.  Someone with early dementia may begin to have trouble processing and completing such tasks.

Mixing up the Time of Day

Dementia can also be seen in terms of getting confused about the time of the day that it is.  When you have dementia you are going to begin to lose track of dates, what season it is outside, and even mixing up when it is day and night.  If you are noticing this, in-home care may need to be established sooner rather than later.

Speech and Writing Errors

You have a sound understanding of how to speak and how to write as you grow older as an adult.  When you become elderly and suffer from dementia though, the progress actually begins to reverse.  Pay attention to someone you think has dementia and see if they are having issues writing, or stopping in the middle of a statement and losing track of where they were going.

The Mood is Also a Trigger

Mood swings are also highly common for those who suffer from dementia.  This could mean someone being happy for one minute and then completely flipping and going into a state of rudeness a few minutes later.  Mood swings are a big trigger to be sure you watch out for.

Getting someone with dementia timely care is absolutely invaluable.  The quicker you can get an in-home care provider to the Jacksonville, FL area resident, the faster they are going to get the help they need.  This is going to lead to improved wellness and allow them to retain their high quality of life.  

Dealing with Depression in Seniors

Feb, 11, 2015

“I’m so worried about my mother.  She refuses to leave her home and does not participate in the activities or friendships that she once enjoyed.  She barely eats and drinks and says she is taking her medicines, but I do not believe she is.”

Sadly, we hear various versions of this story on a regular basis.  According to the National Institute of Health, over two million seniors over the age of 65 suffer from depression.  Many times this can be attributed to the death of a loved one, a change in medical condition, or a recent relocation.  Despite the event, the common denominator we see most frequently is loneliness.   The loneliness may be due to lack of support, distance from friends and family, loss of mobility, or change in environment.

Unfortunately, many fail to recognize the symptoms of depression and don’t get the help they need.  Left untreated, depression puts seniors at higher risk for other illnesses.  It’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression which include:

  • Fatigue
  • Social withdrawal
  • Loss of Appetite and Weight Loss
  • Sleep Disturbances
  • Neglect of Personal Hygiene
  • Increased Complaints of Medical Issues
  • Increased use of alcohol or other drugs
  • Worries of being a burden
  • Fixation on Death/Suicidal thoughts

It’s important to see a doctor right away for the right treatment.  However, if loneliness is at the root of the depression, medication alone is not going to cure the problem. Emotional support can make a big difference. Listen to your loved one with patience and compassion.  If a friend or loved one is not readily available to spend adequate time with your loved one, the assistance of a home care companion may be invaluable.  The right companion genuinely shows interest in the life of an elderly person and helps them to move beyond the experiences that revolve around the depression.  Many times, the companion becomes a trusted friend to share the joys of life with including helping them to get out of the house, attending social events, and sharing meals together.

Although depression is not a normal part of aging, it can happen to anyone at any age, no matter your background or your previous accomplishments in life.  Fortunately, life’s challenges including physical illness, loss, and aging don’t have to keep you down. Depression in seniors can be treated, and with the right support and treatment, they can live happy vibrant lives.

Nancy Ralston, RN is a Certified in Geriatric Care Management and owner of Concierge Care, a personal care company dedicated to improving the lives seniors.

How In-Home Care for the Elderly Can Assist With Maintaining a Healthy Diet

Feb, 02, 2015

 

Healthy FoodDiet is of the utmost importance for people of all ages.  There are many times when people will hit a certain age and then let their diet go.  They may not see it as that important to try and maintain a healthy weight, keep up with themselves from an exercise perspective, and take proper care when it comes to wellness overall.  This could not be any farther from the truth.  The elderly really do need to pay attention to their diet and give it the utmost care.  Diet can be as important as remembering to take medications for the elderly as they get older.  In-home care in the Jacksonville, Fl area can really help the elderly with their diet and maintaining it on a daily basis.

Why A Proper Diet is Important to the Elderly

So why exactly is diet so important for the elderly?  It really comes down to the way you fuel your body.  When you consume food, all of the vitamins and the nutrients that are in that food are going into your body.  This is essentially the fuel that your body is going to rely on to run properly.  If your body is getting junk food to run on, it is going to respond in a very negative fashion.  The better the diet of an individual, the more effectively and efficiently their body is going to run.

Diet is also important from a disease management perspective.  You can take all of the medications in the world, but if you are not taking care of yourself with how you are eating, the medication is not going to be able to work as effectively.  A healthy diet may even be able to help you cut down on the medication you are taking as well.

How In-Home Care Can Help Maintain a Diet

In-home care is of the utmost importance when it comes to helping the elderly with their diet.  What an in-home care provider is going to be able to do is to help the elderly keep up with their diet on a daily basis.  This could be helping guide them with what they should be eating, what they hold snack on from time to time.  They may also be able to help them with some easy recipes.  This is all to work towards the goal of improved wellness.

Wellness is pivotal for any elderly individual.  The more that they take care of themselves, the better they are going to be able to feel and be able to live.  Quality of life is a byproduct of the diet that you follow.  As you get older, fueling your body properly will make a world of a difference in how you are able to live and seize every moment.

 

The Companionship Benefits of In-Home Care for the Elderly

Thumbs Up!

The social aspect of our lives is often taken for granted.  We get up every day, spend time with our family, go to work, hang out with people, go home and have more time with others.  Our whole day is filled with some type of socialization.  Those who live alone likely seek out some level of socialization, whether it be going to a group gathering, joining a club, and so on.  As we get older, though, companionship becomes harder to get.  An elderly person may have lost a loved one and now finds themselves in an undesirable circumstance, living alone for the first time in decades.  This is where in-home elderly care can step in to try and bring some of that companionship back.

Spending Time With the Elderly on a Daily Basis

There is a lot of value that can be had when you spend time with the elderly on a daily basis.  Just spending fifteen or twenty minutes with them and caring for them is going to show them that someone is there for them.  This is what in-home elderly care is all about.  It is all about a medical professional going to the home of the elderly to not only care for them, but also to spend time with them.

The elderly need that social stimulation.  That stimulation is going to remind them of how great it is to have a companion.  They’ll get to the point where they look forward to their visit on the next day.  That type of day-to-day motivation can really be used to improve quality of life and overall wellness.

Even A Small Amount of Socialization Can Go a Long Way

In-home elderly care helps in so many ways when it comes to companionship.  It really doesn’t take much from a social sense to give back to the elderly.  Think about how many times in a day you talk with someone about a current event or the weather?  Just taking ten minutes or so to talk to the elderly about these things can really go a long way.  Remember, they are alone and don’t have someone that they can bounce these topics off of.  In-home elderly care gives them this social stimulation in a comfortable setting, their own house.


Companionship is arguably the most important thing in life.  When you have someone there for you, you are going to have a sense of comfort.  You are also going to have a will to move on and try and seek improvement.  If you are just caring for yourself day in and day out, you may not be that motivated to keep going.  When you have an in-home care provider checking in on you though, those visits are going to be something that are looked forward to.  The end result is a life that is more fulfilling and social, one where the elderly feel like they have a real companion again.

Why It is Important for the Elderly to Take Part in Regular Exercise

Jan, 12, 2015

Special Care

There is a lot to be said for the vast benefits exercise provides to the elderly.  Many people are under the impression that they are simply too old to exercise, especially if they have never taken part in a regular exercise program in the past.  This could not be farther from the truth.  Exercise can and should be a part of your daily routine life, no matter how old you are.  Researchers have found that exercise can actually grow in importance as you age versus being more important in your younger years.

Helping Reverse the Effects of Aging

Exercise has shown that it can actually help reverse some of the effects of aging.  Think about where you have gotten to from a physical sense as the years have gone by.  You have become less flexible, you have more pains in different areas of your body, and you may be experiencing memory loss.  All of these things, with exercise, have shown that they can be dealt with to actually protect the body and make it feel far younger than it actually is.

Small Amounts of Exercise Do the Trick

You do not have to go out and run marathons to get the full effects of exercise.  Just a small amount of exercise has shown in studies to help protect the elderly from things such as long-term memory loss, one of the key cogs of Alzheimer’s disease.  All it takes is twenty to thirty minutes regularly of exercise, whether it is walking, a little strength training, and so on.  Just getting up off of the couch can make a huge difference.

Assisting the Improvement of Balance

One of the biggest risks that the elderly face is their risk of falling.  This is because balance gets worse as you get older.  Exercise is one of those factors that can really drive down the risk of falling.  As you exercise, you are going to be building up muscle strength and flexibility.  This is going to translate to better balance, allowing you to live a safer life.  Improved balance will help you cut down on the chances of falling, suffering broken bones, bruises, among other things.

Exercise in a Safe and Effective Program

You do not want to just hit the gym on your own and start to go on a treadmill, get weights, etc.  The best course of action is to find a safe and effective exercise program that is going to work for you.  Consulting with your in-home health care provider in Jacksonville, FL may be a good start.  See what you are capable of and then take it from there to try and find a program that is going to work for you.

The end game of exercise for the elderly is to improve quality of life.  That is exactly what can be accomplished when a safe and effective exercise program is begun.  Do not be afraid of exercise as you get older; embrace it to get all of the great benefits it brings.

How to Prepare Your Family for the Life Impact of Dementia

Jan, 09, 2015

The impact that dementia has on a family can be devastating.  Dementia is a medical condition that really can change the lives of the patient that suffers from the condition, the family members of that patient, friends, co-workers, and so on.  What is important is proper preparation so that you can be ready for the life impact that dementia is going to have.  Dementia is a condition that impacts millions of people all around the world.  Those who are ready for it before it truly sets in are those that are able to maintain a quality of life that is similar to where you were at prior to dementia taking over.

Have a Discussion with the Little Ones in the Family

Children are not going to understand dementia and why it is having such an impact on someone that they love.  Dementia is a condition that can cause mood swings, confusion, issues with speaking and writing, and so on.  Having a discussion with the little ones in your family to explain the condition can go a long way to helping limit their confusion around it.  A loved one is going to start acting differently.  If they understand why beforehand, they will be better prepared to handle it.

Go over the Finances Before it is Too Late

Finances need to be addressed prior to dementia setting in as well.  While you have a solid quality of life and the ability to act with good mental health, deal with your finances to get everything in order.  This means setting up money so that you can pay to go to a nursing home or get in-home elderly care, and so on.  Make sure that you use something such as a Power of Attorney so that there is going to be someone that can handle your finances in a responsible manner when you do not have the ability to make those types of pivotal decisions again.

Prepare Yourself for the Road Ahead and the New Family Dynamic

Having a full-blown family discussion around the topic can help you and your family becomes prepared for the road ahead.  Dementia changes families, but it does not have to change them for the worse.  There are many instances where dementia actually brings a family closer together.  You rely on each other more and see the true love that is there.  Before dementia really sets in, get your entire family together to talk through what you should have for expectations.  Understanding the road ahead will make it easier to travel that road.

Dementia is a scary medical condition.  Having you, your family, friends, and so on all involved prior to the condition really progressing is a great way to prepare all of those around you.  In the end, what you’ll find is that with the proper support, dementia can be dealt with and a high quality of life can still be maintained.

How to Plan Your Finances at the Onset of Alzheimer’s

Jan, 07, 2015

Young nurse and female senior in nursing home, the blood pressur

The diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or other dementia is going to bring about the requirement to do some serious financial planning.  Once Alzheimer’s has been diagnosed, it is only a matter of time before it progresses and really starts to cut into your ability to keep up with your finances and carry on your daily life as independently as you do now.  It is very important to put financial planning at the forefront early on so that you do not have to deal with the mess that comes about afterwards should it be ignored.

How to Start Planning Finances

When you start planning out your finances, you want to start by taking an inventory of everything that you and your partner are responsible for.  This means all of the assets and debts that you each have tied to your name.  This is going to assist in the organization of key documentation.

Once you have an inventory of everything laid out, you then need to figure out who you want to help you from a financial planning perspective.  The best person from a planning side to help you is going to be a family member.  You are going to want someone whom has knowledge of your situation and is going to be able to provide support for you where it is needed most.

Estimate out the Cost of Health Care

The next step in your financial planning with Alzheimer’s is going to revolve around the cost that is going to go along with your care.  Think about all of the costs that you face now and may face in the future.  Factoring in such things as in-home elderly care can help you plan accordingly so that you can afford such things.  The more that you are prepared financially for health care costs, the better care you are going to be able to afford.  Areas of focus should include eligibility of government benefits, any long-term care insurance policies you may have, as well as potential eligibility for Veterans’ benefits.

Delegate Someone to Complete Financial Duties

There are going to be things that need to be taken care of from a financial perspective as the years go on.  This means paying bills, helping with benefit claims, investing your money, filing tax returns, and so on.  You need someone that is going to be able to carry out these tasks for you.  The best way to do this is to get a Powers of Attorney document completed to assign someone of your choosing with this power.

Alzheimer’s can have a major impact on your ability to keep up with your finances.  You have spent your whole life building up a positive financial situation.  There is no reason why a disease such as Alzheimer’s needs to sink what you have worked so hard to build up.  Proper planning can help you get your finances in check so that you are ready for the road ahead in the battle against Alzheimer’s.

How Proper Wellness Can Assist an Alzheimer’s Patient

Jan, 05, 2015

happy senior woman in wheelchair outdoors with caring caregiver

Alzheimer’s is the type of disease that can be truly debilitating.  It is the type of disease that can impact you not only mentally, but also physically.  What many Alzheimer’s patients do not realize, though, is that proper wellness can go a long way to assisting with the fight against the disease.  The only thing that people really want to do before Alzheimer’s progress is to figure out a way to maintain a high quality of life.  We do not want to lose contact with our family and friends; we do not want to be a nuisance or a crutch to anyone.  So how can wellness assist with that?  How can it help an Alzheimer’s patient so that they can be better suited for the road ahead?

Proper Diet to Help Fuel the Brain and Body

The diet that you are on is going to make a big difference in terms of how your brain and body is going to do in the fight against Alzheimer’s.  Think about the way that your body feels after it has had a quality meal versus more of a fast food meal.  Chances are after a healthy meal you felt a lot better about yourself and your body felt more energetic.  This is because it was fed with the fuel that it needs to continue on and progress.  The same can be said for an elderly individual suffering from Alzheimer’s.  If they have the fuel that they need, their brain is going to be able to continue onward trying to function as it always has.  This can help fight the effects of memory loss, forgetting how to do routine tasks, issues with time and space, and so on.  All of the effects of Alzheimer’s can be battled with a sound diet that fuels the brain and body.

Don’t Forget the Exercise Either

Outside of a quality diet that is full of good proteins, fruits, and vegetables, exercise also matters when it comes to wellness.  The importance of a regular exercise program for an individual with Alzheimer’s cannot be understated.  Exercise can help someone with Alzheimer’s improve their balance, their strength, as well as their brain.  Knowing you have to go to do your exercise daily gives your brain something to focus in on.  It also will help your body physically by reducing your risk of fall and the ancillary medical events that can stem from that.

Battling Alzheimer’s really comes down to wellness.  The better that you take care of yourself, the more of a chance you are going to have to maintain a high quality of life.  If you are unable to keep up with wellness on your own, an in-home elderly care provider in Jacksonville, FL may be able to give you the help that you need.  Alzheimer’s is a terrible condition, but sound wellness can make a big difference in slowing its progression.

What to Look For in a Senior Caregiver

Dec, 31, 2014

Senior Couple Standing Outside Their Home

As you begin to approach the senior years of your life, it becomes more and more important to ensure that you are getting the care that you need.  A senior caregiver is someone that is going to come in and take care of you from top to bottom.  This means keeping up with your overall health, any conditions you may be facing, medications that you need, doctor’s appointments, and so on.  So how do you determine which senior caregiver is right for you?  What should you look for to ensure you are getting someone who is going to help you and your overall wellness?

Find a Caregiver that is Passionate

Not every caregiver whether you believe it or not is passionate about what they provide from a service perspective.  It is very important to find a caregiver that really does care, for lack of a better word, about their job and what they are providing to their patients.  A caregiver that is passionate about their job and helping you is going to go the extra mile to be flexible and be ready to help you in any way that you can.  A caregiver that just goes through the motions is not going to provide you with the care that you need.

Personalized Care Tailored to You

The best senior caregivers are going to be those individuals that will completely tailor the services that they provide around you and what you need.  This means adjusting the way in which they help you from a care perspective.  It also means being flexible from a scheduling perspective.  Some people need care at different times of the day.  In-home health care providers that have the ability to be flexible and work around your schedule are going to provide the care that is needed, when it is needed the most.

Finding a True Companion

Not every health care provider wants to be a companion to the patients that they are assisting.  Those that want to go the extra mile, though, are going to be much more that a caregiver, they are going to be a friend.  It is important to interview with all of the potential caregivers that you are going to be working with.  See what type of style they have and see if it is tailored to the type of relationship you are looking for from that individual.  Senior caregivers need to be companions just as much as they need to be caretakers.  Finding a caregiver you are comfortable with is very important.

You want your senior caregiver to be someone that brings a smile to your face when they arrive at your door.  This individual should be your companion, but they should also be able to assist you in a variety of ways.  The whole overall goal of the caregiver is to improve your overall wellness.  The more work that they do to help you reach this overall goal, the better you are going to feel and the higher your quality of life will be.

What Financial Issues Should Someone With Early Signs of Alzheimer’s Consider?

Dec, 29, 2014

Senior Woman Counting Money

The struggle of living with Alzheimer’s is something that begins to creep up even as the condition is in its very early stages.  There are many life issues that will begin to pop up, including several financial issues that are going to require your attention.  Once Alzheimer’s has truly set in, it is going to be nearly impossible for you to keep up with your financial condition.  This is why it is pivotal to take the appropriate precautions so that any financially related matter can be well taken care of.

The Issue of Power of Attorney

Decision making power is very important when you are suffering from Alzheimer’s.  As soon as the condition is in the early stages, think about naming a power of attorney for all of your important decisions.  Those whom are named in a power of attorney document are going to have the ability to handle your finances so that your financial condition can be kept in good standing as you are battling Alzheimer’s.

Understand the Assets that Are In Your Possession

It is important to have knowledge and have those who have power of attorney to have knowledge of all of the assets that are in your possession.  This also should include any debt that you have to your name.  This level of knowledge is going to be pivotal when it comes time to needing some of these assets to deal with expenses related to your medical care, among other things.

Having a Plan to Handle Medical Expenses

Having a plan in place to handle the expenses related to your long-term care is also quite important.  This could mean a re-allocation of your assets, selling some of your assets, using a reverse mortgage, among other methods.  No matter what way works for you, having a plan to pay for all of these related medical expenses that are going to creep up as you battle Alzheimer’s is going to be pivotal.

Make Firm Plans for All of Your Assets

We all get old and eventually we are going to get to the point where our assets are going to be passed down to those whom we deem appropriate.  While you are alive and have the power to do so, it is important to name all of these individuals.  Take advantage of this time to make plans for all of your assets so that in the event certain things need to be sold or passed down, there is a set plan in place for everything to happen accordingly.

There are always going to be financial issues that creep up as we get older.  This is especially the case for someone who is battling Alzheimer’s.  Having a plan in terms of medical care and paying for these expenses is pivotal.  Using tools such as a power of attorney, having a plan in place for all or your assets, and just having everything in order from a financial perspective will help minimize the impact of financial issues that will appear.

Understanding Reverse Mortgages

Dec, 15, 2014

Senior Couple Sitting Outdoors

There is always a great deal of confusion over exactly what a reverse mortgage is and what it can do for seniors across the United States.  All of the confusion has led to a lot of negativity around the product of a reverse mortgage.  The reality, though, is that senior citizens in the Jacksonville, FL area and across the country can really benefit from exploring the reverse mortgage option.  Reputable lending institutions are going to allow the elderly to fully grasp all of the potential benefits, risks, and everything in-between to see if it is a good fit.

What Does a Reverse Mortgage Do Exactly?

A reverse mortgage allows a homeowner to borrow equity that they have built up against their house.  As you have paid off your house over time, you have built up a great deal of equity.  What this means is that the value of the home outweighs what still exists from a loan or mortgage perspective.  The positive difference between the value and the outstanding debt is the equity.

This equity amount can be borrowed against by a senior in need of funding for care or for any other reason.  When a senior citizen borrows money against their home, they are allowed to receive money in a variety of forms.  The money is paid from the lender to the borrower, the senior, based on the amount of equity that exists.

How is the Money Paid?

The equity can be paid to the senior citizen in many different ways.  You have the ability to receive a lump sum payment, a payment that comes in monthly, or just periodic advances when finances are needed.  Any combination of these payment methods can be combined

Who Qualifies for a Reverse Mortgage?

A reverse mortgage does not take much from a qualification perspective.  The biggest condition is that you need to be over the age of 62 and own a home that has equity in it.  Things such as credit scores and credit history have no relevancy on a reverse mortgage qualification.

What is the Price of a Reverse Mortgage?

There are some costs that will go along with a reverse mortgage.  These could include fees that will vary depending on the lender that you go with.  In many cases, the fees can just be deducted from the money that you get back from the agreement.
The amount of finances that are available through a reverse mortgage is going to be dependent on the equity in your home.  It will also depend on the type of loan program that you select.  There are many online calculators out there that can help you figure out what you are eligible for.  As you get older, it is important to have liquid assets, cash, to pay for medical care when it is needed most.  A reverse mortgage is a great tool to take advantage of.

The Benefit of the Elderly utilizing Brain Games

Dec, 10, 2014

A Piece Of Red Puzzle With A Bridge Joining Two Large Groups Of

It is very important to continue to work your brain as you get older.  As you see the signs of dementia and eventually Alzheimer’s begin to set in, the more work that you do to help your brain strength, the better it is going to be able to fight off some of the symptoms of these conditions.  One of the ways to help strengthen the brain is with the use of brain games.  There are so many options outer from online games, to books, puzzles in newspapers, and so on.  In the end, it comes down to helping your brain in any way that you can.

Helping With The Ability of Your Memory

One of the ways that brain games are going to help your overall brain strength is by helping your memory.  Brain games are going to test your memory in a variety of ways.  When you are playing something such as a matching game, you are going to be testing your short-term memory by trying to remember where certain images or phrases were appearing.  The more that you work this part of the brain, the better you are going to be able to remember as you go on with your daily life.

Improving Your Overall Focus and Attention Span

Focus and attention span is important for anyone as they get older.  One of the signs of dementia is an inability to stay focused on something for a long period of time.  It is common for the elderly to sort of go off into space from a mental perspective, not fully being aware of their surroundings due to a lack of focus.  Brain games can help fight this so that your overall focus and attention span continues to be up to snuff.

Assisting You With Your Language Skills

Language skills begin to fade a bit when dementia begins to set in.  This can prohibit someone from being able to write and speak fluently to carry out meaningful conversations.  This can cause a lot of frustration for someone as they begin to develop these symptoms.  Brain games can help battle these symptoms from progressing at a fast rate.  brain games will assist your language skills from top to bottom so that you can remain quick with the tongue and on-point to communicate as smoothly as you always have.  Your social life can be assisted with brain games a great deal.

 

Brain games can really do wonders for the elderly.  This is especially the case for someone who is beginning to suffer from early signs of dementia and/or Alzheimer’s.  Brain games can come in a variety of forms.  No matter which games you try, though, they are all going to help your brain in some way.  Whether this means helping your memory, focus, or language skills, all are positive as they all mean you are working to improve your brain strength from top to bottom.

How to Know When it is Time for Outside Help

Dec, 08, 2014

Mature couple in love senior citizens. Portraits of a married co

One of the most difficult things for any elderly individual to determine or gauge is when it is time to get outside help.  We all get to the point during our life where we are in need of outside help to maintain the quality of life that we desire.  When we get to the point where we are unable to care for ourselves appropriately, an in-home health care provider can bring forth a great deal of benefits.  How do you know when it is time to seek this type of help though?  What are the signs to look out for?

Issues with Memory Loss that Hinders Daily Life

When you begin to get older, one of the most prevalent diseases that is going to set in is that of Alzheimer’s.  With Alzheimer’s disease comes the unfortunate reality of memory loss.  When you begin to have memory loss that completely hinders our daily life, it may be time to get outside help.  Examples of this include forgetting important events, asking questions that are identical over and over again, and so on.

Inability to Solve Routine Problems

Routine problems come up in our lives everyday.  This could be something as simple as changing batteries in a remote control or switching out a light bulb.  These are the types of routine tasks that we should be able to complete on our own.  When we are unable to solve these routine daily problems or complete these daily tasks, outside help may be something to consider.  They’ll be able to help you complete all of these tasks so you can continue to live comfortably.

Not Understanding Things Such as the Concept of Time

Things such as the concept of time can get more difficult to grasp as you get older.  The elderly will commonly lose track of dates, seasons of the year, and so on.  What this can lead to is an inability to fully understand the concept of time as well.  It is common for the elderly to think it is time to go to bed during the day and think it is time to wake up in the middle of the night.  When these types of mistakes begin to be made, an in-home health care provider can do a lot of good.

It is not easy getting old.  We have all grown up from being babies, to toddlers, then children, teenagers, and now adults.  As we have gotten older, we have been able to care for ourselves in a much more responsible manner.  As we progress to the state of being elderly, though, we begin to revert a bit.  Knowing when it is time to bring in outside help is important.  Pulling the trigger on getting an in-home health care provider is an important decision that is going to allow for a higher quality of life and overall improved wellness.

 

10 Questions to Ask Your In-Home Health Care Provider

Dec, 04, 2014

Blood pressure measuring. Doctor and patient.  Health care.

Bringing on an in-home health care provider can be a daunting task.  You want to be sure that you are hiring someone that is going to come in and bring the level of care that you would expect.  This means making your life that much easier, improving the quality of your life, and really assisting you in every way that they can.  There are some questions to ask your in-home health care provider, though, before signing them on to care for you.  Here are some questions to ask.

1. Are you certified through Medicare?  

This is an important question, especially if you are over the age of 65 and seeking treatment.  When an agency is certified through Medicare, that means they can receive Medicare payments.  An agency needs to meet standards set by the federal government to be eligible.

2. Is my family allowed to interview you?

You want to know that your family approved of your health-care provider, just as you do.  It is important to ask if you can get the feedback of your family via an interview prior to signing on the in-home provider.

3. What type of training do you have?

There are some in-home health care providers that will come in and try to provide services without adequate training.  Inquire as to the training of the potential provider.

4. What type of care should be expected?

You want an in-home health care provider to bring forth exceptional care for patients.  See what you should expect of the level of care they will provide.

5. What is the flexibility for appointments?

In-home health care providers need to be available when you need them most.  Inquire as to what type of flexibility they have to be available, when needed.

6. What type of patients have you cared for in the past?

Some in-home health care providers have handled patients just like you in the past.  It is important to know whether or not they have this level of experience.

Importance of Exercise for the Elderly

Nov, 26, 2014

Old couple doing exercises in the gym.?

The elderly need exercise just like children, young adults, as well as just about anyone else.  It has been said by many that exercise is the universal treatment to prevent signs of aging.  This could not be any truer and it really does apply to the elderly from top to bottom.  There are many adults in the United States over the age of 65 that are completely sedentary or are just not active enough to get any benefit out of the minimal exercise they are getting.  Let’s take a closer look at why it is so important for the elderly to exercise.

Exercise Helps to Improve Medical Conditions

Elderly men and women across the state of Florida and the United States in general suffer from a variety of medical conditions.  These can include everything from Alzheimer’s to dementia, heart disease to diabetes, as well as high blood pressure, obesity, among others.  It has been proven that regular exercise can actually help improve the state of these medical conditions.  An example is that of dementia.  Regular exercise has shown that, over time, it can help the elderly remain active physically and mentally, working the mind and body in a way that helps slow the progression of the condition.

What Type of Exercise Works for the Elderly

The elderly should not be out there running wind sprints on a football field.  This can do a lot more damage than it can do good.  The reality is, as we get older, the body needs a bit longer to repair itself.  This is why the elderly need to get on a regimen of moderate physical activity.  This will allow them to exercise on a regular basis without taking on any added risks.  An exercise regimen may be something as simple as trying to walk for 30 to 45-minutes on a daily basis.

Ancillary Benefits of Exercise for the Elderly

The benefits of exercise for the elderly do not stop with the improvement of medical conditions.  It has been noted in research that exercise can help the immune function of the body.  This means strengthening the body so that it can better fight off infection and sickness.  It can also improve cardiovascular health, lowering the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.  Bone density improvements will also be seen to protect against loss in bone mass as you age.

It is no secret that exercise can really do a lot of good for people as they get older.  The decreased mortality rates for the elderly who exercise regularly is impressive when compared to those who live more sedentary lifestyles.  Starting a regular moderate exercise regimen will go a long way to helping the elderly not only deal with current medical conditions, but live a life full of improved wellness, and a higher quality of living as well.  It all could start with something as simple as a quick walk down the street and back on a daily basis.

Caring for a Loved One with Dementia One Day at a Time

Nov, 24, 2014

Jane is busy at work, and her cell phone rings. It’s her mom again. This is the third time she has called this morning. Jane is exhausted from trying to meet the needs of her mother, while also meeting the demands of her job and her family. Jane’s mother was diagnosed with dementia (a progressive disease that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior) just over a year ago after Jane started noticing her progressive forgetfulness and other behavioral changes.  Young Doctor Holds The Elderly Woman Hands

Caring for someone with dementia can be a stressful and an emotional journey. Currently there are over 15 million people caring for someone with dementia in the United States. While caregiving can make the biggest difference in your loved one’s quality of life, it also comes with significant health risks.

According to the National Institute for Health (NIH) the intensity of caregiving is associated with a magnitude of health effects which may unfold in a cascading fashion over a period of time.  Caregivers may first experience depression and distress, but as time goes on, physiological changes and impaired health habits may even lead to significant illnesses. It is for this reason that it is imperative for caregivers to learn to take one day at a time and establish steps to avoid caregiver burnout. Each individual progresses through their disease differently however, these tips can make your caregiving journey as rewarding as it is demanding.

1.  Educate yourself about your loved one’s disease process. If it is a progressive disease such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s or dementia, it is important to understand it in order to prepare you for future challenges.

2.  Stay Healthy by getting plenty of sleep, eating nutritional meals, exercising regularly and visiting your physician for regular check-ups.

3. Share your feelings and frustrations with a good friend, trusted neighbor or a local support group to avoid feelings of hopelessness, fear and isolation.

4. Set aside time for yourself to relax and rejuvenate to avoid caregiver stress and boost your mood and energy levels.

5. Talk to a professional, such as a social worker, physician, or Geriatric Care Manager that is trained in dealing with progressive diseases and can help with local resources. Paying for long term care can be a major source of stress so it is important to discuss all of your options.

6. Take advantage of routine respite services with a personal care agency, adult daycare center or assisted living community so you can get a much needed break.

7. Know your limitations and warning signs of burn-out, such as frustration and/or anger.  Accept that you may need help with caregiving, and don’t be afraid to turn to others for help.

8. Keep a journal to reflect on your experiences to assist with journaling your thoughts. This will help you to mourn your losses and also celebrate successes.

9. Celebrate the small accomplishments. Your loved one still has many capabilities, and even the smallest accomplishments should be celebrated. Balancing the many tasks of caring for someone with dementia or other chronic disease requires a lot of planning. By educating yourself, getting the physical and emotional support you need, and understanding your loved one’s experience, you will position yourself to succeed in your caregiver journey.

– Nancy Ralston

Nancy Ralston is a Registered Nurse certified in Geriatric Care Management and has been working to improve the quality of life for seniors for over 20 years. She is the administrator of Concierge Care.  

Understand VA Benefits and How to Apply

Large group of American Flags commemorating a national holiday,

The military service that you have provided to the United States may entitle you to certain added VA benefits  These benefits are going to be wide-ranging in terms of what they will provide you and can go a long way to improving your overall quality of life.  The United States Department of Veterans Administration has a variety of programs that help those who quality with financial, medical, as well as other assistance.

The Major Programs Under VA Benefits

There are four major benefits programs that are covered under general VA benefits.  These include disability compensation, veteran’s pension programs, low-cost medical care through VA hospitals and medical facilities, as well as education programs.  The intent of all of these programs is to help people in a variety of ways.

The disability compensation program is going to help those suffering from a debilitating disability.  In the event you need medical care, the VA hospitals and medical facilities are going to be there so that you can get the treatment you need at a price that you can afford.  Education programs are going to be there for you to help you get an education to pursue a better career, while pension programs can assist you as you move towards retirement later in life.

Miscellaneous Benefit Programs

VA benefits do extend beyond those four major programs highlighted above.  There are also other benefit programs that cover a variety of other areas of life.  This includes a support program to help those suffering from PTSD.  There exists a program that helps with military personnel in buying a home.  Job training programs exist, as do programs to help with business loans and franchise opportunities.  The benefits covered here are far-reaching and long-lasting.

How to Apply for VA Benefits

Applying for VA benefits is pretty simple.  There is a great deal of information right on the main website that is located at VA.Gov.  You can also call VA toll-free at their phone number 800-827-1000.  Veterans and their family members should reach out to the Department of Veterans Administration to inquire about the forms that need to be filled out to get the ball rolling with the veteran benefits  The VA benefits are there to help those in need.  Applying for them is made as simple as possible and assistance can be found on their website to get information on the process.

VA benefits are pretty widespread.  They cover a variety of areas that can help someone with their career, help them with their healthcare, as well as  many other things.  In the end, it is all about getting the benefits that these military personnel deserve.  The VA benefits exist to help those who are either in the military or are out of the military.  These individuals, along with their family members, can take advantage of these quality benefits to help them live a higher quality of live and get the health care that they need.

How to Treat Insomnia in the Elderly

Nov, 19, 2014

retro alarm clock ,concept  insomnia

One of the most common things that people with Alzheimer’s as well as other medical conditions experience is that of insomnia.  Insomnia is a sleep disorder that is basically when someone either has difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.  Individuals suffering from insomnia may wake up quite often during the night, wake up way too early in the morning, or feel tired when they wake up.  There are ways to help the elderly fight insomnia, whether it originates from a condition such as Alzheimer’s or something entirely different.

Maintain a Consistent Schedule

The schedule that an elderly person lives on is going to either help or hurt their fight against insomnia.  It is very important to try and maintain a regular schedule when trying to battle this type of disorder.  This should start with the meals that they will eat.  Eating meals on a regular schedule can go a long way to helping regulate the body, keep it on a pattern so that it can get used to doing things such as sleeping at certain times.  Going to bed and getting up at the same time every day also helps.  It is all about regulating the body’s internal clock so that it knows when it is time for bed and when it is time for morning.

Exercise During the Day, But Not Before Bed

The exercise that an elderly person gets can also help with their fight against the disorder of insomnia.  The elderly should try to exercise during the day, even if it means going for a walk for 10 or 15-minutes.  The key to the exercise, though is not to do it right before bed.  The elderly should try to avoid taking part in exercise less than four hours before it is bedtime.  This is because exercise can get the body going and build up energy, restricting it from being able to get to a restful state where it can fall asleep on a regular schedule.

Keep Negative Substances Out of the Body

It should not be understated the impact that things such as alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine can have on the body and its sleep patterns.  It can be a lot harder to fight something such as insomnia when these substances are in the body.  The elderly should avoid alcohol, caffeine, and especially nicotine whenever possible.  Avoiding these is going to help the body maintain a clear state both physically and mentally so that sleep can be better regulated.

A sleep disorder such as insomnia can be dealt with without medication.  It is about getting your body on a schedule and taking care of it in such a way that you can really regulate the way you sleep.  Training your mind and your body to shut down at certain times of the day and then wake up when the morning comes can help establish a consistent schedule.  Whether the insomnia is driven by Alzheimer’s or some other condition, it can be dealt with successfully by the elderly.

How to Treat Insomnia in the Elderly

Nov, 17, 2014

One of the most common things that people with Alzheimer’s as well as other medical conditions experience is that of insomnia.  Insomnia is a sleep disorder that is basically when someone either has difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.  Individuals suffering from insomnia may wake up quite often during the night, wake up way too early in the morning, or feel tired when they wake up.  There are ways to help the elderly fight insomnia, whether it originates from a condition such as Alzheimer’s or something entirely different.

Maintain a Consistent Schedule

The schedule that an elderly person lives on is going to either help or hurt their fight against insomnia.  It is very important to try and maintain a regular schedule when trying to battle this type of disorder.  This should start with the meals that they will eat.  Eating meals on a regular schedule can go a long way to helping regulate the body, keep it on a pattern so that it can get used to doing things such as sleeping at certain times.  Going to bed and getting up at the same time every day also helps.  It is all about regulating the body’s internal clock so that it knows when it is time for bed and when it is time for morning.

Exercise During the Day, But Not Before Bed

The exercise that an elderly person gets can also help with their fight against the disorder of insomnia.  The elderly should try to exercise during the day, even if it means going for a walk for 10 or 15-minutes.  The key to the exercise, though is not to do it right before bed.  The elderly should try to avoid taking part in exercise less than four hours before it is bedtime.  This is because exercise can get the body going and build up energy, restricting it from being able to get to a restful state where it can fall asleep on a regular schedule.

Keep Negative Substances Out of the Body

It should not be understated the impact that things such as alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine can have on the body and its sleep patterns.  It can be a lot harder to fight something such as insomnia when these substances are in the body.  The elderly should avoid alcohol, caffeine, and especially nicotine whenever possible.  Avoiding these is going to help the body maintain a clear state both physically and mentally so that sleep can be better regulated.

A sleep disorder such as insomnia can be dealt with without medication.  It is about getting your body on a schedule and taking care of it in such a way that you can really regulate the way you sleep.  Training your mind and your body to shut down at certain times of the day and then wake up when the morning comes can help establish a consistent schedule.  Whether the insomnia is driven by Alzheimer’s or some other condition, it can be dealt with successfully by the elderly.

How Much Does Nutrition Affect a Person with Early Signs of Dementia?

Nov, 10, 2014

The importance of good nutrition for those suffering from early signs of dementia is often understated. The reality is that there is no special diet that is required for people with dementia. It is not like someone who has high cholesterol, where they have to cut down on fatty foods to get it lowered. No specific diet exists that is going to help prevent dementia from progressing. Having a good and sound diet, though, can go a long way to helping minimize the impact that dementia has on the life of an individual.Couple eating breakfast

The Basics of a Proper Dementia Diet

A sound diet for someone suffering from dementia is the same as someone who wants to live a healthy and fulfilling life. It is all about eating a well-balanced and nutritious diet. Limit the consumption foods that are high in both saturated fat as well as cholesterol. Cut down when you can on the intake of sugars. Avoid high sodium foods as well, including the excess use of table salt. A balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, and protein will go a long way.

The Impact on Dementia Progression

Early signs of dementia can include everything from memory loss to having issues doing daily tasks, something as common as going to the bathroom on your own. Having a proper diet is going to give your brain the nutrition and the vitamins that it needs to help slow the progression of the condition. It is not going to fight off dementia entirely, but when your brain is being fueled by quality food, it is going to be able to continue to try and function as it has your entire life.

Improved Quality of Life

A sound diet that is full of nutrition and balance is going to improve the quality of life of an individual suffering from early dementia. The impact is an improvement on the overall wellness of that individual. What this means is that the individual is going to be able to live a higher quality of life earlier on as the condition begins to set in. Having a sound diet is going to allow the body to fight off diseases, infections, and so on so that the dementia is not complicated with any other medical events creeping up. The physical and mental fitness of an individual will receive an uptick with the consumption of a nutritious diet.

There is no cure for dementia, but the more that we take care of ourselves with a sound diet and an exercise plan, the better off we are going to be at warding off the progression of the condition. As long as the brain continues to get all of the vitamins that it needs, it will have the fuel that is necessary to try and continue functioning as it always has. The affect that a good diet can have on someone with early dementia cannot be understated. Taking proper care of your body physically and mentally can slow the progression of the signs of dementia.

5 Things to Know About In-Home Care

Nov, 05, 2014

Receiving personalized medical care is a truly valuable commodity to have access to.  There are so many elderly individuals out there who simply are not fortunate enough to get this type of in-home private care.  In-home care needs to be seen for the value that it provides.  The benefits range from increased patient satisfaction, reduced errors in regard to medications, fewer missed doctors visits, hospital visits, as well as fewer accidents in the home.  Let’s take a look at how in-home care lends itself well to each of these benefits. Young woman doctor in cap and face mask in surgery room interior

Improved Patient Satisfaction

In-home private care for the elderly has been found to result in increased patient satisfaction.  This is because with a private in-home care plan being administered, an individual is going to be spending one-on-one time with the patient.  This means getting them the attention and the care that they need and will appreciate.

Reduced Medication Errors

There are errors that are made all the time when medication is administered.  With in-home private care, though, there are fewer errors that will be made.  This is due to the fact that one person is going to be handling that one patient.  This means less opportunity to mix up medications, give the wrong dosages, and so on.

Less Missed Doctors Appointments

The elderly can have a hard time keeping track of their schedule, especially their doctor appointments.  With in-home private care, they are going to be able to help their patients by making sure that they do not miss their visits to the doctor.

Fewer Hospital Visits

The better the care that is given to the elderly, the better their wellness is going to be.  In-home private care is going to assist patients in dealing with any medical conditions that they have.  This means helping keep symptoms and conditions in check.  The better maintenance of these health conditions translates to fewer hospital visit among these patients receiving this type of care.

Accidents Take a Backseat  

When in-home private care is in effect, the patients are going to find that they are cared for and watched over so closely that they are going to be less likely to be involved in a slip and fall or other accident.  The elderly are always at risk of falling.  When a nurse visits to provide in-home private care, though, they may be able to pick up on hazards or just spend time with the elderly so that they feel better and are less likely to fall.

In-home private care is hard to match in the health care industry.  Elderly patients in Florida and abroad that receive this type of care will find that their quality of life is vastly improved.  They will be able to better manage their medical conditions, keep up with their medications, doctor appointments, as well as reduce their risk of having to go to the hospital for treatment.  This all translates to an improved life for the elderly as they grow older.

10 Signs it’s Time to Take the Keys Away From an Elderly Person

Nov, 03, 2014

 

It can become quite dangerous when an elderly person continues to drive a car when they do not have the physical and/or mental capacity to do so.  Just how do you know, though, when it is time to take the keys away?  Your mother or father may have been a great driver for the last sixty years, but that does not mean that they can still do it safely.  Let’s take a look at ten signs that it may be time to take the keys away from an elderly person to protect themselves, as well as others out on the road.

  1. Issues with Solving Problems

One of the first signs that it is time to take the keys away is normal problems that he or she used to be able to solve quite easily become more difficult to grasp.  Problem solving issues may start with working through numbers, reading, keeping track of bills monthly, as well as other common tasks.

  1. Problems with Memory

The elderly may develop issues with memory loss, especially if they are suffering from dementia.  When the elderly begin to forget information, they can easily become disoriented.  If an elderly person is losing their memory, it may be time to stop driving.

  1. Difficulty with Common Tasks

It may seem easy to you to figure out which key is used to open the front door of your home.  For an elderly person suffering from dementia, though, this common task can be quite difficult.  Pay attention for signs of them having difficulty with these types of tasks.

  1. Not Understanding the Concept of Time

The elderly may begin to think that day is night, and night is day.  It is common for the concept of time to be confused when dementia starts to set in.  Keeping track of these types of issues can help you be more alert as to when they are starting to become more prevalent.

  1. Trouble with spatial Relationships

As men and women get older and begin to suffer from dementia, they will have issues with spatial relationships.  This can harm them from being able judge distance, read, and so on.  When you have to drive a car, reading signs, and figuring out where others are on the road, this is pivotal.

  1. Losing Things on a Regular Basis

This builds off of the issue with memory loss.  If the elderly are constantly misplacing things or losing things that they normally always have with them, such as their glasses, it could be a sign for you to step in.

  1. Issues with Speaking and Writing

Being able to fluently speak and write is a key sign of mental capacity for the elderly.  Once they start to fail to be able to do that, it could be a sign of dementia setting in, and a sign that the keys should be taken away.

  1. Mood Swings

The elderly may start to get moody as they get older, especially if they have dementia.  When this starts to happen, they can be a real liability on the road to themselves and others.

  1. Poor Judgment

Judgment issues are also common with the elderly as they age.  If they lack the ability to properly judge, they may not be able to make decisions on the road such as when to go and when to stop.

  1. Acting in an Anti-Social Manner

Not everyone has to be social butterflies.  When the elderly, though, begin to withdraw themselves from everyday activities, it may be a sign that they need to be taken off of the road.  This can be a symbol of dementia and being out of place; not having the mental capacity to drive.

How Can You Detect Dementia Early?

Oct, 22, 2014

Early detection is pivotal in handling the condition known as dementia.  At its onset, dementia can have a negative impact on the lives of those that it affects.  As it progresses, that negative impact is only going to worsen and become more severe.  The earlier that dementia is detected, the better the management of the disease is going to be. Here are a few ways in which dementia can be detected earlier on.

Nurses Helping Elderly

Watching Out for the Warning Signs

There are some common warning signs of dementia. The most common is that of memory loss.  When you are with your loved one, keep an eye out for situations where the individual is having short-term memory loss. Looking for things such as repeating stories, being told the same thing multiple times, or in some instances forgetting things that he or she had just done recently.

Another early sign of dementia is issues in dealing with problem solving that used to be easy.  If your loved one used to be able to do a crossword puzzle every day with ease, but now can’t seem to figure them out, that could be a sign of the condition beginning to develop.

Other impairments may also exist to show a potential of dementia developing. These include language, such as not being able to put together sentences as coherently in the past.  Communication, as well as focus.  If you notice that your loved one is starting to become confused frequently and not connected in social situations, the onset of dementia may be the reason why.

Testing for the Diagnosis

Without having your loved one go through testing, there is no way to accurately detect dementia.  If the warning signs are starting to become more apparent, see what you can do to have testing done on him or her.  Doctors are going to look at everything from medical history, to mental status testing to help with the diagnosis.  Physical and neurological exams, as well as  blood tests and brain imaging will reveal whether dementia exists as well.  Just because a loved one is suffering from memory loss does not mean that they are also suffering from dementia.  It is a multitude of items that will lead to the ultimate diagnosis.

A loved one needs assistance when they are suffering from dementia.  Detecting this early on is going to help you have the individual receive the care they need.  Setting your loved one up with in-home care earlier on in the progression of the condition is going to help them adapt to their new lifestyle.  This is going to make it easier for them to cope with the symptoms, especially as it starts to worsen as time goes by.  Dementia is scary, but early detection can help a loved one a great deal with slowing the progression of this disease.

10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

Oct, 08, 2014

Smiling Lady In Wheelchair

10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s is a collection of degenerative symptoms that do a lot of harm to someone suffering from the disease. The symptoms range from impairments that can impact the ability of someone to be able to communicate, reason, and remember things the way that they used to. Alzheimer’s disease is the leading cause of dementia. There are early signs and symptoms of the disease that can tip off its onset. Below are the ten most common signs in early detection of Alzheimer’s disease.

Memory Loss

Memory loss is one of the most common early signs of Alzheimer’s disease. This occurs when someone starts to forget things that they did earlier in that day. An example would be if someone is telling you a story multiple times over, forgetting that they previously told it a number of times before.

Issues with Language

Having trouble understanding language is another early sign of Alzheimer’s. A symptom of this could be something such as having difficulty in reading and comprehending sentences and stories in totality.

Communication Problems

When someone starts to have issues communicating with other people in speech or in writing, this can also be a sign of Alzheimer’s. Those suffering from early dementia may not be able to compile sentences in a way that can be easily understood therefore unable to speak on-topic or form complete sentences.

Trouble with Common Reasoning

Having issues with common reasoning can also be a sign of Alzheimer’s disease. This means having trouble coming to a conclusion that seems obvious. This could be as simple as knowing the reasoning behind turning the lights off before going to bed.

Mood Changes

Those suffering from early Alzheimer’s also have trouble with mood swings. It is not that easy to recognize this unless you live with the person, as you would not know their typical moods on a day to day basis. Depression is also typical of early Alzheimer’s.

Losing Desire for Life

Loved ones who used to enjoy going out or taking part in hobbies, but no longer are interested in those activities, may also be an early sign of Alzheimer’s. You must keep aware of situations such as a loved one becoming listless and uninterested in the activities they once enjoyed.

Confusion

Elderly individuals who get confused easily on simple topics may also be showing early signs of the Alzhiemer’s disease .

Trouble Following Stories

If a loved one can no longer follow a story you are telling them and become confused very easily or feel lost they may also be facing early signs of Alzheimer’s.

Forgetting their Train of Thought

Look out for situations where a loved one is trying to tell a story but ends up forgetting where they were going halfway through. This can be a sign forgetfulness, confusion, and could be a symptom of Alzheimer’s.

Repetition in Speech

The last symptom of Alzheimer’s is repetition in one’s speech. This is similar to memory loss, but is more the way that an individual speaks. If you find that someone is very repetitive in terms of using certain words over and over when they would normally change their speech patterns, this could be a sign of Alzheimer’s disease as well.

What to Do When the Elderly Become Depressed

Oct, 06, 2014

Helping A Sick Elderly Woman

One of the biggest risks that the elderly face as they get older is depression. Elderly are at a much higher risk for depression than younger adults. They also suffer from the highest rates of things such as suicide, as scary as that sounds. Older people need help to battle depression so that they can stay upbeat, positive, and excited about their life. Let’s take a closer look at ways to help them when suffering from depression.

Find the Elderly the Help They Need

The elderly typically do not like to get help. They are resistant to it because they do not want to put themselves through the pain of dealing with depression, but also do not want to put their families through it as well. Many elderly also think of depression as a sign of weakness and resist help due to the nature that they were able to do so much when they were younger.

It is most important to get your loved ones with depression the help that they need. This means providing them with in-home care. This will help them by having a professional come into their home and assist them step-by-step.

Understanding the Symptoms

Another factor in helping an elderly person with depression is to know their symptoms. This means spending enough time with them to monitor them and see where the depression is really taking its toll. Perhaps your loved one is not sleeping at all anymore? He or she may also not have the appetite that they once had. Elderly with depression suffer from it in a variety of ways. Knowing their symptoms will help in being able to better target them and assist them in dealing with their problems.

Getting Them Something to Lift Them Up

Someone who is depressed needs something to help get them out of that depression. This means finding something that can help give them a lift or a renewed sense of being. This could be something as simple as activities that they can take part in during the day. Maybe plan a lunch with that loved one at a certain time each week. This is going to give them something to look forward to and in-turn is going to give them a goal to get to. This may be enough to help them find a positive light or a sense of being again to help limit the depression’s impact.

Elderly men and women whom suffer from depression need assistance. The faster that we can get them the help that they need the better off they are going to be in dealing with their problems. Things such as in-home care can go a long way to getting the elderly that special assistance that is necessary. One-on-one care can really make a big difference in the short and the long-run in fighting depression and turning the life around of an elderly man or woman.

Managing Personality and Behavior Changes from Dementia

Kind Nurse With Elderly

One of the biggest things that you will notice when a loved one is suffering from dementia is their personality and behavior changes. These types of changes start right at the onset of dementia, which is the leading cause of Alzheimer’s. The condition of dementia is one that can completely alter the way that a person acts and behaves in a variety of situations. Let’s take a look at ways to manage the changing personality.

Understanding it is Nothing Personal

The most important thing to remember is that the new personality and behavior change is nothing personal. It has nothing to do with you, that your loved one is now acting this way. He or she suffering from dementia is not at fault either; it is simply a result of the condition itself. Knowing this ahead of time and being understanding is going to help you in the event that a loved one with dementia acts in a negative way towards you for some reason. It truly is nothing personal that they are acting in a new way.

Getting to Know the New Behavior

Now that you understand that the new personality and behavior is nothing personal, it is time to get to know that new person. Spend time with your loved one suffering from dementia to create an understanding of how their personality and behavior has truly changed. Grasping all of these changes is going to better prepare you for being able to continue to spend time with them in a loving and positive way.

Adapting to the Change

Adaptation is the last major factor to consider when managing personality and behavior changes related to dementia. You have to be able to be strong enough to adapt and change the way that you spend time with your loved one. Once you get to know their new behavior and personality, you need to adapt to it. Learn what may set them off or cause them to have a mood swing and try to avoid triggering such a behavior. Adaptability on your part is going to make it easier on your loved one to continue to live a normal, happy, and fulfilling life. Their personality and behavior may have changed, but deep down, they are still that same person whom you love so much.

As dementia continues to digress over time, so will the changes in the personality and behavior of your loved one. The important thing is to stay ahead of the changes so that you can continue to adapt and communicate with your loved one in a beneficial way. No one wants to turn their back on a loved one suffering from dementia. They may be acting in a new and different way, but they are still that same person inside. Knowing how to manage the personality and behavior changes can assist you and your loved one in dealing with dementia together.

Legal and Financial Planning for Dementia

It is very important to receive legal and financial planning as soon as dementia is diagnosed. Dementia is a condition that is degenerative. The symptoms of dementia are going to worsen over time, making it harder and harder for those suffering from it to conduct daily functions. This means you’ll want to get everything from a legal and financial planning aspect taken care of before things take a turn for the worse.

Elderly Home Care

Start With a Financial Plan

The first step to financial and legal planning for dementia is to develop a clean and concise plan for your loved one. This means sitting down with family members and taking a full inventory of assets. It is important to know and have accounted for all of the assets and debts that a partner may have. If your loved one is suffering from dementia, knowing information about all personal property beforehand is going to allow you to feel more confident in knowing where all of the finances lie.

Having a financial plan in place should consist of items such as knowing where support is going to be needed, what assets could be utilized in the event that some extra funds are going to be necessary for care, and so on. Financial planning must involve all family members that are going to be ultimately responsible for the assets and debts in the future.

Knowing the True Cost of Care

It is also smart to identify the costs related to care for those suffering from dementia. Think about costs associated with things such as in-home care for dementia in the Florida area. These are costs that the patient is likely going to have to incur now and should also project costs that he or she may incur in the future. This coupled with knowledge over the assets and debts should give the family an idea of where everything is in the current state of financial affairs.

Getting the Legal House in Order

From a legal perspective, someone suffering from dementia needs to designate an individual to handle his or her financial matters. This could include everything from paying bills, working with insurance benefit claims, investing assets, etc. It also includes tasks such as preparation and filing of tax returns, as well as the management of bank accounts. One of the best ways to do this is to set up either a Power of Attorney or a Trust. Planning ahead of time can help ensure that everything is going to be secure and handled properly.

Financial and legal planning related to dementia is pivotal. The more planning that is done beforehand, the more time can be spent in helping the individual suffering from the condition. When a loved one is in need and living with dementia, the last thing you want to be worrying about is how his or her bills will be paid. Planning ahead can help avoid these types of issues and allows one to focus on and better care for their loved one during the early stages of dementia.

In-Home Care vs. a Retirement Home

Understanding the differences between in-home care and a retirement home are very important for those looking to get their loved ones the help that they need.  As the elderly continue to grow older, they need more assistance.  Tasks that used to come easy to them are simply not so easy anymore.  They need true one-on-one care so that they can continue to live happy and fulfilling lives.  When it comes time to get your loved one help, deciding between in-home care and a retirement home is pivotal.  Let’s take a look at why in-home care has and continues to be the best choice for the elderly.

Young Doctor Holds The Elderly Woman Hands

Having Individual Attention and Care

There is a lot to be said for individual attention and care for the elderly.  When a loved one has one-on-one time with a nurse, he or she is going to be able to have all of their needs attended to.  This type of care simply cannot be received when in a retirement home.  When an elderly man or woman is in a retirement home, they are going to be sharing the attention of nurses and caretakers with many other people whom are staying in the home.

The level of attention that you receive in a retirement home is just not going to be the same.  A nurse or nurse assistant is going to check in on your loved one every once in a while, but they are not going to be there to assist them as often as you would like them to be.

Better Connection with the Nurse and Nurse Assistants

Typically with in-home care for the elderly, they are going to have the same or similar caretakers at each visit.  This is going to allow your loved one to make a real connection socially with that individual.  They will grow to trust that person and take their advice with more credence.  These visits are going to help them not only physically, but also emotionally on a social level.

It can be very beneficial for the elderly to look forward to a visit for their in-home care nurse.  They get to spend time with them, talk about how they are doing and feeling, and receive the attention that you know that they deserve.  Having people to look forward to can help the elderly battle ailments such as depression and other problems that may arise as they age.

In-home care is far superior to a retirement home in just about every way.  The added attention to detail that the elderly receive thanks to in-home care is going to go a long way at helping them physically and mentally.  The nurses will have the time to spend with the patient so that they can hear about their troubles and better detect problems that may be forthcoming.  The added attention to detail the elderly receive with in-home care means they will be better assisted in every way.

Taking Care of the Family Caregiver

Jul, 10, 2014

Family caregivers are at increased risk for both emotional and physiological health problems. Understanding the risks and adapting coping resources can prevent long-term damage to the well-being caregivers.

Family Caregivers65.7 million people reported being a family caregiver in 2008. These caregivers reportedly spent on average 20.4 hours a week providing some form of care including transportation, bill-paying, household chores, personal care and/or medication management. Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s Disease can require up to 60 hours weekly and may continue for as long as 5 to 10 years.

While caring for an aging or ill family member can be very rewarding, it can also have significant negative effects on the caregiver. Physiological consequences can include increased rates of heart disease and even early mortality, while emotional consequences include high levels of stress, anxiety and depression. It is critical for caregivers to achieve a balance between caregiver stressors and coping resources. Resources include things such as obtaining available assistance from other family members, friends or agencies for relief of caregiving responsibilities and attending support groups. Psychotherapy can also be helpful and offers individual or group sessions than can assist caregivers to focus on specific emotional reactors and teach coping interventions to better manage them. An example of a positive coping mechanism is to take at least 15 minutes daily to focus on an activity that is enjoyable.

It is important to understand that family caregiving should be viewed as a “marathon” and not just a “sprint” to the finish line. Learning how to pace yourself and also remembering to replenish frequently along the way can help to avoid emotional and physiological consequences.

Feel free to call me to discuss how we may be able to assist you further @ (904) 861-0196.
~ Nancy

How to Understand a Long-Term Care Policy

Jun, 20, 2014

Long Term Care InsuranceReceiving benefits from your Long Term Care policy can be both confusing and challenging. In order to receive benefits you must meet both The Benefit Trigger and The Elimination Period.

 

The Benefit Trigger is the specific requirement the insurance company uses to determine eligibility. This is usually based upon an assessment by an independent agency or a statement signed by your primary care physician. Most long term care policies define benefit triggers in terms of Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) or Cognitive Impairments. Benefits begin to pay when you need help with 2 out of 6 ADLs (bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, transferring and continence), or when there is a significant cognitive impairment. The insurance company will let you know if you qualify for long term care benefits under your plan.

 

The Elimination Period is the amount of time that must pass from The Benefit Trigger until they will begin paying for services. This is similar to the deductible you have on your car insurance policy. Most policies have a 30, 60 or 90 day elimination period. During this time you will be responsible for payment of services rendered.

 

Once both The Benefit Trigger and Elimination Period have been met, most policies should pay costs up to a pre-set daily limit until the lifetime maximum is reached.

 

If you need help navigating your Long-Term Care Policy, please call us at 904.861.0196, and we would be happy to assist you with this process.

 

Six Ways To Help Manage Medications for Seniors

Jun, 13, 2014

Caring for the elderly includes helping to organize medications and keep them on the prescribed schedule. According to the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, people 65 to 69 years old take around 14 prescription medications per year, individuals aged 80 to 84 take an average of 18 prescriptions per year. Drug reactions and not following the dosage, schedule and interaction precautions account for 28% of elderly hospitalizations.
That is a lot of meds, and a lot of potential dangers.

These tips can help prevent senior medication problems:

Follow Doctor’s Orders:

It is extremely important to take your medication in the exact amounts and at the times prescribed by the doctor. Do not stop taking your medicine without asking your doctor first. If you are experiencing unexpected side effects, talk to your doctor right away. Doctors are not mind readers, so be sure to tell them everything you can about your situation, including any over the counter medications or supplements you may be taking.

Document Your Medications

Keep a list of all the medications you are taking. That way if you forget, or a caregiver needs to know what you take and when, you will have the right information. Be sure to record the dosage and how often you are supposed to take the drugs. Keep the list in a safe place and consider making copies which your closest relatives can keep on hand.
Know your medicines as well as your doctor does.

 

Know What You Are Taking and What It Does

If you take more than one, including over the counter drugs, medications can interact in very negative ways. Certain foods or alcohol can also affect medications you are taking. Some drugs may be potentially harmful if you have certain medication conditions.

If you have more than one doctor, or visit a new physician, be sure to tell each one about all of the medications you are taking. They may not know all the facts if you do not tell them.

Medication Update

Periodically review your meds with your doctor to make sure you still need to take them, and that nothing has changed in the way you should take them. A more effective or cheaper drug which does the same thing may be available.

Get Organized

Plastic pill organizers can help sort meds by day of the week and time of day – morning, noon, dinner, night time. There are also high tech options that can remind you when to take which meds.

Label Everything

It may be helpful to put your own simple labels on the meds. Rather than having to remember hard to read and pronounce drug names, having blood pressure meds labeled “BP”, or blood thinner marked “THINNER” can help seniors avoid pill confusion.

 

It can be difficult to keep track of all of the meds seniors have to take. Not taking medications exactly as prescribed can have catastrophic effects.
Concierge Care in Jacksonville Florida has Medication Management services that can help.
To learn more, please contact Concierge Care here on the website, or call us: (904) 861-0196

 

What an In Home Caregiver Needs To Know About You

Jun, 04, 2014

If you have been looking for an in home caregiver, you have probably come up with a lot of questions to ask the care provider or home care agency. Senior care providers need to know some things about you and your loved one, too. Your caregiver is going to become almost like family, and be there when you can not, so it is essential that a good relationship is established between the senior and the new companion.

Caring CompanionsWhen you arrange for home care for a senior, it helps to spend some time getting ready to enter this new relationship. Caregivers should be given as much information as possible to ensure your senior loved one receives the best possible care and attention – and has a positive, supportive relationship with this “new best friend”.
What sets great caregivers apart from all the rest is the relationship they build with the senior. When a caregiver is able to really get to know the person, they can become like a family member over time, and “be there for you when you can’t be”. To help establish a good relationship between your care provider and your senior relative, help them get to know each other.

Tell the home health care provider the following things to know about the senior:

  • Any illnesses/injuries or other conditions
  • Likes/dislikes and hobbies
  • Medications, and how and when they should be taken
  • Need for dentures, eyeglasses, canes, walkers, or other assistive devices
  • Any behavior problems and the best ways to handle them
  • Mobility issues
  • Special dietary or nutritional needs
  • Current exercise routine
  • Social life – friends, clubs, places

Some of these may seem obvious, like medical issues, while others are more personal. Both are important to the health and well being of the senior. Making sure your caregiver knows everything she needs to know.

 


To learn more about how an in-home caregiver can help, please contact Concierge Care in Jacksonville Florida here on the website, or call us:
(904) 861-0196

 

The Worst and Most Common Scams Targeting The Elderly

Apr, 29, 2014

scams target elderlySenior citizens are frequently targeted by scam artists.  Many  grew up in a time when business was based on trust and a handshake.  According to a study done by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), older people are quicker to believe promises and slower to take action against rip-offs.  Many seniors live alone and are trusting of friendly sounding callers, even when it is a stranger. Older people also happen to own more than half of all financial assets in the U.S., so it becomes clear why con-artists target seniors.

 

Here are some of the most common scams that target the elderly living at home alone:

 

 

Fake Lottery or Inheritance

Seniors get a phone call saying they’ve won a lottery or have inherited a large amount of money, and they need to either pay money or give the caller bank account information in order to claim the winnings. Once the scammer has the bank info, they will slowly but surely drain the account, saying that there are additional fees or some other excuse. In some cases this can go on for a very long time, in small amounts so the theft can go unnoticed.

 

 

Thieves Pretending To Be Grandchildren

Fraudsters call senior citizens and impersonate their adult grandchildren in order to hit them up for money. They will prey upon the kindness of grandparents and make up a story about being in jail and needing bail money, or some other financial emergency. Sometimes they will even have someone else call, impersonating a police officer and ask for more money.

 

 

Nursing Home Account Fraud

People in nursing homes usually have house account money in their name. The nursing homes have a duty to use it if your loved ones need a prescription filled or other expenses not covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

Unfortunately, nursing homes do not have very good security on residents’ trust funds. Dishonest nursing home employees with access to these accounts can skim a little at a time, stealing from the very people they are hired to take care of.

 

 

Computer Scams

Tech-savvy seniors sometimes fall prey to a variety of attempts by thieves to get their hands on personal computers – and the valuable data they hold. Passwords, account numbers, birth dates, social security numbers… identity theft is too easy when the thief has it all in one place. This type of scam can be anything from a bogus call from a computer secrirty expert who say they can “fix” a made-up problem by logging into the victim’s PC, to thieves who watch and wait for the opportunity to get their hands on a laptop computer.

 

 

Homeowner Scams

Seniors who live alone in their own homes are frequently targeted by fake home contractors who charge huge amounts of money for unnecessary work. They will call and say they were driving past and noticed the roof needed work, or maybe windows. These scams are common after a big storm does real damage to other homes in the area. Scammers will say they are offering free roof inspections or other services in order to gain the victim’s trust so they can then charge for all kinds of unnecessary services. Or they may simply need to distract the homeowner while the thief’s partner steals valuables from the home.

 

 

Medical Scams

Seniors will get a call from someone offering a discount on medical equipment. It sounds like an amazing opportunity and all the caller needs is a deposit and some bank account information. The equipment never comes, and the money goes.
There are also numerous rip-offs surrounding the Affordable Care Act. Many are operating by door-to-door and phone solicitation, and take advantage of all the confusion and misinformation about Obamacare.
Some scams to watch out for that are just not true:
You need a new Medicare card and have to tell them your Social Security number.
You need new supplemental policies.
You have to pay a $100 fee for help getting into the new Obamacare system.

 

Seniors living alone at home, and people of any age, can fall victim to these clever schemes. The scammers can be clever, and know how to push the buttons of their elderly victims to get exactly what they want. A live-in care provider, or a caregiver who spends a fair amount of time in the home, can help protect your elderly loved one from these rip-offs.

To report a scam, or for more information, please see the following resources:
• AARP’s Fraud Watch Network www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork
• The Senate Aging Committee’s anti-fraud hotline: 855-303-9470
• FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center www.IC3.gov


To learn more about how a live-in caregiver or the in-home care provider can help protect you or your elderly loved one from these and other hazards, please contact Concierge Care in Jacksonville Florida either here on the website or call us:
(904) 861-0196

 

 

Choosing Between In-Home Care, Nursing Home, Assisted Living, Adult Day Care…

Apr, 12, 2014

There comes a time when we must decide how to take care of our aging parents, and often that involves a comparison of in-home care services or moving to senior living communities or nursing home. Staying at home is often the first choice of many seniors. Hiring outside caregivers can be beneficial to elders that need some assistance at home and do not need the full-time medical assistance or costs associated with a senior care facility.

 

Here is an overview of the most common elderly care choices:

In-Home Care

Home care allows seniors to remain in their own homes while receiving the help they need to remain healthy and independent. In-home care usually involves assistance with daily living activities like bathing, dressing and meal preparation or more critical daily needs like transportation, paying bills, making appointments or simply being there to provide companionship. The level of care provided can be personalized to suit the needs of the elderly person, whether it is medication management or just daily activities. Being in the familiar setting of their own home can make all the difference in the well-being of an older person.
Pros:

Stay in home
Familiar Surroundings
Maintains Sense of Independence
Personalized Care

Cons:

Not always appropriate for those with extreme medical needs

 

Nursing Homes & Long Term Care Facilities

Nursing homes provide 24 hour skilled nursing care for the elderly who require a high level of medical care and assistance. Long-term care residents typically have complex medical conditions with high care needs. Residents in skilled nursing facilities typically share a room and are served meals in a central dining area.

Pros:
Full-time skilled nursing care
Cons:
Expensive
Seniors give up their home

 

Assisted Living

Assisted living communities are for seniors who are no longer able to live on their own but do not require the high level of care found in a nursing home. Residents usually live in private apartments. Most assisted living communities provide licensed nursing services. Social activities and scheduled transportation are also available in most communities.
Pros:
More independent lifestyle than a nursing home
Cons:
High cost
No longer living at home

 

Respite Care / Adult Day Care

Respite care, also known as adult day care provides a break for caregivers by allowing a senior to have a short-term stay in a community that can meet their needs. Many assisted living communities and nursing homes have a respite care or adult day care program.

Pros:
Provides a break for family caregivers or private duty caregivers
Cons:
Senior can feel like a burden, as if they are being “put somewhere”

 

Concierge Care

At Concierge Care, our personalized in home senior care services can fill the gaps between traditional home care and the higher level of care of a residential facility. We offer a range of services for seniors living at home including medication management, dementia & Alzheimer’s care, 24 hour live-in caregivers, caring companions and a variety of other specialized services. Concierge Care’s personalized services can be customized to provide the best possible solution for you and your family.
If you are choosing what type of care you or an elderly loved one needs in the Jacksonville Florida area, please contact us at (904) 861-0196.

 

 

 

Memory Exercises for Seniors

Apr, 07, 2014

Misplaced keys, forgetting on a friend or family member’s name, drawing a complete blank on a phone number or address… everyone has occasional memory lapses. But memory loss is not always an unavoidable part of aging. Age-related memory loss can be controlled in much the same way as physical deterioration – Exercise!

There are mental exercises that will help preserve, repair, and even restore some fading mental abilities.

Here are some activities seniors can perform that are guaranteed to improve memory:

Puzzles, Crosswords & Games

Puzzles, crosswords and other brain games test and exercise problem-solving ability and memory. Word puzzles help the brain make new associations between words while reinforcing the old ones. Number puzzles like Sudoku, also test your mathematical ability and keep your brain working on thought processes that are often underused after retirement. Puzzles force your brain to look into its archive of knowledge and abilities while exercising memory and stimulating general cognitive processes.

Playing Cards and Other Games

Like puzzles, card games work your memory and analytical abilities and add social interaction. Conversation with old friends about good times or current events helps to stimulate the retrieval of information. And who doesn’t like a good time with friends?

“Recreational” Math

As you go about your everyday activities like shopping for groceries, keep a running tab in your head of the total cost. Test yourself for accuracy without writing it down so it all has to be done from memory. Check out time will be much more rewarding!

Learn New Skills

Whenever you learn something,  you are taking part in a new mental activity. Learning any new skill is impossible without memory, so taking up a new hobby is a great way to exercise your memory, as well as keep busy.

Online Games and Discovery

Tech-savvy seniors do not even have to go anywhere to exercise the brain. Online games and brain activity sites like Luminosity, or Buzzle are a fast-growing and relatively easy way to exercise the brain in ways you may not have even considered before. Tablet devices like iPads are also easy to use and have hundreds of apps available to stimulate the mind, as well as provide easy ways to get to the endless resources of the internet where seniors can learn something new every day.

Brain Exercise is Good Memory Care

Like any other kind of exercises, memory activities combine repetitive action with learning – while making things fun and interesting. The loss of old memories and a diminished ability to retain new memories are an unfortunate part of aging. But memory loss can be slowed, and sometimes reversed by keeping the mind busy. Memory is like a muscle – use it or lose it.

 


If you or a senior loved one is having more difficulty with memory loss than you can manage, it may be time to consider hiring a memory care provider. Concierge Care in Jacksonville, Florida provides specialized care for people with various forms of Dementia & Alzheimer’s, as well as a variety of other options for seniors who wish to stay at home rather than entering a care facility.

Contact us to find out how we can help!

 

 

Signs That Your Loved One May Need Personalized In-Home Care

Mar, 17, 2014

Family caregivers often find themselves unable to provide home health care without suffering from increased stress and even illness themselves. When the burden of taking care of a loved one at home becomes too great, it may be time to consider hiring a professional caregiver.
In-Home CareHiring a personal care provider is not an easy decision. However, there are some signs that you can look for in order to recognize when it’s time for assistance:

 

  1. Wandering. The tendency of seniors to wander without really knowing where they are is associated with many conditions, such as dementia, which can result from Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, head injuries, and Parkinson’s disease. In later stages of dementia, the risk posed by wandering becomes much greater, and the likelihood of injuries increases.
  2. Sundowner Syndrome.  “Sundowning” is very agitated behavior that becomes more pronounced later in the day, which is common in people with Alzheimer’s. When sundowning begins to severely disrupt family routines and daily life, this may be a sign that the level of attention needed is more than family members can handle alone.
  3. Aggression. Aggressive behavior – verbal or physical – frequently happens with dementia patients. Caregivers and other family members may begin to feel resentful, or in some cases actually suffer physical harm.
  4. Safety. When safety of your loved one, your family members or yourself becomes an issue due to the behavior and needs of your elderly loved one, professional care may be needed.
  5. Increasing needs.  Are your loved one’s care needs beyond your physical abilities or too medically complex?
  6. Caregiver stress. Your own stress levels are as important as any other issues which may indicate a need for in-home care.

We Need More Help.
What Do We Do?

As a caregiver for a family member, it can be hard enough to find time to care for your family, let alone yourself.  If you and your loved one are not ready for assisted living, the help of a professional in home caregiver can ease the burden, while keeping Mom or Dad at home as long as possible. At Concierge Care, we specialize in personalized solutions for those needing a care provider to help keep elderly family members happy, safe, and healthy in their own home.
If you are in the Jacksonville, Florida area, get in touch to find out how we can help.

 

 

Discussing Hiring Home Care Services with the Rest of Your Family

Feb, 21, 2014

It was a little more than two weeks ago when you stopped by to visit with your mother and you noticed something that unsettled you a bit.  Maybe it was the unkempt nature of her hair.  Perhaps it was the pile of dirty dishes in the sink.  Or maybe it was the laundry that had piled up.  Whatever it was caused you to worry about her well-being, living alone in her house. It also caused you to think that it might be time to consider home care services.Home Care Services

Of course, you aren’t certain about what you’ve inferred based on her condition.  It could have been that she was sick and wasn’t feeling well.  It could be that she was busy. T here could be any number of reasons why things haven’t been getting done around the house and you don’t want to jump to any conclusions about any of it.

However, you also know that it’s something important because if there are certain issues that are going on with your mother, then the longer you wait, the more risk you place your mother in over the long haul.  So it’s time to talk about in home care services with the rest of your family.  How do you go about bringing this subject up?

If you’re just trying to gauge whether or not the rest of your family also shares some of your concerns, then you can call your family on the phone, one by one, and talk to each one.  You aren’t obligated to discuss this situation with everyone in your family, especially anyone who isn’t going to contribute, either to the discussion or financially. Each family has a unique symmetry and manner in which things get done.

If you’re going to talk about potentially hiring home care services for your mother, the best first step is to sit down with your mother and discuss your concerns with her. There could be a reasonable explanation for the things that you saw.

Offer her the respect that she has earned through the years, and deserves, enough to have the conversation with her first.  When she agrees that it makes sense to hire an in home care provider, then you need to discuss it with the rest of the family.  It shouldn’t be a morbid conversation, but one that inspires.  Home care services can help your mother live life fuller than she is now, and be able to enjoy all the things that she wants to, all while remaining in the comfort of her own home.

If you or your aging loved one needs home care services near Jacksonville Beach FL, please contact Concierge Care for Personalized Senior Services.

Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

The Moments that Make Elder Care Special!

Feb, 18, 2014

In life, there are many moments that can make life special.  If you’re paying attention, those moments will lead to a wealth of memories and wonderful moments for years to come.  You might not think that this could lead to anything special, but there are many ways that the right elderly home care can make a significant difference in a person’s life, and in the lives of those around them.Elderly woman

When an elderly individual requires any type of elder care, it can cause a family to become stressed, worrying about the health of their loved one and looking for things that they can do to make sure that nothing goes wrong for them.  They may take time out of work to go and visit or check in on their loved one, or they may give up some of the things that they enjoy to ensure that their loved one is healthy and safe at home.

Being a family caregiver can be incredibly stressful and what too many families don’t consider when they take on this role is that they might not have the experience or knowledge enough to ensure that their loved one is getting the ideal level of care.

When you decide that home care for the elderly is the right decision for your loved one, then there are going to be many opportunities to make this decision work and to have those moments that are considered special by so many people.

One thing that often brings people closer together, especially those who have drifted apart or become busy with life that they don’t spend much time together, is tragedy. Maybe you have taken your mother or father for granted and just expected them to be there for you for a long time to come.  When a medical emergency occurs, or the family realizes that it’s time to think about elder care, then you begin to think about mortality.

By allowing a trained, professional elderly home care provider care for your loved one, this will allow you to continue living your life while spending more time with your elderly loved one.

Sharing a nice dinner with family and them once a week can make wonderful memories.  Taking them to the park is also a great idea.  Going shopping or running errands can also be special.  You just never know what curves life is going to throw your way.  When you hire elder care, it can alleviate stress, leaving you more time to focus on the things that matter with your elderly loved one, and that’s where memories are made.

If an aging loved one needs elder care near Orange Park FL, please contact Concierge Care.
Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

Interviewing Tips when Hiring Home Care Services

Feb, 16, 2014

Making the commitment to hire home care services is an important decision for you and your family.  If this decision is for your parent or another loved one, you definitely want to include them in the process of choosing the right in home care provider for them.  It can be tempting to want to take charge and make the decisions for them, but you need to ensure that you include them throughout the process, especially if they are still fully capable of making sound decisions about their own care.Home Care Provider

One of the key steps to choosing the right in home care provider is the interview process.  You should be given the opportunity to interview any caregivers that you want and that would have the experience and availability to accommodate your loved one.  If any agency doesn’t allow you to meet with the caregiver ahead of time, or to interview them, then you should consider looking for a different agency.

Now, during the interview process, there are some tips that you should keep in mind in order to ensure that you end up choosing the right caregiver for your loved one.

First, disclose all information that is pertinent to your loved one’s health and requirements to the potential caregiver.  This will allow him or her to answer any questions that you may have in a more effective manner.

Next, you should find out what experience they have in working with elderly individuals who had similar health concerns or limitations as your loved one.

You can also ask them if they drive a car and if they have experience taking other elderly loved ones to the store, to their doctor’s appointments, and running any number of errands.

If you’re interviewing an independent contractor – someone who isn’t placed with your loved one through an agency- then you want to ask about insurance.  Are they insured for this type of work?  Do they have the proper automobile insurance to cover any accidents that might occur while transporting your loved one around, if they offer that service?

You may also want to ask about their first aid training.  Do they have a current certification for first aid or CPR?  Have they ever been in an emergency situation?  How did they respond?

Finally, when you’re looking to hire the right in home care provider, you want to make sure to conduct a background check, or have one done by the agency.  When hiring home care services, the most important aspect is the care and safety of your loved one. When you follow some of these tips on the interview process, you’ll be more empowered to help him or her choose the ideal candidate.

If you or your aging loved one needs home care services near Ponte Vedra Beach FL, please contact Concierge Care.

Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

Can You Provide the Best Elder Care for Your Own Mother?

“A Daughter’s story about trying to be her Mother’s Caregiver”

Sally was thinking that she would be the one to care for her mother when the time came.  For a few years after her father passed away, Sally was concerned about her mother’s health and well-being.  She moved closer so that she could be there for her mother whenever she needed something, and in the beginning, her elder care efforts and requirements were minimal.  Things seemed to be easy and Sally assumed that this would be how it was for a long time.Elder Care

When her mother had a stroke about a month ago, it left her with little mobility along the left side of her body.  Sally brought her home and even though the doctor had suggested that she hire home care for the elderly, Sally was convinced that she could provide the best elder care.

The first couple of days were tough, tougher than Sally ever could have imagined. Things were much different now, as her mother was unable to get out of bed or walk down the hall on her own.  Sally was required to assist her mother getting out of bed and moving her to a wheelchair.  Then she was tasked with helping her mother move from the wheelchair to the toilet.  This was grueling for Sally and it was taking a toll on her back.

It’s not that she wasn’t strong enough to help, but she didn’t have the training to understand the best ways to move someone from the bed to the wheelchair, or to the toilet, or even into the shower.  She also hadn’t anticipated having to help her mother bathe, or to be cleaning up after her when she had an accident while in bed.

Sally also didn’t know anything about physical therapy and even though the doctor had provided good information about the various exercises that she could take part in, Sally wasn’t good at getting her mother to do any of them.

What Sally learned through this process was that even though she assumed that she was the best person to provide elder care for her mother, she didn’t know the first thing about truly caring for a person who has gone through what her mother had.  She learned in time that her mother required professional elderly health care and when she finally made that decision, she was worn out, and her relationship with her mother had been damaged due to her impatience and frustration.  Don’t let this happen to you; when the doctor recommends professional care, don’t assume that you can do just as well as they can.  Training and experience matter when it comes to elder care.

If an aging loved one needs elder care near Jacksonville FL, please contact Concierge Care for Personalized Senior Services.
Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

Creating a Healthy Routine for Your Senior Loved One

Feb, 07, 2014

As your senior ages they may become less interested in daily activities for a number of reasons. They may be developing health issues, such as arthritis, that limit their ability to perform tasks without pain.  They may become easily tired from moving around and need to rest often. Seniors can also become frustrated that they are not as agile and fit as they used to be.  This is a natural feeling that anyone in his or her position would feel.  They see their family living out their lives and are upset that they can’t’ participate like they used to.  Keep a look out for these signs of why your senior loved one may be less active.elderly man at lake

A healthy routine is important for your senior.  Not only does your senior need to stay active, they also need to have things to look forward to on a daily basis.  When keeping your senior on a healthy routine, keep their normal activities top priority.  Remember that the simple things in a day can mean the most to your elderly loved one, such as reading the paper, walking the dog, or listening to the morning news.  The normal daily activities are the foundation to a healthy routine.

We all know that routine can be settling; yet also become somewhat mundane.  Keep zest in your senior’s life with weekly activities they can look forward to.  Two to three out of the house activities a week will give your senior more to look forward to; maybe a routine trip to the grocery store every Tuesday or a visit to the park every Friday.  Routine isn’t just about the time they wake up in the morning or what time they go to bed.  It’s about what fills their day.

Keep your senior’s activities in balance.  As much as your senior loved one may enjoy their TV shows, this doesn’t need to be the main focus of their day.  Of course they can enjoy their favorite shows, but in moderation.  Break up their TV watching with other activities.  Get them outside in the garden, let them lend a hand making lunch, and take them to their favorite park for a walk.  The time spent away from the TV will make their time in front of the TV more rewarding.  They’ll feel they’ve had a fulfilling day and watching their shows will be their time to relax.

What is a healthy routine for you may not be a healthy routine for your elderly loved one.  This is something important to keep in mind.  While you can run errands for a few hours in a day, your senior may not still have that same stamina.  Your senior’s healthy routine should be a combination of activities that keep them moving and give them relaxation.  If your senior becomes too busy on a daily basis they could develop anxiety or simply become mentally and physically worn out.  First and foremost, keep your senior’s health in mind.  Balance out their days.  Give them time to rest after activities.

If an aging loved one needs senior care in Atlantic Beach FL, please contact Concierge Care.
Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

Helping a Senior Build a Relationship with a Caregiver

Feb, 05, 2014

When a family makes the decision to have a caregiver come into a senior loved one’s home, it is important to establish a strong relationship between their senior loved one and the caregiver. After all, the two of them will be spending around the clock time with each other and the more comfortable they are with one another, the more pleasant the care and time spent will be.  Not only is it important for the senior to have a good relationship with the caregiver, but other family members involved with the care of their loved one should also establish a good relationship and line of communication with the caregiver.Caregiver

There are several things that family members must take into consideration and understand when choosing a caregiver. They must know there will be adjustments in the way a caregiver takes care of a senior versus how the family has handle this care in the past; it’s not that the caregiver is doing things wrong, but they might have a different way of going about the care than another family member would and that is okay.  A senior and their family members need to respect that a caregiver is qualified, experienced, and knows that the way they do something works in caring for a senior.

Family members, a senior, and the caregiver must all have an understanding of the expectations with care.  This keeps an open line of communication for anyone to discuss care and everyone should understand that these expectations can and will change as the needs of a senior change.  This is important in establishing a relationship between a caregiver and senior, as a senior should be comfortable discussing concerns or changes with a caregiver and a caregiver should be able to report any changes to family members and discuss the adjustments that need to be made.

A caregiver should understand the activities that a senior enjoys doing and be able to engage in these activities with them.  This could involve watching a favorite movie, cooking a family recipe together, doing daily exercise, playing a game, or sharing a hobby together.  No matter what the activity is, sharing these moments together will build trust and make the relationship between the senior and caregiver much stronger.

Family members should be encouraged to visit the senior’s home at any time to see how care is going, how their senior loved one is doing, and to see how a caregiver is maintaining the home and assisting with your aging family member.  This is important for the family member to establish trust in the caregiver and also gives an opportunity to have any important discussions with the caregiver.

Building a solid foundation and understanding with a caregiver is important for both the family members and their senior loved one. This will establish a good relationship among everyone and therefore, making it a positive and flourishing experience.

If you or an aging member of your family needs a caregiver in Daytona Beach FL, please contact Concierge Care.
Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

 

How Being a Family Caregiver Can Alter The Entire Relationship

Jan, 31, 2014

(A story)

For Laura and her mother, their relationship had often been a rocky one, at least through her adolescent years and into her young adult years.  Once Laura settled down and began her career, then eventually started to raise her own children, her relationship with her mother began to warm up and improve.  Twenty years later, after her kids were grown and out of the house and she was divorced, Laura decided to move closer to her mother, to the warm climate of the South.Family Caregiver

A few years later, her mother had a stroke, and Laura decided that it was only right that she be her mother’s caregiver.  The doctors had told her that this was going to be a great responsibility and that she should seriously consider the role that she was accepting, but Laura assured them that she knew what she was doing and that she wanted to do this for her mother.

The first week when she brought her mother home from the hospital (to her mother’s home, which was now only about three miles from her own house), things seemed fine. In fact, Laura thought things couldn’t be better.  Her mother was learning to maneuver with the effects of the stroke and while it was considered a mild stroke, her speech was slurred and she was limited on the left side of her body.  She could walk with some help (a walker) and was quickly able to do many of the things that she did before.  Still, it was important that she have a home care provider, which was now Laura.

By the second week, Laura was feeling the stress of this new responsibility.  Her mother seemed to be demanding too much, calling her at all hours of the day, even at work for things that Laura thought were petty or unnecessary.  She was getting less sleep and leaving work early to be there for her mother.

In time, Laura began to lose her patience at times with her mother and would yell at her.  Her mother would revert back to her silent treatment methods that she had honed when Laura was a teenager.

For Laura, being a caregiver for her mother felt like the right thing to do at the time, but she didn’t fully understand what the responsibilities would be, and she didn’t establish any boundaries.  The care that she provided to her mother ultimately affected their relationship, sending it back thirty years and for that, she would have traded it all to go back and hire a professional home care provider in the beginning.

If you or an aging member of your family needs a caregiver in Ormond Beach FL, please contact Concierge Care.

Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

Prescription Medications and the Elderly

Jan, 29, 2014

According to a New York Times report, one in five people over the age of 65 are being prescribed medications that are considered potentially dangerous.  This pattern is more acute in southern states than it is in some other regions of the country, such as in New England, and while there are many theories as to why this is occurring, the main focus is to consider what your elderly loved one is being prescribed by his or her doctor.prescription medication and the elderly

Prescription medications have become one of the most prolific life saving methods in the world and with the advancement of modern medicine, the life expectancy in the United States has steadily increased, even though recent years has begun to indicate a leveling off and slightly regressive trend in that regard.

However, one of the major issues of prescription medications is the side effects that most of them tend to have.  Some prescription medications have serious side effects that, while they may cause a younger person who is strong and in relatively good health to become sick, or worse, can be potentially fatal to individuals of advanced age.

What does this mean for you and your elderly loved ones?  It essentially means that it’s a good idea to have them understand what the prescription is treating, and to have them speak to their pharmacist about the medication before taking it.  The doctors may be prescribing them because of any number of factors, including limited other options or feeling pressured by their patients to prescribe something that may not be as safe as it could, or should, be.

If your loved one is okay with you doing this level of research, then you should certainly take some time to speak with his or her pharmacist about the medications that have been prescribed.  More often, pharmacists will have a better understanding of the potential side effects of medications, as well as how they interact with other medications that your loved one may be taking.

If your loved one has an elder care provider working with him or her, you should spend some time going over what medications have been prescribed.  If they have experience working with elderly care, they may be familiar with the medications and possible side effects that may occur while taking the medication.  Even though you trust the doctor, when it comes to prescription medications, taking charge and making sure they are safe is still the individual’s (as well as the caregiver’s) responsibility.

If an aging loved one needs elderly care in Palm Coast FL, please contact Concierge Care for Personalized Senior Services.
Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

Remaining Positive when a Loved One Requires Dementia Care Services

Jan, 24, 2014

Some people are just positive by nature. Some have a tough time smiling, even though they aren’t upset about anything.  No matter which side of the spectrum you fall on, it can be difficult to remain positive when a loved one has dementia.  When you are the one providing care for your loved one who has dementia, the challenges that you’ll face can be quite extreme.  That’s why it’s a good idea to consider hiring home dementia care services for your loved one.Dementia Care Services

Dementia is defined as a decline in mental ability that is severe enough that it can usually interfere with basic daily life.  This could mean that your loved one has trouble remembering where the coffee is, or that she had an appointment with her doctor, or that the stove was on because she planned on making something to eat.

Everybody is different and that means every case of dementia is going to produce various symptoms and signs of the mental decline.  However, what’s important to realize is that just because your loved one was diagnosed with having dementia, that doesn’t mean that he or she has Alzheimer’s Disease.  Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia, but the term ‘dementia’ is a basic, generalized term.

Your loved one could be experiencing a decline in his or her mental abilities and while this can be frustrating and frightening, it’s important to remember one basic tenet to higher quality care: remain positive.

It is essential to continue to remain patient with regard to your loved one.  You may feel as though they should be moving faster to get ready for an appointment, or that they aren’t ‘trying hard enough,’ and you could end up pushing them too hard.  Being pushy is being negative.

You may also be concerned about their overall health and feel that this is the end of the road for them.  No matter how you feel, being positive is going to have a direct and immediate impact on your loved one’s health and well-being.  The more positive you are, the more positive they will be as well.  Being positive when your loved one requires home care services due to dementia is also going to make the care they receive that much better.

If an aging loved one needs home care services in Mandarin FL, please contact Concierge Care.

Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

Heart Disease and Senior Citizens Being Cared For At Home

Jan, 21, 2014

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people throughout the country.  A high percentage of individuals aren’t even aware that they have any type of heart condition until it’s too late.  However, it’s never really too late to begin to focus on it and develop a positive lifestyle, not just for youths, but also for the elderly.  If your loved one is receiving any form of elder care, whether you are providing support for them, or they have a caregiver stopping in to see them on a regular basis, you can still help them focus on their heart health.Elder Care

This isn’t meant only for elderly patients who have suffered from a heart attack, myocardial infarction, or who have been diagnosed with any form of heart disease.  This is for any elderly individual and their family (the family that works on improving their heart health stays together  … longer).

The first thing that you need to do before instilling any kind of new regimen for your loved one (and yourself) is to talk to them, and their doctor, to make sure that they can take part in exercise and to find out if there are any particular limitations that you should be aware of when it comes to exercise and diet.  If there are no limitations, then you want to sit down and discuss this with your loved one.

It may be tempting to jump in and tell your loved one that they are going to be working out with you, that you’re going to bring in a whole new diet that is going to be ‘better for them,’ but it’s important to remember that your loved one has lived a long life, and they have earned the respect that you should give them to discuss these things with them first, before making any decisions for them.

A common mistake that too many people make when it comes to elderly health care for their loved ones is that they think they know best, and they have a tendency to treat them in a similar manner that they would their own children.

Step back, and make sure that they will be on board with what you have in mind.  If so, focus on short, easy exercises and minor changes to their diet in the beginning.  Work them into a routine.  You should also be sure to take part in these changes as well to show them that you truly believe in them.

If an aging loved one needs elder care in St. Augustine FL, please contact Concierge Care for Personalized Senior Services.
Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

It’s Time to Bring Out the Jeans for Senior Women

Jan, 17, 2014

Does your mother have a pair of blue jeans in her closet?  If not, did she ever have a pair?  We don’t think much about this type of clothing, but January 16th and 17th is going to be National Women in Blue Jeans Day and that could be an interesting, and fun activity to do with your elderly female loved one.Senior Women

Whether it’s your mother, grandmother, aunt, or friend, you might be trying to figure out what you could possibly do on this special blue jeans day.

Well, if your elderly loved one relies on senior health care services, then maybe she doesn’t get out as much as she used to.  Perhaps she doesn’t go shopping at the mall much anymore and if she does, maybe she just doesn’t look for blue jeans.  When was the last time that you and your elderly loved one spent some quality one on one time together, with or without senior care services?  Maybe you spend a good amount of time with her, but you might not go out of the house, or if you go somewhere it could be to the supermarket, post office, or to a doctor’s appointment.

Every passing opportunity should be seized when you get the chance to do something a little bit different with your elderly loved one.  National Women in Blue Jeans Day is one more opportunity for you to do something that will forge memories for the both of you this year, and for years to come.

Plan a day trip.  Let her senior health care service know that you’d like to take your mother to the mall to go shopping.  Find out if there is something that you will need to do, or bring to make sure that your mother is safe on this trip.  You could also bring the senior care service provider along, if it’s during the hours that they are working.  It could give her a chance to get a nice, much-deserved break from the regular routine of working with your mother.

Visit a number of stores, and help your mother choose some jeans that she would be comfortable wearing.  It doesn’t even matter if you end up purchasing any jeans or not. The idea is to spend some quality time with your loved one.  That’s one of the best aspects that senior care can bring to you and your elderly loved one.  Take advantage of those moments when they come along.

If an aging loved one needs senior care in Orange Park FL, please contact Concierge Care for Personalized Senior Services.
Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

Avoiding the Doctor: When a Loved One Receiving Elderly Care Is Being Stubborn

Jan, 15, 2014

Don’t you just love stubborn people? Would you believe that a majority of Americans would label one of their loved ones, as being stubborn, but a vast majority wouldn’t agree that they are the stubborn as well?  Being stubborn is rooted in a couple of things. The first is pride.  You just don’t think that you’re wrong, or you think that you know what you’re talking about, or what’s best, so you don’t need to get any other advice about whatever topic is at hand.

Elderly Care

The other is fear.  How many times have you avoided something in your life because you were afraid of the consequences?  Maybe you avoided telling your mother that you were the person who accidentally broke her expensive vase.  Maybe you skipped a class in high school because you didn’t think that you did very well on the test, and you didn’t want to get the results back just yet.

The funny thing about this latter reason is that eventually the consequences come knocking on your door.  Many people avoid going to the dentist because they’re afraid of the work that they may be required to have done.  They don’t like to deal with pain and discomfort, so they put it off as long as they can.  When it comes to elderly care, avoiding the doctor can be a major problem.

That’s what I found out when I was trying to care for my father.  He refused to make an appointment to visit a doctor, even when he started complaining about excessive pain in his stomach.  I couldn’t fathom what he was avoiding, or why he wouldn’t go and get checked out.  He kept telling me that it was something he ate, and that he would feel better soon.

In time, I found him on the floor of his home, clutching his stomach and groaning in pain.  That’s when I got him to the doctor.  It turned out to be a minor medical situation that outpatient surgery was able to take care of, but it highlighted a problem that I need to address with him.  Even though he doesn’t require elder care services at the moment, that doesn’t mean he can avoid taking care of himself.

I talked to him about his health, and how it can affect those of us who care about him.  I respect his independence, but I wanted to let him know how much it hurt the rest of us that he waited so long, until there was really no choice, to get to a doctor.  He said he wouldn’t do that to us again.

If an aging loved one needs elderly  care in Jacksonville Beach FL, please contact Concierge Care for Personalized Senior Services.
Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

Smoking and Elder Care

Jan, 10, 2014

It may seem a bit too obvious in our modern society, but January 11th is Cigarettes are Hazardous to Your Health Day.  Yes, that does seem to make some people sit back and say, ‘We know,’ but when it comes to elder care, it’s something that can be forgotten or not taking as seriously as it should.Elder Care

Consider the elderly home care provider who will sneak outside of the house to smoke. For anyone who has worked in a professional career, whether it’s retail, corporate America, or even construction, they know how often many smokers take breaks to go light one up.  What does that do for the care that a person is supposed to be providing for the elderly individual?

In many cases, it in itself might not pose any real risk, but what about for those individuals for whom the care is crucial?  When an elderly home care provider smokes, it places several issues at stake that should be addressed from the outset of the care.

The first issue is the number of smoking breaks that a person can, or should take in a single hour.  Another factor to consider is how long each cigarette break should be. Some smokers are responsible with the time they take while others take advantage of the situation, chat on their phone while smoking, and extend their break to fifteen minutes or more.  There should be well-understood expectations about the length of the cigarette break.

Another factor that should be discussed is where the break should be taken. Secondhand smoke is just as hazardous as firsthand and according to some research can actually be more harmful because while the smoker’s body has built a resistance to the tar and other harmful additives in cigarettes, a non-smoker’s body hasn’t.  This means that the secondhand smoke can be quite harmful to an elderly individual whose health is not at its best.

If the care provider needs to smoke, he or she should go away from the house to a place that won’t allow the smoke to filter in, especially during warmer days when the windows or doors are open.  The cigarette should also be disposed of properly and not tossed in the grass, bushes, or on the driveway, for example.

The best thing anyone could do for their health, and the health and well-being of the person they are providing elder care for would be to quit entirely.  Maybe that could be a New Year’s resolution that begins on January 11th.  Anytime after that would also be a good idea, too.

If you or your aging loved one needs elder care in Ponte Vedra Beach FL, please contact Concierge Care for Personalized Senior Services.
Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

The Benefits of Hiring a Private Caregiver

Jan, 06, 2014

When the time comes that your loved one needs assistance performing daily functions in the home, you may want to consider hiring a private caregiver.  Hiring outside help should never be looked at as a sign that you don’t care, but rather as a step in the right direction in doing what is best for your loved one.Caregiver Jacksonville  Beach FL

Finding the right person to meet your loved one’s needs is a great decision, but where do you start?  You have the option of hiring an independent caregiver, or working with a senior care agency.  What are the benefits of hiring a private caregiver?

When choosing a private duty caregiver, you have more of a say in the person you will be relying on for support, and care for your loved one.  This can be a time consuming process, though.  You will have to arrange to meet with potential caregivers, and interview them.  You will also have to perform a reference and background check.

Being in charge of the selection process and making the final decision is a great advantage of hiring privately.  With an agency, you don’t have as much say in who they send to care for your loved one.  You get to choose the questions to ask, and get to see their responses first hand.  You can also arrange a meeting to see how they interact with your loved one.  You can be specific about the tasks you need them to be responsible for.

Hiring a private duty in-home care provider is cheaper than going through an agency.  There is a 20 to 40 percent reduction in cost compared to going through an agency.  With an agency, you could be paying around $15 an hour whereas you could hire privately for $10.

Another added benefit to hiring privately, is the control over schedule flexibility. Working with an individual can be easier when the need comes to make adjustments in the schedule.

When hiring a private duty caregiver, it is hard to know who to trust, or who will be a good fit for the needs of your loved one.  Asking the right questions and doing a background and reference check should give you some idea if the person is the caregiver that you are looking for.  The good thing is, that you can keep searching until you find the right combination of personality and ability to perform the needs that you are looking for in order to care for your loved one.

If you or an aging member of your family needs a personal caregiver in the Jacksonville area, please contact us.

Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

Changing the Menu? When Elder Care Nutrition Trumps Creativity!

Jan, 03, 2014

Are you caring for an elderly loved one?  Or are you a professional elder care provider and you’re trying to come up with new and interesting menu choices for them to eat?  If you are, it’s important to realize that sometimes you shouldn’t be too eager to change the menu, as there are certain dietary considerations that need to be made.Elder Care Mandarin FL

It’s nice to have a change of pace once in a while, but depending on any number of factors, a person may not be able to eat certain foods.  This could be due to an allergy that they have had since they were a child, or something that developed over time. They could be taking a certain medication that can react poorly with certain ingredients, making the combination potentially harmful or downright dangerous.

If you don’t know what types of foods or even the ingredients that the elderly individual can eat, and which foods that they should avoid, then you should be careful about changing the menu when it comes to helping them prepare their meals.

What if the elderly individual requests certain food items?  Even if the elderly patient makes a specific request, that doesn’t mean that they are physically able to eat it, or that it will be safe for them to consume.  If you have any questions, or you know that the ingredients (or a few of them, at least) don’t mix well with any type of medication that they are taking, then you should consult a doctor before agreeing to make any menu changes.

Diabetes is one of the more common health conditions that cause people to have to change their diet.  Avoiding sugar is an important component of this condition and while there are many modern ingredients and foods that are geared toward diabetics, that doesn’t automatically make them safe to eat.

Do your homework when you’re providing elderly home care.  Find out what is safe to eat with certain medications, or even specific health conditions.  While you may be a creative genius in the kitchen, that doesn’t mean that you should automatically take to helping the elderly patient cook new kinds of meals.

Find out precisely what, if anything, you should avoid using when it comes to ingredients.  Once you have a list of safe and healthy ingredients to use, then you can get somewhat creative.  Don’t overlook the importance of paying attention to every ingredient when providing meals for elder care.  It could make all the difference in the world.

If an aging loved one needs elder care in Mandarin FL, please contact Concierge Care for Personalized Senior Services.
Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

Do Dogs Make Good Pets for Senior Citizens?

Jan, 02, 2014

Most of us have a big heart when it comes to animals.  Dogs are loyal, loving companions but would a dog be a good idea when providing senior care?  Research studies have proven that pets are good for older people, and for sick people as well. Many nursing homes, and assisted living facilities have pets on the premises or volunteers who bring pets to visit.  For seniors living at home, who are unable to have a pet, part of their care may consist of getting a visit from a dog that is trained to be around the elderly.Senior Care Palm Coast FL

Having a dog for senior care benefits the owner physically, psychologically, and socially.  Seniors who live alone often become depressed, feel isolated, and their health declines rapidly.  Having a dog to take care of encourages them to take better care of themselves as well.

  • Physical Benefits

Seniors need exercise and so do dogs.  It is more likely for a senior who has a dog to get up, and go out in the fresh air for a walk with their dog companion than for someone who doesn’t have to ensure that his or her pet gets exercise.  Playing fetch with a dog is a form of exercise that will help to keep seniors active.

  • Psychological Benefits

Dogs bring laughter, love, and joy to everyday.  What a great way to keep the mind in a positive, happy, and healthy state.  They provide a sense of encouragement for seniors, and a reason for living.

  • Social Benefits

Dogs encourage seniors to be more social.  Having someone to talk to and show affection towards keeps seniors more socially active with people.

  • Health Benefits

Studies have shown that pets can help reduce the risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, decrease depression, speed up the healing process, and boost energy levels.

When choosing a dog for the elderly, be sure to match the owner’s capabilities with the dog.  Depending on the senior’s mobility, illness, and mental awareness, make a decision that benefits the senior as well as the dog.

A senior who is frail and ill shouldn’t be paired with a dog who is hyper and jumps on you when excited.  This could be a potential hazard for getting knocked over or scratched.  Smaller dogs make the best companions for seniors as they are a bit easier to handle, and they are able to cuddle with them on their lap when watching TV.

Consider the safety of the senior, and the dog when making a decision about pets for senior citizens.

If you or an elderly loved one is in need of Senior Care in Palm Coast FL, please contact Concierge Care for Personalized Senior Services.
Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

Do You Suspect that your Loved One Has Cataracts?

Dec, 28, 2013

Cataracts are a natural condition that progresses over time.  A person with cataracts develops a clouding in the eye’s lens.  When the lens becomes clouded, it becomes difficult for light images to focus on the retina, which in turn works to send the images to the brain.Elder Care

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss for those over the age of 55 in the United States. If left untreated, cataracts can cause blindness.

It is important to be aware of the signs of cataracts in your loved ones.

  • Does your loved one complain of blurry vision, or tell you that things look foggy?
  • Does sunlight, or any other bright light that creates a glare bother them?
  • Do colors that look bright to us, look dull to them?
  • Do they feel as if their glasses aren’t working anymore?

If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from cataracts, schedule an appointment with the ophthalmologist to have their vision checked.  Surgery is the most common form of treatment.  If vision loss is interfering with daily life, your loved one may need to have surgery.

If your loved one suffers with cataracts, vision loss can make it difficult to get around. Here are some things you can do to improve their quality of life:

  • Daily tasks at home

Certain daily household chores may be difficult, an unsafe for them to perform if their vision is impaired.  Find out which tasks they are having trouble with, and offer to help.

  • Falling

Being visually impaired makes the risk of falling more likely.  Make sure that there is no clutter, or potential tripping hazards around the house.

  • Driving

If your loved one is experiencing difficulty seeing, then it is not a good idea for them to be driving. You may to help out with errands they need to run, or appointments they need to get to.

  • Support

Losing your vision is a frightening experience. They may feel lonely, and isolated as well as frustrated. Be there to listen to their concerns and worries.

Providing care to someone who is visually impaired can be challenging and time-intensive.  If you are concerned for their safety and well-being, but are not in a position to be there as frequently as you would like, you may want to consider an in-home caregiver.  Then there is someone there to offer support, and help with the daily tasks on the days that you can’t be.

If you or an  elderly member of your family needs elder care in St. Augustine FL,  please contact Concierge Care for Personalized Senior Services.

Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

Is Hospice the Same as Home Care Services?

Dec, 27, 2013

What Is the Difference Between Hospice and Home Care?

Many families are confused about the difference between hospices and home care services, when in fact they are very different.  While both options of care are administered to patients in the home, be sure to consider the key differences before making a decision.Home Care Services

The purpose of hospice is not to prolong life, but is usually sought out for patients faced with an incurable disease, or those requiring end of life care.  Hospice focuses mainly on caring instead of curing.  They provide care to ensure that a patient with a life expectancy of six months, or less lives out that time comfortably in their own home.

Hospice consists of a team of physicians, nurses, CNAs, chaplains, and trained volunteers to administer care.  It is this expert end of life team that satisfies the patient’s needs by being compassionate and caring.

The focus of home health care services is to provide part time skilled assistance to seniors who are able to live independently, but need a little help from time to time.  A patient requesting home health care services must have a medical history that shows a need for skilled care, and that they are home bound.  Home bound means that it requires a challenging effort for them to leave their home.

Home health care services may only be a temporary option of care when recuperating from surgery, or if intravenous medication is required.  Some patients consider this option of care for more extended periods of time.

Hospice Eligibility Requirements

  • Based on the belief that the patient will unlikely live more than six months, a doctor prescribes hospice.
  • Instead of taking measures to cure the life threatening illness, the focus is on quality of life and remaining comfortable for the time they have left.

Home Health Care Eligibility Requirements

  • The focus is on rehabilitative and curative care.
  • The patient must be home-bound.
  • The patient requires skilled care via nursing, physical therapy, speech therapy, or occupational therapy.
  • A physician must prescribe a written order for home health care.

Hospice Cost and Insurance Coverage

Provided that eligibility requirements are met, Medicare coverage is up to a 100 percent. The families don’t have to be concerned with deductibles or co-payments.  Medicare pays for home visits, medications, supplies, and any equipment necessary for easing pain or uncomfortable symptoms.

Home Health Care Cost and Insurance Coverage

Some private insurance will cover the cost of home health care.  This includes visits and most supplies.  The home health agency is not responsible for the cost of medication, but medication may be covered under the prescription benefits of a particular plan.

If you or your aging loved one needs home care services in Orange Park FL, please contact Concierge Care for Personalized Senior Services.
Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

A Senior Home Care Service Nightmare that Can Happen!

Dec, 20, 2013

You won’t hear it too often, but things can go wrong when it comes to home care services.  It’s not like its run by robotics, and everything is programmed to operate without a problem.  The truth is that people are in charge of the care that is provided and people make mistakes.  And yes, some people can try and take advantage of certain people, such as the elderly.Home Care Services Jacksonville FL

So let’s get this cleared up right from the start.  Have there been instances of fraud when it comes to in home health care services?  Yes.  Has there ever been an instance where an in home care provider stole something from one of the people that he or she was supposed to care for?  Yes.  Have some employees within the home health care services industry been hired without a proper background check being completed on them, thus placing the patients in their care at risk?  Yes.  Have certain in home care service providers made mistakes that have put the people in their care at risk? Yes.

Okay, now that we got that out in the open, why would we possibly want to talk about it?  For the most part, far too many people have this notion that the entire industry is corrupt, that it is run by criminals, and that they allow con artists to run rampant all throughout the homes of unsuspecting elderly people, so that they can steal just about anything they want, and no one will know the difference.

The reason why this is such a common misconception is because of the news media. News agencies don’t make money by promoting everyday success stories.  They rarely even bother with feel-good success stories of people getting home from the hospital, and making a full recovery.  They want the dirt.  They thrive in the cesspools of society.

And they make it seem as though home care services are nothing but wastelands where every in home care provider is just another deadbeat looking to take advantage of an elderly, or disabled individual.

In truth, almost every single in home care provider that you could meet would be an honest, hard working individual who wants nothing more than to be a support system to provide whatever level of care that the patient needs.

So before you hang onto prejudices and notions that have made you wary about hiring home care services, you might want to dig into the truth.  When you do, you’ll realize that the potential of becoming a victim of any kind of crime, such as theft, is so minuscule, you’d have better odds of winning the lottery.

If you or your aging loved one needs home care services in Jacksonville FL, please contact Concierge Care for Personalized Senior Services.
Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

Keeping the Elderly Warm At Home: Check the Heating Oil Tank

Dec, 18, 2013

 Winter is in full swing, with the fifth named storm of the season pounding the Northeast, and that means the cold air is here to stay, at least for a few months.  If you know someone who receives elder care, then you want to make sure that they are fully prepared, and ready for the cold temperatures that have been gripping the nation on and off for well over a month now.Elder Care Ponte Vedra Beach FL

One of the most important things that should be taken into consideration when it comes to elder care is the heat in the home.  If your loved one uses natural gas, then this is a continual supply.  In most cities and towns across the country, even if they haven’t paid their bill in a while, they can’t turn off the gas during the winter, especially to elderly homeowners.

However, if your loved one uses oil for heat, then they could potential run out of oil if the level is not being monitored properly.  If it runs out, then an oil provider may not want to fill up the tank, especially if your loved one hasn’t paid the bill from the last fill up.

You want to make sure that you know just how much oil they have in the tank.  It should have been checked in the beginning of the heating season, which could have been as early as September in some areas.  If you didn’t check it for them, find out if anyone did.  Home care for the elderly may have conducted this type of inspection as part of their routine, but there’s no guarantee.  Contact the elderly home care provider to find out, if you can’t get over to your loved one’s home.

If they hadn’t checked the level of oil in the house yet, ask them to do so as soon as possible.  If the oil tank is hidden, or they can’t access it, you may have to make the trip yourself, or have a friend or someone else do that.  In a worst-case scenario, you can contact an oil company in the area and they will check the furnace, and determine how much oil is in the tank.

Sometimes the gauges aren’t working properly.  In this case, if the gauge reads ¾, but when you tap the side of the tank and it sounds hollow, you should do a visual inspection.  To learn more, contact your local oil provider.  When it comes to elder care, you want to make sure they don’t run out of oil this winter, as that is something that can easily be avoided.

If you or an aging member of your family needs elder care in Ponte Vedra Beach FL,  please contact Concierge Care for Personalized Senior Services.

Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

Keeping Up with Your Life as a Caregiver

Dec, 13, 2013

When you are a caregiver, whether you are providing home care to a loved one, or a stranger, it’s still important that you keep up with your own life.  What does this mean? It means that it’s easy to begin giving up some of the things that you generally enjoy doing, in order to be there, to support, and provide the right level of care to the elderly person who requires it.Caregiver in Atlantic Beach FL

So how can you keep up with your life when you’re trying to be a home care provider? No matter why you’re providing that level of care, you can keep up with your own life by staying true to the things that are important to you.  In other words, if you enjoy spending time with your friends, if you have a special day that you go out with your friends, then don’t give that up.  Even if you end up having to work during the hours that you would go out with them, see if they’ll be able to change the meeting time.

If you’re an aspiring writer or artist, for example, and you find that you’re spending less and less time actually writing, then you may feel as though you’re giving up on your dreams.  Set aside time to get the work done that you need to in order to pursue your dreams.  If you’re planning on writing a novel, and you know that you have to write at least 500 words a day to keep on track, then no matter what else you have going on, make sure that you get those words down on paper.

The one thing that you should never give up when you agree to be a caregiver is your own life, and the things that are important to you.  Sure, you want to make sure that your loved one is safe, but that doesn’t mean you have to forfeit the things that are important to you.  If you do that, then you’re going to resent the task that you’ve taken on.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s a paid position or voluntary; giving up on the things that are important to you will have a negative impact on the quality of care that you will provide.

So maintain the things that are important to you.  If you find that you can’t do both effectively, then find a caregiver who will be able to manage both.  If the care is for a loved one, you’ll be doing the best thing for them in the long run.

If you or an aging member of your family needs a caregiver in Atlantic Beach FL, please contact Concierge Care for Personalized Senior Services.

Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

Could Home Care Services Actually Save Money?

Dec, 11, 2013

It may be tough to think that home care services could actually save money, but it’s true.  For Todd and Mary, and Todd’s mother, they came across this very same topic and they thought the same thing.  The last thing that Todd, and Mary could do was afford anything that wasn’t absolutely necessary, so they had put off the option of hiring an in home care provider for their mother.Home Care Services Palm Coast FL

When they finally sat down after a year of being the ones that were providing that level of care to her, and they began to figure out just how much money they spent on the in home health care services, they were surprised to find that they had spent a great deal more time, and money on providing that level of care than they thought at the time.

It’s one of the most common aspects of providing care to a loved one; you think that you’re doing the right thing and saving money, and you don’t actually track, or monitor all of the hidden expenses, not just in monetary terms, but also in emotional terms, as well as time.

For Todd and Mary, who owned a delicatessen, their time was valuable and the way they earned money. When Todd’s mother had a stroke, and they knew that she was going to need some extra care, they moved her into their home, because she lived two towns away, and that was going to be a major hurdle to overcome.  Their oldest son had gone off to college, so they had an extra room.  It wouldn’t cost them anything extra.

Then Mary would take off from work, and go to the house in the morning, between the breakfast rush and the lunch crowd.  The drive was ten minutes each way, which equates to about 5 miles.  That’s ten miles round trip.  This wasn’t a big deal at the time. Then she would make that trip again once the lunch rush was over, then head back to the deli.

As time progressed, and they realized that Todd’s mother needed a bit more time and attention, especially in the morning, they hired a part time worker for the deli.  At the end of the year, they figured out that they were spending more for this level of care than they would have if they had simply hired a professional home care services agency in the beginning.

Their next move was to find the right in home care provider, and then get back to their personal lives, which were important to them.

If you or your aging loved one needs home care services in Palm Coast FL, please contact Concierge Care for Personalized Senior Services.
Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

4 Ideas for Getting Emotional Rest for the Caregiver

Dec, 06, 2013

If you’re worn out from trying to be a caregiver for your parent, or any other elderly loved one, it’s important that get the right level of rest and relaxation.  When you wear yourself thin, emotionally, physically, or mentally, the level of care that you would end up providing will generally decline.  The amount of exhaustion that you feel may very well be directly tied to the level of care that you end up providing to your loved one.Caregiver Nurse

So it’s a good idea to have a few methods in place that can give you the kind of mental and emotional relaxation that you’ll require when providing home care to a loved one.

  1. Enjoy some time at a spa or massage center. A massage is a great way to relax. The longer, the better. There are plenty of great spas and massages centers in most regions throughout the country, and if you think that the expense is too much, then consider it as part of the care that you’re providing.  One hour or even 90 minutes of relaxation at a spa can reset you and ready to take on the rest of your week or month.
  2. Spend time reading. There’s no reason why you should give up on the things that you enjoy.  Reading a novel can be a great way to help your mind relax, and unwind after a long day.  If you don’t think that you have the time to read right now, make time. It only takes 10 to 20 minutes a day to get lost in a different world, and then come back to your own with new energy, and possibly even new ideas.
  3. Go for walks. Walking around the neighborhood or on a walking trail alone is a powerful way to emotionally reset and recharge.  Make sure that where you walk is considered safe, and take precautions to keep yourself safe at all times.
  4. Keep in contact with someone that you care about. A best friend, or even a family member can be great to talk to.  If you feel stressed, talking to that person should usually make you feel better about the situation at hand.  Just don’t overdo it, or that person will begin to avoid your phone calls.

When you give yourself the time to emotionally unwind and rest, you will be a more effective caregiver for your loved one.

If you or an aging member of your family needs a caregiver in Mandarin FL, please contact Concierge Care for Personalized Senior Services.

Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

Avoid Comparing Past Holidays When Caring For Elderly

Dec, 05, 2013

Greg was taking care of his father for the first time when his father, Mike, began talking about the past.  Greg didn’t think much about it, but when the holiday season began to roll around, he noticed a pattern emerging; his father would become more depressed and withdrawn when he started talking about past holidays, and this made it more difficult for Greg to get him involved in family functions, and affairs.Elder Care

Greg didn’t have any real experience in providing elder care for anyone before, and let alone the fact that it was stressful for him, he felt as though he were in over his head at times.  He didn’t want to hurt his father, but he also didn’t want to be hurt himself.  He began to notice a pattern and realized that focusing on the past was making his father more aware of the differences this year.

Greg’s mother and father had been married for more than 50 years by the time she died of a sudden massive stroke two years ago.  In the time since, his father struggled to keep going, to find happiness again, and for most of the year he seemed to do okay, but during the holidays is when things were the most difficult.

Greg simply thought that the best thing to do would be to let his father go on his walks down memory lane, but when he began to notice that his father would then stop eating, cry silently in his room, and become more depressed with talk of letting people just leave him alone and let him be.  Greg knew that something had to be done.

Without having any experience with home care for the elderly, he figured that would be a place to start to get ideas on how to help his father best.  He found out that he needed to focus on the present, that it is okay to remember loved ones who are no longer with us, but that he needed to find a way to redirect his father on the people who are still there with him, that love him.

Greg called up his brother and sister and asked them to spend the holidays with them. He explained the situation and they agreed to be there.  They were able to help their father see what he still had, and to celebrate the time that they all had with their mother.  They told him that comparing this holiday, or any in the future to past ones was unfair, and that each would have its own special meaning and that he had to remain open to it.

If you’re providing elder care to a loved one, be aware of the possibility of comparing past holidays with this year, and the impact that it could have on everyone involved.

If you or an aging loved one needs Elder Care in Orange Park FL, please contact Concierge Care for Personalized Senior Services.
Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

Sex and Senior In-Home Care: A Taboo Subject

Nov, 29, 2013

One thing that Beth hadn’t wanted to talk about, or think about, was what her father and stepmother were doing when the lights were out.  They still shared the same bed and Beth wasn’t naïve, but when it came time to consider hiring senior care for her father as he was unable to take care of himself the way that he used to, the subject of sex happened to come up.Senior Care in Jacksonville FL

She was looking at around the clock care for her father, especially after he and his wife had fallen asleep while the stove was left on.  The smoke detectors didn’t do a good enough job waking them up. That’s when the neighbors heard the noise, and called emergency services and the issue about senior care services became front and center.

They talked about all different levels of care; from a few hours a day to 24 hour around the clock care.  Neither Beth’s father or stepmother were overly thrilled with the idea of having someone living with them, but the truth was that they never knew when they might need help.  Getting dressed, bathing, and sometimes dealing with going to the bathroom posed challenges.  Not always, but sometimes.  So they considered having around the clock senior care services.

Beth didn’t want to bring the subject up, but she figured that she should since a young woman would be moving into their home to assist whenever they needed help.  Beth also understood that her father and stepmother didn’t have a habit of closing their bedroom door.  They hadn’t done that since all of their children had moved out more than 25 years earlier.

Beth wanted to talk to them about privacy, but she didn’t want to hear about any of the details.  She beat around the bush and tried to talk about privacy, and she thought that her father was grinning and chuckling about it.  Finally she asked him what was so funny. “Sounds to me like you want to know if we still … do stuff,” he said, winking at his wife.

“I just want you to consider that-”

“It’s okay. It’s not like we’re incapable, and it’s fine to talk about.  We understand.”

Beth was spared the details, but they discussed privacy issues in a mature manner.  We may not want to think about our elderly loved ones and their sex life, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be discussed in a mature manner. When it comes to senior care, the goal is to ensure health, and safety while maintaining respect and dignity for everyone involved.  If the subject is important, talk about it in a respectful and understanding manner.

If you or your aging loved one needs senior care services in Jacksonville FL, please contact Concierge Care for Personalized Senior Services.
Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

Can You Get Home Care Services for Both Parents?

Nov, 26, 2013

My parents are kind of the anomaly in today’s society.  They have been together for more than 60 years, married for 56 of them, and they inspire so many young people who dream of holding a relationship together for that long.  One thing that they always talked about when people asked them how they managed to remain together for so long, and to still be in love, they would say the same thing: dedication and hard work. When my sister and I realized that my father was struggling to care for my mother as her health deteriorated, we wondered about home care services.Home Care Services

It’s not like we didn’t think about home care services from the start, but we didn’t know what the limits were.  All I had known about in home health care services was that it was generally discussed with regard to a single elderly adult who was living alone.  So I guess my father and we all thought, or assumed (and don’t we know what it makes us when we assume?) that my mother didn’t qualify to have an in home care provider.  My father was that person for her.

But when my sister and I noticed that our father’s effort to care for his beloved wife was taking a toll not only on his physical health, but also his emotional state of mind. At that point we knew that something had to be done, so I started call around to a number of home health care services agencies in the area.

What I found out was actually surprising.  But then again, considering I didn’t know much of anything with regard to home care services, why should it have been surprising?  Anyway, I found out that it didn’t matter that my parents were together. My mother could certainly receive home health care services if she needed it.

There are different levels of care as well.  We didn’t think that a live in care provider was necessary, being that our mother was still capable of getting around the house and all.  She needed some help from time to time with some personal issues, such as in the bathroom and though my father did his best, it was putting too much of a toll on his health.

In time, we realized that he could use some assistance around the house as well, and the in home care provider eventually was caring for him as well.  Yes, you can have home care services for two adults in the same house.  I’m glad I searched to find out.

If you or your aging loved one needs home care services in Ormond Beach FL, please contact Concierge Care for Personalized Senior Services.
Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

World Hello Day and The Elderly

Nov, 22, 2013

Hello!  Just the word can evoke a wide range of emotions in so many people.  It can brighten up a day; cause someone to scratch their head trying to figure out if they know that person, or just open up dialogue.  When it comes to elder care, the word can mean so much more.Elderly Care

Just think about it for a moment: when your mother or father is living alone as they get older, they may not have the same number of friends that they once had.  This could be due to any number of reasons, not the least of which is that many of them could have passed away over the years.  It’s a part of life, but that doesn’t mean that we need to avoid it, or avoid meeting new people.

November 21st is World Hello Day and it’s a reminder that we are all connected to one another, and actually meet one another for the most part, with a simple hello.  Just because your mother or father have reached a certain age, it doesn’t mean that they should stop getting out, and meeting new people.

If your mother or father is receiving elderly home care, because they have trouble taking full care of themselves at home.  Their days may end up feeling the same to them.  They may not have that much to look forward to, and if they have far fewer friends as a result of the passage of time, they may be avoiding making any new friends, because of the grief that invariably follows a loss.

You should help to encourage them to get out, and meet other people, to become involved in their community to whatever degree is possible.  Most towns and cities have senior centers that offer a wide range of activities where you mother or father could go, and meet these new people.  The home care for the elderly agency or care provider may be willing to walk around town, or a local shopping mall with your loved one to help them get out, get some exercise, and maybe meet some new people.

All it takes to begin a new friendship or relationship –whether personal or professional- is a simple hello.  This year, why not celebrate World Hello Day by suggesting this simple activity to your loved one as well as the elder care provider who is taking care of him or her.  It could brighten someone’s day.

If you or your aging loved one needs elder care in Palm Coast FL,  please contact Concierge Care for Personalized Senior Services.
Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

Keeping in Touch with Loved Ones When You’re a Caregiver

Nov, 21, 2013

It’s not easy to be a caregiver, whether you’re providing home care to a loved one, or working as an in home care provider through an agency, or independently, to stay in touch with the rest of your family, or even your friends.  Especially if you’re a live-in care provider, then the task to keep in touch with your loved ones becomes even more of a challenge.Senior Caregivers Orange Park FL

There are things that you can do that would help you stay in touch with them. You merely have to take the time and make a conscious and determined effort to do so, however.  One of the problems with maintaining your own connections and keeping in touch with your loved ones when you’re a caregiver is that you might be afraid that if you go out one evening, and something happens with the elderly patient in your care, that you’re going to be or feel responsible.  You might also believe that you simply must stay by their side 24/7.

The truth is that every patient, every individual is going to be different, as will every situation.  So even if you are providing twenty-four hours care around the clock that doesn’t mean that you have to give up on your life completely.  Sure, it may make things more challenging for you, but there’s no reason to stop living, especially if you are providing home care for a loved one.

Take some time to arrange an evening out.  This could be once a week, or every other week.  You can contact your patient’s family members who live close and have them come over and spend time with their loved one while you go and visit with your friends and family.  If that’s not possible, then you should contact the agency that you work for and arrange to have someone come in to give you time for yourself, if they don’t do that already.

Use the phone.  There’s no reason why you can’t make calls in the afternoon, or evening when things are settled in the home where you’re working.  Keep in touch with your family members when you can.

Talk to your patient and see how he or she would feel about you having a couple of guests visit once in a while (not often).  Remember, it’s their home, so you need to respect that.

When you’re a caregiver, especially a live-in one, it can be easy to lose touch with family and friends.  Sometimes you just have to make an effort to remain in contact with them.

If you or your aging loved one needs a caregiver in Orange Park , please contact Concierge Care for Personalized Senior Services.

Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

Happiness with Senior Care: Three Tips

Nov, 15, 2013

Your mother requires the assistance of senior care, but you want to make sure that she’s comfortable, safe, and of course, happy.  There are things that you can do to help make sure that she is comfortable and happy with the senior care services that she receives, and there are a few things that she would need to do for herself.Senior Care

  • First, you must think positive.  It can be difficult to be positive when it comes to requiring senior health care services because, after all, this means that you’ve reached an age when you can no longer provide the right level of care for yourself.  However, that doesn’t mean that life is over and you’re going to be waiting around for the end of your life to come.  There’s still a lot of life to live, so make sure to remain positive.  Having senior care assures that you can remain in your home and continue to do many of things that you enjoy, so you’re not really going to be missing out on much from before you needed this level of care.
  • Next, you should set goals for the senior care services that you’ll receive.  What do you hope to achieve with their assistance?  Do you want to get involved in a senior center?  Do you want to volunteer somewhere?  Do you want to regain more of your independence in time?  Establish these goals and then you have something to aim for in the future.
  • Then you’ll want to establish a positive communication network with senior care services.  You want to be able to express some of your concerns, some of the things that you’ll need to do, and how to work out any disagreements or differences in opinion.  Communication is the key to a positive, long-term working relationship.  If the senior care service provider and you are unable to communicate effectively, this can lead to significant problems over time.  Take the time to sit down and establish a good communication setup.  This could include establishing a time once a week to go over any concerns or grievances, suggestions, or comments that either one of you, or your family members, may have.  By setting a time to sit down and discuss these concerns, you keep those important lines of communication open.

These are just a few tips that can make a happier, and more comfortable situation for everyone involved.  It will also help to make a positive environment in which to live.

If you or an aging loved one needs Senior Care in Mandarin FL, please contact Concierge Care for Personalized Senior Services.
Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

I Never Planned for Home Care Services: A Family’s Story

Nov, 13, 2013

All my life I hadn’t thought much about what I’d do, or what my family would need to do, if my father required help at home.  I didn’t think anything about home care services, and whenever the idea or concept was presented to me, I shrugged it off. Why would my father ever need an in home care service provider?  I would ask myself.  He was a strong, independent, and proud man ,and my mother was there for him, anyway.Home Care Services Ponte Vedra Beach FL

Two years ago, my mother succumbed to a sudden infection, and disease and the void that was left behind in her absence was significant.  My father was never the same again and even though I worried about him being alone and having to try and figure out how to manage certain things in the house, I still had this perception of him being a strong, independent man who would find a way to take care of himself.

Just over a year ago, though, I began to see some of the signs that he wasn’t adjusting to life as a single man again.  His clothes were dirty, or he’d wear the same clothes for days on end.  I didn’t notice this right away because, as a busy professional myself, I didn’t take the time to stop over to see him every day.  I heard it from his neighbors and friends who were concerned about him.

Some of them offered to check in on him every day, but he wouldn’t hear of it.  He couldn’t admit that he needed help and preferred that I help him do some laundry.  So I began going over to see him more frequently and that’s when I noticed all of the microwavable meals that he was eating, all of the dirty dishes, and other issues that I couldn’t believe.

I didn’t know what to do;  I hadn’t planned on home care services, so I didn’t know what they could offer my father.  I figured they were just nurses, or nurse aides who would only assist individuals who couldn’t get out of bed, who needed help going to the bathroom, or other aspects like that.

It took quite a while before I finally listened to those friends of his telling me to look into home care services for him.  When I did, I learned that they do and offer so much more; they offer the level of care that he really needed.  I never planned for it, but I wish I had.  Although he’s doing better now thanks to the in home care provider working with him, he struggled for a year after my mother died and that’s something I’ll have to live with for quite some time to come.

If you are looking for home care services in Ponte Vedra Beach Florida, please contact Concierge Care for Personalized Senior Services.
Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

How Working With a Live-In Caregiver Can Teach Us About Caring For Our Own Family

Nov, 08, 2013

As your aging parent gets older they may reach a point that in order stay in their home they will need a caregiver who is available 24 hours per day.  Live-in caregivers are the best solution to this problem to care for your parents who want to remain in their homes.  Most are professional who have years of experience as caregivers, and with that experience may give you an opportunity to learn some tips about caring for your family.Live In Caregiver Daytona Beach FL

As a live-in caregiver they have probably become very good listeners, and know when to ask questions to get clarification, or to expand a subject.  As you care for your own children you can start to make sure you are really listening to what they are saying and learn to ask questions so that they feel comfortable that you are actually listening.  If a child feels that they are being listened to they will be more open about discussing their feelings, and any problems they might be having.

Live-in caregivers know how to make and follow a schedule.  Seniors don’t especially want or welcome a break from their daily routines.  Many kids don’t like unexpected interruptions to what they normally do as well.  Working with a live-in caregiver may get you to start making a schedule for yourself to make sure you set some time aside to interact with your other family members.  This will also allow you to set up a routine for your family so that they can plan their day around your schedule.  You will need some flexibility however, if your kids participate in after school activities occasionally.

Live-in caregivers have been able to look at many different possible scenarios and find the best way to face any difficulties that may arise.  Using their years of experience they have probably faced many of the same challenges you will face when caring for your own family.  Don’t discount, or dismiss any advice they may give you as they have years of experience caring for people.  Remember that in some cases they may have been the primary caregiver in some very difficult situations.  Since they aren’t related to the people they care for they have learned to show restraint when dealing with a difficult situation.

By using a live-in, or becoming a primary caregiver you have made a commitment to keep your elderly parent in their home as long as possible.  You will now have the additional responsibility of maintaining the house and the property.  To do this effectively you will need to develop some sort of plan to deal with scheduled items, and any emergencies that may pop up.  The same is true when dealing with your own home.  You have to have a maintenance schedule and a plan for dealing with emergencies.  By doing this for a senior parent you will already have an idea of what needs to be covered in your own plan.  Your plan in both instances should cover who is responsible for what, and how much does it cost.

If you or an aging loved one needs a live-in caregiver in Daytona Beach Florida, please contact Concierge Care for Personalized Senior Services.
Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

Stress: Senior Caregivers Need Some Time to Take Care of Themselves

Nov, 07, 2013

As much as we may wish that we are super human we aren’t and you will need a break occasionally from caregiving.  Notice that the sentence above says “you will need a break” and not “you may need a break”.  Being the primary caregiver for a senior loved one can be very stressful to a person.  This is especially true if the senior loved one is experiencing any of the forms of dementia, or has another chronic illness requiring constant attention.Caregivers Ormond Beach FL

If you don’t take a break this can cause you to start feeling some resentment toward the person you are caring for.  You may feel that they are using up too much of your free time, or time that you could be spending with your children.  Caring for them may be hurting your social life and your relationship with your friends.  Here are some things you can do to alleviate some caregiver stress.

1)    Keep a positive attitude by realizing that you can only do so much and that you are entitled to an occasional break.

2)    Accept the fact that there are things in caring for an elderly parent that you can’t control. The onset of a new illness can really upset the routine and balance that you have achieved.  Accept this and move on.

3)    Be assertive with your parent and not combative, angry, or passive. There are many illnesses both mental and physical that your parent is dealing with and these may lead them to say or do things they don’t really mean.

4)    Learn to relax at the end of the day.  Taking up a mental conditioning activity like meditation may help you to relax and better deal with the stressors in your life..

5)    Regular exercise can be a nice diversion from the stress of being a caregiver.   Either join a gym or see what the local YMCA has to offer.

6)    If you are a smoker stop this habit that is working on making sure you die young.  In many situations when providing care you won’t be able to smoke and the cravings and withdrawal symptoms will make you short tempered.  This may lead you to say something that you will later regret.

7)    Both alcohol and caffeine are mood-altering drugs that affect your perception, and judgment.  If you can’t stop entirely you should work toward limiting your intake.

8)    Be realistic regarding how much added responsibility you can take on and stay engaged with your family.  Overextending yourself is a sure path to caregiver burnout and problems with your immediate family.

9)    Make sure that you get enough sleep to recharge your batteries completely.  Being a primary caregiver for a senior loved one can be an energy-snapping job.  In addition to the physical activities of cleaning and organizing you are probably their chief financial advisor.  If you need help ask for it and maybe even hire a professional financial advisor. Let someone else be in charge of the books while you focus on making sure your loved one feels wanted and needed.

If you or an aging loved one needs a caregiver  in Ormond Beach Florida, please contact Concierge Care for Personalized Senior Services.
Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

Should All Saints Day Be Celebrated with The Elderly?

Nov, 01, 2013

The day after Halloween is All Saints Day, and it’s also known as the Day of the Dead. Depending on your loved one’s religious or spiritual beliefs, celebrating this day could be a good idea, or it could have negative ramifications.  When it comes to elderly care, you should make sure that you know about the beliefs of your loved one, as well as their elderly care providers before making any overt plans regarding this day.Elderly Care St. Augustine FL

All Saints Day is a Christian holiday celebrates all of the saints throughout history; those that are known as well as those that are unknown.  Halloween has actually become a much different celebration that is more associated with the Day of the Dead that celebrates the loved ones that we have had who have passed away.  It was originally meant as a way to honor their life and to celebrate it, rather than mourning for their loss.

So, as you can see, depending on your elderly loved one’s religious beliefs, celebrating All Saints Day might be or might not be a good idea.  If your mother is a religious woman who attends church, then this would be a good idea to mark the day with her. You could take her to church, or wherever the activities are going on with regard to All Saints Day.

Now, if she has an elderly care provider who doesn’t celebrate this day or believes in a different religion, then you shouldn’t ask them to bring your mother to her church, or take part in the activities that might be commemorated on that day.  You should honor the elderly care provider’s beliefs, and make sure that you set aside the time that your mother would need in order to take where she might want to go.

This could be a good time to also celebrate those who we have lost.  While we tend to miss our loved ones during the holidays, on their birthday and other important anniversaries, sometimes it’s nice to remember them during other times of the year. While this celebration shouldn’t be a sorrowful moment, but rather a celebration of their life, sometimes the loss may be too difficult to bear for some.  Be aware of how your loved one reacts.

When it comes to All Saints Day just be sure that you know about the beliefs of your loved one as well as the elderly care provider and respect both.

If you or an aging loved one needs elderly care in St. Augustine Florida, please contact Concierge Care for Personalized Senior Services.
Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

A Vegetarian Caregiver Caring for a Carnivore Patient

Oct, 31, 2013

November 1st  marks the beginning of Vegetarian Awareness Week and while you may not have any real interest in this if you enjoy a nice, thick, juicy steak, or if you prefer to consume foods that don’t come from animal meat, it might be important to you.  For some elderly care situations, you might even have a vegetarian caregiver who is taking care of a carnivore patient. Caregiver

Sometimes, these personalities and interests end up clashing, especially if the caregiver is required to assist or make any type of meals.  For some vegetarians, they don’t even want to sit down in the presence of someone else who is eating meat.  For others, it’s simply a choice, and they can respect the choices of those around them without having to be holier than thou.

During the first week of November, this could be a great opportunity for the elderly patient to take a vested interest in the things that his or her home care provider holds dear, such as his or her vegetarian diet.  You might want to suggest to your mother, for example, to sample something along the lines of a completely vegetarian diet for the week.  You could even suggest that your mother eat just one vegetarian meal.

This might seem as though you’re asking your mother to submit to the will, or wishes of the in home care provider, which would be against the expectations of a professional caregiver, but in reality all you’re doing is suggesting that your mother expand her horizons.

If you feel that making that suggestion would be offensive to your mother, you could instead talk to the person providing home care, and discuss organizing, and cooking a vegetarian meal together and then eating with your mother and the caregiver. This would help set your mother at ease; you wouldn’t even need to mention anything about it being a vegetarian meal.

Of course, you want to make sure that the in home care providers who might take care of your mother at any given time, if they are vegetarian are not forcing their beliefs on their patient.  If your mother feels as though she isn’t getting the kind of diet, or nutrition that she wants or needs, then you should discuss this with the home care providers.  If you feel as though the caregiver is being resistant, and unwilling to cook a meat diet, then contact the agency that placed her with your mother and discuss the issue.

If you or your aging loved one needs a caregiver in Jacksonville Beach FL, please contact Concierge Care for Personalized Senior Services.
Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

Oatmeal Day

Oct, 25, 2013

October 29th is an oatmeal day, a great opportunity to celebrate this really healthy grain. If you are trying to get your elderly parent to eat more oats,  which is a really good idea, then here is a recipe she may truly love.

Whole grains provide essential minerals and vitamins, as well as the fiber elderly people really need.  Using whole grains more often and avoiding process grains such as white flour is a very healthy choice for the elderly person.

Oats are a rich source of manganese, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc, as well as the fiber they are known for.  When cooked, oatmeal is a fairly smooth food which makes it easy to eat.  It is very filling, and is comparatively lower in calories than processed grains with added sugar.

Eating foods high in fiber has been shown to help prevent heart disease.  Water-soluble fiber is especially good for everyone. There are also some unique antioxidants contained in oats that help prevent the formation of damaging free radicals.

Old-Fashion Oatmeal Pie

1 (9 inch) pie crust

4 eggs

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup light corn syrup

1/8 cup melted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup quick-cooking oatmeal (uncooked)

  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Beat eggs until frothy
  • Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl
  • Add eggs and mix well
  • Add corn syrup, vanilla and melted butter
  • Mix in the oatmeal
  • Pour into uncooked pie shell
  • Bake for 45 minutes

This is a quick, and easy recipe with simple ingredients.  If you find your aging mom can no longer cook very well, or isn’t eating as healthy foods as she used to, you may want to consider senior care services.  Studies show seniors who cook, and eat alone don’t make as many healthy meals and generally don’t eat as well.  They don’t enjoy it as much,  and are more prone to loneliness and depression.

A home care provider gives companionship as well as helping her to do things such as make healthy meals.  If you aren’t sure how she will react to the idea of a caregiver, see if she will let one come in on a trial basis.  Have the agency send someone who will be compatible with your mom’s personality, and chances are she will bond with the caregiver and want to have help, and companionship more often.

If you or an aging loved one needs Senior Care in Atlantic Beach FL area, please contact Concierge Care for Personalized Senior Services.
Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

Is It Time for Elderly Home Care?

Oct, 23, 2013

It is better to start thinking about it early, but there will probably come a time when it is necessary to think about elderly home care for your aging loved one. There will be signs that they cannot live independently in their own home anymore. These signs may come on gradually, or you may wake up one morning and realize your loved one needs help, and needs it now.Elder Care

There are a number of options within home care for the elderly, including companions, home services, healthcare services, etc.  Depending on the capabilities of your elderly loved ones; home care can be daytime, nighttime, part time or fulltime.  There are other questions to consider, too.  Will your elderly loved one continue to live in their own home, and receive home care services there, or will they move into your home and receive home care services in your home, so you can continue with your career, and other aspects of your life?

If you have questions you can’t answer in relation to how much care your aging loved one needs, you can hire the services of a care needs assessment specialist to determine what option would work the best.

Whether your elderly loved one stays in their home or moves to yours, there are some safety issues that need to be addressed.  For example, have loose throw mats and un-attached rugs been taken up off the floor?  They make for major tripping and slipping hazards.  Have grab bars been installed in the bathroom?  Is there a stair lift if the house has a staircase? Is the lighting adequate throughout the house?

If your loved one decides to stay in their own home, there should be some plans made for taking care of the outside tasks like mowing the lawn, shoveling the snow, tending the flower garden, etc.

With a live-in caregiver, most of the everyday tasks of living are taken care of.  For example, they can help with light housework, light yard work and of course the personal needs like bathing, dressing, making meals, hygiene, toileting etc.

Take a careful walk-through the home where your elderly loved one will be living, whether it will be her home, or yours so that you can look for risks of falling or other hazards.  If you are unsure about making safety decisions, contact someone at the elderly home care agency to do this for you.

If you need home care services  in the Daytona Beach, FL area please contact Concierge Care. Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

The Impact Depression Can Have on the In Home Care Service Provider

Oct, 18, 2013

How powerful is depression?  If you’ve never experienced it, then you might not be able to fully understand the impact that depression can have.  Most people have experienced depression at one time in their life, or another. So you probably can relate to the notion that depression can affect not only an elderly loved one whose health is deteriorating, but also in home care service providers.

Taking care of elderly patients who are dealing with any number of physical, and even mental ailments is a daily challenge.  It’s not always easy to step into a person’s home, get to know them, get to In Home Carehear about the things that they used to do, and the hopes that they had for their life and see that they simply can’t do the same things anymore.  It’s also a challenge to provide the kind of care that they need in order to survive.

Depression is common among elderly patients who require at least some level of care in order to live in the comfort of their own home.  Knowing that you can no longer do the things that you used to do can wear a person down emotionally.  It can also affect those who are taking care of them, such as a family caregiver or an in home care provider.

For the in home care service provider, depression may not manifest itself so that it can be easily seen.  For them, they are doing their job and no matter what else is going on in their life, someone else is relying on them to be there, to support them, and provide the right level of care that is needed at that time.

However, depression can cause the in home care provider to feel detached from their own family, their own life.  Especially if they provide live in home care, they may not see their family, or be able to do some of the things that they enjoy as often as they might like.

When an in home care service provider is depressed, it can lead to mistakes, such as forgetting to do something or check on something for their patient, though this would be rare.  More likely, just their demeanor can have a negative emotional impact on the person for whom they are supposed to be caring.

There are some things that you can do that could help them feel better about themselves, about life, and work through their depression, and the best thing is to talk to them and find out if there’s anything you can do to help.  If you find the request odd or outside the scope of a professional working relationship, you can always contact the agency that placed this worker with your loved one and find a reasonable solution that will benefit everyone involved.

If you or an aging loved one needs in home care  in the Ormond Beach, FL area please contact Concierge Care. Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

Navigating the Financial Process of Home Care Services for Seniors

Oct, 17, 2013

Trying to navigate the financial process of home care services can seem like avoiding being dragged over the edge of Niagara Falls, but in reality, there are steps that you can take to make it seem less daunting.  It’s often confusing trying to determine how to pay for in home health care services, especially if you don’t have all of the most current and accurate information available to you.

The first thing that you need to do, if you haven’t done so already, is to acquire power of attorney over your loved one’s financial records and information.  For a lot of family members, this seems like a betrayal of trust, or something that should be avoided at all costs, but what happens when you’re trying to gather the right information about insurance, bank accounts, or other items and your motherHome Care Services or father, for example, are not in a position to help?  You’ll have to get that power of attorney first and that can take time if the elderly account holder is not able to willingly sign that power over to you.

It’s important to consider power of attorney as a safety net, not a violation. You’re not interested in taking money from your parents; you are interested in getting the in home care service that they need during this difficult time in their life.  If your mother or father is in a current state of strong mental health, and even if you don’t see the need for home care services anytime in the near future, discuss this prospect with them, and what information you would need in order to help get them the care that they might require.

The next step would be to contact a number of home health care services in the area to find out what they offer. When you find an agency or provider that will match the kind of services that your loved one needs, then you can sit down with them and discuss the various payment options. They should be able to assist you in determining how much, if any, insurance will cover, whether your loved one would qualify for Medicare reimbursement, and how much out of pocket you would have to pay for the in home health care services.

At first, the entire process can seem overwhelming, but just like many things in life, being able to navigate it requires taking small steps in the beginning. Take these two first steps and you’ll realize that not only are home care services affordable, they’re also one of the best options available.

If you need to find home care services in the St. Augustine, FL area please contact Concierge Care for Personalized Senior Services. Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

Skin Care for Seniors

Oct, 11, 2013

There are unique problems with elderly skin. Specific issues should be considered and treated so that it ensures the elderly adult’s good health.  It is essential that caregivers know about how to properly take care of elderly skin.Elderly Care Orange Park FL

Traits of elderly skin

  • Most commonly, the skin of elders is dry.  Skin thins as it ages and begins to lose its ability to retain moisture.  On some elder adults, the skin is seemingly paper thin as well as extremely dry.  Dry skin can actually cause a lot of problems.
  • Thin skin tears much easier.  These tears can occur due to scrapes, cuts or even the friction between clothing or jewelry.  Torn skin lets in bacteria and other germs, which can lead to infection.  Because the elder’s immune system isn’t as strong, they have a much harder time fighting off infection.
  • Treating dry skin is imperative for the senior adult to avoid problems.

How to treat elderly skin

  • Keep the elder’s skin clean. This doesn’t need to be done every day; washing the skin  too frequently will just lead to even drier skin.
  • Sweaty areas such as armpits, and groin should be kept clean so that sweat doesn’t accumulate and lead to a fungal infection, or even drier skin.
  • Avoid baths or showers that are too hot as this is very drying and their thin skin can’t handle the heat of the water as well as it used to.
  • Warm water is the best temperature for bathing in, and only wash their skin on alternate days, or even 2-3 times per week.
  • Use very mild, cream-based body cleansers which have added moisturizers to clean without harsh soaps.
  • Keep their skin hydrated to avoid the problems of cracking, splitting, painful or itchy skin.
  • After a bath or shower has been taken, the elderly adult should be covered from head to toe with a thick, very hydrating cream. This helps seal moisture in and skin becomes a lot more comfortable.
  • Skin may need to be hydrated again each night before bed.  Being outside in a little bit of sun or wind can be very drying to their skin.

How your parent’s elder care provider can help

  • It can be difficult for the elderly person to reach their feet, back, and other parts of their body that need to be moisturized.
  • The elder care provider can also help be on the lookout for changes in the skin, rashes or swelling.
  • They can also provide help in reminding your loved one to do their daily stretches and exercises, as moving helps the circulation flow better in the body, nourishing the skin.

If you or a loved one needs elderly care services in the Orange Park , FL area please contact Concierge Care for Personalized Senior Services. Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

Elderly Care: Following A Healthy Eating Plan

Oct, 09, 2013

The human body goes through changes with age.  Muscles lose some of their strength, organs begin to degenerate and the metabolism declines. Depending upon what lifestyle the person followed for the many years leading up to old age, these changes are a lot more severe for some people than they are for others.

Why is it important for the elderly to eat healthy?Elderly Care Mandarin FL

This is actually a question that applies to every single person!  Healthy eating is one of the foundation stones of a healthy life.  Regular exercise and a good social life are two more foundation stones of overall health and well-being.

The elderly person often has a reduced appetite because their metabolism has slowed down, and they don’t exercise as much, which means they need fewer calories. However it’s still vitally important that the foods they eat are nutrient dense.  If they can’t eat as much food, then it should be healthier food.

What are some barriers to the elderly that inhibit healthy eating?

Although it can be difficult for many seniors to follow a healthy eating plan. Some of the barriers to good eating are:

  • It is difficult for them to make their own meals.
  • Loneliness makes them lose their appetite.
  • They can’t drive to go shopping and have few food choices in the house.
  • Their medication might change their appetite, or make them too tired to want to make food.
  • Their spouse always did the cooking, and now that their spouse has passed on, they have very little interest in either cooking or eating.

How can an elderly care provider help?

Research has shown that elderly people are more likely to eat well when they have companionship.  Lonely people lose their interest in food.  An elder care provider can help in the following ways:

  • Assist with cooking meals, or cook them entirely if the elderly person is not well enough to help.
  • Making sure the elderly adult drinks enough water.  Sometimes the senior forgets to drink or doesn’t feel the thirsty urge until long after their body is already dehydrated.  Aging seniors lose water at a higher rate due to evaporation because of their thinner skin.
  • Encourage the elderly adult to eat healthy by offering a variety of mouth-watering meals that will perk their interest in food.
  • Give companionship so the elder doesn’t have to eat all alone .
  • Help in meal planning for the elderly loved one who has dietary restrictions, because of diabetes, kidney problems etc.

If you or an aging loved one needs elderly care in Mandarin, FL please contact Concierge Care.
Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

Senior Care: Keep Home Maintenance Up-To-Date This Fall With a Checklist

Oct, 04, 2013

Having a senior parent living alone, and in their own home  can be a nerve wracking time for any adult child.  While you want to be there as often as possible to ensure that they are safe in their own home, you can’t be there 24/7 every day of the week.  However, there are some steps that you can take to safe guard a parents home,  and make sure their home is properly maintained and provides a safe environment.  Here is a comprehensive checklist of home maintenance items to consider before the rainy season comes;

  • General Safety

Check on all of the basic general safety measures that you would in your own home.   Are the smoke detectors working properly?  Does your senior parent have all of the phone numbers that they need easily accessible in case of an emergency?  Is the home adequately lit so that they can see where they are going?  Make sure that the home is not cluttered and that all floors and rugs are cleaned properly to keep them from slipping or tripping.  Doorways are the source of a lot of problems for senior citizens.  Make sure that each, and every doorway has no clutter around it.  In general, make sure that all areas of the house are uncluttered and easily accessible.  Also consider informing the neighbors of any restrictions that your parent may have, and see if they wouldn’t mind stopping by and checking on them every so often.Senior Care Orange Park FL

  • Kitchen

The kitchen has to receive special attention so that it is easy for your senior parent to receive proper nutrition, and ensure that all food is easily accessible.  Remove foods that are in high cabinets, opting instead to place them in a lower and more easily reached location.  Make sure that all appliances are working properly, including the refrigerator, oven, stove, dishwasher and microwave.  Try to find a place for the most used items that they can reach , in lower drawers or on countertops . Many senior citizens also have attachments installed on stoves to ensure that they automatically turn off after a set amount of time to avoid any fire hazards.

  • Bathrooms

For senior citizens, the bathroom is where most falls occur. Because the shower and bathroom floor can become quite slippery during the bathing process, it is important that anti-slip mats are installed to limit the risk of falling. Install grab bars in the shower, and directly outside of the shower, so  they have something to hold and stabilize themselves with, and also make sure that all cabinets are easy to open without too much effort.

  • Yard work

Most seniors have a tough time keeping up with their yard work, so doing an initial run before the fall season starts can make it so there is much less work later, and keep your parents from being tempted to do dangerous yard work. Make sure that the beds have been sprayed for weeds, the gutters and roof have been cleaned, and that there are no obstacles in any of the walking paths.

By taking this list into consideration, you will greatly reduce the risks in the senior’s home , and ensure that they are able to take care of themselves much more efficiently.

If you or an aging loved one needs Senior Care in Orange Park FL, please remember Concierge Care offers Personalized Senior Services.
Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

Juggling Being a Caregiver to a Parent and a Child In Palm Coast FL

Oct, 02, 2013

Beth had a two year old son and four year old daughter and while she was still married, her husband hadn’t offered much assistance in raising them.  Beth worked part-time, because they needed the money, but this seemed to put more pressure on her, so when her father had a heart attack and his health quickly deteriorated, she knew that trying to be a caregiver to him as well was going to add even more stress and pressure to her life.Caregiver Palm Coast FL

At first, she thought the process would be simple.  Her husband told her to hire in home care providers who could take care of him, but she didn’t want to do that.  She asked her husband questions one evening.   How would we afford it?  Why would we have to, doesn’t your father have insurance? Doesn’t his insurance cover expenses like this, or doesn’t he have money set aside he can use?

He did, but she didn’t think that he would be willing to pay for something he probably didn’t even think he needed.  Besides, Beth thought, this would give them time to spend together, and that had to be a good thing, right?

So, she would bring her son and daughter along in the mornings to check in on her father, and allow them to spend some time together.  At first everything was great.  He seemed to relish the extra attention, especially getting to spend time with his grandchildren, but within a few weeks, Beth got the sense that she was imposing on him, that she wasn’t welcome all that much anymore.

She realized that he was more frustrated at having to rely on  her, and he was simply pushing her away, not wanting to be needy, especially to his own daughter.  However, when he suffered his second heart attack, Beth knew that she had to do more, not less, to help him.

She found herself trying to juggle between being a mother , and also a caregiver to her father.  She soon realized that she was devoting more of her time, and energy to her father’s care than her children.  Her best friend pointed this out, and once she opened her eyes to the situation, she realized that it was true, and that it had to stop.

She knew at that time that she had to find a qualified in home care provider who could help her father and make sure that his health was taken care of.  While she thought she could be a caregiver, and a nurturing mother tending to her young children’s needs. The balance can be disrupted and ends up being beneficial to no one.

If you or an aging loved one needs a Caregiver in Palm Coast FL, please contact Concierge Care.
Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

Senior Home Care Services – What is Provided?

Sep, 27, 2013

In Home Care ServicesIf you are like most people, you worry for your elderly loved ones a lot, wondering if they would get hurt while alone in their home without someone to look after them. If this is the case, it’s a good time to start looking for a home care service. When your loved one has an in-home care provider, they can receive customized care for the tasks they are having difficulty performing. You would have peace of mind because your elder family member is able to remain in his home and maintain as much independence as possible.

A home care helper can provide assistance from a few hours per week to 24 hours a day depending on what is needed. There are a variety of services they offer, from home making to personal care, reminders to take medication, transportation and companionship among others.

Companion care

Your elderly loved one needs to feel loved, wanted and that he belongs. The caregiver becomes a big part of his life, creating a bond that lasts a lifetime. They can play board games together, go for a stroll, visit friends and neighbors, go to the movies.

Transportation and errands

Mobility doesn’t need to be a big concern when your loved one has a companion to drive him around and accompany him to appointments, sports events, and shopping, family gatherings, senior’s activities and community events. Your loved one will feel secure because he has someone to accompany him to all these places and give him a hand if needed.

Homemaking services

The maintenance, organization and cleanliness of your elderly family member’s home are important to his physical and mental well-being. The home care helper can assist in this area with meal preparation, taking out the garbage, light housekeeping, watering indoor plants, pet care, etc.

Care for Alzheimer’s and Dementia

It is very difficult for family members to know how to deal with the ups and downs of these diseases. A trained caregiver knows how to help someone with cognitive decline and make their life as quality as possible. They are also skilled at helping the elderly person to remain as independent as they can.

Home health care

This is another level of care, available to the elderly who need it, which includes a medical component. If your elderly parent has just come home from the hospital and needs their bandages changes, needs to be tube fed, or some other skilled medical care, this is an option that can be put in place for a temporary time. It can later be transitioned back to regular home care if the medical part is no longer needed.

If you or an aging loved one needs home care services in the Mandarin, FL area please remember there is Concierge Care offering Personalized Senior Services. Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

Staying At Home Instead Of A Nursing Home

Sep, 25, 2013

Eldlerly Care Jacksonville Beach FLWhen your elderly loved one would rather stay at home yet she requires more care than you or your family members can provide, elder care services is definitely a great option. Most elderly adults don’t want to be institutionalized or sent to a nursing home somewhere. Who would want that? More and more elderly adults are choosing to age at home.

When a senior has been diagnosed with a disease, they may need reminders to take their medications on time. If they have a chronic or terminally ill disease, they might need live-in care or hourly care. It is very important that you hire an elder care provider who has been carefully screened because private caregivers are not regulated and families cannot ensure that strict health and safety regulations are being upheld on behalf of your loved one’s care.

Companionship and help with everyday activities of life are part of the services they offer. If your elderly parent needs help grocery shopping, doing laundry, preparing light meals, or light housekeeping then having an elder care provider in their home to take care of them is a very liberating feeling. They can still do as many things for themselves as their strength and energy allows, but they no longer have to worry or struggle with the things they can no longer do because their body is not cooperating.

It’s understandable that you want to be with your loved one and look after all their needs, just like they did for you. But they also know you have a family and a job and they don’t want to feel like a burden to you. Talk to them about elderly care and that they can have the benefits of having someone look after their needs; you can visit them and still spend a lot of time with them like you have always done.

Loneliness is no longer an issue when there is a companion for your elderly loved one to talk to, to go shopping with, to play games with, to fix meals with. Studies show that elders who stay in their home to age are generally happier, in better health, live longer and are more comfortable than those that don’t. The one on one personal care just can’t be compared to the generalized care found in an institution or facility.

If you or an aging loved one needs elderly care in the Jacksonville Beach, FL area please remember there is “Concierge Care offering Personalized Senior Services”. Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

Healthy Fall Recipes for Seniors

Sep, 20, 2013

Senior Care St. Augustine FLFall is harvest time, the time when we begin to think about all the delicious vegetables and fruits that come ripe in their season. All of these healthy foods are a vital part of nutritious eating. This is essential for seniors, as their activity levels slow down so does their appetite. Each food they eat needs to be packed with nutrition to give their body the best chance possible of staying healthy and strong.

Some of the healthy fall vegetables that can be found locally grown include: green beans, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, beets, corn, carrots, cucumbers, melons, peppers, parsnips, peas, pumpkins and other winter squash, tomatoes, potatoes, cauliflower and many more. Some of the healthy fall fruits grown across our country include: oranges, lemons and many other citrus fruits, cantaloupe, watermelon and other melons, blueberries, blackberries and other berries, apples, grapes and more.

Many of the fruits and vegetables grown can be enjoyed fresh and raw. This is a great way to eat them because all of the enzymes remain intact. However some of them such as winter squash must be cooked. They provide many vitamins and minerals as well as a healthy dose of fiber.

When your elderly loved one is receiving senior care services, her home care companion can help her to cook up some great fall vegetable dishes, as well as make fresh vegetable salads. Here are some healthy recipes for seniors to try:

Beet Hummus

4 large beets, cooked, peeled and cubed

1 tablespoons sesame seeds

5 tablespoons lemon juice

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1 generous pinch sea salt

1 pinch freshly ground black pepper

  • Puree all ingredients together in a blender.
  • Chill in the refrigerator and serve with vegetables or whole grain crackers for dipping.

Butternut Squash Soup

4 lbs. peeled, seeded and cubed butternut squash

2 medium onions

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

3 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon salt or to taste

8 cups vegetable broth

  • Sauté onions and garlic in oil; add salt.
  • Add this mixture to the broth in a pot and add squash cubes.
  • Bring to a boil and simmer until squash is very tender, about 20 minutes.
  • In small batches, blend the soup in a blender until smooth.
  • Return the soup to the pot and serve.

Beets are a vegetable that are highly nutritious, but not always easy to cook. They must be boiled or baked and then the skins removed afterwards to retain as much of their deep red color as possible. But beets are so nutritious, they should be eaten often.

Butternut squash are dark orange in color and pack a punch of vitamin A. Both of these fall vegetables deserve to be highlighted on the dinner table more often for the health of you and your elderly loved ones!

If you or an aging loved one needs senior care in the St. Augustine, FL area please remember there is “Concierge Care offering Personalized Senior Services”. Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

The Growing Population of Elderly

Sep, 18, 2013

Elder Care Jacksonville FLIt is a worldwide trend – the populations are aging. The number of elderly is growing at a faster rate than the birth rate in many countries. People are living longer lives, and also living well for a longer period of time. This is due in large part to advances in medical science, improvements in gerontology, better information regarding healthy diets and importance of exercise, etc.

The United States’ population of older people is increasing at a rapid rate. This puts substantial pressure on health care programs and causes a financial burden to the already heavily laden health care system.

Adult children need viable and reasonable choices for taking care of their aging parents. There are many good programs out there, but some are too far out of reach financially for many people. A large percentage of elderly people would choose to age at home, somewhere they find comfort and security. An in-home care provider can come into your parent’s home and give them the help with everyday tasks they need.

Elderly home care is very flexible to your schedule. If there are family members who will be providing some of the caregiving, home care can cover the rest of the time. Some of the things they can help out with include:

  • Checking the mail and making sure all the bills get paid.
  • Answering the door and the phone and screening calls if necessary.
  • Taking the elderly loved one out to fun activities such as senior events, shopping, movies, hairdresser, etc.
  • Preparing healthy meals that adhere to the doctor’s recommendations for your parent. For example, a diabetic diet.
  • Light housekeeping and making sure dishes are done.
  • Helping with laundry, getting it washed and dried and put away.
  • Bathing or showering if needed; dressing and undressing if needed.
  • Transportation to doctor’s appointments.
  • Giving companionship and finding fun activities to do together.
  • Assisting with pet care.

The caregiver is a companion for your elderly loved one. Loneliness is common among seniors; especially those who live alone and don’t drive anymore. Loneliness can lead to depression and negative feelings which aren’t healthy. The senior who has someone to do things with, talk to and laugh with is much more likely to thrive and enjoy life to the fullest possible.

A healthy positive attitude has a positive effect on physical health as well. You will enjoy great peace of mind knowing your beloved parent is being taken care of by a kind and compassionate caregiver.

If you or an aging loved one needs elder care in the Jacksonville, FL area please remember there is “Concierge Care offering Personalized Senior Services”. Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

Why You May Require an In-Home Care Provider

Sep, 11, 2013

Home Care Orange Park FLYou took it upon yourself to try and provide a high level of care for your mother, but now you realize that you may require the help of a professional in-home care provider. Before you begin to doubt whether you need this level of assistance, try to determine why you were resistant about it from the beginning.

Many people are simply worried about the cost of home care services. They have this preconceived notion that these services are simply too expensive, that it will put a dent in the family’s finances, and they never even consider them until they are overwhelmed by trying to provide home care to their loved one themselves.

However, in reality, in home care service actually costs a lot less than you might expect and much of the cost may be covered by your mother’s insurance or Medicare supplements. So, with that information out of the way, let’s try to determine why you may need the help of an in-home care provider.

  1. You are unable to devote the time to check in with your mother every day. You’re worried that your mother is having trouble getting around her home or if she’s taking her medication as directed, but with your busy schedule and own family obligations, you’re no longer able to get to her house every day. This is one of the most common reasons why you may need the help of a qualified in-home care provider.
  2. Your mother’s health is deteriorating. You may not want to think about it, but you’ve noticed that your mother’s health is getting worse. She may be growing weaker and can’t do the basic tasks that she needs to in order to keep up with her general care.
  3. She appears unclean, wearing dirty clothing, etc. Your mother may be having trouble bathing or even doing the laundry because of her weakening health. If you notice that her skin doesn’t look smooth or healthy or that she is wearing dirty clothing, or wearing clothing inside-out, then it may be time to hire someone who can help her with these basic daily tasks.

Having an in-home care provider for a loved one is not an insult to them. It’s one of the best ways that your mother can remain independent and still be safe and secure in the comfort of her own home. If you’re carrying too much of a burden and aren’t able to provide the level of support she needs, consider this other, affordable option.

If you or an aging loved one needs home care in the Orange Park, FL area please remember there is “Concierge Care offering Personalized Senior Services”. Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

How to Find the Right Senior Caregiver Support

Caregivers Ponte Vedra Beach FLIf you’re taking care of an elderly loved one, whether it’s your mother, father, grandparent, aunt, uncle, sibling, or any other relative, you deserve to have the right caregiver support. Everyone needs a little bit of help from time to time and there’s nothing wrong with asking other people to help out with caring for an aging loved one.

Deciding where to find the right support and whom to ask can sometimes be a tricky situation. Family dynamics can be complicated for some people. You may also know a number of your loved one’s friends who might be offended if one person is asked to help out but not them.

So how do you determine what the right kind of caregiver support that you might need?

First, start with the obvious: family. If you have a large family and a number of members live within an easy distance to your elderly loved one’s home, then don’t hesitate to call on them for help once in a while. However, make sure that you can trust this person with your loved one.

Some people are simply not trustworthy. You should ask for the help of a family member whom your trust and who has proven that he or she is not only reliable and trustworthy, but who also cares for the elderly person who needs help. You’ll know who these people are.

Next, look to your loved one’s own social network. Does he or she have a number of friends who are still capable of providing some help when needed? Do you trust them? While many of their closest friends will likely be the same age and have their own health issues, if they are neighbors, they could be an invaluable resource for you to help check in on your mom or dad from time to time.

Third, find out about meal programs in your mother’s area. If your mom is having trouble cooking for herself, there are a number of meal programs that can deliver hot, ready-made meals to seniors throughout the community.

The last thing that you want to do is burn yourself out and become unable to provide any level of support to your elderly loved one. If you are having trouble finding any kind of support from other family members of friends, don’t try to suck it up and do it alone. Call on the help of qualified professionals.

Home care providers can offer assistance with just about any home health care need that your loved one has. Caregiver support is essential for you and your loved one, so make sure you know where the best support system around you is.

If you or an aging loved one needs senior care in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL  please remember there is “Concierge Care offering Personalized Senior Services”. Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

Does Mom Need a Budget? Budgeting Tips for Seniors

Sep, 06, 2013

Senior Care Jacksonville Beach FLThe expense of taking care of beloved aging family members can really add up, especially if there are multiple medical problems. It doesn’t make sense for mom who is receiving senior care services (which she can easily afford), to be wildly spending money on a lot of things she will never use. She hasn’t got out of the habit of buying food in bulk but now that she doesn’t have a family at home to feed, it doesn’t make sense to buy in such large quantities. What can you do?

Try sitting down with her and showing her the wisdom of following a budget. Be careful not to make it sound childish. Write everything down and show her the math of what she can afford to spend every month and what her expenses are. Here are some helpful tips.

Budgeting tips for the senior

  1. Don’t go cold turkey on current spending habits; taper off gradually. Try drinking coffee at home a few days a week. This could save you a pocket of cash each week. For large purchases like a new coffee maker, new TV etc., think about it for a few days – no impulse buying on large items. Write down a pros and cons list. Why do you really need it? Can you not live without it?
  2. Avoid bulk buys when there are only 1 or 2 people eating the food. Even if that huge bag of apples is on sale, it no longer saves you money if half of them go rotten before you can eat them all. If you still love those bulk deals, stock up on things that have an indefinite shelf life, like toilet paper, toothpaste etc.
  3. Cheaper isn’t always the better. This motto flew out the window when dollar stores arrived. Of course, there are still some really great deals there! But be very careful what you buy, because if you end up replacing it in a week or two then it wasn’t a good deal to begin with.
  4. Keeping up with regular maintenance is usually always a money saver. For example, it’s better to do a regular oil change on the car than replace the motor. It’s better to have regular dental check-ups than have to pay for expensive dental work that could have been avoided.
  5. Keep a record of your monthly income and a tally of your monthly expenses. Have a good idea where you stand financially.

If you or an aging loved one needs senior care in Jacksonville Beach, FL area please remember there is “Concierge Care offering Personalized Senior Services“. Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

Tips For Improving Memory

Sep, 04, 2013

Whether you are concerned about improving memory for your aging mom receiving elderly health care or for yourself, memory exercises can be played by anyone and are fun for everyone. Our brains need exercising just like our bodies do. The aging adult can definitely benefit from mental exercises and memory improvement techniques as well.

When an elderly person is struck with a disease such as Alzheimer’s or dementia, progression can be slowed and quality of life can be prolonged by incorporating mental exercises along with the rest of the medical program they may be following.

Elderly Care in Ponte Vedra Beach, FLTips for improving memory

  • Get into the habit of doing something every day to practice memory skills. If your day is really rushed, take a few minutes right before bed each night to practice memorizing something. See if you can recall it in the morning. If you are too sleepy at night, try memorizing something at breakfast and then recall it several times throughout the day.
  • Our noses tend to remember better than our brains do! Smells like peppermint and rosemary are considered brain stimulants and have effects on concentration and memory. Rosemary has traditionally been deemed the herb of remembrance.
  • Researchers in Sweden have shown that losing excess pounds has a positive effect on improving memory. Who knows? Maybe in losing the spare tire you will gain some memory.
  • Dehydration affects memory in a negative way. We naturally lose fluids slowly over the course of the day and it’s important to keep fluids – especially water – flowing back in by drinking plenty of it daily.
  • Our brains need iron. Anemic have struggles with memory and cognitive scores on tests in research studies relating iron levels to memory. This problem is simple to reverse, though – the same subjects showed a significant improvement in memory and cognitive scores after taking an iron supplement.
  • Getting plenty of sleep at night is an essential part of maintaining a good memory – for those who can’t get enough sleep at night, try a midafternoon nap.
  • No one should be surprised to hear this one – eat a healthy diet. Your brain needs good nutrients to function at peak levels, and since we are what we eat, we need to eat good brain fuel. Junk food only gives us junk. Some good brain fuel foods include blueberries, cabbage, coconut oil, nuts and seeds, avocados, fish (especially fatty fish like salmon), and whole unrefined grains.

If you or an aging loved one needs elderly care services in the Ponte Vedra Beach, FL area please contact Concierge Care. Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

Instantly Lower Stress

Aug, 27, 2013

Do you often feel frazzled by the end of the day? Are you balancing your caregiving responsibilities with bills, kids and managing your own household? Does it feel like you might be right on the verge of a meltdown?

Caring for others takes a lot of energy and thought. Sometimes you might forget to take care of yourself. If your health starts to decline, not only will you suffer but so will those who you are caring for. Reducing your stress levels whenever you can is critical to maintaining your health and a healthy state of mind as well. Take a nice deep breath, let it out slowly and then read the following simple stress reducers. It may surprise you just how effective they can be!

Caregivers in Jacksonville, FL1)     Have a good laugh! This helps by reducing stress hormones and also boosts your immune system. Your blood pressure can also take on a lower level. Put on a funny video or call a friend who is good at making you laugh. Try to laugh out loud – it’s so good for you! Did you know that if you laugh for one minute it’s the same as pedaling on an exercise bike for 15 minutes? That’s pretty impressive.

2)     Think positive thoughts. Words have such a strong influence over what we are thinking. Positive words in our mind make us feel happier and more positive. Don’t take on a defeatist attitude or think you are a failure. That only adds to the negative stress in your life. Learn how to say No and also learn how to say I’ll try. That way you aren’t adding too many extra things to your workload.

3)     Do something to beautify. Get a haircut, a pedicure or manicure. You will be surprised at what a positive boost of energy and feelings of well-being it will give you. Dress nicer even when you aren’t going anywhere special. The little bit extra time you give yourself will help you to feel less stress.

4)     Speak slower. Speaking more slowly than you usually do will help you to think out your words with a little more care and caution. When stress builds up its hard not to blurt out mean things you will regret later. Slower speech also makes you appear less anxious to others.

5)     Make healthy food choices. Make sure your diet is rich in plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit. Beans and whole grains round out your nutritional needs. You will need a high water intake and the fiber will help you feel full as well as help you stay regular. These healthy eating habits are great stress busters.

If you or an aging loved one need caregiver services in Jacksonville, FL area please contact Concierge Care. Call us at 904-861-0196 for more information.

3 Key Tips for Choosing the Right Home Care Services

Aug, 26, 2013

It’s growing late and you’re lying awake in bed trying to figure out how to care for your aging parent. They have reached a point where they can no longer care for themselves, at least not completely, in a safe and healthy manner, so you’re considering home care services.

Your loved one, likely a parent, deserves the best in home care possible, so how do you choose the right in home care provider? Below are three key tips to help you in this important decision making process.

Home Care Services in Ponte Vedra Beach, FLTip 1: Determine the Level of In Home Care Service Required

Every senior is different and their needs will vary from one person to the next. While your loved one may only require a few hours of assistance every day, another person might require around the clock care.

One of the most common mistakes is that we tend to over or underestimate the amount of care that is required. Not enough care and the elderly individual may end up in an unsafe situation despite our best efforts. Too much care and they could feel as though they’ve lost a significant portion of their freedom.

Balance the needs of the patient with your desires for peace of mind.

Tip 2: Home Health Care Services Are Not All the Same

Even though the term may sound all encompassing, some in home care service providers will offer various degrees of support, from nursing to cooking and cleaning and much more.

Choose the right level of care that your loved one will need. If he or she is fully capable of cooking and cleaning, taking care of himself or herself, but only requires some assistance with taking medication, for example, then you’ll want to find a provider that can meet those basic needs.

Tip 3: Ask Your Loved One’s Opinion

While you may be sitting up at night worrying about this important decision, don’t neglect your loved one and what he or she may want. While they may feel they are more than capable of taking care of themselves, you have seen signs that cause you concern.

It may be ideal to compromise at first and bring in home care services for an hour or two a day to start. Once your loved one sees what he or she will be getting, that may open the door to more care in the future, especially when it’s needed most.

Family Activities with Seniors Improve Quality of Life

Aug, 21, 2013

Do you work for a senior care service? Are you looking for activities to do with your elderly adult? It doesn’t always have to be something new. In fact sometimes the activities that are simplest or the ones that were done long ago work the best.

All families are different. What things did you enjoy doing together? Playing cards? Going to see a movie? Enjoying family meals together? Working on a creative project as a family?

Senior Care in Ponte Vedra Beach, FLFor starters, one of the easiest and most enjoyable activities to share is eating a meal together as a family. Help your elderly adult invite some of his family members over to share a meal and some good times together. You can decide how the meal will be provided for and prepared – do a potluck and ask everyone to bring something, or prepare something simple like a salad bar or soup and sandwiches. For bigger family dinners, enlist the help of some of his family members.

Play a favorite game. What was one of grandpa’s favorite games? Checkers, Rook? Find a game that several or even all the invited guests can participate in. Grandpa will have a great time visiting and enjoying their company over a fun game.

Photo albums are fun to browse through. Most elderly folks love going over all the photos and talking about the memories they bring back. This is an especially good activity for an Alzheimer’s or dementia patient, as the long-term memory remains strong well after the short term memory has faded away. Seeing the familiar faces and events from long ago sparks happy feelings and gazing at the pictures helps the person become lost in happy memories from long ago.

Ask the elderly loved one to tell stories from long ago, and describe what life was like in the past. To make the story-telling even more special, have someone record it digitally or even by taking hand notes. Later these stories can be compiled and shared with family members. These stories can – and should – include struggles that were endured and hardships that were overcome as well as life’s joys and triumphs.

Most elderly people don’t get outside that often. Combining an outside trip with the inside companionship can really heighten their joy as well as get them some fresh air. If grandpa can walk, maybe a leisurely stroll would be good; if he is in a wheelchair someone can push him. A little bit of sunshine is good for lifting a person’s spirit.

Combatting High Blood Cholesterol in the Elderly

Aug, 20, 2013

Elderly care providers may be taking care of an adult who has high blood cholesterol. The elderly adult may be on medication for this condition, and have some doctor’s advice to follow. There will be therapeutic lifestyle changes that must be made including a diet that lowers blood cholesterol, some weight management and physical activity to incorporate.

What does the dietary change include?

  • It will be necessary to limit the amount of Trans fat, cholesterol and especially saturated fat that is consumed.
  • Only enough calories that are required to achieve or maintain a level of healthy weight should be consumed daily.
  • Soluble fiber in the diet should be increased; this can be done by eating foods high in soluble fiber like kidney beans, apples and oatmeal.
  • Adding foods that lower cholesterol, such as fruits and juices that contain plant sterols or plant stanols.

Elderly Care in Jacksonville, FLWhy is weight management important?

If the person is overweight, reducing weight to a healthier level can help to lower the LDL cholesterol levels in the blood. A large waist measurement (over 40 inches for men and over 35 inches for women is considered too large) is a risk factor.

Why is physical activity important?

It is another aspect of a therapeutic lifestyle change. Of course, healthy levels of physical activity are recommended for everyone. It helps to raise the good cholesterol levels (HDL) and lower the bad cholesterol levels (LDL).

For people with high triglyceride and/or low levels of HDL physical activity is doubly important.

Why is it so important to lower your LDL levels (bad cholesterol)?

  • Lower LDL levels help to prevent a heart attack from happening.
  • Helps to reduce the number of deaths resulting from heart disease for both women and men
  • It can lower, slow down, stop or sometimes even reverse the buildup of plaque in the arteries.
  • The process of lowering LDL levels is particularly important for those people who’ve already had heart disease or even who have already had a heart attack.
  • Prevents future heart attacks
  • Can prolong life at a healthier level

What are some of the LDL risk factors?

  • High blood pressure or being on blood pressure medication
  • Family history of heart disease before age 55 for men or age 65 for women
  • Age of the person
  • Low levels of HDL (good cholesterol)

As an elderly care provider you can give the much needed encouragement to your elderly adult to follow and maintain the doctor’s recommendations for lifestyle changes.

After Congestive Heart Failure – Creating His Life Story

Aug, 14, 2013

When your aging loved one is at home recuperating from having congestive heart failure, he will need something to do to keep his mind active and give him a goal or purpose to look forward to every day. A great activity to occupy him during this time is to create his life story. He may need some help gathering supplies and tools he needs, and you can sit down with him and make goals of what he can accomplish. Of course, take into consideration he will need lots of rest and some days may be too tired to do anything.

Home Care in Jacksonville, FLTake little tiny steps and let him work away at it at his own pace so he doesn’t become frustrated. Once he gets started, he might find it’s actually a lot of fun. Here are some tips to getting his life story created:

  • If he would rather talk than write, get him the necessary recording tools, making it as simple as possible for him to turn on and off.
  • Make him a list of cues, so that if his mind keeps going blank, he can just pull one of these cues out of the jar and start talking about it. Most of them are questions. Tell him to just say whatever comes to mind when reading the cue. Here are some cue examples:
    • What was your first day at a new school like?
    • Who was your best childhood friend?
    • Did you enjoy horse riding in your youth?
    • What was the strangest mode of transportation you’ve used?
    • Was there a special family wedding you attended?
    • What was the first family funeral you attended?
    • Describe a particular disaster you experienced
    • What was your greatest moment of success?
    • What was your greatest tragedy?
    • Do you remember a frightening experience?
    • Was there a time that you felt rejected?
    • Describe the breakup of a friendship
    • Did you ever have a brush with death?
    • What was a vacation trip from your childhood?
    • Did you ever experience being lost?
    • Was there an event that made you change your mind about someone?
    • What was a memorable childhood vacation?
    • What was your first time away from home?

There are hundreds more writing cues or writing topic ideas available on the internet. These are very helpful to jog his memory and get him talking.

If you or an aging loved one needs home care services after hospitalization in the Jacksonville, FL area please contact Concierge Care. Call us at 904.861.0196 for more information.

Hiring In Home Care Services for Seniors

Aug, 13, 2013

For many adult children, hiring senior care services is a stressful experience. Because this is not an everyday event, adult children tend to make many mistakes along the way. While there are many senior care services agencies that are safe to use, there are always people who are looking to take advantage of unsuspecting people.

Here are a few things you should NOT do when hiring senior care services for your loved one:

The first mistake that many adult children make is hiring a company too soon.

Many adult children looking for home care services rush to find a caregiver and very few good decisions have ever been made in a rush. In worst-case situations where you need to have home care as soon as possible, look into the Family Medical Leave Act so you can take some time to help get your elderly parents situated without the stress from rushing.

The second mistake usually is a result of mistake number one, hiring in a rush.

The next problem occurs when adult children quickly hire a home care agency without asking good questions, like whether or not the company provides back-up care. If an in-home care provider does not provide backup care, that means that you will most likely be the one providing senior care when your hired help is not available (which often means that your holidays will be spent at your elderly parent’s home).

Mistake number three occurs when senior care service agencies have a quick turnover.

Good senior care services will keep their employees happy by providing good benefits and reasonable pay. Many adult children who quickly try to find senior care for their parents look for something cheap and quick. This usually means that loved ones receiving the care will not have the same caregiver for very long. No senior adult want to have different caregivers every few weeks and no adult children want to keep meeting new caregivers and explaining the special situations over and over again.

Another common mistake is not working with local senior care referral services.

These service companies have already vetted out the companies that are not good and the companies that are favorites with local families. There are several companies online that provide authentic referrals, too. No matter where you turn for referrals, be sure that senior care services companies are not paying to have positive referrals. Non-profit referral services tend to be the best ones when looking for honest and accurate referrals.

When you learn from previous caregivers’ mistakes, it is much easier to avoid making them yourself. When you are on the hunt for senior home care, it is very important to remember that when you make a good decision, both you and your elderly relatives will have less stress in their lives and that is always a good thing.

For Senior Care in Jacksonville Florida contact Concierge Care.
At Concierge Care we cover a wide territory that includes (but is not limited to) the following areas: Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra Beach, Jacksonville Beach, Orange Park, St. Augustine, Mandarin, Palm Coast, Ormond Beach, and Daytona Beach, FL.  If your area is not listed here, just call and speak with one of our friendly staff to find out if we service your town with our senior care in-home services.
Call us at 904.861.0196

When is Companion Care Needed?

Jan, 04, 2013

There is no place like home to provide a healing, relaxing environment when recovering from an illness, injury or surgical procedure. Could in-home companion care be right for someone in your family?

Seniors
It is no surprise that 90% of Americans want to age in place – at home. Now more than ever, medical experts agree that aging in place is the best choice. It’s healthier. It’s more flexible. In fact, we typically think of senior citizens as the primary clients for home health care. While they are the primary consumer, there are many other people with a variety of mental and physical issues who require the services of a home health agency.

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For seniors in particular, there are some indications that home health care may be warranted:

  • A history of falls
  • Weight loss, diminished appetite or willingness to prepare meals, or spoiled food in the refrigerator
  • Problems with walking or balance, getting up or down, or transferring in and out of bed
  • Diminished driving skills or recent car accidents
  • Changes in personal grooming or hygiene such as uncombed hair, body odor, infrequent bathing or shaving, or wearing unclean or stained clothing
  • Not remembering to take medication or get prescriptions refilled, difficulty managing multiple prescriptions
  • The home has become cluttered or unclean
  • Paperwork is piling up or bills are not being paid
  • A loss of interest in socializing or in activities that were once enjoyed
  • Confusion, memory loss, difficulty concentrating and changes in personality which may be signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease

Prenatal or Postpartum Moms
Women who have difficult pregnancies and are on bed rest may need the services of a home health care agency to help around the home and provide basic assistance, including aiding in monitoring her overall health. Home health care agencies also provide postpartum care for women, particularly in case of a cesarean, and may help provide newborn care as well.

Hospice Clients
Regardless of age, many clients who are facing the end of life wish to be at home. Many home health care agencies offer hospice services, a specialized form of care that is designed to provide comfort and support for those who are facing a life-limiting illness.

Medically Fragile Children
Medically fragile children are often eligible for home health care services. Children who are ventilator dependent, have cardio-pulmonary conditions, genetic syndromes, or prematurity complications are all among those served by home health care services. Services may include home oxygen management, administering medication, infusion therapy, respite care, and patient/family education.

Disabled Adults and Children
Adults and children who are either severely developmentally or physically disabled may qualify for home health care services. Typically, they would have to meet the requirements for admission in a nursing facility if they are seeking government payment for such care. Those with emotional or mental health issues may qualify as well.

Chronic Illness/Surgical Recovery
Any adults who are home bound due to a major operation or chronic illness may benefit from the services of a home health care agency. Home health care staff can not only help you with your basic needs and recovery, but they can also provide support for home keeping responsibilities until you are able to again.

The Mayo Clinic suggests that if someone of any age who is basically home bound has several of these indications, home health care may be an effective solution:

  • Recurrent Hospitalizations
  • Infusion Therapy
  • Wound Care
  • Ostomy Care
  • Catheter Tube Care
  • Joint Replacement
  • New Medications
  • Diabetic Management
  • Changes in Function
  • New Diagnosis

At Concierge Care we cover a wide territory the includes (but is not limited to) the following areas: Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra Beach, Jacksonville Beach, Orange Park, St. Augustine, Mandarin, Palm Coast, Ormond Beach, and Daytona Beach, FL. If your area is not listed here, just call and speak with one of our friendly staff to find out if we service your town.