Tag Archives: older adults

Shout Out to Nursing Homes

Posted by on May 12, 2015 under Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

Positives of assisted nursing facilities

People have varied feelings about nursing homes. Part of how they feel about them depends on their age. Part depends on what nursing homes they’ve experienced in person or through the media. Part of it depends on whether or not they can picture themselves in a nursing home or if they would rather age in place for as long as possible. But no matter how people feel about them, there are nursing homes out there where the residents are well cared for and enjoying their lives.

When a decision is made by an individual, or their family, to move into a nursing home, several positive changes can take place. These changes include allowing a former family caregiver to go from being a caretaker back to being a family member. Or giving the elder the ability to interact with their peers. Or the family being able to feel secure in the knowledge that the elder’s complex medical needs will be handled by professionals.

Additionally, there are different types of nursing homes available, depending on what level of care an individual needs. Even homes that provide a lot of skilled nursing can still also provide social activities.

One thing that is important to remember is that a nursing home decision should ideally be made before a crisis creates an immediate need for a move into such a facility. But even if a family is in the middle of a care crisis, many nursing homes are very accommodating and flexible.

What experiences have you had with nursing homes? We’d love to hear some experiences our readers have had!

Seniors and Hoarding

Posted by on April 30, 2015 under Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

Hoarding elderly help

While hoarding is definitely not a problem that solely affects seniors, it can become an issue for elderly adults for several reasons. A lifetime of hanging onto precious items can eventually result in simply having too much stuff. A move to a smaller home can bring about an initial clean-out, but later the person may be used to purchasing or keeping more than the new home can hold. There are also the mental reasons people hoard, which can become more pronounced with the onset of dementia or other diseases. The underlying mental reasons of why people hoard can be varied, but what can be done about the problem?

If there is just some clutter here and there, or it’s more stuff than you feel comfortable with, but the senior is happy – ask yourself if it’s important. If the items give them joy and only make their place feel messy, maybe it’s not worth the anguish of trying to get them to throw things out. But when it becomes a safety issue, either from the amount of dust that’s accumulating (especially if they or consistent visitors are allergic) or from the clutter impeding pathways, it’s time to start talking about the issue. The number one cause of falls for seniors is when they’re on the way to the bathroom, so if the pathway is not clear for any reason, that needs to solved.

When it becomes time to confront the problem, be sure to keep the senior involved as much as possible. Sending them out for the day for them to return to a cleaned out house can be devastating for them. So start slow: make short, accomplishable lists and play music while you clean. If they’re resisting and you have permission to speak to their doctor, don’t hesitate to mention the issue.

There are qualified personal that help people pare down their items to a manageable and safe level. A quick Internet search should give you results and reviews. If you have any suggestions for those types of businesses and individuals, please let us know in the comments below. And good luck!

Helping Your Elderly Parents with Their Finances

Posted by on October 6, 2014 under Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

Figuring out bills with your parents

There’s no denying that helping your parents sort out their finances can be a daunting task. How well they respond to your offer to help, how organized they are and how spread out their finances are – these can all be contributors to the difficulty of the job. But it is doable, and with a little help for yourself, you’ll find you can get all those figures under control.

First, there’s actually getting your parents to allow you to participate. If they’re particularly reluctant, you can always just ask them to speak to an elder-care attorney. This article shows that that might be a good idea no matter the case: the attorney quoted in the post says he spends most of his time fixing the mistakes people made when they tried to do everything themselves. Your parents should also, at the least, tell you where they keep their financial information in case of an emergency.

If you’re able to actually help them with a budget, be sure to schedule that time for when everyone is relaxed. Don’t lump it into when you’re already going to take them to a doctor’s appointment – many people, whether or not they tell you, can become anxious before appointments. Try to schedule a time to sit down with some kind of reward at the end: a nice dinner out or a visit with the grandkids.

Don’t necessarily use your own budget as a template for theirs. They may have expenses you wouldn’t think of at first, like extra money for medical equipment, incontinence supplies or higher insurance premiums.

With a lot of patience, you can work together with your parents to get them financially set. Good luck, and let us know if you have any advice you’d like to share in the comments.

Three Things You Can Do To Prevent Falls

Posted by on September 29, 2014 under BladderMatters, Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

Keep your senior injury-free with these fall prevention tips

September is National Fall Prevention Month, to coincide with the start of the fall/autumn season. Falls are often the reason why seniors end up in the hospital. With so many situations where falls can be prevented, it’s worth the time to check and make sure the seniors you know are safe in their homes, nursing homes or while out and about.

Check on medications
Not only do medications affect each person individually, some medications can affect older people differently from the young. The elderly also tend to take more medications, which can lead to un-intended and sometimes dangerous drug interactions. The side effects of these medications can lead to dizziness, or confusion, both states which can creat a higher risk of falling. Caregivers should be certain to go over, and repeat if necessary, all medications their caree is taking to doctors, nurses and pharmacists. You never know who is going to catch an adverse combination.

Solve any incontinence issues
A common time when seniors fall is when they’re trying to get to the bathroom. The sudden urge to go and a diminished ability to walk can lead to a fall. Not only is it important to make sure that all paths to the restroom in the senior’s home are clear, incontinence problems should be addressed and solutions found. If the senior can wear a pad or a brief, then the need to get to the restroom quickly is mitigated. Additionally, nighttime falls are common, when the light is low and the senior may be disoriented. Sometimes using incontinence supplies only at night can solve this problem.

Help encourage balance
Physical therapy can be one way to help an elderly person regain their balance, especially after an injury or illness. Another way can be to try exercises that encourage balance, such as Tai Chi. Or simple stretches and strengthening exercises to make sure those muscles are there when needed.

To find more information and more ways to prevent falls, you can check out this National Council on Aging Page. And let us know in the comments how you prevent falls for your senior!

Help with Building a Care Team

Posted by on September 19, 2014 under Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

About care teams, or integrated care management

A care team for an elderly person consists of the people who are interested in the health and well-being of that person, and are an active part of their life.

Who is in a care team?
The main caregiver and the senior are the focus of the team. But as a caregiver, you’re still a part of it: communication needs to happen between yourself and the rest of the team, and of course the senior. In addition, there is also the main doctor and the specialists. The physical therapists and pharmacists are in there, too. And then if there are secondary caregivers, or elder daycare helpers, they’re part of the team as well. Include anyone who is in regular contact and communication with the senior about their health.

What is the goal of the team?
The goal of a care team is to keep the senior as healthy and as comfortable as possible. Happiness is also a good ideal, but may not always be possible. The way they accomplish these goals is through communication. In the best cases, each team member would be in contact with one another. But it may not be possible for the dentist to be in contact with the physical therapist to let them know that they may be less focused at their next session because of some residual tooth pain. Or the secondary caregiver may not be in contact with the primary doctor to discuss a change in incontinence products. That’s why the caregiver has to be the main input and output of information. And that information has to be explained in a way that is clear enough to them for them to be able to share it with others.

Remember, if someone in your care team makes either the caregiver or the caree uncomfortable, there’s nothing wrong with reevaluating whether or not that person should be there. Everyone should feel able to communicate freely within the team. We here at TotalHomeCareSupplies.com would love to hear about your best practices in a care team, and we wish you and your teammates much luck!