Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disease that affects memory. It can be very disheartening to see this disease developing in your parents. Make sure you are aware of the risk factors so you can take all necessary measures to protect your parents’ health. Here are just a few of them.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, one of the first indicators of a development of Alzheimer’s is family history. An individual is more likely to develop the disease if a parent or sibling also had it. The risk is even higher if more than one family member has Alzheimer’s. Prevalence in a family can be due to both genetic and environmental factors. It’s important to understand how family history can impact the development of Alzheimer’s so you can be adequately prepared.
Loss of Senses
As Alzheimer’s develops, connections in the brain begin to disintegrate. Primarily we think of how this affects memory and other brain functions, but it also impacts how the brain processes the senses. Smell in particular has been a major indicator. Individuals with Alzheimer’s are either confused by what they smell or they lack any sensory recognition. Sight is another major sense impacted by Alzheimer’s. There is no physical damage to the eye, but it becomes difficult for the brain to process certain images. This can be true of shapes, colors, and even faces.
According to Audien Hearing, people with hearing loss are almost twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s. They might have perfect hearing, but their brain doesn’t process the sounds properly. It can cause confusion and stress. This is why individuals with Alzheimer’s prefer a calm and quiet environment.
According to Aegis, research has shown that Alzheimer’s is common among individuals with heart conditions. The brain is nourished by a network of blood vessels so if your heart is not optimally healthy it can also affect your brain. Some conditions include heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Make sure your parents consult with their doctor about monitoring their heart health. It can be helpful to eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and reduce stress. Another condition that could create risk is head injuries. Make sure your parents take all precautions such as wearing a seatbelt or “fall proofing” their home. Overall, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help to address risk factors.
The development of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia can be very difficult on a family. Being aware of risk factors can help you catch the signs early and intervene. Work with your parents on their health in order to lower the risk.
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Social distancing measures have been inconvenient for everyone. Everyone’s lives have been changed in these recent months. But no one’s life has probably changed more than that of your senior loved ones. The senior population is at the most risk for having a bad reaction to disease. As such, many are scared to even leave their home for simple things like a shopping trip. This has caused many to feel extreme loneliness. However, you can help them through this tough time. Consider the following suggestions.
Send a Care Package
Dropping off a care package on your loved one’s front porch is a great way for you to remind them that they haven’t been forgotten. Put in a few useful items like sanitation products that might be scarce in your area. It would also be helpful to give them a few flu and cold medications. You can also add a few treats that your senior is partial to. You may wish to add a coupon or gift card for a streaming service so that they can have some entertainment in their isolation.
Video Chat with Family
Seniors love it when you stop by to chat. The next best thing would be a video chat. There are so many different platforms that you can use. If your senior struggles with technology, you should probably pick one that is very intuitive to use. You may even need to talk to them on the phone to help them set it up. Once it is all good to go, gather the family and start the call. If your family isn’t accustomed to these types of chats it can be difficult to get a good conversation going at first. Do your best to have some topics prepared ahead of time that you can use to get the ball rolling. You can all chat at once, or you can even take turns talking with your senior loved one.
Send a Virtual Photo Slideshow
Even if they can’t be there, your senior loved ones enjoy knowing what’s going on in your and your children’s lives. Consider putting together a slideshow of everything that has been happening recently. If your family has enjoyed some fun quarantine activities, take some pictures, and include them. Add a soundtrack that fits with your slideshows theme. You can make it more personal by adding captions that address the viewer. This doesn’t have to be a one-time thing. You could make it a weekly tradition. Just document what goes on throughout the week in photos and then send them to your loved ones over the weekend. This will give the seniors in your family something to look forward to.
Adopt a Dog
Your senior family members need companionship more than you may know. One way to solve this could be by getting a dog. Before getting a dog you want to determine the right puppy breed that will be best for your elderly loved one and their capabilities and lifestyle. A large energetic dog could be very dangerous. If it jumps, it could knock a senior over. If it gets excited on a walk, it could drag a senior across the ground. It’s best to get a smaller, affectionate, and more docile dog breed. At the same time, a dog with a modest amount of energy can encourage a senior to go on walks and play fetch. This exercise will be very important for your senior family members.
Although you may not be interested in handwritten letters, the older generation is. They grew up reading and writing letters to those people that mattered most. Even if your family member lives nearby, they will enjoy getting a letter in the mail. It can be hard to write a handwritten letter if you’re not practiced at it. The best thing to start off with is a funny or exciting event that you are eager to share. Be sure to ask questions about how they are doing. Be honest and express your feelings about things that are important to you. Anything you would share in a heart to heart conversation, you can share in a personal letter.
Social Distance Dinner
If you want to be able to spend time with your loved ones in a safe manner, you could have a social distance dinner. To pull this off, have your senior loved ones prepare their own meal while you prepare yours. It might be more fun if you prepare the same meal. Then go to the backyard of your senior family member’s home. You can eat on the grass like a picnic, while the seniors eat on the back porch. Make sure that everyone stays a safe distance apart. This will allow you to see and interact with one another, while staying safe. Be sure that everyone involved is comfortable with this idea. Do not invite anyone that has been sick in the last two weeks.
Online Games and Learning
They say that it’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks. While learning may be more difficult as we age, it doesn’t stop being rewarding. Introduce your senior loved ones to the many online learning resources available.
You can also introduce them to online games. Many of the classic games that your senior friends loved when they were children, are now available as games online. Teach them where they can find these games. Some sites may even allow you to play the games together.
Many seniors enjoy making things. Some enjoy knitting and sewing, while others enjoy art and carving. In your phone calls with your family, ask about the crafts that they enjoy doing the most. This will give them something to occupy their minds and pass the time. They will have the joy of accomplishing something and improving on a cherished skill. You might even take the opportunity to learn from them.
Your willingness to go out of your way to help others during a difficult time is a sign of your character and your love. You might find it difficult to start doing these things if you’ve never done them before. Don’t let that stop you. You’ll never regret the time that you spent showing love to your family.
We can help your senior loved ones to feel safe and cared for in the comfort of their own homes. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you with in-home healthcare!
Exercising with diabetes can be difficult, especially when you get older. Recently, the lockdown restrictions put into place because of COVID-19 have encouraged millions of people to stay inside their homes. While there are obvious health benefits to staying indoors, staying physically active indoors can be difficult especially if you are diabetic. For many diabetics who are active and athletic, staying inside has caused many to wonder what they should do to safely exercise. While the current health crisis will not last forever, the following suggestions can help diabetics in their efforts to safely exercise in their homes.
Stick to Your Routine
Many people’s routines have been upended due to the emergence and spread of COVID-19, and this includes regular exercise routines. In times of pandemic, it can become easy to not follow a routine for exercising and even easier to stop exercising altogether. It’s best to stick to a specific routine that you repeat daily, like exercising at the same time every day. If you already have a routine, stick to it. If you do not, there are many exercises that can be done in your home.
Monitor Your Blood Sugar
When figuring out your exercise routine, you should make sure that your blood sugar is high enough. One of the best times to exercise is at least an hour after eating when your blood sugar is higher. If you use insulin to regulate your blood sugar, you should test your levels both before and after. In addition, using glucose supplements can help with replenishing the sugar in your blood, and glucose supplements can even help your body absorb creatine for better muscle growth.
Eat Healthy Food
In conjunction with glucose supplements, the food you choose to eat before, after, and even during exercising is important to your body’s ability to regulate your blood sugar. Proper nutrition added to a consistent exercise routine can make a huge difference in how you feel after exercising and how your body will be able to regulate your levels. Before you exercise, prepare snacks like trail mix, granola bars, or anything high in protein and capable of raising your blood sugar levels that you can eat before, during, and even after you exercise.
Unexpected world events, like your blood sugar, can bring your high or leave you low. However, for diabetics, taking the proper steps toward exercising can make it a positive experience and help you feel healthy and strong in the comfort of your own home.
If you have diabetes, here’s another article you might like: 4 Common Complications of Diabetes
Going to physical therapy is a great way to help you recover after a major or minor surgery. There are things you can do that will actually improve the effectiveness of physical therapy. To ensure you get the most out of it, try these tips.
Use Therapy at Home
Just because your physical therapy session is over doesn’t mean you have to quit using the techniques you’ve learned when you return home. Using therapy at home can help you continue to improve instead of losing all the progress you made when working with a physical therapist.
Make sure you talk to your therapist about how often you can engage in physical therapy techniques at home. You don’t want to overdo it and cause damage to your body. However, following a safe routine once you return to your house can help your therapy sessions take hold and help you heal.
Follow Post-Surgery Recommendations
The way you approach your post-surgery lifestyle may affect the success rate of your surgery. The guidelines you are given are there to help you recover and protect you from further injury. Failing to follow them can cause all the work you did in physical therapy to be a waste. Though you may feel limited for a while after surgery, do as your doctor and physical therapist tell you in order to ensure proper healing. Physical therapy works by slowly reintroducing your body to certain movements. Pushing yourself too far, too fast can actually make your recovery time longer and result in further problems.
Consider Your Body as a Whole
Physical therapy works best when you treat your entire body well. Make sure you are staying hydrated, eating good food and getting enough rest. When you are eating poorly, it can counteract all the effort you are putting towards your physical therapy. Failure to take care of your entire body through holistic means can compromise your physical therapy results. Find a healthy meal plan that fits your lifestyle and satisfies your needs.
Report Any Problems
Pain is usually a sign that something is wrong. While it’s normal to experience a certain amount of discomfort during and after physical therapy, it’s still important to report it. Your doctor or therapist can determine if it’s normal pain or a problem that needs to be dealt with so that you can recover fully. Don’t push through pain after surgery. Get a professional opinion so that you don’t stall your recovery.
Physical therapy can be a long process. There are ways to make all the work you do in physical therapy more effective in the long term. Make sure to do everything you can to heal properly.
Diabetes is a disease that affects every system in the body. Because of this, a diabetic can experience any number of complications anywhere in their body. Here are four of the more common complications that diabetics are at risk for.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, diabetics with uncontrolled diabetes can experience damage to blood vessels. When the blood vessels in the kidneys become damaged, this prevents the kidneys from cleaning the blood thoroughly. This leads to other problems, such as weight gain, ankle-swelling, bladder infections, and protein in the urine.
There is a group of conditions known as diabetic eye disease. This includes the following: diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic macular edema. While these conditions can also occur outside of diabetes, having diabetes, particularly uncontrolled diabetes, increases a person’s risk of developing these eye conditions. These diabetic conditions all usually begin with damaged blood vessels behind the eyes.
Diabetes can also cause the growth of new, weaker blood vessels that can bleed. Left untreated, significant vision loss can occur and possibly become permanent. According to Retina Care Consultants, the most common cause for vision loss in diabetics is diabetic retinopathy, characterized by damage to the retina and its blood supply. Diabetics are encouraged to get regular check-ups from specialists to catch these eye diseases before they get out of hand.
Battling extreme fatigue is a common occurrence for diabetics. This is due to the fact that their cells have trouble with processing glucose, which is what gives the body energy. In some cases, their bodies may not make enough glucose, which is why they need insulin. No matter which issue the person has, the outcome is the same: chronic fatigue. Talk to your doctor if feelings of fatigue are stopping you from doing the things you need or want to do.
Numbness and/or Tingling
Ames Walker says that diabetics can have trouble with a condition called diabetic neuropathy. This is essentially nerve damage that can cause numbness or tingling sensations. These sensations, or lack thereof, usually occur in arms, hands, legs, and feet. Sometimes, they can be as extreme as sharp pains or pain from a simple touch.
Diabetes is a complex disease that can affect many functions in the body. That’s why it’s important to keep your blood sugar under control. By keeping a close watch on your blood sugar, you can reduce or even eliminate your chances of experiencing these problems.
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Getting older should not mean losing all of your teeth along the way. Older adults can keep smiling by continuing to take good care of their teeth as they age and continuing to do so right into those golden years. Keeping regular dental appointments is a must-do in order to have the best chance of keeping your smile bright no matter your actual age. There are a few additional things that you can do to take better care of your teeth that every person approaching retirement age should consider.
Keep Up on Oral Hygiene
It is essential to keep up on good oral hygiene in order to keep your winning smile intact and healthy over time. Brush, floss and rinse at least twice a day, and preferably more as needed. Use a soft-bristle brush and gentle toothpaste, especially if your teeth or gums seem sensitive to cold, heat or touch. Investing in a top-notch dental water-rinse appliance system, flossing correctly, massaging gums and rinsing your mouth with a dentist-approved mouthwash can help keep your pearly whites looking and feeling terrific.
Fix Lost and Missing Teeth
Sometimes, people lose one or more teeth due to decay, gum disease or an oral trauma event. This can create a gap or empty space where the tooth used to be. Over time, your other teeth may start to shift in order to fill in that gap. Missing or lost teeth should be fixed with dental bridges, caps or other dental procedures. There are several advantages of dental implants to consider if you’re missing teeth. Dental implants are designed to mesh into your jaw bone, mimicking a natural tooth root. This helps prevent the loss of bone density that can happen over time when natural teeth are missing.
Eat a Nutritious Diet
For good dental health, it is important to eat a nutritious diet. This is the best way to keep your teeth looking their best. Eat foods that are rich in the recommended vitamins and minerals necessary for strong bones and teeth. Avoid high-sugar foods and beverages that can stain teeth, like sodas, coffee and teas. Drink plenty of water instead.
Seniors can maintain their healthy smiles with continued good dental care and by living an overall healthy lifestyle. Avoid smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol and tooth-staining beverages like coffee that can erode dental enamel.
Here’s another article you might like: What Are the Benefits of Preventative Care Services?
Many people often invite their elderly grandparents to live with them in order to care for them. This arrangement allows many generations of family to live together under one roof, which creates some tight bonds between the family members. That being said, this arrangement also comes with challenges. If you’re considering bringing your grandparents into your home to live and you have young children, here are a few things to keep in mind to keep things running smoothly.
Give Them Space
It’s important that you give your grandparents space for a number of reasons. It allows them to maintain their sense of privacy and individuality. It also keeps younger kids safe. The elderly often rely on prescriptions to maintain their health. In order to prevent your young children from getting into their medications, it’s a good idea to store medicine in child-resistant containers and keep them locked up and out of sight. Additionally, it’s best to exercise caution in everything. Even leaving medications in a purse can be harmful if a child gets into it. It’s best to leave any type of medication locked up safely and out of reach of small hands.
Keep Rooms and Walkways Clean
While medications might be a hazard for young children, small toys left on the floor can be a hazard for the elderly. Before your grandparents move in, create a system for keeping toys and other objects at bay. First, if it’s possible, keep your children and their toys on an entirely different level than your grandparents will occupy. Next, try organizing the toys by activities. That will keep each of the toys isolated in their own corners, so to speak. If everything is sorted into labeled containers, then less of the floor is likely to get cluttered. Finally, create a clean-up system and teach your kids to use it. It’s easiest if they learn to clean as they go. Though teaching them to do that may take some time, it’s definitely worth it.
Create Boundaries Ahead of Time
While this arrangement will likely be a blessing to everyone, it’s important for harmony’s sake that you set up some boundaries so that your home life is harmonious, according to Family Matters. Some of these boundaries will be physical boundaries, like instructing your small children to stay away from their grandparents’ quarters unless they’re invited in. However, some of the boundaries will be more emotional. It will be natural for your grandparents to want to step in and even possibly discipline your kids at times. This can be problematic if not handled right. Talk with them ahead of time about discipline and other matters. That way all of the adults in the home present a united front to the kids, while still maintaining harmony with one another.
It can be a wonderful experience to have your grandparents come to live with you. Your young children will get the opportunity to get to know them and to be around their wisdom. However, this situation can present challenges if it’s not handled correctly. It’s important for personal safety as well as emotional well-being that issues like medications, toys and personal boundaries be worked out before grandma and grandpa come to live with you.
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The elderly population is growing at an unprecedented rate. In the United States alone, the population aged 65 and up grew a whopping 33% from 2006 to 2016. However, as those golden years come for many senior citizens across the country, so can feelings of depression and isolation. There are ways to help your senior loved ones overcome loneliness, however.
Why Is Depression Common With Age?
Depression affects those of all ages, but seniors might be at a particular disadvantage. Seniors are at risk for depression due to family history, low levels of serotonin and norepinephrine, or traumatic life events, such as the death of a loved one. As seniors age, the loss of spouses, family and friends becomes all too common. Those who are retired can feel a bit lost and unsure of what to do with their time, leading to depression that can become severe if not helped in its early stages.
Certain medication used to treat illnesses that come with age also can lead to depression. It can be very difficult for some seniors to swallow their pride and admit they need help. While depression can strike at any age, the symptoms do not always appear the same. Seniors may appear tired, irritable or confused. It is important to recognize these symptoms to help get your loved one the help they need.
As we age, it is easy to slip into a pattern of loneliness. Even the loss of hearing can lead to isolation. It is important to spend time with those seniors in your life who might be experiencing loneliness, particularly if they previously enjoyed an active social life and craved time with others. Carve out time in your week to have lunch or stop by for a visit.
When you cannot be around, help them get involved with a hobby. If they have friends who cannot drive, offer to pick them up and get them together. If your loved one is in a home, discuss the importance of making connections with the other residents. Unfortunately, elder abuse isn’t uncommon, made all the worse by isolation. If your parent or loved one has close friends and other family members visiting often, this is less likely to happen.
Encouraging a Healthy Lifestyle
Many seniors are stuck in their ways when it comes to the food they consume and how much physical activity they get each week, but health during the golden years becomes more important than ever. Not only are our bodies getting tired and more susceptible to health risks. Data is still forthcoming on the exact reasons a higher mortality rate is linked to isolation. However, experts believe it is due to the lack of help in going to and from necessary doctor appointments and checkups. When symptoms do develop, there is typically no one around to call for help.
Giving Them a Sense of Purpose
We discussed earlier how finding a hobby or a friend can help decrease the risk of loneliness, but it also can give your parent or loved one a sense of purpose. If they find a friend who falls easily, give them a job to call on that friend every morning and evening to check in. Even if your loved one is in a facility, there are tasks they can complete every day that make them feel as if they have accomplished something and are still important to others.
None of us like to experience loneliness. It can cause us to feel sad, isolated and even depressed. During a time when seniors need support more than ever, it is vital to find ways to engage with others and keep your loved ones close. If you are responsible for caregiving for a parent or loved one, help ensure their emotional needs are met along with their physical care.
Here is another article you might enjoy: https://www.welcomehomecare.com/2019/12/18/how-to-keep-your-home-permanently-pest-free/https://www.welcomehomecare.com/2019/12/18/how-to-keep-your-home-permanently-pest-free/
Pests creeping into your home can cause health problems, and no one wants their living space to be infested with these unwelcome guests. If you want pests to take a permanent vacation, make sure to follow these rules.
Your trash can is a magnet for bugs. That’s why you should keep your trash in a sealed trash can that isn’t on your floor. All the food you throw away is an easy target for pests, so it’s best to make sure they can’t get to that food easily. It’s also important to keep your kitchen and eating areas clean. Wipe down counters and cabinets, and don’t leave food out in the open. Even a thin film of grime or grease is an invitation for pests to visit.
It’s true that your main trash can or dumpster holds all of your trash. However, it doesn’t mean that you should allow it to remain filthy. Neglecting to clean your dumpster will leave a scent and residue that will attract pests. Clean your dumpster regularly to avoid bugs and bacteria that can grow from leftover food.
Don’t Ignore Fabrics
Pests don’t just make their homes on hard surfaces. They like fabrics, especially if any food crumbs are left behind. It’s important to vacuum and clean your rugs, carpet, and couches just like you would any other part of your home. Your bedroom sheets also need to be washed regularly to keep bed bugs away. If you believe you may already have carpet beetles or bed bugs, the sooner you act, the easier the pest removal process will be. Waiting allows the pests to breed and spread throughout your home.
Paper and boxes that are left sitting on floors or surfaces offer hiding places for pests. It’s important to recycle unwanted papers and keep cardboard boxes neat and folded in one area. Roaches love to use them as hideouts, and you may not even know they are lurking since they are nocturnal pests. Clearing clutter will also make it easier for you to wipe down counters and vacuum floors.
Cut Off Entrances
Check the outside of your home and make sure you don’t need to close off entrances that pests can sneak through. Caulk around entrances and paint over areas where paint has chipped. This will make it harder for rodents and pests to find an entry point to your house.
It’s not impossible to live pest-free. Just make sure you store away food, keep your home clean, wash your sheets and vacuum, remove clutter, and prevent pests from getting in in the first place. Follow the steps above to ensure your home isn’t a welcoming environment for bugs.
If you or a loved one are struggling with basic everyday tasks, there’s hope yet! Welcome Homecare offers a variety of services without you needing to leave the comfort of your home.
Preventative health services are what keeps you in good health. There are plenty of benefits to be had with preventative health services. Read on to learn more about preventive health services and how they benefit you.
What Is Preventative Health?
Before touching upon the benefits, let’s go over what exactly preventative health services are. Basically, preventative health services protect people from life-threatening emergencies. These services include testing for diseases and diabetes, counseling, screenings for cancer, such as a colonoscopy, and regularly scheduled checkups. Each of these services can help diagnose and provide treatment; however, they all specialize in a certain practice. This means that you can only use a certain service that can treat a specific issue. Preventative health care means striving to maintain optimal health before any problems occur or before they have a chance to progress. Routine screenings and overall good health practices contribute to overall health in a preventative way.
Now that you have a general understanding of what preventative health services are, it’s time to go into some of the benefits that come with them. The first and most obvious benefit is being able to live a healthy life. Preventative health services are what keeps us from experiencing an illness that is life-threatening. Without checkups, we wouldn’t be able to know the condition of our blood pressure, for example. If we didn’t have cancer screenings, the death toll would reach unimaginable heights. In fact, seven out of 10 deaths in the United States are related to illnesses that may have been prevented if they engaged with more healthcare services. Preventative health care can catch illnesses and underlying problems before they’re beyond being treatable, which saves lives.
Keeps You Financially Stable
Another benefit that preventative health services give you is keeping you from going under financially. With the high price of medical care, it’s important that you ward off illness as much as possible. Granted, this is dependent on whether or not you have insurance; however, even the deductible can be expensive to pay. Preventative health care services help you keep your health in check so that you don’t have to pay an astronomical hospital bill or take extensive time off from work. Preventative health care services are what ultimately extend our life span. Without them, things would be a lot different than they are today. Being proactive in your healthcare is the best way to live longer and healthier.