Tender Hearts Cincinnati Home Care Team on March 21st, 2012

Having difficulty understanding how Alzheimer’s disease progresses? This brief animated YouTube video illustrates the different stages of the disease and shows exactly what happens in a brain with Alzheimer’s.

Tender Hearts Cincinnati Home Care Team on January 11th, 2012

Walking aids help the elderly with stability so they are able to get around on their own. Keeping the elderly independent with home care walking aids will keep them more agile and feeling self sufficient. Many aids are made heavy duty and high quality from medical walkers, rollators, rolling walkers to canes and crutches.

The rollators will help them walk safely and allow them to sit for a moment when they get tired. Many elderly enjoy being a part of the family activities and with a rollator they can join into the fun. The rollators have wheels and moves as the person walks. It can also come with brakes or a basket under the seat to store needed medications and carry things around for ease. They also fold up for convenience.

Some walkers have two wheels and some have four. The wheels help the elder to move around easier. The ones with no wheels will have to be lifted up a little and moved manually each step. They can have baskets or even a seat on the more heavy duty made walkers. There is also a side walker which is used with one arm. Those would not have wheels but a bag or small basket could be attached to hold light items. Walkers used during home care also fold up so they can be stored easily.

Canes come in many different shapes and styles to make them comfortable while using. Some have adjustments for the height and hand grips that are gel or foam coated for comfort. Walking canes aid in the in home care of the elderly to allow them the freedom to get along on their own. The cane will give them the security of knowing they have the proper support. Handles can be curved or T-shaped and they can be folded up to store away. Some canes also have four little feet at the bottom for more stability.

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Tender Hearts Cincinnati Home Care Team on January 11th, 2012

Do you have a family member who’s getting older and may soon need home care? Families often feel concern for their elderly relatives who may not be able to care of their finances any longer. Luckily, home care doesn’t just provide help for seniors who are sick and immobile, but also for people who need help managing their expenses.

There are several reasons why an elderly person may have trouble keeping track of their finances. Mental and visual impairments can make crunching numbers almost impossible. Physical impairments, like arthritis, make it difficult to sign checks or other documents. If an elderly person lost their spouse, they may be taking care of finances for the first time in their life. Immigrants may have trouble understanding American bank and tax procedures.

Elderly people who cannot handle their finances are at risk of financial abuse. They may also lose their home due to foreclosure or an eviction because they don’t pay their bills on time. Financial problems can also cause great damage to a person’s credit.

With the help of caregivers and home care, though, seniors can live their life confident that their money is being handled correctly. The elderly person may have coaching in order to take care of their finances themselves or they may have someone help them out on a regular basis. A caregiver will be able to assess the senior’s needs and determine if someone else in the family should become completely responsible for the finances.

The biggest step to helping a senior get ahold of their finances is to take stock of what they have, including their bank accounts, income and investments. Everything from savings and checking accounts to social security benefits, mutual funds and stocks need to be taken into consideration. From there, the necessary tools can be arranged to help the senior gain financial stability.

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Tender Hearts Cincinnati Home Care Team on January 11th, 2012

The elderly experience many changes which impact their ability to safely care for themselves. Home care services enable them to remain independently in their homes without compromising safety.

Caregivers should conduct a walk-through when providing home care. Look at smoke detectors, outlets, electrical cords, and appliances.

  • Every floor of the home should have a working smoke detector that’s tested regularly. If the client is hearing-impaired, alarms with flashing lights are available.
  • Outlets and switches must have cover plates. Exposed wiring is a fire hazard. Touch the cover plates. If they are warm then an unsafe wiring condition may exist.
  • Frayed or damaged electrical cords need to be replaced. Make sure the rugs and furniture aren’t on top of cords. If it’s covered, a cord can overheat and cause a fire. And furniture placed on top of electrical cords can damage them, in which case they would need to be replaced.
  • Check see how many appliances are plugged into each outlet and compare the combined wattage against the outlet’s stated limits. Check the tags on extension cords against the wattage of the appliances plugged into them. Ensure none of these are over capacity. Examine any cords with three-prong plugs. If they’re plugged into two-prong outlets then an adaptor should be used.
  • Examine heating pads and electric blankets for damage or exposed wires. Damaged wiring, used under other covers, and laying on top of the blanket or heating pad can cause it to overheat. They should be turned off when not in use.
  • Appliances should be kept away from the stove and sinks and bathtub, and should be unplugged when not in use.
  • Most space heaters require three feet of clear space on each side. Things should not be set on top of them.

Home care is a valuable resource allowing seniors to feel self-sufficient in their own homes, while still ensuring safety.

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Tender Hearts Cincinnati Home Care Team on January 11th, 2012

Osteoporosis is a disease that involves the loss of bone mass throughout the body, and this condition usually gets worse as time passes. Individuals of all ages can develop osteoporosis, but it is more common among the elderly. If an older person needs home care and is fifty years or older, chances are they have osteoporosis. Elderly people with osteoporosis need even more care and safety precautions when living at home. Elderly females have an even greater chance of having osteoporosis, so a caregiver should take special care of them.

Home care for an older person with osteoporosis can be challenging because they should always need to be on guard for anything that can cause a fall resulting in a fracture. It is important for someone providing home care to know everything necessary about the client’s condition. A caregiver must know information about medications, diet and warning signs. They must be educated about the specifics of their client.

Providing home care should also involve the monitoring of an elder’s medication. Making certain the client is taking medicine regularly can help slow down the effects of osteoporosis. Any side effects from medications should also be taken into important consideration.

A caregiver should provide a home that is essentially fall-proof. Bone fractures and breaks are often the result of a fall, and an elderly person can be susceptible to further bodily damage from an injury. Hip and knee fractures are the most common results of a fall, and these can be avoided by taking precautions. Make sure walkways such as stairs and hallways are free of clutter that could cause a fall. Handrails should be put in the shower and by the toilet to assist the elderly. Floors of the home should be slip-proof and the lighting should be substantial as well.

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Tender Hearts Cincinnati Home Care Team on November 23rd, 2011

The Baby Boomer generation is changing the landscape of America’s suburbs. As the first generation of people to be born and raised in what we now call “Suburbia,” census statistics show most Boomers have no intent on moving elsewhere as they age. This poses some unique challenges for local governments as they are beginning to see their voter demographics shift from young families to older individuals with different needs and concerns. Changes are being made to accommodate the shift, such as new pedestrian walk signals providing countdowns, new police forces focused on senior safety and local university classes on coping with retirement.

Read more about this shift in this article.

Tender Hearts Cincinnati Home Care Team on November 23rd, 2011

The changes people face as they age can lead to anxiety. Though this anxiousness help people determine the presence of a potential threat, if they remain unchecked and untreated, they will affect more than just a person’s mood. Excessive anxiety can dramatically impact a person’s life. Its consequences will prevent the possibility of enjoying the remaining years of life to the fullest.

There are several sources of anxiety in the elderly. Some of them are listed below, together with some helpful tips on how to help these seniors cope with anxiety.

1. Dying

Death is common with age. And though everyone will come to this point, the idea of dying, losing or being left behind by loved ones and friends bring on the feelings of fear and anxiety to an elderly. The loss of a spouse or partner brings pain and sadness, as well. With this bereavement, anxiety may take root when all hope and joy in life is lost.

Tip #1: To help these elderly cope with the loss, loved ones must allow them to release their sorrows and grief. Comforting them and making them feel that they are loved and that they still have you will give them a continuing sense hope and purpose.

2. Physical Sickness

When people get old, they lose their hair, they get crow’s feet, and they develop age spots – such depressing and anxiety-causing signs. But this is not all of it. The aging process is not just on the outside. It is on the inside as well. Their brain cells shrink. Their bones become porous. Their connective tissues stiffen. Their blood vessels lose their elasticity.

Because of these external and internal changes in their body brought on by aging, people are likely to develop several medical problems and difficulties when they reach their golden years. The strain put on by physical illness or chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, and arthritis, to their already failing body adds to the anxiety that they may be feeling. The state of being old and sick amplifies the fears that their body may never last for long.

Tip #2: Caregivers must ensure that the seniors are eating a well-balanced diet to help boost their immune system. It is an effective way to manage anxiety and avoid illnesses from threatening the body,

3. Increase in the Use of Prescription Medications

With the numerous diseases and disorders that ail the elderly, their prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs also pile up. There are pills for controlling the blood pressure, pills for reducing heart palpitations and pills to prevent clots. There are also pills for headaches, syrups for coughs, and pills for depression. With all these drugs taken inside the body, the combination and interaction of these chemicals can somehow mimic or increase the symptoms of anxiety.

Although some elderly might want to discontinue some of their medications due to the adverse effects, stopping is sometimes not an option. Hence, they try to live with the anxiety symptoms while taking additional anti-anxiety tablets to counter the negative symptoms.

Tip #3: Caregivers must supervise their ward’s drug regimen. Their forgetfulness often makes them miss their dose.

4. Abandonment

With the kids all grown up and busy with their lives, the elderly cannot help but feel so alone and isolated. Gone were the days of chaos, arguments, and laughter brought on by crying infants, messy toddlers, and rebellious teenagers. The house feels so empty that the silence is deafening. Moreover, the failure of children to remember their elderly parents on very important moments (birthdays, Mother’s and Father’s Day, Thanksgiving, etc.) appends to their feelings of depression and anxiety.

Tip #4: Loved ones must never forget to call their elderly. Constant communication will make them feel important still.

5. Dependency on others

The failure of the body to function the way it was thirty years ago frustrates and aggravates the elderly’s thinking that they are already indolent. The need to be served, and to be waited on hand and foot worries them. Their sluggishness, illnesses, and sensitivity are something they do not want their children to be loaded with. Being a burden to their children is something they do not want to turn into.

Tip #5: Speaking in a calm voice and showing patience and understanding with the decrease in mobility or dependency of these elders will be beneficial to them.

6. Retirement

The idea of not coming to work ever or settling down at home doing nothing often terrifies the elderly. Missing the thrill off the job, the company of co-workers and the satisfaction of having a career brings sadness and anxieties to the surface.

Tip #6: To keep these elders far from feeling bored, keep them busy by encouraging them to learn crafts, do fishing, or anything they’re interested in. Developing a hobby serves as a good form of distraction or a treatment for anxiety.

Anxieties in the elderly can still be treated with the right support from family members. Love, patient, respect, and understanding are the most important things one can give.

Ryan Rivera shares his journey with anxiety through his website, www.calmclinic.com. Articles include information on management programs, including alternative and natural treatment methods.

Tender Hearts Cincinnati Home Care Team on November 2nd, 2011

Older people age at different rates. While some drivers are as safe at 80 as they were at 40, others might consider giving up driving by 70. Driving is a complex task and countless factors affect an older person’s safety behind the wheel. Requiring many systems, both physical and mental, a person should be able to handle the quickly changing conditions of the road.

Financial liability and the safety of elder drivers can be a serious concern. In some cases, driving assistance may be needed, if only on a temporary basis. If a senior has undergone surgery or has suffered an injury, he may not be able to drive for a few weeks. Even if their inability to drive is only temporary, a reputable In-Home Care agency can provide assistance to help get seniors where they need to go safely.

How will you know when it’s no longer safe for a senior to be driving? See below for some helpful safety tips.

What are the risk factors?

While everyone ages differently, and accidents on the road can be caused by anyone, some seniors suffer from health issues that make them more likely to be involved in accidents. A variety of risk factors cause crash rates to be higher among seniors.

Sometimes, the accidents are caused by careless mistakes. Distractions can lead to running red lights and stop signs. People may also forget to yield as they are entering moving traffic. If a senior is beginning to experience signs of dementia, driving may be one of the first places you notice his mental deterioration. Even if they seem as sharp as a tack otherwise, they may have a difficult time processing the information required to make quick decisions and may be overwhelmed by all of the actions happening at one time.

Injury prone

Another factor to consider when determining if a senior should still be operating a motor vehicle is his likelihood to be seriously injured. While a minor fender-bender may cause little damage to a young person’s health, it could seriously injure a senior. A minor case of whiplash for a young adult could cause serious consequences for a senior. Seniors may also be more likely to break bones. Their recovery and healing time may be longer, and physical therapy could be necessary. Even if your loved one is a fairly good driver, you need to consider the consequences if he’s in an accident.

Vision and hearing problems

As we age, eyesight has a tendency to diminish, even for those otherwise in great health. Eyesight weakens, and those with lifelong perfect vision may find they occasionally need glasses for reading. This will be true when driving as well. Seniors need to be able to read road markings and street signs as well as anyone else. Hearing loss could impact safe driving as well. If a senior is unable to hear a siren, it could lead to a collision with an emergency vehicle.

If you have spoken with your senior and your family and decided that driving is still a safe activity, consider a few tips to continue to protect their well-being and the well-being of others:

It is important for seniors to take their time when driving. While most people do not think of seniors being the speed demons of the road, they should still relax and take their time when behind the wheel.
It is also important to avoid distractions. The difference between a safe and unsafe driver may be their ability to focus. Seniors need to concentrate on the road as much as other drivers. Since they have been driving for several decades, seniors sometimes think they can handle driving while doing other things.
Avoid driving in harsh conditions like rain, snow, and ice.

Avoid night driving, even if eyesight is fine during the day. The glare on oncoming headlights can be disorienting, making it difficult to see.

Everyone ages differently, so there is no arbitrary cutoff as to when someone should stop driving. Read this informative article about how aging affects driving:

Seniors Driving

Safety Tips, Warning Signs, and Knowing When to Stop

Tender Hearts Cincinnati Home Care Team on November 2nd, 2011

The clients and the families that we are working with have a number of benefits.

Among many of the benefits to choosing Tender Hearts at Home Senior Care are the following:

  • Apart from a caregiver being able to assist in daily activities; bathing, cooking and other tasks, our caregivers establish a special relationship and have companionship with your loved one. It’s the “One-on-One” Care that makes what we do special.
  • Caregivers will make your loved one feel more secure since the caregiver is part of a multidisciplinary care team prepared to assist your love one and it can also be the connection between the client and family members or friends.
  • Being able to stay in their own homes can prevent the start of many cognitive disorders. Being surrounded by things that are familiar to the client helps to keep memories and recall events or loved ones. So choosing for in-home care will help your loved one to remain stable and to increase cognitive and mental awareness.
  • In-home caregivers are available to provide support when family is unable to make time due to constraints on their schedules. Families may be unavailable through the day because of obligations at their work, therefore, through-the-day care can be provided by in-home caregivers and the family members can offset this care through periodic visits through the week, into the evening.
  • Nowadays families face a tight routine and caregivers can provide support to your loved one. Due to all the obligations a family could have during the day a caregiver can take care of the needs of our loved one.

The former are only a few of the benefits which Tender Hearts at Home Senior Care can provide for you and your loved one.

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Tender Hearts Cincinnati Home Care Team on November 2nd, 2011

Great article from the New York Times on living longer, healthier and happier lives well into our senior years. Read more Here!