Home Instead Senior Care

You cant always be there, but we can

Caregivers-A Guide to Self-Care

Being a caregiver can be a very emotionally and physically demanding job. In today’s events, emotions and stresses are at a much higher rate due to our nation’s fight against COVID-19. New regulations and restrictions have risen due to this virus, and seniors along with their caregivers and family members are some of the groups that felt these changes the most. It is important for caregivers to practice self-care and give themselves time to recharge. Read along as we discuss a few ways caregivers can practice self-care outside of work.

“Me” Time

“I’m going to have a me day,” can sound like a cliché to many, and even selfish. However, truth of the matter is that having a day to yourself is never selfish, in fact, it is necessary. Being on-the-go everyday and neglecting your own needs can lead to higher stress levels, mood changes, and unsatisfactory feelings. Practice self-care by investing in what brings you calmness and relaxation. Give your mind and body a break, we promise you’ll feel in a much better mood after indulging in things that help you recharge!

Good Meals & Good Sleep

When you are caring for someone else, it is easy to forget about your own meals. Having good, nutritional meals and a good night’s sleep can help prevent caregiver burnout. Make a schedule for yourself to ensure that you are eating at an appropriate time and not skipping any meals. Forgetting to eat can lead to an irritable mood and fatigue. A nighttime routine can also help you get much better sleep. Try going to sleep at the same time, avoid heavy meals at night, and reduce your consumption of alcohol at night to get the quality sleep you deserve.

Remain Social

The long hours of caregiving can lead to exhaustion, hindering your quality time with friends and family. While being social in a demanding job like caregiving, it is still important to remain socially connected to others in order to reduce that feeling of isolation and burnout.

Being a caregiver takes compassion, patience, and love for the position and those who you are caring for. It is understandable to feel overwhelmed and tired after a long day at work, which is why we put so much importance on taking time for yourself. Give yourself the same care and love that you give others, so that you can continue to do what you love with a good attitude and a rested body. Here at Home Instead Senior Care we appreciate our caregivers and their hard work. Learn more about our mission and services online.  

Home Care Help for Diabetic Seniors

A diabetes home care program covers the health and wellness needs of a diabetic senior. While managing diabetes may a challenge for family members, in-home care is a way for seniors to receive the personal care they need. From daily medication reminders to planning healthy meals, elders can enjoy an independent life at home with the help from a care provider. Discover how in-home services can benefit your diabetic loved one in our blog!

Medication Reminders

Many seniors are capable of taking medications, but reminders are still necessary. Forgetting to take a medication can result in an emergency if glucose levels become too low or too high. With a caregiver at home, family members can have a peace of mind that their loved one has medical assistance if necessary. Caregivers know to look for signs of distress and get help in urgent situations.

Monitoring Blood Glucose

Whether seniors have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, monitoring blood sugar levels is important. A caregiver can gently encourage a senior to check regularly and help them if they have mobility or vision problems. Furthermore, caregivers can document blood sugar results and urge loved ones to follow doctor recommendations for glucose results that are too high or too low.

Meal Preparation

A healthy, balanced diet is key for a senior living with diabetes. If planning meals and going grocery is a requirement, a trained caregiver can help with those activities. It is essential to discuss with the in-home care company which services they offer, such as transportation and so on.

Conclusion

Our CAREGivers at Home Instead Senior Care are passionate about delivering important in-home diabetes care to the senior population of Wilmington, NC. Call us to find out how we can help your loved one manage life with diabetes by calling (910)-342-0455 or visiting us online here.

What is Respite Care?

Primary caregivers hold the responsibility of caring for a loved one, such as an elderly or disabled parent. They act as a supportive role in a person’s life, helping them with important tasks at home and understanding certain everyday needs. However, the encumbrance of caregiving may be overwhelming and tiresome for some, which is why primary caregivers turn to respite care. Learn more about respite care and what it involves by reading our blog.

Definition

“Respite care provides temporary relief for a primary caregiver, enabling you to take a much-needed break from the demands of caregiving a sick, aging, or disabled family member,” according to HelpGuide. The purpose of respite care, as mentioned in the previous statement, is a way for primary caregivers to be reprieved from caring for a loved one for a period of time. Whether that be a couple of hours each day or taking a short vacation, respite is an important resource.

Services

One of the ways a caregiver can get relief is with an in-home care service. Whether these visits are scheduled on a regular or occasional basis, in-home respite provides an opportunity for loved ones to be cared for in the comfort of their home. A trained staff member can perform duties such as meal prep, shopping, housekeeping, bathing, feeding, and even medical care. Some home care companies have specialty services available too, so call ahead to inquire.

Arrangement

Having resources for respite can make a difference for a primary caregiver. HelpGuide states “while finding and arranging respite care sounds like a lot of work, it’s important to remember that respite is not just a service, it’s an effect that comes from taking breaks from the stresses of caregiving.” Caregivers can schedule times, plan breaks, and make accommodations if necessary.

Conclusion

At Home Instead Senior Care, we provide in-home respite care for the elderly that gives you a break from caregiving. A well-designed respite program provides these breaks on a regular, scheduled basis. For more information on our respite care program in Wilmington, NC, please call us at (910) 342-0455 or visit our website here.

Fun & Safe Activities for Seniors During Quarantine

The world has been going through difficult times amid COVID-19. From mandatory quarantine to social distancing efforts, changes have been made worldwide to help flatten the curve of this virus. According to the CDC, anyone can get infected by the virus, but seniors ages 60 and up are at a much higher risk, which is why such an emphasis has been put on taking preventative measures to keep them as safe as possible. Here at Home Instead Senior Care, we have made a huge effort to help senior loved ones remain safe in their own home, and have found a variety of creative ways to keep they time at home fun and safe during quarantine. Read along to learn about some activities that you can partake in with your senior loved ones!

Puzzles & Painting

 Quarantining can be a bit underwhelming if one doesn’t make the effort to find fun activities to do around the house. This is especially true for seniors. Some fun and safe activities to do with seniors are puzzles and painting, both of these are engaging, allow for creativity, and can easily take up a good amount of time. You want activities that will keep them entertained for long periods of time so that they don’t get bored easily. Not only are these enjoyable, but they also allow you to sit down and enjoy some quality bonding time!

Video Calls

With social distancing orders in place, it is not recommended to have people outside of your household visit. Although you are not allowed to have visitors, it doesn’t mean that you have to lose touch with friends and family. A great way to see your loved ones is through a video call. If you are an iPhone user, FaceTime is the way to go. There are also other Apps such as Zoom, House Party, and Skype that you can download for free. Many have gotten creative and have even celebrated birthdays virtually, where family members and friends all video chat at the same time to celebrate.

Meditation

Not being able to go outside and partake in regular activities can take a toll on anyone both physically and mentally. Anxiety and depression can easily increase during these difficult times, especially for seniors. You can reduce anxiety and depression through some simple meditation. Find a quiet and comfortable place in your home where you can meditate for a period of time without being interrupted. Not only will this bring you some calmness and peace of mind, but it will help you manage the emotions that are rising do to the current pandemic.

Show your senior love and compassion during these tough times by engaging with them through some fun and safe home activities. Our experienced team is here to help your senior loved ones remain safe and comfortable in their own home.  Learn more about our essential services by visiting our website.

Healthy, Home-Cooked Meals for Your Senior

Preparing a healthy meal for your loved one doesn’t have to be a challenge! Even if you’re a busy individual but still need to care for your elder, you can plan ahead with a few simple meals. These dishes are not only delicious, but nutritious as well. They can be cooked with limited prep time and stay fresh in the freezer when you’re ready to use them. Find out which healthy meals you can make at home for your senior by reading our blog!

Nutritional Meal Ideas

Mix and match your senior’s menu with tasty recipes for lunch, dinner, or a mid-day snack. Ranging from sweet to savory, we’ve listed examples of meals that are packed with nutritional value, but still have the flavors your loved one can appreciate.

  • Chicken and vegetable hand pies: This entrée combines whole grains, vegetables, and chicken. It’s easy to make in batches that can be frozen for up to six months.
  • Apple cinnamon French toast: Almond milk, organic eggs, apples, flaxseed, and pumpkin puree are great sources of soluble fiber and protein in this recipe. You can make this ahead and freeze for up to two months.
  • Mediterranean quinoa burger: Another meal you can make and freeze for up to two months, these filling burgers are rich with fiber and protein. Whole grain wheat buns and fresh veggies complement this burger.
  • Egg muffins with kale, roasted red peppers, and feta cheese: These simple egg cups are a delicious source of protein that can be turned in to a meal any time of day. For a busy caregiver, they make a tasty on-the-go breakfast too.
  • Signature spicy, smoky, and sweet chili: This crockpot meal is easy to make and freeze. You can substitute the ground beef with ground turkey to make it even healthier.

Conclusion

Our trained caregivers at Home Instead Senior Care​ can help your loved one with a healthy, well-balanced diet. From the grocery shopping to the meal prep, our in-home caregivers can provide meals that appeal to all tastes and dietary restrictions. Call or visit our website to learn how our mealtime services can help your loved one eat well and stay well!

Safe Indoor Exercises for Seniors

Staying active can improve a senior’s health, even if an exercise routine is done indoors. Some elderly people may not have access to a gym or other equipment, but it’s still possible to get the necessary exercise they need to be healthy and fit. From indoor walking to stretch exercises, there are many ways for seniors to keep strong and flexible. To learn more about easy indoor exercises for the elderly, keep on reading!

Indoor Walking

Getting up to walk around the house is a still a great way to improve cardiovascular health. As long as an elderly person doesn’t have heart or lung problems, then moving about to clean and cook is definitely an option. Even a light jog from one end of the house to the other can increase joint mobility. Seniors should aim for around 20-30min of walking.

Yoga

Seniors can reduce muscle pain and increase flexibility by doing simple yoga exercises. One of the easiest ways to get a routine started is by following a video or going to a group class. It’s important to focus on main muscle groups, like the arms and legs, for at least 15-20min each day. Yoga is for everyone, so if an elderly person is at a beginner level or perhaps more advanced, they can choose which yoga poses work for them best.

Strength Training

Preventing muscle loss and promoting bone health are just some of the reasons why seniors should focus on strength training. Seniors can work on their muscles by using resistance bands and lifting weights at home. The equipment doesn’t necessarily need to be heavy, but it must provide enough force to tire out the muscles. Strength training should last between 15-30min.

Conclusion

If you need help caring for your senior’s health and wellness, then contact Home Instead Senior Care. We have our staff of friendly caretakers to assist elderly residents that want to live an independent lifestyle, while still getting the help they need. If you would like to inquire about our senior services, visit our website today!

The Best Birthday Gifts for Grandparents

Sure, the gifts of cash and nice meals can be lovely birthday gifts for many grandpas and grandmas around the world. But gifts that enhance their sensory stimulation are particularly wonderful for thwarting dementia and intellectual deterioration. Below are some suggestions of items that can help your loved ones stay sharp.

Tactile

Grandparents whose tactile senses are active and vigorous easily fall in love with apparel that are interesting to the touch. Gloves that fit snugly and socks that warm up the toes fit this category. Even for gramps and grams who don’t usually care for touching new things, such gifts can help them sharpen their tactile awareness. If you have an avid bookworm of a grandmother, she might appreciate an interactive device on which she can swipe her fingers; if you have a gardener of a grandfather, he might like that epic pot that comes with a plant that reacts adorably to his touch—a Mimosa pudica (shameplant) for example.

A Mimosa pudica (shameplant).

Visual

The tactilely inclined are not the only ones who enjoy plants. Colorful flowers and carnivorous plants not only create opportunities for your visually fervent grandfolks to exercise their botanical knowledge, but also push them to remember to water their new vegetation. Another visually potent gift is a digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera, which the artistically inclined can use to capture breathtaking scenes and images. Instead of filling afternoons with sedentary TV viewing, they can now be busy photographing and letting their imagination soar. Masterful paintings and glorious puzzles can also delight the eye, and make those relaxed brain cells work out.

A senior man photographs his wife near the ocean.

Olfactory

It’s important to enjoy a variety of smells, especially in one’s old age. For your elders who are unusual bloodhounds or otherwise gifted with the appreciation for fine scents, exotic perfumes and diffusers can make excellent gifts. Odors come in many shapes and sizes; some may enjoy a good cookbook (with which they can create all kinds of chocolatey and pungent smells); others may rather opt for those—again—fragrant plants. It seems one really can’t go wrong with plants!

A senior husband and wife cook in the kitchen.

Conclusion

There are many other options that aren’t mentioned in this blogpost. One can be even more creative by taking one’s elders to a cruise to the Mediterranean, which could be a package of olfactory, visual, and tactile stimulation; a camping trip is another classic gift that combines all three kinds of these adventures. For more relevant pointers and services, simply consult Home Instead Senior Care today.

5 Health Benefits of Owning a Pet

There’s nothing better than coming home to a dubiously excited dog or cat vying for attention. While it may feel great to be a source of endless happiness for your pet, your own health and well-being can be greatly improved. Studies show there are physical, emotional, and mental benefits of owning a pet for people of all ages. From encouraging daily exercise to unconditional companionship, the perks of having a furry best friend are numerous and undeniable. The following are 5 health benefits of owning a pet.

Pets are Heart Healthy

Did you know the simple act of petting a dog or cat can be hugely beneficial to your cardiovascular health? Individuals with pets tend to have a lower blood pressure than non-pet owners, which is imperative in reducing the risk of heart disease.

Loneliness and Depression Antidotes

The companionship of a pet can help combat depression and loneliness for pet owners who may find themselves spending a lot of time alone. Before choosing a new friend, however, consider the pet’s age and natural demeanor. The relaxed temperament of many older pets may align well with senior energy levels and lifestyle, whereas a puppy or any energetic pet may be more suitable for younger, more active owners.

Simply petting an animal can reduce stress and increase feelings of companionship because it releases the pleasure chemical dopamine in the brain. Also, walking a dog is a great ice-breaker when it comes to talking to people on the street or at the dog park.

Animals Live in the Moment

Have you ever noticed the Zen-like mentality of animals to live for right now and at the moment? That “here and now” mentality can be particularly helpful for seniors. Seizing the day with your furry friend at your side can help you appreciate every precious moment of your life.

Increased Independence

Pets can also help improve mobility and independence for seniors by helping with daily tasks. For example, pets can alert seniors with hearing loss when there’s a knock at the door or the phone rings. Also, a daily outdoor walk with a pet is a healthy low-stress form of exercise.

Furry Pain Relievers

Anxiety intensifies pain and vice versa. By reducing anxiety levels, pets can help alleviate pain for seniors who may experience chronic conditions such as arthritis or sciatica. Recent studies have shown that there’s a decreased need for pain medication following surgery when a pet is present in the home.

Conclusion  

There are few things more rewarding than owning a pet. Not only do they provide unconditional love and companionship, but having a furry best friend can be attributed to a multitude of physical, mental, and emotional health benefits. For more information, contact the professionals at Home Instead Senior Care.

Benefits of Respite Care

There will come a time where a caregiver will need the help of respite care. Respite care is temporary institutional or in-home care of a senior loved one who is ill, handicapped, or needs care around the clock. A caregivers, health and well-being need to be priorities, and giving yourself a break from those responsibilities as needed is key. Respite care will allow you to take a break from your daily care routine and manage the other responsibilities in your life. Read on and find some of the many benefits that respite care has to offer.

Find Relaxation Again

When it comes to your body, it needs adequate rest to function properly. If you fail to give it the rest it needs, you will begin to experience exhaustion and even depression. With optimal rest for your body, your mood will be enhanced. This will allow you to take on any caregiving responsibilities flawlessly, with a whole new outlook. 

Increase Your Social Life

People are creatures who need social engagement to avoid depression, as well as many other factors that can be debilitating at times. For a caregiver, it is important to avoid being isolated for extended periods of times. When you are constantly working with elderly loved ones, you can experience a mental and emotional breakdown. With respite care, it will allow you to take the time to have dinner with friends, attend a fun event, or even take a vacation, you know you deserve it.

Prevent Any Bad Habits

When a caregiver becomes overworked, they may turn to bad habits such as smoking, drinking, overeating, and other bad habits in an attempt to manage their stress. By choosing respite care you will have the ability to take some\ much deserved time off to relax and enrich your life with healthier habits such as fitness, journaling, meditation, or yoga. Preventing these bad habits is essential to be an efficient caregiver. Don’t allow yourself to become overworked.

Regardless of the reason your need for respite care, you want to make sure to choose the right senior care facility. That’s where we can help, here at Home Instead Senior Care we have years of experience working with the senior community and are here to help. Contact us anytime for additional information on our respite care service.

Coping with Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s is a terminal illness that shakes families to their core, leaving people wondering how to help their loved ones. This overwhelming diagnosis might make you feel hopeless at first, but the truth is, there are ways to make day-to-day life less of a struggle with senior care. To learn more about how people cope with the disease, read this blog post.

Symptoms

Those who have Alzheimer’s disease exhibit a number of symptoms including: a shorter attention span, trouble recognizing objects they once knew, making choices, and communicating with others. Alzheimer’s sufferers also tend to lose their coordination and physical strength. All these symptoms make it challenging for the sufferer to navigate their own homes, which is why preventative measures must be taken. The disease cripples people’s confidence in themselves, but there are many ways to ease the burden on a daily basis.

Safety First

If your loved one has a caregiver, they can perform safety checks around the home to ensure patients’ safety among their surroundings. There are several general safety precautions that you can take to keep the home ready for anything. First, you should always have emergency contact information handy in each room, so you can be prepared for anything. Because many Alzheimer’s patients wander, another important safety suggestion is to install enough lighting throughout the house to ensure they can navigate safely. Rugs, extension cords, and clutter may pose a dangerous tripping risk, so the clearer the hallways, the better. Another important thing to consider is using childproof locking systems on cabinets that hold medicines and other toxic substances. Handrails throughout the home will allow your loved one the freedom they need to move with ease.

Recreational Activities

Physical activity can improve the overall health of every Alzheimer’s patient, as it helps prevent high blood pressure, strokes, and diabetes. Exercise can also boost patients’ moods, which will help them live with less worry and pent up stress. Depending on the stage of their condition, people with Alzheimer’s can participate in a number of activities like running, swimming and gardening, with some minor accommodations. Walking and other low impact routines are good for patients who have a more developed disease.

Reading and making art are more ways to help Alzheimer’s patients challenge themselves and stimulate their minds. Artistic activities can lower anxiety levels in individuals experiencing dementia and Alzheimer’s, and may also stimulate their memory. Self-expression can help boost people’s moods and confidence.

Conclusion

At first, an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be devastating, but with some research and extra help, you can help make your loved ones’ life much easier and safer. Those in need of professional Alzheimer’s care can count on us at Home Instead Senior Care, where we work hard to provide our patients with quality of life.

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