Home Instead Senior Care

You cant always be there, but we can

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Improving Cognitive Health of Elderly People

Cognitive health is defined as the ability to think and remember clearly. It is considered an integral part of brain function. Recently, we have seen a clear demise in the mental capabilities of our aging seniors. This has led to conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.   

But there is no problem without a solution. Studies have shown that elderly people who constantly engage in meaningful activities have improved cognitive abilities and increased brain activity. This reduces the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

One of the ways to maintain and improve the cognitive health of elderly people is by managing stress. There are countless simple yet effective ways through which one can manage stress.

  1. Meditation: The simple act of following your breathing pattern can do wonders to help alleviate stress. It clears the mind and gets rid of all the unnecessary negative thoughts that can cloud one’s rational judgement.
  2. Journaling: Journaling is a perfect way to keep track of your emotions and daily activities. It is a candid reminder that one always has a safe place to vent out their feelings.
  3. Have Someone to Talk to: Aging seniors often require someone trustworthy to confide in and talk to. Someone who cares for them and shares a bond that allows them to express themselves freely. They are more likely to thrive with such freedom. It is crucial for your elderly to have a trained professional to take care of them.   

Conclusion

The caregivers at Home Instead are professionally trained to take care of your loved ones. In the elderly community, dementia and Alzheimer’s become quite common. But with proper care and assistance, all can easily be tackled and managed. Our team will keep your senior active and mentally stimulated so they can enjoy life to the fullest.

Decluttering Your Senior Loved One’s Home

A cluttered home can be a dangerous home. Hallways and doorways that are blocked by clutter are hard to navigate, especially for anyone with mobility problems. Dust buildup, old food, and unsanitary areas will pose a multitude of health issues if left ignored. There are so many things that can go wrong and a variety of safety hazards in a messy home. If your senior loved one is having difficulty maintaining housekeeping, it’s a sign that they need assistance at home.

Organize Before Cleaning

Decluttering isn’t just about tossing as many things as possible. Take the time with your senior loved one to sort out items and personal belongings. Some things may hold special memories and it would be devastating to discover that it was accidentally thrown out. It would be helpful to organize things into storage boxes or containers with easy to read labels. Make sure that your loved one is involved in the organization process so they can remember where everything is. After you have successfully separated important and essential items from the clutter, it’s time to start cleaning.

Set a Schedule

Unless the home is cluttered from top to bottom, try not to elongate the cleaning process. It’s best to set a schedule and tackle everything in a day or over the weekend without distractions. That way everyone involved can stay committed and focused on the task ahead. A helpful tip is to make a list of what to do, such as:

  • Organize important mail and bills.
  • Check your loved one’s prescriptions and properly dispose of anything expired or anything that’s no longer prescribed.
  • Clean out the refrigerator and give the entire kitchen a good wipe down.
  • Dispose of any expired food and restock with fresh goods. During this, keep an eye out for rat droppings or any signs of an infestation.
  • Ensure that all walkways, entry ways, and exits are clear of clutter and easy to navigate.
  • Sort through old clothing and do the laundry.
  • Clean and sanitize the bathroom.
  • Sweep and mop the floors.
  • Mow the yard or hire a gardener to take care of the front and back of the house.

Encourage Involvement

No one likes others going through their things without permission. As you declutter the home, always try to keep your loved one involved in the process. They may not have the energy or physical capability to actually help in cleaning, but it’s still thoughtful to ask their opinion on things. Such as asking where certain items should go or how they would like things arranged. Remember that this is their personal living space and livelihood.

Rely on a Professional Home Helper

We understand that life can get very hectic with things coming up out of up nowhere. If you have trouble maintaining housekeeping for your loved one, we can help. Home Instead Senior Care provides compassionate in-home care services that includes personal care, light housekeeping, meal prepping, grocery shopping, transportation, and much more. Learn more about how we can help by visiting our website.

Tips for Seniors with Respiratory Concerns

Chronic conditions and the aging process itself leave many seniors at risk for encountering respiratory issues later in life. Infections and diseases can wreak havoc on even the healthiest immune systems, which is why seniors need to take extra care to protect themselves whenever possible. Follow along this month as we discuss some top tips for seniors and others suffering with respiratory issues or hope to prevent them.

Reduce Indoor Air Pollution

Reducing irritants in the air like pollen, fur, and dust can dramatically improve one’s ability to breathe when indoors. Whenever possible, reduce the amount of time the central heating or air conditioning is turned on and change out the filters whenever necessary. Regularly vacuum, dust, check for mold, and run an air purifier for an optimal indoor environment for your loved one.

Boost Endurance

Depending on how mobile a person is, light exercise can be a great way to boost the flow of oxygen throughout the body and tone chest muscles in and around the lungs. Sometimes boosting endurance will be in the form of resting and finding ways to conserve energy that will be needed later.

Change Your Wardrobe

Sometimes something as simple as trading in jeans for sweatpants can drastically improve how well someone can breathe comfortably. Removing tight and heavy layers from around the chest and abdomen can instantly provide a touch of lasting relief in a moment of discomfort.  

Final Thoughts

Sometimes certain respiratory concerns will require additional support and equipment that only the industry experts can adequately provide. Home care services let people flourish in the everyday life they already know and love while getting a little help to stay independent and mobile. Home Instead offers personalized care plans to lift the caregiving burden from family members and keep those strong family bonds intact. Visit our website to learn more about the areas we service and the types of care we can provide you and your family.

How Technology Can Help Seniors

In our modern age, we have a variety of tools at our disposal and technology is one of them. Our advanced technology has paved the way for many things including medical equipment, communication devices, entertainment, and so on. When it comes to senior care, there are many things that families and caregivers can use to make sure their senior loved one is emotionally, mentally, and physically healthy. In this month’s blog, we discuss the benefits of technological devices and services that seniors can use.

Video Chatting Apps

Staying connected to loved ones is extremely important when it comes to mental health. Often times, seniors may experience feelings of loneliness and isolation – especially if they live separately from family. Nowadays, there are numerous free video chatting apps that are easily accessible and can instantly connect anyone around the world. Having that virtual connection can boost your senior loved one’s mood and overall well-being.

Tablets and E-Readers

Tablets and E-Readers are a great source of entertainment and are highly valuable due to their convenience, portability, and accommodating features. Tablets have large screens that are suitable for watching videos, video chatting, and playing games. On the other hand, E-Readers are perfect for book lovers that want simpler controls and features. These devices provide access to millions of books, magazines, and news articles while also allowing text size adjustment and text-to-speech options for seniors who have limited vision.

Video Game Consoles

Gaming is heavily associated with the younger generation but seniors can also greatly benefit from playing video games and have fun at the same time! Video games that require critical thinking like puzzles or strategy games helps keep the mind stimulated and assist in memory retention. It also enhances problem-solving skills while being a source of entertainment.

Casual fitness video games are also an excellent option for seniors to stay fit and active in the comfort of their home. Video game consoles like the Nintendo Wii and the Nintendo Switch have games – such as Wii Sports and Just Dance – that are interactive, usually require minimal movement, and are not intense. Seniors can play these games using the wireless controllers while keeping their body moving. Regular physical activity helps maintain muscles, coordination, balance, and strength.

Fitness Trackers and Medical Alert Systems

Fitness trackers are wearable devices that double as a wristwatch and come with various features such as heart rate tracking, calories burned, number of steps, sleep monitoring, and more. These trackers can provide helpful insight on how active seniors are and their health. While it shouldn’t be used as an absolute resource when it comes to health monitoring, fitness trackers can provide supplemental insight and data.

Another useful wearable device is a medical alert system. They can come in the form of a necklace or wristband and are used in emergencies. If seniors fall or are experiencing any sudden health issues, they can quickly press the alert button to call immediate medical attention and assistance. Advanced medical alert systems also include built-in fall detection, GPS, medical monitoring, and much more.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many types of technological devices out there that can be highly beneficial to a senior’s life and health. Other than technology, professional senior care services are also available to assist in a person’s everyday life. Here at Home Instead Senior Care, we take pride in providing personalized care for seniors while accommodating their needs. Learn more by visiting our website.

Communicating with a Senior Who is Hard of Hearing

Successful communication requires the efforts of all people involved in a conversation. Even when a person with hearing loss utilizes hearing aids and active listening strategies, it is crucial that others around them also consistently use good communication strategies. Below, we discuss a few simple ways to boost effective communication with a senior who’s hard of hearing.

Utilizing Other Senses

Just because someone is experiencing hearing loss does not mean communication is futile. Often times this simply means we must utilize other sensory signals to make up for the loss of hearing. This can be easier than one may think since so much of our language and communication is already non-verbal as it is.

Sight- Try to catch someone’s eye to let them know you are trying to speak with them. Keep in mind that lip movements, facial expressions and hand gestures tend to provide more information than actual words do.

Touch- Before initiating a conversation you can try gently touching a person’s arm or shoulder to get their attention.

Eliminate All Other Noise

The easiest way to improve communication with someone who’s hard of hearing is to eliminate any and all background noise whenever possible. This can be as simple as turning off the dishwasher or television, or splitting up from noisy groups of people.

Get to the Point

Whenever possible it helps tremendously to simplify your point. When telling a story or trying to explain something important, try using shorter, simpler sentences to get your point across.  Ask your loved one to not hesitate to ask you to repeat yourself or to try rephrasing it if needed.

What Not To Do

Shout- Speaking a bit louder can help but shouting and exaggerating words can actually distort sounds.

Speak Directly into Ear-  Doing this can distort speech and hide any visual clues.

Turn Away- Turning away when speaking can make it much more difficult, if not impossible to hear and read lips or hand gestures.

Final Thoughts

While there is hope on the horizon for hearing loss, there are many steps you can take to improve communication and the overall wellbeing of your loved ones now. Oftentimes professional help at home can make a world of a difference when caring for a senior with hearing loss. At Home Instead Senior Care, we believe in quality at-home care for seniors that prioritizes communication and patience everyday. Visit our website to find a qualified CAREGiver near you!

Is Gardening Beneficial for Seniors with Dementia?

            As spring transitions to summer, countless people are taking advantage of gardening in their homes. Even though not everybody has a green thumb, gardening is beneficial, especially for older adults with Alzheimer’s disease. Follow below to learn why gardening is helpful for people with Alzheimer’s or related forms of Dementia.

Gardening Benefits

Gardening can improve Alzheimer’s or a similar type of Dementia without medications. Digging in the soil can reduce nervousness and fretfulness for seniors. Additionally, maintaining and planting new flowers can increase a sense of independence and boost confidence for older adults. Gardening can reduce pain and reliance on pain medications for many people. Seniors with Dementia will enhance their memory and ability to have happier days.

Gardening Essentials

As a caregiver for somebody with Alzheimer’s disease, you need to create an outdoor space that helps them enjoy time with you. Below are a few ideas to help get started and stay on track:

  1. Preparation: Preparing where to start gardening and what plants to use is vital. It will help creativity, exercise, and more. Caregivers and senior adults can choose what flowers, herbs, and vegetables to use to grow over time.
  • Garden containers and beds: Sometimes, there are moments when there is no place to plant a garden in the ground. Or, a senior who has mobility challenges may be restricted from growing flowers they want. Containers or raised beds take less space and provide a safer way to care for a garden, and it is a fun way to take care of plants.
  • Circular Gardens: A safety concern that comes up when considering people facing Alzheimer’s or a related type of Dementia is a patient wandering off, and creating a garden path that makes a circle can lower the wandering. Also, keep the senior gardens far away from exits or gates.
  • A Comfortable Seat: Gardening can be difficult, so it is crucial to have a place to rest. A comfortable bench or chair in the garden can be very beneficial.
  • Be Mindful: Sharing responsibility for a few garden tasks with a senior can help them. Being mindful that some functions may be too complex for seniors can help them not overexert themselves.

Following these helpful tips can help your loved one feel appreciated and have a healthier lifestyle. Gardening is a great way to bond with them as well.

In Summary

Finding an activity for an adult with Alzheimer’s can be difficult. Yet, one of the best things they can do to improve their health is gardening. Gardening is one of the activities done at Home Instead. At Home Instead Senior Care, we provide gardening activities for your loved one. For more information on our activities in Wilmington, NC, please call us at (910) 342-0455 or visit our website here.

Seniors and Their Life-Space

Most young people have a very large life-space due to traveling for fun or for work. In general, when you’re younger, you have the time and energy to stay out with friends and to complete your own errands. So what happens to your life-space when you get older? In this month’s blog, we discuss the concept of life-space and what it means when it becomes more restricted with age and health issues.

What Is a Life-Space?

A life-space is the distance a person travels to perform activities within their environment and lifetime. This can range from their home to their neighborhood to the city and so on. The larger a person’s life-space is, the better their physical and psychological well-being. As seniors age, their life-space may begin to become smaller and more constricted due to health issues and having less energy. For example, being unable to drive due to worsening vision or having restricted physical capabilities due to severe arthritis. This can lead to feelings of frustration and sadness because they are unable to achieve what they were formerly able to do.

Isolation and Depression

As their life-space becomes smaller, seniors tend to spend most of their time at home. However, social isolation can be a problem for those who live alone and can negatively affect their overall mental and emotional health. According to the CDC, social isolation can significantly increase a person’s risk of premature death and is also associated with about a 50% increased risk of dementia. It is also associated with higher rates of depression and anxiety.

While some seniors may still have family and friends that visit and are nearby, there are many seniors who find themselves unexpectedly alone due to the death of a spouse or partner, separation from friends or family, and the lack of mobility and transportation. Having a restricted life-space along with the lack of love ones contributes to these feelings of loneliness and isolation.

How Home Instead Can Help

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Here at Home Instead, we understand how difficult it is to be stuck at home while feeling isolated and lonely. Our CAREGivers provide companionship and will always be there for your loved one. From crafting to gardening to walks and more, we are happy to provide companionship and personal care. We also provide transportation services so seniors who are no longer able to drive themselves are still able to maintain a larger life-space. This includes activities such as doctor appointments, worship services, fitness classes, club events, and much more. With our CAREGivers on the job, your senior loved one will not be alone.

Learn More About Us

Home Instead strives to provide dependable and compassionate senior home care services. Our personalized care plans help maintain a high quality of life while providing all of the necessary support. Learn more about our home care services in Wilmington, NC by visiting our website or contacting us at (910) 342-0455. We are here to help!

Reasons to Open a Home Instead Franchise

Home Instead is a proud leading provider of in-home senior care services across the globe. This franchise has not only helped thousands of families remain close while their loved ones age gracefully at home, but it has also enabled countless CAREGivers and franchise owners to provide for their own families in ways they could have never imagined. Follow along below to learn why so many have chosen this award-winning franchise network with its history of top franchising honors, industry excellence, and franchisee satisfaction.

Home Instead franchise business ribbon cutting ceremony with four business people

Proven Track Record

Decades of undeniable success has awarded Home Instead with a reputation that cannot be beat. It was named a top franchise by Franchise Business Review as well as Entrepreneur magazine, and among these awards, Home Instead is ranked as a top franchise for women and veterans especially. Not only is Home Instead known for its triumphs in the home care industry but to its commitment to creating outstanding opportunities for entrepreneurs as well.

A Growing Industry

The demand for affordable and accessible home care for seniors has exponentially increased recently due to COVID and this trend is not going to stop. For this reason it’s safe to say that the senior in-home care industry has potential to be a booming business opportunity for the foreseeable future.

Female CAREGiver and female client smiling

Enhance Lives

Our franchise partners share our values in innovating and advocating for successful aging all around the world. Home instead dedicates itself to actively participating in leading organizations in the senior care industry such as the World Dementia Council, Global Coalition on Aging and more.

Join our movement to change the industry of care and aging by enhancing the lives of seniors and their families in your local community. In addition to providing consistent home-based championship and care, you’ll also be able to serve to your community through free educational resources and giving back programs too.

Final Thoughts

With over 26 years of experience and more than 1,200 franchises in 14 countries, Home Instead is a clear choice for entrepreneurs who crave a rewarding, fruitful, and steady way of life. For more information on Home Instead, including details about franchise opportunities, visit franchises.homeinstead.com or call our global headquarters at (402) 498-4466.

The Secrets of Blue Zones and Centenarians

There are a few geographical locations worldwide called “Blue Zones” where individuals live about 100 years old. Dan Buettner, an author, and scientific researcher traveled worldwide to find longevity among certain people. He and his colleagues circled with a blue marker the areas on the map where people lived to 100, coining the term “Blue Zone.”  He observed that the Centenarians also tend to be happier with their life.  In this blog, we will discuss a few facts about how to live longer, healthier, and more satisfied with the secrets of Blue Zones.

Blue Zones

            The five known places to be Blue zones are Icaria, Greece; Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica; and Loma Linda, California. Even though these places are different culturally and geographically, they have certain similarities between, such as ways to improve your health, happiness, and life. A few of the similarities are longevity, lower rates of chronic disease, fewer mental health issues, constantly engaged with people, and just being happier than most people. Interestingly, genetics probably only account for 20–30% of longevity, according to PubMed Central.  

Different Blue Zones Around The World

Daily Exercise

            A common thing in Blue Zones is that the individuals who live there are always active. Many individuals work on cultivating their land, maintaining their house, doing chores, walking, and socializing every day. Light to moderate activity is essential to reducing chronic illness and reduce death by 39%.  For example, the Sardinian Blue Zone shows men walking on steep slopes, traveling long distances, and raising animals. Also, the people living in the Okinawan Blue Zone are active walkers and grow vegetables from their gardens.

Fewer Portions

            Typically, people living in Blue Zones fast often and follow the 80% rule. The 80% rule is where a person only eats until they feel 80% full. Numerous studies are showing that eating too many calories can lead to obesity and chronic disease. Blue Zoners residing in Loma Linda have a statement that says,” Breakfast like a king; lunch like a prince; dinner like a pauper.” Also, many individuals, such as the Icarians, fast throughout specific times in the year due to religious purposes.

Blue Zoners Eat a Plant-Based Diet and Limited Meats

Plant-Based Diet

            95% of people who live in Blue Zones eat a diet full of whole plant foods. Many of the groups are not vegetarians and tend to eat meat around five times a month. Their diet richly consists of vegetables, legumes, whole grains, fruit, nut, and good fats such as coconut. These types of food avoid inflammation. Icaria and Sardinia are two places where fish is often consumed because it promotes omega-3 fats essential for heart and brain health.

Solid Relationships

            Relationships are one of the keys to promote a healthy life. The best influence for health is creating friendships that edify happiness, contentment, longevity, and excellent mental health. Lots of these areas have solid spiritual communities that help them with social support and reducing depression.

Blue Zoners Have Lots Of Close Relationships and Stay Active Together

Limited Alcohol Consumption

            People in Blue Zones typically don’t over-consume alcohol. The National Institutes of Health state that “drinking one to two alcoholic drinks per day can significantly reduce mortality, particularly from heart disease.” Also, those who do consume wine receive high levels of antioxidants from the grapes. Antioxidants are known to prevent damage to DNA that can contribute to aging.

Staying Refreshed

            The Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica has a saying, “Plan de Vida,” translated to “reason to live.” Most people living in Blue Zones have a purpose of living and don’t stress the small stuff. They develop daily habits such as sleeping early, mediating, naps, and hanging out with friends. 

Conclusion

            The lives of individuals living in Blue Zones are an incredible and inspiring push for us to live better. These helpful habits not only help us with our longevity but bring more happiness. Home Instead Senior Care understands the importance of these principles and offers personal care that helps your loved ones with specific needs. We have the best caregivers to help your family eat healthier, exercise, and feel happier with our friendliness. For more information, visit our website.

Signs it’s Time to Hang up the Car Keys for Good

Sooner or later retiring your keys and driver’s license will be the right thing to do to ensure the safety of everyone on the road. For some that time will come sooner rather than later, and determining exactly when that is can be difficult for families and aging individuals to navigate. Below we discuss three major signs that may indicate it’s time for a driver to retire their keys for good.

Declining Vision

Regular trips to the eye doctor for up to date vision tests is the best way to definitively determine if it’s safe to continue driving. Each state has their own laws regarding the age at which seniors must visit the DMV in order to keep their licenses. Most DMV locations also offer convenient vision tests and refresher courses for individuals over a certain age.

Confusion

Regularly getting lost or confused while behind the wheel is a major sign one should no longer be driving, especially if it happens in familiar locations. Regardless if the individual has experienced any other signs of memory loss or early dementia, becoming disoriented while driving should always be taken very seriously.

Property Damage

An increasing number of dents, dings, scratches and scrapes on one’s vehicle may hint at difficulties with night vision, depth perception, or delayed reflexes. Regularly assessing the vehicle for damages can help determine how often these mishaps occur and if they become more frequent.

Final Thoughts

Ensure your aging loved one can always get around comfortably and safely with professional transportation services. Home Instead Senior Care is a nationwide provider of home care and safe transportation services that help keep the rhythm of everyday life in place with rides to the hair salon, grocery store, worship services and other events. Contact us at (402) 205-8492 for more information.

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