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How to Take Care of an Alzheimer’s Patient – The Ultimate Guide

Caring for an elderly person with Alzheimer’s disease at home is a challenging task that takes a lot of patience. If the patient is a member of your family, you may notice that sometimes their emotions can flip like a switch and range from anger to confusion. Not to mention, there are many troubles, pains, and arduous tasks that require constant care and supervision for an individual suffering from memory loss.

In the following guide, we will talk about some tips and advice on how to take care of an Alzheimer’s patient and reduce frustrations.

Before starting, you should remember that you are caring for the elderly with a child’s behavior. It is definitely a huge emotional and physical challenge. So, be careful not to pass judgment on them and sympathize with their situation.

The Difference between Dementia and Alzheimer’s

To begin with, if one of your family members has Alzheimer’s disease, the whole family should know some basic information about the disease and its symptoms. You also should know how to cope with the disease to preserve the patient’s life from exposure to any harm, and to avoid the deterioration of their health. However, apart from the difficult technical definition of dementia and Alzheimer’s, we’ve simplified the difference between them. Alzheimer’s is a specific disease that affects the brain, while dementia is the decline in cognitive ability that includes memory loss and thinking difficulties.

Hire Professional Caregivers to Take Care of Them

Families who experience high levels of stress during the moderate and severe stages of the disease may deal with it with anticipatory grief associated with feeling the impending loss of their loved one. For this, you have to ask for the help of experienced caregivers to take care of your loved one. In addition, it should be noted that your role in managing daily tasks will increase as the disease progresses. Therefore, we recommend you consider the following practical tips that can help you manage tasks effectively.

Reduce Frustration

A person with memory loss may become nervous when tasks become more difficult than before. To reduce challenges and relieve frustration:

  • Give yourself time to rest: You will not be able to do all the patient care tasks on a continuous basis; take time to rest between daily tasks.
  • Involve the patient: Allow the person with Alzheimer’s to do tasks on their own, such as dressing independently, or making the bed or the table.
  • Give simple instructions: It’s best for people with Alzheimer’s to understand clear communication in one step. Avoid complex commands that require multiple steps or involve more than one task.
  • If the person with Alzheimer’s smokes, make sure the smoke and fire sensors are working properly and that the fire extinguisher is easily accessible.

Related: Alzheimer’s Care: Engaging Activities for both Patient and Caregiver

Conclusion

People with Alzheimer’s will require more care and supervision as their disease progresses. Caregivers can protect their physical health since they are highly trained and know how to cope with them. If you’re looking for the most professional and friendly caregivers in Wilmington, NC, Home Instead Senior Care is the best choice.  We have decades of experience taking care of people with Alzheimer’s. For more information about our home care services, call (910) 342-0455 today.

How to Help Seniors Deal with Depression

It is more evident for an elderly person to develop depression as they age. But with the right kind of care, affection, and support, one can help them cope with depression. If your elderly parents or any other senior family member is developing the symptoms of depression and you’re not sure what to do, then this article is just right for you. Here is a list of activities you can take into consideration with your senior loved one.  

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  • Encourage Them to Workout

Research has found that isolation and depression are more common in aging people, and it has directly harmed their minds and health. So, if you come across an elderly person who is suffering from depression, you can encourage them to do exercises such as walking or simple yoga. Being more physically active can help a senior stay in better emotional and mental shape. 

Related: Seniors and Their Life-Space

  • Switch to Healthier Eating

Changing their diet and incorporating fiber-rich fruits and vegetables can also help in dealing with and putting an end to depression of an aging person. You can also create a diet plan and stick to it. Try cutting down on oily food and sugary drinks from their diet as these can increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, and weight gain. The healthier a person’s diet is, the happier he or she can become.

Related: The Hypertension Diets for Seniors

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  • Accompany and Drive Them Around

When elderly adults are unable to perform their daily day-to-day tasks like cooking, driving, washing, etc., they start to lose their confidence and the lack of self-efficacy increases their anger and stress level. They even start facing difficulties in thinking and remembering things. The only way to comfort them is to provide them with a helping hand. You can drive them around for their doctor appointments, fitness classes, grocery shopping, and so on. You can also assist them with cooking and cleaning. This way, elderly people can remain happier and physically more relaxed knowing they have someone to talk to and assist them.

  • Show Them Your Affection

The only way to keep an elderly person’s depression under control is to show them they are loved. Plus, caring for them and showing that you will always be by their side no matter what happens can also make them happy. To express your love and care, you can give them gifts, hug them often, and give them your full attention by listening to them. Besides this, you can plan trips over the weekend and for holidays.

  • Seek Professional Help

If you aren’t able to handle their behavioral changes and think their depression symptoms are getting worse, it is best to seek professional help and look towards counseling. There are several care centers now available that can help relieve the burden from your shoulders. 

Conclusion

We hope that the above-mentioned ways will help you out in taking better care of an elderly person dealing with depression. Home Instead Senior Care provides affordable 24-hour home care, meal planning, and transportation services. To learn more, you can check out our website or speak to us at (910) 342-0455. We will be happy to assist you with everything you need.

Organizing 101 for Seniors

Organizing your home or living space has many benefits. It cleans up your house and everything is easier to find and manage. On another positive note, a neat and organized home looks less cluttered and less overwhelming. It’s much safer to live in a clean space. We have gathered some practical organizing tips for seniors to make life and living at home easier.

1) List all the items that needs organizing.

Take a walk around the house with a pen and paper in hand. Anything that you believe needs re-arranging or organizing, simply write it down. Take a long thorough look for anything that feels too cluttered or messy. Don’t jump on it right away, take your time and list everything down. For example, if you have unorganized shoes at the door, make a note to buy a simple shoe rack later. You can also ask a friend or loved one to do this inspection with you.

2) Make an action plan.

As said in the previous step, don’t jump up to do everything at once. You could end up overwhelmed and even messier than the moment you began. So, start off small. Even if you tackle one drawer in a day, it is more than enough. Eventually, you will clear the entire house without over-exerting yourself.

Make a schedule for yourself. Take some time out of the day to do this cleaning. Keep taking breaks in between to catch your breath. Even if you fail to follow it, it is not an issue. You can just start over the next day.

Related: Home Modifications for Your Senior

3) Keep a list of things that need maintenance.

Is the power socket out? Is the dishwasher not working properly? Light bulb in your bedroom needs to be replaced? Keep a list of these types of things that you could work on, so they do not become a nuisance later. Daily checklists such as these can benefit the elderly significantly. It helps you from forgetting the important stuff and you will always be on the top of everything with it. When practiced long term, this habit can do wonders for you.

Related: Decluttering your Senior Loved One’s Home

Bonus Tips for Practical Organizing:

  • Label all the storage boxes and spaces clearly so you always know where your stuff is.
  • Keep your staircase and door entry clear and clutter free.
  • Buy multiple baskets to easily carry items and for storage.
  • Get rid of the dark hallways and passages by adding a source of light in there.
  • Keep your important documents all in one safe place that is easily accessible for you.   

Conclusion

We understand that staying organized for an elderly can be quite difficult at times. With passing age, every day tasks become hectic to deal with. Everybody needs someone trustworthy and responsible to take care of their loved ones. That is what we are here for. 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.

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!

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