Home Instead Senior Care

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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.

The 3 Secrets of Seniors Who Stay Active

Bingo is so overrated. After all, it’s completely sedentary, and keeps mental stimulation quite lax. Thankfully, there is an abundance of better activities for the seniors we know and love. Below are some of the superior alternatives that can offer lots of room for creativity or rigorous thinking.

Pottery classes

Although this one requires sitting often, the upper body can get quite a workout from it. If the seniors in your life love getting their creative juices flowing, pottery classes can be excellent opportunities for them to build masterpieces. Getting one’s hands dirty with slimy and sticky substances can also stimulate sensory skills, since tactile and olfactory skills are crucial here. Having others besides oneself doing the same activity can be great for socialization, as well as intellectual stimulation. Transforming a lump of clay into an ordered form takes planning, calculation, and aesthetic evaluation. What a wonderful thing pottery is!

A potter shapes an earthen vessel.

Water aerobics

Osteoporosis is seriously excruciating, which is why water aerobics (also called waterobics) is a fantastic alternative to exercising on land. Regular aerobics is designed to strengthen the heart, and water aerobics accomplishes the same without putting unnecessary strain on ligaments and joints. Water aerobics is not only suitable for the elderly, but also for those who wish to exercise without blowing out one’s knees. Warm water, in particular, is great for those with arthritis. Overweight individuals too should be able to participate in the activity without being concerned about messing up their spine or hips. And the best part? All the laughter one gets to share with others doing the workout! Doing cardio doesn’t have to mean smashing one’s soles against the hard pavement; simply encourage your elders to oxygenate aquatically! (Better yet, do it together!)

Elderly people participate in water aerobics.

Gardening/Landscaping

This third activity incorporates both creativity and movement. An art form that combines physical coordination and artistic coordination, gardening can be a marvelous outlet for the homemaker, the artisan, and the homebody. The wonderful thing about gardening is that the complex cultivation of various flora and management of the fauna is available for all skill levels. The superb flower arranger can find room to experiment, while the novice can help hose the beautiful mini forest and make it sparkle in sunlight. Watching the colors harmonize and the birds sing can make for great places at which grandparents can play with their grandchildren. (All the more reason to pick up that shovel and start planting!)

An elderly couple play with a water hose in a yard.

Conclusion

Climbing the stairs instead of taking the elevator can be a great method for exercise, except for the monotonous aspect; and participating in a book club can be a valuable way to socialize and make friends, except for the sedentary aspect. Putting a slight variation to any number of activities can make them fantastic and creative. For more senior care ideas, simply reach out to Home Instead Senior Care!

Home Modifications for Your Senior

Home modifications can make it possible for seniors to live a comfortable life at home. Some modifications, such as ramps and walk-in showers, are just a few ways to improve safety inside the home, while also adding convenience for daily activities. Follow along in our blog for ways to make your senior’s living space more accessible!

Ramp Modifications

Indoor ramps are a useful home modification for older adults who use wheelchairs. These indoor ramps provide smooth transitions from one surface to another, making it safer to move throughout the home. We recommend threshold ramps, which are made from rubber components. They can easily be adjusted to the height of the door jamb or steps.

Kitchen Modifications

Washing dishes can be a challenging task if the sink is too deep or hard to reach over. Countertops and cabinetry may also be too high, especially for those using a wheelchair. To fix this problem, hiring a contractor to come in and adjust the counter height or lower the sink may be necessary. Moving tableware to lower shelfs, like bowls and plates, can also make everyday items more accessible!

Bathroom Modifications

Getting in and out of the shower may prove difficult for seniors as they age. One way to solve this problem is to replace the bathtub with a walk-in shower, which provides a much easier (and safer) entry and exit compared to a bathtub. In addition, installing a shower bar can give seniors something to hold onto while maneuvering to and from the tub. If an elderly person is having difficulty standing for long periods of time, consider a bathtub bench for more convenience!

Conclusion

Caring for an elderly loved one means making changes around the house as they grow older. If you have a senior that needs home assistance, contact Home Instead Senior Care. We provide the best quality care from the comfort of your elder’s home, with services tailored to you and your family’s needs. Visit our website for more information!

Picking a Pet for Your Elderly Loved One

Loneliness is common for those who are growing old. During this time, friends and other loved ones are passing away and daily activities are getting harder to partake in. While these situations can’t always be controlled, there is one sure way to provide your elderly loved one with some enjoyment – a pet! Animals are a great source of companionship and stress relief, making them the perfect investment. Follow along with our blog to learn how to pick the perfect pet!

Consider Disability
As you age, certain physical limitations can start to arise. It is important to keep in mind these disabilities when it comes time to select the pet. A dog is a friendly and lively companion, however, most dogs are very active. If your loved one has mobility struggles, a dog may not be the right fit. An animal like a cat or a bird may be a better and safer option!
Consider Pet Age
Young pets, much like children, require near-constant care. On top of that, a puppy or kitten is going to need intense training in order to learn how to function properly within a home. While care and training may not be an issue for some, another thing to keep in mind is lifespan. The last thing anyone wants is for a pet to become abandoned should their owner pass on before them. When picking a pet for a senior it is smart to keep in mind the age and lifespan of each animal.
Consider Temperament
Just like humans, animals all have different personalities and characteristics. The temperament of each pet is something to keep in mind before purchasing for a senior. Many character traits run in specific breeds, especially in the case of dogs. It is important for you to do some research before impulsively making a decision. Talk with your loved one and see what characteristics they may prefer and which ones they will want to avoid.
Pet Health
If age is an issue, adopting a pet that is a bit older is common. If this is the case, it is important to get the animal you adopted checked out by a vet before introducing them to your home. There are a variety of illnesses and diseases an unhealthy pet can have that will compromise the health of a senior. Ensuring that your new furry friend is healthy is a great way to keep your loved one safe.
Finances
If you’ve ever owned a pet before, you know how expensive they can be. Between food, toys, and vet visits having the funds to own an animal is important. Before jumping out and making the big purchase of a pet for your loved one, check into their financial situation. It would be a terrible situation to find yourself in should a pet prove to be too expensive. Checking out the financial situation will help you decide what pet is a good option.


Back-Up Plans
While it may not be something you want to think about, backup plans are necessary when owning an animal. If something should ever happen to your loved one, it is important to think about what will happen to their pet. Sorting who will step in to help care for them while your loved one is in the hospital is a good start. Other plans include who will take on full care of the animal if your loved one passes on or ends up unable to care for them any longer.
Conclusion
Helping your elderly loved one find companionship during lonely times is one of the best things you can do for them! While it may seem stressful to try and figure out which animal will be best, we are here to help. For more information regarding the care of your elderly loved ones, head on over to our website!

My Parents Won’t Eat Healthy. Help!

Finding the perfect nutritious menu for oneself can be quite a challenge, but getting one for another—especially someone who has a particularly strong penchant for greasy foods—can be a whole other conundrum. If you’re trying to help your beloved parents practice healthy eating habits, this blogpost is for you!

1. Research avidly.

If we’re willing to look up the restaurants with the best prices and best quality, why not do the same for our loved ones, especially the ones who nurtured you? Go the extra mile by being familiar with the stores with organic foods, and restaurants that use top-notch ingredients. Does your old man enjoy that salad along with too much dressing? Does that fast food meat even qualify as real meat? Does that “healthy” snack contain a vile amount of high-fructose corn syrup? Get your parents to be students of Nutrition Facts and food labels. It’s pretty fun, too!

2. Sit them down and have the talk.

Swaying someone from their favorite heart-attack-inducing foods is often difficult, and may get very messy; however, recognizing that it is a necessary confrontation will help you stand your ground. Remembering you are trying to save a life or lives—the very ones of your precious folks—is crucial. Don’t mince words about obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Help your parents grasp the gravity of the situation; at the same time, help them count the cost, and fully mourn with them what they will lose: their high-sodium morsels and processed foods. Spend enough downtime with them; give them the love and encouragement they need from you.

3. Have a blast with the alternatives!

Here comes the fun part. Whether it’s grocery-shopping with your parents to help them grab those fiber-rich snacks or making a list of fruits and veggies that they enjoy, you can collaborate with your parents to come up with a meal plan that suits them. Show them a world devoid of preservatives and additives! Let them pick out their favorites from the shelves. Recommend those lesser known items that have done wonders for your own health and share those health hacks that you’ve picked up.

4. Hold them accountable.

Now that your folks themselves realize that what they put into their bodies really matters, their relationship to their food should inevitably be affected, right? Well, it’s easier said than done. In order to truly reap the benefits for the long haul, discipline must be established. Check in with your parents regularly, and ask them how they are keeping up with their goals. “Are you skipping the sugar when eating cereal, Dad? Is the juice in the fridge freshly squeezed or artificial, Mom?” The best and most effective way to change your own eating habits is to become fully convinced about your need to change; the same goes for your parents. Remind them if they seem to forget. Patience is key.

 

Conclusion

Strategize, strategize, and strategize. Meal preparation and nutrition takes work and sacrifice. Your parents were there to feed you only the best, and now you can return the favor. Have their back by giving them those words of praise when they stick by their new meal plan. And if they slip up, don’t be harsh; bear with them just like they bear with you. For more advice, call on Home Instead Senior Care today!

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