Home Instead Senior Care

You cant always be there, but we can

Tag: caregiving

4 Tips to Avoid Caregiver Pitfalls

Aging is a natural and inevitable development. As a person ages, their life experiences become a part of them, which makes communicating with the elderly and engaging in discussions with them an interesting matter. However, interacting with them must be done respectfully and strengthen the relationship between the two parties – seniors and caregivers. In this month’s blog, you’ll find some tips to avoid some caregiver mistakes and give your loved seniors the best care.

A picture containing person, outdoor, person

Description automatically generated

Consider the Age Difference

The age difference is what dictates respect, attention to behavior and even tone of voice.

What to do: Talk to seniors in a calm, understanding, and honest manner about their needs and what you can offer them. Also, do not hesitate to seek help from a caregiver to provide further care. Especially if they suffer from a disease that prevents them from serving themselves, which is something you must fully understand and accept with open arms.

Related: learn more about how to choose the right caregiver here.

Keep Them Strong with a Healthy Diet

Keeping a healthy weight is worthwhile for seniors, so it’s important to follow the golden rule – provide them with healthy food rich in fiber and protein. In addition, if they are suffering from any disease that requires a special diet, it’s best to seek advice from a doctor or nutritionist.

Related: learn more about the healthiest diet for seniors here.

Talk With Them Regularly

Sometimes people forget that seniors get bored quickly. They might have less day-to-day interactions, so this could affect their mood or mental health.

What to do: Allocate time with seniors to have meaningful interactions. Including them in conversations and discussions can lead to better mood improvement and provide deeper connections.

Be Patient

Some elderly people may suffer from disorders that affect speech and comprehension. Memory can be affected by Alzheimer’s, so patience is one of the most important things to have. Moreover, please remember to be understanding of a senior’s medical status, as new symptoms may emerge or change.

 Related: Learn more how to cope with an Alzheimer’s patient here.

Conclusion

From having meaningful conversations to dietary changes, there are certain areas of a senior’s life that may need more attention. If you need professional and friendly caregivers in Wilmington, NC, look no further than Home Instead Senior Care. Visit our website or give us a call at (910) 421-2574 to learn more about our services.

Best Nutritional Foods to Improve a Senior’s Diet

“Health is wealth.” We’ve all heard this very famous quote but often fail to prioritize our health. Moreover, as we get older, we regret the health choices we’ve made. Are you a person taking care of a senior but don’t know which foods to incorporate into their daily diet? Don’t stress! There are many healthy food options to choose from. To help you, we have listed all the important nutritional foods to help you establish a balanced diet for your senior citizen.

  • Grains
A table full of food

Description automatically generated with low confidence

Nothing is better than whole grain food. This type of grain is low in fat, contains complex carbohydrates, and is high in fiber. This will prevent seniors from overeating and keep them full longer. Some of the best grain foods that you can choose are:

  1. Brown rice 
  2. Barley, quinoa, whole corn, etc.
  3. Wheat crackers and bread
  4. Whole wheat pasta 
  5. Steel-cut oats 
  • Fruits and Vegetables

A bowl of fresh fruits and vegetables is amongst the most popular healthy foods. These are low in fat and packed with nutrients, flavors, and minerals. Some of the best colorful fruits and vegetables that you can choose are:

  1. Apples, mangoes, oranges, pineapples 
  2. Blueberries, strawberries, cherries, pomegranates
  3. Citrus fruits: grapefruits and oranges.
  4. Peaches, pears, and melons
  5. Dark green vegetables: spinach and kale 
  6. Leafy green vegetables: cabbage and romaine 
  7. Tomatoes and avocados

Adding these healthy food items to a senior’s daily diet will not only keep them healthy but will reduce the risk of heart disease, cholesterol, high blood pressure, and other health issues. 

Related: 3 Tips to Improve Your Memory – Home Instead Senior Care (homeinsteadseniorblog.com)

  • Meat, Poultry, Fish, and Beans
A picture containing food, plate, fruit, dish

Description automatically generated

Incorporate lean meats and fresh fish into your senior’s diet. We recommend serving these foods baked, boiled, grilled, and roasted instead of deep-frying. This is a great start to a healthy meal, as well as keeping your loved one from not becoming constipated and prevent weight gain in the long run. As they age, it may become difficult for a senior citizen to lose weight and burn calories. We suggest the following meats and fish for a balanced diet:

  1. A lean cut of beef or lamb
  2. Turkey and bacon.
  3. Chicken breast 
  4. Haddock, white fish, salmon, tuna, etc. 
  5. Shrimps, mussels, scallops, and lobsters
  6. Beans, lentils, and chickpeas
  • Dairy and Dairy Substitutes

Often, people experience joint pain, loss of bone mass, weakness, and slow movement as they age. A lack of proteins, vitamins, and calcium can lead to osteoporosis, causing the bones to become weak and more likely to break. In order to keep your senior bones healthy, you need to increase the intake of enriched milk substitutes such as:

  1. Sting cheese
  2. Low-fat milk 
  3. Low-fat cottage cheese 
  4. Plain, no-fat yogurt

The Bottom Line

As people age, it becomes quite essential to maintain a healthy diet. We hope that our guide will help you pick the best nutrient-rich food to meet your senior’s daily needs. 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 in taking care of seniors’ meal prep and other lifestyle areas. For more information about our home care services, call (910) 342-0455 today!

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.

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.  

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.

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.

Unpaid Millennial Caregivers are Growing in Number

Millennials in Changing Roles

When you hear the word “millennial,” the image that comes to mind might not be entirely positive. The media often portrays millennials, people born between 1980 and 2000, as being spoiled, lazy, and overly dependent on their parents. However, a new growing statistic might change that image; more and more millennials are taking on the role of an unpaid caregiver for sick and elderly family members. According to the AARP Public Policy Institute, the rate of millennial caregivers is about 1 in 4.

Understanding the Demographic Shift

In the past, most people did not find themselves in caregiving roles until they were in their 40’s or 50’s; however, that’s because prior to the baby boomer generation, people had children at younger ages and lived shorter lives. Many baby boomers, who make up 25% of the population, had children much later in life than their parents, and many of those children are millennials. Baby boomers are now reaching retirement and experiencing higher rates of chronic illnesses. Because many boomers are divorced, they’re relying on their children or grandchildren for care.

The Challenges

Many millennials who are now in their late 20’s and early 30’s are struggling to pay off student debt and are spending their limited funds on caregiving costs. At work, they may often be late or absent, leading to disciplinary action and missing out on opportunities for advancement.

Also, the stress faced by millennial caregivers can cause problems with their own health. While they want to make sure their elderly loved one is comfortable and feel positively about being able to help, they lose the opportunities to socialize and have fun. This adds to emotional and mental strain.

Most do not have any kind of formal caregiving training or skills, such as how to recognize a stroke, which is problematic for the people in their care. Without skilled care, sick and elderly people can suffer from worsening health. There is also frequent guilt about burdening their millennial caregiver.

Conclusion

The number of millennial caregivers will continue to increase as more and more baby boomers become elderly and experience fragile health. One solution available that can make life easier and more enjoyable for both the senior and the family member is in-home care. For example, Home Instead Senior Care provides clients with companionship, personal care, transportation, and help with household duties. If you’re currently struggling with your responsibilities as a caregiver, let Home Instead Senior Care help today.

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

When it comes to Alzheimer’s care, it is imperative to not only find things to keep your client occupied, but to find activities both of you can enjoy together. If the caregiver is able to take part in the entertainment, it is most likely that the activity will be more enjoyable and engaging for the client. Why not make your job even more fun?
When providing exceptional senior care for an individual with Alzheimer’s, it is important to have them partaking in mind engaging activities. When you set time aside for some fun, here are a few activities that you both can enjoy together.

Dance and Listen Music

Dancing is good for the soul. What can be more exciting than being able to move freely to a good tune? Take your client to dance classes offered at your local YMCA or schedule the activity to take place at the facility they live in. This allows them to partake in an activity that they have always enjoyed from years before and can continue to enjoy with other people too. If your client is unable to participate due to their current physical state, sit down with them and listen to some music that they would enjoy. Even this simple task of listening can do so much to brighten their day, and take them down memory lane.

Go Out and Enjoy the Fresh Air

Go out into the fresh air and stretch your legs with these different places to go. Be sure to spread your outings to avoid making them feel rushed and exhausting. Whether it be a store or a mall, a little window shopping can go a long way. This can allow your Alzheimer’s patient to get out of their usual environment and to be around others. While out, you can both grab a bite to eat. Depending on their dietary restrictions, take them to a place that offers food items that they can enjoy. Take them to a local museum to enjoy some art for the day. If they would rather spend some time enjoying the weather, take them to a local park. Being able to observe the scenery and people visiting the park can be a relaxing and enjoyable activity for them.

Stimulate Your Minds

When it comes to keeping clients’ minds stimulated, try to incorporate fun activities such as card games and puzzles that keep them thinking and engaged without growing bored. If they would prefer to play card games, a simple round of solitaire can go a long way. If they would rather put together a puzzle consisting of 200 pieces, that can be a relaxing and engaging activity great for them.

Conclusion

When it comes to providing Alzheimer’s care for a patient, tasks can become mundane and arduous at times. No matter how severe their diagnosis may be, they are still people who deserve to partake in fun activities. Depending on their current state of health, you be the judge of which activities would be best for them to engage in and also which they would rather prefer. Make your job feel more like a career and enjoy the little things with your clients too! Sometimes doing things outside of their daily routine can be positively beneficial and effective for them. Along with their caretaker’s presence, it can make each outing and activity that much more special for the both of you.

The Perks of Reliable Senior Transportation

As we age, more and more actions we take for granted become noticeably more difficult to perform. Naturally, with the degradation of eyesight, hearing, and more, leaving a senior citizen to transport themselves for errands and appointments can be a risk to their safety.

In response to this growing concern comes senior transportation providers. The service, much as the title implies, involves having a trusted professional take your senior to their crucial appointments. Understandably, many are a little averse initially to leaving their family or loved one in the hands of a stranger. Fortunately, relying on the service comes with a number of benefits for both you and your loved one! Read on for a few of the most noticeable perks that come with seeking out trustworthy senior transportation.

Independence

As much as you’d like to open yourself up to your senior at all times, you have responsibilities and a life of your own to maintain. As a result, a senior who has lost their ability to transport themselves can quickly come to feel cooped up and trapped in their home or living quarters. With a transportation service however, a professional is made available at all hours to accommodate your loved one’s needs. By opening up this avenue, you allow you senior the ability to feel a renewed sense of freedom, one that will do wonders for their mental health.

Rest for Family Caregivers

In the case of a senior citizen who has lost the ability to transport themselves, responsibilities often fall on the family to pick up where their loved one cannot. Naturally, having to balance this with things like their own work and errands can make rest a fool’s dream. Being able to rely on a professional for transportation, even if only part time, can give family that much needed time R & R they’ve been missing.

Improved Emotional Health

You’d be surprised to hear just how much of your mental health is tied to your ability to perform hobbies outside and breathe in the fresh air. Naturally, the same goes for your senior citizen. A senior transportation service can afford your loved one the ability to indulge in their hobbies, visit friends, and do more that stands to perform miracles for their mental and even physical health!

Conclusion

Don’t trick yourself into thinking you’re the only one responsible for caring for your loved one. Work with a team and reap the benefits a proven service can bring you and those you care for!

Caring For Your Loved One and Your Wellbeing

Caring for a senior loved one can be an incredibly rewarding experience for family members, but it comes with its challenges. As senior’s age and their faculties lessen, the number of “bad” days often increases, which can be difficult for family members to deal with.Though everyone’s health and wellness progresses at different speeds, there are identifiable stages of caregiving.

As a caregiver, it is important to recognize these stages, adjust to the changing needs of the senior, and care for yourself at the same time.

Stages of Caregiving

Stage 4 – Seniors health or cognitive function declines and they require around the clock supervision.Caregiver Solutions has summarized the caregiving experience into 5 main stages, each with their own challenges. The stages are presented as:

  • Stage 1 – Children see their loved ones aging and believe they need care, though they are usually self-sufficient.
  • Stage 2 – Seniors need some care, but they resist help from individuals outside of their family.
  • Stage 3 – Seniors struggle with pain and/or disabilities and are receptive to outside help.
  • Stage 4 – Seniors health or cognitive function declines and they require around the clock supervision.
  • Stage 5 – Seniors require 24-hour institutional care.

Stress and Burn-Out

Through each of these stages, especially during the transitions, caregivers may experience increasing stress. From anxiety and exhaustion to neglecting one’s own needs Through each of these stages, especially during the transitions, caregivers may experience increasing stressand responsibilities, there are many signs of caregiver burn-out. Caregiver burn-out can take a physical and mental toll, making it more difficult for them to provide quality care.

If you experience declining health or mental acuity as a caregiver, the first thing you should do is ask for help. The Family Caregiver Alliance reports that between 40 and 70% of caregivers show signs of clinical depression, so you are not alone in the struggle. There is no shame or embarrassment in asking for help. Not only should you consult a doctor for medical attention, but you should take advantage of a service like the one we provide. Our in-home care services are not only designed to aid seniors, but their loved ones as well!

Make time to do things you enjoy, like getting a massage or enjoying a night on the town.Aside from asking for help, there are a few things you can do to combat the feelings of helplessness and resentment that may come with long-term caregiving:

  • Make time to do things you enjoy, like getting a massage or enjoying a night on the town. A little self-care can go a long way towards improving your overall wellbeing!
  • Talk to a friend or family member about your feelings and experiences. This is a great way to work through your frustrations. A little venting never hurts!
  • Don’t forget to celebrate the little victories! Did you finally get your loved one in the bath? Did they unexpectedly thank you for your help? These are incredible milestones that should be recognized!

If you take away one thing from all of this, let it be that you are not powerless, helpless, or ill-equipped as a caretaker. There will always be challenges and difficult days, but you can meet those challenges head on with a little help!