Home Instead Senior Care

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Tag: Elderly Care

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!

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.

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!

Health Benefits of Swimming for Your Elderly Loved Ones

When you find yourself looking for some great summer activities for your elderly loved ones to participate in, consider swimming as your go-to activity. Whether you want to get them out of the house for a small period of time or simply want to give them a great way to stay active year round, swimming is one of the best ways to achieve both of these goals. Keep reading our blog to learn just a few of the positive health benefits that swimming can bring to your loved ones.

Elderly man swimming.

Elderly man swimming.

 

Good for Their Heart

If you have a loved one entering their golden years, swimming and other water activities are a great way to promote heart health. Swimming is one of the best exercises for lowering blood pressure and improving circulation because it’s a low impact activity that gently uses a majority of the body’s systems and muscles.

 

Good for Their Joints

For those struggling with joint pain, swimming is one of the greatest ways to exercise without putting extra strain on their joints. Swimming is a low impact, full-body workout that allows everyone to experience a fun method of staying in shape. Due to the non-weight bearing nature of this activity, even those that struggle with hip, spine, or knee pain can find enjoyment.

 

Improves Their Flexibility

Did you know that swimming is a great way to improve flexibility? The gentle and effective resistance that water provides improves strength and flexibility. Because of the simple movements involved, they will be able to notice an improvement in the range of motion in parts of the body including hips, legs, arms, and neck.

Swim class.

Swim class.

Helps Their Mental Health

This is more of a double benefit for your elderly loved ones. Because swimming is generally a relaxing activity, it’s great for reducing stress and improving mental health. Another aspect of swimming is that it’s a social activity, which means that your senior is able to interact with other people around them and start new friendships. Through their interactions, many of their feelings of loneliness are also greatly reduced.

 

Conclusion

No matter the activity, you always want to be sure that it can have a positive impact on your loved one’s physical and mental well-being. Swimming is one such activity that checks both of these boxes in a way that’ll allow your loved one the freedom and ability to safely enjoy themselves. Let our team at Home Instead Senior Care help the elders in your life find an activity that’s right for them.

What Happens When Our Elders Watch TV All Day?

Watching TV is easy. Onscreen virtual reality effectively keeps both the young and old occupied and visually stimulated, so much that it has long become a nationwide pastime, if not the most popular one. But does this casual, fun activity come with strings attached? After all, how bad can streaming Teletubbies or those flashy infomercials be?

 

1. It strongly encourages sedentary behavior

It turns out that sitting and binging TV shows for five hours or more (which roughly translates to five episodes) per day can lead to fatal blood clots. For the elderly, the destructiveness tends to be even worse. This correlation is similar to that observable between in-flight entertainment and pulmonary embolism; not standing up, not drinking water, and not moving seem to add up to spell blood flow trouble. The perils remained the same even in Japan—well-reputed for the longevity of its senior population; the Japanese Collaborative Cohort Study found that fifty-nine deaths resulted from pulmonary embolism. Participating in sports, increasing heart rate, and—perhaps most importantly—limiting TV viewing time are some strategies to counter such dangers.

 

2. Thwarts intellectual stimulation

Although documentaries and educational content abound today, one of the main reasons people flock to the TV screen is relaxation. Reality TV, celebrity gossip, and vapid entertainment only require that we fix our gaze at the glowing colors and laugh along. Unsurprisingly, persisting in this passive, unthinking, and unchallenging mode slows down our ability to recall memories. The English Longitudinal Study of Ageing reported that watching more than 3.5 hours per day was linked to a decline in verbal memory, most acutely in those who displayed higher cognition beforehand. So don’t flip to that channel with those petty catfights or ugly brawls; instead, consider reading thought-provoking and high-concept material with your elders, as it pushes our minds to crank the gears of our imagination.

 

3. Stifles Relationships

The absence of intellectual workouts reinforced by mindless TV not only rots our critical thinking and memory, but also inevitably our social skills too. Private binge-watching can rob opportunities for communal watching, and can isolate us away from tight-knit friendships and affirmation. Instead of turning to TV, we can turn to our peers; playing golf is an excellent way for elders to stay physically active and exercise friendly competition. In the case of the viewer who has obesity from binge-watching and has trouble moving, television addiction is not only a distracting hindrance to social interaction, but a physical one; however, regularly oxygenating the brain by going on a simple stroll can go a long way in crushing that couch potato inside all of us.

 

Conclusion

Being bombarded with promotions of all those unhealthy food products is unnecessary, and diverting our attention from vapid entertainment is avoidable. At the same time, trying to incorporate every healthful strategy simultaneously is not only exhausting, but also often ineffective. Thinking through each one carefully and applying it creatively and in a fun way, though, can spruce up your daily activities. Let Home Instead Senior Care help you decide those strategies!