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A Guide to Improving the Respiratory Health of Seniors

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With growing age, maintaining your physical health is important. The respiratory system performs the most essential of the tasks for your body and breathing is vital for humans. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping the respiratory system healthier has become a priority, especially for seniors. The following is a helpful guide to improving and maintaining the respiratory health of seniors.

1. Quit smoking.

Smoking is one of the leading reasons for a weak respiratory system in seniors. Even passive smoking harms the lungs and damages the respiratory system. Regardless of how long you have been smoking, the best time to quit is right now. Get your breath back by giving up on tobacco and nicotine today.

2. Set the right posture.

Your lungs are made up of soft tissue. With a bent and poor posture, the lungs bend as well. They’ll occupy as much room as your posture allows. Stay mindful of your posture and try to sit as straight as possible. This ensures that the lungs are unobstructed, and you can breathe much easier with this simple step.

3. Add exercise to your daily routine.

Exercising is great for all ages. Seniors can still benefit from it to improve their cardiovascular and respiratory health. Exercise also prevents muscle atrophy around the chest, which helps the lungs to open up freely. You can also incorporate deep breathing exercises in your daily workout to ensure better lung health. If you’re not sure what exercises are safe for you, please consult with your doctor.

4. Get screened and checked routinely.

Going for routine checkups should be on the priority list. Don’t miss your doctor’s appointment under any circumstances. It is better to get screened and checked routinely so the doctor can catch any sort of medical anomaly early on. Early detection of medical conditions can save your life and finances from a huge loss.

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Conclusion

Depending on your physical capabilities, taking care of your respiratory health as a senior can be difficult alone. Let the trained and experienced professionals take care of you. That is what we are here for. Home Instead Senior Care provides compassionate in-home care services which includes personal care, light housekeeping, meal prepping, grocery shopping, transportation, and much more. Learn more about how we can help by visiting our website. Get in touch with us by calling (910) 421-2574 to avail 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
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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
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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.

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!

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