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3 Questions to Help You Determine if Your Parent Needs a Caregiver...

A lot of seniors are choosing to stay living at home with help instead of making a move to an assisted living center or nursing home. This is made possible with the help of home healthcare companies. These companies provide caregiver services, and these services can be personalized to fit the needs of any senior. If you are not sure if your parent is quite ready for these services, you may want to ask yourself the following three questions. Is Your Parent Asking You for More Help? You may be the one person your parent asks for help quite often. It is normal for seniors to need help, but at some point the help your parent needs might be more than you can offer. Does this seem to be happening lately? Is your parent calling you more often than usual asking for help? When this happens, does it seem like the help he or she needs is fairly basic? If your parent is calling you more often for help, it might be due to several things. The first might be that your parent cannot handle these tasks any longer. The second reason might involve loneliness. There are times when seniors will ask for help simply to have company. If you work full-time and are having a hard time helping your parent all the time, it might be time to call for help. Can Your Parent Do Normal Activities Each Day Alone? One of the big questions to evaluate involves what your parent can and cannot do any longer. If your parent was always self-sufficient but is now struggling with everyday tasks, he or she might benefit from help. There are several things you might want to evaluate as you answer this question, including the following things: Does your parent seem clean and well-groomed? Is your parent’s house as clean and tidy as it once was? Is he or she eating well? Are your parent’s bills paid? As you evaluate these aspects of your parent’s life, it will become apparent whether he or she needs some extra help. If you notice that things around the house are not getting done like they used to, it is probably because your parent is not able to do all these things anymore. Is Your Parent Having Issues With Sadness or Depression? One other thing to consider is whether your parent is happy. If not, is he or she sad or depressed? A lot of seniors struggle with sadness and depression simply from being alone most of the time. A lot of studies have...

Caring for an Alzheimer’s Patient at Home? 3 Tips to Prevent Wandering and Protect Your Loved One...

There are many difficult things that caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients have to deal with, but one of the most difficult problems you may face is the issue of wandering. Patients with Alzheimer’s wander for many reasons—they may not recognize their surroundings and may try to make their way to a familiar location, may believe they’re headed home or to work, may be trying to find someone or something, or may just be bored or restless. Unfortunately, wandering can be very dangerous for an Alzheimer’s patient. People could get lost or even hurt if they leave the property by themselves or wander away from you or another caregiver. Take a look at some tips that can help you prevent wandering and protect your loved ones if they do manage to wander. Start with Home Security The first thing that you need to do is make sure that your home is secure for your loved ones. If you have children, you probably remember childproofing the doors and windows so that the children couldn’t open them by themselves. This is similar. You may want to install locks high on the doors, where the person who is wandering either can’t reach them or isn’t likely to notice them. Another idea is to put motion detectors on the doors and windows, or for a low-cost alternative, hang bells on the doors and windows. This way, you’ll have an alert if someone is trying to leave. However, you can’t keep your loved one locked inside all the time. If you have a fence, or if you can afford to install one, you may want to consider securing the gate in a way that your loved one can’t open. This allows them to roam the property, not just the inside of the house, while still preventing wandering. If during the day they get fresh air and outdoor exercise, like walking around the garden or yard, getting outside might actually help your loved one sleep better at night, preventing nighttime wandering. Talk to the People Closest to You It’s important that friends and relatives that are going to be in contact with your loved one are aware that wandering is a problem. This is not the time to downplay the effects of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Your loved one may be, or may appear to be, completely lucid at times and then very confused shortly after. You don’t want a teenage cousin visiting for Thanksgiving to mistakenly think that they’re helping by opening the door for their grandmother—they need to know that if grandma leaves unsupervised, she could...

Elderly Parent Care: Helping To Reduce Depression Symptoms...

Clinical depression is quite common amongst elderly adults, with over six million people feeling the effects of the disease.  If you take care of an elderly parent in your home, then you may see some signs of depression.  Insomnia, lack of appetite, irritability, loss of energy, weight loss, and a generally sullen mood are all signs to look for, and hiring a home health aide can help your parent with loneliness issues that may be causing some of the symptoms.  Even if you hire a home health aide, you should do what you can to help your loved one.  Read through some of the tips below to find out what kinds of things can help with elderly depression. Increase Sun Exposure Your elderly parent may feel depressed due to a decreased sense of independence or they may be upset over the loss of friends, a spouse, or other family members.  Elderly individuals also may have lower levels of serotonin in the body.  Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for balancing the emotions and maintaining a consistent mood.  Without the right levels of serotonin in the body, depression symptoms start to appear.  You can help your loved one to combat these symptoms by helping them naturally boost the serotonin that is released by the body.  Exposure to the sun can help with this. Sunlight Exposure Tips Make sure to open up the drapes, curtains, or shades in your home every morning.  This will help to allow natural sunlight into the home.  If your elderly parent likes privacy, then think about opening the drapes on the east side of the house in the morning and early afternoon.  As the sun shifts to the west, open shades on the west side of the house.  If you are not home during the day, then ask the home health aide to do this for you. Also, make sure that short outside trips are scheduled into your parent’s daily routine.  Low levels of vitamin D are linked to depression, and the easiest way to increase the vitamin is to help the body make it by absorbing direct sunlight through the skin.  A quick 10 or 15 minutes in the sun each day can be incredibly helpful. Encourage Exercise and Activity Exercise is another good way to help elderly people maintain an elevated mood.  Exercise and activities that increase the heart rate prompt the body to release endorphins.  Endorphins promote a feeling of well-being and they can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms.  Your elderly parent may not be as mobile as they used to be, and certain types of...

Bathroom Additions To Help With Elderly Independence...

If you have an aging parent that still lives in their own home, or if your parent currently lives with you, then your elderly mother or father likely needs some help from time to time.  If you work, take care of children, or live far away from your parent’s home, then you may not have the time to dedicate to their proper care.  Home health aides can be quite helpful in this regard, but your parent may feel depressed, angry, or uneasy about their loss of independence and the need for an aide in the home.  You can help your parent gain a small amount of independence by adding mobility and elderly care products to the bathroom. Add Non-skid Surfaces Many home health aides are hired to provide assistance with dressing and general hygiene care.  It can be embarrassing to ask an aide for assistance in the bathroom though, so make sure that you add devices to the room that will help your loved one.  To prevent slips and falls, purchase an anti-slip epoxy spray to add a textured surface to both the laminate or tile flooring and the bathtub.  This spray contains small aggregates that create a textured surface much like sandpaper.  Epoxy sprays come in different textures.  Choose a fine texture for the bathtub and a medium texture for the bathroom floor. If you do not want to permanently alter the surfaces in the bathroom, then consider placing a rubber, vinyl, or thermoplastic nonslip bath mat on the bottom of the bathtub.  Designs with small suction cups are best to keep the mat from moving as your elderly parent steps into the bathtub.  Also, place non-slip bath rugs on the floor.  Make sure the rugs are less than one-eighth of an inch thick to reduce tripping risks. Consider Toilet Aides Wiping Assistance Good hygiene practices include thorough wiping after going to the bathroom.  If your parent no longer has muscle strength or dexterity, then they may not be able to wipe properly.  Your parent may then need to ask their aide for assistance.  To reduce embarrassment, consider purchasing a wand or extension device that holds the toilet paper for your parent so they do not need to reach as far.   If your parent is unable to wipe with the extender, then think about buying a bidet attachment.  These attachments can be added directly underneath the toilet seat and hooked to the cold water line that supplies your toilet with water.  A dial or button sits out from the edge of the seat so your parent can control the water...