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Home Care & Healthy Living Blog

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Home Care & Healthy Living Blog

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  • 1-855-HOMECARE
  • Marc Feder
  • June 20, 2017 08:35:40 PM
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Our home care and healthy living blog covers a wide range of topics concerning aging and health, support and guides for caregivers providing care, and articles on living a more healthy and positive lifestyle.

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Seniors at the Wheel: Aging Health Issues that Impact Safe Driving

How to know when it’s time to reconsider driving for your elderly parent or patient.  Telling an elderly loved one that it may be time to stop driving can be a difficult conversation. For many seniors, driving may feel like a key aspect of independent living. Asking family or friends for rides can be embarrassing or frustrating—and relying on expensive taxis or car services can add up. The post Seniors at the Wheel: Aging Health Issues that Impact Safe Driving appeared first on Community...

How to know when it’s time to reconsider driving for your elderly parent or patient. 

Telling an elderly loved one that it may be time to stop driving can be a difficult conversation. For many seniors, driving may feel like a key aspect of independent living. Asking family or friends for rides can be embarrassing or frustrating—and relying on expensive taxis or car services can add up.

But if your loved one is facing physical limitations, driving can be a serious risk to their safety. While aging alone doesn’t change driving ability (there are many happy 90-year olds with licenses while their younger peers have long given them up!), elderly drivers are more likely to have health concerns or other limitations that pose a challenge behind the wheel. 

Below are important tips to help you know when it’s time to ask your elderly loved one to hand over the keys—-and how to be sure you’re both making the safest choice. 

If your loved one…is confused, nervous, distracted, or forgetful. 

Whether your loved one has been diagnosed with Dementia, Alzheimer’s, or is simply experiencing general memory loss, cognitive health is the most important factor for safe driving. If he/she is not able to recall places or names, make choices quickly, or focus properly behind the wheel, they’re likely to be unable to navigate their vehicle or drive safely for any distance or time. 

If your loved one…has recent vision changes or an eye disease.

Moderate to severe vision loss or eye diseases (such as cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy) can make it harder for a driver to see road signs, merging cars, or pedestrians clearly enough to respond quickly. 

If your loved one…has a hearing loss.

Safe driving relies just as much on our sense of hearing as on our sight. Sirens, honking horns, or mechanical issues need to be heard right away to avoid potential crashes or unexpected break-downs. 

If your loved one…moves slower or feels weaker. 

As any driver can tell you, quick reflexes can often be the difference between a crash and a quick swerve away from danger. As a driver ages, they may find their response times slowing down or their muscles weakening, both of which can undermine their control over the steering wheel, brakes, and vehicle. 

Medications and Driving…one more thing to consider.

Regardless of age or health, mixing strong medications and driving is a cause for concern—-and seniors may be more susceptible to negative side effects than their younger counterparts. Even if your loved one is in the best of health, check carefully with his/her health provider to make sure none of the prescribed medications’ side effects may impact their ability to drive safely. Note also that some over-the-counter medications, such as antihistamines or cold medicines, may cause drowsiness or dizziness and should be double-checked with a health provider, too. 

Making safe, smart choices with your aging parents can be a challenge. But choosing the best home care shouldn’t be. Learn more about finding compassionate caregivers focused on dignity and quality of life by reaching out to Community Home Health Care at 845.425.6555. We’re always happy to answer any questions and connect you with the right care for your family. 

The post Seniors at the Wheel: Aging Health Issues that Impact Safe Driving appeared first on Community Home Health Care.


July Aides of the Month

The post July Aides of the Month appeared first on Community Home Health Care.

The post July Aides of the Month appeared first on Community Home Health Care.


Preventing Memory Loss: Exercises & Steps to Keep Your Mind Active

We’ve all walked into a room and paused, forgetting why we got up from the couch. Or let an appointment, phone call, or errand slip from our mind. But when an elderly loved one starts forgetting names, places, or regular activities, harmless memory slip-ups can become a reason for concern.  Fortunately, moderate memory loss is a typical sign of aging—-and not necessarily a reason to worry about Alzheimer’s or dementia. The post Preventing Memory Loss: Exercises & Steps to Keep Your...

We’ve all walked into a room and paused, forgetting why we got up from the couch. Or let an appointment, phone call, or errand slip from our mind. But when an elderly loved one starts forgetting names, places, or regular activities, harmless memory slip-ups can become a reason for concern. 

Fortunately, moderate memory loss is a typical sign of aging—-and not necessarily a reason to worry about Alzheimer’s or dementia. And while memory loss is to be expected, studies show there’s plenty of steps you or your loved ones can take to improve memory, boost cognitive skills, and possibly even slow the effects of dementia. 

These steps, which include mental exercises and brain games, help our minds improved neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is how well our mind can adapt, change, and react to new situations or information. The more we work on mental gymnastics, the healthier we can keep neuroplasticity —and the more we can continue to remember, learn, and recall. 

These mental exercises fall into one of two categories: skill developing and skill retaining. Studies point to learning new things as a key way to keep our mind sharp and developing at any age. At the same time, your elderly loved ones may be struggling to recall skills or abilities they once had, and retaining those skills is crucial for a quality of life. 

Here are a few mind (and body) steps you can take for yourself or with an elderly loved one to prevent memory loss and increase mental activity.

  •  Pick up an instrument, or a paintbrush.  

Learning a new skill, especially a more complex one, is a sure way to give your brain a workout. Encourage your elderly loved one to join a class or take a few lessons on a topic that interests them. In addition to building brain power, learning new skills can keep your loved one feeling motivated and occupied. Motivation and a positive attitude also go a long way to keeping our minds healthy, so consider a local pottery class a 2-for-1! 

  • Test recall, or leave the list at home.  

“Recall” is an important mental factor that, with our phones and shopping lists at hand, we don’t exercise often enough. Try testing recall in small, stress-free ways to encourage focus and sharpen mental skills. Leave your shopping list in your pocket as you wander the aisles, or ask your loved one to describe a childhood home or pet to engage memory and visualization skills. 

  • Use your senses, or smell the roses. 

Our senses tie closely to our minds’ ability to learn and remember, so utilizing our sense can keep us engaged and ready to learn. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to experience the senses around the home. Encourage your loved ones to help you in the garden or try something new in the kitchen to enjoy new smells, touches, and tastes together. 

  • Get moving, or even dancing. 

Even while you exercise your brain, don’t neglect the benefits of giving your body a light work-out. Not only does moving reduce stress and improve your mood (both of which are great for mental health), it also increases oxygen to your brain for healthier neuroplasticity and reduced risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Non-strenuous workouts, neighborhood walks, or even putting on your loved one’s favorite dancing music are great ways to boost mental and physical health. 

Facing memory loss can be difficult for an aging loved one, but there are key steps you can take to improve their mental health and increase their quality of life.  Learn more about finding compassionate caregivers focused on dignity and quality of life by reaching out to Community Home Health Care at 845.425.6555. We’re always happy to answer any questions and connect you with the right care for your family. 

The post Preventing Memory Loss: Exercises & Steps to Keep Your Mind Active appeared first on Community Home Health Care.


June Aides of the Month

    The post June Aides of the Month appeared first on Community Home Health Care.

 

 

The post June Aides of the Month appeared first on Community Home Health Care.


Caring Tips: How To Talk to a Loved One or Patient with Dementia

When a loved one or patient is suffering from dementia, maintaining communication can be one of the toughest challenges for a caregiver or family member. The patient’s limited understanding,  environmental confusion, and verbal skills can lead to non-response—or increasing frustration for both carer and patient.  How can you have successful conversations with a loved one or patient suffering from dementia? The post Caring Tips: How To Talk to a Loved One or Patient with Dementia appeared...

When a loved one or patient is suffering from dementia, maintaining communication can be one of the toughest challenges for a caregiver or family member. The patient’s limited understanding,  environmental confusion, and verbal skills can lead to non-response—or increasing frustration for both carer and patient. 

How can you have successful conversations with a loved one or patient suffering from dementia? Take the right steps to keep the conversation comfortable, easy to follow, and  

 

First things first: prepare yourself to make the best of the conversation.

Prepare yourself for the conversation by getting into a patient, calm, and respectful mindset. Remember, while your patient may have limited cognitive functioning now—they are still the person you, or their family, has loved and admired. Conversation can be easier or harder depending on patient’s circumstances, but your attitude can ensure that every interaction is as meaningful and pleasant as possible. 

 

Second: make the environment as comfortable as possible. 

  • Remove Distractions—choose a quiet, well-lit area to help your patient focus comfortably on the conversation. 
  • Get their Full Attention—begin your conversation by saying their name, or even touching them lightly on the shoulder or arm. 
  • Relax Your Body Language—non-verbal patients may rely heavily on body language, so make sure you give a relaxed, positive impression 
  • Maintain Eye Contact—keep their focus on you by sitting next to or across from them and maintaining calm, steady eye contact. 

 

Thirdly: keep the conversation clear and easy to understand. 

Dementia patients may struggle with focus or comprehension, so make sure your conversations are as simple and clear as possible. That may mean you need to slow your normal speed or limit conversation topics, but it’ll be worthwhile when you can get meaningful responses. 

Speak Calmly, Clearly, and Slowly—give time for the patient to process each sentence before moving to the next. 

Use Names instead of Pronouns—refer to people mentioned by their names instead of “he” or “she” to help the patient keep track of the conversation.

Stick to One Topic at a Time—avoid switching topics suddenly or bringing up new ones without clear introductions. 

Rephrase, Don’t Repeat—if the patient doesn’t understand a question or statement, rephrase it as simply as possible rather than repeating it. 

 

And of course, focus on non-verbal communication, too. A friendly smile and reassuring eye-contact, as well as appropriate physical touch, goes a long way to help your patient feel comfortable enough to respond. If the patient does forget or make a mistake, correct them gently or let their mistake slide to keep them feeling positive, included, and respected.

 

Helping your loved one navigate dementia can be a challenge. But with the right care, it can be an opportunity to treat your loved one with compassion and respect.  Learn more about finding the right caregivers by reaching out to Community Home Health Care at 845.425.6555. We’re always happy to answer any questions and connect you with the right care for your family. 

 

The post Caring Tips: How To Talk to a Loved One or Patient with Dementia appeared first on Community Home Health Care.


May Aides of the Month

The post May Aides of the Month appeared first on Community Home Health Care.

The post May Aides of the Month appeared first on Community Home Health Care.


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