Monthly Archives: March 2013

Family Caregiver Chats with Alzheimer’s Expert on Identity

Family Caregiver Chats with Alzheimer’s Expert on Identity

This chat is brought to you by Home Instead Senior Care, a family network of locally owned franchise offices striving to be your trusted in-home care agency, to help keep your aging loved ones in their home as they grow older.

We are so pleased to have Dr. Amy D’Aprix, an expert in aging, retirement, and caregiving, and a frequent guest on radio and television programs. She has authored two books on caregiving and friendship, has written numerous articles for various media publications and is highly sought-after as a trainer and speaker throughout North America.

Dr. Amy will be answering your questions on identity and dignity as it relates to Alzheimer’s disease.

Our question is from Mary, a family caregiver, and came in via email at livechat@homeinsteadinc.com.

Mary: How can I get mom to go on outings with us? Mom gets up around 8:30am and sleeps most of the day in her chair. I have bought her things to do, but she is not interested. She will try for a few but then goes back to sleep in her chair.

Dr. Amy D’Aprix:
I’m assuming your Mom has dementia.  If so, it is possible that she is not interested in going on outings with you because they are too overwhelming. If you can plan activities that are not over stimulating or that create anxiety for her that would be helpful.

Dr. Amy D’Aprix:
Think about the things your mom has always enjoyed doing throughout her life. Some of these may need to be modified because they will no longer be appropriate. For example, she may find large numbers of people too much to manage now. Think about how you can do a simplified version of what she has always loved.

Dr. Amy D’Aprix:
You mention she sleeps most of the day in her chair. She may not have the ability to start activities on her own anymore and may need you or someone else to do them along side of her – this is not uncommon for people with dementia.

Dr. Amy D’Aprix:
She may not be able to communicate to you that her brain gets confused when she does things- but that may be why she stops doing them and goes back to sleep. Instead of talking to her about doing an activity, you can try starting it alone and then inviting her to join you and see if that works. If not, try again another time or try another activity.

Dr. Amy D’Aprix:
You are right to be interested in keeping your mom socially and mentally stimulated – it is very important for people with dementia. Good luck!

Home Care Hamilton helping older adults and elderly live independently and safely at home.
Please call 905-521-5500.

Call for a free personalized Care Consultation 905-521-5500

Tips to Better Manage Caregiver Stress

Tips to Better Manage Caregiver Stress

Caregivers face enormous stress, and often times, they aren’t sure how to handle it or manage it appropriately. In our live event held March 20, 2013, we discussed with Alzheimer’s expert, Dr. Amy D’Aprix, the challenges that family caregivers face when helping a loved one through the elder care process. Here are the stress relieving tips that Dr. D’Aprix offers family caregivers:

How does a caregiver take care of themselves? I have to take care of my mom with Alzheimer’s and a newer marriage–my husband does not the patience to deal with caregiving.

Dr. Amy D’Aprix: Teresa – Congratulations on your new marriage! Balancing that and a mom with Alzheimer’s disease is a tough road. It is hard to speak specifically to how you can take care of yourself without knowing your exact situation. However, there are some general things I can recommend –

1. Don’t try to do everything by yourself. You need a supportive team of people who can help you. This can be other family members, friends, paid professionals, or even volunteers. The situation with your mom will change over time and therefore you will need different help at different times.

2. Make sure that you take time for just you as well as you and your husband.

3. Again, this means that you will need someone else to assist with the care. It is also likely you will have lots of emotions as you are going through this process with your mom. Make sure you have someone you can talk with. This could be a good friend and it could also be a support group. Getting a break and having someone to talk to are key to taking care of yourself.

4. Finally, make sure you get educated about the best ways to handle different issues as they arise. You might want to check out helpforalzheimersfamilies.com for useful information as well as your local Alzheimer’s Association. They will also have support group information.

Dr. D’Aprix also suggests: Start with the basics. Make sure you are getting enough sleep, eating a good diet, getting some exercise, and keeping up with your medical appointments. Many many caregivers stop doing these things when caring for someone and they eventually find it impacts their health.

If you find you are too busy to do these basics, make sure that you explore getting some help in caring for your husband so that you can have some time for yourself. If you can hire some help from a home care company, they can give you a break a few hours a day or week. Also there are day programs for people with Alzheimer’s disease you might want to explore. If you are unable to afford either of those options, you might want to call the Adult Services Unit of the County Dept of Social Services and ask them to assess whether or not you are eligible for services.

Read the full live chat via script: Coping with Stress.

Call for a free personalized Care Consultation 905-521-5500

Spring Cleaning Tips for a Senior’s Home

Signs that Older Adult Needs Home Care

Spring cleaning no longer means scrubbing every surface of the house to remove the dark, sooty grime nor do many people throw open all the doors and windows of the house to get the stale winter air out and let in the fresh fragrance of spring.

Today, we continue the tradition of spring cleaning in different ways. It’s an especially important routine in homes where seniors may no longer be able to keep up with regular housekeeping chores.

Here are five steps to get it done, if your senior loved one’s home could use a good corner-to-corner cleaning:

Make a checklist. Write down everything you and your senior loved one would like to get done. You may include washing windows and curtains, wiping out the refrigerator, scrubbing the floor, etc. Be sure to include the following tasks to reduce senior safety hazards:

Clean out the medicine cabinet and dispose of expired medications or those no longer prescribed

Throw away any expired food

Replace batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors

Remove clutter from walkways

Replace light bulbs if necessary and ensure rooms and hallways are adequately lit

Get rid of throw-rugs to eliminate tripping hazards

Consider installing grab bars in the bathroom

Make it a family affair. If you can’t convince family members to lend a hand, consider hiring help. A professional caregiver from Home Instead Senior Care in Mississauga can assist with laundry, dusting, vacuuming and other light housekeeping tasks.

It’s important to keep your loved one engaged and feeling useful, no matter what his or her limitations. If it’s not easy for Mom to get around, hand her the silver polish and silverware. Or give Dad a stack of papers to go through while you take care of the rest of the home.

De-clutter, then clean. Seniors who have accumulated a lifetime of belongings often have so much stuff that it clutters the house and makes it difficult to clean, much less live safely in. Don’t just clean around the piles—tackle them first. But, be careful not to get trash-happy. Learn the 10 reasons seniors hang on to stuff and how to handle the clutter in a diplomatic manner.

Finally, be sure to address any problems you uncover while cleaning. If you discover your loved one has piles of unpaid bills, expired food in the pantry or hasn’t been cleaning up after the pets, perhaps it’s time for some extra help around the house. A little housekeeping help from a caregiver for just a few hours a week can help keep the home clean while offering your loved one companionship and support on a regular basis.

Home Care Hamilton helping older adults and elderly live independently and safely at home.
Please call 905-521-5500.

Call for a free personalized Care Consultation 905-521-5500

Signs that Older Adult Needs Home Care

Signs that Older Adult Needs Home Care

Family caregivers and senior care professionals may notice changes in their loved ones, which send up a red flag that an otherwise healthy older adult needs more assistance to remain safely and independently at home. These signs are an indication it might be time to call for help:

1. Household bills piling up. Seniors can feel overwhelmed by the simple task of opening and responding to daily mail.

2. Reluctance to leave the house. Rather than ask for help, seniors who are having trouble with such functions as walking, remembering and hearing will pull away from their community and isolate themselves.

3. Losing interest in meals. Seniors who suddenly find themselves alone, perhaps after the death of a spouse, can be easily discouraged by such tasks as cooking and tend not to eat properly.

4. Declining personal hygiene. Changes in appearance, such as unkempt hair and body odor, failing to change clothes for days on end or clothes inappropriate for the weather, are among the obvious signs that a senior needs.

5. Declining driving skills. Look for evidence of parking or speeding tickets, fender-benders, dents and scratches on the car.

6. Scorched pots and pans. Cooking ware left forgotten on top of an open flame may be a sign of short-term memory loss or even Alzheimer’s disease.

7. Signs of depression. Feelings of hopelessness and despair, listlessness, fewer visits with friends and family, a change of sleeping patterns and lack of interest in the usual hobbies and activities are indicators of depression.

8. Missed doctors’ appointments and social engagements. These can be signs of depression or forgetfulness. But they can also be the result of no longer having a driver’s license and not knowing how to get alternative transportation.

9. Unkempt house. Changes in housekeeping may come about because the senior is physically tired. They could also result from depression.

10. Losing track of medications. Seniors often take multiple prescriptions for various health conditions. Keeping track without reminders and assistance can be confusing.

SOURCE: Home Instead Senior Care

Home Care Hamilton helping older adults and elderly live independently and safely at home. Please call 905-521-5500.

Call for a free personalized Care Consultation 905-521-5500

Tips for Keeping the Kidney Healthy

Tips for Keeping the Kidney Healthy

March is national kidney month.  Here are some tips for keeping yours healthy:

• Keep blood pressure below 130/80 mm/hg

• Stay in your target cholesterol range

• Eat less salt and salt substitutes

• Eat healthy foods

• Stay physically active

• Take your medications as prescribed

If you have diabetes, take these steps, too:

• Meet blood sugar targets as often as you can

• Have an A1c test at least twice a year, but ideally up to four times a year. An A1c test measures the average level of blood sugar over the past three months.

Injuries and Infections Can Damage Your Kidneys

Infections such as those affecting the bladder and kidney-can damage your kidneys, too. Call your health care provider if you have any of these signs of bladder infection:

• Cloudy or bloody urine

• Pain or burning when you urinate

• An urgent need to urinate often

Also, speak with your health care provider if you have any of these signs of kidney infections:

• Back pain

• Chills

• Fever

For more information visit the CDC at: http://www.cdc.gov/Features/WorldKidneyDay/

Home Care Hamilton helping older adults and elderly live independently and safely at home. Home Instead Senior Care in Hamilton knows the stress that our public home care system is under and we can provide the professional care that our aging seniors need. Please call 905-521-5500.

Call for a free personalized Care Consultation 905-521-5500

Promoting Consumer Protection for Canadians

Promoting Consumer Protection for Canadians

Health Canada helps protect the Canadian public by researching, assessing and collaborating in the management of the health risks and safety hazards associated with the many consumer products, including pest management products, that Canadians use everyday.

Injury prevention by:

Supporting the development of safety standards and guidelines.

Enforcing legislation by conducting investigations, inspections, seizures and prosecutions.

Testing and conducting research on consumer products.

Providing importers, manufacturers and distributors with hazard and technical information.

Publishing product advisories, warnings and recalls.

Promoting safety and the responsible use of products.

To enhance your safety, Health Canada works in partnership with:

All levels of Governmental agencies and programmes

Industry

National, regional, and international groups

The Canadian Public

Want to report an incident?

Learn more go to Health Canada.

Home Care Hamilton helping older adults and elderly live independently and safely at home. Home Instead Senior Care in Hamilton knows the stress that our public home care system is under and we can provide the professional care that our aging seniors need. Please call 905-521-5500.

Call for a free personalized Care Consultation 905-521-5500

Book “Navigating Later Life Transitions” Released

Book “Navigating Later Life Transitions” Released

On Wednesday, February 6th, at St. George’s Golf and Country Club, the authors of “What Next? Navigating Later Life Transitions” came together to celebrate the release of their book. Written for the baby boomer generation, the book is designed to help readers better understand the changes and choices that their parents are or will be facing so that they can help them with some of the more difficult decisions they may have to make. The central theme offered by the authors is that knowing your options and planning before a crisis hits are the two most important ingredients to successfully navigating later life. For more information or to order a copy, visit navigatinglaterlife.com. Read the full story SnapEtobicoke.com.

We have come together to write this book to offer education on some of the challenges and options one may face in later life. Our hope is that readers will come away feeling more comfortable and confident with the options they have and better prepared for the decisions they may have to make.

To obtain a copy of this book, please contact one of our authors directly, or enquire at: info@navigatinglaterlife.com

Home Care Hamilton helping older adults and elderly live independently and safely at home. Home Instead Senior Care in Hamilton knows the stress that our public home care system is under and we can provide the professional care that our aging seniors need. Please call 905-521-5500.

Call for a free personalized Care Consultation 905-521-5500

Understanding Arthritis

Understanding Arthritis

The ache in your joints that throbs stronger and stronger, keeping you from doing the things you love like playing with your grandchildren, playing golf with your friends or even doing outside hobbies such as gardening is not only breaking your heart, but breaking your desire and spirit to live life to the fullest.  Arthritis pain, though treatable, requires pain management which can be done through appropriate medication through a doctor, lifestyle changes and proper exercise.

Common conditions that cause inflamed joints are actually types of arthritis:

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) affects about 1 in 100 Canadians. It is a chronic inflammatory condition affecting the joints of the spine and vertebrae.

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is caused by pressure on the median nerve, which is found on the palm side of the wrist. Pressure on the median nerve causes numbness, tingling and pain, resulting in hand weakness.

Fibromyalgia is a common condition affecting many Canadians. It is most common among middle-aged women.

Gout affects 1 in 30 Canadians, and at least 4 times as many men as women. In men, gout usually develops between 30 and 50 years of age, while women develop gout much later, usually after the age of 60. Gout develops when uric acid (a chemical in the bloodstream) builds up in the body.

Lupus affects 15,000 Canadians. It most commonly affects women, up to 10 times as often as men. The term “lupus” is used to describe a group of diseases, with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) (also referred to as lupus) being the most common and also the most serious.

Lyme disease can affect both men and women at any age. It is more common in adolescents, young adults, and those involved in outdoor activities such as hiking, hunting, and climbing. Lyme disease is caused by a bite from a germ-infected tick. As the tick bites, the germ enters the body and travels through the blood to different areas.

Scleroderma, meaning “hard skin,” is a disease causing some areas of the skin to become thick and hard. It affects more than 16,000 Canadians between 30 and 50 years of age, with up to five times more women than men.

In addition to arthritis, which involves inflammation of the joints, there are conditions that cause inflammation in the areas around the joints.

Get more facts about Arthritis at BodyandHealth.Canada.com

Home Care Hamilton helping older adults and elderly live independently and safely at home. Home Instead Senior Care in Hamilton knows the stress that our public home care system is under and we can provide the professional care that our aging seniors need. Please call 905-521-5500.

Call for a free personalized Care Consultation 905-521-5500

Salute to Your Favourite Senior Service in 2013

Salute to Your Favourite Senior Service in 2013

Many older adults who volunteer feel a greater sense of purpose and well-being. Seniors can experience huge health benefits simply by getting involved. Recognize an outstanding senior volunteer who makes a difference in your community. Nominees have a chance to win up to $5,500 for their favorite volunteer organization.

To recognize seniors for the impact they make in their communities by volunteering their time and talents, Home Instead Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care® network, conducts an annual contest search for the most outstanding senior volunteer in the U.S.

In addition to our network’s mission of helping seniors to stay healthy and active as they age, which many do through volunteering, we want to encourage a positive outlook on aging. And what better way to do so than by inviting everyone in the country to personally recognize seniors who set an inspiring example for people of all ages?

Senior volunteers nominated for the Salute to Senior Service℠ contest not only receive public recognition and appreciation of their dedicated community service, but they are also eligible for a chance to win up to $5,500 for their favorite volunteer organization.

Nominate a senior to win a donation to the nonprofit charity of their choice

Salute that senior’s volunteer efforts by filling out the nomination form below. Nominees have a chance to become a National Salute to Senior Service Winner. Home Instead, Inc. will make a $5,000 donation to the National Winner’s non-profit charity of choice, and $500 donations to State Winners’ charities of choice.

NOMINATE YOUR FAVOURITE SENIOR VOLUNTEER

Home Care Hamilton helping older adults and elderly live independently and safely at home. Home Instead Senior Care in Mississauga knows the stress that our public home care system is under and we can provide the professional care that our aging seniors need. Please call 905-521-5500.

Call for a free personalized Care Consultation 905-521-5500