Information Articles

The Importance of Pets to Seniors

Elderly care blog image pets
We live in a culture that loves its pets.

Whether you prefer the furry, four-legged variety or the kind with gills and fins, it doesn’t take long for a pet owner to tell you exactly what their beloved animal friend means to them.

Just as you can find measurable benefits to things such as laughing and listening to music, it turns out there are also benefits of pets for everyone but especially senior citizens.

In honor of National Pet Day on April 11th, let us shows you just how much an animal friend can do for your life.

The Benefits of Pets for Senior Citizens
There are many physical and mental health benefits when it comes to older adults and pets. People who already own pets know firsthand their relationship with their animal friends gives them satisfaction and enriches their lives in many ways. However, when it comes to senior citizens, those benefits become even greater.

Benefits of pet therapy for older adults include:

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 25% of people aged 65 and older report feeling lonely and socially isolated. Pets such as dogs and cats can provide a great deal of physical affection and companionship to keep lonely feelings at bay.

If you get the right pet, your animal friend could give you a great excuse to stay active and mobile. A dog (and in some cases, a cat) can help motivate you to get your walking shoes on and hit the sidewalk for exercise that’s best for both of you.

A pet usually requires some structure around feeding, exercise, play, or cleaning. Having a pet helps someone who may feel like they’ve lost their life’s routine quickly reestablish one to care for their pet.

Taking care of something can be satisfying in itself. Often, seniors have spent a lot of their lives taking care of children and family, only to find those days behind them suddenly. Taking care of a pet can help a senior regain that sense of fulfillment that comes with nurturing a living thing. Stress Relief
According to News in Health, studies have shown that interacting with animals lowers cortisol, which is your body’s main stress hormone. Due to lower cortisol amounts, your body feels more relaxed, and your blood pressure is lowered.

What Are the Best Pets for Senior Citizens?
The answer to this question is really the same for everyone — whichever pet suits your personality best! When it comes to pets for older adults, though, there are a few more considerations such as:
  • What is the senior’s living situation? Apartment? Assisted living?
  • What are the financial considerations that should be made due to a fixed income?
  • How active is the senior, and does that activity level match the pet’s?
Some of the best pets for seniors include: Cats
A lot of cats are generally happy to be indoors cuddling with their humans. Because they are low-maintenance and quiet, cats are great companions in an apartment or assisted living community. Since cats don’t require regular outdoor exercise, they are ideal for seniors who are low on energy or mobility.

Dogs are great for seniors who would enjoy a daily walk for exercise or the social interactions a dog can encourage. When looking for a dog of your own, though, keep in mind what dogs would live best in your living situation. Also, if you’re concerned about tripping hazards, a mid-size dog would be better than a small dog.

Birds can be low maintenance pets while still bringing joy into their owner’s day. Parakeets are a popular option as they are quieter, are easy to clean up after, are less likely to bite, and have a shorter lifespan of around 7-10 years.

A small aquarium of fish could be enough to brighten up anyone’s living space. When kept in a smaller aquarium, fish can be easy to clean up after and care for, making them one of the lowest-fuss pets you could get. If you get an automatic feeder, your responsibility is even less!

When it comes to pet adoptions for senior citizens, don’t overlook older pets who are also considered “seniors.” Pets in the baby stage are a handful, and waiting for them to age and calm down before they destroy your whole home can be frustrating. A grown pet is already out of that destructive baby phase, and many are content to relax and nap with their human, making them the perfect companion pet for seniors.

No matter what pet a senior can accommodate and afford, the benefits they provide to both the owner’s physical and emotional well-being are numerous and far outweigh any of the efforts it takes to care for them.

This great article came from:

Getting Out And About: Taking Seniors In Your Care On Outings

Elderly care blog image outing
If you are caring for the elderly in any capacity then you will understand the importance of getting out of the same four walls for a time. It is important for your mental sanity because sitting in the same place for a few hours can send you stir crazy! Well, just put yourself in the shoes of the senior that you are caring for. The same four walls may well be the only environment they see for days on end. This would not be helping their mental health at all and thus it is important that they too get out once in while. With a little planning, outings can be a fun and welcome distraction from their mundane lives as well as helping their progress if they are in recovery from an illness.

If you do plan on taking the senior in your care on an outing then you must be well prepared before the actual day comes. There can be very little spontaneous about going on an outing because of the amount of bases that you must consider before you take him or her out. You must firstly have vetted the activity to make sure that it is suitable for the individual in you care. For example, it is no use taking an individual in a wheelchair swimming unless the local pool has special disabled facilities because the last thing that your elderly charge would want to do is sit and watch you have fun whilst they are bored!

Taking walks in the park or around the local area, shopping and day trips are excellent outings to take seniors in your care on. All of them give the senior a sense of freedom, which is something that their deteriorating state has probably already stripped them of. In this way, they promote a sense of contentment and comfort as well as soothing boredom. However, you must make sure that wherever you are planning to go can accommodate the seniors in you are. Do they have wheelchair access? Can you park easily? How accessible are the toilets? All of these questions and many more have to be answered before you arrange anything.

Before leaving the house, you must make sure that you are prepared for any eventuality. All medications should be taken with you just in case you are still out when they are supposed to be administered. You should also have something to eat in your bag and the senior in your care should be wearing appropriate clothing. After you have finished going through all of the checklists, it is likely that you will be shattered and want to stay in!

When you do get out on your trip, you will not have a moment's peace. It may be relaxing for the senior in your care, but it will not be the same for you. You constantly have to watch for hazards and anticipate any problems before they actually occur. Having said that, your reward will come from actually seeing the pleasure on the face of the person you care for. There is no better feeling in the world than seeing someone you care for smile when they actually have little to smile about.

Outings really do make a nice change for the elderly people that you are caring for and should be integrated into your routine on a regular basis. The feelings that outings provoke are generally all positive, which ultimately will help you get through the preparations. Everyone needs to get out once in a while and seniors are no different so take the opportunity for them!

 About Salus Home Care
Do you have an aging loved one who might benefit from some additional social time or support?  Salus Home Care can help.
We are locally based in Biloxi, Mississippi, with clients all along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Our mission is to help provide seniors with a higher quality of life, while also offering respite and peace of mind for those family caregivers who might need some support.
Our companions can assist with activities of daily living, help with housekeeping, provide driving services, and do so much more. We offer personalized care plans designed to help you and your family shoulder some of the responsibility of caring for the senior in your life, during the holidays and all year long.
Have any more questions? Ready to get in touch? We’d love to hear from you! To reach out, give us a call at 228-207-2515, or fill out our online contact form, available here.

Do my aging parents need In Home Care?

Elderly care blog image home care
You may be noticing some subtle changes while visiting your aging parents in their home, leaving you with nagging questions about whether it is time to organize some extra homecare. Although it is your responsibility as an adult child to actively monitor or manage your parents well being, it is often challenging to negotiate the conversations, decision making and choices about how to best support your parents aging independently. Some important signs to consider:
Health of caregiver. If your parents are still living in their home together, you should evaluate their health as caregivers. One parent may require more care than the other and it is important to engage in honest dialogue about whether having a parent act as the primary caregiver, is sustainable and safe.

Forgetfulness. Are your parents becoming more forgetful, leaving bills unpaid, forgetting the name of a friend, asking the same question repeatedly, leaving a pot on the stove or more importantly forgetting to take required medications? These signs may indicate a need for an evaluation and should be mentioned to their doctor.

Household cleanliness. Have you noticed a decline in the general cleanliness and organization of your parent’s home? Is the home more disorganized, with increasing amounts of clutter that could pose a tripping hazard or is the laundry piling up? These signs may indicate that your parents are less mobile, have less energy and/or ability to manage household chores or could be a sign that they need to have their vision or memory checked.

Changes in mood. For many children it can be sad to see a decline or change of personality in their aging parents. Are your parents losing interest in activities, becoming more socially isolated, displaying apathy or expressing fears about engaging in activities outside the home or driving? These kinds of emotional signs may be a natural response to the process of aging or could indicate more serious issues such as depression or dementia requiring a proper assessment by professionals.

Weight loss. If your parents are losing weight or not eating enough fresh foods this could impact their overall health. It may simply be that they have lost the energy to cook or prepare meals, but should be monitored if related to serious underlying health issues or is coupled with concerns about malnutrition or dehydration.

Poor hygiene, self-care and grooming. You may have noticed that your parents are not managing their own hygiene or wearing the same clothes everyday, which could indicate a loss of energy or memory or be related to not doing the laundry, not bathing regularly or having issues with progressive incontinence. Early signals related to self-care are important indicators that your parents could benefit from help coming into the home.

Encouraging your parents to bring care services into the home and express their wishes when they are capable will help foster better dialogue and family consensus. When facing a health crisis or when issues present themselves, having a candid, honest conversation is sometimes easier said than done, as homecare decisions are intertwined with issue of autonomy, independence, self-esteem and mortality.

Here are a few tips for having a more productive conversation:
  • Talk openly with your parents about what you are seeing and why you are concerned
  • Ask how you can offer help
  • Listen and be patient
  • Give time to think and reflect, as it may take many conversations to develop a good plan
  • Communicate that help can prevent more serious health outcomes or hospitalizations
  • Let your parents know that homecare supports could also help you
  • Get their doctor involved, as he or she may be a trusted ally
It is important to know that you may encounter resistance when broaching the topic of care, so you might begin by suggesting a trial for help with house cleaning, gardening, rides or shoveling the driveway. Early help from homecare or personal support workers could slowly introduce your parents to the benefits of caregiver support, which overtime can ease the friction of introducing more medical related home health care services.

It is important to actively monitor the health and well-being of your parents, regularly confer with all caregivers and revisit any care plans seasonally to identify new care needs and adjust homecare services accordingly.

Mutual love and trust, along with good planning and open dialogue can promote the best care outcomes for your parents.

Helping Seniors Stay Hydrated

Elderly care blog image drinking water
How Seniors Can Stay Hydrated
Seniors are susceptible to dehydration, so they need to take extra precautions while doing any activities. This can be due to age-related changes in the body’s capacity for self-regulating even when temperatures aren’t extreme.

Seniors are at higher risk for dehydration because of other factors as well. For example, they may have mobility problems and feel like it is too much work to go back and forth to the kitchen or water fountain to drink water, or to lug around a jug. Older adults may also be hesitant to drink more water because they would prefer to avoid frequent bathroom trips, and they are also fearful of possibly taking a spill during one of these excursions. Older adults also struggle with incontinence, so limiting water intake lowers their risk of having an accident. Seniors on the go are usually opposed to using public facilities because they may not have the adequate level of comfort they require. Seniors may also have memory problems and either forget they have been outside for a long time or forget where they left water or how to get it. They could also have trouble recognizing the body signals the indicate it is time for them to drink water.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that adults consume at least 48-64 ounces of liquid every day unless their physician advises differently. It can be difficult to ingest this much water on a regular basis for everyone, let alone a senior who may have memory or mobility problems. You may need to find creative ways to help your senior stay hydrated.
Here are some ways to do just that:

Encourage First Thing in the Morning
You can encourage your senior to reach for a glass of water first thing in the morning. We often need a little liquid assistance to clear our throats in the morning anyway, so simply encourage them to have a full glass right when they wake up to help them hydrate and flush out the toxins from overnight.

Set Reminders
You can set little post it notes or set repeated alerts to tell your senior to stay hydrated. If you live with your senior you can simply remind them. It would be helpful to also have ready access to cold water everywhere around the house, so considering investing several mini coolers or mini fridges.

Water Bottles
You can invest in some BPA-free water bottles that the senior can have numbered 1-8. Simply make sure they are filled up every day by either yourself or the senior and encourage them to finish their fun little routine of drinking water while they do whatever it is they do during the day.

Add Flavor
You can add a little flavor to senior’s water if they have a sweet tooth. There are juice packets that you can squirt into water that turn them from typical tap to totally tubular. They may also appreciate some natural fruit infusion, so try buying an infusion jug and adding things like pineapple, grapes, and mint.

Add Fruit
Speaking of fruit flavor, have some hydrating fruits lying around that your senior can munch on throughout the day! Some good foods to include would be: watermelon, tomatoes, raspberries, oranges, spinach, celery, cucumber, bell peppers, and broccoli. Yum!

Factors Leading To Risk of Dehydration
It will also be important to encourage our senior to take steps that will reduce any fluid loss should they choose to do any outdoor activities. Some guidelines to follow would be to ensure that they dress in lightweight clothing that is breathable and reflects sunlight. They should also try and stay indoors or in the shade during the hottest hours of the day, typically from 11 to 4. If they do go outside, make sure that they apply sunscreen and wear some kind of protective hat with a wide, circular brim.
Beyond the heat of the sun, your senior may also be at risk for dehydration because of factors related to aging. Elderly dehydration can occur for a number of reasons, for example:

Many seniors take medications for certain age-related ailments. It is not that uncommon for some seniors to take multiple medications at once. If any of these medications are diuretics, they could be sweating our more fluid than they are taking in.
Decreased Sense of Thirst
Aging can dull the senses. As a person’s sense of thirst becomes less acute, they may fail to recognize the signs that they are becoming dehydrated. If they are having difficulty recognizing the signs of dehydration, they could also have difficulty getting up to go get a drink.

Decreased Kidney Function
As the body ages, it loses the reserve capacity and function for a number of organs. Our kidneys our less able to conserve fluid than they were before.

 About Salus Home Care
Do you have an aging loved one who might benefit from some additional social time or support during the holiday season? Salus Home Care can help.
We are locally based in Biloxi, Mississippi, with clients all along the Gulf Coast. Our mission is to help provide seniors with a higher quality of life, while also offering respite and peace of mind for those family caregivers who might need some support.
Our companions can assist with activities of daily living, help with housekeeping, provide driving services, and do so much more. We offer personalized care plans designed to help you and your family shoulder some of the responsibility of caring for the senior in your life, during the holidays and all year long.
Have any more questions? Ready to get in touch? We’d love to hear from you! To reach out, give us a call at 228-207-2515, or fill out our online contact form, available here.

Ideas Help Senior Citizens During COVID Christmas Season 

Elderly care blog image christmas
By all accounts, 2020 has been an incredibly challenging year for all of us. Political tensions, racial unrest, global disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic have stretched us thin. As we turn another page on the calendar and look towards the holidays, many of us are starting to look forward to seeing friends and family (albeit in a socially-distanced, masked and hand-sanitized sort of way).

However, so many senior citizens in our community are facing the holidays with the knowledge that they may be alone this year. That breaks our hearts. Want to know how to help senior citizens during COVID Christmas season?

We have found this list of ways we can remember our elderly loved ones and other seniors we know this holiday season. Take a read, take some notes and take action now to bring Christmas cheer to someone this year!

How to Help Senior Citizens During COVID Christmas Season –  Ideas to Consider

By Tim Murray, Aware Senior Care

Send a handwritten note. Or a drawing from your children. Adding a personal touch to a note by writing it yourself sends a special message to your loved one.
Visit (when possible) and bring grand- or great-grandchildren along. Children are a joy to their grandparents and great-grandparents. Encourage them to bring a holiday book to read together, sing some special holiday songs (over FaceTime) or share a family recipe treat that you both love to eat this time of year.
Make a donation to their favorite charitable organization in their name. Charities across the country are facing tighter budgets after this year. Ask your loved one to share a few of their favorite charities with you, and make a generous gift to that organization in the name of your loved one. Drop a note in a pretty card mentioning the gift and send it in the mail to your family member or friend so they can share in the meaningful donation with you.
Be a “virtual volunteer.” Many people assume that it’s not possible to volunteer right now because of COVID-19 restrictions. That may be the case for some non-profit organizations, but others, like Meals on Wheels, are still working with volunteers every week to deliver meals to home bound neighbors. Local food banks are also bringing in volunteers in shifts and smaller groups to help organize food donations and more. Look online to find ways you can become a “virtual volunteer” in your community.
Contact a local nursing home and ask how you can help. Sometimes the easiest way to figure out where you can be useful is by simply asking, “How can I help?” Find a local assisted living facility near you and give them a ring. While you probably can’t join up with your church choir to sing Christmas carols to residents this year, there may be other ways you can help residents feel the joy of the holidays.
Help them make a gratitude list to help focus on the positives in their life. It’s so easy for all of us to see the negative things happening around us and forget the beauty of the everyday. Make a cup of tea and sit down in person (if possible) or over the phone with your loved one and come up with 10 things they’re grateful for right now. It could be something that happened today or even the mundane but memorable parts of life like a sunset, the laughter of a friend, or snuggling with their dog on the couch. Keeping an attitude of gratitude helps us to focus on what’s going right, rather than what’s going wrong, in our lives. We could all benefit from this one!
Send a movie and microwave popcorn or make some homemade movies with family and friends to share with them. Who doesn’t love curling up at home with a good movie and some buttery popcorn? Ask your loved one to share the names of a few of their favorite movies for you to bring over. You can help them stream them online or rent them from the local library. If they’re not a movie buff, you could grab your smart phone and make some funny family home movies to share!
Play games on a smart phone together. Here’s a simple way to use technology to help us stay connected to our neighbors. Challenge them to a favorite game on their phone! Do they love Scrabble? Try Words with Friends. How about FlipFlop Solitaire, an updated version of the old-school card game? Both of these are free downloads, and there are countless other options for whatever you might like to play! Multi-player games for mobile devices are a great way to stay connected.
Organize a night for “caroling” outside their home or nursing home. While singing in groups may not be the best choice this year, why not organize a socially-distanced sing-a-long outside their home or nursing home? You could play a selection of holiday classics on Spotify, encourage everyone to bring their favorite warm drink, and enjoy the holiday musical concert.
Order a meal and have it delivered to them. For senior citizens living alone, cooking a delicious holiday meal can be daunting. They may no longer have the physical ability to grocery shop and cook, or it might be that the idea of throwing a 10-pound turkey in the oven seems like too much for one person. Make things easy for them by inviting them to your meal through a virtual video call and let them know that you’ll take care of their meal too. Work with them to order some of their favorite holiday foods through a local restaurant. Many area businesses are providing full Christmas menus this year, and most of them offer curbside pick-up and delivery services.
Schedule video calls with old friends and family members. Technology isn’t always our friend but having the ability to connect over video calls can be such an encouragement to seniors who are living alone and isolated, particularly at this time of year. Help them get set up to use the technology and then make a date with some special friends or family members to reconnect.
Offer to run errands for them. This can be as easy as calling them while you’re on the way to the grocery store and simply saying, “I’m heading to do some grocery shopping. What can I pick up for you today?” Or maybe you’re running into the drugstore and give them a ring to see if their prescription is ready to be picked up. Small acts of thoughtfulness can go a long way!
Have a routine to help you stay connected. Maybe you plan to call every Sunday, or you become pen pals and write weekly. Whatever makes sense for you and your loved one, try to make a plan and stick to it as much as possible. Younger adults are in the midst of a very full season in life with work, family and personal commitments. But as you age and your responsibilities shift, life slows down. It’s helpful to have moments on the calendar each week to look forward to, particularly when it involves a social connection with friends and family.
Purchase a few little gifts for a “porch drop party” and surprise them. Browse the discount bin at Target or swing by The Dollar Tree on your way home from work this week. Pick up a few little goodies that will make your loved one smile – and surprise them with a “porch drop party” gift bag that they can enjoy at their leisure.

These are just a few ideas. I’m sure you can come up with a few more!

Let’s end this difficult year by bringing joy and gladness into someone else’s life.

What better way to wrap up 2020?

Helping Your Elderly Loved Ones with Loneliness
Around the Holidays

Senior care image for blog elderly care at christmas
The holiday season is rolling back around again and while the kids in your household may be excited with anticipation, the adults may be facing a mixed bag of emotions, ranging from excitement and joy, to stress and anxiety.
The same goes for seniors, who often find the holidays to be a particularly challenging time of year.

For many older adults, the holiday season can bring feelings of loneliness, isolation, and sadness. Around this time of the year, many common concerns are highlighted... like living far from family, not having anyone to share a special day with, and having to eat meals alone. For many seniors, the holidays often come with feelings of being cut off or excluded, left like they’re on the outside looking in.
What can family caregivers do to make sure that seniors are able to enjoy a winter that is merry and bright? Around the holiday season, it’s particularly important to keep an eye on your senior loved ones, and to take steps to make sure that they feel seen, heard, respected, and loved.

Loneliness and Seniors: Some Key Things to Know
Social isolation and loneliness are some of the biggest health concerns facing older adults, and the holiday season tends to throw these concerns into sharp relief.
According to reporting from the AARP, roughly one in four people between the ages of 50 and 80 say that they “feel isolated from other people at least some of the time,” while one in three say that “they don’t have regular companionship.” Over time, feelings of isolation can lead to seniors becoming even more withdrawn, and experiencing mood swings, depression, and anxiety. Feelings of depression and loneliness may result in seniors not eating, sleeping, or staying up on their housekeeping. One commonly cited statistic suggests that having to be socially isolated for a long time could be as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
It’s also important to remember, however, that not every older adult will show the same “red flags” of loneliness and isolation.
Some of your older loved ones may even insist that you don’t go to any extra trouble to make them feel included, even if they’re hurting on the inside. For others, loneliness may manifest as withdrawing from the social activities that they do have on their calendar.
This Holiday Season do not wait to be invited in to reach out. Your elderly loved one could benefit enormously from having the chance to spend time with family and friends. In fact, many studies have shown that helping seniors stay socially engaged can help lower rates of chronic disease, dementia, and depression, and help increase longevity.

Bringing the Spirit of the Holidays to Your Senior Loved Ones
Taking a few simple, proactive steps this winter could make all the difference in helping your loved ones experience a happy, healthy holiday. Fortunately, this time of year is all about bringing people together in joyous celebration, and there are plenty of ways you can make sure your elderly loved ones feel supported and seen.
Here are a few festive, inclusive ideas for family caregivers to keep in mind this holiday season:

Find Ways to Include Your Senior Loved Ones in Family Celebrations
One important step you can take is to bring your loved one in for family celebrations. Take care to make sure that their needs are accommodated. In some cases, this may mean making some new holiday traditions. For instance, instead of a long walk, consider a drive around the community. Rather than going out to attend every holiday party and seasonal sale at the mall., you might consider making more time this season for in-home activities, like baking, listening to music, doing arts and crafts projects, or flipping through old photo albums with the whole family. Even a small family gathering may be just what it takes to make sure your loved one feels included and special.

Make Room for One-on-One Time
The holiday season hassles that most of us tend to take for granted can be physically and emotionally daunting for seniors. Your older loved one may not want or be able to take part in an enormous holiday party or be a part of a winter fun run. Instead, your elderly loved one may just want a little bit of one-on-one time with you or other family members. Make sure you build in plenty of time this holiday season to give your loved one your full, undivided attention, so that you can communicate more easily and truly enjoy each other's company.

Truly Listen, Whenever You Can
One of the most important things you can do to help your loved one is to truly listen to them, particularly during the holiday season. When you get together, whether by phone or in-person, ask your senior family member about how they’re doing. Let your older loved one share memories and stories of the past, as well as their hopes or concerns for the future. If you understand why your loved one may be feeling blue, you may be able to take the appropriate steps to help them feel better. Be open and empathetic, honor your loved one’s feelings, and show how much they mean to you.
If you have a loved one with a condition that may make communication more difficult, take some steps ahead of time to prepare, so that you can make chatting and enjoying your time together as simple as possible. We have a few ideas on our blog for communicating with those with Alzheimer’s or dementia, as well as seniors who may have some difficulty hearing.

Share a Meal
Food is one of the great connectors in this world. It brings together people from all different generations, and from all cultures and walks of life. Sharing a meal with family and friends is one of the great treasures of the holiday season, and it can be a fantastic opportunity to connect with your aging loved one.
Even if you can’t be together on the holiday itself, try to get together to share a meal at least once during the season. This can be a great chance to connect, as you help your loved one in the kitchen, go through old recipes, and even teach a cooking technique or tradition to the younger generations. Studies have shown that the benefits of sharing a meal can be enormous for seniors. In fact, this simple act can help encourage older adults to eat more, feel happier, and get more active, all year long.

Look for Opportunities to Connect Long-Distance
Even if you don’t live near your older relatives, there are still steps you can take to help make sure that their holidays are full of companionship and love. Here are a few ideas to consider:
  • Make time for a phone call, or a video call (if your loved one is technically savvy enough, or has a caregiver who may be able to help out)
  • Have a professional caregiver spend time with your loved one, and assist with housekeeping, meal prep, and so on
  • Connect with other family members or neighbors to have them check in and spend time with your loved one, if you’re too far away to visit in person
  • Hire a service to help decorate your loved one’s home for the holidays, or to prepare a special meal
Make Sure There’s Always a Friendly Face
The holiday season can be a time of tremendous joy, love, and togetherness, but it’s hard to deny that it can also be busy and stressful — for you and your elderly loved ones alike. One step that might help is to bring on the assistance of a professional in-home companion for your senior loved one.

During the holiday season, an in-home caregiver or companion can help in many different ways. They can assist your parent or loved one with activities of daily living throughout the entire winter season, and make sure that they’re always able to keep up with housekeeping, grooming, meal prep, and other important daily tasks.
A companion can also help provide driving services, making sure your loved one is able to make it to meetings with family and friends, parties, or religious services. During family gatherings, a companion can help make sure that your elderly loved one has support, so that you can focus on many of the other aspects that go into hosting a successful holiday.
And, perhaps above all, a companion can help ensure that your elderly loved one always has a friendly face that they know and trust, who is able to swing by, share a meal, play games, and engage in enjoyable conversation. Companions aren’t just caregivers, they’re friends, who are always ready to make your elderly loved one feel seen, heard, and supported.

About Salus Home Care
Do you have an aging loved one who might benefit from some additional social time or support during the holiday season? Salus Home Care can help.
We are locally based in Biloxi, Mississippi, with clients all along the Gulf Coast. Our mission is to help provide seniors with a higher quality of life, while also offering respite and peace of mind for those family caregivers who might need some support.
Our companions can assist with activities of daily living, help with housekeeping, provide driving services, and do so much more. We offer personalized care plans designed to help you and your family shoulder some of the responsibility of caring for the senior in your life, during the holidays and all year long.
Have any more questions? Ready to get in touch? We’d love to hear from you! To reach out, give us a call at 228-207-2515, or fill out our online contact form, available here.


Here's To The Health And Happiness Of Your Elderly Dependents! 

Senior care image for blog happy
People often get their priorities wrong in society today... So concerned are the majority with material objects, they often neglect their own health. Unfortunately this a sad consequence of the materialistic world in which we live. However, there are some exceptions and we should all take pride in that. If you care for another individual in any way then you are obviously one of those special people.

Caring for a relative can be extremely rewarding and enhance your life significantly. However, it can also bring a significant amount of worry and stress, especially if the individual in question is elderly and infirm.

There are many elements of life to consider for the individual that you care for that we often take for granted in our own lives. Health is indeed one of them, and perhaps the most important consideration of all. Here is your quick guide to safeguarding the health of elderly relatives under your care.

DIET- It is extremely important that you make sure that elderly relatives are fulfilling all of their nutritional requirements on a daily basis. As they can be extremely vulnerable and prone to illness, a healthy diet is paramount in ensuring that they continue to be as healthy and happy as possible. Firstly, any diet should be low in fat and salt. Both dietary substances can slow down recovery from any illness if consumed in large amounts. Salt and fat are both absorbed into the blood and make circulation sluggish. Too much fat can also block the arteries. Instead, you should focus on making sure that the individual gets plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables to provide essential vitamins and minerals for tissue regeneration as well as plenty of fiber to ensure that bowel action is regular.

MENTAL STATE - You should do all you can to make sure that your elderly relative is happy and comfortable in his or her surroundings. You are in control of his or her everyday life, but establishing a routine can help to make it look like that is not the case. This also alleviates panic and stress.

PHYSICAL BEING - You should encourage the senior in your care to get regular health checks to make sure that everything is functioning correctly. Any changes in health should be noted and checked out on at least a six weekly basis. This regularity will soon form part of a routine, which would afford the senior in question a level of comfort, but it would also lead to any illnesses and diseases being diagnosed very quickly. This can significantly improve the long-term health of any individual and alert you to anything that may need to be observed in the future.

EXERCISE - A senior may not be physically able to exercise on a daily basis, but getting twenty minutes of gentle exercise tow or three times a week will make them fell infinitely better than if they were to get no exercise at all. Shopping can be considered exercise if he or she is walking around the supermarket. Other similar activities that get the individual out of the house, such as walking a dog or gardening, are also exercise and can improve health in the long term. These activities will all stretch out joints and alleviate stiffness and immobility. It will also improve general health because it gets the juices flowing!

Social isolation and its influence on loneliness are a serious and persistent problem…and this was before COVID-19. 

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An article from The American Psychological Association suggests that social isolation and loneliness significantly increase the risk of mortality for older adults. Not only that, but isolation increases the risk for several other chronic diseases and mental health problems.

Now, with an unprecedented pandemic on our hands, senior living communities are challenged to keep infections from entering their communities. As parts of the economy open up, assisted living and nursing homes, understandably, remain locked down further exacerbating problems associated with social isolation.
Impact of Social Isolation
  • Suppressed immune system. Loneliness causes an increase in stress hormones (cortisol). According to the Cleveland Clinic, “Cortisol can impair cognitive performance, compromise the immune system, and increase your risk for vascular problems, inflammation, and heart disease.”
  • A decline in physical function. As people are increasingly confined, their physical activity level also declines. This can have a significant impact on overall health, mental health, and cognitive function. Activity is vital for aging adults. It helps maintain bone density, strength, and flexibility.
  • Depression and anxiety. The potential for depression and anxiety disorders can increase as people become more isolated. Feelings of despair and loss of control can contribute to these mental health problems. A vicious cycle ensues: loss of function leads to a decrease in activity which leads to a greater decline.
  • Memory problems. Social connections help keep our minds sharp and focused. There are many potential causes of memory loss or other cognitive problems. Some research suggests that loneliness and isolation can contribute to loss of cognitive function.
How COVID has Affected Senior Living Communities
The news of deaths from COVID in nursing homes across the country has been devastating. Although the rate of infection has not been as high in assisted living communities, the mandatory quarantine of residents has had significant effects on the health and well-being of those residents. Some of the impacts are the following:
  • At the time of this article, the vast majority of senior living communities across the country are not allowing non-essential visitors. Translation: no family members can visit. This has had a significant detrimental effect on the cognitive function and well-being of residents. Lack of social connection and interaction is a risk factor for Alzheimer's and other dementia's. Not to mention the exacerbation of a preexisting cognitive impairment condition due to the lack of social interaction and engagement.
  • Activities and other amenities have been discontinued. The social activity that is so indigenous to senior living has been largely curtailed due to the pandemic.
  • Access to technology is limited. Technology has the potential to connect people with not only their families but the outside world. Most older adults have limited technology skills and have no one to show them how to use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Facetime, or Zoom.
  • Advocacy becomes very challenging in an environment where no visitors are allowed. Nothing can replace the face to face contact with a loved one to assess how and if they are being properly cared for.
The Advantage of Home Care
Some families across the country are taking their loved ones out of assisted living and nursing home communities. Others continue to see the value that assisted living can bring to someone’s life even during current restrictions.
Home care does have some advantages over senior living:
  • Personal care needs can be met safely in someone’s home without the restrictions imposed by senior living.
  • Caregivers can minimize older adult's exposure to outside infection by taking trips to the pharmacy, store, etc. while maintaining proper safety protocols.
  • The value of companionship that personal caregivers provide to an older adult cannot be overstated. Caregivers can offer stimulating and engaging conversations, activities, and outings.
  • Home care caregivers are the eyes and ears of care. They report on physical and mental health status changes.
  • Caregivers can assist a senior with learning technology. With the advent of telehealth visits due to the pandemic, caregivers can be invaluable in assisting with that process.
  • Some assisted living communities do consider home care companies to be essential, paving the way for caregivers to actively participate in the care and well-being of residents.
Social Isolation in the Time of COVID
COVID-19 has shaken up the senior care industry in ways we couldn’t even imagine six months ago. Long-standing nursing home problems have been exposed. The effects of imposed restrictions on seniors and the consequences of forced isolation are being evaluated daily. Protecting older adults from a potentially fatal virus is critical, but so is finding ways to keep seniors engaged and healthy.
Decisions about where is the best and safest place for a senior to reside is a very personal decision.

Weighing and the pros and cons of each situation is the best approach, keeping in mind that social interaction is a basic human need that has physical and mental health benefits.

Laughter is the Best Medicine!
When was the last time you had a really good laugh? 

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The scientific definition of laughing is a “successive, rhythmic, spasmodic expiration with open glottis and vibration of the vocal cords, often accompanied by baring of the teeth and facial expression”. That doesn’t begin to tell the story of what laughing does for us, however. The bottom line is that laughing is medically beneficial.

Laughter establishes or restores a positive emotional climate and a sense of connection between two people. In fact, some researchers believe that the major function of laughter is to bring people together – the more social a person is and the more social support a person receives, the more likely that laughter will result from that social connection. Mutual laughter and play are an essential component of strong, healthy relationships. By making a conscious effort to incorporate more humor and play into your daily interactions, you can improve the quality of your relationships.

What are the Physical Effects of Laughing?

Laughing makes people feel good for a reason. Studies have shown that laughter boosts the immune system and triggers the release of pleasure-inducing neurochemicals in the brain. The immune system, which contains special cells that are responsible for defending the body against infection, have been shown to increase during the act of laughing. In the central nervous system, the brain releases powerful endorphins as a result of laughing. Endorphins are natural, morphine-like compounds that raise the pain threshold, produce sedation and induce euphoria (commonly called a “natural high”.) In other words, we feel better when we laugh because endorphins reduce physical and mental pain. While this may be a wonderful feeling, laughing has other benefits as well:
  • During a laugh, respiration, heart rate and blood pressure temporarily rise. This causes oxygen to surge through the bloodstream that then results in lower blood pressure.  
  • Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems. 
  • Laughter reduces pain and allows toleration of discomfort.  Laughter reduces blood sugar levels, increasing glucose tolerance in diabetics and non-diabetics alike. 
  • Laughter relaxes the whole body, relieving tension and stress. It has been shown that following a good, hearty laugh, muscles in the body are relaxed for up to 45 minutes afterward.
  • Laughing burns calories – laughter is sometimes referred to as “inner jogging”. A hearty laugh gives the muscles of the face, chest, shoulders, stomach and diaphragm a good workout. 
Laughter also helps to create a positive mood. It allows the expression of happiness and the release of anxiety. Humor eases tension and is a great antidote to a stressful situation. Laughter is often seen as a temporary vacation from everyday problems, bringing us to a paradise in which worries do not exist. Humor and laughter are natural safety valves that shut off certain hormones that are released during stressful situations. In fact, your sense of humor is one of the most powerful tools you have to make certain that your daily mood and emotional state support good health.
Here are some ways to bring more humor and laughter into your life:
Smile: Smiling is the beginning of laughter. Like laughter, it’s contagious. When you look at someone or see something even mildly pleasing, practice smiling!
Count your blessings: Literally make a list. The simple act of considering the good things in your life will distance you from negative thoughts that are a barrier to humor and laughter!
When you hear laughter, move toward it: People are very happy to share something funny because it gives them an opportunity to laugh again and feel the humor in it. When individuals hear laughter, they seek it out and ask “What’s funny?”
Spend time with fun, playful people: These are people who laugh easily, both at themselves and at life’s absurdities and who routinely find humor in everyday events. Their playful point of view and laughter are contagious!!
Bring humor into conversations: Ask people: What’s the funniest thing that happened to you today? This week? In your life?
Laugh at yourself: Share your embarrassing moments.
Attempt to laugh at situations rather than bemoan them: Look for the humor in a bad situation, the irony and absurdity of life. This will help improve your mood and the mood of those around you.
Surround yourself with reminders to lighten up: Keep a toy on your desk or in your car. Put up a funny poster in your office. Choose a computer screensaver that makes you laugh. Frame photos of you and your family having fun.
Keep things in perspective: Many things are beyond our control, so make the best of a situation and find the positive in the situation.
Deal with stress: Stress is major impediment to humor and laughter.
Pay attention to children and emulate them: They are the experts on playing, taking life lightly and laughing!!
Here is a simple prescription for a healthy life: Thirty minutes of exercise at least 3 times a week, and 15 minutes of laughter on a daily basis.
The bottom line – laughter may just be the best medicine on the market today.

Article credit & re-post by: Helen Hunter, ACSW, LSW

Counting to More Than Ten: Coping With Unreasonable Behavior When Caring For The Elderly

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We have all, at one time or another, been out shopping or in public when a child has started to throw a tantrum. The parent inevitably tries to calm the child but only succeeds in making him or her worse. The parent is always embarrassed, and you have immense sympathy for them. You go through the motions of feeling sorry for them and calling the child everything from spoilt to moody. Ultimately though, you are glad that it was not you. Ironically, if you find yourself in the role of main care provider for an elderly relative then you could also find yourself in that positions and, believe me, it is more embarrassing than the parent-child situation.

If you have had extensive experience of caring for the elderly then you will be accustomed to the token temper tantrums that occur every so often, but if you are not then it can be difficult to cope with. What makes it worse is the fact that you are related to the moody adult in question and thus are obliged to put up with it, no matter how difficult it may be at times. However, there are ways of coping with it.

Firstly, instead of thinking how mortified the individual in question would be if they realized what they were doing, reflect on exactly why the tantrum is occurring. If he or she is in the throes of a tantrum then this reflection may only be possible for a split second. However, it should allow you to understand it more and thus make you a little bit more relaxed in the situation. Take the amount of frustration you are feeling and times it by ten. That figure still won't even come close to the amount of frustration that your elderly in care is feeling. Imagine being stuck in your body, having thoughts muddled to the point that you cannot think straight and then think whether you would be reacting in the same way as your relative is. If you were honest then the answer would be yes.

The method of reasoning above can help you cope to a certain extent, but then having the unreasonable behavior directed towards you is a different matter and will provoke more potent feelings within you. If you take it as a personal attack, then no amount of reasoning on your part will make it possible for you to cope. You must somehow rise above it. Taking regular breaks is one method, maybe getting away from the individual for a few moments. It could even be a cry for attention, so ignoring the unreasonable behavior or pretending that it hasn't affected you may just put an end to it for long enough for you to gather your thoughts.

Sometimes, regular unreasonable behavior will only last for a short while. Elderly people suffering from mental and physical ailments tend to go through phases, just as children do so it is just a matter of weathering the storm and/or finding a way to cope with it. There is no definitive way to cope because everybody is different. The solution could be as obvious as listening to music through headphones for a while or taking a short walk. Eventually, you will build up a resistance to it. Suddenly, you will find that a mental shutter comes down when the person that you are caring for begins to act unreasonably.

You will begin to recognize the signs that a tantrum is brewing and simply ignore it or head it off before it begins. All of this takes time and it doesn't happen overnight. You have to figure out what works best for you. If it helps, take the attitude that he or she is a child again. That is essentially what they are and dealing with a child is not so alien to some as dealing with an adult is. If you can get into this mentality, then it will seem so much easier to cope with unreasonable elderly behavior.

A Very Helpful & Important "Golden Rule" in Caring For The Elderly.

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One Helpful Golden Rule Of Caring For The Elderly

If you are caring for the elderly in any capacity, whether it is as a care assistant in a retirement home or as a primary caregiver in the home of an elderly relative, it can be difficult to know where to start and what to do. If you are new to caring then it can be a very daunting experience because you are literally thrown in at the deep end. You learn or run; it is as simple as that. There are no courses or hard and fast rules that can tell you how to react in certain situations. Every caregiver has to find his or her own footing when caring for the elderly, and then translate that into a level on which you feel comfortable in order to be effective. However, there is one golden rule that you should follow and adopt as your private philosophy - always establish a routine and never underestimate its power!

Routines are essential when you are trying to establish a bond with the elderly person under your care. They can make that individual senior extremely happy and afford them an immense sense of comfort, as well as making your life so much easier! Before you even begin to think about establishing a daily routine though, you need to find out as much about the individual as you can. This shouldn't be a problem if you are related in some way, but it applies just as much as it does to caring for a complete stranger. You can't even begin to think about a routine if you do not know the person because they may hate certain aspects of the care that you impose on them. An effective routine is always based on mutual interests and compromise.

By getting to know the individual that you are caring for, you can build a solid foundation of trust and mutual respect. Trying to get into a routine before you have this will doom it to failure. Regardless of how logical and effective your routine promises to be, you cannot have a hope of it succeeding if the person that you are trying to help repeatedly bucks and sabotages it. Build the trust and then the routine.

A good routine will have a stabilizing effect on the elderly person that you are caring for, which will make your long term working relationship with them so much happier and less stressful. It will help you to remember what to do and when, and it will help the senior to remember what he or she has to do as well. Repeatedly doing the same thing over and over can give an immense sense of comfort to the senior because there is nothing unexpected thrown in to upset them.

The frustration of not knowing what is happening in your own world can be extremely upsetting, but a routine can help to avoid it. The familiar can give seniors a sense that they have some sort of control over their lives and can be used effectively to this end by caregivers. It can take months to build up an effective routine, but once it is in place then you will be loathed to deviate from it.

Once you have tried out the golden rule for yourself, you will see just how effective a tool it can be. It gives you a measure of control without taking away the elderly person's independence. It can cut out unnecessary stress. Although you do have to persevere to establish it and may face an initial rebellion, it will ultimately be worth the effort and both the caregiver and receiver will fully appreciate it. You never know until you try to establish a routine just how useful it can be, but whether it is employed as an initial step or a last resort in the caring process is completely up to you.

COVID-19: We Must Care for Older Adults’ Mental Health

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No matter your age, mental health and well-being are influenced by numerous factors and are susceptible to change. Right now, most people, across all sectors of society, are being affected by the global health crisis related to the coronavirus. One particular group we should keep in mind during this challenging time is older adults, whose routines and usual support systems may be disrupted.

The most powerful factors that impact mental health and well-being for older adults include:
Mental health conditions. Often undiagnosed, mental health conditions (either previous or current) can have their first onset in later adulthood. Depression and severe anxiety are not a normal part of aging, and can be addressed with clinical treatment and social support.

The stress of COVID-19, the uncertainty it creates, and the potential for older adults to be more susceptible to the virus, can exacerbate any underlying risk for depression or anxiety.
Physical health, pain and disability. Medical conditions are prevalent for most older adults and can often be well managed. When pain or chronic illness lead to functional disability, the individual’s sense of identity and well-being can be significantly impacted.

During this COVID outbreak, being in an older age demographic and having chronic health conditions are criteria for “high-risk” vulnerability to the virus. This can compound the stress many older adults feel.
Social isolation, feeling lonely or disconnected. Any regular contact with family, neighbors, clubs, faith communities, and social services (such as meal delivery or home care personnel) can serve as important points of contact. These can be a lifeline for social connection.

Social distancing can create further isolation, and the current crisis is affecting almost everyone’s routines, mass transportation, and some “non-essential” social services. This means that the usual social support and contacts older adults have with others may be diminished.
Losses, are a more frequent experience for older adults and generally include the death of friends/family, and other kinds of losses such as driving, autonomy, financial, or functioning in various roles. Older adults’ capacity to adapt and heal through grief and loss is generally vast. Yet grief can become complicated for some. When losses occur in combination with other stressors, mental health deterioration can occur.

The COVID outbreak can feel like a threat that could bring about even more potential loss adding to the older adults’ baseline experiences of loss.
Disruption in routine, such as eating, sleep, daily structure, sense of purpose, and relationships.

There is a good chance that COVID has affected the older adult’s usual routines: where they can shop, eat, walk and socialize.

Everyone has a role to play in supporting older adults during the COVID outbreak. Here are some things you can do: Regularly check in on your older adult friends, neighbors and family members. Call or video-chat with them, since texting and social media may not be the best method of connecting. Ask how they are doing during this period of time, how their routines might have had to change, and what kinds of things they are doing to cope with the stress. Encourage them to keep doing the activities that are allowable during COVID for their local area, and that they identify as being most helpful for them, such as daily exercise or a walk, stretching, listening to or playing music, reading, enjoying favorite or humorous shows, puzzles, games, social activities, and meditation or prayer. (Here are some activity ideas from AARP, and the National Institute on Aging.) Help them seek medical advice or care if they are experiencing symptoms of physical or mental health decline. Offer to bring them a meal, run an errand, or walk their dog, if your town allows for these activities. Seek advice from them based on their experience and wisdom. Express gratitude and appreciation for any support you get from your relationship with them. Let them know what you admire about the way they conduct their life.

Most importantly, simply communicate regularly with the older adults in your life, and express support. Let them know you’re there for them and that you care. Make sure they know you are grateful they’re part of your life.

It’s important that we all care for each other during this challenging and uncertain time. By taking a few simple actions, you can make all the difference in an older person’s life when they may need it the most. 

Caring for those with Dementia

Dementia is the medical term used to describe the decline of reasoning, memory and other a mental abilities of individuals.  These usually impair a person's ability to do everyday activities such as driving, household chores and even personal care such as feeding and bathing.  Dementia is most common in elderly and used to be called senility.  Dementia was also considered to be a normal part of aging, which we now know is not true.

Researchers know that dementia is caused by a number of underlying medical conditions that can occur in both the elderly and young person.  In some cases, dementia can be reversed with proper medical treatment especially when the cause is reversible.  In other cases however, it is permanent and will usually get worse over time.

People with dementia eventually become totally dependent on others for their daily care.  They will also show a decline in all areas of intellectual functioning which includes their ability to use language and numbers appropriately and an awareness of what is going on around them.

Although many older people fear that they are developing dementia because they may not be able to find their eyeglasses or have a short-term memory loss about someone's  name, these are very common problems that are often due to a much less serious condition.  Medical professionals call this condition  age-related memory loss.  Although this is a nuisance it doesn't impair the person's ability to learn new information, solve problems or carry out every day activities.
 Individuals who suffer from dementia will have problems with all of these things.

It's important to seek out medical care for a friend or relative if they exhibit marked loss of short-term memory, significant behavior or personality changes, inappropriate behavior, depression or marked mood swings, persistent word find problems, persistent poor judgment or the inability to manage personal finances.  Only with the diagnosis and treatment recommendations of a person's primary care physician can their individual circumstances be addressed appropriately.

Caring for an individual with dementia will require a degree of flexibility and the ability to increase the amount of care given as time goes on.
There is no specific recipe to follow in caring for those who have dementia.  It is important to remember to treat them like a person, to be patient, kind and to consider their feelings.  Although their behavior and personality can change drastically as their disease progresses they continue to be the same person family members once loved and who once cared for children.

By focusing on the individual's remaining abilities and helping them to create ways to compensate for their declining abilities caregivers are able to improve the quality of life of individuals who suffer from dementia.  Individuals with dementia will often keep social skills and a sense of humor and may continue to enjoy socializing and interacting with others.

One of the most important factors to remember is that each individual will experience their dementia in a way that is specific to their situation.  It is important for caregivers to anticipate what that individual may need while at the same time allowing them as the much independence as is safely possible.

Remember that short-term memory will be very debilitated and individuals may have forgotten what they were told to do two minutes prior.  This means if they are helping in baking or cooking it's important that a person is assigned to ensure the safety of that adults.

People with dementia will have long-term memories of songs or childhood events that may contrast starkly with their inability to remember what happened just a few minutes ago.  They have the greatest degree of difficulty with activities that require concentration and may react negatively to situations which require immediate change.

Caregivers should be prepared to deal with those individuals who become agitated either with their environment or with themselves because they cannot sort things out properly or clearly understand what is being asked of them.  It's important to remember that those with dementia should never be asked to test their memory with games to see if they remember where they are or someone's name.  This is not only cruel but also a trigger for them to become agitated.

Safety issues are also crucial to the care of an individual with dementia.  Both the home and the yard should be clean so that it is easy to move around and the risk of injuries reduced.  Adequate lighting throughout the home should be available so that individuals whose sight may be failing will be able to adequately see.

Try to avoid unnecessary mirrors in the home because they change the depth perception in the room and because as their disease progresses the individual may forget what they look like.  So, when they look in the mirror and see their own reflection they may become frightened, believing that someone else is present.

Caring for a person with dementia is difficult, but it is an important task for family members.

Home care for seniors

Covid 19  we must care for older adults’ mental health
When asked, most seniors would prefer to stay in their own homes for as long as possible without going to an assisted living center or nursing home.  While there are those people who enjoy change and would prefer to live in an assisted living facility where they have their own apartment, new friends and help when they need it, the majority would rather grow old in comfortable and familiar surroundings.

Those seniors who do go to nursing homes are not often admitted because of complex medical conditions but rather because they aren't able to take care of their personal needs on an independent basis.  But, unfortunately, many of these seniors, who are forced into this situation, become depressed and discouraged.  Many see this situation as a place to wait until death.

Loss of independence is, for many, one of their greatest fears.  Home care for seniors is a good option for those who are able to stay in their homes and in familiar surroundings to decrease the likelihood that they will become depressed.  By staying at home individuals have more choice in the time they get out of bed in the morning to the time they eat their meals.  Home care is often more cost-effective than care in a nursing home as well.

There are many different types of services that are available for seniors who want to live at home.  The first is homemaker services that can include help with cooking or light cleaning as well as doing the individual's laundry, grocery shopping and some other light household chores.  Sometimes homemaker services are all that are really needed and take a large time-consuming burden off the shoulders of family members.

Personal care services include assistance with a variety of daily living activities such as bathing, dressing, toileting, grooming and eating.  Other seniors are able to take care of their own personal care or home care services but need a daily phone call from a buddy or a daily visitor for companionship.

Moving along the continuum of home care options is a home health care aide who will help with nursing needs, speech, occupational, physical or respiratory therapy as well as social care or psychiatric care.  Senior community centers or adult day care centers, or daily facility-based programs that meet the needs of seniors through monitoring or companionship during the day.

Another option for senior in-home care is a respite care.  Often times the care of an adult senior falls on the shoulders of their family members.  Sometimes this care is time-consuming, physically taxing and emotionally challenging.  Respite care workers are trained volunteers or paraprofessionals who stay with your loved one and take over your caregiving role for several hours or several days that gives a reprieve to the caregiver.  These reprieves are important for the caregiver's own mental health.

Some seniors require more consistent and intensive care and are best suited by live-in help.  This type of care is important when family members live a long distance away or when the primary caregiver cannot be there in person.  Room and board and an additional salary is often provided in exchange for a meal preparation, light housekeeping and other non medical services.

It is currently estimated that there are approximately 22 million Americans who are providing care for an elderly or aging parent.  After a lifetime of performing their own everyday personal care activities the progressive inability of senior adults to continue to care for themselves can be devastating.
Seniors may require home health care enough they are unable to bathe or shower on their own, wash their hair or brush their teeth, if they are unable to dress themselves in the morning or undress at night, if they cannot move around on their own or drive themselves to the doctor or the grocery store.

Homemaker services may be necessary if an aging parent is unable to do their own light housekeeping, wash the dishes, clean their bathrooms, do laundry ironing or change the linens or prepare meals and cleanup afterwards.

Even as family members are able to provide the majority of care for their aging parents it is important to have a backup services in line in case of a medical emergency for the family or if other commitments take a short time away from caring for their family members.

In-home senior healthcare has been a blessing to many families.  It enables them to keep their aging relatives home and happy while being cost-effective at the same time.

Senior Home Care:
Information About Getting Support to Continue Living at Home

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Senior home care is helpful for aging individuals and their families. In-home care helps you or your loved one continue living at home, and it alleviates some of the stress that family caregivers often experience.

In-home caregivers work to protect your or your family member's independence, dignity, and quality of life while providing safe, comfortable, and compassionate care. And that's important. After all, 90 percent of people over the age of 65 have reported that they want to stay home as long as possible.

Home care providers can offer everything from basic personal care to hospice support. They can even provide assistance to help manage chronic conditions, illnesses, and diseases. You can get short-term recovery or rehabilitative care or ongoing long-term care. Additionally, home care agencies frequently offer respite services so that family caregivers are able to take breaks once in a while, such as on weekends or holidays. Support can be provided for a few hours a week or up to 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It's all based on a client's needs.

Both non-medical and medical home care may be available in your community. So it's important to understand some of the common terminology. For example, home care agencies usually only offer non-medical services. They focus on helping with daily living activities and offering companionship. On the other hand, home healthcare agencies provide medical services in addition to personal care. An entire team of medical professionals may coordinate those services, which can range from basic to skilled nursing care.

In addition to helping seniors stay home longer and providing relief for family caregivers, home care professionals can also help reduce overall healthcare costs. That's because seniors who receive in-home care often have fewer trips to the doctor or hospital. So, as you can see, home care is beneficial in many different ways.

What do you need to know about Senior Health

As we all progresses in age, we retreat in health or fitness.
Though senior citizens are counseled to stay fit, it is barely the case. Numerous natural transformations occur in the body as it moves towards fragility. For instance, the bones and muscles lose their potential reducing the stamina of the body, the kidneys and other internal organs start malfunctioning and the vigor of the skin recedes.

But the fact is that health is wealth at every stage of life. It is more crucial when we enter into the senior citizens category!
As we ourselves grow older or as we care for the elderly we should concentrate on diet and fitness as much as possible.

Diet and Exercise- the diet of individual varies along with other factors. But as we age, we should be extra careful in matters of eating. This is because the antibodies or the immune system receives a setback as we age and one becomes more prone to all sorts of illnesses. Diet therefore should be thriving in vitamins, minerals, proteins and carbohydrates.

Avoid Unhealthy fats
There are two main types of potentially harmful dietary fats:
  • Saturated fat. This type of fat comes mainly from animal sources of food, such as red meat, poultry and full-fat dairy products. Saturated fats raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL or "good") cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol levels, which may increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Trans fat. This type of fat occurs naturally in some foods in small amounts. But most trans fats are made from oils through a food processing method called partial hydrogenation. These partially hydrogenated trans fats can increase total blood cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, but lower HDL cholesterol. This can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Most fats that have a high percentage of saturated fat or that contain trans fat are solid at room temperature. Because of this, they're typically referred to as solid fats. They include beef fat, pork fat, butter, coconut oil, shortening and stick margarine. These Fats should be strictly avoided as they make one susceptible to numerous diseases particularly heart problems.

Healthier fats
The potentially helpful types of dietary fat are primarily unsaturated fats:
  • Monounsaturated fatty acids. This type of fat is found in a variety of foods and oils. Studies show that eating foods rich in monounsaturated fatty acids instead of saturated fats improves blood cholesterol levels, which can decrease your risk of heart disease and may also help decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids. This type of fat is found mostly in plant-based foods and oils. Evidence shows that eating foods rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids instead of saturated fats improves blood cholesterol levels, which can decrease your risk of heart disease and may also help decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids. One type of polyunsaturated fat is made up of mainly omega-3 fatty acids and may be especially beneficial for heart health. Omega-3, found in some types of fatty fish, appears to decrease the risk of coronary artery disease. There are plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids. However, it hasn't yet been determined whether replacements for fish oil — plant-based or krill — have the same health effects as omega-3 fatty acid from fish.
Foods made up mostly of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature, such as canola oil, olive oil, safflower oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil and corn oil.
Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel, sardines and herring. Plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids include flaxseed (ground), oils (canola, flaxseed, soybean), and nuts and other seeds (walnuts, butternuts and chia seeds).

There must also be an extra intake of calcium to support the diluting bones.

A rich diet is not enough.

Some exercises should be a part of daily routine as we age.
Exercise has countless benefits for those of all ages, including a healthier heart, stronger bones and improved flexibility. For seniors, there are additional benefits, like the fact that regular exercise reduces the risk of chronic diseases, lowers the chance of injury and can even improve one's mood.

Starting or maintaining a regular exercise routine can be a challenge at any age—and it doesn’t get any easier as we get older. Some may feel discouraged by health problems, aches and pains, or concerns about injuries or falls. If they have never exercised before, they may not know where to begin, or perhaps think they're too old or frail, and can never live up to the standards of when they were younger.
While these may seem like good reasons to slow down and take it easy as you age, they’re even better reasons to get moving.

Becoming more active can energize mood, relieve stress, help  manage symptoms of illness and pain, and improve overall sense of well-being.
And reaping the rewards of exercise doesn’t have to involve strenuous workouts or trips to a gym. The benefits from gained by adding more movement and activity to our life, even in small ways, no matter our age or physical condition, it’s never too late to get moving, boost your health and outlook, and improve how you age.

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