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All Home Care Matters
Enriched Life Home Care Services
All Home Care Matters is an informative podcast and YouTube show that helps viewers and listeners learn about resources, tips, & discussion on all things home care.
2 days ago
Caring for a Stroke Survivor
If your loved one has suffered from a stroke, you might feel like the train of your life has completely derailed – and is stuck and sinking in thick, sloshy mud. For the most part, strokes occur unexpectedly. This means that for both the person experiencing the stroke, and their loved ones, life seems to change all at once. Many family members will have to step into the role of caregiver, while still trying to grapple with the loss themselves. If this is the case, you are probably feeling a whirlwind of emotions – from fear and anxiety, to deep sadness, and even grief – as you watch your loved one recover. We’ve talked before on this podcast about how difficult it is to watch a parent change before our eyes. The role reversal from child to caregiver is not an easy one by any means, and it’s that much harder when we know that our parents are having a difficult time, or that they’ve been through any kind of trauma. Stroke survivors can suffer from mild or severe changes – but any change, even the seemingly smaller ones – are hard to come to terms with. It’s important to remember – especially if you are stepping into the role of caregiver – that your reactions to these changes are completely normal. You might feel a great sense of empathy and heartache for your parent, while you are simultaneously frustrated and irritated with them. You might ache for things to return to how they used to be, while also cherishing the extra time you’re spending together now. Mixed feelings are completely normal – and we’ll talk in this episode about how you can find a way to let your feelings out, and validate them, while remaining composed, patient, and warm around your parent. Strokes can be especially difficult grounds for families to navigate, mostly because they are just so unexpected. Many aging adults with other diseases – like dementia or Parkinson’s – show a slow build up to their disease that gives families a little more time to prepare for the future and get a care plan in order. When a parent suffers a stroke, though, many adult children find themselves scrambling to learn everything they can about what strokes are, how to assemble a care team, where their parent should live, and how to balance caring for their parent with their current occupation and family, all at once. All that while they try to process what has happened on an emotional level and be a source of support for their parent. If it sounds daunting, it’s because it most certainly is. On today’s episode, our aim is to give you the tools you need so you can make sure your parent is receiving the best possible care, while also making sure that you are too. We’ll talk about the causes and treatments for strokes, caregiving tips and tricks, and how to plan for an uncertain future with your loved one. Let’s begin with the basics. It’s important to know that strokes can happen to anyone. While the risk of suffering a stroke rises depending on age, health conditions (people with diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure have an increased risk of suffering a stroke), and family history, the hard truth is that technically, anyone can suffer from a stroke at any time. According to the CDC, about 34% of strokes occur in people under the age of 65. Nearly 795,000 Americans suffer from strokes each year – and it’s currently listed as the third leading cause of death in the country. Strokes can happen to anyone at any age. I say this because it’s so important to recognize the warning signs of a stroke before it’s too late. The earlier you can get your loved one to the hospital, the better the outcome will be. Too often, healthy and active people will show warning signs of a stroke and ignore them – thinking that strokes only occur in the obese or the elderly. In fact, one CDC study found that a staggering 55% of respondents did not call 911, even after noticing numbness on one side of their body. Never assume that because your mother or father have been doing well otherwise, that they cannot suffer a stroke. If they complain of a symptom – you must call 911 right away. That brings me to the warning signs. What are they, anyway? Well, the American Stroke Association describes the warning signs of a stroke as F-A-S-T, or fast. The F stands for facial drooping. If one side of you or your loved one’s face seems to be drooping or numb, this is a major sign of a stroke. Have your loved one attempt to smile – and if their smile looks a little off, whether it’s lopsided or not happening at all, call 911 immediately. The A stands for arm weakness. If a person complains of numbness in their arm, or is unable to move their arm, this could be a sign of a stroke. Your parent might complain that their arm doesn’t feel attached, or like it’s a part of them. One woman featured in an American Stroke Association article explained that she woke up thinking there was a “toy in her bed.” That toy turned out to be her numb arm. If one arm is drifting downward when your parent attempts to lift their arms, this is another sign. The S stands for speech. If your parents’ speech is suddenly slurred or difficult to understand – this is also a sign of a stroke. Have your parent try to repeat a sentence – if they are struggling to do so, do not take this lightly. Call 911. Finally, the T stands for Time to Call 911. Whether your loved one is experiencing any or all of these symptoms – you need to get them to the hospital right away. The sooner a person can get to the hospital, the better chance they have of a smooth recovery. I cannot emphasize that enough. Again, the acronym for stroke warning signs is FAST. Facial drooping, arm weakness, speech, time to dial 911. While a stroke can happen to anyone of any age, there are certain factors that increase the risk. African Americans, for instance, are almost twice as likely to suffer from a stroke than white Americans – and they have the highest chance of death due to a stroke among demographics. At the same time, underlying health issues such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure can increase the chance of experiencing a stroke. Other risk factors include age, weight, and even lifestyle. A person who smokes cigarettes and drinks a significant amount of alcohol, for instance, has a higher risk of suffering from a stroke than someone who doesn’t. While anyone CAN have a stroke at any age and regardless of their lifestyle, a healthy and active lifestyle will reduce the risk severely. Cutting down on alcohol, eating a balanced diet, and exercising regularly are all ways to prevent a stroke. The CDC recommends exercising for at least 2.5 hours a week – whether by hitting the gym or even taking a brisk walk around the neighborhood. Cutting out cigarettes and limiting alcohol are another way to prevent strokes. Cigarettes greatly increase the risk of suffering from a stroke. Smokers actually have an increased stroke risk of 54% in women and 53% in men, according to the AHA. As for alcohol, binge drinking can raise a person’s blood pressure, making them more susceptible to suffering a stroke. It is important to note that everyone who suffers a stroke reacts differently. While some may have difficulty swallowing or have a hard time moving, others might suffer fatigue or struggle to communicate. Because the reactions to a stroke can vary so greatly, there is no single type of care that works for every stroke survivor. Make sure to communicate with your loved one’s doctor about how to find the best type of care for your loved one, depending on their needs and requirements. On that note, when establishing your care team, make sure to consult your parents’ doctors as well as social services to come up with the best plan for the future. Ask whether your parent could benefit from a speech therapist, occupational therapist, or physical therapist. In many cases, a survivor will need a…
3 days ago
Tips to Prevent Bedsores
As many seniors get older, they will find themselves spending more and more time in their beds and less time out and about. This is especially true for those suffering from mobility problems or other illnesses that hinder their ability to move around like they used to. Unfortunately, the more time a person spends in one spot, the higher the risk that they will develop pressure ulcers, also known as bedsores. Bedsores occur when a specific area of the body has a certain degree of pressure on it for an elongated period of time. When that happens, the skin opens up and becomes infected. On today’s quick tip episode of All Home Care Matters, we’ll go over everything you need to know about bedsores. From the risk factors to how to prevent them from happening, this should be a helpful guide to helping your loved one stay safe, comfortable, and infection-free. People are at a higher risk of developing bedsores if they are immobile and have to stay in one spot for a lengthy period of time. While this is one common cause of bedsores, it’s actually not the only risk factor out there. Incontinence issues can also cause damage to the skin that can lead to open skin and increased risk of infection. A person might also get bedsores if they have lost their sense of touch – due to a neurological disorder or spinal cord injury – because they will not be able to detect pain or warning signs of a sore and are more likely to get an infection. Bedsores might seem like a relatively harmless, although uncomfortable, wound on a person’s body – but in reality, bedsores pose a great risk to anyone who has them. There are a number of complications that can occur with bedsores – so extra precautions must be in place to help prevent seniors from getting them. If they do get them, then it’s important that they see a doctor immediately, and do not wait for the infection to spread. It is possible for a bed sore to cause cellulitis – an infection of the skin and soft tissues that occurs when bacteria enters a break in the skin. Cellulitis can cause severe swelling of the skin, along with pain, blisters, and even fever. If left untreated, cellulitis can spread to the lymphatic drainage system in the body and cause chronic swelling. It can also cause deep-layer emergency infections to the fascial lining, on rare occasions. In addition to cellulitis, a person with bedsores is at risk of experiencing arthritis from joint infections, which could lead to tissue damage. They are also at risk of bone infections which can cause their joints and limbs to not function properly. If bedsores are left untreated for a very long period of time, a person is at risk of developing skin cancer as a result of the accelerated growth of squamous cells. Squamous cells grow when a person’s skin is experiencing trauma or abnormal changes – such as an untreated wound. On rare occasions, bedsores can even lead to sepsis – which can lead to widespread inflammation and even organ damage. Clearly, bedsores are nothing to mess around with. While they might not always be completely preventable – particularly for those who have no choice but to spend their time in bed – it is essential that the wounds are treated as soon as they are found. Do not rely on your loved one to notice and report the sore themselves – in many cases, a person does not even realize they have a sore until it’s too late. Have your loved one’s caregiver check for sores on a regular basis. There are ways to lower the risk of a person getting bedsores – even when they are stuck in bed. The most important way to keep off bedsores is to get moving. Even if your loved one is stuck in bed, make sure to change their position regularly so that no one spot on their body is under too much pressure. At the same time, replace old or worn-out chairs with armchairs and recliners that have comfortable cushioning. If your loved one is able, have them switch between the bed and the chair, instead of remaining in one or the other most of the time. If possible, have your loved one engage in range of motion exercises that will get the circulation flowing. Exercise can make the biggest difference – and it can be as simple as arm and leg exercises in bed. Physical and occupational therapists can be an enormous help when it comes to choosing the best exercise plan for your loved one. There is also specialty bedding available that helps to prevent bedsores. Air mattress toppers or customized cushioned padding can be used to reduce pressure on areas of the body. There are special materials that can reduce pressure on mattresses, chairs, and even footwear, to help reduce pressure wherever and whenever possible. If your loved one suffers from incontinence, they may be especially suspectable to bedsores. Make sure that your loved one’s skin is cleaned regularly and remains dry. If urine or other bodily fluids are not cleaned from the skin, the skin will deteriorate at a quicker rate and bacteria will enter the broken skin. This can be prevented by regular bathing and making sure that the skin always remains clean and dry. Finally, a healthy diet can actually be key to preventing bedsores. A good diet will strengthen blood circulation and help to fight off any possible sores. Make sure your loved one is consuming a balanced diet filled with fruits, vegetables, and plenty of fiber and protein. If you notice that your loved one has a bed sore, make sure to change their position immediately to alleviate unnecessary added pressure. Usually, the sore will go away on its own after one to two days pressure-free. If it does not, make sure to contact your loved one’s doctor right away. The doctor will make sure that there is not an infection and prescribe any necessary treatments. If there is an infection, extra medical care or medication might be necessary to fight it. The earlier you find it, the better. Bedsores might seem harmless, but they’re nothing to mess with. Still, if you notice them early enough, they can usually go away before an infection occurs. Make sure to do what you can to prevent your loved one from getting them – and if they do get them, make sure you don’t ignore it. We want to thank you for joining us here at All Home Care Matters, All Home Care Matters is here for you and to help families as they navigate long-term care issues. Please visit us at allhomecarematters.com there is a private secure fillable form there where you can give us feedback, show ideas, or if you have questions. Every form is read and responded to. If you know someone is who could benefit from this episode, please share it with them. Remember, you can listen to the show on any of your favorite podcast streaming platforms and watch the show on our YouTube channel and make sure to hit that subscribe button, so you'll never miss an episode. On the next episode of All Home Care Matters we will be discussing Caring for a Loved One Who has had a Stroke. Here are the sources used for this episode: https://www.relias.com/blog/7-steps-to-prevent-pressure-sores https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bed-sores/symptoms-causes/syc-20355893#:~:text=Risk%20factors,cord%20injury%20and%20other%20causes. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/bedsores https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cellulitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20370762#:~:text=Cellulitis%20(sel%2Du%2DLIE,face%2C%20arms%20and%20other%20areas
Apr 3, 2021
What is Frontotemporal Dementia?
A diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia, or FTD, can rock a person’s world. Whether or not this was a diagnosis you anticipated, it can be difficult to grapple with the reality of it, for both the diagnosed patient and their family members. There are a few reasons a diagnosis of FTD can be particularly devastating. For one thing, the majority of people diagnosed are younger than 70, so the last thing they expect is for their life to be uprooted by dementia. For another thing, there is no cure and no treatments available at the moment – even though researchers are working hard to change that. Still, there are ways for a person to maintain a meaningful quality of life for as long as possible, especially if the disease is diagnosed in its earliest stages. If you or someone you love has received a diagnosis of FTD, we are here to support you and guide you through. We know that this is a difficult time – and it can feel daunting and overwhelming to plan ahead for an uncertain future. While you might feel helpless right now, know that there is hope. Treatments ARE getting better and there is support out there for anyone who needs it. We’ve spoken on this podcast before about early onset Alzheimer’s, and FTD is similar in many ways – but I am sure if you are experiencing FTD you might be tired of people relating it to early onset. It’s important to remember that these are two separate diseases, although similar, and should be considered as such. For effective treatment and planning ahead to take place, it’s essential that patients understand their own individual diagnosis of FTD, separately from other similar diseases. That’s why today, we’ll be diving into exactly what happens to a person’s brain with FTD, the stages of the disease, and the best way to maintain a high quality of life after diagnosis. We hope that by the end of this episode, you’ll feel less daunted and more supported – and that you have a clear understanding of what this disease really is and what it might mean for the days and years ahead. This is not a diagnosis that you chose, caused, or have much control over – but you do get to choose how you can live each day as meaningfully as possible. Even when the disease is in its later stages, your caregivers can do what they can to make every single day count. Whether you’ve received a diagnosis or someone you love is experiencing FTD, furthering your knowledge of the disease and understanding exactly how it impacts the brain will give you a much better idea of why you are feeling or behaving in a certain way. If your loved one has FTD, then knowing more about how the disease functions will help you to understand those parts of FTD that might feel especially frustrating or disheartening – particularly changes in personality and behavior. We want to start with a reminder that you are not alone. While FTD can feel extremely isolating, particularly if you are young and do not know anyone in your personal life who is experiencing the disease, about 50,000 to 60,000 Americans are living with the disease today, according to The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration. That might seem like a small number compared to other diseases – but it’s large enough that support networks, including specialized therapists and counseling groups, are out there. Now, we mentioned earlier that many people with FTD might be compared with those who have early onset Alzheimer’s disease. We also mentioned the importance of distinguishing between the two diseases – because while they are similar, they are marked by key differences. For the sake of understanding what makes FTD different than Alzheimer’s, let’s compare. FTD patients are most commonly diagnosed between the ages of 45 and 65, while the vast majority of Alzheimer’s diagnoses occur in the later stages of a person’s life (early onset is a rare exception). Most notably, though, memory loss is not as prevalent of a symptom in FTD patients. FTD, especially in its early stages, mainly affects language and behavior, while Alzheimer’s targets memory loss. Now, FTD patients can suffer from memory loss, especially as the disease progresses, but it is not the primary symptom. The first symptom in most FTD patients is behavioral changes, which is one of the later symptoms in Alzheimer’s patients. FTD patients tend to have more difficulties with speech and communication than Alzheimer’s patients. It can be difficult for an FTD patient to make sense while they are speaking, or for them to make sense of what others are saying to them. In Alzheimer’s patients, communication issues tend to center around remembering names or important information, rather than understanding the concept of what someone is saying. In the later stages of Alzheimer’s, they are more likely to struggle with making sense of language, but this isn’t always the case. Finally, patients with FTD rarely suffer from hallucinations and delusions, which are common in people with Alzheimer’s disease. This, along with memory loss, are two of the most significant differences between FTD and Alzheimer’s. In fact, the lack of memory loss in FTD patients, combined with the young age that most FTD patients get the disease, makes achieving a diagnosis particularly challenging. Doctors tend to look for memory loss as one of the leading causes of dementia, and they tend to focus on age. Too often, a person with FTD will be misdiagnosed with depression or other mental illness because of their behavioral changes. Understanding the differences between Alzheimer’s and FTD is just the first step to having a clear idea of what FTD is and what it means for the lives of those diagnosed (and the lives of their friends and family members). To further our understanding of the disease even more, let’s get into how it actually affects the human brain. Navigating a life with FTD starts with understanding the disease itself. When we have a comprehensive idea of what our brain is experiencing during FTD, we can better understand our own symptoms and plan ahead accordingly. As the name implies, Frontotemporal Dementia affects the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. These areas of the brain are critical to learning, communicating, and empathizing. In FTD patients, the frontal and temporal lobes are suffering from nerve cell damage and death. As the nerve cells in the frontal and temporal lobes are damaged, connections between the cells are broken. These connections are what allows the brain to send signals to itself and the rest of the body. As the nerve cells die or malfunction, the brain tissue in the frontal and temporal lobes actually starts to shrink. FTD comes in two forms – Behavioral Variant FTD, which is the most common, and Primary Progressive Aphasia or PPA. PPA and Behavioral Variant FTD affect the brain in different ways. In Behavioral Variant FTD, the frontal lobe is most severely damaged. The frontal lobe affects how a person behaves, plans, problem solves, focus, and process emotions. Suffice it to say, when this lobe experiences damage, it leads to major changes in personality and behavior. In Primary Progressive Aphasia, the temporal lobes suffer the most damage. The temporal lobes control much of our understanding of language – they store the meanings of words, the names of objects, and how we recognize important people, places, and things. In addition to Primary Progressive Aphasia and Behavioral Variant FTD, FTD can also be linked to two very rare neurological diseases that affect mobility. These are corticobasal syndrome (CBS) and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). CBS occurs when nerve cells die in parts of the brain that control movement – most commonly, arms and hands are impacted. CBS patients can suffer from orientation and language problems, but this is not always the case. PSP affects a person’s ability to walk and maintain balance. Body stiffness, ab…
Apr 2, 2021
Healthy Nutrition Tips for Seniors
If you spend a lot of time with an aging loved one, you might notice that their relationship with food has begun to change. It’s not uncommon for seniors to eat less, to forget to eat entirely, or even to eat too much. It varies depending on the person, but many seniors will experience diet changes as they get older. Maybe they are hesitant to eat – they tell you that they’re just not hungry, that seniors don’t require as many calories, that they’ll rifle through the pantry if they need anything. Maybe they’re only eating junk food or drinking more alcohol than usual – and they tell you that they’ve “got it under control” and they just like to treat themselves sometimes. You might notice that your parent is experiencing weight changes as the food in their refrigerator spoils. It might feel confusing, disheartening, and worrying to watch your parents’ changing relationship with food. It could feel like a fight to get them to eat dinner and it can be alarming to see the expired food piling up in their kitchen. Bad eating habits (including neglecting to eat at all or choosing to eat very little) can have serious impacts on a person’s health – especially as their bodies are aging and sicknesses are harder to fight. A healthy, balanced diet can prevent a myriad of diseases as it strengthens the immune system, keeps a person feeling energized and upbeat, and generally improves the quality of life. On today’s episode, it’s all about how to help your loved ones follow a healthy diet. We’ll talk about why changes in diet are common among seniors, the proven benefits of healthy eating for seniors, meal preparation tips, and specialized diets for seniors who are facing other health difficulties. It’s time to get your loved one eating right again. While you might feel sad or even frustrated when your mom or dad refuses dinner, it’s important to understand why their relationship with food is changing. Here’s the hard truth. According to the CDC, a staggering 20% of adults aged 55 and older have a mental health disorder, such as anxiety, cognitive impairment, or depression. Even more specifically, the CDC has found that 7 million adults over the age of 65 are affected by depression. Depression and feelings of loneliness, isolation, or anxiety are particularly common among seniors who are living alone. Side effects of depression and loneliness include lethargy, laziness, and lack of motivation. For many seniors who are experiencing these feelings, the thought of meal preparation feels exhausting. It’s simply easier to snack from a bag of chips or head to bed without a bite. In addition to mental health struggles, as people age, they are more susceptible to physical health problems that might make eating and cooking much harder than before. If they are living through diabetes, congestive heart failure, or even cancer – they will need to follow a specialized diet that can be difficult to maintain. They might also suffer from an extreme lack of appetite when they are not feeling well. Others still, particularly Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients, might have trouble chewing and swallowing – making eating feel daunting and not worth the effort. They could also have mobility issues that keep them from cooking their own meals or working their way around the kitchen. Believe it or not, dignity might even get in the way. For some seniors, after they are no longer able to drive, they are eager to hold onto any independence that they have left. That means being hesitant to ever ask for help – even if they need it. Sometimes, seniors simply don’t eat because they don’t have a ride to the store for food – and they feel that asking for help will mean failure. Keep in mind that a loss of independence can feel crushing to many aging adults. Some fear that asking for help with simple errands will lead to their children putting them in a nursing home or hiring extra care. Financial issues also come into play. Seniors who are struggling financially might be less likely to go to the grocery store or even order food for delivery. They might not want to admit that they are struggling and refuse to ask for help, once again afraid of losing their dignity and independence. For seniors struggling to maintain a healthy diet, there can be terrible consequences. We all know that healthy eating is important regardless of our age – but this is especially true for older adults. Studies by the National Institute on Aging have found that a healthy diet can reduce the risk for diseases like Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and diabetes. At the same time, it can help seniors stay independent for longer – as their bodies are simply better prepared to fight off illness. We may worry that our parents poor eating habits are keeping them from living their best lives and putting them at risk. The good news is that for most seniors, regardless of why they are no longer eating the way they used to, it doesn’t have to be too terribly difficult to get them eating right again. The biggest factor for many seniors is convenience. If they do not have to worry about meal prep or the chore of cleaning the kitchen after cooking, that will make an enormous difference. There are weekly food subscription boxes like Snap Kitchen and Thrive Market that send pre-packaged and pre-made healthy meals that simply need to be popped into the microwave. This might be the ideal option for family caregivers who do not want to spend most of their week cooking and cleaning after each meal. These meals are better than those found in the frozen aisle at the store, because they are specially prepared by chefs with fresh, healthy ingredients and offer a wide variety of meal options (so your loved one won’t have to eat the same thing every day). These services might seem expensive on first glance, but when you consider that they’ll pretty much replace grocery shopping, the price tends to even out. Snap Kitchen costs $11.67 per meal and sends 6-12 meals a week. Thrive Market sends 10 meals a week for $89.99. If you have the time, you can also prepare meals for your loved one yourself. Some families choose to cook meals in bulk one day a week and drop them off at their loved one’s home in Tupperware containers. That makes meal prep so easy for seniors – who just have to pop the food in the microwave – and you can be sure that you’re making food you know your loved one likes. Pre-packaged meal prep, whether you order a subscription or make it yourself, is often the best option for seniors who live alone. After all, cooking for one can feel depressing and exhausting for many people – especially those who have recently lost a spouse and are not used to living by themselves. When they have a meal ready to go, they don’t have to face the pain that can coincide with cooking for one. If your loved one has a hired caregiver, then the caregiver might take on the cooking, feeding, and cleaning themselves – which, of course, can be an enormous help. Just make sure that they are following healthy recipes that your parent loves and not cooking the same three meals every single week. Just like you wouldn’t want to eat the same thing every day, neither does your parent. When it comes to handling meal prep either by yourself or with the help of a hired caregiver, there are steps you can take to make sure the meal is healthy, easy to prepare, and enjoyable for your loved one. Begin by choosing one day each week to sit down with your loved one and plan out the meals for the week ahead. Once you’ve come up with a list, write down all the ingredients you’ll need – and see if you can repeat any meals, or repeat any ingredients to save time and money. Left over chicken, for instance, can be chopped up and put in chicken noodle soup later on. Try to come up with recipes that will last in the refrigerator for a few days, so your parent doesn’t have to eat it…
Mar 29, 2021
An Interview with Oasis Everywhere - Senior Virtual Learning
In this episode and interview we explore what Oasis Everywhere is and how it is helping seniors engage in life-long learning and staying active. Even during the pandemic, you'll hear how two of our guests were able to socialize and create a lasting friendship. We enjoyed our time with Oasis Everywhere and with Paul Weiss the President of Oasis Everywhere, along with Barbra and Carole who met each other while taking classes at Oasis Everywhere. If you are interested in learning more we have included some information and history of Oasis Everywhere to share with you. * The Oasis Institute, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to enriching the lives of adults ages 50+, * Announced the launch of Oasis Everywhere, a virtual lifelong learning platform with an expansive menu of online classes aimed to provide seniors with social connections and enrichment. * * Oasis Everywhere offers live online courses * led by top instructors from across the country * Utilizing a simple online platform and Zoom video conferencing, * Anyone can easily explore their interests regardless of geographic location, mobility, or travel constraints. * Affordably-priced classes are easily searchable and open for registration through the Oasis Everywhere website, www.oasiseverywhere.org. * Available courses cover a variety of topics ranging from art and history to science, religion, cooking, technology, current events, health, and more. * The need for online classes increased exponentially in 2020 due to the isolation experienced by so many seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic. * * The National Poll on Healthy Aging conducted by AARP and Michigan Medicine in June 2020 reported 56 percent of respondents over the age of 50 sometimes or often felt isolated, more than double the number in the same study from 2018. * The Oasis Institute launched Oasis Everywhere to address that need. * Participants on the platform have reported that their learning experiences are valuable, varied and offer high-quality intellectual stimulation amongst the uncertainty. * Participants have something to look forward to as they see old friends and make new ones through the interactive video sessions. * Founded in St. Louis, Missouri, for nearly 40 years, Oasis Centers and partners throughout the country have served adults ages 50 and over as a “home away from home” * * with robust educational offerings that include arts and humanities, science and technology, health education and exercise programs, as well as purposeful volunteer opportunities. * Due to the pandemic, for the first time in the organization’s history, that all came to a screeching halt. The timing could not have been better to expedite the launch of a project five-years in the making…Oasis Everywhere. * Oasis Everywhere is open for individual enrollment and offers group enrollment for senior centers and care facilities that want to provide additional enrichment to their residents. * The classes offer a turnkey solution and enrollment group discounts for facilities that want to expand the variety of opportunities for learning and social activities that they offer. Senior living communities who register residents receive a 15% discount. * To sign up for classes, visit www.oasiseverywhere.org and view the growing list of courses to choose from. About Oasis: The Oasis Institute is a national nonprofit organization in St. Louis, Missouri, founded in 1982, centered on a mission to serve adults ages 50 and over, during a time when many programs for older adults were oriented around childish games and passive activities. Today, almost 40 years later, The Oasis Network includes the Oasis headquarters in St. Louis, a national network of nine educational centers, spanning the country coast to coast, and program partners in nearly 250 communities across the country. Oasis’ tutoring program serves older adults interested in teaching or mentoring through partnerships in education and school districts as well as a new direct-to-consumer virtual tutoring model that brings Oasis tutors straight to your child at home or wherever they may be learning. Our volunteer programs help older adults fulfill the satisfaction of joy that comes with giving back to their communities. Find more information about the Oasis Institute on Facebook at @OasisInstitute, on Twitter at @OasisInstitute, on LinkedIn at The Oasis Institute, or via their website www.oasisnet.org. We want to thank you for joining us here at All Home Care Matters, All Home Care Matters is here for you and to help families as they navigate long-term care issues. Please visit us at allhomecarematters.com there is a private secure fillable form there where you can give us feedback, show ideas, or if you have questions. Every form is read and responded to. If you know someone is who could benefit from this episode, please share it with them. Remember, you can listen to the show on any of your favorite podcast streaming platforms and watch the show on our YouTube channel and make sure to hit that subscribe button, so you'll never miss an episode. On our next episode we will be discussing healthy nutritional tips for seniors.
Mar 25, 2021
Early Onset Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease
Early onset Alzheimer’s can be an enormously difficult diagnosis to come to terms with. Many people who are diagnosed are in the middle of a career, raising a family, and pursuing new ventures when this disease unexpectedly disrupts life as they know it. New studies have found that an early diagnosis could lead to more positive experiences with treatment and there are ways to slow the rate of progression so patients can maintain a sense of normalcy for as long as possible. Still, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, so anyone who has received a diagnosis will have to re-evaluate many things in their life in order to best prepare for what’s to come. On today’s episode of All Home Care Matters, we’ll be discussing all you need to know about early onset Alzheimer’s. We know how difficult this disease can be to face – so we want you to know that we are here to support you through the ups and downs of this new and trying journey. This episode will be a little different. In addition to discussing what early onset Alzheimer’s is and how it affects the brain, what symptoms to look for and what options are for treatment, we’ll also talk about the tougher stuff. How to speak to your kids about a diagnosis. How to handle friends, family, and a possible stigma that you might face outside of your home. How to plan ahead financially and legally, while you’re still in the early stages of the disease. We know that this is a diagnosis that interrupts your world. That’s why it’s so important to take the time to prepare for the future and implement a healthy lifestyle with a treatment plan. That way, you can focus on spending time with your family and taking on new and cherished experiences, instead of spending all of your time worrying and stuck in the dark about what comes next. Many people with early on-set Alzheimer’s feel alone after a diagnosis. Watching friends and family continuing to live their lives, getting to focus solely on their careers and family, can cause a great deal of resentment and even depression. One key difference, on an emotional level, between Alzheimer’s and early onset Alzheimer’s is that those experiencing the former are more likely to have peers in similar situations – whether friends, friends of friends, or a community in a senior living facility. For those with early onset, the world can feel like it’s coming to a halt for you and only you. That’s why I want to start by saying this: even though it may not feel like it now, you are not alone. According to alz.org, it’s estimated that about 200,000 people in the United States have early onset. That’s 5% of the 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s. If you are at all interested, in can be enormously helpful to meet others who are facing similar circumstances. There are support groups available for patients with the diagnosis as well as counseling services, gathering events, and more. Look into your local community to see what resources might be available to you. Surrounding yourself with others who know what you are going through could help you to feel supported, encouraged, and not alone. Now, before we get any further, let’s get into the basics. When anyone under the age of 65 is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, it’s considered early onset, or younger onset. A person can be in their thirties, forties, or fifties. More rarely, a person might get the disease as early as their twenties. In the brain, early onset does not look different from standard Alzheimer’s. In both cases, the brain is no longer able to function normally because of nerve cell death and tissue loss caused by a build-up of protein fragment clusters between nerve cells. At the same time, a dead nerve cell contains tangles – or twisted protein strands. The protein fragment clusters are known as plaques. When the plaques and tangles crowd the brain together, it caused mixed-up signaling that can trigger immune system cells, which consume the dead or dying cells and trigger inflammation. In the end, the brain is unable to properly process nutrients or other important supplies. That leads to cell death. The dead cells tend to crowd in the areas of the brain that affect thinking, planning, learning, and memory. That’s why Alzheimer’s patients eventually lose their memory altogether. To learn more about how Alzheimer’s affects the brain, check out our episode on understanding Alzheimer’s and dementia. While it is estimated that around 200,000 Americans are living with early onset, that number is likely even greater. The disease is often overlooked or misdiagnosed by doctors, who simply do not consider Alzheimer’s or dementia on their younger patients. Sometimes, a patient can get multiple misdiagnoses from multiple doctors before being diagnosed with early onset. This means that many people do not know they have the disease until they are already in the later stages. If you believe you may have the disease, receiving a diagnosis can be a painful and disheartening process. That’s why it’s so important to advocate for yourself and push your doctors to evaluate you for early onset if you are suffering from memory problems. If you are truly worried and your doctor is simply not considering early onset even after you specifically ask, make an appointment with an Alzheimer’s specialist. They are much more likely to give you comprehensive, conclusive evaluation. At the very least, they will help you to feel validated and comforted – which can mean the world after enough doctor appointments that felt like they were going nowhere. It’s important to note that early onset is not something you can take a test for like strep throat or the flu. It can only be diagnosed after a careful and drawn-out medical evaluation, in which the doctor will ask you a series of questions about your symptoms, memory, and quality of life, before making a definite diagnosis. Remember to be honest with your answers and share anything memory related, even if you feel it isn’t relevant, because too much information is always better than not enough – especially when going after a diagnosis that is difficult to come by at a younger age. There are two types of early onset Alzheimer’s. The first type is Common Alzheimer’s Disease, which is the most typical form among both early onset patients and patients 65 and older. This version of the disease progresses at much the same rate in younger patients as it does in older ones. Unfortunately, researchers have not yet determined what causes Common Alzheimer’s Disease, and there are no risk factors that might lead to the disease. Common Alzheimer’s early onset could happen to anyone. The other type is early onset familial Alzheimer disease. This is much rarer. Patients with this type of Alzheimer’s usually have a parent or parents that have also had the disease. A patient’s siblings and children have a 50/50 chance of getting the disease themselves at an atypically young age. A person who has two parents with the disease is at a higher risk than someone who only has one parent with it. Researchers have pinpointed two types of genes that influence a person’s likelihood to get familial Alzheimer’s disease. These are risk genes and deterministic genes. If a person has risk genes, then they have an increased chance of developing the disease, but it is not guaranteed. Risk genes include APOE-e4, APOE-e2, and APOE-e3. Those with APOE-e4 have a 40-65% chance of eventually being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. According to alz.org, about 2% of the US population has this gene. Deterministic genes guarantee that a person will inherit Alzheimer’s. This type of gene is exceptionally rare – only a few hundred families have been found to pass it on worldwide. Deterministic genes lead to early onset Alzheimer’s for patients in the early 40’s to mid 50’s. Sadly, early onset cases tend to progress more qu…
Mar 20, 2021
Preparing for Hospital Discharge
In our line of work, we encounter many families who are not properly prepared for when their loved ones get discharged from the hospital. It makes sense – while in the hospital, it’s difficult to think about the future. You’re in a highly tense, emotional situation – and you’re trying to balance being there for your loved one with the rest of your life, outside of the hospital. Maybe your children need to be picked up from school between surgeries, or you’re trying to get work done from a laptop on the weak waiting room WIFI. For this very reason, we hope that the team of doctors, nurses, or even social workers will be there to talk us through the “after.” Many families expect that a doctor will prepare the family for all they need to know – from when they can expect a discharge to where medications will be sent for pick up to the type of care your loved one needs in the coming weeks – but the reality is, most hospital officials and even social workers will not provide this information unless you ask. Remember, hospitals are busy places, and staff are balancing a number of different patients with different needs. So, they might not always be on top of speaking with families about what they should expect. That’s why it’s so essential that you take the time to ask – and even arrange a meeting with your loved one’s medical and social work team. Too many times, we’ve witnessed families who are completely thrown off by a discharge and left to figure it out themselves unfortunately. We’ve had families who’s loved ones were discharged with no notice – and couldn’t find rides home from the hospital. We’ve known seniors who are discharged but still need overnight care and have no one to provide it because of lack of information and communication. We’ve had seniors who are discharged and don’t know when or where to pick up their prescriptions. We’ve even had seniors who don’t take their prescriptions because they simply do not know about them, and the family was not properly informed. And we’ve had seniors who are discharged to nursing homes – with little to no idea what that will entail. Discharge affects seniors and family members. If a senior needs to be released into the care of someone else – the family needs to be prepared for what to expect – from whether they’ll need to take a day off work to pick their loved one up from the hospital to any changes or adaptations they need to make to their home to make it safer for their loved one. When your loved one is discharged, you want to be able to focus entirely on them – making sure they are comfortable, content, and have everything they need. If you’re scrambling to find a ride to pick them up and a place for them to go, you don’t get a chance to focus on what really matters. On today’s episode of All Home Care Matters, we’ll talk about exactly how you can prepare for your loved one’s discharge from the hospital – so you won’t be left confused and rushing about when it’s time for your loved one to come home. Too often, families are caught by surprise when a family member is officially discharged. A family caregiver might be at work and unable to pick their loved one up from the hospital or could even be out of town and unable to get to the hospital at all that day. You need time to prepare for your loved one’s discharge – so you can make sure you’re ready to pick them up (or have a ride arranged) well in advance. The golden rule to hospital discharge is to ask a lot of questions – as many as you can think of. You can never have too much information when it comes to preparing for this tough transition, so start making a list of questions as soon as your loved one arrives in the hospital. We’ll go into more detail about specific questions to keep in mind during this episode. According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, adults over the age of 65 are “the largest consumer group of hospital care.” The study focused on whether or not seniors were prepared for their transfer from the hospital back to their home. Perhaps shockingly, 39% of those studied said they were given less than 24 hours’ notice before discharge. That lack of notice leaves many seniors lost when it comes to finding a ride home – or even knowing what to expect when they get there. With that in mind, make sure to speak with your loved one’s doctor, social worker, and nurse about when they believe a discharge could take place. They may not be able to provide an exact estimate – but they should be able to give you a ballpark that will help you plan accordingly. For instance, if they say, “he should be ready to go next week,” then you know it’s time to make arrangements. Again, we can’t expect doctors or nurses to offer this information on their own – we must ask. When we do, they’ll be glad to provide an estimate. Not to mention, asking about when a discharge might take place is a great way to start a longer conversation with your loved one’s team about what to expect post-hospital. Remember – one of your biggest jobs as a family caregiver is to be your loved one’s advocate. Being an advocate means having these conversations in advance, so you AND your loved one aren’t left behind. After you receive an estimate about when your loved one might be released, it’s time to open a conversation about other important logistical details. Arrange a meeting with your loved one’s team, where you can have the opportunity to ask questions and get answers. The family should be invited and involved in a discharge meeting that includes the family, doctors, and healthcare team that has been part of your loved ones care while in the hospital, but sadly those do not always take place. In preparation for the meeting, compile a list of important questions to discuss. These can include anything from which pharmacy the prescriptions will be sent to, to where your loved one should be getting care during recovery (are they able to stay at home and live independently, do they need a nursing home, or do they need full time home care?) When it comes to prescriptions, make a list of your loved one’s medications and review them with the doctor or nurse – how should the drugs be administered and when? Make sure any newly prescribed medications will work with the medications your loved one is already taking – don’t assume that your doctor knows every medication they’re taking. Double check just in case they don’t. Ask about vitamins and supplements, too. Are there any that can help? Are there any that should be avoided? Try to make sure the doctor sends the prescriptions to the same pharmacy for pick up – and, if possible, see if there’s a pharmacy at the hospital. That will be the easiest place to stop for any family – and picking up the prescriptions will feel less like a dreaded errand. In addition to medications, find out if your loved one should be using any Durable Medical Equipment, or DMEs, once they’re home. DMEs include bedside commodes, urinals, wheelchairs, hospital beds, walkers, etc. If so, find out where you can find such items (and if the hospital can provide them), and how they should be used. Are these things your loved one will need assistance with? Can the family provide such assistance, or will it be necessary to hire a registered nurse or a home care company to help? If your loved one needs a nurse, it might be necessary to consider alternative living options, like a nursing home. In addition to DMEs, find out if your loved one should use bandages, gauze, creams or any other specialized medical supplies. Have a nurse walk you through exactly how to change bandages – and practice a few times under her supervision – so you know exactly what to expect. Find out, also, whether or not your loved one needs to follow a specialized diet or if there are foods or beverages he should…
Mar 18, 2021
If you’ve been diagnosed with glaucoma, you might be feeling daunted and a little bit scared. It’s not an easy diagnosis to come to terms with – after all, if not treated it is possible to lose your vision entirely. However, with the proper treatment and preparation, you can live a perfectly normal life even after diagnosis – and preserve your vision. Believe it or not, an early glaucoma diagnosis actually puts you at an advantage compared to those experiencing glaucoma without a diagnosis. A diagnosis means that a treatment plan can begin right away – and while there is not yet a cure for the disease, treatment can keep you from becoming blind. If glaucoma is something you’re coming to terms with, it’s important to remember you’re not alone. According to glaucoma.com, over 3 million Americans are estimated to have the disease, and, because early symptoms are often non-existent, only about half of those know it. It is estimated that there are about 60 million people living with glaucoma worldwide. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of the blindness in the world – and while anyone of any age can get glaucoma, it is most common in people over the age of 60. More than 120,000 US citizens are blind from glaucoma – usually because they did not receive a diagnosis until much of their vision was already lost. While anyone can get glaucoma, African Americans are especially susceptible, from a younger age. African Americans are 6-8 times more likely to go fully blind, and 15 times more likely to become visually impaired. To put this into perspective, open-angle glaucoma accounts for 19% of blindness among African Americans, whereas it only accounts for 6% of blindness among Caucasians. Asian and Hispanic people are also at a higher risk of glaucoma than Caucasians. Other people at high risk are those who have a relative with glaucoma, those who are extremely near or far sighted, people who have high eye pressure, an eye injury, or use steroids. Clearly, Glaucoma affects a significant number of people every year – so whether or not you’ve been diagnosed, it’s important to understand what the disease and how to detect it – even without symptoms. On today’s episode of All Home Care Matters, we’ll go into exactly what glaucoma is and how it affects vision. We’ll talk about the different types of glaucoma and how they are diagnosed. Then, we’ll go over symptoms, treatment, and what life might look like after diagnosis. By the end of this episode, listeners should have a good understanding of the disease – including what to expect and what treatment plans to follow. So, what is glaucoma? It’s an eye disease that can lead to blindness without treatment, or if diagnosed too late. To understand exactly how glaucoma works, let’s talk about the eye itself. Millions of nerve fibers exist in each of our eyes that run from the retina to the optic disc and onward through the optic nerve. The retina is in the back of our eyes, and its job is to take light and turn it into electrical signals. The signals then travel through the optic nerve into the brain – where the brain processes visual information. This is how we see. When a person has glaucoma, the fibers do not travel up the optic nerve, but become clogged at the optic disc. Without traveling up the optic nerve, the signals become blogged and do not reach the brain. At the same time, the eye’s drainage system cannot function due to the clog – so the fluids in our eyes that are normally drained out through our pupil build up and do not drain. The build-up of fluid leads to pressure inside the eye, which can damage the nerve fibers, leading to loss of vision. Glaucoma occurs in both eyes for most people, but it tends to begin in one eye before gradually affecting the other. Usually, people experience blindness of their peripheral, or side vision, first – and it can be so slight that some might not even notice. Many patients will subconsciously turn their head to see to the side, and not even realize that their peripheral vision is not functioning properly. Without treatment, central vision will eventually be lost, too. Early detection, though, can mean preventing total or even partial loss. While a build-up of pressure is certainly a leading cause of glaucoma, it is not the only cause. We know this because some people with glaucoma have perfectly normal pressure ranges within their eyes. Researchers are still working to find out the other causes of the disease. There are about ten different types of glaucoma, but the two most common are open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma. Primary open-angle glaucoma is by far the most common, as it accounts for about 90% of all cases – that’s about 2.7 million Americans, usually over the age of 40. Open-angle glaucoma occurs when the angle where your iris, or the colored part of your eye, meets the cornea, or the clear part of your eye, opens how it should, but a clog of fluids prevents drainage from occurring properly. The lack of drainage and increase of fluids raises the pressure in the eye until it damages the optic nerve, keeping light signals from reaching the brain and causing vision loss. Think of it as a clogged pipe in a sink, that keeps the liquid from draining. Open-angle glaucoma is a slowly developing disease that has no early warning signs. That’s why so many people do not realize they have the disease until they are already going blind. However, if open-angle glaucoma is detected early enough, it can be treated. This type of glaucoma can be detected in eye exams even before loss of vision occurs – so make sure to get your eyes checked at least every two years as a precaution. Angle-closure glaucoma, sometimes called narrow-angle glaucoma, is the second leading type of the disease. About 16 million people worldwide suffer from angle-closure glaucoma, according to Glaucoma Today. In angle-closure glaucoma, the angle where the iris meets the cornea fails to open. This closed angle causes the drainage of fluids to become blocked and eye pressure is increased, leading to optic nerve damage and, eventually, vision loss. Like open-angle glaucoma, this is a slow moving disease without early symptoms. In the early stages of angle-closure glaucoma, the angle might not be fully closed, and the optic nerve can still function properly. That’s why, if found early, treatment can be affective. There is a form of this type of glaucoma that is especially dangerous and requires immediate medical attention. That’s acute angle-closure glaucoma, in which the pressure in the eye rises quickly, causing pain in the eye, blurry vision, redness, colorful halos, and nausea or vomiting. This can cause severe vision damage. If you or a loved one is experiencing these symptoms, get to a doctor right away. There are eight other, rarer, types of glaucoma that are mostly variations of open-angle or angle-closure glaucoma. These include normal-tension glaucoma, secondary glaucoma, pigmentary glaucoma, congenital glaucoma, exfoliative glaucoma, neovascular glaucoma, uveitic glaucoma, and traumatic glaucoma. Normal-tension glaucoma occurs when the optic nerve is damaged even though there is not a pressure build-up in the eye. It affects Japanese people at a higher rate than any other groups, as well as people with migraines, irregular heart rhythm, and low blood pressure. Researchers are still attempting to find out why glaucoma happens without increased pressure. Secondary glaucoma happens when a person has a concrete cause of their glaucoma – this could mean eye injury, inflammation, or a negative response to medication. Treatment for secondary glaucoma will vary depending on whether the angle where the iris meets the cornea is open or closed. Pigmentary glaucoma occurs when pigment granules in the iris become trapped in the drainage system. This is considered a type of open-angle glaucoma. The trapped pig…
Mar 16, 2021
Kitchen Safety for Seniors
As our loved ones age, there are many precautions we need to take to make sure they are safe at home. Home safety risks can be easy to miss, or even forget about, when you’re dealing with a stack of other responsibilities – like making sure your Mom gets to her doctor appointment, tracking her progress, figuring out if she needs extra care – often, the last thing we think about is taking out loose carpet to prevent falls or putting a handrail in the shower. Home safety, though, must be considered, especially as our loved ones get older and may become more forgetful. Home safety risks include everything from slipping on a wet floor to starting an accidental house fire – so they’re certainly nothing to mess with. On today’s episode, we’ll be focusing specifically on kitchen safety. Oftentimes, the kitchen is the center of activity in a household – from cooking to eating to using the kitchen table for various projects or game nights. The kitchen poses serious risk if precautions are not taken, though, so today we’ll dive into how you can make sure your loved one’s kitchen is as safe as can be. Today’s episode is part of a new series we’re doing on All Home Care Matters – quick tips. These shorter episodes will provide you with some fast advice for those days when you don’t have a lot of time but could use some helpful information. We hope you get a lot of out them in just a little time. Let’s get right to it. Why is kitchen safety specifically so important? Let’s let the numbers speak for themselves. According to The National Fire Protection Association, 3 in 10 home fires begin in the kitchen – which is a higher number than any other room in the house. Further, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, adults over 65 have 2.7 times the risk of dying in a kitchen fire than younger people. Fire isn’t the only worry, however. There’s also a high risk of experiencing gas poisoning (or worse) from leaving the stove on, slipping on recent spills or newly mopped tile, falling when reaching something from a high cabinet, cutting skin on sharp knives, and burning skin on a hot stovetop. As warm and welcoming as the heart of a household can be, it also comes with its dangers. Kitchen safety precautions are especially important for dementia patients – who might forget to turn off a stove or even that they’ve put food in the oven. We always recommend that dementia patients have assistance in the kitchen – and when they’re alone, to keep the oven and stove unplugged. Other fire-safety tips include purchasing electric tea kettles and coffee machines with automatic-turn off features. These appliances will turn off on their own – before becoming too hot – so you won’t have to worry about the coffee pot starting a fire. Remove loose dish towels that hang on or near the stove and make sure no curtains are hanging too close to the stove, either. Keep ventilation systems cleaned on a regular basis – dirty ventilation systems are one of the most common causes for kitchen fires. At the same time, make sure the smoke detectors are tested at least monthly and there’s an easy-to-operate fire extinguisher nearby. You should also speak with your loved one about fire safety. Make sure they do not wear loose clothing when they cook and that they know to set a kitchen timer to remind them that something is on the stovetop. When it comes to knife safety, let’s begin with the groceries. Purchase pre-cut vegetables and meat when you can, so that you eliminate the need for knives whenever possible. When a knife is needed, make sure that it’s not sharp enough to cause serious damage, but is sharp enough to get food chopped. It’s always better to have someone else do the cutting – particularly if your loved one is suffering with Parkinson’s, severe arthritis, or other problems that may cause them to tremor and slip up while cutting. Store the knives and other sharp objects in a safe place where they will not fall or be mistakenly picked up by the blade-end out of a drawer. When it comes to fall prevention, start by putting any essential or commonly used items in low down cabinetss, drawers, and pantries. There is no reason that an older adult should be standing on a step stool every day to reach her cooking equipment. Heavy items especially should be stored down below, to eliminate a risk of dropping the item from above. In the upper cabinets, store any items that are rarely used or only used by caregivers or other family members. Place a non-skid mat in front of the sink to prevent slipping on a wet floor and make sure that any spills are cleaned up right away. If possible, clean the kitchen for your loved one after they are asleep, so the floor is dry by the time they wake up in the morning. If they are living alone and handling the cleaning by themselves, remind them to wear non-slip shoes when mopping the floor and to avoid the kitchen altogether for a few hours afterward. Install motion sensor lights in the kitchen so that your loved one can see when getting a glass of water at night or on a rainy day. If possible, you can even install extra lighting over the stove and oven to help your loved one see even better while they cook. When it comes to burn prevention, make sure oven mitts are placed in an easy-to-see spot where your loved one won’t forget to use them. You can also put a note near the stove (but far enough to prevent fire risk) reminding your loved one to use an oven mitt and potholder. Finally, make sure that all dishes used on a regular basis are unbreakable, to help avoid and prevents cuts from broken glass. Make sure the refrigerator is nice and cool, so food doesn’t spoil. Along those lines, it is common for expired food to pile up in a senior’s home if they are experiencing memory problems or mobility issues that prevent them from cleaning out the fridge. Avoid the risk of consuming expired food by checking regularly. We hope those kitchen safety quick tips helped you understand why the kitchen is a risky place for seniors – and how you can keep it as safe as possible, so they don’t have to stop spending time in a room they love. Every episode of All Home Care Matters has resources and information that you can find in our show notes or by visiting our website for more information. Make sure you check out the sources we used for this episode for a kitchen-safety checklist. We want to thank you for joining us here at All Home Care Matters, All Home Care Matters is here for you and to help families as they navigate long-term care issues. Please visit us at allhomecarematters.com there is a private secure fillable form there where you can give us feedback, show ideas, or if you have questions. Every form is read and responded to. If you know someone is who could benefit from this episode, please share it with them. Remember, you can listen to the show on any of your favorite podcast streaming platforms and watch the show on our YouTube channel and make sure to hit that subscribe button, so you'll never miss an episode. Please join us next time as discuss Understanding Glaucoma. Sources: https://www.fivestarseniorliving.com/blog-post/kitchen-safety-checklist-for-older-adults-and-their-family-caregivers (includes a checklist) https://www.assistinghands.com/51/florida/miamibeach/blog/kitchen-safety-tips-for-your-senior-loved-ones/ https://www.24hrcares.com/kitchen-safety-for-seniors/
Mar 14, 2021
Connecting with the Caregiver
Even if you’re providing family caregiving to your loved one, there might come a time when you realize that you simply cannot handle everything all the time. Whether your parents’ needs have increased significantly, but you want to make sure they remain at home, or your career and family life have become more demanding, you might find that it’s time to hire a professional caregiver. There are many benefits to having professional home care services. Unlike assisted living facilities and nursing homes, where a full-time staff balances your loved one’s care with a sea of others, home care staff are there for your loved one and only your loved one. That means that your loved one receives undivided attention – which can be truly invaluable. You also get to choose when the caregiver comes and how long they stay. Having professional home care services gives you flexibility and can come just while you are at work during the day or they can stay through the night – it all depends on what your parent or grandparents’ needs are, and the level of care you are able to give. Not only that, but having professional caregivers can help your parent maintain independence. Many seniors are more comfortable living at their own homes, especially when their care is personalized to their needs – so if your parent doesn’t need assistance with every task, they can continue to perform those tasks on their own. At the same time, some seniors simply do not wish for their adult children to care for them. They might not feel comfortable relying on their children to bathe or dress them, or they want to be looked after by a professional. Regardless of the reason, professional home care can help a parent feel better about their care if they don’t want their adult children so intimately involved. With professional home care, their staff will also be trained to help with tasks that might be difficult for family members with little to no experience. They are trained in providing transportation, helping with housekeeping and cooking, bathing and dressing, and other needs. This can ease some of the anxiety family caregivers might feel about tasks that seem particularly difficult or uncomfortable. They can also offer respite to family caregivers who just need a break from time to time. Finally, professional home care services can be more cost efficient than moving seniors into a facility. According to AARP, there are more than 2.3 million US workers who provide in-home care and health care for seniors – and that number is expected to grow as the population of 65-and-older increases in the next decade. With that many caregivers, you can rest assured that the right person for your loved one is out there. Of course, this isn’t an easy transition, and you don’t want to hire just anyone. We’ll go into detail about how to hire the ideal caregiver for your loved one, but first, keep in mind that you can always replace your caregiver if they’re not a good fit. Many people think that they’re stuck with whoever the company sends that day – but that’s truly not the case. If the caregiver isn’t a good fit for your parent, you do have the power to find a replacement. Still, we recommend giving the relationship time to develop. Caregivers need time to adjust to your parents’ routine and your parent needs time to adjust to your caregiver – so if you want a replacement simply because the transition’s been a little bumpy, we do recommend giving it some time. When it comes to hiring a professional home care company and their staff, make sure that you share with the Case Manager that you want someone who could be a good friend to your loved one. The relationship between caregiver and senior is extremely important for more reasons than physical care. Excellent caregivers will provide your loved one with emotional care through socialization, activities, and – most importantly – friendship. That friendship can mean the difference between a high quality of life and feelings of deep isolation. Friendship gives life meaning – it gives people hope, laughter, and security. So, remember not to underplay the importance of finding someone who can mesh well with your loved one on a personal level. When it comes to finding the right home care company, start by assessing what your loved one can afford. Do they have long-term care insurance? Medicaid? These types of insurance do not always cover in-home care, unless a doctor confirms that it is needed or their long-term care insurance covers it. Look closely at your loved one’s plan to find out. There is a chance you will have to pay out of pocket for this service, so make sure there are savings available. If not, you might need to band family members together to help or look into volunteer services that could only provide part-time care. Next, think about what your loved one’s needs actually are. Include your loved one in this conversation. If they are still relatively independent, it might be wise to ease them into this transition with part-time care. Ask them how much care they would like to have. What’s something that they could genuinely use help with? Housework? Cooking? Mobility? Personal Care? Then assess whether full time or part-time care would be a better option. If you are providing family care to your loved one, then you might need to hire a caregiver to come while you’re at work or to give you a break on the weekends or evenings. In that case, you might ask the company what their rates are if they were to come 9-5 Monday through Friday, or 9-5 Saturday and Sunday. Have your parent write down their likes and dislikes – from activities to personality traits – to help you find a perfect match. Is your parent an avid reader who loves to discuss books or is she more of a movie person? Does your parent like to spend his free time drawing or going for walks? In addition to basic interests, consider your parents’ passions and the lives they have led so far. If your parent was an architect, for example, they might enjoy the company of a caregiver with an interest in architecture. If your parent is a musician, they would enjoy the company of someone who is passionate about music. Next, you’ll need to decide whether to use an agency or a registry. Agencies can be a bit costlier, but their workers are insured (so you won’t have to pay for any accidents that might occur on the job), the workers have undergone background checks and are highly trained, agencies will hand pick caregivers that have experience working with people similar to your loved one, and you don’t have to worry about a ton of extra paperwork. They also will match your loved ones traits, needs, and interests with the caregiver that shares those interest to help make the connection easier. The home care provider will do what they can to match your loved one with the right fit, and you can always replace the caregiver if they don’t mesh well with your loved one. It is not recommended to hire someone privately due to the liabilities and risks associated with it. For instance, you will also be liable for any on-the-job accidents that might occur and you’ll also need to consider what your backup plan is if that person has to quit or starts to make unreasonable requests from the family to continue their employment with them. If the family decides that hiring someone privately is the route that they are going to take then make sure to speak with an attorney about protections that they will need to prevent any liability issues that can arise from a private caregiver. There are certain traits you can look for in a potential caregiver that should mean they will do a wonderful job. These traits include patience, reliability, flexibility, and empathy. These are key components of caregiving that will mean the difference between a fantastic caregiver and a mediocre one. When you do find the right home care company or if you’…
Mar 12, 2021
3 Quick Tips for Family Caregivers
Family caregivers provide an invaluable service to their loved ones as they age. They allow their loved ones to stay at home, or in the home of their adult children, where they are surrounded by comfort and familiarity. They also provide love, support, encouragement, and patience. This can make the final, difficult years of an older adult’s life feel rewarding and peaceful. At the same time, caregiving can be difficult. We’ve talked about it before on this show – when a person is forced to balance work and family with caring for their aging parent, it can feel impossible to find that perfect balance. At the same time, needing to stay strong in front of your loved one can be quite challenging, especially considering how heartbreaking it can be to watch a parent age. On last week’s quick tip episode, we talked about 5 things that caregivers should know before they start out. The focus in that episode was on taking care of you – learning your boundaries, delegating when you ne…
Mar 10, 2021
Music and Alzheimer's Disease
If your loved one is living with Alzheimer’s Disease, there may be days where you just feel helpless. It might seem like no treatment is working, that your loved one’s struggles with communication and mood swings are only progressing, with no end in sight. Alzheimer’s can be a devastating disease – but there are ways to possibly help patients meet those milestones – to encourage communication, peace of mind, and even joy in patients and their loved ones. One way is through music. Believe it or not, the effect of music on Alzheimer’s patients has been studied carefully for decades and has been found to be one of the most effective ways to help patients with communication, mood, and memory. While music is no cure from Alzheimer’s, it is a medicine-free treatment that can make an enormous difference for both patients and their caregivers. For patients with Alzheimer’s, peace can be hard to come by. Alzheimer’s is a progressive neurological disorder that impacts languag…
Mar 8, 2021
It’s no secret that being a caregiver comes with its challenges – and sacrifices. For many people embarking on this new journey, the massive pressures can come as a bit of a shock. If you’re thinking of becoming a caregiver, but are still on the fence, it’s important to know what to expect before you make a permanent decision. That way, you can know whether becoming a family caregiver really is the best decision for you and your loved one. More and more people are choosing to become family caregivers. According to a study by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, about 17 percent of adult children end up caring for their parents at some point in their lives. The reasons are endless. Some people choose to become caregivers to avoid paying the hefty fees for assisted living or nursing homes. Others want to help their loved one be in a position where they can stay home. Others still want to spend the extra time with their parent – keen on caring for the person w…
Mar 6, 2021
Caring for the Caregiver
We speak a lot on this show about how to provide the best care to our loved ones as they age – but today, we’re going to talk about how to provide the best care to the caregiver. Being a caregiver for our parents, spouses, or grandparents can be immensely rewarding – but it comes with its own unique sets of challenges. The responsibilities of a family caregiver often grow over time – and as we work to nurture and tend to our loved one, we might lose time for ourselves. We not only need time to engage in life outside of our loved one’s daily routine, but we also need to be able to tend to our own feelings. Watching those we love decline is devastating – and it’s essential to have the space to feel what we need to, so we aren’t holding everything in. According to AARP, almost 42 million Americans in the US are caregivers – and the majority of those are unpaid. For most older adults, receiving care from a family member is the best option – both financially and emotio…
Mar 1, 2021
Understanding Parkinson's Disease
If your loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, you might be feeling lost, confused, scared, and overwhelmed with concern. It’s a diagnosis no one wants to hear, but one that far too many families are impacted by year after year. In fact, according to Parkinsons.Org, about 10 million people worldwide are diagnosed with the disease each year. It’s estimated that about one million Americans have Parkinson’s disease today. That’s more than those who have muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (or ALS) combined. Those are staggering numbers. But what exactly is Parkinson’s Disease? How can we provide the care our loved one needs after a diagnosis? How can we care for ourselves? What can we expect in the years ahead? On today’s episode, it’s all about understanding Parkinson’s Disease. By the end of this episode, you should have a much clearer understanding of what your loved one is experiencing – and how you can prepar…
Feb 25, 2021
What is Lewy Body Dementia?
When our loved one is diagnosed with dementia, we want to do our best to understand exactly what they’re going through. The more we know, the more support we can offer – both emotionally and in regard to long-term care support. We’ll also be better equipped to help ourselves. Knowing what to expect as dementia progresses, and understanding why our parent, spouse, or grandparent is behaving in certain ways can help us manage and care for our own feelings. There are over four hundred types of dementia out there – so it’s important not to generalize dementia as one single disorder. Once you know what type of dementia your loved one has, you can look at that variant through a closer lens, so you can focus on providing your loved one with specified care to match their individual needs. Today, we’re going to talk about one type of dementia that affects over one million people in the United States each year. That’s Lewy body dementia – or LBD. LBD usually sets in around age…
Feb 24, 2021
If our parents or grandparents have been increasingly struggling with changes in memory or personality, we may be worried that they have Alzheimer’s or dementia. Most people have heard of these diseases and may have had a grandparent or distant family member experience them before. Still, though, until we are facing these diagnoses head-on, we may not understand exactly what to expect. How can we know the differences between dementia and Alzheimer’s? Do all dementias look the same or are there different types? Could my loved one’s memory problems be related to something else, like simple ageing, or do they have to mean a cognitive disease? On today’s episode, we’ll examine Alzheimer’s and dementia through a closer lens. We’ll go over the varying types of dementia and what to expect from your loved one before and after a diagnosis. By the end, you should have a much clearer understanding of the world of dementia and Alzheimer’s and feel more prepared to face what’s a…
Feb 19, 2021
The Family Caregiver's Checklist
As your parents or grandparents age and become more dependent, there may come a time when your role transitions into that of a caregiver. For family members, this can be a difficult adjustment. As well as we know and as much as we love our parents, we’re probably used to them supporting us, more than the other way around. Still, being a family caregiver is a wonderful way to bond with our loved ones and truly appreciate the time we have left with them. While being a caregiver for a loved one can be immensely rewarding, it’s also emotionally taxing, with a huge learning curve. If you’re just starting this new role, you probably feel a bit daunted. You’ve had to take on a long list of new responsibilities – and learn to balance them with your own personal lives. Being a family caregiver isn’t an easy task, but with the right preparation, you can make the experience more positive for you and your loved one. That’s why today, we’re diving into the family caregiver’s che…
Feb 16, 2021
Dealing with Arthritis
If you’ve been diagnosed with arthritis, you might find that life has been harder to navigate. Experiencing chronic pain can feel impossible to manage – and it might even be keeping you from engaging in some of the activities you love. No one should have to make sacrifices because they’re in pain, which is why today, we’re going to delve into tips for managing arthritis. While there’s no cure for arthritis, practicing certain treatments can help significantly. Arthritis is a strikingly common condition in the United States. In fact, according to the CDC, over 54 million Americans are diagnosed with it. Of those, about 24 million suffer from severe joint pain that limits their ability to fully function. Arthritis occurs when a person experiences joint disease or swelling around the joints. It can be extremely debilitating – according to the CDC, it’s actually the leading cause of work disability, costing about $303.5 billion a year in health care costs and lost income.…
Feb 13, 2021
The Stages of Alzheimer's Disease
When a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, it can feel devastating. This disease will be life changing for your loved one and, likely, for you. The senior in your life will require a special amount of support, love, and devotion – so you can make sure she is safe and cared for. Alzheimer’s is a slowly progressing neurological disorder, which means that your loved one will become increasingly dependent as time goes on. While there is no cure for the disease, there are ways to slow the progression. Everyone experiences Alzheimer’s differently, but there are seven stages that you can expect your loved one to go through after a diagnosis. It’s important to know what to expect as you face this new diagnosis. That way, you can be better prepared to be there for your loved one – and, hopefully, won’t be taken by any painful surprises. Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging – but it does affect a large number of seniors every year. It’s the most common fo…
Feb 10, 2021
Supporting a Loved One with Dementia
A Dementia diagnosis is a hard truth for any family to face. Caring for a loved one with dementia can be a stressful, exhausting, and profoundly emotional experience – but with the right tools and preparation, care can be a little easier. Too often, the emotional needs of a person with dementia are overlooked or unmet. It makes sense – the physical care can be quite taxing, between feeding, bathing, clothing, and everything else. Not to mention, it’s difficult to be emotionally present for a person with dementia – especially when it reaches the more severe stages. Emotional outbursts, difficulty speaking, and changes in personality can all be barriers in helping a person to emotionally connect. Still, these very difficulties are the reason that our loved ones need our emotional support more than ever. According to The British Psychological Society, up to a third of people with advanced dementia suffer from depression. Cognitive diseases impact every bit of life, and they can…
Feb 6, 2021
Medication and Prescription Safety
As your loved one has gotten older, you might have noticed a steadily growing number of medications building up in their medicine cabinet. While it might be a bit of a shock to see just how many pill bottles your parents are collecting, it’s important to remember that this is a normal part of getting older. According to The Journal of Patient Safety, “people over the age of 65 use more medications, both over-the-counter and prescription, than any other age group.” Still, as important as these medications are to our parents’ health, they can also be dangerous, if not taken correctly. It’s essential for anyone to practice medicine safety – but especially for seniors, who might have trouble keeping up with their growing number of medications. From medicine storage to ensuring that no incompatible drugs are being taken together, there are many ways to ensure your parent is taking her medications safely. Today, we’ll let you know exactly how you can help prevent medication-r…
Feb 3, 2021
Choosing the Right Care
Episode 51 - Choosing the best senior living option for your mom or dad can feel overwhelming. Many of us expect the answer will be obvious – if our Mother is suffering from Dementia, for instance, the time will come when she needs to engage in Memory Care. Or, if our Dad has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, we know he might need assisted living or maybe he prefers home care instead? The truth is, though, that the right choice isn’t usually in front of our eyes. More often than not, it’s the little things – like that time Dad complained about the single stair in his shower, or the time Mom forgot to feed the dog – that indicate it’s time to look into care options. In those less obvious cases, choosing between so many different types of care might feel daunting. What’s the difference between assisted living and a nursing home? Are there ways my parent can continue to live independently? Do I have to hire a full-time caregiver? Does my mom really need that extra help?…
Jan 27, 2021
Coping with Cognitive Issues
Episode 50 – Coping with Cognitive Issues Hello, and welcome back to All Home Care Matters. If this is your first time visiting us here at the show. Thank you for taking time out to be with us today. We appreciate how valuable everyone’s time is and that is why we try and make each episode here at All Home Care Matters something that will hopefully matter to you. Before we get started, we would like to take a quick moment and say thank to everyone for their support and encouragement. This is our 50th episode of All Home Care Matters and we would not be here if it weren’t for all of you. We have received countless emails, comments, and feedback from you sharing what the show has meant to you and from some of you how it has helped you in even the smallest of ways. That is why we do this show, to help families and individuals who are going through these issues with their loved ones. When a loved one’s diagnosed with a cognitive problem, it can be devastating. In a lot of ways,…
Jan 26, 2021
A Discussion on Dementia with Jennifer Fink
Episode 49 – A Discussion on Dementia with Jennifer Fink Hello, and welcome back to All Home Care Matters. If this is your first time visiting us here at the show. Thank you for taking time out to be with us today. We appreciate how valuable everyone’s time is and that is why we try and make each episode here at All Home Care Matters something that will hopefully matter to you. We have a very special guest joining us today and her name is Jennifer Fink. Jennifer is the founder of the Fading Memories Podcast. Fading Memories is a podcast that helps families who have loved ones with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Jennifer spent the first half of her adult life as a portrait photographer, a business she still maintains. Listening to podcasts became a favorite way to learn new things while walking the dogs or doing household chores. After the death of her father in March 2017, dealing with and caring for her Mother became a much bigger part of her life. Looking to her favorite…
Jan 23, 2021
Isolation and Seniors
Episode 48 – Isolation and Seniors Hello, and welcome back to All Home Care Matters. If this is your first time visiting us here at the show we want to say thank you for taking time out to be with us today. We appreciate how valuable everyone’s time is and that is why we try and make each episode here at All Home Care Matters something that will hopefully matter to you. As COVID-19 rates continue to surge, many isolated seniors are facing a second epidemic: loneliness. Because so many seniors live alone, the elderly in the United States have been disproportionately impacted by loneliness for decades, but the pandemic has only made this problem worse. It hurts to think of our parents or grandparents as lonely – especially when we aren’t able to visit with them the way we used to. Still, this is something we must acknowledge. The hard truth is that the number of seniors in isolation continues to rise. And loneliness is not merely undesired. It can actually have devastating eff…
Jan 21, 2021
Finding the Right Caregiver
Episode 47 - If you’ve ever cared for a loved one or have watched as a parent or grandparent slowly declined, then you know how important it is to make sure that they are being cared for with kindness, patience, and respect. These are difficult times for them and for the family. Maybe you’ve taken on the responsibility of their care, or you’ve started visiting with them every evening after work just to make sure that they’re taking their medications and eating dinner. The emotional and physical toll that comes with caring for a declining loved one can be heartbreaking and exhausting. It’s hard watching as the person who use to be vibrant, strong, and active is now slowly becoming a shell of their former selves. It’s hard to fully prepare a family for what to expect when the time comes to care for their older loved ones. If your family is like many facing this difficult situation, you’re probably still working, raising children, and in some cases, you may even have gran…
Jan 16, 2021
Anticipatory Grief and The Decline of a Loved One
Episode 46 – Anticipatory Grief and The Decline Of A Loved One Even as adults, we tend to view our parents and grandparents as invincible. They have always been the strong ones; the ones to lift us up when we fall, to comfort us when we are feeling down, to remind us that we are loved on the days we feel alone. It can be a shock to the system when suddenly, the roles are reversed, and it’s our turn to care for them. On some level, we knew that this stage of life was coming, but we still can’t be prepared to face it until we just don’t have a choice. Watching a loved one decline is far from an easy process – in fact, it can be utterly heart wrenching. While we want our loved one’s inevitable aging to happen gradually, the truth is that oftentimes, the shift from independent to dependent happens quite suddenly. You might be left feeling unprepared and overwhelmed as you begin your new role as a caretaker. You might also experience what is known as anticipatory grief. Antic…
Jan 14, 2021
Is Your Loved One Safe Driving?
Episode 45 – Transition from Driver to Non-Driver As our loved ones grow older, there are many difficult decisions that we might have to discuss with them. When we notice their physical or mental health begin to decline, it is important that we make sure their new limitations are not putting them in danger. Whether your mom is having trouble using the stairs or your dad is struggling to remember to turn the oven off, there are many new obstacles to look out for. One of these obstacles is driving – and making the transition from driver to non-driver can feel like a big blow to mom and dad – so it’s essential that you’re well prepared for the conversation. That means knowing the warning signs, understanding the emotional impact this decision will make, and having a transportation plan in place. Many people are hesitant to begin this difficult conversation with their parents or grandparents. Without the ability to drive, our parents are stripped of a great deal of their freed…
Jan 11, 2021
When Is It Time To Move?
Episode 44 - Watching our loved one’s age is never easy. We want them to remain strong, capable, and independent – and they want the same for themselves. They might feel frustrated when they can no longer move around the way they used to – when stairs are more strenuous to climb, meals are harder to cook, hygiene is more difficult to keep up with. We can’t always be there to help – we might not live in the area or just simply don’t have the ability. Not to mention, our parents and grandparents yearn for independence and could be resisting any help offered. But maybe the best way to be independent, is to get a little bit of help. Yes, that might sound like an oxymoron, but the reality is this: if a person has help with everyday tasks, they have more time to focus on things that matter to them – and they’re safer. It’s important to remember that aging is a natural and inevitable process, and that as we watch our parents or grandparents get older, we need to embrace…
Jan 9, 2021
When Siblings Don't Agree
Episode 43 – When You and Your Siblings Don't Agree Hello, and welcome back to All Home Care Matters. If this is your first time visiting us here at the show…. Thank you for taking time out to be with us today. We appreciate how valuable everyone’s time is and that is why we try and make each episode here at All Home Care Matters something that will hopefully matter to you…. For those of us that have siblings we grew up playing together, celebrating holidays, and birthdays. They became our first best friend, and we have many wonderful memories with them through our childhood. But as we began to get older those moments slowly became less frequent as we began our lives as adults. It typically starts when one goes off to college and then graduating and starting their new careers - sometimes requiring them to relocate - and then eventually getting married and starting their own families. If you're fortunate when the time comes that your parents begin needing more assistance you…
Jan 2, 2021
The Best Books for Family Caregivers
Episode 42 – Top Books for Caregivers Hello, and welcome back to All Home Care Matters. If this is your first time visiting us here at the show. Thank you for taking time out to be with us today. We appreciate how valuable everyone’s time is and that is why we try and make each episode here at All Home Care Matters something that will hopefully matter to you. If you have cared for a loved one before then you know first-hand that it can be difficult to find time to do the things that you use to enjoy and if you’re caring for a loved one right now, then today’s topic will hopefully help to make it a little easier for you as you care for your loved one. We are going to be discussing some of the top books for family caregivers. This is a subjective list, and you may have your own recommendations that has helped you as you cared for your loved one. If so, we would love to hear which books were the most helpful to you. There are many great books available to caregivers and famili…
Dec 31, 2020
A New Year's Eve Message
Episode 41 – New Year’s Eve Message This year New Year’s eve is going to look a lot different than in years past. There won’t be any New Year’s eve parties or large gatherings at a friend’s home to ring in the New Year, instead many of us will be celebrating at home watching the New Year come in on television from our couches. For many families they will be ringing in the New Year without some of their family or loved ones for the very first time. We are preparing to embrace a New Year and with it the prospect and hope of a better year ahead. Let’s all look forward with hope and anticipation of a better, healthier, and more joyous year for all of us. Some of us have been affected more by Covid this past year than others, but we all have been affected by it in one way or another. Some of us have lost loved ones, while others may have lost their jobs and are struggling financially. The hope that this new year brings for all of us is the prospect of a fresh start and the…
Dec 29, 2020
A Conversation about Incontinence
EPISODE 40 - It can be devastating to watch our parents or grandparents begin to slow down. It’s a major adjustment for everyone involved, as families learn how to provide care and talk about new ailments with their loved ones, without sacrificing anyone’s independence. For seniors, it’s often frustrating and heartbreaking to come to terms with their aging bodies, as they become more limited in their abilities and struggle to get through the day as easily as they used to. This difficulty reaches a new height when it’s time to think about wearing custom briefs, also known as adult diapers. Most people hope that they will never suffer bladder incontinence, but it’s important to remember that the disease is incredibly common among older adults. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, nearly 51% of people over the age of 65 have some level of bladder or bowel incontinence. This is especially common for women; wh…
Dec 22, 2020
Tips for Celebrating Christmas in 2020
Episode 39 - Need ideas for celebrating Christmas with seniors? A quarantine Christmas isn’t going to be easy – especially for the older adults in our lives. Still, there are ways to make the holiday meaningful for everyone – even while social distancing. In today’s episode, we’ll dive into ideas for the pandemic holiday – including gift ideas for quarantine, virtual activities, and safe, face-to-face fun. On this episode learn how you can make Christmas special for your elderly family members in 2020. And be sure to hit that subscribe button so you never miss out on a new episode. For more quarantine Christmas ideas, check out these resources: https://seniors.lovetoknow.com/aging-health/ways-help-seniors-quarantine-when-you-cant-visit https://www.hellomagazine.com/healthandbeauty/mother-and-baby/2020041688143/gifts-for-grandparents-isolation/
Dec 22, 2020
An Interview with Josh Crisp Founder of Solinity
Episode 38 - On this episode of All Home Care Matters we are excited to welcome Josh Crisp to the show. Josh is a senior living executive who has over 14 years in the development, construction, and management of senior living across the Southeast and if that is not impressive enough Josh is also is the founder and CEO of Solinity a senior living development and management company that is helping to reshape the industry to help better meet the needs of the aging and create intergenerational communities. If you want to learn more about Josh and Solinity visit Solinity.com.
Dec 18, 2020
Are you SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)?
Episode 37 - While the winter season brings us certain things we love – frosted windows, hot chocolate, Christmas lights, and cozy pajamas – it can be difficult to stay cheerful through the shortened days and colder weather, especially after the holidays - when the months between January and March feel endless, without much to look forward to. With the pandemic’s added limitations, this winter could feel like the hardest one yet. For many, the winter blues can be downright paralyzing. For seniors, the stakes are even higher – as a lack of mobility limits their options even further. According to Live Well, “around 500,000 Americans suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD” every winter and “older adults can be more vulnerable.”
Dec 15, 2020
What is Long-Term Care Insurance?
Episode 36 - The future of our health, and our parents’ health, is often unpredictable. Of course, family history might indicate what we’ll be facing as we reach our seventies and eighties, but there really is no way to know for sure. It’s likely, though, that long-term care – in a private nursing home or assisted living facility, or even at home with a private caregiver – is on the horizon. According to AARP, 52% of people over the age of 65 will need some type of long-term care services in their lifetime. While the days of nursing homes and assisted living facilities might seem far in the distance, it’s important that a plan for long term care is established years ahead of time. There are many reasons to consider buying long-term care insurance. According to a 2016 study by the Urban Institute and the US Department of Health and Human Services, 14% of people in need of long-term care will require that care for five years or more. Long-term care can drain a retirement…
Dec 11, 2020
Episode 35 - On this episode we will be talking about something that you may have experienced while caring for a loved one or maybe you're experiencing it right now and that’s caregiver guilt. This is a component of caregiving that many caregivers have dealt with at some point while caring for a loved one and some still do. We will discuss tips and ideas for caregivers who are caring for family members or loved ones to help them feel their worth and to let them know that their best is all they can expect of themselves. Caregiver guilt can and does affect everyone differently. For some it can cause issues with weight, appetite, or any number of negative affects. The guilt can also manifest itself in physical, emotional, and psychological ways.
Dec 7, 2020
Protecting Seniors From Scams
Episode 34 - On today’s episode, we will dive into the types of scams that are most commonly targeting elders, discuss the warning signs and proper responses, as well as what to do if your parent or grandparent has already fallen victim to a scam. We all want our parents and loved ones to feel safe and protected – we want to know that their finances are secure, so that they can have a comfortable and happy retirement – and will never have to face detrimental financial losses. Seniors and the elderly deserve to be protected, which is why it’s especially heartbreaking to know that, as senior citizens, they are the targets of sophisticated, dangerous scams that threaten to take thousands from them and target them because they are elderly. Elder scams are all too common, and they’re no joke. According to the Senate Special Committee on Aging, senior citizens are cheated out of an enormous $2.9 billion annually. On an individual basis, according to a 2020 study by the Federal…
Dec 4, 2020
Sleep Issues and Dementia
Episode 33 – On this episode we will be discussing tips to help families who have loved ones with dementia find ways to help them have a better nights sleep. If you’re caring for a family member or a loved one with dementia, then you may be experiencing what many families experience when it comes to your sleep. When a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s doesn’t sleep well, you’re probably not getting enough sleep either and after a while it can begin taking a toll on you and your loved one.
Dec 1, 2020
What is a Care Plan?
Episode 32 - Today we have an important topic to discuss with you, and at first it may not sound important or maybe you’re not quite sure what it is or it’s benefit and that’s the care plan. We will be going through what a care plan is and how it’s not only important for your loved one, but how it can also benefit you and the family as well. First, we need to explain that the type of care plan we will be discussing is the one that is used for home care. There are several different types of care plans and each one of them are important to the care that your loved one receives.
Nov 29, 2020
Oral Care Tips for Loved Ones with Dementia
Episode 31 - In this episode we discuss a topic that comes up quite often and that’s oral care for loved ones with dementia. We discuss tips that can help you make sure your loved one is getting the proper oral care that they need. We understand that there are many challenges families face when caring for a loved one with dementia and taking into account their behaviors can change day-to-day it can make it especially difficult if you’re also faced with being able to get them to brush their teeth.
Nov 25, 2020
Tips for a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving
Episode 30 - This is undoubtedly a difficult time, but it is also a time where we have to be smart, responsible, and safe. So, we have prepared some tips and suggestions for a safe and healthy Thanksgiving. From all of us here at All Home Care Matters we want to wish you and your family a heartfelt Happy and Safe Thanksgiving. This is our 30th episode at All Home Care Matters and we want to offer our gratitude to everyone for watching, listening, and supporting us.
Nov 24, 2020
The Silent Nemesis (UTI)
Episode 29 - On this episode we will be discussing how a UTI can affect a senior with dementia differently than a younger and healthier individual. We will also be discussing tips to help reduce and prevent the chances that they contract a UTI and what to look for if you think they may already have one. If you have a loved one who is dealing with dementia you may already know that having a urinary tract infection or UTI can have a worse effect on them than if a healthy person contracts a UTI.
Nov 19, 2020
What is Palliative Care?
Episode 28 - We recently did an episode talking about hospice and during that episode we mentioned Palliative care and how the two are similar, yet different. On this episode we are going to discuss Palliative care and what it is and how it is different than hospice. There are many good benefits and supportive resources that Palliative care provides not only for the patient, but also for the family.
Nov 14, 2020
What is Hospice?
Episode 27 – We wanted to take some time and discuss a topic that can be scary, confusing, emotional, overwhelming, and misunderstood and that’s hospice. So, today we are going to answer the question “What is Hospice?” We will be going through the most common questions that come up when discussing hospice that we feel will help in explaining better what hospice is and help dispel some of the myths and misconceptions that families sometime have.
Nov 8, 2020
Nutrition Tips for Seniors
Episode 26 - On this episode we are going to discuss a topic that everyone can relate to and that’s nutrition and hydration. This topic is especially important for seniors. The importance of eating healthy, drinking enough water, and living a healthy lifestyle isn’t something that is done periodically or on certain days, but everyday. This is especially true for seniors. The food that they eat has an impact on their bodies and can affect their quality of life and their longevity. The National Institute of Health reports that those who have a balanced diet in their Golden Years’ experience a reduced risk of developing high blood pressure, heart disease, osteoporosis, and even certain types of cancer and recent studies have even suggested that good eating habits can help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Nov 1, 2020
Fall Safety Tips
Episode 25 - The topic we are going to be discussing on this episode is one that is critically important to the safety of our loved ones and that’s Fall Safety. Having a Fall Safety plan is crucial in helping to prevent our aging and elderly loved ones from having a fall. Did you know that Falls are one of the leading causes of injuries in our older population and that every 20 minutes an older adult dies from a fall in the United States per the CDC, that is a grim statistic but it also shows how serious the risks are. For those that suffer an injury after having a Fall they are now at risk for what’s called post-fall syndrome. For too many of our seniors Post-fall syndrome can lead them to a dependance on others, a loss of their autonomy, confusion, depression, immobilization, and further restrictions on being able to perform their ADL’s.
Oct 22, 2020
5 Tips to Age in Place
Episode 24 - In a recent AARP study it showed that 76% of adults 50 years old and older preferred to stay in their homes as long as possible. Now, with more and more seniors deciding to stay in their homes and age in place it has become more important than ever to ensure that they can do so safely. We will be discussing 5 tips so that they can age in place safely on this episode of All Home Care Matters.
Sep 20, 2020
How to Prevent a Loved One with Dementia From Getting Lost
Episode 23 - If you have a loved one with dementia then this episode may be far too familiar to you. We are going to be discussing how to prevent your loved one from getting lost. This is a very real fear and reality for many families who have loved ones with dementia. It could be that your loved one wanders and when you’re not looking they go out the front door and start wandering down the street or maybe they wander at night and it’s hard to rest knowing that they may leave the house at some point during the night. If this sounds far too familiar with the situation that you are facing we hope that this episode will provide you with information and resources to help keep your loved one safe.
Sep 8, 2020
Activities for Seniors with Limited Mobility
Episode 22 - On this episode of All Home Care Matters we are going to be talking about safe and fun activities that a senior with limited mobility can enjoy doing. As our loved ones age their needs can increase and their physical abilities decrease. This is hard to watch and can lead to other issues for them as well like depression, loneliness, isolation, and a feeling of helplessness. We are going to share some safe and fun ways for them to stay active and engaged.
Sep 6, 2020
Episode 21 - On this episode of All Home Care Matters we are going to discuss a topic that is more common than not for families and that is long distance caregiving. Trying to maintain any relationship or obligation when you’re doing it from a long distance is challenging enough, but when you’re trying to care for a parent or a loved one long distance the challenges are even more difficult. If you’re living out of state or several hours away from a loved one who needs your care you may already know the challenges that you have to face or maybe you’re wondering what you can do to best help them and make sure they are cared for.
Sep 3, 2020
Adult Day Care Programs
Episode 20 - Today we wanted to take some time and talk about Adult Day Care Programs. If you aren’t familiar with what an Adult Day Care program is that’s ok. It is not always one of the first options that families are either told about or consider when looking for either respite care for themselves or as an option when their loved one may no longer able to be by themselves. They are also not that common depending on where you live. We are in Metro-Detroit and I know of 3-4 Adult day centers that are in the metro-Detroit area. These centers are a great resource for families and also their loved ones. However, as we mentioned there isn’t an overabundance of them available like nursing homes, home care providers, and assisted living facilities are. This is because certain types of adult day care programs only offer certain services and the services that each of the adult day care locations offer can vary widely and their criteria for who would be a good fit and qualify to use th…
Aug 31, 2020
Difficult Behaviors Associated with Dementia
Episode 19 - On this episode of All Home Care Matters we are going to discuss difficult behaviors that are associated with dementia. If you have a loved one who has been diagnosed with a form of dementia then you know that behaviors can change from day to day and hour by hour. There are no guaranteed proven methods or actions that can change these behaviors, but there are ways that are better for handling them than others. We are going to discuss and go through the most common and challenging behaviors that are associated with dementia and discuss effective ways for handling them.
Aug 27, 2020
Tips for Family Caregivers
Episode 18 - Today’s episode of All Home Care Matters is for the family caregiver. We are going to be discussing ten tips for you the family caregiver. Did you know that currently there are 65 million American’s caring for a loved one who is either disabled or in failing health? Of those 65 million caregivers two-thirds of them are women and according to AARP there is approximately 34.2 million American’s who are currently or have in the past provided unpaid care to someone over the age of 50 years old in the past 12 months. Maybe you are one those caregivers that have had to give up their job or maybe you’ve had to sacrifice something else so that you could be there and care for your loved one when they needed you. If you have, we appreciate and understand what you’re going through and hope that today’s episode helps you and your loved one.
Aug 23, 2020
Coping with Caregiver Burnout
Episode 17 - In this episode of All Home Care Matters we are going to discuss coping with caregiver burnout. If you have been caring for a loved one then you know that caring for a loved one is a full-time job. Whether you’re caring for a parent, spouse, child, or a loved one who is close to you that responsibility never leaves you and the job is never over. When you're a caring for a loved one it is a commitment unlike any other and you need to make sure that you're also caring for you and your health. If you’re caring for a loved one you’re not alone - There 65 million Americans (two-thirds are women) who are caring for a family member right now who are either disabled or in failing health. If you’re one of the 65 million caregivers you are probably aware that there are many wonderful moments and experiences helping to care for your loved one, but you are also probably aware that it has moments that make it one of the most challenging experiences you have ever faced and it…
Aug 20, 2020
Things Not To Say To Your Loved Ones Who Need Care
Episode 16 - As our loved ones age and enter into their senior years these are supposed to be the “Golden Years” and there are happy moments, memorable moments, milestones to celebrate, and fond memories to reminisce about. However, they can also be times of strife and difficulty. Our loved ones can be slowly losing their independence and be left feeling a lack of control for the first time in their lives and it can also be as difficult for their family, children, and loved ones as they watch and try helping with these changes. Most families aren’t prepared when the time comes and quite often they are left unsure how to approach the situation and talk with their loved ones about the issues they are facing. This is normal and understandable. Many times these situations come out of nowhere or they may see things that causes them concern. They may think mom or dad can handle it or maybe they see that dad is having difficulty walking unassisted and instead of talking to dad about i…
Aug 17, 2020
Talking to Your Parents about Care
Episode 15 - Our parents are our role models. They were there to help us learn how to ride a bicycle without the training wheels the first time and they were there to pick us up when we fell. Our parents are the ones who have helped to guide us through childhood and into adulthood. This is why having to talk with them about possibly needing help and needing care is so difficult. Suddenly, the roles are being reversed and most of us don’t know how to go about having this discussion. It feels like we are encroaching on their independence and their ability to recognize that they need some extra help on their own.
Aug 13, 2020
The Warning Signs of Dementia
Episode 14- On this episode of All Home Care Matters we are going to talk about the warning signs of dementia. A lot of times when we are talking with families or get emails about dementia we often times will hear something like “My mom didn’t have dementia, she had Alzheimer’s.” This is fairly common, and quite often families don’t realize that Alzheimer’s is part of dementia and falls under the dementia umbrella. This is because Alzheimers and other forms of dementia fall under the dementia umbrella and the reason families don’t realize this is because Alzheimer’s happens to be by far the most common form of dementia, but there are several others. Let’s take a moment and talk about the dementia umbrella and the various forms and types of dementia that there are: First, as we mentioned is Alzheimer’s which accounts for between 50-70% Then, vascular which accounts for the second most at 20-30% Next is Lewy body at 10-25% And finally, frontotemporal which is the…
Aug 8, 2020
The Five Wishes (Living Will)
Episode 13 - A living will is something that is sometimes forgotten about and avoided because it reminds us of our vulnerability as humans and it can be uncomfortable to talk about. Five Wishes makes it a little easier to decided what we want done for us in the event we are unable to speak for ourselves and it makes it a little easier to talk about. Some of you may already be familiar with Five Wishes, but if you aren't or want to learn more about Five Wishes we are going to go through and discuss all the wishes and explain what they are in this episode.
Aug 6, 2020
The Keys to Self-Care
Episode 12 - Have you ever talked with a friend who is caring for a spouse or maybe a parent and they say they feel like they're the ones who need care? Maybe they share how they're exhausted or how they miss their weekly visit to the salon, but can't go since they started caring for their mom or dad? Does this sound familiar because you're going through this yourself right now? Making time for yourself and practicing good self-care usually is an after-thought when you care for a parent or a spouse. You’re not in the minority, let’s take a look at some research and statistics….if you’re caring for a spouse between the ages of 66 and 96 and you are experiencing mental or emotional strain you have a risk of dying that is 63% higher than that of people your own age who are not caring for a spouse. The combination of loss, long durations of stress, physical demands, and the biological vulnerabilities that come with age place you at risk for serious and significant health issues a…
Aug 3, 2020
When Mom and Dad Need Care (Family Discord)
Episode 11 - On this episode of All Home Care Matters we are going to talk about diffusing family conflict when mom and dad need care. If you have siblings this may be something that you are familiar with. Hopefully, you have a great support system with your siblings and this hasn’t been an issue but for many families once mom and dad’s health starts to decline it can lead to conflict and real difficulties when siblings start needing to make decisions and sometimes they don’t all agree. All too often it seems that while mom and dad are healthy and able to make decisions for themselves things tend to operate smoothly, but once the children start becoming more and more needed often this can lead to power struggles or one of the siblings feeling hurt or left out when they weren’t made the decision maker or the power of attorney. We know of a situation where the oldest son in a family of 4 was designated the power of attorney over his parents years earlier only to find out that…
Aug 1, 2020
The Sandwich Generation
Episode 10 - Are you part of the “Sandwich Generation”? No, we’re not talking about a generation of people that like to eat sandwiches, it’s a newer growing group of individuals that are facing sometimes insurmountable challenges. This group is tasked with not only raising their own children but also providing care for their elderly parents at the same time. Maybe you currently have children living at home they can be older or younger and you’re working full-time but maybe your mother or father or even both are starting to have some more and more health issues and needing your help just a little bit more and your children still need you’re help whether its laundry, making meals, or help getting to school or picking them up from work or financial help…regardless of their ages children will always need their mom or dads help…does this sound familiar? This is the sandwich and you’re in the middle. But you’re not alone….it’s a big sandwich.
Jul 31, 2020
The Pros and Cons of Hiring a Private Caregiver vs. Professional Company
Episode 9 - Let’s talk about the pros and cons of hiring private caregivers. If you have ever needed a caregiver either for yourself or for a loved one then you most likely either hired them directly or you chose to hire a local home care company. Either way hiring private caregivers on your own can be a full-time job and knowing the risks and responsibilities of hiring a private caregiver will help protect you.
Jul 22, 2020
What are ADL's (Activities of Daily Living) ?
Welcome to All Home Care Matters. If this is your first time visiting the show we would like to say thank you for taking time out of your day to spend some of it with us. We know and appreciate how valuable everyone’s time is and that is why we try and make each episode here at All Home Care Matters something that will hopefully matter to you…. On today’s episode we are going to talk about and discuss “What are ADL’s (Activities of Daily Living) ?” Some of you may already be familiar with the phrase ADL or ADL’s. The initials stand for Activity or Activities of Daily Living. But, what does that mean? The phrase or term ADL’s or Activities of Daily Living is used to describe the skills that are required to independently take care of yourself. This includes: Personal Hygiene – bathing/showering, grooming, nail care, and oral care. Eating – the ability to feed oneself, though not necessarily the capability to prepare food. Transferring and Mobility – being abl…
Jul 16, 2020
Senior Living Options
Episode 7 - Senior Living Options This is a topic that can be somewhat overwhelming and confusing for families and their loved ones when they start to explore possibly moving into one of the facilities and often have a pre-conceived notion about what they are and what they provide. There can be several reasons for an older adult or their family to begin exploring the option of senior living options and they can vary for some older adults they may decide it’s time to downsize at this stage in their live and the maintenance of their home just becomes too much and more difficult to keep up with, or maybe it’s for financial reasons or it could simply be they are looking for more socializing and activities. So it’s usually at this stage a family may begin looking at if senior living is the right choice for them and their loved ones needs.
Jun 6, 2020
Home Safety for your Loved Ones
Episode 6 - Home Safety for your loved ones If you have ever been concerned for a loved ones safety after visiting them or after the first time they may have fallen in their home then you know how important it is to make sure that their home is as safe as it can be for them. We are going to discuss some of the ways that you can fairly easily make some changes and modifications to help keep them safe as they age in place in their home. The U.S. Centers for Disease and Prevention has some pretty staggering numbers that brings this issue of home safety to light for our seniors. * 1 out of every 3 seniors falls each year * every 11 seconds an older adult is treated for a fall in the emergency room * every 19 minutes an older adult dies from a fall. The source for these statistics is the CDC and agesafeamerica.com
May 30, 2020
The Importance of Caregiver Support Groups
Episode 5 - The Importance of Caregiver Support Groups Today we wanted to take some time and talk about Caregiver Support Groups. We will discuss what they are and how families can benefit from them. Some of you may have attended a Caregiver Support Group before and may be familiar with some of the benefits they offer. However, quite often when families are just starting to care for a loved one they aren’t readily aware of Caregiver Support Groups. This is typically more common than not. Especially, when you first find yourself caring for a loved one there are so many other needs, arrangements, appointments, and things that you may be the only one responsible for taking care of that and thinking about yourself or anything unrelated to the direct needs of your loved one can be found most of the time further down your to-do list and that is absolutely fine. Here are some facts and statistics to consider from the Family Caregiver Alliance: * Only 30% of caregivers provide care to…
May 23, 2020
A Family Member's Perspective
Episode 4 Note: On episode 4 of All Home Care Matters we welcome a special guest, Michelle. The unique experiences that Michelle shares with us is something all families can benefit from. Michelle had several family members who all experienced different forms of long-term care and levels of care. Through this journey with her family members she is able to share some of the things she learned along the way as well as what she and her family wished they would have known then what they know now.
May 21, 2020
Home Care vs. Home Health Care
Episode 3 Notes: A topic that most people are not very familiar with is what’s the difference between home care and home health care? There could be some of you right now that may not realize there is any difference. We find often that these two words are used interchangeably and even by professionals in the health care field. In this episode we are going to examine and talk about what exactly the difference is. This will help differentiate the often times confusing use of the words home care and home health care and help you to better understand the differences and to know what they do and don’t provide and yes, they complement each other in the services they offer and can coexist but you do not need to use one in order to use the other. Many families receive help with one of these services while not needing the other.
May 17, 2020
What is Home Care?
Episode 2 - What is Home Care? On Episode 2 of All Home Care Matters we discuss a question that often times seems fairly simple, but when answered often times people realize they didn't understand it completely and that question is What is Home Care?
May 14, 2020
Introduction to All Home Care Matters
Welcome to All Home Care Matters an exciting and informative new podcast that will discuss all things home care with guests, resources, and important topics on dementia and long-term care issues.