is the keto diet for seniors safe?

Senior Health: Is the Keto Diet Safe for Seniors?

You’ve probably heard all about the latest fad diet, the keto diet. Everyone has been cutting carbs and sugar out of their diet left and right! Many are successful in losing a little (and sometimes a lot of) weight, so maybe you’ve been considering giving it a try, too. As an older adult, you also might be wondering if the keto diet for seniors is a safe choice. Home Care Assistance is going to help you make the decision!

What is Keto?

Before you start, you’ll need to know what exactly keto is. Essentially, the ketogenic diet is low-carb and high-fat intake to put your body into ketosis. Ketosis is a process wherein your body doesn’t have enough carbs to burn for energy, so instead, it focuses on burning fat. This causes your body to make substances called ketones, which your body then uses to fuel itself.

To put things into numbers, here’s the nutritional breakdown of the keto diet for seniors: you generally get 70 to 80 percent of your total daily calories from fat, 10 to 20 percent from protein, and five to 10 percent from carbohydrates. Since your goal will be to hit these percentages each day, this diet involves plenty of measuring food and tracking your daily diet to ensure you’re doing things right.

Now for the big question…

Is the Keto Diet for Seniors Safe?

It’s safe to say our health goals and needs range widely from person to person. Therefore, it’s best to follow the suggestions below before you begin any diet, especially if you’re a senior in home care.

Start by asking yourself if you are currently in good health. This is an important question since you’re going to be cutting out some major food groups. Making sure you’re fairly healthy going into the keto diet is crucial. This diet is not recommended for seniors with eating disorders or uncontrolled diabetes. The keto diet for seniors can be helpful for those looking to control their blood sugar or receive more of certain nutrients, like fats, iron, and B12.

Still, the best thing you can do before you begin the keto diet is to talk to your doctor. This is especially important if you suffer from a chronic illness or are taking any medications. Your doctor will help you decide if the keto diet is right for you by assessing your overall health and conditions.

If you would like more information on senior home care or diet tips for seniors, please call Home Care Assistance to schedule your consultation!

long-distance senior care

Going the Distance: How to Care for a Senior Parent Who Lives Far Away

One of the only things more challenging than caring for your senior parents is caring for your senior parents who live far away from you. Long distances present their own unique set of obstacles!

Thankfully, Home Care Assistance is going to help you handle the logistics of long-distance senior care. Take a look at our advice below and get started helping your elderly parents from a distance.

Assess the situation and know your options.

In order to provide the best care possible for your long-distance senior parents, start by assessing their situation. What is their state of health? What’s their living situation like? You may even need to gather some of this information from their current physicians, or they may have a caregiver who can give you frequent updates. Another good idea is to get the whole family together and outline who is going to be responsible for what. As an example, if you have a sibling who lives nearby the parents, they may be tasked with checking in on them on a daily or weekly basis.

Get organized and automated.

The next step is to go ahead and automate as many of your parent’s affairs as possible – start with items like automated bill pay, and auto-renewal services for newspapers, prescriptions refills, and grocery deliveries.

Think of this as if you are running a second household! Most importantly, think about what tasks YOU would want to be automated for yourself if you sometimes forgot about them or were unable to handle them.

Keep in touch.

Although it may seem obvious, we highly encourage you to try and visit your parents in person as much as you can. This is the best way for you to physically assess their well-being, check for anything else they may need, and to spend time with them. If you have nearby friends or family, and you are unable to visit your parents as much as you would like, consider encouraging some of these people to visit your parents in your absence.

If neither of the above is a good option for you, don’t worry! Technology these days is very advanced and useful for keeping in touch long-distance. If your parents are on the tech-savvy side, make sure they have the ability to stay social with you through phone calls, video chats, text messages, or email. For the parents who don’t have a great grasp on technology, ask their caregiver to share their logs and plans with you online on a daily basis, or see if they can help your senior make a video call to you.

If you need help developing a senior care plan for your senior parents, Home Care Assistance is ready to help you! Give us a call to schedule your consultation and learn about your long-distance senior care options.

senior care socialization

Connecting Generations: How Young People are Helping Older Adults Stay Social

It’s no secret that some of the younger generations, like iGen, Generations Z and X, and Millennials all seem to have the upper hand when it comes to using technology. Older adults, however, can often get left behind on their understanding of technological advancements. That’s where these younger generations come in! Those with parents or grandparents in senior care can teach them how they can stay social, too.

You can start by showing your senior the value of technology. Demonstrate how easy it is to video call a family member you haven’t spoken to in a while, or to reply to an important in email in under 10 minutes! These demonstrations will help them understand and appreciate the value of technology.

Your senior can make better use of technology when you help them understand the language. Most older adults in a senior care program probably do not know the terms and phrases associated with Facebook or Instagram, so using them won’t be helpful. Instead, break things down into an easy language that they can understand and use analogies they will be familiar with.

Don’t rush your teachings, just take it slow. Just because you can send a text in 10 seconds doesn’t mean your senior will be able to! Go through the motions slowly and repeat the steps several times so your senior can get the hang of it.

If you have a senior who is a bit forgetful, try writing things down for them. List the steps into simple instructions that your senior can read and perform themselves when you are not around to help them open the Facebook app or browse the internet.

We know it can be a bit frustrating to teach a user of technology who is not as advanced as you are, but it is best to just be patient with your senior. Having patience will help them learn to use technology at their own pace, and it is a nice gesture that tells them how much you love and care for them.

Your senior won’t always remember what you teach them on the first go around, so try and stay consistent. It may take more than one explanation or demonstration for them to get a good grasp on just what it is they are doing, so just keep with it!

Would you like further advice on connecting socially with your senior, or you would like to develop a customized senior care plan for them? If so, call Home Care Assistance! We are ready to talk with you and schedule your consultation.

Five Legal Documents You Need for Your Parent in Senior Care

If you have a parent in senior care, you are preparing to enroll a parent in senior care services, then it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with several legal documents as part of your preparation. The legal documents we have outlined below are essential for anyone with a parent in senior care.

Advanced Directive

This is one of the most important items for your senior to have in order. Advanced directives are a collection of documents detailing specific instructions and preferences your senior has stated regarding medical treatments and comfort during their end of life care. Advanced directives are particularly important to establish in the event that your senior is unable to communicate later in life.

Living Will

Living wills are a specific and prominent part of an advanced directive. This is the document that outlines your senior’s wishes for their end of life care. A living will also serve to inform physicians and healthcare providers about your senior’s wishes if they are being carried out by a healthcare proxy (view more information about healthcare proxies below).

DNR & DNI

DNRs (Do Not Resuscitate) and DNIs (Do Not Intubate) are sensitive topics, but they are two incredibly important documents. They define your senior’s preferences in regard to resuscitation and intubation, which are both used to save and maintain life. A DNR order states that your senior does not want CPR, chest compressions, or the use of a defibrillator to keep them alive. A DNI order states that your senior does not want a breathing tube inserted to keep them alive.

Power of Attorney

Your senior can put two types of power of attorney in place: durable and healthcare/healthcare proxy. First, a durable power of attorney allows another person the legal right to oversee all matters on behalf of another person, including matters related to real estate, finance, banking, government benefits, and medical. Second, your senior can appoint a healthcare power of attorney, or a healthcare proxy, to make sure their end of life care wishes are honored if they cannot speak for themselves.

Will and/or Trust

These are two different legal documents that pertain to the disposition of property and possessions. To establish a will or a trust, we recommend that your senior consult with an attorney.

If you would like further help understanding these documents or enrolling your senior into senior care services, please call Home Care Assistance to schedule your consultation!

end of life care discussions in carmel, in

How to Plan for End of Life Care

Talking about how to plan for end of life care can be very difficult – we understand. But doing so will help give peace of mind, not only to you, but to your senior and family too. Even though this is a sensitive topic, talking with your senior to plan out end of life care options is the best way to honor your senior’s wishes when and if a time comes when they are no longer able to communicate their wants and needs. To ensure your senior’s satisfaction and dignity, end of life care planning is an important step to take.

Talk About It

One of the best things you can do to start end of life care planning is to just begin talking about it with your senior. This can be hard sometimes because we naturally do not want to think about death or dying. Yet having these discussions now will help eliminate any issues later on if your senior cannot speak for themselves. If and when this time does approach, you and your family can focus on spending quality time with your senior rather than having the burden of planning weighing you down.

Put Everything in Writing

Having an advanced directive and living will can help to make the difficult healthcare choices that can come with end of life care. Advanced directives give healthcare providers the details regarding the care your senior wants, if they are unable to convey what they want at this time. A living will is just one part of an advanced directive, and it will help define your senior’s wishes about medical treatment and what should or should not be done. Have this conversation with your senior. It will allow them to express their wishes now, which will greatly improve the quality of their end of life care. It is best to consult with a lawyer when setting up an advanced directive.

Don’t Wait

It is easy to put off the task of end of life care planning because we don’t like to think about death, and sometimes we may feel we are immune. Research even says that 54% of seniors in North America delay planning because they feel they are in good health, and another 48% say they simply trust their family members to handle their arrangements. But don’t wait too long to start planning. By having this conversation now, both family members and caregivers (for seniors who receive in home care) will be able to organize end of life care more effectively.

We understand that end of life care is hard to talk about. If Home Care Assistance can help you or your family in any way, please call us for a consultation.

Home Care for Disabled Seniors

Home Care Options for Seniors with Disabilities

It is no surprise that the aging process brings on new challenges later in life. But being a senior with a disability presents challenges on a whole other level.

Did you know?

25% of senior Americans ages 65 – 74 live with a disability. Home Care Assistance wants to tell you about home care solutions that may be good options to help your senior with a disability.

It first helps to learn about the various types of disabilities many seniors face daily.

Types of Disabilities

Physical: The most common type of disability seniors deal with involve limits on their mobility. That means that home care options become increasingly important.

Intellectual: Intellectual disabilities affect seniors’ abilities to communicate, learn, and retain information.

Sensory: Sensory disabilities affect seniors’ senses, such as hearing loss or blindness.

Mental: Seniors with mental illnesses and disabilities may experience changes in their behavior, emotional state, and overall thinking.

 Home Care Options

Although it can be difficult to watch your senior struggle with a disability, there are home care options that can help them thrive and live their best life. We can break these options down into two different categories: basic needs and advanced needs.

Basic Needs

Tasks like grocery shopping, housekeeping, cooking meals, bathing, taking medications, and transportation to doctor’s appointments all fall under assistance with basic needs.

Advanced Needs

If your senior requires advanced needs, that might mean assistance with any one of the following: Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, stroke aftercare, hospice services, or recovery after a hospital stay.

Depending on your senior, they may require basic needs, advanced needs, or both. Regardless, Home Care Assistance is here to help your senior and the entire family. We offer flexibility by providing these services on an hourly basis that fits your senior’s schedule, or around-the-clock.

If you’re ready to discuss a customized care plan that’s right for your senior, please call Home Care Assistance to schedule your consultation.

senior care tax deductions

Senior Care Tax Deductions: Understanding New Tax Benefits for Senior Care

Do you and your family currently have a senior receiving senior care services? Will you be soon?

If so, it’s going to be important to learn how home care tax deductions work to your family’s benefit!

Before we begin, we want to mention that Home Care Assistance does not officially offer tax advice. We recommend that you seek the help of a professional.

Now, let’s get started learning about how this works.

The first thing to know is that the IRS allows family caregivers to claim individuals related by blood, marriage, or adoption. They even allow them to claim friends as dependents. Both parties are required to meet the IRS requirements. Once they do, the caregiver can then claim the dependent and the credit for other dependents on their federal tax return.

In order to provide proof of a dependent, it is crucial to keep detailed of all expenses associated with caring for your senior. Sometimes, a detailed log is required to show that the dependent lived with you for at least six months. This log will include keeping track of all receipts and noting all related expenses. Maintaining the log will ensure that you don’t miss any potential deductions as well, and it will be added to your documentation if you should ever be audited.

For single or married taxpayers that do not live with their spouse during the second half of the year, adding a dependent who is related to you and lives with you will change your filing status to “head of household”. This change in status will mean your standard deduction will increase.

It’s also important to understand the special rule for parents. You can claim your parent as a dependent and receive the head of household status even though he or she does not live with you. Any other relatives must live with you for a minimum of six months to receive the head of household status.

Furthermore, deductions can be made for any expenses paid to cover your loved one’s medical costs that are not reimbursable. When filing your yearly taxes, we suggest having a professional prepare or review your tax return before finalizing the details.

Read below to learn some of the allowable deductions:

  • Copays and deductibles
  • Acceptable therapies not covered by insurance
  • Eyeglasses
  • Physical therapy
  • Bandages
  • Hearing aids
  • Assisted living charges for medical reasons
  • Prescribed medicines and equipment
  • Insulin
  • Transportation to appointments or services
  • In-home health care worker, if you are working
  • Activities for older people with special needs
  • Home and vehicle modifications needed for safety or mobility

We understand that caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming. However, understanding all of the available benefits and tax breaks will help ease some of the financial burdens families often incur. If Home Care Assistance can be of further help, please give us a call.

senior care transportation

Transportation Alternatives for Seniors

As we get older, the way that we get around is subject to change at any given time. That includes how we get our grocery shopping done, run our errands, and even get the mail from the end of the driveway. All of these simple tasks can become much more difficult as we age, but that doesn’t mean we should have to struggle as senior citizens! Instead, we look to several alternatives to transportation for our seniors in senior care.

Before we get to our different options, let’s learn why some seniors may need to consider alternative transportation options.

Decreased Mobility – Whether it is due to injury, illness, or just old age, many seniors can often experience a lack of mobility as they age, which can be a reason for them to no longer transport themselves.

Deteriorating Eyesight – If your senior is suffering from impaired vision, this will greatly impede their ability to drive completely. We recommend that they always seek alternative transportation in this case.

Chronic Illnesses – Seniors struggling with debilitating diseases, such as heart disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia, and Parkinson’s Disease are likely unable to drive and transport themselves given their various symptoms.

Short Distances

Due to some of the reasons listed above, your loved one in senior care may just not feel comfortable – or be able to – rely on or navigate public transportation anymore. Rather than that, we suggest having their caregiver or a family member help transport them for short distances to achieve basic tasks like picking up medication or going to a doctor’s appointment.

Or, if your senior is immobile or does not want to leave their home, a family member or caregiver can handle the task at hand for them if it does not require your senior to be present.

Long Distances

It can be more of a challenge to help your senior travel longer distances. You may encounter obstacles like not having a caregiver or a family member willing to drive long distances or the fact that the cost of traveling for longer times is more expensive. To overcome these, it can be worth your while to join a transportation network that is specific for seniors. Transportation networks are often created to serve a certain region or city and will help your senior to find the transportation required to travel long distances.

Are you thinking about enrolling your senior into senior care services? We would love to help you discover your options! Please call Home Care Assistance to schedule your consultation today.

in home care in carmel, in

Connecting With Your In Home Care Provider

If you have a parent or grandparent receiving in home care, they more than likely have a caregiver that you’re frequently interacting with. But sometimes, it can be hard to connect with that person. Home Care Assistance has come up with 3 solid ways for you to help build a positive connection with your caregiver!

Take a look below to begin working towards a great relationship with your caregiver:

Make Sure They Are the Right Fit

The first and most important step towards having a good relationship with your caregiver is choosing the right one for your senior’s in home care. If you do not feel a connection with the caregiver or think they will be a good fit for you and your family, it may be best to choose another and move on. To help choose the right caregiver, be sure to share items like your senior’s history, medical background, and likes and dislikes with them.

Start a Conversation

Communication is key! You should begin communicating with your senior’s caregiver often and early on in the relationship. Clear and frequent communication will not only help to establish your caregiver’s expectations of their in home care duties, but it will also help to build trust and avoid misunderstandings. When a caregiver knows what’s expected of them, they are more likely to have a positive experience working with you and your family.

But, Be Respectful of Their Privacy

Even though good communication is valued, you should still be respectful of their privacy and person life. While it may feel natural to be curious about their personal life, you do not want to pry and ask questions that may overstep professional boundaries and make them feel uncomfortable around you or your senior. Doing so will also help them respect your private life. Instead of asking the caregiver about their personal life, here are several conversation topics that do not cross the line instead:

  • Why did the caregiver choose this profession?
  • Where is the caregiver from?
  • What are the caregiver’s hobbies?
  • What kind of food, books, or movies does the caregiver enjoy?

If you are looking for personalized in home care services for your senior, please schedule your consultation with Home Care Assistance by giving us a call today!

senior care

Three Ways to Better Connect With a Loved One in Senior Care

Looking for different ways to connect better with your loved one in senior care? Home Care Assistance has come up with 3 powerful and effective ways for you to improve your bond and relationship with your senior. Take a look below.

Social Activities

A great way to connect with your loved one in senior care is to get involved in activities with them! Social activities can range from sports like water aerobics to board games like chess (which are also mentally stimulating). But, the most important aspect of getting social with your senior is that it can help improve both their emotional and physical health.

Emotional Health: Whether it’s with family or other seniors in senior care, having frequent interaction with others will positively impact your senior’s mood. Doing so can help prevent depression.

Physical Health: Being involved in physical activities will help to boost your senior’s overall physical health – Physical activities increase their strength, work up an appetite, and help them get plentiful sleep.

Using Technology

Technology will work to keep you and your senior connected – Even when you can’t be there physically with them.

Tablets: These are a great option for seniors! They are easy to use and can be very helpful. Tablets are perfect for simple things like browsing the internet, viewing family photos, making video calls, setting medication reminders, and generally keeping in touch.

Simple Computers: Another option to consider is an all-in-one computer that your senior can use easily. These are special applications that help make using email, video chats, and the internet a breeze!

Talking and Visiting

Last but not least, you can connect with your senior just by spending time with them and being in their company.

Share Memories: Look back on your favorite moments with your senior – It’s a great way to bond and it also help to stimulate their memory! This is a simple activity that reminds them of many good times with family and friends while also engaging their mind.

Ask for Advice: Asking your senior for advice reminds them that their thoughts and opinions are valued. This helps to relay the love and respect you feel for your senior!

To learn about our customized senior care options for you and your senior, call Home Care Assistance today to set up a consultation!