Google Review – Joani

We refer elder clients and their families to Home Care Assistance often and always get excellent feedback about the level of care and service they receive. We trust them enough to refer our clients and that’s of great value to us!

senior care accessibility blog post

Ways to Make Your Home More Accessible for an Elderly Loved One

Not much matters more than comfort when it comes to providing senior care for an elderly loved one. It can be a challenge to make your house as comfortable as possible if you care for your senior in your own home. While your house might be perfect for you and your family, it can potentially present obstacles for your seniors. But don’t worry! There are several home improvements you can implement around your home that can make it safer and more accessible, all for your senior’s comfort.

The Exterior

Starting outside the home, you can install a no-step entryway! This means there is no step(s) to enter the house from the sidewalk to the driveway to the front door. Entering and leaving becomes much easier for seniors who are in a wheelchair or who have difficulty with mobility.

The Bathroom

The bathroom is a space that should be comfy for your seniors, especially since a significant amount of time is spent there. Start by adding handles and grab bars in both the shower and the toilet. These can help keep your senior safe when they lower or raise themselves. Likewise, installing an elevated toilet is a great option making it easier for your senior to get up, and a roll-in shower is more effective to get in and out of safely. For showers with plenty of room, a chair can be added for seniors who have trouble standing.

The Bedroom

Another room in the house that should be kept comfortable is the bedroom, where plenty of time is spent. Be sure to leave extra room in the bedroom for easy maneuverability. In the closet, add shelving units that can be easily reached. Switch out the traditional flip switches for roller light switches instead – they are much easier to use for your senior!

The Kitchen

Your kitchen can be made more senior care-friendly with a few adjustments, including installing lower cooking surfaces and countertops of varying heights. Both of these improvements help ease back pain, especially for seniors who love to cook. You can also consider mounting microwaves at a reachable height.

If you would like further advice on how to make your home senior-safe, Home Care Assistance is standing by ready to help! Please give our experts a call today and schedule your consultation.

Elder Justice: What Congress is Doing to Protect Seniors Right Now

The sad truth is that senior citizens are increasingly taken advantage of through scams and varying methods of abuse. They are among the most vulnerable in our society. Throughout the past decade, elder abuse, neglect, and scams have triggered national attention and the need for greater legal action and protection from Congress.

But what exactly is the concept of elder justice, and what is Congress doing about it? We’re discussing all of this below.

What is Elder Justice?

Elder justice is a holistic approach to the prevention and handling of elder abuse, neglect, financial exploitation, and maltreatment of older adults. Each of these are issues that continue to grow; more and more seniors are targeted every year, and therefore, the demand for justice for elders is also growing. One response for elder justice included the establishment of the Elder Justice Coalition to create public awareness, influence legislation for elder justice, and build support for the Elder Justice Act.

What’s Happening in Congress?

Promoting Alzheimer’s Awareness to Prevent Elder Abuse Act – This act, alongside the Protecting Seniors from Emergency Scams Act would take critical steps towards decreasing scams against seniors through educational material, training programs, and data collection. Both of these acts have been recently introduced to the Senate.

Stop Senior Scams Act – Similarly, this bipartisan bill that was recently passed in the Senate is aimed to prevent senior scams through the establishment of an advisory board. The board would be tasked with providing education about elder financial exploitation to retail and financial employees. The bill is now up for consideration by the House.

Senior Abuse Training and Offense Protection (STOP) Act – The STOP Act would increase efforts and activities to identify, prevent, and eliminate elder abuse through a grant program awarded by the Department of Justice. The bill is currently pending in the House.

Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act – This act is now being considered by the House and would authorize $500 million to allow states to create “strike teams.” These teams would assist nursing homes and provide incentives for the facilities to develop specialized COVID-19 units.

Please feel free to reach out to our Home Care Assistance experts for more information on elder abuse and how you can best protect your senior.

How to Help Your Senior Manage Their Allergies This Season

Summer is officially here, and you know what that means… Pollen is outside in full force! This is the time of the year when those who have allergies are often suffering and trying to find relief. If your senior is one of those people, we know the struggle. That’s why we’re discussing several options to help minimize your senior’s allergies this season! Let’s take a look at some of our favorite tips and tricks below.

Go to the Drugstore

Allergy symptoms can typically be relieved or cleared with a simple OTC medication you can find in a drugstore. If your senior has a stuffy nose, they could try a decongestant. Or, if they’re sneezing, sniffling, or have a scratchy throat, they can try an antihistamine instead. Be sure to check with their doctor or caregiver first to make sure these OTC medications are okay for them to take.

Bonus Tip: Saltwater can be helpful if your senior prefers not to take an OTC medication! Allergens can be cleared out from the nasal membranes with a saline rinse. If your senior’s throat is bothering them, they can even try to gargle a bit of saltwater for relief!

Stay In and Keep Windows Closed

Seniors who typically head outdoors for a daily stroll or exercise should instead be encouraged to try an indoor workout. The same is try for seniors who like to keep the windows open for fresh air. During this season, it’s better to keep the windows closed to minimize allergies. Have your senior check the pollen counts each morning so they know when they should completely avoid the outdoors.

Wear a Mask Outside

If your senior has to go outside for chores or to run errands or to take a walk, encourage them to wear an N95 ask if the pollen count is high. An N95 mask will help to reduce their exposure to pollen particles by up to 95%!

Determine if It’s Really Allergies

Finally, you’ll want to be sure that your senior is in fact suffering from allergies and not something else. During the COVID-19 pandemic, no symptom should be discredited. Call your senior’s doctor if they’re experiencing an of the following symptoms: shortness of breath, fever or chills, a cough, fatigue, body ache, headache, loss of smell or taste, sore throat or congestion, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.

For further guidance to help manage your senior loved one’s allergies, please feel free to reach out and contact our experts here at Home Care Assistance! We are here and ready to help.

Why Older Adults are Higher Risk from Coronavirus

We have learned quite a bit about how Coronavirus affects us as the pandemic continues on, and who is most at-risk of catching the illness. Older adults are unfortunately categorized as a group that is more at-risk than younger people, for several reasons. But what exactly makes seniors more susceptible to the virus? We’re discussing that below along with what they can do to keep themselves safe.

Why Are Older Adults More at Risk?

Senior citizens are in fact twice as likely to contract Coronavirus, so it’s especially important they remain safe. As we age, our immune systems grow weaker and begin to deteriorate. The weaker an immune system is, the less it can fight off any infections or diseases like it used to. The safe is true for recover and repair – if a senior catches Coronavirus, they may not be able to recover as well as someone younger. Lungs also begin to lose elasticity and resiliency as a result of aging, and seniors can become particularly at-risk of suffering form inadequate respiratory function. Coronavirus is now well known for making breathing more difficult.

How Can Older Adults Protect Themselves?

Limit Visitations

How often do you visit with your senior loved one? If you visit more than once a week, we, unfortunately, recommend that you scale back on your visitations. Instead, try to limit your visits to only once a week, and when you can, use video calls or phone calls instead. They’re the next best thing if you cannot physically be with your senior! Limitations should also include trips to doctors’ offices. Unless it is absolutely medically necessary, your senior should reschedule their appointments. If you are unsure if they should be seen, just give their doctor a call.

Follow Guidelines

Listen to the experts and follow the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) protocols. The CDC advises frequent handwashing, which involves rubbing the hands together vigorously with an alcohol-based soap for at least 20 seconds. Additionally, seniors should consistently use disinfectants on countertops and doorknobs – frequently touched surfaces. If your senior needs to head out in public places or is visiting with family, the CDC encourages everyone to wear a mask.

Have Supplies

The last thing you want to happen while your senior is quarantining at home is for them to run out of supplies! You should make sure they are stocked on household necessities, like soap, disinfectants, and toilet paper. This should also include a plentiful stock of any of their regular medications and food for meal preparation. Be sure to check in often to help them replenish their supplies if they are getting low!

For further advice and information to keep your older adult safe during the Coronavirus pandemic, please contact our experts at Home Care Assistance and schedule your consultation.

Three Ways for Seniors to Stay Mentally Fit at Home

There are numerous benefits of staying physically active and in shape, and we hear about the importance of fitting in daily activity all the time. But did you know that keeping your mind mentally fit is every bit as crucial? This is especially true for seniors in home care!

Good senior health is attributed to a functional and healthy mind. So, if you want your senior to give their brain a great workout, we have plenty of ideas for you! Below, you’ll find some of our favorite ways to strengthen your loved one’s mind.

Word and Number Puzzles and Games

It’s all fun and games! You know, the really popular games, like sudoku, word searches, and crossword puzzles! These games help your senior give their brain workout that’s all about critical thinking. Word games are an effective way to improve your senior’s vocabulary and increase their concentration. Mathematic games exercise the mental muscles and aid senior health by testing out numeric abilities and memory.

Drawing and Music

After some critical thinking, your senior can move on to exercising the creative parts of their brain. Seniors should be encouraged to explore the arts, like painting, drawing, and crafting! Perhaps they can sketch a tropical beach or build a home out of popsicle sticks to help them act on their creative impulses. Similarly, music makes a positive impact on senior health. Turning up the volume to some songs is proven to enhance a senior’s mood, produce more positive emotions, and increase both interest levels and communication.

Meditations

Your senior loved one should also consider taking some time every once in a while a to open their mind and let it relax. Meditating is an excellent way to improve senior health and can help prevent feelings of nervousness and depression while warding off stress. Recentering the mind and inner self can help your senior work through any strong thoughts and feelings they may have. If your senior would like to learn how to meditate, a guided meditation is a great place to start! Visit this link for plenty of soothing guided meditations.

Do you need additional information to improve your loved one’s senior health while they remain in their own home? Reach out to our experts at Home Care Assistance and schedule a consultation!

At-Home Tours for Your Senior Loved One

We’re all doing our best to stay occupied while quarantining and practicing social distancing during this new age of COVID-19. As a result, businesses and organizations everywhere have been inventive to offer their services and experiences in a virtual way.

 

Tours are one of the experiences that are leading the way in popularity! You can now take a tour of a national park, an art museum, or a brewery – the perfect stay-at-home activity! Especially for senior citizens in elderly care.

 

Read below for our list of 5 virtual tours that your senior loved one will enjoy!

 

MoMA, The Museum of Modern Art

If you love art and you love the modern era, then you NEED to take a virtual tour of The Modern Museum of Art! Located in Manhattan, this museum was the first of its kind to showcase contemporary and modern art. MoMA offers paintings, film, sculpture, design, and more! You can virtually view the collections here: https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/moma-the-museum-of-modern-art?hl=en

 

National Parks

For nature lovers, there is no better tour than that of a national park! The National Park Service has made it so anyone can visit ANY of the national parks right on their phone or computer. You can even browse around tour historical sites in the parks. https://www.nationalparks.org/connect/blog/take-virtual-visit-national-park

 

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium isn’t offering your average virtual tour… Instead, they’re giving us all TEN live streams! Watch in real-time and enjoy the aquatic wonders! Hang out with otters, jellyfish, stingrays, and so many other sea creatures. Access the live streams now here: https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animals/live-cams

 

San Diego Zoo

As if sea creatures aren’t enough, you can also check in with other animals too at the San Diego Zoo! With tons of different live stream cameras, you can watch pandas, polar bears, penguins, and so much more in their habitats at the zoo. Watch the animals live here: https://zoo.sandiegozoo.org/live-cams

 

Stonehenge

Have you always wanted to see the world’s many wonders? This is a great way to do it! Especially for Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England. Check out these tall-standing stones – each is around 13 feet high and weighs 25 tons! https://artsandculture.google.com/entity/stonehenge/m06wfg?categoryid=place

 

Would you like more information about quarantine activities? Call our experts here at Home Care Assistance today! We’re here for you and ready to help.

Five Tips to Improve Sleep for Older Adults

The benefits of a good night’s rest become increasingly important as we age. Sleep is an important factor so that we do not struggle with insomnia, waking up tired all the time, or disturbed sleep. Restful sleep determines seniors’ emotional and physical health as well, and it works to repair the body and improve concentration and memory. Take our 5 helpful tips below to improve your quality of sleep!

Stay Active During the Day

When you exercise during the day, you get better sleep at night. Getting in daily exercise helps our body release chemicals that allow us to sleep better. Even if you can get in just 30 minutes of exercise each day, that can help you get a more restful sleep.

Set a Bedtime Routine

Get better sleep by setting a bedtime routine! Try practicing relaxing routines like taking a bath before bed, meditating, or listening to music. It’s also helpful if you try and go to sleep around the same time every day, even on the weekends.

Go to Bed Earlier

Getting enough sleep could all come down to one simple solution… You should be going to bed earlier. If you set your bedtime just an hour or two earlier, it can make a huge difference and you could be getting a better night’s sleep.

Minimize Distraction in the Bedroom

A few key factors in getting a better night’s rest is to make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool. Avoid using items like your TV, tablet, e-readers, cell phone, or computer in your bedroom. This way your brain will associate the bedroom with just sleep and relaxation.

Limit Items Before Going to Sleep

It’s important not to consume any of the following before you head off to bed. No caffeine when it’s later in the day or close to your bedtime…it will keep you awake at night. Try limiting the amount of liquids in general so you’re not waking up several times for bathroom breaks. Avoid eating big meals and lots of sugar before you go to sleep They can cause indigestion and wakefulness.

For more advice on how to get a better night’s rest, Home Care Assistance is ready to help! Call our experts here today for further guidance and to learn about our senior care programs.

Social Distancing for Seniors: Teaching Your Senior How to Use Skype

With the coronavirus taking its place in society right now, we’re drastically changing the way we communicate every day with our family, friends, and co-workers. We’re depending even more heavily on technology like texting, phone calls, and video chats so that we can speak with or see our loved ones at any time. This is particularly important to stay in touch with our senior citizens, who are most at risk of catching coronavirus. To best keep in touch with your senior during these historic times, consider teaching them how to use a video chat platform, like Skype. You can teach them easily by following our tips below.

Make it Simple

To make this process easier, one of the best things you can do for your senior is to keep the steps simple. There is no need to overcomplicate what has to be done. Start by making sure they get to know the basics of Skype video calling. This includes locating the Skype icon on their phone or computer, showing them how to find the person they wish to call, and finishing through the process of making the video call.

Write it Down

Once you’ve gone through these basic Skype steps with your senior loved one, you should then write these exact steps down in simple language. While its most beneficial if they can remember these steps from memory, it’s a good idea to have a list they can consult should they forget a step.

Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

After going through this process multiple times with your seniors, you should have them physically repeat these steps for you while you observe them. Have them run through it a couple of times on their own so the process can begin to feel habitual and they can remember it when you’re gone.

Extra Advice

While giving explanations of Skype, try to make relatable comparisons. For instance, finding someone in their address book is just like what they need to do to locate someone on Skype to call. If your senior appears to be frustrated, take a break and slow down. Finally, you’ll want to make sure your senior can work their volume keys to hear better and end a video call once they’re ready to finish.

For further advice for teaching your senior loved one how to video chat during these historic times, please free to call and chat with our experts here at Home Care Assistance today!

home care exercises

5 Exercises for Wheelchair-Bound Seniors

What comes to mind when you think about exercising? For many, it’s running, walking, standing, moving around more. While that’s simple enough for you, seniors who are wheelchair-bound face a bigger challenge. Wheelchair-bound seniors, unfortunately, have movement restrictions and limited mobility. But it’s still important that they lead active and independent lives. Below we’ve outlined 5 different exercises to help improve the daily lives of wheelchair-bound seniors. While sitting up straight with the ab muscles contracted, hold up your arms at shoulder level and keep your hand facing down. Now curve your fingers as if you’re gripping handles and push your arms out in front of you. Next, extend them as far as you can while being careful not to lock your joints. Bend your elbows, pull your arms back until they are slightly behind the torso. Now squeeze your shoulder blades together. Repeat!

Chest Squeezes 

Sit up straight and keep your abs engaged. Hold a medicine ball or a balloon at chest level, then squeeze it between your hands to contract the chest muscles. Now slowly push the ball out before you until your elbows are straight – but not locked. Keep squeezing the ball throughout the whole movement. Pull the ball back to your chest and repeat it!

Toe Taps

Engage your abs while sitting up straight and have your feet flat on the ground. Now tilt your toes upwards towards the ceiling, then point them back down towards the floor. Repeat this motion several times for an easy exercise!

Knee Lifts

Sit up straight, engage your abs, and place your feet flat on the ground. Then slowly raise one leg and bend the knee, lifting your leg as high as possible while remaining comfortable. Next, lower your foot back to the floor and repeat the motions with your other leg. Alternate each leg back and forth with these motions.

Aqua Training

Getting out of the wheelchair and into the water for some aqua training exercises can do wonders for the body! Exercising in water can be specifically beneficial for seniors. The water helps to better support the body and works to minimize joint discomfort.

If you need more information on exercises for a senior with limited mobility, please feel free to call our experts here at Home Care Assistance and schedule your consultation.