Holding Senior Loved One's Hand

Tips to Care for a Loved One with Parkinson’s Disease

If you have just recently learned that your senior loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, you are probably wondering: What comes next? This can be a new, scary chapter for your senior and family facing many unknowns. While this disease has no known cure, hope is never lost. Below, you can learn several actionable steps to take to provide your senior with the best care.

Learn, Learn, Learn

One thing to know is that you can never know enough. Start this process by educating yourself as much as possible about Parkinson’s Disease. Learn how it will begin to affect your senior and what will happen next. Now, share your new knowledge with your senior’s friends and family members.

Take Time and Practice Patience

Having patience with your senior is now more important than ever. Keep in mind that these new changes may be an especially frustrating time for your senior as well. As their body and mind changes, you will find that it may take them longer to perform once-simple tasks, such as eating a meal. Be patient and plan for any extra time they need.

Support Your Senior Loved One

Be sure to show your senior that they are not alone in facing this new chapter in their life. Exercises that focus on balance, strength, coordination, and flexibility will become increasingly important as Parkinson’s Disease affects their movements. Stay active with your senior and let them know you are by their side throughout this.

Know That You Have Resources

Much like your senior, you should also know that you do not have to go through this by yourself. Being a caregiver comes with its own unique set of challenges, and you’re going to need some time to yourself every now and then. Plan to take time away whenever you need to so you can recharge and come back to your senior feeling refreshed and prepared.

Caring for your senior loved one with Parkinson’s Disease comes with many emotions and new obstacles for the whole family. We want you to know you are not alone. Home Care Assistance of Carmel is here for you! Feel free to give one of our friendly Care Managers a call today and schedule your consultation.

Senior New Year

How to Help Your Senior Plan for the New Year

Most of us are thrilled to see 2020 on its way out and welcome a fresh start in the new year. 2021 is an excellent time to create new goals and get excited about healthier opportunities – especially for seniors! What better time to implement a better quality of life? All over the world, people set resolutions every new year. But the problem is following through with them. Read through our 5 tips below and learn how you can set your senior up for success!

Make Healthy Living Goals

Daily exercise, whether mild or moderate, is both safe and healthy for seniors! Regular physical activity can help prevent various health conditions and provide a host of other benefits. These include weight control, strengthening muscles and bones, and improving your senior’s mood and outlook.

Meet New People

One of your senior’s 2021 goals should be to increase their social interaction and meet new people, whether it is in-person or virtually. There are many ways to accomplish this, but one of the best is to help them find a way to volunteer and give back to their community. This allows them to interact with like-minded seniors, help them feel happier, and live a more purpose-driven life.

Challenge the Brain Regularly

One of the best ways to keep the mind active and stimulated is to learn something new! Did you know that seniors are the fastest-growing segment of computer users? It’s true and for good reason. Seniors keep their brains moving by learning to use technology and how to virtually communicate with others.

Get Plenty of Rest

Your senior needs to focus on getting a good night’s rest in the new year. If they are having trouble sleeping, now is the perfect time to evaluate the proper solutions to help them get better sleep and improve their health.

Be Conscious of Overall Health

A senior’s body and health changes often, so keeping up with these changes should be a priority. Have them schedule their annual wellness visit with their doctor to stay proactive about their well-being.

If you are ready to create a plan for 2021 with your senior loved one but would like some guidance, please give our caregivers a call here at Home Care Assistance Carmel and schedule your consultation.

Dementia Care

How to Talk to a Loved One with Dementia

It is not an easy thing to watch your senior loved one with dementia struggle to have a conversation or with their communication. Your senior, too, might even become frustrated with the task. Dementia, unfortunately, affects your senior’s ability to focus, think, understand, and respond while having a conversation. But there are ways you can better communicate with them by setting them up for success before a conversation even begins. Read through our tips below and get started!

Be Prepared

Your first step prior to conversation is to get yourself prepared. You want to make sure you are calm, cool, and collected. Having a positive attitude is important, and your actions should come across as sincere. Be patient with your senior and take the time with them that is needed.

Set the Environment

Another way you can set your senior up for successful conversation is to make the environment as calm as you are. Go ahead and remove any distractions from the space, including bright or bold colors and any background noise. Keep the area well-lit so your senior can focus on you a bit easier.

Speak Slowly and Clearly

Your own speech can be a big factor in how your senior perceives the conversation. Remember that they are already struggling to focus. When you speak, be clear, enunciate well, and speak slowly. You want to give your senior adequate time to process what you are saying before you move on. When referring to people and places, use specific names rather than pronouns. Lastly, instead of repeating a question if your senior is confused, try to rephrase it instead.

Be Aware of Your Non-Verbal Actions

Just as important as your physical speech is your body language and non-verbal actions. Giving a friendly smile or making eye contact are gestures that can be reassuring for your senior. They will feel more relaxed with you and may respond better to conversation.

Our caregivers at Home Care Assistance of Carmel want to be here to support you and your family because we know the challenges that come with caring for a senior loved one with dementia. Please feel free to give us a call at (317) 316-0804 and schedule your consultation if you would like to learn more about our dementia care services or how you can better communicate with your senior.

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How to Recognize Mental Health Problems in the Elderly

Recognizing the signs of mental illnesses in those who are struggling with them is an essential part of watching out for your loved one in senior care. Sadly, mental illnesses all too often go unnoticed and are very easy to overlook. This is especially true when it comes to anxiety and depression, which seniors are much more prone to experiencing. While some signs of struggle are very apparent, many others are quite subtle and can be hard to recognize. Regardless, it is always a good idea to become familiar with the red flags to watch for so that you can identify if your senior is suffering from a mental health issue. Read through the items to look for so that you can get your senior treated quickly and help them get back to feeling better and normal.

Subtle Signs

Trouble with Sleeping. Catching the signs of poor sleep habits can be difficult because you are probably not watching your senior all night long. During the day, watch for how tired they are, which can be indicative of too much or too little sleep.

Loss of Appetite. Is your senior losing weight? Are they picking at their food or skipping meals altogether? These diet changes are often a sign of a mental health struggle.

More Withdrawn. If you notice your senior is becoming more withdrawn from previously enjoyed social activities, or if they aren’t communicating as often with family and friends, this could be a sign.

Overt Signs

Lack of Personal Hygiene. A telltale sign of a mental health struggle is if your senior is neglecting their personal hygiene. Watch out for major signs, like if your senior is not taking showers or brushing their teeth anymore.

Heavy Mood Swings. If your senior has a mental health issue, they likely won’t be sad all the time. Mood swings are more common and can result in high and low moods that change quickly and often.

Do you still need help determining if your senior needs help with their mental health? Don’t worry. Home Care Assistance of Carmel is here to help. Our caregivers are ready to help your senior loved one feel better and normal again. Reach out to and schedule your consultation.

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How to Keep Seniors Safe During Severe Weather

During severe weather, which has been harsher and more frequent across the US over the last several years, seniors are a group that is particularly at risk. Hurricanes, wildfires, and tornadoes have been more rampant, and your senior should have a plan in place to get them to safety during an emergency. Below, you can read our tips for various natural disasters so you can move your senior to safety during the most severe weather.

Preparing for Hurricanes

Hurricanes can be especially intense along the southeast coast of the US, and seniors who live there should begin planning as soon as a hurricane is detected. They will first need to decide if they will evacuate or remain at home. If they evacuate, they will need safe transportation. If they stay, they will need supplies, like bottled water, non-perishable foods, medications and vitamins, and flashlights and batteries

Preparing for Wildfires

Seniors who reside in areas where wildfires occur often should be prepared at a moment’s notice. Wildfires do not give the luxury to come up with a plan. It is best to already have a plan that can be implemented immediately. You should know your senior’s community plans for evacuations and outline multiple evacuation routes from their home. If they have a pet, include them in these plans! Have a to-go bag filled with supplies like N95 respirator masks, essential documents, vitamins and medications, and food and water at all times.

Preparing for Tornadoes

Similarly, tornadoes do not allow any time for making decisions. A plan needs to be made and known ahead of time. First, help your senior decide if they should stay in their home or seek nearby shelter. If they are staying in their home, establish their safety room, like a basement or windowless interior room. Make sure they know how to identify a tornado by sight and sound in case they miss any warnings.

For more details about our senior care services or keeping your senior safe in bad weather, please reach out to our caregivers here at Home Care Assistance of Carmel. Give us a call today to schedule your consultation!

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How To Help Seniors Lower Their Fall Risks

There is nothing too good for your senior loved one. We understand…and we agree! From excellent senior care services to professional and qualified caregivers – your senior should have it all. We also believe in making safety a top priority, especially when your senior is aging in the comfort of their own home. There are several effective steps you can take to prevent falls and injuries from happening. Take a look at our top 10 tips below and learn how you can help lower your senior’s fall risks.

  1. Know Their Risk Factors. Have your senior’s overall health assessed. A doctor can uncover any conditions such as vision impairment, arthritis, or memory loss may increase fall risk.
  2. Help Them Exercise. Get up and get moving! Encourage your senior to get regular exercise so they can build muscle strength and endurance.
  3. Check for Issues with Balance. Falls can happen to balance issues. A doctor can perform a balance test and check for any disorders with the vestibular system, which can cause imbalance.
  4. Get a Home Inspection. Who knew…? You can get a home inspection that specifically checks for fall hazards in the home! Have a professional come out and check your senior’s home.
  5. Review Their Medications. Certain medications when combined can have severe side effects. Have a doctor review your senior’s medication list to ensure they aren’t experiencing side effects that can lead to a fall.
  6. Get Their Vision Checked Regularly. Having your senior’s vision tested regularly helps to ensure both their eye health and that they can clearly see their surroundings.
  7. Give Them Proper Nutrition. The proper nutrients starts with a solid diet. Nutrients are key to increasing muscle and bone strength!
  8. Use Walking Aids. Walking aids, like canes and walkers, are very helpful when used properly and fitted correctly to your senior.
  9. Avoid Distracted Walking. Help your senior follow basic guidelines, like not walking while using a smartphone, so they can avoid distractions while on the move.
  10. Home Care Services. Take extra measures to make sure your senior is safe in their home by adding home care services to their routine.

Need further guidance on how to best keep your senior loved one safe? Home Care Assistance of Carmel and the surrounding cities is here for you 24/7! Call our expert caregivers today and schedule your consultation.

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Ways To Calm Someone Down with Dementia

Would you know which steps to take to help calm down a senior with dementia? If you are caring for or visiting with someone who has dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease, we recommend knowing a few effective strategies that can help you de-escalate the situation and move onto problem-solving. There are several techniques that we find particularly useful, and we’re sharing them with you below. Read on to learn how you can best help someone with dementia calm down.

Mirror Their Emotions.

Do your best to begin mirroring the senior’s emotions. This involves playing on their body’s natural responses so you can match their distress levels. This can help you learn how they are feeling, show them that you sympathize and care about their frustrations, and gather clues about what exactly is wrong.

Take Deep Breaths.

As you continue to mirror the senior’s emotions, you can also start to take deep and exaggerated breaths if you notice them begin to mirror you back. As the senior begins to take deep breaths of their own, help them focus on big exhales, which can relax their ribcage and allow them to take in more oxygen.

Take Their Hand.

Another method you can try is to simply offer to take the senior’s hands in your own. This is a kind and encouraging gesture known as the hand-over-hand technique that helps to calm as well. Often times, the senior may already be reaching out to you, as this is common in many seniors with dementia.

Use Heartbeat Rhythm.

Next, as you have the senior’s hands in yours, you can try out a method that mimics the rhythms of a heartbeat. Begin doing so by gently pumping the senior’s hands. This is another comforting and reassuring gesture. Just be sure they are not experiencing any discomfort as you do so.

Home Care Assistance of Carmel knows about the challenges associated with caring for a senior loved one with dementia and helping them cope with the disease. We understand this is not an easy time for anyone involved. But we are here for you every step of the way to offer you our full support. If you would like to learn more about our world-class Alzheimer’s and Dementia care services, reach out to our caregivers at any time.

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The Ultimate List of Senior Discounts in Carmel, Indiana

Becoming a senior is rewarding in many ways, but one of the sweetest things about aging is the counts that come with it! If you’re looking to save some money for yourself or someone you know in senior care this year, then you’ll want to check out these discounts below in food, grocery, retail, prescriptions, and travel! Let’s take a look.

Food

Applebee’s: Based on location, seniors can have a meal at Applebee’s for 10-15% off if they are at least 60 years old.

Ben & Jerry’s: If you love ice cream, this is for you! Seniors ages 60+ (based on location) can have an ice cream cone or scoops in a cup for 10% off.

Krispy Kreme: Mmm, donuts, a sweet discount! Seniors ages 50+ can get a free donut with their purchase of coffee, and/or enjoy 10% off depending on the location.

Grocery

American Discount Stores: On Mondays, seniors ages 62+ save 10% on groceries at American Discount Stores!

Fry’s Food Stores: Wednesdays are for shopping 10% off at Fry’s Food Stores if you’re age is 55+.

Piggly Wiggly: Piggly Wiggly stores allow seniors to take 5% off their bills every Wednesday!

Retail

Goodwill: Head to Goodwill one day a week for 10-20% off just for seniors! Varying by location.

Kohl’s: Retail therapy at Kohl’s is best done on Wednesdays for seniors, when they can take 10% off.

Salvation Army: Days and discounts depend on location, but seniors ages 55 and up can save a whopping 50% off!

Walgreens: With a Balanced Care card with Walgreen’s, seniors can save 20% on their purchases once a month.

Prescriptions

AARP: Members of AARP, plus their family members, can save an average of 61% on prescription drugs with the discount card.

CVS: Members of the CVS Extra Care savings program can earn ExtraBuck rewards simply by filling prescriptions.

Walgreens: Thousands of generic and brand name prescription drugs are available for special discounts for seniors enrolled in the Walgreens Prescription Savings Club.

Travel

American Airlines: All kinds of discounts are available for seniors ages 65+ through American Airlines. The discounts may vary at any time, so seniors are encouraged to call for the latest deals.

Comfort Inn: Seniors who are AARP members are ages 60 and up can save 10% on all advance reservations.

National Parks: A lifetime pass with access to 2,000+ recreational sites across the US is available to seniors for just $80.00.

You can view a complete list of seniors discounts here at The Senior List.

Ready to check out other senior discounts near Carmel? We are your greatest resource and are ready to assist you! Please call Home Care Assistance to discuss all things senior care today.

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Our Top 5 Favorite Senior Charities

We love and value being involved in our communities here at Home Care Assistance. One of the best ways for us to do that is to show support for charities that benefit senior citizens and encourage others to do the same. If you are looking for an organization to support, we suggest choosing one with a solid reputation and well-trained professionals. Here are our top 5 favorite senior charities.

Meals on Wheels America

Meals on Wheels America is serving the rapidly growing senior population on the frontlines! They deliver meals to one of the most vulnerable groups in our society, where no one is immune to many of the aging processes challenges that take away from our independence. Recognizing that seniors are at risk of both hunger and isolation, Meals on Wheels America has met the challenge of making sure seniors are getting the proper social and nutritional needs.

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America is on a very specific mission: They want to help seniors and families nationwide who are affected by Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia. By providing support, services, and education to individuals, families, and caregivers affected by Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia, the AFA makes a difference. They work hard to fundraise for research, treatments, and a cure!

Second Wind Dreams

No matter how young or old we are, we all have a dream we want to come true. Second Wind Dreams has a very heartwarming goal they are out to achieve… To fulfill these dreams and change the perception of aging! By making dreams a reality, Second Wind Dreams is shedding a more positive light on the aging process.

Honor Flight Network

This non-profit works to honor seniors who have served and sacrificed in a heartwarming way. By using their extensive network, the Honor Flight Network transports senior Veterans to Washington D.C. where they can pay homage to and honor service members who served and sacrificed.

Pets for the Elderly

Our furry friends are easily another member of the family. That’s why Pets for the Elderly provides seniors with companionship through pets! And they save the lives of companion animals in shelters while doing so. With a pet, seniors escape loneliness and get the affection and love they deserve.

To request more information about our senior home care services, or to learn more about supporting organizations that benefit seniors, call Home Care Assistance today and schedule your consultation!

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Where to Get Home Medical Equipment Seniors Need

Home care for seniors provides the benefit of being surrounded by familiarity and solace while aging with dignity in the comfort of their own – or a loved one’s – home. Still, this can present its own set of challenges to seniors throughout the aging process if the home is not well-suited to the senior’s current lifestyle.

It is not uncommon to need various types of medical equipment throughout the home or always within reach of the seniors, whether the equipment is to help with mobility, daily tasks, or for general safety. We’re here to help you determine what kind of equipment your senior needs and where you can find it.

Medical Equipment Examples

To improve the home’s accessibility and to simplify daily tasks and basic functions for your senior, you can set up several pieces of medical equipment around the house. In the bathroom, we suggest installing grab bars in both the shower and above the toilet to help your seniors, lower, raise, or stabilize themselves. You may also consider utilizing a portable toilet which can be placed in a location more convenient for your senior to access. Some examples of other types of medical equipment that your senior will likely have on-hand or always nearby are walkers and canes. Both of these items are used to help make mobility easier for your senior.

Where to Find Medical Equipment

Go Through Insurance

Check with insurance, first. Seniors who have an insurance like Medicare may often find that the insurance company will cover a majority of the cost or all of the cost for new medical equipment, as long as a doctor’s prescription can be provided. Insurance will not always cover home care equipment, so it’s important to know alternative options if you must pay out-of-pocket instead.

Buy Used Equipment

If it is up to you to cover the cost of medical equipment, we recommend buying used items instead of brand new. You can find used equipment listed with independent living centers and other retailers. But it is also helpful to check in with community resources, like local second-hand stores and even Facebook Marketplace or other thrift apps.

If you’re in need of more advice on where to get medical equipment for your senior loved one in home care, please call our experts at Home Care Assistance. We are ready to help!