how-music-can-help-seniors-in-home-care

Ways Music Can Help Seniors in Home Care

Sometimes, we take music for granted — especially when we have heard thousands of different songs and artists from over the years! We don’t give it a second thought. However, for seniors in home care, music is considered a medicine of the mind. This is especially true if a senior is struggling with memory loss or cognitive abilities. Below, we’re discussing at length several proven health benefits that music provides for our seniors. 

Decreased Pain from Chronic Illness

First, let’s talk about the physical benefits of music therapy in home care. Music provides as many benefits for the body as it does for the mind! More so, research has found a positive correlation between physical exercise and listening to music; while seniors listen to music during their workouts, they are more likely to exercise for a longer period of time and push themselves a little harder! The more physically fit a senior is, the better their physical health and longevity. 

Experts can also conclude that listening to music can even improve immune function and help decrease pain associated with chronic illnesses. Music and physical activity combined help to lower stress hormones a senior’s body produces, so the more physical activity a senior gets, the less likely the are to become stressed out! This will help to increase their immune function. 

Stimulates the Brain and Improves Mood

The most important benefit of music therapy for seniors in home care is that it works to stimulate their brains. A senior’s brain quite literally responds to specific, therapeutic music! 

But how? You can think of music as being a total workout for their brain. Both listening to and playing music helps improve a senior’s mental alertness, memory, mood, and quality of sleep.

Furthermore, music physically stimulates hits of dopamine, which develops a positive emotion in the reward center of the brain, evoking a sense of elation. The joy experienced while listening to music can even reduce stress and anxiety! Seniors who listen to music can prevent a rise in their heart rate and blood pressure and can decrease their levels of cortisol. Just like that – No more stress!

It’s also worth mentioning how much happier seniors can feel listening to music. Music therapy is the perfect solution to keep feelings of loneliness, isolation, or depression away. It’s great for encouraging social interaction, relieving boredom, and calming the nerves.

If you would like to learn more about the health benefits of music for seniors in home care, or more about our senior care services, please call Home Care Assistance today to schedule your consultation!

how-to-communicate-with-a-senior-loved-one-who-has-hearing-loss

Top Ways To Communicate with a Senior Loved One Who Has Hearing Loss

Does your senior in home care struggle with hearing loss? If that’s the case, then we know this may be a frustrating time for the both of you, and it may be difficult to communicate effectively. However, we have some advice listed for you below so you can begin easily facilitating conversations with your senior as best as possible.

Get Their Attention First

Start by trying to get your senior’s attention (politely!) before you begin having a conversation. A few simple moves you can try are stepping in front of them, so they take notice of you, waving your hands calmly in their line of sight or gently tapping them on their shoulder.

Keep Noise Levels to a Minimum

Eliminate as much background noise as you can. This will make it easier to talk with your senior! Common background noise you can block out include television, music and other people’s conversations. When heading out in public with your senior, it is best to choose a calm, quiet location with a low amount of distractions.

Take Turns Speaking

When you have a group together to spend time with your senior, tell them ahead of time to take turns while speaking. If they don’t, group conversations where multiple people are speaking at the same time can be confusing and frustrating for your senior. The group can also avoid any side conversations that might confuse your senior.

Talk Loudly, Slowly and Clearly

In conversations with your senior, we recommend practicing your enunciation. Try and enunciate your words as best as you can and talk slowly so your senior can keep up with what you’re saying. Talking at a louder volume is also ideal for your senior suffering from hearing loss.

Repeat and Rephrase

If at first your senior doesn’t comprehend what you said, don’t get frustrated. Just repeat yourself. When you do, try using the same words and phrasing as you did the first time. If they still are not understanding what you’re trying to convey, then rephrase of simplify your question or statement.

Keep in mind that while this may be difficult for you, it is difficult for your senior, too. Be as patient with them as possible and listen to them to have easier conversations. If you would like further advice on communicating with your senior, or you would like more information on home care services, call Home Care Assistance to set up your consultation.

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Here are 3 Reasons Why 2020 is the Best Year to Start Working in Home Care

Thinking about making a career as a caregiver in senior home care? 

A senior caregiver is an individual who will work directly with the elderly in need of assistance with the daily activities of living. Some of these items may include help with bathing and grooming, meal preparation, transportation, light housekeeping and providing companionship. 

With this being said, a career as a senior caregiver is not for everyone! If you have a passion and want to make a difference in the life of a senior and their family, well then it might just be the right fit for you. Here at Home Care Assistance, we’re giving you three compelling reasons below for you to get on the path to working in home care in 2020. 

So, let’s get started!

You’re an individual.

Okay, it’s true: To become a caregiver, you will need to go through the same training and requirements as everyone else becoming a caregiver. But, once you actually are a caregiver, your individuality will shine! 

Your own personality and traits are what will help to make a senior home care experience one that is positive and memorable. Each caregiver has something unique to bring to the table. What will yours be?

You make a difference.

When you’re a caregiver, you don’t just simply enter a client’s home. You enter their whole life. As someone who must be kind and caring, this is a setting where you will thrive! Possessing a compassionate spirit is necessary, since this can be a difficult time for the senior and their family. A caregiver will break down barriers in the senior’s home, learn their hobbies and interests and provide an all-around support system for everyone. You will begin to relate positively with the family, and that just means you’re going to make a great impact on their lives.

You’re a hero.

We’ll say it again — being a caregiver is not for everyone. Life in home care is often demanding and requires much labor and tons of love. But let us tell you, it is so worth it. That’s because as a caregiver, you come to a family’s rescue. You are a true hero in the eyes of the senior. You work to provide them all the love and compassion they need — even when they are unable to give it to themselves. 

If you would like to learn more about becoming a caregiver, we would love to talk with you! Call Home Care Assistance today and begin your journey to home care in 2020.

how-to-help-your-senior-loved-one-feel-included-during-the-holidays-1

Ways To Help Your Senior Loved One Feel Included During the Holidays

The holiday season is here, and families are feeling joyful and looking forward to all the get togethers and time spent with each other! However, for some seniors who are in senior care, the holiday season can cause feelings of isolation and depression while the rest of the family is getting ready to celebrate.

But you can help!

Get your senior feeling loved and included for many seasons to come by reading our tips below, and Happy Holidays!

Remember the Past Traditions

Many times, it can be wonderful to just remember the old days and reminisce. If you do this with your senior this holiday season, you can help improve their spirits!

Gather up old items like family photos and home videos from past celebrations and go through them with your senior and the family. Sharing memories and reminiscing can be a powerful tool that will help alleviate any feelings of loneliness your seniors may have.

Create New Holiday Traditions

It could be time to create some new holiday traditions for your senior in senior care that work better for their lifestyle! Read on below for a couple of examples…

Go to them. Does your senior live in an assisted living facility or have trouble leaving their home? If so, plan a family event that brings the holidays – and the family – to them! These little get-togethers will work wonders for you loved one’s mood this season.

Plan easy activities. For your senior who can no longer participate in any meticulous or physical holiday activities, try out some new traditions, like crafting holiday décor or baking cookies!

Virtual Holiday Inclusivity

If your senior is in senior care and lives further away from the family, there are still many ways you can make them feel included during the family celebrations. You can get creative and set up a livestream or video booth at the family parties, where your senior will get to virtually sit in on the festivities and chat with family members all night long.

If your senior isn’t up to virtual idea, you can also plan a post-event party at your senior’s home or facility. Recreate the atmosphere of the family event with photos and videos of the celebration and by inviting other family members, too!

Need some more information on our senior care services? Home Care Assistance is here for you this holiday season. Please give us a call today to schedule your consultation.

 

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!

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!

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Home Care in 10 Years: Trends, Predictions and Changes

Much like the US economy, senior living has it its share of ups and downs – and you can expect the industry to change in the next 10 years. Soon we’ll be seeing different housing options for seniors to remain independent, as a direct result of higher costs of assisted living. More “senior-friendly” homes will be popping up in neighborhoods too, as well as more amenities and technology for our seniors to take advantage of.

Wondering just what life will be like for senior Americans in the near future?

Let’s take a look at some of the biggest trends, predictions, and changes in home care:

More Amenities for Seniors

We’re going to be seeing a whole lot more programs in assisted living facilities that will cater to a new age of seniors – programs with cultural events, new fitness classes, and educational services! These will be implemented in an effort to sustain the assisted living model.

Green Senior Living

Green housing for seniors? Yes, that’s going to be big! Eco-friendly living is also more cost-effective because fewer utilities equal less money spent. Green housing is also a great idea for seniors to remain conscious of the environment.

Senior Co-Housing

Co-housing is going to be a big deal soon. Seniors will live in communes, where they will have independent homes, but also many shared spaces – Like gardens and recreational centers. Residents will benefit by being involved in the community. They’ll take action in making any “community” decisions, which will give them a sense of great purpose and belonging!

More Technology

No surprise here! Technology is the future, and it will be limited to the youth. Computer home systems that can track medications and vitals will be connected to wireless networks, allowing caregivers to stay on top of their senior’s condition. This will revolutionize senior home care!

Less Nursing Home Models

The nursing home model will continue to decline in lieu of more seniors wanting independent living and home care services. Such options offer lower costs and usually have the availability of specialized programs – like memory care, for example.

To schedule your consultation and discuss the home care options for you and your senior, please give Home Care Assistance a call – We’ll be happy to help you!

In Home Senior Care vs. Adult Day Care in Carmel, IN

Adult Day Care vs. Senior Home Care – What’s Best for Your Senior Loved One?

If you are responsible for an older loved one who is in need of senior care, you know it’s often a daunting task. There are numerous options on types of senior care and you’ll need to sort through mountains of information sometimes just to understand what’s best for your family or the older adult relying on your wellness decisions for him or her.

As an example, there are many senior living locations to move into, but there are also in-home solutions and adult day cares. You need to know how to make a good decision between these senior care options, too. Start with learning the differences between each. After that, you’ll be able to make a better decision as to whether one of these options are a good fit for your specific circumstance.

In-home senior care options

Most older adults prefer senior care to be provided in their own home so they can age in place if possible. This preferred care could be either non-medical care or medical, also called skilled care. Non-medical care includes running errands, light cleaning, cooking or prepping meals and bathing. Skilled providers can offer medical assistance, in addition to the above. 24-hour care can be provided in a senior’s home any day of the week, seven days a week, with caregivers who could be privately hired or vetted through an agency. Companionship provide by in-home senior care has the benefit of preventing social isolation. Occasional in-home senior care may be all that’s necessary in order for the senior to be self-sufficient and live independently. In other situations, a combination of senior care at home and adult day care becomes the favored solution.

Adult day care options

Adult day care allows for mental stimulation and healthy social interaction with daily activities. Some day care centers are specialized to offer physical therapy and medication assistance, as well. Adult day care is typically only open during common workday hours. In-home care may be better if the day care hours don’t match what is needed for the adult who requires care.

Alternately, when the hours do work well for family, it’s good to know that ample social interaction and some basic meals or snacks are usually provided, too.

Call the Home Care Assistance office nearest you today to ask about senior care for you or your loved one. Home Care Assistance will explain the variations of medical care, non-medical care, memory care, post-hospital care, and advanced care options so you can determine what type of senior care might be best in your situation.

home care for veterans

Veteran Home Care: Navigating VA Options in Carmel, VA

The aging population of the U.S. continues to mature, leaving agencies and health care systems seeking more effective ways to provide high-quality affordable home care solutions.
The Veterans Administration (VA) has been a leader in innovative home care for years, despite any controversies or reports of bureaucratic stumbles you may have read about over the years. Because they have a strong, focused mission, the VA persists in creating functional programs amidst its tough budget constraints and the ever-challenging increase in the numbers of seniors. Since the year 2000, the number of veterans that need home care has quadrupled so VA medical centers across the country have necessarily added palliative care programs for those who are in need.
Why has the VA taken the lead in innovative programming? Data from 2016 provided by the National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics showed that veterans have a median age of 64 years, compared to 44 years for non-veterans. In fact, our senior population is mounting with 10,000 boomers turning 65 years old daily, yet the aging veteran numbers are growing even faster, creating a demand for new services and solutions.
People over 85 years of age in the VA population almost tripled between 2000 and 2010. This meant that the VA had to be trailblazers, supporting the social and behavioral aspects of health, in addition to veterans’ physical needs. Their newest approach allows veterans to customize health care differently than other health systems. Budgets for veterans flexibly allow them to make decisions on their personal home care needs.
As an example, the VA has a hospice program that goes hand in hand with palliative care, allowing disease-altering treatments to be administered along with hospice care. This is something that Medicare doesn’t yet consider or allow. Prior to this, patients with kidney failure would have to forgo dialysis in order to receive their hospice care. This newer approach means that aging veterans don’t have to forgo any treatments of care when electing hospice care. This compassionate VA program will hopefully influence Medicare to change programs, too.
VA’s contemporary care of hospice services and home care lessens patients’ pain and eases their last days. At first, concerns were that it would be costly, but the mix has now proven that this is actually less expensive than the alternative. Home care programs have been found to reduce hospitalizations, which reduces health care costs, as well.
With the rising health care costs of older adults, home care options are part of a solution, but it all becomes confusing. Call your local Home Care Assistance office today for help in navigating home care options for you or your loved one!

Senior home care provider reading a newspaper with older woman

Benefits of In Home Care vs. Nursing Homes in Carmel, IN

As aging progresses, even the most independent seniors might eventually need assistance. The need may be precipitated by a fall or accident, a diagnosis of dementia, or simply the noticeable process of aging. Regardless of the situation, how can one decide whether aging in place versus a nursing home is the best solution?

A nursing home may provide a safe solution when skilled medical care is needed, but aging in place is often a better solution. When people stay long-term in a facility, payment continues through Medicaid after patient money runs out. Medicaid doesn’t provide enough profit for the nursing care facility to sustain itself with the highest levels of care. Many nursing homes are moving away from long-term care options because of these financial reasons.

With declining availability in permanent care solutions, aging adults might find it difficult to find facilities with high standards. As a result, home care services have become more available and easier to coordinate. With a collaborative effort between the client, family members and medical professionals, a home care plan can be made for the senior to stay at home. Older adults usually prefer their homes to age in place where they can be around friends and family in their familiar and comfortable surroundings and community.

Home care options are often less pricey than long-term facilities, which cost an average of $6,500 per month. This is often an impossibility for a senior with an annual fixed income and limited assets.

Often, seniors only need a few hours a day with assistance in getting dressed, bathing or meal prep. These few hours a day can save thousands of dollars versus fulltime nursing home care.

The senior benefits with additional physical healing time with home care and is better off mentally and emotionally. His or her sense of dignity is maintained and can continue to have a higher quality of life. When staying at home alone isn’t safe, home care allows the elderly person to remain at home feeling independent for a longer amount of time.

There are numerous options for home care and nursing homes, but if you consider the cost savings, a lifestyle of independence, and maintained dignity, the in-home care option is likely the best one for you or your loved one.

Call the local Home Care Assistance office in Carmel, IN to review short and long-term options for you or your loved one. Consider the benefits of home care that will make life easier for you and your family.