Daugher with older mother in Carmel, IN

Caregiving: Why Is Routine Important?

A Quality Caregiver Will Prioritize Routine

Predictable schedules reduce stress for everyone, but especially the elderly. Have you heard the expression, “creatures of habit?” A caregiver that provides consistency will help aging adults remember what’s ahead and it brings a sense of comfort to them. If an older adult suffers from dementia, daily routines are that much more important.

Benefits of a Structured Routine

Structured schedules for dining, bathing, and dressing provide feelings of safety for most seniors. They typically sleep better with regular sleep and wake up times, as well.

A caregiver quickly realizes that elderly adults who suffer from dementia are less confused with routines, too. They may not remember what they did earlier that day, yet they seem to subconsciously sense what’s coming next in the day. This helps with behavioral challenges, as well, since regularly scheduled dining prevents extreme hunger and reduces stress and anxiety in dementia patients.

As a caregiver keeps a regular schedule, there’s less planning to do and more of each moment with the person being cared for is appreciated.

Plan a Daily/Weekly Routine

Consider the adult first 

If you are a caregiver, consider the person being cared for when planning meals, daily care or activities. Know the time of day when the person functions best. If the older adult already has a routine that’s been ritualized for years, why try to change it now? If waking up early for toast and coffee is what he or she is accustomed to, just follow this ingrained routine. Keep familiar routines as much as possible.

Flexibility is needed

A daily/weekly routine is vital, but flexibility will be needed, too. There will be occasions when the older person doesn’t feel well and they may need additional rest. On better days, an impromptu activity like a walk might be just right.

Keep variety with activities 

Schedule activities for each week, but offer some variety, too, like exercise, cognitive challenges, spiritual nourishment and social time. Discover hobbies that were pursued in the past. Perhaps there are modifications that can be applied to anything that is now too difficult.

Everything in its place

Rearranging personal belongings in the home will likely cause confusion and frustration for your elderly adult. Caregivers should only move things around as needed for safety.

Perhaps you could benefit from some assistance as a caregiver? Home Care Assistance can provide in-home care to help the older adult with as little or as much as you need. Call Home Care Assistance at (317) 316-0804 and get started.

Senior doing yoga outside in Carmel, IN

Keeping Active is Important at Any Age

Keeping active is important at any age. Physical activity improves balance, strength, and cardiovascular health. Additionally, active people reduce their chance of chronic disease. Anyone can increase their health and vitality, regardless of age!

Experts typically recommend at least 150 minutes of weekly exercise for adults. Start slowly and gradually increase frequency and intensity.

Walking is a Perfect Exercise

Walking is a perfect exercise for every age. No gym membership is required, and it’s free! Aging adults can walk in their neighborhood or find nature areas with trails. Walking becomes a social event when family or friends join along!

Do What You Can

Can you ride a stationary bike or walk the treadmill while watching your favorite TV show? Do what you can. Stand up for some stretching when there are commercial breaks or use hand weights to increase strength. Dance or jog to lively music to get your spirits lifted and your body moving.

Gardens Have Many Benefits

Enjoy the healthy benefits of herbs, produce and flowers from your own backyard garden! Your senses will awaken from natural fragrances. Enjoy walking, bending and stretching from planting, weeding and making cuttings for indoors. Getting out in the sunshine can provide a sense of wellbeing and efforts will literally bloom.

Golf

Walking on a golf course offers additional healthy opportunities. Get some extra bending when placing the tee and ball. Strengthen the arms and back muscles when swinging the golf club.

Swimming

Swimming is great for the cardiovascular, respiratory, and musculoskeletal systems and it’s an ideal activity for anyone with arthritis or joint pain, too. Check your local pool schedule for water aerobics classes or times specifically for older adults.

Help is Available

Sometimes, older adults will need help. Seniors who want to enjoy good health as they grow older may benefit from local Home Care Assistance. Help is available for daily tasks and focusing on a more active life.

Expert caregivers can provide assistance with exercise or transporting an adult to a doctor appointment. Caregivers can make it possible for a loved one to go to a fun social event, allowing the adult to maintain a high-quality, independent life.

Family caregivers often eventually realize they can’t find enough time to engage in all the activities their loved ones want or need. Let Home Care Assistance help. Let the aging adult continue regular activities while you take a necessary, well-deserved break.

Caregivers are professionally trained in meal prep, assisting with physical activity, and personal hygiene for short-term or longer amounts of time. Specially trained caregivers are available to help seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s, too.

Call us today to learn more about our reliable in-home care for seniors.

Caregiver Burnout Tips in Carmel

6 Unique Ways to Manage Caregiver Burnout

Caring for an elderly loved one can be an overwhelming task, which is why caregivers need outlets to relieve their stress. For some, this could be a weekly exercise class or a fulfilling hobby. For others, it could be attending a monthly support group for caregivers. However, not all caregivers are the same, and some need to go off the beaten path to get rid of their stress. Here are six unique ways caregivers can manage their stress levels. 

1. Consume Vitamin C

Many guides to stress relief mention exercise, outdoor activities, and meditation. However, what you put in your body is just as important as what you do with it, and vitamin C is a great way to get rid of anxiety. This all-important vitamin lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can boost emotional wellbeing. Vitamin C is found in many fruits and vegetables, including grapefruit, oranges, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, and kiwi. 

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Indianapolis Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

2. Take Up a Creative Hobby

Psychologists have long been using the arts to reduce anxiety levels and help people achieve inner peace. Painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, and other creative hobbies are excellent ways to relieve stress because they distract the mind from sources of anxiety. They’re also convenient for caregivers because they can be done from the comfort of home. Adult coloring books are also a popular choice for caregivers who are looking for a creative way to let off some steam. 

3. Pet a Dog

Caregivers might think pet ownership would overcomplicate their daily schedule. While this might be true of large, energetic dogs, many pets are easy to care for and a great source of comfort for their owners. Studies suggest the act of petting a dog releases “happy” chemicals like serotonin and decreases levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Caregivers who can’t have a pet might want to consider volunteering at a local animal shelter. They’ll get all the benefits of playing with dogs and cats without any of the responsibility. 

4. Laugh More Often

It can be difficult to laugh when your stress levels are high. However, laughter has a tangible effect on the body. It releases endorphins, decreases cortisol, and leaves people with a more positive outlook on life. When times are challenging, caregivers should try watching episodes of their favorite sitcom, a funny stand-up special, or a comedic movie. A few laughs later, they’re bound to feel a little better.

By hiring professional caregivers, family members can reduce their risk of experiencing burnout. Although it may be challenging to find a reliable, highly rated home care agency, Indianapolis, IN, families can turn to Home Care Assistance. Our respite and live-in caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with a wide array of important tasks, including cooking, bathing, light housekeeping, and exercise.

5. Eat Crunchy Snacks

Snacking too often can become a bad habit. However, eating crunchy foods can relieve stress because the combination of rhythmic chewing and vigorous crunching relieves physical tension from the face and distracts the mind. Choose healthy snacks like apples, almonds, and carrots to ensure you get an energy boost with your stress outlet. 

6. Try Aromatherapy

The right scent can overpower an anxious brain, leaving you feeling calm. Lavender, bergamot, and chamomile are known for their anxiety-reducing properties.

Family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties to focus on their own emotional wellbeing can benefit from professional at-home care. Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the Indianapolis respite care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our respite care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at [hca_phone] today.

A Test for Caregivers to identify burnout in Carmel, IN

Family Caregiver Stress Test: How to Tell If You’re Burning Out

Being a family caregiver can be a great experience, but it also comes with challenges. Too much stress from caregiving can lead to poor health, and it could cause caregiver burnout. Here are some of the ways to determine if you are stressed and on the verge of burning out. 

You’re Constantly Irritated

It’s normal to become irritated every now and then as a family caregiver, but if you are lashing out at others frequently, this could mean you are experiencing caregiver burnout. The responsibilities of caregiving may be too overwhelming, or you may need to socialize with someone other than your senior loved one. Stop taking on more than you can handle, and allow others to help. You could also join a caregiver support group where you can receive advice from other caregivers who understand what you are going through. 

If providing care for your loved one has become too challenging and you need assistance, consider hiring a dedicated caregiver. Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Indianapolis, IN, senior care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more.

Your Daily Energy Levels Are Low

If you do not have the energy to perform daily activities or care for yourself, you will not be able to care for your loved one. You need to find a good balance between caregiving and tending to your personal and professional commitments. Make sure you get at least eight hours of sleep each night, eat healthy, and exercise on a regular basis. Taking these steps can boost your mood and energy levels. 

You Need Caffeine to Make It Through the Day 

There is nothing wrong with a cup of coffee each morning if that is a part of your daily routine. However, if you find yourself drinking coffee throughout the day to stay awake, this could be a sign of caregiver burnout. Take up healthy hobbies such as yoga or arts and crafts. Space out your caregiving duties and delegate responsibilities to other family members. If this is not an option, use your available resources to hire a respite caregiver who can take on some of the daily duties. 

Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Indianapolis, Indiana, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

You Have No Time to Relax

If you aren’t setting aside time to relax each day, you may be headed toward caregiver burnout. Call around and ask friends and family to help with your loved one’s care, or consider respite care. This will give you some time to relax, rest, and recharge.

Your Happiness Is Fading 

You will likely experience good and bad days as a caregiver, but if you are unhappy most of the time, you could be experiencing too much stress. Take some time away from caregiving and put more time into yourself. This means doing something you enjoy such as reading, painting, writing, dancing, going to the movies, or cooking. Remember to take time to do the things that make you happy instead of spending all your time caring for your loved one. Trust others to help with some of the caregiving responsibilities.

Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Indianapolis, Indiana, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. For comprehensive and quality-assured senior in-home care services, talk to one of our professional Care Managers at [hca_phone] today.

6 Nonfiction Books for Family Caregivers in Carmel, IN

6 Must-Read Nonfiction Books for Caregivers

The role of family caregiver is often exhausting, frustrating, and heartbreaking while also being fulfilling and uplifting. Gaining knowledge alleviates some of the stress and enhances problem-solving skills. Learning you are not alone in facing the daily challenges of caregiving may offer a sense of comfort. Here are a few nonfiction books about caregiving that give family members insight and inspiration. 

1. A Gradual Disappearance by Elizabeth Lonseth 

Though known as a Christian fiction writer, Lonseth also assumed the role of caregiver for her parents and in-laws who were all afflicted with dementia. Her book relays personal stories and offers sage advice. The read is especially useful to caregivers who have loved ones with Alzheimer’s. She shares everything from the initial diagnosis to managing behavioral changes as the disorder progresses. 

Acting as the family caregiver for an ill spouse or aging parent can be one of the most difficult situations people face. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Indianapolis Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

2. Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living with Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias by Amy Newmark and Angela Timashenka Geiger

This book assures caregivers that they are not alone, as readers explore 101 stories of love provided by other caregivers. The contributors hope that by sharing their stories, others will feel encouraged, inspired, and supported. 

3. Alzheimer’s: A Crash Course for Friends and Relatives by Mary McDaniel Cail

This book serves as a helpful guide in caring for relatives with Alzheimer’s along with offering support for family caregivers. The stories depict the challenges of caring for seniors with Alzheimer’s. The easy-to-read format provides help and hope for caregivers who will find an abundance of empowering and practical tips. 

4. The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People with Alzheimer’s Disease, Other Dementias, and Memory Loss in Later Life by Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Rabins

This book was written to serve as a guide for family caregivers who have loved ones afflicted with dementia and what they should expect when managing emotional challenges and behavioral changes. Readers also learn how to navigate the financial aspects of health care and senior housing. The information concerning dementia includes research on causes, stages, and treatments. 

If you’re having difficulty looking after your aging loved one alone, consider hiring a live-in caregiver. Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Indianapolis live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust in professional live-in caregivers to enhance his or her quality of life.  

5. The Caregiving Wife’s Handbook: Caring for Your Seriously Ill Husband, Caring for Yourself by Diana B. Denholm

Denholm is a psychotherapist who describes the trials and tribulations associated with caring for her husband who was diagnosed with heart disease and cancer. The book also includes the stories of six other women who experienced similar circumstances. Readers can relate to the emotional challenges and the changes in the marital relationship. There are also personal anecdotes and survival tips. 

6. They’re Your Parents, Too! How Siblings Can Survive Their Parents’ Aging without Driving Each Other Crazy by Francine Russo

The opinions of siblings and other family members present a unique set of complications for family caregivers. The issues discussed in the book include who takes charge, long-distance caregiving, and siblings refusing to face much-needed discussions concerning end-of-life issues.

Books can be a great help for family caregivers, but the assistance a professional caregiver provides may be even more valuable. If you are the primary caregiver for a senior family member and you need respite care, Indianapolis, IN, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our respite caregivers are trained to assist older adults with a wide variety of everyday tasks, including meal prep, physical activity, and personal hygiene. We also provide 24-hour care and specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. Call one of our professional Care Managers at [hca_phone] to schedule an in-home consultation or to devise a care plan for your elderly loved one. 

Queen Latifah’s Role as A Family Caregiver in Carmel, IN

How Queen Latifah Manages Her Caregiving Duties

Queen Latifah has had an astonishing career over the last few decades, but few of her fans know about the challenges she has faced at home. Just over 12 years ago, Queen Latifah’s mother Rita Owens suddenly passed out. After being in the hospital for a few days, Owens was diagnosed with progressive heart failure. From that moment on, Queen Latifah took on the role of family caregiver. 

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Indianapolis Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

Stepping Up to Care for Her Mother

After her mother’s diagnosis, Latifah asked Owens to move to Los Angeles where she could provide her with proper home care. Even though Queen Latifah is constantly traveling for work, she wanted to be actively involved in her mother’s life. The first step they took was to switch to a vegetable-rich diet. They also sought medical specialists who could help Owens manage her unique condition known as scleroderma.

A Closer Look at Owens’ Health Conditions

Heart failure is a blanket term that covers different diseases of the cardiovascular system. Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease that causes scar tissue to build up in the lungs. Owens has also been diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, which further impacts her heart’s ability to pump blood. In addition to making dietary changes, Owens had a small defibrillator implanted in her chest. 

The risk for conditions such as coronary heart disease, stroke, and dementia increases with age. A dementia diagnosis can be difficult for seniors and their families to face. If you need help caring for your aging loved one while he or she manages the challenges of dementia, turn to Home Care Assistance of Indianapolis. Dementia care isn’t the only thing we specialize in. All of our hourly and live-in caregivers are also trained to assist seniors during stroke recovery and help those living with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s maintain a higher quality of life.

“The General”

After taking control of her mother’s treatments, Queen Latifah was lovingly referred to as “the General” by friends and family. She has recruited an army of medical specialists and loved ones to care for her mother’s physical and emotional health. Even though her mother is now back in New Jersey, Latifah still visits her as often as possible and tries to call her at least once a day.

Queen Latifah the Caregiver

During an interview with the AARP, Latifah stated that becoming a family caregiver has changed her life for the better. Learning about her mother’s health problems has made her more conscious of her own health. Queen Latifah is also inspired by her mother’s strength and persistence. The initial treatment for scleroderma was extremely challenging, but Owens stayed positive throughout the experience. Not only is Owens now able to care for herself, but she also works with the American Heart Association’s Rise Above HF campaign. 

Rise Above HF

Over five million Americans are now living with some form of heart failure, and 550,000 new cases are diagnosed every year. Seniors can reduce their risk of heart failure by making healthier lifestyle choices. Much like Latifah’s mother, seniors should consider switching to vegetable-rich diets. The Rise Above HF campaign also offers free packets that provide information such as warning signs of heart failure and tips to manage the symptoms.

Caring for a senior loved one with heart disease or other health conditions can be rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming. If you are the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Indianapolis, 24-hour home care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more. To learn more about our senior care services, call one of our qualified Care Managers at [hca_phone] to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Ways to Prevent Sibling Caregiver Conflict in Carmel, IN

How to Prevent Sibling Caregiver Conflict

Sibling conflicts are common when managing caregiving duties for an aging parent. If you are involved in caring for a senior loved one, work with your siblings on developing a care plan for him or her keeping these tips in mind.

1. Involve Your Loved One

Sometimes, siblings get so caught up in their conflicts they forget the person who is truly affected by their decisions. Ideally, you should have conversations with your parent about how he or she prefers for you and your siblings to manage the care. If you have discussed this, defer to your loved one’s prior decisions and ask if he or she would like anything changed. If possible, while your loved one is still able to think and communicate clearly, involve him or her in the big decisions regarding where to live and who will be the primary caregiver.

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Indianapolis Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

2. Let Go of the Past

Even if your siblings were not very responsible when you were kids, try to take the viewpoint that times have changed. Siblings have past experiences with one another that can sometimes make it hard to communicate. You may be feeling deep hurt or resentment over your siblings’ past decisions. Put those feelings aside for now, and focus on making sure your parent has everything he or she needs. You may even be surprised to discover that your siblings have changed for the better.

3. Rely on a Neutral Party

Fighting with your siblings over who your parent will live with or who will help him or her bathe is counterproductive. When you and your siblings cannot reach an agreement, ask a neutral party to step in and help with these and other decisions. Talk to your loved one’s medical team to find out if he or she has special needs and how you can reduce the risk of falling around the home or minimize the effects of memory loss on safety and overall health. Consider having a home assessment to determine the types of services your loved one needs. Taking professional advice and hiring a professional caregiver can help you and your siblings resolve conflicts regarding things such as transportation and personal hygiene.

Professional caregivers are also trained to provide specialized care for seniors with dementia-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s. Home Care Assistance is a trusted provider of senior home care in Indianapolis. Alzheimer’s care is one of our main specialties. Our caregivers can help seniors with Alzheimer’s manage their condition while performing daily tasks like exercise, bathing, and cooking, and we also provide a wide array of mentally stimulating activities.

4. Schedule Follow Up Meetings

Once there is a basic care plan in place, it is important for everyone involved to know changes are sometimes necessary due to a new health diagnosis or added personal responsibilities on the primary caregiver. Hold regular follow up meetings where each sibling can voice his or her concerns and talk about how he or she is adjusting. If necessary, provide support to a sibling who is facing challenges so you can reduce negative emotions that could lead to new conflicts in the future.

Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. Indianapolis, IN, respite care experts from Home Care Assistance are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities. Call [hca_phone] to speak with a Care Manager about customizing a care plan for your loved one.

Encouraging Caregiver Wellbeing for 2017 in Carmel, IN

Promoting Caregiver Wellbeing for 2017

Almost 25 percent of live-in and hourly caregivers in Indianapolis burn out to the point where they quit taking care of a senior loved one each year. If you are a caregiver for a senior loved one, then make sure to take care of yourself in 2017. Here are a few tips to help you achieve that goal.

Eat a Balanced Diet

Most Indianapolis home care professionals maintain that eating a balanced diet each day is an important way to prevent caregiver burnout. Try to eat at least three meals each day including protein, vegetables, fruits and a healthy fat. Getting to or maintaining a healthy weight can really help caregivers feel better mentally and physically. 

Get Physical Exercise

Many caregivers find it difficult to get enough physical exercise. Spend part of each day exercising with a goal of getting your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes, three times a week. Make sure that you lift properly by bending at the knees to relieve pressure on your back. Be careful not to twist when lifting. 

Learn Something New

Try to learn something new each day, even if it seems like trivia to you. Consider watching an educational show on television, studying a topic on the Internet or reading an informational book. 

Get Creative

A great way to avoid caregiver burnout is to do something you enjoy every day. 
Many caregivers get so focused on meeting their senior’s needs that they forget to do something they enjoy each day. The activity is totally up to you. Some suggestions include crafts, writing, reading or making a fun food. 

Go Outside

Spend some time outside each day. When possible, find a way to get back to nature by getting out to enjoy some fresh air. If the weather does not allow you to leave the house, then consider growing an indoor plant or feeding the birds. 

Talk

Make sure to connect with someone each day. Concentrate on talking about things that do not affect your senior loved one. Find time to share your hopes and dreams with this person. 

It may even be that you need a little extra help or a break from looking after your loved one. Turn to Home Care Assistance to learn about our flexible respite home care in Indianapolis. Our caregivers are highly trained to help seniors age in place with dignity, which frees up your schedule to relax and recharge. Call (317) 581-1901 today to learn more about our programs and how they can help both you and your loved one.