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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.

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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!

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.

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.

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!

Five Legal Documents You Need for Your Parent in Senior Care

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

Advanced Directive

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

Living Will

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

DNR & DNI

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

Power of Attorney

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

Will and/or Trust

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

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

Home Care for Disabled Seniors

Home Care Options for Seniors with Disabilities

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

Did you know?

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

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

Types of Disabilities

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

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

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

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

 Home Care Options

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

Basic Needs

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

Advanced Needs

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

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

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

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Five Key Questions to Ask Your Doctor at Your Routine Checkup This Year

Going for your routine checkup with your doctor may not always be your favorite thing to do… But it IS a good thing to do – Especially if you’re provided with home care services. Your annual visits to your doctor require a little more of your attention each year as staying healthy becomes a priority.

For your next annual checkup with your doctor this year, we’ve come up with 5 key questions you should ask to keep you healthy and feeling good. Make sure to note your doctor’s response!

What screening tests do I need?

At your routine checkup, your doctor will probably check your blood pressure and cholesterol levels like usual. But you should also ask them if any other screen testing may be a good idea for you. For example, prostate exams for men, and mammograms for both women and men.

What should I be eating – or not eating?

Healthy eating and focusing on your nutrition is always important. You can ask your doctor if you should implement changes in your diet if you are worried about your weight, blood pressure, or cholesterol levels.

How’s my weight?

If it’s recommended that you shed a few pounds to start feeling better, as your doctor to suggest healthy ways to go about weight loss. They can also tell you about how your weight can affect your health and risk for disease.

What should I do before my next visit?

Think of your next doctor’s visit as a milestone – Maybe you’ll have goals to achieve before your next appointment! If your goal is to lose weight, eat healthier, or exercise more, come up with a plan with your doctor so you’re prepared for your next checkup.

When do I need to see a doctor again?

Who says routine checkups must be performed annually? Your doctor will help you decide when the right time is for YOU to come back.

If you’re thinking about enrolling home care services or you’re looking to expand your options, we would love to consult with you at Home Care Assistance! Give us a call and we’ll discuss a plan that works best for you.

Signs your loved one may need senior care in Carmel, IN

Five Signs Your Loved One is Ready for In-Home Senior Care

Before you can begin to decide whether or not your loved one needs in-home senior care, it is helpful to first understand what just what it means and how it works. In-home senior care refers to care that is provided to seniors in their own home, for as long as possible before being placed in a facility. In-home services can be constant care – 24/7 – or it could even be select days and times each week depending on your senior’s needs.

As for the service types that come with in-home care, there is a wide variety to choose from based on your senior’s priority. Your loved one may need non-medical services (assistance with errands, cleaning, bathing cooking), socialization services (companionship), or even medical assistance. Knowing this, we still must ask ourselves: How do we know when our loved ones need in-home senior care?

Here are some of the telltale signs to look out for:

Worsening Health Conditions or Recent Accidents

If your loved one has had a recent medical scare or maybe even taken a fall, these could be signs in-home care is needed. The older your loved one gets, the higher the chances are of an accident happening again.

Not Leaving the House

Pay attention to how often (or not) your loved one leaves the house. If it has been several days at a time that they have not left the house, this could be due to a fear of driving themselves or using public transportation.

Forgetfulness

Have you noticed that your loved one seems to forget things lately? Maybe they forget to check or open the mail, or they forget where their home is after driving back from the grocery store. These are signs of memory loss and having someone to check in may be helpful.

Changes in Cleanliness and Organization

The next time you visit with your loved one, take a moment to notice two things: their appearance and their house. Do they seem clean? Are their clothes clean? Look around the house – Are things in order, or is their clutter and disorganization?

Energy Levels and Interests

Do you notice a change in your loved one’s energy level? If they have lower energy or are losing interest in activities they once enjoyed, these could be signs of the onset of depression. In-home socialization services could be beneficial.

How to Enhance Mobility in Aging Adults in Carmel, IN

How to Promote Mobility in Aging Adults

Most seniors enjoy active lifestyles, but the aging process combined with medical conditions may interfere with their mobility.

Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust in Indianapolis, IN, senior home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.

Having adequate balance, coordination, and strength are vital to preventing falls. There are several ways family members can help their elderly loved ones increase mobility. By boosting mobility, seniors have a greater likelihood of remaining independent. 

Increase Physical Activity

With the approval of a healthcare provider, family members should encourage seniors to become more physically active. Starting with just 10 minutes per day, older adults can take a short walk and gradually increase the activity up to 20 or 30 minutes three to seven times each week. They can also engage in light weight lifting or perform other exercises. Be creative and encourage your loved one to do a few exercises during commercials or walk around the house while talking on the phone. 

Serve Healthier Food Choices

For their bodies to function at optimal levels, seniors need an adequate amount of nutrients. A proper diet helps prevent obesity by regulating fats and empty calories. Being overweight poses several health issues, including mobility difficulties. 

Promote Better Sleep Hygiene

Without seven to nine hours of restful sleep, seniors have an increased risk of becoming injured due to an accident or a fall. Assess your loved one’s sleep schedule, routine, and sleeping environment, and encourage changes if needed. 

Encourage Physical Therapy 

For seniors with arthritis or an injury that impairs mobility, a physical therapist can help them learn how to increase their range of motion. Therapists empower seniors with customized programs that aid in the healing process. Even one or two appointments may be sufficient to provide enough knowledge to enhance mobility. 

Provide Encouragement

Recovering from an injury, illness, or living with a health condition may seem challenging. Despite fatigue, pain, soreness, stiffness, and frustration, family members can provide the encouragement needed for seniors to boost their health. Older adults must continue the recommended exercises or keep moving to maintain their mobility. 

Clear Clutter

Moving around the home or the backyard is easier without having to navigate through potential dangers. Family members can evaluate their loved one’s home and remove possible obstacles. Nonskid rugs can prevent indoor slips or falls. 

A professional caregiver can provide your aging loved one with additional support by helping him or her walk through the house or removing clutter from the floor. 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, Indiana, 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.

Purchase Mobility Aids 

At some point, seniors may need to use mechanical aids to maintain balance or mobility. Older loved ones may initially be reluctant to use mobility aids because they are viewed as a sign of weakness. Family members can reassure their loved ones that assistive devices ensure their safety and comfort. Explain that canes, walkers, and motorized scooters boost independence and self-esteem by allowing older adults to remain mobile.

If daily tasks such as cleaning and cooking are harder for your senior loved one to complete due to mobility challenges, consider hiring a caregiver. Performing daily tasks while simultaneously managing the symptoms of a serious illness can be challenging for seniors. The Indianapolis live-in care experts at Home Care Assistance are available 24/7 to make sure your loved one has the care he or she needs to remain safe and comfortable while aging in place. If you need a professionally-trained caregiver for your loved one, contact us at [hca_phone] today.