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!

senior care transportation

Transportation Alternatives for Seniors

As we get older, the way that we get around is subject to change at any given time. That includes how we get our grocery shopping done, run our errands, and even get the mail from the end of the driveway. All of these simple tasks can become much more difficult as we age, but that doesn’t mean we should have to struggle as senior citizens! Instead, we look to several alternatives to transportation for our seniors in senior care.

Before we get to our different options, let’s learn why some seniors may need to consider alternative transportation options.

Decreased Mobility – Whether it is due to injury, illness, or just old age, many seniors can often experience a lack of mobility as they age, which can be a reason for them to no longer transport themselves.

Deteriorating Eyesight – If your senior is suffering from impaired vision, this will greatly impede their ability to drive completely. We recommend that they always seek alternative transportation in this case.

Chronic Illnesses – Seniors struggling with debilitating diseases, such as heart disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia, and Parkinson’s Disease are likely unable to drive and transport themselves given their various symptoms.

Short Distances

Due to some of the reasons listed above, your loved one in senior care may just not feel comfortable – or be able to – rely on or navigate public transportation anymore. Rather than that, we suggest having their caregiver or a family member help transport them for short distances to achieve basic tasks like picking up medication or going to a doctor’s appointment.

Or, if your senior is immobile or does not want to leave their home, a family member or caregiver can handle the task at hand for them if it does not require your senior to be present.

Long Distances

It can be more of a challenge to help your senior travel longer distances. You may encounter obstacles like not having a caregiver or a family member willing to drive long distances or the fact that the cost of traveling for longer times is more expensive. To overcome these, it can be worth your while to join a transportation network that is specific for seniors. Transportation networks are often created to serve a certain region or city and will help your senior to find the transportation required to travel long distances.

Are you thinking about enrolling your senior into senior care services? We would love to help you discover your options! Please call Home Care Assistance to schedule your consultation today.

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.

Older adult with smart phone

New Technologies Are Improving Home Care

People employed in home care are enthusiastic about technologies becoming available to our aging population. Fall prevention has always been an issue for older people but detection devices now offer safety and security monitoring that’s especially helpful to those who continue to resist home care. Today, we have electronic devices that monitor health status, nutrition or diet, and memory aids which keep people living successfully in their own homes.

We have apps, wearables and other electronic devices to monitor blood glucose and blood pressure. Technology is developing for elderly people to connect with caregivers at the touch of a button or even by voice.

The personal health technology market is booming which has enabled more adults to age in place longer. With billions of dollars invested into enhanced technology for home care, mobile devices will more quickly connect health and emergency response teams to patients and caregivers, allowing better communication and patient empowerment, as well as considerable cost savings. Now, it’s easier to schedule online appointments, use virtual appointments, fill prescriptions, and even participate in video chats with physicians.

Monitoring and diagnostics are the biggest focus for disease prevention, stress reduction, and assistance in lifestyle changes that can impact health and wellness. Imagine if Grandma didn’t get out of bed by a certain time of day, and a silent alarm was triggered for someone to check on her. The newest motion sensors are helpful for more than home security systems. Highly sensitive sensors monitor whether a patient is sitting, standing, or has just fallen.

Other hot items developing will help with the use of medication. An ingestible device has been developed to track whether a pill has been taken. This could be a perfect solution for people of any age with mental illnesses, like schizophrenia, bipolar disease or depression. Another medication solution is facial-recognition technology, which allows prescription medications to be dispensed at home, eliminating the need for a skilled worker to attend throughout the day. “Smart pill bottles” are another technological advancement for home care which notes if a medication has been taken at the right time and dosage.

As these newfangled devices arrive on the market today, all ages will benefit. Health data, nutrition, activity, and more can be monitored for personal use or for sharing with medical providers.

Home Care Assistance is up to date on the best home care technology. Call your local office today to ask about the best home care for you or your loved one.

Caution wet floor sign

How to Reduce the Risk of Fall-Related Injuries

A fall at home can lead to injuries as serious as a broken hip. Fall-related injuries are one of the leading causes of seniors losing their independence since they may not fully recover after breaking a limb. Use these strategies to prevent your senior loved one from falling at home so he or she can continue to age in place safely.

Remove Rugs

Rugs create a fall-hazard because they can easily slide out from under your loved one’s feet. Remove any unnecessary rugs from the main walking areas. If your loved one insists on keeping the rugs, make sure they are secured to the floor with special rug tape.

Safety-proofing a senior’s house while managing other caregiving tasks can be overwhelming. If you are the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality home care, Indianapolis Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.

Create a Clear Walking Path

Seniors may not be able to balance themselves if they trip over a furniture leg or clutter on the floor. Your loved one may also need a wider path if he or she recently started using a mobility aid such as a walker. Go through your loved one’s house, and move everything away from the walking path. Encourage your loved one to keep small items picked up since tripping over one of these items could lead to a fall.

Store Common Items within Reach

Many falls occur when seniors attempt to climb on things to reach objects on high shelves. Alternatively, your loved one may fall if he or she can’t reach a mobility aid from the bed. Help your loved one place his or her frequently used things in areas that are easily accessible. For instance, your loved one may need a basket next to the toilet filled with extra supplies.

Provide Daily Assistance

As people age, their bodies go through physical changes that affect their vision, mobility, and mental state, which makes falling more likely. Arrange for a professional caregiver to visit each day. This way, your loved one can quickly ask for help rather than attempting to do strenuous tasks.

In Indianapolis, Indiana, home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.

Replace Stairs with Ramps

Stiff limbs and reduced mobility can make it difficult for seniors to safely climb stairs. Replace any stairs leading up to your loved one’s home with ramps he or she can use even with mobility devices. Look into options for handling indoor staircases such as chair lifts that safely transport your loved one to the upper levels of the home.

Install Proper Lighting

Walking in the dark can be dangerous, and seniors have reduced night vision that increases the danger. Install motion-sensor lights that allow your loved one to easily move through the house while being able to see clearly. Good lighting is especially important in areas that already pose a fall hazard, such as the restroom and kitchen.

With a little forethought and planning, your senior loved one can live independently at home. Some seniors only require help with a few daily tasks so they can maintain their independence. However, those living with serious illnesses may need more extensive assistance. Luckily, there is professional live-in care Indianapolis, IN, seniors can rely on. Home can be a safer and more comfortable place for your loved one to live with the help of an expertly trained and dedicated live-in caregiver. To learn about our high-quality senior care plans and revolutionary at-home care methods, give Home Care Assistance a call at [hca_phone] today.