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Depression In The Elderly: How You Can Help

Posted by on 6:44 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Depression In The Elderly: How You Can Help

As your loved ones grow older, the risk of depression becomes greater. There is an unfortunate lack of therapists dedicated solely to senior care, which can be problematic. In addition, seniors also avoid seeking care for depression as they feel it can be a burden on the family. This is why it is so crucial that you pay attention to symptoms of depression so that you can tackle the problem head on. Understand the Signs While you are not required to be an expert on depression in seniors, it is important that you educate yourself on the subject. There are some key signs that you should look out for in order to ensure your loved one is cared for, including the following: Extreme sadness or despondence No longer interested in their regular activities No motivation Significant weight loss or gain Problems with memory Not caring for themselves Worthlessness feelings Support Them As Much As Possible One of the very best things you can do is help your loved one seek help and support them through their healing. Encourage them to go to treatment and to continue going on a regular basis. This can include helping them remember to take medications, help with making appointments, and even driving them to the therapist. Listen Also, you should aim to become a very good listener. Talk to your loved one and let him or her know that you are there to listen to whatever they have to say. Let them know they are not a burden on you, which can be a major part of the depression cycle in seniors. Reduce Stress A depressed patient can often be very stressful. Try to help minimize the stress in his or her life. Stress can significantly exacerbate depression symptoms. Offer to help develop daily routines in order to maintain a healthy balance of activity throughout the day. This can be as easy as helping them plan their meals, manage a medication schedule, housework, and physical activity. Spend Quality Time Above all, one of the best ways to help your depressed loved one is quality time. As people age and their loved ones move away or pass on, they can begin feeling very lonely, which contributes heavily to depression. Make a goal to spend a certain amount of quality time each week with them to help reduce depression. Go for a walk, take them out to lunch, go shopping, or start a hobby together. Taking the time to help an elderly loved one who is depressed can be a major job, so do not hesitate to ask other family members for help. Be sure to also ask professionals like Queen City Home Care for...

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Five Tips For Saving Money When You Are Caring For An Elder Relative Or Loved One

Posted by on 8:38 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Five Tips For Saving Money When You Are Caring For An Elder Relative Or Loved One

Caring for an elder relative who can no longer care for themselves can be a loving and rewarding way to spend your time, but it can also be hard and expensive. Want to shave some of the costs down? Take a look at these ideas: 1. Explore the caregiver tax credit. If your loved one is mostly or completely reliant on you and he or she earns less than $3,950 annually, as of 2014, you may be able to claim him or her as a dependent on your return. This means you will receive a standard deduction for this dependent, and that deduction helps to lower your taxable income, reducing the amount of tax you owe. 2. Track your expenses. If your loved one qualifies as your dependent, you can take his or her medical expenses into account on your income tax return. You can include everything from co-pays, to insulin as medical expenses, and if the total exceeds 10 percent of your income, you can claim the excess as a deduction on your income tax return. If you are over the age of 65, you may claim a deduction for all of the medical expenses over $7,500. 3. Buy supplies with a flexible spending account. If you don’t qualify for the caregiver tax credit, consider buying your loved one’s medical supplies with a flexible spending account. This employer-based perk allows you to spend pre-tax income on everything, from medication, to contact solution. Also, remember to check the tax rules. They are always changing, and new credits for caregivers have been proposed by some politicians. 4. Consolidate your living arrangement. Maintaining separate homes can be very expensive, and if you are looking for ways to save money, consider moving in together. Even selling both of your homes and moving into one that is slightly larger can be cheaper than paying the bills from two homes. 5. Outsource some of your loved one’s care. Instead of doing all of the work, consider outsourcing some of your loved one’s care to a professional. Spending money on a home health aid may sound counterproductive when you are trying to save money. However, you need to crunch the numbers, and if you can earn more than you pay the caretaker, you may want to delegate some of the care responsibilities. For more tips on how to save money while taking care of an elder loved one, contact a home healthcare agency {like Neighbors Home Care...

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Caring for Your Elderly Parents: Exploring Senior Care Options

Posted by on 7:47 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Caring for Your Elderly Parents: Exploring Senior Care Options

With more and more people living longer, many individuals are now finding themselves faced with taking care of their elderly parents. The problem is, it can be very difficult to meet all of the needs of an aging parent while still tending to all of the other responsibilities in your own life. Thankfully, there are several senior care options that can help you to accomplish this task. Below you will learn more about the pros and cons associated with a few of these options so that you can decide for yourself which senior care option is right for the needs of your elderly parents. In-Home Care In-home care provides the perfect solution for many people who are struggling to care for their elderly parents. This is because in-home care allows the senior to remain in their own home or the home of a family member while still getting the assistance they need to complete daily tasks. For instance, an in-home aide can provide assistance with bathing, dressing, and administering medication. In-home care services also provide a very flexible schedule. While some people will receive these services just a few times a week, others will receive round the clock care. With the ability to choose the times and days that services are required, you can be sure that there is always someone there for your elderly parents when you are not available to provide care yourself. While these senior care services will prove beneficial for many people, they will not be right for everyone. For example, seniors who require extensive medical care will likely fail to benefit from the use of in-home care since home care aides receive very limited medical training and will therefore be unable to provide intense medical care. Nursing Homes If remaining at home simply is not an option for your elderly parents, you may wish to consider the services of a nursing home in your area. Unlike home care services, these residential facilities are capable of providing round the clock medical care thanks to the fact that they are staffed by certified medical personnel, such as registered nurses and physicians assistants. The high level of care provided by nursing homes like Devoted Guardians is also ideal for seniors who are recovering from a serious illness or injury. For many of these seniors, their stay in a nursing home will be temporary until they are well enough to benefit from a lower level of care....

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Companion Care: What It Is And How It Can Benefit Your Aging Loved One

Posted by on 10:30 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Caring for an aging family member can be a difficult task. Throw in work demands and other family care duties, and you may feel like you’re constantly drowning in your responsibilities. If you’re struggling to provide your family member with the best care, read on to learn more about the benefits of hiring a companion. What Is Companion Care? Many elderly individuals receive in-home medical visits. From nurses to physical therapists, your loved one may be seeing medical personnel on a daily basis. While the services they provide for your loved one are invaluable, they may not have as much time to spend with them as they’d (and you’d) like. A companion is an individual who may have a medical background of their own but who primarily provides companionship services to the bedridden and elderly. They can provide basic acts of care and help with daily needs, such as cleaning, shopping, and meal preparation, but they also act as a friend and companion. Who Can Benefit from Companion Care? Whether your family member is fairly independent or needs more intensive daily care, a companion can usually be matched to fit their needs. When working with an elderly companion company, it’s important to be as honest about your loved one’s needs as possible. This ensures they match the right companion with your loved one to provide only the best care. The tasks performed by companions will be determined by the needs of your loved one. They may only need help with more-involved housework, such as laundry, or perhaps they need someone to drive them around to run errands and attend necessary appointments. Even if the majority of your loved one’s needs are met by you or other medical professionals, a companion can be a great addition to the care team. Your loved one can never be surrounded by too many caring people who take the time to interact with them and enjoy their company. When Is Companion Care Right For Your Loved One? Companions can be a great addition to the support team at any point in time. Your loved one may have recently suffered a setback that leaves them needing more help around the home, or they may have been in decline for a while now. Even if your loved one shows no signs of slowing down, a companion can offer support you didn’t even know your loved one needed. To get a better idea of the companion care services offered in your area, call around. The services offered may range in complexity, and it’s always good to know what supports can be called in, even if not immediately...

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Senior Care: Finding The Right Fit For Mom Or Dad

Posted by on 5:40 pm in Uncategorized | 0 comments

There are a lot of different types of senior care services out there. It can be tough trying to find the perfect fit for your aging parent or parents. So, just how do you find the type of service you need, and then find the perfect caregiver for your loved one?  Identify Level of Care Needed The first thing you need to do is really identify what level of care your parent or parents need. Find a pen and a notebook and jot down the issues that your loved one has on a day to day basis. Make categories of mild, problematic, and serious. List each item on your list under the appropriate category. For instance, does your loved one have issues with  Remembering  Mobility Dressing Cooking Safety Toileting Driving These are just a few of the problems that can come with age. It’s important to be really honest with yourself about the level of attention your parent needs. Forgetting to turn off the stove is a big deal because it could lead to tragedy, but forgetting to wear socks isn’t the end of the world.  Tailor Your List Now that you have the facts in front of you, really consider each item on your list. Do you feel comfortable leaving your loved one alone for an extended period of time? Does your loved one need help with cooking and cleaning, but seem to do great with everything else? Tailor your list to your specific situation. If a great deal of your list is in the serious category, that could indicate that your loved one needs assistance most of the time. Home Care or Assisted Living? If your loved one does need constant care, is that something that can be accomplished at home? Often, unless a serious injury or well developed disease like Alzheimer’s is present, the responsibility of caring for an aging parent can be handled at home with part-time or full-time home care services. Two studies show that seniors in housing facilities for long term care have greater rates of depression and in some cases, suicide. Keeping seniors at home for as long as possible is often the best course of action for their overall mental, spiritual and physical well-being. If you do decide to keep your parent at home, finding the ideal home care services is important for success. When considering your options, such as ComForcare Home Care – Glendale, CA, it’s important to find a home care service that can adequately fill your personal needs, providing the best possible care for your loved...

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Immobility And Pressure Sores: 3 Ways You Can Keep Your Loved One’s Skin Healthy And Free Of Bedsores

Posted by on 10:47 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

As with most things, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to bedsores or pressure sores. Bedsores, which form when the skin lays against something for a long period of time, are extremely painful and difficult to treat. They are more common in people who are bedridden or unable to move about freely, as they often spend a great deal of time sitting or lying. They are also common in wheelchair-bound people. If your loved one has mobility issues, you have to do your part to prevent bedsores. Following are three ways you can keep your loved one’s skin healthy and free of sores.  Help Them Change Positions Frequently One of the best ways to prevent bedsores is to eliminate pressure placed against one area of the skin for an extended period of time. You can do this by helping your loved one change positions frequently. Strive to help them change positions about once every hour, more often if they’re uncomfortable or if their skin is damp from sweat, urine or other bodily fluids. If your loved one can shift positions slightly on their own, encourage them to do so every 15 minutes.  Care for Their Skin Protect your loved one’s skin by keeping it clean and dry at all times. Change diapers frequently and use protective creams in vulnerable areas, such as the groin and buttocks. Cleanse the skin with mild soap and warm water daily and be sure to rinse it thoroughly so the skin doesn’t become irritated. Pat the skin dry and apply powder to areas that are prone to dampness and lotion to areas that are dry. While you’re cleaning the skin, be sure to inspect it for any signs of developing sores.  Hire Help for When You’re Not Around It’s difficult for one person to see to the needs of their loved one around the clock. If you must be away from your loved one, hire a home health service, like A Better Home Health Care, that will help them move about and stay clean while you’re away. A home health worker can also help you with skin inspections and help you spot and treat any signs of sores before they become a major problem.  Caring for your loved one’s skin is a large part of keeping them healthy. Be sure to help your loved one change positions frequently, keep their skin clean and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need...

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4 Things You Must Know About In-Home Care For Your Elderly Parent

Posted by on 2:34 pm in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you have an elderly parent who is in need of care because their age has hindered their ability to care for themselves during the day, then you may consider the help of in-home care. This is care that allows your elderly parent to still live in the comfort of their own homes while being able to receive care from a professionally trained in-home care nurse. However, before you hire in-home care, you should know these four things about it: You Can Receive Financial Help: In-home care can be expensive, so you must know that there is a chance that you can receive assistance. If your parent has long-term care insurance, for example, this can be used to pay for either all of the costs of in-home care or at least some of it. This can help your family to afford the cost of the care that your elderly parent may need.  Prices Vary: You have to be aware that prices for in-home care is going to vary widely. For example, most in-home care professionals will charge more based on the amount of assistance that your elderly parent may need. If your parent needs help eating and bathing, for example, then this is going to cost you more monthly than if they only simply needed help walking or remembering to take their medications. Be sure to receive quotes and give all in-home care professionals a detailed list of the assistance that your parent will need to ensure you are receiving the most accurate quote.  Most In-Home Professionals Have Pay-Per-Needs: When you work with professional in-home care that requires pay-per-needs, this means that you are going to be charged differently each month depending on what services were needed. This can make determining accurate costs more difficult, but it typically stays in the same range so long as your parent doesn’t suffer from severe health problems that can drastically change what they are capable of doing on their own.  You Must Monitor Monthly Costs: Each month when you receive the bill for the services provided by in-home care professionals, you need to be sure that you go over each charge. For example, you may be charged for medications that you know your elderly parent is no longer taking. You need to address these issues to ensure that you aren’t being charged for this medication the next month. You may also be charged for services that you originally needed when you first hired the in-home care, but your elderly parent no longer needs it.  By knowing these four things about in-home care for your elderly parent, you can be sure that you are more comfortable with using their services. Contact a local in-home care company, such as ComForcare – Lakewood,...

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In-Home Senior Care: Four Tips For A Safer Bathroom Experience

Posted by on 7:52 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

In today’s world, many seniors—and their children—are opting for in-home care. The comfort and cost of in-home senior care is very appealing; unfortunately, it can also present dangers. Because there are no safety regulations in your home, it is easy to accidents to occur—especially in the bathroom. If your loved one will be staying in their home for the duration of their senior years, make sure you “senior-proof” the home. For starters, address the bathroom; it is the most common place for slips and falls. Don’t know where to start? Just follow these four tips: 1. Provide Decent Lighting Seniors often have a hard time sleeping through the night because of their bladder. Just ask anyone over 50 years old if they get up in the middle of the night and you will hear a resounding “yes.” Getting up in the middle of the night to use the restroom isn’t a problem, but it can be dangerous—especially without proper lighting. So make sure that there is decent lighting in the bathroom at night. A nightlight is ideal, as it provides light without the need to flip the switch. If the bathroom is located in a long hallway or on another floor, make sure there is lighting throughout the home so that your loved one can see where he or she is walking. 2. Make Showers Accessible Even if your loved one doesn’t have problems standing or walking for long periods of time, make sure your shower is senior-friendly. Install a shower-safe chair so that your loved one can sit; this alone will make the shower safer. Another helpful thing you can do is install a handheld showerhead, which makes showering easier—especially for hard to reach areas, such as the back. 3. Keep Floors Safe Another thing you need to do is make your bathroom floors safe. After using the shower or tub, the floor becomes wet and slippery; two factors that make slipping and falling easy. To keep the floor from becoming dangerous, make sure you have non-skid mats on the ground. Also, make sure you provide these in the shower as well, as slips and falls can happen there too. 4. Install Grab Bars Seniors often grab onto things to keep themselves stable—or to prevent a fall. If you do not have grab bars, it is possible they are grabbing onto towel bars. Unfortunately, towel bars are not strong enough to support the weight of an adult; this can make it very dangerous. To keep your loved one safe, install grab bars in your bathroom. Make sure you position them appropriately, so that they are within reach. The best places to put grab bars are in the shower or bathtub, as well as near the sink. You can also install them near the entrance of the bathroom, if needed. Although these four tips are not a comprehensive list, they are a good start. Above all, make sure someone is with your loved one at all times when using the restroom if needed. Speak with experts like ComForcare – Hazelwood, MO for more...

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Four Myths About Radon Every Homeowner Should Know

Posted by on 9:51 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

For most people, the gas radon is mostly a mystery. They know it’s a dangerous gas, but that’s about the extent of it. Radon is indeed a dangerous gas. In fact, over 20,000 deaths per year can be attributed to radon. But there’s a lot of misinformation that surrounds it. Here’s a look at some of the most common myths about radon, and the real truth behind them. Myth #1: Fixing A Radon Problem is Difficult and Time Consuming Dealing with a toxic gas sounds like it would be an incredibly difficult problem, but the cost, time consumed, and effort involved are all fairly similar to most other home repairs. Radon is not a permanent problem, and thousands of homeowners fix their radon problems each year. Contact an office in your state to find a list of qualified contractors near you. Myth #2: There’s No Reason to Test A Home If There Hasn’t Been A Problem Many homeowners are hesitant to test their residences for radon because they’ve lived in them for years with no adverse effects. Your home may only have a very small level of radon, but any level is something that needs to be dealt with, because even the smallest level has the potential to cause lung cancer. Myth #3: Radon is only a problem is certain parts of the country The average level of radon does lower the further south you go in the United States, radon cases are reported in every state each year. The threat isn’t limited to just one region of the country. While you can find the average levels in your state from several resources online, you’ll want to test your home to find out what your level is for sure. Myth #4: If A Neighbor’s Home Was Tested and Came Back Clean, My Home Is Fine When you’re testing for a gas, levels can vary greatly in homes that are side by side. Just because a neighbor’s home comes back clean doesn’t mean yours will. Radon is a dangerous gas, but it’s something you can take care of relatively easily. Of course, the first step in dealing with radon in your home is to find out what sort of levels you have. Using a home radon test kit is a reliable way to find out if there’s a problem you need to deal with immediately, or if your home is radon free. For assistance, talk to a professional like Radon...

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Recovering From A Serious Illness Or Injury: The Pros And Cons Of Home Healthcare

Posted by on 3:48 pm in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you recently suffered a serious illness or injury, the use of home healthcare services could allow you to recover at home rather than spending an extended period of time in the hospital. However, while many individuals will benefit greatly from the use of these services, home healthcare services will not be right for everyone. Taking the time to review the pros and cons associated with this option will allow you to determine for yourself whether or not these services are right for you. The Pros There are several benefits that come along with using home healthcare services when recovering from a serious illness or injury. These benefits include: Recover Faster – While there is no guarantee, many patients recover faster when allowed to do so in the comfort of their own home rather than remaining in the hospital. Receive Assistance With Daily Tasks – Home healthcare services will allow you to receive assistance with many daily tasks which may prove difficult immediately after returning home from an extended hospital stay. For instance, these services will typically offer assistance with bathing, dressing, and standing. If you suffer from mobility issues, your home care aide can also help you to move from one location within the house to another. Enjoy More Freedom – Home healthcare services can be offered for a few hours a week or around the clock. By providing you only with the level of care that you require, these services will allow you to enjoy a great deal more freedom than you would have in a hospital or assisted living facility. The Cons There are also a few disadvantages that come along with choosing to use home healthcare services rather than remaining in the hospital during your recovery. These disadvantages include: Housebound Requirement – In order to qualify for home healthcare services, some insurance companies will require you to be housebound. This means that if you are physically capable of going out of the house to get the daily services that you require, you may not be eligible to receive in-home care under your current medical coverage. Out-Of-Pocket Expenses – Even if your medical insurance covers the cost of home healthcare, you may still be required to pay a co-pay for each of the services that are provided. For instance, you may need to pay a co-payment for any medications you receive, while paying a separate co-payment for any medical equipment you require. These co-payments can easily add up and will likely exceed the co-payment you will be required to pay when being admitted to the hospital. The Bottom Line The decision to remain in the hospital or make use of home healthcare services is a decision that should be made between you and your physician. This is because a great deal of the benefits that home healthcare services have to offer will depend upon the level of care that you require. To learn more about these services and the pros and cons that come along with them, be sure to talk to both your doctor and a qualified home healthcare agency, like All Stat Home Health, in your local...

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