Mike Garfunkel
Mike Garfunkel
Mike is currently the administrator for Family Bridges, which is a home care agency in Cincinnati, Dayton and Northern Kentucky. He is fully dedicated to providing the best home care services for the elderly.

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14 Senior Challenges to Look For with Activities of Daily Living

There are many problems that a senior may face during their daily lives. It is important to be aware when these issues start to appear and provide proper preventive measures to reduce the likelihood of an accident.

Some of the common self-care issues are:

  • Dressing
  • Bathing
  • Grooming
  • toileting
  • Getting in or out of bed
  • Eating
  • Taking medications properly
  • Cooking
  • Cleaning
  • Laundry
  • Shopping
  • Handling money or paying bills
  • Driving or using public transportation
  • Communicating by telephone and hearing

Most seniors may start indicating trouble with some of these everyday tasks and progressively get more difficult for them. Once you observe any difficulties, it is important to create a care plan and discuss them with the senior before they lose more control over these tasks. This will help your senior plan for the future and reduce the likelihood for resistance receiving outside help with caregivers.

HeatlhinAging.org reminds people to schedule a plan for assistance with their senior. They also suggest to allow the senior to live independently as possible, for as long as possible.

With any outside assistance, elders may resist this idea but you can reassure them that it is needed help for their health and safety as well as your own. You can ease them into the idea of having a caregiver assist them starting with a few hours and working toward more as the need arises.

Help is Available

We understand the trouble with caregiving for the seniors in your life and we are here to offer any help. Please contact us via email or phone at (888) 900-0048 to discuss how our caregivers can ensure your senior is living well.

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4 Common Elder Skin Problems & How to Treat Them

When dealing with elders and caring for them in your home, they may develop these 4 common skin problems such as itchy skin, fungal infections, shingles and pressure ulcers.

You should seek a doctor for any serious issue. However, the HealthinAging.org provides the following suggestions for treating each skin problem:

Itchy skin

This problem occurs more often during the cold season due to low humidity. Some suggestions are:

  • Rub the skin with lotion, body oil or moisturizer after showing or bathing.
  • Don’t take excessive showers which can dry the skin.
  • Shower with glycerin soap or one with a moisturizer.
  • Wash bed sheets and clothing frequently.
  • Ensure the senior drinks proper amounts of water, while staying away from caffeine and alcohol.
  • Use a humidifier to add moisture in the air.
  • Bath with colloidal oatmeal and use calamine lotion or cortisone cream after.
  • Trim a seniors nails to reduce aggressive itching which can cause damage.

Fungal infections

These type of skin problems happen in the damp parts of the body such as under armpits. To prevent, you should make sure the senior takes occasional showers or baths, changes their socks daily and wears loose clothing.

To treat, you can use over the counter anti-fungal products.

Shingles

This is a disease that causes fatigue, chills, headaches, and skin blisters. Once the blisters turn into a rash, it can a few weeks to heal. During this time, it is advised to keep the skin clean and dry.

Pain medicine can help reduce the pain but it is advised to go to the doctor for prescription drugs to help with severe symptoms.

Pressure ulcers

Pressure ulcers happen when an elder is in one place frequently like a wheelchair or bed. The constant pressure on the skin prevents sufficient blood flow, causing skin blisters or sores. To prevent pressure ulcers, you can perform the following:

  • Reposition every 1-2 hours
  • Keep bed sheets flat to prevent wrinkles from causing further pressure
  • Encourage them to be active and move around occasionally
  • Massage to help with circulation.
  • Use heel and elbow protectors.
  • Ensure a proper diet.

Family Bridges Home Care is here to help your senior live comfortably while preventing common skin problems that may arise. Please contact us via email or phone at (888) 900-0048 to discuss how our caregivers can ensure your senior is living well.

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Safety on Giving Medicine to Elderly at Home

Understanding Safety in Administrating Medication and Other Health Care Needs

Elderly people often spend a lot of money purchasing medication as compared to younger generations. This is in response to health issues older people suffer as they age such as diabetes, arthritis, heart illnesses and high blood pressures.

“People age 65 and over buy more than 30 percent of all prescription medicines and 40 percent of all nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines sold in this country.”

Due to life expectancy and aging, elderly need more medication and supplements to: cure their diseases due to age complications and to boost vitamins / minerals absorption, respectively. We must be more cautious in giving medicine to the elderly because it can have greater implications on their body due to organs not working as well to process them. Otherwise, one may be putting the life of the elderly to risk.

Difference of Prescription and Non – Prescription Medication

Over the counter pills are easily accessible such as basic supplements and drugs that can address non-severe cases of illness like cough, clogged nose, and a simple fever.

On the other hand, prescription drugs like pills, inhalers, patches and creams are under certain restrictions and can only be used under permission of doctors.

Responsible Giving of Medication to Elderly

There are specific and proper ways on how to cater to assisting medication to elderly. To read the rest of this article and learn about what caregivers and nurses should be aware of, visit Healthinaging.org here.

Family Bridges is Here to Help

Family Bridges is equipped with readily available home caregivers that can help with medication reminders for your elderly loved one.

Please contact us at (888) 900-0048 or via our online contact form to learn about our services.

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Common Senior Eyesight Issues & Other Poor Vision Symptoms

senior eye-sight issues

Caring for the Elderly Who Have Possible Eye Related Problems

Knowing the Cause and How to Address Poor Eyesight Problems

Poor eyesight is one of the expected issues that comes with aging. More often than not, most seniors develop blurry vision, and worst, may become blind.

Every person’s eyesight decreases with time which is dependent on their genetics, physiological, cultural and habitual background. A person who has taken care of their eyesight when they were younger, is of course, more likely to have better vision as they get old, otherwise, it is safe to blame genetics.

Special equipment like eye lasers, treatments like medication and supplements, or eye accessories like glasses and contact lenses may either temporarily or permanently increase vision. But as aging is inevitable, so is decreasing vision.

Understanding Cataracts in Elder people

The cloudy part that blocks the ability of elderly to see clearly is called cataracts. The ability to see depends on the amount and severity of blockage of cataract to the light that pass through the eye lenses.

Eye surgery and laser procedures can be done, but an older person may not be able to handle it depending on the health risk. Proper consultation with an eye expert specialist must be consulted.

Expectation of Degenerative Vision Due to Old age

There are other degenerative eyesight conditions to consider in aging. These are retinopathy due to diabetes, glaucoma, and macular deterioration due to ageing.

Read more about these on Health In Aging.

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How to Effectively Care for an Elder from Long-Distances

how to take care of senior long distances

Many families these days move away from their parents before they become elder and may end up having to figure out how to take care of them in their later years. This can cause challenges with long-distance caregiving. Some families will go as far as moving back to their senior’s hometown or having them move into their own home. But others settle down with a new life in another city and find it is best to care for them from a distance.

According to NIH’s article on getting started with long-distance caregiving, you can do a lot of caregiving far away from your senior by:

  • Managing their bill payments and finances
  • Outsource in-home care professionals and work with them through phone or email communication
  • Coordinate their health care needs and handle their insurance benefits and claims
  • Inform family and friends about your loved ones status

Family Bridges is skilled and experienced in working with families living at far distances from their aging senior. Although we recommend you visit your senior as often as possible for emotional support, it is very possible to work with us physically taking care of them.

Please contact us at (888) 900-0048 or via our online contact form. We would love to help in any way we can.

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How to Help a Senior Drink & Eat in Late Stage Dementia

How to Help a Senior Drink & EatIn this short clip, Teepa Snow demonstrates some invaluable tips on how to get a dementia senior to eat and drink without causing problems.

Getting Seniors to Swallow Water & Other Drinks

Teepa explains that many dementia patient’s brains get distracted while helping them drink a glass of water and forget to swallow. Be sure to pay attention if they are actually swallowing the drink. If they don’t swallow, Teepa’s technique is to bring the cup up to her lips again, but don’t give them any which usually tricks their brain to make them swallow.

Risk of Aspiration Pneumonia & Techniques to Prevent While Drinking & Eating

Dementia patients can also get aspiration pneumonia which can lead to all kinds of problems so this is important.

If the patient coughs after or while drinking, it is a sign of some liquid getting to her lungs. The next step is to see if a thicker fluid will help.  If it doesn’t, help you can try something that is solid but has a lot of liquid such as a puréed diet.

You can make puréed food by blending all types of food. Mashed potatoes is one example which can be done by boiling potatoes and smashing them to the right consistency.  Mixing fruits and vegetables in a blender is another great example with more nutritious vitamins and minerals. Water, milk or juice can be added to get the desired consistency.

Family Bridges is Here to Help

If you need help caring for a senior with dementia, our in-home caregivers can assist with eating and drinking. Please contact us here or call us at (888) 900-0048.

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How to Bath a Senior

Bathing a senior comfortably.

In this post, we are featuring a video by Teepa Snow, Dementia and Alzheimer’s care expert, to discuss how to bath a senior in their home with Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease.

Proper hand support positions

Allowing the senior to grab your hand while getting into the bath tub is important so they feel safe and to prevent them from falling. Teepa discusses the essentials on holding their hand.

  • Grab their Dominant Hand– remember to grab their dominant hand where they having motor memory doing tasks the best. So if they are right handed, grab their right hand for support.
  • Don’t grab the hand like you’re shaking hands too long– people have a natural tendency to shake hands and let go. People with Dementia may not fully understand what you are doing and try to pull away.
  • Palm to palm hand position is best– pressure on the palm is known to calm humans. Make your hand the bottom one and place your opposite hand on top for warmth.

Setting up Comfortable Conditions

  • Make sure you are face to face– this ensures the senior doesn’t feel like they’re being bossed around in an uncomfortable manner. This also allows easy communication and easy for them to understand.
  • Make sure the water and room is warm– this ensures they will be willing to undress their shirt and pants without being too cold.
  • Place a warm towel around them– after some of their clothes are removed, comfort them with a warm towel which also makes them less exposed.

Ease them into Undressing

Along with the above techniques, Teepa shares these steps to slowly making them willing to fully undress for proper bathing.

  1. Remove only outer clothes– she suggests to only have the remove their outer clothes until they are in their underwear and bra.
  2. Shower them with towel and underclothes first– after their under clothing is wet, the natural tendency will be to remove them and make sense too.

The technique of bathing seniors with a towel over the private areas will make it more comfortable for both the caregiver and senior. It can also prevent their private areas from being exposed while bathing.

Although these techniques make it more manageable for family member’s to bath their senior, most folks don’t feel comfortable and will have someone outside the family help.

Our trained caregivers can help with bathing your senior to make them feel better and maintain a healthy hygiene. Please contact us to discuss how we can help at (888) 900-0048 or via our online contact form.

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What Causes Alzheimer’s?

What causes Alzheimer's disease in seniors.According to the National Institute on Aging, we still aren’t 100% sure what causes Alzheimer ’s disease but studies point that each of the below have a part in causing it:

  • Genetics– studies are finding that the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene is found in people with the disease. A person that had a close family member with Alzheimer’s may have this gene as well which is linked.
  • Health, environmental, and lifestyle factors – studies seem to point that vascular and metabolic health may play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s. This includes heart disease, strokes, and high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.

Since research has linked these two factors as a possibility to causing Alzheimer’s, people may be able to prevent it by changing the factor that they can control: your health

Only time will tell once further research is concluded, but it is a good idea to exercise, stay a healthy weight and eat well.

If your senior is struggling with Alzheimer’s, Family Bridges provides Alzheimer’s home care services to help assist them in their home and keep them on healthy diets that you plan for them. Please call us or contact us here.

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How to Help a Senior that Becomes Agitated & Aggressive

How to help agitated seniorsThe Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral Center put together a great ebook, Alzheimer’s Caregiving Tips: Coping with Agitation and Aggression which you can download here.

We summarized some of the tips on dealing with a senior that becomes agitated or aggressive in respect to having Alzheimer’s but it is helpful for those who don’t have the disease as well.

The first point it mentions is to find out what causes them to become upset and try to rectify it before it starts the next time around. Some possible reasons are pain, depression, little sleep, constipation, soiled clothing, a sudden change, interaction with medicine, etc.

Tips to Help Them When Caregiving

Listed below are some of the suggestions to do which may them while agitated or prevent it from happening:

  • Speak calmly, listen to them and reassure them that you understand their frustrations.
  • Give them some space and control over their life, as long as it is safe for them.
  • Stick to the same routine every day. Senior’s tend to have trouble with changes.
  • Schedule quiet time and activities into the day to keep them active.
  • Display well-loved object and photographs near them so they feel secure.
  • Gentle touching and activities like soothing music, reading or walks may help.
  • Reduce noise, clutter and amount of people in a room.
  • Distract them with a snack, object or activity to keep their mind off the negative.
  • Limit the amount of caffeine, sugar and unhealthy food.

We at Family Bridges know that it can be a large daily task making seniors comfortable during times when the can be most irritated in their life. Given the daily tasks with work and their own family, many people use our trusted, in-home caregiver agency to help. Please give us a call for a free consultation by calling or contacting us here.

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3 Stages of Alzheimer’s: Find Which Stage Your Senior is In

3 Stages of Alzheimer’sAccording to the National Institute on Aging, there are three stages to Alzheimer’s disease: Mild, Moderate, and Severe.

To find out which stage your senior is in, match the below symptoms up with what your senior is experiencing below.

Mild- elders are typically diagnosed at this stage when then have some of the below symptoms. If they have any of these symptoms, be sure to have them visit the doctor for proper diagnosis.

  • wandering and getting lost
  • trouble handling money and paying bills
  • repeating questions
  • taking longer to complete normal daily tasks
  • losing things or misplacing them in odd places
  • personality and behavior changes

Moderate– the brain starts to become damaged at this stage with the below symptoms.

  • increased memory loss and confusion
  • problems recognizing family and friends
  • inability to learn new things
  • difficulty carrying out multistep tasks such as getting dressed
  • problems coping with new situations
  • hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia
  • impulsive behavior

Severe– at this stage, patients need to be cared for and may stay in bed most of the time.

  • inability to communicate
  • weight loss
  • seizures
  • skin infections
  • difficulty swallowing
  • groaning, moaning, or grunting
  • increased sleeping
  • lack of control of bowel and bladder

If your senior or loved one needs care assistance, contact us online here or by calling us at (888) 900-0048.

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