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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Who is most at risk for developing Alzheimer’s?

Who is at risk for alzheimersAccording to alzheimers.gov, folks with the below are more likely to get Alzheimer’s:

  1. Upper Age– the older someone gets, drastically increases the risk.
  2. Genetics– if someone had an older family member with the disease, they are of course at a greater risk than someone without many relatives with it. You can look at your family tree and find out who had Alzheimer’s.
  3. Medical histories– folks with Down syndrome, other developmental disorders, repeated concussions and traumatic bran injuries are known to have a higher risk.

If someone is in all three of the above categories, they may be in the greatest risk, but alzheimers.gov goes on to say the below:

“Being at higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease does not necessarily mean that you will develop the disease.”

If your family member currently has Alzheimer’s and needs someone to care for them, our caregivers can help assist them in the comfort of their home. Please contact us online here or by calling us at (888) 900-0048.

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8 Qualities To Look for When Selecting a Home Health Care Agency

Before you hire a home care agency or caregiver, be sure to look at these 8 points. Click to play to video or read the points below.

  1. Make sure they provide all services needed
    Some home care services may provide a simple companion service such as watching over your senior and providing general assistance. But at times, it may be important to get help with other tasks such as bathing, grooming & dressing, meal preparation, medication reminders, transportation, companionship and 24 hour care.

    • At Family Bridges, we provide all of these services and much more.
  2. Make sure they perform background checks and screen their caregivers
    • Since you will be hiring caregivers to care for your elder in their home, you will want to make sure they are a trusted and loyal individual. One of the best ways to do this is by making sure they had a background check and were screened properly.
    • Unfortunately, we find that many agencies don’t take this step.
    • We at Family Bridges only hire caregivers that pass fingerprinted background checks, and are qualified in other ways such as training, experience and compassion. Choosing a caregiving agency that handles this eliminates the need of having you review dozens of resumes and pay for background checks on each person. That itself can be a time consuming process.
  3. Ensure your senior will be safe
    • In addition to having a trusted caregiver assisting your senior’s every actions, you will also want to make sure that caregiver is trained to focus on safety.
    • At Family Bridges, every caregiver is trained with best safety practices and our case manager regularly visits current clients in their homes to ensure their needs are being met. Our caregivers will keep you updated on your senior’s current status for a worry-free experience.
  4. Do they allow you to choose the caregiver?
    • Not many agencies do this, but we feel it is important to provide the option for you to interview and pick a caregiver from our team.
    • Although we make it a priority to match the best caregiver with the needs of your senior, you may be the better person to know which personalities your senior will be most comfortable with.
  5. Take note of how much they charge per hour
    • Price is typically charged hourly and it is important to get a great value from home care. A price that is even slightly lower than a competitor will add up to a lot of money saved in the long run.
    • At Family Bridges, we aim to provide the best value. Our hourly costs are typically in the middle price range of local agencies and lower than the national average.
  6. See if they belong to the Better Business Bureau and check their profile for past issues
    • Not all agencies belong to the BBB. But it can be a good sign if they do belong for a little extra peace of mind. Some agencies will display their accreditation on their website and linked to their profile. We encourage everyone to review an agency’s profile for any complaints and to verify the company’s legitimacy.
    • Family Bridges is a BBB accredited agency. If you search the BBB’s website, you will notice it currently rates us as an A+ company with zero complaints.
  7. Make sure they know their industry and belong to similar organizations
    • A company that belongs to a senior care related organization can further confirm they are knowledgeable about providing quality care, they are operating professionally and meeting industry standards.
    • Family Bridges is currently a member of the “Home Care Association of America” and accredited by several government organizations which can be seen on our website.
  8. Read about what others are saying about the company
    • If a friend didn’t refer you to a certain agency, the next best thing is to read reviews and find a company with positive testimonials. You can search review websites such as Google Plus and Yelp.com, among others to see what people are saying.
    • At Family Bridges, we are constantly hearing our clients say great things about our services. In addition to many 5 star ratings listed on various review sites, the third party satisfaction research and quality assurance firm, Home Care Pulse, has praised us with many awards. Family Bridges has earned the “Best of Home Care, Provider of Choice” award in 2011 and all the way up until the time of this video in 2017. That’s 7 years in a row! And we are very proud of that. The Home Care Pulse awards are given to agencies with the best feedback received from independent phone call interviews from past and current clients.
    • Through these interviews, some of our clients have said the following testimonials:
      • Bob T. writes, “Family Bridges staff has bent over backwards to accommodate us. They are outstanding. If they didn’t do what was promised we wouldn’t have them back. That being said, they have done exactly what we have hired them to do. We are very satisfied. I appreciate their caregivers. They are conscientious and overall they are just good at what they do”
      • Jeanette M. states, “I was using a national franchise company before…. Family Bridges offered everything I needed. I chose to go with Family Bridges because they were willing to give me what I wanted. “My caregiver is excellent. She is all I could ask for. We hug each other when she comes and goes. Being a caregiver isn’t just a job for her; she actually cares and wants to help me. She is just perfect.”
      • Cheryl states, “We had tried another agency, and they kept sending different people. Family Bridges has been so great, and they have been sending the same people consistently. It’s worked out very well. The caregivers are very nice, polite and helpful. My father really enjoys having them there for company and companionship. It works out very nicely.”

We hope this was a helpful video as you search for a caregiver. We truly think Family Bridges is one of the best available in the Cincinnati, Dayton and Northern Kentucky area.
Please contact us by phone at (888) 900-0048 or by emailing us through our website here.

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Relationships & Training are Important to Family Bridges and the Home Care Industry

Technology is changing the world and it will continue to do so. Family Bridges continues to invest in technology in order to be able to offer the highest quality service and communication.

However, technology can’t be a replacement for hands on, face to face skillful, caring and compassionate service.

Attached is an article expanding on how important relationships and training are to Family Bridges and the home care industry.

https://medium.com/@HCAOA/how-to-disrupt-the-health-care-industry-53b2dfe70132

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Senior Fall Prevention Tips on Floors and Rugs

Fall prevention on carpets and floors

As a senior’s balance, depth perception, muscle strength and sight declines, their probability of falling on a floor or tripping is increased. In this article, we provides some suggestions and referenced some of the tips from the Eldercare Locator’s PDF checklist to help prevent injury from falls.

Floors & rugs Fall Prevention Tips:

  • Inspect any uneven floorboards/tile. Some seniors may drag their feet slightly when walking. If there is any raised surface, it is a good idea to level it.
  • Secure loose rugs with tacks, non-skid pads or double sided tape.
  • Wax the floors with only non-skid floor wax.
  • Place a floor safety mat next to their bed. After a senior gets a night’s sleep, they may be more prone to falling when stepping out of bed. Often times, they are still sleepy and their muscles aren’t engaged enough to go from laying down to standing up. A safety mat will provide added traction and cushion their fall, if that may happen.

Next Step to Safety At Home

Although these tips may help prevent falls, the best solution is for seniors to have assistance around the home and a person to be there if they do fall. If you don’t currently have a caregiver, please give us a call or contact us here.

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Tips to Prevent Elders from Falling on Stairways

Tips to Prevent senior falls

As many elders today are choosing to stay in their homes rather than living in nursing homes and other forms of senior care, it is more important to implement safety practices that may prevent them from falling. Stairs or steps are one of the more dangerous areas around the house to fall in. In this first series, we put together some of our suggestions and other tips discussed in the Eldercare Locator checklist.

Stairway Fall Prevention Tips:

  • Implement handrails on both sides– a second handrail can be purchased at a home improvement store inexpensively and installed easily into your wall with a few tools.
  • Securely tighten any handrails that aren’t sturdy– this can often be done by tightening the screws with a screwdriver.
  • Remove or secure any loose rugs near the top or bottom of the stairway. Double-sided rug tape can be used to secure them in place which will prevent elders from slipping on them or tripping over an edge that comes up.
  • Ensure the stairs are sufficiently illuminated. Since elders often have a reduced eyesight and depth perception, adequate lighting is essential to see the next step.

Suggestions for Seniors with Limited Mobility

If your senior requires a walker and has trouble walking on their own, it may be best to ask them not to use stairs. However, stair lifts can be installed for a more drastic way to prevent falls and ensure mobility at home, but these can cost a few thousand dollars.

If your senior likes to move around the house to check on things such as in the basement and not know their limitations, you might want to install a temporary lock if they don’t necessarily need to go there.

We Can Help!

We hope these tips and suggestions give you some guidance on preventing falls on stairways. Regardless of how much safety precautions have been put into place, it is a good idea for your senior to have assistance around the house. Our caregivers are an essential step to help seniors safely maneuver stairways, steps and other areas around the home.

Contact us here for more information about our home caregiver services in Cincinnati, Dayton & Erlanger. Rest assured, knowing there is always someone watching over them and preventing costly falls.

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Negative Effects of Lonely Seniors and Ways to Keep Them Social & Happy

Lonely Senior citizens

As discussed in the publication, EXPAND YOUR CIRCLES by the U.S. Administration for Community Living, there are many negative health effects of isolation and loneliness as your senior ages.

When seniors live alone and lose touch with their social life, they are more likely to have higher rate of:

  • Chronic health conditions such as heart disease
  • A weakened immune system
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Admission to nursing homes
  • And death

“Social Disconnectedness, Perceived Isolation and Health among Older Adults, Journal of Health and Social Behavior (2009)

Ways to Keep Seniors Social and Happy

If your senior seems to have little social connections, you may want to make suggestions such as:

  • Scheduling a dinner for your senior and an old friend
  • Invite a neighbor over
  • Find an elderly club or support group for them to attend
  • Offer to take them to church
  • Take them to events popular amongst other seniors such as bingo

Even if your senior needs little help at home, Family Bridges’ caregivers in Cincinnati, Dayton and Kentucky can also provide social support. Having a caregiver on-site is one way to prevent isolation and keep them socially engaged. Contact us today at (888) 900-0048 or through our online form to discuss how you would like our caregivers to provide social support.

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