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World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day home care

Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. We at Family Bridges would like to bring attention to this day so we can all prevent abuse, neglect and exploitation of elders, while committing to the justice for all.

According to the Home Care Association of America, roughly 1 out of 10 elders have been either neglected, abused or exploited.

Some seniors may suffer from issues without discussing it. If the senior has a change in personality, behavior or physical condition, it may be time to ask questions.

Types of Senior Abuse

Seniors may be more targeted to abuse in one of the four types below:

  • Neglect– this can happen directly inside a home or indirectly by not giving proper attention. They can lack basic hygiene, food, medical aids, supervision, left in bed, etc.
  • Financial Abuse– this can result from scammers calling or people coming to the door. It is important to have somewhere there to supervise and have a trusted family member take over their financials.
  • Psychological/Emotional Abuse– this can result from people being cruel or demeaning. It is important to make sure a caring family member or caregiver is watching over them.
  • Physical Abuse– this can result from any signs of bruises or sores. It is important to ask questions when signs of physical abuse are spotted so a change of plan can be made immediately to prevent problems in the future.

We hope you will share this message to bring more people in awareness, and to treat our elders like we would like to be treated. Family Bridges is dedicated to providing the best, ethical caregiving services to seniors so they can live in the comfort of their homes.

 

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7 Geriatric Syndromes to Pay Attention to in Seniors

7 Geriatric Syndromes

As you may know, the geriatrics field is healthcare focused on elders. As our elder family members get older they may develop some of the below common geriatric syndromes. It is important to see if they are having any of the below issues and getting medical attention.

  1. Bladder Control Problems– uncontrolled urine leaks are a large problem which can happen from an overactive bladder, poor closure of bladder, blockage of urethra, and other health issues. Also known as urinary incontinence, this may cause other problems that effects the quality of life. It is important to receive medical attention, as this can greatly improve or eradicate leakage. Treatment can vary from therapy, exercises, devices, medications or surgery.
  2. Sleep Problems– this ranges from issues falling asleep at night to being too tired during the day. Not getting enough sleep can cause many other health issues and make a senior feel weak leading to other accidents.
  3. Delirium– this happens when seniors are confused and have immediate behavior changes which causes them to:
  • go in and out of consciousness
  • lose attention and memory
  • lose muscle control
  • have sleep and waking issues

You should know the signs and seek medical attention immediately.

  1. Dementia– this is a problem remembering things needed to complete daily tasks. Assistance is important for elders with dementia. Dementia may have similar signs as delirium, except this is typically caused by Alzheimer’s Disease and develops slowly instead of immediately.
  2. Falls– elders falling is one of the largest issues to look out for. Seniors may fall due to hazards in the home like floor mats and steps, side effects from medicine, eye sight problems, weakness and more.

Preventive measures can be put into place such as railings, soft flooring and table edges, ramps, etc. Exercise and physical therapy can also help prevent falls.

  1. Osteoporosis: this happens when senior’s bones become weak and may break easily when falling. It is recommended to get a bone mass density (BMD) test at the age of 65 and older.

A senior can improve their bone density by consuming more calcium and vitamin D and exercising.

  1. Weight Loss– some seniors may lose too much weight that is outside the healthy range. This can due to a serious health issue or a loss of their sense of taste.

 

At Family Bridges Home Care, we know the importance of paying attention to a seniors health and notifying you immediately if there are any issues. We can work with the recommended guidance from you and the senior’s doctor to ensure they are safe and healthy at all times. Contact Family Bridges at  (888) 900-0048 or by our contact form here.

 

Source: http://www.healthinaging.org/resources/resource:guide-to-geriatric-syndromes-part-i/

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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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