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Time to Hang Up the Car Keys

As we age our ability to safely drive declines. As such, many factors need to be considered when our senior loved ones are hitting the road. If it’s time to hang up the car keys it’s important to approach the topic sensitively. He/she may feel a loss of freedom, so make sure to assess their condition and explain your concerns.

The factors to consider when it is time to hang up the car keys include:

If your loved one shows any of the following symptoms:

  • Impaired vision.
  • Hearing loss.
  • Side-effects from medication, such as drowsiness.
  • Delayed reaction time.
  • Loss of memory.
  • Inability to focus.
  • Decline in emotional and/or mental health.
  • Joint pain or discomfort that could slow braking.

Alternatives to a senior driving him/herself include:

Hiring a caregiver. Comprehensive Home Care gladly runs errands and transports our clients to and from appointments and events.

Taxi/ride-sharing service. Taxis and ride-sharing options are becoming more and more accessible for those who need an extra hand. Research the best option in your senior loved one’s area.

Public transportation. There are many options for public transportation designed for the elderly. Type the zip code in ElderCareLocator to find the local transportation programs.

Friends, family members, and neighbors. Have a discussion with friends and family members to see if they can provide transportation, even just for appointments.

Walking or bicycling. If your senior loved one’s health permits, walking or bicycling may be a great option for getting around as it provides exercise, saves money, and provides a sense of freedom.

Comprehensive Home Care is here to help! We provide transportation for our clients, so you can rest assured that he/she is safe and well taken care of. We can also provide advice on the best way to approach the topic with your loved one. Call us today at 704-333-5214 or contact us online to learn more.

Preparing Your Home for A Senior Loved One

You’ve decided to have your elderly friend or family member move into your home so you can watch after them. Preparing your home for a senior loved one requires assessing the comfort, safety, and accessibility. Put yourself in their shoes. Think of how this change will affect him/her and what type of living space a person with their needs would require.

Consider the following when preparing your home for a senior loved one:


Consult your loved one’s physicians and care providers. People who know the specifics about their needs can shed light on changes that need to be made in the home. Do a walk through with a home care provider to ensure the home is adequately prepared.

Remove any falling hazards. Remove rugs, and clear the pathway to the kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom.

Go shopping. Purchase items such as non-slip mats for the shower, motion-sensing lights for the hallways, and workout equipment they could benefit from.

Make a list of home improvements. Hire a professional if necessary to complete the list. Such home improvements can include grab bars in bathrooms and ramps for wheelchair access.

Get organized. Put a list of emergency contacts on the refrigerator, keep important documents such as medical documents in a filing cabinet, and keep a calendar up-to-date with doctors’ appointments, when medication needs refilling, etc.

Comprehensive Home Care can help provide the necessary advice and tips on how to prepare for your specific situation. We provide a free in-home consultation to learn about your senior loved one and will suggest a strategy of care and any additional changes to the home. Call us today at 704-333-5214 or contact us online to find out more about our senior care services.

Living with Multiple Sclerosis in the Summertime

Summertime can be a difficult time for people living with Multiple Sclerosis. This is due to the fact that an increase in body temperatures causes MS symptoms to worsen. Such symptoms include weak legs, fatigue, impaired vision, and cognitive issues. However, certain preventative measures can be taken to keep cool and enjoy the summertime.

Tips for living with Multiple Sclerosis in the summertime include:

Stay hydrated. While this tip may seem essential for everyone during the summertime, it’s especially essential for those living with MS to drink plenty of water.

Dress cool. Wear light-colored, lightweight, and loose fitting clothes that will keep the body temperature from rising.

Avoid overexposure to sunlight. While avoiding the outdoors completely may be difficult, staying in the air conditioning or in the shade when the temperatures are too high is best.

Take a cool bath. If you feel overheated take a cool bath to help lower your body temperature and prevent your symptoms from worsening.

Take advantage of cooling products. Cooling vests, neck wraps, headbands, and wristbands are extremely useful. The MSAA Cooling Program offers these types of products.

Exercises. Replace outdoor exercises with indoor ones such as pool exercises. Or exercise outside in the morning and evening when the temperature is the lowest.

Comprehensive Home Care is here to help! For more information regarding Multiple Sclerosis, and to learn about the services we provide contact us here or by calling 704-333-5214.

After a Stroke

Whether you have personally experienced a stroke or are helping a loved one recover, life after a stroke can be a very trying time. Depending on the severity, strokes can cause physical, mental, and even emotional damage. It’s important to learn how to recover properly as well as how to prevent another from happening.

Check out the following tips on what to do after a stroke:

Prevent another stroke. Prevent another stroke from happening by encouraging lifestyle changes such as losing weight, exercising, and lowering blood pressure.

Set up an emergency plan. The chances of having another stroke are high, so setting up an emergency plan is highly necessary. Post the emergency plan on the refrigerator with the emergency numbers so each visitor is equipped to help.

Utilize technology. Technology such as a Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) that allows a person to call for help by pressing a button is a great tool to use. Check out more ways technology can be beneficial here.

Learn new exercises/therapies. Depending on the severity, recovery techniques such as mobility training and speech therapy may be necessary.

Modify home. Certain modifications may need to be made in the home to improve safety, accessibility, and comfort.

Ask questions. Speak to a physician about what changes you can expect in your loved one and the best options for their recovery.

Stay patient. Recovery takes time; it’s important to stay patient and uplifting during this process.

If you or your loved one recently suffered from a stroke or are looking for preventative methods, Comprehensive Home Care is here to help. Call us at 704.333.5214 or contact us here.

Reducing Your Risk of Dementia

Dementia affects millions of people around the world, and the number of cases continues to rise. Alzheimer’s disease, specifically, affects a very large number of people living in the United States. Researchers are studying tirelessly to better understand dementia and ultimately find the cure. While the cure is still unknown, there are however certain things you can do to help reduce your risk of dementia.

Certain lifestyle changes that help reduce your risk of dementia include:

Get plenty of sleep. Studies show that sleep deprivation over time may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s.

Eat a healthy diet. Eat plenty of leafy vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, and poultry, as these are considered “brain healthy” foods.

Stay active. Doing exercises regularly is a great way to stay healthy overall and reduce the risks of dementia.

Exercise the brain. Doing puzzles, board games, taking a class, and reading are great activities to keep your brain in shape.

Maintain good heart health. Studies have shown that heart health plays a key role in brain health. Many people who suffer from dementia typically also have heart issues such as heart disease.

Avoid drinking too much alcohol. Heavy drinking negatively influences brain function for many reasons; one reason being that it negatively affects the vascular system and increases blood pressure.

If you’d like to learn more, the expert dementia and Alzheimer’s care providers at Comprehensive Home Care, are here to help. Call us at 704.333.5214 to see how we can assist.

Sources:

https://www.cbsnews.com/media/mind-diet-foods-avoid-alzheimers-boost-brain-health/

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320969.php

Traveling with the Elderly

The warm weather is here, which means family vacations are approaching. Just remember when you’re planning out the details of your next vacation don’t forget to factor in your senior loved ones. Traveling with the elderly requires careful planning and preparation. No matter the destination or method of transportation, their safety and comfort should be at the forefront of your mind.

If you’ll be traveling with the elderly keep the following in mind:

Consult with their physician. Before plans are solidified make sure they are allowed to travel. The doctor may also provide advice on the best practices for traveling with someone in their condition.

Follow their routines. Ensure they are eating, drinking, sleeping, and most importantly taking medication at the same time as usual. Set a reminder if necessary.

Travel light and use luggage with wheels. Lugging your own luggage through an airport or in a vehicle while also worrying about other people’s luggage can be very stressful.

Keep medication accessible. Make sure any medication that needs to be taken during the trip is where it can be reached.

Flight specific tips include:

Allow plenty of time to get through the airport. Arrive at least 2 hours prior to the flight.

Understand regulations for medications. Follow regulations when packing to avoid any holdups at security.

Take advantage of the assistance airports provide. Many airports offer special assistance such as the ability to expedite security and to receive assistance with luggage.

Think about where on the plane would be best to sit. Sitting closest to the exit for a quick entrance and exit or near the closest restroom may be the best options.

Nonstop flights decrease stress. Instead of worrying about making it to the next flight on time choose a nonstop flight.

Benefits of Spending Time Outside

The weather is beautiful and the flowers are starting to bloom, nature is calling your name. No matter one’s age or the state their health everyone can benefit from spending time outside. So, take a walk, plant a garden, check out the local farmer’s market, or go for a bike ride and encourage your loved ones to do the same. In no time at all physical and mental health will get a huge boost.

Benefits from spending time outside include:


Improved mental health. Spending time in nature reduces levels of depression, anxiety, and improves overall mental health.

Improved memory. Studies have shown that spending time outside can help improve memory, specifically short-term memory.

Improved sleep. Being outdoors exerting energy and breathing in the fresh air leads to improved sleep patterns.

Vitamin D boost. Sunlight provides vitamin D which has many benefits. An improved immune system and improved bone, cardiovascular, and cognitive health are a few of the benefits. Older adults are at a higher risk of developing vitamin D deficiency, so encourage your senior loved one to soak up the sun.

Contact us here or call us at 704.333.5214 to see how we can help your loved one spend time outdoors to receive the wonderful benefits.

Post-Retirement Work

Many senior adults are deciding to reenter the workforce post-retirement, and as such opportunities targeted toward these un-retirees are on the rise. The decision may be financially based or due to the desire to stay productive and active. Companies are learning the importance of utilizing these workers due to their experience and work ethic. Many companies even offer flexible benefits, such as the opportunity to work part-time, seasonal, or remotely.

See below for a list of positions for post-retirement:

Work for a former employer.  Some companies offer part-time work to formerly retired employees, as these former employees already have the experience necessary to succeed in the company.

Consultant. Retirees often choose to offer their expertise via consulting.

Tutor. A quick search online will bring up multiple opportunities to tutor and offer the training necessary.

Administrative assistant/virtual assistant. Companies are looking to delegate tasks and even offer the ability to work from home.

Pet sitter. Animal lovers can use this passion to make a little extra money by pet sitting for friends and family or even for an agency.

Hobby turned into a business. Fun hobbies such as photography and writing can be turned into an enjoyable, profit-making job.

Nonprofit work. Charities and non-profits can be a very rewarding avenue after retirement.

Cruise ship worker. Employment on a cruise ship offers the chance to travel, meet new people, and make money.

Elder Empowerment

It’s essential to learn the best ways to promote elder empowerment and redefine stereotypes toward aging. Encouraging the older generation to live their lives to the fullest and affirming their strength can be difficult when also looking out for their well-being.

It’s important to remember most older adults have lived independently for years and have lived through difficult times. For this reason, taking away certain privileges and changing their routines can cause tension. Finding a balance between doing what’s right for him/her and also empowering them to live their lives the way they wish is important.

Check out the list below for ways to promote elder empowerment:

Decisions. The elderly should be involved in decision-making processes, specifically those that will directly impact his/her life.

Assistance. Remove the negative feelings toward asking for assistance. Receiving assistance reduces stress and opens up free time to focus on passions and hobbies.

Learn. Constant learning keeps the mind sharp and promotes overall brain health. Encourage your senior loved one to take online classes, learn a new skill, and play games that improve memory function.

Volunteer. Helping those in need reduces stress and improves the quality of life of both the volunteer and the people in need. Many cities have multiple types of elderly volunteer opportunities, so do research for the best fit.

Verbal affirmation. Words of affirmation can make all the difference. It’s essential to affirm the strength and worth the elderly.

Comprehensive Home Care gladly empowers the elderly in our care. Contact us here or call us at 704.333.5214 to see how we can provide assistance.

Winter Exercise Tips for the Elderly

As the temperatures drop many of us find it difficult to get enough exercises, this is especially true for the elderly. Outdoor activities can be dangerous due to the risk of falling and catching illnesses. However, exercise is essential as you age as it promotes healthy blood flow, prevents memory loss, decreases joint pain, among other benefits. So, how can seniors stay active in the winter without putting themselves at risk?

See below for winter exercise tips for the elderly:

Layers are handy as they can be added and removed based on their comfort.

Most of the body’s heat escapes through the head, so wearing a hat is essential.

Be on alert for breathing difficulties as hypothermia and exhaustion may occur.

Walking around a mall or an indoor track is a great alternative to outdoor walks.

Many communities offer senior exercise classes.

Swimming is a great, low impact work out for the elderly.

Take advantage of work out videos targeted towards the elderly.

Comprehensive Home Care can also help find ways to keep your senior loved one active during the winter months. Contact us here or call us at 704.333.5214 to see how we can provide assistance.

Benefits of Technology for Home Care

Technology has greatly improved our lives; from making communication and research easier to allowing us to keep track of our health. While young adults are considered the most tech savvy, older generations have started to rely on and appreciate the benefits technology has to offer. New advancements have greatly changed home care in the past few years, for example. The ability to stay connected and stay informed has greatly improved the safety and happiness of many.

Benefits of technology for home care include:

Telecommunication/Video Chat

Telehealth, remote health services, is becoming increasingly popular as it has enabled people to quickly and efficiently be in contact with health care providers. While in-person doctor visits may still be necessary, virtual appointments and consultations can be a great alternative. Telehealth options decrease the wait time for an appointment, decreases cost, and provides extra comfort. The patient can quickly ask questions and receive real-time advice.

Video chat has also had a great impact on the happiness of those who cannot easily travel. Speaking face to face with loved ones has allowed them to easily stay involved in their lives and in turn, decreases loneliness.

Web Resources

The internet can be a great resource for learning tips and answering health questions. Our blog, for example, is a great resource for those needing information on disease/disorder care, home care trends, and safety tips, among other home care topics.

Paperwork

Sorting through stacks of papers, creating a filing system, and even finding a place for all of the medical paperwork can be tedious. Using the computer can help cut back on the paperwork struggle.

Personal Emergency Response System (PERS)

Personal Emergency Response Systems, or PERS, allows a person to call for emergency help by simply pressing a button. This brilliant piece of technology truly provides peace of mind to the wearer as well as their loved ones.

Health Tracking

Tracking health has changed over the years as technology has advanced. Devices can now monitor blood pressure, sleep patterns, heart rate,  water intake, daily activity, etc.

As technology continues to advance Comprehensive Home Care will continue to adjust and improve. Feel free to contact us to see how we use technology to care for our clients, including providing 24/7 phone support at 704.333.5214.

Winter Safety Tips for the Elderly

With the cold weather upon us, it’s important to learn the winter safety tips that will be essential when caring for your senior loved one. The risk of falling on ice, the challenge to stay warm, and the prevalence of serious illnesses make this time of the year especially difficult for your loved one. So, how can you do your part to ensure their safety in the coming months?

Essential winter safety tips for the elderly include:

Falls.

The risk of falling and causing bodily damage is highest for the elderly in the winter. This is mostly due to slick walk ways, however it’s important to keep in mind snow covered boots will leave a slick surface when walking into a home. Make sure your loved one’s sidewalks and driveways are shoveled and salt is spread.

Driving.

Even when the roads don’t appear icy they still may be slick. For this reason, it’s best to keep your loved one’s driving to a minimum. Groceries and medication should be arranged to be picked up for them.

Sickness.

Certain sicknesses are more prevalent when the temperatures drop. The elderly have lower circulation, so their bodies have a harder time staying warm which may cause hypothermia. Make sure your loved one has received the proper shots and they dress in the proper layers to keep warm.

Seasonal Affective Disorder or Sundowning.

The change in the season can cause a drop in the mood, this is especially true for seniors who suffer from a form of dementia. Seasonal Affective Disorder or Sundowners Syndrome, are conditions in which the change in the weather and hours of sunshine due to daylight saving time and seasonal change causes significant depression, anger, confusion, and even memory loss during the evening. It’s important to be aware of such symptoms and pinpoint the issue.

Isolation.

While it’s essential for the elderly to stay inside during the bitter cold times, they do not need to be alone. Hire a home care specialist to keep your loved one company and provide care to keep them safe and warm. Contact Comprehensive Home Care here or call 704.333.5214 to see how we can provide support during the winter months.

Preparing your Senior Loved One for Flu Season

When the weather starts to cool down we know the flu season is coming. Getting the flu is tough at any age; however, for some the flu can cause horrible complications. The flu in the elderly, for example, can lead to severe, life-threatening conditions. So, it’s essential to take extra steps and put preventative measures in place now.

In order to protect your senior loved ones against the flu keep the following in mind:

Flu vaccine.

The flu vaccine is highly recommended especially for older adults; caregivers should also receive the vaccine to add an extra layer of prevention. Keep in mind seniors require a higher dose of the vaccine, a physician can recommend the best dosage.

Complications.

Seniors who develop the flu are at risk of developing further complications, some may even require hospitalization. Watch for the symptoms of bronchitis which may lead to pneumonia. The flu may also worsen any existing conditions such as asthma or a heart disease.

Hygiene.

The flu is highly contagious so just washing hands regularly isn’t enough. Disinfecting the surfaces of the home, keeping hands off the face especially in public, and keeping away from anyone who is sick is essential.

Medication.

Always check with a doctor before adding any additional medication, as the drugs may have negative interactions.

Comprehensive Home Care is here to provide additional tips and support. Don’t be afraid to reach out to see how we can help this flu season. Call us at 704.333.5214 or contact us here.

Energy Levels in the Elderly

Low energy levels in the elderly are very common, and many people assume that there isn’t much we can really do much about. However, this is a common misconception. No matter your loved one’s age they can still have the vibrant feeling they felt in their youth. The first step is to understand the factors that may be negatively impacting their energy. Once you understand these factors, changes can be made to boost their energy.

See below the factors that affect energy levels in seniors:

Insomnia. Many factors contribute to the loss of sleep, such as electronic usage, medication side effects, or nutrition. Getting to the root of the problem will greatly improve your senior loved one’s health and happiness.

Nutrition. As mentioned above nutrition is a major factor in the ability to get enough sleep. Getting the right nutrients will boost energy, while eating junk food can cause fatigue and keep you up at night. Research the best foods for elderly or speak with a nutritionist. Foods such as sweet potatoes, eggs, and oatmeal are great energy boosters.

Exercise. Exercising their body and mind will have a major impact on health and energy levels. Finding exercises the senior will enjoy may take some time and research. Check out our blog post Elderly Exercise Ideas to Help Seniors Thrive for ideas.

Anxiety. Anxiety tends to increase with age and is a major cause of decreased energy. A senior loved one may have a hard time receiving help and may feel limited in what activities they can do. They may have anxiety about their personal illness, certain medication may also cause increase anxiety. Help them understand the importance of a calm mind and positivity on their overall health.

For more information and recommendations on boosting your loved one’s energy levels contact us here or call us at 704-333-5214. Our experienced caregivers are best suited to help you and your loved one.

Caregiving During the Holidays

The holiday season is coming upon us. Now is the time to start prepping! The holiday season can be stressful and overwhelming; this is especially true for those who need extra care. Caregiving during the holidays can be tricky because you want to ensure your loved one is having an enjoyable time, but also want to make sure their safety is a priority. It is important to start planning early to make sure the holiday season goes smoothly.

Keep the following in mind when caregiving during the holidays:

Travel.

If at all possible keep travel to a minimum. Traveling can be exhausting and add unneeded stress to your loved one. Have family members come to you instead.

Meals.

Your loved one’s food options may be limited; however, this doesn’t mean their meals need to be bland. A great part of celebrating the holidays is the delicious assortment of food, so do research on special healthy meals they’ll enjoy.

Keep a routine.

Routines are essential for an aging loved one or those with disabilities, so make sure to keep mealtime and bedtime the same as usual. Prepare any visiting family members and explain the importance of the routine.

Accept help.

With family coming in for visits there will be more people who can help out. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance, holidays tend to cause stress and your stress levels will affect those around you.

Avoid being overly loud or hectic.

This type of environment can be too stressful for your loved one; specifically those with dementia can become overwhelmed or overstimulated by too much noise.

Dealing with depression/loneliness.

The holiday season may be difficult for your loved one emotionally. They may compare the current time to previous holidays or may feel limited on how they can help out. Make sure to keep things upbeat and light-hearted and give them projects they can work on such as stringing garlands of popcorn, creating photo albums, reading holiday stories to the young ones, etc.

Comprehensive Home Care is here to help. Don’t be afraid to reach out to see how we can help take the stress out of the holiday season. Call us at 704.333.5214 or contact us here.

Long-Distance Caregiving

Long-distance relationships are very difficult as they require extra attention and effort. Long-distance caregiving is no exception. Planning and coordinating everything from finding the right doctors and caregivers to staying up-to-date about your loved one’s condition can be overwhelming. While this is true, its essential to ensure they’re properly taken care of.

Tips for long-distance caregiving include:

Accepting the Limitations

Being away from loved ones is very difficult, especially when their health isn’t ideal. It’s important to not focus on the limitations to your distance, do the absolute best at what you can and ask for outside help on the tasks you can’t.

Researching

Find the best caregiver and doctor that truly care about their well-being. While this will require adequate research and talking to each care provider it’s essential to their safety and happiness.

Organizing

Make sure you have the important paperwork, contact information for their doctors and caregivers, and an up-to-date calendar of their appointments.

Planning Ahead

Any family emergency is scary, but being far away when informed of the emergency is a very stressful situation. Instead of panicking be prepared for these instances and have a step by step plan laid out.

Staying in Touch

Calls, video chats, emails, and scheduling visits are important in any long-distance relationship. While it’s good to keep up-to-date with their well-being, constantly discussing their health can start to feel negative and discouraging so make sure to have light-hearted conversations as well.

If you live far from a loved one who requires extra care you may need help from a professional caregiver. Comprehensive Home Care is here to help give you a peace of mind. Contact us here or call us at 704.333.5214 to see how we can help.

Check out How Often Should I Check On My Aging Loved One? to learn the best practices.

Insomnia in the Elderly

We all want that feeling of getting out of bed well rested after a great night’s sleep. However, for older adults getting adequate sleep is a struggle. As adequate sleep is required to rejuvenate the body, it’s important to know the best options to treat insomnia.

Let’s take a look at insomnia and the options to help your loved one.

The Misconception

Insomnia is a disorder that plagues many people, the numbers increasing with age. Many believe inadequate sleep is just something to be accepted. This misconception is one that Preeti Malani, M.D., Chief Health Officer and Professor of Medicine at the University of Michigan wants to dispel. According to Dr. Malani, “If older adults believe that these changes are a normal, inevitable part of aging, they may not think of it as something to discuss with their doctor. And not discussing it can potentially lead to health issues not being identified and managed.”

Treatment

The initial step in addressing sleep concerns for seniors is to talk to a physician. The physician can give advice on how to improve sleep and rule out any underlying conditions such as depression, anxiety, restless legs syndrome, and heart disease. He/she may prescribe medication, however, medication may not be the best option. Safer alternatives may include:

  • Restrict alcohol and caffeine, especially in the afternoon and evening.
  • Keep all electronic devices out of the bedroom and keep the sleeping environment dark and cool.
  • Set a sleeping pattern and adhere to it, sleeping and waking up at the same time every day.
  • Engage the services of a sleep therapist for cognitive behavioral therapy.

The Risks

About 40% of elderly adults are relying on insomnia medication. For this reason, it’s extremely important to also know the risks associated with such medication. Dizziness and disorientation is a common side effect, so the risk of falls and fractures, as well as car accidents increases. Seniors may also be at risk of becoming dependent on these types of medications.

Herbal remedies and supplements can also cause unwanted effects. Melatonin, for example, can cause dizziness and nausea and may interact with prescriptions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure medications.

Hope

New research and studies are coming out and as a result, new treatment options are coming to light. There’s no need to accept the misconception that adequate sleep is impossible to achieve. Ask for help to find the solution for you or your loved one.

Comprehensive Home Care, the number one choice for the expert companion care Charlotte seniors rely on, can help in a variety of ways. Our fully trained and experienced in-home caregivers can certainly help seniors stay active during the day with exercise programs, fun outings, and much more, setting the stage for an improved night’s sleep. Give us a call at 704.333.5214 or contact us online for more information.

As many insomnia medications cause dizziness it’s essential to learn ways to prevent accidental falls. Check out Steps to Avoid Accidental Falls.

The Potential Alzheimer’s Cause We May Have Been Missing

Still ringing true today, Thomas Edison’s words hold special meaning regarding the cause and a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, “I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work”.  New clinical studies and research give hope to the search for a cure. The newest results may have changed everything.

Check out the newest Alzheimer’s research:

Christian Holscher, a neuroscientist, advises that in order to win the war against Alzheimer’s, we have to look beyond the plaque theory. Alois Alzheimer, the founder of the disease, researched the plaques found exclusively in older brains. He, however, mentioned there’s no evidence to prove they cause the disease. Yet researchers have persistently honed in on these plaques as the culprit, only to come up empty-handed.

Holscher proposes a unique theory that should be explored instead: the link between Alzheimer’s and insulin. We know that those with type 2 diabetes have a greater risk. We also know that brain cells require insulin to grow and stay healthy. Could insulin deficits lead to the types of irreparable neuron damage exhibited in Alzheimer’s? Brain tissue from Alzheimer’s patients shows how insulin loses effectiveness in brain cell growth in both diabetic and non-diabetic patients. This led scientists to the conclusion that testing diabetic treatments on people that have Alzheimer’s is worth a try. 

Comprehensive Home Care will continue to closely follow any and all developments in the continuous search for an end to the disease. If you’re currently caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s feel free to contact us.  Our home care team is highly skilled and experienced in effectively managing a number of the more challenging aspects of the disease while supporting those affected to live life to their fullest potential. 

Contact us online or at 704-333-5214 to obtain more Alzheimer’s disease resources and to schedule a totally free consultation, right in the comfort of home, for more information on our professional in-home care assistance.

Check out How to Recognize the Signs of Dementia to learn more about the warning signs and symptoms of dementia.

Is it Just a Case of the Blues?

It is common to deal with sleep problems, fatigue, and/or loss of appetite in later years and often they’re written off as causes of aging. Yet for around 8 million adults over age 65, these symptoms could be suggestive of mental illness.

Mental illness in seniors usually goes unnoticed for a variety of reasons. A small percentage of adults age 65 and over who potentially have a mental illness actually receive treatment. There’s a stigma that comes with admitting to and searching for help for mental and emotional concerns. For some individuals, the assumption is that the symptoms of mental illness and aging go together so the signs are dismissed. In other cases, mental illness signs mirror medication side effects. 

Watch for any of the following types of behaviors in a loved one that may suggest a mental illness:

  • Anxiousness
  • Personality or mood changes
  • Changes in the desire for formerly enjoyed activities
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Alterations in eating patterns
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory -loss
  • Depression

If any of these signs are present it’s important to seek medical help. Talk to a primary care physician who can recommend the best medication and/or therapeutic options to consider.

Comprehensive Home Care can also help by escorting the senior to medical appointments and counseling sessions, picking up prescriptions and providing reminders. We can also serve as a caring companion to share in conversations and pick up on any changes that could indicate the necessity for further assistance. Contact Comprehensive Home Care, top providers of the highest quality companion care Charlotte has to offer, by calling us at 704-333-5214 or use our contact form to find out more.

Read about how another condition, insomnia, affects the elderly.

Tips to Recognize the Signs of Elder Abuse

While elder abuse is something that we would never expect to occur, it’s a tragically common occurrence in the U.S. Elder abuse occurs in many forms, from physical, emotional, or neglect. Because elder abuse is often a silent problem, it’s essential for families and friends of seniors to be aware of the signs of elder abuse to protect their loved ones.

Check out some of the warning signs that may indicate elder abuse:


Physical Abuse

  • Signs of injury like broken bones, bruises, welts, or scars. Especially if they appear symmetrically, on two sides of the body, or on the wrists.
  • Drug overdoses or regularly missed medications.
  • Broken eyeglasses.
  • Caregivers refusing to allow the senior to be seen alone.

Emotional Abuse

  • Behavior that mimics dementia, such as rocking, or mumbling to oneself.
  • Controlling behavior from the caregiver such as yelling or threatening, humiliating or ridiculing, ignoring the senior, or isolating from friends and family.

Neglect

  • Physical signs, such as bed sores and unhealthy weight loss/gain or malnutrition.
  • Unsanitary living conditions, such as neglected hygiene and a messy living area.
  • Unsuitable clothing or covering for the weather.
  • Unsafe living conditions, such as no heat or running water, faulty electrical wiring or other fire hazards.
  • Desertion of the senior at a public place.

The early signs of elder abuse may be difficult to recognize and may also appear to be symptoms of a disease or from increased frailty. A caregiver who is abusing the senior may also explain signs of abuse away. To help prevent abuse, make a point to call and visit senior loved ones often and be on the lookout for any changes in the senior’s personality or behavior. Report immediately if you suspect your loved one is at risk.

Comprehensive Home Care’s respite care can help families keep senior loved ones safe, happy, and healthy. Contact us here or call us at 704-333-5214 for a professional assessment.

Check out Is Your Senior Loved One at Risk for Elder Abuse? for more tips on recognizing the signs.