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Is Your Senior Loved One at Risk for Elder Abuse?

Helping seniors stay healthy and safe is the main goal of our Charlotte, NC senior care professionals. For this reason, it’s essential that we discuss a difficult topic, elder abuse. The CDC estimates that around 500,000 older adults are abused or neglected every year in the U.S. and many other cases are unreported each year. As a family or friend of a senior receiving care, it’s important to be mindful of the risk factors.

Be aware of the following risk factors associated with elder abuse:

  • Dependency on others. Seniors are sometimes reluctant to speak up about any abuse because they may fear that a different caregiver will not meet their needs.
  • Decreased physical health and mobility. Seniors with certain diseases and disabilities may be at higher a risk of abuse because he/she may not be able to verbalize the abuse.
  • History of abuse. If someone has a history of abuse there is an increased risk for abuse in their later years. This is the case especially when a victim of abuse by the senior is now their primary caregiver.
  • Social isolation. Social isolation often occurs when a senior loses a spouse or lives at a distance from family and friends. Abusers often try to keep seniors isolated by doing the following:
    • Refusing to apply for economic aid or services.
    • Resisting outside help.
    • Changing social and healthcare providers frequently to make it difficult for the senior to assess their health status.
    • Controlling contact with family and friends.
  • Family caregiver stress or burnout. Overwhelmed caregivers may start to lash out at the seniors in their care.

Make sure to call or visit as often as possible to also play an active role in their care. Comprehensive Home Care can also help as we understand the importance of a senior’s health and safety. Each member of our Charlotte, NC senior care team has passed a thorough background check, reference checks, and an in-depth personal interview to ensure they meet high standards. All of our caregivers are licensed certified nursing assistants (CNAs) in good standing in the state of North Carolina, so rest assured your loved one is in capable, experienced hands. Contact us today to learn more about our Charlotte home care services.

Now that you’re prepared for this threat, check out The Latest in Helping Elderly Parents Avoid Phone Scams.

Caring for Older Parents? Ask These Questions Before They Move in

Probably the most admirable decision an adult can make is to open up their house to an older parent. Our parents took care of us, so it seems obvious to return the favor if they need a safe place to live. However, there are a number of things to consider when caring for older parents. 

Check out these key questions to ask when caring for older parents and deciding where they should live:

Is there sufficient space?

For example, consider how making room for the parent can lead to a change in another family member’s accommodations.

Is the home safe and efficient for the elderly’s needs?

Walk through your home and try to see it through the viewpoint of your parent. Are pathways clear between the senior’s bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, etc.? Are there any tripping dangers, such as throw rugs? Should you install grab bars, an elevated toilet seat, or other home care equipment? Are there any stairs to maneuver? Is the house wheelchair-accessible?

Will someone be home each day?

Isolation and the dangers of being left alone will still be a problem if you and your spouse work outside the home.

Is everyone completely agreeable with the plan?

While you may be thoroughly convinced of your senior parent’s new living arrangements, feelings of reluctance, or resentment on the part a family member can create stress.

Are you prepared to handle increasing care needs?

While they may just need a little help currently, disease progression and the normal frailties associated with aging will change the amount of care needed. Think about the potential difficulties.

Is your parent okay with this decision?

Giving up status as “head of the household” is extremely challenging for some seniors. It takes careful planning to help your parent maintain self-esteem, autonomy, and a sense of control.

If you’re feeling uncertain about your ability to look after your elderly loved one, another choice may be better suited to both the senior and your family. One option to consider is the addition of a home care provider, such as a Comprehensive Home Care specialist. Our knowledgeable caregivers partner with families in Charlotte so that seniors stay safe and thrive inside their homes – whether that involves a few hours each week of companionship to promote socialization, personal care assistance for safe bathing and dressing, help with household chores and meal preparation, or round-the-clock, live-in care. We provide a free in-home consultation to learn about your senior loved one and then suggest a strategy of care to handle all concerns. Call us today at 704-333-5214 or contact us online to find out more about our Charlotte, NC, senior care services.

Check out Planning a Family Meeting to Discuss Home Care on tips to discuss the change with your family.

Tips to Avoid Common Parkinson’s Complications

Many seniors with Parkinson’s disease receive the largest part of their care at home from loved ones. Comprehensive Home Care understands the unique concerns of those who care for seniors with Parkinson’s and want you to know you’re not alone! We can provide respite care to help you and your loved one during this difficult time.

It’s helpful to keep these Parkinson’s tips in mind:


Nutrition: A healthy diet helps reduce cell loss in a person with Parkinson’s disease. Consuming antioxidants, found in green tea, blueberries, broccoli, spinach, beans, and certain types of nuts, can fight against oxidative stress. 

Chewing and Swallowing: Those with Parkinson’s disease may have difficulty chewing and swallowing. So, each person caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s should learn the Heimlich maneuver to be prepared.

Preventing Falls: It’s also common to have trouble with balance, so walking may be difficult. It’s crucial to assess the home surroundings and make modifications to reduce the risk of falls. Installing items like customized toilet seats and grab bars where appropriate.

Anxiety and Depression: Reducing the risk for depression and anxiety is a crucial factor in the battle against Parkinson’s disease. Keep a close eye for signs of depression, and make sure he/she sees a doctor as soon as possible if signs are noticed.

Medications: Parkinson’s treatments may have a number of side effects, so be sure the doctor informs you of anticipated ones. Some types of medication may cause hallucinations or nightmares, for example.

We invite you to explore Comprehensive Home Care’s Charlotte home care services to discover how respite care can lead to a better quality of life for both your loved one and the family members who are providing care. By partnering with our professional Charlotte home care team to assist with some of the more routine aspects of caregiving, family members have the opportunity to spend more quality time together. Contact us at 704-333-5214 to learn more. 

Check out The 5 Stages of Parkinson’s Disease and How Home Care Can Help for more advice.

Senior Fitness Tips

Participating in an ongoing fitness plan is challenging at any age. All of us have made excuses for not exercising and aging makes it even more difficult to commit to a fitness plan. Our home care experts want to help you understand the factors that go into building a fitness plan for your loved one.

Consider the following factors involved in senior fitness:


Self-confidence. It’s natural for older adults to become overwhelmed with the idea of achieving fitness goals. Have them start slowly with easier exercises and then progress gradually. Continue to provide ongoing support throughout the program.

Attitude. Attitude is so important when it comes to staying physically fit. If approached negatively it will be so much harder to stick to a fitness program. Choose activities that will be enjoyable and that they will look forward to.

Pain. They should avoid overdoing it and pushing their body to discomfort or pain.

Disabilities. Older adults with physical or cognitive impairments can and should stay active within their ability level. Ask their doctor for a referral to a personal trainer or physical therapist who can create a specialized fitness program.

Fear of Injury/Balance Problems. Utilize a variety of different assistive products to improve safety.

Financial Issues. Exercising doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Walking and other simple activities can be effective with little to no cost.

Illness or Fatigue. Workouts should be tailored to match their energy level and the intensity can be increased over time.

The key to ongoing success with a fitness program is to make sure the senior is comfortable and feels safe with the plan. If any pain is felt in muscles or bones following an exercise the intensity can be decreased. Make sure to check with their doctor if the pain or discomfort continues and/or intensifies. Comprehensive Home Care will work with your loved one’s doctor to develop a safe fitness plan to help build strength, independence, and quality of life. Contact us at 704-333-5214 for more senior fitness tips and to learn about our home care services.

Check out Elderly Exercise Ideas to Help Seniors Thrive to find the best exercises for your loved one.

Elderly Exercise Ideas to Help Seniors Thrive

As we age, exercise becomes more essential. It’s vital for overall health and well-being to maintain as active a lifestyle as possible. While it may be challenging for seniors who struggle with mobility, there are still exercise options available to help boost strength, resistance, and flexibility.

Always check first with the senior’s primary physician to receive recommendations and approval for an elderly exercise program that is safe and will benefit the senior the most. When they first try the exercises, bear in mind that even as little as a few minutes each day, repeated several times throughout the day, can have a great impact on their health. Motivating your senior loved one to begin and stick with an exercise program is the key to success.

Consider the following elderly exercises:


Aerobics. There are many aerobics options for seniors including water aerobics and dance cardio. If full body movements aren’t an option, there are exercises that can be done while seated to help build cardio strength.

Resistance Exercises. To build strength in muscle tissue, exercising with resistance weights, like elastic bands, can help. The bands come in a variety of tensile strength levels. Even a day per week of strength training can help reduce the risk of injury.

Flexibility Exercises. Stretching is great for improving flexibility and freedom of movement. Search for yoga classes at a local senior or recreation center.

Dementia Exercises. In the early stages of dementia, there are a variety of exercise options. The same exercise can be modified and continued as the stages progress. Repetition is often comforting to seniors with dementia, so activities such as folding laundry, walking, and riding a stationary bike, can be helpful for both the physical and mental state.

The following suggestions can ensure that he or she will look forward to the program:

  • Engage in the exercise program with your loved one. It’s more fun to exercise with a buddy.
  • Or hire a trusted caregiver from the Comprehensive Home Care team to engage in the elderly exercise program with your loved one.
  • Turn on his or her favorite, upbeat music while exercising.
  • Set aside dedicated time each day for exercise, and make sure to keep it a priority.
  • Consider offering incentives or rewards for attaining milestones for motivation.

For more recommendations on helping seniors increase activity levels, contact Comprehensive Home Care. Our professional in-home caregivers are experienced in helping older adults thrive and enhance their overall health and wellbeing. There’s nothing we love more than knowing that the seniors in our care are healthy and enjoying life to the fullest! Contact us at 704-333-5214 for more information on setting up an elderly exercise program to improve life for your senior loved one!

Now that you have the information necessary to plan the best fitness routine. Check out Benefits of Laughter in Senior’s Health.

Signs that Your Loved One May Need Senior Home Care

“I do NOT want to move to a nursing home!” This is an often-heard sentiment expressed by many seniors, even when they’re beginning to experience some difficulty managing at home on their own. And who can blame them? Home is where older adults feel most comfortable and safe. They know where everything is and they can enjoy their own individual routine and they may have friends and family who live close by, who enhance their quality of life. But, if you have concerns about your senior loved one’s ability to remain living safely at home, it may be time to assess the best possible solution, senior home care.

Consider the following questions to determine if your loved one could benefit from senior home care:

Weight Loss

  • Has your senior loved one lost weight unintentionally over the past several months?
  • Are they able to pick up groceries and prepare meals?
  • Do they prepare meals safely, remembering to turn off the oven or stove?
  • Do they complain about how food tastes?
  • Are they drinking sufficient amounts of water and other fluids during the day to prevent dehydration, especially during the hot summer months?

Personal Hygiene

  • Is your senior loved one adequately maintaining their hygiene?
  • Can they take care of laundry, bathing, grooming, and toileting needs sufficiently?

Medications

  • Does your senior loved one take medications?
  • Do they take them exactly as prescribed?
  • Can they read the labels and understand what each medicine is for?
  • Are they physically able to swallow pills, or otherwise use them as they are intended (i.e. creams, drops, etc.)?

Safety

  • Is the home free of clutter, which could be a tripping or falling hazard?
  • Could your loved one call for help if they were to fall?
  • Are there grab bars in the shower/bath, and are banisters and handrails on stairways fastened securely?
  • Is there sufficient lighting to allow them to safely get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom or kitchen?
  • Do you notice any cuts, bruises, scrapes, or burns that could have been caused by a fall or other unexplained circumstance?
  • Is the kitchen clean enough to safely prepare food?
  • Is your loved one taking multiple medications from multiple doctors and/or does they use multiple pharmacies?

Emotional, Psychological and Cognitive

  • Does your loved one seem depressed or anxious?
  • Are they staying social as much as possible, whether in person or through the Internet or by phone?
  • If he/she is religious, are they continuing to attend services or programs available?
  • Are they still enjoying hobbies that interested them before?
  • Are they forgetful? Unusually loud or agitated?
  • Are their finances in order?

The list of questions may seem overwhelming at first, but our senior home care services team can help. Our professional home care team can evaluate your senior loved one’s situation and provide suggestions and solutions, giving you and your loved one peace of mind. Our trained home care staff can provide companionship, perform light housekeeping tasks, prepare nutritious meals, among other helpful tasks. We can even coordinate services between various healthcare providers.

Contact us at 704-333-5214 for a free in-home assessment and see how we can help your loved one.

Check out Perks of Home Care to learn how a care provider can help.

Warning Signs of Dementia

If you are noticing new symptoms in your loved one it’s important to know what the cause could be. For example, knowing the warning signs of dementia in your loved one is extremely important so you can catch the disease early and start getting them treatment.

Below are some of the most common signs of dementia:

Memory loss

Everyone forgets things occasionally. However, one of the most common signs of dementia is a significant memory loss. This includes forgetting information just learned, forgetting important dates, and increasingly needing to have notes on hand to remember information.

Struggling to complete tasks

Another indication has to do with the tasks people manage on a daily basis. Those who have difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work, or even during leisure activities. This may include getting to locations, managing finances, or playing a game.

Problem-solving

Another clear indication has to do with problem-solving skills. Many people begin to develop complications related to tracking information, concentrating, or keeping track of payments. They may struggle with these tasks even if they have been performed previously.

Time and place confusion

Over time, those with dementia will begin to struggle with issues related to time and place. For example, they may lose track of dates or be unable to remember what time it is, lose blocks of time, forget how they got somewhere, or when they have an appointment.

Speaking or writing difficulties

Often,  those with dementia will pull out of social activities. This may be due to their difficulty in speaking and carrying on in conversation and just give up. They may repeat themselves several times, writing becomes difficult to do, they may forget what something is called, or they may struggle to remember a word for something that is common or that they use each day.

If your loved one has some of these or other warning signs of dementia, it’s time to reach out for help. Getting help from Comprehensive Home Care can be one of the most reassuring steps you can take for your loved one and for yourself. Contact us by clicking here or calling 704-333-5214.

Check out What to Do If You Think Your Loved One Has Alzheimer’s to learn more.

What to Do If You Think Your Loved One Has Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s is a disease that few people ever feel comfortable talking about.  It’s an emotional thing to see your loved one slowly lose their grasp on their memory and surroundings.  You may feel helpless, powerless, confused.  You may not be sure where to look for answers, or what to do.  But, don’t worry you’re not alone in this.

Here are some suggestions that may help if you think your loved one has Alzheimer’s:


Take some time to figure it out

A major disease like Alzheimer’s can be terrifying to face, but don’t give up.  Talk to a doctor, and do your research.  The more you know, the more you are prepared to help.  If you do confirm that yes, it is Alzheimer’s, then take a few minutes, or a day if you need, to come to grips with it.  There’s a lot ahead of you, so make sure you’re mentally and emotionally prepared for it.

Weigh your options and responsibilities

Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s is a major commitment.  It will require you to invest a lot of time, money, and energy into seeing for the needs of your loved one.  It will be a large emotional strain.  If you feel like you can handle it, that you can fully invest in the needs of your loved one, then you need to start making plans.  If not, then you need to find another option for care.  In either case, you don’t have to rely only on your own strength and resources.

Look for help

Help is out there. Doctors can offer some medications and suggestions on specific care procedures.  Seek out family and friends to form a support network.  Also, there are many alternatives for care if you feel that you can’t do it by yourself.  Nursing homes can offer around-the-clock care but can be confusing and frightening for someone with Alzheimer’s. An efficient and comfortable option is home care. Alzheimer’s care Charlotte trained specialists can come to your loved one’s home to provide caring, competent, and constant support.  That way, your loved one can receive the treatment and care they need from the comfort and familiarity of their own home.

There is an emotional and difficult time ahead.  Remember that you don’t have to go through it alone. Comprehensive Home Care can help you and your loved one through this tough time. Contact us here or call us at 704.333.5214.

Check out The Potential Alzheimer’s Cause We May Have Been Missing to read about the latest research.

Dementia

According to statistics, there are over 46 million people in the world suffering from dementia. And, the risks significantly increase when a person reaches 60 years of age. It’s important to know the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options in order to be prepared.

Symptoms and diagnosis of dementia


Different people have different symptoms or a combination of symptoms – difficulties speaking, thinking, lack of attention, moodiness, among others. It is important to identify changes in at least two independent areas, like attention and memory, to diagnose dementia.

The most evident sign of this disease is memory loss. In some diseases related to dementia, memory loss doesn’t have to be present (frontotemporal). Memory loss is also not something that is “exclusive” in older people. The most common cause of pathological forgetfulness is the diseases that occur due to deterioration of brain cells.

Care


A person with dementia usually requires 24 hours a day supervision, which may be impossible to be provided by family members. For this reason, home care has become a quite popular choice. Since the patients don’t have to leave their home in order to get professional help, the quality of life of the patient and their family will improve.

Patients and family members must receive thorough and understandable information about the symptoms of the disease according to its stages, the kind of preventive measures they can take, and what they can expect in the later stages.

The expert Dementia and Alzheimer’s care providers at Comprehensive Home Care, are here to help you and your loved one. Call us at 704.333.5214 to learn how we can assist.

Check out Signs Your Loved One Needs Home Care Immediately for Dementia to learn when to look for help.

Activities for Your Loved One with Dementia

It’s important to engage a loved one with dementia in activities that foster proper brain functioning and boost memory capabilities. Games, puzzles, and other fun activities are known to provide impeccable results and also improve their overall health. As each person has their own unique requirements, finding the right activity demands specialized assisted services. For instance, those with memory loss require help to remember significant events such as birthdays, anniversaries, and names of family members.

Top activities for a loved one with dementia include:

  •  Crossword puzzles or word search games help to maintain their language and vocabulary.
  • Jigsaw puzzle games help keep their brains active and help develop memory retention skills.
  • Scrapbooking can help their memory by keeping an account of important history, events, and names of family members.
  • Cooking can be a very beneficial activity for those with dementia. Baking cookies or helping to prepare their favorite recipe can make them feel useful, and also keeps them busy.
  • Listening to music and asking them to give the title of the song and the artist is a perfect strategy to remember information while lifting their spirits.
  • Taking a short walk can be very beneficial. Exercise is key to their overall health.
  • Writing letters for family and friends encourages them to maintain their writing skills.
  • Reading aloud from a favorite book allows them to listen and improve on their reading and verbal skills.
  • Painting with watercolors is also a great activity that allows the use of creativity.

Comprehensive Home Care can help you decide what activity is best for your loved one. Contact us here or call us at 704.333.5214.

Check out How to Address Questions from a Loved One with Dementia to further learn best practices.

Diffusing Family Tensions

Sometimes family tensions arise when a family member needs assistance in the form of home care. However, when approached in the correct manner it is possible to resolve the tensions quickly. Tensions are typically due to the physical, financial, and emotional demands that come with providing care for a loved one.

Common causes of family tensions about home care include:


The burden of home care placed on one person.

A family member may feel the burden of the care when it is not evenly distributed throughout the family. If this happens, it is possible that the primary caregiver feels some resentment towards the rest of the family members.

The capabilities and condition of a loved one in home care.

For example, when you personally may think your loved one is no longer fit to drive, while others may disagree.

The financial matters of the home care.

Some family members may feel they cannot solely carry the burden due to financial restraints and need the support of the rest of the family.

Comprehensive Home Care can help you and your family find common ground to help ease the situation of any disagreements. We care about your family’s feelings and expectations, so we let each member of the family have a turn explaining their individual positions. All viewpoints are equally important, so compassion for one another’s circumstances is necessary.

Check out Long-Distance Caregiving for tips on caring for a loved one from far away.

Benefits of Laughter in Senior’s Health

Studies show that a positive attitude can greatly improve the quality of life. The benefits of laughter are numerous, from lowering blood pressure to reducing stress and anxiety.

Read on to learn the benefits of laughter in senior care:


Improves memory

Research on the effect of humor on the memory capabilities of the elderly has yielded positive findings. The research findings on a recent study in Loma Linda University in California indicate that it is possible to improve the memory of the elderly by maintaining a humorous mood.

Reduces stress

Laughter is vital in reducing the level of cortisol hormones in the brain and thus relieves stress. This effectively raises the quality of life.

Reduces risk for heart attacks and strokes

Laughter also increases the heart rate and enhances blood circulation which is beneficial for better oxygen intake. These health effects have been linked with a reduction in the risk of heart attacks and stroke.  

Lengthens life expectancy

Laughter has also been found to lengthen the lives of the elderly. Studies show that developing a sense of humor over several years can have a positive effect on the general well-being of elderly individuals and thus lower the mortality rate. 

Improves emotional state

Laughter raises dopamine and endorphins levels in the brain, which creates a feeling of pleasure and satisfaction. Laughter plays a role in the emotional and physical health of seniors suffering from chronic conditions, as well. Those exposed to humor for up to 12 weeks were in a better emotional condition for up to 26 weeks. 

While it is important to create a humorous environment for the elderly to harness the health benefits; it is important to ensure that the jokes are positive. Comprehensive Home Care caregivers appreciate the importance of humor on the health status of seniors.

Another benefit to your loved one’s health is having a fitness routine. Check out Senior Fitness Tips to learn more.