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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.

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.

Is It Just a Case of the Blues? Mental Illness in Seniors Is More Common Than You May Think

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:

  • 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

Effective treatment options are available for mental illness in seniors. 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, effects the elderly.

Tips on Recognizing 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 at or threatening
    • Humiliating or ridiculing
    • Ignoring the senior
    • Isolating the senior from friends and family

Neglect:

  • Physical problems, such as bed sores and unhealthy weight loss 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. If any signs of elder abuse are witnessed or suspected, they should be reported immediately.

Comprehensive Home Care’s Charlotte, NC respite care services can help families keep senior loved ones safe, happy, and healthy. As the top-rated home care agency in the Charlotte area, we can provide home care services, Alzheimer’s and dementia care, and services for people with disabilities to ensure that seniors are safe and well cared for. Contact us here or call us at 704-333-5214 for a professional assessment and to learn how we can protect your loved one.

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

The Latest in Helping Elderly Parents Avoid Phone Scams

Phone scams geared toward the elderly are nothing new, with an astonishing $36 billion lost each year to financial abuse. Con artists are always doing their best to create new scams to swindle money. Older adults specifically are constant targets of con artists, for a number of reasons. 

Check out the latest phone scam to be on the lookout for:


The latest senior con circulating is difficult for most to detect until it’s too late. The company Utility Savings Expert that claim to cut seniors’ utility, phone, cable, and other regular bills in half. They request seniors to share account information from the bill they’d prefer to reduce. They actually pay off the balance in full, with the understanding that the senior will reimburse half of the cost by wire transfer only – no checks or bank cards accepted. After the older adult’s funds have already been received, the organization reverses the charge to the phone or utility company, making the senior liable once more for the full amount – and the additional 50% they’ve paid to the scammers.

So, how do you protect your older family members from falling prey to very believable scams? Make sure your loved one never takes part in dealing with an unfamiliar business; another red flag occurs when a business asks for a wire transfer as payment. Screen calls and only answering known and trustworthy callers. Hang up immediately on anyone who calls asking for personal or financial information.

Providers of the home care Charlotte, NC families can trust, Comprehensive Home Care can alleviate senior loneliness and reduce the chance of a senior scam with our professional home care companionship and caregiving assistance. Call us at 704-333-5214 or contact us online for more information on how our Charlotte home services are able to keep your senior family members secure and safe.

Now that you are informed and can prevent your loved one from falling prey to phone scams, check out Tips on Recognizing the Signs of Elder Abuse to prevent another risk your senior loved one’s face.

How to Address Questions from a Loved One with Dementia

With a large number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, it’s very important to understand ways to effectively speak to those with the disease. Speaking to those with dementia effectively includes knowing how to address questions. While some choose to lie and withhold information, others believe that honesty and transparency are necessary.

The Alzheimer’s Association addresses a term called “loving deception”, allowing someone with dementia to maintain uncorrected misconceptions in order to reduce anxiety and agitation. Conversely, Martin Schreiber, author of “My Two Elaines: Learning, Coping and Surviving as an Alzheimer’s Caregiver”, teaches that there’s no benefit to correcting persons with dementia. He states, “This is all about the significance of joining the world of the individual with Alzheimer’s.” 

Ways to address questions from those with dementia include:

  •  Answering the question, then shifting the topic to something more soothing.
  • Acknowledging and being sensitive to the feelings they’re experiencing.
  • Being patient if the questions are repeated.
  • Providing comfort if the answers upset them.

For more communication recommendations for your loved one contact the care professionals at Comprehensive Home Care. We also offer education for families to better manage the disease. Call us at 704-333-5214 to speak with one of our Alzheimer’s care experts or contact us online.

Check out Dementia to learn more.

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.

Is Elderly Hoarding Impacting Your Senior Loved One? Here’s How to Help.

Do you have a loved one who struggles with elderly hoarding? Is this situation becoming increasingly difficult to manage? Are you concerned?

Pathological or compulsive hoarding, officially known as disposophobia, is much more than just collecting or living with clutter. It’s the excessive gathering of objects, regardless of whether these objects have any value or use. The idea of giving away or throwing away any of the items, even trash, results in great stress.

Elderly hoarding causes several problems. Too many objects in a senior’s living space can cause problems with hygiene – both in the home itself and with personal hygiene if cleaning facilities are blocked. Extreme clutter can lead to social isolation, due to the person’s embarrassment about the state of the home and his or her inability to clean up sufficiently to go out. The clutter can also be a serious safety hazard. Clutter can result in falls, destroy home foundations, and block exits in the event of an emergency.

Helping someone who struggles with elderly hoarding can be difficult. Those who hoard place an extreme amount of value on their possessions. Clearing anything away can be painful.

If you have a loved one who struggles with elderly hoarding, the tips below may help:


Try not to judge the person. It may be difficult, but if your senior loved one doesn’t feel judged, he or she may be more likely to work with you. Avoid statements such as “What a mess!” or “How can you possibly live like this?”

Use upbeat language. If you see any improvements at all, no matter how slight, such as a path from one room to another that is wider than it was before, congratulate them on trying to make things safer. If you notice a trash bag with trash to go out, let your loved one know that this is wonderful progress. Whenever there is something to praise, do so: “I can imagine how hard it was to fill that trash bag. I’m so happy you were able to do that.” You can also point out the nice things in the home, such as a beautiful painting, or an unusual decoration.

Never argue. Seniors who hoard have their reasons and arguing usually results in them shutting down the conversation. You don’t have to agree with what the person says, but arguing may result in them becoming defensive, pushing further away from a solution. If an argument is ensuing, it may be time to take a walk around the block or call it a day.

Understand that some things are just too important for your loved one to part with. When cleaning out a home, it’s important to remember that not everything has to go. We all have certain items that are dear to us. Recognize and acknowledge this.

Comprehensive Home Care’s home care experts have seen what hoarding can do and our experienced caregivers know how to help. As the top-rated home care agency in the Charlotte area, we can provide in-home care services, including friendly companionship to help seniors feel accepted and socially involved. Contact us at 704-333-5214 for a professional assessment to learn how we can help your senior loved one.

Check out 4 Situations When Home Care is Beneficial to learn more.

4 Situations When Home Care is Beneficial

There are several different ways for a loved one to receive care. A home care company can give you the medical attention your patient needs while staying in a place that is comfortable and familiar.

Here are a few situations when home care is beneficial:

You cannot afford a nursing home.

If you cannot afford a nursing home, then home care might be the best option as it is more affordable.

You want your family to stay together.

Allowing the patient to stay at home close to other family members is a great benefit of home care.

You want more personalized care.

When you hire a Comprehensive Home Care specialist a nurse will be assigned to assist your disabled family member. This will result in a better patient/nurse relationship that’s more beneficial for both people. Your loved one will know that the nurse assisting them will know exactly what they need, and the nurse will have fewer patients to work with.

You only need a nurse for a few hours a day.

People in nursing homes receive constant assistance, however, some only need assistance for a few hours a day. So if you want your family to play a bigger role in the assistance of your disabled family member, then you have that option.

These are a few situations when home care can be very beneficial. It will give you a lot of freedom, so you can be sure you are making the best choice for your loved one.  Consider Comprehensive Home Care when searching for the best option for your loved one. We offer many different types of services and will give you the service you need.

Check out Signs that Your Loved One May Need Senior Home Care to learn more.

Perks of Home Care

Home care provides equal, if not better, care for your loved one than other assisted living options. And, there are many perks of home care versus the other options. For this reason, it’s the main choice for people who need assistance but still want to feel independent.

Main perks of home care include:


Familiar environment

Your loved one may already be going through a lot emotionally. If it is possible, you should do what you can to keep them in their own house where they are comfortable. They may need to depend on a specialist for assistance, but at least they are familiar with their surroundings.

Dedicated attention

Comprehensive home care provides dedicated specialists who will take the time to learn exactly what your loved one needs. This type of one-on-one attention will help build a relationship between your loved one and the specialist.

Surrounded by family and friends

Home care gives your loved one the opportunity to be surrounded by family and friends while receiving the care they need. Other assisted care options require loved ones to depend entirely on strangers which can be scary for both you and your loved one.

Cost efficient

Home care is the best, most cost-efficient option for assisted living. Other options can get very pricey and may not be as effective for treating your loved one’s health.

Consider Comprehensive Home Care to provide these benefits and more. We offer many different home care services and will be willing to accommodate your loved one’s needs. Contact us here or call us at 704.333.5214.

Check out How Do I Know if My Loved One Might Benefit from Home Care? to learn more.

Ask These Questions Before Hiring a Home Care Specialist

Hiring a home care specialist is useful when your loved one prefers to stay in a more active lifestyle while needing assistance with things around the home. There are a few guidelines you can follow to ensure that your loved one is cared for in the best way possible. These questions are a great way to find out which specialist is best for your family member.

Consider these questions before choosing a home care specialist:

  •  What specific experience and certification do you have in caring for the elderly?

This question is so important because it gives an overview of the person’s background and qualifications. The way they present their experience will show how they feel about the elderly care they provide. The qualifications should already be in place if you are considering any home care specialist. To ensure proper care and a nurturing environment, it is important to ensure that the home care specialist is more than just qualified. The specialist should also enjoy giving care to those who cannot care for themselves.

  • What references do you have in regards to specifically caring for elderly patients with illnesses such as dementia and Parkinson’s disease?

The references will provide a frame of time for the experience presented and also a backup for honest feedback.

  • How would you handle emergency situations during after-hours?

This gauges the specialist’s ability to handle situations that may occur during times you may not be readily available. It is important to have emergency protocols and to know that the home care specialist is comfortable with addressing issues and prepared with the necessary procedures and practices.

Comprehensive Home Care provides the necessary processes and background checks to find the right fit for your loved one. We specialize in caring for those who need assistance taking care of themselves. This includes the elderly, those who have an illness, disorder, or injury, pregnant women, and new mothers.

Read Tips to Start the Care Provider Search for more advice.

How Do I Know if My Loved One Might Benefit from Home Care?

As time goes on, you may notice your loved one is not quite what they used to be. There are countless reasons why there may begin going through changes. These changes can seriously affect your loved one’s ability to live alone. In this case, they may truly benefit from home care.

Here are some things to consider when deciding if home care is the right move to make for your loved one:


When they are becoming more forgetful.

While forgetting something every now and then can be okay, when your loved one is constantly forgetting, it is a rise for concern. Even if it is small things like checking the mail, you may want to start paying more attention. When they are forgetting to throw out old food, forgetting appointments, and other similar things they should not continue living by themselves.

If they seem to not be taking care of themselves.

When a loved one seems to not be properly taking care of themselves, this is another rise for concern. This may mean that they are either struggling to do or just forgetting to do simple tasks.  By turning to a home care specialist you will have peace of mind.

If they can no longer drive safely.

When you start to notice their car getting more dents and scratches, it may be a sign that they are struggling behind the wheel. This is not only putting themselves at risk but other people as well.

When you are starting to get worried about your loved one’s well being have a conversation with them or their doctor and see what the cause could be. Comprehensive Home Care can also ensure they are getting the proper care from professionals who know what to do. Contact Comprehensive Home Care to get a free home assessment and learn more about the services we offer.

Check out Is It Just a Case of the Blues? Mental Illness in Seniors Is More Common Than You May Think to read about a condition that would benefit from the use of a home care specialist.

Tips to Start the Care Provider Search

The care provider search is no easy task. And deciding on the best care for a loved one is an extremely important, sometimes urgent, decision. Some struggle with knowing where to even begin.

Here are some tips to start the care provider search:

Assess the needs of your loved one.

In order to find the right care provider, you must first know what your loved one’s needs are. Do they need someone only to help with meals, baths, and cooking? Or do they need 24-hour care? Answering these questions will help you narrow down the type of specialist you need and set you on the right path.

Do your research and ask questions.

Put together a list of providers that meet the requirements. Interview each provider in person, over the phone just won’t cut it. You can tell a lot about a person by meeting them and making eye contact. Before the meeting, make sure that you put together a list of questions to ask. These questions should include things such as quality of care provided, fees, services provided, and hours the provider is able to work.

Check references.

It is very important to check references and do a background check on any provider you are considering. This person is going to be taking care of your loved one and you want to be sure that it is safe. Request the names of two or three different clients and talk to each of them if possible. Ask how the provider treated their loved ones and if they would employ them again.

Adjust and observe.

Your job does not end after you have found a provider. Your loved one’s needs may change, so it’s best to continue to play an active role. You should also keep an eye on how the provider gets along with your loved one until you are sure that they are a good fit.

From assessing the needs of your loved one to not being afraid to ask questions, these tips will truly help the process. Comprehensive Home Care can help in this process, as well. Contact us here or call us at 704.333.5214 to see how we can assist.

Check out Senior Living Options to learn about the different options available to you and your loved one.

Signs Your Loved One’s Dementia is Worsening

The thought of a loved one developing dementia is scary to anyone, yet it happens all too frequently. You need to know the signs and symptoms to look for so that you know when your loved one’s dementia worsens. These symptoms do not always mean that the patient is in the later stages.

When your loved one’s dementia worsens you’ll notice these signs:


Memory loss

Memory loss in the later stages of dementia is usually severe. The patient may not recognize people that are extremely close to them. It is also possible that your loved one will start thinking you are someone from their past.

Problems communicating

In the later stages of dementia, your loved one may have a hard time communicating with you or stop communicating altogether. They may utter a single word every now and then or even cry out. Remember, however, that verbal language is only one form of communication and your loved one may be able to tell you what they want through gestures.

Weight loss

In many cases, the weight loss can become drastic in the later stages. It is possible for your loved one to forget how to chew and swallow; at this point, you will need to look further into dementia home care if you have not already.

Behavior that is Unusual

In the later stages of dementia, many patients may act strangely. This puzzling behavior will be different for every patient. However, here are some of the most common unusual behaviors.

  • The patient may become agitated and confused mostly in the afternoon and the early evening. This is often referred to as sundowning.
  • Often the patient can become aggressive and aggravated if they feel threatened or they are confused about what is going on around them.
  • It is possible for the patient to have hallucinations.
  • It is possible for the patient to start feeling restless and need more exercise.

These are just a few of the signs to look for when your loved one’s dementia is worsening. Just remember that these symptoms do not have to mean that your loved one is in the latter stages, their symptoms are just worsening and you may need to get professional help. Click here to learn about the dementia services Comprehensive Home Care provides. Contact us here or call us at 704.333.5214 to speak with a specialist.

Check out Three Signs That Your Family Member’s Dementia Requires Outside Help to learn more.

Planning a Family Meeting to Discuss Home Care

Home care is used to provide the care of a loved one who is unable to fully provide for themselves, yet still stable and mentally sound enough to be at home and out of the nursing home. For many people, this type of care provides far greater happiness and prolongs their lifetime and that is just the start of the exciting benefits. Even still there are drawbacks that must be considered if this is a method of care that you are considering. Before deciding if home care is the right option for your loved one it is important to plan a family meeting with the immediate members of your family. This is a big decision and everyone should be able to voice their thoughts, concerns, and hopes freely.

Preparing for a family meeting


When preparing for your family meeting make sure that you inform family members as far in advance as possible. Everyone’s schedules differ, and sometimes it can be difficult to find a time when everyone is able to come together. When informing family members of the meeting you should plan for a two-hour time slot, although it might take slightly less time. Once a time has been arranged, choose a location for the meeting. If your home is large enough this is perfectly fine. It should be comfortable so everyone is able to talk openly. Make sure that the loved one being considered for home care is present during the meeting. After all, it is him or her that will be receiving the care so their say really matters the most. Also, the home care agency caregiver or staff member should be present to help you learn more about the service and the different options available.

Things to discuss at the family meeting


 

  • Cost. Insurance will usually not cover the costs of this type of care so it is the responsibility of loved ones to cover the fees. Consider how you will pay, how much each person can put forth, etc. Also, take into consideration during your meeting:
  • Duration. How long/often will you require home care for your loved one? You can arrange services for part-time or full-time, or on as –needed basis.
  • Capability of the senior. Is your loved one still able to partially caring for themselves? Patients who are best-suited for home services are those who still have such capabilities.
  • Needs of the senior. Discuss with the caregiver the needs of your loved ones. Caregivers can provide a little or they can provide a lot, depending upon the need. Ensure the chosen agency is capable of handling those needs. Not all agencies provide the same levels of care.
  • Questions/concerns. Give each family member time to ask their own questions as they arise.

Comprehensive Home Care can provide help during these meetings. Contact us here or call at 704.333.5214 with any questions or care needs.

Check out Diffusing Family Tensions for more support.

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.

How to Recognize the Signs of Dementia

As people age, the body starts to experience the signs of aging. Dementia is one of the many conditions you need to look out for in your aging loved one. Luckily there are certain signs of dementia you can look out for. These sings will be the first indicator that something is wrong. So, if you notice any of these symptoms in your loved one feel free to reach out to us to see how we can help.

A few of the signs of dementia include:


Memory loss

This is the most common symptom that falls under the dementia umbrella term. The issue with this is that it doesn’t happen all at once, and everyone has memory lapses from time to time no matter their age. So at first, it may be difficult to see when you or someone you know is experiencing true memory loss due to dementia. The real problem is when the memory loss worsens. Over time it will escalate and become more noticeable. When this sign is noticed, a visit to the doctor is required immediately. They will be able to help you figure out exactly what the underlying cause is, and if there is any way to stop or slow the memory loss.

Communication problems

Another common sign of dementia is communication problems. Word disassociation is very common amongst people who have dementia. In fact, it is often one of the first signs that something could be wrong. That being said, it can also be misinterpreted as everyone has the problem from time to time. Just like with memory loss, it is when the problem becomes frequent that you should start to think something is wrong. It is important to seek help as soon as you realize that the communication problems are a serious problem. There are several dementia-like symptoms that can be treated if caught early.

There are a few other signs, but these are the two most common. You might also notice the loss of the ability to focus or the ability to reason. No matter the cause or the sign, once noticed, it is important that you seek help. Comprehensive Home Care, experts in dementia care, can help you and your loved one. You don’t need to go through this alone, contact us here or call us at 704.333.5214.

Check out Activities for Your Loved One with Dementia to better be prepared if he/she is diagnosed.