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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.

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.

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.

Elderly Hoarding

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.

Be understanding. 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 here or call 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.