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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.

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.

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.

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.