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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.

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.

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.

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.

Steps to Avoid Accidental Falls

Seniors are at a greater risk of injury due to falls. This is especially true when they are living on their own or when caregivers are away most of the day. When a senior falls he/she is highly likely to cause serious injury. However, steps can be taken to help your loved one avoid falls.

Consider the following tips to help seniors avoid falls:


Be careful at all times

Older people fall due to different reasons, including poor eyesight or even improper balance. If a loved one suffers from these issues, the first thing they should learn is to take time to get up from their chair or bed. Moreover, they can use a walker to make sure they remain steady while moving around.

Consider changing medications

It is possible that some of the medicines prescribed to your loved one may cause drowsiness. This can be avoided by speaking with a doctor so that he or she can prescribe a replacement that does not come with such side effects.

Keep living area clutter-free  

Ensuring that their living area is well organized is an excellent way to reduce the chances of falling. In addition, make sure that the stairs are obstacle free and get rid of all loose rugs around the home. Check out Is Elderly Hoarding Impacting Your Senior Loved One? Here’s How to Help if the clutter is getting worse or causing issues.

Keep the home well lit

Dark areas tend to hide obstacles and make it difficult to navigate. Therefore, you should ensure that their home has proper lighting. Also, place a lamp within reach so they do not have to walk around in the dark. 

Keep things within reach

If a senior is having trouble reaching stuff within the home, it is time to start making some drastic changes. If things are not within reach, make them so. Put things in lower shelves and install handrails and grab bars. These will ensure that they do not end up hurting themselves or worrying about those who love and care for them.

Now that you know the most important measures to prevent a fall, you should not wait for a fall to happen. Follow these tips right away to make sure your loved one is as safe as possible. 

Comprehensive Home Care is a leading home care provider. We provide home care and respite care Charlotte services for seniors and their loved ones. Contact us here or call us at 704.333.5214.