Avoiding Slip and Fall Accidents in Seniors

Slips and falls have become a very serious problem in the senior community. Falls are the number one reason that seniors end up in the hospital and result in nearly 3 million injuries a year and 27,000 deaths. What is most terrifying is that 25 percent of seniors age 65 and older slip and fall every year. The more that seniors, and their caregivers can do in order to prevent slips and falls, the better as even a seemingly small slip can have some serious consequences. With this in mind, here are a few easy tips that can help seniors avoid falls all together.

Start With Their Footwear

The right footwear can go a long way in helping any senior avoid dangerous falls. Seniors should always be wearing proper footwear, even inside the home. Shoes should always be comfortable, flat and have plenty of support in the foot bed and around the ankles. Shoes should also have lots of traction on the bottom to help prevent slips.

Set Seniors Up for Success

Most falls actually happen at home, or in environments where seniors feel comfortable. This is why the home is the first place to look when it comes to fall prevention. There should always be a clear pathway in the senior’s home and their living spaces should be free of clutter. Falls are most common in the bathroom, so non-slip mats and handrails should always be in place in the bathroom.

Invest in Proper Lighting

This is one trick that may seem small, but that can go a long way in preventing falls inside the home. Proper lighting can make all of the difference for many seniors. In addition to adding a few brighter bulbs and a few lamps around the home, make sure to install some nightlights in the hallways and bathrooms. Many seniors get up in the middle of the night and even more seniors tend to wander. Make sure they can see where they are going so they don’t accidentally fall.

Make Sure Seniors Are Exercising

One of the many reasons that seniors are so prone to falls is because they have bone and muscle weakness. The more exercising seniors can do, the better. Strong legs and a strong core can really help prevent falls. Daily exercises like walking, swimming and strength exercises, along with anything to improve coordination and balance can all be a great asset to any senior.

Be Prepared for Balance Issues

There are a number of outside factors that can cause a senior to lose their balance, but there are also many internal problems that may cause your loved one to lose their balance from time-to-time. A majority of seniors actually suffer from vertigo, which causes dizziness and can lead to falls, and there are many medications that make seniors more prone to lightheadedness and slips as well. If you are prepared for these things ahead of time, you can effectively help stop falls before they happen.

Caregiver Burnout and How to Avoid It

Being a caregiver, in any capacity, whether it is professionally or for a loved one or family member, is one of the most stressful and overwhelming jobs a person can have. Between the physical demands and time commitment required to care for another person to the emotional dedication it takes to care for someone in need, there is so much that goes into being a caregiver. This is why caregiver burnout is a very real and very serious problem. This is why any person acting as a caregiver or who knows someone who is a caregiver should be on the lookout for the signs of caregiver burnout.

If you aren’t already familiar with caregiver burnout and what it entails, here are a few of the major signs to look for. These signs and signals include:

  • Anxiety, depression and irritability
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Catching virtually every cold, virus or illness
  • Neglecting their own needs
  • Only being focused on caregiving and nothing else
  • Giving up their own hobbies and interests to focus on caregiving
  • Neglecting responsibilities
  • Turning to food, drugs, smoking or alcohol to cope with stress
  • Exhibiting feelings of resent towards others
  • Overreacting to minor issues
  • Not sleeping
  • Struggling to relax
  • Developing worsening health problems

 

Recognizing the signs of caregiver burnout is important, but it is only half the battle. It is also important that you know how to avoid caregiver burnout so you can continue to be the balanced, successful, caring provider that you know you can be. The best way for caregivers to avoid burnout is to start taking these approaches right away. However, many caregivers don’t realize they are succumbing to the stress of their job until they start to notice some of the signs of burnout.

Either way, here are a few things that every caregiver can do in order to make sure they are staying healthy, happy and stress-free and that they are avoiding caregiver burnout to the best of their ability.

  • Embracing your choice to be a caregiver.
  • Hiring respite care so you can take breaks weekly, or even go on a vacation.
  • Focus on the things that you can control, instead of the things you can’t.
  • Do one thing for yourself every day, even if it is just sitting in silence for 15 minutes.
  • Celebrate the small victories. A day without an outburst, or your loved one sleeping through the night can be small enough victories to celebrate.
  • Have a support group who understands what you are going through. There are countless caregiver support systems out there.

The more you know about caregiver stress and how to avoid it, the better off you will be as you tackle the difficult responsibility of providing care to a senior in need. While it can be easy to try to do too much as a caregiver, all care providers should remember that taking care of themselves should be a top priority so they can be the best version of themselves and the best caregiver possible.

Sources:
https://www.webmd.com/women/caregiver-recognizing-burnout#1
https://www.aarp.org/relationships/caregiving-resource-center/info-12-2011/caregiver-burnout.html

How Do You Know If It’s Time For a Loved One to Enter an Assisted Living Community

It is a discussion that countless families from all over the world have every single day—the discussion on when it is time for their loved one to enter an assisted living community. It is a common discussion that people have virtually every day and it is a very difficult discussion for many families to have. Assisted living communities can be a great asset for many seniors. However, many seniors are noticeably apprehensive about committing to the assisted living lifestyle. Many seniors also think that transitioning to life in an assisted living community can suppress their independence, even though in reality, most seniors feel more independent when they get settled into their life in assisted living.

Apprehension among seniors is perhaps one of the biggest reasons many families second-guess their choice to have their loved one enter into an assisted living community. Many times, the decision is mostly up to the family of the senior as they are the ones who are responsible for care once their loved one in unable to care for themselves on their own. Many seniors may also not recognize that they need help during the day or they may feel insecure about requiring assistance or leaving their homes. This is where, as family members, it is time to step in. If you are taking on this type of role, here are a few different signs to look for that can let you know it is time for your loved one to enter an assisted living community.

  • Your loved one has been having accidents, falls or injuries at home.
  • You have witnesses numerous “close calls” with accidents or falls in your loved one.
  • Your loved one has gotten into numerous fender benders or driving accidents.
  • Whenever your loved one gets sick they take a long time to recover.
  • You are worried your loved one may no longer be able to clean or care for themselves as they show up to multiple situations not showered or wearing the same clothes over and over again.
  • Your loved one is becoming extremely forgetful.
  • Your loved one has started to wander, especially in the middle of the night.
  • Your loved one has a health condition that is getting worse.
  • You are worried your loved one is no longer able to cook for themselves or feed themselves.
  • Your loved one has experienced noticeable weight loss or weight gain for unexplained reasons.
  • Your loved one has cut back on their normal activities or interests.

If you notice some of these signs and symptoms, it is time to sit down and seriously discuss assisted living. The best way to tell if it is really time for your loved one to enter into a care facility is to go with your gut and your instincts. It can be a difficult decision to make, but you can rest assured knowing that your loved one will be getting the care and attention that they need and deserve.

Sources:
https://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/20/10-things-to-know-about-assisted-living/
https://www.grandparents.com/family-and-relationships/caregiving/assisted-living-reasons
https://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/aging/elder-care/time-for-assisted-living.htm

How Much Does Adult Daycare Cost?

If you are looking for different care solutions for your senior loved one, then one of the many options you may be considering is adult day care. This type of care solution is a viable option for families who want to stay together but who may feel they are unable to care for their loved one all the time during the day. This is also a great way to make sure that family caregivers get the respite that they need and that seniors are able to maintain a healthy, active social life as well.

When your elderly loved one needs care or supervision during the day, adult day care centers can be there to help with their comprehensive programs that are designed specifically to meet the needs of today’s seniors. Typically, seniors who attend adult day care live in their own home or their family member’s home but may need assistance with a few-day-to-day tasks, may have physical or cognitive challenges, may be frail and at risk of injury or may be lonely and isolated and need companionship.

These adult day care centers not only provide seniors with a little extra support and supervision but they also have plenty of activities to keep seniors busy as well. So, with so many perks, how much does adult daycare cost?

Well, the answer can vary, but here is an overview of typically adult day care costs and fees that can help you determine if this is a viable option for you and your loved one.

Overall, the cost of daycare can range from $40-60 per day, depending on the area, the facility and what is included in the care. Around 30% of adult daycare attendees pay for their services privately. Some insurances may help with some of these costs. One of the biggest variations in cost for these adult day care services are what is included in the care and whether or not snacks and meals are included. Some of the services you can expect in certain adult day care facilities are:

  • Nursing care
  • Therapeutic activities
  • Social events and activities
  • Personal care
  • Exercise classes
  • Massage and occupational therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Beauty services
  • Games

If you or your loved one are not able to pay for these services, some seniors are eligible for funding through Medicaid-waiver programs and Veteran’s programs, although eligibility can vary from state-to-state.

If you are worried about your loved one’s health and safety while they are home alone; are concerned they may be coming lonely, isolated or depressed or want someone to keep an eye on your loved one then adult daycare may be for you and your family. As this service continues to grow in popularity, there are now more and more adult daycare services available throughout the country, meaning you can explore your options and pricing to make sure you find a daycare solution that works best for you.

Sources:
https://www.aarp.org/relationships/caregiving-resource-center/info-10-2010/pc_all_about_adult_day_services.html
https://www.senioradvice.com/articles/how-to-pay-for-adult-daycare

Simple Tips on the Day-to-Day of Caring for a Loved one With Alzheimer’s

All throughout the country, there are millions of men and women who are currently struggling with Alzheimer’s disease. There are also millions of men and women who are stepping up and acting as familial caregivers to those who are struggling with this illness. For many families, deciding to have a familial caregiver comes with a number of benefits. Seniors can stay in a familiar environment, get more personalized care, save money on care costs and be around loved ones as they deal with this condition.

While there are many benefits for seniors who receive in-home care from their loved ones, acting as a familial caregiver can be very stressful and overwhelming for the care provider. It can also be a very rewarding experience for those who take on this responsibility. While there are many different approaches, tactics and pieces of advice available on how to be a successful Alzheimer’s caregiver, for many care providers the key is getting through the day-to-day challenges.

With this in mind, here are a few pieces of advice on how to handle the day-to-day responsibilities of providing this type of intensive care. Being able to handle the daily challenges will only help make the big picture of caregiving easier for any familial care provider.

  • Make a schedule and stick to it. Set schedules can not only make day-to-day life easier for you as a caregiver but they are extremely helpful for those with Alzheimer’s as it can help prevent confusion. Routines are extremely helpful when it comes to care.
  • Give yourself time. When you are acting as a caregiver to someone with Alzheimer’s, you need to just expect that everything will take slightly longer than normal. Give yourself extra time to do everyday activities, so you and your loved one don’t feel rushed or overwhelmed.
  • Don’t be hard on yourself. There are good days and bad days when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease, meaning there are going to be good days and bad days for caregivers. Give yourself some slack, no one is perfect.
  • Keep your loved one involved. It can be normal to want to jump in and do everything for your loved one when they need Alzheimer’s, but you need to keep them involved and let them do the things that they can safely do on their own. This will help keep them sharp and feeling like themselves.
  • Be prepared for every day to be different. There are little day-to-day tasks that you may find are easy one day and difficult the next. Alzheimer’s disease can cause seniors to change almost on a dime, meaning every day is going to be different. Be ready to handle this type of challenge so you don’t let it get you down.

These little daily tips may seem simple and straightforward, but they can make all of the difference in how you are able to tackle the large, yet rewarding responsibility of being a caregiver for your loved one.

Respite Care for People With Dementia

If you are helping look after a senior loved one or family member with dementia, then acting as their caregiver can be a very demanding, full-time job. Dementia is such an unpredictable illness and it can make looking after someone with this disease very challenging. While many people find that being a dementia caregiver is very rewarding, it doesn’t mean it is without its challenges. It can be time consuming, stressful, lead to caregiver burnout and even cause some caregivers to compromise their physical and mental health. This is why it is so important for every dementia caregiver to know about respite care.

Respite care is a type of temporary care designed with busy home caregivers in mind. Respite is not a permanent care solution, but a valuable resource for busy caregivers meant to provide them with relief so that they can take care of themselves and their own needs. This allows caregivers to find balance in their lives and to make sure they are rested, healthy and able to be the best person and best caregiver they can be.

While in most situations, respite care can be tailored to fit the individual needs of the individual with dementia, there are two main types of respite care you will find for seniors with dementia, in-home respite care and residential respite care.

What is in-home respite care?

In-home respite care, as the name suggests features having an in-home care provider come to your loved one’s home to look after them. This is sometimes called companionship care as it is meant to make sure your loved one isn’t lonely or isolated. Typically, dementia caregivers will hire these professionals when they need a few hours or an afternoon to run errands or take care of their own responsibilities.

What is residential respite care?

When your senior loved one needs longer, or more involved care, there is residential respite care. This is meant for seniors who need a full day, multiple days or a multiple weeks of care at a time. This is a great option for dementia caregivers that need to take a break from caregiving to travel, go on vacation or simple for those who need a break. As the name suggests, this type of respite care is typically involved in an assisted living or nursing home type of community, instead of in the home.

When it comes to determining which type of respite care is best for you and your loved one, it is important to remember that every senior is different, so you need to find a respite care situation that works best for you and your loved one. When looking for a respite care provider, it is important to make sure that you are finding a person or company that is not only experienced in senior respite care, but one that is experienced specifically in dementia care. Looking after a senior with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease is a big commitment and one that requires a certain level of experience, so finding caregivers with this type of training and experience is extremely important for your loved one and your own peace of mind.

Source:
https://www.alz.org/care/alzheimers-dementia-caregiver-respite.asp
https://www.dementiacarecentral.com/caregiverinfo/careoptions/respite/