January 29, 2024
Incontinence is a common problem among seniors. About 75% of women over age 65 suffer with urine leakage, and 60-70% of people with Alzheimer’s eventually become incontinent. Incontinence can be caused by aging, illness, or injury. Weak muscles of the sphincters and pelvis can lead to urinary incontinence because the muscles cannot remain tight enough to hold urine in the bladder, or the bladder does not have enough support from the pelvic muscles to stay in its proper position. Weak bladder muscles may also result in not being able to empty the bladder completely. Additionally, incontinence may be caused by medication interactions, vaginal or urinary tract infections, prostate problems and progressive diseases that lead to cognitive and physical decline.
Just Like Family Home Care can help seniors deal with incontinence by providing assistance with toileting, hygiene, incontinence products, and medication management. We can also provide transportation to doctor’s appointments and prescription pickups. Just Like Family Home Care can also offer emotional support and companionship to seniors who may feel embarrassed or ashamed about their incontinence. We can also help seniors stay connected with their friends and family by providing transportation assistance to social events and activities.
At Just Like Family Home Care we provide seniors, who are incontinent, with support they need to keep their dignity and self-confidence to continue being involved in life.
October 25, 2023
A healthy fall charcuterie board is a great way to enjoy the seasonal flavors and produce, while also catering to the needs and preferences of seniors. Here are some tips and ideas on how to make a healthy fall charcuterie board that elderly can make:
- Choose whole-grain breads and crackers that are high in fiber, B vitamins and protein. These can help with digestion, energy and blood sugar levels. You can also make your own cauliflower chips for a low-carb alternative.
- Add nuts, such as almonds, pecans or walnuts, to your board. Nuts are a healthy snack that provide plant-based protein and healthy fats. You can also roast or spice them for extra flavor.
- Load up on fruits and veggies that are in season, such as apples, pears, grapes, kumquats, figs, brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes. Fruits and veggies add color, nutrients and antioxidants to your board. You can also roast some of the veggies for a warm and cozy touch.
- Choose the right meats and cheeses for your board. Avoid cold cuts that are high in sodium and saturated fat, which are not good for heart health. Instead, opt for thinner sliced meats and choose lower-fat cheese options.
- Add one or two dips to your board, such as hummus, spinach dip or a sweet dip made with yogurt and honey. Dips can add moisture and flavor to your board, as well as provide some calcium and protein.
- Don’t forget some fun treats to finish off your board. You can add some dark chocolate, dried fruit or mini pumpkin pies for a festive touch. Just be mindful of the portion size and sugar content of these treats.
Just Like Family Home Care hopes these tips and ideas help seniors create a healthy fall charcuterie board that they can make and enjoy!
September 25, 2023
Just Like Family Home Care can play a vital role in helping seniors with healthy aging. Some of the ways we can do so are:
- Providing personalized home care services that meet the needs and preferences of each senior. Home care services can include assistance with daily activities, such as bathing, dressing, grooming, meal preparation, medication management, and transportation. Just Like Family Home Care can also provide companionship, socialization, and mental stimulation for seniors who may feel lonely or isolated.
- Offering nurse-directed care for seniors who have complex medical needs or chronic conditions. Nurse-directed care can involve skilled nursing services, such as wound care, glucose checks, injections, catheter care, and IV therapy.
- Supporting seniors who are receiving hospice or palliative care at home. Hospice care is a type of care that focuses on relieving pain and symptoms for people with terminal illnesses. Palliative care is a type of care that aims to improve the quality of life for people with serious illnesses, regardless of the prognosis. Just Like Family Home Care can provide hospice support services, such as personal care, emotional support, spiritual care for seniors and their families.
- Educating seniors and their families about the resources and options available for aging in place. Aging in place is the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably.
Just Like Family Home Care can help seniors live well in their own homes and communities.
July 19, 2022
August is National Wellness Month! National Wellness Month focuses on self-care and promoting healthy habits, including sleep, exercise, proper nutrition, and taking care of our mental state, like actively managing stress, practicing self-compassion, and engaging in meditation.
The positive impact of wellness for seniors is something that cannot be overlooked. Physical wellness changes as you age. There are, however, habits to help maintain or improve everyday life, as well as reduce the risk of certain conditions and chronic diseases. Living a wellness-focused lifestyle is also important for caregivers, who must take care of themselves to take care of others.
We’ve put together numerous ways to start your wellness journey today:
Increase your water intake
To compensate for changes in body temperature regulation as we age, we need to drink more water. Dehydration can have a negative impact in the body, including muscle pain, fatigue, and heat exhaustion. Water is essential for hydrating the body for optimal functioning, improving the quality of our skin, energizing muscles, and controlling calories. As a rule, you should take one-third of your body weight and drink that number of ounces in fluids.
Add more fruits and veggies to your meals
Taking care of your body means feeding it well. There appears to be a connection between nutrition and immunity in the elderly. With a well-balanced, nutritious diet, you’ll have more energy, feel better, and will reduce the risk of illness or disease. It is extremely important, now more than ever, to protect and boost our immune system by choosing a healthy lifestyle. For more details on how food can boost your immune system, read our nutrition-focused blog post.
Consider a new activity or exercise
Regular exercise is key to staying healthy and feeling happy. Exercising and being active for fifteen to thirty minutes a day is essential for healthy aging. Exercise reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, and cancer. It also decreases the risk of falls and fall-related injuries. It’s important to ensure that any medical conditions or diseases you have are properly managed before starting a new physical wellness routine. Set realistic goals and develop an exercise plan. Consider endurance, muscle-strengthening, balance, and flexibility exercises.
Meditate, be creative, or practice gratitude
Meditation trains the brain and body to relax and focus on being in the present. For older adults, even five minutes of meditation a day has many physical and psychological benefits. Such as improved focus, improved calmness, and reduced stress. The easiest way for seniors to meditate is to focus on their breathing. You can slow down and relax with this technique: count five deep breaths, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. Being creative also has a positive impact in our brain health. Wellness month can inspire you to finish long-term projects you may have started but haven’t taken the time to complete. Home-care companions or sitters are the perfect company to work on a creative project!
Gratitude can reduce depression, chronic pain and boost emotional well-being. Focus on one good thing that happened every day. As a result of doing this daily, our brains learn to switch directions more quickly to recover faster from setbacks.
Rest, sleep and repeat
Getting enough sleep and rest is just as important to physical wellness for seniors as a healthy diet. In the same way your body needs to be active, it also needs to rest and recharge for the next day. Sleeping well can prevent falls and accidents. Seniors who exercise regularly and go outside for fresh air fall asleep faster, sleep longer, and report better quality of sleep.
Here are a few tips to help you improve your sleep routine: Go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time every day. Maintain a comfortable temperature in your bedroom, which should be quiet, dark and relaxing. If you have trouble sleeping, try out black out shades or a white noise machine. Weighted blankets may also be handy to relax the body. Try to avoid large meals before bedtime and stay away from foods that will give you heartburn.
Have a daily routine
Having a daily routine for seniors has many benefits. Routines create structure, give us a sense of accomplishment, and help us manage stress by keeping us focused. When someone feels out of control, such as losing their cognitive or physical capabilities, it is beneficial to focus on what they can control. Establishing a daily routine tailored to an older adult’s particular needs and interests is a good place to start. It’s tempting to sleep or stay in bed for a long time but having a consistent sleep schedule will improve your daily routine as well. Just like Family Home Care can help you find the right person to stablish a wellness-focused daily routine.
Consider at home care to establish these healthy habits
In addition to these suggestions, it’s also important to regularly visit a trusted medical professional to ensure your physical wellness is maintained as you age. These small steps can lead to many more healthy habits in your lifestyle. Make a small change and impact your health in positive ways. If you or someone you love need help creating a routine and improving their wellness. Contact us! We can refer you to a professional at-home caretaker that will help you live a wellness lifestyle. Happy wellness month!
June 24, 2022
The final stage of life is challenging, even for caregivers with lots of experience. If your loved one is in their final days of life, the only gift you can give them is the best care to improve their comfort and quality of life.
End-of-life care involves acts of daily care and lots of physical, mental and emotional support to your loved one during their last days on earth. The primary goal is to make them more comfortable, at least for the remaining days, months or years. Here’s all you need to know about end-of-life care.
When does someone need late-stage and end-of-life care?
No one knows exactly when they’ll need end-of-life care. It all depends on the individual and the progressions of the disease. However, anyone with a life-threatening or life-limiting illness is eligible for end-of-life care.
Also, older adults in their golden days can benefit from late-stage care. Terminal care may last a few days, months, or even years, depending on the individual.
Facing your loved one’s final moments in life can be scary – especially if it’s your first time. However, knowing what to expect can help you feel less anxious and better prepared. This allows you to make your loved one’s final days less painful and more comfortable.
While everyone has a unique end-of-life experience, some changes and signs cut across.
Here are some common end-of-life signs;
- Loss of appetite
Energy needs decline as the body shuts down. Hence, your loved one won’t be taking certain foods, especially those that are hard to chew and digest. Unfortunately, this can be upsetting for you as a caregiver because a considerable part of caregiving involves feeding your loved one.
- Shortness of breath/labored breathing
Breathing difficulties or shortness of breath are common symptoms of end of life. Some people might experience air hunger – a petrified inclination to breathe better. Additionally, people may experience Cheyne-strokes breathing – loud breathing with a peculiar rattle. This usually stems from an unstable ventilatory control as the brain or heart fails.
- Physical weakness
Since your loved one takes less food, they’ll lack the energy to do every day, physical activities like putting clothes on, walking long distances, or even lifting things. Sometimes, even speaking becomes a challenge. As a result, you may need to help your loved one find an every day routine that works for them.
End-of-life pain is common in most people, although some become accustomed to it. However, the type and amount of pain will vary depending on the individual and their health condition. For instance, if they have cancer, they are more likely to experience pain during their final days.
End-of-life care considerations
Working closely with your hospice agency and your loved one’s physician, caregivers can provide the care and support the family needs during this difficult transition. When a loved one is in their last days of life, it’s imperative to treat them with respect, follow their late-stage wishes, and ensure they are comfortable.
The type and amount of care vary depending on the individual health and progression of the disease. Ideally, these people need care in four areas:
Physical comfort in end-of-life care
Comfort care is an essential part of medical care at the end of life. It is care that helps or soothes a person who is experiencing physical discomfort stemming from various sources.
Make sure they are seated or laying down in a comfortable space. If they experience breathing problems, open a window or use a fan or humidifier to circulate air in the room. Additionally, it would help if you raise the head of the bed to ease breathing.
Furthermore, offer favorite foods in small amounts to prevent digestive or loss of appetite problems.
Managing mental and emotional needs during end-of-life
Most people in their late stages of life experience mental and emotional distress. Some have specific concerns and fears that could lead to depression or anxiousness.
Therefore, as a caregiver, you should provide support to help manage emotional and mental distress.
Some tips for managing emotional and mental distress include;
- Set a relaxing mood – find out the things that raise your loved one’s mood. For instance, if they don’t want visitors, ensure no one enters their room.
- Physical contact – sometimes you’ll feel scared holding your loved one during their late stages. However, you should establish a physical connection with them, perhaps holding hands or massaging.
- Be present – the greatest gift to a dying person is your presence. So make sure you’re always available to talk or listen to what they say.
- Play some music – music at low tones can lessen pain while allowing the patient to relax. Therefore, suggest playing music and find out which music they prefer.
- Involve them – In most cases, you’ll make most of the decisions and choices on behalf of your loved one. However, if they can still communicate, try to involve them in most matters. For instance, you might ask which food they want, which clothes to wear, how to make them more comfortable.
Alternatively, you might consider a counselor familiar with end-of-life issues.
Support for practical tasks
Someone nearing end-of-life can’t perform everyday tasks like bathing, walking, eating, and changing clothes. And since some of the activities are essential, you want to ensure they get enough support for practical tasks.
Benefits of hiring an end-of-life caregiver
End-of-life care focuses on improving the quality of life of your loved one during their final stage in life. But sometimes, you might need some help to provide the best care for your loved one. This is where a caregiver comes in. There are various benefits of hiring an end-of-life caregiver.
First, end-of-life caregivers have lots of experience caring for people in their final days. They have been trained to provide adequate care regardless of individual conditions. They know what to do, when to do it and how to do it perfectly.
Additionally, end-of-life caregivers provide support to family members and carers during late-stage and even after death. They will be there with you to provide physical and emotional support to you and your loved ones.
We understand the end-of-life stage is an emotional time for you, friends and other family members. That’s why you should work with your loved one’s physician and caregivers to get the best care and support during this challenging transition.
Some of our end-of-life care services include;
- Bed baths
- Personal hygiene assistance
- Compassionate support
- Feeding assistance
- Nurse-deligated meds administration
- Assist with comfort measures
It’s hard and painful to watch a loved one during their final days on earth. However, knowing what to expect and how to provide late-stage care can make a difference. End of life focuses on minimizing pain and improving comfort and quality of life during the final moments of your loved one.
If you cannot take care of your loved one during end-of-life, we can refer a qualified home health caregiver. Contact us to schedule a free consultation with a representative.
December 13, 2021
Did you know it’s estimated that 20.4% of adults in the United States live with chronic pain? Managing chronic pain on your own can be difficult enough, but it’s even trickier for people trying to assist in pain management for their elderly loved ones.
Chronic pain in older adults is a serious issue, but it’s one that doesn’t get a lot of attention. Chronic pain assistance at home is possible for your beloved seniors, you just have to know the right ways to handle it.
If you’re interested in the best pain control for seniors, we have some tips that can help ensure that your loved one is getting the help that they need.
Keep a Journal
You and your loved one won’t have trouble remembering tomorrow just how bad today’s pain was. Unfortunately, your memory when you visit the doctor in 3 weeks may not be as sharp.
For doctors to treat chronic pain, they need as much information about what’s happening as possible. Get in the habit of keeping a health journal that helps answer all of the doctor’s most pressing questions.
When you’re writing a health journal there’s no such thing as being too detailed. You can include nearly anything you want in yours, but be sure that you cover a few important areas:
- Time of day pain occurs
- Diet and exercise routine
- Current and past prescribed medications
- Time of day medication is taken
- Severity of pain
Stay in the Know
Get out of the habit of just organizing and giving out medication if you want to be an effective caretaker for your loved one. Take the time to educate yourself on what each medication is for and how it could affect them.
When you have a complete understanding of everything your loved one takes and how they’re meant to work, you’re able to make better-informed health care choices.
People tend to mistakenly believe that doctors are in constant communication with each other about their patients. Most of the time, doctors won’t know if any major change has occurred unless they hear it from the patients themselves.
See Signs of Pain
Pain doesn’t look or feel the same way for everyone. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that your loved one is going to experience pain the same way each time.
Sometimes pain can be quick and come on in an intense sharp feeling. Other times it can feel like a dull ache that comes and goes. It’s even possible that your loved one may not be experiencing “pain”, but may have other signs that show their pain is getting worse like tingling or numbness.
Your loved one may try to hide how much pain they’re in. They may not want to concern you and be worried about putting on a brave face for their friends and family.
Look for signs of discomfort in your loved one. Heavy or shallow breathing, frequent movement or readjusting in a sitting position, or small sounds like whimpers and grunts can be a sign that they’re in pain.
Don’t be afraid to ask your loved one how they’re feeling if you see signs of pain. Once they see that you notice how they’re acting they may feel comfortable being honest about how they’re feeling.
Don’t Ignore Physical Therapy
Physical therapy can play an important role in healing from injuries and managing chronic pain. Despite its importance, it can often be one of the first things patients tend to ignore.
Since patients are in pain they’re reluctant to do any physical work, even though it plays an important role in healing. Others may not want to travel to physical therapy centers or could worry about the cost of treatments.
Talk to your loved one’s doctor about physical therapy exercises that can be done at home. Making sure your loved one is doing the right exercises at home can help keep them happy and healthy.
Remember, it’s okay to try new forms of physical therapy if your loved one doesn’t like the routine they already have. Yoga, swimming, and even walking can be helpful physical therapy.
Think About Pain Management Alternatives
People tend to look at medication and alternative pain management as an either/or situation. The truth is that both methods should be used together. Using both together can lead to much better outcomes than using one or the other.
Talk to your loved one and their doctor about alternative pain management techniques. Chiropractors, acupuncture, meditation, and other stress-reduction techniques can do wonders for pain management.
Also, be sure to talk to a doctor about the best way to weave alternative pain management into their medication regiment. They may recommend that you change the time your loved one takes medication or could adjust the dosage.
Chronic Pain Assistance at Home the Right Way
When you’re looking for ways to manage chronic pain assistance at home, staying organized and in the know is important. Tracking symptoms, staying active, and identifying signs of trouble all play a critical role in managing pain.
Managing chronic pain can be a lot for patients and their loved ones to handle. Don’t hesitate to bring in outside help if you think you could benefit from it. Home health aides can help your loved one with taking medication, doing physical therapy, and more.
Do you want to find home health help for your loved one? Are you wondering if home help is right for you? Do you have other questions about pain management in seniors? Contact our reps so we can answer all of your important senior health questions.
November 1, 2021
As we age, our immune response capability becomes reduced, making us prone to more infections and life-threatening diseases. Respiratory infections, including, influenza, COVID-19 and pneumonia are a leading cause of death in people over 65. It is extremely important, now more than ever, to protect and boost our immune system by choosing a healthy lifestyle. Schedule a yearly checkup and speak to your doctor about different supplements and habits to keep a strong immune system. Every part of our body, including our immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and strengthen by healthy-living habits.
We’ve put together a few habitual tips to help us naturally keep our immune system working properly:
1. Be active every day
Physical activity is an immune system booster. The more you move, the more your body is able to fight inflammation and infections. Fresh air and sunshine can go a long way, put on your shoes and head out for a walk. At-home workouts are effective too. Read our blog post about effective at-home workouts to learn more.
2. Eat a well-balanced diet
There appears to be a connection between nutrition and immunity in the elderly. Seniors tend to eat less and often have less variety in their diets. Eating essential vitamins and trace minerals boosts our immune system. Brightly colored foods are full of antioxidants that improve health and keep our system strong. Consuming foods that contain probiotic bacteria such as yogurt, certain milks and cheeses, are reported to enhance the immune system as well.
3. Get adequate sleep
Not only can sleep reduce our stress levels, but sleep is how our body repairs itself. When we are running on a little or no sleep our systems tend to weaken, impacting our overall health. Sleep is also important as we get older because it can improve memory and concentration. Aim for at least seven and a half to nine hours of sleep per night.
4. Reduce Stress
Chronic stress increases our body’s production of the stress hormone cortisol. Too much cortisol can disrupt different functions in your body, weakening our system with time. To reduce stress, increase physical and social activities, get plenty of sleep, explore relaxing and meditating. Learn more about senior anxiety and stress here.
5. Take steps to avoid infection
Wash your hands frequently and cook meats thoroughly. The most effective steps individuals can take to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses is to keep a physical distance of at least 1 metre from others, open windows to improve ventilation, avoid poorly ventilated or crowded spaces, cough or sneeze into a bent elbow or tissue, and consider getting vaccinated.
If you are ready to incorporate these habits and will love some support, Just Like Family Home Care’s recommended services in Lee County and Collier County will help you stay engaged and healthy. Allow caregivers to accompany and drive you or your loved one to the grocery store, a doctor’s appointment, go for a walk, or a social event. Caregivers can also engage with clients through mentally stimulating board games, cards, or puzzles. Learn more about our services here.
October 4, 2021
Finding the right level of care for your or a loved one is important as you age. There are a variety of options available, but which kind of home health aid is right for you?
Some people choose to get the help of a licensed practical nurse. Others choose to go down the home health aide route. Some may even prefer a mix of both! The key to choosing is to understand the different kinds of help these professionals provide and your needs.
Whether you’re looking for someone to supplement your family-given care or manage things completely, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to break down the different kinds of home health aide options you have so you can figure out the best one for your unique needs.
Home Health Aides
Home health aides (HHAs) can be viewed as people that can assist with a variety of daily tasks. They focus on personal care and typically come to the patient’s home to assist them.
HHAs can help with hygienic tasks like grooming, bathing, dressing, and assistance with using the bathroom. They can also focus on other important household tasks like preparing meals, light housekeeping, running errands, and even transportation.
While it’s important to note that HHAs do receive training before they work, they do have limited medical training. The HHA you choose will be unable to provide medical assistance or nursing care, and should not be giving medical advice. However, they can monitor their client’s condition and do wellness-related work like reminding patients to take their medication or taking them to doctor’s appointments.
Certified Nursing Assistants
You can view certified nurse assistants (CNAs) as a tier above HHAs. They’re able to do many of the same tasks, but have a level of medical training and help that HHAs lack.
You can find CNAs in a variety of work settings outside of the home. They work in nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, and other places that need skilled medical assistance.
The CNA you work with can handle many direct care tasks like grooming and hygiene, bathroom usage, and medication monitoring. What truly sets CNAs apart from HHAs is their training and supervision.
CNAs don’t just receive additional medical training, they also work under the supervision of a licensed medical professional. This can be a registered nurse (RN), licensed practical nurse (LPN), or a licensed vocational nurse (LVA).
That level of supervision allows CNAs to monitor the health of their patients in a way that HHAs are unable to. They’re able to track symptoms, take vitals, and can relay any health concerns their client may have to their supervising nurse.
Licensed Practical Nurse
Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) can provide basic medical care. Although they are capable of managing care-taking tasks like dressing and bathing, they’re much more focused on the medical side of caretaking. They’ll follow a treatment plan from an RN or doctor to ensure they’re giving their patients the best level of care
If you hire an LPN, they’ll be able to do important tasks like checking blood pressure, inserting catheters, and discussing care with patients. If more serious matters arise, they’ll report problems to doctors or registered nurses if more help/care is required.
You can find plenty of LPNs at hospitals, nursing homes, and other care facilities along with being able to use them at home. LPNs go through rigorous training and need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in order to practice.
Learn more here.
A registered nurse (known as a RN) is the highest level of nursing care one can receive. RNs have passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) and are able to give a higher level of medical care than LPNs.
RNs are the nurses that can truly do it all. They’re able to coordinate plans for patient care, administer medications and treatments, and can even perform important diagnostic tests and analyze results.
Learn more here.
Which Professional Is Best For Me?
As you can see, there is a difference between home health aides, certified nursing assistants, licensed practical nurses, and registered nurses. Now that you know the differences between the titles, let’s dive into how you can find the right one for your needs.
Most of these decisions will heavily depend on the level of care you think will be needed. People that only need a little help taking care of themselves and around the house may want an HHA or CNA, others that require more rigorous medical care can benefit from LPN or RN assistance.
Take a moment to think about current medical needs. If you or your loved one have conditions that are easily managed with medication, an LPN or RN may not be what you need. Since they deal with more of the medical aspects of care, you could be better off with an HHA or CNA to help with daily tasks.
It’s also important to think about the level of help you already have from family and friends. If you’re currently lacking care of any kind it’s possible to have the help of two professionals. You may consider having daily help from an HHA and may check in with an LPN or RN once a week or so.
If you’re concerned about the financial aspect of care, be sure to talk to your insurance provider about coverage options.
Find Home Health Aides And More
Figuring out care options can be difficult even when you’re informed. If you need help finding the right level of care for yourself or a loved one, we’re here to help you get what you need.
Whether you need home health aides or more advanced medical care, we’re experts at helping people find the professionals they need to live their best life.
Do you have questions or want to learn more about our referral services? Reach out to us today so we can get you or your loved one the home help they need.
September 3, 2021
Are you looking for ways to keep your elderly loved ones busy as they transition into their next stage of life? Do you want to make sure they have a companion to hang out with and take care of? If so, then you need to learn about the benefits of getting a pet for your senior.
There are many benefits of having a pet as a senior. These benefits include improving their social life, improving their mood, creating a routine, health benefits, helping them cope with stress, and more.
Read below for an in-depth guide on getting a pet for a senior and why it’s the best decision you’ll ever make.
1. Improves Their Activity Levels
One of the biggest struggles that you will have is ensuring that your elderly loved ones stay active. As they age and start to suffer from aches and pains, they have less motivation to get out and walk around.
However, the benefits of high activity levels in older adults are too good to pass up. It can help reduce the probability that they’ll fall, reduces their blood pressure, helps reduce chronic pain, and can ensure that your loved one is able to live independently.
Now the problem becomes helping them find the motivation to do so. As it turns out, furry friends might be the best solution for this issue. Pets (specifically dogs) can encourage more activity with their elderly compadres. Your loved one will find more purpose in going for walks outside, and working out in moderation to be able to keep up with their pup.
Pets will also keep your loved ones busy inside their living space as well. Between getting up to let them outside, feeding them, giving them water, and petting them, they’ll have no choice but to remain active!
2. Lifts Their Mood
Unfortunately, recent research has shown that elderly people are starting to experience more and more symptoms of anxiety and depression. In fact, it’s believed that 7 million Americans over the age of 65 suffer from anxiety or depression, especially while living in constant fear of current events.
This has become somewhat of a vicious cycle. As elderly people lose the motivation to exercise, their body starts to produce less feel-good hormones, which will welcome in higher levels of stress and anxiety.
Fortunately, pets have been shown to elevate a human’s mood substantially. Dogs have been credited with easing the loneliness of others thanks to the constant feeling of companionship that they give you. This is especially helpful for those that have lost a loved one.
In fact, petting a dog has proven to release oxytocin in your brain, which is one of the feel-good hormones that we mentioned earlier. It helps you to feel calm and relaxed. Pair that with the higher levels of dopamine that their brain will produce from the uptick in exercise, and you can thank your new companion for putting in all the hard work!
3. Constant Companionship
There’s nothing better than walking into your home and seeing your dog explode with excitement. it makes you feel appreciated and as if you’re the only thing in the world that matters.
Elderly people need companionship. However, as they age, they start to lose interest in keeping up with their social lives. They might even start to feel lonely if they’re trapped in their house by themselves.
You want to be there for them as much as possible, but you have your own life to keep up with as well. You want to make sure your loved one has someone to love on them whenever you’re not around.
Just Life Family will refer you to the caregiver for your loved one’s needs. These companion services can even help out with your loved one’s pet. Caregivers are happy to engage with clients through mentally stimulating board games, cards, or puzzles, taking the dog for a walk, or assist with household chores.
4. Creates a Routine
The secret isn’t just to get your loved one to engage in physical activity or social events every once in a while, they need to commit to a routine of it to see the best results.
This is perhaps the biggest benefit of seniors adopting a pet. To care for them, your loved one will form a consistent routine and stick to it.
Should seniors adopt a pet? Going on walks and having a stable routine is worth the investment.
5. Staying Social
Walking with a dog results in a significantly higher number of chance conversations with complete strangers than walking alone. A caregiver referred by Just Like Family can also drive your loved ones to the dog park, the pet store, or grab lunch at a dog-friendly restaurant. A dog is a great conversation starter!
We all have a tendency to get concerned when your elderly loved one seemingly has nothing to talk about on the phone. The conversation can grow stale. With a pet to keep them on their toes, you’ll start to notice that your loved one will come back to life.
Talk to Your Loved Ones
Consider talking to your loved ones about getting a dog or a cat. They might be hesitant at first, but these key points might help. Be sure to read this article for more restorative strategies you can try if your elderly loved one has senior anxiety. Be sure to call us toll-free at 877-434-5530 for more information regarding our caregiver referrals and services.
August 3, 2021
Did you know that 2020 was Florida’s hottest year on record? While warm weather and constant sunshine are why many seniors choose to spend their retirement in Florida, adults aged 65 years and older are at an increased risk for heat strokes, heat exhaustion, and other heat-related illnesses.
Seniors must take extra precautions when they are out in the Florida heat to prevent hot weather health problems.
Keep reading on to learn more about heat-related illnesses, senior’s risk for heat stroke, and ways to keep you and your loved ones safe during the heat.
What is Heat Stroke?
Heat stroke occurs when the body fails to regulate its temperature properly.
When it occurs, the body’s temperature rapidly increases. The body’s temperature can reach 106 degrees or more within just 10 to 15 minutes when this occurs.
Symptoms of heat stroke include:
- High body temperature
- Red, hot, dry skin
- Inability to sweat
- Intense headaches
If you or a loved one is experiencing any symptoms of heat stroke, call 9-11 immediately. Find a cool air-conditioned area and offer fluids until help arrives.
What is Heat Exhaustion?
Heat exhaustion occurs when someone has prolonged exposure to high temperatures and inadequate fluid intake.
This is less serious than a heatstroke, but many times if left untreated, heat exhaustion will lead to heatstroke. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
- Heavy sweating
- Hot flashes
- Pale skin
- Muscle cramps
- Clammy skin
- Fast and weak pulses
- Fast and shallow breathing
Heat exhaustion is still a dangerous condition for seniors, and to avoid complications of heat exhaustion, action needs to be taken immediately.
Elderly Risk Factors
Aging causes many changes in the body. Unfortunately, some of these changes make it harder for adults over 65 to regulate their body temperatures when exposed to the heat.
For example, sweat is one of the most crucial ways the body regulates its temperature. Adults over 65 years old sweat less than younger adults. Normal changes in aging skin can cause sweat glands not to work as effectively and limit the body’s ability to sweat.
In addition to a decrease in the ability to sweat, fat storage also changes as we age. Body fat storage plays a vital role in how the body regulates its heat. Since seniors store body fat differently than younger adults, this further complicates heat regulation as we age.
Chronic health conditions that many seniors face can interfere with the body’s ability to regulate heat in hot temperatures. For example, chronic conditions such as kidney disease, certain blood circulation conditions, and lung disease all interfere with the body’s ability to regulate body heat.
Not only do these conditions impact the body, but many times the prescription medications needed to treat these conditions can affect the body’s ability to sweat. There are several prescription medications that interfere with sweating and temperature regulations. Some of which include diuretics, sedatives, tranquilizers, and some cardiac and high blood pressure medications.
It is important to discuss with your doctor and be informed of all side effects, including the inability to sweat, to know if you or your loved one is at risk of a heat-related illness if exposed to high temperatures.
Preventing Heat-Related Illnesses In Seniors
It is recommended that seniors have someone check on them a few times a day. Especially in the hot and humid Florida summer heat.
Ensuring your loved one follows these guidelines can help prevent them from developing heat exhaustion or heatstroke during Florida’s summer heat.
Hydrating Throughout the Day
Ensuring seniors are drinking enough water and limiting alcoholic and caffeinated drinks is always important, especially during the summer heat.
Dehydration reduces the body’s ability to regulate body heat. This greatly increases senior’s risk of developing a heat-related illness.
Access to Air Conditioning
Seniors need access to air conditioning when in Florida heat. Fans are also handy to have around to help seniors cool off or as a backup if something were to go wrong with the air conditioner.
Check the Weather and Plan Accordingly
Monitor the heat and humidity indexes and plan outdoor activities around times when coolest and low humidity levels occur. Plan to go shopping indoors or stay home when the temperatures are high and go visit the beach or enjoy the outdoors earlier in the day or later in the evening.
Ensure your loved one is wearing clothes that will keep them cool. Overdressing can lead to heat-related illnesses. Hats are also a great accessory to keep seniors cooled off and shaded from the heat.
Avoid Strenuous Activities
In addition to making sure someone is checking on your loved one, make sure strenuous household chores are being cared for by someone other than the senior.
Strenuous household chores can cause body temperatures to elevate and deplete energy. This puts seniors at an increased risk of heat-related illnesses.
Just Like Family Home Care can help find a wide range of services to help you or your elderly loved ones. Whether they need care from a medically trained caregiver or a friend to check in on them and provide company.
Keeping Your Loved Ones Safe
Flordia has a lot to offer for senior living and can help keep seniors involved in the community and active. However, the Florida heat can become dangerous to seniors during the summer. It’s crucial that you and your loved ones know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke and acts fast if they start to experience symptoms.
To give you peace of mind knowing your loved one is being checked up on or finding medically trained caregivers to help you or your loved one, contact us at Just Like Family Home Care today to find help.