Why the Elderly Should Eat More Greek Yogurt

With age comes a variety of conditions that can make staying healthy more challenging. One way to help ensure that your senior loved one avoids certain age-related conditions is through promoting nutritious eating habits. At Home Care Assistance in Waterloo, our senior care experts suggest that having your loved one eat Greek yogurt every day is one way to promote a healthy and wholesome diet.

1. Supports Bowel Elimination

Chronic constipation affects approximately 20% of seniors over the age of 65. The most common reasons for constipation in the elderly include immobility, insufficient fluid and fiber intake, as well as side effects of conditions like dementia and Parkinson’s. The probiotics, like yeast and healthy bacteria, in Greek yogurt, however, can help the intestines digest food easier. If your loved one experiences reduced bowel function, giving him or her one serving of Greek yogurt with breakfast daily can help diminish episodes of constipation.

2. Provides Protein

Many seniors underestimate the importance of eating enough protein as they age. This vital ingredient promotes bone strength, reduces chances of osteoporosis, helps repair damaged tissue, and causes healthy cell growth. Since Greek yogurt contains even more protein than traditional yogurt, a single serving can help your loved one meet his or her daily protein requirements.

3. Offers a Dessert Alternative

Seniors whose doctors want them to cut down on sugary desserts are in luck. Frozen or semi-frozen Greek yogurt has the same texture as frozen yogurt and ice cream, but without the same fat, sugar, and calories. For a sweet treat on a hot day, an hourly caregiver in Waterloo can serve your loved one homemade or store-bought Greek yogurt popsicles. To make these at home, simply have a caregiver fill a popsicle tray with Greek yogurt and berries and freeze for at least an hour.

4. Controls Blood Pressure

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Pressure Institute recommends that seniors with high blood pressure eat two to three servings of non-fat foods that are rich in vitamins every day to fight sodium in the kidneys. Greek yogurt fulfills these criteria perfectly, containing little fat and high levels of sodium-reducing nutrients, like calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

If you begin incorporating Greek yogurt into your elderly loved one’s diet, he or she will already be on the road to a healthier diet. For other strategies that can promote your loved one’s health and wellness, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our experienced caregivers are expertly trained to help seniors eat well by providing assistance with grocery shopping, meal preparation, and following physician-recommended dietary guidelines. To learn more about how our care services, including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and dementia care in Waterloo, can support a nutritious senior diet, reach out to an experienced Care Manager at (519) 954-2111 and schedule a complimentary in-home consultation.

5 Natural Ways to Help Treat Dementia

If you have an elderly loved one with dementia, you may be looking for ways to help reduce his or her symptoms. For many seniors, natural approaches are an effective way to help relieve or diminish some symptoms. To help you better understand your loved one’s treatment options, the Waterloo senior care experts at Home Care Assistance have come up with 5 natural dementia treatments.

1. Cod liver oil

Cod liver oil has been used for several centuries as a natural supplement to cure or curb various ailments. Recent studies show that the Vitamin D in cod liver oil may also promote mental acuity among seniors. To incorporate cod liver oil in your loved one’s diet, simply purchase cod liver oil supplements that a family or Waterloo 24-hour caregiver can give your loved one each morning.

2. Avoid sugar

As too much refined sugar can cause blood to thicken and slow its progress to the brain, eating sugary foods can aggravate dementia symptoms. Instead of eating sugary foods, invite your loved one to eat naturally sweet produce, like berries, apples, and other fruits. Not only are these foods better for general senior health, most fruit also provides nutrients like, antioxidants, which reduce brain inflammation and can help slow the advance of dementia.

3. Meditation

Seniors with dementia frequently report an inability to concentrate. As meditation requires that seniors slow and focus their thoughts, practicing this skill is one natural way to address concentration challenges caused by dementias. Help your loved one practice meditation by providing soothing music and a comfortable, private space. If your loved one isn’t sure how to begin, encourage him or her to simply close his or her eyes and concentrate on breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth.

4. Vitamin B

As Vitamin B helps create red blood cells, prevent anemia, and protect areas of the brain affected by dementia, including foods with B vitamins can help your loved one avoid cognitive decline. Found frequently in meats, beats, fish, and cheese, you can incorporate Vitamin B into your loved one’s diet by preparing dishes like lentil soup, hummus dips, and chicken salad.

If your senior loved one has dementia, he or she may benefit from some extra assistance around his or her home. At Home Care Assistance, our expertly trained caregivers are committed to providing high-caliber dementia care to ensure that Waterloo seniors can continue living comfortably and safely in their homes for as long as possible. To learn more about our care services, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and stroke recovery care in Waterloo, reach out to a knowledgeable Care Manager a (519) 954-2111 and schedule a complimentary no-obligation consultation.

How to Spot Symptoms of Parkinson’s

If you are a family caregiver for a senior loved one, being aware of age-related conditions can help you spot symptoms early on. For diseases like Parkinson’s, early treatment is critical for slowing the progression of certain symptoms. Presented by Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior home care in Waterloo, here are five common signs of Parkinson’s disease in the elderly.

1. Tremors

Shaking of the extremities is one of the earliest signs of Parkinson’s disease. While some shaking is normal after performing strenuous activity or lifting heavy items, seniors with Parkinson’s will experience tremors while doing easy activities, like pouring coffee or lifting a utensil. As the tremors caused by Parkinson’s occur even when the senior is resting, keeping an eye on your loved one as he or she watches television or is relaxing can reveal tremors and shakes. For seniors who experience this symptom, a Parkinson’s caregiver in Waterloo can frequently provide the physical assistance needed to perform these fine motor tasks.

2. Sleep Disturbances

Difficulty sleeping soundly is a common experience for seniors with Parkinson’s. If your elderly loved one complains of trouble sleeping at night, ask if he or she finds his or herself jerking awake. As Parkinson’s can cause both night tremors and vivid nightmares, seniors with this condition will frequently experience waking suddenly in the middle of the night.

3. Stiffness

Limb stiffness in the elderly is common as a result of other age-related conditions like osteoarthritis. However, unlike arthritis and other conditions, the stiffness caused by Parkinson’s disease is not localized to the joints. Instead, seniors with Parkinson’s will frequently experience muscle stiffness in an entire arm or leg, which can lead to difficulty walking or getting in and out of chairs. If you notice that your loved one walks without swinging his or her arms, this could be a sign of muscle stiffness in that limb.

4. Poor Posture

Parkinson’s disease can also lead to poor posture among seniors. If you notice that your loved one rapidly begins having difficulty standing up straight and walking without stooping or leaning, he or she should visit a physician. As this type of poor posture could be the result of injury, arthritis, scoliosis, or other age-related conditions, find the source of the problem will help your loved one either way.

 5. A Blank Expression

Trouble controlling the muscles in the face is a frequent symptom of Parkinson’s. If your senior loved one consistently looks angry, disinterested, or depressed, even when he or she is otherwise acting happy, he or she may be experiencing facial masking. As facial expressions play a large part in communication, your senior loved one may struggle with meeting and talking to new people who may not know how to interpret his or her blank expression.

If your loved one has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, he or she may require professional assistance to continue living in his or her home. At Home Care Assistance of Waterloo, our expertly trained caregivers can provide around-the-clock assistance for a variety of daily tasks, including personal grooming, cooking, cleaning, and navigating the home, to help ensure your loved one is always safe and comfortable. In addition to our live-in Parkinson’s care, our caregivers can also provide high-caliber Alzheimer’s and dementia care in Waterloo for seniors with cognitive challenges.

To learn more about our senior home care services, give a Care Manager a call at (519) 590-2792 and schedule your free in-home consultation.

Common Symptoms of Stroke in Seniors

Stroke victims that are treated within 90 minutes of the onset of stroke symptoms have the highest rate of recovery and show the most improvement in the months following. Because every minute counts when it comes to these medical emergencies, families should understand some of the most common stroke symptoms. Presented by Waterloo Home Care Assistance, here are 4 stroke symptoms to watch out for.

1. Numbness and Weakness

For many seniors, the first sign of a stroke is numbness or weakness throughout the body. This might occur in the face, arms, or legs, and is generally localized to one side of the body. The key indication these feelings of numbness or weakness are the sign of stroke and not the “pins and needles” sensation that is common if circulation is cut off to the extremities, is their rapid onset. If your elderly loved one suddenly experiences weakness or numbness that does not dissipate after a few moments, he or she may be having a stroke.

2. Cognitive Problems

A sudden difficulty speaking, understand standing what others are saying, and general confusion may also indicate a stroke. Cognitive stroke symptoms generally occur together, so, though experiencing confusion may be the sign of another health problem, when these three symptoms present at the same time, it is likely the result of a stroke. If your elderly loved one has cognitive challenges, identifying this symptom may be more difficult, so learning to recognize unusual behavior or reactions in your loved one can be helpful.

3. Vision and Coordination

A stroke occurs when blood is not able to circulate through certain areas of the brain, which often results in vision and coordination problems. Many stroke survivors report that the stroke gave them tunnel vision or made things suddenly fuzzy or dizzy. Suddenly knocking into furniture or other obstacles can be the result of this symptom.

4. F.A.S.T.

Many senior care experts suggest that family and part-time caregivers in Waterloo learn the F.A.S.T. system of recognizing stroke symptoms. This includes:

F – Face: Is one side of their face drooping?
A – Arms: Can the patient lift both arms to the same level?
S – Speech: Can the patient repeat a phrase without slurring?
T – Time: Call 9-1-1 immediately if you observe any of these signs.

If your elderly loved one has experienced a stroke, a post-stroke caregiver in Waterloo can promote an efficient recovery process. At Home Care Assistance, our expertly trained caregivers provide a variety of customized services to help stroke survivors with navigating the home, personal grooming, bathing, and other daily tasks that can become difficult following a stroke. To learn more about how our professional caregivers can help promote your loved one’s stroke recovery, give an experienced Care Manager a call at (519) 590-2792. Available 24/7, our Care Managers can answer your questions and schedule a complimentary in-home consultation.

5 Reasons to Consider Home Care for a Senior Loved One

Once you’ve decided that your elderly loved one can no longer continue living alone, the next step is investigate his or her care options. Senior home care in Waterloo is one of the most popular options for families looking for elderly care. To help understand why home care is a popular choice for families in Waterloo, check out a few of its benefits.

1. Improved Safety
A professional caregiver’s number one concern is the safety of your loved one. Your relative’s familiarity with the layout of his or her home, coupled with mobility assistance provided by a caregiver, is key in preventing any accidents or falls. Caregivers can also provide around-the-clock safety monitoring for seniors with memory impairment and who are at risk of wandering.

2. Independence
One of the biggest concerns for the elderly is losing their independence as daily tasks become more challenging. While it may seem counter intuitive, hiring an experienced hourly or live-in caregiver in Waterloo can actually promote your loved one’s independence. By providing assistance with routine tasks, a caregiver can ensure your loved one has the support he or she needs to keep a level of control over his or her day-to-day activities.

3. Personalized Care
Your loved one’s needs are unique, so the care he or she receives should be customized to fit those needs. With home care, you can tailor the services your loved one receives to ensure they benefit your loved one. Some senior home care providers will also offer flexible care plans that can be adjusted at any time to fit your loved one’s changing care needs.

4. Comfort
Being in a comfortable environment is an important element when ensuring your relative’s health and happiness. While moving to an elderly care facility is stressful and upsetting for the vast majority of seniors, staying at home is often reassuring. Studies show that seniors who are able to live at home have lower levels of anxiety and are more satisfied with life.

5. Proximity to Family
Choosing home care will also mean that you and your loved one get to spend more time together. With home care, family and friends can visit your loved one whenever he or she wants to have visitors. This ensures that your loved will be able to maintain social and familial ties, and allow him or her to retain a level of control over his or her schedule. As an added benefit, having family close can help mitigate feelings of depression, loneliness, or isolation.

If you’re considering home care services for your loved one, the professional caregivers at Home Care Assistance of Waterloo can help. Our combination of flexible care schedules, personalized care services, and highly trained caregivers can help ensure that your relative’s golden years will be spent comfortably and safely in his or her own home. For more information about home care services in your area, including Alzheimer’s home care for seniors in Waterloo, call a Care Manager at (519) 590-2792 and request a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.