Why Should My Elderly Loved One Quit Smoking?

The dangers of smoking are well known, yet many elderly people receiving Kitchener in-home care struggle with quitting, especially when they have smoked for many years. While some seniors will claim the damage is already done, the truth is quitting smoking now can still provide significant benefits for your loved one’s quality of life.

Greater Financial Savings

Smoking is an expensive habit, and the cost of tobacco continues to rise. If your loved one is interested in quitting, consider buying a piggy bank where he or she can place the money that would have been spent on cigarettes. Seeing the money add up can provide incentive for continuing to avoid smoking.

Increased Respiratory Health

Chronic smokers are at great risk for lung conditions such as emphysema and COPD, and a person’s risk begins to go down the moment he or she stops smoking. As your loved one’s lung health increases, he or she will also be better able to fight off common infections like pneumonia.

Reduced Cardiovascular Risks

Strokes, heart attacks, and high blood pressure are all more likely to occur in smokers. This is because smoking restricts the blood vessels and contributes to the development of clots. Those who already have cardiovascular disease may see advances in their health once they quit.

Better Oral Health

Smoking can have serious effects on a person’s oral health, and long-term smokers frequently develop gum disease and tooth decay. Finding ways to eliminate your loved one’s smoking habit can also prevent the development of oral cancers.

More Quality Leisure Time

Smoking takes up a lot of time that could be spent pursuing healthier interests and hobbies. Talk to your loved one about the things he or she loves to do that cannot be done while smoking such as woodworking or sewing. Then, encourage participation in these activities so your loved one fills his or her time with other things besides smoking.

Positive Impact Upon the Family

Seniors can be major role models in their families, and seeing a grandparent quit smoking can make a serious impression on the younger members of the family. Additionally, your loved one’s self-esteem may gain a boost when he or she quits, which can enhance personal relationships.

Seniors who quit smoking will already put themselves on the path to healthier living, but the journey doesn’t end there. For other strategies to help your loved one stay healthy and happy, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can assist with daily exercise, nutritious meal preparation, and a variety of other tasks that can promote your loved one’s quality of life. We also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, and post-stroke care in Kitchener for seniors who need more comprehensive care. For more information on our senior care services, call one of our qualified Care Managers at (519) 954-2111 to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Top 4 Dental Problems Seniors Experience

Seniors can experience a variety of dental problems that could have a negative effect on their oral health. However, these problems are not inevitable. You can help your elderly loved one prevent these dental issues when providing Waterloo elderly care by helping him or her follow a strict dental hygiene regimen.

1. Tooth Decay

This issue occurs so frequently amongst seniors due to aging. Years of general use and years of being exposed to bacteria, plaque, and tartar can all lead to tooth decay. Routine visits to the dentist are one way your loved one can prevent this. Flossing on a regular basis, brushing twice a day, and eating well-balanced meals full of nutrients can also help.

2. Dry Mouth

Seniors typically experience dry mouth due to aging salivary glands, which can lead to serious consequences. To help your loved one prevent or treat dry mouth, make sure he or she drinks plenty of water to keep the body hydrated. Mucus secretions can also be treated with over-the-counter decongestants and antihistamines. Be sure to consult with a dentist before allowing your loved one to take any type of over-the-counter medications.

3. Gum Disease

Seniors are more likely to lose their teeth due to gum disease, which is why your loved one should do everything possible to take care of his or her gums. Gum disease can result from prolonged exposure to common issues such as bacteria or changes in physiology. Scheduling regular dental cleanings is the best way to prevent or treat gum disease, in addition to brushing and flossing throughout the day. A dentist may suggest scaling or root planing to treat this issue.

4. Loss of Teeth

Losing teeth is the most serious dental issue seniors experience. This problem often occurs due to gum disease and tooth decay that has been left untreated. Losing teeth can cause seniors to face various cosmetic dental issues and functional problems with eating, speaking, and smiling. To prevent loss of teeth, make sure your loved one practices exceptional dental hygiene. For treatment, your loved one has various options, including dentures, dental implants, and dental bridges.

Having a healthy smile can lead to greater physical and emotional wellbeing for many seniors. If your loved one needs assistance maintaining a regular dental hygiene routine, a professional caregiver from Home Care Assistance can help. For instance, Parkinson’s caregivers in Waterloo can assist him or her with mobility challenges that may make it difficult to brush or floss. Whether your loved one needs assistance 24/7 or just a few hours throughout the day, the caregivers at Home Care Assistance are expertly trained to ensure his or her optimum safety and comfort. For more information, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at (519) 954-2111 to schedule a free in-home consultation.

How to Prevent Caregiver Burnout

Acting as the primary caregiver for a senior loved one can be a stressful situation at times, resulting in the need to take some time for yourself. The last thing you want is to become burnt out and not be able to provide the best care possible, but you can follow these tips to help prevent that from happening.

Be Realistic

You should educate yourself regarding your loved one’s condition. It may be difficult, but you need to be realistic about your family member’s long-term prognosis. Having a clear understanding of your loved one’s illness or injury can prevent feelings of failure if his or her condition deteriorates and help you realize when you need to seek additional assistance.

Take Time for Yourself

Many Kitchener caregivers are so devoted to caring for their loved one that they neglect themselves. It is critical you set aside time each day for yourself to relax, socialize with others, and to focus on your own health and physical needs. You shouldn’t think of this time as being selfish. Remember, you can’t help your loved one stay healthy if you are sick yourself.

Find a Confidant

It is natural there will be times when you need to vent your frustrations. Try to find a trusted friend, support group, therapist, or clergy member who you feel comfortable with and who can understand your feelings. Not only can these people lend a sympathetic ear, but they can also often give advice on handling everyday stresses and making caregiving easier.

Know Your Limits

Depending on your loved one’s situation, there may come a time when caring for him or her is beyond your physical abilities. You should conduct a reality check with yourself to ensure you are not overdoing it. If things are becoming too much, there are resources such as in-home care agencies in Kitchener that can help.

Utilize Respite Care

Every caregiver needs a temporary break now and then. You need to sleep, and you need time during the waking hours to focus on enjoying your own life. A number of Kitchener respite care services are available for those times you need a few hours to run personal errands, a relaxing weekend vacation with the rest of the family, or any other type of resting period away from caregiving.

Whether you just need part-time respite care or need a full-time caregiver to take over all of your duties, Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers are expertly trained to assist your loved one with a wide variety of daily tasks such as bathing, grooming, exercise, cooking, and cleaning. For more information on our senior care services, call a friendly Care Manager at (519) 954-2111 to schedule a free in-home consultation.

Alternative Treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease

Many families providing Waterloo home care for their senior loved ones are looking for alternatives to traditional medicine to help with Alzheimer’s treatment. Some alternative treatments may help alleviate and even reverse some of the symptoms associated with this disease. Here are a few options you may want to try for your loved one.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Research by the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study linked high doses of omega-3 fatty acids to a possible decrease in the chances of developing Alzheimer’s. Omega-3 fatty acids may reduce Alzheimer’s risk because they benefit the heart and blood vessels, have anti-inflammatory properties, and protect the nerve cell membranes, also known as the communication centers of the brain. If your loved one has already begun to develop Alzheimer’s and takes omega-3 fatty acids, it may slow down the progression of the disease.


Acupuncture is an alternative treatment that consists of using fine needles placed in a variety of specific points throughout the body. Researchers from Wellesley College did a study that revealed acupuncture could help promote quality of life for people with Alzheimer’s by making them less anxious and depressed. Getting acupuncture can positively impact your loved one’s mood and enhance his or her verbal and motor skills and cognitive function.

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo biloba is a plant extract with several compounds and anti-inflammatory properties known to have a positive effect on brain cells. It can help stimulate and activate nerve cells while protecting them from being further damaged. Taking this supplement may help increase your loved one’s memory, cognitive mental processes, and brain function.


Specific aromatherapy oils used especially for massages could positively affect your loved one’s behavior, mood, and cognitive functioning. Lemon balm and lavender oils have been found to have a soothing effect on seniors with Alzheimer’s, especially those who are easily agitated. Other oils like rosemary could also stimulate your loved one’s senses and help him or her sleep better.

Many seniors receiving Waterloo Alzheimer’s care can use these alternative treatments alongside traditional medication. However, before your loved one tries any of these treatments, it’s best to consult with his or her doctor first.

If your loved one has Alzheimer’s disease, he or she may also benefit from some additional assistance at home. For Alzheimer’s and dementia care Waterloo families trust, turn to Home Care Assistance. All of our caregivers are trained in the revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method, an activities-based program specifically designed to help slow cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. For more information on our senior care services, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at (519) 954-2111 to schedule a free in-home consultation.