4 Situations Where a Senior Should Avoid Taking Medication

Seniors receiving dementia, stroke and Parkinson’s care in Kitchener may be taking medications to help alleviate symptoms. If your elderly loved one has one of these conditions, or any other health condition requiring medication, there may be occasions when he or she needs to stop a prescription. Here are 4 situations where a doctor might suggest your loved one avoid taking medication.

1. When Preparing for Surgery

Screening for most major surgeries will involve a look at any medication your loved one is taking. Some medication can produce adverse effects when combined with certain forms of anesthesia. Doctors will typically ask seniors to stop using painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication for at least 2 weeks before a surgery.

2. If a Medication Is Not Working Properly

Over time, your loved one might find a certain medication is not producing the desired effects. If this is the case, he or she should immediately schedule an appointment with a doctor to talk about it. Your loved one’s doctor will most likely have him or her taper off the old medication before transitioning to a new prescription.

3. When Dangerous Interactions with Other Substances Are Possible

Some prescription painkillers can produce dangerous or even fatal side effects when combined with other substances. Seniors who plan on drinking alcohol should speak with their doctors about their medication. The mixing of sedatives can result in an unsafe drop in your loved one’s respiratory and heart rates. If you notice your loved one is drinking while on painkillers, it is vital you stop him or her immediately.

4. If an Addiction Has Developed

No matter how careful a senior might be, it is easy to become addicted to certain forms of medication, including anti-anxiety pills and opioid painkillers. Some of the most common signs of an addiction include unusual sleeping habits, irritability, increasing a dose without speaking to a doctor, and anger whenever the issue is brought up. You should keep an eye out for the signs of an addiction, and consider hiring a Kitchener caregiver to spend time with your loved one and report any warning signs to you.

Seniors who are on any type of medication should follow a doctor’s instructions to help ensure optimum health. If your loved one needs assistance with medication management, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are available 24/7 to provide assistance with a wide variety of important tasks, including medication reminders and transportation to and from medical appointments. For more information on home care Kitchener families trust, call one of our experienced Care Managers at (519) 954-2111 to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Gifts That Can Benefit Seniors and Their Caregivers

It’s the time of year when many of us are thinking about what to buy for those we care about and appreciate. If you have a senior loved one who receives home care in Waterloo and you want to give an ideal gift that can benefit him or her as well as the caregiver, consider the options on this list.

Audiobooks or DVDs

Seniors often enjoy listening to audiobooks and watching movies, and these activities can help your loved one exercise his or her brain and have fun at the same time. These gifts can be helpful for your loved one’s caregiver as well. Some family caregivers find it challenging to provide new stimulating activities for the seniors they care for, so new media items your loved one hasn’t heard or seen before may help. Audiobooks and movies can help keep your loved one occupied in a solo activity if his or her caregiver needs to attend to other duties like cooking meals or cleaning up.

Cookbooks and Grocery Gift Cards

Oftentimes, part-time and live-in caregivers in Waterloo are in charge of helping prepare snacks or meals for seniors. As anyone who has cooked on a regular basis can tell you, coming up with new, healthy ideas for what to serve can become difficult. This may be especially true for seniors since they (or their family caregivers) likely have a limited budget. One great way to ensure your loved one is eating healthy, and that his or her caregiver can prepare meals with less concern for budgets, is to give a cookbook with recipes your loved one will enjoy and a gift card for a local grocery store to purchase the ingredients.

Day Passes for Local Activities

If there are museums, zoos, aquariums, or other interesting locations nearby, consider purchasing day pass vouchers. Not only is it a great reason to get out of the house, but your loved one and his or her caregiver can also enjoy the outing together at their convenience. This can be a wonderful experience for both of them since a senior’s limited budget rarely allows for a caregiver to provide special outings to places like these. Going on an outing can be an excellent bonding experience for your loved one and his or her caregiver and strengthen their emotional connection. Outings can also be mentally, physically, and emotionally stimulating for your loved one. His or her caregiver may enjoy the outing as much as your loved one. Often, a caregiver’s days are full and there are rarely chances to go to interesting, educating, or fun locations with the seniors they care for. Caregivers can wind up following similar daily routines, which can grow tiresome, so a change of pace for a day can be a rewarding experience.

Games or Puzzles

Caregivers are always looking for stimulating activities they can share with the seniors they care for. Studies are showing brain-boosting games and puzzles are extremely healthy and beneficial for people of all ages. Activities your loved one can share with his or her caregiver can help strengthen their relationship and remind them how beneficial it is to spend time participating in activities together. Having regular time for fun and stimulating activities like a favorite game or a new puzzle can brighten your loved one’s day. A caregiver can also enjoy the chance to bond with the senior he or she cares for.

The gift of caregiving is one of the most wonderful things you can provide for your loved one to help promote his or her health. If you are the primary caregiver for a senior and need some additional assistance, consider a professional caregiver from Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are available 24/7 to provide companionship for your loved one and assist with a wide variety of daily tasks. We also offer specialized Parkinson’s, stroke, and dementia care in Waterloo for seniors who require more comprehensive care. To schedule a free consultation, call a friendly Care Manager today at (519) 954-2111.

Tips to Help Your Elderly Loved One De-Stress

As needs and abilities change, many seniors grow fearful of becoming burdensome to their loved ones, but also experience stress and anxiety about being alone. Losing independence along with the strain of living on a fixed income can be overwhelming. However, there are many ways you can ease your elderly loved one’s mind and help him or her de-stress.

Encourage Social Engagement

After retirement, many seniors worry about things that might or might not happen in the future. Too much time spent wondering “what if” often means seniors lack balance in their lives and sufficient, socially engaging activities to occupy their time. Encourage your loved one to join social programs at a local senior center or to enroll in dance, painting, yoga, or cooking classes. Social engagement is a great way to chase unnecessary fears away and alleviate stress. It also puts seniors in contact with others who share their fears and frustrations and gives them the opportunity vent in environments filled with mutual understanding.

Express Your Willingness to Help

Having conversations with your loved one about money, the decision to age in place, and what he or she might do if cognition and mobility levels decline is never easy. Many seniors are protective of their independence, even when they are no longer physically or mentally able to maintain it. Start these conversations off by expressing your willingness and readiness to help. This opens the door for your loved one to ask for additional support when he or she needs it without becoming stressed.

Suggest In-Home Care

When seniors are reticent to give up their autonomy by moving in with family members, hiring a professional in-home caregiver can help ease the transition. Kitchener home care professionals can alleviate your loved one’s physical and emotional stress by helping with activities he or she can no longer complete without assistance. Assistance with housework, laundry, cooking, and personal care can help make life easier and happier for your loved one while he or she ages in place.

Offer Transportation

Losing the ability to safely operate an automobile can lead to a great deal of stress. Many seniors feel trapped once their driving privileges are gone. You can help your loved one de-stress by offering transportation assistance or by arranging for him or her to receive transportation from a caregiver in Kitchener.

Identify Community Resources

Many seniors can have a higher quality of life if they seek out the various community resources within their reach. Help your loved one identify free or low-cost meal delivery services, municipal transportation services for the elderly, tax help for retirees, food banks, and other options in community support. Seniors who are living with degenerative illnesses such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s can also connect with elder law attorneys, senior care advocates, and low-cost, long-term planning services. This extra support can make managing major life changes far less stressful.

Seniors under stress often develop other health conditions, but you can help your loved one prevent this by keeping him or her relaxed and healthy. For help promoting your loved one’s emotional wellbeing, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our compassionate caregivers are available 24/7 to provide companionship for your loved one as well as help with a wide variety of daily tasks. We also offer specialized Parkinson’s, stroke, and Alzheimer’s care in Kitchener for seniors who need more comprehensive care. For more information, call one of our friendly Care Managers at (519) 954-2111 to schedule a free in-home consultation.

The Necessities of Elderly Grooming and Hygiene

As seniors age, it can become harder to perform certain daily tasks. Helping with grooming and personal hygiene is important when providing Waterloo in-home care because they can be difficult tasks for some seniors to manage. Grooming requires energy, time, patience, steady hands, and safety. However, there are ways to make grooming and personal hygiene more manageable for your senior loved one.

Hair Care

Managing hair care can become more difficult with age since dexterity and mobility can be reduced due to common senior conditions such as arthritis. However, your loved one will still need regular hair care. In addition to keeping the scalp healthy, having clean and nicely done hair can help boost your loved one’s self-image. Many senior women, for instance, feel better if they regularly get a permanent or even if they just have someone to comb and curl their hair. One consideration you should make is ensuring your loved one has a hairstyle that is easy to manage. Many senior women find shorter, permed hair easier to care for while still feeling attractive.

Bathing

Bathing on a regular basis provides many of the same benefits for your loved one as it does for you. Keeping up with personal hygiene can help your loved one feel refreshed and positive. It’s also important to help keep your loved one safe during bathing. Be sure you have nonskid mats both inside and at the side of the tub as well as a safety grip bar. It is also a good idea to put in a bath seat to keep your loved one from having to stand in the shower or get down as low as a bath requires. When helping a loved one bathe, ensure all of the needed supplies are within easy reach. If your loved one is uncomfortable about bathing in front of you, you can stand just outside the door after helping him or her into the tub. Seniors can get cold easily, but providing a warm bathrobe to put on right after a bath or shower can help keep your loved one comfortable.

Oral Health

Taking care of teeth, gums, and the mouth is an important step in preventing dental caries and other health issues. Studies have linked conditions as serious as heart disease to infected teeth. Plaque and infection can spread from the oral cavity to other parts of the body, so keeping excellent oral hygiene can not only help your loved one feel better, but also reduce the risk of developing serious health conditions. Dentists recommend seniors use soft toothbrushes since older gums tend to bleed more easily. You can also encourage your loved one to floss by buying pre-threaded floss sticks, which can be thrown away after a single use. If your loved one has problems with agility in the hands, you may need to offer to help with brushing and flossing or hire a Waterloo hourly caregiver to help. One other thing to keep in mind is seniors may experience more sensitivity in the teeth with age, so switching to toothpaste made for sensitive teeth can make brushing more pleasant for your loved one. Denture care is also important. Seniors should brush their dentures twice a day, just like teeth, and clean them in a denture wash product overnight on a regular basis.

Shaving

Many seniors don’t want to stop shaving as they age. Caring for and keeping a beard neat, even if they have done it for years, can be difficult as they age. Women have often shaved their legs for years and don’t like the sensation of having unshaven legs. While shaving doesn’t necessarily offer health benefits, it can help your loved one maintain positive self-esteem, feel more groomed, and make other personal hygiene tasks easier to manage. Consider having your loved one switch to an electric razor if he or she doesn’t already use one. Electric razors are larger and easier for many seniors to manage, and they also reduce the risk of accidental cuts due to unsteady hands. If your loved one has difficulty shaving, offer to help him or her with this task.

Beauty

Senior women often have concerns about their aging body and changing appearance. Many feel naked without makeup. However, applying makeup can become harder with age. Consider helping your loved one with her makeup application. Even if all you do is apply a little powder and lipstick, it can go a long way to lifting your loved one’s spirits and making her feel better about her personal hygiene. Though beauty may be more of an issue for a senior woman, there are also things you can do if your loved one is a man. For instance, offer to help with applying a favorite aftershave or cologne or with hair regrowth products if your loved one is sensitive about thinning hair. These small aspects of personal hygiene can make a big difference to your loved one’s emotional wellbeing.

Every senior has unique grooming and hygiene needs. If you are concerned about your loved one’s safety and comfort while performing grooming routines, a professional caregiver from Home Care Assistance can help. In addition to help with grooming, our caregivers can assist your loved one with many other daily tasks, including cooking, cleaning, and exercise. For seniors who need more comprehensive care, we also offer Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and stroke care in Waterloo. To schedule a free consultation, call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (519) 954-2111.