The Social Benefits Facebook Offers the Elderly

Facebook may have started out as a website dedicated to college students, but over the past several years its user demographics have greatly expanded and the site has blossomed into a valuable social resource for senior citizens. Since socialization can boost emotional and mental wellbeing, it’s important for your senior loved one to embrace this type of technology to stay in touch with family and friends. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of in-home care in Kitchener, has put together a list of some of the benefits your loved one can gain from using Facebook.

Keeping Old Friendships Strong

Facebook can help older generations reconnect with their peers. Your loved one can seek out his or her old high school buddies and potentially rekindle old friendships. This also gives your loved one an opportunity to leave the house and socialize with someone familiar from his or her past. While socialization is beneficial for everyone, it offers a special opportunity for seniors to reminisce.

Never Missing a Moment

Sometimes family members move far away and seniors don’t get to see them very often. Through Facebook, your loved one is able to see pictures and videos of his or her children and grandchildren just by signing in and checking the activity feed. Because of this, your loved one gets to experience moments he or she might have otherwise missed out on.

Staying Connected with Family

Not only is your loved one able to see pictures of family members, but he or she can talk to family as well. Facebook has an easy-to-use messaging system that enables the elderly to keep in touch with family. Depending on your loved one’s preference, he or she can send and receive messages or make free video calls with distant family members.

Getting Up to the Minute News

Through Facebook, your loved one can stay up to date on current events he or she finds relevant. Facebook’s sharing feature makes it easy for seniors to find news articles, and they can also “like” their favorite news sources and have articles show up on their newsfeed. Staying current and aware with the news provides seniors with information to share with their friends.

Though using Facebook is a great way to stay in touch with family in other cities and states, regular in-person socialization is also important for maintaining emotional and mental health. If your loved one needs social stimulation, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our live-in and part-time caregivers in Kitchener are available 24/7 for companionship, and can also assist with a wide variety of daily tasks, such as exercise, cooking, and grooming. For more information on our senior care services, please call one of our friendly Care Managers at (519) 954-2111 to schedule a complimentary consultation.

How Seniors Can Curb Snoring

Because seniors who snore often have sleep apnea and may be at risk for serious health conditions such as heart disease and strokes, it’s important to figure out how to stop this nighttime habit. The staff at Waterloo Home Care Assistance suggests the following preventive measures to help your senior loved one snore less, sleep better, and stay healthy.

By Losing Weight

Shedding extra pounds can help your loved one snore less. The National Institutes of Health stated extra fat around a senior’s neck could cause his or her airway to become narrower and less likely to remain open, which can lead to loud snoring. This is especially true when men are overweight because they tend to put on weight in the neck.

By Taking a Steamy Shower

Taking a hot shower before bed can help open your loved one’s nasal passages and make breathing easier. The water should be as hot as possible without being an unsafe temperature. This will produce a lot of steam, which can help more effectively clear out his or her nasal passages. Another option your loved one has for relief is to use a form of nasal irrigation such as a neti pot to clear out his or her passages in the shower.

By Staying Away from Alcohol Before Bedtime

According to directors at the Drexel Sleep Center in Philadelphia, seniors who have an alcoholic beverage within four hours before bedtime greatly increase their chances of snoring. This is because the alcohol relaxes the face and throat muscles, which could interfere with breathing and make them go into a deeper sleep. A deep sleep can increase your loved one’s chances of snoring or make the snoring louder.

By Using a Humidifier

Dry air is known to irritate membranes in the throat and nose, which can make a senior more apt to snore. To help combat this, your loved one can put a humidifier in his or her bedroom. A humidifier can help keep the air moist, which can make it easier for your loved one to breathe and drastically reduce his or her snoring.

Getting a good night’s rest is an important part of maintaining a healthy, mind, heart, and immune system. If your loved one needs help managing his or her sleep hygiene habits, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are available 24/7 to ensure your loved one remains safe, healthy, and comfortable at home, whether he or she is sleeping or awake. We also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, stroke, and Parkinson’s care Waterloo families trust. For more information on our senior care services and to schedule a complimentary consultation, call one of our friendly Care Managers at (519) 954-2111 today.

Phone Scams Seniors Should Be Aware Of

Every day scammers are creating devious phone schemes to trick seniors out of money or access their financial and personal information. Kitchener senior care experts have put together a list of some of the top phone scams criminals use when targeting the elderly. Help your senior loved one stay aware and protected by knowing what to watch for.

Prescription Drug Scams

Due to the rise in prescription drug costs, many phone scammers target senior citizens and offer them drugs at a cheaper rate. This is dangerous because the scammer receives your loved one’s personal information and may even send counterfeit drugs to him or her via postal mail. Your loved one should always contact a doctor or local pharmacists for prescription drug needs or speak with his or her health insurance provider if necessary.

Obituary Scams

Since many local newspapers place notices for the deceased, scammers will read through the obituaries and look for elderly family members of the deceased to scam. The scammers will typically call the seniors and ask for money to pay for their deceased family member’s debts. Let your loved one know that if anyone calls about another family member’s debt, he or she is not responsible for it and you will handle the situation.

Lottery Scams

This scam claims a senior has won money in a foreign lottery. The scammers know most seniors will not recall playing the lottery, but they rely on them falling for their sales pitch act. Someone with a professional-sounding voice generally places the call. The scammer will then ask the senior to pay upfront money to cover taxes associated with the fake lottery winnings. Warn your loved one to never pay for anything via telephone without your consent.

Grandchild Scams

Phone scammers sometimes call and ask an elderly individual to guess who is on the other line. Many seniors will then guess a grandchild’s name and the scammer will pretend to be that grandchild. After establishing a relationship, the scammer will ask for money. You should always remind your loved one to never give out his or her financial information over the telephone, and you may want to take control of your loved one’s finances to prevent this from happening.

Learn more about senior safety from the experienced staff at Home Care Assistance. As a leading provider of Parkinson’s, dementia, and stroke care in Kitchener, we are dedicated to making sure the seniors we care for remain safe and healthy. For more information on how our in-home care services can promote a safe and healthy lifestyle for your loved one, call one of our friendly Care Managers at (519) 954-2111 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.

5 Hobbies for a Senior in the Beginning Stages of Alzheimer’s

When an elderly relative has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it’s important to keep him or her stimulated with activities that may help slow the progression of the disease. As you provide at-home care in Waterloo for your senior loved one, encouraging him or her to try out some simple hobbies may be the trick to boosting mental engagement.

1. Playing Music

Seniors with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s are often able to remember their favorite songs. This is because this information is stored in their long-term memory, which is normally not affected until later progressions of the disease. If your loved one has a musical gift, encourage him or her to join a church choir or a sing-along at the local senior center. The activity combined with regular social interaction may help him or her maintain cognitive function.

2. Pet Keeping

Encourage your loved one to help you walk the dog or brush the cat, or consider getting a pet for him or her to take care of. Caring for an animal can provide your loved one with a sense of purpose, encourage physical activity, and may also help relieve anxiety that can lead to aggressive outbursts in people with Alzheimer’s. If your loved one has limited mobility, a fish aquarium or a small bird can be equally therapeutic.

3. Gardening

If your loved one enjoys the outdoors, he or she can help you care for your flowerbeds. You can assign simple tasks like planting a few flowers, watering, or harvesting vegetables. If your loved one is artistic, you can even provide the supplies he or she needs to create a flower arrangement.

4. Scrapbooking

Seniors receiving Alzheimer’s care in Waterloo may benefit from reminiscing over old pictures. In many cases, they may even remember events from decades ago with amazing clarity. Provide your loved one with a collection of old family photos so he or she can create a memory book. Encouraging your loved one to share the stories behind the pictures is an excellent way to create treasured family memories and stimulate memory.

5. Doing Puzzles and Games

Studies show mental stimulation helps individuals with Alzheimer’s maintain cognitive function. Simple jigsaw puzzles with large pieces or familiar card games like Go Fish can provide your loved one with social and mental stimulation without being too frustrating. Of course, you should make sure the games or puzzle images aren’t too childlike. For example, try choosing puzzles with photos of animals or scenery.

Some hobbies may be easier to manage and even more stimulating if a regular companion is available to participate as well. If your loved one needs assistance with cognitive stimulation, an Alzheimer’s or dementia caregiver in Waterloo can help. At Home Care Assistance, all of our caregivers are trained in the Cognitive Therapeutics Method, which helps slow cognitive decline by engaging seniors in stimulating activities. For more information on CTM and our other senior care services, call an experienced Care Manager today at (519) 954-2111 to schedule a complimentary consultation.