Choosing the Right Mobility Aid

A variety of illnesses or injuries can result in the need for a senior to use a wheelchair or other mobility aid. Some may need to use them for only a short time, while others may have to adapt to using them on a daily basis, making it important to find the right kind of mobility aid to suit your elderly loved one’s needs. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of at-home care in Kitchener, has some information to share about a few different mobility aids and who should be using each type.

Lightweight Wheelchairs

Lightweight wheelchairs are meant for seniors who have the strength to propel them, but who also want the option of having someone else push them for longer distances. In contrast to a transport wheelchair with four small wheels, a lightweight wheelchair has two small wheels in front and two large wheels in back, making it easier to self-propel. Lightweight wheelchairs can be used as the sole means of mobility or in conjunction with other aids like walkers or canes.

Reclining Wheelchairs

Reclining wheelchairs are an excellent choice for seniors who have had a stroke or who are otherwise unable to sit comfortably in a standard wheelchair. They have a higher backrest that can tilt backward, which provides comfort and can help reduce the risk of pressure ulcers for seniors who are in the chair or in bed for a large part of the day.

Motorized Wheelchairs

Motorized wheelchairs are intended for seniors who lack the coordination, strength, balance, or endurance to use standard wheelchairs or other types of mobility aids. Most motorized wheelchairs are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. However, seniors with cognitive difficulties, poor judgment, and lack of safety awareness should not use motorized wheelchairs because they pose a risk to themselves and others.

Scooters

Scooters are designed for seniors with decreased endurance, balance, and strength. Unlike motorized wheelchairs, they are not intended for full-time use. They can help seniors maintain independence by allowing them to go to the mailbox, visit neighbors, or even go to the grocery store by themselves. Scooters are not suitable for seniors with cognitive issues, poor eyesight and hearing, seizure disorders, or who otherwise cannot operate the scooter safely.

Even with the help of a mobility aid, living independently may be challenging for your loved one. Home Care Assistance is here to help make his or her daily life easier. For instance, if your loved one needs stroke or Parkinson’s care in Kitchener, our live-in and part-time caregivers can assist with mobility, exercise, and many other important daily tasks. For more information on how our in-home care services can promote your loved one’s quality of life, call one of our experienced Care Managers today at (519) 954-2111 to schedule a free consultation.

Showing Appreciation for Your Senior Loved One’s Caregiver

Caring for the elderly can be challenging at times, and the individuals responsible for providing elder care in Waterloo are truly deserving of recognition. Some great ways to show your senior loved one’s caregiver how much you truly appreciate his or her dedication can include kind gestures such as these.

Treat Him or Her with Respect

Your loved one’s caregiver is responsible for the wellbeing of one of the most precious individuals in your life, and his or her presence gives you the freedom to pursue your own interests and career. Make a point to know the caregiver’s first and last name and some information about his or her background, greet him or her with kindness, and go out of your way to thank him or her personally for the special services provided.

Pay Bonuses

From time to time, you can motivate your loved one’s caregiver with a special thank you card and a cash bonus. The amount will likely depend on your budget and the extra effort the caregiver puts in, but even a small amount will make him or her feel appreciated. Give it to the caregiver when he or she least expects it or when you know he or she can really use it. Right before Christmas is always a good time, or if you happen to know he or she has extra financial responsibilities. The caregiver will be grateful for your thoughtfulness and generosity and likely become even more loyal to you and your loved one.

Make Him or Her Feel at Home

Ask about the caregiver’s favorite snacks and beverages, and always have some on hand just for him or her. Provide a personal chair or space to use while caring for your loved one. Always remember the caregiver on holidays and birthdays with gift cards, restaurant certificates, or other small tokens of appreciation.

Recognize Efforts

Praise your loved one’s Waterloo caregiver when he or she goes out of the way to provide extra care to your loved one. Make a point to notice and comment on all the positive efforts the caregiver puts into your loved one’s daily tasks. This will go a long way in making the caregiver feel he or she is an integral part of your loved one’s life.

You will always appreciate the high-quality services the caregivers at Home Care Assistance provide. Each of our caregivers is expertly trained to help seniors remain safe and comfortable at home while helping with exercise, bathing, cooking, and many other important tasks. We also offer specialized Parkinson’s, dementia, and stroke care Waterloo seniors and their families can rely on. For more information on how our in-home care services can promote your loved one’s wellbeing, call one of our friendly Care Managers at (519) 954-2111 today to schedule a free consultation.

How Can Using Hearing Aids Reduce Cognitive Decline?

Hearing loss has been shown to accelerate cognitive decline in older adults. However, recent studies have found hearing aids can slow this process. Hearing aids are thought to have this effect because of several factors. Here are just a few, brought to you by the Kitchener elderly care experts at Home Care Assistance.

Increasing Social Interaction

When seniors have hearing loss, they often pull away from social activities. The loss of talking, listening, and interacting with others forces the brain to work less and increases the rate of cognitive decline. A study from Rush University found seniors who interacted with others regularly were 70 percent less likely to have cognitive decline than those who didn’t interact with others.

Allowing Participation in Brain-Stimulating Activities

While many activities, such as reading or doing puzzles, can stimulate the brain, participating in these activities with others can make the brain work harder. A French study published in BMJ Open found subjects who played board games with others had less cognitive decline and were less likely to be diagnosed with dementia. Board games, book clubs, and exercising with friends can provide your loved one with both social interaction and brain stimulation.

Enhancing Mood

Researchers who studied the records of more than 18,000 subjects from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey database found seniors who had hearing loss were 11 percent more likely to become depressed. Difficulty hearing can lead to feelings of sadness and isolation. Though scientists are still studying the effects depression has on Alzheimer’s and dementia, it appears depression and cognitive decline may be linked.

Delaying Alzheimer’s Disease

If your loved one has a family history of Alzheimer’s disease or has been recently diagnosed in the early stages, hearing aids can slow the progression of the disease. Many seniors who have hearing loss and have a genetic disposition to Alzheimer’s get diagnosed earlier in their lives. Hearing aids can delay the disease or slow its progression by offering your loved one more opportunities to stimulate the brain, and an Alzheimer’s caregiver in Kitchener can increase the chance by encouraging participation in activities specifically designed for this purpose.

Using the combination of hearing aids and mentally stimulating activities, your loved one can keep his or her brain healthy. If he or she needs assistance with cognitive and social stimulation, turn to Home Care Assistance. We offer part-time and live-in care in Kitchener, and we also provide specialized care for seniors with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and dementia. All of our caregivers are trained in the revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method, an activities-based program designed to slow cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. For more information on our senior care services, call one of our experienced Care Managers at (519) 954-2111 to schedule a free in-home consultation.

Healthy and Hot Breakfast Ideas for Seniors

For a positive start to the day, seniors should have a hot, healthy breakfast filled with vitamins, protein, and other important nutrients. The Waterloo at-home care experts have put together a list of tasty and nutritious meal options you can make for your senior loved one.

Omelets with Whole-Grain Toast

Because they are made with eggs, which contain high-quality protein, omelets are a nutritious choice for breakfast. Incorporate a variety of vegetables such as spinach, tomato, and mushrooms to supply cancer-fighting vitamins and add flavor. Add cheese to provide calcium, which helps maintain healthy bones. Round out this meal with whole-grain toast to add fiber, which aids in digestion.

Whole-Grain Oatmeal

Hot whole-grain oatmeal is another winning breakfast for your loved one to try due to the presence of fiber. Stir in raisins or dates to provide protein and antioxidants that battle cancer. Add blueberries, which contain vitamin K, to help regulate blood clotting, and make the oatmeal with milk to increase your loved one’s calcium intake.

Peanut Butter Toast with a Grilled Banana

For a change of pace, spread a tablespoon of peanut butter on a slice of warm, whole-grain toast. Peanut butter provides protein, which can build and repair your loved one’s muscles. Serve grilled bananas drizzled with honey on the side to add potassium, which helps maintain healthy blood pressure.

English Muffin Pizza

If your loved one is looking for something unique for breakfast, try this. Spread tomato sauce, a good source of potassium, on whole-grain toasted English muffin slices, which provide fiber, and sprinkle with mozzarella to add calcium. Top it with low-sodium turkey bacon or browned ground turkey to increase your loved one’s protein intake.

Hot Green Tea

Drinking hot green tea with breakfast not only provides powerful antioxidants for your loved one, but it also promotes his or her dental health by lowering acidity in the saliva and controlling bacteria. Unlike coffee, it will not stain your loved one’s teeth

For more information on senior nutrition, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can help your loved one prepare healthy meals throughout the day and even go grocery shopping. In addition to helping with these and other important daily tasks, we also offer comprehensive Parkinson’s, stroke, and dementia care in Waterloo. To learn more and to schedule a free in-home consultation, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at (519) 954-2111 today.