Steps to Take If Your Elderly Loved One Has a Concussion

Falls are one of the leading causes of injuries in seniors, and one of the most potentially dangerous of these injuries is a concussion. Though most concussions do not have long-term effects, serious brain injuries that are not addressed and treated right away can have a significant impact on a senior’s cognitive health. Kitchener, ON, senior home care experts share some important steps you and your elderly loved one should take if you suspect he or she has a concussion.

Schedule a Full Medical Examination

If your loved one falls and hits his or her head, schedule a full medical examination if there is even a small chance he or she has been seriously injured. The symptoms of a concussion might not become apparent for days, and failing to treat the injury during this critical period could be lead to serious complications down the line. In many cases, a doctor will suggest nothing more than resting for a few days, but live-in and respite caregivers in Kitchener should still err on the side of caution when caring for seniors with head injuries.

Rest the Body and Mind

For many years, it was believed a person had to stay awake for at least 24 hours after a concussion, but this recommendation has changed in recent times. If the concussion is severe, your loved one’s doctor will likely suggest emergency care. Mild concussions typically require only 2 or 3 days of rest, which includes plenty of sleep and as little stimulation as possible.

Avoid Certain Substances

Unless the doctor has given your loved one a list of safe medications to take, most over-the-counter painkillers and NSAIDs should be avoided. Medications such as these can dilate your loved one’s blood vessels and increase his or her risk of brain hemorrhages. Your loved one should also avoid alcohol, tobacco products, stimulants like caffeine, and any other products that can affect the cardiovascular system.

Take Care of Lingering Discomfort

Discomfort is a completely natural symptom of a concussion, but it should never be debilitating. Your loved one should be able to sleep somewhat comfortably and resume all of his or her regular daily activities within a few days. For minor headaches, the doctor may recommend a mild dose of acetaminophen and an ice pack to keep the discomfort at bay. If secondary problems such as vomiting or a fever occur, take your loved one to the emergency room as soon as possible.

If your loved one has had a concussion or other brain injury and needs help during recovery, reach out to KW Home Care Assistance. Our expertly trained caregivers are available 24/7 to assist with tasks like cooking, bathing, and light housekeeping, and we also offer Parkinson’s, dementia, and stroke home care Kitchener families trust. 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.

How Can Relocation Stress Syndrome Be Prevented?

Though relocation stress syndrome (RSS) became an official medical diagnosis in 1992, seniors have been experiencing it for much longer. Age-related ailments can make independent living difficult, and many families open their homes to elderly loved ones who need their assistance. However, these families often don’t notice how much stress their loved ones experience because of the move. Waterloo senior care experts recommend watching for the warning signs of RSS and using these strategies to prevent it.

Catch the Symptoms Early

Most types of stress, including RSS, progress over a series of stages. Identifying and addressing some of the earliest warning signs of RSS can prevent your loved one from developing larger emotional and psychological problems in the future. Most seniors occasionally exhibit symptoms such as pessimism, moodiness, and loneliness. However, if you have noticed any of these symptoms occurring more frequently, it may be time to talk with your loved one and make some changes.

State the Advantages of Relocating

Just because you see the benefits of relocating does not mean the situation is as clear-cut to your loved one. You and your loved one might want to take an afternoon and delve into some of the reasons why it is so important for him or her to move in with you. Whether it is for your loved one’s safety or because he or she can no longer afford to maintain a home independently, constant reassurance can be a powerful tool.

Offer Choices

One of the most common reasons why seniors develop RSS is because they feel they have no control over their lives. When moving your loved one into your home to provide elderly care in KW, try to give him or her as many choices as possible regarding the move and what the transition will be like. Even asking which day your loved one would like to move or who he or she would like to be present could help rebuild his or her confidence.

Work with an In-Home Caregiver

Even with help from family and friends, moving a senior loved one can be a stressful project. A simple way to reduce some of the pressure is to work with an in-home caregiver who can help your loved one ease into his or her new living situation. Professional Waterloo, ON, caregivers can take care of tasks like cooking, cleaning, and grocery shopping so you and your loved one are not feeling pulled in multiple directions at once.

In addition to helping with daily tasks, the in-home caregivers at Waterloo Home Care Assistance can also provide your loved one with emotional support during and after this transition. We offer flexible part-time and live-in care plans, and we also provide specialized Alzheimer’s, stroke, and Parkinson’s home care Waterloo seniors can count on. For more information and to schedule a complimentary in-home consultation with one of our Care Managers, call (519) 954-2111 today.

What Physical Dangers Can Alzheimer’s Pose?

Though Alzheimer’s disease is mostly known for the effects it has on cognitive abilities, these symptoms can also lead to dangerous situations that jeopardize a senior’s physical health. Kitchener elderly care experts discuss a few risks your elderly loved one faces if he or she has Alzheimer’s and offer tips to help you prevent each situation.

Bone Fractures

Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease may be at a heightened risk for falls and subsequent fractures. Alzheimer’s can cause confusion and disorientation, which can lead to falling down the stairs or tripping over an object on the floor. Your loved one may not remember the house even has stairs or forget to pick up his or her feet when trying to clear an obstacle. Bones become thinner and more brittle with age, which increases your loved one’s risk of sustaining a fracture after a fall.

Burns

Alzheimer’s can also put seniors at a greater risk for getting burned while cooking. For instance, your loved may not realize his or her shirtsleeves are making contact with the flames or that the oven has caught fire. If your loved one has Alzheimer’s disease, consider hiring an Alzheimer’s caregiver in Kitchener to supervise him or her when cooking.

Sunburn

Sunburn is another risk for seniors with memory related conditions like Alzheimer’s. They may forget to put sunscreen on or not realize they are already sunburned after spending time outdoors. Seniors with Alzheimer’s may not understand the importance of going inside or seeking shelter in a shady area after they’ve been burned. Your loved one may also be at a greater risk for developing heat stroke if he or she doesn’t realize the significance of getting out of the sun and into a cool environment.

Food Poisoning

Seniors who are unable to decipher food labels may be putting themselves at risk for food poisoning because they don’t or can’t read expiration dates. Make sure to toss all expired or questionable foods out of your loved one’s refrigerator so he or she doesn’t accidentally consume a spoiled or expired product.

For additional tips on keeping your loved one safe while managing Alzheimer’s symptoms, reach out to KW Home Care Assistance. Our expertly trained Alzheimer’s caregivers are available around the clock to assist with mobility, provide mental stimulation, and help with tasks like cooking and grocery shopping. Learn more about our high-quality Alzheimer’s and dementia care in Kitchener by calling (519) 954-2111 and requesting a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable Care Managers.

Keeping Seniors Safe at a Summer Picnic

With summer in full swing, many seniors and their families are looking forward to spending some time together in the sun and having a picnic. Though picnics are intended to be fun, there are some precautions seniors need to take to ensure they preserve their health. Waterloo live-in care experts have some tips to help your aging loved one stay safe while enjoying a picnic in the summer.

Protect Against Sun Damage

As we age, our skin becomes thinner, more fragile, and increasingly sensitive to the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Your loved one should always liberally apply sunscreen when enjoying outdoor activities like picnics. Doing so helps prevent sunburn and may also reduce the risk of skin cancer. If your loved one starts to get a sunburn, KW elder care professionals recommend moving indoors or to a shady area to help prevent further skin damage. Also, applying a moisturizing lotion and taking an over-the-counter pain reliever may help soothe irritated skin. In addition to sunscreen, sunglasses should be worn to protect sensitive, aging eyes and to diminish eyestrain and excessive glare.

Stay Hydrated

The combination of hot sunlight, preexisting medical conditions, current medications, and poor nutritional status can cause seniors to become hydrated. Drinking plenty of non-caffeinated beverages can help your loved one stay cooler and lower the risk of dehydration. If symptoms such as excessive sweating, lightheadedness, nausea, weakness, or changes in mental status develop, seek medical attention for your loved one as soon as possible.

Apply Insect Repellent

Mosquitoes can disrupt an enjoyable picnic very quickly. However, wearing a nonirritating insect repellent can help keep bugs away so your loved one can focus on having fun. Mosquito bites can be especially dangerous to older adults because the itchy welts can become infected. Mosquitoes can also harbor diseases, which can be life threatening for seniors with certain medical conditions or compromised immune systems.

Bring Prescribed Medications

Forgetting to bring essential medications to a picnic can lead to a medical emergency. A Waterloo caregiver can remind your loved one to gather all medications prior to the event, and they should be readily available at the picnic when needed. If the medications are forgotten and your loved one skips a dose, his or her doctor should be called for further instructions. The doctor may recommend your loved one take the missed medication as soon as possible, or he or she may advise to wait until the next dose is due.

Learn more about keeping seniors safe this summer by reaching out to Home Care Assistance. Our dedicated caregivers can provide medication reminders, transportation, and assistance with a wide array of important daily tasks. For more information on elder care Waterloo families trust, please call one of our qualified Care Managers at (519) 954-2111 today.