4 Natural Remedies for Arthritis

Arthritis causes inflammation, pain, and stiffness and often becomes more severe with age. Though many seniors take prescription medications for arthritis relief, these medications often have serious side effects, which has led some seniors to seek out more natural alternatives. The Kitchener, ON, live-in care experts at Home Care Assistance have put together a list of natural arthritis treatments your elderly loved one can try.

1. SAM-e

SAM-e is a substance naturally produced by our bodies when we are younger, but our stores can become depleted as we grow older. Concentrated SAM-e supplements have been shown to reduce arthritic pain, combat inflammation, and increase mobility, and tests are also being conducted to see if SAM-e can stimulate cartilage growth. If SAM-e does stimulate cartilage growth, it might reverse some of the damage caused by various forms of arthritis.

2. Capsaicin

Cultures from around the world have been using capsaicin as a natural painkiller for thousands of years. This unique compound is what makes peppers hot, but it is generally not painful when applied directly to the skin. According to a 2010 study published in Phytotherapy Research, people who applied capsaicin gels, patches, and creams to arthritic joints multiple times a day experienced a 50 percent reduction in pain after just 3 weeks.

3. Yoga

The Arthritis National Research Foundation recently stated yoga is one of the most effective ways to reduce general pain and inflammation. Seniors who have never performed yoga should find a program designed specifically for people with arthritis. These specialized programs are more focused on flexibility and proper breathing techniques instead of core development and strength training.

4. Fish Oil

Very few supplements have been studied as thoroughly as fish oil extract. This particular supplement breaks apart the compounds that trigger inflammation in the joints. According to a 2010 study conducted by Grand View Research, almost all people with arthritis who took daily fish oil supplements reported increased dexterity and reduced pain. As an added bonus, the fatty acids found in fish oil can also boost cognitive abilities, lower the risk of depression, and potentially combat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

Learn more about helping your loved one manage chronic pain by reaching out to KW Home Care Assistance. Our dedicated caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, provide medication reminders and transportation to medical appointments, and help with a wide array of everyday tasks. For more information on the in-home senior care Kitchener, ON, families trust, call one of our experienced Care Managers at (519) 954-2111 to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Why Using Social Media in the Senior Years Is Beneficial

Older adults who develop limits in their mobility and lose their driving privileges often find staying in contact with the outside world becomes more challenging. However, the widespread popularity of social media means your senior loved one doesn’t have to feel isolated and lonely. Social media websites have made it much easier to stay connected and engaged in numerous ways, and Waterloo elderly care experts want to share some of these benefits.

Stay In Contact with Family

Despite the fact almost all of us have cellphones, we are less likely to make calls than ever before. We tend to use our phones to connect by others means, including texting and social media. By encouraging your loved one to join Facebook or other social media channels, you can make it easier for him or her to remain a consistent part of family conversations.

Share Photos and Videos

Social media can make your loved one feel like he or she is a part of family milestones even if he or she lives hundreds of miles away. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr allow you to share photos and videos virtually instantaneously. This can help your loved one feel a fresh sense of connection with grandchildren that was not possible through mailed pictures or the occasional letter.

Save Money

Many seniors live on fixed budgets and can benefit from saving money wherever possible. A number of companies now offer special discounts through their Facebook pages, sites like Groupon sometimes offer deals specific to the elderly community, and Twitter allows users to share coupons with one another.

Make New Friends

Social media can provide a way for seniors who are unable to leave their homes to connect with the outside world. They can join online support groups for seniors with similar health issues or limitations or find a community based on similar interests and hobbies. This additional human contact can enhance emotional health and help combat depression.

Conquer the Fear of Technology

Many seniors are wary of technology because they do not understand how it works. One way to help your loved one overcome their fear is to encourage him or her to enroll in a basic computer or social media class. Classes specifically geared to seniors are often available at local colleges and libraries. A respite caregiver in Waterloo can also help your loved one navigate this new technology.

If you want to ensure your loved one has regular social interaction and mental stimulation, reach out to the KW senior experts at Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of Parkinson’s, stroke, and dementia care in Waterloo, and our caregivers can offer emotional support and consistent companionship, provide transportation to social events, and help with a wide array of tasks around the house. For more information and to request a free consultation, call (519) 954-2111 today.

How to Comfort Seniors with Dementia

Dementia can cause a senior to become anxious and agitated, and these symptoms can easily become more severe if no steps are taken to keep the senior calm and comforted. If your elderly loved one is living with dementia, Kitchener senior care professionals suggest a few things you can do to make him or her feel more comfortable at home and enhance his or her quality of life.

Maintain Routines

Your loved one’s daily activities should be simplified and consistent because change can cause seniors with dementia to become confused and uncomfortable. Practicing daily routines can increase your loved one’s ability to function, which allows for some independence. Performing tasks independently can boost your loved one’s self-esteem and provide the comfort he or she needs and deserves.

Install Adequate Lighting in the Home

Bright lights can help alleviate your loved one’s dementia symptoms and enhance his or her mood. Good lighting in the home also reduces the risk of falling, and you may want to consider installing higher wattage light bulbs to make the home safer to navigate. During the daytime, turn on the lights inside your loved one’s home. At night, turn on nightlights so your loved one feels less disoriented.

Encourage Spending Time Outdoors

Your loved one may feel comforted when outdoors, and you can make a few adjustments to the outside of the home to encourage him or her to spend time in the sun. Make sure the pathway from the door to the yard is clear, and set up a garden where your loved one can safely plant a variety of plants and vegetables. Being outdoors can reduce the anxiety seniors with dementia experience and promote their independence as well. Gardening can help calm your loved one because it is a stimulating activity that may tap into his or her past experiences.

Create a Calm Environment

Seniors with dementia tend to feel more comfortable when they receive KW elder care in homes with calm environments. Keep guests to a minimum because having too many people inside the home at once may cause your loved one to become nervous, confused, and agitated. Designate an activity room for your loved one where he or she can watch television, relax, and escape the noise and other interruptions taking place around the home. The privacy can help soothe his or her dementia symptoms.

Providing opportunities for mental stimulation can also help your loved one feel comforted. At Kitchener Home Care Assistance, we offer a revolutionary program called the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), which helps slow cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. Through the use of CTM, seniors with memory-related conditions are able to build new routines and remain socially engaged. In addition to dementia and Alzheimer’s care Kitchener seniors can rely on, we also offer specialized stroke and Parkinson’s care. For more information on our at-home care services, please call (519) 954-2111 to speak with a qualified Care Manager.

Relaxation Tips for Family Caregivers

Most family caregivers find caring for a senior loved one to be both rewarding and challenging. When the challenges outweigh the rewards, it can be easy for stress to take hold, which can lead to burnout. To ensure your loved one receives the support he or she needs, make sure you take time to relax. Try some of these strategies, brought to you by the staff at Waterloo Home Care Assistance.

Go for a Walk

Exercise of any type is a natural stress-reliever. It prompts the brain to release serotonin, which is a natural feel-good hormone and mood booster. You don’t have to spend money on a gym membership or formal class. Simply put on some headphones, listen to your favorite music, and take a 30-minute walk around the block.

Take Time for Yourself

At least once or twice a month, do something special to pamper yourself. For example, you can treat yourself to a manicure and pedicure at your favorite spa or see the latest movie. If you prefer to stay at home, try to set aside one night a week where you can take a long, relaxing bubble bath and then curl up in your pajamas. Don’t be afraid ask for help from friends or family to give you the time you need to recharge. Taking time to relax can make you a more effective Waterloo, ON, home caregiver.

Practice Relaxation Techniques

Controlled breathing exercises, yoga, and meditation can all reduce stress and boost your overall wellbeing. Taking 15 to 30 minutes at the beginning or end of the day to focus and calm your mind can keep you from worrying about things outside of your control and put you in a better position to provide the Waterloo elder care your loved one needs. A number of videos and online resources are available to help you learn these techniques.

Hire Respite Care

Just like employees need vacations from their 9 to 5 jobs, you also need a break from your caregiving duties. Hiring Waterloo, ON, respite care gives you the chance to take time away from your duties and focus on your own needs. In-home care agencies offer a number of respite care options, including companion services, help with personal care, and assistance with meal prep and other daily activities.

A healthy and happy caregiver is often a more effective caregiver who can provide the high-quality in-home care in KW a senior needs. If you need time away from your caregiving duties to relax and focus on your own needs, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our respite caregivers are available around the clock to care for your loved one while you take the time you need to recharge. For more information on our in-home care services, call one of our friendly Care Managers at (519) 954-2111 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.