5 Qualities All Professional Caregivers Should Possess

The quality of care your senior loved one receives can have a significant impact on his or her quality of life, which means it’s crucial to hire a professional caregiver who can meet and live up to a certain standard and provide the care your loved one needs. There are many important factors to check for when screening caregivers. However, the 5 following traits are among the most essential for them to possess.

1. Patience

When it comes to senior care in KW, nothing trumps a healthy dose of patience. Stiff, aching joints and motor coordination challenges can cause some seniors to fumble with buttons and other closures for great lengths of time. Degenerative age-related diseases like Parkinson’s can also result in the development of slow and shuffling gaits. In addition to managing limitations in health, many seniors are just determined to do everything their own way. Providing consistently high-quality Kitchener home care requires caregivers to have an extraordinary amount of patience, along with a calm and understanding demeanor.

2. Strength

Professional caregivers in Kitchener, ON, have to be both physically and emotionally strong. In the physical sense, these individuals may need to help lift seniors who have difficulty bathing and dressing themselves. All caregivers should be strong enough emotionally to realize when they’re over their heads and need to seek outside guidance.

3. Dependability

Every professional caregiver needs to be reliable and consistent. As seniors become increasingly reliant on others to meet their most basic needs, caregivers often become the most important people in their lives. Aging adults and their families need caregivers who will show up on time, ready to work.

4. Adaptability

Good caregivers are entirely flexible. They know dispositions and care needs can change over time. Though they’re careful to maintain regular schedules for their elderly charges, they’re also adaptable enough to accommodate unexpected changes in mood, behavior, and abilities that sometimes throw these schedules off track. Being flexible also allows caregivers to continue providing an optimal level of care despite ongoing changes in a senior’s needs and abilities.

5. Empathy

A caregiver’s ability to both feel and express empathy is essential for providing the highest quality of care. Feeling empathy for a senior’s challenges can make it easier to remain patient at all times and deliver important services in a way that allows the senior to maintain dignity and confidence. When helping aging adults bathe, dress, and eat, empathetic caregivers are able to treat their clients exactly how they’d want to be treated if the roles were reversed.

At Home Care Assistance, having the necessary qualities and skills is just the beginning for our caregivers. We offer them continued training at our Home Care Assistance University, and we also provide a complimentary matching service to ensure the caregiver matched with your loved one shares similar interests and personality traits. In addition to live-in and respite care, we also offer comprehensive Parkinson’s, stroke, and Alzheimer’s care Kitchener, ON, seniors can count on. For more information and to schedule a no-obligation consultation with one of our qualified Care Managers, call (519) 954-2111 today.

5 Tips for Maintaining Spine Health Past Age 65

Managing spine disorders is often more difficult for seniors than it is for younger adults, which makes it especially important for people over 65 to take care of their spines. There are a variety of preventive measures your elderly loved one can take to maintain a healthy spine, and the Waterloo caregivers at Home Care Assistance offer 5 suggestions.

1. Experiment with Different Bedding Types

Changing your loved one’s bedding may help protect his or her spine and increase his or her overall comfort. As a general rule, seniors should use semi-firm pillows and mattresses that offer maximum support. If your loved one is a side sleeper, placing a pillow between the legs can help take pressure off of the spine.

2. Go Swimming

Many seniors find it difficult to perform exercises that challenge their core, which increases their risk of back injuries. Swimming is a great low-impact exercise that can strengthen your loved one’s abdomen, flanks, and lower back. Options such as water aerobics and lap swimming can also boost his or her heart health and keep his or her weight under control.

3. Schedule a Gait Analysis

Walking in the wrong shoes over a long period can lead to some serious health concerns. If your loved one’s primary doctor does not offer gait analysis services, search for a local running store. Many of these companies have gait analysis systems that determine exactly what shoes and soles people need according to their body mechanics.

4. Get Regular Massages

Due to recent studies showing the benefits of regular massages, many insurance companies now cover massage services. Massages trigger the release of endorphins, and they also increase blood flow to the spine. Though every chiropractor has different philosophies, your loved one may benefit from getting a professional massage at least once a month.

5. Stand Up and Move More Often

A sedentary lifestyle can be harmful to the musculoskeletal system, which is why it is important for your loved one to stand up and move around every 30 or 45 minutes to take pressure off of his or her spine. Forgetful seniors should wear a watch or keep an alarm clock next to their favorite chair and try to do a lap around the block or walk through the home once an hour.

Learn more about senior health and wellness by calling Home Care Assistance at (519) 954-2111 today. Our dedicated caregivers provide the home care KW seniors need by assisting with exercise and mobility, providing transportation to medical appointments, and helping with a wide variety of important tasks. For more information on the home care Waterloo seniors rely on, reach out to one of our experienced Care Managers and schedule a free in-home consultation.

4 Active Canadian Musicians Over Age 65

Some well-known musicians decide to retire early, but others have a fire within them that refuses to be extinguished. Canada has produced more than a few famous musicians who are still recording and performing well into their golden years. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care in Kitchener, believes these artists can serve as an inspiration to other seniors who want to remain healthy later in life.

1. Paul Anka

Born in Ottawa, ON, in 1941, Anka was a 50s teen idol who has recorded more than 120 records in his lifetime. He has built an impressive multi-decade career of writing and recording songs like “Put Your Head on My Shoulder” and “Diana.” In 2008, Anka was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, and in 2013 he wrote an autobiography about his fascinating life and career called My Way. He credits his ability to actively perform at his age to taking care of his health, staying in shape, and doing what he loves.

2. Neil Young

Born in 1945 in Toronto, ON, Young released his first album with Buffalo Springfield in 1966, then launched his solo career 2 years later, which has spanned nearly 50 years and resulted in more than 35 studio albums. In 1982, Young was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. Known as the “Godfather of Grunge,” Young claims getting sober, staying drug-free, and not worrying about what people think of him have all attributed to his longevity.

3. Leonard Cohen

Born in 1934 in Westmount, QC, Cohen is a legendary singer and songwriter who is most well known for his famous hit “Hallelujah,” which has been covered by over 200 musicians in different languages. This year, he announced his new album, titled You Want It Darker, will be released in the fall. Cohen’s passion for routines, staying disciplined, and releasing himself from self-doubt are key factors that have helped him stay mentally fit and able to perform in his golden years with great success.

4. Gordon Lightfoot

Born in 1938 in Orillia, ON, Lightfoot is one of Canada’s most successful contemporary folk artists with huge hit songs such as “If You Could Read My Mind” and “Rainy Day People.” He tours regularly and performs every year at Toronto’s famous Massey Hall. Lightfoot believes his strict regimen of working out 6 days a week has helped him stay physically prepared for a demanding touring lifestyle.

Music and other creative outlets are wonderful tools seniors can use to boost their overall wellbeing and enjoy a higher quality of life. If your loved one needs more opportunities to engage in creative activities, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of live-in and respite care Kitchener, ON, families trust, all of our in-home care services come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and there are no hidden fees in our contracts. To learn more about high-quality senior home care in KW, call (519) 954-2111 today.

Natural Ways Your Aging Loved One Can Prevent Cancer

By 2030, 25 percent of Canadians are expected to be 65 or older. As a result, there is likely to be a considerable increase in cancer diagnoses. However, there are quite a few ways for Canadian seniors to reduce their risk of cancer or defeat it after a diagnosis. If your aging loved one is looking for a natural solution to battle cancer, Waterloo, ON, elderly home care professionals have a few suggestions he or she can try.

Drink Green Tea

Green tea contains numerous polyphenols known to have antioxidant properties. These antioxidants help prevent cellular damage caused by free radicals, boost the immune system, and activate enzymes that aid in slowing tumor cell growth and invasiveness. In animal studies, green tea has been shown to inhibit tumor growth in cancers affecting various organs, including the mammary glands, pancreas, colon, liver, and stomach.

Limit Red Meat Consumption

According to a report by Harvard Health Publications, long-term consumption of large amounts of red meat leads to a significant increase in the risk of colon and rectal cancers. Although the exact reason for the link is not clear, it may be due in part to chemicals produced when the meat is cooked at a high temperature and the nitrates and other preservatives present in processed meats. Consumption of fish and poultry does not carry the same risk and may even offer protective benefits against colorectal cancer.

Eat More Garlic

The National Cancer Institute recognizes garlic as having potential anticancer properties. Several studies have shown a link between increased garlic intake and a decreased risk of colorectal, pancreatic, esophageal, and other forms of cancer. Garlic’s benefits in fighting cancer arise from its antibacterial properties and its ability to promote DNA repair, reduce the proliferation of cancer cells, and interfere with the formation and activation of cancer-causing substances.

Avoid Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol is known to increase the risk of a number of different cancers, including breast, liver, colorectal, and oral cancers. It is believed alcohol increases cancer risk in several ways, including:

  • Acting as an irritant that can trigger cellular DNA changes
  • Increasing levels of hormones that can feed certain types of cancer
  • Depleting the body of vital nutrients necessary for staying healthy

Senior men should limit alcohol consumption to no more than two drinks a day, and elderly women should have no more than one drink a day.

Reducing the risk of cancer can be challenging for some seniors if they don’t have the right assistance. If your loved one needs help maintaining a healthier lifestyle, turn to KW Home Care Assistance. Our dedicated caregivers can prepare nutritious meals, provide transportation to and from medical appointments, encourage and assist with exercise, and help with many important daily tasks. For more information on the respite and live-in care Waterloo, ON, families trust, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at (519) 954-2111 today.