Stroke Awareness—How to Prevent Strokes in Seniors

In light of the fact that June is National Stroke Awareness Month, it’s important for people to take the time to educate themselves about the different health implications that can lead to a stroke and how to prevent them. There are three types of strokes—ischemic, hemorrhagic, and transient ischemic attack (TIA). Each of them has distinguishable telltale signs that you should always look out for. However, there are certain preemptive measures you can take to lower your chances and the chances of someone you love from suffering a stroke.

4 Effective Ways to Prevent Strokes in Seniors

Professional caregivers with expertise in senior care can offer some incredible insights about the most useful methods they implement to improve the quality of life for their charges and help lower the risk of stroke in their elderly patients. Many caregivers offer in-home assistance for seniors in places like Kitchener and Waterloo and they can use their knowledge to help guide seniors in a positive direction.

Instilling Healthy Eating Habits

Something as simple as eating more vitamin- and nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, poultry, and fish can help lower the chances of an elderly patient suffering a stroke. These types of foods possess vitamins that can help prevent or slow down the formation of blood clots in the brain and even help lower cholesterol which causes cranial plaque buildup.

Enforce Regular Physical Activity

Regular physical activity is an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle and this point can’t be stressed enough. Despite what you might think, exercise doesn’t necessarily have to be rigorous to be effective. Even short intervals of cardio and muscle-building activity can make a huge difference in your overall health. It all depends on each person’s physical capabilities and limitations. Every person’s body is different and it’s important not to overdo it in order to prevent injury. On average, you should be able to complete either 75 minutes of rigorous exercise or 150 minutes of modest exercise every week to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Manage Blood Pressure

Unfortunately, many seniors eventually lose the ability to care for themselves and they need the assistance of a professional caregiver to help monitor their food intake, activity level, and blood pressure for them. Maintaining a healthy blood pressure can help to significantly reduce the risk of a stroke by ensuring that the blood is flowing normally through the body and moving at a steady pace without any disturbances or interruptions.

Maintain a Healthy Weight and Cholesterol Level

Maintaining a healthy weight and controlling your cholesterol levels are central to preventing a whole host of health problems that could potentially lead to a stroke. These include obesity, Diabetes, heart disease, and so much more. Some people might have to lose weight, while others might have to gain it depending on their circumstances. It’s important to uphold a steady pace and avoid losing or gaining too much weight all at once.

In-Home Stroke Care in Kitchener and Waterloo

Under the care of a qualified caregiver, it’s possible for your elderly loved ones to reach their health goals and avoid encountering any major health problems. Home Care Assistance – Kitchener, Waterloo, and Guelph provides access to hundreds of highly skilled in-home caregivers who can work part-time or full-time depending on the needs of your loved one. All accommodations are aptly taken care of to ensure that your elderly family member or friend gets the most out of their personal care. For more information on our services, please contact us at (519) 954-2111.

ALS Awareness—What Senior Caregivers Should Know About Lou Gehrig’s Disease

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a neuromuscular disorder, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, which gradually impedes and eventually halts all brain and bodily functions, especially muscle movement control. In recent years, ALS awareness has substantially increased with the help of popular social media initiatives such as the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise funds for medical research. But there are still a lot of unknowns about the disease itself. Every case is different which is why it’s imperative that caregivers take the time to familiarize themselves with the various symptoms and nuances of the illness.

What Causes ALS?

ALS is a very complex and mysterious disease in the sense that there’s a plethora of possible causes ranging from gene mutation to various autoimmune malfunctions, chemical imbalances in the brain, and even the misappropriation of proteins in the body. All of these elements combined with common risk factors such as old age, a long-term smoking habit, gender, and hereditary predisposition can incrementally increase your chances of developing the disease as you get older.

Gene Mutations

It’s not yet clear what causes certain gene mutations that lead to ALS or why they occur, but one thing is for sure: these abnormalities can cause loss of muscle control. As the disease progresses, most people even lose the physical ability to consume and swallow food which results in malnutrition and dying muscle mass. Elderly people with advanced ALS need proper in-home assistance so that they can perform basic tasks such as feeding themselves and using the bathroom.

Chemical Imbalance

ALS patients tend to have an overabundance of a cranial chemical messenger known as glutamate. It kills certain nerve and brain cells, including motor neurons that are located in the spinal cord and brain. The primary function of motor neurons is to control bodily movements and communicate these movements to the brain.

Misappropriation of Proteins

Some forms of ALS can be caused by the misappropriation of weakened proteins in the body. Certain proteins are delegated by the body to help repair and strengthen the motor neurons that are damaged by a chemical imbalance. But the proteins are unable to effectively do their jobs and this results in a surplus of damaged proteins and neurons controlling muscle movements.

Treatment Options for ALS

Unfortunately, there’s no permanent cure for ALS. Most prognoses are very bleak with an estimated life expectance of about 2-5 years. Some people might survive anywhere between 5-10 years depending on the type of treatments they undergo and the efficacy of said treatments. Of course, these treatments aren’t permanent solutions and they’re only prolonging the inevitable physical and mental decline of the patient as they can’t reverse the affects of the disease. All that can be accomplished through treatment is to slow down the progression of the disease and extend the life of the patient by a few years. Riluzole is the only FDA-approved medication on the market that can hamper, but not eliminate, the progression of ALS. There are also a few physical treatment options available such as breathing exercises administered by your doctor, physical and speech therapy, and psychological, social, and financial assistance.

Find Senior Caregivers for ALS Patients

Caregivers provide more than just basic in-home assistance for seniors living with ALS; they also provide constant companionship, a healthy social outlet, and they establish a compassionate relationship with their charges that’s unmatched by any form of formal hospital care. Home Care Assistance – Kitchener, Waterloo, and Guelph can help find the right caregiver to help your elderly loved one suffering from ALS. Our top priority is ensuring the safety, happiness, and care of your loved one. For more information about our organization, please call us at (519) 954-2111.

4 Common Myths About Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s is one of those elusive diseases that many people suffer from, yet even though it has been widely studied, there’s still very little verifiable information available about it. Certain myths about Alzheimer’s have been perpetuated over the years, giving people gravely dangerous misconceptions about what the disease is, what the symptoms are, and how they should treat people who have it. Here are a few of the most prevalent myths surrounding Alzheimer’s Disease that should be dispelled immediately.

Alzheimer’s Is Hereditary

Just like any other disease, a family history of Alzheimer’s might in fact increase your chances of developing the disease yourself. But, that doesn’t mean that you’re most certain to get it. There are actually a number of other factors that also come into play such as your physical and mental health, your surroundings, and other lifestyle choices you implement in your daily life.

Alzheimer’s Is Strictly an Elderly Disease

While it’s true that most people who have Alzheimer’s are over the age of 65, it’s possible to develop the condition in your 30’s and 40’s as well. This is known as early onset Alzheimer’s.

All People with Alzheimer’s Become Violent and Aggressive

There are a lot of factors to take into consideration regarding this common misconception. First off, each person with or without Alzheimer’s has unique personality traits so it’s unfair to make blanket assumptions about everyone who has the same disease. Second, part of what might make people with Alzheimer’s seem more aggressive is the fact that they suffer from a great deal of confusion and disorientation when it comes to their memories. They need good-natured people surrounding them to affirm what they already know or think to be true. If you’re constantly refuting what the person remembers or is trying to communicate to you, then you’re going to keep hitting a brick wall that’ll just upset them more. There’s no harm in letting a patient with Alzheimer’s believe what they think to be true because they experience reality differently than the rest of us. Part of good Alzheimer’s care is to educate yourself about these nuances and try to go with the flow with each patient or loved one with Alzheimer’s.

Your Life Is Over if You’re Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s

This is possibly one of the most common misconceptions about Alzheimer’s disease that simply is not true. Yes, the disease may hinder certain activities, and in some ways, it will slow you down as it eventually deteriorates your brain’s and body’s natural functions. However, it’s completely possible to continue to lead a full and active life with Alzheimer’s. The type of life an Alzheimer’s patient leads depends largely on the amount of support and proper care they receive from their caregivers and loved ones.

Alzheimer’s Care for Your Loved One in Waterloo

Home Care Assistance – Kitchener, Waterloo, and Guelph is dedicated to helping families who are in need of well-rounded and professional Alzheimer’s care for their seniors find the right caregiver to match their standards. All of our highly recommended and in-demand caregivers and fully trained and carefully vetted compassionate workers who simply want to help people in need. They’ll treat your elderly loved one with Alzheimer’s with the utmost respect and dignity no matter what. To find out more about our extensive caregiving services, please call us at (519) 954-2111.