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Helping Seniors with Cardiovascular Disease with In-Home Care

The American Heart Association confirms that nearly 6.2 million people in the United States suffer from heart failure. Complications with the heart are also the primary reason why seniors frequently have to visit the hospital.

Because of this sheer number, it’s important that caregivers know the common symptoms of heart failure. They should also be aware of when and why home health care for heart failure patients becomes necessary.

Helping seniors stay independent while they try to combat the disease is what in-home care aims to achieve.

What is Heart Failure?

When the heart loses its capability to pump blood as efficiently as it should, the condition is called heart failure. Congestive heart failure (CHF) is the most common type, which occurs when kidneys compensate for a weak heart by retaining salt and water in the body.

This build-up of fluid is called congestion and leads to CHF. As we all know, the heart delivers nutrients and oxygen via blood to nourish every cell of the body. In case of heart failure, the body doesn’t get enough blood.

As a result, daily activities such as carrying groceries, climbing stairs, and walking become very difficult. Common symptoms are coughing, shortness of breath, and fatigue. The condition can be managed and treated with surgery, lifestyle changes, and medications but has no cure.

Common Symptoms of Heart Failure

Listed below are common heart failure symptoms:

  • Increased heart rate: Racing or throbbing heart even while doing the simplest of things.
  • Impaired thinking: Disorientation and memory loss triggered by an increased level of sodium and other substances in the blood.
  • Fatigue: Extreme tiredness while performing everyday activities such as climbing stairs.
  • Lack of appetite: Patients with heart failure may feel sick to the stomach, nauseous, or lose their appetite.
  • Buildup of fluid: weight gain, or swelling in abdomen, legs, ankles, and feet
  • Persistent coughing: cough that produces pink or white mucus
  • Shortness of breath: Feeling restless or anxious, waking up tired, trouble breathing while flat.

One of the signs mentioned above may not be indicative of heart failure. However, if you or your loved one can check multiple symptoms, it’s best to consult a doctor and evaluate heart health.

Once the diagnosis is confirmed, there are specific steps you can take to implement cardiac home care besides hiring professional help.
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We shall cover this in the next section:

How to Support Seniors with Cardiovascular Disease?

Learning how to take care of a heart patient at home and following doctor’s orders would allow the elderly to lead a reasonable quality of life.

Caregivers can help seniors with cardiovascular disorders using the steps below:

  • Making lasting lifestyle changes such as limiting salt, getting regular exercise, and eating a healthier diet
  • Adhering to a medication schedule, reporting adverse effects immediately to a healthcare provider, and watching for side effects regularly
  • Ensuring that seniors get vaccinated for severe conditions such as pneumonia and flu
  • Getting emotional support from social workers, heart failure support groups, or therapists
  • Reviewing current treatment plan and goals with a doctor on an annual basis and understanding what to do during emergencies such as heart attack or kidney failure.

Let us now understand how in-home care can play a pivotal role in balancing the quality of life for heart failure patients.

Professional In-home Care Services for Seniors

If you or your aging loved one is living with a serious heart condition like coronary artery disease, low blood pressure, and congestive heart failure, you may worry whether self-care is sufficient at this stage.

Caregiving places a considerable social and emotional burden on family members, often leading to burnout and deterioration of their own health. If that’s the case, it’s wise to choose in-home care services for seniors with heart failure.

Besides, if the family caregiver cannot be near the senior 24/7, there must be someone who can take care of them and ensure their safety. This is where home health care for heart failure patients comes in.

Professional caregivers can:

  • Provide emotional support
  • Monitor patient’s wellbeing
  • Assist with everyday activities

With proper guidance and support, seniors can safely age at home while you can have peace of mind knowing that they are well taken care of.

How Does Cardiac Home Care Work?

When a person is diagnosed with a heart condition, the doctor may prescribe multiple medications, recommend exercise routines, and advise dietary changes. Coupled with mobility and memory issues caused due to aging, heart conditions can be challenging to manage for family caregivers and patients.

To prevent this overwhelming feeling (that ultimately hurts patients), hiring professional caregivers is the way to go.

In-home caregivers can assist you or your loved one with the following aspects:

  • Companionship: As mentioned before, family caregivers may not have the flexibility to stay with the elderly 24/7 because of jobs and children. Other pressing issues such as geographic location may also prevent them from staying together for extended durations. In such a scenario, in-home care services for seniors with heart problems become indispensable. Professional caregivers can offer company to seniors since the latter may not have the ability to socialize anymore. That, in turn, significantly reduces the risk of developing depression. For much-needed social interaction, home health care is essential.
  • Appointment: Living with a chronic heart illness means that seniors will have to visit doctors for routine checkups, therapy, or counseling. A professional caregiver can ensure that your loved one doesn’t miss an appointment by keeping them company as well as arranging transportation. They can also take the senior to the hospital immediately or dial 9-1-1 when an emergency occurs (stroke or heart attack).
  • Following health advice: When you live far away or go to the office, it isn’t easy to make sure that your loved one is following every piece of health advice. In-home caregivers, on the other hand, can help them stick to their exercise program, fluid intake level, medication, and diet. This would, in turn, allow you to focus on your work while you’re at your job.
  • Personal care assistance: If the old suffering from heart failure can no longer implement self-care, they need round-the-clock aid with personal care activities such as getting dressed and taking a bath. In-home care providers can take care of that. Besides, they can prep meals, do grocery shopping, etc.

Choosing the Home Health Care for Heart Failure Patients

You should select in-home caregivers that can follow not only cardiac care instructions but also provide ample support to seniors. They should be attentive, empathetic, and experienced in what they do.
Seniors living with any chronic disease, including heart problems, may occasionally have an emotional outburst and, in that process, may offend somebody. But in-home caregivers should be professional enough to understand that they don’t mean that.

They should be able to manage their own emotions and not disrespect the aging loved one intentionally or inadvertently. Besides, they should also brief you and other family members involved in care with the senior’s condition.

Our home health caregivers can help you, or your aging loved one maintain good cardiovascular health. We aim to prolong the longevity of heart failure patients and help them stay happy in the proc.

Hospice Care: All Your Questions Answered

If you or your family member is fighting a life-limiting illness, you should consider hospice care. Especially if you have exhausted all the existing and potential treatment alternatives, this form of care becomes necessary for end-of-life support and comfort.

In this blog post, we will discuss how it works, what criteria you should use to pick a program, and how it is different from palliative care.

What is Hospice Care?

This form of care is designed for people facing their end of life. It addresses their spiritual, social, psychological, and physical needs. The aim is to reduce pain and maximize comfort for the terminally ill senior.

Healthcare professionals specialized in hospice care also offer practical support, respite care, and counselling to the patient’s families. Unlike other forms of care, it’s not intended to cure the disease. Instead, the goal is to maximize the senior’s quality of life for the remaining time.

The shift from treatment to hospice care can be distressing. However, it’s important that the elderly and their family do not spend their time that’s left feeling absolutely depressed and anxious.

The healthcare team does its best to manage the symptoms and ease the journey a little bit. Living their final days as much as possible is how this care program helps seniors fighting an incurable illness.

Hospice care can be delivered in any of the following settings:

  • in the hospital
  • at home
  • at a nursing home and other extended-care facilities
  • at a hospice center specialized in this kind of care

Hospice care at home is the most common method. It’s because most seniors prefer to spend the final phase of their lives in their homes. It gives them peace and comfort.

Hospital stays, on the other hand, can add to their stress but the goal is to make them feel as safe and relaxed as possible. However, if both the patient and their family agree, they can choose to stay in the hospital. This is called respite care.

Who Can Benefit from It?

This type of care can be accessed by people with late-stage cancer, COPD, heart disease, lung or kidney disease. Patients with advanced neurological illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and dementia can also benefit from it.

Hospice care considerably reduces frequent hospital trips, which many patients are approaching their end of life, experience. The focus shifts from trying to cure medical conditions to providing supportive care.

However, the doctor can extend the duration if the condition remains life-limiting. Not only do seniors live better, but their families can prepare themselves to handle the grief. Moreover, the healthcare team ensures that the elderly can live on their terms and be with their families as much as possible.

This form of care is needed when the patient has about less than six months left to live or reaches the final stages of their chronic disease.

Irrespective of where the hospice care is provided, the following are some examples of services that can be grouped under this umbrella:

  •  counselling end-of-life concerns
  • physical care, including assistance with getting dressed, feeding, and bathing
  • medications that offer comfort, including painkillers
  • medical equipment to support mobility and comfort, including assistive devices, walkers, or hospital beds
  • other services or supplies

Who’s Involved in It?

If you choose hospice care at home instead of a dedicated facility, a team of care specialists will visit your home. They will be at your call 24/7.
The team typically includes:

  • Social workers: They offer support and counselling to seniors approaching the end of life. If needed, they may also refer you or your loved one to other support systems.
  • Spiritual counsellors: For many patients, spiritual counselling brings them peace and tranquillity. The entire family can benefit from spiritual care and guidance from spiritual counsellors, lay ministers, priests, and chaplains.
  • Volunteers: If and when needed, volunteers can help with respite for caregivers, run errands, and provide support for other practical needs like transportation. They can also offer company to the elderly.
  • Home health aides: These include people who can provide routine care, including eating, bathing, and dressing.
  • Bereavement counsellors: When a loved one passes away during hospice care, trained bereavement counsellors offer guidance and support to the family.
  • Nurses: They are responsible for the overall supervision of the patient. Nurses also coordinate the entire team.
  • Doctors: A hospice doctor, primary doctor, or medical director oversees the care.
  • Pharmacists: When it comes to medication oversight, pharmacists are in charge of it. They may advise specific medications to relieve the elderly’s pain.
  • Other professionals: These include occupational, physical, and speech therapists. Their services can be utilized if the senior needs them during hospice care at home.

When Should Hospice Care Begin?

When the chronic disease is no longer controllable or curable, that’s when hospice care should begin. A primary doctor or hospice doctor may verify the criteria needed to avail of this form of care.

A person can be certified for this care service if they:

  • are experiencing a rapid decline in health with no improvements whatsoever
  • have less than six months to live
  • decide to cease treatment

In case they continue to live for more than six months, a doctor recertifies them. The American Cancer Society confirms that most seniors do not receive timely hospice care. Unfortunately, it results in unmet needs and patient dissatisfaction.

Therefore, it’s imperative that as soon as you exhaust all possible treatment options, you begin hospice care at home.

What Does it Cover?

This form of supportive care includes the following:

  • family support
  • spiritual support
  • mental health support
  • stress management
  • pain management
  • symptom control and management

The last category is called palliative care (more on that later). Besides, hospice care involves offering support to families. The hospice team keeps the family informed on what to expect in the final days and the patient’s health condition.

Hospice Care vs Palliative Care

Palliative and hospice care are often confused with each other. Even though there is some overlap, they don’t mean the same when it comes to similarities, both forms of care focus on psychosocial needs and symptom management.

However, palliative care works in tandem with curative treatment. On the other hand, hospice care is needed when all curative treatment methods are exhausted. There are separate medical teams for palliative and hospice care.

How is Hospice Care Financed?

The Department of Veterans Affairs, Medicare, and Medicaid pay for hospice care. Since each has its own policies, you should ask about the eligibility and payment options before opting for the program.

As mentioned before, your doctor will certify hospice care at home when it becomes indispensable. You can find Medicare-approved hospices here. Besides, you can also contact Transitional Care Services.

Our team offers in-home care for seniors battling a life-limiting illness. Apart from that, we also provide counselling and support to grieving families.

To Sum Up

Hospice care can help manage symptoms and ease the pain of terminally ill seniors. The program is designed to ensure that seniors live their final days comfortably with minimal or no discomfort.

Apart from patients, this form of care also provides 24/7 support to family members. Hospice teams help them make difficult end-of-life care decisions. This in turn, eases them into grief to an extent.

Hospice Care: All Your Questions Answered

If you or your family member is fighting a life-limiting illness, you should consider hospice care. Especially if you have exhausted all the existing and potential treatment alternatives, this form of care becomes necessary for end-of-life support and comfort.

In this blog post, we will discuss how it works, what criteria you should use to pick a program, and how it is different from palliative care.

What is Hospice Care?

This form of care is designed for people facing their end of life. It addresses their spiritual, social, psychological, and physical needs. The aim is to reduce pain and maximize comfort for the terminally ill senior.

Healthcare professionals specialized in hospice care also offer practical support, respite care, and counselling to the patient’s families. Unlike other forms of care, it’s not intended to cure the disease. Instead, the goal is to maximize the senior’s quality of life for the remaining time.

The shift from treatment to hospice care can be distressing. However, it’s important that the elderly and their family do not spend their time that’s left feeling absolutely depressed and anxious.

The healthcare team does its best to manage the symptoms and ease the journey a little bit. Living their final days as much as possible is how this care program helps seniors fighting an incurable illness.

Hospice care can be delivered in any of the following settings:

  • in the hospital
  • at home
  • at a nursing home and other extended-care facilities
  • at a hospice center specialized in this kind of care

Hospice care at home is the most common method. It’s because most seniors prefer to spend the final phase of their lives in their homes. It gives them peace and comfort.

Hospital stays, on the other hand, can add to their stress but the goal is to make them feel as safe and relaxed as possible. However, if both the patient and their family agree, they can choose to stay in the hospital. This is called respite care.

Who Can Benefit from It?

This type of care can be accessed by people with late-stage cancer, COPD, heart disease, lung or kidney disease. Patients with advanced neurological illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and dementia can also benefit from it.

Hospice care considerably reduces frequent hospital trips, which many patients are approaching their end of life, experience. The focus shifts from trying to cure medical conditions to providing supportive care.

However, the doctor can extend the duration if the condition remains life-limiting. Not only do seniors live better, but their families can prepare themselves to handle the grief. Moreover, the healthcare team ensures that the elderly can live on their terms and be with their families as much as possible.

This form of care is needed when the patient has about less than six months left to live or reaches the final stages of their chronic disease.

Irrespective of where the hospice care is provided, the following are some examples of services that can be grouped under this umbrella:

  • counselling end-of-life concerns
  •  physical care, including assistance with getting dressed, feeding, and bathing
  •  medications that offer comfort, including painkillers
  • medical equipment to support mobility and comfort, including assistive devices, walkers, or hospital beds
  • other services or supplies

Who’s Involved in It?

If you choose hospice care at home instead of a dedicated facility, a team of care specialists will visit your home. They will be at your call 24/7.

The team typically includes:

  • Social workers: They offer support and counselling to seniors approaching the end of life. If needed, they may also refer you or your loved one to other support systems.
  • Spiritual counsellors: For many patients, spiritual counselling brings them peace and tranquillity. The entire family can benefit from spiritual care and guidance from spiritual counsellors, lay ministers, priests, and chaplains.
  • Volunteers: If and when needed, volunteers can help with respite for caregivers, run errands, and provide support for other practical needs like transportation. They can also offer company to the elderly.
  • Home health aides: These include people who can provide routine care, including eating, bathing, and dressing.
  • Bereavement counsellors: When a loved one passes away during hospice care, trained bereavement counsellors offer guidance and support to the family.
  • Nurses: They are responsible for the overall supervision of the patient. Nurses also coordinate the entire team.
  • Doctors: A hospice doctor, primary doctor, or medical director oversees the care.
  • Pharmacists: When it comes to medication oversight, pharmacists are in charge of it. They may advise specific medications to relieve the elderly’s pain.
  • Other professionals: These include occupational, physical, and speech therapists. Their services can be utilized if the senior needs them during hospice care at home.

When Should Hospice Care Begin?

When the chronic disease is no longer controllable or curable, that’s when hospice care should begin. A primary doctor or hospice doctor may verify the criteria needed to avail of this form of care.

A person can be certified for this care service if they:

  • are experiencing a rapid decline in health with no improvements whatsoever
  • have less than six months to live
  • decide to cease treatment

In case they continue to live for more than six months, a doctor recertifies them. The American Cancer Society confirms that most seniors do not receive timely hospice care. Unfortunately, it results in unmet needs and patient dissatisfaction.

Therefore, it’s imperative that as soon as you exhaust all possible treatment options, you begin hospice care at home.

What Does it Cover?

This form of supportive care includes the following:

  • family support
  • spiritual support
  • mental health support
  • stress management
  • pain management
  • symptom control and management

The last category is called palliative care (more on that later). Besides, hospice care involves offering support to families. The hospice team keeps the family informed on what to expect in the final days and the patient’s health condition.

Hospice Care vs Palliative Care

Palliative and hospice care are often confused with each other. Even though there is some overlap, they don’t mean the same when it comes to similarities, both forms of care focus on psychosocial needs and symptom management.

However, palliative care works in tandem with curative treatment. On the other hand, hospice care is needed when all curative treatment methods are exhausted. There are separate medical teams for palliative and hospice care.

How is Hospice Care Financed?

The Department of Veterans Affairs, Medicare, and Medicaid pay for hospice care. Since each has its own policies, you should ask about the eligibility and payment options before opting for the program.

As mentioned before, your doctor will certify hospice care at home when it becomes indispensable. You can find Medicare-approved hospices here. Besides, you can also contact Transitional Care Services.

Our team offers in-home care for seniors battling a life-limiting illness. Apart from that, we also provide counselling and support to grieving families.

To Sum Up

Hospice care can help manage symptoms and ease the pain of terminally ill seniors. The program is designed to ensure that seniors live their final days comfortably with minimal or no discomfort.

Apart from patients, this form of care also provides 24/7 support to family members. Hospice teams help them make difficult end-of-life care decisions. This in turn, eases them into grief to an extent.

Sleep Tips for Seniors Living with Insomnia

Changes in the sleeping pattern are a common sign of old age. Experiencing less deep sleep, waking up in the wee hours, and feeling sleepy earlier are a few changes. However, what’s not typical is waking up tired every morning and experiencing disturbed sleep. These are signs of insomnia in the elderly.

As when you were younger, good quality of sleep is key to your emotional and physical health. An adequate sleep strengthens your immune system, repairs cell damage, improves memory function and concentration power, to name a few. Therefore, we have compiled the best sleep tips for seniors in this blog post to help you eliminate insomnia.

How Much Sleep is Good Sleep?

Even though it varies with individuals, most people need 7-9 hours of sleep every night. To figure out the correct number of hours, you need to observe how you feel after waking up in the morning. Do you feel tired or rested enough? If you feel tired waking up, you’re not getting proper sleep.

Insufficient sleep is associated with breast cancer, weight problems, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other serious health problems. It may also lead to excessive daytime sleepiness, memory problems, attention problems, or depression. Hence, one of the most crucial sleep tips for seniors is a minimum of 7-hour sleep at night.

What Causes Insomnia in the Elderly?

A decreased level of growth hormone in old age is behind insomnia in the elderly. For this reason, deep sleep or slow-wave is difficult to achieve during the night. As a result, seniors do not feel refreshed after waking up. Due to less melatonin, they wake up frequently through the night and experience more fragmented sleep.

“Light sleepers,” as we call them, make up for the fragmented sleep by taking daytime naps. In most cases, this may not be indicative of an underlying problem.

However, the following signs and symptoms would indicate sleep problems in the elderly:

  • Increased reliance on sleeping pills.
  • Overindulgence in alcohol to get back to sleep.
  • Feel irritable and tired during the day.
  • Trouble managing emotions.
  • Difficulty driving, watching television, or sitting still.
  • Lack of focus and concentration during the day
  • When awakened, trouble getting back to bed.

Besides the natural decline in growth hormone, sleep problems in the elderly can also sign an underlying problem. Some of them are stress, traumatic experience, depression, health problems, or even side effects of certain medications.

The other causes of insomnia in seniors include:

  • Medical conditions: Millions of seniors in the U.S. live with various chronic illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, asthma, arthritis, etc. They feel the need to urinate and experience heartburn during the night frequently. That makes sleeping extremely difficult. If that’s the case, you should consult your doctor to lessen the symptoms and achieve a night of deep sleep.
  • Menopause: Women experience night sweats and hot flashes after menopause that interrupt their deep sleep. Improving certain lifestyle aspects such as exercise and diet is excellent to resolve sleep problems over 50 years of age in women.
  • Sleep disorders: Older adults are prone to experiencing sleep disorders such as sleep apnea that causes breathing problems, and Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) that causes an involuntary urge to move their legs. These conditions can leave them uncomfortable and tired and should necessitate medical attention.
  • Inadequate social engagement: Activities such as volunteering and engaging with your community are essential to get a good night’s sleep. They keep you moving and interactive, thereby leaving you tired by the end of the day. Joining a seniors’ group or volunteering can be an excellent yet understated sleep tip for seniors.
  • Lack of sunlight: Melatonin, a hormone released by the pineal gland, regulates our sleep-wake cycles. Sunlight is a natural source that helps regulate melatonin. For this reason, it’s vital to get a minimum of 20 minutes of sunlight every day to improve your sleep.
  • Stress: This is one of the most common causes of sleep problems in the elderly. Certain life-altering events such as the death of a close friend/family member, retirement, or changing family home can trigger stress. In such a scenario, it’s important to talk face-to-face with someone who can improve your mood and enhance sleep quality.
  • Medications: This could be a reason behind sleep problems over 50. Unlike children and younger people, seniors take more drugs to treat their conditions. An unlikely combination of drugs can, however, impair sleep. Therefore, you must consult your doctor, who can change your medications thus allowing you to undergo deep sleep.
  • Lack of exercise: A sedentary lifestyle is not considered suitable for rest. Activity has been deemed necessary for good quality of sleep by several studies. Being physically active is essential to maintain healthy serotonin levels, improving your sleep cycles, mood, and appetite.
  • Poor sleep habits: Watching late-night shows on television or other devices could contribute to poor sleep quality. Moreover, it’s not advised to consume alcohol before going to bed. Your room needs to be quiet, dark, and comfortable, which is conducive to sleep.

Sleep Tips for Seniors

Choosing a healthier lifestyle, improving the sleep environment, and addressing emotional issues can help you significantly improve your sleep. That said, you may need some time to find out what works best for you.

These are the best natural sleep aid for the elderly:

  • Use low-wattage bulbs: As we established earlier, melatonin makes you sleepy. However, its production can be hampered due to artificial lights at night. It’s better to turn on the low-wattage bulbs before bedtime. Also, it would help if you closed your computer and TV at least an hour prior.
  • Don’t use backlit devices: Many of you may like to read from backlit electronic devices such as tablets or phones at night. However, they don’t bode well for your sleep. Instead, you can switch to eReaders, for which you need an additional source of light.
  • Ensure your bedroom is quiet: Apart from lighting, you also need to take care of your noise environment. With age, the sensitivity to noise increases. If you can’t eliminate the noise and light source, you can use earplugs and a sleep mask to solve this problem.
  • Remove bedroom clocks: Watching the clock ticking does not help with insomnia. Move the clocks out of your bedroom and place them somewhere else.
  • Don’t use the bedroom for work/study/entertainment: Your mind should associate sleep with the bedroom. Every other activity like using a computer, watching TV, etc. can be restricted to other areas of your home.
  • Maintain a schedule: If you follow previously mentioned sleep tips for seniors, this step will automatically become more accessible. Even on weekends, you should not disrupt your schedule because it’s challenging to get back on track for the rest of the week.
  • Block out snoring: Use separate bedrooms, a white-noise machine, or earplugs to block out snoring that may be hampering your sleep.
  • Develop a bedtime ritual: You can follow specific steps just before bedtime to facilitate sleep. That includes deep breathing exercises, mindfulness meditation, muscle relaxation, playing music, or bathing. You would need to experiment to understand what works best for you.
  • Limit sleeping pills: This may seem counterintuitive. However, relying on sleeping pills for long-term use is not suitable for your health. They have specific side effects that can prolong the condition and worsen your problems in the long run.
  • Combine sleep with intimacy: If possible, try physical intimacy with your partner. Combining rest with physical intimacy acts like hugging and sex will contribute to restful sleep.

How to Nap Properly

There’s a debate whether you need daytime naps. However, it greatly depends on the individual. If you feel a lack of focus or concentration, a daytime nap should give you much-needed energy. However, if you overdo it, you risk falling asleep late into the night. This is something you want to avoid.

Here are some tips for napping:

  • Nap early during the day: Early afternoon is probably the best time for seniors to take a nap. This way, you won’t disrupt your nighttime sleeping routine.
  • Keep it short: A 15–45-minute nap should suffice for the remainder of your day. However, if you are still unable to concentrate or feel groggy, you can take a relatively longer nap keeping in mind that it shouldn’t delay your bedtime.
  • Be in a comfortable environment: Just like your nighttime sleep, your bedroom should have little noise and light during the daytime nap as well.

Diet Tips to Improve Sleep in the Elderly

One of the reasons why the elderly can’t sleep at night is problems with their diet. These habits have a profound impact on your sleep quality. Mainly, what you eat before your bedtime determines how well you’ll sleep during the night.

For this reason, we have dedicated a separate section to address this problem. First things first, you need to have a sleep-friendly diet.

Some of the tips include:

  • Cut down on sugar: Did you know that refined carbs and sugar can cause wakefulness in late hours? Food such as French fries, pasta, white rice, and white bread can adversely affect your sleep cycle. They can hinder the treatment, deep stages of sleep. If necessary, you can consume these foods earlier during the day.
  • Limit liquid intake before bed: Seniors have the frequent urge to urinate. Drinking plenty of fluids just before bedtime doesn’t help the situation. Drink your water at least an hour before you go to sleep.
  • Don’t go hungry into bed: You won’t be able to sleep peacefully if your stomach is growling with hunger. It’s advised to take warm milk, yogurt, or low-sugar cereal two hours before bed since they are conducive to sleep.
  • Avoid spicy meals: Spicy meals or too large a meal can contribute to discomfort or indigestion when you’re trying to sleep. It’s recommended to have your dinner 3 hours before bedtime and keep it modest-sized.
  • Say no to alcohol: If you’re living with a chronic illness, alcohol consumption is harmful any time of the day. However, you must especially refrain from it if you’ve been facing trouble while sleeping. This is arguably one of the most crucial sleep tips for seniors since it concerns a critical lifestyle aspect.

Exercise Tips to Induce Deep Sleep in Seniors

Even though exercise is necessary for everyone, it becomes indispensable for seniors with mobility issues. Aerobic exercises are known to enhance sleep quality and reduce fatigue. It would help if you experienced a more restful sleep by embarking on a fitness program involving aerobic exercises.

However, if you have a medical condition, always consult your doctor before doing so. Some of the examples include golfing, cycling, and swimming – depending on what your health permits. Even a 30-minute walk and light exercise should keep you going and enhance your sleep quality.

Seniors who exercise regularly report less daytime sleepiness, more vitality, and fewer depressive symptoms.

Alleviate Your Mental Stress

If you’ve anxiety and stress built up in your mind, you’re likely to experience fragmented sleep. When you’re finally on your bed, try not to think about stressful situations.

Here are some tips that might help you:

  • Read a book to relax your mind.
  • Listen to calming music.
  • List your goals for tomorrow.
  • Keep a journal.
  • Get a massage from your partner or friend.
  • Talk to your loved one during the day about what worries you.

When Should You Consult a Doctor?

If the sleep tips for seniors laid out in this blog post are unsuccessful, it’s time to seek medical advice. Please keep track of your recent stresses, lifestyle changes, exercise routine, and medications, as well as nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol intake to share with your doctor.

This would help them figure out what’s wrong and help you get rid of insomnia. They may also suggest cognitive behavioral therapy if necessary.

Introduction to Types of Senior Care: How to Pick the Right Care for Your Loved One

We all desire optimal independence in the lives of our elderly. However, old age brings with it certain physical limitations that make self-care very difficult. There will be a point when you or your aging loved one would need assistance in managing themselves, their homes, and their affairs.

Family members take charge of ensuring the comfort and safety of seniors. But doing this for a long time becomes a challenge due to their own families, jobs, and other commitments that demand their attention; this is when external help becomes mandatory.

Fortunately, there are various types of senior care available. Some examples include home care, specialized facility, and 24/7 health care. In this blog post, we explain the different types and choose the best care among them.

Custodial Care vs. Skilled Care

Custodial care and skilled care for seniors can manage custodial care and professional care for seniors at a specialized facility (adult day care center, assisted living community, residential care home, nursing home, etc.) home.

However, the difference is, licensed medical professionals can only provide skilled care. Examples of skilled care include physical therapy and nursing care. On the other hand, custodial care helps with everyday activities such as bathing and dressing.

Assisted Living Communities

This care option is excellent if the seniors don’t need round-the-clock care and cannot live independently. In assisted living communities, seniors live in private apartments to enjoy recreational activities and socialize together.

Staff is appointed for housekeeping, medication management, meal preparation, and other daily activities. The elderly are also assisted with personal care, scheduled transportation, and licensed nursing services if needed.
Many assisted living facilities to have a central dining area where seniors get plenty of opportunities to mingle. They also offer specialized care for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients, including carefully selected activities and tight security to avoid compromising with their wellbeing.

Residential Care Homes

These are specially designed, private homes for seniors where they can watch television, eat meals in the kitchen, and enjoy other activities just like in a regular house.

A caretaker is assigned for such a residential care home to help the senior with dressing, bathing, light housekeeping, laundry, meal preparation, and other essential activities. Such type of senior care is suitable for people who wish to live in a home-like setting but need assistance with everyday living.

Nursing Homes

Also known as skilled nursing facilities, they are designed for the long-term care of seniors. If your health condition necessitates 24*7 care, opting for a nursing home could be a viable option.

Licensed nurses offer round-the-clock professional assistance, rehabilitation, and qualified medical care. Besides, seniors are also assisted with a team of therapists in nursing homes.

There is a central dining area, and the residents usually share rooms in this type of senior care.

Independent Living Communities

If you can manage activities of daily living but wish to live within a community of peers to enjoy an active lifestyle, independent living communities could be your answer. Private apartments vary from two-bedroom units to studios depending on the needs of the senior.

Upon request, different services like dining, transportation, and housekeeping are available in independent living communities.

How to Choose the Best Senior Care

Choosing the best option among the abovementioned types of senior care requires a careful analysis of personal preferences, specific needs, and health conditions.

Ask questions like:

Do they need daily check-ins or round-the-clock care?
Do they need help with everyday activities?
Would custodial care suffice? Is a licensed medical caregiver necessary?

The answers to the aforementioned questions would help you determine the right kind of senior care for yourself, or your aging loved one. Irrespective of the type of senior care you choose, the aim should be to ensure maximum comfort.

Moreover, the caregiver should be compassionate, knowledgeable, trustworthy, experienced, and highly trained. Try to gather as much information as possible, use a good screening process to find the right caregiver for your loved one.

Make sure that the elderly can maintain a good quality of life with the type of care chosen.

Understanding 3 Types of In-Home Care for the Elderly

We all like to stay independent and active for much of our lives. But there comes a time later in life when we need help managing ourselves, our homes, finances, daily activities, and other affairs.

That’s when families step up and ensure the comfort and safety of aging loved ones. Unfortunately, it’s challenging to continue doing so because they have their own families and jobs that need their commitment as well.

Such a dilemma leads to a sense of guilt that’s difficult to manage. On top of that, when seniors’ physical and/or mental condition continues to deteriorate, it becomes nearly impossible to do this without external help.

Fortunately, there are various types of in-home care for the elderly with many advantages over a specialized facility. Some of the benefits are personalized care, affordability, a familiar environment, family involvement, and much more.

This blog post focuses on three types of home-based care that you can consider for your loved one:

Types of Home Care

Knowing the different forms of in-home care is essential to select the right provider. It’s because not all providers offer all three kinds of home care services for the elderly.

Home care can include:

  • Rehabilitative services and therapy
  • Long-term and short-term nursing care for disability, disease, or illness
  • Management of tasks around the house
  • Personal care assistance, including bathing and dressing
  • Companionship

This short guide serves as an overview for patients and their families.

1. Personal Care and Companionship

This type of in-home care services for seniors is also known as companion care, assistive care, homemaker care, senior care, home health aide services, or non-medical care.

In this, you get help with daily activities such as:

  • Household chores
  • Meal preparation
  • Bathing and dressing

It’s an excellent option for bed-ridden elderly who may injure themselves if they try to perform the tasks mentioned above on their own. The healthcare provider ensures that seniors can still maintain a reasonable level of independence while being assisted with these tasks.

Other services in this type of home health care may include:

  • Supervising Alzheimer’s or dementia patients
  • Engaging in hobbies (companionship)
  • Escorting to appointments
  • Medical reminders, errands
  • Fall prevention and safety
  • Assisting with ambulation

This type of in-home care for the elderly need not be doctor prescribed.

2. Home-Based Nursing Care

It is also known as shift nursing, ventilator care, hourly nursing, or long-term nursing care. It is best for patients with disability, injury, or chronic illness. Moreover, it needs to be recommended by a doctor.

The services under home-based nursing care may include:

  • Catheter care
  • Feeding tube care
  • Gastrostomy/ostomy care
  • Administering medications
  • Monitoring vital signs
  • Tracheostomy care
  • Care of conditions and diseases such as ALS, spinal cord injury, or traumatic brain injury

3. Home Health Care

It’s also known as visiting nurse services, intermittent skilled care, or Medicare-certified home health care. It’s physician-directed care designed for short-term recovery from an injury, illness, or after a hospital stay.

The services under home health care may include:

  • Medical social work
  • Speech language pathology
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Short-term nursing services
  • Home health aide services

How to Choose the Right Care?

To determine which kind of home-based care is appropriate for you or your aging loved one, it’s best to contact the provider and talk about your needs. Apart from that, you also need to evaluate the level of family involvement before choosing the right service.

Make sure that the professional caregiver is compassionate, trustworthy, highly trained, knowledgeable, and properly licensed or certified to avoid any pitfalls later on. They should be capable of dealing with their emotions and sometimes erratic behavior of seniors.

Irrespective of which of the three types of in-home care for the elderly you choose, they share the same goals:

  • Providing peace of mind to families
  • Facilitating more independent and happier living for seniors

Wrapping Up

The key to enabling a reasonable quality of life for seniors is utilizing home care services. It ensures increased independence, security, and safety of the elderly. Apart from that, you can avoid unnecessary hospital stays, thanks to easier management of the chronic condition.

7 Reasons to Choose In-Home Care Services for Seniors

Family members may not have the flexibility to be physically present 24*7 with their terminally ill loved ones. If they work full-time or live far away, choosing in-home care for seniors is the way to go.

Most seniors prefer their homes to nursing institutions. In order to retain their independence and make them feel safe, exploring the many benefits of in-home care is essential.
Here are seven reasons why you should choose in-home care services for seniors:

1. Personalized Care

Personalized care is unlikely in a care facility where a specific group of patients receives a similar treatment. It may be challenging to keep track of individual wants and needs. Such is not the case with in-home care, where caregivers take everything into account.

Therefore, seniors tend to stay positive and recover quickly, thanks to personalized care.

2. Familiar Surroundings

Like every other person, seniors like to relax at their favorite spots in the city. Transferring them to a nursing institution may affect them negatively. Not only would they feel homesick but also miserable.

Needless to say, there are infinite memories attached to their home. Hence, in-home care for seniors allows them to receive treatment while staying connected with the familiar surroundings.

3. Affordable

Compared to nursing facilities, in-home care services for seniors are a lot more affordable. It roughly costs twice to keep the elderly in a care setting than at home. If your financial situation is unfavorable, then it could cost you a fortune.

4. Peace of Mind and Companionship

Knowing that the elderly care is in good hands, family members can be at peace. The professional caregivers would be at the beck and call of seniors if and when needed. Round-the-clock in-home care is especially crucial for seniors with cognitive and/or physical impairment.

Living on their own, without assistance, could be potentially dangerous for such people. Besides, living alone could lead to mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. For this reason, a little companionship in the form of in-home care for seniors is necessary.

5. Smooth Transition

Moving to a nursing facility is a significant change for seniors. In comparison, transitioning to a home-care setting is a lot smoother. This way, seniors don’t feel overwhelmed with sudden changes. On the other hand, if you decide to admit them to a facility, they may feel ignored, rejected and develop anxiety or depression.

It could also lead to fighting with family members. Moreover, the environment of a care setting may or may not be a good match for them. Adhering to strict regulations from the freedom of their home is not easy. In every decision, you should ask the elderly for their opinion as well.

6. Close Family Involvement

Without conforming to any kind of restrictions, family members can visit their aging loved ones in home-based care. Apart from that, the professional caregiver who is in charge of care can contact the family when needed.

The in-home care for seniors also promotes close involvement of the patient’s family. Since family members can always live with the patient, they can offer companionship. On the other hand, they cannot do so in a care facility which is why most patients end up feeling neglected and abandoned.

7. Independence

Not all seniors living with chronic illnesses need help in every aspect of life. Some may require assistance only in small day-to-day tasks. In such a case, moving them to a care facility would not bode well for their independence.

They can instead enjoy their level of independence while being assisted at home, thanks to in-home care for seniors. All that while maintaining social ties, exercising regularly, and eating nutritious food.

Being able to participate in activities is good for seniors’ mental health.

Final Thoughts

Caring for an aging loved one is very demanding. Irrespective of the choice you make, it’s bound to have consequences. However, choosing in-home care services for seniors is not likely to cause any regret later on.

5 Signs That an Elderly Needs Home Care

We love to see our aging spouse, parent, or relative living independently and happily in their homes. However, there will be a time when home care for the elderly would become indispensable. Managing daily chores would then become a challenge on their own.

At that time, they will require medical and/or non-medical support so that they can continue to live a healthier and safer life. If you are apprehensive about whether your elderly loved one needs home care, this blog will remove all your doubts. Continue reading “5 Signs That an Elderly Needs Home Care” »

The Impact of Frequent Hospitalizations on Seniors

When a loved one is discharged after a hospital stay, it’s always a cause for celebration. They are surrounded by familiar places, faces and feel relieved to have gotten back to their routine. Familiarity and love are the two reasons why most seniors prefer in-home care rather than hospitalization.

However, living with a chronic disease means that the latter is very much a part of their reality. We can try to minimize such instances of frequent hospitalizations. The transitional care services were designed for this very reason. Continue reading “The Impact of Frequent Hospitalizations on Seniors” »

Can Transitional Care Management Help Reduce Hospital Costs?

The aging population in America presents a serious challenge and demands realigning the current healthcare system and care management to treat older adults with critical medical conditions. This group of patients generally have multiple health problems and mobility issues, plus they are at a higher risk of poor health outcomes once they get discharged from hospitals and moved into their place of residence. For this reason, they generally need frequent admissions to hospitals. However, hospital readmissions among older adults with critical care needs can be addressed with transitional care. Continue reading “Can Transitional Care Management Help Reduce Hospital Costs?” »

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