• Skip the Housework After Spine Surgery

    Spine surgery is a major life event, and it’s important to be thoroughly prepared for the recovery process. Once you transition home after the surgery , you can expect to require in-home care, such as the services available from an assisted living provider. This is especially important if you do not have family close by to help you out around the house. After your spine surgery, you can count on an in-home caregiver in Memphis to handle meal prep and housework for you.

    Listen to the nurse navigator featured in this video to learn more about recovering from spine surgery. She points out that patients can generally expect to be told not to bend or twist their torsos, or lift any objects heavier than 10 pounds. It’s also important to follow your doctor’s discharge instructions. An assisted living provider could help you out by giving you medication reminders.

  • 5 Tips for Stimulating the Appetites of Alzheimer’s Patients

    Caring for elderly patients can be challenging, especially when they are affected by Alzheimer’s disease. This common form of dementia often causes the loss of appetite and, subsequently, unintended weight loss. Significant weight loss can bring its own health complications. If you’re having trouble coaxing your loved one to eat regularly, an in-home caregiver in Memphis may be able to help. Alzheimer - eating

    Reduce mealtime distractions.

    Sometimes, people with Alzheimer’s have trouble during mealtimes because the environment is too cluttered or noisy, or because they cannot multitask well. Turn off the TV and radio at mealtimes, and clear the table of clutter. If these steps aren’t sufficient to convince the individual to eat, try serving just one or two types of food at a time.

    Keep your loved one company during meals.

    People are social creatures and often prefer to eat in the company of others. If it isn’t possible for you to sit with your loved one during each meal, it may be time to hire an elder care provider to give your loved one the companionship and practical care he or she needs. When you are able to dine with your loved one, make eye contact and convey positivity with your facial expressions. Your loved one may be more likely to eat if you are eating, too. Some individuals may do better with quiet, pleasant conversation, while others are too distracted by talking.

    Make eating as easy as possible.

    As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, managing eating utensils becomes more difficult. An elder care provider can prepare meals that work well as finger foods. Instead of salad, serve crudité. Instead of grilled chicken breast, serve chicken strips.

    Serve smaller meals and snacks frequently.

    It’s not always practical to expect a person with Alzheimer’s to eat a large meal. It’s often more feasible to gently coax him or her to eat small snacks between meals. Try serving nutritional supplement drinks or soft foods, such as eggs, pudding, or smoothies.

    Prepare your loved one’s favorite foods.

    Nutritious, well-balanced meals are important, but sometimes, it’s better to choose your battles wisely. Preparing your loved one’s favorite meals, even if they aren’t particularly healthy, can help stimulate his or her appetite.

  • Finding the Strength to Say Goodbye

    Death is never easy to talk about, especially when a loved one is in hospice care. Those who do find the strength to say goodbye often discover that their loved ones appreciate having a frank discussion. If you’re having trouble starting the conversation, consider talking to a counselor, spiritual leader, or hospice care provider in Memphis. death - dying

    Knowing When the Time is Right

    Generally, doctors hesitate to define an anticipated life expectancy for patients with terminal illnesses. It simply isn’t possible to accurately predict whether a patient has six months or six weeks to live. But hospice caregivers, who work with the dying every day, are attuned to the signs that the end of life is near. As your loved one approaches death, you’re likely to notice at least some of the following changes:

    • Refusal to eat and drink
    • Decrease in urine output
    • Decrease in body temperature
    • Significant increase in sleeping
    • Agitation and restlessness
    • Confusion and hallucinations
    • Sounds of chest congestion
    • Slow or shallow breathing
    • Periods of no breathing

    It’s your decision whether to wait to say goodbye until your loved one is close to death. Bear in mind that, depending on your loved one’s health condition, he or she may not be able to have a clear conversation with you toward the end of life. If you are emotionally able to do so, you may prefer to say goodbye when your loved one first enters end of life care.

    Starting the Conversation

    When it comes to end of life conversations, there really isn’t a great way to break the ice. Sit with your loved one, hold his or her hand, and tell your loved one that you’re there for him or her. Ask what you can do to help your loved one be more comfortable. Let your loved one know that you understand he or she is dying, and then ask if it’s a good time to talk about it. Try to avoid using euphemisms unless you think your loved one would prefer it. It’s possible that your loved one has been waiting for you to start the discussion and would rather speak frankly about it.

    Avoiding Future Regrets

    When planning to have the conversation, think of what you might regret not saying to your loved one after he or she is gone. He or she might live for weeks or even months after you’ve said goodbye, but there’s always the possibility that you won’t get another chance to say what you need to say.

  • Caregiver Stress 101

    Providing elder care to an aging parent brings significant challenges to a family. Caregiver stress is a term that refers to the physical and emotional challenges that can cause a family caregiver to feel overwhelmed and be more susceptible to ailments. It’s important to take caregiver stress seriously and to be proactive about dealing with it. Coping with the challenges of elder care is never easy, but respite care delivered by home health agencies in Memphis can help you tend to your loved one’s needs, as well as your own. caregiver - stress

    Physical Ailments

    The stress of family caregiving depresses the immune system and leaves individuals more vulnerable to physical health problems. If you’re like most family caregivers, you probably feel exhausted all the time, yet have trouble falling or staying asleep. You may unintentionally gain or lose weight, fail to eat a balanced diet, and neglect to exercise. You may catch colds more easily and suffer from frequent headaches. If you must lift your aging relative, you’ll likely experience lower back pain that may become chronic.

    Cognitive Impairments

    Chronic and severe stress can compromise one’s mental clarity . You may find it difficult to concentrate on work or even on leisure activities, if you still have time for these now and then. Your performance at work may decline and you might have trouble helping the kids with their homework. You may constantly forget things and you might have trouble with complex conversations.

    Emotional Challenges

    Caregiver stress can cause a wide range of emotional problems. It’s normal for family caregivers to sometimes experience anger. You may feel angry toward your aging loved one, despite knowing that he or she didn’t intentionally create these challenges and despite continuing to love your relative. You may feel anger toward other family members if you feel they haven’t given you enough help. Anxiety, depression, irritability, and social withdrawal are other common emotional challenges.

    Proactive Strategies

    Caregiver stress is practically inevitable for any family member who is trying to juggle the demands of elder care, work, kids, and personal needs. It simply isn’t possible to do everything by yourself, nor should you have to. Respite care is available from home health agencies. This is temporary, in-home care that lets you take a step back while still ensuring that your aging relative gets the help he or she needs. Use your time to go on a weekend get-away or simply to catch up on your responsibilities.

  • Why Do Cancer Patients Need Transportation Assistance?

    Unless a close family member has been diagnosed with cancer, it is often difficult for individuals to fully grasp the extent of the needs of these patients. Quite often, families dealing with cancer discover that they require in-home care provided by Caring Companions in Memphis. An assisted living provider can help cancer patients with a wide range of needs, including transportation to the dozens of doctor’s appointments that follow the diagnosis. Cancer patients may have multiple appointments in just one week for medical testing, oncology consultations, injections, and chemotherapy. If they are going through a round of radiation therapy, they will need to get to the radiation therapy clinic every day.

    It’s difficult for families to meet the many demands of cancer treatment. It is often necessary to arrange transportation from an assisted living provider because cancer patients cannot drive themselves to and from appointments for several reasons. Patients are usually taking powerful painkillers, which prevents them from driving. They are also likely to experience debilitating side effects from cancer and its treatment. In some cases, the patient may have significant mobility deficits and cannot get around the house by him- or herself, let alone drive a vehicle. But with transportation assistance, cancer patients can safely get to where they need to go for their care.
    elderly - transportation

  • Understanding the Physical and Cognitive Changes at the End of Life

    Even when a person is in hospice care, there is no way to accurately predict how long he or she has left. But there are many changes associated with the dying process. In a person with a terminal illness such as cancer, the final few days of life are collectively known as the active dying process or impending death. During this difficult time, it’s often preferable to arrange for end of life care in your Memphis-area home if you haven’t done so already. Professional end of life care relieves you of the burden of meeting your loved one’s needs and instead allows you to focus on the time you have left with him or her. elderly - care

    Mental State

    A terminal illness often inflicts severe fatigue on patients. This excessive tiredness becomes more pronounced during the active dying process . Your loved one is likely to fall asleep frequently, even in the midst of a conversation. Some patients become semi-comatose or completely comatose. Despite this, it’s thought that a person’s hearing is one of the last senses to go. Your loved one may still hear you when you offer comforting words.

    Sensory Changes

    Sensory changes can be difficult for a dying person’s loved ones to come to terms with. A hospice care provider may warn you to expect visual or auditory misperceptions. Your loved one might think the TV is on when it isn’t, for example. Visual and auditory hallucinations may also occur.

    Functional Impairment

    As a patient draws closer to death, the systems and functions of the body begin to slow down. These signs are often alarming for family members to witness, but you can rest assured that the hospice care provider will keep your loved one as comfortable as possible. Your loved one will feel colder to the touch. There will likely be changes in the rate and rhythm of breathing. The patient may stop breathing for a while or breathing may cycle from being quite rapid to very slow. There may be a rattling or gurgling sound with breathing; this is due to fluid accumulation in the lungs. When a person is close to death, he or she no longer accepts food or fluids and the urine output decreases dramatically. Do not be alarmed if the urine is an abnormal color.

    Clinical and Biological Death

    Clinical death is the first stage of death. It begins when a person’s heart stops beating. Within a matter of minutes, the lack of oxygen causes the brain cells to start dying off. This is known as biological death.

  • The Importance of Transitioning Care

    When a senior patient is discharged from the hospital , he or she is at a high risk of being re-admitted to the hospital within the first month. Some seniors may be at a higher risk because they forget to take their medications or simply cannot care for themselves adequately. This is why it is so important for families to arrange transitional care provided by a professional caregiver in Memphis. With transitional elderly care, families can rest assured that their loved ones are being well taken care of.

    Watch this video to find out more about the benefits of elderly care or consult a caregiver agency near you. The health expert featured here explains that an estimated one in five seniors is either re-admitted to the hospital or dies within one month of discharge. These risks decline gradually over the next year.

  • Protecting Your Health as a Caregiver

    Family caregivers are selfless individuals who restructure their daily lives in order to provide much-needed services to their loved ones. Providing elder care to an aging parent or other relative is a loving act, but it can also become a heavy burden that leads to ill health. Family caregivers of individuals with dementia or other terminal illnesses are at a higher risk of depression, exhaustion, insomnia, poor nutrition, and other serious problems. In order to provide excellent care for your loved one, it’s essential to care for yourself. Before you suffer from complete caregiver burnout, contact a caregiver agency in Memphis to arrange respite services.

    Respite care is a temporary arrangement in which a professional in-home caregiver looks after your loved one for a pre-determined time period. This may be a few hours or a few days. During this time, give yourself permission to relax and take care of yourself. Go to the gym, eat a nutritious meal, take a much-needed nap, or spend some time browsing at your local library. To get the most benefit out of temporary elder care services, consider arranging for them on an ongoing basis such as one day each week.

    at - home - care

  • Tips for Solving Sibling Disputes About Care Plans for Parents

    When aging parents begin to develop functional limitations or poor health, it’s time to discuss elder care if you haven’t done so already. Of course, if your parents are still mentally capable, they will make the decisions regarding their own assisted living services. But if you and your siblings are responsible for making these decisions, disagreements can easily arise regarding the best way to care for elders in Memphis . elderly - care

    Identify Underlying Conflicts

    Before you can develop a workable solution for sibling disagreements, it’s helpful to assess whether there is an underlying conflict. Siblings have a shared history that may contain unpleasant memories and rivalries. It’s challenging to address complex needs like in-home care and siblings can readily revert back to their childhood roles. Have a frank discussion with your siblings. Acknowledge that family dynamics may not be ideal, but that mom and dad need everyone to be on board with their care plan.

    Request a Neutral Assessment

    Another effective strategy is to introduce the guidance of a neutral third-party such as a professional in-home caregiver. Asking for a professional assessment of your parents’ needs is particularly helpful when you and your siblings disagree about the type and extent of care services your parents need. Perhaps the sibling who lives closest to mom and dad understands that their personal hygiene and housekeeping have been neglected, but siblings who live farther away aren’t convinced that these problems exist. Professional guidance can help all of the siblings gain a clearer understanding of the needs of the parents.

    Establish Open Communication

    Another common sibling dispute regarding elder care plans occurs when one adult child feels that he or she is shouldering an unfair amount of the work. Perhaps the other siblings live too far away to provide care or perhaps they simply aren’t comfortable in a caregiving role. It’s important to communicate these issues openly, rather than let resentment build up. The sibling who is performing most of the work might ask the other siblings to pay for respite care, for example. It’s to be expected that the parents’ needs will change over time. The sibling who is closest to mom and dad should make an effort to keep the others informed of any major changes.

  • How Loneliness Can Affect Health in Seniors

    Millions of seniors live alone in the U.S. Social isolation is quite common among seniors because of transportation and mobility difficulties, bereavement, and retirement from the workforce, among other factors. When seniors suffer from social isolation, they are at a higher risk of emotional, mental, and physical health problems that can jeopardize their longevity and reduce quality of life. One effective solution is assisted living . In-home caregivers in Memphis provide both the practical assistance and the companionship that seniors need to live life well. senior - loneliness

    Emotional Effects

    For many seniors, loneliness becomes an unfortunate fact of life. Without the loving companionship of an in-home caregiver, many seniors have little to look forward to each day. When a senior believes that his or her loneliness will last for the rest of his or her life, it becomes much more difficult to bear. Seniors who are socially isolated are at a higher risk of developing clinical depression and suicidal thoughts or actions.

    Mental Health

    Social isolation is a crucial source of cognitive stimulation. When seniors are chronically lonely, they may be more likely to display signs of memory loss, confusion, and other mental impairments. Studies also suggest that socially isolated seniors may develop dementia that progresses more rapidly than it otherwise would.

    Physical Wellness

    The wellness of the mind can significantly affect the health of the body. Seniors who are socially isolated , particularly those who struggle with depressive symptoms, have been shown to have an increased risk of high blood pressure and other cardiovascular health problems. They are also at risk of falls that can cause disabling injuries and mortality is more likely. A possible contributing factor to the decline in physical health of a socially isolated senior is that there is no elder care provider to offer medication reminders, prepare nutritious meals, and assist with mobility. Seniors with depression may neglect to eat or take care of their personal hygiene. Some of them may even choose to self-medicate their loneliness with alcohol. These problems are certainly alarming, but they are also preventable. Assisted living services allow seniors to remain connected with others while still living independently in their own homes.