Posts Tagged ‘senior care advice’

Technology Changes the In-home Care Landscape

Posted on: June 25th, 2015 by Kim McCreery

Senior couple video conferenceTechnology has revolutionized in-home care, for patients, caregivers and loved ones. For decades, being “home” had the potential to become extremely isolating, as aging parents and relatives were often cut off from their families and social circles due to immobility and lack of comfortable access, transportation and support. However, with the proliferation of smart technology, social media and interactive telecommunications platforms, senior home care means more connection, comfort and engagement than ever before.

Many new technology entrants to the marketplace have infinite applications for home care services, from traditional medical applications to socially-driven engagement capabilities. Not only do these tools bring a much-needed peace of mind to seniors, their caregivers and loved ones, but more importantly, they enable more freedom, more independence and an increased quality of life. Nowadays, just because you’re home doesn’t mean you can’t connect, converse and feel like you’re a part of something outside of your immediate surroundings. And likewise, should a medical emergency arise, it’s these tech enhancements that keep loved ones safe and cared for. Here are a few favorites:

  • Webcams: Installing webcams throughout the home allows both family members and caregivers the ability to virtually check in on the senior at any time. Webcams also allow family members who live far way to video chat with their loved ones.
  • Sensor Monitors: In conjunction with webcams, sensors can be placed throughout the home to track movement. These are particularly handy for seniors with ambulation or wandering issues. Most sensor systems connect to a TV or computer monitor and an Internet connection.
  • Medical Alert Pendants: These handy devices have been around for a few years now, but continue to be updated to increase effectiveness. They are worn by the senior and the button is pressed in the event of a fall or other emergency, connecting the senior to 911 or another emergency response service.
  • Automatic Pill Reminders/Dispensers: These are perfect for patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. An alarm goes off, alerting the senior to take his or her medication by voice message, and dispenses the correct dosage. If the senior misses a dose, an alert is sent to the caregiver after 90 minutes.

At Home Solutions provides a monthly rental service for automatic pill reminder dispensers and medical alert pendants. There is no long-term commitment and there is always the option to purchase the equipment. Contact At Home Solutions today to learn more.

And don’t forget about some of the non-traditional medical and personal care technology—platforms like Facebook, Skype and Facetime as well as gaming platforms such as Wii Fit and Lumosity which add a much-needed layer of engagement, excitement and enjoyment to provide an overall greater quality of life.

Besides providing assistance with in-home technology for seniors, At Home Solutions provides a wide variety of home care services, including personal care, transportation, light housekeeping and specialized disease care management and education. At the core of these home care services is a commitment to creating an increased emotional wellbeing, added social engagement and the utmost in safety and security. Learn more about how At Home Solutions provides a different kind of home care in the Mesa and Casa Grande areas.

Giving Loved Ones Independence by Stepping Back

Posted on: June 10th, 2015 by Kim McCreery

CookingAn increased number of seniors are choosing to remain at home during their elder years, even in the face of injury, illness and ongoing conditions. For adult children, caring for aging parents can prove rife with physical, emotional and social challenges, as they increase their capacity as caregiver and become more and more involved in the day-to-day tasks this critical role requires.

It’s easy to get caught up in the role of caregiver when the situation arises—your parents have done so much for you that, when they reach a point in their lives when help is needed, it’s natural for you to want to do everything you can to make sure they are taken care of. However, it’s important to remember that, for the majority of seniors, maintaining independence was a key factor in their decision to stay at home. While your efforts may be well meaning, it can sometimes be a slippery slope—it’s easy to go from caring for an elderly parent to doing everything for your parent. And often, this well-meaning hands-on caregiving can have an adverse effect on inspiring self-sufficiency and overall day-to-day freedom. As a caregiver, you should strive to promote the independence of your loved one, not take over everything.

Why is promoting independence in seniors so important?

  • Independence enables aging family members to continue making contributions to society, and feel good about that influence.
  • Self-sufficiency gives seniors a sense of achievement and self-worth, critical during their later years.
  • Being able to tackle some tasks independently promotes future self-reliance—if they can do this, they can probably handle that!
  • Independence fights frustration and feelings of futility, even in the wake of illness, injury and general aging.

In these situations, it’s important to put yourself in your aging parents’ shoes. How would you feel if there were things you could do, but weren’t allowed to because someone else had taken over? Allowing your loved ones to do things for themselves provides a sense of purpose and can make them feel self-assured. Bringing in professional assistance from a home care agency such as At Home Solutions also increases your parents’ feeling of empowerment and ability to function successfully at home.

At Home Solutions provides a broad range of companion home care services  across the greater Mesa and Casa Grande area, from light housekeeping and meal preparation to general assistance and lifestyle tasks. Many times through this outside intervention, both elderly parents and their adult children can learn to work better together to foster self-reliance, independence and a better overall quality of life. Contact At Home Solutions today to learn more.

Top Ten Holiday Activities for Older Seniors

Posted on: November 26th, 2012 by Kim McCreery No Comments

Holiday Activities for Older Seniors

Thanksgiving is over and Christmas activities are just beginning. If you are fortunate enough to have an older senior in your life, it’s important to involve them in seasonal festivities. But sometimes it’s a challenge to figure out what to do with your loved one–meaning how to best engage them without overwhelming them. So to help you with ideas, we’ve put together a list of top ten holiday activities. Our older seniors are treasures who won’t be around forever, so make sure you do something special with yours this year!

  1. Create a memory album with pictures, captions, and favorite recipes.
  2. Take a drive to look at holiday lights.
  3. Plan an afternoon outing to the local beauty shop or bring a beautician in to the home for hair and nails.
  4. Cook a special meal together.
  5. Plan in advance
    to attend a holiday concert, play, or parade.
  6. Organize a sing-along of holiday favorites for your neighborhood. Make it a small potluck gathering.
  7. Read favorite holiday stories out-loud to a senior.
  8. Watch TV holiday specials together.
  9. String popcorn or cranberries for the tree.
  10. Reminisce about past holidays. Play oldies music to stimulate those memories.

Remember that simple and upbeat activities are best. Holiday events needn’t be elaborate, expensive, or overly long. Crowds and excessive noise can sometimes make older seniors anxious, so choose activities that are more relaxed and intimate. Events featuring children always bring a special joy!

Kim

Laughter is Good Medicine for Seniors and Caregivers

Posted on: November 8th, 2012 by Kim McCreery No Comments

 

Playful Laughter!

 

Laughter has many scientifically proven benefits for our mind/body/spirit. A daily dose of laughter can make a huge difference in the life of an older adult who might be dealing with physical ailments, isolation and depression. It can also provide a much needed lift for those dedicated caregivers who often neglect their own health. Here are a few of the sometimes surprising benefits.

  1. Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed
    for up to 45 minutes after.
  2. Laughter boosts the immune system.Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
  3. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
  4. Laughter lowers blood pressure and increases muscle range of motion.
  5. Laughter is great exercise. Dr. William Fry, well-known research scientist from Stanford University, scientifically proved that 10 minutes of laughter is equal to 30 minutes on the rowing machine. Laughter is a great cardiovascular workout. As an exercise, it has similar benefits as compared to other aerobic activities like jogging, swimming, and cycling.

Read more about the benefits of laughter at http://www.rxlaughter.org/t_reference.htm

Not finding anything funny? Practice laughing for no reason and you’ll reap the same benefits from fake laughter as you will from genuine laughter. Make it your goal to laugh continuously for 10 minutes a day, every day. You’ll be amazed at the difference it will make in your life!

At Home Solutions offers free classes on laughter yoga in the communities we serve. Laughter Yoga combines playful laughing exercises and deep breathing, no contortion required! Classes are taught by a certified laughter yoga leader and are appropriate for seniors and adults with disabilities. For more information, call 1-888-496-3983

Older Seniors Can Benefit Big From a Little Help

Posted on: October 19th, 2012 by Kim McCreery No Comments

 

“I get by with a little help from my friends…”

This famous line from a Beatles song could be considered a life truism. All of our great accomplishments–whether it be winning the American War for Independence (thank you France, Spain, and the Dutch), building the Brooklyn Bridge, or creating a strong and healthy family–were the result of people working together to achieve a common goal.

Our goal
at At Home Solutions is to improve the quality of life for seniors and adults with disabilities who wish to remain in the comfort of their own homes. We understand that a little help can go a long way, so in addition to providing compassionate and skilled caregivers to help with the activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, meal preparation, housekeeping, medication reminders, transportation… to name a few!) we also collaborate with community agencies and trusted care partners like Geriatric Care Manager Lisa Nelson of A-Z Senior Solutions to meet our client’s various needs. Our combined efforts and resources make living at home a comfortable and manageable reality for hundreds of seniors and adults with disabilities in Arizona.

Upcoming post… Laughter: Why it’s so good for seniors. And a story on how a caregiver made a huge difference in a client’s life.

Kim

Welcome to Kim’s Blog

Posted on: October 18th, 2012 by Kim McCreery No Comments

 

Hello!

Welcome to my blog where I will be sharing heart-warming, inspirational, and often humorous caregiving thoughts, ideas, stories, and more.  Helping older adults, adults with disabilities, and those recovering from an illness or injury is both a passion and a privilege for me. After 15 years in the home care industry, I have a lot of tried and true information to share–information which can benefit seniors, their spouses, and their adult children as they navigate the often challenging journey of aging. Most seniors want to stay in their homes as long as possible. Our in-home caregiving services and partnerships turn this wish into a comfortable and safe reality.

Kim