How to Volunteer This Holiday Season

 

abc volunteer holidays.pngThe holidays are the perfect time to give back and help others. They’re a time to celebrate with friends and family. There are hundreds of organizations supporting those in during the holidays and throughout the year.  The holidays can be a wonderful time for seniors to get involved and share their

passion and talents with others through volunteering with these organizations.

Volunteering gives seniors a greater sense of purpose and bring more meaning to their days.  Knowing that they are helping others and making a difference can be very motivating and rewarding. It’s easy to find an opportunity or organization that fits with their interests, abilities, and schedule.

Here are just a few ways to get involved:

Soup Kitchens or Shelters: Serving meals during the holidays requires a lot of support. People are needed to prepare and serve food, greet families, set and clear tables, provide entertainment, put together to-go boxes, and much more. Seniors may also be able to help deliver meals to residents who are homebound. Also, shelters for homeless families such as Interfaith Housing Alliance in Ambler, PA may need clothing/food/furniture donations and drivers.

Food Banks: Help sort donations and put together holiday meal boxes or baskets for community members in need.  Volunteer locally at Mattie Dixon Food Pantry in Ambler, PA.

Make Something: Seniors can put their sewing, knitting, or crocheting skills to use to create hats, scarves, blankets, and other items that will be distributed throughout the community. They can take pride in knowing that they’re helping to keep someone warm.  Project Linus is a local organization for donated hand-made blankets.

Write Cards: They can decorate cards and write inspirational messages to others.  Cards may be sent to deployed troops who cannot be home with their families over the holidays through a cause such as Operation Gratitude. It lets the troops know that they are remembered and what they do is appreciated.

Visit Others: Seniors can also volunteer to spend time visiting other seniors who may be in assisted living or nursing homes. Having visitors can bring a smile to their face by providing companionship and an opportunity to play a game of cards or share memories.

There are so many different ways that seniors can help out. If they’re unsure about what to do, they can talk to friends and family and ask about ideas. Perhaps they could get a group together to volunteer. Others may also be able to direct them toward different opportunities or organizations looking for help. Volunteering is a great way to not only lift others’ spirits and lend a helping hand, but also to boost seniors’ own mood and give back.

Spending time out in the community also helps to ward off isolation and boredom, meet new people, stay active, and keep their mind sharp. Seniors can fill their time in constructive ways and know that they are part of something bigger than themselves. Volunteering can start a new tradition and give them something to look forward to, especially during times when family is not nearby.

Could you or your loved one use additional support or assistance over the holidays? Always Best Care provides flexible in-home care to meet seniors’ needs and help with a variety of activities around the home while also offering companionship. Give yourself greater peace of mind knowing that your loved one is receiving the care they need to age in place more safely and comfortably while making the most of each day. Contact Always Best Care at (267) 217-7059  dbaim@abc-seniors.com to schedule a free consultation.

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How to Fight Off Seasonal Depression

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While it can be beautiful to watch snowflakes as they fall gracefully to the ground and see the twinkle of holiday lights, winter also comes with shorter days and colder temperatures. This decrease in daylight hours may contribute to seniors developing seasonal affective disorder, also known as SAD or seasonal depression. SAD may leave seniors feeling more depressed, fatigued, and irritable and less motivated. Concentration and the ability to get things done becomes more difficult.

By staying involved in hobbies, older adults can fight back against seasonal depression and boost their mood. Engaging in activities which are enjoyable as well as socializing with others can increase serotonin levels in the brain and helps lift one’s spirits.

In terms of practical tips, if the weather is decent and sunny, but not too cold or windy, getting outside to go for a walk by yourself or with a companion can be helpful. Stop to enjoy the beauty of the world and the details that bring nature to life. Exposure to natural sunlight is also beneficial for fighting depression. If getting outside is not possible or safe, seniors can sit near a window or door as the sun’s rays shine through.

Here are some suggestions for indoor hobbies to help alleviate SAD:

  • Play cards or board games with friends. Seniors can enjoy one other’s company and the laughter it brings. Many community centers have bridge clubs, activities and other groups for seniors.
  • Start a book club. Escape to another world through reading and engage in lively discussion about the story to stimulate the mind.
  • Create.   Whether seniors enjoy painting, knitting, crocheting, building models, or working on DIY projects, these are valuable ways they can keep busy and explore their creativity. They are also beneficial outlets for self-expression and also a fun way to make handmade gifts for the holidays.
  • Sign up for an exercise class like yoga, Pilates, or Zumba. Physical activity increases endorphins, which help people to feel happier and more positive. Plus, it can help seniors stay in shape over the winter.
  • Scrapbook to cherish all of the memories they’ve made and reflect on good times. It can also be a wonderful way to share these memories with others and have something to look at if they’re feeling down and need a pick-me-up.

There are countless other activities to do as well such as playing an instrument, getting involved in a senior theater group, volunteering in the community, baking, or joining a social club. Seniors should follow their interests and explore new opportunities as well. Make it a point to be social instead of becoming isolated.  Take a look at our Pinterest boards to gather even more ideas for winter activities.
An in-home caregiver can be a wonderful source of companionship and also support seniors in attending a variety of activities or events.

how-to-fight-off-seasonal-depression-this-winterAlways Best Care Senior Services provides personalized care for seniors to help individuals make the most of each day and safely age in place. Seniors can build wonderful friendships and have someone to talk to, eat meals and attend events with, and assist with entertaining and other tasks. The holidays can be a difficult time for seniors, but staying active and having someone to check in on them can help things to run more smoothly. Contact Always Best Care today  at (267) 217-7059 or  dbaim@abc-seniors.com for a free consultation and to learn more about how in-home care can support seniors.

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Respite Care: Giving a Break to Caregivers

abc-respite-careRespite Care: Giving a Break to Caregivers

Caring for an aging parent is a very rewarding and fulfilling experience knowing that you are giving back and supporting a loved one. You know they are safe and taken care of because you are assuming these responsibilities yourself. However, caregiving can also be exhausting, especially if your loved one has dementia, Alzheimer’s, or other medical conditions. When you devote so much time to caring for a loved one, you may put your own health and well-being on hold.

Respite care provides relief for the family caregiver and an opportunity for you to take a much-needed break so that you can be the best caregiver possible. One individual should not be expected to do it all on their own, and there is nothing wrong with asking for help or admitting that you need some time off.
In fact, it shows how much you care about your loved one and want what is best for them.

You may opt for respite care services a few hours a week or every few weeks. During this time, focus on the following:

  • Recharge your own batteries

Use this downtime to take care of your own needs, whether that means catching up with friends over lunch, getting your nails done, hitting a round of golf, running errands, going to an overdue appointment, or simply relaxing. Give your mind a break and focus on other important aspects of your life so that upon return, you can give more energy and attention to your loved one.

  • Have peace of mind knowing they’re in good hands

Respite caregivers are well-trained to work with seniors and help them with activities of daily living or provide stimulating companionship. You’ll know that while you are doing other things, your loved one is receiving the care and quality attention they need and deserve. It is comforting to know someone else is available to step in and provide continuity of care when you need to step out.

  • Enjoy a change of pace

Caring for an aging parent can be exhausting and you may get stuck in the same routine. Giving yourself a break changes things up and allows you more time to pursue your own interests. You may decide to sign up for an art or photography class, take Zumba or yoga, or join a recreational sports team. Or maybe you want to explore the local museum or library and have some quiet time to yourself.

  • Gain perspective

When you step out of your normal routine and have a chance to reflect and think things through, a clearer perspective is realized. You may find that your aging parent needs more help or support than you thought. This is also an opportunity to  discover additional resources or supports allowing you to better balance your own life and needs with those of your loved one.

Always Best Care provides senior services that can give you the break you need and deserve while ensuring that your loved one is in good hands. In-home caregivers can be a wonderful source of companionship, help your senior stay organized and complete tasks around the home, support meal prep, escort them to activities, ensure they’re taking their medication as prescribed, assist with morning or nighttime routines, and much more. You can schedule caregiving for times that fit with your schedule and commitments. Give yourself peace of mind knowing that your loved one is in excellent hands while you’re away. Contact Always Best Care at (267) 217-7059 or email David Baim, dbaim@abc-seniors.com, to arrange a free consultation and learn more about valuable senior services.

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Celebrate the Holidays with Aging Parents

Always Best Care Senior Services Plymouth Meeting PAGoing Home for the Holidays to Celebrate with Aging Parents

The holiday season is upon us, and it’s traditionally a time for travel, celebration, and family. It can be exciting for seniors to spend time with family members they may not have the opportunity to see very often. Going home for the holidays is also an opportunity to check in on your aging parent and ensure that they’re doing well and have the support they need.

Here are a few ways to make the most of your trip back home:

Keep your loved one involved. Whether your aging parent has some mobility issues or is dealing with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, it is still nice to feel a part of things. Modify your planned activities so that they can partake as well, whether you’re cooking, baking, decorating, or going on an outing.

Create healthy meals. Take into consideration any special dietary considerations, such as low sodium, low sugar or soft foods. Plan a meal that is full of flavor, provides balanced nutrition, and doesn’t exclude your senior from enjoying the same delicious offerings as other guests. Pack up healthy leftovers in freezer containers for them to enjoy after the family goes back home.

Carry out family traditions or start new ones. Is there one aspect of the holidays that your loved one has always enjoyed such as going around the table giving thanks or making a special dessert? Keep the tradition going to give them a continued sense of routine and stability. Or, if the holidays are more difficult after a family member’s passing, start a new tradition to honor them and initiate a positive distraction.

Observe your senior at home. Evaluate how well they are able to navigate around their home and care for themselves. Are they showing signs of depression or forgetfulness? Are they having trouble keeping up with housekeeping or mail? You may start considering in-home care so that they can continue age in-place safely and comfortably.  Caregivers provide various opportunities to meet your loved one’s needs, whether it’s a few hours a week or a couple of hours a day.

Be in the present. Most importantly, relish the time you are able to spend together. Put aside work and other distractions and focus on spending quality time with your aging parent. Reminisce about the past, watch a favorite movie together, share delicious treats, and appreciate how much they mean to you. Make it a point to coordinate regular phone calls or visits to keep in touch and see how they are doing, especially if you don’t live nearby.

Celebrate all that the holidays have to offer and time spent with family and friends. If you are concerned about your loved one’s well-being and their ability to meet all of their needs living alone, contact Always Best Care Senior Services to find out how we can help. Call (267) 217-7059 to learn more about the benefits of in-home care and how to customize services aligning with your loved one’s individual needs. Give yourself peace of mind this holiday season by knowing they have the support they need when you’re unable to be there.

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