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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Fruits and Vegetables to Eat this Summer

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASummer is a great time to check out your local farmers market or supermarket and stock up on fresh produce. Not only can fruits and vegetables be a healthy snack, they can also add flavor, nutrients, and other benefits as a side dish or main meal. Selecting seasonal produce can also save you money. Increase interest in eating healthy by letting family members pick out their favorite fruits and vegetables to snack on or prepare for meals.

As you’re perusing the aisles or stands, here are a few fruits and vegetables to consider which have valuable health benefits and delicious tastes:

  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes are a wonderful source of lycopene, an antioxidant, as well as vitamin C. As an added bonus, lycopene can also help to protect your skin from sun damage.  Tomatoes are also a good source of potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, and copper.
  • Watermelon: Hydration is especially important during hot summer days, and watermelon is a great source since it is around 92 percent water. It is also low calorie, contains lycopene, antioxidants and amino acids.
  • Radishes: Often overlooked, this vegetable can be a great addition to salads and meals. Radishes are high in water content and a good source of vitamin C, folate, potassium, and fiber.
  • Berries: Stock up on strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries, which are high in fiber and vitamin C. They also contain flavonoids that may support cognitive health and skin health.
  • Avocados: Avocados are considered a superfood and a healthy source of monounsaturated fat which can boost heart health. However, eat them in moderation as they are high in calories.  They are loaded with potassium and fiber.
  • Corn: You may not consider this starchy vegetable to be healthy, but it does have its benefits. Corn contains antioxidants that can help protect eye health and reduce risk of age-related macular degeneration. Whether its white, yellow, blue, purple or red corn, each color signifies various levels of antioxidants and nutrients.
  • Peaches: Peaches pack a punch with 10 different vitamins and plenty of fiber. They’re low in calories and also contain other essential nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
  • Zucchini: This versatile vegetable can be eaten raw, baked, grilled, or boiled. Many people replace traditional pasta with zucchini instead. (By either slicing it thin or by using a spiralizer.) Zucchini is low in calories, contain no fat or cholesterol, and is packed with vitamin C, fiber, and potassium.

You and your family can eat these foods plain, just as they are, or you can spice things up by adding a variety of seasonings or combining them with other foods. The possibilities are endless. A quick recipe search can yield many ways to prepare these fruits and vegetables in dishes your family will love. Having plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables on hand make for a quick and simple choice when it comes to grabbing a healthy snack.

Make sure your senior is eating right all year long by getting them the support they need. An in-home caregiver can assist with meal planning, grocery shopping, meal preparation, checking food expirations, and providing companionship during meal times. Help your loved one live a safer, healthier lifestyle by contacting Always Best Care today to schedule a free consultation! Call (267) 217-7059 to speak with David Baim.

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Caregiver Training Should Be Ongoing

iStock10540746XSmallNursewwomanandwalkerIt can be a major decision to entrust the care of your senior to someone else, even if just for a few hours a day. You want to make sure that they are getting high quality care and that their caregiver is trained how to respond to a wide range of scenarios and issues. When choosing a senior care company to provide in-home care, it is a good idea to ask many questions about their training and certifications. Find out what areas caregivers are trained in and how often training occurs.  Ask about background checks and references.  A reputable agency makes training and quality care top priorities and promotes professional development of its staff.

Training should be ongoing in the following areas:

Safety

In-home caregivers should be looking out for your senior’s safety in all they do. This ranges from assisting them in safely transferring from the bed or a chair to making sure the kitchen is set up in a way to prevent hazards. First aid and CPR certifications can also be very valuable should an emergency arise.

Caregivers can also promote better safety by assisting with meal preparation and light cleaning, managing medication, and supporting self-care activities. By having a well-trained caregiver, they will know to alert you with concerns they may have about your loved one’s safety and support your senior with activities they may struggle with on their own.  Read more about home improvement safety for your senior loved one here.

Mental Health

It is not uncommon for seniors to develop Alzheimer’s or dementia as they age. However, these conditions can be difficult to handle without a solid understanding of how they affect seniors and how to cope with the challenges they present. Talk to the caregiver about their training in these areas and their approach to caring for someone with cognitive impairments. You want your loved one to feel comfortable and respected as they face troubles with their memory and you want their caregiver to be sensitive to these issues and know how to effectively respond.  Some examples of how to respond include not arguing with a loved one who has memory loss and pureeing food for an individual who is forgetting to swallow.

Senior Care

Caregivers should also be well-versed in the changing needs of seniors as they age. This means helping them to stay physically and mentally active and engaged, recognizing when they need more support and when they can do things independently, and creating an environment that is conducive to aging in place. This also means being aware of challenges that seniors face, whether it’s changes in their physical or mental health, losing loved ones, or having to transition to a higher level of care. All of these things should be addressed with compassion and sensitivity.  Many online tools are also available for reference to caregivers.  The Alzheimer’s Association has message boards available for both caregivers and loved ones.
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Ongoing training ensures that caregivers are equipped to handle whatever comes their way and are up-to-date on best practices and the latest policies and procedures. Always Best Care ensures that all of its caregivers receive current training that helps them to be more well-rounded and provide exceptional care for clients. Contact Always Best Care at (267) 217-7059 or email dbaim@abc-seniors.com to learn more about our commitment to care and training and how it can benefit your loved one as they age.

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5 Simple Home-Improvement Ideas for Increased Senior Safety

Seniors these days prefer to stay at home in their post retirement lives. Not long ago, nursing homes and other such facilities represented the next step in senior life for those who could no longer manage on their own. Today, however, our aging population is living longer — and staying at home longer — than any previous generation, preferring to live in a way that allows them to retain their routines with the help of loving family members, friends and specially trained caregivers, like those employed by Always Best Care. Staying at home not only requires the help of caring individuals; it also often requires changes and improvements to the home.

Are you concerned about a senior loved one’s ability to stay safe at home? Have a look at these five home-improvement ideas for increased senior safety! They are relatively easy to implement, and they will give you and your loved ones increased peace of mind.

#1 — Install Lever-Style Doorknobs

Opening and closing doors is something that most of us take for granted. But for seniors, it can become a real chore. Replacing traditional, round doorknobs with lever-style knobs can make a huge difference. The lever style is much easier to operate, especially for seniors who may suffer from arthritis or other common maladies that affect bones, joints and motor skills.

#2 — Install Grab Bars in the Bathroom

For many seniors, the bathroom is one of the most dangerous rooms in the house — if not the most dangerous. Providing grab bars near the toilet and in the shower/bath enclosure can give seniors something to hang onto when they find themselves in awkward positions. Grab bars can be purchased and installed for very little money, too, making this improvement an easy one to implement.

#3 — Remove Unnecessary Furniture

Sometimes seniors accumulate so much furniture that their homes turn into obstacle courses. One way to make the home a safer and more comfortable space for living is to evaluate the furniture and determine if any of it can be removed. This process engages the senior, and it ultimately makes the home easier and safer to navigate.

5 Simple Home-Improvement Ideas for Increased Senior Safety#4 — Let there Be Light!

Accidents often happen because people don’t see where they’re going. This is true on the road, but it’s also true in many seniors’ homes. Using bright, energy-efficient bulbs can make a significant difference in the probability of an accident or a fall. Inspect your loved one’s home and see if you can replace bulbs and adjust fixtures so that all activities are well lit. Consider installing motion-detecting night lights, too, for extra illumination.

#5 — Make Sure Rugs Don’t Slip

Rugs that slip around on smooth surfaces are accidents waiting to happen, no matter how deftly your senior loved one handles them. You can purchase new, anti slip rugs inexpensively, or simply use caulk or grip tape to make the rugs less slippery — and much less dangerous!

Learn More

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can make your loved one’s home safer, Always Best Care is here to help! Call us today at(267) 217-7059  for more information.

From Always Best Care Senior Services Blog

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Deals for Veterans

Please join us in honoring U.S. Veterans on Veterans Day,  Nov. 11, 2015. Thank you for your service to our nation!
Additionally, there are many restaurants and companies who want to thank our veterans by providing them with discounts or a free meal. To those companies offering veterans a free meal or discount, thank you for supporting our heroes!
Go to Applebees, California Pizza Kitchen, Bob Evans, Carraba’s, Chili’s, Denny’s, Friendly’s, Menche’s and many more.  See the list here.

Please bring your Military ID and call ahead to locations to confirm their discounts.

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Walk to End Alzheimer’s

alzheimers walk
The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s® is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide, this inspiring event calls on participants of all ages and abilities to reclaim the future for millions.

The Philadelphia Walk is Sunday, November 8, 2015 at Citizens Bank Park. Registration at 9am, Contact: Keely Boyle 215-561-2919 DelvalWalk@alz.org

Together, we can end Alzheimer’s disease, the nation’s sixth-leading cause of death.
Our mission (Alzheimer’s Association)
To eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

Our vision
A world without Alzheimer’s disease.

For more information go to Alz.org

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