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.

Advertisements
Standard

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.

Standard

Managing Money as you Age

6355351769_766503f534_bFinances are something we all worry about throughout our lives, but particularly so as we age. Typically, as you get older income decreases but expenses stay constant or sometimes increase. However, with the right strategies and plans in place, you should stretch your budget and still live comfortably in retirement.

Change up your Savings: As you hit your 40s and 50s, start rethinking your savings. How is your retirement savings looking? It can be worthwhile to put more of your income into a savings account or bonds. Don’t forget to take advantage of matching contributions by your employer. Seek out a financial planner so you make informed decisions with your hard-earned money.

Evaluate Monthly Expenses: Track where your money is really going. As much as you want to help others, consider your own needs. Look for unnecessary expenses or areas where to cut back. Can you cut costs by going with another provider, consolidating, or refinancing any loans? Consider downsizing your home if you have unused extra space with high maintenance costs just eating into your budget. You can still live well on less!

What daily or weekly activities are eating away at your savings? You also have to weigh these items with what gives you the most joy in your life.

Look for ways to Save: Take advantage of discount and savings programs on things like prescriptions, travel, and purchases. Look for sales, use coupons, and ask for senior discounts when possible.   Memberships at Costco, AAA and other club-like companies offer many savings incentives.

Hold out on Social Security: If you can wait a few more years to start drawing Social Security, you may receive higher payments. This may help stretch your income as you age and help your savings last a little longer.

Stay Active: Cut back on healthcare expenses by staying active and becoming proactive about your health. Maintain a healthy diet and engage in regular physical activity to stay in shape and ward off illness and injury.  Schedule maintenance visits to the doctor and don’t ignore any warning signs of illness or disease.

Think Ahead: Be realistic about the future. If you know you won’t be working for another 10 years, don’t plan your finances around the idea that you will. Weigh the costs and benefits of aging in place, downsizing, or moving to an assisted living community. Look at all of the associated expenses to decide the optimal time to buy and sell or to make other major transitions. Selling furniture and property you no longer need can also be a way to provide some extra income.

Have an Open Discussion:  Invite your children into your financial world and share your fiscal information.  They are probably going to be helping you down the road so why not give them any monetary surprises.  Make sure they are clear on your plans for your home and any other large assets.

Practicing good financial skills can allow you to maximize your savings and get the most out of your retirement. Just because you are on a fixed income doesn’t mean you can’t live comfortably. The earlier you start planning and managing your money wisely, the better off you will be. Saving a little bit at a time can add up over the years.

If you’re weighing your options and looking toward senior services or assisted living, contact Always Best Care today to schedule a free consultation. We can also assist you with referrals as necessary. It’s not too early to start planning for your future and lining up the supports and services you may need as you age. Call  David Baim at Always Best Care (267) 217-7059 Or email dbaim@abc-seniors.com to get started.
abcstock3

Standard

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.

Standard

Alzheimer’s… When Do You Need Assisted Living?

abcstock4Making the decision to move a loved one from living on their own with in-home care to an assisted living facility can be a difficult choice. However, sometimes it’s a necessary one, especially if your loved one has Alzheimer’s disease. It can help to keep things consistent and allow them to remain in a familiar setting, but that is not always the safest option.

As Alzheimer’s progresses, your aging parent may become disoriented, agitated and forgetful more frequently. This can put them and others at risk. It can be burden for you as a caregiver to try to manage your own family on top of caring for an aging parent with Alzheimer’s disease.

abc stock1
Here are some signs your loved one may benefit from assisted living:

  • They get lost. If they have the tendency to wander and lose their way, this can be very dangerous, especially if they are outside or still driving. An assisted living facility is more secure and has round-the-clock monitoring to keep your loved one safe and prevent roaming.
  • They are unsafe by themselves. Has your senior been falling more often? Do they forget to turn the oven off or answer the door to strangers? You can’t be there all of the time. When they are alert, they may be very safe and independent, but you never know when confusion will set in.
  • Their self-care has decreased. Has your loved one been forgetting to drink, eat or take medication? Do they have dirty clothes, unwashed hair or a messier house than usual? If your parent has started to falter on basic activities of daily living and having trouble caring for themselves, assisted living can offer the support they need.
  • They are aggressive or agitated. Changes in mood and behavior can become more common as Alzheimer’s progresses. This can be stressful on you and other family members. Your aging parent may have outbursts and become difficult to deal with. They may need more support and attention than you are able to provide.
  • You’re becoming stressed out. When your aging parent’s needs become more demanding due to their Alzheimer’s, this can be physically, mentally, and emotionally draining. While you are trying to keep up with your own needs and responsibilities while simultaneously tending to theirs. This can put a strain on your relationship and not allow you to really enjoy the time spent together.

Assisted living can give you peace of mind. You are confident your loved one is safe and  well cared for. Their needs are being met and you don’t have to handle everything on your own. This can allow you to appreciate the time you do spend together and make the most of these opportunities. Your loved one will also have access to more resources and activities that can support a higher quality of living. It can be tough to admit your loved one needs more help, however, it’s usually best for everyone.

Always Best Care can work with you to choose the right assisted living community for your loved one. We have built strong connections within the community and will help you find a placement that best suits your senior’s needs. We offer assisted living services for free to all of our clients as yet another way we can support you and your family. Contact David Baim, at Always Best Care , (267) 217-7059 or email dbaim@abc-seniors.com for more information.

Standard

5 Signs It’s Time For Assisted Living

abc stock 5
Many seniors view living on their own as a sign of independence, and it’s one they’re often not ready to give up. Driving to the supermarket, meeting with friends or paying the bills on their own are activities which give seniors a sense of pride and content.

With support from an in-home care provider, your loved one may be able to age in place for a longer period of time, however, there comes a point when assisted living becomes more beneficial. Much of their independence can be maintained, but having a safer, monitored environment seems to ease family member worry.

It can be a difficult decision to transition your aging parent to an assisted living facility, but it can give you peace of mind to know they are living a higher quality life with all of the necessary supports  . There is never a perfect time to make the switch, but here are a few warning signs that may indicate assisted living could be beneficial:

1. Cognitive decline.

Is your elderly parent developing dementia or Alzheimer’s? Are they becoming more forgetful and putting their own health and safety at risk? Occasional forgetfulness may not be a big deal, but as it progresses and you notice the state of their home and hygiene declining, it may be time to step in.  Take a look at their banking practices or bill payments from time-to-time and ask their neighbors or friends what they think if there is cause for concern.

2. Mobility issues.

Slips and falls can come with a variety of consequences. If your loved one is having more trouble getting around and you notice they have bumps and bruises, they may be better suited for assisted living. In an assisted living environment,  if they fall, someone can respond more quickly. Their room can also be set up with less clutter, more space, and more safety features.

3. Trouble keeping up with daily tasks.

Have they forgotten to take the trash out again or do laundry? Is there hardly any food in the refrigerator and the plants haven’t been watered in several days? Do they have trouble getting their shoes on or getting dressed? Are they eating, drinking enough and sleeping when they should? Most people are expected to easily accomplish these activities when living on their own. If they’re having trouble keeping up, more support may be necessary.

4. Isolation.

Has your loved one stopped meeting up with friends or going to their favorite diner? Are they staying at home more than they’re interacting with others? Assisted living can help them to remain more social, meet friends, and stay involved in activities they enjoy. Isolation can lead to depression and other concerns.

5. Trouble driving.

Driving requires good vision, hearing, reaction time, decision making, problem solving, mobility, and more. If your loved one is getting into fender benders, forgetting where they’re going, or is hesitant to get behind the wheel at all, this can impact their quality of life. They’re not able to run errands and grocery shop, they become more isolated, and it can be restricting. In an assisted living facility, they don’t have to worry about these things. Transportation can be provided for them, and the facility may offer a number of services.

No one wants to take their loved one from home and move them to assisted living, but it can be the best decision for everyone involved. Your loved one should thrive in their new environment and you can know they are safe and happy.

Always Best Care offers free assisted living placement services to help you find the right facility and level of care for your aging parent. We work with facilities throughout the area and can help you find one that meets your loved one’s needs. Let us help you by contacting Always Best Care at (267) 217-7059.

Standard

Senior Diets and Nutrition

alwaysbestcareseniors nutrition17512-an-elderly-woman-washing-produce-pvAs we age, our nutritional needs change. Seniors and older adults have different needs than children and younger adults. Many seniors also require fewer calories than they once did depending on their level of physical activity. Older women need between 1,600 and 2,200 calories while older men need between 2,000 and 2,800 calories.

Certain medications and health conditions can also impact our nutrition. For instance, someone with diabetes, celiac or heart disease will have different dietary guidelines than someone who doesn’t. There are several things that seniors should keep in mind when it comes to nutrition:

  • Increase Protein

Seniors can often benefit from adding more protein to their diets. Not only can this help reduce muscle loss, it can also boost mood and support clearer thinking. Lean meat and seafood can be a good source of protein, but nuts, seeds, and beans can be as well for more plant-based protein.  Milk, cheese, eggs, yogurt, soy or a meal replacement bar with added protein are all ideal sources.

  • Increase Fiber

Fiber promotes improved digestion and can reduce risk of heart disease and diabetes. It can also enhance your immune system.There are two types of fiber:  Soluble fiber is found in oats, oat bran, peas, rice bran, legumes/beans, apples, and citrus fruits. Examples of insoluble fiber include whole wheat flour, wheat bran, rye, cabbage, carrots, brussel sprouts and nuts.

  • Mediterranean Diet

Studies have shown that a Mediterranean diet can be beneficial for seniors. This type of diet involves replacing butter with healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil, using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods and limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month. It also includes pasta and fresh bread. It includes very little processed foods so that seniors gain more benefits from the natural vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. The Mediterranean diet can be beneficial for helping to manage high cholesterol and diabetes.

  • Spice Things Up

As we age, our sense of taste can change. Medications can also affect how foods taste. A healthy option is to add more herbs and spices to meals to enhance the flavor. Fresh herbs can make dishes more flavorful without increasing calories, sodium, or other unwanted elements.

  • Incorporate Tomatoes

Tomatoes hold a lot of nut
ritional benefits. They’re high in antioxidants, lycopene, vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, beta-carotene, and potassium. They’re also very versatile and low in calories. Tomatoes can boost heart health and reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, build stronger bones, support improved eyesight, aid in digestion, and potentially help lower cancer risk  – all of which can be concerns for seniors.

  • Find the Right Texture

Dentures and difficulties with swallowing can affect senior nutrition. Preparing foods that are easy to eat and digest can promote a healthier appetite and diet. Ensure that foods are still flavorful and diverse even when softened, thickened, or pureed.  Look out for popcorn, sticky candy and nuts.  Instead choose sugar-free gum, olives and seedless grapes.

  • Stay Hydrated

Along with eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, seniors should also ensure that they’re drinking plenty of fluids – especially water. Staying hydrated helps with digestion and overall wellbeing. Seniors may feel less thirsty as they age, but it’s still important to keep drinking throughout the day. Add more flavor to beverages with slices of lemon, lime, or other fresh fruits.

Eating a well-balanced diet is important at every age but can help support a healthier, more active lifestyle for seniors. Check out the NIH (National Institute of Health) website for more information about Senior Nutrition. If making meals is a challenge, or your senior struggles because they’re eating alone, consider the benefits of an in-home caregiver. A caregiver can keep your loved one company, assist them in meal prep and grocery shopping, and ensure they’re eating right each day.

If you’re looking for a companion for your senior and someone to provide the level of support they need to live more safely as they age in place, call Always Best Care today at 1-(267) 217-7059. We’ll work with you to ensure your senior receives the care they need to maintain as much independence as possible.

Contact David Baim at Always Best Care, Plymouth Meeting, Pa at dbaim@abc-seniors.com

Standard