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Dementia Wandering Solutions: Tips to Help Increase Safety

Dementia wandering solutions can be easily implemented at home to increase safety.

Of all the outcomes of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, perhaps one of the most concerning is the individual’s tendency for wandering, together with the potential dangers which may arise in the event the senior becomes disoriented or lost. Wandering may occur when the older adult is:  Continue Reading →

Making Your Home Dementia-Friendly is as Easy as A B C

When making your home dementia-friendly, follow the ABCs.

If an older adult you adore has been diagnosed with dementia, your top concerns are probably his / her safety and wellbeing. The good news is that with a couple of adjustments around the house, it is possible to create a dementia-friendly environment that encourages continued independence for your family member, while keeping safety top of mind. Continue Reading →

Warning Signs of Vision Loss in Seniors

Know the signs of vision loss in seniors and seek an assessment from an eye care professional.

Talking about health concerns is hard for many seniors. They might think their health issues are their own concern and no one else’s, or they could be afraid that if they admit to experiencing problems, they might compromise their ability to maintain their independence. This is oftentimes the situation when it comes to vision loss.

A senior who is experiencing difficulty with vision may do his or her best to conceal the issue from family and friends. Because of this, it’s beneficial to know how to identify changes in behaviors and physical appearance that could signify the senior ought to make an appointment with his/her doctor or eye care professional. Be on the lookout for these red flags that could be signs of vision loss:

  • Running into items, stumbling, moving very carefully or touching the wall while walking
  • Appearing to be visually confused in a familiar place
  • Under-reaching or over-reaching for items
  • Stopping certain enjoyable activities like reading, watching television, driving, walking, or participating in hobbies
  • Tilting the head or squinting to see, or holding reading material closer to the face
  • Struggling to identify faces, objects or colors
  • Stains on clothing or outfit color combinations that do not match
  • Looking for more or different kinds of lighting for reading or other activities
  • Having trouble cutting or serving food, or knocking over glasses

Also, if the senior complains about the following items, it could be a sign of losing vision:

  • Pointing out halos or rings around lights, or witnessing spots in front of his or her eyes
  • Expressing pain in the eyes
  • Having diminished night vision, double or distorted vision

Losing vision does not have to mean a loss of self-reliance. With a little help from New Horizons In-Home Care and our experts in home care in Salem, seniors with vision problems can continue to safely enjoy all that life has to offer. We offer transportation and accompaniment services, meal preparation, house cleaning, errand-running, and much more, permitting older adults to age at home where they are most comfortable, to maintain the routines to which they’re accustomed, and to enjoy enhanced socialization. Contact our compassionate care team any time to learn more about our top-rated home care in Salem or one of these surrounding communities: Eugene: 541-687-8851, Corvallis: 541-752-9059, Salem: 503-400-3000, or Florence: 541-997-8115.

Low or Reduced Vision in Seniors: Home Modifications to Maintain Safety

Modifying the house for seniors with reduced vision can improve safety.

When you think about our senses, our vision is most likely the one for which we are most thankful. A great deal of our life’s experiences are a result of the things we see in the world around us. Our sense of vision also shields us from a wide range of dangers. Low or reduced vision can make it more difficult to steer clear of the dangers and barriers we encounter, both within and outside of the home.

If you are caring for a loved one who contends with low vision, an innovative use of colors and contrasts can raise the senior’s level of safety and autonomy. It’s not as complicated as you may think! For instance, keep these techniques in mind:

  • Solid, vibrant colors like orange, red, and yellow are best for reflecting light, and therefore are easiest to see.
  • Light-colored items set against darker-colored backgrounds give heightened contrast. For example, putting a white sheet of paper on a brown desk stands out much more than on an off-white surface.
  • In the same way, dark items are easier to see against light-colored backgrounds. A deep blue chair can be seen best when placed against a lighter-colored wall.
  • When placing furniture and other things in the home, bear in mind that certain colors are so similar that distinguishing between them can be a struggle for people with low vision. The most common color combinations that cause problems are:
  • Black, brown, and navy
  • Green, blue, and purple
  • Yellow, pink, and light green
  • Utilizing light-reflecting tape or brightly colored paint on the top edge of the first and last steps on a stairway can help them stand out.
  • Hallway runners in bright, solid colors can help more clearly define walking pathways.

Naturally, before implementing any changes in a senior loved one’s home who suffers with low vision problems, it’s necessary to keep that person’s wishes and feelings in mind. A senior dealing with vision loss is most likely facing a wide array of fears, like a reduced sense of control over his/her life decisions, reduced independence and privacy, and the fear that people may see him or her in a different way. The individual may also feel overwhelmed or anxious about what the future has in store, and resistant to share his or her thoughts. Remaining sensitive to these feelings instead of just brushing them aside can make a substantial impact.

If a senior loved one in your life is struggling with low vision challenges, call on the Salem home care team at New Horizons In-Home Care for help and resources. We’d be pleased to set up a free in-home evaluation and work with you to put together an appropriate care plan to keep the senior safe and thriving at home. Reach out to us any time in Eugene: 541-687-8851, Corvallis: 541-752-9059, Salem: 503-400-3000, or Florence: 541-997-8115  and let our compassionate care team share how we can help!

How to Overcome Technology Hurdles for Seniors and Their Family Caregivers

These days, older adults are overrun with a surge of high-tech products focused on improving their self-reliance and safety and providing life enhancement. At a touch of a button or two, seniors can automatically pay a visit “in person” with friends and relatives through Skype, wear a pendant that responds with emergency help when needed, and even remain safe from wandering with specialized sensors attached to apparel or shoes. 

The question becomes how to inspire older adults (and family members who care for them) to shift from a low-tech mindset to enjoying all that’s available to them. New Horizons In-Home Care wants to help families overcome technology hurdles for seniors. AARP reports that as few as 7% of family care providers are using technology solutions in their care, but that 71% are interested in using technology that would help make caregiving easier. Why is there such a massive gap between the interest and use of care technology solutions?

Some typical hurdles:  

  • Stigma. Many people see the use of some technology, such as medical alert pendants, as equal to a loss of their freedom.
  • Finding help. Troubleshooting problems with technology leads many older adults and their caregivers to quit attempting to get devices to work. 
  • A lack of time. Carving out time to learn and attempt something new is particularly daunting for busy families who care for their loved ones. 

If you’d like to try and integrate health care technology into senior caregiving but are facing these difficulties, call on New Horizons In-Home Care and our team in senior care in Eugene and the surrounding areas for assistance. Our competent and patient care professionals can help overcome the technological obstacles by:   

  • Recommending technology that fits a senior’s personality and challenges   
  • Providing instruction on how to use the technology 

Whether it is teaching someone how to enjoy applications on a smartphone, or arranging for a personal medical alert system, we can keep older adults connected to friends and family and help them enjoy life to the fullest. Reach out to our experts in senior care in Eugene and the surrounding areas any time in Eugene: 541-687-8851, Corvallis: 541-752-9059, Salem: 503-400-3000, or Florence: 541-997-8115 to learn more.

Technology for Seniors: New Options You May Want to Consider

Elderly Woman Using A Mobile Telephone

There are multiple ways that technology can help seniors age in place.

It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to tune a guitar, learn a new language, or just add cats’ ears to a selfie, there is an app for that! And for individuals who elect to age in place, technology for seniors may be a key component to increasing safety, comfort, and overall quality of life.

Take Amazon’s Alexa, as an example. Although its current benefits for seniors are many, such as the ability to track blood sugar levels, make physician appointments, and research information pertaining to a certain health issue, it’s actually positioned to delve even further into the medical care arena – possibly even detecting heart attacks and helping doctors get accurate diagnoses.

Here are a few additional technology solutions you may want to consider for a senior loved one:

  • Home Security: A motion-detecting home security system delivers peace of mind related to crime prevention, but frequently can do so much more, such as warning when sensing smoke, broken glass, or temperatures in the house that are too high or low, just to name a few. They are also helpful for people diagnosed with dementia who might be at risk of wandering, to alert to a senior’s activities close to the home.
  • Telehealth: Save a visit to the physician’s office through the use of one of many different apps which allow for remote consultations from board-certified physicians, psychologists, and psychiatrists, many of whom are available around the clock, 7 days per week.
  • Fall Prevention: One of the leading factors that can lead to older adult falls is inadequate lighting. Smart lights use motion detection to improve lighting in locations of specific concern, such as between the bedroom and bathroom, or on outside walkways, when set off by a person’s movement.
  • Fraud Protection: Senior scammers are persistent and regularly evolving their tactics. Seniors can enhance security through apps that monitor financial activity and neighborhood crime activity, reduce robocalls, catch any use of a person’s Social Security number, and much more.
  • Health Care: Many medical care needs can now be met from the comfort of home, including video chats with health practitioners to avoid a trip to the office, prescription ordering, and medication management to ensure meds are taken at the correct times as well as in the right doses.

Contact the experts in home care in Eugene, OR at New Horizons In-Home Care for more suggestions for maximizing life at home for senior loved ones – whether through technology for seniors coupled with our specialized in-home care assistance, in-home nursing for chronic conditions or home care after a hospitalization! We are always available to help explain technological options, and to provide the tried-and-true, hands-on assistance in the home that empowers the elderly to live their best lives. Reach out to us any time in Eugene: 541-687-8851, Corvallis: 541-752-9059, Salem: 503-400-3000, or Florence: 541-997-8115 for an in-home consultation and let us know more about how we can help!

How to Prevent Senior Loneliness After the Holidays

Senior man staring out a window

Loneliness and depression often affect elder adults once the joys of the holiday season have passed.

The holidays can be overflowing with a whirlwind of activities for the older adults we love, with family gatherings, holiday parties, faith-based services and events, determining the best gifts for those they love. Yet after the decorations are packed away and families have gotten back to the everyday busyness of life, many aging adults are impacted by a frequent but little-discussed concern: post-holiday senior loneliness. Continue Reading →

Diabetic Diet During the Holidays – How Seniors Can Still Indulge

Large family gather for Christmas meal

Keeping a healthy diet during the holidays is difficult, especially for those with diabetes.

The holiday season is a wonderful time to enjoy time with loved ones and close friends, but let’s be realistic: it’s also a time for overindulgence in unhealthy food choices. With numerous rich, fatty, and sugary delicacies to choose from at every turn, it’s difficult to stick to a healthy diabetic diet, which can result in major health problems for individuals with diabetes. Continue Reading →

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