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Freedom at home means a lot

Home Care Agency

Your partner in Eugene Home Care

Deciding to begin in-home care can be a difficult and emotional decision. And you have lots of questions: Can in-home care help? What does it entail? How much does it cost? How will I feel about bringing a stranger into my home, or my mother or father’s home? How do I know whom to hire?

First of all, in-home care serves a vitally important role in allowing seniors or disabled people to continue living at home when it’s simply not possible for them to do that on their own. Certainly, some clients, when first presented with the idea, will feel their independence is being threatened. It’s a hard thing for some people to come to terms with.

But it’s important to remember, also, that in-home care, perhaps just several hours a week, would be enough to actually help them retain the independence of living at home, perhaps in a place where they have spent decades of their life.

Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease: Part Two

In our previous post, we discussed five of the ten warning signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. This week we will address the remaining five symptoms. Remember: if any of these symptoms are familiar to you or a loved one, please contact a doctor!

  1. Poor judgment: Many people with Alzheimer’s experience changes in their decision-making ability. They may make poor financial decisions, and their decreased ability to make good judgments may also bleed into their personal hygiene and grooming habits.
  2. Misplaced belongings: Alzheimer’s disease may cause a person to place items in unusual places. When these belongings become lost, it can be challenging for someone suffering from Alzheimer’s to retrace their steps and recover the object. As the disease progresses, they may begin to frequently accuse others of stealing.
  3. Difficulty performing daily tasks: For people with Alzheimer’s, daily tasks can become difficult to carry out. They may become lost driving to a familiar location or they may forget how to do something they’ve always known how to do, like playing their favorite board game.
  4. Pervasive memory loss: Perhaps the most telltale sign of all, pervasive memory loss is an overwhelming and apparent red flag of Alzheimer’s. Forgetting recently learned information or important dates are common signs of significant and disruptive memory loss.
  5. Trouble with processing spatial relationships and images: A common sign of Alzheimer’s disease, difficulty in judging distances, reading, and interpreting color and contrast can interfere with daily activities such as driving.

If you have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and find yourself feeling overwhelmed by your symptoms, in-home care may be the right treatment option for you. Contact us at 541-687-8851 for a free care assessment from one of our Nurse Case Managers at New Horizons!

 

Disclaimer About Medical Information:

The information and reference materials contained here are intended solely for the general information of the reader. It is not to be used for treatment purposes and is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of professional medical care. If you have persistent health problems or if you have further questions, please consult your health care provider.

 

Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease: Part One

There are ten warning signs of Alzheimer’s; in this blog post we’ll cover five of them (in no particular order). In our next blog post, we will discuss the remaining five symptoms. Any individual can struggle with these signs and symptoms to varying degrees, and no single individual’s experience of symptoms is the same as another’s. If you recognize any of the following symptoms, please consider seeing a doctor.

  1. Withdrawal from typical activities: Those with Alzheimer’s often find themselves avoiding hobbies, social activities, sports, and work projects. A person with the disease may not remember how to complete a hobby, or may struggle to keep up with a favorite sports team. These strange changes may also lead to social withdrawal.
  2. Trouble planning and problem solving: Some people with Alzheimer’s experience deterioration in their ability to develop plans and work with numbers. They may have trouble following recipes or keeping track of engagements or work deadlines, for example.
  3. Disorientation with time and place: Memory loss is pervasive and confusing. It’s easy to lose track of time and dates. A person with Alzheimer’s might have trouble recalling what day – or even what season – it is.
  4. Problems with speech and writing: People with Alzheimer’s may struggle to keep track of a conversation; they may get lost in the middle of a sentence and misuse words.
  5. Mood and personality changes: Alzheimer’s disease can lead to mood and personality changes such as suspicion, depression, fear, and anxiety. Someone with Alzheimer’s may find himself or herself getting upset easily, especially when outside of their comfort zone.

Stay tuned for our upcoming post to learn about the remaining five signs of Alzheimer’s disease! If you are interested in learning more about Alzheimer’s disease and how to manage its symptoms, please don’t hesitate to contact us at New Horizons In-Home Care.

 

Disclaimer About Medical Information:

The information and reference materials contained here are intended solely for the general information of the reader. It is not to be used for treatment purposes and is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of professional medical care. If you have persistent health problems or if you have further questions, please consult your health care provider.

 

http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_10_signs_of_alzheimers.asp

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative (pal-ee-uh-tiv) care refers to a form of medical treatment that aims to reduce pain and the severity of disease symptoms. Palliative care treatment does not focus efforts on delaying or interrupting the progression of the disease. In other words, the goal of palliative care is to make a life of chronic pain and illness more manageable – not to cure the disease.

Palliative care is an excellent option  for those looking to improve their quality of life with specialized care. Individuals who benefit from palliative care are burdened by chronic illnesses such as ALS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, AIDS, and more.

This treatment approach was originally developed exclusively for individuals with a terminal illness, but as need within a greater niche became apparent, palliative care expanded to include anyone with chronic and severe disease symptoms – terminal or otherwise. It has grown to include treatment for a wide range of symptoms including but not limited to pain, bowel or bladder problems, nausea and vomiting, weakness, mobility problems, and delirium or mental confusion.

If you are struggling to manage your day-to-day symptoms, or you have a loved one who needs assistance with pain management, consider a palliative care treatment approach. Interested in learning more about whether or not palliative care is the right choice for you?

Brain-Healthy Lifestyle

The Dana Foundation  has published a checklist for a brain-healthy lifestyle – see if you measure up.

Do:……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

  • Exercise your body regularly and get involved in physically active leisure pursuits.
  • Keep your mind exercised! Engage in active learning throughout life, and pursue new experiences.
  • Stay socially engaged with friends, family, and community groups.
  • Maintain a positive attitude and a sense of control over your life.
  • Take steps to manage stress.
  • Eat a brain-healthy, balanced diet rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, and consider taking a multivitamin supplement that includes antioxidants and folate.
  • Mind your numbers: Lose any extra pounds, lower your cholesterol if it is high, and keep your blood glucose and blood pressure under control.
  • Get adequate sleep.
  • Get proper medical attention and treatment for any underlying health problems.

Don’t…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

  • Drink to excess, smoke, or use illicit drugs.
  • Ignore sudden changes in mental status. However, don’t be overly concerned about normal slips of memory such as forgetting names or where you put the keys.
  • Put off going to the doctor if you notice changes in your physical or mental health.
  • Overlook the possibility of drug interactions that can affect mental functioning, especially if you are taking more than one prescription medication.
  • Become isolated in your home.
  • Think you’re too old to take up something new!

If you need to work on an area – start today. It is never too late.

For more information see The DANA Foundation

Ageism In America

Ageism: The Price of Being Old In America

Have you ever gone to a high-end department store in a major city only to find that you haven’t dressed up enough, or it would appear that way by the attitude and treatment of the sales staff? They act like you didn’t belong in their store. In this situation they can often be less than eager to help you find something and treat you as if you are like the poor beggar on the street. This is an example of discrimination.

Imagine you are an 80-year-old woman, married for 50 years, had two children, achieved a Master’s degree in Special Education and taught for 30 years. How would you feel if you had been going to your optometrist for 20 years and upon his retirement he sold his business to a young man in his 30’s who tells you when you pick up your new glasses that, “At your old age you should be glad you can even see.”

This type of treatment of older individuals is seen everyday throughout the United States and the coined term for this type of discrimination is “ageism.”

The term “ageism” was brought to the forefront of the country in 1968 with the Pulitzer Prize winning book by the geriatrician, Dr. Robert Butler, Why Survive, Growing Old in America. This term was seen by Dr. Butler as a “process of systemic stereotyping of and discrimination against people because they are old, just as racism and sexism accomplished this with skin color and gender.” Old people were categorized as demented, rigid in their thinking and manner, and old-fashioned in morality and skills. He found that through ageism it allowed the younger generations to see older persons as different from themselves and giving them an opportunity to not have to identify with them.

Most older persons at one time or another have experienced ageism, and it remains embedded within the nation’s institutions by the documented discrimination in the workplace, healthcare, language and in the media. Examples included the failure to hire or promote older persons, the absence of appropriate care of older persons in long-term care institutions, abusive language such as “crock,” “gaffer,” “old biddy,” “greedy geezer,” and “crone,” and imagery seen in ugly, distorted, angry, and negative cartoons and drawings. Also, it can be seen in direct person responses towards older persons-insensitivity and impatience are not uncommon. Not to mention the painful type of abuse – physical, emotional, financial and even sexual.

As the population grows older we find tht this form of discrimination is not lessening but continues to be seen in various ways.

Types of Ageism:

Personal Ageism – Ideas, attitudes, beliefs, and practices on the part of individuals that are biased against persons or groups based on their older age.

 Exclusion or Ignoring Older Persons Based on Stereotypical Ideas  – There are numerous myths of aging and one in particular is the thinking that to be old is to be ignorant, unable to learn and disabled.

 Mandatory Retirement – Determining that a particular age is one that is necessary for a person to retire based on some preconceived notion that all people are the same. Our current aging population is the most diverse in our history. There is no person that is the same as the other.

 Devaluing of Older Persons in Cost-Benefit Analysis – This is the thinking that an older person cannot make a monetary difference if they aren’t working. In the United States many older persons provide hour of volunteer service, as well as childcare for grandchildren. The loss to the US if the older population did not help would be estimated at 32 billion dollars.

Intentional Ageism – Ideas, attitudes, rules, or practices that are carried out with the understanding that they are biased against persons or groups based on their older age. Intentional ageism includes carrying out practices that take advantage of the vulnerabilities of older persons. These include: marketing and media that use stereotypes of older workers; denial of job training based upon age.

Unintentional Ageism – Ideas, attitudes, rules or practices that are carried out without the perpetrator’s awareness that they are biased against persons or groups based on their older age. These include: absence to procedures to assist old and vulnerable persons living on their own in emergency situations (e.g. flood, heat wave); language in the media.

One must ask how can we combat such a national tragedy? We must realize that the status of older persons and attitudes towards them exist and are rooted in our historical and economic circumstances. In addition to this, they also come from deeply held human concerns and fears about the vulnerability in the later years of life. In order to overcome this problem, we must first become aware of the situation, provide training for our children in our homes and in the curriculum in their schools about the facts of aging, and teach about the importance of the older generation in the forming and development of our family and American history.

The Benefits of In-Home Care “Keeping Your Loved One Happy”

Dad walking at home

As individuals age, they often need a bit more help with their day-to-day activities. The question then becomes whether or not that individual should continue to live at home or move into a long-term care facility. In-home care is a great option for many people and has many benefits.

1.    Older individuals who live at home are able to maintain a level of freedom that would not be possible in a long-term care facility. For many, this freedom is synonymous with maintaining dignity, which is something many individuals fear loosing as they age. Similarly, those who receive in-home care can come and go as they please – for whatever reason. They can also choose their own meal times.

 2.    In-home care allows the individual to stay physically close to the things they love. Their prized possessions do not have to be condensed and stored as they move into a single room. Being able to keep these items readily available is important because they often have sentimental value and are tied to countless memories. Individuals are able to keep any pets they may have if they live at home. Studies have shown that people with pets tend to be less stressed, which can lead to a longer lifespan. 

3.    Visiting hours are not restricted at home, so friends and family can visit on a time schedule that works for them. This lack of restriction often leads to more frequent visits, which helps individuals stay connected to their families. In a long-term care facility family members often  feel that their love one is getting help and enough socialization that they don’t need to visit as much.

4.    In-home care can help the individual maintain better health. In places where many people live together, such as a long-term care facility, illness spreads very quickly and if one person gets sick, others get sick. At home, sick guests can be asked to postpone their visit until they are well.

 5.    With in-home care, the person does not have to deal with the emotional stress of adding multiple new elements into their lives. They will not have to adapt to a new routine in a new place, surrounded by new people.

 6.    Long-term care facilities can be very expensive and, in some cases, far away from other family members’ homes, especially in less populated areas. In many cases, the individual has already paid off their mortgage, which can substantially reduce the cost of caregiving at home. The stressors related to the actual moving process are also eliminated.

 7.    And last but not least, many older persons who live at home are simply happier. For most, the comforts of home truly are priceless.

 It is now easier than ever for older persons to live at home. There are many services that are both simple to use and affordable. In-home care products and services, such as security systems make living at home a viable option, and in many cases enable you to honor your loved one’s wishes to remain in their home.

For more specific information about all our services and costs contact New Horizons In-Home Care – 1-877-687-8851.Dad walking at home

Caring For The Caregiver

Caring for the Caregiver

Take time to care for yourself!

Caring For The Caregiver – “How to Overcome Stressors”

Caregiving for a loved one is one of the highest stressors for any person. In order to ensure that one maintains a balance while caregiving, you need to know the signs of stress and learn ways to advocate for yourself. First, in order to have the “tools” to help you should become aware of the Caregiver Bill of Rights. The Caregiver Bill of Rights was designed by a group of professionals to help a person identify what needs they might have and become more aware of how to take care of themselves. Here is the Caregiver Bill of Rights- Continue Reading →