There is currently a leading priority for hospitals: decreasing readmissions for high-risk patients. Healthcare Financial Management Association’s article “Two Ways Hospitals Can Reduce Avoidable Readmissions” reports that effective initiatives from several hospitals with minimal 30-day rehospitalizations are, to some level, the outcome of participating with inpatient and outpatient care providers, like New Horizons In-Home Care, who can supply a continuum of care. Continue Reading →
“Hold on – let me help.”
“Don’t over-exert yourself!”
“You just sit down and rest; I’ll take care of that.”
How often have we said things such as these to seniors without thinking? We want to do anything possible to assist our older loved ones, to ensure their safety and to look after them in the same way they took care of us when we were children. However, there’s a hidden hazard in trying to do too much for older adults and denying them the opportunity to do as much as possible on their own – the danger of damaging senior self-esteem and sense of meaning and purpose in life.
Take, for instance, a senior gentleman who spent his entire life taking care of his family, and now has entered into the early stage of Alzheimer’s disease. Given that he has always self-identified as a provider, becoming dependent on another person to provide for him can be quite challenging and even feel demeaning. It’s critical to help him preserve the sense of being needed by others, and there are a number of ways to achieve this. Try these guidelines from New Horizons In-Home Care to help promote self-worth and independence in seniors:
- Obtain guidance. Being provided with the opportunity to share knowledge and wisdom is a great boost to a senior’s self-esteem, and there is certainly a lot we can learn from older adults. Think of small ways throughout the day to ask the older person’s advice on how to make a perfect pan of lump-free gravy, how to fix the draft coming in underneath the windowsill, how to soothe a cranky baby, etc.
- Find hands-on assistance. As in-home caregivers, it is our responsibility to support seniors with assorted needs, but we also recognize the value of allowing seniors their own tasks and responsibilities. It doesn’t need to be a monumental project in order to maintain the feeling of being needed. Be aware of the senior’s cognitive and physical limitations, and request his/her help accordingly. For instance, a senior who is in a wheelchair can sit at the table and help with meal preparation tasks, polish silverware, or sort hardware in a toolbox.
- Verbally demonstrate your respect. While you may assume the senior knows how you feel, it’s a wonderful feeling to be told how much we mean to one another. Take time to point out specific ways the older individual has assisted you in some manner and how much you appreciate that help, from learning to drive a car, to parenting techniques, to the ability to draw or paint or carve wood. Be truthful in your compliments, and speak them frequently, from your heart.
A qualified in-home caregiver, such as those at New Horizons In-Home Care, is adept in sustaining the delicate balance between supplying care for older individuals and boosting their sense of purpose and meaning. Contact us to learn more about our senior care in Eugene and the surrounding areas, or to schedule a free in-home consultation for your senior loved one.
Providing home care assistance for a senior with Alzheimer’s can be challenging under the best of scenarios; add in a worldwide pandemic, one that calls for social distancing, gloves and masks, and careful sterilization of both ourselves and our home environment, and the challenge may seem insurmountable.
New Horizons’ Alzheimer’s care team provides the following guidelines to help reduce fear and frustration for individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, while keeping both them and their caregivers safe:
- Be sure to make self-care a top priority. Now more than ever before, it is important to gauge your own personal level of stress, and make a plan to make certain you are healthy – both physically and emotionally. You can only supply the best caregiving help for your loved one if your own needs are met. This could possibly mean restricting time spent watching the news as well as on social media, maintaining connections with close friends and family, and taking time for pleasant, rewarding hobbies.
- Take care of personal hygiene. Proper handwashing techniques are vital for all of us, but might be hard for a senior with Alzheimer’s to uphold. Depending on the individual’s stage of the disease, it might be beneficial to wash your hands with each other, demonstrating for your loved one; or, position signs next to the sink in the bathroom and kitchen with a reminder to scrub for 20 seconds. And keep in mind that repetition, a typical behavior in dementia, can work to your advantage in this case.
- Choose your words carefully. When speaking to a loved one about changes related to COVID-19, it’s critical to keep it very simple, utilizing a calm and reassuring tone. Beth Kallmyer, Vice President of Care and Support at the Alzheimer’s Association, recommends statements such as, “We have to stay inside because that’s most safe for us, but we’ll do it together. I’ll be with you and we’ll be okay.”
- Be sure to have a backup plan. In case you contract COVID-19 or another health condition that would prevent you from safely providing help for a loved one with dementia, it’s vital to have a plan in place for who could take over to execute your care duties. A professional home care agency, such as New Horizons, is the perfect choice, with aides who are knowledgeable in specialized dementia care.
Allow New Horizons In-Home Care, the experts in eldercare in Eugene and the surrounding areas, to help you. Our highly skilled Alzheimer’s caregivers are fully trained and experienced in both following proper protocol linked to decreasing the danger for contracting coronavirus, and in the specialized types of care that are most effective for a senior with Alzheimer’s disease. Reach out to New Horizons’ Eugene eldercare experts at 541-687-8851. Or contact an one of our offices nearest you: 541-752-9059 in Corvallis; 503-400-3000 in Salem; or 541-997-8115 in Florence to schedule an assessment within the safety and comfort of home and to find out more about how we can help your loved ones. To see our full service area, click here.
Being aware of where to turn for the current, most dependable info on COVID-19, specifically as it pertains to the elderly and family members who care for them, is extremely important – and yet can be confusing. Due to so many resources and differing opinions on this extraordinary situation, we want to help make it simpler to locate what you need by building the subsequent list of trusted resources for seniors and family caregivers. Continue Reading →