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The Scoop: News & Blog

The Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro story continues to evolve, and we’re excited to share with you all the ways we’re growing our mission! As we regularly add chapters to our beautiful care narrative, we invite you to check in often for our latest blogs, news and tips on how we’re Bringing Love into the lives of Seniors with Dignity and Respect®.

Top Virtual Museum Tours for Seniors: Explore World-Class Museums from Home

Seniors Helping Seniors® 21 Jul 2024

Welcome to the future of exploration, where travel is just a click away! Thanks to the power of virtual museum tours, discovering the world has never been more accessible or exciting! These virtual tours offer a fantastic opportunity to explore global treasures, stimulate your mind, and enjoy a vibrant cultural experience—all from the comfort of your home. Picture yourself strolling through the halls of the Louvre, admiring the Mona Lisa, or delving into ancient artifacts at the British Museum without leaving your favorite armchair.

The Seniors Helping Seniors® team wants to show you how these experiences can spark joy, stimulate your mind, and turn each day into an exciting journey. Let’s get started.

What Are Virtual Museum Tours

Virtual museum tours are online experiences that allow you to explore museum exhibits and galleries from anywhere with an internet connection. Using high-resolution images, interactive features, and sometimes even virtual reality technology, these tours offer a way to view art, artifacts, and historical displays as if you were physically present in the museum. They provide an immersive experience where you can navigate through different rooms, zoom in on specific pieces, read detailed descriptions, and listen to audio guides.

For seniors, virtual museum tours are especially beneficial. They eliminate the need for physical travel, which can be challenging for those with mobility issues, and they provide a way to enjoy cultural and intellectual stimulation without leaving home. Additionally, these tours can be enjoyed at one’s own pace, with the ability to pause, revisit, and explore in-depth, making them an ideal option for lifelong learners.

Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers can help you set up and navigate these virtual tours, ensuring you have a smooth and enjoyable experience accessing the world’s cultural treasures right from your living room.

Free Virtual Museum Tours for Seniors

The Louvre (Paris, France)
Tour Overview: The Louvre offers virtual tours of its vast collections, including the iconic Mona Lisa, ancient Egyptian artifacts, and classical sculptures. The interactive platform allows users to explore the museum’s renowned exhibits and learn about their historical significance through detailed descriptions and high-resolution images.

Why It’s Great for Seniors: The intuitive navigation and accessible interface make it easy for seniors to enjoy the rich cultural heritage of one of the world’s most famous museums without the need for physical travel.

The British Museum (London, England)
Tour Overview: This virtual tour allows users to explore the British Museum’s extensive collection, including the Rosetta Stone, Egyptian mummies, and ancient Greek sculptures. The online platform features an interactive timeline and detailed maps to enhance the user experience.

Why It’s Great for Seniors: The user-friendly design and educational content make it a perfect choice for seniors interested in history and archaeology, providing a comprehensive look at humanity’s past.

The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (Washington, D.C., USA)
Tour Overview: The Smithsonian offers a variety of virtual tours showcasing exhibits on natural history, including dinosaur skeletons, gemstones, and biodiversity. The tours include 360-degree views and detailed information about each exhibit.

Why It’s Great for Seniors: The immersive 360-degree views and extensive educational resources make it an engaging and informative experience for seniors fascinated by natural history and science.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, USA)
Tour Overview: The Met provides virtual tours of its diverse collections, featuring everything from ancient artifacts to modern art. The online platform offers high-quality images, audio guides, and educational videos.

Why It’s Great for Seniors: The wide range of exhibits and accessible features ensure that there is something for everyone, allowing seniors to explore various art forms and historical periods at their own pace.

The beauty of virtual museum tours lies in their ability to bring the world’s greatest art and historical collections directly to you. With free access to many of the world’s most renowned museums, the possibilities for discovery are endless. Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers are ready to assist you in navigating these virtual platforms and ensuring you have a seamless and enjoyable experience. Ask them to help you set up a virtual museum tour today and start exploring!

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Have a Berry Healthy Summer with 4 Delicious Blueberry Recipes for Seniors

Seniors Helping Seniors® 04 Jul 2024

This July, the Seniors Helping Seniors® family is happy to be feeling blue – that’s because it’s National Blueberry Month. These little blue gems are packed with flavor, nutrients, and antioxidants, making them a delicious super fruit with incredible health benefits for seniors. Reaching their peak ripeness in the summer heat, now is the perfect time to incorporate them into your diet. Whether you love them in baked goods, sprinkled over a summer salad, or as a solo snack, we’ve gathered our favorite blueberry recipes just for you.

But before we get cooking, let’s explore why blueberries are our all-time favorite (hint: they’re amazing for senior health)!

Blueberry Health Benefits for Seniors

Blueberries are low in calories but high in essential nutrients and fiber, making them a satisfying snack that helps control appetite. These tiny fruits are a fantastic choice for weight management, especially for seniors. Unlike sugary snacks like cookies or chips, a handful of blueberries won’t spike your blood sugar and will keep you feeling full longer. That’s why the Seniors Helping Seniors® team suggests grabbing a bowl of fresh blueberries instead of reaching for a bag of potato chips. You’ll enjoy a delicious treat that supports your weight management goals and nourishes your body with vitamins and antioxidants.

Weight management isn’t the only benefit blueberries offer. Here are a few other incredible health perks bundled up in these tasty blue delights.

  1. Antioxidants: Blueberries are packed with antioxidants, which help combat oxidative stress and inflammation, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
  2. Cognitive Health: The flavonoids in blueberries have been linked to improved brain function and may help slow age-related cognitive decline.
  3. Heart Health: Blueberries can help reduce blood pressure and lower LDL cholesterol levels, which are critical for maintaining heart health.
  4. Digestive Health: High in dietary fiber, blueberries aid in digestion and help maintain regular bowel movements, preventing constipation.

Easy, Healthy Blueberry Recipes That Taste Like Summer

Here’s our vibrant summer blueberry recipe roundup. Whether you’re craving a tasty snack or a nutritious breakfast, these recipes are not only delicious but also simple to make. Plus, a Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver can assist you every step of the way, ensuring meal preparation is stress-free and enjoyable.

By enlisting their help, you’ll find it easier to maintain a healthy diet and have more fun in the kitchen. Now let’s get to the recipes!

Blueberry Chia Pudding

Ingredients: Chia seeds, almond milk, blueberries, vanilla extract, honey

Instructions: Mix chia seeds with almond milk, vanilla extract, and honey. Let it sit overnight in the fridge. Top with fresh blueberries for a nutritious and delicious breakfast or dessert.

Blueberry Almond Energy Bites

Ingredients: Rolled oats, almond butter, honey, dried blueberries, chia seeds

Instructions: Mix rolled oats, almond butter, honey, dried blueberries, and chia seeds. Roll into bite-sized balls. These no-bake energy bites are perfect for a quick, healthy snack.

Summer Blueberry Quinoa

Ingredients: Cooked quinoa, blueberries, cucumber, red onion, mint, lemon vinaigrette

Instructions: Mix cooked quinoa with blueberries, diced cucumber, chopped red onion, and fresh mint. Toss with lemon vinaigrette for a refreshing, protein-rich meal.

Blueberry and Chicken Salad

Ingredients: Grilled chicken breast, mixed greens, blueberries, goat cheese, almonds, raspberry vinaigrette

Instructions: Combine mixed greens with sliced grilled chicken, blueberries, crumbled goat cheese, and sliced almonds. Drizzle with raspberry vinaigrette for a light and healthy main course.

We’ve loved sharing our favorite blueberry recipes and their amazing health benefits with you this National Blueberry Month! From tasty snacks to nutritious meals, blueberries are a fantastic way to boost your diet. For a fun and safe cooking experience, enlist the help of Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services. Our caregivers are ready to support you in the kitchen, turning meal prep into a joyful activity.

The post Have a Berry Healthy Summer with 4 Delicious Blueberry Recipes for Seniors appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Pet-Friendly Summer Activities for Seniors: Enjoying the Season with Your Furry Friends

Seniors Helping Seniors® 17 Jun 2024

Ah, the dog days of summer! And no, we’re not just talking about the heat. Longer daylight hours and warm weather make it the ideal season for fun-filled adventures with your furry friends. On days that are too nice to stay indoors, why not have some fun in the sun with your dog (or daring cat)?

Whether you and your pet want to break a sweat on a hiking trail or cool down with a sweet treat, there’s something to suit every activity level and interest. To help you plan the perfect day, the Seniors Helping Seniors® team has gathered some fantastic pet-friendly summer activities for you and your four-legged companion.

In this article, we’ll share fun activities for seniors and their pets to enjoy together. Plus, we’ll give you tips to stay safe and cool outdoors! So, grab your furry friend and get ready for a perfect summer adventure.

Must-Try Pet Bonding Experiences for Your Summer Itinerary
Spending time with pets isn’t just enjoyable—it’s also beneficial for seniors’ health and well-being. Studies have shown that animal ownership can lower stress levels, reduce feelings of loneliness, and even lower blood pressure. Plus, the companionship and unconditional love our pets provide can brighten even the dreariest of days.

Keep reading to discover easy, exciting ways to celebrate the season with your beloved pets and make this summer one to remember!

Explore the Outdoors
Take a detour from your dog’s usual morning walk by heading to a local park. Going on a leisurely hike is a great way to stay active, connect with nature, and enjoy the sunshine. The fresh air and scenic views are sure to make you both feel rejuvenated. Remember to bring plenty of water and take breaks in the shade to keep your pet cool and comfortable.

Take a Day Trip
Visit a nearby pet-friendly beach, a charming small town, or a picturesque countryside spot. You can ask your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver to assist in researching the best pet-welcoming locations nearby so that you and your furry friend can have a fun outing. Hit the open road for an enriching little getaway filled with laughter, tail wags, and sunny memories!

Splash Around
Turn your backyard into a summer playground by setting up sprinklers or a kiddie pool for your pet! This simple and fun activity can provide hours of entertainment and a great way to cool off. Watch your pet frolic and splash in the water, bringing joy and laughter to both of you. It’s an easy way to stay active and beat the heat together.

Pack a Picnic
Enjoy a delightful picnic with your pet in a neighborhood park or your backyard. Load up some pet-friendly treats and a comfy blanket and relax under the shade of a tree. A Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver would be happy to help prepare a healthy summer recipe for your picnic. It’s a wonderful way to spend quality time together while soaking up the sun. Don’t forget to bring some toys for extra fun and entertainment.

Attend a “Dog Swim Day”
If your dog is a strong swimmer, check out local pools or community centers for “Dog Swim Day” events! These special days, usually occurring at the end of the summer, allow dogs to swim and play in the pool. It provides a fantastic opportunity for exercise and socialization that both you and your pup will love. Make sure to bring a towel and some treats for after the swim!

Make Pet-Friendly Ice Cream
Treat your pet to homemade ice cream! Use ingredients like yogurt, peanut butter, and fruit to create delicious and safe treats for your furry friend. Make sure to check with your vet before giving your pet new foods. Not only will your furry companion love the tasty reward, but it’s also a wonderful way to cool down on a hot summer day.

Visit an Animal Shelter
For seniors who don’t have pets, take a trip to your local animal shelter with a Seniors Helping Seniors® companion! Spend time cuddling and playing with the animals, offering them love and companionship. It’s a heartwarming experience that can bring joy to both you and the shelter animals. Who knows, you might even come home with a new furry friend!

The Seniors Helping Seniors® family understands the importance of maintaining a strong bond with furry friends while ensuring your safety and well-being. Remember to take a few precautions during the hot summer months.

Here are a few tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable summer for you and your pet:

  • Stay Hydrated: Make sure both you and your pet have access to plenty of water, especially during outdoor activities.
  • Avoid Peak Heat: To prevent overheating, try to schedule outdoor activities during the cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late evening.
  • Watch for Signs of Overheating: Keep an eye out for signs of heatstroke in your pet, such as excessive panting, drooling, or lethargy. If you suspect your pet is overheating, move them to a cooler area and provide water immediately.

If you’re a senior looking for assistance in enjoying these pet-friendly summer activities or are interested in learning more about Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiving services, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our compassionate team is here to help you make the most of this summer season with your beloved pets.

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Drink Up! Five Seniors Helping Seniors® Hydration Tips for Seniors

Seniors Helping Seniors® 07 Jun 2024

Did you drink any water today? Summer weather can be intense, with temperatures often soaring into the 90s and humidity making it feel even hotter. It’s easy to get dehydrated quickly, especially when you’re out enjoying the sunshine. If you want to increase your water intake, the Seniors Helping Seniors® team has your back with some delightful tips to help you stay hydrated all summer.

Read on to discover fun and easy ways to keep cool and quench your thirst in the heat. Enjoy the read and stay refreshed!

The Importance of Proper Hydration
When summer heat and high humidity can be intense, it’s even more important for seniors to stay hydrated. Dehydration can lead to a range of health issues such as urinary and kidney problems, heat stroke, and even heart complications. As we age, our sense of thirst diminishes, making it easier to forget to drink enough water.

It’s recommended that seniors drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day, though individual needs may vary based on activity level, health conditions, and climate. Keeping up with your fluid intake is a simple yet powerful way to support your overall health and well-being.

Now, let’s explore some great tips to help you keep your water intake up this summer!

Add Flavor
Let’s start by tackling a common hydration challenge: finding water boring or unappealing. If you’re looking to add some excitement to your daily water intake, consider infusing it with other flavors. Add slices of juicy peaches, tangy pineapple, or a sprig of fresh mint to your water to enhance its taste.

By experimenting with different flavor combinations, you can transform your water into a refreshing and enticing beverage that you’ll look forward to drinking throughout the day.

Start a Routine
Do you ever forget to drink enough water? It happens to the best of us. A simple fix involves establishing a hydration routine. For example, make a habit of drinking water before you brush your teeth and having a glass with each meal.

Your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver can hold you accountable by providing gentle reminders and ensuring you’ve always got water nearby. With their support, you can stay hydrated and feel your best every day.

Carry a Reusable Water Bottle
In the warm weather, staying hydrated on the go is a must for your health and well-being. However, remembering to drink enough water while you’re out and about can be challenging. That’s where carrying a reusable water bottle comes in handy!

Consider investing in a lightweight, easy-to-carry bottle that you can conveniently refill throughout the day. Whether you’re soaking up the sun at the beach, exploring charming coastal towns, or enjoying a scenic nature walk, having your water bottle by your side ensures you stay hydrated and ready for all the fun, summer adventures.

Set Reminders
Sometimes, remembering to drink enough water can slip our minds. Stay on track by setting alarms on your phone or tablet reminding you to sip throughout the day. Another method is to scatter sticky notes around your home to keep hydration top of mind.

Your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver can lend a hand too! They’ll help set up these reminders and ensure you stay hydrated, even on your busiest days. With a few little tricks and their support, you’ll stay refreshed and hydrated all day long.

Revamp Your Diet
A healthy diet is just as important as drinking water to stay hydrated. Avoid ultra-processed foods, which are often high in sodium and can make you thirsty. Instead, eat water-rich fruits and vegetables like watermelon, cucumber, oranges, and tomatoes. These foods not only provide hydration but also give you important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, keeping you healthy.

By including these in your meals and snacks, you’ll stay refreshed and nourished, supporting your well-being as you enjoy the sunshine!

Whether you’re basking in the warm sunshine or cooling off with a day trip to the beach, remember to prioritize hydration and take care of yourself this summer. With these tips and a little help from Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services, you’ll stay hydrated, healthy, and ready to make the most of the sunny days ahead. Here’s to staying refreshed and embracing the warmth and beauty around you!

The post Drink Up! Five Seniors Helping Seniors® Hydration Tips for Seniors appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Five Thoughtful Ways for Seniors to Provide Support and Recognition on Memorial Day

Seniors Helping Seniors® 25 May 2024

Every year, on the last Monday of May, citizens celebrate Memorial Day to honor the brave US service members who sacrificed their lives for our country. It’s an impactful opportunity to remember and appreciate their selflessness and dedication.

Initially known as Decoration Day, this observance originated in the aftermath of the American Civil War. Every year, communities would gather to honor fallen soldiers by decorating their graves with flowers and tokens of appreciation. This tradition continues to inspire us today.

Declared as a federal holiday in 1971, Memorial Day has evolved into a day of remembrance for all US service members who made the ultimate sacrifice. Americans across the country are encouraged to take a moment to reflect on their bravery, courage, and dedication to our freedom.

As we draw closer to this significant day, the Seniors Helping Seniors® team would like to help you embrace its spirit of reflection, unity, and gratitude. We have put together a list of ways that seniors pay tribute to those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom and cherish the memories they have left behind.

Keep reading to discover Memorial Day events, volunteer opportunities, and other heartfelt ways for seniors to show their support.

Meaningful Ways to Honor Heroes

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, a time for picnics, laughter, and cherished moments with family. However, for seniors, it’s also a chance to pause and reflect on the real significance of this significant day.

Amid your Memorial Day celebrations, consider taking a moment to incorporate some meaningful activities that honor the brave heroes who sacrificed everything for our country. Whether it’s attending a local memorial event, volunteering at a veteran organization, or simply taking a moment of silence, seniors can find beautiful ways to pay tribute to the brave souls who have made our freedom possible.

To help you create an impactful day, the Seniors Helping Seniors® team has compiled a selection of heartfelt Memorial Day activities that are perfect for seniors. Plus, most of these activities can be done right from the comfort of home with help from a Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver.

Attend a Local Memorial Day Event

Check if there are any local Memorial Day parades, ceremonies, or memorial services happening nearby. Attending these local events is a wonderful opportunity for you to connect with your community and honor our military heroes.

Need a ride to a local Memorial Day event? Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers can provide transportation around town – all you have to do is ask!

Write Personalized Letters to Veterans

Support Veterans this Memorial Day by writing letters or cards expressing your gratitude. Personalized messages of thanks can be incredibly touching, and military personnel know that their service is appreciated.

Volunteer at an Event or Veteran Organization

Seniors can contribute their time by volunteering at veteran organizations, hospitals, or community events specifically dedicated to honoring Veterans on Memorial Day. It’s a great way to make a difference and show gratitude to those who have served.

Check out local Disabled American Veterans volunteer opportunities or U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs programs you can volunteer with. You can also ask your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver to help you find local organizations to volunteer with.

Donate

Seniors can make a difference on Memorial Day by donating to organizations that support Veterans, such as the Wounded Warrior Project or the American Legion. There are plenty of local Veteran organizations and groups you can support. These organizations also often host special programs on Memorial Day.

Participate in a Moment of Silence

For seniors who prefer to stay at home, observing the National Moment of Remembrance at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day is a meaningful way to show respect for US service members who sacrificed their lives. This quiet moment of reflection allows seniors to honor the sacrifices made by our military heroes while staying connected to the commemorative spirit of the day from the safety and comfort of their homes.

How Seniors Helping Seniors® Supports Veterans

Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services provides personalized care for the senior Veteran community beyond Memorial Day. Our ongoing support extends beyond a single day of remembrance. Through our care, we encourage heartfelt expressions of gratitude and ensure that the sacrifices of our military heroes are honored and remembered throughout every season.

Our caregivers understand the unique needs and cultural norms of Veterans. We create meaningful connections that encourage gratitude and aim to make a lasting impact in the lives of both seniors and veterans.

If you want to learn more about how our in-home care services can support you or a loved one, please get in touch with us today. We’re here to help.

The post Five Thoughtful Ways for Seniors to Provide Support and Recognition on Memorial Day appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Older Americans Month: Top Senior-focused Tips for Healthy Aging at Home

Seniors Helping Seniors® 03 May 2024

This May, join the Seniors Helping Seniors® team in recognizing Older Americans Month. To celebrate, we want to share expert advice and tips to help seniors age healthily and happily at home. This article suggests simple lifestyle adjustments that make home life better for seniors.

Many older adults want to maintain independence in a familiar environment. Feeling comfortable and supported makes a huge difference. That’s why the Seniors Helping Seniors® family made this guide. Our simple tips can help seniors and their loved ones have a healthy and happy time at home as they grow older.

Read on for our easy-to-follow tips on living your best life at home during Older Americans Month and beyond.

What is Older Americans Month?

Older Americans Month is celebrated every May to appreciate the wonderful contributions and achievements of older Americans. This heartfelt observance, led by the Administration for Community Living, invites us to reflect on the challenges faced by seniors and ways we can promote their healthy aging.

The theme for this year’s celebration is “Powered by Connection.” It focuses on the vital role of meaningful relationships in one’s well-being. The Seniors Helping Seniors® mission revolves around this concept. Keeping in touch with loved ones can become difficult as we age due to changes in our routines, health, or living arrangements. But staying social is key to living a happy, fulfilling life! That’s where having an in-home senior caregiver comes in. They can make a big difference in your overall well-being and help connect you with the people you care about.

Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers, who are seniors themselves, become close friends with their clients. This companionship brings so much joy and comfort to our seniors, and it leads to even better care. For seniors who want to remain at home in their golden years, our caregivers provide reliable support and a caring hand whenever they’re needed. With a compassionate caregiver, older adults can age in place with confidence.

Benefits of Remaining at Home

When it comes to deciding where to live as you get older, there are a variety of options available. While nursing homes or assisted living facilities may suit some, others may prefer to stay in their homes or communities for as long as possible. This concept of “aging in place” empowers seniors to maintain a sense of independence and comfort in a familiar setting. Creating an environment that caters to physical, emotional, and social needs is essential to make this happen with in-home care resources to assist you along the way.

Tips For Aging in Place

  • Prioritize Home Safety:Assess your living environment for any potential safety hazards and make the necessary changes, like adding grab bars, removing tripping hazards, and ensuring that you have proper lighting. Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home caregivers are amazing helpers who can make your home safer. Lean on them so you can relax and enjoy your time at home without worrying about any safety concerns.
  • Improve Accessibility: Adjust furniture placement or install ramps to make the home more accessible. Your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver can provide mobility aids and support to help you or your loved one maneuver their home more efficiently.
  • Simplify Your To-Do List: Call in for extra support if household chores are piling up. Our Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers can lend a hand with light cleaning, home maintenance, and repairs so you can have a cozy and safe living space.
  • Get On-the-Go Assistance: An in-home senior caregiver can offer rides to appointments, run errands, or socialize. Your caregiver would happily arrange transportation services or accompany them on these outings.
  • Stay Connected: Make sure to participate in social activities. A Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver can join you and accompany you to community events or help you connect with others virtually. Having a reliable friend can help combat loneliness and improve overall well-being.

The Seniors Helping Seniors® Difference

Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home senior care services can make a significant difference in the lives of older adults. By providing support that focuses on safety, accessibility, simplified tasks, on-the-go assistance, and social connections, seniors can truly thrive in their own homes. With the help of Seniors Helping Seniors®’s kind and compassionate caregivers, aging in place becomes not just manageable but enjoyable. As we celebrate Older Americans Month, let’s prioritize the well-being and happiness of our seniors and ensure they age with comfort, independence, and a strong sense of community.

The post Older Americans Month: Top Senior-focused Tips for Healthy Aging at Home appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Spring Fever: Seven Seniors Helping Seniors® Allergy Management Tips for Seniors

Seniors Helping Seniors® 17 Apr 2024

April showers bring May flowers… and a dusting of pollen. While we welcome the arrival of warmer days and sunny skies, many Seniors Helping Seniors® clients face symptoms from springtime allergies. As we age, weakened immune systems or pre-existing health conditions can make older adults more vulnerable to allergies. With the allergy season peaking in April, symptoms like congestion, itchiness, and sneezing often come in full swing. If you’ve been struck by spring fever this year, the Seniors Helping Seniors® team wants to help. In this blog, we’ll review seven senior-focused tips for navigating the allergy season. Keep reading to discover our best advice for enjoying the beauty of spring while minimizing the annoying symptoms of allergies.

Springtime Allergy Season

Colorful flowers, lush leaves, and warm sunshine beckon seniors to venture outside and enjoy the natural spring beauty. However, with all the new growth comes an increase in tree, grass, and weed pollen that can lead to itchy eyes and stuffy noses for many people. Spring weather can also be unpredictable, with fluctuations in temperature and precipitation affecting pollen levels and worsening allergy symptoms. The Seniors Helping Seniors® family cares about your well-being this spring, and we encourage you to take necessary precautions to protect yourself from excess pollen exposure.

Many seniors, especially those with pre-existing health conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or cardiovascular issues, experience more severe and prolonged allergic reactions. Persistent symptoms may interfere with daily activities, sleep, and overall well-being. The Seniors Helping Seniors® team wants to ensure you enjoy the beautiful weather this spring. Below, you’ll find our best tips for managing seasonal allergies.

 

Monitor Pollen Levels

Pollen levels can change quite a bit throughout the day, depending on various external factors. But don’t worry! Local weather forecasts and other online references make it easy to keep track of pollen levels. When pollen counts are high, limiting your time outdoors might be a good idea. If you need help accessing digital resources, your friendly and helpful Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver can lend a hand!

 

Invest in an Air Purifier

Air purifying devices boost indoor air quality by clearing out airborne particles like pollen. They work wonders in refreshing rooms that often gather contaminants, leaving behind noticeably cleaner and fresher air. Adding one to your home is a simple and effective way to create a healthier environment for you and your loved ones.

 

Keep Windows Closed

While opening windows can bring in fresh air, it also invites pollen and allergens indoors. If you struggle with severe allergies, keeping cool with AC might be a better choice. And don’t hesitate to ask your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver to help you tidy up those pollen-prone spots in your home. They’re here to support you in creating a comfortable and allergen-free environment.

 

Replace Air Filters in Your Home

It’s important to change the air filters in your home every three months. If it’s been a while since you last replaced them, spring is the perfect time to do so. High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters offer extra protection against pollen and other contaminants. The extra shield helps maintain a healthier indoor environment for you all season long.

 

Wear Protective Clothing

Just as you’d apply sunblock before spending time under the sun, it’s important to take precautions to minimize pollen exposure during allergy season. Before going outside, put on a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and a pollen mask for added protection. And after enjoying the outdoors, don’t forget to take a shower to wash away any lingering pollen from your skin and hair.

 

Stay Hydrated

Drinking enough water each day offers numerous health benefits. It not only keeps you hydrated but also helps flush out pollen and other pollutants from your system, easing allergy symptoms such as dry throat and nasal congestion. Don’t forget to carry a reusable water bottle with you — it’s a simple way to stay hydrated and feel your best throughout the day.

Consult a Healthcare Professional

If you’re experiencing severe symptoms that you can’t manage at home, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor. They can prescribe allergy medication to help ease the effects of pollen and other irritants. If you need transportation to your appointment, your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver would be more than happy to give you a ride.

Spring brings a sense of renewal and promise with longer days and warmer temperatures. The Seniors Helping Seniors® family understands how vital it is for seniors to embrace this rejuvenating season without the burden of seasonal allergies holding them back. We hope this guide has offered valuable insights to help you navigate and manage pollen exposure this spring. Remember, our compassionate Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers are here for you, ready to provide the caring support you need to enjoy every moment of this special season.

The post Spring Fever: Seven Seniors Helping Seniors® Allergy Management Tips for Seniors appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

The Transformative Benefits of In-Home Occupational Therapy for Seniors

Seniors Helping Seniors® 02 Apr 2024

Celebrated each April, National Occupational Therapy Month recognizes the valuable contributions of this specialized form of healthcare. While Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services provide daily support for those we serve, occupational therapy is another method that helps seniors maintain their independence. In this Seniors Helping Seniors® blog, we’ll review the field of occupational therapy and explore the ways it can enhance the lives of seniors. Keep reading to learn more about National Occupational Therapy Month and the holistic advantages your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver can help provide and practice.

Ways Occupational Therapy Benefits Seniors at Home

 Before we dive into the many ways occupational therapy can help the senior community, let’s talk more about what occupational therapy is. Occupational therapy is an evidence-based, skilled treatment that uses activities of daily living (ADLs) to help individuals achieve personal independence. Occupational therapists undergo extensive training to assess seniors’ capabilities and develop individualized treatment plans that improve their independence and overall well-being.

By focusing on everyday tasks, occupational therapy practices can guide seniors in reclaiming their autonomy and mobility. Whether recuperating from injury, managing chronic illness, or adapting to age-related changes, many seniors find valuable support in occupational therapy. Below are a few ways that it can enhance the quality of life for seniors as they age in place.

Improves Independence and Quality of Life

As we age, everyday tasks that once seemed effortless can become more challenging. Simple activities like brushing your teeth, doing laundry, or moving around your home may require extra effort. Through targeted exercises and muscle retraining, occupational therapy can help you safely regain confidence in your mobility. Reclaiming control over your body’s movement restores a sense of independence, which can contribute to a more positive outlook on life.

Prevents Falls and Injuries

Occupational therapy incorporates muscle-strengthening exercises and gait training to improve stability and minimize the risk of falls in older adults. This training, combined with other efforts to safety-proof seniors’ homes, creates a safe and supportive environment that promotes mobility, independence, and well-being.

Manages Chronic Conditions and Disabilities

Chronic conditions often related to aging can profoundly impact seniors’ quality of life and their ability to carry out daily activities. Occupational therapists step in to provide valuable support through adaptive strategies and effective pain management techniques. These methods help seniors learn to navigate the limitations of long-term health conditions, allowing them to preserve their independence and overall well-being.

Provides Cognitive Stimulation

Practicing occupational therapy can help improve cognitive abilities that may have declined or become impaired. This might include participating in activities at home that boost memory, like solving puzzles, playing word games, sequencing tasks, and practicing exercises that promote attention.

The Seniors Helping Seniors® team loves watching our clients thrive, whether through the assistance of our caregivers or with the help of other senior-focused services. Occupational therapy provides seniors with comprehensive, personalized support that addresses their physical, cognitive, emotional, and environmental needs, enabling them to maintain independence and dignity as they age. This National Occupational Therapy Month, set aside some time to discover how this practice could benefit you or your senior loved one; it’s one more way that Seniors Helping Seniors® clients can stay active, engaged, and brimming with independence in the golden years!

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Unlock Financial Independence with Seven Expert Budgeting Tips for Seniors

Seniors Helping Seniors® 19 Mar 2024

Seniors, it’s time to make every dollar count and thrive financially with our Seniors Helping Seniors® exclusive budgeting tips. In today’s rapidly evolving economic landscape, seniors in the southern region must manage their finances wisely, to ensure a comfortable and stable future. In this blog, we will explore various practical strategies and resources. From taking advantage of senior discounts offered at grocery stores to utilizing budgeting apps and automating savings, we’ll cover all the essentials. Whether you’re looking to extend your retirement savings, protect your investments, or explore sustainable energy solutions such as solar panels, our guide is here to help. Join us as we embark on a journey to empower seniors with the knowledge and tools necessary to achieve financial well-being and peace of mind. Keep reading and let’s dive in!

Shop Smarter at the Grocery Store

Many popular grocery stores offer senior discounts that can help you save money on your food and household item purchases. By taking advantage of these discounts, you can reduce overall expenses and stretch your money further. Your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver is happy to help you develop a meal plan that maximizes your weekly grocery budget.

Take Advantage of Free or Low-Cost Community Resources

As a senior citizen, you have access to a range of free or low-cost community resources and services that can help you stay active and engaged while saving money. These local resources include senior centers, meal delivery programs, transportation services, and recreational activities. By taking advantage of these community resources, you can maintain a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle without putting a strain on your finances.

Look for Senior Discounts

Keep your eye out for senior retail discounts, particularly at chain restaurants and fast-food establishments. Many restaurants often offer special menus or discounts for seniors. Also, retailers offer ongoing discounts for seniors on various merchandise. By actively seeking out and utilizing these discounts, seniors can enjoy affordable dining options and savings on essential purchases, making their money go further without sacrificing convenience or quality.

Use a Budgeting App to Track Expenses

Discover the ease of managing your monthly expenses with user-friendly budgeting apps. These handy digital tools simplify tracking across categories like groceries, utilities, transportation, and entertainment. If you’re not tech-savvy, your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver can assist you in setting up the app, inputting data, and understanding your financial insights. Together, you can navigate your finances with confidence, ensuring a clearer understanding of your spending habits and empowering informed decisions for a brighter financial future!

Automate Savings and Bill Payments

Simplify your finances by setting up automatic transfers from your checking to savings account and automating bill payments. Automating payments is a straightforward process that you can quickly arrange online by visiting your bank’s web portal or your biller’s website. You’ll be able to choose the frequency and payment date. This is a hassle-free way to stay on top of your bills and avoid late fees and penalties.

Get a Helping Hand from Your Seniors Helping Seniors® Caregiver

If you’re looking for some help managing your finances, turn to your Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home caregiver. They know plenty of tricks to save you money, from finding discounts to tapping into government programs and community resources. Together, you and your caregiver can come up with a budget that works for you, so you can worry less and enjoy life more.

Install Solar Panels

Take advantage of the sunshine by installing solar panels to reduce energy costs over the long term. Solar energy systems can harness this renewable resource to generate electricity for your home. By investing in solar panels, you not only decrease your reliance on traditional energy sources but also contribute to environmental sustainability by reducing your carbon footprint. Additionally, many areas offer incentives, rebates, and tax credits for solar panel installations, making it an even more financially attractive option.

As you reach your golden years, it’s crucial to take control of your finances. This guide provides valuable tips and strategies to help seniors budget better and save more money. Navigating finances can be overwhelming — that’s where our dedicated Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers step in. With their expertise and support, they can help you implement these strategies seamlessly into your daily routine. Together, you can develop a personalized financial plan that aligns with your goals and circumstances. The Seniors Helping Seniors® team is here to support you in confidently navigating the complexities of financial management and enjoying peace of mind, knowing that your bank balance is secure.

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National Sleep Week 2024: Improve Sleep Quality with These Six Senior Helping Seniors® Bedtime Strategies

Seniors Helping Seniors® 10 Mar 2024

How did you sleep last night? The Seniors Helping Seniors® family is celebrating National Sleep Awareness Week from March 10th to March 16th. It’s an excellent opportunity to reflect on your habits and consider any adjustments you can make to enhance the quality of your sleep.

A good night’s sleep can make all the difference in how you feel the next day — especially for seniors. It’s like hitting the reset button for your body and mind. Undisturbed sleep allows you to recover from the day, leading to improved cognitive function, better mood regulation, and a strengthened immune system. However, achieving a peaceful night’s rest becomes increasingly difficult with age.

Sleep patterns can change as you get older, leaving many seniors tossing and turning instead of snoozing peacefully. Environmental and psychological factors can also make falling asleep and staying asleep challenging. Do you find yourself counting sheep every night? The Seniors Helping Seniors® team is here to lend a hand. We’ve gathered six helpful tips to help you catch those Z’s. Keep reading to find out how to start sleeping better and wake up feeling rejuvenated every morning!

Establish a Bedtime Routine

It’s much easier to fall asleep once your mind and body know it’s bedtime. Create a consistent wind-down routine to signal that it’s time to relax and prepare for sleep. Try incorporating activities such as reading, gentle stretching, or meditation to help calm your mind and prepare your body for a restful night’s sleep. Your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver can help incorporate these relaxing techniques into your home assistance.

Limit Screen Time Before Bed

Take devices out of your bedtime routine. The blue light emitted by phones, tablets, and computers can stimulate your brain, hindering the natural production of melatonin in your body. Try to unplug and disconnect from screens at least one hour before bedtime.

Create a Comfortable Sleep Environment

Everyone hates waking up with a crick in their neck. Investing in a better mattress and supportive pillows can prevent discomfort and pains. Your bedding also makes an impact on the quality of your sleep. Consider the material and feel of your sheets; you want a fabric that will keep you at a comfortable temperature all night.

Limit Daytime Naps

As tempting as it is to take a cat nap in the afternoon, be mindful that longer or more frequent naps can throw off your nightly sleep routine. Keep your naps short and sweet, around 20-30 minutes, and schedule them earlier in the day. This way, you can still enjoy a refreshing break without sacrificing your ability to get a good night’s rest.

Stay Active During the Day

Regular physical activity can help you sleep better. Thirty minutes of moderate exercise each day can benefit your overall health and well-being. Just be sure to avoid vigorous workouts right before bedtime, as it can be too stimulating.

Watch Your Diet

It’s important to pay attention to what you eat and drink, especially before going to bed. Consuming heavy meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime can disrupt your sleep schedule. Consider switching to calming beverages like herbal tea or warm milk in the evening to help you fall asleep. If you need assistance with meal planning or adjusting your diet, your Seniors Helping Seniors® team is here to support you every step of the way.

Set Your Alarm for the Same Time

Consistency is key when it comes to establishing a healthy sleep routine. Your body thrives on regularity, so try to set a fixed wake-up time and stick to it, even on weekends or days off when sleeping in feels even more tempting.

If you still have trouble getting a good night’s sleep despite trying different methods, it might be time to seek expert guidance. Consulting with a sleep specialist or healthcare provider can provide personalized advice and treatment options tailored to your unique needs. They can also help identify any underlying sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome, that might affect your sleep quality. Your health and well-being are important, and your Seniors Helping Seniors® team is here to support you in getting the restful sleep you deserve.

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Spread Love & Kindness: 5 Ways To Recognize Seniors Helping Seniors® Caregivers

Seniors Helping Seniors® 23 Feb 2024

Even though Valentine’s Day has passed, there are no rules on when you can show gratitude toward those who matter most. Throughout the year, Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services demonstrate that Love is in our Care®. We do this with heartfelt acts of service and compassion. Our caregivers work tirelessly to provide exceptional assistance to seniors nationwide, and we cannot thank them enough for their hard work!

To show our appreciation, we’ve compiled a list of five simple yet thoughtful ways to help you surprise your or your loved one’s Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver. These ideas will allow you to acknowledge their commitment and show how much you value and appreciate their service.

1.      Write A Personalized Card

Crafting a tailored card is an easy but also profound way to express gratitude to your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver. Write down specific instances in which they made a difference in your life and let them know how much you appreciate their dedication. Whether it’s store-bought or homemade, a heartfelt card can convey genuine emotions and make your caregiver feel truly valued on this special day.

2.      Give A Small Token Of Appreciation

Small gestures can leave a lasting impression, so consider giving your caregiver a thoughtful gift that reflects your gratitude. It could be something as simple as a handcrafted item, a personalized trinket, or a homemade sweet treat. These small tokens of appreciation are tangible reminders of how much you care, and they’ll make your caregiver feel cherished and recognized for their hard work.

3.      Plan A Friendly Outing

Spending quality time together outside of the home can be a great way to express your appreciation and foster a deeper connection with your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver. Plan a “friend date” where you can enjoy a casual lunch, a relaxing coffee break, or even a visit to a local attraction. By making plans to spend time together, you can connect personally and create joyous memories that strengthen your relationship.

4.      Make A Care Package

Assembling a thoughtful care package with items catering to your caregiver’s well-being is another way to show your gratitude. Include scented candles, soothing teas, or a cozy blanket to create a relaxing atmosphere. Or put together a basket with their favorite candies and treats! Make this care package even more meaningful by adding a personalized note expressing your thanks.

5.      Perform An Act Of Kindness

Finally, kind acts can be a powerful way to display your appreciation. Whether it’s extending a heartfelt compliment, brewing your caregiver’s favorite coffee, or planning an activity together at home, these small acts of kindness show that you recognize their hard work and want to make their day a little brighter.

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Boost Brainpower: Eight Seniors Helping Seniors® Games For Better Mental Agility

Seniors Helping Seniors® 17 Jan 2024

While physical fitness is crucial for seniors’ health, nurturing one’s mind is equally as important. Brain exercises enhance cognitive abilities, memory, and focus, similar to how diverse workouts target specific muscle groups. At Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services, we understand the unique needs of our clients in the Northeast. That’s why we’ve gathered eight enjoyable memory games designed to improve mental skills and keep the mind agile. Read on to discover these delightful, brain-boosting activities and let’s play!

Jigsaw Puzzles

Solving jigsaw puzzles can enhance visual-spatial skills and improve problem-solving abilities. Connecting pieces of different shapes and colors tests patience and sharpens an individual’s eye for detail.

Simon Says

Playing Simon Says, a classic childhood game, encourages active listening and short-term memory. It’s a fun way to exercise one’s ability to follow instructions accurately while encouraging quick thinking and coordination. Partner up with a Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver and give it a try!

Trivia

Answering trivia questions is a great way for seniors to test their knowledge of different subjects, while also learning new facts and improving memory. Looking for a topic? Consider exploring the Northeast’s history, geography, and local culture. Challenge friends, family, or a caregiver to a few rounds and see who wins the title of ultimate trivia champ!

Crossword Puzzles or Sudoku

Completing crossword puzzles and Sudoku challenges vocabulary, logic, and problem-solving skills. Tricky brain teasers promote mental agility and are a delightful, accessible way to keep the mind sharp and active.

Word Recall

Word Recall is a fun game that involves remembering and reciting words. To start the game, pick a word. Next, each player takes turns adding a new word that begins with the last letter of the previous word. For example, if the first word is “apple,” the next could be “elephant,” and so on. This simple game is an engaging way to improve language processing and recall.

Chess or Checkers

Challenge a Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver to a game of chess or checkers! Strategy games demand critical thinking, planning, and foresight. Playing a few rounds hones analytical skills and enhances concentration and decision-making abilities — all from the comfort of home.

Name That Tune

How well do you or your senior loved one know your favorite songs? Our clients can test their music knowledge with this enjoyable recall game. To get started, have a Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver play a few seconds of a song and try to guess the title and who sings it. Studies show that music can stimulate the part of the brain responsible for memory and emotion. Not to mention, hearing familiar tunes can also bring back positive feelings of nostalgia.

Memory Tray

Improve short-term memory using items found around the house. Participants will need a partner for this one — a Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver makes the perfect teammate! Start by asking them to place some items on a tray or tabletop. Study the pieces for a minute or two and then have them remove the objects. Afterward, try to recall as many items as possible. This game is an interactive way to challenge attention, concentration, and visual-spatial abilities.

These memory games are specifically tailored to engage seniors, providing enjoyable moments of connection while challenging their minds. Activities like playing word games or testing analytical skills can boost brain function, improve cognitive skills, and enhance seniors’ overall mental acuity. When paired with Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services, mental agility training enables seniors to live their golden years to the fullest potential, while staying connected to their community and their roots.

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Remembering 2023: Preserve The Year’s Cherished Moments With Seniors Helping Seniors® In-Home Care Services

Seniors Helping Seniors® 18 Dec 2023

Every passing year leaves behind its own set of special memories. The Seniors Helping Seniors® family loves helping those we serve to reflect on the past and document its most meaningful parts. The result is a tangible keepsake showcasing our clients’ treasured moments and personal growth.

From scrapbooking, organizing digital files, and creating memory boxes to journaling and expressing through art, we’ll explore various ways to reflect on the past year’s experiences below. Whether looking to capture the significant events that brought joy or the small moments that warmed the heart, Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers can help you or a senior loved one create a beautiful picture of the year gone by.

Document Valued Moments in a Journal

Writing down thoughts, experiences, and emotions at the end of the year is a personal time capsule, providing a vivid account of cherished memories for seniors to revisit and reflect upon. Through journaling, you or a family member can remember highlights, challenges, and personal growth encountered throughout the year in a reflective and meaningful medium.

Capture Memories with Scrapbooking

Transform treasured memories into tangible keepsakes by creating a personalized scrapbook. Artistically compile photographs, mementos, written anecdotes, and other important items in a book or binder to share with loved ones. This creative outlet helps you reflect on your or your special senior’s life, showcasing the resilience, joy, and beauty in everyday experiences.

Create a Personal Time Capsule

Gather special items from the year, like souvenirs, letters, and trinkets, to make a curated collection of memories. It’s like a treasure chest full of important moments, stories, and emotions, enabling seniors to touch the past in a meaningful way.

Organize Digital Files

Thoughtfully arrange digital photos, videos, and documents to keep them safe and accessible. Sorting digital files can bring back beautiful moments and feelings from the past, eliciting happy memories whenever seniors need a little nostalgia.

Chart The Year’s Journey

Create a visual map or timeline of places visited, events attended, or experiences had during the year. This guide allows seniors to trace their journey, giving them a clear picture of the special moments they’ve cherished.

Express Memories with Art

Artistic endeavors like painting, drawing, or crafting let seniors creatively show their feelings and memories. Use different materials to make something unique and forever capture a favorite moment.

Share The Experience!

The only thing better than walking down memory lane is doing it with a good friend, like a Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver. No matter which method you or your loved one uses to document 2023, there are so many opportunities to share stories and form closer connections along the way! Whether it is a tale of triumph, disappointment, or a story that always gets a laugh, our caregivers love learning about the events that make our clients who they are.

As the year draws to a close, the Seniors Helping Seniors® team recognizes that the power of journaling, scrapbooking, and creating becomes ever more apparent. These aren’t just creative outlets; they’re time capsules of a year lived fully. As we turn the page to a new year, try implementing one of these creative avenues into your routine or that of a loved one. The moments captured today will build a legacy of memories for tomorrow!

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Stay Connected During the Holidays! Eight Essential Tech Tips for Seniors Helping Seniors® Clients

Seniors Helping Seniors® 02 Dec 2023

The holiday season calls for joy, celebration, and connection! Technology can help increase accessibility during this festive period; however, many seniors feel overwhelmed navigating the digital space. To help our clients stay active and engaged during the holiday season, the Seniors Helping Seniors® team has put together a handy guide with easy-to-follow tech tips designed to elevate every experience during this special time of year.

1.      Monitor Winter Weather with a Mobile App

Stay updated and ready for shifting weather in the Northeast by using a dependable weather app on your phone or mobile device. Monitor conditions and declining temperatures to organize your plans and prioritize safety throughout the winter months. Unsure about downloading apps? Reach out to a Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver for assistance!

2.      Add Smart Devices to Your Home

Simplify your daily routine with smart devices like voice-activated assistants or smart thermostats. Voice-activated assistants help you stay on track during the holidays by tracking shipments, providing information, and setting reminders. Smart thermostats automatically adjust the temperature of your home so you can be comfortable without lifting a finger.

3.      Connect with Faraway Loved Ones via Video Chat

Virtually celebrate with long-distance friends and family this holiday season through face-to-face video chats. User-friendly platforms make it easy to share festive moments, exchange stories, and express love despite the miles separating you. Ask your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver to help you schedule a call.

4.      Try Online Holiday Shopping

Avoid crowds and long lines during the busy holiday season by shopping online from the comfort of home. Using the internet, you can effortlessly search websites for gifts, compare prices, and have items delivered directly to your doorstep.

5.      Send Personalized E-Cards to Friends and Family

Add a personal touch to your holiday greetings by sending customized e-cards. Express your warmth and well wishes digitally, selecting from various designs and messages to spread joy to family and friends.

6.      Schedule Medication Reminders on Your Devices

The hustle and bustle of the holidays make it easy to forget to take medications on time. Maintain your health regimen throughout the season by setting up medication reminders on your devices.

7.      Embrace the Festive Spirit with Online Music and Video Streaming

Set the holiday mood by streaming your favorite festive movies and songs. Music streaming platforms have millions of seasonal tunes to create a cheerful ambiance at home. You can also use video streaming platforms to find the perfect film for a holiday movie night.

8.      Arm Yourself Against Holiday Scams

Scammers frequently exploit the festive spirit, aiming to deceive seniors through fake charity appeals, bogus online shopping offers, or fraudulent calls posing as relatives in need. Remain vigilant and stay informed to safeguard your finances and personal information.

The Seniors Helping Seniors® family wants to help you stay connected, secure, and enjoy the season’s festivities. Whether checking the weather or video chatting with family, these tech tips make the holidays cozier and more convenient. Paired with the compassionate assistance of a Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver, you’ll be set to savor a fun and safe holiday season!

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Sounds of the Season: Create the Perfect Autumn Playlist With Seniors Helping Seniors® In-Home Care Services

Seniors Helping Seniors® 06 Nov 2023

Autumn represents change and reflection, making it the perfect backdrop for seniors to embrace the therapeutic benefits of music. During this transformative season, sentimental and nostalgic feelings often arise. Creating an uplifting fall song playlist can be a cathartic way to express emotions. In this blog post, we explore music’s profound impact on seniors’ emotional, physical, and social well-being. Continue reading for a few Seniors Helping Seniors® recommendations on curating an inspiring autumn soundtrack.

Explore The Power Of Music

Music therapy, a method of using music to promote well-being, is a powerful tool for seniors in the autumn. The practice uses musical elements, such as sound, rhythm, melody, and lyrics, to facilitate personal growth. Music’s ability to evoke emotions and memories is particularly influential this time of year.

Listening to mindfully chosen melodies provides plenty of benefits for the senior community. These might include:

  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Improved mood
  • Stimulated cognitive function

In addition, Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers can use elements of music therapy to foster social interaction, communication, and self-expression, contributing to a holistic approach to in-home senior care.

Introducing music therapy into your autumn routine can be as simple as curating a playlist that mirrors the season’s essence. You can make a compilation by jotting down your favorite songs, hand-picking albums from your record collection, creating a custom CD, or digitally organizing your songs on a music streaming platform. Whichever method you choose, Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers are ready to provide their support. Below, we’ve outlined four different categories and inventive ideas to guide you in creating an ideal fall-themed playlist.

1.      Let Emotions Lead

Autumn’s emotional depth can be your guide when curating a playlist. Consider a mood or feeling you want to evoke and choose resonant songs. For a joyful tone, go for lively tracks with optimistic lyrics and cheerful melodies. Alternatively, select songs with slower beats and contemplative themes for a more reflective sound.

2.      Stick to a Genre

Add thematic structure to your playlist by focusing on a singular genre. Select a style that resonates with the season’s mood. Consider genres like folk for a cozy, reflective ambiance or classic rock for a more celebratory feel.

3.      Pick a Topic

Base your playlist on an autumn-related topic. Whether it’s songs about cozy nights around a bonfire or the beauty of falling leaves, concentrating on fall subjects allows for a playlist with a consistent theme tailored to the unique aspects of the season.

4.      Stay on Beat

Mirror your autumn mood through your playlist’s tempo. Include slower, melodic tunes for reflection and introduce faster beats for celebration. Focusing on musical rhythm creates a dynamic soundtrack for your fall routine.

Crafting a themed playlist during autumn can be a simple and enriching experience. Listening to music that evokes certain feelings, whether through a singular genre, specific song topics, or precise musical rhythm, can stimulate seniors to connect with feelings that arise in the fall. No matter your musical preferences, Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers can help you find harmonious notes for an introspective autumn soundtrack.

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Break the Ice: 5 Fun Questions To Help You Get To Know Your Seniors Helping Seniors® Caregiver

Seniors Helping Seniors® 19 Oct 2023

The Seniors Helping Seniors® family takes pride in facilitating meaningful, lasting connections between caregivers, clients, and families. We base our mission around the importance of forming a positive relationship between those giving and receiving in-home senior care.

Strong, trust-based comradery contributes to an efficient, fulfilling, and enjoyable experience for everyone involved. So this month, let’s make it a point to get to know one another a little better!

The Benefits of a Positive Client-Caregiver Relationship

As dedicated companions, Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers add moments of joy to each day. Fostering a deep connection offers countless benefits to physical and mental well-being. Once you feel comfortable around your caregiver, their presence can alleviate stress and anxiety surrounding your or your loved one’s in-home care.

A strong bond provides emotional support and instills a sense of belonging as well. As with any friendship, it’ll take time to get to know your caregiver. However, inquiring about their life and uncovering their personality is an easy-going way to become close.

The Purpose of Asking Questions

Giving your caregiver a friendly “3rd degree” helps improve communication skills and encourages them – and you – to open up. After all, sharing details about yourself is often easier when both parties are participating in the conversation! This dynamic exchange can lead to better understanding, reduced stress, and a more personalized care experience.

As you know, Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services makes pairing caregivers and clients with similar interests and backgrounds a priority, so our caregivers often have plenty in common with those we serve. Who knows what similarities you can uncover with a few fun-loving questions! Enjoyable conversations form the foundation of a strong bond, and provide an endless array of meaningful topics to explore.

Ready to get started? Here are five lighthearted questions Seniors Helping Seniors® clients can ask their caregivers for a deeper friendship.

Question 1: Did you or your family have any traditions growing up? What were they?

This question encourages your caregiver to share cherished memories and customs that have been passed down. You’ll be able to glimpse into their cultural heritage, upbringing, and the bonds they share within their family.

Whether it’s a holiday tradition, a special family ritual, or a unique celebration, this question evokes meaningful stories from their past, fostering a deeper connection and understanding between you and your caregiver.

Question 2: Is there a book, movie, or song that holds a special place in your heart? Why is it important to you?

Preferences in literature, cinema, and music are often deeply rooted in our emotions and personal experiences. This question encourages your caregiver to share their artistic tastes along with the feelings, memories, and life events associated with it. Discussions about art, music, and literature can give you insight on the unique perspectives that shape your caregiver’s character.

Question 3: What is the most treasured item you own and what’s the story behind it?

Personal possessions frequently carry sentimental value and powerful memories. By inquiring about their most cherished belongings, you invite your caregiver to share the emotions, experiences, and stories attached to the physical object.

This question opens a window into their past, allowing them to reminisce about meaningful moments or relationships that have shaped their life. In turn, you’re able to gain a deeper understanding of their values, attachments, and what brings them joy.

Question 4: What’s the most interesting place you’ve ever traveled to, and why did you love it?

One’s choice of a favorite travel destination often reveals personal preferences, interests, and the experiences that have left a lasting impact. Asking this question to your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver can lead to engaging conversations about cities, cultures, landscapes, and funny moments on the road. Their response reveals their unique experiences and perspectives that have contributed to their personal growth and worldview.

Question 5: Is there anything specific you’d like to know about me or my life?

Friendship is a two-way street; sharing is just as important as asking! Opening yourself up demonstrates your willingness to create a reciprocal connection. It encourages your caregiver to get to know you better, creating a space for deeper conversations and mutual understanding. You never know, they may surprise you with the fun questions they ask!

Watching our caregivers and clients form quick and lasting connections is one of the most rewarding aspects of our in-home senior care. It’s also one of the many ways we provide assistance that feels less like a service, more like getting a little help from your friends®! Ultimately, the act of asking questions, along with the genuine exchange of stories and insights, lies at the heart of our mission to provide not just care but also lasting connections and joy every day.

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Get Festive this Fall! 3 Mess-Free, Seniors Helping Seniors® Alternatives to Pumpkin Carving

Seniors Helping Seniors® 07 Oct 2023

Crafting beautiful and festive pumpkins doesn’t have to involve sharp tools and a big mess to clean up. For seniors in the Heartland looking for an orderly and safer way to decorate their fall gourds, the Seniors Helping Seniors® family has gathered a range of creative options that promise all the charm of pumpkin decoration without the fuss.

In this article, we’ll explore accessible hands-on crafts that allow seniors to showcase their creativity, embrace the season, and make beautiful decorations to display at home. Keep reading for a list of fun, pumpkin carving alternatives every senior in the Heartland can do this autumn!

Painting

You don’t have to be an expert artist to create a fall masterpiece. With a palette of acrylic paints, brushes, and a pumpkin as your canvas, you can let your imagination run wild without any sharp tools or messy pieces.

This art form can be easily tailored to individual preferences and skill levels. The sky’s the limit of what you can paint on your pumpkin! Draw a silly face, paint a fun pattern, or stick to one color to match your home décor. Need a bit of inspiration? Draw from the beautiful nature of the Heartland area.

Glitter

Add some sparkle to the season with this easy and fabulous DIY project. Start with a clean, dry pumpkin of your choice and apply a layer of adhesive or glue evenly onto the surface. Make sure the areas where you want the glitter to adhere are fully covered. Then, sprinkle glitter generously onto the glue, making sure to coat the pumpkin thoroughly. The result is a dazzling pumpkin that celebrates fall with a touch of glamor.

Buttons

Break out your button collection for this cozy, fall craft! Enlist the help of your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver to pick a variety of buttons in different sizes, shapes, and colors to suit your creative vision. Using a strong adhesive like craft glue, carefully stick the buttons onto the pumpkin’s surface, arranging them in patterns, designs, or even creating whimsical faces. Your button-adorned pumpkin will be a unique and delightful addition to your space.

Tip: If you want to keep your buttons, use a pin instead of glue so you can remove them once the season is over.

Fabric

Add warmth and texture to your fall decorations by wrapping a pumpkin in fabric. Start by choosing the material. You can pick a fall-themed flannel or burlap, or think outside the box with vibrant colors and prints.

Next, cut the fabric into small pieces or strips that can be easily wrapped on the pumpkin’s surface. Using a strong adhesive like craft glue or a hot glue gun, carefully stick the fabric pieces to the pumpkin, layering and overlapping them to achieve your desired look. You’ll be left with a cozy, homespun pumpkin that will make a perfect addition to your fall décor.

Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers love helping our clients tap into their creativity, so be sure to invite them to join the fun. After all, crafts are even more enjoyable with friends! A pumpkin decorating party makes for the perfect fall get together as well. Invite a few friends or family members over, whip up some fall snacks, and let’s craft some beautiful memories together!

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Tips for Balancing Caring for Aging Parents and Raising Children

Seniors Helping Seniors® 29 Sep 2023

Growing older can be an amazing experience, and having your aging parents involved in your life and your children’s can be an enriching and wonderful thing for all concerned. However, as our parents move through their golden years, some additional challenges may emerge around balancing caring for them and caring for the younger members of your family. While this may seem difficult, it’s generally not an insurmountable issue. Seniors Helping Seniors understands the complexities of elder care, so with that experience in mind, we’d like to offer some tips for balancing caring for aging parents and raising children. It is not a proscriptive list, so feel free to pick, choose, and adapt our suggestions to work for you.

Clear communication is key: As in all human relationships and all family ventures, clear, consistent, and open communication is the key to success. As we age, we may become less adaptive to change, be it personal or within the family. You might want to include your aging parents in the conversation if you’re moving, if your kids are changing schools or going to college, or if your work schedule is changing. Give them a space where voice concerns, ask questions, and otherwise get comfortable with the new things happening around them.

Listening is part of communication, but unfortunately, we all sometimes forget to listen to our family members–especially the elderly. The fact is that your aging parents are still adults, and they still have needs, feelings, and preferences. As part of clear communication, ensuring that you’re listening to their desires, opinions, and thoughts is a big step in ensuring that they’re being taken care of and that you can better balance their needs with everything going on in your life.

Just as you need to involve your parents and listen to their needs, it’s also important to keep your children in the loop when it comes to life changes, particularly those regarding your aging parents. Young children may need some help understanding why their grandparents are coming to live with them, are less mobile than they used to be, or are moving to an assisted living facility. Older children have their own emotional needs, and as young adults, they deserve to have their thoughts and needs heard.

Take care of–and make time for–yourself! In all of this, you are important, and you deserve to be loved, cared for, supported, and treated with kindness. You’re a human and you’ll need to take breaks, do things you enjoy, or just rest now and then. Involve other family members, reach out to friends and neighbors, and find supportive programs to help you take care of your parents and keep the kids occupied while you do the things that make you happy and help you feel good about life.

Finally, and maybe most importantly: ask for help when you need it and accept help when it’s offered. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking that all of this is your responsibility, 24 hours a day forever. The reality is that you need time for yourself, as we pointed out above, and your aging parents may need some additional care or companionship that you’re not in a position to offer them. By using the available resources to get the help that you and your parents need, you’ll make everyone’s life easier and make the time you spend with them that much richer.

Caring for older adults can be challenging, but Seniors Helping Seniors is here to help. Our team of senior volunteers understands what their fellow seniors need, and are there to help with a variety of day-to-day tasks or provide a bit of age-appropriate companionship as needed. The golden years are a precious time, meant to be enjoyed to its fullest, and our unique approach to senior care helps all involved get the most out of them. If you’d like a little help or company for an aging parent, if you’re a senior who could use a hand at home, or if you’d like to volunteer, get in touch with us today!

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Make the Most Of Healthy Aging Month! Prioritize Personal Wellness With Seniors Helping Seniors® In-Home Care Services

Seniors Helping Seniors® 26 Sep 2023

Healthy Aging Month, celebrated every September, brings awareness to the physical and mental changes seniors experience as they age. This month-long observance also reminds seniors to care for physical and mental health throughout the golden years. Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services enable older adults to lead a vibrant and fulfilling life. A kind hand and a positive perspective will help you or your senior loved one remain connected, curious, and content as you navigate the later years.

The Significance Of Healthy Aging

Healthy aging is a conscious choice with remarkable benefits for older adults. The goal is not only living longer, but living better. Prioritizing physical and mental health enables seniors to improve their well-being and outlook. This includes lifestyle changes like engaging in regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, and finding activities that bring joy. Continue reading for four Seniors Helping Seniors® ways to promote healthy aging this month.

1.     Focus On Physical Well-Being

During Healthy Aging Month, make movement an enjoyable part of your or your special senior’s routine. Non-strenuous activity helps us stay fit while improving overall well-being, and an active lifestyle builds muscle and mobility for everyday life.

Aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week. Explore workouts that match your fitness level or that of a loved one. Some options that the Seniors Helping Seniors® family loves include yoga, swimming, walking, and even dancing!

2.     Nurture Emotional Health

Mental health matters as much as physical health. Prioritize self-care this month by incorporating mindfulness into a daily routine.

Peaceful activities like meditation, breathing exercises, or journaling center thoughts and reduce stress. Seek opportunities to connect with friends and family. Sharing stories, laughing, and being present with loved ones combats feelings of isolation and loneliness, contributing to a positive state of mind. If you or a loved one are struggling with mental health, don’t hesitate to contact a professional for help.

3.     Take Preventative Measures

Healthy Aging Month is the perfect time to schedule regular check-ups with a healthcare provider. Monitor health and keep up with recommended screenings, such as mammograms, colonoscopies, and bone density tests. Be sure to follow recommended vaccines, including influenza, pneumococcal, and shingles.

Your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver is happy to give you or a senior loved one a ride to any appointments. Proactive measures empower seniors to take control of health, allowing our clients to continue enjoying life to the fullest.

4.     Make Positive Lifestyle Choices

Lastly, this month offers an excellent opportunity to incorporate better habits into a daily routine. Consider setting specific goals that align with your well-being aspirations or those of a loved one.

Aiming to eat healthier? Start cooking with more nutritious, nutrient-rich foods. Want to build a better sleep schedule? Try going to bed an hour earlier and reading before going to sleep. Or, get more organized by committing to decluttering at home. It takes about two months for a new habit to stick, so don’t wait to make lifestyle changes.

Healthy Aging Month reminds seniors to take care of their well-being. As we age, each day presents an opportunity to make positive changes. Whether embarking on a new exercise routine, practicing daily mindfulness, or starting a positive habit, there are plenty of ways to nurture physical, mental, and emotional health. Add a layer of support by enlisting help from a Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver. With their assistance, the seniors we serve can confidently navigate this journey, knowing that their well-being is in capable hands.

The post Make the Most Of Healthy Aging Month! Prioritize Personal Wellness With Seniors Helping Seniors® In-Home Care Services appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Mind Over Matter: 5 Seniors Helping Seniors® Tips For Practicing Positive Aging!

Seniors Helping Seniors® 14 Sep 2023

Seniors Helping SeniorsEveryone views aging differently. To some, the idea of getting older is scary. Others embrace it with a youthful ferocity! At the end of the day, your mindset is more important than you think. It plays a large part in the quality of life experienced throughout your Golden Years.

Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services is committed to inspiring others to age gracefully and independently. One of the ways we encourage our care recipients to make the most of their senior years is by promoting “positive aging” techniques.

What Is Positive Aging?
Positive aging is all about mindset. It refers to the idea that if you maintain an optimistic outlook in your senior years — coupled with healthy habits, social engagement, and mental stimulation — you’ll feel good about yourself, remain physically active, and continue to engage fully in all aspects of life!

Incorporating positive aging techniques into your daily routine might sound difficult, but it’s easier than you think. Of course, our Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers will stand by your side, ready to help you create and practice a program that will do your mind and body good!

Now that you know why positive aging is important, let’s discuss five simple ways Seniors Helping Seniors® care receivers can work the power of positivity into everyday life!

1 – Embrace Your Age!
Age is just a number, after all. Maintaining a youthful outlook and adapting to your changing abilities can help you accept that growing older is a normal part of life – one that every person (including your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver) is attempting to navigate.

The first step in discovering the power of positive aging is to accept the aging process by working with it and not against it. This makes it easier to cope with the challenges this stage of life presents, and instead, start looking forward to the possibilities!

2 – Make Fitness A Priority
Just thirty minutes of daily exercise can revolutionize your health. It can help you look and feel younger, complete tasks more easily, and prevent accidents and falls – all of which are essential for maintaining a positive outlook. Try the following Seniors Helping Seniors® suggestions to jumpstart your fitness routine:

Go for a walk
Walking is an excellent way to get the blood pumping while improving heart health, boosting mental clarity, and lowering blood pressure. Commit to a daily walk with a friend, family member, or your Seniors Helping Seniors® companion!

Explore senior fitness classes
There are plenty of exercise options for active seniors! Look into what classes your local senior center, gym, or fitness studio offers. Activities like water aerobics, chair yoga, and body weight workouts are popular among seniors and provide low impact workouts that will still make you feel the burn!

Don’t get discouraged if it’s tough to keep up at first. Your workouts will become easier as you build strength. Be consistent and you’ll soon look forward to your daily exercise regimen!

3 – Stay Connected
Building and maintaining close relationships is also essential to a positive aging plan. Doing so can combat loneliness, improve self-esteem, and foster a sense of belonging. Not sure where to begin? Try one of the following to make new friends or reconnect with some old pals:

  • Organize a monthly dinner with friends or family where everyone brings a different dish
  • Join a social group, like a birdwatching or book club, pickleball league, or volunteer service
  • Make it a point to attend your grandkids’ sporting games and performances – they’ll love having you there to cheer them on!

As always, remember to lean on your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver. They’re available to get you to and from social events or to accompany you on a new adventure, so let’s go!

4 – Nurture Healthy Habits
Maintaining a balanced diet is critical to the aging process. Eating right helps keep your weight at an appropriate level and supports heart health. These simple diet rules can help you stay on track:

  • Incorporate lean proteins, plenty of vegetables (especially those that are orange, red, and green), substitute whole grains whenever possible, and stick to low-fat dairy products
  • Drink lots of (the right) fluids – water, tea, and coffee – and stay away from beverages that are high in sugar
  • Look for foods that are high in fiber and vitamin D as these are both vital for aging individuals

There are also certain habits you should avoid to continue functioning at the highest level. First, don’t skimp on sleep – a restful night’s slumber is essential in keeping the body functioning properly. Also, avoid smoking and excessive alcohol intake. Both of these can cause serious health issues in people of all ages.

5 – Sharpen Your Brain
Your mind, like your body, thrives when you push it to the limit. A strong brain keeps you sharp and is a key ingredient for your positive aging recipe. Add games like Sudoku and crossword puzzles to your daily routine so your brain gets the exercise it needs.

Learning a new skill can improve intellect as well. Check local resources, like a university or community center, to see if they offer any skill-building classes that peak your interest. Gaining a new ability cultivates positive thoughts and builds confidence. Not to mention, it’s fun and will leave you with an activity you’ll look forward to!

We told you it was easy to practice positive aging! In fact, you’re probably doing a lot of these things already. Don’t be afraid to ask your Seniors Helping Seniors® companion for ideas on how to keep a positive mindset as you mature – remember, they’re going through the same stage of life as you are. Incorporate the above Seniors Helping Seniors® tips into your daily routine and you’re bound to feel great, stay active, and retain your youthful exuberance for life!

Incorporating positive aging techniques into your daily routine might sound difficult, but it’s easier than you think. Of course, our Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers will stand by your side, ready to help you create and practice a program that will do your mind and body good!

Now that you know why positive aging is important, let’s discuss five simple ways Seniors Helping Seniors® care receivers can work the power of positivity into everyday life!

The post Mind Over Matter: 5 Seniors Helping Seniors® Tips For Practicing Positive Aging! appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Make the Most of Healthy Aging Month! Prioritize Personal Wellness!

Seniors Helping Seniors® 06 Sep 2023
Healthy Aging Month

Healthy Aging Month, celebrated every September, brings awareness to the physical and mental changes seniors experience as they age. This month-long observance also reminds seniors to care for physical and mental health throughout their golden years.

The US Census reports that there are an estimated 55.8 million people in this country over the age of 65, which makes September’s National Healthy Aging Month incredibly important to a large portion of the population. Healthy aging is something that everyone should prioritize. As those we love get older, the risk of negative health effects can climb, so discussing the best way to stay healthy while getting older is pertinent.


The Significance of Healthy Aging

Healthy aging is a conscious choice with remarkable benefits for older adults. The goal is not only living longer but living better. Prioritizing physical and mental health enables seniors to improve their well-being and outlook. This includes lifestyle changes like engaging in regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, and finding activities that bring joy. Continue reading for four Seniors Helping Seniors® ways to promote healthy aging this month.


Focus on Physical Well-Being

During Healthy Aging Month, make movement an enjoyable part of your or your special senior’s routine. Non-strenuous activity helps us stay fit while improving overall well-being, and an active lifestyle builds muscle and mobility for everyday life.

Aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week. Explore workouts that match your fitness level or that of a loved one. Some options that the Seniors Helping Seniors® family loves include yoga, swimming, walking, and even dancing!


Nurture Emotional Health

Mental health matters as much as physical health. Prioritize self-care this month by incorporating mindfulness into a daily routine.

Peaceful activities like meditation, breathing exercises, or journaling center thoughts and reduce stress. Seek opportunities to connect with friends and family. Sharing stories, laughing, and being present with loved ones combats feelings of isolation and loneliness, contributing to a positive state of mind. If you or a loved one are struggling with mental health, do not hesitate to contact a professional for help.


Take Preventative Measures

Healthy Aging Month is the perfect time to schedule regular check-ups with a healthcare provider. Monitor health and keep up with recommended screenings, such as mammograms, colonoscopies, and bone density tests. Be sure to follow recommended vaccines, including influenza, pneumococcal, and shingles.

Your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver is happy to give you or a senior loved one a ride to any appointments. Proactive measures empower seniors to take control of their health, allowing our clients to continue enjoying life to the fullest.


Make Positive Lifestyle Choices

Lastly, this month offers an excellent opportunity to incorporate better habits into a daily routine. Consider setting specific goals that align with your well-being aspirations or those of a loved one.

Aiming to eat healthier? Start cooking with more nutritious, nutrient-rich foods. Want to build a better sleep schedule? Try going to bed an hour earlier and reading before going to sleep. Or get more organized by committing to decluttering at home. It takes about two months for a new habit to stick with, so do not wait to make lifestyle changes.

Helping your seniors age healthily can be as simple as suggesting daily exercise, here are some tips for making positive lifestyle choices:

  • Get moving: Exercise and physical activity.
  • Healthy eating: Make smart food choices.
  • Prioritize sleep: Get a good night’s sleep.
  • Stop unhealthy habits: Quit smoking, limit the amount of junk food available, try to discourage alcohol, etc.
  • Annual checkups: Get your loved ones to the doctor regularly.

Healthy Aging Month reminds seniors to take care of their well-being. As we age, each day presents an opportunity to make positive changes. Whether embarking on a new exercise routine, practicing daily mindfulness, or starting a positive habit, there are plenty of ways to nurture physical, mental, and emotional health. Add a layer of support by enlisting help from a Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver. With their assistance, the seniors we serve can confidently navigate this journey, knowing that their well-being is in capable hands.

Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services enable older adults to lead a vibrant and fulfilling life. A kind hand and a positive perspective will help you or your senior loved one remain connected, curious, and content as you navigate the later years.

Do you want to explore Chicago and need a companion to go with you? Seniors Helping Seniors Chicago can help you. Call or text us at 312-526-3666 to learn more or visit our website at https://seniorcarechicagometro.com/need-help/

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Fall Prevention Tips to Keep Seniors Standing Steady All Autumn

fall prevention

September marks Fall Prevention Month — a time dedicated to raising awareness about the risks of losing balance. Slips often lead to serious injuries, resulting in hospitalizations and a loss of confidence. Seniors can avoid these accidents by making thoughtful changes in their daily habits.

As autumn approaches Chicagoland, the Seniors Helping Seniors® team wants to help you and your senior loved one prioritize safety. In this article, we will review five easy fall prevention tips that seniors can incorporate into their routines to stay safe, secure, and stable.


Stay Active

Our muscles naturally weaken as we age, and our sense of balance becomes less dependable. Engaging in regular physical activity helps counteract these age-related changes. Strong muscles provide better support to joints and bones, reducing the risk of stumbling or falling.

Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services recommend light exercises like walking, yoga, and swimming to improve range of motion. Try taking a stroll around the neighborhood as the leaves change colors for a fun way to get moving this fall.


Modify The Home

The transition from summer to fall usually brings wet leaves, fog, and unpredictable weather to the Heartland, which can cause mobility challenges. Adapting your or your family member’s living space to these seasonal shifts mitigates risk and safeguards against potential falls.

Simple changes include removing clutter from walkways, securing rugs with non-slip mats, and installing handrails along staircases. These quick adjustments reinforce the home and allow seniors to move with confidence, no matter the weather conditions outside.


Hydrate And Eat a Proper Diet

Autumn’s arrival may relieve summer heat, but cooler temperatures can mask the body’s thirst signals, leading many seniors to forget to drink enough water. Prolonged dehydration leads to fatigue, dizziness, and reduced cognitive function, contributing to an increased risk of falls. Remember to replenish fluids often!

Additionally, incorporate vitamin-rich foods into a balanced diet to fuel the body all season. Stock up on fall fruits and veggies by heading to the local farmer’s market!


Wear Proper Footwear

As leaves fall and surfaces become slick, wearing appropriate footwear becomes essential. Shoes with good arch support, sturdy soles, and a secure fit offer stability and reduce the chance of slipping on wet leaves or uneven paths. Non-slip options are a staff favorite at Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services. Proper footwear helps you or your loved one confidently navigate seasonal challenges and enjoy the outdoors.


Get Regular Check-Ups

Seniors face increased balance issues in autumn due to wet leaves, cooler temperatures, and decreased visibility. Through routine healthcare visits, seniors can receive fall risk assessments and address emerging health concerns. These check-ups provide an opportunity to fine-tune medications, evaluate vision and hearing, and receive personalized guidance on safely navigating seasonal changes.

Need help getting to appointments? A Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver can provide a ride and help avoid seasonal hazards.


Fall prevention for seniors requires a combination of practical measures and personal commitment. Strategies like staying active, modifying surroundings, wearing appropriate footwear, focusing on nutrition, and attending regular health assessments lay the groundwork for a safer and more secure lifestyle. Having a dedicated Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver provides additional balance support, particularly as autumn arrives with its distinct challenges. With a helpful friend in tow, seniors in Chicago can easily adopt these practices and prevent falls while living life to the fullest all season long!

If you or a loved one need care in your home, please call or text us at 312-526-3666.

 

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Fluffy, Fall Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Savor September with a swirl of cinnamon! This Cinnamon Raisin Bread recipe is perfect for fall get-togethers or as a sweet start to the day.


Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups of milk
  • 1 cup of warm water (approx. 110° F)
  • 2 (.25 ounce) packets of active dry yeast
  • 1 cup of raisins
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups of white sugar, divided
  • 1 tsp. of salt
  • ½ cup of margarine, softened
  • 8 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. of milk
  • 2 tbsp. of ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp. of butter, melted

Directions

  1. Warm 1½ cups milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until bubbles appear. Remove from heat and let cool until lukewarm.
  2. Mix warm water and yeast in a large bowl. Let sit until frothy, about 5 minutes. Add raisins, eggs, ½ cup sugar, margarine, and salt and mix until combined. Stir in cooled milk. Add flour gradually to make a stiff dough.
  3. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for several minutes. Transfer to a large, greased bowl and turn the dough to grease the entire surface. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let rise for about 1 hour, or until it’s doubled in size.
  4. Grease three 9×5-inch loaf pans and set them aside.
  5. Punch down the dough and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Roll dough into a large rectangle, about ½-inch thick. Moisten dough with 2 tablespoons milk. Mix remaining ¾ cup sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl, then sprinkle over moistened dough. Roll tightly into a log that is about 3 inches in diameter.
  6. Cut the log into thirds and tuck the ends under to form loaves. Place into the prepared loaf pans, lightly greasing the tops. Cover and let rise again, approximately 1 hour.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Once your oven is ready, bake for about 45 minutes, or until loaves are lightly browned and sound hollow when tapped. Remove loaves from pans and brush with melted butter. Let cool on a wire rack before slicing.

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Things Every Senior Needs to Check Off Their Bucket List Before the End of Summer

Seniors Helping Seniors® 01 Aug 2023

Things Every Senior Needs to Check Off Their Bucket List Before the End of Summer


Summer is on its way out, but there’s still time to pack in as much fun as possible. Seeking out activities that bring you joy is important for seniors’ well-being. But with so many possibilities, narrowing down your top priorities can take time and effort. That’s why Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services have created the perfect summer bucket list to inspire seniors in the Heartland to get out there and enjoy the season!

A summer bucket list is all about having a blast and enjoying the warm, sunny weather!  It’s like a personalized to-do list, full of things to do and experiences to have. Whether you want to explore nature, bond with your grandkids, or try something new with a caregiver, you’ll go on new adventures, rediscover old passions, and have the best summer ever!

Making a bucket list is easy and fun! You can start by thinking about activities you love and ones you want to try. You can also include places you want to visit. The sky is the limit. Get creative with ideas — big or small, anything goes! Write down all the things you want to do before the summer is over and cross them off as you complete each item. Below, you’ll find Seniors Helping Seniors® ideas to inspire your list to help you have the summer of your dreams!


For the Outdoor Enthusiasts

Getting outside has awesome perks for seniors. Being in nature helps melt away stress and improves your mood. For those who want to explore the great outdoors this summer, here are a few ideas you can try.

  1. Go on a nature walk in a local park or nature reserve.
  2. Have an outdoor picnic with friends or family.
  3. Try out gardening and grow your flowers or vegetables.
  4. Go birdwatching and see how many local bird species you can find.
  5. Volunteer for a community outdoor clean-up event.

There are so many outdoor activities you can enjoy this summer and our caregivers are always up for an adventure.  Think about which activities are calling and add them to your bucket list!


 For the Social Butterflies

Summer is way more fun when you share the enjoyment with others. Make new memories and deepen connections with your friends, family, and a Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver. If your goal is to have fun with your loved ones and make new friends, here are some ideas you can try.

  1. Join a club or community center to meet like-minded people.
  2. Host a themed potluck dinner party with friends and family.
  3. Invite a neighbor to go out and get a scoop of ice cream with you.
  4. Coordinate a day trip with your friends or family to a nearby attraction or scenic location.

Fill your days with good company, laughter, and unforgettable moments!  By adding some social activities to your bucket list, you’ll make it summer for the books! Need help planning or getting to or from an event? Get in touch! Our caregivers love helping clients make the most of each day.


For the Imaginative Creators

Adding some artsy crafts to your summer bucket list is an absolute must! It’ll allow you to let your imagination run wild and create something beautiful. We’ve rounded up some creative ideas to get your list started.

  1. Take an art class or workshop to learn a new technique or medium.
  2. Start a nature journal and document the wildlife around you.
  3. Create a scrapbook to preserve your summer memories.
  4. Try a DIY project to add a personalized creation to your living space.
  5. Make handmade gifts to give to your loved ones.

Summer is the perfect time to explore new, creative hobbies. Make memories and masterpieces by adding crafty activities to your bucket list.


Summer bucket lists are all about sparking excitement and Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services are here to help. Try new things, revisit old passions, and embark on adventures you’ve always dreamed of all with a compassionate and fun caregiver by your side. So, grab a pen and a notepad, sit back in your favorite chair, and jot down all those fantastic ideas. Let’s work together to make the season unforgettable, one bucket list item at a time.

 

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Summer Sponge Cake Recipe

Seniors Helping Seniors® 01 Aug 2023

Summer Sponge Cake Recipe


Grab a Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver and tickle your tastebuds with this Sweet Summer Sponge Cake!

Ingredients

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup of Greek Yogurt
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1/4 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup. & 1 tbsp. of flour
  • 1/2 tsp. of baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. of sugar

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, mix in your Greek yogurt, milk, vanilla extract, and 2 egg whites.
  2. In another bowl, combine your dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, sugar, & salt.
  3. Then combine the two bowls and whisk until evenly mixed.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix your crushed pistachios and the melted butter. Once evenly coated, add buttered pistachios to your mixture.
  5. To a pan over medium heat, add around a 1/4 cup of your pancake batter and cook till bubbles start appearing through the top of the pancake (approx. 1-2 mins each side), then flip.
  6. Plate your pancakes and drizzle with maple syrup and leftover pistachios for a little extra crunch!

 

 

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Fight the Fall: Tips for Fall Prevention Amongst Seniors

Seniors Helping Seniors® 01 Aug 2023

Fight the Fall: Tips for Fall Prevention Amongst Seniors


The CDC reports that about 36 million falls are reported among older adults each year—resulting in more than 32,000 deaths. It is incredibly important to do everything possible to prevent seniors you love from falling. As those we love get older, the risk of negative side effects that can come from an unexpected fall gets higher.

Helping to prevent falls can be as simple as making quick modifications to a home, here are some suggested tips for fall-proofing:

● Have handrails on both sets of stairs and make sure they are tightly fastened
● Make sure there is bright enough lighting, along with light switches at the top and bottom of any stairs, and on each end of a long hall
● Mount grab bars near toilets and on both the inside and outside of your tub and shower
● Put night lights and light switches close to your bed

According to the CDC, one out of every five falls causes an injury, such as broken bones or severe wounds on the head. Because of this, loved ones and seniors must plan and try their best to prevent falls within the home.


Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care provides a variety of services to support seniors so that they can maintain their independence and enjoy life not just in their homes, but also in their neighborhoods. These services include companionship, light housekeeping, cooking, and shopping support, assistance with personal care, dementia care, pet care, light handyperson services and repairs, yard work, and medication reminders.

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Celebrate National Be Kind to Humankind Week!

shschicagometro 01 Aug 2023

Celebrate National Be Kind to Humankind Week!


A simple, friendly gesture has many lasting impacts. We all have the power to brighten the day of those around us through compassionate actions. Celebrated at the end of August, National Be Kind to Humankind Week encourages people of all ages to be nicer to one another and themselves. There is no better time for our Seniors Helping Seniors® community to spread kindness and experience the joy it brings. Read on to discover the benefits of being nice!


Spark A Spirit Of Kindness

Simple yet heartfelt good deeds are at the foundation of the week’s celebrations. Start by offering warm smiles to those you encounter. You will give off an approachable impression that will boost your self-esteem.

You can also perform little gestures as an easy way to brighten someone’s day. Try the following:

  • Hold doors open for strangers
  • Pay for the coffee of the person behind you in line
  • Volunteer in the community
  • Tell your friends, family members, or a caregiver you appreciate them
  • Write a heartfelt thank-you note to someone who has made a difference in your life

Do not neglect to show yourself some love too! Whether that is going to your favorite bakery or taking a relaxing bubble bath – make time for self-care and find ways to spark joy. Remember, even the most minor acts of kindness can have a significant and lasting impact on others and yourself.


The Science Of Being Nice

Did you know, engaging in altruistic acts positively impacts mental well-being and overall happiness? It is true! Friendly gestures trigger the release of feel-good neurochemicals like oxytocin and dopamine. An uptick in these leads to an enhanced sense of contentment and satisfaction.


Make A Better Connection

Feelings of loneliness and isolation – common challenges for many of the seniors we serve – can be decreased through good deeds as well. Showing kindness can foster a sense of belonging and help you connect with those around you.


Handle Challenges More Effectively

Additionally, being friendly and helping others is known to reduce stress and anxiety. Being nice not only feels good but also enables you to cope better with life’s ups and downs. You will be able to approach difficult situations with a more positive outlook, which improves your ability to respond to life’s challenges.


Become A Better Companion

Finally, being nice promotes a sense of empathy and understanding. By helping others, seniors can develop stronger social connections and support systems, like those made through our in-home senior care services. Through the practice of kindness, Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers and clients cultivate emotional strength, compassion, and an enduring sense of fulfillment in one another’s lives.


The bottom line? National Be Kind to Humankind Week enables seniors to embrace the power of kindness! By participating in this uplifting week, you‘ll positively impact the world around you. You might also find a greater sense of purpose and fulfillment in your own life. The journey does not need to conclude at the end of the week either. Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services encourage you to keep the spirit of National Be Kind to Humankind Week with you and find little ways to spark joy and generosity every day!

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Best of Home Care Awards 2023

Seniors Helping Seniors® 01 Aug 2023

 

 

 

 

 


We are excited to recognize Seniors Helping Seniors – Chicago Metro North as one of the top home care providers in the nation, and congratulate you on earning the following awards:

* Best of Home Care(R) – Leader in Experience
* Best of Home Care(R) – Provider of Choice
* Best of Home Care(R) – Employer of Choice

By earning the Leader in Experience award, you are among a select group of providers. Additionally, you rank in the top 15% of home care business participating in the Home Care Pulse Experience Management Program. That is an outstanding achievement!

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Top 4 Chronic Diseases & How Seniors Can Keep Them In Check

Seniors Helping Seniors® 05 Jul 2023

National Chronic Disease Day, observed on July 10th, serves as a reminder for all of us to learn more about common chronic conditions and explore ways to prevent them. This is especially important for Seniors Helping Seniors® clients and caregivers.

There are plenty of ways that Heartland seniors can work towards a healthier and more active lifestyle, which can help lessen the severity of certain diseases. As always, Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services are a partner and resource for seniors who are committed to maintaining and improving health throughout their senior years.

Let’s explore a few of the most common chronic diseases and discuss some lifestyle changes that will help keep them in check.


4 Common Chronic Diseases

According to the CDC, chronic disease is defined as a condition that lasts a year or longer and/or requires ongoing medical attention. Research shows that 85% of adults 65 and older suffer from at least one chronic condition. Let’s dive a little deeper into four of the most common.

High Blood Pressure

Affecting 58% of seniors, high blood pressure, or hypertension, occurs when the body’s arteries stiffen. In turn, this forces blood pressure to increase. Typically, high blood pressure presents few, if any, noticeable symptoms, but it can lead to heart attack or stroke if left untreated.

High Cholesterol

The second most common chronic disease, high cholesterol, contributes to a hardening of the arteries, which can lead to reduced blood flow and cardiovascular complications. Forty-seven percent of seniors suffer from the condition and, though some cholesterol is needed for various bodily functions, excessive levels contribute to health problems like diabetes and stroke.

Arthritis

Next up, arthritis causes stiffness in the joints and affects 31% of seniors. The symptoms of arthritis may progress to severe, debilitating joint pain if left unmanaged and can affect nearly every part of the body, including hands, hips, and the lower back. Luckily, the disease’s symptoms can often be managed with a few lifestyle changes.

Heart Disease

Twenty-nine percent of the senior population will deal with heart disease in their lifetime. This chronic disease encompasses a variety of conditions, such as coronary artery disease, heart failure, and arrhythmias. High blood pressure and high cholesterol can contribute to the condition as well.


Practice Prevention

While specific treatment and prevention options vary from disease to disease, there are a couple of lifestyle changes seniors can make to decrease the risk of chronic disease across the board.

Exercise

Exercise is one of the best ways to prevent chronic issues. Not only does daily exercise help with weight management, which is essential in preventing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease, but staying active helps stave off arthritis as well.

According to the CDC, seniors should shoot for 30 minutes of exercise per day, five days a week. Make a date with a Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver to take a walk, play a round of golf, or swim laps at the local pool. The work that is put in today will ensure a healthier tomorrow!

Eat Well

We all know that eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is also key to preventing health issues, including the ones we have discussed here. Follow the guidelines below to help ensure your or your senior loved one’s body is getting the nutrients needed to thrive!

  • Choose foods without added sugar, sodium, and saturated fats.
  • Get enough protein to maintain muscle mass.
  • Eat the rainbow: Enjoy fruits and vegetables of all colors.
  • Drink LOTS of water!

Consistency is key when it comes to keeping chronic diseases at bay and Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers are committed to helping those we serve stay on track! Discuss your or your special senior’s needs with a caregiver or our Seniors Helping Seniors® office at 312-526-3666. Together, we can stay healthy, happy, and independent!

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Step Into Self-Care With Seniors Helping Seniors® In-Home Care Services

Seniors Helping Seniors® 05 Jul 2023

The concept of self-care has become increasingly popular over the past few years and for good reason. Committing to a self-care routine boosts mental and physical health, reduces stress, increases productivity, improves relationships, and benefits overall well-being. Since July 24th marks International Self-Care Day, let’s dive into a few of the ways Seniors Helping Seniors® clients can incorporate this beneficial practice into everyday life.


What is Self-Care?

The definition of self-care is fairly straightforward: taking deliberate actions to improve overall health and happiness. In the case of our clients, self-care contributes to extended independence as well.

One thing that self-care certainly is not is selfishness. Prioritizing health and well-being are essential to leading a full, active, and well-balanced life, so there is no need to feel guilty for taking a little “me time!”


4 Ways To Practice Self-Care

Diving into a self-care routine does not have to be difficult; small lifestyle changes often have significant benefits. Start by incorporating a few of the Seniors Helping Seniors® suggestions below:

Eat Well & Exercise Regularly

Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine is a great first step in practicing self-care. A well-nourished and strong body is the foundation of well-being. Eating a well-balanced diet boosts immunity, lowers the risk of many diseases, and provides the fuel to take on each day. Combined with daily physical activity, which benefits both the body and mind, this practice offers a foundation for improved overall health.

Practice Gratitude

Taking time to evaluate and be thankful for what one has is a wonderful exercise for gaining mental clarity. Practicing gratitude, whether through meditation or journaling, helps uncover all the good things in life, and that proves essential in maintaining a positive outlook.

Try Something New

Studies show that when seniors pick up a new hobby it improves both body and mind. Continually learning new things may also help to reduce the risk of dementia.

Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers love seeing our clients stepping outside of their comfort zone. Not to mention, hobbies keep those we serve active and engaged! Our caregivers are happy to help our clients explore their interests and make great partners in trying new activities.

Speak With A Professional

Mental health is a pillar of self-care and seeking out professional assistance can provide perspective on one’s thoughts and feelings while encouraging a more positive mindset. These services not only help to strengthen relationships with others but also with ourselves.


Self-care is not a one-time practice, but a continuing journey. Everyone is different and building the right self-care routine can take time. Be patient and lean on a Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver along the way. Our team is here to support all the needs of the seniors we serve and though self-care sounds like a solo endeavor, it can be even more effective with a kind, trustworthy friend along for the ride.

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Seasonal Tips for Keeping Seniors Active and Safe in the Summer Sun

Seniors Helping Seniors® 05 Jul 2023

A 2022 study published in the journal Nature Medicine found that people ages 40 to 69 who engaged in spurts of movement for even just one or two minutes, three times a day, significantly reduced their risk of death from heart disease or cancer, compared with those who weren’t physically active at all. Keeping seniors active has proven health benefits and from what we have seen, usually helps their mood and mental health as well. As summer heats up, it’s essential for loved ones to prepare for keeping their seniors active in the safest way possible, as rising temperatures present more risks.


Whether summer workout plans for seniors include a quick morning walk or a water exercise class, there are practical ways that loved ones can help their seniors have a positive summer workout experience:

  • Encourage lower-impact workouts
  • Opt-in for water exercise to keep the body cool and the joints healthy, if it’s available near you
  • Keep medications and snacks handy during any out-of-home workouts.
  • Take water breaks whenever they feel needed and keep lots of water on-hand.
  • Think about their safety, security, and comfort when planning fitness activities.

According to the CDC, people aged 65 years or older are more prone to heat-related health problems. Because of this, it is even more critical for loved ones and seniors to plan and prepare for their summer activities and workouts for safety purposes.


Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care provides a variety of services to support seniors so that they can maintain their independence and enjoy life not just in their homes, but also in their neighborhoods. These services include companionship, light housekeeping, cooking, and shopping support, assistance with personal care, dementia care, pet care, light handyman services and repairs, yard work, and medication reminders.

The concept of helping people in need never sleeps. Seniors Helping Seniors®  are there no matter how hard the world is being hit by a pandemic or how much our country is in crisis. It all comes down to The Power of Love® and providing compassionate care that makes seniors feel seen, heard, and independent while providing purpose and passion for its senior caregivers.

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How to Determine if Your Aging Parent Needs Additional Support

Seniors Helping Seniors® 30 Jun 2023

Seniors Helping Seniors® In-Home Care Agency thanks U.S. News and World Report for including us in their story on how to determine if an aging parent needs support. It’s important to be able to recognize the signs that your parent or loved one needs assistance. We were honored to lend our knowledge to this article, and we invite you to read the whole story at the link below! 

Can Your Aging Parent Still Live Alone?
Aging is a fact of life, and for many older adults, there comes a time when they can no longer look after themselves as they once did. Often, the adult children are left to determine when that time comes, and it can be a challenging period for both kids and parents.

While it’s not always easy to know when it’s time, experts say the following signs could mean you need to talk with your parents about changing their living situation.

https://health.usnews.com/senior-care/articles/assessing-aging-parent-cant-live-alone

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Savor The Season With Seniors Helping Seniors® In-Home Services: 4 Tips For Healthy Summer Eating

Seniors Helping Seniors® 23 Jun 2023

The Seniors Helping Seniors® family loves seeing our care receivers enjoy the best parts of each season. With summer fast approaching in the Northeast, it will soon be time to break out the shorts, light the citronella candle, and dust off the patio table for the season’s first outdoor feast!

It can be tempting to indulge throughout the summer months. With family cookouts, vacations, and the urge to spend time enjoying the outdoors in lieu of the kitchen, we often opt for quick, not so healthy choices. A nutritious, balanced diet, however, is important for active seniors all year long.

The good news is, continuing to eat right over the summer months doesn’t have to be complicated. Soak in these four Seniors Helping Seniors® tips for a summer of healthy – and delicious – eating!

Keep It Balanced

Making good decisions isn’t hard once you know what to choose. Let’s look at the layers of the food pyramid and determine the best foods to reach for and which to skip.

Grains

The foundation of the food pyramid is the grain group, which encompasses things like rice, pasta, bread, and oats. When stocking the cabinets, whole grains are best. Whole grains are made using the entire grain kernel and, therefore, are good sources of dietary fiber, minerals, and Vitamin B.

Fruits and Vegetables

We all know fruits and veggies provide plenty of dietary value, but which are the most nutritious options? Look for produce that is red, orange, purple, and green, as these fruits and veggies contain vitamins and minerals that are especially important to senior health.

P.S. – The Northeast is known for its abundant fruit and vegetable production, so check the local section of the grocery store or visit community produce stands for some excellent options!

Dairy

When choosing milk, yogurt, and cheese products, go with low-fat or fat-free options. Calcium is the major benefit in this group, but dairy products also provide phosphorus, Vitamins A and D, B12, potassium, and more.

Protein

Protein covers a wide variety of foods, including meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, and legumes (like beans and lentils). Look for meat and poultry that’s lean or low-fat and seafood that’s high in omega-3s and has a low mercury count. For a vegetarian meal, substitute legumes as a tasty and nutritious option.

It’s important to mix it up when it comes to protein. Many people eat plenty of meat and poultry, but often skimp on fish and legumes. However, each category has specific vitamins and nutrients that are key to a balanced diet.

Advantages of Sensible Eating

When a variety of nutritious foods are incorporated into a balanced diet, the mind and body will benefit in spades! For example, healthy eating helps:

  • Reduce cholesterol
  • Lower risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes
  • Promote proper bowel function
  • Support a healthy nervous system
  • Boost immunity and prevent infection
  • Encourage healthy eyes, skin, and gums
  • Maintain strong bones and teeth
  • Improve concentration and attention span
  • Increase energy and mental clarity

Preparation Is Key

How food is cooked contributes to a healthy diet as well. During the summer months, grilling is an excellent option and produces flavorful dishes. Better yet, it’s a wonderful time to gather with loved ones and your Seniors Helping Seniors® companion to enjoy the outdoors and fellowship while dinner is cooking!

Grilled to Perfection

Cooking on the grill is easy and requires little preparation. Simply apply your favorite seasoning combination or marinade and get grilling! As the food cooks, excess fat and oil drip away, leaving a wholesome and delicious dinner.

Try these tips and tricks from Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services to make grilling a breeze:

  • Invest in a meat thermometer and always ensure poultry is cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F and pork to 145°F.
  • Cook veggies in foil packets with seasoning and a little oil (extra virgin olive oil or canola are best). Ensure the packet is sealed at the top and place it directly on the grates until the veggies are tender.
  • Craving something sweet? For dessert, try grilling pineapple, peach, or watermelon slices for an after-dinner treat!

One of the best things about this method is there’s minimal clean-up required, leaving more time to spend enjoying your dinner companions!

Practice Proper Portion Control

Consuming the right amounts of each food group is important as well. When making a plate, follow these Seniors Helping Seniors® suggestions for a balanced meal:

  1. Envision a vertical line directly down the middle of the plate
  2. On the right, add half whole grains and half lean protein
  3. Fill the left side with fruits and vegetables (heavier on the veggies)
  4. Eat dairy in moderation

Now, all that’s left is to choose a healthy option to wash it all down…

Drink Up!

Staying hydrated is key, especially when summer heat kicks into high gear! Water is an essential nutrient and should be the majority of what’s consumed throughout the day. Try fruit-infused water for a twist on the traditional or sparkling water for something bubbly. Tea and coffee are good options as well and provide several health benefits of their own.

Avoid sugary drinks or those with high salt content and stay away from consuming alcohol in excess. These actually contribute to dehydration and a number of other issues.

Who’s ready to welcome summer?! With these tips from Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services,

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Applesauce Cake Recipe

Seniors Helping Seniors® 06 Jun 2023

Applesauce cake


Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. ground cloves
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, brought to room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 cups applesauce
  • Powdered sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9″x13″ baking dish and set aside.

Mix the first seven ingredients together in a large bowl and whisk until combined. Set aside.

In a separate large bowl, mix butter, white sugar, and brown sugar. Using an electric mixer, beat until well combined and fluffy.

Add eggs to the wet mixture one at a time, beating until well incorporated. Add vanilla extract and mix again.

Slowly add dry ingredients to the wet mixture, mixing as you go. Add milk a quarter of a cup at a time, mixing as you go. Once combined, add applesauce and mix well.

Pour batter into a prepared baking dish, spreading evenly. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until cooked through.

Let the cake cool completely, then dust the top with powdered sugar.

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Exercises To Get Seniors Pumped For A Fun & Fit Summer!

Seniors Helping Seniors® 06 Jun 2023

Senior Exercise

At Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services, we’re passionate about keeping Heartland seniors fit, strong, and active! We all know that sticking to a consistent fitness routine benefits both the body and mind and the start of the summer season provides good motivation to get moving.

But practicing the same exercises every day can be a drag. Luckily, there are tons of ways to get the blood pumping! If you or a senior loved one are looking to mix up a daily fitness routine, give one of the activities below a try. Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers love helping our clients step out of their comfort zone and are always excited to assist those we serve in knocking out all their fitness goals!


Back To Basics

There are two things that are an essential part of any fitness routine: stretching and drinking plenty of water. These actions will help prevent injury and dehydration, in addition to ensuring you or your loved one are primed for each workout.

Stretch

Stretching not only keeps the body limber to help prevent injury, it’s also great for building core strength, engaging muscles, and boosting heart rate. In addition, it increases flexibility, while relieving stress and anxiety in the process.

Stay Hydrated

It’s important to keep the body hydrated all the time, especially when exercising. In fact, seniors are more likely to become dehydrated through sweating, a recent study revealed, because seniors’ bodies don’t regulate heat as efficiently as younger individuals.

In general, experts recommend drinking one-third of our body weight in ounces of water each day. So, individuals who weigh 150 pounds should aim to drink 50 ounces of water per day.


Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s jump into some of the summer’s hottest senior fitness activities!

Pickleball

Pickleball was first created in the 1960’s but has seen a significant increase in popularity over the past few years, especially in the senior circuit. In fact, one-third of all pickleball players in the U.S. are 65 years of age or older!

A mix of tennis and ping pong, pickleball provides a variety of perks that boost senior health. For example, studies show that individuals who play pickleball three times a week experience benefits including:

  • Lower cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Improved cardiovascular fitness
  • Better range of motion, reflexes, and balance

Another perk is that pickleball is an extremely social sport with a tight-knit and accepting community. Whether our clients play with a Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver, a group of long-time friends, or a new friend just met on the court, the social aspect of this sport keeps players committed and engaged!


Tai Chi

This ancient martial art covers a wide range of mental and physical health benefits for seniors. Tai Chi combines strength, balance, and meditation for a holistic approach to fitness. Not to mention, the practice is a form of defense training, and learning a few self-defense moves leaves participants feeling strong and empowered!

Tai Chi can be modified for a variety of fitness levels. Many moves can be performed from a seated position to start, and the local fitness center may even have Tai Chi classes designed specifically for seniors!

No matter your or your senior loved one’s skill level, Tai Chi will help improve balance, range of motion, and build strength, while providing a meditative experience.


Water Exercises

Working out in the pool is a versatile – and fun – way to stay fit. There are tons of water exercises that are perfect for seniors, including water aerobics, swimming laps, and strength training.

One of the most alluring aspects of water fitness routines, however, is the fact that they are low impact. Exercising in water takes the pressure off joints, but still offers gentle resistance and a wonderful way to improve cardiovascular stamina. Better yet, exercising in the pool will keep you or your special senior cool on hot summer days!


Regardless of what kind of fitness activities float your or your senior loved one’s boat, Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers are committed to helping our clients stay active. Make fitness a top priority this summer and talk to a member of our team about how we can help!

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National Men’s Health Month: Common Conditions Impacting Senior Men

Seniors Helping Seniors® 06 Jun 2023

Men's Health

It’s our goal at Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services to keep our clients feeling their best and living full, active lives. June is National Men’s Health Month and a wonderful opportunity to shine a light on several health issues that affect senior men in particular.

Health problems like heart disease, prostate cancer, and stroke present a significant risk to men over the age of 65. While factors like genetics and ethnicity may play a part in the likelihood of developing one of these conditions, there are still plenty of ways our clients can work to prevent them.


This month, take a moment to improve your awareness of these conditions and talk about how to prevent them with a senior in your life!

Heart Disease

According to the CDC, men are more prone than women to cardiovascular issues, including heart disease. In fact, cardiovascular conditions affect nearly one out of every three men, and this risk increases significantly in those over the age of 60. For example, men are twice as likely to suffer a heart attack and usually do so at a much younger age than women.


Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer impacts a staggering 90% of men. It’s the second most common form of cancer in men in the U.S. and is most worrisome for those in the senior population.

The average age of diagnosis is 66 years old, but the likelihood of developing the disease increases in the senior years. According to the American Society of Clinical Oncologists, individuals over the age of 70 are more than two times more likely to incur prostate cancer than their younger counterparts. Senior men are also more prone to developing advanced prostate cancer and suffering severe impacts from the disease.


 Stroke

While individuals of any age can experience a stroke, the risk increases in men over the age of 65. It’s worth noting that 75% of all strokes occur in people 65 and older. Men are more prone to suffering a stroke than women, with it being even more common among African American and Hispanic males.

High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of stroke, a factor that makes men particularly vulnerable. However, many strokes are preventable, and getting medical attention as quickly as possible can help avert serious disability.

Spotting the signs of a stroke is easy if you know what to look for. The acronym F.A.S.T. provides an easy-to-remember guide:

FACE: Does one side of the face droop when smiling?

ARMS: Does one arm drift lower than the other when held out straight?

SPEECH: Is the individual slurring his or her speech or having trouble repeating simple phrases?

TIME: Acting quickly is essential, so call 911 immediately if you notice any of these symptoms in yourself or a loved one.


Prevention

While some factors, like gender, age, ethnicity, and genetics can’t be prevented and may increase the risk of certain conditions, there are a few habits Seniors Helping Seniors® clients can practice to keep heart disease, prostate cancer, and stroke at bay.

Stay Active

Participating in regular exercise is key to a healthy lifestyle. Work with a Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver to find an activity you or your senior loved one enjoys – like walking, biking, or strength training – and make it a daily habit to get up and go!

Eat Healthy

Focus on eating a low-sugar, low-sodium diet with lots of fruits and veggies to help regulate weight and decrease the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer, and stroke.

Quit Smoking

Smoking damages arteries and adds to high blood pressure, which can significantly increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. While kicking this habit can be tough, our Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers and community are here to help! Try calling a friend, going for a walk, or working on a hobby whenever cravings creep up.


Understanding how different conditions affect seniors is the first step in staying active and engaged long into their senior years. We at Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services know keeping up with daily exercise, cooking, and other healthy habits can be a challenge, but our caregivers are a trustworthy resource to help support you or your senior loved one. Get in touch with your local Seniors Helping Seniors® office for the help you want at a price you can afford.®

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Summer Travel Tips for Traveling with Your Seniors

shschicagometro 06 Jun 2023

Summer TravelAccording to the AARP, three out of five people 50-plus surveyed said they anticipate traveling in 2023. Most seniors prefer to travel with loved ones and families versus traveling solo. As the summer travel season kicks off, it is essential for loved ones to prepare for traveling with their seniors to ensure that their seniors are safe and ready for travel.


Whether summer travel plans for seniors include a long car ride or a flight to another destination, there are practical ways that loved ones can help their seniors have a great travel experience:

  • Find senior-friendly travel activities and discounts.
  • Buy travel insurance.
  • Keep medications and snacks handy.
  • Know what to expect on your trip and have travel plans laid out.
  • Make stops or stand up and stretch often.
  • Think about their safety, security, and comfort.
  • Arrange elderly accommodations from the airline, train station, hotel, etc.

As the world is returning to more normal levels of travel post-COVID, it is even more critical now for loved ones and seniors to plan and prepare for their summer travels together.


Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care provides a variety of services to support seniors so that they can maintain their independence and enjoy life not just in their homes, but also in their neighborhoods. These services include companionship, light housekeeping, cooking, and shopping support, assistance with personal care, dementia care, pet care, yard work, and medication reminders.

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How to Locate a Pet Friendly Senior Living in Chicago

Seniors Helping Seniors® 01 May 2023

Finding a pet-friendly senior living in Chicago does not have to be a daunting task. With proper research and support, finding an apartment or community that will welcome you and your furry family member can be relatively easy. This guide will provide helpful tips on locating a pet-friendly senior living in Chicago, from researching pet policies to finding a place that will accommodate your pup’s needs. With the proper planning, you can ensure that you and your furry companion will be comfortable and happy in your new home.


Researching pet policies

When it comes to researching pet-friendly senior living facilities in Chicago, there are numerous resources available. Start by looking into the local pet policies of different apartment complexes and communities. Most pet friendly senior living communities will have a pet policy on their website or application form outlining any restrictions for bringing pets into the facility. You can check out online reviews from current and former residents who can provide insight into how pet-friendly the facility is. This can give you an idea of which senior living communities are more welcoming to animals and which ones may have more strict regulations. Contact any senior living facilities in your area directly and inquire about their pet policies so you’re sure to have all the information. Doing your research in advance can go a long way toward making sure you choose the suitable pet-friendly senior living facility for you and your furry companion.


Visiting senior living communities

Once you’ve made a short list of potential pet-friendly senior living communities in Chicago, it’s time to start touring them so you can get a better sense of the neighbourhood. You may learn about the facility’s pet policies and whether they meet your needs and lifestyle. Please bring your pet along to watch how they respond to the environment while you’re there. This can help determine whether they would feel comfortable there. Ask about the staff’s experiences with pets and any exceptional amenities or services offered to pet owners. This will help you decide which environment suits you and your pet.


Look into rental assistance programs

Many cities and counties in the Chicago area offer rental assistance programs for low-income residents. These programs help cover some or all of the cost of rent for those who qualify. Into these programs to see if they’re eligible and if they could help with the cost of renting a pet-friendly senior living facility. Finding a reasonably priced and pet-friendly house might become a lot simpler as a result.


Pet friendly amenities

When searching for a pet-friendly senior living facility in Chicago, looking into the amenities is essential. Many communities offer special perks for pet owners, such as designated walking paths and areas where animals can exercise or socialize with other pets. Some facilities even have on-site groomers and pet sitters who can help make sure your pup is taken care of when you’re away. If the facility doesn’t have specific pet amenities, inquire about what other services and activities your pet could take advantage of.


Consider shared housing options

If you’re looking to keep costs down, several pet-friendly roommate and housemate services are available in the Chicago area. These might be excellent resources for discovering accommodations that allow pets and meet your budget. Before committing to any arrangement, ask your potential roommate or housemate if they’re comfortable with having a pet in the home and read through any policies they may have. You may discover the perfect senior living facility for you and your animal buddy with some planning and study.


Talk to representatives

Understanding the specific regulations for keeping an animal in a pet-friendly senior living facility is also essential. Before signing a lease, contact each facility you are considering and inquire about their rules for pets. Ask what types of animals are allowed and if any particular breeds or sizes are restricted. Find out if there is a size limit or any other restrictions on your number of pets. Knowing the exact regulations ahead of time can help ensure that your furry companion will be welcome in your new home.


Additional useful resources

Several other useful resources are available for finding a pet-friendly senior living facility in Chicago. The city of Chicago has an extensive list of rental assistance programs available to low-income individuals and families, which can help cover the cost of the rent. The Chicago Animal Care and Control Department offers various programs to help people find housing for their pets. The Humane Society of the United States also has a searchable database to help you locate nearby pet-friendly senior living facilities. Finally, the Chicago Tribune has a comprehensive guide to pet-friendly senior living facilities in the city, which includes information about different housing types and what amenities they offer.


With all these resources, you should have no trouble finding the perfect pet-friendly senior living facility in Chicago! Best of luck with your search!

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Physical Activity is Essential to Healthy Aging

Seniors Helping Seniors® 01 May 2023

Exercise is good for you, especially if you are over the age of 65. According to the CDC, seniors 65 and older need at least 30 minutes a day of moderate physical exercise to prevent or delay many of the health problems that seem to come with age. Regular physical activity and exercise for seniors help improve mental and physical health, both of which will help them maintain their independence as they age. Exercise can help prevent disease, decrease the risk of falling, and improve mental health and cognitive function. All of these are so important.

For seniors and their caregivers who are looking to add a little activity to their routine, Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services Chicago Metro recommends that older adults spend about 150 minutes a week doing some sort of moderately-intense activity like brisk walking. Additionally, some household chores and yard work can increase the heart rate. Muscle-strengthening activities and exercises to improve balance should be included. These are activities anyone can do with a friend.


Daily Physical Activity

Making sure senior citizens are doing some type of physical activity each day is crucial. Although not all seniors can bike and swim, a simple walk around the block or to the end of the street makes all the difference. Keeping up with physical activity has been proven to improve mood, quality of life, and mental health, which is just as important for physical health especially when aging.


Nutrition

Having a balanced diet is another essential part of healthy aging. Making sure seniors are staying on top of their supplement intake and adding in daily nutrients such as potassium (bananas), vitamin C (oranges), and calcium (milk) are great practices.


Engaging Activities

With age, seniors’ minds begin to change. With alterations, it is a good idea to keep their minds working hard. This can mean anything from initiating daily color pages, crosswords, taking a trip to the grocery store, or movies to keep the brain stimulated.


Seniors Helping Seniors® provides a variety of services to support seniors so that they can maintain their independence and enjoy life not just in their homes, but also in their neighborhoods. These services include companionship, light housekeeping, cooking, shopping support, assistance with personal care, dementia care, pet care, yard work, and medication reminders.

For Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services Chicago Metro, it all comes down to The Power of Love® and providing compassionate care that makes seniors feel seen, heard, and independent while providing purpose and passion for its senior caregivers. Learn more about our services by calling or texting us at 312-526-3666.

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Suit Up & Dive Into 5 Benefits Of Swimming

Seniors Helping Seniors® 01 May 2023


We at Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services love seeing our clients trying new things, especially when it comes to staying healthy! This month, we are highlighting the advantages swimming provides for both the body and mind. With summer just around the corner, incorporating water fitness into a complete exercise plan will not only help seniors stay fit but can also provide a wonderful way to keep cool while still feeling the burn.

Whether you or a senior loved one are already a pro at the backstroke or are just dipping into the idea of incorporating swimming for a total body workout, it provides countless benefits that help seniors remain active and independent. Let us dive in!


5 Reasons To Soak Up The Benefits Of Swimming

Low Impact

High-impact activities, like aerobics, running, or jumping rope, provide an excellent workout but can be tough on seniors’ joints and often increase the risk of injury. Swimming, however, is a low-impact exercise that also gets the heart pumping and helps to build strength and endurance.

Because the body is submerged in water while swimming, it creates a “weightless” feeling and takes the pressure off joints. It can help ease symptoms of arthritis and fibromyalgia as well by stimulating blood flow, relaxing muscles, and increasing joint flexibility.


Build Strength & Regulate Weight

Water exercises provide a full-body workout and are a wonderful way to strengthen muscles and increase overall body function. The strength that is built by swimming is also linked to a reduced risk of falling for seniors. A recent study found that seniors aged 70 and older who swam regularly reduced their risk of falling by 33%!

Swimming is effective at burning calories as well. Depending on the intensity of the session, just 30 minutes in the pool could burn up to 900 calories.


Improve Heart Health

Because swimming is an aerobic exercise, it strengthens the heart and improves its ability to pump blood throughout the body. In turn, water exercises are linked to lowered blood pressure and increased circulation. Additionally, swimming helps reduce stress, which plays a key role in good heart health and can decrease the risk of heart attack.


Boost Mood & Brain Function

Swimming is good for more than just the body – the mind benefits from it as well! The act of swimming increases blood flow to the brain, which forms new brain cells and helps improve cognitive function. A dip also releases endorphins, or the “feel good” hormone, which brings about a sense of positivity, well-being, and happiness.


Stay Social

Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services always encourage our clients to remain socially engaged, as this has an extensive list of advantages for senior health. Water exercises are the perfect activity to do with a caregiver, friend, or family member!

Many community centers offer group exercise programs like lap swimming, water aerobics, and aquatic training. In addition to benefiting senior health, group exercises have a lasting effect on well-being and can help you or your senior loved one stay committed to fitness goals.


Ready to make a splash? A Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver is happy to help you or your special senior find the perfect aquatic fitness routine. With the hottest part of the year fast approaching, a dip in the pool instead of a hot walk around the neighborhood is sure to be a refreshing new challenge! Learn more about our services by calling or texting us at 312-526-3666.

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Strategies To Help Seniors Boost Mental Well-being

Seniors Helping Seniors® 01 May 2023


We often hear about ways to strengthen physical health, but taking steps to improve and nurture mental well-being is just as important. May is National Mental Health Awareness Month, so what better time for Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services to raise awareness about the importance of mental health and offer a few ways seniors in Chicago can boost theirs?


What Is Mental Health?

The term “mental health” encompasses emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects several aspects of daily life, including how we think, feel, and act, as well as our ability to handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.

 When it comes to seniors, many deal with afflictions like depression, anxiety, isolation, and dementia. At least one in four older adults experiences some mental disorder like the ones listed.

 Spotting a mental health issue in a senior loved one can be tough – symptoms often seem like ordinary reactions to a difficult day or tough week. Though they vary by condition and from person to person, warning signs might include:

  • Significant changes in mood, energy level, or appetite
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Amplified worry and stress
  • Unwarranted anger, irritability, or aggression

If you notice persistent sadness, worries, sleep issues, and confusion in yourself or a family member, it is time to consult a healthcare professional. Symptoms that last more than a couple of weeks can indicate a more severe problem.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to boost mental health right from the comfort of home. If you or a loved one is feeling low, try a few of the following suggestions to improve mental well-being.


Talk It Out

Talking about a problem or worry helps release pent-up feelings and often aids in finding a resolution. However, many people find it difficult to share intimate emotions. It is important to talk to someone you trust. This person could be a good friend, family member, or even a Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver.

If you or a senior family member are not comfortable talking to someone familiar, consider discussing troubles with a counselor. There are lots of options for in-person, virtual, and anonymous therapy.


Adopt A Pet!

Pets provide companionship and unconditional love, which are automatic mood boosters. However, research shows that pets offer their human counterparts a lot more than that! For example:

  • People with pets’ experience depression less often than those without pets.
  • Pet owners have lower blood pressure and cortisol levels in stressful situations than people who do not own pets.
  • Playing with a pet elevates serotonin and dopamine levels, leaving the person feeling calmer and more relaxed.
  • Animals have also been shown to reduce loneliness.

In addition, they offer owners a sense of purpose. Having an animal to care for motivates seniors to perform certain duties every day, like feeding, walking, or bathing their pets, which goes a long way in improving mental well-being.

Did you know that Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers help our clients care for their pets? That is right! Whether you or your special senior already have a four-legged companion or are thinking about adding one to the family, they can help ensure all its needs are met.

P.S. – Though dogs and cats are some of the most common house pets, animals like rabbits, fish, birds, and even reptiles provide many of the same mental benefits.


Stay Connected

Spending time with loved ones is another way to address mental health and is especially important in combating feelings of loneliness and isolation. Research shows that seniors who regularly engage with others are also less likely to feel depressed, anxious, and stressed.

Providing companionship is one of the tenets of our mission at Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services. Our caregivers, who are seniors themselves, understand how important it is for our clients to stay engaged and are always available for a friendly and meaningful chat.

They can also help you or your loved one build a broader social circle or get involved in the community. Here are a few ways to up social engagement:

  • Volunteer at organizations within the community, like local nonprofits or churches.
  • Join interest-based groups and clubs. Find ones based on hobbies, fitness, or learning a new skill.
  • When it is not possible to meet in person, use video chatting technology to connect with loved ones.

Spend some time focusing on your or your senior loved one’s mental health this month. In addition to companionship, Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers assist with other aspects that can decrease the worry and mental stress seniors sometimes feel – like finding transportation and help with daily tasks. It is our goal to keep the seniors we serve feeling their best in all aspects of life. We would love to discuss how we can help you or your special senior do the same! Call or text us at 312-526-3666 to connect with us today.

 

 

 

 

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Cherry Crumble Recipe

Seniors Helping Seniors® 01 May 2023


Ingredients

Cherry Filling

4 cups of pitted cherries, halved

2 tablespoons of white flour

1/3 cup of water (or orange juice)

Crumble Topping

1 1/2 cups of rolled oats

1/2 cup of white flour

1/2 cup of light brown sugar

1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup of butter, unsalted & softened


Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375ºF and spray a casserole dish or cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium-sized bowl, toss cherries with 2 tablespoons of flour and some water (replace with orange juice to add some zest!). Then place this fruit mixture into your casserole dish.

In a separate bowl, mix all of the dry crumble ingredients. Then cut the butter and add to the bowl until crumbles begin to form.

Evenly spread the crumble topping over the cherry filling in your casserole dish.

Place the dish in your oven and bake at 375ºF for 30 minutes or until the filling begins to bubble and the crumble topping begins to brown.

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Start the Senior Care Conversation Early

Seniors Helping Seniors® 05 Apr 2023

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, nearly 70% of retirees will need some type of long-term care. As we age, the need for long-term care increases and a trend that we are seeing is the desire and value for quality, safe in-home care options for our senior community.

For caregivers, starting the senior care conversation earlier is critical to ensure that seniors receive the best care possible early enough to impact the overall quality and longevity of their lives.

For seniors, receiving in-home care improves their overall quality of life, and starting the senior care conversation early is an important next step. Many seniors are worried about what their long-term senior care options will be, and caregivers have an opportunity to partner with their seniors early in the decision process to help them formulate the best plan for them.

Seniors Helping Seniors® advises seniors and their caregivers to begin the senior care conversation as early as possible. The concept of helping people in need never sleeps. Our caregivers provide a variety of services to support seniors so that they can maintain their independence and enjoy life not just in their homes, but also in their neighborhoods. These services include companionship, light housekeeping, cooking, and shopping support, assistance with personal care, dementia care, pet care, yard work, and medication reminders.

For the Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services, it all comes down to The Power of Love® and providing compassionate care that makes seniors feel seen, heard, and independent while providing purpose and passion for their senior caregivers.

Do you know a senior that needs help in their home? Would they like some companionship? Are you a caregiver looking for a family to help? Call or text us at 312-526-3666.

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Occupational Therapy and Seniors

Seniors Helping Seniors® 05 Apr 2023


An All-inclusive Approach To Continued Independence

According to a 2022 the University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging, 88% of individuals in the U.S. between the ages of 50 and 80 want to age in place. We at Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services completely understand this desire. Aging at home allows those we serve to remain surrounded by a supportive community, avoid the stress and expense of moving, and enjoy the familiar comforts of home for as long as possible.

While the services our caregivers provide help our clients realize this possibility, we believe it is important to share other ways our senior community can foster independence – through occupational therapy (OT), for instance. Given that April is National Occupational Therapy Month, it is the perfect time to highlight how OT can help seniors live the life they want!


What Is Occupational Therapy?

Simply put, OT helps seniors complete everyday tasks more easily, allowing them to remain independent for longer. An occupational therapist will work with you or your senior loved one to devise a plan to overcome physical, mental, and situational barriers that can stifle autonomy.

Another major benefit of occupational therapy is its holistic approach to senior well-being. Not only do OT professionals address the physical aspects that make daily life difficult, but they also deal with psychological, cognitive, and social issues that often keep seniors from continuing to participate in activities they enjoy.


What Might OT Look Like For Seniors?

As mentioned, occupational therapy covers a wide variety of needs, so the solutions providers offer their patients are quite varied as well. While the recommendations offered to you or your special senior will depend on individual needs, below are a few common ways occupational therapists help seniors age with grace and continued independence.

Build Back Basic Skills

OT providers help seniors improve basic and fine motor skills, strength, dexterity, and flexibility, all of which make completing everyday functions like dressing, eating, and bathing easier.

Recommend Home Modifications

Slips and falls are a big concern for many Seniors Helping Seniors® clients and their families. In addition to suggesting physical exercises to improve balance, strength, and mobility, occupational therapists recommend ways that seniors can make their homes less prone to accidents. They might suggest adding handrails in the bathtub, slip-resistant flooring, or developing a plan of attack for clearing cluttered areas.

In addition to suggesting changes to prevent falls, occupational therapists encourage seniors to make modifications that help simplify other everyday tasks. These could include:

  • Replacing doorknobs with pull handles
  • Rearrange cabinets to put commonly used items in easier reach
  • Adjusting the height of beds and the width of door frames
  • Adding lighting, and more

Cognitive Exercises

Furthermore, occupational therapists work to improve their patient’s cognitive abilities with things like memory exercises, puzzles, brain games, and sensory stimulation.

Improve Outlook

Seniors who participate in occupational therapy often realize an increase in confidence and a more hopeful outlook on life. OT focuses on the activities seniors can complete, not the abilities that may have been lost. This provides the motivation to continue learning and working to strengthen the body and mind.

Provide Support To Caregivers

Occupational therapists will also work with caregivers – both family and hired. This can include educating them on ways they can help their loved one or client continue practicing OT at home or providing techniques to better handle a loved one’s changing abilities. For example, they might:

  • Teach caregivers approaches to handling sudden personality changes in loved ones
  • Demonstrate specific ways to make daily tasks easier, like offering a limited number of clothing options for their seniors to choose from
  • Provide caregivers with exercises their client or family member can practice reducing stress and improving problem-solving capabilities

 Additionally, OT providers act as a trusted confidant for family caretakers. They offer a safe place to vent frustrations, share concerns, and discuss their loved one’s condition. These professionals also suggest methods family caregivers can use to cope with the stresses of caring for an aging parent or relative and encourage them to maintain balance in their own lives.


This is just the beginning when it comes to all the ways occupational therapy helps seniors continue living active and independent lives! We at Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services love seeing our senior community utilizing all the tools at their disposal and would be happy to discuss how OT could help you or a senior loved one too. Let’s talk! Call or text us at 312-526-3666 to learn more about our services or visit our website at:  https://seniorcarechicagometro.com/in-home-senior-care-services/

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Crack Open The Power Of Pecans!

Seniors Helping Seniors® 05 Apr 2023

The spring season is a wonderful time to reestablish good habits, including a focus on healthy eating. Helping clients in the Chicago area create nutritious meals and keep healthy snacks on hand is one of the many ways Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers support those we serve.

While almonds and cashews frequently receive credit as a beneficial addition to senior diets, there is another nut we are nuts about – pecans! Since April is National Pecan Month, let us take a closer look at the nutritional boost these tree nuts provide and a few easy ways to add them to your or your special senior’s diet.


A Nutritious Nut

Pecans provide seniors with a variety of benefits that help keep the body and mind in top condition. We explore a few ways they pack a wholesome punch below:

Improve Heart Health

Pecans possess a plethora of monounsaturated fatty acids, which help seniors maintain a strong ticker. Studies have also shown that just one ounce of pecans per day can lower cholesterol and reduce triglyceride levels, both of which are linked to heart health.

Stabilize Blood Sugar

Diabetes is an issue for many seniors and, while pecans are a carbohydrate, they also register low on the glycemic index. This means that they will not cause blood sugar levels to spike. In fact, as a source of healthy fats, protein, and fiber, they actually slow the digestion of carbohydrates, which delays glucose absorption and helps to regulate blood sugar.

Boost Brain Function

For a snack that improves the mind, look no further than the mighty pecan! This nut is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are associated with less inflammation in the body and brain. In turn, they help alleviate brain fog and allow for clearer thinking.

Promote Strong Bones

Pecans are loaded with phosphorus and calcium, two minerals that are key to maintaining bone density. As we age, our risk of osteoporosis increases, but snacking on this nutritious nut can help seniors stay active and strong!


Dish Up A Diet Chalk Full Of Pecans!

There are plenty of ways to incorporate pecans into a balanced diet – and our Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers cannot wait to help you or your senior loved one cook up a delicious (and pecan-packed) meal! Looking for ideas? Try these!

  • Supplement salads. Pecans add a satisfying crunch and a nice helping of good fats and proteins to a fresh spring salad.
  • Make a pecan-filled energy bar. Homemade energy bars are easy to make and allow you or your special senior the flexibility to customize the ingredients to meet a range of dietary needs.
  • Whip up some pecan butter. Nut butter is a popular alternative to traditional spreads and is a perfect addition to toast, muffins, and stir fry.
  • Eat by the handful! Pecans are delicious all on their own too. Enjoy them as a healthy snack any time of the day!

See why we are nuts about pecans?! Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services are continually searching for ways to help our clients pursue an active, healthy lifestyle. Whether you or your family member could use an escort to the grocery store to stock up on pecans and other healthy snacks or a friend to help whip up a balanced meal, we are always excited to serve our senior community!

Our senior care programs foster relationships between seniors seeking employment and seniors who need help with daily nonmedical personal needs, household tasks, and chores to continue living comfortably in their own homes. Connect with us today at 312-526-3666.

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Occupational Therapy: A Seniors Helping Seniors® Suggestion For A More Independent YOU!

Seniors Helping Seniors® 02 Apr 2023

April is National Occupational Therapy Month and Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services is taking a moment to champion this life-changing treatment. Occupational therapy (OT) helps people of all ages maintain, or regain, the skills necessary to perform everyday activities.

Similar to its better-known counterpart, physical therapy, OT provides a number of benefits throughout the body. Where the two differ most is in their purpose. Physical therapy focuses on improving pain in one part of the body, while occupational therapy is focused on adapting daily tasks to make them easier. For our care receivers, that means doing more of the things you love most!

Let’s explore the ways this branch of therapy can help our active senior community continue to reap the rewards of an independent lifestyle!

Physical Benefits

Occupational therapy helps strengthen the body by increasing flexibility, re-conditioning muscles, and teaching adaptive movements that put less stress on muscles and joints. Here’s a closer look at the physical advantages of OT.

Enhanced Range Of Motion

As a senior, improving flexibility can change a lot! Stretching allows the body to be less rigid. In turn, this decreases the chances of injuries like a muscle strain or pull. It can also make daily tasks – such as vacuuming, gardening, or walking – easier to complete.

Treatment to better range of motion can include a number of methods. For example, to improve shoulder flexibility, an occupational therapist might suggest seniors complete a series of stretches, practice dressing the upper body, and work on strength training exercises for that area.

Decreased Chronic Pain

When you lead an active and fulfilling life, chronic pain, like arthritis and muscle aches, can really slow you down. Getting support from an occupational therapist can help, however.

To assist with pain management, these professionals demonstrate adaptations for the activities that are most important to everyday life. The technical terms for these strategies include things like reduced muscle tension, ergonomics, safe body mechanics, and neuromuscular re-education. Simply put, these methods are alternative ways to complete tasks with less strain, and therefore pain, on the body.

Maximize Mental Health

The advantages of OT far surpass physical improvements. Cognitive functions like memory and brain capacity can see an uptick as well! It can even help relieve stress and anxiety.

Better Memory And Increased Brainpower

Occupational therapists are trained to evaluate thinking skills in addition to physical abilities. Again, there are a variety of techniques that can be used to improve cognitive function.

Memory-enhancing activities like crossword puzzles and brain teaser games are often encouraged to keep the mind sharp. An occupational therapist may also break challenging tasks down into a series of simple steps and cues, making them easier to complete for those with memory loss.

Additionally, occupational therapists can work with seniors on exercises that improve vision. It might not seem closely connected to memory and brainpower, but enhanced sight allows seniors to gather and process information more easily, benefiting cognition.

Reduced Stress And Anxiety

With age, the ability to perform everyday tasks often declines, taking a toll on mental health. You or a senior loved one might start to feel helpless and depressed due to this loss of function.

An occupational therapist, however, will focus on the tasks that CAN be completed, inspiring seniors with a sense of empowerment! As for weaker skills? OT is utilized to identify these and work to improve them.

Adaptive Living

Ultimately, the goal of occupational therapy is to enable individuals, seniors included, to live comfortably and independently. Improving physical and mental wellbeing is certainly helpful in retaining personal freedom, but OT extends beyond this.

Home Modifications

Not only will occupational therapists work with the body and mind to make life easier, they will also assist in adjusting areas of your home, or that of a senior loved one, with the same end goal. Here are some ways these professionals might alter a living space for better daily functionality:

  • Suggest safety improvements, like adding handrails in bathrooms, increased lighting, and clearing clutter from walking paths
  • Re-label medications, cooking items, and cleaners so they’re easier to distinguish for individuals with sight loss
  • Add visual cues throughout the home to help those with memory loss or dementias navigate and complete tasks

Shared Knowledge

Occupational therapists often encourage family members and caregivers to become familiar with the exercises their senior loved one has been practicing during OT. This ensures improvement doesn’t stop at the end of a session.

The more seniors can incorporate occupational therapies into a daily or weekly routine, the easier it will be to stay physically active, mentally fit, and autonomous. Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers are happy to assist those we serve with the strategies learned through occupational therapy. From helping complete daily exercises to adaptive strategies, we’re here for you or the special senior in your life!

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Spring Cleaning Tips For A Fresh & Safe Home

The start of spring represents new beginnings and a season of rebirth. Just as the outside world takes this season to start fresh, seniors in Chicago can use it to reset their homes with a good spring cleaning.

We at Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services are well-versed in the benefits our clients realize in keeping a tidy home. It aids in independence and promotes feelings of confidence and mental clarity, for instance. As we move into the spring season with a renewed burst of energy, we’re sharing four tips to help you or your senior loved one tackle spring cleaning like a pro!


Plan An Approach

As invigorating as spring cleaning can be, it can also be overwhelming without a clear plan of attack. Think about, or discuss with your loved one, what areas of the home need the most attention and how much can realistically be accomplished in one day.

Next, create a checklist of spring-cleaning tasks. To keep things manageable, break larger jobs, like deep cleaning the kitchen or clearing out the garage, into smaller tasks that can be finished within a few hours.

Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services recommends our clients dedicate a few days a week to checking off the items on their list. When cleaning, go slow and listen to your body or, if working alongside a senior family member, encourage them to take breaks often. If tasks become too strenuous, simply take time to rest and commit to tackling these chores at a later date.


First, Declutter. Then, Clean

Did you know, decluttering boosts mood, reduces anxiety, and improves one’s ability to focus? While those are all excellent reasons to clear the clutter, doing so is also important in protecting seniors against trips and falls in the home. Not to mention, cleaning will be easier with fewer items to work around.

Purging can be tough, but it also results in feelings of empowerment and accomplishment. Focus on the following priorities to get started:

  • Clear tripping hazards from hallways, stairwells, and walking paths.
  • Start with smaller areas, like a pantry or even a drawer, removing the easiest things first.
  • Organize along the way, rearranging so that frequently used items are easily accessible.

Letting go of what’s no longer serving a purpose is especially important for seniors because it promotes safety and makes continuing to live independently more feasible. With less clutter and commonly used items within easy reach, our clients can navigate the home confidently and face less risk of injury. Designating an assigned spot for daily necessities like medications, glasses, and keys also means less time spent searching for these items and more time living life to the fullest!


Give Safety Features A Once-Over

Are the home’s smoke and carbon monoxide detectors working? Are flashlight batteries charged in case of emergency? Are vents clear of dust? Do air filters need to be changed?

Though these are not all “cleaning” activities, regularly checking safety features throughout the home is important and spring cleaning provides the perfect reminder. Ensuring items like these are in working order will offer peace of mind to you and your special senior all season long.


Ask For Help!

Spring cleaning is a significant task no matter how committed one is to daily and weekly housework throughout the year. Let one of our caregivers assist!

As mentioned, Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers know the value those we serve to discover in a clean and tidy home – from improved safety and security to better immune health, a lighter mental load, and easier access to everyday essentials. They’ll be beside you or your senior loved one every step of the way to encourage, an extra set of hands, and conversation to keep things interesting! Like getting a little help from your friends®.

Ready to get started? Gather the cleaning supplies, cue up a few favorite tunes, and step into spring with a clear head and refreshed home! Call or text us at 312-526-3666 to connect with us today.

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Celebrate The Awesomeness Of Seniors!

The month of March is noteworthy at Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services because it recognizes International Day of Awesomeness – and that means we get to celebrate all the reasons our clients are extraordinary!

This fun day of recognition started as a tongue-in-cheek gesture between two co-workers on March 10th, 2008. They wanted to celebrate one another’s awesomeness, so they posted about it on Twitter. Since International Day of Awesomeness has grown into a full-fledged social media phenomenon!

 

In honor of the day’s tagline, which reads “No one’s perfect, but everyone can be awesome,” we’re shining a spotlight on a few of the ways our clients inspire, motivate, and impress us day in and day out.


Seniors Are Awesome, And Here’s Why!

Seniors Helping Seniors® clients embrace the challenges that accompany aging with a fierce conviction to grow older gracefully and the ability to do it all with a positive mindset. Let us further explore these fabulous characteristics!

Unmatched Resolve

When it comes to aging, continuing to live as an independent senior comes with its share of difficult obstacles. From unexpected health issues to finding the motivation to stay active, and struggling to understand the latest technology, we understand how discouraging these challenges can feel at times.

However, we continually see our clients finding new ways to rise above these obstacles. This could mean they seek the assistance of a Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver or take the initiative to pioneer a neighborhood fitness group to keep themselves and their friends active. No matter what, our clients live with a never-ending drive to become better.

Winning Attitude

Henry Ford once said, “If you think you can or you can’t…you’re probably right.” This quote hits home on the Seniors Helping Seniors® team because we know the crucial role that mindset plays in our clients’ daily lives. Here’s to our senior community and their “can do” attitude!


How To Maximize Awesomeness Year After Year!

While “awesomeness” is a quality that is tough to define or manifest, there are several behaviors that can help each one of us become the best possible versions of ourselves.

Give Thanks

Gratitude is a powerful mindset that helps individuals cope with life’s stressors. Practicing for just ten minutes a day encourages a positive outlook. Try the Seniors Helping Seniors® suggestions below to get started:

  1. Keep a journal and practice gratitude by making it a daily writing exercise.
  2. Participate in gratitude meditation every morning by focusing on the things for which you’re grateful.

Both approaches will set the tone for a wonderful day!

Prioritize Health & Wellness

Maintaining a strong body and mind requires hard work, but our clients are always crushing their goals! We at Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services love to see our clients taking control of their health and know their determination will help them age with continuing grace and independence.

Of course, health and wellness encompass more than just physical fitness. For continued awesomeness, incorporate all of the following into your or your senior loved one’s routine:

  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes five days a week
  • Eat a balanced diet comprised of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains
  • Stimulate the brain with mind games and puzzles
  • Maintain an active social life

 Overall wellness is essential, especially when squeezing every drop out of fun out of one’s golden years!

 Give Back

At Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services, we’re all about spreading kindness and compassion. Participating in acts of goodwill creates a sense of belonging and can help individuals feel more connected to those around them in the process. One small act of kindness can create an enormously positive response that will keep you and everyone around you feeling incredible!

There are no limits to how the Seniors Helping Seniors® community exudes awesomeness at every turn and we’re thrilled to be able to celebrate it today and every day!

Call or text us at 312-526-3666 to learn more about our services or visit our website at:  https://seniorcarechicagometro.com/in-home-senior-care-services/

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Your New Favorite Banana Cream Pie Recipe!

There’s only one way to celebrate National Banana Cream Pie Day…make an Old-Fashioned Banana Cream Pie! Pile on the fun by asking a Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver to act as your or your senior loved one’s pastry sous chef and whip up this tasty and traditional treat!


Ingredients

1 9-in. pie crust, baked

3 cups of whole milk

¾ cup of white sugar

1/3 c. all-purpose flour

¼ tsp of salt

3 egg yolks, slightly beaten

2 tbsp of butter

1 tsp of vanilla

3 bananas

Nilla Wafer cookies (optional)


Directions

  1. Scald the milk in a large saucepan.
  2. In a separate saucepan, combine sugar, flour, and salt. Gradually stir in scalded milk.
  3. Cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring constantly.
  4. Cover and cook for 2 minutes longer, mixing occasionally.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the 3 slightly beaten egg yolks and a small amount of the hot scalded milk mixture. Stir until thoroughly combined.
  6. Add egg yolks to the rest of the scalded milk mixture.
  7. Cook for 1 minute longer, stirring constantly.
  8. Remove from heat and blend in the butter and vanilla.
  9. Let sit until the filling is lukewarm.
  10. When ready to pour, slice bananas and sprinkle them around the prepared pie crust. Pour warm filling mixture over the bananas.
  11. Let the pie cool until serving. If desired, make a meringue with the leftover egg whites to top the pie. Top with crushed Nilla Wafers and enjoy!

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The Nutritional Needs of Seniors Should be Attended to with Caution and Care

As we age, maintaining healthy eating habits can make a difference in our overall health and mood. Now is an excellent time to learn about how we can develop better eating habits and healthier lifestyles. This is especially true for our senior community.

For seniors, maintaining good nutrition is so important. Some seniors are worried about things like affording healthy foods or hurting themselves while cooking, so seniors must consider the impact of certain food choices and adopt healthy eating habits to keep our seniors’ overall health in a good place for the spring.


The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends people learn about making healthy food choices and habits. For seniors and their caregivers who may have experienced disruptions to their eating, shopping, and other healthy habits, they recommend following these tips from the USDA:

  1. Enjoy a variety of foods from each food group to help reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases.
  2. Consult with your doctor for other options if the medications you take are causing changes to your appetite.
  3. Drink water often! Limit beverages that have lots of added sugars or salt. Low- or fat-free milk, including lactose-free options or fortified soy beverages and 100% juice can also help you stay hydrated.
  4. Consume foods fortified with vitamin B12, potassium, calcium, vitamin D, and dietary fiber.
  5. Avoid salt and try adding spices such as oregano to flavor your meals.

Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers provide a variety of services to support seniors so that they can maintain their independence and enjoy life not just in their homes, but also in their neighborhoods. These services include companionship, light housekeeping, cooking, and shopping support, assistance with personal care, dementia care, pet care, light handyman services and repairs, yard work, and medication reminders.

For the Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home senior care, it all comes down to The Power of Love® and providing compassionate care that makes seniors feel seen, heard, and independent while providing purpose and passion for their senior caregivers.

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National Caregivers Day

Caregiver Day

Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services have grown rapidly in recent years by building a workforce of talented caregivers who create meaningful relationships with their senior care receivers. In celebration of National Caregivers Day on February 17, we are honoring those caregivers, whose tireless work has made us a leading in-home care provider.

Caregivers are at the core of what we do, and their work is essential to the health and happiness of so many people around the world. Celebrated nationally every third Friday in February, National Caregivers Day was established in 2015 by Providers Association for Home Health & Hospice Agencies (PAHHHA).

Family members are the primary caregivers for the vast majority of older adults and people with disabilities in the U.S. As Seniors Helping Seniors® expanded into markets across the country, the brand has provided opportunities for those caregivers to turn their hard work and passion into lucrative career opportunities while also offering a source of relief to family caregivers experiencing burnout.

Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers are essential to what we do and are so valued at our organization. They brighten the lives of seniors by providing compassionate care with a helping hand and supporting seniors to continue to live independent lives by taking care of day-to-day tasks that become more challenging with age. We prioritize caring for our caregivers just like our senior receivers.

Nearly half of all caregivers in the U.S. are over the age of 50 and are themselves vulnerable to declining health, which is why Seniors Helping Seniors®, prioritizes hiring people over the age of 55 as caregivers. We provide a wealth of support to ensure the mental, physical, and emotional health of its caregivers.

We’ve put a lot of work into ensuring that Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care is not only the best option for our receivers but also our caregivers as well. That’s something we are extremely proud of, but it’s not something we take for granted. We will continue to make sure anyone who has the passion and skills to be a great caregiver will find an opportunity to grow and make an impact with our services. Our caregivers truly have a way to give and receive®.

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Pancakes In a Nutshell! Pistachio Pancakes

Pistachio Pancakes

With so many fun “holidays” to celebrate throughout the year, keeping up with them can be a chore! Lucky for us, this week’s celebrations go hand-in-hand…or, maybe nut-in-batter? In observance of National Pancake Day (2/21) and National Pistachio Day (2/26), we get in the spirit with this scrumptious pistachio pancake recipe. Ask your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver to assist and give this one a try!


Ingredients

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup of Greek Yogurt
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1/4 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup. & 1 tbsp. of flour
  • 1/2 tsp. of baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. of sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, finely chopped
  • 1/2-1 tbsp. of melted butter
  • Maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup of crushed pistachios for garnish

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, mix in your Greek yogurt, milk, vanilla extract and 2 egg whites.
  2. In another bowl, combine your dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, sugar, & salt.
  3. Then combine the two bowls and whisk until evenly mixed.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix your crushed pistachios and the melted butter. Once evenly coated, add buttered pistachios to your mixture.
  5. To a pan over medium heat, add around a 1/4 cup of your pancake batter and cook till bubbles start appearing through the top of the pancake (approx. 1-2 mins each side), then flip.
  6. Plate your pancakes and drizzle with maple syrup and left over pistachios for a little extra crunch!

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Riding The Wave! Keep Kindness Flowing In 2023

Keep Kindness Flowing In 2023!

February 17th is National Random Acts of Kindness Day, and showing kindness is the concept at the heart of Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services. We see the effects of compassion year after year as we watch our caregivers and clients support one another, share genuine laughter, and spread hope with thoughtful acts.

As we shine a light on this mindset, we’re excited to explore the many ways acts of kindness – large or small – create positive change in the body, mind, and those around us. In addition, we love sharing ideas that inspire both those on the Seniors Helping Seniors® team as well as the individuals we serve to show they care!


Why Be Kind?

According to the Mayo Clinic, “kindness” means to exhibit a spirit of helpfulness, generosity, and consideration, and to do so without the expectation of receiving something in return. We see this quality on display in our caregiver’s day after day and understand how powerful it can be!

Although most people don’t need a reason to be kind, whether looking for one or not, the benefits of spreading cheer are plentiful. For example, doing something nice for another person has been shown to:

    • Reduce blood pressure and decrease cortisol, the body’s primary stress hormone
    • Stimulate the production of serotonin, which improves mood
    • Increase one’s sense of purpose!
    • Boost confidence
    • Foster a connection between individuals!

Equally important, acts of kindness – whether random or planned – are contagious. Doing something nice for someone else inspires them to pay it forward as well!


Make It Your Mantra

Benevolence is innate in most people, but there are ways to help ensure you’re putting your best foot forward at every turn. For example, start each day with the mantra, “I will spread happiness today by…,” and then fill in the blank with how you plan to extend goodwill.

It is that simple! Now, let’s dive into some of our team’s favorite ways to show kindness!


The Power Of Love®

There are, quite literally, innumerable ways to spread cheer to those around us. No matter how you choose to brighten someone’s day, you can be certain that no good deed goes unnoticed or unappreciated.

Break Bread

Sitting down for a meal is a wonderful way to create happiness and joy. Whether cheering up a loved one by cooking their favorite meal or inviting a friend over to enjoy your most-loved dish, a few hours of engaging conversation, laughter, and meaningful connection will leave everyone in attendance with full bellies and full hearts!

Nice & Neighborly

Spreading kindness in your backyard is the easiest way to show you care. A considerate gesture can make a new neighbor feel welcome or remind a long-time friend how lucky you are to live next door.

Watch for opportunities to:

    • Offer a hand carrying groceries or large packages.
    • Assist with yard work.
    • Bring the garbage cans in after pick-up.
    • Deliver cookies or bread…just because!
    • Invite neighbors over for coffee or tea.
    • Compliment an outfit, new haircut, or DIY project
    • Ask the person next door to join you for an evening walk

You just might start a wave of kindness throughout the entire neighborhood with one tiny act!


Make A Connection

Connecting with others – old friends and new acquaintances alike – always feels good! Call to let a senior loved one know you are thinking about them during a difficult time. Ask a stranger who’s sitting alone to join you for lunch. Make it a point to support a friend as they learn a new hobby. There are tons of ways to spark a meaningful bond with others!

Don’t let National Random Acts of Kindness Day sneak by without spreading love and joy to whomever you encounter.

As American author and cartoonist Scott Adams once said: “Remember, there is no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”


We at Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services are ready to make some waves! Are you?

Do you know a senior that needs help in their home? Would they like some companionship? Are you a caregiver looking for a family to help? Call or text us at 312-526-3666.

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3 Unexpected Ways To Improve Heart Health

Improve Heart Health

We all know a balanced diet and daily exercise are the tent poles of a healthy heart. In this article, however, we are focused on a few of the lesser-known ways Seniors Helping Seniors® clients can maintain a strong ticker.

Reducing stress, sustaining an active social life, and incorporating simple stretches into a morning routine all help to bolster an already heart-healthy lifestyle. Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services are committed to helping those we serve hit all the right beats towards a healthy heart, so read on to get the ideas flowing!


Manage Stress

Equally important as eating smart and exercising, finding ways to deal with stress is essential in keeping the heart in top shape. The following ideas can help.

Practice Relaxation

Relaxing is not just important – it’s doctor’s orders! Staying relaxed goes together with stress management. Below, the Seniors Helping Seniors® team has gathered several exercises to help our clients feel at ease in any situation.

  • Breathing exercises, like taking slow and intentional deep breaths, send a message to the brain to relax. These breathing practices slow your heart rate and release more oxygen into the bloodstream, unleashing endorphins that combat stress.
  • Visualization helps reduce stress too. To start, find a quiet space, take a few deep breaths, and close your eyes. Picture yourself in a peaceful space. It could be the beach, a meadow, or a favorite comfortable chair. Imagine having fun, smiling, and feeling serene.
  • Counting to 10 can help our clients stay calm when beginning to feel stressed as well. Simply close your eyes, take a deep breath, and count slowly from one to 10. Check how you feel and repeat this exercise until you reach a relaxed state.

Replace Bad Habits with Good OnesManage Stress

Another side effect of stress is the vices we enact to help cope. For example, eating sweets may reduce anxiety in the short term, but consistently indulging in not-so-great behaviors to de-stress can have unfavorable long-term results. Next time you find yourself gravitating toward a bad habit because of stress, break the cycle by completing a good habit instead. Try going for a walk, writing in a journal, taking a hot bath, or calling a friend.

Create A Plan To Stop Stress In Its Tracks

Now that you have a few stress-relieving techniques in your arsenal, create a routine to practice any time you feel anxiety rearing its head. By recognizing the onset of stress and having a plan in place to stop it, you’ll be in total control of your reaction!


Stay Connected

Stay Connected

For years, studies have shown that loneliness can negatively affect health. Recent research uncovered that loneliness correlates to a 27% increase in the risk of heart disease for individuals 50 years of age and older.

Helping our clients remain engaged throughout their senior years is one of our top priorities at Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services. Have you tried the following to build a social circle and keep connected?

Join Social Groups

There is a group out there for everyone! Find like-minded individuals at the local senior center, or fitness club, or through an online search of area clubs and organizations. Can’t find a group that fits? Gather some friends and start your own!

Keep In Touch With Family and Friends

With the hustle and bustle of daily life, carving out time to chat with loved ones can become a challenge. Nonetheless, it is critical in remaining engaged! If your family lives close by, set up a monthly dinner or lunch date. Establish an ongoing connection with out-of-town loved ones by committing to calling or video chatting on the regular.

Take Advantage of Our Companionship Services

We offer a wide variety of in-home care services, including companionship! Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers are friendly, fun, and love getting to know the seniors we serve. We even make sure to match caregivers and clients who have similar interests, so there will always be lots to talk about!


Stretch It Out

Stretch it OutDaily stretching helps reduce injury, accidents, and…heart disease? Yes – you read that correctly! Kicking off each day with a stretching routine triggers the blood to start pumping and gets the heart-healthy habits going before your first cup of coffee!

Stretching also decreases stiffness in the arteries and damage to their walls, which leads to fewer heart-related problems. Not to mention, a quick morning stretch can help you relax, which we know is essential in boosting heart health as well!


Who knew there were so many ways to strengthen the heart?! Let’s get pumped for a happy and healthy year ahead!

Our senior care programs foster relationships between seniors seeking employment and seniors who need help with daily nonmedical personal needs, household tasks, and chores to continue living comfortably in their own homes. Call or text us at 312-526-3666 to learn more about our services or visit our website at:  https://seniorcarechicagometro.com/in-home-senior-care-services/

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Helping Seniors Stay Active and Avoid Post-Holiday Blues

Seniors Stay Active and Avoid Post-Holiday Blues

Seniors Helping Seniors® is placing a spotlight on advice and insights for how seniors can stay active and avoid the post-holiday blues. Our company has grown rapidly in recent years by building a workforce of talented caregivers who create meaningful relationships with their senior care receivers. While the holidays are often joyous and busy, the end of the holiday season can be a difficult time of year.

A survey revealed that 64% of people experience post-holiday blues, and this can be especially true for older adults. Often, coming down from the excitement and stress of the holiday season and being isolated from family members can lead to feelings of sadness and finding it hard to stay active.


In fact, staying active throughout the winter and after the holidays can become more difficult as people age, particularly for those living in colder climates, and we have seen every year just how challenging the holiday months can be for our elderly friends, family, and neighbors. The key to staying active once the holidays have passed and developing the right habits.

We work closely with our senior clients and their families to instill good, healthy habits that will promote good health all year round but are particularly critical during the holiday season. Some of the most important tips for habits that lead to avoiding post-holiday blues include:

Stick to your routine

Get the right amount of rest

Maintain a healthy diet

Set small but measurable goals

Take up a new hobby


Seniors Helping Seniors® services stand out from other brands in the elder care space in part through its commitment to hiring senior caregivers, which provides employment opportunities for seniors and better cultivates meaningful relationships between caregivers and care receivers.

Part of why our caregivers love working with Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services is due to our commitment to promoting the health of everyone in our communities — not just our clients. Our whole team is passionate about uplifting the lives of seniors and their families, and we are always looking for new ways to reach out and lend a hand.

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Get Ready for One-Pot Spaghetti!

spaghetti

Grab your forks! We still want to start the new year on a healthy note, so here’s a delicious, one-pot, low-cal spaghetti recipe you can make with your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver to start the year off right!

Ingredients

1 lb. ground turkey, lean

1 yellow onion, diced

28 oz canned crushed tomatoes

1 cup freshly chopped spinach

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

½ teaspoon dried oregano

⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes

4 cups low sodium chicken or beef

1 box of whole grain spaghetti

Fresh basil leaves for garnish (optional)

Fresh grated parmesan

Directions

In a large skillet, cook ground turkey and onion over medium heat, stirring often, until fully browned. Make sure to drain any excess fat from the pan.

Add spinach, salt, garlic, Italian seasoning, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Stir, and cook for 2 minutes.

Add your broth of choice and your crushed tomatoes. Bring this to a simmer over medium-high heat.

Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes until pasta is fully cooked, stirring often to reduce sticking.

Dish out and top pasta with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil leaves, if desired.

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Start The New Year with Purpose! Tips for A More Meaningful 2023


The New You


As we ring in a new year, it is time to reboot and think about your intentions for 2023 and the new you. That is why January is National Be On-Purpose Month! But what does it mean to be “on-purpose?”

Simply put, it means that you live with clarity about who you want to be, what you want to accomplish, and how you want to impact the people around you. Once you know your intentions, you set goals that will help you achieve them.

If the idea of purposeful living intrigues you but you are unsure where to start, Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services can help! Our caregivers are thrilled to see those we serve working to better themselves and are happy to become a partner on your journey. With their help and the tips below, you can make the changes needed to live your life for a better, more meaningful tomorrow!


How To Discover Your Purpose

First things first, what is your intent? Living with purpose can mean different things throughout each stage of our lives. Re-evaluating our interests, beliefs, and motivations each year gives us a chance to discover a new set of priorities.

If you already know where your intentions for the new year lie, great! If not, let us start digging…


What is your passion?

Thinking about your interests, hobbies, and talents can provide insight into your purpose. The activities that bring you joy are an excellent place to begin forming purpose-driven goals.

If you are not sure what you are passionate about, explore a variety of activities with your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver in the year ahead. After all, continuing to learn new things and improve upon your skills is an excellent intention for 2023 too!


What do friends and family say about you?

It can be difficult to look at ourselves objectively so paying attention to what others notice regarding your skills and positive attributes can provide additional insight into your purpose. For example, do people compliment your patience or ability to talk to anyone? Or perhaps they make it a point to tell you how your homemade desserts and beautiful garden brighten their day. Use this feedback to dive deeper into uncovering the person you want to be, how you hope to make people feel, and what attributes can help you get there.


What do you want to accomplish by living “on purpose?”

Understanding your strengths and interests is the first piece of the puzzle. Once you have that down, think about your reasons for pursuing it. For instance, do you want to improve your skills or learn something new? Would you like to get others interested in your passion? Do you want to give back to your community?

Here are several examples of how you can make your passion purpose-driven:

If you love the theater, make it a goal to organize group trips throughout the year. This is a wonderful way to see more shows, support your local arts scene, and share your passion with a group of like-minded friends.

Explore your love for painting by taking classes. Feeling adventurous? Commit to entering your work in a local art show or maker’s market by the year’s end!

Use your sewing skills to help others by making scarves that you can donate to area shelters during the winter season.


Get S.M.A.R.T!

Charting a purposeful path is only effective when you have a clear route to success. Now that you know what your intentions are for 2023, it is time to set some objectives!

You have probably heard of the acronym “S.M.A.R.T” in terms of goal setting. Remember, those letters stand for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Every goal you set should meet these five criteria for the best chance at success. For even better odds, the Seniors Helping Seniors® team added a few more helpful tips below:

  • Write your goals down
  • Share objectives with friends and family
  • Split long-term or large goals up into smaller, more manageable objectives
  • Celebrate victories (even small ones)!

Keep in mind, sometimes deadlines will not be met. That is OK! Unsuccessful attempts are not failures, they are simply part of the learning process.


No matter what your purpose is in 2023, your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver will be by your side every step of the way! And, while National Be On-Purpose Month ends January 31st, your mission to live more meaningfully does not have to end. Once you have an established system for defining your intentions and setting goals to help you reach them, you can live with purpose each and every day!

Our senior care programs foster relationships between seniors seeking employment and seniors who need help with daily nonmedical personal needs, household tasks, and chores to continue living comfortably in their own homes. Connect with us today at 312-526-3666.

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Christmas Eve-ning Eggnog!

Eggnog

A delicious holiday staple, learning to make good eggnog is sure to impress, in addition to leaving your tastebuds dancing. Grab your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver for an extra hand and give this recipe a try:

Ingredients

4 cups milk

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

5 whole cloves

1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract, divided

12 large egg yolks

1 ½ cups white sugar

4 cups light cream

2 ½ cups light rum (optional)

½ tsp. ground nutmeg

Directions

  1. Combine milk, cinnamon, ½ tsp. vanilla, and cloves in a saucepan and warm over the lowest heat setting. Stir and heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Increase heat to medium-low and slowly bring to a boil, then remove from heat.
  3. Whisk egg yolks until light yellow in color. Add sugar and continue whisking until light and fluffy.
  4. Pour a small amount of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking quickly to keep from scrambling the eggs. Continue this process until all the milk is incorporated.
  5. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes or until thick. Do not allow the mixture to boil.
  6. Strain mixture to remove the cloves and let cool for 1 hour.
  7. Stir in cream, rum (if desired), remaining 2 tsp. vanilla, and nutmeg. Let cool 8 hours to overnight before serving.

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Advice for Safe Travels for Older Drivers Safety Awareness Week

Older Drivers Safety Awareness Week

During National Older Driver Safety Awareness Week December 6th-10th, Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care is helping to keep everyone safe on the roads by offering safety advice for older drivers. Transportation fears are too often the barrier that prevents seniors from living their lives the way they would like to — but fortunately, there are a few key strategies that drivers can use to ensure their safety.

The expertise of a trained professional can help ensure safety and confidence. Most importantly, it is good to have a plan in place. There is so much that we cannot anticipate in day-to-day life, but a simple strategy for what we can control can make a world of difference.


This week of awareness, launched by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), has been established to promote the importance of mobility and transportation for older adults, and to ensure they can remain active while doing what they love. The ability to drive safely can be affected by changes in our physical, emotional, and cognitive health. Although changes are a part of normal aging, they occur individually and at different rates and times.


Transportation is too often the barrier that prevents seniors from living their lives the way they would like to — but fortunately, there are a few key strategies that drivers can use to ensure their safety. The AOTA lists out some key details that can help promote transportation safety, ranging from simple conversations to fully structured strategies.

  • Anticipating personal cognitive changes that can affect driving.
  • Having conversations with family about potential concerns.
  • Screening and evaluations with a therapist (or caregiver).
  • Having compassionate interventions with seniors over serious concerns.
  • Staying engaged with the community, with or without a car.
  • Assessing if the weather or conditions are safe enough for driving.

When it comes to safe driving and safe travel, we can engage with people on an emotional and cognitive level. Some strategies will work better for some than others, which is why it is a huge benefit to know an audience, know how a message can be received, and know the exact degree of assistance that is recommended for everyone.

Seniors Helping Seniors® can assist with potential interventions when needed, all while making sure we stay compassionate and mindful of how people feel about travel struggles. Interventions alone can often be met with pushback by those being intervened with, but our strategies have helped generate understanding by all parties. We seek to ensure that safety and compassion are placed at the forefront of client understanding.

An adaptive approach can ensure safety remains a priority. Our health changes can make us more responsive to certain things over time than others. When it comes to personal health and safety, it is important to have a team in place that can recognize these changes and can look after others in multiple ways.

If you or a loved one needs help staying independent, give us a call at 312-526-3666.

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4 Tips For Discussing In-Home Care With Your Senior Loved One

Discussing In-Home Care

Approaching the topic of in-home care can be tricky for children with aging parents. Admitting we need help is tough at any age! However, Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services understand the nuances of this decision and are available as a trusted ally and resource.

We have helped families navigate this process repeatedly. With a thoughtful approach, a few expert tips, and a whole lot of compassion, you can have a productive and respectful conversation with your senior loved one about their wants and needs surrounding in-home care.

Take a moment to consider the following suggestions and put together a plan for breaching the subject with an aging family member or friend.


Start Early

Waiting for a crisis to occur before talking about your loved one’s care needs often makes the entire process more difficult. Begin planting seeds before you jump into a full-on conversation.

Perhaps you can ask your parent how he or she feels about another aging family member having to move into a nursing home. Or casually ask what kind of tasks they are starting to find difficult. This can be an effective way to get your senior loved one thinking about the future.

Additionally, watch for outside cues or changes in circumstances that support the potential need for in-home care. For example:

  • Has your loved one recently received a negative health diagnosis?
  • Have they lost a spouse or close friend?
  • Have you noticed a decline in their appearance, habits, or health?

These can lead into a larger conversation about their well-being and continued independence.


Prepare

Like most things in life, practice and preparation are key for this discussion. Before sitting down with a senior loved one, make a list of talking points to keep yourself on track. It can be difficult to think clearly in the middle of a conversation, especially if emotions are high, so having a few notes can help keep the discussion constructive and beneficial for everyone involved.

Think about who should be part of this conversation as well. Does your parent often turn to one particular family member for advice? Do you know of another senior who could share their experience with in-home care? Would it be beneficial to invite a Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver in to explain our breadth of services? While you do not want to create an overwhelming situation for your loved one, inviting a few knowledgeable friends to join can help offer answers and ease worries.

If you would rather approach your parent alone, have a few examples ready that show how senior care services have helped others enjoy their independence longer and could help them too.


Remember, This Is A Conversation

And, the first of many. Accepting in-home care is a big decision. Give your loved one a chance to work through the details and do your best to answer any questions or concerns directly, honestly, and with empathy.

Try incorporating a few of the following Seniors Helping Seniors® suggestions:

  • LISTEN to what your loved one wants; do not tell them what they need.
  • STAY POSITIVE. Mention things your parent is already doing well and focus the conversation on how these care services will benefit them in the future.
  • COMPROMISE. If your special senior is not ready for full-time help yet, suggest short-term or task-based assistance as a starting point.

Stress The Benefits

Many seniors think that requesting help is the first step in losing their independence when just the opposite is often true! At Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services, our caregivers are fellow seniors who understand the challenges that accompany aging. Their goal is to help your senior loved one remain in the comfort of home for as long as possible and will provide as much or as little help as needed along the way.

We also match our clients with caregivers who share similar backgrounds and interests, which makes forming a meaningful and lasting connection easy! As a result, our care feels less like a service, more like getting a little help from your friends®.


If you are struggling to get the conversation started, give us a call at 312-526-3666. Our experienced team is happy to provide guidance, tips, and resources to make the discussion as easy as possible!

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Gifts From The Heart: 4 Priceless Presents Your Grandchild Will Adore

Priceless Presents Your Grandchild

Whether it makes the recipient laugh, cry, or jump for joy, nothing compares to the feeling of giving the perfect gift! Instead of opting for a present on your grandchild’s list this season, make them light up with a special memento.

Our Seniors Helping Seniors® team loves to help our clients find creative ways to share their most memorable moments and precious memories. Including a few special items under the tree is a wonderful way to do this. And since you can find plenty of heartfelt gifts in your own home, that also means you will not have to brave the elements or wade through a sea of last-minute shoppers – an added bonus!

If you already have the perfect present in mind, great! If not, read on for some Seniors Helping Seniors® inspiration.


Prized Possessions

Gifting a special award, keepsake, or personal item is a wonderful way to give your grandchild a glimpse into your past and leave them with a token they will cherish for life. Pass down mementos from a military career, like medals of honor or a loved one’s burial flag. Or perhaps you have a few special trophies from your time as a college athlete, a book you’ve read time and again, or a meaningful piece of jewelry.

Your grandchild will love gifts of this nature because they provide a glimpse into your life before they knew you. It is also a fantastic opportunity to share a personal story about it, giving your loved one insight into why this present is so special to you.


Cherished Photos

Do you have old photo albums in your home? Look through them with a Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver to find a few snapshots of meaningful periods in your life. Our caregivers love learning about our care receivers’ younger years, so be sure to share the story behind the photos as you go!

Here are a few ideas on what to look for:

  • Photos of you and your grandchild from when they were younger.
  • Shots that make you say, “What on Earth was I thinking with that hairdo/outfit?”
  • Pictures from a past family trip or get-together.

There are no wrong answers here – you know best what will connect with your grandchild. Once you find the perfect picture, frame it, or use multiple photos to create a collage and a nostalgic gift your grandchild will cherish!


Family Heirlooms

The holiday season is a wonderful time to pass along family traditions, including heirlooms. Perhaps you were given a special keepsake by your grandmother, who also received it from her grandmother. Items like these are family treasures and are an excellent prompt to share stories and memories of relatives you have lost.


Handmade Gifts

Do you have a special hobby, like woodworking, sewing, or painting that you can use to create a one-of-a-kind gift? Whatever you enjoy, your grandchild will adore a present made with them in mind. This is simply one more touching way to show your loved ones how much they mean to you!


At Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services, we know it is easy to get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Putting together a thoughtful and heartwarming gift can help us slow down and remember the true meaning of the season. Try adding a few presents like those above under the tree this year – it is a wonderful way to forge an even stronger connection with those you hold dear!

Want to know about our services or ask about becoming a caregiver? Call or text us at 312-526-3666.

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National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month: Know The Facts

Alzheimer’s Awareness

An estimated 6.2 million Americans age 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s disease. Although the term “Alzheimer’s” is familiar to most, understanding the condition, its symptoms, and treatment options is a more difficult task.

As we head into November – Alzheimer’s Awareness Month – Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services is empowering our care receivers and their families to be proactive about Alzheimer’s. Read on to learn more about the disease and the steps you can take to help prevent and treat it in yourself or a senior loved one.


What Is Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that affects memory, thinking, and behavior. It is the most common cause of dementia, responsible for 60-80% of all dementia cases.

The most recognizable symptoms include:

  • Memory loss and forgetfulness
  • Confusion about surroundings
  • Inability to perform simple tasks
  • Difficulty finding the right words when speaking

Alzheimer’s vs. Dementia

Dementia is an umbrella term for symptoms like memory loss or cognitive function; it is not a specific disease. Conversely, Alzheimer’s is a brain disorder caused by cell damage. Those with Alzheimer’s often experience symptoms of dementia.


Alzheimer’s Prevention

There is no surefire way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. However, certain proactive measures can help reduce the risk for yourself or a senior loved one. Work with a Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver to practice healthy habits, like the following.


Maintain A Healthy Heart

Studies show an increased link between cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s diagnoses. Maintaining good heart health throughout the Golden Years can help lessen the risk of developing many medical conditions, including Alzheimer’s.

Follow these steps to improve heart health:

  • Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol
  • Eat a nutritious diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Exercise 3-5 days a week for at least 30 minutes

Stay Connected

Studies show that mentally and socially active seniors experience a lower risk of cognitive decline. Participating in enjoyable activities and hobbies creates a sense of purpose and aids in healthy aging.

Try these Seniors Helping Seniors® suggestions for staying stimulated:

  • Engage in a creative outlet like reading, painting, or playing an instrument
  • Play brain games like Sudoku and crossword puzzles
  • Join group activities like a sports team or book club
  • Socialize with family and friends, either in person or virtually

Diagnosis & Treatment

Though there is no known cure for Alzheimer’s disease, early diagnosis and treatment can help those with the condition maintain a better quality of life. If you have noticed warning signs in yourself or a senior loved one, it is important to make an appointment with a doctor.

Diagnosis is typically done through a combination of tests – including a neurological exam, blood tests, and brain scans. These help the doctor identify if Alzheimer’s is the cause of the cognitive decline and rule out other possibilities.

Treatment includes prescription medications to help improve cognitive symptoms as well as adaptations to the person’s home to make living with the condition more manageable.

A Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver can assist you or your senior loved one in creating processes that ease the demand on memory and make daily life easier, such as:

  • Establishing a spot for valuables (keys, wallet, phone) to prevent them from becoming lost
  • Developing – and sticking to – a consistent daily schedule and routine
  • Creating a daily checklist to track medication and doctor’s appointments

It is important to surround yourself with trusted helpers when dealing with Alzheimer’s in yourself or a senior loved one. In addition to providing compassionate care after a diagnosis, our caregiving team is familiar with the signs and can play a vital role in helping to identify early indications of the disease.

Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services are always available to be a part of your support network and we are here to address any concerns and questions you have about Alzheimer’s. Together, we can raise awareness of this condition and help seniors living with it remain active and independent!

To start services call or text Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro at 312-526-3666 or visit our website  at www.SeniorCareChicagoMetro.com to learn more about us.

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Fun For Everyone! Celebrate National Game & Puzzle Week

Games

Playing games and solving puzzles might not feel like a serious brain workout, but these activities are some of the best ways to improve cognitive well-being. Even better – they are a wonderful way to engage with family and friends! National Game and Puzzle Week are celebrated the last week in November, and what better time for Seniors Helping Seniors® care receivers in on the fun?!

Below, we talk about a few different types of games and puzzles that are sure to get participants thinking, strategizing, and in some cases, moving. Not sure which game will hit the spot? Try a few! You or your senior family member can tap into a slew of mental and social benefits with any or all the following games and puzzles.


Get In The Game!

Games come in tons of different varieties – there is truly something that everyone can enjoy! Whether you or your family member love outsmarting an opponent, working as a team to reach a goal, or are simply searching for a lively icebreaker to play with friends, family, and a Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver, one of the following suggestions is sure to do the trick.

Tabletop Games

Board games and card games cover numerous topics and skill levels. That is why they are one of our favorite ways to get into the competitive spirit. Here are a few other reasons they are a go-to on game night:

  • Individuals with mobility issues can easily participate since tabletop games do not typically require a lot of movement to play.
  • Many are suitable for elementary-aged children to seniors, so there are plenty of games that friends and family of all ages can enjoy together.
  • The strategy behind games like chess and poker is often passed down from generation to generation, making them a great way to connect with grandchildren.

Video Games

It may sound strange to include video games as a fun activity for seniors, but they are an excellent way to stimulate the mind and body by helping to improve coordination and critical thinking skills. If you or a senior loved one are looking to get the blood pumping, video games that encourage you to act out movements to complete a goal are a perfect choice. For example, these games allow players to compete in sporting competitions, play an instrument as a part of a band, or learn a new dance right in the living room.

Digital Games

We are all familiar with the saying: “There’s an app for that!” Digital games are no exception. Our favorite part? You do not have to live in the same area to challenge a friend or family member to a round. Phone and computer games allow us to connect with players from around the world – all from the best seat in the living room.

Our caregivers love helping those we serve to learn new skills and adapt to technology, especially when these technologies help our clients stay connected with loved ones. Our in-home services focus on Aging Reimagined®. Ask a Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver to help you or a loved one download a digital game and get the competition started!


Puzzles For Peak Performance

Like games, puzzles are fun for all ages and carry with them some rewarding benefits. They promote concentration, increase brain function, and can be a pleasurable way to stay engaged during the cool and dreary fall and winter months.

Jigsaw puzzles are an excellent way to work the mind. With choices ranging from those with dozens of pieces to thousands, there is an option for every skill level. Not to mention, every scene imaginable is available in puzzle form, so when the work is done, you or a senior loved one will be left with a stunning image to enjoy!

“Brain” games like Sudoku, crosswords, word searches, and matching games require players to solve a puzzle as well, using strategy and critical thinking. On the days that you or an aging family member are looking for a fun and challenging solo activity, brain games are an excellent option.

Finding ways to gather with family and friends once cookouts and long spring and summer evenings end can be tough. Planning a monthly game night is an excellent way to keep the fun going over the fall and winter seasons.


Our caregivers are happy to help, from finding a few fun and appropriate games to making appetizers for the whole gang to share on game night. So, get your game face on, gather the crew, and start an exciting new fall tradition!

Senior home care services to elderly residents throughout the Chicago area is just one beneficial aspect of our services. All of our helpers are also seniors themselves. They have a warmth and understanding that comes from experience and wisdom gained over the years. They are all loving, caring compassionate people who bring joy and companionship to everyone with whom they work. That’s why our seniors often become life-long friends with those who receive our services.

Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services is a leading provider for Senior In Home Care services in Chicago. We make life a little easier for you or a loved one by providing services in the home that include: companionship, light housekeeping, cooking, gardening, transportation assistance, Alzheimer’s and Dementia care, assistance with daily errands, activities, and more. Our senior home care services allow elderly adults the opportunity to continue living an independent life in their own home without the need to move.

To start services call or text Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro at 312-526-3666 or visit our website at www.SeniorCareChicagoMetro.com to learn more about us.

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Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup With Kale Recipe

Chicken soup

Few things are better on a chilly fall night than a healthy, hearty bowl of chicken noodle soup! For a delicious and veggie-packed twist, try this recipe from Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services:


Ingredients:

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 tsp. dried oregano and/or thyme, divided

1 ¼ tsp. salt, divided

¾ tsp. ground pepper, divided

2 cups chopped onions

1 cup chopped carrots

1 cup chopped celery

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

4 cups unsalted chicken broth

2/3 cup whole wheat orzo pasta

4 cups chopped kale

1 lemon, zested and juiced


Directions:

  • Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add chopped chicken and sprinkle with ½ tsp. each oregano/thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook chicken until lightly browned (3 – 5 min), then transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon.
  • Add remaining 1 tbsp. oil, onions, carrots, and celery in the pot. Cook until vegetables are soft and lightly browned (3 – 5 min).
  • Add garlic, bay leaf, and remaining ½ tsp. oregano/thyme. Cook, stirring until fragrant (30 – 60 sec).
  • Add broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Add orzo. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 5 min.
  • Add kale and chicken. Continue cooking until the orzo is tender and the chicken is cooked through (5 – 8 min).
  • Remove from heat and discard bay leaf. Stir in lemon juice, lemon zest, and remaining ¾ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper.
  • Serve with a crusty slice of bread and enjoy in good company!

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Honoring Family Caregivers for National Family Caregivers Month

National Family Caregivers Month

This November, in celebration of National Family Caregivers Month (NFCM), we honor caregivers, whose tireless work has made Seniors Helping Seniors® a leader in-home care. Caregivers are at the core of what we do, and their work is essential to the health and happiness of so many people around the world.

Celebrated nationally every November, National Family Caregivers Month was established by the nonprofit Caregiver Action Network (CAN), which provides free education, peer support, and resources to family caregivers.


Family members are the primary caregivers for most older adults and people with disabilities in the U.S. As our Seniors Helping Seniors® franchise has expanded into markets across the country, the brand has provided opportunities for those caregivers to turn their hard work and passion into lucrative career opportunities while also offering a source of relief to family caregivers experiencing burnout.

Half of all caregivers in the U.S. are over the age of fifty and are themselves vulnerable to declining health, which is why Seniors Helping Seniors® services, which prioritizes hiring seniors as caregivers, provides a wealth of support to ensure the mental, physical, and emotional health of its caregivers.


Our senior caregivers brighten the lives of seniors by providing compassionate care with a helping hand and supporting seniors to continue to live independent lives by taking care of day-to-day tasks that become more challenging with age. We prioritize caring for our caregivers just like our senior receivers.

We have put a lot of work into ensuring that Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care is not only the best option for our receivers but also caregivers across the country. We are extremely proud of this, but it is not something we take for granted. We will continue to make sure anyone who has the passion and skills to be a great caregiver will find a great opportunity to grow and make an impact with Seniors Helping Seniors® services. Our caregivers truly have … a way to give and receive®.

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The Emotional Impact Of Caregiving: Reasons To Provide Care

The Emotional Impact Of Caregiving: Reasons To Provide Care

Caregiving involves providing physical, emotional, and sometimes financial support to another person. It is a demanding and emotionally challenging role that can have a significant impact on the caregiver’s own life.

Many caregivers report feeling isolated, anxious, and depressed. They may also experience physical health problems, financial stress, and social isolation. However, caregiving can also have some positive effects.

Many caregivers report feeling a sense of satisfaction and meaning in their lives. They also often develop strong bonds with the person they are caring for. If you are considering becoming a caregiver, it is important to be aware of the potential emotional impact of the role.


1.       Emotional Impact of Caregiving

The reality of being a caregiver is not what is often portrayed in the media. In most cases, it is not a gratifying experience. Instead, those working in handicap home care find it a demanding and challenging job, both physically and emotionally.

The emotional impact of caregiving can be significant. It may result in despair, worry, and feelings of loneliness. But, on the other hand, it can also be a source of power and contentment. The secret is striking a balance between job responsibilities and caring for oneself.

Let us explore the emotional impact of caregiving and provide tips on how to cope with the challenges.


2.       Developing a deeper connection

You are granted the gift of more time with your loved one as a caretaker. You get to actively participate in their daily life, from eating meals together to doing grocery shopping. Even if you and your parents or other loved ones are already close, spending time together while providing care can foster deeper and more meaningful relationships.


3.       It is an opportunity to return the favor

Likely, your loved one has cared for you in various ways throughout your life, and now, as a caregiver, you can show them the same level of considerate assistance and support. You may also sense that you are following a tradition by modeling caregiving in your home. Your children observe and learn from your behavior; someday, your children may provide the same standard of care for you.


4.       Provides peace of mind

Caregiving provides peace of mind, knowing your loved one is being taken care of. You can be part of the conversations with the doctor, know what the doctor recommends, and ensure their care plan is followed.


5.       Personal Growth

You may develop new skills and increase your confidence in your ability to handle whatever comes your way by serving in many different roles. In addition, caregiving will throw you a lot of curveballs that will better equip you for managing challenges in other areas of your life, from work to parenting and everything in between.


6.       Clear Priorities

Caring for a loved one allows you to see what is truly important in life. Although it can be daunting, having someone you love to focus on can help you eliminate distractions and figure out how to spend your time wisely.


Caregiver

For the caregiver, caregiving has its rewards. It has many benefits, including the feelings of:

Pride: Your efforts have considerably impacted this individual’s life; they can now live safely and comfortably due to your hard work. It is an impressive feat that few people are capable of.

Accomplishment: Helping just one person does not always get the recognition it is due, but it is a huge accomplishment. Your patients and their loved ones are counting on you to improve their lives. It would help if you never underestimate the worth of your job.

Empathy and Compassion: Your charge is someone who, whether they know it or not, relies on you. It’s not easy to help them, but you’re still doing everything possible for them. It’s gratifying to watch someone you’ve helped make strides in their life because of your help.

The emotional impact of caregiving can be both positive and negative. On the one hand, caregivers often report feeling a sense of satisfaction and purpose from providing care. On the other hand, caregiving can also be stressful and overwhelming, leading to feelings of anxiety, sadness, and anger.


The key to managing the emotional impact of caregiving is to accept that it is both a challenging and rewarding experience. In addition, professional caregivers can provide additional support and resources. If you need help, Seniors Helping Seniors is here for you. Call them at 312-526-3666 or visit the website to learn about services.

Article contributed by Sarah Keller from atozhomecare.net

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Making New Friends in Your Senior Years

Making Friends in Your Senior Year

Making friends in a senior year can be difficult, but it is possible. There are different ways to meet new people and form lasting relationships. Here are a few ideas to get you started.


Attend religious services

Religious services are a great option if you are looking for a place to meet new people. Many senior living facilities offer transportation to and from local churches, temples, or mosques. Attendance can help you form bonds with others who share your faith.


Join a social club

There are many social clubs aimed at seniors. These clubs can allow you to meet new people and engage in activities you enjoy. Some famous senior social clubs include book clubs, knitting clubs, and golf clubs.


Get involved in your community

You can volunteer for a local charity, join a neighborhood watch program, or participate. Social involvement can help you meet new people and make a difference in your area.


Connect with activity groups

There are many activity groups aimed at seniors. These groups can include everything from senior sports teams to old dance groups. Joining an activity group can help you meet new people and stay active.

Making friends in a senior year can be challenging, but there are many ways to meet new people. You can form lasting relationships by attending religious services, joining social clubs, getting involved in your community, and connecting with activity groups.


Extend social invitations

The best way to make senior friends is to extend social invitations. It can include inviting people over for dinner, going out to lunch, or attending local events together. By extending invitations, you are opening yourself up to meeting new people and forming lasting relationships.


Starting exercising

If you are looking for a way to meet new people and stay healthy, consider starting an exercise routine. Walking groups, senior sports teams, and fitness classes are all great options. It will help you to get the chance to meet new people, but you will also be able to improve your health.


Take a trip

Taking a trip is the best way to meet new people. It can include going on a cruise, taking a road trip, or visiting a new city. When you travel, you will have the chance to meet new people from all over the world.


Virtual Activity Platforms

Virtual Activity Platforms can include online dating websites and social media groups. By joining a virtual activity platform, you will be able to meet new people from the comfort of your own home.


Gardening

Gardening is an excellent way to relax and meet new people. Gardening can be a wonderful way to form bonds with other residents and get some fresh air.


Join a book club or library

Libraries and book clubs are beautiful places to meet new people. You can attend book club meetings, sign up for library programs, or spend time reading in the library. By joining a book club or library, you will be able to meet new people who share your love of reading.


Join a yoga class

Yoga classes are also an excellent way to meet new people and stay fit. Many senior centers offer yoga classes specifically for seniors. These classes can help you meet new people and learn valuable exercises to improve your health.


Senior living for pet owners

Senior living for pet owners is a type of senior living facility that allows residents to bring their pets. It can be an excellent option for people who want to live in a senior community but do not want to leave their pets behind. Senior living for pet owners usually has exceptional pet-friendly amenities, such as dog parks and walking trails.


Positive Effects of Having Friends

  • Reduced stress levels
  • Lower risk of depression
  • Greater life satisfaction
  • Higher self-esteem
  • Improved physical health
  • Longevity
  • Better mental health
  • Decreased risk for dementia

Adverse Effects of Not Having Friends

  • Higher risk for depression
  • Anxiety
  • Loneliness
  • Poorer physical health
  • Decreased life satisfaction
  • Poorer mental health
  • Increased risk for dementia.

Making friends in a senior year can be challenging, but there are many ways to meet new people. You can form lasting relationships by extending social invitations, participating in your community, taking trips, and joining virtual activity platforms. Additionally, senior living for pet owners is an excellent option for those who want to bring their pets. Friends can have many positive effects, including reduced stress and improved physical health. On the other hand, not having friends can lead to adverse effects, such as loneliness and poorer mental health. Whatever route you choose, remember that making friends in senior year is possible with a little effort.

Article contributed by Johny Kershaws

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Map Out A Fun Fall Road Trip!

Map Out A Fun Fall Road Trip!

October is the perfect month to hop in the car and “get lost” for a bit. Whether you or a senior loved one is looking to take in vibrant and dazzling fall foliage, pop into a top-rated breakfast joint, or discover one-of-a-kind creations, there is a perfect fall road trip for everyone!

Before you pack the car, however, make sure you have a trusted companion set to come along for the ride. Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers make excellent co-pilots! You can rest assured our caregivers will be just as excited to begin the journey as you or a senior loved one are, and are always ready to share a laugh, trade memories, or sing along to a favorite tune!

So, gas up and fasten your seatbelt – here are three autumnal road trip ideas to start planning with a Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver today!


Fall Foliage Tour

Foliage is the word of the season for good reason. In many parts of the country, the leaves show off in October with spectacular displays of reds, oranges, and yellows. If out-of-this-world views are what you are looking for, a fall foliage tour should be at the top of your list!

The best news is there is a course already mapped out for you. A quick Internet search will populate tons of scenic routes in the area. Before you and your Seniors Helping Seniors® companion hit the road, however, make sure to prepare for a day away from home.

Load up the car with these road trip essentials:

  • Pack important medications needed throughout the day and keep them within easy reach.
  • Stock up on healthy snacks and bring plenty of water.
  • Have an energizing playlist ready to keep the tunes rolling or choose a favorite podcast or book on tape to enjoy along the way.

Seek Out Local Cuisine

A journey to a nearby 5-star-rated roadside diner or quaint dessert shop is more up your or your senior loved one’s alley. This can make an excellent fall road trip too!

Sit down with a Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver and compile a list of restaurants, bakeries, and holes-in-the-wall that sound delicious and have others raving. Consider how far to travel and what kind of eats to enjoy and start planning a route. For example, a trip could include grabbing breakfast at the first stop, a mouthwatering appetizer or sandwich around lunchtime, and a decadent dessert on the way home.

Before hitting the road, it is a promising idea to call ahead to the places that make the list to ensure they will be open. Restaurant hours often vary from day to day and season to season.


Look For Unique Finds

Want to visit the tallest lighthouse on the East coast? Or get a taste of the “World’s Best!” apple pie? No matter where you call home, there are sure to be a few one-of-a-kind attractions close by.

You and your caregiver might also decide to seek out farmer’s markets in the next town over to fill up a bag of fresh produce or start searching for the perfect artisan creation for a loved one’s upcoming birthday. Hopping between yard sales and antique shops makes for a fun road trip as well and these can be a treasure trove for those willing to take the time to search.


Whether you or a senior loved one’s trip focuses on one of these ideas or a combination of all three, the most important thing is to enjoy the ride! Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services delight in watching our clients experience the joy in each season and we are always excited to provide a compassionate and friendly companion to join in the fun. When it comes to road trips, the true beauty is in the journey.

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Let’s Taco ’bout It!

Let's Taco 'bout It!

Taco Recipe

Tacos are a quick and easy meal to make with friends, family, or a caregiver any day of the week, but especially on Taco Tuesday! Try this recipe from Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services for a tasty, healthy dinner.


Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. large shrimp (fresh or frozen and thawed), peeled, deveined, and tails removed
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground chipotle chili pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 to 8 corn or flour tortillas

Slaw & Shrimp Taco Sauce:

  • 1 c. non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • ½ jalapeno (optional)
  • ¼ c. tightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. lime zest
  • 3 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 c. shredded cabbage or slaw mix

Directions:

  1. Rinse shrimp, pat dry, and transfer to large mixing bowl. Drizzle with ½ tablespoon olive oil and add chili powder, chipotle chili, cumin, and salt. Use more or less seasoning, depending on preferences. Toss to coat and set aside.
  2. Prepare the sauce by adding Greek yogurt, olive oil, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, salt, lime zest, and lime juice to a food processor. Mix until smooth and adjust seasonings as desired.
  3. Add cabbage or slaw mix to a bowl with ½ the prepared sauce. Stir well to coat.
  4. Heat the remaining ½ tablespoon oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and cook approximately 4 minutes, or until shrimp is no longer translucent inside. Transfer to a plate immediately.
  5. Warm the tortillas (optional) in the microwave by covering them with a slightly damp paper towel for about 30 seconds.
  6. Stuff tortillas with shrimp and slaw, add any additional garnishes (mango salsa, Pico de Gallo, avocados, etc.) and ENJOY!

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers women face with age being a large factor. Women over the age of sixty-five make up 40 percent of patients newly diagnosed with breast cancer. According to the CDC and others, several genetic factors increase an individual’s risk. While we do not have control over many of these factors, it is important to know your own risk so you can be sure to get screened appropriately.

For seniors, maintaining a healthy body and mind is hugely important. October is nationally recognized by the American Cancer Society as Breast Cancer Awareness month. We have all seen the pink ribbon campaigns, but what does it mean for seniors? Learning about breast cancer prevention tips is a wonderful place to start.


Tips for seniors to lower the risk factors of breast cancer:

  • Stay on top of yearly screenings. According to the United States Preventive Services Task Force, a screening mammogram done every two years is recommended for women aged 50 to 74 years. Discuss this with your primary care provider who may recommend other screenings depending on your risk factors.
  • Get moving. Although regular exercise is beneficial to your health for a multitude of reasons, studies suggest that it can lower the risk of breast cancer.
  • Maintain a Healthy Diet. Maintaining a healthy diet is a key component of reducing the risk of breast cancer. By incorporating vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and foods high in omega-3 fatty acids into your diet, you are also lowering cancer risk factors.

Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro In-Home Care Services is committed to providing assistance to area seniors in their own environment. We provide companionship and an extra set of hands to shop, cook, and help out around the house. We provide seniors with the ability to choose an independent lifestyle in their own homes and be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.

We do not require a contract and can be secured for as little as a few hours a week. A minimum of two and three-hour blocks of time can be arranged. Please call or text us at 312-526-3666 or visit our website to learn about our services.

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(F)ALL About Maintenance!

Tips For Seasonal Prep

(F) ALL About Maintenance!

With temperatures starting to cool and the hustle and bustle of summer at an end, autumn is a beautiful time to perform yearly maintenance around your home or that of a senior loved one. Cool-season maintenance is especially important, as more extreme winter weather is just a month or two away in many areas throughout the region.

Taking a day or two to inspect key areas of the home (both inside and out) can keep you and your loved one safe and comfortable, in addition to saving money on heating bills and costly emergency repairs. What is better, most of these fixes do not require a professional – they can be done with the help of a Seniors Helping Seniors® companion, friend, or family member.


In-Home Areas To Inspect

Committing to a yearly fall maintenance routine is important in ensuring your home is ready for the cooler months ahead. It will assist in keeping equipment working properly, the air clean, and conditions in the home safe for yourself or an older family member.


Schedule An HVAC Check

After working overtime to keep the house cool during the scorching summer months, your HVAC system will benefit from a fall checkup. Being proactive about upkeep makes certain your system works when you need it, like when the temperatures drop.

While most of the items on this list can be done by yourself and a caregiver, this job is one for professionals. Schedule a time for them to come out and make sure everything is in working order.


Track Down Drafts

Over time, houses develop drafts around doors, windows, and wall joints for a variety of reasons. In addition to leaving, you with a chill, unsealed drafts force your heating system to work harder, which can cause your power bill to surge.

Luckily, detecting drafts is not difficult. Oftentimes, you will be able to feel one simply by standing close to the area where the air is getting through. Apply caulking or weatherstripping to seal drafty spots and prevent cool air from creeping in.

TIP: For even more help keeping your home warm, switch the setting on ceiling fans so they rotate clockwise and push warm air down.


Change Air Filters & Clean Air Ducts

Replacing air filters regularly keeps the air in your home clean and fresh, a matter especially important to individuals with respiratory issues. Though filters should be changed more than once a year, making it part of fall maintenance ensures the air in your home is as pure as possible during the coming months when you will be spending more time indoors.

Cleaning air ducts is simple as well. Ask your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver for a hand and follow these steps:

  • Remove the vent cover, clean off any dust, and set it aside.
  • Cover the vent opening, and then knock alongside the ductwork with your hand to loosen the dust inside.
  • Use a vacuum to suck up the loose dust and replace the newly cleaned vent cover.

Outside Upkeep

Inspecting your gutters, roof, and pipes helps ensure the outside of your home is in decent shape, preventing unwanted surprises in the months ahead. The Seniors Helping Seniors® suggestions below will make sure you hit several key areas.


Clean Gutters & Check Pipes

While fall foliage is beautiful, fallen leaves can also clog your gutters and cause damage if they are not removed. Cleaning the gutters is straightforward, but these tips will make the job even easier:

  • Use an old plastic spatula to remove debris. It will not scratch or damage gutters and you can cut it to the exact shape needed.
  • A toilet snake is a perfect tool for clearing clumps of wet leaves and debris from downspouts.

Though gutter cleaning is not tough, it may require a ladder, so be sure to ask your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver and family members to help find the person for the job!

Once you have finished with the gutters, take a few minutes to inspect outdoor pipes for leaks, and add insulation (if needed) before temperatures drop significantly. While you are at it, drain garden hoses and store them away until spring to prevent damage.


Inspect The Roof

Before winter, you should also have a professional perform a thorough roof inspection to check for leaks, cracks, or damage. Doing this in autumn will give you plenty of time to fix any issues before the winter season sets in.


Discard Fallen Leaves

If there is one thing autumn is best known for, it is leaves. It is important to clear dead leaves from your lawn to keep it healthy and free of disease. Give the following Seniors Helping Seniors® methods a try this season:

  • Keep bending and stooping to a minimum by raking leaves onto a tarp and dragging them to a disposal site.
  • Shred leaves with a lawn mower, then gather them to use as mulch in flower beds or the garden.

At Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services, we know keeping up with home repairs and maintenance is a full-time job. But remember, our caregivers love lending a hand! We strive to give seniors The Gift of Independence® through caring companionship and assistance with daily tasks, fall maintenance included! Now, grab a jacket, and let us get to work!

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Fresh Ideas for Assisting a Loved One With a Chronic Health Issue

Despite the advances in health care, recent reports relay that chronic disease is on the rise. Coping with continuing illness leads to exhaustion and frustration for sufferers and their loved ones who support them. Revitalize the care routine with these novel ideas for assisting a companion with a chronic illness.


Just Listen

Instead of trying to be a problem-solver, express empathy and concern. Dedicate at least five or 10 minutes to put down your phone or stop an activity and focus your attention on the conversation with meaningful eye contact. The connection makes your companion feel heard and appreciated. Stay engaged and empathetic by mirroring body language.

Attempt to listen more than you speak. When you chime in, ask follow-up questions or for clarification on things you don’t understand. Demonstrate you comprehend what you hear with statements and questions that respectfully reflect and summarize.


Lift the Burden of Paperwork

Health struggles usually bring a litany of insurance issues and medical histories to compile. Be an advocate for your ailing loved one by setting aside time to review bills and forms. Make a filing system to keep things in order and consider digitizing information for ease of access and safekeeping. Take steps early to assign a power of attorney for vital decisions when the individual is no longer able.


Assist Them in Finding Accessible Accommodations

Stay aware of unsafe conditions in the home and create appropriate modifications. Ramps and handrails prevent devastating falls. Ensure cooking utensils and toiletries are in accessible locations that don’t require uncomfortable bending, stretching, and reaching.

The time may arrive when the home is no longer adequate and requires more assistance. Discuss future living arrangements if a loved one has a progressive disease like Alzheimer’s, dementia, or another condition that will limit independence. Research local skilled nursing care communities that provide memory and round-the-clock care to determine which location works within your finances and circumstances. Before touring a facility, carefully consider reviews, amenities, and costs.

When transferring to a new location, it’s a good idea to work with professional moving services to take some of the load off. Read online reviews to find the best local movers. Insist on a written estimate for services. True professionals assess both locations to give an accurate quote, so never rely on a price provided over the phone or online.


Let Your Loved Ones Support You

One of the most frustrating feelings for an adult who is limited by sickness is losing the ability to care for others. Yet, a life full of experiences and wisdom should be shared. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and ask for advice. For example, a loved one who is a skilled mechanic or repair person can offer tips when you have car trouble or an appliance on the fritz.


Plan Social Dates

Don’t let the illness define your relationship. If the only time you spend together is related to health care, the bond can become strained because of few positive associations. Schedule time for activities like:

  • Playing cards
  • Taking a walk
  • Watching a movie
  • Going for a swim
  • Gardening

Be Forgiving

Sick folks don’t always graciously respond to bad days just like anyone else, so learn to let go of minor slights and practice forgiveness. Dignify your loved one by discussing if the problem is too big to overlook. If a conversation is too stressful, write a letter to share your feelings.

Ailments are a fact of life, but they don’t have to dominate it. Find ways to remain supportive and maintain strong relationships with loved ones with chronic health conditions. If you’re loved one can no longer live at home, research accessible accommodations like assisted living and nursing home care.


In-home support from Seniors Helping Seniors Chicago Metro can help your senior loved one live independently. Call 312-526-3666 to learn more.

Article contributed by Phillip Carr from youryearlycheckup.com

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Dig Into Fall

Cooler temperatures are settling in throughout Chicago, making it an ideal time for gardening. Green thumb or not, Seniors Helping Seniors® care receivers will benefit from this activity for many reasons.

Let us take a moment to uncover how gardening helps those we serve to continue to stay active, social, and independent — in addition to creating the best-looking lawn on the block!


Unearth Health Benefits

Gardening is a fun fall activity that can help boost mental wellness and physical fitness. Our Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers are happy to assist those we serve in getting their lawn or garden in shape, allowing you or a senior loved one to blossom in the process.

Build Immunity

When it comes to gardening, getting a little dirt under the nails is a good thing! Studies show that Mycobacterium – the bacteria found in garden soil – provides a natural boost to the immune system and helps to fight off annoying seasonal allergies.

Battle Stress & Depression

A day in the sun provides a host of advantages to people of all ages, seniors included! It can help regulate emotions and reduce stress while certain flowers or smells cultivate a sense of nostalgia. Additionally, working in the garden on a sunny day increases the production of Vitamin D, a known combatant of depression.

Build Strength & Endurance

Since gardening requires continuous care and attention, it is a wonderful way for Seniors Helping Seniors® clients to commit to regular exercise. Working in the yard or garden can help boost endurance, increase flexibility, and build strength, all of which keep our care receivers active and feeling their best.


Top Fall Planting Picks

Gardening is all about choosing the plants that spark joy, but certain species of flora are better suited to particular areas of the U.S. than others. Chicago hardiness zones, or the area in which a plant can thrive, can range from 3b to 8a, depending on your location. Keep this in mind when deciding which plants to incorporate into your space and you will enjoy stunning vegetation all season long!

Colchicum Bulbs

Also known as the autumn crocus, colchicum bulbs are sure to give your fall garden a facelift! This low-maintenance species is ideal for pots and is deer resistant to boot. Come mid-autumn, white, pink, blue, and purple buds will ascend, sprinkling the garden with beautiful pops of color!

Perennials

Perennials are available in tons of varieties and come back year after year, making them an excellent addition to any flower bed. Not to mention, working perennials into your gardening plan can help cut down on the amount of planting required at the start of each new season.

New York Asters and sneezeweed typically do well in hardiness zones 4 through 8, making them a versatile addition throughout the Chicago. Asters will add a colorful pop of purple while sneezeweed blooms are red and yellow.

Japanese Maple

Nothing encompasses fall quite like the maple tree, and the Japanese maple is an ideal choice for Chicago yards. The tree will thrive best in a mostly sunny spot and boasts bright red and orange foliage, making it a beautiful statement piece.


Though gardening is a relaxing activity, it can also be strenuous if you take on too much. Do not hesitate to ask your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver to lend a hand – they love getting involved in our care receivers’ hobbies and interests! From helping with weeding and planting to offering engaging conversation along the way, our caregivers are the perfect gardening companion. Now, pass the shovel! Our caregivers can help with all your planting needs. Call or text us at 312-526-3666 to get help today!

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Change The Game, Seniors!

Stimulate Mind and Body With Video Gaming

Continually finding new hobbies that engage the mind is important in staying active and independent with age. Though traditional book clubs, exercise classes, and lunch dates are all excellent ways to promote social interaction and continued learning, Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services always encourage our care receivers to push the limits.

This fall, step outside your comfort zone and try a fun and unexpected way to stimulate your body and mind — video games! Yes, you read that right. Though video games are often thought to be an activity for the younger generations, Seniors Helping Seniors® clients can reap rewards as well and have a wonderful time doing it!


The Original Gamer Generation

It may seem like gaming is a relatively new trend, but it has been around for almost half a century. One of the most well-known video game systems – Nintendo – made its debut in 1983. That means a 65-year-old person was in their twenties when video games entered the scene!

But you do not have to be in your 20s to get in on the action – and the benefits. As you can imagine, video games have come a long way since the 80s and now more than ever, there’s a game for everyone! Not to mention, the technology used to create them has evolved as well, making them more lifelike and user-friendly.


Get In The Game

A study conducted by NC State found that individuals over the age of 63 who played video games at least once a week reported better overall emotional health. Additionally, challenging yourself to learn a new skill helps form new synapses between neurons in the brain. This new skill can then be applied to other situations. Additionally, Seniors Helping Seniors® care receivers who play video games can experience benefits like:

  • Enhanced mental stimulation
  • Better dexterity in hands and fingers
  • Increased social interaction through team-based video games
  • Improved hand-eye coordination

The type of video game you choose to play determines what kind of benefits can be realized. Discuss your goals with your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver and work together to gather a few games that will help you achieve a better sense of mental and physical wellbeing.

Stand-Out Senior Gaming Choices

If you could use some help jumping into the gaming scene, try these options from Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services.

Simulator Games

Music- or sports-themed simulator games are an excellent choice for seniors who wish to improve their hand-eye coordination while getting their bodies moving. In these games, you are required to physically act out a role – like playing the guitar or swinging a tennis racket – as part of the game.

Brain Games

If mental dexterity is what you are after, look into games of strategy where you have to solve a puzzle to win. These games focus on improving memory and quick thinking, in addition to enhancing visual recognition and critical thinking skills.

No matter what type of game you choose, research shows that picking one you are not familiar with presents the most significant benefits for senior gamers.


Game Night: Version 2.0

Want to make your new video gaming hobby a social event? Ask your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver to help you plan a virtual game night!

There are loads of team-based video games that allow for multiple players. Some may require you to work with other players to accomplish a goal while others have you competing to come out on top. Either way, it is a wonderful way to connect with friends and family with an activity that spans the ages!


Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services know that stepping outside your comfort zone is a wonderful way for those we serve to discover new interests and expand their skill set. And now you know, video games are not just for kids– they are a fun, convenient, and engaging way to get your brain and body working in new and helpful ways! So, take control of your independence and get gaming!

Our caregivers are there to help you thrive in life and are always willing to get in the game with you. Call or text us at 312-526-3666 and ask us how!

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Holy Guacamole!

shschicagometro 01 Sep 2022

Perfect for parties, the big game, or a quick and easy snack, guacamole always hits the spot! Grab your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver and try this super simple recipe this National Guacamole Day.


Ingredients:

3 ripe avocados

½ small onion, finely diced

2 Roma tomatoes, diced

3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 lime, juiced

½ teaspoon sea salt


Directions:

  • Slice avocados in half, remove the pit, and scoop them into a large mixing bowl.
  • Mash avocados with a fork until desired consistency (smooth or chunky).
  • Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Adjust to desired taste.
  • Serve with tortilla chips or pita chips and ENJOY!

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Tips for Healthy Aging

shschicagometro 01 Sep 2022

Tips for Healthy Aging

Seniors can use fall as a time to get a jump on a healthy lifestyle! Drawing on the “back to school” urge embedded in everyone from childhood, September is the perfect time to celebrate Healthy Aging Month. The observance month’s activities are designed to encourage people to rejuvenate and engage in positive measures that can impact the areas of physical, social, financial, and mental wellness.


For seniors, maintaining a healthy body and mind is hugely important. By not eating well or maintaining their health, seniors put themselves at risk of illnesses that could lead to long-term issues. Seniors Helping Seniors® services offer the following tips for seniors to maintain a balanced mind and body:

  • Get moving. Activity can be as simple as walking for just ten or fifteen minutes, three to four times a week, and increasing as you go.
  • Maintain a Healthy Diet. Healthy eating is a big part of staying healthy, and the USDA emphasizes the need for more vegetables and fruits in the American diet – recommending five a day. Eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables and try to avoid excessively processed foods.
  • Stay Social. Decreases in interaction with friends and family lead to health issues and isolation can lead to depression. Instead of feeling lonely and bored, reach out and invite friends and family over!
  • Get Regular Physicals. If you are not feeling well, do not “wait for it to go away.” You know yourself and your body well enough to detect if there is something out of the ordinary, so listen to your body!

Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro In-Home Care Services is committed to providing assistance to area seniors in their own environment. We provide companionship and an extra set of hands to shop, cook, and help out around the house. We provide seniors with the ability to choose an independent lifestyle in their own homes and be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. We do not require a contract and can be secured for as little as a few hours a week. A minimum of two and three-hour blocks of time can be arranged.

Call or text us at 312-526-3666 to learn more about our services and open caregiver positions.

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Tips To Avoid Becoming the Victim of a Scam

Scam Ahead


According to a report released by the Federal Trade Commission, consumers reported losing more than $5.9 billion to fraud in 2021. Impostors pretending to be government officials, relatives in distress, or others were the most common scams, accounting for nearly $1.2 billion in losses. Other schemes include fake lottery wins, online shopping scams, and Medicare impostors.

While seniors aren’t the only population targeted, when they’re victimized by scammers, they tend to lose more money than younger people. According to the FTC, fraud victims aged 80 or older reported a median loss of $1,300, while fraud victims aged 20-29 reported a median loss of $324.

Seniors have been an increasingly vulnerable target. A lot of the seniors who are cared for by the Seniors Helping Seniors® network live independently. We want to ensure that our entire network of seniors and their senior caregivers don’t fall victim to these scammers and con artists.


Seniors Helping Seniors® services offer the following tips for seniors to protect themselves from fraud:

  • Slow down. Scammers often use a sense of urgency as a tactic. Slowing down allows you to contemplate the situation, ask questions and listen to your instincts.
  • Don’t give out personal information. Never give personal information to any caller and limit the amount of personal information you post on social media. Scammers search Facebook, Instagram, and other networks for family information they can use to fool you.
  • If you speak to someone who claims to be a police officer, call the police department to verify the person’s identity and any information they’ve given you. Call any family member allegedly involved in an emergency to verify the story. Scammers often plead with you to keep the emergency a secret, so you won’t try to confirm it.
  • Verify the identity of any individual who shows up at your home. Don’t hesitate to call the company to verify they have sent a representative to your home.
  • Remember that most government agencies won’t call you. If they need to contact you, federal agencies like the IRS, social security administration, and Medicare will contact you by mail, not by phone. And they won’t threaten you, ask for your personal information or tell you your account has been suspended due to “suspicious and fraudulent activity” and request a payment to have the account reinstated.
  • Don’t trust caller ID. Calls can be spoofed so they look like they’re coming from a government agency, even when they’re not.
  • Beware of delivery-status scams. These fraudulent notifications often arrive as text messages or emails, urging you to click on a fake tracking link and input personal information. The link may also install malware on your device.
  • Hang up. If someone asks for your social security number or bank information to get your new card or new benefits, that’s a scam and they’re not who they say they are. Hang up immediately.

If you or a loved one is already the victim of a scam, Seniors Helping Seniors® encourages you to:

  • Contact law enforcement. This will help you determine whether you are a victim, and they may be able to assist you in recouping any lost funds.
  • Call the National Elder Fraud Hotline. Run by the U.S. Department of Justice and dial 1-833-FRAUD (1-833-8311).
  • Close or cancel any compromised accounts. Act quickly to mitigate financial loss by immediately contacting your bank, credit card company, or other financial institution.
  • Freeze your credit report. All three credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — allow consumers to do this for free. You can freeze your reports online by phone or by mail. This prevents scammers from opening accounts in your name.
  • File a report. Coronavirus scam complaints can be filed online with the FTC at ftc.gov. Identity theft complaints can be filed at IdentityTheft.gov. Complaints of all types of fraud can be filed at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. The FTC advises consumers to report anything they might think is a scam, even if they’re unsure. Unwanted calls, as well as spam emails and texts, can also be reported.

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Oh, The Places You Will Go!

Oh, The Places You Will Go!


Summer is a wonderful time to plan a trip with family and friends for lots of reasons! You can count on nice weather, making delays and interruptions to your plans less likely. Your grandchildren may also be on summer break, giving you plenty of quality time with them. Most destinations are in full swing during the summer months as well, ensuring there will be lots of activities to enjoy on your getaway!

Vacations are also a wonderful way for our Seniors Helping Seniors® care receivers to gain new experiences and enjoy some much-deserved R&R! But, while traveling can certainly recharge your battery, it can also prove stressful if you are not prepared. With a little forethought, however, you can enjoy a smooth road to relaxation. Let us look at a few simple ways to ensure you are ready for a hiccup-free getaway!


Plan Ahead

Not every minute of your vacation needs to be scheduled out, but it is a clever idea to have a general plan for what you will be doing on your trip. Before leaving, take some time to research the area so you are not faced with surprises that will disrupt your fun. Consider the following:

Transportation

Depending on the destination, you might need to plan to help you get around. Check into what options are available where you’ll be staying. Many hotels provide a shuttle service to take guests to area destinations. If not, you may want to rent a car or plan to utilize ride-share services for activities that are not within a comfortable walking distance.

Documentation

There are typically lots of reservations, tickets, and personal documents to keep track of during any trip, and not being able to find them when needed can cause serious issues. For example, if you are flying, you will need an approved I.D., your plane tickets, and, a passport or vaccination information.

Before leaving on your trip, have your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver help you gather and organize these documents. Try keeping them all in one envelope so you know where everything is at all times.


Pack Smart

Organization is key when packing for a trip. It can be frustrating having to dig through a cluttered suitcase to find your essential items. The following Seniors Helping Seniors® tips, however, will get you packing like a pro!

Less is more

For the sake of convenience (and your sanity), the lighter you can keep your suitcase, the better! It can be tempting to bring along lots of items “just in case,” but try to keep these impulses to a minimum. Ask yourself questions like the following to help decide what to bring:

  • What kind of activities do I have planned? Do they require special clothing or equipment?
  • What is the weather forecast?
  • Can I bring items that can be worn several different ways?
  • Are there laundry facilities where I am staying?

 Feel free to get your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver in on the packing as well. They can help keep you organized and pare down what is essential, getting you off to a great start!

Keep medication handy

If medication is part of your daily routine, it is important to pack it in a safe place. Keep all your essential medications together and easily accessible throughout the trip. If you are flying, pack it in your carry-on in the event your checked luggage is lost or delayed.


Stick To A Routine

Routines are important and keep us feeling our best. Vacations, while fun, tend to make it difficult to stick with the schedule we follow at home. With a little planning, however, you can stay on track even when you are on the go.

Proper rest is often one of the first things to fall by the wayside on vacations. You do not want to miss a thing so there is the temptation to plan an activity for every minute of every day. But it is important to leave time for rest as well. For example, if you have an early morning activity planned, leave the afternoon open to relax by the pool or take a nap.

Eating consistently can be tough on vacation as well. You may be relying on restaurants for your meals, which can be unpredictable, or neglect to leave enough time to eat lunch in between activities. Whenever possible, schedule blocks of time to eat and keep your body fueled. It is also a good idea to bring snacks on outings in case your meal plans fall through.


It was once said: “To travel is to live.” These simple travel tips can help our Seniors Helping Seniors® care receivers follow this mantra and enjoy life to the fullest! As always, our caregivers love helping their senior companions plan for life’s adventures, so do not hesitate to get them in on the fun! Now, the only question left to answer is: Where will you go first?

Need help while traveling? Call us at312-526-3666 and ask about a caregiver to help make things easier.

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Tips For A Safe And Successful Day On The Links!

Play It Safe!


Play It Safe! 3 Tips For Senior Golfers

August is National Golf Month and there is no better way to honor the game than by playing a round! A recent study shows that seniors make up one-quarter of all golfers – and that is because a day on the course offers some major benefits. For example, Seniors Helping Seniors® care receivers find that regular golf outings improve strength and stamina with low-impact activity, bolster hand/eye coordination and concentration skills, and provide an excellent opportunity for social engagement. If those reasons are not enough…it is also just plain fun!

At Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services, the safety of those we serve is always our top priority. Though golf is considered a relaxing activity for many, there is always the possibility of injury. However, a little preparation can go a long way in ensuring you or a senior loved one have a wonderful day on the golf course!

While the following advice applies to every golfer, no matter their age, it is especially important for seniors. The Seniors Helping Seniors® tips below will have you or your special senior ready to walk, swing, and hopefully, get that ever-elusive hole in one!


Keep Cool And Hydrate

It is no secret that midday temperatures can be scorching in August! Whenever possible, schedule tee times early in the morning, when the sun is not as hot.

Make sure to wear appropriate clothing as well. A hat and sunglasses will help protect your head, face, and eyes from the sun’s rays, but it may be too hot to don long sleeves or long pants. Be sure to apply an FDA-approved sunscreen to any exposed areas of the skin.

Bring enough water for the round and drink up! Most golf courses also have refreshment carts or water stations along the green, so take advantage of these resources to keep your body well-hydrated!


Take The Strain Out Of Carrying Clubs

Let us face it, a golf bag full of clubs is heavy. Luckily, there are a few ways to avoid having to lug it all over the course.

First, consider investing in a pull cart. Since they have wheels, maneuvering a cart like this along the fairway will be no problem – even with a cumbersome bag of clubs in tow.

Or ask a grandchild or younger friend to come along as a caddy. They will enjoy getting to learn the game, you will benefit from a more relaxing day, and you will both love spending time together!


Prepare Before Hitting The Links

To prevent any issues, there are a few simple steps you can take before ever swinging a club:

Bring A Buddy

Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers love helping our care receivers pursue their favorite hobbies, so do not shy away from challenging them to a friendly match! Not only will golfing with someone else make the round more fun, but you can also help each other watch for signs of distress as well – like heat stroke, sunburn, and dehydration.

Warm Up

Even the nicest of days on the links could lead to injury if you are not properly warmed up. Do a full-body stretch – making sure to hit your legs, hips, back, and arms – to get limber and prepare your muscles for physical activity.

Pick Balls Up Properly

Bending down to grab your golf ball might seem like the easiest part of your outing, but it is important to do it right to prevent injury. Always bend your knees when scooping a ball off the ground and lean on a friend to steady yourself while bending over.

Chicago is known to have creepy crawlers as well, so if you hit your ball into the rough, make sure it is the only thing hiding in the grass before reaching a hand in to get it.

Have The Clubhouse On Speed Dial

You could be up to a mile or more away from the clubhouse in the middle of a golf round. Make sure you have their number at the ready in case you or someone you are with needs assistance. They often have access to food, drink, and safety equipment that could help prevent serious health issues.


We love to see our care receivers living life to the fullest and enjoying their favorite activities! Staying mentally, physically, and socially active into your senior years is essential in remaining engaged and independent. Golfing is a wonderful way to have some fun while enjoying a host of positive benefits and the company of your Seniors Helping Seniors® companion! Now, who is ready to hit the links?!

Learn more about our services by calling or texting us at 312-526-3666. Or visit our website at https://seniorcarechicagometro.com/

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe


Is there anything better than an old-fashioned chocolate chip cookie? Here at Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services, we don’t think so! In honor of Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, here’s a deliciously tasty recipe to make with one of our caregivers:

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup white sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons hot water

½ teaspoon salt

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Cream together butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth.

Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla.

Dissolve baking soda in hot water and add to batter along with salt.

Stir in flour, chocolate chips, and nuts (if desired).

Scoop large spoonfuls of batter and drop them onto an ungreased pan.

Bake for 10 minutes or until edges are slightly browned.

Enjoy with a friend!

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Summertime Pet Safety

Summertime Pet Safety

Pets are an important part of many of our seniors’ lives. They are a source of comfort, a barrier against loneliness, and can help keep the mind and body active. But seniors need to recognize where their limitations are in caring for a pet and where they may need help. That is what Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers are trained to do.


Hot weather is one of the biggest dangers for canine friends, whose ability to cool off is much more limited than that of humans. Cats can also suffer from heatstroke — like dogs, breeds with flat faces are more susceptible since they can’t pant as effectively to cool off.

While heatstroke poses a significant threat for pets — especially if they are overweight, elderly, or have pre-existing conditions — it is not the only risk that warm weather brings. Here are some tips for seniors and their caregivers to keep their best friends out of harm’s way this summer:

  • Schedule an early summer visit with your veterinarian. Besides checking for heartworm disease — which is spread through bites from infected mosquitos and requires medication for treatment — a vet visit is a good time to ask about the symptoms of overheating, whether your particular pet is at greater risk, how to prevent it, and what to do if heatstroke occurs.
  • Make it a habit to give your pet plenty of fresh, clean water. This is especially important to stay on top of if you have a cat — many do not like drinking water and dehydration puts them at risk of heatstroke. To get your cat to drink more water, you might have to employ a few tricks, like experimenting with bowls, serving wet food, and even serving them flavored water.
  • Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle. According to PETA, even a quick errand can put your pet at risk when they are left in the car. Animals can sustain brain damage or die from heatstroke in just 15 minutes.
  • Keep your pet properly groomed. Brushing your cat more frequently can help prevent problems caused by excessive heat while trimming a dog’s fur — especially double-coated breeds — can help keep them cool in the summer months. But never shave your dog’s fur entirely: The layers of dogs’ coats protect them from overheating and sunburn.
  • Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool. It’s a myth that all dogs can swim. While some breeds were born to swim, others like Bulldogs and Dachshunds struggle in the water and require a dog life jacket to build confidence. And just because cats have an innate ability to swim does not mean you should not take precautions. Many cats do not like water and can end up panicking if they fall into a pool.
  • Ensure open windows have screens on them. Unscreened windows pose a danger to pets, according to the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. From shattered jaws to broken limbs to death, accidental falls from windows sadly can and do happen but are easily preventable.
  • Protect your pet from pesticide poisoning. Commonly used rodenticides and lawn and garden insecticides can be harmful to cats and dogs if ingested. Pet owners should use non-toxic products on their lawns and landscaping, avoid grass and other areas potentially treated with pesticides when walking their dogs and wipe down their paws when returning home.
  • Do not bring your pet to the barbeque. Alcoholic beverages and foods served at barbeques can cause severe digestive ailments or even be poisonous to pets. Since it is easy to be distracted at a party, pets are safest away from it.
  • Do not bring your pet to the Fourth of July celebrations. July 4th parties are another outdoor event that might seem pet-friendly but are not. Loud fireworks can not only trigger a fight-or-flight response in pets, leading to permanent trauma, but they can also cause severe burns if ingested. Experts recommend leaving your furry friend at home during the holiday, ideally in a quiet room.

Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care provides a variety of services to support seniors so that they can maintain their independence and enjoy life not just in their homes, but also in their neighborhoods. These services include companionship, light housekeeping, cooking, and shopping support, assistance with personal care, dementia care, pet care, yard work, and medication reminders.


ABOUT SENIORS HELPING SENIORS®

Seniors Helping Seniors® stand apart from the competition as the only senior-care company that prioritizes hiring active seniors to provide care services to their less-active counterparts. Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home senior care align caregivers and care recipients based on the abilities and needs of both by offering a wide range of care services.

You can call or text us at 312-526-3666 to ask questions and start service.

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Mac N Cheese Recipe

Mac N cheese

Few things top a traditional baked mac and cheese dish, like this classic recipe from Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services. Try it out and enjoy!


Ingredients:

1 lb. dried elbow pasta

½ cup unsalted butter

½ cup all-purpose flour

1 ½ cups whole milk

2 ½ cups half and half

4 cups shredded medium to sharp cheddar cheese, divided (after shredding)

2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese, divided (after shredding)

½ Tbsp. salt

½ tsp. black pepper

¼ tsp. paprika


Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F and grease a 3 qt. baking dish (9” x 13”). Set aside.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add pasta and cook al dente (1 minute less than the package directions). Drain and drizzle with oil to keep the pasta from sticking together.
  • While pasta is cooking, shred cheeses and mix them together. Separate into three piles: 3 cups for the sauce, 1 ½ cups for the inner layer of mac and cheese, and 1 ½ cups for topping.
  • Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle in flour and whisk to combine. Cook for approximately 1 minute, whisking frequently. Slowly add 2 cups of milk/half and half, constantly whisking until smooth. Gradually add the remaining milk/half and half and again, whisk until smooth.
  • Continue cooking over medium heat, whisking frequently, until sauce is about the texture of slightly thinned condensed soup.
  • Remove from heat and add spices and 1 ½ cups of shredded cheese. Stir to melt and combine. Repeat with the remaining 1 ½ cups of cheese.
  • In a large bowl, combine drained pasta and cheese sauce. Stir well.
  • Pour half the pasta mixture into a prepared baking dish, topping with 1 ½ cups of cheese. Spread the remaining pasta mixture on top.
  • Sprinkle the last of the shredded cheese on top and bake for 15 minutes until it’s heated through, and the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.

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Meal Prep For Success

Meal Prep for Success!

You may think that meal prepping – or the act of planning, cooking, and portioning meals in advance — is just for bodybuilders and diehard dieters. However, Seniors Helping Seniors® care receivers in Chicago can realize some serious benefits from it as well. It is an excellent way to maintain a healthy diet, control food portions, save time and money, and prevent waste!

But the process can be intimidating for first-time preppers. While there is certainly plenty to learn about meal prepping, there are also lots of ways to ease into this lifestyle and start reaping the rewards that accompany it. We have compiled a few tips for those new to the food prep scene. Read on to discover how to incorporate this strategy successfully into your weekly routine.


Keep It Simple

One of the most important rules in meal prepping is to start simple. Some people cook and portion out breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks every week. If you are new to meal prepping, trying to do all this will undoubtedly leave you feeling overwhelmed and defeated.

Begin by planning out one meal for 3 days. This allows you to get the process down before taking on too much. Once you have the hang of it, you can start preparing multiple meals, recipes, and snacks.


Prepare To Prep

Before beginning, take stock of your Tupperware cabinet. You will be portioning meals into food-safe containers that you can grab for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks, so you will need quite a few in a variety of shapes and sizes.

If you can use containers, you already own, great! If not, start by purchasing one pack of reusable Tupperware that contains a variety of different shapes and sizes. Over time, you can gradually add to your stock or upgrade to better quality vessels. For convenience, make sure they are microwave, dishwasher, and freezer safe, and try to use dishes that stack nicely to save space in the refrigerator.

It is also helpful to dedicate one day of the week to plan meals and one day to prepare them. Otherwise, it is easy to put these tasks off until tomorrow, the next day, or the day after that. Choose two days that are typically convenient and stick to it…every week!

Our caregivers love to help those we serve to accomplish their goals, so get them involved in the process too. Whether you need help gathering storage containers, finding recipes, or with a lift to the local market, they are happy to assist!


Three Steps To Manageable Meal Planning

Now, the fun part – it is time to dig in! There are three main steps in the meal prep process: planning, shopping, and prepping.

Planning

Before creating a meal plan, think about your main goal. Do you want to save money? Lose weight? Ensure you are eating a balanced diet? Or would you like to help control a health condition, like diabetes or high cholesterol? You may even want to consult your doctor to discuss any specific dietary requirements. When choosing recipes, keep this goal in mind and make sure the meals you pick help accomplish it.

On your dedicated planning day, decide on the recipe(s) you will make for the week. Remember, one or two is plenty if you are just getting your feet wet. If you are preparing more than one recipe, choose dishes that have common ingredients to keep your list manageable. Write down all the ingredients needed for each recipe. Then, survey your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer, crossing off items you already have. These measures will help you save money and reduce food waste.

Pro Tip: There is an app for that! There are lots of meal planning apps for your phone that help keep track of meals and recipes. Some will even sort your ingredient list according to what department items can be found in the grocery store!

Shopping

Now that you have done your pre-prep planning, grab your Seniors Helping Seniors® companion and head to the grocery store! Here are a few suggestions while you are there:

  • Bring a list and stick to it! You will save money on impulse buys and avoid the temptation to grab items that do not fit your goal.
  • If chopping and slicing are difficult, opt for pre-cut, canned, or frozen fruits and vegetables. They will save tons of time during prep!
  • On a budget? Check weekly ads for your local store and use coupons whenever possible.
  • Be sure to swing by the local produce section or the farmer’s market on the way home as well. In many places throughout the Heartland, summer is a wonderful time to find locally grown corn on the cob!

When you get home from shopping, wash all your produce so you are ready to jump right in when it is time for the next phase.

Prepping

Now, it is your designated prep day, and you are ready to start slicing and dicing! Depending on what is on the menu for the week, you may need to portion out dry snacks, like nuts or cereals, or chop up fruits, vegetables, and meat. This part of the process can be time-consuming, so recruit a family member or Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver to help.

Cook your meals in batches and portion them out into individual servings using Tupperware containers. Small jars and zip-lock bags make it easy to keep dressings, dips, and toppings that might get soggy separate.

Once everything is packaged and put away, sit back, and relax – you are done!


At Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services, we are always searching for ways to help our care receivers live more independently and enjoy a better quality of life. Meal prepping can be a great tool in accomplishing these goals. Getting started can be tough, but we are here to provide support, encouragement, and a helpful hand!

Offering senior care and senior home care services to elderly residents throughout the Chicago area is just one beneficial aspect of our services. Our caregivers have a warmth and understanding that comes from experience and wisdom gained over the years. They are all loving, caring compassionate people who bring joy and companionship to everyone with whom they work. That’s why our seniors often become life-long friends with those who receive our services.

If you are a senior that would like to offer assistance helping other seniors through our program then we would like to talk to you. Call us at 312-526-3666.

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Building Bonds: 3 Ways To Make Friends In Your Golden Years

Building Bonds!

At Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services, we know that fostering new friendships can be difficult for a senior. We also know the impacts of meaningful social connections are priceless for our care receivers. Studies show that seniors who are more social live longer, have a lower risk of developing dementia, and enjoy better mental health!

It is a fact that as we age, our social circle naturally grows smaller. As adults, there is simply less time to focus on nurturing friendships. The bonds that are kept, however, are often stronger and more satisfying than those formed when we are young. But what if you find yourself lacking a close group of friends as you enter your Golden Years?

First, understand that you have company. According to a recent study from the AARP, one-third of adults over the age of fifty-five feel alone. Now, this is not exactly a “fun fact,” but it does go to show that there are LOTS of seniors looking to meet new people, just like you! Making friends as a senior is often more difficult than when you were a child, but there are lots of ways to meet people and spread your social butterfly wings. Below, we dive into some of the ways Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services encourage those we serve to connect.


Join The Club!

Nowadays, there is a social club for everything! These groups exist for anything your heart desires — golfing, reading books, bird watching, painting, exercise classes, lunch groups, outings, shopping, sewing – the list goes on! Whether you join to advance a hobby or to learn something new, becoming a member is a wonderful way to meet people who share similar interests.

For some of our Seniors Helping Seniors® care receivers, however, being the “new person” can be nerve-racking and uncomfortable. But with the right attitude, you can make a great first impression! Try these tips to start:

  • Make eye contact. This shows that you are paying attention and indicates you respect the other person.
  • Smile! Showing off your pearly whites is welcoming and puts others at ease.
  • Be sincere. Do not force it if a connection does not feel right or pretend to enjoy something you do not.

Still feeling nervous. Ask your Seniors Helping Seniors® companion to tag along! Having a friend in tow can put you at ease and help facilitate a conversation with people you have just met.


Connect Online

Social media groups provide a space to meet like-minded seniors as well. Like in-person clubs, there is a group for every niche you can think of. And if what you are searching for does not yet exist, start it up yourself! Online groups are a great place to chat about common interests, share photos and information, and might even spur a face-to-face get-together!

Additionally, social media is a convenient way to learn about in-person events going on around the community. Keep an eye out for garage sales, live music in the park, or pickleball league sign-ups!

If you struggle with using modern technology or social media platforms, you are not alone there either. Ask a Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver to lend a hand. Two heads are better than one!


Find Your “Spot”

Explore places around town that interest you, like coffee shops, museums, or bookstores. When you find a spot you love, start going there regularly. There are other ‘regulars’ who frequent the establishment as well and may have hobbies like your own. Strike up a conversation by asking what they are drinking or inquiring about the plot of their book. With time, you may find you both have a lot in common, turning this chance meeting into a “Same time next week?” kind of relationship.

Do not forget — our Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers make excellent companions too! They love trying new things and expanding on hobbies, so do not hesitate to get them in on the fun. Because we spend time getting to know each caregiver through a detailed interview process, you and your caregiver have shared hobbies and interests that will make bonding a breeze!


The bottom line is it is never too late to make a new friend! Though this process can be uncomfortable and difficult at times, the rewards you will experience make it all worthwhile.

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At-Home Senior Care compared to Chicago Dementia Care Homes

shschicagometro 30 Jun 2022

Maintain your independence


What Exactly is Memory Care?

Memory care is a specialized type of long-term skilled nursing that focuses on the memory care needs of patients with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other memory impairments.

Memory care aims to help patients maintain their cognitive abilities and daily living skills for as long as possible while providing support and assistance to caregivers.

Memory care facilities in Chicago offer many services, including 24-hour supervision, medication management, assistance with activities of daily living, and rehabilitation services.


Difference Between Memory Care and Dementia Care?

The main difference between memory care and dementia care in Chicago is that memory care is a specialized type of long-term skilled nursing that specifically focuses on the memory care needs of patients with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other memory impairments.

Dementia care, on the other hand, is a type of long-term skilled nursing that can provide memory care or general care to patients with any cognitive impairment, not just memory impairments.


THE BEST MEMORY CARE FACILITIES IN CHICAGO, IL

Suppose you are looking for memory care facilities in Chicago, IL. Many great options to choose from. Below are the best memory care facilities in Chicago:

  • The Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Chicago: The Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Chicago offers memory care services, support groups, and educational resources for patients with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers.
  • The Memory Care Unit at Rush University Medical Center: The memory care unit at Rush University Medical Center offers comprehensive memory care services, including evaluation and diagnosis, treatment, education, and support for patients having Alzheimer’s disease and other memory disorders.
  • The Memory Care Program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital: The memory care program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital provides several services for patients with memory disorders, including evaluation and diagnosis, treatment, education, and support.
  • The Memory Care Unit at the University of Chicago Medical Center: The memory care unit at the University of Chicago Medical Center offers comprehensive memory care services for patients with memory disorders. Services include evaluation and diagnosis, treatment, education, and support.
  • The Memory Care Program at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center: The Memory Care Program at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center offers memory care services, support groups, and educational resources for patients with memory disorders and their caregivers.
  • The Memory Care Unit at Resurrection Medical Center: The memory care unit at Resurrection Medical Center offers comprehensive memory care services for patients with memory disorders. Services include evaluation and diagnosis, treatment, education, and support.

There are a few more memory care communities in Chicago. To get the best memory care facilities in Chicago, research your options to find the best facility for your specific needs.


What to Consider About Memory Care in Chicago

  • The cost of memory care can vary depending on your chosen facility and the level of care you need.
  • The location of the memory care facility is essential to consider. You will want to choose a convenient location for you and your loved ones.
  • The level of care you need will vary depending on the severity of your memory impairment. Discuss your care needs with your doctor or memory care specialist to ensure you choose the proper care level.

Benefits of Memory Care in Chicago

There are many benefits to memory care in Chicago. Memory care can help patients with memory disorders improve their quality of life and maintain independence. Memory care can also provide support and resources for caregivers.

Memory Care Facilities offer a variety of services and amenities that can benefit patients with memory disorders, including:

  • 24-hour skilled nursing care
  • Activities and programs designed to stimulate the mind
  • Therapy services
  • Nutritious meals and snacks
  • Luxurious accommodations

Memory Care Facilities in Chicago can provide patients the care they need to improve their lifestyles.


Drawbacks of Memory Care in Chicago

There are some drawbacks to memory care in Chicago. One of the most significant drawbacks is the cost. Memory care can be expensive, and it is essential to research all of your options before deciding. Another drawback to memory care is finding a memory care facility that meets all of your needs can be challenging. It is essential to discuss your care needs with your doctor or memory care specialist to ensure you choose the suitable memory care facility for your specific needs.


Paying for Memory Care in Chicago

The cost of memory care may vary depending on the facility, the level of care needed, and the location. In Chicago, memory care costs can range from $2,000 to $6,000 per month.

Some memory care facilities offer scholarships or sliding-scale fees based on income. Contact the facility directly to find out if any memory care facilities in Chicago offer scholarships or sliding-scale prices.

If you or your loved one has a long-term care insurance policy, check with your insurer to see if memory care costs are covered.

Many resources are available if you need help paying for memory care. The Area Agency on Aging will help you understand your options and connect you with resources to help you pay for memory care.

The Department of Healthcare and Family Services can help you understand your options and connect you with resources to help you pay for memory care.

Many private organizations offer financial assistance for memory care. These organizations include the Alzheimer’s Association, the National Institute on Aging, and AARP.


What is aging in place?

Aging in place is the faculty to live safely, independently, and comfortably in one’s own home and group, regardless of age, income, or ability level.

There are many resources available to help people age in place. The Area Agency on Aging enables you to understand your options and connects you with resources to help you age.

Many private organizations offer assistance to people who want to age in place. These organizations include the Alzheimer’s Association, the National Institute on Aging, and AARP.


Some benefits of aging in place?

Some of the benefits include:

  • Maintaining social connections and support networks
  • Remaining independent and in control of one’s own life
  • Avoiding the stress and upheaval of moving to a new home
  • Staying in a familiar and comfortable environment
  • Keeping pets

What are the challenges of aging in place?

There are also some challenges to aging in place. Some of the challenges include:

  • Maintaining the safety and security of one’s home
  • Managing chronic health conditions
  • Accessing transportation
  • Affording needed home repairs and modifications
  • Ensuring access to social activities and support networks

How home care services help you age in place

Home care services can help you age in place by assisting with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and eating. Home care services can also provide transportation, home repairs, and modifications.

If you are interested in learning more about home care services, the first place to start is contacting your local Area Agency on Aging.


Is aging in place right for you?

The decision to age in place or move to a memory care facility is personal. There is no right or wrong answer.

If you consider aging in place, many resources are available to help you decide.


The Bottom Line

There are many options available for memory care. The important thing is to do what is best for you and your situation. If you consider aging in place, in-home care could be very beneficial.

Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services is a leading provider for Senior In Home Care services in Chicago. We make life a little easier for you or a loved one by providing services in the home that include: companionship, light housekeeping, cooking, gardening, transportation assistance, Alzheimer’s and Dementia care, assistance with daily errands, activities, and more. Our senior home care services allow elderly adults the opportunity to continue living an independent life in their own home without the need to move.

To start services call or text Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro at 312-526-3666 or visit our website at www.SeniorCareChicagoMetro.com to learn more about us.


Article contributed by Johny Kershaws.

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Energize Your Summer!

Energize Your Summer!

Summer in the Chicago means longer days, more sunshine, and plenty of time to get active with your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver! For those experiencing fatigue, however, keeping up with an active social life and tasks around the house can be tough. If you are feeling this way, you are not alone – fatigue affects nearly half of individuals over 65!

The good news is there are ways to fight back. Read on to learn how to identify signs of fatigue, explore probable causes, and uncover tips for getting your energy back!


Tired vs. Fatigued: What’s The Difference?

We have all felt drained after a long day or exhausted from strenuous activity, so just how is this different from fatigue? Both conditions exhibit similar symptoms, so the telltale difference often lies in how easy (or difficult) it is to bounce back.

If you are simply tired from an active week or restless night’s sleep, you will notice your energy diminishes throughout the day. Whereas individuals experiencing fatigue often feel lethargic from the moment they wake up.

Duration is a clue as well. When tired, a good night’s sleep will leave you feeling refreshed. Fatigue, on the other hand, can last for weeks despite a restful sleep schedule.


What Causes Fatigue?

There are often several factors at play with fatigue, so identifying the underlying cause might be tricky. The following are some common contributors.

Medical Conditions and Medications

Fatigue often indicates a bigger issue. For example, it regularly accompanies chronic diseases like diabetes, COPD, and heart, liver, kidney, or thyroid disease. Prescription medications – especially antidepressants, antihistamines, and those used to treat nausea and pain – are known to contribute as well.

Emotional Stress

Are you worried about your future, your health, a family member, or financial problems? Mindset matters when battling fatigue and concerns of this nature can be exhausting.

If you find yourself worrying about these issues, contact Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro in-home care services. Our caregivers are here to ease these burdens or offer advice, helping you or a senior loved one get back to an active and fulfilling life!

Boredom

It seems counterintuitive, but not having anything to do for extended periods can bring on fatigue as well. To keep yourself moving and engaged, schedule activities throughout the day. For example, meet up with friends for lunch, take up a new hobby, or volunteer with your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver!


Fight Back Against Fatigue

Try working the following techniques into your routine to help identify the cause of your fatigue and kickstart habits to ward it off.

Take Inventory

Keep a fatigue journal to track how it is affecting your day-to-day life and identify recurring patterns. Get started with the following tips:

  • Fill out your journal before bed and two or three other times throughout the day
  • At the top of each entry, describe how you slept the previous night, your diet, and your mood
  • With each entry, break your day into hours and note which activities you completed in the previous few blocks
  • Make three columns for each activity:
    1. Your level of fatigue
    2. The importance of the activity
    3. The satisfaction you get from completing it
  • As you record your actions throughout the day, assign them a number from 1 to 10 in each of these three categories – 1 being “none” (as in no fatigue, not important, no satisfaction) and 10 being “extreme”

Get Moving!

It seems like exercise is the answer to everything, and fatigue is no different! The key is to keep it consistent. Participate in low-intensity workouts (or whatever feels good to your body) several times throughout the week. Exercises involving balance and focused breathing are known to combat fatigue as well.

Shortening the duration of activities might also help. For example, cut the length of your daily walk-in half, garden for only 15 or 20 minutes at a time, or grab a quick cup of coffee with a friend instead of lunch.

Rest Up

Of course, getting a solid night’s sleep is important as well. It can be tougher than you think when suffering from fatigue, but these Seniors Helping Seniors® tips will help you get in those “Z’s!

  • Establish a pre-sleep routine that calms you – drink a glass of decaf tea, read a book, or listen to music
  • Prepare your bedroom to be inviting for sleep with dim lighting, comfortable bedding, and sleep-inducing scents
  • Avoid long naps (keep them to 30 minutes or less) throughout the day and keep caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine intake to a minimum

While these suggestions should bring some relief, always listen to your body. If your fatigue symptoms persist over several weeks, check-in with your doctor to find the underlying cause of the issue.


If you need some extra support while you are feeling sluggish, call on Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro in-home services! Our caregivers are committed to helping you or a senior loved one handle the issues that accompany growing older – fatigue included – and are here to lend a kind hand and empathetic ear.

Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services is a leading provider for Senior In Home Care services in Chicago. We make life a little easier for you or a loved one by providing services in the home that include: companionship, light housekeeping, cooking, gardening, transportation assistance, Alzheimer’s and Dementia care, assistance with daily errands, activities, and more. Our senior home care services allow elderly adults the opportunity to continue living an independent life in their own home without the need to move.

To start services call or text Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro at 312-526-3666 or visit our website at www.SeniorCareChicagoMetro.com to learn more about us.

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The Dangers of Falling at Home and Ways To Prevent It

Falling at Home

Three million people over the age of 65 go to the emergency room every year for fall injuries, and about one million of those occur at home, with 20% of cases resulting in serious injuries such as broken bones or head trauma. Unfortunately, less than half of people who fall at home even tell their doctor, meaning these injuries can go undiagnosed and untreated for extended periods of time.

Falling is scary no matter what, but falling at home, the place you feel most safe and secure, can be devastating mentally as well as physically. Luckily, there are steps you can take to actively avoid falls, make your home as safe as possible and give you access to immediate help should a fall ever occur.


June is National Home Safety Month, an annual campaign created by the Home Safety Council meant to educate and motivate families to take actions that will increase the safety of their homes. For seniors who are at risk of falling or have fallen before, Seniors Helping Seniors® recommends they follow these tips from the National Institute on Aging:

  1. Place handrails on both sides of the stairs, and make sure they are tightly fastened. If you must carry something while going up or down the stairs, hold it with one hand and use the handrail with the other so you can clearly see the steps.
  2. Ensure there is adequate lighting throughout the home, especially around high-risk areas like stairs, doorways, and bathrooms. Replace bulbs frequently and install new lighting fixtures if needed.
  3. Tidy up. Do not leave clutter, laundry, trash or shoes on the floor as these are easy to forget and trip over.
  4. Avoid using throw rugs, mats and small area rugs that are not securely fastened to the ground.
  5. Place nightlights throughout the home and keep a flashlight on the nightstand in the event you need to get up in the middle of the night.
  6. Especially if you live alone, invest in a medical alarm system such as a bracelet, necklace, or phone app to alert 911 immediately in the event of a fall emergency.

Seniors Helping Seniors® offices provide a variety of services to support seniors so that they are able to maintain their independence and enjoy life not just in their homes, but also in their neighborhoods. These services include companionship, light housekeeping, cooking, and shopping support, assistance with personal care, dementia care, pet care, and medication reminders.

Your home should be a safe haven. We are there to provide peace of mind and high quality, compassionate care to seniors in the comfort of their own home.


For the in-home senior care brand, it all comes down to The Power of Love® and providing compassionate care that makes seniors feel seen, heard, and independent while providing purpose and passion for its senior caregivers.

Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services is a leading provider for Senior In Home Care services in Chicago. We make life a little easier for you or a loved one by providing services in the home that include: companionship, light housekeeping, cooking, gardening, transportation assistance, Alzheimer’s and Dementia care, assistance with daily errands, activities, and more. Our senior home care services allow elderly adults the opportunity to continue living an independent life in their own home without the need to move.

To start services call or text Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro at 312-526-3666 or visit our website  at www.SeniorCareChicagoMetro.com to learn more about us.

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The Purrfect Companion: Discover The Perks of Pets

shschicagometro 07 Jun 2022

The Perks of Pets

June is National Adopt A Cat Month and at Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro in-home care services, we are purring with excitement! That is because we know that taking in a furry friend has excellent benefits for our care receivers.

Before you get elbow deep in kitty litter and catnip, though, let us talk about how these loving furballs benefit their human counterparts and discuss things to consider before adopting!


Pros of Pet Ownership

Pets of all kinds offer advantages to the senior community by improving mood and physical health. Cats, however, are especially good for seniors because they offer these same benefits while also being easy to care for.

Low-Maintenance Love

A cat’s ability to care for itself is a nice perk for pet-loving seniors. Dogs are great too but require much more time and attention from their owners. For your new feline to be happy, all you need to offer is food, water, a clean litter box, and plenty of love!

Worried you will not be able to keep up with all your furry friend’s needs? Your Seniors Helping Seniors® companion is available to help. Lean on them for everything from keeping track of dinner time to making sure your new fur babe makes it to all their vet appointments!

Feel-line Great!

When it comes to improving mental and physical wellbeing, pets certainly do their part! Loneliness and depression can become issues for seniors, especially after a big life change. Pets, however, provide companionship, affection, and entertainment – all-important in remaining positive and engaged!

Adopting a cat can offer physical benefits as well. The simple act of petting a cat can lower blood pressure and reduce anxiety! In addition, your new feline will depend on you to keep them fed, their water bowl full, and the litter box clean, which gets you up and moving every day!

Adopting a cat also brings a new sense of purpose to the lives of those we serve. Now, you have a four-legged friend who is counting on you, and they’ll show their appreciation every day with a loving purr and rub around your ankles!


What To Look for in A Feline Friend

When it comes time to adopt, consider these Seniors Helping Seniors® suggestions to help decide which kitty is right for you:

  1. Age: Kittens are adorable, but also have more energy than older cats. Senior felines are already trained, requiring less time and attention, which equals a smaller commitment on your part.
  1. Temperament: No matter their age, cats have different personalities, just like people! Do you crave a companion who wants to cuddle? Or one that is content to do its own thing? Think about what you want from a pet and get to know a little bit about any potential adoptees before bringing them home.

Swing by your local adoption center with your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver when you are ready to add a furry friend to the mix. They will have plenty of wonderful cats to choose from and may even be able to point you in the direction of your purrfect match!


The Purrfect Companion!

At Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro in-home care services, we love seeing our care receivers happy and thriving – and we have witnessed firsthand how the love of a pet can help achieve this! Our caregivers are always willing to assist with your four-legged friend too. So, if you are considering adoption, get to your local shelter – the time to adopt is MEOW!

Senior home care services to elderly residents throughout the Chicago area is just one beneficial aspect of our services. All of our helpers are also seniors themselves. They have a warmth and understanding that comes from experience and wisdom gained over the years. They are all loving, caring compassionate people who bring joy and companionship to everyone with whom they work. That’s why our seniors often become life-long friends with those who receive our services.

Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services is a leading provider for Senior In Home Care services in Chicago. We make life a little easier for you or a loved one by providing services in the home that include: companionship, light housekeeping, cooking, gardening, transportation assistance, Alzheimer’s and Dementia care, assistance with daily errands, activities, and more. Our senior home care services allow elderly adults the opportunity to continue living an independent life in their own home without the need to move.

To start services call or text Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro at 312-526-3666 or visit our website  at www.SeniorCareChicagoMetro.com to learn more about us.

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A Smooth Way to Spend a Summer’s Day!

shschicagometro 07 Jun 2022

Smoothie

The first day of Summer (6/21) is also National Smoothie Day! Why not celebrate both with your companion by blending up this nutrition-packed smoothie recipe?


Ingredients

2 cups of baby spinach

1 diced mango

8-10 strawberries

½ a lime, squeezed

½ a banana

1 avocado, pitted

8 oz. of milk or almond milk

2 tbsp. of chia seeds

1 tbsp. of honey or vanilla extract

Sweetener of choice (optional)

Ice cubes


Directions

Add ice and 8 oz. of milk into your blender. Then add in the spinach and blend till smooth. Follow by adding the rest of your ingredients and blend.

Enjoy in a chilled glass on a hot summer day!

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Mind Over Matter: 5 Tips For Practicing Positive Aging!

Everyone views aging differently. To some, the idea of getting older is scary. Others embrace it with a youthful ferocity! At the end of the day, your mindset is more important than you think. It plays a large part in the quality of life experienced throughout your Golden Years.

Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro is committed to inspiring others to age gracefully and independently. One of the ways we encourage our care recipients to make the most of their senior years is by promoting “positive aging” techniques.


What Is Positive Aging?

Positive aging is all about mindset. It refers to the idea that if you maintain an optimistic outlook in your senior years — coupled with healthy habits, social engagement, and mental stimulation — you will feel good about yourself, remain physically active, and continue to engage fully in all aspects of life!

Incorporating positive aging techniques into your daily routine might sound difficult, but it is easier than you think. Of course, our Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers will stand by your side, ready to help you create and practice a program that will do your mind and body good!

Now that you know why positive aging is important, let us discuss five simple ways Seniors Helping Seniors® care receivers can work the power of positivity into everyday life!


Embrace Your Age!

Age is just a number. Maintaining a youthful outlook and adapting to your changing abilities can help you accept that growing older is a normal part of life – one that every person (including your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver) is attempting to navigate.

The first step in discovering the power of positive aging is to accept the aging process by working with it and not against it. This makes it easier to cope with the challenges this stage of life presents, and instead, start looking forward to the possibilities!

Make Fitness A Priority!

Just thirty minutes of daily exercise can revolutionize your health. It can help you look and feel younger, complete tasks more easily, and prevent accidents and falls – all of which are essential for maintaining a positive outlook. Try the following Seniors Helping Seniors® suggestions to jumpstart your fitness routine:

  • Go for a walk! Walking is an excellent way to get the blood pumping while improving heart health, boosting mental clarity, and lowering blood pressure. Commit to a daily walk with a friend, family member, or your Seniors Helping Seniors® companion!
  • Explore senior fitness classes. There are plenty of exercise options for active seniors! Look into what classes your local senior center, gym, or fitness studio offers. Activities like water aerobics, chair yoga, and bodyweight workouts are popular among seniors and provide minimal impact workouts that will still make you feel the burn!
  • Do not get discouraged if it is tough to keep up at first. Your workouts will become easier as you build strength. Be consistent and you will soon look forward to your daily exercise regimen!

Stay Connected!

Building and maintaining close relationships is also essential to a positive aging plan. Doing so can combat loneliness, improve self-esteem, and foster a sense of belonging. Not sure where to begin? Try one of the following to make new friends or reconnect with old friends:

  • Organize a monthly dinner with friends or family where everyone brings a different dish
  • Join a social group, like a birdwatching or book club, pickleball league, or volunteer service
  • Make it a point to attend your grandkids’ sporting games and performances – they will love having you there to cheer them on!
  • As always, remember to lean on your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers. They are available to get you to and from social events or to accompany you on a new adventure, so let us go!

Nurture Healthy Habits!

Maintaining a balanced diet is critical to the aging process. Eating right helps keep your weight at an appropriate level and supports heart health. These simple diet rules can help you stay on track:

Incorporate lean proteins, plenty of vegetables (especially those that are orange, red, and green), substitute whole grains whenever possible, and stick to low-fat dairy products.

  • Drink lots of (the right) fluids – water, tea, and coffee – and stay away from beverages that are high in sugar
  • Look for foods that are high in fiber and vitamin D as these are both vital for aging individuals
  • There are also certain habits you should avoid continuing to function at the highest level. First, do not skimp on sleep – a restful night’s slumber is essential in keeping the body functioning properly. Also, avoid smoking and excessive alcohol intake. Both can cause serious health issues in people of all ages.

Sharpen Your Brain!

Your mind, like your body, thrives when you push it to the limit. A strong brain keeps you sharp and is a key ingredient for your positive aging recipe. Add games like Sudoku and crossword puzzles to your daily routine so your brain gets the exercise it needs.

Learning a new skill can improve intellect as well. Check local resources, like a university or community center, to see if they offer any skill-building classes that pique your interest. Gaining a new ability cultivates positive thoughts and builds confidence. Not to mention, it is fun and will leave you with an activity you will look forward to!


We told you it was easy to practice positive aging! In fact, you are doing many of these things already. Do not be afraid to ask your Seniors Helping Seniors® companion for ideas on how to keep a positive mindset as you mature – remember, they are going through the same stage of life as you are.

Incorporate the above Seniors Helping Seniors® tips into your daily routine and you are bound to feel great, stay active, and retain your youthful exuberance for life! If you need a caregiver to help you stay healthy and independent in your home, call or text us at 312-526-3666.

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Physical Activity is Essential to Healthy Aging

Exercise is good for you, especially if you are over the age of sixty-five. As we age, our energy levels decrease, and our bodies become more fragile. Doctors and senior-care experts say to prevent problems and the risk of falling or injury, older individuals should aim to be as active as possible.

Regular physical activity and exercise for seniors help improve mental and physical health, both of which will help them maintain their independence as they age. Exercise can help prevent disease, decrease the risk of falling, and improve mental health and cognitive function. All of these are so important.


For seniors and their caregivers who are looking to add a little activity to their routine, we recommend that older adults spend about 150 minutes a week doing some sort of moderately intense activity like brisk walking. Additionally, some household chores and yard work can increase the heart rate.

Muscle-strengthening activities and exercises to improve balance should be included. These are activities anyone can do with a friend. We learned during the pandemic that people crave social interaction. Exercising together is a wonderful way to connect.


It all comes down to The Power of Love® and providing compassionate care that makes seniors feel seen, heard, and independent while providing purpose and passion for their senior caregivers.

Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care provides a variety of compassionate services to support seniors so that they can maintain their independence and enjoy life not just in their homes, but also in their neighborhoods.

Our services include companionship, light housekeeping, cooking, and shopping support, assistance with personal care, dementia care, pet care, and medication reminders. Visit our website to learn more about our services. You can also call or text us at 312-526-3666 to ask questions and start service for as little as 2 and 3 hour blocks of time.

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Lemonade Squeezes the Day!

 

Since lemonade is the perfect start-of-Summer drink and the national drink of May, here are 6 ways to zest up your homemade lemonade!


Traditional Lemonade

6 cups of hot water

1/4 cup of raw honey

1/2 cup of sugar

1 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice (approximately 4-6 large lemons)


Strawberry Lemonade

Add 1 lb. of strawberries to 2 cups of the chilled Traditional Lemonade recipe above.


Blueberry Lemonade

Add 1 pint of blueberries to 2 cups of the chilled Traditional Lemonade recipe above


Raspberry Lemonade

Add 1 cup of raspberries to 2 cups of the chilled Traditional Lemonade recipe above


Green Tea Lemonade

Steep 2-4 bags of green tea in 1 cup of hot water. Then add to 1 cup of the chilled Traditional Lemonade recipe


Limeade

6 cups of hot water

1/4 cup of raw honey

1/2 cup of sugar

1 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice (approximately 8-10 limes)


Add basil or mint leaves to any of these recipes along with slices of the highlighted fruits to add color and flavor! Spice it up by pouring in a can of chilled club soda and give a stir to add life to your drink!

 

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Savor The Season With Healthy Summer Eating

shschicagometro 05 May 2022

Healthy Summer Eating!

The Seniors Helping Seniors ® Chicago Metro family loves seeing our care receivers enjoy the best parts of each season. With summer fast approaching in Chicago, it will soon be time to break out the shorts, light the citronella candle, and dust off the patio table for the season’s first outdoor feast!

It can be tempting to indulge throughout the summer months. With family cookouts, vacations, and the urge to spend time enjoying the outdoors instead of the kitchen, we often opt for quick, not-so-healthy choices. A nutritious, balanced diet, however, is important for active seniors all year long.

The good news is that continuing to eat right over the summer months does not have to be complicated. Soak in these Seniors Helping Seniors® tips for a summer of healthy delicious eating!


Keep It Balanced

Making good decisions is not hard once you know what to choose. Let us look at the layers of the food pyramid and determine the best foods to reach for and which to skip.

Grains

The foundation of the food pyramid is the grain group, which encompasses things like rice, pasta, bread, and oats. When stocking the cabinets, whole grains are best. Whole grains are made using the entire grain kernel and, therefore, are useful sources of dietary fiber, minerals, and Vitamin B.

Fruits and Vegetables

We all know fruits and veggies provide plenty of dietary value, but which are the most nutritious options? Look for produce that is red, orange, purple, and green, as these fruits and veggies contain vitamins and minerals that are especially important to senior health. Sweet corn, a prevalent crop throughout much of Illinois, is loaded with fiber, B and C vitamins, magnesium, and potassium, which all offer excellent health benefits!

Dairy

When choosing milk, yogurt, and cheese products, go with low-fat or fat-free options. Calcium is the major benefit in this group, but dairy products also provide phosphorus, Vitamins A and D, B12, potassium, and more.

Protein

Protein covers a wide variety of foods, including meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, and legumes (like beans and lentils). Look for meat and poultry that’s lean or low-fat and seafood that is high in omega-3s and has a low mercury count. For a vegetarian meal, substitute legumes as a tasty and nutritious option. It is important to mix it up when it comes to protein. Many people eat plenty of meat and poultry but often skimp on fish and legumes. However, each category has specific vitamins and nutrients that are key to a balanced diet.


Advantages of Sensible Eating

When a variety of nutritious foods are incorporated into a balanced diet, the mind and body will benefit in spades! For example, healthy eating helps:

Reduce cholesterol

Lower risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes

Promote proper bowel function

Support a healthy nervous system

Boost immunity and prevent infection

Encourage healthy eyes, skin, and gums

Maintain strong bones and teeth

Improve concentration and attention span

Increase energy and mental clarity


Grilled to Perfection

How food is cooked contributes to a healthy diet as well. During the summer months, grilling is an excellent option and produces flavorful dishes. Better yet, it is a wonderful time to gather with loved ones and your Seniors Helping Seniors® companion to enjoy the outdoors and fellowship while dinner is cooking! 

Cooking on the grill is easy and requires little preparation. Simply apply your favorite seasoning combination or marinade and get grilling! As the food cooks, excess fat, and oil drip away, leaving a wholesome and delicious dinner.

Try these tips and tricks from Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services to make grilling a breeze:

  • Invest in a meat thermometer and always ensure poultry is cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F and pork to 145°F.
  • Cook veggies in foil packets with seasoning and a little oil (extra virgin olive oil or canola are best). Ensure the packet is sealed at the top and place it directly on the grates until the veggies are tender.
  • Craving something sweet? For dessert, try grilling pineapple, peach, or watermelon slices for an after-dinner treat!

One of the best things about this method is there’s minimal clean-up required, leaving more time to spend enjoying your dinner companions!


Practice Proper Portion Control

Consuming the right amounts of each food group is important as well. When making a plate, follow these Seniors Helping Seniors® suggestions for a balanced meal:

  1. Envision a vertical line directly down the middle of the plate
  2. On the right, add half whole grains and half lean protein
  3. Fill the left side with fruits and vegetables (heavier on the veggies)
  4. Eat dairy in moderation

Now, all that is left is to choose a healthy option to wash it all down…


Drink Up!

Lemonade

Staying hydrated is key, especially when the summer heat kicks into high gear! Water is an essential nutrient and should be the majority of what is consumed throughout the day. Try fruit-infused water for a twist on the traditional or sparkling water for something bubbly. Tea and coffee are good options as well and provide several health benefits of their own.

Avoid sugary drinks or those with high salt content and stay away from consuming alcohol in excess. These contribute to dehydration and many other issues.


Who is ready to welcome summer?! With these tips from Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services, you or your senior loved one will find plenty of health-conscious ways to enjoy the tastes of the season!

Do you need a caregiver to help you plan your meals and help with your daily activities? Call or text us at 312-526-3666 to connect with us today.

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SHS® Eats! Crumbled Coffee Cake!

Crumble coffee Cake

Crumbled Coffee Cake Recipe

Cake Batter

1 cup of softened unsalted butter

1 cup of sugar

2/3 cup of light brown sugar

1 tsp. of salt

3 2/3 cup of all-purpose flour

3 tsp. of baking powder

3 eggs

3/4 tbsp. vanilla extract

3/4 cup of sour cream

1 1/4 cup of whole milk

Crumb Topping

6 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter

1 cup of light brown sugar

1 1/2 tbsp. of cinnamon

1 cup of all-purpose flour


Baking Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepared your 9×13 baking pan with nonstick spray.
  • Start by making your crumb topping. In a bowl, mix the melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour until mixture forms into crumbs. Set aside.
  • For the cake, mix your butter, granulated sugar, and light brown sugar in a bowl and mix until light and fluffy.
  • Add in the eggs, vanilla, sour cream, baking powder, salt and mix until ingredients form a smooth consistency. Then gradually add in the flour.
  • Fill your pan with the velvety cake batter and top this by sprinkling your cinnamon topping.
  • Bake this for approx. 40-45 minutes. Check to see if cake is set then place on baking rack.
  • Once cooled, sprinkle with a pinch of your leftover granulated sugar, dish and enjoy with a cup of joe.

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Technologies to Keep Older People Safe

Tech Tips

There are an estimated 54.1 million people in this country over the age of 65, many of whom are realizing the importance of aging at home. That means it is more important now than ever to ensure that our senior loved ones are safe in their homes.

For seniors, aging in place can be a hugely beneficial thing to mental and physical health. However, it is important to have a plan for caregivers and seniors so everyone is aligned. There are ways to make this process easier by using technology in certain situations.

Families can utilize the following tips and simple technologies to keep their senior loved ones safe in their homes:

  1. Digital Pill Dispenser (caregiver or family member can program via an app for foolproof medication dispensing)
  2. Apple Watch Series 7 (fall detection feature)
  3. Smart Smoke Alarm (automatically alerts family members via mobile phone)
  4. Smart Doorbell (residents can see who is at the door and talk to them without opening it)

Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago provides a variety of services to support seniors so that they can maintain their independence and enjoy life not just in their homes, but also in their neighborhoods. These services include companionship, light housekeeping, cooking, and shopping support, assistance with personal care, dementia care, pet care, yard work, and medication reminders.

To start services call or text Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro at 312-526-3666 or visit our website at www.SeniorCareChicagoMetro.com to learn more about us.

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Gardening Tips and Tools

shschicagometro 11 Apr 2022

Spring Lawn Disease

Spring Lawn Diseases

Swings in temperature, cool nights, rising humidity, and an increase in rainfall can all contribute to seasonal yard problems. Seniors Helping Seniors® care receivers, watch for these common issues in the weeks ahead.

Brown patch: Causes dead, sunken, dry-looking areas of grass, ranging from a few inches to several feet wide.

Red thread: Denoted by pink or red patches across the lawn. Its tell-tale sign, however, is the growth of grass tufts on top of these areas.

Leaf spot: Starts with small brown spots on leaves and grass. Eventually, these areas become enlarged and develop a dark purplish-red ring around the outside and a tan area in the middle.


Beautify BedsBeautify Beds

Ensure flower beds are in top shape for the planting season with the following tips from Seniors Helping Seniors®.

Remove old mulch, downed tree branches, dead leaves, and broken grass to improve the aesthetic and prevent disease.

Apply a fresh layer of mulch (2 to 4 inches thick) to keep soil moist and garden areas looking polished.

Divide perennials to keep them healthy, share with friends, and fill in any gaps in foliage.


Prepping Yard EquipmentPrepping Yard Equipment

Spring is in full swing and that means it’s time to get garden tools ready to go! Here are 4 tips from Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services to ready this equipment for spring planting.

Clean rust and dirt off metal surfaces with a soft-bristled brush, steel wool, or sandpaper.

Inspect wooden handles, running a piece of medium-grit emery cloth or sandpaper over any cracks and splinters.

Sharpen metal edges and blades with a whetstone or file (many local garden and hardware stores can do this for you or a loved one as well).

Check hoses for leaks and repair with flex tape, glue, or a patch kit.


Easy EnjoymentEasy Enjoyment

Caring for an outdoor space is a fun and rewarding hobby. It can become more difficult with age, however. Here are some ideas from Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services to help you or your senior loved one continue gardening with ease.

Install raised planters for better access and less bending, crouching, and kneeling.

Equip yourself or your senior with a set of basic tools – durable gloves, hand trowel, long-handled shovel and spade, hoe, garden and leaf rake, hand pruner and pruning shears, wheelbarrow, and watering can.

Prevent constantly losing small garden tools by painting the handles a bright color.

Wear sunscreen when working in the yard.

Get loose before strenuous garden tasks – take a walk and stretch prior to beginning.

Do yard work in the morning or evening, avoiding the hottest parts of the day.

Break up more difficult tasks into 5-minute intervals, resting or performing less straining jobs in between.


Be sure to invite your Seniors Helping Seniors® companion, a friend, or family member to help with this undertaking. An extra set of hands and engaging conversation make any project more enjoyable. Our caregivers are always available to assist – even if it means getting their hands dirty. Grab your Seniors Helping Seniors® companion and plan a fun-filled day or two focused on getting your or a loved one’s lawn and garden ready for a fresh batch of spring flowers! 

Need help managing care for the senior in your life? Give us a call at 312-526-3666. We’ll be there as much or as little as you and your loved one need!

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Off The Leash!

Off The Leash!

Tips for A Tail-Wagging Walk

Seniors in Chicago can get the most out of walking their dog by following a few simple suggestions. A stroll around the neighborhood is beneficial for us humans and our four-legged companions!

Our Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers know the advantages of walking as we age – even a quick jaunt presents social, emotional, and mental benefits. But, did you know, it is just as mentally important for pups?

Going on daily outings allows our canine counterparts to explore the world outside their backyard. They get to interact with other dogs, encounter wildlife, and watch other owners with their fur babies. It can also help build a stronger bond between owner and pup. Of course, walking keeps our four-legged family members in good physical shape as well!

Whether a seasoned dog owner or new to the club, these Seniors Helping Seniors® tips will ensure walks are safe and enjoyable for everyone involved!


Safety First

Before heading on a walk, it is important to take a few precautions. Our furry friends are counting on us to keep them fit and healthy!

Get loose

A good rule of thumb before doing anything physical is to warm up a bit. Simple stretches for the body parts that worked most during a stroll — like calves, Achilles’ tendons, and hamstrings – will make sure the legs are ready to move. Seniors Helping Seniors® companions are happy to help you or a senior loved one prepare, so do not hesitate to bring them into the mix!

It is a good idea to let our four-legged friends get loose before taking off as well. Play fetch or let them run around the yard before walking. A tired pup will be better behaved throughout the outing.

Choose appropriate clothing

A good pair of shoes is essential for dog walks. Proper footwear can help prevent slips and falls. Additionally, dress for the weather. Outfits should be warm enough for those cool, early morning walks and breathable when it heats up outside.

If balance is an issue, bring a walking stick or cane to help keep steady.

Be wise about the time of day

Spring weather in Chicago can be unpredictable. Go for a walk when it is most comfortable (for you and your friend), avoiding the coldest and hottest parts of the day.

 Pick a senior- and pup-friendly route

When deciding on a path, there are a few things to take into consideration. First, choose a route that offers a level walking surface. Avoid unkempt areas that might have tree roots and unexpected dips.

In urban areas, make sure the course provides a sidewalk or walking path and steer clear of heavy traffic – these are both important in keeping owner and pup safe! Additionally, consider you or your loved one’s limitations, as well as those of the dog. Small breeds and senior dogs may not have the endurance for lengthy walks.

Bring a friend

Our Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers love spending time with senior companions and their furry friends! Make sure to invite you or your family member’s caregiver to join in on the fun. After all, not only can they help ensure everyone remains safe, walks are always better when they include a conversation with a pal!


Be The Master

A misbehaving dog can be a danger to its owner and itself. Unexpected lunging and pulling increase the chance of a fall and serious injury, especially with large breeds. With a little work and patience, however, our canine counterparts make excellent exercise friends!

Act Like the Top Dog

To start, the following basic commands can help control pups during a walk:

  • “Heel” directs the dog to walk with its head even with its owner’s legs, discouraging pulling.
  • “Wait” instructs the pup to sit and stay until given a release command. This can be especially helpful in preventing four-legged friends from accidentally tripping you or your senior loved one on the stairs or running out into traffic.

Be confident and use a stern tone of voice when giving commands. Additionally, bringing along a bag of bite-sized training treats as a reward for good behavior can encourage canines to be more obedient.


Bring In the Professionals

For those having a great deal of trouble with obedience, professional training courses might be the answer. A dog trainer can give pointers, work with the dog, and help you or the senior in your life regain power.

Last but certainly not least…have some FUN!! Walks with our pups are a wonderful way to explore the neighborhood, a new park in town, or an area nature preserve. Keep the safety measures we have outlined in mind and discovering new areas together will be a ball!

Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services understand that the companionship of a dog can be just as important and beneficial as the relationships held with friends and loved ones. As always, we are here to support our active senior community in all aspects of life, so grab your caregiver, your four-legged friend, and let’s roll!

Call or text us at 312-526-3666 to learn more about our services or visit our website In-Home Senior Care Services.

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Occupational Therapy

shschicagometro 11 Apr 2022

Occupational Therapy: A More Independent YOU!

A More Independent YOU!

April is National Occupational Therapy Month and Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services is taking a moment to champion this life-changing treatment. Occupational therapy (OT) helps people of all ages maintain, or regain, the skills necessary to perform everyday activities.

Similar to its better-known counterpart, physical therapy, OT provides several benefits throughout the body. Where the two differ, most is in their purpose. Physical therapy focuses on improving pain in one part of the body, while occupational therapy focuses on adapting daily tasks to make them easier. For our care receivers, which means doing more of the things you love most!

Let us explore the ways this branch of therapy can help our active senior community continue to reap the rewards of an independent lifestyle!


Physical Benefits

Occupational therapy helps strengthen the body by increasing flexibility, re-conditioning muscles, and teaching adaptive movements that put less stress on muscles and joints. Here is a closer look at the physical advantages of OT.

Enhanced Range of Motion

As a senior, improving flexibility can change a lot! Stretching allows the body to be less rigid. In turn, this decreases the chances of injuries like muscle strain or pull. It can also make daily tasks – such as vacuuming, gardening, or walking – easier to complete.

Treatment for a better range of motion can include several methods. For example, to improve shoulder flexibility, an occupational therapist might suggest seniors complete a series of stretches, practice dressing the upper body, and work on strength training exercises for that area.

Decreased Chronic Pain

When you lead an active and fulfilling life, chronic pain, like arthritis and muscle aches, can slow you down. Getting support from an occupational therapist can help, however.

To assist with pain management, these professionals demonstrate adaptations for the activities that are most important to everyday life. The technical terms for these strategies include things like reduced muscle tension, ergonomics, safe body mechanics, and neuromuscular re-education. Simply put, these methods are alternative ways to complete tasks with less strain, and therefore pain, on the body.


A happier youMaximize Mental Health

The advantages of OT far surpass physical improvements. Cognitive functions like memory and brain capacity can see an uptick as well! It can even help relieve stress and anxiety.

Better Memory and Increased Brainpower

Occupational therapists are trained to evaluate thinking skills in addition to physical abilities. Again, there are a variety of techniques that can be used to improve cognitive function.

Memory-enhancing activities like crossword puzzles and brain teaser games are encouraged to keep the mind sharp. An occupational therapist may also break challenging tasks down into a series of simple steps and cues, making them easier to complete for those with memory loss.

Additionally, occupational therapists can work with seniors on exercises that improve vision. It might not seem connected to memory and brainpower, but enhanced sight allows seniors to gather and process information more easily, benefiting cognition.

Reduced Stress and Anxiety

 With age, the ability to perform everyday tasks often declines, taking a toll on mental health. You or a senior loved one might start to feel helpless and depressed due to this loss of function.

An occupational therapist, however, will focus on the tasks that CAN be completed, inspiring seniors with a sense of empowerment! As for weaker skills? OT is utilized to identify these and work to improve them.


Adaptive Living

Ultimately, the goal of occupational therapy is to enable individuals, seniors included, to live comfortably and independently. Improving physical and mental wellbeing is certainly helpful in retaining personal freedom, but OT extends beyond this.

Home Modifications

Not only will occupational therapists work with the body and mind to make life easier, but they will also assist in adjusting areas of your home, or that of a senior loved one, with the same end goal. Here are some ways these professionals might alter a living space for better daily functionality:

  • Suggest safety improvements, like adding handrails in bathrooms, increasing lighting, and clearing clutter from walking paths.
  • Re-label medications, cooking items, and cleaners so they are easier to distinguish for individuals with sight loss.
  • Add visual cues throughout the home to help those with memory loss or dementias navigate and complete tasks.

Shared Knowledge

Occupational therapists often encourage family members and caregivers to become familiar with the exercises their senior loved one has been practicing during OT. This ensures that improvement does not stop at the end of a session.

The more seniors can incorporate occupational therapies into a daily or weekly routine, the easier it will be to stay physically active, mentally fit, and autonomous. Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers are happy to assist those we serve with the strategies learned through occupational therapy. From helping complete daily exercises to adaptive strategies, we are here for you or the special senior in your life!


Seniors Helping Seniors®

Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services is a leading provider for Senior Care and Senior Home Care services throughout Chicago. We make life a little easier for you or a loved one by providing services in the home that include: companionship, light housekeeping, cooking, gardening, transportation assistance, Alzheimer’s and Dementia care, assistance with daily errands, activities and more. Our senior home care services allow elderly adults the opportunity to continue living an independent life in their own home without the need to move.

To start services call or text Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro at 312-526-3666 or visit our website at www.SeniorCareChicagoMetro.com to learn more about us.

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How To Decide on the Best Senior Living Situations

shschicagometro 28 Mar 2022

Give Your Loved One Quality Care

As we go through life, we may find ourselves moving from our parent’s home to a college dorm, to our first apartment, then our first home. And finally, it comes the time when we migrate to a senior living situation such as an assisted living facility, nursing home, or independent living with assisted care.

When that time does come, our families may have a hard time figuring out which personal assisted home care is right for us. We want to make that decision a bit easier, so we have laid out the similarities and differences in senior living between assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and independent living with assisted care.


Assisted Living Facilities

Assisted living facilities are mainly for seniors who need help with daily living. Seniors who would thrive in an assisted home environment are mobile and can get around by themselves independently or either with a walker or wheelchair.

Assisted facilities can vary in the forms of services they provide, but they often offer a core list of services that most residents need, according to WebMD. These core services include:

Meals

Caregivers in assisted homes can help with meal preparation, grocery shopping, and cooking meals for the residents.

Medication Monitoring

Some homes offer an Electronic Medication Administration Record (e-MAR) system which allows caregivers to record when a patient took their medicine, how it was administered, the proper dosage, and how often they need to take it.

Personal Care (bathing, hygiene, etc.)

Although residents in assisted homes are independent, they may need assistance with daily activities. This can simply be helping to get dressed, brushing teeth, opening bottles such as shampoo and conditioner, helping to take a shower, or helping to go to the bathroom.

Help with daily activities (housekeeping, laundry)

We often forget how hard it is to take care of a house and residents in assisted care are helped with these daily cleaning tasks. Caregivers can help vacuum, make a bed, tidy up the house, put away groceries, help do laundry, etc.

Usually, a nurse is on call 24/7 in case of emergency

Most times residents in assisted care need only a fair amount of medical assistance. But they do recognize emergencies can come up, so that is why they typically have a nurse on call 24/7 just in case.

Minimal to Moderate medical care

Caregivers in assisted homes can help with some medical care, but not all. Most of the time do not have the same qualifications as registered nurses, therefore medical care is beneficial for seniors who do not need around-the-clock care.

Socialization

In assisted homes, residents get a healthy amount of socialization with their fellow residents and caregivers. The homes usually will do game nights, movie nights, or outside activities  together. Family and friends can also visit and play games and chat with their loved ones. Also, some homes offer pet therapy and partner with local organizations and schools to get the residents to socialize with others.

Living Arrangements

Assisted homes can offer different living situations. They typically are in an actual home, so residents have an easier time adjusting to the new environment. Assisted homes also offer a different level of privacy than nursing homes can. Residents can get a private room and bathroom, or if they are going into care with their partner or friend, they can share a room.


Nursing Homes

Nursing homes are more monitored than assisted living facilities. They offer the same services, but at a more extensive length.

Nursing homes are typically for residents who need medical care 24/7. They typically will need help throughout the day doing various tasks and may even need occupational, physical, and speech therapies.

Residents here cannot live independently at all and are dependent on help with most things. They also are around more people and will have organized group activities and games with other residents.

Living Arrangements

Nursing homes are arguably a bit harder to get used to for residents. This can be due to the dorm-like rooming and hospital feel.


Independent Living

Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services is a leading provider of Senior In-Home Care services in Chicago. We make life a little easier for you or a loved one by providing services in the home that include: companionship, light housekeeping, cooking, gardening, transportation assistance, Alzheimer’s and Dementia care, assistance with daily errands, activities, and more. Our senior home care services allow elderly adults the opportunity to continue living an independent life in their own homes without the need to move.

Living Arrangements

In the family home surrounded by their things and familiar items. They are close to their family and friends providing comfort and reassurance as they age.


Conclusion

There are a lot of similarities and differences in senior living situations. Their major differentiator is the amount of care that can be provided. If your loved one just needs simple help with tasks around the house or in their daily lives an assisted home is the way to go. However, if your loved one is in a progressive stage of health, has a cognitive disease, or just can’t do most things alone, a nursing home is the best choice as they can be monitored 24/7 and get help with all activities.


About the Author

Melissa Andrews is the Content Marketing Strategist for Paradise Living Centers, an assisted living center for seniors with locations in Paradise Valley and Phoenix, Arizona. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and going on hiking trips with her siblings and cousins.

To start services call or text Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro at 312-526-3666 or visit our website at www.SeniorCareChicagoMetro.com to learn more about us.

The post How To Decide on the Best Senior Living Situations appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Best Senior Living Options in Illinois

shschicagometro 08 Mar 2022

Best-senior-living-options-in-Illinois

Are you thinking of getting independent living facilities in Illinois? Or are you thinking of getting a single shade for all care grades after retirement? If this is your primary concern, Illinois can be the best state for you!

With an extensive range of centered destinations and several levels of care, Illinois is the favorite state of retired persons. So, getting your assisted living in Illinois is never challenging just because of the versatility of options.

Whether you’re looking for CCRCs in Illinois or assisted living in Illinois, we’re going to guide you best in the next section! So, why waste more time here? Let’s get started!


Assisted Living Communities in Illinois

Illinois stands first in the list of those states that provide the best-assisted living facilities to needy families. It is also regarded as the small version of the United States when offering a wide variety of opportunities under one roof.

Some of the best-assisted living communities in Illinois that will meet your needs or demands are as under:

Montgomery Place

One of the top-rated assisted living communities in Illinois is Montgomery Place. All comfort zones and basic life facilities are readily available here. So, considering it, calls to your home will not be wrong. Located in the center of Hyde Park, you’ll get the benefit of a beautiful setting in the evening just to create memories.

People here are working on a mission to enhance the life quality of retired persons. All facilities, including physical, cognitive, and social needs, are fulfilled here.

Creekwood Apartments

Another worthy option for Illinois’ best assisted living facilities is Creekwood apartments. With every single life facility, it stands rightly on all the demands of those looking for individual living. It offers the features of air conditioning, handrails, refrigerator, intercom, freezer, smoke-free environment, garden, and all other facilities that you want for perfect living.

You’ll not feel alone at these apartments as the people living here are open to friendly relationships!

Avidor Glenview

If you’re looking for the perfect combination of livability, design, and quality, Avidor Glenview can be the best option. It offers all those basic life facilities that aren’t available under a single roof. A kitchen with stainless steel appliances, custom flooring, and cabinetry offers many lively things to the persons looking forward to living here.

You can get 24-hour availability here with different package services.

Cedar Villas

It is located in the center area of Round Lake Beach. So, it will indeed allow you to spend your evenings with the scenic beauty everywhere. People looking for an individual living can find air conditioning, heating, kitchen, and oven facilities here. Several installment structures are also available.

Overture Yorktown 55 Plus Apartment Houses

It is known as a luxurious apartment home with 1 &2 bedrooms. It is located near Lombard’s premier shopping destination. So, you’ll be getting easy access to all types of boutiques in no time. In addition to this, you can also visit several dining and entertainment places without covering farther distances. Downtown Chicago is also just a few minutes away.

Lilac Senior Apartments

There is no need for bothering if you look for affordable senior living facilities in Illinois. Lilac Senior Apartments can meet all your demands for only $1211. These are 1 & 2 room apartments with furnished kitchen and appliances. Furthermore, they are well-kept with the opportunities that are necessary for survival.


CCRCs in Illinois

Besides assisted living in Illinois, CCRCs in Illinois have also benefited the senior community. So, CCRC can be defined as the place where you have easy access to all levels of care in no time. Some of the best CCRCs in Illinois are given as under:

Luther Village

This residential community can be regarded as the best CCRC in the town. All the services ranging from medical to physical requirements are fulfilled here. People more than 55 years of age are given high care here. A highly respected healthcare provider is always present to assist you with emergencies.

Presbyterian Homes

Don’t worry about choosing the freedom to live on your own when you have the option of Presbyterian homes. People here provide the highest quality of help at home and assisted living. Best memory, transitional and long-term care is available here 24/7.

Clare Oaks

Ranging from your medication to the living facilities, Clare Oaks has everything to offer you at reasonable rates. It is also known as an all-inclusive and independent community for senior individuals. All you need to do is to confirm your registration and the rest is their responsibility.

Beacon Hill

If you’re looking for affordable staffing services with individual living facilities, Beacon Hill can be your best choice. They are offering all levels of care with the best staffing solutions. They have an experienced team who can assure you about the quality of living facilities. All basic needs are fulfilled here.

Sedgebrook

Don’t worry about struggling for individual living after your retirement. You can now contact Sedgebrook since they are meeting all facilities present at any CCRCs or assisted living opportunities in Illinois. They make sure to cope with all your healthcare and life expectancies demands.


Conclusion:

No need to suffer while searching for assisted living in Illinois. We have explained more than enough options in the guide above. You can have a profound look at every option and choose the one that suits your needs.


Not ready for a senior living facility? Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services is a leading provider for Senior Care and Senior Home Care services throughout the nation. We make life a little easier for you or a loved one by providing services in the home that include: companionship, light housekeeping, cooking, gardening, transportation assistance, Alzheimer’s and Dementia care, assistance with daily errands, activities and more. Our senior home care services allow elderly adults the opportunity to continue living an independent life in their own home without the need to move.

To start services call or text Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro at 312-526-3666 or visit our website at www.SeniorCareChicagoMetro.com to learn more about us.

Article contributed by Johny Kershaws.

The post Best Senior Living Options in Illinois appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Baked Ravioli Recipe – A Dinner Party Dish to Delight!

shschicagometro 08 Mar 2022

Baked Ravioli


The sun is staying out longer, which means more time for gathering with those you love! The perfect dish for a group? Baked Ravioli. Easy, and delicious, it’s great for dinner with friends and family. And with Spring around the corner this month, don’t forget to add fresh basil to the top!


Baked Ravioli Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 16 ounce premade ravioli
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon of Italian Seasoning
  • 3 cups of marinara
  • 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • Freshly chopped basil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cook, drain, and set aside ravioli
  3. Crumble ground beef into a saucepan
  4. Cook ground beef until no longer pink
  5. Add Italian seasoning and marinara sauce to the ground beef
  6. Add ½ of the mixture into a 2-quart casserole dish
  7. Layer with 1/3 of the shredded mozzarella
  8. Layer with 1/3 of the ravioli
  9. Repeat until all the ravioli is placed in the casserole dish
  10. Sprinkle top with parmesan
  11. Bake for 20-25 minutes
  12. Served topped with fresh basil

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Three Must-Have Spring Houseplants For Greenery-Loving Seniors

shschicagometro 08 Mar 2022

Must Have Spring Plants


Collecting indoor plants is a fruitful hobby that brings your home to life. Even better, once you find the right greenery for your space, you’ll enjoy beautiful foliage and flowers the whole year round! Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services delights in watching our care receivers in Chicago take on new interests and this pursuit is easy to begin and a whole lot of fun!

Spring is a great time to look for houseplants, as garden centers and greenhouses are often chock-full of options. So, bust out the gardening tools, prepare to clean the dirt from your fingernails, and let’s dig in!


Boston Fern

Boston FernThe lush, feather-like fronds of a Boston fern provide a captivating pop of color in any home. This hearty plant, whose lineage dates back hundreds of millions of years, is a survivor and an easy-to-care-for addition to your space.

Care Requirements

Great for beginner plant enthusiasts, Boston ferns are fairly low maintenance once you find a spot they enjoy. These houseplants can grow quite large, sometimes two to three feet wide, so enlist the help of a family member or Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver when moving mature ferns from place to place in search of the right location.

Adhere to the following tips and your Boston fern is certain to thrive:

  • Place it in an area that receives bright light, but not direct sunlight
  • Keep soil moist and make sure it doesn’t dry out in between waterings
  • Ferns LOVE humidity, so spritz its fronds with water several times a week or place a tray filled with pebbles and water underneath it
  • Make sure the pot it’s planted in has excellent drainage to prevent root rot

Boston ferns will enjoy the high humidity found throughout many areas of the Heartland and may do best if left outside over the summer, bringing it back inside when temperatures consistently breach the low 60s.

Did you know: Boston ferns have humidifying properties themselves? It’s true! They put moisture back into the air, helping to relieve dry skin, dry noses, and sore throats.


Peace Lily

Peace LillyPeace lilies produce breathtaking white flowers that pop against their shiny, dark green leaves. Often referred to as “closet plants,” they don’t need much light to thrive, making them a fantastic choice for the darker corners of your home.

Beauty and Benefits

In addition to its attractive appearance, the peace lily offers some wonderful perks to the homes it occupies. For example:

  • It purifies the air by removing toxins commonly found in paint, perfumes, air fresheners, and adhesives
  • It’s a pet-safe houseplant
  • It helps promote a restful night’s sleep, making it excellent to display in bedrooms
  • It absorbs mold spores and allergens in the air

Simple Care: Ideally, you should place your peace lily in an area that receives medium, indirect light, but as mentioned, this tolerant houseplant can handle low light as well. Its soil should remain evenly moist, and the best part? This plant will tell you when it needs to be watered! Pay attention to its leaves – if you notice they’re drooping more than normal, give it a drink and they’ll perk right up!


Gardenia

GardinaBest known for its evocative-smelling white flowers, the gardenia is a stunning houseplant that is sure to spark conversation! If you live in one of the southernmost areas of the Heartland – where nighttime temperatures rarely dip below 60° — you can even move this beauty outside if it gets too big for your space. After all, some can grow to six feet or taller!

Care Requirements

Gardenias are best for seniors with an already green thumb, as their ideal growing conditions can be quite specific. However, if you have a little knowledge and time to devote to its needs, this plant is well worth the effort.

Use the following Seniors Helping Seniors® tips as a guide to maintaining this spectacular houseplant:

  • Place it in a sunny spot where it will get at least four hours of direct sunlight every day
  • Keep its soil moist but not soggy, watering when it’s dry to the touch
  • Ensure it gets enough humidity, applying the same tricks mentioned for the Boston fern
  • Use a well-draining, peat-based potting mix

Keep a Watchful Eye: Inspect the leaves of your gardenia frequently, because this plant is vulnerable to insects and diseases like brown scales and aphids. It’s also important to note that its flowers are toxic to pets, so make sure it’s out of reach of any curious four-legged family members.


Whether you have an established green thumb or are just beginning to hone your houseplant-growing skills, the options above are all wonderful additions to any home. By bringing the outdoors in, you’ll enjoy a livelier home, as well as benefits like reduced anxiety and improved mood. And, just maybe, you’ll spark an interest in a relaxing new hobby!

Our Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers are helpful friends to bring along on the journey too, happy to assist in researching, transporting, planting, and caring for new houseplants! So, get into the spirit of spring with some fresh greenery!

The post Three Must-Have Spring Houseplants For Greenery-Loving Seniors appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Nutritional Needs of Seniors

shschicagometro 08 Mar 2022

National Nutrition Month


For seniors, maintaining good nutrition is so important. As we age, maintaining healthy eating habits can make a difference in our overall health and mood, but the COVID19 pandemic made maintaining those healthy habits challenging. Some have been fearful of going to the grocery store, while others worried about affording healthy foods or hurting themselves while cooking. By not eating well or maintaining their health, seniors put themselves at risk of illnesses. It is time we move forward together and improve the lives of those we care for in our community.


March is National Nutrition Month®

National Nutrition Month® is an annual campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics® for people to learn about making healthy food choices and habits. For seniors and their caregivers who may have experienced disruptions to their eating, shopping, and other healthy habits Seniors Helping Seniors® recommends they follow these tips from the USDA:

  1. Add sliced fruits and vegetables to meals and snacks. Shopping for pre-sliced varieties is a good alternative if slicing and chopping are a challenge.
  2. Ask your doctor for other options if the medications you take are causing changes to your appetite.
  3. Drink 3 cups of fat-free or low-fat milk throughout the day. If you cannot tolerate milk, try small amounts of yogurt, buttermilk, hard cheese, or lactose-free foods. Drink water instead of sugary drinks.
  4. Consume foods fortified with vitamin B12, such as fortified cereals.
  5. Avoid salt and try adding spices such as oregano to flavor your meals.

Greater Chicago Food Depository®

Greater Chicago Food Depository

Greater Chicago Food Depository® serves older adults who often live on fixed incomes and are at risk of food insecurity. 36% of the households they serve include at least one person over the age of 60. We provide targeted support to reach this vulnerable population. The Food Depository provides food for Older Adult Community Markets throughout Cook County. In these markets, older adults can choose from a variety of fresh produce and nonperishable food items.

Resident and Produce Markets

The Food Depository began providing food items to low-income senior residences in 2007. This program helps stretch tight grocery budgets by providing older adults with nutritious food to prepare at home.

To find a food program catering to older adults near you, visit our find food map and select the “Older adult/senior program” filter under “More”.


Seniors Helping Seniors ®

Seniors Helping Seniors® provides a variety of services to support seniors so that they can maintain their independence and enjoy life not just in their homes, but also in their neighborhoods. These services include companionship, light housekeeping, cooking, and shopping support, assistance with personal care, dementia care, pet care, yard work, and medication reminders.

To start services call or text Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro at 312-526-3666 or visit our website at www.SeniorCareChicagoMetro.com to learn more about us.

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Four Steps To Tackle Spring Cleaning

shschicagometro 08 Mar 2022

Spring Cleaning with Seniors Helping Seniors

March welcomes the start of the spring season, bringing with it a host of positive aspects like longer days, perfect weather, and a renewed sense of life in the world. It also means it’s time to buckle down and do some serious spring cleaning! With the right attitude and tips – like the following Seniors Helping Seniors® suggestions – tidying up your home can be truly satisfying and leave you feeling refreshed!

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of tackling this chore, however, let’s discuss some reasons you should look forward to this seasonal undertaking.


Benefits of a Well-Maintained Home

Deep cleaning your house carries with it some advantages that are helpful for both mental and physical health, as well as overall safety. In addition, it fosters a sense of accomplishment that will leave you feeling fantastic!

Maximize Mental HealthSpring Cleaning

Aside from the sense of calm that accompanies waking up to an orderly, aesthetically pleasing house, spring cleaning provides a sense of control over your environment – something that can remain a constant when other areas of life feel hard to manage. The repetitive motions associated with scrubbing or polishing can be meditative as well, helping to reduce stress.

Boost Physical Benefits

Cleaning can be a good workout too! Moving items, buffing, pushing a vacuum, and wiping down surfaces all get the heart pumping and work muscles throughout the body.

But don’t go overboard – some housework can be quite strenuous. When it’s time to tackle heavy lifting, tasks that require lots of reaching or stooping, or the use of cumbersome equipment, reach out to a Seniors Helping Seniors® companion or family member for some extra assistance.

Stay SafeSupport Safety

A decluttered home is a safer home, especially for independent seniors. Research indicates that one out of four seniors will suffer a fall at home each year but keeping spaces clear can go a long way in preventing these accidents. A clutter-free home is also easier to exit during an emergency, like a fire, and is better for overall health as piles of books, papers, furniture, and clothing can be a breeding ground for dust, mold, and bacteria.

Now that you know the importance of maintaining a tidy living space, check out this Seniors Helping Seniors® game plan for making spring cleaning efficient, satisfying, and fun!


Your Spring-Cleaning Action Plan

A seasonal refresh of your home doesn’t have to be a chore. Engage in the following methods and you’ll get into the groove in no time!

Step #1: Take It Room By Room

Trying to tackle the entire house can seem overwhelming and impossible. Instead, break up cleaning into smaller tasks that can be spread out over the entire month. For example, take on one or two rooms every weekend.

Before jumping in, however, go through each room and make a list of specific jobs to accomplish, jotting down areas that need extra attention and noting any special projects. Having a list for each section of your home will keep you and your helpers organized and on track!

Step #2: Declutter

For the most efficient spring-cleaning process, remove unneeded items before you begin. Purging can be tough, but these tips from Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services can help make this part of the process a little easier:

  • Separate items into four piles: Keep, Toss, Recycle, Donate/Sell/Repurpose
  • Stay positive – keep in mind the reasons you’re getting rid of these items, like continuing your independence, making room for your grandchildren’s artwork, or clearing space to work on hobbies.
  • Organize important documents so they can be easily found in an emergency and dispose of expired medication and food items.

Step #3: Clean, Clean, Clean!

Equip yourself with all the necessary supplies and dive in! To ensure a thorough spring-cleaning experience, check off the following tasks:

  • Wipe down or dust baseboards, ceiling fans, light fixtures, vents, and blinds and remove dirt from window tracks
  • Launder linens, including furniture covers, throws, curtains, small rugs, shower curtains and liners, bed pillows, and mattress pads
  • Move furniture (if possible) and clean underneath
  • Sanitize surfaces and fixtures in bathrooms and kitchens
  • Clean the inside of appliances like refrigerators and ovens, and run disinfecting cycles on your washer, dryer, and dishwasher

Tip: As you put belongings back on shelves and in drawers, leave frequently used items within easy reach to cut down on stretching, stooping, and having to use a step stool.

Step #4: Get Social

Spring cleaning can be a tedious job, so enlist the help of friends, family members, and your Seniors Helping Seniors® companion! Not only will this help you knock it out quickly, but it will also sprinkle in a bit of fun and bonding throughout!

Try these tips for tackling spring cleaning as a team:

  • Block out time to work – whether a few hours a day or a weekend-long marathon, make sure your recruits know when you plan on their help.
  • Go over your “to-do” list before taking on each room – this will keep the whole team on track!
  • Work together for efficiency. For example, have one person take all the items out of your kitchen cabinets, organizing as they go, while another person wipes down the inside of each cupboard.

Spring Cleaning with Seniors Helping Seniors®

Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be something you dread – it can leave you feeling accomplished, clear-headed, and rejuvenated! Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services continually strives to share ways our care receivers can retain independence and vigor for life, and no matter the job, we’re ALWAYS here to lend a kind hand!

Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services is a leading provider for Senior In Home Care services in Chicago. We make life a little easier for you or a loved one by providing services in the home that include: companionship, light housekeeping, cooking, gardening, transportation assistance, Alzheimer’s and Dementia care, assistance with daily errands, activities, and more. Our senior home care services allow elderly adults the opportunity to continue living an independent life in their own home without the need to move.

Call or text Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro at 312-526-3666.

The post Four Steps To Tackle Spring Cleaning appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Ways To Manage the Most Common Causes of Falls and Injuries Among Seniors

shschicagometro 22 Feb 2022

Aging can be a scary process for seniors. Our bodies start to weaken and if we accidentally fall and hurt ourselves, the injuries can be more substantial.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), notes that three million seniors go to the emergency room for fall injuries each year. With such a high number of injuries caused by falls, older adults need to incorporate a healthy senior lifestyle as soon as possible to help reduce the risk of injury.

What Can Cause Me To Fall?

Various causes can cause one to fall. It is important to identify any potential causes that could make you fall, that way you can do your best to avoid the risk. Here are some reasons that can cause you to fall.

To help prevent one from falling, it is important to know if they have any medical or physical hazards that can make them more likely to fall.

The CDC states that medical conditions such as lower body weakness, vitamin D deficiency, hard time balancing/walking, foot pain, and vision problems. Medications, like sedatives, can also have side effects that affect one’s balance and walking.

The wrong type of footwear can also increase the risk of falling. Uneven steps, loose tiles, rugs, or clutter can also pose a hazard and cause one to fall.

What Happens If I Fall?

Numerous injuries can occur when a senior falls. The CDC says that a fall can cause broken bones, such as a broken ankle, arm, or hip fracture. Falls can also cause head injuries which can be serious.

Along with physical injuries, falling can cause mental harm as well. Once someone falls, they may become fearful of falling again, causing them to limit their activities, which could make them weaker and more prone to falling.

How To  Prevent Falls

  • First and foremost, discuss with your doctor any concerns you may be having regarding your risk of falling. Talk to your doctor about your medications and if any of them could put you at risk of falling.
  • Incorporate strength and balance exercise into your daily routine. Exercises can help strengthen your legs, thus helping to improve your balance.
  • Get your eyes checked. Blurry vision or simply having an outdated or wrong eyeglass prescription can make you at risk of falling and hurting yourself. The wrong lenses can make objects seem closer or farther away than they are, causing you to trip on the object(s).
  • Eliminate any risks and hazards at home. Make sure you wear non-slip socks around the house, especially if you have tile. To be extra cautious, wear shoes when walking indoors for balance support. Make sure any rugs you have in the hope are non-slip able and aren’t easily going to trip you.
  • Get vitamin D. Try to go outside every day and get some vitamin D from the sun. If you are unable to go outside often, take a vitamin D supplement, along with goods that are rich in vitamin D such as fatty fish, seafood, egg yolks, or mushrooms.
  • Eat healthily. Make sure to incorporate healthy foods and drinks into your daily diet. Drink water to stay hydrated and milk to help strengthen your bones. Eat vegetables, fruits, and whole grains as well.
  • Keep up your cognitive health. Exercise your mind, just like you would your body. Do crossword puzzles, paint, cook, do puzzles, or simply play games with friends and family. By doing these activities you will strengthen your cognitive health, thus helping to keep your mind active and limit your risk of falling.

Conclusion

Getting older can be scary but knowing your body and talking to your doctor about any concerns you have is integral to your health and could help prevent you from accidentally falling and hurting yourself.


About the author

Melissa Andrews is the Content Marketing Strategist for Paradise Living Centers, an assisted living center for seniors with locations in Paradise Valley and Phoenix, Arizona. 

The post Ways To Manage the Most Common Causes of Falls and Injuries Among Seniors appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Wedding Attendant Service

shschicagometro 15 Feb 2022

Wedding Attendant for Senior Guest


Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro is excited to share our Wedding Attendant Service with you! 

Senior guests at weddings come with a set of needs that can be time-consuming and challenging for family members. Our Senior Attendants help reduce the stress associated with a wedding party or any event. Our Attendants support seniors with personal care while in the hotel, ceremony, or at the receptions. They ensure your senior guest(s) arrive and depart safely at the venue and will assist if they have mobility issues. They are there to provide a helping hand to the family and care for the seniors in the wedding party!

To find out more about Seniors Helping Seniors ® commitment to excellence, please call or text us at 312-526-3666.

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Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro Receives 2022 Best of Home Care® Provider & Employer of Choice Awards

shschicagometro 08 Feb 2022


Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro has received both the 2022 Best of Home Care® – Provider of Choice and Employer of Choice Awards from Home Care Pulse for the fourth year in a row. These awards are granted only to the top-ranking home care providers, based on client and caregiver satisfaction scores gathered by Home Care Pulse. Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro has been ranked year after year among a small handful of home care providers across the country who have proven their ability to provide an exceptional working experience to employees and the highest quality care to clients.

“We want to congratulate Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro on receiving both the Best of Home Care – Provider of Choice Award and the Best of Home Care – Employer of Choice Award,” says Todd Austin, President of Home Care Pulse. “Since these awards are based on real, unfiltered feedback from clients and caregivers, Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro has proven their dedication to providing a great work environment and solid training to employees while maintaining their focus on client and caregiver satisfaction. We are pleased to recognize their dedication to quality, professionalism, and expertise in-home care.”

Best of Home Care providers have contracted with Home Care Pulse to gather feedback from their clients and caregivers via live phone interviews each month. Because Home Care Pulse is an independent company, it can collect honest and unbiased feedback. “At Home Care Pulse, our mission is to help home care businesses create an experience that goes beyond client and caregiver expectations,” says Todd Austin, President of Home Care Pulse. “We’re thrilled to recognize Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro as a Best of Home Care award-winning provider and celebrate their accomplishments in building a team of happy, qualified caregivers who provide outstanding care for their clients.”


About Seniors Helping Seniors®

Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home service Chicago Metro is a leading provider for Senior Care and Senior Home Care services throughout the nation. We make life a little easier for you or a loved one by providing services in the home that include: companionship, light housekeeping, cooking, gardening, transportation assistance, Alzheimer’s and Dementia care, assistance with daily errands, activities and more. Our senior home care services allow elderly adults the opportunity to continue living an independent life in their own homes without the need to move.

Call or text Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro at 312-526-3666 or visit their website at www.seniorcarechicagometro.com.


About Home Care Pulse

Home Care Pulse leads the home care industry in experience management, online training, and review management. Through its Care Intelligence Platform, HCP empowers home care providers to attract and retain caregivers even during a historic caregiver shortage. HCP also conducts the annual Home Care Benchmarking Study, the most comprehensive survey of home care providers in North America and administers the annual Best of Home Care awards to agencies that achieve best-in-class client and caregiver satisfaction scores. For more information, visit www.homecarepulse.com.

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Banana Bread Recipe

shschicagometro 08 Feb 2022

Banana Bread

Looking for what to do with those leftover overripe bananas? Time to bake Banana Bread! Mix in chocolate chips for an extra sweetness or top it with some walnuts for a crunch!


Ingredients

2 cups of all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup of butter

¾ cup of brown sugar

2 eggs

2 1/3 cups of mashed (overripe) bananas


Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease you loaf pan.
  • Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl
  • In a smaller bowl mix butter and brown sugar together, stir in the eggs and mashed bananas.
  • Gradually stir in wet mixture to the flour mixture
  • Pour batter into loaf pan
  • Bake for 60-65 minutes

Don’t forget you can always add in your own ingredients (like chocolate chips)!

February 23rd is National Banana Bread Day, so be sure to celebrate accordingly!

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Red Velvet Cupcakes Recipe

shschicagometro 08 Feb 2022

Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe

Red velvet cupcakes are an easy and effortlessly rich treat for the Valentine season! Here’s a recipe we recommend to cater to your sweet tooth!


Ingredients

1 2/3 cups of all-purpose flour

2 tsp. of cocoa powder

1 tsp. of baking powder

1/4 tsp. of baking soda

1 cup of granulated sugar

1/4 tsp. of kosher salt

3/4 cup of buttermilk

3/4 cup unsalted butter, warmed to room temperature

2 tbsp. of pure vanilla extract

3 eggs

Red food coloring

Cream Cheese Frosting

3 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature

16 oz. of cream cheese, warmed to room temperature

1 ½ lb, of sifted confectioners’ sugar

1 tsp. of pure vanilla extract

A pinch of kosher salt


Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 350° F. Place cupcake papers in a cupcake pan.
  • In a large bowl, mix and whisk together all dry cupcake ingredients.
  • Cut the stick of room temp butter into pieces then disperse evenly into the dry mixture to mix.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, vanilla, eggs, and red food coloring.
  • Slowly add this mixture into the dry ingredient bowl. Mix until combined.
  • Distribute the cupcake batter evenly into pan papers.
  • Bake at 350° F for approx. 15-20 minutes. Let cool on the baking rack.

Now time to make your frosting!

  • Start by creaming your butter while sifting the confectioner’s sugar into a large bowl.
  • Add cream cheese to the creamed butter along with vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Beat this all together.
  • Then add the confectioners’ sugar one cup at a time until all is combined. (Add more confectioners’ sugar if you desire a thicker frosting)
  • Transfer buttercream into a piping bag (or a plastic zip lock bag with bottom corner cut off) and top dollops on top of cooled cupcakes.
  • Feel free to add sprinkles, heart candies, or crumbled cupcake on frosting to dress your dessert!

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Tips For A Healthy Heart!

shschicagometro 08 Feb 2022

Our Hearts Are All In!

Every February, American Heart Month raises awareness about the importance of maintaining cardiovascular health. However, taking care of your heart isn’t just a one-month project – it’s a year-round endeavor! Whether you’re looking to tighten up an already heart-healthy routine, or need ideas for how to start one, read on. These tips from Seniors Helping Seniors® discuss changes you can make today to live your best tomorrow!


Exercise Daily

Whenever possible, get moving – it’s the best path to a healthy heart! Experts suggest at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day to protect your ticker and maintain an overall healthy lifestyle. So, grab a friend, family member, or a Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver and start working the following activities into your routine to build cardiovascular endurance, keeping your heart and body strong!

  • Weight training is a triple threat – it builds muscle, regulates weight, AND strengthens the heart! Start small, though, and gradually work up to heavier amounts to protect from muscle strain.
  • Cardio improves blood flow and circulation around the heart, which is key to keeping the small vessels surrounding it clear of blockages. Aerobic exercises come in many forms – walking, biking, dancing, swimming – as long as the blood’s pumping, your body is reaping the benefits!
  • Yoga involves deep breathing to reduce stress, another fantastic way to keep your ticker functioning well! In addition to lowering stress – a leading cause of heart disease – practicing yoga can decrease and regulate heart rate and boost circulation.
  • Adjust to Keep Active. If you can exercise outside, great! Fresh air is always a boost to the heart and mind. However, for many areas of the Heartland, training outdoors won’t be an option for another month or two. For the days you don’t feel like leaving home, or when the weather isn’t cooperating, simply adapt your routine. For example, do laps in your house for cardio or invest in a couple senior-focused weight-training or yoga apps. The important thing is to keep moving – your heart will thank you!

Reminder: Everyone has different physical needs and capabilities, so always consult a trainer and/or your doctor before starting a new fitness routine.


Dig In to a Heart-Smart Diet

Being physically active is only one aspect of a heart-healthy lifestyle. Eating well is another significant piece of the puzzle. Add the following to your regular diet – all are good sources of heart-healthy vitamins and minerals, dietary fiber, and healthy fats, which are important in lowering cholesterol, regulating blood pressure, and minimizing the risHeart Healthy foodk of developing cardiovascular disease.

  • Fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains — avoid refined grain products whenever possible
  • Lean meat, poultry, and fish (especially salmon and mackerel)
  • Low-fat dairy products and eggs
  • Legumes, like beans, peas, and lentils – all make excellent substitutes for protein
  • Green tea

Make Good Choices

Limit your intake of saturated and trans fats. Instead, choose olive, canola, or vegetable oil and use margarine rather than butter. Watch salt intake as well – too much can lead to high blood pressure, which is tough on the heart.

In many areas of the Heartland, beef, pork, and cheese, which are often high in cholesterol and unhealthy fats, are main features at dinnertime. When you can, limit the amount of cheese consumed and opt for leaner meats or substitute fish or legumes as a protein source. Controlling portion size is important as well, as overeating packs in more calories than needed and can contribute to heart disease.

Need some help getting started? Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers can assist with planning meals, finding healthy options at the grocery store, and offering personal knowledge and experience when trying different cooking methods. After all, new ventures are always more fun with the company of a friend!


Avoid Smoking and Alcohol

It’s good practice to limit smoking and alcoholic beverage intake in general, as these habits can lead to health issues in people of all ages. But it’s especially important for seniors who want to stay active and independent!

It’s Never Too Late to Quit

Smoking cigarettes increases the formulation of plaque in blood vessels and damages artery walls, significantly contributing to heart disease. Even if you’ve smoked for years, quitting now can lower your risk of developing the condition.

Take advantage of the help available from Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services. Our caregivers can provide the encouragement needed to finally kick this habit!

Be Smart About Alcohol

Drinking alcohol is also detrimental to your heart because it raises blood pressure and increases the chance of heart failure. If you can’t cut it out completely, moderation is key. Experts recommend limiting alcohol consumption to no more than one or two drinks a day.


At Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services, we’re committed to helping our care receivers feel great and remain independent – and maintaining a healthy heart is crucial! Our caregivers, who are seniors themselves, understand how important it is for those we serve to keep their heart in prime shape and will be there every step of the journey to developing heart-healthy habits!

Senior home care services to elderly residents throughout the Chicago area is just one beneficial aspect of our services. All of our helpers are also seniors themselves. They have a warmth and understanding that comes from experience and wisdom gained over the years. They are all loving, caring compassionate people who bring joy and companionship to everyone with whom they work. That’s why our seniors often become life-long friends with those who receive our services.

Call or text Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro at 312-526-3666.

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Happy National Senior Independence Month

shschicagometro 08 Feb 2022

Embrace Independence

February is National Senior Independence Month and Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services is celebrating our community of active care receivers! Remaining independent is an important goal for many of the individuals we serve, and entirely attainable with a little work. Preserving that independence into the “Golden Years” requires a safe living space, strong physical and mental health, and an active social life.


Redecorate for Safety’s Sake

Our homes have potential hazards that we often don’t realize. For independent seniors, being proactive can prevent slips and falls, make daily tasks easier, and ultimately, extend the length of time it’s safe to live alone. The following suggestions might spark some ideas on how to whip your space into shape:

  • Amp up the safety features – Install handrails around staircases, showers, toilets, and beds, and place non-slip rubber mats on surfaces that can become slick, like bathroom and kitchen floors and wooden steps.
  • Declutter and organize – Rearrange furniture to establish a clear pathway through every room and purge belongings that are no longer needed to gain extra space. For added convenience, reorganize cabinets, shelves, and storage areas so that frequently used items are easily accessible.
  • Address current hazards – Fix broken steps and floorboards that can result in a fall and secure rugs, so they lie flat and don’t slide around. Tuck away loose cords and wires, ensuring they’re clear of walking paths.

If you’re unsure where to start in safeguarding your house, contact us – our Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers can help identify the most pressing issues, assist with the heavy lifting, or simply provide friendly, caring companionship throughout the process!


Keep Moving!

A healthy exercise routine is crucial in sustaining physical wellbeing, mental sharpness, and personal autonomy. When developing a regimen, choose exercises that focus on each of the following categories for a total body workout that will keep you ready to tackle any obstacle!

  • Endurance – walking, water aerobics, dancing, yardwork, and household chores all build stamina
  • Strength – build muscle with you own body weight or hand weights, starting with light resistance and slowing increasing over time
  • Flexibility – incorporate toe touches, arm rotations, and side stretches into your routine
  • Balance – practice activities that build your core strength and leg muscles, like standing on one foot

Whether it requires a few words of encouragement, a steadying hand, or a lift to the gym, our Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers are dedicated to helping those we serve reach every fitness goal. Our aim is to motivate our care receivers to keep moving for a long, independent life!


Manage Mental Health

Staying physically fit is important, but we also encourage those we serve to keep their minds sharp. The following suggestions exercise muscles in the brain and optimize mental health, improving short-term memory, planning skills, reaction time, and decision-making capabilities:

  • Stimulate brain activity – complete puzzles and crosswords, play board games, learn a new skill, read and write daily, and pursue hobbies
  • Eat smart – include vegetables, berries, walnuts, and fish high in Omega-3 fatty acids, but avoid saturated fats, trans fats, and hydrogenated oils
  • Prioritize brain use – free up space in the mind to learn new skills by using smartphone reminders, planners, calendars, and lists to remember everyday things like appointments, social engagements, and where you left your keys

Coming up with processes and routines to keep your day running smoothly can be tough, but our Seniors Helping Seniors® companions are here to help and love finding new ways to help our care receivers succeed!


Keep Social Skills Sharp

Maintaining an active social life is closely tied to mental health, as it helps ward off depression, loneliness, and anxiety. It also encourages participation in mentally stimulating activities which improve brain function and lead to happier and more satisfying lives.

  • Ensure Your Social Calendar Stays Full – If your social game has slipped, there are plenty of ways to kickstart it! Try picking up a hobby or activity that’s practiced regularly, like joining a lunch club, bowling team, or fitness group. In addition to providing something to look forward to, planning ahead helps ensure outings aren’t just a one-time event.
  • Visit Virtually – If leaving the house isn’t an option, engage online. Video chat with family and friends or join a virtual hobby group. These activities still offer mental benefits and the connection needed to keep the negative effects of social isolation at bay.

At Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services, we strive to pair our care receivers with caregivers who share similar interests, passions, and hobbies. Just imagine the fun you and your companion can enjoy together!


Ask For and Accept Help!

Being independent doesn’t mean that you never need support. Lean on family, friends, and our caregivers to push you to try new things and provide a hand whenever needed. Our care receivers’ independence is a philosophy that we at Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services take seriously. With your best interests in mind, we provide the encouragement and assistance to live life on your terms. Bravo to all our independent seniors — we salute you and are thrilled to watch you thrive!


Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services is a leading provider for Senior In Home Care services in Chicago. We make life a little easier for you or a loved one by providing services in the home that include: companionship, light housekeeping, cooking, gardening, transportation assistance, Alzheimer’s and Dementia care, assistance with daily errands, activities, and more. Our senior home care services allow elderly adults the opportunity to continue living an independent life in their own home without the need to move.

Call or text Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro at 312-526-3666.

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Honoring Caregivers for National Caregivers Day

shschicagometro 08 Feb 2022

National Caregivers' Day!


In celebration of National Caregivers Day on February 18th, Seniors Helping Seniors® services is honoring our caregivers whose tireless work has made us a leading in-home care provider in Chicago Metro. Caregivers are at the core of what we do, and their work is essential to the health and happiness of so many people around the world.

Celebrated nationally every third Friday in February, National Caregivers Day was established in 2015 by Providers Association for Home Health & Hospice Agencies (PAHHHA). Nearly half of all caregivers in the U.S. are over the age of 50 and are themselves vulnerable to declining health, which is why Seniors Helping Seniors® services prioritizes hiring seniors (people over the age of 65) as caregivers, providing a wealth of supports to ensure the mental, physical, and emotional health of its caregivers.

Our caregivers are essential to what we do and are extremely valued. They brighten the lives of seniors by providing compassionate care with a helping hand and supporting seniors to continue to live independent lives by taking care of day-to-day tasks that become more challenging with age. We prioritize caring for our caregivers just like our senior receivers.

We’ve put a lot of work into ensuring that Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care is not only the best option for our receivers but also for our caregivers. That’s something we are extremely proud of, but it’s not something we take for granted. We will continue to make sure anyone who has the passion and skills to be a great caregiver will find a great opportunity to grow and make an impact with Seniors Helping Seniors® services. Our caregivers truly have … a way to give and receive®

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The Best Way to Support a Cancer Patients

shschicagometro 18 Jan 2022

Learning a friend has cancer can be sad, distressing, and devastating. It often leaves one wondering what they can do to help. Keep in mind there’s no rule book for supporting a patient coping with cancer. While looking for support, consider the unique relationship and offer help in ways your friend or the patient will appreciate and understand.

At first, it might feel uncomfortable, but it’s important to support the friend and treat them the same way you would treat them before the diagnosis. Here are a few helpful tips from Seniors Helping Seniors on how you can support loved ones with cancer.

Becoming a Nurse

When you become a nurse, you save lives, and this is an incredibly rewarding experience. Nurses are in demand everywhere you go as they play a critical role in the care of patients. Besides helping people with cancer cope with the treatment and effects of the ailment, being a nurse also allows you to earn decent money. The first step in becoming a nurse is ensuring you get a solid education.

Depending on your state regulations, you need accreditation to serve as a nurse and help cancer patients. The minimum qualifications are a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree or an associate degree, and you must also pass the licensure examination for registered nurses. To complete the coursework, you can complete an online degree. The program fits into your busy schedule, so you can keep working your current job while studying.

Volunteering

Whether you’re extroverted or an introvert, there are many ways you can support someone being treated for cancer. With volunteer opportunities, you can serve in different ways. There are programs you could join that help you offer one-on-one assistance to cancer patients directly. You could also join a support group that works with cancer patients.

If you would love to work with the patients directly, you can offer services like driving them to doctor appointments, helping the patients at home by taking them meals, doing their groceries, and taking care of their pets. You can also donate to a cancer charity if you don’t have the opportunity to support the person directly.

Become a Practitioner for Alternative Cancer Treatment

Many people with cancer will agree to explore anything that can help them, including alternative cancer treatments. One of the alternative treatment options you can explore is aromatherapy, which uses fragrant oils to create a calming sensation. You can apply oils infused with scents like lavender to the skin during a massage, or you can add the oil to the bathwater. Another option is to offer massage to the patient to relieve muscle tension and promote relaxation.

Give Thoughtful Gifts

Gifting someone receiving cancer treatment can be tricky. Flowers may not be ideal if their immune system is weak. Avoid gifts with a strong smell or perfume as these can be overwhelming for the patient. Some of the thoughtful gifts you can offer to the patient include magazines, books, puzzles, and books, which can be good distractions during treatment.

Other examples include giving the patient a gift certificate for their home cleaning service. Redeeming the gift certificate can help pick up slack at home, and this is not an uncomfortable option like showing up yourself to clean your friend’s home.

Conclusion

When looking for the best way to support a cancer patient, you need to keep their needs in mind. You can help in different ways, including becoming a nurse to care for the patients directly. Also, you can volunteer your time and donate to a charity that helps patients receiving cancer treatment.


Seniors Helping Seniors in-home care services brighten the lives of seniors who can benefit from a helping hand and a friendly smile. Our caregivers, who are seniors themselves, make your life easier by providing compassionate care in the comfort of your home. Call or text 312-526-3666 to learn about open caregiver positions.

Article contributed by Annabelle Harris from elders.center

The post The Best Way to Support a Cancer Patients appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Know the Signs

shschicagometro 08 Jan 2022

Balance disorder

Balance Disorders

Stability issues can not only lead to painful stumbles and falls but can also hint at underlying medical concerns. Consistent loss of balance might indicate inner ear damage, stroke, or low blood pressure, for example. The Seniors Helping Seniors® team suggests you or your senior loved one talk to a doctor if you notice the following signs:

  • Feeling that the room is spinning
  • Experiencing a falling or floating sensation
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Blurred vision
  • Confusion and disorientation

Vision Disorders

Vision Disorders

Gradually deteriorating eyesight is a normal part of life for many. However, seniors are more susceptible to issues like cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related vision loss. The good news is these conditions can usually be corrected or improved with treatment, medication, or surgery. The following symptoms signal it’s time to talk to an eye doctor:

  • Cloudy vision, blind spots, and the appearance of “floaters” or dark shadows
  • Abrupt eye pain and tenderness around the temples
  • Distorted or double vision
  • Red, watery eyes

Insomnia

Insomnia

While developing minor sleep issues is a normal part of aging, insomnia isn’t. Trouble falling or remaining asleep, consistently waking up before the alarm clock, or staying up unusually late happens to everyone from time to time. However, if these patterns persist, or are combined with extreme daytime drowsiness, mood swings and irritability, and difficulty focusing on tasks, there might be a problem.


Dementia 

As we age, it can be tough to differentiate normal cognitive decline from something more troublesome. Symptoms of dementia often look like conventional signs of aging, the difference being they are more severe and interfere significantly with the ability to handle daily life.

Here are a few cues that might indicate someone is struggling:

Difficulty completing everyday tasks – inability to follow a recipe, manage bills, and see jobs through to completion.

Confusion about time and place – consistently forgetting the day of the week or not knowing how they arrived somewhere.

Significant personality changes – increased anxiousness, suspicion, confusion, or fear, as well as becoming upset easily and loss of interest in hobbies and social activities.

Seniors Helping Seniors® Lorain County offers specialty care for individuals with Dementia. Contact us to discuss how we can help you or a loved one cope with life’s unexpected changes.


Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

A depressive state that occurs over a particular season, usually, winter when the days are shorter and there’s less sunlight. It shares many of the same symptoms as depression – lack of energy, difficulty concentrating and disrupted sleep patterns – making it hard to differentiate.

The following are a few indicators that someone might be experiencing winter SAD, not depression:

Symptoms last 4 or 5 months, starting in late fall and ending in early spring.

Overeating and weight gain, with a specific craving for carbs.

Feeling like “hibernating” or showing little interest in social activities and hobbies.

Fortunately, those dealing with SAD will start to feel better once the seasons change. In the meantime, however, our Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers are here to brighten spirits. If you or a senior loved one is feeling low, let us deliver some heartfelt encouragement and companionship.


Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

While we’ve all experienced exhaustion after a busy day, most usually are back to normal after a good night’s sleep. For those dealing with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), a restful slumber doesn’t mean they’re less tired the next day. If you or a senior loved one has been lacking energy lately, watch for these signs to determine if there might be a more serious issue:

Fatigue lasting 6 months or longer with no apparent cause.

Difficulty concentrating and memory issues.

Physical pain, dizziness, sore throat, or swollen lymph nodes.

If you suspect low energy as the result of CFS, Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services is here to help. Our caregivers can assist by tackling strenuous daily chores and engaging in stimulating conversation.


Senior home care services to elderly residents throughout the Chicago area is just one beneficial aspect of our services. All of our helpers are also seniors themselves. They have a warmth and understanding that comes from experience and wisdom gained over the years. They are all loving, caring compassionate people who bring joy and companionship to everyone with whom they work. That’s why our seniors often become life-long friends with those who receive our services.

Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services is a leading provider for Senior In Home Care services in Chicago. We make life a little easier for you or a loved one by providing services in the home that include: companionship, light housekeeping, cooking, gardening, transportation assistance, Alzheimer’s and Dementia care, assistance with daily errands, activities, and more. Our senior home care services allow elderly adults the opportunity to continue living an independent life in their own home without the need to move.

Call or text Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro at 312-526-3666.

The post Know the Signs appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Tech Tips for Seniors

shschicagometro 08 Jan 2022

Technology can be daunting at times, but with a little practice with these tech tips for seniors, it can make independent living a joy!


eReaders

E Readers

Features like well-lit screens, large print, and compact designs are a few of the things our Seniors Helping Seniors® care receivers love most about electronic reading devices. As a bonus, these gadgets have thousands of titles available at the touch of a finger – no trip to the bookstore required! If you or a senior loved one is an avid reader, this might be the perfect way to keep the digital pages turning all year round!


Photobook Apps

Photobook Apps

Digital pictures are convenient, but Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro knows there’s a special connection when flipping through a photo album with a loved one or friend. If you or a senior family member has a knack for capturing precious moments, a photobook app could be the perfect way to display these memories for all to enjoy. Simply search “photobook apps” on a smartphone or computer and you’ll find plenty of options.


Bluetooth Headphones

Bluetooth Headphones

Gadgets and devices aren’t just for youngsters – they can improve the quality of life for people of all ages! For example, if you or a senior loved one are dealing with hearing loss (or just take entertainment very seriously!), a set of noise cancelling Bluetooth headphones help bring to life every sound and renew the joy of watching a good show. Some of the best benefits?

  • Bluetooth connectivity means there are no messy cords to hide away or untangle
  • Noise cancelling capabilities block outside sounds that can make it tough to hear clearly
  • Many models feature padded, swiveling ear cups for a snug and comfortable fit.

Smart Home Devices

Whether it’s for you or a senior loved one, bringing technology into a home is a wonderful way to facilitate an easier life. There is a range of devices that work with simple voice commands, making it ideal for individuals with vision, dexterity, or mobility issues. Here are a couple of Seniors Helping Seniors® suggestions on how to incorporate this technology for extra convenience and peace of mind.

Build a morning “routine” that will help set up for the day with one short voice command. This can include turning on lights and the TV, increasing the thermostat, giving medication and appointment reminders, and sharing need-to-know news and weather.

Use the device to discover recipes, create shopping lists, stream music, or call a friend without the hassle of fumbling with cell phones, remotes, or computers.


Online Meal Delivery

Whether you enjoy cooking at home or indulging in your favorite dish from a restaurant across town, there’s a growing number of online food delivery services that are reshaping the culinary experience. With a few quick clicks, you can save time and tame your hunger… all from the comforts of home! This includes kitchen-to-porch delivery of easy-prep meal kits, right down to house-made specialties from local eateries. A quick Internet search of “Online Meal Delivery” generally plates up dozens of service options, each ready to help you satisfy your cravings! So grab a fork and check it out!


Video Chatting Device

Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services know staying connected is essential for independent seniors. Video chatting is a great way for our care receivers to remain close with family and friends year-round. Still, some technology – like tiny smartphones and complicated apps – can become frustrating. If you’re searching for a video-chatting device that makes communications effortless while miles away, here are a few tips. Seek options with:

– A large video screen

– Excellent audio quality

– One-touch, simple features

– Quick access to contacts info

– Long battery life


VetAssist SmartCompanion

Veterans and their families may qualify for VetAssist SmartCompanion with no out-of-pocket costs. VetAssist SmartCompanion combines patented 24/7 voice-activated emergency response technology with the intelligence and entertainment of Alexa®. Their encrypted HIPAA compliant, secure network makes homes secure and safe for clients. With VetAssist SmartCompanion, bracelets and necklaces aren’t needed for advanced, around-the-clock security. Installation is simple. Plug and play. Their experts even walk you through each step. Best of all, your VA Aid and Attendance benefit will cover the cost of our VetAssist SmartCompanion.

Click here to learn more about the VetAssist SmartCompanion!

Do you know anyone that could use the SmartCompanion? Click here for a referral form and a SmartCompanion consultant will reach out to explain how you can maintain in-home independence with SmartCompanion.


Offering senior care and senior home care services to elderly residents throughout the Chicago area is just one beneficial aspect of our services. All of our helpers are also seniors themselves. They have a warmth and understanding that comes from experience and wisdom gained over the years. They are all loving, caring compassionate people who bring joy and companionship to everyone with whom they work. That’s why our seniors often become life-long friends with those who receive our services.

If you are a senior that would like to offer assistance helping other seniors through our program then Seniors Helping Seniors® would like to talk to you. Call or text us at 312-526-3666 to connect with us today.

The post Tech Tips for Seniors appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Tea Cake Cookie Recipe

shschicagometro 08 Jan 2022

Need a small snack with your tea? Tea Cake Cookies are the perfect snack you can make while your tea is steeping. Easy and versatile you can change up the recipe to add whatever flavors sound like the perfect match for your tea. Cinnamon, lemon, or maybe dipped in a little chocolate, possibilities are as endless as your tea options.


Tea Cake Cookie Recipe 

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups of sugar

1 cup of unsalted butter (room temperature)

2 ¾ cups of all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons of cream of tartar

½ teaspoon of salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F

Combine sugar and button into a bowl and mix until fluffy.

Add eggs in one at a time and mix in between.

In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt.

Combine dry and wet ingredients and mix.

Form small balls of the dough and place them on greased or lined cookie sheet.

For an optional sweet addition dip a glass in sugar and use it to flatten the cookie dough balls.

Bake for 10 minutes.

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Tips for Seniors to Stay Healthy This Winter

shschicagometro 08 Jan 2022

January is National Staying Healthy Month, and we are working to ensure the community is equipped with the knowledge to stay safe, happy, and healthy throughout the winter and all year long.

Staying healthy throughout the winter can become more difficult as people age, particularly for those living in colder climates, and we’ve seen every year just how challenging the winter months can be for our elderly friends, family, and neighbors. The key to staying healthy throughout the winter is developing the right habits.

The cold weather can take a toll on even healthy bodies, and if you wait until you’re sick to start eating healthy and kicking bad habits like smoking, it’s too late. “We work closely with our senior clients and their families to instill good, healthy habits that will promote good health all year round but are particularly critical during the winter.


Important tips for habits that lead to healthy winters.

Eat high-fiber foods like whole grains, beans, unsalted nuts and seeds, fruits, and dark-colored vegetables.

Avoid fried foods and opt instead for broiled, grilled, or boiled options.

Drink vitamin D-fortified low-fat/fat-free milk and/or non-dairy soy, almond, or rice milk.

Drink lots of fluids throughout the day. Those with bladder control problems should check with their doctors to learn what fluids to drink, how much, and when.

Find a safe and low-intensity physical activity to commit to regularly.

Stay connected with friends, family, and community.


Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services is a leading provider for Senior Care and Senior Home Care services throughout Chicago. Our senior care programs foster relationships between seniors seeking employment and seniors who need help with daily nonmedical personal needs, household tasks, and chores to continue living comfortably in their own homes.

Call or text us at 312-526-3666 to learn more about our services.

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Coping with Spousal Loss and Final Arrangements

shschicagometro 06 Jan 2022

Grieving over the loss of a spouse is an overwhelming emotional experience. Seniors tend to cherish memories and the past more because they are of advanced age and face the reality of limited life in the future. When a spouse dies after a long and happy marriage, the surviving partner must cope with sudden loneliness, uncertainty, and grief. It’s a difficult process but Seniors Helping Seniors is here to provide a guiding light through this dark time.


The Immediate Effects of Loss

The loss of a spouse can bring about depression, loss of appetite, isolation, mental confusion, and denial of reality. Some even suffer from broken heart syndrome, in which crushing grief weakens the immune system and heart, causing seniors to pass away soon after losing a spouse.

There is a lot of paperwork as well, including itemizing and processing that must be dealt with after the loss of a spouse. Tasks and challenges include:

  • Handling final arrangements, like funeral or cremation and burial site decisions. (Bear in mind that only 44 percent of people take the time to arrange a will before death.)
  • Life, health, work, home, and property insurance payouts must be finalized and settled.
  • Death certificates have to be applied for and notarized.
  • Property and items must be sorted to keep or give away.
  • Family and relatives may have conflicts over how to care for surviving elderly parents.
  • If the surviving elderly widow has Alzheimer’s disease or other mental conditions, someone must make important legal and medical decisions about care.

There is a lot to consider, and it’s important to seek support and help from loved ones during this difficult time.


Embrace Pain and Mourning

No one gets over spousal loss easily or in a pre-set time period. Everyone deals with pain differently and in their own way. It is also important to take care of yourself or make sure someone is looking after your care. Seniors can become so lost in grief, and sometimes even desperate to join their spouse in death, that they will lose interest in taking care of their own health.

Before you can help a person with Alzheimer’s cope with the loss of a loved one, it’s important to understand how the grieving process works and the various stages of grief individuals typically experience. The stages of grief include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally, acceptance. Some experts believe there are no grief stages, only a blur of emotional mood swings. It’s vital for a grieving senior with Alzheimer’s to stay in close contact with their doctor immediately following the loss, and they may even benefit from grief counseling.


Taking Care of Final Arrangements

One of the cruel realities of life is that paperwork and bureaucracy is a necessary evil after the loss of a spouse. There are many things that must be taken care of to make sure that bills are paid, family is taken care of, and life continues moving forward.

  • Arrange for a death certificate to be issued. You will need multiple copies to transfer bank accounts, start insurance payments for beneficiaries, transfer property, start pension payments, and so on. You may need a dozen copies or more for such purposes.
  • Have remains picked up. The local hospital or coroner will take the body. Afterward, you or a funeral home can arrange for it to be transferred for burial services. Note that you may be responsible for partial payment depending on your insurance coverage.
  • Update living wills that reflect inherited assets following the death. A will states how a person wants their money, property, and family’s standard of living to be handled after death. If there is no will, a court, lawyers, or strangers may decide the fate of a deceased spouse’s property and how their family will live.
  • Take care of bills, utilities, and payments. Stop Social Security, life insurance payments, pension payments, and so on. Such payments must be turned into survivor or beneficiary payments. Mistaken Social Security payments must be returned and can be a long, complicated process, for example.
  • Choose someone to have power of attorney. If the senior has Alzheimer’s disease or a similar mental disability, a family member or lawyer can be appointed to make all legal and medical decisions.
  • Take advantage of veteran’s benefits. If the deceased or surviving partner is a military veteran, they are eligible for discounted savings, services, and opportunities in many areas of life.

Moving On

It’s never easy to move on after the loss of a spouse but life continues, and it’s important that survivors find a way to keep going. Getting more involved with family is one option; another is getting more involved with the community (perhaps a church group or volunteer organization). But another great idea (and one that’s often overlooked) involves getting back in touch with old friends. Grief makes us more aware of our own impermanence, but it can also make us more appreciative of those who are dear to us. That’s why this could be the perfect time to reconnect with faces from our past.

So many things must be taken care of in the aftermath of a death. Grieving is certainly part of the process, but it’s important to handle the logistics to avoid creating even more stress. Once the practicalities are taken care of, the family can come together to help each other say goodbye, cope with their pain, and move forward.


Seniors Helping Seniors brightens the lives of seniors who can benefit from a helping hand and a friendly smile. Our caregivers, who are seniors themselves, make your life easier by providing compassionate care in the comfort of your home. Call or text us at 312-526-3666.

Article contributed by Annabelle Harris from Elber.Centers 

The post Coping with Spousal Loss and Final Arrangements appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Hobbies For Winter Days

shschicagometro 06 Jan 2022

With chillier months upon us here in Chicago, it can be tough to stay motivated. After all, the sun sets before dinnertime these days! So at Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services, we asked our caregivers to share some of their favorite hobbies to bide the time during duller, winter days. Check them out and give them a try!


Walking

This blog isn’t long enough to cover all the benefits of walking, so we’ll cover a few high points. The act of putting one foot in front of the other – mentally and physically – can be one of the best ways to stay sharp with age.

A simple, daily stroll around the neighborhood can improve heart health, boost the immune system, enhance cognition, and strengthen bones, muscles, and joints. Still, we understand outdoor walks aren’t always an option. Don’t worry, there are plenty of alternatives:

  • Use a walking treadmill at the house or a gym
  • Head to the mall for some walking and window shopping
  • Utilize your local community or senior center

The key is to take it in stride and go at your own pace. It’s even better when you share the walking experience with a friend. Great conversation combined with exercise? Sign us up!


Scrapbooking

Seniors have so many rich memories from the past. Creating a scrapbook is the perfect way to preserve these cherished stories! Scrapbooking will transport you back to those vivid moments, while also fostering your creative side.

There are no rules as to the number of anecdotes, pictures, and decorative flairs you include in your book. As long as it serves as a prompt for meaningful recollections. Invite younger family members to share in this activity. What better way to pass on important family traditions than by reliving them with a loved one? And don’t be shy – our Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers love learning more about their companions too! What a perfect opportunity to show them your life through these metaphorical pages of time.


Start Collecting

With the advent of technology and relative ease of surfing the web, now is a great time to start scouring for collectibles. Places like eBay or your local Facebook Marketplace are full of vintage items that may churn up memories from yesteryear. Antiques, furniture, old magazines, or musical instruments are all fair game and at the tip of your online fingertips!

For the less tech-savvy, our Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers would love to help you build your collection! In most communities, antiquity stores abound. It’s the perfect day trip!


Reading

Let’s face it, television is no substitute for a great book. When you find a page-turner, it’s nearly impossible to put it down! It makes sense that we gravitate toward this captivating hobby.

Reading promotes cognitive function, improves your mood, and opens up new worlds. If you enjoy reading but also crave social interaction, why not find a local senior book club or start one of your own among friends? After all, discussing the stories and hearing others’ insights always puts life into a fresh perspective.


Of course, the activities our Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers listed are just the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty of other ways to keep your days bright… even when the sun doesn’t want to cooperate. This New Year, share your favorite pastime with us, and let’s dive in together on a hobby that speaks to your heart!


Offering senior care and senior home care services to elderly residents throughout the Chicago area is just one beneficial aspect of our services. All of our helpers are also seniors themselves. They have a warmth and understanding that comes from experience and wisdom gained over the years. They are all loving, caring compassionate people who bring joy and companionship to everyone with whom they work. That’s why our seniors often become life-long friends with those who receive our services.

If you are a senior that would like to offer assistance helping other seniors through our program then we would like to talk to you. You can apply here: https://seniorcarechicagometro.com/want-to-help-why-join-our-seniors-helping-seniors-caregiver-team/ or call or text us at 312-526-3666.

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Tea Time!

shschicagometro 06 Jan 2022

Tea Time

With a wide variety of flavors to choose from, tea is not only tasty, it also offers an array of advantages for your mind and body. At Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services, we decided to brew up a pot of our favorite blend and take a look at why tea is the perfect drink.


It’s Always Tea-O’Clock!

There is literally never a bad time for tea! If a morning kick of caffeine is your goal, reach for matcha or black tea. It’s also much less acidic than coffee, so choosing it over a cup of joe could alleviate your sour stomach.

For a more relaxing experience, try chamomile or lavender teas to soothe you right before bed. Green tea – hot or iced – with a dash of honey helps ease a sore throat and peppermint tea can clear up your sinuses.

If those benefits aren’t enough, sipping tea also is a wonderful addition to cozy, intimate gatherings with loved ones. Having tea bags and hot water at the ready improves any visit from family, an old pal, or a Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver!


Wellness Galore!

The health benefits found in tea are quite astonishing. Each variety has its own special perks, so let’s get the skinny on how these leaves can keep you strong!

Green Tea

Often described as the “gold standard,” green tea can encourage improved brain health and heighten energy levels. For us active seniors, it’s the perfect drink to help us maximize our days. It’s also a wonderful mood booster, triggering the availability of dopamine to the brain.

Other studies show that green tea promotes heart health and decreases inflammation. Add this all up and you have yourself a safeguard against several issues that arise as you age.

Black Tea

Irish and English breakfast – two popular types of black tea – give you a dose of caffeine without the acidity, making them perfect substitutes for coffee. At the same, if you are looking to reduce inflammation and blood sugar levels, black tea can be the perfect natural remedy. Lastly, it can improve your gut health, which only adds to a strong immune system!

Chamomile Tea

The Egyptians weren’t wrong when they called chamomile a gift from the God of the Sun. It’s known for its holistic benefits, like improved sleep, reduced stress, and aiding with the prevention of osteoporosis.


We’re always looking to share guidance on positive habits with our Seniors Helping Seniors® care receivers. Tea is extremely diverse in its ability to ease the mind and strengthen the body. So, let’s open up the cupboard and get the water simmering – It’s time to pour a cup!


Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services is a leading provider for Senior Care and Senior Home Care services throughout the nation. We make life a little easier for you or a loved one by providing services in the home that include: companionship, light housekeeping, cooking, gardening, transportation assistance, Alzheimer’s and Dementia care, assistance with daily errands, activities, and more. Our senior home care services allow elderly adults the opportunity to continue living an independent life in their own home without the need to move.

Call or text us at 312-526-3666 to learn more about our services.

The post Tea Time! appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

A Season of Stories

shschicagometro 11 Dec 2021

A Season of Stories

Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services cherish hearing stories about our seniors’ legacies. As we gather with family for the holidays here in Chicagoland, what better time to reflect on the meaningful life narratives of the seniors around us. This year, consider conducting a casual, recorded interview. It’s a gesture that will surely spark nostalgia for those involved and allow you to share their memories for decades to come. Whether you use video to capture their retelling or a digital audio recorder, hearing about your loved one’s journey will be the perfect gift for everyone.

Here are five interview questions from your Seniors Helping Seniors® friends to get the conversation started!


What was your favorite thing to do for fun growing up?

Start at the beginning. Childhood memories can reveal a great deal about our life’s story. Moreover, this question will likely invoke precious memories of our loved one’s early years and just maybe a few entertaining tales you haven’t yet heard.

What was the happiest day of your life?

Choosing just one day in our lives to declare as our “happiest moment” can be difficult. Your senior loved one may have many “happiest moments.” Marrying the love of their life, the birth of their first child, or finally moving into a home their family dreamed of for years, for example. No matter the answer, the reward you’ll receive from listening to your loved one recount their most precious memories is priceless.

Who is the person who most influenced your life?

From our favorite aunt to the teacher who pushed us to be our best, we tend to have one or two individuals who left a significant imprint on our life stories. Maybe this person changed the way we looked at the world, encouraged us to follow our passion, or just seemed always to know how to make us laugh. Who could this person be for your senior loved one?

What are you most proud of?

The answer to this question might surprise you. Discovering the instances that filled your loved one with pride throughout their life can reveal a lot about the people and places they hold dear, what they consider their greatest accomplishments, and how they sought to live their life day-in and day-out.

If you could offer one piece of advice to today’s youth, what would it be?

There is so much we can learn from the seniors in our lives. Just think, what a precious gift to have someone who has already been through the life experiences we have yet to encounter. From marriage and friendship advice to cooking tips and cold remedies, our senior loved ones often have more knowledge to impart than we realize. If you sit back and listen, who knows what golden nuggets you’ll receive!


There are no right or wrong questions to ask your senior loved one in this exercise. Focus on inquiries that will reveal memories they’ll enjoy reliving and those that will help you gain insight into parts of their life story you may not know about. You’ll treasure the experience of getting to know your loved one better, and they’re sure to enjoy sharing these precious Heartland memories with the people they love most.

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Common Issues to Address When Caring for Your Loved One

shschicagometro 11 Dec 2021

Common Issues to Address When Caring for Your Loved One

Issues to Address With Empathy When Caring for Your Loved One in Decline

At Seniors Helping Seniors, we know that caring for a loved one in decline can be extremely challenging. Ailing seniors often have a trying time dealing with issues ranging from terminal illness to slow aging. There are also changes to deal with: mental health, physical capabilities, and physical strength.

How a caregiver approaches these changes will significantly impact your loved one’s feelings of self-worth and assertion. Sadly, caregivers often take a negative approach by highlighting the issues of aging and decline. Instead, choose to treat your loved one with the principles of empathy, as this can go a long way in their overall happiness and dignity. Here’s how to go about caregiving with respect.

Main Issues for Caregivers

Resisting Help

Older adults have to deal with stigma about their capabilities, in addition to underlying health concerns. Adjusting to a ‘compromised’ or ‘reduced’ lifestyle can be intimidating to come to terms with, especially for previously independent and active seniors. The resulting feelings of frustration and disempowerment can lead to resisting help from friends and family.

Refusal to Change

The resistance to accepting help and care can segue into a refusal to deal with change. Many seniors struggle with accepting their condition and the changes that need to arise as a result. This interview in Forbes demonstrates that even small changes, like being unable to drive or go grocery shopping alone, are often met with resistance by old or disabled seniors.

 Aging in Place

Aging in place is a crucial decision every caregiver will need to tackle. According to this ABC News article, change is more traumatic for us as we age, so start planning early and decide which environment would be best for your loved one. Some choose to move their loved ones to a nursing home or hire in-home care.

Downsizing to a home designed for your loved one’s issues is also a practical solution. Start talking to realtors early so you’re able to sell your loved one’s homes and move them into suitable accommodations in a timely manner.

Selling their old home is also a good option to free up some cash to assist with moving expenses or costs associated with help or nursing facilities. Do some research on the going rates in the home’s neighborhood to help determine its worth. Getting the house appraised and inspecting the value of its appliances and fixtures is an excellent way to determine how much you can get for the home as well.

Before you make any moves, make a point to organize any real estate-related paperwork on your computer to keep all your files together. You can use an online tool to combine PDFs so your files don’t take up too much space, and so that you can keep everything in order.

 How to Utilize Principles of Empathy When Caregiving

 Respect Independence

It is imperative that as a caregiver, you respect the independence of your loved one in decline. While you may need to make adjustments to their lifestyle due to mobility or mental health concerns, recognize that there are other ways you can support them. Set up opportunities to validate their independence, such as the chance to garden or volunteer. Freedom is particularly relevant as we emerge from the pandemic, with restrictions in movement affecting your loved one’s independence and routine.

 Avoid Ageism

Ageism can feel like a serious offense, even with the best of intentions. Treat your loved ones as individuals in their own right, rather than reducing them to simply an ‘old person’ or labeling them as their health issues. Treating those in decline with respect is imperative to help them accept the upcoming changes in their lives.

 Dignity Is Key

Most older adults do not want to be labeled as delicate or fragile and pushed to the point where they need to become stubborn to protect their rights. While making decisions about aging, care, and treatment can be taxing, it is essential to avoid the ‘we know best’ attitude over your loved one.

 We hope you find this article helpful when caring for an aged loved one. It can be difficult for all parties involved, considering the amount of change and resistance involved. The best way to deal with this is to humanize your loved one and treat them with the dignity, respect, and love they deserve.

Article contributed by Mary Shannon from SeniorsMeet.org

The post Common Issues to Address When Caring for Your Loved One appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Helpful Tips and Resources for Senior Living Situations

shschicagometro 01 Dec 2021

Helpful Tips & Resources for Senior Living Situations

Are you or someone close to you considering senior living situations like moving into a retirement community or assisted living facility?  If so, you may have some unique concerns about how to stay safe and secure, particularly during a global pandemic. While there is a sea of information available online to address just about any question or concern you may have, navigating your way through those resources can be a hassle.

To help out, we created this comprehensive list of some of the most helpful and commonly searched for resources related to senior living situations. From avoiding bad care to avoiding boredom, here’s what you should know.

Choosing the Right Facility for You

When it comes to choosing a retirement home or similar situation, it is best to plan ahead.  Waiting until you or your loved ones are in immediate need adds pressure to a situation that can be very stressful at the best of times.  Keep these suggestions in mind when choosing the facility that best meets your needs.

  • First things first: be sure you understand the types of care available to seniors.
  • Next, determine which features and amenities are offered at each facility you are considering.
  • Be sure you understand the inspection process for nursing homes and retirement facilities.
  • To help choose the most desirable retirement or nursing home, check out available reviews.

 Addressing Financial Concerns Related to Senior Care

 One of the most important factors in choosing between senior care options is the cost.  These resources will help you figure out how to pay for your retirement community.

  • Understanding what Medicare and Medicaid pay for is crucial to financial planning for older people.
  • In many cases, assisted living is more affordable and appropriate for seniors who are still relatively independent and in fairly good health.
  • When selling your home to cover care costs, start with a home appraisal estimator to give you an idea of its potential worth.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance (LTC) is something to consider as part of your retirement planning.
  • If leaving an estate to loved ones is a major consideration, seniors must consider the ways to protect assets from being seized to pay for long-term care.

 Avoiding Health Risks in a Shared Community

 The COVID-19 outbreak has made most people, especially older people, focus on cleanliness and safety, especially when living in close proximity to others. These helpful resources will keep you safe:

  • Being aware of the major health concerns of seniors is the first step toward staying safe in a communal environment.
  • Although there are risks associated with living with others in close quarters, community living offers some important health benefits to seniors.
  • No matter what your living arrangements turn out to be and regardless of how long COVID-19 remains a major health threat, it is always a good idea to keep a stash of hand sanitizer and cleaning products.

As we come to terms with the challenges associated with aging, we must remember that there are ways to make transitioning into a retirement or assisted living community easier and more beneficial to everyone involved. Keep these resources nearby, as they will definitely come in handy when the time comes to make arrangements for yourself or a family member.


Do you or a loved one need care in your home?

Senior home care services to elderly residents throughout the Chicago area is just one beneficial aspect of our services. All of our helpers are also seniors themselves. They have a warmth and understanding that comes from experience and wisdom gained over the years. They are all loving, caring compassionate people who bring joy and companionship to everyone with whom they work. That’s why our seniors often become life-long friends with those who receive our services.

Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services is a leading provider for Senior In-Home Care services in Chicago. We make life a little easier for you or a loved one by providing services in the home that include: companionship, light housekeeping, cooking, gardening, transportation assistance, Alzheimer’s and Dementia care, assistance with daily errands, activities, and more. Our senior home care services allow elderly adults the opportunity to continue living an independent life in their own homes without the need to move.

Call or text Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro at 312-526-3666.


Article contributed by Hal Salazar from Elders.today

The post Helpful Tips and Resources for Senior Living Situations appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Gratitude Journaling With Your Seniors Helping Seniors® Caregiver

shschicagometro 15 Nov 2021

At Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services, we feel November is a great time to take a personal inventory on all the meaningful aspects of your life – health, family, friendships, accomplishments, independence, etc. After all, thankfulness is the hallmark of this month! As we celebrate a season of gathering and companionship, what better way to document our appreciation of the good things than creating a gratitude journal?



What Is Gratitude?

It’s only human nature to get mired in the weekly bustle, overlooking the important sparks of beauty that make our days so rich. A gratitude journal is as much a routine as it is a document. Keeping this book of thanks nearby reminds us to pause and jot down the bright spots in our journeys! At the same time, the act of writing positive thoughts helps memory and encourages calm.

It’s easy to get started!

  • Grab a notebook or traditional journal.
  • Find and write a weekly quote that inspires you. For instance: “Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Each day, document one good thing that happened to you and one aspect of your life you love.
  • Don’t hesitate to revisit past pages, reading about the grateful moments that you experienced.
  • Repeat this routine every week.

Other Ideas For Vibrant Entries

Remember, this is your journal! There are no rules, other than using them to reflect on the positives. Our Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers have even discovered some wonderful writing exercises to enhance the experience.

  • Pick A Photo: Pictures are the ultimate keepsake and a wonderful way to rekindle memories. Select one of your favorite snapshots and place it at the top of the journal page. Next, write about the people in it: Why you love them, why you are thankful for them, how you felt in that moment, etc.
  • Hit The Magazine Racks: Find a feel-good story and write your thoughts about the article.
  • Think Ahead: Look to future plans that excite you, then write about them. It can be an upcoming trip or a visit with friends. Again, it doesn’t have to be an elaborate adventure. Sometimes a routine card game with your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver brings all the joy needed for a journal entry! Just have fun wondering what tomorrow holds.

Regardless of how you craft your gratitude journal, your team at Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services hopes it takes you to a wonderful, reflective place!

Our helpers are available any day, any hour of the week. We can help each person stay independent and stay at home by providing essential services.

Visit our website to learn more: www.seniorcarechicagometro.com or call or text us at 312-526-3666.

The post Gratitude Journaling With Your Seniors Helping Seniors® Caregiver appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

The Flavors Of Home: Traditional Chicagoland Thanksgiving Dishes

shschicagometro 15 Nov 2021

 

Often referred to as the best meal of the year, Thanksgiving dinner serves up a sweet and savory spectrum of tastes. Talk about the holiday with our Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers, and you’ll likely hear stories of family gatherings, friendly visits – and yes, glorious tablescapes of food!

So, we decided to dig into some of our favorite flavors of Turkey Day, specifically those nostalgic recipes so dear to us here in Chicago. Let’s get eating!

 


Green Bean Casserole

Does any Thanksgiving dish have a higher approval rating than casseroles? A melting pot of goodness, casseroles mix simple ingredients to create a delicious side. Our favorite? That of the green bean variety!

Chicago has been plating up this rich side since the ‘30s. However, the green bean casserole really gained popularity in 1955 when Campbell’s Soup introduced a recipe for this modern Thanksgiving staple. The nice thing about this delicious take on veggies? It can literally be thrown together and placed in the oven almost as an afterthought, though no one sees it that way once it hits the table!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 lb. of fresh green beans
  • 3/4 stick of butter
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced into fourths
  • 8 oz. of sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp. of minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups of whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cup of French’s fried onions
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Heat water in a pot and boil green beans until bright green, about 6 minutes. Transfer green beans to ice bath to cool, then drain and place in a large bowl.
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Sautee onions until tender. Add mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook until mushrooms are golden, stirring in minced garlic, and cook until fragrant then mix into the bowl with green beans.
  3. In the same skillet over medium heat, melt the rest of the butter. Whisk in flour, cooking for about 2 minutes while gradually whisking in milk. Bring to a simmer and cook until mixture is thickened about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and add green bean mixture, tossing until evenly combined.
  4. Place mixture into a casserole dish, cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes until warmed through and bubbling.
  5. Top with fried onions and bake, uncovered, for 5 more minutes. Plate up and enjoy!

Jell-O

Jell-O has made its way as a common ingredient into many Chicago Thanksgiving treats. However, it’s probably best known for its use in whipped salads! There are all types of flavorful versions to this sweet concoction, but the basic recipe calls for whipped cream, fruit (like maraschino cherries), and of course Jell-O. Depending on the home, this must-have dish can be served up with the main meal’s savory sides, or it can wind up on the dessert table for a lighter option!


Family Makes Everything Taste Better

Traditions play a huge role in our holiday routines, and food enhances those special days. Regardless of what’s on the table at Thanksgiving, the main course is always better when shared with loved ones.

At Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care service, we value our care receivers and the moments they create with family during the holiday season. If you or a loved one need help in the home this holiday season, call or text us at 312-526-3666. Information on our services can be found here:  www.seniorcarechicagometro.com/in-home-senior-care-services/

We wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and hope the day fulfills you with spectacular dishes, memories, and companionship! 

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Seniors Helping Seniors Eats – Autumn Trail Mix Recipe

shschicagometro 25 Oct 2021

Autumn Trail MixWhether it’s traveling to see family or taking a hike in the cool autumn air, snacking on the go is a necessity this time of year! Try this classic recipe, or customize it with your favorite goodies. Make it for yourself, or share it with friends and neighbors. This Trail Mix recipe is perfect for sharing and easy to make!

Autumn Trail Mix

Ingredients:
• 3 cups rice cereal squares
• 2 cups peanuts
• 2 cups pretzels
• 3 cups Cheez-It
• 2 cups favorite chocolate candy!

Directions:
• Combine all ingredients in a large bowl
• Mix!
• Store in glass mason jars for an added fall feel

Add any ingredients that sound tasty to you as well! Think raisins, marshmallows, pumpkin seeds, Craisins, or anything else you can think of.

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Seniors Helping Seniors® Season Of Self-Care!

shschicagometro 25 Oct 2021

Seniors Helping Seniors® Season Of Self-Care!

For many of us, maintaining good physical and mental balance proves key in enjoying an independent lifestyle. With an autumn change in the air, now’s the perfect time to refresh our self-care routines. At Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago in-home services, we’ve come up with a checklist of some of our favorite self-care activities to keep both body and mind running strong this fall.


Find Your Exercise!

Moving and working up a sweat helps build muscle while keeping joints limber. Still, we need to consider workouts that match our capabilities. Whether you’re walking, playing pickleball, bike riding, or swimming, there are a few pointers to get the most out of the activity.

  • Try to schedule your exercise for earlier in the day. Your body naturally stores more energy after a night’s worth of sleep. At the same time, the movement stimulates a release of endorphins, which can lift your mood as you head into your morning!
  • Always stretch. This seems obvious, but many people still remove this step from their exercise routine. Ensuring that muscles are loose and flexible will minimize the risk of injury, as well as post-workout soreness.
  • Drink water throughout. Hydrating not only keeps your thirst at bay but also helps reduce cramping and overheating.
  • Switch up your routine. It’s not uncommon to fall into the exercise boredom trap! Try a mix of activities that keep you energized, intrigued, and happy in the moment.

Stay Connected With Others

As daylight wanes in the fall months, it’s easy to begin pulling back from activities you enjoy. Still, sticking to a well-rounded social calendar can bring a sense of purpose to each week. Moreover, conversation with others stimulates the mind and gives us a sense of belonging. The trick is to stay involved at your pace, without becoming overwhelmed with commitments.


Tap Into Your Creative Side

Research shows that creativity stems from an emotional part of our brains, helping trigger a sense of calm and reducing stress. Taking 45 minutes a day to explore drawing, painting, crafts, or music can make all the difference. Remember, you don’t need to build a masterpiece to reap the benefits. No matter how your creation turns out, the artful journey is more important than the destination!


Schedule Self Reflection

The simple practice of looking inward – acknowledging what makes you unique – can spark a huge confidence boost. This can be done in the mornings or evenings. Here are the steps to get started.

  • Retreat to a quiet place in your home
  • List everything in your life that makes you happy
  • Explore what you’re most grateful for today
  • List at least 3-character traits, strengths, or unique identifiers that make you proud
  • Focus on these areas for 10 to 20 minutes

Our team at Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago in-home services hopes you’ll find these pointers useful in guiding your self-care routine. We love helping individuals make the most of their day-to-day, and we’re always here to lend a hand!

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Pointers to Brighten Your Mindset During Shorter Fall Days

shschicagometro 25 Oct 2021

Pointers to Brighten Your Mindset During Shorter Fall Days


At Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago in-home services, we understand the emotional challenges that often arise with shorter fall days as the weather turns cooler and daylight dwindles here in northern Ohio. A lack of companionship, routine and support can only add to the sense of melancholy; 20-percent of Americans report feeling seasonal depression this time of year.

October is National Depression and Health Screening Month

As you know, Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers love providing meaningful camaraderie. We hope you find this blog helpful, and it shines a light on ways to stay mentally invigorated in the coming months.


Keep Moving

Exercise is the perfect mood lifter, sparking a release of valuable endorphins for a total brain and body boost! The key is to team up with an accountability partner and stick to a schedule. Whether it’s an afternoon walk with your Seniors Helping Seniors® companion or a morning workout with a neighbor, turn exercise into a planned, social habit!


Stick With Your Passions!

Seasonal depression often results in the terrible side effect of indifference – a complete lack of interest in the things that usually excite you. Regardless, stay committed to these activities. Keep them as staples of your daily routine. It’s not an easy task, but it forces the brain to concentrate on the moment – helping stimulate new thoughts, observations, and feelings.


Meditate

Meditation has been proven to sharpen the mind and improve emotional health. Many leverage the ancient technique to bring a sense of balance, peace, and calm to their lives. Even more, it can be practiced almost anywhere at any time. Meditative themes include:

  • Mindfulness: Directing all attention to the senses and feelings you’re experiencing at the moment.
  • Progressive Relaxation: Tightening and relaxing one muscle group at a time, while thinking calming thoughts – such as waves rolling through the body.
  • Visualization: Envisioning positive scenarios, images, and scenes.

Each of these methods is paired with a quiet setting and controlled breathing.


Seniors Helping Seniors

As we enter fall in northern Ohio, we look forward to plenty of wonderful traditions. Don’t let shorter days dictate your happiness. Let’s continue to thrive together, no matter the time of year!

At Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago in-home services, we know the shift in season can be difficult. We’re here to tell you, you’re not alone! Call us at 312-526-3666 to learn more about our caregivers and to start service.

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Home Care vs. Other Alternatives: How to Make the Right Choice

shschicagometro 28 Sep 2021

While many seniors have opted to move into some form of senior housing, more and more are also choosing to stay where they are most comfortable and happiest—their very own homes. Over the years, many are considering aging at home with the assistance of in-home care professionals as the best approach.

Home Care vs. Other Alternatives: Choosing the Best Option for You

Since every person’s situation and circumstances are unique, choosing between home care and other options is easier said than done. To help you determine the best option, it would be best to consider the following scenarios as a guide.

Scenario #01

You are healthy and living independently.

If you are independent and healthy but can use some help with the household chores, home care is your best option. Also known as companion care, this is hands down the best option given the circumstances above. Come to think of it, if you are doing just fine at home, living someplace else is not necessary.

Staying at home also comes with several peerless benefits that are hard to miss. For starters, if your loved ones and friends live far away, an in-home caregiver can provide them with updates about your whereabouts. Your loved ones are also assured you are taken care of since you are not alone.

Scenario #02

You have health challenges, and you live alone.

Understandably, if you are independent and healthy, you have more options than those with health and physical challenges. If you belong to the latter, your best option is an assisted living facility.

If you find living in assisted facility isolating and prefer staying at home, it is reassuring that many home care companies can provide transportation so you can attend medical appointments and attend social events so you won’t feel as lonely.

Scenario #03

You have a significant other with different care needs, but you would like to stay together.

It’s not unusual for a significant other to have needs that are different from yours. Understandably, staying in a nursing home is not recommended if you don’t need nursing care. The same principle is true even if you have a significant other who does.

To meet halfway, home care is an option you can look into. Having an onsite caregiver can help ensure your significant other gets the necessary care they need.

If your spouse needs round-the-clock care or supervision, a caregiver can help warrant you get to stay at home (and together) in a surrounding you are both comfortable and familiar with.

Scenario #04

You have serious health issues.

If you have serious health conditions that might require institutionalization, staying in an assisted living facility might be best for you. If you have Alzheimer’s or dementia, living in a specialized memory care facility might be your best recourse.

Fortunately, most home care companies offer special services for those with conditions like Alzheimer’s. In similar cases, staying in familiar surroundings makes it easy for your friends and family to connect with you.

Final Thought

Understandably, choosing between home care and other living arrangements can be tricky for many seniors and their loved ones. That said, it should be something you should put a lot of thought into. Sit down with your loved ones and consider all your unique circumstances so you can pick the option that’s best for you.

Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services is a leading provider for Senior Care and Senior Home Care services throughout the nation. We make life a little easier for you or a loved one by providing services in the home that include: companionship, light housekeeping, cooking, gardening, transportation assistance, Alzheimer’s and Dementia care, assistance with daily errands, activities and more. Our senior home care services allow elderly adults the opportunity to continue living an independent life in their own home without the need to move.

Call or text Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro at 312-526-3666 to start service or ask questions.

Article contributed by Sarah Keller from atozhomecare.net 

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Ways to Thrive In Your Independent Lifestyle

shschicagometro 24 Aug 2021

Just last month, we celebrated Independence Day. Like in years past, many gathered with friends and family, chatting amidst the wafting aroma of a backyard grill. We shared stories, laughed, reflected on moments in our lives, and cherished our freedom.

It’s something we seniors know well: The importance and empowerment of staying independent. For some, that means continuing to do the activities they love. For others, it comes down to simply remaining at home, enjoying the little things in a place dear to their hearts. And yet for our Seniors Helping Seniors® care recipients, it’s usually all the above!

We understand this sentiment. For that reason, we’re always exploring new ways to help make the day-to-day easier and enjoyable. If you or a senior loved one lives alone, here are a few pointers for continuing to blossom your personal independence!

Create A Space that Suits Your Lifestyle

A few minor upfits to a home can make all the difference in comfort as we age. Aside from the recommended adjustments to ensure personal safety — like railings, no-slip flooring, easy-turn lever handles, removal of throw rugs, etc. — there also are aesthetic tweaks you can make to inspire relaxation. Consider an outdoor secret garden or meditative bench. Many designate tucked-away sections of their homes as reading corners or creative workspaces. Regardless of the use, it’s great to have your own, quiet retreat in which to settle after a long day.

Stay Active!

At Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services, we believe every day presents the opportunity to discover new life passions. For many of us, a hobby, club, or ongoing project can inspire a whole new outlook. Find something that brightens your mood and make it a part of your weekly routine.

Embrace An Extra Set of Hands

You’ve worked hard and deserve to spend time pursuing the activities you love most. Lean on the help of a caregiver to run errands, cook, clean, etc. Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services can free you to focus on your true interests, and we’ll do so as a friend by your side.

Exercise Your Brain!

Puzzles, arts, projects, crafts, music, reading — they all help to sharpen the mind. Spend time every day challenging your brain. Not only does it help with focus, and in some cases memory, it stimulates positive thinking.

 Know Your Support System

It’s so important that we surround ourselves with people we trust — not only for companionship but also for dependability. Make sure you have some “go-to” folks who you can call on when needed, and who regularly will check-in. This can be a friend, neighbor, family member, or caregiver. The important thing is you have someone at the ready.

 Keep A Routine

Wake up in the morning with goals. Have a schedule and approach it with purpose. Doing so sparks motivation and a sense of fulfillment. Studies show that those who stay busy and socialize often see direct benefits that include:

  • Improved cognitive function
  • A healthier immune system
  • Improved overall mood and outlook on life
  • Healthy sleep patterns

Living independently comes with so many wonderful advantages. Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services pride ourselves on helping others experience this freedom. With the right approach and support, seniors can discover empowerment with every new day.

Do you know a senior that needs help in their home? Would they like some companionship? Are you a caregiver looking for a family to help? Call or text us at 312-526-3666.

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Senior Tips to Beat the Heat and Stay Healthy!

shschicagometro 24 Aug 2021

For most of the country, the hottest time of year peaks in August and doesn’t let up until sometime in September. Even here in the Midwest, temps can be brutally steamy right now. As you probably know, with soaring mercury comes the real threat of heatstroke and other related illness for us seniors.

The goal is to remain active while staying cool. To help keep you moving — and comfortable — during these dog days of summer, your Seniors Helping Seniors team offers up a few pointers. Check them out and be safe out there!

Water Up!

Hydration is one of the most crucial details of our health at any age, and the stakes only grow as you get older. In fact, water consumption can affect all types of body functions, from digestion and blood volume levels to kidney performance.

Ailments from dehydration can sneak up on you this time of year, so experts recommend individuals drink water regularly throughout the day — not just when you feel thirsty. Try these strategies to ensure you’re receiving the ideal amount every step of the way.

  1. Eat watery fruits like watermelon and grapefruits, or nosh on veggies like cucumbers
  2. Set a hydration timer on your watch to help build a routine
  3. Always have a water bottle at the ready

Exercises Inside

At Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services, our caregivers often team up with care recipients for a quick, effective workout. Here are just a few of our favorite indoor activities, perfect for physical and mental wellness when the sun’s beaming down!

Yoga

Yoga’s effect on your physical — and often mental — well-being is unmatched. For us seniors, it combines four key elements: Strength, Balance, Focus, and Flexibility. This builds muscle and promotes a more limber body, which reduces the risk of falls, instability, and physical injury. At the same time, yoga has been said to help reduce stress levels and boost overall mood. Lastly, it’s easy to jump right into the ancient workout anytime, anywhere. It requires little space to conduct, and you need nothing more than a comfy mat!

Walking

Walking is versatile and can be done anywhere with level ground. During a heatwave, ideal indoor settings include shopping malls, museums, and health club tracks.  Of course, workouts are always better with company. So, get a group together or call on your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver to join you. Have some laughs while you break a sweat. We’re confident, your heart (and soul) will be glad you took the step!

Swimming

Nothing says full-body workout like using every muscle to paddle from one side of the pool to the other! Going for a leisurely swim is a good way to build muscle and generally comes with lower injury risks than other popular cardio activities, like jogging or biking. Swimming also is a productive way to improve mental health and brain function for the active senior. When it’s a scorcher, we encourage hitting an indoor pool in your area. Clubs like the community YMCA, high schools, and gyms usually offer specific programs for seniors.

Here at Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services, we understand staying strong and healthy year-round is a task. It certainly can be frustrating to miss a day because the sun’s on full blast! Still, we encourage everyone to be mindful of the heat, play it safe, and apply good rules of thumb when striving to break a sweat.

Do you know a senior that needs help in their home? Would they like some companionship? Are you a caregiver looking for a family to help? Call or text us at 312-526-3666.

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Planning to Age in Place? Here Are 6 Home Safety Tips

shschicagometro 24 Aug 2021

Many older Americans are choosing to age in place. HomeAdvisor recently published AARP survey results showing that 73-percent of seniors prefer to stay in their current home rather than moving to a senior community or nursing home. As seniors begin facing up to the physical and mental limitations that often come with aging, there are things they can do to ensure their homes continue to provide a safe place for them to live.

Safety tip #1: Identify and remove tripping obstacles

The CDC reports that falls are responsible for the most injuries experienced by seniors over 65 years old, resulting in about 3 million emergency room visits each year. It is crucial to avoid accidents as eyesight deteriorates and reflexes slow down. It is important to keep the floor clear of anything that could obstruct walkways.

Safety tip #2: Make bathrooms super safe

According to the CDC, 230,000 people are hurt in their bathrooms each year. This area is high-risk and should be given special attention by boomers who are trying to find ways to stay safe in everyday life. While most of these accidents are the result of falling, there are others concerns to consider too when improving bathroom safety.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Grab bars can be added to the tub and toilet.
  • Use night lights to improve lighting.
  • You can prevent burns by setting hot water temperatures to 110 F.
  • You can also add a raised toilet seat.
  • If possible, consider installing a walk-in bathtub.
  • To prevent excessive exertion, install a bathing chair in the shower.
  • Take out any items that could cause you to trip.

Tip #3: Prevent and prepare for fires

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that seniors are killed or injured at twice the rate of younger people. Seniors are encouraged to install fire extinguishers and fire alarms in their homes.

The NFPA recommends that you sleep on the ground floor so that you can escape in an emergency. Every bedroom should have a smoke alarm. In case of an emergency, you should always have a cell phone in every bedroom.

You might consider a fire drill to ensure that you and your family are prepared in the event of a fire. Make sure that you can open each door and window. Make sure everyone hears the alarm. It is recommended that people with hearing impairments use a flashing light in conjunction with an audible alarm.

Safety tip #4: Protect your home from burglaries and uninvited visitors

Deadbolts should be installed on all doors. This will prevent most burglars from getting into your home.

It is normal to let our guard down at home. However, it is essential that you lock all doors including your garage or basement doors.

Never allow a stranger to enter your home. While you wait for a repairman to arrive, make sure to confirm with the company the name, vehicle, and uniform of the individual.

Safety tip #5: Know your emergency contact numbers

It is always a smart idea to keep emergency numbers readily available so you can quickly respond to an emergency. It is a smart idea to write them down so they are always available.

These numbers are good to have in your arsenal:

  • Poison control
  • Family members or friends
  • Office of a healthcare provider
  • 911

Safety tip #6: Use technology to your advantage.

Many security devices are available that can be used by seniors to help them age at home. Although shopping online and ordering groceries or food via a smartphone is now commonplace, senior citizens are looking to protect their homes with smart home gadgets.

The Nest Protect, which acts as a smoke and carbon monoxide detector, has been a popular gadget. This detector does not sound an alarm and knocks you out of bed, but instead of a loud alarm that sounds like a bell, it speaks to you in human language alerting you to the danger. You will be able to get important details such as the exact location and affected levels.

Security cameras have become inexpensive and popular with models being sold for as little as $20. A popular choice is the Wyze Cam V2 camera. The Wyze Cam v2 camera works like a baby monitor, and you can view your entire house. You can also see your porch, which is useful for delivering packages or verifying the identity of anyone standing there. It is not necessary to subscribe to a monthly fee.

The Takeaway

As they age, seniors come to appreciate the many advantages of living at home. In most cases, seniors should be able to safely enjoy their golden years in the comfort of their own homes by making simple, affordable modifications.

Article contributed by David Goldstein Co-founder of Boomer Buyer Guides

The post Planning to Age in Place? Here Are 6 Home Safety Tips appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Heart-Healthy in the Heartland: Activities for Seniors

shschicagometro 28 Jul 2021

Staying Active

For active seniors, staying in shape can be tricky. Running is a fantastic cardio workout but comes with some limitations. It is vigorous, unforgiving, and may cause soreness in your joints, knees, and ankles. Discovering water training could be beneficial for strong cardio without the injuries that come with other activities. From your backyard pool to the closest Great Lake, your next water adventure is a short car ride away.

Physical therapists swear by the benefits of staying active. Water training is a comprehensive full-body workout without the baggage of joint pain and muscle deterioration. Training in the water burns up to three and a half times the calories as those on land.

The Heartland of the United States isn’t known for its’ tropical climate. You are still able to squeeze in four or five months of outdoor access.  Wherever you have water access or not, cardio can be easily adjusted to any level of fitness. These three simple exercises will push your cardio to the next level and are a blast. And mixing a little Vitamin D along with your training will produce one happy camper!


Water Jogging

If running is a passion, move it off the road and into the water. Jogging side-to-side in the pool is a great cardio workout. Incorporating big wide arm swings will up the ante and build arm strength too!  Statistically, one in three 65-year-olds fall, and that number increases with age. Water jogging is the safest alternative in the game and an ideal setting to push yourself.

Arm Curls

Another “land exercise” that works well in the pool is basic arm curls. You can increase the burn with water weights or just use the water itself. Either way, your arms will feel the natural resistance building your muscles after your first set.  Arm curls aren’t necessarily a cardio exercise, but with the resistance of the water, you can curl faster without the risk of injury.

Leg Swings

Seniors need flexible hips for stronger confident movement and these swings are the answer. Swing your legs to the front, side, and back and hold them for a five-count to build muscle. Feeling extra buff? Hold them for ten seconds.  Your hips and legs are the nuclei. Don’t discount those for the flashier muscles during your workout.


Seniors Helping Seniors® has one goal and that is to extend your independence. Staying healthy, maintaining muscle, and building your cardiovascular strength will make this goal a reality for seniors of any age.  Maximize your cardio strength while minimizing the injuries that accompany other activities. Your lifestyle depends on it!

Our senior care programs foster relationships between seniors seeking employment and seniors who need help with daily non-medical personal needs, household tasks, and chores to continue living comfortably in their homes. Call or text Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro at 312-526-3666 to learn more about our services. 

The post Heart-Healthy in the Heartland: Activities for Seniors appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Seniors Helping Seniors Eats! Delicious Heart-Healthy Summer Recipes

shschicagometro 28 Jul 2021

Cookout season is upon us. Summer is the perfect time to break out the grill with friends and family. At Seniors Helping Seniors, we cherish these moments in the sun with loved ones and heart-healthy summer recipes!

We know cookout staples – like burgers, hot dogs, ribs, and pasta salad – are not always ideal for those trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. According to the American Heart Association, some 85 million Americans above the age of 60 have at least one or more types of cardiovascular disease.

Keeping that in mind, it’s important we celebrate warm-weather days with a balanced menu. After all, we want to stay fueled with the right foods for chasing around the grandkids, gardening, or whatever outdoor activities you enjoy most!

Whether spending a quiet lunch on the patio or attending a big backyard barbeque, our Seniors Helping Seniors team has a few healthy, delicious culinary staples. Try out these heart-healthy summer recipes and let your Seniors Helping Seniors team know what you think!


Bring The Beans!

Base your side dish or entree around beans. Aside from offering loads of protein and fiber, they also are super filling.

This colorful White Bean Salad marries all the flavors of the season in one dish. Great Northern beans, veggies, and fresh herbs mixed in a bowl. It’s that easy! Add an oil & vinegar base for some tang without the extra calories of mayo.

Fresh White Bean Salad

  • 2 can white beans (Great Northern Beans), rinsed and drained
  • ½ red onion, sliced
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ bunch cilantro
  • 1 cup parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix! Serve cold or at room temperature.

Any burger fans out there? If you find the right recipe, an appetizing black bean burger has the potential to replace your traditional beef patty. This much-healthier alternative still tastes great right off the grill, especially when prepared with classic toppings, like ketchup and mustard. Bring this recipe to your next gathering, and you may convert some partygoers!

Black Bean Burgers

  • 2 15oz. cans black beans
  • ¼ red onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • ¼ bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup feta cheese
  • 1 ½ tbsp soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  1. Rinse and drain the canned black beans. Add the black beans along with the red onion, garlic, cilantro, mayonnaise, feta cheese, soy sauce, and pepper to a food processor.
  2. Transfer the mixture into a bowl and add the egg and breadcrumbs. Stir until all of the ingredients are evenly combined and let sit for 5 minutes. If the mixture sticks to your hands, then you need more breadcrumbs!
  3. Divide the mixture evenly and mold it into patties. Depending on the size, this mixture will yield between 6-8 burgers.
  4. Heat a pan and add oil to the pan. Once the oil is hot add the patties and cook until browned on each side.
  5. Throw on a bun with all the fixings and enjoy!

Hello Veggies!

When it comes to keeping your cardio in check, vegetables are like an old friend. No matter what your needs are, you can find a few veggies that will fit you like a glove.

Adding marinated veggies to your grill will release a tasty aroma similar to meat. Asparagus, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes are ideal over a hot flame. If you want charred veggies for a side dish, grab a grilling basket, add your favorites from the garden, and go to town.

At Seniors Helping Seniors, we’ve become accustomed to slathering veggies with this marinade. It is zesty, tangy, and whips up in less than 10 minutes. Everyone will love it – Trust Us!

Vegetable Marinade

  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  1. Add all of the above ingredients in a cup and mix well. Combine the marinade and your favorite vegetables and let sit for at least 30 minutes before cooking. Enjoy!

The Seniors Helping Seniors mission is simple. We provide in-home care services and companionship to seniors so they can enjoy an independent, fulfilling lifestyle. There is nothing that captures this sentiment more than barbecuing and enjoying a meal outside with those closest to you! Try out these simple heart-healthy summer recipes at your next gathering and enjoy the tastes of summer in the weeks ahead!

The post Seniors Helping Seniors Eats! Delicious Heart-Healthy Summer Recipes appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Tobey Ellison – Best Caregiver Spring 2021

shschicagometro 27 Jul 2021

Tobey Ellison has been with Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro for the past 5 years. This spunky lady is in her 8th decade of life, and she has no plans to slow down anytime soon. Tobey’s dedication and love for her work shine through in her smile and laugh.

Tobey works as a caregiver and in the SHS office helping with administrative work.  She is a loyal driver and takes our clients to their doctor appointments whenever needed.  Tobey was recently on the WGN Sunday Morning News demonstrating senior chair exercises on behalf of Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro.

She even takes time to meet with new clients and their families to discuss the level of care that is needed and assure the family their loved one is in good care. She is patient and caring and continues to go above and beyond to help clients and the business.

Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro would like to award Tobey the first Best Caregiver 2021 award and thank her for her hard work. Tobey’s devotion has helped many Chicagoland seniors stay safe in their homes and live independently as long as possible.

The post Tobey Ellison – Best Caregiver Spring 2021 appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Why Most Seniors Prefer Aging in Place

shschicagometro 21 Jul 2021

There will always come a time when our parents—or grandparents, for that matter—will need looking after. Such is the nature of aging, and there are options that we can go for to make sure they are taken care of in the best possible way.

Children of seniors typically consider putting their elderly loved ones in an assisted living facility or, in some cases, a nursing home. However, if you make senior loved ones choose between living in a nursing home or staying in their homes to age in place, they will likely go for the latter.

Aging in Place

It is understandable why most seniors prefer aging in place. For one, it is difficult for seniors—and just about anyone else—to leave the place they have called home for decades. The house is something they acquired or built themselves, and no one can just ask them to give it up. Their house is their territory, and it is full of memories that they cannot simply leave behind. They also believe that leaving their home also means giving up their independence.

Physically moving to a senior living facility can also prove to be stressful for them. Although they would not be packing or carrying their things, they will still need to sort through their possessions, which can already be physically and emotionally exhausting.

The fear of the unknown is also a common issue among seniors who are asked to move into a nursing home. They likely would not know anyone there, unlike at home, where they are surrounded by friends and family most of the time. If they move out and stay at a home for seniors, the fear of missing out on the company of loved ones often gets the better of them.

In-Home Services

It is a good thing that moving to a home is not the only option for seniors. They can go for an in-home care service. No one can deny its benefits, which are listed in the infographic below. If you or a loved one needs help to age in place, please reach out to Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro at 312-526-3666 and ask about our in-home care services.


The 8 Benefits of Home Care Services for Seniors


Article contributed by Sarah Keller from atozhomecare.net

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How to Downsize Safely and Effectively in Your Senior Years

shschicagometro 17 Jun 2021

Are you thinking that now’s the time to leave big-house life behind? If so, you’re in luck. Despite the pandemic, the real estate market is strong, interest rates are low, and it’s still a great time to buy and sell. But you can’t go into the process blindly. Here are some tips from Seniors Helping Seniors to get you started on the right track.

Look at your budget

Take a look at your budget to determine what you can afford and have your funding figured out so when you find the home you want, you can act quickly. Chase and many other lending institutes offer free affordability calculators. In these, you can input data, such as your home price, down payment, and monthly expenses. This can give you a ballpark figure to determine your potential future living expenses.

Know your needs

Now that you understand your finances and have a price range, it’s time to compare what you can afford with what you need, and then make adjustments to your list as necessary. Many seniors, according to Home Tips For Women, look for features such as a small house, which comes with lower utility costs, and excellent lighting. These, along with things like single-level living and wide doorways, allow for greater mobility, an important consideration if you’ve already begun to experience mobility issues.

Scale down without guilt

Something some seniors may not realize during the process is that moving into a smaller home will require downsizing your belongings as well. Once you have chosen your future home, you can evaluate the belongings in your current one. This is an emotional process that takes patience, and, ideally, you’ll have cooperation from your friends and family. It’s usually best to give your adult children and grandchildren family heirlooms now so that you’re not tight on space and don’t have to pay to have them moved.

Find a reputable moving company

Speaking of having things moved, choosing the right moving company is something else that deserves special attention. Movers charge different prices, even for what appear to be the same services. Your moving company will factor everything from whether you need an entire truck to how far you’re moving to the overall weight of your household goods into the price. Don’t be afraid to get several quotes and check the company’s reputation before you sign a contract. This can be done by asking for past customers’ references, and if they have a list of seniors they’ve moved, even better. You can also check ratings and online reviews on service directory sites like Angi.com.

Also ask about whether they provide services like packing and offsite, temporary storage if you foresee needing it. If you will need packing services, ask how your belongings will be stored and labeled.

Enjoy your retirement

Finally, and most importantly, let yourself enjoy the process. Your retirement is a time of change and to feel all the excitement associated with it. Moving is not always easy, but the end result of downsizing is more financial freedom and better quality of life during your senior years.

Downsizing during your senior years is a significant lifestyle change, but Chicago has a lot to offer retirees. Get your finances in order and start exploring your options. With proper planning and preparation, you’ll find your dream home and be settled in before you know it!

Could you benefit from a helping hand? Seniors Helping Seniors in-home services can offer assistance with day-to-day tasks so you or your senior loved one can live independently! Call 312-526-3666 or send us a message to learn more!

Article contributed by Libby Howell at Grandparent.info

The post How to Downsize Safely and Effectively in Your Senior Years appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Improve Your Health with Balance Exercises

shschicagometro 17 Jun 2021

Why do you need to work on your balance?

What is balance? It’s the ability to remain steady in the face of external force (such as gravity or a difficult situation). Interestingly, the physical and emotional balance is intertwined. By balancing your body, you will affect your mind.

Your ability to balance will improve your joint stability and internal focus. As we age, the critical skill of balancing gets more difficult thus working on it is crucial.

Increase your body awareness

Body awareness is the ability to sense where your limbs are oriented in space. It is also the ability to feel surface you touch or walk on with your hands and feet. The more body awareness you have, the healthier and less prone to injury you become.

Improve Coordination

Balance training requires your entire body to work together, otherwise, you will fall or stumble. Improved balance will affect your coordination in everyday life.

Maintain Joint Stability

All of your major muscle groups will work together to help you stay stable and protect your joints from injury. The sequela is stronger knees, ankles, hips and shoulders.

Faster Reaction Time

When your coordination and stability improve, your ability to re-balance will get better too.

Long Term Health

Incorporating balance training into your exercise routine helps to prevent falls and fractures. It will also enable you to walk further and exercise longer.

It will make you happier

A not-so-well-known benefit of balance is the positive relationship it has with mental health. Balance and mental health are both affected by many moving parts. Activities such as Yoga and Tai Chi are being studied as methods to improve mental health and physical balance.

Try these balance exercises:

  • See how long you can stand on one foot, or try holding your balance for 10-30 seconds on each side. If you find standing on one foot very challenging at first, try this progression to improve your balance:
    • Hold on to a wall or sturdy chair with both hands to support yourself.
    • Next, hold on with only one hand.
    • Then support yourself with only one finger.
    • When you are steady on your feet, try balancing with no support at all.
  • Walk heel to toe for 20 steps. Steady yourself with a wall if you need a little extra support.
  • Walk normally in as straight a line as you can.

Ready to balance? You can learn more by going to www.balancedflow.today and looking at our balance videos! 

Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services can help you with your exercise routine. Our caregivers can assist and support you as you exercise.  Call or text us today at 312-526-3666 to find out about our senior care services.  

Post contributed by Dominika Hertsberg, DC, CES, E-CYT at Balanced Flow Medical.

The post Improve Your Health with Balance Exercises appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Seniors Helping Seniors® as Seen on WGN Chicago News

shschicagometro 01 Jun 2021

“I have met some of the loveliest people and formed really good friendships,” caregiver Tobey Ellison said.

75-year-old Tobey Ellison is a senior helping seniors, a caregiver about the same age or younger than some of her clients. They have a lot more in common.

Exercise is the key to staying healthy, strong, and stable as we age. Not only is Tobey a person to talk to, but a person to get you up and moving.

So grab a ball, a band, a chair, and a friend at Seniors Helping Seniors®Chicago.

by:   WGN Channel 9 News Reporter

The post Seniors Helping Seniors® as Seen on WGN Chicago News appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

The most important exercise you’ll ever do – SQUATS

shschicagometro 04 May 2021

You know exercise is good for you, but oftentimes it is difficult to find the time or understand what exercises to perform. The science is clear, squats are the exercise to master. Thankfully, it’s an easy one to incorporate into your daily routine and it will work with your ability and mobility.

Did you know that you will live longer if your legs are stronger?

In one study, 81 elderly patients were followed for a period of 4 years. By the end of the study, 26 people (32%) of the participants had passed. The researchers discovered that the mass of an individual’s thigh muscle was inversely proportional to cardiovascular deaths and all-cause mortality. Larger leg muscle mass equates to a healthy heart and reduced risk of death (Fukasawa H, et al. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2017 Jan;71(1):64-69).

Another study that looked at muscle mass, leg strength, and fat mass in 1,280 men and women 55 and older, showed that your leg strength is the most important factor in determining how well you function and how long you will live. (Bourhard DR, et al. J Aging Health, 2011 March;23(2):313-328).

Why Squats?

They build muscle mass in your thighs, butt, and around the knee joint. The larger the muscle mass, the better your system regulates glucose and blood insulin levels. Your metabolic rate will increase as well. You may even feel an exercise after-burn. This means that calories are burned even during the recovery period after the workout!

They help to regulate your testosterone levels and decrease cortisol (stress hormone) levels. They help increase bone density in the hip and thigh preventing bone fractures. Since they increase leg strength, they improve balance and reduce falls. They help to slow down cognitive decline helping your brain to stay healthy. In one study, the researchers reported that leg strength was a better predictor of brain health than any of the other lifestyle factors. In fact, leg strength was a reliable predictor of both cognitive aging and the degree of loss of total gray matter in the brain. (Steves CJ, et al. Gerontology. 2016;62(2):138-49).

How fast will you see the results?

A study looked at the effects of high intensity, progressive resistance training in a group of frail elderly men and women aged 87-96. After only 8 weeks of strength training, the subjects in this trial increased their muscle strength by 174% and leg muscle mass by 10%. (Evans. J Nutr. May 1, 1997;127(5):9985-10035).

Another study looked at men aged 60-72 strength training 3 times a week for 12 weeks. The average increase in knee flexor strength was 227%, the average increase in knee extensor strength was 107%, and CT scans documented an average 11.5% increase in leg muscle mass. (Frontera WR, et al. J Appl Physiol. 1988 March;64(3):1038-44).

How to squat? 

*You can use a chair or a desk to help you stay balanced.

  1. Assume the squat position and keep your feet about shoulder-width apart and turned out slightly.
  2. Dial your feet into the ground to help activate all muscles.
  3. Keep your chest up.
  4. Bend your knees and push your hips back.
  5. End the movement at whatever depth is pain-free for you.
  6. Stand up by driving your entire foot (heel and big toe) to the ground.
  7. Finish strong by squeezing your butt.

Ready to squat? If you want to learn more, go to www.balancedflow.today and look at our squat videos!

Post contributed by Dominika Hertsberg, DC, CES, E-CYT at Balanced Flow Medical.

The post The most important exercise you’ll ever do – SQUATS appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

How to Improve Your Quality of Life as You Age

shschicagometro 27 Apr 2021

How to Improve Your Quality of Life As you Age

Entering your golden years doesn’t mean that your health and well-being have to decline. Rather than resigning yourself to the assumption that you’ll struggle as you get older, you can take control of your mental and physical health and improve your quality of life. Read on for tips to stay healthy, happy, and fulfilled for years to come.

Get Out of the House Daily

Research cited by AGS shows that leaving your house at least once a day can promote longevity, especially after the age of 70. By getting out into the world, you’re increasing your level of physical activity, opportunities for social engagement, and mental stimulation — all great ways for seniors to stay happy and healthy and improve your quality of life. If you head out of the house to get some exercise and socialize, even better.

If you struggle with mobility and aren’t currently able to leave your home daily, don’t give up hope. You can recruit help from your community. Consider hiring a transport company that specializes in seniors’ needs, or talk to loved ones who may be able to help. Try not to feel guilty asking for assistance — you may find that friends and family members are more than happy to help you get out of the house and stay active.

Give Yourself a Job To Do

Some seniors report feeling lost or unneeded after they finish working. If you’re struggling to find meaningful activities or could use some extra income, consider starting a part-time home-based business. First, brainstorm ideas about what services you have to offer or products you can sell. Then, talk to a mentor or business-savvy friend to learn more about getting started.

Once you’re ready to start doing business, you’ll need to choose a business structure. A limited liability company (LLC) is a great choice because it gives you flexibility, very little paperwork, and tax advantages. You can easily register your LLC online through a formation service, but be sure to check your state’s regulations before moving forward if you attempt a DIY registration.

If you’re comfortably retired and not interested in returning to the workforce, giving yourself some sort of job to do is still a great idea. Consider starting a project or hobby – such as home renovation, gardening, or getting involved with a charity. Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community while giving yourself a sense of purpose.

If you are a caregiver and would like to make a difference in the life of another senior, become a caregiver for Seniors Helping Seniors.

Embrace Positive Aging

As they say, growing old isn’t for the faint of heart. Aging has its challenges, but a positive attitude can prevent any obstacles from getting the upper hand. Per Harvard Health Publishing, research shows that a positive attitude can pay off in better health. Your outlook influences the outcome of many health issues, from heart disease and stroke to auto-immune disorders.

A positive attitude can also help you deal with doctors and health professionals who (let’s face it) often have ageist beliefs and offer overly negative prognoses to seniors. You don’t have to take dismissive attitudes, a lack of respect, or prejudice on board. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and call out people who say or do ageist things. Choose to view aging itself in a positive light and choose to view yourself in a loving way: as a capable and valuable member of society.

Healthy aging and a high quality of life aren’t just a matter of good luck. The daily choices you make and your attitude can determine whether you thrive or merely survive. By staying active in the community, finding meaningful daily activities, and cultivating a positive attitude, you can ensure that your golden years are truly golden.

Seniors Helping Seniors strives to ensure optimal quality of life for older adults. For information or assistance with everyday activities, insurance programs, caregiving resources, and much more, call 312-526-3666.

Article contributed by Annabelle Harris from Elder.Center.

The post How to Improve Your Quality of Life as You Age appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Find Your Fountain of Youth with These Habits for Healthy, Happy Aging

shschicagometro 16 Apr 2021

Find Your Fountain of Youth with These Habits for Healthy, Happy Aging

Wouldn’t we all love to drink from a real fountain of youth? While there isn’t really a magic elixir for staying young, we can all take steps for healthy happy aging that make us feel young again. Living a holistic lifestyle, as well as being intentional about your everyday choices, can help anyone stay healthier and happier in their 60s, 70s, 80s, and beyond. Here is some great advice from Seniors Helping Seniors Chicago Metro that will empower you to do just that.

Keep Moving

You can meet seniors at just about every level of fitness, from folks who are starting their very first fitness program to marathoners who are at peak performance. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, all seniors should be aware of how essential exercise is to healthy happy aging, as well as how certain types of exercise can maximize that impact.

Mix It Up

There’s nothing wrong with having a favorite exercise — in fact, the best exercise is the one you’ll actually do on a regular basis! However, you get the greatest overall health benefits from exercise when you mix things up. For example, aerobic exercise is essential for heart and lung health, while strength training and balance exercises help ensure you maintain a wider range of motion as you age while also reducing your risk of falling.

Take Good Care of Your Teeth

Did you know that your oral health is directly linked with your overall health? Chronic issues like heart disease, diabetes, and dementia are often reflected in your mouth, and they tend to degrade together. Taking care of your teeth and gums is felt to help ward off these chronic health concerns, so make every effort to optimize your oral health.

If something is holding you back, like stained teeth or an alignment issue, there are any number of ways to address those concerns. You can look into home care products to whiten your teeth, have laser treatment or other whitening services performed. Similarly, there are in-home therapies for correcting alignment problems like overbites. Overbites are a very common issue and cases are often mild, but if you experience jaw pain, trouble with speaking, or discomfort when you eat or drink, it’s important you work with your dentist to treat it. With the right solutions, you can feel better about your teeth, and you’ll look forward to taking the best possible care of them.

Overcome Dietary Challenges

It’s common for seniors to have dietary challenges, whether that’s a need to reduce sodium due to hypertension or reduce carbs due to diabetes or prediabetes. If you have any of these concerns, in addition to a gluten allergy or sensitivity, you may have a hard time getting all the nutrients you need. Don’t worry — you aren’t alone! Over 40 percent of American adults don’t get the nutrients they need every day. One easy way to correct this is by taking a daily multivitamin.

Of course, eating a balanced diet is an essential part of the equation, even with the addition of a multivitamin. If you aren’t sure whether you’re getting the right nutrients, an easy way to find out is by tracking your dietary intake with a tool like ChooseMyPlate.gov. Using a tracking tool shows you what may be lacking so you know where to focus to get your diet back in balance.

Eat Meals and Snacks That Pack a (Nutrient) Punch

Frankly, it’s easy for any of us to get stuck in a rut with our meals. Sometimes, you just need to seek new sources of inspiration for meals that deliver a wide variety of nutrients. For example, we love these ideas from Medical News Today because they’re broken down by type of meal; plus, they focus on which nutrients you’re getting the most with each recipe. Another resource we love is Eating Well’s gluten-free recipes, especially the appetizers and snacks. Snacks shouldn’t be your primary source of nutrition, but it’s so easy to get off track by grabbing ones that are unhealthy. Instead of reaching for whatever snack is the most convenient, look at snack time as an opportunity to sneak extra nutrients into your day.

So many people feel like aging is out of their control. You can’t turn back time, but you have more control over how you age than you may think. The magic formula is simple: Start swapping unhealthy habits for these simple actions — and then watch as they do wonders for your health.

An in-home care specialist can help you with all of these health goals — and more! If you’re looking for help with living your best life during your golden years, contact Seniors Helping Seniors Chicago Metro by calling (312) 526-3666 or by using this online form.

Photo via Pexels

Article contributed by Mary Shannon at SeniorsMeet.org

The post Find Your Fountain of Youth with These Habits for Healthy, Happy Aging appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Chicago Metro’s Seniors Helping Seniors® Supports Feeding America with Local Fundraiser

shschicagometro 25 Mar 2021

Team Feed Feeding America

About Feeding America

Feeding America’s mission is to feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger. Feeding America is the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, Feeding America provides meals to more than 40 million people each year.

Learn more about Feeding America.

Local Involvement

Feeding America

Chicago Metro’s Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care service supports Feeding America and created a fundraiser to provide much-needed meals to our neighbors.

Make a donation.

How It Works

When you support Feeding America, you are helping our nationwide network of food banks deliver programs at the front line of hunger. Programs like school-based food pantries, emergency disaster relief, and Kids’ Cafe.

Hunger is a complex issue. When people face hunger, they often struggle to meet other basic needs as well — such as housing, employment, and healthcare. That is why Feeding America is committed to more than providing food for people in need.

Learn more about our work around food recovery, safety, and security.

Hunger Facts 

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment has soared and food insecurity is on the rise.

In fact, 42 million people may face hunger because of coronavirus.

Feeding America estimates 1 in every 8 people will face hunger in America.

Feeding America estimates a total of 13 million children could face hunger because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Feeding America estimates 1 in every 6 children will face hunger in America.

Learn more about Hunger in America.

Community Impact

Just $1 can help provide at least 10 meals to kids, families, and individuals facing hunger.

Food banks work to rescue food from grocery stores, food producers, and restaurants to provide it to people who need it the most.

98% of all donations raised for Feeding America go directly into programs serving our neighbors in the U.S.

Charity Navigator awarded Feeding America four out of four stars. Receiving four out of four possible stars indicates that Feeding America adheres to good governance and other best practices that minimize the chance of unethical activities and consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way.

For more than 40 years, Feeding America has responded to the needs of individuals struggling with food insecurity in this country.

Seniors Helping Seniors® Services

Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services is a leading provider for senior in-home care services in Chicago. We make life a little easier for you or a loved one by providing services in the home that include: companionship, light housekeeping, cooking, gardening, transportation assistance, Alzheimer’s and Dementia care, assistance with daily errands, activities, and more. Our senior home care services allow elderly adults the opportunity to continue living an independent life in their own home without the need to move.

Senior home care services to elderly residents throughout the Chicago area is just one beneficial aspect of our services. All our helpers are also seniors themselves. They have a warmth and understanding that comes from experience and wisdom gained over the years. They are all loving, caring compassionate people who bring joy and companionship to everyone with whom they work. That is why our seniors often become life-long friends with those who receive our services.

Learn more about our services. 

Call or text Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro at 312-526-3666.

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Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro Receives Best of Home Care® Provider and Employer of Choice Awards

shschicagometro 02 Mar 2021

Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro announced today that it has received the Best of Home Care® – Provider of Choice and Employer of Choice Awards, for the third year in a row, from Home Care Pulse. These awards are granted only to the top-ranking home care providers, based on client and caregiver satisfaction scores gathered by Home Care Pulse. Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro is ranked among a small handful of home care providers across the country who have proven their ability to provide an exceptional working experience to employees and the highest quality care to clients.

“We want to congratulate Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro on receiving both the Best of Home Care – Provider of Choice Award and the Best of Home Care – Employer of Choice Award,” says Erik Madsen, CEO of Home Care Pulse. “Since these awards are based on real, unfiltered feedback from clients and caregivers, Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro has proven their dedication to providing a great work environment and solid training to employees while maintaining their focus on client and caregiver satisfaction. We are pleased to recognize their dedication to quality professionalism and expertise in-home care.”

Best of Home Care providers have contracted with Home Care Pulse to gather feedback from their clients and caregivers via live phone interviews each month. Because Home Care Pulse is an independent company, it can collect honest and unbiased feedback.

“This award recognizes the hard work of our staff and we are grateful to be recognized for the third year in a row. Chicago is an incredibly competitive city and as Best of Home Care® – Provider of Choice and Employer of Choice we stand out above our competition,” says Sylvie Hutchings owner of Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro.

“At Home Care Pulse, our mission is to help home care businesses create an experience that goes beyond client and caregiver expectations,” says Erik Madsen, CEO of Home Care Pulse. “We’re thrilled to recognize Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro as a Best of Home Care award-winning provider for the third year in a row and celebrate their accomplishments in building a team of happy, qualified caregivers who provide outstanding care for their clients.”

About Seniors Helping Seniors®

Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services is a leading provider for Senior Care and Senior Home Care services throughout the nation. We make life a little easier for you or a loved one by providing services in the home that include: companionship, light housekeeping, cooking, gardening, transportation assistance, Alzheimer’s and Dementia care, assistance with daily errands, activities, and more. Our senior home care services allow elderly adults the opportunity to continue living an independent life in their own homes without the need to move.

About Home Care Pulse

Home Care Pulse is the industry’s leading firm in satisfaction research, quality assurance, and caregiver training. On behalf of home care businesses across North America, Home Care Pulse gathers unbiased satisfaction ratings from clients and caregivers and detailed feedback to ensure the best in-home care possible can be provided. Powerful online reports allow businesses to identify needs and take action to reduce increase satisfaction, reduce caregiver turnover, and address client needs. Home Care Pulse combines detailed client/caregiver insights with top-rated caregiver training. For more information, please call Home Care Pulse at (877) 307-8573 or visit homecarepulse.com.

To find out more about Seniors Helping Seniors® commitment to excellence, please visit www.seniorcarechicagometro.com or call or text Sylvie at 312-526-3666.

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Tech Solutions Help Self-Isolating Seniors Connect to Family

shschicagometro 26 Feb 2021

Tech Solutions Help Self-Isolating Seniors Connect to Family

Tech Solutions for Isolating Seniors

Connection and belonging are vital to the health and well-being of older adults. Without them, seniors can become isolated and lonely, which can contribute to serious health consequences. According to a PBS article, negative effects may include reduced cognitive function, higher heart disease rates, and a greater risk for premature death. Unfortunately, there are also increased risks that come with encouraging older adults to physically socialize with others in their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When properly employed, technology can help strike a balance between those risks. Suppose you are a senior who would like to get started with the right tech solutions; there are a few things that you’ll need to take into consideration, including physical or cognitive limitations such as deteriorating vision or weakened grip strength.

Use this guide from Seniors Helping Seniors to find the right gear and the best ways to stay connected and engaged during this unprecedented period of isolation.

Choose the Right Tech Gadgets

Seniors have a lot of reasons for feeling uncomfortable using technology, and it goes beyond the hesitance to try something new. With senses like vision and hearing not what they used to be, a gizmo that is challenging to just read isn’t going to be enticing to use. Thankfully, many new tablets, smartphones, and computers offer a host of accessibility features that make them perfectly suitable for use at any age. You can use speech-recognition, enlarged screen displays, and voiceover capabilities, just to name a few.

With the right device on board, there may still be some hesitance to using it, but stay persistent. You might just need to look around a bit. If one device isn’t a good fit, be willing to keep trying until you find the right one. It is helpful to demo a few family members’ devices, but use common sense and best health practices to reduce the spread of germs. You might surprise yourself with how easy you adapt to using new technology.

Use Online Tutorial Services

As ZDNet explains, there are great video conferencing platforms available online and through app stores. While most are relatively intuitive, a few quirks will be easier to work around with advanced knowledge. This is where free online classes can come in handy. So, go ahead, grab a cup of coffee and sit back for a tutorial or two before you join your first Zoom meeting. You’ll be glad you took the time to familiarize yourself, so you don’t miss any of the much more precious time seeing your family and friends online.

Once you’ve mastered the skills you need to connect face-to-face virtually, you can explore lots of other possibilities for livening up your connections. You can play a board game, host a book club, attend virtual events, cook a meal and eat together—really, you’re limited only by your imagination!

Secure a Good Connection

The proper internet connection will make video conferencing and online get-togethers go much more smoothly, so don’t settle for slow service. 5G internet has arrived in many major metropolitan areas and offers high-speed and reliable service. You can also look into senior rates or special programs for low-income households if you are on a very limited income.

As a senior, you need to stay connected to the outside world, even if current health measures mean you are confined to your home. Nurture that connection by choosing appropriate tech devices, establishing a proper internet connection, and reviewing tutorials for any video conferencing solutions you’ll be using. The joy you experience when you connect with friends and family will be well worth the effort.

Could you benefit from a helping hand? Seniors Helping Seniors in-home services can offer assistance with day-to-day tasks so you or your senior loved one can live independently! Call 312-526-3666 or send us a message to learn more!

Article contributed by Libby Howell at Grandparent.info

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The Importance of Holistic Self-Care When Downsizing

shschicagometro 21 Jan 2021

The Importance of Holistic Self-Care When Downsizing

Downsizing can be an emotional undertaking, even when you know it’s in your best interest to let go of a space that may be too large for you to manage or to safely navigate as you age. However, downsizing can also provide an opportunity to move into a new space and a new phase of life that can bring benefits of its own. Seniors Helping Seniors of the Chicago Metro area can be a helpful resource as you decide the best options for your unique circumstances.

Finding A New Space

Depending on your situation, you may choose to downsize to a smaller home, condo, or apartment in a family neighborhood, or you may opt for a retirement community or senior assisted living facility. The most important thing to consider is how you make this new space feel like a comfortable and welcoming new home environment. A qualified real estate agent can help you find a housing option that fits your needs. You can make the transition less stressful by getting help with packing, moving, and setting up, and ensuring you have some of your familiar personal items at hand. If you need to sell your existing home, your realtor can help with this process and may be able to coordinate timing so you don’t have to worry about transitional housing in-between your move from one home to another.

Wellness And Self-Care

If you’re in the process of downsizing and relocating, it’s critical to ensure you’re taking care of both your physical and mental health. In-home care can be invaluable, as are holistic self-care measures like sticking to a well-balanced nutritious meal plan and maintaining your social connections. Make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep, and if you’re under a physician’s orders, following them to the letter. According to Silver Sneakers, staying active is also important, and this can be done with senior-friendly exercises like walking, swimming, low-impact aerobic exercises, or senior yoga. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed as you start to undertake the downsizing process, take some time to sit quietly and practice relaxed mindful breathing until you feel centered and focused again.

Benefits Of Decluttering

One of the great benefits that come with a move is the chance to declutter! Friends, family, and other caregivers can aid the process by helping you sort through possessions. You may decide to give household items or heirlooms to family or friends, sell unwanted items at auction or via consignment, or donate goods to a worthwhile charity. It’s a good time to let go of the things you no longer need in your life. This act of decluttering and getting rid of things that no longer serve a purpose can help you have a fresh and organized new start. According to the American Association of Retired Persons, decluttering also creates a safer environment in which to safely navigate, helping mitigate the potential for accidental trips and falls.

Getting Settled

If you have caregivers or friends or family who is helping you move and get situated, ask for their help getting unpacked and settled into your new living quarters. Having everything in its place will help you feel more comfortable. Make plans to decorate your new surroundings in a way that feels positive and uplifting. Create a layout plan that’s comfortable for you to navigate and easy for upkeep purposes. You may want to set aside space that you use strictly for the purpose of meditation or stretching activities that will help ensure your mobility, balance, and stability, as well as give you a mental boost.

Downsizing can be a freeing time, allowing you to unburden yourself of material possessions you no longer want or need. It’s also an opportunity to create a bright vibrant new living space that brings joy and gives you a healthy, healing, and positive outlook. If you’re in the Chicago-Metro area and are interested in learning more about in-home care for yourself or a loved one, call or text Seniors Helping Seniors at (312) 526-3666 or email Sylvie Hutchings at info@chicagoshs.com.

Article contributed by Mary Shannon at SeniorsMeet.org

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2020 Best Caregivers Award

shschicagometro 24 Dec 2020

2020 has been a year to remember. Let’s not forget our providers that have been faced with many challenges this year.

This is why, we are going to award 3 caregivers with the Best Caregiver Award, this year.

We will announce each winner in the last 3 months of this year; October, November and December.

# 1 Rita Brown

#2 Dianne Collins

# 3 Alma Gray

Thank you for all your hard work and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone !!

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Beatrice White Interview with 720 WGN

shschicagometro 21 Dec 2020

Alma Gray, Best Caregiver 2020 #3

shschicagometro 21 Dec 2020

Alma Gray Best Caregiver 2020

Alma Gray has been with Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro for the past year.  She came to us as a retired Certified Nursing Assistant who wanted to keep working during her retirement.  Alma has not let her age slow her down.

Alma Gray & Mr. Love

Alma lost her daughter a year ago from cancer. Alma was her main caregiver and lived in the apartment above her daughter. She helped her every day. And when her daughter went into the hospital, Alma would spend her nights with her daughter at the hospital and go to her job helping a WWII widow during the day.  Alma now spends her spare time helping with her grandchildren.

During the pandemic, Alma kept one receiver, Mr. Love. And she has helped a bedbound receiver a few times at the last minute.  Alma is always glad to help. She loves helping the receivers and that is why she is a “best caregiver”!!

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How Seniors Can Use Technology to Stay Connected

shschicagometro 14 Dec 2020

Senior Technology Guide

Regular socialization is an integral part of life. But as we grow older, age-related challenges can make it difficult to get out of the house and socialize with our friends and family members. Becoming isolated is a very real threat to quality of life at any age.

Seniors Helping Seniors knows that regular socialization is essential for the health and wellbeing of everyone, especially those in their senior years. We’ve put together a technology guide to help seniors and their caregivers get set up with the tech tools they need to stay social.

Fighting Senior Isolation

Every senior knows that aging brings its share of challenges. Whether it’s the passing of old friends or the development of physical disabilities, these challenges make seniors particularly vulnerable to loneliness and isolation. What’s more, isolation only exacerbates age-related issues. Research shows that seniors with few social connections face a higher risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and cognitive disorders like dementia.

The good news is that seniors who find ways to stay social can prevent many of the health risks associated with senior isolation. As Psychology Benefits Society explains, emerging technologies show a lot of promise when it comes to helping seniors participate in community events, stay in touch with loved ones, attend religious gatherings, and access the care they need.

Essential Tools and Digital Services

Seniors can use all kinds of tech tools and services to stay connected with the rest of the world. Technology has come a long way in the past few years, and today’s tech devices are much more intuitive than their older counterparts.

If your computer is slow or difficult to navigate, consider investing in a brand-new piece of equipment to support your online activities. You may even be able to score a discount on a new computer when shopping online from popular tech brands like Lenovo! Remember — if you buy a desktop computer, you will need to purchase a separate webcam so you can video chat with family and friends.

Once you have the right equipment, set up software and apps that will enable you to connect with loved ones from afar. Try video chatting with long-distance family members, playing a game with friends, joining an online community of like-minded hobbyists, or attending a virtual church service. Just be sure to familiarize yourself with good cybersecurity practices as you explore everything the internet has to offer.

Making it Senior-Friendly

Seniors face a number of barriers when adopting technology. Many technologies just aren’t designed for the needs and abilities of seniors. For those who lack technology proficiency, special equipment, software, and device settings can be invaluable. For example, you can buy devices designed specifically for seniors, like the GrandPad tablet or the Jitterbug phone.

You can also make tweaks to regular smartphones to increase their accessibility. Many of these same accessibility upgrades can be applied to laptops and desktop computers as well. In your device settings, you should be able to adjust the size of text, increase color contrast, set up keyboard shortcuts, and enable text-to-speech services.

Bridging the Gap for Long-Distance Caregiving

Another great way technology can benefit seniors is by connecting caregivers with loved ones who live far away. Senior caregivers can use document-sharing services like Google Docs and Google Sheets to keep long-distance loved ones in the loop. This is a great way to relay information about health conditions, appointments, medications, and even finances.

Certain technologies, such as medication reminders and fall-alert devices, can help seniors feel more secure aging-in-place when a caregiver cannot be present 24/7. Take advantage of all the tech that’s available to you! The right tools will have a significant impact on your quality of life.

Thanks to the technological advancements of the 21st century, aging is getting easier and easier every year. Seniors no longer have to face the threat of loneliness and isolation when they live far away from loved ones. With the help of user-friendly equipment and intuitive apps, you can stay connected with anyone, from anywhere!

Technology will never completely replace the need for in-person care and support. If you could use some help around the house, Seniors Helping Seniors can provide assistance, if you need help. Call 312-526-3666.

Article contributed by Mary Shannon from SeniorsMeet.org

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Dianne Collins, Best Caregiver 2020 #2

shschicagometro 04 Dec 2020

Diane Collins Best Caregiver 2020

Best Caregiver 2020

Dianne Collins is a native Chicagoan. She started in home health when she was eighteen and it has been her vocation ever since. “For me it is all about empathy, being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes is essential,” says Dianne.

After Dianne finished her Certified Nurses Aid training, she started working for Misericordia, a campus that cares for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. “I was fortunate to learn and experience so much in the amazing ten and a half years I worked there. Now with Seniors Helping Seniors®, I use all that training to help me with the seniors in my care.” Dianne says she feels lucky to have worked with so many remarkable people during her career as a caregiver.

“Dianne was referred to Seniors Helping Seniors® by a friend that thought she would be a great fit for a caregiver position. She has been a tremendous help to me during COVID”, says Sylvie Hutchings owner of Seniors Helping Seniors® Chicago Metro. “Dianne did not take one day off, instead she covered her shifts and shifts of other caregivers who decided to retire or step down due to their health.”

Dianne has three receivers she cares for downtown and she fearlessly went downtown during the riots to take care of them. She recently lost several receivers she was providing end-of-life care for. Dianne was with them to the end of their journey and supported the family. Her receivers love her, and she loves them. That is why she is the Best Caregiver 2020.

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A Late-Life Move is a Smart Choice (That Requires Planning)

shschicagometro 30 Nov 2020

Late-Life Move SMart Choice

As people age, there are more than a handful of reasons why living in a large home may not be the best decision and a late-life move could be a smart choice. Mobility issues may prevent proper maintenance, and a limited income can mean having to choose between paying the mortgage or buying much-needed prescription medications. Fortunately, seniors have many options that can help them remain independent while enjoying the most valuable benefit of retirement: time.

Is It Time to Move?

If the thought of downsizing to a smaller home has been swirling around your head, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are there many areas of my home that are not used?
  • Can I honestly handle lawn and home maintenance?
  • Do I feel isolated because I am physically too far from family?
  • Do I have too much stuff?
  • Can I safely navigate throughout the house?
  • Do I have enough equity to finance travel or other interests?

Think about your answers, but be honest with yourself. The idea of leaving a long-time home can be stressful, but the world of possibilities on the other side of the move is a great motivation.

Testing the Waters

If you have decided to downsize, why not give it a test drive? Staying in a local vacation rental can give you an idea of what living in a home that size would be like. Plus, you can treat this as a little staycation and enjoy local attractions. According to Turnkey, there are plenty of opportunities for you to really familiarize with different areas in Chicago, whether you decide to take a tour of its architecture or spend time in West Town, Lincoln Park, or another neighborhood. If this experience has further influenced your decision to downsize, the next step is making moving preparations.

Getting Ready

Moving when you are a senior requires quite a bit of planning, and you may not find a home that checks every box. A few home modifications may be necessary to ensure that your new home is safe and comfortable. While this may be a significant cost (less than $10,000 on average), if you find the right home, making a few modifications can save you money compared to staying in your current home, where it may be necessary to do a complete interior and exterior overhaul.

You’ll also need to evaluate how much stuff you have and how much of that can come along with you. You may not be able to bring large pieces, and if clutter is something you are trying to avoid, you’re going to have to be very selective on what you do keep. Start by making note of those things you simply can’t live without, such as family photos. Everything else should be donated, given to family, or sold to help you pay for new, smaller furniture, for your compacted space. (RealSimple offers advice on the best pieces when you don’t have a lot of room.)

Throughout the process, make sure to talk to your realtor for advice on everything from design to which movers are the best for seniors.

When Alone Isn’t Safe

Before you choose a home, it may be necessary to decide if living alone is truly the best option for you. Sometimes, even buying a smaller home with accessible, senior-friendly features doesn’t quite do the trick. Hiring in-home senior care services, which Seniors Helping Seniors provides, can help improve your quality of life without the need to do everything yourself. From companionship to personal care, an in-home caregiver can help make living at home safe.

You may also talk to your doctor and family to determine if it is in your best interest to move into an assisted living or independent living community. Make sure that you understand the difference between the two; it is important to differentiate, because independent living centers, while they provide common spaces, housing, and some amenities, don’t usually offer help with everyday activities. If you have significant mobility limitations, an assisted-living center can keep you safe while ensuring that your hygiene, nutrition, and other needs are met.

Moving in your golden years takes away the burden of caring for a large home. It can free up time and money, and this can give you a new quality of life. Remember, things won’t be the same, but change is not something to be feared. Be honest with yourself and decide if staying in your home is the best option or if you would be safer and happier by downsizing your accommodations.

If you’ve decided to continue living independently, but need assistance with personal care, chores, and other daily living activities, contact Seniors Helping Seniors today.

Article written by Hazel Bridges from agingwellness.org

Image via Pexels

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Rita Brown, Best Caregiver 2020 #1

shschicagometro 12 Nov 2020

Rita Brown with her receiver Mrs. Jennett a World War II widow.

Best Caregiver 2020

Rita Brown was referred to Sylvie Hutchings, from Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care service Chicago Metro, in December 2015 by a veteran at Jesse Brown VA Medical Center. “She is an ideal caregiver,” says Sylvie.  “She is very professional, hardworking, and caring to the seniors.”

At the beginning of 2016, Rita began working with a World War II veteran located outside of Chicago. It started as a temporary assignment, however, the family loved Rita right away. Rita took care of the Veteran and his wife until the wife was sent to a memory facility. Rita went to visit her daily and would feed her during lunchtime. After the wife died, Rita supported the family during the funeral.

Rita Brown with her receiver Mrs. Jennett a World War II widow.
Rita with her receiver Mrs. Jennett a WWII widow.

“Rita has been a tremendous help for Seniors Helping Seniors, filling in for a last-minute shift, covering assignments, even doing temperature checks at a factory at 5 am in the morning during COVID-19,” says Sylvie. “Rita is always on time, if not early. She is reliable, helpful, and goes the extra mile.” It is because of the traits she brings to the job; she has been voted Best Caregiver for 2020. Thank you, Rita Brown, for your service!

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Healthy Gift Ideas for Senior Loved Ones

shschicagometro 12 Nov 2020

Healthy Gift Ideas for Senior Loved Ones

Finding ways to promote wellness for seniors is important, whether it’s encouraging them to get outside for exercise or finding supplements that help reduce pain and improve mobility. Consider giving wellness-promoting gifts to the seniors in your life. Use this guide for ideas and resources. If you need ideas or want to connect with other seniors, Seniors Helping Seniors can help.

Gifts that promote health and wellness

Along with helping lift your senior’s mood, a gift that promotes wellness is a gift that keeps on giving. Think about gifts that encourage exercise, stress relief, and pain reduction—new sneakers, juicers, aromatherapy candles, and joint supplements are all great options for the seniors in your life.

If the senior in your life has trouble finding motivation for exercise, you might want to buy them a new pair of sneakers. Having a new pair of shoes will make it easier for them to get outside for walks in the neighborhood or even a hike in a nearby forest. Exercise doesn’t have to be vigorous to be beneficial, and a new pair of shoes will help encourage them to get outside.

Healthy eating gifts

Some seniors find it laborious to make healthy food at every meal, but a juicer or blender can make it easier to get vital fruits and veggies into their diet. There are many juice blends that can be incredible for health, but it’s important to know what juices to avoid. Some green juices can interact with medications, but safe juice options include carrots, apples, pears, and oranges. One great way to balance out the sugar is to blend the juice with protein powder.

Self-care gifts

One aspect of health and wellness includes stress relief, so consider a relaxation-promoting gift for your senior. A few options include an aromatherapy candle, a new teapot with a collection of stress-reducing teas, or a massage tool.

For seniors who have consistent anxiety and sore muscles, a trip to the spa is a great gift. Find a spa that can offer massages tailored for seniors, and ensure that they can offer safe options for people who may be at risk for COVID-19.

Supplement gifts

If your senior deals with mobility issues or consistent joint p