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The Scoop: News & Blog

The Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha 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®.

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!

The post The Transformative Benefits of In-Home Occupational Therapy for Seniors appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

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.

The post Unlock Financial Independence with Seven Expert Budgeting Tips for Seniors appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

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.

The post Boost Brainpower: Eight Seniors Helping Seniors® Games For Better Mental Agility appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

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.

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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!

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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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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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4 Seniors Helping Seniors® Spring Cleaning Tips For A Fresh & Safe Home

shsgreateromaha 10 Mar 2023

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 the Heartland 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!

  1. 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.

  1. 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 are able to 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!

  1. 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 aren’t 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.

  1. 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 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 provide encouragement, 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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Celebrate The Awesomeness Of Seniors With Seniors Helping Seniors® In-Home Care Services!

shsgreateromaha 10 Mar 2023

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 cleints 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® cleints embrace the challenges that accompany aging with a fierce conviction to growing older gracefully and the ability to do it all with a positive mindset. Let’s 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, 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 cleints’ 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 good will 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 enormous positive response that will keep you and everyone around you feeling incredible!

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

 

 

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

shsgreateromaha 04 Jan 2023

As we ring in a new year, it’s time to reboot and think about your intentions for 2023. That’s 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’s 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’s start digging…

 

What’s 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 aren’t sure what you’re 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’ve got that down, think about your reasons for pursuing it. For instance, do you want to improve your own 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 great 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.

Knowing exactly what you hope to accomplish will help you set S.M.A.R.T goals (which we discuss below) and make it easier to stay focused on your overall intentions.

 

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’s time to set some objectives!

You’ve 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 won’t be met. That’s OK! Unsuccessful attempts aren’t failures, they’re 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 doesn’t have to. 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!

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

shsgreateromaha 09 Dec 2022

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

We’ve helped families navigate this process time and again. 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.

  1. 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’re starting to find difficult. This can be a good way to get your senior loved one thinking about the future.

Additionally, watch for outside cues or changes in circumstance 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 all be segways into a larger conversation about their well-being and continued independence.

  1. 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 don’t 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’d 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.

  1. Remember, This Is A Conversation

And, most likely, 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; don’t 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.
  • If your special senior isn’t ready for full-time help yet, suggest short-term or task-based assistance as a starting point.
  1. 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’re struggling to get the conversation started, give us a call. 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

shsgreateromaha 09 Dec 2022

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 off your grandchild’s list this season, make them light up with a special memento.

Our Seniors Helping Seniors® team loves to help our clients in the Heartland find creative ways to share their most memorable moments and precious memories. Including a few special items under the tree is a great way to do this. And since you can find plenty of heartfelt gifts in your own home, that also means you won’t 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.

1.   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’ll 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’s also a great opportunity to share a personal story about it, giving your loved one insight into why this present is so special to you.

2.   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 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 past family trips or get togethers

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!

3.   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’ve lost.

4.   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’s 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’s a wonderful way to forge an even stronger connection with those you hold dear!

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(F)ALL About Maintenance! Seniors Helping Seniors® Tips For Seasonal Prep

shsgreateromaha 12 Oct 2022

With temperatures starting to cool and the hustle and bustle of summer at an end, autumn is a wonderful time to perform yearly maintenance around your home or that of a senior loved one. For Seniors Helping Seniors® care receivers in the Heartland, 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’s better, most of these fixes don’t require a professional – they can be done with the help of a Seniors Helping Seniors® companion, friend, or family member. Who’s ready to get started?

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 hot 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 the 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 isn’t difficult. Oftentimes, you’ll be able to feel one simply by standing close to the area where 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’ll likely 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 good 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’re 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 won’t scratch or damage gutters and you can cut it to the exact shape needed.
  • A toilet snake is the perfect tool for clearing clumps of wet leaves and debris from downspouts.

Though gutter cleaning isn’t tough, it may require a ladder, so be sure to enlist the help of your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver or a family member to stay safe!

Once you’ve 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’re at it, drain garden hoses and store 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’s leaves. It’s 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’s get to work!

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Map Out A Fun Fall Road Trip With Seniors Helping Seniors® In-Home Care Services!

shsgreateromaha 12 Oct 2022

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

  1. Fall Foliage Tour

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

The best news is there is probably 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.
  1. Seek Out Local Cuisine

Perhaps 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 lunch time, and a decadent dessert on the way home.

Before hitting the road, it’s a good idea to call ahead to the places that make the list to ensure they’ll be open. Restaurant hours often vary from day-to-day and season-to-season.

  1. 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 your 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 delights in watching our clients experience the joy in each season and we’re always excited to provide a compassionate and friendly companion to join in the fun. After all, when it comes to road trips, the true beauty is in the journey.

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Change The Game, Seniors! Stimulate Mind & Body With Video Gaming

shsgreateromaha 15 Sep 2022

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 encourages our care receivers to push the limits.

This fall, step outside your comfort zone and try a fun and unexpected way to stimulate 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 great time doing it!

The Original Gamer Generation

It may seem like gaming is a relatively new trend, but it has actually been around for almost half a century. In fact, 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 20s when video games entered the scene!

But you don’t 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 80’s 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’re 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’re 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’re 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’s a great way to connect with friends and family with an activity that spans the ages!

Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services knows 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 aren’t just for kids– they’re 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!

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Dig In To Fall! Plan For Autumn Planting With Seniors Helping Seniors® In-Home Care Services

shsgreateromaha 07 Sep 2022

Cooler temperatures are settling in throughout the Heartland, 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’s take a moment to uncover how gardening helps those we serve 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 pesky 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’s 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 keeps 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. Heartland hardiness zones, or the area in which a plant can thrive, can range all the way from 3b to 8a, depending on your location. Keep this in mind when deciding which plants to incorporate into your space and you’ll 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 Heartland. 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 Heartland 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. Don’t 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!

The post Dig In To Fall! Plan For Autumn Planting With Seniors Helping Seniors® In-Home Care Services appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

3 Seniors Helping Seniors® Tips For A Safe And Successful Day On The Links!

shsgreateromaha 12 Aug 2022

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 actually make up one quarter of all golfers – and that’s because a day on the course offers some major benefits. For example, Seniors Helping Seniors® care receivers in the Heartland could 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 aren’t enough…it’s 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’s always the possibility for 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!

Play It Safe! 3 Tips For Senior Golfers

While the following advice applies to every golfer, no matter their age, it’s 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’s no secret, the Heartland’s midday temperatures can be scorching in August! Whenever possible, schedule tee times early in the morning, when the sun isn’t quite 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 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’s 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’ll enjoy getting to learn the game, you’ll benefit from a more relaxing day, and you’ll 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 don’t shy away from challenging them to a friendly match! Not only will golfing with someone else make the round more fun, you can 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 aren’t 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’s 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.

The Heartland is known to have creepy crawlers as well, so if you hit your ball into the rough, make sure it’s 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’re with need assistance. They often have access to food, drink, and safety equipment that could help prevent a serious health issue.

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 great way to have some fun while enjoying a host of positive benefits and the company of your Seniors Helping Seniors® companion! Now, who’s ready to hit the links?!

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Oh, The Places You’ll Go! Get Out of Town with Seniors Helping Seniors® In-Home Care Services

shsgreateromaha 08 Aug 2022

Summer is a great time to plan a trip with family and friends for lots of reasons! You can generally 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’re not prepared. With a little forethought, however, you can enjoy a smooth road to relaxation.

Let’s look at a few simple ways to ensure you’re ready for a hiccup-free getaway!

Plan Ahead

Not every minute of your vacation needs to be scheduled out, but it’s a good idea to have a general plan for what you’ll be doing on your trip. Before leaving, take some time to research the area so you’re not faced with surprises that will disrupt your fun. Consider the following:

Transportation

Depending on the destination, you might need to make arrangements 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 on utilizing ride-share services for activities that aren’t 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 major issues. For example, if you’re flying, you’ll likely need an approved I.D., your plane tickets, and perhaps, 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 own 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’m 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’s essential, getting you off to a great start!

Keep medication handy

If medication is part of your daily routine, it’s important to pack it in a safe place. Keep all your essential medications together and easily accessible throughout the trip. If you’re 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’re on the go.

Proper rest is often one of the first things to fall by the wayside on vacations. You don’t want to miss a thing so there’s the temptation to plan an activity for every minute of every day. But it’s 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’s 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 don’t hesitate to get them in on the fun! Now, the only question left to answer is: Where will you go first?

The post Oh, The Places You’ll Go! Get Out of Town with Seniors Helping Seniors® In-Home Care Services appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Meal Prep For Success With Seniors Helping Seniors® In-Home Care Services

shsgreateromaha 07 Jul 2022

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 the Heartland can realize some serious benefits from it as well. In fact, it’s 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’ve 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 a 3-day span. 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’ll be portioning meals into food-safe containers that you can grab for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks, so you’ll 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’re microwave, dishwasher, and freezer safe and try to use dishes that stack nicely to save space in the refrigerator.

It’s also helpful to dedicate one day of the week for planning meals and one day for preparing them. Otherwise, it’s easy to put these tasks off until tomorrow, or 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 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’re happy to assist!

Three Steps To Manageable Meal Planning

Now, the fun part – it’s time to dig in! There are three main steps in the meal prep process: planning, shopping, and prepping.

  1. Planning

Before creating a meal plan, think about your main goal. Do you want to save money? Lose weight? Ensure you’re eating a balanced diet? 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’ll make for the week. Remember, one or two is plenty if you’re just getting your feet wet. If you’re 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’s 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!

  1. Shopping

Now that you’ve done your pre-prep planning, grab your Seniors Helping Seniors® companion and head to the grocery store! Here are a few suggestions while you’re there:

  • Bring a list and stick to it! You’ll save money on impulse buys and avoid the temptation to grab items that don’t fit your ultimate goal.
  • If chopping and slicing is difficult, opt for pre-cut, canned, or frozen fruits and vegetables. They’ll 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 great time to find locally grown corn on the cob!

When you get home from shopping, wash all your produce so you’re ready to jump right in when it’s time for the next phase.

  1. Prepping

Now, it’s your designated prep day and you’re ready to start slicing and dicing! Depending on what’s 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’re done!

At Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services, we’re 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’re here to provide support, encouragement, and a helpful hand!

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Building Bonds: 3 Seniors Helping Seniors® Ways To Make Friends In Your Golden Years

shsgreateromaha 07 Jul 2022

At Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services, we know that fostering new friendships can be difficult as 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’s a fact of life that as we age, our social circle naturally grows smaller. As adults, there’s 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’re young.

But what if you find yourself lacking a close group of pals as you enter your Golden Years?

First of all, understand that you’ve got company. According to a recent study from the AARP, one-third of adults over the age of 55 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 encourages those we serve to connect.

1.   Join The Club!

Nowadays, there’s 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 great 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’re paying attention and indicates you respect the other person.
  • Smile! Showing off your pearly whites is welcoming and puts others at ease.
  • Be sincere. Don’t force it if a connection doesn’t feel right or pretend to enjoy something you don’t.

Still feeling the nerves? Ask your Seniors Helping Seniors® companion to tag along! Having a friend in tow can put you at ease and help facilitate conversation with people you’ve just met.

2.   Connect Online

Social media groups provide a space to meet like-minded seniors as well. Like in-person clubs, there’s a group for every niche you can think of. And if what you’re searching for doesn’t 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 pickle ball league sign-ups!

If you struggle with using new technology or social media platforms, you’re not alone there either. Ask a Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver to lend a hand. After all, two heads are better than one!

3.   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 likely other ‘regulars’ who frequent the establishment as well and may have hobbies similar to your own. Strike up a conversation by asking what they’re 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.

Don’t forget — our Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers make excellent companions too! They love trying new things and expanding on hobbies, so don’t 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 likely have shared hobbies and interests that will make bonding a breeze!

The bottom line is, it’s never too late to make a new friend! Though this process can be uncomfortable and difficult at times, the rewards you’ll experience make it all worthwhile.

The post Building Bonds: 3 Seniors Helping Seniors® Ways To Make Friends In Your Golden Years appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Energize Your Summer! Fight Fatigue With Seniors Helping Seniors® In-Home Services

shsgreateromaha 07 Jun 2022

Summer in the Heartland means longer days, more sunshine, and plenty of time to get out and about 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’re feeling this way, you’re 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 possible causes, and uncover tips for getting your energy back!

Tired vs. Fatigued: What’s The Difference?

We’ve 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’re simply tired from an active week or restless night’s sleep, you’ll 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® 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 long stretches of time 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’s 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 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:
    • Your level of fatigue
    • The importance of the activity
    • 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 get to the bottom of the issue.

If you need some extra support while you’re feeling sluggish, call on Seniors Helping Seniors® 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.

 

The post Energize Your Summer! Fight Fatigue With Seniors Helping Seniors® In-Home Services appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

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

shsgreateromaha 04 May 2022

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® 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!

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

shsgreateromaha 04 May 2022

The Seniors Helping Seniors® family loves seeing our care receivers enjoy the best parts of each season. With summer fast approaching in the Heartland, 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. – Sweet corn, a prevalent crop throughout much of the Heartland, 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’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, you or your senior loved one will find plenty of health-conscious ways to enjoy the tastes of the season!

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

shsgreateromaha 08 Apr 2022

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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Off The Leash! Seniors Helping Seniors® Tips For A Tail-Wagging Walk

shsgreateromaha 08 Apr 2022

Seniors in the Heartland can get the most out of walking their dog by following a few simple suggestions. After all, 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’s 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’s important to take a few precautions. After all, 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 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 don’t hesitate to bring them into the mix!

It’s 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 prior to walking. A tired pup will likely 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 time of day

Spring weather in the Heartland can be unpredictable. Go for a walk when it’s most comfortable (for you and your pal), 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 conversation with a pal!

Be The Master

A misbehaving dog can be a danger to its owner and itself. Unexpected lunging and pulling increases 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 buddies!

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 great way to explore the neighborhood, a new park in town, or an area nature preserve. Keep the safety measures we’ve outlined in mind, and discovering new areas together will be a ball!

Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services understands the companionship of a dog can be just as important and beneficial as the relationships held with friends and loved ones. As always, we’re here to support our active senior community in all aspects of life, so grab your caregiver, your four-legged pal, and let’s roll!

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Three Must-Have Spring Houseplants For Greenery-Loving Seniors

shsgreateromaha 08 Mar 2022

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 the Heartland take on new interests and this pursuit is one that’s 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 chalk full of options. So, bust out the gardening tools, prepare to clean the dirt from your fingernails, and let’s dig in!

Boston Fern

The 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 60’s.

Did you know: Boston ferns actually 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 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 their 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 actually tell you when it needs 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

Best 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 scale 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 a helpful friend 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!

 

 

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Four Seniors Helping Seniors® Steps To Tackle Spring Cleaning

shsgreateromaha 08 Mar 2022

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 actually 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 Health

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.

Support 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 situation, 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, 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 doesn’t have to be something you dread – it can actually 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 a vigor for life, and no matter the job, we’re ALWAYS here to lend a kind hand!

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Tea Time! A Soothing Sip With Seniors Helping Seniors® In-Home Care Services

shsgreateromaha 11 Jan 2022

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 abilities 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!

 

 

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Seniors Helping Seniors® Hobbies To Kick Off The New Year

shsgreateromaha 11 Jan 2022

With chillier months upon us here in the Heartland, it can be tough to stay motivated. Afterall, 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? Afterall, discussing the stories and hearing other’s 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’s 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!

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The Year Ahead. Creating Your Senior Vision Board!

shsgreateromaha 08 Dec 2021

While winter’s chill might force us to stay inside a bit more in the coming weeks, it also creates space for us to think outside the box on goals for 2022! Here at Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services, we’re all about planning ahead. As we usher in a new year, let’s take advantage of extra time inside to map out our aspirations for the coming months. The changing weather in the Heartland makes the perfect time for designing your annual vision board!

This craft-turned life-roadmap is fun and simple to develop. The key is to SHOWCASE your goals through pictures, phrases, and artistic expressions.

What you’ll need:

  • Posterboard
  • Magazines
  • Images from your favorite artwork, books, or online printouts
  • Scissors
  • Glue sticks
  • Pens and markers

Here are a few Seniors Helping Seniors® tips to get started:

  1. Consider your goals!

This first step is important: Set aside time to sit down and write out what you’d like to accomplish in the new year. These aims can be big or small, tangible or intangible. For example, you might want to spend more time with family and friends, travel somewhere you’ve never been, organize your home, start a new hobby or simply remember to drink more water. Nothing is out of reach!

Once you’ve got them down on paper, prioritize your initiatives according to their significance. Create a new list, recording your objectives from most important at the top to least important at the bottom.

 

  1. Lock in your layout

Now that you’ve decided what you want to accomplish in 2022, draw a grid on your poster board. The easiest way to do this is by splitting your board into three equal sections, both vertically and horizontally. When you’re done, you’ll have nine evenly spaced blocks.

 

  1. Position your goals and intentions

Group your list of objectives into categories, depending on the area of your life they fit into. For example, family, travel, and self-improvement could all be included as individual sections. Write one of these categories in each of the nine segments on your board. This step helps round out your vision. Take a minute to ensure you’ve covered all the areas you feel are important.

After deciding a theme for each section, jot down the goals and aspirations you have inside the box for that category. This serves as a reminder of your specific intentions and a guide to what type of pictures and phrases you’ll want to incorporate.

  1. Gather pictures and words that relate

Now that you know what types of images and phrases you’re looking for. Start browsing the magazines, books, and artwork you’ve compiled, clipping anything connected to your goals. If one of your hopes is to travel, you might use a photo of a sandy beach or the word “strong” if you plan to focus on fitness.

As you extract images, put them in piles corresponding to the nine sections on your vision board. This can also be a great part of the project to invite your grandkids or a few friends to help with. The more the merrier!

  1. Arrange your materials and start gluing!

Start positioning what you’ve clipped onto your vision board, but don’t glue anything down right away. You might want to rearrange or swap out a picture! Wait until you are completely satisfied with your design to make it permanent. You can also take this opportunity to trim the items you’ve gathered so they fit neatly in the space and don’t cover too much of your other clippings.

 

Use whatever approach works for you, but to start, it can be helpful to add one or two pictures in each section of your board and continue layering this way until you’ve incorporated all your ideas. Feel free to add finishing touches like colorful doodles or stickers – whatever helps express your aspirations!

 

  1. Display your board

You’ve finished creating your vision board…now what? Find a spot in your home to hang it proudly! Choose a place where you’ll see it regularly.

 

For an extra special touch, get it laminated at an office supply store or find an inexpensive frame to make your masterpiece really pop!

 

 

  1. Assess your goals daily

Your work isn’t done once you finish your vision board. In fact, it’s just beginning. Creating your board is important, but so is reviewing it regularly. Take a few minutes to look over your vision board every day. Doing so will allow you to truly focus on the areas you’ve chosen to improve and move you one step closer to conquering each of those 2022 aspirations!

The post The Year Ahead. Creating Your Senior Vision Board! appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

A Season of Senior Stories

shsgreateromaha 08 Dec 2021

Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services cherishes learning about our care receivers’ legacies. As we gather with family for the holidays here in the Heartland, 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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The Flavors Of Home: Traditional Heartland Thanksgiving Dishes

shsgreateromaha 02 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 the Heartland. 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!

The Heartland 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!

Jell-O

Jell-O has made its way as a common ingredient into many Heartland 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. We wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and hope the day fulfills you with spectacular dishes, memories and companionship.

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Gratitude Journaling With Your Seniors Helping Seniors® Caregiver

shsgreateromaha 01 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 It?

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 use it 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 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!

The post Gratitude Journaling With Your Seniors Helping Seniors® Caregiver appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Seniors Helping Seniors® Season Of Self-Care!

shsgreateromaha 30 Sep 2021

For many of us, maintaining good physical and mental balance proves key in enjoying an independent lifestyle. With autumn change in the air, now’s the perfect time to refresh our self-care routines. At Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services, we’ve come up with a checklist of some of our favorite 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’s 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 risk of injury, as well as post-workout soreness.
  • Drink water throughout. Hydrating not only keeps your thirst at bay, but it 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® 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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Autumn Art: Senior Craft Ideas for Fall

shsgreateromaha 30 Sep 2021

As summer comes to a close in the Heartland, Fall whisks in with milder days and a wonderful slate of seasonal activities. Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services draws inspiration from the world outside, using Autumn’s fiery landscape to bring light and beauty to everyday décor.

Yes, we’re talking about crafting: A quintessential hobby this time of year! With shorter days ahead, as well as a robust selection of harvest and natural materials at hand, now’s the perfect time to create.

Beyond crafting’s ability to spark inventiveness and keep the mind sharp, our Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers know it also may help with hand-eye coordination. In this latest blog, we’ve jotted down three of our favorite Autumn craft activities. Sit back, take a look and let your ideas flow!

Tri-Colored Pinecone Wreath

Wreaths are so versatile, adding a major accent to any front porch or interior wall! Moreover, these focal pieces don’t just apply to the holidays here in the Heartland. Fall foliage lends itself to these timeless arrangements. At the same time, they’re the perfect art activity for any skill level. Just follow these instructions to get started.

DIRECTIONS

  1. Purchase a wreath frame from any hobby or home décor store.
  2. Pick up some colorful, silk leaves.
  3. Take a walk outside, selecting your favorite pinecones.
  4. Wrap twine around the wreath frame. This will give your materials an easy-stick surface.
  5. Glue the silk leaves to the wrapped wreath frame, covering the entire surface.
  6. Position and glue your pinecones to the wreath frame.
  7. Feel free to add a colorful bow on the bottom of the wreath as a flourish.

CRAFT TIP: Take your pinecones to the next level by spray painting them with different Fall hue colors. Looking for some sparkle? Add glitter! Finish it off with an Autumn scented spray – something with an apple or pumpkin aroma never disappoints.

Posh Pumpkin

Carving a pumpkin can be difficult on your hands. Still, there are other ways to go all out with gourds! Using paints, stick-on jewels, beads, and lights, you can turn any jack-o’-lantern into a porch showstopper. Consider the following ideas as a starting point!

Polka-Dot Pumpkins

Grab circle stencils of various sizes and simply trace! Once you have the outlines sketched to your liking, fill them in with paint or colored markers. This is a relaxing creative outlet for adults and children alike, so invite others to join.

Pumpkin Light Globe

This activity takes a matter of minutes but makes a memorable welcome. Find your pumpkin of choice. Wrap outdoor holiday lights around the harvesttime staple. White bulbs look amazing, however, have fun with the color you select.

Autumn Leaf Lover

You can find all the materials needed for this craft right outside. Not only does it allow you to tap into your creativity, but it also serves as a workout! Just explore your yard or local park, gathering some beautiful Fall leaves. Next, simply glue them to your pumpkin to create a collage aesthetic.

Fall Fancy  

Style runs from the stem down! Adhesive gems, beads and shimmering stickers can be found at most any crafts store. Apply these decorative flairs to your pumpkin or apples for a tabletop centerpiece.

Pumpkin Pouches

After you make these candy-filled jack-o’-lanterns, everyone who visits will simply glow when they see the sweet seasonal treats!

DIRECTIONS
1. Grab a handful of your favorite sugary confection.
2. Use some orange tissue paper to wrap up the sweets into a pumpkin-shaped pouch.
3. Tie up the whole bundle with green ribbon or some floral-themed tape, creating a stem.
4. Place the pumpkins in a patch! Garnish a tray with cinnamon sticks or decorative silk leaves.

Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services loves creating memorable moments between our Heartland caregivers and care receivers. We hope these Fall crafts bring you warmth, happiness and festive feelings in the weeks ahead. Enjoy the fun!

 

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Quilt Making: A Fall Tradition Stitched In Time

shsgreateromaha 31 Aug 2021

September ushers in shorter days and cooler evenings. After a long, blazing summer, Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services always welcomes the change of pace! This time of year, a patchwork of leaves starts to color the trees, while we all lean into the cozy days ahead. One staple of chilly weather – the quilt – covers a rich, vibrant history! We invite you to sit back, warm up, and enjoy this latest piece on a threaded artform.

Quilting Origins

 One of the oldest quilted pieces – found in Russia and dating back to 100 BC – was used as a carpet. Specifically, the artifact was discovered in a Mongolian cave and can be seen intact to this very day at the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The practice of quilt making can be traced back, in some form, to ancient Egypt. In Europe, quilts were discovered around the 12th century. They were introduced by the Crusaders and were worn under armor for protection. While early quilting was a necessity, they became decorative in the 1300s and gained notoriety in Italy around the same time.

So, what makes these personal warmers so strong, durable and beloved? Well, quilting essentially is the act of stitching two pieces of fabric together with padding in the middle. The word itself – quilt – comes from the Latin term culcita, which means “stuffed sack”. Since their origination, they’ve been built for the long run.

 

Quilting In The U.S.

The quilt became commonplace in America in the 1700s and was a sign of wealth. In those days, only those with an abundance of money had both the financial means and time to craft such decorative pieces. As the country grew in prominence, so did this popular activity. As a result, the 1800’s saw a rise in three distinct types of quilts:

Whole Cloth – Usually made from single pieces of material on both the top and bottom of the padding.

Broderie Perse – A technique of cutting printed fabric and adding them to a solid background. These were generally used as bedding quilts in the 19th century.

Medallion Quilts – Built around a centerpiece and then surrounded by different borders.

Then And Now!

America’s Industrial Revolution brought about drastic change as equipment technology and manufactured materials gave rise to quilts produced in the States. No longer were they pieces tethered together by hand with clothing scraps and leftover fabric. Now, they incorporated cotton, woven at a much faster pace – thanks to the invention of the sewing machine!

Quilting continued to evolve over the years, and it was even viewed as a patriotic duty during wartime. Many were donated to troops to bring a piece of home to the fight. As a result, the Red Cross was largely powered by donated quilts through World War II.

Today, quilting is more of a hobby than a necessity. For many families, the craft has been passed on from one generation to the next. At Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services, we celebrate the role of such time-honored customs in our lives. Whether it be quilting, music, art or another tradition, our senior caregivers share these common interests with everyone we serve!

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Claim Your Independence

shsgreateromaha 11 Aug 2021

Ways to Thrive In Your Independent Lifestyle

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 us 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 of 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 oft 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. In fact, 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 prides itself on helping others experience this freedom. With the right approach and support, seniors can discover empowerment with every new day.

 

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Virtual Mother’s Day Activities

shsgreateromaha 03 May 2021

Mother’s Day this year still might not look exactly like it usually does, but the feelings can be just as strong. For a second year in a row, we all have an opportunity to be creative and make holidays and family occasions more memorable during this time, and perhaps even more special, than they were in previous years.

“Remember that mothers will appreciate every gesture. They will appreciate a handwritten note, a phone call, the gestures of love—whatever it is,” Gottsman says. “It’s the effort.”

Here are a few ideas we have compiled.  Which will you try?

1.Take a flower arranging class together

No one appreciates a flower bouquet quite like your mom. This year, turn this classic Mother’s Day gift into a mother-daughter activity that she’ll cherish for years to come. Sign up for a virtual flower arranging class.  Some companies will even send you all the materials you need to put together a stunning bouquet.

2.Write an Actual Letter

If spending money is out of the question, and your family isn’t equipped with the tools needed to spend time together online, there’s still a way to show your gratitude and love if you’re not able to physically be with your mother on her special day.

Thomas Farley, an etiquette expert, speaker and author, recommends going old school and sending a handwritten letter.

“This kind of gift is worth its weight in gold,” Farley says. An actual letter will be much more meaningful than an email or a text.”

3.Plan a Mother’s Day car parade 

More and more, “car parades” have become a way for those who are unable to celebrate in a group setting to mark the occasion and show love and support. You can do the same for mom. Make signs and posters and ask mom to look outside at a designated time and go all out.

4.Create a nostalgic slideshow

There is no better time to remember the good times. Memories are a wonderful thing, and they can serve as a touching reminder of what matters most. Put together a slideshow collection of your favorite childhood photos and/or videos that your mom or mom figure is sure to appreciate. Add in some sentimental music, loving quotes, or voiceovers from other family members to make it even more personal. When your mother figure gets on the video conference call, share your screen and watch her face light up as she watches your truly personalized gift. Make sure your mom figure has tissues handy!

5.Play a Mother’s Day virtual trivia game

Who knows mom the best? Find out with a virtual trivia game dedicated to mom! Create an exciting Mother’s Day competition. Ask ‘What is mom’s favorite book?’, ‘Where is mom’s favorite place to vacation?’, ‘What is mom’s favorite childhood memory?’ and see who in your family truly knows mom the best. If you don’t want to miss out on the fun, ask your mom to prep the questions so you can play, too.

Pro tip: Include real prizes that celebrate your mom. A future dinner date, weekend getaway, or spa day are all great options.

Sites/Apps like Poll Everywhere, Kahoot! and Schoology may be helpful resources.

6.Take an online cooking class

With a virtual cooking class, you can get the whole family to pitch in for her Mother’s Day brunch or dinner.  Sites like Craftsy have you covered with several options with classes as low as $10.

7.Deck out her front door

When you drop off her Mother’s Day card and gift, take some extra time to dress up her door with a spring wreath. That way, she’ll be surprised with a burst of cheer when she opens her door — and she can leave it up for the neighborhood to see all season long.

8.Write special messages on her driveway

Even if you can’t go inside to celebrate, there’s nothing holding you back from showering her with love (from a distance, of course). Ask your kids to lend a helping hand by using sidewalk chalk to draw rainbows, flowers, and write heartfelt messages to mom, grandma, or another woman worth celebrating. And then pray for no rain!!

Sources:

https://travelmotivv.com/blogs/new-update/10-best-quarantine-mothers-day-ideas-2021

https://blog.polleverywhere.com/how-to-celebrate-mothers-day-virtually/

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How Important is Respite Care?

shsgreateromaha 29 Apr 2021

The number of family caregivers is on the rise.  According to AARP, more than 53 million adults in the U.S. provide unpaid care to someone over the age of 50.   

As the country continues to age, millions more people will take on the responsibility of caring for an elderly loved one. 
While the rewards of caring for a loved one are many, so are the physical, emotional and economic burdens that go with it.  Sadly, family caregivers often go unrecognized for the contribution they make, often at the expense of their own health, finances and well-being.   

Family caregivers need support and resources to help them meet the care needs of their aging loved ones.  A recent study revealed that only 30% of caregivers were asked by healthcare providers what they needed to care for their loved one.  When they were probed further, they suggested that providers should provide information about respite care, caregiving services, financial assistance, transportation services and medication management resources.  

As care managers, we assist with respite care, from as little as one or two days a week – up to 24-hour care.  Our goal is to lighten the burden placed on families; guiding them through the process and solving any problems along the way.   

Here are some of the ways respite care can benefit you, if you are a caregiver: 

  • You get to relax.  Respite care can provide a necessary break during the day.  The time can be used doing whatever it is that rejuvenates you or make you feel refreshed.  Maybe it’s a walk in the neighborhood, visiting with a friend, going out to eat, or even taking a nap or reading a book. 
  • You get social engagement. You may get limited social interaction throughout the day, depending on the physical and mental capabilities of your loved one.  Getting the chance to spend time with people your age or who have similar interests is valuable and enjoyable.
  • You can gain peace of mind. Caring for another takes a lot of brain power.  You are constantly on guard and on alert.  Having someone you trust and who is willing to take responsibility (even for a short time) can do wonders for your emotional well- Everyone deserves a break sometimes! Imagine how enjoyable even mundane task like going to the grocery store could be without worrying about your loved one, or having to rush because you know you are “on the clock”.   
  • You can rediscover YOU. Taking care of someone full time can put you at risk of losing your sense of self and takes your attention away from other important people and things in your life. Getting time to step out of the caregiver role and into some of your own roles allows time to enjoy the things you love.  This will make it easier to provide quality care when you return to your caregiving role.  It may even allow you to gain a new sense of perspective for when you return to your caregiver role! 
  • It’s good for your health! Getting a break gives a good boost to your immune system!

Caregivers aren’t the only ones to benefit from a little respite.  Your loved one will benefit from new relationships and potential friendships, opportunities for growth and development, and an overall fun change of pace.  Not to mention, the elevated care they are likely to receive with the return of their refreshed and rejuvenated favorite caregiver (YOU!) 

The bottom line is that respite is good for everyone.  It is nothing to be ashamed of or feel guilty about wanting or needing.  Caregiver burnout is real.  Caregiver burnout exhausts your physical, mental, and emotional energy which can lead to resentment, illness and care that is just not up to par. Please don’t wait to see these negatives start creeping in.  Do your research now and find a trusted respite care professional who is willing to walk beside you and to help navigate the journey you are on.  When the time comes, you will be glad to have resources readily available to you! 

 

Sources:

https://platinum-communities.com/2018/01/04/respite-care-important-2/

https://blog.bayada.com/be-healthy/the-benefits-of-respite-care

 

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Home is Where the Heart is

shsgreateromaha 04 Feb 2021

COVID-19 has impacted so many areas of our daily lives over the past year.  One area of change impacting our industry  – more than ever, people are choosing to stay in their home. In fact, the number of people discharging directly from hospital to home has increased by 42% since the pandemic started. 

Home Care provides seniors with the help they need to discharge safely home, and stay home, reducing rehospitalizations. 

We offer a wide range of services from a few hours a day to 24 hours a day. 

It all begins with a free assessment.  Our care manager will assess the whole person, including the environment and social support system.  We help with everything from companionship to hands-on personal care. We take into consideration medical and emotional needs and review the financial circumstances. 

 By overseeing care and coordinating services with other providers we ensure that  each of our Receivers has what they need to be safe and comfortable at home.  

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Seniors Helping Seniors Greater Omaha selected for the 2019 Small Business Excellence Award

shsgreateromaha 30 Oct 2019

Seniors Helping Seniors Greater Omaha has been selected for the 2019 Papillion Small Business Excellence Award in the Home Health Care category by the Papillion Small Business Excellence Award Program. The Small Business Excellence Awards were established to reward the best of small businesses – those who focus on excellent customer service. Working exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business and marketing groups, their mission is to award the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

“Being selected for the Small Business Excellence Award for the fourth consecutive year is an honor. I am grateful for the exceptional efforts demonstrated by our Care Provider staff who have done such an outstanding job caring for our seniors.” said Denise Moser, Executive Director Seniors Helping Seniors Greater Omaha.

Recognition is given to companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value. These are small businesses that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community.

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Listening to Our Grandmothers

shsgreateromaha 29 Jun 2018

This is the third in our monthly series from guest blogger Nancy Hemesath.  Nancy challenges negative stereotypes of aging, believing that post-career years are meant to be both fulfilling and meaningful.  In this installment she discusses the wisdom of elders.

“When Grandmothers speak, the world heals.” (Hopi Proverb)   What is it about Grandmother’s voice that heals those who hear her message?  This mysterious saying drew my attention because it points to the value of our elders, something that is often overlooked in our society.

I believe the word that captures the most significant contribution of our elders is that of “wisdom.”  Accumulated knowledge, experience and reflection is the fertile soil for wisdom.  Those who have lived seven or eight decades have learned about the meaning of life through the years.  The very fact that elders have survived heartaches, losses, and disappointments suggests that they have “learned a thing or two because they have seen a thing or two.”  They have discovered, if they have been reflective, what is important versus what is trivial.  This is what they have to share with younger generations.

When I speak to groups of elders, I often ask them if, over the years, they have become more or less judgmental.  Inevitably, they say they are less judgmental than when they were young.   No doubt they have had loved ones who lived imperfect lives and remain beloved to them.  They have had grandchildren with purple hair whom they love unconditionally.  Tattoos are not such a big deal anymore because “the kids are good kids.”

These attitudes are earmarks of a wise person.  The voice of wisdom is compassionate toward both ourselves and others.  It is spacious; when practiced, our heart relaxes.  When we are listening to the voice of wisdom, we have a gentle good humor about ourselves or the situation.  There is a generosity of spirit, a kind open-hearted view of people and situations.  And finally there is a sense that all is well in the big picture.  This is, of course, the opposite of being uptight, defensive, humorless and fearful of impending doom.  These ideas are adapted from Maria Nemeth’s excellent book, “Mastering Life’s Energies.” https://acecoachtraining.com/mastering-lifes-energies-book/

Wise elders take the long view.    They have been through wars, social upheavals, storms of all kinds, economic downturns, and other catastrophes. They know that life is cyclical and the challenges of today, when met with courage, will yield a better day.  Because they have weathered these difficulties, they have also known peace, abundance and progress.  This perspective allows wise elders to be thankful for all of life’s experiences.

It is so beneficial for young people and elders to connect, to share ideas and learn from one another.  (A wise elder is never finished learning.)  Our world is in need of the wisdom that leads to healing.  It is when the wisdom and knowledge is shared among the generations that healing occurs.  “When Grandmothers speak, the world heals.

 

 

 

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What a Rehab Engineer Brings to Your Village

shsgreateromaha 28 Jun 2018

Many people are familiar with the professions of Occupational or Physical Therapist, but do you know what a Rehab Engineer does? In the second of our series, Meaghan Fitzgerald Walls, President and CEO of Assistology, LLC explains the profession and discusses benefits to our senior population.

Let’s talk about safety, independence, Quality of Life and opportunities for socialization.  These are aspects of our lives that matter greatly.  They matter for our mental and physical health and well being.

They are also the aspects of our lives that are often overlooked by traditional systems providing services and supports to individuals with temporary or permanent impairment.

A Rehab Engineer is a unique professional that focuses on meeting a person where they are in their abilities and applying Assistive Technology to help them achieve their goals related to safety, independence, Quality of Life and socialization.

How is this different than a clinical Occupational or Physical therapy team that may work with you?   As a Rehab Engineer I have a deep understanding of impairment and disability, as well as vast knowledge in Assistive Technology.  I use this combination of skills to understand how a person who is experiencing disability in their daily life interacts with their environment and the activities in which they want to participate.  And I work in collaboration with the individual, their family and other care providers to identify the best Assistive Technology solution to help them reach their goals, utilizing their current abilities.

We collaborate with and support the efforts of a clinical team by helping the individual engage in more activities throughout their day; giving them more opportunity to be active and social; empowering them to be independent and all the while ensuring they have a safe environment in which to be active.

Assistive Technology changes the lives of the people who use it, and the people in their lives.

When your path to participating in your favorite hobby, cooking your own meals, family game nights and keeping in touch with loved one is easier you are more likely to try something new!

When your loved one gains or recovers a level of freedom and independence to do something they enjoy, everyone can breathe a little easier.

“It takes a village”…let Assistology be part of yours.

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Summer Outdoor Activities for Seniors

shsgreateromaha 27 Jun 2018

Outdoor Activities for Seniors to Enjoy During the Summer

Getting outside during the summer offers health benefits to seniors. A Harvard Health study explains that time in the sun raises Vitamin D levels and improves moods.  For many seniors, a regular mood boost provided by outdoor activity can significantly enhance quality of life. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/vitamins/vitamin-d/

With health and safety in mind, seniors and their caregivers can enjoy being outdoors during the summer. Here is a list of summer activities that may be of interest to your senior.

Visit a Local Pool or Lake

In the heat of summer, spending time near water source is a great way to cool off. Some seniors may enjoy dipping their feet in the lake while others may want to sign up for a water aerobics class. Fishing is also a popular water-related activity. For those who don’t want to get wet, taking a boat ride or simply sitting somewhere with a scenic water view can be refreshing.

Bird Watching

For little or no money, bird watching can keep caregivers and seniors occupied and engaged all throughout the summer months. Whether relaxing in a nearby park or traveling to a wildlife refuge, bird-watching is fun and calming. For those who grow up passionate about the activity, a few simple tools will help enhance the bird-watching experience:

  • Set of binoculars
  • A few varieties of bird seed to scatter
  • Notebook or checklist for recording sightings
  • Birding app for identifying avian life

Attending a Simple Sporting Event

Major sporting events may be difficult for seniors, especially events hosted in large arenas where extensive walking, climbing and sum exposure are required. Local sporting events tend to be friendlier to the aging. Attend youth or recreational sports leagues’ games instead. Just bring a comfortable chair, kick back and cheer from the sidelines.

Play Basic Yard Games

Competitive seniors enjoy classic yard games. Caregivers and their seniors might run an informal summer tournament among friends or just between themselves. Just be sure to select yard games that are low impacting and appropriate for seniors limitations.

Popular Yard Games:

  • Cornhole
  • Bean bag toss
  • Croquet
  • Shuffleboard
  • Lawn Bowling
  • Horseshoes
  • Pickle ball

Check Out Local Festivals

Summer is high time for community fairs and local festivals. Everything from craft shows to free concerns in parks make getting outdoors more exciting. Look for a community calendar on the local government or regional recreation websites.

Take a Stroll

It’s basic, but taking a stroll is a pastime nearly everyone enjoys. Make going for a walk an outing by choosing different routes each day or driving to a scenic location to soak up the sights. Seniors will not only benefit from the sun but also from the leisurely, healthy movement.

Move Indoor Activities Outdoors

These favorite hobbies can be moved outdoors on summer days:

  • Painting
  • Crafting
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Scrapbooking
  • Playing Cards
  • Entertaining Friends
  • Building Models

Home Care Tip:

The hottest time of the day is 3pm. Schedule indoor activities for the mid to late afternoons to keep seniors from too much exposure to heat. Many seniors benefit from napping or eating in an air-conditioned space between those times when it’s too hot outside. https://www.almanac.com/fact/what-is-the-hottest-time-of-dayr

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Stay Healthy This Summer: Tips for Seniors

shsgreateromaha 25 May 2018

When the sun is out, so are many seniors. There’s plenty of fun to be had in the summer months but caregivers and their seniors also face unique risks. According to the CDC, around 31% of weather-related deaths in the US are due to heat related issues. Seniors, especially those with cardiovascular issues, are at increased risk of health problems resulting from heat exposure. Caregivers and seniors can stay cool using these tips:

Pay Attention to Heat Wave Reports

When you check the weather, pay attention to reports of heat waves. A combination of humidity and temperature, heat waves can dangerously affect the body temperature. There are three progressive levels of heat wave indicators to look for; Excessive Heat Watch, Excessive Heat Warning and Heat Advisory.

A heat watch indicates that the heat wave may be swelling up, increasing the risk of heat-related health problems. At this point, relocate any outdoor plans you have for the next two days to the indoors. Heat warnings indicate a heat wave is imminent. Seniors should prepare for outages and being homebound for a few days. Once a heat advisory is issued, seniors need to stay inside cool buildings and drink plenty of water.  https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/heat-wave-safety#Treat-Heat-Related-Illness

Stay Hydrated

One of the best ways to prevent heat-related health problems is simply to stay hydrated. Avoid caffeine, which actually dehydrates the body. Drink 8 glasses of water, fruit juice and even healthy sport drinks to stay cool and filled up with needed fluid.

Protect Your Skin

You’re never too old to suffer from sunburn. Protect your skin against sunburn and even skin cancer simply by applying sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more. Wear hats and light clothing too.

Find Cool Places to Spend Time

Air conditioning enables people to enjoy summer comfortably and safely. Some states offer low income citizens, including seniors, financial assistance paying energy bills. Another option for staying cool indoors is vising places with air conditioning like senior centers, movie theaters or local libraries.

Avoid Unnecessary Heat Sources

Don’t add heat to everyday living when it’s already hot outside. Take lukewarm or cool showers or baths. Eat cold meals or room temperature foods. Seek transportation help instead of waiting outside for public transit.

Dress for Summer Weather

Light, airy clothing is best in the heat. Tight, dark, thick clothing can be problematic. To ensure comfort in air condition and outdoors, dress in easy to remove layers.

Recognize Signs of Heat-Related Emergencies

Being able to spot the signs of heat-related emergency can save a life. Caregivers and seniors should pay attention to symptoms like:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Lack of sweat
  • Weakness or cramping
  • Stomach problems or nausea
  • Quickened heartbeat
  • Difficulty breathing or shallow breathing
  • Fatigue

Signs like these can be indicators of dehydration, heat exhaustion or even heat stroke. If you notice these symptoms, take steps to cool off quickly and seek medical attention. https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/heat-exhaustion#1-2

Know How to Get Cool Quickly

If someone is overheated or begins to show signs of heat-related health problems, get them cool quickly. Getting cool can prevent overheating from becoming a medical problem or reduce the severity of heat-related emergency. https://familydoctor.org/condition/heat-exhaustion-heatstroke/

  • Get out of the heat and into a cool space, or at least the shade
  • Remove excess clothing including shoes and socks
  • Lie down and elevate the legs
  • Apply cool, wet towels in wrists and forehead or take a cool bath
  • Drink fluids, such as water or a sports drink
  • Do not drink fluids with caffeine or alcohol

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Minister of Loneliness

shsgreateromaha 23 May 2018

This is the second in our monthly series from guest blogger Nancy Hemesath.  Nancy challenges negative stereotypes of aging, believing that post-career years are meant to be both fulfilling and meaningful.  In this installment she discusses how social isolation is more detrimental to our health than most people realize and provides some suggestions on how to remedy loneliness.

I recently heard a program on National Public Radio that thoroughly captured my attention.  The interview and guests described the health issues attached to the pain of loneliness. Recent studies on the negative health impact of social isolation, i.e. loneliness can hardly be overstated.  Feeling lonely is a comparable health risk to cigarette smoking and obesity.   The United Kingdom has gone so far as to create a Minister of Loneliness to address this epidemic.  https://www.wbur.org/onpoint/2018/01/23/the-loneliness-epidemic

This program helped me realize that caregiving is often focused on the practical needs of the elder.  There is shopping, meal preparation, transportation to the doctor, housekeeping and the list never ends.  Tasks need to be accomplished and caregivers can check them off the list.   However, these accomplishments may be secondary to a more important service that meets a critical need of the elder—that of social contact.

People who say they always or frequently feel lonely are at higher risk for heart disease, cognitive decline, depression, anxiety, and other health issues.  They are also at risk for premature mortality.  Because the dangers of loneliness affect so many people, it is described as an epidemic based on the sheer numbers who suffer this condition.  In a world where so many people live by themselves, the likelihood of loneliness increases particularly among elders.

Social connection is a protective antidote for this loneliness. Quality interaction with people who care diminishes the sense of isolation.  Face-to-face connections counterbalance the many hours that people are left alone.  Conversation nourishes the mind as food nourishes the body.  What may seem like small talk may lift loneliness and provide a sense of comfort.  Regular visits break up boredom and create joyful anticipation.

Caregivers have a unique opportunity to contribute to the whole well-being of the elders simply by engaging in conversation and showing interest in their well-being.  This benefit could well pay higher dividends than any task that is accomplished.

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Assistive Technology is Not What You Think it is

shsgreateromaha 10 May 2018

Seniors Helping Seniors welcomes Meaghan Fitzgerald Walls, President and CEO of Assistology, LLC, located here in Omaha NE.  Assistology provides Assistive Technology (AT) solutions that enable individuals to have increased participation in activities that improve functional abilities for daily living, as well as overall quality of life.  In this monthly series Meaghan will discuss different aspects of AT and the benefits to our senior population.        

 

When I mention Assistive Technology (AT) the majority of the time people jump right to wheelchairs, walkers, hearing aids and other Durable Medical Equipment.  While these ARE Assistive Technology, they are just the tip of the iceberg.

Assistive Technology is anything that a makes it easier for you to do the things you enjoy.

This means that AT comes in many sneaky shapes and with endless applications.  This is a good thing. It means that the items are mainstream – easy and affordable to access and “socially acceptable”.

The goal of AT is to remove barriers for your participation in life’s activities – whether at home, work, school or in the community.

  • Is Arthritis making it difficult to open jars or cans? What about cook on the stove or bake cookies?
  • Declining vision making it difficult to read your mail, favorite magazine, recipes or medication labels?
  • Are you finding it increasingly difficult to play cards or tend to your garden?
  • Is your biggest challenge to attending community events feeling confident in getting in and out of the car?
  • Do you wish you had a way to control your lights, thermostat and hear the news without having to walk all over your house?
  • Do you miss your exercise routines due to concerns with balance or strength?

There is AT for that!

In the kitchen using a hands-free jar or can opener, folding pot stabilizer and cooking utensils with adapted grips could help you regain your independence in your favorite kitchen activities.

A wide range of magnifier options can provide just the right amount of support to help you regain your independence and confidence with regard to written materials.

AT for recreational purposes is almost endless.  There are alternatives for playing cards with increased font and high contrast colors.  There are card and game piece holders that relieve your tired hands for easier access to games.  Adapted gardening tools make it possible to fully engage in all aspects of gardening.  Check out our Let’s Play! Adapted lo-tech recreational Blog:

https://assistologyomaha.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/lets-play-part-1-low-tech-recreational-activities/

There are so many ways to engage in fitness, even from a seated position!

Let’s Play!  Adapted Fitness Blog:

https://assistologyomaha.wordpress.com/2017/10/30/lets-play-part-3-adapted-fitness/

Getting in and out of the car just got easier thanks to a few minor pieces of AT that help relieve the stress on your joints and give you greater balance through the various phases of getting in and out of the car.

Using a home automation system like the Amazon Echo (Alexa) can give you the freedom and flexibility to control the environment, make grocery lists or get information/news using simple voice commands or a smart phone app.

Assistology offers you the unique expertise you need to identify solutions that will enable you or a loved one to be more engaged and independent in the activities that give the day purpose.

 

Learn more about us at: https://assistologyomaha.wordpress.com/

 

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Help Seniors Protect Themselves from Scams

shsgreateromaha 26 Apr 2018

Common Scams and How to Avoid Them

Seniors are often targeted by con artists. Scams are most often conducted through the phone, mail, or internet.

The FBI, the Federal Trade Commission, the United States Justice Department and many local law enforcement groups have all made statements about seniors being targeted for scams. Women over 60 who live alone are particularly susceptible.

In recent years, con artists have taken advantage of a number of older Americans by scamming seniors. Realizing that many seniors have money but little knowledge of technology or current scams, criminals see opportunity. You can help protect seniors by sharing information with them about common senior-targeting scams.

Phone, Mail, Door-to-Door and Digital Scams

Scams targeting seniors can be carried out over the phone, in person or in the mail. These are the most common to watch out for:

  • Health insurance scams requesting personal information
  • Telemarketers requesting financial information over the phone
  • Health insurance scams offering or requesting money
  • Medical equipment telemarketing
  • Medicare billing calls
  • Telemarketers claiming Medicare covers their services or products
  • Blank health forms requiring signatures
  • Claims that unfamiliar local charities need funds
  • Requests to support individual or invest in new charities
  • Phone calls supposedly from IRS requesting information or money
  • Door-to-door repairmen who have not been requested
  • Service personnel claiming to be sent by a utility company without prior notice
  • Tax or service related mail asking for a signature or money besides regular bills
  • Offers or winnings for contests requesting money to process the gift or lotteries that have not been entered
  • Bank or bank card requests for personal or financial account information

https://www.ncoa.org

Many scams that target seniors use digital technology, especially pop-ups or emails, since seniors are less likely to understand what is or isn’t valid online. Look out for:

  • Emails claiming someone is in danger or needs ransom
  • Emails that say “RE:” but are not replies to emails seniors have sent
  • Emails about goods or services “purchased” that have not been purchased
  • Pop-ups that claim ransom or software is needed to unlock  the computer
  • Offers for tech support or protection software from unfamiliar companies
  • Any requests for passwords, personal information like a social security number, or money made by companies seniors do not have an account with
  • Emails supposedly from known providers or companies that are not “.com” or that look unprofessional
  • Services offered by unknown entities, including “tax accountants” that are unfamiliar
  • Offers or winnings emailed or in a pop-up that seniors did not sign up for

https://www.justice.gov/elderjustice/senior-scam-alert

How to Protect the Elderly

Encourage seniors to:

  • Allow loved ones to be involved in their finances
  • Ask a trusted loved one about any requests for personal or financial information
  • Require written documentation before agreeing to a contract or giving away information
  • Ask for a certified letter when government agencies call
  • Never hire someone or allow someone inside if they are going door-to-door
  • Refuse to make on-the-spot decisions, ask for contact information instead
  • Sign up for the National Do Not Call Registry 1-888-382-1222
  • Verify with known representatives using official provider numbers when receiving calls on the providers behalf

https://www.agingcare.com

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Happiness is Finding Purpose

shsgreateromaha 17 Apr 2018

Seniors Helping Seniors welcomes Nancy Hemesath, a guest blogger who will share her thoughts in a monthly series.   Nancy challenges negative stereotypes of aging, believing that post-career years are meant to be both fulfilling and meaningful.  She will explore with us how this can be accomplished, beginning with this discussion on finding purpose.

Liz, a friend of mine, who has been retired about three years, told me how her life has improved since she took a part-time job with Seniors Helping Seniors as a companion to elders who need support.  She does not do it for the money but she needs something to get her out of bed in the morning and organize her days. She made the commitment to be there for others and her own life has become richer.

Liz gives testimony to the importance of having a sense of purpose in our lives, no matter what our age.  One large study that followed over 1,000 older people (average age 80) over five to seven years measured the level of purpose in their lives  https://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/06/03/living-on-purpose . Through a series of questions they determined who had high purpose and who had low purpose.  Purpose is defined as a commitment to something beyond ourselves that helps to organize our days.

What they found was indeed astounding.  Cognitive decline was 30% less in people with high purpose vs. people with low purpose.  High purpose people had fewer disabilities.  They were 2.4 times less likely to develop symptoms of Alzheimer’s than their low-purpose counterparts.  When followed for five years, high purpose people had a mortality rate of half that of those with low purpose.  For all these reasons, level of purpose is a robust predictor of health and wellness in the elder years.

This is a compelling argument to dismantle the idea that retirement is a long vacation centered solely on leisure activities.  Rather the best retirement years are years of contribution to others according to our preferences, availability and capability.  The overarching benefit of retirement is not that we don’t have to work but we get to work at our own pace doing that which gives us satisfaction and purpose.

The greatest gift we can give ourselves is to develop a pattern of giving to others.

 

Nancy Hemesath, Encoring Coaching

Nancy retired from her work as a non-profit executive in 2003.  She is now using her coaching expertise to empower others who are transitioning to life full of meaning and purpose in the retirement years or “Third Chapter” as she prefers to call it.  As a certified life coach, she supports individuals, presents workshops, leads book studies and leads Wisdom Circles.   Most recently she has joined Seniors Helping Seniors as a companion.  For more information, see her website:  https://lifencorecoaching.com/

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What Should You Do to Build Your Personal Support Network for Emergencies?

shsgreateromaha 29 Mar 2018

Elderly Care in Elkhorn NE: What Should You Do to Build Your Personal Support Network for Emergencies?

Independence is an important concept for people of all ages, but that does not mean having to be alone or handle all situations alone. As a family caregiver you can encourage your elderly parent to enjoy a more independent lifestyle while still staying safe and secure by building a personal support network. This network is made up of people who are willing to help your loved one in challenging situations, such as disasters and weather emergencies, as well as offering an extra layer of support by checking in on them and making sure that they have what they need to remain safe, healthy, and comfortable.

Use these tips to help you build your personal support network for your elderly love so that they can better handle emergencies if they arise throughout their later years:

• Identify friends, family members, neighbors, and professionals that are willing to be a part of this network and communicate with you during an emergency situation to ensure that your loved one is safe.

• Create a phone tree so that all members of the care network know who to call and in what order during the emergency to implement plans.

• Give primary members of the care network keys to your parent’s home so that they can get to your loved one if necessary.

• Show these members of the care network where your loved one keeps their emergency preparedness kit.

• Share emergency plans such as evacuation routes with these members so that everyone knows how to get to predetermined locations and can check on your parent’s location if necessary.

If you have been looking for ways to enhance your loved one’s life and help them to remain healthier, happier, safer, and more comfortable throughout their later years, starting elderly care for them might be the ideal solution. An elderly home care services provider can be with your aging parent on a fully customized schedule to ensure that your senior gets the support, care, assistance, and encouragement that they need to handle their individual needs, challenges, and limitations, as well as any unforeseen circumstances that might come up. The highly personalized services of an elderly care provider are designed to not just address your parent’s needs, but do so in a way that is right for them as an individual, ensuring that they are able to pursue the active, engaged, independent, and fulfilling lifestyle that they desire and deserve, and that is right for them. When it comes to helping your parent handle an emergency situation, this care provider can be invaluable in helping your loved one to understand the potential risks that they are facing, create and implement plans, and ensure that the measures that you have taken are as effective and beneficial as possible. An elderly care provider can be a valuable element of your parent’s care network, offering you another source of support and communication in the event of an emergency situation. Including this care provider in your care network helps to provide an additional source of connection so that you can keep track of your loved one during such an event.

Source
https://www.redcross.org/prepare/location/home-family/seniors

If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Omaha NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at 402-331-3073 today.

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Seniors Helping Seniors Greater Omaha Offers Online Resource for Family Caregivers

shsgreateromaha 28 Mar 2018

Home Care in Omaha NEBeing a family caregiver for a spouse, parent or loved one is both rewarding and stressful. You face so many challenges and may have many questions.

We understand. That’s why we offer the Family Learning Center®, an online resource you can turn to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to learn essential caregiving skills and help you whenever you have questions or concerns about your caregiving.

Login to the Family Learning Center and you’ll have 24/7 access to over 50 interactive and engaging classes that can give you the confidence and knowledge to care for your loved ones…and yourself.

Go to https://flc.ipced.com/SHSOmaha to sign up and get started. The Family Learning Center is free and is a resource you’ll want to refer to again and again.

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Dressing Aides Help Seniors Stay Independent

shsgreateromaha 23 Feb 2018

Did you know that elderly adults with chronic illness or injuries have a high risk of developing depression? At the very least, seniors that become dependent on others to help them with everyday tasks often feel frustration and embarrassment at their diminishing abilities to take care of themselves. Family caregivers and home care assistants usually step in to aid in those areas that challenge seniors, such as cooking, cleaning, bathing and dressing.

You can help your elderly loved one stay more independent and boost their self-esteem when you provide them with some dressing aides. Dressing aides are tools and devices that help seniors and disabled people manipulate their clothing so they can get dressed and undressed on their own. It’s worth considering dressing aides for an elderly relative to see if they can benefit.

What Kinds of Dressing Aides Are There?

There are a range of dressing aides available for elderly adults. These ingenious devices are designed to provide elderly people with help when their bodies can’t do the job. Most seniors have problems with bending, leaning and balancing. Dressing aides like dressing sticks, all-purpose grips, elongated shoe horns and sock aides give them the extra help they need to do it all on their own.

Choosing Dressing Aides for an Elderly Relative

With all types of dressing aides on the market, it may be hard to decide which ones an elderly relative might need. The best way to gauge this is to help your elderly relative get dressed a few times. Observe what movements they struggle with and what articles of clothing they need your help with.

For example, if they can put their clothes on but struggle with buttons and zippers, you can consider button hooks and zipper pulls. If they are unable to bend over and reach their feet, they would benefit from a sock aid. Identify the movements and articles of clothing they cannot handle on their own, then look for a dressing aid to meet that need.

Don’t Forget About Adaptive Clothing

When you are considering dressing aides, don’t overlook the fact that some clothing types are more suited to your elderly relative’s condition than others. For example, they may do well with a button up shirt but struggle with a sweater that goes over the head. Shoelaces may be a big challenge, but Velcro shoes are a snap.

Adaptive clothing is ideal for seniors that struggle. Adaptive clothing is especially designed for seniors and disabled adults. Some popular options include elastic waist pants, shoulder snap shirts, one hand belts and side snap underwear. Many companies offer stylish and comfortable adaptive clothing in stores and online.

By combining adaptive clothing with dressing aides, seniors of all abilities should be able to regain some of their lost independence. You can enable your elderly relative to dress themselves and only ask you for help when they really need it.

Source:

https://adaptiveclothingshowroom.com/

If you or an aging loved one are considering home health care in Papillion, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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How to Prevent Bacterial Food Poisoning in Elderly Adults

shsgreateromaha 16 Feb 2018

Senior Care in Bellevue NE: How to Prevent Bacterial Food Poisoning in Elderly Adults
Senior Care in Bellevue NE: How to Prevent Bacterial Food Poisoning in Elderly Adults

While a bout of bacterial food poisoning can cause a little distress for average adults, it is extremely serious for elderly adults. Some of a senior’s most desired comfort foods—eggs, poultry, milk, cheese and deli meats—are among the list of foods that are high risk for harboring bacteria that can make them very sick. Every year, bacterial food poisoning affects millions of elderly adults across the country. Family caregivers need to take extra precautions to prevent their aging loved one from getting sick.

What Exactly is Bacterial Food Poisoning?

When food is not cooked well enough, mishandled, or allowed to sit for too long in a certain dangerous temperature, it can become a home for bacteria such as listeria and salmonella. When the bacteria are ingested, the body tries to fight them off as they spread throughout the body. A person’s immune system is usually able to resist all but the strongest attacks. However elderly adults have a weakened immune system and may not be able to stop the spread of bacteria in the body.

Salmonella food poisoning is usually spread through food that has been contaminated by human or animal waste. It is often found in milk, eggs, poultry and meat. The contamination can take place when the bacteria get on the food through soil, human handling and cross-contamination with other food or utensils. The Listeria bacteria is more likely to be found in raw food like raw milk, deli meat, undercooked meat and raw vegetables.

How Bacterial Food Poisoning Affects Elderly Adults

Because elderly adults have a weaker immune system, they are more likely to develop serious food poisoning. Symptoms include watery stools, high fever, stomach cramps, dehydration, aching muscles and vomiting. In extreme cases, food poisoning can result in headaches, shaking, muscle spasms and dizziness. The real danger comes when the bacterial infection reaches the heart, brain, spine and bones. It’s then that life-threatening conditions can happen, such as inflammation to the heart or brain membranes.

Preventing Bacterial Food Poisoning

Family caregivers can implement house rules when it comes to preparing and storing food. Caregivers also need to pass on the information to senior care aides, other family members and senior community services. Caregivers of any background should always wash their hands before handling food, keep any leftover foods refrigerated and cook raw meat thoroughly. They should also keep seniors from eating some of the top trouble foods, like undercooked eggs. All fruits and veggies should be thoroughly washed. Finally, it’s important for caregivers and senior care aides to avoid cross contamination by keeping raw food away from cooked items and not using the same knife for raw meat on other foods.

Bacterial food poisoning in the elderly is not something that family caregivers should be taking lightly. If there are any signs of bacterial food poisoning in an elderly adult, they should be taken to the doctor immediately.

Source:

https://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/PeopleAtRisk/ucm312705.htm

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Bellevue, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Is Long-distance Caregiving Making You Crazy?

shsgreateromaha 09 Feb 2018

Caregiving from afar can be really frustrating because you’re not right there. Sitting down and thinking about the situation logically helps.

Make a Plan

You’re not going to get very far on your caregiving journey if you don’t have a plan, so it’s vital to sit down and see what you’ve got to start out. If you don’t know what’s going on with your elderly family member’s health, get as much information as you can. Figure out whether you’ll need to visit your elderly family member more often and develop a plan for how you’ll handle emergency situations.

Get Your Documents in Order

As a caregiver, you’re going to find yourself collecting quite a bit of paperwork. You’ll need to be able to access all of these documents at one point or another, so you need to set up a system to organize them. Some people use a three-ring binder while others go for a file cabinet. You might find that being long-distance means that keeping digital copies as a backup is best, since you can access what you need from anywhere at all.

Make a List of Anyone Who Can Help

The more people and groups who can help you and your elderly family member, the better. Sit down and make a list. You might include other family members, agencies that work with elderly adults, and even home care providers who check on your senior for you. Neighbors and friends can also be incredibly helpful.

Work the Plan

Once you have a plan, you need to give it your all. The whole reason for coming up with the plan in the first place is to give yourself and your aging family member some guidelines for this situation that you’re in. Let your aging family member know what you expect on her end and then keep the plan going.

Revise the Plan

You might think that’s that, but you might run into some roadblocks. You may need to revise the plan and this is actually a good thing. That means that you’re looking at what’s working and what isn’t and you can make changes to adjust the whole shebang. Adjusting your plan is really healthy and gives you guideposts that you can use down the road.

No matter how far away you are while you’re being your elderly family member’s caregiver, you’re going to have some of the same issues. Do what you can to plan ahead as much as possible and remember that sometimes plans have to change in order to put something better into place.

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Ralston, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Quick and Easy Ways to Improve the Air Quality in Your Mom’s Home

shsgreateromaha 31 Jan 2018

Do you associate spring with allergy season? In the winter months, allergies are also possible. With windows and doors sealed tightly and the furnace or boiler system running 24/7, dust and allergens quickly build up. Here are some quick, easy ways to reduce allergens and boost air quality.

Buy a Few House Plants

Houseplants feed on the carbon dioxide in the air and replace it with oxygen. They can also remove very small amounts of carbon monoxide from the air. Invest in some houseplants as a way to purify the indoor air naturally.

Some of the easiest plants to care for include the umbrella tree, spider plant, peace lily, and bamboo palm. When choosing houseplants, make sure you consider the safety. If your mom has pets or young grandkids, some plants can be toxic and should be avoided.

Clean Floor to Ceiling With Natural Products

Many store-bought cleaning agents contain chemicals that can impact the quality of the air in your mom’s home. Skip those and clean all floors, windows, furnishings, and walls with a natural cleaning product. Lemon oil is good for polishing furniture. A mixture of water and white vinegar is a good way to deodorize and remove germs. Lemon juice is good for removing messes from inside a microwave.

Invest in an Air Purifier

An air purifier is a good way to pull dust and allergens out of the air. With many models costing under $50, you don’t have to spend a lot. When shopping for one of these air purfication systems, factor in the life of a filter and cost to replace it.

Replace Carpeting With Wood or Laminate Floors

Carpets trap dirt, dust, and pet dander. Replace carpeting for easy-to-clean flooring like wood or even some of the wood laminates. Every few days, your mom or an elder care professional can run a dust mop like the Swiffer over them to pick up any particles that have settled on the floor. Each week, a more thorough mopping can be done with a mix of water and vinegar or wood floor cleaner.

When allergies are at their worst, make sure your mom has help around the house. She may not have the energy to keep up with laundry, housework, and meal preparation. Elder care services cover her needs.

With a caregiver on hand, your mom can help get chores done or let her caregiver take over. She has her freedom living at home, but she doesn’t have to struggle with activities of daily living. Call an elder care agency to discuss your mom’s needs.

If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Papillion, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Is Caregiving Making it Difficult for You to Work?

shsgreateromaha 26 Jan 2018

As your aging family member’s needs change, you may find that caregiving is taking up more and more of your time and energy. This can make it difficult for you to focus on other aspects of your life, such as your job. When that happens, you need to seek out some other solutions.

Talk to Your Employer First

If you work for a large corporation, you may be shocked at the resources that they can offer to you. You’re most likely going to need to talk with someone in your Human Resources department or even in the Employee Assistance Program. Both offices may have some excellent information for you about how your company can help you to make caregiving easier.

Ask Family Members if They Can Help

Even if other family members haven’t been able to help much in the past, their own situations may have changed since the last time you asked for help. Talk to them about what they can do that can make life a little bit easier for you. They may be able to take over some specific tasks that lighten the load considerably for you.

Consider Hiring Senior Care Providers

Senior care providers can help you to feel far more comfortable knowing that your aging adult is in capable hands. If your elderly family member is nervous about this idea, try setting up some trial situations in which you’re still present and your senior can get to know the new person. This can help to alleviate concerns and break the ice a bit.

Look into Local Resources

Check with support groups and local agencies that help the elderly to find out what they can offer, as well. Even if they can provide meal delivery and transportation support, that can be a huge relief for you. Whatever can remove some of the workload from your shoulders is what you want to seek out for the long term.

Every situation is different, of course. You may have options that other caregivers don’t have. The reality is that you’re going to need all of the help that you can get on your caregiving journey.

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Gretna, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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What Can You Do to Help Your Senior Avoid Malnutrition?

shsgreateromaha 19 Jan 2018

Malnutrition is a condition in which your senior isn’t getting the nutrients that she needs to properly fuel her body. As a result, her immune system can suffer and she may lose muscle mass, which can lead to other problems.

Pay Attention to Weight Changes

One of the first signs that you might notice that your senior is having some sort of difficulty might be significant weight changes. The most common of those changes is that your elderly family member may lose a lot of weight. This is especially the case if she’s hardly eating at all. If she’s eating foods that aren’t great for her, though, such as fast food or convenience foods, she may actually gain weight. But that extra weight doesn’t come from anything that’s offering her nutritional value.

Check Her Refrigerator and Pantry When You Visit

You might want to take a quick look into your elderly family member’s pantry and refrigerator the next time that you visit. What you’re doing is gathering some preliminary information so that you know how to proceed. You might find that her cupboards are looking rather bare or that they’re full of foods that she hasn’t been known to eat before. Sit down and help her to map out where you can help her to make changes. It might mean that home care providers help her with bigger shopping trips or that you take over cooking for her.

Make Sure She’s Hydrating

Another key component of making sure that your elderly family member is getting the nutrition that she needs is to ensure that she’s getting plenty of fluids. Drinking water is the easiest way for her to hydrate, but she can also eat foods that are high in water content. Avoiding too much caffeine and sugar helps to make sure that she’s not going too far in an unhealthy direction.

Talk with Her Doctor

Definitely make time to talk to your senior’s doctor, too. He may want to run some blood tests or do other testing to see what nutrients your senior needs most right now. From there, he may recommend a diet that can help her to get back on track nutritionally.

The sooner you take action to help your elderly family member deal with her nutritional issues, the easier it will be to help her get healthier again.

If you or an aging loved one are considering home care services in Papillion, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Convincing Aging Adults to Accept Senior Care

shsgreateromaha 12 Jan 2018

It may be time to hire a senior care assistant if your aging relative really needs help with basic tasks like bathing, cooking and cleaning. But what happens when they refuse to allow help? Many seniors are afraid of transitioning from independence to requiring aide. It can be a real challenge for family members to convince aging relatives to accept senior care services.

Here are 5 things that you and other family members can do to help convince your elderly relative that they need to get on board with senior care assistance.

1. Questions and Answers.

When it comes to figuring out why your elderly relative is resisting help, you need to ask deep and probing questions. Ask them how they feel about certain things and listen carefully to their answers. When they elaborate on their thoughts, listen closely. Often, their worries and fears are easily addressed and you can come up with a fine solution.

2. Slow and Patient

Few elderly adults welcome the idea of a stranger caring for them in their own home with open arms. Start having conversations early, before any health issues get worse. Talk about issues like privacy, dependency and cost over time, not all at once. Go over all the different care options available so that your elderly relative feels as if they are making a choice and not being told what to do.

3. Start Small and Build Up

Many seniors won’t mind a few small services on their behalf, such as housekeeping or meal preparation. These are often seen as luxuries and elderly people may enjoy feeling a little spoiled. After they get used to people in their home doing tasks for them, it can often be easier to expand that role into house care and personal care.

4. Appeal to Authority

When family members don’t have much success talking with their aging relative, sometimes other authority figures may have a little more influence. If you can let your elderly relative talk to a doctor, nurse, clergy member, senior citizen advocate or other respected individual about the need for senior care, they may listen.

5. Compromise

Your aging relative may not be ready for the level of caregiving that you want them to have, but they may agree to a small level of involvement. As long as they are not putting themselves in danger, it might be a good idea for you to let them choose what tasks they need help with and how often. Sometimes, it takes some failures to convince someone they really do need help.

It can be a real challenge to convince aging adults that they do need a helping hand around the house. Using persuasive techniques and exercising patience may be the way you get them to agree to senior care assistance.Source:

https://www.aarp.org/home-family/caregiving/info-07-2013/caregiving-aging-parents-jacobs.html

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Springfield, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Natural Ways to Make Sure Your Senior Gets Enough Sleep

shsgreateromaha 05 Jan 2018

Sleep pattern changes happen as one ages. With many elderly men and women who don’t need help with daily activities of living, it’s not often a problem. When sleep patterns shift and a parent needs daily care, it’s troublesome.

As Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia set in, the risk of wandering and getting lost is a primary concern. If your parent’s sleeping patterns have shifted so that your mom or dad sleeps all day and is up all night, opposite to your own patterns, it’s hard to keep a parent from wandering without sacrificing sleep. Here are natural ways you can help your parent’s sleep patterns.

Get Enough Exercise Each Day

Make sure that your mom or dad gets a lot of exercise each day. If your mom sleeps till noon and then sits and watches TV for hours, it’s less likely that the body will feel tired and ready for sleep.

Try to get your parent outside in the fresh air. A vigorous walk for 30 minutes or more is ideal. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, a treadmill inside will help. Yoga classes are other ideas to make sure your mom or dad burns off excess energy to prepare the body for sleep.

Install Room Darkening Blinds

If your mom or dad has a hard time getting to sleep because it’s too light outside, put in room darkening blinds. They’ll block out a neighbor’s floodlights, a full moon, or headlights. In the morning, open the blinds at the appropriate time.

Set Alarms for Each Morning

Make sure your mom or dad are prompted to get up at the same time. Setting a routine can help establish sleeping patterns. Get your mom or dad in bed at night at the same time, when possible, and then make sure they get up at the same time in the morning. Arrange the time your parent sleeps to match what you need.

Keep Books Available

Half an hour before the chosen bedtime, have your parent go to bed and read a book. Reading often prepares the body for sleep. If your mom or dad struggles to hold a book while in bed, a Kindle or e-reader is lightweight and can store dozens of books.

Skip Caffeinated Beverages After 3:00 p.m.

Make sure your parent isn’t drinking caffeinated beverages after 3:00 p.m. Caffeine can stimulate the body and make it feel alert and energized. Switch to herbal teas, water, and seltzer with late afternoon snacks and dinners.

If you are a family caregiver and often help your mom or dad around the house, don’t be ashamed to get help. Caring for an elderly family member is stressful. You need your sleep. Elder care services ensure you get them. Call an elder care agency to learn more.

If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in LaVista, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Three Fire Safety Tips That Your Parents Need to Memorize

shsgreateromaha 29 Dec 2017

The National Fire Protection Association states there were more than 365,000 home fires in 2015. Of those fires, there were more than 11,000 injuries and 2,650 deaths. This should help you understand the importance of making sure your parents know what to do in case of a fire. Here are three easy-to-remember safety tips offered by the Red Cross that must be memorized.

Get Out

When smoke alarms go off or a fire is noticed, the primary goal is to get out of the house safely. Your parents need to have escape routes mapped out and memorized. If they’re in bed upstairs and the fire is on the stairs, they cannot go downstairs to an exit. They need to have a plan for getting outside from an upstairs window. If they’re downstairs and the front door is blocked by fire, they need to have another route.

Make sure they have multiple escape routes planned out. Use these escape routes in monthly fire drills. They need to know where to meet up when they get out. They need to know that they cannot stop and grab items before leaving. They need to focus on getting out as quickly as possible.

It’s important to set up a meeting spot outside the house that’s a good distance away. If gas leaks cause an explosion of an appliance or gas tank, they need to be a safe distance from any debris. During a fire drill, have everyone gather in this set location to discuss any parts of the practice that were confusing or brought questions to mind.

Stay Out

Once they’re safely out of the house, your parents cannot go back inside. If a pet didn’t make it out, they can’t go back in to try to find the pet. For all they know, once they opened a window or door and escaped, the pet may have gotten out and is hiding in trees or a quieter area of the yard.

Your parents need to let the professionals go in and get anyone else out. The risk of smoke inhalation and burns is too great to risk their safety once they’re outside.

Call Once They’re Out

Your mom and dad cannot stop to call the fire company before evacuating. They need to get out and stay out. Once they’re out, they can go to a neighbor’s house and ask to use a phone or to have the neighbor call 911. If they have a cell phone with them, your mom and dad can make the call from a safe location outside.

Don’t leave your parents alone. If you find they forget to turn off the stove or oven, hire a caregiver to help with meals. Caregivers can also help with fire safety drills. Learn more about caregivers and the services we offer by contacting us today.

Sources:
https://www.nfpa.org/News-and-Research/Fire-statistics-and-reports/Fire-statistics/Fires-by-property-type/Residential/Home-fires

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Omaha, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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5 Tips on Helping Elderly Parents Deal With Arthritis Pain

shsgreateromaha 22 Dec 2017

Senior Care in LaVista NE: 5 Tips on Helping Elderly Parents Deal With Arthritis Pain
Senior Care in LaVista NE: 5 Tips on Helping Elderly Parents Deal With Arthritis Pain

Millions of seniors suffer from inflamed and sore joints, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Arthritis describes the chronic condition of inflamed, stiff, swollen and painful joints. It most frequently arises in the hands, hips, knees, feet and lower back. If your elderly parent is struggling with arthritis pain and depends on you for daily assistance, you can lead the way in helping them find relief.

As part of your elderly care duties for your aging relative, you need to support them in their efforts to stay healthy and live pain free. That’s why it’s so important for you to know as much as you can about arthritis when your elderly mom or dad receives that diagnosis from their doctor.

Here are 5 things that family caregivers can do to help their elderly parents deal with arthritis pain:

1. Medication
There are a number of medication options for seniors that can alleviate some or all of their arthritis pain. Doctors may recommend over the counter medicine for mild pain, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. There are a number of topical creams and ointments that may also provide some relief when applied directly to the skin.

2. Corticosteroids
For more serious pain management, the doctor can prescribe stronger drugs that can help. The corticosteroids may be injected into the joint or taken orally. The most common corticosteroids used to treat arthritis in seniors includes cortisone and prednisone.

3. Supplements
Many seniors have found success in managing their arthritis pain by including certain supplements in addition to pain medicine. Top choices include chondroitin and glucosamine. It should be noted that studies on these supplements have yielded mixed results. There’s no denying that while some seniors respond well to supplements, others find little to no effect.

4. Activity and Exercise
Seniors with arthritis should be as active as they possibly can, doing low impact exercises like walking, swimming, yoga, tai chi or chair aerobics. Physical therapy, occupational therapy and massages can also boost blood flow to the affected joints. Exercise and activity also strengthen muscles supporting the joints, reducing pain and stiffness.

5. Heat and Cold
For consistent relief from arthritis pain, many seniors find that heat is ideal for easing sore and stiff joints. Heating pads, hot packs, paraffin wax treatments, warm baths and showers are all proven to ease the inflammation and swelling in arthritic joints. Cold packs are also ideal for reducing swelling associated with arthritis. Neither treatment should last longer than 20 minutes, and family caregivers should take care that the senior’s delicate skin is protected from getting too hot or too cold.

While there’s no cure for arthritis, a combination of treatments is usually fairly effective in managing pain levels and bringing flexibility and function to the affected areas. You should experiment with a combination of treatments to fine-tune your elderly care plan in dealing with an aging parent’s arthritis pain.

Source:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/arthritis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20350777

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in LaVista, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Holiday Gifts for Seniors with Dementia

shsgreateromaha 15 Dec 2017

With the holidays approaching, you’re probably thinking about what gifts to give everyone on your list. For people whose holiday shopping list includes an older adult with dementia, choosing the right gift can be difficult. You want to get something they’ll like, but you don’t want the gift to be confusing or useless. Lucky for you, we’ve got gift ideas especially for people with dementia that can help you choose the perfect gift.

Helper Items

People who are in the early stages of dementia may appreciate receiving practical items that will help them maintain their independence. Some items to consider are:

  • A phone that stores the pictures and contact information of important people.
  • A personalized calendar made with family photos. Try including a caption with each picture that names the people in the photos. To make the gift even more useful, write in the birthdays of family members and friends as well as other important dates.
  • Things to jot reminders on, like sticky notes, magnetic notepads for the fridge, or an erasable white board.
  • Clocks with large, easy to read numbers. There are even clocks on the market that can be adapted to meet changing needs. They can be simplified to just tell the day of the week.

Gifts of Entertainment

It’s important for people with dementia to stay involved in things they enjoy and with friends and family. Gifts that entertain can help them do that. Here are some ideas:

  • Tickets to go to a sporting event with you.
  • A night out with dinner and a movie.
  • DVDs of favorite movies or a subscription to a streaming service.
  • Supplies for a crafting hobby.

Games that spark conversations. There are even games made especially for people who have dementia designed to engage family members in conversations.

Comfort Items

For people in the later stages of dementia, items that bring comfort can be meaningful. Some things that may bring comfort are:

  • Soft, snuggly stuffed animals. You might even consider a comfort pet in the form of a robotic stuffed animal designed to simulate a real cat or dog. These comfort pets were designed to calm anxiety and agitation in people with dementia.
  • Comfortable, easy to put on clothing.
  • Warm, fuzzy blankets or afghans.

One other gift to consider giving a loved one with dementia is an elder care provider. Hiring an elder care provider can improve quality of life for someone with dementia by giving them someone to help with daily tasks, like cooking, cleaning, and laundry. An elder care provider can also help them stay socially engaged by assisting them with getting ready to go places and taking them where they need to go. In addition, an elder care provider can help keep them safe by ensuring they don’t wander, leave appliances turned on, or make decisions that can lead to injury.

Sources
https://www.alz.org/documents/midlandschapter/holiday_tips_for_caregivers_booklet_web-11.pdf
https://www.unforgettable.org/blog/top-gifts-for-someone-with-dementia/
https://www.alz.org/living_with_alzheimers_holiday_gift_guide.asp

If you or an aging loved one are considering home care services in Gretna, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Can Your Dad Complete These Daily Chores by Himself?

shsgreateromaha 09 Dec 2017

For your dad to age at home, he needs to be able to care for himself. The activities of daily living that are important range from getting showered and dressed to keeping a clean home. If your dad struggles with these activities, elder care services may become necessary. Here are daily chores your dad should be able to do by himself.

Bathing, Grooming, and Dressing

Your dad needs to be able to take a shower, get dressed, and groom himself. He needs to be able to wash dirt, body sweat and oils, and germs from his body on a regular basis. If not, he can wind up with body odors or bacteria that lead to infected sores.

Grooming tasks include shaving, trimming finger and toenails, and brushing his hair. He also needs to be able to dress appropriately for the weather. In the summer, he needs to be in lighter clothing that won’t cause him to overheat. In the winter, he needs to dress in layers to make sure he is warm enough, especially if he goes outside for a walk. He needs to know to put a jacket, hat, and gloves on before he leaves the house.

Cleaning the House

Your dad should be able to wash and put away his dishes. He should be vacuuming weekly, changing his sheets and towels regularly, doing the laundry, and dusting. He needs to be able to keep his counters and food prep surfaces sterile. He also needs to clean his toilet and sinks.

Health

Cooking and eating nutritious meals is important. He also needs to be taking any medications his doctor prescribed for health conditions like high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Your dad should be seeing a doctor at least once a year for check-ups and a dentist twice a year.

Mobility

Finally, your dad should be able to get out of bed without falling. He should be able to walk from one room to the next and get up and down stairs safely. He also needs to be able to get off the sofa or chair without difficulty.

When your dad struggles to complete activities of daily living, it’s important to get help. Caregivers can help with transfers, grooming, and meal preparation. They can also drive your dad to appointments and help him with light housework. He won’t have to move from his home, but he’s not struggling to complete his daily tasks.

Learn more about the services caregivers in his area offer. Call an elder care agency to get started.

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Omaha, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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How Can You Ask for Help When You Feel Guilty for Needing Help?

shsgreateromaha 01 Dec 2017

It is not unusual at all for family caregivers to have a difficult time getting the help that they need. Sometimes this is because they’re overwhelmed and don’t know where to turn for help, but often the reason for this is that asking for help inspires feelings of guilt.

Try to Let Go of the Guilt

It’s one thing for someone to just tell you not to feel guilty about needing some extra help, but it’s quite another for you to actually start to let go of that guilt. You absolutely cannot do everything yourself. That means that by default, you have got to have help from somewhere, whether that’s other family members or other sources of help.

Make Some Lists to Help You Brainstorm

Sit down with some paper and a pencil. Jot down the tasks that you do every day, every week, and every month. Add the tasks that pop up here and there. Keep writing until you can’t think of any other tasks. Now start thinking about who has offered to help you and your elderly family member. These can be friends, family members, and even neighbors. Start matching up potential helpers with the tasks you could ask them to tackle for you.

Supplement with Elder Care Services

Not every caregiver has a wealth of people in their life who can pitch in and help, unfortunately. This is where elder care services come in so very handy. Home care providers have experience helping caregivers and aging adults with all sorts of situations. They can handle personal care tasks such as bathing and grooming, housekeeping tasks, and even just offering companionship to your aging adult while you take time away.

Assess Your Needs Regularly

Sit down periodically with yourself and assess what you need, what other people are helping you with, and whether they can help you with more. It’s normal to feel weird about this at first, but you’ll find that other people in your life genuinely want to help make your life easier. Let them do so.

As you go through this process more frequently, it will become easier. You might not feel that way at the beginning, but it will come.

If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Bellevue, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Tips for Safe Holiday Decorating for Your Parent

shsgreateromaha 22 Nov 2017

With the holiday season approaching your thoughts might have started going toward decorating. As a family caregiver for your elderly parent, you might worry that their limitations might make it challenging or even dangerous for them to have these decorations. Making their home festive and attractive, however, can be tremendously beneficial for your parent’s mental and emotional health, and help to create treasured holiday memories for your family.

Use these tips to keep your parent’s holiday decorating safe:

  • Examine all strands of lights to ensure that they are in good condition and not frayed
  • Consider replacing old or outdated lights with LED strands that are more efficient and safer
  • Avoid placing any decorations in intended walkways that might cause tripping or impact injuries
  • Do not plug too many decorations into the same outlet and ensure that all outlets are properly grounded
  • Avoid using ornaments or other decorations that are breakable or might shatter if they are knocked over
  • Do not use decorations that contain candles with real flames
  • Ensure that all decorations are placed a safe distance from any heat-emitting appliance, including space heaters, radiators, and furnaces, or fireplaces
  • Ensure that the decorations that you place around the home do not create shadows or other dangerous visual issues that might increase the chances that your aging parent will suffer a fall
  • Consider putting a timer on your parent’s outdoor lights so that they turn on automatically so that your parent will not need to go outside to turn on their lights

Being a family caregiver for an elderly adult can be extremely challenging, but fortunately home care is there for you. An elderly care provider can make a tremendous difference in your parent’s quality of life, and in your life as well. The highly personalized services of this care provider can ensure that your aging parent’s individual needs, challenges, and limitations are met in ways that are right for them. This not only helps them to stay healthy, happy, comfortable, and safe, but also promotes greater independence, activity, and fulfillment as they age in place. For you, this can ease your stress and allow you to step back some from your parent’s care efforts, enabling you to focus on other needs in your life such as your children, your partner, your career, and yourself. This not only protects your health and well-being, but allows you to give the effort you can as effectively, efficiently, and meaningfully as possible.

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Gretna, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Everything You Need to Know About Blood Pressure Readings

shsgreateromaha 16 Nov 2017

What do you really know about blood pressure readings? To many, it’s just a set of numbers. There’s a goal to get as close to 120/80 as possible but not less than 90/60. You’re offering some care for your mom or dad and want to know what to watch for. Here’s what you need to know about your parent’s blood pressure.

Systolic vs. Diastolic

A blood pressure reading is made up of two parts. Systolic is the first number. It’s the pressure of the flowing blood through arteries during a heartbeat. The second number is the diastolic number. It’s the pressure of the flowing blood through the arteries when the heart is between beats.

How You Get a Blood Pressure Reading

A blood pressure device uses air to expand a pillow-like cuff that prevents blood from flowing in the artery of the arm. As the air in the cuff is slowly released, the flow of the blood is restored. You get your systolic reading when you hear the beat of the heart through a stethoscope placed over the artery. When you no longer hear the heartbeat, that corresponding number is the diastolic reading.

The Dangers of High and Low Blood Pressure

When your blood pressure is higher than it should be, your risk for heart disease and stroke increases. Prehypertension occurs when your blood pressure is in the 121 to 139 to 81 to 89 range. You don’t need medications at this point, but you should alter your diet and exercise habits.

Hypertension sets in when you reach 140/90 higher. There are different stages. Your doctor may not take immediate action. If you’re worried about your mom or dad, many doctors do not feel it’s risky unless the blood pressure goes over 150/90 on a regular basis. Once blood pressure is over 160/100, a doctor is likely to prescribe medications to help lower blood pressure. Heart medications and diuretics are common options. Diet and exercise are also important.

Low blood pressure readings are also problematic. If blood is now flowing fast enough, oxygen supplies may not get to the organs fast enough. Low blood pressure can indicate malnutrition, heart issues, or dehydration. If your parent’s blood pressure regularly reads less than 90/60, you should contact a doctor.

When your parent is placed on a prescription medication, you need to make sure they take the medications regularly. You may need to hire a senior care aide to provide medication reminders. A caregiver can also help prepare healthy snacks and meals. To learn more about services that help your aging parent, call a senior care agency.

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Papillion, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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How Autumn’s Signature Food Boosts Senior Health

shsgreateromaha 10 Nov 2017

It’s hard to think of any other flavor that best symbolizes autumn other than pumpkin. There’s something about that spiced squash flavor that entices people both young and old to enjoy its unique taste and color. What most people don’t know is that pure pumpkin is one of the most nutritious foods, with no fat, low calories and lots of nutrients. Family caregivers that are looking for ways to boost their elderly loved one’s diet should think about all the ways that pumpkin can star in a dish.

Just one cup of pureed pumpkin provides all kinds of nutrients for elderly people. Pumpkin contains vitamin A, vitamin B-6, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, riboflavin, iron, copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium folate and niacin, among others. It’s rich in fiber and contains no fat. One cup of pumpkin puree is around 80 calories and it is both affordable and plentiful. What more do family caregivers need to get inspired to add pumpkin to the elderly care meal plan?

The nutrients in pumpkin have been linked to lowering the risk of heart disease and cancer, boosting the immune system, increasing eye and skin health, and lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. In fact, pumpkin ranks up there with other super foods like broccoli, salmon, blueberries and avocados as the kind of food that has a high nutritional value but doesn’t have a lot of fat or calories. Seniors really need the nutrients that can be found in pumpkin, so family caregivers need to plan on plenty of pumpkin inspired meals every day.

There are thousands of recipes online for family caregivers who are interested in adding more pumpkin to their elderly care menu. Pumpkin can be added as a puree or in roasted chunks to a number of dishes. Here are just a few:

  • Soup
  • Stew
  • Chili
  • Smoothies
  • Oatmeal
  • Pasta
  • Polenta
  • Refried Beans
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Gnocci
  • Hummus
  • Vegetable dip
  • Fondue
  • Grits
  • Muffins
  • Bread
  • Pancakes
  • Waffles
  • Cake
  • Applesauce
  • Yogurt

Family caregivers that are planning on using canned pumpkin should take care to use pure canned
pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling. The pie filling has added sugar, syrup, spices and fat. To get the pure and nutritional vegetable in a can, they should check for the label, which should list the only ingredient as pumpkin. While it can be purchased all year long in cans, it often goes on sale in the fall, so caregivers can stock up if they want.

The time has come for family caregivers to think about pumpkins as more than just an autumn porch decoration. Pumpkin is a nutritious ingredient in a lot of healthy dishes and delivers a powerful dietary punch when it comes to providing the vitamins and minerals that seniors need. Now that it is fall season, there’s no excuse to put off serving a delicious pumpkin dish to an elderly loved one.

Source:
https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/articles/50-canned-pumpkin-recipes

If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Bellevue, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Listening for Signs Your Senior May Be Suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease

shsgreateromaha 03 Nov 2017

If you are concerned that your aging parent might be suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, simply paying close attention when you are with them can illuminate issues that could further indicate this condition so you can bring them to the attention of your senior’s doctor. Using your basic senses to evaluate your parent and their behavior is an important part of detecting changes that could be troublesome.

Some things to listen for when evaluating whether your senior may be suffering from Alzheimer’s disease include:

Pay attention if your aging parent repeats the same story or question to you several times. While anyone can forget that they have said something and repeat it, a senior saying the same thing over and over can be an indication of something serious.

Listen to what your parent says and the words that they use. Even in the early stages of the disease, seniors with Alzheimer’s disease may begin to struggle with communication. This can include not being able to find the right word, hesitating when talking, and using nonsensical sounds or words to replace words when talking.

Engage in your conversations with your parent and take note if they say anything that might seem strange, such as referencing spending time with, talking to, or making plans to see people who are deceased or who have moved away, planning holidays or events that are far away, or talking about people as though they are a different age than they are.

It is a common misconception that people with Alzheimer’s do not know what is happening to them. Most seniors with this disease do know that they are experiencing changes in their function and abilities. Talk to your parent and pay attention if they mention that they are struggling with memory, making plans, judgment, or other issues that could indicate that they are struggling with cognitive functioning decline

If your parent has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or their challenges and symptoms have increased to the point that you feel they would benefit from additional care and support, now may be the ideal time to consider starting home care for them. Whether it is early in your parent’s progression with the disease or they have been coping with it for some time and have reached a more challenging stage, this in-home senior care services provider can make a tremendous difference in their life and the life of you as their family caregiver. This care provider can step in to fill care gaps, provide services that enable you to take time away from your care efforts and focus on other obligations in your life, as well as yourself, and encourage your loved one to maintain a lifestyle that is more active, independent, and fulfilling throughout their progression.

https://www.alz.org/facts/
https://alz.org/10-signs-symptoms-alzheimers-dementia.asp

If you or an aging loved one are considering home care services in Elkhorn, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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5 Halloween Ideas for Aging Parents to Enjoy

shsgreateromaha 27 Oct 2017

Just because someone is over age 65 doesn’t mean they enjoy fun holidays like Halloween any less. In fact, Halloween is the ideal time for the young and young at heart to have some time to be silly and a little bit scared. Family caregivers can include their aging parents in all their family celebrations that center around Halloween. There are lots of activities that seniors can participate in that bring them joy during the season.

Here are 5 Halloween ideas for caregivers to do with their aging parents:

1. Find Community Celebrations
Many community centers, senior canter, churches and even local businesses have Halloween celebrations where people can gather and socialize. Family caregivers should check out what’s coming up and make arrangements for their aging parents to attend. Because they are dependent on their adult children for transportation, seniors may be hesitant to ask about going to something like a Halloween party. However, the enjoyment they get from having fun should be enough to motivate any family caregiver to do so happily.

2. Help With Trick or Treaters
While aging parents will likely not be able to traipse around the neighborhood or get up and down repeatedly to answer the door, they can still help with trick or treaters. Family caregivers can set up a comfortable seat near the front door, such as on a porch. They can dress up as a witch, vampire, or other creature. In no time, the aging parent is transformed into a character that will delight children as they approach the house.

3. Throw a Family Halloween Party
Whether it’s with immediate or extended family, a Halloween party can be the perfect way to usher in the season. When an elderly parent can help plan the party and participate, it’s even better. Seniors can read a scary story or be the judge of the pumpkin carving contest. They can help plan the Halloween-themed menu and even participate in some of the games like charades, movie trivia and more.

4. Arrange a Classic Horror Movie Night
Once the popcorn is popped and everyone is settled down, it’s time to start the classic horror movie night. While they aren’t scary by today’s standards, there’s something wonderful and cheesy about the old horror flicks that people of all ages will enjoy.

5. Costume Contest
Many businesses or communities host costume contests with prizes and giveaways. It’s the perfect time to get creative and enter the whole family. Consider family costume themes, such as the Wizard of Oz, the Incredibles, the Flintstones, Addams Family, superheroes or other easy-to-identify groups and include elderly parents. Even if the family doesn’t win, they’ll have fun creating the costumes and competing together.

Elderly parents can be just as excited about Halloween as the rest of the family. That’s why it’s important for family members to include them in different activities and traditions.

If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Gretna, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Art Therapy Benefits Aging Adults

shsgreateromaha 20 Oct 2017

Art therapy is a part of the mental health profession that allows patients to use artistic creation to heal physically and mentally. Guided by licensed and trained art therapists, elderly adults can use different mediums to achieve a number of benefits. Besides developing a new hobby, art therapy allows patients to explore their feelings on any number of issues they may be facing when words just aren’t enough to facilitate the healing they need.

Seniors living with any number of issues and ailments can benefit from serious art therapy. It usually consists of sketching, drawing, painting or sculpting, as well as other art-related activities. The settings can be one on one with the therapist or in a group setting with a more social vibe. No matter how elderly adults get involved, they will definitely benefit from art therapy. Family caregivers should look into what it would take or their elderly relative to start therapy sessions in their area.

Here are just three areas where many elderly people and their caregivers realize the benefits of art therapy:

Pain Management
Many seniors live with chronic pain from disorders such as arthritis, neuropathy, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, neuropathy and more. The physical activity required in art therapy may help alleviate certain types of pain. For example, using fingers, arms and hands increases circulation to these extremities, and improve dexterity and flexibility in those areas.

Art therapy may not stop chronic pain, but it may help seniors relax and be able to manage it better. Combining art therapy with prescription medications, exercise and other pain-management techniques can improve an elderly person’s quality of life. Creating art is also inherently relaxing, and may ease emotional pain that might be triggering physical pain, like headaches.

Stress Reduction
As people age, they can take upon themselves an enormous amount of stress. Triggers include grief and loss, chronic illnesses, loss of independence, loneliness, depression, anxiety and more. Not only is art therapy a proactive way to combat stress, it allows elderly adults to express feelings like anxiety and anger in new and deep ways. Instead of keeping deep feelings bottled up, art therapy allows patients to let it out. Working with a therapist can further help seniors deal with a lot of stress and emotional pain.

Improved Cognitive Abilities
For elderly adults that are facing the early onset of memory loss conditions, experts say that they should engage in focused activities that create new neural pathways. Art therapy is an excellent way to challenge the brain and unlock new creative avenues. Boosting cognitive abilities can slow down the process and provide ways for seniors to communicate when words fail them.

Most family caregivers and their elderly relatives that engage in art therapy find that the creative process is a wonderful way to deal with the ups and downs of growing older. Physical and mental challenges can be handled better when the elderly adult is involved in making art. Art therapy is both healing and helpful to seniors under a wide variety of circumstances.

Source:
https://www.managedhealthcareconnect.com/article/use-art-therapy-geriatric-populations

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Papillion, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Four Reasons Why Clothes Shopping Online Doesn’t Work With Alzheimer’s

shsgreateromaha 13 Oct 2017

Clothes shopping is already a challenge with your elderly mom. The styles are too trendy. You have found a good selection of clothes when shopping online, however. When Alzheimer’s enters the picture, shopping for clothes brings new challenges. Shopping online doesn’t work as effectively and here’s why.

She Never Got to Feel the Texture

When your mom has Alzheimer’s, she may become very stubborn. She’ll want things to go her way and may resist when they don’t. She’ll want to feel a fabric’s texture and thickness. If she can’t, you run a higher risk of the item arriving and her not liking how it feels on the skin. In a brick and mortar store, she can try items on, touch the fabric, and know if it’s a fabric she really likes.

The Color She Saw Online Isn’t the Same as in Person

Even the most subtle color difference can matter to someone with Alzheimer’s. A red that is more pink than red may not be satisfying. A white that leans more towards cream can become a reason your mom won’t like an item. Being able to see the exact color when shopping for clothes will matter.

It’s Hard to Judge How Easy an Item is to Put On or Take Off

It is hard to tell how a shirt or pants fasten based only on online pictures. The snaps you see in a picture may seem large and easy to snap. The shirt arrives and the snaps require some force to secure. Your mom may not have the hand strength or dexterity to deal with stubborn fasteners.

When you shop at a local store, you can see if your mom is able to fasten pants and shirts with ease or if it’s a struggle. You can also see if the neck hole is wide enough for her to fit her head through or not.

Returns Are Often Challenging

No matter how hard you try, you’re going to get your mom home and learn a day later that she hates something she picked out. Some online stores are great about refunds and even pay return shipping. Many require you to pay return shipping and a restocking fee. You’ll save money by shopping a local store where returns are hassle-free.

Senior care professionals can help get your mom to local stores to buy new clothes. They often have experience buying the best clothes for Alzheimer’s. If you don’t have a caregiver helping your mom, you should. Call a senior care agency to discover the benefits of home care for a parent with Alzheimer’s.

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Bellevue, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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What Types of Factors Affect Your Ability to Be a Caregiver to Your Aging Adult?

shsgreateromaha 05 Oct 2017

So many different variables go into making up your caregiving journey. Whether you and your elderly family member live near each other or not, as well as other issues, can dictate what your caregiving experience is going to look like. These are just some of the situations you might find affecting your decisions as a primary family caregiver to your elderly family member.

How Far Away from Your Aging Adult You Live

If you’re living far away from where your elderly family member lives, you’re most likely already engaging in long-distance caregiving. This is a complicated form of caregiving because while you’re in charge of most of the aspects of your aging adult’s care, you’re not right there with her.

The Geographical Area in Which You Live

You might not think that this matters much, but where you live has a tremendous impact on caregiving. If you’re in an urban area, for example, you might have a variety of transportation options and access to a greater number of medical specialists. More rural areas can be far more difficult, especially in terms of transportation and support if you need more assistance with your elderly family member.

What Type of Needs Your Senior Has

Your aging family member’s health needs also impact the types of additional support you’ll need. A senior with Alzheimer’s disease has much more specific needs than an elderly family member with all her faculties and only occasional assistance needed. If your aging adult has mobility issues, you might not be able to help her as much as you want due to your own physical limitations.

Who Makes up Your Family

If you’re an only child taking care of a parent, you’re going to have different needs than a family caregiver who has a large, involved family who is able to really pitch in and help. Having family members who live far away can leave you feeling similarly isolated.

Understanding these different factors can help you to determine what kinds of additional support, such as elderly care providers, you and your elderly family member need in order to make your caregiving journey as smooth as possible.

If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Omaha, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Seniors Helping Seniors Greater Omaha selected for 2017 Papillion Small Business Excellence Award

shsgreateromaha 28 Sep 2017

Seniors Helping Seniors Greater Omaha has been selected for the 2017 Papillion Small Business Excellence Award in the Home Health Care category by the Papillion Small Business Excellence Award Program. The Small Business Excellence Awards were established to reward the best of small businesses – those who focus on quality, not quantity. Working exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business and marketing groups, their mission is to award the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

“Being selected for the Small Business Excellence Award for the second year running is an honor. I am grateful for our exceptional Care Provider staff who have done such an outstanding job caring for our seniors. We are proud to call Papillion our home.” said Denise Moser, Executive Director Seniors Helping Seniors Greater Omaha.

Recognition is given to companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value. These are small businesses that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community.

 

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Your Loved One’s Eyes Are Linked to Her Fall Risk, Believe it Or Not

shsgreateromaha 27 Sep 2017

When it comes to gauging how likely your parent is to take a fall, you may not realize how much can contribute to that event. One risk factor that surprises quite a few people is the impact vision has on fall risk.

If Your senior Can’t See an Obstacle, She Can’t Avoid It

What your aging parent can’t see is going to be unavoidable for her and that’s a big problem. Your parent might think this is a bit silly since of course she can avoid obstacles, but it’s not that simple. Not only are there smaller obstacles to worry about, but your loved one may not realize how much her depth perception is off. She may also have issues with her peripheral vision, which is another factor in helping her avoid obstacles.

A Comprehensive Eye Exam Is Crucial

The biggest way to combat these problems is with a comprehensive eye exam. Your elderly parent’s eye doctor may recommend examining her eyes once or twice a year to make sure that all of her eye conditions are well under control. If she hasn’t had a full eye exam in a while, it’s essential to make that appointment as soon as possible.

Your Parent’s Vision Can Change Rapidly

Another reason that your senior’s eye doctor might want to see her more often than annually is that her vision could change quickly depending on her health. Some conditions, such as diabetes, affect fluid levels and other areas in the eye and can cause damage. Being able to respond quickly to these issues can help you find a solution that works quickly after the situation develops.

Work on Her Environment, Too

Your senior’s environment can contribute to her trouble seeing well, too. If her lighting isn’t bright enough, that may be a weekend project for you to tackle. Other assistive devices, such as grab bars in convenient places, can also help. One critical move to make is to hire home care providers to make sure that your loved one has someone with her when you can’t be there.

As your senior’s vision becomes less of a problem, she might be surprised how much more confident she feels, even at home.

If you or an aging loved one are considering home care services in Omaha, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Tips for Eating Healthy When Dining Out

shsgreateromaha 22 Sep 2017

Many older adults have regular get togethers with friends at restaurants where they chat and catch up on each other’s lives. And, that’s great! It’s important for seniors to remain socially connected. However, if your parent needs to watch what they eat, dining out and sticking to a healthy diet can be tough. Below are some ideas to help older adults make healthy choices at restaurants.

Plan the Day Accordingly
On the day that your parent will be dining out, plan for other meals to be lighter. If your parent’s elder care provider makes their meals, they can adjust the menu for days when your parent will eat out. For example, if your parent plans to meet friends for lunch, the elder care provider can prepare a salad, soup, or other smaller meal for dinner.

Ask for Substitutions
Most restaurants will allow people to make substitutions for menu items. So, if your parent plans to order a sandwich that comes with French fries, they may be able to request a salad with dressing on the side instead. They can also make requests for special dietary needs, such as asking that food be prepared without added salt.

Avoid Fatty Foods
When your parent peruses the menu, remind them to look for healthy food choices. In general, they should try to avoid foods that have words like fried, au gratin, crispy, buttered, stuffed, and creamed in the description. Look for items that are grilled, steamed, baked, poached, or roasted instead.

Choose Lean Meats
If your parent plans to order meat, lean meats are the way to go. Advise them to order chicken, seafood, or other lean meat. They can ask the chef to remove the skin from chicken or trim the fat from meat to make it healthier.

Look for Items Marked Healthy
Many restaurants note healthy menu items right on the menu. Ask your parent to choose from those items. If they are not marked, ask the server if they can recommend something healthy.

Get a Doggy Bag
Most restaurants serve oversized portions. To save some calories and enjoy the meal again on another day, your parent could divide the food on the plate into two meals. A server can provide them with a take home box to bring the rest home.

If your parent enjoys eating out, they should continue to do so! An elder care provider can help your parent to keep meeting friends for meals out by assisting them in getting dressed and groomed to go. Elder care providers can also drive your parent to the restaurant and bring them home again. They can even walk them into the restaurant and help them to get safely seated at a table.

Sources
https://www.eatright.org/resource/health/weight-loss/eating-out/eating-out
https://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/HealthyEating/DiningOut/Deciphering-the-
Menu_UCM_301469_Article.jsp

If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Ralston, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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It’s Raining Yet Again – Four Ways to Keep Your Elderly Mom From Getting Bored

shsgreateromaha 14 Sep 2017

Caregivers in Springfield NE: It's Raining Yet Again - Four Ways to Keep Your Elderly Mom From Getting Bored
Caregivers in Springfield NE: It’s Raining Yet Again – Four Ways to Keep Your Elderly Mom From Getting Bored

Weather is always unpredictable. If rain is keeping your mom stuck inside, boredom can set in quickly. Here are some tips on helping your mom avoid boredom when it’s just too wet to get outside for more than a few minutes.

Declutter

Is your mom the type who cannot sit still? You’re not alone. Decluttering the home is a good way to keep your mom busy. Go through old photos, books, clothing, and other items that take up space. You can scan photos and get them into the cloud for safe storage. Recycle or throw away items that haven’t been used in years or are broken. Your mom gains a house that has less clutter and better organization while keeping busy at the same time.

Have a Movie Day

With streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, it’s very easy to line up a few moves on a rainy day. If your mom doesn’t have any of the above, free trials make it easy to test them out before spending money. Many Blu-ray players, game systems, and Smart TVs come with the channels already installed. If not, a Roku player also makes it easy to watch these streaming channels on a TV. Hulu is best if your mom wants to watch classics like Brando’s “On the Waterfront” or Grant’s “To Catch a Thief.” Netflix is a great choice for recent movies like “Finding Dory.”

Learn How to Paint

Buy a small oil or acrylic paint kit, a couple of brushes, a paint knife, and some small canvases. Generally, you’ll find these kits and canvas at hobby stores and be able to spend less than $50. Once she has the supplies in hand, use YouTube to find old Bob Ross videos. His instructional videos are easy to follow and help you learn how to paint. You may find your mom hooked on this new hobby after her first attempt at painting.

Play Board Games

You may have to work, but a caregiver can help your mom avoid boredom by providing companionship and being a worthy opponent when playing games. Some of the best games for rainy days are Scrabble and Monopoly as they can go on for hours. If you haven’t looked at caregivers as companions, now’s the time.

Caregivers help with a variety of activities of daily living that may challenge your aging mom. If you have questions or want to learn more, call a home care service today.

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Springfield, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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What You Should Do Leading Up to Severe Weather

shsgreateromaha 08 Sep 2017

Senior Care in Omaha NE: What You Should Do Leading Up to Severe Weather
Senior Care in Omaha NE: What You Should Do Leading Up to Severe Weather

As a family caregiver, keeping your elderly parent safe and healthy is one of your most important priorities. While you might think immediately of the ways that you can help them to address the challenges and limitations that can come from their health issues and problems such as mobility trouble, there are other issues that your senior might face as well. One such issue is severe weather. Thunder, severe rain, snow, and other events can put your parent in an uncomfortable and even dangerous situation, and it is important that you are prepared to give them the help that they need.

There are many steps that you can take during a severe weather situation that can help to keep your parent safe and healthy, but it is essential that you do not wait until the weather has begun to start to address the situation. Instead, there are steps that you should take leading up to the severe weather to prepare your parent and help both of you to feel more confident throughout the situation.

Some things that you should do leading up to severe weather include:

Stay up-to-date on the weather. Weather can change extremely quickly and it is important that you stay updated on the conditions and the forecast so that you know how to respond. Pay close attention to the radio and the television, and sign up for alerts on your mobile device. Encourage your parent to do the same, particularly if they live far enough away from you that the path of the severe weather may be different where they live.

Check their emergency kit. Make sure that your parent’s emergency kit is well-stocked and easily accessible for your senior. Ensure that other members of your parent’s care network, including a senior care provider, knows where this kit is so that they can access it if the need arises.

Check other supplies. Make sure that your parent has other supplies beyond their emergency kit that they may need during the weather situation. This should include basics such as food, blankets, clothing, and lighting that may be present in the emergency kit but that should be kept in the emergency kit for use if your parent needs to evacuate or the weather condition continues for a longer-than-expected period.

Ensure they have their medications. Consider getting in touch with your parent’s doctor to discuss the medications that they take and if they may be able to access a larger supply to use during the course of the severe weather event if they are not able to get to the pharmacy.

Review emergency plans. Talk to your parent about the emergency plans that you have put into place and review them. This should include your phone tree and evacuation plans so that they know what to do if conditions become urgent.

If you have been looking for ways to help your parent achieve and maintain a higher quality of life throughout their later years, or feel that your caregiver efforts are not fulfilling their care needs in the way that they deserve, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting senior care for them. A senior home care services provider can be there with your elderly parent on a fully customized schedule that ensures that they will get all of the care, support, and assistance that they need, while also keeping you at the forefront of their care. In your role as their family caregiver, this can give you confidence that any care gaps that exist in the efforts that you give them will be filled effectively and that your parent will be able to stay happy, healthy, active, and engaged as they age in place.

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Omaha, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

The post What You Should Do Leading Up to Severe Weather appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

What Kinds of Observations in General Could Mean Your Loved One Shouldn’t Be Driving?

shsgreateromaha 31 Aug 2017

Elderly Care in Ralston NE: Elderly Care in Ralston NE: What Kinds of Observations in General Could Mean Your Loved One Shouldn't Be Driving?

You probably know what to look for when your loved one is driving and shouldn’t be, but did you know that there are other observations that can let you know it’s time for your loved one to stop driving?

Your Loved One Can’t Move, See, or Hear Well at All

Mobility is extremely important for your loved one while she’s driving. If your loved one isn’t able to twist to see behind her or maneuver the steering wheel easily, she’s at risk of causing or being in wrecks. Likewise, being unable to hear or see well means that your loved one can’t avoid problems on the road.

She’s Unable to Follow Directions

Driving has a mental component as well as a physical component, of course. Notice what happens when your loved one needs to follow a set of instructions. If she has difficulty, even with a written set of instructions, then this can be a bad sign for her while she’s driving.

Your Loved One Falls Asleep Mid-conversation

Nodding off in the middle of a conversation might not be such a bad thing, but if this is something that your loved one does often, you might need to be concerned. This is definitely something that is extremely dangerous if your loved one is at the wheel of a car.

Your Loved One Is Afraid to Drive

Your loved one might not mention outright to you that she’s afraid to drive. You are more likely, however, to see subtle signs that your loved one is avoiding driving. She might suggest that other people drive when in the past she’s always been happy to drive. You might need to gently ask your loved one questions to determine if driving is scary for her.

The Car Has Seen Better Days

When is the last time that you really looked at your loved one’s car? If there are dings, dents, and scratches that you don’t remember seeing before, this can be a sign of trouble. Your loved one might be having difficulty maneuvering the car, leading to lots of physical damage to the vehicle itself.

If you’re noticing these types of observations, line up alternative transportation options for your loved one. Hire elderly care providers or work out a schedule with other family members to make sure your loved one has someone to drive for her.

If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Ralston, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

The post What Kinds of Observations in General Could Mean Your Loved One Shouldn’t Be Driving? appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Caring, Compassionate Seniors WANTED!

shsgreateromaha 30 Aug 2017

SENIORS HELPING SENIORS has immediate PT openings for Care Providers.

The qualified candidate will have life experience, an interest in making a difference in the lives of other seniors and be comfortable working with senior citizens. Working as a senior helping other seniors you will be making an important contribution. If this describes you, or someone you know, please give us a call at 402-331-3073.

Valid driver’s license and use of auto is required.

We currently have an immediate need for afternoon and evening Providers, start working next week!

Apply online at https://shsomaha.clearcareonline.com/apply/

The post Caring, Compassionate Seniors WANTED! appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

What Does a Spirometry Breathing Test Tell Your Loved One’s Doctor?

shsgreateromaha 23 Aug 2017

Homecare in Elkhorn NE: What Does a Spirometry Breathing Test Tell Your Loved One's Doctor?

Your loved one’s doctor might recommend a breathing test called spirometry in order to get a better picture of how her COPD is progressing. Understanding the test can help you and your loved one realize why it’s such an important test.

What Spirometry Tests

Spirometry is a specific type of lung function test that looks at how much air your loved one’s lungs can hold and how rapidly she’s able to move air into and out of her lungs. It can also give your loved one’s doctor information about how well your loved one’s lungs are processing oxygen and carbon dioxide. It’s an easy test for your loved one to perform. All your loved one needs to do is take as deep a breath as possible and then blow it out as hard as she can through a tube.

Variations on the Test

While this is an incredibly simple test, it gives your loved one’s doctor a lot of information. But there may still be more information necessary. To get that, your loved one’s doctor might ask her to take inhaled medication, wait for it to take effect, and then perform the spirometry test again. Her doctor may also ask that she walk on a treadmill for a few minutes before testing again.

Stages of COPD and Worsening Symptoms

Besides the quantifiable information that this test gives your loved one’s doctor, it also allows him to objectively measure whether her symptoms have worsened. This gives her doctor a way to also let you and your loved one know more accurately which stage of COPD your loved one is currently in. That information is vital to allow you to modify her current care plan.

Spirometry Is Just One Test for COPD

There are a full range of other pulmonary function tests that your loved one’s doctor might order for your loved one besides spirometry. Some involve taking blood to send to the lab while others might involve testing the exact concentration of oxygen in her body. Spirometry is one of the least invasive of these types of tests which can make it one of the simplest to use as often as necessary.

Results of spirometry and other breathing tests gives you a plan of action that you can share with other family members and home care providers to help keep your loved one as healthy as possible.

If you or an aging loved one are considering homecare in Elkhorn, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

The post What Does a Spirometry Breathing Test Tell Your Loved One’s Doctor? appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Would Communication Cards Help My Aging Parent?

shsgreateromaha 18 Aug 2017

Senior Care in LaVista NE: Would Communication Cards Help My Aging Parent?

Anna’s elderly mother, Donna, recently suffered a stroke, leaving her unable to speak. Although Anna worked hard to care for Donna’s needs, they would often be frustrated with each other as Donna could only make small gestures that Anna simply couldn’t understand. Donna seemed even more frustrated when any visitors like senior care assistants arrived. Anna really wanted to figure out what was happening with her mother.

Once the debilitating effects of Parkinson’s disease robbed Peter’s ability to speak, he would grow extremely agitated at family caregivers and senior care assistants whenever they tried to help. This put him into a deep depression because he couldn’t even communicate his basic needs, and the guessing games they had to play at every interaction were growing tiresome.

Mindy just wanted to make sure her elderly grandmother was being properly cared for. Alzheimer’s disease made it difficult for her grandmother to speak. As the family caregiver, everything seemed so overwhelming and Mindy was never sure if she was meeting her grandmother’s wants and needs. She always felt worried and stressed thinking she wasn’t doing a good job.

Each one of these profiles reflects a common thread—care of a non-verbal elderly loved one. When people have relied on speaking to communicate their thoughts for so long, it’s very difficult to become non-verbal. A number of conditions can cause an elderly person to lose the power of speech, leaving them frustrated, stressed and scared. Caregivers share in the frustration because there are only so many concepts that simple gestures can convey.

One important tool that many family caregivers are discovering is patient communication boards, like those used in hospitals. These boards are usually colorfully printed charts or lists that have pictures as well as labels. The non-verbal person can point to ideas or sentences on the board that they really want to say. The family caregiver or senior care assistant will then immediately know what to do and how to help.

Some of the most basic communication boards include a list of letters for finger spelling. They also include simple pictures and words for the most basic needs, such as hungry, thirsty, need blanket/ pillow, lights off/on, sit up, lie down and toilet, for example. Some communication boards include emotional state, such as frustrated, sad, sleepy, dizzy, and in pain. Basic phrases are also often represented, such as stop, continue, yes, no, thank you, please explain and more.

If the elderly person is experiencing chronic pain, there are some communication boards that help them communicate this. The board shows a picture of the human body as well as a scale of 1 to 10. The elderly person would indicate where the pain is and what it rates on the pain scale. Some boards even provide detailed words for the pain, such as sharp, dull, stinging, or doing better. There may even be other descriptions of health conditions such as short of breath, dizzy, nauseated, is tender and numb.

With non-verbal elderly people, communication boards may be the best way for them to get their thoughts across to family caregivers and senior care assistants so that there is a lot less frustration and anxiety on both sides.

 

Source:
https://www.i-ma.com/Critical-Care/Patient-Communication-Board.html

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in LaVista, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Choosing the Best Walking Shoes for Seniors

shsgreateromaha 10 Aug 2017

Caregivers in LaVista NE: Choosing the Best Walking Shoes for Seniors

If you haven’t heard by now about the health benefits of walking for elderly people, it’s time to learn. Family caregivers and seniors will both want to lace up their walking shoes when they learn that walking strengthens muscles, promotes better balance, improves the quality of sleep, lowers the risk of mental decline and boosts the mood. When you and your elderly loved one get serious about incorporating regular walks into your weekly schedule, it’s important to choose the best walking shoes for them.

When it comes to seniors and walking, not just any shoes will do. Because seniors are less agile and prone to balance challenges, they need a good pair of walking shoes. Walking shoes are specifically designed to help people participate in extended walking exercises and provide just the right support. For seniors, walking in just any shoe can actually cause pain in the hips, knees, heels, lower back and feet. Walking shoes should provide maximum protection and total comfort so that seniors can enjoy walking and reap all the benefits.

If you are looking for a good walking shoe for an aging loved one, there are several different factors to consider. Of course, the fit is the most important and if you take your elderly loved one to the shoe store, the associate can help out. However, if you are getting shoes for them on your own, remember that the toes should be able to move within the toe box and the fit should be snug but not pinching or binding. Shoes that are the wrong size can create balance issues and make it even more difficult for seniors to walk.

Walking shoes should also be lightweight so that the exercise doesn’t tire out your aging loved one. Just because they are lightweight, however, doesn’t mean they won’t be durable. Look for waterproof material and a no-slip bottom of the shoe for maximum safety. Shoes that are uncomfortable, clunky and slippery boost the risk of a slip and fall accident for the elderly, and also make it less likely they will look forward to walking.

The last thing to check on when buying walking shoes for elderly loved ones is the support. Our feet take a lot of abuse, especially pressure points that bear all the weight. A good walking shoe should have plenty of cushioning inside and a molded foam sole that helps relieve pressure on those points. There are also cushioned inserts that you can purchase to provide additional padding for your elderly loved one. Shoes with poor support make it hard for them to keep their balance and retain their energy for longer walks.

Getting older doesn’t necessarily mean that seniors have to stop exercising altogether. Family caregivers can help them unlock the keys to regular walking, and it all starts with finding the right shoes for the activity. With the right pair of walking shoes, elderly loved ones can get out and around in the neighborhood, boost their energy levels and improve their physical and mental health.

Source:
https://www.aarp.org/health/fitness/info-2007/walking_shoes.html

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in LaVista, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

The post Choosing the Best Walking Shoes for Seniors appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Relaxation Techniques for a Parent with Dementia

shsgreateromaha 04 Aug 2017

Elderly Care in Papillion NE: Relaxation Techniques for a Parent with Dementia

Anxiety is a common side effect associated with dementia. As memory wanes, it can become frightening and disconcerting when your parent is no longer able to remember a place or person, or find the right words that once came so easily. Anxiety and agitation ensue, increasing the possibility of wandering or lashing out.

Observation

As a family caregiver, you can take the time spent with your parent to observe what seems to increase their anxiety. Like a detective looking for coincidental clues, keep a weathered eye out for what seems to agitate your parent. Is it a certain time? Do certain noises occur during the day that starts a sense of panic? Is there an activity or a place that prompts an increase in anxiety? When your parent is feeling better, have a quiet discussion with them—they may just be able to share some of the frustration they’re feeling and what prompts it.

Adapting

Once you’ve determined specific triggers, alter your loved one’s environment to produce a more relaxed frame of mind. This may mean that some people would be better off calling than visiting, or that the TV would be better left off. Dusk can be a particularly trying time for your parent as shadows descend. If you’ve noticed this occurring, try turning on the lights in their home before sunset and make sure that their home is well lit. Once you’ve created the best environment possible for them, try these relaxation techniques.

Breathing Techniques

A simple relaxation technique is to focus on the breath and to breathe deeply. The increase in oxygen prompts a relaxation response in the brain. Lie down on your back and place your hands over your stomach. Begin by taking a deep breath in to the count of three, feeling the abdomen rise beneath your hands, hold for a minute before letting the breath out to a count of three. Repeat for approximately 10 minutes.

Yoga and Tai Chi

These activities are good for both the body and the mind. You may be concerned about your parent’s ability to perform these activities, but many classes are designed specifically for seniors and for those with limited mobility and even specifically for those suffering from dementia. Check the local senor community center or Area Agency on Aging for possible class locations. If your loved one is more comfortable at home, there are several DVDs available on these forms of exercise and mindful awareness techniques. Be sure to check with your parent’s primary health
care provider before including one of these in your parent’s schedule.

Art / Music or Massage Therapy

What do these three varying therapies have in common? They take your parent’s mind off worries and concerns and keep it focused on the therapy at hand. Art and music therapy have proven very beneficial for those suffering from dementia. There are classes in both that are geared to those with this disease. Massage therapy has also been shown to bring peace of mind. This could be as simple as a gentle hand, arm or shoulder massage with soothing natural aromatherapy oils.

Elderly Care Provider

The company and companionship of an elderly care provider can ease a loved one’s anxiety. Distraction is a great tool when calming a troubled mind. These professionals can play easy card games, take relaxing walks in nature, play gentle, calming music and help your parent through the challenging days that lie ahead.

Resources
https://www.unforgettable.org/blog/what-relaxation-techniques-and-therapies-are-good-for-dementia-care/

If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Papillion, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

The post Relaxation Techniques for a Parent with Dementia appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

5 Ways to Prepare Elderly Loved Ones for a Heat Wave

shsgreateromaha 26 Jul 2017

Home Care in Ralston NE: 5 Ways to Prepare Elderly Loved Ones for a Heat Wave
Home Care in Ralston NE: 5 Ways to Prepare Elderly Loved Ones for a Heat Wave

In many parts of the country, high temperatures during the summer months are nothing new. However, when the weather reports notify people of an approaching heatwave, it can trigger a number of health-related issues in the elderly. If you are a family caregiver with an aging loved one and are facing a heatwave soon, you should do everything you can to prepare for it.

Here are 5 ways to prepare elderly loved ones for a heat wave:

1. Make the Rooms as Cool as Possible

The best time to check that fans, air conditioners and other cooling devices are working properly is well before a heat wave strikes. There should be some things to help seniors stay cool and in touch in case the power does go, like a hand-held fans, a flashlight, extra bottled water and more. A lot of heat can enter a home via the windows, so a good thick curtain on south and west-facing windows can help.

2. Reduce Activity and Strain

Conserve energy and don’t let an elderly person’s body heat up by encouraging them to stay indoors and just relax during a heat wave. Avoid exercise and going outside in the heat of the day. If there are any appointments or visitations lined up for the heat wave, they may need to be postponed. Avoid running big appliances like washers, dryers and dishwashers because that can also heat up the house. Getting into hot cars can also cause heat exhaustion in your elderly loved one very quickly.

3. Meal Planning and Preparation

It’s a good idea for seniors to eat several small meals throughout the day during a heat wave rather than three big meals. The body burns off a lot of calories after a big meal, raising the internal temperature. Small meals don’t make the body work as hard, therefore keeping them cooler. On the other hand, seniors should drink as much water as they can throughout the day, even if they aren’t feeling thirsty. This will help them fight off dehydration and let the body thermoregulate more efficiently.

4. Dress Appropriately

Seniors should wear loose, light-colored clothing that is made of breathable fabrics. If they are wearing something that is tight and heavy, the body’s natural cooling process could be affected. Let home care aides and family members that may help your elderly loved one dress know about the clothing preference. For additional cooling power, get a supply of packaged hand wipes so they can wipe down their neck and arms occasionally. The water and chemicals evaporating from off the skin will provide instant cooling relief.

5. Learn About Signs of Heat-Related Illnesses

Seniors can go from feeling fine to suffering from heat exhaustion and heatstroke very quickly. If your elderly loved one is sweating a lot and complaining of headaches, muscle aches, dizziness, disorientation, and rapid breathing and pulse, it may be time for medical attention due to problems
related to the heat.

Source:
https://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/heat-wave-safety#During

If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Ralston, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

The post 5 Ways to Prepare Elderly Loved Ones for a Heat Wave appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Getting Seniors and Grandkids to Have Fun Together

shsgreateromaha 19 Jul 2017

Senior Care in Springfield NE: Getting Seniors and Grandkids to Have Fun Together
Senior Care in Springfield NE: Getting Seniors and Grandkids to Have Fun Together

When your parents are getting older and need more in-home care it can be difficult to get grandchildren and great-grandchildren to spend time with them. That’s because kids are usually so busy that there are often not many spare minutes to drop by. Some children might be bored at their older relative’s home or be expected to carry on a conversation with an adult they might not have much in common with. Other kids may be averse to visiting because they are always stuck doing chores for their grandparent.

You can be the bridge between the generations by having some activities and things in mind to bring seniors and younger relatives together.

Card Games

There are many card games that are appropriate for different ages. Older grandchildren might like classics such as Rummy, Hearts, Spoons and Crazy Eights. Younger kids can play with colorful cards specifically designed for games like Go Fish, Old Maid and Uno. Not only will seniors and younger relatives be entertained, they’ll enjoy the friendly competition that develops between them.

Video Games

While it may seem strange to bond with an aging relative over a video game, there are many different types of games that are colorful, fun and entertaining. Seniors can start with relatively easy games and work their way up to more challenging levels. Even if they don’t love playing the games, they will definitely love interacting with their grandkids in a whole new way.

Nature Walks

Taking a nature walk is a fine way to let seniors get some exercise and bond with their grandchildren. Occasionally, you can give the senior care assistant a break and take your aging loved one and their young relatives to a nearby park or forest trail. When everyone walks at the slowest person’s pace, they are more likely to see and hear interesting things along the way. Birdwatching, collecting interesting rocks or photography are hobbies that multiple generations can enjoy together outdoors.

Homework and Class Projects

Kids today have more homework than ever, and grandparents are an often overlooked resource. If your aging loved one is a retired schoolteacher or has an aptitude for a particular subject, they could be of great help to a struggling grandchild. Even if the grandparent can help with spelling words or listen to a science report, the connection between seniors and students will grow stronger. Having a senior care about their education can create a powerful bond between the generations.

Creative Cooking

If there is a younger relative that loves to spend time in the kitchen, they might appreciate learning from a grandparent that knows their way around. Whether it’s cherished family recipes or new experiments, cooking together is a fine way to enjoy each other’s company and create delicious snacks, desserts and meals.

Closeness between older and younger generations doesn’t always happen automatically. Sometimes children and teens need a common activity in order to bond with elderly relatives. You can facilitate the fun times by promoting some entertaining, healthy and interesting activities that open the gate to social interaction.

Source:
https://www.todaysparent.com/family/activities/10-kid-friendly-card-games/
https://www.todaysparent.com/family/activities/pencil-and-paper-games/

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Springfield, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

The post Getting Seniors and Grandkids to Have Fun Together appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Improving Indoor Air Quality for Aging Loved Ones

shsgreateromaha 14 Jul 2017

Caregivers in Bellevue NE: Improving Indoor Air Quality for Aging Loved Ones
Caregivers in Bellevue NE: Improving Indoor Air Quality for Aging Loved Ones

As the family caregiver, you want what’s best for your aging loved one. Making sure their home is clean and hazard-free is a top priority but what about the air quality? Studies show that indoor air quality can be as bad or worse as outdoor air quality in polluted cities. In some cases, indoor air quality may be 10 times more toxic than the outdoors. With a mixture of bacteria, dust mites, skin cells, mold, pet dander, pollen, smoke and more, indoor air in an elderly person’s home can wreak havoc on their health.

Seniors can suffer a number of health issues due to poor indoor air quality. Besides irritated eyes and throats, the elderly can develop chronic respiratory problems. Other health issues that arise from inhaling airborne pollution are asthma, nausea, headaches, fatigue, cognitive impairment, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and even cancer. Family caregivers definitely need to focus on improving the indoor air quality for their aging loved ones.

While it’s impossible to eliminate every contaminant in the air, there are many things that family caregivers can do to help. Here are a few ways to boost clean air and reduce the concentration of indoor pollutants:

  • Use a high quality vacuum twice a week on carpets and once per week on upholstered furniture. This will eliminate lots of pollutants and prevent them from getting stirred up into the air again.
  • Avoid using heavily perfumed laundry products, hair spray, aerosol cleaners and air fresheners. They release chemicals that add to the indoor air pollution.
  • Alternate between dry sweeping and wet mopping hard floor surfaces to get rid of irritants that have settled on the floor.
  • Place thick mats near entryways to reduce the amount of outside pollutants making their way inside. Since pollen and particles can also come in on clothing, put a coat rack near the door so residents and visitors can hang outerwear up right away.
  • Open the windows to bring in fresh air, but watch the local news for outdoor air quality reports and keep them closed on days with lots of pollution and lots of pollen.
  • Adorn each room with houseplants, because some species are effective air cleaners. Top varieties include spider plants, Boston fern, snake plant, ficus, peace lily and chrysanthemums.
  • Adding electric air purifiers to main rooms helps clean the air immensely and they are very effective at removing allergens and much more.
  • Eliminate indoor smoking, either by helping an aging loved one to quit or assisting them in going outside to smoke. Friends and family members should also be banned from smoking indoors.

It’s easy to ignore indoor air quality because it’s something you don’t really notice or see. However, the impact that it has on an elderly person’s health can be significant. Taking the time to clean and care for the air will boost cognition, improve overall health and reduce the risk of certain respiratory ailments. Without clean indoor air, seniors are more likely to develop health problems and have a harder time resisting certain illnesses.

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Bellevue, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

The post Improving Indoor Air Quality for Aging Loved Ones appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Does My Aging Loved One Have Dry Mouth?

shsgreateromaha 07 Jul 2017

Homecare in Gretna NE: Does My Aging Loved One Have Dry Mouth?
Homecare in Gretna NE: Does My Aging Loved One Have Dry Mouth?

Jessica was concerned about her elderly father. Lately he had demonstrated a diminished appetite and claimed he just wasn’t very hungry lately. His home care assistant mentioned that he was complaining of a tickle in his throat and always seemed to be thirsty. Despite his increased water consumption, he was developing cracked lips and sores at the edges of his mouth. Jessica’s greatest concern came after his dentist appointment. After decades of not having any cavities, her dad’s teeth were riddled with decay. The dentist mentioned that her father might be suffering from dry mouth and recommended that they visit the physician.

The doctor confirmed the diagnosis of dry mouth and deduced that it was a side effect of some of the medication that Jessica’s dad was taking for high blood pressure and anxiety. The doctor made some adjustments to the dosages and provided them with some tips and tricks to dealing with dry mouth. Jessica felt confident that her father would feel better in no time.

The condition known as dry mouth is a chronic condition that is very common in the elderly. Essentially, dry mouth happens when there is not enough saliva to aid in eating, speaking and keeping the soft tissues of the mouth moist. Dry mouth is mistakenly thought to be a normal part of aging, and many family members and seniors believe that it can just be cured by drinking more water. However, there’s much more to dry mouth than it appears, and a lack of treatment can create serious health effects in the elderly.

Saliva performs an important job in the mouth by constantly bathing teeth, tissue and gums in a substance that removes food particles, neutralizes bacteria and breaks down food for digestion. The average human produces more than a quart of saliva in one day. When saliva production is down, those that suffer from dry mouth may experience a gritty, dusty feeling in their mouth and throat. Without enough saliva, the soft mouth tissues shrink up, exposing more tooth surface, stressing the gums and drying out the area around the mouth and the lips.

Dry mouth prevents seniors from chewing and swallowing effectively. This can become a problem when elderly loved ones start refusing to eat because of the irritation or pain associated with it. When seniors, who are often already on a reduced caloric intake due to appetite suppression, refuse to eat, they can boost their risk of malnutrition. Dry mouth tissues can also affect how dentures fit, contributing to the refusal to eat.

Another problem that the elderly have with dry mouth is an increase in tooth decay. Because there isn’t enough saliva to help fight off bacteria and viruses, there’s a better chance for gum disease and cavities to develop. Mouth sores and cracked lips can also become infected, contributing to overall poor health in elderly loved ones.

The causes of dry mouth are numerous, so a physician will have to diagnose the origin and then outline a treatment based on those findings. Many common medications can cause dry mouth in the elderly. It can also be a side effect of an illness or disease like diabetes, autoimmune disorders or anemia. Head and neck injuries can also affect the normal production of saliva.

The best way to offset the symptoms of dry mouth is to sip water throughout the day, especially when dining. Family members and home care assistants should provide the elderly person with sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production. Regular dental checkups are a must to identify any problems with
dentures or tooth decay. Reducing or eliminating alcohol, caffeinated drinks and smoking will also help.

It’s too easy for family caregivers and home care assistants to overlook dry mouth in elderly people. However, the consequences of ignoring dry mouth as a serious health issues can result in even bigger problems for aging loved ones.

Source:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-mouth/home/ovc-20318136

If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Gretna, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

The post Does My Aging Loved One Have Dry Mouth? appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Should My Elderly Loved One Get a Pet?

shsgreateromaha 30 Jun 2017

Elder Care in Elkhorn NE: Should My Elderly Loved One Get a Pet?
Elder Care in Elkhorn NE: Should My Elderly Loved One Get a Pet?

Rebecca’s elderly aunt had always been active, but in recent years her physical abilities had taken a turn for the worse. It was hard for Rebecca to see her aunt unable to socialize as she used to and to sit for long hours just watching television unless she or the elder care assistant were around.

Rebecca wondered about getting her aunt a dog or a cat for companionship, but wasn’t sure about the commitment level required for a pet. Rebecca spent many weeks thinking about whether she should get her elderly loved one a dog or cat to brighten her days.

Pets can provide a number of benefits to the elderly but it is a decision that should be considered very carefully by both the senior and the family caregiver. Dogs and cats have been human companions for centuries for good reason and when seniors are suddenly less mobile and more isolated, it makes sense to introduce a furry canine or feline friend. If you are a family caregiver that is thinking about getting an elderly loved one a pet, there are plenty of good reasons why.

When it comes to companionship, dogs and cats are ideal. While family caregivers, friends and elder care assistants must come and go, the pet is there constantly. Many pets become attuned to their owner’s needs and are content to cuddle during down times or be playful during better moments. Many seniors are at risk for depression, anxiety and stress in their later years, and studies show that owning a dog or cat can help with mental health.

A dog or cat can provide them with a daily routine and give them something to focus on with vet appointments, grooming, purchasing food and toys, training them and more. Being a responsible pet owner can help elderly loved ones feel needed and useful. They can find a lot of satisfaction being a good pet owner. Seniors sometimes struggle to add some variety and interest to their day, especially if they are less mobile than they used to be. Owning a dog can prompt them to start up some light exercise. Walking the dog, even around the backyard, can become a good excuse to get them up and outside.

Before committing to a dog or cat, elderly loved ones and family caregivers need to do a serious life assessment to figure out what kind of pet would work best. If the elderly loved one is somewhat active, a medium dog might be a good fit. For homebound or bedridden seniors, smaller dogs or a cat would work better. Different breeds have varying temperaments and so it’s a good idea to steer clear of very hyper or overly active dogs. Some shelters allow potential adoptive owners to try the pet for a week or two to see if they are compatible with each other. If a full-time pet is ultimately not a good decision, many shelters will allow people to foster animals until they are adopted.

When thinking about a pet for an elderly loved one, family caregivers should realize that some of the responsibility for care will fall to themselves and the elder care assistants. However, that can be a small price to pay in exchange for the numerous health benefits that their aging loved one will receive in becoming a new pet owner.

Source:
https://www.aarp.org/home-family/your-home/info-2017/pro-con-pet-ownership.html

If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Elkhorn, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

The post Should My Elderly Loved One Get a Pet? appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Could Your Loved One’s Kitchen Be a Safer Room?

shsgreateromaha 22 Jun 2017

Senior Care in Gretna NE: Could Your Loved One's Kitchen Be a Safer Room?So much happens in the kitchen and, unfortunately, some of what goes on can be dangerous for your elderly loved one. Making that room safer for her can be easier than you think.

Address Fire Hazards

The kitchen has more than a few different fire hazards lying in wait. Some of the same problems you could see in other rooms, such as overloaded electrical outlets, can be a problem here. But there are others, such as open burners and gas leaks that can cause fires in your loved one’s kitchen. Check regularly for any potential issues that could cause a fire in your loved one’s kitchen.

Tackle Slip and Fall Hazards

Your loved one’s kitchen can also be more slippery than other rooms. This can be because of the nature of the room itself, due to spills, or because of damaged flooring. Take a good look at your loved one’s kitchen and determine anything that can contribute to her tripping, slipping, or falling. The more quickly you make those repairs, the better for everyone who spends time in your loved one’s kitchen.

Check Smoke Alarms and Fire Extinguishers Regularly

Smoke alarms and fire extinguishers are essential tools that keep your loved one safe in her kitchen. Check the batteries in your loved one’s smoke alarms regularly. A good rule of thumb can be to check them every time the time changes, but you can also do this quarterly. Make sure your loved one knows where her fire extinguisher is located and that she knows how to use it. Newer fire extinguishers don’t take a lot of strength to use, which can make them a better choice for your loved one.

Add Grab Bars to Give Your Loved One Somewhere to Hold On

Grab bars aren’t just for the bathroom. In fact, you can mount them just under a counter to give your loved one a secure spot to hold on or to catch her balance if she feels wobbly. Look for any open areas in the kitchen where you can install hand rails for your loved one.

If meal preparation and cooking are getting to be too much for your loved one, look at alternative options, such as hiring senior care providers to cook or setting up a way for family members to bring meals over.

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Gretna, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Tips for Helping Your Senior Stay Hydrated Throughout the Day

shsgreateromaha 16 Jun 2017

Experts estimate that 75 percent of people throughout the United States are living with chronic dehydration. This is a particular risk for elderly adults, who do not have as high of water content in their body and may not be able to properly interpret thirst signals. This can be a very dangerous condition that can have a serious negative impact on their health and well-being. Dehydration can cause a wide variety of symptoms, including fatigue, foggy headedness, confusion, irritability, rapid heartbeat, and more. If left unmanaged, it can cause lingering health problems and even death. As a family caregiver you can make a tremendous difference in your parent’s ongoing hydration by giving them suggestions and reminders to help them stay hydrated throughout the day.

Use these tips to help your parent stay hydrated regularly:

• Reduce caffeine intake. Though there have been studies to show that there are some benefits to consuming a small amount of caffeine daily, if your senior consumes a considerable amount, it might contribute to dehydration. Reduce caffeine intake or compensate for every caffeinated beverage with extra non-caffeinated fluid to counteract this effect.

• Have a water bottle nearby. Invest in a good quality reusable water bottle for your senior and encourage them to keep it filled and nearby at all times. This will help them to remember to take sips throughout the day, increasing their average intake.

• Go for fruit. Drinking water is not the only way for your parent to get the hydration that they need. Encourage them to eat fruit that is high in water content, such as watermelon. This can be particularly beneficial for those who do not particularly enjoy water or have difficulty interpreting thirst signals. Similarly, encourage them to eat other foods that are high in water, such as soup.

If you have found that your aging loved one’s challenges and limitations are more than you feel that you can handle effectively, your abilities or availability has changed, or you simply feel that your loved one would benefit from more diversification of support and assistance, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting home care for them. A home care provider can step in to fill any care gaps that might exist and ensure that your loved one is getting everything that they need on a schedule that is customized not just to their needs, but also to your needs as their family caregiver. This can help your elderly parent pursue the active, engaged, safe, healthy, and fulfilling quality of life that they desire and deserve, while also easing your caregiver stress and promoting more independence as your senior ages in place. When it comes to helping your senior to maintain better health with ongoing hydration, this care provider can be extremely supportive. This provider can help your parent understand their need for hydration, monitor your parent for symptoms of dehydration, and help them to make good choices that will remind them to get the hydration they need regularly, such as encouraging them to sip water throughout the day.

Source
https://dripdrop.com/blogs/news/6-dehydration-facts-may-surprise
https://abcnews.go.com/Health/Healthday/story?id=4509783
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Omaha, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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National Headache Awareness Week: What Causes Headaches?

shsgreateromaha 05 Jun 2017

Homecare in Papillion NE: National Headache Awareness Week: What Causes Headaches?

No doubt your parent has suffered a headache at some point in their life. A headache is any pain in the head. A headache can affect just one side of the head, both sides, and can even be in just one specific spot on the head. The type of pain can vary, too. It might be throbbing, stabbing, or a constant ache. While headaches are pretty common, some people experience them more frequently than others and sometimes the pain can turn an otherwise good day upside down. If your parent suffers from headaches, knowing about the different headaches, what causes them, and what can be done to alleviate pain could help.

Types of Headaches

There are lots of different kinds of headaches. Some of the most common types are:

  • Migraines: A migraine headache generally occurs on just one side of the head. The pain is sometimes described as throbbing and might be accompanied by nausea, a light-headed feeling, or blurry vision. Sometimes people experience auras at the start of a migraine. Migraines can span a few hours or even a few days.
  • Cluster Headaches: Cluster headaches come on suddenly and happen between once per day and up to eight times per day over a span of weeks to months. Between cluster headache periods there are usually no symptoms at all. Cluster headache pain is described as severe pain on one side of the head that is usually very sharp. It often occurs around one eye.
  • Tension Headaches: The most commonly experienced type of headache is the tension headache. This kind of headache comes on gradually and usually in the middle of the day. The pain feels like a band wrapped around the head or a constant, dull aching feeling. Sometimes the pain spreads into or up from the neck.

Headache Causes

The cause of a headache depends on the type of headache. Doctors generally separate headaches into two categories: primary and secondary. Primary headaches are those that are not symptoms of another condition. They are caused by a problem with a pain-sensing part of the head. They may be a result of chemicals in the brain, head and neck muscles, or nerves around the skull. Secondary headaches are symptoms of another underlying condition, such as sinus problems, ear infection, or the flu. They may also be symptoms of more serious conditions like brain tumors, blood clots, or high blood pressure.

Home Care Providers Can Help

If your parent experiences headaches, a home care provider can help them to relieve headache pain using self-care techniques. Sometimes a hot shower can help. A home care provider can assist your parent with showering if there is concern that they may fall. Warm or cool packs can also help with headache pain. A home care provider can prepare the pack and help your parent to apply it. Eating regular meals so that blood sugar levels remain constant can prevent headaches. A home care provider can help your parent to prepare and eat healthy meals on a regular schedule.

Sources
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/73936.php
https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/headache/basics/causes/sym-20050800
https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/headache/basics/definition/sym-20050800

If you or an aging loved one are considering homecare in Papillion, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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What Causes High Blood Pressure?

shsgreateromaha 02 Jun 2017

Elderly Care in Gretna NE: What Causes High Blood Pressure?

WebMD defines blood pressure as “the measure of the force of blood pushing against blood vessel walls.” Although a person’s blood pressure can fluctuate throughout the day, when a person’s blood pressure is higher than normal over an extended period of time, they have high blood pressure. High blood pressure may also be referred to as hypertension. If high blood pressure goes unchecked, it can lead to serious health problems like stroke, heart disease, or kidney disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three American adults has high blood pressure. Since high blood pressure often has no symptoms, it is sometimes called “the silent killer” because people don’t know about it until it’s too late. Knowing what causes high blood pressure could help you and your parent’s senior care providers prevent your parent from new or worsening high blood pressure.

Primary and Secondary Hypertension

There are two kinds of hypertension: Primary or essential hypertension and secondary hypertension. Primary hypertension is the most common kind of high blood pressure. A person has primary hypertension if there is no known cause for the high blood pressure. Primary hypertension tends to develop over time.

Secondary hypertension is high blood pressure that develops quickly and is caused by the presence of another underlying condition. Some conditions that can cause secondary hypertension are:

  • Thyroid conditions.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Tumors on the adrenal glands.
  • Problems with the kidneys.
  • Drug or alcohol abuse.
  • Congenital blood vessel defects.

Risk Factors for High Blood Pressure

Doctors do not know exactly what causes high blood pressure, but there are several risk factors that are associated with a greater chance of developing high blood pressure. Some of those risk factors are:

  • Consuming too much salt.
  • Age – risks for high blood pressure increase with age.
  • Gender – men are more likely to be diagnosed during middle age while women are more likely to be diagnosed after age 65.
  • Obesity.
  • Smoking.
  • Drinking alcohol in excess.
  • A family history of high blood pressure.
  • Sleep apnea.
  • Being physically inactive.
  • Stress.
  • Kidney disease.
  • Thyroid and adrenal gland disorders.
  • Race – African Americans are more likely to have high blood pressure.
  • Consuming too little potassium.
  • Consuming too little vitamin D.

How a Senior Care Provider Can Help

A senior care provider can help manage existing high blood pressure or prevent the onset of high blood pressure by assisting your parent with planning and cooking healthy meals. They can also remind your parent to take medications for existing high blood pressure or other conditions that could lead to high blood pressure. A senior care provider can also encourage your parent to remain physically active by participating in physical activities with them, like walks, or by driving them to exercise classes.

Sources
https://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/guide/blood-pressure-causes#1
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/basics/causes/con-20019580
https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/faqs.htm
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/basics/risk-factors/con-20019580

If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Gretna, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Tips for Helping Your Senior Quit Smoking on World No Tobacco Day

shsgreateromaha 26 May 2017

Home Care in Springfield NE: Tips for Helping Your Senior Quit Smoking on World No Tobacco Day

May 31 is World No Tobacco Day. As a family caregiver, this is the ideal opportunity for you to take efforts to help your senior quit smoking so that they can protect their health as they age in place. Smoking is one of the most dangerous lifestyle choices that your senior can make, increasing the risk for death from all causes and diminishing their quality of life. Stopping smoking can be very challenging for your senior, but with your support and encouragement, they can end this habit and resume a healthier way of life for their later years.

Use these tips to help your senior as they work toward quitting smoking on World No Tobacco Day and throughout the rest of your care journey with them:

• Help them understand the risks. Many elderly people still remember a time when smoking was not considered a health risk and in some situations there was even advertising that suggested smoking to support health. Take the time to talk about this with your parent so that they can understand the risks and why it is important to you, and to them, that they quit smoking.

• Work with their doctor. Quitting smoking is a major change and can put a strain on your parent’s mental and emotional, and even physical, health. Work with their doctor to find the healthiest and most effective way to stop their habit.

• Encourage them. This can be a very difficult time for your parent and you want them to feel as though they are supported in what they are doing. Make effort to be there for them and show them encouragement. Do not shame them or pressure them, but celebrate their successes and help them to find alternatives if their efforts are not working effectively.

If you are concerned about your aging loved one’s health, want to improve their quality of life, or simply believe that they would benefit from greater diversification of care, starting home care for them may be the ideal solution. An in-home senior care services provider can be with your elderly loved one on a customized schedule that is right for them. This means that whether your parent is in need of extensive care or would just benefit from some simple assistance with basic tasks, they will have access to the care, support, and encouragement that they need, when they need it. This customization also ensures that you are able to remain at the forefront of their care routine, giving them the care that you are able to according to your schedule and your own personal limitations and needs. As a family caregiver this can give you tremendous peace of mind knowing that your parent is getting everything that they need both when you are able to be with them and when you are not. When it comes to helping your senior handle health issues such as smoking, this care provider can be an invaluable source of support. By offering reminders so that your parent can remain compliant with their doctor’s guidelines, and encouraging your parent to make good lifestyle choices, this care provider can help them to manage their health and well-being as they age in place.

Source
https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/effects_cig_smoking/
https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/world-no-tobacco-day.html
https://www.who.int/campaigns/no-tobacco-day/2017/event/en/

If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Springfield, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

The post Tips for Helping Your Senior Quit Smoking on World No Tobacco Day appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Can Senior Care Help Your Family Enjoy Summer Fun Together?

shsgreateromaha 19 May 2017

Can Senior Care Help Your Family Enjoy Summer Fun Together?

The summer is a wonderful time to be a multigenerational caregiver. During this time of year children are out of school and the days are longer, giving your entire family more opportunity to spend together. When you are planning these activities together, however, it is extremely important that you take the proper steps to ensure everyone enjoys your summer fun while also staying safe, healthy, and comfortable. When it comes to your elderly loved one, having senior care can make an incredible difference. A senior care provider can allow your family to enjoy more activities together and give you peace of mind when spending time with both your children and your elderly loved one.

Some of the ways that starting senior care for your aging parent can help your family enjoy summer fun together include:

• Keeping your parent’s care consistent. Even though your family is planning special outings with your elderly parent they will still need the care that they get on a regular basis. Having a senior care provider means that your aging loved one’s care can remain as consistent as possible while you are enjoying your activity.

• Additional support. Any time that your parent’s routine changes, there are going to be changes in their needs. Having a care provider come along with you for activities means that your senior will be able to participate in the way that is right for them while receiving the additional support and assistance that they need to handle these additional challenges.

• Peace of mind for you. When you are spending time with your family you want to be able to care for them and enjoy all of them. If your parent has challenges and needs, however, you might find that you are paying more attention to them than you are to the rest of your family. Having senior care means that you can care for your children and enjoy the activity while knowing that your parent has the help that they need.

Starting senior care for your elderly loved one can be one of the best ways that you can help them to achieve and maintain a higher quality of life as they age in place. A senior home care services provider can be with your aging loved one on a customized schedule that is designed to ensure they have all of the care and assistance that they need while also keeping you at the head of their care routine. There is a common misconception that this type of care is only beneficial for seniors who have extensive needs and challenges, but this is simply not the case. Instead, even elderly adults who have only mild to moderate needs can benefit greatly from the highly personalized services of a senior care provider. This care provider can help your parent handle their basic care needs, meet their activities of daily living, provide safe and reliable transportation to where they need and want to go, and encourage them to live a healthier, more active, and more fulfilling lifestyle. This can boost their quality of life as they age in place.

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Elkhorn, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Hello world!

shsgreateromaha 13 May 2017

Welcome to Seniors Helping Seniors®. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

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Mental Health Month: A Family Caregiver Mental Health Checklist

shsgreateromaha 11 May 2017

Caregivers in Ralston NE: Mental Health Month: A Family Caregiver Mental Health Checklist
Caregivers in Ralston NE: Mental Health Month: A Family Caregiver Mental Health Checklist

More than 34 million Americans provide family caregiving services to their aging loved ones. Not only is this a tremendous service for an aging population, but it helps boost intergenerational family ties. However, as a family caregiver, you can face an enormous amount of stress. Because May is Mental Health Month, it’s an ideal time to check in with America’s family caregivers and make sure they are healthy and happy.

All too often, family caregivers like you put the needs of everyone else ahead of their own. With your job, your kids, your spouse and anything else you have in your life, plus taking care of your aging loved one, the stress piles up. Without proper self-care, your mental health can suffer.

This 10-point checklist is an easy way to give yourself an informal evaluation about how well you are managing your stress levels and whether or not you need to make some adjustments to your life. Finding a balance between your caregiving duties and the rest of your life is essential to good mental health.

  1. Do you spend more than 20 hours per week solely on elderly caregiver tasks and responsibilities? That’s equivalent to a part-time job, and it can lead to overscheduling and missing out on other duties.
  2. Have you put off investigating a home care agency service that can help with basic tasks? Many family caregivers are reluctant to even look into outside professional aides for various reasons.
  3. Are most of your caregiving duties considered medium or high difficulty (such as bathing, toileting and dressing) rather than light (such as meal prep or transportation)? More difficult tasks create a heavier burden on the mental health of caregivers.
  4. Do you handle the majority of the caregiving responsibilities on your own, without much assistance? Shouldering difficult responsibilities day after day can result in chronic stress levels, which are unhealthy.
  5. Are you neglecting your own health, such as foregoing exercise and a healthy diet? Busy people often neglect their physical health this way.
  6. Do you feel exhausted or fatigued because of late nights and poor sleep quality? Overly stressed people often report problems with too little or too much sleep.
  7. Have you gotten feedback at work about declining productivity or quality? Chronic stress, depression and other mental health issues can seriously affect all areas of life, most commonly in jobs.
  8. Has it been a long time since you’ve participated in your favorite hobby or spent time relaxing with friends? Busy, stressed or depressed people often withdraw from those activities that bring them pleasure.
  9. Do you have someone you can talk to about your life, your frustrations and your aspirations? Bottling up emotions is not healthy, because everyone needs a significant other, close friend or a counselor to talk through life’s problems with.
  10. Are you feeling sad, hopeless, despondent, or numb more than a third of the time? These are warning signs of depression, a serious mental illness that frequently affects caregivers.

Be realistic and assess how well you are treating yourself and your mental health. If you can look at each question and provide yourself with honest answers, you are one step closer to seeking out the solutions for achieving a better balance in your life. Your mental health cannot be ignored, and if left untreated, your physical health could start to decline as well.

Remember that you are doing a great job, but everyone deserves the opportunity to focus on their own health and well-being. During Mental Health Month, make sure to give yourself an evaluation to see where things need to improve. Your mental health is definitely worth it.

Source:
https://www.focusonthefamily.com/lifechallenges/life-transitions/caring-for-ill-or-aging-parents/managing-stress-when-caregiving
https://www.caregiver.org/caregiver-statistics-demographics

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Ralston, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Socialization is Important: Six Reasons You and Your Mom Should Get Out More

shsgreateromaha 05 May 2017

Elder Care in Omaha NE: Socialization is Important: Six Reasons You and Your Mom Should Get Out More

Research shows that there are many mental and physical benefits of socialization. In a Rush University Medical Center study involving 1,138 senior citizens, the benefits to being social were clear. There are six clear reasons why socialization is important for both you and your mom.

Battles Depression and Loneliness

Socializing with friends, family members, and acquaintances helps with mental health. It’s believed this is due to having an uplifted mood. By improving your mood, you can help battle depression and loneliness.

Boosts Self-Esteem and Confidence Levels

People who actively go out with friends often have higher levels of self-esteem. They also tend to be more confident. Being active with others tends to help you fight off the shyness that often goes hand in hand with low self-esteem.

Improves Health

Being around people aids your immune system. With a stronger immune system, your body fights off viruses like colds more effectively.

Offers Opportunity for Quality Time Together

When you are helping to provide some care for your aging parent, it can be hard to enjoy quality time together. Life seems to be a rush of getting to and from appointments, fixing things in the house, or cooking meals. Skip this and take your mom out for lunch, a picnic at the beach, or window shopping. It will benefit you both.

Prevents Boredom

Boredom is a problem with aging adults. If your mom can’t drive and lives in a more rural area, it’s very likely that she gets bored. Boredom is easily battled by making sure there are opportunities for socialization.

Reduces Risk of Dementia

According to Psychology Today, socialization aids in brain health. People with a lot of friends do better on cognitive tests. By having a healthier brain, the risk of dementia decreases. The Rush University Medical Center offered proof. During their five-year study, the participants with the highest loss of cognitive impairment were the participants who did not participate in many social activities.

If you find it hard to get out because you’re constantly caring for your mom, hire an elder care specialist. You need the respite to be with your children, significant other, or friends. Make sure your mom has plenty of opportunities to get out too. You can make this easy to arranging frequent visits from an elder care service that offers transportation for recreation and errands.

Sources:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/living-mild-cognitive-impairment/201606/the-health-benefits-socializing

https://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/brain-and-behavior/articles/2011/05/04/socializing-may-keep-elderly-minds-sharp

If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Omaha, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Looking For Signs That Your Elderly Loved One May Be Struggling with Emotional Eating

shsgreateromaha 27 Apr 2017

Elderly Care in Springfield NE: Looking For Signs That Your Elderly Loved One May Be Struggling with Emotional Eating
Elderly Care in Springfield NE: Looking For Signs That Your Elderly Loved One May Be Struggling with Emotional Eating

There’s no doubt that food plays an important role in our society beyond providing us with the energy and nutrition our bodies need. However, far too many people develop an emotional overeating habit that can be harmful to their health and well-being. Even seniors are susceptible to emotional overeating, especially as they lose lots of independence and are required by doctors, family members, and others to do things they don’t want to as part of overall elderly care.

Because they face increased illness, isolation and frustration, many elderly people are likely to indulge in emotional overeating. Likewise, family caregivers that don’t get much outside help are dealing with lots of stress and frustration and food can be a quick way to boost a bad mood. Both seniors and family caregivers are at risk of emotional overeating, which can quickly take over their health and happiness.

Definition of Emotional Overeating

Emotional overeating is a form of binge eating where people seek out food as a way to deal with the stresses and problems that life brings. From frustration and sadness to loneliness and bitterness, negative emotions can make every day seem colorless and empty. For seniors in elderly care, they can even feel angry at not being able to do all the things they want.

Eating favorite foods and foods high in carbs and sugars is soothing and helps to calm emotions. Many people even feel happy when they binge on sweets or chips. The surge of pleasant feelings temporarily replaces the negative ones. For a short time, they feel fulfilled before they turn to food once again.

Signs of Emotional Overeating

Do you suspect your elderly loved one is struggling with emotional overeating or you are finding yourself in an unhealthy relationship with food lately? Here are 5 things to watch for in yourself or your elderly loved one when it comes to emotional overeating.

  1. Struggling with negative feelings with no healthy outlet. Seniors and family caregivers can experience a number of emotions that range from stress to boredom. If there are no healthy habits in place for dealing with emotions, food is often the easiest way to soothe themselves.
  2. Picking foods high in sugar, carbs or salt instead of healthy alternatives. As everyone knows, processed food has little nutritional value and leaves people feeling hungry again after just a short time. Consuming junk food for meals as well as snacks may be a sign of emotional overeating.
  3. Being unaware of how much they are eating. It’s easy to lose track of portions, especially when eating in front of a TV. Many people feel the urge to finish a bag or box of junk food rather than stick to a proper portion.
  4. Using food as a way to avoid doing other harder things, such as socializing, exercising and self-care. For those that depend on food for emotional satisfaction, they will forego other things that used to bring them pleasure. Especially in seniors, it’s easy for them to avoid past hobbies and social situations and turn to food instead.
  5. Growing shame and self-hate about their looks, their diet and their dependence on food. Many who are affected with emotional overeating hate themselves for what they are doing. The guilt builds up and they really start to dislike themselves and their lack of control. Unfortunately, to battle those negative feelings, they turn once again to food to self-soothe.

The good news is that emotional overeating is something that everyone can overcome. With some help from friends, family, doctors, nutritionists and home care aides, seniors and family caregivers can get the support they need to alleviate boredom, frustration and stress. They will then be able to return to a better emotional state and enjoy a more appropriate relationship with food.

Source:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/inside-out/201309/emotional-eating-5-reasons-you-can-t-stop

If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Springfield, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Indoor Birdwatching for Seniors

shsgreateromaha 20 Apr 2017

Home Care in Bellevue NE: Indoor Birdwatching for Seniors
Home Care in Bellevue NE: Indoor Birdwatching for Seniors

Birdwatching can really boost a mobile elderly person’s lifestyle and contribute to overall levels of health and wellness but what about seniors that aren’t mobile or are temporarily or permanently resting indoors? Birdwatching is ideal for homebound seniors and is a wonderful alternative to watching TV or reading. It keeps the mind active and gives seniors a way to participate in an ongoing hobby without leaving their living room.

Indoor Birdwatching Setup Steps

Once the birdwatching station is established by family members and home care aides, there’s an endless amount of possibilities on what the elderly birdwatcher will see out the window. Here are the steps to setting up seniors for indoor birdwatching:

  1. Arrange the furniture so that the senior has a clear view of the window. This might mean moving a recliner directly in front of a window or angling it so that the birdwatcher doesn’t have to strain their neck or eyes.
  2. Make sure the observation window is clean on the inside and out. Dirt, streaks, thick screens and view-obstructing window dressing can all diminish the enjoyment of watching birds.
  3. Determine what birds live in the area and research what they eat and what kind of feeders they use. Different birds eat a variety of foods so it’s important to prepare a place that the birds want to be feeding.
  4. Hang or install the bird feeders in the direct view of the birdwatcher. They should be easily viewed when they are sitting in their chair. Use chains and hooks, or mounted posts to adjust heights of the bird feeders.
  5. Add color and texture to the habitat by including flowers, small garden decorations, a bird bath and attractive plants to create a picture-perfect view the birdwatcher will enjoy.
  6. Adjust these for the different seasons for maximum enjoyment.
  7. Set up a birdwatching station next to the chair with binoculars, a notebook and a small field guide for identifying local birds. A camera, small snack and a water bottle can help seniors spend many comfortable hours birdwatching. Make sure the items are easy to reach from the recliner.
  8. Leave instructions for home care aides about keeping the bird feeders filled and cleaned.

With a well-prepared habitat that changes with the seasonal requirements, there’s no end to what homebound seniors can experience when they begin birdwatching as a hobby. A family caregiver or home care aide can make sure the senior is ready for each birdwatching excursion.

Birdwatching Possibilities

Homebound birdwatchers can even contribute to the local birdwatching community by recording their sightings. Many groups have a website where participants can list the different birds they see, as well as where and when they are spotted. Local bird groups may also have regular newsletters where bird watchers can get news and information about seasonal visitors and year-round resident birds.

When it comes to keeping involved and active, many seniors don’t have a choice as illness, surgery and age-related conditions affect them. However, indoor birdwatching can keep them involved and active while providing infinite variation to their lives. It only takes a little assistance from family members and home care aides to prepare the elderly birdwatcher for hours of activity. As the seasons change, so do the birds that visit an eye-catching and welcoming habitat. For seniors that are required to spend a lot of their time indoors, birdwatching is a rewarding and inspirational gateway to the outdoors.

Source:

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/binoculars-and-beyond-nine-tips-for-beginning-bird-watchers/
https://www.birdsandblooms.com/birding/birding-basics/birding-health/

If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Bellevue, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Rosacea Awareness Month: FAQs About Rosacea in Seniors

shsgreateromaha 13 Apr 2017

Senior Care in Ralston NE: Rosacea Awareness Month: FAQs About Rosacea in Seniors
Senior Care in Ralston NE: Rosacea Awareness Month: FAQs About Rosacea in Seniors

During Rosacea Awareness Month, family caregivers have an opportunity to learn more about this skin condition that affects millions of seniors nationwide. The goal of the National Rosacea Society (NRS) is to educate the public on how to recognize the condition and boost understanding about this widespread skin disease to help with treatments, research and better senior care.

Here are some frequently asked questions about rosacea, especially as they apply to the elderly:

Q: How many people are affected with rosacea in the United States?
A: The NRS estimates that more than 16 million people suffer from the condition, but it could be more as rosacea is often misdiagnosed as other conditions or not diagnosed at all.

Q: What causes rosacea?
A: As of today, there is no known cause of rosacea, although there are strong indications that there are genetic ties as well as issues with the immune system.

Q: Who is mostly affected with rosacea?
A: While fair-skinned women are most likely to develop rosacea, there are many cases out there that affect both males and females of all skin colors and conditions. Rosacea is most often diagnosed in middle aged and elderly people.

Q: What are the common symptoms of rosacea?
A: While different patients may manifest a range of symptoms, the most common is redness and swelling on the forehead, nose, cheeks and chin. In some cases, this can extend to the neck, ears and even the chest. Some patients have small pustules that look like acne, while other patients may experience thickening skin around the nose. Still other patients may also have bloodshot and stinging eyes and a sensitivity to light.

Q: How is rosacea cured?
A: There is no cure for rosacea but doctors and dermatologists can recommend a number of treatments to minimize the appearance of the symptoms. In many cases, the symptoms are managed well enough that they are not visible. Common treatments include a topical antibiotic, oral antibiotic, laser therapy and light therapy. When rosacea affects the eyes, treatments can include eye drops and other optical treatments.

Q: Can rosacea be prevented?
A: There isn’t a way to prevent someone from developing rosacea. There’s also no way to predict whether someone will get rosacea. Rosacea isn’t contagious either so there’s no reason to avoid people with the condition. People with rosacea can also avoid flair-ups by steering clear of common triggers. For those who provide senior care, avoiding triggers is important to overall health and comfort.

Q: What are some of the triggers for rosacea?
A: Common triggers reported by the NRS that may aggravate rosacea include hot baths and hot tubs, exposure to sunlight, spicy food, some skin care products and makeup, alcohol and wind. Others report that any activities that cause the face to flush, such as exercise, can also trigger an outbreak. Each person may be affected by triggers differently.

Q: How do people with rosacea care for their skin?
A: There are many products that work well with an overall facial care plan for seniors and others with rosacea. A dermatologist can recommend a mild cleanser without abrasions to use along with a soft washcloth. Seniors should always use lukewarm water, never hot or cold. When drying the face, allow it to air dry or blot with a thick towel. The topical medication can then be applied to the skin.

Source:
https://www.rosacea.org/
https://www.seniorvoicealaska.com/story/2015/04/01/health/have-you-ever-heard-of-rosacea/723.html

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Ralston, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Understanding the Magic Ratio of Omega-3 and Omega-6

shsgreateromaha 07 Apr 2017

Elder Care in Papillion NE: Understanding the Magic Ratio of Omega-3 and Omega-6
Elder Care in Papillion NE: Understanding the Magic Ratio of Omega-3 and Omega-6

There is much discussion these days on the health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids. For the elderly, obtaining this important nutrient is paramount to supporting a healthy lifestyle, both mentally and physically, as aging progresses.

What are they?

Omega-3 and Omega-6 are essential fatty acids. Essential refers to the fact that people must obtain these nutrients from their diet as they are not produced by the body. The human body uses these nutrients for several key functions including building healthy cells and maintaining brain and nerve health. The lack of this vital nutrient has been linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes as well as dementia.

The Ratio

The correct ratio of these fatty acids that the body needs to thrive is still being debated. Our ancestors maintained a ratio of approximately 1:1. Today’s ratio is closer to 16:1 with Omega-6 fatty acids being the predominant fatty acid in the Western diet.

Here is the problem: Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties. They help to build brain cell membranes and promote new brain cell formation. They reduce the risk of developing certain chronic diseases such as diabetes, arthritis and heart disease. They improve memory and can help protect against dementia.

Omega-6 fatty acids are pro-inflammatory and contribute to the diseases that Omega-3 aspires to protect against.

The Western diet has gotten so out of proportion with these two vital nutrients because of the strong reliance on vegetable oils such as soybean, sunflower, corn and cottonseed. If you’re checking labels, you have undoubtedly seen these oils in the ingredients of most packaged and prepared foods.

Back into Balance

Eat foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon and other cold water fish such as mackerel are excellent sources. Wild-caught salmon is preferred due to fewer contaminants and no antibiotics. Grass-fed beef or bison, pasture-raised lamb and free-range chicken are also good sources as well as wild-game meats. The reason for this is that animals cannot manufacture these fatty acids any more than humans can. They must get it from the food they eat.

Elder Care Provider

If your loved one needs help creating a diet high in Omega-3 fatty acids, consider the services of an elder care provider. Not only can they help with the daily activities of living, they can do the grocery shopping and then return to prepare a meal rich in this nutrient. They can provide shared meals that promote good nutrition as well as communication and a sense of camaraderie.

Resources
https://authoritynutrition.com/optimize-omega-6-omega-3-ratio/

If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Papillion, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Are Caregivers at Higher Risk of Stress?

shsgreateromaha 30 Mar 2017

Caregivers in Elkhorn NE: Are Caregivers at Higher Risk of Stress?
Caregivers in Elkhorn NE: Are Caregivers at Higher Risk of Stress?

Being a family caregiver can be a wonderful opportunity. This is a chance for you to spend more quality time with your senior, and to give back to them by giving them the care, nurturing, and love that they gave you as you were growing up. As good as this role can be for you, it can also be challenging. One issue that many family caregivers for elderly adults face is stress. Caregiver stress can make you more vulnerable to a variety of risks to your mental, emotional, and physical health and well-being, and can put a strain on your relationships with your parent as well as others in your life. By understanding the risks that caregivers stress and why they are at this risk can help you to feel more prepared for the challenges of caring for your parent, and to protect yourself from this stress you can be a healthier, happier, and more effective caregiver for your senior.

Some things that you should know about caregiver stress include:

• There are more than 34 million unpaid caregivers throughout the United States caring for an adult who is suffering from a disability or illness
• The average caregiver provides 20 hours or more of care for their care recipient
• 35 percent of caregivers report having a difficult time finding time for themselves during their care journey
• 29 percent of caregivers report experiencing some degree of physical or emotional stress during the course of their care journey
• 29 percent of caregivers report that they have a difficult time balancing the needs of their family and their care responsibilities
• More than half of caregivers report that they do not have the time to take care of themselves or feel too tired to do the things that they need to do to properly take care of their mental, emotional, or physical needs while caring for their care recipient

If you have found that you are suffering from caregiver stress or feel that your care responsibilities have increased to the point at which you are concerned that you will not be able to fulfill them to the best of your ability while also managing the other needs and obligations in your life, now is the perfect time for you to consider starting home care for them. A home care provider can step in to take on some of your elderly loved one’s care needs so that they are fulfilled in a way that is respectful, nurturing, compassionate, and effective, while also encouraging them to be as independent, active, and engaged as possible. This can not only help your aging loved one to live a more engaged and fulfilling quality of life as they age in place, but can also reduce your caregiver stress by allowing you to step back, focus on other elements of your life, and ensure that the efforts that you do put forth for them are as effective and beneficial as possible throughout your care journey.

Source
https://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/caregiving-stress-and-burnout.htm
https://www.cdc.gov/aging/caregiving/facts.htm
https://caregiveraction.org/resources/caregiver-statistics
https://www.caregiving.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/2015_CaregivingintheUS_Final-Report-June-4_WEB.pdf

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Elkhorn, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Meaningful Modifications to Make in Your Parent’s Kitchen

shsgreateromaha 23 Mar 2017

Home Care Services in Bellevue NE: Meaningful Modifications to Make in Your Parent’s Kitchen to Help Them Manage Arthritis
Home Care Services in Bellevue NE: Meaningful Modifications to Make in Your Parent’s Kitchen

If your elderly loved one is one of the 50 million people throughout the United States who are living with arthritis, you have likely noticed that they are struggling with their daily tasks. Arthritis can limit the tasks that your parent can handle on their own, which can make it harder for your parent to manage their personal needs, but can also negatively impact their quality of life and their mental and emotional health. As their caregiver it is important for you to take steps to support your loved one and help them to handle as much on their own as they can. This can boost their mental and emotional health, increase their motivation, and make their life as fulfilling as possible as they age in place. One way that you can do this is making meaningful modifications throughout their home that help them to handle basic tasks on a daily basis.

Try these meaningful modifications in your parent’s kitchen to help them manage arthritis:

• Automatic faucet. Grasping and turning a faucet can be hard for your parent to manipulate if they are struggling with arthritis in their hands. Consider replacing these with an automatic faucet that only requires your parent to tap the top or put their hands beneath it to start the water.

• Use small containers. Rather than storing your parent’s ingredients in large containers that might be difficult for them to manage, transfer them into smaller containers so that they can more easily lift and open them.

• Single cup coffeemaker. Lifting an entire pot of coffee can not only be difficult, but also dangerous for a senior with arthritis. Replace a traditional coffeemaker with a single cup maker so that they can still make their own coffee but not put themselves at risk.

• Try easy gadgets. Chopping and cutting can be difficult and dangerous for a senior with arthritis. Instead of utilizing knives, encourage them to use small choppers that only require your parent to press a button.

Starting home care for your aging parent can be one of the most nurturing, caring, and meaningful decisions that you can make for them throughout the course of your caregiver journey with them. Particularly if your elderly loved one is suffering from a chronic condition such as arthritis, an in-home senior care services provider can create a highly personalized set of services tailored not just to their individual needs, services, and challenges, but also their personality, beliefs, and goals. This means that they are able to address their issues related to their arthritis and stay safe, healthy, and comfortable, while also helping them to maintain a lifestyle that is as active, engaged, independent, and fulfilling as possible as they age in place. They can accomplish this by helping your parent to understand the challenges that they are facing as well as the instructions, guidelines, and prescriptions given to them by their doctor so that they can make better lifestyle choices, remain compliant with their prescriptions, and keep their mental and emotional health high so that they are more motivated to pursue the quality of life that they desire and deserve. When it comes to challenges with specific issues, such as preparing and cooking meals and snacks, this care provider can help to modify these tasks to encourage them to handle more of them on their own. For those that they are not able to handle independently, this care provider can take on these tasks for them so that your parent can enjoy the lifestyle that they want to while managing their individual symptoms and challenges.

https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/data_statistics/arthritis-related-stats.htm

If you or an aging loved one are considering home care services in Bellevue, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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How Can You Ease the Painful Symptoms of Arthritis?

shsgreateromaha 16 Mar 2017

Caregivers in Papillion NE: How Can You Ease the Painful Symptoms of Arthritis?

Arthritis is a painful, sometimes debilitating disorder that affects millions of people. Basically, arthritis is inflammation of the joints though, depending on the type of arthritis, other issues can be at play.

For the types that are inflammation based, there may be some exercises and simple things you can try in an effort to ease the pain and find some relief. Be sure to check with your physician and senior care professional before starting any exercise program. Also, if there is pain while exercising, stop immediately.

Sometimes, it’s difficult to get motivated to do anything physical, especially if you don’t know when the arthritis will flare up again. However, moving when you are able to do so could potentially improve general movement over a period of time. Also, exercising can help with things like mood and attitude.

Exercises that help to strengthen muscles such as yoga, light weights, palates, and other types of similar working outs can help to improve joints as well as your heart! Walking is also very beneficial as is riding a stationary bike or swimming. Water aerobics is fun and beneficial for your health. And being in the water makes it much easier to do stretching.

Another useful technique is getting good rest. It could be difficult to sleep when the bouts of arthritis arise. However, there could be other things keeping rest away. Some ways you might be able to sleep better at night include:

  • Avoiding caffeine close to going to sleep
  • Listening to soft music or nature sounds
  • Keeping the room dark

Sources suggest that being overweight or obese can contribute to arthritis symptoms. With excess body weight comes more tension on the joints. Perhaps eating healthier as well as exercising, might be helpful in easing some of the problems. Making changes to your diet is something you may want to discuss with your physician and senior care professional.

Here are a few additional miscellaneous points around arthritis:

Sometimes heat or cold can help:

  • Heat helps with circulation; things like warm baths, jet tubs, heating pads (no more than 20 minutes at a time or as directed by a physician)
  • Cold slows circulation so is better for sharp pain; using ice packs (similar to heat with 20 minutes or as directed), cold water in a tub and put your hand or knee into the water

For some seniors, movement is difficult and they may be sitting or lying in the same position for an extended period of time. It is important for seniors, especially, to be changing positions. A senior care provider may be able to assist with this.

Arthritis doesn’t have a cure at this time, but these suggestions may offer some ways to possibly ease the painful effects of it.

Resources:
https://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/exercise/
https://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/treatments/natural/other-therapies/heat-cold-pain-relief.php

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Papillion, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Advanced Home Monitoring Features to Look for in Your Loved One’s Medical Alert System

shsgreateromaha 03 Mar 2017

Elder Care in Springfield NE: Advanced Home Monitoring Features to Look for in Your Loved One's Medical Alert System
Elder Care in Springfield NE: Advanced Home Monitoring Features to Look for in Your Loved One’s Medical Alert System

As your loved one grows older, you may find that you’re interested in getting her an alert system that is better able to keep up with increasing demands. Here are some of the features that you might want to look for in the more advanced systems.

Reminders and Prompts to Perform Activities

Some medical alarm systems include the option to set up alarms, reminders, and audible prompts for your elderly loved one. These can help your elderly loved one to stay on task even if you or her elder care providers are there with her. Having an audible reminder can be just enough for your loved one to know that it’s time to move on to the next task or activity.

Passive Monitoring

If your elderly loved one is at risk of falling or if she has other health problems, passive monitoring alerts can let you know if she has fallen or if she’s having other issues. These types of systems usually don’t alert your loved one, but they can send an alarm to a monitoring station and to you. This can be helpful if you’re not able to be with your loved one during the day and want that extra peace of mind.

Monitoring for Long-distance Caregivers

Long-distance caregivers have a much different type of situation when it comes to caregiving. You’re farther away and therefore you’re not able to be there as often as you’d like. This can mean that you want added tools to help your loved one to get up at the right time and to make sure that she’s eating at the right times. Having an alarm system can help with all of that.

Sharing Repetitive Information

If your loved one is having memory issues or other problems it’s possible that she’s in need of the same information at many times during the day. Some alarm systems allow your loved one to receive repetitive information as often as she needs it. This can be as simple as the day’s weather or more complicated, such as her schedule for the day or the week.

If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Springfield, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Does Your Senior Need Home Care At Night?

shsgreateromaha 23 Feb 2017

Homecare in Bellevue NE

Homecare in Bellevue NEIn your role as a family caregiver you will encounter a wide variety of pressing decisions that you must make confidently in order to ensure that your loved one gets the level of care, support, and assistance that they need as they age in place. You want to know that you have made these decisions properly so that your parent can get what they need to stay healthy, safe, comfortable, and healthy as they age in place, but also so that they can enjoy the quality of life that they deserve. One such decision is whether your parent might need home care with them at night.

When considering the care needs that an elderly adult has, it is easy to think about those needs that they might suffer during the day, such as mobility problems, challenges with eating, and the need for help with running errands, bathing, toileting, or getting to doctor’s appointments. The truth, however, is that many elderly adults have needs at night as well, and if those needs are not met they could be put at serious risk. While there are some needs that can be met simply by having a caregiver sleeping in the home with them, such as occasionally falling out of bed or dealing with a temporary illness, others would be better addressed with a care provider who is awake and alert throughout the night.

Some things to keep in mind when considering whether your senior might need care throughout the night include:

• Does your elderly loved one suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or another for dementia that might cause wandering tendencies that put them at risk at night?

• Does your parent fall out of bed frequently, putting them at risk of serious injury?

• Does your elderly loved one have mobility issues that could put them at risk of falling should they get out of bed in the middle of the night?

• Does your parent suffer from sundowning or other issues that make it more difficult for them to settle down at night?

If you have been concerned about your aging parent’s health or safety as they age in place, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting home care for them. Whether your loved one is in need of extensive care and assistance throughout the day and night, or they have more mild needs but would benefit from additional assistance and care beyond what you are able to give to them, the highly personalized care of an in-home senior care services provider can be invaluable to giving them the quality of life that they need and deserve. When it comes to care for a senior who needs support and supervision at night, this care provider can be awake and alert throughout the night to make sure that your parent stays safe and healthy, and that if they are dealing with any emergency or urgent situations, they are handled promptly and effectively. This not only gives you peace of mind that your aging parent gets all of the help, care, and assistance that they need when you are available and when you are not, but also enables you to take a step back from your care routine to ensure that you get the rest that you need as well.

If you or an aging loved one are considering homecare in Bellevue, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Using Respite Care While Caring for a Senior with Alzheimer’s Disease

shsgreateromaha 16 Feb 2017

Caregivers in Ralston NE

Caregivers in Ralston NEThose adults who have taken on the role of being a family caregiver for their elderly parents are at much higher risk of suffering serious stress and its complications than adults their age who have not taken on this role. This is especially true for those adult children who are caring for a senior who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. This stress can make you particularly vulnerable to infections and illness, mental and emotional health complications, and strain on relationships throughout your life. Taking time out from your care routine and focusing more on yourself can be a vital step in managing this stress and protecting not only yourself, but the quality of the care that you give your parent as well. One way that you can achieve this time away is through respite care.

Not all family caregivers have careers, children, or other obligations that require that they are away from their elderly parents for long stretches of time, but time away and a break from caregiving are vital to a family caregiver’s peace of mind. Respite care is temporary, short-term care designed to give you a break when you need it. This could mean an afternoon occasionally, a weekend away, or even a weeklong getaway so that you can take some time to yourself away from your care efforts.

Use these tips to help make effective and beneficial use of respite care when caring for a senior with Alzheimer’s disease:

• Talk to your parent about your intention to take time away as far in advance as possible. This gives them the chance to get accustomed to the idea and feel more in control of the situation.

• Let others in your care network know that you will be taking some time away, when and how long you will be gone, and your basic itinerary for your time if you will be gone for more than a day. This ensures that your parent still has access to people they know and are familiar with, and you can know that you have people you can contact to check in on your loved one while you are away.

• Leave clear instructions for the care provider, including important information about your parent such as any allergies that they suffer, preferences, and information about their usual care routine.

If you have been caring for an elderly loved one with Alzheimer’s disease and recognize that you are in need of additional assistance, or you want to be prepared for when your loved one progresses further into the disease, now is the ideal time for you to consider starting home care for them. An in-home care services provider can create a personalized approach to care, support, and assistance for your elderly loved one that is specifically designed to not only help them to handle the symptoms and issues that they are currently facing, but also the symptoms and challenges that will come as their disease progresses further. This means that your parent will feel more prepared and that you will feel more confident that even as they start to experience more advanced challenges and issues, they will have the care and support that they need to handle it effectively.

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Ralston, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Tips for Encouraging Family to Visit Your Senior More Often

shsgreateromaha 10 Feb 2017

Senior Care in Springfield NE

Senior Care in Springfield NERegular social interaction and engagement are critical for maintaining mental and emotional health. This does not change as people get older In fact, elderly adults often struggle with mental and emotional health complications and increased risk of issues such as depression, anxiety, and stress due to a lack of social engagement. As a family caregiver, you can make a tremendous difference in your elderly parent’s life by encouraging them to maintain close relationships with the rest of their family. Supporting regular visits among members of the family can help your parent to keep their mental and emotional health higher, encouraging a higher quality of life as your parent ages in place. This can also help to reduce the care burden on you as these visits can help cut down on the amount of time that you need to spend caring for your parent, enabling you to focus more time, energy, and attention on the other obligations in your life.

Use these tips to help encourage your family to visit your senior more often:

• Talk about your care journey with them. You cannot expect your family to know what your parent or you are going through if you do not tell them. Avoid complaining or sounding like you are venting, but be clear and open with your family about the struggles that your parent is facing, the amount of time that you devote to caring for them, or how much they would benefit from additional time with their family.

• Create a family calendar. Work with your family to create a calendar that includes everyone’s activities and events throughout the month. You can then plan visits for open days or for days when you are particularly busy. This helps to ensure that your parent gets interaction with the family on a regular basis and that you can plan these visits for the times that will be most beneficial for your parent and for you.

• Suggest activities. A visit with your parent does not have to mean sitting around the house together. Getting out of the house can be extremely beneficial for your senior and can be a great foundation for planned visits together. Suggest activities that your parent might like and help them to bring along the tools and supplies that might be necessary to help your parent handle their needs while they are out.

Starting senior care for your aging parent can be one of the most nurturing, compassionate, and effective decisions that you can make for your aging parent throughout the course of your care journey with them. A senior home care services provider can be with your elderly loved one on a schedule that is customized to their specific needs, challenges, and limitations, but also their personality, goals, and preferences. This ensures that they are able to stay as healthy, safe, and comfortable as possible while also living the lifestyle that is right for them. Having a senior care provider in the home during visits can also be instrumental in making these visits comfortable and safe for your parent, as well as meaningful for the rest of your family. Particularly if the family who is visiting is not generally involved in your elderly parent’s care, having a senior care provider available during the visit ensures that any needs your loved one might have during that time are met successfully and without discomfort for anyone involved.

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Springfield, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Mental Benefits of Baking with Your Loved One During Bake for Family Fun Month

shsgreateromaha 03 Feb 2017

Elderly Care in Omaha NE

Elderly Care in Omaha NEAs a family caregiver you know how important it is to stimulate your parent’s mind and keep it active and engaged as they age in place. Like any other system throughout their body, your parent must keep utilizing and challenging their mind so that it stays strong and responsive. This helps to minimize cognitive functioning loss, memory decline, and other concerns that can negatively impact your parent’s quality of life. Stimulating their mind, however, does not just mean doing brain puzzles or learning new things. Instead, you can plan activities and experiences that support not just their brain health but also your relationship.

February is Bake for Family Fun Month. This is the ideal opportunity for you to learn more about the benefits of getting your aging parent into the kitchen with you to enjoy some baking together and plan more baking experiences so that they can keep their mind healthy and support improved emotional well-being as they age.

Some of the mental benefits of baking with your aging loved one during Bake for Family Fun Month and throughout the rest of your care journey include:

• Soothing the mind. Baking is an activity that takes all of your parent’s attention. This means that they can release other issues that they are worrying about and allow their mind to relax. This is also a chance for them to meditate on specific issues so that they can let their mind work through them.

• Stimulating the senses. Stimulating of the senses is a powerful way to stimulate the mind and keep it active and engaged. Baking stimulates all five of the senses, from feeling the weight and texture of the ingredients to smelling the products baking to tasting the final product.

• Cognitive processing. Baking requires several mental processes. This includes reading the recipe, following the instructions, finding the ingredients, measuring them out, and selecting the appropriate processes to handle each step of the recipe. This keeps the mind engaged and strengthens these skills.

• Stimulating memory skills. Memory decline is common among elderly adults but encouraging them to use their memory skills regularly can preserve them for longer. Baking is the ideal opportunity to talk about memories that you have of the treats that you used to bake together or that they used to bake with their parents. This strengthens their memory skills and supports your relationship.

Starting elderly care for your aging parent can be one of the most nurturing, compassionate, and caring decisions that you can make throughout you care journey with them. By bringing an elderly home care services provider into the home with your loved one, you can ensure that they get the care, support, assistance, and encouragement that they need to manage their individual needs, challenges, and limitations in a way that is right for them. By taking into consideration what they need to manage, their lifestyle and goals, and the type of care that you give them, this care provider can craft a customized approach to care that empowers your loved one to properly manage their physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being, and encourages them to life an active, engaged, and fulfilling lifestyle. This can include planning fun and beneficial activities that stimulate your parent’s mind, support their emotional health, and help them to maintain as much of their independence as possible.

https://www.goodnet.org/articles/5-reasons-baking-good-for-mental-health

If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Omaha, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

The post Mental Benefits of Baking with Your Loved One During Bake for Family Fun Month appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

We’re growing and looking for Care Providers!

shsgreateromaha 30 Jan 2017

logoIf you love helping seniors, we have a great opportunity for you! We’re looking for loving, compassionate people who have the heart of a volunteer. The qualified candidate will have life experience, an interest in making a difference in the lives of other seniors and be comfortable working with senior citizens. Working as a senior helping other seniors you will be making an important contribution. If this describes you, please consider working with us! This position is great for someone who would like to supplement their income and have a little extra spending money, while feeling like you are giving back. Apply online at https://shsomaha.clearcareonline.com/apply/ or call 402-331-3073 for more information.

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Helping Your Parent Through an Eye Doctor Visit

shsgreateromaha 26 Jan 2017

Senior Care in Bellevue NE

Senior Care in Bellevue NEA decline in vision is one of the most common issues that older adults experience. In fact, more than 6.5 million people over the age of 65 throughout the United States are suffering from severely diminished vision. Making sure that your senior goes to the eye doctor when they should is one of the most important things that you can do to help them to manage their vision, handle any challenges or diseases that are negatively impacting their vision, and protect it from further decline in the future.

Use these tips to help your parent through an eye doctor visit:

• Help them understand the importance. Especially if your aging loved one is dealing with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, they might not recognize the importance of going to the eye doctor or complying with the tasks of the appointment. Helping them to understand this can make them feel less out of control and anxious, and encourage them to be more compliant and cooperative throughout the appointment and after.

• Talk them through it. All too often doctors move through the steps of an appointment quickly without taking the time to explain them. This can be because they are hurried or because they feel that the patient should know what is going on. This, however, can make your parent feel overlooked and nervous. Talk them through each step of the appointment so that they know what to expect and why the doctor is doing each thing. This can help them to feel more secure and better informed.

• Ask questions. If you have any questions about your parent’s eye health or vision problems, do not hesitate to ask them. Your loved one might not have noticed the same effects that you have and it is important that you inform the doctor so that they can understand the full impact of any challenges and use this information to give them an accurate diagnosis. Asking questions also empowers you to give your parent the care that they need to handle these challenges successfully.

Starting senior care for your elderly loved one can make a tremendous difference in their life as they age in place. This is particularly true if they are dealing with challenges and limitations such as low vision. Through a highly personalized set of services, this senior home care services provider can give your aging parent the support, care, and assistance that they need to manage their individual challenges while also helping them to maintain their quality of life and the lifestyle that they desire. This care provider can also be instrumental in helping your loved one protect their vision as they age in place. Through personalized care and support this care provider can help your parent make better lifestyle choices that will help them to keep their eyes stronger and maintain more of their vision throughout their later years. A senior home care services provider can also be a valuable source of support to encourage your parent to get to their medical appointments and make the most of these appointments. They can accompany your loved one to the eye doctor, provide support and assistance throughout it, and then provide you with all of the information that they gathered to ensure that you can help them make the right decisions regarding their health.

Source
https://www.allaboutvision.com/over60/ways-to-protect.htm
https://www.afb.org/info/programs-and-services/professional-development/experts-guide/aging-and-
vision-loss/1235

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Bellevue, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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How Valuable is Home Care After Hip Surgery?

shsgreateromaha 19 Jan 2017

Homecare in Omaha NE

Homecare in Omaha NEGetting a total hip replacement surgery can make a tremendous difference in your parent’s quality of life. One of the most common surgical procedures performed on older adults throughout the United States each year, hip replacement surgery can ease pain, reduce stiffness, promote greater mobility, flexibility, and range of motion, and enable your aging parent to life a more active and fulfilling lifestyle throughout their later years. In order for your senior to get the most benefit from this procedure, it is critical that they approach and get through their recovery with a dedication to healing, strengthening, and moving forward into a healthier new chapter. Starting home care for them can be a fantastic way to support this.

Some of the ways that an in-home senior care services provider can help your parent through their recovery after hip replacement surgery include:

• Handling household tasks. Recovery from hip surgery can be long and arduous. During this time your parent will need to be careful not to overburden their new hip. The basic tasks of taking care of their home can be stressful and require more energy and effort than they should be exerting. A home care provider can step in to provide support and handle these tasks for your loved one. This can include washing dishes, doing laundry, tidying, sweeping, taking out the trash, and running errands so that your senior can get the rest that they need to recover.

• Assisting with personal care tasks. Movement can be extremely difficult for your parent, especially during the early portion of recovery. This can make tasks such as bathing, grooming, and bathing challenging. A care provider can provide your parent with valuable assistance with these tasks to help them stay fresh, clean, comfortable, and healthy, while reducing the chances of a fall or other painful event.

• Monitor condition. As your parent recovers from their surgery they will be at risk of potential negative effects, including infection, rejection, emotional concerns, and other problems. If you are not able to be with your parent at all time, your loved one might experience a potentially devastating consequence and not get the care that they need as soon as they should. A home care provider can be there with your parent to monitor your loved one and ensure that if they start showing signs and symptoms of issues they can bring it to your attention as soon as possible so that you can make the decisions that are right for the medical care moving forward.

• Encourage compliance. When your parent leaves the hospital and returns home to continue their recovery, their doctor will have prescribed them medications and given them guidelines regarding lifestyle choices such as exercise and diet. Compliance with these medications and recommendations helps to maximize the chances that they will get the healing benefits that the doctor intended. This home care provider can understand these guidelines and offer your elderly parent guidance and meaningful reminders to help them stay compliant and stay on the track of recovery.

If you or an aging loved one are considering homecare in Omaha, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Companionship and the Elderly

shsgreateromaha 13 Jan 2017

Caregivers in Omaha NE

Caregivers in Omaha NEAmerica is a culture of diversity. Within its boundaries, there are cultures that live in multi-generational homes, others that consider the elder the head of the household, and still others that find thousands of miles spanning the distance between children and parents. Nearly one in three older Americans live alone. By the age of 75, almost-half of all women will find themselves in that category.

Research suggests that social interaction is vital to health and well-being. Isolation poses severe heath risks. Social isolation has been shown to increase depression and dementia.

How to Help

“A stranger is just a friend I haven’t met yet.”—Will Rogers. Change and loss have a tendency to cause less social interaction among those who feel their world is caving in. If left unattended, these individuals can find themselves alone more than in the company of others. As a family caregiver, you can help widen their social circle

  • Volunteer. This provides a great opportunity for your parent to give back or pay it forward. Not only does it provide companionship and community involvement, it instills a sense of purpose at a time when their sense of self-worth may be diminishing. Senior Corp is a group that connects those 55 and over with people and organizations that need them the most.
  • Support Groups. These groups provide a social circle specific to certain needs and events happening in a person’s life. If your loved one is experiencing a chronic illness, joining a support group associated with that specific disease offers support and information.
  • Senior Community Center. As people age, their social circle tends to diminish. With retirement, the social circle derived from work was left behind. The children and their visiting friends have left home. This may very well be the first time in a long time that they have lived alone. Senior Community Centers are gathering places for people going through much the same circumstances. They offer classes, shared meals and social outings.
  • Family and Friends. Inviting family and friends over to your parent’s home once a month fills a space that can become very quiet. Consider a different themed potluck once a month. A Hawaiian theme could include pulled pork, sushi, tropical drinks, Hawaiian music and your loudest Hawaiian shirt or dress.
  • Home Care Providers. These professionals not only provide assistance with the daily activities of living, they also provide that all –important companionship.

Source
https://www.nia.nih.gov/about/living-long-well-21st-century-strategic-directions-research-aging/research-suggests-positive
https://www.cfah.org/hbns/2011/socially-active-older-adults-have-slower-rates-of-health-declines

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Omaha, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Tips for Dealing with Dysarthria in an Aging Parent

shsgreateromaha 05 Jan 2017

Elderly Care in LaVista NE

Elderly Care in LaVista NEDysarthria—difficult or unclear speech—is due to impaired function with the muscles that help you speak. Any or all of these muscles may be affected: lips, tongue, vocal folds and diaphragm. Dependent on which muscles are affected will determine the severity. It is a common symptom associated with Parkinson’s and other forms of dementia in the later stages as well as stroke, tumors, and multiple sclerosis.

Getting Help from a Speech-language Pathologist

A speech-language pathologist can help by evaluating your parent and determining the severity by observing movement of associated muscles as well as breath support. Once determined, they will develop a treatment plan specific for your parent which can include:

  • Strengthening muscles and increasing tone and movement by exaggerating muscle movement.
  • Improving breath support to increase volume.
  • Slowing down their rate of speech and bringing awareness to lip and tongue movements associated with speech.

As a Family Caregiver

Watching your loved one’s diminishing ability to communicate can be disheartening. Consider this challenge another learning experience for you and your parent. Learning is always easier when there is a fun factor. Alternate communication forms are used to enhance their ability to get across the message they are trying to articulate. Electronic communication aids can be as simple as facial gestures, hand gestures, and communication boards with letters and numbers or dry erase boards. Your parent may be struggling, but try to keep the mood as light as possible without negating their feelings.

Using electronic communication aids can put their mind on the aid and off of the effort it is taking them to talk.

  • Megabee is an electronic tablet that uses eye movement and blinking in order to select specific letters or phrases which are then displayed on the screen.
  • Smartphones that combine voice output apps such as Speak It, Small for Aphasia, Locabulary and Proloquo2go.
  • Computers with voice output software.

In addition to high tech gadgets, these specific strategies that will help with communication:

  • Diminish background noise such as TV and other people.
  • Keep your attention, and your parent’s, focused on the conversation at hand.
  • Be patient. Allow them to complete their sentence as best they can and do not interrupt or try to finish their sentences for them.
  • Be positive. Praise instead of criticize.
  • Keep them engaged in the family group conversations.

Elderly Care Provider

If you have not already obtained the services of an elderly care provider, now may be the time to consider this option. These professionals have cared for many seniors facing issues such as these. They understand communication options and have the patience to take the time to sit with them and work together with a technical device or using some of the simpler means of communication.

Source
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dysarthria/basics/definition/con-20035008
https://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/dysarthria/
https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007470.htm

If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in LaVista, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Seniors Helping Seniors Greater Omaha selected for 2016 Papillion Small Business Excellence Award

shsgreateromaha 30 Dec 2016

2016awardSeniors Helping Seniors Greater Omaha has been selected for the 2016 Papillion Small Business Excellence Award in the Home Health Care classification by the Papillion Small Business Excellence Award Program. The Papillion Small Business Excellence Awards was established to reward the best of small businesses in Papillion.

“To be considered for the Small Business Excellence Award is an honor. I am grateful for our wonderful staff who have done such an outstanding job caring for our seniors. We are proud to call Papillion our home.” said Denise Moser, Executive Director Seniors Helping Seniors Greater Omaha.

Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value. These are small businesses that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Papillion area a vibrant and vital place to live.

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How to Pamper Your Elderly Loved One When Her Arthritis Is Acting Up

shsgreateromaha 30 Dec 2016

Elder Care in Elkhorn NE

Elder Care in Elkhorn NEHaving her arthritis act up is never a good situation for your elderly loved one. You may feel like there’s nothing that you can do, but you can try to pamper her until she’s feeling a little better.

Keep Easy Foods Ready

When your loved one is feeling more pain than usual from her arthritis, the last thing that she wants to do is to wrestle with cooking and cleaning up. Try keeping some homemade meals in disposable containers in the freezer just for these times. Make them easy to heat up and then let your loved one know that the container is disposable so she doesn’t have to worry about cleanup.

Help Her to Pace Herself

Sometimes your elderly loved one might be tempted to try to “push through” the pain or to just carry on. The problem is that your loved one doesn’t have to do that. Rest can help to alleviate some of the pain, so pushing through may only cause more pain. Help your loved one to slow down and pace herself when she first starts feeling a flare brewing.

Keep “Rainy Day” Activities on Hand

Rainy day activities don’t have to be just for rainy days. Keep a list of ideas on hand so that if your elderly loved one isn’t feeling so mobile, she doesn’t have to feel bored or as if she can’t do anything. You can put some of her favorite movies or music on, read aloud to each other, or do other relaxing activities that don’t require a lot of effort.

Stock up on Items that Help

If your loved one gets relief from heat or ice, for example, you might want to invest in small gel packs that you can keep in the freezer. Massage rollers can also help, especially if your loved one experiences muscle soreness in addition to joint pain. Look for items that help your loved one to feel better and make sure you keep them on hand and ready to go.

Encourage Exercise When She’s Feeling Good

When your loved one is feeling good, help her to develop an exercise plan with her doctor that can help her to minimize the likelihood of flares popping up. Your loved one’s doctor can help to figure out which types of exercise are best.

If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Elkhorn, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Communicating with an Elder who has a Cognitive Impairment

shsgreateromaha 23 Dec 2016

Home Care in Omaha NE

Home Care in Omaha NEAs an older adult continues to age, so does their brain. Remembering anything, even if it is information they just learned, can prove to be pretty challenging. If this is something you have noticed about your own elderly parent, they are probably suffering from a cognitive impairment. Not only can this disability cause problems with the senior’s short term memory, but it can also make it difficult for older adults to communicate.

Elders with a cognitive impairment have trouble following directions, focusing on one specific task, and expressing verbally how they are feeling or what they want. A home care provider can be hired to help care for your loved one, especially when going to public places where communicating with others is the most difficult. Here are some other tips that will help you talk to the elder in a way that they will understand.

  • Directly address them. When trying to talk to your loved one, make sure that you use their name and make eye contact with them. By doing this, they will know that you are talking to them and will better understand what is being said.
  • Speak normally. If you have the urge to speak loudly and slowly, refrain from doing it. Older adults with a cognitive impairment may become offended by this behavior since they will be able to understand what is being said at a normal speed.
  • Use simple instructions. While they will be able to understand what someone is saying at a normal speed, they may become confused if the instructions or question is too complex try to keep the directions as simple and step-by-step as possible. For example, instead of telling the elder to get dressed you could ask them to put their shirt on.
  • Remove all distractions. If the elder seems to be paying more attention to the TV than what you are saying, turn it off. Remove or turn off all distractions that may take the senior’s attention away from you.
  • Talk to them at the right time. If you ask your loved one to help fold clothes at a time they are tired, you probably will not get the results you want. Try to engage with them when they are the most alert and able to understand you.

A cognitive impairment is something that often injures the elder’s ability to think, talk, or comprehend a conversation. With these tips, you will be more successful when attempting to engage with your aging loved one.

Source:
https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/talking-your-older-patient/talking-patients-about-cognitive-problems

If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Omaha, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Helping a Senior Cope with Heart Disease

shsgreateromaha 16 Dec 2016

Senior Care in Papillion NE

Senior Care in Papillion NEHeart disease is one of the most common conditions older adults develop. Also known as coronary artery disease (CAD), this condition occurs when fats, cholesterol, and calcium build up in the arteries, interfering with the blood supply that goes to the heart. This buildup will then begin to harden, causing a plaque to form that can block all blood flow from getting to the heart. The result is a heart muscle that is being deprived of the oxygen it needs to work properly.

If discovered early enough, there are plenty of treatment options available that will allow your elderly loved one to live a fairly normal life. However, they may benefit from having a senior care provider help them with tasks at home that are too difficult for them to do alone. Heart disease may cause the elder to take a good, hard look at his life in order to make the necessary changes to live a healthier one. Here are a few things they can begin doing now to keep their heart healthy, even if they have heart disease.

  • Eat the right foods. Fresh food is always the right choice. This means eating and cooking with more fresh fruits and vegetables. If the elder does want to buy pre-packaged foods, it is important they carefully read the labels to make sure the foods are low in sodium and fat. Encourage your loved one to meet with a dietitian to create a meal plan that will keep the senior and their ticker happy and healthy.
  • Exercise. Physical activities will not only strengthen the heart, but it will also help the elder control their bodyweight, manage other health conditions, and help them sleep better at night. When first starting out, the elder should not push themselves too hard. They should aim for 30 minutes of exercise a day, but can break that down into three 10 minute workouts if that is easier. Once they are able to, they can increase that amount of time in order to complete 150 minutes of exercise a week.
  • Manage medication. A serious condition like heart disease will require medication. Help your loved one by reminding them when it is time to take their medication. This is also a job the senior care provider can help with. To make this task even easier, the elder can use a pill box, placing the correct amount of pills for each day in the labeled boxes.

Heart disease is a very scary condition some older adults have, but with these tips, they will be able to properly manage their disease.

Source:
https://www.webmd.com/heart/features/heart-disease-caregiver#1

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Papillion, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Caregiver “Hacks” to Make Your Efforts Easier

shsgreateromaha 07 Dec 2016

Caregivers in LaVista NE

Caregivers in LaVista NEAs a family caregiver you face challenges on a daily basis. You want to make sure that you are giving your aging loved one everything that they need in order to keep them healthy, safe, and comfortable throughout their aging years, but you also have your limitations. Especially if you are in the sandwich generation caring for your children as well as your aging parent, you might feel like there are just too many things on your to-do list from day to day for you to be able to fulfill them effectively. Fortunately there are some simple tips and tricks that can help you handle your caregiver tasks more easily without sacrificing the quality of your care or the closeness of your relationship with your elderly loved one.

Try some of these caregiver hacks to simplify your care efforts and improve your elderly loved one’s quality of life as they age in place:

• Make gripping a glass easier. Many elderly adults struggle with holding a glass. Pain, stiffness, and even issues such as tremors can make this grip difficult, reducing independence and possibly leading to injuries if a glass is dropped. Make this grip easier without purchasing any special devices simply by adding several rubber bands around the glass at equal intervals along its length.

• Make holding utensils easier. Difficulty with grips can also make holding utensils such as forks, spoons, and even combs and toothbrushes challenging. Make tasks such as eating and grooming easier by slipping foam hair rollers over the handles of these utensils to provide additional bulk and a firmer grip.

• Restore some independence with hooks. If your loved one is dealing with arthritis or other causes of compromised mobility and grip in their hand, they might struggle to open cabinets or drawers that have small knobs. Ease frustration and allow your aging parent to handle more of their own tasks using adhesive hooks. Choose large plastic hooks with adhesive backs and position horizontally on the drawer or cabinet door. This allows your parent to place their hand under the edge of the hook and use their palm or the back of their hand to open the door or drawer without the need for a tight grip.

• Make water more accessible. It can be extremely difficult for some elderly adults to reach far enough over a sink to effectively wash their hands, fill their hands with water to wash their face, or wash dishes. Make this simpler by cutting a hole around the top of a clean soap bottle, removing the bottom, and cutting a large “U” shape out of the front. Fit this bottle over the faucet with the opening facing up and secure in place with a rubber band or clip if necessary. When your parent needs to use the water, they can simply turn the handles and allow the water to run down the bottle for easier access even if your parent is sitting or cannot reach.

Source
https://www.aarp.org/home-family/caregiving/info-2016/caregivng-tips-hacks-tricks-video.html?intcmp=AE-HF-MAIN-FLXSLD3-CAREGIVING-CAREGIVING-TM1116

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in LaVista, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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What to Do If Your Aging Loved One is Suffering from Hypothermia

shsgreateromaha 02 Dec 2016

Elder Care in Omaha NE
Elder Care in Omaha NEEach year approximately 600 older adults throughout the United States die as a result of a condition known as hypothermia. This condition is characterized by the body temperature dropping to 95 degrees or below and can lead to death as well as a variety of serious health complications. As a family caregiver it is important that you recognize that aging adults are at increased risk of suffering from hypothermia due to a variety of factors, including that they tend to have lower metabolisms, lose heat faster, suffer from circulation problems, and may be less capable of taking the steps to properly protect themselves from the cold or warm themselves up if their body temperature starts to drop. This condition can occur even when temperatures do not seem very cold. In fact, in some situations temperatures as high as 40 degrees can still put a vulnerable senior at risk for hypothermia.

Knowing what to do if your aging parent is suffering from hypothermia can make a tremendous difference in how they are able to get through the situation. Use these tips to help you respond properly to this potentially dangerous situation:

• Move your aging parent indoors or to a warmer location

• Call for emergency medical services and give them as much detail about your parent’s symptoms as possible

• Remove any wet clothing and carefully dry their body. Being wet will hasten heat loss

• Wrap your aging parent in anything that is available, including towels, blankets, coats, or sheets. Be sure to wrap their head and torso first to warm up their body quicker

• If your parent is able to swallow safely, give them warm, non-alcoholic beverages and high-calorie foods to help their body warm up

• Never put a senior who is suffering from hypothermia into a hot bath or massage their limbs to warm them up. This can lead to their blood vessels dilating too quickly, which increases the risk of heart attack and death.

Starting elderly care for your aging loved one can be a fantastic way to help them achieve and maintain a higher quality of life as they age in place this winter season. An elderly home care services provider can understand the specific challenges, limitations, and needs that your senior is facing and create a highly personalized approach to care that offers them the support and assistance they need to manage these issues in the way that is right for them. Through these nurturing, compassionate, and effective services the elderly care provider can not only help your parent to stay healthier and safer during the winter season, but can also encourage them to maintain more independence and a higher activity level, supporting an overall greater mental, emotional, and physical health and well-being. As a caregiver this can give you peace of mind knowing that your aging loved one is in good hands at all times. When it comes to protecting them from hypothermia, this care provider can help your parent to stay warm and monitor their condition to ensure that if they start to suffer this serious condition they can take the proper steps to get them the medical care that they need.

https://www.sharecare.com/health/managing-changes-aging/elderly-relative-cold-time
https://www.rnceus.com/hypo/hyporisk.html
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hypothermia/basics/risk-factors/con-20020453
https://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Hypothermia/Pages/Treatment.aspx

If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Omaha, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

The post What to Do If Your Aging Loved One is Suffering from Hypothermia appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

How to Help Move Your Elderly Loved One Properly

shsgreateromaha 25 Nov 2016

Home Care in LaVista NE

Home Care in LaVista NEAt some point, you may have to learn how to help your loved one move from one location to another. This can mean moving her from a bed to a wheelchair or into a tub or other location. Doing this without injury to either your or your loved one is essential.

Talk to Your Loved One’s Doctor about Transfer Procedures

Before you have to move your loved one, ask your loved one’s doctor to show you how to properly transfer your elderly loved one. He can show you tips about how to work with your elderly loved one’s weight and body to make the transfer easier on both of you. Pay particular attention to how you can use leverage to your advantage.

Let Your Loved One Know When You’re about to Move Her

When it’s time to move your loved one, let her know what you’re about to do. You can let her know that you’re moving her from her wheelchair, for example, to her bed and that you’ll be starting in just a moment. If you don’t have your loved one’s attention, gently touch her arm or make eye contact before you let her know what you’re about to do.

Make Sure You’re in Decent Condition to Help Transfer Your Loved One

If you’re not already committed to an exercise plan for yourself, this is the time for you to start one. Talk to your doctor to make sure that you’re physically able to exercise and then get serious about exercising. You’ll need all of your muscles to be in good condition so that you can easily help your loved one to transfer from one location to another.

Use Assistive Devices if You Need Them

Make use of assistive transfer devices when you need them. These kinds of items, such as transfer boards, hoists, or even ceiling-mounted handles that your loved one can grab, help you to move your elderly loved one with the minimum of resistance and effort on both your parts. Talk with your loved one’s doctor or physical therapist about different tools you can use to make the job easier.

If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in LaVista, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

The post How to Help Move Your Elderly Loved One Properly appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Seniors and Social Interaction

shsgreateromaha 18 Nov 2016

Senior Care in Ralston NE

Senior Care in Ralston NEUnfortunately, time and changes in our society have found families spread out across the globe. The previous generations that found siblings and parents living in the same neighborhood, if not the same house, are few and far between. Sunday family gatherings have been replaced by long distance calls and once-a-year visits. In this ever distancing environment, it’s important to remember your elderly parent that may be living alone and spending more time alone than with family and friends.

The Risks

It’s been shown that seniors who are not socially active are at risk for several disorders including the following:

  • Depression. Lack of physical contact is directly linked with higher levels of stress hormone and inflammation—markers associated with high blood pressure, pain, and weakened immune systems.
  • Dementia. A study of older people conducted in Amsterdam concluded that those with feelings of loneliness were more likely to develop dementia. Social isolation was not the precipitating factor, the feeling of loneliness was.
  • Insomnia. Going to bed with thoughts and concerns is a known prescription for insomnia. For those with no one to share those thoughts and feeling with, the risk rises substantially.

How to Help

Visit. This may seem like an obvious solution, but it’s easy to get caught up in busy lives and forget that your loved one is alone a predominant amount of the time. Putting a calendar together and scheduling visits among family and friends ensures a steady influx of interaction. If someone is too far away, consider scheduling a call once a week. If you can get your loved set up with one of the many internet services that allow video chats—even better.

Transportation. Set your loved one up with scheduled transportation, whether it is public services, volunteers, or in-home care providers. This ensures weekly outings which can do wonders to lift moods and provide a sense of community. The places to visit are many and include senior community centers, local events for seniors, and volunteer organizations. Good resources are your local library, newspaper, or an AARP chapter.

In-Home Care Providers. If family or friends are spread far and wide, consider obtaining the services of an in-home care provider. These professionals not only provide support for the daily activities of living, they also supply what is increasingly considered a top-priority: companionship.

Resources
Time; Social Isolation, Now Just Feeling Lonely, May Shorten Lives; Maia Szalavitz; 03/2013
Medscape; The Journal of Primary Prevention; A review of Social Isolation; Nicholas Nicholson; 02/2012
PubMed.gov; J Neural Neurosurg Psychiatry; Feelings of loneliness, but not social isolation, predict dementia; 02/2014

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Ralston, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Preparing for the Potential of a Cold Weather Power Outage

shsgreateromaha 11 Nov 2016

Elderly Care in Bellevue NE

Elderly Care in Bellevue WAIn your role as a family caregiver your responsibilities go beyond just making sure that your senior’s physical needs and challenges are met on an immediate basis. You must also prepare for the possibility of emergency needs and ensure that you take the proper steps to protect your aging loved one from potentially serious consequences. As the colder temperatures and more serious weather come closer, one of these risks is the possibility of a power outage. While power outages are inconvenient, uncomfortable, and potentially dangerous any time of the year, when the weather is cold, they can be particularly threatening. Preparing your loved one and their home is essential to preventing potentially catastrophic consequences.

Use these tips to prepare for the potential of a cold weather power outage:

• Stock up on blankets. Remember if the power goes out when the weather is cold, the temperature inside the house is going to drop very quickly. Elderly adults are more vulnerable to cold than younger adults, which means it is critical that they are able to stay warm. Make sure that there are plenty of blankets easily accessible so that your senior can find them even in less light than usual.

• Have high-energy rations. Emergency food is always important during a weather disaster, but when the weather is cold, your parent needs extra calories because their body will need more energy to keep them warm. Look for food that does not need preparation but that is high in calories, such as emergency food bars, nuts, nut butters, and jerky.

• Do not use candles. It might be tempting to use candles as a source of light when the lights go out in the cold, but this increases the risk of fire. Instead, put flashlights and emergency lanterns throughout the home so that your parent can access them quickly and easily.

• Keep the wood stove ready. If your senior has a wood stove in the home, make sure that it has been inspected and serviced so that it is safe for use in the event of a power outage. Keep proper fuel accessible if your elderly loved one is able to use this stove safely. This will provide light as well as heat, and give them the opportunity to warm up certain foods, which can make the experience much more comfortable.

Starting elderly care for your aging parent is an exceptional way for you to feel more confident that they will be safe, comfortable, and healthy throughout their later years. This can give you peace of mind knowing that even as the temperature drops and the potential for serious weather increases, your senior is as safe as possible.

Source
https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/how-to-survive-an-ice-storm-po/20680035

If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Bellevue, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Care for a Senior in the Moderate Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease

shsgreateromaha 02 Nov 2016

Elder Care in Gretna NE

Elder Care in Gretna NEThe middle, or moderate, stage of Alzheimer’s is the longest stage and the one during which your parent’s care needs will increase noticeably. This is the stage when your role as a caregiver becomes even more important in their life and you must start taking important steps to help them live the quality of life that they deserve while managing their challenges and symptoms in the way that is right for them. During this stage you will use the plans that you already put into place during the early stages of the disease, but it is also important for you to be as flexible as possible. You might find that you encounter difficult situations or challenges that you did not necessarily prepare for and flexibility will help you to deal with them as effectively as possible.

Use these tips to help you care for a senior in the moderate stages of Alzheimer’s disease:

• Address potentially embarrassing symptoms honestly. If your aging loved one is coping with potentially sensitive or embarrassing symptoms, such as incontinence or loss of bowel control, it is important that you are there for them and that you address this situation honestly, openly, and compassionately. Hiding these symptoms can lead to serious consequences for your aging loved one’s health, so it is important that you guide them in managing this condition in the best way for them.

• Take precautions for wandering. A large percentage of elderly adults suffering from Alzheimer’s disease will develop wandering tendencies. This can lead to very dangerous situations, including getting lost or wandering into treacherous locations that could result in injuries or other serious consequences. You can protect your parent from such issues by putting additional locks on the doors of their home, adding security measures such as alarms on the windows, and considering using GPS in their shoes or on a necklace or bracelet to track them should they wander.

• Develop routines. Routine and predictability are two of the most important concepts when it comes to caring for an elderly adult with Alzheimer’s disease. Having these routines in place creates a sense of security and comfort, reducing anxiety and limiting the chances of negative behaviors. Create routines that take advantage of their natural patterns. For example, try to schedule potentially challenging experiences such as bathing for times when your parent is awake, alert, and not stressed by other potential needs such as being hungry.

Elder care can make a tremendous difference in the life of a senior who is in the middle stage of Alzheimer’s disease. This care provider can help your parent to manage their changing and increasing symptoms while continuing to support an independent, fulfilling, and high quality of life as they age in place. This means that you can feel confident that even as your parent faces the difficulties that come along with this stage of the disease, they are still getting all of the support, care, assistance, and nurturing that they deserve so that they are able to live a lifestyle that they want. The personalized services of an elderly home care services provider are an exceptional supplement to the care that you already give them, enabling you to continue focusing on your own health and well-being while knowing that your parent is safe, healthy, comfortable, and happy at all times.

Source
https://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_stages_of_alzheimers.asp

If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Gretna, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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How to Cope with Anxiety from Being a Family Caregiver

shsgreateromaha 28 Oct 2016

Senior Care in Elkhorn NE

Senior Care in Elkhorn NEMild anxiety is nature’s way of making sure that you’re prepared to deal with threats. As a family caregiver, though, anxiety can be upsetting and can even interfere with your duties as a caregiver.

Learn to See Anxiety as an Alert of Sorts

For people who have general anxiety, it’s a constant alarm going off. If you’ve developed anxiety only about caregiving situations, you can start to see it as a smaller alert. Anxiety can help you to notice when something isn’t quite right or when you need to be aware of something. This gives you a chance to fix the problem.

Stop and Focus

When you first start to feel anxious, stop and focus for a minute or two. Look at the situation from as many angles as you can and see if you can determine what about it is making you feel anxious. Breathe and pay attention to all of the variables. Often spotting whatever has prompted the feeling can be enough to help you resolve the feeling.

Assess What You Can Actually Do

Once you know what is causing your anxiety, look next at what you can actually do to resolve the situation. In some cases, you may not have control over the situation. When that happens, your best result can often be to remind yourself that you don’t have control over the situation but you’re aware. If you can change or adjust the situation, do so.

Engage in Relaxation Techniques

If there are techniques or rituals that you find relaxing and anxiety-relieving, engage in them. This could be activities such as meditating, practicing breathing exercises, or even exercising. You might also find relief in journaling, reading, or talking to friends. Whatever works for you is important to incorporate into your daily activities.

Seek out Help

For some family caregivers, situational anxiety can grow and become a more generalized anxiety. In that case, you may need professional assistance to work through those feelings and relieve the anxiety for good. Find a therapist or counselor that you trust and do what you can to get rid of the majority of your anxious feelings.

Anxiety can be just a cue from your brain that you need to pay particular attention to something. If your anxiety is debilitating, don’t ignore it.

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Elkhorn, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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How Seniors Can Reduce the Risk of Hip Fractures

shsgreateromaha 19 Oct 2016

Home Care in Gretna NE

Home Care in Gretna NEIf falling is a serious concern for your elderly loved one, then they are at a high risk for hip fractures. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 300,000 adults over the age of 65 are hospitalized each year because of hip fractures. Over 95 percent of hip fractures each year are the result of falling, presumably falling sideways.

Fall-related hip fractures can occur to even the healthiest senior. If they live alone, consider hiring a home care provider who can help keep your loved one’s home clean and free from clutter in order to prevent these dangerous falls from occurring. Also, by knowing the causes, symptoms, and treatment options available, you will be better prepared for if your aging loved one suffers from a hip fracture in the future.

Causes

Older adults usually fall as a result of a loss of balance, problems with their eyesight, or both. There are a wide range of other risk factors that may increase the elder’s chances of breaking a hip. These risk factors include:

  • Being a woman, since women lose bone density at a more rapid rate than men
  • Osteoporosis
  • Family history
  • Poor nutrition
  • Excessive use of alcohol and tobacco products
  • Taking multiple medications at once or taking psychoactive medications
  • Hazards in the home that can increase their chances of falling, like loose rugs and dim lighting
  • Medical conditions that increase the senior’s risk of falling

Symptoms

By ignoring the symptoms of a hip fracture, your loved one’s life could be put at risk. Some of the most common symptoms to watch for are:

  • An inability to move right after a fall
  • Extreme pain in the hip or groin area
  • Unable to put weight on the leg that is located on the same side of the injured hip
  • Bruising, swelling, or stiffness in and around the hip area
  • The leg on the side of the injured hip appears to be shorter than the other leg
  • The leg on the side of the injured hip is turned outwards

Treatment

If the elder’s hip is fractured, surgery can be performed within 24 hours of the break. Some surgical techniques the doctor may use include:

  • Partial hip replacement. The surgeon may remove the head and neck of the femur, where a metal replacement will be placed.
  • Total hip replacement. Prosthesis may be used to replace the upper femur and socket in the pelvic bone. This is an excellent option for those elders with arthritis or other injuries that may have damaged the joint.
  • Internal repair using screws. The bone may be held together with the use of metal screws until the fracture heals. The screws may also be attached to a metal plate that is located down the femur.

Source:
https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adulthipfx.html
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hip-fracture/basics/treatment/con-20021033

If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Gretna, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

The post How Seniors Can Reduce the Risk of Hip Fractures appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

How to Detect a Stroke in an Elderly Parent

shsgreateromaha 14 Oct 2016

Elderly Care in Ralston NE

Elderly Care in Ralston NEStrokes usually occur with little to no warning before it happens. But if it does hit, this is one condition that could cause irreversible damage to your loved one’s ability to communicate with you and remember things that should be well-known to them. If a stroke is detected too late, there is a much smaller chance that the senior will survive than if it were detected early on.

Older adults who live alone will not have anyone to help them if they do suffer from a stroke. In fact, they may not get diagnoses from their doctor until it is too late since there was no one to take them to their doctor. Hiring an elderly care provider could change all that. This person will offer your loved one companionship, as well as assistance with tasks, both personal and around the home.

Here are some early signs to watch for in order to determine if your aging parent could be suffering from a stroke.

  • There is some numbness or pain in their arm, face, or leg. One side of the elder’s face may droop when they smile if they are having a stroke. In order to test them to see if they are suffering from a stroke, have the senior raise both arms above their head. If one begins to fall, they are most likely having a stroke.
  • Headache. A strong indication of a stroke would be if they suddenly have a severe headache, which is accompanied by vomiting or dizziness.
  • Problems with communication. Having a conversation with others may now be much more difficult than it used to. Not only will their speech become slurred, but they will also be unable to understand what others are saying.
  • Problems with balance. Walking may be especially difficult for someone having a stroke. They may begin to feel dizzy, unbalanced, or exhibit a lack of coordination.
  • Vision problems. The elder’s vision may now be altered, causing the eyesight in one or both eyes to become blackened or blurred.

When Immediate Medical Attention is Necessary

If you notice any of the following symptoms, make sure to get the senior to the doctor right away.

  • One side of the face droops when smiling
  • Have the elder raise both arms. If one begins to move downward, they may be having a stroke
  • Their speech becomes unusual or slurred when communicating

Call 911 immediately if you fear your loved one is having a stroke.

Source:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/stroke/symptoms-causes/dxc-20117265
https://eldercareabcblog.com/health/what-you-need-to-know-about-strokes/

If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Ralston, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

The post How to Detect a Stroke in an Elderly Parent appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Are You Really at Risk for Caregiver Stress?

shsgreateromaha 06 Oct 2016

Caregivers in Papillion NE

Caregivers in Papillion NESome family caregivers like to believe that caregiver stress is something that happens to other caregivers and not to them. The truth is that it can strike any caregiver, but if you’re alert to the signs and to the risk factors, you can avoid it more easily.

The Biggest Risk Factors

When it comes to who is most likely to experience caregiver stress, there are some risk factors that can give you even more advance warning. If you fall into any of the following risk factor categories, it’s essential that you develop and stick to a solid self-care plan. These signs don’t guarantee that you’re going to be plagued by caregiver stress, of course, but they can be a warning sign. Some of the biggest risk factors include:

  • Being a woman
  • Living with your elderly loved one
  • Having few social interactions
  • Having a history of depression
  • Experiencing financial hardship due to caregiving
  • Little to no help with caregiving
  • Trouble solving problems
  • Feeling forced into being a family caregiver

Signs that You’re Dealing with Caregiver Stress

The signs of caregiver stress can be extremely similar to the signs of other types of stress. In fact, you might simply start feeling more enhanced feelings of stress than you typically do. For other people, these signs show up specifically when they’re dealing with caregiving situations. Some of the warning signs can include:

  • Feeling anxious or worried constantly
  • Feeling overly tired, even with a lot of sleep
  • Sleeping too much or even too little
  • Extreme weight fluctuations without an explanation
  • Extreme irritation or sudden anger
  • Lack of interest in activities and events that you used to love
  • Feeling sad or depressed
  • Physical symptoms such as pain or headaches
  • Leaning on crutches such as alcohol

Start out on the Right Foot

If you’re still new to your caregiving journey, it’s really important to start out on the right foot to avoid caregiver stress. Make sure that you’re taking care of yourself as well as you can. If you’re finding that to be too difficult on your own, don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor and to get some help. The better care that you take of yourself, the better you can care for your elderly loved one.

Being alert to the dangers of caregiver stress will help to make sure that you aren’t blindsided by it at some point in the future.

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Papillion, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

The post Are You Really at Risk for Caregiver Stress? appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

How to Broach the Topic of Incontinence with Your Elderly Loved One’s Doctor

shsgreateromaha 30 Sep 2016

Elder Care in LaVista NE

Elder Care in LaVista NEIf your elderly loved one is just starting to deal with the issue of incontinence, you may not feel that you know how exactly to talk about the issue with your loved one’s doctor. You’ll need to be as straightforward as possible to get the best results and it helps to have as much information as possible when you first talk about the topic.

Begin by Monitoring the Issue

When you first notice that your loved one is having an issue with incontinence, it helps to have as much information as you can for the actual appointment. Start out by monitoring the situation. You’ll need to know how often it occurs and how much of a problem the issue is now for your elderly loved one. For example, how many times per day does incontinence affect your loved one’s life?

Gently Ask Your Loved One about the Issue

As part of the monitoring process, it’s important to get information from your elderly loved one’s perspective. Since this is an embarrassing topic, approach the issue delicately and allow your loved one her dignity. You can ask her the following types of questions:

  • How long has this been an issue for her?
  • Does she get any urge to urinate before there is a leak?
  • Is she aware right away that she’s had a leak?
  • When do leaks typically occur?

Having the answers to these questions can help your loved one’s doctor to pin down potential causes.

Set up an Appointment with Your Loved One’s Doctor

You can either set up an appointment specifically to talk about the problem your loved one is having with incontinence or you can work the issue into an existing appointment. The key, though, is to approach the topic head on without hedging or being euphemistic. Your loved one’s doctor needs to know the severity of the problem in order to help.

Do Any Follow up Monitoring Necessary

Your loved one’s doctor may give you some assignments for follow up monitoring of your loved one’s incontinence. Some of the types of information that you might need to monitor can include fluid intake, times of day when the incontinence occurs, and what events are going on when the incontinence occurs. This information can influence future recommendations from your loved one’s doctor.

Once you have a plan, you, your loved one, and your loved one’s home care providers can start to implement it for your loved one.

If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in LaVista, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Join us at the Fall Festival

shsgreateromaha 29 Sep 2016

logoCome see us this Saturday during the Fall Festival Fundraiser at the Papillion Senior Center! Join us at 1001 Limerick Road in Papillion from 9am – 3pm to enjoy music, entertainment, the biggest best bake sale and so much more! Lunch starts at 11:30 for just $5 – don’t miss it!

Click here for more information on the Fall Festival!

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What Are the Most Important Things to Know about Your Elderly Loved One’s Exercise Program?

shsgreateromaha 23 Sep 2016

Senior Care in Omaha NESenior Care in Omaha NE

Exercise is super important for your elderly loved one, even if you worry that she’s not in any shape to be exercising regularly. Your loved one’s doctor can help you to determine what type of exercise is right for her, as well as how much exercise is enough. When your loved one is ready to exercise, these ideas can help.

Always Start with Your Loved One’s Doctor

Any time that your elderly loved one is considering changing her physical activity level, it’s a good idea to talk to her doctor about the situation. Doing that ensures that your loved one is healthy enough to be taking on the exercise plan that she’s considering. Your loved one’s doctor may want to know more about the proposed exercise plan, too, so that he can give your elderly loved one specific guidelines to follow.

Choose a Variety of Activities

Anyone can get bored doing the same exercises all the time and the same is true for your elderly loved one. Aerobic activities, like walking, help to get your loved one’s heart rate up and help to strengthen her lungs. But other aerobic activities can be fun, too. Look into options such as dance classes, bicycling, or water aerobics.

Branch out a Bit

Your loved one might even be willing to branch out a bit once she’s more accustomed to regular exercise. Depending on your loved one’s requirements, such as low-impact exercises to save wear and tear on painful joints, activities such as stationary bicycling might be something she’ll enjoy. A community pool can offer lots of different options, too, and many of them offer classes just for seniors.

Mix Exercise and Relaxation

It’s also a good idea to mix in some exercise with relaxation activities. Yoga, Pilates, and even Tai Chi offer stretching that is no-impact but that can improve your loved one’s flexibility quite a bit. They also incorporate breathing exercises that can help your loved one deal with stress and learn to relax more effectively.

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Omaha, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Boomer Radio names SENIORS Helping SENIORS their Business of the Week

shsgreateromaha 22 Sep 2016

 

boomer-radio-omaha-and-shsOmaha NE – September 21, 2016

Boomer Business of the Week helps showcase some of Omaha’s finest organizations. “Being a locally owned radio station, we understand and appreciate the meaning of local and community. We like to help our advertisers and local businesses by featuring their business on our social media outlets and providing the community with a general overview of the organization.” –Mallory Brady, Walnut Radio

“We’re so pleased that Boomer has named SENIORS Helping SENIORS their Business of the Week. Boomer Radio is a wonderful partner and has helped us introduce ourselves to people in the community who might be looking for part-time employment or are in need of assistance for an aging loved one. We appreciate the opportunity to share a little more about us and our innovative, intra-generational care model. ” – Denise Moser, SENIORS Helping SENIORS.

Read the feature to learn more: https://www.boomeromaha.com/?p=5624&preview=true

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Easing the Challenges of Eating for a Senior with Alzheimer’s Disease

shsgreateromaha 15 Sep 2016

Home Care in Papillion NE

Home Care in Papillion NEBeing a family caregiver for an elderly adult who is coping with Alzheimer’s disease can be one of the most challenging experiences that you have. By understanding the specific challenges that your aging parent is facing, you can make the appropriate steps to ensure that they stay as safe, healthy, and comfortable as possible as they age in place. One of the most common challenges that elderly adults with Alzheimer’s disease face is difficulties with eating. These issues can mean that they do not get the nutrition that they need to remain at their best, but can also put them at serious risk of physical injury or illness.

Some of the ways that you can ease the challenges of eating for a senior with Alzheimer’s disease include:

• Eliminate potential poisoning risks. One eating challenge that many elderly adults with Alzheimer’s disease face is not understanding what they should or can eat. They might attempt to eat things that they are not able to eat and that might harm them. Eliminate items such as decorative artificial foods, chemicals that look or smell like foods, or items that they might confuse such as potpourri that looks like candy or candles sitting on the table.

• Choose the right texture. Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease might struggle with being able to chew or swallow food properly. This can put them at risk of choking or biting themselves. If you notice that they are having difficulty with the functional elements of eating, talk to their doctor and get recommendations for how to change the textures of food that will be easiest for your parent to eat. A thickened liquid diet may be necessary if your parent is in the later stages of the disease.

• Make eating a social event. Avoid having eating be something that your elderly parent does on their own. Eating along with your loved one is an opportunity for them to relax, socialize, and feel more compelled to eat enough. It is also a chance for you to model proper eating behaviors, which your parent can then mimic, helping them to eat safely and effectively.

If your aging parent has developed challenges with eating as they progress through the stages of Alzheimer’s disease, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting home care for them. An in-home senior care services provider can be with your elderly loved one as often as they are needed to help them to manage their specific limitations, challenges, and needs in a way that is respectful, effective, and efficient, while also supporting as much independence as possible and encouraging the highest quality of life that they can enjoy as they age in place. When it comes to dealing with eating challenges related to their Alzheimer’s disease, this care provider can supervise your parent during eating times, prepare meals and snacks that are easier to handle, and provide other forms of support and assistance that keep them safer and help to ensure that they get the nutrition that they need as they progress through their disease.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/caregivers/in-depth/alzheimers/art-20048042

If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Papillion, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

The post Easing the Challenges of Eating for a Senior with Alzheimer’s Disease appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

We’re growing and looking for Care Providers!

shsgreateromaha 15 Sep 2016

logoWe’re growing and looking for Care Providers!

Would you, or someone you know, love to help someone else? We’re looking for loving, compassionate people who have the heart of a volunteer. The qualified candidate will have life experience, an interest in making a difference in the lives of other seniors and be comfortable working with senior citizens. If this describes you, please consider working with us!

We currently have an immediate need to fill overnight shifts, start working next week!

Call 402-331-3073 or email denise@shsomaha.com for more information

The post We’re growing and looking for Care Providers! appeared first on Seniors Helping Seniors.

Emergency Preparedness for a Senior Who is Coping with Low Vision

shsgreateromaha 08 Sep 2016

Caregivers in Springfield NECaregivers in Springfield NE

Low vision is one of the most common issues of older adulthood, and can influence your parent’s functionality and quality of life in a variety of ways. This is particularly true during emergency or disaster situations when they will need to respond to the world around them in different ways that they are accustomed to in order to stay safe and healthy. September is National Preparedness Month. This is the perfect time for you to work with your aging parent to put plans into place to ensure that they are as ready as possible to get through a disaster or emergency situation in a way that is as safe, healthy, and comfortable as possible. This can give both your aging loved one and you more confidence knowing that they are properly prepared whether you are with them at the time of this emergency or not.

Use these tips to help your parent coping with low vision prepare for an emergency or disaster situation:

• Encourage your parent to learn how to Braille. If your aging parent does not already know how to read Braille, encourage them to learn. Being able to read Braille is a way for your parent to effectively get all of the information that they need if they are not able to read the text information on emergency supplies, signs, and documents.

• Mark supplies clearly. Be sure that you mark your aging parent’s emergency supplies with labels that they are able to read easily, but that others can read as well. This can include having a Braille label as well as a large print label so that your parent can easily find and access their supply kit, as well as the individual supplies within the kit.

• Have extra assistive devices. If your aging parent uses glasses or contact lenses that help them with their low vision, make sure that they have extra of these in their kit, as well as the products and devices that they might need to take care of them. You might also want to consider having a collapsible white cane readily available to your parent to signify their vision problem quickly and easily to those around them.

• Try text to speech equipment. Communication is essential during emergency and disaster situations, but can be challenging for seniors who are dealing with functional limitations. Consider using text to speech equipment that will convert text messages and other text into spoken words so that your parent can better understand them. If they have this type of equipment for their personal use at home, be sure that you record identifying information about it, including the item, the brand, the model number, and the serial number. This will help them to have access to the right equipment during the emergency, and can allow them to create a thorough and accurate insurance claim if their item gets damaged or destroyed during the emergency situation.

• Bring their dog. No animals should ever be left in a home during an evacuation, but it is important to keep in mind that not all shelters allow pets inside. Service dogs, however, are always permitted. If your parent has a service dog trained to help them with their low vision, be sure that they bring this dog with them to help them with their functioning needs.

Source
https://www.ready.gov/individuals-access-functional-needs

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Springfield, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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Talking with Your Parent about Their Future Care after They Are Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease

shsgreateromaha 02 Sep 2016

Elderly Care in Papillion NE

Elderly Care in Papillion NESeptember is Alzheimer’s Month. This is the perfect time for you to talk to your elderly loved one about their journey with Alzheimer’s disease and to make meaningful changes to your care efforts to ensure that your senior gets the level of care, support, and assistance that they need and deserve as they progress through their condition. One of the most important things that you can do during this time is to discuss the future of their care after their diagnosis. This will help them to feel more confident as they move through their disease, and confident in their ability to maintain the lifestyle and quality of life that they desire even as their condition increases.

Use these tips to help you talk to your parent about their future care after they are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease:

• Start as early as possible. It is important to remember that even though Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, meaning it will get worse, when they first receive their diagnosis they are likely to still be early enough in their progress that they are not suffering extensive decline. This means that they are able to understand the condition, their options, and how they feel about the future of their care. Starting this conversation early is key to ensuring that they are able to express their honest thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about their future care.

• Make sure they understand the importance. Even if your parent’s symptoms are mild, it is important to start thinking about the future of their care. They may feel that they do not need to have this conversation yet because their needs are not “serious”. It is important that you take the time to emphasize with them how important it is for them to think of these issues. There is no way of knowing how fast your parent will progress through this condition or when they will experience very serious symptoms and effects. This is why it is critical that they make their plans now so that whenever the changes occur, you are ready to handle them.

• Ensure it is about them. You are their family caregiver, but that does not mean that you are responsible for coming up with their course of management, treatment, and future care. Instead, it is your responsibility to listen to what your parent has to say and create a course of care around those feelings and beliefs. When talking to your parent about their future care it is vital that you guide the conversation in a direction that is about them and their thoughts and beliefs rather than about you and what you think.

• Discuss immediate plans. The concept of “future” care does not have to be about years, months, or even weeks down the line. Instead, these care plans can get put into place now in order to give your loved one the most benefit possible. One such decision is to start elder care for them. An elderly home care services provider can give your loved one a greater sense of confidence as they receive personalized care tailored to their individual needs, challenges, and limitations. This will help them to live a lifestyle that is right for them at all stages of the progression.

If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Papillion, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Greater Omaha at (402)-215-0308 today.

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SENIORS Helping SENIORS participates in Forest Lawn Open House

shsgreateromaha 01 Sep 2016

00001We had a wonderful time participating in Forest Lawn’s 2016 Open House last Saturday! The event showcased their beautiful new facility at 7909 Morman Bridge Road. So many members of the community stopped by to learn more about different local businesses and have lunch together. Thank you to Forest Lawn for putting together such a fun and informative event. Already looking forward to next year!

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Why Should Your Aging Parent Control Their Sodium When Dealing with Congestive Heart Failure?

shsgreateromaha 26 Aug 2016

Senior Care in Gretna NE

Senior Care in Gretna NEIf your elderly parent has recently become one of the nearly 6 million adults throughout the United States who suffer with congestive heart failure, you have likely heard many recommendations for how to help them manage their condition. One that you may have heard frequently is that they should reduce their sodium intake. This may seem minor, but it is actually one of the most important efforts that you can make to help your aging parent live a healthier lifestyle. Understanding the importance of this reduction can help your parent to dedicate themselves more effectively to complying with this control.

Congestive heart failure is not about the heart stopping suddenly or being in imminent danger of stopping. Instead, it is about the heart muscle weakening to the point that it is no longer capable of pumping blood throughout the body as efficiently as it needs to. Sodium causes the body to hold onto water. This puts extra stress on your parent’s heart and blood vessels as it works to handle this extra fluid. One of the first things to keep in mind is that when your parent is given this recommendation, the doctor will tell your loved one to control their sodium intake, not their salt. You must understand the amount of sodium that is in salt and also how to read nutritional label to help them meet these guidelines.

One teaspoon of salt contains approximately 2,300 milligrams of sodium. The average American needs to aim to consume no more than approximately 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day. At this level your parent is getting the right amount of sodium to support the body’s functions without it being excessive.

It is extremely important to realize that controlling sodium is about more than just not reaching for the saltshaker when your parent is cooking or eating. They must also keep in mind the sodium that exists in all of the other food that they eat, including cheeses, condiments, preserved vegetables such as pickles, and convenience foods such as soup.

If your parent has gotten the recommendation of reducing their salt intake as they deal with congestive heart failure, it may be the perfect time for you to hire senior care for them. Cutting down on the amount of sodium that they contain can be a major change for your parent, and they may struggle with making this a part of their routine. A senior home care services provider can be a valuable resource for support and assistance when it comes to making such a serious change. This can include going to the grocery store with your aging loved one to help them make good food choices, assisting with meal and snack preparation, and even doing research with them to find low-sodium recipes for their favorite foods. This can give them confidence and reassurance that they are able to handle this life change in the proper way.

Source
https://www.heart.org/idc/groups/heart-public/@wcm/@hcm/documents/downloadable/ucm_300625.pdf

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Gretna, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Greater Omaha at (402)-215-0308 today.

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How Can You Maintain Open Lines of Communication with Your Aging Parent’s Elder Care Provider?

shsgreateromaha 19 Aug 2016

Elder Care in Ralston NE

Elder Care in Ralston NEIf you are considering starting an elder care arrangement for your aging parent, it is important that you remember that this care provider is not just coming into your parent’s life, but into yours as well. You will also need to think about the relationship that you will build with them and how you will maintain this relationship so that your aging parent can get the absolute most out of the care services that the elderly home care services provider offers to them. One of the most important ways that you can do this is by maintaining open lines of communication with them throughout the course of the care.

Use these tip to help you establish and maintain open lines of communication with an elder care provider caring for your loved one:

• Be there at the beginning. Make an effort to be there on the first day that the elderly home care services provider is caring for your aging parent. This is another opportunity for you to re-introduce yourself and show your engagement in this care relationship. Let them know that you are available for them to talk to whenever they may need to and express your interest in being involved in the care experience as much as possible.

• Offer many different lines of communication. While talking in person is usually the most personal way to communicate, it is not always possible or practical. Make it as easy and non-confrontational as possible for this care provider to communicate with you by offering as many forms of communication as possible. Give them your personal phone number, your work phone number, your email address, and even your social media contacts if you are comfortable with this. This ensures that they can reach out to you in the way that is best for the situation.

• Check in with them. Do not always expect that the care provider will come to you if they want to talk to you, or that they will always think that something is important enough to talk to you about. Make it a practice to check in with them regularly so that these conversations are started for them. Consider choosing a day of the week as your regular check-in day and setting aside some time to talk with the care provider about how your parent is doing, how the care approach you designed is working out, and if there is anything new that the care provider thinks that you should know about. Mention anything that you have noticed or any questions that you have. This will let them feel comfortable and open talking to you without worrying that they are taking up your time or bothering you.
• Acknowledge them. This care provider can make a major difference in your parent’s life, but can also truly impact your life as well. Make sure that you always take the time to acknowledge them when you come into the home, that they know the names of the family members, and that you interact with them on a friendly, professional level so that they feel more comfortable reaching out to you to talk about any issues that might arise.

If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Ralston, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Greater Omaha at (402)-215-0308 today.

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August 22nd is Take Your Cat to the Vet Day

shsgreateromaha 12 Aug 2016

Home Care in Elkhorn NE

Home Care in Elkhorn NEMany elderly adults who live at home find that cat ownership has many benefits. Cats can provide affection and great company which can prevent your elderly loved one from feeling lonely or isolated. Spending time with a cat can also help your loved one to feel more happy and relaxed. Because of this, cats can become an important and cherished member of the family which is why it is important to treat them as such. This often starts with taking care of their health. August 22nd is observed as Take Your Cat to the Vet Day, a day dedicated to making sure your loved one’s cat is as healthy as can be. Read on for some of the many benefits of taking your loved one’s cat in for routine care and for some other ways your can help your loved one’s cat stay happy and healthy.

What are the benefits of taking my loved one’s cat to the vet?

It is always a great idea to take your loved one’s cat to the vet when they are sick or you suspect they may be sick. If they have a fever, are vomiting, itching, have diarrhea, or coughing and sneezing excessively, it is important to call the vet immediately. Similarly, if they have been bitten by another animal or have suffered an injury, it is important for them to visit the vet. In addition to these situation, it is very important to take your loved one’s cat in for a routine check-up. At these check-ups, a vet can check for fleas and other parasites, diseases, and they can administer important immunizations. If your loved one’s cat does have parasites, they can recommend treatment and offer ways to prevent parasites in the future. These things are all essential to keeping your loved one’s cat healthy.

What are some other ways to keep a cat healthy and safe?

If your loved one is unable to care for their cat completely, it is important for you to step in and help. There are many things you can do to help keep your loved one’s cat healthy such as groom them regularly, always give them fresh food and water, avoid giving them “people food”, give them exercise, keep them away from toxic plants in the yard and in the home, and change their litter box frequently.

Source: https://www.pethealthnetwork.com/cat-health/my-cats-veterinarian/its-take-your-cat-vet-day

If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Elkhorn, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Greater Omaha at (402)-215-0308 today.

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5 Caregiver Affirmations to Help You Feel Calmer and More in Control

shsgreateromaha 05 Aug 2016

Caregivers in Gretna NE

Caregivers in Gretna NEMaking the decision to be a caregiver for your elderly parent is a life-changing choice. You are committing to giving of your time, energy, effort, and resources to make sure that your aging parent can live the happiest, healthiest, and most comfortable lifestyle possible as they age in place. While this can be a wonderful way for you to show your love for your parent and to give of yourself, it can also be a stressful experience. Depending on the types of challenges and limitations that your parent is dealing with, your care efforts can be truly overwhelming. Using affirmations can help you to feel calmer and more in control, relieving your stress and enabling you to feel better about your role.

Try these affirmations to help you through challenging days in your caregiver journey:

I am in control. The feeling that you are not in control is extremely common in caregiving, and can leave you feeling nervous and overwhelmed. Remind yourself that you are in control and that you can overcome the challenges that you are facing

I chose this. Sometimes it can feel as though the world is pressing in around you and that you are being controlled by your current role. Remind yourself that you chose this role. This will empower you to make the decisions that you need to make, and bring back the emotional reminders of why you decided to be in that role

I can handle this. It is easy to feel as though you cannot take on the challenges that are in front of you when you are caring for your parent. You may feel as though you are not capable of taking on these challenges or that you just do not have the skills to do these things when they arise. When this happens, remind yourself that you really are capable of handling what is ahead of you. Remind yourself that you are strong and capable, and that you are going to get through it

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. When you feel like there is too much on your plate or that the list of things that you have to do is just too long, remind yourself that there is more to your life than just these efforts. No matter how difficult the issues that you are facing are, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You will get through these challenges and be able to move forward

I love my parent. This may seem like an affirmation that you should not have to make, but when you are facing the most serious demands of your care journey, you may find that sometimes you need to remind yourself of the reason that you are doing these tasks in the first place.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by your caregiver tasks, it may be time for you to consider adding home care to your efforts. Hiring an in-home senior care services provider is not about trying to do less for your parent or getting out of any of your responsibilities. Instead, it is an extension of the care that you give your parent. It is a way for you to ensure that your aging loved one gets all of the support, assistance, and encouragement that they need without putting you under extensive stress or overwhelming your schedule.

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Gretna, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Greater Omaha at (402)-215-0308 today.

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4 Ways to Work on Your Stress Levels Right Now

shsgreateromaha 29 Jul 2016

Caregivers in Elkhorn NE

Caregivers in Elkhorn NEWhen you’re feeling stressed out as a family caregiver, that’s not a good thing. You can try waiting for the stressed feeling to pass, but that’s not a healthy or dependable way to get stress relief.

Talk it Out

One of the easiest ways to vent some stress is to talk to a friend, a counselor, or even to another member of a support group. If you don’t have any of these outlets, it’s time to change that for yourself. Reach out to friends that you have lost touch with or find a therapist that you trust. If you don’t have time to go to in-person support group meetings, that’s understandable. Find an online support group that you feel good about.

Look at What You’re Eating and How Often You’re Moving

A common source of stress that gets overlooked a lot is that we either skip eating or we eat the wrong foods. We also don’t tend to give our bodies the movement that they require in order to continue to feel balanced. If you’re feeling sluggish or stressed, look at the kinds of foods you’re eating and how often you’re eating. Even a small change can make a big difference. If you can’t even remember the last time you exercised, go take a walk around the block.

Take a Nap

Even a short power nap can help to adjust your perspective on life or a given situation. Family caregivers can often have difficulty sleeping for a lot of different reasons. If you can, give yourself permission to take a quick nap. For some family caregivers, this is scary to do unless there’s another family member or a home care provider on site to take care of their loved one while they’re sleeping.

Distract Yourself

Your brain may also just need something else to focus on for a little while. Try reading a book just for fun or flipping through a magazine that you’ve had but have forgotten to read. A movie or television show can do the same thing for you. Find a way that you can get out of your own head for a little while and experience something different.

Giving yourself leeway a little more often can help, too. Try adding these techniques to your daily and weekly schedule to get the most benefit from them.

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Elkhorn, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Greater Omaha at (402)-215-0308 today.

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How Safe Are the Entrances to Your Elderly Loved One’s Home?

shsgreateromaha 22 Jul 2016

Senior Care in LaVista NE

Senior Care in LaVista NESometimes when family caregivers are checking their loved one’s home for safety and security issues, the entrances to the home are overlooked. Try checking some of these areas to make sure that the entrances to your loved one’s home are as safe as possible.

Add Ramps and Check Stairways

Stairways are particularly dangerous for your elderly loved one. Check all stairways to make sure that they’re overall in good working order, that they don’t have slippery spots, and that all hand rails are secure and effective. If your loved one needs a ramp, make sure that you have one installed that is fully functional and secure. Some senior agencies can help install ramps for elderly loved ones, so it’s a good idea to contact them if you need help with installing a ramp.

Check Switches for Outdoor Lighting

Another potential safety hazard is lighting switches that are either in inconvenient locations or that are not functional. Be sure also to check the lighting fixture itself to make sure that the bulbs are working properly. If you do find that there are issues with the light or with the switch, contact a licensed electrician to handle the corrections for you.

Thresholds Can Be a Tripping Hazard

Take a good look at all of the thresholds into and out of your elderly loved one’s home. If they’re in disrepair or if they’re higher than they should be, they can cause a significant tripping hazard for your loved one and for anyone else who enters or leaves the house. In some cases, you may be able to simply hammer down loose nails or boards, but more complicated problems may require a handyman’s assistance.

Install Peepholes for Added Security

Open windows around doorways can be a security hazard for your elderly loved one. If the main doors of the home don’t have peepholes, they’re very easy to install. You can even ensure that you install them at the perfect height for your elderly loved one to be able to use the peephole to see who is knocking at the door.

If you need extra help spotting security and safety issues around your loved one’s entryways, talk to her senior care providers for other ideas.

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in LaVista, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Greater Omaha at (402)-215-0308 today.

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How to Divide Your Time When You Find Yourself as Part of the Sandwich Generation

shsgreateromaha 15 Jul 2016

Elder Care in Bellevue NE

Elder Care in Bellevue NEMillions of adults throughout the United States have found themselves in what is known as the sandwich generation. This is the generation of people who are at the point in their lives when they are raising their own children while also caring for the elderly parent. This can be a rewarding and enjoyable role to undertake, but it can also be stressful and overwhelming. This is particularly true when it comes to your schedule. It can seem as though there is simply not enough time in your day to manage everything that you need to do. Finding ways to divide the time that you do have and make the most out of that time can ensure that you do the best that you can in your parenting role for your children and your caregiver role for your elderly parent.

Use these tips to help you divide your time when you find yourself a part of the sandwich generation:

  • Know what it is important. The most important thing that you can do when it comes to dividing your time is identifying the tasks and obligations that are truly most important to you. It is very likely that you have tasks, activities, and events on your schedule that are dispensable but that could keep you from doing what you need to do for the generations that rely on you. Selecting the items that are not optional or that are truly important to you can allow you to trim out those that are not necessary, saving you time.
  • Be honest. Being a caregiver who is in the sandwich generation often requires sacrifice. This means that you may not be able to do everything that your parent or your children want you to do, or that you feel that you should be doing. Just the thought that you cannot do these things can be extremely stressful. If you are honest with everyone involved, however, you can help to make the situation more palatable. Let everyone know that you love them and want to do as much for then as possible, but also that you have limitations. This can help to prevent disappointment and improve the quality and value of the time that you have with them.
  • Hire help. Simply because you have agreed to become a caregiver for your elderly parent does not mean that they always have to come first when it comes to dividing your time. Sometimes you may need to choose being with your children over being in the home with your parent. This does not mean that they do not receive care, however. Hiring an elder care provider can mean that you get more flexibility with your time while also feeling confident that they are in good hands. Being with an elderly home care services provider will give your parent more peace of mind and freedom to live the lifestyle that they desire without always feeling like they have to rely on you.

If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Bellevue, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Greater Omaha at (402)-215-0308 today.

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5 Caregiving Tasks that Home Care Providers Can Help With

shsgreateromaha 05 Jul 2016

Home Care in Omaha

Some family caregivers are reluctant to hire outside assistance because they just don’t see how elderly care providers can really help their elderly loved ones. These are just a few of the ways that these caring experts can assist your loved one.

Getting Your Loved One In and Out of Bed or Chairs 

Home Care in OmahaDepending on your loved one’s health conditions, getting into or out of chairs, beds, or other situations may be very difficult for her. Your loved one’s care providers can help with transferring her from one location to another safely and without injuring themselves in the process. This is especially helpful if you aren’t able to help with this yourself.

Helping Your Loved One with Personal Care 

You may not be there during the day with your loved one or she may simply find it too embarrassing to have your help with personal care. Getting dressed, bathing, and toileting can be too intimate for some elderly loved ones to have a family caregiver helping them. In that situation, home care providers can step in and handle the task.

Feeding Your Elderly Loved One 

Your loved one may need help actually eating her meals or she may only need help ensuring that she has nutritious meals ready to eat at any given point in the day.

Regardless, senior care providers can help with all aspects of meal time, from preparation to actually eating the meal.

Helping Your Loved One Run Errands 

In some cases, your loved one doesn’t need as much help getting around in the house, it’s more getting around away from home that’s the problem. When family caregivers work, it’s difficult to be there whenever your loved one needs to go somewhere. Home care providers can be there for your loved one and drive, making sure that your loved one gets there and home safely.

Helping Your Loved One with Housework 

Maybe all your loved one needs is a little extra help keeping her home as neat and tidy as she always has. Care providers can help out by handling the tasks that are just outside what your loved one is able to do for herself, ensuring that her home is safe and clean and that she doesn’t injure herself.

Care providers can help in countless other ways, too. If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Omaha, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Greater Omaha today.

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