Archive for April, 2012

April is National Humor Month–why laughter is good medicine…

April 26th, 2012 No Comments

If you’re a family caregiver, you know that providing elder care for your loved one can be challenging and stressful at times. Why not add a little humor to your day? April has been named National Humor Month since humorist Larry Wilde first founded it in 1976. He knew how laughter provides numerous health benefits.

Some of the benefits of laughter:

  • Stress-reducer: laughing reduces cortisol levels, which is a hormone produced by stress
  • Immune system-builder: laughter produces infection-fighting antibodies
  • Heart-helper: blood flow increases when laughing, helping prevent cardiovascular issues
  • Body-relaxer: a good laugh can reduce muscle and physical tension for almost an hour
  • Pain-reducer: pain-killing hormones are released when we laugh

Laughing is fun and contagious, too–make it your mission to make a senior laugh today! 😀

Are you familiar with “Universal Design”?

April 25th, 2012 No Comments

Practically everyone wants to “age-in-place”–stay in their own home as they grow older. Universal design allows people to live in a home that everyone–regardless of their age or physical abilities–can live in safe and comfortably. Universal Design features items in a home are not only attractive but are also practical in assisting all residents, not just those who need elder care NJ, within the home.

Examples of Essentials in Universal Design:

  • Entries with no steps: This allows walkers, wheelchairs, and those with arthritic knees to enter with ease.
  • Single floor living space: Bedroom, kitchen and full bathroom on the first floor.
  • Wide doorways and hallways: Doors should be at least 36″ wide, allowing large furniture, appliances, and wheelchairs/walkers through. Hallways should be 42″ wide.
  • Light switches and controls within reach: Switches should be between 42-48″ off the floor so that anyone can reach them. Electrical outlets should be 18-24″ off the floor.
  • Easy switches and handles: Rocker light switches, lever faucets, and lever door handles are easier to use.

Other design features:

  • Raised washers, dryers and dishwashers
  • Shower stalls with built-in benches
  • Raised toilets
  • Multi-level kitchen countertops
  • Easy-to-open windows
  • Slip-proof showers, tubs, and floors
  • Side-by-side refrigerator/freezers

Farewell, Dick Clark…

April 19th, 2012 No Comments

Today the U.S. is celebrating the life of Dick Clark, who died yesterday at the age of 82. Dubbed the “World’s Oldest Teenager” thanks to his youthful looks, Clark had an illustrious career. Many boomers will remember him most for “American Bandstand,” “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin Eve,” and the “$25,000 Pyramid” game show. Clark died of a massive heart attack. He had a stroke in 2004 which required elder care and had also suffered with type 2 diabetes. We’ll miss you, Dick Clark!

Tips to help ease arthritis pain…

April 18th, 2012 2 Comments

Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout are common types of arthritis in older people. Warning signs include ongoing joint pain, swelling and stiffness of joints, pain when touching the joint, challenges when moving the joint, and experiencing redness in a joint. As one who is involved in NJ elder care, if you or your aging loved one experiences arthritis pain, these tips may help ease the discomfort:

  • Getting lots of rest
  • Exercising
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Taking medicines such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, and ketoprofen
  • Watching your weight
  • Applying heating pads, cold packs
  • Swimming in a warm pool
  • Soaking in a warm bath

It’s important to say: always check with your physician before trying any new treatment.

Ways to help reduce a dementia sufferer’s restlessness and anxiety…

April 17th, 2012 1 Comment

If you are actively involved with NJ elder care and your loved one has Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia, you are familiar with their tendency to become anxious or restless at times. Below are some tips to help calm them down.

  • Keep activities uncomplicated and simple–break down tasks one step at a time
  • Make plans to do something every day–taking a walk or doing household chores
  • Make sure there’s not a physical reason for their restlessness–are they in pain or do they need something to eat?
  • Have a routine–try to keep to a daily routine with meals, bathing, spending time outside, etc.
  • Unclutter the environment–turn down the TV and radio, remove clutter in the home, keep visitors down to a minimum
  • Offer reassurance–hold their hand, give the person a hug, tell the person you care about them, have a pet visit them
  • Get the doctor’s advice–the physician may know of medications which may help reduce anxiety
  • Stay calm–never argue with the person; keep your voice calm and even, speak in short, clear sentences

Need for home health aide positions expected to rise 70%

April 12th, 2012 No Comments

As baby boomers age, the need for home health aides will dramatically increase in the next several years (in NJ there are two types of state-licensed aides: Certified Nurses’ Aides, CNAs, and Certified Home Health Aides, CHHAs). These aides provide invaluable NJ senior care–helping older adults remain in their home, rather than moving to an assisted living facility or nursing facility. Aides help with personal care, hygiene assistance, housekeeping, reminding people to take their medications, taking care of pets, or simply providing companionship. AARP.com lists home health aides as one of the 9 jobs expected to increase—and a great field to enter if you are ready for a second career in NJ elder care (see http://aarp.us/IEnR1w).

Already a home health aide? Apply for home care employment positions online.

Talking to your aging parents about “the future”–a conversation you need to have…

April 10th, 2012 No Comments

If 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65 each day, it’s a fair assumption that many of them have parents who are now over 85 years of age. Since adults are living longer than in the past, the boomer generation, experts think, may care for its parents as long as it’s cared for its own children. Elder care New Jersey is inevitable.

As children of older parents, do you know where the deed to their house is? Who would they like to assign Power of Attorney? Do they have a living will? Is their home designed with considerations for aging bodies (handrails in the tub, easy-open door knobs, adequate lighting)? These questions–along with many more–are ones adult children need to ask in order to clarify needs and wishes. AARP.com has developed a list of 35 great questions (go to http://aarp.us/a20WVy to read more).

National Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month every April…

April 5th, 2012 No Comments

Each year in the U.S., approximately 60,000 people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disease which worsens over time–usually a period of many years. Unfortunately, the cause is isn’t known. Symptoms include tremors, stiff muscles, moving slowly, and balance issues.

 

Angel Home Care Newsletter…ready to read!

April 4th, 2012 No Comments

In our April issue of NJ senior care “Angel Home Care News”…

  • 5 tips on how you can avoid making allergy mistakes this season
  • Sensational senior gadgets
  • 5 simple health screenings
  • Senior humor
  • Spring salad recipe
  • And more!

Read our April issue.