Archive for November, 2016

6 Thanksgiving Activities for Those Who Have Dementia…

November 21st, 2016 No Comments

6 Ways to Help Make Thanksgiving More Enjoyable for Those Who Have Memory Issues

Thanksgiving week is upon us! If you’re a family member in New Jersey who provides elder care (or elsewhere!) of someone who has Alzheimer’s disease or other form of dementia, these tips can help them become more involved in the family activities.

  • 1. Make the guest list small. The more people talking may make the person feel agitated.
  • 2. Give the person small tasks, such as folding napkins or stirring ingredients. Be sure to make sure their abilities match the task. Don’t criticize if it’s not perfect.
  • 3. Reminisce about the old days, but try not to ask them if they remember a certain event. Instead, say, “we all had a great time when Grandma did such and such that year.” This will help encourage their own memories.
  • 4. Look through old photos after dinner. This will spark their memories and encourage discussion.
  • 5. Bring up topics or old memories that will make the person laugh. Laughter always makes people feel good!
  • 6. Play music they love during meal preparation and throughout dinner. This will help stimulate memories and help them feel comfortable.

Photo: MorgueFile by taliesin

5 Alzheimer’s Holiday Survival Tips for Seniors and Their Family Caregivers

November 17th, 2016 No Comments

at-home-caregiving-alzheimers-disease-visiting-angels-new-jersey

New Jersey Memory Care Assistance

Many families start the holiday season by giving thanks, sharing laughter, and creating joyous memories. But for those who have Alzheimer’s disease, and for family members who care for them, these holiday sentiments may not be as effortless. For families who have loved ones battling Alzheimer’s disease, the holiday season can be a bittersweet time, often filled with frustration and stress. Holiday travel and festivities can easily agitate, confuse, and overwhelm people who have Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Meanwhile, both professional and family caregivers can feel overwhelmed, anxious, frustrated, and often lonely during the holiday season, which can lead to stress and depression.

If your loved ones are in the early stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia, family and friends might not notice any changes in their behavior. However, if the disease has progressed into the middle or later stages, it can become more difficult to entertain guests or plan meaningful family activities around the limitations caused by Alzheimer’s disease.

In recognition of both National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and Family Caregiver’s Month, Visiting Angels offers these 5 holiday survival tips for both caregivers of—and for—seniors who have Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of memory loss.

Holiday Survival Tips

1.) Avoid holiday stress by planning ahead. The stress of the holiday season, coupled with caregiving responsibilities, can take a toll. People who typically experience holiday stress are those that give little thought to the challenges they’ll encounter. Consider planning ahead for what may be expected of you, both socially and emotionally. Talk with family and close friends about holiday celebrations in advance. Whether you’re hosting or visiting during the holidays plan to stay on a regular routine.

2.) Prepare your loved one who has Alzheimer’s for family festivities. Preparing your loved one for upcoming family gatherings can allow both of you to share a memory and enjoy the warmth of the season. Be sure to play familiar holiday music, talk about past holidays, and share photos of relatives and friends past and present. This will help encourage good thoughts and memories. Have a plan in place if your loved one starts getting agitated—too many people and loud conversations can cause anxiety.

3.) Communicate successfully during the holidays. Allow your loved one who has Alzheimer’s to be a part of the conversation. Alzheimer’s disease can diminish a person’s ability to communicate, so encourage family members to remain calm and supportive when a loved one has trouble speaking.

4.) Consult a doctor before traveling with a person who has Alzheimer’s. Traveling during the holidays can be overwhelming and stressful for even the healthiest person. But caregivers shouldn’t rule out travel altogether. Consult with your loved one’s doctor about things you can do to help them through the travel process before booking a flight and packing your bags.

5.) Don’t make too many holiday commitments. As a family caregiver, you already face many challenges in order to balance daily life demands and attempt to adhere to a schedule. Be sure not to lose sight of this when planning for the holidays. For example, if you plan to host a holiday dinner, consider inviting fewer people, or ask another relative or friend to host the event this year.

For families and caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s, who need an extra source of support and information can call the Alzheimer Association 24/7 Helpline at 1-800-272-3900.

If you have a parent or other loved one who is battling the stages of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and could use additional care in the comfort of their home, contact Visiting Angels. We offer professional, individualized, home care senior living assistance to adults and seniors throughout Mercer and Burlington Counties, New Jersey.

For additional Alzheimer’s care tips, check out our blog post: “Alzheimer’s Memory Care: 6 Tips to Help.”

Visiting Angels NJ thanks our special home care “Angels” this week (and always)!

November 16th, 2016 No Comments

Home Care Aide Week November 13-19

At our Central New Jersey Visiting Angels, we’re partial to our particular home care aides, also known as our “Angels.” We take pride in choosing only the best of the best CHHAs and CNAs in NJ. While we’re sure our home care aides are the best, our clients agree, too. Just take a look at the many home health care testimonials they’ve happily provided! Home health care aides are so important in our clients’ lives. Not only are they a valuable help to those who need extra help and care, they’re also friendly faces for our clients, many of whom are lonely and may feel depressed. These aides help brighten their days!

We’re thankful for our aides who impact clients’ lives daily in such a positive way!

Visiting Angels was voted #1 Best Place to Work by Caregivers Nationwide. Apply with us today and learn why!

Healthy Aging Tips for Those Who Have Diabetes

November 15th, 2016 No Comments

Living with diabetes Visitng Angels Mecer County, New Jersey

November is American Diabetes Month

Did you know that one-in-four people over the age of 60 have diabetes? According to the American Diabetes Association, 11.2-million Americans age 65 or older are living with diabetes. Though the initial diagnosis can be overwhelming, those with diabetes learn how to manage their condition by taking gradual steps and adjusting to the condition over time. As loved ones and caregivers, we want to be supportive and help them continue to enjoy the healthiest life possible.  This November for American Diabetes Month, Visiting Angels offers a few tips to help you avoid or delay complications that will keep you from a long, happy, and active life.

Diabetes is a common disease that comes in two forms, type I and type II. As we get older, our risk to develop type II diabetes increases. Even though there’s no cure for the disease, both types can be managed over time with the guidance of a healthcare professional.  There are 1.7-million Americans who are diagnosed each year with diabetes, both young and old. In general, diabetes is a metabolic disease in which a person has a high glucose level (blood sugar), either because there is inadequate production of insulin in the body, because cells in the body are failing to respond properly to the insulin being produced, or both.  Taking control of the disease requires making lifestyle changes from the foods you eat to the type of workouts you complete.

There’s an increase rate for older adults with diabetes to experience complications or disabilities compared to their healthy, non-diabetic counterparts. For instance hospitalization rates for heart attacks were 1.8 times higher among adults with diabetes than those without.  People with diabetes can face complications of kidney disease, stroke, heart disease and visual impairment.

8 ways to manage your diabetes to avoid the risk of complications:

1. Get a diabetic care team, including doctors, nurses, supportive family members, and friends.

2. Follow healthy eating habits. Choose the right foods, the appropriate amount and at appropriate times.

3. Get active and stay active.

4. If advised by your doctor, check your blood glucose.

5. Take your medication as prescribed by your doctor.

6. Stay educated. Learn all that you can about diabetes.

7. Go to your doctor’s appointments.

8. If you are a smoker, quit smoking.

Seniors living with diabetes can face even more challenges in their day-to-day activities as they get older such as: standing, cooking, getting dressed, shopping, managing money, and using the bathroom. When diabetic seniors start to lose independence and have difficulty completing everyday tasks, family members are advised to  additional care.

Visiting Angels offers the senior care that you or your loved one needs if you are battling diabetes and need assistance coping with day-to-day tasks. Diabetes is not a disease you take on by yourself, and the good news is that you don’t have to. Our professional, caring Angels come will help you remain independent in your home so that you are able to age gracefully while living a happy, healthy life.

If your family member or someone close to you has been diagnosed with diabetes and has been struggling to retain their independence, and could use extra assistance while remaining in the comfort of home, contact Visiting Angels today. We offer professional, individualized, in-home care to adults and seniors in Mercer & Burlington Counties, New Jersey. For additional diabetic tips, check out our blog post: “6 Mistakes People with Diabetes Can Make with Their Feet.”

Honoring Veterans on Veterans Day

November 11th, 2016 No Comments

Veterans Day Salute

Veterans Day Salute

We’re so grateful to all veterans, past and present, who have bravely served our country!

At Visiting Angels, we’re honored to provide care services for many veterans clients throughout the Mercer and Burlington county areas. Many of these veterans–or their widowed spouses–are participants in our special Veterans Program in which we provide care to veterans with no out-of-pocket costs. These veterans receive the Aid and Attendance benefit from the Department of Veterans Affairs, but with our program, we begin service BEFORE the government approves their application, which can take 6 months or longer. Read our Veterans Program page for more details.

Thank you, veterans!

Visiting Angels reminds you to set your clocks back…

November 5th, 2016 No Comments

Daylight saving time endsDaylight Saving Time ends Sunday, November 6

It’s that time of year again in New Jersey and throughout the country…time to turn the clocks back an hour on Saturday night. What does this mean for those seniors who may suffer from Alzheimer’s or other dementia? With the shorter hours of daylight, your loved one may experience more intense bouts of sundown syndrome, which is confusion and agitation occurring around the time the sun starts to set. To help minimize the sun-downing effects, try to keep them from taking naps during the day, and make sure they get lots of daylight throughout the day.

November issue of Home Care News by Angels

November 2nd, 2016 No Comments

November newsletter Visiting Angels

November Issue of Home Care News by Angels

Don’t miss the November issue! In this issue, you’ll find:

Read the November issue today!