Bone Density: How Do You Address It With Your Parents?

Caregiver Westminster, MD: Bone Density
Caregiver Westminster, MD: Bone Density

Bone density testing is important for older men and women, yet some have never have it done. Have you talked to your parents and their doctor about scheduling the quick and easy test? Here are the best ways to address the importance of this test and what they need to do to keep their bones strong. 
 
Why Is Bone Density Important? 
 
As you age, your bones can become more brittle. They don’t have to, but aging can lead to minerals like calcium and phosphate being reabsorbed into other areas of the body. If that happens, the bones lose some density and become more likely to break during a fall. 
 
A bone density test, known as a DEXA (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry) test, can check the density of the bones in the body. If the bone density is lessening, measures can be taken to keep osteoporosis from happening. 
 
A bone density test is highly recommended in women after the age of 65, men over the age of 70, and anyone who breaks a bone after the age of 50. If there’s a family history of osteoporosis, the screening test may be recommended earlier. 
 
Make sure your parents know that a bone fracture is painful. It can also require them to go through a lot of physical therapy and medical appointments to make sure everything is healing properly. Some fractures require surgery. 
 
To lower the risk of a bone fracture, this test can help determine if calcium supplements or a high-calcium diet are needed. Prescription medications may be necessary if osteoporosis is present. 
 
How Does the Test Work? 
 
When you’re talking to your parents about the importance of a bone density test, make sure they understand how the test works. It’s just an x-ray. They lay on a flat surface and the machine takes images of areas like their hips and spines. They may have a screening test that’s even quicker and takes an x-ray or ultrasound of their arm, finger, heel, or wrist. 
 
There are no needles or invasive measures used during a bone density screening. If they worry about the test hurting, they don’t need to. 
 
When you work full-time, it can be hard to find time to accompany them to their medical appointments. If they can’t drive anymore, they may put off seeing a doctor because it’s hard to get there. Caregivers can drive them. Caregivers can also make sure they’re eating the right foods and prepare meals that provide the vitamin D and calcium that they need. 

If you or an aging loved-one is considering a Caregiver in Westminster, MD please contact the caring staff at Just Divine Home Care Agency today at (301) 219-1585. 

Five Tips for Finding a Great Elderly Care Agency for Your Parents

Elderly Care North Potomac, MD: Finding a Great Care Agency
Elderly Care North Potomac, MD: Finding a Great Care Agency

Elderly care is one of the best ways for your parents to remain independent. When you’ve had no experience finding and hiring these services, it can be hard knowing what to do. Here are some of the things you need to look at when finding the right elderly care services. 

What Services Are Needed Immediately? What if Their Needs Change? 

Start by sitting down with your parents and any close family members or friends who spend a lot of time at your parents’ home. What do people see as the challenges your parents face? Write them down. 

When you have a list of the areas where your parents need help, go through the elderly care services that will help them. If your mom fell getting out of the shower and doesn’t feel confident in the bathroom, she could have a caregiver available to hand her a towel or terry robe and assist her as she steps out of the shower to a bath mat.  

Your dad might live alone and struggle with meals and snacks. Caregivers can come to his home and cook them for him. He might need someone to drive him to stores and medical offices. 

As you start calling agencies, ask about the caregivers and their specialties. If you have a caregiver who can cook but doesn’t love it, you might want to keep searching for a caregiver who is passionate about cooking. 

What Training and Background Checks Take Place? 

When you call an elderly care specialist, ask about the training and background checks. Most will do them when they hire new employees, but some don’t do drug tests and background checks randomly throughout the year.  

Training is another factor to consider. Some have training programs all caregivers go through prior to starting full-time. Others have apprenticeship-style programs. You might find that level of training is a better match for your parents. 

How Do Introductions Take Place? 

Ask the elderly care agency’s specialist about introductory meetings. Can you meet different caregivers in advance? Can your parents ask questions and get a feel for the caregivers that they feel had a stronger connection with them? 

Can You Be Present in the First Few Days? 

In the first few days, can you be at your parents’ house? You don’t want to hover or interfere in the care your parents get, but it may make them feel safer during the initial days knowing that you’re working in another room.  

What Happens if a Caregiver Can’t Show Up as Scheduled? 

The final way to finalize your decision on elderly care aides is by asking what happens if that caregiver is sick or unable to start his/her car. Is a replacement sent immediately or will you have to call in and take a personal day? Will your parents be matched with a caregiver that they connected with or the first available? The answer to that may influence their final decision on which elderly care agency is best. 

If you or an aging loved-one is considering Elderly Care in North Potomac, MD please contact the caring staff at Just Divine Home Care Agency today at (301) 219-1585. 

Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease

Elder Care Bowie, MD: Alzheimer's Disease
Elder Care Bowie, MD: Alzheimer’s Disease

When an older family member receives a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, family caregivers may feel overwhelmed and uncertain of what the future will hold. One way to gain some control of the situation an ensure your loved one receives the best care possible is to learn as much as you can about the disease.  

An Overview of Alzheimer’s Disease 

Alzheimer’s disease is a kind of progressive dementia. Over time, the disease destroys a person’s memory, cognitive skills, and ability to do even the simplest of everyday tasks. Most people begin to have symptoms in their mid-60s. However, some people are stricken by early-onset Alzheimer’s, which can occur as early as a person’s 30s.  

The brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease develop plaques and tangles that are not normal for a healthy brain. Nerves in the brain lose their connections, which impacts their ability to send messages to other parts of the brain and the body.  

Damage to the brain usually starts in the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain that controls memory. The damage spreads as the disease progresses, affecting other parts of the brain and causing tissues in the brain to shrink.  

The life expectancy for people with dementia varies widely. Some people live only about 4 years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. However, people who are diagnosed at a younger age often live longer, sometimes 10 years or more.  

According to the National Institute on Aging, Alzheimer’s disease is currently listed as the sixth most common cause of death in the United States. However, more recent information indicates it might actually be third for older adults. 

What Elder Care Can Do to Help 

One thing that is important for families affected by Alzheimer’s to know is that they are not alone. Approximately 5.5 million people in the United States have the disease. Though that is a grim statistic, it also means that there is a great deal of support available to those who seek it out.  

One way to get your older family member the help they need is by contacting an elder care agency. Elder care agencies send qualified and fully vetted providers to the senior’s home to offer non-medical assistance. Elder care providers can keep the older adult safe, even in the late stages of the disease when judgement is severely affected. Elder care providers can also offer emotional support and comfort as well as activities that prevent boredom and frustration. In addition, they can help with basic care, including bathing, dressing, eating, and toileting.

If you or an aging loved-one is considering Elder Care in Bowie, MD please contact the caring staff at Just Divine Home Care Agency today at (301) 219-1585. 

Sources 

https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/what-is-alzheimers

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-alzheimers-disease

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alzheimers-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20350447

Senior Care Services You Didn’t Know Existed

Senior Care Westminster, MD: Additional Senior Care Services
Senior Care Westminster, MD: Additional Senior Care Services

Senior care services help your parents age at home. Services like housekeeping, meal preparation, and help with personal care are expected. There are other components of senior care that you may not realize exist. 
 
Breaks 
 
How often do you take breaks from family caregiving? You should take breaks each week. If you feel like a daily break would be better, arrange to have senior care stopping by throughout the week. 
 
While caregivers are helping out, you can go for a walk, get dinner, or take a bubble bath. You could take a nap, chat with friends, or run errands. Breaks are also important as it’s the best way to go to your yearly medical appointments without having to drag your parent along. 
 
Chaperone Services 
 
If you’re at work, you may not want to use vacation days to bring your parents to the dentist. If you’re a family caregiver to both parents, that’s four yearly dental visits. You also need to take time off for doctor’s appointments. It can become a hassle to keep taking off personal days or vacation time. 
 
Limit the amount of time you take off by arranging to have your parents go to their appointments with a chaperone. Senior care services can arrange to have caregivers bring your parents to and from appointments and keep you updated with anything the doctor recommends. 
 
Companionship 
 
If your parents hate being alone all week, caregivers can come provide companionship. They can stop by to chat with your parents, play games, or watch a favorite movie or TV show. 
 
Help With Hobbies 
 
Your parents may have hobbies they love but can’t do without help. Your mom likes needlepoint, but she can’t thread the needle. Your dad likes gardening, but he needs someone to carry the tools and support him while he walks around the yard. 
 
Caregivers can help with hobbies. If your parents simply need help reading instructions, caregivers can do it. If they need help purchasing supplies, caregivers can take them to the store and carry the bags. 
 
Recreation 
 
Your parents may not want to stay at home all the time. They may want to go to a nature park to walk along the river or watch birds. They may want to go on a picnic at the beach and listen to the waves. They also may be afraid to do this alone. 
 
Caregivers can join them on these outings. They’ll have the help they need when they’re enjoying a recreational activity. 
 
It’s very easy to arrange senior care for your parents. Call an agency, answer some questions, and decide what services best match their needs. You’ll learn more about prices and schedules when you make this call. 

If you or an aging loved-one is considering Senior Care in Westminster, MD please contact the caring staff at Just Divine Home Care Agency today at (301) 219-1585. 

Has Your Dad Gone for These Tests Yet?

Home Care Gaithersburg, MD: Men's Health Month
Home Care Gaithersburg, MD: Men’s Health Month

It’s Men’s Health Month. Now is a good time to encourage your dad to see his doctor. If he hasn’t been in a while, he’s not alone. A survey of men found that 72 percent said they’d rather clean a toilet than go to the doctor, and 50 percent said they haven’t been to the doctor in years. 
 
If your dad hasn’t been in years, he needs to go. Anxiety isn’t uncommon. Start small and work from there. Talk to the doctor’s office about his anxiety and work in small steps. What’s important is that he goes for these important tests. 
 
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm 
 
Not every man should be screened for abdominal aortic aneurysm, but if your dad was a smoker, it’s recommended. It’s a pain-free procedure involving an ultrasound of the heart and abdomen. 
 
Blood Pressure 
 
Your dad can check his blood pressure at home. He can also use machines found at pharmacies and stores. He does need to have his blood pressure taken in a doctor’s office, too. If it is high, diet and exercise may be all that’s needed to lower it. 
 
Bone Density 
 
While osteoporosis is more common in women, older men also need to have their bone density checked. It’s an x-ray test that your dad won’t feel. If his bones are weaker than they should be, medications and diet can help strengthen them. 
 
Cholesterol 
 
Cholesterol screenings are a simple blood test. It should be performed every few years. Your dad’s doctor may want the screening done more often, but it may depend on what your dad’s insurance company allows. 
 
Colorectal Cancer Screening 
 
Colorectal cancer screenings are recommended when you turn 50. If polyps or cancer is found, the screening will need to be repeated more often. Otherwise, the general recommendation is every 5 to 10 years, depending on the type of test performed. 
 
Hepatitis C 
 
Screening for hepatitis C used to be recommended only for certain people. Older adults born between 1945 and 1965 were on that list. The CDC now recommends that all adults get screened once for hepatitis C. 
 
Prostate 
 
There are two ways the prostate is screened for problems. The first is an exam of the rectum to check the wall of the prostate for abnormalities. A less invasive option is a PSA blood test that looks for prostate-specific antigen levels. 
 
If your dad is diagnosed with a chronic health condition, what happens next? He may benefit from having home care aides helping him with medication reminders, transportation to medical specialists for treatments and surgeries, and assistance at home with housekeeping and meals. Call a home care agency to make arrangements. 

If you or an aging loved-one is considering home care in Gaithersburg, MD please contact the caring staff at Just Divine Home Care Agency today at (301) 219-1585. 

Sources: 

https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2019/survey-men-avoiding-doctors.html

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/rr/rr6902a1.htm