Tips to Reduce Higher Cholesterol Levels

Senior Care Frederick, MD: Higher Cholesterol Levels
Senior Care Frederick, MD: Higher Cholesterol Levels

Has your elderly loved one been told that they have high cholesterol levels? Even if they are only slightly higher than they should be, it is important for your elderly loved one to get this under control sooner rather than later. There are many tips that can help your elderly loved one to reduce their cholesterol levels. Keep reading to find out which tips to share with your elderly loved one today. 

Having a Better Diet 

If your elderly loved one has higher cholesterol levels, one of the first things they should do is to change their diet. Having a better diet is a great first step in lowering high cholesterol levels. Your elderly loved one might need help from you or their senior care providers to stick to a better diet. They may need reminders to eat vegetables and fruits daily. You may also need to remind them to add more omega-3 fatty acids to their diet. If needed, you or a senior care provider may even need to go get healthy groceries for your elderly loved one.  

Move It 

Your elderly loved one should also implement an exercise plan into their lifestyle. Exercising and moving around more can help them to lose weight. Research shows there is a connection between those who are overweight and having higher cholesterol levels. Your elderly loved one doesn’t have to do insane exercises. As long as they are implementing some sort of physical activity into their daily routines, that would be a great start.  

Quit Smoking 

Is your elderly loved one a smoker? How long have they been smoking? If they have been smoking for many years, this could be impacting their cholesterol levels. Research shows that smoking does more than just cause lung cancer. It also reduces good cholesterol levels and raises bad cholesterol levels. As soon as your elderly loved one quits smoking, their good cholesterol levels will begin rising. After they quit smoking for 1 year, their heart disease risk will be cut in half.  

Conclusion 

Has your elderly loved one been told that they have higher cholesterol levels? If so, then it is important for them to start doing something about it today. The longer they wait, the higher their risk of heart disease or heart failure will be. However, with these tips, you and senior care providers can help your elderly loved one to start getting their cholesterol levels back to a healthy level.  

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

Sources 

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/reduce-cholesterol/art-20045935

The Connection Between Hearing Loss and Cognition

Home Care Olney, MD: Hearing Loss and Cognition
Home Care Olney, MD: Hearing Loss and Cognition

Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions in the United States, affecting 1 in 2 adults over age 75, and 1 in 3 adults between the ages of 65-74. Hearing loss has long been known to impact communication, relationships and quality of life for those affected by it. Scientists are now realizing that there is a significant connection between hearing loss and cognitive health as well. 

Hearing Loss is Tied to Memory Loss and Dementia   

A 2011 study found that older adults with hearing loss were more likely to develop dementia than those with normal hearing, and in fact, the degree of hearing loss correlated with the risk. Those with mild hearing loss were two times more likely to develop dementia, those with moderate hearing loss were three times more likely, and those with severe hearing loss were five times more likely to develop dementia.  

A 2013 study found that memory and concentration declined faster in seniors with hearing loss than in those without. Scientists are not sure why this correlation exists, and they aren’t sure that hearing loss is actually the exact cause of the cognitive decline. For example, people with hearing loss are less likely to engage in social situations, which is known to improve and maintain cognitive function. Scientists are continuing to study the relationship between hearing and cognitive loss, to see what, if anything, can be done to prevent it. 

Can Treating Hearing Loss Slow or Stop Dementia? 

The National Institute of Aging recently funded a clinical study to investigate whether correcting hearing loss can impact the development of dementia or cognitive decline. This study will follow 850 adults without dementia, aged 70-84, over the course of three years, collecting key data about hearing and cognitive health throughout this period. They are hopeful that this will give them more insight and data to clarify whether treating hearing loss can reduce its impact on cognition. 

Home Care can Help with Hearing Loss and Dementia 

Home care services can help with hearing aid care in a number of ways. Home care can assist with transportation to audiology appointments, or for hearing aid maintenance, for example. Home care aides can help seniors take out hearing aids at night, put them in each morning, and change batteries when needed. Home care aides can also provide valuable companionship to hearing impaired individuals, who may be feeling isolated due to hearing loss. Home care assistance with shopping or errands may help those with severe hearing loss, who find it exhausting to interact with members of the public. 

Home care is also a good resource for people who have dementia, offering everything from companionship and activity engagement, to meal reminders, to help with shopping, housework and personal care. Home care can help seniors with dementia walk, garden or get regular exercise, which helps their physical and mental health, and promotes good sleep. 

Home care services are completely customizable, based on the needs and preferences of each individual senior. Home care can help seniors with hearing loss or dementia live their highest quality of life in the comfort of their own home. 

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

Sources 

https://www.nia.nih.gov/news/whats-connection-between-hearing-and-cognitive-health

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4811604/ 

What Seniors Should Know About Swollen Legs

Elderly Care Olney, MD: Swollen Legs
Elderly Care Olney, MD: Swollen Legs

What Causes Swollen Legs? 

Swollen in the legs is known as edema. Edema occurs when fluid builds up in the feet and legs. It leaks out from small blood vessels into the surrounding tissues. Gravity pulls this fluid downward, and sometimes the body isn’t able to process it. This can be due to the heart, liver or kidneys not working as well as they should. Certain medications, eating salty foods, and standing or sitting still with feet on the floor can make it worse. 

What’s the Problem with Swollen Legs? 

Besides being downright uncomfortable, edema can restrict your range of motion, making it more difficult to walk. Edema stretches the skin, which can cause discomfort, itching and a higher risk for infection or skin ulcers. 

What can Seniors do About Swollen Legs? 

There are different causes of edema, and it’s important to know which is causing yours to know how to treat it. For example, limiting salt in your diet, or wearing compression hose, may or may not be a good idea. 

Talk to the Doc 

If you notice that your legs are swollen, be sure to bring it to your doctor’s attention – especially if you gently push on the swollen area for 15 seconds and a pit remains. The doctor may prescribe medications to reduce the swelling. These medications may increase urination and the risk of dehydration. 

Be sure to notify the doctor right away of any breathing difficulties or chest pain, which can indicate there is fluid building up in the lungs as well.  

Put Your Feet up 

Elevate your feet on a footstool or recliner throughout the day (higher than heart level, ideally) to give them a break from the gravity.  

Get Moving 

Staying active can help your body pump the fluid back to where it belongs. Talk to the doctor about exercises that may help your body specifically. 

Compression Stockings 

Compression hose are often recommended to help prevent fluid from collecting in the feet and ankles. 

How can Elderly Care Help Seniors with Swollen Legs? 

Help with Those Tight Stockings 

Even seniors who can dress themselves may find that putting tight compression hose on or taking them off can be a monumental challenge – especially if there is any arthritis in the hands. Elderly care aides can assist with this task. Many seniors pair this service with a daily foot check, to ensure any potential skin problems are noted and stopped before they become a major concern. 

Daily Foot Care and Check 

Essential for healing, good circulation is usually lacking in swollen feet, putting them at serious risk for injuries. An ingrown toenail, a tiny skin tear from a stubbed toe, or a blister from rubbing against shoes (which is especially easy to do with swollen feet) can fail to heal. Sores like these can become a large, serious wound in a surprisingly short amount of time. This is especially dangerous for diabetics, people with nerve damage, or those who have lost feeling in their feet. Each day, gently wash, thoroughly dry and visually inspect the feet. This is a challenge for many seniors due to impaired vision or flexibility, so elderly care aides can really come in handy. 

Walks and Exercise Encouragement 

Regular walking and exercises as prescribed by the doctor or physical therapist can be effective tools for promoting circulation. Elder care aides can help seniors accomplish these tasks safety. 

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

Sources 

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/edema/symptoms-causes/syc-20366493

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/edema/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20366532

Four Steps to Take Immediately if You Think Your Senior Wandered Off

Caregiver Frederick, MD: Seniors and Wandering
Caregiver Frederick, MD: Seniors and Wandering

That moment when you realize your senior isn’t where you thought she was can be absolutely terrifying. Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease can cause your elderly family member to begin wandering away. What do you do when that happens? 

Start Searching as Soon as You Notice Her Gone 

Do a fast sweep of the house or at least the areas in the house you know your senior spends time in the most. Check exterior doors as you pass them, because if your elderly family member left via one of those exits, you might see something that clues you in. Make sure you’ve got your phone with you and call 911 as you search the yard and scan the street outside. The police department can help you to set up a Silver Alert, so that more people will be on the lookout for your senior. 

Ask People You See if They’ve Seen Your Senior 

Pick a direction that seems most likely for your senior to have taken and ask anyone you see if they’ve seen your senior. It helps if you have recent pictures, especially on your phone. This reduces the need to describe your senior repeatedly to people. If she is wearing anything distinctive, make sure you mention it. Odds are very good that your elderly family member may not have gotten very far, especially if you noticed quickly that she had left. 

Let Neighbors Know You’re Looking 

If you’re on a speaking basis with neighbors near your elderly family member’s home, call them and ask if they’ve seen your elderly family member. It’s possible they could have noticed something that didn’t seem important at the time, but that can help you now. You might even find your senior in a neighbor’s yard, exploring gardens or outside seating areas. Also, if the neighbors know you’re looking for your senior, they can pitch in and help. 

Check Favorite Hangouts, if Possible 

Are there places nearby that your senior enjoys hanging out? If there’s a park in the neighborhood or something similar, she might have headed that way. Some of her favorite places might be farther away, though, and as long as she’s on foot, you may have to guess where she headed. This is why getting emergency assistance first can be helpful. 

If your senior is starting to wander more often, it might be a good idea to find some solutions. Bringing in a caregiver with experience helping people with dementia can be a solid answer. 

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

Mindful Eating for Weight Management

Senior Care Bethesda, MD: Weight Management
Senior Care Bethesda, MD: Weight Management

Adult children of people over 65 may worry about their parents’ nutrition. Hospitalizations and chronic illness may make a parent fragile and too thin. But many seniors have the opposite problem. They take in too many calories and are either obese or at risk for obesity.  

Obesity occurs when the body is carrying too much fat in proportion to height, muscle tone, and skeleton size. In the last decade, the Centers for Disease Control reported that more than one third of adults, ages 65-74 were obese.  

The mechanisms of overeating 

In general, people overeat because they don’t feel full after a small meal. So it pays to know what makes us feel full. It starts with the vagus nerve that connects to the stomach to the brain. When food fills the stomach, the stomach walls expand. This triggers the vagus nerve to tell the brain that the stomach is full now.  

But the vagus nerve works with other mechanisms that also tell us when to stop. When recently consumed food reaches the intestines, fullness hormones are released. This, again, tells the brain, “we’re satisfied now.” But, there can be a lag between eating and experiencing that sensation of satisfaction. The brain needs time to catch up. That’s why people overeat. They don’t give their brains time to send the fullness signal.  

But the brain sends out another line of inquiry to our pleasure sensors, asking, “Did you enjoy that meal?” If the answer is “no,” compulsive eating can occur. Often, people don’t enjoy eating because they are on social media or watching television instead of savoring their food.  

What does mindful eating look like? 

Mindful eating is what it sounds like it is: paying attention to your food and excluding all other distractions. But Americans are so used to eating on the run and multitasking with food that we may need some pointers for slowing down. Here are some things that Harvard Medical School recommends for guaranteeing a slow meal: 

  • Set the stage for a meal. Use the dining room or set a really nice table in the kitchen, with a cloth napkin, flatware, and maybe use the good china.  
  • Turn off the television, close the laptop, and put your phone somewhere that you won’t be tempted to pick it up while dining. 
  • If the phone rings, let it go to voicemail. 
  • Set a timer to make sure that you take at least twenty minutes to eat. 
  • Chew each bite thirty seconds. 
  • Put down your fork between bites.  
  • Savor every bite. Think about your food rather than planning the rest of your day or reminiscing about last night’s television round up.  

Senior care can help 

If your parent is obese or at risk for obesity, mindful eating may help her lose weight. Senior care professionals, who come to the homes of aging adults and help them with basic chores, can provide some gentle encouragement, if your senior chooses to try mindful eating. Your senior care pro can help your parents set the table, provide companionship at meal time, and help them achieve their weight loss goals.  

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

Sources 

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db106.htm#:~:text=About%2035%25%20of%20adults%20aged,and%20women%20(Figure%201).

https://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2018/02/12/eating-slowly-and-mindfully-may-help-with-weight-loss-study-finds/?sh=4edb198f5f41

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/slow-downand-try-mindful-eating