Winter Blues Getting to Your Senior?

Senior Care Olney, MD: Winter Blues
Senior Care Olney, MD: Winter Blues

Winter blues, also known as seasonal affective disorder, can feel really heavy. That’s especially true if your senior lives alone and the weather and other factors are keeping her close to home pretty much all the time. There might be some little things your senior can try to help her to feel better more consistently. 

Try Tweaking Her Daily Routine 

It’s a good idea to look at your senior’s daily routine to see what’s working for her and what’s working against her. Is she sleeping well, for instance? If she’s going to bed too late and subsequently waking up later and later, that can be interfering with things like regular mealtimes, too. Finding ways to tweak her routine so that it supports good habits can be important. 

Talk to Her Doctor about Vitamin D 

Lots of folks find that during the winter months they get a lot less vitamin D than usual. That might be the case for your elderly family member, too. It’s a good idea to talk to her doctor about whether supplementation might be a good idea. Testing vitamin D levels involves a simple blood test, and that can be an easy way for your senior’s doctor to see exactly where her levels are. 

Help Her to Stay Connected with Other People 

Feeling disconnected from other people can make winter blues an awful lot bigger. Help your elderly family member to find ways to stay connected to the people that she cares about. Even if they live far away, trying new technology, like video calls, can be really helpful. Something else to consider is hiring senior care providers to drop in and spend some time with your senior. These new friends can go a long way toward helping your senior to feel less alone. 

Find Things that Help Her to Laugh 

Laughter is often recommended as “medicine” for whatever ails someone, and it’s highly recommended for a reason. Look for ways to help your senior to laugh as much as possible, whether that means reading funny books or watching funny shows together. Electronic assistants of all brands from Siri to Alexa also have some sort of cue for sharing jokes, which can be a fun and random way to hear some new jokes. 

Managing winter blues doesn’t have to be a big production for you and your senior. Look for simple ways to help her feel as good as she possibly can feel. 

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

Six Essential Roles You Take On When Your Dad’s Alzheimer’s Progresses

Caregiver Westminster, MD: New Caregiver Roles as Alzheimer's Progresses
Caregiver Westminster, MD: New Caregiver Roles as Alzheimer’s Progresses

Your dad has Alzheimer’s. The early stages are usually easy to manage. He may be a little forgetful, but it’s not any worse than that. As he heads into the middle and late stages, he’s going to need a lot of help. 
 
As you help out, you’ll start to see where he needs the most help. Many family caregivers find that these are the roles they end up filling. 
 
Appointment Scheduler 
 
Your dad won’t remember when he needs to make appointments or when those appointments are. You do need to become his scheduler and organizer. Even with reminders from his dental and medical professionals, he’s going to forget that he has an appointment. It can get costly if the office charges a fee for missed appointments. 
 
An online calendar helps with organization and reminders. It’s best if you have appointments written down in an appointment book or wall calendar and also on an online calendar with email and pop-up reminders. You won’t forget anything that way. 
 
Bookkeeper 
 
Your dad is going to need help paying his bills. He won’t remember they’re due. He may lose an understanding of basic math and struggle to keep his accounts balanced. 
 
Cleaner 
 
Even if he’s still cleaning, people with Alzheimer’s get easily sidetracked. He starts wiping down counters, forgets what he was doing, and moves to something else. Nothing is getting cleaned properly. 
 
He’s going to need help doing his laundry, putting items away, and cleaning floors and surfaces. Having someone stop by each day or at least once a week to help him with these tasks is important. 
 
Medication Organizer 
 
Your dad will not remember to take the medications that help his Alzheimer’s symptoms. Someone needs to make sure he takes them, keeps track of when refills are needed, and pick up those refills. 
 
Personal Chef 
 
You’ve heard stories about people with dementia trying to cook meals. They start cooking something and walk away. They forget all about what’s on the stove or in the oven and a fire starts. 
 
Your dad is going to need help with his meals. He needs someone to cook for him and make sure the meals meet his nutritional requirements. Left on his own, he might focus only on sweet foods like bananas, yogurts, ice cream, and pastries. 
 
Personal Driver 
 
After an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, your dad’s doctor is going to urge you to take his keys away. You don’t want him forgetting how to get home or becoming confused over road signs like “Do Not Enter” or “Stop.” 
 
He’s going to need a driver for his appointments. He needs someone to drive him to and from a medical office. He needs someone to take him to a store and help him with the purchase. 
 
Can you help him with everything he needs? If not, it’s imperative that you hire professional caregivers. He needs companionship. If he gets bored or antsy, he’s likely to go outside and wander off. He needs help with meals, choosing the right clothing, and remembering to take his Alzheimer’s medications. 

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. 

Seven Canned Foods to Keep on Hand

Home Care Gaithersburg, MD: Canned Good Month
Home Care Gaithersburg, MD: Canned Good Month

Some people give canned foods a bad rap. Canned foods aren’t always bad. There are seven you should keep stocked. Whether you choose a generic label or brand name, look for low-sodium and salt-free varieties. Aim for low-fat or fat-free, no added sugar, and make sure it’s packed in water and not oil. 
 
Beets 
 
Fresh beets are best, but canned beets are high in folate. Folate is a B-vitamin that helps with heart health. Low-sodium or salt-free beets are a good addition to a tossed salad or pasta salad. For a quick snack, drizzle some beet slices in balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with black pepper. 
 
Chickpeas 
 
Canned chickpeas that aren’t packed with extra sodium are a heart-healthy food. Rinse them off if you can’t get low-sodium chickpeas. One cup has 11 grams of protein and 9 grams of fiber. You can add them to salads, roast them for snacks, or puree them with tahini, lemon juice, and garlic for a quick hummus. 
 
Coconut Milk 
 
Skim or fat-free coconut milk is ideal for curries and cream soups. Sauté some boneless chicken breasts, sliced onions, and sliced red peppers together. 
 
Add some coconut milk, canned diced tomatoes, grated ginger root, fresh garlic, and curry powder. Serve that other some steamed barley, grated cauliflower, or brown rice for a quick and nutritious dinner. 
 
Fish 
 
Mackerel, salmon, sardines, and tuna are four of the most important fish to keep on hand. When packed in water and without added salt, the fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids and calcium. Use fish in salads or add to soups and pasta dishes. 
 
Kidney Beans 
 
Low-sodium kidney beans are good in chili, Minestrone, pasta salads, and on their own. Mix them with some low-fat mayonnaise and grated horseradish. 
 
Just half a cup contains more than 25 percent of your daily requirement of fiber. It also gives you 10 percent of your iron requirement. 
 
Pumpkin 
 
Plain canned pumpkin puree is useful in many dishes and contains fiber, vitamin C, and iron. Look for a brand that does not add spices, salt, sugar, or sodium. Use pumpkin puree to make homemade pasta. Add it to yogurt and top with honey, nuts, and seeds. 
 
Tomatoes 
 
Diced, whole, pureed, and sauce are the four ways you’ll find canned tomatoes. Buy no-salt versions when possible. Low-sodium is the second-best choice. 
 
Canned tomatoes are great for quick homemade pasta sauces. Sauté some onions, mushrooms, garlic, celery, and grated carrots in a drizzle of olive oil. Add canned tomato sauce and diced tomatoes and simmer until thickened. Add fresh basil leaves before serving. 
 
Do your parents need help preparing hot meals? If they’re relying on frozen dinners or takeout, it’s time to talk about home care services. Have caregivers prepare your parents’ meals and snacks. Call a home care agency to discuss prices and services. 

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. 

Why Every Family Needs to Hire Senior Care Services

Senior Care North Potomac, MD: Senior Care Services
Senior Care North Potomac, MD: Senior Care Services

Sit down with your family and open a discussion about senior care services. While caregivers help your parents maintain their independence while aging at home, the entire family also benefits. It’s an important discussion to have sooner rather than later. 
 
It Helps Ensure Your Parents Are Not Alone 
 
Your parents’ friends have moved out of state seeking warmer weather and a lower cost of living. They don’t have a large social circle anymore, so they’re home alone most days. A lack of socialization can impact their health. 
 
They need opportunities to talk to others. They need people who will join them for a meal or play cards with them. If they don’t, it can affect their mental and emotional health as well as increase the risk of certain diseases. Dementia is one that studies find may be more common in people who do not stay social. 
 
The Home Stays Clean and Organized 
 
With regular visits from caregivers, your parents’ house stays clean and organized. Caregivers clean up, make sure items are put away, and that reduces clutter. 
 
Clutter is one reason that falls happen. Imagine that your parents set their slippers at the top of the stairs. While walking downstairs after waking up and needing a glass of water, your parent trips on a slipper and falls. That fall could lead to a fracture or head injury. If there is a place for slippers to go, it reduces the odds of a fall. 
 
Transportation is Readily Available 
 
Your dad no longer drives. His eyesight’s gotten too bad. He has a serious of medical appointments for the next month or two and you have to keep taking time off work. You’re out of personal days, so you’re taking the days off unpaid. 
 
With senior care aides providing transportation, your dad has a ride and an escort. You don’t miss any wages. 
 
You Need Breaks 
 
Respite care is one of the most important senior care services for families. You’re encouraged to spend as much time helping your parents as you can, but you also get the support you need for breaks. You cannot let your physical and mental needs go ignored. 
 
You still need to take a morning off for your yearly health exam. While many family caregivers ignore their health, it’s not a good idea. So many diseases and health conditions are treatable when caught early through screenings like colonoscopies and regular blood pressure readings. 
 
Stay social. Visit with friends and family members. Have a quiet evening with your spouse or significant other playing games after a healthy dinner. 
 
Be sure you’re getting enough exercise. Get outside as often as possible for the fresh air and sun. You also need to get at least 30 minutes of moderate or strenuous activity each day. 
 
With caregivers helping out, you keep working, practicing self-care, and going out for social events. Call a senior care agency to schedule caregivers to give you breaks. 

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