Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Healthy Holiday Recipes to Enjoy Preparing With Your Senior

The winter holidays are a joyous time of year, filled with friends, family, and gratitude. However, delicious meals are also a major part of the holiday season, and can pack a serious caloric punch if you’re not careful. Part of care for elderly people includes encouraging them to eat a healthy, nutritious diet. If you want to enjoy time in the kitchen during Thanksgiving with your elderly loved one but are looking to lighten up your menu, consider incorporating these recipes:

New Year’s soup

This soup contains plenty of fiber so it will keep you feeling full, without the calories of cream-based options. This is ideal for good senior health, as the fat and calories in cream-based soups can become problematic. The chili powder contains capsaicin, which helps to jumpstart your metabolism. This is an ideal appetizer option if you’re looking for a soup that tastes great and is healthy too. It’s made using fire-roasted tomatoes, chickpeas, garlic, chili powder, lime juice, and cilantro, all in a vegetable or chicken broth base. Simply puree the tomatoes, chickpeas, and garlic, and then bring the ingredients to a boil with the broth and chili powder.

Recipe from: http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/dr-oz-belly-blasting-new-year-soup

Oil-based Parmesan turkey with walnut gravy

Senior care professionals explain that this tasty dish will become the perfect holiday entrée for you and your elderly loved one to prepare together. It has a nutty flavor that makes it rich and tasty, without any added salt or oil. With only nine ingredients, the meal is easy to make, thus taking the stress out of holiday meal preparation.

Recipe from: http://www.cookinglight.com/entertaining/holidays-occasions/easy-holiday-recipes-00412000085844/page5.html

White bean and pumpkin bisque

For a lighter version of a cream-based soup, this is the recipe to try. Use canned pumpkin for richness and white beans for substance and protein, and you end up with a flavorful starter that everyone will love. You can make the soup a few days in advance, thus lessening the burden that falls on your elderly loved one and you as you try to prepare for company.

Recipe from: http://www.cookinglight.com/entertaining/holidays-occasions/easy-holiday-recipes-00412000085844/page9.html

Cranberry orange relish

Cranberry sauce can be filled with sugar and calories, making it an unhealthy choice for a Thanksgiving side. If you want the flavor without the poor nutritional value, try making this relish. It’s got bright colors and just the right amount of sweetness, making it the perfect complement to turkey and other trimmings. Plus, you can make it up to three days in advance.

Recipe from: http://www.cookinglight.com/entertaining/holidays-occasions/easy-holiday-recipes-00412000085844/page13.html

There is no need to pig out on unhealthy treats over the course of the holidays. Together, you and your senior can make dishes that are as healthy as they are tasty.

Friday, November 22, 2013

How to Trace Your Ancestry with Your Senior

Every family should understand where they came from. This helps to build appreciation and shape that family’s plan for the future. If you’ve never really sat down to talk with your senior about your ancestors, home care professionals explain that doing so is often a thrilling and enlightening way to spend the day. Home care, Chapel Hill, providers assert that there is a number of different ways to trace your heritage with an elderly loved one.

Talk with them about their past

Your senior is a great (and often underutilized) resource when it comes to family history. Most elderly individuals love to share stories about their childhood with their children and grandchildren. The next time you’re curious about your ancestry, sit down with your senior and ask them a few questions. You may even consider recording the answers so that future generations can listen to their words and hear their voice. You can ask your elderly loved one about anything, including where they grew up, what their parents were like, and what daily life was like when they were younger.

Chronicle photographs

It’s common for a family to have boxes of old photographs floating around. If this is the case in your home, take some time to sort through these pictures and then organize and display them in a beautiful way. Instead of letting shots of relatives from generations past just sit idly in a box, arrange them in a way that makes sense so others can enjoy it. That way, whenever someone in the family is feeling curious about their heritage, they can simply look through these books and get a better understanding of what their relatives were like.

Use free resources online

Fortunately with the Internet, it’s easier than ever to trace your roots. There is a number of popular sites that offer useful (and often free) resources that can help you find out more about those who came before you. Some of these sites include:

  • Ancestry.com
  • Familylink
  • Genealogy.com

Plug your information into these sites and you may be surprised about what you learn. Additionally, eldercare providers explain that seniors and their families can rely on the U.S. government’s National Archives database, which allows you to use census data, immigration forms, military documents, and other materials to track your relatives.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Understanding the Diverse and Essential Function of Senior Care Professionals

The role of a senior care professional is absolutely essential for elderly individuals and their families. These people provide varying degrees and kinds of assistance and support, ensuring that elderly loved ones live a happy and comfortable life. Depending on your skills, education, and areas of interest, there are a number of different options for someone who’s hoping to work in senior care. Some examples of jobs in this field include:

In-home caregiver

When it comes to caring for the elderly, an in-home caregiver is an important figure. This individual offers both help and companionship for an elderly individual who may struggle to perform some day-to-day tasks. This professional’s job description will vary depending on that individual senior’s needs, though some common tasks include planning and preparing meals, doing laundry, taking care of transportation, and attending to light housekeeping. Those who receive more extended training can also help with bathing, dressing, and grooming needs. The right in-home caregiver has plenty of patience, a sunny outlook, and tact.

Hospice aide

This sort of senior health professional works with many different residents, taking care of dressing, bathing, grooming, and eating. A hospice aide may also help to transport residents from their beds into wheelchairs. The level of care provided by a hospice aide is more significant than that done by an in-home caregiver, as they often monitor a resident’s vital signs, change bandages, and apply medication. This job requires special training and certification.

Registered nurse specializing in geriatric care

Those who have completed several years of schooling are able to work as a registered nurse. Some nurses choose to specialize in geriatric care, meaning that they have the skills and knowledge necessary to tend to elderly patients’ needs. This may include IV therapy, dialysis, wound care, and other tasks. A registered nurse circulates regularly, ensuring that each senior’s condition is stable, and that they are comfortable and clean.

If you have a passion for care giving and are interested specifically in elder care, there are many job options available. Depending on the level of training needed, you will find plenty of ways to exercise your compassionate and positive disposition.

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Facts You Need to Know About Prostate Cancer

As your elderly loved one gets older, elder care professionals assert that it’s important that you both understand some basic facts about prostate cancer. Prostate cancer rates rise as a man ages, making it important to learn about some of the warning signs and treatment options for a senior. Though a cancer diagnosis is always scary, proper treatment and understanding of the condition can help a family feel better equipped to handle the situation.

Some of the key signs of prostate cancer

Senior health care professionals note that this disease is a slow growing one, but it can eventually spread into other areas of the body if it is left undetected. Unfortunately, the condition typically only displays when it has been allowed to progress. Therefore, senior care professionals recommend learning some of the signs of prostate cancer. They include:

  • The frequent urge to urinate
  • Trouble stopping or starting when urinating
  • The inability to urinate
  • Pain during urination
  • Blood in the urine

Keep in mind that not all of these symptoms automatically imply that a man has prostate cancer. However, in the event that your senior does begin displaying some of these symptoms, it is important to check in with a doctor.

Prostate cancer is still a relatively unknown condition. While significant medical advancements have been made in recent years, researchers are still fairly unsure about what causes this condition to develop in the first place. However, they have narrowed down several risk factors that may lead to this condition. These include:

  • Family history
  • Age (80 percent of cases occur after a person turns 60)
  • Race (African Americans and Caucasians are most at risk)
  • Obesity
  • A high-fat diet
  • A sedentary lifestyle

A prostate cancer diagnosis is certainly scary for a family; however, there are many effective treatment options when a person finds out that they have prostate cancer. While it may seem as though chemotherapy is the best option, in reality surgery, radiation, and hormone therapy are actually some of the most powerful options when it comes to overcoming prostate cancer. If your elderly loved one receives a prostate cancer diagnosis, his medical team will work closely in order to determine the best course of action based on that individual’s current condition.

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Comprehensive Look at Veteran Benefits for Your Senior

If your senior served their country, they may stand to receive veteran’s benefits. These benefits also apply to spouses and surviving spouses of veterans. If your elderly loved one is at least 65 and served during war time, it is important to look into whether the Department of Veteran Affairs will help pay for their medical care, as well as care for their spouse. For an elderly individual who may be in a tight financial situation, these benefits can be life changing.

In order for your senior to qualify, they must have served at least one day during wartime. Wartime is currently defined as the following periods:

World War II 
12/7/1941 through 12/31/1946

Korean War
6/27/1950 through 1/31/1955

Vietnam War
 8/5/1964 through 5/7/1975

Gulf War
8/2/1990 to date to be determined by U.S. government

If your senior lost their discharge papers, they can contact the National Archives for assistance.

Senior care professionals and family members should make sure to understand the tiers of VA benefits for those who served and their dependents. The three tiers are as follows:

Basic pension:  This provides cash help for low-income veterans and their dependents. This means that the applicants are often healthy, but do not bring in much money.

Housebound benefit: This provides assistance for homebound vets, giving them help from a home care professional in order to accomplish day-to-day tasks.

Aid and attendance: This is for someone who requires daily assistance from an eldercare professional in order to live a healthy life.

If your senior is looking to receive these benefits from the VA, they will need to illustrate that they are genuinely in need of the benefits. They will do this by verifying their income, assets, and needs. However, don’t be discouraged if your elderly loved one’s income is over the threshold. Many seniors will qualify anyway, depending on their age and their current situation. It is worthwhile to apply just in case, as many seniors get the benefits even if they fall right on the border of eligibility. If you or your elderly loved one are confused about the benefits process, consult with a Veteran Services Officer who can provide you with detailed information about what your senior and their dependents can qualify for.

Friday, November 8, 2013

What You and Your Senior Need to Know About Carotid Artery Disease

Seniors and their families should understand the basics of carotid artery disease, which is when the major arteries in the neck become narrow and blocked. These arteries, known as the carotid arteries, are what supply the brain with the blood it needs to function on a daily basis. When the arteries become blocked by plaque (made up of cholesterol, calcium, and fibrous tissue), the arteries start to narrow and stiffen. Eventually, this condition can lead to a stroke. In order to keep your elderly loved one healthy, it is important to understand how to prevent the condition from developing.

A person’s chance of developing carotid artery disease increases as they age. Only one percent of those aged 50 to 59 have narrowed carotid arteries, yet 10 percent of those 80 to 89 have this issue. Fortunately, even as a person ages, there are some steps that they can take to protect their body. To avoid carotid artery disease (and stroke), a senior should focus on exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight.

In order to provide proper care for elderly people, families and homecare professionals must do what they can to ensure that their senior is getting some physical activity in during the course of each day. Proper diet is also key when it comes to preventing such conditions from occurring.

What are the symptoms of carotid artery disease?

Unfortunately, many people only find out that they have this condition when they suffer a stroke. Others may experience transient ischemic attacks, known as TIAs, ahead of time. Symptoms of a TIA last anywhere from a few minutes to an hour and include:

  • Weakness or tingling in one side of the body
  • Inability to control the movement of arms or legs
  • Lost vision
  • Inability to speak clearly

Eldercare professionals and family members should ensure that their senior gets regular checkups to help pick up on the signs of carotid artery disease before serious damage occurs. To do this, a doctor can listen for the sounds of turbulent blood flow in the elderly individual’s arteries, and will also measure their blood pressure. These preventative measures can help to keep your senior safe as they age.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Falling: Techniques for Getting Back Up

Falling is one of the most dangerous accidents that a senior can have, as the injuries that they sustain from a fall can range from nonexistent to fatal. According to professionals who care for elderly in Chapel Hill, preventing falls is a wonderful way to cut down on the number of injuries that the senior population sustains, as a whole, each year. But home care professionals recognize that all falls aren't avoidable. As such, these senior care providers urge individuals to help elderly loved ones learn different techniques to get up after falling down.

According to elder care professionals at LearnNottoFall.com, an average of one out of every three seniors will fall on an annual basis. Additionally, 25 percent of hospital admissions and 40 percent of nursing home admissions are due to falls.1 This is why it's extremely important to make certain that seniors can, if they do fall, get up and call for the help they need. Below are a few techniques that LearnNottoFall.com has provided that you can teach your loved one.
  • Lay still to calm down and make certain that there are no severe injuries. Identify any sore parts of the body and try not to exacerbate these injuries. 
  • Find a sturdy piece of furniture or other item that can be used when standing up. Roll over from the back to the stomach and to all fours. 
  • Take time to let the body settle and blood pressure to normalize. 
  • Crawl to the furniture or other item that was identified earlier. 
  • Slowly stand using the stable item and find a place to sit. 
Should a senior have injuries from the fall it is essential that they seek medical assistance immediately. If it is an emergency, they should dial 911 for an ambulance. If not, it is important to call a friend or family member to come over and help them to the doctor's office, urgent care office, or emergency room, depending upon their needs. Even if there are no injuries, though, your loved one should report the fall to their doctor so that they can better identify what caused the accident and how to prevent another from occurring in the future.

1 http://www.learnnottofall.com/content/what-if-i-fall/learn-to-get-up.jsp