Is Your Insurance Up to Date?

We just love esoteric holidays like Insurance Awareness Day. They’re excellent opportunities to talk about topics which often get ignored. And how many of us like to talk about insurance? Hanging out with your insurance agent may not be your idea of a good time, but it’s important to review your insurance every year to make sure you’re covered for everything you need. As circumstances change, so do your insurance needs, so you may have to update or change your insurance policies. You’ll want to look at your car insurance, home insurance and supplemental insurance. And you will want to pay special attention to your health insurance. As providers of home care, we know that many of our clients aren’t aware of what their health insurance covers. We are constantly being asked whether home care is covered by insurance. (The answer to that question is: sometimes. For more information, read

Keeping Seniors Safe

Keeping Seniors Safe All Year Long

June is National Safety Month, but safety is always a priority for families caring for a senior. Older people are especially vulnerable to accidents in the home, including burn injuries, falls and overdoses. Here’s how you can keep your home safe for your elderly loved one. Preventing Burns Burn injuries are common in older people because of forgetfulness or lack of sensitivity to heat. If your loved one suffers from dementia or is no longer in control of his motor function, he should not be allowed to cook. Even boiling water can be dangerous if forgotten and allowed to boil over. All fire sources should be kept far away from furniture and curtains. This includes candles, matches, hot plates and cigarettes. And the temperature in the hot water heater should be set to no more than 120 degrees. There should be a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and smoke and

Sports for People with Dementia

Sports for People with Dementia

Sports – both playing and watching – are a powerful way to connect people to each other and to their memories. Many people who suffer from dementia are still able to play the sports they enjoyed when they were younger and to find happiness in fitness and competition. It’s also common for people who tend not to interact with others much to become more active while playing or discussing sports. BBC reports about an organization based in North Yorkshire, United Kingdom, called The Sporting Memories Foundation. The organization brings together people over 50, most of whom suffer from dementia, to talk about and play sports. They hold weekly meetings in which groups of men reminisce about sports events from the past. The banter and friendly chat fosters confidence in the men, leading them to talk about other things and form new friendships. According to the Alzheimer’s Society, The Department of

When Depression Set In

When Depression Set In

Mom has been homebound for a few years, since a stroke left her with very limited mobility. At first, she was so active that you could almost forget that she was ill. She did crossword puzzles, made wisecracks while watching her favorite TV programs and dispensed advice (and even got bossy) whenever we came to visit. But gradually, I started to notice that she wasn’t quite herself. Mom had much less energy and kept falling asleep at odd times – including while her grandchildren were telling her about their day. She started losing weight and I had trouble tempting her even with her favorite foods. My brother brought over his world-famous (OK, I exaggerate…) chicken pot pie and she barely took two bites. One day, I asked Mom if she wanted pink or white flowers to decorate her table and she talk so long to make the decision and changed

5 Top Factors in Senior Health

The Top 5 Most Important Factors in Senior Health

We all know how precarious health can be at an older age. And yet, we tend to hang onto old habits which were never healthy but are even more risky as the senior years roll in. Our health is, of course, not entirely in our hands, but we can reduce the likelihood of disease by paying attention to these factors in senior health: #1 Inactivity Physical activity is one of the best ways to reduce risk of diseases including heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. It is also a mood booster and chases away depression and other mental health issues. Seniors tend to slow down as they age and some of them become totally inactive. But it doesn’t have to be that way. A daily walk, even if it’s around the block and takes much longer than it used to, has many benefits. It’s always easier to exercise with company,

Celebrate Earth Day with Elderly

Celebrate Earth Day with Your Elderly Loved One

If you and your family care about the environment, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to celebrate Earth Day and do a little something to help preserve our world. Earth Day may conjure up images of hours spent digging in the dirt, but there are ways to mark the day without strenuous labor. Adopt a Plant Seniors may not be able to tend an outdoor garden, but they will enjoy a potted plant inside the house. A little bit of green and some blooming flowers will cheer up a room and improve the quality of the air your loved one breathes on a daily basis. If he’s up to it, involve him in watering and caring for the plant. Recycle Many elderly people have amassed lots of stuff which is no longer in use. Take the opportunity to clear out a room or a drawer and donate or recycle

Is It Spring Yet?

Is It Spring Yet?

Deep in the middle of the winter, when snow and wind are normal weather conditions, it’s hard to believe that spring is just around the corner. But it won’t be long before we start shedding our heavy coats and donning our light jackets. And before we know it, the heat of summer will be upon us. I often think of the abrupt transition from winter to spring as a metaphor for life. So often, we are so deep in the dark that we can’t even imagine the light at the end of the tunnel, let alone see it. But then, one day, a glimmer of hope appears and eventually we are in the light again. Take a typical day in my house. I am lying on the couch, exhausted, thinking that I can’t take another day of caregiving at the end of a long work day. Just as I am

How Far We've Come - International Women's Day

How Far We’ve Come

Our clients have been lucky enough to witness great strides in women’s rights during their lifetimes and they can look back with satisfaction on how far we’ve come since the beginning of the twentieth century. It was only in 1900 that all states granted married women the right to hold property and keep their own wages. The right to vote was achieved in 1920, with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. The Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963, promising equal wages for the same work, regardless of race, gender, religion or natural origin. In 1978, it became illegal to discriminate against pregnant women in the workplace. Women earned the right to serve in combat positions in the army in 2013, and in 2017, Congress had a record number of women elected to it – 104 House Members and 21 Senators. Despite all the progress which has been made, there

Heart Attack Symptoms

Is This a Heart Attack?

One of my greatest fears when I first became a CHHA was that I would miss a crucial health issue and endanger my patient as a result. In order to be sure this wouldn’t happen, I researched how to spot symptoms of common illnesses and what to do if my patient exhibits these symptoms. In honor of National Heart Health Month, I am sharing what I learned about heart attacks. This information is crucial both for home health aides and for family caregivers. Symptoms of a Heart Attack Heart attacks are not necessarily sudden, so you need to pay attention to subtle symptoms such as: Pain or discomfort in the center of the chest. This pain may come and go. Discomfort in arms, back, jaw, neck or stomach Shortness of breath Nausea or vomiting Fainting or lightheadedness Breaking out in a cold sweat If you spot these symptoms of a

In Sickness and in Health

In Sickness and in Health

I remember the first time I saw Betty. She was walking down a path on our college campus and swinging her bookbag carelessly as she laughed at something her friend had said. I felt like someone had punched me in the gut and I just knew I had to get to know her. When I saw her next, at a party, I got up the courage to walk over to her and introduce myself. I am still surprised that she was interested in me too, and we hit it off right away. We had so much in common. We had both grown up in small towns and dreamed of raising our families in a close-knit community. We both loved country music and took turns introducing each other to new songs. She loved my sense of humor and I loved her drive and determination. We dated for a year before I