Blogs 2018-05-18T00:51:54+00:00
Keeping Seniors Safe in the Snow

Keeping Seniors Safe in the Snow

Jan 21
Northeastern United States is blessed with cold and snowy winters. While children love to run and jump in the snow, snowstorms can be a challenge for the elderly. Keeping seniors safe in the snow requires a bit of attention to detail. Stay indoors and keep warm Even active senior citizens should stay indoors and keep warm while there is snow falling or on the ground. Exertion in the snow can cause injuries or heart attack, especially for the elderly. The elderly don’t feel the cold as quickly as younger people, so they can’t control or regulate their body temperatures as well. Don’t wait for a senior to tell you he is cold; by then he may be freezing. The elderly tend to forget to drink when it’s cold outside and may become dehydrated in the winter. Make sure they are drinking plenty of fluids, preferably hot ones like tea and
Signs Your Parents Need Help at Home

19 Signs Your Parents Might Need Help at Home

Jan 13
When Jennifer Ross was a little girl, her mother used to take her swimming every summer in the municipal pool. It was a wonderful time for the two of them, and she enjoyed many happy hours in the sun, splashing, and learning how to swim. This past summer, Jennifer brought her children to visit her mother. She had hoped to bring them to the pool where she had enjoyed so many childhood summers, and was looking forward to watching her mother teach her kids how to swim. Unfortunately, things didn’t go quite as planned. When Jennifer arrived with her children, she noticed more than one sign that made her think that her mother was having some difficulties. After her father passed three years ago, her mother had stopped going to the pool as frequently in the summer. She seemed to have aged since their last visit. She wasn’t the same,
Routine for Elderly

Planning a Daily Routine for an Elderly Patient

Jan 11
Elderly patients and loved ones, even those suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia, are in need of stimulation just like their younger counterparts. On the other hand, too much stimulation can be confusing and stressful, so a daily routine should include some activities but also allow for lots of downtime. The simplest way to spark your patient’s or loved one’s interest is to choose an activity which he or she enjoyed before becoming ill. Of course, you need to tailor the activity to the person’s current level of ability, otherwise he will become frustrated. A man who used to collect stamps might enjoy flipping through his old albums and commenting on the stamps in it. A woman who used to knit but is no longer able to might still enjoy a trip to the yarn store to advise you on what yarn to purchase for a new sweater. Time spent outdoors
Holiday Season Dangers

How to Keep Your Elderly Loved Ones Safe During the Holiday Season

Dec 28
I’m sure you’d rather be planning your menu – or figuring out what you’re going to wear, or buying presents, or decorating your home – but even if it’s not the most fun activity of the season, making sure that your house will not cause any obstacles or dangers to your aging relatives is also a crucial element to a happy holiday. The Concern In the best case scenario, your extended family will be explicit about their current needs – and then your only task is making your house compliant. But more often, you will not hear that information from them directly – perhaps from an aide, but more likely, you’re flying a little blind. Still, from one visit to the next, even if you get together fairly frequently and all the more so if you don’t, you may be unaware of whether your loved ones have changed in terms
Holiday Gifts for Seniors

Holiday Gifts for Seniors

Dec 22
It’s a challenge to find the right gift even when the people you’re buying for aren’t so close to you. And when you’re finding the right gift for your aging parents – and in my case, a couple of grandmothers too! – the challenge is even greater. On one hand, they can’t do everything they used to do; on the other, I don’t want to be the one to remind them of that. So every year, I start by rehashing the same, standard ideas – maybe what’s being promoted in the stores – and it takes a few weeks until I can say, Aha! Yes, that’s the right gift! The key, of course, is knowing the person to whom you’re giving and your own relationship to that person. So keep him or her in mind as you consider which of these ideas work for you. Family Photograph Theme Even before
Show You Care over the Holidays

How to Show You Care over the Holidays, even When You Can’t Make It in Person

Dec 15
I work full-time. My husband works full-time. So with all the bell-ringing and tinsel, the hustle and bustle of the holidays are very hectic for us. Our kids are still in grade school, which means that they have all the wonder of the festive season in their eyes – and a lot of shuttling from after-school holiday concert practice to decorate the town square tree to baking gingerbread at the nursing home. I wouldn’t have it any other way, but I wouldn’t mind if someone else did the chauffeuring for a week or two. On December 23, we’ll head back east to New Hampshire to spend the actual day of Christmas with my in-laws. They have this great house – all the nooks and crannies for the kids to play hide-and-seek and create shows for us – they love that, and their grandparents are so proud. Me, I’m glad for
From Hospital to Home

From Hospital to Home – Making the Transition Work

Dec 08
Coming home from the hospital is always a transition, no matter how long you were there, and no matter how mild the ailment that landed you there. It is described well in The Chosen, when the protagonist returns home from the hospital: “The world jumped into focus and everything looked suddenly bright and fresh and clean, as it does on an early morning with the sun on the trees, and there was newness everywhere, a feeling that I had been away a long time in a dark place and was now returning home to sunlight” (p. 95). It’s a glorious description. Even so, coming home from the hospital can be a little tense.  If the patient is your elderly loved one, like your mom, you will likely want jump in and help out with getting her discharged quickly, and learning what you can to help take care of her at
Thanksgiving Inspiration

Thanksgiving Inspiration

Nov 23
When I was a kid, Thanksgiving was my favorite holiday. I like the crush of the fallen leaves, in all their glorious color (I’m not giving away too much if I acknowledge I’m from New Hampshire, right?) I like the crisp, brisk November air, with that hint of snow we hope waits until December. I collect Thanksgiving traditions, and relish the story of the annual presidential pardoning of the bird. And then, of course, there’s the food! I guess I’ll never be sure whether turkey with all the fixings (you know, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry relish) is my all-time favorite because the food reminds me of the holiday, or whether my love of those foods made the day that much more memorable for me. Either way, the bottom line is that even with all of these decorative elements, my love of Thanksgiving is really because of the people. You know,
Pressure Ulcers

Pressure Ulcers

Nov 19
It’s never an elegant topic, but World Wide Pressure Ulcer Prevention Day is November 19, so elegant or not, it’s time to address this serious concern and remind ourselves how to prevent pressure ulcers. What are pressure ulcers? Fundamentally, a pressure ulcer is what develops when there is enough pressure on a soft tissue area of the body that rests on a bony area – consider a heel, or a hip – to clamp the capillaries there, preventing the flow of blood to the tissues. When the cells there don’t receive sufficient blood flow, they don’t receive sufficient oxygen, which means that they begin to die. Where those cells die (that means the skin breaks down) that’s a pressure ulcer. And how easily one may expect pressure ulcers to heal depends not only on the patient’s overall health, and how he or she conducts him or herself with regard to
Ode to My Caregiver

An Ode to My Caregiver

Nov 18
When I was young, I wanted to do everything myself. I still do, but now I understand that I can’t. It’s hard to give up my independence, and let others Do for me, but it helps that I have you to help. When I was young, I had the whole world ahead of me. Now it’s a struggle just to get through the day. But when you help me with a smile and a joke I forget for a few minutes that I am elderly and frail. Now that I am old, simple things have become difficult. Actions I took for granted now require assistance. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have my dignity, And I am so glad that you realize this as well. Now that I am old, I have accepted that my time is short. I am eternally grateful that you are there to Make this