memory loss

Preventing Boredom: Out-of-the-Box Ideas to Engage Your Loved One 


The activities you share with your senior loved one during visits or when you're home from work, can have a tremendous effect on her quality of life and general outlook, so it's really important that these times are maximized Read more

Signs Your Loved One Needs Home Health Care 


It is almost always a difficult decision to face when you begin to notice signs that your Arizona senior loved one may need AZ home health care, because he/she is not completely safe alone while you go to work Read more

20 Caregiver Quotes That Will Inspire You


Caring for others is thought to be at the very summit of human emotion, and why the practice of caring elevates each of us to a place above our ordinary existence. While caring for a loved one is rewarding and Read more

What to do When Seniors Stop Eating


Given that this month is 'National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month', it's a great time to be a little bit more aware of what your elderly loved ones are including in their daily diets, and whether those things are Read more

Dealing with Dementia: Do’s and Don’ts

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Dementia is a condition which affects a person’s ability to remember things, to communicate effectively, and even to think normally, and as you might expect, that can have an enormous impact on daily life. One of the most common causes of dementia is Alzheimer’s Disease, which afflicts seniors in greater numbers than any other demographic. As of 2018, there are approximately 5.7 million Americans who have Alzheimer’s Disease, and of these, 5.5 million are ages 65 and over. MD Home Assist caregivers and Phoenix home health caregivers offer the following tips on how to manage the behaviors of your elderly loved one afflicted with dementia.

Positive Body Language

Almost more important than what you say to a senior, is the body language you express when around them. The most effective communication with your loved one should include gentle touches, a quiet and respectful tone when talking, and pleasant facial expressions.

Maintain Humor

A humorous approach to your home health care can be very helpful and will usually be well-received by your senior, as long as the humor is not at their expense. A smile and a laugh are therapeutic for practically anyone, and seniors with dementia are no exception. 

Use Conversation That is Simple and Direct

Since comprehension may be impaired in your senior loved one, it’s best to communicate with statements and questions that are simple and direct, so they can better understand them. Whenever possible, ask questions which only require a yes/no, or one-word answer, and when speaking, be slow and clear with statements.

Limit Distractions

When you’re trying to discuss anything with your senior or you need to convey something important, you should limit or eliminate other background distractions such as television or radio. To be sure you get his/her attention, sit or stand at the same level as your senior, and be sure to make eye contact, so as to establish the most direct possible connection.

Be Patient

Don’t get irritated or annoyed when dealing with your senior, even if it becomes difficult to get a point across, or to understand what they’re trying to tell you. If he/she is having difficulty verbalizing something, it’s perfectly alright to suggest or guess at what they’re trying to say. Sometimes it’s better to listen with your heart than with your ears.

Redirect When Things Get Difficult

For those times when things become difficult with your senior loved one, and he/she gets upset about something, try redirecting the situation into something more pleasant and completely off-topic. Take a walk, listen to soothing music, or do anything that your senior really enjoys to defuse the situation and replace it with something more pleasant.

Don’t Point Out Mistakes or Misunderstandings

Don’t press the point when you feel that your senior is wrong about something, and don’t insist on impressing your views upon them. Most likely you will only cause them to be more upset by pressing your point anyway, so it’s far better to just let it pass and be as calm and reassuring as you can.

Remember the Good Times

Ironically, many seniors afflicted by dementia have difficulty recalling something that happened an hour ago, but can easily remember events of 30 or 40 years ago. Take advantage of this fact in your Phoenix health care by frequently bringing up those happier times from youth, and taking your senior back to a happy place.

Break Down Difficult Tasks

Any activity which might present a problem for your loved one should be managed in a series of do-able steps, rather than trying to accomplish the complete task at once. One example might be getting dressed in the morning. Create minor tasks for each article of clothing, and address those one at a time with your senior, so that each one can be a small success in its own way.

Positive Reinforcement

Keep in mind that your loved one is going through something which is extremely disorienting and possibly debilitating, and that it won’t take much to get him/her confused, frustrated, and maybe even frightened. As a main caregiver providing Arizona health care for a senior, you can best support them by being positive all the time, and by being loving and supportive, rather than critical or argumentative.

Taking care of an aging parent or loved one can be a stressful experience. But you do not have to endure it alone. We take senior health care very seriously, and as one of the top home health care companies Phoenix, you can rely on our expertise and professionalism for your health care needs. Contact us today to learn more.


When Should I Retire from Driving?

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Driving is considered a sign of independence and freedom in our society. Getting a driver’s license is seen as a rite of passage, and a person’s schedule is often dictated on whether or not they can drive. Most people want to be able to drive for as long as they live, but this may not always be an option as we age.

Elderly drivers don’t always have the greatest reputations on the road, even though they may not technically be as dangerous as teenage drivers or drunk drivers. Nevertheless, approximately 14 million people report being involved in auto accidents caused by elderly drivers in the past year. These accidents can be attributed to vision and hearing impairments, physical disabilities, dementia and other health conditions commonly associated with aging. Clearly not all senior drivers will experience these conditions; many people age gracefully and do not lose any of their driving abilities, yet it’s still important to look for these signs that it’s time to retire a driver’s license.

Frequent Close Calls

If you’ve noticed an increase in near crashes recently, it may be time for you or your loved one to give up driving. This is especially true if these close calls are due to an inattentive driver. It’s best to quit before a near miss becomes a potentially deadly crash.

Dings or Dents on a Car

Small dents or scratches in a car could be the result of a rude drivers in a parking lot, but they can also be caused by minor accidents. If you have an elderly driver in your family, check to see if their vehicle has any new scratches or dents.

Getting Lost

Everyone gets lost while they’re driving once in a while, but a senior driver who doesn’t know where they are frequently may be showing early signs of dementia, and should not be behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Limited Mobility

People lose mobility as they age, and that can affect their ability to drive. An senior who has trouble turning their head or moving from the gas pedal to the brake is definitely a liability on the road.

Limited Visibility

Being able to see is essential when it comes to driving. Drivers must be able to read road signs, judge distances between vehicles and stop quickly if they notice something on the road in front of them. Aging can affect a person’s vision, so all elderly drivers should have their eyes checked every year if they want to keep driving safely.

Care for the Elderly who Cannot Drive

Losing the ability to drive can come as a devastating blow, but a senior can still live a full life, even if they need to retire from the road. Many home health care services provide transportation for their clients so they can make it to their appointments and meet their other obligations. Companies providing home care may also provide counseling services for those who feel like they’re losing their independence by not driving.

As our population ages, we will have more senior drivers on the road, and more people finding that their age prevents them from driving. For more information on this and other aspects of home care in Phoenix, visit the MD Home Health/Home Assist website.


Managing the Struggles of Caring for Alzheimer’s Patients

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Male care assistant reading senior woman book

 

Caring for someone who is suffering from Alzheimer’s can be exceedingly difficult.  With Alzheimer’s disease, something as simple as daily communication can be made into a frustrating and stressful task. Alzheimer’s patients often struggle to find the right words, are prone to losing their train of thought, and may even forget what simple words mean. This can create frustrating situations for both the Alzheimer’s patient and caregiver.

Even More Problems

Because Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, patients will have less functional brains over time. The end result is that every Alzheimer’s patient will have good days and bad days as their behavior changes with the passage of time. This means they may misunderstand the things they see and hear, be prone to anger, wander or get lost while leaving their home, and lose interest in things that once captivated them. They may also come to feel anxiety about traveling, become confused with even the slightest change in their daily routine, and be overwhelmed by day-to-day activities.

Required Care

Consequently, Alzheimer’s patients will need assistance with essential personal care like dressing, bathing, feeding, and taking regular medication. They may also require help with regular housekeeping like doing laundry, preparing meals, carrying out general errands, and keeping things tidy. Unless these issues are handled correctly, Alzheimer’s patients may turn to abuse drugs like alcohol and caffeine, they may start losing sleep which can lead to serious health problems, and they may fall prey to a variety of different illnesses.

Providing Care

Whenever communicating with someone who suffers  from Alzheimer’s, it’s important to try to state your intentions as simply as possible. Try asking questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no, while providing step-by-step instructions whenever possible. One might also consider simplifying communication. For instance, rather than asking “how are you?” try asking “would you like to eat?” This simplification can make communicating with an Alzheimer’s patient far more effective.

Adjusting to behavioral changes can be accommodated with a similar approach. If your loved one starts to lose sleep, consider implementing a bedtime routine or planning energetic activities during the day. If they start pacing around their home, be sure that they’re wearing comfortable shoes and have a safe area to walk. Your care should be reactionary and supportive to the types of behaviors that they develop.

Phoenix Home Health Care

Providing this kind of care can be difficult, particularly for anyone who lacks experience working with Alzheimer’s patients. That’s why MD Home Health supplies the most trustworthy and qualified caregivers available, screened for their expertise and reliability alike. By choosing from only the more reliable and proven homecare providers in Phoenix, you can rest assured that your loved one will have the best possible care available to them. MD Home Assist care can help provide all the necessary care required to look after an Alzheimer’s patient, ensuring their well-being on good days and bad days alike. If you’d need a hand providing homecare in the Phoenix area, get in touch with MD Home Health today, and get the peace of mind you deserve. For more tips on managing the struggles of caregiving, and maintaining good self-care visit the Caregiver Wellness Solution Center.


Memory Exercises

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memory exercises

In an article from the Harvard Medical School’s Harvard Health Publications “HEALTHbeat,”
the author states that its normal to forget things sometimes, and that “healthy people can
experience memory loss or memory distortion at any age.” Some “memory flaws”
can become more pronounced with age, but there’s nothing to worry about as long as those
memory problems do not become extreme and persistent and are “not considered
indicators of Alzheimer’s or other memory-impairing illnesses.” Seven normal memory
problems include: Transience, absentmindedness, blocking, misattribution, bias and
persistence. You can read more about them here.

So if your memory loss is considered normal, what can you do? Here are some memory
exercises you can practice on a daily basis.

1.) Play Games – You can improve your brain health and performance with brain games.
Lumosity.com was designed by neuroscientists to exercise memory and attention. When
you create an account at Lumosity.com you will be asked to “build your own personalized
brain training program,” an option which takes you through five areas — memory, attention,
speed, flexibility and problem-solving — and asks which aspects you want to improve. For
instance, under memory, you can click on “remembering names after the first introduction,”
“learning new subjects quickly and accurately,” “recalling the location of objects,” and
“keeping track of several ideas at the same time.”
[source: Howstuffworks.com, Lumosity].

2.) Use Mnemonic Devices – You can use association to remember facts and numbers. Just
create an image in your mind to help you remember a word or an image. For example:

3.) Use Acrostics – Does “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally” conjure up memories from
grade school? If you remember, it stands for Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiplication,
Division, Addition and Subtraction. Acrostics is where you can remember a new sentence
made out of the first letters of a set of words that you have to memorize in a certain order.

4.) Move Your Eyes – “Horizontal eye movements are thought to cause the two
hemispheres of the brain to interact more with one another, and communication between
brain hemispheres is important for retrieving certain types of memories.” [Melinda
Wenner, Livescience.com] So try moving your eyes from side to side for just 30 seconds
once a day to align the two parts of your brain and make your memory work more
smoothly.

5.) Drink in moderation – Still like to enjoy a glass of wine? That’s perfectly OK. Light to
moderate alcohol consumption can improve memory and cognition. It has been shown that
light to moderate drinkers can perform better on certain tests of memory and cognition
than nondrinkers and heavy drinkers [sources: Victoroff, Minerd]

What are some of your memory tricks? Please comment below and share!

For more information on memory exercises, visit us at MD Home Health. Start taking care of your memory now, before it’s too late. 


Treatment for Dementia

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Early diagnosis is important, especially if there is a possibility for treatment for dementia.

MDdementiaAccording to the Alzheimer’s Association, dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. Memory loss is an example.

The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s.

Living with dementia can be difficult for both those suffering from the disease and for those around them.

Because there is a possibility of treatment for dementia, you should make sure to look out for warning signs for you and your loved ones.

Based on information from the Alzheimer’s Association, here are 10 warning signs to watch out for:

  1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life.
  2. Challenges in planning or problem solving.
  3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure.
  4. Confusion with time or place.
  5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships.
  6. New problems with words in speaking or writing.
  7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps.
  8. Decreased or poor judgment.
  9. Withdrawal from work or social activities.
  10. Changes in mood and personality.

By looking out for these signs, you will be able to seek help early and get treatment for dementia.

According to a WebMD article, you can do the following in order to treat the cause of dementia:

  1. Take vitamins for a deficiency of vitamin B12.
  2. Take thyroid hormones for hypothyroidism.
  3. Have surgery to remove a brain tumor or to reduce pressure on the brain.
  4. Stop or change medicines that are causing memory loss or confusion.
  5. Take medicines to treat an infection, such as encephalitis.
  6. Take medicine to treat depression.
  7. Get treatment for reversible conditions caused by AIDS.

If you or a loved one is suffering from Alzheimer’s/Dementia, you can seek help from MD Home Health Home Assist, which offers a specialty program designed specifically for Alzheimer’s/Dementia patients.

Contact MD Home Health Home Assist today for your free in-home consultation, regarding treatment for dementia.