Stroke Symptoms in the Elderly Require Acting FAST

Learn common stroke symptoms in the elderly and the importance of acting FAST.
Learn common stroke symptoms in the elderly and the importance of acting FAST.

Stroke, according to the National Stroke Association, is listed as the fifth leading cause of death in America, with upwards of 800,000 people experiencing a stroke on an annual basis. This suggests that every 40 seconds, somebody somewhere in America has a stroke. And every four minutes, someone dies from a stroke.

As a family caregiver, it’s important to familiarize yourself with common stroke symptoms in the elderly so that you can quickly seek medical care for your loved one if needed. The more quickly you access assistance, the better the chance the individual will live through the stroke. Stroke warning signs might include sudden onset of:

  • Feeling numb or weak in the leg, face, or arm – specifically on one side of the body
  • Confusion, trouble with understanding or speaking
  • Blurry vision or trouble seeing
  • Difficulties with walking, feeling lightheaded, loss of balance or coordination
  • Major headache with no known cause

If you detect these signs of a stroke in someone, remember to act F.A.S.T.

Face: Ask the person to smile and observe if one side seems to droop.

Arms: Ask the individual to raise both arms. Does one arm seem to droop downward?

Speech: Ask the individual to repeat a very simple sentence. When he/she does, observe if speech slurs or if the person is struggling to put together words appropriately.

Time: Time is crucial! If you see any of the warning signs above, call 911 right away or make sure the person gets to the hospital as soon as possible!

At Home Care Solutions, providers of award-winning in home care in Kennewick and the surrounding area, we pride ourselves on providing professional, highly-trained caregivers to assist seniors in recovering from a stroke in the comfort and familiarity of home. We provide a broad variety of senior home care services that can be customized to meet the unique needs of each client. Just a few of the ways we can help include:

  • Friendly companionship and engaging conversations
  • Nutritious meal planning and preparation, with adherence to any special dietary needs
  • Personal care assistance such as showering, using the bathroom, and dressing
  • Help getting around the house, ensuring fall hazards are eliminated
  • Light housekeeping and laundry
  • Encouragement to engage in physician-approved exercise programs
  • And much more

For more information about our senior care management services and our in home care in Kennewick and the surrounding communities, contact us at (509) 627-8575.

When to Bring in an Aging Life Care Professional

We all, naturally, want the best for those we love. But in some instances when families are involved in a senior loved one’s care, opinions about what is best for the person may clash. It can cause family members to argue with each other instead of working together. This is just one instance when it’s a good idea to seek the assistance of a professional third party, like an aging life care professional (also known as a care manager), who knows what older adults need for long-term care and how to accomplish receiving this care.

Aging life care professionals have the skills needed to guide families in determining what type of care a senior loved one requires and how to most effectively coordinate long-term care. They can also serve as mediators when family members disagree when attempting to plan care for their loved one.

Consider an aging life care professional as a “professional family member,” typically a nurse or social worker, with expertise in the resources that are available to help seniors with a variety of needs and challenges. Just several of the many ways they can help include:

  • Working with families through difficult conversations and problems
  • Addressing emotional concerns
  • Collaborating with other care professionals, including the senior’s medical team
  • Visiting the home to assess needs and recommend appropriate services
  • Developing short- and long-term care plans and goals
  • Providing relief to overburdened family caregivers

Make sure you obtain the answers to the following questions from potential aging life care professionals:

  • Are you licensed?
  • How much experience do you have as an aging life care professional?
  • What happens if I have an emergency after-hours?
  • Do you have references I can talk to?
  • Will your agency also help with home care services?

Aging Life Care Professionals and Home Care 

One of the perks of using aging life care professionals to coordinate care is that they are trained to work with many different types of people and organizations. An aging life care professional can help coordinate medical care, work with lawyers, and coordinate in-home care services. Home care agencies like Home Care Solutions who work with aging life care professionals further ease stress for families and improve quality of life in the home.

To learn more about Home Care Solutions, the experts in home care in Richland, WA, and nearby areas, and our aging life care professional services, contact us any time at (509) 627-8575. We offer a free in-home consultation to share more about how we can help in your particular circumstances.

How Care Coordination Is Key to Helping Older Parents Age at Home

Care coordination is a vital component to helping older parents age at home.

Ask most seniors if they would prefer to continue living at home, even if they are challenged by aging-related issues, and the answer in the majority of cases is a resounding “yes!” Having to move away from home, a place filled with so many memories, can be upsetting, even if a senior admits that it’s getting more difficult to manage. However, wanting to continue to be at home and having the ability to do so safely, all alone, are two different things. So what can you do? Even if you are a 24/7, around-the-clock family caregiver, you can’t do it all by yourself. You need help, and it could be that care coordination is the solution you need when helping older parents age at home. 

Many families find that preparing for home care services requires the expertise of a professional who fully understands all of the options. And it’s true — appropriate care coordination from an aging care specialist will help everyone involved feel more organized and secure.

Who Can Help?

Many seniors can benefit from help with several aspects of life, such as meal preparation, transportation to and from medical appointments, taking medications, and conducting the routine activities of daily living. Trying to coordinate all of these tasks can be challenging for a family caregiver. What many people don’t understand is that home care agencies, like Home Care Solutions, can help identify, locate, and coordinate all of the aspects of effective care at home. They can even uncover recommendations that may not have been considered at first for helping older parents.

Home care agencies have resources and contacts that are incredibly helpful for families who are in the middle of planning for long-term care. Our experienced staff and caregivers are always happy to help families in determining the right care plan for a loved one and assisting with all of his or her care needs. Our care plans are always customized to each individual and can include a broad range of services, such as:

  • Personal care (showering, dressing, etc.)
  • Planning and preparing healthy and appetizing meals
  • Providing friendly companionship 
  • Light housekeeping and laundry
  • Running errands
  • Transportation and accompaniment 
  • And others 

Call us at (509) 627-8575 to learn about our in-home care and care coordination services. As the leading provider of at home care in Richland, WA, and surrounding areas, we’re here with the resources and answers you need, any time.

How Senior Care Management Can Help During the Pandemic

How Senior Care Management Can Help During the Pandemic

The providers of home care in Richland, WA, and the surrounding areas recommend senior care management during COVID-19.
The providers of home care in Richland, WA, and the surrounding areas recommend senior care management during COVID-19.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been especially concerning for seniors and their families. Seniors are disproportionately impacted by the virus, in particular those with underlying conditions such as heart problems and COPD. In an effort to maintain social distancing and reduce contact with potential contagions, many older adults have become progressively isolated from their family members. In the absence of regular socialization and attentive care, loneliness and depression as well as memory issues linked to dementia and other diseases can creep in. In response to these difficult circumstances, many families are seeking the help of senior care management services.

Care managers help family members ensure that their senior loved one is safe and cared for, even in unprecedented times such as these. Care management services can be a great help with coordinating hospital appointments and in-home care to ensure that your loved one has access to prompt care despite social distancing constraints. Care managers are up to date and compliant with COVID-19 guidelines, and use their expert knowledge to help your loved one live safer and more comfortably at home. They can provide moral support in trying times and manage the finer details of care so you’re able to rest easy knowing your loved one is well taken care of. With a care manager working on the ground and communicating with you directly, you’ll know what is taking place in your loved one’s life in spite of the distance and will be empowered to make decisions regarding their care.

Care management services can cover a broad range of offerings, including:

  • Evaluating care needs and setting up in-home care services
  • Coordinating medical appointments and arranging transportation
  • Advocating for the senior to healthcare providers
  • Arranging respite care to give family caregivers a break
  • Making referrals to financial and legal professionals as needed
  • Assisting with housing transitions
  • Facilitating crisis management in case of emergency

The senior care management team at Home Care Solutions is experienced and ready to assist a senior in your life. Our care managers will thoroughly evaluate your loved one’s holistic mental, emotional, and physical wellness in order to offer streamlined, accessible solutions. Our care management team is fully integrated with our full-service home care, ensuring smooth transitions and clear communication.

If you’re ready to explore how care management services can enhance the life of a senior you love, call us for a care consultation. You can reach us online or give us a call at (509) 627-8575 [SG2] to learn more about home care in Richland, WA, and the surrounding areas.

 

The Benefits of Care Management for Seniors With Chronic Health Issues

The Benefits of Care Management for Seniors With Chronic Health Issues

The providers of home care assistance in Kennewick, WA and nearby areas recommend seniors with chronic health issues seek out care management.
The providers of home care assistance in Kennewick, WA and nearby areas recommend seniors with chronic health issues seek out care management.

Keeping up with the various medical appointments, treatments, tests, medications, lifestyle changes, and more is a way of life for the numerous older individuals with chronic health care needs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 85% of seniors have at least one chronic health condition, and 60% are living with two or more. The challenges may seem overwhelming. But there is one essential component of care for seniors with chronic health issues: care management.

Medical diagnoses like diabetes, COPD, heart disease, and more are life-altering. They impact a person’s mental as well as physical health, and it’s essential to enlist help in meeting all care needs. Geriatric care managers, also known as aging life care specialists, are skilled specialists with expertise in meeting all of the varied care needs of older individuals.

Here’s how care management for seniors with chronic health issues works:

The Consultation

A preliminary, in-depth assessment, conducted in the senior’s home, enables the care manager to fully comprehend the senior’s particular concerns and challenges. The care manager will assess cognitive, physical, dietary, and mental acuity, as well as the overall safety of the home environment. With this information at hand, a personalized plan of care is then put into place.

The Plan

  • The older adult’s personalized care plan will include a full range of recommendations, like:
  • Training as necessary to improve chronic disease management
  • Referrals to community resources
  • How to confirm that medications and other care needs are managed properly
  • Home alterations to improve safety and reduce the risk of falls
  • And more

The Outcome

  • Carrying out the plan may involve, as appropriate:
  • Coordinating and collaborating with the older adult’s medical team and network of support
  • Problem-solving to eliminate any barriers to effective care and management of health conditions
  • Advocating for the senior
  • Mediating through any complicated family dynamics
  • Serving as the “eyes and ears” for loved ones living at a distance
  • Assisting with documentation for long-term care insurance or other necessary paperwork
  • Accompanying the senior to medical appointments to ensure doctors’ orders are understood and followed
  • Legal guardianship
  • And many others

At Home Care Solutions, we’re pleased to offer professional care management services in tandem with our trusted in-home care services, to best meet the varied chronic care needs of seniors. Our caregivers are thoughtfully chosen, highly skilled, and thoroughly vetted and background checked.

Discover the peace of mind and higher quality of care our care management services offer. Contact us today for an in-home assessment and help a senior you love enjoy a healthier, safer, and more independent lifestyle. Contact us online or call us any time at (509) 627-8575 to learn more about our care management and home care assistance in Kennewick and the surrounding communities.

Long Distance Caregiving: How to Help Aging Parents from Far Away

Long Distance Caregiving: How to Help Aging Parents from Far Away

Prior planning is important when long distance caregiving for senior loved ones.

Living far away from senior loved ones can make the need for help at home easier to overlook. In fact, many adult children of older parents frequently do not realize that Dad and Mom need assistance until they arrive home for a visit or spend a longer period of time together. If you are long distance caregiving for senior loved ones, it’s essential to have a plan set up for crises and care.  Continue reading “Long Distance Caregiving: How to Help Aging Parents from Far Away”

Helping the Sandwich Generation Make Caregiving Manageable

Helping the Sandwich Generation Make Caregiving Manageable

The sandwich generation has a lot of care tasks to juggle. Learn tips that can help.

Are your senior parents in need of care? At the same time are you trying to meet the needs of children and family in the home? If that’s the case, you are a member of the sandwich generation – a demographic of males and females, typically in their 30s or 40s, who are now responsible for raising their children while simultaneously providing care for their senior parents. The to-do lists of the sandwich generation are overflowing. Many family caregivers have demanding careers, are busy with activities for their children, and manage a variety of household tasks in addition to their caregiving responsibilities. There are strategies to support caregivers though, and the first step is becoming informed about how to make the circumstances more manageable.  Continue reading “Helping the Sandwich Generation Make Caregiving Manageable”

Tips for Improving Outdoor Safety for a Senior with Cognitive Functioning Decline

Cognitive functioning decline impacts all elements of your parent’s life, including their safety. If you are a family caregiver for an aging adult who is living with these types of challenges, it is important to make managing them a central and consistent part of your care routine.

As spring approaches and the weather becomes more appealing, you may be planning more time outside. If your senior has always enjoyed gardening, birdwatching, or other such activities, they may also be looking forward to getting out of the house more often. This makes it essential, however, that you take into consideration their safety while they are outdoors.

 

Use these tips to improve outdoor safety for a senior living with cognitive functioning decline:

-Be sure there is a key hidden somewhere near your parent’s home that an emergency responder or neighbor could access even if your parent is not able to remember where it is. This can help reduce danger if your parent gets locked outside.

-Have a weather-resistant box available with emergency supplies that can help your parent overcome potential dangers if they are locked outside or otherwise cannot get in. This should include water, non-perishable food in a secure container, and blankets, towels, or other materials to help combat weather.

-Ensure the address on your parent’s home is clearly and readily visible, and consider adding a distinct distinguishing feature to the lawn or home itself. This can help to create landmarks that are more easily recognizable by your parent and can also aid others who are trying to help them find their way home if your parent should wander.

-Remove any plants from the lawn that have fruit that is poisonous or that your parent is allergic to. They may become confused during their time outside and attempt to eat it.

-If there is a pool, pond, or other water feature, make sure it is well-secured or otherwise inaccessible so your parent does not accidentally fall into it.

-Keep any gardening implements inaccessible to your parent so they do not attempt to use them without supervision and potentially harm themselves.

Caring for any senior adult is challenging, but caring for one with cognitive functioning decline can have even more difficulties.

Bringing elder care into your routine with your parent can be a fantastic way to ensure your senior gets the care they need while reducing your stress and enabling you to have more control and freedom in your own schedule.

The personalized services of an elderly home care services provider are designed to help your parent manage their challenges and needs in effective and meaningful ways that promote independence, support health and safety, and encourage fulfillment and continued quality of life as they age. Having elder care as part of your care approach also means you can feel confident your senior’s needs are managed now and will be in the future as their needs change and increase.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring a Caregiver in Burbank, WA, please contact the caring staff at Home Care Solutions today. We serve the Tri-Cities and Surrounding Areas.  Call 509-627-8575

Exercise and Your Senior’s Balance

One way to help your elderly family member to deal with balance problems is to encourage her to begin an exercise program. There are a lot of variables to consider before diving into the deep end, though.

 

Talk to Your Senior’s Doctor First

Before you and your senior map out an exercise plan for her, it’s vital that you talk to her doctor. Your senior’s individual health concerns might mean that certain exercises are not right for her or that she needs to stick to a specific type of exercise for the best results. Her doctor can help you to determine all of that safely. Once you have that information, it’s a lot easier to tailor an exercise plan to your senior’s needs.

 

Consider Physical Therapy First

If she hasn’t been exercising, your senior might benefit from physical therapy before starting a more traditional form of exercise. Physical therapists can look at how your senior moves and walks and help to narrow down what might be contributing to her balance issues. With specific exercises that target those issues, your senior can experience some major improvements much more quickly than she might expect.

 

Dance or Yoga Can Have Positive Benefits

Often aging family members associate exercise with something boring or difficult. But she can also do something that is a lot more fun, like yoga or dance. These types of activities do a lot to help your senior’s body learn to balance itself better and to grow stronger, but they do so without being boring or too repetitive.

 

So Can Strengthening Exercises

Dance or yoga might not be your senior’s thing, and that’s okay. Strengthening exercises, especially ones that help to strengthen her core, can be just the ticket. Water aerobics, for instance, offers your elderly family member’s muscles resistance and helps her to avoid a fall while she’s exercising. Do some exploring to figure out what options are most appealing to your elderly family member. She might want to consider trying a few different activities to find the ones she prefers.

Something else that can help your senior’s balance issues is to have someone on hand at all times, just in case. Home care providers can be there when you’re not able to be with your senior. They can help to ensure that your elderly family member is moving the way that she should and that she’s not taking unnecessary risks with herself.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care Services in Sunnyside, WA, please contact the caring staff at Home Care Solutions today. We serve the Tri-Cities and Surrounding Areas.  Call 509-627-8575