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 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”

How Can You Tell Your Senior Might Be Having Vision Trouble?

Vision trouble can show up in a variety of different ways for your aging adult. When you know what to look for, you can help her to get to the eye doctor before a serious problem develops.

She’s Definitely Experiencing Vision Loss

Often vision loss is more obvious to you than it might be to your aging adult. You might notice that she’s squinting a lot or that she’s holding things closer to her eyes or farther away than normal. These are all attempts to compensate for her lost vision and to try to see more effectively. This can happen even with corrective lenses. It’s possible that she needs a new prescription or that there are other issues at play.

She’s Mentioned “Floaters” or Flashes

Floaters or flashing lights are common with a variety of issues, such as the aura stage of migraines. But they can also show up for other reasons, like when the retina detaches from the eye or becomes torn. If your elderly family member has never experienced floaters before and is suddenly mentioning them, it’s important to determine a cause as soon as possible.

She’s Having a Tough Time with Colors

If your elderly family member is mentioning that she’s seeing different colors than you are, she might be having trouble with her vision. The most common cause for this is cataracts because the cataract clouds the lens of her eye and changes how she sees the world. A full eye exam can help your senior to get to the full reason behind the issues she’s having seeing colors correctly.

She’s Rubbing Her Eyes a Lot of Complaining of Irritation

Another sign that your senior is having vision trouble could be how she’s treating her eyes. If she’s telling you that they feel irritated, or like they’re burning, there might be something going on with them. She could also be rubbing them more than usual, especially if she’s unable to talk to you about how her eyes are feeling. Watch for signs like this so that you can try to address whatever might be happening.

Pasco area home care providers can also help you to spot potential issues with your aging adult’s vision. They’ve got experience in spotting these types of issues and can clue you in on what you need to watch for in order to get your senior the help that she needs as quickly as possible.

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

Celebrate National Senior Independence Month by Showing Your Dad How Elder Care Aids Independence

February is National Senior Independence Month.
Ask any senior what they want as they age and independence pops up. Senior citizens want to come and go as they please. They want to live in the home they’ve owned for years. They want to feel safe in that home.

National Senior Independence Month is a good time to look at all the things your dad is doing right. He’s walking every day. He’s eating three meals a day and drinking plenty of water. At some point, he’s going to need some help. Now is a good time to address what help he may need down the road. Kick off February by having an open conversation about elder care services.

 

The Range of Services Elder Care Aides Provide

Your dad may be healthy right now. Do you really know where he’ll be a year or two from now? His blood pressure may be a little too high. He might have fallen on an icy sidewalk and have a harder time walking up and down stairs. It’s these situations you need to think about. If something happens, how well could he manage housekeeping, meals, and transportation?

Those are just a few of the services available through an elder care agency. Your dad needs to think about whether he would need help carrying his laundry in the future. Is he always going to be able to drive, or will there come a time he needs help getting to appointments? Does he have plenty of friends nearby or is he likely to get lonely?

 

Elder Care Keeps Your Dad Independent

Your dad needs to think about these scenarios and what would happen if he took no action. If your dad isn’t supposed to drive and ignores his doctor and crashes, where will he be then? Would he go to jail? Is his insurance likely to keep him if his driving leads to a costly personal injury case? If arthritis kept him from cooking a meal, would he end up in the hospital due to malnutrition?

By being proactive, your dad is taking the steps needed to help him stay safe and stay independent. His caregiver comes only as often as needed. He still comes and goes as he pleases. He doesn’t have to move into assisted living or a nursing home. He’s safe in the home he loves with the help of a trained professional. That professional is only there when needed.

Take that first step. Call a home care agency to discuss elder care services that help your dad live independently at home without fear.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Elderly Care 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

How Can Families Come Together to Help With Senior Care?

When you’re not in agreement with your parents or your siblings, senior care plans become a nightmare.
You need to work together. How can that happen when you all have different views on what’s needed and what style of care is best?

 

Discuss What Care Needs Are Necessary

Sit down and talk about what senior care needs are most important. Go through a list of activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living and see what your parents can and cannot do. Check off items where they need help. Those are the care tasks you need to focus on. Over time, you may add more, but you can worry about that later.

As you have the discussion, talk about who your parents are comfortable with. They may not want you and your siblings helping with bathing and toileting. They may not want your brother cooking meals, but they don’t like how you drive. Listen to your parents’ input in this meeting.

 

You Might Have to Get Someone to Mediate

Conflicts between siblings may happen. In some families, working around the problems isn’t possible. Too many disagreements occur and feelings get hurt. If this happens, a mediator can help. Find an impartial friend, pastor, or social worker. Offer both sides and ask for suggestions.

 

Split Tasks to Make Things Even

-When a parent needs care, it can be less stressful if everyone chips in. One sibling could cook meals and do the shopping. Another sibling could be the one scheduling appointments and bringing parents to those appointments. One sibling could take care of housekeeping and laundry.

-Grandchildren can be included. While they may be limited in what they can manage, they can help with light chores like sweeping, sorting laundry, and walking small pets around the yard.

-Split up the tasks, so that everyone is chipping in an equal amount of time. Don’t forget to fit in socialization for our parent in this too. Leave time to go for walks, watch movies, or play games.

 

You Have to Let Your Parents Give As Much Input as Possible

It’s crucial that you listen to your parents. They are the ones in need of help, so their opinions need to weigh heavily. If you can’t work with them, ask a senior care professional to help the family finalize your plans. A senior care agency can answer your questions and address your concerns and help everyone come to an agreement.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Elder Care in Prosser, WA, please contact the caring staff at Home Care Solutions today. We serve all of the Tri-Cities areas.  Call 509-627-8575

Why is Winter Weather So Hard on Senior Health?

 

With age, elderly adults often face numerous challenges to their health and wellness.
From illness and injury to chronic conditions in physical and mental health, it seems that seniors face an ongoing struggle to stay healthy. That’s why it is so important for them to be proactive in avoiding situations where they could jeopardize their well-being. For seniors who are dependent on family caregivers and home care providers, they need extra attention and care to remain healthy during winter weather.

 

Winter Is Harder on Seniors

Cold weather and harsh conditions are tougher on everyone, and illnesses and injuries grow dramatically during winter months. However, the season is particularly hard on elderly adults for a number of reasons. Not only is it easier to spread and pick up bacteria and viruses, but seniors also tend to suffer the most with illnesses such as pneumonia, strep throat, and influenza. Other winter hazards include slip and fall accidents, poor nutrition, hypothermia, isolation, and loneliness. Family caregivers must be proactive when it comes to keeping their aging loved ones in the healthy zone.

 

Family Caregivers Can Help Elderly Relatives

The good news is that there are many things family caregivers can do to help their aging loved ones resist the worst health effects of winter. It requires plenty of advanced planning and constant attention to detail, but it’s worth it if their aging relatives escape some of the worst health issues related to winter.

 

Here are a few tips that family caregivers can use:

Hire a home care provider: Having a professional assistant during winter is essential for safe and healthy seniors. The home care provider can assist the senior with everything from getting dressed to running errands. They can help encourage exercise and prepare nutritious meals. Other services include light housework pet care, medication management, and companionship.

Practice good hygiene: Studies show that washing hands is the number one way to prevent germs from spreading, and family caregivers need to make it a part of everyone’s routine. Hand sanitizer is an adequate substitute when elderly adults, family caregivers, and home care providers are on outings.

Maintain a clean environment: The good condition of an elderly person’s home can help them stay healthy in lots of ways. Family caregivers and home care providers should always check the floors for slip and trip hazards, like throw rugs or melted snow. Another example is keeping up with housework, especially wiping surfaces to reduce germ transfer.

Medical appointments and nutritional needs: Family caregivers and home care providers must boost the senior’s overall health. This includes nutritious meals and snacks, adequate sleep, proper medications, and regular doctor visits. With a healthier body and properly managed conditions, their immune system will be stronger and therefore better able to resist germs.

Winter weather protection: Seniors have a harder time regulating body heat, so proper layering is essential. Other winter-related conditions like dry skin and chapped lips can be uncomfortable and even painful. Family caregivers and home care providers must assist seniors in dressing for the weather and taking care of their body to stay strong and healthy.

 

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