Home Care Companions Keep Seniors Happy

Home Care Companions Keep Seniors Happy – Friendship & Socialization are Important for Seniors

Studies from the Iowa aging group have shown that there is an important link between social interaction and the health of senior individuals. Although socialization is important for everybody – regardless of their age -seniors are more susceptible to the dangers caused by isolation. Seniors have spent a majority of their lives in the company of others, from raising families to working. Once retirement sets in, and children have left the nest, opportunities for socializing decrease especially as senior health decreases.

Improved Mental Health

Memory issues and depression are two health conditions that seniors often experience. Studies have shown that with consistent interaction with other individuals they can drastically reduce both problems with memory and depression. This means that just talking to someone once a day for at least 30 minutes can improve memory and ward off depression.

Improved Nutrition

When living alone, many people tend to become malnourished, and this is especially true for seniors. They either don’t find the need to cook for themselves, or they just hate eating alone. Having a home care staff member over a couple of times per week to dine with can really improve the appetite of seniors. In addition, they can help them plan a get together with other seniors in the community, which in turn will inspire them to cook, eat, and socialize.

Improved Physical Health

Having an active social life is one way to truly ensure that you are physically healthy. Whether you get together with your friends for a morning walk, or go out for lunch, you are working to increase the abilities of your immune system, decrease blood pressure and reduce physical pain that is caused by depression and a lack of movement.

Strength in Numbers

According to a study published in AARP, the more people you have in your social circle, the better off you’ll be. It is a key component of a healthy individual to be surrounded by the people you love and who love and care for you in return. There are many ways that seniors can meet new people and develop a more active social life to improve their overall health.

All of these activities will help improve the social involvement your senior family members have in their community. Feeling loved and wanted, or just having someone to talk to each day, is a key element in living a healthy life.

If you or an aging loved one are considering home care services, please contact Hope Home Healthcare. We can assist you with deciding if in-home care is right for you.

Season Affective Disorder (SAD)

WebMD defines Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD (also called winter depression, winter blues, summer depression, and seasonal depression) as a mood disorder subset in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year exhibit depressive symptoms at the same time each year, most commonly in the winter.

The “winter blues” or SAD has some common general symptoms:

  • Depression
  • Sleep problems
  • Lethargy
  • Overeating
  • Irritability
  • Feeling down and unsociable

The good news is there are some simple things you can do to beat the winter blues!  If your symptoms are so bad that you can’t live a normal life, see your doctor for medical help.

  1. Keep active
    Research has shown that a daily one-hour walk in the middle of the day could be as helpful as light treatment for coping with the winter blues.
  2. Get outside
    Go outdoors in natural daylight as much as possible, especially at midday and on brighter days. Inside your home, choose pale colors that reflect light from outside, and sit near windows whenever you can.
  3. Keep warm
    Being cold makes you more depressed. It’s also been shown that staying warm can reduce the winter blues by half.
  4. Eat healthily
    A healthy diet will boost your mood, give you more energy and stop you from putting on weight over the winter. Balance your craving for carbohydrates, such as pasta and potatoes, with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  5. Take up a new hobby
    Keeping your mind active with a new interest seems to ward off symptoms of the winter blues. It could be anything, such as playing bridge, singing, knitting, joining a gym, keeping a journal, or writing a blog. The important thing is that you have something to look forward to and concentrate on.
  6. See your friends and family
    It’s been shown that socializing is good for your mental health and helps ward off the winter blues. Make an effort to keep in touch with people you care about and accept any invitations you get to social events, even if you only go for a little while.

The information contained in this article should never take the place of a physician’s care or assessment. When dealing with any type of depression, you should consult your family physician’s office.

Let’s Get Real

Greetings Hope Home Healthcare followers. I hope you all are enjoying this beautiful Thursday afternoon. The season of county fairs and festivals are in full swing and we are blessed with beautiful weather.

For the last two weeks, I have struggled to find a topic to blog on. This week God handed me the answer on a silver platter, well it was more like a huge, scary, mammogram machine, but let’s not get too technical.

Three weeks ago, I found a single lump on my right breast. I immediately called my family doctor for an appointment to get the mass checked out. My family doctor found two more smaller lumps on the same side, so he ordered a diagnostic mammogram.

This past Monday I went into the mammogram appointment and faced the giant machine that I have heard so many beautiful ladies refer to in pure disgust. I now fully understand and appreciate the love/hate relationship so many share with this machine! The technician was wonderful, the room was bright and pink breast cancer awareness bears lined her workspace. She handed me a pink robe and gave me the normal instructions to change into the shirt robe and she would return.

The process was fairly quick and to the point. She said she was going to have the radiologist read the results and see if she needed further scans. Yes, so far this is just a normal appointment, just checking on the girls, as so many other women have gone through. But I am only 33 and the chance of breast cancer is the last thing I ever thought I would deal with. But there I sat in the bright room all alone with breast cancer bears staring at me. Then the technician walks back in with a look on her face I will never forget. She said, “We found 3 masses and the radiologist would like an ultrasound scan done”.

So off to the dark room two doors down we went. As the technician completed her scans I asked what she was seeing, she turned the screen to me and walked me thru what she saw, why it was abnormal and said she was going to go get the radiologist to review the scans and talk to me. So again, I am left alone in a now dark room with only me and my wondering mind. About 5 minutes later she walks in with the radiologist and she begins to rescan the masses. After what felt like forever of the radiologist telling her where to scan, to add color, take color away, add color again, move the wand this way or that. The radiologist got this scary and uneasy look across his face and tells the technician he has seen enough. He sits down next to me and explains in a calm and attempted reassuring tone that he sees cancer. He explains the best course of action is to remove the largest mass to biopsy it and we will go from there.

He then asks me if I have any questions. Well yes, I have a million questions at this moment running through my mind; however, the only question I could muster was why is this happening. He gave me a long explanation about genetics and odds, and then just as quickly as he walked in, he walked out.

The technician instructed me to get dressed and leave my robe shirt on the bed, and leave the door open when I left. The results will be sent to my primary and they would get in touch with me to get surgery scheduled. And just like that, she was gone.

I couldn’t move, I sat on that table shocked and perplexed. I cried, I will admit it, but then I began to get mad. I was mad that this was happening. I was mad that I was alone in this dark room. I was mad that the odds were forever not in my favor. I was just mad. I got dressed and walked out of the room. My legs felt like Jell-O as I walked out of the room and down the long hallway. I didn’t want to see anyone, I didn’t want to talk to anyone, I just wanted to be left alone. I didn’t want to face this road I was now stuck on!

The one thing I have learned in my short 33 years, the roads we don’t want to be stuck on are the roads we need to be on to gain strength, understanding, compassion and knowledge. This is not part of my plan, but it is a part of God’s plan for me. I am a fighter and I will beat this!

If you take anything away from this post, let it be an understanding. Cancer of any form does not discriminate against age, race, sex, or religion. Cancer will attack for unknown reasons. Cancer will try to take you down with it, DONT LET IT! We are all fighters and we all have so much to fight for. In my case, doing self-breast exams, knowing my body and making that appointment assisted in early diagnosis and treatment. The road I am on is not over, it is just beginning. I will have to have yearly mammograms now, I will have to continue self-exams, I will have treatments, surgery and rechecks. I am not a quitter, I am not giving up. My drive is strong and I will succeed!

Heat Stress

Elderly people (that is, people aged 65 years and older) are more prone to heat stress than younger people for several reasons:

  • Elderly people do not adjust as well as young people to sudden changes in temperature.
  • They are more likely to have a chronic medical condition that changes normal body responses to heat.
  • They are more likely to take prescription medicines that impair the body’s ability to regulate its temperature or that inhibit perspiration.

Heat Stroke
Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness. It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature: the body’s temperature rises rapidly, the body loses its ability to sweat, and it is unable to cool down. Body temperatures rise to 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause permanent disability, or even death, if emergency treatment is not provided.

Signs and Symptoms of Heat Stroke (warning signs vary but may include the following):

  • An extremely high body temperature (above 103°F)
  • Red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating)
  • Rapid, strong pulse
  • Throbbing headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids.

Signs and Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion (warning signs vary but may include the following):

  • Heavy sweating
  • Paleness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fainting
  • Skin may be cool and moist
  • Pulse rate: fast and weak
  • Breathing: fast and shallow

What You Can Do to Protect Yourself

You can follow these prevention tips to protect yourself from heat-related stress:

  • Drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages (If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask him how much you should drink when the weather is hot. Also, avoid extremely cold liquids because they can cause cramps.)
  • Rest
  • Take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath
  • If possible, seek an air-conditioned environment (If you don’t have air conditioning, consider visiting an air-conditioned shopping mall or public library to cool off.)
  • Wear lightweight clothing
  • If possible, remain indoors in the heat of the day
  • Do not engage in strenuous activities.

What You Can Do to Help Protect Elderly Relatives and Neighbors

If you have elderly relatives or neighbors, you can help them protect themselves from heat-related stress by:

  • Visiting older adults at risk at least twice a day and watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
  • Encouraging them to increase their fluid intake by drinking cool, nonalcoholic beverages regardless of their activity level. Warning: If their doctor generally limits the amount of fluid they drink or they are on water pills, they will need to ask their doctor how much they should drink while the weather is hot.
  • Take them to air-conditioned locations if they have transportation problems.

What You Can Do for Someone With Heat Stress

If you see any signs of severe heat stress, you may be dealing with a life-threatening emergency. Have someone call for immediate medical assistance while you begin cooling the affected person.

Do the following:

  • Get the person to a shady area.
  • Cool the person rapidly, using whatever methods you can. For example, immerse the person in a tub of cool water; place the person in a cool shower; spray the person with cool water from a garden hose; sponge the person with cool water; or if the humidity is low, wrap the person in a cool, wet sheet and fan him or her vigorously. Monitor body temperature and continue cooling efforts until the body temperature drops to 101°–102°F.
  • If emergency medical personnel are delayed, call the hospital emergency room for further instructions.
  • Do not give the person alcohol to drink.
  • Get medical assistance as soon as possible.

 

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

About HHHC

Welcome to Hope Home Healthcare! Thank you for stopping by! After a year of being in business, we are opening a branch in the Elkhart/Bristol, IN area.  We will be offering the same kind of care at this location.    To find out more about this branch of the company, please refer to the Home Home Care tab of the website.

HHHC provides care and daily living assistance to individuals in their own home, the place they thrive the most. We provide our loving care to Seniors and individuals with physical disabilities or emotional challenges.  Our flexible services are available for hourly to daily to around the clock care, temporary assistance while recovering from illness or surgery, or end of life care.  Our experienced and compassionate caregivers make your life easier and provide peace of mind that your loved ones are taken care of in a safe and secure environment.

Benefits of In-Home Care

The comfortable surroundings of the home promote the most optimal conditions for your loved one’s health and happiness.  Home care offers one-on-one attention and care that cannot be matched in any other setting. With our unique style, we truly are Hope in time of need.

What Makes Hope Unique?

Emotional Support
The friendship, socialization and emotional support we provide your loved one with our home care services is just as important as our daily tasks and chores. This emotional support facilitates comfort and healing. We understand the challenges your loved one faces and we display respect, trust and compassion at all times.

Personality Matching
Matching a Senior, Elderly or physically/mentally challenged individual with the right caregiver for them is the most important aspect of what we do. You may be surprised at all the things we concern ourselves with in order to provide the perfect caregiver for each situation, personality characteristic, temperament and physical and emotional circumstance. We create the best fit between caregiver and client.  We modify and tailor everything to your specific desires.

Locally Owned & Operated=Accessible 24/7
You have access to us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  We are locally owned and operated and work around the clock for our clients. We are not a franchise or a national chain that may be hard to access. Hope Home Healthcare owners, Clayton & Jamie Jenkins, are long-term residents of the tri-state area.  HHHC and its staff have considerable experience handling a wide range of issues and emergencies that may come up any time of the day or night.

Relationship Matters
Hope Home Healthcare is built on referrals from satisfied customers, health care providers and social workers. As a referral-based business, your satisfaction with our home care services is critical to our reputation.  Our business thrives only when our clients and their families receive outstanding service.  We build strong relationship with you, relationships grounded in open communication, honesty and integrity.

For more information please call us at 319-313-8555 or e-mail us at hopehhcj@gmail.com.