Formulate Your Elder Care Plan

Elder Care and Senior Care Planning and Options

Formulate Your Elder Care Plan

Should Nutrition Drinks Be a Part of Elder Care?

It’s a badge of merit for you as a caregiver when the senior you are working with gets healthier, not sicker. And this is entirely possible. One of the biggest factors is diet.

The goal is to get the most nutrition into the body of your senior, and then let nature take its course to do the healing. The top three ways to do this are:

  • Juice vegetables.
  • Make smoothies.
  • Offer protein shakes.

 

Let’s examine each of these in the context of elder care.Fresh vegetable smoothie

1. Juice Vegetables

Juicing vegetables is a way to concentrate their nutritional content. For example, one cup of carrot juice will contain the nutrients found in one entire pound of carrots, an amount your senior – or any healthy adult – is not going to eat in one day. Juicing is the quickest way to see a turnaround in the senior in your elder care situation.

What should be juiced? Carrots are a good place to start since a cup of carrot juice is extremely beneficial for all skin disorders, eyesight, and the digestive system. Carrots contain very little vitamin K so carrot juice is safe for those who are on anticoagulants.
Here’s a suggestion: start slowly by adding a cup of carrot juice to the diet of the senior under your care. You may even want to purchase it at first since the investment is significantly less this way than getting the family to buy a juicer.

2. Make Smoothies
Smoothies keep all the fiber of the vegetables and fruits in the recipe. This may make it more
difficult to swallow for some seniors with nervous system illnesses. Also the amount of vegetables and fruits in these recipes is not that high – but yet high enough to start showing health benefits within a week or two. One suggestion: Try yogurt-based recipes that you add veggies and fruits to, such as yogurt, strawberries, lemon juice, cinnamon, spinach, kale, parsley, and a handful of nuts.

3. Protein Shakes
These are exceptionally important for preventing skin breakdown. Offer a protein shake to your senior at least three times a week if it’s been approved by the medical staff. The extra 28 to 35 grams protein goes a long way towards blood sugar regulation, weight stability and mental functions.

NFHC – a home care agency in Houston TX states, “Elder care should include any or all of these three foods in the diet of the senior under your care.”

 

Some excellent resources on elder care and nutrition include www.NFHcare.com and http://consultgerirn.org/topics/nutrition_in_the_elderly/want_to_know_more

 

Senior Care and Sleep- 3 Tips for Better Health

3 Senior Care Tips Regarding Sleep

tips for better sleep, senior careSenior care is what you’ve chosen for your profession. And with that comes responsibilities, some you may not be aware of and other responsibilities you are aware of but not fully informed about. Senior sleep care may be one of those responsibilities.

It may seem true that you should treat senior care in the sleep department exactly like you were treating sleep for your family, but this is not true.

Millions of Americans have trouble sleeping. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control recently called insufficient sleep a “public health epidemic.” But don’t panic just yet. There are simple steps you can take to improve your sleep and your health.

Are you drinking caffeine late in the day? Using your laptop to send emails from bed? Could your mattress be keeping you awake?- BetterSleep.org

 

Here’s why:

• Many seniors have medical conditions that limit their movement in bed.

• Many seniors have medical conditions that affect the skin and the ability to feel their skin. Most of these are neurological disorders.

• Many seniors like to get settled in bed and not move much after getting settled.

The big enemy of caregivers is a bedsore. These skin sores can eat away initially at the senior’s skin, then the muscles and finally the bones. And that’s not all they do. Next comes infection that then can lead to a sepsis condition. The senior could end up dying as a result, and what happens next could unfold into a legal battle. You simply don’t want any part of it.

So here are four senior care tips regarding sleep to follow to prevent this situation:

Senior Care Tip 1: Bed checks.

When the senior is in bed, make bed checks part of your normal routine. The goal is to prevent any one part of the senior’s body from taking the brunt of bearing the body weight for long periods of time. For example, by lying on the back, the heel, sacrum, pelvis and spine are at risk of developing bedsores. The action to take is to switch the body position every 30 minutes.

Senior Care Tip 2: Observe the Skin More Often.

If you are giving sponge baths to the senior, observe and note any areas that look reddened for no apparent reason. If these are near bony protuberances such as the elbow, heel, sacrum, pelvis and hip, it could be the start of a bedsore, which is called Stage 1 bedsore. Report it immediately to your superiors and the medical staff.

Senior Care Tip 3: Provide More Nutrition.

Skin breaks down because it doesn’t have the structural integrity to support itself. Raise the senior’s protein level of the diet by offering some extra protein snacks during the day. Recommend to your superiors that the nutritional needs of your senior are increased. This one step goes a long way in reversing the skin changes.

Keep your senior free of bedsores and you’ll extend the life and happiness of that senior. For more information about senior care in Houston Texas, visit www.nfhcare.com 

Activities for Patients of Alzheimer’s Care

Dementia ActivitiesActivities for Patients of Alzheimer’s Care

 You have a loved one with Alzheimer’s, and you have read that doing activities is good for people with this debilitating disease. But what kind of activities should they do? Here are some suggestions then for your loved one:

Puzzles and crosswords puzzles: When your family member is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, keeping his or her mind active is important so it doesn’t shut down. Puzzles are an excellent thing for this depending, once again, upon how advanced the disease is. You can use then a 100 piece puzzle, which is a good size for piecing together, and can be bought at Dollar Stores. Just make sure whatever puzzle you buy has a large assortment of various colors. It can confuse Alzheimer’s sufferers if there are too many pieces of the same color. Also separate the outside pieces from the inside ones so that only one area will be concentrated on at a time. Then have him or her start on the outside. When the outside is done, then he or she can work on the inside. Don’t be afraid to do it together if you both like this kind of activity.

Take a walk to the mailbox: Your loved one may not like to go for a walk but may enjoy getting the mail. Once you have him out of the house then, you may be able to distract your loved one to go a bit further by showing him or her the neighbor’s new puppy or a new flower bed you planted.

Coloring: This is a great activity for simple decision making because colors have to be picked and lines stayed between. It’s also good for focus and stress relief.

Folding clothes: Because there is something methodical and repetitious about folding laundry, this is a great activity. Towels, washrags and dishtowels are the easiest to fold. This will give your family member a sense of accomplishment as well.

Going for a drive: Sometimes just a change of scenery can be soothing for your senior. Driving to somewhere familiar or a place that is comfortable to visit is a pleasant distraction. You can drive or park and watch people walking, if you’re in the city, or look at the cows if you’re driving through the country.

Cleaning up around the house: You can have your family member sweep the kitchen, wipe off the table, dry the pots and pans or even hold open the trash bag for you. And when the job is done a sense of team accomplishment and belonging is achieved.

The important thing to do is to select the best time of day for your senior to partake in the different activities. If he or she is more energetic in the afternoon, go for a walk. If he or she is more focused in the morning, do a puzzle. If one activity doesn’t work on that particular day, have an alternate one ready. Also, don’t be too timid to try something new and different as an activity to see if you can peak your senior’s interest.

 For a person who’s in Alzheimer’s care, regardless of where, the day can be long and boring. You can make a difference though by using fun or purposeful activities depending upon the progression of the illness. And they are activities you can share in.

If you are looking for even more information be sure to check out http://www.alzheimerscaredaily.com or visit The Alzheimer’s Association at www.ALZ.org