Choosing the Right Senior Care Agency

For many, getting their parents to embrace the idea of in-home care is the biggest obstacle. But for others the biggest task is finding the right in-home care provider. With the well-being of your parents in mind, it is important to do some research and make sure you choose a reputable, experienced and caring company. Not all senior care agencies are the same, despite the fact that they must all meet demanding state and Federal standards.

One of the easiest and most effective ways to find good in-home care is to ask friends and family for their recommendations. The Internet is also a good source of reviews and customer comments – both positive and not so positive – and can help you to get a feel for whether a company may be an option or not. Talking to your doctor, social worker or hospital discharge planner can also be beneficial in choosing the right senior care company. Your local Better Business Bureau and Department of Aging can tell you whether any complaints have been made against a specific agency.

Once you have narrowed your search down to several in-home care agencies that seem reliable, your next step is to come up with a list of questions to ask them. Ideally, you’ll want to make a point of visiting their offices, as this will also give you some insight into how efficiently the place is run, as well as the attitude and helpfulness of employees. Although you’ll probably come up with your own questions, you should ask the agency the following: How long have you been in business? Do you have the required bonding, licensing and accreditation? Can you provide references as well as written information about their services offered? Ask to see the results of the most recent inspection by an outside agency, if applicable.

There are also several key questions to ask potential caregivers. You should ask what their training consists of, what their credentials are, and whether the agency carries out background checks and drug tests. Some in-home care agencies, such as Seniors Helping Seniors, also evaluate the personalities of potential caregivers. You may also want to find out whether your elderly parent would have a documented care plan, and whether the patient’s changing needs are evaluated regularly by a nurse or therapist. Of course, communication is also important, and you want to be able to communicate with the senior care provider as well as the agency, and to be kept informed and be assured your concerns are immediately addressed. And because it sometimes happens, you need to know what the agency’s policy is if there just isn’t a good connection between the provider and the patient.

Money is an issue too, when in-home care can cost hundreds of dollars each month. Most agencies charge by the hour, so it’s worth trying to get an idea of how many hours of care your loved one typically needs in a week, or a month. The insurance situation can be confusing, and you need to be reassured that your insurance will cover the senior care provided.

You want the best possible care and attention for your loved one, so be sure to ask the right questions – and to hold out for the right answers. It may take some time, but you’ll feel so much better if your loved one is able to receive care from a well-established and reputable home care provider.

Benefits of In-Home Senior Care

Vision impairment and mobility issues are just a few of the difficulties that make moving to a new home difficult for the elderly. While assisted-living facilities and nursing homes offer a great deal of help, most seniors, or people for that matter, would rather stay in their own home for the greater portion of their lives. Home provides that much-needed sense of comfort as opposed to a nursing home. However, when situations arise, talks of moving family members or loved ones into a nursing home or assisted living facilities get shot down quickly. There may be an answer to this problem when looking for alternatives for those special people in your life.

senior-helping-seniorProfessional in-home senior care services offer many benefits to the elderly. They receive personalized care and are only helped with the things that they really need. Seniors Helping Seniors Escondido sets a great example of what in-home senior care should be about. They make lives easier by providing personal assistance in the comfort of their own homes, as well as around town, should they need errands done such as picking up groceries. The trained personnel at Seniors Helping Seniors of Escondido provide the elderly living around Fallbrook, CA with a number of other great in-home services including: home upkeep, mobility assistance, dressing, bathing, grooming, cooking and meal preparation, and overall quality companionship. This wide range of services makes it more than possible to keep your loved ones feeling safe and comfortable at home for years to come.

In summary, opting for in-home senior care is great for these 3 main reasons:

  1. Keep the comfort of staying in your own home
  2. Personalized one-on-one care
  3. Numerous services from trained senior staff members

Senior care services can be found all around the country. If you think this type of service could be beneficial for you or a loved one, take the time to do some research online to find the best service in your area. You can use Seniors Helping Seniors to find an in-home senior care provider near you.

Dental Care For Seniors

Taking care of your teeth is extremely important going through life, but it can become even more important as we get older. During life, we go through phases where our teeth are especially prone to cavities. If you have maintained a healthy, extensive oral care routine throughout your life, you may be concerned with a sudden increase in cavities as you get older. This is a common issue, and can be attributed to a variety of causes:

One of the most frequent causes of cavities in seniors is because of dry mouth. This is not a normal part of being a senior – it is generally a side-effect of medications. Medications used to treat asthma, high blood pressure, anxiety/depression, and other illnesses commonly cause dry mouth. There are a few solutions to relieving dry mouth, including: Drinking more water, chewing gum, using a humidifier in your house, or purchasing a mouthwash or special spray to use. Your dentist can help to provide a variety of helpful tips on oral care and reducing dry mouth as well.

Another very common oral care issue that seniors encounter is gum disease. Many seniors have periodontal disease, which is caused by the various bacteria found in plaque. This is a very painful disease that irritates your gums, making them red, swollen, and more prone to bleeding. If left untreated, the condition could develop into a very serious issue. Fortunately, seeing your dentist regularly can help to reduce or prevent your chance of acquiring gum disease. Because gum disease is painless and unnoticeable until it is too late, it is important to floss and rinse your mouth regularly to prevent the growth of bacteria and plaque. Here is a great picture depicting the correct way to floss your teeth to remove as much plaque and residue as possible:

Dental Care For Seniors

 

Dental care can be a frustrating and annoying process, especially as you get older and don’t have as much time to spend each day taking care of your teeth. Preventing cavities and oral decay is vital to living a healthy, pain-free life, especially as a senior. Sometimes it can be hard finding the time to take care of your mouth, but taking the steps needed to prevent and maintain proper dental hygiene is extremely important. Speak with your doctor and dentist if you believe you are having cavities as a result of your medication, lifestyle, or other reason. Here in Oregon, I recommend all of my senior friends and family to Shoreview Dental. They are my go-to Salem OR dentist and provide an awesome experience every time. I have brought family and friends here that have questions regarding dental care as well and the staff has been absolutely amazing at providing detailed answers and showing us many resources to look into in the future.

Sometimes, finances may be the reason you have neglected seeing a dentist or doctor to take care of your dental needs. This is very common, because Medicare does not cover routine dental visits. Senior Living provides an excellent resource for different free and low cost dental care options for seniors – now there is no excuse not to take care of your teeth!

The Nova Scotia Dental Association has also provided an excellent video on the importance of proper dental care for seniors. Check it out here:

Cheap Car Insurance for Seniors

driving mercedes

Shopping for cheap car insurance may seem like a fairly simple task. However, it is one that should not be done lightly. Auto insurance is a necessary expense that affects all senior’s budgets; therefore, finding the most dependable insurance company that offers the best premium is essential to saving money. With the vast selection of choices available, it is imperative to do research and comparison shopping to find the best deal for your needs. Finding the best auto insurance company in North Carolina can be accomplished with a few easy steps.

Insurance in North Carolina is unique in a couple of ways. First, the state bans all companies from basing a premium rate on the age or gender of the driver. The cost of many policies in other states can be directly affected by these exact factors. Secondly, the state of North Carolina regulates the maximum rate that an insurer can charge. This does reduce the amount of variance between premiums of various companies. But, there are still differences in each that may cause one company to be better suited for a particular driver than another.

The first step in comparing insurance options is to simply visit the website of each company. The site will give an overview of their business philosophy, their mission statement or commitment to their clients and the types of coverage they offer. Individuals can also get an idea of the level of customer service they have available. Another helpful website is that of the state department of insurance. This site provides information about any company who offers insurance in the state of North Carolina. This useful information will include expert ratings, financial strength, even the number and nature of previous customer complaints.

Word of mouth is also a great way to compare companies. Friends or family members in the area can discuss their personal insurance experiences and the pros or cons of their coverage. This may help in the decision-making process by hearing a firsthand account from a trusted source. Real life accounts are obviously more trustworthy than promises made by an agent looking to pick up a new customer.

While comparing companies is essential to getting the best deal, it is also important to understand the factors that may influence insurance rates. For instance, a driver should be aware of their specific driving record and claim history. Safe drivers are less expensive for insurance companies to cover thus keeping rates for these drivers lower. If an individual has an extensive history of clean driving, they can expect better premiums. Past claim history can also be a predictor of the future. Agents may look at previous claims and determine if the individual will be a risk for filing a high number of claims in the future.

The specific type of vehicle to be insured will also affect the cost of the coverage. While it is true that new cars are typically more expensive to insure, it may not always be the case. The higher market value makes them pricier to repair in the event of an accident. However, the increased safety options in newer vehicles such as anti-theft technology, GPS systems and air bag design may help to reduce rates. Cars that are more likely to be stolen will also carry higher premiums. These are typically older models due to the ease of theft.

There are several choices for the amount of coverage provided by the company as well. These various choices will come with varied rate charges. Liability insurance only pays for damages and injuries sustained by others during an accident. It is normally the least expensive insurance policy to choose. Full coverage will take care of all injuries or repairs. Individuals may also add extras such as collision coverage to pay for damage sustained from striking another car or comprehensive coverage that will pay for incidents resulting from fire, theft, vandalism and other unavoidable events.

North Carolina residents should begin their search for the best car insurance company by contacting a few that stand out to them initially. Speaking to an agent will give insight into the plans offered as well as getting preliminary quotes to use for comparison. Many company web sites will also offer comparison tools on their page. Individuals simply answer a few questions and the tool will list approximate quotes for the top three or four companies in the area. This helps get an idea of what agency a person may want to contact. With a little research and comparison shopping, individuals can easily find the company that perfectly fits their coverage needs.

How Seniors Can Stay Healthy in Their Golden Years

Seniors today are enjoying longer lifespans and better health than the elderly population in the past. There are some approaches that can help seniors stay healthy well into their golden years.

seniors healthExercise

Some degree of physical activity is essential for elderly persons. Exercise is needed for healthy muscles and limbers. Seniors who exercise regularly have healthier digestive systems, and better mental health.

A senior’s exercise routine must be appropriate for his age and his physical condition. It cannot place too many demands on his strength, energy, or physical limitations. An aide or assistant with a senior care service knows how to determine the exercise routines that are suitable for each senior.

Nutrition

While some seniors have dietary restrictions due to medical conditions or weight issues, every senior needs good nutrition in order to stay healthy.

Senior health requires a balanced diet. Unless the senior’s physician has restricted their diet. there are foods they should eat every day. Seniors need calcium for strong bones, protein for strong muscles and natural energy, and the vitamins that are found in fresh fruits and vegetables. Grains and other sources of dietary fiber can prevent constipation, which is a common problem for seniors.

Elderly individuals need to drink plenty of fresh water. Water can reduce the risk of constipation, reduce the risk of urinary tract infections, and keep the body hydrated. Cool water is also a refreshing drink that a person can enjoy at any time of the day.

Activities

Activities keep an older person’s mind alert. When a senior has one more activities in their daily life, they can have mental stimulation and fun.

Depending on the senior’s preferences, the options are nearly limitless. An active senior may enjoy gardening or caring for plants, while a senior who is not so active can have fun playing a musical instrument or playing board games.

Whether the senior likes to knit and crochet, make crafts, or do crossword puzzles, activities should be encouraged. If they have not participated in specific activities before, they can learn a new skill or take up a new hobby. From a sense of accomplishment to pure fun, activities help seniors stay healthy.

Socializing

Some seniors are very social, while others can be loners. But all seniors need friendship and companionship for the sake of their health. Whether the senior makes friends with one new person or becomes part of a group, he will benefit from socializing.

Isolation and loneliness are harmful for all people, but especially for elderly persons. It can even result in depression. The senior should be encouraged to spend time with others who share his interests. If he does not have a friend, it is not too late to help him find one.

Value

For many seniors, no longer feeling they have any value is one of the most dangerous parts of growing older. While this can occur for any senior, it can be a special problem for elderly person with limited mobility or serious health issues.

Regardless of a person’s age, seniors need to know that they are valued and worthwhile. The easiest way to help them realize this is by offering them your time and attention.

Although some seniors need to be encouraged, most are delighted to talk about themselves and reminisce about their pasts. The key to encouraging the senior is to be a good listener. When they talk about their childhood and school days, and tell you anecdotes about days gone by, they will see that their experiences matter to you. They will realize that their life has been important, and that they are important.

Helping an elderly person understand that they are valuable and worthwhile is one of the best gifts you can give to the senior. All it takes is a receptive ear and a receptive heart for an elderly person to realize the value of their life.

A senior care service like Seniors Helping Seniors of Fishers, IN can help the elderly person stay healthy during their later years. An elder care aide, a friend, neighbor, or family member can also contribute to the senior’s health. Any mature, responsible person who is in a senior’s everyday life can make a difference.

Old age does not have to be the end of health and happiness. When they are physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy, every day can be worthwhile.

Great Exercises to Keep Your Back and Spine Strong

For the human body, the spine (and back in general) is very important for us.  Our backs allow us to stand up straight, lift objects, and provide overall stability throughout our day to day lives.

If you’ve ever thrown out you back or have had any type of back injury, you know how difficult it can be to move around and complete daily activities.  That’s why it’s so important that we maintain healthy lifestyles that include physical exercise and stretching, in order to help strengthen our backs.

Visit Richmond Spine if  you’re interested in learning more about spine and back health or would like more information on great exercises you can do to prevent injury.

Below are a few simple back exercises that can help to strengthen the muscles and support systems in your lumbar spine, back, and abdominal muscles.

Isometric Abdominal

The isometric abdominal exercise is excellent for strengthening your abdominal muscles.  To do this exercise:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent
  • Tighten the muscles in your stomach as tight as you can
  • Hold this position for six seconds and repeat 10 times

For those with chronic pain or those healing from injury, it’s recommended that this exercise be done twice per day.  As you feel stronger, you can hold for longer as well as do more repetitions.

Lower Trunk Rotation Stretch

For a great stretch that can work out all of the kinks in your lower back, try the lower trunk rotation stretch.  To do this:

  • Lie on your back, keeping your shoulder blades flat against the floor
  • With your knees bent, rotate your knees to one side until you begin feeling a stretch
  • Hold that position for two seconds and then relax
  • For best results, repeat ten times on each side, twice per day

Bridging

Bridging is great for strengthening the muscle groups in your lower back and abdominal region.  To do this:

  • Lie on your back with your knees slightly bent
  • Slowly raise your buttocks two inches off of the floor
  • Hold this position for two seconds and then relax
  • Repeat this exercise ten times, twice a day

Straight Leg Raise

This movement is great for building strength in your lower abdominals.  To do this:

  • Lying flat on the floor, keep one leg bent and the other straight
  • Raise the straight leg approximately 10 inches off of the floor, keeping your leg straight and stomach muscles tight
  • Lower your leg and repeat ten times.  This should be done twice a day on both sides

 

Isometric Hip Flexion

For a great core strengthening exercise, try the isometric hip flexion.  To do this exercise:

  • Lie on your back with both legs bent
  • With one leg, tighten your stomach muscles and raise your knee to your outstretched hand
  • Gently push against your hand, keeping your arm straight and body rigid
  • Hold for six seconds and repeat 10 times for each side.  Repeat this exercise twice per day

 

 

How to Discuss Senior Care With an Elderly Parent

elder careOne of the most difficult discussions to have with your parents focuses on their need for senior care. Most adult children wait until there is a crisis to broach the subject of in-home care. However, it is easier for all parties involved if these tough talks are held over a period of time beginning when your parent is still healthy and competent. This is the best time to find out the kind of arrangements your parents would like if there comes a time when they cannot safely live completely alone.

Preparation

Whether your discussion about elderly care is the result of a critical incident or is simply in anticipation of the need, do not initiate the conversation without taking time to do your homework:

  • Think back over discussions with your parents to see if there have been indicators of a willingness to accept living assistance; e.g. your father told you about a widowed friend who has someone cook meals and clean for him.
  • Try to anticipate objections your parent might have about accepting home care and have information ready to address those concerns.
  • Do online research about senior care services in your community so you have a good idea of what is available and the cost.
  • Speak to professionals such as a physician or public health nurse who specializes in senior care, or a counselor at a seniors’ center in order to understand what is typical for someone in your parent’s situation.
  • Prepare yourself mentally and emotionally so you can stay focused on the purpose of the discussion – you may want to get angry or upset, but it’s important to stay calm.

Once you begin to research in-home services for seniors, you’ll probably become more comfortable with the idea of having this discussion. It is easier to defuse emotional responses when you are dealing with facts, not assumptions, fears, and anxiety. It is also useful to have info sheets to leave with your parent to read and think over at his or her leisure.

Initial Discussion

How you introduce the topic of in-home care depends on what you know about your parent. Perhaps you can mention the possibility of living assistance when your mother laments that she just cannot handle the vacuuming or she is nervous about falling in the shower. There might have been an incident that verged on dangerous, such as your father falling down when he dragged the garbage to the curb. Take advantage of whatever opportunity presents itself to start the conversation.

When discussing senior care with your parent, be sure to focus on living as independently as possible and present options for their consideration – don’t force your opinions. Most important of all, respect any and all feedback from your parent, and remember that the final decision rests with them.

One of the following strategies might be helpful depending on the personality of your parent:

  • Outline the advantages to home care. For example, in addition to a flexible care schedule, this Boca Raton home care provides companionship for seniors.
  • Share how in-home care would alleviate your concerns about accidents or proper meals.
  • Offer to set up an information appointment with a healthcare professional.
  • Promote the idea of a trial period that can be reviewed after a few weeks.

Follow Up

Even if your parent jumps at the idea of having a home care service, take your time in helping to organize it. Have more than one discussion to make sure that you are both focusing on the priority services needed. Help your parent prepare to have someone coming into his home to help him, and make sure that he understands what to expect. With thoughtful preparation, the senior care experience will be a success.

Establishing an Emergency Plan

Nursing homes always have health and comfort equipment vital to the seniors living inside of the home. These equipment items need large amounts of electricity to function properly and if a nursing home experiences a power outage then these systems may fail. It is very important that nursing home owners and managers take the necessary precautions to insure that their equipment can still operate correctly during a power outage. There are many different steps they can take to ensure the safety of their residents and it all begins by setting up an emergency plan for the building. There are private and publicly funded nursing homes around the United Sates and each one receives a certain amount of funds from their owners. Depending on the amount of money available can dictate the limitations of the emergency plan – here are a few ideas that can work for any type of funding a nursing home receives.

Relocation Plan

If you are unable to gain power back to your facility then you need to have a plan to move your residents to a location that has power. Begin by finding a location that you know will be reliable and dependable if your power were to fail. Once you have established a location and worked out a deal with the owner you will want to find reliable emergency transportation. Depending on the type of equipment your residents need, will dictate the type of transportation you will need. Don’t be afraid to add a variety of transportation mediums like ambulances and busses. Not all of your residents need to ride in an ambulance so you can put them on buses or private charters to transport them to the backup location.

Generator System

If you have the budget for this type of equipment installation then I would suggest contacting an electrical contractor to help you with the purchase of your system. I knew of a nursing home in Virginia that decided to go this route for emergency power and they used an electric company in Fairfax called Mr. Electric. The owner of the nursing home told me that they helped them understand why kind of back-up system they needed. Once the company installed the system they also tested it to ensure that it would work properly in emergency situations. Purchasing an emergency generator for your facility can be an expensive endeavor but it is very highly recommended.

By ensuring the safety or your residents during emergency situations is your duty and responsibility. It is never too early to create an emergency plan for your nursing home and you will want to ensure that this process is regularly tested.

Understanding Hip Surgery

Richmond orthopedic specialists for hip surgery

Richmond orthopedic specialists are known for their skill in many areas, and hip surgery is just one of them. Understanding hip surgery is the first step in getting over the fear that many older people have about surgery in general. This article talks about the basics of hip surgery and its benefits.

What is Hip Surgery?

Essentially, any surgical procedure that eliminates pain, improves mobility or treats disease in the hip region is considered hip surgery. In common parlance, however, hip surgery generally refers to hip replacement procedures of different kinds. Total or hemi (half) replacement are the two options usually given, although there are a number of variations such as resurfacing and viscosupplementation.

When is it done?

Hip replacement is usually done to increase mobility in worn-out or damaged hip joints. It may also be done to reduce arthritic pain in older patients, but younger patients also require the procedure in some cases. The general idea is to re-create the natural hip joint from prosthetic materials designed for the purpose.

Is it safe?

As with all types of surgery, a certain amount of risk is certainly involved in hip replacement. Richmond orthopedic specialists will, however, assess the situation carefully before they recommend surgery. In many cases, surgery is usually the last option; other therapies and approaches are often the first ports of call for hip joint problems. That being said, hip surgery is a relatively common procedure that is done on hundreds of thousands of patients every year. In 2010, the CDC reported 332,000 total hip replacement surgery instances in the country.

The question of surgery often arises when pain or debilitated movement comes into play. Quality of life is an important consideration, and the decision to undergo surgery can only be made by the patients themselves, although the medical profession is obliged to provide all recourse options.

An Elder Smile

As we get in to our older ages our teeth become a greater risk for many different oral health problems. It is important that as we get older we don’t skimp on our brushing, flossing, and mouth washing. By taking these preventative measures we can avoid the following health issues when we get into our golden years. Another great way to prevent these bad oral issues is by visiting a dentist at least twice a year. They will be able to monitor the overall health of your teeth and decide if you need any preventative procedures to help save the health of your teeth. If you are looking for a great dentist to reference for information I would suggest visiting www.moderndentistryrichmond.com. They have two professional dentists there that have a very successful family dentistry in Richmond, Virginia. Here are the following issues that could arise with our teeth as we get older.

  • Loss of Taste. Our tongues have thousands of little sensory nodes that tell our brain whether things taste good or bad. Over the years we experience many diseases and medications that lead to loss of taste. If you have to end up using dentures then there is a chance you could lose your taste buds.
  • Gum Disease. This can be caused by many different bad habits over a period of time. These habits include tobacco use, plague, and left over food in the mouth. It is important that
    you maintain these bad habits so that you can prevent gum diseases in your future. Gum disease can also lead to tooth lose in older adults so you will definitely want to make sure you maintain your teeth otherwise you will lose them.
  • Darkened teeth. The darkening of your teeth can be caused by changes in your dentin or by the life time eating and dietary habits that you practice. The more toxic the food the more the staining it will cause for your teeth.

These are just a few of issues that could arise if you neglect proper care of your teeth. It is recommended by all dentists that you brush your teeth at least twice a day and that at least once a day you floss and rinse with mouth wash. We all want to have great smiles for our whole lives but with a lack of attention we could end up losing all of our teeth. Make sure that you take the time to practice all of the best oral health practices.