Wednesday, August 21, 2013

DIY Home Improvement Projects to Keep Your Senior Safe

Home improvements are essential in keeping your senior's house safe. Over the years, your loved one may want to continue aging in place but may naturally face difficulty doing so due to mobility limitations and other side effects of the aging process. To help out, it is a wonderful idea to make any improvements that you can yourself. But what, exactly, can you do to assist your senior in creating a more secure living environment? When it comes to home care, Always Best Care Burlington-Greensboro professionals know that there are many projects you can tackle to meet your elderly loved one's safety needs.

Address Flooring Issues
Falling is one of the most dangerous accidents that can happen for seniors, as they can suffer from severe injuries and have a difficult time getting up. As such, a spill can result in your elderly loved one staying on the floor until someone comes to see them, which could be hours or more. Because uneven flooring is a primary cause of trips and falls, it is imperative to make sure that your senior has solid, even surfaces throughout their home.

Start by evaluating the carpeting and rugs. Put a non-slip backing on any rugs and make sure that the ends stay down. If the ends are curled up, it is a good idea to replace the rug. Additionally, check any tiles for chips that could pose a threat. If necessary, you can remove this tile and replace it quite quickly once you have all of the resources you need.

Improve Lighting
Lighting, both inside and outside, is key to safety. Without proper lighting your elderly loved one may trip and fall or stumble into furniture. Additionally, they may miss steps on a staircase or veer off of the sidewalk or driveway onto uneven terrain. Check all lights and add any in rooms that are too dark. Floor and table lamps that connect to an electric switch are wonderful options. Outside, consider adding security lights that turn on when movement is detected to ensure that your senior has plenty of light when they need it.

There are many ways in which you can improve the safety of your elderly loved one's living environment. Home care professionals encourage you to investigate your senior's needs and work on any DIY projects that you can to improve their surroundings.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

At Home Exercises for the Elderly: Keeping Your Senior in Shape

When it comes to home care, Always Best Care Burlington-Greensboro professionals know that there are many different facets of responsibility. Home care professionals are tasked with ensuring that seniors have a safe, clean living environment, that they dress daily, engage in personal hygiene activity, have access to healthy, nutritious meals, etc. One particularly important aspect of eldercare, though, is the provision of assistance with regard to exercise.

Seniors often cannot go for a jog or lift weights in the gym, but they do need to stay as active as possible in order to retain the highest degree of overall wellbeing. Keeping active can help seniors retain muscle and bone mass, which can assist in preventing injuries and staving off mobility issues. Below are some of the ways in which you can encourage your elderly loved one to exercise.

  • Go for a daily walk. If your senior is fit and able, try walking at a brisk pace. If not, take it as slow as they need to. Aim for a 30 minute walk each day. 
  • If your loved one is into gardening, encourage them to get out and tend to their plants. Gardening is a surprisingly great form of exercise, and if your senior needs assistance it offers a wonderful opportunity for you and other family members to spend quality time with your elderly loved one. 
  • Follow the recommendations of your senior's doctor with regard to physical therapy. Oftentimes, appointments with physical therapists can lead to improved flexibility, mobility, and overall wellbeing. This is a particularly great option if your loved one has an injury or illness that has impacted their physical activity. 
  • Have your senior try a yoga class. Yoga is a wonderful choice because it encourages flexibility and strength and allows for the modification of difficult moves, meaning that it is a fantastic form of exercise for individuals of all levels. 

Ultimately, you should strive to help your senior get at least 30 minutes of physical activity in each day—and more if possible. You certainly don't want your loved one to overdo it, but daily exercise can greatly improve their health and quality of life.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Act FAST: Understanding the Signs of a Stroke

A stroke is an event during which the blood supply is cut off from the brain, either due to a blood clot or a hemorrhage. As you might imagine, this is a very traumatic and dangerous experience—one that can lead to severe damage to the brain and even death. As such, eldercare professionals encourage you to understand the signs of stroke and to act quickly if you believe that your senior is suffering from this event. When it comes to eldercare, Always Best Care of Burlington knows that it can be difficult to remember all of the symptoms of conditions that your loved one could develop. Luckily, the signs of stroke are easy to commit to memory, as they spell out the word "fast." The National Stroke Association explains:1

  • Face: If your senior's smile droops on one side, this may be a sign of a stroke. 
  • Arms: When your senior raises both arms out parallel to the floor, they may be suffering from a stroke if one arm does not stay level and, instead, angles down to one side. 
  • Speech: A stroke often results in slurred speech, or the inability to use the right words to convey ideas. Ask your loved one to speak and, if they have difficulty, seek medical assistance immediately. 
  • Time: Getting your senior into the care of a trained and experienced doctor is key in preventing lasting damage from being caused by a stroke. The sooner you call 911 the better your loved one's odds of recovery. 

In addition to these symptoms there are other warning signs of stroke, including:

  • Numbness of the extremities or face
  • Weakness of the extremities or face
  • Confusion 
  • Difficulty understanding
  • Vision impairment
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of coordination
  • Loss of balance
  • Severe headache

Senior care professionals urge you to familiarize yourself with these symptoms and make certain that, should any of them appear in your loved one, you help your senior access the attention of a medical professional immediately. A stroke is a scary and disorienting experience, for both individuals who are suffering from them and their loved ones who witness it. As such, try to stay calm and get your senior the help they need as quickly as possible.