Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Protecting Your Senior Against the Heat this Summer

Summer is a favorite season of many individuals, as it provides the chance to soak up some sun and enjoy the warmer temperatures. But for those seniors living in the South, these temperatures may become dangerously high—and they can actually lead to several life-threatening medical complications. The home care professionals at Always Best Care of Alamance, serving Alamance and Guilford Counties, as well as the communities of Burlington, Southern Greensboro, Jamestown, High Point, and Roxboro, encourage you to learn what these medical complications are and how you can help your elderly loved one prevent them.

Health Concerns: What Can High Temperatures Do?
When your senior is exposed to exceedingly high temperatures they can develop a long list of medical conditions. These include hyperthermia, heat fatigue, heat exhaustion, heat syncope (which manifests as sudden dizziness), heat cramps, and heat stroke. Some of these conditions, if not addressed right away, can lead to serious health concerns and, in extreme cases, death. As such, it is integral that you know how to protect your senior against these issues.

Tips for Keeping Elderly Individuals Cool this Summer
First and foremost, make sure that your loved one has access to a cool living environment. If they do not have central air conditioning in their home, help them to install window units so that they can maintain a comfortable temperature throughout their living space.

If your senior is determined to spend time outside, make sure that they do so during the early morning hours before the heat of the day has set in. On mornings that are particularly hot and humid, though, encourage your loved one to stay inside—particularly if they have heart, kidney, or lung disease or suffer from poor circulation.

When your elderly loved one is ready to spend some time out of the house, help them choose indoor destinations that will provide a comfortable environment. For instance, they may visit the local mall, go see a movie, or spend time at the community center. This will help them to keep cool without having to stay in their house at all times.

The elder care professionals at Always Best Care of Alamance ( know that summer is a very dangerous time of year for seniors, as the heat can cause truly devastating medical complications. As such, these professionals urge you to follow these recommendations when caring for your loved one. If you suspect that your senior is being affected by the heat it is important that you seek medical attention immediately.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Managing Your Senior's Health Needs

If you are providing home care for your elderly loved one, you are well aware that there are many different tasks that you need to oversee in order to ensure that they are in the best health possible—especially if your senior has any medical conditions that they are fighting. The elder care professionals at Always Best Care of Alamance, serving Alamance and Guilford Counties, as well as the communities of Burlington, Southern Greensboro, Jamestown, High Point, and Roxboro, are certain that, with the right approach, you can take wonderful care of your loved one while helping them to maintain the highest quality of life.

Step 1: Understanding Your Senior's Needs
First and foremost, you must learn what, exactly, your elderly loved one needs from you with regard to their medical condition. What ailment are they fighting and what are the doctor's appointments, medications, therapies, etc. that are associated with it? Additionally, it is important for you to learn of any warning signs that you should be on the lookout for, such as symptoms that indicate the need for medical attention.

Step 2: Organizing Doctor's Appointments and Medication Schedules
Ultimately, maintaining an organized approach to your loved one's medical needs is the best way to ensure that they have the high quality care that they deserve—and that nothing goes overlooked. Use a calendar to keep track of when doctor's appointments are scheduled, when prescriptions need to be refilled, and when medications should be administered. By having all of this information in one place, you can quickly reference your calendar to answer any questions that may arise about your loved one's health.

Step 3: Keeping Medical Information Up to Date
If you are not the only person caring for your elderly loved one (i.e. if you have siblings helping or call upon a professional home care provider's assistance) it is important that the individuals involved have access to the medical information they may need. It is a good idea to keep notes from doctor's appointments, prescriptions, and other key pieces of documentation in a folder so that anyone who needs information regarding dosage, previous exams, etc. can access it easily.

The elder care professionals at Always Best Care of Alamance know that taking care of your senior's medical needs is not always an easy task; however, by staying organized, you can provide the high degree of care your elderly loved one needs to maintain the best health possible.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Summer Bonding: Activities for Your Kids and Elderly Parents

By Joanne Pizzuto

The summer is a great chance for your kids and your elderly parents to spend some time together, as your children are out of school and you may have to bring them with you to care for your seniors if they require extra help during the week. As such, the summer is a wonderful opportunity for your kids and your parents to get to know one another and create lifelong memories. Having a great relationship with their grandparents is a wonderful way for your kids to enjoy their company and create the supportive familial network that will help them to get through the challenges they face as they grow. Below are some activities that you can facilitate to allow your kids and your parents to spend some quality time together this summer.

  1. When you go to your parents' house to clean and take care of routine activities (such as helping pay bills, etc.) bring your children along. Bring a board game, puzzle, or other favorite activity that your kids and your parents can work on together. If your loved ones complete a puzzle, frame it so that they have something to remember their fun times together for years to come.
  2. Invite your parents along when your kids have extracurricular activities. For instance, team sporting events are a wonderful occasion for your seniors to get out of the house and support their grandchildren in their endeavors. Plan to spend some family time before or after the activity so that all of your loved ones can enjoy one another's company.
  3. To beat the heat, schedule trips to the local museum or to the movie theater. Many local theaters offer free movies to kids on the weekends and can provide a great setting for your family members to bond while enjoying some of their favorite films. 
Ultimately, it is important that you help your parents and your kids to create strong relationships. The bond between a child and their grandparents is strong, and these and other activities will help your loved ones to create memories that they will cherish for the rest of their lives.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Keeping Your Senior Active While Avoiding the Summer Heat

By Joanne Pizzuto

Staying physically active is important for people of all ages, but for seniors, in particular, it is crucial that they are able to engage in physical activities that promote their wellbeing, maintain their range of motion, and help to keep their cardiovascular and other systems healthy. During the cooler months, strolls around the block and other outdoor activities are wonderful options for elderly individuals who are looking to stay fit. But during the summer the heat can prove exceptionally dangerous. The following suggestions can help you to guide your senior toward physical activities that keep them fit without subjecting them to the soaring summer temperatures.

Indoor Athletics
If your senior enjoys working out, such as walking or doing water aerobics, help them to choose a gym that suits their needs and allows them to engage in these activities indoors. There are many athletic complexes that offer indoor facilities, and your loved one will also benefit from having the support of a trained gym staff on hand.

Active Pastimes
Instead of sitting at home watching television or reading, get your senior out of the house and moving around. Go to the mall and walk around for an hour or so to get in some cardio and peruse the latest merchandise. Likewise, you and your elderly loved one may opt to visit the local museum to check out the latest exhibitions. Choose somewhere that is air conditioned, offers places to rest, and has access to water and food. This will allow you to enjoy an active and fun afternoon out while beating the heat.

Outdoor Activities in Moderation
If your senior is bent on spending time outside, say if they want to tend to their garden, it is important that they do so during the coolest parts of the day. Have them get all of their outdoor activity done during the early morning hours, before the heat of the day. This will allow them to benefit from the cooler morning temperatures while staying out of direct sunlight.

Summer is a season that many people look forward to after a long winter, but it is important that elderly individuals stay both active and safe during these warmer months. These activities can help your senior keep their activity level up without risking too much exposure to the heat.