Prepare for Summer 2017: Easy Outdoor Activities for Your Loved Ones

As winter continues to wind down, it’s time to start thinking about how to get your loved ones outside once the sun comes back out. Going outside makes all of us feel much better, relieves stresses of everyday living and is a valuable source of vitamin D.

Whether playing outdoor games, gardening, or visiting a park, there is always an activity to do outdoors for almost anyone. Many senior activity ideas that were done inside during challenging weather can now simply be brought outside, such as arts and crafts. This is also a great way to get the grand-kids and other kids involved as well.

Here are a few of the favorites for outdoor activities you can do together – or simply encourage your loved ones to do on their own!

Metal detecting

One of the more unique outdoor elderly activities that can also be done with the grandkids is metal detecting. Metal detectors can be ordered online and begin at about $50 on up. They can be taken to beaches, parks, and other public places. You never know what you can find!

Enjoying Craft Shows Together

Vendors are very eager to share their expertise and passion, so it can also be a valuable and fun experience to seniors that have been isolated to a craft show. The senior may also discover a new hobby that could be of interest, and in which to become involved.

Town concerts

Almost all communities, especially those in Metrowest, have outdoor plays, concerts on the common, or productions of some kind. If you participate in such a group yourself, consider offering a free performance with your town. Most town activities directors would be thrilled to hear from you.

Flying kites

No one is ever too old (or too young) to fly a kite. You may even like to build your own kite. Kits are available ranging from very easy to build to more advanced kits. Kites can also be flown from a wheelchair. Keep it simple by just going outside in your own grounds, or have an excursion to a nearby park.

Fishing

So many seniors and kids enjoy fishing. Just be sure there is someone there who knows how to handle the gear, hooks, and fish. And what about a fish fry afterwards? Bring your picnic gear too.

Painting pots

For those skilled at arts and crafts, simple painting clay pots and decorations together is a lot of fun. Take it a step farther and plant some seeds in the pot for flowers to grow! Other ideas we love include using a colorful rubber rain boot to paint in a similar manner is another outdoor project. In a more protected area, you can use a fancy old purse as a planter too.

Berry picking or apple picking

This outdoor activity is easy for the young and old and makes a nice, mildly active excursion. And you have a delicious end result! Take the berries back with you and have a get-together, eating them or making a dessert. Similarly, you can pick your own apples and even go on a hay ride or cart ride to the picking areas. And the staff love to talk about all the different types of apples and what they are best for. It can be quite educational. Visiting a farm or horse ranch are other outings that are especially fun to do with kids.

Miniature golf

This can either be a morning or afternoon trip to a nearby miniature golf course, or putting green, (You may also find them indoors in some communities). Or set up a portable style putting green game in your yard. There are also other games available that are take-offs on golf. Some can also be played from a wheelchair.

Bird watching

This is becoming very popular for outdoor elderly activities. This may take a little study, but it is learn as you go, and can become a very satisfying hobby. The MA DNR (Department of Natural Resources) can assist you in finding local trails. There are certain items you will be need – a bird book for MA is the first!

Photography

Photography, especially with elders, is critical as time is valuable these days. And it is not difficult. Young people love to teach about electronic gadgets so it’s a great way for the young to interact with the older generation. Photos can then be immediately viewed on the camera and saved…or not. Photography can be enjoyed with limited mobility as well, and photographs easily downloaded into a computer and printed out.

Outdoor arts and crafts

Outdoor activities can definitely include art. Remember to take advantage of the good weather and bring your projects outside! If you have an experienced artist in your family, or can have someone come in, offer an outdoor painting class. You can certainly have a field trip as a famiy to a scenic spot. But you can also set up on your own grounds near a garden, gazebo, etc. Or instead of painting what is in front of your, bring along a photo or image of what you’d like to paint.

As you can see, there are many things you can all enjoy together as a family this spring. What are some of your favorite activities?

Keep in touch!

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(C) The Patch


There is nothing more important than family!

Do you go out to start your day and worry about your family member? Do you find yourself thinking about medications, worrying about falls, or just concerned about isolation and a lack of stimulation? Do you wonder if they are eating properly or getting enough activity? Are you concerned about your family member driving by themselves?

Hopkinton Home Care let’s you know that there is someone there to help take care of all these things and more. We provide the service that your loved one needs help with so that you can be fully engaged in your daily responsibilities and activities.

Hopkinton Home Care is able to provide service to you where you need it and when you need it. Our staff will come to you where ever you need our service. We are available to help with your physical needs, your cognitive needs, and your spiritual needs.

Our goal is to help you thrive and be happy. All of our staff are experienced professionals who are highly qualified, fully trained, have full background checks done and are fully credentialed healthcare professionals.

www.hopkintonhomecare.com

 

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Caretaker Burnout: Tips for Regaining Your Enthusiasm, Strength, and Hope

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We all know the demands of caregiving can be overwhelming, especially if you feel you have little control over the situation or you’re in over your head. If the stress of caregiving is left unchecked, it can take a toll on your own health, relationships, and state of mind—eventually leading to burnout.

When you’re burned out, it’s tough to do anything, let alone look after someone else. There are plenty of things you can do to rein in the stress of caregiving and regain a sense of balance, joy, and hope in your life.

Caring for a loved one can be very rewarding, but it also involves many stressors. If you don’t get the physical and emotional support you need, the stress of caregiving leaves you vulnerable to a wide range of problems, including depression, anxiety, and burnout. And when you get to that point, both you and the person you’re caring for suffer. That’s why managing the stress levels in your life is just as important as making sure your family member gets to their doctor’s appointment or takes their medication on time.

In this article, you’ll find many helpful tips. If you can do at least 3 of these tips, you’ll be on your way to being a better caretaker – for our loved ones as well as yourself!

Once you burn out, caregiving is no longer a healthy option for either you or the person you’re caring for. So it’s important to watch for the warning signs of caregiver burnout and take action right away when you recognize the problem.

Empower yourself. Find ways to feel empowered. Feeling powerless is the number one contributor to burnout and depression. And it’s an easy trap to fall into as a caregiver, especially if you feel stuck in a role you didn’t expect or helpless to change things for the better. But no matter the situation, you aren’t powerless. This is especially true when it comes to your state of mind. You can’t always get the extra time, money, or physical assistance you’d like, but you can always get more happiness and hope.

Rejuvenate your mind. Rejuvenate your caregiving choice with optimism and hope. Acknowledge that, despite any resentments or burdens you feel, you have made a conscious choice to provide care. Focus on the positive reasons behind that choice. These deep, meaningful motivations can help sustain you through difficult times.

Control only what you can. Focus on the things you can control. You can’t wish your mother’s cancer away or force your brother to help out more. Rather than stressing out over things you can’t control, focus on the way you choose to react to problems.

Celebrate the small victories. If you start to feel discouraged, remind yourself that all your efforts matter. You don’t have to cure your loved one’s illness to make a difference. Don’t underestimate the importance of making your loved one feel more safe, comfortable, and loved!

Validate your role. Feeling appreciated can go a long way toward not only accepting a stressful situation but enjoying life more. Studies show that caregivers who feel appreciated experience greater physical and emotional health. Caregiving actually makes them happier and healthier, despite its demands. But what can you do if the person you’re caring for is no longer able to feel or show their appreciation for your time and efforts?

Applaud your own efforts. If you’re not getting external validation, find ways to acknowledge and reward yourself. Remind yourself of the good you’re doing. If you need something more concrete, try making a list of all the ways your caregiving is making a positive difference. Refer back to it when you start to feel low.

Talk to a supportive family member or friend. Positive reinforcement doesn’t have to come from the person you’re caring for. When you’re feeling unappreciated, turn to friends and family who will listen to you and acknowledge your efforts.

Ask for help. Taking on all of the responsibilities of caregiving without regular breaks or assistance is a surefire recipe for burnout. Don’t try to do it all alone. Look into respite care. Or enlist friends and family who live near you to run errands, bring a hot meal, or “babysit” the patient so you can take a well-deserved break.

Speak up. Don’t expect friends and family members to automatically know what you need or how you’re feeling. Be up front about what’s going on with you and the person you’re caring for. If you have concerns or thoughts about how to improve the situation, express them—even if you’re unsure how they’ll be received.

Spread the responsibility. Try to get as many family members involved as possible. Even someone who lives far away can help. You may also want to divide up caregiving tasks. One person can take care of medical responsibilities, another with finances and bills, and another with groceries and errands, for example.

Set up a regular check-in. Ask a family member, friend, or volunteer from your church or senior center to call you on a set basis (every day, weekly, or how ever often you think you need it). This person can help you spread status updates and coordinate with other family members.

Say “yes” when someone offers assistance. Don’t be shy about accepting help. Let them feel good about supporting you. It’s smart to have a list ready of small tasks that others could easily take care of, such as picking up groceries or driving your loved one to an appointment.

Be willing to relinquish some control. Delegating is one thing. Trying to control every aspect of care is another. People will be less likely to help if you micromanage, give orders, or insist on doing things your way.

Find ways to prioritize. Prioritize activities that bring you enjoyment . Make regular time for things that bring you happiness, whether it’s reading, working in the garden, tinkering in your workshop, knitting, playing with the dogs, or watching the game.

Find ways to pamper yourself. Small luxuries can go a long way in relieving stress and boosting your spirits. Light candles and take a long bath. Ask your hubby for a back rub. Get a manicure. Buy fresh flowers for the house. Or whatever makes you feel special.

Get out of the house. Seek out friends, family, and respite care providers to step in with caregiving so you can have some time away from the home.

Take care of your health. Think of your body like a car. With the right fuel and proper maintenance, it will run reliably and well. Neglect its upkeep and it will start to give you trouble. Don’t add to the stress of your caregiving situation with avoidable health woes.

Exercise. When you’re stressed and tired, the last thing you feel like doing is exercising. But you’ll feel better afterwards. Exercise is a powerful stress reliever and mood enhancer. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes on most days. When you exercise regularly, you’ll also find it boosts your energy level and helps you fight fatigue.

Meditate. A daily relaxation or meditation practice can help you relieve stress and boost feelings of joy and well-being. Try yoga, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or mindfulness meditation. Even a few minutes in the middle of an overwhelming day can help you feel more centered.

Eat well. Nourish your body with fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans, lean protein, and healthy fats such as nuts and olive oil. Unlike sugar and caffeine—which provide a quick pick-me-up and an even quicker crash—these foods will fuel you with steady energy.

Join a support group. A caregiver support group is a great way to share your troubles and find people who are going through the same experiences that you are living each day. If you can’t leave the house, many Internet groups are also available.

In most support groups, you’ll talk about your problems and listen to others talk; you’ll not only get help, but you’ll also be able to help others. Most importantly, you’ll find out that you’re not alone. You’ll feel better knowing that other people are in the same situation, and their knowledge can be invaluable, especially if they’re caring for someone with the same illness as you are.

If you can do at least 3 of these tips, you’ll be on your way to being a better caretaker – for our loved ones as well as yourself!

And always remember, Hopkinton Home Care is here to help.

If you are worried about a loved one when you’re away from home, we can help. Let’s find out together how to share the responsibility of in-home health care with your loved ones.

Our service areas include Ashland, Bellingham, Framingham, Franklin, Grafton, Holliston, Hopedale, Hopkinton, Hudson, Marlborough, Southborough, Upton, Westborough, Whitinsville and surrounding towns in the MetroWest.

Celebrate National Nutrition Month by Being Healthy with Hopkinton Home Care - Understanding Nutrition, Activity and Healthy Aging

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Checklist to Secure the Safety of Your Elderly Loved Ones That Are Living Alone

 

Worried if your elder parents are safe and secure from accidents and crimes in their house? Are they taking medicines on time? What if they run into a heart attack or other emergencies? Here are some top home safety tips for older adults, to help make sure your parents are safe at home when you are not with them.

1: Consider a Home Surveillance System

One of the most important, meanwhile the most useful home safety tips for the elderly is, installing a home security camera.

Video surveillance cameras serve several purposes. First, they allow you to check in on your parents and know they are fine via your smartphone. Then, they also allow you to see if a caregiver is doing what he or she should. Lastly, security systems can help identify criminals and keep informed if something disastrous like a robbery or home invasion happens.

Seniors living alone are more likely to be targeted by thieves and home invaders. There have been many news reports about home invasion robberies which targeted senior citizens. Using a home security camera can largely reduce the burglaries happening in the house, and protect your family and the elderly to a large extent. See 5 simple steps to install a home surveillance system to make a security camera indoor and outdoor for your parents.

2: Have a Panic Button for Emergencies

Having a panic button at home that is specifically designed for the elderly is also a necessary senior safety and security tip at home. A panic button remote is easy to get and can be placed on the end table next to your parents’ favorite chairs. If something happens, they can hit the button and then emergency services will be notified. This will not cover every emergency out there obviously, but it will certainly go a long way towards keeping your parents connected to emergency services and giving you peace of mind. This is a pretty useful home safety tip for elderly living alone.

3: Install Extras to Prevent Falls of Senior Citizens in Home

Besides security from intruders, home safety for older adults also means seniors’ personal safety. Making your parent’s home “fall-proof” is one of the simplest (but still very effective) ways that you can drastically decrease home accidents.

For example, your concern much about bathroom safety for your senior parents. Installing rails in areas like showers and tubs, and along staircases, can do a great deal to prevent falling in bathroom and stairs. Making sure that areas are not cluttered is also important and you should fix any potential problems such as loose tile or a floorboard that is sticking out. In addition, locking down rugs with double-sided tape is a great way to prevent slips and falls.

4: Now is the Time to Improve Fire Safety

Fire safety is also important for older adults at home. In US, people over 65 have a fire death rate nearly twice the national average. For senior citizens over 75, the death rate is even 3 times higher. So it is crucial to raise fire safety awareness to your parents, and help them make a fire safety checkup in their home. Smoke detectors and fire alarms can also provide valuable protection.

5: Prepare Emergency Contact Information and Plans

The elderly often become forgetful. So make sure telephone numbers are readily available for the police, fire department, hospital, the family members or a trusted neighbor. Make certain that older adults know how to deal with an emergency. Make an emergency escape plan and practice it with elder people at ordinary times.

6: Make Sure There is Sufficient Lighting

Ensure plenty of lighting throughout your parent’s house is also an important home safety checklist for elderly. Accidents can happen when there is not enough lighting. Lights that come on by themselves when someone enters a room are perfect for your parents, who may need to have their hands free to hold onto a railing or use a cane or walker. This type of lighting system likely costs less than you think as well.

7: Use Advanced Seniors Safety Products at Home

There are also a number of additional gadgets that can help keep your aging parents safe. These are readily available and work with many existing alarm systems. One of the most popular gadgets, which works alongside the tips to prevent falling that was mentioned earlier, is a monitoring device that can tell when someone has fallen and is unable to get up so that emergency services can be notified as quickly as possible.

8: Protect Your Elderly Parents from Cyber Attacks

The elderly, who have little knowledge of internet security, make ideal targets for cyber-criminals, authorities warned. Therefore, it is your responsibility to teach them about online security to keep them safe online. Tell them to be cautious about suspicious links, banners, since cyber criminals may use these temptations to steal money from their bank accounts.

The above-mentioned are all about safety tips for elderly at home to help reduce the risk of injuries of your aging parents. If possible, spend more time with them. With your company, your parents will have less loneliness and feel much safer.

To secure an additional hand for in-home assistance and help for your loved ones, please contact Hopkinton Home Care.

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Elderly Summer Precautions: Senior Care Tips

The heat of summer is here and it is an important time to review some vital safety tips for seniors. Elderly persons are more prone to the effects of heat and at greater risk for dehydration. Elderly people are more at risk because:

  • 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.

Make sure you or someone you can trust is checking in on your elderly family and friends.  Here are some senior safety tips for the summer months as well as some ways to “beat the heat”. Try to plan activities that require going outside during non-peak hours when it might be a little cooler.

Move exercise indoors.  Consider exercising at a gym, walking on a treadmill, or “mall walking” instead of outdoor walks or activities.  Swimming and water aerobics are good options as well. Drink plenty of fluids (non-alcoholic, caffeine-free as these ingredients have a diuretic effect).  Talk with your doctor if you take medications that affect fluid intake, such as Lasix.

Additionally, it may be important to consume food and drink with sodium and potassium to restore electrolyte balance when losing fluids and drinking a lot of water: broths or soups (contain sodium); fruit juice, soft fruits, vegetables (containing potassium); sports drinks that contain electrolytes.

Stay indoors in cooled spaces as much as possible.  Check your loved one’s air conditioning system, do a maintenance review.  If the electricity goes out or your loved one does not have air conditioning, consider alternative arrangements when heat is at dangerous levels.

Be aware of signs of dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

The most common signs of dehydration in the elderly are thirst, confusion, irritability and poor skin elasticity. Keeping hydrated on a regular basis is the most important preventative measure, and individuals should be encouraged to drink fluids even when not thirsty as thirst may not be triggered until already dehydrated. Heat and dehydration may make seniors more prone to dizziness and falls and can cause/increase confusion.

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

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 death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided. 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

Any indication of heat stroke is a medical emergency.  Seek immediate medical attention.

Be aware of other summer dangers. Pools can pose a drowning hazard. Safety precautions should be considered if you are caring for a senior in your home with a pool or your elderly loved one lives alone and has a pool. Consider locks or a safety fence.  Similarly, talk with your loved one about alternatives if he/she handles a lot of the maintenance around the home, such as weeding, cleaning gutters and trimming trees.  This may be especially dangerous in the heat, but may also pose general risks for falling and safety. Insect bites and sun exposure are two other summer dangers.  Be vigilant about sunscreen and protect against insect bites. If you or someone you know has a bite that seems abnormal or you notice any unusual symptoms, seek medical attention.

Take extra precautions in the summer with seniors and your loved ones. If you would like support, please contact Hopkinton Home Care.

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The Hidden Benefits of Private Home Care

When you work with Hopkinton Home Care, you reap the traditional benefits of having someone looking after your loved ones, but you will also experience a few hidden benefits from companionship for your loved one to ensuring there is someone around to ignite that inner love for life when you can’t be there. In fact, in-home care has many benefits.

Here are just a few:

  • Keeping the comforts of home: The chair you love; the backyard with a garden; friends and family that stop by for the holidays; and a kitchen for the morning coffee are all comforts we call home…. The #1 advantage of in-home care from Hopkinton Home Care is keeping the things that you love close by.
  • Personalized and Private with One-on-One Care: When we arrive at your loved one’s door, we ensure your loved one gets 100% of his or her attention and quality care. With a Hopkinton Home Care caregiver, providing care is a personal affair. Your loved one gets one-on-one care at the necessary level to achieve ultimate comfort — whether it is Overnight or Live-In Care or a few hours a day of compassionate Companion Care.
  • Affordability: Not only is Hopkinton Home Care of high quality, but it’s affordable as well. In most cases, keeping your loved one at home costs less per hour than your local lawn care personnel or traditional sitter. This is especially true when the home care company you choose makes a commitment to reasonable rates and simple pricing models, without monthly or annual contracts.
  • Independence, Confidence, and Comfort: Where do you or your loved one feel most comfortable? Where does he or she feel most confident and open to participating in activities? The answer, most likely, is home. Not only is any recovery or companionship process easier in the home environment, but with a range of home care services, your loved one also has the control and ability to lead a meaningful, independent life. Hopkinton Home Care services range from medication reminders and assistance with range-of-motion activities to daily chores, meal preparation, and grocery shopping.
  • Family Support & Participation: The Hopkinton Home Care network makes more than just a commitment to only providing a professional caregiver for your loved one but is committed to involving your family in the care process and keeping everyone comfortable with regular communication.
  • Peace of Mind: When you bring a Hopkinton Home Care caregiver into your loved one’s life, you’re doing more than ensuring premium care for your loved one, you’re also ensuring peace of mind for you. In most cases, it’s simply not possible to provide the range and level of care your loved one needs and deserves. With kids, a job and a life of your own, it’s unreasonable to layer the additional demands and responsibility of being a full-time caregiver to your loved one. Taking advantage of a professional caregiver is not giving up on your loved one or being selfish. On the contrary, you’re being selfless by bolstering your own love and support with professional, quality care while enabling you to spend time enjoying their company.

Read more: www.hopkintonhomecare.com

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7 Safety Tips for Kids of All Ages, Especially Your Loved Ones

Safety Tips for the Elderly this Summer from Hopkinton Home Care

Stay Hydrated Seniors are more susceptible to dehydration than younger people because they lose their ability to conserve water as they age. They also can become less aware of their thirst and have difficulty adjusting to temperature changes. Remember to drink water often, and be sure to pack some for those long summer drives.

1. Apply Bug Spray

If you live in areas where there are a lot of mosquitoes and where West Nile Virus is present, and if you spend a lot of time outdoors (particularly at night), use mosquito repellent to help reduce the risk of getting bit by a mosquito carrying this virus.

2. Exercise Smart

If you enjoy outdoor activities such as walking or gardening, make sure to wear the proper clothing and protective gear. It is also important to keep track of time. Do not stay out for long periods and make sure to drink even more water than usual when exercising. Also consider getting outdoor exercise earlier in the morning or later in the evening when the sun is not at its peak.

3. Know Who to Call

Prepare a list of emergency phone numbers and place them in an easy to access area. This way, the right people can be called to help quickly preventing any further issues or preventing medical problems from getting worse.

4. Talk to Your Doctor

Check with your medical team to make sure any medications you are on won’t be affected by higher temperatures — especially if you don’t have air conditioning in your home. Some medications are less effective if stored at temperatures higher than room temperature (approximately 78 degrees Fahrenheit), and the last thing anyone wants is for a preventable medical condition to become aggravated due to high temperatures.

5. Keep Your Cool

Even small increases in temperature can hurt seniors who are coping with chronic medical conditions. Shopping malls, movie theaters and libraries provide welcome, cool spaces if a senior’s own home isn’t air conditioned. They also afford a great opportunity to get out of the house and get some exercise, without the exhaustion of the heat.

6. Protect Your Eyes

Vision loss can be common among the elderly, and too much exposure to the sun can irritate eyes and cause further damage. Wearing sunglasses can protect your eyes from harmful UV rays and preserve your vision.

7. Rub on Sunscreen and Wear Hats

Everyone, young and old, should wear sunscreen when outdoors. The elderly especially need the extra sun protection to help keep them healthy. Caregivers, family and friends can help by gently reminding loved ones about applying sunscreen and helping to put it on when necessary. Hats are also a great idea, especially for those with light colored hair and those with only distant memories of a full head of hair.

Read more about Sun Safety:

 

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Sun Safety Tips from Hopkinton Home Care

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Surviving Allergy Season – Tips for Caregivers

Spring is in the air – finally! But that also means allergy season is here. As pollen fills the air, people afflicted by seasonal allergies are beginning to groan.

Like many millions of Americans, the elderly are not exempt from the stuffy noses and watery eyes that accompany allergies. However, seniors often have complicating factors such as chronic diseases that can make it even more difficult to deal with their allergies.

That said, here are a few tips on how family and caregivers can make allergy season bearable for their elderly loved ones.

  • Notice when allergies are there. Caregivers should be on the lookout for the traditional signs of allergies: sneezing, a runny nose, and itchy eyes. Allergies don’t discriminate between the young and the old. Many people falsely assume that the elderly do not get seasonal allergies, when, in fact, they are just as likely as anyone else to be affected when spring blooms begin to appear.
  • Work closely with a doctor. It can be difficult for a doctor to diagnose allergies in an older person, particularly when they’re focused on a senior’s larger health issues, but elderly people often have multiple chronic health problems, and it can be hard for a doctor to separate a potential allergy from an ongoing disease. Be sure to bring any concerns to your loved ones doctor.
  • React quickly. Allergies in the elderly should be treated as rapidly and aggressively as possible because they can be extremely dangerous to a senior who has pre-existing cardiovascular problems.
  • Avoid traditional medications. Did you know that antihistamines, the class of drug most commonly prescribed to treat allergies, can be dangerous to seniors. The side effects from these medications include: confusion, drowsiness, urinary retention, dry mouth, dizziness and so on. Antihistamines can also potentially cause changes in mood or behavior in the elderly and may lead to dangerous interactions with commonly prescribed medications. For the senior suffering from seasonal allergies, a doctor will likely prescribe a nasal steroid or some form of topical medication.
  • Discuss treatment options. There are several new treatments for allergies being developed specifically for the elderly. Ask your doctor for more information.

And always remember, Hopkinton Home Care is here to help.

If you are worried about a loved one when you’re away from home, we can help.  Let’s find out together how to share the responsibility of in-home health care with your loved ones.

Our service areas include Ashland, Bellingham, Framingham, Franklin, Grafton, Holliston, Hopedale, Hopkinton, Hudson, Marlborough, Southborough, Upton, Westborough, Whitinsville and surrounding towns in the MetroWest.

Celebrate National Nutrition Month by Being Healthy with Hopkinton Home Care - Understanding Nutrition, Activity and Healthy Aging

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Prepare for Summer 2017: Easy Outdoor Activities for Your Loved Ones

As winter continues to wind down, it’s time to start thinking about how to get your loved ones outside once the sun comes back out. Going outside makes all of us feel much better, relieves stresses of everyday living and is a valuable source of vitamin D.

Whether playing outdoor games, gardening, or visiting a park, there is always an activity to do outdoors for almost anyone. Many senior activity ideas that were done inside during challenging weather can now simply be brought outside, such as arts and crafts. This is also a great way to get the grand-kids and other kids involved as well.

Here are a few of the favorites for outdoor activities you can do together – or simply encourage your loved ones to do on their own!

Metal detecting

One of the more unique outdoor elderly activities that can also be done with the grandkids is metal detecting. Metal detectors can be ordered online and begin at about $50 on up. They can be taken to beaches, parks, and other public places. You never know what you can find!

Enjoying Craft Shows Together

Vendors are very eager to share their expertise and passion, so it can also be a valuable and fun experience to seniors that have been isolated to a craft show. The senior may also discover a new hobby that could be of interest, and in which to become involved.

Town concerts

Almost all communities, especially those in Metrowest, have outdoor plays, concerts on the common, or productions of some kind. If you participate in such a group yourself, consider offering a free performance with your town. Most town activities directors would be thrilled to hear from you.

Flying kites

No one is ever too old (or too young) to fly a kite. You may even like to build your own kite. Kits are available ranging from very easy to build to more advanced kits. Kites can also be flown from a wheelchair. Keep it simple by just going outside in your own grounds, or have an excursion to a nearby park.

Fishing

So many seniors and kids enjoy fishing. Just be sure there is someone there who knows how to handle the gear, hooks, and fish. And what about a fish fry afterwards? Bring your picnic gear too.

Painting pots

For those skilled at arts and crafts, simple painting clay pots and decorations together is a lot of fun. Take it a step farther and plant some seeds in the pot for flowers to grow! Other ideas we love include using a colorful rubber rain boot to paint in a similar manner is another outdoor project. In a more protected area, you can use a fancy old purse as a planter too.

Berry picking or apple picking

This outdoor activity is easy for the young and old and makes a nice, mildly active excursion. And you have a delicious end result! Take the berries back with you and have a get-together, eating them or making a dessert. Similarly, you can pick your own apples and even go on a hay ride or cart ride to the picking areas. And the staff love to talk about all the different types of apples and what they are best for. It can be quite educational. Visiting a farm or horse ranch are other outings that are especially fun to do with kids.

Miniature golf

This can either be a morning or afternoon trip to a nearby miniature golf course, or putting green, (You may also find them indoors in some communities). Or set up a portable style putting green game in your yard. There are also other games available that are take-offs on golf. Some can also be played from a wheelchair.

Bird watching

This is becoming very popular for outdoor elderly activities. This may take a little study, but it is learn as you go, and can become a very satisfying hobby. The MA DNR (Department of Natural Resources) can assist you in finding local trails. There are certain items you will be need – a bird book for MA is the first!

Photography

Photography, especially with elders, is critical as time is valuable these days. And it is not difficult. Young people love to teach about electronic gadgets so it’s a great way for the young to interact with the older generation. Photos can then be immediately viewed on the camera and saved…or not. Photography can be enjoyed with limited mobility as well, and photographs easily downloaded into a computer and printed out.

Outdoor arts and crafts

Outdoor activities can definitely include art. Remember to take advantage of the good weather and bring your projects outside! If you have an experienced artist in your family, or can have someone come in, offer an outdoor painting class. You can certainly have a field trip as a famiy to a scenic spot. But you can also set up on your own grounds near a garden, gazebo, etc. Or instead of painting what is in front of your, bring along a photo or image of what you’d like to paint.

As you can see, there are many things you can all enjoy together as a family this spring. What are some of your favorite activities?

Keep in touch!

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(C) The Patch


There is nothing more important than family!

Do you go out to start your day and worry about your family member? Do you find yourself thinking about medications, worrying about falls, or just concerned about isolation and a lack of stimulation? Do you wonder if they are eating properly or getting enough activity? Are you concerned about your family member driving by themselves?

Hopkinton Home Care let’s you know that there is someone there to help take care of all these things and more. We provide the service that your loved one needs help with so that you can be fully engaged in your daily responsibilities and activities.

Hopkinton Home Care is able to provide service to you where you need it and when you need it. Our staff will come to you where ever you need our service. We are available to help with your physical needs, your cognitive needs, and your spiritual needs.

Our goal is to help you thrive and be happy. All of our staff are experienced professionals who are highly qualified, fully trained, have full background checks done and are fully credentialed healthcare professionals.

www.hopkintonhomecare.com

 

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