How to Prepare for Companionship For Your Loved Ones This Holiday Season

Close, constant companionship has been linked to helping stage off symptoms of depression in individuals over the age of 65.

The essence of being a human being means that you live within a social structure that thrives on interacting with others. You laugh, talk and spend time with others. However, as you or elderly loved one becomes older, these interactions can become less frequent. Although everyone goes through a period of loneliness, if you are finding your social calendar is not as full as it used to be, you can hire a caregiver who provides companionship for the elderly.

As people become older, an inactive social life and isolation can cause a person to internalize their feelings because they do not have a proper outlet to express these feelings. A caregiver who offers companionship for the elderly will help elevate the senior’s mood and keep away feelings of loneliness.

The majority of seniors prefer to stay in their homes as they get older. When a senior has the proper assistance from family members and professional caregivers, he or she will never have to move out of the home.

There are several services that a companion/caregiver can participate in with elderly clients. Some of these services are:

  • Play cards
  • Share family history
  • Discuss current topics
  • Read books
  • Craft
  • Memory games
  • Writing letters
  • Gardening
  • Learning computer skills

Companions for the elderly can also monitor the client’s health status as well as provide assistance with daily living activities.

Learn more from Hopkinton Home Care. Visit Hopkinton Home Care for more information. www.hopkintonhomecare.com

Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hopkintonhomecare

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5 Tips for Enjoying Stress Free Holidays with Loved Ones

If you are a caregiver, sometimes the holiday season gives rise to stress, frustration, and anger, instead of peace and goodwill.

You may feel resentful towards other family members who they feel have not offered enough assistance. Already feeling overwhelmed with responsibilities at the holidays, stressed-out caregivers may view traditional holiday preparations as more of a drain of precious energy than a joy.

To make the holidays more enjoyable for you and your loved ones, keep in mind there are many opportunities to communicate better, connect with each other and ask for support from family and friends.

  1. The holidays can provide an opportunity for communication. It’s hard to know how much to communicate about a loved one’s decline in cognitive functioning and personal care needs. Although it is understandable to have reservations about discussing a loved one’s impairments, honest communication about the realities of the caregiving situation offers others the opportunity to respond with assistance. Sharing the truths of your situation may help reduce some of the feelings of isolation and lack of appreciation common in caregivers.
  2. Some caregivers have had success in writing a brief note or leaving notes describing the person’s condition on a holiday card. This is a non-threatening way to inform distant or uninvolved relatives about the realities of the caregiving situation.
  3. If you’re truly upset or disappointed in other family members who may not have done their part, you must decide how much and when to communicate this disappointment. Consider clearing the air before the holidays or perhaps resolve within yourself to put those feelings on hold, with the intention to discuss the matter after the holiday season passes. In the meantime, enjoy the holiday!
  4. Accept all the help you can get – and go with the flow. Caregivers often have to adapt their traditional role or experience of the holidays. This may mean allowing another family member to host more time-intensive festivities. You may need to modify the amount of time away from home to match the comfort level of your impaired loved one. You may also have to choose which events to attend based on which would be the simplest, least exhausting and most enjoyable for the person for whom you provide care—and for you.
  5. Schedule one on one time with family members other than yourself so you, too, can enjoy some alone time. While caregiving, it is easy to get caught up in all the tasks of personal care and homemaking chores. Make a point of setting some time aside this holiday season to enjoy the person you care for in a relaxed, one-on-one context. The best activities are those which take advantage of long-term memory—usually less impaired in people with dementia. Try looking through family photo albums or unpacking holiday decorations, which may stimulate memories.

And always remember, a little thank you goes a long way. After the holidays, write a thank you note to family members or friends who spent time with your loved one. Emphasize the positive impact their visit or brief time spent with your loved one had on them. This may reinforce positive feelings from their visit and diminish any discomfort they experienced. They may then be more encouraged to visit again or be more supportive of your efforts.

Happy Holidays and enjoy the magic of the season from Hopkinton Home Care!

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

Contact Us Today or call 508-544-4650.

About us: http://www.hopkintonhomecare.com/about-us.html.

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November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

Go Purple with a Purpose for Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness and Caregivers Month. President Ronald Reagan designated November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month in 1983. At the time, fewer than 2 million Americans had Alzheimer’s; today, the number of people with the disease has soared to nearly 5.4 million.  Get involved this month, and help raise awareness for Alzheimer’s disease.

Honor a caregiver: https://alz.org/honor/honor.asp

10 Ways to Help a Family Living with Alzheimer’s: http://blog.alz.org/10-ways-to-help-a-family-living-with-alzheimers/

People living with early-stage Alzheimer’s would like you to know:

  • “I’m still the same person I was before my diagnosis.”
  • “My independence is important to me; ask me what I’m still comfortable doing and what I may need help with.”
  • “It’s important that I stay engaged. Invite me to do activities we both enjoy.”
  • “Don’t make assumptions because of my diagnosis. Alzheimer’s affects each person differently.”
  • “Ask me how I’m doing. I’m living with a disease, just like cancer or heart disease.”
  • “I can still engage in meaningful conversation. Talk directly to me if you want to know how I am.”
  • “Don’t pull away. It’s OK if you don’t know what to do or say. Your friendship and support are important to me.”

If you ever need additional support, Hopkinton Home Care can help. If you or a loved one need extra help, our personalized and custom health home care is a great option.

Keep in touch: 

Hopkinton Home Care provides quality home care services in your home with an assisted living focus on the entire needs of each and every individual that we serve.

http://www.hopkintonhomecare.com

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Prepare for Proper Companionship For Your Loved Ones This Holiday Season

Close, constant companionship has been linked to helping stage off symptoms of depression in individuals over the age of 65.

The essence of being a human being means that you live within a social structure that thrives on interacting with others. You laugh, talk and spend time with others. However, as you or elderly loved one becomes older, these interactions can become less frequent. Although everyone goes through a period of loneliness, if you are finding your social calendar is not as full as it used to be, you can hire a caregiver who provides companionship for the elderly.

As people become older, an inactive social life and isolation can cause a person to internalize their feelings because they do not have a proper outlet to express these feelings. A caregiver who offers companionship for the elderly will help elevate the senior’s mood and keep away feelings of loneliness.

The majority of seniors prefer to stay in their homes as they get older. When a senior has the proper assistance from family members and professional caregivers, he or she will never have to move out of the home.

There are several services that a companion/caregiver can participate in with elderly clients. Some of these services are:

  • Play cards
  • Share family history
  • Discuss current topics
  • Read books
  • Craft
  • Memory games
  • Writing letters
  • Gardening
  • Learning computer skills

Companions for the elderly can also monitor the client’s health status as well as provide assistance with daily living activities.

Learn more from Hopkinton Home Care. Visit Hopkinton Home Care for more information. www.hopkintonhomecare.com

Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hopkintonhomecare

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Facebooking with Grandma

So you’ve tried to show your grandmother how to use Facebook three times and she can never remember how to log in… Or you desperately need your mother to learn to text so she won’t interrupt your workday with calls.

Interestingly, though, once older adults get online, they tend to be very active!

Why is it difficult to teach older adults how to use the Internet, cell phones, and other technology? And given the uses and benefits that most of us value so highly, why do some seniors seem unmotivated to learn?

The Slow Starter

The number of seniors using the Internet has grown much more slowly year by year than the rate of Internet use by adults in general. In 2012, the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project was finally able to announce that more than half (53 percent) of American adults over age 65 are online and using e-mail. When asked their reasons for not going online, most said they either “didn’t need it,” didn’t see the benefits of it, or didn’t know how to access it.

Interestingly, though, once older adults get online, they tend to be very active!

What does this suggest? That seniors only discover the benefits of being online once they are. In other words, showing your grandmother the baby pictures your sister just posted on Facebook is going to be a much more powerful motivator than anything you can say.

How to Help

The best way to help a slow starter is with the simplest possible technology and step-by-step demonstrations. So next time you visit, sit down with Dad or Grandma and walk them slowly through the basic steps, starting wherever they are. If your loved one is resisting the introduction of technology at home, get her started at the library, or bring your own laptop or tablet over to show her what she’s missing.

Tips:

  • Many adult day programs and community centers offer such courses, too.
  • Keep in mind any physical limitations — if your loved one has arthritis that interferes with typing, for example, a tablet or an oversized keyboard might be the solution.
  • If eyesight is an issue, there are phones designed with larger interfaces, and you can increase type size on devices and computers.

The Nervous Nellie

“Oh, I don’t know, I don’t think I’ll be able to learn to use it,” your elderly parent says when you offer to buy her a smartphone. Many older adults respond to the constant demands of changing times by becoming easily intimidated and even fearful. Often their nervousness is accompanied by self-doubt and a sort of fatalism: “I think it’s a little late in life for me to learn all that

How to Help

Like most of us, older adults learn best with one-on-one, hands-on show-and-tell. And the more nervous and intimidated your loved one is about technology, the more important it is to transmit information in small bites. Show your loved one how to do one thing at a time, and let her practice doing it on her own multiple times before moving on to another challenge. Also, don’t throw a bunch of new tools at her at once; the government survey found that seniors learn best when technology is delivered using equipment they’re already familiar with. Of course, this doesn’t help if your parent or loved one uses no technology at all, but it suggests that if your loved one already has experience with one type of technology, you might want to increase her skills in that area before trying a new device.

The Cranky Curmudgeon

We all know at least one person who falls into this camp — or we might even describe ourselves this way, at least under some circumstances. The operative issue here as it relates to technology is temper; the curmudgeon has a low frustration threshold, is easily annoyed, and lacks the patience to work through problems when they arise. (Which they will do — adapting to new technology is never problem free.)

How to Help

To prevent frustration, set low expectations from the start, explaining that pretty much everyone gets stuck early on and it’s no big deal. To combat crankiness, offer plenty of positive reinforcement after each task. If your loved one gets impatient with you, you can speed up the pace of your instruction, but stop frequently and have her practice each skill. (Otherwise you’ll trigger frustration when she can’t remember.) If she gets impatient with herself, you can try humor to defuse the situation, offer reassurance, take a break, or simply overlook the grumpiness and keep going.

The Budget-Conscious User

Many seniors live on tight budgets and have to pay close attention to expenses. Owning a computer or setting up cable access may feel like an expense they can’t afford. That said, the government’s study on barriers to Internet use found that many seniors overestimate the cost of technology by a wide margin, based on outdated information or a misunderstanding of what type of equipment they need.

How to Help

Take your loved one to a store with a good technology department and introduce him to the variety of options available. Explain that tablets, netbooks, and laptops are available at much lower cost than the big desktop computers he’s more familiar with. If your loved one can’t afford or balks at monthly payments for Internet access or a data plan, you can introduce her to the computers at the public library or see if he’s interested in a Wi-Fi-only tablet that he can use in cafes and other public places. Studies show that once older adults discover the ways in which the Internet and social media enhance their lives, they become more open to paying for those services.

The Stay-at-Homer

“I’m always here, so why would I need a cell phone?” If you’ve ever heard this one, you know you’re in for a chicken-and-egg discussion. Many seniors are so used to relying on a home phone and voice mail that they don’t realize it’s exerting a habit-forming pull. (“I need to stay home in case Mary calls.”)

But isolation can become a habit, and not a good one. Recently, experts in aging have begun to focus on what some are calling an “epidemic of loneliness” among older adults. More seniors today live alone than at any time before, and many do not have strong social networks for support. Studies have shown that for many older adults, isolation gradually breeds fear, social anxiety, and increases the likelihood of depression and health problems.

While technology is of value, there is no substitute for human contact. A few hours a week with a local Hopkinton Home Care caregiving can keep older adults in their homes longer as well.

Hopkinton Home Care caregivers are screened, trained and equipped to provide that human touch that companionship that technology cannot. Services are provided from a few hours a week up to 24 hours a day – including weekends and holidays. Give the gift of companionship this holiday season – and perhaps that companion can help with the training of technology for when you are not around.

Keep in touch for when you need it!

Hopkinton Home Care provides quality home care services in your home with an assisted living focus on the entire needs of each and every individual that we serve.

http://www.hopkintonhomecare.com

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Companionship for Your Loved Ones During the Holidays

The special gift of a person’s time might be the most precious present that a senior loved one can receive during the holidays.

Hopkinton Home Care offers the finest companion care services in Metrowest, Massachusetts and throughout the surrounding areas. We will ensure that you or your family member always has the care and attention they deserve, with understanding and compassion.

We will make sure that there is always someone there for the people that need it.

Hopkinton Home Care is a locally owned and operated company. The founder, Bill Marr, has 30+ years of experience in the home care, assisted living, and insurance industries.  For 17 years, Bill worked at Golden Pond, the first free-standing assisted living facility in Massachusetts.

Hopkinton Home Care was founded by Bill to help people by maximizing the strengths and experience he has gained during his time in both home care and senior care.

Philosophy

Our philosophy is to provide five-star quality home care services with an assisted living focus on the entire needs of each and every individual that we serve.

Some of the standard home care services include (but are not limited to):

  • personal care
  • companionship
  • medication oversight
  • meal preparation
  • transportation to appointments
  • shopping and errands

When you contact us, you will notice that we want to answer YOUR questions and respond to any concerns that you may have. Only after we learn what you need can we let you know how we can meet those needs. Give us a call: 508-544-4650.

Yet Hopkinton Home Care goes above and beyond to provide superior service to meet the psycho-social, spiritual, and cognitive needs of any family that seeks these programs.

No matter where you live, in your private home, independent living, assisted living, or skilled nursing home, Hopkinton Home Care is there for you.  Any of our services are available to you, however, and whenever you want or need them.  Our goal is to help you thrive in life and for you to look forward to each and every moment that we are privileged to spend with you.

www.hopkintonhomecare.com or bill.marr@hopkintonhomecare.com – 1.508.544.4650

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It’s Never Too Early to Plan for Flu Season

Like the Boy Scout Motto: Be Prepared

For hospitals and healthcare organizations to be better prepared, Hopkinton Home Care advises you receive your flu vaccine as soon as it’s available.

“If it hits someone you love, the care plan needs to be dynamic as opposed to static,” added Bill Marr, owner of Hopkinton Home Care. “The care plan should be reviewed consistently every week for your loved ones and CNAs from Hopkinton Home Care can help.”

If it seems too early to plan, consider a study on hospital responses to mild and severe flu pandemics.

Even a Mild Flu Season Can be Demanding

As healthcare organizations start planning for flu season, they should keep an eye on what the CDC is reporting; the CDC will provide updates on what to expect for flu season, what flu strains may be prevalent, and how severe situations may be.

Flu season also means hospitals must hire additional nurses to care for patients, such as in the ICU or other areas requiring acute care. Outpatient services, on the other hand, have a need for nurses from Hopkinton Home Care who have a need for proper attention and healing.

One reason to plan now for in-home health care is so you are comfortable with who may be taking care of your loved one!

Keep in touch for when you need it!

Hopkinton Home Care provides quality home care services in your home with an assisted living focus on the entire needs of each and every individual that we serve.

http://www.hopkintonhomecare.com

REMINDER:

http://www.hopkintonhomecare.com/

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