5 Simple Ways to Help the Elderly in the Winter

Winter can bring many healthcare challenges for older people, especially those with mobility issues or those who are homebound. Bill Marr, the owner of Hopkinton Home Care, offers these 5 tips for keeping your loved ones safe and healthy during the winter months.

1. Stock emergency resources in their homes. Emergency kits must be easily accessible and should include water, flashlight, batteries, radio, and blankets. Seniors should have at least a seven-day supply of prescription medications and a three-day supply of non-perishable food and water on hand.

2. Identify and eliminate fall risks. This is a huge issue for seniors and most do not know they are at risk for falls, especially during the winter. Often they will take off their wet boots when they get home and walk around the house in stockings, which often leads to slipping. Create slip-proof paths and make sure they wear shoes or slippers that grip. Keep driveways and walkways clear of snow.

3. Encourage them to stay active and engaged with others. Companionship is one of the primary services Hopkinton Home Care provides in the winter months. Many elderly feel lonely or inactive during this time of year but there are programs available to help and Hopkinton Home Care is a great resource to help get your loved ones there. Many libraries deliver books and movies. Churches offer a visitation program for volunteers who provide companionship to housebound parishioners. Contact your local senior center for information on upcoming community activities.

4. Keep a keen eye on their nutrition. A balanced diet becomes even more crucial during the winter when we are less active, at risk of catching colds and lacking vitamin D. Be sure your loved one is getting balanced meals that incorporate vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables. Keep extra food on hand in the freezer as well as bottled or canned fruit juices and non-fat milk powder. Meals on Wheels delivers affordable hot, nutritious foods daily.

5. Lastly, establish a plan for winter emergencies. If power is lost, do you and your elder know where they will go and what they will need? Have an emergency bag packed with a change of clothing and all medical and care necessities. Have a carrier ready in case pets need to be transported with them. Go to www.redcross.org to find shelters open in your area.

Try starting with this family communication plan: https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan.

Connect with Hopkinton Home Care today to help with your loved ones. Check out our services – We can help! 

Stay connected for when you need us:

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New Year’s Resolutions for Seniors and Their Families

The best advice lives on for years…

Life is full of traditions. Many are handed down through the years, and some are newly created between family and friends. Either way, traditions are part of the colorful fabric that intertwines our lives and holds us together, transcending time and distance. One common tradition this time of year is making New Year’s resolutions, which usually include stopping bad habits or starting good habits.

This tradition is also a great way to stay connected and engaged with those special seniors in your life. By working together with your aging loved ones to put those resolutions into action, you can both maintain the momentum to keep those commitments throughout the year. Providing accountability for each other provides valuable reinforcement, offers the opportunity to stay in touch regularly, and gives you a greater sense of purpose, which is particularly important for seniors and their well-being.

We have compiled a number of interactive New Year’s resolutions designed to keep you connected, in touch, and in tune with each other the entire year:

  • Start a letter journal. Thanks to the Internet, handwritten letters are almost a thing of the past. However, seniors come from an era when writing letters by hand was an important, valued form of etiquette—a more personal way of keeping in touch. Purchase a bound journal, write a letter inside and give it to your loved one. He or she then writes a letter to you and returns the journal. The same can be done with individual letters written back and forth and pasted into the book. The process repeats throughout the year, or until the journal is full. Sharing a letter journal with your loved one is a unique way to strengthen your connection and getting to know each other better. An added perk is the excitement of looking forward to receiving “real” mail. You find yourselves thinking of each other more often and contemplating what bit of news to share in the next letter.
  • Plan to age gracefully. Growing old has advantages as well as a few disadvantages, such as wrinkles, gray hair and changes to our bodies. It is never too late to decide to pursue a healthy lifestyle, which increases the odds of aging gracefully. Plan to exercise often, eat nutritious foods and encourage each other while doing so. If you live near your senior loved one, take walks or participate in a group exercise class together. Even if your senior lives far away, you can take walks during the same time of day and talk on the phone to plan healthy meals and other activities.
  • Share your favorite recipes. Exchanging healthy recipes helps your elderly loved one eat more nutritious meals and gives you the opportunity to ensure she is eating well. As a bonus, your loved one sends you favorite family recipes that have been passed down through the generations.
  • Get tech savvy. A study in 2016 found that seniors are the fastest growing demographic on social networks. If mom and dad do not already have a computer, now is the time to expand their horizons. It might seem a bit intimidating at first, but once they are comfortable, their prowess might surprise you. Communicating and trading pictures via email becomes a snap. Even better, webcams allow “face-to-face” conversations between family members who live far apart. The grandkids can relay their adventures, and everyone gets the pleasure of seeing each other laugh. You also get the chance to observe your loved one and check for signs of good or failing health.
  • Talk about the hard stuff. This resolution is not fun, but it is the most important. While your senior is able, help set the standards of care he or she desires should he or she become incapacitated later. Decide if you will designate a family member or hire a senior care professional to be the primary caregiver. Talking about estate planning and wills, along with other related issues, helps prepare everyone for the inevitable. Discussing these things in advance ensures that your loved one’s wishes are recorded and understood by all.

Making New Year’s resolutions together builds bonds with family and friends. Set your resolution, involve your loved one and help each other reach your goals. Strengthen your relationships and show your love all year long.

Stay connected for when you need us:

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5 Reasons to Consider Home Care for Your Loved Ones in 2018

Benefits of Home Health Care Services from Hopkinton Home Care

One of the most important goals of health care is ensuring that ill, elderly, and disabled patients receive high-quality, personal, and compassionate care. Hopkinton Home Care is designed to meet these needs by offering personalized service in the convenience of your loved one’s home.

  1. Maintain Dignity & Independence: The number one benefit of home health care is that it allows loved ones to receive personal care in the privacy and comfort of their own homes. For aging and homebound individuals, this allows your loved one to remain as independent as possible, providing a much higher sense of security and dignity.
  2. Eliminate Re-Hospitalization: Receiving home health care helps to reduce stays to the hospital, and studies have shown that people recuperating from illness, injury, or surgical procedures heal more quickly and more successfully when recovering in the comfort of one’s own home.
  3. Support for the Primary Caretaker: We are all too familiar with the fact that family members often serve as the primary caregivers to their ill or elderly loved ones. Hopkinton Home Care provides the much-needed assistance to family caregivers, allowing them to “take a break” or do something for themselves from time to time.  Furthermore, if a family is unable to serve as the primary caretaker for a number of reasons, you will have the backup and benefit of knowing that your loved one is receiving professional, compassionate, and personalized care that is familiar to all of you. It is good practice to have your support and a backup plan in place before an urgent matter arises.
  4. Companionship: Connecting well with friends and family can help your loved ones stay healthier, age well and live longer. For those who cannot be present as a caregiver or regular companion to elderly loved ones, Hopkinton Home Care provides companionship services, such as socialization, cognitive stimulation, playing games and letter writing.
  5. Medication Management: Medication management is a complex process that consists of multiple activities. Medication reconciliation is a key first step in medication management. Multiple studies have demonstrated large discrepancies in what medications are ordered by the prescribing provider and the actual medications the older adult is taking. Other areas of medication management include assessment and interventions related to medication procurement, medication knowledge, physical ability, cognitive capacity, and intentional non-adherence. Ongoing monitoring of these areas is crucial for all elderly loved ones.

* Considering the expense of prescription drugs in the current health care system, a small investment in providing comprehensive assessment and interventions to assist older adults in the accurate management of their medications will increase the quality of life of many older adults.

Hopkinton Home Care delivers professional medical services and support in the privacy and comfort of our loved ones’ homes. Our patients benefit from having their health needs properly addressed while enjoying greater independence.

Contact Us to Learn More about Hopkinton Home Care

At Hopkinton Home Care, our goals are to provide care and compassion in the comfort of your own home. Hopkinton Home Care is proud to offer exceptional home care services to your loved ones throughout Metrowest Massachusetts.

To learn more about our home health services and how we can help in your loved one’s care, kindly contact us online (http://www.hopkintonhomecare.com/) or call 508-544-4650 and we will be in touch with you shortly.

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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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