Tag Archives: At home care for elderly

Flu Season Is On Its Way – 5 Tips for Helping Seniors Get Prepared

Home healthcare nurse giving injection to senior adult woman.

There are so many things to love about the winter season, from hot chocolate and cozy fires to quality time with friends and loved ones over the holidays. But, it does bring some challenges too, especially when it comes to senior health. Here are five tips to help your senior loved one prepare for winter, from our senior home health care services team in New Jersey:

  • Get Your Flu Vaccine–  As a person gets older, their immune system becomes weaker, especially if they are dealing with other health conditions. For this reason, the flu can be very dangerous to seniors, even resulting in a fatality. While it’s still early, ensure your loved one gets their flu vaccine. It’s a good idea for everyone who socializes with your loved one to get one, too.
  • Prepare for Storms– Snowstorms can leave seniors isolated and bound inside their homes; blackouts may even occur. Make sure they have a well-stocked kitchen (including water and medication), as well as a kit with a flashlight, spare batteries, gloves, and a warm blanket. You can also invest in an emergency response remote that allows your loved one to alert you or emergency services for help. Keep the telephone numbers of your loved ones’ neighbors in your phone. It will enable you to contact them to check in on your loved one if you’re unable to do so.
  • Eat Healthily– Good nutrition can be more difficult to manage during the winter months, but it’s critical for maintaining a healthy body and immune system. Assist your loved one by stocking up on frozen portions of homemade soups rich in vegetables, as well as winter fruit and vegetables (berries, citrus, and root vegetables).
  • Stay Active– Cold weather is no reason to become a couch potato and shouldn’t stop your loved one from getting healthy exercise! If it’s outdoor exercise, make sure your loved one’s shoes have non-slip tread and that they dress in plenty of layers. It’s also a good idea to encourage outdoor group activities in winter for safety. Many community groups offer year-round activities for seniors, including aqua aerobics and dance classes, so check out your local YMCA and community center.
  • Stay Social– In winter, seniors can be especially vulnerable to feelings of depression and isolation, so it’s important to keep an active social calendar. Join up with local seniors in the area who share similar interests in movie nights, a book club, dancing, and musical evenings, be sure to phone or visit more often, and assist with transportation where possible.

Affordable Companionship and Expert Care from Senior Home Health Care Services in NJ 

At United Methodist Communities, we offer high-quality senior independent home care at affordable rates, starting as low as $23 per hour, through our HomeWorks program. Our home health aides are fully certified in New Jersey and have extensive senior care training and experience, so please feel free to ask for formal certification and references.

For more information on our in-home respite care services and senior home care services, please contact us today or visit our website at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/home-respite-care-services-nj/.

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/flu-season-is-on-its-way-5-tips-for-helping-seniors-get-prepared/

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5 Great Medication Safety Tips for Seniors with Alzheimer’s

Female caregiver serving afternoon tea to patient

It’s World Alzheimer’s Month, and our home care agency team is using this time as an opportunity to share some useful tips on medication management and safety for seniors with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. These patients are often on multiple medications for this and other health issues, so it’s important to take the proper precautions to avoid medication-related issues.

  1. Get to Know the Medications. Write up some basic notes on each medication – what it is for, the dosage, and possible side effects – and spend some time studying them. This makes it so much easier to quickly spot the side effects or any possible complications.
  2. Talk to the Doctor about Drug Interactions. Your doctor should know of each medication and supplement that your loved one is on (always take your list of medications and supplements to appointments to make sure your list is complete). However, it is possible for some medications to interact badly with others, especially if they are for different health conditions. Talk to the doctor about possible drug interactions and how you can help avoid them. This may mean changing what medications are taken at what time of the day, taking certain medications with food, or perhaps even changing out medications for alternative drugs.
  3. Use a Pill Box and Medication Management App. As a caregiver, there’s a lot on your plate. So, organizing medications in advance according to the doctor’s instructions and using technology to remind you when medications need to be taken can be a great help. Pill organizer boxes can be filled for each day or week, and apps like Dosecast, MedHelper, and MyMeds can be downloaded onto your smartphone and set up according to your loved one’s schedule.
  4. Develop a Routine. Individuals with Alzheimer’s rely greatly on established, reliable routines, so try to fit medication into your existing routine by making it a daily ritual. This can mean making medications part of the breakfast routine or taking them with a favorite warm drink right before bed. If your loved one has trouble swallowing, pills can be ground up into a smoothie – but ask your doctor first. Also, try to avoid making the routine part of a potentially busy time of day.
  5. Lock Medication Away. All medications that are not required for the day should be safely locked in a medication cabinet – even over-the-counter drugs. It’s very easy for those with Alzheimer’s to accidentally overdose. Another good idea is to keep emergency numbers taped to your cabinet door, including your local Poison Control Center, emergency room, and your loved one’s doctor.

Compassionate Full and Part-Time Care for Alzheimer’s Patients from Our At-Home Health Care Agency 

At United Methodist Communities, we strive to offer the very best home health aide services in New Jersey through our HomeWorks program. This program assists older adults in the comfort of their own homes and provides them, their families, and their caregivers personalized, compassionate care that prioritizes health, happiness, and independence.

For more information on our at-home health care agency or at-home care for older adults, please contact us today or visit our website at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/elderly-home-health-care-nj/

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/5-great-medication-safety-tips-for-seniors-with-alzheimers/

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What to Do When Your Senior Parent Refuses Help They Need

Dementia and Occupational Therapy - Home caregiver and senior adult man

There comes a time in everyone’s life when they may need a little extra help and care to live life to the fullest – but not everyone sees a helping hand as a positive thing. Many seniors struggle to accept that they need assistance, and this stubbornness can be a big concern for loved ones. Here are some tips from our home health aide services team in New Jersey on what to do when your senior loved one isn’t interested in talking about assistance.

You Can’t Force Someone to Accept Help 

The first thing to realize is that you can’t make your parent accept help – or even accept your advice. Unless they are suffering from a mental or physical health condition that legally allows you to make healthcare decisions on their behalf (Power of Attorney or a legal guardianship), they are legally entitled to make their own decisions.

Don’t Make Ultimatums 

An aggressive approach, even if it’s rational and logical, is going to look like an attack, putting your parent on the defensive. Most older adults who refuse to consider assistance or at home care are rejecting the idea out of fear – fear of getting older, fear of being removed from friends and family, and so forth. Instead, speak to your parent as someone who respects their input and their point of view, and explain your concerns.

Try Meet Them Halfway 

Try to understand where they are coming from and consider their concerns too. If they don’t want to move out of their home or away from their social circle, consider home health aide services rather than assisted living. If they are worried about having to invite someone into their house that they don’t know, then talk with your local service providers about making introductions with different caregivers so your parent can get to know them.

Don’t put any pressure on – your parent needs to come around to the idea of assistance by themselves. Often, they have just as many misconceptions about these services as younger people do, so it is often just a matter of showing how useful and rewarding a little senior care can really be.

Home Health Aide Services New Jersey – Compassionate At Home Care for the Elderly 

At United Methodist Communities in New Jersey, we strive to offer the very best quality senior care options, from assisted living to in-home care through our HomeWorks program. This program is about assisting the elderly in the comfort of their own homes and providing them, their families and caregivers with personalized, compassionate care that prioritizes health, happiness and independence. We can assist you with respite care, overnight care, hourly or live-in care, as well as provide experienced care for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.

Original Content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/what-to-do-when-your-senior-parent-refuses-help-they-need/

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What are ADLs and IADLs?

Smiling young woman shaping dough

As with any other industry, senior home health care services have certain jargon we use in our care programs, including the terms ADLs and IADLs. Here is some insight into what these terms mean, from our team.

First, ADLs are Activities for Daily Living – the basic self-care tasks that every adult needs to be able to handle during the course of a normal day. There are 6 ADLs, namely:

  • Eating – Feeding yourself and getting adequate nutrition to stay healthy.
  • Bathing – Getting in and out of the shower or tub safely, and cleaning yourself properly.
  • Dressing – Putting clothes on easily and ensuring that those clothes are appropriate for the weather.
  • Toileting – Recognizing urges to go to the bathroom and using the toilet without assistance.
  • Mobility – The ability to walk, go up and down stairs, get up from seated positions and getting up out of bed.
  • Grooming – Brushing your teeth and maintaining personal hygiene.

IADLs are more complex tasks that support adult independence, and include everything from managing finances, driving safely and managing medication properly to shopping, basic home maintenance and housework.

Why do ADLs and IADLs Matter? 

These skills all revolve around being able to live an independent life and the loss of these skills can indicate that assistance is required for someone to live a safe and enjoyable quality of life.

IADLs and ADLs are evaluated by senior care specialists including doctors, social workers and other healthcare practitioners to ensure that seniors get the care they need when they need it, rather than waiting until an emergency situation to intervene. They are also used to evaluate if a senior meets certain criteria for particular services like Medicaid. If you are caring for a senior loved one, it’s important to know these IADLs and ADLs so that you get a clear picture of the kind of assistance they need, and to watch for any deterioration that could indicate health issues. For example, deterioration of IADLS and ADLS is common in early stages of dementia conditions.

Looking for Qualified Aides to Provide At Home Care for Elderly? Our Team Can Help

At United Methodist Communities, we understand the challenges of providing expert medical care and companionship to seniors while encouraging a full and independent life, which is why we’ve developed one of the leading home health aide agencies and senior care programs in New Jersey.

Through our senior home health care services, trained and highly experienced staff can assist seniors and their families through comprehensive in home care. Each care plan is designed around the client’s exact needs, filling in with necessary assistance while allowing your loved one to remain in the comfort of their home.

For more information on our seniors home health care services, please contact us today or visit our website at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/elderly-home-health-care-nj/

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/what-are-adls-and-iadls/

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The Best Apps for Seniors

Senior man at home

Technology is invaluable when it comes to supporting a high quality of life for seniors, from helping families and loved ones stay in touch to ensuring rapid medical support when needed. Here are some of the best apps for seniors, from our senior home health care services team in NJ.

  • Lumosity – This app is packed full of games and activities designed to keep the mind active and thriving. From memory games and puzzles to riddles and more, the app is diverse enough that anyone can find an activity that they enjoy. This mental stimulation is key to staying sharp and fighting disorders like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
  • Pandora – Everyone loves music – it uplifts you, brings back great memories and gets those feet dancing! This app allows you to access the music you love whenever you want, from playlists that follow certain moods (relaxing or inspiring content) to personalized radio stations filled with all your favorites.
  • Senior Savings – This app helps track down local discounts and savings, which is ideal for bargain-hunting seniors. It tells you exactly which companies have specials on for seniors, from hotels and restaurants to retail stores.
  • Red Panic Button – This app works in the same way as a medical alert necklace – instead of wearing one of those, you can just press a button on your phone to alert emergency services that assistance is needed. It also sends out the current location, so emergency services can easily find someone in need.
  • Senior Phone – Smartphone interfaces can be confusing for many seniors who aren’t used to using complex devices, or who have trouble reading or identifying icons close up. It replaces the standard Android interface with a large-text, simplified version, including large buttons for “call” or “text” as well as options for sending an SOS message in an emergency.
  • LibriVox – This provides access to over 15,000 free audiobooks in a wide range of genres all recorded by volunteers. These can be streamed over WiFi or downloaded for listening at a later stage. It’s a great option for seniors who love to read but have started to find it a challenging activity.
  • MedWatcher – Medication management can quickly become a challenge for seniors and missing critical medication, taking conflicting medications together or accidentally overdosing is a real risk. This app was developed with the FDA and helps schedule all medications for you and has a comprehensive directory of drug descriptions, uses and side effects.

Senior Home Health Care Services in NJ Promote Well-being, Independence and Quality of Life 

At United Methodist Communities in New Jersey, we understand the challenges of providing expert medical care and companionship to seniors while encouraging a full and independent life, which is why we’ve developed our HomeWorks program.

Through this senior independent home care program, trained and certified home health aidescan assist seniors and their families through comprehensive senior home health care services. Each care plan is designed around the client’s exact needs, filling in with necessary assistance while allowing your loved one to remain in the comfort of their home.

For more information on at home care for elderly or to contact fully qualified home health aides in New Jersey, please contact us today or visit our website athttps://homeworks.umcommunities.org/elderly-home-health-care-nj/

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/the-best-apps-for-seniors/

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Virtual Reality – Exploring a New Therapy for Dementia

A teenage girl, mother and grandmother with VR goggles at home.

When most people think of VR or virtual reality, they think of entertainment — but the truth is that this technology offers so much more. VR has useful applications helping people with dementia conditions. Our home health aide services team offers some supportive insight.

Using Memory to Engage and Connect with Dementia Patients 

One of the biggest challenges for caregivers, family and loved ones of dementia patients is finding ways to connect with their loved one and spend meaningful time together. Happily, VR technology helps make this easier and more rewarding.

Dementia conditions affect memory, causing short-term memory loss while mostly leaving long-term memories intact. Using virtual reality, patients are able to relive their past memories by “visiting” realistic periods of time, places, and locations that hold special meaning to them.

These kinds of memory exercises are key in therapeutically treating these conditions, helping to stimulate brain activity, reduce anxiety and confusion, stabilize mood and improve the quality of life for dementia patients. For families, it’s a wonderful way to engage with their loved ones and share positive, happy memories in a calm, safe environment. In this way, VR therapies form a method to help prolong essential human connections.

VR Technology as a Way to Understand Dementia Better 

Another interesting application of this technology is in helping caregivers, medical professionals, and families better understand the life of someone with dementia. Winners of The Caregiving for Dementia Innovation Challenge showcased their software offering, “Embodying a Person With Alzheimer’s in Virtual Reality,” as a way for caregivers to better understand the disease and the needs of their clients.

Through VR, caregivers can experience how neuro-cognitive conditions affect other parts of the body, not just their memory functions. It shows how the disease progresses in a way that helps all involved in care better understand and anticipate their client’s needs. In this way, VR builds empathy and understanding, as well as promotes caregivers’ thinking outside the box.

Full-Time, Part-Time and Respite Care from Home Health Aide Services in NJ 

As a caregiver, getting the assistance of a qualified and experienced home health aide can be the best way of getting the support and guidance you need to care for your loved one with dementia.

As part of United Methodist Communities, a non-profit organization in New Jersey, we offer home care for the elderly with trained, experienced nursing and health aide staff to help your loved one. Our respite care and seniors home care services cover everything from companionship and help around the home to 24-hour live-in care, depending on exactly what you and your loved one requires. Our services are scalable and by-the-hour, allowing you to develop a custom care plan.

For more information on respite care and our home health aide services in New Jersey, please contact us today or visit our website at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/Home-Heath-Aid-services

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/virtual-reality-exploring-a-new-therapy-for-dementia/


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Making Home a Safer Place for Elderly Parents

Female Neighbor Helping Senior Woman Change Lightbulb In Lamp

One of the leading concerns for family members of elderly parents is that their loved ones will suffer a fall while at home. Although reduced reflexes and becoming less steady while standing are a normal part of aging, it does increase the risk of falls. This poses a very serious issue for seniors, as falls are the number one reason seniors visit the emergency room and the leading cause of hip fractures, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

UMC’s trained home health aides can assess the fall risks inside the home and correct as many as they can. They may also develop a list of recommended modifications for the home, if necessary. Here are just a few of the most common precautions on our checklist:

  • Get rid of all tripping hazards. Things that may never present a tripping hazard to a young person can easily cause a fall in older adults. Remove all rugs and throw carpets from rooms and passageways, or secure them firmly to the floor with double-sided tape. Remove all clutter from floors and stairways, including stacks of books and magazines, blankets and even decorative items. Make sure all wires and cords are removed from walkways, repositioned and secured against walls.
  • Rethink the furniture floor plan. Evaluate the furniture in each room and decide whether it should be repositioned, removed or replaced. Make sure it is positioned to keep primary traffic areas clear and easy to navigate (especially important for wheelchairs, walkers and walking sticks). Cupboards and storage should be easy to access, with everyday items within easy reach and with easy to operate handles. Furniture should sit solidly on the floor and not present a hazard if someone grabs onto it.
  • Update the bathroom. Low-profile non-slip mats are ideal for placing over tiles that can become slippery, and should be positioned by the bath, shower, basin, and toilet. Non-slip strips can also be affixed to the inside of the tub itself. Grab-bars can be installed to make getting into and out of the tub easier. Grab-bars, also highly recommended in the shower and by the toilet, can be easily installed by a plumber or handyman. For seniors with more severe mobility issues, a transfer bench and a hand-held shower are important, yet small investments that make bathing a whole lot safer.
  • Check the lighting. Aging affects our ability to see at night, so bright lighting throughout the house is essential, especially by stairs, hallways, main bathroom and in the master bedroom. Touch lights are also a great idea if light switches are located outside of easy reach when entering a room, and you can also install automatic nightlights in the hallway to assist your parents if they wake up late at night.
  • Ask for help. Even with all these thoughtful changes, there may come a time when your parents simply cannot keep up with their home or self-care on their own. Keep in touch with them about how they are coping and remember that help is always close by. If you want to try a home health aide even for a few hours per week, UMC HomeWorks offers care and services for older adults living at-home, assisting with everything from daily tasks, bathing and cooking, to transport, companionship and health care assistance, all in the comfort of their home.

Setting the Standard for Senior Home Care Services – One of the Leading Home Care Agencies in New Jersey 

At United Methodist Communities, one of New Jersey’s leading home care agencies, we strive for quality senior home care services, including in at-home care for the elderly and respite care through HomeWorks. This program assists the elderly in the comfort of their own homes and provides them, their families and caregivers with personalized, compassionate care that prioritizes health, safety and independence. In addition to healthcare and daily homecare, we also offer pastoral care for spiritual and emotional support in the home.

For more information on our senior home care services, please contact us today or visit our website at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/home-respite-care-services-nj/

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/making-home-a-safer-place-for-elderly-parents/


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