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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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/
September is World Alzheimer’s Month, a great opportunity to share news and insights into the treatment and care of Alzheimer’s patients, as well as spreading information and awareness of this serious condition. In this blog, the team at our home health care agency shares some helpful tips for managing confusion — a common challenge experienced by caregivers.
People with Alzheimer’s disease are likely to experience frequent bouts of confusion as the disease progresses. This can’t be prevented, as it is a direct result of the condition, but there is a lot caregivers can do to help people cope with the fear, agitation and anxiety that accompanies bouts of confusion.
Tips for Reducing Frequency of Confusion
Caregivers can help reduce confusion by:
- Creating a calm environment. Busy, loud and unfamiliar environments are a significant source of stress and over-stimulation, which can lead to confusion. Try to minimize time spent in these environments and ensure that everyday environments are peaceful, quiet and filled with familiar objects and sources of comfort. Blankets and clothing items can also be a source of comfort and security.
- Staying on top of personal care. Ensuring that an Alzheimer’s patient is receiving medication correctly, is eating enough, staying hydrated and getting sufficient sleep is also very important to prevent episodes of confusion as well as maintaining their physical health. Making these daily tasks part of a stable routine ensures that caregivers are able to note any changes in physical needs or health and take action to manage these needs as soon as possible.
- Having a progressive care plan in place. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease and old age is likely to bring other health conditions as well, which makes it important to have a long-term care plan in place and to implement it earlier rather than later. If you are choosing professional caregiving assistance in the home, opt to implement this even on a shorter level (for example, as part-time or respite care) before it becomes urgent – this will give the patient time to adjust and become comfortable with the new caregiver while they are able to manage the change, rather than suddenly and dramatically adjusting their routine.
Respite Care, Part-Time and Live-in Care for Alzheimer’s Patients from Our 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 caregivers with personalized, compassionate care that prioritizes health, happiness and independence.
For more information on our at home health care agency or our at home care for the elderly 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/3-tips-for-managing-confusion-in-alzheimers-care/
Technology is constantly transforming the way we live our lives, and seniors are no exception! There’s some wonderful technological innovations that can help seniors keep their independence while getting a helping hand, as well as help caregivers stay on top of their needs. Here are some examples that are changing senior lives for the better, from our at home health care agency in New Jersey:
- Family members of elderly loved ones often express concern about whether their loved ones are coping at home, especially as they become frailer or face medical challenges. These sources of stress for loved ones can mean you end up calling multiple times a day… and still worrying if your mom or dad has taken their medication.
Lively is a system that uses unobtrusive sensors that you can place in a refrigerator, medication box, front door, key chains and other important spots, that then track activity via a private account on a website. You can check in however many times you want to see that their activity is normal – and the company can even alert you if something out-of-the-ordinary happens.
- Anyone who’s ever cared for a senior knows that the medications pile up quickly, and how easy it is for a senior to forget to take a pill, take too many, or take them at the wrong time. MedMinder is a digital pill dispenser that you or a caregiver can load up, that then dispenses medication according to a schedule that you can set. It can remind your loved one when pills are ready to be taken, and if he or she fails to take them, you or an emergency contact will be alerted.
- Amazon Alexa. While not specifically for seniors, the features it offers can be a big help around the house. Voice activated and easy to use, your loved one can ask Alexa for the news, to play any type of music, tell you the weather, or even order groceries to your front door. Alexa can also help find a lost smartphone, or even make a phone call from your smartphone, if for example you have fallen or need help.
- Fitness trackers. Wearable fitness trackers are great for seniors who want to keep an eye on their physical activity and stay healthy. There are many different types of devices, and many are easy to wear and operate. Most have basic features like tracking your steps per day, and others have more advanced features like GPS tracking, heart rate tracking and custom features for different activities.
Compassionate, Qualified Caregivers from Our At Home Health Care Agency
Whether you need a permanent in-home senior care specialist or need someone qualified and experienced to assist your loved one with respite care, we are here to help through our HomeWorks program. Our staff are fully certified in New Jersey and have extensive training and experience in at home care for elderly, including assisting individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia, so please feel free to ask for formal certification and references.
For more information on our home health services in New Jersey, 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/4-top-tech-innovations-senior-home-living/