Tag Archives: Home Help Services for the Elderly

6 Essential Winter Safety Tips for Seniors

Teenager Helping his Grandfather

The outside temperatures are dropping quickly and that means a snowy, icy winter is on its way. As we get older, we become more susceptible to the challenges of this season, so it’s important for seniors to do a little extra preparation to stay safe and healthy over the winter. Here are six tips for older adults from our home care services team in New Jersey:

  • Reduce Winter Fall Risks – Falls are incredibly dangerous for seniors, and the ice and cold conditions of winter make falls during this season very common. Check your loved one’s winter wardrobe and make sure pants, skirts, and dresses are the right length. Check winter shoes to ensure that they have a sturdy tread. If your loved one likes wearing house slippers, these should be checked to make sure they have a stable rubber grip. If you live nearby, volunteer to clear their steps or pathway outside their home to get rid of ice, or ask a neighbor to assist.
  • Stock the Shelves and Medicine Cabinet – This is especially important when a storm is on its way. Pop over with enough food and essentials to last five to seven days, including fresh and canned goods, water, over-the-counter medicines, and prescription medication. Check that their emergency kit is stocked with a working flashlight and spare batteries, a whistle, and a warm blanket, and place it somewhere easy to reach.
  • Keep the House Warm – Seniors can lose body heat quickly and are less likely to sense that their body temperature is dropping. While many seniors are on a tight budget, it’s recommended that thermostats are set at 68 degrees throughout winter. You can help keep energy bills down with some small home improvement projects, including closing vents in unused rooms, sealing around windows and doors, and replacing your furnace filter at the start of every heating season. A dirty filter sends particles into the air that contribute to winter illness.
  • Banish the Space Heater – Space heaters are incredibly dangerous and expensive to run. So, it’s best to get rid of them. They are a leading cause of house fires, often caused by flammable furnishings, blankets or curtains that brush up against them unnoticed.
  • Check Carbon Monoxide Detectors– Seniors are especially vulnerable to carbon monoxide poisoning. Therefore, be sure to test detectors and make sure there’s a working detector on each floor of the home. Carbon monoxide,  a common byproduct of less efficient furnaces and heating systems, is called the silent killer because it is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and non-irritating. Optimally, hire a home heating professional to make an onsite service visit during the fall.
  • Stay in Touch– Whether you are close enough to visit or whether you call, it’s important to check in on a regular basis. Winter can be a time when many seniors are vulnerable to isolation and depression, so social contact can do a lot to keep seniors connected and active. It’s also a good idea to keep in contact with a few of your loved one’s neighbors so that they can also check in on occasion and make sure everything is alright.

For Peace of Mind, Choose the Best Home Help Services for the Elderly in NJ 

At United Methodist Communities, we strive to offer the very best home health aide services in New Jersey through our HomeWorks program. This program is dedicated to assisting seniors in the comfort of their own homes and providing 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 residential in-home respite care in NJ, 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/6-essential-winter-safety-tips-for-seniors/

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5 Things Seniors Need to do to Prepare for Winter

Winter car upkeeping: Antifreeze

Winter is approaching quickly and along with all the celebrations and festivities, the season also brings a few challenges like snow, ice and cold weather. Here are five tips for seniors to prepare for the winter ahead from our specialists in home help services for the elderly:

  1. Home maintenance. Start early with home maintenance before the rush sets in. Have your home’s heating system checked and serviced, make sure the gutters are cleared out and schedule small home maintenance repairs before they become bigger problems. It’s also a good idea to have smoke and CO(carbon monoxide) detectors checked to ensure they’re in good working order.
  2. Wardrobe. Go through your winter wardrobe thoroughly to ensure that your warm weather items are in good condition and within easy reach when the cold sets in. Make sure you have enough warm clothing, scarves and blankets, as well as weather-proof gear, for when you go outdoors. Check your shoes to make sure they are still weather-tight and can grip well to avoid slipping on ice. Walking sticks must also be checked to ensure that worn cane tips are replaced.
  3. Car maintenance. Driving in the winter can be dangerous, so make sure your vehicle is fully serviced before the icy weather arrives — check oil, wiper blades, tires and the battery. Ensure that your roadside assistance service is up-to-date and pack an emergency kit to leave inside your vehicle (not in the trunk). This kit should include a blanket, snacks with a long expiration date, hat/socks/gloves, booster cables, emergency flare, flashlight with additional batteries, cellphone adapter to charge your phone from inside the car, basic first aid kit and bottled water.
  4. Home provisions. Stock up with non-perishable foods and bottled water to eliminate trips during bad weather. Frozen meals can also be stockpiled in your freezer. Aim for as much variety as possible and ensure that you have Vitamin-D-rich foods like tuna, salmon, milk and grains. Also, stock up on common over-the-counter medications.
  5. Assistance. If needed, don’t hesitate to ask for help from neighbors, family, and friends. They can take on bigger jobs like clearing away snow and ice, home maintenance or fetching winter goods out of hard-to-reach places. Lifts to and from the shops, appointments or social events can also make daily life a lot easier. Some communities even have shuttle services specifically to help seniors.

Winter or Summer, Choose the Best Home Help Services for the Elderly in NJ 

At United Methodist Communities, we strive to offer the very best home health aide services in New Jersey through HomeWorks. 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.

For more information on our at home health care agency or our residential in home respite care in NJ, 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-things-seniors-need-to-do-to-prepare-for-winter/

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8 Spring Cleaning Safety and Health Tips for Helping Seniors

cheerful young girl helping with household chores elderly woman home

Spring is a wonderful time of year that’s all about transitioning into those long, care-free summer days. For seniors, however, this season can bring its set of challenges despite the warmer weather!

Here are some tips for caregivers to help senior neighbors, friends, family and members of community to shake off the winter weather:

Spring Cleaning Safety Tips 

Some of us dread spring cleaning and seniors are no exception! If you’re planning to help an elderly loved one with this task, follow these tips:

  1. Plan ahead. Make a list of each area that needs to be addressed in the home and what you want to accomplish. Be sure to get approval for each step — especially about what must go and what should stay.
  2. Team effort. Your loved one is likely only going to be able to manage lighter tasks and supervise some of the process, so don’t take on everything else alone. Get friends and family in to help — it will make the job easier and faster, as well as a lot more enjoyable!
  3. De-clutter first. Clutter is a very real health hazard for seniors, so it should be a priority when cleaning out. Once you’ve dealt with initial clutter, only then move on to cupboards and storage areas. Remember to keep clear paths throughout the house that can accommodate your loved one’s walker or wheelchair, if necessary.
  4. Test safety devices. Use this opportunity to install safety devices in the home or test ones already in place to make sure they are in working order. This includes ensuring grab bars are secure, fire and carbon monoxide detectors function, and that lights are bright and in full working order.

Spring Health Checks 

Spring is allergy season, and seniors are no exception!

  1. Be sure to check if your loved one is suffering from any allergy symptoms and if so, plan a trip to the doctor to prescribe the right medication.
  2. If you suspect that the allergen is inside the home, check and clean air conditioning filters.
  3. Check for mold growth in moist areas of the home and inside cupboards.
  4. Give bedding and soft furnishings a thorough cleaning.

Companionship, Nursing and More from Our NJ Home Help Services for the Elderly 

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

In addition to helping with daily tasks, transport and personal hygiene, our senior home care services team can assist with nursing, medication management and much more on a permanent or temporary basis. For dementia and Alzheimer’s patients, we can develop specific care routines that ensure a sense of structure and help reduce stress and anxiety.

For more information on our home health aide services and residential in-home respite care in NJ, 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/8-spring-cleaning-safety-and-health-tips-for-helping-seniors/ 

 

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Special Home Caregiving Services for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patients

Dementia and Occupational Therapy - Home caregiver and senior adult woman

An Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosis is a challenge to deal with for the patient and loved ones. As the disease progresses, patients will require different levels of care and support to stay healthy, comfortable and enjoy a good quality of life. Our senior home care services team can provide some insight into the care and companion services for your loved one.

Types of at home care 

A common misunderstanding about at home care is that it is limited to medical care, but actually, there are a few different types of care designed to provide assistance wherever it’s needed. These include:

  • Companion services. home health aide supervises certain activities – like recreation, grocery shopping, social visits and more. These are great for seniors who need help with transport, remembering appointments, and so forth.
  • Homemaker services. Going one step further, these help your loved one manage their household. This is ideal for seniors who are more frail, recovering from an illness/surgery, or struggling with their memory. It covers daily household chores, meal prep and cooking, and generally managing the home.
  • Personal care services. This covers assistance with bathing, eating, dressing, toileting, exercising, and other activities.
  • Skilled nursing care. These focus on your loved one’s medical needs, including wound care, medication management and so forth.

Certified home health aide services are tailored to your loved one’s needs 

When it comes to these services, many seniors require some of one and a little of another, so it’s important to find a provider who can tailor services to fit individual requirements. Because Alzheimer’s and dementia are progressive diseases with specific symptoms, your experienced aide will not only be able to cope with the challenges your loved one faces, but also play an active role in their care. This means proposing and performing therapies to assist your loved one, keeping in contact with family members, and offering recommendations when your loved one’s care requirements change.

Compassionate care from experienced home health aide services in New Jersey 

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

Through this program, 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.

In addition to helping with daily tasks, transport and personal hygiene, our senior home care services team can assist with nursing, medication management and much more. For dementia and Alzheimer’s patients, we can develop specific care routines that ensure a sense of structure and help reduce stress and anxiety.

For more information on our in-home care for elderly, 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/special-home-caregiving-services-alzheimers-dementia-patients/

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Reducing Fall Risk Among Older Adults Living at Home

Falls are the number one risk for seniors and account for the clear majority of injuries, broken bones, and hospital stays they experience. In fact, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries for Americans over age 65, which makes fall prevention essential.

Home Health Aides Advise You to Be Aware of What Causes Falls

Older adults are vulnerable to falls for many reasons and knowing what may contribute to a fall can help prevent it. Some of the most common reasons include poor vision, dizziness, poor balance, chronic health conditions, and even the home itself.

Steps Every Senior Caregiver Should Take to Help Prevent Falls: 

Step one. Talk to your loved one’s doctor. Seniors often take a variety of medications as well as self-medicating with over-the-counter drugs. Ask the doctor to fully evaluate your loved one’s medications, as well as how they are taking them in order to eliminate any conflicts that may lead to dizziness, sleepiness, low blood pressure or anything else that could cause a fall. This is also a good time to get a record of previous falls, near-falls and fall-related injuries to see if there is a specific issue or an increase in frequency.

Step two. Start an age and health-appropriate exercise routine. Balance, reflexes and strength diminish as we age, but that doesn’t mean anyone should sit in a chair all day. Using targeted exercise regimes on a regular basis, seniors can build up core muscles and strength that is critical to preventing falls and injuries. Be sure to use a physical therapist or trainer who is experienced with older adults and understands your loved one’s health.

Step three. Evaluate your loved one’s environment. Poor lighting, clutter, rugs that shift, slippery tiles, steps, and bathrooms without grab rails significantly contribute to falls. Hallways and rooms should be clear and easy to navigate; install grab bars in the bathroom, and remove rugs. Make sure lighting is bright and easy to access in every room — especially between the bathroom and bedroom. Simple battery-operated press lights work well!

Step four. Your loved one’s wardrobe may pose hazards. Shoes should fit well and have good grip; trousers and skirts shouldn’t be too long. Substitute a sturdy pair of slippers for wearing socks around the home.

Assistance for Seniors and Their Loved Ones Through In-Home Care for the Elderly 

United Methodist Communities strives to offer the very best quality senior independent home care options in New Jersey through HomeWorks. This program assists the elderly in the comfort of their own homes and provides them, their families and caregivers personalized, compassionate care that prioritizes health, happiness and independence. In addition to daily homecare, we also offer pastoral care for spiritual and emotional support in the home.

For more information on our senior home care services or to find a qualified home health aide in New Jersey, please contact us today and visit our website at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org.

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/reducing-fall-risk-among-older-adults-living-home/

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How to Help Elderly Loved Ones Get Ready for Winter

New Jersey winters can be harsh, and even more so for the elderly in our communities. Here are some quick tips from our home health aide services specialists to ensure your loved one will be warm and safe even in the coldest months.

Here’s what home help services for the elderly recommend: 

  • Schedule heating system service from a qualified local contractor in advance of your anticipated need. They will start to get busy from October onwards, so the sooner you call them, the better.
  • Make sure that the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working. There should be one per room, especially where there is a gas appliance or heater.
  • Place a container with a mixture of salt and sand by exterior doors, so that it can be sprinkled onto icy steps and paving, if needed.
  • Fit a grab rail or some kind of hand support by outdoor stairs and paving to help prevent falls.
  • Stock up on cold and flu medications and take your loved one to their doctor for their annual flu vaccine.
  • Keep a record of prescription medications and collect them early if bad weather is about to set in.
  • Place flashlights with full batteries in a handy place in each room in case of power outages. It’s also a good idea to invest in an external battery charger for a cell phone or tablet.
  • Stock the freezer with nutritious, ready-made meals so that your loved one can stay home easily in the event of a storm or bad weather.
  • Make a plan with a local service provider, friend or family member to clear driveways, sidewalks and paths so they are free of snow.
  • If your loved one is still driving, pack an emergency kit for the car in case of a breakdown. Include food, water, a flashlight with spare batteries, first aid kit, warm jacket or blanket, and insist that they drive with a charged cell phone at all times. It’s important to minimize time on the road during winter because of the additional hazards, so it’s best to arrange transport and take on shopping and chores whenever possible.

Home help services for the elderly in NJ, whatever the season! 

At United Methodist Communities, we strive to offer the very best home health aide services in New Jersey 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.

For more information on our in-home healthcare agency or our residential in home respite care in NJ, please contact us today and visit our website at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org.

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/help-elderly-loved-ones-get-ready-winter/

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What is Senior Isolation and How We Can Help?

“Senior isolation” is a blanket term meaning feelings of loneliness, depression and isolation commonly found among the elderly. While these issues may seem less concerning than illness, the truth is that they lead to serious health and quality of life problems. Here are some insights from our in-home respite care team:

Senior Isolation is On the Rise 

Although the USA has a growing elderly population, that doesn’t mean seniors are feeling less isolated — in fact, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that 28% of seniors lived alone at the time of the study. This lack of in-home support from a spouse or loved one is further exacerbated by demographics: fewer adults have children, so there are less people available to assist with companionship and care.

Risks to Health and Lifespan 

The sad reality is that loneliness, even perceived loneliness, damages our health and wellbeing. It’s associated with a higher risk of mortality in people over age 52, and increases the risks of poor physical and mental health. Social isolation can affect cognitive abilities, too, leading to poor cognitive performance, increased cognitive decline and higher risk of dementia.

Long-term illnesses strongly associated with social isolation include arthritis, chronic lung disease, high blood pressure, depression, and mobility problems. Many seniors who experience social isolation often recover from illness and surgery much slower and don’t regain the same strength and mobility as those with healthy social connections.

Therefore, these seniors often require more intensive care and may require it at an earlier stage in their lifetimes, too.

How Can We Help Fight Social Isolation? 

There are many ways that we can all help keep seniors more socially connected and cared for. Here are some effective strategies for helping family members, loved ones and the elderly in your community:

  • Living situation. If your loved one lives far away or by themselves, they are at risk of senior isolation. Moving into a vibrant assisted living community, a home closer to friends and family (or a senior-friendly town), or investing in senior independent home care can help ensure their access to companionship and social connections.
  • Pets. Beside wonderful sources of companionship, pets give your loved one a sense of purpose and plenty of love. Your local animal shelter may be able to provide an equally-lonely and gentle cat or dog; some assisted living facilities even allow animals.
  • Transport. If your loved one can no longer drive, then lack of transport may be holding them back from an otherwise active life. Look in your local directory for transport services for the elderly, volunteer your own time, or speak to home healthcare professionals about providing a transport service for your loved one.

Companionship, Medical Care and More from NJ In-Home Respite Care Specialists 

United Methodist Communities strives to offer the very best quality senior independent home care options, from assisted living to in-home care through HomeWorks. This program assists the elderly in the comfort of their own homes and provides them, their families and caregivers personalized, compassionate care that prioritizes health, happiness and independence. In addition to medical and daily home care, we also offer pastoral care for spiritual and emotional support in the home.

For more information on our senior home care services and in-home respite care, 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/senior-isolation-can-help/

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