Tag Archives: in home respite care

Many Seniors Suffer from Loss of Appetite – Here’s How to Help

Senior couple preparing salad

Loss of appetite is common among seniors, and is a natural result of being less active, burning fewer calories and requiring less food as we age. However, a complete or severe loss of appetite is something to be concerned about and it’s important that caregivers watch out for this health issue. Here are some insights from our in home respite care team in New Jersey.

What Can Cause Loss of Appetite in Seniors? 

There are a few risk factors that make seniors especially vulnerable to loss of appetite, including these four:

  • Loneliness or depression – According to the AARP, recent surveys show the extent of loneliness and social isolation in seniors, with one third of seniors reporting a lack of companionship and feelings of isolation. This can lead to depression as well as declines in mental and physical health.
  • Medication – Some medications can cause loss of appetite as a side effect.
  • Changes in the senses – As we age, our sensory perception changes, which can make certain foods smell or taste off-putting or different than they once did.
  • Medical conditions – Certain medical conditions can affect appetite, including thyroid disorders, dementia, chronic liver disease, kidney failure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). A sudden unexplained loss of appetite should be investigated by a doctor.

Four Ways to Help a Senior Regain Their Appetite 

Once any serious issues are ruled out or identified, caregivers can help seniors regain their appetite by:

  1. Having set meal times – While it’s great to get input for when meals should be served and what they should be, it’s a good idea to stick to particular meal times once they have been set. This helps people mentally prepare for mealtimes.
  2. Choose quality over quantity – Because seniors naturally eat less, it’s important that what they do eat is high quality. Choose fresh, high-nutrient foods like fruits, vegetables, wholegrains and lean proteins rather than processed snack foods or sandwiches. Present them in small meal portions.
  3. Eat together – Meals are social occasions and eating together is a bonding, companionable experience. Bringing some social elements to meal times and making it a more enjoyable experience often has the effect of all parties eating more.
  4. Stick to what they love – Get input on favorite meals and ingredients you can work with through the week, as most people are likely to eat more of the foods they love! Keep it simple, don’t try anything too adventurous, and make sure it’s easy to chew and swallow.

Affordable, Quality Support from In-Home Respite Care Services in New Jersey 

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 seniors 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/many-seniors-suffer-from-loss-of-appetite-heres-how-to-help/

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4 Ways to Show Some Love to Your Heart this Valentine’s Day!

Nurse Visiting Senior Male Patient At Home

February is American Heart Month and our in home respite care team is raising awareness of what this month is all about, what you can do to participate, and why it’s so important!

Why American Heart Month Matters 

Heart disease is the leading cause of all deaths in the USA, accounting for one in every four fatalities. It can strike at any age, whether you are a young adult or a senior citizen. Although this sounds scary, there is good news — heart disease is preventable! By making healthier choices and managing health conditions properly, you can significantly reduce risk, saving and extending your lifespan.

What Causes Heart Disease? 

Smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, being overweight, lack of physical activity and high alcohol intake are all lifestyle factors that increase your risk of heart disease. It is also important to take action if you are diabetic, have a family history of heart disease, or are older, as these also put you at risk.

What Can I Do to Support American Heart Month and My Heart Health?

Have an annual health check-up that includes blood pressure and cholesterol level screenings.

  1. If you have any of the above risk factors, speak to your doctor about developing a health strategy, including quitting smoking, reducing alcohol intake, starting a healthy diet and including exercise in your daily routine.
  2. Take up an exercise you love. While you do not have to run a marathon, there are plenty of great ways to get your heart pumping. Dancing, walking, water aerobics, and yoga are exercises you can enjoy at any age.
  3. Relax more. Stress and anxiety have a negative impact on your heart health, so find something that promotes calm and relaxation, like meditation, birdwatching, nature walks, or crafts.

Wellbeing Comes First with Expert In Home Respite Care 

Whether you need residential in-home respite care in NJ or need someone qualified and experienced to assist your loved one on a more permanent basis, we are here to help through our HomeWorks program. Our staff is fully certified in New Jersey, so please feel free to ask for formal certification and references.

For more information on our seniors home care services in NJ, please contact us today or visit our website at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/Home-Care-Services-For-Seniors

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/4-ways-to-show-some-love-to-your-heart-this-valentines-day/

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Diagnosing and Treating Hearing Loss

Asian old woman having her ears checked

Hearing loss typically begins around age 40 and slowly progresses — in fact, most people don’t even realize they’re not hearing things as clearly as they used to. For the elderly, hearing loss often progresses to the point where quality of life can be affected, and verbal communication is difficult, so it’s important recognize the symptoms of hearing loss early and get professional treatment. Here are some insights from our in-home respite care team in New Jersey.

How is Hearing Loss Diagnosed? 

An audiologist will be able to run a series of tests to evaluate the quality of your hearing and measure the extent of its deterioration. These aren’t painful tests and don’t require a hospital stay — most require you to answer questions about your health and hearing issues, and to listen to differently pitched tones through headphones.

It’s important to get a diagnosis on your hearing problem, as there are many conditions that can affect your hearing. These include:

  • Age-related hearing loss;
  • Build-up of earwax;
  • Infection;
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears);
  • Nerve damage; and
  • Medication (including cancer chemotherapies).

How is Hearing Loss Treated? 

Most of these conditions are very treatable, so early diagnosis is key to getting your hearing back and preventing more serious issues. Treatments can range from a course of antibiotics in the case of infection, to a high-tech hearing aid in the case of age-related hearing loss.

Managing your diet and lifestyle can also help preserve your hearing, and following doctors’ orders to manage conditions like hypertension, diabetes, vascular disease, kidney disease, cholesterol, and thyroid disease are especially important. Even simple lifestyle changes can have an impressive effect – for some people, cutting down on their caffeine intake can prevent inner ear issues like tinnitus, ear pressure problems, dizziness and hearing loss.

Compassionate, Professional Care from Senior Home Care Specialists in NJ 

At United Methodist Communities, we strive to offer the very best quality senior home care options, including in-home respite care through our HomeWorks program. 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, happiness and independence. In addition to medical care 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/diagnosing-and-treating-hearing-loss/

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5 Easy Ways to Add Extra Nutrition into a Senior Diet

Senior couple preparing salad

Digestive issues and lack of appetite are common concerns among seniors and can make getting proper nutrition and maintaining a healthy weight a challenge. Here are some tips from our in home respite care team in New Jersey on how to assist seniors in this important area:

  1. Easily digested protein. Some forms of protein are more difficult to chew and digest than others, so it can help to include different sources that offer alternatives for seniors with poor digestion or dental challenges. Eggs, Greek yogurt, cheese, tuna, salmon, cottage cheese and ground beef are high-protein, versatile options to suit any taste.
  2. Smoothies are a great way to add a variety of fruit and vegetables, as well as protein into a diet — and they’re tasty and easy to swallow and digest, too. Green smoothies of leafy greens like spinach and kale blended with mango, pineapple and banana are a favorite, but you can also experiment with all kinds of seasonal fruits, vegetables and yogurts for variety.
  3. Whey protein powder. This is easy to add into oatmeal, porridge and fruit smoothies and is a fantastic source of protein that requires no chewing at all. There are quite a few varieties on the market and neutral options don’t impact flavor significantly, so they’re great for fussy eaters. Since some have added sugar, seniors who have diabetes or are trying to manage their weight, should be aware of the ingredients.
  4. Versatile healthy fats. Creamy peanut butter, mashed avocado, olive oil and butter can all be easily added into everyday meals such as soups, pureed vegetables, mashed potatoes and casseroles to increase calorie intake (if needed) and add healthy fats essential to regulating blood sugar levels and healthy brain function.
  5. Homemade ‘ice cream.’ If your senior has a sweet tooth and loves deserts, this type of ice cream is a healthy and delicious alternative. Simply freeze slices of ripe banana and when it’s time for desert, put them in the blender with some drops of vanilla or frozen berries. It’s sweet and delicious — and rich in potassium and vitamins — and you can’t even tell it isn’t regular ice cream!

Professional, Affordable In-Home Respite Care Services in New Jersey 

At United Methodist Communities, we offer high-quality senior independent home care at affordable rates 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/5-easy-ways-to-add-extra-nutrition-into-a-senior-diet/

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4 Tips and Advice for Managing Diabetes

old couple prevention of diabetes

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) estimates that there are around 12 million diagnosed and undiagnosed seniors in the USA with diabetes, and proper disease management is the most effective way of maintaining a high quality of life. With the right medical treatments, care and lifestyle choices, seniors with diabetes can thrive. Here are some tips and advice from our in home respite care team.

Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes 

First, there are two types of this disease. Type 1 is usually diagnosed when someone is much younger, as an adult or even as a child, and is the result of the body not producing insulin. It’s is rare, with only 5 percent of the population affected.

The more common version of the disease is Type 2, when the body causes glucose (sugar) levels to rise to higher than normal levels because the body is not using insulin properly. At first, the body tries to create more insulin, but it cannot keep up over time which causes blood glucose levels to keep increasing. The exact causes for the condition are unknown, but genetics and family history are thought to play a role, as do risk factors like excess weight, poor diet and lack of exercise.

The seriousness of diabetes should never be underestimated, as it is not only the seventh most common cause of death in the USA, but also places patients at risk of blindness, circulation problems, limb amputation and organ damage.

How Can Seniors with Diabetes Stay Healthy? 

Managing diabetes is a lifelong challenge Here are a few things can help seniors stay independent and avoid the serious health complications of this disease, including:

  1. Eat a healthy diet. A diet low in sugar (including sugar from fruit) and saturated fats, and high in lean proteins, wholegrains and vegetables is very important for diabetics. It’s worth it to speak to a registered dietician about developing a meal plan that keeps blood sugar stable and in a healthy range.
  2. Get active. Aerobic exercise is great for managing diabetes, and the ADA recommends 30 minutes a day. Cycling is great for more active seniors, but walking, dancing, aerobics, swimming and yoga are also great options.
  3. Monitor blood sugar. Seniors are more likely to experience unstable blood sugar and often have more trouble eating proper meals. Some medications can also affect blood sugar levels. This makes it essential to check blood sugar regularly and speak to your doctor about any symptoms like confusion, dizziness, and sweating.
  4. Self-examine. For diabetics, a small cut or infection can quickly become a big problem, so it’s vital to keep a close eye on any injuries, especially on the feet where it is difficult to see. Caregivers can also help with this exam, or you can attach a small mirror to a grab-stick so you can check without bending over.

Need In Home Respite Care or Full-Time Care? Our Senior Independent Home Care Team Can Help 

As part of United Methodist Communities, a non-profit organization in New Jersey, we offer at home care for elderly through 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 offering, 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/4-tips-advice-managing-diabetes/

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It’s Time to Celebrate National Senior Independence Month!

February is National Senior Independence Month, and it’s as much about celebrating the seniors in our communities as taking the initiative to help them preserve their independence for as long as possible. With a little help and these tips from our in-home respite care team,  you can help seniors live a fuller, happier and healthier life:

  • Promote senior accessibility. With a few changes that don’t impact greatly on the rest of the community, spaces can become far more senior-friendly! Ramps are one feature we often see, but traffic patterns can also be adjusted to suit a pedestrian population. Seniors’ taxi services and public transportation can also make a great impact on your senior community, as well as keeping sidewalks clear of debris.
  • Accessible, affordable housing. Affordable housing is a priority for many groups in the community, but seniors are especially under pressure due to limited or no earning potential, and requiring housing that they can manage and use easily. The most senior-friendly communities have zoning laws which permit assisted living facilities and homes on small lots.
  • Community-based caregiving. Although we all live busy lives, it doesn’t take much effort to lend a hand to your senior community — and will make a huge difference in their ability to stay independent! Food programs like Meals-on-Wheels, donating clothing and blankets, helping to install grab rails and lighting, or even just volunteering to walk the dog or clear the snow off the steps of an elderly person’s home are all fantastic ways to give your time. If you own or run a business, it’s also an opportunity to offer senior discounts and participate in charity through your products and services.
  • Realize the value of seniors. Seniors have a lot to offer their communities, and cities and towns that integrate different generations are often happier and healthier for all who live there. Seniors often bring a huge skill set that they can pass on to younger generations, and mentoring programs also benefit seniors by creating purpose. Seniors make up a big proportion of volunteers and caregivers in communities, from providing babysitting and care to those who need it, to giving children lessons in music, reading and other valuable skills. Keeping seniors involved and a part of the greater community, helps them to remain independent and live life to the full.

Senior Independent Home Care Services – Keeping NJ Seniors Healthy, Happy and Cared For 

Whether you need residential in-home respite care in NJ or need someone qualified and experienced to assist your loved one on a more permanent basis, we are here to help through our HomeWorks program. Our staff are fully certified in New Jersey and have senior care training and experience, so please feel free to ask for formal certification and references.

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/time-celebrate-national-senior-independence-month/

 

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5 New Year’s Resolutions for Caregivers!

Making her stay as pleasant as possible

2018 is here and January is the perfect time to evaluate our lives, address challenges and move forward with positivity. For caregivers, this is an especially important time, so our in-home respite care services team has put some New Year’s resolutions together just for you:

  1. Ask for help when it’s needed. No matter how prepared, life gets in the way and throws all kinds of curveballs in our direction. Whatever the challenge, as a caregiver it isn’t your job to face it alone. Whether you need a family member to step in when you have a commitment to meet for your child or career, or you need a skilled nurse to deliver respite care services to help your loved one heal, finding the right help when you need it is an important part of being a great caregiver.
  2. Take time for yourself. Despite meeting the challengers of caregiving, even the best caregivers can find themselves burning out if they don’t take some time off. This doesn’t mean time off for other commitments — it means time off for just you. It will leave you feeling de-stressed, relaxed and refreshed, so upon your return, you can deliver the best quality of care.
  3. Look after your health and happiness. Staying healthy and putting your wellbeing first might sound selfish, but the reality is that it’s best for everyone – especially you. Caregivers need to be mentally and physically healthy to take on this demanding position, so it’s important not to neglect yourself.
  4. Don’t take on everything. Even if you are the primary caregiver for a loved one, it’s important that other family members pitch in and do their share. Caregiving is best when it’s done by a team! This can be as simple as doing the grocery shopping, fixing things around the house, providing transportation, or even companionship. If family members live too far away, financial contributions can be a big help, and you could hire home health aide services to help carry out the responsibilities.
  5. Join a support group. Only people in similar positions can understand what it’s like to be a caregiver. They can offer invaluable support when you are going through a difficult time or are up against new challenges. It’s also a great way to share your expertise with others who are new to family caregiving, and help make their journey a little smoother.

In-home respite care services – Whenever you need a compassionate helping hand 

Whether you need residential in home respite care in NJ or need someone qualified and experienced to assist your loved one on a more permanent basis, we are here to help through our HomeWorks program. Our staff 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 home care aide services in NJ, please contact us today or visit our website at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/5-new-years-resolutions-caregivers/

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