Atlanta's In-Home Care Experts for 25 Years

For Seniors and Others Needing Supportive Care

770-442-8664

Atlanta Caregiver & Home Care Articles

Why people with Alzheimer's need to stay active

Posted by Debby Franklin on Jul 18, 2018 12:03:21 PM

alzheimers_dementia_care_web_photo_jpg

Finding activities that your loved one with Alzheimer's can still enjoy and participate in is so important to their overall well being. Most will respond positively to things that they had a personal interest in and enjoyed doing before the diagnosis. Set up a planner and create a list of activities that they once were interest in or plan things that may remind them of their previous daily tasks. 

By keeping your loved one engaged here are some of the improved benefits:

  • Improved sleep and less night time wandering
  • A decline in behaviors that are repetitive
  • Less nervous and anxiety
  • An improvement in restlessness and and irritability
  • Less agitation and argumentative interaction
  • Overall improvement in happiness
  • Promotes improvement in memory
  • Improves general health, flexibility, strength and reduces joint pain
  • Better interaction
  • Mental stimulation may slow down the progression of the disease
  • Social activities help decrease isolation and depression

Here are some things to consider when planning the activities:

Musicfor someone who sang, played an instrument, or danced, music will have a very positive stimulation.  Engage in a sing a long of favorite songs.  Offer and encourage the playing of an instrument or have them put on a record.  Take their hand and sway to the music. You will be amazed at the response music brings to someone with dementia and Alzheimer's.  

Mr. Fix ItFor the person who was always tinkering with something, give them an object to take apart and put together. An old toaster, toy car, or just nuts and bolts.

AccountantFor those whose career was spent in banking or a money related industry, set up a work station.  The station might include a calculator, paper and pencil, an old check book or register, stapler, paper clips, or rolling coins.

At Home WifeFor the hard working many who stayed and home and managed the household you can engage in tasks like setting the table, folding laundry, cutting coupons, dusting furniture, matching and rolling socks, making a simple dessert, water plants,or sweep the floor.

Depending on physical limitations, exercise is a must!  Take a walk, work in the garden, throw a beach ball, dance, or simple exercise like lifting small bottles of water repeatedly are great for the mind and body.

Other Activities:

  • Arts and crafts
  • Puzzles
  • Petting or holding a dog or cat
  • Looking through photo albums
  • Organize recipes
  • Drawing or coloring
  • Listen to music
  • Play a game
  • Knit/Crochet
  • Outings and car rides
  • Adult daycare can provide group activities
  • Spiritual interaction, church, prayer and meditation

Physical and mental activities for persons with dementia and Alzheimer's will almost always be a positive approach for both you and your loved one and this can mean a longer and happier life.

In-Home Care for Alzheimer's

Where do you turn when a love one needs more than you can manage on your own? What do you do when some of the care alternatives seem like a complication rather than a solution?  Consult Atlanta's most trusted source for quality Home Care since 1994, Easy Living Services.    Flexible care plans designed to guarantee safety, comfort, and personal care and attention.  Call us at 770-442-8664.

 

Topics: dementia, Memory Improvement, Alzheimer's

Is it Mental Illness or Aging?

Posted by Saxon Olson on Aug 7, 2017 1:06:50 PM

dreamstime_6745617wheelchair-1.jpg

 

As our loved ones age, it's only a matter of time before they experience changes in their health, but many people confuse the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems for the aging process as a whole. Regular forgetfulness can be normal, however; cognitive impairment or persistent memory loss is something to take much more seriously. The same goes for extreme anxiety, which is one of the more prevalent mental health problems in the elderly community.

Around 20 percent of adults aged 55 and older experience some sort of mental health concern, but one in three of these seniors will not seek professional help. In 2006, the CDC found that 5 percent of seniors (65 and older) reported a current struggle with depression, and 10.5 percent reported being diagnosed depressed at some point in their lives.  The key to understanding the mental health needs of your older loved ones is to recognize that physical health and mental health are often connected. 

Mental illness is a health term used for a group of mental conditions that cause severe disturbances in thinking, behavior, feeling, and relating. With knowledge and vigilance, family caregivers can stay aware of the mental and emotional health of their elderly loved ones, as well as their physical health. To help you decipher some of the key differences in mental illness and simply aging, here are 5 signs:

1. Sadly, forgetfulness is a part of growing old, however; extreme short term memory loss or hallucinations is a sign of dementia, which is the most common mental illness among the elderly.

2. It is normal to worry about death, family members, or financial pressures, but that is not the same as anxiety. Anxiety is extreme and constant worry or fear, which can include physical symptoms such as chest pain, a racing heart, and sleepless nights. 

3. As we age we tend to fall into patterns, but obsessive compulsive disorder is much more drastic than getting up to lock the door for a second time. OCD can mean going into lock down for stepping on a cracked tile, or washing your hands obsessively until it begins damaging your skin.

4. Stress is a normal part of life, but if stress causes disassociation or depersonalization, you may be suffering from acute stress disorder due to a recent trauma or shock.

5. Lastly, along with aging comes aging friends/family who begin dying around us. There is bound to be periods of sadness throughout life, but it shouldn't be causing insomnia, loss of appetite, social withdrawal, or a fixation on death. All of these symptoms can point to clinical depression. 

    If a loved one has suddenly had a change in personality, seems to have a loss in intellect or is regularly confused and forgetful, take a closer look and make sure they are not suffering from a mental illness. There are so many people willing to help, such as your family doctor, a counselor or psychologist, and caregivers. It is important not to stand by and suffer alone, because with combined efforts of family and professionals, we can help ward of mental illness in our older loved ones and make sure they stay on track to the healthiest aging process possible.

                                                                                                Atlanta Caregivers If you are finding it difficult to juggle it all....work, family, errands and other demands, consult Atlanta's most trusted source for quality Home Care, Easy Living Services, Inc.  We offer flexible care plans designed to guarantee personal care and attention to your loved one at home.  Call us to learn more, 770-442-8664

 

Topics: dementia, senior anxiety, mental illness, clinical depression, OCD

Home Care: 8 Things You Should Know Before You Hire a Caregiver

Posted by David Bacon on Apr 29, 2014 2:53:00 PM

home care, caregiver, senior care, Easy Living Services

 

 

 

Each week, Easy Living Services interacts with clients that are struggling to make decisions not only for themselves, but also for a loved one.  Each family has questions and we took our most common queries and posted them below.  We hope you find them useful!

What are the three most important qualities to look for in a caregiver?
  • Compassion, Passionate about helping others & Skilled -  Caregivers that are Certified Nursing Assistants who have a minimum of 5 years experience.  Demand a rigorous screening process that includes an extensive background check, in-depth interview and personal and professional reference checks. Only with an agency that provides this are you ensured of working with a highly skilled caregiver who is passionate about caring for those who need assistance.  For your peace of mind, our referred caregivers meet all of these criteria and are fully insured.
What kind of services should I expect from my caregiver?
  • All non-medical assistance that will keep your loved one safe and comfortable at home, at the hospital or in a nursing or re-hab facility. Companion / Homemaker / Personal Care - Caregivers can provide light housekeeping, errands, meals, socialization and companionship.  Personal Care can include bathing, dressing, grooming, safety, sanitation and meal preparation.
What if my caregiver can't make it due to illness?
  • Ensure that your provider has a large staff of qualified, professional and reliable caregivers -  In the event of  caregiver illness or emergency absence this ensures that a replacement is available. Easy Living Services maintains a backup program and has a large network of professionals available to assist with your needs.
Why should I use an agency instead of hiring a private caregiver out of the newspaper or internet?
  • You will want to ensure that caregivers are screened, trained, have an excellent work ethic and are insured for your safety - Caregivers that have been professionally trained specifically in working with persons who are disabled, recovering from an illness or injury as well as senior care must be adequately screened to ensure that they are qualified to care for your loved one.  Working with an agency is like having an insurance plan ensuring that you have a qualified caregiver available when you want and need "life made easier".
What is live-in care and how is the cost determined?
  • Clients requiring around the clock care can opt for a caregiver to live with their loved one.  The caregiver must be able to sleep 7-8 hours at night and have a separate room for sleeping.  Live-in services are available for both Companion and Personal Care. Instead of paying an hourly rate Live-In rates are normally a flat fee per day making the cost a more affordable option.   Easy Living Services rates are highly competitive - starting at $175/Day.
Can I have flexible hourly care?
  • Yes. Some clients require only part-time care. Easy Living Services offers hourly care services starting at only $16.95/Hour.  (Some minimums may apply.)        
What about emergency care after business hours?
  • Your caregiver provider should be available 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  When their office is closed, there needs to be an on-call knowledgeable person availble to assist with any emergency needs. Easy Living has an on-call knowledgeable person available to assist with emergency after hour needs 24/7/365.
Why would I want to use a locally owned company rather than a franchise agency?
  • Ask yourself if a bigger company is necessarily a better company. Home Care agencies are one of the largest growing industries in today's market.  "Big business" has seized this opportunity.  Franchised, "locally owned" agencies are on every corner.  A franchise owner typically goes to franchise school for a couple of weeks and then becomes apart of a large corporate run entity.   At Easy Living you control your Home Care service and selection guided by our expertise and insight.  At Easy Living caring is more than just a business, it is our philosophy in action every day! 

 

Easy Living works with only the best Atlanta caregivers. Many of our clients have used our service for 10+ years and the feedback is consistent in superior levels of satisfaction. We are your Home Care staffing expert - we've been assisting Atlanta families for over 20 years!

For more information on professional In-Home service for your loved one, please contact Easy Living services today at (770) 442-8664.

 

Topics: elder care, Home Care, senior care, caregiver, homecare, dementia, cancer, Alzheimers

Dementia & Summer Activities

Posted by Debby Franklin on Jul 26, 2013 4:10:00 PM

dementia, Alzheimer's, chronic disease, senior care,The "good ole summer time" brings back many fond memories even for those with Dementia. Summer takes us back to camp, fishing and swimming, boating, family reunions, picking flowers, weddings, and picnics.  Enjoying summer activities with your loved one who has dementia is a great way to engage them in reminiscing the past.  Although your loved one may have limitations on how much physical activity they can participate in, a picnic is a fun outing that may stimulate memories of summers gone by.

  • Plan your picnic - Decide on the perfect spot, perhaps a place that has special meaning for your loved one or a family favorite park or lake.
  • Select a basket - Any container that has a handle will work well.   
  • Decorate - Select a theme and gather items that your loved one can glue or tie on the basket.  Select decorating ideas to fit the abilities and interests of the person with dementia.  
  • Decide on your menu - Make a list of food and drinks that you will want to bring on the outing.  Ask your loved one with dementia to help by telling you their favorite summer foods.  Be sure to include items that represent summer; lemonade, watermelon, potato salad, ice cream, and don't forget the burgers!  Finger foods make picnicking easier, especially for someone who now has difficulty using utensils. Keep items that can spoil quickly in a cooler right before and immediately after serving.
  • Gather the essential items - People with dementia respond better to some things more than others.  For example when selecting a tablecloth, select a solid color vs. the traditional checkered pattern. Dementia can create depth perception problems and patterns are more likely to cause injuries.  Select bold and solid colored picnic ware, studies show that plates that are in sharp contrast to the food and the table help people with advanced dementia more easily distinguish one from the other which may prompt them to eat more.  Using utensils with large handles or finger foods will also be helpful.  Flexible straws or cups with lids can help prevent spills.  
  • Pack items for activities - Is their a special game or outdoor activity that your loved one is fond of such at horse shoes or croquet?  Photo albums of vacations and family gatherings are very stimulating for those with dementia.  Music is a must!  There is so much research on the positive effects of music and dementia.  Even for people with later stages of Alzheimer's music moves and gets a response when nothing else seems to connect.  Select music that are old time favorites for your loved one.
  • Beat the heat - Be certain to bring along proper protection from the blazing sun.  Select a spot in the shade, bring a hat and sun screen, and pack plenty of water for not only the person with dementia but for the entire family.  Remind your loved one to drink water throughout the picnic.  Plenty of water is essential to avoiding dehydration.  
  • Last minute checklist - Avoid rocky, uneven paths or steep hills to avoid trips and falls.  Become familiar with the location of the restroom.  Select an area that is on the quieter side to avoid extra confusion for the person with dementia. 

Lastly summer passes so quickly...organize your picnic and enjoy each and every warm, sunny day!

The above tips were provided by the Alzheimer's Foundation of America.

If you are finding it difficult to juggle it all - work, family, errands and other demands that often leave you over taxed.  Where do you turn when a loved ones needs are more than you can manage on your own?  What do you do when some of the care alternatives seem like a complication rather than a solution?  We understand, in fact, we have been there.

Consult Atlanta's most trusted source for quality Home Care, Easy Living Services. Offering flexible care plans designed to guarantee safety, comfort, companionship and personal care and attention to your loved one at home.

Finally, a real solution.  At last, peace of mind.  Call us at 770-442-8664.  


  

Topics: senior care, dementia, taking care of a parent, chronic disease, Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's - Tips to Eat and Drink Safely

Posted by Debby Franklin on May 29, 2013 12:07:00 PM

Alzheimer's, Alheimers, dementia, caring for a loved one, senior care, Home CareIndividuals with late stage Alzheimer's may have difficulty swallowing food and liquids which can cause aspiration into the airway and lungs and eventually become pneumonia.  Use these helpful tips with a loved one challenged with Alzheimer's to avoid eating and drinking mishaps.

  • Limit noise and any distractions when eating.
  • Keep items on the table to a minimum which can cause confusion.
  • Choose foods that are soft and can be chewed or swallowed easily. 
  • You may need to mash or puree food items.  Baby food is not appropriate for adults with difficulty swallowing it is too thin. 
  • Serve only one food at a time.  Too many items on the plate can be overwhelming.
  • Demonstrate eating by lifting the spoon to your mouth.  Provide verbal prompting for eating, chewing and swallowing. Keep in mind that it may take longer to finish eating, allow for plenty of time.
  • Thicken liquids to lower the risk of choking due to swallowing problems.  Add cornstarch or unflavored gelatin to water, juice, milk, broth and soup.  Commercial food thickeners can be purchased at the drug store.
  • Check with your doctor to see if a multi vitamin or high protein drink is needed.
  • Staying hydrated may be a problem.  Encourage fluids by offering small amounts throughout the day.  Along with water hydration can come from fruit, soup, milkshakes and smoothies.
  • Always test the temperature of foods and beverages before serving them to someone with Alzheimer's.
  • Use serving items that are easy for your loved one to use.  You may need to use a bowl instead of a plate and a spoon instead of a fork, or even hands if it is easier.
  • Avoid foods that are difficult to chew like large cuts of meat, carrots and whole apples.  Keep foods bite-size and easy to pick up and eat.
  • Have your loved one sit up straight with their head slightly forward to help avoid choking.
  • You may need to check your loved ones mouth to make sure their food has been swallowed.
  • If pocketing food in the mouth is a problem, to induce swallowing give a small amount of unsweetened lemon juice.  The natural reaction to lemons is to pucker and suck.
  • Be prepared for an emergency and learn the Heimlich maneuver! Go to U-Tube to watch a demonstration or do an on-line search for more information.

If you are finding it difficult to juggle it all - work, family, errands and other demands that often leave you over taxed.  Where do you turn when a loved ones needs are more than you can manage on your own?  What do you do when some of the care alternatives seem like a complication rather than a solution?  We understand, in fact, we have been there.

Consult Atlanta's most trusted source for quality Home Care, Easy Living Services.  Offering flexible care plans designed to guarantee safety, comfort, companionship and personal care and attention to your loved one at home.

Finally, a real solution.  At last, peace of mind.  Call us at 770-442-8664.  

For more information on Alzheimer's and Dementia visit our resource library at the link below:

http://easylivingservices.com/atlanta-home-care-resources--easy-living-services/
 

-Atlanta Alzheimer's Care Guide

Topics: dementia, caring for a loved one, Hydration, Alzheimers, Alzheimer's