Caregivers of Older Adults

Understanding the Emotional Aspects of Vision Loss for Seniors

Posted on Thu, Mar 26, 2015 @ 03:30 PM

More than 20 million Americans over the age of 18 report some form of vision loss, according to a report from the American Foundation for the Blind. As we age, the risk of severe eye problems increases significantly -- particularly for seniors. While the physical effects of vision loss are frequently discussed, the emotional aspects of vision loss are often overlooked. Here's what you need to know to help your aging loved one cope with vision loss.

As care giver, your helping hand is more vital than ever.
A Different Kind of Grief

Seniors undergo many changes throughout the aging process. But awareness that these changes are coming doesn't make them easier to accept. In fact, the combined effects of aging -- including everything from housing issues to health threats -- can lead to extreme emotional distress for seniors. 

Just like everyone else, seniors need to feel valued. Vision loss may detract from your aging loved one's sense of being valuable. In fact, some experts have compared what people go through when vision loss first occurs to Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross's five stages of grief. And just as all emotions are valid when grieving the loss of a loved one, they are equally valid when grieving vision loss. It's not unusual for seniors to react with denial, anger and depression when vision loss occurs. With ample care giver support, however, they can also reach acceptance.

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Topics: Senior Health, Elder Care Issues, Hearing and Vision

Early Stage Alzheimer's: What You Need to Know

Posted on Wed, Mar 25, 2015 @ 03:28 PM

Caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease can feel overwhelming, and early treatment is essential to ensuring access to the very best care. If your aging loved one has recently received an Alzheimer's diagnosis and is in the beginning stages of the illness, here's what you need to know.

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Topics: Caregiver Info, Alzheimers, Dementia, Health

Caregiver Help: Understanding Grief and Loss

Posted on Wed, Mar 18, 2015 @ 02:54 PM

Grief is a fact of life: nearly everyone has to deal with loss during their lifetime. Grief doesn't just pertain to the death of a loved one, it can occur in response to the loss of anything dear to a person -- from a family pet to a job, to divorce or the loss of a home. Unfortunately, seniors are particularly vulnerable to grief...and its complications.

While grief is natural, it's also largely individualistic: there's no right or wrong way to grieve, although some methods can help the grieving process while others can hinder it. If your aging loved one is experiencing the sadness associated with loss, here are some things you can do to help facilitate the grieving -- and healing -- process.

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Topics: Depression, Caregiver Info, Hospice/End of Life, Grief

Caregiver Training: How to Read and Understand Food Labels

Posted on Thu, Mar 12, 2015 @ 12:30 PM

While proper nutrition is an essential part of helping your aging loved one stay healthy, getting seniors to make the right food choices can be a challenge. Factor in misleading packaging geared to misrepresent a product's contents, and food labels become even more important. Caregivers can help older loved ones meet their daily nutritional needs -- while also acknowledging dietary restrictions -- by understanding and using Nutrition Facts labels. This is especially important when caring for someone with diabetes. Here's what you need to know. 

Nutrition Facts are a caregiver's best friend.

Serving Size Matters
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggests that serving size and number of servings are the first place to look when inspecting a product's Nutrition Facts label. After all, the size of the package itself is less significant than how many servings are contained in the food package. 

For example, if there are three servings in a bag of potato chips, but you eat the entire bag in one sitting you've had three times the serving...and triple the calories and nutrients. 

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Topics: Caregiver Info, Nutrition, Health

Caregiver Training: Helpful Tips on Medications for Elderly

Posted on Tue, Mar 10, 2015 @ 04:31 PM

Adverse drug reactions lead to more than 700,000 emergency room visits every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Of these, the majority are older adults, who are twice as likely to end up in the emergency room and almost seven times more likely to require hospitalization. While managing your aging loved one's medications can be challenging, doing so is an essential part of ensuring ongoing safety and wellness. Here are some helpful medication management tips and techniques for caregivers.

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Topics: Senior Health, Medications, Caregiver Info, Elder Care Issues, Quality of Life

Assistive Devices: Independence for Seniors & Help for Caregivers

Posted on Wed, Mar 04, 2015 @ 02:51 PM

Few people would argue that the aging process is easy, but there are ways to help make things easier. Many seniors struggle with mobility issues which can interfere with routine daily activities and lead to declines in independence and quality of life. Assistive devices offer a valuable "helping hand," not only for the aging senior, but they can also be a great help for caregivers, as well.  

About Assistive Devices

Assistive devices can mean the difference between the ability to perform simple daily activities and complete reliance on others. Assistive technology advances every day, and seniors have more options than ever when it comes to selecting the best tools for their individual needs.

Types of Assistive Devices

Products, tools and equipment available to assist seniors can range from low-tech to high-tech in functionality as well as serve a number of different needs. These include:

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Topics: Assistive Devices, Senior Health, Caregiver Info, Fall Prevention

Caregiver Training: End of Life Care

Posted on Tue, Feb 24, 2015 @ 02:43 PM

Caring for a loved one living with and dying of a terminal illness is a challenging yet worthwhile experience. Offering physical, mental and emotional comfort during this difficult time is a significant responsibility, but a worthy one. Read on to learn more about end-of-life care, along with how you can best help your loved one have a peaceful transition.

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Topics: Senior Health, Caregiver Info, Hospice/End of Life

Understanding the Dangers of Hoarding, Clutter and Senior Adults

Posted on Wed, Feb 18, 2015 @ 03:10 PM

Clutter isn't just an eyesore. When clutter is actually hoarding -- the compulsive acquisition and saving of items with no real value -- it can interfere with a person's ability to function, and over time affect his/her overall health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, hoarding is particularly problematic to seniors and the people who care for them. Here's what you need to know about hoarding, and what you can do as caregiver to help your aging loved one break free of this unhealthy habit.

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Topics: Hoarding, Caregiver Info, Falls

Caregiver Help: A Guide to Fall Prevention for Seniors

Posted on Tue, Feb 17, 2015 @ 11:20 AM

Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries for adults aged 65 or older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Considering that a third of senior citizens fall every year, it's no surprise that falls and fear of falling are a serious concern for seniors and their caregivers. Read on to learn about ways to prevent falls and boost independence through fall-prevention techniques. 

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Topics: Senior Health, Caregiver Info, Elder Care Issues, Falls

Aging in Place: Often a Lonely Place to Live

Posted on Fri, Feb 13, 2015 @ 11:51 AM

Portrait_Of_The_Elderly_Woman_at_Bus_StopIt was an early morning phone call from a concerned neighbor. She had been out for her evening walk the night before and noticed an elderly woman standing near the street. The woman summoned her over and proceeded to talk at length about her husband who had recently passed away then invited her into her nearby home. Although the neighbor did not accept the invitation, she felt the woman's attempt for attention was cause for alarm. In pastoral care within a large church community I've learned that every day brings to light challenging situations that very often have no immediate or concrete solutions. One of these areas of concern is the number of elders living alone with no family living close by. While aging in place at home is often the preferred choice for many; when there is a situation of declining health of an older person living alone, there is much more cause for worry. This is especially true if the person suffers from some form of dementia.

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Topics: Senior Health, Depression, Caregiver Info, Elder Care Issues

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