When we think about dementia, we only consider it as a degenerative disease commonly suffered by seniors. However, the more research is being done to further widen our understanding of such diseases, the more we discover that they are not limited to old age. In fact, our brain and our heart may have a closer relationship than we had first imagined them to be.
One of these researches involves a recent finding in London that dementia can develop if someone does not take good care of their heart. According to Dr. Simon Ridley, the head of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, “what’s good for the heart is good of the brain” and the research has made links that damaged blood vessels in the brain plays a key role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
Summer is once again upon us and we all know what summer brings. Aside from cold drinks, ice cream and several opportunities to kick back and relax, summer’s also known of its unforgivable heat waves. This can prove to be dangerous for senior citizens if caregivers will not take the necessary precautions for them.
Here are a few things to one should place in their care-giving check-list.
Drink A Lot Of Fluids
Like everybody else, seniors are susceptible to dehydration however their risk serves at a higher level because they don’t have the capacity to conserve water unlike others. Much more is that the elderly usually do not feel thirsty and have difficulty in adjusting to sudden changes in temperature. Aside from keeping a lot of fluids in tow, caregivers can also opt to have sweat replacement beverages, specifically those rich in salt and potassium to make up for the loss of water in the body. As much as possible avoid caffeinated or carbonated drinks as these will only make you dehydrated even more.
Be Cool Always
Taking away its figurative sense, this is mostly true in a literal sense. Summer will always have heat waves in tow and often not keeping cool can contribute to a shorter lifespan, specifically to the elderly who are suffering from chronic medical conditions. However this can be remedied by installing air-conditioner inside the home or, if there is none installed, take them to cool places such as the mall or the library. Not only will it be helpful for them, but it could serve as a way to give them fresh air and surroundings and as a way to bond with them. Aside from cooler surroundings and taking fluids, wearing the appropriate summer attire will greatly help you cope with the summer heat waves.
Sunscreen Is Your Best Friend
Summer is fun however it won’t be fun if the heat gets to you. Before going out, always make it a habit to put on sunscreen especially on your senior as it will help protect them from the harmful rays of the sun.
Be Watchful And Call For The Right Help
As much as we would want to take the time to enjoy the sights and sounds that summer can offer, it is also the season where it can be a threat to your senior’s health and so it is best to keep everyone informed like fellow caregivers, friends, and/or relatives especially if you are going somewhere or will be doing any outdoor activities. This would also include having a list of emergency contacts in case something does happen while you are outside. This will make the situation easier to tackle and handle and could ultimately save a life.
Consult The Physician In Terms of Medications
Believe it or not, there are times that medications will behave or react differently when it comes to changes in the weather. This is more susceptible if your home is not air-conditioned as some drugs are heat-sensitive which may either lead them to have low effectivity or increased action depending on its pharmaceutical properties.
Fast foods is one of the greatest comfort foods man has ever created in this century. From burgers to grilled cheese one could simply not deny the gastronomic pleasures these quick eats can bring to someone. However, recent studies show that these quick eats can be harmful for us as we grow older. If burnt food may result into cancer, processed food may increase risk to Alzheimer’s disease.
Caregivers are seen as one of the modern day heroes. There has been many articles written on how difficult their life could be in exchange for high paychecks where their time for their family, friends and themselves are spent mostly with their elderly patients in homes. However, some of these caregivers are closer to home and are not trained in the strenuous life. In fact, they did not ask for the job, the job came to them.
Take Eva Bonilla’s circumstance for example. After a fire that took away her parents home, possessions and her mother, she was faced with the decision to take care of her 85-year old father, Jesse Sandoval. A World War II veteran and hero whose local neighborhood park was named him after, and who did not want his children to take care of him but the experience proved humbling for the family until Sandoval’s death in 2010. Eva Bonilla and Jesse Sandoval’s situation is just one of the many families out there who have to face the decision that home care can sometimes be the only option for them. However, this would require more complex care.
Nutritional needs change as one grows older and elderly patients are in need of a specific nutritional value that is not quite the same as with younger patients and infants. And it is because of their specific set of needs that caregivers should always keep a look out for as they may differ from patient to patient.
It is not strange for a family to face problems relating to the personal care of their elderly loved ones – especially for those who do not have enough time to care for their needs every day. Sometimes it is the children themselves who find it a struggle on whether they should keep on taking care of their aging parents or if they should just drop them off at a nursing home.
Alzheimer’s disease can strike anyone at any age and at any given time and it’s is a scary truth. If you have watched Still Alice, Julianne Moore portrayed a woman named Alice Howland who was diagnosed with the illness as early as her 50s and it speaks so much about how a disease can go beyond the generally accepted truth – in this case Alzheimer’s is no longer a senior citizen’s bane.
2014 has come and gone and it is time to start a new. If you haven’t been the best caregiver for your senior now is the time change and if you think you did well, there is still room for improvement for the year 2015.
Here are some New Year’s resolutions that senior caregivers should add to their resolution list.
Give time for yourself
As much as it is important for one to be highly involved in their work, for the following year give more time for yourself as health will always be wealth. You can’t always take care of your senior if you are not in top shape so always take some time out so you can recuperate, get well and keep stress at bay. Trust us, it will do wonders for you.
Private Duty Nurses
Many people bear the responsibility of taking care of their aging family members. However, caring for a sick family member is not easy. It can get very stressful at times. Some people neglect their own needs so that they can take care of their family members.
When many people decide that they can no longer handle the stresses of caring for aging family members, they decide to put their family members in the nursing home. However, there is another option. If you have an aging loved one who requires regular medical care, then you should consider hiring a private duty nurse. Private duty nursing allows people to get the care that they need but still remain inside of their home.
Recommended Senior Activities
Advancare Senior Care in Miami, offers seniors access to a variety of activities that they can enjoy throughout the year. Fortunately, Miami has an average high temperature in the mid 70s throughout the winter months, which makes this a great time of year for seniors to be outdoors. However, there are also plenty of indoor activities to appeal to seniors during the hot summer months. Since the Miami weather can vary widely in the fall and spring, seniors and their caretakers can decide on what might be an appropriate activity for any given day.
The winter months in Miami provide some of the most pleasant temperatures for seniors to participate in outdoor activities. As a senior, exercise is still an extremely important part of the daily routine. Therefore, the winter is a great time to enjoy a stroll outside in a park, or a simple walk around the neighborhood with a friend. This is also a great time of year to work in a garden or perhaps shop at an outdoor market. The holiday season provides an excellent opportunity to combine walking with holiday shopping, whether it is an outdoor shopping venue or an indoor mall during inclement weather. Of course, a walk on the beach on a pleasant afternoon can be the perfect way to spend a few hours for those under senior care in Miami.
Although the summertime heat in Miami can be oppressive, this is the ideal time to cool off in a local pool. Also, a pool provides the ideal opportunity to get some exercise without breaking a sweat. Otherwise, it is best for seniors to participate in indoor activities on the hottest days. For example, dancing classes provide plenty of fun and exercise. In addition, seniors may want to join a fitness center to make sure that they keep active. The summer days can also be a good time to do some housework while listening to a favorite musical selection. Many local Miami malls have walking clubs for seniors where the mall is available before stores open to the public. This is a great chance to get some healthy exercise while being in the comfort of an air-conditioned building.