Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Silver Surfers Guide: Enriching Omaha Senior Living with Technology

Nope, we're not going to talk about seniors dressing up or trying to identify themselves as the Marvel comic book character. (Although that would be a treat for seniors with interests for vintage comic books, don't you think?) The expression “silver surfer” originating from English countries actually refers to stereotyped “silver”-haired techie seniors, who “surf” the internet leisurely. Modern inventions aim to make the lives of the elderly more convenient.

Technology Classes

Interactive classes that engage seniors in technology usage are widely available. These aim to rid skeptical seniors of their aversion to technology and integrate benefits of innovations into senior living in Omaha. Classes may be focused one-on-one computer instruction or classroom settings. Most tech classes are offered voluntarily, so seniors learn at no financial cost while the instructors earn community service or plain goodwill.

Social Networking

Through social networks, communication has been the greatest gap bridged by technology. Massive social media sites like Facebook allow seniors to reach distant relatives or peers and enrich relationships. They get doses of learning or entertainment through shared reading materials, interesting discussions and news feeds. They also get to unleash their creative sides through posts.

Gadget Frenzy

More and more manufacturers are taking the elderly population by electronic storm. In effect, technology has been a mainstay in assisted living for Omaha, Nebraska residents. A lot of gadgets from cellphones and tablets to specialized computer programs are marketed to this target group. Studies are continually showing how, for instance, apps and video games keep sharp senior minds.

Safety First!

Aside from recreational purposes, gadgets can also promote safety and emergency preparedness for the elderly. Among the nifty innovations are medical alert tags or buttons, “smart” maintenance drug dispensers, ergonomic walking aids, etc. Tracking and medical response is made efficient, especially for elders with life-threatening ailments or wandering tendencies with dementia.

Of course, human intervention is still key in improving senior living. Comfort Keepers, who may accompany or supervise seniors throughout the day, can be hands-on in ensuring safety and enjoyment. Call (402)-671-0448 to find out how home health providers can support senior care.

Forget Me Not: Techniques in Omaha Senior Care for Handling Dementia Patients

Some inevitable conditions like dementia and Alzheimer's may drastically take the conscious mind of the elderly. However, care for the mental and emotional well-being of your supposed “elders and betters” should not be neglected. Here are some of the prominent therapies done for patients with dementia that would help in preventing them from forgetting you or themselves:

Time-traveling with Reminiscence and Validation

A lot of dementia patients get preoccupied with past memories. Forcefully pushing these aside may harm their self-esteem and confuse them at times. Rewarding reviews of these memories (reminiscence) and empathizing with their relived feelings (validation) are done instead in Omaha senior care. Methods include keeping journals, scrapbook-making, story-telling and other adjunct activities.

The Sensible Trio for the Senses: Art, Music and Aromas

With scientific bases, engaging therapies stimulate the tactile, visual, auditory and olfactory senses. In simple terms, that's touching, seeing, hearing and smelling. These are piqued with art and crafts making, musical treats or playing and aromatherapy. Aside from allowing the senior to be creative, their expressive sides are tapped by letting them elaborate on their work or felt sensations.

Stimulating the Mind and Body Connection with Activity Therapy

Participation in activities provide the elderly mental stimulation through safe physical exercises. Recreational activities like games, aerobics and other behavioral therapies are supervised in settings for assisted living in Omaha. Even the old adage highlighting “laughter as the best medicine” is administered through a therapy called laughter yoga.

The Gift Called “Present” in Reality Orientation

There will be times that confusion becomes scary and destructive for patients with dementia. In those times, grounding them to the here and now proves to be a reassuring measure. Reality orientation entails tactful communication of the present, such as basic information about the patient and explanations of what they are experiencing.

Planning for Home Health Care in Omaha that Dear Grams and Pops Deserve

For some, having seniors stay in the house is preferred over nursing homes. Some delicate conditions necessitate home health care, and a lot of factors play into the choosing the right home health care plans for the beloved seniors in your family.

Establish financial feasibility, first and foremost.

It's very important to have a solid financial foundation. Most insurance options, including Medicare, Medicaid and major private insurance companies, cover home health care. Pension plans may also provide funding. Typically, the coverage scope for home health care in Omaha is determined by medical necessity. A set budget should be allotted for unavoidable out-of-pocket expenses, where responsible members of the family or earning siblings can contribute.

Hire for treatments beyond the conventional.

Skilled nursing, trained health aides, medically necessary therapies and supplies are the usual provisions in the discipline. However, home health care agencies in Omaha, NE offer special personal care and in-home companionship services. Among these interesting respites for families are grooming assistance, incidental transportation and even 24-hour care.

Grams and pops should have a say.

Home health care is usually indicated for the elderly for a condition that implies limitations, such as chronic disorders. If they are able to make reasonable decisions, seniors should be asked for the bounds within which they are willing to receive care. Responsible representatives should decide otherwise.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Big C: Caring for Terminally Ill Loved Ones

It may seem like the end of the world when a loved one gets diagnosed with cancer, especially when the illness is at the terminalstage. During this difficult time, the best one can do is provide a dying loved one with the proper end of life care that also takes into account the family’s emotional and moral welfare. This matter often requires the expertise of an assisted living specialist.

Some cancer specialists note several signs that the final phase is not too far away. These include gradual loss of weight and muscle structure, a lack of interest in previously enjoyable activities, and a repeated insistence to stay in bed. In many cases, patients are not inclined to see so many people.

To ease a loved one’s woes, the assigned carer can be tasked to change bed sheets at least twice a week, adjust the patient’s position, and ensure that any medication is administered on time. As terminally ill patients have cool limbs, it is best to massage them with warm water to boost circulation.

Losing a loved one to the Big C is no doubt a harrowing experience for any family. However, being able to look after their needs to the very end helps ease the pain.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

3 Signs Your Parents Need Home Assistance

No dutiful son or daughter would think twice about enlisting home assistance services for one’s aging parents. After all, their parents took care of them until they were ready to become adults and vital members of society. Certain instances, in particular, warrant third-party senior care services.

Frequent accidents at home
You can design a home to be more senior-friendly, but you can’t make it entirely accident-proof. For instance, your elderly mom or dad may be simply reaching for the cereal box in the cupboard atop the kitchen counter but doesn’t notice the messy rug on the floor, thus tripping on it as a result. For seniors who have weak bones, these accidents pose hazards like bone fractures and concussions.

Personal hygiene challenges
When you were a kid, your parents always reminded you about the importance of good hygiene. This time around, it’s your turn to make sure they maintain optimum personal hygiene. If one or both parents are unable to take a bath properly or dress without much difficulty because of physical conditions like arthritis, it may be time to consider home assistance services.

Age-related diseases

Aging parents are no longer in the peak of their health and are, thus, prone to illnesses. If your parent has been diagnosed with a rather serious age-related disease like Alzheimer's, Parkinson’s, or kidney failure, then you’ll want to provide only the best senior care.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Home Health Care for Dementia Patients

When people talk of Alzheimer’s, they usually associate it with senility, irritability, and impaired intelligence. The condition has become quite prevalent, with as many as 5.2 million cases in America diagnosed so far in 2014. However, Alzheimer’s is just one type of dementia, and Alzheimer cases make up only 60 to 80 percent of all dementia cases.

Dementia describes a condition that hampers a person’s intellectual functions, resulting in a loss of memory, language, speaking skills, and cognition. It is caused by a variety of factors, ranging from genetics, physical trauma, or existing mental problems, to seemingly-unrelated diseases like HIV.  Aside from Alzheimer’s, dementia is also present in people with Huntington’s and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease: ailments that result in personality changes rather than decreased intelligence.

Because dementia comes in many forms, its treatment can be quite challenging for caregivers. Reliable providers of professional home health care understand this difficulty, and are aware that dementia is, in many cases, a degenerative and irreversible disease.

In instances like these, comfort keepers lend a hand by being supportive companions to their patients in day-to-day activities, and ensuring the patients get their medications on time. Therapies like memory books, aromatherapy, and physical activities may also help patients cope with their condition, but these have to be carried out under the supervision of reliable health experts. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Benefits of Home Care to the Elderly

Growing old inevitably makes a person physically weaker and incapable of performing at least some of the most routine activities without some assistance. This has made constant care a necessity for many of the elderly, a need which many facilities and services try to respond to. Among the variety of options for senior living, home care is one which offers many benefits.

Most seniors prefer to be cared for at home, taking comfort in the familiarity of their surroundings, than to stay in a senior living facility or a retirement community. Studies have shown that there are more incidents of depression among the elderly who move to seniors’ facilities than those who get to stay at home. To receive the kind of professional care that they need, seniors can rely on in-home services from reputable providers.

In a home care setup, trained caregivers provide personalized care and attention to make the elderly feel that they’re not alone, and that someone is always available to provide assistance. In many cases, one-to-one care offers a far higher level of comfort compared to the kind of care given in a typical senior care facility.

A home care arrangement allows seniors to remain in constant touch with their families and friends, thus minimizing the chances for depression. Complemented with a home equipped with senior-friendly features, home care allows seniors to maintain a sense of independence that is very important for their well-being.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Questions You Need To Ask About Assisted Living

So it has come to the point where questions regarding the need for additional assistance are being introduced. This is often a difficult and emotional situation, but it must addressed. It is important to remember that just because your loved one is aging, it doesn't mean that they can't live a happy and fulfilling life. With that in mind, here are some of the more pertinent questions that you must address.

What is Assisted Living?

At the time when your aging loved one can no longer satisfactorily attend to their daily needs, some assistance may be required. Assisted living doesn't necessarily mean joining a senior community or “being put in a home” as most people fear. Any aid, medical or otherwise, can also be provided by in-home health care agencies. Omaha, NE seniors are therefore given the choice to either enter a senior living community or be cared for in their own homes.

What services will be provided?

This all depends on the needs and abilities of your aging loved one. Services can range from simple housekeeping to specific medical care. A proper overall assessment is key to identifying what services might be required.

What is the most important thing to consider?

It is all about the caregiver. No matter what assistance is to be provided, the skill and knowledge of the caregiver should be the primary consideration. The health and safety of your aging loved ones must be assured by their ability to handle any situation that may arise. It is also quite important that the elder requiring this assistance feel at ease with the caregiver as they will be working together intimately.

Considering assisted living for your loved ones is a big step. It is important to ensure not only their health and safety but also the degree to which a high quality of life can be maintained. That is the best kind of senior care Omaha home health care agencies can provide. Looking beyond the medical and practical and seeing and caring for the person who is in need of the assistance.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Fun Activities for the Elderly: A Guide for Comfort Keepers

Omaha senior living doesn't have to be all drab and boring. What better way to spice things up than with a daily excursion? It is no secret, though, that there are some activities the elderly won't be able to participate in or enjoy. So when planning your senior's day-out, be sure to find activities that they will enjoy without too much physical exertion.


Be it at the beach or at the pool, swimming is a great activity for any day’s vacation. Senior or not, everyone appreciates a refreshing dip. The water provides excellent support when moving about so it shouldn't put to much strain on knees, hips or backs. If it’s a trip to the beach, however, make sure that they are up for a walk through the sand, since that could cause mobility issues.

Open Mic Night. 

 Doing a lot of walking around isn't always a senior's idea of fun. Usually they like activities that involve taking it easy, but that doesn’t automatically mean that it can’t be a fun excursion. How about having an open mic/karaoke night? It's fun and entertaining and it won't take a lot out of the elderly participants.

Catch a show. 

Be it a movie or a play, or any performance for that matter. It is interesting, entertaining and doesn't require a lot of walking or moving around for that matter. It is also a great way to learn more about the culture of a place. At the same time, it stimulates the mind improving alertness and mental acuity.

They may have gotten along in years but it doesn't mean that our elderly loved ones don't want to get away now and again too. Everyone needs a change of pace, a change of scenery. To enjoy the best senior care in Omaha, seniors deserve a trip now and then. Be it just a weekend getaway or a trip that lasts a few days, you'll find that our enthusiastic seniors are up for it!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Top 5 Factors to Consider When Choosing A Comfort Keeper

When choosing a provider of home health care, Omaha seniors and their relatives need to be careful in their selection. Comfort Keepers are recognized for their skill as well as their compassion in caring for the elderly. It is good to remember though, when choosing a Comfort Keeper, that each adds their own touch to caregiving. Here are some other factors to consider when choosing a Comfort Keeper for your elderly loved ones.

Needs/Abilities of the Elderly

It is important to determine the level of care required when choosing your caregiver. Your senior loved one's needs and abilities will dictate what kind of care will be required of your Comfort Keeper. Is it simple companionship with some housekeeping that's needed? Or something more medical?

Caregivers Skill and Knowledge

What kind of training or certifications have your potential caregivers received? Are they physically and mentally able to deal with the required needs? Previous experience is also something to consider in order to reassure you of the Comfort Keeper's ability.

Experience with a Similar Case

In special cases where illnesses such as Alzheimer’s are an added concern, any previous experience with a similar situation is most helpful. It means that they will know what to do in case unforeseen circumstances occur.

Amount of Supervision

How often will someone check on the progress of the Comfort Keeper? This is especially important to maintain a high quality of care and also to keep concerned relatives updated and at ease.

Getting Along with the Elderly

As the Comfort Keeper will be working very closely with your elderly loved one, how they get along should be considered. It's very important that for the elderly in Omaha assisted living shouldn't feel intrusive and debasing. Rather, senior care should feel empowering and that can only come from a good relationship with the caregiver.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Caregiving across Generations

For any of a variety of reasons, it’s not so uncommon for families of multiple generations to live under a single roof. If you find yourself in a situation of needing to care for both your children and your parents at the same time, it’s likely that you are familiar with the considerable challenges. However, you should never think that you and your spouse need to carry the entire burden of caregiving on your own.

The most important thing is to keep communication open between generations. The elderly are mostly frustrated over being unable to take care of themselves, and this anger at their failing bodies tends to get channeled outwards as irritation towards everyone else.

Patiently communicating with your elderly loved ones goes a long way in easing their lives. Establishing a respectful and loving relationship between the elderly and your children is very beneficial, as the older generation has a lot of guidance to share and stories they’d love to tell.

Children should be made to understand the situation with their grandparents, as the occasional tantrum can be quite traumatic to a child who may translate a frustrated grandmother’s irritation to be their fault. If handled well, children are largely accepting and patient. Their company and availability to meet the elderly’s emotional needs are quite beneficial to your family life.

Don’t overburden yourself. Help is available should you need it. If you find yourself overwhelmed, there are professionals like Comfort Keepers who can lend a hand with Omaha senior living. Give us a call at 402-671-0448.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Kitchen Safety for Your Elderly Loved One

Cooking and preparing food is a genuine pleasure for some and a necessary task for others, but as experienced by Omaha senior living professionals, the kitchen can be a particularly dangerous place for the elderly.

By no means should we keep our elderly loved ones from doing food preparation tasks if they enjoy doing them. After all, many of the elderly feel a sense of accomplishment in being able to contribute in the small ways they can, and that also helps ease their minds. However, there are some simple precautions you can take to make your loved one’s time in the kitchen a lot safer.

Aiding visibility is very important. Ample lighting and clear labeling go very far in making sure that your loved ones have an easy time finding and identifying ingredients and utensils.

Consider investing in means to cut steps from even the most basic cooking procedures. For example, an automatic kettle is a great help. Just don’t go overboard with complicated devices that can be confusing. Heavier items should always be stored at waist level, so your loved ones can lift and manipulate them with ease. Finally, make a habit of checking if foods have gone bad. It can be difficult for your loved one to tell.

Hopefully, this will help you create a productive and safe cooking environment. For expert advice, you can call professional assisted living companies like Comfort Keepers. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Making a Bed while Someone is Lying On It

Outside the context of assisted living Omaha residents, there are so many simple tasks that we take for granted, like making a bed, for example. We are used to just waking up each morning and making our own beds, the task taking about half a minute.

When you’re caring for the elderly, a problem that is likely to come up is needing to make a bed while someone is still lying on it.

How can you ensure the person’s comfort throughout the process? The method that creates the least disturbance involves rolling the person to their side, then loosening the soiled linens on the vacated side of the bed and bunching them up into a small hump along the middle of the bed.

Then, spread the fresh linens on the vacated half of the bed, joining the rest of the fabric with the hump. Roll the person over the hump of fabric to the side with the fresh linens. Remove the soiled linens from the newly-vacated half of the bed and spread the rest of the fresh linens over it.  Replace the pillowcases and blankets as well.

Make sure to offer support to the person throughout the entire process, and always be aware of any catheters or any sort of equipment that may get caught while you’re changing the sheets. For more extensive assistance, call 402-671-0448.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Home Health Care Products: Putting the “Living” Back in Senior Living

As the body gets weaker, it gets harder and harder to move around, even in one's own house. Eventually, the pressure to move someplace where one can get proper care and assistance increases. An elderly person can stay where he or she resides through the care of a relative, or through the use of assisted living services. However, in many states like Omaha, senior living means letting the elderly feel like they can do some things themselves, and that they are not totally reliant on others.

Exercise and rehab can help a little, but for many who want to age in place, a good option is to have home care products at home. There are many facilities and tools that can be set up, even simple ones, which can go a long way in helping aging adults retain some of their independence.

Mobility aids

Arguably the biggest problem is how to get from one place to another. Simple acts like walking or climbing stairs become much harder than before. The traditional solutions are walkers, canes, or wheelchairs, but it's also possible to have permanent facilities installed like handrails or chair lifts. Trapeze bars are also an option to help in getting up from chairs or beds.

For compromised dexterity

Another challenge is presented by decreasing dexterity. Fingers or hands may get weaker, decreasing the strength to grip, turn, or push things. Shoe horns and sock aids help in getting socks and shoes onto the feet with minimal effort, while button aids can also help reduce the effort in putting on clothes with buttons. It would also be a good idea to buy clothes that do not have zippers, buttons, or hard-to-manipulate parts necessary for proper wearing.

For impaired senses

It's not just the muscles that are compromised as we age. The senses also experience increasing deterioration. The most critical senses are sight and hearing. Hearing aids and spectacles are common tools, but there are other solutions. Talking watches and thermometers, telephones with large buttons, computer screen magnifiers and other magnification products are just some options that can be explored.

For the elderly, it is important to feel a certain degree of independence. Of course, this is not to say they should be left totally alone. To support the aging population, Omaha assisted living services are still necessary.

Taking Care of a Loved One without Taking Yourself For Granted

When we think of love, we think that it is motivated by a spirit of giving. We show love by giving gifts, time, energy, and loving gestures. And seeing how these acts help the ones we love can be very rewarding. But sometimes things get very difficult. It can be challenging to provide for the needs of others, especially in the case of senior care. Omaha residents with aging relatives must give the best of themselves, so they have to avoid getting stressed or burned out.

Care for yourself

Make sure you have spare moments and opportunities to care for yourself. Exercise is an essential part of it, as being fit can give you added energy. Getting the rest you need—at least seven hours—is also essential. A well-balanced diet is also ideal, as the nutrients you get can also affect your moods and your ability to care for others when they need you. You can also get away from it all once in a while. It doesn't have to be an expensive trip. You can escape, even just for a moment, by having a hobby. Finding humor in everyday situations or taking in a funny movie now and then can also be very helpful. Writing in a journal to express yourself can also effectively relieve stress.

Sharing the burden

Sometimes, you just can't make it on your own. That's why it is so important to have a social network to help you. Friends are an essential source of emotional support. The same can be said of your faith and faith community, which can also be a good source of caregiving help. If you have a trusted relative or friend you can ask to call and check up on you once in a while, it would also be helpful.

Confiding in others is a great way to relieve stress. Even if the problem you have is not solved directly, sharing your frustrations about certain situations can help ease your mind. If you're lucky, the person you're confiding in can also offer helpful advice.

Even if you follow all of these tips, it's still possible that you cannot fully cope. Should you determine that caring for a loved one is taking too much from you, you might consider hiring professional Home health care in Omaha. Seniors have several excellent options, including Comfort Keepers, to choose from.

Monday, January 13, 2014

How to Start the Talk: Thinking about Assisted Living for a Loved One

Let's be honest—the realization that a parent will get old and frail is, in most cases, a difficult one to come to. Maybe it hits the parent first, when they find themselves taking longer and longer to clean themselves in the bathroom, or find that they cannot account for long stretches of time. Maybe the adult child sees it first, but finds it hard to bring it to their parent's attention. In either case, it's a violent emotional blow, and finding the words to start the conversation can be difficult. But like many difficult conversations, it must happen sooner or later. If it is time to for a loved one to consider home health care, Omaha residents will want to follow the tips below.

Start early

If you have to speak with your parent, it can be hard to get him or her to listen. Parents are used to having the power and having the authority in the family, and the idea of being the one that needs help can be a bitter pill to swallow. But it's important to start the talk early. Otherwise, your parent may not be able to participate competently in future decisions.

Remember that the talk is about them

It is important to choose a time and a place to have this talk. Do not have it at the same time as other commitments or occasions—set a specific date just for that. Also, include other close loved ones and make it as non-confrontational as possible. Remind them that this is not about taking away their independence, but helping them live comfortably.

Non-verbal signals are critical

Speak with respect, always. Maintain good eye contact and use an even tone. If you feel you have to rehearse, doing some role playing with a trusted confidant could be a good idea. Non-verbal cues can go a long way in getting the message through.

There are some other tips that you can follow in speaking with an aging loved one. However, recognize that it is still possible that your senior parent will not accept the idea of assisted Omaha senior living right away. It can take a lot of patience and understanding, along with perseverance, but if it is for their own good, you should not waver.