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.