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Safe Winter Fun for the Elderly

Even with the cheer leftover from the holiday season, winter can be underwhelming for some senior citizens. Frigid air and lack of sunshine can put a damper on any outdoor activities seniors would otherwise enjoy, thereby resigning them to the house. Don’t let the winter blues get your senior loved one down. If you’re looking for some safe and fun winter activities to enjoy with your senior loved one, Dallas part-time care provider can recommend a few notable ideas.

Winter Organizing

The winter months are the perfect time for your senior to get organized. Sorting through closets, cabinets, and wherever else your senior loved one keeps his or her odds and ends can be both fun and therapeutic. It’s a good way to be reminded of fond memories while also learning how to let go of unnecessary clutter.

Scrapbooking

Speaking of memories, scrapbooking is a pleasant way to preserve them for years to come. Scrapbooking during the winter months can help your loved one focus on all the positive things in his or her life, past and present. It can be done manually with an actual book or digitally to allow for easier sharing and portability. Not only does it stimulate cognition, but it’s also a fun project to show off to friends and family, especially grandchildren.

Entertaining Guests

While many of us limit winter entertaining to the holidays, it doesn’t have to be. Entertaining guests is a terrific way to make sure your senior loved one remains social and active during the bleak winter months, which promotes mental health among seniors. Whether you host a dinner party, game night, or even a movie marathon, entertaining guests provides seniors with the social and mental stimulation they need to combat the winter blues.

Loom Knitting

The chilly air of winter calls for appropriate attire. Buying clothes may be more convenient, but it can be even more fun to make your own. With a knitting loom, you and your loved one can knit scarves, hats, and other winter accessories to add a little fun to a chilly winter day. Knitting projects can be an excellent way to inspire your senior loved to be creative while exercising his or her dexterity and promoting independence.

Keeping your senior loved one active during the winter months can help stave off undesirable ailments like winter depression, anxiety, and restlessness. To further occupy your loved one with socially and mentally stimulating activities, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of elderly home care Dallas families can trust to help their senior loved ones. Whether our services are needed on an hourly or live-in basis, we offer seniors companionship, personal care assistance, and help with household chores. To learn more about how we can help your senior loved one, call us today at (214) 253-8784 and schedule a complimentary consultation.

Helping Your Elderly Loved One Avoid Winter Depression

As the days get shorter and the nights get colder, people of all ages start to feel more lethargic and perhaps even sad. Winter depression occurs because the brain and body are naturally affected by the daily cycle of light and dark. Your aging loved ones are even more susceptible to winter depression because they are not as active as they used to be, which can inhibit the brain’s ability to regulate negative emotions as seniors age. Fortunately, Dallas live-in home care professionals can share several tips to fight off winter depression and alleviate negative feelings.

Exercise Regularly

One of the major reasons that seniors are prone to winter depression is because they cannot exercise in the cold. Though cold weather may be too rough for the fragile immune systems of the elderly, shopping malls often open early so that people can walk around indoors during the winter, and the gentle walking pace is a great way for seniors to boost their endorphins and stave off depression.

Eat Healthy

During winter holidays, it is easy to indulge in sweet treats or overeat. However, rich foods can upset a senior’s digestive system and interfere with proper nutrition that feeds and regulates brain health. It is important for seniors to focus on getting enough proteins and grains to boost their energy and avoid foods that promote lethargy.

Take Vitamin Supplements

The lack of sunlight in the winter can lead to a serious vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is an important nutrient that supports bone health and naturally boosts serotonin levels in the brain. It is also crucial for elderly people to get enough vitamin D so that they do not develop osteoporosis, which could otherwise hinder them from physical activity. A daily supplement of vitamin D can be very helpful during the short daylight hours.

Get Some Light

The best way to combat winter depression is to be regularly exposed to sunshine. You may want to consider buying a light box for your senior loved one since seniors have a higher risk for skin cancer. These boxes shine light that mimics natural sunrays, but they block the harmful rays that can cause skin cancer.

Don’t let your senior loved one get the blues this winter. Call Home Care Assistance at (214) 253-8784 and speak with a trusted Care Manager about our quality in-home care in Dallas. Our compassionate caregivers offer seniors assistance with everything from personal care and household chores to physical exercise and regular interaction on a flexible schedule in the comfort and security of home. When you call, be sure to schedule a complimentary consultation for your senior loved one.

Can Loosening the Blood-Brain Barrier Make Way for Effective Treatments?

Scientists affiliated with the Hurvitz Brain Sciences Program located at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Canada have successfully penetrated the blood-brain barrier using non-invasive focused ultrasound in order to deliver chemotherapy agents to malignant brain tumors. Providers of senior home care in Dallas explain what this means in terms of providing more effective drug treatment to those who are sick.

What Is the Blood-Brain Barrier?

The blood-brain barrier is a layer of tightly joined cells that line the blood vessels of the brain. This barrier acts like a brick wall to prevent harmful chemicals from entering the brain and inflicting damage. However, the natural blockage also prevents physicians from effectively targeting diseased tissue with certain medications. Finding a way through the barrier provides hope for the future treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, brain tumors and Parkinson’s disease. 

What Did the Study Find?

The treatment that researchers developed was the result of infusing a patient’s blood with a chemotherapy medication along with microscopic gas bubbles. The scientists waited until the gas bubbles approached the blood-brain barrier vessels that were within close proximity to the tumor. Using focused ultrasound waves, they vibrated the gas bubbles, which loosened the cellular junctions that form the barrier. Once a temporary opening was created, the chemotherapy medication was able to flow into the brain and to the site of the tumor. 

What Does This Mean for Medicine?

The monumental breakthrough required two decades of research. Prior to the new method, physicians’ only other option was to inject medications directly into the brain, which could damage tissue or causes a hemorrhage or infection. The diuretic medication known as mannitol has been used to permeate the barrier as the drug is designed to enter the brain and reduce tissue swelling by encouraging fluid movement out of the brain. However, the medication also has the potential for dramatically lowering blood pressure and causing electrolyte imbalances. The innovative gas bubble and ultrasound technique does not damage tissues or pose any other known risks. In this way, the success of the studies will enable physicians to target specific areas in the brain when they need to treat different neurological disorders. 

This news is particularly meaningful to seniors with brain disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. If your senior loved one requires comprehensive dementia, Parkinson’s, or Dallas Alzheimer’s care, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Whether your loved one needs daily reminders to take medication, transportation to medical treatments, or personal care assistance, our highly trained and trusted caregivers can ensure your loved one’s needs are met in the comfort and security of home. Call us today at (214) 253-8784 to learn how we can help your senior loved one. Be sure to schedule a no-obligation consultation for your loved one when you call.

Holly Jolly Holiday Traditions for Seniors and Their Families

When a senior loved one lives alone, the holiday season can be difficult for him or her. But with the help of caregivers in Dallas, families can make the holiday season special for seniors in so many ways. Start new traditions in your loved one’s home and include them in as many of the festive activities as possible. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Decorate the Home

Whether the extent of holiday decorations entails trimming a small tree or creating a more elaborate display, decorating can lift your loved one’s spirits. Seniors may be delighted at the chance to spend time with loved ones and watch younger generations of family members make a fuss over tinsel and holly. Depending on whether or not your loved one receives in-home dementia care in Dallas, you might keep the excitement to a minimum to avoid any confusion. 

Holiday Treats

Many families enjoy creating holiday candies and cookies to share with friends and family during the Christmas season. Set aside one or more evenings or weekend days to create some delicious treats with your elderly loved one. He or she will enjoy the mental and emotional stimulation that comes with enjoying a structured holiday activity with a beloved family member.

Preparing the Feast

Families traditionally congregate in kitchens during the holidays in preparation of the Christmas meal. If your elderly parent or grandparent is willing to host the dinner, do the cooking in his or her home. Encourage seniors to assist in the process or just let them sit back, relax and enjoy the company of others while socializing. This can be a great time to chat and reminisce together.

Special Outings

If your parent or grandparent is physically able, take him or her Christmas shopping or simply plan an outing to check out all of the decorations displayed throughout the neighborhood. Seniors might also enjoy caroling through the neighborhood or volunteering at homeless shelters provided they are well enough.

Make a Scrapbook

Gather family photographs and create a scrapbook with your elderly loved one. The time you spend together working on the project provides the chance to reminisce about family traditions of past and present. While working on the craft, you may learn interesting family anecdotes while your loved one brushes up on current events. This project can be continued on an annual basis as part of a holiday tradition. 

Seniors can benefit from the closeness of family this time of year, not only because it offers stability and emotional support, but because it also keeps them cognitively engaged. To supplement the mental and emotional stimulation you already provide for your senior loved one, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We provide diligent as-needed home care Dallas families can trust, whether your loved one needs safety monitoring or could use some help around the house. Call us today at (214) 253-8784 to learn more about our services and schedule a free consultation.