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The Dangers of Pneumonia Among the Elderly

Pneumonia can be dangerous for those of any age, but seniors are more susceptible to pneumonia than other age groups. There are many causes for pneumonia including bacteria, viruses, and even fungi. Signs of pneumonia include a fever, chills, difficulty breathing, and cough with phlegm. But according Dallas live-in care provider, these symptoms often pose several complications for seniors.

Vulnerable Immune System

Due to natural aging, the immune system among seniors is already at a disadvantage. When pneumonia is added to the situation, it can be even more harmful because the risk of infection from other illnesses is increased.

Lack of Symptoms

When the immune system is compromised, seniors may not even know they have pneumonia because the symptoms are not always distinguishable from other illnesses. Pneumonia might worsen without noticeable red flags, which gives the illness more time to do damage. If you suspect that your loved one has pneumonia, it is time to visit a doctor.

Inability to Take Medications

Perhaps one of the most unfortunate disadvantages seniors have is their sensitivity to the medications that are supposed to help them. Because of their advanced age, senior organs are not as strong compared to younger people. The medication they need to combat pneumonia is hard on their stomach and kidneys. If the person has had previous issues with these organs, it may complicate their ability to take these medications, thus prolonging their time to recuperate.

It is important to consult a healthcare professional as soon as possible if pneumonia if you suspect your loved one has pneumonia or another serious illness. Once a doctor delivers his or her diagnosis, your loved one may require additional home assistance while he or she recuperates. Home Care Assistance of Dallas provides optimal home care seniors need to recover from illness and manage diseases like Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke. Learn more about how we can help your loved one today when you call (214) 253-8784 and schedule a free consultation.

 

Senior Eating Disorders: Knowing the Signs

Eating disorders are commonly thought of as problems for young people, but that is a myth. People with eating disorders are found among various age groups and genders, including senior citizens. It’s important for families and providers of hourly home care in Dallas, TX to understand the signs of an eating disorder to maintain senior health and wellness.

Significant Weight Changes Over a Short Time

Significant weight gain or loss over a short time can indicate something is wrong with your senior loved one. If seniors lose a lot of weight, it may indicate that they have an eating disorder or their body isn’t getting what it needs to function properly.

Wanting to Eat Alone

Demanding to eat alone is a common way for seniors to disguise how much they are eating or not eating during meals. It could also be a way to disguise purging behaviors after eating or even a means of hiding their food.

Using the Bathroom Immediately After Eating

Disappearing immediately after a meal could be a sign of purging, a hallmark of some eating disorders. Seniors who retreat immediately after a meal could also be hoarding or hiding food for later, which is another sign of an eating disorder.

Skipping Meals

Many people with anorexia nervosa will severely limit the amount of calories they consume each day. They also may try excessive exercise or laxatives to control their weight in conjunction with starvation. This behavior is especially dangerous for seniors who receive Dallas dementia home care as seniors with dementia need to maintain a nutritious, regular diet to support healthy brain function.

Obsession with Weight

Most people with eating disorders have an unhealthy obsession with weight and a distorted body image. For senior adults, this struggle with self-esteem may have been lifelong and only surface later in life as a response to a specific trigger. 

Treating eating disorders for senior adults requires cooperation from their doctors and a therapist. Most important, however, is understanding the signs of eating disorders. If you suspect your loved one has an eating disorder, it’s important to contact a medical professional. From there you can enlist the help of Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of comprehensive at-home care Dallas families can trust to help with nutritious meal preparation and daily exercise. Our dedicated caregivers make your loved one a priority and help him or her adopt healthy lifestyle habits to ensure health and wellbeing. Learn more about our services when you call (214) 253-8784 today and schedule a complimentary consultation with a friendly Care Manager.

Recognizing Alcohol Dependency Among the Elderly

Many people enjoy an occasional glass of wine or beer without incident, but would you be able to recognize a drinking problem if your senior parent or family member one had one? It’s important to watch out for signs of alcohol dependency so you can address the issue with your loved one and get the necessary help. Dallas home care providers will highlight some red flags that family caregivers can watch out for.

Needs Alcohol to Stay Calm 

Have you ever heard your loved one say he or she needs a drink to calm his or her nerves? Many people say that as a joke, but if you notice your loved one using alcohol to relax, this is a sign that he or she has a dependence on alcohol. If your loved one routinely uses alcohol to calm down after something stressful has happened or needs alcohol to avoid irritability, your loved one may have a problem.

Hides Drinking Habits

If you ask your senior loved one about drinking behavior, would he or she be honest? Lying about or hiding drinking behaviors is a telltale sign your senior loved one has an alcohol dependency. If your loved one feels the need to hide his or her drinking habits, there is a problem, even if your loved one isn’t ready to admit it.

Drinks Alcohol Quickly

Generally, people enjoy most alcoholic beverages by slowing drinking over an extended period of time. Knocking back large quantities of alcohol over a short period of time suggests your senior loved one has progressed to the stage of alcoholism that demands more alcohol to achieve the desired effect.

Consumes Multiple Drinks Daily

One alcoholic drink a day – especially red wine – is fairly safe for most adults to enjoy. That said, doctors caution that drinking more than this can pose a genuine health hazard. If you notice your loved one drinking an excess of a single beverage a day, it’s time to talk to your loved one about his or her problem.

Alcoholism poses a serious risk for seniors in particular because they tend to be more susceptible to illnesses like liver disease and diabetes. Additionally, alcoholism can interfere with any medications your loved one is taking for a preexisting condition, which could exacerbate the problem. To ensure your loved one receives timely medication reminders and adopts a healthy lifestyle, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our highly trained caregivers will help your loved one maintain a balanced lifestyle using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, which revolves around healthy diet, regular exercise, and socialization. To learn more about BCM and how we can help your senior loved one, call us today at (214) 253-8784 and schedule a free consultation.

Escaping Cold and Flu Season Unscathed

With this year’s cold and flu season upon us, it’s important for Dallas caregivers for senior loved ones to learn how to protect the elderly from getting sick this winter. Seniors are more prone to developing a serious illness that may start out as a mere cold, so precautions are important.

Get Vaccinated

Many seniors never receive a flu vaccine, either because they put it off or because they consider vaccines to be inconvenient. However, seniors no longer have to make a doctor’s appointment to get a vaccine since many local health departments and even pharmacies are now offering flu shots. Another important vaccine to receive is a pneumonia vaccine, which can play a big part in warding off colds and protects against different types of bacteria from the flu shot. These shots are a great way to prevent a number of strains of influenza, pneumonia and colds from ever taking hold inside your senior loved one’s body. The shots offer a lot of protection with little hassle for an entire season.

Wash Hands

Now is a good time to nag your senior loved one about washing his or her hands frequently. Few of us actually wash our hands as many times as we should as health guidelines suggest that hands should be washed any time a person has been touching things others have touched. While this constant hand washing may seem like overkill, it’s the best way to keep germs from getting into your senior loved one’s body. Colds routinely begin by germs that are transferred to the nose or mouth from unwashed hands, which is why regular washing reduces the risk. Encourage your loved one to use hand lotion after washing to avoid chapping from the winter weather.

Rest Often

The body is most prone to coming down with a cold or flu when we are tired because lack of proper sleep inhibits the immune system from focusing on fighting off illnesses before they take hold. Encourage your senior loved one to get sufficient sleep each night and take naps in the afternoon if necessary. It’s important for seniors to have no less than seven or eight hours of sleep each night and to keep a regular sleep and wake schedule. Predictability is the body’s friend when it comes to warding off illness.

Use Probiotics

The good bacteria our bodies naturally produce can make a significant difference when it comes to preventing different illnesses, including colds. Encourage your loved one to eat foods with these good bacteria to give your senior loved one’s body an extra boost to fight off bad bacteria. One of the best sources of probiotics is yogurt. Look for a low-fat or Greek variant that has active cultures for the most beneficial source of probiotics. Your senior loved one will surely enjoy the chance to have a sweet treat in the name of health.

It can be challenging maintaining senior health and wellness this time of year, but the above tips can help caregivers like you protect your loved one from cold and flu. For more information on maintaining senior health and wellness, reach out to the experts at Home Care Assistance. Our highly trained caregivers help local seniors with personal care, housekeeping, and nutritious meal preparation on an as-needed basis. To learn more about live-in and hourly home care Dallas families can trust, call a friendly Care Manager today at (214) 253-8784 and schedule a free consultation over the phone.