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5 Natural Ways to Treat Shingles

The Varicella zoster virus that causes chickenpox stays dormant in the body long after the illness subsides. In later life, the virus can become active and cause an illness known as shingles. The blistering rash develops along the nerve pathways across the torso, which makes the affliction itchy and uncomfortable. Antiviral medications help shorten the duration of the ailment while reducing the symptoms. However, there are a number of home remedies Dallas elderly care providers can try to ease the discomfort experienced by seniors. 

1. Take a Cool Bath

Sitting in a bath of cool water helps bring down the temperature of irritated skin and provides some sense of relief. Afterward, gently pat the skin dry and discourage seniors from scratching. Avoid contact with open blisters and wash clothing, linens and towels in hot water to prevent cross-contamination. 

2. Apply Cold Compresses

Cool wet compresses applied to affected skin areas is an alternative method of achieving topical relief. Simply wet a towel with cold water, wring out the excess moisture and apply it to the skin. Re-soak the towels as needed to provide ongoing relief. 

3. Drawn an Oatmeal Bath

Oatmeal has long been touted as a method of relieving skin dryness and subsequent itch. Oatmeal bath products are commonly sold where bath and beauty items are located. Family caregivers can add the colloidal oatmeal to cool or room temperature water according to the package instructions. Pat the skin dry following the bath to avoid letting water set and infect the rash. 

4. Use Soothing Lotions

Caladryl lotion contains antihistamines and other soothing ingredients that help alleviate the discomfort of shingles. Tea tree oil is another option that prevents infection while promoting healing and sting relief. Use cotton balls to apply and wash hands thoroughly after each application. 

5. Take Pain Medications

Seniors may take oral OTC pain medications as recommended by a physician. Certain brands of OTC hydrocortisone creams and ointments also contain topical anesthetic medication ingredients, which include benzocaine. These formulas provide pain relief by interfering with nerve transmission.

In the event that you cannot look after your loved one fulltime after he or she contracts shingles or another illness, turn to Home Care Assistance for help. Our reliable Dallas respite caregivers will look after your loved one whenever you need time to take care of other matters or simply need time to yourself. Call (214) 253-8784 today to speak to an experienced Care Manager about our flexible live-in, hourly, and respite care and set up a free consultation.

How to Prevent Heat Stroke Among Seniors This Summer

As the heat intensifies this summer, seniors become more prone to heat stroke. Here’s how Dallas at-home caregivers can prevent their loved ones from succumbing to the condition.

Manage Prescription Drugs

Certain prescription medication can increase the risk of heat stroke in elderly people. For example, diuretics are likely to cause dehydration and other symptoms that ultimately result in heat-related illness. Similarly, some antihistamines can make the body more sensitive to sun exposure and high temperatures. Live-in Dallas caregivers should monitor these medications closely and keep their loved ones in more mild temperatures after taking them.

Keep Seniors Hydrated

Regardless of age, a person who spends over an hour outside on a summer day should drink over a liter of fluids. A bottle of cold water is refreshing, but it might not replenish some essential electrolytes that are lost in sweat. Sports drinks are loaded with sodium and potassium ions that play important roles in regulating normal bodily functions. Without an adequate supply of such nutrients, an elderly person can quickly become dehydrated and tired on a hot day.

Dress Appropriately

Heat stroke occurs when a person’s body temperature rises above normal levels. Loose and lightweight clothing can keep the body cool on a typical summer day. It’s also a good idea to wear light-colored clothing for anyone who wants to spend a lot of time in direct sunlight. Dark-colored apparel tends to absorb solar radiation, which releases a lot of heat directly onto the body. Summer apparel should consist of breathable materials that wick away moisture and provide natural ventilation.

Watch the Forecast

In addition to watching the temperature, it’s also important for caregivers to consider the heat index and UV index before taking seniors outside. A high heat index indicates an increased risk of heat stroke due to humid air that makes it difficult to breathe normally. A high UV index implies that a person is likely to get sunburned even under cloud cover. Monitoring these factors will keep your loved one safe from heat stroke and sunburn.

Keep Cold Objects Handy

Even while resting in a shaded area, seniors can overheat on a scorching summer afternoon. To keep the core body temperature at safe levels, ice and other cold items should be directly applied to the skin. Elderly people can also prevent overheating by eating their favorite ice cream or drinking beverages with lots of crushed ice.

Senior safety is paramount during the summer months, though not just because of the high risk of heat stroke. Call Home Care Assistance of Dallas at (214) 253-8784 to learn more about senior safety. We are a reliable Dallas senior home care agency that customizes care plans for seniors with various requirements including Alzheimer’s, dementia, and stroke care. Schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable Care Manager today and learn how we can keep your loved one safe.

Maintaining Senior Nail Care

Nail care remains an important part of personal grooming for seniors. There are many methods and tools that can be used to keep nails looking their best, though Dallas senior home care providers should use the following to keep their loved one’s nails healthy.

Detergents and soaps encountered when bathing, doing the dishes or other household chores have a tendency to dry the nails and causes splitting. Wearing gloves helps protect the hands and nails. When nails darken, applying and massaging lemon oil into the affected nail often reverses the problem. 

As with the rest of the body, a proper diet remains essential for healthy nails. Fresh fruits and vegetables consumed daily provide the required amount of enzymes, minerals and vitamins needed to maintain nail health. Fresh fruit and vegetable juices are alternatives that offer calcium, phosphorous, vitamin B and zinc, which all work together to ensure strong nails. 

While the nails on the hands are the most visible, the toenail health is equally important. Regular pedicures keep toenails from cracking, breaking or splitting. Keeping toenails clean, dry and trimmed also prevents various diseases. Unlike fingernails, toenails should be cut straight across without curved edges. If nails are cut too short, painful ingrown toenails may occur.

Women often enjoy having polish applied to nails as part of routine manicures. While there are many products available, some nail polishes are specifically designed to offset dryness in addition to adding strength. Nailtiques and Rejuvcote are products that contain natural ingredients that include aloe vera, collagen and jojoba. 

If finger or toenails develop fungal infections, there are a variety of commercial and home remedies that help resolve the issue. However, seniors should not expect complete healing before six to 12 months. Home remedies include soaking the nails twice daily in a baking soda and citric acid solution. After soaking, apply tea tree oil to each affected nail. 

Nail care is one of many personal care options offered by Home Care Assistance of Dallas. We provide numerous in-home services including Alzheimer’s, stroke, and dementia care Dallas seniors need to assist them with activities of daily living. These include but are not limited to safety monitoring, medication reminders, and personal care assistance. Call (214) 253-8784 today to speak with a knowledgeable Care Manager and schedule a complimentary consultation.

Refreshing Pool Exercises for Seniors to Enjoy

Despite your loved one’s physical limitations, there are safe and effective exercises he or she can enjoy. With help from dedicated Dallas live-in caregivers, seniors of varying abilities can have fun and get into shape during the spring and summer months doing the following pool exercises. 

Standing Push Ups

To do a standing push-up in the water, seniors should stand in the pool with their hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart on one edge of the pool. Then they need to bend their arms and pull themselves towards the wall and push back. Seniors should keep repeating this exercise until their arms start to feel slightly tired. Water push-ups are an effective way for seniors to build arm and shoulder strength without putting excess pressure on their joints. 

Leg Swings

For this exercise, seniors need to stand by the side of the pool in water that’s deep enough to reach up to their lower back. Then grab the edge of the swimming pool and swing their outside leg forward as far as possible, making sure their leg is kept straight. They then need to hold that position for five seconds and swing their leg behind them and hold it in place for another five seconds. Legs swings will help make the muscles in their upper legs stronger. 

Water Jogging

Seniors can also simply jog through the water from one end of the pool to another. If seniors have physical limitations that make jogging in the water difficult, they can either march in place or walk at their own pace through the length of the pool. All variations of this exercise will get the blood flowing throughout the body while getting the heart rate up.

Leg Lifts

For this pool exercise, seniors should stand in a swimming pool and lift one of their legs out to the side and back down again. Seniors can repeat this exercise until their leg feels tired, then repeat with their other leg. Leg lifts will make their legs stronger while also strengthening their core and improving their balance. This is particularly useful for those who receive Alzheimer’s care in Dallas as cognitive disorders often disrupt balance and coordination.

Even if you aren’t always available to assist your loved one with these exercises, there are plenty of Dallas at-home care agencies that can help. Home Care Assistance is a leading provider of live-in and hourly home care that enables seniors to age in place while acquiring the tools they need to enjoy longevity and wellbeing. Highly trained caregivers are available 24/7 to help your loved one prepare nutritious meals, exercise regularly, and effectively heal from illness and injury. Call (214) 253-8784 today to speak to a knowledgeable Care Manager who will answer your questions, explain our services, and schedule a free consultation.

4 Common Reasons Your Senior Loved One Gets Night Sweats

Though anyone can sweat at night, night sweats are somewhat less common and they are far more severe. An episode of night sweats is characterized by an increased heart rate, a feeling of chilliness, and repeated sweating at night that completely soaks nightclothes and bedding. There are many potential causes of night sweats, but a few are more common among seniors. The following are some common causes hourly Dallas caregivers should watch out for.

1. Menopause

Though most women go through menopause in their 50s, some symptoms of menopause can continue to last for years. Night sweats among postmenopausal women occur because fluctuating levels of estrogen confuse the hypothalamus, which regulates body temperature. This is particularly common among women who are using some sort of hormone therapy regimen. 

2. Medications

Certain common medications that seniors take can include night sweats as a side effect. Drugs that may cause night sweats include antidepressants, drugs that lower blood sugar, and nitroglycerin. Any medication that lowers fevers, such as aspirin or acetaminophen, can cause seniors to have night sweats.

3. Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system and one of the early warning signs of this condition is night sweats. Being over the age of 55 is a huge risk factor for developing Hodgkin’s lymphoma, so it is important to see a doctor if your senior loved one is experiencing other symptoms, including weight loss, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, itching, and fevers.

4. Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are one of the most common causes of night sweats. For a long time, seniors were not diagnosed with anxiety disorders because they did not show the psychiatric symptoms of the condition. However, doctors are learning that anxiety disorders among the elderly are more likely to manifest physical symptoms instead. Even if your elderly loved one does not seem upset, they may still be living with an anxiety problem.

If you notice your loved one has developed night sweats, schedule an appointment with his or her doctor. A medical professional may recommend any number of solutions depending on the underlying condition. He or she may even suggest Dallas, TX Home Care Assistance to monitor your loved one throughout the night. We provide flexible live-in and hourly home care that meets each client’s individual needs. Whether your loved one requires safety monitoring throughout the night or more permanent live-in assistance, our dedicated caregivers are always available to help. Schedule a no-obligation consultation over the phone when you call an experienced Care Manager at (214) 253-8784 today.

Stem Cells Can Grow You a New Heart

Since scientists discovered stem cells more than 30 years ago, their value in the field of medicine has been very promising for both medical professionals and home care agencies in Dallas. It’s true most of the advantages that come with stem cell research are merely speculation today, however, scientists have already begun doing amazing things with their research. One important breakthrough involves the growing of healthy human hearts for those awaiting necessary transplants.

Most of the studies on stem cells so far have been limited to animal testing and have found to be able to aid in the regeneration of living tissues. This is because stem cells are considered to be our body’s building blocks and are capable of adopting the functions of other types of cells. There are several different types of stem cells known today, each with their own unique abilities:

  • Embryonic stem cells
  • Adult stem cells
  • Induced pluripotent stem cells

Embryonic stem cells appear to be the most promising type of cells due to their ability to transform into any cell within the body. These stem cells are extracted from young embryos called blastocysts and can be manipulated into adopting the functions of any other cell. More importantly, they have demonstrated the ability to repair damaged tissues and even form new organs such as hearts.

Adult stem cells, when harvested from bone marrow, have the ability to become other types of cells such as cells of the heart. Recently, a team of researchers was able to create a viable beating heart in their laboratory using stem cells and a structure of a donated human heart. Although we are not able to begin transplanting these lab-grown hearts quite yet, studies of the regenerative properties and potential to grow new organs are very promising. With a little luck, transplant recipients and their Dallas caregivers will have new hope for a successful surgery.

Heart disease is a common illness among seniors that can significantly change the way they manage daily life at home. To make these tasks a little easier for your loved one, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Dallas. Our comprehensive services are designed to help seniors recover from illness and injury by offering daily medication reminders, prescription pick-ups, and motivation to eat healthy and exercise. Learn more about our Alzheimer’s, dementia, and post-stroke at-home care in Dallas when you call (214) 253-8784 to schedule a free consultation today.

Senior Relationships: Keeping the Sexual Spark

It’s important for family members and live-in caregivers in Dallas to understand that sexual contentment is an important part of happiness at any age. For seniors who are in long-term relationships, it is necessary to maintain intimacy throughout the years. Though a person’s sex life will change as they age, it is still possible to have a fulfilling physical and emotional connection to one’s partner.

Research by Dr. David Frederick, a professor of psychology at Chapman University, has provided valuable insight into what makes a long-term relationship work. The research team surveyed couples that were in long relationships to see how certain things affected sexual satisfaction. They discovered that people who reported happiness felt that sex was passionate, playful, or loving, and communication and variety were key components to accomplish this happiness.

The research team noted that couples who kept passion alive for several decades all had one thing in common. They communicated with each other about sex and made an active effort to add variety and fun to their sex life. Actions that contributed to a satisfied sex life included trying new positions, going on romantic getaways, using sex toys or lingerie, acting out fantasies, and having date nights.

Things that led to a lack of enjoyment in sex were equally revealing. People who had sex that lasted less than 30 minutes were more likely to be unsatisfied and people did not enjoy sex when they were just doing it to please their partners. Both men and women needed to feel desired in order to be satisfied.

Dr. Frederick’s study found that couples that had a good sex life felt that their emotional closeness to their partner had grown since they first started their relationship. Seniors can benefit from this emotional and physical closeness by working with their partner to have a happy sex life. By communicating their needs, taking time to show that they value each other, and trying to find variety, seniors can keep the spark alive in their relationship.

Remaining sexually active and maintaining intimacy are two important parts of enjoying the golden years. Seniors can further flourish in other aspects of their lives with help from Dallas Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of at-home care that promotes health and longevity for local seniors by helping them adopt balanced lifestyle choices such as healthy diet and regular exercise. To learn more about we can offer your loved one, call (214) 253-8784 today and schedule a complimentary consultation with a friendly Care Manager.

Can Blueberries Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease?

Chemical compounds in blueberries have been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. However, the American Chemical Society recently reported that research reveals certain chemical compounds in blueberries that may also help in the fight against Alzheimer’s. The following details explain why Dallas Alzheimer’s caregivers should supplement their loved one’s diet with this super fruit.

Blueberries contain antioxidant compounds that inhibit the effects of free radicals, which contribute to the aging process and cellular damage. The berries also contain anthocyanin flavonoids. These chemical compounds have demonstrated the ability to improve cognitive function during studies performed using laboratory animals. A team of researchers from the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center led by Dr. Robert Krikorian determined to evaluate the effects blueberries flavonoids might have on humans.

The first study involved 47 adult volunteers with a minimum age of 68. All of the participants exhibited symptoms of mild cognitive impairment and were considered to have a high risk for developing Alzheimer’s. The group was then divided in half. Half of the adults received daily doses of freeze-dried blueberry powder, which equals one cup of fresh blueberries. Meanwhile, the control group was given a placebo. After 16 weeks, the blueberry group had measurable improvement in language, concept, and memory skills. MRI studies indicated that previously affected areas of the brain also displayed increased brain activity.

A second study was conducted on 94 people aged between 62 and 80. Though the participants did not have observable cognitive difficulties, the subjects felt that their memories were declining. Researchers divided the volunteers into four separate groups who either received blueberry powder, fish oil, a combination of blueberry powder and fish oil, or a placebo. At the end of the study, individuals who received the blueberry supplement or the fish oil demonstrated slightly improved cognitive ability. Despite these developments, their memory skills were virtually unchanged.

Dr. Krikorian explained that the supplements might have greater potential in seniors exhibiting more advanced symptoms. The team plans to continue their research and report that future studies would involve volunteers in the 50 to 65 age group.

While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, there are diets, medications, and even programs that may prevent or delay it. Home Care Assistance is a reliable home care agency Dallas seniors can trust to provide premier Alzheimer’s and dementia services in the comfort and familiarity of home. Not only do our compassionate caregivers work with our clients to establish healthy eating and exercise habits, but they also help seniors with cognitive disorders exercise and sharpen mental acuity to delay dementia symptoms. Call us at (214) 253-8784 today to learn more about our services and schedule a complimentary in-home consultation with a knowledgeable Care Manager.

Why Your Loved One Should Drink Golden Milk

Golden milk is easy to make. Mix one cup of almond or coconut milk with a teaspoon of organic coconut oil and 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric paste or powder. Some recipes recommend adding varying amounts of black pepper to help mix the spice into the milk. Others suggest adding some ginger to boost anti-inflammatory properties. Warm it up and add a little honey or cinnamon to improve the flavor, as turmeric is somewhat bitter. This recipe makes a nutritious and delicious bedtime beverage Dallas hourly caregivers can easily prepare to boost their senior loved one’s health.

Relieves Bone and Joint Pain

Medical researchers have been studying the active ingredients in turmeric and have found that they significantly reduce pain and increase mobility among those with conditions such as osteoarthritis, bursitis, and other spine and joint ailments. Medicines like aspirin often cause irritation of the stomach lining, but golden milk is gentle and is known to reduce inflammation due to turmeric’s high concentration of curcumin.

Prevents and Alleviates Illnesses

Recent clinical studies suggest that turmeric is helpful in fighting cancer of the breast and colon, prostate and skin, and even the lung. Golden milk also helps to alleviate some side effects of chemotherapy. Another advantage of drinking golden milk daily is its ability to keep cholesterol from forming gallstones. It has also beneficial in treating cardiovascular disease, colds, flu, and gum disease. It may even prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s, which is why dementia caregivers in Dallas are encouraged to prepare this drink for the seniors in their care.

Boosts Healthy Digestion

Golden milk offers relief for the pain and discomfort due to indigestion, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and even ulcers. It also reduces painful symptoms of gas and bloating. Because golden milk’s key ingredient is turmeric, it also encourages healthy digestion by staving off or alleviating symptoms of acid reflux, indigestion, and GERD.

Senior health and wellbeing is top priority for the professionals at Dallas Home Care Assistance. We provide comprehensive at-home care in Dallas to help seniors adopt healthy lifestyle habits to boost longevity and wellbeing. Our friendly caregivers accomplish this by incorporating our proprietary Balanced Care Method in your loved one’s tailored care plan at no additional cost. Call us at (214) 253-8784 today to learn more about our services and schedule a complimentary in-home consultation.

Exploring the Uses for Emu Oil

Emu oil is derived from Dromaius novaehollandiae, an avian species from Australia that is somewhat similar to the ostrich. Aborigines use this animal byproduct for many purposes, many of which at-home Dallas caregivers can employ for the seniors in their care. This use has prompted the skin care industry to include emu oil as a key ingredient in many supplements and topical creams. Read on to learn more about the numerous applications of emu oil.

Emu Oil and Skin Care

Emu oil is an emollient that can work wonders on the skin of elderly people. In fact, emu oil is a main ingredient in many anti-aging creams. Similar to coconut oil, emu oil is highly recommended for those diagnosed with psoriasis at an advanced age. It breaks down the hard plaque and crust of skin cells, thereby making it easy to remove them from the skin.

The abundant fatty acids present in emu oil have additional benefits for seniors whose skin has become paper thin as the result of aging. Emu oil fortifies the skin, which means that the elderly do not have to worry about small cuts, bruises and abrasions. For seniors who are on permanent bed rest, emu oil applications can help prevent bedsores.

Emu Oil as an Anti-inflammatory

Seniors who live with arthritic conditions can also benefit from emu oil applications to their joints. Fatty acids are known to decrease the incidence of a natural substance that results in tissue inflammation, and this is something that has also been observed in both olive and fish oil. In emu oil, the heavy concentration of fatty acids has been proven to reduce inflammation by 60 percent in just a few hours for many seniors. This makes it more effective than ibuprofen. 

Additionally, emu oil is also recommended for senior citizens who suffer from chronic back pain. A simple back rub or massage using emu oil can relieve your senior loved one of stiffness or soreness brought on by inflammation of the tissue.

Seniors often have trouble managing things like skin care and pain management on their own. For help with these and other aspects of aging, turn to Home Care Assistance of Dallas. We are a leading provider of home care Dallas families trust to help seniors age in place with dignity and grace. We ensure seniors have the tools to live well-balanced lives at home while maintaining their independence. Our highly trained caregivers help with all aspects of daily life including housekeeping, running errands, and personal care. Learn more today by calling (214) 253-8784 to schedule a free in-home consultation.