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Caring for An Alzheimer’s Patient: The Ideal Approach

According to recent reports from the Alzheimer’s Association, more than five million americans are living with Alzheimer’s and the number can cross the 50 million mark by 2050. In fact, someone in the US develops the disorder every 66 seconds, which is a grave concern. Since the disorder causes a cognitive decline, leading a normal life becomes difficult for patients, which also impacts their families. Though medical research to find a cure for the disorder is still underway, it doesn’t mean Alzheimer’s patients should suffer the consequences of undeserved forgetfulness. As a person who is directly responsible for caring for an Alzheimer’s patient, the road can be challenging. To lend you some help, the blog post discusses the right approach and best treatment options for Alzheimer’s patient. Take a look.

Create a Safe and Congenial Environment

Caring for an Alzheimer’s patient can be quite challenging as they go through several behavioral changes. A patient can be calm and composed one moment and get frustrated in a split second. Either ways, they deserve proper care to make sure that the disorder doesn’t take a toll on their routine life. For that to happen, you need to minimize memory demanding tasks in their routine as that’s pretty much the only way to make life easier for them. To help an Alzheimer’s patient avoid stressing their brain, you can try a few things such as:

  • Keeping keys, wallets, mobile phones and other belongings in a designated place everyday to make sure the patient doesn’t struggle finding them.
  • Prepare a to-do list and keep it near the pillow or bed for the patient to check first thing in the morning
  • Never let them go outside the home alone or stay isolated
  • Install handrails on stairways and bathrooms
  • Reduce the number of mirrors as patients may find the images intimidating
  • Keep old photographs around to help the patient stay on track

Take Care of Nutritional Needs

Alzheimer’s is a disease that impacts the patient’s cognitive or thinking ability; therefore, they may either lose interest in eating or forget to eat at all. On top of that, they may also forget to drink enough water due to skewed brain signals, often leading to constipation and dehydration. Alzheimer’s shouldn’t become the reason for nutritional deficiency and therefore, you need to make sure that their nutritional requirements are met and there is no further decline in their cognitive abilities. To do that, offer them:

  • Healthy shakes and smoothies that are also delicious
  • A low-fat diet that includes plenty of green veggies and fruits
  • Brain boosting foods such as walnut, blueberries, dandelion greens, and olive oil

Reduce Frustrations

Bouts of frustration and mood swings are quite common after a person is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The reason is that tasks that used to be a breeze are no longer doable due to a dramatic decrease in the ability to remember facts and events. Activities such as taking daily walks and having light exercises can help in improving patient’s mood, regulating blood pressure, and is also effective in preventing worsening cognitive decline. In addition, try to spend as much quality time with them as possible to make sure they don’t feel isolated. Suggest soulful music and keep them socially active as a reassurance that life can still be enjoyable even with Alzheimer’s disease.

The Bottom Line

People suffering from Alzheimer’s disease experience several emotions, such as confusion, anger, frustration, uncertainty, grief, and depression. The only way to manage the situation is through exercising compassion as patients start considering life to be a burden, preventing them from enjoying it to the fullest. Alzheimer’s patients often require round-the-clock support to assist them with activities, which is rather difficult, given other commitments in your life. If you are searching for compassionate caregivers to assist your loved ones grappling with Alzheimer’s, Home Care Assistance in Dallas can help. To get answers to your questions about our Alzheimer’s Care Services, fill out our contact form. You can also call us at (214) 253-8784.

Celebrate Your Family History and Good Health!

During all sorts of get-togethers, family members tell countless stories with important lessons sprinkled throughout. In fact, the act of storytelling has been passed down from person to person for centuries. Overall, telling these tales of personal history allows modern generations of people to learn about their ancestors, if even for the first time. In order to prevent history from repeating itself, listening to the stories of our elders can establish a healthy foundation for our future.

Family interviewing tips

  1. Set clear expectations: The best way to approach your loved one about sharing their story is to tell them how you value their experience. Explain that you would love to capture these memories for your children (and their children) to learn from. Explain to them that by sharing their past, they would be providing a wonderful gift to the rest of the family and future generations.
  2. Prepare questions to ask: Like any great journalist or interviewer, draft up a list of specific questions you want answered. Start with all the relevant questions that pop into your head and narrow them down from there. Most importantly, use the questions as a general guideline to keep your interview on track. This will result in a great and free-flowing discussion about your loved one’s past and your family’s rich history.
  3. Create a stress-free environment: The more calm and familiar your loved one feels while speaking, the more likely they are to open up to you and give you a open interview. In order to maximize comfort, conduct your interviews in a peaceful, distraction-free environment. A quiet, well-lit room is best for recording.

Celebrate your history with Moon Day in Dallas

Taking your family to local museum events is another way to spark interest in your personal history. The Frontiers of Flight Museum will host the biggest annual space exposition in Texas to celebrate Moon Day 2016 on July 16 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event will celebrate the 47th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11, the NASA mission that led to the first human footsteps on the Moon.

Join a LIVE TALK to the International Space Station at 10:30 am. Moon Day features numerous educational presentations by subject area experts in our “Moon Academy” for young students and our “Lunar University” for college level and above. DISD Educators can receive Continuing Education Credits for attendance at Lunar University classes.

Event details:

  • Saturday, July 16, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • 6911 Lemmon Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75209

How to Successfully Recover from Your Next Hospital Visit

One of the leading causes of hospital readmissions is the lack of adequate support and recovery following a hospital discharge. To help make a patient’s transition home smooth and successful, Home Care Assistance is committed to educating seniors about post-hospitalization care and helping them recover successfully through our Hospital to Home Care program, a comprehensive set of resources for families managing the sometimes difficult transition home after hospitalization.

The first 72 hours home are critical for post-hospitalization patients. Patients are fatigued and family members are often confused and helpless. In addition to a comprehensive discharge plan, a caregiver can help manage the transition home and help you on the path towards a successful recovery.

The 6 steps to a successful recovery

Remember that recovery is a gradual process and can take anywhere from a few weeks to months. Below are 6 steps to a successful recovery:

  1. Dependence: When you first arrive home, your primary goal should be to rest and recover. A caregiver can support your recovery by handling household tasks such as meal preparation, running errands and relieving unnecessary stress so that you can focus on recommended therapy activities, diet and relaxation.
  2. Mild independence: As you start to gain strength, identify tasks that you can now manage independently, such as eating or walking down the stairs, and slowly wean yourself off of care in those areas.
  3. Supervised independence: As you continue gaining strength, your caregiver’s primary role will be supervision rather than direct physical assistance. Try to perform activities of daily living (ADLs) – such as bathing, eating, walking – independently.
  4. Supported independence: Once comfortable with ADLs, try incorporating chores or errands into your routine, such as a trip to the grocery store accompanied by your caregiver or preparing a meal together.
  5. Semi-supported independence: Try taking a hold of day-to-day tasks and resume your pre-hospitalization routine. Although your caregiver is there to help, try not to take advantage of that assistance unless you really need it.
  6. Full independence: When you feel that you can safely return to your regular activities without your caregiver’s support, you may consider reducing care. Remember that full independence is a long-term goal and should not be prioritized over safety.

Recover via a health restoration seminar with Dallas Pastor Mychael John

Come and learn how to address common and major health problems through holistic methods from a biblical perspective. We will discuss how to recover from cancer, diabetes, highblood pressure and other common ailments using vitamins, minerals amino acids and herbs. Pastor Mychael has been teaching how to use vitamins and herbs for health restoration for nearly thirty years.

Event details:

  • Saturday, July 9, 2016 at 5:00 p.m.
  • 326 South Kirby Street Garland, Texas 75042

The Shocking Effect of Diabetes on Brain Health

Worldwide, 387 million people are living with diabetes with numbers expected to increase to 592 million in the next twenty years. If left unmanaged, diabetes can have serious effects on the heart, kidneys, nerves and teeth and puts the individual at an increased risk of stroke and dementia. Now, a new study has found further evidence of diabetes’ impact on brain health by reducing blood flow to the brain and causing cognitive decline in older adults.

Vera Novak, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and her colleagues studied sixty-five participants, aged 57 to 75 years old, for two years – about half of the participants had type 2 diabetes. MRI scans and blood tests monitored inflammation and blood flow in the brain and tests evaluated cognitive functioning of the participants over the two-year span.

The research group found that participants with diabetes had greater declines in gray matter volume and rates of blood flow to the brain. The diabetic group also performed worse than the non-diabetic group on cognitive tests assessing their daily living functions and executive function, or higher-level thinking that includes reasoning, problem solving, judgment and cognitive flexibility.

The researchers also found that diabetic participants who were on medication and took control of their blood sugars saw the same effect as those who did not, raising concern for the effectiveness for current treatments. Novak and colleagues are now looking into medications that work to improve blood vessel activity in diabetics and prevent future cognitive decline.

Boost brain health with “Mindshare” in Dallas

For the senior community of Dallas, Texas, finding local resources to boost brain health can have lasting effects. One upcoming opportunity is the “Mindshare: Brain Smart University” event on June 25. Visit the Friendship West Baptist Church, get memory tips and research updates from healthcare experts like Dr. Mary Quiceno, Core Leader of Alzheimer’s Disease Center at UT Southwestern. Seating is limited. Call 1-800-272-3900 to register or sign up online at alz.org/greaterdallas.

Event details:

  • June 25, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • 2020 West Wheatland Road, Dallas, Texas , Dallas, TX 75232

Recent MIT Research Shows that Brain Functions Improve with Age

The myth that aging means inevitable cognitive decline is a common misconception. As a part of our mission to change the way the world ages, Home Care Assistance of Dallas hopes to dispel these myths around aging and focus on the positive side of growing old. Another proponent of positive aging, Sandra Chapman, Ph.D., Founder and Chief Director at the Center for BrainHealth, casts light on one of the benefits of aging with her article, “The Potential of the Aging Mind”, which highlights research on how some brain functions actually improve with age.

Research led by Joshua Hartshorne from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology took a unique approach by looking at what brain functions make up intelligence as opposed to viewing intelligence as a single measure. The study examined specific mental functions and found the age at which each function peaked. For instance, they found that memorizing facts such as names, dates and places peaked in fifteen to eighteen year olds, whereas working memory, or the ability to retain new information and use it at a given time, peaked in individuals in their mid-20’s. Out of the need for more experience, emotional intelligence and vocabulary don’t peak until decades later.

With age comes resilience at Dallas’s OEM

With age comes a diversity of knowledge and experiences that explain the popularity of the adage, “old and wise”. Furthermore, the senior citizens of Dallas can apply their wisdom at local events in their area. The city’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has launched a new Disaster Resilient Citizens Program. This 90 minute workshop offers participants information about the key elements of emergency preparedness and engages neighborhood leaders and citizens in a series of activities and discussions on what it means to be prepared for emergencies, how to create disaster resilient neighborhoods, and how to help their families and neighbors recover. If you are interested in hearing more about this topic, please call the District 12 council office at 214-670-4067.

Event details:

  • Thursday, June 16, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • 3810 Timberglen Rd, Dallas, TX 75287

How Can Dallas Innovations Help Improve Heart Health?

Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death worldwide even though most cases are preventable. To help our local Dallas community, Home Care Assistance is sharing the latest study on how positive text messages can encourage heart-healthy choices as well as some tips to kick-start your own heart-healthy regimen.

The study, published in JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association), explored the benefits of positive mobile notifications, such as text messages, and their effect on lifestyle modifications for disease prevention. The Tobacco, Exercise and Diet Messages trial included 710 participants with coronary heart disease who were, on average, 58-years-old. All participants received regular care while only half were in the interventionist program and received four text messages a week for six months.

The research team looked at low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels, known as the ‘bad cholesterol’, as well as systolic blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), physical activity and smoking status. After six months, the team found that LDL-C levels were lower in the intervention group that had received the text messages. This group also had lowered systolic blood pressure and BMI, improved physical activity levels and a significant reduction in smoking levels. Participants in the intervention text message program said the messages were useful, easy to understand and appropriate in frequency.

The Pulse innovation breakfast series in Dallas

Our Dallas, TX home caregivers make a dedicated effort to support research and innovation. For example, The Pulse is a local innovation breakfast series connects entrepreneurs, medical professionals, and innovators from the DFW healthcare and business communities. It puts you at the forefront of healthcare innovation with networking and insight into the latest healthcare startups. On Thursday, June 9 at 7:30 a.m., visit the Health Wildcatters’ HQ and see featured speaker Justin Smith, M.D., the director for Primary Care Innovation at Cook Children’s Health Care System.

Event details:

  • June 9, 2016 at 7:30 a.m.
  • 211 N Ervay St, Dallas, Texas 75201

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.

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.

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.