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How To Help Your Senior Parent Find The Right Medical Care

When you start taking care of a senior parent that is aging in place, one thing that you may need to help them do is find appropriate medical care in their area. Finding good medical care can be overwhelming, especially for seniors. Navigating the maze of what providers are in the insurance network but also provides the care that your senior parent needs can be confusing. Beyond medical care, hiring senior home care to offer non-medical support is crucial to your parent living safely and comfortably at home.

When it comes to finding the right medical care for your senior parent, these tips should help you make sure that your loved one is getting the care they need:

Look For A Geriatrician

Seniors should have a primary care doctor that is a geriatrician. A doctor that specializes in medical care for seniors is the best person to provide referrals and other healthcare that seniors need. They also are the best doctors to perform routine exams and screenings.

Compile Your Senior Parent’s Medical Records

Create a comprehensive medical history for your senior parent. Include information about current medications, past surgeries, allergies, and any chronic conditions. Having this information easily available can streamline communication with healthcare providers. Keep a digital copy and also keep several hard copies that can be given to doctors or medical providers.

Check Their Insurance Coverage And Network

Verify your parent’s insurance coverage and understand the details of their plan. This includes knowing the network of providers covered, copays, deductibles, and any pre-authorization requirements. This information will guide your choices in selecting healthcare providers.

Schedule Regular Check-ups

Your senior parent is going to need yearly checkups for general health as well as things like vision and hearing screenings, cancer screenings, and other routine appointments. Schedule those now because getting those appointments can be difficult and the wait times can be long.

Request Referrals, Then Follow Up

If your senior parent has medical conditions that require specialty care put in the request for referrals with their primary care doctor or the insurance company, then follow up after a week or so to make sure the referrals come through. You will need to referral to schedule any kind of specialty care for your senior parent.

Research Healthcare Facilities In The Area

In case of an emergency, you must know where your senior parent wants to be treated. Sit down with them and research local facilities that are in-network for their insurance. Make sure it’s written down in their health plan notes what emergency room they want to be taken to if there is a need for emergency care. Also make note of what hospital they prefer. It’s also a good idea to write this information on a sheet of paper and post it on the fridge, next to the phone, or in some other central place in case the senior home care provider needs it someday.

If you or an aging loved one is considering senior home care in Phoenix, AZ, please call the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Scottsdale at (480) 284-7360. We are here to help!

How to Support Your Loved One When She Quits Smoking

November 16 is the Great American Smokeout Day. Sponsored by the American Cancer Society, this day serves as a possible starting point for those who wish to kick the habit of smoking tobacco and begin a smoke-free life.

If you are providing care for a loved one who is a long-term smoker, you have seen the toll that smoking can take on her. From health issues to financial issues to cleanliness issues, smoking permeates every aspect of a person’s life, and not for the better. Most long-term smokers have tried quitting multiple times and find themselves getting frustrated over trying again, but along with that, most quitters found it took multiple attempts. This year may be the year your loved one quits successfully and completely.

As their loved one and caregiver, you can support them along this journey. You should also enlist others to be a part of their “cheer team,” such as other family members, friends, neighbors, and senior home care providers. All can rally alongside your loved one as she attempts to break free of the bonds of smoking.

But what can you specifically do? Here are five ways you can support your loved one as she begins her Great American Smokeout.

  • Ask her what she’d like as you support her. Does she want you to check in multiple times a day? Or would she prefer you don’t constantly ask about it? Follow her lead to support her.
  • Be ready to be ready. Your loved one may say she doesn’t want to check in much, but then calls you or texts you multiple times during those first few days for support. Be willing to be flexible, especially at the beginning. Talk to her senior care provider about providing additional support during that time to help over the first hump.
  • Ask about more than just smoking. When you check-in, don’t make it all about the smoking. Ask about how her body is feeling. How is she emotionally getting by? What new things did she discover today since she’s not smoking (maybe she went on a new walk with her senior home care provider or tried a new recipe to distract herself)? Try to keep it upbeat and positive.
  • Resist the urge to nag or shame. Even if she slips up, remind her about how proud you are that she’s trying and that you are there for her no matter how it goes.
  • Offer more outings. Distraction is a big part of quitting. Your loved one needs her mind on something other than smoking, so plan more outings to keep her occupied. Ask her senior care provider to also help her find ways to get out of the home and her mind off of the nicotine.

Quitting is a journey, and often a long one that may not be a very straight or smooth path. It’ll have a lot of bumps and turns, but your loved one will have more success navigating it if she has your support.

Reference
https://www.cancer.org/cancer/risk-prevention/tobacco/great-american-smokeout.html

If you or an aging loved one is considering senior home care in Mesa. AZ, please call the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Scottsdale at (480) 284-7360. We are here to help!

Has Your Dad Talked About Aging in Place?

Aging in place is choosing to remain living at home in the twilight years of life. It’s what your dad wants, and you want to ensure he’s able to. Before he can, he needs to take a few measures to make sure he’s able to safely age in his current home. Here are a few important steps to take, and how elder care can help ensure he remains safe at home.

Heighten Safety Around His Home

Take measures to improve safety around your dad’s home. Add grab bars around his toilet and inside and outside of his shower. If he needs help keeping his balance, the grab bars are there. Non-slip bath mats and shower seats may also be useful.

In his living room and main living areas, make sure furniture is arranged in such a way that your dad has plenty of room to walk without tripping over things or stubbing his toe. Check that there are no loose or uneven hardwood boards, torn carpeting, or electrical cords that are in the way. If there are decorative rugs, remove them or make sure they have rubberized backing.

Where is his bedroom? If it’s upstairs, is he steady on the stairs or does he have a hard time getting up and down the stairs safely? Would a stairlift help or could you move his bedroom to the main floor?

How Is His Health?

Does your dad have health issues? Heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol may have him taking prescription medications every day. If he forgets to take his medications, is anyone available to remind him?

If your dad has several medical appointments or therapy sessions throughout the month, is he able to drive himself? If not, who brings him? Would it help to have a caregiver available for transportation?

Is he supposed to exercise every day? Does he like to walk by himself or does he avoid it and skip the recommended exercise his doctor wants him to do? If he’d be more likely to take a daily walk if someone else joined him, make sure there is someone with him for his daily walks.

Plan and Cook Meals

If your dad is tempted to eat canned soup, ramen cups, frozen pizza, and other heat-and-eat meals, try to get him to focus on home-cooked meals. A ramen cup may be easy to prepare and taste good, but it contains over 1,100 mg of sodium. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 1,500 mg per day.

Instead, focus on meals that contain lean protein, whole grains, and fresh produce. Dairy is good for calcium and vitamin D. Keeping salt to a minimum is ideal, and easy to do when you cook from scratch and use herbs and spices instead.

Book Elder Care Services

Support your dad’s goal of aging in place by arranging elder care. He’ll have caregivers with him to cook meals, clean his home, and do the laundry. Your dad will have a driver when he needs to run errands, and company when he’s going for walks or shopping. Learn more about elder care by talking to an advisor.

If you or an aging loved one is considering elder care in Mesa, AZ, please call the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Scottsdale at (480) 284-7360. We are here to help!

World Listening Day: Take Your Mom Outside for a Day in Nature

July 18th was established by the World Listening Project as a day to head outside and sit and listen to the soothing sounds of nature. It’s a good day for family caregivers to get outside, unwind, and listen to what’s out there.

A Yale report looked at more than 1,000 studies of “Nature Deficit Disorder,” and found that nature has a powerful restorative benefit. When people feel safe when they’re out in nature, it can lower their blood pressure, lower the stress hormones flowing throughout their body, reduce stress, improve their immune system response, and boost their mood.

As a family caregiver, you likely experience a lot of stress as you become a parent to your parent. Take a day off and go outside with your mom. Whether you go to a local park or sit in the backyard, stop and listen to the birds, listen to the water in a nearby stream or river or as it laps the lakeshore or coastline, and enjoy being outside in nature for a change.

Forget about your chores for the day. Focus on the important ones like making sure your mom has food and water and takes her medications on time. Things like vacuuming, dusting, and laundry can wait a day. It won’t hurt anything if you have a relaxed day out for a change.

Use Apps for Identifying Bird and Animal Sounds

You’d be surprised by how many bird sounds you can probably identify already. But, there are apps you can find online that allow you to record a snippet of a bird’s song or animal’s cry. Submit them to the app and it will tell you what you’re hearing.

Cornell Labs’ Ask Merlin is a highly-rated app for identifying bird calls. It’s a good place to start. If you’re looking to identify animal sounds, iNaturalist is one of the best options.

Apps Can Identify Animals by Picture, Too

One of the neatest features of Google Photos is that you can take your photo and have Google Lens identify it. Take a photo of a bird you see flitting in the trees, and Google Lens will tell you what it is.

Experience the Benefits of Companion Care at Home

When you’re not with your mom, is she alone? Does she often experience loneliness? Companion care at home services is an excellent solution. Instead of being alone all day, every day, a caregiver stops by to keep her company.

Your mom’s caregiver is there to help her with housework, cook and share meals, and take her shopping. If your mom has an appointment and hates going alone, her companion can accompany her. Learn more about companion care at home by calling a specialist with your list of questions.

Sources:
https://e360.yale.edu/features/ecopsychology-how-immersion-in-nature-benefits-your-health

If you or an aging loved one is considering companion care at home in Apache Junction, AZ, please call the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Scottsdale at (480) 284-7360. We are here to help!

How Companion Care at Home Makes Shopping And Errands Fun For Seniors

When it comes to grocery shopping and running errands, most people will say they consider them a chore rather than a treat. This is probably true for many seniors, especially if they no longer drive, have difficulty walking or struggle to stay motivated alone. This is where companion care at home can step in and provide the companionship and physical and mental support a senior needs to get their errands done. They can even make it fun! If your senior parent is needing both companionship and a helping hand, here are some of the ways companion care at home can help:

Making Getting There Half The Fun

Seniors who don’t drive anymore often hate running errands because it’s a reminder that they can’t drive themselves anymore. They may feel like a burden or even put off doing errands they need to do because they don’t want to ask for help or rides. But with companion care at home seniors have a dedicated driver who will make getting around half the fun of the trip. Listening to music or podcasts, chatting, and enjoying the drive will make errands a lot more fun for seniors.

Taking The Heavy Lifting Out Of Shopping

Part of the reason why shopping is difficult for seniors is that it can be tough for seniors physically to lift items, put them in a cart, unload them onto the checkout, and lift heavy bags out of the cart into the car. Seniors who are shopping with companions have someone they can depend on to do the heavy lifting for them. That way seniors can enjoy shopping without having the physical challenge of shopping. And a companion can also help seniors with things like figuring out their budget and keeping track of their money.

Encouraging Coffee Breaks And Snacks

Coffee and snack breaks are the best part of any errands trip. A caregiver will encourage your senior loved one to take regular breaks to get something to drink and a delicious snack to keep their blood sugar up. This is a great way for seniors to get the social engagement they need to help fight depression and anxiety. And seniors who tend to not eat enough could definitely use a few snack breaks for treats like cookies or even a delicious restaurant lunch.

Helping Seniors Put Everything Away After The Errands Are Done

Seniors are often exhausted at the end of an errands trip, especially if they had appointments like hair cut or nail appointments too. With companion care at home, seniors can go rest after the exertions of the day while their companion puts away their purchases, cleans up bags and receipts and clutter, and makes a hot cup of tea and a snack that they can enjoy while talking about everything they did on that errands trip. Your senior loved one will thrive when they have companion care at home to help with things like shopping or errands.

If you or an aging loved one is considering companion care at home in Fountain Hills, AZ, please call the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Scottsdale at (480) 284-7360. We are here to help!

Incorporating Activities and Hobbies into Companion Care at Home

As your elderly family member’s health and other variables change, she may not necessarily need a lot of help, but she may need companionship. One way to help your senior to have the social connection that she needs is to bring in companion care at home. These caregivers are able to spend time with your senior while she simultaneously enjoys hobbies and activities, which can greatly enhance her experience.

Finding the Right Activities

Has your senior avoided hobbies and activities for a while? Lots of seniors do, for a variety of different reasons. If part of the problem is that your elderly family member needs someone else there because the hobby or activity requires another person, then companion care at home is a perfect answer. It’s also important when considering activities that they fit into what your elderly family member is currently willing and able to try.

Making Activities Easier for Your Senior

Caregivers offering companionship to your senior can do a lot to help make these hobbies and activities easier for your senior. They might help with setting up, for instance, or with cleanup afterward. If there are other challenges your senior faces while she’s engaging in these activities, there is someone there with her who can help out. Depending on the types of activities, they may just be there to offer a watchful presence so that you know your senior is safe. Whatever else they can do to make your senior’s life easier at the same time is a bonus.

Establishing Routines that Support Your Senior’s Needs

Having companion care at home visiting with your senior can quickly become a routine for her. Routines are incredibly important for aging adults for a variety of different reasons. Reminders that keep your senior on schedule with things like eating at regular times can also be a part of these visits. That helps your elderly family member’s day to have the structure necessary to help her to stay healthy and happy. When your elderly family member doesn’t have solid routines, she might not be meeting all of her goals for her life. Missing some of those goals can quickly lead to her needing to look at other options, like leaving her home, and that might be something she really doesn’t want to do.

Offering Companionship Along with Gentle Help

Above all, companion care at home is about someone spending time with your senior. They can offer gentle help, of course, but if your senior needs assistance with household tasks, home care providers can tackle that bigger group of tasks for her. Caregivers offer your elderly family member gentle assistance and companionship, both of which keep her living her life on her own terms.

Incorporating activities and hobbies into companion care at home for seniors can help ensure that seniors are able to stay active and enjoy hobbies in the comfort of their own homes. Aging in place and having the emotional and practical support to do so is essential for your senior’s long-term wellness. Companion care at home can be a huge part of the plan that covers all of her needs.

If you or an aging loved one is considering companion care at home in Queens Creek, AZ, please call the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Scottsdale at (480) 284-7360. We are here to help!

Great New Year’s Resolutions for Seniors

No matter a person’s age, New Year’s Eve is a great time to evaluate how the last year went and then to decide if there are things that could be done differently in the upcoming year. Your aging loved one may be wondering if there are areas in her life that she could make resolutions regarding. It doesn’t matter how old she is, she can also strive to have a better year going forward. That’s what gives a person hope and purpose.

Here are some simple ideas to get the creative juices flowing for new year’s resolutions.

Health

Health encompasses a large number of different factors but as your loved one looks back at 2022 and looks forward to 2023, what areas would she like to feel more healthy about and what kind of choices can she make to arrive there?

If eating right is her goal, then it has to start before she’s hungry. Poor eating choices often happen because of fatigue and the need to immediately satiate hunger pangs. Having a home care provider come into the home and prepare healthy meals, or even prep healthy snacks, can be one way to help your loved one eat better in 2023. Home care can make sure there is a fresh pitcher of water in the fridge for drinking and some veggies that are cleaned and prepped for snacking. They can also help by prepping healthy meals that your loved one can easily reheat for a meal instead of a frozen pizza.

If getting more physical activity is your loved one’s goal for 2023, start small with plans to increase activity routinely. Even adding a simple 15-minute walk around the block twice a day can be a great way to begin. Being more active has so many health benefits, that once your loved one starts, she won’t want to stop.

Social

One way to have a great 2023 and have things to look forward to is to increase your loved one’s social circle. Elderly people are often lonely as they have seen many of their loved ones leave or pass away. They can have a hard time creating new connections. A home care provider that comes into the home for a weekly game of chess could be one way to increase the socializing your loved one does. Or she could look at joining a local club or organization that is focused on something she loves.

Money Management

Your loved one may have discovered that she struggles with money management. 2023 may be a great time to hire a financial planner or even have a trusted family member review her finances, bills, and incoming income. She may be paying for things she no longer needs or there may be ways to consolidate some debts. It can always be helpful to have a second pair of eyes review her financial situation.

No matter what your loved one chooses, help her to stay committed to her resolution throughout the year by offering gentle and gracious accountability. Small changes can make a big difference in the quality of life.

Source
https://ncoa.org/article/the-life-changing-benefits-of-exercise-after-60

If you or an aging loved one is considering home care in Paradise Valley, AZ, please call the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Scottsdale at (480) 284-7360. We are here to help!