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A Thank You Note to Caregivers

Caregiving is one of the most unsung roles in society, and yet at some point it seems as though most people fulfill this role. Yet individuals are often dedicated caregivers for years with little to no recognition or reward. But today we're saying THANK YOU to all of the people who carry out this thankless job. What is caregiving? Someone is a caregiver if they are giving care to another. They help out in concrete tasks - from medical needs to daily living, logistical concerns to financial management. And caregiving nearly always involves a level of emotional support as well. From caring comes courage. - Lao Tzu Those who fulfill the role of caregiver find themselves not only fulfilling the lives of those in their charge, but also by...

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5 Warning Signs in Aging Parents

Nearly one third of adults in the United States right now find themselves caring for an aging relative, and that number is expected to increase over the next several years. Family caregiving is increasingly common as medical breakthroughs and improved lifestyle allow people to live longer.  Many serious health issues are preventable with simple, early interventions. Start asking questions and seeking treatment early in order to maintain a high quality of life for your loved one. Here are 5 warning signs that you should keep an eye on. Self Care Is your parent able to care for themselves adequately? While people do slow down as they age, declining self care and care for their environment is a serious warning sign and could be symptomatic of dementia, depression, or...

Don’t Be Afraid to Talk About Shingles

Halloween might be next week, but you don't have to be afraid of shingles. This common but painful disease occurs in men and women over the age of 50. It's caused by the varicella zoster virus.  You might also hear it called herpes zoster, but it's not at all related to the herpes virus. This virus is present in people who have had the chicken pox. With new vaccinations, most children today won't ever have to worry about shingles. Unfortunately most adults today did suffer through that childhood scourge, and are now susceptible to shingles. The virus stays dormant in the blood, basically "sleeping" in the spinal chord. If you've had chicken pox, then you have a 1 in 5 chance of developing shingles. It comes...

Getting Enough Sleep

With Daylight Savings Time ending in a couple of weeks, now is a great time to think about sleep. Changing the clock has a way of wreaking havoc with sleep patterns, but that also means that it's an opportunity to change them intentionally. In this article we will discuss getting enough sleep for seniors. How much do seniors need and when should they get it? This is a question that home health is often asked. And while people often think that seniors need less sleep, the truth is that they really just need different sleep. Adults require the same amount of sleep from their 20's into their senior years. That's a shock to most people, as a common myth is that older individuals need less sleep. Individuals...

Clear Sight – Ensuring that Vision is at its Best

The human eye is an amazingly wonderful creation. It's the primary way in which most people interact with the world. But as people get older, they can find that their sight isn't so clear - and that's a cause for concern. Lack of good vision is about more than seeing a sunrise - rather poor vision compromises the quality of everyday life and can shortchange an individual's ability to live independently. There are two main components to the human eye - protein and water. As we age, the proteins in the lens of the eye can begin to build up, causing cloudiness that keeps light from entering and making its way toward the optic nerve, allowing vision to occur. When this happens it's called a cataract....

Top 4 Health Concerns for Women Seniors

It's natural for families to think about the well-being and health concerns for women seniors. We want to do everything possible to create positive health outcomes for our loved ones. Baby boomers and seniors have lots of common health problems that affect both men and women. However the way that diseases affect women can be different that the standard ways that you find in the literature. In order to safeguard the health of women, it's important to be aware of how illnesses manifest in women's bodies. Home health care workers can help you recognize and be vigilant about the symptoms of serious illnesses. Here we're going to talk about top 4 health concerns for women seniors as they age, and some of them might surprise you. Depression The National...

Help for Underweight Seniors

Weight loss and the health challenges that go along with it can be a serious issue for seniors. There's not just one reason that seniors struggle with being underweight - it can be anything from a medication, to a reduced ability to prepare food, to a physical challenge like mouth sores or trouble chewing. Once you find out what the reason is, there's usually something that you can do about it. First, consult your loved one's doctor in order to help discover what's going on. You might well learn some great ways to make dietary changes and may in fact be referred to a dietician for further help. Underweight seniors are using more calories than they're eating. This is a dangerous combination and can lead to...

Preventing Crisis

Unfortunately, crises are something that many people must face at some point in their lives. That's not easy, especially when it's an aging parent who is facing the crisis and adult children who must help them through it. Those times can force caregivers to go into a crisis themselves due to the weight of responsibility that they must face. Often seniors aren't able or willing to communicate their needs effectively, which can contribute tremendously to a crisis situation. There's a physical reaction when a caregiver comes to the realization that a serious situation is going on - that sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach that tells you that something's not right. While the person being cared for may say that "everything's fine" or "I'm...

8 Vaccines for Seniors to Consider

Vaccines are an important part of keeping our bodies healthy, and not only during cold and flu season. Today's vaccines are incredibly safe, with a low incidence of side effects and high rates warding off disease. You may not realize that many of the vaccines that are essential for children are also beneficial for seniors. And vaccines can lose their potency after a period of time, so remember that boosters are essential to protecting immunity. The US Centers for Disease Control offers a list of recommended vaccines for adults over 50. In fact, this list was updated just this year. Here are the 8 vaccines for seniors to consider.    The Flu (Influenza) — Every person who is more than a half year old needs to get this shot every year. Did...