Boost Senior Home Safety With These Tips

Seniors are at greater risk of safety issues as they get older, especially if they are living alone. Fortunately, there are ways to evaluate the risks, and to minimize them so that seniors and their loved ones can rest easier. Here are some home safety tips for seniors:

Lights, etc.

  • Are there working night lights in appropriate places in the home?
  • Are extension cords and rugs securely fastened and away from the line of traffic?
    Does the senior have access to a phone or other type of emergency call system in every room?
  • Are all cooling and heating methods functioning properly? Space heaters should be kept away from flammable items.

Medications & Health

  • Do they have access to their dentist and doctors? Are they keeping up on appointments?
  • Are their glasses and/or hearing aids in good working condition?
  • Have they created a medication/supplement/OTC medications list?
  • Has there been any significant weight gain or loss recently?
  • Are they showing signs that their eyesight is worsening?

Bathroom

  • Are they able to get into and out of the bath or shower safely?
  • Can they use the toilet independently?
  • Is the bathtub fitted with no-skid strips or a mat?
  • How clean is the bathroom?
  • Are there grab bars to help keep them from falling?

General Mobility

  • Are there any signs that they may have fallen recently – like bruises or scratches?
  • If they still have a license, are they still able to drive safely? (Accompanying them on a trip will help determine this).
  • Can they manage up and down the stairs safely?
  • If they need help with walking – such as with a cane or walker, is it in good working condition?
  • Can they safely get themselves out of bed?

Cognition

  • Can they hold an understandable and coherent conversation?
  • Are there signs of memory loss?
  • Are they able to recognize friends and family?
  • Have there been any episodes of them getting lost?

Always Best Care has been providing exceptional care giving services to seniors all over the United States and Canada since 1996. During that time, their compassionate caregivers have logged over three million hours assisting over 25,000 seniors. Folks living in the Raleigh area, who are interested in Apex home health care and home care services in Clayton, are invited to call the Always Best Care Raleigh location at 919-724-4297 to set up a free care consultation. They look forward to hearing from you!

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Seniors: Put Money Back Into Your Wallet! How You Can Save $$ Today

Saving money is always smart. In today’s world, money seems to fly out the window as quickly as it comes in, and being able to afford what you really want, and have money for the things you really want to do is incredibly important. Sometimes, we take things for granted the way they are, and forget that we do have the power to change them. Read on to see how you can start saving money today!

  • Pay less to watch the shows you really want to watch. How? By getting rid of cable and satellite television. Yes, they offer hundreds of channels, but how many of them do you really watch? The average user spends over $1,000 every year on cable or satellite. What else could you spend a $1,000 on? So what can you put in its place? Try Hulu Plus, Amazon, or Netflix. These services are dirt cheap and offer hundreds of movies and television shows. They either stream through your internet or DVDs are delivered to your doorstep. You can also watch all of these available shows on your laptop or computer if you so desire!
  • Start taking control of what you watch on television and stop leaving it up to the networks. You have choices beyond cable, satellite, and even Netflix! Every town has a library and many libraries have a DVD selection. Now you can watch all of the movies you’ve always wanted to watch instead of mindlessly surfing through channels.
  • Continue to be able to watch your local television channels with an amplified antenna – an HDTV antenna costs between $15 and $50 but if you choose none of the above options, you’ll still be able to get 15-30 stations on your digital TV. Definitely a cost savings from cable or satellite TV!

Always Best Care has been in the industry of senior care giving for the past 20 years. Since 1996, they have assisted over 25,000 seniors maintain their independence and improve their quality of life. If you live in the Raleigh area and are interested in learning about Apex Home Care or want to get referrals for assisted living in Raleigh NC, call the Always Best Care Raleigh location today at (919) 724-4297 for a free consultation. They look forward to hearing from you!

Seniors: Get Your High-Dose Flu Shot & Stay Healthy

Influenza is serious regardless of the age of the patient, however, it is most serious in infants and seniors (people over age 65). This is due to immunity declining as we age, which enables seniors to contract the flu more easily than other adults, and also makes them more susceptible to asthma, pneumonia and bronchitis. The CDC estimates that 90% of all flu-related deaths occur in people over the age of 65. This statistic alone should prompt seniors to get their annual flu shot.

Seniors have the option to get a regular flu shot, or the high-dose vaccine. Fluzone, the vaccine designed specifically for people over 65, has a high dosage of the vaccine because sometimes the regular flu shot has been shown to be less effective in seniors. Regardless of which you choose it’s important to get vaccinated for the flu either way.

The High Dose Vaccine

Created specifically for seniors, this vaccine contains four times the antigen as the regular flu shot. Research has shown that seniors who receive the high dose vaccine had 24% fewer flu infections than those that received the regular flu shot. This version of the flu shot has been approved for use in the United States since 2009.

Other Tips to Stay Healthy

  • Frequently clean surfaces that receive a lot of hand-touching including keyboards, desks, phones, counters, doorknobs, light switches, etc.
  • Be proactive for your own good health including getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of fluids, eating nutritiously and managing your stress.
  • Try to avoid coming into contact with people who are sick.
  • Frequently wash your hands with hot, soapy water.

Seek Medical Treatment Immediately if Symptoms Appear

Symptoms of the flu in seniors include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Pain/pressure in the chest or abdomen

For seniors who are especially at risk of developing severe complications due to the flu, antiviral drugs may be prescribed.

Always Best Care has been providing compassionate in-home care giving services to seniors for the past 20 years. If you live in the Raleigh area and are interested in finding out more information about senior living in Raleigh, or Raleigh assisted living communities, please call the Always Best Care Raleigh location at 919-724-4297 to set up a free care consultation. They look forward to hear from you!

Don’t Be Fooled by These Food Substitutes

Most of us want to be healthier because we know it will lead to increased immunity, less risk of disease (lowered inflammation), and ultimately an increase in overall quality of life. So, we switch out certain foods for other foods, in the hopes that we are reducing calories, reducing trans-fat intake, and being healthier. However, most foods that we think to swap in for bad ones are just as unhealthy as the original foods. Here is a short list:

  • Swapping Out: Potato Chips/ Swapping In: Pretzels. It might seem like pretzels are the healthier choice because they aren’t fried in oil like chips, however, calorically they are nearly exactly the same. A better swap? Stove popped popcorn – but don’t drench it in melted butter and handfuls of salt!
  • Swapping Out: Dark Chocolate/ Swapping In: Fat-free Candy. Don’t be fooled by the “fat free” label – just because something doesn’t have fat, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have calories. A small bit of dark chocolate will satisfy most sweet-tooth cravings, and also offers a number of proven health benefits.
  • Swapping Out: Soda/ Swapping In: Vitamin Drink. Anything with the word “vitamin” in the label automatically gives it a healthier “feel,” right? Sure it does. However, both soda and Vitamin Water are loaded with sugar. Try plain water instead with a wedge of lemon or lime.
  • Swapping Out: Sandwiches/ Swapping in: Energy Bars. Again, the word “energy” gets people abuzz and thinking that what they are eating has got to be healthy. But, the truth of the matter is, energy bars are generally loaded with added sugar and more calories than anyone’s diet allows.
  • Swapping Out: White Bread/ Swapping In: Wheat Bread. If the wheat bread you are buying isn’t 100% whole wheat bread, you’re just replacing one unhealthy bread for another. Read the label to be sure.

Always Best Care has been providing in-home senior care and assisted living referrals to seniors all over the United States and Canada for the past 20 years. If you live in the Raleigh, NC area and are interested in getting information about Cary assisted living options or in-home care in Raleigh, Cary, Apex, or Garner, call the Always Best Care Raleigh location today at 919-724-4297 or email them at sdas@abc-seniors.com to set up a free consultation.

Why Seniors are at High Risk of Developing a Gambling Addiction

Over the past couple of decades casinos have morphed into what they have become today – a place that makes people feel comfortable through discounts, a variety of options, free drinks, free meals, and for seniors, even free transportation and surroundings that are highly conducive to easy wheelchair navigation. Gambling at casinos is a big draw for many people, and seniors are not immune because they might want to supplement their retirement income, they enjoy being out with other people, they enjoy the thrill of small pot winnings (that happen much more often than landing the big win), and more.

  • Gambling at casinos offers a mental “getaway” from the reality of life which might include health problems, relationship problems, and family problems. People, seniors included, may roam the casino for hours slipping coins into slots and being mesmerized by the bells and whistles (that are there quite strategically).
  • There might be an underlying health issue such as dementia that causes the senior to “lose” themselves inside the casino. There are also certain medications such as dopamine antagonist medications that put seniors at risk of compulsive gambling.
  • It’s now a casino’s job to make their patrons feel loved and missed, and they do this by sending them birthday cards as well as “We miss you!” cards to entice people back inside. Some casinos even have vibrating seats, screen animations, and offer patrons a full sensory encounter that they end up wanting to enjoy again and again.

It’s important to recognize the signs of senior gambling addiction which might include:

  • Is the senior continually asking for loans due to various reasons like they lost their wallet or a discrepancy occurred in their bank account?
  • Is the senior still engaging in other activities they usually enjoy like gardening or hiking?
  • Is there less food in the senior’s refrigerator or pantry than usual?
  • Is the senior taking less care of themselves hygiene-wise?
  • Is the senior visiting the doctor or hospital more often than usual?

If your parent or a senior you know is exhibiting these behaviors, talk with them and contact the National Council on Problem Gambling for more information.

If you live in the Raleigh area and you are interested in receiving information regarding Apex home health care, or other options surrounding in-home care in Raleigh, you can call the Always Best Care Raleigh location at 919-724-4297 or email them at sdas@abc-seniors.com for more information and to set up a free consultation.

How to Really Stop & Smell the Roses: Create More Joy in Your Life

The number one reason someone is happy or not – is simply their own personal mindset. Everyone has stresses: the children, the parents, the house, the job, the car, money issues, relationship issues, stress is everywhere. The stresses, obligations and responsibilities in life aren’t going away. So, instead of trying to banish something that just won’t be banished, try changing your outlook.

  • Laughter is indeed, the best medicine. Laughter not only brings people together, it also decreases the amount of stress hormone in the body. Endorphins (the feel good hormone) are secreted – it’s a natural pain reliever. The bottom line? Laugh more, bond more, and feel even better.
  • Be a social butterfly, or at least, a social bee. It’s been proven by researchers that people who make an effort to socialize are happier and more content with their lives. Plus, socializing is likely to induce laughter (see above), and both will relieve stress.
  • The glass is half full. Optimism changes us, somehow. Practicing optimism changes our mindset but it also helps to boost the immune system. Levels of optimism are linked to DNA, however, there’s nothing saying a positive commitment toward optimism can’t be attempted.
  • Never underestimate the power of sleep. It’s simply underrated. It’s probably the best way to fight stress. How can you accomplish getting more sleep? Get up at the same time every day, don’t wait until you’re sleepy to go to bed, and get out of bed if you’re not sleeping.
  • Keep your priorities clear. Recognize that there are some things you can control, and some you can’t. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, make a list, and clearly outline what you will do daily to whittle away at the tasks.

Always Best Care has been providing exceptional and compassionate in-home care services to seniors in the United States and Canada since 1996. If you are interested in learning about Apex home care, or options surrounding in-home care assistance in Raleigh, call the Always Best Care Raleigh location at (919) 724-4297 or email them today at sdas@abc-seniors.com to set up a free consultation.

Could It Be Time For Memory Care?

The problem with “diagnosing” or even suspecting dementia or Alzheimer’s disease is that, unlike other conditions, the onset can be slow going. Most people are familiar with the general symptoms such as confusion, disorientation, memory loss, etc., but there are other symptoms related to dementia that are not as commonly considered. Could it be time for memory care? Consider these situations.

  • Health management is going downhill. Dementia can cause people to forget to take their medications, or to take too much. Either one can lead to serious issues. It can also lead to seniors skipping meals and not eating nutritiously. Keep a close eye on both the senior’s eating habits and medication management.
  • They look different physically. A senior suffering from the onset of dementia may start to look inexplicably different. There may be weight changes, either a loss or gain, they may seem frail, and they may seem as though they’re unable to walk correctly and act as if they are confused about where they are going. Keep an eye on these sometimes subtle changes.
  • Loneliness is becoming profound. Those suffering from dementia are likely to display disruptive or unpredictable behavior, and so the family is reluctant to take them out of the house. A memory care living facility employs a professional staff that knows how to redirect, distract, and use other techniques to keep the senior lively and safe.
  • The caregiver is over-stressed. Caring for a dementia patient can be very taxing on a person. It’s not only mentally exhausting, it’s also physically draining. A caregiver who doesn’t get the stress relief and sleep they need is putting both the dementia patient and themselves at risk.
  • Worry, worry, worry. If you find yourself worrying about an individual with dementia all the time (they can become confused, they wander, they can become violent), then it might be time to enter the person into a memory care facility.

If you live in the East & South Wake area and are interested in Apex home care, or in-home care assistance in Raleigh, contact the Always Best Care Raleigh location at 919-724-4297. They will be happy to set up a free consultation for you with one of their experienced Client Liaisons Care Providers.