Some Signs That Mom or Dad May Need Extra Help
by Brandee Cowley, RN BSN, Apostolic Christian Skylines Home Care Services

For many of us the holidays are a time for family to get together to celebrate. They are a chance for older parents and grandparents to spend time with family members and get caught up with the lives of their children and grandchildren. They are also a time for busy sons and daughters who are not able to see their parents as often as they would like to catch up on how they’re getting along in their lives.

Sometimes there are surprises and they discover that there issues with their parents’ ability to care for themselves and live independently in the community. Following are some commonly seen issues.

Apply Technology To Reduce Social Isolation - Part II

by Brandee Cowley, RN BSN, Apostolic Christian Skylines Home Care Services

This month we continue our exploration of technologies that, when used appropriately, can reduce the social isolation of older adults. Social isolation is not a distant challenge. It exists among the elderly today, diminishing the quality of life and shortening lives. While there is no perfect substitute for being there, when geography or circumstance mean you cannot be physically present with an older parent, friend, or relative as often as you would like, the right technology may be the way to bridge the gap.

Apply Technology To Reduce Social Isolation

by Brandee Cowley, RN BSN, Apostolic Christian Skylines Home Care Services

Life has a way of isolating older adults. It occurs naturally: friends move away; retirement brings loss of work relationships; geography and circumstances create distance from family members. At the same time, mobility—the once easy process of getting from one place to another—becomes difficult or sometimes nearly impossible. All too often, the result is social isolation.

Hot Weather and Dementia – A Dangerous Combination

by Brandee Cowley, RN BSN, Apostolic Christian Skylines Home Care Services

It looks like we’re in for another hot Peoria County summer.

Did you know that, for older adults, dementia is a risk factor for hospitalization and even death during periods of high heat? A study published by the National Institutes of Health in 2016 indicates that the risk of heat-related hospitalizations is 20 times greater for individuals with dementia when compared with those who do not have dementia.

Why might this be true?

It’s Summer—Get Outside and Start Walking
by Brandee Cowley, RN BSN, Apostolic Christian Skylines Home Care Services

It’s July, summer is in full swing in Peoria County, and winter’s cabin fever is almost forgotten. Now is the perfect time to get out of doors and take a walk! A walk in the neighborhood is an enjoyable way to stay in touch with friends and neighbors and get some needed exercise at the same time.

The Lonely Caregiver
by Brandee Cowley, RN BSN, Apostolic Christian Skylines Home Care Services

Too often we hear from family caregivers that they struggle with loneliness and isolation. They tell us they feel trapped in the caregiver role and are carrying the load for other family members with little help, support or appreciation. They are caught in a stressful situation that can lead to burnout. This article draws on caregiving stress and burnout experts to offer some ideas on how to avoid caregiver burnout.

 

Nothing About Me, Without Me.
by Brandee Cowley, RN BSN, Apostolic Christian Skylines Home Care Services

Have you ever noticed that in the world of home care services, the consumer is often referred to not as a patient, but as a client? When you see this, it may be an indication that the provider embraces what has come to be called a person-centered model of care, an approach significantly different from the traditional medical model. The person-centered care model is a fundamental change in the way health care services are delivered.

Pets Offer Furry Companionship and More to Older Adults
by Brandee Cowley, RN BSN, Apostolic Christian Skylines Home Care Services

A pet can be a great friend. Especially during the long winter months, the unconditional love of a pet can be a source of companionship and comfort to an older adult who lives alone. The benefits of pet ownership go beyond companionship: research has shown that living with a pet provides important health benefits to the pet owner.

New Years Resolutions for Better Health

Nearly everyone makes a New Year’s resolution or two when the calendar turns to January and so one or more of “exercise more, lose weight, quit smoking, and healthier eating” appear on the lists of those of us who know we need to focus on staying healthy.

If you see yourself in this picture, what are your chances of success? Not surprising, they are not very good. In Time Magazine’s list of the most commonly broken New Year’s resolutions, three of the top four are “lose weight and get fit, quit smoking, and eat healthier and diet.” 

Be Prepared for Cold Weather

Even though Peoria’s weather last January was warmer than normal and snowfall was below average, there is no guarantee this year’s weather will be a rerun. A return to normal January averages—high of 33, low of 17, and 24 inches of snow—is certainly possible and it would be wise for everyone, especially older adults, to be ready for their return.

Holiday Gifts for the Senior in Your Life

There is almost certainly no one on your holiday gift list more difficult to buy for than a special older adult in your life. It might be a parent, grandparent, close relative or a good friend. Regardless, usually when you ask what they would like it’s nearly impossible to get even a hint. We usually hear, “I don’t need anything.” Or “Just get me something nice.” Not very helpful.
To help you get started on your holiday shopping, 20 gift ideas follow. Some will support independent living; others will give your loved one an enjoyable experience; and others will include time for you to share. And some are simply a way to give the gift of your time, which may be the best gift of all.

Dealing with Being Fall Prone

Picture this: You have just returned from a visit with your physician and she has informed you that you are fall prone and need to be more careful to avoid falls. So now you are wondering, “What am I supposed to do—or not do—to ‘be more careful?’”

Plan for the Future - Before It Arrives

In a recent survey of over 1,000 adults done by a financial services firm, 28% of those surveyed admitted they spend more time planning their vacations than for their retirement. Even though we know better, “fun and soon” often wins over “important, but not fun—and in the far-off future.” We know better and it is easy to procrastinate, but there is no better feeling than knowing you have a plan; it frees us to live our lives with much less stress and worry. The first step to having a plan is to get your information together and organize it.

Act Today to Make Your Home Suitable for Tomorrow

Most older adults want and expect to continue to live in their current home as they age. What many—if not most—do not take into account is that their home as it exists today may not support their needs in the future. The reality is one in eight adults age 65 and over (four in 10 by age 85) will experience significant difficulty with one or more of the normal activities of daily living. Moving around inside the home, getting in and out of bed, bathing and using the bathroom—once accomplished easily—can become difficult because of an illness or injury or simply the passage of time. Remaining in the home may mean that modifications will be needed – often quickly, with little chance to plan.

Have Fun in the Sun – Safely

July in Central Illinois has always been a time for people to get out-of-doors to enjoy the summer weather. Activities with family and friends, gardening, picnics, swimming, or just enjoying a summer sunset make summer a special outdoor time. After the dark days of winter, just enjoying the summer sunshine is a special treat.