Get Continuous Care with 24-Hour Care for Seniors

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A woman smiles with her caregiver as she receives 24-hour care for seniors.

Learn more about 24-hour care for seniors and discover if it is right for your loved one.

Navigating the evolving needs of a loved one can be a journey filled with considerations and decisions. There was a time when Mom’s care requirements were a few days a week, for just a few hours each day. As her needs shifted, the idea of having a caregiver more consistently became apparent, with you offering care on weekends. Now, the realization dawns that Mom would benefit from someone present around the clock to ensure her needs are met and to handle any unforeseen emergencies. Read more

ALS Care Strategies for Family Caregivers

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Caregiver uses ALS care strategies while helping an older man use his walker.

Use these ALS care strategies to help ensure your loved one receives the best care possible.

As a degenerating neurological illness, ALS (sometimes called Lou Gehrig’s disease) can cause a wide variety of physical hurdles that can lead to clinical depression. For people providing ALS care for a loved one, it’s hard not to become overwhelmed and unsure about how to help the person live life to the fullest and stay optimistic.

When providing ALS care at home, it is essential for family caregivers to fully grasp the challenges that the condition produces in order to provide the very best care.

San Diego Home Caregivers, the leading home care provider in La Mesa, Carlsbad, North County, and the surrounding areas, has developed the ALS care strategies below to help ensure the best care for loved ones with the disease:

  • Set up a computer and internet access. Computers, along with other assistive tools, offer entertainment and social interaction and make it possible for the person with ALS to help with tasks like paying bills, tracking down information, hiring services, and shopping.
  • Patience is a must. Even though it may often seem quicker and more efficient to take over certain tasks, demonstrate patience and allow the person to accomplish the tasks that they can.
  • People with muscle diseases like ALS are competent thinkers, even if they are generally unable to communicate clearly. Talk through choices openly while making joint decisions about the individual’s ALS care.
  • Use adaptive devices. The utilization of adaptive equipment like wheelchairs is a move in the direction of self-sufficiency, not away from it. Adaptive tools are obtainable for assorted everyday tasks, like eating, opening jars and doors, buttoning or zipping up clothing, writing, and taking a shower.
  • Ask if the person wants support before assisting. Never take over tasks that still can be performed if the person is provided with adaptive tools and time.

Is Home Care Right for Someone With ALS?

For individuals with ALS, self-reliance and comprehensive ALS care strategies are imperative. The home care experts at San Diego Home Caregivers are extensively trained and experienced in providing the care and assistance needed to ensure those with ALS live their best lives. Home care can greatly benefit someone with ALS, through customized services such as:

  • Help with personal care and hygiene needs
  • Meal planning and preparation
  • Transportation and errand-running
  • Companionship
  • Light housekeeping and laundry
  • And so much more

Contact us any time at (619) 487-9000 for additional information.

Understanding the Stages of ALS and How to Care for Them

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Several pills and a needle lay on a table with ALS written in the middle to represent the stages of ALS.

While symptoms can vary from person to person, the stages of ALS tend to follow a particular pattern for all.

Receiving a diagnosis of Lou Gehrig’s disease (also known as ALS) can create plenty of questions and apprehensions, both for the individual diagnosed and their family. What’s the cause for ALS? What are the symptoms of ALS which may be experienced now, and how will they change in the future? Where can I go for support?

Approximately 30,000 people in America are presently diagnosed with ALS, and around 5,600 new patients are diagnosed with the illness every year. And although the specific cause is not yet determined, some studies point to complicated risk factors, such as a twofold risk of ALS in people who served during the Gulf War.

Though each individual can be impacted by ALS in different ways from others, the progression of the condition does seem to follow distinct stages. Understanding the stages of ALS can help those diagnosed with the disease and those who care for them execute the most appropriate plan of care.

San Diego Home Caregivers, the leading provider of home care services in San Diego, La Jolla, Point Loma, and the surrounding areas, shares details below:

Initial Stages of ALS

  • ALS signs may be detected in only one single area of the body
  • More mild symptoms may affect more than this one region
  • For some people, the first impacted muscles are those used for swallowing, breathing, or speaking
Possible Symptoms:
    • Weakened grip
    • Stumbling when walking
    • Fatigue
    • Poor balance
    • Slurring of speech

Middle Stages of ALS

  • Indicators of ALS are now more substantial
  • Twitching could be noticeable
  • Some specific muscles may be paralyzed, while others are weaker or totally unaffected
 Possible Symptoms:
    • Difficulties standing without support
    • Struggles with eating and swallowing, which can cause choking
    • Possible uncontrolled and inappropriate crying or laughing, known as the pseudobulbar affect (PBA)
    • Difficulty breathing, particularly when lying down

Late Stages of ALS

  • The person can no longer drink or eat by mouth
  • The person with ALS needs full assistance to care for their needs
  • Speaking may no longer be possible
Possible Symptoms:
    • Breathing is significantly affected, leading to fatigue, unclear thinking, headaches and vulnerability to pneumonia
    • Paralysis in the majority of voluntary muscles
    • Mobility is dramatically impacted

Obtaining care from a professional caregiver, like those at San Diego Home Caregivers, can increase the quality of life for people affected by ALS symptoms. Our care providers work with families to develop an individualized plan of care, allowing those with ALS to maintain dignity and the greatest level of independence at all times.

Contact us any time at (619) 487-9000 to learn more about how our services can help someone you love.

How to Deal With Chemo Side Effects

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Chemo side effects

Chemo side effects can be painful, exhausting, and generally overwhelming for people with cancer, but these tips can help ease symptoms.

If someone you love is battling cancer, they may be suffering from some unpleasant chemo side effects, and you will want to do whatever you can to help relieve these symptoms. While just being there with them to offer comfort and friendship is in itself very helpful, there are additional steps you can take.

What Can You Do to Help Ease Chemo Side Effects?

Below are some of the more prevalent problems that arise from cancer treatments, with actions you can take to help.

  • Skin Problems: Someone with cancer is at risk for a number of treatment- and disease-related skin issues. You can assist by encouraging the person to use sunscreen, helping to protect the afflicted areas of skin from bumps, bruises, or other trauma, and making sure the skin is kept clean and dry.
  • Stomach Upset: Nausea and vomiting are common side effects of chemotherapy, but can be eased with anti-nausea medications, avoiding greasy or spicy foods, and consuming smaller meals more often throughout the day. You can help by preparing light, healthy meals that are more tolerable for the person.
  • Hair Loss: You can encourage the person to explore wig options ahead of beginning treatment (to best match their natural hair color to the wig), if they are worried about hair loss. Hair loss can also be lessened by using baby shampoo (and washing hair less frequently), and using a soft hairbrush.
  • Depression: If you see signs of depression in the person, communicate your concern immediately to their doctor, who can review medications being taken for depressive side effects and identify the best course of action to take to help.

One of the best ways to support the person is by simply being with them. Allow the person to share their feelings, fears, and concerns, and respond in a way that shows you are listening and that you care. Sometimes a simple hug or holding hands can be extremely comforting. Be ready for the person to talk about their condition if they would like, and always be ready to lend an open and nonjudgmental ear.

Find more cancer care tips from San Diego Home Caregivers’ experts in home care assistance in San Diego, La Jolla, North County, and the surrounding communities. Learn how our in-home care services can make life easier for someone with cancer. Contact us at (619) 487-9000 any time for more information.

Providing Support to a Loved One With Cancer

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loved one with cancer

Learn some of the best ways to offer support to a loved one with cancer and how to be there for them when they need you.

Being given a cancer diagnosis is life-altering, and making sure you have a community of support is critical. When someone you love is undergoing treatment for cancer, you might feel unsure how to best help the person without overstepping boundaries or making them feel discomfort for any reason. What should you do to best help a loved one with cancer? Our aging care experts have some recommendations to get you started.

  1. Learn as much as you can. Educate yourself on the kind of cancer the person has been diagnosed with to better comprehend what they are going through. Search online for trusted sources like Johns Hopkins or the Mayo Clinic.
  2. Be there. Simply being present to listen, talk, and even laugh with the person when appropriate can be helpful to someone who wants to live life as normally as possible, even with their diagnosis.
  3. Inquire to find out precisely what they need. Oftentimes, a person with cancer or any other chronic condition will hear from well-meaning family and friends, “Let me know if you need anything!” It’s then up to the person struggling with their diagnosis to determine what’s needed, and to follow up with those who offered with ways to help. You can be proactive and find out just what will most help the person. On one day, they may want help with doing dishes, vacuuming, and laundry, while another day they may really benefit from some healthy meals prepared or just someone to talk to for a welcome distraction.
  4. Offer appropriate meals. Cancer treatments like chemo and radiation can lead to exhaustion, so preparing meals can be difficult. These kinds of treatments can also affect how food tastes. Ask the person what types of foods might be appetizing, and then make meals for them accordingly. Understand that it may take some trial and error to find what is most palatable.
  5. Be an advocate. Help the person organize any questions and concerns in advance of their next doctor’s appointment. If they wish, attend the appointment with them and help make sure each issue is addressed.

As the leading provider of home care in San Diego, La Jolla, North County, and the surrounding areas, San Diego Home Caregivers is here to help those with cancer live more comfortable lives at home. Reach out to us for more information and resources, or to request a free in-home meeting to learn more about how we can help.

Transforming a Senior’s Life with the Help of a Home Care Agency

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Senior couple at home focusing on angry man

The help of a quality home care agency like ours can help your senior loved one thrive and enjoy a higher quality of life.

Even though many older adults adapt smoothly when a new caregiver comes into the home, and enjoy a higher quality of life, there are some older adults who may still feel threatened. At San Diego Home Caregivers, we’re sensitive to the feelings of each individual we serve, and are experienced in helping to ease worries and restore peace.

A senior who feels the need to convince their family that hiring a home care agency is simply not needed may employ one of these common tactics:

  1. Arguing. Aggravations at being perceived as incapable of self-care may display as an increase in arguments, even over relatively minor issues. It’s important to recognize the underlying sense that the person needs to prove their ability to remain in control and in charge.
  2. Distancing from loved ones. The individual may show irritation through becoming standoffish and declining necessary support from family members. For example, an adult child who usually accompanies the person to medical appointments may now be prohibited by the person from going into the exam room.
  3. Concealing activities. If an agreement has been made for the person to restrict driving, for example, they may continue to drive when no one is around. Another example is refusing to adhere to a diabetic diet, eating unhealthily in private.
  4. Making dangerous choices. A senior who is encouraged to rest and allow someone else to handle a task that may now be unsafe, such as climbing a ladder to replace a lightbulb, may do just the opposite. In this way, they’re showing that they are still capable of activities such as this, but it could cause a fall and serious injury.

How Can I Help a Loved One Thrive With Home Care Services?

The truth is, no one wants to feel as though they are not able to meet their own day-to-day needs, or that they are in a state of decline. It’s very important to validate the important role the senior continues to play in our lives, and let them know often that they are both valued and needed. Several ways to accomplish this include:

  • Enlist the person’s help in meaningful tasks.
  • Reminisce about ways the senior has affected your life.
  • Ask the senior for advice.
  • Spend plenty of time listening to and engaging in conversations with the senior.

A professional caregiver from San Diego Home Caregivers will understand the many emotions older adults experience and the ways in which those emotions may present. All of our caregivers are trained and experienced in helping promote a sense of self-worth and fulfillment in life.

Get in touch with our home care agency at (619) 487-9000 for more tips and resources to pave the way to a smoother journey through aging! We offer a complimentary in-home meeting to answer any questions you have and to develop a care plan to address the particular needs of a senior you love in San Diego, La Mesa, La Jolla, Carlsbad, or other nearby areas. For a full list of the communities we serve in California, please visit our Communities Served page.

When Seniors Refuse Help: How to Approach Home Care Services

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cheerful mature woman serving breakfast and taking care of elderly senior woman at home

Home care services can help a senior loved one age in place and maintain independence.

As experts in home care services, we witness firsthand every day the companionship, joy, and improved quality of life older adults receive through our caregiver services. But we also know that many older adults initially reject the concept of in-home care assistance. Read more

The ABC’s of Caring for the Heart for Older Adults

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Go back to the basics of caring for the heart using these simple guidelines.

Almost half of all Americans have one of the three key risk factors of heart disease: high blood pressure, smoking, and high LDL cholesterol. Too many people make poor lifestyle decisions every day that adversely impact their heart. Excessive alcohol consumption, poor diet, and physical inactivity are just a few things that can do permanent damage. It’s easy to forget to put into practice the fundamental ways of caring for the heart, but it’s one of the most important things to remember. Go back to the basics and look after your heart with the following guidelines: Read more

Tips for Caring for a Senior After a Heart Attack or Stroke

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Help promote healing when caring for a senior after a heart attack or stroke with these helpful tips.

When a loved one experiences a stroke or heart attack, you will likely want to focus on a list of actions that can be taken to ensure that the damaged heart heals and the individual’s lifestyle choices that contributed to the heart attack are changed. San Diego Home Caregivers often receives calls from families looking for a list of actionable items – to-do lists for care and heart health. In a scenario fraught with chaos, lists give family caregivers a sense of control. They are the handbook for a caregiver’s new reality, helping them know what they can do to promote healing and keep another heart attack from taking place. Read more

Reduce Caregiver Stress This Holiday Season

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Finding support is a great way to reduce caregiver stress at the holidays.

The holiday season is an ideal time to visit with friends and family members, but it’s not quite what you would call a relaxing time of year. The busyness of the holiday season, from shopping to parties to family gatherings, can be incredibly stressful, and when you’ve got someone you love to care for, your own tasks can fall by the wayside. How can you reduce caregiver stress and still enjoy the holidays?

If you’re wondering how you will get everything on your to-do list completed in time for the holidays, try the following recommendations to reduce caregiver stress and to help you stay on task.

  • Forget about the mall & shop virtual. Going out to a crowded mall can be a challenge this time of year, specifically when you have an older family member in your care. Online shopping can be taken care of from almost anywhere: in the doctor’s office, before going to bed, while watching television, etc., and is far less stressful than struggling through the large holiday crowds.
  • Make it a team effort. Too many presents to wrap? Unsure how you’ll write out all of your holiday cards? Find a family member or friend who can help wrap gifts. Set aside an afternoon to visit, sip hot chocolate, and write out all of your holiday cards together with your older family member assisting in whatever way possible.
  • Be discriminating about “made from scratch.” Many people feel obligated to go overboard on food during the holiday season, but not everything on your table needs to be homemade. Select one or two selections for your holiday menu that you enjoy making from scratch, and incorporate some microwavable or ready-made dishes to round out the table and save you time.

Did you know a caregiver can provide support with these holiday to-dos and much more for the older adults you love? Not only can we run errands like grocery shopping, prepare nutritious  meals, and help with gift wrapping and decorating the home, but we also love taking seniors out holiday shopping! Our caregivers are always available to make each day during the holiday season – and beyond – happier and brighter for the seniors we serve, while allowing family members to take necessary time away from their care responsibilities.

Being a caregiver during the holidays can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to stress you out. With San Diego Home Caregivers, you are never alone in your caregiving role. Contact our home care specialists to schedule a complimentary in-home consultation to learn more about how our memory care in San Diego, CA and the surrounding areas can help you and an older adult you love. From all of us at San Diego Home Caregivers, we wish you and your family the happiest of holidays and all the best in the coming year!