Proper Nutrition for Older Adults Helps Maintain Health

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It’s no secret that proper nutrition for older adults is crucial for a healthy body. What many people don’t recognize, however, is that nutritional requirements for adults change as we age. Nutritional specialists at Tufts University have developed the MyPlate system for older adults, which is a more advanced variation of the earlier food pyramid, supplying updated dietary advice for older individuals in particular.  

The MyPlate for Older Adults model contains important information on foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals and low in sugar, salt, and fat; however, it also offers guidance on topics such as advised physical activities and fluid consumption, issues that are of special concern for seniors. 

Because activity levels are oftentimes decreased, seniors tend to require fewer calories as they age, but they also still require equal or higher levels of nutrients and regular activity for ideal health. MyPlate for Older Adults recommends: 

  • Bright-colored vegetables, such as peppers and carrots 
  • Deeply-colored fruits, such as berries and melons 
  • Whole, fortified, enriched grains and cereals, like brown rice 
  • Low- and non-fat dairy products, including yogurt and low lactose milk 
  • Liquid vegetable oils and soft spreads, which contain less saturated and trans fats 
  • Spices instead of salt 
  • Liquids such as water and fat-free milk 
  • Physical activity, such as walking, resistance training, and light household chores 

In addition, further recommendations include taking advantage of options that are simpler to prepare and decrease waste, such as bags of frozen pre-cut vegetables and individual-portion cups of fruit. 

At San Diego Home Caregivers, we realize it can be a challenge to help aging loved ones follow a nutritious diet. Our trained and experienced caregivers can help plan and prepare nourishing, appetizing meals according to your loved one’s specific nutritional needs, as well as help in a variety of other waysContact us online or call us at (619) 487-9000 to learn more about our top-rated San Diego senior care and to request a free in-home evaluation. 

Senior Nutrition: Warning Signs That May Point to a Lack of a Nutrient-Rich Diet

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A mother’s love for her child knows no age limits. And parents of all ages want more than anything to shield their children from difficulty, which in some cases could mean covering up their own challenges. Furthermore, when their loved ones live at a distance, it can be hard to really know without a doubt just how healthy older parents are. 

One of the leading challenges of aging is the decline in satisfying nutritional needs. If you believe your elderly loved ones might possibly not be getting adequate senior nutrition to continue to be healthy and well, this short analysis can help identify possible red flags: 

  1. Has the senior revealed a loss of appetite, trouble with digesting food, or chewing or swallowing challenges? Has there been a decline in food consumption over the past several months as a result? 
  2. Has the older adult experienced a loss of weight over the past several months? Losing weight, particularly for those with a more sedentary way of life, can indicate that the person is not eating properly. 
  3. Does the senior have a problem with mobility? Being confined to the home can create nutritional challenges, as it is more problematic to get groceries or fix meals. 
  4. Has the older person been under psychological stress or experienced an acute disease in the past couple of months? 
  5. What is the older person’s body mass index (BMI)? A BMI of 18.5 or lower can suggest that the person is not eating enough, while a BMI of 30 or higher can signify obesity.  

If you determine through answering these questions that an older loved one might be experiencing problems with nutrition, it’s a good idea to consult with his or her doctor. San Diego Home Caregivers can also help improve health and wellbeing for older adults through services like: 

  • Food preparation 
  • Transportation to doctor appointments 
  • Light housekeeping 
  • Running errands 
  • Medication reminders 
  • And more  

Our San Diego Home Caregivers team is compassionate, background screened and available for as much or as little care as desired. You can get in touch with us online or call our care team at (619) 487-9000 to learn more about our home care in Carlsbad and the surrounding areas.

Talking With Your Kids When You Have Mesothelioma

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Cute young daughter embracing her mother with love

Mesothelioma takes between 20 and 50 years to develop. Due to this long latency period, the asbestos-caused cancer affects middle-aged and elderly people most often. Read more

Be Proactive in Addressing Post-Holiday Loneliness in Seniors

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The holiday season can be overflowing with a whirlwind of activity for the seniors we love, with family gatherings, holiday parties, faith-based services, and shopping for the best gifts for those they love. Yet after the holiday ornaments are packed away and families have gotten back to the daily busyness of life, many struggle with a common but little-discussed condition: post-holiday loneliness in seniors. 

Although naturally seniors who live alone are most apt to develop feelings of isolation and sadness when the holiday activities are complete, all older adults are in danger of a case of the blues, as they look to the year ahead while reminiscing over years past. It’s vital for family members to create a plan to help their older loved ones experience a positive transition. Give some thought to the following tips: 

  • Make plans for the next get-together. Decide on a date in the coming weeks for another family celebration, offering the older loved one and the rest of the family something enjoyable to anticipate. For example, schedule an informal New Year’s resolution check-in party for the last week of January, where each person can report on his or her progress towards resolutions that were made, and each bringing along a dish to share a potluck meal.   
  • Create a chain letter. Split the family up into groups of five, and designate a number to each person who would like to participate, i.e., #1 – 5. The person with #1 begins by writing a short letter in the first week of January, mailing it to the #2 person, who reads and then contributes to that letter and then sends to the #3 person – and so on. The last person in the chain adds to the letter and sends back to the first person to read, and then a new chain can be initiated. Receiving ongoing mail with news about family members is a great pick-me-up for seniors. 
  • Partner with San Diego Home CaregiversSan Diego Home Caregivers skilled care companions are the ideal solution to post-holiday loneliness in seniorsOur caregivers are adept in helping seniors to remain socially and physically active through a wide range of engaging activities, according to each person’s interests:  
  • Reminiscing and conversations 
  • Puzzles, games, and crafts 
  • Exercise programs 
  • Transportation and accompaniment to fun outings 
  • And much more! 

Let us help alleviate post-holiday loneliness for the older adults you love, and maintain a sense of community, purpose, and connection all throughout the year. We’re available for once-a-week visits up through and including full-time care and companionship. Call the experts in home health care in La Jolla at (619) 487-9000 and request an in-home consultation to establish what will work best in your particular situation, and help make your loved ones’ coming year the best one yet! 

Holiday Eating with Diabetes: Tips for Having a Delicious Holiday

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This season of holiday celebrations is a perfect occasion to reconnect with friends and family, but let’s face it: holiday eating with diabetes can be difficult as the holidays are often a time for overindulgence in unhealthy food choices. With so many rich, fatty, and sugary delicacies to choose from at every turn, it’s difficult to follow a healthy diet, which can result in significant health problems for those with diabetes. 

These guidelines, however, can help diabetics remain safe throughout the holidays while avoiding feeling deprived of special goodies. Be sure to first contact the doctor for his or her approval on any meal decisions that stray from an approved nutrition plan. 

  • Pick your favorites. Review options during a holiday meal, and determine your top two carbs to enjoy. For example, decide if you’d like to have stuffing or bread, or choose between mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes, as opposed to indulging in all of the options. 
  • Bring your own. When attending a holiday get-together at someone’s home, talk with the host concerning your dietary constraints, and offer to bring a healthy dish to share, like a tray of fruits and vegetables or a sugarless dessert. 
  • Snack first. Enjoying a healthy snack before the holiday meal will help keep blood sugar levels consistent and assist in averting the temptation to go overboard. Healthy snack choices for those with diabetes include nuts, vegetables with hummus, celery with peanut butter, string or cottage cheese, or an egg. 
  • Stay hydrated. Having a bottle of water before sitting down to the meal will help create a sense of fullness, making it unlikely that you’ll be inclined to overindulge.  
  • Remain active. After a heavy meal, defy the urge to settle into the recliner and watch TV or fall asleep; instead, provide help with kitchen clean-up chores, play an active game with the children, or take a walk outside 

If in spite of these techniques you end up bingeing or making unhealthy meal selections, be kind and forgiving to yourself. Remember that tomorrow is a new day to resume healthy habits again. Keep a close eye on your blood sugar to guarantee levels stay in the proper range and to avoid the potential for a serious problem, such as diabetic ketoacidosis, which could result in a hospitalization and definitely put a damper on the holiday spirit. 

Reach out to the top-rated providers of elder care in San Diego at San Diego Home Caregivers to learn more diabetic-friendly tips, for assistance with preparing healthy meals, providing medication reminders and support to engage in exercise programs, and much more! We’re available to help throughout the holiday season and beyond to empower seniors to live their best possible lives. Call us at (619) 487-9000 to request a free in-home consultation today! 

Elder Care Advice: How to Deal with Resistance to Home Care

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Do you have a senior loved one with a resistance to home care services or extra help at home? One of the biggest anxieties we have as we age is the loss of freedom and the ability to stay at home alone. Because of this fear, it can be very challenging to inquire about or to accept the help needed. San Diego Home Caregivers, providers of in-home care Carlsbad and the surrounding communities can count on, has some helpful elder care advice for you to try:

  • Introduce the senior to the caregiver before care begins in order to initiate a relationship so that the caregiver is not perceived as a total stranger.
  • If the older person is concerned about having someone he or she isn’t acquainted with in the residence, consider having a family member present for the first few visits.
  • San Diego Home Caregivers can help with matching a caregiver who shares hobbies and interests with the senior, like a particular religious affiliation or pastimes. This can make the relationship with the caregiver feel more like a companionship.
  • Make in-home care look more appealing by laying out the alternate options for the senior, like having to move away from home, moving into a nursing home, etc.
  • Place the focus on yourself. Let your loved one know that you know he/she is very independent, but having a caregiver in the home will help you worry less.
  • Start small with a trial run. Have a caregiver come in one day a week for several hours just to help with some light housecleaning or laundry and then build up to additional care after the older adult is more comfortable.

San Diego Home Caregivers,  a in home caregivers agency can help you navigate this complicated time with your senior loved one and come up with the ideal care strategy. Whether the need is for just a few hours each week, full-time, around-the-clock care, or anything in between, we can help in a wide variety of ways, such as:

  • Meal preparation
  • Light housekeeping and laundry
  • Running errands
  • Transportation to appointments and outings
  • Personal care assistance
  • Specialized care for Alzheimer’s and other chronic diseases
  • And a great deal more

We recognize how difficult it can be when seniors feel like they’re losing their independence and therefore we understand the resistance to home care. Contact us today at (619) 487- 9000 to discover how our La Mesa in home care services and our exceptional caregivers can help you and senior loved ones!

Home Care Advice: How to Talk to Loved Ones About Senior Care

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Coming to terms with the fact that an older loved one is in need of help at home can be challenging. Even more challenging is talking about the need for care with that elderly loved one and encouraging him or her to agree that assistance is necessary. If you have viewed changes in your loved one and you sense the need to initiate speaking about home care as a solution to enhance safety and independence in the home, take our home care advice and try these conversation starters to broach the subject in a subtle, non-confrontational way.

If heightened frailty is getting to be an issue:

“I love you, Mom, and now that you’re living by yourself, I’m concerned about your safety. I know someone who can help us to make the home less dangerous and make it simpler for you to get around and remain independent. Can I have her come over to have a discussion with us? It would put my mind at rest.”

If there is a chance of falling or mobility has diminished:

“Since the time that you fell recently, I’ve been concerned about it happening again. I know someone who can come and give us recommendations on how to make the house safer and prevent falls from taking place. I’d love for us to get together and have a conversation with her and see what ideas she has for us.”

If declining personal hygiene has become an issue:

“I’d love to have someone come several times a week to assist you around the house. Let’s work together to find a person you’d feel comfortable with. We can work with a professional agency to locate someone who shares similar interests as you so you’ll not only have some help from time to time, but also a good friend to enjoy spending time with.”

When a senior can no longer safely drive:

“I know that being unable to drive and get out as much as you’re used to has been hard. If we hire a home care assistant for a few hours several times each week, you could get back to enjoying all the activities that you’ve been missing, like visiting friends, shopping, and running errands.”

Bear in mind that, for many older adults, agreeing to help at home can feel like surrendering independence, and you may have to have several conversations before a solution is reached. At San Diego Home Caregivers, we’re on hand to partner with your family to help make life not only safer, but more pleasurable and fulfilling as well by providing valuable home care advice and senior care in La Mesa. Give our in-home care experts a call today at (619) 487-9000 or fill out our online contact form to discover more about the best senior care La Mesa and the surrounding communities deserve.

Senior Citizen Safety: Warning Signs of Elder Abuse

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While abusing an older adult is something that would never enter into the minds of most people, it is a tragically widespread occurrence in the U.S. Elder abuse appears in many ways, from emotional to physical, and it strikes the most frail and vulnerable among us.

Considering that elder abuse is in many instances a voiceless problem, it’s essential for families and friends of seniors to be aware of the red flags of elder abuse to be able to protect the senior citizens in their lives. Our home care specialists have pulled together several of the warning signs that may indicate elder abuse.

Physical Abuse:

  • Indications of injury such as welts, bruises, or scars, especially if they display symmetrically on both sides of the body
  • Broken bones or sprains
  • Regularly missed medications or drug overdoses
  • Broken eyeglasses
  • Signs of being restrained, including red marks or bruises on the wrists
  • Caregivers who refuse to let anyone visit with the senior alone

Emotional Abuse:

  • Controlling behaviors from the caregiver, including:
    • Yelling at or threatening the senior
    • Humiliating or teasing the senior
    • Neglecting the older person
    • Distancing the senior from friends and relatives
  • Behavior that mimics dementia, including rocking, sucking, or muttering to himself or herself

Neglect:

  • Detrimental reduction in weight or malnourishment
  • Physical concerns, such as bed sores, that have not been treated
  • Unclean living conditions
  • Neglected hygiene
  • Unsuitable clothing or covering for the weather
  • Dangerous living conditions (no running water or heat; defective electrical wiring, other fire threats)
  • Desertion of the older person at a public place

The first signs of elder abuse may be difficult to recognize and may appear to be signs or symptoms of Alzheimer’s or increased frailty. Alternatively, a caregiver who is abusing the older person might try to explain signs of abuse away. To help prevent abuse, make sure to visit and call senior loved ones frequently, and look for any changes in the older adult’s personality or behavior. If any indications of elder abuse are witnessed or suspected, they must be reported immediately.

San Diego Home Caregivers, experts in San Diego senior home care, can help families keep senior loved ones safe, happy, and healthy. We can provide in-home care services, including specialized Alzheimer’s care, to ensure that older individuals are safe and well cared for. Contact us at (619) 487-9000 for a free assessment and to learn more about our top-rated senior care and dementia care La Mesa, CA and the surrounding communities depend on.

San Diego Senior Home Care: Know the Elder Abuse Risk Factors for Older Adults

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Helping older adults continue being independent, healthy, and happy is the aim of not only our professional senior care team, but of each and every family caregiver who has ever helped care for a loved one. Since the wellbeing of older adults is so important to us, it’s vital that we review something that can be tough for many of us to even look into – elder abuse.

The CDC estimates that nearly 500,000 older adults are neglected or abused annually in the U.S. alone. However, many more elder abuse cases are believed to go unreported each year, which is why it’s important for family caregivers to be alert to potential abuse risks.

Following are a few of the risk factors associated with elder abuse:

  • Reliance on others: Seniors who depend on others for care are typically not willing to mention any abuse because they may feel unsafe or that their care needs will not be able to be met by somebody else if the abuser is reported.
  • Reduced physical health and mobility: Dementia, Alzheimer’s or other health conditions may raise an elder’s risk of being abused since the individual may not be capable of explaining or verbalizing the abuse.
  • History of abuse: If the older person was abusive as a parent, there is an increased possibility of elder abuse, specifically if an adult child who was abused by the senior is the primary caregiver.
  • Social isolation: Social isolation sometimes results when a senior loses a spouse or lives at a distance from friends and family, and it can result in the perfect atmosphere for elder abuse. Abusers quite often try to keep older individuals isolated by:
    • Refusing to request economic aid or services
    • Resisting outside help
    • Switching social and healthcare professionals over and over again to make it challenging to evaluate the senior’s health status
    • Controlling contact with the older adult
  • Family caregiver burnout or stress: Stressed caregivers can become frustrated, leading them to lash out at the older adults in their care.

If a loved one is currently being cared for by a family member or other caregiver, be mindful of these risk factors, visit and call as often as possible to appraise the senior’s health, and play an active role in the person’s care.

At San Diego Home Caregivers, we understand how important a senior loved one’s health and safety are, and we always take the necessary steps to ensure we provide the best care. Every member of our senior care team has undergone a comprehensive background check, reference checks, and a personal interview to guarantee they meet our high care standards. Contact us today at (619) 487-9000 to learn more about our San Diego senior home care services.

5 Important Tips for a Parkinson’s Caregiver

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A great deal of older individuals with Parkinson’s disease are provided with the majority of their care at home from loved ones, especially during the early levels of the disease. As Parkinson’s caregivers ourselves, we at San Diego Home Caregivers understand the unique concerns experienced by family members who play the role of a Parkinson’s caregiver, and want you to know you are not alone! Our San Diego home health experts are always here to offer tips and to work with you in making certain your loved one is receiving the best care at all times.

To start, it’s helpful to keep these Parkinson’s-specific tips in mind:

  • Nutrition: A healthy diet helps lessen cell loss in a person with Parkinson’s. Consuming antioxidants, such as those found in blueberries, green tea, spinach, beans, broccoli, and some types of nuts, can help fend off oxidative stress.
  • Chewing and Swallowing: Individuals with Parkinson’s commonly have some level of difficulty with chewing and swallowing. Each person providing care for a loved one with Parkinson’s needs to learn the Heimlich maneuver to be prepared in case the person begins to choke.
  • Fall Prevention: Seniors with Parkinson’s commonly have difficulty with balance and walking, so it’s very important to assess the home surroundings and make alterations to lower the risk of falls. Installing items like customized toilet seats and grab bars where appropriate, and removing obstacles in and around the home is a good place to start.
  • Anxiety/Depression: Minimizing the risk for depression and anxiety is a key component in the battle against Parkinson’s. Keep a close eye on your loved one for indications of depression, and if detected, be sure he or she sees the doctor for assistance as soon as possible.
  • Medications: Parkinson’s treatments may have a wide range of side effects, and can impact the individual in a number of different ways. Some kinds of medicine can cause hallucinations or nightmares, for example. Make sure your loved one’s doctor advises you about any anticipated side effects of medications so you can be prepared.

We invite you to explore our San Diego Home Caregivers’ care services to understand how home care can lead to a better quality of life for both your loved one and the family members who are providing care. By working with our professional La Jolla home care assistance team to help with some of the more routine aspects of caregiving, family members have the chance to spend more quality time together. Contact us online or call us at (619) 487-9000 to learn more about our team of experts in home health care San Diego, CA families trust.