The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) shares that as many as one-third of seniors experience a fall each year, and surprisingly, only half of them bring those falls to the attention of a doctor. When an older adult falls, even if it does not cause a serious injury, it can lead to an elevated fear of falling again. This can cause the person to begin to limit activities and exercise, which leads to reduced mobility and eventually, a greater risk of another fall. Read more
Experiencing a fall can be painful for anyone, but for older adults, falling can have devastating results. One of the common effects of a senior fall is a fractured hip, which can lead to even more health problems. Alarmingly, one-fourth of seniors who fracture a hip die in a period of just six months from the time of the injury – a sobering, yet preventable fact. This shows how important it is to take senior fall prevention measures to keep loved ones safe at home. Read more
The holidays are chock-full of celebrations, parties, and get-togethers. However, for seniors, holiday outings call for a little supplemental planning. Try these senior safety tips from the home care professionals at San Diego Home Caregivers to enjoy fun and relaxed outings with family members of all ages this holiday season.
Prior to leaving the house, consider:
- How much walking will be required, and whether or not there will be parking nearby
- Whether the location is flat or has steps or hills to climb
- If it is wheelchair-accessible (if appropriate)
- If there is cover and shade
- Whether you can find bathroom facilities
- Whether or not there are seats available just in case the older adult wants to rest
Make sure to be prepared for a wide range of potential changes in plans:
- Have all necessary medications with you, and bring an extra supply, in the event the outing takes longer or takes an unexpected turn
- Have appropriate clothes along with rain and sun protection
- Bring along something to eat and drink with you, in the event of a delay
Need some holiday outing suggestions that older adults might enjoy? Take into consideration the following:
- Take a relaxing family drive to see the area holiday lights
- If possible and received warmly, invite the older person to your home to help decorate for the holidays
- Take your older loved one to a holiday party at a local senior center
- Attend community plays; in addition to the local theater or ballet, there are reasonably priced plays and shows given by local schools
When participating in any holiday activities for seniors, take things slow and create a relaxing environment to make sure the senior is happy and comfortable.
The home care team at San Diego Home Caregivers can help by improving a senior’s independence while providing exceptional in-home care during the holidays and all through the year! Call our dedicated senior care professionals at (619) 487-900 to learn more about our in home care in La Jolla and other nearby communities. For a full list of the cities we serve in California, please click here.
Most people go through times when they simply want to be by themselves for a while with their thoughts, to sort out issues in their lives without any distractions, or just to experience some downtime. For older people, however, being isolated for an extended period of time might be indicative of a more concerning condition: depression.
At San Diego Home Caregivers, a provider of professional home care services in La Mesa and nearby areas, our team has shared the journey through depression with many older adults, and we want to offer help. The most important first step is to contact the older person’s doctor right away if you believe he or she may be struggling with depression. Depression in seniors is treatable, and the sooner, the better.
Watch for these signs of depression in your senior loved ones:
- Loss: A variety of kinds of loss can trigger depression or other medical concerns: losing weight, losing the desire to eat, a loss of self-worth, disinterest in activities or hobbies that were formerly enjoyed, or a reduction in time spent with family or friends.
- Slowing Down: Notice if the older person’s movements or speaking have slowed down, if it takes the senior longer than usual to talk about or recall memories, or if drive or energy are reduced.
- Sleeping Changes: Depression in seniors can have significant effects on sleep patterns, causing trouble with falling or staying asleep, issues with awakening, or struggles with being alert and awake for the duration of the day.
- Forgetfulness: Watch for differences in how the senior takes care of herself; for instance, if she was always careful about maintaining good personal hygiene and taking care with her appearance, but abruptly begins to ignore personal care, or any other critical changes like forgetting to take medicine, to eat a well-balanced diet, etc.
Various other medical conditions may also make depression worse. Be especially mindful if the senior has been affected by any of the following:
- Heart disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease
- Thyroid conditions
If you suspect depression in a senior loved one, it’s crucial to take action and not to disregard it as something the senior will get over in time. Depression is a chronic medical condition that requires treatment in order to recover.
And keep in mind, you are not alone! The caregivers of San Diego Home Caregivers are here to help older adults, and their family members, through senior depression or any other condition of aging. We’re experienced in providing caring, compassionate in-home services for older adults, offering friendly companionship to help encourage participation in exercise programs and social activities, to prepare appetizing, healthy meals, provide transportation to medical appointments and to run errands, and more.
Visiting Mom recently revealed a number of concerning signs. Though she has always been up and out of bed before 7 a.m., now it’s difficult to wake her before noon. Rather than going to great lengths to prepare an elaborate home-cooked meal, she would rather merely warm up a can of soup; and can barely finish a small bowlful. On top of that, she’s lost interest in enjoying time with her best friends from her knitting club. Could she be suffering from depression or dementia?
There are a number of similarities between the two, like:
- Eating and sleeping changes
- Reduced interest in formerly enjoyed interests and hobbies, and spending time with others
- Reduced memory and the ability to focus
There are, however, a number of distinguishing differences to help identify whether depression or dementia could be at play:
- A slow, progressive decline in mental functioning
- Noticeable problems with motor and/or language skills
- Difficulty with memory, without being aware of these problems
- Confusion in knowing the correct date, time, and surroundings
- A more rapid decline in mental functioning
- Difficulties with concentration
- A bit slower, but still normal motor and language abilities
- Difficulty with memory issues, but being aware of the problem
- Awareness of correct date, time and surroundings
Sometimes, both conditions can impact a person simultaneously. Brent Forester, MD, director of the mood disorders division in the geriatric psychiatry research program at McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA, shares, “40 to 50% of people with Alzheimer’s disease get depression, but depression also may be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s.”
If you suspect either depression or dementia in a senior loved one, arrange for an appointment as soon as possible with his/her doctor. Receiving a correct diagnosis and beginning a treatment plan is imperative.
Help for depression can include an antidepressant along with therapeutic counseling, or hospitalization if the difficulties are severe and require more intensive treatment. Dementia care usually involves medications that help with specific symptoms, like sleep problems, memory loss, or changes in behavior.
If a senior you love has been diagnosed with either depression or dementia, or is struggling with any other difficulties of aging, San Diego Home Caregivers can help. With our skilled dementia and elder home care services, we’re here for whatever specific needs your loved one is facing. Contact us online or at (619) 487-9000 for more information on home health in La Jolla, or to request a free in-home consultation. For a full list of all of the communities where we provide care, please visit our Communities Served page.
The great majority of seniors wish to remain at home for a lifetime, rather than relocating to an assisted living facility or nursing home – nearly 90 percent of them, according to research conducted by AARP. And who can blame them? The comfort of familiar surroundings, the freedom to go wherever, whenever you would like, the opportunity to prepare the meals you want when you want them are all priceless commodities.
But although it seems like the perfect plan for growing older, there are some real concerns to think through as well:
- Will the older person stay safe?
- How will the older adult get around once driving, or even walking, becomes a challenge?
- What happens if the older person gets sick or injured and no one’s close by to help?
Fortunately, it’s now easier than ever for seniors to stay safe and well at home. Considering the following can assist you in taking the necessary precautions to ensure the senior you love is prepared for these needs and any others, now and in the future:
- Assess the home, both inside and out, from the viewpoint of the senior’s safety. Check to verify that:
- Grab bars are in place near the tub and toilet.
- Throw rugs and any other fall hazards are removed.
- There is plenty of lighting, including in hallways and stairways.
- Commonly used items are located within easy reach.
- Emergency numbers are posted in a highly visible location.
- Create a transportation plan, so it is ready to implement when driving is no longer possible:
- Look into public transportation choices that are available and easy to access.
- Put together a volunteer tree of reliable people the older person can turn to for transportation when needed: friends, family members, neighbors, religious organizations, local senior centers, San Diego Home Caregivers, etc.
- Make sure the senior has access to the technology that can be used in an emergency to reach out for help when alone, such as a PERS (personal emergency response system).
The perfect way to ensure older individuals remain safe and well cared for at home, however, is by hiring a professional home care agency, such as San Diego Home Caregivers. Our caregivers are trained and have experience in providing elder help for San Diego seniors such as personal care services, transportation, meal planning and preparation, and companionship, and are available to help for as much or as little care as needed.
Our San Diego in-home caregivers start with the development of an individualized plan of care to address the senior’s particular needs and wishes, and then we continually monitor that plan and adjust as needs change – ensuring that the senior remains safe and can live life to the fullest, where it’s most comfortable: at home.
As the leading providers of senior companion care in San Diego and nearby areas, we invite you to contact us online or at (619) 487-9000 to learn more about how we can provide help for seniors in multiple ways.
Home is where the heart is, and it’s for that reason so many older adults make the decision to continue to live at home for a lifetime. But many times wheelchairs come to be a part of life when older adults or those with particular disabilities lose mobility. This can be a unique challenge when it comes to making sure the home is a safe place. But a few key home modifications for wheelchair users can considerably improve safety for aging adults.
Following are just a few modifications recommended to incorporate a wheelchair into the home:
- Ensure that walkways and driveways are smooth, but not slick.
- Install a ramp to the front door with landings at the bottom and the top.
- Doorways ought to be 32-36 inches wide with enough floor space near the doors to maneuver a wheelchair.
- Thresholds on doors should always be ¼ inch or less.
- Cabinet shelves should ideally be no more than 10 inches deep.
- Kitchen stove controls should be located at the front.
- Be sure that there is knee space underneath all sinks.
- Oven doors should ideally be able to swing open to the side.
- For deeper shelves, utilize a Lazy Susan to permit the person to easily reach all items.
- Bathrooms ought to have either a wheelchair maneuverable tub with a 60-inch turning radius or T-turn space, or a stand-up shower that is curbless and at least 36 inches wide.
- There should be plenty of room to transfer from wheelchair to toilet.
- Walk-in closets are great for wheelchair-bound individuals, but a closet organizer that gives the person the ability to reach all items is also a good option.
- Additionally, floors should be free of clutter and furniture should be arranged for maximum maneuverability.
San Diego Home Caregivers, offers experienced in-home caregivers in San Diego and the surrounding areas, who can also assist with home modification ideas and coordination. The first step is our complimentary in-home evaluation, where we will put together a customized care plan to address the individual’s unique care needs and wishes, and then we monitor that plan ongoing and modify as needs change. Our in-home care services in San Diego are available for just a few hours each week, up through 24/7, around-the-clock care. You can reach us any time via our online contact form or at (619) 487-9000 to learn more about available services!