Posts

How to Cope with Caregiver Guilt as a Family Caregiver

in ,

We can help you cope with caregiver guilt.

Many people are trying to juggle various important responsibilities, and for family caregivers, it can feel the same as trying to juggle flaming swords and knives. It’s natural for family members to become overwhelmed and to experience feelings of caregiver guilt when trying to provide the best care for a loved one.

Guilt can show up in so many different ways. You could be feeling like you’re not spending enough quality time with the person in your care. You may be feeling guilty about contemplating a nursing home for the senior. The guilt may arise after the senior’s dementia-fueled repetitions caused you to snap. Or perhaps you feel like you’re not balancing your care well between the aging adult you love and your own children.

When caregiver guilt builds up, try to keep this statement top of mind: You are doing your best, and it’s ok to request help.

Let’s look a little more closely at that statement. First: you are doing your best. You would probably agree, but do you truly believe it? Reminding yourself about the following truths if you’re doubtful might help:

  • My loved one appreciates me, even if they can’t or refuse to say so.
  • I am doing the best that I can.
  • I cannot change or correct the past, but I can control how I feel about it.
  • Mistakes will likely happen.
  • I am doing enough.

It could be even more helpful to place these and other affirmations on sticky notes around the house, such as on the kitchen counter or a medicine cabinet. And if there’s a specific statement that really speaks to you, utilize the calendar app on your phone to set it as a daily reminder.

Second: It’s ok to ask for help, whether that means professional help through San Diego Home Caregivers, or help from other relatives, your own personal friends, or the senior’s friends.

Try starting by contacting the older adult’s friends. We’ve all heard from well-meaning friends, “Just let me know what I can help with.” But it can be very difficult to actually take them up on that offer. And on the other hand, an older loved one’s friends in the neighborhood may refrain from helping so as not to step on your toes. Contact them and ask for specific help, such as, “Would you come visit with Mom every Monday for about an hour?” You might be surprised to discover how willing people are to help out — they just need to find out what you need.

You could also consider asking siblings or other family members for help. Bear in mind, if you’re able to find help for even a couple of small tasks, you will definitely feel less overwhelmed. Maybe Aunt Ruth can take Mom to her weekly physical therapy appointment, or Cousin Alan can go with Grandpa to church.

If family members live out of town, ask them to help with tasks that can be taken care of over the phone or online, like researching activities for seniors, or figuring out the most cost-effective drug store for the senior’s prescription medications.

The ideal solution, however, is partnering with San Diego Home Caregivers for customized in-home care assistance. We are here to help with services such as:

  • Regular respite care
  • Planning and preparing healthy meals
  • Light housekeeping services and laundry
  • Transportation to appointments, shopping and fun outings
  • Specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s or other chronic conditions
  • Companionship for socialization through conversations, hobbies/interests, exercise, etc.
  • And more

San Diego Home Caregivers is here to help you during your caregiving journey. Our trained and experienced home care team can meet a wide range of needs particular to the challenges a senior is experiencing. Our caregiving professionals can make sure your loved one has everything needed, providing you with vital time away for self-care. Contact San Diego Home Caregivers, the leading provider of in home support services in San Diego and the surrounding communities, online or at (619) 487-9000 for more information.

Four Fun Holiday Activities for Seniors and their Families

in , ,
Senior woman smiling at the holiday dinner table with family

For ideas on holiday activities for seniors, reach out to San Diego Home Caregivers, provider of elderly care La Jolla and nearby areas choose first.

Even though the holiday season is typically thought about as a time that is joyful, abundant with visiting loved ones who are near and dear to us and finding the perfect gifts, for older people, it can be anything but merry and bright. A blend of loved ones lost, memories of holidays past, health problems and more can impact seniors with loneliness and sorrow.

At San Diego Home Caregivers, we care deeply about making certain that seniors feel included in the celebrations and enjoy the holidays to the fullest. These fun holiday activities for seniors can help everyone enjoy the wonder of the holidays together:

  • Develop a cookbook with recipes from family members. Compile all the recipes together, and then make copies of your new family cookbook.
  • Take a drive to view holiday lights in an old neighborhood that your older family member remembers fondly.
  • If a senior has trouble with putting out holiday decorations, offer your assistance! This is a wonderful way to share memories of past holidays and the significance behind different decorations. San Diego Home Caregivers can also provide help with holiday decorating.
  • For a holiday that is truly relaxing, schedule time together at a local salon or spa. You can even request a local beautician or masseuse to come to the home if it’s possible.

Safety measures may also come up for the older adult, for a variety of reasons: elevated fall risks with all of the extra holiday decorations, problems with following a prescribed dietary plan, and for those with dementia, disruption to routine, additional visitors in the home, and higher noise levels can all lead to stress.

Bear the following in mind to be sure older adults remain safe and content:

  • Keep decoration safety in mind. Ensure that there are clear walking paths, and try to utilize simple, uncluttered decorations.
  • Subdued lighting can conceal things that the elderly could possibly trip over, such as extension cords.
  • Set aside a quiet area for the older person if the enthusiasm of young children, loud music and activities become stressful.
  • Assign someone to be the older adult’s “buddy” for the event, making certain his or her needs are fully met and establishing a bond that is wonderful for both.

The holidays can certainly be fun and relaxing for everyone. With just a little pre-planning and additional thought, seniors will enjoy the holidays as much as everyone else, producing new memories that the whole family will take pleasure in for a lifetime.

And, if in the middle of the holiday hustle and bustle you might like the help of a professional caregiver, San Diego Home Caregivers, provider of elderly care La Jolla and other surrounding areas trust most, is here to help! Call us at (619) 487-9000 to learn more about how our services can brighten the holiday season for you and your family and for more ideas for fun holiday activities for seniors to enjoy this season. For a full list of the cities we serve in California, please click here.

Top Senior Safety Tips to Make Holiday Outings More Enjoyable

in ,
Senior woman helping grandchild make a gingerbread house

For more senior safety tips for the holidays, call San Diego Home Caregivers, provider of in home care La Jolla and nearby areas trust most.

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.

Are You at Risk for Caregiver Burnout?

in
Tired caregiver experiencing caregiver burnout.

Assess your risk for caregiver burnout with these questions.

Providing care for an aging loved one, while incredibly rewarding, can also bring about a high amount of caregiver stress. The full-time pressure of meeting a loved one’s care needs can swiftly escalate to become caregiver burnout – a dangerous condition that can lead to a loss of patience and emotionally charged outbursts, impacting not just the caregiver personally, but the senior as well.

It’s important to determine if you could possibly be in danger of developing caregiver burnout, and to locate help if needed. The quick questionnaire from our home care staff can help uncover whether you may have crossed the line from caregiver stress to caregiver burnout:

  • Are you no longer finding joy in activities or hobbies/interests?
  • Do you struggle with back pain, headaches, fatigue, and/or feeling sad or depressed?
  • Are you getting sick more often than before?
  • Is your temper shorter recently, either with the senior or other friends and family, in private or in public?
  • Are you lashing out at your senior loved one when she or he displays concerning behaviors?
  • Are you more emotional lately? Are you crying for little or no reason?
  • Are you gaining or losing weight without trying?
  • Do you have problems with falling or staying asleep?

If your answers to these questions are concerning, it might be time to think about finding help, for both yourself and the senior in your care.

At San Diego Home Caregivers, our thoroughly trained and experienced providers of La Jolla senior care can share the load by providing in-home respite care services – for several hours each week, full-time, around-the-clock care, or anything in between, offering a much-needed break to take care of your own personal needs, enjoy some downtime to rest and recharge, and to help you to be better prepared to provide the highest quality care for your loved one.

Just some of the countless ways we can help include:

  • Friendly companionship for conversations and fun pastimes
  • Preparing nutritious meals
  • Assisting with household chores and laundry
  • Grocery shopping and running other errands
  • Providing transportation to medical appointments and outings
  • And much more

To learn more about our personalized home care services, call San Diego Home Caregivers at (619) 487-9000. Partnering with our professional care team means you’re never alone! For a full list of all of the communities where we provide care, please visit our Communities Served page.

 

Reducing Readmission Risk Starts with a Safe Discharge Home from the Hospital

in , ,
safe discharge home from the hospital

Patient follow-through, including continuing home health care services at home, is an important part of reducing the risk for hospital readmissions.

There’s currently a high priority for hospitals: reducing readmissions for high-risk patients. Healthcare Financial Management Association’s article “Two Ways Hospitals Can Reduce Avoidable Readmissions” outlines that efficient initiatives from hospitals with lower 30-day rehospitalizations are, to a certain extent, the result of participating with inpatient and outpatient care providers, such as San Diego Home Caregivers, who can provide a continuum of care.

The hospitals discussed in the article provided the guidelines below to reduce hospital readmissions:

  • Begin getting ready for a patient’s discharge from a hospital stay on the day of admission. When a senior is admitted to the hospital, call a home care agency, such as San Diego Home Caregivers, to implement a plan for in-home care upon being discharged. Patient outcomes are more positive when home care services are initiated as early as possible following discharge.
  • Identify patients who might be at an elevated risk for difficulties after discharge for additional care coordination and/or case management services. (Ensure social workers see all patients age 80 and over to provide support with care needs.)
  • Use technology to assess, track, or refer patients.
  • Conduct an in-depth analysis of the patient’s care needs, risk factors, available resources, understanding and management of the disease or health condition, and level of family support.

At San Diego Home Caregivers, leading providers of home care in La Jolla and surrounding areas, we recognize how important it is to create a transitional care plan in order to ensure a safe discharge home from the hospital and reduce the risk of readmission. Our team of experts can begin planning a customized plan of care starting on day one of their hospital stay, monitoring their health and making sure that care plans are implemented as soon as they return home. Call us at (619) 487-9000 or complete our online contact form to discover more about how we can help someone you love transition from hospital to home, reducing the risk of readmission by utilizing professional home care services including:

  • Providing training and assistance with chronic condition management
  • Medication reminders to improve adherence to the prescribed plan
  • Assisting with coordination and balance
  • Skilled nursing services
  • And many more

Avoid an unnecessary follow-up hospital visit by partnering with San Diego Home Caregivers to improve patient outcomes for a safe discharge home from the hospital. Our team of experts is available to provide support according to a customized plan of care. See our full service area.

How to Help a Loved One Avoid the Emergency Room this Holiday Season

in , ,
avoid the emergency room this holiday season

Hospitals see an increased number of older adults around the holidays.

While we’d like to imagine enjoying a Norman Rockwell-worthy holiday celebration, with all of our loved ones spending quality time together, and Grandma’s traditional holiday feast, the reality is that numerous families will instead experience something unforeseen: an E/R visit. In fact, research shows that emergency room visits for older adults increase around 10 – 20% during the holidays.

Although pinpointing the reason behind this statistical increase is tricky, one issue could be that family members who have not been spending significant time with an elderly relative, discover during a visit for the holiday, that his/her health condition has deteriorated.

Dr. Tamara Kuittinen of Lenox Hill Hospital shares, “It’s an issue of out of sight, out of mind for many people. If you haven’t seen your mom in six months, you may not be fully aware of the aging process and her health in general.”

Not only that, there are some common changes related to aging that may be misconstrued, causing family members to feel that an E/R visit is required.

There are, nonetheless, some proactive measures that can be taken to help seniors avoid the emergency room this holiday season:

  • Maintain a listing of contact information for your loved one’s primary care physician and other medical specialists. Make sure the list contains all medications prescribed by each physician and any medication allergies or other issues. Contacting the appropriate doctor for his/her suggestions about your concerns is a wise first step prior to an E/R visit, unless of course the older person is experiencing a true emergency.
  • Talk with the older adult about appointing a health care proxy, who will be able to make health decisions if your loved one is unable to do so. Make certain a living will is in place as well.
  • Check in with your senior loved one regularly during the course of the year. For family members who live at a distance, it’s beneficial to enlist the aid of your loved one’s neighbors or close friends to stop in to see the senior routinely and to update you with any changes they notice.

Of course, if it is an actual emergency, never hesitate to call 911 and seek the emergency medical care required immediately.

A professional home care agency, like San Diego Home Caregivers, is the ideal solution to make sure your loved ones continue to remain healthy and well, and that any changes in condition are addressed immediately – so the holidays will remain as festive and enjoyable as they should be. Just a few of the many ways we can help include:

  • Medication reminders
  • Meal planning and preparation
  • Household chores and laundry
  • Personal care assistance
  • And many more

Call us at (619) 487-9000 to learn more about our professional home care services, arrange for a free in-home assessment, and to find out if our services are available in your area.  Our team of high-qualified professionals are available to provide customized La Jolla area elder care over the holidays and year-round. See our full service area to see if we serve your community.

Can Your Aging Parents Pay for Long-Term Care? Helping Them Starts Now

in , ,
Retirement Home

The right time to help aging parents plan for future long-term care needs is before care is needed.

Millions of people in the U.S. struggle with the decision of whether their senior parents are able to cover the cost for long-term care. Monetary issues can be a delicate subject, and when it is time to begin thinking about long-term care needs, having an open and honest discussion about how your parents will be able to pay for aging care services is essential. To that end, San Diego Home Caregivers, the leading provider of elderly care in San Diego and the surrounding areas, has gathered together the following questions to help you get started:

  • What are your parents’ assets? A good place to begin is to determine approximately how much funding your parents have available in cash, investments, and Social Security. This provides a foundation for covering long-term care expenditures.
  • Do your parents anticipate needing financial assistance? People are living longer than ever before, meaning more people are outliving the resources they have designated for retirement. Ask your parents if they have enough funds to sustain their needs for the balance of their lives. If not, how much support will be necessary?
  • Do your parents have insurance? Find out if your parents have a long-term care insurance policy, as well as life insurance. Review to gain a solid understanding of their policies.
  • Can you access their passwords and account numbers? Ask for account and password details, and maintain a copy of this information, along with contact information for your parents’ attorney and financial advisor. This will make it an easier process to work through affairs when the need arises.
  • Do your parents have a power of attorney? Suggest to your parents that they select and finalize paperwork for a power of attorney so they are assured that there is a dependable, trusted person to make decisions for them in the instance of a medical emergency.

Planning in advance for long-term care is essential, and easier to accomplish while your parents are independent and thriving. Gaining an understanding of their finances now will help you be more prepared for their future care.

At San Diego Home Caregivers, we realize that discussions about long-term care and finances can be difficult, and our professionals are always available to offer help. Contact San Diego Home Caregivers, the top provider of elderly care in San Diego and the surrounding areas, at (619) 487-9000 to learn more.

Creating Purpose and Enhancing Health with Engaging Activities for Seniors

in , ,
Activities for Seniors

Escape the boring routines and discover how home care can enrich your life with engaging activities for seniors!

Is your senior loved one participating in enriching activities on a regular basis, or is he or she stuck in a rut that consists of watching television, eating, and sleeping? Particularly during this time of quarantining and isolation, it can be difficult to maintain an active and involved way of living – but it’s crucially important for the health and quality of life of aging adults.

At San Diego Home Caregivers, expert providers of in-home senior help, we believe that enhancing home health care services with engaging activities for seniors is a key component of ensuring the highest quality of life. San Diego Home Caregivers is one of the leading providers of San Diego senior care and care throughout the surrounding areas, in part because we believe the individuals we serve ought to be honored with activities that engage them and help them remain involved in living life to the fullest on a daily basis. As a result, our in-home caregivers individualize activities to match each person’s distinct interests, hobbies, and ability levels.

Our person-centered care begins with discovering as much as possible about the individual’s preferences, dislikes, hopes and dreams, interests and life history. We get to know each person through an interview that may also include other family members if desired, and then build a personalized plan of care to incorporate a variety of appropriate enrichment activities.

Some of the benefits of including enrichment activities for seniors include:

  • Alleviate boredom and lack of enthusiasm
  • Enhance self-confidence and independence
  • Renew or increase purpose and meaning to life
  • Help improve memory
  • Restore physical abilities
  • Foster a sense of wellbeing for older individuals struggling with a chronic health problem

Successfully enhancing seniors’ daily experiences means not just customizing their activities to meet their individual preferences and tastes, but also ensuring that their daily routine has some variety. This means that on a particular day we may concentrate on activities that are created to boost their inventiveness with a simple but meaningful art project. Another day, the focus may be on just having fun with a board game or taking a short walk around the neighborhood. Ultimately, our senior home care services are customized to help older individuals develop the highest possible quality of life.

It’s equally important to use some resourceful consideration when identifying engaging activities for seniors during a time such as this when it’s best for older adults to stay at home. This might include activities such as taking virtual field trips to check out places of interest, making full use of technology like Zoom and Skype to keep in touch with loved ones, or streaming a live concert featuring his or her favorite genre of music and dancing, singing, or tapping our toes together. Our care professionals are always available to help spark creative ideas.

At San Diego Home Caregivers, improving the daily lives of seniors and optimizing their independence are central components of our mission. Our San Diego senior care and care in the surrounding communities is designed not only to support seniors’ physical needs, but to enhance their everyday experiences with specially-designed activities. Contact us through our online form or call us any time at (619) 487-9000 to learn more about our in-home senior care services. View a full list of the communities we serve.

How to Overcome Senior Fitness Hurdles and Improve Wellbeing

in , ,
senior fitness hurdles - at home nursing in san diego

San Diego Home Caregivers offers suggestions on how to overcome senior fitness hurdles to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle through exercise.

Establishing a routine exercise habit is challenging at any age. Working out is tedious. We would prefer not to expend the time. We’re feeling the pain from yesterday’s workout. We’ve all made excuses such as these for not staying physically fit; but frailty and advanced age make it even more difficult to stick with an exercise routine and overcome senior fitness hurdles 

San Diego Home Caregivers, provider of in-home senior help in San Diego and the surrounding area, is here to help the elderly continue to remain more physically active with suggestions to overcome the following normal senior fitness hurdles: 

  • Self-confidence: It’s natural for aging adults to feel some level of stress with the concept of achieving exercise objectives. It can be beneficial to begin slowly with exercises that are easily accomplished and advance slowly; and, encourage the senior consistently. 
  • Attitude: Attitude is so crucial when it comes to exercise. If approached negatively, it will be much more difficult to stay with an effective exercise regimen. Opt for activities that will be enjoyable and that the older person will look forward to. 
  • Pain: The expression, “No pain, no gain” actually isn’t true. Older individuals should prevent overdoing it, and scale back the level of intensity if sensing pain or discomfort. 
  • Disabilities: Older adults with physical or cognitive limitations can and should remain active according to their ability level. Consult the doctor for a referral to a personal trainer or physical therapist who can come up with a program of specialized exercises. 
  • Fear of Injury/Balance Problems: There are a range of assistive devices to permit safe, effective exercising without worry of falls while still enhancing senior fitness. 
  • Financial Concerns: It does not have to cost a lot of money to stay fit! Walking and other simplistic exercises in and around the senior’s home, making use of ordinary household objects can be incorporated into an exercise plan at little to no cost. 
  • Illness or Fatigue: Exercises can be personalized to match the older individual’s energy level, and he or she may gradually increase the endurance level over time. 

Keep in mind that the way to ongoing positive results with an exercise plan is to ensure the senior feels comfortable and safe with the plan and the exercises. If discomfort is observed in muscles or joints the next day after exercising, a reduced intensity can be put in place; and check with the doctor if the pain or discomfort continues.  

San Diego Home Caregivers will work with your loved one’s doctor to develop a safe exercise plan in accordance with his or her abilities to boost strength, independence, and overall quality of life. Contact us at 619.487.9000 to learn more about the advantages of daily exercise in improving senior fitness and to learn more about how our in-home senior help in San Diego in and the surrounding area can help! 

5 Important Tips for a Parkinson’s Caregiver

in , ,

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 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 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 senior services in San Diego, CA and the surrounding areas.