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

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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 senior care in Oceanside and surrounding areas over the holidays and year-round. See our full service area.

How to Overcome Senior Fitness Hurdles and Improve Wellbeing

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senior fitness hurdles - at home nursing in san diego

San Diego Home Caregivers offers suggestions on how to overcome normal 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, providers of home health care in La Jolla 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 services in home health care in La Jolla and the surrounding area can help! 

From Frail to Fit: Best Exercises for Seniors

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exercises for seniors - elderly home care in san diego

Seniors should participate in exercises that help strengthen muscles and improve flexibility.

Exercise for seniors is not only beneficial, it’s extremely crucial to uphold as active a way of life as possible. Even seniors who are confined to a bed or wheelchair-bound have a variety of possibilities available to strengthen, increase resistance and flexibility.  

The first step is always to consult the physician to get a recommendation on the best exercises for older persons that match your loved one’s activity level and medical history. At first, exercising even for as little as a few minutes every day, repeated several times during the day, can dramatically improve the older adult’s health and wellbeing. 

Following are examples of the best exercises for seniors: 

  • Aerobics: If whole body movements are not feasible, exercises from a sitting position can be found to improve cardio strength. When possible, good possibilities include: 
    • Swimming or water aerobics 
    • Dancing 
    • Walking 
    • Tai Chi 
    • Bowling 
  • Resistance Exercises: To strengthen and build muscles, resistance exercises can be performed with elastic bands, which can be found in a variety of tensile strengths. The Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences shares that even just one day per week of resistance training helps older adults retain independence and decrease the chance of injuries. 
  • Flexibility Exercises: Stretching exercises help enhance flexibility and range of motion. Search for yoga classes at local senior or recreation centers. 
  • Dementia Exercises: In the initial stages of Alzheimer’s especially, a range of exercise possibilities are possible, and with enhanced supervision and some adjustments, can be continued as the disease progresses. Because repetition is typically comforting to those with dementia, activities including walking, riding a stationary bicycle, and folding laundry are beneficial to both the older adult’s physical and mental state. 

Motivating your older loved one to start and then stay with an exercise program is integral to success. Try these tips to make it something interesting that he or she will look forward to: 

  • Join in an exercise program with the older adult. It’s always more fun to exercise with a partner. 
  • Include favorite, upbeat music. 
  • Set aside dedicated time each and every day expressly for physical fitness, and make it a priority. 
  • Designate incentives or rewards for obtaining goals. 

For more resources on helping seniors increase activity levels, contact San Diego Home Caregiversproviders of home care in Carlsbad and the surrounding areas. Our skilled San Diego in-home caregivers are knowledgeable in helping seniors thrive and improve their overall wellbeing, and we love nothing more than knowing the seniors in our care are healthy and living life to the fullest! Contact us at 619.487.9000 to learn more!