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Senior Care Resources

Sources of Low Sodium Foods for Seniors

By | Senior Care Resources

Reducing salt intake can greatly improve the health of seniors who are living with heart disease or high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a very serious condition that affects roughly 58% of seniors on Medicare.

On top of this, heart failure is one of the most common reasons that people who are aged over 65 go to the hospital. Heart disease causes around 1 in 4 deaths in the US. However, the one thing that these diseases have in common is that symptoms can be significantly reduced when sodium intake is reduced 

It can also improve health and reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke. As of now, for most adults and people suffering from these health conditions, no more than 1,500 mg a day is an ideal limit. 

3 Places That You Can Go to Find Great Low Sodium Recipes for Seniors

While all recipe websites will feature low sodium recipes at one point or another, the ones that we are most fond of we have gathered below. In fact, all of these websites have a dedicated low sodium category.

1. EatingWell

EatingWell has a massive and varied selection of low sodium dishes. They make it especially easy and efficient to search for specific types of low sodium dishes that you may enjoy. They even have categories such as low sodium low card and low sodium diabetic recipes.

You can use the great horizontal menu items that sit just above the recipe section to easily choose which category you want to browse. You can even just scroll down to browse all of the low sodium recipes available.

2. Taste of Home

Taste of Home is an excellent website that has a great range of low sodium dishes that cater to many different tastebuds. They even have a navigation menu that is super handy on the right side to allow you to jump directly from the recipe type you’re looking for such as dinner, appetizer, or dessert. 

3. My Recipes

My Recipes is yet another website with a vast range of low sodium recipes. The recipes are organized by the type of dish. The categories are Breads, Main Dishes, Desserts, and Soups.

These websites make it much easier to find low sodium foods for seniors to enjoy without worrying about adverse effects. These delicious meals can make it easier to reduce your sodium intake. 

Common Eye Diseases That Can Result in Blindness in Aging

By | Senior Care Resources

Vision problems often begin as a painless and ever-growing problem. Sometimes, people don’t even notice them. That is why it can be hard to detect in aging eyes.

Even aging adults can find them hard to detect. However, the earliest signs of vision problems actually begin with behavior changes most of the time. So, if you notice that your loved one is aging and beginning to act differently, you may want to get them checked out by an experienced eye doctor. 

An example of this is if you notice your aging loved one avoids reading or prefers to sit way closer to the TV now. They may even be mixing up their medications or confusing foods that have similar labels. They may even trip on things that are blatantly in front of them.

Let’s take a look at four common eye diseases that can result in blindness in aging eyes. 

Age-Related Muscular Degeneration (AMD)

A breakdown of AMD:

  • Usually causes a painless yet slow loss of vision.
  • Damage to the part of the retina that allows us to see straight ahead. 
  • The leading cause of vision loss and blindness in Americans aged over 65.

The Signs of AMD:

  • Shadow areas in the center of vision.
  • Unusually distorted or funny vision.
  • Not seeing things directly in front of them.

Cataracts

A breakdown of cataracts:

  • Vision becomes hazy and cloudy.
  • Most common cause of vision loss in people over 40.
  • Often it begins gradually.

The signs of AMD:

  • Blurry vision.
  • Having a harder time reading or seeing the clock.

Diabetic Eye Disease (Diabetic Retinopathy)

A breakdown of diabetic retinopathy:

  • Caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina.
  • A complication of diabetes.
  • Not noticeable at first but can worse over time and cause vision loss in both eyes.

The Signs of diabetic retinopathy:

  • Not seeing things directly in front of them.

Glaucoma

A breakdown of glaucoma:

  • Most types cause no pain and have no symptoms until vision loss occurs.
  • A group of eye disorders damaging the optic nerve.

The signs of glaucoma:

  • Not being able to see things in their peripheral vision.

Knowing what to expect when your aging loved ones are losing their vision is a priority. It is crucial that you are aware of any behavioral changes or tripping that may occur. Keep an eye on your aging loved one to ensure that you care for them as they require.

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Improving Mental Health in Seniors

By | Senior Care Resources

Seniors can often experience massive changes in life that affect their mental health. Helping a loved one stay mentally healthy and happy can often be a challenge. However, it is important to ensure that seniors are getting what they need to live a fulfilled life.

Depression and mood disorders are commonly associated with aging. While this doesn’t mean that your loved one is bound to develop mental health issues, it is certainly something to keep an eye on. Usually, having something to look forward to will give an older person a reason to get out of the house and help them stay mentally active.

Here are some strategies to help seniors improve their mental health.

Take Nature Breaks

Nature is an incredibly powerful mood booster. In fact, there is ongoing research that helps us understand how being in nature can improve our mental health and sharpen cognition. Many studies also say that being in nature or simply viewing images of nature can help reduce stress and boost your mood and memory.

With an older loved one, you can enjoy short walks in the garden or simply sit on a bench outside on a nice day.

Play Word Games or Work on Simple Puzzles

If your senior loved one is able to enjoy games such as Scrabble, work on crossword puzzles, or complete jigsaw puzzles, these are some excellent ways to have fun and boost mental wellbeing at the same time. Choose games that match their abilities to ensure that they truly have fun.

These games can also help greatly to keep your aged loved one mentally active and stave off the effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Learn a New Skill or Revisit an Old Talent

Many people enjoy creating art or exploring a hobby, but in the course of life, these enriching activities sometimes get set aside. Old age is the perfect time to revisit them. Whether your senior loved one is starting a brand-new hobby or revisiting an old talent, these activities are an excellent way to keep physically and mentally active. 

Sketching, painting, and sculpting are particularly effective outlets. They can help to improve hand-eye coordination and boost mental health. Music is also an excellent way to lift spirits. 

Maintaining good mental health is essential at any stage of life, but especially for seniors. If you want more information on the services we offer for seniors, such as residential senior care, memory care, and senior home care, get in touch with Premiere Cottages today.

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Improving Home Security and Safety for Seniors

By | Senior Care Resources

Often, criminals are intent on robbing seniors’ homes because they see them as easy targets. This is a scary thought because no one should have to deal with the thought of someone breaking in and feeling defenseless. Here are some basic steps to help you reduce the chances of being victimized.

Basic Home Protection

There are many severe consequences of home invasions. Here are a few specific precautions that you should take to ensure that you are kept safe:

  • Never leave a key under the mat or in an obvious place. Instead, give a copy of the key to family members and a neighbor you can trust. 
  • Make sure all doors are locked, even when you’re at home. 
  • Always choose solid metal or wood for any door with outside access. It needs to be strong. 
  • Windows need protection too. Consider adding security film or Plexiglass on the inside to increase your safety.
  • If you live in a house with a gate, make sure that you always keep your gate locked. 
  • If you hear someone knock on your door, bring a phone with you in case you need to call for help.

Home Security for Seniors

Extended Home Protection

Here are some additional ways to stay safe:

  • Consider adding an alert system to your home. 
  • Have a security system installed. Every safe home has a security system as they are the foundation of any home safety plan. They will not only help turn away thieves, but they are also very helpful in the case of medical emergencies and fires. 
  • Have motion sensors installed. They are the perfect way to ensure you know when someone is outside your door. It will also help to prevent vandalism. 
  • Don’t have regular monthly checks mailed to you. Often, thieves are smart enough to remember dates and times and will be able to steal them. You’re better off receiving them via direct bank transfer. 

Here at Premiere Cottages, we make sure that we keep the tightest security procedures possible to ensure our seniors feel safe 24/7. When you have finally decided that it is time for assisted living, choosing the right facility with great security is the next thing you must think about.

Premiere Cottages is a trustworthy, comfortable, and serene place to find your loved ones the care they need as they age. By helping your loved one find a new place to live, you are giving them a safe life in their golden years.

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Recognizing Signs a Loved One Needs Assisted Living

By | Senior Care Resources

One of the hardest things in life is watching your loved one’s health and well-being decline. While we all age and eventually require more help, it is never easy to come to terms with this hard part of life. It can be extremely difficult to see someone who was once so independent struggle with seemingly easy tasks.

However, you need to know at what point you need to step in. First of all, you must recognize that every single situation is difficult. It is important that both you and your loved one decide when to make the move to professional forms of senior home care. Giving them the independence to be part of the choice will make it easier.

Here are some signs to help you recognize that your loved one needs this type of care.

Signs Your Loved One Needs Assisted Living

Many seniors prefer to stay in their homes if it is possible, which is completely understandable. After all, it is where they have been comfortable for many years and had control over their lives. However, when they need to move into assisted living, it can be difficult for them to speak up.

Recognizing Signs a Loved One Needs Assisted Living

Sometimes, they may not even realize they need to. Here are some signs to keep an eye out for that may indicate that your loved one needs assisted living:

  • Trouble with routine grooming
  • General neglect of household tasks
  • Isolation
  • Lack of interest
  • Falls
  • Mobility issues
  • Forgetting to turn off appliances
  • Forgetting to lock the door
  • Noticeable cognitive decline
  • Forgetting to take medications
  • Needing reminders 

Questions to Ask Yourself

If you’re still unsure as to whether or not to move your loved one into assisted living, it can be helpful to go over these questions. This will help you in your path to making the right decision. 

  • Can they maintain their home at a basic level?
  • Is there a safety risk to them remaining alone?
  • Is there a health risk to them remaining alone?
  • Are they getting the proper nutrition at home?
  • Would assisted living reduce your loved one’s stress?
  • Do they need more social interaction?
  • Is caregiving affecting your quality of life?

Choosing the Right Facility

When you have finally decided that it is time for assisted living, choosing the right facility is the next thing you must think about. Premiere Cottages is a trustworthy, comfortable, and serene place to find your loved ones the care they need as they age. By helping your loved one find a new place to live, you are giving them a safe life in their golden years.

Read More About Senior Health Care and Assisted Living:

Caregiving Tips for Aging Parents at Home

By | Senior Care Resources

There are many reasons that caregivers may choose to care for their aging loved one at home. As long as it is a healthy home environment for everyone involved, then keeping your aging parent at home is a great idea! However, it is important to remember that senior care isn’t always easy.

It can be incredibly stressful and tough. To help you understand the long-term care of your parents at home, here are some tips.

Understand How Much Care Is Needed

When caring for your aging parent at home, you need to understand just how much care is needed. Creating a daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly list of care tasks can help you understand how much care is needed during the day, at night, and on weekends. You will quickly be able to realize just how much supervision is needed and when.

Caregiving Tips

Be Realistic About How Much Care You Can Provide

If your parents need more care than ever before, you need to figure out if that is something you can handle on your own or if you will need help. You will also need to look at the list of tasks and identify what you can do alone and what you will need help with. If you need additional board and care options, then it may be worth looking at an assisted living facility as well.

In the evaluation, you will need to carefully think about how much you can do without harming your own health. Keep in mind that you’re better off starting with a small number of tasks and then taking on more as time progresses instead of jumping in the deep end.

Instead, be proactive and find ways that you can keep up your health and keep going as a caregiver.

Ask for Help with Caregiving

Caregiving can be hard at times. However, it is always okay to ask for help. Sometimes you can look at hiring help or simply asking another family member to tag in.

To help you find another caregiver to share the workload, you need to keep an open mind and be flexible. Be sure to give the other caregiver the list of needs you wrote down so they know what to expect. You may be doing such a great job that people don’t think you need help.

However, getting help from family can sometimes be the best thing you do.

The Bottom Line

Caring for your aging parents at home can be a great idea depending on the circumstances. As long as you’re all getting what you need, it will be a great experience. However, if caring for your parents isn’t working, get in touch with Premier Cottages today and see what they can do to help you out!

How to Help Seniors Avoid Isolation

By | Senior Care Resources

Older people are at a higher risk of isolation, which deteriorates their mental and physical wellbeing. Here are some simple ways you can help them fight feelings of loneliness and get them socializing again.

Social hobbies

As people get older, they aren’t as active due to mobility and confidence issues. Naturally, they may want to stay inside more often. Encourage them to join local groups to continue hobbies they love or take up a new pastime. Gardening, knitting, or group exercise are enjoyable and social activities. Regular get-togethers help boost their mental health, they can make new friends, and it gives them something to look forward to.

Video calling

For some seniors, technology can feel a little daunting. Video calling is a fantastic way for them to stay in touch with you and other loved ones who can’t always be there in person. Take some time to teach them how to use a tablet or computer so they can enjoy a Zoom or Skype call with you. Seeing your face during conversation keeps them feeling part of the family – vital when they may otherwise struggle to see a friendly face every day.

Senior Video Calling

Adopt a pet or plant

Older adults may no longer have people relying on them, as they did when they were younger and taking care of a family. To combat loneliness, adopting a pet or even a plant can give them a sense of purpose. It gives them company and even something to talk about with others.

Eat meals with others

For most people, eating is a social activity. Sitting around a dinner table talking about life may be something that isolated seniors miss out on. Invite them for a group meal when you can, or visit them and bring home-cooked food that they enjoy. You can even set aside time to prepare and cook a meal together.

Arrange transportation

Many seniors can no longer drive – they lose independence and feel guilty about asking for help with getting around. Your local area will likely have local transportation services that help your senior loved one regain their independence. Consider offering to take them to clubs, shopping, or appointments yourself, or with another trusted loved one.

Encourage a healthy lifestyle

Many seniors feel embarrassed about participating in activities or socializing because they’re not as mobile as they used to be, have health issues, or reduced hearing and vision.

It’s essential to help them access adaptive technologies such as walkers or hearing aids to make life easier. Encourage them to try light physical exercise and make sure they have access to fresh, healthy foods. A healthy body keeps weight and other health issues under control, boosting self-esteem.

Products That Can Help Seniors Keep Cool in Warm Weather

By | Senior Care Resources

When the temperatures go up, it’s a sign to keep a closer eye on your senior loved one. People over the age of 65 are more prone to overheating and heat stroke since their bodies don’t respond to heat in the same way that younger people’s do. What’s more, certain medications can inhibit the body’s natural cooling mechanisms, such as sweating, making it even more important to actively protect older adults from the effects of excessive heat.

Here are some helpful products that can help seniors stay cool and comfortable.

  1. A cooling pillow

These pillows are stuffed with crystals that are activated by water to provide a cooling sensation. Simply fill the pillow with water and use it as a head rest or hold it against the body for relief from the heat.

  1. A cooling towel

This lightweight towel is reusable and easy to carry for portable relief from the heat. Soak it in water and then wring it out for a damp, cooling accessory that fits comfortably around the neck and provides SPF 50 protection from the sun.

  1. A personal, hands-free fan

A mini-fan that can be worn safely on the body is a great way to have cooling action at your fingertips. This fan provides cooling air flow that is adjustable and can be rotated into the most comfortable position.

  1. A wearable cooling vest

Wearable cooling garments provide the ultimate in convenience and comfort, like this vest that absorbs water and then releases it over the course of several hours to regulate the wearer’s temperature. All you have to do is soak the vest in water as needed and wear it over a base layer of clothing, since it will be damp.

Other Ways to Keep Seniors Cool in the Heat

While you’re stocking up on cooling supplies, don’t forget these other simple techniques for staying cool and safe during hot weather.

Drink enough water

Make sure your loved one gets the daily recommended intake of water. This can include juices, smoothies, and popsicles.

Stay out of direct sunlight

Avoid letting your senior go outside when it’s hot. If their home is not air conditioned, seek out public cooling centers that are properly cooled and ventilated, keeping in mind the necessary pandemic precautions related to indoor spaces.

Wear loose, breathable clothing

Billowy clothing made of natural fabrics like cotton are best for hot weather since they don’t stick to the body and allow air to pass through.

How to Find the Right In-Home Caregiver for Seniors

By | Senior Care Resources

Hiring someone to perform in-home senior care is a big step, and it’s important to select the right person for the job.

If you’ve never navigated this process before, it can seem overwhelming. To help you get started, we’ve put together some of the most important considerations to keep in mind when hiring the right in-home caregiver or skilled nurse for your senior loved one.

Make Sure You’ve Described the Job Clearly and Accurately

When you post a job listing for an in-home caregiver, you want to attract people who will be able to succeed in the job. That’s why it’s important to write a job description that covers the qualifications, skills, and personality traits that your ideal candidate should have.

Set a Wage That Is Fair and Based on the Current Market Rate

It can be tempting to offer the lowest possible salary as a way to save money, but this approach will usually end up costing you much more in the long run. Highly qualified caregivers will have multiple work options to choose from, so a salary that is below the market rate will typically only attract less experienced or less qualified applicants. Your loved one’s care is too important to leave to chance, so it’s wise to look up the market rate for caregivers in your area and base the salary on that figure.

Be Rigorous About Screening and Interviewing Applicants

One interview typically is not enough to get a good sense of an applicant’s fit for the job. We recommend interviewing a candidate at least three times before making a final hiring decision in order to get a broad sense of their skills, attitude, and experience. The first interview can be a brief phone screening that touches on the basic job requirements. The second interview is a more in-depth discussion, usually conducted in person, to assess their qualifications. The third interview should also be in person and provide an opportunity for the candidate to meet your senior loved one and see if they are a good fit.

Check the Candidate’s References Before Extending the Offer

No matter how wonderful your caregiving candidate seems, don’t skip this step! Talk to at least two people who have worked with them before and be sure to ask how they performed on the job and if they would hire this person again. You can learn a lot just by asking a few basic questions.

Finding an in-home caregiver is a big task and one that requires careful planning and good judgment. Be thorough and meticulous about finding the right person for the job, since this person will be responsible for the care and comfort of your senior loved one.

How to Engage with Seniors to Drink More Water

By | Senior Care Resources

With all of the daily tasks that go into caregiving for a senior, it can be easy to overlook a basic but essential one: making sure they’re drinking enough water.

Staying hydrated is important for everyone, and especially so for seniors, since dehydration is a primary cause of hospitalization in people over 65 years of age. Drinking enough water is also important for ensuring that certain medications work as intended.

So how can you encourage a senior patient to drink enough water, particularly if they’re not 100% cooperative? Here are some ideas that can help.

Keep Water Available and Within Reach at All Times

The expression “out of sight, out of mind” also works in reverse—we are much more aware of something when we can see it. Use this to your advantage by keeping water available and easy to access in the home. This could include serving each meal with a large glass of water and keeping a filled pitcher out on the living room table throughout the day.

Offer a Variety of Beverages at Different Temperatures

Sometimes a senior is uninterested in a beverage just because it’s not their preference. So don’t always just offer plain, cold water. Try serving water at different temperatures, from cool to warm, to see which one they like the best. You can also experiment with flavors and textures by adding lemon, honey, soda water, and other things for variety.

Remember that Hydration Comes in Many Forms

People can reach their daily recommended intake of water in a variety of ways. Broth-based soups, for instance, are predominantly water and are a great way to stay hydrated. Popsicles made from frozen juice are another creative way to increase water consumption.

The Bottom Line on Getting Seniors to Drink More Water

In caring for a senior, it’s important to remember that their preferences and comfort matter. Use these ideas as a jumping-off point and adjust your approach based on your patient or loved one’s personal needs as well as their likes and dislikes. It’s never a good idea to demand or force a person to drink more water. Instead, approach it as a collaborative effort based on dignity, respect, and a mutual desire to see your senior enjoy the best possible health and quality of life.

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Jose Umana – Owner & Certified Administrator

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