The 4 Things You Should Know About Medicare

The world of Medicare can be a confusing one due to the different types of coverage available, the designated enrollment periods and all the other rules and regulations that go along with a government program. Because it is so easy to get overwhelmed with information related to Medicare it’s probably wise to focus on some of the essential elements of the program.Continue reading

The Minnesota State Fair has a lot to offer Seniors.

Article by C. Johnson

This Year’s State Fair Has A Lot To Offer Seniors

 Believe it or not it’s that time of year again, the Great Minnesota Get Together known as the State Fair is right around the corner.

The state’s event that marks the unofficial end of summer is a spectacle that brings friends, neighbors, and most importantly family, together to enjoy all that the fair has to offer.Continue reading

Seniors and Technology

Article by J. Kieser

Utilizing Technology in the World of Senior Care

When discussing the advancement of cutting-edge technology and who may benefit from it the most, the senior population is probably the last demographic that comes to mind, but seniors and their caregivers can open up an entire new world by embracing technological advances.Continue reading

Seniors May Benefit From Exercising the Most

The thought of exercising to stay fit usually brings visualizations of health clubs packed with young, healthy men and women who are in the prime of their life, but it is actually another demographic that may reap more rewards from exercising. You should not believe that exercising is just a young person’s activity, in fact, seniors may benefit more from regular exercise than any other age group.

Active Older Adults get significant benefits from exercising.  www.inhomecareadvisors.com

Active Older Adults get significant benefits from exercising. www.inhomecareadvisors.com

As we age, an active lifestyle is more important than ever. There are not only great physical benefits for seniors who stay active and exercise, but also mental health benefits. The concerns that many seniors may have about exercise possibly leading to illness or injury are unfounded and in actuality it may be just the opposite as seniors who do regularly exercise have less instances of suffering injuries or illnesses.

The Benefits

When anyone decides to exercise, no matter their age, they are doing it to become healthier. Maybe they want to lose weight, or maybe they are looking for a lifestyle change, it really doesn’t matter, the objective is a healthier body. This is true when seniors exercise as the physical and mental benefits of exercise may be endless.

Physically, seniors who exercise have a better chance at preventing disease and getting over injuries faster. Exercise also improves balance, something that can deteriorate as we age and lead to falls that cause injury. Regular exercise also leads to increased life expectancy for seniors according to the Centers for Disease Control. Anyone who has had a loved one age into their golden years knows that mental capacity is just as important as physical well being. Research shows that seniors who regularly exercise experience slower mental declines, possibly because of the increased blood flood to the brain, which could promote cell growth. The longer we can maintain optimum physical and mental health, the longer our quality of life is likely to remain high.

Getting Started

It may sound like a cliché, but it is true that no matter what age, it is never too late for a senior to begin exercising. Seniors who are in their 80s or 90s can still experience great benefits from regular exercise according to the National Institute of Aging. Exercising does not have to include strenuous workouts. Walking five or more days a week, even at 10 minutes a time, can be beneficial. The key to seniors experiencing physical and mental health benefits is staying consistent with an exercise plan and finding something that they enjoy doing.

Resources for Getting Started

Active Older Adults should always consult a medical professional before beginning a specific exercise routine because the best option is based on a lot of factors that include age, ability and overall health. Seniors who live in a retirement community or assisted living facility should have different program options available if they wish to get more active. In Minnesota, depending on what city a senior may live in, most communities have a local senior center that has many different options for seniors who are looking to become more active. Contact City Hall or checkout the YMCA website (http://www.ymcatwincities.org/), as they have great programs for Older Adults to see what options may be available to you. Many of the local health clubs also offer specific fitness classes for seniors. Additionally, many Medicare health plans come with a free Silver Sneakers fitness membership, a popular exercise program for active older adults.

5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Aging Parents

As our parents continue to age, life situations are going to occur that require the children of aging parents to provide some form of assi

In Home Care Advisors provides the assistance for grandparents to live safely at home.

In Home Care Advisors provides the assistance for grandparents to live safely at home.

stance as their parents become less able to manage life on their own. The type of assistance can range from the financial help to actual physical assistance in performing daily tasks. No matter what type of assistance a parent may require, it is important to recognize the warning signs when they appear. Below we identify five different ways you can assist your aging parents during a period they will need you the most.

Make Sure Their Finances Are Secure

Seniors tend to be one of the largest sectors of the population that are targeted for financial scams so schemers can get access to their bank accounts. The National Council on Aging called these scams “the crime of the 21st century.” Typical scams are in the forms of fraudulent sweepstakes and lotteries, bogus reverse mortgages and illegitimate investment opportunities. Talk to your parents about these things so they are aware that seniors are targeted on these matters. Many times the types of mail or phone calls they receive are clues to whether they have been targeted for these types of scams.

Be There For Them

The most important thing a child can do for an aging parent is to be accessible. Sometimes it is difficult to balance a career and your own family with the needs of an aging parent, but there is no substitution to being involved. Whether it is to assist with some household chores, yard work or even stopping by with a hot meal to see how they are doing, the more involved children are with aging parents, the better chance they have at maintaining their independence.

For Your Parents Sake Plan Ahead

Anyone who has ever taken care of an elderly parent or researched available resources to assist with caring for a senior knows that it takes time to find outside help that their parents may qualify for, and you as an adult child, can turn to for help. This takes time and you don’t want to make rushed decisions. There are resources available at the state and county level as well as from outside senior care agencies, but to navigate all this information is time consuming. You should be proactive so you know where to start when a parent is showing signs they are not able to fully care for themselves any longer.

Communicate With Other Family Members

Taking care of and assisting an elderly parent should not be the job of one person, but a shared responsibility by the family. Even if you are an only child, seek the assistance of aunts, uncles, cousins and even your own children, if they are old enough, to assist. The amount of time and effort it takes to take care of an aging parent can be overwhelming. The more help you have the better. By making sure more people are involved it will help ensure there is no resentment shared by family members who may believe they are taking on too much of the workload.

Advocate For Your Parents

The last thing you would want is for a decision to be made about your parent’s medical care or their finances without them having a say about it. You should talk to your parents about whether they have prepared a will or health care directive and who they would like involved in making decisions about their future, if they become incapacitated and are unable to make those decisions. You may want to consult an elder attorney to discuss drafting legal documents like a Power of Attorney or Health Care Directive. You may also want to discuss whether your parent has any long-term care insurance to supplement Medicare as no one type of health care policy may address all the services an aging parent will need.

Being prepared to address these topics is important so that there is not a lot of indecision related to your parent’s care when the time comes to act.

 

Article by Joe K.

 

In Home Care Advisors is a local Minnesota company made up of caring senior healthcare professionals who believe everyone should be ale to live safely in their own homes as long as possible.  We put that belief into action by carefully listening and assessing the needs, wants, and desires of our clients; Call 651-252-1669….we can help.

4 Things to Look for in a Home Care Provider

We’re often asked how we choose the agencies we refer and recommend.  Here are 4 quick things to think about when choosing an in-home care provider for a parent or loved one:

Elder care Minnesota

  1. Track record of caring and success.  We like to talk to families they have worked with and get feedback on care, responsiveness, flexibility, and communication. Another good source is reporting agencies such the Better Business Bureau or Minnesota Dept. of Health.
  2. Collaboration.  How much are you and your family involved in the care plan? Providers should create a plan with you and be flexible as things change, i.e. not lock you into lots of minimums.
  3. Care for their employees.  How well do they treat the people that will be caring for your loved one?  How well do they screen their employees, provide on-going training and feedback/monitoring.
  4. How well resourced are they?  Needs often change so a strong provider agency should have the resources to accommodate a changing client.  Good things to know is do they have capabilities in memory care, 24/7 care, travel, and back-up for their care givers, etc?
Picking a home care provider for a parent can be emotional and difficult.  The folks at In Home Care Advisors, www.inhomecareadvisors.com have the expertise and compassion to make sure you’re matched with “the perfect companion and personal care provider for your needs.”   Call 651-252-1669 or Click www.InHomeCareAdvisors.com for FREE help finding a caregiver.

Increasing Self-Esteem Can Improve Senior Health

from the Senior Home Care Insights Blog

J. Kieser for In Home Care Advisors

At one time or another we have all experienced self-esteem issues. Most people have things they are not happy or satisfied about in their lives, but we are now learning that these types of feelings may have considerable impact on our physical health, especially for the senior population.

A recent study published in Psychoneuroendocrinology, an international journal that publishes research on the disciplines of psychology, neurology and psychiatry, found that seniors who experience self-esteem issues tend to show higher levels of Cortisol, a steroid hormone that suppresses the immune system. The study concluded that maintaining or increasing self-esteem in seniors, thus decreasing Cortisol levels, can decrease age-related health problems.

Positive Self-Esteem is great for senior's health - In Home Care Advisors.comResearchers have shown that self-esteem tends to be lower in young adults, but increases as we age, at least until age 60. It is right around retirement age where self-esteem begins a new decline.

It is difficult to determine why self-esteem begins to decline at age 60, but some theories suggest that transitioning into a retirement lifestyle often means no more work, no more kids in the house and the addition of new physical limitations. A person’s education level, income, net worth, health and employment status all have some impact on self-esteem according to researchers.

The study related to self-esteem in seniors, which originated with the University of Concordia in Montreal, suggests that if we can improve the self-esteem in seniors we may be able to improve their physical health as well.

“Because self-esteem is associated with psychological well-being and physical health, raising self-esteem would be an ideal way to help prevent health problems later in life,” said Sarah Liu, who with her colleague, Carsten Wrosch, conducted the research for the study. Her comments were issued in a press release from the university.

Now that we have research showing that improved self-esteem in seniors may possibly improve physical health, the next question has to be – how do we increase self-esteem in seniors?

We build self-esteem in seniors much the same way we would try to improve the self-esteem in people of all ages. When we lack self-esteem we tend to lack self worth. Those suffering from self-esteem issues rarely experience praise, warmth or affection, which can be consistent with the lifestyle of many seniors who may live alone and have very little human interaction.

The good thing is we can change this and build self-esteem in seniors. Just like a child who lacks interaction with classmates, it is important to get a senior involved in activities where they can interact with other people. A great resource to get seniors active is the local senior community center. Most days per week there are planned activities seniors can participate in and it’s a great place to connect with other seniors, have a cup of coffee and share a discussion.

As much as human interaction is needed, so too is a sense of purpose, which many seniors may lose after they no longer have a job to go to every day. By engaging seniors in projects or activities that have determined goals, they know they are working toward something important and can enjoy the success in. Two great resources seniors can access to get involved in volunteering opportunities include Senior Corps (http://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/senior-corps) and Minnesota Seniors Online (http://www.mnseniorsonline.com/volunteer-opportunities.html).

As a society we need to do a better job of realizing that our seniors are sometimes the wisest of all of us because of their experiences in life. By engaging seniors in a conversation we can tap into a wealth of knowledge and we may benefit from their knowledge more than we ever imagined.

Engaging Our Seniors for Better Mental Health

from the Senior Home Care Insights Blog

C. Johnson for In Home Care Advisors

No matter what type of relationship you may have with an aging parent, or what the setting is for the aging parent’s living situation, it is important to know that feelings of isolation and loneliness are widespread among seniors.

Many seniors struggle with isolation and loneliness due to living alone after a spouse has passed away, but other seniors may experience these feelings even if they are surrounded by other seniors in living communities if their immediate family does not engage them in activities.

We can provide human contact to aging parents a number of different ways. If they live on their own, but receive some assistance from a caregiver, that is a form of human interaction, but it is not the same as family-sponsored activities like a grandchild’s soccer game or a school musical. Aging parents want to be included.

Positive Self-Esteem is great for senior's health - In Home Care Advisors.comAn aging parent may have a lot of different friends they can confide in if they live in a retirement community or assisted living facility, but if family rarely comes to see them eventually feelings of loneliness and isolation may materialize.

Because most adults have busy schedules and little to no free time, planning out activities and outings with an aging parent is important. The activity itself will not mean as much as the human contact an aging parent receives from its family.

We should all be aware of activities our parents enjoyed when they were younger or what their interests are now. Try to plan some activities around their interests, but other activities can be related to your family or a child’s involvement in an activity. Inform your aging parent of these activities and invite them to the outings in advance. Chances are they will be looking forward to these outings for weeks to come.
Your schedule and availability will be the ultimate decider of how often you can include an aging parent in one these family outings, but shoot for at least once a month. The main purpose of including your aging parent is for their benefit, but you and your family will benefit as well. You will be at ease knowing that you spent quality time with them before it was too late.

Things To Consider When Planning An Outing

  • Logistics are important any time you take an aging parent out of their home or an assisted living facility for any significant period of time. Depending on how long you may be gone, you have to consider stops to go to the bathroom, make sure medications are taken, check what the weather will be like and make sure they are well nourished.
  • Research the location of the outing. Will there be a lot of steps that will be difficult for the aging parent to navigate? Are there places your parent can sit down and rest if they need to? Are restrooms readily available at the location you are traveling to?
  • Length of the outing is important too. If an aging parent is taken out of their comfort zone for an all-day activity, make sure they can handle it. You should know an aging parent better than anyone else, so use your best judgment.

As much as human interaction is needed, so too is a sense of purpose, which many seniors may lose after they no longer have a job to go to every day. By engaging seniors in projects or activities that have determined goals, they know they are working toward something important and can enjoy the success in. Two great resources seniors can access to get involved in volunteering opportunities include Senior Corps (http://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/senior-corps) and Minnesota Seniors Online (http://www.mnseniorsonline.com/volunteer-opportunities.html).

As a society we need to do a better job of realizing that our seniors are sometimes the wisest of all of us because of their experiences in life. By engaging seniors in a conversation we can tap into a wealth of knowledge and we may benefit from their knowledge more than we ever imagined.

Caring for the Caregiver

from the Senior Home Care Insights Blog

J. Kieser for In Home Care Advisors

The relationships we experience in life are meaningful, some more meaningful than others. Most of us would rank our relationships with our family ahead of relationships we have with most friends or work colleagues, but there is another type of relationship many families have come to grips with when a loved one is no longer able to care for themselves. There are few relationships that are as delicate as that of the patient and the caregiver.

Generally there will be two types of caregivers, either a family member or a paid caregiver.

If a family decides that some outside help is needed, entrusting someone to care for an aging parent in our absence is like trusting a daycare or babysitter to look after our children. If you are uneasy about the level of care provided, peace of mind is impossible. If you find a outside caregiver that has a good rapport with the patient and shares the importance of the loved one’s well being, many times this caregiver will end up being like an extended member of the family.

In Home Care Advisors, will find the perfect personal care companion for your needs.

In any relationship trust takes time. This is no different in the patient and caregiver relationship, no matter whether the caregiver is a family member or someone who is paid to look after an aging parent.

Remember the Caregiver

A family member who decides to take on the monumental task of caring for a loved one should be supported and appreciated. This family member is giving up a part of their life to care for a parent, not for rewards and adulation, but out of love and compassion.

We all need time for ourselves, and if you are the primary caregiver to an aging parent, time for yourself can seem fleeting. That is why it is important to ask for help. It is crucial that other family members supplement the care for an ageing parent to provide the primary caregiver a break to manage their own responsibilities, so their life is not completely on hold. If a caregiver does not take time for themselves they soon can become overwhelmed by stress and isolation. It is important for a caregiver to express their feelings to other family members so the proper amount of support can be discussed and ultimately achieved.

Some commonly reported health-related issues many full-time caregivers report are a lack of sleep, poor eating habits and little to no exercise. The last thing we want is for the caregiver to turn into a patient, so sometimes outside assistance is needed to maintain the physical and emotional health of the primary caregiver.

In addition to receiving care-giving help from family members, sometimes additional assistance is needed from an outside paid caregiver. There are many quality professionals who can assist with the care-giving process so the primary family caregiver can find some balance between their own lives and their responsibilities as a caregiver.

Remember, taking care of an aging parent or loved one should be a shared responsibility of the entire family. Although one person may step-up and assume the majority of the care-giving duties, other family members need to provide some relief at times and outside assistance should be sought when needed. This will not only benefit the caregiver, but also the patient.

In Home Care Advisors is a local Minnesota company made up of caring senior healthcare professionals who believe everyone should be ale to live safely in their own homes as long as possible. We put that belief into action by carefully listening and assessing the needs, wants, and desires of our clients; You can get assistance via our website or call 651-252-1669….we can help.