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Is Your Senior Mom Depressed?

When your elderly mom chooses to age in place alone, you may worry about the potential for loneliness, depression, and about her overall quality of life. This can be a challenging idea to accept, but if you’re worried about your mom or dad, you should talk to them about hiring companion care at home. These are professionals who can not only provide much-needed companionship, but they can help your loved one with daily chores and boost their quality of life. They may even help keep an eye on things like sadness and depression. So, what are some signs that your elderly mom is depressed? Here are some things to look for.

Sadness and Anxiousness

Here is the thing: your loved one can have brief feelings of sadness or bouts of anxiousness, and it may not be depression. However, if your loved one is experiencing sadness for weeks on end or even months, it can be a sign that something is deeply wrong. If your loved one has only been sad for a week, it may not be anything to worry about, but it is something to watch. If you are not always with your senior mom or can’t visit often, ask companion care at home to keep an eye on how sad your mom is. This will help you understand how long it’s been going on and whether it’s more than sadness.

Loss of Interest

Seniors should have hobbies no matter how old they are. Maybe it’s reading or journaling, painting, or going to museums. It doesn’t matter what they choose to do as long as they have something that makes them happy and something they look forward to doing. However, one of the biggest signs of depression is loss of interest in these activities. Your loved one may go out every week, and if they suddenly stop or hate the things they love, it can be a bad sign. Unfortunately, without living with your loved one, you may never know if they stop doing the things they love. This is something that companion care at home can help with.

Lack of Appetite

Your seniors should be eating regularly, and they should be eating a well-rounded diet. Your loved one should eat fresh food and vegetables and cook as much as possible at home. If your senior is lacking appetite or can’t seem to eat anything at all, this is another sign your senior mom is depressed. Companion care at home can help encourage healthy eating during a time when they may feel too sad to eat.

Less Sleep

One other big thing to look for is a change in sleeping. They may not be able to get to sleep because they are sad and anxious, or they may not be able to sleep for the same reasons. If your senior is lacking sleep, it can impact them in drastic ways, but it is also a sign of depression. Hopefully, by keeping a regular routine, they will be able to sleep well, but if it suddenly changes, it is time to encourage them to go to the doctor.

If you are considering companion care at home in Las Vegas, NV for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Summerlin. 702-800-4616.

Golden Heart Supports Las Ventanas

Golden Heart Senior Care had a wonderful morning at Las Ventanas at Summerlin. We provided the coffee and donuts for all the residents and staff in the courtyard.

A great big shout out to our caregiver Connie A. She is one of the dance instructors in “Hot Hula Fitness”.
The ladies performed for the residents and did an outstanding job.

 

If you are considering home care in Summerlin, NV for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Summerlin. 702-800-4616.

 

Recognizing the First Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

September is World Alzheimer’s Month. An awareness month is created to help people learn more about the disease, how to recognize it, how to live with it, and hopefully, someday, how to cure it.

There currently isn’t a cure for this progressive disease that slowly takes away a person’s memory along with their ability to cognitively function. The cause of Alzheimer’s disease is still not fully understood but is believed to be linked to several things that may occur in a person’s health.

  • Age-related changes. The brain naturally ages and with that comes shrinkage, inflammation, and blood vessel damage. All may lead to Alzheimer’s.
  • Genetics-related. If Alzheimer’s disease has been a part of your family history, the risk of developing it is higher.
  • Environment factors. Strokes, diabetes, obesity, and even exposure to pollutants can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s.

For many, the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s are hard to distinguish because they may look like normal aging. The key when reviewing the symptoms is to consider if your loved one has found the symptoms are interfering with her ability to function daily or if they are occurring with increasing speed. An occasional forgotten name, getting turned around in the store, or misplacing the remote control does on necessarily mean your loved one is developing Alzheimer’s.

Let’s look at the most common symptoms.

  • Memory Loss. While everyone forgets some things, look for signs that your loved one is forgetting recent occurrences that while they may not be remembered exactly, she should have some memory of it. For example, if your loved one forgot that her niece visited yesterday, that may be a sign of Alzheimer’s
  • Problems communicating. Forgetting a word here or there is normal, but being unable to complete a thought or communicate an idea is a problem.
  • Struggling to follow directions. Not being able to follow a recipe or remember simple directions might be indicative of the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Spatial judgment. At the early onset of Alzheimer’s, many people lose the ability to judge distance or decipher patterns.

If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, she can still live somewhat independently for a while with the help of family or an Alzheimer’s care specialist. An Alzheimer’s care provider can come to the home to help with tasks and processes that your loved one can no longer do, such as preparing a meal or driving to an appointment. An Alzheimer’s Care provider is also skilled at recognizing when symptoms are getting worse and your loved one may need more assistance, whether that’s at home or in a memory care facility.

You will also need help on this journey, and the Alzheimer’s care professional can help you as well by providing a bit of respite from the 24/7 caregiving and assistance in finding other avenues of support. This is not a road you want to travel alone with your loved one. The more support you have will help you both manage her Alzheimer’s better.

If you are considering Alzheimer’s care in Summerlin, NV for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Summerlin. 702-800-4616.

Dietary Changes Can Help With Arthritis Pain

Your mom’s arthritis is worsening, and she’s struggling to do things around her home that used to be easy. Her doctor has recommended several things to help with arthritis pain and inflammation, and one of them is her diet. How will dietary changes help her? Find out more about how nutrition affects arthritis, and how elder care can help.

The Benefits of an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

The Arthritis Foundation recommends whole foods with minimal processing and healthy fats, especially extra virgin olive oil. For this reason, the Mediterranean Diet is ideal. The foods you focus on improve the gut biome that can help ease inflammation that triggers many common health issues, including arthritis flare-ups.

The foods to focus on in an anti-inflammatory diet include:

  • Cold water fish like anchovies, herring, sardines, and tuna
  • Heart-healthy oils, especially avocado, extra virgin olive oil, and walnut oil
  • Legumes such as chickpeas, kidney beans, and pinto beans
  • Nuts and seeds like almonds, pistachios, and walnuts
  • Produce including a variety of fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors, especially blueberries, broccoli, cherries, kale, and spinach. Nightshade vegetables like eggplant, red bell peppers, and tomatoes are also good
  • Whole grains, especially those that have gone through minimal processing like farro, hulled barley, and quinoa

When your mom is planning her meals, she should aim for her plate to be half vegetables and fruit, a quarter grain, and a quarter protein. She wants to eat more vegetables than anything else.

It might help her to have someone sit down and plan suitable meals and snacks all week. Once she has the menu plan built and posted on a fridge, corkboard, or online spreadsheet, she can build a shopping list. If she needs help shopping, get someone to go with her and make sure she chooses the proper ingredients.

Exercise Is Also Important

In addition to dietary changes, your mom should be getting daily exercise. A brisk walk for at least 30 minutes per day is a good start. If she can mix up the types of exercise she does, it’s even better. A bit of cardio, strength training, and Yoga or Tai Chi are good ways to get a variety while also developing breathing skills that help with relaxation.

What if she hates going outside for walks on her own? Arrange for a caregiver to join her on walks. Exercise helps strengthen muscles and joints, but it’s also helpful for weight loss. If your mom is overweight, losing some weight may help her ease arthritis pain in the ankles, knees, and hips.

Elder care services can help with arthritis pain that isn’t easing. Instead of struggling to do things on her own, your mom can have a helping hand with things like laundry, housework, and meals. Learn more about elder care by making a call.

Sources:
https://www.arthritis.org/health-wellness/healthy-living/nutrition/anti-inflammatory/the-ultimate-arthritis-diet

If you are considering elder care in Henderson, NV for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Summerlin. 702-800-4616.

National Relaxation Day: Take a Break with Help from Alzheimer’s Care

Your dad has Alzheimer’s and it’s progressing into the more challenging stages where he isn’t sleeping, he becomes angry at small things, and he never sits still. It’s getting hard to complete everything you need to do. You’re stressed and anxious and don’t see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.

August 15th is National Relaxation Day and time to focus on yourself. Take a break, and plan a day where all you do is relax. Here are some of the things you can do to de-stress and unwind.

Catch Up on Sleep

When was the last time you slept all night without having to get up to tend to your dad? He barely sleeps, so it’s been months or even years since you haven’t had to get up in the middle of the night.

On National Relaxation Day, sleep in. Catch up on the sleep you’ve been missing. As long as you have some water nearby to keep you hydrated, there’s no reason to get up at a specific time. Sleep in.

Read a Book

Find a quiet spot, fill up an insulated bottle with your favorite drink, set up a plate of cheese, crackers, and fresh fruit, and read. Don’t let worries distract you from the escape you get in a book. If the book you chose isn’t grabbing your attention, try another. With sites like BookBub, there are hundreds of free books you can download to your e-reader, laptop, tablet, or phone.

Head to the Beach

Find the nearest beach and pack a picnic lunch. Sit and listen to the waves lap the shore, watch your children play in the water, and go on walks to look for things like fish, turtles, crustaceans, shells, etc. Make sure it’s a day where you ignore your phone and focus only on enjoying time together and being outside in the sun.

If the beach isn’t appealing, choose a state park, a waterfall, or even your backyard pool. Just make sure you’re relaxing and not reading emails or checking messages constantly.

Go on a Trip for a Weekend

Pack your bags, book a hotel or cottage, and get away for a weekend. You don’t have to go far, but make sure you have a change of scenery. Spend that weekend, exploring historic sites, hiking in the mountains, touring museums, or trying the area’s different restaurants and food trucks.

Is It Time to Bring in Help?

Use National Relaxation Day to focus on taking care of yourself for a change. It’s easy to devote your full attention to your dad’s care needs, but you cannot lose yourself in the process. Take at least one day to relax, de-stress, and enjoy having time for yourself.

As you do, consider the benefit of Alzheimer’s care. Your dad’s care needs keep increasing, and it’s getting to be a lot to do each day. With Alzheimer’s care aides helping with the time-consuming, difficult care tasks, you’ll be less stressed, calmer, and more clear-minded. That ensures the care you give your dad is the best care possible.

If you are considering Alzheimer’s care in Henderson, NV for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Summerlin. 702-800-4616.

5 Common Nutritional Deficiencies in Seniors

Three out of five adults aged 65 or older have lost some of their sense of taste. In addition, an older adult’s stomach empties slowly, so they feel fuller longer and may not eat as much. These are just two of many circumstances that can lead to nutritional deficiencies in seniors. Here are some of the most common vitamins and minerals that seniors become deficient in, and how senior home care can help.

B-Vitamins

The value of B vitamins lies in their help with cognitive function and mood. The three most common are folic acid, B-12, and B-6. Around 26% of older adults have a B-12 deficiency. Studies found that 61% of older adults had a B-6 deficiency.

Calcium and Vitamin D3

Calcium and vitamin D3 are necessary for bone health, yet estimates find that less than 1% of women get enough calcium and about 25% of men get enough. A high-sodium diet leads to calcium getting flushed out of the body faster.

Deficiencies are linked to osteopenia and osteoporosis. If your dad falls and doesn’t get enough calcium, there’s a higher chance that his bone is weaker and will fracture. While women are more likely considered for osteoporosis risk, men can also get the disease. It’s worth asking your dad’s doctor if he should undergo a bone density screening.

Iron

Iron plays an important role in the transportation of oxygen throughout the body. Iron helps form hemoglobin, which is the component in red blood cells that transports oxygen to your brain, lungs, etc. If you don’t have enough iron, anemia occurs and can make you easily exhausted, depressed, and impact cognitive function.

An estimated 15% of men aged 70 or older do not get enough iron and have anemia. Foods rich in vitamin C, such as oranges and berries, help the body absorb iron, so that’s an important consideration if your dad’s doctor tested his blood and believes he should start taking iron supplements.

Protein

Around 30% of adults aged 60 or older are losing muscle mass because they don’t eat enough protein. It’s over 50% for adults aged 80 or older. Changing metabolic function means that aging bodies don’t generate muscle protein as quickly. Muscle mass decreases if protein intake isn’t high enough to provide muscles with the necessary protein.

Recommendations are that you eat 1.0 to 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of weight. A 200-pound adult (90.7 kilograms) should be eating around 90 to 109 grams of protein per day. Spreading that protein throughout the day is better than getting it all at once.

Zinc

Zinc is essential when it comes to immune system function. Collagen production diminishes in older adults, and that impacts how much zinc is absorbed. Older men need 11 mg of zinc per day, yet just over half of older adults don’t get enough.

The Value of a Balanced Diet

The best way to avoid deficiencies is by eating a balanced diet throughout the day. This includes eating vegetables and fruits of every color, lean proteins like seafood, poultry, beans, and tofu, whole grains, and dairy.

If your dad can’t prepare meals that meet his nutritional needs, arrange senior home care. He can have caregivers available to help him plan and prepare meals that provide the nutrients he needs to stay healthy. Learn more about meal preparation services by calling an advisor in senior home care.

Sources:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6971894/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3579689

If you are considering senior home care in Las Vegas, NV for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Summerlin. 702-800-4616.

Employee of the Month – July 2023

Golden Heart Senior Care is proud to announce that Carla W. is our employee of the month for July 2023. Carla was born in Arkansas and raided in California. She has lived in Las Vegas for 23 years and has been a caregiver for more than 14 years. Carla has always had love in her heart to help others and it’s her honor to know that she helped someone in need of assistance. Carla says a lot of people are alone and need physical help, a compassionate ear, a heart to listen to them, a hug, or just a friend. Carla enjoys spending time with seniors and tries to make a difference in their life. To Carla making a change in someone’s life is the most uplifting and completeness she can give to herself and others.

Please join us in congratulating Carla as the July 2023 Employee of the Month!

6 Tips to Revive Aging and Thinning Hair

Personal Care at Home in Las Vegas NV
Personal Care at Home in Las Vegas NV

As seniors age, they’re likely to notice changes in their hair, including thinning, loss of volume, and more. There are steps that seniors can take to revive their aging hair, but they might need more help. Personal care at home can make a big difference in keeping seniors’ hair in good condition, even if it is experiencing challenges related to aging.

Nourish Hair from Within

One of the keys to healthy hair is providing it with the right nutrients. Ensure seniors have a well-balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and proteins to fuel both body and hair. Include foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats in their meals as much as possible. Additionally, consider adding supplements like biotin, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids, after consulting with their healthcare provider. Home care can make it easier for seniors to eat a more balanced diet.

Use Gentle Hair Care Practices

It’s important to be gentle with aging hair in order to avoid further damage and breakage. A wide-toothed comb or a brush with soft bristles can make detangling easier and gentler. Heat styling, harsh chemical treatments, and tight hairstyles put strain on hair follicles that can make already fragile hair even more damaged. Shampoos and conditioners made for thinning hair can help to improve hair health. Personal care at home helps aging adults to have clean hair through gentle practices.

Protect Hair from Environmental Damage

Environmental factors like the sun, wind, and pollution can take a toll on senior hair’s health. Shielding hair from excessive sun exposure by wearing hats or using UV-protectant hair products can make a big difference. Avoid prolonged exposure to chlorinated water by wetting hair before swimming and using a clarifying shampoo afterward. A swim cap offers even more protection.

Embrace Hair-Boosting Practices

Incorporating hair-boosting practices into a senior’s daily routine can be helpful, too. One idea is to switch pillowcases to silk or satin ones to reduce friction and minimize hair breakage. Looking for other solutions, like not rubbing hair with a towel to dry it, can help family caregivers to find other ways to help.

Utilize Stress Management

Stress can contribute to hair loss and exacerbate existing hair thinning, especially for seniors. Adopting stress management techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, or engaging in hobbies and activities can reduce stress and help to limit hair loss. When seniors have more help with daily activities, they’re able to rest more as well, devoting more time to reducing stress in their daily lives.

Consult a Professional

If seniors are experiencing significant hair loss or thinning, it is advisable to seek professional guidance. A dermatologist or a trichologist can evaluate their condition, identify any underlying causes, and recommend appropriate treatments. They can provide personalized advice and help seniors to develop a tailored hair care routine based on their specific needs.

Thinning hair can be disheartening for seniors, so it’s important to take proactive steps to take the best possible care of it. Personal care at home can offer a holistic approach that allows seniors to experience better quality of life overall and know that their personal care needs, like their hair, are in good hands.

If you are considering personal care at home in Las Vegas, NV for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Summerlin. 702-800-4616.

Signs Of Heat Stroke Seniors Shouldn’t Ignore

Home Care Assistance in Summerlin NV
Home Care Assistance in Summerlin NV

According to the National Institute of Health, seniors have a higher risk than other age groups of developing heat stroke or heat-related illnesses. Seniors often have poor circulation and other conditions that make it more difficult for the body to regulate temperature. Most seniors are dehydrated too, which can increase the impact of heat on the body. And with summers getting hotter every year around the country, heat stroke and heat-related illnesses are something that seniors should be very concerned about. With home care assistance, seniors will have the help they need to avoid heat stroke. But your senior parent and their care provider should know these signs of heat stroke in seniors:

Dizziness or Confusion

Seniors can experience dizziness and confusion caused by many things, including medications. But if a senior is acting normally and doesn’t have any dizziness or confusion and they suddenly are dizzy or they are confused about where they may having a heat related illness. Seniors who have heat stroke or heat exhaustion may also slur their words or seem unable to put a coherent sentence together. Any rapid changes in mood or mental state should be cause for alarm.

Not Sweating or Profusely Sweating

If your senior parent is sweating a little on a hot day that’s normal. But if they are not sweating at all and their skin is dry even though the temperatures are extremely hot that’s not normal. It’s also not normal if they are sweating buckets and can’t seem to cool down even if they are in the shade or have an ice pack. Extreme sweating or not sweating at all both could indicate that seniors are experiencing a heat related emergency.

Extremely Warm Or Red Skin

Seniors will also sometimes get flushed skin that is extremely warm to the touch during a heat stroke. Typically, it’s a senior’s face that becomes extremely red and flushed and may even swell. But it can also be their arms or legs that get very red and swell. It might seem like they just have a sunburn but anytime seniors have very red skin that’s also very warm they should get an emergency exam to make sure they’re not suffering from heat stroke or another heat related illness.

Fast Weak Pulse

Seniors who are experiencing a heat stroke or heat exhaustion often have a thready and weak pulse that is very fast. If your senior parent has home care assistance the home care assistance provider should check your senior parent’s heart rate carefully during any kind of summer activity to make sure that your senior parent isn’t experiencing a heart attack or other serious medical event. Even if they are just suffering from a heat related illness they need to be seen by a doctor who can start bringing their temperature down. If your senior is overly warm apply ice packs, make sure they get into the shade, and bring them into a place with strong air conditioning to wait for emergency medical help.

If you are considering home care assistance in Summerlin, NV for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Summerlin. 702-800-4616.

The Benefits of Intergenerational Living When Your Mom Has Alzheimer’s

Elder Care in Las Vegas NV
Elder Care in Las Vegas NV

Your mom has Alzheimer’s disease, which isn’t surprising given that 6.5 million Americans have dementia. But, it’s also a diagnosis that is going to cause some level of fear and sadness. As you start considering her elder care needs going forward, don’t miss the chance to use intergenerational living to provide her with the best possible support.

You Have a Family Care Team in Place

When you work full-time and your mom lives in your home, you could have children at home from college who are willing to share responsibilities watching her. It eases your stress.

One puts on movies and watches them with your mom until you’re back. Another child gives the first child breaks by taking your mom outside for walks or helping her tend her garden, all while making sure she goes back inside when she’s done.

With several people helping out, it lessens the work one family caregiver is doing. You all have time to step away and take breaks. Just make sure you’re not burdening your kids by putting too much responsibility on their shoulders.

Your Mom Has Different People to Socialize With

Some people with Alzheimer’s tend to shut down and not want to socialize. They limit socialization to a few people, but socialization is important. With a home filled with family members of varying ages, your mom has better opportunities to socialize.

As she spends time with you, your partner, your children, etc., she’ll have different interests to try. She might find she loves playing games with your kids or gardening with you. She might prefer to help your partner cook meals and set the table.

The more your mom is involved in daily life, the more it helps her retain some of her cognitive and fine motor skills. Keeping her active is important.

She May Have Moments Where She Responds Best to Others

Your mom argues with you and refuses to cooperate. She screams at you to go away and never come back. But, if your daughter walks in, your mom’s mood changes. She will do anything her granddaughter asks. That can become a big help as Alzheimer’s progresses.

You’ll Be There For Moments That Create Lasting Memories

From time to time, your mom will have vivid memories that you may never have heard of before. As her memories shift and narrow to specific decades, you’ll hear stories you never knew. Sometimes, a person with Alzheimer’s will remember childhood best or it might be the late teens and early adult years.

You’ll get to learn more about your mom as she shares these stories. If you can, record them to transcribe and share with others.

Rely on Elder Care for Respite Time for Your Family

Elder care services assist your entire family by being there when you need breaks. Learn more about the variety of elder care services, including respite care, that are available in your area.

Reference
https://care.nursing.wisc.edu/2022/03/03/our-house-the-benefits-of-intergenerational-housing/

If you are considering elder care in Las Vegas, NV for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Summerlin. 702-800-4616.