12 Great Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Elderly Loved Ones

12 Great Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Elderly Loved Ones!

1. Blankets or throws: Quite obvious but you can’t go wrong with a cozy blanket,and there are so many custom options available these days! Whether you’re a talented quilter who can create a homemade masterpiece, this is a gift option that will warm the soul along with the aging body.

2. Custom gift basket: Gift baskets add a certain personal touch to any product. Whether you create a care basket that includes slippers with your loved ones’ favorite lotions, bath soaps, cologne or perfume, or would rather create a custom food basket of your loved ones favorite meats, cheeses chocolates or sauces; a gift basket balances practicality with custom personality and love.

3. Tablets and iPads: Contrary to some belief these all-in-one devices are in many ways tailored for the elderly with their touch-screen technology and large print options. The social connection is important for elders, and you might be surprised how savvy your senior loved one can be with a quick lesson. Good for entertainment, medication management and brain-exercising fun, this impressive technology is an excellent option for your loved one.

4. Kitchen and bath towels: Everyone can use new kitchen and bath towels as these items are such a necessity of every day. Adding monogrammed initials or patterns that compliment the home or apartment will only enhance this gift.

5. Gift certificates to grocery stores and favorite dining venues: If your loved one is still independent, gift certificates to grocery stores and dining venues allows the senior to not only cut expenses grocery shopping, but also allows them an entertaining lunch or evening out for a special dining experience. This is also a great gift to help prevent senior malnutrition — an epidemic that many are unaware of in the aging population.

6. Smartphone: Phones are not only important for keeping the social connection — a necessary ingredient for quality of life — but also are crucial for senior safety. Many smartphones of today offer large buttons, photo speed dial, visual rings and more.

7.Clothes: Again this may seem an obvious option, just think about it — when was the last time your elderly loved one bought new clothes for him or herself? Chances are it has been years, buying dresses, jumpers, underwear, socks or nice shirts and pants (whatever the senior in your life needs!) will assure a gift that won’t go unused.

8. Kitchens Essentials Set: For the elderly who struggle with arthritis or limited hand strength, custom kitchen sets that cater to these conditions can make a perfect gift.

9. Photobooks, Scrapbooks and Custom Videos: Gathering memory books, scrapbooks or custom videos is a nostalgic gift option that’s sure to please. By gathering cherished photos, newspaper clippings, travel souvenirs and other mementos and compiling them into a chronological art form, the elderly in your life will have a tangible piece of his or her own heritage to hold onto and savor. Videos are great because you can customize music with your seniors’ favorite tunes.

10. Health Management and Fitness Options: It’s important to stay fit in all seasons of life, but especially crucial for elderly to help prevent stroke, heart conditions and other common ailments that come with age. Meeting with a nutritionist, dietitian or naturopathic physician who specializes in elderly health is an excellent idea to customize your loved ones’ health, nutrition and fitness plan. Often times these experts have excellent ideas to make food more enjoyable for seniors, helping to keep them both healthy and happy.

11. Medication Management Devices: Living independently for as long as possible is the goal for many seniors. Now, more than ever, there are tech gadgets that help elderly remain safe while aiding their independence and mobility. Medication Management Systems for instance can help you to fill your parents medicine tray, and program their medication schedule online.

12. Personal Emergency Response Systems: Personal emergency response systems (PERS) are getting more sophisticated. Medic alert-like pendants and wristbands can be pressed during emergencies to alert professionals and/or family members.

Thanks for reading!!!

@IHCS_Essex

Merry Christmas From Ideal Home Care Solutions!

 

 

10 Ways to Help the Elderly this Winter

Winter can be an exciting time, but for some this time of the year can make them a little more vulnerable.  Ideal Home Care Solutions are advising readers on 10 Top Tips to keep your elderly loved ones this Winter.

1.  Stock emergency resources in their homes – Emergency kits must be easily accessible which should include water, flashlight, batteries, radio, and blankets. Elderly individuals, should have at least a seven-day supply of prescription medications and a three-day supply of non-perishable food and water to hand.

2. Keep Warm – For elders, there are significant risks of being too cold, which include dehydration. People with cardiac issues tend to get colder faster, make sure their home is properly insulated and windows are shut to prevent drafts. Thermostats should be set to fairly warm (depending on preference) to prevent hypothermia and prevent pipes from freezing also.

3. Identify Fall Risks – This is a huge issue for seniors and most do not know they are at risk for falls, especially during the winter. Create slip-proof paths and make sure they wear shoes or slippers that grip.

4. Identify Fire Risks – Fires often start from things like overheating electric blankets or space heaters. Candles are always a risk, as well as drying Christmas trees. Make sure smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are stocked with fresh batteries and are in good working order, and fire extinguishers are readily available near stoves and fireplaces.

5. Encourage Indoor Activities – Many elderly feel lonely or inactive during this time of year but there are programs available to help. Many libraries deliver books and movies. Churches offer a visitation program of volunteers who provide companionship to housebound parishioners or alternatively contact Ideal Home Care Solutions on 0845 040 5818 for advice on services we offer.

6. Practice Safety Procedures – If your elderly loved one is still driving, be sure they have emergency snow supplies in their car, including heating packs, emergency flares and snow scrapers/brushes, water and blankets, as well as a car phone charger,  also make sure to keep the Petrol tank full. Ask your elder to let you know their destination, route and expected time of arrival before they leave the house.

7. Keep an eye on nutrition – A balanced diet becomes even more crucial during the winter when we are less active,  We are at risk of catching colds and lacking vitamin D. Be sure your loved one is getting balanced meals that incorporate vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables. Keep extra food on hand in the freezer as well as bottled or canned fruit juices and non-fat milk powder.

8. Establish Emergency Plans – If power is lost, do you and your loved on know where they will go and what they will need? Have an emergency bag packed with a change of clothing and all medical and care necessities For those with pets have a carrier ready in case pets need to be transported with them.

9. Provide your senior loved one with a mobile phone that is easy to use. Make sure the phone is always charged and has emergency contact numbers pre-entered. Ensure your elder has practiced using the dialing feature. search local retailers and the internet to see the range of mobile phones available with big buttons, easy viewing, and long-lasting batteries.

10. Wrap up! – It’s a good idea for seniors to get out for some fresh air whenever possible wearing layered loose-fitting clothing and water-proof gloves or mittens are best. Wearing a hat protects against heat loss, as close to half of body heat is lost through the head.

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Tips For Alzheimer’s Caregivers

In light of World Alzheimer’s month we a recommending Top Tips for Alzheimer Caregivers

1. Don’t be in denial – When a loved one starts to show signs of Alzheimer’s don’t be in denial like it’s natural to do. Get a diagnosis, start getting treatment and plan for the future.

2. Interact on Their level – It may not be possible to interact with your loved one like you always have, so best to figure out at what level or stage they seem to be interacting at and do the same.

3. Try putting something meaningful in their hand – This may take some experiment and differ from person to person.

4. Try introducing them to Pets, Music, Children or Art – These four activities usually appeal to people particularly in the late stages of Alzheimer’s

5. Try not to argue, correct or disagree – This usually leads to the person digging their heels in even further and making it harder to communicate.

6. Don’t bring up upsetting topics – If you bring up a conversation that you know your loved one is sensitive about, it will most likely lead to battle that you don’t want to have.

7. Don’t stop visiting when they forget who you are – Just because they don’t remember you it does not mean that they have no feelings, they may enjoy being visited.

8. Take care of yourself – Being a care giver is hard work, so the more rested and relaxed you are the better care giver you will be.

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6 Gentle Exercises for Elderly People

1. Chair Stand – Sitting in a normal-height chair, stand up, and sit down, but don’t just plop down. Focus on controlling the motion, using your arms to assist you if needed. Try doing 10 to 15 reps. If that’s too easy, try a lower-height chair. Too difficult? Find a higher-height chair.

2. Stretching – You can stretch sitting in a chair, if that helps. And you can use a , a nylon strap with built-in loops for your hands and feet.

3. Gardening – Gardening burns calories and boosts pleasure-enhancing endorphin, easing depression that can be associated with arthritis. But always pace yourself.

4.  Marching – This is a good form of light cardio exercise. Conventionally, you need to stand and march on the spot – this is a good warm up exercise for most workouts and a simple addition to your daily routine will help you in many ways. However, there is also a sitting option, which is also good for strengthening hips and thighs.

5. Upper Body Twist – You will need to sit down for this one because here, we’re going to work your back and develop some flexibility. As exercises for older people go, the health of your back is essential for maintaining and improving your mobility.

6. Sideways Bending – It is the mainstay of any lower body strengthening routine and the best thing is, it is simple and useful for any age. Helping your hips and legs develop and maintain strength is the best way to improve your mobility, making this one of the best exercises for older people.

For more information browse our website and other posts, Thanks for reading!

@IHCS_Essex

Tips For Seniors To Beat The Heat!

Elderly people are more vulnerable this time of the year, and it’s important that care-givers and relatives check on their loved ones to see how they are coping during the high heat.

Top Tips For Beating the Heat!

1. Drink plenty (non-alcoholic fluids) – 8 or more glasses of water or fruit juice a day to stay hydrated.

2. Dress Appropriately – Ensue you wear loose fitting clothes in natural fabrics and dress in light colours the will reflect heat instead of darker clothes that will draw it in.

3. Sunblock – Always protect your skin when outside by wearing hats, sunglasses and sunblock.

4. Try to stay indoors during extreme heat.

5. Air Conditioning – If you don;t have air-con try to go somewhere that does

6. Cool Bath or Shower – Sometimes having a cool bath or shower does wonders for keeping cool and hydrated.

7. Keep the House Cool – Temperatures within the home should not exceed 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

8. Beware Sun Stroke – Know he signs of sun stroke (flushed face, high body temperature, headache, nausea, rapid pulse, dizziness and confusion) and take quick action if you feel the symptoms arising.

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Top 10 Tips for Caregivers #Carersweek

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In light of National Carers week Ideal Home Care Solutions are discussing tips to being a successful carer, particularly with patients suffering from Alzheimers or Dementia

1. Make eye contact. Ensure you approach them face-to-face and make eye contact. Use their name if you need to. It is vital that they actually see you and that their attention is focused on you. Read their eyes. Always approach from the front as approaching and speaking from the side or from behind can startle some people

2.  Be at their level. Move your head to be at the same level as their head. Bend your knees or sit down to reach their level. Do not stand or hover over them – it can be intimidating and scary. They can’t focus on you and what you are saying if they are focused on their fear.

3.  Tell them what you are going to do before you do it. Particularly if you are going to touch them. They need to know what is coming first so that they don’t think that you are grabbing them.

4.  Speak calmly. Always speak in a calm manner with an upbeat tone of voice, even if you don’t feel that way. If you sound angry or agitated, they will often mirror that feeling back to you and then some.

5.  Speak slowly. (depending on the service user) Speak at one half of your normal speed when talking to them. Take a breath between each sentence. They can not process words as fast as non-diseased people can. Give them a chance to catch up to your words.

6.  Speak in short sentences. Speak in short direct sentences with only one idea to a sentence. Usually they can only focus on only one idea at a time

7.  Only ask one question at a time. Let them answer it before you ask another question. You can ask who, what, where and when, but NOT why. Why can sometimes be complicated. They may try to answer, fail and get frustrated.

8.  Don’t say “remember”. Many times they will not be able to do so, and you are just pointing out to them their shortcomings. That is insulting, and can cause anger and/or embarrassment.

9.  Turn negatives into positives. For example say “Let’s go here” instead of “Don’t go there”. Be inclusive and don’t talking down to them as if they were a child. Respect the fact that they are an adult, and treat them as such.

10. Avoid Confrontation. It gets you nowhere. Instead validate their feelings, by saying” I see that you are angry (sad, upset, etc…). It lets them know that they are not alone and then redirect them into another thought. For example “It sounds like you miss your mother (husband, father, etc…). You love them very much, don’t you? Tell me about the time…” Then ask for one of their favorite stories about that person).

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12 Activities for People with Dementia

In Light of Dementia Awareness Week Ideal Home Care Solutions are talking about how we can help those suffering from Dementia and how we can help and support them.

Activities that provide cognitive stimulation ideally target both mental and social functioning. Cognitive stimulation can be administered either in a group setting, such as that of a nursing home or residential care setting, or it can be provided individually by a professional or family caregiver and tailored to the affected individual’s specific interests and abilities.

12 Activities for People With Dementia

1. Thinking – puzzles, games, reading

2. Physical – take a walk, arm and leg exercises, dancing

3. Social – visiting with family and friends, senior center activities

4. Chores – folding the laundry, setting the table, feeding the pets

5. Creative – arts and crafts projects, painting, playing music or singing

6. Daily living – taking a shower, brushing teeth, eating, getting dressed

Reminiscence therapy is another type of cognitive stimulation that can help improve the quality of life for an individual with dementia, this may include activities such as:

7. Looking through photo albums

8. Creating a scrapbook

9. Telling “I remember when” stories

10. Re-reading saved letters and greeting cards

11. Listening to music

12. Baking and eating a special family recipe together

 

 

Top 10 Tips For Preventing Falls

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10 Top Tips for Preventing Falls

Looking after your health is vital to maintaining and retaining your independence. Ideal Home Care Solutions provides care and support to people who require assistance due to many reasons, one of which is following a fall. Through our knowledge and expertise we know there are certain things you can do to keep moving and avoid the risk of falling. We want to help our Service Users to stay safe, so we have devised list of ten top tips for preventing falls. We sincerely hope this comes as some help to you and your loved ones.

10 Top tips for Preventing Falls

1.   Eat and drink well

To avoid medical conditions that increase your risk of falling make sure you receive enough nutrients  Eat breakfast every morning: missing meals could make you feel dizzy. You could also feel lightheaded if you don’t drink enough fluids each day. You may not always feel thirsty or hungry, so one of our top tips for preventing falls would be to find ways to find ways to remember to eat and drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.

It is also a good idea to avoid drinking alcohol because it can make you feel light headed and may affect your co-ordination.

2.    Keep active

Exercise can improve balance, strength, coordination and flexibility. So, our second top tip for preventing falls is to keep moving, for example walking and swimming. It is important to talk to your doctor or a healthcare professional about the type of exercise that would be good for you and follow their recommendation.  A doctor may refer you to support from a physical or occupational therapist. An occupational therapist can visit you at home to discuss an exercise program to suit you that will improve your balance, muscle strength and gait (how you take steps).

If you prefer to exercise at home, Ideal Home Care Solutions can offer support to encouragement.

3.    Use the right equipment and aids

The secret to reducing the risk for falls is not only moving more, but moving safely. An occupational therapist can advise you on suitable adaptations for your home to make it safer for you, as well aids to make day to day living tasks easier.  They can also give you information  about the extensive range of aids and adaptations to meet a wide variety of needs. Depending upon your circumstances these may be available for loan from the local authority or from specialist suppliers. Some examples include:

  • Walking aids such as a walking frame, stick or ramps;
  • Hand or grab rails to make it easier to get in an and out of a bath;
  • Raised seats for a chair or toilet to help you move between standing and sitting safely;
  • Aids for accessing those hard to reach places when washing or dressing.

4.    Move safely around your home

Take extra care when standing up, reaching or sitting down. We would suggest that when moving from lying down to standing, sit up first and stay sitting a moment or two. Then stand up slowly and stand a few seconds before trying to walk.

When you first wake up, sit on the edge of the bed for a while to fully orientate yourself before you get out of bed. If you are not close to the telephone when it rings, don’t rush to it. Fast, sudden moves could throw you off balance.

Always use your recommended walking aids if you are uneasyy. Make sure that you (or someone else) regularly checks the condition of any equipment that you use. For example, check that the rubber tips on walking sticks are not worn down.

Try to keep your telephone nearby or an aid call button that you can reach to call for help if you fall. Consider carrying a portable phone.

5. Choose the right footwear and clothes

  • Wear clothes that fit correctly.  It’s easy to trip on a coat, pair of trousers or bathrobe that is too long.
  • Have your feet measured each time you buy shoes since your size can change and ill-fitting shoes can increase the risk of falls.
  • Choose shoes and slippers that support your feet well and that have non-skid soles. Lace ups can provide more stability, but if you find tying laces difficult then select footwear with fabric fasteners.
  • Use a long-handled shoehorn if you have trouble putting on shoes.
  • Keep your toenails trimmed.

​6. Maintain a home free from obvious hazards

You can move around more safely at home not only by using appropriate aids and adaptations, but by making sure that hazards are removed.  Our next top tip for preventing falls is to regularly check for anything that may unnecessarily restrict your movement or that could be a tripping hazard. For example:

  • Don’t leave clothes, newspapers or empty containers on the floor or stairs where you may later trip over them.
  • Check that there are no tripping hazards from frayed or loose carpets and rugs, uneven floors etc.
  • Close cabinet drawers so you won’t stumble over them.
  • Keep walkways free of clutter and furniture particularly sharp corners.
  • Clean up puddles of water or other spillages promptly to avoid slipping.
  • Take care around pets. They may suddenly move in front of your feet or jump on you.

7. Take extra care when washing, dressing and using the stairs

Moments such as these is when you are most vulnerable, avoid slips in the bathroom, bedroom and on the stairs with our seventh top tip for preventing falls.

  • It’s never a good idea to grab a towel rack, shampoo holder or soap tray for support in the shower. These will not hold a person’s weight. Ideal Home Care Solutions would recommend you talk to your GP or adviser about fitting a grab rail.
  • Let the soap suds go down the drain before you move around in the shower to avoid slipping. Using a non-sip rubber mat is a good idea. Avoid turning suddenly.
  • If you are prone to falling, use a shower chair and a handheld shower attachment.
  • It may be safer not to lock the bathroom door because if you need help, care agencies or a member of your family could reach you without delay.
  • Arrange clothes in your wardrobes and cupboards so they are easy for you to reach without stretching.
  • Replace satiny sheets with non-slippery sheets made from cotton.
  • If transferring either from or to your bed is difficult for you, seek advice from health representatives about suitable aids such as blocks to raise the height of the bed.

When using the stairs pay special attention to what you are doing:

  • Avoid carrying any package that will obstruct your view of the next step.
  • Keep at least one hand on the handrail.
  • Give all of your attention to moving up and down stairs and try not to be distracted e.g. by conversations or other sounds.

8.     Make sure you can see clearly

Always wear glasses if you need them, but remember to remove reading glasses before you walk.

  • Keep areas where you regularly move about well lit. Bright watt bulbs are recommended, except where this exceeds the recommended wattage for your particular light fittings.
  • Have a torch handy for use in the event of a power failure.

9.     Beware medication side effects

The possible side effect of some medicines can increase the risk of falls. Taking several different medicines each day can increase this risk and may cause weakness or dizzy spells.

  • Always read the information about side effects that comes with each of your medicines.
  • Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about possible side effects.
  • Ask for a review of your medicines if you are unsure or have not had a review for over a year.

10. Seek help when you need it

Having the right care and support when you need it can help increase your well being and retain your independence. Don’t leave it too late to ask for help and advice. At Ideal Home Care Solutions we can offer a range of flexible services tailored to meet your needs.

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Top 10 Reasons To Choose Home Care

1. Home care is delivered at home. When we are not feeling well, most of us ask to be at home. We enjoy the sanctity of our homes and the joy of being with our loved ones and relatives. When our loved ones are ill we try to get them home and out of the hospital as soon as possible.

2. Home care keeps families together. This is particularly important in times of illness. The ties of responsibility and caring can be severed by care homes.

3. Home care prevents or postpones institutionalization.

4.  Home care promotes healing. There is scientific evidence that many patients heal faster at home.

5.  Home care is safe. Many risks, such as infection, are eliminated or minimized when care is given at home.

6. Home care allows for the maximum amount of freedom for the individual. Patients at home remain as engaged with their usual daily activities as their health permits.

7. Home care promotes continuity. The patient’s own physician continues to oversee his or her care

8.  Home care is personalized and tailored to the needs of each individual. Patients receive one-on-one care and attention.

9.  Home care is less expensive than other forms of care, especially lengthy inpatient hospitalization.

10. Great chance to build relationship with your carer giving you a great sense of well being and companionship.

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12 Early Signs of Dementia

Dementia is more than just memory loss. Learn how to spot these 10 warning signs.

What is Dementia

What’s confusing about dementia is that it’s not actually a disease. Rather, it’s a collection of symptoms that can be caused by various diseases. Dementia symptoms include impairments in thinking, communicating, and memory.

The leading cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. Dementia can also be caused by brain damage incurred from an injury or stroke, and from other diseases like Huntington’s or Lewy body dementia.

Memory Loss Isn’t Necessarily Dementia

If a loved one is experiencing some troubling memory problems, you might immediately conclude that it’s dementia. However, a person needs to have at least two types of impairment that are significant enough to interfere with everyday life to be considered a dementia diagnosis.

In addition to difficulty remembering, the patient may also experience impairments in:

  • language
  • communication
  • focus
  • reasoning

Subtle Short-Term Memory Changes

Trouble with memory can be an early sign of dementia. The changes are often subtle and tend to involve short-term memory. Your elderly relative may be able to remember years past, but not what they had for breakfast.

Other signs of changes in short-term memory include forgetting where they left something, struggling to remember why they went into a particular room, or forgetting what they were supposed to do on any given day.

Difficulty Finding the Right Words

Another early sign of dementia is struggling to communicate thoughts the way you want to. This may mean that a person can’t seem to explain things. They may reach for the right words, but just can’t seem to grasp them.

Conversations with an elderly parent who has dementia can become difficult and take longer than usual to conclude.

Changes in Mood

Changes in mood are also common with dementia. It isn’t always easy to recognize this aspect of dementia in yourself, but it’s easy to notice in a loved one. Depression, for instance, is typical of early dementia.

Along with mood changes, you might also see a shift in personality. One typical type of personality change seen with dementia is a shift from being shy to outgoing. This is because judgment is often affected.

Apathy

A common symptom of early dementia is a listlessness or apathy. You might notice that your elderly loved one is starting to lose interest in hobbies or activities. They may not want to go out anymore or to do anything fun. They may be losing interest in spending time with friends and family and may seem emotionally flat.

Difficulty Doing Normal Tasks

A subtle shift in the ability to complete normal tasks may indicate an early sign of dementia. This usually starts with difficulty doing more complex things like balancing the checkbook or playing games that have a lot of rules.

Along with the struggle to complete familiar tasks, you may notice your loved one struggling to learn how to do new things or follow new routines.

Confusion

Someone in the early stages of dementia may often show signs of confusion. When memory, thinking, or judgment lapses, confusion arises as your loved one can no longer remember faces, find the right words, or interact with people normally.

Confusion can occur for a number of reasons. For example, missing car keys, forgetting what comes next in the day, or trying to remember who someone is.

Difficulty Following Storylines

If you notice that your elderly loved one has a hard time following storylines, it may be due to early dementia.

Just as finding and using the right words becomes difficult, people with dementia also sometimes forget the meanings of words they hear. Struggling to follow along with conversations or TV programs is a classic early warning sign.

Failing Sense of Direction

Sense of direction and spatial orientation is a common function of thinking that starts to deteriorate with the onset of dementia. This can mean not recognizing once-familiar landmarks and forgetting regularly used directions.

It also becomes more difficult to follow series of directions and step-by-step instructions.

Being Repetitive

Repetition is common in dementia because of memory loss and general behavioral changes. You might notice your elderly parent or loved one repeat daily tasks like shaving or collecting items obsessively.

They also may repeat the same questions in a conversation after you’ve already answered them.

Struggling to Adapt to Change

For someone in the early stages of dementia, the experience is frightening. Suddenly they can’t remember people they know or follow what others are saying. They can’t remember why they went to the store and get lost on the way home.

Because of this, they might crave routine and not want to try new things. Having difficulty adapting to changes is a typical sign of early dementia.