The Unknown Scares of Halloween

The Unknown Scares of Halloween

Halloween can be an exciting time, complete with pumpkins, candy, costumes, and trick-or-treating. However, Halloween can also be a scary time for senior citizens. Little children dressed as ghosts and princesses, costumed teenagers, and adults can cause unnecessary stress for senior citizens and those with mental disabilities. Not to mention, with the advantage of a masked face and hidden identity, there is no better excuse for criminals to take note of a frail senior citizen living on their own, and return at a later date to burgle or vandalize property. As the holiday fast approaches, our staff offers some helpful tips for staying safe. The main way to avoid problems is to have someone else in the house if the resident decides to pass out candy or other treats.  Other helpful tips are: Avoid dark or opaque decorations that block lights. Use flame-less style candles in pumpkins and holiday decorations. Don’t leave an elderly person with mental or physical limitations home by themselves on Halloween. Continue to follow dietary precautions by avoiding overindulgence in sugar and candy. Pass out candy from a neighbor or family members’ home instead. If not passing out candy, make sure the porch lights and front room lights are turned off. Keep seniors entertained and watch a movie or listen to music in another room, if possible. Never let a trick-or-treater into the house; their reasons may not be as they say. Keep in mind that while you may find Halloween to be a fun time, it is not always a happy time for the elderly. Innocent tricks can be scary and the added stimulation...

Dining With Dementia

Dementia comes with its obstacles; bathing, walking, household chores and others, but no one would think about eating. As Dementia and Alzheimer’s progress the mobility required during meal time slowly slips away. The ability to hold a fork, pass the potatoes and chew food may also diminish. A person with dementia may refuse to eat food or may spit food out. This may be because they dislike the food, are trying to communicate about the food being too hot, or being unsure what to do with the food. The person with dementia may become angry or agitated or exhibit challenging behaviour during mealtimes. This can happen for a variety of reasons; such as frustration at any difficulties they are having, feeling rushed, or even the environment they are in. They may not want to accept assistance with eating. Try not to rush the person with dementia, and help them maintain as much independence as possible. If a person is agitated or distressed, do not put pressure on them to eat or drink. Wait until the person is calm and less anxious. Not only will the fine motor skills diminish, but the ability to sense temperature diminishes along with swallowing (called dysphagia).  If your loved one is having difficulty with swallowing, a referral to a speech and language therapist can help. Some problems can include holding food in the mouth, continuous chewing, and leaving harder-to-chew foods (eg hard vegetables) on the plate. Be aware, issues such as weight loss, malnutrition and dehydration can also be consequences of swallowing difficulties. To learn more,...

Losing The Senior Weight

Senior weight. It’s cute…kinda like baby weight, right? Nope. Now, don’t get me wrong. I enjoy a good doughnut or icecream sundae as much as the next person, but as you age, and your waist line increases so does your risk for heart disease, diabetes and other weight-related ailments. Here are a few tips we found to keep you fit and trim around the middle.  Here’s how to figure your BMI: Weigh yourself first thing in the morning, without clothes. Measure your height in inches. Multiply your weight in pounds by 700. Divide the answer in #3 by your height. Divide the answer in #4 by your height again. The answer in #5 is your BMI. What Your BMI Means: 18.5 or less is underweight 18.5-24.9 is a healthy weight 25-29.9 is overweight 30 or more is obese   Knowing how many calories you need each day is another important piece of information that will help you manage your weight. Most experts say that 2,000 to 2,600 calories a day should meet the energy needs ofmen older than 50 who are lightly to moderately active. For women over 50 who are lightly to moderately active, 1,600 to 1,800 calories a day should do it. However, these are just ballpark figures. Individual calorie needs can differ greatly depending on muscle mass, physical activity, and genetic differences. While it’s true that the more calories you cut, the quicker you’ll lose, don’t make the mistake of cutting back too much. If you go too low (below 1,600 calories a day), you won’t get enough nutrients, you’ll be fatigued, and your body will simply compensate by slowing its...

Sleeping “On The Rocks”

While scrolling through the internet, we found an article to be especially interesting. Especially for those women out there having their own…lets say…personal summers. Granted, the photo below may be a bit much, but you get what we’re trying to illustrate here. A drop in body temperature may help people to fall asleep easier.  According to a study in the Journal “Sleep”, making a special effort to cool down before bedtime may be of particular benefit to insomniacs. Sleep specialists have long debated whether the regular nighttime drop in temperature induces sleep or follows it. To investigate this question, Doctors Murphy and Campbell of the New York Hospital’s Cornell Medical Center in White Plains, recruited 21 men and 23 women, aged 19 to 82. The researchers identified the time at which the subjects’ body temperature fell most sharply. This point almost always occurred in the two hours before sleep began.  Therefore, people with trouble falling asleep might benefit from taking hot baths about 90 minutes before bedtime, the researchers speculate. When they get out of the bath, body temperature will drop rapidly, and this might help them to fall asleep faster.  Other tips would be to keep the bedroom comfortably cool, wear cool nightclothes, and use a fan as needed. This news is brought to you by Nutrition Breakthroughs.  Since 2001, Nutrition Breakthroughs has provided health articles and effective natural remedies.  Their mission is to provide nutritional supplements that work well and help people to avoid drugs and their side effects. Since 2009, their natural sleep aid Sleep Minerals II has been keeping that promise — by soothing even...

The Benefits of Respite Care for New Moms

Per Diem Nurse Staffing is proud to offer Respite Care on an as-needed basis for maternity, vacation, and post-hospital care.  Our caring and experienced team of in home caregivers are bonded and insured and go through a thorough background and criminal check. We are proud of our healthcare staff and the respite care services we provide. In times of need, you can choose the hours and days of in home respite care you want. We take care of everything, leaving you to bond with your new baby or heal from a hospital stay.  Whatever the need, consider Per Diem Nurse Staffing’s respite care as a relief from daily struggles and duties as our experienced and caring in home caregivers provide the services you need. Personal care providers assist with daily living skills such as bathing, dressing, feeding, or toileting. Homemaker services support meal preparation, shopping, and housekeeping. Skilled health care, which requires more specialized training and experience, addresses medical needs. In this article taken from USA Today, it highlights the benefits of a visiting nurse for new moms. Check it out! http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/2010-04-14-homenurse14_CV_N.htm...

The Importance of Hydration

I’m sure we have all heard the old adage “Water, water everywhere. But not a drop to drink”. Luckily, most of us have access to good old fashioned H2O whenever we please however, we don’t always remember to take the time to stay completely hydrated. With summer in full swing, the temperatures are on the rise. With the increase in temperature, the risk of dehydration is also a real problem. Did you know water makes up more than half of your body weight? Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to function correctly. Our bodies depend on water for survival tasks such as maintaining temperature and lubricating joints.  Over time the water is lost, and if we don’t replace the lost volume, it can result in a great deal of illnesses and issues, especially for the senior community. There are many reasons it is important for seniors to stay atop the hydration list. Here are just a short few: -Older people are more likely to have certain medical problems that can cause dehydration such as influenza, digestive problems and high blood sugar. -Many seniors take medications with diuretic effects for high blood pressure, heart disease, or kidney and liver problems. -As we get older, our kidneys start to decline and become less sensitive to the anti-diuretic hormone in our bodies  This hormone helps conserve the water in our bodies by reducing the loss of water in our urine. -The thirst response mechanism in our brains decline as we age.  Due to this, seniors aren’t able to accurately determine their level of dehydration because of this decline. How do I know if...