Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Is Age the Determining Factor about Driving for Your Senior?

When the question of driving comes up in relation to your aging family member, her age might be the first consideration. But it might not be the most important aspect for you and your senior to focus on with this situation. Other factors can have a great deal more weight, which means they should be your focus. 

Can She See Well Enough to Drive? 

Being able to see what's going on around her is a key part of safe driving for your senior. If your elderly family member hasn't had her vision checked recently, you should get an appointment scheduled right away. Once you know what she's up against when it comes to vision issues, you can either take necessary corrective steps or take the next step in helping her to ease out of the driver's seat. 

How Are Her Reflexes? 

Your senior's reflexes and her reaction time are crucial behind the wheel. Is she responding quickly when she needs to? There's no room in driving for slow decisions or for your senior to be unable to respond quickly by hitting the brake pedal when necessary. If her reaction time in normal daily situations is a little off, it probably is behind the wheel, too. 

Has She Gotten Lost or Distracted While Driving? 

If your elderly family member has experienced confusion or distraction while driving, that might be normal to a certain extent. But that's a different story if she's getting lost or confused in familiar locations or she's experiencing this issue often. This situation can put your aging family member into more dangerous circumstances that can quickly turn very bad for her. 

How Does the Car Look? 

Make it a point to take a look at your senior's car now and then. What this does is give you a benchmark for how the car looks and you can start to spot differences. Look for dents or scratches that are a little more involved than something that might have happened in the parking lot. These types of marks, especially if they're showing up more often, can indicate that your elderly family member is having trouble driving safely. 

When you and your senior are ready to try other options for her besides driving, you might want to consider hiring elder care providers to do the driving for her. They can help her to get where she's going safely and on time without endangering herself in the process. 

If you or an aging loved-one are considering in-home elderly care in Hoover, AL, please contact the caring staff at  205-490-1079.  We service Birmingham, Vestavia Hills, Hoover, Pelham, Pinson, McCalla, Trussville, Adamsville, Chelsea, Mountain Brook, and Homewood.

We Have Moved!!!

We Have Moved!!! In our efforts to better serve you, we've moved to a bigger and better location. Located in the heart of Homewood, Helping Hearts Senior Care's new address is 601 Beacon Parkway West Suite 206 Birmingham, Al 35209. Stop by for coffee and/or a brief discussion on how we can provide quality care for your loved one. We hope to see you soon!

Helping Hearts Senior Care and Guardian Pharmacy Working Together

Helping Hearts Senior Care and Guardian Pharmacy are working together to make managing medications a breeze. We can help to eliminate some of those pharmacy trips. No more organizing pills in a medicine container or wondering if your loved one forgot that noon pill. Medications are now delivered. They come already sorted and labeled and your personal caregiver provides reminders. Let's free up some of your time and get your loved one the care that they deserve. Call Helping Hearts Senior Care today and a friendly representative will assist you. (205) 490-1079

Monday, January 7, 2019

3 Things Stroke Victims Need to Recover at Home

When a senior survives a stroke, it requires drastic alterations to their life and the lives of their family members. Except for the mildest of strokes, this medical emergency is a serious issue that imposes long-term physical and mental challenges for the elderly adult. Among the most common effects of a stroke are partial paralysis, slurred speech, poor vision, poor balance, loss of muscle strength, memory issues, and fatigue. This means that aging adults are in for a long recovery time that often stretches into years.

When the elderly adult has been cleared to go home from the hospital or recovery center, family caregivers must arrange for their aging relative to live at home under their new physical and mental conditions. Because they won’t be able to live independently without some major changes to their lifestyle, family caregivers need to take care of a few things first.

1. Hire an Elderly Care Provider

The first step to manage aging loved one’s in-home living arrangements is to hire elderly care providers, who are professionally trained assistants for elderly adults with various needs. An elderly care provider can be with an aging adult to assist them in all kinds of daily tasks that they can no longer do safely or well. From getting dressed to making a meal, aging adults are going to struggle. When they have an elderly care provider they can rely on, they can be comfortable, safe and fed at home.

Family caregivers are an important part of an elderly stroke victim’s support system that allows them to continue living in their own home. Seniors who are recovering from a stroke need daily assistance from home care providers. The home care provider will assist with self-care tasks like bathing, showering, dressing, and hygiene. Some stroke survivors even need help with feeding themselves, working a remote control and speaking. Elderly care providers that are trained to work with stroke victims are compassionate, patient and knowledgeable.

2. Modify the Home

It’s important to make changes to the home so that the elderly adult can accomplish as much as they can on their own. Examples of home modifications include replacing doorknobs and faucets with lever-style designs, installing grab bars in the shower and near the toilet, installing a wheelchair ramp and similar modifications. As seniors work with physical therapists and occupational therapists on re-learning how to do many things, the modified home will make things easier to live day-to-day.

3. Healthy Habits and Lifestyle Changes

Seniors who are recovering from a stroke need to implement some healthy habits and do everything they can to optimize their health. Besides physical therapy, aging adults need to boost their nutrients and have healthy meals and snacks. Elderly care providers can plan and prepare meals to meet their dietary needs. Elderly adults should also give up bad habits like smoking or overeating. A doctor can recommend vitamins and supplements that may help with health and wellness. As hard as it will be, seniors also need to be as active as possible to build up their strength and endurance.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering in-home elderly care in Birmingham, AL, please contact the caring staff at  205-490-1079.  We service Birmingham, Vestavia Hills, Hoover, Pelham, Pinson, McCalla, Trussville, Adamsville, Chelsea, Mountain Brook, and Homewood.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Preventing Heart Problems in Diabetic Seniors

The number one cause of death for people who have diabetes is heart disease. In fact, having diabetes increases a person’s chances of dying from heart disease by two to three times. And, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 74 percent of individuals with diabetes also have high blood pressure, which is one of the major factors for heart disease.

How are Diabetes and Heart Disease Connected?
When blood sugar levels remain high over a length of time, it can harm the blood vessels and nerves that are involved with making the heart work properly. Because of this, people who have had diabetes for a longer period of time are at greater risk for developing heart disease. In addition, having diabetes often leads to getting heart disease at a younger than normal age.

People who have diabetes are also more likely to have some of the risk factors for heart disease, such as:
  • ·         High cholesterol.
  • ·         High triglycerides.
  • ·         High blood pressure.
  • ·         Obesity.

What Can Be Done to Prevent Heart Disease?
The good news is that there are many ways older adults with diabetes can prevent the development of heart disease. Some steps you can help your aging family member to take include:
·         Reach a Healthy Weight: Carrying excess weight can affect the body’s ability to use insulin and makes the heart work harder. So, if your loved one is overweight, it’s important that they try to reach a healthy weight. Your older family member’s doctor can refer them to a dietician to help develop a healthy eating plan that helps control blood sugar levels and promotes weight loss.
·         Exercise: Exercise is good for heart health and helps the body to use excess blood sugar. Before starting an exercise plan, talk to the older adult’s doctor to make sure they are healthy enough. Once the doctor has cleared them for exercise, work toward the senior exercising about 30 minutes per day several times per week.
·         Quit Smoking: If your aging relative smokes, they should quit. Nicotine contributes to the narrowing of arteries.
·         Manage Blood Sugar: Keeping blood sugar under control can help to prevent damage to blood vessels. Make sure your aging relative checks their blood sugar and takes medications as directed.
·         Control Blood Pressure and Cholesterol: If the senior has been prescribed medications for blood pressure or cholesterol, it’s important that they take it.

Senior care can assist older adults with diabetes to manage the condition and prevent heart disease. A senior care provider can cook healthy meals that meet the requirements of the meal plan developed by the dietician. Senior care providers can also assist your loved one to be more physically active by driving them to exercise classes or helping them to exercise at home. Finally, senior care providers can remind older adults when it is time to take medications for diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering in-home senior care in Birmingham, AL, please contact the caring staff at  205-490-1079.  We service Birmingham, Vestavia Hills, Hoover, Pelham, Pinson, McCalla, Trussville, Adamsville, Chelsea, Mountain Brook, and Homewood.


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Including Senior Relatives in Your Holiday Plans

While many people say there’s no place like home for the holidays, elderly adults might disagree if it means they will be isolated and lonely. Millions of elderly adults struggle with feelings of sadness and depression during the winter holiday season. It’s especially difficult when the elderly adults have physical challenges that prevent them from full participation in festive events with friends and family. Family caregivers must take steps to include their aging relatives in their holiday plans.

Why Seniors Become Isolated

It’s too easy for elderly adults to become isolated, especially when they struggle with mobility issues and health challenges. They want to stay in their home as they age, but injuries, disease, chronic health issues and a number of other problems leave them unable to complete the daily tasks needed to stay safe and healthy. Many become dependent on family caregivers and home care providers to help them with things like getting dressed, preparing meals, grocery shopping and driving them to appointments.

During the holidays and winter weather, it’s easy for family members and friends to get busy and overlook the needs of the aging relatives in their family. That’s why family caregivers need to place an emphasis on helping their aging relative and get them out of the house and having some Christmas cheer. It’s not difficult to include an aging adult into family holiday plans, and the physical and mental health benefits are tremendous.

Ideas to Include Seniors in Holiday Plans

While elderly adults won’t be able to do every single holiday activity, there are many ways that family caregivers can include them in their traditional events and celebrations. One of the best things to do is attend a Christmas concert or theater production or drive around to look at neighborhood lights. Christmas shopping is always fun to do at department stores and malls, and most of these have electric scooters to make it easy for elderly adults to get around. Many communities hold holiday events, such as Christmas craft fairs, tree-lighting ceremonies and, even Christmas caroling and sing-alongs.

Other Christmas events and activities that are closer to home include hosting a family gathering, making Christmas cookies or other traditional treats, sending Christmas cards, and listening to Christmas music. Many elderly adults can’t decorate their homes due to physical limitations, so family caregivers and home care providers should help with that. It’s always fun to watch favorite Christmas movies with a few close friends as well. No matter what their ability level, elderly adults can find lots of things to do to put them in a Christmas mood.

It may be a challenge to make plans that are senior-friendly, but with support from family caregivers and home care providers, aging adults can feel loved and welcomed when efforts are made to include them in Christmas activities and winter holiday plans.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering in-home home care in hoover AL, please contact the caring staff at  205-490-1079.  We service Birmingham, Vestavia Hills, Hoover, Pelham, Pinson, McCalla, Trussville, Adamsville, Chelsea, Mountain Brook, and Homewood .

Magic on Main Street Festival of Trees

Helping Hearts Senior Care was honored to donate a decorated Christmas tree in the "Magic on Main Street Festival of Trees" event. These trees will be sold in a silent auction. All proceeds will go to help Birmingham area seniors through the Alzheimer's of Central Alabama. Our tree was named "Santa's Heart". Seeing the seniors overfilled with joy was truly amazing.