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.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Helping Hearts Happy Hour

On Friday 12/7/18 Helping Hearts assisted with Happy Hour for the residents of Cahaba Ridge Retirement Center. They had a live band in an intimate setting. The fireplace was burning and the atmosphere was great. The residents were really inviting and you could tell they were having a great time. We really enjoyed ourselves.