Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Is Your Aging Relative Using Their Wheelchair Safely?

Elder Care in Birmingham, AL- Is your senior safe with her wheelchair?

It seems like using a wheelchair should be simple, doesn’t it? Is there really much more to it than your aging relative sitting in it while a caregiver pushes them? It turns out that there’s a lot more to it than that. There are things caregivers and the senior may be doing with the wheelchair that could cause injuries. Knowing some safety tips to follow can help caregivers and older adults to avoid being hurt while using a wheelchair. Here are some tips that may help.

Keep the Chair Well Maintained

Like any other mechanical device, a wheelchair needs periodic maintenance to stay in good working order. Check the wheels frequently. Look for a loose wheel or a tire that is flat. Also, make sure none of the spokes are broken. Watch for wear and tear on the seat and back of the chair. If they rip while your aging relative is in the chair, it could cause them to fall and get hurt. Replace or repair worn or broken parts promptly.

Keep the Battery Charged

If the older adult uses a powered chair, make sure that the battery is kept charged. If it is not, the senior may find themselves stranded somewhere. A caregiver should charge the battery each night while the older adult is in bed and check the battery level throughout the day.

Use the Brakes

Make sure the chair’s brakes are engaged before transferring the older adult in or out of the chair. If the chair is powered, turn it off during a transfer to prevent the controller from being hit and causing the chair to move.

Go Over Bumps Backward

If you find yourself at a curb or a threshold with a larger than usual bump, turn the chair around and take the older adult through the doorway or over the curb backward. This prevents them from falling forward out of the chair as it tilts or hits the bump and makes it easier to move the chair.

Put Footrests Up Before Getting Out

If your aging relative is able to stand on their own, remind them to never get out of the chair with the footrests down. They could trip on them.

Keep Blankets and Bags Clear of Wheels

Many older adults use lap blankets to keep their legs warm while they are in a wheelchair. They may also carry a purse or other bag with them. Make sure the blanket and straps of the bag do not come in contact with the wheels. They could get caught and cause the chair to abruptly stop.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering in-home elder 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, January 25, 2019

We Had Fun with National Peanut Butter Day & National Compliment Day

National Peanut Butter Day & National Compliment Day!

Helping Hearts Senior Care had a blast celebrating National Peanut Butter & National Compliment Day.

We toured several facilities and gave out peanut butter candies and compliments. 

Everyone loved it. Sometimes all someone needs is a kind word to get through the day.

 It felt wonderful to see so many people smile. 

Here is some footage:

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.