Caregogi is an online platform developed by Mary Jo Dietrich, RN-BSN, that makes finding senior care simple. Our mission is to provide quality care providers to families in need of senior care and to make all aspects of senior care easy and accessible.
Betty Anne and her daughter, Alice, were enjoying a quiet breakfast on the porch one spring morning when Betty Anne suddenly lost her grip on her coffee mug. Thankfully, the beverage had been sitting out long enough that the liquid wasn’t scalding, though the spill still left a noticeable pink blotch on Betty Anne’s leg. As Alice leaped up from her chair to assist her surprised mother, she couldn’t help but sigh inwardly. Betty Anne’s hands had been shaking so badly she could barely hold a fork lately, let alone a coffee mug. Anyways, even if she could, she no longer had an appetite.
After her congestive heart failure diagnosis 7 months ago, Betty Anne’s health had been rapidly deteriorating. With her weight dropping drastically in the last couple of months, she had been unable to perform basic self-care activities like toileting or bathing. Between Alice and a hired caregiver, Betty Anne was under constant 24-hour care. Alice was growing more and more dismayed by her mother’s declining health – they couldn’t even enjoy a morning coffee together anymore, it seemed.
After helping her mother to bed for a mid-morning nap, Alice sank down onto the sofa and put her face in her hands. During their last few visits, the doctor had been gently hinting that a conversation might arise soon…Alice had just been hoping to prolong that talk as long as possible.
What am I going to do now? she thought.
Is It Time?…
If Alice’s experience with her mother sounds familiar, you may have asked yourself the above question yourself. Knowing what to do while caring for someone dear to your heart is never easy, nor is discussing the prospect of placing him or her in hospice care. If you are thinking about hospice for your senior but are unsure of where to turn or what questions to ask, don’t despair. Instead, start by doing your research. First, it is important to understand what we define as hospice care.
Hospice Care: What It Is and What It Isn’t
Hospice is an “end of life” care whose main goal is to alleviate pain and provide the most comfort possible to patients during their last months and weeks. End-of-life treatment includes medical care and physical/mental support for both the patient and his/her family. Many patients receive professional medical care in hospitals and nursing homes, though two-thirds often choose to be cared for in their own home. Hospice is not to be confused with Palliative care, which includes emotional support and day-to-day help for someone with a life-threatening illness while doctors pursue a cure. Rather, hospice care usually starts with the diagnosis and continues until the patient passes.
From the definition, “end of life care”, hospice can be a frightening thing to start thinking about. In the above story, Betty Anne’s daughter was hoping to prolong talking about hospice as long as possible. However, hospice nurses and caregivers are there for you and your senior in this emotionally-difficult time. It is important, therefore, for your loved one’s comfort and sense of peace that you begin considering hospice sooner rather than later.
Should I be Thinking About Hospice Now?
Typically, most people wait too long to start thinking about hospice care. Why is this? Part of the reason is that many consider end-of-life care as the stage of “giving up”. Hospice carries with it a stigma of being the place of no return. However, this is a despairing and, quite frankly, faulty, assumption. Hospice doctors and nurses are there to help seniors pass quietly and with dignity, and to enjoy their last months as much as possible. Making the decision to place your loved one in hospice care should not be confused with giving up on him/her but understood as the best decision for your loved one’s well-being.
The best way to consider if your senior is ready for hospice care is simply to talk to their doctor. Don’t wait for the doctor to bring it up – ask! You should also then speak with a hospice care provider (or many) to help you make the right decision.
Questions To Consider
As you are in communication with your loved one’s doctor, it may be helpful to start thinking about these questions to get a better understanding of his/her needs:
How long does he/she have left to live?
Typically, the time frame is between a year and 6 months. Before a year may be too early, but after the 6-month period may be too late. Many families wait until the last week or two of their loved one’s life to call Hospice. However, by waiting, the senior is kept from receiving additional specialized nursing care and medical equipment related to their terminal illness at no cost much earlier.
Can he/she perform ADL’s?
It’s not unusual for seniors to have difficulty performing ADLs as they age. In-home caregivers and nurses can help seniors with general personal hygiene and home maintenance. ADLs include bathing and hygiene, dressing and undressing, movement, toileting, and eating. However, if a senior is showing rapid signs of decline in personal care, it may be time to consider hospice care.
Does he/she have continence issues?
The older a person becomes, the higher the probability they will have common continence problems. If your loved one has little to no control over their bowel movements, it may be time to consider hospice care.
Severity of memory loss?
Dementia causes a gradual loss of thinking and remembering. It also changes one’s reasoning abilities, too. If a senior is having difficulty remembering common physical needs such as eating or sleeping, it may be time to think about the next steps. A memory that is having a harmful impact on their well-being is often part of the discussion when it comes to considering hospice.
Other Questions to Consider…
Who covers the cost?
Typically, Medicare will cover the cost of hospice for beneficiaries. About 85% of end-of-life care costs are covered by various government entities. These include Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Administration, and the Department of Defense. However, private insurance plans and HMOs may also pay, though they may have a preferred provider. A small copay might also be required for medications. Medicare is required to pay for all medically necessary hospital/doctor care under Parts A and B, regardless of cost or condition of the patient. If you have Medicare and are curious about your benefits, visit Medicare.gov.
How Do I Find a Hospice Agency?
It is advised that you search for a hospice provider close to your area. Most communities have more than one hospice provider, making the decision difficult. Thankfully, your doctor and hospital discharge planner can help you find a hospice agency. As you talk with your doctor and family, you can look for providers by…
local referrals: besides your doctor, you can also find hospices in your area by looking them up in the phone book. For more info, click here.
state resources: you may also contact your state’s hospice organization or its department of health or social services to get a list of licensed agencies.
Do you think you have found hospice care for your loved one? To ensure the quality of care, consider asking the agency the following questions before moving forward:
how often will the caregivers visit?
are the doctors and nurses certified in palliative care?
will the patient’s primary doctor still be involved in medical care?
will the nurse or clinician be in the house when the patient is actively dying?
are there limits on radiation and chemotherapy?
what’s expected from family members?
Considering hospice for your senior loved one is never easy. Above all, don’t lose hope or become overwhelmed- there are nurses and caregivers there to help you! With these tips in mind, start investigating your options today.
One day, you are visiting your mom at her house because you have not seen her in a while. You arrive at her house and walk in to see that she has fallen and is in pain. Panic starts to overwhelm your mind and body. You end up calling 911 and your mom received the medical attention she needs. Then, she spends a few days in the hospital and returns home. What do you do? What if your mom has another fall and you’re not there to help her this time? There are many ways you can help your senior parent if they fall and even help reduce their risk of falling in the future. Below is what you can do when your mom or dad has a fall and how to help them avoid future falls altogether.
What to do When Mom or Dad Has a Fall
One helpful approach is having a Fall Response Strategy (FRS) in place so that you or another caregiver can be ready and quick when your senior parent falls. An FRS outlines exactly what you should do after your senior parent has a fall and explains under which situations specific actions need to be taken. It is important to have a plan in place just in case your parent has another fall. This way, you are another caregiver do not have to panic or potentially do something that could end up being harmful to your parent. However, the most important tip to remember is to not move your senior parent right away if they have fallen. Moving them could make the situation worse if the situation is properly assessed. Below is an example FRS for you to take when mom or dad has a fall:
Check for signs of bleeding and obvious injury (swelling, unusually positioned limbs)
Depending on the degree of injury, apply basic first aid
Stay by his/her side until medical help arrives
If they are conscious and responsive:
Keep him/her comfortable, relaxed and as still as possible
Ask if there is any discomfort, severe pain or throbbing in the head or light headedness
Check for signs of bleeding and obvious injury (swelling, unusually positioned limbs)
Depending on the degree of pain and injury, Apply First Aid and Call 911
Offer calming reassurance; use soothing and comforting words
If injury is not apparent, ask the person if he/she feels well enough to get up off the floor
How to Help Your Senior Parents Prevent Falls
Falls can be very physically and emotionally taxing on your senior parents and yourself. Also, seniors become more susceptible to falls due to their age; therefore, your parents and you should be informed about falls. Here are some tips on what to do when your mom or dad has a fall.
1. Have Them Try Tai-Chi
The first way to help your mom or dad prevent future falls is have them start practicing Tai-Chi. Tai-Chi is an ancient martial art form that has been proven to be extremely helpful in improving balance for seniors. This activity involves slow and purposeful movement that coordinate with the senior’s breathing and muscle activity. Researchers have found that seniors who perform tai-chi twice a week for one hour are 58% less likely to experience a fall. Tai-Chi helps the senior’s body figure out how to stay stable. Many of the moves involve taking large steps in one direction or leaning forward with the upper body, which puts the seniors in a position of almost falling. These moves help train the senior’s body to stay stable when in an off position.
2. Pay Attention to Medications
Another way you can help your senior parents prevent falls in the future is to have you and your parents pay attention to the medications they take. There are tons of medications out there can have either a positive or negative affect on a senior’s balance. For example, medications that deal with sleep can have a very negative impact on a senior’s balance. Metabolism slows down as a person ages, so the toxicity in some sleep medications builds up and causes dizziness. Some doctors will say that the following medications are bad for balance:
If your senior loved one has trouble sleeping but should work on their balance; doctors say that melatonin is a safe and effective sleep medication.
3. Re-Accessorize Them
Also, you can help your parents to re-accessorize. There are many different accessories that could help a senior avoid falling. Here are some ways on what accessories to add to your senior loved one’s life to help them prevent harmful falls:
Eyesight: avoid wearing bifocal or progressive lenses when walking around outside. They change your depth perception and can cause a senior to fall. It is recommended to wear single-focus lens when walking around outside
Footwear: Do not wear high heels, slide-in sandals, slippers, or any shoe that does not have a back, a sole, or good tread.
Walking Assistance: using a walker, cane, or wheelchair around the house is nothing to be ashamed of and is actually very common for seniors to use. These accessories will help seniors to remain independent for an even longer period of time.
4. De-Clutter Their House
Your parents have most likely lived in their home for a long time, which means they have accumulated many things around the house that would be considered clutter. Clearing the house of clutter will help the senior to move around more freely and not worry about tripping over unnecessary items. Here are a few tips to de-clutter a senior’s house to help them avoid falls:
Clear the house of any small rugs that are not necessary. It is very easy for a senior to trip and fall on a loose rug.
Get rid of any unnecessary wires or extension cords that run along the floor.
Eliminate any unnecessary furniture around the house that could cause the senior to trip/bump into and fall.
Clear all of the walkways in their home
5. Make Sure They are Hydrated
In addition, make sure mom and dad are drinking plenty of water throughout the day. It is recommended that seniors drink eight glasses of water every day to stay hydrated. Being dehydrated can cause dizziness which leads to falls. Drinking lots of water every day is a great way to stay balanced and prevent harmful falls.
Falling can be a terrifying and life changing event that can happen in a senior’s life that can also help to be prevented. Home care is a solution that can help make home life much easier for any senior who has had a fall or might have a fall. Home care can give the senior in your life the ability to remain independent at home by having the assistance of a compassionate caregiver who helps perform daily activities of living, like dressing, bathing, meal preparation, and much more. Caregogi provides home care for seniors by acting as an online matching service for seniors and independent caregivers. The best part is that Caregogi is half the cost of traditional agencies but still provides quality in home caregivers. Visit www.caregogi.com to find a caregiver that’s right for the senior in your life.
Your keys. You lost your keys again. You shuffle across the kitchen, sifting through the stack of junk you have lying on the counter. Keys aren’t there. You then move your way to the living room to look on your end table next to your fish tank. Keys aren’t there either. If only there was a simple way to help boost your memory as you age, you think as you stare at the fish tank…
Funny enough, the fish tank may be the best place to look as they typically are filled with Bacopa monnieri (buh-COH-puh moh-nee-AIR-ee). This aquatic creeping perennial plant can be used for much more than just underwater interior design; It can have a significant effect on cognitive function, especially for the senior memory.
Let’s discuss how this powerful little plant can reduce anxiety and depression while enhancing memory and attention.
Bacopa BackgroundBacopa: The Herb of Many Names
Native to the lush wetlands of South Asia, East Asia, and Australia, Bacopa monnieri has been an essential herb in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. It joins a family of common medicines, Rasayanas, known for their youthful and rejuvenating enhancements, which explains why the senior community usually takes Bacopa monnieri.2
However, Bacopa monnieri is also part of the coveted Medhya Rasayana group along with another notorious nootropic, Ashwagandha. The prefix, “medha”, means “mind.” Thus, Medhya Rasayanas are prescribed to people of all age groups needing a mental boost. The list ranges from those recovering old memories to those recovering from brain injuries.2
Additionally, Ayurvedic physicians in India have used Bacopa monnieri in combination with other herbs to treat conditions of the mind, such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, and dementia. Many have also used the herb for inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis and ulcers.3,4,5
Bacopa monnieri goes by many names. If you’re buying it in a shop, you can ask for the classic carpeting varieties: moneywort or water hyssop. If you’re researching its extracts, search for bacosides. Talking to an Ayurvedic physician about it? Ask about Brahmi—a nickname based on the Hindu creator god, Brahma. Or if you’re looking for the form of Bacopa monnieri extract, try changing a single letter: Bacopa monniera.
You won’t have to remember all those names to get through this article. But if you wanted to, you should consider taking a dose of Bacopa monnieri to help.
Bacopa Monnieri Mental Benefits
From memory to anxiety, supplementing with Bacopa monnieri can be a powerful tool for the mind.
The Herb You Can’t Forget
It’ll take more than just a single dose to feel the full effects, but research has shown that regularly taking Bacopa monnieri for eight to twelve weeks can improve your memory.6,7,8,9,10
Human studies have found that supplementing with Bacopa monnieri can greatly increase your chances of acquiring and remembering new information.10,9 A 2001 double-blind study on healthy adults found that subjects increased their learning rates after Bacopa monnieri supplementation. While the results were evident in as little as five weeks, the most significant improvements were noted after the full twelve-week course.9
Not only was the information acquired more easily, but it was accessed from long-term memory more effortlessly.
A 2002 study echoed these findings after testing Brahmi’s memory capabilities in middle-aged adults.
Testing showed that Brahmi had significant effects on decreasing the rate of forgetting newly acquired information.10
Even after experiencing short delays to refocus the mind on other tasks, participants of all ages were able to recall new information more readily and fully after supplementing with Bacopa monnieri, including verbal processing.10 Specifically, a 2012 meta-analyses of six memory intervention studies found that Bacopa monnieri can improve free memory recall.8 Imagine being able to actually remember the name of the road your maps app told you to take before your phone died. Or even just the name of that really cool plant you saw in a nature documentary last night. It could have been Bacopa monnieri.
In fact, seniors even found Bacopa monnieri as a very effective treatment for the unavoidable age-associated memory impairment (AAMI), enjoying increased memory procurement and retention.11,12 Grandma probably won’t stop confusing you with your sibling by taking Bacopa monnieri, but she will be more likely to remember the details of your life over time.
Commit this to memory: Bacopa monnieri can help the process of converting your short-term memories into long-term memories, known as memory consolidation.13
Every time you studied for a test, you engaged in this process. There’s a reason cramming the night before isn’t as efficient as studying over the period of a couple weeks. Your brain hasn’t had a chance to repeatedly fire this information on a pathway in your brain. The more frequently you study something, the stronger the pathways between the synapses in your brain become. That’s why mnemonic devices and other repetitive practices are suggested to help you rapidly store facts and figures. When it’s test time, strong pathways will allow you to more readily access information as needed.14
If you’re ready to spice up your daily routine a little, try testing your spatial memory in your current environment. Take a mental picture of your surroundings, close your eyes, and challenge yourself with questions: how many plants are on the window sill? What color is the book on the end table? Are the stripes on the area rug running vertically or horizontally? Then, open your eyes and see how you did. Supplementing with Bacopa monnieri could drastically improve your spotting skills because it boosts your spatial working memory. Working memory is about as straightforward as it sounds—it’s the part of your short term memory working to immediately process information. Add the spatial component, and you get an enhanced ability to remember things inhabiting space around you.6
We can train many parts of our bodies, but Bacopa monnieri can help us focus on a soft spot: our eyeballs. Evidence supports that this herb can improve rapid visual information processing and also speed of information processing.7 Translation? You can concentrate on what you’re seeing and comprehend it more quickly.
If faster processing didn’t get your attention, this will: seniors also performed better on the infamous Stroop Test when taking the plant extract.7,15 You may have taken this tricky test yourself at some point. In it, participants must say the color of a word rather than reading the word itself. Easy, right? But all the words are colors…and the word does not match its hue. For instance, if the word “BLUE” is boldly scrawled in the color red, the subject should say ‘red.’ The test was developed to convey that embedded information about our environment strongly influences how we interact with it.
Doing well on the Stroop test assesses a few key things: cognitive processing speed, cognitive control, and attentional capacity, all of which were improved with Bacopa monnieri as an aide.15,7
These promising improvements are in line with the traditional Ayurvedic uses for the plant, further demonstrating why it’s been used as a memory aid for such a long time.
If you’ve been missing out on your memory’s potential, HVMN paired Bacopa monnieri with calming Ashwagandha and defensive Citicholine in Rise. Rise is a nootropic stack for long-term health benefits, including increased memory, adapting to chronic stress in order to reduce it, and building cognitive resiliency. The only thing you have to remember is to take two pills every day. In as little as two weeks of consistent supplementation, you could begin to see an increase in memory, stamina, and cognitive task efficiency.8,9,16
Anxiety and Stress
In patients with anxiety, Bacopa monnieri had an anxiolytic effect, simply meaning an anti-anxiety effect. In fact, participants in clinical trials experienced reduced heart rates and anxiety levels.15 These physiological effects point to the adaptogen potential of Bacopa monnieri.17Note the word “adapt” nestled inside. Adaptogens are classified by their abilities to help us adapt to stress by normalizing the body’s physiological responses to them.
But the criteria for being labeled an adaptogen are rather strict. The herb must not only be able to assist the body in coping with stress but also decrease stress-induced damage and produce beneficial effects over time.18 The kicker? Adaptogens must be devoid of significant negative side effects.
One of Bacopa monnieri’s adaptogenic effects is cortisol reduction.19 Although cortisol is the infamous “stress hormone,” it’s responsible for numerous processes—many of them beneficial. Your body creates Cortisol in the adrenal glands and then releases it into the bloodstream to transport it all throughout your body. Most of our cells contain cortisol receptors, which allows cortisol to have different effects depending on which cells it acts upon. The hormone can manage blood sugar levels, regulate metabolism, and influence blood pressure. Our cortisol levels are constantly fluctuating, but they generally cycle in a sensical way for a steroidal hormone, like being higher when we first wake up. Don’t worry if you’re not eager to jump out of bed every morning, though; cortisol doesn’t quite have the same vigor as caffeine.
When we feel stressed, we release cortisol to help us respond appropriately to the situation.
Fight-or-flight response, anyone? This reaction is very important for our survival. But we aren’t really supposed to engage this response over a long period of time, and elevated cortisol levels from chronic stress can negatively impact your body’s systems. On the minor side, you may suffer from digestive distress, such as diarrhea or constipation.20 Muscle tension could lead to daily soreness, headaches, or even migraines.21 On the major end, you could experience higher blood pressure, which is associated with an increased risk of heart attack and cardiovascular disease.22
In 2013, study examining the anxiolytic effects of Bacopa monnieri supplementation, human subjects dosing with 640mg of the herb experienced a significant reduction in cortisol levels in as little as two hours after taking it.19
Bacopa monnieri’s calming effect may also be attributed to its modulation of serotonin levels, which Bacopa monnieri has been shown to regulate.9,15 Serotonin is the targeted neurotransmitter for the most successful antidepressive agents: the selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (or SSRIs).
Antidepressants also often increase the availability of dopamine in synapses, which is another neurotransmitter involved in regulating mood and motivation. Both dopamine and serotonin levels can decline with age, but Bacopa monnieri may be able to mitigate this decline by protecting dopaminergic neurons from death.23
In animal models, bacosides isolated from the Bacopa monnieri plant exhibited antidepressive effects.24 Better yet, human subjects reported a significant improvement in depression symptoms after supplementing with Bacopa monnieri for a twelve-week period.15
Bacopa Monnieri Physical Benefits
We can’t just let the brain have all the fun. Bacopa monnieri is also a strong fighter for the body as well.
Radical Agent: Bacopa as an Antioxidant
Twelve weeks may seem like a long time, but Bacopa monnieri does its best work when given ample time to shine. Remember that in order for Bacopa monnieri to be classified as an adaptogen, it must be able to decrease stress-induced damage and produce beneficial effects over time. If you’re patient, it will react like an antioxidant in your system.25
Joining the ranks of other common antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, Bacopa monnieri can help remove free radicals such as nitric oxide from your system. Free radicals are unstable molecules missing an electron, which they attempt to take from our lipid membranes (known as lipid peroxidation). Over time, lipid peroxidation can cause tissue and muscle damage and contribute to a scary list of diseases: diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.25
Treat Yourself: Bacopa as Anti-inflammatory
If one disease-reducing quality wasn’t enough, here’s another.
In vivo studies on rats found that Bacopa extracts inhibit the release of cytokines and enzymes associated with inflammation in the brain, leading to an overall reduction in inflammation of the central nervous system (CNS).3,5
A 2016 study on the effects of Bacopa on signaling enzymes and inflammatory markers found that Bacopa monnieri targeted specific inflammatory mediators found in the central nervous system and the periphery that are linked to arthritis and neuroinflammation.3 Similarly, a 2011 in vivo study found that the isolated bacosides prevented age-dependent elevation of pro-inflammatory markers in the aged cortex.4
While this doesn’t imply that Bacopa monnieri reduces aging, it does encourage further research into using the herb to reduce systemic inflammation.
This is especially promising because reducing inflammation can assist with the treatment of serious CNS disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, and multiple sclerosis.3,5
Epilepsy: Bacopa Beginnings
While the research on Bacopa monnieri’s effects in individuals with epilepsy is in its infancy, the herb’s mechanisms are promising.
Epilepsy is a neuronal disorder often characterized by memory and learning impairments.26 Frequent recurrent seizures can adversely affect cognition and contribute to brain injuries associated with cognitive degradation. For genetic epilepsies, the mechanisms of seizure activity are actually quite similar to the mechanisms of cognitive impairment.26 These mechanisms appear to occur as a result of abnormal signaling patterns, which result in modified synaptic function and hyperexcitability. Don’t get too excited—normal cognitive function requires a stable balance of excitatory and inhibitory drive.27
In epileptic animal models, Bacopa monnieri treatment significantly reversed the down-regulation of essential gene expression during seizure activity. In other words, neuronal cell receptors appeared to function normally again.28
Researchers looked into Bacopa monnieri’s effects on epilepsy behavioral deficits in 2010. Because the herb has been tested for its antioxidant, anticonvulsant, and cognition improving properties, the authors posit that it may be a beneficial herbal medicine for ameliorating the neuronal deficits associated with frequent seizure activity.29
Supplementing with Bacopa Monnieri
Daily doses range from 200mg – 400mg of the standardized extract with no major adverse effects reported. Minor side effects include diarrhea, nausea, and an upset stomach. However the extract does not have the most pleasant flavor.
Generally, doctors consider Bacopa monnieri safe to pair with other medications and supplements.11
Remember: Bacopa monnieri is most effective after being used consistently for an eight to twelve week period. With its hefty list of benefits, this is one herb that’s worth the wait.
Testing Your Memory
Whether you need to train your brain to process new information more quickly or train your body to process new movements more gracefully, adding Bacopa monnieri to the mix can help you achieve your memory goals and boost cognitive function.
You may not have started supplementing yet, but try to see how many of Bacopa monnieri’s benefits you’re able to remember on your own:
Increased memory acquisition and retention
Defense against age-associated memory impairment
Increased verbal processing
Increased memory consolidation
Defense against lipid peroxidation
Increased spatial working memory
Reduced inflammation in the central nervous system
Reduced heart rate
Increased rapid visual information processing
Potential for those with epilepsy and seizure activity
Need Help with More Than Just Your Memory?
Bacopa monnieri’s cognitive enhancement and protective effects may help the with senior memory, but it won’t help you with your mobility. If you or your senior loved one experiences difficulty performing everyday activities, Caregogi can help. Caregogi is an online website which connects seniors in need of home care with caregivers in their area. Caregogi can offer you quality assistance with caregivers that you choose at half the hourly cost of traditional agencies. How is this possible? Its a do-it-yourself service. Caregogi provides you with an abundance of best-matched caregivers who fit your needs. This way, you interview, hire, and employ the right one for you.
Many senior citizens struggle with mobility as they continue to age. One common solution to this issue is a wheelchair. Many seniors use wheelchairs to move around. In fact, older adults tend to lose their mobility as they age due to things like strokes, arthritis, and injuries from falls. Many misconceptions surrounding being wheelchair bound like seniors potentially disconnecting themselves from society due to limited mobility and home life being more difficult to navigate than in the past. Below are a few tips for seniors using wheelchairs to make home life easier and some activities seniors can do while in a wheelchair to stay connected and engaged.
How to Make the Home More Wheelchair Friendly
While being in wheelchair can be a hard adjustment for a senior, there are ways to make their home more wheelchair friendly to help them adapt. Just because a senior uses a wheelchair does not mean they cannot stay in the comfort of their own home. Here are some tips for seniors using wheelchairs to help make their home more wheelchair accessible.
Installing a wheelchair ramp to the entrance of your senior loved one’s home is the first step to making the home wheelchair friendly. Wheelchair ramps allow a senior in a wheelchair to easily get to the entry way of their home, as well as, are easy to install and convenient for everyone. When selecting a wheelchair ramp, the senior’s specific personal and senior needs are what need to determine the type of ramp that is bought. Some types of wheelchair ramps for seniors that have different benefits are:
General threshold ramps: portable, can be placed anywhere that is convenient
Pathway ramps: lightweight stability and security
Modular ramps: best for homes that require more elevation
Making the doorways wheelchair friendly is the next method for making the senior’s home more wheelchair accessible. Doorways need to be wide enough for a senior to be able to get the wheelchair through comfortably and as easily as possible. Some helpful ways to make the doorways in a senior’s home more wheelchair friendly are:
Widen the door to at least 32”, but it is recommended to have doorways of 36” wide for comfortable passage
Make doors easy to open: it is recommended to use door handles, pulls, or latches that are easy on the hands and wrists
Install offset hinges
Remove doors or trim
Don’t use automated doors because they can close too quickly
For seniors in a wheelchair, using the bathroom can be a stressful burden. However, bathroom trips do not have to be stressful burdens. Here are some ways to help make the bathroom a less burdensome experience for a wheelchair bound senior:
Install a shower seat so the senior can sit while rinsing off
Install grab bars to help support the senior onto the toilet or shower seat
Slip-proof the bathroom to help prevent any accidents that could happen from a wet floor
Install a toilet riser if the toilet seat is too low for a comfortable transfer
Having a wheelchair friendly bedroom for a senior is the next way to help them around the house. A wheelchair friendly bedroom can allow the senior to have a place to relax and have to themselves. Here are some tips for seniors using wheelchairs on how to make their bedroom wheelchair accessible:
Look for a bed that is big enough for the senior to sleep on but still leaves enough space for movement
The mattress for the bed needs to be less than 21” tall so the senior does not need to climb on the bed
Have anything that might be needed during the night on a nightstand next to the bed for easy access during the night
Dressers should be in reach of the bed so the senior can access it easily but have enough space to get dressed and move around.
Around the House
There are also many different small things that can be done to make life easier for a senior in a wheelchair at home. The small details to could have a large impact on the life a wheelchair bound senior and work wonders to make life easier in their home. A few of the tips for seniors using wheelchairs that can be done around the house to make their home more wheelchair friendly are:
Limit the amount of furniture in the house to allow more freedom and movement
Unless the house has an elevator or stair lift, move the bedroom and bathroom to the first floor to minimize the use of stairs
Purchase a smart doorbell to see who is at the door and potentially save trips to the door
Install an alarm system. It could possibly save the senior’s life if it goes off and the senior isn’t in the wheelchair the alarm will alert the authorities.
Ways to Stay Engaged and Connected for Seniors in Wheelchairs
There are many activities seniors can still enjoy doing while being wheelchair bound. Here are some tips for seniors using wheelchairs to remain engaged and connected.
Seniors who are in a wheelchair can still exercise and stay physically healthy. It has been proven to help make seniors stronger and more flexible. Wheelchair exercises will help the body prevent soreness. Also, exercise can help as senior’s mental health. It has been shown to help seniors using wheelchairs to have better moods. In addition, exercise can increase happiness, reduce stress, increase energy levels, and improve sleep. When doing exercises in a wheelchair, it is a good idea to have a wheelchair belt to prevent falling out of the wheelchair. Here are some examples of exercises seniors who use a wheelchair can still do:
Knee to Chest
Sit and Reach
Stimulate the Mind
Stimulating the mind is a great way for seniors in wheelchairs to stay connected and keep the mind sharp. Also, it will help increase the senior’s mental health. Studies have shown that doing “brainy” activities will stimulate new connections between nerve cells and possibly generate new cells. This will help to develop neural plasticity and build up function that will fight against cell loss in the future. Here are some specific tips for seniors using wheelchairs to help stimulate the mind:
Pick up a Hobby
Seniors at a great stage of life to develop new hobbies. There may be some things they have never experience before that they have never done before that they can still learn. Also, hobbies can keep the mind active and prevent seniors from being bored. Some examples of hobbies for seniors who use a wheelchair are:
Playing an instrument
Learning a language
Stay Connected with Family and Friends
A great way for seniors in wheelchairs to stay engaged and connected is to be surrounded by family and friends. Family and friends can provide a level of comfort for the senior and prevent them from being lonely. Bringing young children to play around seniors or even a friendly pet can be an extremely fun, rejuvenating, and youthful experience for anyone.
Living life with a wheelchair can be difficult for a senior to adapt too. Home care is a solution that can help make home life easier for any senior making a major transition in life. Home care can give the senior in your life the ability to remain independent at home by having the assistance of a compassionate caregiver who helps perform daily activities of living living, like dressing, bathing, meal preparation, and more. Caregogi provides home care for seniors by acting as an online matching service for seniors and independent caregivers. The best part is that Caregogi is half the cost of traditional agencies but still provides quality in home caregivers. Visit www.caregogi.com to find a caregiver that’s right for the senior in your life.
Strokes are the fifth leading cause of death and the primary cause of long-term disability in the United States. Millions of people are affected by the devastating effects of a stroke; however, almost 80% of them are preventable. As seniors age, they become more susceptible to having a stroke. In fact, The National Institute says that nearly 75% of all strokes occur in people over 65 years old. Here are some ways on how seniors can help prevent strokes.
What is a stroke? How Seniors Can Help Prevent Strokes As They Age?
A stroke is a sudden interruption of blood supply in the brain, also known as a “brain attack.” There are 3 types of strokes.
Ischemic -The most common type of stroke. It’s caused by a clot within an artery leading to the brain.
Intracerebral Hemorrhage- This type of stroke is caused by a sudden rupture of an artery inside the brain, causing blood to be released into the brain.
Subarachnoid Hemorrhage– This type of stroke is caused by a sudden rupture of an artery. But instead of blood filling up inside the brain like the Intracerebral Hemorrhage, blood fills up the space around the brain.
What are the signs of a stroke?
While there are many signs of a stroke, The Stroke Association has created an acronym F.A.S.T. to help people remember the most common warning signs.
F:Face drooping or numbness of one side of the face
A:Arm weakness or numbness
S:Speech difficulty (a person’s speech is slurred or completely gone)
T: Time to call 9-1-1 if any of the symptoms listed are present
How Seniors Can Help Prevent Strokes
Strokes can be very devastating to so many seniors and their families. Seniors can be very susceptible to these strokes due to their age; therefore, seniors should be informed about them. Below are some tips on how seniors can help prevent strokes as they age.
1. Lower Blood Pressure
Having high blood pressure is one of the largest risks for a senior having a stroke. In fact, having high blood pressure can double, even quadruple, a senior’s chances of having a stroke as they age. Monitoring and treating high blood pressure can be one of the largest differences for seniors’ vascular health. The ideal goal is to maintain a blood pressure level of 120/80 – 140/90 according to doctors. Some ways to achieve these blood pressure levels are:
Reduce salt intake to about half a teaspoon a day
Stay away from high-cholesterol foods like burgers, cheese, and ice cream
Eat 4-5 cups of fruits and vegetable every day, one serving of fish 2-3 times a week, and plenty of whole grains and low-fat dairy servings every day
Get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day
2. Lose Weight
Obesity is another large factor that can increase a senior’s risk of having a stroke. Excess body fat can cause inflammation to occur, which causes poor blood flow and possible blockages, resulting in strokes. If your senior loved one is overweight, losing just 10 pounds can decrease their likelihood of having a stroke greatly. An ideal body mass index for people vary so seniors should talk to their doctor to find a healthy weight loss strategy. The two main ways a senior can use to lose weight are:
. Be sure to consult a doctor about the appropriate caloric intake for your senior loved one.
Exercise: Walking, jogging, swimming, golfing, and playing tennis are all great physical activities that can help a senior lose weight
3. Exercise Daily
While exercise contributes to lowering blood pressure and losing weight, it also is its own factor to help prevent strokes in seniors. One study showed that seniors who walked at 3 miles per hour or faster were half as likely to have a stroke than people who did not exercise. It also concluded that the more seniors stay active, the less likely they are to have a stroke. Seniors should moderately exercise 5 days a week. Some methods to achieve this goal are:
Go on a walk around the neighborhood
Join a recreation center and take some fitness classes with other seniors
When exercising, reach an intensity that involves heavy breathing, but can still talk.
Take the stairs instead of an elevator, when possible
For more exercises that seniors can do to make their heart healthier and void strokes, click
4. Don’t Drink or Drink Moderately
Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol increases the likelihood of having a stroke drastically. Alcohol can result in a senior having a higher blood pressure, being overweight, and damaging their liver. All of these contribute to the risk of having a stroke as well. A goal for seniors should be to either not drink alcohol at all or at least drink it moderately. Some tips to achieve this goal are:
Do not drink more than one glass of alcohol a day
If you do choose to drink, try to drink red wine
If this is difficult for your senior loved one, having them join a support group is a good way to be held accountable and stop drinking
5. Quit Smoking
Smoking speeds up the formation of clots in a variety of ways. It results in seniors’ blood being thickened and increases plaque buildup in the arteries. Some doctors say that quitting smoking can be one of the most powerful lifestyle changes a person can make and help reduce the risk of having a stroke significantly. The goal for seniors would be to quit smoking altogether, not just every now and then. Some helpful ways to help quit smoking are:
See a doctor for the best way for your senior to quit
Use some tools like nicotine pills/patches, counseling, or medicine
Stay persistent: many smokers need multiple tries to quit smoking, so do not give up
How Seniors Can Help Prevent Strokes – Visit Caregogi
Having a stroke is one concern for seniors that can be prevented, if the steps on how seniors can help prevent strokes are taken. If you or your senior loved one has had a stroke and is struggling with their activities of daily living, home care can be a solution. Home care can give the senior in your life the ability to remain independent at home by having the assistance of a compassionate caregiver who can perform daily activities that can be difficult for a senior. Caregogi provides home care for seniors by acting as an online matching service for seniors and independent caregivers. The best part is that Caregogi is half the cost of traditional agencies but still provides quality in home caregivers. Visit www.caregogi.com to find a caregiver that’s right for the senior in your life.
Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is caused by a degeneration of nerve cells in the brain. Battling Parkinson’s Disease affects body movement and coordination. Although symptoms vary from patient to patient, most experience muscle tremors and limb stiffening, sleep disturbances and mood disorders. There is currently no cure, though treatment plans are used to alleviate symptoms. Interestingly, many celebrities have battled Parkinson’s and have lived rewarding and satisfying lives. Read on to see how they managed PD.
Famous singer/songwriter (“Sweet Caroline”) Neil Diamond retired from the road due to Parkinson’s in 2018. However, Diamond refuses to let Parkinson’s get the better of him, stating that, “I’m doing pretty well. I’m active. I take my meds. I do my workouts. I’m in pretty good shape […] I want to stay productive.” Though Diamond has retired from touring, he continues to sing and lives a full and happy life with his wife and two sons.
Bush is a great example of how staying active throughout life can promote longevity. Passing on Nov. 30, 2019, Bush lived until the age of 94. He was diagnosed with vascular Parkinson’s, identified by symptoms of slow movements and difficulty with walking and balance. Bush lived a full life in which he dedicated much of his retirement to humanitarian efforts.
Ali is known as the greatest heavyweight champion in the world. Among defeating boxing legends Joe Frazier and George Foreman, Ali spent many years battling Parkinson’s Disease, his greatest adversary. He is known as saying, “I have Parkinson’s disease, but Parkinson’s disease doesn’t have me.” Ali devoted the last thirty years of his life to raising public awareness of the disorder. Ali died in 2016 at 74 years of age.
Fox was diagnosed at age 29 with Parkinson’s, Fox is one of the leading faces in the fight against the disorder. Upon disclosing his condition in 1998, he committed himself to the campaign for increased Parkinson’s research. He is the world’s largest non-profit funder of Parkinson’s drug development. Since 2012, Fox has been back to acting, starring in “The Michael J. Fox Show” and has had multiple guest star roles in hit dramas. Though battling Parkison’s Disease is never fun, Fox has lived a fulfilling life helping others like him.
Treating Parkinson’s Disease
As there is no known cure, there is no standard treatment for people battling Parkinson’s. Treatment, including medication and surgical therapy, is different for each individual based on his or her symptoms.
Usually, treating Parkinson’s is a “team effort” involving not only your neurologist but also a wide range of specialists. Some doctors on the team include occupational therapists, physical therapists, and social workers. There are many procedures being researched on how to best beat the disease. One of the most promising involves the transplantation of fetal dopamine neurons into the brain. The hope is that these cells will be able to re-grow the damaged dopamine-producing nerve cells. Click here to learn more about treatments for seniors living with Parkinson’s Disease.
General Tips to Follow For Coping with PDKeeping Watch on Your Diet
It’s not uncommon for people living with Parkinson’s Disease to lose weight, have trouble swallowing, or feel nauseated from medications. Studies show that it is important to eat a variety of foods from each food category: fruits, vegetables, and meats. Keep your weight in the healthy range for your age, and make sure to not under eat or overeat. Try to cut down on sugar, salt, and saturated fats, and drink 8 cups of water each day. Of course, a healthy diet must go along with a healthy exercise routine.
Maintaining Physical Health
Pre-clinical work shows that exercise has protective effects on brain cells. It also helps you more efficiently make use of your brain’s dopamine levels. Studies suggest that symptoms may progress more slowly in people who exercise.
For balance, consider tai chi and yoga
To improve coordination and agility, consider dancing or boxing
For those with limited mobility, seated aerobic exercises can give a challenging workout that raises heart rate
For dystonia, try lower impact exercises like water aerobics or walking
To target freezing of gait or falls, find a Parkinson’s-specific therapy program that helps with larger movements with walking that help with fall prevention.
Alongside exercise, managing your anxiety levels is important. Stress can have a big influence on PD symptoms (tremors, rigidity and balance issues). While exercising and going about your daily activities, keep these tips in mind to manage your stress:
Deep Breathing Strategies
Diaphragmatic Breathing: when breathing in through your nose, fill your diaphragm with air (stomach should move outwards). When releasing the air, your stomach should collapse inward.
Box Breathing: breathe in for 4 seconds (to full capacity), hold for 4 seconds, breathe out for 4 seconds (releasing all air) and then hold for 4 seconds. Repeat for up to 4 minutes.
Decrease lighting in the room
Listen to soft, slow, rhythmic music
At the end of the day, keeping your physical and mental health in mind is a great way to cope with Parkinson’s in your own life.
Does your senior loved one struggle with the feeling of loneliness? Many seniors face the struggle with loneliness as they age. Loneliness has been closely connected to seniors having poor health. As seniors continue to age, there are many things that can happen in life to make them feel lonely. However, there are plenty of ways to help seniors feel like they are not alone. Here are some things that can help seniors avoid loneliness as they continue to age.
Start Adding Hobbies:
Having a hobby can benefit a senior’s life in many ways, but mostly it can help fight against loneliness. A hobby will help to keep seniors happy and looking forward to doing it every day. In addition, hobbies will help to reduce anxiety, provide more chances for seniors to socialize, and increase physical activity. A sure way to help seniors avoid loneliness is to ensure that the hobby involves a partner or group of people. Some examples of hobbies for seniors are:
Arts and Crafts
And much more
These hobbies are nice for seniors because they are not too strenuous and can be done in groups. In fact, Tai Chi was actually named the perfect exercise for seniors by The Telegraph. Hobbies are a great way for seniors to be involved in the community and help seniors avoid loneliness.
Teach Seniors How to Use Technology:
Technology can help seniors around the house and increase their social interactions as well. The first way technology can help seniors to connect with more people is through social media. These platforms are huge networks of people that seniors can communicate and keep up with, if helped with it . Now, many local libraries have classes available for seniors to help them navigate some social media applications. One example of a social media platform that seniors could use is Facebook. This application is one that seniors can use to keep in touch with family and friends, as well as current events and news.
In addition, technology can help seniors around the house with difficult activities that could impede their social lives. For example, apps such as Uber or Lyft can help seniors with transportation to get out into their community more. These apps are ideal for seniors who are unable to drive so that they can still be able to get out of the house regularly. Technology can be an extremely helpful tool for seniors to avoid loneliness, if they are taught how to use it.
Own A Pet:
Owning a pet can help a senior feel more social as well. This study shows that when seniors own a pet, they are more likely to be happier than a senior who does not own a pet. It also decreased the seniors’ feelings of loneliness and depression. In addition, the researchers of this study believe that owning a pet can improve a senior’s overall health. Other benefits of seniors owning a pet include:
Love and affection
More active lifestyle
More chances for social living
Sense of security
Fewer visits to the doctor
When seniors own a pet, researchers found that this gives them a greater sense of purpose in life. The seniors have to be responsible for a living animal and gives them something to do. Owning a pet gives the seniors so many more chances to get out and socialize. A pet provides the senior with a feeling of constant love because the pet is always there, even when people are not. Having a seniors own a pet is one of the best ways to help seniors avoid loneliness.
The Importance of A Support System:
Having a support system can be very beneficial for the senior so that they can feel a sense of a tight knit community. Family and friends are two groups who can make a senior feel like they are not alone. Having a support system to be around the senior and do things together will help to fight against loneliness. Just having some family and friends keeping up with the senior, calling or visiting them every now and then is an easy way to prevent the senior from feeling lonely. Some other ways to provide a healthy support system for a senior are:
Inviting your senior out to walk together
Taking a trip to the movies
Inviting them to family outings or dinners
Taking them to the local senior center
These are all fantastic ways that a support system of family and friends can do to prevent loneliness of their senior loves ones. Along with family and friends, taking a senior to counseling, therapy, or support groups can also be very beneficial in preventing loneliness.
Self Esteem Encouragement for Seniors:
One of the things that could be holding a senior back from having more social interactions is their body image. Some seniors are not very comfortable with their body and that prevents them from going out into the community. Giving the senior positive compliments on their body can help boost their self-esteem and help them be more comfortable with going out in public. Plus, discouraging seniors from being negative about their body might help them avoid becoming so self-conscious to the point of avoiding social interactions with people. For example, taking a senior shopping for new clothes or getting their hair done could help them to feel more confident and comfortable with socializing. Also, with a positive body image, seniors will be able to go out more and not feel as lonely. Encouraging a senior to have a positive body image for themselves can help seniors avoid loneliness.
Visit Caregogi Today:
Since loneliness is something that most seniors struggle with, it has become important to monitor and try to avoid as seniors age. There are many different solutions to loneliness for seniors, but home care is an easy solution to this concern. Home care can give the senior in your life the ability to remain independent at home by having the assistance of a compassionate caregiver who can provide companionship. Caregogi provides home care for seniors by acting as an online matching service for seniors and independent caregivers. The best part is that Caregogi is half the cost of traditional agencies but still provides quality in home caregivers. Visit www.caregogi.com to find a caregiver that’s right for the senior in your life.
Taking a break from the doldrums of everyday life is important for restoring your body and brain. Many Americans travel to a favorite destination once a year to rest and relax and restore their energy. If vacations are a big part of your yearly calendar, many of your best family memories have probably been made while traveling. However, what happens when Mom or Grandma no longer seem up the task of that yearly trek to Florida? Are family vacations over? Not necessarily!
Caring for an aging loved one comes with its challenges. Bringing your senior on vacation with you may seem daunting. With concerns about their health and comfort on the road, most families simply rule out the possibility of getting away. However, if family vacations have been a yearly highlight for you and a parent/grandparent, don’t be discouraged. With the proper help and research, you and yours can be relaxing on the sand in no time.
6 Tips For Bringing Your Senior on Vacation With You
1. Plan Ahead!
While planning is important for any smooth travel experience, it is especially vital to plan ahead when traveling with a senior. For starters, an aging parent may be concerned about travel time and rest stops. Communicating a clear and set plan to your parent will ease their minds while ensuring a smoother travel experience for everyone. Some things to consider when brining your senior on vacation with you include, but are not limited to: double checking packing lists, researching comfortable overnight accommodations, reviewing emergency plans in the case of accidents, and packing the right snacks and meals. Of course, make sure to take in consideration any others you have with you on vacation, such as young children. It is important for them to feel comfortable and cared for as well. For more tips on planning ahead, click here.
2. Think About the Travel Time
If it is a family tradition to drive 10 hours to the beach every summer, perhaps consider other alternatives when taking your senior on vacation with you. Sitting in the car for hours on end may not be very comfortable anymore for Mom or Dad. You may want to consider flying as an option for faster travel time. Just remember to double check any prescription medications and other travel items you are taking with you to make sure they are in line with airport regulations. Also, for great travel destinations for seniors, click here:
3. Call Ahead About Handicap Accessibility
Do you have a family member with mobility issues? Call your destination place ahead of time to see what accommodations they offer. For instance, if you’re booking a cabin or cottage, make sure there is elevator access or rooms on the first floor for seniors in wheelchairs. Think about what activities you will be doing as well – are they in locations that are handicap friendly? Again, planning ahead is crucial when bringing your senior on vacation so as to ensure a comfortable trip for everyone.
4. Don’t Forget About Medications
On vacation, many of us lose track of time. While it is good to let your mind wander a bit, make sure you don’t forget necessary activities like reminding your senior about medications. Your Mom or Dad may be prone to neglecting their meds, so be sure to set reminders on your phone (or theirs) so that no one forgets. Then, go out and enjoy the summer sun worry-free! For helpful tips regarding bringing your medication on the plane, click here.
5. Travel Insurance?
Always remember that senior travelers have a different set of health and safety concerns than you. It is helpful then to have insurance for any unexpected falls or related accidents. Away from home and familiar doctors, accidents on the road can be scarier than normal. Having a peace of mind about insurance can really help make for a more enjoyable vacation. For information about travel insurance, click here.
6. Keep a Light Schedule
On vacation, it may be tempting to fill up your week with fun activities and games. However, keep your senior in mind as you plan. Is Dad really up for a full day at the beach and a game of mini golf in the evening? For most seniors, the late morning to early afternoon is the best time of day to go out, as that is the time when they have the most energy. Just because your parent is aging doesn’t necessarily mean your family has to stop engaging in your favorite summer activities. You may just have to think more carefully about the duration and kind of activities you plan. And of course, be sure to consult with their doctor about any medical concerns beforehand. Just remember that your senior’s energy levels may be different than yours.
Looking for Help with Your Senior?
Does your loved one need help with transportation, medications or daily activities? Consider caregogi.com. Caregogi matches seniors in need of caregivers. Visit Caregogi’s website to learn more by clicking the button below.
Research shows that dementia affects approximately 50 million people globally. A syndrome resulting from disease in the brain, it involves a decline in memory, thinking, orientation, comprehension, calculation, learning capacity, language and judgement. Tragically, the number of people struggling with dementia today is expected to triple within the next thirty years. With 10 million new cases each year, you or an aging parent may be at risk. It’s never too early to begin thinking about how you or a loved one can reduce your risk of dementia today.
Research tells that age, genetics, loneliness, and sedentary lifestyles all play a part in one’s risk of dementia. However, paying greater attention to your health can help reduce your risk. Healthier lifestyle choices also contribute to lower risks of heart attacks, a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. By lowering your chances of cardiovascular diseases, you can also help reduce your risk of dementia.
Here are three tips to consider for reducing your risk of dementia:
1. Keep physically active
Keeping active has many health benefits, including the prevention and management of over 20 long-term conditions. It reduces stress and improves mental well-being. However, as most of us may not care to spend hours at the gym, don’t feel restricted to running on the treadmill. Instead, engage in activities you enjoy. Keeping active with others, whether walking, dancing, cycling or throwing the ball, is a great way to stay motivated and make physical activity less of a chore. Click here to learn more.
2. Pay attention to your diet
Some research indicates that following the Mediterranean diet, based on whole grains, fish, fruits and vegetables can be good for brain health. A study published in 2015 that followed people for an average of 4.7 years found that, of 960 individuals, those who stuck most closely to this diet had brains equivalent of 7.5 years younger than those who followed the diet the least. To learn more about these health choices, click here.
3. Exercise your brain
Mental exercise is a great way to reduce your risk of dementia. Keeping the brain active can be just as important as taking care of your body. When the brain is stimulated, it builds reserves of healthy cells and connections between them. Some exercises to consider include board games, cross word puzzles, and learning a new language. Alternatively, visiting a museum or taking an art class can also serve as a social activity.
Dementia is most likely the consequence of interactions between genetic, environmental, and lifestyle choices. While research proves that genetics plays a large role in one’s risk of developing dementia, it only paints half the picture. Taking the time to seriously look at your lifestyle choices serves to not only reduce your risk dementia but also improve your quality of life.
Mental health is an important concern for seniors as they age and should be actively nurtured. Another concern a senior may face as they age includes requiring help with daily activities around the house. Home care through Caregogi is a solution to this concern. Caregogi outlines a matching service that can help seniors find an independent caregiver – at half the cost of traditional agencies – that meet their home care needs. Visit www.caregogi.com to find a caregiver that’s right for the senior in your life.
Outside parties are plentiful. Daylight lasts longer. Kids are home for their summer break. Its summertime and everyone is ready for warm weather and sun, especially kids on summer break. Since many parents have to work during the day, many look to grandma and grandpa to babysit while they work. In cases like these, we have put together a list of fun senior and grandchildren summer activities that keep everyone active and enjoying the summer sunshine.
Have Fun at the Park
Children love going to the park and playing on the swings, the slide, or the monkey bars. The playground is a place with many possibilities for grandparents and grandchildren to have fun. Even just lying in the grass and using the imagination by watching the clouds can be an enjoyable summer activity. Also, it is a great way for both parties to get some physical exercise; walking around the park, pushing grandchildren on the swing, and keeping up with the little ones can all be fantastic ways to get exercise in during the day. Going to the park is one of many fun senior and grandchildren summer activities to do together to enjoy being outside in the summer sun.
Explore on a Nature Walk
Another exciting activity for grandparents and their grandchildren is going on a nature walk together. A nice summer walk through the park or on a path in the woods is a great way to spend some quality time with the grandchildren. In addition to the nature walk, try collecting some memorabilia along the way, like flowers and leaves. Plus, taking a nature walk with the grandchildren is a fun way for seniors and children to get some physical exercise. In addition, a nature walk can help the seniors with their mental health through the physical exercise. It will result in more blood flow to the brain and improve links between the brain cells, thus improving the seniors’ mental health. This activity is a perfect opportunity for some special bonding time between grandparents and grandchildren this summer.
Take them on a Lunch Date
Something that children love almost as much as having fun is eating delicious food. By going on a lunch date with their grandparents, they can have both fun and delicious food. What better way to buy a child’s love than to buy them some dessert? Also, it is a fun little weekly or monthly activity that the senior can have with their grandchildren. Having a lunch date can help create a more solid bond between a grandparent and their grandchildren. A weekly lunch date is one of many extremely fun senior and grandchildren summer activities to do together.
To see some examples of places for seniors to take their grandchildren, click here.
Play With Some Puzzles and Games
Playing some puzzles and other games on some rainy summer days are really fun bonding experiences for grandparents and grandkids. It’s a good way to have some fun with the kids and (occasionally) letting them win will put the biggest smile on their face. There are many board games like Sorry, Candyland, Connect4, and much more that are easy and fun to play. In addition to having fun with the grandkids, playing games and puzzles will help maintain a healthy brain for the seniors by stimulating new connections between nerve cells and possibly generating new cells. Additionally, they will help seniors to develop neural plasticity and help to fight against future cell loss, thus improving their mental health. Playing some puzzles and games can be some fun senior and grandchildren summer activities to bond over.
To learn more about what board games are fun to play for seniors and grandchildren, click here.
Teach The Kids a Hobby
Another fun way to spend time with grandchildren is by teaching them a new hobby. There are many hobbies that grandparents can teach their grandkids, like fishing, knitting, building things, puzzles, etc. Hobbies teach them good skills to have and gives provides a specific activity between the seniors and the children. In addition to teaching skills, it helps form a special bond between the two of them. Also, it provides a very meaningful way to pass the time and form some amazing memories between the senior and their grandkids. Teaching a hobby is one of many amazingly fun senior and grandchildren summer activities to do together.
Play Arts and Crafts
Children love using their imagination through arts and crafts. Grandparents can use this to their advantage and have some quality bonding time doing arts and crafts with their grandkids. This allows children to express themselves through their own creativity and have certain skills later in life. So, grandchildren and grandparents will benefit from arts and crafts, as well as, form a bond with each other that will help form a more solid relationship. Having arts and crafts are really fun senior and grandchildren summer activities to bond over.
Splash around in the Pool
Children love going swimming during the extreme heat of the summer. This is also a fun activity to do with the grandparents. The grandkids can have fun in the sun with their grandparents splashing all around. In addition, the grandparents can have fun with their grandkids and get some physical exercise in too. This can be a special bonding moment because the grandchildren can see how much fun their grandparents can be. Going to the pool is one of the many exciting senior and grandchildren summer activities to do together this summer.
There are many summer activities for seniors and grandchildren to do together. However, these activities are much harder to do if the senior is not living in their own home. Home care through Caregogi is a solution to this concern. Caregogi is an online matching service that can help seniors find an independent caregiver- at half the cost of traditional agencies- that meet their home care needs. Visit www.caregogi.com to find a caregiver that’s right for the senior in your life.