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Family caregivers are responsible for their elderly relative’s health and wellness. This includes making sure they have healthy meals, take their medicines properly and stay watchful for symptoms of illness and disease. One area of health that many family caregivers overlook is performing mole checks to observe any signs of melanoma. Early detection of melanoma leads to the best chance of a full recovery, so self-checks are very important.
When family caregivers and elder care providers know the ABCDE’s of mole checks, they can help seniors spot any suspicious moles and get them to the doctor. Family caregivers and elder care providers should do mole checks with the elderly adult at least twice per year to identify possible skin cancer symptoms.
A is for Asymmetry
A healthy mole is symmetrical, meaning that if a line is drawn through the middle of it, both sides match each other. Another way to describe it is that each half of a mole should be a mirror image of the other. Asymmetrical sides do not match, which means it may be a symptom of melanoma.
B is for Borders
A melanoma will have an uneven or notched border where the dark mole meets the lighter skin. On a healthy mole, the border is usually smooth and uniform. If a dark spot on the skin is splotchy and uneven at the borders, it needs to be checked out by a doctor.
C is for Color
Moles that are monochromatic—usually all brown—are benign and normal. Melanoma often presents with a few different colors within the same dark spot. Colors can range from brown and black, to tan, red and even white. Having a range of colors is a big warning sign of melanoma.
D is for Diameter
Because cancer cells grow, melanoma spots will eventually get bigger over time. If a mole is growing in size, or a new mole appears that is larger than ¼ inch, it may be malignant. While large moles are not always a sign of melanoma, it’s worth getting them checked out to be sure.
E is for Evolving
Most people develop moles in their teen and adult years and these moles stay the same for decades with little changes. If a mole starts to look noticeably different, it may be a problem. Changes in color and size are particularly important. Sometimes moles develop a crust, or they start to itch or bleed, which is another symptom of melanoma.
When family caregivers and elder care providers know the ABCDE's of melanoma, they can develop a schedule of regular mole checks with aging adults. If anything looks suspicious or unusual on the skin, it’s worth it to get the aging adult to the doctor for an evaluation. Early detection is key to defeating melanoma before it can evolve into something more serious.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elderly Care in Encinitas, CA, please contact the caring staff at GoldenCare today. Call us at 760-828-5201.
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Resisting outside help is extremely common for aging family members. Your elderly family member might see this as a failing on her part, even though it isn’t about that at all. When your senior continues to resist the idea of bringing in help, you might need to try one or more of these ideas.
Offer a Trial Run of Some Type of Assistance
Sometimes what your elderly family member needs is a small dose of what having some extra help could be like. Offering a trial run of help gives her a chance to experience what she might be missing. She can also see firsthand how having a little bit of help gives you relief. If she doesn’t want to continue after that, you might have to find another line of reasoning.
Remind Her of Her Own Goals
Often aging family members want to remain as independent as they can for as long as they can. Elderly care providers can help them to do that. Your senior’s own goals can help you to convince her that this is in her best interests. Outline for her what they can help her to do and how they can help her to meet her goals now and in the immediate future.
Explain Why Her Acceptance of Help Gives You a Hand
Your senior may not fully understand what’s going on with you as a caregiver. It can be tough to understand that you’re not able to get as much done as you’d like to, both for her and for you. When you explain that having help allows you to do more in each day, that can be a big selling point for your aging family member.
Let Her Know about the Consequences
You might need to let your elderly family member know that you’re at your breaking point, especially if that’s true. She may need to finally see that you have limits and that without help, you can’t continue to care for her in the way that you have. These aren’t threats at all. Instead, you’re letting her know that if you don’t have a way to relieve some of the workload, you won’t be able to keep up.
Ideally, one of these solutions will help to convince your senior to give elderly care providers a chance. If she still won’t budge, you might have to postpone the conversation for a little bit longer. Sometimes it just takes a little bit more time than you think it should.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elderly Care in Encinitas, CA, please contact the caring staff at GoldenCare today. Call us at 760-828-5201.
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Glaucoma causes more vision loss in aging adults than almost any other eye disease, and it’s quite common in seniors over the age of 60. Family caregivers with an elderly relative who has glaucoma should learn as much as they can about the disease, so they can provide better support and assist in the treatments. While there’s no cure for glaucoma, the progress of the disease can be significantly delayed with proper treatment and overall awareness of eye health and wellness.
Here are 5 things for family caregivers to know about the causes and treatments of glaucoma in elderly adults:
1. Glaucoma describes damage to the optic nerve due to eye pressure.
Within each eye is a bundle of nerves that transmit visual signals to the brain. This bundle is known as the optic nerve. The eye is also filled with fluid, and normally this maintains a neutral balance where pressure is concerned. However, with glaucoma, the eye fails to drain, and the pressure builds. This pressure causes damage to the optic nerve, which can lead to permanent blindness.
2. Early stages of glaucoma has no noticeable symptoms.
In the early stages of the disease, most people don’t notice any symptoms. It’s only when the glaucoma has progressed do seniors notice symptoms like blurry vision, seeing double, sensitivity to light, headaches, and tunnel vision. An eye doctor can detect early stages of glaucoma via a series of tests during a regular eye exam, so it’s critical for family caregivers to bring their aging loved one in for an eye exam.
3. Certain risk factors exist for those more likely to develop glaucoma.
While glaucoma can develop in just about anyone, there are certain factors that contribute to a higher risk factor. Age is a big deal with glaucoma development, with seniors over the age of 60 at the highest risk. Other risk factors include an African-American, Hispanic or Asian heritage. Seniors with untreated high blood pressure and diabetes are also at risk.
4. Successful treatment requires diligence.
To treat glaucoma, the eye doctor will prescribe medicated eye drops that will help control the pressure in the eyes. These drops should be taken regularly, so family caregivers and home care providers must be vigilant in reminding seniors about when to take them. Other treatment options include laser surgery to help relieve pressure. Doctors will also recommend some lifestyle changes like increased activity and exercise, healthy eating and controlling other health issues such as diabetes.
5. Regular eye exams are essential to diagnosis and treatment.
More than anything, regular eye exams are the key to either diagnosing glaucoma in the first place or slowing down the progress of the disease. If the aging adult hasn’t had an eye exam in a while, family caregivers should schedule one right away. After that, the doctor can recommend the frequency, from every 3 months for those with glaucoma to ever 6 or 12 months for those who don’t. Frequent communication with the eye doctor is the best way for aging adults to deal with the causes and treatments of glaucoma.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Care Services in Poway, CA, please contact the caring staff at GoldenCare today. Call us at 760-828-5201.
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If you're starting to suspect that your senior needs a little more help, you're probably right. The best thing to do is to start looking into solutions now rather than later and these tips can help.
Get a Fuller Picture of What Your Senior Needs
When your elderly family member first starts to need help, she may only need certain types of help. It's important to determine where exactly she needs help now so that you can target your solutions appropriately. She might need help with mobility issues, with personal care tasks, or with home safety. It's also important to determine when she needs help the most often. She might only need help with certain tasks or at certain times of day.
Determine What You Can Realistically Do
The next factor you need to consider is what you can realistically do on your own to meet those needs. As your family member's caregiver, you've got a lot to offer to her but you still have limitations. If your health is in a tenuous position, you're going to have a much more difficult time being there for your senior family member in the ways that you want to be there. Be realistic about what you can do and when.
Map out Any Gaps in Between
There are going to be some gaps between what your senior needs and what you can do. Your full-time career isn't going anywhere, which leaves hours during the day that you aren't always able to be there for your senior. That's where filling those gaps with resources like senior care providers becomes important. They can help you to make sure that what you can't do is still done so that your senior isn't left in the lurch.
Keep Your Senior Involved in Finding Solutions
If your senior feels as if she's got a buy-in with the decisions you're making, she's going to be more cooperative overall. It's not just about appeasing your aging family member, though. This is her life and a big transition for her. She needs to be involved in finding solutions as much as possible for her own peace of mind.
Your elderly family member may need less or more help at different times depending on what situations she's facing. When you all work together, you're going to have a better chance at solving potential issues and getting your elderly family member what she needs the most when she needs it.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elder Care in Solana Beach, CA, please contact the caring staff at GoldenCare today. Call us at 760-828-5201.
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Client Testimonial...
Hello Ladies
A beautiful bouquet of flowers were just delivered from the best ladies around! How did you know I LOVE white flowers :)
Thank you again for attending my Mom’s little celebration on Saturday night. It was so nice to have you there to laugh and for your support.
Hope we can keep in touch in more fun ways in the future!
Thank you for all you did for my Mom. Please let Amber know also.
Much love,
Denise
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Care in Rancho Santa Fe, CA, please contact the caring staff at GoldenCare today. Call us at 760-828-5201.
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If you are a full-time caregiver for your elderly relative, you could be dealing with chronic stress but not recognize it. If left undiagnosed and untreated, chronic stress can have a detrimental effect on your health and well-being. The first step toward preserving your health is recognizing the symptoms of chronic stress, and then developing coping strategies to effectively diffuse it.
So how can you tell if you are over-stressed?
There are many triggers for your stress levels that center on being a caregiver. Your elderly relative needs constant and often repetitive care that can be physically and mentally taxing. If they are demonstrating some cognitive decline, such as Alzheimer’s disease, it can add an extra layer of frustration and worry. As their health and age-related issues cause them to be more dependent on you, the demands increase.
Symptoms of chronic stress in caregivers include: persistent feelings of lethargy, recurring headaches, an increase or decrease in appetite, gastrointestinal distress, weight gain and insomnia. Internally, chronic stress can trigger high blood pressure and heart disease. To cope with being over-stressed, many family caregivers turn to an increased use of drugs and alcohol. Emotionally, being a caregiver without respite can lead to a diagnosis of depression. While it can manifest in different ways for everyone, the common message is that stress is a real part of being a caregiver and it must be taken care of.
It can be hard to admit that stress is dominating your life, especially when you know your aging relative depends on you for their health and safety. However, many family caregivers are finding a good balance between their own time and that of their elderly loved one when they hire home care providers. Home care providers are professionals with the skills to step in and take care of seniors in their own home so that the family caregivers can take breaks.
Imagine what you could do if you had a regularly scheduled break several times per week? It’s important for anyone who is over-stressed to practice good coping skills and take care of their own needs for a while. Some of the areas to focus on in your life include regular exercise, recreation, spending time in nature, healthy diet, doing a hobby, socializing with friends, strengthening bonds with family members, and indulging in relaxation activities like reading, meditating, massage and restorative sleep.
Stress in family caregivers is more common than you might think, and it can happen to anyone who spends most of their time looking after their elderly loved one without assistance. Instead, hire a home care provider so you can get regular breaks and tend to your own needs so you can avoid being over-stressed.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Homecare in Encinitas CA, please contact the caring staff at GoldenCare today. Call us at 760-828-5201.
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Rhonda Marlin
With over 11 years caregiving experience, Rhonda has provided excellent care for GoldenCare since September 2018. She is always willing to take on additional shifts and provides diligent and loyal care to new and existing clients.
Rhonda’s caring and compassion is evident as she has been a volunteer for the LEAP to Confidence Program. This program assists women of all ages and varying circumstances (including homeless, abused and widowed) with getting back on their feet, developing confidence and life skills to help them achieve education and career goals.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Care in Rancho Santa Fe, CA, please contact the caring staff at GoldenCare today. Call us at 760-828-5201.
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Jenee Lucia
Jenee joined GoldenCare in July 2018 – and has been a favored Caregiver to all her GoldenCare clients – delivering kind, compassionate care - always with a smile! She said recently that with GoldenCare - she finally found her calling! Jenee has been extremely helpful serving our clients and taking on many additional shifts – including last-minute coverage, as needed.
Jenee’s background includes many years of providing instruction and caregiving support to handicapped children and young adults. Jenee also serves as a pet rescue volunteer.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Care in Rancho Santa Fe, CA, please contact the caring staff at GoldenCare today. Call us at 760-828-5201.
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It may seem impossible for anyone to be depressed around the holidays, but the truth is that it is quite common. Elderly adults are especially prone to holiday depression that can last long after the parties and celebrations are through. Because of the emphasis on loved ones, seniors may re-live feelings of grief for loved ones no longer around, for example. Other areas of holiday stress include financial issues, health problems, isolation and loneliness.
Family caregivers may not realize that their aging loved ones are dealing with holiday depression and will overlook the red flags that signal this serious mental health problem. Without treatment, elderly adults can suffer both physically and mentally. Everyone who supports the aging adult, such as friends, family members and elder care providers, should be on the lookout for these 4 signs of holiday depression in aging adults.
1. Physical Decline
Many seniors with depression experience some physical health issues that seem unrelated to each other. Examples include headaches, insomnia, weight gain or weight loss, unexplained aches, and heartburn. It can also manifest in a decline in personal hygiene and self-care. Yet another symptom of holiday depression is a growing dependence on alcohol and drugs.
2. Emotionally Fragile
Depression can transform a person’s personality and their emotional state can be a big clue to family caregivers and elder care providers. Common symptoms include mood swings, irritability, frequent weeping, low self-esteem, negative comments about themselves and feelings of hopelessness or guilt. Holiday depression can also leave seniors feeling restless, bored, and yet unmotivated to accomplish anything.
3. Social Isolation
Even though one of the triggers of holiday depression is isolation from social outlets, one of the red flags of the condition is intentional isolation from friends and family. When seniors withdraw from activities they once enjoyed or purposefully restrict their involvement and access to social situations, it only increases their isolation and lonely feelings. Even casual interactions with elder care providers may be noticeable.
4. Cognitive Decline
In elderly adults, depression can influence cognitive ability. Examples of this include poor memory, decline in recalling familiar details, and sluggish cognitive processes. These symptoms are easy to mistake for other cognitive conditions in seniors, such as mild dementia, so family caregivers and elder care providers must look at a combination of signs and compare notes.
The holidays can be full of joy or full of sadness, so family caregivers should never assume their aging loved ones are automatically happy this time of year. Due to age-related health issues, the signs and symptoms of holiday depression may be difficult to identify, so it’s imperative for the aging adult’s support team to work together to identify the fact that holiday depression is affecting the senior and get them professional help.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring a Caregiver in Solana Beach, CA, please contact the caring staff at Golden Care today. Call us at 760-828-5201.
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Do you have an elderly relative that you worry about? Is it obvious to you and others that they can no longer live independently? For many family caregivers like you, it’s a time of decision as you figure out what your aging loved one wants and what is best for them. Most elderly adults don’t want to leave their home to live in a full-time facility and will usually resist that option. The good news is that seniors can often get the help they need without going anywhere, thanks to elderly care providers.
Why Do Seniors Struggle?
Disease, illness, surgery, or other age-related conditions often limit what elderly adults can do for themselves around the home. Common conditions that limit independence include diabetes, osteoporosis, depression, dementia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the after-effects of a stroke, and Parkinson’s disease. When they try to do many daily tasks, they either strain themselves to do so or they simply cannot do it. Some seniors don’t want family members to know they are struggling, while others demand more help.
Why Choose Elderly Care Providers?
Elderly care providers are an ideal solution for seniors who really want to age in their own home but simply cannot do everything they need to stay safe and healthy. On the other hand, family caregivers cannot always drop everything and meet their aging loved one’s needs. The solution to both problems lies with elderly care providers.
Family caregivers can choose elderly care providers because they are compassionate, professional and well-trained to care for seniors. They can be scheduled to arrive at the elderly person’s house whenever they are needed. The best part about hiring an elderly care provider is that they are dependable and always available, giving family caregivers access to someone they can rely on day after day.
How Elderly Care Providers Help Seniors
There’s no downside to hiring an elderly care provider, and if you are seeking some regular respite time, it’s the best way to proceed. Elderly care providers can take over some of the more mundane tasks that cause you to stress. Elderly care providers can help seniors with showering or bathing, grooming and hygiene. When it comes to caring for the house, elderly care providers can do light housework such as dusting, vacuuming, sweeping, wiping down surfaces and doing dishes.
This comprehensive service gives you time to leave for a while and enjoy some respite. You’ll be able to take some time for yourself, guilt-free, when you know a caring professional is watching over your dependent relative. If your aging parent can no longer live alone, get help for both of you and hire an elderly care provider right away.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elder Care in Del Mar, CA, please contact the caring staff at Golden Care today. Call us at 760-828-5201.
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