Quality Home Health Care

Signs of Alzheimer’s and Modern Diagnostic Methods

It is estimated that about 5.1 million Americans may have Alzheimer’s disease. This study is implying that some of these individuals may not even know they have the disease or may not be undergoing treatment. Older Woman with Alzheimer'sIt is important that you understand the signs of this disease and some of the modern ways of diagnosing this ailment.

A Few Signs of Alzheimer’s

The first thing that you should remember is that Alzheimer’s is more common with people who are above the age of 65, though there are some younger people who deal with the problem.

One of the common symptoms of this ailment is obvious difficulty thinking or understanding something the person would have before. Other people seem to suffer from confusion later on in the day, but their thinking is usually clearer when they first wake up. Some people seem to have trouble remembering recent events more than usual.

There are also people whose behavior changes, which could include issues with aggression, agitation, lack of social graces or restraint, apathy, or mood swings.

Someone suffering from this ailment may even have trouble combining muscle movements, which usually causes jumbled speech.

Modern Ways of Diagnosing Alzheimer’s

What you want to do is find out if you or someone you love has Alzheimer’s disease as soon as possible to ensure that treatment starts right away.

Diagnosis is not as easy as you might want it to be because there is no concrete test that can tell a doctor that you or someone you love has the ailment. There are some promising tests, but they still require additional testing to ensure accuracy.

One of the test that might be available in the future is a blood test, which will be measuring 10 lipids. It seems that people with this ailment have a high level of 10 lipids as opposed to people without this issue. You can talk to your doctor to keep up with this particular test.

For now, your doctor, along with a neurologist, will employ other tests that have been proven to be successful. This includes a complete evaluation of mental cognitive functions, which will test memory and behavioral changes. The neurologist will also carefully review you or your loved one’s medical history for clues that might help detect early onset symptoms.

These tests will be paired with interviews with family members, close friends, and other associates of yours or your loved one’s. The neurologist and your doctor need to have a full picture of who you were before these symptoms first appeared and how they are affecting you now. This makes it easier to diagnose changes. It may seem invasive, but it is absolutely necessary to properly evaluate your situation.

The neurologist may also order medical brain-imaging tests to expose any possible lesions or other tell-signs in the brain itself. Plus, this will help the doctors rule out other possible problems that exhibit similar symptoms. Ruling out other ailments is a big part of diagnosing Alzheimer’s. Your doctors will test B-12 levels as well as any thyroid issues, which may be related to the symptoms.

A full psychological evaluation might also be recommended to ensure that depression or other mental issues are not culprits of you or your loved one’s current situation.

You should understand that this issue is hard to diagnose because there are many other diseases that trigger similar effects. Your doctors have to be sure they are not dealing with another problem to ensure that you receive the right treatment. Some of the other issues that could trigger similar symptoms include strokes, hemorrhages, brain tumors, degenerative brain issues, or even Parkinson’s disease, and that is just to name a few. All of these problems are very dangerous and need to be dealt with properly as soon as possible.

You should not take these symptoms lightly because they can be very serious. They can be a warning of Alzheimer’s but also of other ailments that are just as dangerous or even life-threating. Be sure to talk to your medical care specialist as soon as you can so that he or she can help you get to the bottom of your symptoms or your loved one’s symptoms. This will help you get treatment right away if necessary.

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Home Care Improves the Quality of Life for South Florida Seniors

With more and more seniors choosing to live in their own homes, there can be a considerable amount of worry for a senior’s family. If your senior prefers to age in place, his or her life can be so much better with a home care aide.

A Home Care Aide And Light Housekeeping

elderly man and home care aide at a South Florida  beachWhile most seniors do prefer a neat, clean home, there can be reasons your senior does not do housekeeping chores every day. He may have a medical issue that limits his activity, feel too tired, or simply dislikes the chores.

There can be multiple benefits to his aide performing light housekeeping tasks. When his home is tidy, it will be a safer environment. A clean home is essential for a senior’s health. Neatness is also psychologically beneficial. When his home is neat, he will feel good about his home and about himself.

Making the bed, washing the dishes, and making sure the floors are free from clutter are some of the housekeeping chores your senior will not have to do for himself. He will have a healthier, safer home.

Home Care Aides And Companionship For Seniors

Isolation is unhealthy and potentially dangerous for seniors. Seniors who are lonely are prone to depression. When they have too much time alone, it can lead to unlimited worry about themselves and their lives.

Companionship helps seniors know they are valuable, interesting human beings. If your senior has a concern, he will have someone to talk to about it. Companionship can prevent loneliness. When his aide is always ready to listen, your senior will love talking about himself, his memories, and his interests. These daily interactions can greatly enhance his mental health.

Home Care Aides And Transportation

There may be a number of errands a senior needs to do outside the home. Whether he does not drive or feels uncomfortable riding the bus, his aide can assist with transportation. From grocery shopping to visiting the post office or dry cleaners, it will be a safer, more enjoyable experience.

South Florida Seniors And Activities

Activities are important for a senior’s physical and mental health. When he can share activities with his aide, every activity will be more fun.

Some activities to consider are outings with his aide. In South Florida, there are plenty of opportunities for senior citizens. Whether he enjoys activities that are specially designed for seniors, or prefers to take in a movie, a play, or a ballgame, he will be safer and have more fun when he is with his home care aide. They can visit restaurants, parks, and a wide variety of other places.

There are activities he and his aide can do at home, too. Whether he does not want to go out because it is raining, is too tired to go on an outing, or simply prefers an indoor activity, they can find many options to participate in together. They can do puzzles, have a sing-along, or do some simple exercises. Indoor activities can keep a senior’s mind and memory sharp, and promote good mental health.

Home Care Aides And Medication Reminders

Even the healthiest seniors can forget to take their medications. Your senior may be forgetful, have difficulty reading medication labels, or have trouble counting pills for the correct dosage.

His home care aide will ensure he takes the correct amount of medication at the correct times each day. There will be no risk of him skipping medication when he needs it, or taking too many pills at a time.

A Record Of Your Senior’s Experiences

Home care aides are usually asked to keep records of a senior’s daily activities, experiences, and progress. This information is valuable to the senior’s physician. It can help the doctor know if he should make changes in the senior’s routines, or if he needs to see the senior in person. It can also be useful for the senior’s family members who are concerned about his everyday life.

Home Care Aides Make A Positive Difference For Seniors

Even the healthiest, most independent senior can benefit from a home care aide. An aide will oversee and assist with his activities of daily living, help meet his daily needs, and keep him healthy and safe. His trained, experienced aide knows how to relate well with seniors, and knows how to handle emergencies.

However, the practical aspects of senior care are only one reason home care aides are important. Companionship is as important as housekeeping, transportation, and meals.

Seniors who have aides that come to their homes are happier, mentally sound, and physically healthy. Your senior will know he has someone who truly cares about him, and wants to be a part of his daily life. This can make an amazing difference in his outlook, and he will have a better quality of life.

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Dementia Signs and Symptoms

Even minor changes in the way you walk, sleep, chew, or feel particular emotions could be signs you have dementia.

Dementia is a disease marked by progressive cognitive functioning loss, as the brain cells get sabotaged. Elderly man with dementiaPrimary symptoms of the disorder include memory loss, personality alterations, not maintaining personal hygiene, and trouble socializing or interacting with people. While the most common cause is Alzheimer’s disease, dementia could be triggered by extended substance abuse, stroke, major head injuries, Parkinson’s disease, and other medical conditions.

But much earlier prior to obvious dementia signs, specific changes in behavior could indicate you’re suffering from the disease.

1. Difficulty Chewing Hard Solid Foods

The way you bite an apple could be indicative of your dementia signs, as per a Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (JAGS) study. Researchers at Sweden’s Karlstad University and Karolinska Institute assessed a 577-people sample – the members being 77 years or more in age – found people who had issues biting hard food like apples were at a higher risk of cognitive decline. Swedish researchers provided one feasible explanation: as chewing is tough with no or little teeth – which could be likely in elder individuals – people chew less, thereby reducing the blood flowing to the brain. And this could therefore make you more susceptible to dementia.

2. Slow Walking

As per a 2012 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference report, the way you walk may predict your risk of dementia. Many studies presented at the conference detected a connection between cognitive decline signs and walking abnormalities or neuropsychological exams. One more study was presented and which analyzed 19 older subjects’ walking behaviors at home using motion-sensor system. It was found that people with much slower mobility had smaller volumes of brain, which is usually indicative of individuals suffering from dementia.

3. Sleeping Trouble

People who are late to bed will find this depressing: late-night sleeping could cause dementia later in life. According to a December 2011 Annals of Neurology study, 1300 healthy females aged 75 years or more were observed over a 5-year period. After five years, 39 percent of the women had developed dementia or some kind of minor cognitive impairment. Researchers found females with weak circadian rhythms (individuals with less physical activity during young age) were 80 percent much likelier to suffer from dementia or mild cognitive impairment compared to women who were active when young.

4. Being Overweight

Carrying additional pounds is connected to several health problems – which includes heart disease, arthritis and type 2 diabetes. However, a May 2011-dated study on neurology, associated high BMI with high risks of dementia. In a study analyzing 8534 twins who were 65 years of age or older, it was found individuals with possible dementia or confirmed dementia were 70 percent much likelier to be obese or overweight when young.

Paranoid about your obesity could result in future cognitive decline? The answer could lie in starting a workout plan. A study presented in July in Alzheimer’s Association International Conference deduced exercise could safeguard the aging brain.

5. Being Unhappy

Depression is not only detrimental to your emotional health – the blues could largely impact your brain health as well. According to a Archives of General Psychiatry study that evaluated the medical details of Californian residents (more than 13000 of them) over a six-year period, individuals with depression issues at a later point in life had higher the chances of getting Alzheimer’s disorder. And those people with the issue during both late- and mid-life depression were three times more likely to suffer from vascular dementia. This clearly indicated the after-effects of depression or recurring bad mental state could have long-term repercussions.

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What Can Non-Medical Home Care Do for You?

When a loved one becomes seriously and chronically ill, or simply just needs more help with their daily living activities, there are many difficult decisions to make regarding their care. If you have an elderly parent or disabled child, you don’t want to send them into a long-term care institution just because they shouldn’t be left alone all the time. That’s where non-medical home health care comes in.

home care aid and elderly man enjoying a book togetherNon-medical home health care is exactly what it sounds like. It’s services offered by a caregiver who does not require medical training. These services may be just what an elderly, ill, or disabled person needs in order to live on their own.

Non-medical care often revolves around sleeping. Many seniors or disabled people require more help when first getting up than they will throughout the day. They may require assistance when it comes to dressing, showering or bathing, and reminders to take morning medications. In addition, many require help with the evening version of these tasks, or would like someone to sit with them overnight in case of any problems.

Cooking and meal preparation is another major task for non-medical caregivers. There are plenty of disabled people who can otherwise care for themselves but can’t move quickly enough to deal with a fire on the stove. There are also elderly people who have lost the dexterity to deal with chopping vegetables, or can’t see well enough to read ingredients in a cookbook. A caregiver might come in every day to prepare fresh meals, or come less often and prepare food that can be stored and re-heated later in a simpler way.

Caregivers can also help with activities outside the home, such as grocery shopping. Many chronically ill, elderly, or disabled people cannot drive. Combine this with mobility issues that make it hard to use public transport and they may have serious problems getting around. A caregiver can be in charge of driving them to the store and helping select the required items.

Even people who have serious medical needs can benefit from non-medical care. The doctors and nurses whose job it is to deal with the medical side of a loved one’s needs often do not have the time or inclination to take care of their non-medical needs. Having someone else come in whose job it is to do things like cook and clean can be a godsend for a nearly-bedbound senior.

Despite all of these fantastic things non-medical care can do for your loved one, we still haven’t covered the most important thing: Companionship. A non-medical caregiver spends time with an elderly or disabled person. They take them places, play games with them, and simply talk to them. For a previously active and engaged senior citizen who is now mostly confined to their home, this can be the social difference between night and day.

Many people try to care for their disabled or elderly loved ones on their own, not realizing that there is more out there available than just medical care. Non-medical home health caregivers can make a major difference in someone’s life, providing assistance in daily living activities within and without their home. They also provide much-needed socialization and even friendship for housebound clients.

We at Boca Home Care Services have been offering our extraordinary services to the seniors of Broward county, Palm Beach county, and Miami-Dade county, since 1998. We match, fully screened and certified home care aides and nursing assistants with a senior’s specific needs and wishes, enabling an aging man or woman to remain living safely and happily independent at home. Call us and learn how we can help your aging loved one. (561) 989-0611

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Respite Care for Family Caregivers is Essential

In the previous post, we spoke of the necessity of taking a break when you are the caregiver of an elderly loved one. This article will expand on that topic and point out how essential respite care is for family caregivers.

Family members caring for an elderly parent, spouse, or sibling, often feel an undue amount of pressure. They often become sleep deprived, in an effort to provide care around the clock. Some people may overlook their own health, believing they are doing the right thing. Elderly woman respite care aideHowever, caring for a loved one around the clock is stressful and comes with its own set of adverse effects.

One way to improve emotional and physical health, is to employ the services of a home care aide. A caregiver provided through Boca Home Care Services, can provide respite care, to give home caregivers some time off. Respite care can last a day, weekend, or a week. Much of the duration of respite care will depend on the family’s needs. It may be offered in times when a care giver must seek medical attention or attend to serious health issues.

A caregiver doesn’t need to have health issues, to get respite care for a loved one. The stress of caring for another person on a daily basis can wear a person down. Occasional relief can give the family care giver a chance to unwind, relax, and take much needed time away from his or her responsibilities.

Anyone caring for a friend or family member day after day can experience depression, anxiety, health issues, and a feeling of being overwhelmed. This is why taking an occasional break is so important. A person may feel guilty about getting away, feeling he or she is shirking responsibility. But, this is not the case. Getting away can give a person time to rest. An individual who is well rested will have a more positive outlook and can care for a loved one more effectively. A person receiving care may feel he or she is being abandoned. A home care aide or respite care professional can explain the benefits of giving the regular care giver a break.

Respite care is typically arranged through a home care agency or registry such as ours, offering respite care for seniors in Boca Raton and the surrounding cities in Palm Beach county and Broward county, Florida. The person providing the care is screened carefully, for training and experience. Home health care aides have background checks done when they’re hired. They are trained to know how a person is responding to his or her environment. They can provide help with daily living activities, as well as with preparing light meals and doing the occasional household chores. A person leaving a loved one in the care of a home care aide should not feel guilty or worry. The loved one will be in good hands.

Home care to give family care givers a break is essential, for well being. Many aging couples care for each other. A person caring for a spouse of the same age often faces his or her own health problems. It doesn’t help if the family caregiver fails to consider his or her health. This includes emotional or mental health. Nobody can care for someone around the clock, without eventually experiencing a feeling of helplessness. Taking care of one’s self is the best way to ensure a loved one will continue to get the quality care he or she needs.

There are several types of respite care available in many communities. Adult day care offers services during typical working hours, Monday through Friday. Home care agencies can offer respite services for a shorter or longer period of time, regardless of the time of day the services may be desired. Volunteer organizations in the community may offer respite services that are free or low in cost. Regardless of who is utilized, respite care gives a family caregiver some much needed time off, to take care of personal matters or engage in social group functions.

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