Non Medical Home Care

 

Young attractive woman working in care home

One of the common duties of an in-home care provider for seniors is provision of medication. However, distributing medicine to elders is not the only task offered by home care providers. There are many important uses and needs for in-home care, even when an elder at home requires no medical assistance. Non Medical home care focuses on assisting elders at home with activities of daily living (ADLs) that are needed to be able to keep living comfortably from home.

 

The rent, amenities, and monitoring costs of assisted living can be too expensive of an investment for many seniors who require help with certain daily tasks. Home care services available to seniors span across both professional (senior care agencies) as well as informal (friends and family) networks of support. The goal of non-medical home care is to assist elders in maintaining as much personal independence as possible in their senior years.

 

With in-home care, seniors still have the freedom to rule their own roost in their familiar and comfortable living space. Sometimes nursing homes, adult day care, or assisted living facilities set rules, regulations, and requirements that may not be agreeable to certain lifestyles. Receiving non medical home care helps seniors to avoid ant-pet policies, curfews, standardized dining hours, etc. that may clash with a senior’s preferred living habits by allowing seniors more choice and more say in how to coordinate their daily living activities.

 

Non medical home care is often chosen as an option for families who want to stay close to their elder loved ones, whose schedules don’t allow for their adult children to serve as full-time caregivers. There is a variety of non medical home care options available to seniors; we will go over the specifics here:
Home Based Services – these in-home supportive services have a mission to help seniors with physical and mental limitations in undergoing daily living activities in their homes. Some services may be covered by government care, non-profits, or other specializing businesses, depending on the amount of care needed.

 

Home Care Registry –  these registries keep track of the many home care offerings and their number of years of experience to help clients understand the qualifications and expectations of the services they seek. Professional caregiver services for non medical in home care may include Home Health Aides (HHA) or Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA).

 

Home Health Care Agency – A home health care agency offers a variety of home care, specializing in providing skilled care, physical therapy, and occupational therapy for senior patients at home.

 

Independent Providers – privately hiring a non medical home care provider can place much of the screening, background checking, and hiring in your hands. This can be riskier than using a registry that keeps track of a non medical home care provider’s records, unless you have received a recommendation from a reliable source, or know the non medical home care provider personally.

 

None of these non medical home care options are inherently better than the others; each has their pluses and minuses, and in the end it is up to the family of a senior loved one to determine whether a caregiver is qualified to assisted an elder with the activities of daily living, such as bathing, dining, dressing, etc.

 

 

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Helpful Senior Marriage Advice

 

It is often surprising to young people today when they ask a senior married couple how long they have been together and get an answer like 50 years! In our modern society, nearly 50% of marriages end in divorce, it is not uncommon to be remarried several times. Young men and women who want to create a successful marriage for themselves can look to lasting senior marriages to find the key to staying together.

 

Focus group questioning of seniors who had been married for 30, 40, 50 years and above has provided us with their answers for what it takes to maintain a healthy and enduring marriage. This list of senior marriage tips outlines some of the principles and habits that are most been useful and effective for seniors to maintain strong marriages, and can also be applied for seniors looking to find new senior relationships later in life after a loved on has passed.

 

Our senior marriage advice list focuses much on attitude and interaction tips for building an encouraging routine and also warns of potential pitfalls that consume many marriages. There is no such thing as a perfect, effortless marriage. It is a commitment that will always take work and adherence to these principles, regardless of the amount of years you have been together.

 

  • Choose Your Battles Wisely
Not every minor dispute needs to escalate to a big argument. Statistics actually show that fighting is an aspect of a healthy marriage, instead of merely bottling up emotions, opinions, and wants then not communicating. Although, too much bickering can create an atmosphere of resentment in the home. Not every argument has to be heated; there can be room for compromise on issues that aren’t crucially important to you.

 

  • Don’t Be Spiteful or Vengeful
    There will surely come times when your spouse crosses a line, forgets something important, does something selfish, etc. It can be tempting to hold a grudge, seek revenge, or give a cold shoulder to punish them. Spite cripples a relationship dynamic. Communicating your grievances sincerely and accepting apologies when they are earnestly given can be most effective at mending wounds. Make an effort to resolve issues both respectfully and promptly to avoid long-lingering bitterness at home.

 

  • Jealousy and Insecurity are Damaging
    Trust is as critical a factor of importance as love. Many people drive themselves crazy by obsessing over all the friendships and work associates in a spouse’s life, but it is important to stay trusting until you are given a good reasons not to. A little bit of jealousy is healthy—it shows you care. However, obsessive jealously can make life a drudge for both spouses.

 

  • Understand Your Spouse’s Love Language
    Everyone expresses love a little differently. Affection assumes many forms, and there are certain romantic gestures that garner a better response than others. The five primary love languages are listed as, “words of affirmation,” “acts of service,” “receiving gifts,” “spending quality time,” and “physical touch.” To an extent, relationships requires giving and receiving all of these things, but you must find out which love language your spouse responds to the best.

 

  • Prioritize Your Commitment to the Marriage, Not Just Your Kids
A phrase you hear too often is, “we stayed together for the kids,” and while that may seem noble on the surface, it is not a good mantra for a healthy marriage.   Putting your children as the centerpiece of your lives will detract considerable from your prioritizing each other and diminish your quality time together. In addition to meeting your kids’ needs, be sure to arrange for occasions where you can have a life with each other—That’s what baby-sitters are for!

 

  • Kisses May Mend Relationships, As Well As Boo-Boos
Kissing one another saying hello and goodbye serves to build intimacy in the marriage dynamic. The morning routine rush or leftover bad moods from recent argumentative can reduce the motivation to kiss, embrace, or be intimate until it is suddenly out of the routine all together. However, allowing this important personal connection to slip away from the routine will hurt a marriage.

 

  • View Divorce as a Last Resort and Don’t Use it as a Threat
Divorce may sometimes be the only solution to very serious circumstances; but too many couples these days view the first seasons of unhappiness or marital conflict as an excuse to press the divorce-button. When inevitable issues come up, it may be appropriate to take a moment and reflect on why you made your marriage vows in the first place, saying, “Til death do us part.” Divorce doesn’t only wreck a marriage, but also a family, finances, property, lifestyle, etc. It should be considered as a last resort when all else has failed. If two people enter into a marriage agreeing that divorce is no casual option, then those people might have greater commitment to each other and working out problems.

 

 

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Senior Metastatic Melanoma Statistics

Smiling senior man at the beach

 

As aging adults enter their senior years, taking every precaution to protect a body growing gradually more frail becomes an essential course of action for prolonging a senior’s life and health. Skin often becomes even more delicate during senior years, and applying sunblock is a crucial safeguard toward the various types of skin cancer that put seniors at risk.

 

The most aggressive kind of skin cancer is melanoma, and it is also the sixth most common kind of cancer overall. The majority of those diagnosed with melanoma cancer are seniors over the age of sixty, putting adults in their golden years at higher risk for the disease. When melanoma has spread to other areas of the body, it is called metastatic (advanced) melanoma.

 

Once Melanoma has spread from the original tumor site to other serious places in the body (lymph nodes, lungs, liver, brain, etc.), it is identified as being Stage IV Melanoma.

 

How Many Are Affected by Metastatic Melanoma?

 

The American Caner Society has estimated that there are over 75,000 cases of melanoma in the U.S. alone, resulting in under 10,000 deaths per year. Approximately 12% of metastatic melanoma cases end fatally each year.

 

 

Senior Metastatic Melanoma Risks

 

Lack of precaution for ultra violet rays is the leading danger for metastatic melanoma. When sunblock or appropriate clothing covering for hot weather days are neglected, it increases risk of skin cancer.

The risk of melanoma is greatest for seniors who have weaker immune systems, fair skin complexions, spend much time in the sun, or have a family history of melanoma.

 

Senior Metastatic Melanoma Prognosis

 

For Metastatic Melanoma in seniors, the typical 5-year survival rate is about 15-20%, and the ten year survival rate is 10-15%.

 

The severity of stage IV melanoma will vary based on where exactly the cancer has spread to in a senior’s body. The worst place melanoma can spread is the inner organs, but metastatic melanoma is somewhat less severe when it spreads instead to other parts of the skin or distant lymph nodes.

 

Other factors affect the survival rate as well. Older age often leads to higher mortality likelihood with metastatic melanoma, with age 70 and above being the most impacted age range. Also, Caucasian men are prone to be at the highest risk of developing melanoma.

 

Is Metastatic Melanoma Treatable for Seniors?

 

Catching the disease early on provides the best chance of effective treatment. Irregular moles and very bad sunburns may be indicators of melanoma in seniors. Once melanoma has reached stage IV, surgery efforts to remove melanoma are rarely successful. There are drug treatment and biologic therapies available to treat and slow the progression of the disease and better the quality of life for affected seniors with metastatic melanoma.

 

 

 

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Most Common Causes of Senior Vision Loss

Male optician examining senior patients eyes through slit lamp in clinic

 

It is a common affliction brought on by aging for the five senses to gradually diminish in seniors. Eyesight is one of the most prevalent bodily functions to deteriorate in elder years, and it can be a very distressing and alarming issue. Just under 7 million senior Americans over the age of 65 have developed severe vision impairment.

 

Understanding the different vision disorders brought on by age may help seniors recognize problems and seek available treatments more quickly before serious vision damage is done.

 

The three primary vision disorders in seniors are

  • Age related macular degeneration (AMD)
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts

These terrible eye conditions often go undiagnosed and unnoticed for long periods of time because they progress very gradually. These conditions frequently go undetected until serious damage has been done and it become more difficult to treat effectively. Older adults may be wise to schedule moderately routine eye exams, understanding that they as seniors are more susceptible to these disorders.

 

Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) – this eye condition slowly damages the retina, leaving peripheral vision mostly intact, but alarmingly making anything you try to directly focus on blur and disappear. The safety risks of AMD are obvious, as reading, facial recognition, and navigating spaces are severely hampered with this type of vision loss.

 

AMD is not currently curable, however, medications are available to slow down its progression considerably. Fortunately, AMD is not physically painful to the body or eyes, nor does it damage or effect any other bodily functions. Seniors developing AMD often seek care in assisted living facilities for help with certain daily tasks.

 

Glaucoma – Symptoms of glaucoma include increased pressure in the eye cavity, causing nerve damage, vision impairment, and even pain in the eye. Glaucoma educes tunnel vision in seniors .

 

Treatments for glaucoma are surgical as well as pharmaceutical, able to slow the progression of the degeneration and reduce pain, however there is no cure for the disorder. Glaucoma is exceedingly prominent in seniors over the age of 70, so vision checks are recommended for seniors in their later years to detect and hinder the progression of this disorder which can also dramatically effect a senior’s ability to live independently and safely.

 

Cataracts – This disorder clouds the lens of the eye by clumping naturally occurring proteins in the eye. Cataracts are the most common cause of vision impairment and blindness in the world. Men and women of all ages can develop cataracts, however cataracts are most prevalent for senior vision loss.

 

Cataracts are relatively easily detected through basic eye inspections. This eye disorder is characterized by blurred vision and fading of color comprehension. Although cataracts do not cause pain, they are capable of deteriorating vision to the point of total blindness, hindering independent living for senior citizens. Cataracts may be treated with drops and these eye clumps may be removed with surgery.

 

 

The causes of these eye disorders are not fully known, however, they are generally able to be detected and slowed in their progression. It is important for seniors to be aware of their higher proneness for developing vision impairment and to schedule semi-regular eye inspections in their later years to ensure prolonged independent living and quality of life.

 

 

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Alzheimer’s Myths Exposed

Elderly woman with headaches

 

Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease increasingly affecting the elderly community in the United States and around the world. While much research is being done and newer treatments are being invested in, there is still uncertainty about Alzheimer’s disease among doctors regarding the cause and cure for Alzheimer’s. This uncertainty has lead to speculations that have turned into popular Alzheimer’s myths that are not proven facts. With many articles floating around the Internet and well-meaning misinformed messengers, it can be hard to know what to believe regarding Alzheimer’s disease information.

 

Here is a list of 4 Alzheimer’s myths you need to know that must be exposed:

 

Myth 1. Alzheimer’s just affects elderly people.
Although most cases of Alzheimer’s disease occur in seniors over the age of 65 years old, there are still substantial instances of people as young as their 30s or 40s developing the disease. Just under 10% of Alzheimer’s cases are from these younger demographics.

 

Myth 2. Still having a good memory means you don’t have Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s first affects short term memory and the ability to learn and retain new information. Just because a senior loved one can still vividly recall their oldest, dearest memories, does not mean that Alzheimer’s has not taken root. Look for quirkiness in recalling recent events, rather than forgetting details for long ago when watching for Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Myth 3. Alzheimer’s victims are unaware of their symptoms.

The signs of Alzheimer’s do not go unnoticed by most seniors. A failing memory is hard to ignore, and it can be very concerning. The disruptions of memory trouble may lead seniors to become afraid that memory lapses will lead to bad accidents like leaving the stove on, and seniors may feel that they cannot trust themselves. Some days will be better than others for recollection, so a senior must develop an effective plan with caregivers and establish good communication.

 

Myth 4. Smarter, More Educated Seniors Lose Memory Faster.

Higher education and mental stimulation actually help the health of the brain and assist in preserving memory for longer. Staying active and working cognitive activities into the day, using basic problem solving skills can go a long way in preserving a healthy brain for longer.  Wealthier, more educated seniors may have the opportunity and capability to recognize signs of Alzheimer’s disease “sooner,” but Alzheimer’s is no respecter of persons.

 

Unfortunately, memory is in fact an inevitable part of the aging process. Every five years after the age of 65, a senior’s chances of developing Alzheimer’s doubles. Although the likelihood of memory loss does increase with age, that is no guarantee that memory loss will occur. Many senior live with healthy minds decades into their retirement years. A great precaution for avoiding Alzheimer’s disease is to adhere to simple health strategies such as proper diet and exercise, and to educate yourself with the various Alzheimer’s facts as they become discovered through new research, as well as to caution yourself against the Alzheimer’s myths by doing a little research of your own.

 

 

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