Increasing Home Safety for Seniors with Alzheimer’s

The various types of cognitive impairment that occur during the different stages of Alzheimer’s can pose a threat to the safety of seniors affected by the disease. Understanding the ways Alzheimer’s progresses and the changes seniors experience can help family caregivers determine the best actions to take to prevent potentially dangerous mishaps. Here are a few safety measures that are easy to implement.

Provide Supervision when Going on Outings

For a senior with Alzheimer’s, a simple walk around the block without supervision can lead to a dangerous situation, as he or she may no longer recognize his or her own neighborhood. Once out and about, your senior loved one may not be able to find his or her way home. While it’s natural to want to venture outside, a senior living with Alzheimer’s shouldn’t go alone. Take your loved one for walks while keeping a watchful eye.

The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. Homecare experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

Take Precautions to Prevent Wandering

As the disease progresses, seniors lose their understanding of the concepts of date and time. The ability to differentiate between day and night also commonly disappears. Wanderlust may lead to attempts to venture outdoors during the middle of the night. A simple magnetic door alarm can alert you if your loved one goes outside unexpectedly. One portion of the alarm attaches to the door frame, and the other affixes to the door itself. When the door opens, the alarm emits an audible signal. Creative family members might consider camouflaging doors to inhibit interest in going outside. Another option includes installing simple latches high enough to be out of reach.

Remove Night Dangers

With no sense of day or night, seniors with Alzheimer’s often wake up in the middle of the night to perform common household chores or prepare meals. However, in time, they often forget how to safely perform common tasks. Remove stove knobs to prevent burns or fires, unplug other kitchen appliances when not in use, lock exterior doors, and make sure alarms are set to prevent wandering. Perhaps consider turning on a desk lamp at night in your loved one’s room.

If your loved one needs help around the home to prevent injuries, consider hiring a caregiver. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality elderly home care. Oshkosh families trust Senior Stride Home Care to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.

Address Depth Perception Issues

Alzheimer’s causes the brain to receive and interpret information in unusual ways. Like-colored objects are often interpreted as having the same depth. When walking outdoors, your loved one may trip on a curb because he or she cannot detect the change in height. Indoor stairs are another consideration. Lighting the front of the steps makes them more clearly visible. Extreme differences in color can lead seniors with Alzheimer’s to perceive depths as greater than they are. Use nightlights to illuminate pathways at night, keep walking paths free of obstructions, and remove throw rugs to prevent trips and falls.

Every senior living with Alzheimer’s deserves high-quality Alzheimer’s care. Oshkosh families can rely on the caregivers at Senior Stride Home Care to keep their loved ones safe while managing the symptoms of the disease. Using our Cognitive Therapeutics Method, our caregivers help seniors regain a sense of pride and accomplishment while promoting cognitive health. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give Senior Stride Home Care a call at 920-717-1767 today.

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5 Ways to Talk about Unsafe Driving with an Elderly Parent

If you’re noticing signs your senior loved one is no longer able to drive safely, it can be challenging to bring up this subject, since many seniors equate driving with independence. This is understandable, but there could come a time when it’s not possible to put off this discussion anymore because of valid and serious concerns. If this is where you’re at now, here are five tips to keep in mind as you prepare to discuss unsafe driving with your loved one.

1. Find the Right Time

You’ll be fighting an uphill battle if you attempt to start a discussion about driving safety concerns when your loved one is clearly in a bad or disagreeable mood. Instead, look for moments when your parent is in a more calm and relaxed state. Also, avoid busier times of the day when you may not have his or her full attention.

2. Avoid Starting Off on a Negative Note

Saying, “You really shouldn’t be driving anymore” is an example of how not to start the discussion about unsafe driving. A more productive approach is to mention some of the things your loved one likes about driving. Using this tactic could also provide a subtle hint about where you’re going without actually saying it just yet. You may then be able to ease into your concerns about unsafe driving in a way that doesn’t leave both of you frustrated and defensive.

3. Offer Reasonable Solutions

You’ll be more likely to get pushback if you only mention your list of concerns about your loved one’s driving abilities during your discussion. Make the possibility of having to cut back on driving or stopping altogether less of an emotional blow by suggesting possible solutions. Options include:

• Using local transportation or rideshare services
• Setting reasonable limits on driving (e.g., local drives are fine, but longer trips should be made with someone else driving)
• Riding with your loved one when he or she drives so you can offer an extra set of eyes
• Recommending driver safety courses designed specifically for seniors

Even if your loved one has to give up driving, he or she can still enjoy a high level of independence. Oshkosh senior home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

4. Provide Clear Examples

Instead of saying “You’ve had a lot of close calls and serious incidents lately while driving that concern me,” give specific examples. What this does is allow your loved one to better understand why you’re concerned. Plus, your parent may not realize how serious the situation has gotten until you start providing some examples he or she can identify with.

Driving may not be the only safety concern you have about your parent, so you may find extra peace of mind by hiring a professional caregiver. Families looking for top-rated home care providers can reach out to Senior Stride Home Care. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.

5. Get Some Backup

If your loved one is your parent, he or she may not like the idea of a “child” talking to him or her about unsafe driving. If you know this will be an obstacle, get some assistance from other family members or friends your loved one respects and trusts. It can also be helpful to bring your loved one’s doctor into the conversation. This can be especially beneficial if medical issues are responsible for the inability to drive safely anymore.

Living independently is important for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. For some, this simply means receiving help with tasks that have become more challenging to manage over time. Even when families have the best intentions, they may not have the time to provide the care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. If your loved one needs help for a few hours a day or a few days a week, reach out to Senior Stride Home Care, a trusted provider of respite care Oshkosh seniors can depend on. Call one of our Care Managers at 920-717-1767 to learn about our customized in-home care plans.

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Ways to Make it Easier for Seniors to Age in Place

Aging in place gives seniors the opportunity to remain at home as they get older instead of going to a nursing home or assisted living facility. However, it’s important for their homes to be as safe as possible. Caregivers can make it easier for their senior loved ones to age in place with the following tips.

Place Items in Easy Reach

Put items your loved one uses often, such as lamps, reading glasses, remote controls, and phones near his or her bed. Placing these items within close reach makes it easier to reach without having to get up, which reduces the risk of falls and ensures seniors have access to these items when caregivers aren’t around. 

Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable homecare. Oshkosh, WI, families trust in Senior Stride Home Care to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.

Keep Important Phone Numbers Handy

Print out a list of important phone numbers your loved one might need, such as those for emergency services, the doctor’s office, and family members. Make sure the font is in large print that’s easy to read. Place this list near the phone to make it simple for your loved one to use it when needed.

Ensure Lighting Is Adequate

Make sure your loved one has a flashlight nearby in case the power goes out or he or she needs to use it at night. Keep nightlights in the bedroom and the bathroom, and consider putting one in the hallway leading to the bathroom. Check light fixtures on stairs to make sure the bulbs are working and providing adequate light. Consider putting a nightlight in the kitchen as well if your loved one gets up during the night for water.

Remove Tripping Hazards

Falls are a common reason for injuries among seniors, but they can be prevented by eliminating as many tripping hazards as possible. Move cords out of commonly used areas your loved one walks through. Rearrange furniture to ensure a clear path through rooms. If there are area rugs in the home, consider moving them or getting rid of them entirely. These rugs can become tripping hazards for seniors. 

Hiring a professional caregiver is another way to lower your loved one’s risk of falls and injuries. Senior home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Senior Stride Home Care, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.

Install Grab Bars

Grab bars reduce the risk of falls in areas that are difficult to move around in, such as bathrooms. Your loved one might have difficulty standing up from the toilet or getting into and out of the shower stall. Install grab bars next to the toilet, in the shower stall, and along longer hallways. Grab bars provide more support in these areas, which helps seniors get around on their own more easily.

Check Assistive Devices

Make sure any assistive devices your loved one uses to get around safely, such as a walker or cane, are in good condition. If these assistive devices are in poor condition, replace them as soon as possible to lower the risk of falls. If your loved one uses a wheelchair, check the wheels and other components to see if any parts need to be replaced.

Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Oshkosh 24-hour care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust in professional live-in caregivers to enhance his or her quality of life. To help your loved one age in place comfortably, call Senior Stride Home Care at 920-717-1767 today.

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How Can Older Adults Stay Safe During Summer?

The summertime should be relaxing for families, and you may be eager to spend more time outside with your senior loved one. However, the rising temperatures and increased outdoor activity during the summer can pose some serious risks to vulnerable seniors. Make sure to use the following tips to keep your loved one safe throughout the next few months. 

Focus on Hydration 

Many instances of overheating happen when a senior becomes dehydrated. Seniors should aim to drink at least eight eight-ounce glasses of water a day, but your loved one might need more if he or she is physically active or spends long hours outside. To keep things interesting, try making fruit-infused water or giving your loved one homemade fruit juice pops. Your loved one should also avoid beverages that have a dehydrating effect, such as alcohol or coffee, during the summer months. 

Seniors may need help staying hydrated and maintaining a healthy lifestyle during the summer and all year long. In Oshkosh, home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Senior Stride Home Care, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.

Protect the Skin 

Seniors should always use plenty of sunscreen to ward off sunburns. However, it’s easy to forget that a senior’s skin is vulnerable to other issues caused by the summer heat. For instance, a senior with incontinence should be changed out of soiled clothing as fast as possible to prevent skin rashes and sores. Always bring a change of clothing with you when you plan to spend the day out with your loved one, and encourage him or her to bring a companion on public outings to help him or her when you cannot be there. 

For families living in Oshkosh, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Senior Stride Home Care, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.

Be Aware of Medication Side Effects 

A senior who has started a new medication since last summer may need to be extra cautious about the time spent outside. Certain medications affect the body’s ability to regulate its temperature. Always read up on any new prescriptions your loved one takes so you can take preventative action against negative side effects. For example, a senior who takes diuretics may need to increase his or her water intake when exposed to heat. 

Maintain Regular Social Contact 

Your family should always be aware of how your loved one is doing during the summertime. Create a list of people your loved one can contact throughout the summer months to check in. You can also ask the neighbors to keep an eye on your loved one and let them know to call you if something doesn’t seem right. Additionally, you or a professional caregiver should call or visit your loved one each day to make sure he or she is staying cool. 

Avoid Long Walks Outside 

Although regular exercise is good for seniors, your loved one should avoid prolonged physical activity during the heat of the day. You should find alternatives to your loved one’s favorite activities. Professional transportation services provide air-conditioned cars that can take your loved one where he or she need to go.

A professional in-home caregiver can help your senior loved one stay safe during the summer. Families looking for top-rated Oshkosh elderly care providers can reach out to Senior Stride Home Care. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones. Call one of our friendly Care Managers at 920-717-1767 to set up a free, no-obligation in-home consultation today.

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4 Technological Advancements That Increase Senior Safety

Seniors are now becoming adept at technology and can be seen relying on modern tools and gadgets to do their daily activities. Some devices help aging adults stay safe and lead happy and healthy lives. Oshkosh senior home care providers have put together a list of 4 technological advancements that increase senior safety.

1. GPS

Some seniors get disoriented and find themselves lost when away from home. GPS technology allows family members to know where their loved one is at any given moment. With GPS technology, caregivers in Oshkosh, WI, can easily locate and retrieve seniors.

2. Smartphone Health Monitoring Apps

Smartphone apps can be used to monitor a senior’s essential health stats such as sleep, activity, heart rate, and blood sugar. These same apps can also be used to set action reminders (to take medicine) and emergency alerts (high pulse or low blood sugar).

3. Voice Activation

With voice activation, seniors with limited mobility can increase their safety. For instance, if a senior falls without a smartphone in hand, he or she can still use it or another device to call for help. Other devices such as climate control, kitchen appliances, and entertainment devices can also incorporate voice activation.

4. Sensors

A sensor can be worn around the neck to detect if the senior has fallen and send out an automatic alert. Sensors can be programmed to read many types of information, from temperature to speed to orientation in space. There are many ways sensors can be implemented to monitor a senior’s safety.

Diligent safety monitoring is important in preventing falls and injuries and keeping your loved one safe. At Senior Stride Home Care, our customized care plans can include emotional support, assistance with personal care, mental stimulation, and safety monitoring to keep your loved one safe from injuries. We can provide medication reminders, mobility support, and physical exercise to boost your loved one’s physical and mental health. For high-quality 24-hour and respite care, Oshkosh residents can call us at 920-717-1767.

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