Posts Tagged ‘tips’

Prepare for the Holiday Reality Check with These Warning Signs that Senior Care Is Needed

December 20th, 2017

Senior Care It’s holiday time once again, which means it’s also the ideal time for a “holiday reality check.” If you haven’t seen your elderly loved ones in a while, now is a good time to take note of how they are doing. With busy agendas or long distances separating families for much of the year, subtle (or not-so-subtle) indications that senior care is needed can very well be undetected. Keep a lookout for the following signals that additional senior care may be required, and bear in mind that looking for warning signs is not for the purposes of judgment or critique; it’s a check for wellness, wellbeing and safety.

Physical signs: An unanticipated disheveled appearance of a loved one may be noted during a holiday visit. Failure to stay up with daily hygiene routines such as bathing, brushing teeth and other basic grooming could be indicative of health concerns such as dementia, depression, or physical impairments. Look to see if clothes are clean and if the individual appears to be maintaining good grooming habits.

Weight: At the dinner table, the senior’s appetite may seem to be just fine through the holidays, but significant weight loss without trying could be a sign that something is wrong. For older adults, weight loss might be related to many reasons, such as trouble with cooking or loss of taste or smell. In addition, weight loss is a sign of a more significant underlying concern, such as poor nutrition, dementia, depression, or even cancer.

Within the home: Any significant modifications in the way things are done around the home could give clues to health. For instance, burned pans could mean forgetting about food cooking on the stove. Ignored housework might be a sign of depression, dementia, or other issues. Make sure the lights are working, the heat is turned on, the bathrooms are clean, and no clutter is obstructing the walking areas of the senior’s home.

Click here for more warning signs that senior care is needed.

If you notice signs like an unkempt home, unexplained weight loss, or other general personality changes, talk to the senior about care experts at Visiting Angels about possibilities. While it might seem better to delay difficult discussions until after the holiday season, it’s much better not to wait until a real crisis strikes. Be reasonable with your expectations, and realize that your senior loved one may resist the conversation at first. The most important thing at this time is to open the lines of communication.

Need help with initiating the home care conversation with a loved one this holiday season? Call the Fremont home care experts at Visiting Angels at 510-284-0000 today for information about home care services in the Fremont, San Jose and Sunnyvale areas.

3 Tips for Choosing an Alameda or Santa Clara County Home Caregiver

January 6th, 2016

home care servicesFinding caregivers in Santa Clara or Alameda County can be a daunting task. The people you hire will be coming into your loved one’s home to perform personal care for and to spend time with someone you love. These people need to be dependable, honest, reliable and, above all, people that your loved one wants to spend time with. That’s a tall order to fill, but it is possible if you take some precautions and do your homework ahead of time. Professional home health care agencies such as Visiting Angels can help you with this undertaking – they are experienced in finding and hiring the right caregivers, and they know what types of services are appropriate to meet their clients’ home care needs.

Here are three tips that can help you find a Santa Clara or Alameda County home care agency you feel comfortable with and who will provide your loved one with the right home care services delivered by the right people:

  • Get a thorough needs assessment
    When you’re looking for a professional home care agency, one of the first things they should do is offer you an in-home care assessment. A qualified staff member, often a nurse, will visit your loved one’s home to assess the situation and ask questions about what is needed and what you expect. This allows the agency to come up with a personalized care plan that fits your loved one’s situation and specific needs. The agency should also work with your loved one’s physician, and others on the care team, and help coordinate other services as needed.
  • Ask who manages the care
    A professional home care agency will have a supervisor, oftentimes a nurse, who will perform regular check-ins and update your loved one’s care plan as needs change. Many clients also work with a professional geriatric care manager to assist with coordinating care and serving as the client’s advocate.
  • Plan for transitions in care, to limit the risk of surprises
    Care needs change over time. What first started as a need for basic assistance with daily activities and personal care may evolve to needing skilled healthcare and rehabilitative care; and this could move back to basic assistance again, depending on the situation. A professional home care agency can help make these care transitions as smooth as possible, making recommendations, coordinating care needs and assisting with the transitions.

If you are considering professional home care services for your loved one, Visiting Angels, which serves Alameda and Santa Clara counties, can help. Once a care plan has been developed, our care professionals will follow that plan and report back any changes that could mean that services need to be changed or added. We provide everything from basic home care services such as transportation and companionship,  to more intensive services, such as live-in or overnight care. We even provide a 24-hour emergency response system.

To learn more or to schedule a home care assessment, contact us via our webpage or by phone at 408-735-0977 in Sunnyvale, or 510-284-0000 in Fremont.

Get the Non-Sugar-Coated Facts About Diabetes

November 18th, 2015

DiabetesThere are many myths about diabetes floating around out there. You may have heard some of the more common ones, like eating too much sugar causes diabetes or people who have diabetes can’t eat sweets. The home care professionals at Visiting Angels of Fremont and Sunnyvale want to clear up some of these misconceptions. The following are some facts about diabetes and diabetes care:

  1. Diabetes is a serious disease that requires regular care and monitoring. While many people with diabetes are able to live normal, healthy lives, diabetes causes more deaths per year than breast cancer and AIDS combined. Two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke. Maintaining a healthy diet and monitoring glucose levels regularly is essential.
  2. Being overweight does not necessarily mean you will develop diabetes. Obesity is a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes, but most overweight people never develop it. Additionally, many people with type 2 diabetes are at a normal weight.
  3. Eating too much sugar does not cause diabetes. It is important to eat a healthy diet, but simply eating too much sugar is unlikely to cause diabetes. Diabetes actually begins when something disrupts the body’s ability to turn food that is eaten into energy.
  4. People with diabetes can still eat sweets. If eaten in moderation as part of a healthy meal plan or combined with exercise, sweets can be eaten by diabetics. However, diabetics must take their insulin prescription regularly as recommended to ensure that the sugar will be absorbed by the body and does not stay in the blood.
  5. People with diabetes do not need to eat foods advertised as “diabetic foods”. A healthy meal plan for people with diabetes is generally the same as a healthy diet for anyone – low in fat, moderate in salt and sugar, with meals based on whole grains, vegetables and fruit. Diabetic and “dietetic” foods typically do not offer any special benefits. In fact, most of them still raise blood glucose levels, are generally expensive, and can have a laxative effect if they contain sugar alcohols.

Practicing good diabetes management is vital for diabetics, and having an in-home caregiver to help with medication reminders, monitor blood glucose levels and provide early recognition of potential complications can make all the difference in someone’s diabetic care. Call Visiting Angels today to schedule a home care aide who is well trained to assist a diabetic patient with maintaining good health.

Diabetes-Related Eye Conditions: Tips to Help

November 12th, 2015

Diabetes-Related Eye Conditions: Tips to HelpThe eyes are the windows to the soul, but they are also one of the most vulnerable parts of the body when it comes to being affected by diabetes. Over time, high blood sugar can damage the tiny blood vessels in your eyes, leading to a number of different vision issues.

According to the American Diabetes Association, the following are the top eye conditions that diabetics should be aware of:

  • Glaucoma: Since diabetics are at a 40% higher risk of contracting glaucoma, it’s imperative to be screened regularly. The risk also increases with age and with the length of time a person has had diabetes. There are medications available to reduce pressure in the eye, and surgical options as well.
  • Cataracts: As with glaucoma, the risk of cataracts is more common in those with diabetes as well – 60% higher. Diabetics also typically are diagnosed with cataracts at a younger age than those without diabetes, and the progression is generally faster, too. Mild cataracts can be managed through wearing sunglasses and glare-control lenses, while more developed cataracts may need to be removed.
  • Retinopathy: This broad term covers all disorders of the retina caused by diabetes, including nonproliferative retinopathy (the most common form, in which pouches form in the back of the eye) and proliferative retinopathy (where blood vessels close off due to damage, resulting in new, weakened vessels leaking blood). A number of treatments are available for both conditions, and as with other eye conditions, the sooner they’re treated, the better the prognosis.

People with diabetes should schedule appointments with their eye doctor at least once a year so that any problem can be detected early and treated. Additionally, staying in control of blood glucose levels can help slow any damage to the blood vessels in the eyes.

Visiting Angels’ caregivers can help diabetics monitor their glucose levels, develop healthy meal plans, provide transportation to and from eye appointments, and more. Contact our team in Sunnyvale or Fremont today to learn how we can help your loved one live a healthier life with diabetes.

Diabetes Management: Put Your Best Foot Forward

November 4th, 2015

Put Your Best Foot Forward Due to nerve damage and reduced circulation, people with diabetes are more vulnerable to foot problems. By taking proper care of the feet, most serious health problems associated with diabetes can be prevented. To stay a step ahead of diabetes-related foot problems, try these tips courtesy of the American Diabetes Association:

  1. Keep your diabetes in check: Stay on top of your diabetes care overall with your health care team, keeping your blood glucose in the appropriate range.
  2. Check your feet daily: Set aside time each day to look at the bottom of your feet for any red spots, cuts, swelling, blisters, etc.
  3. Stay active: Work with your physician to implement an appropriate exercise program.
  4. Wear specially designed shoes: Try out shoes made especially for diabetic feet; Medicare may even cover the cost.
  5. Keep your feet clean: Be sure to wash and carefully dry your feet each day, especially between the toes.
  6. Take care of your skin: Apply a thin layer of skin lotion on the tops and bottoms of your feet (not between toes).
  7. Trim toenails: Cut toenails straight across and then file the edges with an emery board.
  8. Never go barefoot: Wear comfortable shoes that fit well at all times.
  9. Avoid hot and cold: Treat your feet like you would a baby, by testing water temperatures before stepping in, and avoiding the use of heating pads, electric blankets and hot water bottles.
  10. Maximize blood flow: Avoid crossing your legs for long periods of time, elevate your feet when sitting, and take time throughout the day to wiggle your toes and flex your ankles.

Proper foot care is an essential part of diabetes management. Visiting Angels’ caregivers can inspect your loved one’s feet daily, keep them clean and moisturized, trim toenails, and more to ensure the feet stay healthy. Contact Visiting Angels in Fremont of Sunnyvale today to learn how our caregivers can help your loved one stay on top of diabetes care.

Safety Tips for Post-Stroke Care

May 27th, 2015

post-strokeRecovering physically and emotionally from a stroke is challenging. On top of that, there may be concerns with what were once the simplest of functions and everyday tasks that now present new challenges and hazards, resulting in many stroke survivors suffering falls or other injuries.

However, according to the National Stroke Association, there are several ways to make the home safer and more accessible for a person who has experienced a stroke.

Fall Prevention:

Because the risk of falling is high post-stroke, try these simple modifications for a safer home:

  • Clear paths to the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen can help the person move about safely
  • Consider stair glides or platform lifts if stairs are in the home
  • Remove loose carpets or rugs that can cause tripping or slipping
  • Install grab bars in the shower or tub
  • Use a tub bench or shower chair
  • Install non-slip floor strips inside and outside the tub

Simplify the Laundry:

While we may not realize it, doing the laundry requires lots of reaching, lifting, and pulling that may be difficult for a stroke survivor. The following modifications can help:

  • Move washers and dryers to an easily accessible location in the home
  • Consider stackable, front-loading machines that may be easier to reach
  • Put detergents and other laundry supplies in an easy to reach location
  • Use an ironing board that folds down from the wall

Safer Bedrooms:

The bedroom should be a place of rest, sanctuary, and safety. Keep it that way for stroke survivors with these tips:

  • Install a light switch near the bed
  • Reorganize clothes and personal items to make them easier to access
  • Keep a commode chair near the bed

Certified by CAHSAH (California Association for Health Services at Home), Visiting Angels has been providing home care in the San Francisco Bay area since 2003, helping clients through a variety of difficult life circumstances, including stroke. We’re here for you and your family for as little as a few hours or for full, around-the-clock care, whether temporary or long-term, providing personal care assistance, meal preparation, exercise, transportation, light housekeeping, and much more. We invite you to contact us to discuss your individual situation and how we can make life easier and more fulfilling for your loved one.