Tag Archives: aging

How To Help & Support Your Parents As They Age

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How To Help & Support Your Parents As They Age

Watching your parents age can be a challenging situation and transition. The roles are reversing and you may now find yourself taking care of them instead of the other way around. It’s best to accept the inevitable and to figure out ways to ensure it’s a smooth and positive experience for everyone involved. Learn more about how you can best help and support your parents as they age and sleep well at night knowing you’re doing all that’s in your power to make sure they’re happy and well.

Figure Out the Right Living Situation:

You can help and support your parents as they age by stepping in and figuring out the right living situation for them. For instance, it may be that you want to have caregivers come into their home each day or you believe they’d be better off and more comfortable in a retirement and senior living community such as the Catholic Care Center. Think about how much constant care they need and where they may be the happiest and then help get them settled.

Be Available:

Another way to help your parents as they age is to be available. Check-in often with phone calls, emails, or texts and see how they’re doing. If you live close by, then you may want to pick a few days out of the week to stop in and visit with them in person. It’ll help you identify any potential problems and their needs. You should also think about being available to go to their doctor and medical appointments with them to advocate on their behalf and ensure they’re getting the best treatment possible.

Encourage Them to Stay Active & Engaged:

As your parents age, encourage them to be active so they can live their best life. It’s important for their mental health and well-being that they get out of the house to socialize, follow a daily schedule, and challenge themselves physically. Maybe you could go for a walk when you visit or let them know what activities and events are happening within the community so they can attend.

Empathize & Be Compassionate:

What’s most important is that you remain level-headed through all of these changes and don’t let your stress or emotions get the best of you. Instead, empathize with your parents and show compassion toward their situation and life. Sit down and have conversations with them to let them know you love and care for them and want to help them with what they need as they age. Consider how you’d feel under their circumstances and be patient as you all adjust to this new way of living and being.

You now have a better idea of some of the ways you can be of help to your parents as they get older. Also, be sure to maintain a daily self-care routine for yourself so you don’t let your health slide as you offer assistance and support to your aging parents.

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3 Things You Should Do To Take Care Of Yourself Today

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3 Things You Should Do To Take Care Of Yourself Today

Whether you want it to or not, time keeps moving forward. Why not embrace it instead of dread the march? By achieving a proactive mindset, you can care for your body and mind to stay healthy and age with grace. Here are three proactive steps you can make today to better care for yourself:

Make An Appointment With Your Healthcare Provider:

Everyone looks into a mirror multiple times each day. As you do, you will notice changes in your face and body, and perhaps things that you may want to change. One thing that many people hone in on are their eyes. If you observe that one or both of your eyelids are drooping, make an appointment with your healthcare provider to discuss your options. They may diagnose you with ptosis, which is the medical term for drooping eyelids. Your provider can prescribe FDA-approved ptosis eyedrops to treat the drooping eyelid. Any further treatment or issues can be brought up at this visit.

Be sure to add any other issues to the visit to maximize efficiency. Have your annual physical, well-check, and mole check at the same time. Talk with your provider about any aches or pains you are experiencing. Go over all medications and vitamins to determine efficacy and potential interactions. This is a great opportunity to ensure you are receiving the proper dosages. As time passes, your body will change. Keep your provider up-to-date on anything you need.

Check In With Your Mental Health Professional:

After living through different stages of the pandemic, you have likely experienced some sense of helplessness, isolation, or frustration. You may have lost your job or even your home. Differing outlooks on politics and science have led family relations and friendships to areas of strain. Whether any of these topics impacted your life or not, taking care of your mental health is an imperative step towards overall well-being.

Contact your insurance company regarding available mental health providers in your area. Another option is telehealth or virtual visits. Insurance may cover these or you can find licensed professionals online that offer reasonable fees. Do your due diligence and research before you engage to ensure you are getting the best services for your needs.

Meditation is a useful tool in the practice of mental health self-care. Here is a relaxing ten minute video to enjoy:

Create Or Maintain An Exercise Routine:

No matter what your current stage in life, exercise will benefit your general health. (Always consult with a healthcare provider before beginning any new exercise program or if you have any concerns.) You can start slowly with leisurely walks and then build up to more intense sessions. If you like strenuous workouts, consider signing up for a local 5K and begin training. You can get personal bonus points by finding a run that benefits a charity that you support. If you enjoy human interaction and as gyms reopen, sign up or reactivate your membership. Another option for you if you appreciate alone time is to sign up for a fitness streaming service to get fit in your own home.

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Take time out of your busy schedule to take care of your body and mind. The steps you take will benefit you both now and in the future.

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3 Things To Remember When You Start Exercising Later In Life

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3 Things To Remember When You Start Exercising Later In Life

Not everyone likes to exercise and that’s okay. But even if you don’t like running or you are now at the point where you think you may have to do a little exercise, it could be hard to get into it if you’re a bit older. But whatever your stage of life, physical fitness can make you feel better and have a positive impact on a number of health conditions. But where do we begin?

The Importance of Starting Small:

One of the biggest temptations is to make up for lost time. So we think that we have to run 10k, but learning to run before you can walk, almost literally, can make you run the risk of a whole host of injuries. We can get injuries, not just because we are overreaching, but it is also due to poor form. Common podiatrist clients are the people who run too much. Starting to exercise is about making sure you get the form right before you do anything else. Whether you are lifting weights or running, you must focus on doing the move correctly. People are so impatient and want to get into the heavier, more difficult things, but the reality is that you need to slow down and start small.

Finding the Right Exercises for Your Lifestyle:

Another common misconception is that if we are to get fit, we need to hit the gym five or six days a week. This is not the case. When we think back to our ancestors, the hunter-gatherers, they only expelled energy when they needed to and we can learn from that. There are people who believe that you don’t need to exercise much in order to be healthy. And this is a very popular approach, especially for those who need to exercise quickly. This is why there are products like the X3 Bar that prove very popular because they provide the stimulus to grow muscle and cardiovascular health while doing it in a short space of time. But if you like the idea of running long distances, it’s entirely your prerogative. Whatever fits around your lifestyle will be enough to keep you fit.

Keeping At It:

This is the biggest thing we all need to overcome. When we find the right routines for our lives and perform them correctly, we have to stick to a schedule in order to achieve results. This is why many people give up at the gym at the end of January having just set up a membership only four weeks before! The best thing for you to do is to go to the calendar and mark the days where you can exercise and for how long. But in addition, you must remember that you will only make significant impacts on your life if you stick to a healthy diet. Exercising is the best way to begin, but if you want to make big changes, you’ll also need to change your eating habits.

It’s never too late to start exercising! Start small, keep it gradual, and make sure that you are doing your exercises correctly to prevent injuries.

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Turning Back The Clock On Those Creaky Joints

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Turning Back The Clock On Those Creaky Joints

It happens to all of us, but when you feel it for the first time, it’s only natural that you might be a little worried. Your joints might be starting to complain at you a little more regularly and you might be worried that this is an irreversible sign of aging. However, while joint paint does tend to naturally come with age, it doesn’t mean that it’s inevitable or unstoppable. In fact, here are a few ways you might be able to stop it:

Consider your weight:

It’s not a topic you might like to think about that often but the simple truth of the matter is that the more overweight you are, the more pressure is going to be put on areas like your back and your knees. Not only are they going to be uncomfortable more often, but you’re more likely to develop musculoskeletal injuries from simply moving around. Weight is not the end-all and be-all of your health, but if you are overweight, it can be damaging to your health in the long term. There are plenty of healthy weight management strategies, try choosing those that are easy to incorporate in the long term rather than fad diets or short-term tactics like cleanses.

Get yourself a little relief:

A lot of the pain that you are likely to feel around your lower back and your joints is likely to be caused by pressure as a result of inflammation. There are ways to help combat this inflammation, such as by managing your weight, but a little physical assistance can also do a lot of good. For instance, after exercising, it’s important to stretch and to use foam rollers to make sure you ease the tension out of your body after tensing it for so long. If you’re having joint aches, then direct approaches such as visiting a chiropractor for knee pain can help, as well. There are plenty of proven techniques for applying a little pressure to get the pain out of your body.

Check with your doctor:

Joint pain can be a natural part of aging or it can be a result of working too hard, being stressed, or not getting enough time to rest. However, it can also be a symptom of a chronic condition that you’re not dealing with. The most common of these is arthritis. Arthritis pain almost always presents primarily as joint pain, as it is a condition that is related to long-term inflammation. Getting a diagnosis can help you get access to additional treatments you need, such as medication and even surgery if the pain is that bad. The symptoms of such conditions tend to worsen over time, so it’s important to find it and start combating it early.

You can’t prevent all of the signs of aging from coming at one point or another. You can, however, make sure you’re doing your best to keep your body young, healthy, and free from pain as possible. Hopefully, the tips above can help with that!

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Why You Should Plan For Retirement Early

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Why You Should Plan For Retirement Early

Despite how important retirement is, a lot of us leave planning to the last minute. You might plan to get around to it soon, but ‘soon’ can easily become ‘next year’, and then it’s too late. Most people don’t know how much cash they will need to retire securely, and many don’t have a pension at all. It’s never too early to plan for retirement so get started with the tips below:

When Do You Want To Retire? When Can You?

Think about your ideal retirement and look at your finances to start planning from tomorrow. This will help you to work out if there is a distance between when you want to retire and when you actually will be able to. Are you hoping for mortgage-free living in retirement or will you live in a retirement community? Do you want to enjoy your retirement with travel and restaurants? Try to work out how much you expect to spend each month.

By working out these things early, if you find you can’t reach your ideal retirement with your current finances and the rate you’re saving at, you can work out how much more you will need to set aside each month in order to actually reach your retirement goal. If you don’t get prepared, you could end up with a lot less saved up than you expected. Your goal of retiring at 60 could easily get pushed back to 65, and then 70.

Delaying Could Cost You Thousands:

If you start saving for your retirement at 30, you can save less money each year than if you start saving at 50, and still end up with the same amount in your retirement fund. Every year that you put off planning for your pension means that you will have more catching up to do later on, which is when you will likely have more outgoings, thanks to a growing family or a bigger mortgage. In the future, you won’t thank your present self for a lack of planning for your retirement.

Retiring Isn’t Always A Choice:

You might think of retirement as a milestone for later in life, but sometimes the choice of when you retire is not up to you. You might have to retire earlier than you wanted to due to poor health, a change in family circumstances, or a redundancy. There are lots of reasons that you might find yourself having to stop working earlier than you had planned to. If you don’t plan for changes of circumstances like this, there can be a lot of problems. Trying to support your family or pay your mortgage on a smaller pension than you had planned for would be a big issue.

Planning early is important when it comes to your retirement, so get started ASAP!

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Simple Tips When Caring For Elderly Relatives

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Simple Tips When Caring For Elderly Relatives

Looking after the people you care about is always a priority in life. Whether young or old, you want to make sure that your family is in a good position, and there are plenty of ways to achieve this goal. As the people in your family get older, the types of care they might need will become clearer. This can create challenges, especially if your loved ones need permanent care, but there are tips that you can follow to make this easier for yourself. Let’s take a look at some of your options to get you started:

Emergency alarms:

Having an emergency alarm to use when they desperately need help can make caring for your loved ones much easier. This will take away the stress of checking on them all the time, giving them the freedom they want while enabling you to maintain a normal life. Tools like this can prove life-saving in certain circumstances, with just about every care facility in the world providing them. You can buy special pendants that can either connect to your phone or a special operator that will be available at all times.

Walk-in baths:

Being able to clean themselves is a key element of your family member’s independence. Having a wet room can be perfect if they are disabled, making it easier for them to clean themselves and for carers to do parts of the job for them. Walk-in tubs are better for those with more mobility, but who would still like to be able to get into the bath or shower without assistance. Walk-in bath tub installation isn’t too expensive, especially when you consider the difference it can make.

Ramps:

Even when you’re not dealing with someone with a disability, you’d be surprised at how useful ramps can be when used in the right circumstances. Small steps can get harder and harder to climb as someone gets older, but ramps ease this process, giving your loved ones the chance to make their own way into their homes. Stair lifts can be good for full sets of stairs, though this can be quite pricey if you want an option that will last for a long time.

Key safes:

Being able to access the home of your loved one is crucial if you want to be able to look after them. Key safes are a great way to be able to give access to a group of people without having to have loads of keys to keep track of. If you need a doctor to visit when you’re not there, for example, you can have them use the key safe to let themselves in if there isn’t an answer at the door. Like an alarm, this can prove to be invaluable.

With all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to make your life caring for your loved ones a little bit simpler. There are more options out there to help with this, making it well worth doing your research before you decide which you will choose.

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Staying In Your Own Home As You Age

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Staying In Your Own Home As You Age

If you’re planning to stay in place and remain at home as you age, then the key is to plan ahead. Many things change as we get older and new challenges that we need to overcome start to present themselves. Here are some things that you may want to consider if you want to age in your own home rather than entering a care facility:

Make your wishes known:

If you have decided that you want to age in place, then the first thing that you should do is to make your wishes known to your friends and family. By letting those close to you know your intentions, they can start to think of ways in which they can best support you. If you fail to let your relatives know your wishes, then you risk them fighting you when it comes down to making the decision.

Start looking at the support you have available:

It is never too early to start familiarizing yourself with the home health care services and aged support available to you in your area. How about getting started by checking out www.careforfamily.com.au/ ? You can get virtually any kind of help you need at home, though you should be aware that most of these come at a cost. If you know the cost of aging in-state early, then you can begin saving for these expenses to help you afford them. Don’t forget to research the benefit schemes that may also be available to you and to look into other funding sources such as equity release.

Identify areas in which you may need help:

If you already have an existing medical condition, then plan ahead to try and identify areas that could potentially prevent you from aging at home. Are you worried about your mobility? Do you struggle to keep up with the housework? Do you forget things? By identifying these potential issues early, you can put safeguarding measures in place that will allow you to stay safe in your own home.

Start socializing with other local seniors:

One of the biggest issues with choosing to age at home is the isolation that it can cause. People who choose to move into a care facility often have access to group activities, other residents, and the company of staff, but if you choose to age at home, then these may not be available to you. To prevent loneliness and boredom, try to get involved with social clubs and to make friends in your local area that are around the same age as you.

Boost your security:

Last but not least, although no one wants to think about people preying on the elderly, you need to ensure that your home security is robust enough to keep you safe. You may want to consider installing CCTV, a monitored alarm, or additional outside lighting to deter intruders and to notify the authorities if someone tries to break into your property.

Most people would like to stay in their own homes for as long as possible while they age but are let down by a lack of funding and pre-planning. By thinking ahead and budgeting for the cost, you can ensure that your wishes become a reality!

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Caring For Your Senior Loved Ones During Lock Down

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Caring For Your Senior Loved Ones During Lock Down

Lock down has been tough for many of us. As the days and weeks roll on, life has become rather mundane, and in some ways, quite stressful too. Not only do we need to find new things to do with our time (after binge-watching the entirety of Netflix), but we have had to cope with the mental effects of lock down too.

Times are hard indeed, but if they are hard for us, they will be especially difficult for our senior loved ones. If they are living independently, they might well be suffering from the effects of loneliness and stress themselves. So, consider what you might do to care for your aging parents or your grandparents. Here are a few suggestions:

Ensure they have health support:

If they need support with any health-related issues, now is the time to make sure your senior loved ones have everything they need. It might be that you need to collect any prescriptions for them or you might need to contact their doctor to refill them. Specialist home care services, such as those provided by Serenity Home Health, can offer support to the elderly, so get in touch if your loved one hasn’t yet accessed such support. And speak to your loved one’s neighbors, and ask those that can be trusted to keep a socially distanced eye on your family member.

Stay in touch:

If your senior loved one is living alone, you should make an extra effort to get in touch with them. A daily phone call might make their day, although you could also use Skype, Zoom, or social media to stay in touch with them too. And when you talk to them, be reassuring. The last thing they might need is your stressed-out tones if you’re worrying about lock down, as they might have similar worries themselves. Instead, be encouraging and reassuring, and do nothing to exacerbate their fears. Let them talk to your kids, share stories that will make them smile, and answer any questions they might have if they do share any concerns with you.

Offer practical support:

We have already suggested picking up their medications, but there are other ways to offer practical support too. You might arrange food deliveries for them, for example, or you could take food parcels to them. Maybe you can help them stay on top of their garden and you could drop off books, DVDs, knitting supplies, and anything else that will give them something to do while they’re restricted at home.

Share ideas with them:

If your senior loved ones are unable to exercise outside, share these 10-minute chair exercise ideas with them. If they are experiencing anxiety, research breathing exercises, and go through them with your loved ones on the phone. And if they have any other needs that could be met through your research, do what you can, and provide them with the solutions to the problems they are facing.

Your extra care to your elder family members is just what they need right now. Use our suggestions and research other ideas online to meet their particular needs during this crazy time.

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They Raised You, Now You Raise Them: Looking After Aging Parents

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They Raised You, Now You Raise Them: Looking After Aging Parents

It’s one of those things in life that we all need to do at some point. As we get older we become more aware of our mortality and it’s when we end up looking after our parents that we can truly realize just how precious life is. But when we are looking after our parents it can take its toll on us. Whether you decide to put them into a nursing home or you try your best to push through without any professional help you need to understand what it takes to cope with looking after them. What are the best things to consider?

The Right Professional Help:

You may feel that to truly make the most of the situation so you don’t feel bound by various pressures that you put them in a care home. And many can do it thinking that it will be a better outcome for everyone concerned. However, this is not always the case. It all depends on the home. But you also need to be aware that if there is something untoward going on.

There can be elderly abuse, something no one really likes to think about, but it’s definitely worth considering. There are websites like Chony.org that can help if you’ve got to the point where you put your parents in a home and there is something untoward going on. Professional help will always be beneficial because you are are able to make the most of a difficult situation. But you still have to do your homework.

The Sibling Situation:

It can be incredibly stressful coping with looking after your parents so you may feel that if you’ve got siblings that they can help, but this can cause a lot of issues. It could be to do with the inheritance or it could just dig up old sibling rivalries. On Psychologytoday.com there are some pieces of information to consider when dealing with siblings. It’s never an easy thing to navigate when you are are looking out for the welfare of your parents especially if you’ve got a sibling that is just waiting for their slice of the inheritance. Do what you can for the benefit of the parent, not anybody else.

Looking After Yourself:

Having some “me” time is easier said than done in these situations but it’s crucial for your own sense of sanity. Whether you are looking after them yourself or you are feeling the stress because you put them in a home, you have to remember that life goes on for you, especially if you’ve got people dependent on you. You have got to make sure that you are looking after yourself properly. This means that it’s not just about the financial aspects but it’s about giving yourself that breathing space when you feel that it’s all too much. Take that opportunity to step back when necessary and assess the situation. It’s a very stressful situation for anybody. And feeling that you have to push through won’t do you any favors a few months down the line.

Coping with aging parents regardless of the situation is never easy but it’s something that we all will have to figure out at some point. Make sure that you are coping with the situation, not just for your benefit but for the benefit of those that really matter.

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Helping An Elderly Relative With Their Medical Needs

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Helping An Elderly Relative With Their Medical Needs

Unfortunately, age comes for us all, and is coming for us right now. Some age like a fine wine in terms of health, while others struggle. Most have at least one issue they need to manage, and do so with care. However, as someone ages it can be harder to keep up this maintenance, as well as dealing with new issues that are sometimes natural, sometimes not depending on their circumstances. The best thing that you can do for your elderly relative is provide love and support in this time. Doing so requires more than words and smiles. Helping them manage conditions, even if you need to split the care giving throughout the responsible adults in your family can be a true blessing for them, and is always a beautiful thing to do for anyone, family or not.

Of course, it would be wrong to assume that you can help them with everything. In the following article, we hope to explore a range of systems or assistance you could give to help your elderly relative through this time. Consider:

Help With Medication:

Your presence can sometimes be the most important thing depending on your family needs. It might not be forcing them to head to a retirement community, or bringing them to the doctor everyday is needed. Simply helping them with their medication can be all the help in the world that they need, at least for the time being. Purchasing one of those daily counters can help them or explaining to them what they do, and helping them mitigate potential side effects. Simply reminding them through texts or calls can be worthwhile, and can keep them focused on the doctor’s orders.

Help With Living A Normal Life:

Living a normal life is completely subjective, but sometimes your elderly relative might not have the capacity to live how they might like due to a medical issue. Spending time with them, taking them out for the day, or baking with them might seem like a small act of kindness and joy to you, but it can make their entire week if you plan it right. The most precious resource anyone elderly has is time, especially if ill. This means giving them this is the most potent form of love you can gift them.

Finding The Right Family Medicine Practitioner:

Finding the right family medical professional might take a little time, but figuring out what you need can help. It might be you require the potential for urgent medical care, continual appointments, or someone who your relative trusts and enjoys being around. Search until you find this, and accept no compromises. This can truly help take the sting out of the care that is given and needed. A great family doctor can ease the burden so dramatically it can be hard to overstate.

With these tips, and the ability to never rule out medical community housing depending on your relative’s needs, you’ll be sure to find the best approach possible.

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