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Senior Home Care Services in Waterloo, Kitchener, Cambridge519-208-2000

Beating the Summer Heat and Avoiding Heat Stroke – Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge

Summer heat in southern Ontario is stretching into late September, and even early October in recent years, and is important for seniors to stay protected against the hazards of the harsh sun. Aside from the hot weather extending into what used to be the fall, the sun itself has also become a lot more unforgiving, and can cause significant skin damage in a very short time. Problems like heat stroke and heat exhaustion can be a real problem for seniors, as they are more susceptible to extreme heat and sudden temperature swings. There is also the concern of how existing medical conditions and medications can compromise the body’s ability to adjust to excessive heat. Health Concerns Caused by Extreme Heat There are several health conditions and ailments for seniors to be concerned about in the sweltering summer heat. Knowing the dangers of these conditions, as well as the symptoms and warning signs to look out for, can help prevent problems before they start. Some heat related conditions for seniors to be vigilant about, are: Dehydration Heat exhaustion Heat stroke Heat syncope Dehydration This is a fairly common problem for older adults in the summer, that is caused when the body loses more fluids than it is taking in. If your body is lacking sufficient water, and other essential fluids, it is no longer able to preform its required functions properly. If these fluids are not quickly replaced, dehydration is the likely result. Symptoms There are some warning signs that can help you recognize the onset of dehydration. Some symptoms to watch for, may include: Weakness Headache Dizziness Fatigue Muscle...

Why is Communication in Health Care so Important? – Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge

Effective and open communication is extremely important for patients, caregivers, and other health care professionals. Good communication is necessary for any group or collaborative situation, but it is critical when it comes to health and wellbeing. Lack of communication can lead to all sorts of problems or complications, such as:       Unattended symptoms Incorrect diagnoses Conflicting or improper medications Chronic illness Unsatisfied patients The Canadian health care system is notorious for poor communication. The lack of comprehensive and updated digital records is one of the main culprits. While steps are currently being taken to correct this problem, the solution is still a long way from being realized. The conversion of paper records to digital files is a long and intensive process. It will likely take many years before the system is sufficiently updated. So, what can you do in the meantime to improve communication in your own health care situation? Optimizing Health Care through Communication To get the most out of your health care situation, it is important to establish clear objectives and then discuss them with your health care team. Your health care team may consist of family caregivers, professional caregivers, nurses, doctors, physiotherapists, and specialists. Making sure everyone is on the same page is not always the easiest task to accomplish. Tips for improving Communication with your Health Care Team Some ways to get information exchange moving in an effective manner, is to: Make a list of your goals and objectives Contact team members to arrange a meeting Determine communication styles and methods Prepare for appointments Goals and Objectives The first thing you should do,...

Preventing Pressure Sores for Seniors – Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge

Pressure sores, also known as bed sores or pressure ulcers, are often painful and can potentially lead to more serious health conditions. What are pressure sores? Pressure ulcers are typically caused by soft tissue, like skin, being pressed against a hard surface for an elongated period of time. Pressure sores are more prevalent in older adults with diminished strength and mobility. The need to sit or lie down for extended periods can often result in the onset of pressure ulcers. Pressure sores impede blood flow, and significantly reduce circulation in affected areas. How do pressure ulcers develop? Pressure ulcers are can occur on any part of the body, but the areas where the skin is thinner and closer to the bone are more susceptible. This includes elbows, ankles, heels, knees, shoulder blades, and base of the spine. Pressure sores tend to develop in stages, and get worse over time without proper treatment. Stages of Pressure Sore Development Untreated pressure ulcers are fairly easy to manage if attended to in the early stages. If left too long, serious health complications can arise, and the result can even be fatal. Pressure sores generally develop in the following stages: Red or rashy skin Appearance of sores or blisters Open sores and tissue damage Severe skin damage and infection Red or Rashy Skin When pressure sores first begin to develop, the affected area typically becomes red and may feel warm the touch. Skin may start to feel itchy and uncomfortable. Sores and Blisters The next stage is when visible sores or blisters begin to emerge. These blisters will likely be painful, and the...

Coping with Wandering and Exit Seeking in Dementia Patients – Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge

People with Alzheimer’s, or another form of dementia, often exhibit symptoms of the disorder that are known as wandering or exit seeking behaviors. What is Wandering?   Anyone with memory issues, but is still mobile enough to get around on their own, can be prone to wandering. The term wandering makes it sound like an aimless act, but this is often not the case. Wandering can be caused by confusion or disorientation, but sometimes wandering is just the person’s way of showing others they are still capable of independent activity. Whatever the reason may be for your loved one wandering, it can be very dangerous if not properly monitored and managed. Early Warning Signs of Wandering It is helpful to know the telltale signs of the early stages of wandering so it can be handled before it gets out of control. Some signs to look out for, may include: Taking longer than usual on routine walks or errands Problems with navigation in familiar areas Restless, anxious, nervous, or repetitive behavior Retired people may talk about having to get to work Talk about visiting deceased friends or family like they are still alive Says “I want to go home”, even when at home Trouble remembering where various rooms are in the house Tries to perform daily tasks and routines, but nothing gets done These are symptoms that are generally associated with early stages of dementia, wandering behaviors are frequently soon to follow. How to Prevent Wandering in Dementia Patients If you find your loved one is beginning to wander, and you are concerned for their safety, there are a few...

Does your Senior Loved One Have a Gambling Problem? – Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge

Gambling is a massive industry in a lot of countries, and Canada is no exception. Gambling is also very popular with the senior population as a means of entertainment and a fun social outing. For most seniors, a trip to the casino is just a bit of harmless fun. For others, however, it can be a real problem ending in financial ruin. Why is gambling a problem for many seniors? Seniors are an ideal target for casino marketers for several reasons. First of all, seniors provide a good option for filling casinos during off-peak hours. Most casinos see their highest traffic at night, while a lot of establishments are empty during the day. Offering free transportation and meals, as well as discounted shows and entertainment, is the method many casinos use to lure seniors in for an afternoon excursion. A lot of older adults that are bored and looking for something to do will jump at this opportunity for affordable entertainment. In some cases, regular trips to the casino can turn into addictive behaviors. What does problem gambling mean? An addiction to gambling, also called problem gambling, can happen without the person even realizing it. It starts out innocently enough, but can end in an unstoppable compulsion to keep gambling. For people addicted to gambling, a trip the casino is no longer about having fun, but rather about trying to fix underlying problems, like stress or depression. Signs of a Gambling Addiction If you suspect your senior loved one may have a gambling disorder, there are several signs and clues to watch out for. Some signs of problem gambling,...

Travel Tips for Seniors with Mobility Issues – Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge

Traveling can be an extremely enjoyable and rewarding activity for seniors that love to explore new places, try exotic foods, and experience new things. For many people, the opportunity for travel isn’t even an option until after retirement because of busy careers and childcare. The ability to travel can also be a problem for older adults after retirement, because of limited mobility. However, for seniors that want to get out and explore, there are always possible options. Good planning and preparation is the key to successful travel for seniors with mobility concerns. Traveling with Limited Mobility – Tips and Suggestions Travel can be stressful for even the most able-bodied individual. Good planning is a good way to reduce worry and stress. For seniors with mobility issues, advance preparation is essential for an enjoyable vacation. Some recommended travel tips, include: Heavy research Use a travel agent Guided tours Visit your doctor before leaving Keep medical info on you at all times Make arrangements with airlines and hotels Have a back up plan Heavy Research The best thing you can before any trip is extensive research. Find out everything there is to know about your intended destination before you make a commitment. Are there facilities and options in place that can accommodate your mobility issues? Some destinations are better than others for people with limited mobility. Do as much research as you can to figure out what location would work best for you. Travel Agent There are many travel agents that specialize in senior travel, and more specifically, travel for older adults with mobility constraints. A travel agent can make sure...
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