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

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...

Sharing Home Care Responsibilities and Resolving Conflict – Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge

Caring for an elderly family member takes commitment, dedication, and teamwork. When it comes to family caregivers, it is often the child or sibling in the closest geographical proximity that ends up shouldering most of the responsibility. This may work for a short period of time, but often ends in resentment and caregiver burnout. That is why it is important to share the load to prevent family conflict and hostility. Tips for Sharing Caregiver Duties There are many approaches and practices to home care that can be used to divide up the work and distribute it as evenly as possible amongst family members. Some things to try can include: Starting a discussion Making a list of tasks and responsibilities Consider each family member’s strengths Examine each person’s weaknesses Distance support Supporting the primary caregiver Respite care Starting a Discussion First things first, it is necessary to open the lines of communication and start a discussion. This can be done by arranging a meeting for all involved family members. If it is feasible to meet at a physical location, that is likely the most effective approach. If not, it can be done over the phone, through email, or online via Skype or a similar video meeting platform. Find out all family members that wish to be involved and initiate a dialogue. There is no point in forcing unwilling family members to participate, it will only cause more problems. Make Lists Once you have an idea of all family members wishing offer to assistance and support, the next step is figure out what needs to be done. Make a list of...

Know the Warning Signs of a Stroke – Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge

The risk of suffering a stroke becomes greater after reaching 65 years of age. While it is true that stroke can occur at any age, people over 65 experience about 75% of all strokes in Canada. Stroke is the leading cause of physical disability in seniors, and the second biggest cause of mental disability, after Alzheimer’s. Stroke is the third leading cause of death for seniors in Canada, right behind heart disease and cancer. Roughly 50,000 people a year suffer strokes across Canada. What is a Stroke? A stroke is the loss of brain function that occurs due to problematic activity in the brain’s blood vessels. There are two main types of stroke: Ischemic Hemorrhagic Ischemic Stroke An ischemic stroke is characterized by a blockage of a blood vessel in the brain. This is the most common type of stroke and is often caused by a blood clot in the brain. This interrupts the blood flow to the brain, and if not attended to quickly can cause serious damage, destroying brain cells. Hemorrhagic Stroke A hemorrhagic stroke, on the other hand, is when a blood vessel in the brain bursts or is leaking, causing blood to flow into the brain, inducing swelling and intense pressure. If this pressure is not relieved and the leak attended to promptly, then the result is severe tissue and cellular damage, or even death. A brain aneurism falls into the category of hemorrhagic stroke. Act F.A.S.T. An immediate reaction and response is absolutely crucial for a stroke. Both types of stroke can cause irreparable damage if not recognized and treated as soon as possible....

Diabetes Management for Seniors – Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge

Cases of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes continue to climb across Canada, and particularly for people over the age of 65. In fact, about half of the people in Canada living with diabetes are 65 years of age or older. What is the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes? Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are both caused by the body’s inability to properly store and use glucose. Both types have the same underlying issue, but there are profound differences between the two. Type 1 Diabetes This type of diabetes typically appears in children or adolescents, but may occur in adults as well. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder that is heavily influenced by genetics, where the body produces insufficient levels of insulin. There is currently no method of prevention for type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is much rarer that type 2 diabetes, making up only about 5% of diabetes cases in Canada. Type 2 Diabetes Type 2 diabetes is much more common, making up almost 95% of total cases. This type of diabetes tends to develop later in life and is characterized by the body’s inability to effectively process insulin. The prevalence of type 2 diabetes has increased dramatically over the past couple decades, and is associated with a sedentary, unhealthy lifestyle. What are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes? Type 2 diabetes can be effectively managed and treated if detected early enough. Some warning signs to be on the lookout for that may indicate type 2 diabetes, include: Increased thirst and hunger Frequent urination Dry mouth Fatigue Headaches Blurred vision Unexplainable weight...

Questions to Consider When You’re Thinking About Moving a Parent into Your Home – Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge

In our youth we may have gone back to the safety of our parent’s home during times of transition or crisis to regroup, but now – decades later – we are thinking about moving our parents in with us. Caregiving is stressful and time-consuming; add on a commute and you can be spending many hours each week travelling back and forth. If you are considering moving parents into your home, there are many things to consider both for you and your parents.  Questions for you to consider: How will the move effect my spouse and/or children? Can we afford the extra expense and/or will part of my parent’s income go towards living expenses? Are there any issues or conflicts that haven’t been resolved between me and my parent? Does my parent have any habits that annoy or upset me? Are there issues around smoking, drinking, or pets that would have to be resolved? What are my expectations of my family members (spouse, siblings, children) regarding caring for my parent? How do I feel about accepting this role? There can be a lot of emotion wrapped up in caring for a parent. If you notice you’re answering the questions a certain way because you feel that’s the way you should be answering them take some time to reflect on that. You want to make the best choice for yourself and your family, so give yourself time to get clear on what will work for you. Even if you’ve gone over it and think it’s the best idea, your parent must think so too. Questions for your parent to consider: Will...

4 Tips to Help You Manage Long Distance Caregiving – Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge

If you live an hour or more away from your loved one, you are a long-distance caregiver. It is estimated that 10-15% of caregivers are travelling an hour or more to take care of a loved one! Even though you are travelling further you are providing the same level of support as those who live close by. Caregivers take on many significant roles: scheduling appointments, providing emotional support, helping with medications, managing finances, providing meals, and keeping their home clean and safe. This can be particularly challenging when these tasks have to be managed remotely. 1. Prioritize tasks. We cannot emphasize enough the benefits to creating organization and having lists! Anxiety and stress can be high when we’re helping a loved one deal with health challenges and having a list of priorities will be able to help you know how to best direct your time. If you’re feeling frustrated and are struggling to prioritize here is an exercise that may be helpful for you. Make a list of everything that you can think of that you need to do regarding caring for your loved one – appointments, housekeeping tasks, personal care, meal prepping, etc. Go through the list and give it a number between 1 and 5 (1 being of the highest priority, 5 being of the least priority) Rewrite your list, dividing the tasks into levels of priority Now you’ll have a good idea as to what MUST be done vs what would be NICE to get done. Manage your expectations and decide what you can realistically achieve. Sometimes good enough really is good enough. Bring in support....
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