Promoting Wellbeing, Positive Mental Health and Reducing Stress in the Elderly.

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The UK has an ageing population, with statistics indicating that there are 5.4 million people aged 75 years. A further breakdown also shows that persons aged 85 years and above make up 1.6 million of the population. Indeed, the ageing years are characterised by failing physical and mental health. However, science and society continue to devise ways to make the period less stressful.

Here are some guidelines on how:

  1. The essence of mobility

As people age, one of the first things that deteriorate is mobility. The depletion of muscle tone, coupled with bone issues, may inhibit movement. Usually, it sets in gradually, and when nothing is done, mobility can decrease by as much as 70% to 80%. At that point, an ageing person may need walking aids to support their body weight. However, mobility issues can be thwarted if counter-measures are taken in time.

Geriatricians (primary care doctors for the aged) advise ageing persons to dedicate some minutes of their days to walk. According to these experts, 150 minutes in a week is adequate. When the elder individual has enough energy, an average of 20 minutes daily is perfect. However, another person with mobility issues can engage in a guided basic workout for at least 15 minutes a day. Among the elderly, the risk of falling is incredibly high. This may therefore require a specialised alarm for elderly persons. This is worn like a wristwatch and can be used to monitor the number of daily steps, call for help when needed, etc. So, as you encourage an older person to take mobility issues seriously, it helps to ensure that it’s done safely.

  1. Reinforced social networks

It is essential to belong to a strong and supportive social network during the later years. Retiring from active duty and work can trigger depression. Although statistics indicate that depression in older adults is less prevalent than in the younger generation, it is still a cause for concern. Research in UK care homes revealed that 40% of the ageing generation endure chronic depression. This is likely due to the separation from their immediate family and friends.

Fortunately, this can be resolved when these seniors are encouraged to participate in social engagements. It can be in the form of a support group, a reading club, or other recreational groups purposely for older adults. As simple as these social networks may seem, they play a vital role in their life. It generates a sense of belonging, which subsequently promotes healthy mental well-being.

  1. Attention to regular quality sleep

According to the British Geriatrics Society, insomnia is prevalent amongst elderly people. Whether housed in a care home or not, the difficulty in initiating and maintaining sleep is a hurdle many older adults cannot cross without help. Insomnia is both a physical and mental well-being issue. This explains why experts say it should always be tackled from both angles.

In other words, as doctors prescribe pills to aid sleep, it is advisable to focus on the root cause of insomnia. It is possible to boost sleep quality by speaking to medical professionals and also assessing if there is a mental health cause to the insomnia too.

Elderly adults need both physical and mental health care as they transition into this new phase of life. These are just some ideas to help.

This article was written by a freelance writer.

Looking After The Home and Wellbeing of a Loved One As They Grow Older.

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If you have elderly parents, family members, or those that you care about, you want to make sure that they are living in a home that is able to support their needs and to make sure that they are safe, secure, and comfortable. If your loved one is living alone, they may not be as likely or able to keep up with all of the home maintenance tasks necessary and may have some needs that they haven’t fully considered that their home could help them meet. Here, we’re going to look at a few ways you might be able to help with just that and increase their wellbeing.

Securing the household

While neither you nor your loved one should be in a panic about potential threats out there without any reason to be, considering the security of your loved one is worth the time. If they live alone, then they are somewhat more vulnerable than most people, so you may want to look at ways to secure the home, whether it’s investing in strong new doors and windows with tamper-proof locks, or in things like more external lighting to make the area around the home more visible and thus deter those who might think to lurk around the home. This will also improve their mental health- knowing they are secure and cared for will help their general wellbeing.

Inspecting the heating and looking after wellbeing

If there’s one season we should be careful to make sure that we’re equipped for: it’s winter. A particularly cold winter can be a health hazard, and older people can be some of those most affected by them. As such, before winter rolls in, you should make sure that you arrange for a servicing and inspection of the heating appliances in your loved one’s home. If there are any problems found, you might be able to cut some costs such as by sourcing a replacement part here yourself, but you should rely on a professional to make sure they’re taken care of in the safest way possible. Make sure that your loved one doesn’t have any problems with insulation and check for any air leaks so you can keep the home comfortable and toasty in the winter.

Make sure you visit your loved one regularly and check in with them, a chat and a smile will really help them feel settled and improve wellbeing too. Check ins to their overall health are so important, both mentally and physically.

Check the wet areas so they feel safe and comfortable

The “wet areas” such as the bathroom and kitchen are some of the most important areas to inspect on a somewhat regular basis. For one, you should check for any signs of leaks that could be fixed with the help of a plumber. But you should also keep an eye out for things like spreading mould and damp, which could affect your loved one’s health over time. In many cases, mould can simply be cleaned away from the area, but if it has spread too far, you might need a mould remediation team to come out and replace the affected surface areas.

It is important that your loved one doesn’t slip in their home due to water and that you regularly check that their home is safe and comfortable for them so they feel secure.

Making the home more accessible to help any anxieties around safety

A lot of people begin to face mobility issues as they reach old age, and disability becomes much more common. For that reason, you might want to look at some tips for making the home more accessible. You can talk to your loved about any specific issues they might have, such as answering the door, going up and down the stairs, or using the bathroom safely and comfortably. There are many changes that can be made to a home to mitigate the risk of injuries such as slips, trips, and falls, and to help your loved one live independently for longer, feeling comfortable going about all the usual daily tasks in the home.

This will also calm any anxiety they have about these things and give them peace of mind. Their mental health is equally as important.

Considering whether they should remain at home

You can do all of the checks necessary to make sure that your loved one is getting along well in their own home. However, if the home is no longer fit to keep them safe and comfortable, or they are unable to make the adaptations necessary to suit it to their needs, then you may need to think about other options. There are a lot of assisted living facilities that can make sure that their individual needs are seen with the care of attentive professionals. If your loved one is no longer able to live independently and to see to both their own and their home’s needs, then you need to think about ways to have those needs better fulfilled for them.

Talk to your loved one about how they are getting on in their own home. Ask about how cold it gets, any leaks or issues they’ve noticed, or simply any issues they have using the home. Help them live in the comfort and security they deserve to improve their wellbeing and see if they have any mental or physical health issues which are preventing this too.

This article was written by a freelance writer.

5 Ways to Support Mental Health As You Get Older.

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When you think of older people, what comes to mind? Most likely, you think of a frail older man or woman sitting in a rocking chair on the porch with his or her grandchild. This image is often comforting, but it’s not always accurate. As life expectancy increases, so will the number of seniors needing support as they navigate this time in their lives.

Let’s take a look at the five ways you can support mental wellness for the elderly through compassion and care.

Mental Health: Dementia and Depression

Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every person realises their unique potential and can cope with the everyday stresses of life. It encompasses our emotions, beliefs, thoughts, and behaviours related to our physical and spiritual health.

Studies have found that over 50 per cent of older adults with dementia experience depression. This figure becomes even more striking when considering that depression rates are higher in women than men. Depression can lead to loneliness and feeling disconnected from society, which might be exacerbated for those who aren’t familiar with mental health issues.

Depression can also lead to poor self-care behaviours like eating poorly or not taking care of personal hygiene because they cannot enjoy their day-to-day activities such as cooking or cleaning. People may find it challenging to socialise during this time because they’re trying so hard not to feel negative emotions like sadness or anger that might come up unexpectedly during a conversation.

It can be worth discussing how they can get support from a care facility such as Oakland Care where they will have round the clock care and support for their mental and physical wellbeing.

5 Ways to Support Mental Health

  • 1. Be a friend

One of the most important things you can do to support mental health in the elderly is being a friend. It’s easy to think of someone who is elderly as being alone, but they don’t want to be. They rely on friends and family members more than ever before. This can help provide them with some comfort and companionship during difficult times.

  • 2. Have compassion for them

It’s good to show seniors compassion when they need it the most. Not only will this improve their mental health, but it will also give you the chance to see a side of your loved one that you might not know about otherwise.

  • 3. Offer loving care

It’s essential for all people in your life, including elderly family members, friends or caregivers, to remember that every person is different and deserves love on their terms. The elderly need specific forms of care and various types of love depending on their circumstances.

  • 4. Send cards or gifts

Gifts sent with care can help people feel less alone and know they have support. Choosing something special to them.

  • 5 Get help

Sometimes, the best thing you can do is to contact a medical professional such as a GP or hospital doctor who can get them the proper care. 

Above all, make sure they are well supported and cared for.

This article was written by a freelance writer and contains affiliate links.

How To Support Elderly Parents Living Independently.

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As you grow older, you may start to notice the role of parent and child starts to change. In the past, the parent provided the care and support to the child, but as the years pass, these roles can become reversed. If you are currently in this situation, you may be wondering how best you can support your elderly parents and help them to get the most out of life in their senior years.

Striking the right balance between being on-hand to help without interfering is challenging and can take some getting used to. It is perfectly natural to feel unsure about the best way to approach this new situation. Reaching a point where you feel comfortable you are providing your parents with the right level of assistance while respecting their wishes can take time to achieve. Here are some of the ways you can give extra support to your parents while they are living independently:

Keep Communicating

Keeping in regular contact with your parents is essential to ensure that you understand their needs and their wishes. If you are concerned about their health, communicating with them regularly will make it easier for you to spot any deterioration and give your parents the opportunity to discuss any aspects of their health that worry them. Making sure that you listen as well as talk is vital to ensure your parents feel their needs and wishes have been understood and are respected.

It is so essential to maintain your relationship with your parents. When they are more dependent on you, it is easy to fall into the trap of only talking about their care and no longer having any fun. So keeping that parent-child relationship alive by talking about everyday topics and taking them out and about is crucial.

Address Any Health Concerns

Finding the right level of support for your parent’s health issues can be challenging. Knowing whether or not they are able to continue living independently or whether they need to receive a greater level of care can be hard to determine. If your parents are adamant that they want to stay living independently within their own home, you may be concerned that they won’t get the best care. Choosing a specialist at-home care provider can help to alleviate these concerns and ensure they are getting the level of assistance that they need. Dementia home care is one specialist care service available that could help keep your ageing parents in their own home while receiving the appropriate level of support.

Make Life at Home Easier

Providing your parents with practical support is an excellent way to support them living independently. Carrying out everyday tasks on their behalf such as cleaning and getting their shopping can make life far easier for them. Making sure that your parent’s home is free from trip hazards and is clean and tidy will help to protect their health and wellbeing and provide you with the peace of mind that they are safe in their home.

This article was written by a freelance writer and contains affiliate links.

Assisted Living: How to help your Elderly Parents find their perfect Care Home.

When you were a child, your parents always took care of you. But now that you’ve grown up and may have kids of your own, it’s time to take care of them. And when their health starts to deteriorate, and they become too ill for in-home care, the question becomes: how do we find a great assisted living facility?

While the idea of having to send loved ones to an assisted living facility isn’t always a nice one, it’s often the best choice. Not just for their health, but for our own too

In this article, we’ll walk you through each factor so that finding an assisted living facility feels like less of a daunting task.

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What Types Of Care Homes Are On Offer?

The world of assisted living facilities is an industry that has snowballed. It’s now booming, and there are many things to consider before you make your final decision. The first step is understanding the different types of senior homes available.

A Care Home

This type of facility covers the personal and day-to-day care of your loved ones. They’ll handle things like washing, dressing, and taking medications on time. Many of them also provide activities and days out. But the quality and amount of these extras are provided depends on the home. 

A Nursing Home

Nursing homes cover all the same things as care home, but it’s provided by qualified nurses. So they’re a great choice if your parents have health conditions that need a little extra attention. 

A Care Home With Dementia Care

This type of home is targeted towards elderly loved ones with dementia. It’s designed to make them feel comfortable and to keep them safe.

A Dual-Registered Care Home

This facility accepts residents who have personal and nursing care needs. These homes mean that residents who arrive just needing personal care but eventually need nursing care don’t have to change facilities. Instead, they can stay in comfort in the place that has come to be their home.  

Choosing a Care Home

One of the most important factors when looking for a senior living facility is the level of care. If your loved one needs special attention due to dementia or any other physical disability, you should find a facility with specialized services to have their needs met.

There’s plenty to consider when it comes to looking at care homes for your loved ones. Before you get into the nitty-gritty, it’s worth taking the time to make a list of what’s important to you in your chosen assisted living facility. That way, you can quickly sift through the homes on offer. Because there will be plenty to get through.  

The Staff

The staff at an assisted living facility goes a long way in determining the quality of life for its residents. They must be attentive, caring, and responsive to the needs of each individual. When you visit your prospective home, it’s essential to ask questions about their staff.

The Food

The food served at a senior home is also vital. If meals are not nutritious or flavourful, it can cause malnutrition, weight loss, and other health issues for seniors. Ask if they provide three meals a day or if that depends on what residents choose to eat. It’s important to note that while dietary restrictions can be accommodated at some homes, you may want to find one with more robust catering options and for diets such as kosher or halal.

The Amenities 

Another thing to consider when looking for a care home is what kind of environment and amenities it provides. Does it feel open and welcoming? Is there an opportunity for outdoor activities? Are there pets on-site? How big of a community is there? These questions will help you determine which type of environment would best suit your loved one’s needs.

Amenities on-site provide your parents with something to pass the time, stay engaged, and most of all, feel a strong sense of community. 

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Always Involve Your Parent

When our elderly loved ones come to need further care that we can’t provide, it’s a challenging time. And while it’s difficult for us to come to terms with, it is just as difficult for them. For many elderly people entering care homes, it’s a massive change to their daily life. Some may not be aware of what it entails, so informing them if possible is important. 

Make sure that they’re a big part of choosing a facility. After all, they’re the ones that will be living there. While some health conditions may hamper their understanding of the situation, it’s essential to keep them as involved as possible. Making a list of what they want and then what they need can be helpful to find the best care home options available. 

So while finding a care home can be difficult, it ensures that the quality of your loved one of life remains high. When caring for them becomes too much for you to handle, assisted living facilities are there as a helping hand.

This article was written by a freelance writer and contains affiliate links.

Keeping things Stress Free when Elderly Family need to sell their Home.

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A lot of elderly people decide to sell their homes. Usually, it is because they are either going to downsize or move into a retirement community. However, as we get older, it is not easy to do these tasks on our own, and a little bit of help is most certainly welcome, which will also help mental health. If you find one or both of your parents or a family member in this position, helping them navigate through it properly will make a huge difference, and that is what this blog post is all about. With that in mind, here are some things you can do to help them sell their home.

How to encourage a quick sale

If your loved one is moving into a nursing home for elderly, it is likely you will want to sell their existing home sooner rather than later. Heres one thing you can do…

  • Increase the asking price if too cheap – Your parents’ property could be failing to sell because it is too cheap. Do your research and see what comparable properties are being sold at. Never use the number 9 when pricing your home! Not only does £299,999 look unappealing but you will appear in viewer results on property portals. Why? You only fit in the category of £200,000 to £300,000. If you priced your home at £300,000 you would fit into the former category and £300,000 to £400,000.

Try to keep things as stress-free as possible

Moving home can be stressful at the best of times. However, this can be even more so the case if your parent does not want to leave their home but they have no choice but to do so because of their medical condition. This is why it is important to make sure that you make the whole process as stress-free as you are able to. When it comes to making all of the small decisions, don’t bother them with the details unless you think it is necessary. Aside from this, try to arrange viewings at convenient times to ensure your parent does not get flustered by the whole process. 

Five things you can do today to get your parents’ home sold

Instead of sitting there and feeling frustrated, do the following five things today…

  • Buy some new bedding – Freshen up their bedrooms with some new and modern bedding. This will instantly breathe some new life into the rooms. It is important that property viewers can imagine living in the home. Little changes like this can make all of the difference and help to encourage a sale.
  • Update your Twitter and Facebook pages – Drum up some fresh interest by updating your Twitter and Facebook pages. Ask your friends if they would share your status for you, so that you can get the ball rolling. With social media marketing, you have to update regularly if you want success.
  • Take new photographs of your home – Freshen up the photographs of your parents’ property. Add some seasonal elements to make it relevant and to create a welcoming atmosphere.
  • Call your estate agent – Ask him if there has been any interest in the home. Enquire about the general feedback so you can see where maybe you are going wrong. Don’t excuse your agent of not doing their job – you need to keep them onside, especially now!
  • Buy some new cushions – The impact of a set of new cushions can have on your living room is huge. You will instantly notice a difference, and, it won’t cost you much either.

So there you have it: some tips that can help you to help your parents or family sell their home! Good luck! We hope the advice provided above helps. 

This article was written by a freelance writer.

8 Steps to help with Aging, Better Health and Wellbeing.

Getting older doesn’t mean that you will have many medical conditions or poor quality of life. However, it is very important to know what is expected when you get old and what is not. Growing old entails some changes in all aspects of life, from the mental, physical to social, sexual, emotional, and more.

Some of these changes can be regarded as constructive, while others are damaging. The vital thing to do is make the most of the good part of aging while also taking preventative measures to maintain good health and lessen the negative impacts.

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Fixing Your Personal Wear and Tear in Life

Wear and tear in life can be defined as the damage that occurs naturally and unavoidably due to normal aging. In simple words, the human body wears out because of use, and once they wear, they can no longer function as they did.

Besides, many people go through their lives without sufficiently restoring themselves, which can eventually lead to weariness during an extreme period of stress or even work. So, it doesn’t matter who or how old you are; fixing your personal stresses in life is one excellent way to make yourself feel great again. The following are some of the things you can do to achieve that.

Use the right skincare products

There are some key ingredients that you must consider when shopping for skincare products. Ensure that the product you buy has vitamin C, which can help brighten your skin, retinoid that increase cell turnover and stimulate collagen production, and an exfoliating element to remove the dead skin cells.

On the other hand, you can get rid of eczema, acne, or eye bags, by using CBD oil from places such as Simply CBD. This will make you look younger as this oil has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties to help you fix the wear and tear (lines and signs of aging) in your skin.

Get enough sleep

Getting a sufficient amount of sleep is crucial for good health. According to recent research, sleep disturbances can lead to an accumulation of a toxic protein called amyloid in the brain, especially in people at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

In addition, other studies have shown that poor or inadequate sleep can put an individual at a higher risk of developing illnesses like diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, cancer, obesity, and even premature death.

Therefore, you should aim at getting about seven hours of sleep. This is because when you sleep, your body gets the chance to release hormones that promote cell renewal and turnover. Use the sleeping time to your advantage by using good skincare products that will help your renew and revitalise your skin.

On the other hand, you can practice good sleep hygiene to better your sleep. Consider upgrading your mattresses, pillowcase and ensure that the bedroom is cool and quiet. Having a good quality pillowcase will ensure that your skin is not affected or irritated by the constant turning and tossing.

Dental care and repair

When thinking about aging, many people think of wrinkles or droopy eyelids. But, some might have yellowed teeth, sunken faces, and droopy eyelids. Usually, these problems can actually make you look older than you are.

Therefore, dental care and repair can help you improve your smile and radiance. Cosmetic procedures from a dentist are some of the proven and most worthwhile treatments you can get to repair your teeth. Remember that it takes into account your particular dental needs and repair goals for you to come out with a sense of beauty and pride in your expressiveness. So, regardless of how well you take care of your teeth, you might need some maintenance from time to time.

Massage and deep spa treatment

People are constantly talking about the health benefits of spa treatment and massage therapy in relation to various illnesses.  But did you know that massage can significantly reduce the effect of aging? Massage therapy is one of the ways to increase your general wellness, making you feel much younger.

Besides, going to a spa at the end of your workday can be an excellent way to unburden your stress and release all the tension you have on your shoulders. Other than that, massage therapy can increase your quality of sleep and improve blood circulation.

Drink plenty of water

Drinking enough water is excellent for your skin health. Besides, water is considered an excellent moisturiser that can reduce the appearance of wrinkles, helping you look younger and slimmer.

Failure to drink enough water can make your skin swollen and can lead to ballooning. Also, you can develop skin problems like dry skin, eczema, spots, wrinkles, and psoriasis. In addition, the first sign of dehydration is usually visible on the skin. Water is also known to eliminate toxins and waste products from the body leading to healthy life quality. It also helps get rid of headaches and leads to a happy life.

All of these things can help boost your wellbeing and mental health, and as you age, this is more important than ever,

Eat a well-balanced diet

As the saying goes, beauty comes from the inside, and just depending on skin creams and pricy potions for glowing skin is not enough. You can eat yourself to youthful and healthy skin. And since aging increases your risk of developing chronic conditions and heart illnesses, it is essential to consume a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

Nutritional experts have recommended focusing on vegetables, fruits, and foods low in salt and sugar. Besides, there are certain types of food that you can eat to reduce the effects of aging. For instance, you can consume green tea rich in antioxidants that can protect your skin from harmful free radicals. Also, you can consume tomatoes, watermelon, bone broth, fatty fish, and dark chocolate. Also, ensure that you consume meals low in saturated fats, red meat, and sugar.

Stay socially and physically active

Staying connected to your friends and family can help delay the cognitive decline that comes with old age. Also, according to various reports, having pets can have many benefits as it helps seniors maintain social connections and improve their mental health.

On the other hand, it is crucial to stay physically active. Staying active can help you maintain a healthy weight and make you look younger. And according to many pieces of research, working out, especially high-intensity interval training, can slow down cellular aging by almost ten years.

The benefits don’t stop there; exercise can also increase blood flow to your brain and move critical nutrients throughout your body, resulting in a more youthful look. Besides, a regular workout is beneficial for maintaining strength and muscle mass which can add many years to your lifespan.

Reduce caffeine intake

Everyone loves coffee; in fact, older adults are shown to drink more coffee than any other age group. And while drinking coffee can positively affect your health, energy, and moods, consuming too much of it can have some adverse effects. Too much coffee can lead to poor sleep quality and dehydration.

According to Mayo Clinic, people who consume too much coffee experience restlessness, headaches, heart palpitations, and anxiety. Also, too much caffeine overstimulates the nervous system and leads to jitters, upset tummy, and sleep issues in older adults.

Also, too much caffeine can wreak havoc on your skin health, dehydrating your body and rob it of its vital nutrients. And unfortunately, some of these effects of caffeine are irreversible.

The Bottom Line

There are not enough substitutes when it comes to fixing your personal wear and tear, as your body will eventually show how you treat it. So try as much as possible to stay active, maintain a healthy work-life balance, drink plenty of water, get enough sleep, limit the amount of caffeine you take, and, more importantly, eat a well-balanced diet.

This article was written by a freelance writer.

How to Look After Yourself When You Care for a Loved One.

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If you are a carer for a loved one, or perhaps have a carer as someone with a long-term illness or chronic health condition, you will know that while it can be enjoyable and rewarding, it can be tough. Being able to take care of the needs of someone else, as well as yourself, can be a juggle, and often feel overwhelming. If you need some help and advice when it comes to caring for a loved one, then read on. As the old saying goes, you can’t fill from an empty cup, so looking after yourself is important as well.

Make each day different

It can be tough, but if you are caring for a loved one who isn’t very mobile and getting out of the house can be hard, then getting out and about can be the last thing on your mind for the day. However, having a change of scenery and keeping as active as possible is important for the mind in terms of dementia, as well as for their mental health. It can be a good thing for you as a carer too, as fresh air can make such a difference to how you feel too.

Think about routines

It can be easy to let the person you care for slip into your routine. This can be especially true if you don’t live in and just pop in each day at certain times. However, it is a good idea to think about the routine that is going to work best for those that you are caring for. It should help them to feel comfortable and at ease. This could look like not interrupting them when you know their favourite show is on TV or waiting to serve their meal at a better time, not just one that is more convenient for you. There needs to be a degree of flexibility with this, of course, but having a rethink of what you currently do is important.

Get the support that you need

Talking of routine and seeing what fits in with you as well as what fits in with others is important. However, there will be times when some things just won’t work; you can’t put everything that you need to do on hold. This is where getting help comes in. It may be that you just need another family member to step in for one day or perhaps you need to seek out the support of a carer support services team. It might be that you need physical help one day if you have an injury and lifting someone could make it worse. Look to create a circle of people around you that you can call on when needed and who you can trust and confide in.

Although the person you are caring for will come first most of the time, much like a relationship with a parent and child, you do still need to care for yourself. Putting plans in place that will make things easier for you, and give you any downtime that you need, is important.

This article was written by a freelance writer

Checking In On Your Elderly Loved Ones Mental Health during the Pandemic.

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This is a difficult time for many people’s mental health. The 2020 coronavirus and Covid-19 pandemic has been completely unexpected and has taken up the most part of most of our lives and conversations throughout the past year. Massive changes have taken place that can all impact mental health, ranging from fear of the virus to difficulties with social isolation, difficulties with social distancing and difficulties with job losses, financial instability, reduced income and troubles keeping up with financial commitments.

The list goes on and on. But chances are the people often hardest hit by this virus are the elderly. Even those who do not battle the virus itself have had to lead more sheltered and isolated lives since the start of the year and, if you have an elderly loved one in your life, it’s important to do your utmost to help them right now. Here are some suggestions that can help you to achieve this!

Make Sure They Have the Most Up to Date Information

The first step that you need to take for your loved one during this pandemic is to make sure that they have the most up to date information on the virus, current guidelines, current restrictions and any other useful information.

The rules and the regulations that we are living by are all changing on a really regular basis and it can be hard for the elderly to keep up. Bear in mind that many of us get our news updates from social media and online news apps. The elderly often rely on newspapers, which only arrive once a day and which they may not actually be able to get their hands on while they are isolating. The radio can help too. Make sure that they are in the know to make sure they feel comfortable and know what’s going on.

Check In On Elderly Relatives in Care Homes

Sure, many elderly people are in care homes where you are not able to visit them right now. This reduces virus spreading. But you should still check in on them. Most care homes will take care of your loved one well. But there have been instances of neglect or misconduct throughout this pandemic and you’re going to want to call your loved one and check everything is okay. If there are any issues, you may need to reach out to a nursing home abuse attorney.

Buy and Deliver Their Essentials for Them

If your loved ones still live in their own homes independently, you may need to get their essentials for them and drop them off on their doorstep. This minimises contact with them, but also ensures that they have the food that they need, the medication that they need, the toiletries that they need and the cleaning products that they need. Many are unable to head to the shops themselves – especially if it means taking public transport.

Now can be a hard time for the elderly and the pandemic could be taking its toll on their mental health. But by following the steps above, you can help to give them peace of mind and reduce their stressors.

This article was written by a freelance writer

Alzheimers: How to help a loved one after their diagnosis: Guest blog by Hannah Boothe

Alone elderly man sitting on the wheelchair and holding a walking stick

(image: H Boothe)

The onset of Alzheimer’s symptoms in a loved one can bring one of the most challenging times of your life to you, as well as the one you love. How you handle this period will set the precedence for how your relationship with each other will continue as the symptoms get worse over time. Don’t let their diagnosis mean the end of your relationship. Find ways of helping along the way so you can draw closer to each other instead.

 

Help with Early Detection

Early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s can make all the difference when it comes to how severe it gets over time. If your loved one has not yet been diagnosed, you can urge them to have detection tests performed to catch the development of Alzheimer’s early. Some tests monitor the development of certain proteins, called prions, that are directly involved with the onset of Alzheimer’s.

These are proteins found in the brain that force other proteins to fold or bend abnormally. When this happens, this equates to varying degrees of brain damage, since the brain can no longer function as it once did. The higher the number of prions in the brain, the worse the damage to the brain is.

To measure the presence of prions in the brain, one of two kinds of tests can be conducted. The first is the B-Panel test. This is for patients who don’t show any signs of developing Alzheimer’s but are at risk of developing it. Those at risk include people with a family history of Alzheimer’s and those who have had multiple head injuries, among other risk factors.

C-Panel tests are for those individuals who already exhibit the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. This is the test that provides the most accurate readings of the levels of prions present in the brain, and it’s the most trusted diagnostic tool for Alzheimer’s.

 

Educate Yourself About Alzheimer’s Symptoms

One of the best things you can do for your loved one is to learn about the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s that are not so commonly known. For instance, hiding other’s things or being suspicious of others hiding their things is a symptom most people are not aware of until it happens and causes a great deal of strain to the relationship. They may also imagine things that are not there and insist they are, no matter how much you might try to convince them otherwise.

They may become violent when frustrated as well. This frustration is caused by their realisation that they are not in control of their minds and bodies the way they once were. They need your support and companionship now more than ever.

 

Avoiding Upsetting and Unsettling Situations

People with Alzheimer’s tend to be upset very easily, and this can range from mild to extreme depending on the individual and situation. For example, loud noises from the television or radio might upset them. You want to create an atmosphere of support and comfort around them to keep them from experiencing sadness, depression, and anxiety that overwhelms them. Having a daily routine can be crucial for those with Alzheimer’s. If you live with them, you should encourage this and support it. When there is a set routine, they are less likely to feel confused and helpless.

Do and say things to let them know that you are close by and are there to support them during this time. Never argue with them or try to convince them of anything they don’t want to believe. Remember that you are no longer dealing with a rational person at all times.

Remember this in your daily interactions with them. Only ask them one question at a time, and wait until they answer successfully before saying anything else. Don’t be afraid to use humor if you think they will respond positively. You can also use music, singing and dancing to improve their mood or distract them from themselves.

Above all, try not to let your anger or frustration show. The closer you were to them before the onset of Alzheimer’s, the more upsetting this will be to them. Instead of getting frustrated, walk away from them for a while and take some deep breaths before engaging again. Never forget that you might need this kind of help and companionship yourself one day.

 

This post is by freelance writer Hannah Boothe.