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.

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.

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.

Image by Matthias Zomer via Pexels

 

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. 

Image by Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels

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.

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

How to Minimise Stress for the Elderly moving into Senior living facilities: by Johny Kershaws

A move into an assisted living facility or institution is very challenging. While family members and involved individuals would feel the challenge and difficulty, as well, keep in mind that the seniors would feel the same but, in a much more intensified way.

They may feel excited about moving into the new chapter of their lives. Some would even feel happier than ever before. However, anxiety and grief will still reportedly be part of the process. And stress can be very apparent during these times. Some people prefer to have carers in their own homes and this is a possibility if assisted living is too difficult – accordingly, you can learn more about some of these different options on the Care For Family website here: https://careforfamily.com.au/

But, even so, you, as an involved family member, may help minimize these “stresses” amid the transitioning. Here are some ways that you may want to check:

·         Empower

One of the best ways to reduce and minimize the stress of the seniors amid the transition is to empower them. There are actually several ways that you can do to make them feel empowered. But, among all, involving them in all of the processes is the best.

Whether it is a simple or a huge matter in your family circle, always make sure to include them in the discussions. The truth is, letting them know that their views and opinions are still valued, even though they are already living in an assisted living facility, will help empower them.

·         Respect Them

Moving into a senior care facility or even in an assisted living for seniors with pets will certainly involve a few stresses from here and there. This is very much apparent amid the downsizing processes as most seniors would not want to throw any of their valuables away.

If certain issues or disagreements arise in the middle of it, try to understand where they are coming from. As much as possible, respect their decisions, especially when the matter involved their belongings and valuables.

·          Continuity

Continuity is another great way to minimize the stress and anxiety that seniors might feel during the transition. One great example of this is the family’s agreement to allowing certain things in their old home to be moved or carried into the facility, which will serve as their new home.

For seniors, stress can be much less when they see something familiar around them. If applicable, try to bring things that will make them feel that the continuity is still there despite their move to the facility.

·         Keep the Familiar

There are cases that family members would feel the need to buy new things, like furniture and accessories for seniors upon their move. If so, try not to do it, especially just right after the relocation to the assisted living facility.

This might only cause further stress and isolation to the senior since moving altogether is already an event that may likely cause the feeling of being alone and isolated from loved ones.

·         Prepare

As always, failure to prepare will always result in unwanted instances and events. Accordingly, more stress will certainly rise in the middle of the transitioning. This is why making preparations days or even weeks prior is a huge must.

When seniors are already scheduled to move, say in an assisted living for religious seniors, help them make all the preparations before the actual day of the move. You may help with the packing of their things or do an outline of the schedule for smoother movements going to the facility.

Whatever you choose to do, just ensure that it will make things much easier on your and your loved ones’ part.

·         Stay Involved

When seniors move to an assisted living facility, there is a huge possibility of feeling overwhelmed, isolated, and vulnerable. This is why it is very important for family members to stay involved in almost all aspects of the transition.

This guest article was written by writer Johny Kershaws.

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.