Home Helpers is a premier provider of quality non-medical and personal in-home care to the Philadelphia area.

Exploring the Link Between Dementia and Falls

Falls can happen to anyone, but people over 65 are especially prone. To make matters worse, people in this age group are more vulnerable to injuries that occur during falls, such as broken hips, that can leave them in need of home care and can even be potentially life-threatening. For people over 65 with dementia, the fall risk creeps up even higher. Fortunately, by understanding the risk, you can reduce the risk of falling for yourself or a senior loved one. Here is what you need to know about how dementia can cause falls and what can be done to reduce the risk.

Dementia and Falls

Dementia can increase the risk of falling in a few different ways. First, the dementia itself can impact a person’s ability to maintain balance and navigate areas safely. Often, medications that may be used to treat dementia can also influence the risk of falls. People with dementia are often vulnerable to other neurological conditions that can lead to shuffling gaits, muscles weakness, and other factors that can make falls more likely. Likewise, seniors with dementia frequently have other health conditions, such as arthritis and poor eyesight, which can in turn contribute to falls.

Reducing the Risk

If your senior loved one is experiencing frequent falls that you believe could be associated with dementia, talk to his or her doctor about your concerns. In some cases, simply changing medications or making changes to treatment plans for other chronic conditions can resolve the risk. Simple changes around the house can also be useful. For instance, adding night lights, removing obstacles in walking areas, and having your loved one wear slip-resistant shoes can all make a difference.

Make a plan for preventing falls with your home care aide from Home Helpers. We offer specialized home care in Philadelphia that can be adapted to meet your family’s needs, from Direct Link Home Emergency Monitoring to the Friendly Visit Program to help seniors maintain their independence. To find out how we can help you, please call (215) 334-2600.

Easy Ways to Communicate with a Loved One with Alzheimer's

If a senior loved one in your life is facing Alzheimer’s disease, communicating may seem intimidating However, the cognitive changes that are associated with Alzheimer’s do not have to prevent you from sustaining a bond with your loved one. As you make plans for meeting your loved one’s needs with home care and other resources, keep these tips for communication in mind to continue to maintain a positive relationship.

Talk Face-to-Face

When speaking to someone with Alzheimer’s disease, try to look directly into his or her face and maintain eye contact while you are speaking. Keep your eyes friendly and your expression open and relaxed. By looking your loved one directly in the eyes, you let him or her know that you are giving your full attention and want to be engaged in a conversation together. Don’t allow frustration to appear on your face, even if you have to repeat the same information several times. Cues of annoyance or anger can be unnerving to someone with Alzheimer’s.

Minimize Distractions

Distractions can make conversations difficult for a person living with dementia like Alzheimer’s. Turn off the television and radio and look for a quiet place to spend time together. Typically, it is better to have conversations one-on-one instead of in groups, which can be confusing. Outside distractions can make conversation difficult to follow for someone with cognitive impairments.

Stay Patient

It may be tempting to finish your loved one’s sentences or argue with him or her about points that are blatantly incorrect. This kind of frustration will only make future communication more difficult. If your loved one is struggling to complete sentences, ask leading questions that may help him or her remember. Above all else, continue talking to your loved one even if he or she can’t really speak back. Even if your loved one is completely nonverbal, your communication indicates your love and support.

The home care aides at Home Helpers understand the importance of communication with patients with all forms of dementia, and the specialized home care in Philadelphia we offer is focused on your loved one’s comfort. For more information about our Care Check System, Total Care Plan, and more, call (215) 334-2600.

Understanding Sundowning

Specialized home care providers can offer essential assistance for Alzheimer’s patients who suffer from sundowning. Sundowning can lead to serious confusion and agitation in the afternoon and evening.

If your loved one has Alzheimer’s, you can greatly benefit from disabilities care and home care. Professional disabilities care providers have years of experience assisting individuals with dementia symptoms and can ensure that your loved one feels safe and comfortable at all times. Sundowning can be very disruptive and upsetting, both for an Alzheimer’s sufferer and for his or her loved ones. Sundowning can bring major changes in how your loved one acts, making them feel irritable, suspicious, agitated, restless, and extremely disoriented. A total care plan is designed to soothe Alzheimer’s patients and help alleviate mood swings. A care check system during the afternoons can offer invaluable assistance, as some Alzheimer’s patients will become angry and even begin yelling or screaming.

If you live in the Philadelphia area and have a loved one who suffers from Alzheimer’s, contact Home Helpers by calling (215) 334-2600. We offer comprehensive disabilities care in Downingtown for individuals who suffer from Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Treating Depression in Elderly Patients

Home care can take many forms, including providing extra support to seniors who suffer from depression. Watch this video to learn more about how depression is treated in elderly patients.

Experts often advise home care providers to be especially vigilant for signs of depression in seniors. Depression affects up to 40% of seniors. Programs like a total care plan provide comprehensive medical care and support for seniors, while friendly visit programs can offer invaluable opportunities for social interaction.

Whether your loved one needs comprehensive home care in Drexel Hill or you simply want to learn more about our friendly visit programs, contact Home Helpers of Philadelphia at (215) 334-2600 today.

Raising Awareness About Medication Side Effect Risks for Seniors

Administering medication properly is one of the most important aspects of senior personal care. As you age, you are significantly more likely to be on one or even several different types of prescription medications. These medications are often essential to helping manage serious health conditions, from heart disease to diabetes or Alzheimer’s. However, some medications can have unexpected and even dangerous side effects. Read on to learn how diabetes medications, anti-anxiety drugs, pain relievers, and hormone supplements could harm seniors.

Diabetes Medications

As diabetes care providers know, some medications that treat diabetes also come with some serious side effects. Diabetes is a condition where patients suffer from rapid spikes and drops in their blood sugar. While medications including glyburide and chlorpropamide can be effective in younger patients, they sometimes cause severe low blood sugar in seniors.

Anti-Anxiety Drugs

A total care plan helps seniors who suffer from anxiety or depression. However, caretakers should be wary of Valium, Xanax, and prescription sleeping pills like Ambien. In elderly adults, these drugs can cause confusion, increase the risk of falls, and cause extended periods of grogginess.

Pain Relievers

A care check system should also take careful note of opioid pain relievers that a senior might be taking. Medications like Demerol and Talwin are narcotic analgesics. These powerful painkillers have caused confusion, falls, seizures, and hallucinations in some seniors, which is why it’s important to learn about potential side effects.

Hormone Supplements

Estrogen pills and patches are frequently prescribed to alleviate symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes. However, estrogen has also been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer and dementia. Make sure to check with your senior loved one’s physician if she plans to take these supplements.

Home Helpers is proud to offer comprehensive senior personal care and in-home elderly care throughout Philadelphia. For superior and compassionate in-home medical or non-medical care, look no further than our experienced providers. Call us at (215) 334-2600 to learn more.

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