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

Preparing for Alzheimer's Care

When a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, one of the most important first steps you should take is coming up with a care plan. Because Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, the care your loved one needs will change over time and will likely include the need for specialized home care. Many families find it helpful to prepare for these decisions before they become necessary instead of making choices under stress. Here are some tips for coming up with an Alzheimer’s care plan.

Involve Everyone

Caring for an Alzheimer’s patient requires considerable support, so involve everyone who may be called on for help in the planning. This may mean discussing with family members how much help they are willing and able to provide, both in terms of time and financial assistance. Decide how you will handle day-to-day caring duties and who will be in charge of being the family spokesperson with caregivers and doctors. Oftentimes, people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s can be active participants in these decisions, so involve your loved one in planning as much as possible.

Learn about the Disease

Although it is difficult to predict how quickly a person with Alzheimer’s disease will progress, the disease does occur in stages, and it can help your planning if you understand what is likely at each point. For instance, by understanding how the disease progresses, you can decide when you may need to increase specialized home care services.

Plan for Around-the-Clock Care

Eventually, people with Alzheimer’s disease require constant care. Decide if your family will handle this responsibility with the help of in-home care aides or if you will need to move your loved one to a care facility in the final stages. Also, plan for respite care so that family members have an opportunity to get a break from caregiving.

Home Helpers in Philadelphia is experienced with Alzheimer’s care and can help you make a plan that works for your family, which may include our Flexi-Rest program for respite care and our Care Check system so you can always feel confident that your loved one is getting the best possible attention. For help starting your care plan, call us today at (215) 334-2600.

Why Companionship Counts for Seniors

For seniors, health risks aren’t just about high blood pressure and cholesterol. One of the most significant factors in overall wellbeing is companionship. Loneliness can lead to a long list of physical and mental health issues and is even tied to earlier death. For seniors, companionship is a crucial part of staying healthy, which is why in-home elderly care is so important for the elderly and their families.

Seniors who have companionship report greater satisfaction with life, including feelings of happiness, increased independence, and a sense of worthiness. When seniors have regular companionship, they may also get better healthcare, because friends and family can notice and respond to physical symptoms and changes in behavior. Depression is a serious health risk in the elderly, but companionship helps to keep it at bay.

Home Helpers’ care providers in Philadelphia can offer companionship to your senior loved one even when you can’t be around with our Friendly Visit program and Direct Link Home Emergency Monitoring. To find out how we can help your loved one stay connected, please call (215) 334-2600.

What Are Shingles?

Shingles can affect anyone who has had chickenpox in the past. The virus that causes chickenpox remains dormant in your body after an infection and can become reactivated by stress or re-exposure to chickenpox. If shingles develops in you or an elderly loved one, a home care aide can assist with personal care during the infection.

Watch this video to learn more about how shingles affects the body. An outbreak appears as a painful skin rash with blistering sores. Although it usually goes away on its own, people with lowered immunity and those whose faces are affected by the rash should see a doctor for care.

The in-home caregivers at Home Helpers can offer medication reminders and companionship as your senior loved one copes with health challenges. Find out more about our care programs in Philadelphia, including the Total Care plan and Friendly Visit program, by calling (215) 334-2600.

Join Us On October 11th for the Ruby Run!

Home Helpers will host the 5th annual Home Helpers Ruby 5k Run & family walk on Sunday, October 11 at 9:00 am in Rose Tree Park, Delaware County. The Ruby Run raises funds in memory of John Squires and Adam Brown (former owners of Home Helpers franchises). All proceeds will be donated to local organizations for families suffering from cancer.

Participants can register as a donor, or as a runner at https://runsignup.com/Race/PA/Media/RubyRun5K. Day of the event registrations opens at 8:00 am. Awards will include top 3 male and female categories and top 3 children under 18. Raffle items are also available.

For more information, contact Karen Krissinger at kkrissinger@gmail.com.

What to Expect If Your Loved One Has Alzheimer's Disease

When a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, it is not always easy to know what comes next. By understanding how the disease progresses and what to expect at each stage, you can make important decisions about specialized home care now, before the need arises. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, so your loved one’s needs for personal care will increase over time. The speed with which symptoms progress varies from person to person, but most people with Alzheimer’s go through these stages.

Subtle Changes

In the very early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, no changes may be apparent at all. Subtle changes may begin to occur, but because they are mild and don’t interfere with daily activities, these changes may not be attributed to Alzheimer’s. The first signs of mild cognitive decline include forgetting something after just reading it and struggling to remember names. Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s usually occurs at this time. Your loved one may only need occasional help with personal care at this point.

Noticeable Memory Loss

At this time, Alzheimer’s symptoms become more pronounced. Your loved one may have difficulty with basic daily activities, such as cooking and cleaning, and will need home care. He or she may also struggle to remember personal information and be unable to determine what is appropriate to wear for the season. It will become more important for your loved one to have constant supervision so that he or she feels comfortable and is safe.

Pronounced Cognitive Changes

The final stages of Alzheimer’s are marked by significant cognitive decline, including delusions. Your loved one may no longer be able to eat or use the bathroom without assistance. He or she will eventually need assistance sitting up and walking and will only be able to eat soft foods. Around-the-clock care is required at this point in the disease.

Home Helpers is here to assist you in making important decisions about Alzheimer’s care for your loved one. We offer a variety of specialized home care programs in Philadelphia to meet your loved ones needs, including our Total Care program and the Flexi-Rest program that allows family caregivers to get a break. For additional information, please call (215) 334-2600.

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