Learn tips to improve life with Parkinson’s.
For those living with Parkinson’s disease, many challenges present throughout the day. The symptoms of Parkinson’s (tremors, stiffness, balance problems and slow movement) tend to worsen over time, making all activities of daily living more difficult. Ongoing evaluations performed by your loved one’s physician, nurses and occupational and physical therapists are necessary in order to maximize independence and improve safety.
The Scottsdale home care team at Nightingale Homecare offers tips and information on assistive devices below that may lessen the frustrations and safety issues that often accompany this disease.
Unsteadiness, poor balance and shuffling gait are hallmarks of Parkinson’s disease and produce many challenges with walking safely. In the early stages of Parkinson’s, a straight cane is often helpful. These often work better than a quad cane or tripod cane for those with Parkinson’s. Proper fit is essential as the height of the cane will need to support proper posture. Once your loved one has progressed to a walker, four-wheeled walkers offer more stability than walkers that need to be lifted. In late-stage Parkinson’s, a wheelchair or electric scooter may be necessary.
Probably one of the more frustrating and isolating activities those with Parkinson’s suffer is that of eating. There are several remarkable breakthroughs to make eating easier for people with tremors. The utensils have larger, weighted handles that make gripping easier. There are also utensils that are self-stabilizing and self-leveling and designed to counteract tremors by up to 70%. Many people with Parkinson’s also find it helpful to use travel cups with the lid and straw attached as well as plates with scooped edges to avoid accidents.
A few adaptations can help remove the frustrations that someone with Parkinson’s may experience in dressing him/herself. These devices include:
- Magnetic buttons, with buttons on the outside that close with magnets on the inside.
- Zipper pulls which are attached rings to the tiny handles on zippers that make them easy to zip up and down.
- Weighted button aides with a large grip handle with a loop on the other end. You simply thread the loop through the eyelet, hook the loop around the button, then pull the button through the eyelet.
- Shoes with Velcro or elastic shoelaces are much easier to put on and off than shoes with regular shoelaces.
Your loved-one’s occupational therapist can help make specific recommendations for the bathroom, but devices that make the bathroom safer and more manageable for those with Parkinson’s disease include:
- Bars or handrails added to tubs/showers and toilet areas
- Non-skid bathmats or decals on the tub floor
- Tub chairs or benches
- Raised toilet seats
- Electric toothbrushes and razors
- Touch faucets
The fine motor skills lost with Parkinson’s can make holding a writing instrument difficult. There are many writing devices that are easier to grip. Other writing utensils are designed to improve shaky penmanship.
For more resources and specialized in-home care services for those with Parkinson’s disease, contact the Scottsdale home care team at Nightingale Homecare. We’re always on hand to make life easier, safer, and more comfortable with a full range of home health care services. Call us any time at (602) 504-1555 to learn more.
When asked, most senior adults agree that they would prefer to age in their own homes and maintain as much independence as possible. And yet, most homes are not equipped to meet the needs of an older adult, leaving many unsafe. Unsafe homes lead to accidents or falls, resulting in over 2.3 million accidents involving seniors in their homes per year! Nearly one third of the senior population falls each year, with more than 70% of those occurring in their own home.
With Nightingale Homecare as your partner for Phoenix live-in home health care or other in-home care services, your home care nurse or therapist will help identify potential hazards and make recommendations to keep you safe in your home. Therapists will also provide treatments and exercises to reduce fall risk by focusing on strengthening, balance, ambulation training with or without an assistive device, and energy conservation. Training to help keep you safe while getting ready for the day by bathing and dressing is also a priority.
Here are some general home safety tips your therapist or nurse will review with you to help ensure safety:
- Keep all your pathways clear of clutter and pets.
- Install smoke detectors.
- Keep emergency numbers within reach of your telephone.
- Keep fire extinguishers serviced and throughout your home.
- Use medications safety.
- Make sure that loose cords, such as telephone wires, are tucked under furniture and out of the way.
- Rearrange furniture to keep walkways clear.
- Remove all throw rugs or secure tightly to the floor and ensure there are no edges that could be a tripping hazard.
- Check all furniture for stability and ensure unsteady furniture is removed or repaired.
- Don’t walk over or around cords or wires.
- Avoid the use of extension cords and don’t place them over walkways.
- Lift up feet when walking and walk with proper equipment as prescribed (cane, walker, crutches, gait belt).
- Install automatic nightlights that turn on when the room is dark so that pathways are lit if you get up in the night.
- Make sure to use chemicals according to the directions on the package, and make sure that the containers are properly sealed when not in use. Drain cleaners, bleaches and strong acids can be dangerous if mixed, causing explosions or dangerous gasses.
At Nightingale Homecare, it’s our goal to help seniors achieve their desire to remain in the comfort of home through a full range of Phoenix live-in home health care or hourly care services. We’re always happy to provide a home safety assessment to make recommendations on how to reduce the risk of falls and other accidents. Additionally, our Paces Fall Prevention Program incorporates the expertise of our professional therapists, dieticians, social workers, home health aides and others to provide a well-rounded fall prevention plan that can be implemented to enhance safety even further.
Make home the safe haven it’s intended to be with a little help from your care partners at Nightingale Homecare! Contact us any time at (602) 504-1555 to learn more!
Ah, is there anything better than an organized, sparkling clean home? Where the smell of lemon permeates every room, all dust bunnies have been evicted, and every surface is polished to a shine? For older adults, it’s not always easy to take care of the heavy tasks involved with spring cleaning, and years of accumulated keepsakes, photo albums, paperwork and more can quickly become overwhelming to try to organize.
One of the greatest gifts you can share with a senior loved one is the gift of your time, and planning a spring cleaning get-together can be a wonderful way to spend quality time together; not to mention the contented feeling you’ll leave behind when his or her home is in tip top shape. These spring cleaning tips for seniors can help:
- Make it a team effort. The more, the merrier, and many hands will make the job go all the faster so you can enjoy some relaxing time together after the work’s done! Remember to include the senior in whatever tasks he or she is interested in or able to do to ensure the senior feels engaged and useful.
- Think safety. As you’re reorganizing, keep the senior’s safety at the forefront of your mind. Some ideas include:
- Clearing any clutter and removing any other potential tripping hazards from walking paths in the home
- Rearranging cabinets and drawers so that the most commonly used items are within easy reach
- Replacing any burned out or dim light bulbs
- Discarding any expired foods
- Assess the full environment. Pay attention as you’re cleaning to anything that might seem out of the ordinary according to the level of cleanliness and organization the senior has been accustomed to. Changes in the cleanliness of the home or of the senior himself/herself can be signs that it’s time to consider assistance from a professional in-home caregiver, such as those at Nightingale Homecare.
For more spring cleaning tips for seniors, and for some hands-on assistance with cleaning, organizing, or other in-home care needs, contact Nightingale Homecare. Our Arizona home health care team is on hand to help seniors remain safe and thriving at home with our personalized senior care services. Whether the need is for just a few hours each week, or around-the-clock 24-hour care, we’re here to help! Contact us at 602-504-1555 to learn more or to schedule a free in-home assessment to help improve the wellbeing of your senior loved one.
Most of us well remember the old emergency response commercial of the elderly woman who called out so plaintively, “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!” And perhaps in the back of our minds we solidified the stigma that aging and falling unavoidably go hand in hand. While it’s true that many seniors are at an increased risk of falling for a variety of reasons – frailty, medication side effects, vision loss – it’s also true that there are a number of steps that can be taken to greatly reduce that risk.
Nightingale Homecare’s Phoenix home care team urges seniors and those who care for them to be mindful of the following fall risks, and take steps to remedy them to keep seniors safe and steady on their feet:
- Weakened muscles. Perhaps the greatest likelihood of falls for seniors comes from reduced muscle strength. Strengthening and endurance exercises should be added to the senior’s daily routine, according to his or her abilities and physician approval.
- Compromised balance. Poor balance can result from a number of medical conditions and medication side effects, and may be exacerbated by increased inactivity. Simple balance activities (again, approved by the physician) can help older adults improve balance and reduce fall risks.
- Vision problems. Reduced vision from cataracts, glaucoma, or even just poor lighting contributes to a number of falls in seniors. Addressing vision problems with the ophthalmologist if possible and enhancing lighting in the home can help reduce fall risk.
- Inadequate safety measures. From throw rugs to clutter on the floor to a lack of handrails and grab bars in fall-prone areas like the bathroom, a lack of attention to appropriate home safety can result in tragedy. A professional home care agency, such as Nightingale Homecare, can perform a home safety inspection and recommend simple home modifications to keep seniors safe.
At Nightingale Homecare, we’re committed to helping seniors stay active while remaining safe from falls. Our fully trained Phoenix home care staff would love to meet with you and your senior loved one to provide a free in-home assessment and to offer assistance on enhancing quality of life and independence while maintaining optimum safety.
We provide a fully encompassing range of in-home care for seniors through our team of professional nurses, medical social workers, dieticians, occupational/physical/speech therapists, and home health aides – ensuring that the individual needs of each senior client are covered both for today and as needs change in the future. And, our Paces Fall Prevention Program places a concerted focus on further reducing fall risk in seniors.
We welcome you to contact us at 602-504-1555 any time to learn more about how we can partner with you to make sure the beloved seniors in your life are safe, happy, and thriving!
As the holidays move into full swing, it is a time of year when people call on each other more. Families gather together for holiday celebrations, neighbors stop by each other’s homes to bring good tidings, and everyone tends to reach out more than during other seasons.
However, because people are reaching out more, it’s also very common during the holiday season for visitors to discover that some things are not as they should be with the seniors they are calling on. It may be as simple as some additional (but harmless) forgetfulness, or it could be something more alarming and potentially dangerous, such as the stove being left on.
But, what if, while visiting with a senior you know, suspicions are raised about his or her ability to continue to live independently in a safe environment? It’s crucial to know how to find a quality care provider in your area. The home care agency you recommend or select should have staff that are employed, as well as fully screened and background checked. This helps to ensure safety and prevent seniors from encountering any dangers that can arise from poor quality care.
One way to determine the overall quality of a home care agency is to look for the HomeCare Elite top agency designation. Nightingale Homecare is pleased to announce being named a HomeCare Elite top agency for 2015. This designation is only awarded to the top 25% of all Medicare-certified home care agencies, and is judged based on quality outcomes, best practices, patient experience, and other important criteria.
As a HomeCare Elite agency, we at Nightingale strive to be a resource for our community, helping people better understand common aging and caregiving issues and find the tools they need to navigate the aging care journey. In that spirit, if you notice any of these telltale signs that home care may be worth considering for a senior you visit during this holiday season, it may be time to begin the process of investigating top quality home care options:
- Are clothes dirty or disheveled?
- Are basic grooming tasks, such as bathing and brushing teeth, being neglected?
- Is the state of the home more cluttered than on previous visits?
- Is the lawn maintained properly, or has it become overgrown?
- Has the quality of housework declined?
- Have you noticed scorch marks on pots and pans that could indicate that food cooking on the stove was forgotten?
- Overall health:
- Has the older adult experienced weight loss, which might indicate malnutrition or a more serious concern?
- Does his or her balance seem less stable?
- Does he or she seem to have a marked decrease in energy?
To learn more about the services offered by Nightingale Homecare, or schedule a free in-home assessment for an older adult you know and love, contact us by calling 602-504-1555. Nightingale Homecare offers the top quality Phoenix home care services you can trust.