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Posts Tagged “caregiving”

Protect Seniors from Depression After A Heart Attack

Post-Heart Attack Depression

Post-heart attack depression can be better managed with these tips.

Surviving a heart attack is cause for celebration – yet rather than joy, many seniors experience a surprising but common condition: depression after a heart attack. And by the same token, those with depression are more prone to having a heart attack later in life than those without mental health concerns.

Nightingale Homecare, the leading senior caregivers in Phoenix and surrounding areas, is here to help older adults and those who care for them understand what to watch for and what steps can be taken to alleviate depression following a heart attack or other significant health scare.

A senior may be clinically depressed if the following red flags are noted:

  • Problems with falling or staying asleep
  • Feeling restless, apathetic, sad, hopeless, and/or worthless
  • Fatigue or lethargy
  • Lack of concentration

If a senior you love is exhibiting signs such as these, try the following:

  1. See the doctor. First and foremost, check in with the senior’s primary care physician for a depression assessment and recommended treatment. The earlier depression is diagnosed and treated, the better.
  2. Look into cardiac rehab services. Depression after a heart attack can be helped through learning and implementing lifestyle changes such as eating healthier and exercising properly. Cardiac rehabilitation is often conducted in a group setting, allowing for social interaction with others who can empathize and understand what the senior is going through and provide necessary support.
  3. Ensure medication adherence. Not taking heart medications as directed can lead to depression – and someone who is depressed may not be motivated to take his or her meds, leading to a vicious cycle. Nightingale Homecare can help with medication reminders and management; contact us to learn more.
  4. Talk with a counselor. Professional counseling can be extremely beneficial for a depressed senior, providing the opportunity to work through the varied feelings that accompany surviving a traumatic event like a heart attack.
  5. Incorporate mind/body relaxation. Studies have shown that depression can be eased through the mindfulness, deep breathing, exercise and clearing of the mind through activities such as yoga, tai chi, meditation/prayer, and deep breathing exercises.
  6. Stay social. The pandemic has made it challenging to maintain social connections, but isolation can have a tremendously negative impact on our mental health. If in-person get-togethers with friends and family aren’t possible, using technology such as Zoom and Skype to stay in touch can make a world of difference in a depressed person’s outlook.
  7. Explore antidepressant options. Antidepressants may be a temporary option to ease symptoms. Ask the doctor for a recommendation, and carefully consider the pros and cons (i.e., any potential negative side effects). It’s important to keep in mind that antidepressants typically take several weeks before their full impact is realized.

Let Nightingale Homecare’s compassionate and skilled in-home care in Paradise Valley, AZ and the surrounding areas provide the assistance a senior with post-heart attack depression needs. We offer friendly companionship, planning and preparation of heart-healthy meals, motivation to stay physically active, help with ensuring medications are taken properly, and many other services, according to each person’s particular needs.

Call us today at (602) 505-1555 to get started on a brighter tomorrow for a senior you love!

Top New Year’s Resolutions for Family Caregivers

Top New Year's Resolutions for Family CaregiversIf you’re a family caregiver, the following typical schedule may very well ring true:

You wake up well before the crack of dawn to accomplish a few hurried tasks of your own before your senior loved one rises. You then switch quickly into care mode: assisting with moving around, going to the bathroom, and personal care. You prepare a healthy breakfast, get morning medications together, maybe eat a quick bite yourself before storming forward into the many needs vying for your attention throughout the day. Perhaps you find a few quiet moments to yourself after getting your loved one settled into bed, before collapsing and doing it all again the next day.

Sound familiar?

We at Nightingale Homecare want you, the family caregiver, to know that you’re our hero! Your selfless devotion to caring for your loved one may feel as though it goes unnoticed, but we understand, and we salute you! We’d like to encourage you with the following resolution ideas to help reduce your stress in the coming year:

  1. Take time for self-appreciation – You may not hear “thank you” as often as it’s deserved, so remind yourself each day of the important difference you’re making in the life of your loved one.
  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for (and accept) help – Family and friends very likely want to lend a hand, but are unsure exactly what’s needed. It’s okay to tell others what you need, especially when they ask how they can help.
  1. Care for yourself as well as your loved one – Far from selfish, meeting your own needs allows you to best meet the needs of your loved one. Be sure to stay on top of your physical, emotional and spiritual health, getting yourself to regular check-ups and appointments.
  1. Practice continuous learning – Stay up to date on the latest research and suggestions related to the specific conditions of aging affecting your loved one. Over time, this will help you become better able to ask questions and notice nuances in their state of being.
  1. Stay balanced – Resolve to maintain a healthy balance between caring for your loved one and other family, work, and volunteer commitments. This is likely the hardest tip to follow, as it’s easy to feel like you’re never doing enough. Be kind to yourself. You are doing the best you can.

If even these simple resolutions seem too overwhelming to tackle, know that we’re standing beside you to help provide compassionate care for your senior loved one, allowing you much needed respite to care for and rejuvenate yourself!

Our supportive Arizona home care is uniquely individualized to each client’s needs, including as many or as few services, for as long or as little as you desire. We begin with a full assessment, provided at no charge by one of our registered nurses, to create a plan of care and to get to know your loved one’s likes and dislikes.

We then custom-match the perfect caregiver who shares similar personality traits and interests, resulting in a caregiver-senior bond that can give you the peace of mind needed to relax, take a breather, and renew your strength.

Serving all of Maricopa County, we’re the Phoenix area’s top provider of in-home senior care, with over 20 years of experience, founded, owned and operated by registered nurses. Resolve to partner with us in 2016 by calling 602-504-1555, and discover an enhanced quality of life for your senior loved one – and, for yourself!

Bridging the Distance: Tips for Caring from Afar

Caregiving ScottsdaleLiving at a distance from those we dearly love is never easy. And caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease is challenging, to say the least. Put the two together, and you’ve got a recipe for a level of stress and concern that may seem insurmountable.

Dr. Verna Benner Carson, creator of the Alzheimer’s Whisperer® program, shares the following strategies to help alleviate the feelings of helplessness that go hand in hand with trying to manage long distance care:

  • First and foremost, discuss issues of care with your family, including your loved one with Alzheimer’s, while he or she is in the early stages of the disease.
  • Engage the services of good legal counsel, preferably an elder care attorney.
  • Look into geriatric care management in your loved one’s community, for help in accessing appropriate resources as well as locating a qualified home care agency. Certain private duty home care agencies, such as Nightingale Homecare, are licensed by the state Health Department of Health Services, and managed by registered nurses with access to immeasurable qualified resources to support your loved one at home. The Aging Life Care Association is another resource to help you get started.
  • Keep a list of helpful community-based support providers, such as:
    • Aging services
    • Meal delivery options, such as Meals on Wheels
    • Durable medical equipment suppliers
    • Emergency alert providers
  • If your loved one is a member of a faith-based community, tap into that resource for possible assistance with transportation, meals, errands, and companionship.
  • Stay in contact as often as possible with your loved one:
    • Checking in with brief phone conversations can go a long way in providing peace of mind to a long-distance family caregiver, even when the disease progresses to the point that the person with Alzheimer’s may no longer recognize your voice.
    • Receiving letters and pictures (clearly marked with names, places, and event details) is always a welcome bright spot in the life of someone with Alzheimer’s.
    • Easy to use computers with Skype and other communications access are an option for some elders, and can provide instant contact with your loved one.

If your loved one with Alzheimer’s disease lives in the areas of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, or Maricopa County, AZ, we would love the opportunity to partner with you in providing safe, compassionate, and specialized Alzheimer’s home care. As the only agency in the area certified as Alzheimer’s Whisperers, our staff have been fully trained through Dr. Verna Benner-Carson’s unique approach to managing even the most difficult challenges of dementia, including wandering, repetition, bathing and dressing issues, uncooperative behaviors, sundowning, eating and swallowing difficulties, and much more. Call us any time at 602-504-1555, or complete our simple online contact form to let us know how we can help.

Elder Care Careers Are at the Top of the Job Market

senior care phoenix azChoosing a career path is an exciting challenge, not just for young people who are just finishing school, but also for older, more established workers who want to take their careers in a different direction. Choosing a career that matches your interests and personality is important, but so is job security and making enough money to pay the bills and feed your family. That’s why many focus their job search on industries that are adding the most new jobs.

The healthcare industry has, for years, been at the top of the job market. Now, with millions of baby boomers, the largest demographic group in the United States, heading into retirement, jobs in one specific branch of healthcare have skyrocketed.

As life expectancy continues to rise in the U.S., so will the need for specialized medical care for our older citizens. According to the Eldercare Workforce Alliance, “In 1900, people aged 65 and older composed just over 4 percent of the U.S. population. By 2050, they will make up more than 20 percent.” The longer a person lives, the more likely he or she is to require care for chronic health conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease. These conditions often require more than just doctor visits. Many individuals with chronic disease need help with daily tasks like bathing, dressing and housework. That’s why elder care careers have become a top job in the U.S. in recent years.

Additionally, the majority of seniors in America wish to age in place in the comfort of home, and many have found home care to be more cost-effective than moving into a nursing home or assisted living facility. Due to the recent rise in demand for in-home care services, many home care agencies are struggling to find enough caregivers and nurses to meet their clients’ medical and non-medical home care needs.

Is Caregiving Right for You?

If you are a loving, compassionate person who is looking for a secure career with a flexible schedule in a rapidly growing industry, caregiving could be the fit for you.

At Nightingale Homecare, we pride ourselves on providing excellent care, both for our clients and our employees. We believe that by supporting each individual’s talents, we all succeed. If you are interested in a healthcare career where you are valued and appreciated, we encourage you to apply for a job with the Nightingale Homecare team!

We are continually recruiting for caregivers and private nurses in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Paradise Valley to join our eldercare team. To learn more about our Phoenix home care services or our employment opportunities, contact us today!

Posted in Caregiving on March 11th, 2015 · Comments Off on Elder Care Careers Are at the Top of the Job Market