Caring for a loved one can be overwhelming! Allow the experts at Nightingale Homecare to help.

Posts Tagged “Homecare Agency”

Phoenix Senior Care Experts Share the Best Assistive Devices to Ease Life at Home

Assistive Devices

Assistive devices help seniors enhance quality of life at home.

As we age, physical and self-care abilities may gradually decline, often making simple tasks and activities challenging. Tasks such as getting out of a chair, walking across the room, or buttoning a shirt can be difficult. There are a wide range of assistive devices that can make these tasks easier, while providing the added benefit of increasing independence and improving confidence, mobility and safety.

Assistive devices are specifically designed to aid people who have difficulty performing activities of daily living, including mobility, dressing, feeding, toileting, bathing and grooming. Our experts in home care in Phoenix, AZ have compiled a list of recommended assistive devices that can help the seniors you love enjoy a higher quality of life in the comfort of home.

Walker: Walkers are used by individuals who can bear weight but need support on both sides. The walker top frame should be even with the person’s hips. The walker should be directly in front of the individual, as he or she places both hands on the handgrips, stands erect, and slightly flexes the elbows, walking normally and looking ahead.

Walking Cane: Canes are used by a person who needs assistance with balance, but is able to walk without much difficulty. The top of the cane should be even with the person’s hip bone, and held with the hand opposite the weak leg, standing erect with elbows slightly flexed. A caregiver should be positioned on the person’s weaker side.

Wheelchair or Electric Buggy: For people whose symptoms greatly limit or eliminate walking for any distance, a wheelchair or electric buggy can provide quality of life, allowing the person to go out to do some shopping, go to appointments or visit friends and family.

Wheelchair Ramp: A wheelchair ramp makes it easy to get into and out of the home, either on a wheelchair or while walking to limit negotiating stairs.

Stair Lift: Stairways in the home can present a risk for people who are vulnerable to slips and falls. Not only are stairs difficult to maneuver for people with restricted mobility, but the severity of an injury suffered is much greater than one that would result from a fall on a level surface. Stair lifts offer a means of getting safely up and down stairs independently.

Grab Bars: Grab bars are invaluable in helping seniors maintain balance, and should be placed in hallways, near the person’s bedside, along stairwells, in bathrooms, etc. Grab bars are relatively straightforward to fit and can be made reasonably unobtrusive, but they can make a major difference in a senior’s ability to get around the home. 

Raised Toilet Seat: A raised toilet seat will make it easier to sit down, get up, and maintain balance while using the toilet.

Commode: A commode placed next to the senior’s bed or chair will limit the distance from bed or chair to the toilet and reduce the possibility of a fall. 

Shower Bench or Board: A shower bench or board will allow the person to sit while showering and avoid falling in the shower. Consider a hand-held shower head, too.

Shower Caddy: A shower caddy, placed at an appropriate height, will reduce the risk of accidents in the shower as a person reaches to get shampoo and soaps.

Long-Handled Sponge: A long-handled sponge in the shower enables a person to reach difficult places, helping to maintain balance and prevent injury.

Walk-in Shower: If a person’s mobility is limited, a conventional bath or shower presents a major challenge along with the risk of serious injury from any resulting fall. Installing a walk-in shower in the existing bathroom is a wonderful option that will improve safety.

Hip Protectors: Hip protectors are padded accessories which can be worn as a belt or incorporated into underwear. The idea is to protect or the person’s hip bones from some of the impact of a fall. 

Reaching Aids: There are a range of assistive devices on the market which help a person who is unsteady on his or her feet to reach for an item safely, without stretching or over-balancing.

Nightlights: Place nightlights in bathrooms, bedrooms and dark hallways to prevent falls.

Seat Lift: If your loved one struggles with standing up from a chair, a seat lift will eliminate that struggle and will reduce the risk of a fall. A seat lift raises the person from a sitting position, gradually and steadily, up to a standing position

Video Doorbell: A video doorbell allows the senior to see and communicate with people at the door before getting up.

Fall Detector: A fall detector is essential to have access to immediate assistance in the event of a fall.

Power Failure Alarm: This type of alarm will alert the senior when power is lost and provide emergency lighting.

Automatic Swing Door Opener: This type of door opener is extremely helpful, enabling the individual to open doors hands-free.

Voice-Activated Lights: These lights can be turned on and off without getting up.

Mattress Lift:  A mattress lift helps seniors get in and out of bed with ease.

Sound Amplifier: For those with hearing difficulties, a sound amplifier will help the person to hear conversations or the television.

Dressing Stick: This device helps eliminate reaching and bending, which can cause falls, while allowing increased independence in dressing.

Stocking Aid, Long-Handle Shoehorn, Zipper Pulls and Button Hooks: These are wonderful for people with impaired limb function, allowing for maximum independence in dressing.

Contact the professionals in home care in Phoenix, AZ at Nightingale Homecare for help with obtaining these or other assistive devices, and for in-home care services to enhance safety, socialization, comfort, and engagement in life for a senior you love!

Fostering Freedom: How to Help Seniors Stay Independent Throughout Aging

Sun City home health care

Discover how to help seniors stay independent and safe.

It’s a common struggle among family caregivers: deciding when to step in and help, and when to step back and allow an older loved one to accomplish as much as possible independently. It requires a delicate balancing act. On the one hand, we need to ensure safety is never compromised; yet on the other hand, we never want to do anything to damage a senior’s self-worth and self-esteem.

So the question becomes, how can we help seniors stay independent, while ensuring safety? The Sun City home health care experts at Nightingale Homecare have several key recommendations:

  1. Remember: You’re a team! Changing the mindset from working for a senior to working with a senior can make a world of difference in your approach. Talk with the older adult in an open and honest way about the challenges and concerns he or she is facing, and how you can best provide needed support. Naturally, these needs will change over time; and when cognitive issues come into play, communication strategies will need to be modified as well. But we all appreciate being asked for our input, and to know that value is placed on our feelings.
  2. Allow time before jumping in to help seniors. It may seem more efficient to take care of tasks yourself, but doing so may be at the expense of your loved one’s self-image. Instead, factor in plenty of extra time for tasks, allowing the senior ample opportunities to tackle them independently whenever possible.
  3. Focus on the senior’s strengths. If certain tasks prove to be too challenging for your loved one, shift the focus to those he or she is able to manage more easily. For instance, if preparing an entire meal is too difficult, ask the senior to manage creating her special dessert recipe while you work on the main course.
  4. Remind the senior that helpful workarounds are a positive. A senior may balk at the idea of using a walker or wheelchair initially, or in having grab bars installed in the bathroom. And many times older adults are resistant to the idea of needing someone to help with everyday activities that they’ve been managing their entire lives. Providing a reminder that assistance and home modifications are empowering, allowing the senior to accomplish more independently and to remain in the comfort of home throughout aging, can be beneficial.

At Nightingale Homecare, it’s our mission to deliver the highest quality in-home care help for seniors with the respect and dignity that allow for maximum independence and autonomy at all times. Never coming in and taking over, we work together with seniors and their families to develop a plan of care that addresses all needs – including those for personal freedom. Contact our Sun City home health care team at (602) 504-1555 to request a free in-home consultation and discover how we can improve life for a senior you love.

Tips on Staying Social as You Age

StaySocialFor many adults, socialization is part and parcel of everyday life, as days are filled to overflowing with work, volunteering, shuttling kids to various activities, family responsibilities and obligations; and carving out a little time alone can be challenging. As responsibilities naturally begin to lessen through the aging process, however, the socialization pendulum tends to swing the other direction, and loneliness from social isolation can start to creep in.

Since staying social as we age includes such powerful benefits as a 70% lower instance of cognitive decline, we encourage you to try some of these tips with your senior loved ones:

  • Tap into social media. With more and more seniors learning to navigate the Internet, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Skype are a wonderful, fun way to stay connected with family and friends, even from a distance or while homebound.
  • Play well with others. Board games, card games, puzzles, and even video games that are played against others provide the additional benefit of stimulating the brain while allowing for social engagement and enjoyment.
  • Join the crowd. There’s a whole world of opportunity for seniors to participate in clubs based on specific hobbies: garden clubs, book clubs, art clubs, etc., offering the opportunity to make new friends with similar interests and share knowledge.
  •  Get busy. Retiring from a lifelong career doesn’t mean that seniors have nothing more to offer to society. The years following retirement can be the perfect time to explore part-time employment in a particular field of interest, or a chance to volunteer and make a real difference in the lives of those in the community.
  • Nurture family relationships. Offering to babysit for family or friends is a win-win-win situation – for the senior, the children, and their parents.
  • Get to church. Some studies show that people become more spiritual as they age. Attending a regular worship service helps support spirituality as well as provides opportunities for ongoing social engagement and activity.

At Nightingale Homecare, it’s our goal to keep the seniors in our care socially engaged and free from the constraints of loneliness. Our Phoenix home care services are customized to the needs of each individual person – never a one-size-fits-all approach – but always include a friendly, fully trained and experienced caregiver to offer the companionship so many seniors find lacking. Additionally, we assist as needed with:

  • Meal planning, preparation and clean-up
  • Transportation and accompaniment to appointments, to run errands, or recreational activities
  • Light housekeeping and laundry
  • Taking care of pets
  • A full range of skilled medical care services, such as medication monitoring, infusion services, wound care, chronic disease management training, and much more

To schedule a free in-home assessment or to learn more about how our in-home care services can add a new dimension of socialization and wellness to your senior loved ones’ lives, contact us online or call us at 602-504-1555.

Posted in Aging Issues, Blog on July 1st, 2015 · Comments Off on Tips on Staying Social as You Age

Making Personal Care Tasks More Comfortable for Family Caregivers

As a homecare agency professional, you have likely worked past the awkwardness that can accompany assisting the elderly in their personal care. But for a senior’s family members, personal care tasks can be harder to take on. In this post, our homecare professionals list some suggestions you can recommend to family caregivers.

Change Their Viewpoint

Suggest to family members that they think of these tasks as medical necessities. For example, instead of a son providing a tube feeding for his father, he’s providing nourishment to help him heal.

Maximize Their Usefulness

As a homecare agency worker, you can encourage family members to have the senior – if they are able—perform the parts of a task that are most difficult emotionally for both parties, such as washing private areas.

Utilize Distraction

Just as when a small child has to get a shot, a parent may sing or talk to them to keep their mind off the task at hand; the same premise can be applied to personal care tasks. Carrying on a conversation with a senior or reminiscing about past memories, can work to get the task done quickly and efficiently with little embarrassment.

Convenience is Their Friend

Try using bath wipes and dry shampoo in between full baths and wet wipes for toileting needs.

Routine is Key

Suggesting families implement a regimen for a senior’s personal care tasks, especially for those patients who suffer from dementia, is crucial.  A regular routine creates a sense of stability for the senior and their families.  Prompt family members to perform hygiene tasks when a senior is most alert.

Ask for Help

Remind family members there is no shame in asking for help, especially if it prevents caretaker burn-out.

At Nightingale Homecare, one of Arizona’s top rated home health agencies, we know what it means to be a caregiver, working to keep a loved one at home where he or she can have the highest possible quality of life. Our Professional Homecare staff is happy to come out and give family members a respite break from providing care.  Call (602) 504-1555 or contact our homecare agency online to learn more about Phoenix at home care.

Posted in Blog on August 4th, 2014 · Comments Off on Making Personal Care Tasks More Comfortable for Family Caregivers

Setting Up a Long-Distance Caregiver Support System

Many adult children face the challenge of caring for aging loved ones who live far away. This type of long-distance care can be overwhelming from a logistical as well as an emotional standpoint. To keep from constantly worrying, our homecare agency suggests setting up a long-distance caregiver support system.

Meet with your loved one’s primary physician

Go with your senior to their appointment and explain to the physician that you live out of town. Ask if they would be willing to communicate with you –through a phone call or e-mail—any results or directions relating to your senior’s care. Make copies of your senior’s medications, physician contact information and medical records to bring home and keep handy.

Introduce yourself to your senior’s neighbors and friends

Make sure these individuals have your contact information in case they need to reach you in the event of an emergency. It’s a good idea to get their information as well, since they know your senior’s daily routine and can alert you if something seems amiss.

Choose a first responder

Because you live out-of-town, it’s important to designate a friend or family member who lives close by to your aging loved one, as someone who can take action in a medical crisis until you arrive.

Hire a home care agency

Caregivers often experience burnout when they neglect to use their resources and ask for help. If you have siblings, ask them to share the expense of hiring a private duty home health service to assist your senior.

Long-distance care can be challenging but having a plan in place for a strong local support system, can make things safer and more manageable for you and your aging loved one.

Looking for a place to start? Call (602) 504-1555 Nightingale, a Phoenix home health care agency or contact us online . Whether you need a private duty services, Medicare home health service, or assistance with dementia care in Scottsdale, Paradise Valley or Phoenix, our homecare agency can help.

Posted in Blog on June 2nd, 2014 · Comments Off on Setting Up a Long-Distance Caregiver Support System