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A Guide To Effective Caregiving In Houston Texas

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How To Be An Effective Caregiver Without Burning Out

Being An Effective Caregiver Also Means Caring For Yourself

There is a common misconception that people who are caregivers have to put all of their needs aside, only focusing on the person who is in their care. In a way, it is like they are expected to check their own feelings at the door, only focusing on what the other person wants or needs. This image of a caregiver requires them to sacrifice their wants and needs in order to support the person that they are caring for.

In reality, however, it is impossible to separate yourself from your emotions when you are a caregiver. As much as you try to focus on the other person, certain emotions are bound to bubble up during the process. It is important to learn more about what it is really like to care give for another person so that you can effectively deal with the feelings that you experience throughout the process.

Ask For Help If You Need It

One of the biggest mistakes that caregivers make is trying to do too much. Providing around-the-clock care for someone else can be physically and emotionally draining. In many cases, you may need to get professional help. If you are like many caregivers, the thought of hiring someone to assist with the process can feel like you are being weak or like you are giving up. In fact, however, getting support from a trained professional can make you more effective at caring for your loved one by keeping you from getting exhausted and overwhelmed.

Take Care Of Yourself

If you don’t take care of your own health and your own emotional needs, you won’t be able to effectively care for someone else. There are limits on what you can do. You need to be aware of these limits and take care not to push yourself too hard. Otherwise, you could burn out.

Emotional Responses Are Normal

it is impossible to care for another person without having your emotions come into play. Along with feelings of love and compassion, you may experience some negative emotions that catch you off guard. For instance, you may find yourself feeling frustrated or discouraged. These types of feelings are totally normal and are to be expected. You shouldn’t feel like you are a bad person or like you have done anything wrong if you find yourself experiencing emotions that could be considered negative.

Take A Break If You Need It

No one can be expected to care for another person around-the-clock without having to take a break every now and then. It is important to stop and nurture your body and your mind so that you have the physical and emotional strength to care for the other person.

Caring for someone else can be an emotional roller coaster. One way to keep everything in perspective is to remind yourself of why you decided to become a caregiver in the first place. At the same time, you should be aware of how you are feeling so that you can gauge when you need a break. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance or to take time off to recharge your batteries if you need to.

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Senior living communities in Houston can be a good resource if you need assistance caring for a loved one. They can provide professional in-home care that takes some of the burdens off of your shoulders, allowing you to stay healthy and strong so that you can support your loved one in the best possible way.

Trying to figure out the best course of action to take when it comes to caring for an elderly loved one can be challenging. Hiring a professional caregiver to provide advice and assistance can help make the process easier. Instead of being physically and emotionally overwhelmed by the day-to-day tasks associated with being a caregiver, you can stay strong so that you can provide your loved one with the emotional support that they need.

Here’s Why You Should Bring Your Parent To The Assisted Living Tour

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A Challenge For Adult Children: Do You Bring A Parent With You On An Assisted Living Tour?

As an experienced provider of senior care services, we know that navigating your way through the various options you have for senior living in Houston Texas isn’t easy. As an adult, finding a capable facility to care for your parents is a real challenge. Many people who find themselves shopping for senior communities and facilities ask us about bringing up the idea of senior living care or even bringing their parents along when they visit such places for the first time. There’s no hard and fast rule regarding whether this is a good idea or a bad idea. We can help you make the right choice for your own situation by looking at some of the pros and cons. Here’s a look at the advantages and disadvantages presented by key assisted living considerations:

Handling Physical Limitations

The Pros

Assisting Hands Houston | Assisted Living Facilities HoustonIt may be useful to bring along an aging parent if he or she is dealing with mobility issues or vision loss. You’ll get a first-hand glimpse of how easily your parent would be able to cope with the design of the facility. Some communities are better designed to accommodate physical disabilities than others. If your parent doesn’t have any problems navigating through the community, that counts as a plus in that facility’s favor. If they have trouble getting around, that’s a strong negative.

The Cons

Shepherding a parent through a tour may slow it down considerably. If you have limited time, it may be more productive to keep your visits fast and cover multiple communities in a single day. You could narrow your search down to a handful of the most likely possibilities before bringing your parent in.

Clearing Out Senior Living Stereotypes

The Pros

There are a lot of seniors whose mental images of senior living communities are seriously out of date. We find that exposing parents to more up-to-date pictures of senior living in Houston Texas helps to allay some of their concerns about their options.

The Cons

You may find community tours to be more productive if you’re not hampered by a parent who is being contrary and stubborn about the idea of moving into an assisted living community. It may be better to get a good grasp of the best potential communities and then introduce your parent to the ones which best fit his or her interests and lifestyle.

Senior Decision Making

The Pros

If your aging parent is still capable of making well-reasoned decisions on his or her own, getting them involved in the hunt for an assisted living community early will help to make them feel empowered and independent.

The Cons

On the other hand, if your loved one is already struggling with memory loss or is in any way anxious about the shift to assisted living, it’s probably better to screen their options in advance before you bring them to any facility. Parents who fear change can find an assisted living tour stressful.

Holding Onto Independence

The Pros

Seniors will obviously find it challenging to downsize and say goodbye to a home they’ve known for years or decades. It often gives rise to the feeling that they’re losing their independence. Selecting an assisted living facility without giving them plenty of input can worsen that feeling significantly. By including them in your research process and taking them along on tours, you’ll help your parents maintain a much-needed sense of control and independence.

The Cons

If a recent health issue is a trigger that’s set you looking for a senior community, your parent may not be physically capable of handling the stress of multiple tours. Sometimes the need to make a change in a senior’s living arrangements becomes time-sensitive due to rapid changes in his or her health. You may need to tour assisted living facilities on your own and pick out the one which looks to you like the best fit for your loved one. Note that you can at least keep your parent updated by bringing them photos, notes, and documentation to help them learn more about your choices. While this isn’t really ideal, it will help your loved one ease through the transition and maintain some feeling of independence.

Guidance For Houston Families

If you’re grappling with the changing care needs of an aging parent, Assisting Hands Houston can help you weigh your senior community options. We recommend that you contact us for any other questions you may have regarding the list of services we provide. We understand it may be difficult to decide whether or not senior living is the right choice for your loved ones. However, you do not have to be alone to make this decision. Call us today!

A Short Guide On Bringing Up Senior In Home Care

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Use These Seven Tips To Bring Up Senior Care Without Causing Any Hurt Feelings

Caring for an older parent is not an easy experience. Eventually, the need for senior care will arise and you will have to bring up this topic. Did you know that 69% of senior citizens need senior care but only 37% believe that they need this service? Accepting that one is getting older and needs help with daily tasks is not easy, which is why deciding it’s time for senior living or talking about senior care puts you in a challenging position.

Senior care can make a person feel like they are being discarded and remind them of their age or health problems. You know that you are taking care of your parents or older relatives because you love them and want what is best for them, but the person who needs senior care might not see things that way. Senior care can be a beneficial thing, both for you and for your older relative. This is not something you should put off if you’re taking care of someone who needs this service.

The key is to make your relative feel loved and honored. Use these seven conversation starters to bring up senior care without causing any hurt feelings.

1. Tell Them Why Senior Care Would Be Beneficial

You can’t bluntly tell your older relative that they need senior care because of a health problem. Don’t tell them that senior care would be beneficial because there are things they need help with or because assisted living benefits many other people. Instead, you should think of why your loved one would benefit from senior care. Think of things that would improve their standard of life and be interesting to them. Look into different senior living Houston TX options to get a better idea of the perks and amenities offered.

You could for instance mention activities, perks like fitness rooms or even the possibility of having a more active social life. Pay attention to how your loved one is responding. Some activities and perks might not sound interesting to them but others will sound like things that would improve their life.Assisting Hands Houston | Assisted Living in Houston TX

You need to build trust with your loved one. Find out about different facilities so you can really choose the place that will be best for them. Talk to them to find out more about the things they would be interested in and about what they would expect from an assisted living facility.

2. Honesty And Respect Go A Long Way

Talking about assisted living is difficult. Be honest about your feelings and about why you think this solution would be beneficial. Be polite, respectful and remember that your loved one is a person with feelings.

Keep in mind that your loved one might feel like a problem or a burden when you bring up assisted living. Explain that assisted living is needed because of the circumstances and not because of them.

Remember that senior care is needed in order to improve your loved one’s life. This is what you should focus on when you bring up this topic. Don’t make the conversation about you and about your needs and take the time to really listen to what your loved one has to say. Make them feel loved and respected and encourage them to tell you how they feel about senior care and what it would take for them to be happy in this setting.

3. Your Loved One’s Feelings Matter

Your loved one needs to feel that you are listening to them and that you care about their feelings. Listen to what they have to say and answer all their questions. Remember that this is a difficult topic and that their initial reaction might be to feel hurt and unwanted. You need to validate these emotions.

Moving into a senior living Houston TX facility represents a big step. Your loved one’s daily routine and habits are going to change drastically and they are probably experiencing anxiety at the idea of an uncertain future. They need to be reassured that their needs and quality of life will come first.

4. Redirect The Conversation On The Benefits

Your loved one is going to ask some questions about assisted living. You need to be honest and explain how it will be beneficial to them. Remember that this is not about you but about your relative.

If all your answers are about yourself, your circumstances and your obligations, your loved one is going to feel that they are a burden and that assisted living is a solution to a problem. Instead, you should focus on explaining how moving into a senior living Houston TX facility would improve their life.

5. Give Them Specific Reasons And Benefits

Your loved one will probably fail to see why assisted living would be beneficial if you stay vague and talk about their quality of life without mentioned specific things. Besides, being too vague might make your loved one feel that you are not being honest or that you don’t care about their needs.

Assisting Hands Houston | "The Talk" With Your Loved OneYour loved one needs to be reassured that you care about them and needs to know what to expect from assisted living. Mentioning specific activities, perks and benefits will help your loved one get a clearer idea of what their life in an assisted living Houston TX facility would be like. This will help ease their anxiety and they will begin understanding how senior care could be a good thing for them.

6. Make Them A Part Of The Process

Your loved one needs to feel involved in this process. Besides, it will easier to select the right senior care facility in the Houston area if you take the time to find out about the things that matter to them. Make them a part of the research process. Look at floor plans together and talk about different perks and amenities to see what gets them excited.

Schedule a tour of the places your loved one seems excited about. Don’t hesitate to visit several places. Ask your loved one how they feel about the place you are visiting.

7. Communicate And Build A Strong Bond

Your loved one might be worried about being more isolated from their family once they move into a senior care Houston TX facility. It is important to build a strong bond with your loved one. You need to visit them regularly and have follow-up conversations about assisted living. This is a difficult topic to bring up and your loved one might develop some hurt feelings if you have an initial conversation but don’t bring up the topic again to mention specific things that would benefit them.

Tell your loved one that they are important and loved. Remind them that their lives are important. This is what senior care is for and it is important that your loved one understands this.

For more information on the services we provide for your loved ones when looking into assisted living in Houston or elder in home care, please call us today at 281-540-7400!

Your Loved Ones Are Using These Tricks To Keep Themselves Sharp

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Keep Your Brain Sharp With These 15 Exercises

As people age, their mental faculties begin to diminish. Assisting Hands Care Services Houston recommends keeping your mind body active to stave off the effects of Alzheimer’s and other dementia disorders. Here is a list of 15 fun activities that they recommend for you to do to keep your mind sharp. You can also visit our short guide on how to keep the body

1. Create A Daily Memory List

Every day make up a list of several things to memorize, and then commit them to memory before the close of the day. Include such things as films you’ve seen, foods you love, and people you’d like to visit.

2. Complete Small Puzzles

Assisting Hands Houston | In Home Elder CareAny brain exercising activity would do, but puzzles, Sudoku, and crosswords are very good for stimulating your thoughts. They help you to develop better mental dexterity and problem-solving skills.

3. Brush Up On A Foreign Language

Learning a new language improves your vocabulary and enhances your problem-solving skills. In many foreign languages, putting a sentence together incorrectly can completely change the meaning of the sentence.

4. Use Your Opposite Hand To Perform Common Tasks

Rather than using your dominant hand to write a letter, for example, do it with your other hand. You’ll have to focus your thoughts more intently on the task at hand. In time you’ll develop the ability to do more routine tasks with your non-dominant hand.

5. Learn To Play An Instrument

Your memory, fine motor skills, and mental dexterity will all benefit from learning to play an instrument.

6. Dig Out Those Coins

Rather than paying with dollar bills, or whipping out your credit card, pay using exact change for your purchase. This forces you to do on-the-spot arithmetic, thereby sharpening your mental dexterity.

7. Have Fun With “5 Things”

This quirky improve game is not only fun, it’s a great way to improve your ability to think on your feet and to become more creative. The object is to create an arbitrary list without taking the time to think about your answer.

8. Memorize A New Recipe

Cooking a new dish from memory is not only impressive, it’s also very satisfying. Memorizing new recipes enhances your problem-solving skills and improves overall brain function.

9. Strike Up A Conversation With A Stranger Every Day

Though it may not be evident at first glance, holding your own in a conversation requires a bit of mental acuity and strategy. It’ll also help you to develop new relationships and expand your social life.

10. Turn The GPS Off

Most of us never want to return to the days before GPS, but turning yours off every so often will help you improve your memorization skills. Study a map, or even plot your route on Google Maps, then mentally navigate to your destination. It’s a great exercise for cognitive health.

11. Find A Mind Training App

The variety of amazing apps designed to exercise the mind is incredible. Search the app store for your device for one, and have fun while improving your cognitive abilities.

12. Solve A Riddle

It takes a huge amount of out-of-the-box thinking to solve most riddles, which promotes mental creativity in a fun way.

13. Examine Magic Eye Paintings

Magic eye paintings force you to focus your attention in order to find hidden abstract objects in the art.

14. Memorize And Share A Joke

Assisting Hands Houston | In Home Elderly CareSharing a new joke with someone you’ve just met is a great way to break the ice. Memorizing a new joke helps to increase your ability to retain information and to recall that same information while under pressure.

15. Physical Exercise

The two may not seem connected, but physical exercise is brain exercise too. Exercise increases your blood flow, providing more of the nutrients and oxygen that your brain needs to function at its best. People experience increased cognitive function and mental acuity following a good workout.

Try out these suggestions for a few weeks, and see how much of a difference it’ll make for your mental health. You don’t have to accept a decline in your mental faculties, you can choose to do something about it.

To learn more about how Assisting Hands Houston can help you and your loved ones, please call us today at 281-540-7400 or you may contact us here!

What Is Assisted Living? A Helpful Guide

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Assisted Living: A Quick And Helpful Guide

Assisted living is quickly becoming the most popular option for the long-term care of seniors. However, it isn’t always easy to decide if it is truly time for your loved one to receive in home care. The concept was unheard of not long ago, but the National Survey of Residential Care Facilities shares that there are well over 30,000 assisted living communities serving nearly one million seniors.

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Not to be confused with nursing homes, assisted living, sometimes called residential care offers more independence to its residence. In assisted living communities, the residents receive basic services, such as housekeeping, transportation, and meals. Other services are offered, too, that assist them in their daily living, including medication needs, dressing and bathing. Assistance may also include helping the seniors make important daily living decisions and assist with transitioning from one residential community to another.

What Is The Price Of Texas Assisted Living?

The average price of assisted living in Texas was about $3,500 each month, this price is for a private one bedroom option. Assisted living prices in San Antonio, Victoria, Odessa, Austin, and Amarillo are among the most expensive for assisted living with average monthly costs ranging from $4,000 to $4,600. However, the assisted living costs vary quite a bit based on the resident, the size of the apartment, and the different types of services that are needed. The way that assisted living communities charge may vary from facility to facility. For example, some assisted living facilities charge a monthly charge and allow for a lease agreement that spans a short time, however some require long-term commitments. Also, you will find certain facilities have an all-inclusive rate that includes all services where others start with a basic rate where additional services can be added on as needed.

What Types Of Assisted Living Facilities Does Texas Have?

Texas licenses their assisted living communities based on two factors. One thing that the licensing is based on is whether or not attendance is needed during the nighttime hours. The other factor is the residents’ ability, both mentally and physically, to evaluate in an emergency situation. The types of licensing are labeled Type A and Type B. To qualify for a Type A license, the community’s residents do not require nighttime assistance and are perfectly capable of performing evacuation procedures. Type B facilities are those whose residents require more assistance during emergency situations and sleeping hours.

What Services Are Offered And What Are The Living Arrangements Like?

The living areas in an assisted living facility are often referred to as apartments. Residents typically reside in a private apartment or a semiprivate one. Each apartment is likely to include a bedroom, bathroom, and small kitchen area. Common living arrangements include one-bedroom apartments, shared or private, private studio apartments, and dorm-style arrangements. Assisting Hands Houston | Elderly In Home Care Houston TXDepending on the facility, the apartments come either furnished or unfurnished.

Assisted living facilities offer a wide variety of services. Depending on the facility, different services may be offered. Some of the most popular services include 24-hour security, including emergency call systems, dining programs, transportation arrangements, housekeeping services, laundry services, and maintenance. Many of them also offer wellness and educational programs that include exercise activities, educational opportunities, religious offerings, and social services. Medical services and daily living assistance may be offered, too. This includes medication administration, health services, and assistance with dressing, eating, toileting, and bathing. In order to offer their residents the best possible medical care, many assisted living facilities work together with home health agencies to provide health care services.

For years Assisting Hands Houston has provided Houston and its surrounding areas with unparalleled elderly in home care Houston. We will continue to work with you and your loved to find the solution or solutions that best fit your needs. We look forward to your call!

Finding The Right In Home Elder Care for Your Loved One, Priceless.

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Texas Elder Care Costs

On average, the cost of assisted living in Texas stood at $3,515 per month as of 2016. This falls slightly under the national average of $3,600 per month. San Antonio, Austin, Amarillo, Odessa, and Victoria are the areas with the most expensive assisted living in Texas, whose monthly costs ranged between $4,000 and $4,600. El Paso, Corpus Christi, Texarkana and Houston senior in home care were the areas with the most affordable assisted living, with costs ranging from $2,000 to $2,350 a month. Alzheimer’s residential care, also known as Memory care, typically adds up to $1,200 to the total monthly cost of assisted living.

Home Care

Assisting Hands Houston | Texas Elder In Home Care CostsWith home care, the average rate per hour all across Texas stands at $19. The areas with the most affordable home care include Waco, Brownsville, McAllen, and Laredo, where the hourly cost ranges from $15 to $16.50. The most expensive areas include Wichita Falls, Austin/Round Rock, Odessa, and Midland where the hourly cost ranges between $20.50 and $25. For those who need a higher level of care, home health care is also available, and typically adds about $0.50 to $1 an hour to the normal rates.

Adult Day Care

Texas enjoys some of the least expensive daily rate averages for adult day care nationwide. The average daily cost still stands at $35, and this hasn’t changed for the last two years. The most expensive areas for adult day care in Texas include Dallas, Austin, Midland, and Houston, where the cost ranges from $60 to $68 per day.

This is not bad considering the national average for adult day care is $68 per day, meaning that even in the higher end, it’s possible to find great places below this average. McAllen, Laredo, Beaumont, Abilene, and Brownsville offer the most affordable adult day care, with prices ranging from $25 to $31 a day.

Financial Assistance Programs in Texas

Medicaid is a health insurance program for disabled and low-income individuals and seniors. Originally offered as institutional and personal limited care, Medicaid waivers are now being offered by the state, which is also referred to as Home and Community-Based Services Waiver (HCBS). This program allows individuals to receive any Medicaid care as needed, but outside of the nursing home premises, such as in their community or homes. Texas made some sweeping changes with the Medicaid Care programs for seniors in 2015. In the last few years, the STAR Plus Waiver was being rolled out county by county, and it is available statewide. This program essentially provides a whole range of services for seniors, which are meant to help them live in assisted living communities or stay in their homes. This program also provides medical and non-medical care, which is provided through the various managed care organizations. The nationwide rollout of STAR Plus has allowed for the change of 3 Texas Medicaid programs. These are the Primary Home Care Program (PHC), Community Based Alternatives Waiver (CBA), as well as the Day Activity and Health Services (DAHS). These services were previously offered via the CBA program, but they are now available via the STAR Plus HCBS waiver. The services offered by the DAHS and the PHC are now provided via the STAR Plus Medicaid plan of the state.

This year also saw the launch of the new Medicaid entitlement program, which is known as the Community First Choice. One of the major difference between this program and the STAR Plus is the fact that there are no waiting lists when it comes to the provision of services. This program also comes with benefits such as personal emergency response systems, assistance with daily living activities, and health maintenance.

In order to qualify for the Medicaid program in Texas, you need to prove you have limited financial resources. As of 2016, for individual monthly income shouldn’t exceed the $2,199 per month limit and for couples, it shouldn’t exceed $4,398 a month. The asset limit under this program is $2,000 for individuals and a $3,000 limit for couples. Nonetheless, some of the Medicaid programs extend these limits to accommodate amounts of $5,000 for individual and $6,000 for couples. One’s vehicle and home are not included in the calculation of assets value.

Assisting Hands Houston | Elder In Home Care in Houston TXPeople with assets and income that exceed these limits may still be eligible for the Medicaid program in Texas. A Medicaid planning professional can work with you to find a way to allocate the monthly income in excess of the limit into income trusts. Moreover, the financial assets that exceed the limit may be converted into exempt assets in some cases. If you are an individual near the financial limits, consulting a Medicaid planning professional before applying is highly recommended, to make sure that you have the best chance of being accepted into Medicaid.

State Assisted Programs

In Texas, there are four programs meant to provide assistance to seniors that are not qualified for Medicaid. These programs include:

Community Care for Disabled/Aged (CCAD)

The CCAD program is meant to provide non-medical services and nursing support to individuals who opt to stay at home instead. These services may also be provided in foster homes and assisted living facilities.

In Home and Family Support Grants (IHFS)

IHFS provides the physically disabled individuals with some form of direct financial assistance, which can be used to support independent living, including home modifications, home health aids, as well as durable medical equipment.

Community Attendant Services (CAS)

The CAS program is meant to provide non-medical personal care and attendant services to individuals in their homes. The program has an option for the self-direction of care, which may include some family members and friends who are hired as caregivers.

DADS Services for Assisted Independent Living (SAIL)

The Goal of SAIL is to assist seniors to live independently. It provides the necessary support for home modifications, home based services, home medical equipment, etc.

Assisting Hands Houston is ready to answer your questions regarding in-home elder care and assisted living for your loved one. Please feel free to contact us or call us at 281-540-7400 today!

A Healthy Mind and Body, Is A Healthy Loved One

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The Best Exercise Tips for Seniors Suffering from Limited Mobility and Other Chronic Ailments

A healthy lifestyle begins with a healthy diet and regular exercise. These foundations are important to those who are young as well as those who are older. If you are a senior and use a wheelchair or have chronic medical conditions like osteoporosis or arthritis, you may not realize the importance of a fitness routine or feel like exercising.

Immobility can occur because you have become weaker, deconditioned or less flexible. According to Kyle Larsen, clinic manager and physical therapist of Dallas, Texas’s 3D Physical Therapy, exercise is the antidote to these issues. Their outpatient clinic evaluates, treats and helps patients of all ages who suffer from movement disorders or musculoskeletal problems rehabilitate.

Exercise offers many physical and mental benefits. Doctors and trainers around the world are always using advertisements to explain the numerous benefits that exercise offers. Assisting Hands Houston challenges their residents by offering exercise classes that focus on wellness, balance and walking on a regular basis.

Kyle Larsen helped compile a list of tips and exercises that can help you lead a healthier, happier life.

Put On Your Exercise Clothing

Although this seems silly, take a moment to think. When you stop to decide whether you want to work out or not, you are probably wearing street clothes. If you put on a running shirt and lace up your tennis shoes, your mindset will typically change. Putting on exercise clothing can help inspire you to get up and get moving. Additionally, it has been shown that wearing exercise clothing helps improve the effectiveness of your workout because you will work harder when prepared for exercise.

Warm Ups

No matter your age, it is essential that you stretch before your workout. Warm ups help to improve flexibility and increase blood flow to the muscles which warm them up and prepare them for movement. Additionally, warming up makes it easier to perform routine movements like bending down and retrieving a dropped item off the floor.

Larsen states that as a physical therapist he focuses on flexibility exercises, especially for seniors who use a wheelchair. Stretching throughout the day helps your hips become stronger which can help you to stand upright. When you are stretching, do it slowly and gently. For best results breath throughout the stretch and hold it for 15 to 30 seconds.

Listen to Your Body

Assisting Hands Houston | ExerciseWhen it comes to exercising, it is important to listen to your body. This is especially important for seniors with limited mobility as they can experience a number of mental barriers. One of the biggest concerns elderly patients have is falling. However, as the patients become stronger, more flexible and their balance improves, the risk of a fall decreases.

When a senior begins a fitness routine, they should do so gradually and limit themselves to exercising for 5 to 10 minutes. Stiffness and achiness can occur in the beginning; however, if you experience any pain in the body, stop exercising immediately.

Working Around Problematic Areas

This is similar to the previous fitness tip; however, you can still exercise and avoid the troublesome area. Any exercise that causes a patient to experience pain can be modified. the pain often occurs when tissues are not ready for a particular movement or because the patient’s body mechanics are not right.

Seniors suffering from upper body arthritis can focus on leg exercises if they are experiencing upper body pain or vice versa. If you experience discomfort while exercising your arms, cool down and take some deep breaths.

Exercises for Seniors

Air Punches

This exercise is great for both those who are in a wheelchair and those who are not in a wheelchair. To perform this exercise, clinch your fists and move your arms back and forth like you are punching something. Do 15 punches with one arm and then rest for 30 seconds before doing the air punches using the other arm. You can also maximize the effectiveness of the exercise by using light weights.

Chair Squats

Seniors whose legs have a full range of motion can do chair squats. Squats improve your total body strength in one motion. To help keep you stable, stand behind a dining chair and hold on to it. Make sure your chin is up and your back is straight. Then bend your knees as you squat down as far as possible. Then return to the starting position. Do two sets of 12 repetitions. Inhales as you bend down and exhale as you rise.

Pillow Squeezes

This exercise can be done by anyone. Grab a thick pillow and sit down in a chair. Place the pillow against your chest and wrap your arms around the pillow like you are hugging it. Relax your arms and then repeat. For those who have full leg mobility, place the pillow between the thighs and squeeze your legs together. Do three sets of 15 repetitions.

Front and Lateral Raises

This exercise works the arm and shoulder area. Lightweight hand weights, soup cans or resistance bands can be used. Sit down in an armless and allow your arms to hang at your sides. Lift your arms to your side and form a T. Then, bring your arms to the front of your body before lowering them to the starting position. Do three sets of 10 repetitions.

Chair Yoga

Yoga is a great way to improve cardiovascular health, flexibility and muscle strength. Because yoga uses breathing exercises and meditation, it also offers many mental benefits. A ten-minute session of chair yoga can improve your physical health and your mental well-being.

Before you start any exercise routine, consult your physician to determine if you are healthy enough for exercise.

Assisting Hands Houston provides you and your loved one with the best senior in home care in Houston. It is important for us and for your loved one to maintain a healthy mind and body, and to do so it is imperative they are doing the necessary exercises mentioned above, if advised by their doctor/s. Let us help you determine if your loved one is ready for in home elder care, or any of the listed services that we provide. Currently we are located throughout the city of Houston and have served our city proud for nearly a decade!

A Guide for Returning to Work After Retirement

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How to Return to the Workforce or Volunteer Employment After Retirement

While it has been the focal point of a lifetime of effort, retirement can be a golden opportunity to begin a new phase of life. While many look forward to the idea of a completely free calendar, retirement can be a time to continue in a delightful practice, at a slower pace or even volunteer at many of the rewarding volunteer associations.

“Retirement does not imply absence of work”, according to Paul Magnus, the acting VP for Workforce Development at Mature Services Inc. “Today professionals enjoy an active life that allows them make use of the skills they acquire over a lifetime in an endeavor they feel strongly about, or simply to increase their income”.

Mature Services is an organization of volunteers dedicated to providing training and employment opportunities to the local Ohio population over 55. This organization receives funding from the US Department of Labor.

There is an increasing number of seniors looking to join the workforce once again, this is part of a trend that started several years ago. According to numbers held by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the year 2016 18.8% of Americans over the age of 64 were employed even if only part time. The same agency predicted that this figure could rise to 23 percent by 2022.

As experienced workers, employers value these seniors for their commitment to excellence, punctuality and wise judgements.

Industries Are Calling

What is the best job for a senior citizen? Anything that makes them happy. There are many positions that are especially suited to the experienced worker, including: telemarketing, customer services, volunteer work and entrepreneurship.

Many senior favor jobs in a retail industry. Physical locations have a more flexible schedule and allow the experienced workers to address the needs of customers in a low-stress environment. Seniors who spend a lot of time at a particular store and recognize the other customers should speak with the manager about the availability of schedules and part time options.

Assisting Hands HoustonAnother ideal prospect for seniors looking for employment is a position at a call center, especially during Medicaid or Medicare enrollment times. Experienced workers are valued as they have a high capacity for empathy with customers, baby boomers or fellow citizens and can explain the specifics as they know them well.

For many people at this age, the worthy cause is even more enticing than the pay. Which is another reason retirees often choose to work for a volunteer effort. Life time skills and professional capacity is especially important to this sector and seniors are highly valued. It is also especially convenient as there is a wide variety of needs and opportunities both on a national and international level.

The YMCA has many different initiatives suitable for all age groups. This includes the Active Older Adults program, which allows seniors to participate in special field trips, exercise classes, lunches and other social events. They welcome applications from any age group because when the fit is perfect, it is perfect.

Th Y is always looking for people to fill this capacity for serving the community and improving their corner of the world. Just like the YMCA, there are many different organizations and efforts that could greatly use the experience and perspective of a senior worker with a life of experience. Older Americans who would rather work than retire can volunteer their time and skills at hospitals, food banks, churches and even other senior citizen centers around the country.

Those interested in giving of their time in this way should consider visiting the next meeting being held by a non-profit and shake hands with the other members so as to make their intention known. Meeting with the director or manager of the organization

Seniors are often thirsty for a change of scenery though they would like to remain active in their field of expertise. Local business can be contacted to see what skills are needed and in which capacity. For example, retired police officers can share their knowledge on safety and personal protection and a former teacher could spend time tutoring or substituting for other teachers. With a will to work and desire to help the possibilities are truly endless.

Retirement and Employment

Whether senior Americans would like to work or volunteer, there are plenty of options offered By Magnus to set them up with the opportunities for them.

The first step will be to think about the position you are interested in and prepare a attractive and engaging CV and resume of work experiences for the position they are interested in. Magnus reminds seniors to practice the art of selling themselves. Try to understand the needs of the employer and then become the answer to them. One tip will be to look for keywords commonly favored in this line of work and sprinkle them into your interview.

The next thing you will want to do is make yourself stand out from the others on the job market, recruiters recognize and value vibrancy and this is an important point to sell. Remember that jobs are rarely posted in newspapers anymore. A well-appointed LinkedIn presence is ideal for showing an up-to-date knowledge of the current job market.

Then there will be the interviews for positions. There is a chance that seniors will take a longer time to nail a job. Don’t be discouraged, let your journey to a job be slow relaxed and guided by what you really want to do with your time.

In Conclusion

Studies have shown that those who keep their minds and bodies active through their life live longer than those who take an early retirement. As a senior citizen, it is important to fight the notion that older Americans lose their creativity, productivity and imagination. By working on a task that you love, a senior can create a new beginning that will sail them through their senior years.

Studies have shown that people who work in the later decades outlive those who fully retire. As a senior worker, fight the stereotype that suggests that older Americans lose creativity, imagination and productivity. By working on something they love after retirement, a senior can create a whole new beginning for their golden years.

Assisting Hands Houston services many of like you and your loved ones, and strives to continue being a leading caregiver in Houston. We encourage you to contact us today or call us at 281-540-7400 for any further questions you may have! We look forward to answering them!

What To Look For When Your Loved One Lives Alone

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Dangers Associated With Seniors Living Alone

More and more older Americans live alone, however a staggering amount of these seniors are experiencing dementia symptoms and social isolation. A University College London study conducted over a decade showed the impact that isolation and loneliness has, both infrequent contact with family and friends as well as loneliness can, independently, shorten someone’s life, this is why home care services Houston is so important.

Continue reading to learn more about how dangerous it is for seniors to live alone.

Dangers Associated With More Seniors Living Alone

AARP reported that around 90% of people over the age of 65 want to continue living at home for as long as possible. There may be benefits for the emotional well-being of seniors who live at home and stay in a community that is familiar, however research has shown that a staggering amount of seniors who should receive assisted living care are currently living at home – many time alone.

The answer may seem obvious to some of us, move into an assisted living community where health monitoring, social activity and medication management come included. That being said, it can be a difficult decision to decide to move a senior citizen to assisted living, especially if you loved one is not very fond on moving.

It is reported by the Administration of Aging that around 29%, in other words 11.3 million older adults in 210, lived alone. As the same time, it is estimated that more that 12% of senior citizens 65 and older, in the other words over five million, require assistance with long term care in order to perform daily life activities.

Seniors who live in poverty or who are low-income are even more likely to live at home as opposed to in a facility, even if they are in need of more care. It is quite frankly startling to see the statistics for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s: the Alzheimer’s Association reports that out of 60-70% of seniors living in the community and struggling with dementia, 25% actually live alone.

At University College London, professor of psychology; Andrew Steptoe says that the results from the social isolation study surprised him:

He says; “Initially, both loneliness and social isolation appears to be associated with an increased risk of dying. However isolation is what really ended up being the most important.”

When It Is Unsafe to Live Alone

If what we want is for our loved ones to remain healthy and safe, it is crucial to guarantee that their living environment is appropriate to their physical needs, especially the have shown early signs of a cognitive impairment.

If you realize that your loved one requires assistance with daily activities, for example dressing, bathing, and eating, they could have cognitive functions that are decreasing; this is associated with dementia at its early or middle stages. Even in a senior’s own home, the combination of minor safety hazards and poor eyesight can put them at risk for falling, breaking a hip, and even death.

Our goal at Assisting Hands is to provide unparalleled home care services Houston. We believe that it is of critical importance to keep track of senior nutrition, physical symptoms, and mental health.

Here are a few of the warning signs that indicate it is no longer safe for a senior to live alone:
• Poor eyesight
• Issues with medication management
• Forgetting appointments
• Social isolation
• Poor nutrition or malnutrition
• Unable to pay bills on time
• Inability to keep up with daily housekeeping and chores
• Home safety hazards such as loose carpeting and poor lighting

We at Assisting Hands Houston are waiting for your call regarding any further questions you may have concerning you and/or your loved ones. If you’re not sure that it is time to seek the help that you or they may need, we encourage you to call us at 281-540-7400! You don’t have to be alone when visiting this option.

What Caregivers and Seniors Should Look For When Claiming Their Tax Deductions 2017

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Senior Tax Credit Tips: How To Claim Caregiver Tax Deductions This Year

Most people understand that tax rules are very complex. You need to consult with attorneys that specialize in taxes, or even an accountant, one that understands eldercare and how taxes will apply to them. AARP is one of the many companies that works directly with seniors that can provide this type of assistance for free. Here is some information on what you can do in the 2017 tax year if you happen to live in America.

Best Way To Deduct Medical Expenses

If you are providing care for a senior citizen, or if you are one, you need to account for the medical expenses of the prior year. The IRS states that medical expenses are for the treatment, cure, diagnosis and prevention of diseases, and how it can help the body in any way. Individuals that qualify for tax deductions, and even credits, can write off certain expenditures:

Many Dental Treatments

  • The cost of medical appointment transportation
  • Premiums for health insurance
  • Services that are related to long-term care

You can actually get a full list of these deductions by looking at Publication 502 of the IRS on their website. You can read about rules and tips that will pertain directly to caregivers and senior citizens.

IRS Tax Rules for Caregivers

There are also credits that can apply to caregivers if you are a dependent, spouse, relative, and whether you are living in Mexico, Canada or the US. Qualifying for these deductions if you are a relative will refer to people that lived with you, in-laws, stepparents and your parents. Medical expenses have other tax related qualifications which include:

Basic Dependency Deductions

A dependency deduction, if you are going to qualify for it, must represent 50% of the cost of helping your relative. They can only qualify if they meet gross income amounts, specifically in income that’s going to be right around $4000, one that you cannot file a joint tax return for. If the relative isn’t going to qualify, you cannot claim them, but you can still get deductions in regard to medical expenses that were paid.

IRS Publication 501 will also have this information on pages 11 through 23.

Look At the Multiple Support Agreement Information

If there are people that are sharing the cost of providing this service for relatives that qualify, IRS form 2120 can be used to get one exemption for a family member. Under certain conditions, anyone that is paying for any type of medical cost should consult a tax adviser that can help them.

Deducting Long Term Medical Care Expenses

This type of medical care can be diagnostic, mitigating, or preventative care, some of which are going to be deductible depending upon whether or not the individual is chronically ill, or if they are receiving care that is prescribed by a licensed healthcare professional. Individuals that are actually chronically ill, which means they are not able to perform a couple of the many activities that are essential such as bathing or dressing, can also qualify for these deductions. Those that are cognitively impaired will also be regarded as chronically ill because they do require quite a bit of supervision.

In regard to nursing homes, or even assisted living facilities, nursing services can be performed and these are deductible expenses that are for these medical reasons. People staying at a nursing home, or similar facility, only the medical expenses will be deductible which means that meals, or even the lodging, is not going to be something that can be deducted. If this is simply for custodial care, the staff member should indicate what the percentage is of the benefits received that can qualify for medical care. Nursing services that are delivered at home might also be something that can qualify as a deductible expense.

Deducting Long-term Care Cost of Insurance

Premiums paid for this type of care may qualify for deductible medical expenses if they are able to concur with what is called the AGI threshold.

The IRS states that this particular type of contract must:

  • Not pay for any of the costs that Medicare will cover
  • Will not be a cash surrender value

If refunds are provided it’s typically because of death, cancellation of service, or surrender, plus it can also refer to dividends that are related to medical benefits or may even reduce future premiums. It is also possible that state governments could offer what are called tax credits, as well as deductions, for those that provide care which will be listed on the state income tax forms, clearly showing that it is so important to understand the individual rules for taxes in your particular state.

We at Assisting Hands Houston encourage you to contact us or call now at 281-540-7400 with any more questions regarding Houston home care or the array of services our agency can provide for you or your loved ones!