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6 Essential Medication Safety Tips For Seniors

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Assisting Seniors With Their Daily Medication Procedures

Over 700,000 visits to emergency rooms can be attributed to medication and drug errors every year. These errors commonly include accidental overdose or consumption but may be related to other reasons. The goal of Assisting Hands Houston is to reduce this error rate related hospital visits.

Follow these health and safety tips to prevent medication and drug errors:

1. List It

Make a list of all the medication that is currently being taken by yourself or a loved one. Present this list to a healthcare provider at every visit or appointment. It will help them determine your current medical conditions, eliminate the need to prescribe more medication of the same type and prevent drug interactions.

2. Storage Instructions

Read the storage instructions on the medication or ask your pharmacist or healthcare provider. Most medications should be stored in a cool dry place but some may need to refrigerated or have additional storage instructions. Keep in mind that moisture and heat could change the chemistry of a drug affecting its efficacy or make it hazardous to your health. It is essential to keep all medication out of reach of children and pets and preferable to lock them away safely.

3. A Weekly Medicine Box

A medicine box provides separate compartments that medications can be placed in for each day of the week. Using a medication box greatly reduces the risk of drug errors occurring. It also simplifies the delivery process for caregivers as well as allows them to determine the safety of each medication taken within the whole.

Should there be any concern whether a dosage has been missed or taken twice, it is a simple matter of checking which compartment is still full? If an error has occurred, the dosage will need to be adjusted according to the instructions or advice from a healthcare provider.

4. Dosage Instructions

Assisting Hands Houston | In Home Care Services in Houston TexasNever stop taking a medication just because you feel you or your loved one no longer needs it. Also never adjust the dosage because you think the drug may be ineffective or the side effects are too severe. Always consult with a healthcare professional to voice your concerns and ask them to adjust your dosage if necessary.

Keep in mind that dosages are carefully calculated to meet the specific treatment requirements of different health conditions as well as the individual patient. Adjusting your medication could have severe consequences such as ending up in the hospital.

5. Knowledge Is Power

Ask your health care professional pertinent questions regarding the medication that they prescribe like what is for, how it works and how long you can expect to take it. If you are unsure about anything, get a second opinion.

Create a dialogue with your primary healthcare provider so that they can better understand your needs and concerns and to provide you with a better understanding of your health conditions and treatment plan.

6. More Hints And Tips

If you have any additional drug and medication health and safety tips, please feel free to call or contact Assisting Hands Houston and help us reduce the rate of errors and related hospital visits. Should you simply require more information regarding our services, our staff will be happy to assist.

What To Consider When Looking To Cosign A Loan For Your Loved One

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Co-Signing A Loan

Someone just asked if you would cosign on a loan. So should you do this or not? At times some elderly advocates may consider doing this for relatives or friends. If you do decide to cosign, how can you protect yourself? You might be asked at some point in time to cosign a loan for somebody else. At least theoretically “cosigning” basically means “co-borrowing.” It means that you are agreeing to be 100 percent – or completely – liable to repay the loan as well as all of its related costs, which includes the loan principle, penalties, interest, cost of suit and attorney’s fees, if the other signer doesn’t comply with the loan terms. In addition, even if the loan is paid by the other signer, but they skip payments or pay late, those lapses are going to show up on your personal credit report. Given that there are so many burdens involved with cosigning, you should consider taking the following steps before, during and after you cosign.

There are several questions you should answer before cosigning a loan. Since prospective creditors providing the loan are going to be a debt of yours, will cosign on the loan affect your ability to be able to borrow in some way? Since you will be completely responsible for the loan should the borrower default, will you be able to repay the loan as well as all of its associated costs? Sometimes indebtedness will affect tax exemptions and have other tax consequences as well, will your taxes be affected by cosigning the law? Since sometimes loans are secured by other types of property like jewelry, homes, cars, etc., are you going to be asked to pledge some of your valuable property for this loan and will you be willing to risk actually losing this property?

Assisting Hands Houston | Elder In Home Care Provider in Houston TexasSupposing that you answer all of the questions above in favor of cosigning for the individual; you will then move to the considerations and steps to take while cosigning. For example, there are some states that do allow you to ask for a certain limitation to be instituted in terms of what responsibilities you have for the loan. In these cases, you are ability limit what your liability is on the loan principle and associated charge. Ask the lender to put it in writing. The limitations may state that the co-signer is only responsible for the principle balance on the loan and/or any other specified things. In addition, you can ask that the written agreement from the lender provide you with a written notice if the other signer has any misstep, like missing a payment or being late on any payments, or if any changes are made to the loan. That will allow to you react to any problems there are with the loan before they come critical and an attorney or collections department pursues you for payment. A cosigner can also take an addition proactive step to ensure that they are designed as the receiver of payment requests so that you can stay on top of all of the payments. Another request that you can make is to ask that you be provided with the exact dollar amounts by the lender of what you will owe and what the monthly payments are if the other signer defaults. Given that you are considered to be a borrower, along with the other cosigner, you are entitled to receive copies of documents like the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure Statement, the loan contract, and warranties, definitely from the other borrower or the lender. In addition, in some states like California, a lender is required to provide you with a written statements of what your obligations and rights are as a cosigner. It is a good idea to collect all of these documents and keep copies of them, which can help you in the event that something goes wrong with the loan.

After the loan has been cosigned, get the other signer to make the loan payment to you instead of the lender, and then you make the loan payments. That way you can make sure that all payments are made on time and in full. Then make sure to keep records of all of the payments that the other signer makes to you and payments that you make to the lender. If you don’t make this kind of arrangement where you are paid and then you pay the lender, then you will leave yourself open to a potential default by the other signer. In this situation, check on the status of the loan repayment periodically so that you can take action to remedy any problems if they arise. Either way, you should make sure to keep all of the documents that you receive that are associated with the loan payments. In the event that the other individual faults and you cannot handle issues as they occur, then you will be subject to collection/credit problems in the same way that you would if you were the original borrow. If this occurs, you will want to consult with an attorney who specializes in collections/credit in order to safeguard your cosigner rights.

The Do’s And Don’ts Of Co-signing A Loan

Co-signing a loan is a great way to help out a friend or family member in a time of need. The action can also put you in some serious financial trouble if handled incorrectly though, so make sure you consider the following do’s and don’ts before signing for anything:

The Do’s Of Co-signing A Loan

  • Think of your own financial future. Is signing this loan going to make it harder for you to borrow as well?
  • Prepare for the worst. If you’re going to co-sign for a loan, then you need to prepare as if you’ll have to pay the whole loan back yourself.
  • Understand the tax implications of signing for this loan. Your attorney or a licensed tax professional will be happy to consult you on the matter.
  • Figure out the collateral needed for this loan. You may be putting up property or assets that you aren’t willing to part with.
  • Attempt to get a limited liability clause, in writing, from the lender.
  • Ensure that you’re communicated with if any changes or problems occur.
  • Work with the lender to receive consistent payment updates.
  • Get copies of all documents, and keep them with your personal attorney.
  • Consider having the borrower pay you each month, and then you pay the loan payment.
  • Learn the collections process, just in case.

The Don’ts Of Co-Signing A Loan

  • Don’t let others dictate the process. You have the leverage here.
  • Don’t let emotion rule your decisions. Finances always need to be handled in a logical way.
  • Don’t work off of the honor system. You need to do everything legally possible to protect yourself in the case of default.

It’s a very good thing that you’re doing by considering being there for friends or family in a time of need. You can’t martyr yourself for their short-term financial gain though, so you need to approach a situation like this with a clear head. Make them give you reasons to say “yes” instead of you trying to find reasons to say “no”. Emotion can make that process to hard for you. In the end, you have to be prepared to say no if the risk is going to be more than you can stomach. This’ll be hard, as no one wants to say “no” to their loved ones if they can avoid it. Financial situations are hard to deal with, and it isn’t fair for you to ruin your personal situation to bail out someone who may not be doing their best to be responsible. The best thing you can do is to remove the emotion from the situation. You have the information that you need now to go through the process. Stay logical, be fair, and you can’t go wrong.

Growing up isn’t always the easiest. If you happen to be struggling with your decisions Assisting Hands Houston is here to help you with the process. Please call or contact us today for information regarding the services we provide, and the benefits of elder in-home care for your loved one.

Preventing Identity Theft For Your Loved Ones

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How to Protect Your Senior Parent’s From Identity Theft

In today’s world, anybody can become a victim of identity theft. Elderly people are no exception. Unfortunately, many elderly people do not know they are a victim of identity theft until unexplained charges show up on their credit cards or after their bank accounts are empty.

Identity theft occurs when a person steals another person’s back account number, social security number or other personal or financial information. This information is often used to apply for loans, obtain new credit card accounts, access and drain the victim’s bank accounts or obtain professional licenses, birth certificates, and driver’s licenses illegally.

Why Do They Target Seniors?

Many identity thieves see seniors as an easy target. Older people are often more vulnerable because many are trusting, lonely, and socially isolated. Others may be suffering from memory loss or dementia. This creates the perfect victim profile for an identity thief. Often, seniors are sitting ducks for these scammers.

How Do These Criminals Steal the Senior’s Identity?

The identity thieves are always creating new ways to gather information from their victims. There are several common ways these criminals steal identities.

Stealing Mail

Identity thieves will steal the senior’s mail. They are looking for tax information, checks, bank statements and credit card statements. They don’t just take these documents from the mail. Some thieves steal the senior’s garbage, to gain access to carelessly discarded personal and financial information.

Sending Mail

Instead of stealing mail, some thieves send mail to the senior. This mail appears to be from a trusted source, such as a well-known company, charitable organization, or the victim’s bank. The mail uses “official” letterhead to make the senior believe it is from the actual company.

Calling the Victim on the Phone

Some identity thieves call seniors, pretending to represent the senior’s financial institution or a charitable organization. Unfortunately, many seniors trust that the phone call is actually coming from the trusted source.

“Phishing” Online

Phishing is a common practice online. Identity thieves pretend to be a well=known company, like eBay, or a financial institution. They send spam messages to seniors asking them to “verify” their social security number or account information.

Swiping Credit Cards

Wait staff at restaurants and sales clerks can gain access to a person’s financial records every time a credit card is swiped for a purchase. They use a tiny scanning device that steals the card numbers, then they are able to use the cards. They can run up an exorbitant bill before the senior is even aware that their credit card information was stolen.

Assisting Hands Houston | Elder In Home Care ServicesHow to Prevent Identity Theft

It’s important to remember that identity theft can happen on the phone, in a store or restaurant, online or in person. Do not share your personal information through the mail, on the phone, or on the internet unless you know who the receiver is and have initiated the contact where the information is to be provided.

Buy a Cross Cut Shredder

You or your senior parent should shred all sensitive mail and documents, including credit card offers, bank statements, credit card statements, and tax documents. Don’t just throw these papers in the trash. A thief can go through the trash and steal any information they find.

Guard Credit Cards

When your parent’s hand wait staff, salespeople, or anyone who needs to complete a sale, tell them to watch those people closely. Thieves use a tiny scanner called a skimmer to steal numbers. If they have unused or rarely used cards, get rid of them. The fewer cards your parents have the easier it is to monitor their use. Only provide your credit card information if you absolutely must.

Don’t Let Anyone Copy Your Parent’s Driver’s License

If a person has a copy of your parent’s license, they can gain access to their personal data, bank accounts and other things you want to protect. The exception is using a license to verify a check. However, you should not let someone take the entire license to use the other information on it, which is never necessary.

Mail Letters at the Post Office or a Postal Box

Your parents should try to avoid leaving outgoing mail in their home mailbox. Identity thieves can steal payment slips and checks from your parent’s mail, take the information and use it to steal their identity. The scammers can use the information to get new credit cards in your parent’s name and rob them of all they can get.

Never Provide Personal Information On The Phone

Phone solicitors often offer rewards and prizes as a way to trick people into providing their social security number, bank account information, or mother’s maiden name. With this information, a scammer can wipe out a person’s bank account in minutes.

If your parents order checks, have them delivered to a post office box or to the bank, do not have them shipped to your home address.

How Common Is Identity Theft Among Seniors?

No one can say how many seniors are scammed each year, or even tell the percentage of fraud that targets seniors. According to the Federal Trade Commission that compiles lists of identity theft complaints, nine million Americans have their identities stolen annually. However, this list is made up of victims who voluntarily registered by e-mail or over the phone.

How can you help your senior parents protect themselves? According to the Federal Trade Commission’s 2014 report, about 19 people become a victim of theft each minute.

We need to start by educating our aging parents that it’s dangerous to trust people on the phone. We also need to warn them that even their own children can steal their identity if they’re desperate enough. Mental illness, serious financial trouble, alcohol abuse, and drug abuse are all factors that can lead an adult child to steal their parent’s bank account numbers during a visit and raid their parent’s back accounts later. Adult children have been caught taking from the people most likely to trust them, their aging parents.

Seniors must be educated to stay alert for these dangers in their family and among their friends. If there is a ” black sheep” in the family with substance abuse issues or serious financial trouble, they should be considered a risk.

Is it possible to thwart an attempt to steal your aging parent’s identities? Even if it’s difficult, we should at least take protective measures. Often the simple solutions are the best.

Assisting Hands Houston is Houston’s #1 provider for elder in home care and assisted living. Visit here to review the other services we offer. Contact us or call today with any further questions you may have.

Assisting Hands Houston Addresses Stroke Prevention

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Does Stroke Prevention Help Decrease The Risk For Dementia?

There are many precautionary measures that a person can take to ensure that their heart and brain health is doing well, this will help them to age well.

Today, heart disease is the leading cause of death in America per the Center for Disease Control. Other conditions on the list include cancer, strokes and Alzheimer’s disease. As you age, the risk for all of these conditions rises which makes it important that you follow the right preventative measures to prevent such conditions.

Around the world, researchers are seeking answers to how these conditions form. Recently, researchers from the University of Western Ontario spent time on a study for stroke prevention for those over the age of 80. To help prevent strokes, we know that people must improve their diet, increase their exercises and this is yielding positive results to lower their stroke rates, however, it may also help in preventing dementia.

Assisting Hands Houston | Elder Home Care Houston TXThere is a link between dementia and strokes. When the blood supply to the brain is interrupted or slows, it may raise the risk for both strokes and dementia. According to the researchers in Western Ontario, there are some extreme lifestyle changes that can be made to help prevent strokes. These will help to combat the symptoms of stroke and dementia. High cholesterol, as an example, may lead to a plaque which can clog arteries. Thus, eating a healthier diet may help to lower cholesterol and thus prevent the risk of stroke and dementia.

Anyone who has had a stroke is at double the risk to develop vascular dementia according to the researchers. They will have a higher risk of memory loss, reasoning issues, judgment problems, and planning issues. As the blood supply is disrupted to the brain in a stroke, it also reduces the amount of oxygen which may cause permanent damage that may, in turn, lead to dementia.

When the researchers at University of Western Ontario were doing their research, they noted that there was a drop in the rate of strokes in the study participants that would lead to fewer cases of dementia. However, strokes aren’t the single cause of vascular dementia, blood clots, cardio issues, and even diabetes may all impact the flow of blood and reduce or cut off the oxygen levels to the person’s brain and cause serious damage to their cognitive abilities. This, in turn, can contribute to dementia. Following the same measures that will improve circulation to the brain and prevent strokes also were noted to prevent dementia.

It’s important that caregivers encourage their loved ones to remain active and reduce their risk of strokes and vascular dementia.

Preventing strokes and dementia is often just a matter of following a proper diet and good exercise. As these lifestyle changes are presented patients should also keep in mind that reducing or eliminating tobacco products and sticking to a healthier diet and lifestyle will go far in helping to reduce the incidence of stroke and dementia. The incidence of strokes has dropped by 37.9 percent by following these measures and dementia has dropped by 15.4 percent. While little can be done about a genetic predisposition to such conditions, there are steps that can help to reduce the severity if one will follow a healthier diet and add in proper exercise.

According to the National Stroke Association or NSA, proper nutrition to prevent strokes includes:

  • Eating a variety of vegetables including both starches and leafy greens
  • Eating more fresh and whole fruits
  • Following a fat-free and low-fat diet especially with dairy products
  • Eating more whole-grain foods
  • Consuming lean proteins
  • Using heart-healthy oils

The NSA has also recommended that you not add sugar, sodium or trans fats to your diet. These should make up less than ten percent of a person’s daily diet.

It’s also vital to limit the intake of alcohol and men should have no more than two drinks per day while women shouldn’t have more than one drink per day. No tobacco should be used. Smoking especially can double the risk of the incidence of strokes and dementia. This can lead to the plaque buildup in the body and affect the required amounts of blood to the brain.

Exercise will help to strengthen the lungs and the heart and this will improve the blood circulation to the brain. Adults should have at least 2.5 hours of exercise per week. This can include brisk walks. They should also strive for two days worth of muscle strengthening such as weight lifting. Working things like crossword puzzles will also help to improve the health of the brain per Assisting Hands of Houston, which promotes Independent Senior Living Houston.

Always check with your doctor prior to starting any type of new diet or exercise to ensure that the person is well enough to participate in such activities. Some medications will interact with some diets so always have a doctor monitor any dietary changes as well. These steps may help to prevent strokes and vascular dementia.

We at Assisting Hands Houston hope that the information we have provided you not only helps your loved ones but also helps you to be a better caregiver. Please contact us or call today if you have any questions regarding elder in-home care or assisted living for your loved ones.

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.

Assisting Hands Houston | Elder Care Houston Texas

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.

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.

Assisting Hands Houston | Elder In Home Care Houston

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!

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!