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The Benefits Of Eating With Others And Socializing During Meal Time In A Senior Home

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How Social Dining Positively Impacts People Living In Senior Homes

For seniors, good nutrition is one of the keys to staying healthy and strong. The human body works best when it has access to all of the vitamins and nutrients that it needs. A well-balanced diet not only helps ensure that seniors are getting proper nutrition but it also can help them maintain a healthy weight, making it easier to stay active. A diet that incorporates key vitamins and minerals can help with everything from maintaining good bone density to preserving good mental clarity and focus.

Unfortunately, not all seniors follow healthy eating habits. Poor nutrition can increase the risk of health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, and diabetes. It can also result in a general decline in their overall quality of life.

Eating In Isolation Is Detrimental To Seniors’ Well-Being

Years ago, most families gathered around the dinner table to eat a meal with one another, talking about the events of the day. Unfortunately, as life becomes busier, this habit is becoming less and less common. This is bad news – not just from a social perspective but also from a health perspective. Studies have shown that families that don’t eat meals together generally aren’t as healthy as families that do. When everyone grabs dinner on their own, they are more likely to make poor food choices. This can result in an overall decline in health.

Although it may seem unrelated, this actually is a good illustration of why it is so detrimental for seniors to eat alone. When people eat in isolation, they are less likely to eat balanced meals. Instead, there is a tendency to just grab whatever is handy and easy to prepare. Over time, this can cause a wide array of health problems ranging from a compromised immune system to problems with malnutrition or weight loss. This is especially problematic for seniors since their bodies are not as strong as those of younger people.

According to recent research, approximately one-fifth of all seniors experience loneliness when they eat by themselves. Unfortunately, this problem is all too common. Many seniors live alone and don’t have anyone to keep them company during mealtime. Getting out of the house is also more challenging than it used to be, which can make it hard to connect with others for a meal.

Understanding How Socializing During Meal Time Can Make Seniors Healthier

Interestingly, researchers have found that people who eat meals with someone else generally enjoy better health. When people eat around others, they are more likely to make good food choices. It is easier to find the motivation to prepare a healthy meal when there is someone to share it with. Additionally, the simple act of socializing during a meal can lift the spirits of a lonely senior, making them feel more like eating. The simple act of sharing a meal with someone else provides a social experience that can be uplifting and inspiring for someone who has spent a lot of time eating alone. It is easier to get excited about a meal when there is someone around to enjoy eating it with.

This is one area where senior living communities really shine. When it comes to senior care Houston TX has some excellent facilities that provide a warm, welcoming environment for seniors to share meals with others. Typically, these facilities are set up in such a way that residents can choose their own food and can decide who they want to sit with. In many cases, the environment is similar to a restaurant. Over time, people who live at these facilities develop friendships with other residents, providing them with a rich social life that can lift their spirits and make them excited about living. Moving into one of these facilities and forming friendships can even help combat mental health issues such as depression. People of all ages can benefit from having friends and feeling like they are part of the crowd.

A Closer Look At Mealtime

Every senior living facility is different. However, most of them go above and beyond to make sure that residents are getting good nutrition. Not only do they use fresh, locally grown ingredients but they also cook the food at the facility. Seniors may even be able to customize their meals based on their individual preferences. The chefs who work in these facilities put the needs of the residents first, making sure that their dietary requirements are being met.

Eating In A Social Setting Provides Countless Health Benefits For Seniors

Seniors who share meals with other people are far more likely to feel like they belong than those who eat alone. Even though people often eat by themselves in this day and age, seniors grew up in a different time when meals were all about gathering together with loved ones and sharing good conversation. As a result, it can be particularly disheartening for them to find themselves alone at mealtime. Over time, this sense of isolation can cause them to become depressed or withdrawn.

When seniors live alone, they often lack the motivation to cook a meal for themselves. They may decide to skip eating or they might just grab a pre-packaged snack or meal to skip the hassle of preparing a home-cooked meal. This can lead to nutritional deficiencies, weight loss, and other problems that can negatively impact their health.

The human body naturally declines with age. One way to combat these changes is by making sure that all of our nutritional needs are being met. When the body’s metabolism slows down, the appetite decreases as well. Oftentimes, seniors are also taking prescription medications that can interfere with their desire to eat. Dental problems can also make it harder to consume certain types of food. Again, this can interfere with good nutrition.

One way to combat all of these problems is by looking into senior care facilities in the Houston area. Residents of these facilities not only enjoy comfortable accommodations and good food but they also develop rich, rewarding social lives that can keep them active and engaged. When people have friends to talk to and activities to take part in, they are far more likely to maintain their vitality. If you have an elderly loved one who may benefit from living in one of these facilities, it is worth learning more today. Don’t wait until their health has already deteriorated to begin talking about the benefits of senior living facilities.

For more related articles, visit our blog. If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call or contact Assisting Hands Houston today!

Hot Weather Dangers For The Elderly

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Hot Weather Dangers To Watch For

There are certain health ailments that older adults tend to be more vulnerable to, due to changes that occur in their immune systems that are age-related and potential effects of injuries or chronic illnesses. These changes in health can often be helped by Houston elder care services. It is also very important to keep a close watch on them whenever there is an increase in temperature too quickly identify as well as treat any of the following heat-related conditions:

1. Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion

If the core body temperature of your loved one gets too high, they could be at risk for getting hyperthermia, or also called heat exhaustion and in more serious cases heat stroke.

For both of these conditions, it is very important to immediately get the elderly person out of the heat. If they are in the sun, move them over to the shade, or preferably help them get indoors. Take any extra clothing off so that they can cool down faster. Also get them to drink as much water as possible, or a hydrating sports drink containing electrolytes. If there are any indications that your loved one might have heat exhaustion, if there is no improvement in their symptoms in one hour then call a doctor. In the event of a heat stroke, you either call 911 or take our loved one to the emergency room immediately. To help quickly lower their body temperature, if possible try to submerge the person in a cool bath. Or use a cool, damp cloth on them while they are sitting by a fan.

For safety purposes, their home should always be maintained at a reasonable temperature. Use air conditioning and fans whenever possible, and ensure your loved one remains hydrated all day long, even when only resting inside. Even when not out directly in the sun it still is possible to overheat.

Also, seniors shouldn’t ever be left unattended locked inside of a car for long periods of time. The National Weather Service reports that it can only take a couple of minutes for the heat to reach dangerous levels inside of a vehicle, even when parked in the shade or the windows on the car are rolled down.

2. Sun Poisoning and Sunburn

Assisting Hands Houston | Hot Weather Concerns For Your EldersIt is a very painful experience to get sunburned and if it gets bad enough can be extremely dangerous. According to South Dakota State University, compared to younger adults seniors are a lot more sensitive to the sun’s effects.

Serious sunburn may cause fevers, blister, and peel. According to Cleveland Clinic, skin is damaged at the cellular level by sunburns, which may result in significant damage along with bruising and skin cancer eventually. The difference between sun poisoning and sun sunburn is that usually sun poisoning also includes nausea, chills, and bumps that might itch.

In order to treat sunburn, there are over-the-counter solutions such as aspirin that you can try, or topical ointments like aloe vera gel. However, if your loved one is feeling fatigued or sick after they get a sunburn, you should make sure they see a doctor right away.

In order to prevent sun poisoning or sunburn, a broad-spectrum sunscreen that has a high SPF needs to be used. It should be applied 20 to 30 minutes at least before going outdoor and then every two hours that they are outside after that. Even on a cloudy day, sunscreen should still be applied, since harmful UV rays are still able to penetrate through cloud cover.

Your loved one needs to avoid being outside in the sun from 10 a.m. through 3 p.m. when it is at its peak. If they have to be outside during those hours, or at anywhere they will be exposed to the sunlight for long periods of time, then sunglasses should be worn, along with long-sleeved clothing and wide brim hats so that their skin is protected from being in direct contact with the sun for prolonged periods of time. When outside during the day, taking periodic breaks and resting in the shade is very important. If their skin starts to look pink or red or they begin to feel hot, then they should go inside.

There are also certain medications that can make seniors more sensitive to the suns effects that normal. Speak to their doctor or check their prescriptions to find out if any of their medications need to be watched.

3. Dehydration

When it is hot outside it is easy to not get enough fluids. During the summer heat, your loved one is going to tend to sweat more, and if they don’t make a conscious effort to drink more water they can quickly become dehydrated.

Whenever an individual becomes dehydrated, it also becomes more difficult for all of the systems of their body to function properly. Symptoms include the following:

  • Experience muscle cramps
  • Have headaches
  • Have dark-colored urine or not urinate enough
  • Have a sticky or dry mouth
  • Feel thirsty

If there is severe dehydration, symptoms will also include shallow and rapid breathing, confusion, dizziness, dry skin and rapid heartbeat.

If you act fast then dehydration is easy to treat. If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from dehydration, then make sure they drink a sports drink that is fortified with electrolytes or water. If it is difficult to drink water due to dehydration making them feel ill, then they might choose gently sip on water or suck on ice cubes instead.

If symptoms are not relieved by consuming more liquid, or if at any time your loved one ends up losing consciousness, then take the person to the emergency room or call 911. Prolonged, serious dehydration can be fatal. Don’t wait for dehydration signs before you start to ensure that your loved one drinks enough water. You should be proactive and make sure they have access to lots of hydrating fluids to help them stay hydrated and cool during the summer.

Dehydration can also be exacerbated by other illnesses. If the elderly person is sick and has diarrhea or vomiting also, then drinking plenty of fluids is very important.

Have Fun All Summer

With all of the different outdoor activities that are available to enjoy, no one should be forced to stay indoors and hide away from the sun all summer long. You just need to ensure that all safety precautions are followed – such as providing lots of water, applying sunscreen and making sure your older loved one spends time in the shade to get a rest from the sun – so that they can stay healthy and safe all summer long.

For more information please call us today or contact Assisting Hands Houston!

Get Ready Financially For Assisted Living

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Making Financial Arrangements For Assisted Living

Seniors in need of assisted living services and the families that take care of them face challenges in finding the resources they need. Meeting the financial obligations of good assisted living care can be particularly daunting. Fortunately, there is plenty of information and assistance available for seniors and families facing this prospect. When it comes to finding information on home health Houston Texas has no shortage of places to turn.

Planning Ahead

Assisted living community/facility selection can take months, and moving a senior is a complex task in its own right. Getting the family’s financial resources sorted out is also a lengthy process. This is why seniors and their families need to start discussing the shift to assisted living well in advance. Planning the move out well ahead of time gives families a chance to address concerns that might well get overlooked, like insurance options for seniors in assisted living.

When In Doubt, Always Ask Questions

There’s no such thing as being too well informed. This is especially true when it comes to considering the merits of a specific assisted living community. Besides gaining a full understanding of the level of care a facility has to offer, thorough questioning is required to fully explore all of the payment options and financial angles. It may be possible to reduce initial move-in costs or even month-to-month expenses by asking the right questions. Any assisted living contract needs to be scrupulously examined prior to signing to confirm that all of the financial arrangements are acceptable.

Consider Bridge Loans

Sometimes a senior needs to transition into an assisted living facility quickly, and the financial resources tied up in their home are not available to ease the changeover. Bridge loans are ideal for relieving financial hardships in situations like this. A good loan gives families the breathing space they need to ensure that they get maximum value for assets like homes. Bridge loans are intended to meet all of the expenses of assisted living prior to the successful closure of a home sale.

Don’t Overlook Veterans’ Benefits

Both veterans and veterans’ spouses may be entitled to financial assistance that can help meet the cost of assisted living services. Senior veterans can get especially useful support through the Aid and Attendance Program. To get started, go online or call 1-800-827-1000 to get in touch with a Veterans Regional Office.

Alternative Living Arrangements

It’s a good idea to maintain flexibility when planning for assisted living arrangements. Shared suites in a community designed for companion living can economize while simultaneously giving seniors much-needed companionship. This is an excellent compromise that reduces costs without bringing down the level of care seniors will enjoy in an assisted living community.

Get Expert Financial Advice

Assisting Hands Houston | Affordable In Home Care in HoustonA financial professional with senior finance experience can help unlock the full range of opportunities available to seniors going into an assisted living community. Referred to as financial concierges or financial advisors, these experts have all of the knowledge and experience necessary to navigate home sales, lending, and credit options.

Certain seniors and families may find themselves in a position to benefit from tax deductions for money spent on senior care. Seniors who require advanced medical support are particularly likely to be eligible for tax relief. Speak with an accountant or tax advisor to learn more.

Another potential financial resource that can cover at least some of the cost of assisted living services is Medicaid. Similar to the tax deductions described above, this is more likely to be a partial support rather than a comprehensive solution. Some seniors may also be in a position to convert a life insurance policy into an asset that can help to pay for long-term care.

The assistance of a professional streamlines and simplifies the process of moving a senior into assisted living without letting anything important get overlooked. Consult a trusted advisor to verify that all of the useful options are fully explored. Expert assistance makes the process of paying for assisted living much less complicated and challenging.

By contacting Assisting Hands Houston or calling today you will not only help yourself but also your loved ones! We are here to help every step of the way and answer any questions you may have regarding the services we provide and how we benefit both you and your loves 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.