Walking is fantastic exercise and there aren’t any special equipment requirements. As long as your elderly family member is able to walk and has supportive shoes, she can get started walking right away. Talk to her doctor first, and go over some of these safety tips, too.

“Right of Way” Isn’t Protection

Lots of people count on pedestrian right of way laws to save the day. But the problem with that is that drivers don’t always follow those right of way laws. It’s far better to be safe and sound than to be legally in the right if your senior is going up against a car as a pedestrian. Right of way laws don’t offer her nearly as much protection as paying attention to what’s going on does.

Pay Attention to All Traffic Signals

Along the same lines, traffic signals are a crucial part of her walking experience. Your elderly family member needs to pay attention to pedestrian signals, of course, but traffic signals are almost more important. Knowing what the cars are supposed to be doing, as well as what they’re actually doing, is vital in order for her to stay safe out on walks.

Look Both Ways, Twice

Your senior might have been the one to teach you to look both ways before crossing the street, but that is still a crucial rule. It’s also a good idea to beef it up a bit by doubling it. Looking both ways, twice, helps to ensure that your elderly family member is as aware as possible about what’s going on around her. If she’s in any doubt at all, looking again could be lifesaving.

She May not Be Able to Beat the “Don’t Walk” Warning

If your elderly family member thinks that the “don’t walk” signal is just a suggestion, she might be courting trouble. The signal that indicates she should stay on her side of the street is about keeping her safe, and it’s tied to traffic lights. That means even if there isn’t a car coming when she steps off the curb, that could change very quickly. It’s always better to wait, even if she doesn’t think cars might be coming around the corner or across the street.

Walking with a Partner Is a Good Idea

It’s always a good idea to have an exercise partner, but that’s even more important for your senior if she’s walking around her neighborhood. Walking with friends or neighbors could be a great idea, but if that’s not always feasible she may need another option. Senior care providers make excellent companions, and they can ensure your aging family member is safe as she walks, too.

Always make sure that your senior’s doctor clears any new exercise plans, including taking walks around the neighborhood.

If you or an aging loved one is considering senior care in Minneapolis, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.

There’s a certain expediency to taking complete control over everything your senior needs, but is that really the best option for your senior? It probably isn’t in her best interests. A better option is to keep your senior involved and engaged in her own care for as long as possible.

Establish Eye Contact During Care Activities

As you’re helping your senior with specific tasks, make sure you’re establishing eye contact first. This helps quite a bit because you’ve got her attention and you’re about to work together on whatever needs to happen next. It’s also helpful if what you need is for your elderly family member to follow along with an activity you’re modeling or miming for her. When you know you’ve got her attention, the whole process is a lot easier.

Let Her Know What’s about to Happen

Once you’ve got her attention, you need to let your elderly family member know what you’re about to do. It can be disconcerting for someone to just start doing something to her or around her and for her to be unaware of what’s going on. You might find that she’s more resistant when you haven’t given her a heads up about what’s happening next, for example.

Make Sure You’re not Taking Over

Something else to remember is that it’s important you’re not just taking over tasks and activities for your elderly family member. You might think it’s better for you to handle certain tasks because you can do those things faster or you might do them more accurately. But when you take over tasks your senior can still do, that may cause her to start to lose that skill. Demonstrating for her is one thing. Taking over completely is another.

Work out a Way to Let Her Ask for Help

You and your elderly family member might want to agree to a system where she asks you for help when she needs it and you trust that she’ll do so. This allows her to try things on her own and yet know that you’re there for support when needed. This can be hard to do, though. Working with elderly care providers can help you to learn how to sit back a bit and what it looks like when you do need to step in.

It’s important on both an emotional level and a practical level for your senior to be as involved as possible in her own care.

If you or an aging loved one is considering elderly care in Minnetonka, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.

How is your senior’s vision? If her eyes aren’t as healthy as they could be, that can cause big problems for her in terms of her overall quality of life.

Safety Accessories Just Make Sense

Safety goggles exist for reasons, namely people who have injured themselves in the past. When your elderly family member is doing something out in the yard, goggles or other eye protection is a great idea. But other safety accessories, like sunglasses, can also be important. Try to match up the activity with a proper safety tool whenever you can so that your senior’s eyes are as protected as possible.

Screen Time Is More Damaging than People Think

Brightness levels on screens can help make it easier to read or to see what’s on the screen, but too many hours in a row of staring at a bright screen can be damaging to your senior’s eyes. Wearing glasses that have blue light filters can help quite a bit. Taking a break from screens can also be very helpful. Help your elderly family member to find other hobbies that she can enjoy that allow her to take a break from screens.

Eye Appointments Are Key

When your elderly family member goes to eye exams on a regular basis, her eye doctor is able to spot possible issues when they’re still small. That gives your elderly family member a chance to try treatments that might actually be helpful. Waiting too long might leave her without nearly as many options to do what she can to take care of her vision.

Start Being Mindful about Smoking

Cigarette smoke is harmful in a lot of different ways, but it can also be damaging to your senior’s vision. The smoke is an irritant, of course, but the chemicals in the smoke can also cause problems. Breathing in the chemicals involved in smoking has an internal effect on your senior’s body systems, too, like her vision. If your senior doubts all of this, talking to her doctor and her eye doctor about the effects of smoking may help.

Get More Specific Tips from Her Doctor

There may be other tips that your senior’s doctor can give to her that relate to her specific health needs. Talk to her doctor about what else she needs to be aware of and about what you can do for her as her caregiver. Reviewing her medications regularly is also a good idea, especially in terms of how they can cause her to experience trouble with her vision.

Finding the right plan for protecting your senior’s vision is crucial for her well-being and for ensuring she’s able to do all that she wants to do.

If you or an aging loved one is considering caregivers in St. Louis Park, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.

The best diet is one that meets goals for fiber, protein, antioxidants, and calcium intake. It’s one where saturated fats, preservatives, and added sugars are avoided. September is Better Breakfast Month. Find out what steps you can take to make sure your dad is starting his day off in the best way. Greens for breakfast is one way to do this.

Why Greens?

Leafy greens contain essential nutrients like beta carotene, vitamin E, folate, and lutein. They include kale, spinach, collard greens, dandelion greens, watercress, Swiss chard, and cabbage.

Greens are packed with antioxidants and may have inflammatory properties, too. A Memory and Aging Study found that people who had a full serving of daily greens every day had slower cognitive decline than those who skipped greens.

That’s just one chronic health condition that may be eased by a daily diet that’s rich in leafy greens. Arthritis and heart disease are others. It’s recommended that people eat two cups of leafy greens raw or cooked each day. By the time you cook two cups of leafy greens, they’ll shrink to a cup but that counts as the full serving.

Easy Ways to Incorporate Leafy Greens in Breakfast Items

Make sure your dad is eating enough leafy greens by starting his morning with a serving. If he’s not a big eater when he first gets up, you could make a breakfast smoothie with frozen blueberries, baby spinach, and cranberry juice that doesn’t contain added sugar. Add kefir or yogurt for a boost of calcium.

If he will eat a full meal, toast a whole-grain English muffin. Saute two cups of leafy greens in olive or walnut oil and add a clove of garlic. Split that over each English muffin half. Place a poached egg on top of the greens and drizzle with a little lemon aioli. It’s a healthier take on Eggs Benedict. If he has to have meat, uncured turkey bacon is ideal.

Make a quiche out of egg whites, chopped fresh spinach, grated low-fat cheddar, green onions, and red peppers. You can make it a crustless quiche or use wholewheat pastry dough.

Finally, you could serve a salad for breakfast. Top leafy greens with fresh peaches, strawberries, and roasted almonds. Drizzle it with some balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

What are some of the other ways to help your dad stay healthy and happy? Make sure he has companionship. If he’s alone every day, he may feel lonely and bored. That will impact his health. Elder care services include everything from companionship services to meal preparation.

Your dad has an elder care aide to take him shopping, play games with him on rainy afternoons, or cook his meals. A caregiver can make sure he’s starting his day with a filling, nutritious breakfast that contains a full serving of leafy, green vegetables.


If you or an aging loved one is considering elder care in St. Paul, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.

At his last doctor’s appointment, your dad’s doctor said he still needs to get his blood pressure down. To do so, a new medication is added to his daily routine. When medications are added or the dosages are increased, what steps should you take to make sure he’s okay as he adjusts?

Read the Side Effects

When your dad has a new prescription, go over the side effects. If it says the pills cause dizziness or drowsiness, make sure he does not drive after taking that pill. Go over the possible side effects with him. If he feels nervous taking the pill without someone around, take steps to make sure someone is there with him.

Understand Any Restrictions

Make sure you know about contraindications or restrictions. If his new medication says he cannot take it with alcohol, be sure that he takes doesn’t have anything to drink. His doctor will be able to tell you when it’s safe for him to drink.

It may not be advisable to take his medication with an over-the-counter cold or allergy medication. If that’s the case, ask his doctor what he should do if his allergy symptoms flare up.

Keep in Touch With His Doctor

If the side effects are causing problems, talk to his doctor about an alternative. If his new medication makes him so unsteady that he falls, see if he can take the pill before he goes to bed so that he’s asleep when the dizziness hits.

Some pills have to be taken in the morning. If that’s the case, he should take the pill and do something that involves sitting down for a while. For example, he could take the pill while he eats breakfast and then sits down to read the paper or watch a movie.

Hire Home Care Services Like Medication Reminders and Companionship

Finally, talk to a home care specialist about medication reminders and companionship services. If a caregiver is there to remind your dad when to take his prescription medications, he has someone with him to watch for unusual side effects.

If your dad’s new blood pressure medication makes him dizzy, the caregiver can be available for support if he has to get up and go to the bathroom. The caregiver can remind him to eat a meal before he takes the pill or has a glass of milk if the pill is known to cause stomach upset. Call a home care agency to make arrangements.

If you or an aging loved one is considering senior care in Coon Rapids, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.

Many people think that stress is just that, stress. However, if your elderly loved one is stressed it can impact their brain. Short-term stress could make your elderly loved one feel frustrated, tense, and/or anxious. However, with time, stress can cause further emotional, mental, and physical health issues. In fact, research shows that longer-term stress can cause anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other issues. It can cause a negative impact on one’s brain, too.

Chemical Changes

If someone is stressed, there will be enzymes that start attacking the brain’s molecules. These molecules are needed for proper regulating of the synapses throughout the hippocampus. When someone is stressed, there aren’t as many connections made. This can cause someone to become irritable, angry, or a range of other negative feelings. They may also start to forget things, as well.

Shrinking the Brain

If someone is stressed for a long time, it could potentially shrink their brain. Everyone experiences stress from time to time. However, if your elderly loved one is stressed a lot, it could harm their memory, reduce their capacity to learn, cause self-control issues, and reduce other physiological functions. Stress can actually reduce the amount of grey matter throughout the brain.

Killing the Brain Cells

The brain creates neurons throughout the hippocampus all the time. This helps people to learn and retain new information. The hippocampus is responsible for emotion, memory, and learning. However, people who experience ongoing stress will have a halt in the new neurons that are created. The reduction in connections made can cause emotional distress, forgetfulness, and a decrease in the ability to communicate.

Triggering of the Threat Response

When someone has high levels of stress hormones in their brain, it raises the amount of activity throughout the amygdala. This part of the brain is responsible for emotional responses and motivation. This means that it controls the person’s fight or flight response. Having increased levels of stress causes the brain to think it is in a dangerous situation. This increases emotional reactions and can make your elderly loved one have a meltdown.

As you can see, stress can affect your elderly loved one’s brain in numerous ways. If your elderly loved one is stressed a lot of the time, they might need someone there to help them out on a regular basis. If you can’t be there to help, you can hire senior care providers to do so.


If you or an aging loved one is considering senior care in Plymouth, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.

You might be wondering why good communication with your elderly loved one is so important. Your loved one needs to communicate their hunger and thirst needs, medical needs, feelings, and so much more. If they aren’t able to do that as well as they used to, it is important that you are able to properly communicate with them to help figure these things out. The good news is that there are some tips to help you communicate much better with your elderly loved one.

Listen Fully

One of the best things that you can do to communicate with your elderly loved one is to listen fully. If your elderly loved one has trouble communicating, you will need to listen to what they are saying, so you can understand their needs. Make sure you are patient with them and pay attention to all the details of what they are saying. It might take more time than it used to for your loved one to have a conversation with you. However, as long as you are listening fully and watching your body language, you can keep the communication pathways open between the two of you.


Sometimes, it can be tough to understand what your elderly loved one is saying. However, when you can truly understand your loved one and comprehend what they are telling you, the situation can go over much smoother. In order to fully understand, you will need to be patient and pay attention to everything your elderly loved one tells you.

Asking the Right Questions

Another way that you can improve the communication between you and your elderly loved one is by asking the right questions. Sometimes, your elderly loved one might not be clear on what they need or want. If you are asking them the right questions, they can answer those questions and help you to understand their needs and wants.


Finally, you should reiterate what your elderly loved one has said to you. Summarize what they said, so that you can confirm you fully understood what they were talking about. In addition, reiterating what your loved one has said can ensure that there isn’t any miscommunication.

There are many aspects of caring for an elderly loved one. Communication is one of the things that matter the most.

If you use these tips, you can have been conversations with your elderly loved one and understand their needs and wants much better, as well.


If you or an aging loved one is considering elderly care in Woodbury, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.

No matter how you enter into your caregiving journey, whether that’s a gradual experience or a sudden one, life is changing for you and for your senior. If you can start out that journey as a caregiver in the right way, that’s going to set you up for success as you go.

Don’t Neglect Your Own Health Needs

Just because you’re helping your senior to take care of her own needs, that doesn’t mean you can or should neglect your own. If you’ve got health issues that you need to stay on top of, prioritize those. This means getting yourself to your own doctor if you haven’t been in a while. That’s going to help to ensure that you’re well enough to continue to be your senior’s caregiver for as long as you’re able to do so.

Find Ways to Juggle Your Life, Too

But it’s not just your health that you need to prioritize. Other aspects of your life are equally important and need your focus, too. Your social life, your work obligations, and all of your other responsibilities are also important. Juggling them properly is going to be the key to retaining your identity while also being an effective caregiver.

Spend Some Time Learning

It’s really important to learn as much as you can about your senior’s health, her prognosis, and anything else that might be impacting her life now and in the future. That covers a lot of ground, of course, but if you start learning now, you’re going to be consistently building your knowledge. When you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or stuck, that stockpile of information is going to help you to get unstuck.

Don’t Wait to Get More Help

Lots of caregivers wait to get more help because they don’t see a need for any help now. The reality, though, is that you really do need help now. Bringing in home care providers now before you’re feeling stretched to your limits is going to help you to avoid getting to that point. Home care providers can be there for hands-on assistance and also to give you a chance to focus on your needs when necessary.

All of this helps you to build a strong base for your time as a caregiver, however long that might be. The more solid and stable you’re able to be, the better a support system you can provide for your senior.

If you or an aging loved one is considering homecare in Eden Prairie, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.

One of the more stressful tasks family caregivers face is a trip to the doctor. When a parent has Alzheimer’s disease, a simple trip often becomes a challenge.

Among the challenges you face are getting your parent out of the home on time. Getting your parent out of the car and into the medical office is the next challenge. After that, you must get your parent to cooperate with the doctor, allow the doctor to perform tests. You also have to relay messages as a doctor may not use simple enough terms for your mom or dad to understand.

It’s going to make you feel stressed. That’s okay. These tips can help you avoid some of the stress and better manage the stress you do experience.

Get Ready to Stretch the Truth

If your parent is one to delay your departure. Start lying about it being time to go about half an hour early. It gets you out of the door on time.

If your parent is pushing it and you’re going to be late, lie about where you’re going. Instead of saying you have to go to the doctor’s office, ask your mom or dad if they want to go out to eat. Pick a restaurant or food you know they love.

Prepare Yourself for the Challenges During the Appointment

If you go into a doctor’s visit prepared, it can help ease the stress. Before the appointment, ask to have the doctor or his/her nurse call you. Go over the tests or vaccinations that are due. If you’re aware of them in advance, you’ll be able to prepare your mom or dad.

For example, if you know your mom is due her tetanus booster, you’ll be able to prepare her as best you can. Have her wear a t-shirt with a cardigan she can quickly take off. Don’t worry about telling her in advance. She won’t likely remember what you’ve said. Do have a distraction in hand for when it’s happening.

Alert the Medical Staff

Your mom or dad’s doctor knows that Alzheimer’s is present, but that doesn’t mean the nurses and registration desk know it. Be prepared to tell them over and over. If your parent gets testy when you say it out loud, keep business cards that you can pass out.

On that business card, have it printed that you are your parent’s carer and that he/she has dementia. It can also include simple instructions about keeping sentences short, needing to speak clearly, and being ready to repeat things often.

How often do you take a break? Make sure you get time away to care for yourself. Professional caregivers are one of the easiest ways to ensure you have time alone. Call a home care agency and ask about the cost of having part-time caregivers for respite care.

If you or an aging loved one is considering caregivers in St. Louis Park, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.