If you are a family caregiver for an elderly loved one who lives alone at home, the upcoming holidays will mean you’ll want to make sure that their home is safely decorated. Putting out all of the holiday décor is a big part of making a home feel festive and welcome. But with an aging loved one, you also need to make sure you are not creating any undue risks that may cause harm to them during the holiday season. Elder care can help ensure your senior’s safety during the holidays.

Before you break out all of those crates of holiday decorations, take some time to review these safety tips first.

The Christmas Tree

If your elderly loved one enjoys having a tree to hang all of her favorite ornaments from, make sure the tree is safe. One of the very first things to do is to determine which kind of tree your loved one will have – real or artificial. A real tree requires extra care so that it doesn’t become a fire hazard. Will your loved one be able to water it daily to keep the branches from drying out or should you ask an elder care provider to come to the home to help with this chore? If an artificial tree is chosen, make sure you choose one that is fire-resistant so that if any of the lights happen to get too warm, it’ll be less likely to catch fire.

Finally, don’t forget, that real or artificial, the tree should not be closer than three feet to any fire sources (like the fireplace or the stove), and nothing with any actual flame should be used on or near the tree (such as candles).

Holiday Lights

Holiday lights are a great way to make a room or home festive for the season. Choosing the right lights for both inside and outside is important. Only indoor lights should be used indoors and only outdoor lights should be used outdoors. If shopping with an elder care provider for new lights, they should read the labels and make sure the right kind is purchased.

Remember to watch where those cords are for lights as well. Often holiday lights are hung in places where there aren’t outlets nearby (like around windows or door frames). Have your elder care provider help by taping down all cords and making sure no cords cross a walking path.

Holiday Candles

Your loved one may love a candle scented with pine or cinnamon over the holidays, but make sure she remembers to only burn the candle when she’s awake (always snuff it when leaving the candle) and to be careful where she places it when using it. A candle should not have anything near it that could potentially catch fire if a draft were to cause the flame to grow.

Following these rules will ensure your loved one remains safe and injury-free throughout the season.

Source
https://www.cdc.gov/healthequity/features/holidayseason/index.html

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

If you can only do one thing to keep your elderly family member from experiencing a fall, ensuring that her home environment is as safe and clean as possible is a good start. This is because your elderly family member’s home environment is what she will be moving around in the most, so she needs to have the space that she needs in order to be safe.

Keeping Your Senior’s Home Neat and Tidy Is Vital

There are a lot of factors involved in fall prevention, but if your elderly family member’s home is cluttered, dirty, and basically not easy for her to navigate, she’s far more likely to experience a fall. Take stock of what is going on right now in your elderly family member’s home so that you can assess what else needs to be done. Once you get her home in good shape, it’s easier to maintain that condition with the help of elder care providers.

Downsize, if Necessary

Your elderly family member may have more items in her home than she can realistically safely have there with her. It may be time to talk with her about how she should think carefully about what is in her home and what can be relocated. Opening up some space by reducing items is going to help your senior to be a lot safer.

Reorganize as Much as Possible

Once you know what items your elderly family member is keeping, it’s time to look at how those items are stored. Often a fall is not just because your elderly family member trips over something. She can also experience a fall because she’s standing on something to reach an item she needs. Home care providers can help your elderly family member to move items where they make more sense for her needs and where they’re safer.

Make Sure that Spills and Other Problems Are Handled Right Away

Another aspect of keeping your senior’s home clean is ensuring that spills and other problem areas are handled as soon as they happen. Elder care providers can make a huge difference for your senior with this aspect of maintaining her home. They can stay on top of what’s happening and what needs to be dealt with in order to keep your senior safe.

Reassess Your Senior’s Needs Often

Once you have your elderly family member’s environment in shape, it’s important to reassess her needs and her home periodically. This step is going to help you to ensure that as her needs change, you’re on top of the situation. Elder care providers can help you to do this as they notice changes in what’s happening with your senior. As soon as you notice potential problems, take action to address what you are able to change.

Talk with your elderly family member’s doctor about what else you can do to help prevent a fall for her. Understanding all of her risk factors is vital in order to ensure that she remains as safe as possible.

Source
https://www.cdc.gov/falls/index.html

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

Every day in the U.S., around 9,500 people are diagnosed with skin cancer. By the age of 70, there’s a 20% chance you’ll have skin cancer. This is one of the points to consider during Summer Sun Safety Month.

Another issue is heat stroke. During a 2019 heatwave, researchers studied how it affected people on the West Coast, specifically in the states of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. ER visits related to heat were 69 times higher on the hottest days of this heatwave. During that time, more than 3,500 people sought ER treatment for heatstroke.

When your mom spends time in the sun, she has to protect her skin. She also needs to make sure she’s limiting sun exposure and staying as cool as she can. Hanging out in AC, if she has it, is important. When she’s outside, she needs to stay hydrated and protect her skin.

Choose the Right Sunscreen

Make sure the sunscreen you buy for your mom protects against UVA and UVB rays. It’s often labeled broad-spectrum. A mineral-based sunscreen is a better option for aging skin as it tends to be thicker and gets applied properly, plus it’s gentle on aging skin.

Choose a sunscreen that’s at least 35 SPF. Waterproof is good, but your mom still needs to apply it after getting out of a pool or other water source. She also needs to reapply it if she’s been sweating while working in her garden or taking a walk.

Aerosol sunscreen is easy to put on, but people often don’t put enough on. If your mom prefers a spray-on sunscreen, make sure she’s putting on a thick layer. A quick spray isn’t enough. If she has a lotion, the general advice is to fill a shot glass with sunscreen. That’s how much she needs.

When your mom chooses a face moisturizer, look for one that contains sunscreen. The skin on the ears, forehead, and eyelids is thin and prone to burning. Make sure it’s protected. When she’s outside, a wide-brimmed hat also helps protect her face from the sun.

Wear Loose, Protective Clothing

If your mom has a hard time applying sunscreen, remembering when to drink more water, or come inside after a certain amount of time, consider home care services. Hire caregivers to make sure your mom is covered in sunscreen about 15 minutes before she goes outside. Have a caregiver help your mom choose lightweight, protective clothing.

A home care specialist is ready to answer your questions, go over prices, and help you arrange the services your mom needs. Scheduling services is easy to do over the phone or by filling out a quick online form.

 

Sources:
https://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/skin-cancer-facts/
https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7029e1.htm

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

When adult children are asked which family meetings they dread the most, telling their parents it’s time to quit driving is always near the top of the list. Due to the tight association between driving and freedom, the majority of us automatically oppose the idea of giving it up. Who could blame your mom or dad for not wanting to give that up? They may feel like they’re unable to get around where they want and when they need to go.

Luckily, there are alternative solutions that will keep your parents from driving but still maintain a sense of freedom. Senior home care can be hired to help your parent who is determined to age in place. These are caregivers who can help with chores around the house, add in safety measurements, and drive seniors to activities, events, and appointments. Senior home care is the best solution for your senior who wants to remain independent but needs additional help. Caregivers make it easier for the elderly who don’t want to rely on their children.

When it’s time for your parents to stop driving there are a few things you can do. Driving can be a very high risk activity and you have to protect your loved one and other drivers on the road. Here are some ideas you can use when it’s time to get your senior off the road.

How to Get Your Parents to Stop Driving

To start, understand that the majority of elderly drivers are safe behind the wheel. Indeed, older drivers are frequently safer than younger drivers in several critical ways. However, motor accident mortality rises significantly beyond the age of 70 and peaks after the age of 85, in part because seniors are frequently more physically vulnerable than younger drivers. Cognitive decline and vision difficulties are two of the most prominent factors contributing to poor driving safety. So, here is what you can do.

Know The Signs When It’s Time To Stop

While some of us are content to give up driving when it no longer feels secure, the majority of us try to minimize concerns, which means that family and friends must be vigilant for changes that put your parents at risk.

Get feedback from police officers- This means if there is a spike in your loved ones tickets, or their insurance goes up, or something else it is a sign that their driving isn’t going well.

Unseen Traffic Signs- If your seniors are missing traffic signs it is time to stop them from driving. They may also miss things like traffic lights if they can’t see.

Look At It a Different Way

Reframing the phrase “stop driving” may help seniors feel more comfortable with the idea. Instead ask them if senior home care is available for the activities a senior is doing. It’s human nature for the majority of us to resist being told we can’t do anything, and informing your parent they must quit driving is almost certain to drive them into fighting mode. Instead of saying stop, give them other solutions to enjoy the same activities.

Talk To Your Parents Openly

Randomly telling them to stop one day won’t encourage them to get off the road. Often you will need to lead into this conversation by first having other conversations. You need to keep in mind your loved ones feelings.

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

Unfortunately, now that it is tax refund time, there are scammers coming out of the woodwork. Each year, it seems like they have some new kind of ruse. However, there is one thing that seems to stay the same every year and that is they attack senior citizens’ bank accounts and identities. If you are caring for your elderly loved one, it would be a good idea to learn about how to prevent identity theft, and how companion care at home can help remind your senior to make safe choices on the internet and phone.

Medical Information

One of the things that you should keep an eye on for your elderly loved one is their medical information. Many medical documents have the last 4 of a person’s social security number, birthdate, address, and other personal information. If someone gets a hold of these documents, it would be much easier for them to steal your elderly loved one’s identity. The best way to help your elderly loved one prevent medical theft is to shred documents, especially medical ones, instead of throwing them into the trash. You or companion care at home providers could help your elderly loved one remember to shred these papers.

Taking Out of the Mailbox

Another way that scammers are stealing the identity of senior citizens is that they are taking mail out of the mailboxes. Usually, it is just a piece of mail at a time or they take from mailboxes that have a lot of mail in them. The best way to help your elderly loved one prevent identity theft in this regard is to determine when the mail usually comes at their house. Then, you or a home care provider can get the mail every day to reduce the chances that someone can steal it.

Grandchild Ruse

There is also a grandchild ruse that has been out for some time. Most of the time this comes in the form of a phone call. For instance, your elderly loved one might get a phone call from someone claiming to be their grandchild and ask for money to be sent in the mail or via an online payment platform. While this isn’t necessarily identity theft, they could get a lot of your elderly loved one’s money this way. It is very easy for scammers to pretend to be someone else in this day and age being that many relationships are posted on social media platforms. The best way to help your elderly loved one prevent this is to have them tell you or a companion care at home provider if someone asks for money over the phone. Then, one of you can contact this person to find out if it is truly their relative.

Conclusion

These are some of the situations in which a scammer could get a hold of your elderly loved one’s identity or money. Hopefully, from the tips noted in each of these sections, you can help your elderly loved one to protect their identity and their bank account.

Sources
https://oig.ssa.gov/congressional-testimony/2012-02-07-newsroom-congressional-testimony-identity-theft-and-americas-senior-citizens/

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

Daylight Savings Time is approaching and even though it’s wonderful to get an extra hour of daylight during the spring and summer, making the time switch can be physically and mentally difficult for seniors. Studies have shown that just losing that one hour of sleep and getting up an hour earlier can increase the risk of heart attack. And for seniors who typically have more trouble sleeping than other groups losing an hour of sleep can have a big impact on their cognitive skills and mental health. Here are a few ways that you or a personal care at home provider can help your senior loved one adjust to Daylight Savings Time:

Ease Into The Time Change

One of the most jarring things about the time change for Daylight Savings Time is how quickly it happens. You can help your senior loved one adjust to the time change by changing the times when they get up and go to bed in 15 minute increments starting about a week before Daylight Savings Time begins. A personal care at home provider can help your senior by waking them 15 minutes earlier than usual or helping them get to bed 15 minutes earlier than usual. And then after a couple of days of that schedule it can be adjusted to getting up 15 minutes earlier and going to bed 15 minutes earlier again. Over the course of about two weeks your senior loved one’s internal clock will safely shift to adapt to the new schedule.

Keep Routines The Same

Keeping your senior loved one’s morning and bedtime routines the same regardless of the time will help them adjust to Daylight Savings Time. It’s the routine that helps signal to their brain that it’s time to wake up or time to go to sleep so keeping their morning and bedtime routines the same will keep the signals consistent and provide some stability to make the change easier.

Avoid Naps

The first few days your senor loved one may be very tired or tired and irritable during the day. Even though they may want to sleep during the day try to keep them awake and active during the day. That will help them be tired enough at night to sleep through the night and get adjusted to the time change. If you are gone at work during the day a personal care at home provider can help keep your senior parent from taking naps by engaging them in playing games, watching movies, or taking them out for a walk.

Cut Back On Caffeine

Any substances like caffeine that can interfere with sleep or act like a stimulant should be avoided during the transition to Daylight Savings Time. If your senior loved one isn’t about to give up their coffee in the morning that’s fine, but encourage them to drink tea throughout the day instead of more coffee or drinks like sodas that have caffeine in them.

Source:
https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/news/20211105/harmful-effects-of-daylight-savings

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

January is Get Organized Month and it’s the start of a new year when people are excited to make positive changes in their lives. That makes now the perfect time for seniors to tackle some home organization projects. Many seniors that are aging in place have piles of old papers, boxes of old photos, and lots of other items that really need to be organized both because they should be put away and because clutter like old boxes can become a tripping hazard for seniors. According to professional organizes some of the best things that seniors can do to get organized are:

Get Help

Organizing your home will likely mean moving furniture, moving boxes, putting things together, and running to the store for supplies like markers and tape. Seniors should get help from family members or from in-home care providers who can help them with the organizing process. It also will be helpful to have some extra hands to help box things, tape things, and get some drinks throughout the process. An in-home care provider can help seniors organize and get them plenty of drinks and snacks so they have the energy to keep organizing.

Install Storage Systems

In order to make the home safe and get all that clutter out of the way it’s helpful to install shelves, cube organizers, and other storage systems that will hold boxes, bins, and all those things that have no real place right now. A contractor or a family member with a drill and a good DIY sense can transform your senior loved one’s home into a showplace of organization by using existing wall space to install shelving and storage systems that will make the home safe and clutter free.

Get Rid Of As Much As You Can

The hardest part of organizing for seniors may be getting rid of things, but now is the time to go through all of those old mementos, furniture, and other things and get rid of them. Family members should be able to take any furniture or personal items from their childhood that they want to hang onto. Any furniture that is in good shape can be donated or your senior loved one can have a big garage sale to get rid of furniture, old records, jewelry, clothes, and other items that they don’t want to keep.

Use Technology

Technology can be very helpful when it comes to home organization. Old family photos can be scanned or snapshotted and stored digitally so that the hard copies of the photos can be thrown away. Get rid of all those old greeting cards, handmade items from when the children were little, and old papers that probably won’t be needed but your senior may want a copy of anyway. A great way to display digital photos is to get a photo frame that runs slideshows of digital photos that are uploaded to it from a mobile phone. Then your senior loved one can see all their precious photos without having to drag out a heavy photo album.

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

As you take care of your elderly loved one, you will likely be over at their house quite a bit. Even if you live farther away, you will likely see your elderly loved one’s home over video chats. When you see their home, you should take some time to look at the placement of furniture, how bright the house is, and other aspects of the home. Many senior citizens need home modifications to help them stay safe and comfortable. Your elderly loved one might need these modifications in their house, too.

Improving the Lighting

One of the home modifications that your elderly loved one might need is improved lighting. There are a lot of senior citizens who can’t see well. As the hours slip away and the house starts getting darker, if the lighting isn’t bright enough, your elderly loved one could easily trip and fall. The safest option would be to get better lighting in their home. There are numerous ways this can be done. You can place lamps throughout your elderly loved one’s house. You can also put motion sensor lighting or nightlights throughout the home, too.

Put Safety First by Removing Clutter

Your elderly loved one might enjoy keeping a lot of things such as electronics, furniture, collectibles, papers, and other things. It is okay for people to enjoy doing this to hold onto memories or to keep things that are important to them. However, if these belongings are starting to make a mess in your elderly loved one’s home, it would be a good idea to go through it all with them. Explain to your elderly loved one that clutter can increase the risk of a fall, a fire in the house, and increase stress of everyone in the home, too. Your elderly loved one doesn’t have to get rid of everything. However, even going through it all and organizing things can help a great deal.

Cleaning the Entryway and Bedroom

Two of the places where your elderly loved one will be at a lot are the entryway and bedroom. These two rooms should be kept clean and organized as much as possible. Some things that you can get to help your elderly loved one do this include:

  • Shoe rack
  • Coat hanger
  • Cubed organizers
  • Hangers
  • Portable closet

These modifications can help your elderly loved one to keep their entryway and bedroom clean. If needed, you or a companion care at home provider can remind your elderly loved one or help them to keep these areas of their home clean each day or week.

Conclusion

There are many home modifications that could help your elderly loved one to be safer and more comfortable. The options above are a good place to start if you are helping your elderly loved one to achieve this goal.

Sources
https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/aging-place-growing-older-home

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

From December 5th to 11th, Older Driver Safety Awareness Week draws attention to the steps families can take to ensure their parents are safe drivers. Looking at some of the facts regarding older drivers can help you better understand the pros and cons of allowing your parents to continue driving.

Around 30 Million Drivers Are 70 or Older

According to the Federal Highway Administration, around 30 million drivers are 70 or older. At the same time, crashes with older drivers are more likely to result in severe or fatal injuries. Much of this comes down to underlying health issues, such as bone strength allowing bones to fracture easily.

Crash Rates Are Declining

While accidents are more likely to lead to severe injuries, crash rates are declining in older adults. This comes down to enhanced safety features in cars. Many of today’s cars have backup cameras, self-parking, front-end collision warning, braking assist, and blind-spot indicators.

Right-of-Way Errors Are the Most Common Cause of Crashes With Older Drivers

Failing to yield right-of-way correctly causes the most errors among older drivers. It often comes down to not checking blind spots thoroughly or incorrectly judging the distance or space between cars.

Some Common Health Conditions Impact Safe Driving

Research finds that older adults with arthritis or cognitive impairment are more likely to impact how well a person can drive. The good news is that older adults are also more likely to stop driving if they learn they have a health condition that can impact their driving ability.

Older Drivers Set Limits Regarding When to Drive

Studies find that older adults are embracing the habit of only driving in daylight. If your mom or dad feels safer only operating a car in the daytime, that’s normal. Make sure they have someone available to drive them if they need to go out early in the morning or after the sunset.

Medication Side Effects Can Impact Driving Skills

Some medications have side effects that make driving unsafe. If your parents’ prescriptions cause drowsiness or nausea, they shouldn’t drive until the side effects pass. Sometimes, they shouldn’t drive at all. This increases the need for transportation services from an elder care agency.

Transportation Services Enhance Safety

Every driver is different. If you believe it’s time for your mom or dad to hand over the keys, make sure they know they still enjoy their freedom. With elder care transportation services, they’ll have a caregiver to drive them around. Talk to an elder care specialist to learn more.

Sources:
https://www.iihs.org/topics/older-drivers

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