Natural Disasters: Preparing for the Unexpected
“One person caring about another represents life’s greatest value.” – Jim Rohn While we can’t always predict or avert weather emergencies or natural disasters, we can try to prepare for them as much as possible so that we are always ready. Unexpected emergencies involving seniors can be even more challenging as many older adults have mobility issues, chronic health conditions, or they may not have family or friends nearby to assist them. We were quite inspired when we learned about the above-and-beyond measures one of our FirstLight franchise owners took during the recent hurricanes. When the massive storms blew through…
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Autumn Safety Checklist for Seniors
As we transition into autumn, and eventually into more wintry weather, it’s the perfect time to consider the safety, health, and well-being of older adults who are aging in the place they call home…especially if they are living alone. If you’re a family caregiver assisting an aging senior, now is the time to address all potential safety hazards, health challenges and home maintenance issues your loved one may face as they prepare for this season of change. Inspect the HVAC system. Cold temperatures can be difficult for the elderly. Schedule a regular maintenance check for your parents’ home heating system…
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The Importance of Oral Health and Hygiene As We Age
October is Dental Hygiene Month A century ago, the need for dentures later in life was considered a natural part of aging. Today, three-quarters of people over the age of 65 retain at least some of their natural teeth. While the improvement in oral health care among seniors is something to smile about, our aging loved ones still need to be diligent when it comes to their teeth. Even with regular brushing and flossing, older people still have higher rates of gum disease, dental decay, oral cancer, mouth infections, and tooth loss. Our team at FirstLight® addressed several oral health…
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Avoiding Caregiver Burnout When Dealing with Alzheimer’s
Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s is a tough job. The stress, demand, and constant worry can take a heavy toll on the family caregiver, so much that they often don’t take good care of themselves. It can also be an emotional journey as the family member providing care watches their loved one’s memories disappear and their daily skills decline. This inevitably will lead to caregiver burnout. Caregiving for someone with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia can be all-consuming. Family caregivers face many responsibilities and it is easy to become overwhelmed. The best advice our caregivers at FirstLight…
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When is it Okay to Lie?
My son Max gave me a seedling for Mother’s Day. I was supposed to plant it in the garden once it grew big enough, but instead it’s been sitting on a plate on our porch for months, looking more and more scraggly. I feel guilty every time I look at it. So, a few days ago, in a fit of cleaning spontaneity, I tossed the plant in the trash. Of course that’s the day Max went looking for it—the flower he hasn’t glanced at in two months. “Where’s my flower, Momma?” he asked. Cornered, I came up with a lie….
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Coping Strategies for Dementia Caregivers
This week, we have a guest post from one of our readers, Annabelle Short. Anna is a caregiver to her mom who is living with dementia and she has some valuable advice on coping strategies for dementia caregivers. Sometimes, the decision of becoming a caregiver is not entirely up to you. Unexpected life events might lead you to start taking care of a loved one, and suddenly you realize you have a new career commitment: to care for someone else. This was precisely what happened to me when I had to start taking care of my mom. My mom suffers…
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A Family Caregiver’s Guide to Senior Safety and Emergency Preparedness
September focuses on Falls Prevention and Emergency Preparedness If you’re a family caregiver, you may, at some point, need to handle an unexpected situation when it comes to your loved one. It could be anything from helping them stay safe during a natural disaster to helping them heal after a serious fall. Family caregivers should have a plan in place to help in emergency situations. At the very least, they should have a conversation with the person they’re caring for about the potential risks and what they can do to be prepared. If you or someone you know is a…
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Let’s Talk About Dementia
World Alzheimer’s Month is an international campaign every September to raise awareness and challenge the stigma that surrounds dementia. The impact of World Alzheimer’s Month is growing, but the misinformation that surrounds the disease remains a global issue that requires global action. At FirstLight Home Care, we focus on education, understanding and individualized care for families that have a loved one living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. We encourage clients and their families to know as much as they can about Alzheimer’s disease because it is the first step toward empowerment and understanding of the information needed to…
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What are the Signs of Senior Self-Neglect?
Self-neglect among the elderly is a growing problem that commonly goes unreported. We interviewed Nurse Beckie with FirstLight Home Care to learn more about this trend and how to prevent it. What is senior self-neglect? Senior self-neglect is when an elderly person is no longer able to meet his or her basic daily needs, which can result in serious health and safety concerns. The Aging Life Care Association has found that self-neglect among seniors is a more common form of non-financial neglect encountered by most caregivers. “When it is self-neglect and the senior is not able to take care of…
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Avoid These 5 Mistakes When Caring for Your Aging Parents
Approximately 34.2 million Americans have provided unpaid care to an adult age 50 or older in the last 12 months [National Alliance for Caregiving, 2019]. Every day a new family caregiver becomes part of this large group of people dealing head-on with the tasks of helping their parents with daily living: personal hygiene, dressing, food preparation, walking and mobility, transportation, housekeeping, medication management and more. If you are the family caregiver – whether you’re new to the role or not – we have compiled some advice to help you avoid 5 common mistakes when caring for your aging parents. Mistake…
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