Creating an Elder Care Plan for a Senior with Congestive Heart Failure

Elder Care in Arvada CO

Hearing that your aging parent has congestive heart failure can be a truly terrifying moment in your elder care journey. If you are not familiar with this condition it can sound as though your Elder-Care-in-Arvada-COparent’s heart has stopped or that it will be stopping very soon. It can sound like your parent is at risk of dying within a very short time and like there is nothing that you can do about it. This, however, is not the case. Congestive heart failure is a condition in which the heart weakens to the point that it is no longer able to pump blood through the body at the rate that is necessary to support health. This causes fluids and waste products to build up in the body, and your parent’s body to not operate properly due to the lack of blood and nutrients flowing to the body.

Fortunately this does not mean that your parent can not enjoy a good quality of life. By creating an elder care plan tailored to the new needs and challenges of this condition you can help your parent maintain the best health possible so she can enjoy her aging years.

 

Use these tips to help you create an elder care plan tailored for your senior with congestive heart failure:

  • Educate yourself and your parent. The most dangerous thing that you can do after your parent receives any type of diagnosis is not know everything that you can. Spend some time educating yourself and your loved one about congestive heart failure and the treatment options that are right for her. This will help you to feel more confident in your ability to care for your parent, and help her to feel more at ease on this new journey.
  • Understand her condition. Talk to your parent’s doctor about her current health and wellbeing. Make sure that you understand how far her condition has progressed and what challenges she is currently facing. This will help you to recognize the most pressing needs for your care plan.
  • Revamp her diet. Eating a healthy diet is important for everyone, but after your parent receives a diagnosis of congestive heart failure you are going to need to be even more vigilant about what she eats. This is because most doctors will recommend dramatically reducing the sodium that she consumes. Sodium increases blood pressure, making the heart work harder, and causes even more fluid to build up in the body. Talk to the doctor about how much sodium your parent should eat in a day and get recommendations for how to cut it down.
  • Start a journal. Keeping track of your parent’s daily health is essential to ensuring that your elder care journey is tailored to managing her condition. This journal should include her daily weight, her blood pressure, her diet, and any new or worsening symptoms that she develops. Be sure to bring this information with you whenever your parent visits the doctor.

 

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring elder care in Arvada, CO, please contact Visiting Angels at 303-232-9999.

 

Sources:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-failure/basics/prevention/con-20029801

http://www.emoryhealthcare.org/heart-failure/learn-about-heart-failure/symptoms-causes.html

http://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_heart_failure.htm

http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/heart-failure/features/living-with-advanced-heart-failure

4 Fears Behind Your Loved One’s Insistence to Keep Driving

Caregiver in Greenwood Village CO

As a family caregiver you sometimes have to make some difficult and unpopular decisions. One of the most difficult can be rescinding your loved one’s driving privileges. This decision could be theCaregiver-in-Greenwood-Village-CO result of health problems or simply safety, but your loved one is likely to react with reluctance if not outright rebellion. But fear could be the emotion behind the response.

I’ll Be Alone All the Time

Your loved one values her independence, but she likely also enjoys having control over who she sees and who she visits. When you take her wheels away, she may worry that now she won’t see anyone at all. The best way for you to allay this fear is to keep in communication with your loved one. Have her let you know when she’s wanting alone time and when she’d like to be out and about. Then you aren’t guessing and she won’t have to worry that she’ll be forgotten.

I’ll Be Trapped in an Emergency

This fear has a basis in reality, of course. If your loved one were truly injured, then she likely wouldn’t be able to transport herself, but it’s still a valid fear. To help her and you rest more easily, look into a personal alarm device that she can wear. These types of devices usually have a button on a lanyard or a wrist device that can allow her to contact help if she’s in an emergency.

I Won’t Be Able to Run Errands or Go to Appointments

Your loved one has spent decades controlling her own schedule. She’s been able to run errands, make her own appointments, and travel at her leisure that whole time. Now, life is looking a bit different. There are plenty of options, though. Work with your loved one to develop a schedule for you to take her where she needs to go. If that’s not feasible for some reason, look into transportation offerings from local senior organizations or enlist the help of home care providers who can be available for your loved one.

Everyone Will Think I’m a Burden

What you and your other family members think is probably really important to your elderly loved one. She doesn’t want to be a burden to you or to anyone else in the family, so she may be hesitant to ask for help getting to appointments or rides anywhere. Make this less of a problem for your loved one and let her know you’re happy to help and that it’s not a burden. Remember how you would feel if you suddenly weren’t able to take yourself where you want to go and react accordingly.

Changes to your loved one’s driving status are a serious situation and may require a little bit of extra patience on your part.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring caregiver services in Greenwood Village, CO, please contact Visiting Angels at 303-232-9999.

Enjoying a Spring Break Getaway with Your Parent

Home Care in Glendale CO

The chill of winter is finally over and the fresh new season of spring is here. For many people this means their minds are turning to thoughts of vacations. Getting away for even a few days during the spring months is a great way to shake off the long, cold winter and start enjoying more time outside after months of having to spend most of your days inside. This is also a fantastic Home-Care-in-Glendale-COopportunity for you to make some lasting memories with your parent, and for your children to spend quality time with their grandparent.

 

As with anything else in your home care journey with your elderly parent, if you want to take a spring break getaway with your senior you need to take the time to plan carefully. Planning and preparation will help ensure that everyone enjoys the trip while staying safe, healthy, and comfortable.

Use these tips to help you enjoy a spring break getaway with your elderly parent:

  • Choose your destination carefully. Spring break might bring to mind thoughts of beaches and theme parks, but this is what everyone else is thinking as well. This means that you might want to get more creative with your spring break destination to avoid the huge crowds and high prices of more popular destinations. Even if you are not traveling during the traditional “spring break” weeks, spring is a common time for travel, making these spots busy for the next several weeks. Consider making your spring break time to visit historical sites, go to caverns, or head up to the mountains. This will give you a more relaxing trip and cut down on your costs as well.
  • Approach tourist spots carefully. If your family insists on going to one of the more popular spring vacation destinations you will need even more advanced preparation. Plan for alternative activities in case the primary activities become too busy, and be ready to spend extra time in crowds. Remember that the common spring break times for children are over, but some families choose to take trips outside of these weeks in an attempt to avoid crowds. This can in turn make these areas busier and with more children. Talk about this ahead of time so that everyone is ready to handle these challenges.
  • Choose the right hotel. Consider your hotel accommodations in detail so that you can select the one that is right for your family. You may wish to choose a hotel that has suites so that you can all stay together in one room, or at adjoining rooms that will give you all your own space but also enable you to quickly and easily get to one another. Compare other details such as handicap accessibility, proximity to your chosen activities, and availability of convenient food.
  • Pack effectively. When packing, make sure that you take into consideration the potentially shifting weather that is common during spring. Bring along layers and clothing that can handle windy, rainy weather. Make sure that you also bring along whatever medications your parent takes as well as original prescriptions in case there is need for a refill.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring home care services near Glendale, CO, please contact Visiting Angels at 303-232-9999.

 

Emotional Overeating Awareness Month

Caregiver in Aurora CO

If there is one thing that you can anticipate about your caregiver journey it is that you will undergo a variety of emotions. Being a family caregiver means that you are responsible for helping your Caregiver-in-Aurora-COaging parent fulfill her needs on a regular basis. This can put you in a variety of challenging situations and cause stress, anxiety, sadness, and a sense of being overwhelmed. While experiencing these emotions occasionally is normal for anyone, if they reach levels that interfere with your normal life, they can have lasting and serious consequences. One is the development of an unhealthy relationship with food.

April is Emotional Overeating Awareness Month. This month is set aside as a time to not only recognize emotional overeating but to also find effective and nurturing ways to overcome it. If you are using eating as a coping mechanism for the stress in your caregiver journey, you are not benefitting yourself. In fact, you are putting your physical, mental, and emotional health at risk. Acknowledging that you may be experiencing emotional overeating and implementing ways to cope with it can help you to protect yourself and your care relationship with your loved one.

 

Use the following questions to help you determine if you may be dealing with emotional overeating:

  • Does your hunger come on very suddenly? Actual physical hunger is something that starts mild and gradually increases. Emotional hunger happens in seconds and feels like an urgent need to eat.
  • Do you actually feel hunger pangs? There is a difference between being hungry and wanting to eat. When you are hungry, your body sends you signals such as a pain or gnawing feeling in the stomach or even growling. Emotional hunger, or wanting to eat, is about your mind. You do not feel hungry, but you want or “need” to eat something.
  • Do you crave something specific? Cravings do have an actual function. They are your body’s way of encouraging you to eat foods that contain specific nutrients that it needs. Some cravings, however, are purely emotions. If you always crave the same food or types of food when you are stressed, anxious, sad, or bored, it is an emotional overeating response.
  • Do you eat even when you are full? Your body only needs but so much food, but your mind can encourage you to eat much more. Each time you eat, evaluate whether you are actually still hungry or if you are really satisfied and just eating to eat.

 

If you are dealing with emotional overeating, some ways that you can help to overcome it and improve your caregiver experience include:

  • If you feel yourself wanting to eat, take a moment to evaluate if you are actually hungry. If you do not have true hunger pangs and you know that you have eaten recently, move on.
  • Develop other coping mechanisms that can help you deal with your stress and anxiety. Things like journaling, taking a walk, using sensory condition, or saying affirmations can get you through a tense moment without reaching for a snack.
  • Find ways to reduce the stress in your life. Ask for more help with your care responsibilities and be sure that you are taking care of yourself. Think of food as a source of fuel and nutrition that will improve your body, not something that is for your mind.

 

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring caregiver services near Aurora, CO, please contact Visiting Angels at 303-232-9999.

Source:   http://www.helpguide.org/articles/diet-weight-loss/emotional-eating.htm

4 Tips for Chronic Worriers

Elder Care in Greenwood Village CO

If you’re someone who spends a lot of time worrying, you might not even realize exactly how much worrying you’re doing. When you worry, your brain spins around in circles, drilling on the same Elder-Care-in-Greenwood-Village-COproblem. This can be a mild distraction, but for some people it’s really troubling. If you’re caring for an elderly loved one, worry can take you away from spending quality time with your loved one.

Set Aside Time Just to Worry

One of the reasons that worrying constantly is so debilitating is that it takes your brain away from all of the things that it could be doing. Instead, your brain goes over and over that one problem constantly. The next time some thought pops up that you start to worry over, set it aside until it’s your designated worry time. At first you might want to set aside two times a day for your worrying, especially if you have a lot to worry about. The rest of the day, make a note to yourself to worry about the problem later and move on with what you actually need to focus on.

Figure Out if There Is a Solution to the Problem

Sometimes it’s reassuring to worry about a problem, even if there’s not a solution for the problem. It can feel like you’re doing something at least, even if what you’re doing isn’t productive. Look carefully at the situation that you’re worrying about. Often the solution is something that you’re avoiding doing or that you don’t want to do, so that causes you to procrastinate and keep worrying about the original problem.

Implement a Solution if There Is One

If you’ve determined that there is indeed a solution to the problem, stop waiting and go ahead and put the solution in motion. Maybe your loved one needs more physical therapy or a second opinion from another doctor. Maybe you’re spread way too thin and need to spend more time away from your elderly loved one. Bump up the hours that your loved one’s elder care providers are spending with your loved one so that you can take care of what you need to handle.

Worry Could Be Part of Anxiety

Worrying could be part of another problem entirely. If you’ve got issues with anxiety in other ways, then you might want to talk to your doctor in addition to trying some of these tips. Your doctor can point you in the right direction to get the help that you need to feel more relaxed more often.

Ditching worry isn’t always easy, but it can help you to live a more fulfilled life.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring elder care services near Greenwood Village, CO, please contact Visiting Angels at 303-232-9999.