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Caregiver Relief – Managing Alzheimer’s

Mid Level Dementia

Caregiver Relief

Taking care of a family member with Alzheimer’s or Dementia can be quite stressful.  As the symptoms grow more complicated, managing and living with these increased behaviours can be quite exhausting.  “The better you take care of yourself and feel about yourself, the better it is for your loved one”, says Terri-Lynne Rade, CEO of First Class Home Care Inc.

Here are some self-help techniques for a caregiver supporting someone with Alzheimer Disease.

Ask for Help

Symptoms such as memory loss and confusion can get worse over time.  It is important to ask for help when you need it.  Asking for help shows that you recognize your limits and that you care for your senior.  You are also encouraged to learn about financial planning, legal forecasting, medicines and comfort care at the end of life.

Build a Support System

Building a support system is a great way to get help and advice.  Your support system might include friends, family, a caregiver support group, faith groups, your local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, or an agency like First Class Home Care.  Different people may play different roles.  Some may want to help with grocery shopping while others may be good company to share a coffee with.

Keep a Journal

Writing a journal is equally important for the senior dealing with dementia, caregiver and family members.  Caregivers are advised to express activities and feelings as it helps with problem solving and identifies feelings of gratitude.  Writing can be a form of therapy as it reduces stress levels and also aids medical professionals.

Enjoy Life

Caregivers need to laugh.  Watching a funny movie or joking with friends can lighten the mood.  Take time to exercise and practice relaxation techniques.  Even taking an hour a day to run errands or plan a meal can help decrease depression and reduce burnout.

Seniors living with Alzheimer’s can feel more safe, secure and independent by staying in the familiar surroundings of their own home.  Click to learn how First Class Home Care strives to maintain a high quality of life for seniors.

 

Posted in Alzheimer's Disease, Dementia Care, Family Matters, Happiness & Joy, Health Care, Wellness Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

June is Stroke Awareness Month in Canada

Fall Proof Your HomeJune is Stroke Awareness Month in Canada

What is a stroke?  A stroke occurs when there is an interruption of oxygen or blood flow to the brain.  A blocked artery or the leaking of ruptured of blood vessels in the brain may also cause a stroke.  This causes brain cells (neurons) in the affected area to die, causing a sudden loss of brain function.

What are the causes of a stroke?

Many factors can increase your risk of a stroke including:

Lifestyle:

  • Physical inactivity
  • Heavy or binge drinking
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Use of illicit drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamines

Medical:

  • High blood pressure
  • Cigarette smoking or exposure to second hand smoke
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Cardiovascular disease including heart defects, infection, failure, or abnormal heart rhythm

Other Factors:

  • Personal or family history of stroke or heart attack
  • Being 55 or older in age
  • Gender – Men have a higher risk of stroke than women however women may have some risk from birth control pills or hormone therapies

What are the warning signs of a stroke?

  • Sudden loss of balance, spinning, dizziness or unsteadiness when walking
  • Sudden severe and unusual headache
  • Sudden loss of vision, particularly in one eye or double vision
  • Sudden temporary loss of speech, slurred speech, difficulty in finding words, or trouble writing
  • Sudden weakness, numbness or tingling in the face, arm, or leg

Helping a Senior Recover from a Stroke:

Recovering from a stroke is a gradual process.  Ask the hospital to design a structured plan on how continued rehab will work in the home environment as this will help to ease the transition back to home life.  It is important to try to keep positive and focus on progress, however small the rehabilitation may be.  Discuss any recommended services including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, psychological support or speech and language therapy.  Depending on your circumstances, you may decide to take time off work.  Your role may include new responsibilities such as cooking, housework, managing family finances, bathing, etc.  It is recommended that the stroke survivor keeps a diary to chart their achievements and to monitor progress.  You may require Home Support or Respite Care Services.  First Class Home Care Inc. offers many different senior care services that can help you with this transition.  Our best advice is to get as close to the patient as possible.  Try to understand them and the needs they now require.  Be compassionate, patient and recognize that dignity is important when dealing with a stroke victim.  Contact us to help us set up an effective home care plan for your loved one who’s had a stroke.  Our professional staff will go to great lengths to make sure the older adult is safe and on a speedy recovery to recuperation.

Posted in Dementia Care, Family Matters, Health Care, Wellness Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Award – Health and Wellness

Owner of First Class Home Care, Terri-Lynne Rade presented with award from Misssissauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie

Owner of First Class Home Care, Terri-Lynne Rade presented with award from Misssissauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie

Congratulations to Terri-Lynne Rade!

We are proud to announce that our President, Terri-Lynne Rade is a recipient of a Forty over 40 Health & Wellness Achievement Award.  Also on behalf of the City of Mississauga and Members of Council she was recognized and congratulated on the occasion of International Women’s Day with a certificate which was presented to her on March 5th, 2017.  This certificate was particularly meaningful as she celebrated with other women who are passionate about what they do and who have demonstrated tremendous leadership while inspiring others through sharing their vision in the community.

TL Inspired (3)

 

Posted in 50 is fabulous, Health Care, Wellness Tagged with: , , ,

Caregiving for a Senior with Parkinson’s Disease

 

caregiving

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive, neurological disease that affects cognition and movements.  Some symptoms include balance problems, stiffness causing muscle aches, tremor, and loss of agility.  As the disease progresses, seniors with Parkinson’s may also experience swallowing challenges, speech issues restlessness or difficulty writing.

No one is really prepared to be a caregiver when someone close to you has Parkinson’s disease.  It’s normal to feel overwhelmed with new responsibilities but offering physical and emotional support will better equip you to cope with daily obstacles.

Here is some guidance on how you can help your loved one:

  • Managing medication is an important part of controlling Parkinson symptoms. We recommend keeping a record of medication and any side effects including abnormal movements, nausea, or hallucinations.  Share your observations with the doctor.
  • Be sure to educate yourself about symptoms, treatments, and the progression of the disease. Understanding behaviour can prepare you how to best help when the changes occur.
  • Exercise is an essential therapy for seniors with Parkinson’s as it helps with building and maintaining connections in the brain. It can also help with reducing fatigue and improving mental function.
  • Offering love and support is essential and can be a rewarding aspect of caregiving. Research shows that caregivers with genuine quality relationships have reduced depression and better physical health.

Caregivers must take care of themselves too.  Talk openly with a friend, family member or support group and understand that you are not alone.  Remember to take care of yourself, even when the physical demands of caring for a love one increases.  Exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, and getting enough sleep are ways you can stay in control of your own wellness needs.

Please join us in raising awareness of this terrible disease. If there is a concern that you or a loved one may have any of the symptoms of early Parkinson’s, contact us. You are not alone. The experienced team at First Class Home Care can help guide you through this difficult time and answer all of your questions.

 

Posted in 50 is fabulous, Health Care, Seniors Rehabilitation, Wellness Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tips for Making Valentine’s day Special for your Elderly Loved One

show-love-to-senior-valentines-first-class-milton

This Valentine’s Day, show your elderly loved ones some extra love and appreciation.  A little extra effort  can make a big difference.

  • Share a special breakfast or lunch together.
  • Involve kids – seniors love homemade valentine’s day cards, cookies and crafts.
  • Frame an old photo of you with the senior and include a card how much they mean to you.
  • Play cards or board games with them.
  • Take them out for coffee, a movie or another place they would be interested in visiting.
  • Invite an old friend or loved one for a special afternoon tea party.

Most of all, be present.  Let them know you are thinking about them and you care.  You will both cherish your time together.

Posted in Health Care Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Give Your Heart Some Love

february-heart-month-reduce-risk-factors

Keep My Love Alive

Canadians are aware that heart disease is a major health threat that rises as one gets older.  To help curb the incidence of heart disease, the month of February is dedicated to “Heart Month” – a time to focus on taking care of your heart and the things you can do for your health.  Having a strong and healthy heart will ensure you can make the most of your life and allow you to spend quality time with your loved ones.

First Class Home Care would like to challenge our readers including seniors, to learn more about heart disease and its risk factors.  “We want to join in the mission to promote healthier families and communities”, said Paul Rade, Director of Operations.

Do you suspect something could be wrong with your heart?  Watch out for these signs & symptoms.  See your doctor if you are concerned about them:

  • Dizziness or feeling light-headed
  • Shortness of breath or chest discomfort
  • Extreme fatigue or weakness
  • Palpitations (a feeling of skipped heart beats in your chest)
  • Discomfort radiating to the back, jaw, throat, or arm
  • Your feet swell
  • You get migraines
  • Anxiety, sweating and nausea attack you all at once

The good news is that making changes can control risk factors.  Heart health is important for everyone, seniors, and caregivers alike.  Whether you are taking care of someone who has heart challenges or simply wanting to improve your heart health, here are some tips to keep in mind this month.

Eat Right

Making small dietary changes will promote heart healthy eating.  For example, using spices to season food instead of salt may lower your blood pressure and cholesterol.  Focus on fruits and vegetables which contain essential vitamins.  Seniors can prevent and control many heart disease risk factors by engaging in a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Encourage Exercise

Adding 20 minutes of physical activity a day can help control weight and reduce stress.  Exercise can include walking up stairs, parking further in a parking lot or getting involved in exercise programs – all efforts will make seniors feel better and more energized.

Talk to Your Health Care Professional Regularly

If you are having any side effects or concerns about your medication, speak to your health care professional right away.  Getting check-ups on an annual basis and talking to your doctor when you have a concern is essential to long-term heart health.  These appointments are great opportunities to check if any new risk factors have arisen.

If these recommendations seem overwhelming, do not worry.  Take it one step at a time and know that there are people that love you who want to support you.  Make healthy choices and learn how to live heart smart.

 

Posted in Health Care Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Best Practices to Ensure Safe In-Home Care

home care for seniors

In Canada, coordinating and strategizing in-home patient safety is immensely important to senior home care providers. As baby boomers reach their senior years, homecare assistance for themselves or aging parents becomes a reality and an integral component to their future health care needs.

Read more ›

Posted in Health Care Tagged with: , ,

Helpful Tips – What Your Pharmacist Can Do For You

respite care

When you imagine a pharmacist you may picture an individual behind a tall counter wearing a white coat or a person who simply dispenses your medications. But in Ontario, pharmacists are able to offer you a wide range of services to help with chronic disease management and make your home care easier.

Read more ›

Posted in Health Care Tagged with: , ,

Strategies for Mid Level Dementia – Supporting Your Loved One

Mid Level Dementia

Imagine a place where expressing yourself becomes even more difficult and you are confused about things in every day life that used to seem simple. Joyce, one of the thousands of Canadians living with Alzheimer’s, found the transition from the early stage of dementia to the mid stage, a stressful time. This increased anxiety for her and her caregivers made dealing with mid level dementia emotional and sometimes scary. But by utilising positive strategies and having home care for seniors it is possible to build a comfortable, safe and less frightening lifestyle for people suffering from this chronic medical condition. When dementia is positively managed, it can help you or your family member continue to live their best life possible. Read more ›

Posted in Dementia Care

Alzheimer’s – Raising Awareness and Conquering Your Fears

dementia care

Joyce is one of more than 200,000 people in Ontario alone who lives with dementia. Every day she must manage her chronic disease and this has affected not only her life, but also the life of her family. When at long last she received a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, she felt relief at finally understanding what was happening.By seeking out the necessary supports available to help with current and future chronic disease management, she could plan for her future. Read more ›

Posted in Alzheimer's Disease

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Testimonials

My mother fell and broke her hip four years ago at a retirement home in Etobicoke when she was 92 years old. As she needed 24-7 care at the retirement home while she was being put on a waiting list for a room at a long-term care facility, I contacted First Class Home Care (FCHC) who we had used for four months in the past after my mother hurt her leg badly. First Class Home Care very quickly mobilized a team of excellent Care Managers to be with my mom as soon as she was discharged from the hospital and provided the 24-7 coverage my mom needed. Twice in one year since breaking her hip, my mother had other medical problems that required her to be re-admitted to a hospital for several nights. The Care Managers from FCHC followed her to the hospital and stayed with her while she was there. The Care Managers from FCHC were also very knowledgeable on how to look after my mom as her dementia gradually became worse. A year and a half after my mom broke her hip, a room became available at a …
Client Testimonial - May 25th, 2017