Weight and Aging: Tips to Maintain a Healthy Weight

To many people’s dismay, our metabolism slows down as we age. This unfortunate process poses an even greater risk for seniors, as studies have shown that after the age of 40, we lose one-third to one-half of a pound of muscle each year and gain that much in body fat.

This is significant because the less muscle we have, the fewer calories we burn. Pair that with a sedentary lifestyle and the pounds can really begin to add up over the years.

As much as we would like to think those extra pounds don’t matter, countless studies have found that unhealthy weight or obesity can increase the risk of many deadly diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. This is why it’s so important to maintain a stable, healthy weight as we age.

But it’s important to remember that it’s not all about the number on the scale. It’s about being healthy for your size. In honor of Healthy Weight Week, we wanted to share some tips for safely keeping your weight in a healthy place.

  1. Be Active
  • Play actively with grandchildren or pets. It’s exercise, but it’s also fun!
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator. It may not be possible for some, but if you can, try to opt for the stairs.
  • Spend time in the garden. Gardening not only allows you to get out of the house and move around, but also means there will be fresh fruits and vegetables for the dinner table.
  1. Eat Smart
  • Get the most out of your meals. Try substituting whole grains for white rice and bread. These will keep you full longer.
  • Have fruit for dessert instead of a high calorie pie or cake. Fruit is loaded with natural sugar but doesn’t have all of the extra.
  • Drink a glass of water before deciding to eat. Because thirst can sometime be mistaken as hunger, drinking a glass of water before you grab a snack will let you know if you’re really hungry or not.
  1. Feel Good
  • Get adequate sleep. A sufficient night’s sleep improves our alertness, mood and daily performance.
  • Manage stress. If you begin to feel stressed, try to take a few deep breaths and relax.
  • Try to laugh. No matter what issues you seem to be running into, it’s okay to loosen up and laugh every now and then. Cullen Hightower once said, “Laughing at our mistakes can lengthen our own life. Laughing at someone else’s can shorten it.”

For caregivers, sometimes the stress and busyness of daily life makes it so that you don’t have time to accompany your loved one on a walk, or see to it that they make their way to the garden. This is where an in-home care nurse could help. By accompanying and encouraging on walks or encouraging a healthy diet, you can ensure that your loved one will be taken care of and maintain a good healthy weight, even when you don’t have the time.

Diabetes Symptoms to Take Seriously

professional caretakers diabetes careLet’s get serious and take a closer look at the numbers: About 29 million Americans have diabetes—that’s over 9 percent of the population.

Diabetes is more prevalent in the U.S. than ever before, and caring for someone affected by the disease is an everyday event. Naturally, some days will be better than others, and certain symptoms may crop up that require a physician’s attention and should not be ignored.

Here are a few important examples from the American Diabetes Association:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
  • Weight loss – even though you are eating more
  • Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet

Contact your physician if you or a family member with diabetes is experiencing any of these symptoms.

Diabetes is a common disease that can be managed with help. Professional Caretakers serves Dallas, Austin, Ft. Worth, Grapevine, Richardson, Houston, and San Antonio, and can assist diabetes patients with medication reminders, healthy meal planning and preparation, and even light housekeeping or errand running. Contact us today to learn more about our home care services for diabetics.

The Truth About Diabetes

DiabetesGeorge Bernard Shaw once said, “Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.” Many times complexities are misunderstood, and diabetes is a complex disease that is often times miscomprehended. Even though diabetes is on the rise in America, there are still many myths surrounding the disease.

Here are some of the common misconceptions people have about diabetes and the real facts:

  1. Myth: Diabetes isn’t that serious.
    Fact: Diabetes causes more deaths per year than breast cancer and AIDS combined. Two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke.
  2. Myth: Anyone who is overweight will probably get diabetes.
    Fact: Being overweight is a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes, but most overweight people never develop it. In fact, many people with type 2 diabetes are at a normal weight.
  3. Myth: Eating too much sugar is what causes diabetes.
    Fact: A healthy diet is extremely important, but simply eating too much sugar is not likely to cause diabetes. The disease actually begins when something disrupts the body’s ability to turn food into energy.
  4. Myth: Once you have diabetes, you can never eat sweets again.
    Fact: Diabetics can still eat sweets in moderation as part of a healthy meal plan or combined with exercise. However, they must take their insulin prescription regularly as recommended to ensure that the sugar is properly absorbed.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with diabetes, it is important to talk to your doctor about what your diagnosis means and any lifestyle adjustments that you need to make.

Diabetes is a complicated and often misunderstood disease. Home care agencies, like Professional Caretakers of Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio, can provide helpful senior services and information to help you and your loved ones cope with diabetes. Contact us today in for more information about our diabetes care.

Diabetics Can Benefit from Non-Medical Home Care

diabetes non-medical home careProviding proper nutrition with tasty meals, implementing a new, safe exercise program and inspecting feet daily—these are just some of the daily care activities in-home caretakers can assist with when caring for an individual with diabetes.

We understand that home care options can be confusing, especially when it comes to trying to decipher non-medical home care from home health care services. In many cases, the bulk of home care services needed for a senior are considered non-medical, and could be taken care of through a non-medical home care agency. With Professional Caretakers, staff can come to your home, assisted living apartment, nursing home or hospital room and provide the service and support you need.

Here are a few examples of how a non-medical home care agency can assist a diabetic:

  • A person with decreased vision may not see a small foot sore that could quickly become a major problem. A home caretaker can inspect a diabetic’s feet daily, can provide proper wound care and can coordinate care with a physician.
  • A home caretaker can provide proper nutrition, through meal planning and preparation.
  • A physician-approved exercise program can be properly implemented with the help of a home caretaker.
  • A home caretaker can provide reminders for glucose testing and can schedule regular physician checkups. These services are especially important for a diabetic senior with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

At Professional Caretakers, we’re committed to providing the kind of service that you and your loved ones can rely on and trust—after all, we’ve been serving families throughout Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio for more than 25 years. We provide a dedicated caretaker who gives attention and care exclusively to your loved one and a registered nurse to supervise each case. Contact us today for more information about how we can assist the diabetic loved one in your family.

Do you have unstable glucose levels? Recognize the symptoms.

diabetes careOne of four people over the age of 60 who are reading this blog are living with diabetes. It’s a demanding disease, one that should not be left untreated and must be treated properly. If neglected, diabetes can result in heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease and amputation.

Diabetes care is an everyday event, and some days you will naturally feel better than others. However, there are some diabetes symptoms that should never be ignored, and which require a physician’s attention.

Here are a few important examples:

  • Frequent urination
  • Extreme thirst or hunger
  • Acting drunk
  • Strange behavior, which can also signal low blood sugar
  • Infections, swollen or bloody gums, foot sores
  • Sudden changes in vision, eye pain, or seeing spots or lights floating in one’s field of vision
  • Heart disease symptoms – even if it’s just a suspicion

For more information on glucose level warning signs, click here.

For further assistance in determining appropriate home care needs, or for a comprehensive home care assessment by a professional in the Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio area, reach out to Professional Caretakers.

Seniors and their family members will likely find that, as they age, the need for assistance in many areas of daily living will increase, especially if they are diagnosed with diabetes. At Professional Caretakers, we provide personal care like reminders for glucose testing, scheduling regular physician checkups, preparing meals, and housework and errands for every client who requests them. Contact us today for more information about our home care services.

7 Creative Gift Ideas for Seniors

gift giving and senior careTired of wandering the stores searching for the perfect gift for Grandma and coming up with the same old ideas: socks, perfume, fruitcake? What can you give to a senior loved one who has given so much of her time and love to you and your family over the years, and who seems to have everything she needs, or not enough room to display yet another knick-knack?

Once again, the senior care experts at Professional Caretakers have come to the rescue with some innovative and very thoughtful gift ideas that are sure to delight even the most difficult gift recipient on your list this year. Some of our clients’ favorite gifts received over the years include:

  • A book of coupons redeemable for things like running errands, housekeeping, or fixing meals.
  • Tickets for to the local theatre or museum. Offer to provide transportation to and from shows or events.
  • Large print magazines and books.
  • A membership for an emergency response system.
  • Deliver a gift basket of fresh fruits each month.
  • A monthly lunch or dinner date.
  • A basket of crafts that they can do on their own or with grandchildren.

Looking for some additional ideas? Give us a call at 877-921-9500 and learn more about the ways we’ve been bringing joy to seniors and their families through home care services for over 25 years.

Ageless Holiday Traditions: Keeping the Elderly Connected

holiday senior careIn our last blog, we shared the idea of families working together to create a memory book with a senior loved one. Because of the overwhelming response from our readers, we wanted to share some additional ideas for ways to allow frail seniors to be included in the holiday festivities.

Since the busyness of the holiday season can be exhausting and overwhelming for many elders, they can sometimes feel left out. With a little pre-planning, however, appropriate adjustments to favorite old traditions can be made (or new traditions started) that the whole family can enjoy together. Allowing your senior loved one to be a part of this planning will help make the occasion more comfortable for everyone.

Remember to maintain realistic expectations and have fun! Below are a few holiday traditions that family members of all ages can enjoy.

  • Play holiday music. Put on a festive CD or gather around the piano for a holiday sing-along.
  • Share memories. The holidays are a great time to reminisce, and older family members often love to share stories. Engage them in a trip down memory lane.
  • Help decorate the senior’s home. Decorations are a wonderful way to get everyone in the holiday spirit. Offer to help your elderly loved one set up and decorate a tree, hang wreaths, or string lights. Also, make yourself available after the holidays to help take down and store the decorations.
  • Put together a holiday photo album. Sorting through old holiday photos and recalling all the memories is fun for all ages and is a great, simple way to include a senior in the festivities.

Professional Caretakers is here for you before, during and after the holidays, to help your senior loved one feel connected, valued, and safe. With a full range of services to meet any senior care needs in Dallas, Austin, Ft. Worth, Grapevine, Richardson, Houston, or San Antonio, our experienced and compassionate caretakers will treat your loved one like family and brighten his or her life. Call us at 877-921-9500 today!

One Surefire Way to Bridge the Generation Gap this Holiday Season

aging care over the holidaysIt’s the most wonderful time of the year, when family members of all ages gather together to share holiday warmth and joy! At least, that’s everyone’s intention. However, if you find instead an ever-widening gap between generations, with the kids huddled together around technological devices, and Grandma sitting alone, take heart! There are a number of ways to bridge the distance between generations, but one of our favorites is to work together to create a memory book of a cherished senior’s lifetime legacy that will not only be fun to create but will also provide a wonderful keepsake.

First, decide whether you’d like to record the memories in writing, as a tape recording or as a videotape (or some combination of each). Then gather the questions you’d like to ask. These can be compiled by all family members, from the youngest to oldest. Here are a few examples to get you started:

  • What is your favorite childhood memory?
  • What was your first job?
  • What is your funniest memory?
  • When and where did you meet your spouse?
  • What are some important values and traits you possess that you would like to see continued in your family?
  • What is one thing that you would have liked to have done, that you did not have a chance to do?

Involve the kids by having them interview Grandma or Grandpa or ask questions about old photographs.

For more tips on involving seniors in holiday activities, contact the aging care experts at Professional Caretakers, who thrive on bringing joy and meaning to seniors throughout Texas. Call us at 877-921-9500 any time to learn more!

Holiday Gift Guide

holiday gift guide

It’s that time of year! The weather is getting cold(er) and families and friends are gathering to celebrate the holidays. If you have an older parent or grandparent, you may be having a tough time deciding on a gift that they will enjoy and use. If you’re stuck in a holiday shopping rut, read on for a few gift ideas for the senior in your life.

For Book Lovers

If your loved one enjoys reading, there are plenty of gift options! And those options go beyond another book off the shelf or specialty large-typeface books. An e-reader like a Kindle or Nook can make reading fun, and most have adjustable type size and lighting that is easy on the eyes. The best part, an e-reader puts a library of thousands of books right at their fingertips for instant (and easy) downloading. Or, if you know someone who loves literature, but wants something different, go for an audio book or audio book subscription service like Audible!

For Being Active

If you or your loved one is getting older, but loves being outdoors and remaining active, you can help them maintain that lifestyle. Golfing and gardening are popular hobbies among older, active adults, but arthritis and other joint pain can make those activities difficult. Bionic makes specialty gloves for those with arthritis pain who love to golf and garden. They will make a great gift for the active senior in your life.

For Memories

Making a scrapbook of old photos or letters is a great gift for someone who enjoys looking back on the fun memories from their life. A unique idea is the LifeBio Memory Journal, which has hundreds of biography questions and space for writing answers. This form of journaling can get someone thinking about the memories they have made, and is a great outlet for those who love to write, but are not sure what to write about!

For Staying Warm

It’s getting cold outside, and for seniors, it may feel even colder! Warm-weather clothing, be it socks, a robe, gloves or mittens, are gifts that are sure to be put to good use. If you don’t want to guess or ask for someone’s clothes size, you could get him or her a warm blanket too! There are plenty of gifts out there to keep you or your loved one warm.

For Turning the Lost into the Found

It probably didn’t take long after the first time you drove a car to misplace your keys.. Getting older doesn’t make you exempt from losing track of household items once in a while. GPS trackers from Loc8tor can be used to find almost anything – keys, remotes, pets and even people! If we’re being honest, people of all ages could use one of these devices.

It’s just a start, but hopefully you have at least some idea of what gift to get for the senior in your life. At Professional Caretakers, our gift to seniors is quality in-home care, from reading to your loved one and finding misplaced items to taking care of the home and garden. Perhaps, most importantly, caregivers provide what may be the most important gift of all during the holidays: companionship.

Gadgets for Seniors and Caregivers

gadgets for seniors

Four Gadgets for Seniors and Caregivers

Whether you’re getting older, or caring for someone who is, you can invest in countless knick-knacks, tools and devices to help make things a little easier – from opening canned food to getting in and out of the car. Whether you live on your own, care for someone, or are receiving care, these are some tech gadgets that could make your live easier and more enjoyable.

Medication Reminders

Alarm clocks. Watches. Pill bottles. While they have obvious uses, each of these items has been adapted into tech gadgets that remind someone to take his or her medications. This article from caring.com takes a look at watches and pill bottle reminders, which make it easier to not forget your daily medications, or be connected to a network that will send a telephone reminder if a pill bottle has not been opened within a specified time. If you always have a smartphone or tablet nearby, there are many medication reminder apps available, too.

Heated or GPS Soles

Do you know someone with poor circulation? Or someone who you are afraid may wander and get lost? The answer to both problems might just be found in their shoes. One brand of heated insoles is even remote-controlled, so you can regulate how warm your feet are! For those who may wander, insoles with GPS devices can help you find your loved one. While not available yet, these smart soles can help change the game in caring for seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Large Button Phones and Remotes

An Internet search or trip to a big-box retailer with give you a variety of options for large button landline phones and mobile devices. If all you need are the basics, these phones make seeing the numbers and letters on a keypad a lot easier! If you don’t want to miss your favorite shows, there is a company named Big Button Remotes that has different remote size options to fit your needs!

Tablets

For those a little more comfortable with technology, or maybe willing to learn, tablets are great for a variety of things: reading, watching movies or videos, browsing the Internet, email, games, the list goes on. A great source of entertainment and a great way to stay connected to friends or family, a tablet can be a senior’s go-to gadget! The larger screen sizes make tablets easier on the eyes, too.

Depending on the needs of you or your loved one, these tech gadgets for seniors could make a big difference! At Professional Caretakers, we tailor our care to the needs of every client, working with them to be as independent as possible while still providing the specialized care they need. That’s why we love what we do throughout Texas, and why in-home care may be the right choice for you or your loved one.

Five Myths About Seniors and Exercise

exercise myths seniors

Five Myths About Seniors and Exercise

When you were growing up, maybe your parents, other adults, or an older sibling said you were too young for some things. Now, you may be telling yourself that you’re too old for some things. Sometimes seniors tell themselves they are too old to exercise, and that couldn’t be further from the truth! Regular physical activity could help you live a happier, healthier life. Here are five common myths about seniors and exercise, and ways you can prove them wrong,

You’re just too old.

You don’t have to be 22 to enjoy the benefits of physical activity. Even if you move a little slower, it’s important to incorporate physical activity as part of your daily routine as you age. You may be surprised what qualifies as moderate exercise or physical activity. It can be as simple as gardening or walking around the block!

It’s not safe for older folks to exercise.

It’s easy to think that if you try to exercise, you’re just going to wind up getting injured. The truth is that there are plenty of ways to be physically active that are safe and easy. In fact, being inactive is probably more risky to your health! Walking, lifting light weights or stretching are examples of exercises that will get you started, and a little bit of exercise can go a long way. You don’t have to risk injury with difficult or rigorous activities to enjoy the health benefits of an exercise program.

I’m too old for it to do me any good.

Sometimes the benefits of exercise are difficult for us to see, especially as we age. Even just stretching or yoga can increase your flexibility and stability, reducing your chances of a fall. Not only can you enjoy physical benefits of cardiovascular, strength training or other exercise, but being active can improve your mood and self-esteem as well.

Creating an exercise program is too hard for someone my age.

You may think that getting older means that your exercise options are limited. No matter how old you are, or if you have a disability, you still have a variety of options for aerobic or strength training exercise! Your health care provider can help you develop a safe and effective exercise program tailored to your needs. Swimming, biking, yoga, weightlifting, water aerobics, hand biking, tai chi, are just a few in the long list of activities you could choose for your exercise routine.

Exercising is good at any age. You can, and you should! Try getting in the habit of exercising at least three times a week, for 30 minutes. The benefits you enjoy from a well-planned exercise routine can help your physical and emotional health. We have experience with finding ways to help seniors keep moving as part of our in-home care services. For more tips like these, like us on Facebook!

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