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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