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Resources for Families / Resources for Seniors

If you’re caring for someone who has dementia, you know that every day brings unique, unpredictable challenges.

“Many of us at the Trail Ridge Home Care have personal experience with dementia, so we understand many of the challenges that come with the disease. The unpredictable behaviors can try the patience of even the most devoted family members and friends,” said Austin Blilie, Chief Operating Officer at Trail Ridge Home Care’s parent organization, ABHM. “However, with the right approach and support, caring for someone who has dementia can also be very rewarding.”

Blilie said these simple tips can help caregivers make the most of the good days and make it through the challenging ones. Continue reading Tips to Help Overcome Dementia Challenges

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News / Resources for Families / Resources for Seniors

Whether it’s tending a large vegetable plot, working in a community garden or planting a few potted pansies, gardening can do wonders for a senior’s overall health and well-being.

“For many seniors, gardening is much more than a hobby. Being outdoors and digging in the dirt is a great way for seniors to improve their physical and emotional health,” said Austin Blilie, Chief Operating Officer at Tudor Oaks Home Care’s parent organization, ABHM. “With a little help, even seniors with limited space, mobility issues or other aging challenges can enjoy the benefits of gardening.”

Here are ten ways your aging loved ones can benefit from gardening: Continue reading Ten Benefits of Gardening

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News / Resources for Families / Resources for Seniors

Most people know that dementia is a cruel, but there’s a lot about the disease that people don’t understand.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association:

  • Dementia is not a single disease. It’s an overall term to describe a collection of symptoms that one may experience if they are living with a variety of diseases.
  • Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia – accounting for 60% – 80% of cases.
  • Alzheimer’s disease actually begins 20 or more years before memory loss and other symptoms develop.

Continue reading What is Dementia?

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Resources for Families

It’s one of the hardest things older people have to do – give up their car keys.

“It’s one of the most difficult discussions that families will have with senior loved ones, because they equate driving with independence.” said Austin Blilie, Chief Operating Officer at Trail Ridge Home Care’s parent organization, ABHM.

“There is no magic number – no set age when people should stop driving. However, we know that many seniors drive, on average, seven to ten years longer than they probably should.”

There are a number of age-related issues that could impact your aging loved one’s ability to drive, including poor vision, hearing problems and joint/muscle issues. For example, arthritis could affect the ability to grasp the wheel or arthritic hips or knees could slow reaction time or make it difficult to brake. Continue reading Should Your Senior Loved One Be Driving?

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Resources for Families

You think your mom and dad need help at home.

Your sister disagrees.

Your brother, who lives 500 miles away, doesn’t want to make waves.

Now what?

“Sibling relationships can be complicated – especially when it comes to caring for aging parents. They may be in denial, have differing opinions or varying degrees of concern, which can make it difficult to agree on what’s best for mom and dad,” said Austin Blilie, Chief Operating Officer at Trail Ridge Home Care’s parent organization, ABHM. “But, uncomfortable or not, there will come a time when everyone will need to come together to make important caregiving decisions.”

Below are tips to help you and your siblings overcome common communication challenges, so you can successfully navigate your senior care journey.

Start talking when your parents are still healthy. It’s hard to make good decisions when you’re stressed. If you don’t talk about important caregiving issues until there’s a hospitalization or other crisis, emotions will likely impact the decision-making process.

Make sure you know what your parents want. Have your parents chosen who will have power of attorney? Do they have medical directives? Is there an estate plan in place? Knowing the answers to these and other questions will jump-start planning and help you make important decisions.

Include everyone and talk face-to-face. Schedule a time when everyone can participate – taking advantage of technology, if it’s not possible to meet in person. Face-to-face meetings will allow you to pick up on body language and other non-verbal cues that will help you communicate more clearly.

Create an agenda. Ask everyone to submit items for discussion, such as financials responsibilities, household tasks and transportation needs. If you have specific concerns, take notes and document all evidence that shows your parents need help.

Share the load. One of you will likely be the primary caregiver, but it’s unfair and unhealthy for one sibling to try and do everything. Talk about your strengths, determine who will do what, and create a schedule that works for everyone.

Avoid falling into childhood roles. Don’t let old family dynamics derail your discussions – especially when they shift all of the burden to “the responsible one” or discount “the baby’s” contributions.

Let everyone share thoughts and ideas. No matter what your siblings say, let them talk until they’ve finished their thoughts. If they’ve been respectful to you, give them the same courtesy.

Keep it civil. It’s okay to disagree, but keep the conversation civil. If it devolves into an argument, nothing will get solved.

Enlist help, when needed. If there are gaps in your care plan, ask for help. Friends, the relatives, church groups and area offices on aging might be able to pitch in when you or your siblings aren’t available. Tudor Oaks Home Care’s professional caregivers can also help – whether it’s just for a few hours a week or round the clock care.

“All of us at Trail Ridge Home Care understand the challenges that come with caring for aging loved ones,” Blilie said. “We will work closely with all family members to develop a customized care plan that meets your family’s needs. From companionship to personal and dementia care, we are committed to helping you care for your loved ones – while giving everyone much needed peace of mind.

For more information about services that can help your senior loved ones age safely in their homes, visit TrailRidgeHomeCare.com

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Resources for Families / Resources for Seniors

It’s never too late to start eating smart.

A healthy, well-balanced diet can help your senior loved ones maintain a healthy weight, stay energized and lower the risk of developing chronic conditions, such as osteoporosis, high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. Recents studies also suggest it could ward off dementia.

“When you look in your senior loved one’s refrigerator, what do you see – fresh fruits and vegetables or hot dogs and canned peaches,” asked Sierra Goetz, co-founder and operations director at Trail Ridge Home Care’s partner, the HomeCare Advocacy Network (HCAN). “We know that maintaining a healthy diet is critical for healthy aging. But for some older people, cooking just isn’t fun anymore – especially if they live alone. For others, limited mobility, cognitive decline and worsening vision can make it more difficult to put a healthy meal on the table and clean up afterward.” Continue reading Nutrition Tips for Older Adults

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Resources for Families

Does your job offer more than a paycheck?

A new study shows that living a purposeful life can stave off loneliness – especially in older adults. That’s why professional caregiving may be a great option for seniors who are interested in an encore career.

Embracing an Encore Career in Professional Caregiving

“The older men and women on our caregiving team enjoy staying active and, most importantly, making an important difference in the lives of others,” said Sierra Goetz, operations manager at Trail Ridge Home Care’s partner, the Home Care Advocacy Network (HCAN). “With many years of life and work experience, older people have so much to offer – that’s why they’re such great caregivers. Continue reading Finding a Purpose Can Reduce the Risk of Loneliness

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Resources for Families

Mom can no longer keep up with household chores – beds are unmade, there’s expired food in the fridge and unopened mail on the counter.

Dad spends less time with his friends and more time sitting in his recliner.

Is it time to suggest in-home care?

Aging parents

“It’s never easy to admit that you need help with day-to-day activities — especially for seniors, because they worry it’s the first step toward losing their independence,” said Sierra Goetz, operations manager at Trail Ridge Home Care’s partner, the HomeCare Advocacy Network (HCAN). “While care conversations can be very challenging, it’s important to have them before a crisis occurs.” Continue reading Mom, Dad – We Need to Talk

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Resources for Families

While winter can be a wonderland, it’s important to remember that colder temperatures, ice, snow and hours of darkness can pose serious risks for older adults.

“The cold weather months present some significant challenges for older adults,” said Sierra Goetz, co-founder and operations director at Trail Ridge Home Care’s partner, the HomeCare Advocacy Network (HCAN). “As temperatures drop, seniors are more at risk for falls, hypothermia and the flu. It’s important to be aware of the hazards and take steps to help keep your aging loved ones safe and warm.”

Understanding Winter Risks for Seniors

Seasonal hazards to watch for include: Continue reading Keeping Your Senior Safe This Winter

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