Posts Tagged ‘caregiving’

Tips to Cope with Caregiving & Senior Diabetes

by: John Aker | June 27th, 2017

Senior DiabetesSenior diabetes is known to raise the risk of a number of major health problems, including heart disease and kidney failure. More recently, studies have also linked diabetes to speedier mental decline and dementia in seniors.

Age is one of the most significant factors in the risk for diabetes. The American Diabetes Association found that 23.1% of seniors over the age of 60 have diabetes. Diabetes is a disease that can be positively affected by caregiving, so an understanding of the risks, treatments and even prevention are essential in protecting your loved one.

Diabetes in seniors can manifest itself differently than what you might traditionally associate with the disease in younger people. For instance, one of the scariest side effects of diabetes in seniors is heart disease. Others can include kidney failure, eye complications such as blindness or glaucoma, foot and skin complications, deterioration of mental health, high blood pressure, arterial disease & stroke.

Living with senior diabetes is really a question of making good life management choices and as a caregiver, you can strongly influence many of those lifestyle choices. Learning what works best is much of the battle against diabetes. Aker Kasten Home Health Care recommends the following:

  • Food Choices are #1 – First and foremost, the most important part of managing diabetes is diet. Caregivers are most likely responsible for shopping or meals, so understanding what foods are good for diabetes and what foods should be avoided can make all the difference. High-carbohydrate foods, such as breads, pastas, potatoes, chips, candy and desserts are foods that will increase blood sugar levels. Keeping track of blood sugar is crucial – higher blood sugar can lead to stroke and heart attack.
  • Get Moving – Exercise is the second most important step to controlling diabetes. Depending on the senior’s ability, any type of exercise is helpful. Running, walking, tennis, golf, gardening – even yoga – provide wonderful benefits for the heart, muscles and mental health. Make sure to check with the doctor prior to beginning any new exercise program. Find out what the senior enjoys and try and incorporate that into a daily routine.
  • Be Aware – The third tip in managing diabetes in seniors is to regularly check for signs of complications. Be aware that seniors don’t always express difficulties or symptoms. If dementia is in play or even a little bit of denial, you won’t necessarily hear complaints. As a caregiver of a senior with diabetes, keeping your eyes and ears open is key.

Make sure to check the senior’s feet for infection, as neuropathy is a frequent problem with diabetics and loss of feeling can be common, causing unreported open sores or lack of circulation. Also be sure to check skin frequently for signs of fungus, infection and even boils. Finally, it is important to medically monitor with blood sugar tests and journals, and ensure that the senior has enough tests and supplies.

Diabetes does not have to be scary for a senior and definitely not for family caregivers. For more tips or information, please contact the home health care experts in Boca Raton, Aker Kasten Home Health Care at 561.955.6010.

How to Adapt Alzheimer’s Care Strategies as it Progresses

by: John Aker | August 18th, 2016

Alzheimer’s Care StrategiesCaring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease can feel like trying to solve a continuously evolving puzzle. As soon as you figure out the solution to one segment, you discover that the picture has changed, and you need to rethink your strategy.

Working with the puzzle of Alzheimer’s care requires ongoing education and a team approach, including professionals specially trained in the many facets of Alzheimer’s disease support. Aker Kasten Home Health Care in Boca Raton, FL offers the following tips, courtesy of the Alzheimer’s Association, to assist families in adapting care strategies throughout the stages of Alzheimer’s:

  • Early Stages: Family members can best assist a loved one with Alzheimer’s through planning together, providing a patient, calm listening ear and memory prompts when needed. Strategies include:
    • Be a care advocate for your loved one, providing emotional support and encouragement.
    • Help plan for the future.
    • Provide memory prompts, establish a daily routine, and help your loved one stay healthy and engaged in what he or she loves doing.
  • Middle Stages: Care strategies will be focused on flexibility, patience and daily structure with time for self-care for the caregiver. Strategies include:
    • Maintain daily routines and structure.
    • Enhance quality of life by doing simple activities together, such as gardening or walking.
    • Encourage as much independence as possible, but be ready to assist when needed.
  • Late Stages: Compassionate caregiving is focused on preserving the dignity and quality of life for your loved one while maintaining a safe, clean and healthy environment. Strategies include:
    • Stay connected and express caring through touch, sound, sight, taste and smell.
    • Assist with eating and toileting, and with relieving body pressure if your loved one is bedridden.
    • Be aware of non-verbal cues such as paleness, swelling, agitation or wincing facial expressions that can indicate pain.

The most important way to care for and support your loved one through the stages of Alzheimer’s is by taking care of yourself. Acknowledge that you can’t do it alone, and allow others the opportunity to help, making sure to take time away regularly to rest and recharge. Partnering with a professional home care agency experienced in dementia and Alzheimer’s care such as Aker Kasten Home Health Care, allows for a smoother journey through the process, benefiting both the care recipient and his or her family caregivers.  Contact Boca Raton’s best home health care agency, Aker Kasten Home Health Care at 561.955.6010.

Caregiver Stress Affecting Productivity & Profitability in Boca Raton Businesses

by: John Aker | June 26th, 2016

 

Boca Raton BusinessesBoca Raton companies are always concerned about the well-being of their employees. Many offer wellness coaches, gym facilities, stress management tactics and more. However, there is a silent undercurrent of stress for many employees that companies are likely unaware of that could be affecting performance and ultimately, the bottom line.

This silent stressor centers around the “sandwiched” employees: those that have their own nuclear family to care for and are also now in charge of an aging relative. Currently over 1 out of 4 households is involved in providing care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member or friend. Just over half of all caregivers for persons aged 50 and over are employed full-time, while simultaneously providing 20 hours or more of care per week.

Employed caregivers are more likely to miss work or come in late/leave early, experience a loss in productivity, take unpaid leave of absences or use personal or sick days to provide care, and are two to three times more likely to develop depression. All of these factors cut into morale and productivity in the workplace.

By recognizing the signs and symptoms of stress in an employee who is also caregiving for a senior or disabled person, steps can be taken to assist through a respite care benefits program or home care referral.

 

Why It Matters

According to MetLife, family members needing to care for loved ones 50 years or older cost American businesses as much as $29 billion each year. Another national study reported that companies without eldercare benefits stand to lose $2,500 a year per caregiving employee. Some evidence shows that:

  • Each caregiver loses on average 166 hours of productivity due to absenteeism and interruptions.
  • 20% of the caregiving employees will quit their jobs to provide care full-time.

The financial impact of all these factors combines to staggering dollar amounts. For example, a Boca Raton area company that employs 500 people loses over $1.8 million each year to unmanaged eldercare – equal to about 15% of their salary budget. Bottom line, family caregivers need help, and more and more companies are looking to provide it.

 

Employer ROI

For any Boca Raton company to create a new program, there needs to be a business case for it. Will helping employees stressed with caregiving benefit the company? The answer is yes. The most valuable return on investment for an eldercare program is employee retention. The time, money and valuable expertise that are lost when employees leave is far more costly. Benefits typically offered include:

  • Work time flexibility
  • Financial assistance
  • Phone- or Internet-based resources and referrals
  • Face-to-face consulting
  • Educational activities like on-site seminars and health fair kiosks

 

Web Resources for Family Caregivers in the Workplace:

Aker Kasten Home Health Care works with many Boca Raton area companies to assist in advising family caregivers. We have compiled the following list of resources for employers to begin the process of learning about the benefits of eldercare programs or referrals.

With the graying of the Boomer generation, these trends pose an urgent need for Boca Raton businesses to plan for the needs of their working family caregivers. A strong support network is always going to be the greatest protection against stress. Through an eldercare benefits or referral program, businesses can help alleviate some of the responsibilities and pressures of family caregiving.

For further information about our eldercare resources and respite care programs, please contact us today!

Snacks Can Be Delicious & Healthy

by: John Aker | September 10th, 2013

September is Healthy Aging Month!

What are you doing to age in a healthy manner?  Exercising?  Eating healthy foods in the right portions?  Taking your medications and vitamins as prescribed?  Enjoying some social time with family or friends by phone or in person?

All these simple things can help you age in a healthier way.  When we neglect any of the items above, we risk our good health and energy.  Since we can’t avoid aging, we should do what we can to remain healthy and vital. healthy snack post

Recently, one of our dedicated in home caregivers posted a picture of a BEAUTIFUL and DELICIOUS and HEALHTY snack she had prepared for her client.  We are so thrilled that she had taken the time to not only prepare a healthy snack option, but to make it appealing to the eye as well.  Often when we think of eating healthy, we conjure up a picture of something unattractive or unappetizing.  Caregiver Fahaina had prepared low-fat greek yogurt with fresh berries to encourage her client to enjoy a healthy snack.  It was simple, healthful, pleasing to the eye, and enjoyed with enthusiasm!

Eating right can taste great too!  And snacking between small meals is often recommended since it helps you eat less at mealtimes.  When you make healthy snack choices like Caregiver Fahaina presented, you can be proud AND enjoy great tasting food.  Thank you, Fahaina for the reminder that presentation can make good food so much more inviting!

Here’s a simple and delicious healthy soup option for you.  Ask you caregiver to help you prepare this soup and invite a friend over for a simple salad and soup meal.  Enjoy sharing some old stories and create new memories with a little social time around a healthy meal.  Bon appetit!

Quick and Healthy Potato Soup

2 cups Stock or reduced sodium broth

1 1/4 lbs White Potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces

2 stalks Celery, chopped

1 medium Onion, choppedpotato soup

1 small Carrot, peeled and chopped

1 cup fat-free Half & Half or Milk

1/2 tsp Thyme or Italian Seasoning

Sea salt or garlic salt to taste

Pepper to taste

 

Bring broth to a boil in a large saucepan.  Chop vegetables while broth is heating, then add to saucepan.  Return to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, for 20 minutes.  Let cool slightly, then puree until smooth, or until soup is desired consistency.  Stir in remaining ingredients and cook for 5 minutes more.

Approximate cost per serving: $2.00

Nutritional Analysis per serving:  Calories  340, Fat 8g, Saturated Fat 4g, Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 40mg, Sodium 590 mg, Potassium 209 mg, Carbohydrates 42g, Fiber 4g, Sugar 8g, Protein 22g, Vitamin A 60%, Vitamin C 90%, Calcium 50%, Iron 10%.

SOURCE:  www.healthyagingfood.com

 

The content of this page is meant to educate, but it should not be used as a substitute for personal medical advice. The reader should consult his or her physician or clinician for specific information concerning specific medical conditions. While all reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that all information presented is accurate, as research and development in the medical field is ongoing, it is possible that new findings may supersede some data presented.

 

Heart Health

by: John Aker | April 3rd, 2013

Did you know that today is National Walking DayAK_ServiceArea

Did you know that physical inactivity doubles the risk of heart disease?

The American Heart Association has many tips and tools to help you discover the importance of physical activity.  One of the best things about walking as exercise is that walking is free, can be done anywhere (even walking in your home or marching in place in front of the TV during commercial breaks!) and can significantly improve your overall well-being.

Statistics show that 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women are at risk for heart disease.  And research indicates that poor lifestyle is a major contributor.  But don’t be discouraged–you can help reduce your risk right now by getting active and eating healthy.

Visit MyHeartMyLife.org for more information, tips, recipes, and even lists of walking clubs!  If they don’t have one near you–ask your caregiver to join your walking club!!

 

The content of this page is meant to educate, but it should not be used as a substitute for personal medical advice. The reader should consult his or her physician or clinician for specific information concerning specific medical conditions. While all reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that all information presented is accurate, as research and development in the medical field is ongoing, it is possible that new findings may supersede some data presented.

 

 

 

Hearts Making a Difference

by: John Aker | February 13th, 2013

Operating a service-based business can be both challenging and exhilerating.  The greatest reward for our organization is realized when a client or family member tells us we’ve made a positive difference.  With a view to treating the whole person–not just assisting with physical needs, but also addressing emotional well-being as well, we seek to preserve dignity, promote quality of life, provide for safety, and protect the serenity of the family.  Whether we serve a client for 4 hours a week or 24/7 Live In care, we follow the same model of caring, from the heart.

Caring for the whole person can not be achieved by simply placing a caregiver in the home.  Each client is cared for by a Concierge Team, at no additional cost:  a primary caregiver, a respite coordinator, a nurse supervisor, and a concierge coodinator.  These team members work together to ensure quality outcomes and coordination of care.  (Also available upon request is access to a chaplain for spiritual and end of life care.)  When possible we communicate with a primary care physician and other health professionals to ensure our client’s condition and needs are constantly monitored and met. And will even send progress updates to a designated family member, if desired.

This agency was founded to make a difference in people’s lives.  We’ve learned that the impact of our care can be significant and powerful–despite the simplicity of what we do.

We take time throughout the year to gather our caregivers and acknowledge and honor their efforts to make a difference to our clients.  Their labors of love are rewarded and celebrated for it is not always easy work–but it is work they choose, and it comes from the heart.

We’ve been humbled by kind words for our caregivers, office staff, and leadership.  And yet, we know there is always room for improvement and we must continually strive to enhance our service to others.

Click on our Testimonials page to see what others are saying.  And take a moment to let us know how your caregiver is making a difference in your life.  It’s nearly Valentine’s Day so it’s a perfect time to share a positive word with someone in your life!

So, here’s our positive word to you:  we deeply appreciate you!  We are privileged to have become acquainted with you and to serve you.  From our hearts, we wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Aker Kasten Helps Raise Funds for Memory & Wellness Center

by: John Aker | December 5th, 2012

We were delighted to be Bronze Sponsors and send a team of caregivers to participate in a fundraiser for a local Memory & Wellness Center to help them reach out to those in our community living with memory disorders! Here’s a picture of our team, giving of their time on a Sunday to walk for this great cause:

Aker Kasten Memory Walk 2012 Team - memory disorders

Read more here: https://fauf.fau.edu/news/?p=6698