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Switching Roles: Caring for an Aging Parent

Posted on: May 14th, 2015 by vgmforbin
Mother and daughter hugging each other

Here are some questions to consider when asking yourself about your aging parents safety.

Are you concerned about the health of your aging parents? As your parents get older, it can be difficult to be sure that they are taking proper care of themselves and living a healthy lifestyle. In order to make sure that your parents are still able to live as they have been, you will need to ask yourself a series of questions when you visit their house.

  1. Are your parents able to take care of themselves?

Failure to keep up daily routines like bathing could be an indication of dementia or depression. Pay attention to their home as well. Are they neglecting housework? Is the yard overgrown? Changes like this can be indicators of their health.

  1. Are your parents experiencing memory loss?

We all forget things from time to time, especially when we get older. However, there is a difference between these normal changes and memory loss that is associated with Alzheimer’s and dementia. While misplacing glasses is one thing, getting lost in familiar neighborhoods or forgetting common words could be more serious.

  1. Are you parents safe on the road?

Driving can be a challenge for aging adults. If your parents have been confused while driving or you are worried about their ability to get places safely, it is probably time for them to stop driving.

  1. Have your parents lost weight?

Losing weight could mean that your parents are having a hard time cooking, have lost their sense of taste or some underlying condition like depression, cancer or dementia.

  1. Are your parents able to get around?

Pay attention to how well your parents are able to walk and maneuver around the house. Have they fallen lately or act reluctant to walk usual distances? Issues like muscle weakness and joint pain can make it difficult to get around.

It is not easy to accept that your parents may need some extra help. LA Medical has a number of solutions like canes, scooters, bathroom safety products and other aids to help them live safely in their home. You can find our products and solutions in our online catalog.

Nutrition Tips for Aging Parents

Posted on: March 22nd, 2015 by vgmforbin
While everyone should eat a balanced diet, senior citizens need some additional nutrients to stay healthy and active.

While everyone should eat a balanced diet, senior citizens need some additional nutrients to stay healthy and active.

It is usually recommended that elderly individuals should try to get a well-balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, protein and whole grains. But there are some specific nutrients that caregivers can incorporate into their parent’s diet to help them maintain and improve overall health.

When preparing meals for your elderly parents, consider following these nutritional guidelines:

Omega 3 fatty acids

Try to serve an omega 3 fatty acid-rich food to elderly parents twice per week. These have been found to reduce the inflammation that can cause heart disease, cancer and arthritis. Fatty acids are found in different types of fish as well as flaxseed oil. Omega 3 supplements are also available so check with their doctor to see if that would be beneficial.

Calcium and Vitamin D

The need for these nutrients increases as people age, mostly to preserve bone health. Calcium also helps lower blood pressure. Many adults find it difficult to consume the four cups of milk per day that is needed to get the ideal amount of calcium. Check with your parent’s doctor to see if he or she should try taking a calcium supplement to get a good amount.

Limit sodium content

Many aging adults have high blood pressure. One of the most important things a child can do to reduce their parent’s blood pressure is to prepare meals that are low in sodium. This doesn’t just mean table salt. Avoid frozen, processed or restaurant foods, as these are usually high in sodium. Fruits and vegetables have the lowest sodium content so try to incorporate these into meals as much as possible.

When you are trying to make changes to an aging parent’s diet, it is important to incorporate them slowly. You can help them overcome their skeptical feelings by setting a good example. Eating with your parents is a social activity and it is important that you eat the same foods as them when you eat together. This will make the dietary changes less drastic.

Our goal at LA Medical is to help you and your loved ones live a comfortable life. We offer a full line of products to help both patients and caregivers in our online catalog.

5 Ways to Keep Your Holiday Senior-Friendly

Posted on: December 16th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger
As parents age, holiday traditions may need to change to ensure everyone's safety and enjoyment.

As parents age, holiday traditions may need to change to ensure everyone’s safety and enjoyment.

We all have our favorite holiday traditions. Whether it is mom’s famous green bean casserole, opening gifts around the tree on Christmas morning, or singing a beloved carol, there are certain things that we look forward to doing just once a year. But as our loved ones age, they may not be able to fully participate in all these traditions anymore. The following is a list of ways you can modify your holiday traditions to ensure that aging adults will still enjoy the festivities.

 

  1. Help with the menu. As mom ages, she may not be able to handle cooking up a turkey and potatoes with all the fixings for a growing family. Make it a group effort! If everyone helps with a dish or two, the burden is lighter on everyone. It is also a great way to pass on recipes and secrets for favorite family recipes to the next generation.
  2. Hauling boxes of decorations and lights may be impossible for a senior that struggles with mobility or balance. Get together with family and friends to decide which holiday decorations to keep and which ones to give up. If you live close enough, relive your childhood and help them decorate!
  3. Hit the road. Holiday light tours are a tradition for many and one that your parents probably love. This is an easy way to bring joy to an older adult who may no longer be able to decorate or get out of the house much.
  4. Reminisce on memories. Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or other memory disorders will appreciate the opportunity to tap into old memories with loved ones. Ask them to share vivid memories from their childhood. Most elderly people will love the opportunity to share these stories with an interested audience.
  5. Be their eyes, hands and feet.Things like arthritis, diabetes and poor eyesight can keep seniors from being able to shop for gifts or write holiday cards. Offer to take on those tasks alongside them!

 

LA Medical wants you to have a holiday that everyone can enjoy. We have a variety of products in our online catalog if you need to make your home more accessible or safe for an aging loved one. If you are still working on your holiday shopping, we also featured a blog with a number of gift ideas for your aging loved one (link to blog about gifts) who may be hard to shop for.