October 1, 2019
Aging comes with its own set of unique mental and physical challenges. Depression is a common disease among adults over the age of 65. Although common, it is not a normal part of the aging process. Depression is a mood disorder that results from a chemical imbalance in the brain. For seniors, depression is often misdiagnosed, overlooked, or attributed to other medical conditions or medications.
These are a few risk factors that may increase depression in seniors:
- Social withdrawals and lack of supportive social circle
- Relocation from home environment
- Stressful life events such as the death of a spouse, divorce, medical event, etc.
- Drastic weight changes
- Extreme changes in sleep pattern
- Chronic pain or poor health
Here are some common signs of senior depression:
- Feelings of sadness and hopelessness that last more than two weeks
- A sense of worthlessness
- Loss of interest in things they once enjoyed
- Increase in irritability, anxiety, and restlessness
- Feeling fatigued
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
- Changes in appetite
- Substance abuse, including drinking, smoking and using more drugs than prescribed
An important point to remember is that clinical depression can be treated. If left untreated, depression in seniors will result in a poor quality of life, substance abuse, increased mortality, and possibly suicide. If you or someone in your life develops some of these signs of depression the first step is to seek medical help from a physician or mental health professional.
February 12, 2019
The classic saying goes, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day!” It’s well known for good reason. A proper first meal can help start your day in a positive direction. More importantly, as we get older, it’s imperative to eat a well-rounded diet. Here are 7 easy breakfast ideas for seniors that are fast, tasty, and easy!
If you’re providing these meals as a senior caregiver, be sure to check food restrictions and recommendations with your senior’s medical team before serving.
Oatmeal and Fresh Fruit
Cook up some oatmeal using quick oats and water. For a creamier consistency, make the oatmeal with milk. Top with fresh seasonal berries (or defrosted frozen berries) and a slight drizzle of honey for sweetness.
Toast a couple of slices of your favorite bread (sourdough and whole wheat work well). Spread fresh avocado on the toast, top with a fried egg and a sprinkle of salt.
Eggs and Toast
Eggs and toast are a breakfast classic both for its simplicity and customizability. Cook a couple of eggs in your preferred way, scrambled, over easy, or poached; it’s up to you! Pair your eggs with a slice or two of toasted and buttered bread for an easy and filling meal.
PB&J Waffle Twist
Try this new twist on breakfast waffles! Heat up a frozen waffle then spread your favorite butter (peanut, sunflower, almond, etc) on top. Spoon a teaspoon of your favorite jelly or jam on top and add a handful of fresh fruit like cut bananas, raspberries, or strawberries for a refreshing burst of flavor.
Mix your favorite plain or vanilla yogurt with toppings like granola, dried fruit, berries, and honey.
For a more savory breakfast, spread hummus on a slice of toast, top with a slice of tomato and sprinkle on some chopped green onions or fresh basil.
Breakfast burritos are another classic breakfast meal. Fill a flour tortilla with scrambled eggs, cooked crumbled breakfast sausage, and your favorite salsa. Add cheese and avocado for an even tastier burrito!
February 4, 2019
More than one in every four Americans over the age of 65 will suffer from a fall each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury.
As a caregiver, safety is one of your top priorities. Preventing falls is one way we can keep our senior clients healthy and happy. Here are some fall prevention tips for seniors.
Assess the Environment
- Take preventive measures to clear pathways of clutter.
- Arrange furniture to make rooms easy to navigate and allow ample space around items.
- Remove or secure floor rugs.
- Organize the house with most used items to be available at waist level to minimize the need to bend or climb.
- Apply high-contrast colored tape to top and bottom of stairs and thresholds.
- Make sure the home and stairways are well lit.
- Use a night light and/or leave a light on in the bathroom to reduce the risk of falls in the dark
- Allow plenty of time for activities and tasks.
- Encourage the client to use walking aids (canes, walkers).
- Use assistive devices to retrieve items from high shelves.
- Replace shoelaces that tie with elastic ones that won’t come untied and present a tripping hazard.
- Encourage the client to use handrails.
- Suggest the client keep one hand free when walking to allow her to grab onto a sturdy object to stop a fall.
- Minimize distractions and help the client focus while walking.
- Understand the person’s history with falls.
- Notice abilities changing, such as vision, perceptual changes, mobility, and the ability to perceive touch.
- Weight loss, nutrition changes or medication side effects.
- Encourage daily exercise to increase or maintain physical strength.
There are also health conditions that could cause falls:
- Oher chronic conditions (cataracts, arthritis, Parkinson’s disease)
If you recognize that the client is at risk for falls because of environmental or health reasons call the office immediately.
January 30, 2019
The city of Bellflower Parks and Recreation Department offers a myriad of activities for the seniors in their community. Please note that these services and activities are accurate at the time of writing this post but we suggest you call the Bellflower Recreation Department at (562) 804-1424 to confirm all dates and times.
Senior Nutrition Program (donation of $2.25)
The Human Services Association provides low cost and nutritious meals served cafeteria style at 11:30 AM, Monday through Friday, in rooms 3 and 4 at Simms Park. Please call between 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM to make reservations in advance.
Meals on Wheels (donation of $3.00, requires registration)
For those who are confined to their home due to health programs, the Human Services Association will deliver low-cost meals directly to your home. To register, call (562) 806-5400.
Dial a Ride (55+, $.50 per ride within Bellflower city limits)
Dial a Ride provides curb-to-curb transportation and operates Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Reservations should be made at least 48 hours in advance. Call (562) 865-7433 to reserve a ride.
Thompson Park Senior Club (free)
Socialize, play games, bingo, cards and more, with other senior members of your community. This club meets every Tuesday from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM in rooms A and B at Thompson Park.
Free Senior Gameroom (free)
Play billiards, table tennis, or your favorite board or card games with other seniors at Thompson Park. Please call for current schedule, (562) 866-8614.
Senior Exercise ($1 per meeting)
Meets each Monday, from 9:00-10:00 a.m. at Simms Park. This low impact fitness class focuses on stretching, cardiovascular conditioning and relaxation techniques.
Weight Room ($1 per visit)
A full weight room at Thompson Park Aquatic Center including treadmills, exercise cycles, and stair climbers are available. Staff are available to show proper use of equipment. Please call the Bellflower Aquatic Center for session days and times at (562) 866-2015.
Thompson Park Aquatic Center ($1 per visit)
Open to novices to accomplished swimmers…even non-swimmers! Water walkers and aquatic exercisers are welcome in the shallow end of the pool. Patrons may also use the weight room (same session only), at no additional cost. Please call the Bellflower Aquatic Center for session days and times at: (562) 866-2015.
Thompson Park Oil Painting Club (free)
Work on your own projects alongside other painting enthusiasts every Tuesday from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM in Room C at Thompson Park. Call (562) 866-8614 for more information.
Thompson Park Quilts of Valor Club (own sewing machine required)
Help create quilts for our military veterans. Fabric, patterns, and kits are available for use. Hand stitchers and volunteer quilters are welcome! Meets every Thursday from 12:30 PM to 4:30 PM in Rooms A and B at Thompson Park. For more information call (562) 925-7673.
Matinee Mondays (55+, free)
Enjoy a free movie and light refreshments at 12:30 PM on the last Monday of every month at Simms Park Auditorium. No pre-registration required
Adult and Senior Excursions (variable fee)
Bus excursions with different activity levels are always being added. Past excursions include Danish Days at Solvang, Pauma Casino, and Pechanga Casino. Call (562) 866-8614 for current excursions and to register.
January 29, 2019
Home Instead Senior Care has been named to Newsweek magazine’s inaugural list for America’s Best Customer Service 2019.
The evaluation was based on the Net Promoter Score* (50% of the final score) which is the likelihood of recommendation, and five evaluation criteria (50% of the final score). The five criteria for the award are:
- Quality of communication: measures whether the contact (via e-mail, telephone or face to face) was friendly or polite.
- Technical competence: measures the quality of information received and whether questions were answered correctly and in sufficient detail.
- Range of services: measures whether one’s personal expectations and requirements were fulfilled.
- Customer focus: measures whether a personal concern/requirement was addressed with a tailored/specific solution.
- Accessibility: measures the availability of customer service in a shop or on a helpline.
*Net Promoter, NPS et Net Promoter Score are registered trademarks of SatmetrixSystems, Inc., Bain & Company, and Fred Reichheld.
“This award shines a light on the unparalleled dedication to excellence of Home Instead CAREGivers, franchise owners, key players and home office team members as we continue our journey of enhancing the lives of aging adults and their families,” said Jeff Huber, president and CEO of Home Instead, Inc.