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What is Diabetes?

November was proclaimed “Diabetes Awareness Month” in order to spread awareness and knowledge about the different types of Diabetes and their risks. Let us now learn to understand the signs and symptoms of Diabetes and become aware of treatments available for those who have the condition.

 

Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose/blood sugar, is excessively elevated. Blood glucose is your core source of energy and derives from the food you eat. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that converts glucose from food into energy. In some cases, your body does not make sufficient amounts of insulin or does not use insulin well. Glucose then remains in your blood and is unable to reach your cells.

 

Types of Diabetes

 

The three main types of Diabetes:

  • Type 1 – Over one million Americans suffer from Type 1 Diabetes, and several thousand more are predicted to be diagnosed within the next year. Type 1 Diabetes occurs when an individual’s blood sugar is extremely high. Often their immune system fails, attacks, and destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce the body’s insulin. This form of diabetes can be developed in people of any age, or size.

 

  • Type 2– The most common form of Diabetes is Type 2. Over 30 million In the USA alone are estimated to have it. With this type of diabetes, the person’s body does not use insulin properly. This type of Diabetes is more common after the age of 45, though it is still possible for younger ones to develop Type 2 Diabetes.

 

  • Gestational Diabetes (GDM)– This type of diabetes develops in pregnant women who did not previously have Diabetes and can often be controlled by diet and exercise. If not controlled, this can lead to a high chance of complications for both mother and child. GDM usually goes away in time after birth but women affected are at heightened risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life.

 

Signs and Symptoms

 

The signs of diabetes are not always obviously recognized as signs and can also be confused with other conditions. Here are some of the most common symptoms:

  • Frequent urination
  • Feeling thirsty
  • Blurred vision
  • Cuts and bruises are slow to heal
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Tingling, or numbness in hands and feet

 

If you or a loved one have concerns that you may be experiencing some of these symptoms, it may be time to look into getting tested for Diabetes.

 

Treatment Options

 

Treatment:

  • If you have been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, a doctor may advise you to monitor your blood sugar regularly, take insulin, eat healthily, and exercise consistently.

 

  • If you’ve been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, a doctor will assess whether you need medications to treat it, in addition to adjusting your diet, increasing your exercise, and making other needed lifestyle changes.

 

  • If you’ve been diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes, your doctor will discuss the best foods for you to eat, an exercise routine that is safe for you and your unborn child, and an insulin regimen, if needed.

 

 

If you’d like to learn more about caregiver resources or need assistance caring for a family member or friend, complete the form on our Contact Page.

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Why Consider Home Care as a Career?

We live in an unusual time. With the most noteworthy joblessness rate since the Great Depression, it is a time of uncertainty for several individuals and families. As we all try to stay safe amongst COVID-19, the added stress of financial and career uncertainty can be overwhelming.

For those of you who are struggling financially right now or have lost your job and are not sure what to do, we suggest considering a career in home care.

We all are having to deal with sheltering in place and staying home as necessary. But, for older ones and others at high risk, staying home could mean their life. As we continue to battle this virus, any other health challenges people are facing unfortunately remain. Particularly for seniors, small tasks around the house, picking up groceries, and getting to medical appointments are especially difficult.

Trusted home care professionals are keeping these ones safe, happy, and healthy at home, and are relieving stress and burdens for the families of those needing extra care. So, whether you are working in healthcare, or you are seeking to transition from another field, a career in home care is particularly gratifying.

Current Healthcare Workers
All those working in doctor’s offices, hospitals, and clinics. We know that your jobs are now more stressful than ever. Yet, your desire to help people is just as strong. Here are a couple of reasons why a becoming a caregiver may be appropriate for you:

Flexibility- Perhaps you have family members to take care of, or maybe you just need more control over your schedule. When working in home care, you can often set your schedule to make certain that you can take care of the important matters in your life.
A change in scenery- We cannot imagine all that you have seen and dealt with at this time we are living in. It is more than understandable if you are burned out. Whether you are burned out, or simply need a change in scenery, making the switch to home care offers a new way to use the skills and training you have acquired during your career.
A closer relationship with your patient- Many nurses feel that it is rewarding to provide long-term care for patients. In a home care career, you will be joining your patients in their homes. You will get to know them and get to see their successes and help them when things become challenging.
Develop skills- Here at Help Home Care, our employees continue to develop existing skills, as well as learn new ones. You will have plenty of opportunities to grow.

Career Changers
Hospitality, retail, and other industries have taken a massive hit as the world faces the COVID-19 pandemic. A new career in home care as a caregiver is perfect for those who are interested in transitioning to an exciting, and rewarding role. It is an especially good fit for those who enjoy working with people. Why?

You Get to Make a difference- Every job is important, but it is incredibly rewarding to be personally involved in the health and happiness of those who need our help. The help of a caregiver keeps many older ones happy, healthy, and comfortable at home, rather than in a nursing home.
No day is the same- When you have a career in home care, every day is different. Your workplace is the home of your clients. Rather than having to sit in front of a screen all day, you are on the road and visiting with client patients, chatting about their day, and making a major impact.
Companionship in a time of physical distancing- The effects of the current pandemic have come down especially hard on all of us who are physically distancing from friends and loved ones. Not only will you be providing companionship to seniors who are often lonely, but the company of your clients will also be good for your mental health.

Join HHC and you will become part of a passionate group of home care providers who genuinely care about having a positive influence on the people in our communities. We would love to have you on our team.

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Home Care Services Over Nursing Home Placement

It is normal to experience a level of stress as your parents begin to age. Their health condition worsens, their bodies grow weaker and their memory may begin to fade. They become more susceptible to accidents and injuries. At some point, searching for senior care options becomes necessary. As a capable son or daughter who deeply loves their parents, you might want to deal with the issue yourself. However, it may not be practical or possible for you to do so. What can you do to see to it your aging parents receive the care they need?

Oftentimes, families facing these circumstances have felt that they had no other choice but to place their loved ones in a nursing home facility. While this option may be appropriate for some, many of those placed in nursing homes could thrive and find life more fulfilling in a non-institutionalized environment. Many older ones currently living in large congregated settings feel threatened and are in fear of succumbing to sickness, neglect or attack of one form or another. Others simply long to enjoy the opportunity to engage the company of younger individuals outside of their diminishing age group. In addition, family members influential in placing older relatives in facilities often feel shame in having had to make such a decision. They also wonder about whether or not their loved ones are being well taken care of in an environment that may be more restrictive.

For these and many other reasons more and more people have strongly considered the advantages of arranging for their loved ones to receive home care over nursing home placement.

Many older ones have lived in their homes for many years and cannot envision relocating. Some have stated, “…don’t send me to a nursing home.” If you are an older adult, you most likely feel a similar way. 

Here are some reasons why home care may be a better option: 

  •       You can be certain that the home care caregiver will provide your mom or dad with individualized care. Unfortunately, that is not the case in nursing homes, where in most cases the residents far outnumber the team of health care providers on staff. As a result, many have complained about their parents not receiving immediate attention from staff members when they need it.
  •       Your parents will likely feel more comfortable in a familiar home environment whether that be their own or that provided by the agency within the community. Nursing homes are devoid of the freedom and independent life choices older ones long to hold on to.  There’s simply no substitute to experiencing the comfort of their favorite chair, the view from a favored spot of the house, and the interactions of those both young and old who stop by to visit to check on them throughout the week. With home care, your parents would truly be able to cherish life’s enriching experiences.
  •       With an at-home caregiver, your parents can continue to take advantage of opportunities and freedoms that are afforded them despite their advancing age and the limitations their health condition might otherwise place on them. The same cannot be said of nursing homes where restrictive policies and procedures significantly limit what residents can and cannot do.  
  •       At home, your parents can enjoy the food that they like. Nursing homes plan meals for vast amounts of people, and on certain days the food may not be to your parent’s liking. While the meals prepared by the caregivers for your parents would be in accord with whatever dietary restrictions their doctor may impose, the meals would nonetheless be tasty because they all contain a dash of love as an underlining ingredient.

In conclusion, before you attempt to persuade your older parents to move into a nursing home, reconsider your options. It might turn out that home care is the most ideal course for you and your parents.

For further assistance with considering your options, please feel free to contact Help Home Care at admin@helphomecare.com.

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Dementia

‘Dementia’ is a term used to describe a wide range of symptoms of cognitive impairment. Witnessing dementia in a parent is one of the hardest things we might face as adults. As we see our parents become dependent and disabled, we confront the vulnerability of someone who at one time we viewed as strong and powerful. There are many types of dementia and managing dementia can be overwhelming. We must balance worry and the realization that roles have changed. To make dealing with this challenge somewhat less difficult, let us get acquainted with three of the most common types of dementia and their symptoms.

3 Common Types of Dementia:

 

Alzheimer’s disease

 

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the most common type of dementia, affecting many Americans over the age of 65.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease often mirror signs of common stress, and it can be easy to overlook symptoms for a while, not realizing a bigger problem could be at hand. Though symptoms such as not being able to focus, forgetfulness, and negative attitude, are symptoms that could result from something as simple as not getting enough sleep at night, these are also common indicators of early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Other symptoms of the illness include:

  • Inability to recall numerical sequences like phone numbers and addresses
  • Difficulty planning and solving problems
  • Trouble completing or remembering to do everyday tasks like self-care and chores
  • Forgetting material that you just watched or read, as well as misplacing things often
  • Withdrawing from social situations and changes in personality

Vascular Dementia

Vascular Dementia is a type of dementia that involves impairments in cognitive function caused by damage to blood vessels caused by multiple strokes. Some specialists favor the term “vascular cognitive impairment” (VCI) to “vascular dementia” because they feel it conveys the concept that vascular thinking changes can range from mild to severe.

Symptoms of Vascular Dementia:

The symptoms of vascular dementia depend on the part of the brain affected and the extent of the damage. Similar to Alzheimer’s disease, the symptoms of vascular dementia are often unrecognizable for a long time. They may include:

  • Confusion
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • The decline in the ability to analyze a situation, develop an effective plan and communicate that plan to others
  • Memory loss
  • Significant slowness of thought

 

Lewy Body Dementia

Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) is a progressive brain disorder in which proteins, called alpha-synuclein, accumulate inside certain brain cells. These accumulated proteins, called Lewy bodies, cause damage to brain cells in areas of the brain that affect mental capabilities, behavior, and movement.

Symptoms of Lewy Body Dementia

Symptoms of LBD may resemble the symptoms of other neurological disorders. For instance, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Yet, cognitive symptoms tend to show earlier in dementia with Lewy bodies than in Parkinson’s disease dementia. The effects of LBD show in each person differently and vary in severity.

Common symptoms of LBD include:

  • Movement disorders
  • Poor regulation of body functions (autonomic nervous system)
  • Cognitive problems
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Depression

 

While cures for dementia continue to baffle the medical world, that does not stop us from learning about different dementias and adjusting our ways of dealing with those who have it. We want to love and care for those we know with dementia to the best of our abilities.

https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/what-is-dementia

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Have Fun – Enjoyable Activities for Older Adults

As you grow older, some of the things you have always loved to do become more difficult than they ever were before. This is a challenging part of aging but something you should keep in mind is, there are lots of appealing and valuable things you can do to improve your health and attitude. Below is a list of activities and hobbies that are sure to keep you entertained as you age.

 

Birdwatch

One popular activity is birdwatching. Birdwatching exercises both your mind and your body. It is a wonderful way to get outside and active. Another great thing about birdwatching is that it is one of the most affordable activities there are. All you need is a field guide and maybe a pair of binoculars!

 

Get to Cooking

Most people have been cooking and baking for years. Many do not realize that cooking and baking can have a good effect on your mental health. Cooking stimulates your senses, it makes you (and whoever you are sharing with) happy, and it can be an outlet to express creativity. If you are searching for an activity to take part in, you may want to dive into an activity you have known all your life and head to your kitchen!

 

Start a Garden

Gardening is an activity that is beneficial both mentally and physically. It improves your memory and attention span, lowers stress, and boosts the feeling of relaxation. When gardening, you are adding to the beauty of your surroundings. You may even be putting food on the table in the process, depending on what you choose to plant. Gardening is an activity you do not have to wait to begin. All you need to start your garden is some land, and seeds from your neighborhood home shop.

 

 

Go for a Walk

One of the best ways to get some exercise and take in the beauty of nature is, going on a walk. Walking helps preserve mobility and independence as you age. It is a low impact activity, where even something as simple as taking a stroll through the park can help keep you in shape.

 

Draw or Paint

Painting and drawing are some hobbies you could incorporate into your everyday life. Not only is painting and drawing peaceful activities and a lot of fun, but there are many other benefits that you can enjoy if you make it your new hobby. Painting and drawing help to enhance fine motor skills, increase brain activity, and work on concentration. All you need is paper and a pencil! If you feel you would like some more professional art tools, you should be able to get all you need and more at your local craft store.

 

Do What You Love

Doing the things that you love will help you to live a happy and healthy lifestyle. All the activities listed are great opportunities for you to exercise your brain, body, and heart. By becoming more active, you will find more enjoyment in your free time. So come on, have fun, and get active!