Posts Tagged ‘Home Care San Diego California (CA)’

Dementia Caregiving in San Diego, California

Here is a great article for anyone who is struggling while caring for an aging loved one with dementia.  Visit for information and assistance with home care in the San Diego CA area.

Dementia Caregiving: When Nobody Appreciates You, What Can You Do?

What’s worse –- the many challenging dimensions of dementia caregiving, like losing your privacy, worrying, assisting with daily living, filling the long hours, coping with new expenses, the anticipatory grief of watching someone you love change, and family-work stress (to name, oh, a few) –- or the thanklessness of it all?

Feeling taken for granted as a caregiver is incredibly common. Surveys indicate that more than half of all caregivers do. And yes, these understandable feelings are a stressor. What also adds stress: Feeling sheepish when you want to complain about this.

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Learn What It’s Like for Your San Diego, CA Loved One With Dementia

Here is a great article I wanted to share for those who are experiencing the effects of dementia with an aging loved one.  Visit for information and assistance with home care in the San Diego, CA area.

What’s it Like Have Dementia?

By Frena Gray-Davidson

If you have a parent or a spouse with dementia, you probably wonder what people inside the disease feel. One thing that’s always okay is to ask them.

Dementia can be a very isolating condition. It can really affect how well people can communicate. Of course, as we all know, it certainly affects memory. It can be hard for people to even find the words or hold the thoughts they have. It makes it very hard to follow through a whole explanation about anything.

You won’t hurt a person with dementia by asking what you want to know. In fact, it might help them feel less lonely. Because of their condition, they might not be able to find you the answer you want. But that’s okay. Trying is good enough for both of you feel closer.

Five Questions People Ask About Dementia:

1. Does it hurt to have dementia?

Dementia is not a physically painful condition. It is emotionally painful, for family and for the person who has it. If you know someone with dementia who is also having head pains or other pain, it is essential to get them to a doctor for help and relief of their pain.

2. What do people with dementia think about?

Having dementia makes clear and flowing thought difficult. It is hard to be logical and rational with dementia because brain deterioration blocks the channels for clear thought.

That said, they think about their past, their family, their wants, their needs and maybe sometimes nothing much at all.

3. Do they lose all memory?

Not necessarily. Studies show that, while short-term memory becomes catastrophically bad, longterm memory may be anything from surprisingly good to very mediocre.

So a person who doesn’t remember anything about this morning may be able to tell in detail all about being young and living with their parents.

4. What does it feel like to have dementia?

From my 20 years with people with dementia, I’d say it feels frightening, lonely, confusing and full of bewilderment.

But also, just like us, they feel loving, angry, sad, anxious, grateful and add your own adjectives.

5. How can I help?

By using the qualities of patience, love, tolerance, understanding — and honesty. The best thing you can do is to be a fairly nice version of yourself and also truthful. You can say things like:

- “I hate this illness you have!”

- “I wish you were well again!”

- “It’s just not fair!”

- “I’m scared!”

You won’t hurt a person with dementia by being honest about how you feel. In fact, it might help them a lot. It might bring you back closer together. Because what you feel about their illness might well be just what they feel. Maybe they can’t find the words and you being honest might help them talk about it.

Remember, people with dementia are ill, but not necessarily fragile and breakable. So you can talk to them as if they could understand an adult conversation. You’ll soon find out if they understand or not. If they don’t understand today, they may understand tomorrow.

And it’s really okay to experiment and find what works. If you can make them laugh, you will notice that they function at a much higher thinking level for anything from about half an hour to maybe two hours.

It’s the miracle of endorphins. Use and enjoy!

Frena Gray-Davidson is a longterm Alzheimer’s caregiver and her latest book is “Alzheimer’s 911: Hope, Help and Healing for Caregivers”, available from Frena presents dementia seminars nationally and internationally. Go to her website at and sign up for her free monthly online newsletter for caregivers.

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April is National Parkinson’s Disease Month-Learn More in San Diego, California

April is National Parkinson’s Disease Month!

Parkinson’s disease is a disorder of the brain that affects the transmission of messages to the muscles. It is characterized by tremor, stiffness of the muscles, and difficulty in initiating movements. Over one million Americans have Parkinson’s disease. It occurs most often in later life, but can also affect younger people. Men face almost twice the risk of developing the condition.

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disease, which means that it normally worsens over time. It usually, but not always, develops slowly. No one knows what causes Parkinson’s disease. Certain “Parkinson-like symptoms” can result from the side effects of some drug therapies, or can be caused by conditions such as a brain tumor, arterial disease, viral encephalitis, stroke, or head injury.

What are the Symptoms?

Tremor or involuntary movements-One or both hands or limbs may exhibit an involuntary trembling, which lessens when the person is using the affected part. Involuntary movements of the hand are common, and the person may seem to be “rolling” something between the fingers.

  • Rigidity of muscles; slowness of body movement-Posture may be stiff or stooped, with diminished movement of the arms and legs.
  • Shuffling gait-The person may take small, cautious steps, or may alternate slow steps with rapid ones.
  • Loss of facial mobility-The person’s face may seem to be expressionless.
  • Speech difficulties-Speech may be slow and expressionless, and the voice a low-pitched monotone.
  • Impaired balance-The person may have difficulty balancing or sitting up straight.
  • Deteriorating handwriting-The person’s writing becomes cramped, smaller and more difficult to read.

How Is Parkinson’s Disease Diagnosed?

At present, there are no laboratory tests that can confirm the diagnosis of

Parkinson’s disease. In order to arrive at a diagnosis, the physician takes a family and health history from the person, and performs a thorough physical and neurological examination, observing the person’s movements and muscle function.  The physician will also rule out other disorders that can cause similar symptoms. Early diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease is important so that appropriate treatment can begin.

Managing Parkinson’s Disease

For now, there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease. But with early diagnosis and an effective plan of treatment, the symptoms of the disease can often be controlled or lessened. Treatment varies widely for each individual, and may include:

Medication therapy-A number of drugs can help control the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. The choice of correct drug or drugs, the dosage, the method of taking medication, and the risk of side effects of drugs vary from person to person, requiring careful physician supervision.

Rehabilitative therapy-Physical, occupational and speech therapists can assess the person’s abilities and needs, and provide exercises to help maintain the highest possible range of motion, muscle tone, balance and flexibility, and communication ability.

Lifestyle alterations-Exercise helps maintain muscle tone and strength. Diet is important for nutrition, for maintaining an appropriate weight, and because protein level may be a factor in the person’s condition. Rest and stress reduction are also important.

Support groups and counseling are available to help the person and family members deal with the social and emotional impact of Parkinson’s disease.

Find more information at

Visit for help with an aging loved one in the Dan Diego CA area.

Caring For Aging Parents and Children in San Diego, California

Here is a great article for those who are caring for aging parents from  If you need help for a loved one in the area, visit

Caring for Parents Versus Caring for Children: 10 Ways They Differ

by Marlo Sollitto

Nearly 10 million boomers are now raising kids while at the same time, caring for at least one aging parent, according to the Pew Research Center reports. The term “Sandwich Generation” is used to describe this demographic – and lots has been written on it.

But what is not as frequently discussed, is that the strategies and techniques that are effective when caring for parents are very different from those that work well with children.

Here are 10 ways that caring for parents differs from caring for children:

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Understanding Stress and the Elderly in San Diego, California

Here is an excellent article about the many stresses the elderly face.  Visit if you need help for an aging loved one in your life in the San Diego, CA area.

Stress and the Elderly

Contrary to what we’ve been led to believe, senior living isn’t always the way it’s portrayed in glossy sales brochures and magazine advertisements. Rather than being a carefree period of life spent on the golf course and traveling around the world, for many of today’s seniors those “golden years” are incredibly stressful times.

What causes seniors so much stress? Change is a huge trigger for stress and seniors definitely experience plenty of change. It can be in the form of declining health, death of friends and loved ones, moving, a bad financial investment, and the list goes on. Here are some other reasons why senior living is stressful.

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Stop Colon Cancer in San Diego, California-Get a Screening

Stop colon cancer now: screening equals prevention

(ARA) – Colon cancer is the second-deadliest form of cancer in the U.S., yet it doesn’t have to be. More than 90 percent of colon cancer cases are curable if caught in their early stages.

In an effort to showcase the important message that screening equals prevention when dealing with colon cancer, an awareness campaign called Stop Colon Cancer Now, and powered by AmSurg, aims to educate the public about early detection and prevention of the disease, to eliminate the stigma associated with colonoscopies and to increase regular screenings for people over 50 and for other groups at added risk for the disease.

The risk of a person having colorectal cancer in his/her lifetime is about 1 in 19. Almost 75 percent of colon cancer cases have no prior family history and most have no symptoms. Scientists are still unsure of exactly what causes colon and colorectal cancer, but some risk factors have been identified, including a high-fat diet, diabetes, smoking, alcohol, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and other inflammatory bowel diseases.

Americans continue to battle this disease at alarming rates with 49,920 reported deaths in the U.S. in 2009. It is important to understand who is at risk, and what the available prevention methods are, to eliminate the onset of colon cancer.

Colon cancer indiscriminately affects people regardless of race, sex, economic status or geography. There often are no symptoms. It is important to get screened if you are:

* 45 and older and African-American

* 50 or older

* 40 or older and have a family history of polyps or colon or rectal cancer

* Have a history of cancer or polyps found earlier

The easiest way to prevent colon cancer is to schedule a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy is a painless screening test that provides important information about your digestive health. For most patients, a colon cancer screening does not have to be performed at a hospital. Today, many outpatient centers provide screenings by highly skilled physicians in a more relaxed, personal environment and usually with much lower out-of pocket costs for the patient.

No matter where you live or work, provides valuable education, colon cancer screening options, screening locations, insightful patient stories and more.

Additional information on colon cancer and prevention methods can be found online at

Courtesy of ARAcontent

Visit for information and assistance with home care for an aging loved one in the San Diego CA area.

When Your San Diego, California Loved One Resists Care

When Your Loved One Resists Care

Here is an article that is very helpful for caregivers who are struggling with the loved one they are trying so hard to care for.  It offers other ways to look at the behavior to try to understand what our loved ones are trying to communicate to us.  If you are a caregiver, and need help with an aging loved one, visit

“How many times has your mother refused to change her clothes? Has your father resisted getting out of bed? Has your wife pushed you away when you tried to brush her teeth? Many times a caregiver will be particularly frustrated by her loved one’s refusal to help himself. At times she can’t help but think that the person she cares for “36 hours a day” is going out of his way to make her miserable! The increasing irrationality of individuals with dementia makes it even harder on the caregiver.”

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March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month-Learn More in San Diego, California

Colorectal cancer is cancer of the colon or rectum. It is equally common in men and women.  An estimated 146,970 people were diagnosed in 2009, and an estimated 49,920 people will die from the disease. With recommended screening, this cancer  can be prevented (by removing polyps before they become cancerous) or detected early, when it can be more easily and successfully treated.

At Risk

* Men and women age 50 and older

* People who use tobacco, are obese or are sedentary

* People with a personal or family history of colorectal cancer or benign (not cancerous) colorectal polyps

*  People with a personal or family history of inflammatory bowel disease, such as long-standing ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease

*  People with a family history of inherited colorectal cancer

Risk Reduction

* Be physically active and exercise regularly.

* Maintain a healthy weight.

* Eat a high-fiber diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and whole grains.

* Consume calcium-rich foods like low-fat or skim milk.

* Limit red meat consumption and avoid processed meats.

* Don’t smoke.

* Don’t drink alcohol excessively.


Visit us at for information and assistance with home care for seniors in the San Diego CA area.

Keeping Mom and Dad Safe at Home in San Diego, California

Generally, elderly parents want to remain living in their own home. However, remaining in the home becomes a concern when children see their parents slowing down, perhaps even having trouble with handling stairs and doing general daily activities. Yet, with parents’ mental and physical health currently not creating problems, there seems to be no imminent need to search out support services or other accommodations for aging parents.

This is now the time to evaluate the home to make it safe and secure for your loved ones — now and in the near future — in anticipation of aging disabilities that may occur. Help and support are available. The nation as a whole is more aware of elderly needs and services and products are becoming available at an outstanding pace.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states,

“Employment of personal and home care aides is projected to grow by 51 percent between 2006 and 2016, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. The expected growth is due, in large part, to the projected rise in the number of elderly people, an age group that often has mounting health problems and that needs some assistance with daily activities.” Bureau of labor Statistics-Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-09 Edition

This growing need for aides and services also encompasses

  • home remodeling services — making a home more serviceable to the elderly;
  • safety alert systems and technology;
  • motion sensors to monitor movement;
  • telehealth services — using home-based computer systems for the doctors office or a nurse to monitor vital signs and
  • even a pill dispenser that notifies when it is time to take medication.

Where do you begin to make sure your elderly family member is safe and managing well in his or her home?

Visit often and at different times of the day and night. Make note of daily activities that appear challenging and where changes might be made to add safety and convenience. Remove rugs that slide — causing a fall — and move furniture with sharp edges. Set the water heater at a lower temperature. This will protect their older sensitive skin from scalds and burns. Be sure smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are in place.

Bathrooms are a hazard area for the elderly. Grab bars by the toilet and shower are a must to help prevent falls. There are easy to install bars at your local hardware store if you want to do the work yourself. Another item that is good to have is a shower stool or chair.

If you are not sure of what needs to be done, consider hiring a professional. There are companies that specialize in home remodeling and accommodation for seniors. Michelle Graham of Accessible Design by Studio G4 says about senior home remodel projects,

The main thing we incorporate in all of our projects is a careful study of needs and potential needs that may develop throughout a client’s lifespan.”

Keep in mind what future home adjustments might be needed for your parents to “age in place” in their home.

Home safety or medical alert companies provide GPS-based bracelets or pendants to track the elderly at home who tend to wander. Or the companies may provide alarm devices such as pendants or bracelets which allow the elderly to alert someone if there has been a fall or a sudden health-related attack. In the event an alarm has been triggered, a 24 hour monitoring service will alert the family or medical emergency services or call a neighbor depending on previous instructions. In addition there are companies that will install motion sensors in the home to monitor the elderly on a 24 hour basis.

Don’t forget your parents’ community as a valuable resource for helping them stay in their home. Take Margaret Muller as an example. At 82 years of age, Margaret lives alone in her small home. She manages very well with the help of her local Senior Center. The Center’s “Senior Companion” program sees that Margaret is taken to the store for groceries and other needs and checks in with her often to see how she is doing. Once a day, the Senior Center delivers a hot healthy meal to her door. Having these services and visits gives Margaret the help she needs and peace of mind that she is not alone.

Neighbors, local church groups, senior centers and city centers are some places to look for assistance. Most of the time there is little or no cost for these services.

Your state aging services unit is a valuable community resource. The National Area on Aging website states:

“AoA, through the Older Americans Act and other legislation, supports programs that help older adults maintain their independence and dignity in their homes and communities. In addition AoA provides funding for a range of supports to family caregivers.”

Some of the programs the site lists are:

“Supportive Services and Senior Centers

Nutrition Services

National Family Caregiver Support Program

Grants for Native Americans

Nursing Home Diversion Grants

Aging & Disability Resource Centers

Evidence-Based Disease Prevention

Long-Term Care Planning

Alzheimer’s Disease Grants

Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities”

A few thoughts on hiring home care aides or live-in care givers.

The classifieds are filled with people looking for work as aides to the elderly. Many of these aides are well-qualified, honest people who will do a good job; but, of course, there will be some not so reputable. If you are looking to hire someone, be sure you interview and check references and qualifications. You will be responsible for scheduling that person and doing payroll and taxes as well. Be very sure you hire someone trustworthy, as the elderly seem to trust these helpers more than they should and therefore can easily be taken advantage of.

A professional home care service will eliminate your employment concerns. Professionally-provided aides are usually bonded and service is guaranteed. Home care companies take care of the scheduling and payment of their employees. Home care companies cater to the elderly in their homes by offering a variety of services. The National Care Planning Council lists many of these companies throughout the country on its website .

These providers represent a rapidly growing trend to allow people needing help with long term care to remain in their home or in the community instead of going to a care facility. The services offered may include:

  • companionship
  • grooming and dressing
  • recreational activities
  • incontinent care
  • handyman services
  • teeth brushing
  • medication reminders
  • bathing or showering
  • light housekeeping
  • meal preparation
  • respite for family caregivers
  • errands and shopping
  • reading email or letters
  • overseeing home deliveries
  • dealing with vendors
  • transportation services
  • changing linens
  • laundry and ironing
  • organizing closets
  • care of house plants
  • 24-hour emergency response
  • family counseling
  • phone call checks
  • and much more.

Thomas Day, Director of the National Care Planning Council states,

“Care in the home provided by a spouse or a child is the most common form of long-term care in this country. About 73% of all long term care is provided in the home environment typically by family caregivers.”

As their caregiver, you can make the difference in the quality of life for your aging parents and if staying in their home is a possibility, you have the resources to make it happen.

Visit for information and assistance regarding Home Care in the San Diego, CA area.

Choosing the Right In-Home Care in San Diego, California

Why In-Home Care May be Right for You

Here is  a great article that talks about the many positive aspects regarding the use of In-Home Care for an aging loved one.  If you have any questions at all about Home Care in the San Diego CA area, please visit

“In-Home Care is rapidly becoming the most commonly asked for service among today’s aging population. In-Home Care involves a network of service providers who deliver personal care and maintenance right to the home. These service providers handle routine tasks including light housekeeping, meal preparation, errand running, mail sorting and a whole lot more. If desired, they can also provide assistance with personal care. “

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