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By Natalie Hodge, 5:30 am on June 19, 2013

While there is a burgeoning literature offering practical advice for family caregivers in Austin, far less information exists for partners-turned-caregivers seeking support in maintaining intimacy with their ailing partners. In addition to the physical, emotional, and financial strain of assuming caregiving duties for a loved one, there is the equally significant stressor of finding ways to maintain intimacy. As more and more partners assume caregiving duties for a seriously ill or frail loved one, there is a need for open discourse and support in maintaining, and even improving, intimacy so that the relationship does not strictly become one of caregiver and care recipient. The partner-turned-caregiver scenario is especially common among older adults, where one partner is experiencing age related decline or frailty or has developed a chronic illness. This compounds the…

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By Natalie Hodge, 5:26 am on April 29, 2013

Whether your loved one is having difficulty completing everyday tasks or you feel you can no longer fulfill the role of primary caregiver, home care is an option that not only allows your loved one to maintain as much independence as possible but also gives you peace of mind knowing he or she is safe. Broaching the topic of outside assistance with an aging parent or loved one, however, can be a difficult process; the thought of a stranger coming into one’s home can sometimes seem overwhelming and result in resistance. When initiating this type of family discussion it is important to choose your words carefully—the goal is to have a dialogue, not to dictate the solution you believe is best for your parent. An open, honest conversation will help…

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By Natalie Hodge, 5:13 am on April 12, 2013

In-home care supports the independence of aging seniors and provides peace of mind to their families and loved ones. While an overwhelming majority of older adults would prefer to age in their own homes, many never consider it an option because they assume the costs associated with a professional caregiver exceed their available finances. Before moving to a facility that is likely to cost even more money for a lesser standard of care, think about and explore the four options for funding home care listed below: Reverse Mortgage: Reverse mortgages allow Austin seniors to convert a portion of the equity in their homes to immediate funds. To qualify for a reverse mortgage one needs to be over the age of 62 and own a home outright (or with little unpaid debt on…

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By Natalie Hodge, 5:09 am on March 1, 2013

Exercise has been shown to help people maintain a balanced weight, fight diabetes, and improve overall brain health. Most Austin seniors know that working out is important, but the question is, are we doing it properly? Below is a list of four common mistakes that seniors make while exercising: Not Stretching – Stretching before a workout is very pertinent—especially for older adults and the elderly. As we age, we develop a higher risk for muscle and tendon injuries. Stretching helps to get the blood flowing and to increase range of motion. Be careful not to stretch too far too quickly, as static stretching prior to warming-up can cause injuries. You Get Bored – A common mistake Austin seniors make is getting into an exercise routine that lacks diversity. While consistency is important for maintaining…

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By Natalie Hodge, 4:29 am on January 31, 2013

As we get older, sometimes it gets ever harder to motivate ourselves to exercise. Some activities seem too difficult or simply too boring. Fear not; at Home Care Assistance, we’re committed to helping you live an exciting and healthy life. Here are three great exercises for seniors: 1) Swimming Swimming can improve stamina and build muscle while posing less of a risk to your bones and joints than other exercises. Swimming also works out your whole body at the same time. In addition, doing laps in the pool stretches out your arms and legs. Even though you are in water, it’s important to stay hydrated. 2) Yoga Many seniors are afraid to try yoga because they believe the poses may be too difficult or require too much flexibility. Luckily, there…

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By Natalie Hodge, 4:27 am on December 5, 2012

Every year there are numerous devices created to help improve seniors and disabled adults safety and mobility. Many times care professionals and patients are not even aware these devices exist. This is due to the lack of funds the small start-up equipment manufacturers have and the bombardment of advertising done by the larger manufacturers. Another major road block is Medicare and insurance companies lack of reimbursements for the newer equipment devices. It takes years for new medical devices to get approval from Medicare or insurance companies and many never succeed. At Home Care Assistance of Austin we are constantly researching new equipment to keep up with what is available that may be of assistance to our clients. We then provide information to our clients on specific equipment that can help…

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By Natalie Hodge, 4:20 am on November 21, 2012

There are currently over 75 million family caregivers who provide in-home care for a loved one and millions more searching for care solutions. By the year 2050, there will be over one million centenarians – individuals over the age of 100 – living in the United States and Canada. 1995 marked the first year in which more people died of chronic illness than of acute disease. There has been a steadily increasing need since that time for services, such as in-home care, that help in the management of living with chronic disease and successfully continuing to live at home while aging. “There are only four kinds of people in the world – those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers and those who…

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By Natalie Hodge, 4:14 am on November 5, 2012

The laws regarding elder care often change as the elder population grows, leading to confusion and misinformation. Elder care attorneys provide legal advice to families about the many different aspects of an elder’s life – including housing options, health care, estate planning, public benefits, and more. They differ from traditional attorneys because they specialize in an area of legal practice that places emphasis on issues that affect the aging population. When thinking about your loved one’s legal future, there are five important services an elder care attorney can provide: 1. Estate planning – Creating appropriate estate planning documents, such as wills and trusts, ensures a person’s assets will be left to their intended beneficiaries. Elder law attorneys focus on integrating estate planning with other goals that are important to a senior,…

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By Natalie Hodge, 4:11 am on November 5, 2012

The holiday season is steadfastly approaching with stores already full of lights and decorations. Preparing for family gatherings is hectic for all, but this time of year can be especially stressful for those with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Help prepare your loved one to make this season flow more smoothly with these useful tips: Show him/her pictures of people who will be visiting and talk about them Play some of his/her favorite holiday tunes and serve favorite holiday foods Get your loved one involved in preparations—ask him/her to help you decorate, set the table, etc. Consider creating name tags for your guests—people with Alzheimer’s may recognize faces but be unable to recall names so this can be a helpful cue Designate a room the “quiet area” where your loved one can…

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By Natalie Hodge, 4:08 am on October 26, 2012

Most families reach a point when they realize their adult parent or senior loved one needs help at home. Tell-tale signs include recognizing that your loved one requires constant supervision and/or assistance with everyday activities, such as bathing and dressing. You may also find that certain housekeeping routines are accomplished with great difficulty or left undone. In general, consider the following areas: Mobility Issues – Difficulty walking, unsteady when standing, falling down, stumbling. Disinterest in Personal Health – Changes in eating or cooking habits, spoiled or outdated food in the refrigerator, lack of nutritious food in the pantry or freezer. Disinterest in Personal Hygiene -Wearing same clothes, wearing soiled or unkempt clothing, lack of bathing or oral care, unkempt hair or nails. Changes in Personal Habits – Loss of interest in hobbies, reluctance to…

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