Seniors take more medications than any other age demographic. Nearly half of people over the age of 65 take five or more medications, and nine out of ten take at least one prescription. During the same study, it was discovered that over half of seniors take their medications incorrectly. Unfortunately, there are several medication mistakes that someone can make, and these can lead to mild discomfort or even death. Adverse drug reactions are serious business, and in 2009, deaths related to medications mistakes were higher than from traffic fatalities.
Avoid these serious medication mistakes:
- Mixing medications that shouldn’t be mixed. Today, most people have more than one doctor or specialist that they see. Oftentimes they get their prescriptions filled at different pharmacies, creating the potential for disaster. Try to get all of your prescriptions filled at one place and regularly ask the pharmacist if he spots any prescriptions that shouldn’t be taken together.
- Medications that mix poorly with various foods. The body is an amazing machine, and sometimes, prescriptions, when taken with a certain food or drink, will cause the person to have an adverse drug reaction. For example, when someone is taking blood thinners, they should not eat foods like leafy green vegetables that are high in vitamin K.
- Overdosing is the most common medication mistake. This is most likely to happen with various painkillers available on the market, anti-anxiety, stimulants like Adderal, etc. The solution is to make sure you know precisely how much of a medication you should be taking. Write it down either on the bottle or somewhere that is accessible to you. Never take more than has been prescribed.
- Prescription medications often have similar names, making it difficult for people to tell the difference. Consider Lamictal and Lamisil (one is for epilepsy and one is for a fungal infection), and also Celebrex and Celexa (one is for arthritis and the other for depression). When a medication is taken instead of another, it can pose serious medical problems. Try sorting the pills in a pill box or other type of organizer.
Always Best Care is the nation’s leading senior caregiver with locations all over the United States and Canada. If you are a senior living in the Richmond area, and would like information about personal care in Midlothian VA or companion care in Midlothian, please call the Always Best Care Richmond location at (804) 912-5688. They look forward to talking with you!
Pain in the knees and hips is very common for seniors. It can be due to osteoporosis (which affects over 27 million Americans), and it can also be caused when the cartilage wears away, exposing bones and causing pain when joints move. Here are some ways to combat knee and hip pain:
- Exercise – although it might seem counterintuitive, exercising will help bring relief to this type of pain. It’s important to start off slowly, and be mindful that mentally, you’ll be fighting against it because you think it will make the pain worse. Try strength training as well as water aerobics, which are great for improving joints and lessening pain.
- Painkillers – Prescriptions from your doctor and over the counter medications can help relieve hip and knee pain. Never go over the recommended dosage, or the dosage recommended by your doctor, and take the medication before the point when the pain becomes the worst. Make sure to check for any medications that you are currently taking that might interact badly with painkillers.
- Consider surgery – if the pain is extreme enough, you and your doctor might come to the decision that surgery is your best option. The goal here is to reduce the pain as much as possible. Replacement knee surgery and hip surgeries are very common, and should take care of the pain altogether once the surgery is complete.
- Lose weight – The weight that the body carries is also carried on its bones and joints. By decreasing the weight, you put less pressure on the bones and joints and therefore, remedy some of the pain. Stay away from fats and fried foods; instead, reach for a banana, apple, the broccoli, lean meats and nuts.
Always Best Care has been in the caregiver industry since 1996. They have assisted over 25,000 seniors during that time, and look forward to helping seniors in the Richmond area who are interested in finding out about senior care in Southside Richmond and companion care in Midlothian. If you are a senior and you live in the Richmond area, please call the Always Best Care Richmond location at (804) 912-5688 today to schedule a free consultation. They look forward to talking with you!
The human body has its own circadian rhythm, and that’s why people get tired at night and have more energy throughout the day. When someone works the night shift, they are disrupting their own circadian rhythm, with the potential to wreak havoc on their system and their sleep. Working the night shift can cause sleep disorders, as well as insomnia, and can even have a negative impact on your health. So, if you do find yourself in this position (because everyone has to make a living, right?) what are the ways you can reduce the negative effects on your body?
- It is likely that when you do sleep, you aren’t get quite enough. Increase your sleep by napping throughout the day when you feel you must. This will help you make up for a lack of quality in your sleep.
- Rotate shifts as little as possible. It’s hard enough on your body to work the night shift, but when you work the night shift for a couple of weeks, and then switch to the day shift, your body goes into real turmoil. Limit this as much as possible and stay on your own sleep schedule as tightly as you can.
- Block the light in your bedroom. This might include installing black-out shades and curtains, and even a sleep mask. The sun, trying to get in, is meant to keep you awake and energized, so limit its entrance into your bedroom as much as possible.
- Only drink coffee or caffeinated beverages at the beginning of your shift. As it gets closer to quitting time, you’ll want to make sure there’s nothing working against you when you go home to sleep.
- Try to keep the lights at work as bright as possible. By bathing your body and eyes in natural light (full spectrum light is best to replicate the sun), you are helping to regulate your sleep schedule.
Since 1996, Always Best Care has been providing exceptional and compassionate in-home care to seniors all over the United States and Canada. If you live in the Richmond area and would like information regarding senior care in Southside Richmond or are interested in free referrals for assisted living facilities in Southside Richmond, you can call the Always Best Care Richmond location at 804-912-5688 to set up a free consultation. They look forward to being a part of your bright future!
While there are a number of causes for back pain, and nearly 80% of the population will suffer from it at some point in their lives, there are ways to avoid it. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! And back pain can cause a lot of suffering and a huge loss of productivity. Follow these tips for a healthy back and a spring in your step!
- Maintain a healthy weight. One of the reasons why some people endure back pain is because they are carrying too much extra weight. When you implement a lifestyle of healthy eating, you no longer help gravity in pulling your body downward, creating painful stress along the way.
- Sleep the right way. Back pain is often borne from sleeping in unusual positions. You can talk to your doctor about sleeping “the right way” and which way would be most beneficial for you. A pillow may be needed to support the back and knees, which may ultimately reduce pain. Stomach sleeping is not recommended because it often causes pain, but it can be accommodated with a pillow beneath the hips.
- Exercise. What’s great for blood flow and decreasing inflammation? Yes, exercise. Although the thought of participating in exercise might be overwhelming for you while you’re in pain, work up to the amount you can do comfortably. Simply walking is a great place to start. Make sure to stretch before and after to decrease stiffness and pain.
- Choose comfortable shoes. Heels over one inch can create a lot of pain because muscles in the back are being misaligned. Find comfortable shoes – maybe your doctor can recommend some – to spend most of your day in. Your back will thank you for it!
- Always lift with your legs. This is sometimes hard to remember but once it happens – you are reminded quickly! Make sure that when you’re doing any type of lifting, that you bend your knees and not your waist. Your leg muscles are much more suited for lifting, and you’ll keep your back in tip top shape.
If you live in the Richmond and surrounding area, and are interested in learning about elder care in Midlothian VA or if you’d like free referrals for assisted living in Southside Richmond, you can contact the Always Best Care Richmond location at 804-912-5688 to set up a free care consultation. They look forward to hearing from you!
Sleep problems can occur at any age. However, they are even more likely to happen as we age, and dementia can compound not only the possibility of sleep problems, but also the affects of sleep deprivation. Caregivers need to be aware that they can, along with a senior with dementia, become irritable and emotionally unstable when they don’t get enough sleep.
What are some of the main causes behind sleep problems?
- As we age, we become more susceptible to sleep-related disorders such as restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea, and other sleep breathing disorders.
- Certain medical conditions can affect sleep such as arthritis, bladder problems, emotional problems, heart and lung issues, and stomach problems like GERD. Alcohol and medication side effects can also cause sleep problems.
- Beginning in mid-life, we lose about a half an hour of quality sleep every decade. Our sleep becomes more fragmented and it’s easier to wake and stay awake due to other issues.
- Dementia and other degenerative diseases change a person’s sleep cycle.
Here are some of the ways that a person with dementia (and their caregiver) can improve their sleep cycle:
- Light therapy has been proven to improve sleep. Whether it’s natural daytime lighting by going outside and being in the sun for at least an hour every day, or via a light therapy lamp, bright light will help keep the circadian cycle in order, and will improve nighttime sleep.
- Walking throughout the day, or some other form of physical exercise, will create a more natural need for sleep.
- Keep the nighttime environment peaceful, dark, and quiet.
- Maintain a regular routine and be consistent with it. Morning wake-ups and evening tuck-ins should be at the same time every day so the body gets in tune with this schedule and comes to depend on it.
There have been many medications prescribed to people with dementia who suffer from sleep problems in an effort to help them sleep more soundly. Some of these include sedatives, tranquilizers, and sleeping pills, and even antipsychotics and over-the-counter sleep aids. Unfortunately, most all of these will have some ill-effect on the senior with dementia, and should be monitored closely through caregivers and doctors. Melatonin and Trazodone tend to be milder with less possibility of side effects, so talk to your doctor about them.
If you live in the Richmond VA area and are interested in finding out about in-home caregivers in Southside Richmond, or about options for assisted living facilities in Midlothian VA, contact the Always Best Care Richmond office at 804-912-5688 to set up a free consultation through a professional Care Coordinator.
Throughout our lives we don’t base our happiness on rudimentary things like if we’re getting enough food and water, and if we have clothing and shelter. While ultimately this might be the best yardstick of happiness, it’s not how humans think or work. Much of our lives are spent building the lifestyle we want to lead – which includes choosing the friends we want to spend our time with, choosing our career, choosing our hobbies, and decorating our homes and environments in a way that is pleasing to us.
So, why should this stop when it’s time to move into an assisted living community? Part of the reason why so many seniors are averse to moving out of their homes and into an assisted living community is because they believe they will have to give up “who they are.” That their independence will be taken away, and they will not be able to lead the life they have spent all of their time creating.
That’s why the rise of niche assisted living communities is gaining in popularity and is being hailed by seniors. When you take an interest and build a community out of that interest, you have a natural aligning of people who are likely to become friends, which seniors can count on to benefit them socially, cognitively, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Some of these niches revolve around the following hobbies, interests and professions:
- Classic cars
- Lifelong learning
- NFL players
- Postal Workers
What’s really at work here is that seniors want increased quality of life, increased independence, and satisfaction from pursuits they enjoy. What are some of the factors involved in a high quality of life?
- Absence of anxiety and stress – emotional well-being
- Participating in enjoyable activities
- Having close interpersonal relationships
- Intimacy – both body image and sexuality
- Absence of physical discomfort
- Ability to participate in all of these activities
If you are a senior and you’re interested in finding out about in-home caregivers in Midlothian, or about Alzheimer care in Midlothian, you can contact the Always Best Care Richmond South office at 804-912-5688 to set up a free consultation. Discover why Always Best Care has been the most highly-respected in-home caregiver in the industry since 1996.