SYNERGY HomeCare of Central Texas

Our senior care services include assisting those with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer's, and other forms of dementia. In addition to elder care, we provide in home care for special needs children, new mothers and recovery assistance from surgical procedures, cancer treatments and strokes. We also offer respite care for caregivers.

Household Aids to Help Keep Seniors Safe at Home — November 14, 2015

Household Aids to Help Keep Seniors Safe at Home

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More and more seniors are opting to grow old in their own homes so it is important that the house is equipped with the tools they require to help keep them safe and provide peace of mind. Many companies offer a line of ADL’s (Activities of Daily Living) products designed to aid seniors’ mobility and maintain independence and accessibility throughout the home.

If you or a loved one requires assistance to move safely in the home, you will want to go through room by room to determine what type of ADL household aids would be the most useful. Common places where seniors can benefit from adaptive aids are in the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. One potentially dangerous problem for a senior is falling out of bed as well as safely getting in and out of bed. Bed rails are a simple and relatively inexpensive solution to help keep seniors safely in bed and can offer the assistance they need getting in and out. They are available in a variety of configurations and sizes to fit most beds.

Other important, life-saving home aids are fall and wandering alarms. Available in a variety of models, the most sophisticated ones contain features that transmit both visual and audio alarm notifications in the event of an emergency.

No matter what age, the bathroom can be the site of many accidents and to help address some of the dangers for the elderly, there are a whole host of products designed to offer assistance. Easy to add ADL aids include grab bars, grip mats, shower and bath seats, and raised toilet seats. There are even bath rails available that can be easily installed or removed without requiring any tools.

At Austin’s SYNERGY HomeCare, our mission is to provide seniors compassionate and respectful non-medical care to help them maintain their independence and privacy in the comfort of their own home. We will work closely with your family to ensure your loved one’s needs are met and to provide you with the peace of mind knowing you are getting the best home care services available.

**This blog is intended for informational purposes only. Always consult your health care provider regarding all medical decisions. **

SYNERGY HomeCare is one of the most respected agencies in the Greater Austin area for non-medical home care. Our affordable, compassionate and services provide families with everything from live-in care to short term wellness visits. Please contact us to discuss our range of options for providing your family peace of mind with the best Austin area home care services.  

 

Source: agingcare.com/Products

Caring for Someone with Alzheimer’s or Other Forms of Dementia — November 12, 2015

Caring for Someone with Alzheimer’s or Other Forms of Dementia

In Home Senior Care

Caring for a loved one who has Alzheimer’s or other dementia-related conditions can be challenging for families. These progressive brain disorders make it difficult for a person to remember things, think clearly, communicate with others, and to take care of themselves. In some cases, individuals experience mood swings as well as changes in personality and behavior.

At the Caregiver.org website, tips are available for learning how to communicate better and more effectively deal with a family member suffering from dementia. One of their first suggestions is to “set a positive mood for interactions.” They explain that how you interact with the person sends a message, and approaching them in a pleasant, respectful manner conveys caring and affection. Another suggestion is to limit any distractions and noise when you want to get the person’s attention. Address them by name, remind them of your name, and look directly in their eyes to help keep them focused.

Be sure to speak slowly and clearly using simple words and short sentences. Try and keep the pitch of your voice low and repeat the message if they do not understand the first time. If you are asking a question, frame it so they can answer with a simple yes or no. When possible, show them the choices and help guide a response.

They also recommend changing up the environment if a loved one is upset. Try taking a walk or suggest another activity that you know they enjoy. Always do your best to be positive and to respond with affection and reassurance. Humor and patience can go a long way when dealing with someone with dementia.

If you have a family member suffering from Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, SYNERGY HomeCare can provide the help you need. We serve Central Texas with a broad range of non-medical, versatile and extremely flexible home care services. Our compassionate, trained caregivers provide families with peace of mind knowing their loved one is receiving the level of care they need.

**This blog is intended for informational purposes only. Always consult your health care provider regarding all medical decisions. **

SYNERGY HomeCare is one of the San Antonio area’s most trusted agencies for non-medical home care. We provide families with affordable, reliable and compassionate services that include everything from short term wellness visits to live-in care. Please contact us to discuss the range of services we can provide for your loved one.

 

Source: caregiver.org/caregivers-guide-understanding-dementia-behaviors

Want to Age Comfortably in Your Own Home? — November 10, 2015

Want to Age Comfortably in Your Own Home?

Home Health Care Companies

For many elderly adults, retaining a level of independence and privacy in their own home is extremely important. It may be very doable with just a few modifications and some outside assistance, but first take the time to plan out what you sort of help you will require to ensure your continued safety and comfort.

Many home modifications are relatively inexpensive and can help to make your home safer and more accessible. Things like grab bars in the tub, grip mats in the bathroom and the addition of ramps to avoid stairs can make a difference. Also although a more expensive modification, installing a new bathroom on the lower level floor can be helpful.

Furthermore, while you may have a supportive family and rely on them for help from time to time, in the long-term, you may want to consider looking into professional home care services. Home care providers such as SYNERGY HomeCare, located in Central Texas, offer a broad range of services that you design around your specific needs. If it is transportation that is a problem as you no longer feel comfortable driving but still need to get to and from doctor appointments and running errands, we can safely get you there.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by housework and having a hard time keeping up, SYNERGY HomeCare also offers light housekeeping services. For anyone having trouble with personal daily care activities such as dressing, bathing, feeding, or meal preparation, we can offer a helping hand. In addition our flexible, compassionate services include care management, recovery assistance, live-in or 24-hour care, recovery assistance, companionship and respite for family caregivers. Contact us to learn more about how we can help.

SYNERGY HomeCare is one of the most trusted agencies for non-medical home care in the Greater Austin area. We provide families with affordable, reliable and compassionate services that include everything from live-in care to short term wellness visits. Please contact us so we can offer your family peace of mind knowing you are getting the best professional home care available in Austin.  

Tips for Dealing with Hearing Loss — November 7, 2015

Tips for Dealing with Hearing Loss

Home Health Care

Hearing aids are primarily intended for hearing loss that stems from damage to the small sensory cells in the inner ear, known as hair cells, and is referred to as sensorineural hearing loss. The damage can be caused by diseases or injury from loud noises or trauma as well as aging (Presbycusis).

Although it is unclear why, Presbycusis seems to run in families and is also associated with years of exposure to loud noises known as noise-induced hearing loss. In fact the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) says that “It is one of the most common conditions affecting older and elderly adults.” They add that, “Approximately one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss and nearly half of those older than 75 have difficulty hearing.”

So what should you do if you suspect that you are experiencing a hearing loss? The NIDCD recommends that you seek professional medical advice starting with your doctor. From there, your doctor may refer you to a specialist such as an otolaryngologist, an audiologist, or a hearing aid specialist. Otolaryngologists will try to diagnose why you are experiencing a hearing loss and may send you to an audiologist to be fitted for a hearing aid.

A hearing aid is one way to deal with a hearing loss but there are several other treatments and devices commonly used. Hearing aids make sounds louder and the NIDCD advises that you wear a hearing aid on a trial basis to ensure it is a good fit for you as often it takes a couple of tries to get fitted properly. For severe hearing loss, you may be fitted with a small electronic device surgically implanted in the inner ear called a cochlear implant. Other solutions include assistive listening devices such as “amplifying devices, smart phones or tablet “apps,” and closed circuit systems.”   Finally learning to read lips can be helpful.

**This blog is intended for informational purposes only. Always consult your health care provider regarding all medical decisions. **

SYNERGY HomeCare is one of the most trusted agencies in the Greater Austin area for non-medical home care. Our affordable, reliable and compassionate services provide families with everything from live-in care to short term wellness visits. Contact us for a complementary home visit to discuss the ways we can provide your family with the best professional care.  

 

Source:nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/pages/older.aspx

Seniors Need to Protect Their Eyesight — October 17, 2015

Seniors Need to Protect Their Eyesight

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There are steps we can take to ensure we protect our eyesight as we age. One of the most important things we need to do is to have our eyes examined annually by an ophthalmologist or optometrist. For those over the age of 65, it should also include a yearly dilated eye exam. Also for anyone suffering from diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, eye care is critical as these diseases can lead to serious eye problems.

Anyone can suffer from eye problems but it is typically more common for older adults to experience vision problems. Keep in mind that while many eye problems can be treated easily, sometimes they can be a sign of more serious diseases.

One of the most common changes to our vision affecting seniors is the condition known as Presbyopia. This is where we lose the ability to clearly see close objects and small print. Presbyopia is a normal aging process and can be corrected with reading glasses.

Another problem often reported by seniors are tiny specks or spots often called “floaters” that appear to float across your field of vision.   Although these can be normal for anyone with aging eyes, they can also be a sign of more serious eye problems such as retinal detachment. It is important to have it checked out by your eye doctor.

Many seniors experience dry, uncomfortable eyes that can cause itching, burning and sometimes even loss of vision. The Cleveland Clinic advises that your doctor “may suggest using a humidifier in your home, nutritional supplements, such as flaxseed oil, medications to reduce inflammation as a cause, or special eye drops that simulate real tears.” On the other side of too dry eyes, many elderly adults suffer from too many tears. This can occur from a sensitivity to light, wind or temperature changes. Protecting your eyes by wearing sunglasses can sometimes help but check with your doctor to make sure it is not a more serious problem such as a blocked tear duct or an infection.

Other more serious eye diseases include cataracts, glaucoma and retinal disorders. Cataracts form over time and if they start to affect your eyesight can generally be removed by surgery. Glaucoma and retinal disorders are very serious and need to be treated as early as possible in order to protect your vision.

**This blog is intended for informational purposes only. Always consult your health care provider regarding all medical decisions. **

SYNERGY HomeCare is one of the San Antonio area’s most trusted agencies for non-medical home care. We provide families with affordable, reliable and compassionate services that include everything from short term wellness visits to live-in care. Please contact us to discuss the range of services we can provide for you or your loved one.

 

Sources:my.clevelandclinic.org/services/cole-eye/diseases-conditions/hic-vision-problems-in-aging-adults, nia.nih.gov/health/publication/aging-and-your-eyes,mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cataracts/basics/definition/con-20015113

The National Institute on Aging’s Report on Aging — October 14, 2015

The National Institute on Aging’s Report on Aging

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 As one of the world’s most comprehensive and longest running longitudinal examination of human aging, the National Institute on Aging’s Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA) celebrated its 50th year in 2008. Right from its inception, the study’s primary purpose was to thoroughly examine the question of what it means to age normally, and thus far, two major conclusions have emerged.

The first thing the study has taught us is that “normal aging can be distinguished from disease.” While we know that our bodies change as we age, these changes do not necessarily lead to disease such as diabetes, hypertension or dementia. Rather many of the diseases the elderly suffer from are “a result of disease processes, not normal aging.”

The second important finding from the 50-year long BLSA study is that there is not a single, chronological timetable for human aging, but instead we all age as individuals. Just as children do not go through the various development stages at an exact time, the same is true for older people. The research indicates that genetics, lifestyle, and disease processes are all a part of what affects the rate of aging for an individual.

As the BLSA study has progressed and we learn more and more about the basic concepts of aging, researchers are looking at other common health issues such as “obesity, loss of muscle mass and strength (sarcopenia), disability, and cognitive disorders.” One fascinating study from BLSA looked at cognitive changes in the brain and how visual memory and mental skills were related to structural changes in the brain. Participants underwent brain scans over a 9-year period and the results showed that even healthy older adults lost a significant amount of brain volume in the normal aging process. Check out the National Institute on Aging’s website to learn more about the study.

SYNERGY HomeCare is one of the most trusted agencies for non-medical home care in the Greater Austin area. We provide families with affordable, reliable and compassionate services that include everything from live-in care to short term wellness visits. Please contact us so we can offer your family peace of mind knowing you are getting the best professional home care available in Austin.

 

 

Source:nia.nih.gov/health/publication/healthy-aging-lessons-baltimore-longitudinal-study-aging/introduction

Preparing for a Hospital Stay — October 11, 2015

Preparing for a Hospital Stay

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When you know in advance that you will be spending time in the hospital, there are a few things you can do to ensure you are well-prepared for your stay. While keeping in mind that you should not bring too much, do take the time beforehand to get your essentials packed up and ready to go.

The Leapfrog Group, which is a nonprofit organization committed to promoting quality, safety and transparency in our health system offers some good advice that they publish on their Hospital Safety Score website. One of their first recommendations is that you pack all of the medications you are currently taking including over-the-counter medications, dietary supplements and herbal remedies so your doctors can review them.

Furthermore, do not forget to bring items such as hearing aids, dentures, and glasses as well as a book or magazine to read along with your slippers or non-slip socks, bathrobe and toiletries. Pack a set of comfortable clothes for your trip home or plan on wearing the same clothes you wore to the hospital. Also remember to bring your photo identification and insurance cards as well as a small amount of cash and one credit card.

Now is the time to update your medical history by preparing a list of all allergies and bring along the paperwork regarding any past illnesses and surgeries you have had. Make sure your hospital bag also includes emergency contact information that is complete with both home and work phone numbers.

Items that should not be taken to the hospital are jewelry (even wedding rings should be left at home), additional credit cards and large amounts of money. Keep in mind that the hospital is not responsible for your lost or stolen items. Laptops, cell phones, tablets and other electronics you bring are your responsibility.

SYNERGY HomeCare is one of the most trusted agencies in the Greater Austin area for non-medical home care. Our affordable, reliable and compassionate services provide families with everything from live-in care to short term wellness visits. Contact us for a complementary home visit to discuss the ways we can provide your family with the best professional care.  

 

Sources:hospitalsafetyscore.org/what-you-can-do-to-stay-safe/preparing-for-your-hospital-stay, nia.nih.gov/health/publication/hospital-hints