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5 activities you can continue to do even if you’re social distancing

Another wave of COVID-19 rages on.

And perhaps you have not had the chance to see your loved ones in months.

Or if you have, it has been at a distance and with masks on and/or limited contact.

Now that the new vaccines for COVID-19 are slowly being rolled out, there might be relief on the horizon for us.

But until then, we still have to practice social distancing to slow how fast the virus spreads as well as to protect vulnerable, high-risk populations.

In this post, we’ll talk about activities you can still be involved in that will help alleviate the isolation and boredom you may be feeling from having to observe social distancing rules.

5 activities to beat boredom as social distancing continues

Take a walk in nature

There is nothing like getting fresh air by walking through your local park, nature reserve, or a nature trail.

If you live in Southern California, then there is no end of places for you to go and enjoy such.

If you live in the more temperate regions of the country and already have snow, don’t let this stop you! Even a walk through your neighborhood can do so much good.

Host a virtual dinner party

Family cannot come over for a real, in-person dinner party?

You can use video call services to host your very own tech-savvy dinner party with friends and family.

Make sure to set the table and prepare your meal just as you would if people were coming over.

Not only will it provide you with a sense of accomplishment; you will also prepare your body and mind for the social event just like you would if it were in-person.

Host a virtual game night

Just like the idea above, you can host a virtual game night with friends and family over video conferencing software like Zoom.

You can even have all the in-game excitement and arguments! And you will create memories with the people you love.

Go to a drive-in movie

Tired of staying at home?

There are cities around the US that are now throwing it back to the days of drive-in movies.

You don’t have to leave your car.

You can eat all the popcorn you want, and not buy the overpriced one at the cinema!

This is an activity you can share with your loved ones – all of you can drive separately to the movie and share in the outdoor experience.

And in the end, you will derive satisfaction from enjoyed the experience with people you love.

Start a project you’ve been putting off

Whether it is a home improvement project (elders should approach these with care), a knitting project, a painting, or simply a crafting project you’ve been putting off, now is the perfect time to get started on it.

So get to it!

 

I know having to be apart from the people you love is hard.

This virus came and changed our lives for sure.

With the new vaccines, it looks like there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Until we are in the clear, however, social distancing and wearing masks will be necessary.

If you’re having a hard time coping, these activities will help take away the boredom of life with social distancing.

Photo credits SeventyFour on istock.com


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July 15, 2020 Aging In Place0

The advantages of companions for the elderly.

As loved ones age, you may notice that they increasingly need someone with stay with them.

Because of reduced mobility and health issues, your elderly loved one may have difficulty moving around and performing normal activities like going to the grocery store.

As more and more people age in place – this means more people are opting to live in their homes rather than a nursing home or assisted living community – the need for a sitter or companion may increase.

And this is especially true when you have to go to work and cannot afford to stay home with your loved one to meet their needs.

Having a sitter or companion in this instance is a great idea.

If you’ve noticed that your loved one has reached a point where they could benefit from a sitter/companion, here is what you can expect.

Companions for the elderly: how companions help

Hiring a companion means you don’t have to worry while you’re at work (or if you live apart from them) that your loved one is being helped.

Here are all the ways a companion can help your loved one.

Transportation Assistance

Does your loved one need to get to a doctor’s appointment? A companion can help them get to the appointment. Do they need to get groceries? A companion can help with that too.

At Green Tree Home Care for instance, our companions will drive your loved one to the places they need to go.

To ensure the safety of your loved one, make sure the company you are hiring companions from is licensed and therefore has insurance that covers driving services.

Light housekeeping

If your loved one needs help with their laundry, companions can help with that. If they need help with keeping their house clean, companions can help as well.

Communication assistance

As the years progress the technology to communicate with friends and family also progresses. It can be frustrating for an older person who is not conversant with these technologies to communicate with family when they need to.

A companion can assist your loved one with communication technologies so that they can stay in touch.

Companionship

This is perhaps the aspect that companions and clients alike love the most – the companionship that develops.

As social beings, we crave relationships and the benefits that come with those relationships.

Companions can accompany your loved one to movies, social events, while they are traveling, to exercise and so much more. These meaningful relationships can help the elderly live longer because it gives them a sense of purpose.

 

Aging in place is possible. And if you find that your loved one needs more help, they want to remain at home and there are few age-related health issues, you should consider a companion for them.


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What does a second wave of COVID-19 restrictions mean for you as a caregiver?

News reports over the last week have focused on a second wave of COVID-19 cases.

States like Florida, Texas and Arizona have stopped reopening their states so that they can slow the virus spread.

Los Angeles county which had opened up beaches announced a few days ago, that they would close down the beaches to keep more people from getting infected.

At this point, if you’re exhausted at the thought of this second wave, you’re not the only one.

So what can you do as a caregiver during this time?

In today’s post, I will provide some pointers on how to cope as a caregiver during this second wave of COVID-19 restrictions.

Surviving a second wave of COVID-19 restrictions

Continue to stay safe

A second wave means it is important for us to continue to shelter in place and practice safety measures.

This means that if you care for an elderly loved one who has underlying health risks, it is important to be diligent about:

  • Wearing a mask (both you and your loved one) when you go into public spaces where there will be a lot of people
  • Avoiding those places where large groups of people gather
  • Washing hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and under running water. Do this every time you come into your house from outside.
  • Using hand sanitizer especially when you are out in public

Other actions include making sure you and your loved one are consuming enough vitamins and minerals.

Vitamin C for instance is well-known to boost our immune systems.

So while we do our best to stay at home and practice safety measures, make sure you and your loved ones’ immune systems are supported by healthy foods.

Take care of your emotional health

For many caregivers – especially those who are taking care of children as well as elderly loved ones – this has been a challenging time.

Children are home from school and as a caregiver, you have to attend to them.

And with this second wave, it is likely schools will not reopen until 2021.

For a lot of caregivers, this means triple the amount of work as they juggle caring for children, caring for their elderly loved one and staying on top of their work-life.

If this is you, remember to:

  • Take care of you as well. As cliche as it sounds, if you’re not taking care of yourself, you won’t be fit to take care of your loved ones. Check out this post to learn self-care tips for caregivers.
  • Speak with a mental health professional. These are unprecedented times. Nobody was prepared for this. So it’s okay to talk to someone about how you’re feeling. The great thing here is you get a listening ear and tools to help you cope.
  • Hire help if you need it. Green Tree Home Care is available all through this season to support you with our trained staff who abide by COVID-19-related public health rules. Call us today at 800-518-9277.

Bust through the boredom with fun at-home activities

Summer vacation travel plans cancelled? No worries.

There is still a lot you can do to bust through boredom from home. Here are some ideas for you and your household.

  • Learn a new skill for work – with so many online learning platforms out there, this is a perfect time to polish up or learn a new skill.
  • Practice a new hobby. Remember when you said you wanted to learn how to play the violin? Here’s your chance.
  • Discover new books.
  • Have virtual parties with distant family.

While these second wave of COVID-19-related restrictions due to rising cases, is NOT fun, we can beat it together.

 

 

 


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10 activity ideas for your loved one who is bedridden.

Here’s a reality – nobody likes to be in bed for a prolonged amount of time with nothing to do.

Thus, your loved one who is bedridden is itching for activities to keep their mind off the fact that they’re bedridden.

But one common challenge caregivers face is finding activities for loved ones to engage in while they are bedridden.

Whether your loved one is bedridden at home or is in the hospital, you’ll learn engaging activity ideas for them from the list below.

Let’s delve right into it.

10 activity ideas for your loved one who is bedridden

Reading books

Reading books has long been the way to while away time. If you know what types of books your loved one enjoys, either buy or borrow them from the library for your loved one.

Listening to audio books

Audio books are an excellent way to consume books especially if you’re not up for looking at pages of texts for long periods of time. It is common for elders to struggle with their eyesight. Audio books can therefore be a great alternative for them.

Services like Audible, Scribd and Audiobooks.com are excellent sources for audio books.

Watching TV shows

An oldie, but a goodie! And you don’t have to limit your loved one’s watching preferences to network television.

There are even YouTube channels that have a lot of great content that could appeal to your loved one.

Board games

If they are up to it, a good board game is another great way to engage your bedridden loved one.

Crafts

Crafts are great for any age and they are great at eliminating boredom. So try some crafts with your loved one. You never know what they will fall in love with.

Podcasts

Podcasts cover a wide variety of topics these days – from entertainment to business to commentary on popular TV shows. One can stay engaged for hours listening to podcasts.

Musical instruments

If your loved one can still use their upper body strength, playing musical instruments with them or even learning to play a new one can keep them engaged and entertained.

This is also an activity the whole family can participate in.

Conversations with loved ones on Skype or Zoom

Are loved ones scattered all over the country or globe? Show your loved one how to use communication tools like Skype or Zoom so they can talk with family that live elsewhere.

Check this post out for 4 user-friendly video calling apps for the elderly.

Puzzles

Everyone loves a good puzzle! And for your loved one who is bedridden, this is an excellent way to help them engage.

Ipads/Tablets

Several of the activities listed here could be done with an electronic tablet and then there is so much more that is not mentioned here.

Either way, an electronic tablet presents a great opportunity to your loved one engaged while bedridden.

 


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Is your elderly loved one currently bedridden?

Here are five tips on how to take care of an elderly loved one who is bedridden at home.

5 tips for taking care of your loved one who is bedridden

Continue to provide good nutrition

Your loved one still needs to be getting a diet that provides them with all the nutrients they need.

A diet that is heavy in proteins, fruits and vegetables is helpful for people who are bedridden.

A bedridden person is prone to losing muscle tone because they are not using their muscles as much in daily movement.

This can result in a loss of muscle tone which further weakens a person.

A diet that is rich in protein, helps to continue to “feed” the muscles so they can regain some of that lost muscle tone.

Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and minerals that boost the immune system and help wounds heal quickly.

People who are bedridden, are more likely to develop a condition called bed sores. Having the right balance of vitamins and minerals can help lessen the occurrence of these.

Help them perform range of motion exercises

Like I mentioned in the point above, if your loved one is bedridden, they are not moving their muscles around much.

For people who are not bedridden, simple things like taking a walk for 30 minutes a day is enough to keep muscles strong and healthy.

When you don’t use a particular muscle group regularly however, those muscles become weak.

Thus, it is important to help your loved one perform range-of-motion exercises to help keep their muscles healthy.

Bed sores are another common problem that arise from being bedridden.

This happens because there isn’t enough blood supply to a part of your loved one’s body. Wounds then develop – and these wounds can take a long time to heal.

Range of motion exercises gets blood moving to the parts of the body that would otherwise be cut off from blood supply.

Provide bed baths

Cleanliness is important when you’re taking care of a bedridden loved one.

This post teaches you how to provide your loved one with a bed bath.

Bed baths prevent bacteria, fungi and viruses from gathering in areas of your loved one’s body and causing havoc.

Change their bedding often

Changing bedding and diapering often is vital when you’re taking care of a loved one who is bedridden.

Because they are in bed all day long, sweat, hair shedding and skin shedding all contribute to sheets becoming dirty quickly.

Thus, it is important to have a plan to change your loved one’s sheets once or twice a week. Or as often as is needed.

You could also lay down absorbent bed pads like these ones, on the area of the bed where your loved one lies the most.

This way, you don’t have to change all the sheets if you’re in a pinch for time. You would just need to change the bed pad.

Nonetheless, changing sheets once or twice per week will keep your loved one comfortable, clean and dry.

If your loved one uses a diaper, changing them frequently will also keep them comfortable and prevent problems like skin break down due to urine or feces staying on them for too long.

Provide entertainment to keep them engaged

Laying in bed all day is boring. It can lead to mental health problems like depression.

Keep your loved one engaged and entertained.

Board games, watching a TV show together, providing them with books and having conversations are all ways to keep your loved one engaged.

While they are aging in place and are bedridden, your loved one can still enjoy a good quality of life.

These 5 tips on how to care for your elderly loved one who is bedridden, will help you achieve that.

Did you find this post helpful?

Consider sharing it with someone else who needs it.

 

 


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May 11, 2020 Aging In Place0

COVID-19 has shaken the world to the core this year.

In order for families to protect one another, adult children  have reported staying away from their elderly loved ones.

There is no doubt that you might want to continue to stay in touch with your loved ones.

But you might not just want a phone call; you might want to see their faces as well.

There are user-friendly pieces of software that you can access for free and enjoy your family during these days of lock-downs and quarantines.

In this post, I will share four free and yet user-friendly video calling apps for the elderly.

4 FREE and user-friendly video calling apps for the elderly

Video calling features built into your smart phone

Both Android and Apple smart phones have native video calling features that allow you to call your loved ones on video.

Apple phones have Face Time.

If your loved one has an Apple iPhone or an iPad, you can call them using Face Time.

If you use an Android smart phone and your loved one has an Android phone that has video capabilities, you can call them using the video call feature as well.

These features come with your phone and are free to use.

WhatsApp

WhatsApp is a communication app that allows you to text, call and leave voice notes.

If your cell phone has a data plan or you have the phone connected to a wi-fi network, you can communicate with your family easily using WhatsApp.

Unlike the phone features I spoke of above, you can make video calls to your loved ones regardless of which kind of phone they use.

Another useful WhatsApp feature is the fact that you can have groups of up to 256 people!

Thus, you and your loved ones can have a group and communicate through there.

You can use WhatsApp on a Mac or Windows computer as well. 

Skype

Skype is one of the oldest Voice-Over-Internet-Protocol (VOIP) programs that is still free.

You can call your loved ones and see them on video from your computer, cell phone or a tablet.

All you need is an internet connection.

Facebook Messenger Video Calling

The Facebook Messenger app is owned by the world’s most popular social media site and guess what?

It has video calling as well.

If you already have a Facebook account, you already have everything you need to call your loved one on video.

 

Staying in touch with your loved ones during this difficult time is possible.

And while nothing is ever as good as the real thing, it still possible to still have good relationships over video calls.

In this post, I shared 4 free and user-friendly video calling apps for the elderly to help you keep in touch with your loved ones.

 

 


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Is your home walker-ready?

Mom or Dad is moving in with you shortly and they have a walker.

Or perhaps, they are aging in place and you want to help them make their home walker-ready.

In today’s post, we’ll cover the steps you can take to prepare your home or your loved one’s home to make it walker-ready.

5 home walker safety tips

But first, home walker safety tip number one!

The number one safety tip to consider when you’re getting your home ready for a walker is to ensure that you or your loved one is properly fitted for the walker.

While it may seem you can just grab any “ole” walker and make it work for you or your loved one, this is not advisable.

For a walker to be safe and supportive, it has to fit your height, weight and specific situation.

The wrong walker can lead to injuries that are caused by the walker not being rightly fitted for you.

The wrong walker can also lead to falls, which can in turn be fatal.

Consider a wider door

If your door is narrow, you might want to consider a renovation that includes widening your doorway to the allow the walker in. Of course, you will have to consider if this is absolutely necessary.

We do realize that this could mean a significant financial investment but ultimately, it will help you or your loved one come in and out of the house much easier.

Ramp for easier movement

Stairs can prove challenging for people with mobility issues.

Where possible, build a ramp that allows easier movement in and out of your home.

Bedroom downstairs or which does not involve too many stairs

This ties into the point above.

A bedroom downstairs reduces the need for you or your loved one to use the stairs – a common cause of falls.

Get rid of obstructions

Loose rugs, wires that cross the floor and any other object that is in the way can become fall hazards.

If you have a loved one in your home who uses a walker, get rid of obstructions in those spaces where they travel frequently.

Keep pathways lighted up

You or your loved one may need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

In addition to keeping pathways clear of obstructions, it is helpful to have night lights.

At the very least, you or your loved on should have the ability to control lights so that pathways are lighted when there’s no daylight outside.

 

Need reliable home care services for you or your loved one?

Call Green Tree Home Care at 800-518-9277 to talk to a representative and find out how we can help you.

 

 

 


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Tips to protect your mental health during the current global pandemic.

To say the current news is stress-inducing is an understatement.

The numbers of people infected with the novel Coronavirus keeps going up.

The death toll – although it is at 4% of all cases – is still very disturbing.

It certainly doesn’t help that everyone is now encouraged to stay indoors.

For some people who have been through traumatic war-time experiences, perhaps this dredges up bad memories.

This is a difficult time for everyone around the world.

How do you protect your mental health during such a stressful time?

In today’s post, I am going to share four tips to protect your mental health in the midst of the stress.

4 tips to protect your mental health during the current pandemic

Be truthful with yourself

The first step to protecting your mental health is to be truthful with yourself.

It is okay to admit that you are feeling overwhelmed. It is okay to voice out your frustrations and let those around you know how you’re feeling.

The truth? You’re not alone in those feelings.

Shut off the stress-inducers

The news is stressful right now. There is no doubt about that.

News networks want to be the first ones reporting the latest news and numbers.

While it’s important for us to be abreast with it all – it is alright to give yourself a break.

Don’t feel you need to sit down and soak it all up.

Take a walk around your house.

Read a new book.

Set up a video conference call with your family.

Do what you can to stay away from anything that increases your anxiety.

Talk to a mental health professional

With expanded telehealth benefits for Medicare beneficiaries, you might be able to chat with a mental health provider over the phone or other virtual service.

Mental health providers can give you the tools you need to cope during this time.

Find out from your mental health provider if this is possible.

Start a new hobby

Now is a great time to start a brand new hobby!

This can help you keep your hands and mind busy so you’re not worrying so much about the news.

These tips to protect your mental health during the current pandemic can help you cope until we all finally come out of this.

We cannot always change the course of the storm; but we can choose to thrive in the midst of it.

 


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At Green Tree Home Care, we are happy to answer any questions you have about choosing the right home care agency for mom or dad. Call us today if you live the San Diego and Orange county areas. 

You live far away from mom or dad and you need to find the right home care agency.

You want to pick an agency that will help them continue to enjoy the comforts of home while getting the care they need.

We know that finding and picking the right home care agency for your loved one is hard; but it is not impossible.

In today’s post, we’ll share some tips on how you can find and pick the right home care agency for your loved one.

Choosing the right home care agency for mom or dad

Do your research

These days, rating websites like Yelp or Google Reviews or A Place For Mom make researching a business easy.

Note however that people usually don’t rate a business unless they have had a bad experience. So while we recommend starting here, it’s also important to take the worst reviews with a grain of salt.

Most of these websites are based on a 5-star system with 5 stars being the best.

Our recommendation is that you can read the 3-star and 4-star reviews and find out what the complaints of these individuals were.

This should give you some insight into what the particular home agency does well and what may be lacking.

Check out their website

Once you’ve found out what other people have to say, go and find out what the home care agency has to say about itself.

You will find a lot here too.

If you cannot find all (or almost all) the information you need about a home care agency on their website, this could be a red flag.

A business that is marketing itself online needs to make answers to potential clients’ questions easy.

They can do this easily via their website and if they are not, we recommend that you pass.

If the home care agency has social media channels, these would be good to check as well.

Talk with the home care agency

By this point, you would have made a short-list of home care agencies to pick from for your aging loved one.

Our next recommendation is that you call the home care agency and speak with someone.

Questions you can ask while on the call with them include:

  • How do you vet your employees?
  • Does your company have a license? Is there a website or place I can call to verify this information?
  • What kind of training do you give your caregivers?
  • Do you have caregivers who know how to deal with people with disabilities?
  • When can you start providing services?
  • Will my elderly loved one have the same caregiver(s) each time? If you have to change caregivers, how much notice will I get?
  • Do you an external monitoring of your caregivers to ensure my loved one is not being abused?
  • How do your caregivers handle emergencies?
  • What happens if a scheduled caregiver doesn’t show up?
  • If I have concerns about my loved one’s care, who should I report this to?

Any good home care agency will happily answer each of your questions and make sure to allay any fears you have.

Choosing the right home care agency for mom or dad, doesn’t need to be hectic when you follow these steps.

 

 


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