2014 Best of Home Care® Provider AND Employer of Choice Award

RetireEASE is happy to announce that we have achieved the title of 2014 Best of Home Care® Provider AND Employer of Choice Award for the fourth year in a row! This recognition of our home care business is one of being one of the best in the nation. 

Thank you to all our wonderful staff, caregivers and patients who made this award possible for RetireEASE! 

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New Year Resolution’s…for the CareGiver.

Who can believe it, but 2014 is upon us. With the ringing in of the New Year there is the ever-expected New Year’s resolutions that everyone makes. These lists of good habits to pick up as you enter 2014 do not have to be a burden you place upon yourself entering into 2014.shutterstock_62795851

The first question to answer is why even both with New Year resolutions? Many simply drop the habits within the first few weeks of the New Year or do not find themselves with the time to accomplish what they had hoped they would. Well, New Year’s resolutions do not have to be a rigid set of rules that cannot be bended or changed. In fact, the definition of resolution is “a firm decision to adjust original plans.” (dictionary.com) Therefore, you can simply make a decision to live a better life to benefit both yourself and the seniors in your life you tend to on a day to day basis.

Here are five tips for CareGivers to consider:

Tip #1 Take the time to thank you in case no one else does.

While there may be numerous people who are thankful for you and your services, they may either be incapable of doing so or forgetful to say, “thank you” every once in a while. It is a habit that is easy to forget to tell someone you appreciate them. Take the time to give yourself a pat on the back every now and then. Know you are doing something remarkable by being a Caregiver and realize how appreciative the individual or others are of your service; even if they do not express it.

Tip #2 Get your flu shot! You would be regretful if you got sick!

Getting sick is also something you cannot afford as a caregiver. Not only in regards to having to take time off work, but exposing your senior citizen to these germs could prove fatal if they were to also get sick. The flu shot is readily available at not only your doctor’s office, but also any pharmacy such as CVS or Walgreens.In the prime of the flu season following the holidays, it is vital that you are protected.

Tip #3 Maintain a balance between your family, work and care-giving lives.

It is not just a cliché statement, but balance is key to a successful and happy life. All your responsibilities (family, work and care-giving) are equally important. It is important that you balance your life so that not one area is lacking in your presence. As a flawed human being, you obviously will make some mistakes along the way of giving more to one area over another. However, you should strive to find balance. Have family meals several times a week or plan activities for the day you are off.Take the time to give your family your undivided attention during the “family hours” and provide the same attention to your client during work hours. You will fill more satisfied and fulfilled when you maintain balance.

Tip #4 Deal with emotions of anger, confusion, frustration and talk with others who can help you.

Whether this listening ear comes from a friend, spouse or professional, it is okay to seek help. There are many stresses that come along with any job, especially when this job is being a CareGiver. This stress may not only be mental but can also be physical or emotional. Talking about any issues you face inwardly, can help improve your overall demeanor. If you have an overall positive demeanor, then your work and personal life will be better overall.

Tip #5 Stay positive-you are making a difference!

The results may not be immediate or ever blatantly seen, but that does not mean they are not felt. It can be draining the day-to-day task of being a CareGiver. When this weighs you down you need to remind yourself that all you can give is your best. This is good enough. This effort also is changing the life of another person because you are aiding in his or her quality of life. Give yourself credit for that.

Remember that these resolutions can also be simply a lifestyle choice. This does not mean that they are something to weigh you down, but add clarity to your life as you head into 2014.

(This blogpost was written with the aid of seniorcarecorner.com)

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Celebrating three years of “Best in Home Care” awards!

RetireEASE is proud to announce that for a third year in a row, we have won the “Best in Home Care” award with Home Care Pulse! RetireEASE was recognized for being best in:
Timeliness of Caregivers
Work Ethic 
Knowledge of Caregivers 
Compassion of Caregivers 
Appropriate Appearance 
Coordination of Schedules  
Confidence Level in Office Staff 
Effective Communication 
Response to Problems  
Service as Promised 
Recommended Agency 
Overall Quality of Service 

 

This recognition would not be possible without all the hard work from our amazing staff and CareGivers.

THANK YOU!  
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Senior Citizens and Hydration vs. Dehydration

                  When the sun begins to shine and families begin to spend more time outside, family safety becomes a priority. With the heat, another precaution that arises is senior citizens and staying hydrated while engaging in outside, summer activities with family or friends.

Dehydration is defined as an excessive loss of body fluid or simply the lack of water in an individual. Most people know the basic definition of what it means to be dehydrated. However, what many do not know is that there are three main types of dehydration. There is hypotonic dehydration or the loss the electrolytes, specifically the loss of sodium. Hypertonic dehydration is another form of dehydration where a person experiences a loss of water. The most commonly known form of dehydration is isotonic dehydration. This commonly seen type of dehydration can cause hypervolemia or the state of decreased blood volume and decreased volume of blood plasma. Being aware of these types of dehydration, can help you develop the intuition to foresee dehydration before it reaches emergency level. Hydration

The reason dehydration goes unnoticed until it reaches emergency level many times is because it develops so gradually over time. It can take hours for the dehydration to affect the body. Since many of the early, preventable or simply treated symptoms go undetected; this causes the dehydration to reach that emergency level before being treated.

Causes of Dehydration

1.     Decreased sense of thirst

As the body ages it loses important signal abilities that otherwise would self-regulate a need for fluids.

  1. 2.       Attempting to go to the bathroom less

Many older adults are embarrassed by an excessive need to go to the bathroom. To avoid having to go to the bathroom less, they drink less. This is attempting to live in a “less in->less out” philosophy. This avoidance strategy can backfire because it can make one dangerously ill from dehydration.

  1. 3.       Contributions to dehydration

There are a few other illnesses that can contribute to dehydration. Some of these illnesses can include: diarrhea, vomiting, fever or an infection.

Symptoms of Dehydration

  • Increased thirst
  • Dry mouth
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Headache
  • Dark, smelly urine
  • Fainting

Dehydration Prevention

Prevention methods are simple: drink an adequate amount of water. While it can be tiresome for an elder adult to consistently drink water, especially with a decrease sense of thirst, there are other means of maintaining liquid intake. One option is to have a diet of liquid rich foods. Fruits and vegetables are 80% water and therefore, can help keep an individual hydrated.

**This article was written with the aid of the following sites:**

www.yahoo.com/senior-caregiving-tip-dangers-dehydration

www.healthwebadvice.net

  

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Healthy Vacations

When the humid weather hits families begin daydreaming about exotic vacation spots or summer getaways. While calling a travel agent and booking a budget friendly vacation is important; so is protecting senior citizens when traveling.

Whether your destination is close to home or thousands of miles away, most senior citizens will want to be included in their families’ vacation plans. Their health needs to be a top priority on your vacation “to-do” lists. A Healthy Travel: A 10-Minute Consult from Harvard Medical School report gives tips for providing a safe and healthy trip for your families, including senior citizens by carrying these following items:

1.  Prescription medications. Take at least a week’s supply in your carry-on (if you’re flying) and store anything beyond a week’s supply in your regular luggage.

2. Other prescription medication. Depending on your destination and personal medical history, consider asking your doctor about taking along antibiotic for self-treatment, etc.

3. Take along allergy medications, such as antihistamine and 1% hydrocortisone cream for mild allergic reactions. If you or your traveling companion has a history of severe allergic reaction, bring an epinephrine auto-injector (such as EpiPen).

5. Bring cold-symptom medications, including a decongestant and throat lozenges.

6. Have “other” medication readily available, such as but not limited too: motion sickness medication; pain relievers (such as aspirin or ibuprofen); anti fungal and antibacterial ointments; lubricating eye drops; and first aid items (adhesive bandages, gauze, an elastic bandage, antiseptic, etc.).

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These healthy tips are needed for keeping senior citizens safe during a vacation, so they can enjoy it.

It is also is vitally important for senior citizens to pick the correct destination for their vacations. When senior citizens have accomplished the goal of retirement, they deserve to enjoy a great getaway that is specifically geared towards them and their age. It is first, very important that senior citizens consult their doctors guidance before departing.

One vacation idea for senior citizens is a weight photo wander. This especially is a good idea if the senior citizens loves photography. On these activities, senior citizens are able to go on led tours of beautiful spots. Senior citizens can capture moments of wonderment in nature or fun pictures of the grandchildren.

Attending a luxury cruise trip is another good idea for a vacation for middle-agers. They will enjoy finding themselves in the company of other visitors their age. These cruises include activities such as sailing trips or other friendly and cheap deals for an elderly person, on a discount. It is also satisfactory as a senior citizen if you’re confident you’re safe and sound during your expedition.

Simple trips or bigger adventures can be both exciting or scary for senior citizens. It is important to have both your health and proper destination “to-do lists” checked off and completed. This will ensure both a fun and safe vacation for senior citizens and their families.

**This article was written with the aid of the following articles**:

http://seniorjournal.com/NEWS/Travel/2008/20080613-TakingThese.htm

http://matisa89.hubpages.com/hub/VacationSuggestionsforSeniorcitizensThatTheyWillActuallyEnjoy

(Photo Credit: discoverbeautifulcruises.com)

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Senior Citizens and Sun Exposure

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Photo Credit (www.griswoldhomecare.com)
Senior Citizens Sun Safety

The hot, humid weather of May after the April showers also brings to light the concern with senior citizens and sun safety. It is tempting to run outside whenever the sun rays shine through the windows. Before spending countless hours in the sun, it is important to be educated and take caution with sun safety. 

   The risk of skin cancer increases with age. In fact, skincancer.org reports “between 40 and 50 percent of Americans who live to age 65 will have at least one skin cancer”.  It is common thought that senior citizens do not need protection from the sun. However, it is never too late or too soon to begin protecting yourself or an elder you love, from the sun.

Following these tips from The Skin Cancer Foundation, is the first step in sun-safety:

  • Encourage the wearing of protective clothing, wear broad-brimming hats and UV-filtering sunglasses on outdoor excursions.
  • Encourage the application of water-resistant, SPF 30 or higher sunscreen before excursions
  • Consider  the application of UV- blocking film to windows
  • Participate in any outdoor activities during the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM (also ensure frequent “shade breaks”)

Following sun safety tips is only the first step in protecting senior citizens. Being educated on sun myths vs. truths is also extremely vital.

Here are a few myths and the truth about them:

Myth #1: Seniors need constant sun to supply vitamin D.

Truth: Seniors should only have about 15 minutes or less of sun exposure two or three times during the week. If they have this exposure on their face and hands, they will produce adequate amounts of Vitamin D. Also, Vitamin D is not only found in the sun, it is also found in foods and in multivitamins. Cautions such as wearing sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses are necessary.

Myth #2: Seniors only need to apply sunscreen once a day.

Truth: Sunscreen should be applied by seniors an hour before venturing into the sun and be reapplied about every two hours; if the senior is swimming or in the ocean then the sunscreen should be applied more frequently. The sunscreen should also have a broad spectrum of protection that blocks UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays cause tanning and wrinkling while the UVB rays cause sunburn, aging, wrinkling and skin cancer.

Myth #3: Seniors only need sunscreen at the pool or beach.

Truth: The elderly should wear sunscreen any time they are outside longer than 15 minutes. If a senior is exercising or working in the yard, they should avoid too much sun exposure.

Myth #4: Sunburn is the only problem seniors should worry about when exposed to the sun

Truth: This is not true. With the exposure to too much sun, senior citizens are also at risk for hurting their eyes. The UV rays can cause cataracts, macular degeneration and skin cancer around the eyes. Senior citizens should always wear sunglasses and these shades chosen should be brown, gray or green lenses. These darker and larger lenses are better at protecting the eyes. The shades should also wrap around the eyes and block a high percentage of UV rays.

**This article was written with the aid of these following sites: **

 http://www.skincancer.org/get-involved/your-community/senior-centers

http://www.healthnewsdigest.com/news/Seniors_320/Families_Urged_to_Help_Seniors_Be_Sun_Smart_printer.shtml

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Cold and Flu

It’s that time of the year again. The tissue boxes and cough drops are making their appearance. RetireEase Senior Services has issued this article on precautions that senior adults can take to hopefully prevent an oncoming cold or influenza virus.

 

            Having the flu is never a pleasant experience for anyone. The virus is brutal, usually accompanied by exhaustion, an aching body, coughing, and a fever among other symptoms. For the younger adults, the flu is not quite so serious. It may just mean a few days off from school or work and lots of tissues and chicken noodle soup. But the flu is a much greater threat to senior citizens; ultimately, the virus can be fatal. As the body ages, the immune system becomes weaker, making it harder and harder to bounce right back from an illness. Plus, the flu itself is not always the problem. The flu can cause other medical issues an older adult might have to become more serious, especially if the senior has diseases or problems dealing with his or her respiratory system. The most effective way to prevent the flu  is to get an annual flu shot. Seniors should consult their doctors about this; senior adults would need to receive the vaccination early enough for it to start working before the flu virus comes into contact with him or her. The other precautions that can be taken to avoid the flu virus are similar to the ones that can be taken to avoid the common cold as well.

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(cartoon from: stuffunemployedpeoplelike.com)

           

            The common cold is just what it states- it’s common. But, just like influenza, a common cold for a senior citizen can be more threatening than for a younger generation. There are multiple things one can do to minimize the chance of catching a cold. During this season when it seems that everyone is constantly coughing and sneezing, it bodes well to wash your hands often. Think of the doorknobs, remotes, cell phones, and other items that sick people have touched. It is a little hard to twist a doorknob with your toes, so just wash your hands afterward, since it cannot be helped. This also means limiting the contact between your hands and your eyes/nose/mouth. Touching an infected doorknob and then touching your face is a sure way to transmit the cold to your body.  An obvious answer is to avoid, if possible, people who are infected. If you absolutely have to be near them, just remember to keep washing your hands as much as possible. Also, remember to drink plenty of water. It’s vital that we drink water to stay healthy, and it’s important to drink even more water during this season so that our bodies can fight off sickness better. A senior also needs to get the appropriate amount of sleep and food to stay healthy. A body that is busy fighting off a virus needs to be regenerated and taken care of, so sleep and nutrition is essential. Taking vitamins, especially Vitamin C, will also help the body to be in it’s top form to battle a cold. 

 

Remember, influenza and the common cold can become a large threat to senior citizens and precautionary measures should become a priority to keep older adults healthy and feeling well.

 

 

 

***The information to write this article was provided by these articles:

link to article: http://www.healthwellness1.com/influenza/flu-risks-for-senior-citizens.html

link to website: http://www.healthwellness1.com/

link to article: http://www.essortment.com/common-cold-prevention-10-tips-37676.html

link to website: http://www.essortment.com/

 

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