In-Home Caregiver Shortages Causing Issues For Seniors And Their Families

As the baby-boomer generation continues to age, the shortage of in-home care professionals is stretching to the breaking point. There are not enough senior assisted living facilities with affordable price points, and most baby-boomers don’t want to leave their homes anyway. This leaves few options. Some families have at least one offspring that has the resources, patience, knowledge and time to care for their elderly parents, but that’s not always the case. What about smaller families? The chances are slim to none.

Many baby-boomers have amassed a nice nest egg for their later years, and will hire an in-home caregiver. Some don’t have the capacity to understand how to deal with these challenges, how to go about seeking assistance, and thus, their kids are left with the challenges; finding a reputable agency, and trying to get a fair and reasonable price for caregiver services.

Recently, there was an article in the WSJ titled: “US Running Out of Caregivers – Smaller, more far-flung families mean fewer unpaid helpers; Are you really my daughter?” by Clare Ansberry, published on July 21, 2018. The article noted many unfortunate converging trends such as the number of single people over 70 with no spouse to take care of them were anything to happen. Also, fewer choices for long-term care insurance as some companies have stopped providing such insurance coverage. Another problem is the percentage of our population challenged by obesity, deteriorating health. Dementia numbers are also on the rise.

Baby-Boomers and the next generation coming up have had fewer kids, therefore narrowing the possibility that one of the offspring can stop their lives to care for their elderly parents.

Within 10-years there could be a 13% increase in the number of caregivers – that’s the good news – but there will be an 84% increase in the number of people above age 65. Worse, the estimated number of people with Alzheimer’s is projected to increase 150% by 2030, provided no cure is found. The demographics do not lie here.

Okay so, what happens with there is a shortage of anything? Supply and Demand 101 dictates that prices will go up. If the cost of nurses and facilities to house seniors go up – there will be a larger demand for paid in-home caregivers. Who will fill this vacuum as shortages increase? Well, perhaps anyone who wants a job and that brings me to my final point.

How do you know you are getting a qualified caregiver or care professional? Best to hire an agency that does solid background checks, and knows what to look for, otherwise, this challenge of caring for a love one could get a lot bigger. Think on this.

How Can You Adapt To Live With Essential Tremor?

Essential tremor is the involuntary shaking of the hands, head, jaws, and voice, which causes frustration, helplessness, and embarrassment for the patients. There is no specific cause yet defined for essential tremor, which is why there is no prevention for it. Moreover, it also doesn’t have a permanent cure. However, based on the diagnosis and symptoms, doctors prescribe certain drugs, therapies, and surgeries that can control the symptoms of the disorder for a certain period of time, without permanently curing it.

Diagnosis of essential tremor

Correct diagnosis is the first step towards appropriate treatment of essential tremor. Also, ruling out other causes is the diagnostic tool. For example, having a blood test cannot determine whether you are suffering from essential tremor, but it can help in ruling out other serious conditions like thyroid that could be responsible for the tremors and be shaking. Neurological exams can check your responses and reflexes to sensations. Thus, it is very important that the right tests are done so that apart from your tremors, other significant diseases can also be checked for. And for this, you need an expert professional. While there are many doctors and neurologists that may help here, but the best person to approach is a movement disorders specialist. Such specialists have received additional 1-2 years education and training in handling such movement disorders, apart from the studies that general neurologists do; thus, making them the ideal person to approach in case of essential tremor or any such ailments.

Treatment of essential tremor

The first steps to take for treating include medications and therapies. Beta blockers and anti-seizure drugs are given to patients, along with simple exercises to follow. They are also asked to stay relaxed by undergoing massages and therapies. Additionally, patients are advised certain dietary and lifestyle changes like avoiding alcohol and caffeine, using heavier utensils and glasses, wearing wrist weights, using heavier writing tools, etc. In short, you need o do everything possible to eliminate things that can make your symptoms worse. Other therapies that can improve your muscle strength, control and coordination are also taught and prescribed. All of this won’t improve your condition, but it will teach you how to adapt to living with essential tremor. Alternative treatments like acupuncture and hypnosis are being researched upon whether they can prove effective for essential tremor patients or not. Whatever therapies you wish to adopt your lifestyle, make sure to consult your doctor for the same. Knowing your health condition, medical history, genetic health, body type, age, etc. can help the doctor decide better which particular type of treatment and therapy is best for you. He may also have you experiment with different methods to help you find the right one for your condition. Therefore, whatever you do, you need to consult a right professional to help you with your condition.

Which Home Humidifier Is Best For You?

A home humidifier can have a positive impact on anyone who owns one. They’re know to keep the air at a comfortable moisture level, which, in turn, can affect your overall well-being. Embracing the benefits of a home humidifier is a great first step towards getting better sleep and improving your overall quality of life. Once you decide that you want a home humidifier, you need to figure out which one you’ll get the best use out of. All humidifiers provide the same general benefits but their method of deploying the comforting mist varies. The different types and sizes should also be considered when deciding the best one for your home.

In this article, we’ll be looking at three common types of home humidifiers to help you narrow down your options. Remember, regardless of whichever one you purchase, the most important thing you can do is maintain it with a regular cleaning and disinfecting routine to keep mold and bacteria from building up and spreading throughout your space. There are general cleaning practices but I strongly recommend you use the manufacturer’s instructions for best results and longer use. Without proper care, even the best humidifier can become a dangerous, bacteria-filled device that does more damage than good.

Cool Mist Humidifiers

Cool mist humidifiers are considered the best types of humidifiers. They can be used to emit their soothing vapor in larger settings and are generally safer than warm mist humidifiers. Many people compare warm and cool mist humidifiers to find that the benefits of cool mist outweighs those of warm mist humidifiers. One of those benefits is the safety factor. Since there’s no water to boil in order to create the vapor, a cool mist humidifier can be left overnight in a children’s room or near pets without worrying about having a terrible accident.

If you’re considering a cool mist humidifier, you can choose between an evaporative humidifier and an ultrasonic humidifier (I go into more detail on the ultrasonic humidifier later in the article).

Best used for: keeping large rooms comfortable, balancing moisture levels, during the day or night to keep you sleeping better throughout the night, alleviating cold symptoms and allergies.

Who can benefit: parents wanting a safer option for their family, those looking for relief during warm or dry climate, those looking for an economical option, anyone suffering from asthma or seasonal allergies, anyone looking for relief from cold symptoms.

Room Humidifier

There are many room humidifiers developed with room size in mind so you don’t have to worry about whether or not your room is too big or too small. Be advised, however, that whenever you purchase a room humidifier, the trade-offs can vary between convenience, efficiency, and noise production depending on the size. When it comes to room humidifiers, there are different built-in functions that can add to the convenience factor. You can find one with a humidistat built in to keep the moisture content in your room at optimum levels. This helps regulate the moisture content in your room without you having to think twice about it. Too much moisture can reverse the benefits of a humidifier and cause mold and mildew to grow and spread much easier, so keeping a handle on that is one of the most important things you can do with any humidifier. A timer is also common in a room humidifier but it can backfire if you forget to dry the humidifier between uses.

Best used for: nighttime use to help you sleep better throughout the night, especially smaller models; portability and traveling; dorm rooms.

Who can benefit: anyone wanting low maintenance convenience, someone who is always traveling and wants to be able to take the comfort of a humidifier with them.

Ultrasonic Humidifiers

Ultrasonic humidifiers use high-frequency sound vibrations in order to produce vapor. When comparing it to other humidifiers, these tend to be the quieter ones. Keep in mind that there’s no such thing as a completely quiet humidifier but if you’re looking for one that doesn’t keep you up with an obnoxious buzzing, this is your best choice. I mentioned earlier that this is a type of cool mist humidifier, which makes it one of the safer types to use but also more prone to bacteria build up. Without the boiling water to help kill bacteria, disinfecting ultrasonic humidifiers is an important part of maintenance. On the other hand, ultrasonic humidifiers don’t have a filter built in which helps save on filter purchases. The only downside to this is that you may notice greyish dust forming. To ease this, you can purchase an ultrasonic humidifier with a ceramic filter and use distilled water instead of tap water.

Best used for: daily use, around pets and children, anyone wanting relief from warm and dry climate, relief from cold symptoms.

Who can benefit: someone looking for a low cost, low maintenance humidifier; those looking for a quieter option; anyone who needs a safer humidifier that can be used in any room; anyone suffering from sinus conditions and dry skin.

Healthy Living – The Best Tips For Getting Through A Cold

No one likes being ill. But yet every year, there is a good chance you will catch at least one cold or flu bug. Double this if you have children. When you are down and out with a cold, what do you find happens to your diet and fitness plan? Do you abandon ship, telling yourself you will start-up again once you are feeling better? If that is the case, you may want to rethink your strategy to some degree. While you obviously are not going to hit the gym and crash through some personal best records, this does not mean you have to become a junk-food eating sloth on the couch either. Here are some healthy ideas to keep in mind…

1. Drink Plenty Of Water. First, this tip will work double time because not only will it help you stay healthy, but it may just help you get past your cold as well. You should aim to drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water even while sick. If you are struggling to get your water intake in, note you can also make your fluid intake from broth-based soups, or teas. Some people find chicken soup, for instance, is the perfect fluid to take in while they are unwell.

2. Get Up And Walk – If It’s Shoulders And Above. The golden rule for activity while ill is if it is above your shoulders, you are free to do any activity you choose. If it is below your shoulders, however, then you will want to rest up for the time being.

Head colds will not preclude you from participating in light to moderate intensity activity. You probably do not want to do anything super intense because that will place a strain on your CNS and in turn, make it harder to recover, but do get up and get moving. The increase in blood circulation can be good for delivering nutrients to all your bodily tissues and this can also help to increase your energy level at a time you may otherwise be feeling sluggish.

3. Eat Sufficient Protein. It is normal to experience some changes in your appetite while you are not feeling so well. What you always want to make sure you are doing is eating sufficient lean protein. You want to get those amino acids in as this is what will help to preserve your lean muscle mass tissue and prevent the loss of muscle while ill.

If you are only unwell for a day or two it probably will not matter too much. But if you are ill for a week or longer and are not eating enough protein, this could start to impact you. Focus on lean sources of quality protein such as…

  • chicken,
  • steak,
  • eggs, and
  • fish.

There you have a few good health tips to keep in mind to use during cold and flu season. Even if you do get sick, do your best to make the most of it by giving your body what it requires to get you through a quick recovery.