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Is Your Loved One Properly Nourished?

Nutrition is a vital part of overall health, but in the elderly person, nutritional problems may be unrecognized or under-diagnosed. Elderly individuals may not eat well for a variety of reasons, and in many cases, changes in nutritional status happen slowly. Since decreased muscle mass is a normal part of aging, signs of malnutrition and weight loss may go unrecognized until they become acute.

As people age, they need fewer calories to maintain their weight. At the same time, they don’t absorb nutrients as well, so the diet must be highly nutritious to prevent protein depletion and vitamin deficiency. Diminished sense of taste and smell and dental or gastrointestinal problems may cause the individual to limit certain foods. Many older people lose interest in preparing or eating food if they live alone. Physical limitations may prevent shopping or limit the ability to prepare food.

Promoting better nutrition in the elderly typically comes down to three main issues: assuring a well-balanced, nutritious diet, acquiring and preparing the meals and providing companionship. Good quality protein, healthy fats and plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as some whole grains, should form the basis of the diet. Someone to do the shopping or an in-home meal service can ensure a client has access to foods. Companionship can make meals pleasant and encourage the client to eat.

We offer in-home services such as shopping and meal preparation. For more information about Patient Caregivers or to learn how Patient Caregivers can help you and your loved one, please schedule a call, by clicking the button below, or contact us at (713) 227-3448 or toya@patientcaregivers.com.

Why Older People May Need Extra Care Post-Harvey

In addition to water, mud and debris, Harvey left plenty of emotional issues behind. The comment often heard after a disaster is that we just lost stuff. However, it’s more than that, especially for an older person.

A long life means the opportunity to acquire a variety of memorabilia. The special trinket your husband bought for you on your honeymoon. A ceramic bowl made by your first-grader. The picture of the entire family gathered around you at your 40th anniversary celebration. A disaster be it fire, flood, earthquake or tornado can leave those items smashed, buried under debris or washed away. The urgent need for evacuation means that you may not have the opportunity to grab some of those special items.

It’s normal to grieve after a loss of any kind. Even while celebrating survival, there is still sorrow. That’s particularly true in the case of one-of-a-kind items that can never be replaced. Or it could be the loss of a pet or the garden where Mom spent many pleasant hours. The emotional uncertainty of an evacuation, living in temporary shelter and overall disruption attendant on a disaster is very hard for an older person who is used to familiar and comforting routines.

Although you might want to tune out, it’s important for your loved one to talk about his or her feelings – this helps process the emotions. If you can’t be there all the time, the companionship of a home health aide is another option. We also offer services such as transportation and meal preparation to help people who need extra care and attention.

For more information about Patient Caregivers or to learn how Patient Caregivers can help you and your loved one, please schedule a call, by clicking the button below, or contact us at (713) 227-3448 or toya@patientcaregivers.com.

The Disruption of a Move for an Elderly Person

While hurricane Harvey certainly caused a lot of disruption, many people might not realize that for an older adult, any kind of a move causes disruption. In addition to the physical changes, a move for an older adult has other implications related to his or her independence. Many older adults are less mentally flexible than they once were, which adds to the emotional stress.

After living in a home or apartment for many years, people have routines. It might be the first cup of coffee in a sunny kitchen looking out over the garden. It could be the comfortable chair that has molded to your body, with a table that holds your knitting or crossword puzzle right at hand. It’s your home and you know exactly where everything is. Most people derive considerable comfort from those routines.

A move means that all of those routines must change. For example, someone moves into a retirement home. Now that morning cup of coffee means a trip to the dining room. That favorite chair must be left behind. Suddenly your whole world is turned upside down. It’s worse if something like Harvey forces a move and there is minimal time for planning or to get used to the idea of a change. The older adult may become irritable or have difficulty sleeping.

You can help an older person adjust to a move by giving them as much control over the decision-making process as possible. Try to allow sufficient time to process the changes. Lend a supportive ear while also encouraging your loved one to recognize the benefits of a move. We might be able to help. For more information about Patient Caregivers or to learn how Patient Caregivers can help you and your loved one, please schedule a call, by clicking the button below, or contact us at (713) 227-3448 or toya@patientcaregivers.com.

What is Home Health Care?

The term home health care refers to a variety of medical or health-oriented services provided in the home. For the elderly person who needs some assistance to remain in the home but is not able to be fully independent, home health care offers both service and peace of mind. At Patient Caregivers, our friendly, competent staff provide companionship and ensure you or your loved one stay safe and have all needs met while remaining at home.

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