The Elderly Kind of Blues

Seniors & Mental Health

Mental health is widely considered a new age concept, which is obscure to many members of the aging populations. Older generations ignored mental health issues and were more likely to address physical ailments. In regards to uncomfortable feelings, words such as “melancholy” were likely used to instead of “depression.” Older generations are more likely to express physical versus mental complaints. The avoidance of addressing mental health issues is linked to the extreme stigmatization of mental illness in previous decades. Unfortunately, the ongoing neglect of mental health problems becomes a habit transmitted to younger generations. Children of the aging populations often become caretakers and key advocates for their elder’s well-being, but find themselves covering all the basis of their parent’s health and well-being except mental health. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than two million Americans above the age 65 suffer from some form of depression. The elderly population is one of the most vulnerable populations to developing depression due to the experience of significant losses related to death, physical ability, and independence. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, in the United States, less than 5% of older adults living in the community show signs of depression, the percentage rises to over 13% among those who require home health care. Considering the extreme risk and vulnerability of the elderly population choosing home care that addresses the well-being of the whole person is essential. Holistic home-care is a new era approach to senior care that tailors care to enhance one’s social, emotional and physical well-being. Finding senior care that treats the whole person can be like searching for a needle in a haystack in major metropolitan areas such as Washington, DC.  This article will discuss the manifestation of depression among the elderly and the benefits of holistic care.Senior-Care-in-Washington-DC

Aging & Depression

It is common for people to experience depression at various points in their life in response to negative life events such as ended relationships, financial hardship, and interpersonal conflict. However, clinical depression manifest in mood and physical symptoms. Research shows that older adults are more likely to label their “down feelings” as pessimism or helplessness versus depression. Additionally, older versus young adults are less likely to endorse statements related to “feeling down” or “blue.” Older adults commonly display withdraw, less communication, increased sleeping, expressionlessness, and bodily neglect. In older adults, physical symptoms often accompany depression including, coronary heart disease, dementia, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and cancer. Life events related to loss of loved ones and independence can exacerbate these symptoms. Unlike younger adults, older adults often lose their ability to engage in coping behaviors such as exercise, outings with friends, and travel to alleviate mental and physical symptoms. These circumstances leave older adults not only at greater risk of developing severe depression but little means to mitigate the suffering.

Senior Care & Depression

Nursing home residents and older adults with chronic illness are at greater risk of developing depression. This risk is due in large part to the lack of quality care available in nursing facilities with an unbalanced caregiver to resident ratios. This imbalance diminishes the amount of emotional, social, and physical support available to clients. Many nursing home facilities plan rigorously to design communities that cultivate social and physical well-being, only to find that a large percentage of residents don’t adequately utilize all that the facility has to offer. This underutilization is mainly due to physical and mental declines that limit their access and interest. Senior care facilities in major metropolitan cities such as Washington, DC find themselves overwhelmed and falling short of providing quality care as their mission statements often promise, due to understaffing and short-sighted approaches.

Holistic Care

Holistic care is a growing approach adopted by senior care providers in efforts to improve the quality of life of the aging population. Through this approach, caregivers are trained to assess and address the social, emotional, physical, and in some cases spiritual needs of the client.  Many nursing home facilities have begun to adopt the holistic approach to senior care. However, like any other service industry, quantity often reduces quality. Philia is a home-care agency that adopts the holistic approach to senior care offered only on a 1:1 basis to ensure quality. In addition to assisting with ADL’s, caregivers are trained to incorporate nutritional meal preparation, tailored exercise regimen, activity engagement, and emotional support. Each client’s care plan is designed to enhance their quality of life and well-being in oppose to maintain their present state of health. Holistically trained caregivers are trained to recognize the signs of depression specific to older adults and implement interventions that treat the physical, social, and emotional manifestations. The mind and body are interconnected, each impacting the other dynamically throughout one’s life. Quality senior care addresses both physical and psychological aspects of a person, recognizing that this is the key to total well-being.

Sources

Cavanaugh, J., & Blanchard-Fields, F. (2014). Adult development and aging. Nelson Education.

Friedhoff, A. J., Ballenger, J., Bellack, A. S., Carpenter, W. T., Chui, H. C., Dobrof, R., & Merikangas, K. R. (1992). Diagnosis and treatment of depression in late life. JAMA268(8), 1018-1024.

Zarit, S. H., & Zarit, J. M. (2012). Mental disorders in older adults: Fundamentals of assessment and treatment. Guilford Press.

Spring Cleaning and Organization In The Washington DC Area

It’s that time of the year again to start thinking about spring cleaning, which likely means some serious decluttering, reorganization, scrubbing and polishing. Spring is the time that we all begin thinking about cleaning and organizing our homes. Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying that a good spring cleaning is a worthwhile exercise.

 

But did you know that it can also benefit your health and wellbeing? Below are some reasons why clearing out those closets and grabbing the polish can actually good for you. Let the cleaning commence!

In the Washington, D.C area, many residents lead busy schedules that prevent them from routine spring cleaning as other responsibilities become prioritized in the “to-do-list”. Spring Cleaning can increase productivity. Making the effort to declutter and organize your home or office can save you tons of time looking for or replacing lost items in the future. Organization makes you more productive, while the cleaning process itself can increase energy levels. We all need to learn to let go. If you haven’t used something since the last spring clean, it might be time to say goodbye. Cleaning can be a great way for Senior Care professionals to get clients active and engaged.

Spring cleaning is also healthy. Many elderly individuals struggle with allergies but already take a slew of medications leaving little room for allergy medication. A good spring clean can help you avoid allergy symptoms and lower Asthma attacks. Removing allergens from the home can make you feel healthier, especially at a time when allergies are rife. You want to try to get those hard to reach places too where dust build up. Make sure though to ask for help moving big pieces of furniture or climbing up ladders when going for those hard-to-reach spots.

 

Spring cleaning can make you happy. Taking the time to thoroughly clean and maintain a tidy home makes people happier, studies have shown. The act of cleaning provides a sense of satisfaction, which in turn can put you in a good mood. Also, putting on some of your favorite music while cleaning can make it even more fun!

Spring cleaning can help to reduce stress. Cleaning and organizing your personal spaces lets you enjoy a tidier and more organized environment and this can relieve stress. Levels of stress can also be reduced during the act itself as cleaning is considered to be therapeutic. But make sure to always be realistic. If it’s all getting too much, take a break. It’s not a race after all.

 

Lastly, Spring leaning can help you to focus. Those who make a point of clearing out the clutter once in a while are able to free up the brain for more essential decision-making, according to a study carried out by the founder of America’s Anxiety Disorder Center. A thorough clean helps to clear your mind of things that need to be done around the house and makes it easier to focus on other more important things. You should concentrate though on one room at a time to make sure you get the job done properly

Winter/Holiday Arts and Crafts Projects and Recipe

Home Care in Chevy Chase MD

Home-Care-in-Chevy-Chase-MD

Snowman craft

This adorable snowman craft is a perfect Christmas or winter craft for kids of all ages – although younger children may need help and supervision.
Materials:

A 6cm polystyrene ball,
A 4cm polystyrene ball
A baby sock
Circle stickers
Pipe cleaner (chenille stems)
Scrap of orange craft foam or card
Card for base
Glue (we used a hot glue gun to make the body)

 

 

Instructions:

Cut out a circle of card. Glue the larger ball onto the card and the smaller ball on top. A hot glue gun is best for this so best if an adult prepares this ahead of time.

Make the hat by cutting through the sock at the heel. Tie the cut end with a small piece of yarn and slip the ankle cuff over the head.

Cut diagonally across the remainder of the sock from the cut edge to the toe, then open it out so you have a strip of fabric. Tie this around the snowman as a scarf.

Add stickers as eyes, mouth and buttons and stick on a scrap of foam as a carrot nose.

To make the arms, cut the pipe cleaner into 3 pieces. Cut one of the pieces in half again.

Twist one of the smaller pieces around a longer piece to make the hand. Push the arm into the snowman (adult help may be required). Repeat with the other arm. Display your snowman proudly!

 

Pipe Cleaner Snowflake

Twist and turn some pipe cleaners to make this pretty pipe cleaner snowflake decoration for your window or tree. Or make lots and combine in a snowflake mobile. This is a good “no mess” craft for keeping little fingers busy…
Doesn’t this pipe cleaner snowflake look pretty? Imagine a flurry of them decorating the tree…

 

Materials:

2 silver pipecleaners
3 blue pipecleaners

Instructions:

Cut the two silver pipe cleaners in half. Put one piece aside so you have 3. Twist these three pieces together in the centre so that you have a shape with six points (look at the photo above for help with this).

Cut the blue pipe cleaners in half and then in half again. You will have 12 pieces. Twist these on to the silver base to decorate your snowflake.

If you want to hang your snowflake, take the piece of silver pipe cleaner you put aside, fold in half and twist the ends to one of the snowflake points to make a loop

 

 

Winter/Holiday Recipes

Pear Penguins

 

Each chef will need:

2 mini chocolate chips
2 white chocolate chips
1 pear
3 tablespoons chocolate chips, melted
1 thin slice of baby carrot, cut into a small triangle
1 fig, cut in half diagonally
1 Pastry brush (to share)

1. Your penguins need eyes to see how cute they will become! Push the mini chocolate chips in the center of the white chocolate chips to form eyes. Now waddle like a penguin twice around the table.

2. Even though penguins can’t fly, they still need wings. Use a butter knife to carefully cut a slice in both sides of the pear to form wings, making sure to keep the tops of the slices attached to the pear. Use a peeler to shave the pear skin off in between the wings in an oval shape. This is the penguin’s white tummy.

3. Use a pastry brush to paint chocolate on the penguin’s body, everywhere but his stomach. Use a toothpick to notch a spot for each of the chocolate chip eyes and the carrot beak. Insert the eyes and carrot beak. Balance the pear penguin on a plate and place the fig halves for feet. Dress up in black and white clothes for this frosty feast!

 

If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Chevy Chase, MD, please call the friendly staff at Philia Care today at 202-607-2525.

Showing Respect When Talking to a Parent with Alzheimer’s Disease

Home Care in Chevy Chase MD

Being a family caregiver for an elderly parent with Alzheimer’s disease can be extremely stressful and challenging, but through this journeyHome-Care-in-Chevy-Chase-MD you can also find tremendous meaning and benefit both for your senior loved one and for you. In order for both of you to experience the most benefit from your care efforts and for your parent to maintain their quality of life, it is essential that you focus on showing respect when talking to your loved one as they are dealing with Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Use these tips to show respect to your aging loved one when talking to them throughout their progression with Alzheimer’s disease:

  • Speak directly to them. Even if your aging loved one is coping with difficulty with communication, still make it a point to speak directly to them. Refer to them by name and do not ever speak to others in the room as if they are not there.
  • Talk to them whenever you are with them. It might be upsetting and frustrating for you to care for your aging parent when they are in moderate to later stages of the disease. They might not communicate with you readily and may even show anger toward you when they are having moments of confusion and disorientation. Make it a point to continue speaking to them whenever you are with them. Greet them when you arrive, talk to them throughout your care efforts, tell them about your day, and then say goodbye to them when you leave. Even if they do not say a word to you, or are angry with you, this helps to keep your relationship bonded and supports better mental and emotional health.
  • Choose your words carefully. Remember that no matter what type of challenges and limitations your parent is experiencing, they are still your parent. They are still an adult. They are not a child and should not be spoken to as such. When speaking to your parent, choose your words carefully. Avoid using words that you might use with a child, such as “potty”, “bib”, or “diaper”. Speak to them in an age-appropriate way that is respectful and comforting while still expressing your message effectively.

 

If your aging parent has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, starting home care for them can be one of the best decisions that you can make for them. An in-home senior care services provider can be with your loved one on a schedule that is appropriate for your senior’s needs as well as the care efforts that you are able to give to them. This means that they can address the individual challenges, limitations, and symptoms that your parent is experiencing while keeping their personality, thoughts, beliefs, and opinions in mind. Through this level of personalized care your aging parent can experience an improved quality of life, as well as more activity and greater independence. As your parent progresses through this disease you can feel confident knowing that your loved one will get the care, support, and encouragement that they need to manage their new and changing symptoms and continue to pursue the lifestyle that they desire and deserve.

 

If you or an aging loved one are considering HOME CARE IN CHEVY CHASE, MD, please call the friendly staff at Philia Care today at 202-607-2525.