Top 10 Clues Your Senior Loved One Needs Help

With the excitement of the holiday season just around the corner, families are coming together to celebrate with one another. The holidays are a time to rejoice, and this can also present the perfect opportunity to observe the well-being of your elderly family members.

Here are some basic signs to watch for that may suggest your loved one needs assistance: Continue reading

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2016 Best of Home Care Awards

“Mom’s Best Friend Senior care announced yesterday that it has received both the Best of Home Care Provider of Choice and Employer of Choice Awards from Home Care Pulse. These awards are granted only to the top ranking home care providers, based on client and caregiver satisfaction scores gathered by Home Care Pulse. Mom’s Best Friend Senior Care is now ranked among a small handful of home care providers across the country who have proven their ability to provide an exceptional working experience to employees and the highest quality care to clients.”

For the full press release, please visit 2016 Awards!

What do these awards really mean?

The Best of Home Care Awards are meant to give you confidence in choosing a trusted home care provider for your loved one. Only providers with the most satisfied clients are given these awards by Home Care Pulse. Through the Best of Home Care Awards, you can be reassured that you are receiving care from a provider who listens to their clients and has proven their dedication to excellence in home care.

  • Employer of Choice– These providers support and train their caregivers. Their caregiver satisfaction scores have earned them recognition as a top employer. This recognition gives you peace of mind, knowing your home care provider and your caregivers are dedicated to providing you the best in-home care possible.

2016-Employer-of-Choice

“The training I received was very thorough and easy to understand.  They went over everything that we needed to know.  They match the client to the caregiver based on personality and the different needs of the clients and caregivers.”
-Caregiver testimonial October 2015

  • Provider of Choice– These providers are best-in class for quality in home care. This recognition reassures you that your home care provider is dedicated to your satisfaction and will provide you with quality, trustworthy in-home care.

2016-BOHC-Provider-of-Choice

“My expectations were largely fulfilled and even exceeded in certain situations.  When we needed help on short notice, Mom’s Best Friend Senior Care was able to find someone.  I would recommend Mom’s Best Friend Senior Care without a problem.  They were able to keep my mother in the home as long as possible.  The caregivers always served my mother with a smile on their face.”
Client testimonial December 2015

Every staff member at Mom’s Best Friend Senior Care has a passion for providing excellent and compassionate care for the senior population.  Our success would not be possible without our dedicated caregivers and loyal clients.  Please remember that any referral from a current Mom’s Best Friend Senior Care client that turns into a new client for our agency results in a complimentary 4-hour session! Feel free to contact our Director of Senior Care Services, Alyssa Sable, at alyssa.sable@mbfagency.com or (512) 797-1505 for more information!

 

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Observe the Health of Seniors During the Holidays

With the holidays just around the corner, now is a great time to observe the health and behavior of the seniors in your family and ask some questions.

  • When at their home, check the refrigerator. Is there an abnormal amount of uneaten or expired food present? This may be a sign of forgetting to eat, or having difficulty preparing meals. If so, have you noticed any dramatic weight change?
  • Are there unpaid bills stacking up on the table that indicate inability to handle finances?
  • While celebrating with family, look for changes in mobility. Are they staying in one place for longer than usual? Are they using furniture and walls as guides while walking?

If anything concerning is noticed, try to avoid any talks during holidays gatherings, but share concerns with others in the family after. Bring specific examples to the table in these discussions as it can be difficult for some which leads to denial. If necessary, check with those who are close to your loved ones on a regular basis such as a pastor or healthcare professional for opinions.

Senior care should be proactive, not reactive. Most seniors would prefer to age in place in the comfort and familiarity of their own homes. If troubling behaviors are caught early, in home care is a great option for making that happen. In addition to providing caregivers, Mom’s Best Friend Senior Care is available to help navigate these difficult transitions.

Our senior caregivers can provide assistance in the home of your elderly loved ones or in combination with services provided at an independent or assisted living home. Mom’s Best Friend Senior Care has a throughout screening process for its caregivers above and beyond the requirements of the Department of Aging and Disability Services. Assistance may include companionship, transportation to doctor appointments and errands, medication reminders, shower assistance and more.

Please contact Alyssa Sable, Director of Senior Care Services, at 512-797-1505 with any questions or concerns.

Happy Holidays from all of Mom’s Best Friend Senior Care!

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Fun with Smart Phones and Tablets

How much time do you spend on your phone? On your tablet? We are increasingly taking our leisure time to our pocket computers with the likes of FaceBook, Twitter, Flappy Bird, Candy Crush Saga, and — for those of us still hanging on — Words With Friends. For the occasional enrichment experience, we launch the TED app or see what new documentary has made its way to Netflix. From the very, very young to the Boomer generation, we’ve almost all come to depend on the technology, and look to it for both information and entertainment. Who is most missing out on the trend? Our senior parents and grandparents.

ipad seniors

As a former activities director (and senior technology educator), I’m here to tell you that there is so much we can offer our seniors by sitting down next to them with an iPad resting on our knees. Here are some ways to encourage laughter and learning with our senior friends and family:

1. Google Maps & Google Earth (free): Look at your childhood home with the Street View feature. Take a tour of the White House or cross the Golden Gate Bridge. Have coffee and a croissant while you visit the Eiffel Tower, or check out the Pyramids of Giza and the great Sphinx over a plate of dolma. Every day can be a walk down memory lane, or a virtual vacation!

2. Tune In Radio (free): Listen to radio from every corner of the earth, and a treasure trove of archived radio. The program collections include some of the greats, for instance hundreds of episodes of Dragnet and Gunsmoke.

3. Stumble Upon (free): Stumble Upon is a virtual “refrigerator door” of what’s on the internet. It scans for the best of the best, and you get to see it all in one place. Pick a category: photography, science, design and get a glimpse of the amazing space of the internet.

4. Skype / FaceTime (free): Why not talk with the grandkids in Albuquerque or the son-in-law in Zimbabwe? Even just an afternoon check in with mom at her apartment can be enhanced with a virtual face-to-face interaction.

5. Angry Birds / Flappy Bird / Candy Crush / [insert fad game here]: So many of these games can transcend age and ability, and can offer a bit of levity throughout the day. After playing a spirited round of Angry Birds with an 89-year old gentleman, I speak from a place of experience.

Susana Fletcher is the director of senior care for Mom’s Best Friend Austin.

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Ideal Activities for Memory Care

She can’t remember where she put her glasses. He forgot to turn off the bathroom faucet. Memory loss and dementia, whether Alzheimer’s or other disease related, can be a frustrating thing for both seniors and their loved ones. It’s important to remember that there is only one way to keep the body and mind healthy, and that’s to keep the body and mind active. Engaging in appropriate activities will not only prolongate memory loss, but will promote happiness and enrich daily living. Activities need to be adapted to fit each individual and their personal level of ability. They can range from singing familiar songs to entering into full sensory experience. Here are some simple activities to try with your loved one.

  • Household Chores. When mom has washed the dishes a thousand times, it is not something she is going to forget quickly. Stand next to her and help her choose the right amount of soap, and then do the drying yourself. Sing a song while you work together. Helping with household chores will promote a sense of accomplishment and worthiness.
  • Cooking/Baking. Our sense of smell is our strongest sense in memory recall. Throwing down some drop and bake cookies or allowing mom to stir the soup with your supervision is going to bring a pleasant feeling, and can improve both mood and appetite.
  • School Time. Spelling bees, presidential trivia, and naming states and capitals are so much fun! School skills access the part of the brain that handles rote-memorization, an area that is often in tact far later than short-term memory. You might be surprised at your loved one’s skill level!
  • Cut it Out. Clipping Sunday coupons or cutting out paper dolls or shapes is soothing and is a social activity. As you’re cutting out the coupons, talk about what products your dad (or even his parents) used to buy for the house, how the prices have changed, and likes and dislikes when it comes to food or products.
  • Sensory Experience. Put together a quick kit with a theme. Include something that involves each of the five senses. If it’s spring, have a picture of a garden, the sounds of birds singing, some fresh cut grass to smell, some lemonade to drink, and a small flower to plant in a pot. Engaging all the senses around a theme allows the brain to build new connective synapses (bridges) to access old memories and establish new ones.

Remember, just as our interests vary and change, so does your senior loved one’s interests. Whereas strict routines in bathing, eating, and grooming are important, when it comes to activity, switch it up. Change requires adaptability, which is a skill that engages the brain in a healthy manner.

Guest Blogger: Susana Fletcher has been a senior care volunteer since the age of nine. Spending numerous hours in arts and crafts, senior book clubs, and personal assistant services over the years, her love of seniors has been a constant throughout her life. With a degree from The University of Texas, Susana was an 8th grade English teacher in AISD for a number of years until she started a family. Three kids and eight years later, she turned her attention to the future, and realized that a job in Senior Care was where her heart was calling. She has been the Activities Director at The Collinfield House since 2010.

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Signs of Depression in Seniors

Austin Senior Care DepressionSymptoms of depression are displayed differently in seniors and may be a bit tricky to recognize. It may be seen as crankiness or grumpiness, it may get mixed in with the symptoms of other medical conditions, or it may even be disguised behind a smiling face. 

Senior depression can be triggered by various factors: Continue reading

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Video: Family Caregivers, Make Resolution to Care for Yourself

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Part 10 of 10: What happens in the brain of a loved one that has Alzheimer’s?

Our final part in the series will focus on an additional frontal lobe function that becomes distorted: Reasoning Ability. This is the ability to use sound judgment when making decisions. It’s the ability to draw conclusions, which make sense, and to think coherently and logically.

If we no longer have this ability, we will Continue reading

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Healthy, Happy Holidays for Seniors

Austin Senior Care HolidaysThe holidays can be a stressful time for seniors, so to help your mom, dad, or loved one really enjoy them, here are some healthy, happy tips: Continue reading

Posted in Austin Aging Parent, Austin Elderly Parent, Austin Senior Adult Care, Austin Senior Care, Austin senior holidays, Austin Senior Parents, Caring for Parents, Help Aging Parent, Help Aging Parents, Help for Elderly, Help with Aging Parents | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Part 9 of 10: What happens in the brain of a loved one that has Alzheimer’s?

The previous entry in the series focused on Attention to Task. We will now discuss the next area of frontal lobe function that becomes distorted: Rationalization. The ability to rationalize means to be able to conform to reason, to devise plausible explanations or excuses for one’s acts, beliefs, desires, etc., and to think in a rational Continue reading

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