Friday, January 20, 2017

Activities to Enjoy with Seniors Suffering from Alzheimer’s - Comfort Keepers San Mateo

Alzheimer’s or any other types of dementia cause damage to our brain cells that results in various cognitive impairments. Due to dementia, our senior loved ones face difficulty with memory functions that disrupts normal behavioral and thought processes. As a result, they cannot lead a normal life and get disconnected from the people around them.

However, keeping our senior loved ones engaged and active can help them in various ways to lead a better life. So, we should always try to have fun and do interesting stuff with them.

There are lots of benefits of keeping our senior loved ones engaged in activities.

     Activities help to keep irritability and anxiety away.
     Through various activities, we can stimulate their cognitive abilities to slow down the progression of the disease.
     Various activities can stir their memories.
     Participating in interesting activities together strengthen bonds among the seniors and the other family members.
     Being involved with various tasks will help self-expression in seniors suffering from dementia.
     Being active and engaged will improve the overall quality of life and the meaning of existence as a whole.

So, with these benefits in mind, we have brought to you some of the easiest but interesting activities that you can do with your senior loved ones.

     Listen to music together. Or even better start singing in chorus.
     Engage in creative activities like painting or making handicrafts.
     Do gardening together.
     Do some simple cooking or baking together.
     Do the household chores like cleaning, dusting and organizing stuff. Such easy tasks can give an immense sense of accomplishment to our senior loved ones suffering from dementia.
     Visit the nearby park or the botanical garden.
     Read books that they used to like or read newspaper.
     Play various games like puzzles or word making that involve the cognitive faculties.
     Watch old family videos or photos together.

Always remember that not all the seniors will love the same kind of activities. So, you have to be discerning and have to do some improvisation. Try to recall what they used to like to do when they were adults and have a go with those activities with some modification that may be required for safety or practicality of the current situation.

Moreover, you can always start with something and keep improvising on the way taking the cues from how it is going and exactly what sort of activities are drawing the most attention and interest from our senior loved ones. 

Above all, always focus on the actual activity that you are doing not the result of it. As example focus on playing and having fun with puzzles instead of actually solving it. It is not that you have to succeed at every task that you take up. The act of being engaged and active matters the most in this case.

So, hopefully, with these ideas and suggestion at your disposal, you will have some great time ahead with your senior loved ones. For any kind of help and support regarding senior care and well-being do not hesitate to contact Comfort Keepers San Mateo

Friday, January 13, 2017

How Can Our Senior Loved Ones Fend off Winter Blues This Winter? - Comfort Keepers San Mateo

We are having quite a winter this year and it is going to persist some days more. Apart from all the discomfort it may cause to our free movement the most bothering problem that it causes is the unique sort of depression called as winter blues or more academically Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Our senior loved ones may even become more prone to this condition due to their lack of free movement and activity. Therefore, we as the people around them have to be careful and take necessary measures to keep our senior loved ones as far from SAD as possible.

Here, Comfort Keepers have compiled a list of amazing things that you can do with your senior loved ones to help them fend off winter blues.

Get as Much Sunlight as Possible
Although going outdoors most of the time is not being possible, keep the curtains and blinds open as much as possible to have access to as much sunlight as possible. Or even better whenever you get the chance have a stroll outside; even once a day would do a great job.

Have Regular Physical Exercise
One of the top commandments for getting rid of winter blues is to be active and involved. In this regard doing regular physical exercise is of primary importance. Just do simple exercises and activities and play with some light weights. This is quite enough to lift up your loved ones’ spirit.

Have Other Group Activities
Try to be creative and think of some activities like indoor games or computer games or some sort of artistically creative ventures like story telling or painting together. Such activities, if once started, is sure to make you feel good.

Practice Healthy Eating and Living
Another very important thing that we have to keep in mind that winter is also the season of cold and flu. So, our efforts to live healthy has to be strengthened during this season of the year. Apart from practicing cleanliness you also have to have a healthy diet. Ideally, our diet should contain fruit and vegetable rich well-balanced meal throughout the day along with items containing omega 3 fatty acid. 

Listen to Upbeat Music
Music can drastically affect our mood. So, listening to upbeat music when you feel dull or down will give the necessary boost to move on to further interesting activities.

Even if you can’t get out most of the times to your friends and families in the neighborhood. You can always get engaged with them on the social media. So, encourage our senior loved ones to take up the habit of chatting and interacting through social media this season. Social activities have been repeatedly proven to create positive impacts in senior years.

Treatment Options
At some point, this condition can become a bit severe and may require serious medical attention to be treated. So, if you think that none of these activities is enough to lift up your senior loved one’s spirit then consider having other treatment options. There are many types of treatment options for SAD. Light Box and Dawn Simulator for light therapy are very helpful. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is another option. And even after that, there is specific medication to deal with SAD.

So, no more fears from the winter blues! Follow these simple tips with your senior loved ones and contact ComfortKeepers for any kind of help and support regarding senior care and well-being. 

Friday, January 6, 2017

How to Turn Your New Year Resolutions into Reality - Comfort Keepers San Mateo

We all know right? Don’t tell me that you do not fail in turning your resolutions into reality. We all have failed.

Each year we decided to achieve new things and surpass our set milestones only in vein. Only a few of us can turn them into realities or only a few of the resolutions are fulfilled. So, exactly what makes us fail? How can we turn our resolutions into realities? We from Comfort Keepers San Mateo tried to find an answer!

The major reason behind our failure is the urge to give in to the pleasure principle. No matter what your resolutions are for this year, be it trying to lose weight or controlling your blood sugar and blood pressure levels, the most persistent obstacle in the way is the brain’s addiction to dopamine that gets released whenever we give in to anything that is pleasant or happy. Be it that much-resisted cupcake or the urge to sulk in the couch instead of hitting the gym.

However, the one thing that stands guard against this danger factor is your will power. Only through strengthening your willpower you can turn each and every one of your resolutions into reality.

Here are 5 things you can do to strengthen your willpower and achieve your goals:

Willpower Is Just Like a Muscle
As your muscles grow and become stronger with muscle strengthening exercises so does your willpower. So, exercise your willpower with little things like trying not cry while watching a sad movie or holding onto a grip strengthener for as long as you can twice a day or deliberately staying away from things that you feel like doing. And gradually your willpower will become stronger.

Make Small Changes
Another way of gradually having a strong will and steer towards your goals is to start with little things and continue step by step. For example, setting a massive goal of losing 10 pounds is less likely to work than fixing to spend ten minutes more in the gym or not eating that extra piece of cupcake a day. So, whatever be your resolution, break it down to step by step small bits and milestones. Besides, in this way, as you complete each step, you will get extra motivational push to continue further.

Find Your Happy Things
On the way to your goals, there will be times when you will feel down or exhausted and you will feel like giving up on your goals. But in those moments if you can manage to do the things that make you happy then after some time you will see that your mood is refreshed and your willpower is strong again. So, try to find out the things that make you happy. It can be watching a funny movie, browsing through old photographs or just going out for a walk.

Make a List of Your Achievements
Another thing that you can do to give a solid boost to your willpower is to make a list of all the great things that you have done in your life. Things that required determination and perseverance. And whenever you feel like you cannot achieve your goals go through the list. You will see that you have achieved even greater things than what you are struggling with now.

Make It Visual
Our primitive pleasure center in the brain is most responsive to visual impulses. So, write down your goals on paper and keep it in visual range. Or even better if you can keep a visual representation of your goal around you, like a picture of a slimmer you or a picture of a holiday destination, to reinforce your will of staying on your diet or saving for the vacation you are planning to have this year.

So, hopefully, from this year, you will not fall short in fulfilling your New Year resolutions anymore! Start practicing these strategies and keep growing your will power to achieve any goal that you set for yourself. 

Friday, December 30, 2016

Change Your Attitude to Live Longer - Comfort Keepers San Mateo

Let's start with telling you the truth! Yes, life is not going to be easy on you! It will even become harder as you age and reach your senior years. Truth!

So, what are you going to do about it? Will you keep complaining, keep getting frustrated and stop giving in at each and every step of your life? Will you keep getting slanted and accept knowing that life is simply like that?

Or will you start tackling the problems with a mindset of winning, learning and getting better with each obstacle life throws at you way?

This definitely is the better option as what will we gain out of being pessimistic and sad at the fact that life will never be easy? What will come out of us if we keep struggling and suffering, whereas we can just embrace our difficulties to grow and enjoy the struggle?

Yes, I may sound strange but I am telling you the truth.

There are some very promising studies conducted that have asserted again and again that simply having a positive attitude towards your life adds years to your life. In other words, your attitude determines how long and how healthy you will live. The most prominent of these studies is the one conducted by the researchers at the Yale and Miami University and they have found out that positive thinking and optimistic attitude can add as much as 7 and a half more years to your life.

So, the choice is upon us! And we from Comfort Keepers are here to help you achieve the positive state of mind and being. Follow these simple tips and contact us to know more.

 Read Motivational Books

There are so many books out there on this topic of positive attitude and how to build and sustain it that you may get lost while finding out which one would be better. So, we have sorted the most suitable ones for you. Have a look at these two titles- “Live Long, Die Short: A Guide to Authentic Health and Successful Aging” by Roger Landry and “Keep Moving: And Other Tips and Truths About Aging” by Dick Van Dyke.

 Watch Inspirational Videos at Ted

There are plenty of great inspirational speakers out there whom you can access on YouTube Ted talks channel. Tune in and listen what they have to say. You will find ample amount of high energy positivity within you.

Unlock Your Untapped Potential

We all have some of our own unique strengths and weaknesses. We may have passed all of our lives without really realizing those. So, try to find out yours, you may never know what awaits to surprise you. On the other hand another approach at getting back at life could very well be overcoming our weaknesses or turning them into strengths. Just take as example Fauja Singh who picked up distance running at the age of 89. Thanks to his positive thinking, we saw him celebrating his 100th birthday by crossing the finish line at the Toronto Marathon.

 Redirect Negative Responses

Simply put, when we feel tired we feel like just lying down and giving up for the day! And the cycle continues. What you can do is to choose not to feel tired by making some lifestyle changes and leading a routine life. Start regular physical exercises and meditate or do yoga! Or even better make a list of all the things that you think you can’t do and move on to accomplish each one of them. And know that you can!

 You Are Never Too Old

The old saying that you are too old to start new things has really become old. In reality, you are never too old to embark on new adventures and start new projects. Keep living your life like it really is- infinite and eternal.

For any kind of help and support regarding senior care and well-being do not hesitate to contact Comfort Keepers. 

Friday, December 23, 2016

Best Part-time Job Options for Seniors - Comfort Keepers San Mateo

We have been talking about entrepreneurship in senior years a few days back when we cited numerous reports of seniors getting very much successful with entrepreneurship and shattering the age-old concept that seniors can’t do new things or can’t start new ventures after retirement.

However, there may be situations when your senior loved one is not so bent on being a full time dedicated entrepreneur or on starting their own thing. Physics and psychology may not always allow this. Even then, they can easily opt for a suitable part-time job that would keep them engaged and infused in a meaning life.

Here we have sorted out some of the best options for our senior loved to choose as a part-time job.

Tutoring is one of the best or possibly the best part-time job option for seniors. With their massive reservoir of experience and skills, they would be the best mentors for the youngsters. So, our senior loved ones can start tutoring young people on the topic they are most experienced, interested and comfortable.

Tour Guide
This can be another great option for our elderly loved ones to engage in as a part-time vocation. If your senior loved one has an interest in history and a knack for storytelling then through being a tour guide they will find an extraordinary opportunity to be social, active and happy. And seniors are the ones who will be most acquainted with the city’s most attractive places after passing so much time around. Just make sure that they are physically capable of walking long distances and climb stairs. Hopefully, you are always there for their physical care.

Bookkeeping or Accountancy
These kinds of jobs are quite accommodating for our elderly loved ones as these require less physical and mental stress. Therefore, if your senior loved one is good at math and finance then look for any company that is looking for part-time bookkeepers or accountants. Another benefit of being involved in such kind of activities in senior years is being able to maintain a sound cognitive health.

Non-profit Professionals
Many nonprofit organizations often hire part-time professionals for various administrative positions. So, look for such organizations in your locality and enquire whether they are hiring for marketing, fundraising or any such positions.

Or in case that your senior loved one is mostly looking for sincere engagement and meaningful activities in their lives without any consideration of monetary compensation than you can anytime choose to volunteer for any worthy cause that calls you most intensely.

There are numerous benefits of engaging in a part-time position in senior years after retirement. Apart from the economic boost, you will get the opportunity of having a more fulfilling, active and meaningful life in declining years. So, if you are considering to do one, start without any further hesitation. For any help and support regarding senior care, health and well-being do not hesitate to contact Comfort Keepers!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Starting the Money Talk with Your Aging Parents - Comfort Keepers San Mateo

Money becomes one of the major concerns when a family starts the process of ensuring best possible care for our senior loved ones. It is the time when we should start talking about it with our aging parents as well as all the members of the family.

However, we have often seen that starting this so important money talk becomes somewhat uncomfortable to begin. If you are also encountering problems about this issue and have been pondering about how you should start discussing this issue then do not think that you are alone in this. We have brought to you some guiding ideas in this matter.

Recognize the Importance
Firstly before even starting the conversation you have to realize the importance of the issue yourself. You have to acknowledge that saving for retirement and planning out all the financial issues beforehand is very much necessary. Besides, you have to know that keeping all the financial data like tax information, bank account and insurances information along with keeping all the financial reports in place is necessary. You should also know that creating a well-developed will is also becomes essential at this stage.

Start with General Topics
When attempting to start discussing the financial topics with your aging parents, start with general but related topics like what’s their plan for their retirement or something like that instead of jumping on the topic right away. That way you will get simple cues to take the matter to more serious issues gradually.

Tell Them Your Own Plans
You can start by telling your own financial initiatives and retirement plans to them to set the introduction. Let them know how important it is to have a financial plan ready for your retirement and the declining years.

Don’t Impose
Once you get to know all the details about their plans and overall financial conditions start placing options to them. Look for possible lacks in the plan or possible improvements. Like if they have not created a centralized storage of all the financial data then suggest or offer to do that for them. Or if they have not made a will then offer to arrange a family lawyer to sketch that out for them. But you should never impose any decision upon them, make sure to be as a trusted adviser.

Involve All the Members in the Discourse
Many families struggle to amass all the money that we often need to ensure proper care for our loved ones. Then the discussion becomes even more uncomfortable at times. Then you will not only have to know the financial condition of your parents but also all the siblings responsible for ensuring the best care possible. So, at this stage, you just have to involve all the members in the discourse and discuss a way out of it.

Have a Financial Adviser
After trying all you can, if you fail to reach your goals or fail to make your parents realize all the issues then you may consider having a financial advisor to discuss it with them for you. Besides, an adviser will be able to better guide you all in terms of taxes, insurances, will and other such issues.

For any help and support regarding senior care, health, senior living and well-being do not hesitate to contact Comfort Keepers.

Friday, December 9, 2016

The Destructive Duo: Depression and Dementia - Comfort Keepers San Mateo

Depression - the life sucking mental trap - can hamper your day to day life to a great extent. It may even become so severe that one does not want to simply live anymore and attempts to commit suicide. However, a vast number of research and studies also suggest that depression, be it early life or late life, increases the risk of developing dementia significantly.

A Review of the Studies
A research, after thoroughly examining 23 independent studies, has concluded that depression significantly increases the chances of developing dementia. This research found out the link between depression to all types of dementia. However, the risk was more prominently higher in case of Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia.

Another study concentrating on and following up 1764 participants for eight years for depressive tendencies and the possible dementia development have found out that there are surprising amount of evidence and correlation between late-life depression and dementia.

Yet another research conducted a comprehensive review of 16 studies focused on late life depression and five studies on early life depression and have found out that both the groups had two to four times more likelihood of developing dementia than those without depression.

What’s the Link?
To frankly tell the truth the experts do not have any definite answer to this link of depression to dementia. However, what they can confer is that as depression is connected with brain changes so it makes it more likely to cause the damage in the brain cells seen in case of dementia.

What Can We Do?
Now, this is the most practical part as far as our and our loved ones’ well-being is concerned. What can we do to stave away the depressive tendencies seen in us or our loved ones?

First of all, we have to acknowledge the fact that medication really works in case of curbing depression, anxiety and other such mental illnesses. Besides, there are very effective therapies that are proven to get people out of the depressive mental closet. So, whenever you see depressive tendencies in yourself and in your loved ones contact a psychiatrist as soon as possible.

Apart from medication and therapies, there are some other environmental and lifestyle changes that you can make in order to deal with the depressive tendencies.

Lead an active life and encourage your loved ones to do the same. Do regular physical exercises, engage in social and communal activities, do some volunteering for a worthy cause and get yourself involved in artistic or creative activities.

Practice meditation. Meditation can help a lot in case of removing depression and taking you towards a bright and peaceful inner atmosphere.

Find things and activities that make you happy. It can be anything - wearing new and nice dresses, going to the woods, singing songs or listening to them, going to your favorite location in town or any other little thing that makes you feel better.

Another very important thing to remember is that while a person is suffering from depression he or she may not be aware of it or may not be even forthcoming to express their situation. So, it is up to us to keep an eye and discern the symptoms of depression in the people around us.

Whenever you see any such depressive symptoms in your loved ones then start talking with them with care and make them realize that it is an illness for which they are sad. It’s not normal sadness and it is very much curable with medication and other practices.