The Benefits of Art Therapy for Home Care Patients

At Best Home Care, we know that art is such an important part of self-expression. Many of us realize this at an early age with finger paints and crayons but as we get older, art still has the ability to help us express ourselves and find peace. For instance, maybe you’ve seen those adult coloring books that help to promote mindfulness and reduce stress? Or those group painting classes that allow students to immerse themselves in creating an image while connecting with others.

 

Art offers the freedom to create and express, and art therapy is an amazing development in improving the quality of life for seniors. Here are some ways it can enhance the lives of senior home care patients:

 

  • Art in any form can be very beneficial to seniors struggling with dementia or memory loss. Studies show that painting and sculpting can help to challenge the brain as well as cognitive functioning.

 

  • Art provides a method to communication and expression for those struggling with dementia and may have a hard time expressing their feelings and memories.

 

  • Art also helps to reduce stress and anxiety. Activities like painting or even writing can have a very calming effect and promote a more relaxed way of life.

 

At Best Home Care, we strive to always be aware of new activities and therapies that can improve the quality of life of those we serve. We are a home care agency that specializes in senior home care services, pediatric home care services, behavioral home care services, and at home care for those living with disabilities. We make it easy to provide the best care possible based on individual needs, whether that be 24-hour home care, in-home nursing care, or frequent home health care visits.

For more information on our home healthcare services and PCA services, give us a call at (651) 330-2550 or email us at info@besthomecaremn.com.

Have You Been Unnaturally Tired this Winter? This Could Be Why

Home care and seasonal affective disorderThis is the time of year when the fun and excitement of the holidays have passed and we begin to look forward to warmer sunnier weather. The only problem? We here in Minnesota still have months of cold darkness before we see a hint of spring weather. While some of us may love the short days and cold nights, this season can actually have a negative impact on the health of others.

 

According to the Mayo Clinic, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in the season. Those affected by SAD typically experience less energy and increased moodiness throughout the fall and winter months. The disorder more commonly impacts those living far away from the equator as these areas experience the most dramatic decreases in sunlight during the winter months. It’s no surprise why Minnesota home care patients deal with this disorder every year.

 

Seasonal affective disorder can impact anyone and the home care professionals at Best Home Care have felt symptoms from time to time. It’s important to ensure that these common feelings don’t evolve into a more serious condition requiring medical treatment like depression or bipolar disorder. Tracking emotional health is especially important for those receiving personal health care and at-home care services.

 

Below are some ways that home care aids and PCAs can help their patients beat the winter blues this year:

  • More Sun! Exposure to natural sunlight has been shown to increase energy levels and improve moods during the winter months. Make it a point to get outside at least once a day and/or open up the shades to let the sun shine in.
  • Get Moving Exercise during these winter months is essential to stay healthy both physically and mentally. Personal care assistants should encourage their patients to participate in at least one physical activity per day.
  • Don’t Get Sick Colder months mean sickness which will only worsen SAD. Make a habit of frequently washing your hands with soap and using a sanitizer to wipe down commonly touched areas like doorknobs, faucet handles, and phones.

 

For more home care tips and resources, contact the professionals at Best Home Care. We enjoy sharing ideas on how to provide the best home care and will work with you to ensure your personal care services are the best they can be. Learn more about seasonal affective disorder and how it can affect any age of individual receiving in-home supportive services.

 

Eating Right for Seniors: The Warning Signs of Poor Nutrition

Five Things Every New Family Caregiver Needs to Know  - personal care providersWhether we realize it or not, the food we consume everyday impacts our overall health in major ways. While we typically associate poor eating habits with weight gain and obesity, poor nutrition can present itself in many different ways and intensify the severity of existing health conditions. This is especially true in the case of those receiving senior home care services over the age of 65.

 

According to FeedingAmerica.org, 1.2 million households with seniors living alone experienced food insecurity in 2014. Many times these seniors have the money to purchase food but were unable to access the resources or ability to prepare meals for themselves. As a result, food insecure seniors are at an increased risk for chronic health conditions:

  • 60% more likely to experience depression
  • 53% more likely to report a heart attack
  • 52% more likely to develop asthma

 

In-home supportive services from a trained personal care assistant or family caregiver can support the nutritional health of senior. A home caregiver must also be aware of the warning signs of malnutrition in seniors and know how to respond appropriately. Below are several common signs to look out for if you believe your home care patient or loved one is suffering from malnutrition:

 

  • Observe Eating Patterns and Habits: Keep a log of what and when the senior home care patient eats. Be sure to only list foods that were consumed. This will help you get a better understanding of what (if any) problem exists. Be sure to look for any significant gaps in meal times or lack of nutritional foods.
  • Watch for Weight Loss: Along with a meal log, track the patient’s weight on a daily basis. Depending on age, any significant weight loss may be an indicator of malnutrition.
  • Other Warning Signs: Wounds healing poorly and easy bruising are two other symptoms of malnutrition.

 

Being proactive is the best practice when providing senior home care services in order to prevent malnutrition from growing into a larger issue. The home care professionals at Best Home Care assist hundreds of PCAs as they provide at-home care for seniors in the Twin Cities. Contact our team to learn more about incorporating malnutrition prevention into your home care plan and find caregiving resources to help you provide the best home care possible.