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Fireworks and Freedom For All

Do you ever stop to consider what freedom means to you? To truly just take a moment in gratitude for what the cost of that freedom is. We all get so busy in our lives that we don't always remember to take time out to evaluate how blessed we are. We live in a beautiful, independent nation and we should be darn proud of it!

This is also the perfect time to share our thoughts on how to assist your loved ones with living an independent lifestyle regardless of age or physical limitations.

We hope this Fourth of July in particular you took some time to enjoy all these freedoms! Creating cherished memories with family, friends and never, ever take it for granted.  

The Importance of Independence in Seniors

No matter our age, we all strive for and enjoy independence. From the time we are born, our parents teach us how to care for ourselves until we reach adulthood. Then we begin the process of teaching our own children the value of doing things for themselves. Success, happiness and other life achievements are often the result of doing things on our own. Independence is instilled in us throughout life -- and the desire to be independent does not diminish with age. If anything, it becomes more important to seniors.

The importance of being independent is twofold for seniors. Independence is sometimes the only thing seniors may feel they can control as certain aspects of their life change with age. Additionally, maintaining independence promotes a sense of achievement that for many seniors generates a great sense of self-worth and well-being.

Often, seniors are able to live independently with little or no help at all. However, some need assistance due to physical or mental limitations that come with aging. In these cases, living home alone does not become a lost cause. Non-medical home care companies, such as Absolute Health Care, help seniors maintain independence for as long as possible. Caregivers assist clients in activities of daily living, such as grocery shopping, light cleaning, cooking and other activities that enable seniors to live at home independently.

We understand that in order to maintain true levels of independence, it is important for seniors to be involved in their own care. When assisting seniors, don't come in and perform all their duties. Instead, we recommend a technique called interactive caregiving. This means involving seniors in daily activities and duties, dependent on the senior's capabilities.

Some seniors are able to help with house cleaning, grocery shopping, cooking and other duties. And you should encourage them to do so. Above and beyond performing household tasks together, you should engage in other activities with senior loved ones, such as playing games, going for walks, eating meals together or simply engaging seniors in lively conversations.

Seniors living alone should be involved in their own care, because it fosters a sense of purpose. This facilitates feelings of accomplishment and maintains the very essence of independence for which seniors strive. For many seniors, the goal of independence -- with a little help -- can be achieved.

 

5 Tips to Enjoy Summer Safely

While summertime tends to be a relaxing time for many, it can be an extremely dangerous season for seniors as well as people of all ages.

Here are some great tips to follow for seniors as well as their caregivers to ensure a risk free, fun and relaxing summer.

  1. Stay Hydrated: Seniors are more susceptible to dehydration than younger people because they lose their ability to conserve water as they age.  They also can become less aware of their thirst and have difficulty adjusting to temperature changes. Remember to drink water often, and be sure to pack some for any long drives.
     
  2. Keep Your Cool: Seniors are much more vulnerable to harmful effects of heat, as their bodies do not adjust as well to sudden changes in temperature. Shopping malls, movie theaters and libraries provide welcome, cool spaces if a senior's own home isn't air conditioned.
     
  3. Wear the Right Clothing: Everyone, including seniors, should dress for the weather. Stock your summer wardrobe with light-colored and loose-fitting clothes to help feel cooler and more comfortable.
     
  4. Exercise Smart:  If you enjoy outdoor activities such as walking or gardening, make sure to wear the proper clothing and protective gear. Also consider getting outdoor exercise earlier in the morning or later in the evening when the sun is not at its peak.
     
  5. Protect your Eyes: Vision loss can be common among the elderly, and too much exposure to the sun can irritate eyes and cause further damage. Wearing sunglasses can protect your eyes from harmful UV rays and preserve your vision.
     

Vacationing Suggestions For & With Seniors

Summer vacations always take a bit of planning! However, if you are thinking of bringing an aging loved one along or if you happen to be a senior yourself, it doesn't hurt to plan ahead a bit more! 

Below you will find some tips on how to ensure that you have the safest, most comfortable vacation despite your own age or the age of your loved one. 

Plan ahead

If you're retired and can travel whenever you want, the world is your oyster! Whether you choose to visit your destination when it is least crowded, or say you decide to go during peak season, prepare ahead of time! Research weather, crowd indexes and more to discover valuable information that can help you to shape your trip ahead of arrival.

Insure your travels
While seniors will pay more for travel insurance, they are also more likely to need it. Find out exactly whether and how your medical insurance works out of area. For example, Medicare is not valid outside of the US except in very limited circumstances; check your supplemental insurance coverage for exclusions. When considering additional travel insurance, pay close attention to evacuation insurance, which covers the substantial expense of getting you to adequate medical care in case of an emergency - especially if you are too ill to fly commercially.

Pack lightly
This is especially important for seniors prepping for travel!  To lighten your load, take fewer clothing items and do laundry more often. Fit it all in a rolling suitcase and forget trying to haul a large bag. Figure out ways to smoothly carry your luggage, so you're not wrestling with several bulky items. For example, if you bring a second bag, make it a small one that stacks neatly (or even attaches) on top of your wheeled bag.

Medication preparedness
It's best to bring a full supply of any medications you take regularly with you, and leave them in their original containers. This way, if an emergency arises, or in the case you might need to refill while out of town, you'll have them with you to refer to. In addition, if taking a flight, keep medications in your carry on bag.

Soaring above the rest - When booking a trip, non-stop flights are strongly preferred over connecting flights in order to minimize the chance of missed connection and to reduce the total travel time. Book a non-stop flight even if it means a higher fare or a longer trip to the airport. Cramped legroom may also be a concern for seniors, so book early to reserve aisle seats (or splurge on roomier "economy plus," or first class). Stay hydrated during long flights, and take short walks hourly to minimize the slight chance of getting a blood clot.

Accessibility and accommodations
If you have mobility difficulties or use a wheelchair, determine what the access is to areas such as swimming pools, public facilities, hotels, restaurants, bars, restrooms, etc. Determine if shopping and entertainment are accessible.

Local conditions
Extremes in climate can adversely affect the health of some travelers. So, too, can travel to high altitude locations. As you travel, ask your tour operator or hotel about local conditions, including recommendations about taxis and other transportation options, restaurants, and the safety of local drinking water.

How about a tour or cruise?
There are thousands of tour and cruise possibilities. Tours and cruises offer a unique service, in that they are totally planned, operated and staffed to deliver the promised program and destination discovery.

Summer Sillies

Culinary Corner

Independence Day is the epitome of summer time in America, and with that comes delightful BBQs, ice cream and tons of fun! In the spirit of summer, we have chosen a "healthier" burger recipe (but one that still sounds mouthwatering) along with some homemade pudding pops as a cool, tasty treat or low-calorie dessert! 

New England Turkey Burger

Patriotic Pudding Pops

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Absolute Health Care has been providing professional home care and elder support services for over 20 years.