From Home Care to Assisted Living: Understanding Senior Care Options

From Home Care to Assisted Living: Understanding Senior Care Options

Dear Donna,

I have been caring for my father, who has Parkinson’s disease, for three years. Until recently, I’ve been able to assist him with his needs. As his condition progresses, I am finding it more challenging to take care of him and keep up with my responsibilities. I know he needs additional assistance, but I am not sure if I should explore local home care providers or assisted living communities.

Which senior care option would be best for my dad?

Sincerely,

Mia from Holland, MI

Understanding Senior Care Options

Dear Mia,

Caring for an aging parent with a progressive health condition is never easy. Not only do you watch their health decline, but your caregiving responsibilities continuously increase. It can be challenging to make time for yourself. Fortunately, there are many senior care options, including home care and assisted living.

Home Care versus Assisted Living

Starting with Home Care

Home care is popular among those who want to keep their loved ones at home. With home care, seniors have the advantage of staying in a familiar environment while a professional caregiver comes to them. The caregiver helps with nonmedical activities they need to perform to live on their own. If your loved one’s home is safe to live in and they require only a few hours of assistance with activities of daily living, home care can be an excellent choice.

Keep in mind, however, that home care is usually a short-term solution. As your loved one’s disease progresses, an assisted living community will most likely be a better option.

Transitioning to Assisted Living

Assisted living communities also support seniors with the activities they need to remain independent. Seniors move to an apartment or studio where they have access to around-the-clock care. In addition to more assistance, seniors may also enjoy the following perks:

  • On-site social events
  • A safer, more accessible environment
  • Experienced staff members who can offer advice

Assisted living can be a particularly attractive option for seniors with progressive illnesses, such as Parkinson’s. As their symptoms increase, they can adjust the amount of assistance they receive accordingly.

Deciding between Home Care and Assisted Living

Exploring senior care options is different for everyone. By exploring your options and understanding your loved one’s needs, you are more likely to find a solution that works for everyone.

I hope this helps you come up with an effective senior care plan for your dad.

Sincerely,

Donna

Heritage Senior Communities

At Heritage Senior Communities, including our Appledorn location, we are dedicated to helping seniors extend their independence. By assisting only when necessary, we help our residents stay in control of their lives and maintain their dignity. Contact us today to learn more about how we enable seniors to live their best lives.

How to Stay Healthy as Flu Season Approaches

How to Stay Healthy as Flu Season Approaches

Dear Donna,

I had the flu last year, and it took me weeks to recover. With flu season approaching, I want to do everything I can to stay healthy. How does the flu shot work, and what are some other ways I can protect myself?

As an older adult, I know I’m at higher risk for contracting the virus.

Sincerely,

Leslie

Staying Healthy during Flu Season

Dear Leslie,

By now, most seniors know a flu shot is the most effective way to avoid the flu. A flu shot works by introducing your body to just enough of the virus to trigger an immune response. 

There are two flu shots specially designed for seniors. They differ from other versions because they provoke a stronger immune response. While a flu shot is the best way for seniors to protect themselves from the flu, it isn’t the only method. There are other best practices you can use to stay healthy.

How Seniors Can Avoid Catching the Flu

1. Wash your hands frequently.

If you handle something with the virus and then touch your nose or mouth, you can catch the flu. Because the flu is very contagious, you also risk spreading it to others. Frequently washing your hands with soap and running water is an effective way to reduce both your risk of catching the flu and circulating germs to others.

2. Eat healthy.

Eating a healthy diet is another effective way to avoid the flu. By consuming foods rich in vitamins and micronutrients, you can strengthen your immune system. This helps your body fight off the flu or, at the very least, recover faster. Here are a few foods to include in your diet:

  • Salmon: Salmon is rich in vitamin D, which is particularly effective at preventing many respiratory infections, including the flu.
  • Blueberries: Blueberries contain flavonoids, which support a healthy immune response by working with gut microbes.
  • Lemons: Lemons are high in vitamin C, which strengthens the body’s resistance to viruses.

3. Get enough sleep.

Sleep is crucial for a strong immune system. Not sleeping enough has been shown to weaken the immune system. Chronic sleep deprivation can even make a person more vulnerable to infectious diseases. Seniors can reduce their risk of contracting the flu by improving their sleep. Aim for at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night.

4. Reduce stress.

Stress can weaken the immune system in many ways, particularly when it comes to chronic stress. It can inhibit your digestive system, raise your blood pressure, and increase your cholesterol levels. Prioritize keeping your stress levels to a minimum. The following activities can help:

  • Meditation
  • Regular exercise
  • Taking time to relax

Stay Healthy This Season

Being sick is never fun, but the flu can have lasting effects on a senior’s health. The best way to stay healthy is to avoid contracting the flu in the first place. By receiving a flu shot, steering clear from germs, and taking care of your overall health, you have the best chance at preventing the flu.

I hope this helps you stay healthy this flu season!

Regards,

Donna

Heritage Senior Communities Supports Senior Health

At Heritage Senior Communities, we understand how important it is for seniors to stay healthy. That’s why we make flu shots available to our residents. To learn more about how we help our residents stay healthy, contact us today to schedule a private tour.