We believe in sharing what we’ve learned about the home health care industry and all related topics to help and support you. Our variety of blogs feature insights, experience and news about aging, healthy lifestyle, and overall well-being. We are continually expanding the blog posting, please expect new publishing’s every two weeks, enjoy the reading. The writer’s opinion doesn’t necessarily reflect Vitae Cares position. However, we encourage, appreciate, and try to stimulate a culture of discussion and even dispute.

Sleep and Aging: Getting Enough Sleep Makes a Big Difference

 Social Media Team   Monday, September 04, 2017   

Lack of sleep can lead to significant problems, but simple adjustments can create better sleep and superior health for the elderly.

The Harmful Effects of Reduced Sleep on the Elderly

All human beings require sleep, and the more we learn about the subject, the more it becomes clear that changes in sleep and aging are also connected. Like water, shelter, and food, the right amount of sleep can help people lead a healthy lifestyle, and not getting enough sleep can cause numerous problems. Lack of sleep can cause headaches, depression, forgetfulness, and impaired judgement. It’s even linked to irritability, making it a problem not just for people who lose sleep but also for their friends, coworkers, and loved ones. While we sleep, our bodies release hormones that repair skin and other tissues; apparently it’s not just a saying that sleep is a great medicine! Lack of sleep is also linked to obesity, diabetes, and even cancer. The more we learn about sleep, the more it becomes clear that it is a vital part of overall health and well-being.

Poor Sleep Among the Elderly

Unfortunately, seniors are likely to suffer from a lack of sleep. The National Institute on Aging looked at information from over nine thousand people aged sixty-five and older and found that a majority had at least one complaint about chronic sleep problems. The elderly commonly have difficulty falling asleep, as well as trouble with numerous waking throughout the night, awaking too early in the morning, and excessive daytime drowsiness. These sleep problems among the elderly can be caused by changes in lifestyles (such as losing a lifelong spouse or moving to a nursing home), medications, psychiatric disorders, and shifts in the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle.

Facilitating Better Sleep for the Elderly

So how can we create better sleeping conditions for seniors? Like everyone else, an elderly person should consider three basic factors that affect sleep: diet, activity, and environment. Evidence shows that eating certain foods can help with sleep. The classic “sleepy foods,” such as turkey and eggs, contain specific amino acids that induce sleep. Carbohydrates from breads and pastas can have a similar effect. Most experts recommend avoiding caffeine later in the day, so if someone suffers from poor sleep, drinking coffee or soda after lunch is usually not recommended. Certain activities close to bedtime, such as watching television or using a computer, can also stimulate the mind and body, leading to poor sleep. However, plenty of healthy exercise well before bedtime can be extremely beneficial and improve sleep levels. Finally, someone should have a quiet, peaceful place to rest. Help elderly patients eliminate light in the bedroom, and reduce excessive noise and distractions when they are sleeping.

At Vitae Care, we understand sleep and aging and know how to create a healthy lifestyle that increases the chances of a good night’s sleep. With a caring, knowledgeable staff, we can help with activities, make recommendations for a healthy diet, and organize a household to create a better environment for sleeping.

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Aging Parents Need Your Care, but Maintaining Respect and Communication Is Essential

 Social Media Team   Thursday, June 01, 2017   

When you use an approach that promotes respectful communication, giving advice and providing care becomes much easier and more helpful to your loved ones!

Providing care to aging parents: the challenge

We all want the best for our parents and grandparents, so we often give advice or take actions that we feel will help them. Sometimes we don’t just give advice, we downright tell them what they have to do, which can be a problem because most people, seniors or otherwise, don’t want someone else running their lives. Think about it: would you want pushy life lessons or daily oversight from someone whose diapers you once changed? They are still your parents, and they likely still feel like a mother or father; when the care-giving roles are reversed, it can create frustration. Fortunately, there are respectful, caring ways to help seniors who may be unable to help themselves while allowing them to maintain their personal dignity and respect.

Communication is the key to caring for aging parents

Perhaps the most important element of caring for an elderly parent is communication. Whether you’re providing general advice on how they should arrange their homes or trying to convince them to eat a healthier diet, you can’t just tell them to do it; you need to tell them why you think it’s a good idea. Remember: communication is a two-way street, so listen to their feedback and take into consideration how the decision will affect their personal lives.

Try this strategy: discuss how decisions will benefit others

Being helpful is important to many people, including elderly parents. Sometimes, how decisions will help others can be a major factor in an elderly parent’s choices. For example, let’s say that you’re trying to convince your elderly father to quit smoking, but he doesn’t seem compelled by arguments that would affect his personal health. Maybe reasons about the harmful effects of secondhand smoke on his wife or grandchildren will help him drop the habit. If you’re trying to convince your mother to accept in-home care, you can emphasize that this care will cause you and your siblings less worry and stress. That just might be enough to convince her.

Final word of advice: vent frustrations elsewhere

If we can offer one final piece of advice, it would be to vent your frustrations, which are likely to occur, away from your elderly parent. In many cases, your mother, father, or grandparent already feels like a burden. Revealing your frustrations will only make them feel worse. It’s good to get your frustrations off your chest but do so with a sibling, friend, or spouse. When you release your frustrations elsewhere, you’ll be more prepared to give caring, respectful support to your elderly parent.

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Aging: The Worldwide Elderly Community Is Growing Older

 Social Media Team   Sunday, April 30, 2017   

Aging is a global phenomenon challenging societies across the globe. By 2050, the number of elderly persons is projected to more than double.

You are in good company

Becoming a senior citizen—often is not the easiest part of life. However, here’s the good news: you are not alone. You’re retired from work; you have no more official tasks to perform—that’s a transition which may be difficult. A colleague takes over, your expertise is not of interest anymore, and the younger generation starts building its own expertise. Nevertheless, as a senior citizen, you have the chance to start again, find new directions in life, and take up interesting hobbies that keep your body and mind busy. Naturally, when growing older, the body eventually becomes more vulnerable. You will need more time to rest, recuperation will take longer, and you might experience little aches and pains now and then.

Freshmen in the elderly community

You are a part of the elderly generation now but you are the freshman, you are only a little over 60 years old. Isn’t this appealing? artwork-sketch crowd with colorful background What exactly defines the age at which you join the elderly community? Is there a certain number that prescribes it? The answer to this question is no; there are no boundaries. Everything is flexible in this advanced stage of life. That the elderly community is expanding in a big way is a proven fact. With a healthy lifestyle, well-being, and a good health care system, longevity is rising, and more and more citizens are entering the elderly community. This section of our society has earned respect and has become a voice to be heard. This is a new development, a movement that clearly has to be taken into consideration by society and governments when planning for the future.

A declared trend: Independent living at home

The population is growing older, a development documented by facts and figures. A recent report from the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs states that “the percentage of the global population aged 60 years or over increased from 8.5 percent in 1980 to 12.3 percent in 2015 and is projected to rise further to 21.5 percent in 2050. By 2050, the projected 434 million people aged 80 or over will account for 21 percent of the global population over age 60.” The Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing states that “it recognizes population aging—the shift towards a larger proportion of older persons in the population—as an important global trend.” Our society will have to recognize this trend in creating and preparing an environment with appropriate infrastructure to help, support, and take care of the needs of the growing senior-citizen community. This is a real challenge for future generations and a global issue. Some elderly persons are already in need of support, whereas others are not there yet; it all depends on their health and well-being. What almost all senior citizens have in common, however, is that they want to keep their independence at home and enjoy a happy and healthy life as long as possible.

The movement: Giving the elderly a voice

This section of the population deserves privacy, freedom, dignity, and respect. Granting them these rights involves not only caring for older persons but also continuously working to develop solutions for their well-being and good health. The elderly have a right to their own voices; they deserve to be recognized as a generation with specific needs and to be sustainably integrated into society as a whole.

Vitae Care provides caring services and is by your side every step of the way. We will regularly talk and write about the Vitae Care Movement, providing a voice for the elderly and in-home care solutions. Please stay tuned for new insights about financial perspectives, housing options, in-home health care services, and social impacts of aging such as growing isolation and loneliness.

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