Understanding the Definition, Symptoms and Treatments for Glaucoma.

Posted on: September 9th, 2014 by Randy Walden

glaucomaGlaucoma is estimated to affect as many as three-million Americans and, since it is a degenerative eye disease with strong hereditary component, the vast majority of adults impacted are age 60 or older. If you’re a long-term caregiver that provides in-home care, you will likely be the first to know of a change in your parents or relatives vision and, because of that, the signs, symptoms and treatments of glaucoma are important to be aware of.

Glaucoma is an eye disease that slowly causes damage to the ocular nerve. The eye’s ocular nerve is responsible for transmitting images to the brain and allowing a person’s vision to be precise and clear. Glaucoma slowly causes fluid pressure to build inside the eye which, over time, causes damage to the nerve and results in limitations and changes in vision. Instead of draining through your eye’s chamber and moistening the delicate tissues of the eye, the fluid stays trapped in the anterior chamber and slowly increases in volume and pressure.

There are two types of glaucoma – open-angle and angle-closure. Open-angle glaucoma is when the eye’s fluid stops draining through the proper channels (the most common type) while angle-closure is the result of poor drainage due to the shape of the iris and cornea.

The effects of glaucoma take time to impact a person’s vision – which is why many adults aren’t diagnosed until a minimum age of 40. Typically a person’s peripheral vision is impacted first and, if left untreated, the person’s field of vision will continue to narrow until blindness occurs. Glaucoma typically occurs in both eyes but can impact vision to varying extents in each eye.

If someone you’re caring for begins to complain of limited or blurred vision or other vision changes make sure you immediately arrange for them to have an eye exam. Regular eye exams are the number one way to help diagnose glaucoma early – which is crucial for treatment because vision lost to the disease of glaucoma cannot be restored. Treatments for glaucoma, which significantly delay the progression of the disease include; medications which help lower eye pressure, laser treatments which drain fluid out of the eye and special surgeries which create a new opening for fluid to drain out of the eye. Early intervention is the key to preserving as much of the person’s vision as possible.

Contact us for more home-healthcare tips to help you provide a warm, safe environment for those you care for.

How To Promote Better Sleep For Seniors

Posted on: August 30th, 2014 by Randy Walden

The importance of sleep cannot be emphasized enough. When people don’t sleep, they get very strange, both in mind and body. The first thing is to loosen up that rigid mind set that says ‘I can’t sleep’. If the goal is better sleep for seniors, then encourage ‘yes I can sleep’, do not reinforce the belief that you cannot sleep.sleep

Affirmations are positive statements that spell out exactly what you want and need. You can train your brain in a more positive way. Stop thinking that you cannot sleep, because your brain forms patterns that can be instructional. Say instead –

  • I sleep like a log.
  • Deep and peaceful is the way I sleep.
  • I sleep like a baby.
  • Sleeping feels so very very good.
  • I sleep the sleep of the just.
  • Oh, yes, I can sleep.

Now repeat these positive sleep statements. Say them out loud. Say them five times. Do this several times a day. What you are doing is to create a more positive mind set than the one you have.

Movement is the best way to prepare for a good night’s sleep. Stand up, shake your hands, or do the Hokie Pokie. Human bodies need to move around. Yoga movements are a great way to get started.

Mental acuity helps sleeping. Read a book or listen to one on tape. Watch the science channel or the history channel. Try to provoke your mind, or at least give it a little poke. Stimulate your brain as well as your body.

Please contact us for more information

A Marriage to Remember

Posted on: August 28th, 2014 by Randy Walden

In this short documentary, the filmmaker Banker White explores how Alzheimer’s disease has revealed the strength of his parents’ marriage.

In this short documentary, the filmmaker Banker White explores how Alzheimer’s disease has revealed the strength of his parents’ marriage.

The Family Home Can Be A Good Place For Low Vision Care

Posted on: August 22nd, 2014 by Randy Walden

Parents take care of their children through all sorts of illnesses, traumas and other trials of growing up.

However, as parents grow older and young children become adults, some shifting of responsibilities must take place. Among these are that children must make certain that their parents are getting proper health care.

vision careThere are several diseases that can lead to low vision and other non-medical issues.

You need to know the cause and any ongoing treatment that is required. Heartwarming Care offers special services to help families take care of parents who are living at home.

Check out the Heartwarming Care. While naturally, there are some restrictions caused by limited vision, there is much that can be done to help a person with failing eyesight stay at their own home or with one of their children.

Canes to make certain nothing is obstructing their path when walking, oversize switches and remote controls for the television and other entertainment devices are just a few of the things that can help a person with low vision live at home.

Tasks such as cooking and yard work should be left to others. However, a person with poor vision can help in the kitchen with a little supervision.

There are a number of magnifying devices that can be of assistance. Talking books on CDs can offer a distraction for part of the day.There are many ways to help the elderly with low vision live at home. Contact Heartwarming Care to find out what they can offer to those needing assistance.

No one wants to leave their home. Heartwarming Care can show you ways that persons with low vision can continue to live at home.

Improve Nutrition to Help Prevent Falls

Posted on: August 14th, 2014 by Randy Walden

Falls are a serious and prevalent issue with caring for the elderly. Sometimes they are caused by dizziness, sometimes by medications, sometimes by vision impairment. Grab bars in showers, avoiding loose rugs on floors, installing lights to brighten up dark hallways – these are all helpful measures to take. They are cost-limited and often can be accomplished by the stairs

However, there is another very common cause of falling: physical weakness. This also can have lots of contributing factors, including illness, lack of exercise, depression, etc. One often overlooked source is when the person develops a poor nutritional status. Unfortunately this is often overlooked as being “just part of aging.”

Admittedly, our appetite changes as we get older. Most elderly simply do not desire as much meat or other sources of protein. They seem to prefer carbohydrates over vegetables, fruit over grains. This process is not generally of much concern, and can actually be helpful. In the case of animal protein, a decreased intake may help protect the kidneys which are not working as efficiently as when the person was younger.

The problem arises when nutritional status suffers, leading to muscle weakness and then to falling. Less than adequate caloric intake coupled with lack of essential nutrients will be manifested in muscle atrophy beyond that of simple aging.

How can you encourage your loved one to eat more, and to enjoy more healthy food, especially if you want to avoid adding yet another medication to the regimen?

Start by using the freshest produce you can obtain. It tastes better and many nutrients are gradually lost as the food ages in your refrigerator. Be careful with cooking produce at too high a temperature or for too long a time.

Oxford University researchers have observed some oddities around eating. Apparently, food enjoyment and appetite aren’t just related to the senses of taste and smell. When the utensils are of higher quality, the brain is tricked into thinking the food is, too.

  • Just like in restaurants, presentation is important. Use the good china, especially if it originally belonged to your loved one. Good memories plus good company equals improved appetite. And so what if something happens to the plate? A broken dish is better than a broken hip!
  • Dishes with a sharp color contrast to the food tend to decrease the appetite. Avoid using that good old Fiesta ware when serving your loved one.
  • Blue glasses tend to make drinks taste colder. Many older people prefer room-temperature liquids.
  • Stick to the more traditional rounded dishes. Angular ones tell the mind that the food tastes more bitter, but foods served in round dishes are perceived as sweeter.
  • If the dish is heavier, the food is perceived to be of better quality, so avoid paper plates.

Help your loved one achieve optimal nutrition. Mealtimes will be more enjoyable. And a stronger body will be less likely to fall.

For more information, please contact us or go to our website.

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