10 Healthy Eating Tips for Seniors

The month of March is National Nutrition Month, and a common and very serious problem among seniors is malnutrition. By not eating a nutritious diet- seniors are more vulnerable to serious health problems- including increase in falls, a weakened immune system and poor wound healing.

Early detection of malnutrition is important since it has been associated with diminished cognitive function, mobility, and a diminished ability to care for one’s self.

Some of the factors that contribute to malnutrition are:

  • medications that can lead to decreased sense of taste and smell

  • a  lack of energy to prepare healthy food

  • poor oral health (dental and swallowing) problems

  • having a monotonous diet

  • lack of resources for shopping or preparing healthy meals and

  • depression and/or alcohol usage

Capability Homecare caregivers use the following 10 tips to encourage clients to increase caloric intake and in turn lead a healthier life:

1. Offer plenty of healthy options to choose from

2. Encourage snacks to increase calories

3. Caregiver can plan, shop, prepare and clean up meals

4. By avoiding pre-packaged frozen meals, caregivers can monitor salt intake

5. Increase calorie consumption by offering supplements such as energy drinks and shakes

6. Encourage exercise– even the smallest amount can increase appetite

7. Provide access to available resources– Meals on Wheels, senior centers and adult day programs often serve hot meals every day

8. Encourage client to ask their doctor and dentist for help. Maybe change medications or have dentist treat swallowing problems

9. Caregiver can monitor alcohol intake and encourage healthier choice such as water (avoid dehydration)

10. By enjoying the meal together, caregiver models healthy eating and makes the meal a social event

If you are concerned that your loved one may be not receiving proper nutrition, consider hiring Capability Homecare to provide this essential daily need. Caregivers are available on an hourly or live in basis.

Please go to www.capabilityhomecare.com for more information.

Source:

http://nutritionandaging.fiu.edu/aging_network/malfact2.asp

 

 

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Hiring Caregivers, The Best of the Best!

Caregiver selection is the most important thing we do at Capability Homecare. If you think about it, in some regards our caregivers are our ‘product’ and we work hard to have the best possible ‘product’ on the market.

To do this we go through a very extensive hiring process- of which I thought I would share with you today.

  • Each candidate goes through several interviews before they are considered

  • Our in depth questioning helps determine if the candidate has the personality traits we are looking for

  • We conduct National Background checks (with fingerprinting)

  • In addition to checking personal references, we require 2 professional references

  • All caregivers are either CNA’s (certified nursing assistants), NAR’s (registered nursing assistant) or have completed 75 hours of training

  • Understanding how important communication is, we look for candidates who are proficient in English

  • We verify credentials through the Washington State Dept. of Health

We consider hiring great caregivers to be of such importance that we have two full time recruiters who spend every single day working to find the very best caregivers in the industry.  In addition to making sure our caregivers have the necessary skills and training, we ensure they meet Capability Homecare’s core values:

  • Honesty

  • Compassion

  • Empathy

  • Trustworthy

With over 18 years experience in the field of recruiting- Capability Homecare’s owner has developed a successful method of finding great employees.

We are extremely proud of our reputation of having the best caregivers of any homecare agency in the Great Seattle/ Bellevue area- and we can attribute that success to our standard of  ‘if we won’t hire this person to care for our own parents, then we won’t hire them to care for yours!’.  

To read more about our caregiver selection process, click here!

Live In Care- An Alternative to Assisted Living

This is the time of year when things start to get pretty busy around Capability Homecare. We find that after the holidays people tend to realize that their parents need help. Some people opt to move their folks into an Assisted Living or a Memory Care facility, but most people prefer to stay in their own homes and bring care in to them.

Case in point, our client Mrs. S.

Her adult sons (and their families) gathered for Christmas at her home this year- (they brought the food). It had been a while (6 months) since they had been in mom’s home and quickly after arriving they began to notice a few signs about their mom that they had never seen before.

The first thing they noticed was the state of her home- she had always been a meticulous housekeeper, yet this time the house was filthy. There was rotten food in the fridge, dust everywhere and the carpet looked like it hadn’t been vacuumed in ages- the amount of dog hair was astonishing.

They also noticed that mom kept asking the same questions over and over again. She wasn’t tracking conversations- and seemed to get defensive when confronted.

Sadly, they also noticed her body and clothes weren’t clean and her hair hadn’t been washed in weeks.

All of these things they wouldn’t have picked up on from their weekly phone conversations- but once they saw her in person they immediately realized they needed help- and fast.

They took her to see her doctor and asked him about how to get help.

That’s where we come in.

The family has hired Capability Homecare to provide a live in caregiver who stays in the guest room at the home and looks after their mom. The caregiver helps with bathing and hair washing.

The caregiver helps with laundry and making sure Mrs. S is wearing clean clothing.

She dusts, vacuums and cleaned out the fridge.

She cooks healthy meals so mom isn’t eating frozen (or worse yet- expired) food from the fridge.

She looks after and walks the dog- as well as feed it and get it fresh water (not sure how mom was managing this one on her own).

The caregiver is experienced working with people with dementia, so she can gently prompt Mrs. S when she gets forgetful. The caregiver doesn’t get frustrated answering the same question 50 times. She is compassionate and empathetic and understands how to work with someone with memory loss.

Mrs. S is happy because she gets to stay in her own home. Things are familiar to her- and each trinket has a special memory.

She also is happy that gets to stay with her beloved dog, Bailey.  She gets to stay near her neighbors- whom she enjoys the occasional chat with. The routine and familiar aspects of her life bring her comfort and make her feel safe.

Mrs. S’s kids are also happy because mom seems so much better off now. Plus, they realize how important it was for mom to stay at home as long as possible, so by hiring help they are honoring her wishes.

Their lives are too busy to do what would be required to help mom on a daily basis, so they are grateful to Capability Homecare for being there when they can’t. And we are honored to be a part of Mrs. S’s life. We are proud to be able to help- and thankful that we are able to be of service to this lovely lady.

Names and details have been changed to protect the identity of our client.