Tips For Caring For Your Elderly Loved Ones at Home

As our loved ones age, they feel most comfortable at home. That’s why if it’s safe for them to stay home, with some help, that’s usually the best option. But it definitely can be overwhelming for us to transition into becoming a caregiver, even if it’s not full time. Here are some tips for caring for your elderly loved ones at home.

Make the Home Safe

As we age, it becomes tricky to navigate certain spaces. Adding grab bars in the bathroom, shower and sitting areas is an easy way to give your loved one a little extra help and prevent falls. Consider reaching aids like grab claws kept in convenient places like under cabinets or in pantries.

elderly woman in the kitchen
Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Make Moving Around Easy

Canes and walkers are a helpful way to give your elderly loved ones some independence when moving around. There are even foldable walkers that can be stored away in closets or under furniture.

Prescriptions and Medical Reminders

If your loved one takes medication regularly, there are several ways to remind them to either refill prescriptions or pick up meds. You could set alarms, have them set up for monthly refills, or have the pharmacy set up reminder calls.

Companionship

If your elderly loved one is still in good health, a pet may be an option for companionship. Cats are generally less maintenance than dogs. However, some small dog breeds make great companions. If pets aren’t an option, consider hiring a sitter for the elderly a couple of days a week.

Delivery Services

There are so many grocery delivery services today, and some of them even offer special services for its elderly and high-risk clients. You can even download an app and order the groceries yourself, from your own home or office, and have them delivered to your loved one at their home. Some Boston dry cleaners and online laundry apps provide laundry delivery services as well.

Local Services

Get with your community park services. They may offer special hours or programs for elderly citizens. Even if that’s not an option, regular walks to the park or in the neighborhood are always a great idea.

Using these easy tips, caring for your elderly loved ones can be a rewarding experience for everyone. 

Getting Ready for Winter

The colder weather is coming, and we’re still in a pandemic. Putting a little effort into preparing now will make the winter a whole lot easier to handle. Here are some great tips to keep in mind while you’re getting ready for winter.

a house in winter snow.
Photo by Kelly Lacy on Pexels.com

Stay Healthy

Winter is already smack dab in the middle of cold and flu season, and now we have COVID-19 to worry about as well. Stock up on hand sanitizers and cleaning supplies, but don’t hoard! Just pick up one or two extra each shopping trip until you have a small supply to get you through the winter months. Don’t forget to get your flu shot at the local pharmacy. Now it’s even more important than ever to keep up on your vaccinations.

Stay Warm

Even with lots of preparation, unexpected problems may occur like a broken furnace or power outage. You don’t want to be without heat in subzero temperatures. Your local pharmacy or supermarket might carry small space heaters. Also, consider buying a power generator, if you don’t have one yet, in case of power outages. If it’s a propane generator, then make sure you get a reliable propane supplier. Now is also a perfect time to take all your winter coats and down comforters to the dry cleaners, so they’re fresh and clean when you need them. Your summer clothes should be cleaned and put into storage too, if you still haven’t done so.

Prep You and Your Family’s Skin

Harsh temperatures can wreak havoc on the skin. It can even cause some pretty gnarly diaper rash for your little ones. My local compounding pharmacy in Newton makes a fantastic diaper rash cream called Baby Ease, which you can buy online. Make sure you have plenty of body lotion and rash cream, which, of course, can be found at your local pharmacy.

Check on Your Loved Ones

If you have elderly parents or loved ones who live alone, make sure you check in often during the winter. You may even want to consider getting companion care services from a home care agency. Even if your elderly loved ones are still healthy, the cold months can bring in the winter blues. A professional caregiver can keep an eye on your loved one’s behavior as the nights get longer, watching for mood changes. Home caregivers are also trained to provide meaningful conversation and engage seniors in activities at home. A little extra help and companionship will keep your loved one mentally and physically healthy. 

Hope these simple tips will help you and yours be ready for a safe and healthy winter. 

Dealing with Stress and Anxiety At Home Due to COVID-19

stressed woman in messy home

This is a tough time. COVID-19 has shifted our entire world. Things aren’t back to normal yet, and we have no idea when they will be. If you’re already prone to stress and anxiety, this time may be especially hard on you. Or it may be triggering your anxiety or depression. Know that you’re not alone. We’re all in this together. Don’t be afraid to get help, or speak with your therapist about new issues that are coming up due to the pandemic. In the meantime, I have a few ideas to take some of the stress out of everyday activities. Every little thing helps, especially now.

Don’t Worry Too Much About Home Chores

Since we’re home a lot more than usual, there could be some extra pressure to keep your home clean and tidy. But in reality a lot of people have a messy home right now! To take some pressure off, consider hiring a maid service, and taking your laundry to the dry cleaners nearby. They probably offer more services than you realize. If you care for your elderly parents or family members, now is a perfect time to consider hiring an in-home caregiver. Any service that can check some chores off your daily to-do list would be a huge help.

Herbal Remedies

There are plenty of natural remedies to help with anxiety. Herbal teas are always a great way to get a little downtime during the day. Even the ritual of making a cup of aromatic herbal tea and sitting somewhere quiet to drink can be a huge stress reliever. Remember, increased caffeine intake can actually increase anxiety symptoms, so look for caffeine-free teas. If the tea ain’t cutting it, consider some herbal supplements. I know that the pharmacy near me has a wide variety of natural stress and anxiety aids. Your pharmacy may do the same, too. Check them out and ask the pharmacist for suggestions while you’re there.

Don’t Forget About Your Pets

Animals can sense when things are off. If your schedule is different now, and your pet’s routines have changed as a result of the pandemic, they may be feeling some anxiety too. It wouldn’t hurt to check with your vet about possible antidepressants for dogs. Also, making a few extra trips to the dog park during the week can help both of you get some stress relief.

Remember, we’re all feeling the effects of the pandemic right now, and it’s important to take care of each other.

Preparing For Your Labor Day BBQ

We made it to Labor Day, guys! Now, more than ever, it’s important to celebrate whenever we can, even if it’s a little differently than we’re used to. If you’re planning a Labor Day BBQ for your family, or a social distanced version with your neighbors, here are some tips to get you ready.

Hamburgers on a grill

Prep That Grill!

Your grill is always the MVP of any BBQ, and this one is no exception. Make sure you have everything ready to grill up all your favorites. The first step is to make sure you have a full tank of propane, or a bag of fresh charcoal depending on your type of grill. Then make sure you have clean grill-ready utensils like tongs and spatulas.

Plan Your Menu

When planning your Labor Day BBQ menu, keep in mind that grocery stores still have limited supplies of certain ingredients, or that some may be hard to find. The regulars like ground beef for burgers and hot dogs should be readily available. But if you’re planning on something a little special like grilled salmon or kabobs, it’s best to have a Plan B, just in case.

Prep Those BBQ Linens

Now is the perfect time to pull out those red and white checked picnic linens! Your local dry cleaners is the perfect place to get them cleaned quickly. If there’s any stains leftover from last year, be sure to let the dry cleaners know, so they can properly treat them.

Stock Up on Essential Meds

Barbecue foods can mean heartburn for some of us. That’s why our favorite underrated tip is to stock up on antacid and stomach meds. The friendly community pharmacy near me has all the essentials that I need to enjoy our evening safely and comfortably. Yours probably does too.

Enlist Help

If you happen to be caring for an aging parent or family member, now is a great time to think about enlisting the help of a home care agency. Holidays sometimes remind us of all the extra things we’ve taken on over the pandemic, and it’s okay to take a break and get some help.

Once you’ve got everything ready, the fun can begin. Let’s enjoy the time we have with our friends and family and have a great Labor Day!

Caring for an Aging Parent at Home

Caring for an aging parent can be both complicated and rewarding. Having a little extra help can make all the difference. It’s important to take care of yourself, as well. Being a family caregiver can be both emotionally and physically exhausting, so here are some tips for caring for an aging parent at home.

Daughter with elderly parent

Cooking Simple Meals

Part of holding on to your dignity as you age is remaining as independent as possible. So even if your parent needs significant assistance with living by herself or himself at home, there are ways to make it so that they can do some of the everyday tasks themselves. For example, on weekly grocery trips, be sure to pick up food items that they may be able to prepare themselves. Prepping ingredients beforehand and labeling them in containers in the fridge is always a great way to lend some assistance without overstepping.

Laundry and Cleaning

Laundry and cleaning are chores that require physical exertion, so it is best to get help with these tasks as much as possible. This could mean taking certain items to and from the dry cleaners or signing up for laundry delivery service. Or just designate a certain day that you do your loved one’s laundry, even if it’s at your own home. Hiring a cleaning service is always an option. Or you could make sure your parent has easily accessible tools like brooms or dustbusters so they could still do some light cleaning themselves.

Getting the Necessary Medical Supplies

It’s imperative that your aging parent has the necessary meds and medical supplies such as walking canes, shower seats, and reaching aids. Check with your local pharmacy about automatic prescription refills. Delivery may always be an option as well. This kind of thing is where hiring a home care agency could come in hand. A home healthcare aide will be able to provide assistance not only with picking up prescriptions but also help with mobility and physical assistance.

Caring for an aging parent can be tricky, but with a little extra planning, it doesn’t have to disrupt your life. Your parent deserves to be able to live out their lives as independently and comfortable as possible, and so do you. Don’t forget to take a break every now and then. A respite care provider can provide the at home care assistance that your parent needs while you rest and recharge.

Go Camping This Summer

Summer is here, but the COVID-19 pandemic is still with us. Most of us are still leery of flying, so vacationing overseas or out of state is not under consideration. Although we are in phase 2 of re-opening and many restaurants and shops are now open, our safest activities this summer would be outdoors, especially in parks and beaches, with social distancing, of course. One place I’d like to visit with my family is the Minuteman Campground in Lexington, which is just 30 miles northwest of Boston. There, you can enjoy a quiet, spacious campsite among the tall pines. The campground has tent campsites, RV campsites and cabins. The RV sites have picnic tables, Wi-Fi, laundry, fire pits and electricity hookups, so you won’t need propane for RV generator. For fun, the campground provides kids playground, swimming pool, basketball, volleyball and more.

rv in campground

As long as the family is outdoors, you always should be prepared with insect sprays and sunscreens, first aid kits and wound care supplies such as bandages, dressings and wound cleansers.

If you have a senior loved one at home, you may not be able to bring him or her along. In that case, it would be a good idea to get respite care service from a trustworthy home care agency. A professional home care aide can provide companionship, as well as take care of daily tasks such as simple meal preparation, errands, and also make sure that your loved one is taking prescribed medications.

Worried about your routine household chores while you are on vacation? Take a break and let others do them for you. Use the nearby dry cleaner to do your dirty laundry, maid service to clean your house, and a personal concierge to do whatever else that needs to be done. With their help, even though you are still in the Boston area, you can take your mind off your daily routine to rest, recharge and have fun!

Gardening Tips You May Not Have Considered

Gardening season is here! After the last few months we’ve had, spending time outside with our hands in the dirt is incredibly welcome. While gardening is a great hobby to have, it also helps to be prepared. Here are some gardening tips you may not have considered.

Prep for the Bugs

Bugs are inevitable when it comes to gardening, it comes with the territory. But with a couple of precautions, you can be ready for those creepy crawly gardening buddies. Your local drugstore or pharmacy will have all the insects sprays you need to keep protected, including kinds for sensitive skin. Be sure to look for calamine or aloe lotion to soothe itchy insect bites.

Protect Your Skin From the Sun

Even if you’re just spending a few minutes outside watering your plants, it’s essential to protect your skin from the sun. If your skin is on the pale side or you tend to burn easily, look for sunscreens at your nearby pharmacy with an SPF of at least 50.

Gardening activity

Be Prepared for Cuts and Scrapes

Weeding your garden can come with some drawbacks, like cuts and scrapes. Use good quality garden gloves to stay protected and keep a stash of first aid supplies nearby. Your local drug store will have bandaids, antibacterial cream, gauze and all the necessary things you need in the event you hurt yourself gardening.

Remove Dirt Stains

Grass and dirt stains aren’t easy to remove from clothing, so it’s best to designate some clothes specifically for gardening that you won’t mind if they get a little grungy. However, if you want to have your gardening clothes clean and stain-free, take them to the dry cleaners nearby. Be sure to tell your local Boston dry cleaner how your clothes were stains, so they can treat accordingly.

Consider Planting a Garden for a Loved One

Your elderly friends or family members may still enjoy gardens but can’t take care of them because of physical limitations or mobility issues. Planting and tending to a garden for someone else is an amazing gift, and can be so rewarding. Alternatively, a home care aide can provide great companionship by tending to the garden with your loved one.

Have fun gardening this season and take a few small precautions to stay safe and healthy in the summer sun!

Dealing with Skin Allergies

So many Americans are affected by skin allergies, so much so that skin allergy remedies are a lucrative industry. Different factors can make skin allergies worse like weather, pollen and common airborne allergens. Here are some tips for those dealing with skin allergies.

Check With Your Local Pharmacy

Skin allergies are sometimes tricky to treat since they vary so much from person to person. Check with a compounding pharmacy about medications specifically for your individual needs. Compounded medications for skin will be specially formulated for you by type and dosage, so you’ll get the quickest most reliable results.

fingers scooping moisturizing cream

Be Aware of What Fabrics Irritate Your Skin

You may be unaware that some of the clothing you wear regularly is irritating your sensitive skin. It could be the fabric itself, or the detergent you’ve been using to wash them. Always look for “free and clear” detergents that don’t contain any dyes or perfumes. Additionally, look for a local green dry cleaner nearby that tailors to those with sensitive skin. Ask for no fragrances and hypoallergenic products. 

Check With Your Doctor

Sometimes skin allergies could be pointing to a more serious health problem. If your skin suddenly becomes dry or irritated, its best to have it checked out by your doctor or dermatologist. Raised rashes, odd-shaped markings or irritation paired with fevers should always be checked by a medical professional right away.

Moisturize Frequently

Dry weather or heat can bring on skin allergies, especially if you’re already prone to dry skin. To avoid this, I always keep my skin moisturized with a natural, perfume-free lotion or oil. I like to buy lotions and creams specifically formulated for sensitive skin at a local drugstore near me, which also can fill prescriptions from my dermatologist. Older people also tend to have dry skin, so family caregivers or professional home health aides should also take care to keep their loved one or client’s skin moisturized.

Skin allergies are a pain, but they don’t have to be. Take care of your skin and take care of each other.

Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Father’s Day is right around the corner and it’s time to start thinking about gift ideas for all the special guys in your life. This year is undeniably different than previous Father’s Days, so it may require a little thinking outside the box. Some traditional stores aren’t yet fully open, and special outings and celebrations may not be possible because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Not to worry! I’ve compiled some unique Father’s Day gift ideas that are perfect for our current situation.

Gift Cards

Gift cards are always a good idea for any holiday gift. But this year, consider a gift card from your Dad’s local dry cleaner. Once things get up and running again, he’ll want to freshen up his wardrobe and get out of those sweats and t-shirts. Or he may try shirt laundry service at his office so he can look his best always at work. If the dry cleaners won’t work for your guy, the local drugstore will have a large selection of gift cards for local restaurants and stores.

Father's Day card

Private Home Care

This gift could work for grandpas as well as Dads. If your dad is caring for his elderly father, or could just use some help himself, contacting a private home care agency may be the perfect gift idea. A caregiver or home health aide could be a lifesaver, and something they may not always feel comfortable asking for themselves.

Last-Minute Gifts

Because of COVID-19, it’s hard to follow our usual gift-giving routines. If you haven’t been able to go to a department store or find what you need online, you may need to run out and grab something locally. Luckily, pharmacies are considered essential right now and almost all are offering special extended hours. The local pharmacy near me, for example, turns out to be a treasure trove of Father’s Day gifts. Cologne, coffee mugs, fancy chocolate – you’d probably be surprised what you can find at the drug store. The community pharmacy probably carries Father’s Day gift sets as well to make it even easier.

Don’t let the global pandemic stop you from treating those special Dads in your life to the perfect gift they deserve.

Photo by Mockaroon on Unsplash

Celebrating Mother’s Day During COVID-19

We usually celebrate Mother’s Day with flowers and gifts for mom, taking her out to dinner and may be a shopping spree or a trip to the spa or salon. While our city is still in lockdown, with restaurants, salons and shops closed, how are you celebrating Mother’s Day?

Mother’s Day Gifts

For the most part, we can order gifts online and get them ready by Mother’s Day. If you cannot get a gift delivered in time, don’t forget that your local drugstore is still open and carries a variety of health and beauty products that your mom would love – from age-defying skin care, hair coloring and styling to perfumes and manicure products. Your community pharmacy may provide curbside service so you can stay safe.

Happy Mother's Day card

Take a load off

Mom is always busy caring for her family. The list of household chores is never ending. During the quarantine, the amount of cleaning and disinfecting has probably quadrupled. So a great gift would be to take over some of her work. How about letting the local dry cleaner nearby do the laundry? Schedule a laundry pickup before Mother’s Day, so that she is relaxed and not worried about doing the laundry.

If mom’s work includes caring for grandpa and or grandma, which is not unusual in this age of the “Caregiving Crunch,” you can take a load off her by hiring respite care providers from the local home care agency. A home health aide can provide respectful professional care and companionship for a senior loved one while the family caregiver takes a break.

Fun activity together

Do something fun with your mom at home, such as watch a movie on tv, take a trip down memory lane by viewing old photos together, make handicrafts or artwork, give mom a manicure, and so on.

Dinner

If your mother is living in the same house, you can perhaps cook a nice dinner or if you are not a good cook, you can order a big meal online and get it delivered to the house. But if your mother is not under the same roof, you can try sharing a virtual dinner on Zoom. That way, you can still see and chat with each other during dinner.

With a little creativity and preparation, we can still give mom a memorable Mother’s Day during these unprecedented times. Stay safe and have fun with your mom on Mother’s Day!

Photo by Karolina Bobek ✌ on Unsplash