Author Archives: Tracy D. Nelson

When families can all come together and agree on an elder care plan for your loved one, it definitely makes for a much smoother process and an easier transition for everyone.

Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case with bigger families, siblings that live far apart, or with families that have underlying tension for various reasons.

Here are 5 ways that you can try and bridge the gap to bring your family together with your senior’s important elder care plan and comfort as the number one goal.

Elder Care Tahoka, TX: Clash of the Siblings

1. Call a family meeting. Pick a neutral place, like a coffee shop or a restaurant where you can casually come together to talk about your parent or grandparent’s needs. If some family mem-bers aren’t able to meet or live far away, consider using technology to help such as Skype or Face Time. Set some boundaries ahead of time and try and encourage everyone to use calm voices. Be sure that everyone get a chance to talk and feels heard.

2. Try to look at the bigger picture. Your parent’s safety, comfort, and health is the most important thing when considering an elder care plan. Be sure your emotions aren’t driving all of your decisions and that the decisions being proposed are solely for the benefit of your loved one and what is best for them overall.

3. Compromise. If heads are butting and no one wants to budge on what they want, see if there’s a compromise every can agree on. If your sister thinks your Mom should be in a nursing facility but your brother wants 24 hour home elder care, what can you do to ease the worries of both parties so that you can come to a decision that will work for everyone, especially your parent?

4. Get a second opinion. Occasionally, if things can’t seem to be worked out alone, it may be time to call in a third party for a second opinion. Sometimes having a neutral person listen to all parties and offer their own take on the situation can be just what some people need to be able to agree on a solution. Is there a family friend you trust, or a community member familiar with elder care that you think would listen and offer a supportive voice? Ask if they mind helping you reach the solution that is best for your family.

5. Call a time out. If things get tough, call a time out and come back to it when emotions are settled. Dealing with a parent newly needing elder care can be overwhelming and sometimes it’s best to take a break when things get heavy. Siblings and family members often mean well and usually have their loved one’s best interest at heart, but when multiple people come together in times of upheaval, emotions can sometimes get the better of people.

Try and think about the welfare and health of your senior parent first and foremost. Put yourself in their shoes and encourage your siblings and family members to do the same. Elder care in the home can be a wonderful experience for everyone in the family, and with a little work upfront, you can experience that too!

If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elder Care in Tahoka, TX, please contact the caring staff at Best In-Home Care (806) 412-0723.

Author Archives: Tracy D. Nelson

Mental illness isn’t always talked about. When it’s an older adult facing one of the common forms of mental illness, it can be difficult to bring the situation into the open. There’s a stigma many feel that it’s not something to discuss.

If your parent suffers from one of the two most common mental illnesses in older adults, don’t stay silent. Talk about it. Get the help your parent needs. Once that’s being discussed, look at how senior care can help them manage their illness.

#1 – Anxiety

Senior Care Shallowater, TX: Common Mental Illnesses

Anxiety disorders are very common in older adults. Approximately 8 percent of the population of men and women over the age of 65 have some form of anxiety disorder.

There are several types of anxiety disorders. Generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder, and social anxiety are common. People may go to the doctor after experiencing a panic attack, but after being told there’s nothing wrong or it’s just stress, those people are less likely to seek medical care when they’re having repeat occurrences.

Symptoms of a panic attack can mimic a heart attack. Sweating, chest pain, numbness in the feet and hands, difficulty breathing, and dizziness are all typical symptoms.

When anxiety is diagnosed, therapy sessions may help. It can also help to have someone around for emotional support. Just having someone to talk to in the stressful moments helps immensely. Medication reminders and transportation also help.

#2 – Depression

Depression is the most common mental health issue older adults face. It may appear in conjunction with the diagnosis of a chronic health condition or following a spouse or significant other’s death. Statistics show that seniors who are depressed are more likely to go to the doctor or need services in a hospital’s emergency room.

The State of Mental Health and Aging in America’s report says 8 out of 10 cases of depression in older adults can be treated. It’s important to take your parent to a doctor for a diagnosis and ask about therapeutic measures and prescription medications that help ease depression. Companionship and medication reminders can be essential senior care services for someone who is depressed.

Senior care is more than help with housework and meals. So many services can help your parent better manage their health issues and enjoy living independently. All it takes is a helping hand. Call a senior care agency to learn more.


If you or an aging loved-one are considering Senior Care in Shallowater, TX, please contact the caring staff at Best In-Home Care (806) 412-0723.



Author Archives: Tracy D. Nelson

If you’re having trouble asking for help when you need it, you’re not alone. This is common among caregivers, but it’s something you can learn to do.

Get Clear about Where You Need the Most Help

Caregiver Wolfforth, TX: What Can You Do When It’s Difficult to Ask for Help?

The first step is to really understand where you need the most help. Sometimes as a caregiver you can get so bogged down in all that you have to do that you really don’t know what needs to happen next. You’re just running from one task to another. Take a few minutes and make a list. It will help.

Consider Family and Friends Who Could Help
Next you need to take a moment and consider who among your family and friends would be able and willing to help. Don’t worry yet about what you’ll ask them to do. This step is just about figuring out who you can ask for help. You might feel as if you can’t ask anyone for help, but that’s less accurate than you think. Write down anyone who has asked how they can help you.

Take a Deep Breath and Ask
This part is the hard part. Pick a task and pick a person. Then ask that person if they can do that task. There are so many reasons this is difficult, ranging from not wanting to be an inadequate caregiver to worrying that no one will help. Try to put all of that aside for now and know that just asking is a big step.

Let Go of Your Expectations
Once you ask for help and before you get an answer, try to let go of your expectations about the answer you’ll get. When you’re expecting one answer or another, you might miss some important details. For instance, your family member might tell you they can’t help with that task, or they can’t help this weekend. Those are important details. If the answer you get is a flat out no, that’s good to know because you can move on.

Hire Extra Help
You might not realize it, but there are other ways to get help. Hiring elder care providers can give you far more assistance than friends or family might be able to offer. They won’t argue with you and they’ve got the experience in dealing with the very situations you’re wrestling with daily.

One of the biggest lessons that you might learn as a caregiver is when you need to ask for help. It’s not always an easy lesson to learn, but it’s important.

Excerpt: Some caregivers find it really difficult to ask for help.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering a Caregiver in Wolfforth, TX, please contact the caring staff at Best In-Home Care (806) 412-0723.

Author Archives: Tracy D. Nelson

Osteopenia is a warning sign that your aging relative is on their way to developing full-blown osteoporosis. It is a condition characterized bones that are weaker than normal, but not to the point that the senior has osteoporosis. Understanding osteopenia can help family caregivers to prevent further bone health deterioration.


Osteopenia Basics

Elderly Care Slaton, TX: What is Osteopenia?

Most people reach their peak bone density when they are around the age of 30. Osteopenia usually happens after age 50. It happens when new bone tissue doesn’t form as quickly as old tissue is lost.

Doctors measure bone density using a bone density scan. The results are reported as a T score. People with osteoporosis have a T score that is higher than -2.5 but lower than -1.0. When the T score reaches -2.5 or lower, the senior is diagnosed with osteoporosis.

Some people are genetically predisposed to getting osteopenia because of a family history of it. Women also get the condition more often than men do. The reason for this is that women tend to have a lower bone mass than men do to begin with. They also typically have a longer lifespan than men do.


Causes of Osteopenia
Osteopenia can be caused by medical conditions, lifestyle changes, or a combination of both. Some medical conditions and treatments that can lead to osteopenia are:
• Celiac disease that is not treated.
• Hyperthyroidism. Using too much thyroid medication may also contribute to the problem.
• Chemotherapy and radiation.
• Some medications, such as steroids and anti-seizure medications.

Some lifestyle choices that increase the risk for osteopenia are:
• Not getting enough calcium or vitamin D.
• Lack of exercise.
• Smoking.
• Drinking excess alcohol.
• Carbonated beverages.


Preventing Osteoporosis
Even if your aging relative already has osteopenia, it may still be possible to keep it from progressing into osteoporosis. Experts recommend taking the following steps:
• Increase Calcium Intake: Good sources of calcium include dairy products, spinach, broccoli, dried beans, and salmon.
• Increase Vitamin D: Vitamin D is necessary for the body to absorb calcium. Seniors can get vitamin D from eggs, oily fish, and foods that have been fortified with vitamin D.
• Exercise: Weight bearing exercises can slow bone loss.


Elderly care providers can assist seniors to prevent osteoporosis. An elderly care provider can prepare meals and snacks that contain foods rich in calcium and vitamin D. An elderly care provider can even take the older adult shopping to purchase food. In addition, an elderly care provider can assist the older adult to engage in weight bearing exercises by driving them to the gym or watching over them while they exercise at home.


If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elderly Care Slaton, TX, please contact the caring staff at Best In-Home Care (806) 412-0723.


Author Archives: Tracy D. Nelson

Driving is a privilege in this country, not a right. This is something that has to be told to some individuals, including teenagers as they get antsy and want to fight for their independence. For an older individual, it’s also difficult for them to realize they don’t have a constitutionally guaranteed right to get behind the wheel and drive. However, not every senior who does have their license to drive and is driving still should be doing so.

That doesn’t mean every senior should have their license revoked, and many states have systems in place to test aging drivers more frequently to ensure they remain safe behind the wheel, but if you have an elderly parent whom you believe may not be as safe when they drive as they used to, how do you know it’s time to talk about the prospect of them giving up their license?


This can often be a contentious issue.

Home Care Littlefield, TX: Seniors and Driving

Most adult children, spouses, siblings, and others are concerned about the safety of their loved ones. There could be a number of reasons that indicate now might be the perfect time to have an honest and heartfelt discussion about safety behind the wheel.

For one thing, this aging parent might have been involved in a recent accident. One minor fender bender may not tell you very much about their actual safety when driving. Your elderly mother might have never been involved in an accident in her life. She might have never received a speeding ticket or other moving violation.

So, is one simple fender bender a clear sign she is no longer safe behind the wheel? Of course not, but if her mental or physical capacities have diminished to the point that it makes her unsafe, there will likely be other incidences that cause concern.

Second, she may be reluctant to go to the store herself. If she is calling you to take a ride to the store with her more often because you live in town and you are more than willing to help, what does that say about her confidence level?

Maybe she’s only concerned about walking around the store by herself, but what if she asks you to drive instead? She might be feeling unsafe behind the wheel but is afraid to bring the topic up.

If you discuss it in an understanding, nonjudgmental way, you may be surprised to realize your aging parent is just as concerned as you are and ready to hang up the keys.


If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Care Littlefield, TX, please contact the caring staff at Best In-Home Care (806) 412-0723.

Author Archives: Tracy D. Nelson

Dementia keeps your senior from experiencing the world the way that you do. The changes in her brain from dementia can also cause her to react unexpectedly, sometimes in anger, and sometimes in other highly emotional ways. If those outbursts are happening more often, there might be a reason.

Ask for a Medication Review

Elder Care Levelland, TX: Solutions if Your Senior Is Having Outbursts

One of the first things you need to do is to talk to your senior’s doctor about her medications. If she’s recently changed any of her medications or increased the dosages, that could be contributing to the increase in outbursts you’re seeing. It could also be possible that your senior’s medications are disorienting for her, which also means that a medication review is in order.

Rule Out Physical Causes
Part of the cruelty of dementia is that your elderly family member can’t express what’s going on within her body in the same way that she might have in the past. That means that if she’s in pain or she’s experiencing other physical symptoms, she can’t really tell you or her doctor about that. Her doctor can run some tests, however, and take a look at possible physical causes so that you can either solve them or rule those out.

Take a Look at Her Daily Routine
People with dementia tend to do very well with a regular daily routine. Routines provide structure for your senior and they help her to understand what to expect from every day. She might be much less anxious after you establish a routine that works for both of you. Adjust her routine until you find the right combination for her.

Do What You Can to Create a Serene Environment
Having a calm, serene environment helps, too. Your senior picks up on how you’re feeling and if you’re agitated and on edge, she might feel that she needs to be alert for danger, too. Hiring elder care providers can be a huge help in keeping your senior’s environment as calm as possible. They can also help you to tweak your senior’s routine until it flows perfectly for her. That can help you both to be calmer, too, since your senior will be more likely to sleep well and have easygoing days.

As upsetting as this is for you, remember that it’s no fun for your senior, either. She needs your help in order to experience relief, though. Stay calm and remember that this is not something that your senior is taking out on you personally.

Excerpt: Your senior’s dementia changes how her brain operates, which might mean she’s having outbursts more often. Here’s what you can do.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elder Care Levelland, TX, please contact the caring staff at Best In-Home Care (806) 412-0723.

Author Archives: Tracy D. Nelson

Plain old water is one of the best ways to hydrate your senior, but it isn’t the only option. And if your elderly family member is resistant to drinking water as much as she really should, you’ve probably already learned that hydration is crucial. These tips can make water a bigger part of your senior’s day, even if it’s in something else.

Find out How Much Water She Needs

Senior Care Plainview, TX: Seniors Drinking Enough Water

Everybody needs water, but not necessarily the same amount. So sticking to arbitrary goals like eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day might not be right for your senior. Factors like the foods that she eats, because many include water, can reduce the water she absolutely needs to drink. Talk with your senior’s doctor about how much water she really should be getting every day.

Take the Focus Off Plain Water
If you’re still trying to get her to drink plain water and she absolutely hates it, you’re setting yourself up for a battle of wills that you might not win. Taking the emphasis off plain water and leaning more heavily on other ideas can help. Fruits that are high in water content, like melons, might be one option.

Try New Recipes and Delivery Methods
Switching up the delivery methods your senior is offered can help so much. You might consider making lemon popsicles, for instance. They might be mostly water with a little bit of lemon juice and a small amount of sweetener. Or you might consider adding a cold soup to dinner a few nights a week. Experiment a bit and see what you can find that your elderly family member finds enjoyable.

Watch Sugar and Salt, Though
One thing you do need to watch is how much sugar and salt are in your alternatives. Depending on her health, too much excess salt or sugar can create big problems for your elderly family member. Reduce the need for those ingredients as much as you can while still offering your senior flavors that she enjoys. Relying on other spices, seasonings, and flavors can help so much when you’re trying to give her something tasty and hydrating.

Sometimes having someone else offering water and other solutions can be what your senior needs, oddly enough. Senior care providers can help to monitor your elderly family member’s water intake throughout the day and let you know what’s working best as a method of keeping her properly hydrated.

Excerpt: It can be really difficult to help your senior to hydrate if she doesn’t enjoy drinking water. These ideas can help.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering Senior Care in Plainview, TX, please contact the caring staff at Best In-Home Care (806) 412-0723.

Author Archives: Tracy D. Nelson

It can be easy to think of older adults who are retired as “living the good life.” They have few responsibilities, and life should be stress-free. Unfortunately, that’s often not the case for seniors. Some experience higher levels of stress than they did when they were younger. Stress is not only emotionally distressing, but it can have an impact on physical health. Being able to identify when your elderly parent is feeling stressed can allow you to get them the help they need.


What Causes Seniors to Be Stressed?

Home Care Tahoka, TX: Signs Your Aging Parent is Stressed

According to the American Psychological Association, older adults may experience stress for a variety of reasons, including:
• Mobility problems that make it hard for them to accomplish daily activities of living.
• Having serious health problems, like heart disease.
• Having less of a feeling of well-being.
• Being less satisfied with life.

They may also worry about being safe at home, fearing falling and no one being there to help. Or, living on an income that is significantly less than when they were working might be difficult. Some seniors are stressed at the idea of losing their independence, thinking they might one day have to move to a long-term care facility or in with family members. They may also fear being a burden on others.


What Are the Symptoms of Stress?
Chronic stress can cause all kinds of symptoms in older adults, from cognitive ones to physical ones. Some signs your aging parent is feeling stressed are:
• Having trouble remembering things.
• Not being able to pay attention.
• Depression.
• Irritability.
• Constant worrying.
• A negative attitude.
• Physical aches and pains.
• Catching colds or the flu more often.
• Digestive symptoms, like diarrhea or nausea.
• Chest pain.
• Rapid heart rate.
• Changes in eating habits.
• Changes in sleeping habits.
• Avoiding interacting with others.
• Drinking alcohol to relax.
• Engaging in nervous habits, like biting fingernails.


Can Home Care Help Reduce Stress?
Home care can absolutely help older adults to have less stress in their lives. Home care providers can alleviate fears about being alone too much and worries that they may become injured or ill without others noticing. Home care providers can improve emotional well-being simply by bringing a cheerful and friendly presence into the house and being someone, your parent can look forward to seeing. Because home care providers can assist with many household tasks, including cooking and cleaning, they can allow seniors to stay in their home longer than they might otherwise be able to. And, since home care providers are paid professionals, there’s no need for your parent to feel like they are being a burden to anyone.


If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Care in Tahoka, TX, please contact the caring staff at Best In-Home Care (806) 412-0723.


Author Archives: Tracy D. Nelson

One thing most family caregivers never have enough of is time. Many caregivers are stretched thin because of caregiver duties, work, family responsibilities, and other things. You may wish you could spend less time on certain things so you can have more time for others. Knowing some strategies that can help family caregivers to save time could just find you with a few extra minutes each time all for yourself. Below are 5 ways to save some time as a caregiver.


#1: Plan Care Ahead of Time

Caregiver Shallowater, TX: 5 Ways to Save Time as a Caregiver

Spending some time each week to go over the plan for your aging relative’s care can save time by eliminating a sudden rush to find someone to care for them when you realize there’s a gap in care. Double check the schedule with all caregivers involved, both family and professional. Also, make sure the appropriate people are aware of appointments they will be responsible for taking the older adult to.

#2: Prioritize
Create a list of all the things that need to be done. Then, prioritize it by moving the things that are urgent to the top of the list. Move things that can wait toward the bottom. Continuously update the list and reprioritize. Know that it’s okay to let the less urgent items wait a little longer if you need some “me time.”

#3: Touch Paperwork Once
When you receive a piece of paperwork, like a medical bill, try to deal with it right away or at least try to put it in the appropriate file to be dealt with at the appropriate time. When you continuously shuffle papers around a desk, you may lose something, which will cost you time in tracking it down. In addition, starting to deal with an issue, stopping, and going back to it later can result in reworking the first steps.

#4: Make Sure All Caregivers Know Their Responsibilities
When there is confusion about which caregiver is responsible for what task, it can result in things being done twice or not getting done at all. Schedule a meeting with all caregivers to talk about each person’s roles. It can also be helpful for the primary caregiver to send out a weekly list of tasks and assign caregivers to handle them.

#5: Schedule “Me Time”
Sometimes you simply need to schedule time for yourself, otherwise you may not ever get a chance to do the things you enjoy. In addition, when you take a break from caregiving, you may return feeling refreshed and able to get through tasks more quickly.


If you or an aging loved-one are considering a Caregiver in Shallowater, TX, please contact the caring staff at Best In-Home Care (806) 412-0723.


Author Archives: Tracy D. Nelson

Dry eye syndrome happens when a person’s eyes don’t make enough tears to keep their eyes lubricated, or they make tears, but not of a good quality. It’s an uncomfortable feeling that can make your older family member’s eyes sting or burn. Knowing more about what causes dry eye and how you can help the senior to ease the symptoms can make them feel a lot better.


About Dry Eye and Its Causes

Elderly Care Post, TX: Dry Eyes and Seniors

In addition to a stinging or burning sensation, dry eye can cause many other symptoms, including:
• Mucus in the corners of the eyes that is of a stringy consistency.
• Light sensitivity.
• Red eyes.
• Feeling like there is something in the eyes.
• Trouble driving at night.
• Watery eyes.
• Blurry vision.
• Tired eyes.

In most cases, dry eyes are caused by the eyes not producing enough tears. A decrease in tear production can be caused by many things, including:
• Getting older.
• Some medical conditions, like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and thyroid problems.
• Certain medications can cause dry eye as a side effect, such as antihistamines, medicines for high blood pressure, and some used for Parkinson’s disease.
• Damage to tear glands from radiation or inflammation.


What to Do About Dry Eye
Dry eye is often triggered by environmental factors that can be avoided. Some of the ways you can help your aging relative to avoid dry eye symptoms are:
• Choose the Right Place to Sit: Make sure they sit in places where air from open windows, fans, or air conditioners are not blowing into their eyes.
• Avoid Dry Air: Use a humidifier in the house to increase moisture in the air. This is especially important in the winter when heating the house can dry out the air.
• Use Eyewear: Encourage the older adult to wear protective eyewear, such as wraparound sunglasses. If they wear glasses, you can purchase shields that attack to them and keep air from entering from the tops or sides and hitting the eyes.
• Take Breaks: Remind them to take breaks from reading or looking at computer screens for a long period of time.
• Quit Smoking: If the older adult smokes, quitting can help to protect their eyes. If they don’t smoke, discourage people from smoking around them.


Elderly care providers can assist older adults to lessen symptoms of dry eye. An elderly care provider can help them to find the best place to sit to avoid air blowing into their eyes. Elderly care providers can also keep a humidifier running in the house, keeping it filled and clean. And, an elderly care provider can remind others not to smoke around the senior because it can irritate their eyes.


If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elderly Care in Post, TX, please contact the caring staff at Best In-Home Care (806) 412-0723.