8 Ways to Fight Allergies in the Elderly

Seasonal allergies often sneak up on us and cause large discomfort. Taking control of your loved one’s allergies to prevent future illness can greatly boost their comfort levels. There are various precautionary measures you can take to maintain your loved one’s health and wellness; we will discuss some serious pointers below!

1.     Know their symptoms — itchy eyes, a scratchy throat, a stuffy nose, and coughing are the leading symptoms. If they begin exemplifying these symptoms, take action immediately.

2.     Visit the physician — make an appointment with your loved one’s physician as soon as possible in order to discuss the options you have at hand to subtle the effects of allergies.

3.     Prevent the use of antihistamines — the elderly does not benefit from antihistamines as the younger population does due to the medications side effects, such as drowsiness, confusion and dizziness. Instead, get a prescribed medication from a doctor.

4.     Change up your diet — increase your consumption of apples, walnuts, leafy greens, ginger and anything high in Vitamin C content.

5.     Sweeten your meals with local honey — local honey has higher percentages of the pollen present in the community, acting as a natural antibiotic against seasonal allergies. Make a peanut butter and honey sandwich, sweeten your coffee or tea with honey, or eat a spoonful of honey in the morning!

6.     Wear sunglasses — sunglasses act as a blocking force, permitting less pollen to agitate your eyes.

7.     Wash your hands frequently — this will decrease the transfer of pollen from your hands to your face, lowering the uncomfortable symptoms allergies bring with them.

8.     Dry your laundry inside — this will prevent the excessive transfer of allergens from outside to inside the home.

Remember to keep tabs on your loved one and their health as the seasons change. The elder population is most susceptible to illness as we move into the fall/winter seasons. Take charge and keep your loved one healthy, happy and comfortable this year!

6 Points for the Discussion of Revoking Driving Privileges

      Slowly revoking your loved ones independence is a trialing, emotional task. One of the hardest facets of maintaining their safety while decreasing their independence revolves around the driving question: “When is it no longer safe for my parent to drive?”. Some questions you may not have answers for on this topic include: When is it no longer safe for them to drive? How do I approach the conversation? How do I ensure they remain calm and listen to my worries about their safety? How do I prevent offending them? We have many years of experience on this topic, and we are here to help!

     If you believe their motor skills are beginning to decline, start allowing them to drive when you run errands with them. This will allow you to fully observe their driving skills and make a more informed decision as to when the discussion should take place. This will also prevent your loved one from getting as aggravated that you ‘do not know what you are talking about.’  After a few test runs, after the observances have been made and you have decided they are no longer fit to drive, how do you bring up the conversation?

1.)   Prepare yourself for the conversation by preparing your mood; remember to stay calm, loving and caring throughout the discussion. Do not raise your voice or attempt to not argue when the conversation gets tough.

2.)   Schedule the conversation in advance, in a neutral place, such as a coffee shop. This will help your loved one to be prepared so that they are not caught off guard.

3.)   Start the conversation by explaining how dearly you love them, that you are only looking out for their safety, that you understand how important their independence is and that you are only attempting to help maintain their independence by preventing unnecessary injuries via car crashes.

4.)   Present them a game plan for how they will be able to transport themselves from point A to point B without their own vehicle. Look into the options Uber provides, check to see if any driving services are available for seniors in your area. Speak with your family members about when they are free and available to help your loved one.

5.)   Assure your loved one that they will not become socially isolated at home without their vehicle. Schedule weekly dinners with friends, family and neighbors so that they continue to have engagements to look forward to.

6.)   Remember to stay calm and loving throughout the conversation. Put yourself in their shoes by understanding how difficult this conversation must be for them.

    These talks will certainly be difficult, preparation is key. Preparation will ensure the conversation goes smoothly, feelings are not hurt, and success is achieved by the end of the difficult talk. 

Winter is Coming

Are you prepared? Have you assisted your elderly loved one or neighbor in preparing their home for the cold? It is especially important to safeguard your loved one’s home from the frosty flakes of winter, as they are more fragile and have difficulties in the tasks we continue to complete with ease. For your aide, we have compiled a checklist to ensure they are comfortable in their home as the weather begins to change.

1)    Check to make sure all windows and doors are properly sealed to ensure no extra cold air gets through the cracks. Apply new caulking to cracks. If windows are too cold, hang a thick blanket or buy thicker curtains to trap the cold air.

2)    Get thermostats checked to ensure they will properly heat the house.

3)    Rake the leaves and shovel the snow on all sidewalks and driveways to prevent falls. Also check the gutters to maintain their functionality.

4)    Does your loved one have enough warm blankets? Consider buying a heated blanket for their bed to keep them warm throughout the night.

5)    Clear the fireplace of all flammable materials near and far. Have someone come out and clean the chimney so the fireplace works without a hitch! *Buy a fire extinguisher for their home.

6)    Encourage your loved one to eat healthy, hearty, warm foods and drink warm beverages to maintain their body heat and strength. Take them shopping for the proper nutrition.

7)    Stay on top of their bills to save them money and ensure their hot water and heat never turn off.

8)    Buy your loved one non-slip boots to prevent falls. Have him or her try on their winter coat. If it no longer fits, take them to purchase a new one.

Winter is no joke in Oklahoma! As we know, the snow and ice storms can hit unexpectedly. The best way to ensure your loved ones comfort and safety this winter is to prepare early! 

7 Tips to Maintain Comfort in the Hot, Hot Heat This Summer

Healthcare, Homecare, Assisted Living, Respite Care, Caregiving, Caregivers, Oxford, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Aging, Parents

The Oklahoma summer heat is dreaded by all, each and every year. How do you plan to stay cool, hydrated and beat the heat this season? We’ve got some helpful hints to keep you and your loved one’s in high spirits, while maintaining lower internal temperatures this summer!

1)    Hydration

Try infusing your water with fresh fruit to give it a sweet, yet subtle, kick. Some excellent flavorful additions include strawberries, cucumbers, or pineapples. Always keep a bottle of water at hand. Avoid over indulging in alcohol and caffeinated beverages as they will lead to dehydration.

2)    Snack Refreshingly

Avoid salty, processed foods as snacks. Instead, choose fruits dipped in yogurt, natural popsicles (or make your own frozen fruit-sicles), veggies dipped in hummus or ranch, or a caprese salad!

3)    Skin Protection

Lather sunscreen on, religiously. Don’t forget to protect your hands, feet, and pay special attention to your nose. If you’re planning on being in the sun for an extended period of time, bring a hat!

4)    Proper Attire

Light colors, light weight, loose fitting clothing made from all natural fabrics, such as cotton, are the most comfortable and breathable in the summer. Ensure your loved one has comfortable, light weight tennis shoes for the summer!

5)    Smart Transportation

Do not wait for the bus or walk to your destination in the hot hot heat! Grab a taxi, call a family member or friend, or call a local transportation service.

6)    Temperature Control

If your loved one is still living alone, don’t forget to check the thermostat when you go to visit! They’re home should not be set over 75°.

7)    Knowledge of Overheating

Signs Include: intense sweating, dizziness, nausea, paleness, a fast but weak pulse and fast, shallow breathing. Move your loved one into the shade, a cooler space and give them some water.

Don’t let the heat ruin your fun this summer! Stay hydrated and protected with the tips we’ve provided for you here!

7 Steps to Having the 'Tough Talk' With Your Parents

Healthcare, Homecare, Assisted Living, Respite Care, Caregiving, Caregivers, Oxford, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Aging, Parents

Planning care for your aging parent is a time consuming, emotionally draining task. While there are many options for elder care, making the best choice is crucial. How much help do they need? Can they still drive? Is it safe for them to continue cooking, cleaning and grooming themselves? These are all questions that Oxford can help you to answer before having ‘the talk.’  In order to sustain a positive conversation leading to the best choice of assistance, starting the conversation early will lead to more beneficial outcomes.

It is pertinent to have in-depth conversations with your loved ones to fully understand their preferences, ensuring a smoother transition. Maintaining open communication and truly listening to their desires allows your loved one to continue to feel their independence. You achieve a positive dialogue with patience, kindness, understanding and problem-solving teamwork. We have outlined a step-by-step approach to analyzing your parents’ behavior and finding the perfect, personalized care routine for their comfort.

1)    Assess their behaviors (grooming, house cleaning, cooking, driving, etc.)

2)    Lightly brush the subject of their independence by referring to someone else you may know who now receives help

3)    Review their reactions to help guide your approach to the talk

4)    Research the available options in their community so that you can steer the conversation with facts, granting them the possibility to make the most educated decision, leading to a higher likelihood of happiness

5)    Have the conversation: start with light, fun topics to open their warmth and receptiveness to the difficult discussion. Always approach the options with a teamwork mindset, problem-solving together for the best solution.

6)    Allow time for your loved one to assess their options and needs

7)    Softly approach the conversation until a decision is made. If necessary, you may need to get the family doctor involved to decide on a solution.

Although the conversation is difficult for everyone involved, it is best to start early and hash out a plan for your loved one’s optimal future. At Oxford HealthCare, our knowledgeable staff can help guide you and your family each step of the way to ensure a comfortable future for your loved one with a personalized care plan. What are you waiting for? Spring forward with Oxford; let’s get the conversation started today.