Halloween for the Elderly: COVID-proof Activities and Ideas

Halloween is only a week away. Now is the time to start preparing for trick-or-treaters, scheduling get-togethers and planning for other spooky Halloween festivities. If you are a senior citizen in Philadelphia or the child/grandchild of a local senior, do not assume the elderly cannot partake in all the fun Halloween activities. Be creative and you will find there are several ways to safely participate in Halloween even as the pandemic continues.

Whip up Some Tasty Halloween Treats

You can socially distance without completely skipping Halloween. Stay inside this year, bake some delicious cookies, cupcakes and other sugary concoctions with your family and play some Halloween music to get into the spirit of the holiday. A Graveyard Cake, a Berry Scary Martini and a Brainy Cupcake will lift your spirit and also provide something sweet to enjoy. 

A Halloween Movie Marathon

Instead of venturing out to a Philadelphia movie theater and risking exposure to coronavirus, stay inside and watch a couple Halloween movies with your parent, grandparent or other elderly relative. Fill a bowl with Halloween candy, stretch out on the couch with some warm blankets and enjoy a Halloween movie marathon.

Hold a Scavenger Hunt

If your parent or other elderly loved one is capable of walking and bending over without significant pain, hold a scavenger hunt on Halloween afternoon. Hide sweets and diminutive Halloween decorations around the house, dress up in a spooky costume and have a contest to see who can find the most Halloween treasures.

Create Your own Halloween Costume

As long as your beloved senior citizen doesn’t have painful hand/finger arthritis, creating a Halloween costume will be fun and fulfilling. Break out the sewing machine, draw some costume designs and bring them to life. Once your Halloween costumes are ready to go, load up on the candy and wait by the door for trick-or-treaters. 

Just be sure the costume you select doesn’t have a mask that restricts airflow.  Also, lean toward costumes that are more of a snug fit than a loose fit as costume elements that dangle or drag are that much more likely to result in a potentially debilitating trip and fall.

Consider Holding a Virtual Halloween Party

In-person Halloween parties will undoubtedly occur throughout the greater Philadelphia area and beyond this October. However, surrounding yourself with potential virus-carriers is especially dangerous if you are a senior citizen. 

You can enjoy the company of others without leaving your home by participating in a virtual Halloween party. If you are a Philadelphia senior citizen, ask your care provider or a family member to help you set up a Zoom videoconference where you interact with your family and friends through your computer and you won’t have to spend this Halloween alone. Be sure to don your favorite Halloween costume during the virtual get-together to enjoy this special time of the year to the fullest.

Schedule Home Care With AmeriBest

There is no shame in asking for help, especially when you have reached your golden years. If you or a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle in Philadelphia need assistance in the home, reach out to AmeriBest today. You can reach our Philadelphia care providers by phone at 215-925-3313 or through our contact form.

Learn More American Heart Month This February

Learn More American Heart Month This February - AmeriBest Home Care

Humans are constantly worrying about dangers across the world, deep at sea, or high in the sky. We indulge our fantasies with far off worries, forgetting to look at what is actually nearby.

And in doing so, we miss the dangers lurking right outside our own doorsteps. Dangers that could otherwise be avoided. Dangers that need our full attention.

Which leads us to the topic of heart disease, one of the leading causes of death.

So this February, focus on the here and now, and help us honor American Heart Month.

What is American Heart Month?

Thousands of Americans suffer from heart diseases, heart attacks, and heart failures. Unfortunately, seniors and those around them often don’t recognize the symptoms of heart disease. This lets the problem sit unattended to and grow until it’s almost too late.

That’s why February’s American Hearth Month is so important. This is the time of year that Americans all over the country dedicate time and energy to bringing valuable, life-saving information to the attention of all.

Learn more about heart disease and help raise awareness.

Your knowledge just might save your loved one’s life.

What are some signs of heart disease?

There are many known types of heart disease. But what most of them have in common is that they are essentially a buildup of plaque around the arteries. The problem with this is that the plaque then takes up room in the arteries, narrowing the amount of space that the blood can move through. This means, that the heart has to work that much harder to pump blood through the body.

Because the heart is over worked and for less blood circulation, heart disease can often lead to heart attacks, strokes, or heart failure.

Of course, different heart diseases exhibit different symptoms.

However, here are some to be aware of:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Skin discoloration
  • Irregular heartbeat

What are ways to prevent heart disease?

Eat healthy.

Foods like fish, oatmeal, olive oil, and flaxseed are considered to be great foods for the heart.

Exercise regularly.

Getting in regular exercise is essential to having a healthy heart. It doesn’t have to be an intense workout, but walks and cardio workouts are great for getting the blood pumping and the oxygen in your body moving.

Avoid stress.

Too much stress, and for too long, can actually have physical ramifications for one’s heart. So take things step by step, avoiding too much stress.

What to do if you see someone having a heart attack?

If you notice your senior experiencing any symptoms of a heart attack, don’t panic. Call 911 immediately, even if you’re unsure. For the sake of your loved one, it’s better to make a mistake calling than not to call at all. And, trust us, the police will be forgiving.

If your senior is unconscious and help has not arrived yet, start CPR. A dispatcher from the police station should talk you through the motions. Or at least how to do basic chest compressions.

Stay alert and educated for American Heart Month.

The Truth Behind Caregiving: Stats and Prognosis

The Truth Behind Caregiving - AmeriBest Home Care

A Caregiver Defined

Before we jump into the technical details, let’s take a moment to define what a caregiver really is and does.

In its basic form, caregiving is simply caring for the needs and wellbeing of another. This could be for any age- children, young adults, or seniors. And so, a caregiver is someone who provides this caregiving service for another individual.

Now, within the caregiving world, caregivers are divided into two categories regardless of the age of their recipients: volunteer caregivers and paid caregivers.

Volunteer caregivers are generally those who care for a family member and thus do not get paid.

Paid caregivers, on the other hand, are often professional health aides who require a salary or stipend to work.

However, as we’ll explain further on, you can actually be a caregiver for your family and get paid. Stay tuned!

The Facts Uncovered

  • In a study done in 2015, Americans were placed at around 34.2 million for the number of unpaid caregivers that provided service to adults aged 50 and older. Which is basically saying, that caregiving is in high demand, and yet not many caregivers are receiving compensation.
  • In 2013, the economic value of volunteer caregivers was placed at 470 billion dollars. That means, that the amount of work volunteer caregivers complete, as well as the type of work they provide, is worth billions. And yet, many caregivers don’t know that they can actually be getting paid for the valuable services they provide.
  • Females make up most of the caregiving world. Although the number of male caregivers is on the rise, most of the work still currently lands on women’s shoulders. Women often spend more time caregiving for family and clients than men do. This means that women have less time to commit to themselves and/or a full-time job.

Family Members Turned Caregivers

Unfortunately, we are living through a time where there are simply not enough caregivers to go around. Many place this crisis on the fact that now most baby boomers are reaching an age where they need more at-home health care.

For this reason, many family members take up the role of primary caregiver for senior parents and loved ones, instead of hiring outside help. While caregiving is a wonderfully selfless job, if it’s done unpaid, it makes life a little harder on the caregiver.

When you’ve got a full-time job, kids, hobbies, and your own health to consider, it’s difficult to come home and give the rest of your energy to caregiving. Especially, if you’re pressed for money and time.

A simple solution to this: Get paid to be a caregiver.

Getting Paid to be a Caregiver with AmeriBest

It’s no secret- you can get paid to be a caregiver.

At AmeriBest, we’ll help you find the position that suits you best.

Then, we’ll train you!

No stress, no worry.

We want you to be the very best caregiver you can be. And we’ll give you all the tools, education, and experience necessary to accomplish that goal. But most importantly, we’ll get you the money you deserve.

With the AmeriBest training program, you’re not just learning any old task. You’re learning a career. And in doing so, you’re becoming a part of a caregiving family that has your best interests at heart.

When you’re ready to get paid for the work you do, give us a call at 1800-HOMECARE or 215-925-3313.

Keeping Up with New Year’s Resolutions for Seniors

Keeping Up with New Year’s Resolutions for Seniors - AmeriBest Home Care

They may seem like nonsense, but New Year’s resolutions actually hold a lot of power.
Especially, for seniors.

New Year’s resolutions are important because they set your sights on the future. They keep you moving forward and focused on a better life- even if the past has been a difficult one.

As seniors get older, they often get lost in regrets and “what ifs.”
When that happens, they can easily find themselves stuck in a spiral that takes them deeper and deeper into the angst of past events.

And, that’s where New Year’s resolutions come in.

New Year’s resolutions give seniors hope. They can pull seniors out of the deepest of spirals by shifting their perspectives from a lost past to an attainable future.

So, this bright 2020, help your senior make a powerful New Year’s resolution that will last.

Easy New Year’s Resolutions for You and Your Senior

On the other hand, choosing a resolution that’s too easy will make you feel bored and unfulfilled.

That’s why the best tip for keeping new year’s resolutions is choosing the right resolution from the get-go.

Some good new year’s resolutions for you and your senior to try are:

  1. Exercise 1.5 hours a week
  2. Volunteer once a month
  3. Read 13 books
  4. Host family night every 2 weeks
  5. Start and finish 50% of a project you’ve been pushing off
  6. Smile when you see a stranger

Making New Year’s Resolutions Last Longer

It’s easy to make New Year’s resolutions. It’s harder to keep them and make them last longer than January.

However, there are a few tips and tricks that can really help you stick to your guns, and fulfill your resolution. The best one we can tell you today is: Schedule a time.

Telling ourselves “I’ll do it later,” is one of the biggest traps we fall for, because, we all know that later all too easily turns into never.

The best way to dodge this fall is by scheduling a specific time to do your resolution. If it’s a broader resolution, you can plan one day a week that you’ll be more cognizant of it. If it’s a specific resolution, you can plan a more specific time.

You wouldn’t miss an appointment you make with others, so don’t miss an appointment you make with yourself.

Helping Your Seniors Stick to Their Resolutions

If you notice that your senior is having trouble sticking to his or her New Year’s resolution, there are a few ways in which you can help.

First, check-in on your senior’s progress. We all need reminders every now and then, and we all need a little peer pressure – the good kind. Call up your senior and politely ask, “how’s the resolution going?” It might be enough to get them going again.

If that doesn’t work, the second thing you can do is offer to join them in their resolution. You don’t have to join in every time, but once and a while could really help your senior stay motivated.

And lastly, give encouraging words. If your senior is falling behind, remind them why they chose that resolution in the first place. Stress the fact that it’s never too late to get back on track.

5 Holiday Ideas Your Elderly Parents Will Love

5 Holiday Ideas Your Elderly Parents Will Love - AmeriBest Home Care

Holiday planning can be tricky.

Of course, you want your holiday plans to include fun and meaningful activities with your family. But, finding activities that everyone wants to do? Well, it’s not always the easiest thing to accomplish.

Especially with aging parents. Because you have to find activities that go beyond the generation gap. Activities that are easy and easily accessible. Activities that will really bring you and your parents closer together for the holiday season.

It’s a tall order.

Lucky for you, we’ve created a list of 5 wonderful holiday ideas aging parents will love. If you were having trouble making plans, check out this list for some easy, meaningful tips and activities.

Bake some treats.

Everyone loves food.
Particularly holiday treats.

Choose one of your or your parents’ favorite holiday goodies, and bake away!

This is a great activity because it allows you to chat and catch up while doing the activity. And, it’s extremely accommodating. You can bake standing up, sitting down. You can bake more challenging treats like gingerbread houses or easy treats like cake mix brownies.

Baking is so versatile, you can’t go wrong.

Bring out the old photos.

Some of the best memories are created while sharing old memories.
Dust off the old photo albums and pull up some chairs for the whole family to see.

Reminiscing about the good ol’ days is always a fun and meaningful activity. The pictures you find or the memories you recall will make you smile and cry. By the end of the night, you might even find yourself rolling with laughter.

It’s a wonderful experience for all.

Decorate galore.

Where you spend your holidays is almost as important as how you spend your holidays.
If the room is drab and sad, no amount of lively activity will brighten the mood.

So, bring some extra cheer into the house with a bit of decorating!

Like baking, this is another activity that allows you to talk and spend quality time with your elderly parents. Even if they can’t reach all the tall places, they’ll still enjoy chatting while you climb up a ladder.

There’s nothing more magical than creating something together.

See the show.

If you’re looking to get out of the house, some of the most wonderful shows play this time of year. Operas, Broadway shows, plays, or even just movies. Your choices are unlimited.

Find a genre or theme both you and your elderly parents love.
Then buy the tickets, and head on out!

Pro Tip: Plan this activity in advance. Tickets during this season sell out fast!

Book a spa.

Whether it’s foot massages for the dads or manicures for the moms, spas are a great holiday activity.

Not only do spa days get you out of the house, they do so while being easily accessible to aging parents. And, if you can book a room together, you’ll have plenty of time to chat about life and other fun things.

Happy holidays!