Alzheimers Help from a Funny Path

Alzheimer’s Help Comes Via Comic Relief!

You could call it the double whammy. Research released earlier this year from the Alzheimer’s Association revealed that women are at the “epicenter of Alzheimer’s disease” in more ways than one.

The report finds that while women age 65 and older are almost twice as likely as senior men to develop the disease, they also are 2.5 times more likely than men to provide full-time care for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is sure to have far-reaching effects throughout the world as the population continues to age. In fact, nearly two-thirds of Americans – both men and women – have had personal experience with someone with Alzheimer’s disease and/or a serious memory loss problem, according to a Marist Poll conducted for Home Instead Senior Care®.

The strain of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease should never be underestimated. Alzheimer’s family caregivers sometimes feel as though they must handle the load of caregiving on their own. If you’re a family caregiver, you may be feeling the stress as well.

The consequences of trying to take on too much without asking for help could be devastating.
In fact, research conducted for the Home Instead Senior Care network reveals that caregivers who try to hide their emotions are 2.3 times more likely than other caregivers to have experienced depression since becoming a caregiver.

If this all sounds like you, consider how to get a helping hand from family, friends and professional caregivers. Others want to help. That’s why Home Instead Senior Care has partnered with Hilarity for Charity to establish the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Relief Grant Program. The program awards grants for free Alzheimer’s care services to families providing care to a loved one living with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia.Alzheimers Care: Santa Clarita, CA

The Alzheimer’s care grants will be awarded in the U.S. and Canada as determined by the Hilarity for Charity Advisory Board. Hilarity for Charity was started by comedian Seth Rogen and his wife, Lauren Miller Rogen, whose mother has early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Rogen’s comedy events help raise funds for Alzheimer’s research and respite.

Although the program is North American in scope, it’s one way that Home Instead franchise owners can give back to their communities. Services will be provided by local CAREGivers throughout the U.S. and Canada who are trained to deal with the behavioral symptoms and special challenges of Alzheimer’s disease. These CAREGivers are just around the corner, in your own neighborhood!

What’s more, CAREGivers have completed the Home Instead Senior Care® network’s person-centered approach to Alzheimer’s care This approach can help seniors cope with the challenges often associated with Alzheimer’s while enabling them to continue doing what they can on their own in the comfort of home. Home Instead’s unique Alzheimer’s and other dementia training program was developed as part of its CARE: Changing Aging through Research and EducationSM program. This expert-endorsed program equips Home Instead CAREGivers of Santa Clarita to provide the highest quality of customized care.

Alzheimers Care Choices: [city], [state]Most important, the support of CAREGivers can help those with a dementia illness continue to enjoy favorite activities and the pleasures of life for as long as possible. Quite simply, participating in favorite activities remains one of the best non-medical treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.

To be considered for an Alzheimer’s care grant, fill out and submit a grant application . Don’t suffer in silence, or alone. Help is on the way!

For more information, contact Home Instead Senior Care Santa Clarita and Antelope Valley at (661) 254-8701 or Ask us a question about Senior Alzheimer’s Care.

Home Instead Senior Care Foundation GivingTuesday

Join the National #GivingTuesday Movement to Encourage Charitable Giving for the Benefit of Our Seniors.Home Instead Senior Care Foundation: GivingTuesday

The Home Instead Senior Care Foundation aims to help communities adapt to their growing senior population.

On December 2, 2014 charities, corporations, small businesses, and individuals unite from across the globe to inspire giving for a good cause called #GivingTuesday.

At Home Instead Senior Care Foundation, we see the future in a whole new light. The growing senior population stirs a sense of possibility.
Seniors are valuable members of our society – they enrich our communities and our lives. We are called to embrace aging adults and empower them so they can achieve a greater quality of life.

View our Press Release for more info: GivingTuesday-

Deliver Media, a Tampa, FL based marketing and advertising company, will present the 1st donation of the day on #GivingTuesday to get momentum building. Deliver Media is working with the Home Instead Senior Care Foundation to bring awareness to the needs of seniors.,

For more information, contact Home Instead Senior Care Santa Clarita and Antelope Valley at (661) 254-8701 or Ask us a question about Senior Home Care.

Walking the Talk: Conversations for successful aging: Santa Clarita

It’s easy to put off sensitive family discussions. Perhaps you’re a family caregiver worried about whether or not Dad is still safe to drive. No problem avoiding that awkward subject until next week, right?

Could be you’re a widow who is struggling to maintain her home. Why worry your adult children with these concerns, you’re thinking. After all, they’re busy with their own lives.

So what if you dodge those touchy topics for another day or week or month. Not a big deal, right? Not necessarily. Tongue-tied families are paying for procrastinating on a wide variety of subjects, new research conducted by the Home Instead Senior Care® network reveals.Senior Care Tough Talks: Santa Clarita, CA

Seventy percent of family conversations about aging are prompted by an event such as a health crisis or other emergency, senior care professionals reported in the study. That can leave so many older adults and their family caregivers vulnerable at the most difficult of times, such as when a stroke has happened or a car accident has occurred. It’s so important to start these conversations, but even more important to finish them. That’s why Home Instead Senior Care developed the 40-70 Rule®: An Action Plan for Successful AgingSM.

The 40-70 Rule refers to the ages when critical conversation should have taken place, age 40 if you’re an adult child and age 70 if you’re a senior. The action plan encourages individuals of all ages to begin these important conversations, then ACT (Assess, Consider, Talk) on their desires and wishes for the future, and put their plan into action. So what topics related to seniors are most important? Many families agree that sensitive topics often revolve around living and financial choices, health, dating, driving and end of life.

Having Serious Talks with your Aging Parents

With so much at stake, what’s getting in the way of families having “the talk?” A variety of issues came to light in the recent study. The top barriers to critical conversations for adult children and their aging parents include:

  1. I am not aware of all the topics I should be discussing.
  2. I haven’t wanted to deal with it.
  3. I don’t know how to start these conversations.
  4. I haven’t thought about it.

The Home Instead Senior Care study found that 22 percent of adult children in the U.S. said their families have experienced problems such as fights or hurt feelings due to lack of communication about financial, health crises and similar issues. In addition, one in four adult children in the U.S. (25 percent) anticipates that their families could have problems in the future due to lack of communication about these important topics.

Senior Care Conversations: Santa Clarita, CA At Home Instead Senior Care Santa Clarita and Antelope Valley, our team suggests that you keep the following in mind when preparing for the road ahead:

  • Make sure your family knows what you want as you grow older.
  • Make your family aware of where important documents and contact information are located.
  • Explain to the people closest to you why you’ve come to the decisions that you have about your future.

The Action Plan for Successful Aging can help families around Santa Clarita achieve all of those goals. Whether you’re a senior or family caregiver, resources of the 40-70 Rule program can help you through the decision-making process. Check out other tools, including a guide of conversations starters for seniors and their families.

Remember that Home Instead Senior Care Santa Clarita and Antelope Valley is available to assist no matter how your plan takes shape. A little extra help from a Home Instead CAREGiverSM is among the aging solutions that could aid older adults and their families. CAREGivers are screened, trained, bonded and insured, and provide a variety of services from light housekeeping to errands to medication reminders. Talking sooner rather than later is best. But it’s never too late to get started.

For more information, contact Home Instead Senior Care Santa Clarita and Antelope Valley at (661) 254-8701 or Ask us a question about Senior Home Care.

World Alzheimer’s Month Santa Clarita CA

September Is World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month,, takes on a special significance for millions of Americans, including CAREGiversSM from Home Instead Senior Care® of Santa Clarita who are on the front lines every day with seniors who need help because of the disease’s debilitating effects. While Alzheimer’s is associated with memory loss and dementia, it impacts all aspects of life. World Alzheimer's Month: Santa Clarita, CA“One of my clients is in the early stages of dementia, which can be challenging because I’m never sure which mood she’ll be in,” said a CAREGiver who earned a degree in biopsychology and neuroscience from a major American university and is waiting to get into medical school. “I also covered a shift for a client who was in her later stages of dementia and was extremely challenging because she couldn’t verbally express her needs. I was forced to do the best I could to make her comfortable as well as find an alternative method to communicate with her.” The CAREGiver would not disagree that the Alzheimer’s numbers are stark:

  • Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States.
  • An estimated 35.6 million people worldwide have Alzheimer’s disease.
  • More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • One in three people over the age of 85 has dementia.
  • Worldwide, a person develops Alzheimer’s every four seconds.
  • Deaths from Alzheimer’s increased 68 percent between 2000 and 2010; deaths from all other major diseases (heart disease, stroke, prostate cancer, breast cancer, HIV) decreased.

The World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month campaign was designated to help increase awareness about the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and its social and economic impact. “Working on research for dementia is a big sociological issue,” the CAREGiver said. “When society puts more emphasis on it, more people will donate the needed money to research the causes and solutions. We as a society need to make it a priority. We need to find something that will slow the process of brain deterioration.” Alzheimer's Care Month: [city], [state]With respect to her work with Home Instead Senior Care of Santa Clarita, the CAREGiver draws on the knowledge she received from one of her key college classes, “Aging and Cognition.” “The class material started from the basis of examination from birth how our brains function. One thought process is that the brain deteriorates as you get older,” the CAREGiver said. “I understand that those who have dementia have no control over what they do. Patience is most important, and I don’t take anything personally. Following routines is also important. “When something gets stressful for one of my clients who is in the later stages of dementia, I walk away from the situation, stay nearby out of sight and then come back in a couple of minutes. It is like hitting reset. You have to let her have her space, but yet be close enough to make sure she is safe. We get through everything OK.”

When asked about the prospects of a cure or medication that would prevent dementia, based on what she had studied, the CAREGiver said: “I am not sure about any cure being on the horizon. What we do know is that there are certain things you can do to slow down dementia. One thought is that you need to challenge your brain as much as possible. Reading, puzzles, anything that challenges the brain is good. You need to find exercise for the brain, and different forms of it. Things that become repetitive tend not to help after a while.”

The Home Instead Senior Care network also offers a number of tools to help families deal with the difficult behaviors of dementia illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, including the book “Confidence to Care” and a free mobile iOS or Android app that provides proven tips and strategies for family caregivers. “Things that help them are doing more activities such as photo albums and tasks that help them reconnect with their past. Those sorts of activities help them use more areas of the brain.” Finally, the CAREGiver emphasized that her job is fulfilling. “Part of my job is being able to make the best of every situation because giving up on the client is not an option,” she said. “Maintaining a positive attitude and assuring him or her everything is going to be OK is how I overcome the challenges I face and make sure my clients know they are in charge.” Taking care of a senior loved one can be stressful for family caregivers.

Contact your local Home Instead Senior Care office in Santa Clarita for the assistance of a trained senior care professional. CAREGivers also are screened, bonded and ensured, and many are older adults who share the same interests as their senior clients. Many CAREGivers have completed the Home Instead Senior Care network’s Alzheimer’s Disease or Other Dementias CARE: Changing Aging Through Research and Education® Training Program, which also is available to family caregivers CAREGivers trained in the CARE program have a passion to work with Alzheimer’s clients and receive ongoing classroom training and testing prior to caring for a senior with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. The Home Instead program offers a personal approach to taking care of seniors with Alzheimer’s disease at home, where 60 to 70 percent live, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. It is a unique program that has received acclaim and endorsements from experts. Caregiver Resources: Santa Clarita, CA For more information, contact Home Instead Senior Care Santa Clarita and Antelope Valley at (661) 254-8701 or Ask us a question about Senior Home Care.

Focus on Senior Home Safety Could Help Reduce Falls – Santa Clarita, CA

Focus on Senior Home Safety Could Help Reduce Falls

Home Instead Senior Care® of Santa Clarita brings Home Safety awareness to seniors every year during the summer months, but especially during June’s National Home Safety Month observance, with falls being among the leading causes of death for older adults.
In addition to inside safety, don’t forget about the summer heat of July. Drink plenty of fluids and avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day. If you have to be outside, try to stay shaded, even if that means an umbrella. Home Instead Senior Care Santa Clarita and Antelope Valley will help your family evaluate home safety options.

Home Care for Dad: Santa Clarita, CANational Home Safety Month, sponsored by the Home Safety Council, focuses on spotting hazards early, evaluating their risk and removing or controlling them before harm is done. For those who care about seniors, this year’s theme: “Safety: It Takes All of Us” really hits home.

Each year, one in three adults older than 65 falls, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Thousands of seniors die from falls every year, and about two million are treated for nonfatal fall injuries in emergency departments, the CDC notes. “Half of falls occur in a person’s home. Falls are the main reason older people go to emergency departments,” said Steve Albert, Ph.D., co-director of the University of Pittsburgh Prevention Research Center (PRC).

Looking out for seniors at home is a job for both family caregivers as well as senior care professionals. Simple home modifications and exercises that improve strength and balance can help reduce the risk of falling. Many stores in the Santa Clarita area carry inexpensive safety items.

Consider the following suggestions from the CDC:

  • Improve balance and strength with exercise programs like Tai Chi, a Matter of Balance, or EnhanceFitness
  • Reduce tripping hazards like rugs and electrical cords
  • Keep cords, shoes, papers, plants, and boxes out of walkways
  • Add grab bars in and beside the tub/shower and next to the toilet
  • Use a nonslip mat or appliques in the tub/shower
  • Install railings on both sides of stairways
  • Improve lighting and use nightlights
  • Avoid throw rugs or use nonskid mats or tape
  • Have eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year
  • Ask the doctor or pharmacist to review medications to identify those that cause dizziness or drowsiness.

If you’re worried about a senior’s safety when you can’t be there, consider the services of a professional caregiver. Home Instead CAREGiversSM, for instance, are screened, trained, bonded and insured, and can serve as a safety check for older adults at home.
Award-winning CAREGiver Beth said the intense dread of falling again sometimes has a more devastating effect on seniors than the pain from an actual mishap. One of her female clients still has nightmare-like recollections of a recent fall even though her short-term memory is nearly nonexistent. “The client fell and suffered not only some physical trauma, but she is going through quite a bit of mental trauma. She has so much fear because it is somewhat stuck in her mind that she is going to fall again and end up in the hospital or rehabilitation facility,” Beth said. “So I stick to her very closely whenever she moves – safety is foremost, of course, but reassurance that I’m there for her means even more.”

For senior home safety hints, check out The website consists of a number of resources that include an interactive home safety guide, a home safety checklist, a variety of home safety ideas and easy home fixes under $500.

For more information, contact Home Instead Senior Care Santa Clarita and Antelope Valley at (661) 254-8701 or Ask us a question about Senior Home Care.

Celebrate Father’s Day all Year Long in Santa Clarita, CA

June is when we celebrate Father’s Day, but Dads should be honored all year long.

What is the best way to do that, if your father needs help with home care, groceries, medications, getting to appointments, or someone to just check in with him?
Home Instead CAREGivers® of Santa Clarita provide in-home care services to help your Dad or Mom remain comfortably and safely in their home, while also giving you a break from their daily care.

Check out these ideas for Dad: Home Care for Dad: Santa Clarita, CA

  • Talk about the old days. You’ll get Dad engaged and likely learn some great history, too.
  • Plan an afternoon together with scrapbooks, school annuals, and old cards and letters. A trip down memory lane might be perfect even for the dad who is getting forgetful.
  • Some dads just someone to read to them. What is his favorite to read: a Bible, a magazine or classic book?
  • Send a card for no reason. (Yes, you can send a card on Father’s Day, but why not send or drop off a surprise card or package once a month?).
  • Offer to take over scheduling doctor’s appointments. (That’s a hassle with which Dad likely would love help.)
  • Encourage the grandkids to call, write or email.
  • Plan a party with friends. Even if it’s not his birthday, your father might love a reunion with family, war buddies or business acquaintances.
  • Take “a victory lap” around his hometown if possible, checking out the old haunts.
  • Head to the ballpark, golf course, beach, lake or state park.
  • Pull out the card table and break out the decks, table games or puzzles.

Sometimes simple plans are the best: a good home-cooked meal, an hour on the porch or patio and then some ice cream and cake to top off the day.

If you can’t be there to provide companionship, consider a Home Instead CAREGiver. Some, like Cindy, become like family to their clients.

Cindy felt as if she had come to her second home when she arrived at her 84-year-old client’s house. “He treated me like his daughter. When I’d come in the door, he would say, ‘You’re finally home.’ Cindy said.
“I didn’t have a father figure,” the CAREGiver admitted, “but he really became one in such a short period of time. He provided such good emotional boost – I’ve never had anyone put so much support into me. Sometimes we don’t have enough faith in ourselves. I think he could sense that with me.”

At a time when the CAREGiver had just joined her Home Instead Senior Care franchise and had not been involved in senior care previously, her client kept reassuring her that she was doing a good job. It was a reassurance that was confirmed months later when Cindy was selected as her office’s CAREGiver of the Quarter.
If you are interested in becoming a CAREGIVER like Cindy: Become A CAREGiver

In-Home Care for Dad: Santa Clarita, CA
“He told me to hang with it and encouraged me to go on and better myself to become an even better CAREGiver through continuing education,” Cindy recalled. “He told me I could do anything, that he had so much faith in me. Because of the client, I learned a lot about myself. He pointed out things and brought out the best. He taught me so much.”

Like a daughter, Cindy was at the hospital with the client and his wife when he passed away. He asked for her to join his wife. “They didn’t want me to leave their sides,” the CAREGiver remembered. “It was a jolt for me; I stayed strong for his wife. Emotionally, I turned his death around to a healthy thing. I feel honored whenever I think about how much faith he had in me.”

Cindy and the client’s wife remember the good times when all three of them were together. Some of the best times for the client came when they’d watch old westerns late into the night. Cindy remembers her eyelids starting droop as the movie rolled on with gun battle after gun battle. “Cindy,” she’d hear, “you’re not sleeping are you?” The reply always was “Nope, I’m giving my eyes a break from all the violence. But I’m still listening!”

Relationships with dads or father figures come in many shapes and sizes. Happy Father’s Day and Year!

For more information, contact Home Instead Senior Care Santa Clarita and Antelope Valley at (661) 254-8701 or Ask us a question about Senior Home Care.

Mother’s Day, Take Care of Your Mom Santa Clarita, CA

Mother’s Day is a Special Day for CAREGivers!

The rush of emotions flows in every direction on Mother’s Day for many Home Instead CAREGivers®, their clients and their families all across CA.

Oftentimes, there’s a mom taking care of a mom, grandmother or even great-grandmother on the special Sunday that was first celebrated in the United States in 1907 by Anna Jarvis, who then campaigned to make it an official holiday.

An award-winning CAREGiver, the mother of four children who is from CA, had some pithy Mother’s Day observations: “Personally,” the CAREGiver said, “if I’m going to get anything on Mother’s Day, I prefer something small and meaningful. The cards my children made for me are the best gifts ever! So with that in mind, I think acknowledging the fact that my client is a wonderful mother with something small and meaningful on Mother’s Day is perfect.” Home Care for Mom: [city], [state]

“I want her to know that it is apparent by the love her children and grandchildren have for her that she is a fabulous mom and grandmother. A handwritten card and simply flowers I’m sure will put a smile on her face. And that is what the day should be about – happiness and the joy of being a mom!”

The 34-year-old CAREGiver, who may not have to work on Mother’s Day because her client’s adult children live within a reasonable driving distance of their widowed mom, added: “As a mom, I do like to be acknowledged for being a mom. I’m sure most moms take a lot of pride in their job as a mom no matter how old their children get.”

Another mom, who also is an award-winning CAREGiver in the Santa Clarita area, has scheduled Mother’s Day as a vacation day because her client’s adult children will take charge that day. But the CAREGiver may be using her Mother’s Day as a rest day because of all the activities in which she’ll participate with her client on the Saturday before the holiday.

“On that day before,” the CAREGiver said, “I’ll help with a Mother’s Day party that honors my client as her family gathers. We could have as many as 40 people, and we’ll do it up right and meet at a restaurant and do a lot of other things.”

The CAREGiver added: “Then the family will all turn around and come back again and honor her eight days later for her 89th birthday, and I will be a part of that as well. We may get some square dancing in somewhere among all of this because that’s what she loved to do before she suffered a major stroke and was confined to a wheelchair three years ago.”

Mother’s Day also can be the source of emotional pain. One CAREGiver pointed out that one of her client’s adult children passed away not long ago. So compassion and tissues will be available in abundant supply. Another client, whose memory comes and goes because of a stroke, often calls out and searches for her deceased husband. Taking Care of Mom: Santa Clarita, CA

Of course, all the emotions that spring forth from Mother’s Day don’t affect just women.

A CAREGiver of the Month for a franchise in the Santa Clarita area, has a widower as a client and provides emotional support when he tries to resurrect memories of his wife. “The client knows she is gone,” the CAREGiver said, “but he talks about her and misses her. He asks me, ‘Do you remember her?’ How could I forget? I was with him, his dear wife and their family when she passed. I let him talk it out, and he seems to feel better.”

If you are a mother or grandmother, we hope your day is special.

For more information, contact Home Instead Senior Care Santa Clarita and Antelope Valley at (661) 254-8701 or Ask us a question about Senior Home Care.

Alzheimer’s Training Sets Home Instead Apart: Santa Clarita, CA

You wouldn’t know it because she is very humble, but Ann is an award-winning Home Instead CAREGiverSM whose clients around Santa Clarita have included those who have Alzheimer’s disease or another of the 50 types of dementia.

This dedicated CAREGiver helps clients whose loss of mental functions, such as thinking, memory and reasoning, interferes with their daily life. She has watched as her clients’ symptoms have worsened, causing dramatic changes in personality, mood and behavior.

Alzheimer's Care for at home Seniors: Santa Clarita, CA“I had one situation in which the spouse was absolutely lost without his wife, who had to go to the hospital,” Ann recalled. “She feared he wouldn’t eat, so she made sure I checked on him. She was right – he put a sandwich in his pants pocket and put some dirty clothes in the microwave. That showed what stress can do to a senior who has dementia. I needed to be his calming influence.” Ann shook her head as she recounted many other stories of how Alzheimer’s decimated not only her clients but their families.

She and her fellow CAREGivers near Santa Clarita have benefited from the Home Instead Senior Care® network’s Alzheimer’s Disease or Other Dementias CARE: Changing Aging Through Research and Education® Training Program. Alzheimer's Care for at home Seniors: Santa Clarita, CA

CAREGivers trained in the CARE program have a passion to work with Alzheimer’s clients and receive ongoing classroom training and testing prior to caring for a senior with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. The Home Instead program offers a personal approach to taking care of seniors with Alzheimer’s disease at home, where 60 to 70 percent live, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. It is a unique program that has received acclaim and endorsements from experts.

The program equips CAREGivers to provide the highest quality of customized care that includes:

  • Maintaining a safe home environment
  • Encouraging engagement
  • Providing mind-stimulating activities
  • Supervising daily activities
  • Creating social interaction
  • Providing nutritious meals
  • Managing changing behaviors
  • Supporting the person’s family

The Home Instead Senior Care approach of encouragement and assistance helps those with dementia and their family members cope with the challenges of memory loss and confusion. CAREGivers also can provide assistance with establishing a regular routine and restoring the simple pleasures of life, among the best non-medical treatments for the disease.

“I had worked with dementia clients quite a bit, so I knew how to redirect and remain patient with them. However, I picked up things from the special training that I found helpful,” Ann said. “I thought my ability to anticipate and read the clients was good, but now it is even better. You need to pay close attention and figure out what they want before they say anything. You can look in their face and see in their eyes how they are feeling and how you should work with them. When they are afraid, you need to comfort them. A Life Journal is a tool we use to collect information about a senior’s life before dementia. We get the family to help fill in all their life’s details so we can connect with clients through their past. The main thing is to look for things they at one time liked to do, like singing or a hobby. If you have a scrapbook or photo album, they can remember things from way back and they will tell you who they were.”

Clients’ families around Los Angeles have watched as Ann kept their loved ones safe in their own homes and helped them experience as fulfilling and meaningful lives as possible.

“I’ve taken dementia clients to a lake to feed the ducks,” she said. “That was one way of getting them outside and having them focus on something enjoyable. With one of my current client, I figured out what she likes best and try to do it with her. So I play rummy with her because I had seen her try to play with her card-club buddies. I’ve used crossword puzzles with clients. You’ve got to keep their minds functioning as much as possible.”

Innovative, skilled and compassionate – those words describe Ann and her fellow Home Instead CAREGivers serving greater Santa Clarita, as well as the Home Instead Senior Care network, which continues to explore new ways to help seniors and their families.

For more information, contact Home Instead Senior Care Santa Clarita and Antelope Valley at (661) 254-8701 or Ask us a question about Senior at Home Care near Santa Clarita.

Make Senior Vacations a Smooth Ride from Santa Clarita, CA

A Home Instead CAREGiverSM and a family caregiver will be taking senior loved ones on vacations this year. Different destinations and transportation modes are involved, but the caregivers and the seniors can enjoy their getaways if they plan ahead.

The CAREGiver, who has worked for her Home Instead Senior Care® franchise for nine years, is an old pro at all varieties of vacations. She’s virtually a member of the client’s family, having accompanied her client on a number of group vacations. She and her client will fly this time.

Seniors Vacation: Santa Clarita, CA“My client and I have been out of the country on a cruise, to the West Coast several times, traveled a couple times by commercial jet from Santa Clarita and to a nearby state three or four times a year with the use of a customized handicapped minivan,” the CAREGiver said. “My client uses a wheelchair because of a debilitating disease, but she likes a change of scenery from Santa Clarita every now and then.

“The secret is to make sure you are realistic about what your client can do on any given day. She and I have been given the green light to say ‘no’ or ‘timeout for grandma’ when we feel like it. When I talk about everything I do, it sounds difficult, but it isn’t. I am there to help her eat, bathe, use the restroom and other things.”

So where does she start to prepare?

Senior Vacation list for CAREGivers:

  • Ask care-community nurses to get medications and vitamins ready.
  • Gather all the personal hygiene supplies and other related things.
  • Pack the senior’s clothes, accounting for the vacation climate and conditions.
  • Plan for an afternoon nap, and schedule events so that bedtime is about 8 p.m. each day.
  • Double-check travel schedule details.
  • Take plenty of photos.

The family caregiver, who is driving his 89-year-old mother to her old hometown about 200 miles from Santa Clarita, hasn’t had Mom on the road since she spent 10 days in the hospital last winter while battling congestive heart failure. The grandmother of four also has the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s disease and uses a walker. She desperately wants to make it back to her old stomping grounds and see her elderly sister-in-law, two nephews and a niece. But she often becomes fearful at dusk. How should the family caregiver proceed?

Here’s what the CAREGiver and other senior-care experts offer:

  • Be sure of your senior’s routine; how often does she need bathroom breaks?
  • Is your senior on a restricted diet and, if so, what does she eat and when?
  • Help the senior maintain her habits to avoid becoming ill while away from Santa Clarita.
  • Ask your senior to discuss the trip with her physician. Ask the doctor for any travel recommendations.
  • Consider the climate where you’ll be headed, remembering seniors can become chilled easier than younger travelers. Maintain hydration and take breaks when fatigue sets in.
  • Sometimes reassurance is needed if seniors become confused about their location. Stay calm and use a soothing, low tone to let them know they’re OK and remind them about the fun they’re planning to have.
  • Finally, prepare for fun times and memories that accompany them.

The veteran CAREGiver’s final advice to the family caregiver: “Go for it. Be realistic but remain positive. My client just loves to be out and about, and there’s no reason that she can’t be. Other than the cerebral palsy and arthritis, she is healthy and capable of enjoying life like she does. She loves life and is a joy to be around.”

For more information, contact Home Instead Senior Care Santa Clarita and Antelope Valley at (661) 254-8701 or Ask us a question about Senior Home Care.

Short-Term Recovery Help? Ask Home Instead of Santa Clarita, CA

Mom can go home from the hospital, the doctors said, but they’re concerned about a quick return to the medical facility because she has COPD and lives alone. Something’s got to change in the 82-year-old widow’s routine, her daughter and son agreed.

Their mom, Linda, battles with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) despite giving up cigarettes about 30 years ago. COPD is one of the most common of lung diseases, impacting the ability to breathe.

bake a pumpkin pie with a senior

Linda’s daughter and son looked at each other after talking with a doctor and hospital caseworker and wondered, “What are we going to do? We live over 100 miles away from Santa Clarita. Showing up on weekends to help her won’t be good enough to keep her out of the hospital.”

Her daughter and son then learned it would be possible for their mom to live at home if she would:

  • Walk a little every day to build up her strength,
  • Avoid very cold air,
  • Stay inside on rainy, wet days,
  • Stop using her wood fireplace,
  • Consistently take her medication,
  • Have help with grocery shopping,
  • Eat a healthy diet,
  • Have transportation for doctor’s appointments.

As her daughter and son talked about their situation later that day with a group of friends, one mentioned that he had hired a CAREGiverSM from the Home Instead Senior Care® franchise to help his father after he had returned from the hospital. Since there was a chance that the friend’s dad would be placed in an independent/assisted care facility for a short time before heading home, the Home Instead team also was ready to send a CAREGiver to help him in assisted living, if needed. But with the CAREGiver’s help, the senior went straight home and stayed there. In fact, the CAREGiver had worked out so well that they retained her for continued help after the initial recovery was complete.

Linda’s daughter and son realized their mom’s situation called for the use of an experienced senior-care aide, exactly what the Santa Clarita Home Instead Senior Care franchise provided for their friend’s dad. As a result of their friend’s insight, they chose Home Instead Senior Care Santa Clarita and Antelope Valley to help their mom transition safely home through the network’s Returning HomeSM Program. A CAREGiver was the perfect answer.

Here’s how Home Instead Senior Care Santa Clarita and Antelope Valley CAREGiver could help:

Nutrition management: Since diet can play a big role in recovery, a CAREGiver can help with grocery shopping and meal preparation. Preparing healthy meals offers opportunities to interact as well as a chance to observe and record the client’s food intake.

Medication reminders: A CAREGiver can pick up prescriptions and refills, and oversee medication reminders to help reduce the risk of a medication mishap. A CAREGiver also could make note of any reactions or side effects so they could be addressed during a doctor’s appointment or, if needed, alert the doctor immediately.

Exercise and activity: Senior loved ones often are urged to maintain a daily regime of simple at-home activity or walking. A CAREGiver can remind and encourage a client to stay on schedule with exercise. Increasing stamina is especially important for those who suffer from COPD.

Household support: COPD may make an older adult weak. Light housekeeping and assistance with bathing, dressing and toileting are other services that may be available. A CAREGiver also can help a COPD sufferer avoid problematic air-quality situations. Those include not going outside during smoggy or very cold days, maintaining the house’s furnace settings to discourage the senior’s use of a fireplace or wood-burning stove, and gently reminding visitors not to smoke.

Help alleviate excessive emotional stress or depression: It’s not uncommon for a senior to become anxious or depressed after returning from the hospital. A CAREGiver’s companionship may help, and a CAREGiver can alert family members or the client’s doctor if signs of depression occur.

Keeping records: Many seniors will be required to keep a medical diary that can be shown to a health care provider. A CAREGiver can be instrumental in helping a senior track important measurables and consistency of exercising.

Doctor’s appointments: Follow-up visits to doctors are often required to keep track of COPD symptoms and the client’s progress. A CAREGiver can track scheduled appointments, prepare a client for the trip and provide transportation to wherever the senior needs to go.

For more information, contact Home Instead Senior Care Santa Clarita and Antelope Valley at (661) 254-8701 or visit