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Health care-focused resources for seniors and medical community.

5 Key Questions to Help You Develop a Caregiving Plan

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While the circumstances for care vary, you can definitely make it a goal to treat your loved one with compassion and honor their dignity at all times.

Being a caregiver may be one of the most significant roles you’ll ever take on. You may have a lot of questions and concerns.

Fortunately there are plenty of resources in your community and online to help you address these challenges and empower you to take great care of your loved one and yourself. For starters, you’ll want to come up with a caregiving plan.

Your initial caregiving plan will largely depend on your answers to these five key questions, according to a special report from Harvard Medical School.

  • For whom are you caring — an aging parent, an ill partner or friend, or a disabled family member?
  • What precipitated the need for care?
  • Is the situation time-limited (e.g., for someone who needs care while healing from surgery or an injury) or likely to continue indefinitely?
  • What care or services will the person need?
  • Aside from basic needs, what does your loved one want? For example, elderly parents may want to continue living independently at home rather than move in with you or to a nursing home. How can you help the person meet these goals?

As you begin to develop your plan, think about your own caregiving goals, too. The circumstances for each person and his or her needs will of course vary, but you can definitely make it a goal to treat your loved one with compassion and honor his or her dignity at all times.

Next, have an open, honest conversation with your care recipient about what both of you expect and determine just what issues need to be addressed.

However, an initial plan is just that — a first step. Change is one of the few certainties of caregiving, so it is important to re-evaluate your situation early and often, and to make changes whenever necessary. If possible, it can help to keep a step or two ahead by asking your loved one’s doctors and other experts for their assessment of how the situation might change in another few weeks, months, or years.

Excerpt from the Caregiver’s Handbook, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.

Get Your Heart Health Check

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Get a heart and stroke check today. Take this important step in preventing heart attack and stroke.

The best thing you can do to find out about your risk of heart disease is to see your doctor for a heart health check, reports the Heart Foundation. You may not be aware you have risk factors of heart disease early enough. Often there are no symptoms. So it’s really important to get your doctor to check your risks frequently, to ensure your heart is healthy.

The Heart Foundation strongly recommends having a heart health check if you’re over 45 years old, and over 35 years for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

What happens at a heart health check

A heart health check can be done as part of a normal check up with your doctor or health practitioner. Your doctor will take blood tests, check your blood pressure and ask you about your lifestyle and your family (your grandparents, parents, brothers and sisters).

Give your doctor as much information about your lifestyle and family history as possible. Once your doctor or health practitioner has your blood test results, ask them for your report which will state if you have high (more than 15%); moderate (10-15%) or low risk (less than 10%) of a heart attack or stroke.

Go here to watch a short video clip to find out more about what a heart health check involves, as well what a heart and stroke check is, why it’s important and what action can be taken to reduce the risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

Take your first step now to prevent a heart attack or stroke. Go here.

You’ll also find a list of questions you should be asking your doctor.

NPR: Diet Rich in Greens Linked to Less Age-Related Memory Loss

heidi Resources for Seniors Comments Off on NPR: Diet Rich in Greens Linked to Less Age-Related Memory Loss

NPR: Diet Rich In Greens Linked To Less Age-Related Memory Loss
To age well, we must eat well — there’s been a lot of evidence that heart-healthy diets help protect the brain. The latest good news: A study recently published in Neurology finds that healthy seniors who had daily helpings of leafy green vegetables — such as spinach, kale and collard greens — had a slower rate of cognitive decline, compared to those who tended to eat little or no greens. (Aubrey, 2/5)

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