Page 11 - Senior Times South Central Michigan November 2020 - 27-11
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Caregiver's Senior Times - November 2020 CORNER
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                              Grand Vista is a place seniors can receive the care and support needed to live fulfilling lives in a home-like environment.
Grand Vista Located in Coldwater & Marshall, Michigan Ph: 517-227-5225
Family Owned & Operated
 • Medication Management • 24/7 Pharmacy Services • Personalized Care Plans • ADL & IADL Support • Meals Services
• Housekeeping
& Laundry Services
• Daily Activities & Entertainment
• All Inclusive Pricing
   Anne Clark, Special to Senior Times
Well we are making it through a very difficult year. I do not have to remind any of you about the challenges we have all faced during 2020. What
I do want to continue to remind you about is the importance of caring for yourself so that you can continue to care for your person.
Isolation since March has been a big issue for so many, especially fam- ily caregivers who desperately need a break from responsibilities. Consider asking for help.
it not so easy. There are Zoom calls, which I am sure many have you have heard about; however, if you have not used it and depending what device (laptop, desktop computer, phone, tab- let, etc.) you are using, it is not always easy. However, there are ways to get help if you want to learn some new techniques to have contact with others beyond your own home.
  As I have said many times, you MUST take care of you so the level
of care you want to provide is the best and when you are so overwhelmed and/ or burned out, it is not easy to do. Our tempers get short, our patience runs thin, there is just so much that affects the care we provide so – you NEED to take care of you.
There is FaceTime or video calls from your phone is another easy way. It is always so good to see someone’s face especially if you have not seen him or her for a while, see the outside world; have a conversation while you and a friend has coffee. Write a letter, better yet, ask someone else to write you a letter. There is something about seeing a person’s handwriting that can help you to connect with them. Send messages back and forth if you know how and if you do not, ask someone to help you learn.
What are some ways that you can take care of yourself? One way is by asking for some help. I know this is very difficult to do and many do not want others to think they cannot handle their responsibilities; however, I know from experience – both sides of the fence, family caregiving is a tough job. Asking for help and giving yourself
the permission to allow it is one of the best gifts you can give the person you are providing the care to and for. Many times, we think we are hiding our struggles, and again from experience, we are not. They are easy for others to see and it does not make anyone feel good.
These times are so tough without the touch and communication with others so be sure you are looking for creative ways to do so. One more way – which is especially important for family care- givers, is to engage in an on-line sup- port group. Again, if you need help, we (Senior Health Partners) can do that. Please contact Alice at arichmond@ or call her at (269) 986-0773. She is the family caregiver coach and is happy to help you walk the caregiver journey and connect you to resources.
Our world is filled with technology and some of it is easy and some of
Have a blessed Thanksgiving and remember you are not alone!
Family caregivers are such an incredible gift to our community. Senior Health Partners is here to walk the journey with you. Please reach out to us, it can make such a difference in the job you are doing.
   Probate• Elder Law Estate Planning
   Erin L. Majka Phillip E. Harter
  395 S. Shore Drive, Suite 205 Battle Creek, MI 49014 (269) 963-3900
   Improving Dental Health
Improves Overall Health
Caring for your older adult’s teeth isn’t always easy, especially for those with serious health conditions like dementia or stroke. But keeping their mouth healthy is just as important
as caring for the rest of their body because dental health seriously affects overall physical health, nutrition, and well-being.
A healthy mouth helps seniors keep more of their natural teeth so it’s easier to eat, reduces the risk of pain and inflammation, and reduces risk of serious conditions like heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
   The following make it easier to keep teeth and gums healthy in order to improve your older adult’s dental health.
mouth by getting them into the habit of brushing (or at least rinsing) about 30 to 60 minutes after eating (not immedi- ately after the meal). For many people, that’s about the time they’ll need to use the toilet, so they can take care of two tasks with one trip to the bathroom.
Get an electric toothbrush. Arthritis, hand tremors, or weakness can make it very difficult to brush teeth thoroughly. To make it easier, have your older adult use an electric (automatic) toothbrush. Less hand strength and control are needed and it takes the work out of brushing. Some toothbrushes even have built-in timers so there’s no need to guess how long to brush.
Change to a salt water rinse. Using salt water to rinse the mouth instead of plain water is an effective way to improve dental health for seniors by increasing the pH balance of the mouth, making it more difficult for bacteria to grow. Just add about a half-teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water, stir, and use as a mouth rinse. It’s less irritating to the mouth than a store-bought mouthwash – and cheaper too!
Brush or rinse after meals. Seniors tend to have less saliva because of medication side effects and the natu- ral effects of aging. And after meals, trapped food particles can quickly become bacteria breeding grounds. Minimize bacteria in your older adult’s

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