4 Top Tips for Caring for Elderly Relatives

elderlyPhoto by truthseeker08 on Pixabay

People are living longer now than ever before, and the number of older adults in the United States is predicted to increase significantly in the next few years. This is good news in many ways, as we all hope to live a long, full life. However, old age does bring the increased risk of ill health and infirmity, and many middle-aged children find themselves looking after elderly parents to varying degrees. If your parents are getting on in years, or you have other close friends and family that could be in need of assistance, what are the best ways to help and support them as they get older?

1. Living arrangements

It’s not uncommon for older people to want to downsize, as the home they raised their family in becomes too demanding to maintain. The kind of choice they make for a new home may depend on how reliant they are on your help; for instance, if they’re fit and active, they may be happy just to move to a smaller home, but if they need more support, you might consider moving them closer to you, or even into your home. These arrangements can work very well in some circumstances, while in others they can put an intolerable strain on family relationships. It’s been recognized that enabling people to retain their independence and live in their own home for as long as possible is better for them and their families. If your parents need assistance but are able to live in their own house, it’s worth looking at home care services as the best option. It means your parents can stay at home where they feel comfortable and happy, with a carer calling in to do whatever your folks are finding difficult to manage. You can find more info online about hiring home care professionals, as well as advice on what to consider if your parents are thinking of downsizing or moving in with you.

2. Health and wellbeing

When you’re looking after older people, one of your main concerns will be how well they are physically and mentally. Old age inevitably brings its problems, and osteoarthritis, failing eyesight and hearing, and sleep problems are common in older people. If your parents are feeling the effects of any of these issues, it’s essential they get help to ease symptoms and improve their wellbeing. Sight and hearing loss can usually be remedied with glasses and hearing aids, so older people should be attending tests on a regular basis. A medical check-up is sensible every year as people age, just to monitor general health and spot any signs of illness too. If you’re worried about any aspect of your parents’ health, you should talk to them and see if they will get themselves checked over. Often older folks put their symptoms down to aging, or they don’t want to be a bother, or they may fear what the results might show. Your job is to reassure them and support them and remind them that whatever might be wrong, picking it up early gives them a far greater chance of getting effective treatment and reducing the effects of the illness.

3. Loneliness

Many older folk experience a degree of loneliness, often because they find it more difficult to get out and about. They might not be able to drive anymore or find it hard to manage public transport. Friends may move away or pass on, and if your parents move, they may struggle to get to know their new neighbors. Even if your parents don’t need much practical help from you, they’ll still need emotional support and human contact, so go and visit them regularly, and take them out now and again. You need to be alert for any signs that they are feeling lonely and encourage them to find ways of meeting people and involving themselves in their community. Also, don’t assume that just because someone is old, they won’t be interested in going online. Using the internet to keep in touch by email, chat, or video link can be a real joy for many older people, so if they haven’t got the equipment, help them set it up and show them how to use it.

4. Problems with elderly people

Sometimes it can be difficult trying to look after older people, and it can take its toll on you if you’re not careful. Seniors may sometimes be either too demanding, or too independent, so in one situation, you’re stressed because you always have to do things for them, and in the other, you’re stressed because they won’t ask for help even when they really need it. It can be hard as the child to address these issues, because these are your parents after all, no matter how old they are. If you don’t try, though, the situation will only get worse, so it’s best to tackle the issues from the beginning. From their point of view, it can be humiliating and degrading to be unable to look after themselves, a feeling that is made worse by people around them talking to them like infants just because they’re getting older. You need to be sympathetic to how your parents feel, and listen to them when they talk to you, as well as being able to explain your side of the situation.

To Conclude

Having your parents and elderly family members or friends around as you grow older yourself is a gift. It’s great for your kids, and grandchildren always bring joy to their grandparents. You can learn a lot from older people, who have years of wisdom and memories to share with you, and spending time with your parents in their later years gives you an opportunity to become closer and appreciate all they have given you. If you’re worried about how you’ll manage when your parents become infirm and need help, look at all the options available and talk it over with them too, so you know what their wishes are on the subject. Most importantly, cherish these times with your folks and help make their final years as happy and healthy as possible.

The Case for CBD Cream and The Uses for It

medical CBDPhoto by Yash Lucid on Pexels

Cannabidiol aka CBD is being increasingly used by people who wish to deal with a number of symptoms in a non-traditional way rather than seek a proper medical diagnosis or other treatment options. The use of CBD is growing, but it’s still somewhat unclear how exactly it treats the human body and what it can be effectively used for.

In this article, we will cover a little bit about CDB cream and what it’s being regularly used for as a form of health treatment by individuals performing self-care.

What are CBD Products?

CBD is just one of numerous compounds that is part of a cannabis plant. Because of this, it remains controversial.

There is Epidiolex, which is a commercially available treatment that was approved by the FDA in June 2018. It’s a type of CBD cream that has undergone a purification method and is now prescribed by doctors for treating patients who are suffering from epilepsy (two forms of epilepsy fall under this treatment plan).

The CBD cream is just lotion that has a significant amount of CBD contained therein. Having it in cream form makes it easier for application and general use than if it were in pill form.

Marijuana vs CBD Cream – What’s the Confusion?

Cannabis itself contains delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, which is otherwise known as THC. This is a compound that has an effect on the mind providing out-of-body experiences. This applies if someone bakes it into a cake or smokes it. THC changes when heat is applied, and it gets into the bloodstream when smoked.

While CBD is one of the many compounds in cannabis, it’s not psychoactive. In other words, there’s no “high” associated with it. A person using it is as clearheaded as they were before they took CBD. However, CBD does appear to deliver fundamental, short-term alterations to the human body in a useful way that provide health benefits.
We’ll now cover the health benefits that some people are finding when using CBD cream.

Skin Care Products to Resolve Basic Skins Problems

There are many CBD cream uses that are worthwhile for people wanting to give it a try. One is with skin care products. Skin care is obviously a huge market, but it’s also a major part of the use of CBD outside of CBD oil treatments.

Pain relief is the most potent benefit for people who are happy to apply the CBD cream topically on the affected area of the skin’s surface. Generally, using the cream on the skin is fine, but it should not be used on overly sensitive parts of the body like the private parts. The skin area must not have a laceration or cut either.

Most people who use the cream for skin care are treating painful areas. It could be a skin irritation caused by many factors including exercise, a heat rash or another reason. With a minor skin problem that just needs a cream to resolve it, the pain relief is palpable for the people who are willing to give CBD a try.

Joint Problems

When a person has painful joints, it interferes with their daily life. They’re no longer able to take a stroll down to the market without feeling discomfort or pain. In this situation, a CBD treatment using a suitable cream often provides some relief from the symptoms while not addressing the root cause of the problem itself.

With joint issues, rubbing the cream onto the skin nearest or over the joint often is enough to give the joint some encouragement. Trying for several days might be necessary to experience any relief from the joint pain.

Exercise Pain with Muscular Discomfort

Exercising too much or if you haven’t exercised in a while is likely to cause muscular pain in the body. This is because when pushing the muscles more than they’ve been used recently, the muscle fibers will break down and then later start to repair. This process is also what happens to bodybuilders at an extreme level when lifting heavy weights.

For regular exercisers, working out too much too soon usually causes muscle pain the next day or the day after that. The muscles just aren’t prepared for that sort of punishment when pushed beyond their current limits. Using CDB in cream form is useful to help relieve some of the pain that originates from this kind of situation. It can be an effective pain management protocol for people who find that paracetamol or aspirin aren’t doing anything to help with muscle discomfort.

General Pain Relief

While creams containing CBD are often used topically on the skin, it’s useful to note that other products exist in different forms that are used in alternative ways. One instance of this is general pain relief which people confirm sometimes come from taking CBD oil capsules to act as a pain reliever when other pill forms weren’t helping them.

Other Treatment Uses

For someone who suffers from anxiety that holds back what they can do in life or depression which often completely stops them in their tracks, then CBD has been effective at times to lift the mood and relieve undue stress. It is seen as a natural way to deal with these issues instead of taking serious medication. There has been a study into this. When used on a small group, researchers found that CBD treated insomnia, depression, and PTSD quite
effectively vs other treatment protocols.

The growing use of CBD is encouraging for people who find it more affordable than regular medicine or who prefer alternative methods than what big pharma offers. There’s a growing interest in CBD as a way to handle pain management and elevate the mood. It certainly seems to have a positive effect on many people who use it in cream form or as an oil. While cannabis is addictive and affects the mind badly with repeated use, CBD is specific about which compound is included and so avoids the deleterious effects that some observers get concerned about.

What to Know and Expect if Your Doctor Recommends a Stress Echocardiogram

stress echocardiogramPhoto by BlueOctane on English Wikipedia

Have you had a recent doctor’s appointment and been told that a stress echocardiogram should be done? If you’ve never had one of these before, it can cause a bit of stress on its own. It’s normal to get nervous and feel unsure about tests and procedures that you know nothing about. While you can and should ask your doctor for more details, it can be helpful to also do your own research to put your mind at ease and answer your questions.

So, before you get yourself too worked up or nervous about it, let’s take an in-depth look at what a stress echocardiogram is, why it is done, how long it takes, and what is involved. We will also touch upon the results and information that the test can reveal so that you feel more comfortable going into the test.

What is a Stress Echocardiogram?

A stress echocardiogram is often referred to as a stress test, or even a stress echo. The purpose of the test is to take a look at your blood vessels and heart so the doctor can determine how well they are working. In order to see how your heart and blood vessels are working, you will actually perform exercises during the test while you are being monitored.

An ultrasound image is taken of your heart once your heart rate increases. The reason this is done is that it will show how much oxygen and blood is working its way into your heart’s muscles.

Why Would a Doctor Order a Stress Echocardiogram?

So why would a doctor order this type of test? Well there are a few reasons that may prompt them to order the test be done such as a heart attack, coronary artery disease, chest pain, or a myocardial infarction.

And it’s not just about looking at disease and health issues; if you have been a recent patient of angioplasty, bypass grafting, or take antiarrhythmic or anti-anginal medication, the test can show how effective the treatment has been. It gives doctors that all-important inside look at how your heart is functioning and responding.

What to Expect During the Test

Now that you’re feeling clearer on what the test is and why it’s ordered, it’s time to put your mind at ease regarding the actual test itself. This is a non-invasive test so you don’t have to worry about any sort of involved procedure. It’s also relatively safe but there can be side effects such as fainting, dizziness, an abnormal heart rate, or in extreme cases heart attack. This is because you will be exerting a fair amount of energy as you exercise.

When you first arrive for your test, a technician will place small electrodes on your chest. These are flat patches that are sticky so they stay in place. During the exercise portion of the test, they will attach wires to the electrodes that will read the electrical activity happening in your heart. This doesn’t hurt, nor will you feel a thing. Sometimes a clear gel will also be applied to your skin in order to help the electrodes stick better.

Now it’s time for the resting echocardiogram which will take a look at your heart’s activity before exercise. Once that is done, it’s time to get exercising. Typically, you will work out on a stationary bike or treadmill. The technician will inform you about the intensity that you need to exert during the test.

They will want to get your heart rate elevated as much as possible, so you will be exerting a lot of energy. The test tends to take about 10 minutes. During this time if you start to have any sort of chest pain, you feel weak, or you get dizzy, it’s important to let the technician know.

You will keep exercising until the technician tells you to stop. At that point, an ultrasound is done so that they can see how your heart is functioning. You can then start a cool down period to allow your heart to return to its natural level. Again, the technician will monitor you during this time.

In some cases, you will perform a stress test with medication. If that’s the case, the medication is administered through your arm using an IV. This is so that a resting EKG can also be done, which will make your heart think you are still exercising. During this process it’s common for the technician to ask how you’re doing at regular intervals.

How to Prepare Yourself for the Test

In total, the test should take about an hour. Typically, you will be told not to eat or drink for four hours leading up to the test. If you are a smoker, you will be asked not to smoke on the day of the test. If you happen to take medication, then you will need to ask your doctor if you should still take it that day.

Now, because you will be working out, you want to dress in loose comfortable clothing and supportive athletic shoes. Choose a shirt that makes it easy for the electrodes to be placed under. In other words, skip the tight top.

Understanding the Results

As for the results, you may or may not be given them on that same day. This will depend on where you get your test done and who is there to perform it and read the results. If your test comes back as normal, then you know your heart is functioning well and there aren’t any issues.

If you get an abnormal test result, then it could mean that there is damage to your heart or that it isn’t pumping blood in an effective manner. These tests can also help as far as predicting future issues so that you can take measures to prevent things like heart disease.

Having a stress echocardiogram done is nothing to be worried about, and instead should be seen as a valuable tool in assessing your heart’s health.

6 Reasons Why Self-Care Is Not Selfish

self-carePhoto by kevin laminto on Unsplash

It seems that everywhere we turn there is someone or something telling us that we need to be working non-stop, that resting and relaxation are bad ideas, that we always need to put other people before ourselves. Although in some cases and some circumstances this may well be true, most of the time it is much more important to take care of yourself. If you can do this, you will be in a better position to help others, and you will be happier and healthier too. If you feel that self-care is a selfish thing to do, we’ve put together some of the biggest reasons that this is far from the truth. Maybe it’s time to slow down and think of yourself for a change!

Get To Know Yourself

In all the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s easy to lose sight of what is most important, and the goals that we once might have set ourselves. When you are always doing something for someone else and not focusing on your own needs, the plans and ideas you had can disappear, leaving you feeling unfulfilled and miserable. When you take the time to be by yourself and look after your own needs and your health too, you can get back on track with those plans, and remind yourself of them if you have forgotten where you wanted to head.

If you can commit to doing just one thing for yourself every day (such as taking time to read a chapter of a book or choosing one TV show to enjoy), you will find it easier to remember what it was you wanted to do and work out a way to get there. It will be hard at first, especially if your natural instinct is to care for others first and not even think of your own needs, but it will be worth it. Looking after yourself doesn’t mean forgetting to take care of other people, it just means that you will be able to do it more effectively and help them even more.

Others Will Benefit

The only real way to help other people in a physical, mental, or spiritual way is to ensure that you are the best you can possibly be, and without self-care, this is impossible. You must have a healthy body and mind if you are going to inspire others to have the same. In a purely practical way, you need to be healthy so that you can meet the needs of others too. For example, you might have a hearing problem that means you can’t understand what others need to say to you when they are asking for help. It isn’t selfish to look into the facts about using a hearing aid, and you can view here to find out more, such as the benefits and where to buy a hearing aid. If you find that you are suffering from depression, you won’t be able to fully function enough to assist other people, and it isn’t selfish to ask for help.

No matter what your problem may be, getting help for it or working to make yourself better in every way possible is the only way you can truly help other people.

You Will Live More

The sad fact is that many people are simply existing and not actually living. When you exist, you are going through the motions of what you need to do to stay alive and not really feeling anything more. It’s waking up, going to work, coming home again, going to bed, and waking up to start all over again. This is fine for many people, but is it fine for you? Would you rather be living and experiencing all kinds of different, exciting things? If so, you must take care of yourself to be able to function properly and truly make the most of all the opportunities that are presented to you. You will still have responsibilities, but for those who are able to take care of themselves, those responsibilities are not a problem, and clearer thinking means more ability to enjoy life to the fullest.

You’ll Feel Empowered

Self-care is something that can truly empower you. Taking time for yourself can be a big step, but once it is done and you realize the benefits you are feeling from it, you will understand that you can, if you try, do anything. This is massively empowering and will help you to take on those opportunities as mentioned above. Focus on yourself and work out what you need to do to feel as good as you possibly can, then go for it!

You’ll Be More Motivated

Sometimes life can be hard, and you might find that you lose any motivation you once had because you feel ground down and tired of it all. When this happens, you can easily fall into the routine of simply existing and going from one task to another, doing what is expected of you, feeling unsatisfied but not being able to do anything much about it.

When you step back and take time for yourself, whether it’s being pampered in a spa, taking a walk in nature, or simply lying down for a rest, you’ll start to recover. You need this alone time to do something that fills your soul with happiness because, in this way, you will find your motivation once more. When you do, life automatically becomes more exciting, and you can enjoy it finally.

You’ll Be Physically Healthier

Even if your mind is happy and feeling fulfilled when you are constantly helping others, your body will start to become tired and stop functioning as it should if you don’t take any time to have a rest and care for your own needs. This is because you can easily become over-tired and not sleep enough as you should, therefore not allowing your body to heal itself overnight. Or perhaps you are skipping meals or eating unhealthy snacks and junk food because you don’t have time to do anything else due to your routine of caring for other people and putting your own needs last. You might even be drinking too much alcohol because it is the only way you can find to wind down after everything is done. All of this will make you unhealthy and cause you many problems. Your own health must always be a priority.

How to Cope with Chronic Pain

chronic painPhoto by Raj Eiamworakul on Unsplash

Have you heard of the “Don’t Push Pain” movement? It is a group of patients who are not able to get the medication they need to cope with their chronic pain and are tired of suffering in silence. They rallied on the steps of the Capitol building in mid-September 2018. There are multiple aspects of the opioid epidemic. There are those who, like the example mentioned above, do not feel they are getting the medication they need. Another group of people are the individuals who became addicted to medication designed to help their chronic pain, suffered terribly, and eventually got help through opiate rehab.

No matter your opinion on the opioid epidemic, the truth is that many individuals out there are suffering with chronic pain. While medication has proven to be helpful for some individuals, other therapies or at-home treatments have also proven to be helpful. Here are some techniques you can use to cope with chronic pain.

One of the first things that a person can do when they are experiencing chronic pain is to keep a journal. They want to write down how much pain they experience each day. They can use a 1 to 10 scale in order to judge how much pain they feel. It is a good idea to write down other things in the journal that relate to their pain and their overall health. They could include things like how much exercise they get, the foods they eat, how much stress they experience, and other information. First, this journal may help a person to get a clearer view of why they experience pain. Second, it is helpful when visiting a doctor. The doctor will be able to see in writing how much pain you experience each day as well as learn about your overall lifestyle.

Try to get more exercise. While engaging in physical activity can be challenging for individuals who suffer with chronic pain, it is not helpful to be inactive. The idea is to find some type of physical activity that you can engage in comfortably. It may be as simple as going for a slow-paced walk every evening. Or it could be visiting a local pool a couple of times a week and getting low impact exercise. There are multiple reasons why getting regular exercise can help you to cope with chronic pain. First, chronic pain can often lead to a person gaining weight. This puts extra physical pressure on their body and can lead to emotional distress. Getting regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight. Second, exercise is good for your muscles and joints, which are often affected by chronic pain. Third, exercise encourages your brain to release endorphins. Endorphins are natural painkillers. This is especially helpful for individuals who are fighting against opiate addiction.

Try to find ways to reduce stress in your life. When a person experiences high levels of stress, this can actually make their body more sensitive to pain. The first step that you should take is to eliminate things in your life that cause you stress. Perhaps it is time to quit your job and find something else. Perhaps it is good idea to cut off a relationship with someone who only brings negativity to your life. The next step is to create an environment where you can better deal with the stress that you can’t eliminate. Use soothing music, calming colors, or even aromatherapy to create a welcoming environment in your home or office.

Many have found that deep breathing exercises can help them manage their chronic pain. This is especially true if the reason why they have chronic pain has to do with their muscles. Deep breathing exercises will relax your muscles and allow your muscles to release the pain that you are experiencing.

It is important to work closely with your doctor when managing chronic pain. Your doctor will help you to determine if medication is the right option for you. They can also tell you about other therapies that can be used to treat your specific type of chronic pain. Many have found that acupuncture and alternative treatments have helped them eliminate their pain or at least minimize it.

It is estimated that one in five individuals in the United States has chronic pain. The techniques that are mentioned above have been able to help many of these individuals minimize their pain and get it under control.