Being the main provider of care to an elderly or disabled loved one is a vocation that can be simultaneously rewarding, frustrating, joyful, depressing and life affirming. While you are focused on providing the best possible care and support, it can also be physically and emotionally draining for you, the carer.
There are plenty of resources out there and people offering advice on how to take care of your senior family member, and enrich their quality of life. The trouble is, as the primary carer, you can end up feeling like an extension of the person to whom you are providing care. So who will take care of the carer?
The risks to the carer
The sad truth is that if you don’t look after yourself, nobody else is likely to. It is easy to convince yourself that you do not have time to deal with your own needs, or to feel guilty about doing so.
But in truth, how often have you heard a caregiver say that their wife or husband is the one with the medical problem, yet they themselves ended up in hospital? Research by the Family Caregiver Alliance made the shocking discovery that if you are a caregiving spouse aged 66 or above, you are at a 63 percent greater risk of dying than someone of the same age who is not a caregiver.
The problem is not limited to the elderly. Many baby boomers are now taking care of a dependent parent while trying to hold down a job and other commitments. The result? Burnout, stress, sleep deprivation and health problems.
Barriers to looking after yourself
From the perspective of an impartial observer, it seems like a no brainer that the caregiver needs to take care of his or her own mental, physical and psychological needs, both for their own sake and to provide the best possible care to their loved ones. Yet when we are in the eye of the storm, it is not always that simple.
It is easy to convince yourself that you are the only one who can take proper care of your loved one, or that you will in some way be letting them down or being selfish if you take any time out for yourself.
Ultimately, it is critically important to take an objective view. If you do not take care of yourself, the ultimate effect will be as harmful to your loved one as it will be to you – you will not be able to provide the best care, and will feel tired, irritable and maybe even resentful.
There is plenty of help and support available – make the best use of it, to make your loved one’s senior years a time to treasure for both of you.
Caring for an aging loved one can be one of the most truly rewarding and challenging times of your life. However, by focusing on whole person health and wellness, your senior can continue to enjoy life and vitality long into their retirement years.
Poor nutrition is one of the leading causes of death and disease in the U.S. but this is especially true for the elderly. It is critical that seniors maintain their suggested calorie intake and eat in moderation from each of the food groups, especially fruits and vegetables.
Recommended Foods & Exercises for Seniors
Seniors should focus on lower calorie, but high protein diets to maintain their ideal weight and their muscle development. Many elderly like programs such as Weight Watchers which make selecting a balanced diet easy. Other programs such as the DASH Diet also offer the proper balance of nutrients without complexity.
Regular exercise is a must for all, but especially the elderly. Programs should focus on building endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility. Walking and lifting light weights can fill exercise needs, minimize injury, and can be done anywhere.
A standard bathroom can pose many hazards to seniors, who may be limited in their mobility. Adjustments can dramatically increase safety in the bathroom and minimize worry.
Senior Friendly Bathroom Appliances
Examine your senior’s bathroom and identify areas of potential danger or difficulty. Install lever faucets that don’t require twisting to operate. Install grab bars and rails in areas where slipping is likely, such as in the shower, or where an elderly person is likely to be bending down, such as near the toilet. Non-slip rugs and mats are a must.
Add a Spaloo bidet toilet seat for maximum hygiene, comfort, and ease. They are especially good for people with mobility issues. Curbless showers, walk-in tubs, and elevated toilets also make it easier for those with limited mobility to use the bathroom safely, although these additions require a larger investment.
For people of any age, sleep is directly related to quality of life and overall health and well-being. However, many seniors could benefit from improved sleep.
Any senior’s mattress should be in good condition and comfortable. Mattresses should relieve pressure points and offer a restful night’s sleep. Memory foam mattress toppers can help improve a traditional mattress as can other types of foam wedges. Pillows should support the head and neck and leave the spine in alignment, regardless of the sleeping position.
Home Care Bedding Fixtures
Should your loved one need more support getting in and out of bed, a number of accessories can help. Bed rails can provide support and are easy to install. Lifting poles and accessories can be installed above a bed, allowing an easy reach handle for movement as well. Adjustable height beds, while expensive, can allow your senior easy access to their bed and minimize falls.
As people age, the mobility required to manage hygiene can often become challenging. Caregivers must give special attention to senior’s personal care in a dignified and efficient way.
Personal Care Tips
Seniors should be certain their face, hands, and genital area are washed daily – bathing can be less frequent and should be done only if necessary for those with limited mobility.
Be sure to assist your loved one with dental care as well – maintain dentures or natural teeth with regular cleanings as brushing to decrease bacteria. Offer an electric razor for shaving as it is less likely to cause injury overall.
Lastly, maintain a light-hearted attitude and a sense of humor. Personal care is a private matter and it will take some adjustment and levity for you and your senior to become comfortable with this intimacy.
Yeast infections bother a lot of women and the problem is almost limited to women. It’s a problem of anatomy. Use of the toilet paper always leaves traces of waste on the skin around the anus, with bacteria and yeast included. At any point the yeast and bacteria may enter the vagina causing infections there. That is why yeast infections bother women more than they bother men.
Any woman who has ever suffered from yeast infection knows the sheer inconvenience and suffering. There is itching, heavy discharge and odor. Yeast infection develops as a result of yeast overgrowth in the gut which results from imbalance between good bacteria and bad bacteria. If you get three or more such infections per year, you have what is medically called recurring yeast infection.
What home remedies are available for yeast infection? Go to the root of the problem! Keeping the private area clean is a good start. The toilet paper is never good enough for cleaning the privates after moving the bowels. It’s like wiping your hands with a dry paper towel without washing them first. There is no cleaning with toilet paper!
You can opt for flushable wipes to clean the privates after using the toilet paper. But flushable wipes create new problems. First, they are expensive and few people can afford to use flushable wipes every day. Secondly, flushable wipes are not really flushable. They do not break down after flushing so they block the plumbing. The so-called flushable wipes are costing households and cities thousands of dollars in blocked systems. Thirdly, they may have irritating cleaning ingredients which you don’t want in your privates!
Your best option is the Spaloo bidet toilet seat. It is a combined bidet and toilet seat in one. The Spaloo bidet toilet seat pampers your most delicate and private area with gentle water and then dries the area with soothing air. It leaves you clean and shower fresh.
With the combined bidet and toilet seat, you can clean the anus thoroughly after moving the bowels. As long as the anus and perineum are kept free from feces, there is no danger from yeast infections in the vagina.
Also, the gentle water will help you to wash away the discharge several times per day, preventing odors.
You can then attack the yeast overgrowth in the gut by taking anti-fungal medicine prescribed by the doctor followed by a course of probiotics to add the healthy flora back into the body. That way you keep the fungus gone!
The combined bidet and toilet seat has many benefits for its users. For women, the combined bidet and toilet is particularly good during menstruation. To keep the vaginal area clean is quite easy with the Spaloo bidet toilet seat. Before you change your sanitary wear, you want to wash the privates first. So while you are still on the toilet seat, you can conveniently clean your private area by simply pressing a button on the wall or on the toilet seat itself. A gentle jet of water will wash the private area. Once you are clean you press another button to dry yourself with a soothing current of air. When you leave the bathroom you are confident of your cleanliness and you know for sure that there are no odors.
Every woman deserves to enjoy better health and the confidence that comes from knowing she’s as clean as can be. “That time of the month” need not mean discomfort and worry any more. That is the beauty of the combined bidet and toilet seat. It keeps you clean all day long.
Whether you’re 22 or 82, visit our product pages to learn more about the Spaloo Primus and Spaloo Classic II bidet toilet combo today.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent calculations, senior citizens comprise at least 13% of the nation’s population. Experts predict an increase to more than 20% of the population over the next few decades.
Growing old can become very difficult when a person has had surgery or has had a stroke or suffers from some other debilitating disease. Sometimes the elderly are placed in an assisted care facility so they can get help when they need to get up, to bath or to use the toilet. Yet leaving the family can be emotionally painful.
Many senior citizens are choosing to spend their golden years aging in place. If you’re among them—or soon expect to be—a Spaloo bidet toilet seat is a great investment in quality of life. A bidet seat is installed on the toilet and sprays water over the perineal area after a bowel movement. Then it blows air to dry the area. The bidet can be used to clean up after urination for women. Essentially, the bidet seat takes the place of toilet paper.
Needing the help of a nurse or a family member just to use the toilet may have deep emotional impact as it infringes on the most private part of life. The Spaloo bidet seat can make a huge difference for an aging person. A Spaloo bidet seat is a great advantage for the elderly because:
- It is affordable to purchase and easy to install.
- It is easier to use because the elderly person does not use the hands to clean the bum. So even if the elderly person suffers from limited mobility due to Parkinson’s disease, stroke, surgery or ALS, they can easily use the toilet and come out clean. All they do is press buttons and they come out clean!
- Using it is cheaper than hiring a professional to assist the elderly person.
- It relieves the discomfort of haemorrhoids and constipation.
- It helps the elderly person to maintain independence and pride.
- It eliminates the spread of bacteria so the elderly person suffers less from urinary tract infections.
- It reduces the cost of toilet paper, quite a huge saving for the elderly who may have limited pension money.
The Spaloo bidet seat means the difference between independence and dependence upon help. It is easy to use, hygienic, gentle on the skin, and saves money. Here is what Dr. Mary Tinetti, chief of geriatrics at Yale Medical School said. “As people get older and frailer, it’s harder for them to do good personal hygiene, particularly if they have arthritis. They can’t maneuver around to wipe or wash themselves effectively. In their attempts, they can even fall from the toilet.”
The Spaloo bidet seat makes going to the toilet safer and cleaner for the elderly. The warm water and soothing air of the easy to install, high-tech Spaloo virtually guarantees pain-free toileting while eliminating the spread of germs and bacteria. It will leave you feeling fresher and cleaner than ever.
One of the greatest benefits of the Spaloo bidet seat is that the elderly person uses the toilet and then the bidet without getting up. This is a very important feature for those who cannot get up on their own. Transferring to the toilet may be difficult. But once the individual is seated, the Spaloo bidet toilet seat ensures that he or she won’t need to get up again until the entire washing and drying process is complete.
The debate on the use of toilet paper versus the use of water as a cleaning agent now seems to be settled in favor of the use of water. Undoubtedly water helps in flushing away all of the particles that may have a chance of remaining with the toilet paper. This has made the use of the bidet in countries that did not have a strong prevalence of this culture adopt it’s using that certainly promotes better hygiene. There are several models in the market that are now competing for a place in homes as well as other institutions as a complement to a healthy way of life all day long.
The healthy cleaning option
The best invention in the range seem to be the Bidet seat that can be operated electronically to facilitate the entire cleaning process of the under parts of the body. The seats are designed ergonomically such that the control panel lies to the right side such that it is sufficient to make the system operate at the push of a button. The warm water that ejects as a strong jet then thoroughly cleans the under parts that is then dried by the warm air current that softly acts on the skin.
The warm spa-like cleaning
The function of the combined bidet and toilet helps not just in the maintaining of the hygiene but also gives much comfort during it’s use as the seat is warmed by electricity too. These are perfect for people that have medical conditions, pregnant women, those that have limited mobility and can use the toilet and also clean themselves by simply pressing a button that will perform the functions of the jet and also the drying. For those houses that have elderly people or those that are in need of the care providers, the use of the bidet-toilet is especially helpful.
If retirement is just around the corner, it may be time to compile a home remodeling checklist. Especially if you plan on staying in your existing home and aging in place. There are many things to consider to prepare your home for your golden years. Your renovation projects can improve functionality of your home while maintaining an aesthetically pleasing appearance. Read more