Safety Precautions for Dementia Sufferers

Individuals with dementia or Alzheimer’s rely on their loved ones and caregivers to ensure their safety. Without proper supervision and safety precautions in place, dementia sufferers often find themselves in dangerous and even life-threatening situations. For example, they may forget to turn off a stove burner, resulting in a house fire, or they might get confused and wander out of the house alone.

Because of these risks, the family members of dementia sufferers frequently feel that they have no choice but to place their loved one in a nursing home or supervised care facility. However, individuals who are still in the earlier stages of the disease can often maintain some independence and continue to live at home or with family members — provided some important safety precautions are put in place.

Keep dangerous items of out of reach

First, you need to make sure that the individual cannot access dangerous items, such as insecticides and other chemicals, toxic cleaning supplies, power tools, lighters and matches, weapons, and medications. Store these types of items in locked cabinets and ensure that the keys are not easily accessible. You may also want to use child-safety locks on cabinets and drawers that contain potentially dangerous items.

Utilize smart home and safety devices

At the bare minimum, test the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors regularly to make sure that they will work in an emergency. You should also keep at least one fire extinguisher readily available. However, there are all types of smart home devices that can also help you keep your loved one safe — and even make their life easier.

For example, a smart watch can track the individual's location and movements, while home monitoring or security devices can alert you to opened doors and windows or even let you keep an eye on your loved one. You can also use a stove monitoring device that provides an auto-shutoff function and allows you to control the appliance remotely.

Ensure easy navigation

Dementia patients may have difficulty navigating their environment, so spaces should be open and easy to walk through, with no heavy rugs or cords that are easy to trip on. Large pieces of furniture should be secured to prevent tipping if the individual grabs onto them to steady themselves. Lighting is also important, especially if the individual has poor eyesight. Make sure that all rooms and hallways can be well lit both day and night.

Protect against wandering

There are many different ways to prevent or discourage dementia sufferers from wandering out of the home. Most importantly, you should install sturdy locks either significantly lower or higher on the door than normal — outside of eye level — and don’t leave the keys in a visible, easily accessed place. You can also hang a curtain or tapestry in front of the door to camouflage it and install child safety devices on the doorknobs. A standard stop sign mounted on the door may also be effective.

However, you should have other precautions in place in case these tools fail. So speak to neighbors about the situation and have them call if they see your loved one wander out of the home. Wearable devices can also help you track the person down if they do leave, and an ID bracelet will allow others to identify your loved one if they are found wandering.

Enlist the help of at-home caregivers

You can’t be by your loved one’s side 24/7, but you can employ a full or part-time caregiver to regularly check up on them and be there when you can’t be. An in-home caregiver can assist your loved one with things like daily tasks, hygiene, preparing meals, medication compliance, and ensuring their overall safety. 

At Right Hand Senior Care, our caregivers have the experience, training, and expertise to support and care for sufferers of dementia or Alzheimer’s. If you would like more information on our services, feel free to contact us at (insert phone) or (insert email).

Nutrition Guide for Seniors and Caregivers

As a caregiver for an aging loved one, it’s important to make sure that they are eating right and getting the correct nutrients for optimal health. But with so much diet and nutrition information available, it can be difficult to know what recommendations are accurate. So we’ve created this convenient, factual guide that covers the basics of nutrition for seniors and their caregivers.

Why healthy eating is important for seniors

While eating a healthy, balanced diet is a good idea for everyone, it’s especially important for seniors. Not only does it help ensure that they receive adequate amounts of vital nutrients, it also prevents muscle and bone loss, protects against illness and diseases, and alleviates stress on the body due to excess weight.

However, it can be difficult for seniors to get enough of the important vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, because as we age, our body requires fewer calories. So many seniors have reduced or minimal appetites. Therefore, the best options are typically nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, seeds and nuts, and legumes. A balanced, nutritious diet will include a mix of these foods on a regular basis to ensure that the individual gets enough protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, fiber, calories, and vitamins and minerals each day.


Protein is essential for everyone, but for seniors, it’s especially vital. Our bodies use protein for repair and maintenance, and seniors who do not eat enough protein can experience muscle loss, greater risk of injury, and slow healing. So each meal should include a source of protein, such as:


When it comes to carbohydrates, complex is best. Complex carbohydrates provide the most nutrients and fiber, which is essential for digestive health and also helps reduce cholesterol, prevent high blood pressure, and maintain balanced blood sugar levels. Whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and legumes are all excellent complex carbohydrates.


Our bodies need fats for brain function, nutrient absorption, and overall physical and mental health. But not all fats are created equal. You’ve probably heard of “good” fats and “bad” fats. Good fats are unsaturated fats found in things like salmon, nuts, avocados, eggs, and vegetable oils. These fats are vital for the body to function properly and actually help reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke.

Bad fats include saturated and trans fats, with trans fats being the worst. Fortunately, trans fats are much less common nowadays, but they can still be found in some processed and fried foods. Saturated fats are less harmful, but should still be eaten in moderation, as they can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other health issues. Red meats and high-fat dairy products, such as butter, ice cream, and cheese, all include saturated fats.

Vitamins and nutrients

There are a few nutrients that are especially important for seniors to get on a regular basis.

While it’s best to get your vitamins and nutrients from real food sources, that’s just not always possible. Some seniors may need to take a supplement to ensure that they get the recommended amounts of necessary nutrients. However, you should always talk to your loved one’s doctor before giving them any vitamins or supplements. The doctor can determine if their diet is adequate or if supplementation is necessary.

You should also remember that, as a caregiver, it’s important to make sure that you are eating a balanced, healthy diet as well. You can’t give your loved one the care they need without caring for yourself. If taking the time to care for yourself sounds impossible, Right Hand Senior Care would love to help. To learn more about our at-home care for seniors, contact us at (insert phone) or (insert email).

How to Discuss End-of-Life Preparation

Death is an inevitable fact of life, but many people still find it difficult to talk about. No one wants to imagine the death of a loved one, however, as family members age, it’s important to have that tough discussion about end-of-life preparation. If you’re unsure what to ask, or even how to start the conversation, we’re here to help. From funeral preferences to legal issues, we’ll show you how to approach the subject of end-of-life preparation with care, compassion, and confidence.

How to talk about death

It’s a difficult conversation to have — for all parties involved. Both you and your loved one may feel awkward or uncomfortable, and quite often, the aging individual will be resistant to the discussion and attempt to brush it off or even lash out in anger. So remember to be compassionate and keep a level head.

You should also plan the conversation ahead of time and initiate it in an appropriate time and place. Ask yourself where your loved one feels most comfortable and will be more likely to open up. At their kitchen table? While on a walk? There may be multiple people who want or need to be involved in the conversation, but try to keep it as small and intimate as possible. A large crowd of well-meaning family members may make your loved one feel pressured or ganged up on.

If they are still in moderately good health, reassure them of this and frame the conversation as a plan for the future to make sure their needs and desires are met. If you’ve noticed particular health issues, you can carefully point them out and let them know that you are concerned and that their health is important to you. Above all, make sure they understand that the goal is to learn their wishes and needs and fulfill them to the best of your ability.

Legal and financial planning

This may be the easiest topic to start with, because it involves primarily facts and figures, rather than emotional subjects. You’ll need to ask about their:

Will — Do they have an updated will on file to ensure that their belongings and assets are distributed according to their wishes? If not, do they need assistance contacting an attorney to create one?

Life insurance — What policies, if any, do they have in place? Are the listed beneficiaries correct? Do they have any type of funeral insurance to help cover expenses?

Accounts — What bank accounts or safe deposit boxes do they have? If your family is comfortable talking about finances, you can also ask for a general idea of their assets so you know what to expect if they require long-term care.

Passwords — Do they have a list of account information and passwords? If not, you may want to show them how to use a digital password storage tool or help them create a hardcopy list of their account details.

Be sure to write down any information they provide, so that you’ll have it available when you need it.

Health and medical care

The best time to ask about healthcare and medical wishes is before they are needed, while your loved one is still of sound mind and able to make these decisions themselves. You’ll need to learn their preferences for:

Long-term care — Would they prefer to relocate to a nursing or senior care facility, or would they rather stay at home and enlist the help of an in-home caregiver?

Life-sustaining treatment — Are there any medical procedures that they do or do not want, such as a ventilator or feeding tube? Do they have a DNR in place?

Medical decisions — Who do they want to make medical decisions for them if they are incapable? Do they have or want to file a medical power of attorney to ensure that this person is authorized to make decisions on their behalf?

Advance directive — An advance directive is a legal document that dictates an individual’s medical care preferences and names a healthcare agent to make sure those desires are carried out. Ask if your loved one already has one in place or would like to file one.

Final wishes

Finally, talk to your loved one about any preferences they have for what happens after they are gone. For example, you can inquire about:

Funeral arrangements — Do they want a traditional funeral or something else? Is there any particular music they would like played or any requested speakers or clergy? Would they like a traditional burial, or would they prefer cremation?

Goodbyes — Are they interested in creating their own obituary or a goodbye video or letters to family and friends?

Needs — Is there anything they need you to do after they are gone? This can include anything from taking in a beloved pet to removing items from the house that they do not want other family members to see.

Death is an uncomfortable subject, but hopefully this guide has helped you better prepare for the difficult end-of-life conversation with your loved one. Watching your loved one age and approach the end of their life is hard, especially if you are responsible for their care, so remember to seek out support for yourself, as well as them.

If you need caregiving assistance for your loved one as they age, Right Hand Senior Care offers affordable in-home care services designed to meet your family’s needs. For more information, contact us at (insert phone) or (insert email).

How to Be an Effective Long-Distance Caregiver

Sometimes, it’s just not possible to live near your aging loved one and provide in-person care on a daily basis. Whether it’s due to careers, financial situations, or physical or mental health concerns, many people live hours away from their senior family members.

However, while long-distance caregiving can be challenging, it is not impossible. There are numerous tools you can use to be an effective caregiver from a distance and ensure that your loved one is getting the care that they need.

Keep in contact

If your loved one suffers from Alzheimer’s or dementia, it may be difficult to get clear, accurate information from them, especially about their health. Even mentally sound seniors may downplay issues to avoid worrying their families. So it’s important to make sure that you have any relevant contact information that you might need when you have concerns. This includes contact info for your loved one’s:

You should also make sure that you are listed on medical forms and financial and legal accounts as an approved individual to share information with. Otherwise, regulations prevent these institutions from sharing any details about your loved one. You can also maintain open lines of communication with neighbors or friends and encourage them to contact you if they have any concerns about your loved one’s health or wellbeing.

Communicate regularly

There are so many technological tools available now to stay in communication with your loved one, so take advantage of them. Go beyond just phone calls or text messages and schedule regular Zoom or Facetime calls. This serves two important purposes. Number one, it gives you face-to-face contact with your loved one, which encourages more engagement and provides a more quality social interaction.

Two, it allows you to see your loved one and their environment and make a general assessment of their situation. Do they look clean and well-kept? Is their home environment well-maintained and safe? Have they lost or gained a significant amount of weight? Are they displaying any worrying new symptoms? This assessment can help you get ahead of potential issues and address them before they become severe problems.

Share the responsibility

This, of course, is not an option for everyone, but if there are additional family members or friends that can take on some of the caregiving responsibilities, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Dividing up caregiving tasks helps ensure that your loved one gets the necessary care, without overwhelming any one person. It also has the added benefit of providing the patient with regular social interactions with multiple friends and family members.

As the long-distance caregiver, you might be responsible for scheduling, meal planning, managing finances, and other tasks that can be done remotely. While loved ones who live nearby take on the jobs that require them to be there in person. Just make sure everyone is on the same page and is clear about their role and responsibilities. A cloud-based shared calendar or schedule can be enormously helpful for this.

If there are no other family members or friends to share the load with, you may want to consider hiring an in-home caregiver. In-home caregivers can visit as often as needed to assist with tasks and provide any level of personal care your loved one requires. They’ll also stay in contact with you to let you know how your loved one is doing and alert you to any issues that need to be addressed.

If you are in need of in-home care for your loved one, Right Hand Senior Care is here to help. We will work with you and your family to develop a custom care plan that meets everyone’s needs and ensures that your loved one gets the right care and support. For more information, contact us at (insert phone) or (insert email).

How to Prevent Caregiver Burnout

If you are the primary caregiver for a disabled or senior family member, chances are you’ve heard the term “caregiver burnout.” You may even be experiencing it yourself.

Caregiver burnout occurs when a caregiver is unable to take time for themselves to rest and focus on their mental health. A person suffering from caregiver burnout is physically, emotionally, or mentally exhausted, resulting in anxiety, depression, high levels of stress, or attitude changes.

So how do you prevent or alleviate caregiver burnout? By taking the time to care for yourself — so you can give your family member or loved one the care that they need.

Signs of caregiver burnout

The signs of caregiver burnout vary by person, but you should watch for the following symptoms or changes.

As you can see, the symptoms of caregiver burnout look a lot like those of anxiety and/or depression. That’s because caregiver burnout is, essentially, anxiety or depression that is brought on by a specific set of circumstances: putting yourself on the backburner to focus solely on the monumental task of taking complete care of another individual.

How to prevent or alleviate caregiver burnout

Now that you know what causes burnout, let’s look at how to prevent or recover from it.

Talk to someone — Find a trusted friend, family member, therapist, or caregiver support group that you can be open and honest with when you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed by your role. Just sharing your feelings can be immensely helpful and give you more insight into your state of mind.

Establish boundaries and expectations — Many caregivers feel pressured (by family members, the patient, or even themselves) to provide more help than they are realistically capable of. So set some time and workload boundaries that both you and others must respect. This might mean that you have to delegate some tasks or others or look for outside help, but it will ensure that you do not get overwhelmed by your role as more and more demands are piled on you.

Educate yourself — If the person you are caring for has a debilitating disease or injury, especially if it will progress, take some time to research and learn about the specific challenges they may face, the expected outcomes and timelines, and the best ways to care for them. You’ll likely find some helpful tips that can make both of your lives easier. In addition, you’ll also know what to expect in the future, which can help you determine when you will no longer be able to provide the level of care that they need.

Enlist outside help — There are many different resources out there that can help lighten your load. Local community or senior centers often have day programs that provide care, activities, and entertainment, so you can have a break. You can also arrange a short stay at a nursing home or assisted living facility if you need extended time away. For more regular, permanent assistance, you can enlist the help of a professional at-home caregiver. 

Practice regular self-care — There is a reason why this is last on the list, even though it is, by far, the most important. If you are already feeling overwhelmed by the physical, mental, and emotional demands of caregiving, it will be incredibly difficult to break away and take time for yourself. You may even feel guilty for doing so. That’s where the previous steps come in. By communicating, setting boundaries, and getting help from outside resources, you can carve out the time you need to care for yourself.

If you are experiencing caregiver burnout, or you want to prevent it, Right Hand Senior Care would love to partner with you and provide at-home care services for your loved one. We will work with you to determine your needs and create a custom plan that works for both you and your family. For more information, you can contact us at (insert phone) or (insert email).

Benefits of In-Home Care for Seniors

There are a few different options when it comes to providing care to your aging loved ones. For example, you can take on the role of primary caregiver, they can move to an assisted living or care facility, or you can enlist the support of a professional in-home caregiver. There is no one-size-fits-all option — it all depends on the level of care that your loved one needs and what will work best for them and their family.

However, seniors who receive in-home care often fare better than those who relocate to a residential facility. So let’s take a look at why that is and what the benefits are of in-home care for seniors.


Comfort and familiarity

One of the greatest benefits of in-home care is that your loved one gets to stay in their familiar environment and enjoy all of the comforts of home. This is especially important for individuals suffering from Alzheimers or dementia. The familiarity of home and the preservation of their normal routines can help slow cognitive decline and improve mental health.

Freedom and independence

It’s difficult for seniors to feel as though they’ve lost their independence and freedom to live their own lives. But with in-home care, they can retain that sense of self and continue enjoying their hobbies, friends, and regular activities — while still receiving the care that they need to maintain their health and safety.

Support of family and loved ones

In-home care also allows family members to stay involved with their loved one’s care and their life in general. Their caregiver will keep the family consistently updated, and there are no visiting hours to be mindful of, so friends and family members can stop by anytime to share a meal or just have a chat. In addition, they will not be forced to part with any beloved pets, and companion animals have been shown to significantly improve seniors’ health and happiness.

Better health and wellbeing

Studies show that in-home care patients have improved mental and physical health and wellbeing over patients in residential facilities. This is partly due to the benefits already mentioned, but also because they receive dedicated, individualized attention from their caregiver, who can also serve as a regular companion to help stave off feelings of loneliness or isolation.  

Personalized, one-on-one care

Just like there is no single care option that works best for everyone, there is no one-size-fits-all care plan. A good in-home care provider will develop a personalized care plan that fits the needs of the individual and their family members. So a caregiver can come as often as needed and provide assistance with whatever tasks the patient needs help with.


While in-home care may sound expensive, it can actually be quite affordable — and even more cost-effective than a residential facility. Caregiver hours are flexible, so you can work with the provider to determine a level of care that fits your loved one’s needs and your budget. There are also insurance policies and government assistance programs that may help offset the costs.

As you can see, in-home care can be enormously beneficial for many seniors who need a little help with their day-to-day lives. The ability to stay in their home and stick to their familiar routines can help seniors maintain their independence, cognitive function, and mental and physical wellbeing for as long as possible.

If you would like to learn more about in-home for your loved one, feel free to contact us at (insert phone) or (insert email). We would love to be a part of your loved one’s care team.