Browsing articles by "Gavin Densmore, Founder, CEO, Author at Helping Hands of America | Home Health Care Raleigh, NC"

Keep Elderly Parents Entertained with These Activities

Oct 27, 2016   //   by Gavin Densmore, Founder, CEO   //   Elderly Care in Cary NC  //  Comments Off

Elderly Care in Cary NC

As a family caregiver, you probably spend a majority of your time trying to make sure your loved one is taking their medication on time and doing other things to ensure they are healthy. One thing you may not think about is whether or not your loved one is having fun or being entertained.Elderly-Care-in-Cary-NC

Many older adults need more than just a walk in the park to have an enjoyable day. With the use of these tasks, your loved one can do them alone while you tend to the housework or other caregiving responsibilities.

Activities Older Adults will Enjoy

  • Find online groups. Is there a hobby your loved one is passionate about, like quilting or gardening? They may be able to find a group of people who also enjoy these activities online. Help the elder find chatrooms online that will allow them to talk to others with similar interests, but make sure to talk to your loved one about the dangers of talking to strangers online.
  • Join a class. Senior centers often have a wide range of activities and classes available for older adults. Check with their activities calendar to find out what classes the elder would enjoy. They will also be able to meet other people in their area who also share similar interests.
  • Go to the library. Does your elderly parent enjoy reading? Take them to the library, where they can find new books they have not yet had the chance to read.
  • Hire an elderly care provider. An elderly care provider will be able to offer the elder their undivided attention while you are busy running errands or completing other tasks. This caregiver will be able to play games with the elder and other enjoyable activities, yet will also make sure the elder is healthy and well cared for.
  • Let them help with chores. This is especially entertaining for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease. Since there are a wide range of activities that they can’t do, let them help with chores that they are capable of doing. This may include folding towels, dusting, or other simple tasks that need to be done around the home.
  • Play music. Playing music that your loved one likes may help them reminisce over memories from their younger days. This simple activity can actually help older adults feel youthful once again.


It may take several tries before finding an activity that your loved one enjoys, but this list is a great place to start.


If you or an aging loved one are looking for elderly care in Cary, NC, call Helping Hands of America at (919) 632-8891. Call today!


Focus on Elderly Care Services – Laundry

Oct 21, 2016   //   by Gavin Densmore, Founder, CEO   //   Elderly Care in Raleigh NC  //  Comments Off

Elderly Care in Raleigh NC

Independence and autonomy are valuable concepts for everyone. This does not change simply because someone has gotten older. In fact, older adults often feel even more passionate about hanging on to their independence because they can Elderly-Care-in-Raleigh-NCsense it going away and are already dealing with other challenges and limitations, such as diseases, health concerns, and cognitive issues. As a family caregiver you can help your aging parent to maintain better mental and emotional health through supporting their ongoing independence and autonomy throughout their later years. One way that you can effectively accomplish this is by starting elderly care for them.

An elderly home care services provider can give your senior a personalized set of services that are tailored to managing their specific needs and challenges in a way that is compassionate, nurturing, and conducive to their highest level of health, happiness, safety, and wellbeing as they age in place. One of the beneficial services that your parent can receive from such a care provider is assistance with their laundry.

Washing laundry is something that you likely do regularly without even thinking about the energy or effort that has to go into it. For an elderly adult who is dealing with mobility problems, balance issues, pain and stiffness in the joints, or other physical or cognitive issues, however, doing the laundry can be a very difficult undertaking.

Some of the benefits of an elderly home care services provider helping your parent do their laundry include:

  • Sense of control. Not being able to do something that they once did can make your parent feel as though they have lost control over their lives. This can be extremely uncomfortable, particularly for a senior who has always managed their own needs. If you simply take over doing tasks such as their laundry for them, you further this feeling of being out of control. By having a care provider come in and help your parent with this task you let them keep up the sense that they have continued control over their life.
  • Dignity. Many elderly adults are extremely private people. Older generations tended to have a greater sense of personal space and modesty than younger generations, which can make it even more difficult for them to just allow you to take over a task such as doing their laundry. A care provider can help them to manage much of this task on their own so that they can preserve this sense of dignity and privacy, protecting their mental and emotional health and wellbeing.
  • Modified steps. Sometimes your parent not being able to do their own laundry is about their individual challenges and limitations making certain steps of the task challenging or dangerous for them. An elderly home care services provider can modify the task of doing the laundry in such a way that it is easier for your parent to do at least some of it themselves. This can include dividing the laundry into loads for them, dispensing the soap so that your parent can pour it in, or taking the laundry out of the dryer so your parent can fold it.


If you or an aging loved one are looking for elderly care services in Raleigh, NC, call Helping Hands of America at (919) 632-8891. Call today!



What Are the Best Ways to Prepare Yourself for Being a Long-distance Family Caregiver?

Oct 14, 2016   //   by Gavin Densmore, Founder, CEO   //   Caregiver in Durham NC  //  Comments Off

Caregiver in Durham NC

Living far away from your elderly loved one can be nerve wracking, particularly if you’re worried about her health. If you and your loved one are still working out the basics of you becoming her long-distance caregiver, these strategies can help.Caregiver-in-Durham-NC

Ask Your Other Family Members for Help

Your other family members, especially if they’re living much closer to your elderly loved one than you do, can help you to keep tabs on the situation with your loved one. Talk to your loved one about who she feels most comfortable around so that you don’t inconvenience her and then work out a system that works for everyone.

Hire Elderly Care Providers

Elderly care providers are another option and you might even feel more secure with this solution. Elder care providers have experience in caring for elderly loved ones just like yours and they can help you to stay informed about your loved one’s health. They can help your loved one with all sorts of tasks or even just provide companionship when you can’t be there.

Put a Plan in Place for Emergencies

Your loved one may be in excellent health right now, but chances are that at some point there will be a situation that definitely qualifies as an emergency. You need to have a plan in place for that contingency now so that you’re not trying to figure out things like time off from work and travel arrangements when you’re worried out of your mind about your loved one.

Establish a Plan for Keeping in Touch with Your Loved One

As your loved one’s long-distance caregiver, you need a way to keep in touch regularly. One option is to schedule phone or video calls with your loved one for a set time every day or every other day. These give you a chance to see and to hear for yourself how your loved one is doing while catching up, too.

Become Acquainted with Your Loved One’s Doctors

Regardless of your loved one’s current health situation, it’s a good idea for you to become acquainted with her doctors. That way if there is a medical emergency, you’ve already established a connection with your loved one’s doctors and know who to contact.

Revisit your plans often to make sure that they still fit your situation as well as your loved one’s situation.


If you or an aging loved one are looking for caregiver services in Durham, NC, call Helping Hands of America at (919) 632-8891. Call today!


Simple Ways to Keep Your Parent Warm without Using Excessive Energy

Oct 5, 2016   //   by Gavin Densmore, Founder, CEO   //   Senior Care in Cary NC  //  Comments Off

Senior Care in Cary NC

October is Energy Management is a Family Affair – Improve Your Home Month. Since this is also the time of year when many places are seeing the definite change in temperature that comes with the fall season, now is an ideal time for you as aSenior-Care-in-Cary-NC family caregiver to look into ways that you can help your parent to stay warm and comfortable without using excessive energy and resources. This is extremely helpful in keeping your parent cozy and healthy without costing them a tremendous amount of money or putting a strain on natural resources.


Try some of these simple ways to keep your parent warm without using excessive energy:

  • Cover up. The temperature in your parent’s home during the cooler months of the year should not be set so high that they are able to wear short sleeves or shorts inside comfortably. This means that the climate control system is set too high and is putting a tremendous strain on their utilities. Instead, the temperature should be set so that they need to wear long sleeves or even a sweat suit to stay comfortable. This also helps to reduce the dramatic shift in temperatures from inside to outside, which has been shown to increase the risk of illness.
  • That goes for floors, too. While you are making sure that your parent is wearing proper clothing, also consider the type of flooring that is in your parent’s home. Bare flooring such as wood, tile, linoleum, and marble do not hold heat and can be extremely cold to the touch. Covering these floors helps to keep the floor feeling warmer and holds on to warmth so that it keeps the entire space more comfortable. Be sure to choose covering that will not move or tangle beneath your parent’s feet to help prevent tripping or falling.
  • Let the light in. During the day, open your parent’s windows and blinds to let as much light in as possible. This will bring with it radiant heat that will help to keep the space warmer.
  • Block the cold. Something as simple as a tiny space beneath a door can make the home feel extremely chilly. Go through your parent’s home and check beneath all of the doors to feel if there is a breeze coming from under it. If you feel air moving, tuck a towel or draft blocker against the bottom of the door. This will keep the cold air out and the warm air in, increasing the indoor temperature without having to crank up the heat.


Starting senior care for your elderly parent can be an extremely beneficial way to help them save energy and keep their home more efficient. A senior home care services provider can help your aging loved one evaluate their home and their daily activities to find areas of their home that may be utilizing more energy than necessary so that they can help them to make meaningful changes to help them save energy and live more efficiently. This will not only help them to save money, but can give them an emotional boost knowing that they are doing something good for the planet by reducing their carbon footprint and protecting the environment for the future generations. When it comes to helping them to stay warm and comfortable in their home throughout the cooler fall and winter months, this care provider can also help your parent to stay properly dressed, pay attention to the needs of their home to make adjustments when necessary to keep the air inside the home warm and comfortable, and keep their home properly organized to ensure your loved one has access to supplies that they need to maintain their temperature effectively.


If you or an aging loved one are looking for senior care in Cary, NC, call Helping Hands of America at (919) 632-8891. Call today!



What to Look for Outside of Your Parent’s Home That Could Indicate They Need Home Care

Sep 29, 2016   //   by Gavin Densmore, Founder, CEO   //   Home Care in Durham NC  //  Comments Off

Home Care in Durham NC

As a family caregiver it is your responsibility to make sure that your aging parent is getting everything that they need on a regular basis to stay as healthy, happy, comfortable, and safe as they can throughout their later years. This can mean Home-Care-in-Durham-NCmaking challenging decisions to ensure that you are doing what is right for them based on their individual needs, challenges, limitations, and conditions. One such decision is whether it might be the right time for you to consider starting home care for them.

Starting a home care relationship for your aging parent can give them the support, care, and encouragement that they need to maintain more independence while still handling their personal needs on a regular basis. While this type of care relationship can offer a wide variety of benefits, it may not be right for your specific senior and is a decision that you should not take lightly. Looking out for signs that could indicate that your aging loved one needs additional assistance and support as they age in place can help you to feel more confident that you are making the right decision for your senior.


Some things to look out for outside of your parent’s home that could indicate that they need home care include:

  • Vehicle damage. If your aging parent is still driving, pay attention to the condition of their vehicle when you come to visit. Look for minor signs of damage such as scratches, dings, and dents. These could indicate that your senior is struggling with the tasks of driving whether due to physical, mobility, or cognitive limitations. This could put your parent and anyone else on the road in serious danger. A home care provider can give your parent reliable, safe transportation so that they can go where they want and need to go, when they want and need to go there.
  • Overgrown lawn. If your senior has always taken pride in the appearance of their lawn and it has started to suffer from neglect, it could indicate that your loved one is dealing with challenges and limitations that keep them from being able to handle these tasks effectively. An in-home senior care services provider can encourage your loved one to manage more of their landscaping tasks, assist with basic gardening, and provide care and support that will give your loved one more energy to handle the outdoor tasks that they enjoy.
  • Overflowing mailbox. Going out to check the mail is a simple task that virtually everyone does nearly every day. If your parent’s mailbox is full or overflowing with mail, regardless of what it is, it could be a sign that they are dealing with issues that prevent them from being able to manage this task and that they could use assistance. This one simple sign could mean that your loved one is dealing with mobility problems, memory challenges, or frequent falls, all of which can be helped with the personalized services of a senior care provider.


If you or an aging loved one are looking for home care in Durham, NC, call Helping Hands of America at (919) 632-8891. Call today!




Tips for Delicious and Nutritious Vegan Baking

Sep 22, 2016   //   by Gavin Densmore, Founder, CEO   //   Caregiver in Raleigh NC  //  Comments Off

Caregiver in Raleigh NC

October 1 is Vegan Baking Day. This is a fantastic opportunity for you to find out more about the ways that you can help your elderly loved one improve their health and wellbeing with improved nutrition. As a family caregiver it is one of yourCaregiver-in-Raleigh-NCmost important goals to help keep your parent as healthy as possible so that they can enjoy the highest quality of life that they can as they age in place. Studies have shown that eating a diet that is focused on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains rather than animal products can offer your parent a wide variety of health benefits, including protecting them from cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and more. By helping your parent to see that they can enjoy delicious, indulgent foods even while eating a predominantly plant-based diet, you can help your parent to get the benefits of reducing the animal products in their eating without them feeling as though they are making major sacrifices.

On Vegan Baking Day, work with your parent to create delicious treats that you can enjoy together, but still feel good about. Baking without animal products such as milk, butter, and eggs can be flavorful, but it can also be challenging. Knowing a few simple tips and tricks can help you to bake your parent’s favorite desserts, breads, and other goodies without the use of animal products. While not all of these tips will not make these foods ones that they should eat frequently, they can make their favorite indulgences healthier for their occasional treat.


Use these tricks and tips for delicious and nutritious vegan baking:

  • Know the point of eggs. One of the most challenging parts of baking without animal products is replacing eggs. In order to be as successful as possible with the egg replacement, it is important to determine the purpose of the eggs in the recipe. If the finished product is meant to be light and fluffy, the eggs are likely for leavening. If the finished product is meant to be dense and chewy, the eggs are likely for binding. This will help you determine which of the replacement options is best for your recipe.
  • Try cornstarch. If the eggs are for binding, try replacing them in your recipe with cornstarch and water. Simply add two tablespoons of cornstarch to two tablespoons of water. Mix them well until they have a gelatinous texture and use to replace each egg in the recipe.
  • Try flax seeds. If the eggs are for leavening, try replacing them in your recipe with flax seeds. Simply add one tablespoon of ground flax seeds to three tablespoons of water and mix well until they have a gelatinous texture. Use this to replace one egg in your recipe. As an added bonus, this adds extra omega-3 fatty acids and protein to the recipe.
  • Go for tofu. Tofu is an amazing ingredient that you can use in a huge variety of recipes. Whether the finished product is meant to be sweet or savory, the tofu will add protein, creaminess, thickness, and a custardy quality to goods that would usually contain eggs and milk. Use ¼ cup of pureed tofu to replace each egg in recipes such as quiches or custard pies. This is fantastic for adding bulk and a satisfying texture to pumpkin pie or creating a tasty vegetable-filled quiche for brunch.
  • Choose the right dairy-free milk. There are many different dairy-free milk alternatives that you can use in your baked goods. Choosing full-fat versions is best to ensure the best texture. This also goes for vegan butter alternatives, which are lower in fat and calories than dairy butter but with a rich, satisfying taste.


If you or an aging loved one are looking for caregiver services in Raleigh, NC, call Helping Hands of America at (919) 632-8891. Call today!




Simplifying the Busy Fall Season with Meal Planning

Sep 16, 2016   //   by Gavin Densmore, Founder, CEO   //   Elder Care in Durham NC  //  Comments Off

Elder Care in Durham NC

The summer is winding down and the fall season is arriving. For many family caregivers this means that their schedules are about to get even busier and more hectic than they already were. If you are a member of the sandwich generationElder-Care-in-Durham-NC caring for your elderly parent and your children, the fall is a time when your children are going back to school, extracurricular activities are starting up again, and your thoughts are moving ahead to the upcoming holiday season. This can mean many more obligations and needs piled into your to-do list. One way that you can make this much easier on yourself and ensure that everyone who relies on you gets the most out of your care and efforts is using meal planning.


Meal planning is all about taking a little bit extra time once a week or even once every couple of weeks to plan the meals that you will prepare for your family. This can help your care efforts in many ways. Some of the ways that meal planning can simplify the busy fall season include:

  • Streamline shopping. Grocery shopping is an activity that you might not enjoy, but one that you have to do. You must shop for your family and for parent, and it can be time-consuming, especially if you are just purchasing items that you think that you might use. Meal planning allows you to know exactly what you need for each meal and snack that you are going to prepare. This streamlines your shopping so that it takes less time and helps you to save money.
  • Take advantage of seasonal items. Seasonal produce and even meats tend to be the most affordable as well as the most nutritious items in the grocery store. When you plan ahead you are able to take advantage of these seasonal items by working them into as many meals and snacks as you can.
  • DIY “fast food”. Rather than going through the drive-thru or reaching for those delivery menus when you are preparing meals for your family, create your own version of “fast food” by freezing meals ahead of time. Set aside a day to prepare casseroles, sides, and other dishes that you can put in the freezer. Then you are able to simply thaw and finish cooking when you are ready for a hot, healthy meal. This also allows you to know exactly what you are going to serve in advance so you do not have to think about it or add the stress of coming up with a meal on your busiest days.


If you are concerned that your elderly parent is not eating properly, or that your schedule is going to get busier during the fall and you may not be able to give them the level of attention, assistance, and support that they need, now may be the ideal time for you to consider senior care for them. A senor home care services provider can act as an extension of the care that you give them, filling in when it is best for your parent and for you so that you can both be confident that they are getting everything that they need. This can be exceptionally helpful in terms of making sure that they are eating right, staying active, and remaining safe even when you are not able to be with them.


If you or an aging loved one are looking for elder care in Durham, NC, call Helping Hands of America at (919) 632-8891. Call today!


How to Help an Elderly Loved One Stay Mentally Active While Recuperating

Sep 9, 2016   //   by Gavin Densmore, Founder, CEO   //   Home Care in Cary NC  //  Comments Off

Home Care in Cary NC

If your elderly loved one is recuperating, she may need some extra help keeping her brain active and engaged. This is especially true for a loved one who is used to being on the go more often than not.Home-Care-in-Cary-NC

Double Check What She’s Able to Do

Make sure that you’re aware of exactly what your loved one’s new limitations are by double checking with her doctor. Whether she’s recovering from surgery, a hospital stay, or an illness, there are bound to be a few restrictions on what she should do. Your loved one’s doctor may also recommend light exercise, depending on the health issues that your loved one is experiencing. Write down all of the instructions, because you’ll need them later.

Make a List of Possible Activities

Your loved one may be able or willing to do a variety of things while recuperating, but some of them might be out of her normal realm of daily activity. For example, after a hip replacement, her doctor might recommend physical therapy along with a good bit of rest. That could mean that your loved one needs a stockpile of activities that she can do while still resting her hip often.

Gather up Necessary Items

Once you know what types of activities you’re planning for your loved one, you need to gather up some supplies. She may need:

  • Board games
  • Puzzles
  • Coloring books and markers or pencils
  • Word game books or printouts
  • Card games
  • Movies
  • Snacks for movie afternoons
  • A fuzzy blanket
  • Comfy slippers

Be creative and try to pamper your loved one a little bit. Recuperating isn’t fun, but it’s necessary. The more enjoyable you can make the process, the better.

Make Sure Your Loved One Has Company

Check in with other family members and find out who can stay with your loved one and when. Your loved one may only want people visiting for a few minutes at a time or, depending on her recuperation, she may need someone with her all the time. if you have coverage gaps, home care providers can fill those in for you.

As your loved one feels stronger, she’ll be able to do more and more of what she loves to do.

If you or an aging loved one are looking for home care in Cary, NC, call Helping Hands of America at (919) 632-8891. Call today!


Excerpt: Recuperating from an illness or from surgery can be difficult from a mental standpoint, particularly if your elderly loved one is used to doing lots of different things. Try some of these suggestions to make recuperation easier on her.


What Can You Do to Empower Your Parent to Make Their Own Treatment Decisions?

Sep 2, 2016   //   by Gavin Densmore, Founder, CEO   //   Senior Care in Raleigh NC  //  Comments Off

Senior Care in Raleigh NCSenior-Care-in-Raleigh-NC

A diagnosis with cancer is a stressful and intimidating experience. Once your parent has heard this diagnosis, though, the real challenges begin. They must not only process the fact that they have cancer, but also that they will need to decide how they are going to handle the disease. The treatment and course of management that they choose will make an extensive impact on how they get through this experience and what will lie ahead of them for the rest of their life. As their family caregiver it is important that you are there for them to help them not only understand the treatment options that are available to them, but to empower them to make the decisions that are right for them.


Use these tips to empower your parent to make their own treatment decisions when they are facing cancer:

  • Make no treatment a valid option. Simply because you are discussing treatment options does not mean that your aging parent has to select any of them. Choosing not to pursue any type of treatment is a valid treatment decision and it is important that your parent knows that. Let them know that you will be supportive of their decision if they decide that it would be better for them to not approach their cancer aggressively and instead focus on living out their lives in the best way that they can.
  • Learn with them. Choosing what type of treatment option is best for them is not always a simple prospect. Their doctor will have recommendations for what they feel is the right approach for your parent, but this does not mean that that is the only path that your parent can take. Spend some time learning about the various treatment options with your parent so that they can have all of the information that they need to choose the approach that feels right for them.
  • Withhold your judgments. You are going to have your own thoughts and feelings about their cancer and what you think that they should do, but it is not your choice. It is important to remind yourself that this is your aging parent who is going through the disease and the final decision as to how they are going to handle it is completely up to them. Offer them your thoughts or opinions only if they ask for them, and remind them that you are there for them no matter what they choose. This will give them confidence to evaluate the options based on their own thoughts and convictions rather than on worrying about what others will think.


Starting senior care for your aging parent can be an exceptional way to help them to handle their experience with cancer in the way that is right for them. Regardless of the treatment option that they select, this senior home care services provider can be in the home with them to provide the physical assistance and care, emotional support and guidance, treatment reminders, transportation, and more that your aging parent needs to live a lifestyle that is as safe, healthy, comfortable, and fulfilling as possible.


If you or an aging loved one are looking for senior care in Raleigh, NC, call Helping Hands of America at (919) 632-8891. Call today!

Traveling With a Loved One With Diabetes

Aug 25, 2016   //   by Gavin Densmore, Founder, CEO   //   Elderly Care in Durham NC  //  Comments Off

Elderly Care in Durham NC

If you are a caregiver for an elderly loved one with type 2 diabetes, you know the importance of taking medications as directed and sticking to a healthy eating plan. Oftentimes, your loved one’s routine can get disrupted by traveling which can make it harder to stay on track with their medication schedule and eating routine. Fortunately, with a little preparedness, you and your loved one can still enjoy traveling and your loved one can stay healthy along the way, as well. Packing for aElderly-Care-in-Durham-NC loved one with diabetes may require extra steps, but they can prevent health emergencies when away from home. If you are planning a trip with an elderly loved one with diabetes, here are a few things to add to your packing list:



Taking vacation does not mean your loved one can take a vacation from their medications! They must still be taken as directed at the proper times of day. Bring along your loved one’s medication as well as some extra just in case any gets lost or you end up traveling for an extra day.


Cold Packs and an Insulated Cooler

A cooler or insulated bag filled with cold packs is a great place to store any medications that require refrigeration. This is great if there will be some time before you and your loved one have access to a refrigerator.


Medical Supplies

It is important for you and your loved one to bring along all of the medical supplies that are necessary to use for checking your loved one’s blood sugar levels. It is a great idea to also bring extras just in case any get lost or your trip lasts longer than planned.


Emergency Information

A card that details information about your loved one’s diabetes or other medical conditions is great for them to carry with them on their person in the event of an emergency. On the card include their doctor’s name, location, and phone number as well as a list of their medications, medical diagnoses, and names and phone numbers of close family members that should be contacted in an emergency.



Skipping meals can have negative consequences for those with diabetes. Oftentimes traveling can disrupt your loved one’s normal eating schedule so it is a good idea to bring some healthy snacks along on your trip. Try bringing along fresh fruits and vegetables in plastic bags or trail mix.


If you or an aging loved one are looking for elderly care in Durham, NC, call Helping Hands of America at (919) 632-8891. Call today!