From aromatherapy, for a healthy mind, to home automation for confident independent living, these specially selected gifts tell your loved ones you care and support them as they Age In Place.
ESSENTIAL OILS & DIFFUSER
Managing daily stresses can become difficult as we age. Our body’s natural ability to handle these tasks (which were once manageable) will be strenuous and overwhelming. This can trigger unnecessary stress and anxiety, which eventually leads to other physical and mental health risks. Aromatherapy is a holistic approach to reducing the amount of stress in your life. Essential oils are a wonderful way to help relax your body and mind. Managing stress levels decreases the amount of cortisol your body releases. Cortisol is your body’s main stress hormone that controls your mood, motivation and fears. According to Psychology Today, constant high levels of cortisol causes depression, impaired memory and brain degeneration. Dr. Hans Selye from the University of Montreal emphasizes that “chronic high levels of cortisone change the neural circuitry that regulates its release. In other words, the brain learns a new way of functioning if constantly bathed in high levels of cortisone.” Taking the steps to help you sleep better at night and calming your nerves regularly with essential oils are extremely beneficial to your overall health.
Here are some great suggestions to get you started!
Sleeplessness or Insomnia
Lavender, Cedarwood, Chamomile, Bergamot, Frankincense
Promote Feelings Of Calm & Positivity
Clary Sage, Rose, Vetiver, Chamomile, Bergamot, Frankincense, Lavender
Promote Healthy Blood Pressure & Heart Rate
(calms the nervous system and relaxes the senses)
Rose, Lemon, Ylang Ylang, Bergamot, Geranium, Valerian Root
There’s been a lot of talk out there lately about CBD oil and the positive health benefits. What exactly is it, you ask? CBD, or cannabidiol, is the non-psychoactive cannabinoid compound found in cannabis and/or hemp plants. CBD is a natural remedy used for a variety of ailments such as; chronic pain, inflammation, arthritis, insomnia, anxiety and depression, just to name a few. The compound is extracted from the plants and mixed with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, which can be used topically for muscle pain.
Unlike its counterpart, THC or tetrahydrocannabidol, you won’t get the “high” feeling or experience the mind-altering effects. The World Health Organization has found no abuse potential in controlled human studies, nor has there been any reports of physical dependence or public health related problems with pure CBD. Earlier this year, the FDA unanimously approved the CBD medication Epidiolex to treat two rare forms of childhood epilepsy.
Here’s a quick breakdown on how CBD works. We’ll expand more at a later date, in another blog post, as there’s much to discuss when it comes to CBD! Your body has an endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is a signaling molecule that helps us regulate and process pain, memory, mood, appetite, stress, sleep, metabolism, immune function, and reproductive function. CBD helps the body use its own ECS more effectively by activating other compounds in your body to regulate pain.
CBD oil is available in a range of applications including tinctures, topicals, vaporizers, vape pens, transdermal patches and as infused edibles. With that said, just like any other medication, make sure you research your State’s regulations on CBD. As always, consult with an expert before trying anything!
Project CBD, a California based nonprofit, is a great resource to start with. They conduct workshop trainings for the healthcare industry, and update doctors on developments in the industry. You can also find reviews and report on CBD rich strains and products on their website.
BED & BATH GIFT BASKET
Nothing says “I’m Thinking of You!” more than a personalized gift basket. Create your own with classic items such as, anti-slip socks, hooded bathrobes, and blankets. One can never have enough socks, especially anti-slip ones for those hardwood floors. Not to mention, outdoor shoes in the house are pretty unsanitary. Let’s face it; we should all give a second thought to wearing those outdoor shoes, indoors. Just ask the Today Show! A hooded bathrobe is essential after showers to keep the head and body warm. Providing comfort and safety, bathrobes also decrease anxiety levels related to showering, which helps with the overall bathing experience.
Weighted blankets are a wonderful addition to your gift basket, or great on it's own. According to The Alzheimer's Store, "weighted blankets are an effective and drug-free aid in helping to calm the mind and relax those living with Alzheimer's, Autism (ASD), Anxiety Disorders (ADD / ADHD / PTSD), Tourette's syndrome (GTS), Restless Leg Syndrome, Menopause and more. By covering the body for sleep, wrapping shoulders while sitting or by laying the blanket across laps or legs, weighted blankets apply comforting pressure where it's most beneficial."
Check out these great products!
Brain stimulation is important in aging adults. During the winter months, this brain stimulating activity helps them focus, enhance motor skills, reduce anxiety and stress, most importantly it helps keep the brain sharp, yet relaxed. Art Therapy Coloring has created some amazing coloring books specifically for seniors, with larger designs, so it’s easier to see and color. Not to mention, coloring is a great social activity for grandparents and their grandchild!
Art Therapy Coloring has 22 selections for only $7.99 each!
Nostalgic Music Players
For years we’ve known how impactful and beneficial music is to our overall physical and mental well-being. Music therapy is on the rise, and more companies are creating simple, user friendly devices for aging adults. Music is a magical time machine that brings up lively, positive memories. Studies show how this soothes dementia and Alzheimer patients’ symptoms, specifically helps them communicate and engage more. Selecting the right music is just as important as playing it! Get to know the music from your loved ones generation and familiarize yourself with their favorite artists.
The Simple Music Player is a no fuss, easy to use MP3 player created for dementia patients. You just lift the lid to play, then shut the lid to stop, with another big button to skip to the next song. Of course you’ll need to upload the songs (up to 1,000) and setup the player for your loved one.
Another option, is a good ole record player. There’s nothing that screams nostalgia more than the classic sounds of vinyl. So dust off those records that have been sitting in the garage for years! Get ready for big smiles and stories that’ll take you back. Amazon has various reasonably priced record players, some even have Bluetooth capabilities!
Smart Home Technology
With more of us choosing to stay home as we age, automating your loved ones homes with “SMART” devices or gadgets is a way to achieve these goals. Smart Home Technology gives you the ability to control your home with the internet, using voice command or applications on your phone. This year, gift the senior in your life with new technology to help them age in place, confidently. Just in case grandma or grandpa are not tech savvy, that’s ok! Since most are controlled by applications on your phone, you can assist from a distance. However, encourage them to learn the basic functions so they can maintain their independence. Plus learning new things, stimulates the brain!
Intelligent personal assistants such as, Alexa by Amazon and Google Assistant, are helpful with medication reminders. These are activated mostly by voice command and even have a touch screen. Prices range from $30 to $150.
Activity Sensors can be installed throughout the house to track movement. You can setup alerts to notify you of inactivity for days, or even hours. Samsung SmartThings Smart Home Hub functions as the brain of your system. Compatible devices have the ability to control thermostats, motion sensors, door locks, lights and personal home assistants. This inexpensive option to fully automate your loved ones home, can help put your mind at ease when you or their caregiver cannot be there.
Smart plugs are another way to control appliances from your phone. These are also compatible to personal home assistants for voice activation or Smart Home Hubs (aka the brain if you system). Most smart plugs can be found for under $50 for a (2) pack on Amazon. Just in case you aren’t ready for full automation, smart plugs are a wonderful alternative to ease your way into Smart Home Technology.
Wearable Tech Monitors
Tracking and sharing your health data with your doctor and care provider team has become easier. With the latest Apple Watch Series 4, their new ECG app (out later this year) keeps a closer eye on your heart’s rhythm. The crucial information is logged into the Health app, making scientific data readily shareable with your doctor. You and your health care team are able to make more informed decisions and opens up the door for more transparency. Another great capability is the fall detection feature, which uses their accelerometer and gyroscope technology. After a fall is detected, the device will send a message to their emergency contacts with their location if they’ve been unresponsive for 60 seconds. And we all know that every second counts! The Health app also tracks your sleep, activity, and nutrition! With all of the distractions out there, sometimes we can forget to get up and move around. So make sure you setup those notifications and apps for your loved one! Help keep their hearts pumping (at a healthy rate of course!), blood flowing, and muscles strong! Plus you can find endless supportive caretaker apps, such as; GPS tracking for the wandering dementia relative, or breathing exercises to ease their mind. Overall, the Apple Watch is a wonderful addition to those who need to keep a close eye on their health and well-being. Apple seems to be focusing on partnerships with medical experts, perhaps we can feel confident that they have our health top of mind.
Seat Lift or Recliner
For those who need a little bit of a boost, Seat Lifts are a perfect gift. This portable cushion gently assists with sitting and standing, to relieve any stress to your joints and keeps muscles strong. The Carex Upeasy Seat Assist provides 70% assistance and supports up to 340 lbs. Seat lifts are not only great in aiding, but a wonderful confidence booster!
Recliners have motorized features that address mobility issues prevalent with the elderly. Designed for those who need more assistance with sitting and standing, recliners also reduce the risk of injury and falling. Additionally, recliners help to alleviate stresses on joints for both seniors and their caregivers, especially if any lifting or transfers are required. Though a more expensive investment, this can be a gift from the entire family!
If you have questions about any of the products mentioned above, please contact us! We can even help with setup!
Office: 855-481-HOME Email: alere@AlereInHomeCare.com