Conlin Health Care

“Mary, Thanks so much to you and your colleagues for your help with my Dad for the past year and a half. We were so blessed to have Sheila. She was a perfect companion and caregiver for my father and a gift to my peace of mind. We were so lucky to have her stay for so long. I truly appreciate everything.”

— Lori C. 




Helpful Tips

When is it the right time to make the choice of in home care?

Choosing among the myriad options available to care for a loved one may leave you with more questions than answers. Home care services are the appropriate choice when a person prefers to maintain independent living by remaining in the comfort and privacy of home, but still needs the kind of ongoing care that can no longer effectively be provided by family and friends.

Whether it's an elderly relative who requires services as her capabilities diminish, a recuperating patient who temporarily needs assistance until fully recovered, or a terminally ill loved one who wishes to maintain dignity at the end of life, choosing compassionate and experienced home care can make the difference between living a joyful life, and enduring a stress-filled existence.

  • Does it make sense for dad to remain in his house when walking the stairs makes laundry an impossible task?
  • What happens if grandma falls? She seems so fragile. What can I do to prevent a fall?
  • Will mom be lonely while I'm at work all day? Who can she talk to?
  • Is dad eating properly now that mom is gone? How can I find the time to stop by every day?

For more information email us, or call us at 781-329-3400.

Every-Day Routines

Caring for an aging parent or friend is often a balancing act. Our elderly parents deserve our time, energy and assistance, yet family caregivers may also be working at full time jobs, raising children, and taking care of their own homes, sometimes far away. The first step in providing loving assistance to Mom or Dad requires a practical look at daily routines that might leave your loved ones vulnerable. Consider these ideas to make life easier for both of you:

  • Failing eyesight and hearing can cause confusion. Make sure that household cleaners, chemicals and medications are labeled with large, bold letters. Install a phone with oversized numbers. Provide amplifiers for phones, televisions and alarm systems, if possible.
  • Keep a list of your parent’s medications, health care issues, allergies and insurance on a card in your wallet. That way, if you’re called and asked for information, you have it at your fingertips. Call the local police department in your parent’s home town and let them know that you have an elderly mother or father who lives alone. Often they’ll make a special effort to check on them from time to time.
  • Remember that falls can be catastrophic in old age: remove throw rugs, use non-slip wax on floors, and clear rooms of clutter and small objects like footstools, electrical cords and magazine baskets.
  • Place portable phones in several convenient places in the house.
  • Find a barber or hairdresser who will make house calls, if it’s difficult for your parent to get out. Looking good and feeling good are often related.
  • Clearly mark the OFF position on the dials of a gas range with colored tape so there won’t be a mistake.
  • It’s important for everyone to do new things. Offer to take your parent to a play, a museum exhibit or sign them up for an oil painting class. Quality of life can be greatly improved by little acts of love.
  • Touch means a lot. Rub your dad’s shoulders, hold your mom’s hand, offer to brush her hair.
  • As your parents age, remember to look inside for the person they were when they were young. While you’re feeling stress and worry over your parent, often they’re feeling the burden of helplessness, loss of control and anxiety over being a burden to you. Get help when you need it, and don’t let guilt rob you of your special memories.

Balancing the Risk of Falls

Falling is one of the most common causes of injury among elders. Declining eyesight, the affects of osteoporosis or arthritis, medication that might cause dizziness, Parkinson’s disease, or excessive caution born of a prior fall all contribute to your loved one’s vulnerability to falling.

Many older people fear falling, and with good reason. A simple misstep can result in the lifetime need of a walker or cane. Here’s how to create a safer home environment:

  • Assess each room in the house for safety. Look for obstacles in commonly used pathways, such as between the bedroom and bathroom, or between the kitchen and den. Clear away wires, baskets, small items of any kind.
  • Place dishes, glasses, bath products, clothes, etc., all within easy reach, to minimize bending, stepping over, or using step stools. Stairs should have secure handrails on both sides. Mark each step with brightly colored tape.
  • Install grab bars near toilets and inside tub area. Be sure there are non-skid strips inside the shower, and that rugs or runners are placed securely with rubber liners. Consider buying a toilet that is elevated. Grab bars might also be useful wherever your parent dresses.
  • Make sure lighting is bright and even throughout the house. Install nightlights to illuminate common nighttime pathways, such as between bedroom and bathroom, or in dark hallways. Install an easy-to-reach light by the bed.
  • Replace beds and chairs that are difficult for your elder to get into or out of. Weakness, fatigue and illness can make it a struggle to get up and down.
  • Practical shoes with rubber, non-skid soles are best, as are slippers or socks with non-skid bottoms. Sandals, open toed shoes or high heels should be avoided.
  • Place multiple portable phones within easy reach of the bed, a favorite chair and in the kitchen. Hurrying to answer a ringing phone is a bad idea. If your elder does fall, a nearby phone may be more easily reached.
  • If a fall occurs in spite of precautions, make an appointment with the doctor whether or not there is an apparent injury. A physician can determine whether issues such as medication, stroke, dehydration, etc., might have caused the fall, and help to keep another from happening.

Walking Down Memory Lane Helping a Loved One With memory Loss

Gradual memory loss is part of normal aging, largely caused by a reduction in brain size as the years pass. But coupled with hormonal changes, medications, poor hearing, and lack of intellectual stimulation, you may find your elderly loved ones become forgetful, confused and lack the level of concentration that they once had.

Here’s how to help:

  •  Encourage your parents to attend classes, visit a museum, engage in word games like crossword puzzles, do math teasers, and read books and newspapers to maintain an active and alert mind. Use it or lose it rings true when it comes to retaining memory. Memory can be improved through practice.
  • Write everything down on a large, easy-to-read calendar: Doctor’s appointments, phone calls to be made, bills to be paid, expected visitors and everyday tasks. It can become the daily checklist of activity.
  • Develop a daily routine for and with your parents that doesn’t change. If Mother feels most aware in the mornings, schedule bill paying or the opening of mail for that time of day. If she gets tired and confused in the evening, reserve that time for quiet activities. If possible, visit your parents on the same day of the week, or same time of day so that it is easily remembered and becomes something to look forward to.
  • Update the kitchen to encourage use of the microwave—it’s safer—and buy a toaster/broiler oven that has an automatic shut-off. Make certain the stove and oven knobs are clearly marked with fluorescent tape that indicates when the stove is turned off.
  • Keep important items in the same place, and if they are small in size, attach them to large key chains. Purchase two sets of eyeglasses, keys, dentures, hearing aids, whenever possible so that temporary loss is of little consequence.

Are you worried that it could be Dementia? Is it simple forgetfulness due to old age or is it dementia? Compare your parents’ forgetfulness to how he lived for most of his life. In simple memory loss, a person might forget the subject of this week’s sermon, or where he placed his glasses. With dementia, he would forget having ever attended services or the fact that he wears glasses at all. Other symptoms include disorientation, becoming easily lost, irritability, loss of language skills, a decline in personal grooming habits, and difficulty sleeping. Usually these symptoms will increase in breadth or severity over time.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, but it can also be caused by a series of small, otherwise benign strokes. If you suspect dementia, see your doctor for a complete examination to assess your parent’s current mental status.


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