Tag Archives: Medical Alerts

Senior Safety Tips And Advice

As we age, some individuals can become the target for a financial crime, identity theft, home break-in or some other scam.  Boomers raised in an era where being rude to a solicitor on the phone or door to door can actually put them in a more vulnerable position.  In some cases, those who would perpetrate a crime against the elderly will either rely on charm or bullying tactics to get the information that they seek. While a financial crime is a devastating time for anyone, it can be even worse for the elderly as they may not only question their ability to remain independent but will become fearful of living alone.

As a caregiver, there are steps you can take to protect your elderly loved ones:

  1.  Make sure the home is secure. Check the locks on doors and windows. Install a home alarm system with motion detectors and automatic indoor & outdoor lights. Make sure to post signs alerting vandals to the fact that the home has a security system. Another safety measure is to equip your relatives with a emergency medical device; these medical alert pendants provide a lifeline to outside help and assistance in the time of need.
  2. Trim all bushes around the house to eliminate any potential hiding places for a would-be burglar. Install doors with peepholes and advise them to not open the door to strangers. Never put keys under a door mat or other outdoor hiding spot. These are too easily discovered. Ask a trusted neighbor or friend that lives close to hold onto the extra key.
  3. Make certain the house number is painted in bright colors and large numbers to make it easy to find if emergency responders need to visit.
  4. Make certain additional cash isn’t left lying around the house. Keep enough cash on hand for daily needs, but keep large sums in the bank.
  5. Warn your elderly relatives to never give any personal or financial information over the phone. Make sure they are aware that no one – other than a family member – would ever be calling to solicit financial information. If your relatives are tech savvy and have signed up for online banking, make sure they are knowledgeable about the scams where it looks like their financial institution is asking them to sign in using the provided link. Their bank would never make this request, it is a scam.
  6. Don’t let your relatives make deals with door-to-door sales people. The scams perpetrated on the elderly involve everything from being overcharged for putting a new roof on the home to sealing the driveway to simply letting someone into the house so they can get the “lay of the land” and break in later. If, for example, your relatives need a new vacuum cleaner or a roof or driveway work, they should talk to you to help them get estimates from reputable contractors or take them to the store to make their purchases.
  7. If your relatives are still mobile and drive themselves to their appointments make sure they never carry more cash with them than what they need for that excursion. Also, advise them to not travel into areas with which they aren’t familiar. They should also always lock their car doors each time they get out. In some cases, it’s a good idea to lock the doors when driving along in unfamiliar locations.

These safety tips that will provide both the caregiver and the aging relative with peace of mind as they continue to age in place.

 

Long Distance Care-giving Tips For Your Aging Relatives

As an adult in the “sandwich generation” the idea of taking care of your own family while trying to take care of your aging parents can be daunting. Caregiving is complicated even further when you don’t live in close proximity to your aging relatives. The ability to check on their health and daily well-being is impacted as is the ability to help them with healthcare, managing money or keeping up with housework and cooking meals. Taking on the responsibility of caring for your aging parents is a difficult task in the best of times, but when you add distance into the mix, it’s complicated even further.

There are steps you can take to care for and remain involved in your aging parents’ lives even when you live hundreds or even thousands of miles away:

  • Solicit help from others. It’s almost impossible to go it alone when trying to care for elderly loved ones when you’re not in the same area as they are. Look for friends, family members, church friends, or neighbors on whom you can rely to check in on your relatives and report back. Look for someone that can help them with daily tasks if necessary.
  • Uncover community resources and take advantage of them. Look for federal, state and local senior resources in their hometown and give them a call. Find out what kind of services they provide and how you can get your parents involved in those services. They could range from a Meals-on-Wheels meal delivery service or shuttle rides to and from shopping centers or doctor visits.
  • Make certain you are involved in your parents’ medical conditions and that you are listed as a health care proxy and that you have interaction with their physician. Also, keep an up to date list of the medications and health issues your parents are dealing with and keep all of this vital health information together in one place. Ask the doctor for advice on helping your parents manage their health even though you’re not in the area.
  • Keep all important documents in a safe place in the event you’re called upon to be a health care proxy or exercise a power of attorney. You should also have copies of your parent’s driver’s licenses, home ownership and legal papers, medical insurance and other critical documents.
  • When you’re visiting make certain you schedule enough time to spend with them so you’re not feeling rushed. You want to be able to gauge their health and living conditions and address any issues you may become aware of. Don’t let the visit be all about “checking up on them.” Plan time for a movie or a dinner out or a day excursion.
  • Do a visual inspection of the home when you’re there. Is it clean? Is there food in the house? Are there any possible health hazards or trip and fall hazards? Are there minor repair items that need to be addressed? Take care of this when you’re visiting. Would your parents benefit from the installation of a  home medical monitoring device? If they’re having health issues and are not comfortable using the telephone, giving them a medical alert device could be a literal lifesaver and will provide the family with peace of mind.

As a caregiver, whether you live close by or out of state, you need to know your own limits and gauge where your strengths lie. If you have other family members that are involved spend some time divvying up the tasks and assign them to the person with the greatest skill in that particular area. Remember, at some point a decision may have to be made to move your aging parents out of the family home and into an assisted living facility and that process is easier if the entire family is involved.

Home Medical Alert Systems Supplement In-Home Caregiving

Your aging parent or other family member has made the decision to age at home or in an assisted living facility. This is more easily accomplished now than in the past, especially through the use of home medical monitoring systems and medical alert system. A medical alert pendant or bracelet automatically calls into LifeFone’s emergency response center and notifies the designated medical contacts. With more than 30 years in the industry, LifeFone is a trusted provider of security and safety in the event of falls or other risks that face seniors living at home or in an assisted living facility.

In many cases, though having a caregiver come into the home of your aging parent on a semi-regular basis help give the members of the family a break and also many caregivers provide medical care and supervision. Just as you spent time researching the type of home medical monitoring system to have installed, you will want to spend time interviewing and vetting caregivers before making any final decisions.

Look for a caregiver that offers:

Creative ways to keep the senior interested, alert and active: Whether it’s teaching skills to cope with living at home and remaining independent to keeping them active, motivated and engaged in everyday activities, find someone who will offer loving and engaging care.

Dedication to both the individual in their care and to the family: Just as the senior needs to trust and respect the caregiver, so too should the family members. Family should feel free to contact the caregiver with questions or concerns that arise. The caregiver should also be reliable and dedicated to the task at hand and to offering undivided attention to the individual in their care.

Exercising good judgment: Home healthcare providers need to exercise judgment and confidentiality when it comes to medical issues that arise with the individual in their care. They also need to know when to use judgment and talk with designated family members if there are medical concerns or changes in the behaviors of the individuals in their care.

Homecare, coupled with the technology and safety of a home medical alert system and the bracelets and pendants, offer your aging family members the ability to stay at home and retain their independence while providing peace of mind and 24 hour care and monitoring.

Home Medical Alert Systems Supplement In-Home Caregiving

Your aging parent or other family member has made the decision to age at home or in an assisted living facility. This is more easily accomplished now than in the past, especially through the use of home medical monitoring systems and medical alert system. A medical alert pendant or bracelet automatically calls into LifeFone’s emergency response center and notifies the designated medical contacts. With more than 30 years in the industry, LifeFone is a trusted provider of security and safety in the event of falls or other risks that face seniors living at home or in an assisted living facility.

In many cases, though having a caregiver come into the home of your aging parent on a semi-regular basis help give the members of the family a break and also many caregivers provide medical care and supervision. Just as you spent time researching the type of home medical monitoring system to have installed, you will want to spend time interviewing and vetting caregivers before making any final decisions.

Look for a caregiver that offers:

Creative ways to keep the senior interested, alert and active: Whether it’s teaching skills to cope with living at home and remaining independent to keeping them active, motivated and engaged in everyday activities, find someone who will offer loving and engaging care.

Dedication to both the individual in their care and to the family: Just as the senior needs to trust and respect the caregiver, so too should the family members. Family should feel free to contact the caregiver with questions or concerns that arise. The caregiver should also be reliable and dedicated to the task at hand and to offering undivided attention to the individual in their care.

Exercising good judgment: Home healthcare providers need to exercise judgment and confidentiality when it comes to medical issues that arise with the individual in their care. They also need to know when to use judgment and talk with designated family members if there are medical concerns or changes in the behaviors of the individuals in their care.

Homecare, coupled with the technology and safety of a home medical alert system and the bracelets and pendants, offer your aging family members the ability to stay at home and retain their independence while providing peace of mind and 24 hour care and monitoring.

What Exactly Is An Assisted Living Facility?

As your parents or other relatives age you know you will be faced with the inevitable question of, “what should we, or can we, do to help them as they age?” There are many options at your disposal ranging from renovating their homes to allow them to age at home to moving them into an assisted living facility. An assisted living facility isn’t quite a nursing home, they are known also as senior living, retirement homes, or independent living facilities.

What exactly is assisted living?

While each facility offers options as to the services it provides, the level of care your aging parents will receive depends on their level of health and mobility and the level of independence they desire. The need to either renovate your family’s existing home to make it more senior-friendly or move them into an assisted living facility will come at some point in your aging parent’s lives and it’s best to be prepared for the day it arrives.

The ability to bath themselves, cook meals, keep up with housekeeping, laundry, personal grooming and other items become more difficult to keep up with as we age, but these items alone don’t necessarily mean your seniors need to move into assisted living.  If there are relatives that live close by and are prepared to be a caregiver for the aging parent, they may be able to age in place. If, however, the seniors are isolated and there are no caregivers that live close by who can take on this responsibility an assisted living facility could be the answer to your prayers.

In addition to providing help with the daily living tasks mentioned above, an assisted living facility can also help with medication dispensing and health monitoring issues. Moving into an assisted living facility can also open your aging relative up to the opportunities to socialize and have access to exercise programs, day trips and other planned activities. It’s also been shown that individuals who socialize and are more physically active are more mentally alert and have a better quality of life than those who live alone and are sedentary.

Assisted living facilities are typically not nursing homes as nursing homes are known more for providing round-the-clock nursing and medical care. Assisted living provides a more social atmosphere than living at home and helps keep the elderly more independent. In an assisted living facility, your aging loved one will have his or her own apartment and the ability to drive their own vehicle if they want to. Keep in mind, though, that even though there is nursing staff available, there is always the danger of a slip or fall accident or a medical emergency arising while they are alone in their apartment. While assisted living facilities sometimes have stationary/fixed help buttons on the wall, this may not be accessible in the event of an emergency. LifeFone offers a help button worn on the senior (necklace or wristlet) and connects directly to LifeFone where there are Emergency Response Operators with their full Emergency Care Plan.  This button is waterproof and can be worn on the body even in the shower, dispatching medical help when needed!

An assisted living facility may be a good option if the senior in your life has memory lapses, is unable to drive him- or herself to the grocery store or on basic errands and is simply lonely. The basic help provided by the staff at an assisted living facility such as a common dining room, transportation services to shopping centers and doctor’s visits could be a welcome relief to the individual – and to the family.

Programs and Devices To Help Individuals Age At Home

Just as your parents “child-proofed” the home for you and perhaps for their grandchildren, as they age, it’s time for you to look to “age-proofing” the home for your aging parents. The largest segment of the population today is senior citizens and they are increasingly looking to remain independent. Along with this is their desire to remain in their homes as long as they can.

If you find that your aging parents are determined to stay in their homes, there are steps you can take to make that possible but it will require cooperation on the part of your parents and siblings. If you have a sibling or family member that lives close by and is willing to take on the responsibility of caring for and helping out the senior in your life, it may be possible for them to extend the time they’re able to stay at home.

There are many devices, equipment and senior programs available that can make it possible for your loved ones to live at home even longer than possible. Spend some time researching the programs that are available in your particular area and then begin the process of equipping the aging parents home with assistive devices as a way to make it possible for them to stay in the home.

When it comes to devices, you can pick up items that are specially designed for individuals who may have gripping or arthritic hands such as kitchen gadgets, dressing aids and easy grip garden and kitchen utensils. “Grabbers” – those items that grip onto items that are on high level shelves also make it possible for the aging adult to reach items on top shelves without having to use a ladder or step stool. Another way to make it easier for the aging adult is by moving items to lower easier-to-reach shelves so that neither reaching nor stooping to lower shelves is necessary.

Look into lift chairs to get the senior from the first floor to the second, support handrails in hallways, walk-in bath tubs and showers equipped with safety seats. In addition to these items look into senior support programs such as: transportation providers, Meals-on-Wheels programs and home medical alert systems such as LifeFone.

A home medical alerts system come with a home medical alert bracelet or pendant which – if the button is pressed, in the event of a slip, fall or other medical emergency, help is alerted and your aging relatives’ medical needs are quickly addressed. A medical alert help button is an excellent safety net for an elderly individual who has fallen and cannot get to a telephone. It also relieves the worry of the individual being unable to remember which number to call or having to fumble around for the telephone when they are ill or injured.

Even if there comes a time when the aging parent needs to move from his or her home into an assisted living facility, the LifeFone medical alert system moves right along to the new location, offering round the clock peace of mind for both the elderly and the family member.

Steps To Take In Preparation For Senior Home Care

Baby Boomers are being faced with the conundrum – what to do with my aging parent. You can certainly care for your senior relatives at their own home, but be aware that this takes planning and preparation. Undertaking a senior home care plan should be something that is discussed with all of the siblings and caregivers who will be at all involved in the process. If your parents are determined to remain independently at home, they too must be part of the solution to help make that happen.

  • One of the first items that should be reviewed is the conditions at home. Is the home that your aging loved ones are living in up to code? Is it cluttered? Does it need any remodeling to help it remain a viable option for them? Your assessment may mean you need to do a thorough cleaning, install seats and grab rails in the bathroom and shower and handrails throughout the home. Moving items from high level shelf space to lower level, easier to reach spots should also be done as well.
  • Location is another consideration. Are your parents in a location that is close to a hospital or other health care facility? Do they live a short distance from medical providers? If the home is isolated, they may need to consider a move to a more heavily populated area where access to health care is more readily available.
  • Are your parents able to live independently? Do either of them need consistent medical attention? If this is the case, they may need to move into an assisted living facility. If, however, they are able to live independent of full time assistance, perhaps they’d consider hiring a caregiver to come in several days a week to check that medications are being taken and to help with meal preparation. If you only have one parent to care for, is he or she truly capable of living alone? While it is difficult to consider giving up their independence, at times common sense must rule out.
  • Whether you’re looking to hire a caregiver or have the responsibility fall to a few of the relatives, what will be done when the caregiver has gone home for the day? You cannot predict when an illness or a slip and fall will occur and because of this, equipping the home with a medical monitoring device and your aging relative with a medical monitoring bracelet is an option that will offer peace of mind to both you and them.
  • Setting your aging relative up with the services such as those offered through LifeFone means there will be 24 hour a day, seven day a week assistance that is no further than the touch of a button. In the event something happens to the senior, they simply push a button and the customer care representatives at LifeFone ascertain the extent of the medical emergency, alert medical personnel and contact family members. With a medical alert bracelet or pendant you can rest assured that even when you can’t be there, your relative is truly not alone as long as they are wearing their medical alert pendant.

Tips For Purchasing Your Medical Alert System

When an emergency situation arises, you aren’t usually able to pick up a phone and call for help, because of this it makes sense to equip your aging loved one with a home medical alert bracelet. Because trip and fall injuries are the biggest cause of injury and death among people 65-years-old or older, if they live alone and can’t get to a telephone to call for help, a simple fall could create a serious situation.

The number of elderly who desire to remain independent and age at home is increasing and this leads to a higher statistical probability that your aging loved one could be injured at home. If you don’t live close by and your aging relative doesn’t have someone who stops in to visit them on a daily basis, they could suffer a fall and not be discovered for days. Using a medic alert bracelet offers both of you peace of mind.

How do medical alert systems operate? A home medic alert system has a waterproof medical alert bracelet and a console. You can get a medic alert bracelet or pendant for your aging loved one and during an emergency situation such as a trip or fall, the person presses a button and it connects automatically to the monitoring company. This sets a flurry of activity in motion when the monitoring alert is activated. Customer service reps check on the individual and put the action plan in motion. 

What do you look for? When making a decision on a medical alert system there are several items you will want to keep in mind.

  1. What type of contract, if any, do you need to sign with the medical alert service provider? Does your provider offer a customizable emergency care plan?
  2. Does the service provider offer its own monitoring center? If so, this means you can rest assured that the individual who is on the system will receive quick, quality service.
  3. Do the customer service representatives have any specialized training to handle potentially critical situations?
  4. Does the service provider offer any assistance after you purchase to help guide you thru the process of installation or setting up the emergency medical information?
  5. Are you encouraged or offered periodic testing of the equipment? Testing helps ensure your medical alarm system is in perfect working order.
  6. Will your home medical alert monitoring system move with you if you have to move out of your home for a week or a season or longer? LifeFone moves along with you and can be reactivated by a simple phone call once you arrive at the new location.

You never want to compromise on the quality of service you’re purchasing for your aging loved one when it comes to a home medical monitoring system. There’s no way to put a price on the peace of mind you’re

Medical Alert System Helps in the Event of a Fall or Serious Medical Concern.

Falls can have serious consequences. About 10% to 15% of all falls in older people will result in some serious physical injury.  Fractures occur in 5% of all falls while fall-related injuries are reported to be the fifth most common cause of death in the elderly population and the most likely cause of accidental death. According toYaleUniversityMedicalSchool, the chances of surviving are six times greater if an individual who falls is found within an hour.

Facts about falls

  •  More than one third of adults 65 and older fall every year in the United States.
  • Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of injury deaths. They are also the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma.
  • Over 1.8 million people 65 and older each year are treated in emergency departments for injuries from falls.
  • Most fractures among older adults are caused by falls. Continue reading

Medical Alert System Helps in the Event of a Fall or Serious Medical Concern.

Falls can have serious consequences. About 10% to 15% of all falls in older people will result in some serious physical injury.  Fractures occur in 5% of all falls while fall-related injuries are reported to be the fifth most common cause of death in the elderly population and the most likely cause of accidental death. According toYaleUniversityMedicalSchool, the chances of surviving are six times greater if an individual who falls is found within an hour.

Facts about falls

  •  More than one third of adults 65 and older fall every year in the United States.
  • Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of injury deaths. They are also the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma.
  • Over 1.8 million people 65 and older each year are treated in emergency departments for injuries from falls.
  • Most fractures among older adults are caused by falls. Continue reading