Tag Archives: Old age

Screening Measures to Prevent Falls

It is widely known that falls are the leading cause of injury among the elderly in the U.S. with the number of falls and the severity of injury increasing with each additional year of a senior’s life. What is not so widely known is that certain people are at a higher risk for accidental falls and should be regularly screened to help reduce the high number of fall-related injuries and deaths in the U.S., according to the American Academy of Neurology.

Although falls do not discriminate and can occur at any time, to anyone, at any place, people who have dementia, walking and balance disorders, or have had a stroke have the greatest risk of falling. If your loved one has fallen within the past year, it is very likely he or she will fall again. People with Parkinson’s disease, peripheral neuropathy, weak legs or feet, and vision loss are also at an increased risk for falling.

In order to better prevent falls from occurring, the American Academy of Neurology recommends that doctors routinely ask patients about falls and administer screening measures and mobility tests to assess whether an individual is at a higher risk of falling. Preventative measures can include beginning a regular exercise regimen and eliminating fall hazards from the home. Read more about safety-proofing your home for seniors .

According to the AAN, there is a lack of awareness among doctors and patients in recognizing and preventing falls. The elderly are often hesitant about discussing falls with their doctor for fear they may have to relocate out of their home and into a care facility. Therefore it is important for caregivers to have their care recipients address any falls they have experienced with their doctor during medical screenings.

In addition to having the doctor examine your loved one, there are numerous health tips they can take into account in order to lessen their risk of falling which include:

  • Getting an annual physical and eye examination, particularly evaluating for cardiac and blood pressure problems
  • Maintaining a diet with adequate dietary calcium and vitamin D
  • Avoiding cigarettes and excessive alcohol intake

With more than11 million seniors suffering from falls each year, treatment associated with seniors falling in the U.S. is at more than $20 billion annually. Help your loved one avoid becoming a statistic by having his or her doctor properly screen for falls and taking preventative measures to lessen the risk.

 

Talking to Your Parents about Remaining Behind the Wheel

When it comes to driving, most elderly individuals who are no longer fit to be behind the wheel are either unaware of the fact or are simply in denial of it. Giving up one’s ability to drive means a loss of  independence and control, so it comes as no surprise that most elderly individuals aren’t too keen on handing over their keys. However, it isn’t just the elderly who need to realize their driving limitations, adult children often delay talking with their parents about driving so as to avoid becoming their parent’s personal taxi service.

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Talking to Your Parents about Remaining Behind the Wheel

When it comes to driving, most elderly individuals who are no longer fit to be behind the wheel are either unaware of the fact or are simply in denial of it. Giving up one’s ability to drive means a loss of  independence and control, so it comes as no surprise that most elderly individuals aren’t too keen on handing over their keys. However, it isn’t just the elderly who need to realize their driving limitations, adult children often delay talking with their parents about driving so as to avoid becoming their parent’s personal taxi service.

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Senior Health: 6 Great Benefits from Regular Exercise

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is very important for everyone and has a very positive impact on many aspects of life. As we age daily activity is even more important. If you are able to stay active you can greatly increase your quality of life. Here are a few benefits from staying active at an old age.

  1. Improves mood: Exercise can actually stimulate brain chemicals that can actually leave you feeling better than you did before.
  2. Combats disease: Regular physical activity can help you prevent — or manage — high blood pressure. Your cholesterol will benefit, too. Regular physical activity boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol while decreasing triglycerides. This one-two punch keeps your blood flowing smoothly by lowering the buildup of plaques in your arteries. Continue reading

Ensuring Peace of Mind by Choosing the Right Medical Alarm

Most elderly individuals would prefer to remain living within the comforts of their own homes for as long as possible, but with more than 33 percent of the accidents and falls involving elderly people over the age of 65 occurring in the home, this option becomes worrisome.

Luckily, there are numerous devices available to summon help in the event your loved one experiences a medical emergency while in their home. Known an medical alarms, medical alerts or personal emergency response systems, all elderly individuals would benefit from investing in such devices to ensure safety is available at the touch of a button. Continue reading

4 Reasons Seniors Avoid Purchasing a Medical Alert System

Given all the benefits associated with owning a medical alert system, it would seem only logical that the elderly and their caregivers would welcome the acquisition of such a life-changing system. Designed to provide peace of mind and improve the quality of life of its users, med alert systems ensure help is available 24/7 at the touch of a button.

When it comes to actually making the purchase, however, some seniors become apprehensive, citing the following common reasons for their trepidation:

  1. They believe they cannot afford a med alert system. Living on a fixed budget, many seniors do not have the funds to spare on any added expenses. However, medical alert systems like LifeFone,offer their services for $24.95 a month, less than a dollar a day. Continue reading

4 Reasons Seniors Avoid Purchasing a Medical Alert System

Given all the benefits associated with owning a medical alert system, it would seem only logical that the elderly and their caregivers would welcome the acquisition of such a life-changing system. Designed to provide peace of mind and improve the quality of life of its users, med alert systems ensure help is available 24/7 at the touch of a button.

When it comes to actually making the purchase, however, some seniors become apprehensive, citing the following common reasons for their trepidation:

  1. They believe they cannot afford a med alert system. Living on a fixed budget, many seniors do not have the funds to spare on any added expenses. However, medical alert systems like LifeFone,offer their services for $24.95 a month, less than a dollar a day. Continue reading

How Caring for Your Kids Differs From Caring for Your Parents

Almost 10 million baby boomers are housing both their children and elderly parent(s) under the same roof. Accomplishing such a feat requires an understanding of how to manage both tasks. Undertaking both roles is a challenge, since children and elderly parents have different needs and require different strategies when it comes to providing care. While ‘how to’ books for raising children and being a caregiver to your elderly parent abound, there is not much information available distinguishing the primary differences between the two caregiving roles and how to manage both at once.

How parents and children differ:

  1. Taking Charge: With children the authority figure is obvious, but the line gets a little fuzzier with your parents. Children spend their lives being told what to do by their parents, so caregivers often feel as though they are overstepping their boundaries by telling their parents what to do. When it comes to your parent’s health and end of life decisions however, it is imperative to plan ahead with your parents and convince them to get all of their finances and legal documents together so if a power of attorney is needed,  you can speak legally and financially on their behalf.
  2. Emotions: The emotions associated with raising a child often evoke joy, fulfillment and satisfaction. Caring for a parent usually leads to feelings of remorse, guilt and sadness. Oftentimes caregivers are not fully prepared for the roller coaster of emotions their caregiver role puts them through. Having grown up being cared for by your parents, it is hard to accept the sudden role reversal combined with their declining health. It is important to share your feelings with family and friends to cope with your emotions.
  3. Aging: The aging process for children is pretty predictable as they reach certain benchmarks with each age. The aging process with the elderly is more uncertain as their health can deteriorate at the drop of a hat, not knowing what is coming next or what lies ahead creates a different mentality when it comes to adult aging.
  4. Confrontation: Confronting your parent or participating in a debate with them is not as cut and dry as it can be with your children. If you find it hard to reach common ground with your parent don’t hesitate to consult a geriatric counselor. Oftentimes parents are more willing to listen to an objective third party. Asking their doctors to speak with them is also beneficial.
  5. Financial: Bringing a parent into your household leads to unplanned financial strain. While some seniors have prepared for the costs associated with aging, many others find themselves burdened by unexpected illness. As you are simultaneously saving for children’s college, this burden can be a lot to handle.

Being a caregiver is no easy task, but being prepared to handle situations as they arise makes the job a lot more manageable. Stay prepared, informed and organized and you will be able to embrace the fact that three generations are living under one roof!

Holiday Gifts for the Elderly

What do you give an Elderly person who seems to have everything? What about the house-bound or bed-ridden? What about the person who really doesn’t need a thing?

The Holiday Season offers the opportunity to be creative and share gifts that will certainly be enjoyed regardless of age!  However, what do you give an elderly person who seems to have everything?  Then there is the bed-ridden or housebound person who can’t enjoy all the same pleasures as others.

To help get your creative juices flowing, we’ve come up with a few ideas to get you started. Tailor your gift to the health and well-being of the recipient but use your imagination and come up with something special and unique to add sparkle to the season.

1)     Favorite Meal – cook the receivers favorite meal and liven it up with decorations and linens!

2)     Photo book – collect photos old or new.  Share new stories and reminisce about the good old days!

3)     Visit from the grandchildren – arrange a visit with the grandkids and have them prepare handmade cards before coming or plan to play a game.

4)     Fix something – find something that needs repair and take care of it.

5)     Subscription to a magazine they enjoy.

6)     Personal Medical alarm, particularly if they live alone and have medical concerns, such as Lifefone.

7)     Personal Shopping service – offer to do the weekly grocery shopping for a month, two months, 6 months or a year.

8)     Dinner and a movie – take your loved one out for a special treat!

9)     Back, neck or foot massage – ahhhhh….that feels good!

10)  A month of meals – search the web for nutritious meals that can be cooked in quantities and frozen!

Gifts need not be expensive to be enjoyed!  Gifts from the hands and heart are often those treasured most by loved ones.