Archive for November, 2010

Keeping Seniors Safe at Home in San Diego

Keeping Seniors Safe at Home
by: Jeremy Mervin

If you have an elderly family member living with you, it is most important that you keep the house safe. The requirements are not very similar to what you will watch for when dealing with a baby, so do not apply the same rules here. Elderly people have many other problems which you must be mindful of, and provide for them in accordingly.

Elderly members have lots of trouble with their joints. They find it more difficult bending and reaching low. Make sure things around them are at a suitable height, and can be reached with little discomfort. Avoid making low shelves and cabinets below their waist level. In line with the same theory, make sure the bed for the elderly is also high.

There is more effort required to lie in, or get out of a bed which has a lower level. They also have a higher chance of losing their balance and suffering a fall. Use the same principle in the bathroom as well. Make sure the toilet seat is high so that discomfort is minimal. It is also useful to install a grab bar along the wall so that they can use it for support while sitting and getting up from the seat.

In the room of the elderly, and places where they frequent, make sure you have tiles which prevent skidding. It is best to have rough, textured flooring. With age, the feet wear out more, and there is a lowered ability to grip with the feet. If you have very smooth, slippery flooring, the chances of skidding and falling are greater.

Make sure the bathroom is dry at all times. For additional protection, make sure there is a way to let yourself into the bathroom even if it is locked. It is easy for the elderly to slip and fall, or even lose their balance in the bathroom. If they are locked inside, you may not know they are lying there for several hours.

It is best to provide the elderly a room which is at the same level as the other places in the house they normally use. Avoid having them to use the stairs. Keeping them in the basement is not the wisest idea unless they are not going to get beyond it.

…continue reading from ElderCareABCBlog

 
Home care counselors at Age Advantage are available to talk with you and your family about care needs for your loved one, including, how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care. Age Advantage is a home care agency providing In Home Care in San Diego and surrounding areas.

The Baby Boomer Eldercare Wake-up Call in San Diego CA

Baby Boomers’ Eldercare Wake-up Call

There are approximately 78 million reasons for boomers to jump on the long-term care strategic thinking, planning and executing bandwagon.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau report in 2009, boomers were 78 million strong based on the 2006 census.

The staggering number of aging boomers in America serves as a wake-up call to boomers to start planning for our elder care needs. We’re only more than a decade late. How’s that timeline for urgency, my fellow boomers? Our millennial wake-up call is more urgent if any of the following scenarios are sound bytes from your life. 

  • Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance: If you are familiar with LTC insurance, you get an “E,” for effort, as my octogenarian mother occasionally said about a few of her former elementary school students who didn’t quite make the grade in reading, writing, or arithmetic. If you have LTC insurance, you’re barely passing with a C-.  LTC coverage is a sound baby step, though maybe not for everyone.
  • Childbearing Profile:  You are single and childless. While having grown children is no guarantee of having at least 1 trustworthy LTC gatekeeper in your golden years, being a parent of an adult child may yield elder care dividends down the road.
  • Health:  You have been medically diagnosed with at least one chronic medical condition.
  • Family Medical History:  You have a family history of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and certain types of cancer and/or diabetes. As is said in Spanish, “¡Ojo!” (Translation: Keep an eye on that!)
  • Relationships in Your Family:  Some families can’t wait to get as far away from each other as possible as members age. If your family’s relationships are strained, don’t count on family support in your golden years. Some caregivers could tell you stories about dysfunctional family relationships that erupt in nasty feuds when aging family members need long-term assistive care.  Who are your family allies? Do you know? You should. One day in the not too distant future, your daily eldercare may depend on a family member. If that day comes, your primary (family) caregiver should be your elder care advocate.
  • Home Upkeep:  If you are a homeowner, you know that appliances and various parts of your home eventually will need repairs. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially, will you be prepared, and able, to keep up with increasing demands of homeownership as you advance in years?
  • Family’s Go-To Contact?  Your parents are older and/or starting to show signs of age-related or chronic disease health decline. You volunteered, or, Dad asked you for help with mowing the lawn after his heart attack scare. Your sibling who lives closer to your parents than you do has been calling you to vent about “little things” around your aging parents.
  • Sibling(s) Lives Closer to Your Elderly Parents: You’ve long assumed that your sibling was merely venting with those telephone calls about your parents. You never gave the conversations a second thought. Your sibling takes care of helping your parents and lives within 15-minutes of your parents’ home.
  • Financially Tangled Elder Web:  You feel blindsided when you inadvertently discover that your parents have not paid their (property) taxes for more than a year now. Then, you discover unopened and unpaid bills in your parents’ home. How, and when, did your parents’ financial affairs get so out of hand?
  • Your Emotional Roller Coaster:  You wonder what you may have missed and decide that the whole mess is your sibling’s fault. You had nothing to do with this.  You have no idea what to do, or, where to begin. You have your own life, marriage or divorce, relationship woes, job demands, financial challenges, adult child(ren) who just moved back into your home in a dismal economy, mounting debt, and more drama. You’ll help your parents because no one else in your family seems to care.
  • Stress:  Your anger mounts. You’re depressed. You stop talking to your sibling(s). You argue with your parents.

You feel so alone.

With 78 million aging boomer cohorts and 65 million caregivers in the U.S., you are part of a supportive community.  Recognizing eldercare’s red flags is one way to achieve confidence that propels you to reach out to healthcare and eldercare professionals for help. Involve your parents and siblings in decisions.
You’re not alone. It’s a family affair.

Isabel Fawcett, SPHR
Isabel has been a full-time, stay-at-home caregiver to her 85 year old mother for 2 years, and counting. She is a regular Contributor at ElderCareLink, a blogger and Twitterer. Isabel is an independent human resources consultant and former HR management professional with 20+ years of HR experience, including FMLA, workers’ compensation and the Americans With Disabilities Act. She is a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certified and last worked for the Office of the Governor in Texas before her most recent eldercare choice.  Isabel also has worked in healthcare as Assistant Director of Volunteers at Beth Israel Medical Center, New York City, and Manager of Staffing and Recruitment, Norwalk Hospital, Connecticut. She has also worked at Marriott International Headquarters in HR. Isabel is fully bilingual in English and Spanish and has been a patient care volunteer for the American Red Cross overseas.

Home care counselors at Age Advantage are available to talk with you and your family about care needs for your loved one, including, how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care. Age Advantage is a home care agency providing In Home Care in San Diego and surrounding areas.

Alzheimer’s Awareness Month Spotlights Treatment & Prevention Efforts in San Diego

Alzheimer’s Awareness Month Sheds Spotlight on Treatment, Prevention Efforts

November marks the beginning of National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, a reminder that the number of people who will develop the disease is expected to skyrocket over the next few years.

Starting Jan. 1, 79 million baby boomers will turn 65 at a rate of one every eight seconds.

That is more than four million per year, according to a recent op-ed piece in The New York Times. If scientists could delay onset of the disease by five years, via better drugs, the United States could keep much fewer Alzheimer’s patients from needing nursing homes, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, and Alzheimer’s experts Stanley Prusiner and Ken Dychtwald said in the piece.

Currently, for every penny the National Institutes of Health spends on Alzheimer’s research, Americans spend $3.50 caring for individuals with the disease, for a total of $172 billion a year.  At that rate, by 2020, the cumulative total will be $172 billion a year, or $20 trillion by 2050, according to the op-ed titled “The Age of Alzheimer’s.”

…read more from Mcknights.com


For information about how Age Advantage can help your family with home care for a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease, including how to reduce caregiver stress in the San Diego area, visit www.ageadvantagesandiego.com or call 619-660-8881.

November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

Presidential Proclamation–National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION

Alzheimer’s disease tragically robs individuals of their memories and leads to progressive mental and physical impairments. This eventually fatal disease represents a serious and growing threat to the health of our Nation, impacting millions of Americans and their families. During National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, we recommit to improving its detection and treatment, finding a cure, and standing with all whose lives are
affected by this terrible disease.

As we continue our fight against Alzheimer’s disease, we must seek new ways to prevent, delay, and treat this disease. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, we are boosting funding for promising research on risk factors, on improving diagnostic tools and therapies, and in identifying new preventive measures.

Source: www.whitehouse.gov
 

Alzheimer’s home care counselors at Age Advantage are available to talk with you and your family about care needs for your loved one, including, how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care. Age Advantage is a home care agency providing Alzheimer’s Home Care in San Diego CA.