What To Expect When You’re Getting Older in San Diego CA

What To Expect When You’re Getting Older

(ARA) – The signs of aging aren’t always as obvious as a few more wrinkles and grey hairs. The body naturally changes as you get older, but what exactly can you expect and how do you make sure you’re aging in a healthy way?

The experts at Mayo Clinic offer a list of things to look for as you age, and tips on how you can stay healthy:

Heart
As you get older, your heart must work harder to pump the same amount of blood through your body. Your blood vessels may narrow if hardened deposits of fat have formed on your arteries. This can lead to high blood pressure hypertension).

You can help prevent high blood pressure by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly and reducing your salt intake.

Muscles, joints and bones

Your bones shrink in size and density as you age, which makes you susceptible to fracture. Your muscles and joints also lose some flexibility and strength.

To help your body stay flexible and to keep your bones strong, get the recommended daily amount of vitamin D and calcium and engage in weight-bearing exercises like walking, climbing stairs and light weight training.

Eyes
Experienced eyes have thinner retinas with lenses that are less clear. Focusing on objects close up may become more difficult and you may be sensitive to glaring lights, particularly when driving at night. Common eye conditions include glaucoma and cataracts.

Eat a healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables and whole grains and get regular eye exams to help catch any problems early.

Ears
Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions reported in aging adults. The thickening of eardrums can cause you to have difficulty hearing high frequencies and you may notice an increase in ear wax.

Avoid prolonged exposure to loud noises and wear hearing protection when doing noisy tasks like mowing the lawn. Have your hearing checked regularly.

If you’ve got health concerns or questions about what you can expect as you get older, a great resource to have on hand is the Mayo Clinic Family Health Book, 4th edition. You’ll have great information at your fingertips including:

  • Preventive screening recommendations and tests to consider based on your age
  • Hundreds of pages of fully updated information on diseases and conditions
  • How to protect yourself and prepare for flu pandemics
  • How to make sense of your symptoms
  • A medication guide

Also included is general information designed to help you navigate the changes and health care decisions that come as we get older.

For more information and healthy aging tips, visit MayoClinic.com. To purchase your copy of the Mayo Clinic Family Health Book, 4th edition, visit bookstore.MayoClinic.com.

Courtesy of ARAcontent.

For information about Home Care for a loved one in the San Diego area, visit www.ageadvantagesandiego.com.

Early Grief and the Long Goodbye in San Diego CA

Early Grief and the Long Goodbye: Grieving Parents Before They Are Gone
By: Carol Bradley Bursack

Nearly everyone involved in caring for aging loved ones is experiencing grief. Often, however, we’re not aware of this grief. We have a parent who used to be strong and capable begin to ask for a little assistance. No big deal, right? We’re happy to help.

But underneath, often unnoticed, there’s a knot in our hearts. We’re grieving the loss – the loss of function that made our parent need to ask for help.

Weren’t they the ones who helped us? Weren’t they the ones in charge?

Generally, these changes are subtle, the grief sneaky. I remember watching my parents age in the normal fashion. I’d occasionally look at them and be startled by the realization that they were aging. But that was all I acknowledged. I never intentionally thought about loss and pain. It dwelled beneath my consciousness.

Then my dad had brain surgery to drain away fluid buildup from a World War II injury. He went into surgery knowing that if he didn’t have it, he would eventually live with terrible confusion. He came out of surgery totally demented. The combination of his age and significant scar tissue, I suppose, was to blame. Whatever the reason, our family was a victim of one of those things that only happens to “other people.”

We were suddenly thrown into a frenzy of action. There was so much to be done; there were so many decisions to make. What was best for Dad? For Mom? I became the primary caregiver, immersing myself in the task of making Dad’s existence worthwhile.

Whatever he imagined was happening, I did my best to make it so. When he was waiting for his medical degree to arrive, I made sure one did (my version looked pretty good, too, hanging on his nursing home wall.). I became his office manager. His music director. Whatever he needed, I did everything humanly possible to provide.

I had several other elders to cope with, as well as a son with chronic health problems. I didn’t have time to think of myself. Now, I look back and see what I did to myself. If I had a good friend going through all I was enduring, I would have been offering to help. I would have recognized that she was grieving the loss of the father she’d known. I would have pressed her to do some things to take care of herself. I would have suggested counseling.

…continue reading from agingcare.com

For information about how Age Advantage can help your family care for a loved one in the San Diego area, visit www.ageadvantagesandiego.com.


Caring for Elders in San Diego CA

Caring For Elders – 6 Pitfalls of Providing Care
By Hal Robertson

1. Dealing with a resentful spouse and upset children

If your family is one that likes to do a lot together and are use to weekend getaways, going to kids ballgames all the time, or just spending time watching TV together, major adjustments may have to be made when you become the caregiver for your elder.

This situation can cause feelings of anger and resentment in your spouse and children. They’ll feel cheated that you aren’t able to spend the time with them that you have in the past.

A great way to help them understand the situation is to take them with you when you are caring for your elder. This will help them understand exactly what it is you do, how important it is to your elder and why you haven’t been around at home as much.

Having children help with things such as exercise, or with make up applications may be something your children may enjoy. Not only that, but it will help them in becoming more caring human beings.

2. Feelings of being unappreciated by your elder

This can be a tough situation. Here you are giving your all and making significant sacrifices. Yet, all you hear are complaints, criticism. All accompanied by a complete lack of gratitude from your elder.

The danger here is that you may want to simply give up, begin visiting with less frequency. offering less care – all at a time when your elder needs you more than ever.  Support groups can be good places to turn for help with issues that arise from feelings of being under appreciated, but you may want to turn to someone who you are close to. They’ll be able to provide some objectivity in dealing with the situation.

Keep in mind that if your elder has always been an ornery or ungrateful type of person, they sure aren’t going to change now. But where you are closer to them now, you are going to be impacted by it even more than before. It’s also important to understand, however, that if these ungrateful type of traits are just surfacing now that they are likely tied to their illness and not directed at you personally. It’s very difficult to be treated poorly in either case, but especially so if you’ve never experience these actions from your elder before.

It’s certainly difficult, but you’ll have to try your best to build up a Teflon exterior so that you don’t end up being resentful, rude and obnoxious to your elder when they need your understanding the most right now.

…continue reading from ezinearticles.com

For information about how Age Advantage Senior Home Care can help your family with care and asssistance for a loved one in San Diego, visit www.ageadvantagesandiego.com.

 

How To Handle An Elderly Parents Bad Behavior in La Mesa CA

How To Handle An Elderly Parents Bad Behavior

"My mother is driving me crazy!" 

This phrase is uttered (or screamed) by caregivers everywhere who are caring for elderly parents. As if they didn’t have enough to do, caregivers often have to deal with bad behavior by their elderly parents.

The AgingCare.com message boards are filled with stories of demanding elderly parents, personality changes, hallucinations, temper tantrums?even abuse. We’ve compiled the top 10 bad behaviors that elderly parents exhibit, along with some tips for coping with them.

Bad behavior #1: Rage, anger, yelling

Age and illness can intensify longstanding personality traits in some unpleasant ways: An irritable person may become enraged, an impatient person demanding and impossible to please. Unfortunately, the person taking care of the elderly parent is often the target.

Read more from agingcare.com

For information about how Age Advantage can help your family care for an aging loved one in the La Mesa area, visit www.ageadvantagesandiego.com.

Planning For Healthy Aging During Healthy Aging Month in La Mesa CA

Planning For Healthy Aging

(ARA) – Soon, the first wave of baby boomers will turn 65. For some, this milestone birthday may signal retirement; for others it may not. For all boomers, it should mean an increased focus on health care. Baby boomers can take steps now to help ensure many more healthy years.

A focus on early prevention – including regular tests for certain cancers and heart disease, a healthy diet and exercise – is an important start to staying healthy well into the golden years.

Most baby boomers will count on Medicare to support them in their efforts to stay healthy. In fact, Medicare has long been a source of comfort for those 65 and older who otherwise wouldn’t have health coverage. But as more people older than 65 seek care, they may find it increasingly difficult to get in to see a doctor, or they may find that their choice of doctors is limited because of planned Medicare payment cuts to physicians.

Prevention

"As we age, we have an increasing role to play in our health care to ensure our golden years are healthy ones," says Dr. J. James Rohack, president of the American Medical Association. "Have regular discussions with your physician about any health problems or concerns you may have and make sure you are up-to-date on preventive exams."

At age 50, it’s important to start annual exams for colorectal cancer, and men should have a prostate exam. For those boomers who weigh less than 154 pounds, screenings for osteoporosis should start at age 60. It’s also important to start annual exams with a physician before you reach age 65 to:

  • Monitor and discuss blood pressure, cholesterol, needed vaccines and tests to monitor or prevent disease.
  • Identify activities and goals to address healthy eating, physical activity, tobacco use cessation, moderating alcohol use and attention to stress and mood.
  • Discuss screenings needed to prevent and/or monitor degenerative or chronic disorders in vision, hearing, bone density, cancer and obesity.

Access to care, choice of physician
Weighing in with legislators is another way boomers can take charge of their health care, because what happens in Washington in the next couple months, with regards to the health-reform debate, could have a significant impact on their ability to see their doctor of choice.

A recent AMA/AARP poll shows that nearly 90 percent of people 50 and older are concerned that the current Medicare physician payment formula threatens their access to care. Without permanent repeal of the broken Medicare payment system as part of health reform, physicians face steep payment cuts which might force them to limit the number of new Medicare patients they can treat.

"Without health-reform action by Congress, the 21 percent payment cut planned for this January puts many physicians in the difficult position of not being able to treat new Medicare patients and still keep their practice doors open," says Rohack. "For years, Congress has taken short-term action to stop the cuts and preserve seniors’ access to care, but they can no longer put a Band-Aid on the problem. It’s time for permanent action to preserve the stability and security of Medicare and ensure seniors can keep their choice of physician."

As the health system reform debate continues, and final legislation approaches, a permanent fix for the broken Medicare physician payment formula must be included to preserve access to care for the millions of baby boomers headed toward Medicare enrollment age. Replacing the physician payment formula with a system that better reflects the costs and practice of 21st century medical care will help improve quality and reduce costs by allowing physicians to increase care coordination, reduce costly hospital admissions and adopt health information technology.

"I encourage all baby boomers to take preventive action now to prepare for a long, healthy life, and to ensure that their physician will still be there for them when they begin relying on Medicare," says Rohack.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

Don’t forget Grandparents Day on September 12th and remember, for the best in home care services in the La Mesa CA area, visit www.ageadvantagesandiego.com.

The Changing Face of Elder Care in San Diego CA

The Changing Face of Elder Care
By Michael S. Simpson

There was a time when Mom became too frail to take care of herself the only option was "the old folks home". Now our choices have much improved. We have independent living facilities, assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities and nursing homes. Many of these have the look, feel and amenities of a resort. In fact many of them refer to themselves as "retirement resorts".

They are really nice but some can be real pricey too. But for the aging loved one who desires to stay in their home, the home where they feel safe surrounded by neighbors who they trust and in the home of memories we now have in home senior care.

Senior care or elder care includes a wide range of services that are provided over an extended period of time to people who need help to perform normal activities of daily living because of cognitive impairment or loss of muscular strength or control.

Elder care can include rehabilitative therapies, skilled nursing care, palliative care through hospice, and social services, as well as supervision and a wide range of supportive personal care provided by family caregivers and/or home health care agencies. Elder care may also include training to help older people adjust to or overcome many of the limitations that often come with aging. If appropriate, elder care can at best be provided in the home first.

Where do we start when looking for resources for elder care for a loved one? Resources that can help the elderly stay in their own home are the first place to start. A variety of independent living services are now available to help the elderly care for themselves in their own home despite their changing physical needs. This may help, delay or totally avoid moving into an assisted living or nursing home.

…continue reading here

For information about how Age Advantage can help you and your family care for an aging loved one in the San Diego area, visit www.ageadvantagesandiego.com.

Illness in the Family? How To Reduce Caregiver Stress in San Diego CA

Illness in the Family? How To Reduce Caregiver Stress
 
(ARA) – Who would ever imagine a healthy college senior might suffer a stroke? But that’s exactly what happened to Nancy Worthen’s daughter, Maggie, at the end of her senior year at Smith College in Massachusetts.

When Maggie fell into a coma after experiencing a brain stem stroke, one of the many stressful challenges Worthen faced was keeping family and friends from around the world updated on her daughter’s condition. "You just have so many people who want information and are trying to reach you," she says. "We wanted to make it simple for people to find out what was happening."

Worthen turned to a resource that’s becoming increasingly popular among families and caregivers of patients who’ve experienced a serious health event like Maggie’s stroke – free, personalized Web pages where they can post information about their loved one’s progress.

"Caregivers face many stresses when dealing with a loved one’s injury or illness, including the need to provide consistent updates to an extended network of family and friends who want to know how the patient is doing," says Sona Mehring, founder of CaringBridge.org, a nonprofit organization that helps caregivers create Web sites for health updates. "Putting information online can be a big stress reliever for caregivers because it allows them to communicate important, and sometimes difficult, information quickly and effectively to a large number of people, without having to repeat the same news over and over again."

Having a Web site "allowed us to tell the story we could never have told to people personally," says Michael Dunn, whose identical twin daughters were diagnosed with neuroblastoma when they were just two months old. "It would have been a much more difficult and lonely time without it."

"It’s important for caregivers to take care of themselves, as well," Mehring says. In addition to using the Internet to stay connected with family and friends, she suggests, caregivers should:

 

  • Talk about it – Don’t avoid telling friends and family; it’s not good for your mental well-being to keep such stressful news to yourself.
  • Ask questions – You’ll hear a lot of medical terminology and treatment options. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, seek second opinions and even gather information online from credible Web sites. The more you understand the situation, the more you will feel able to cope with it.
  • Try therapeutic journaling – "Many people who use CaringBridge say it is beneficial to write their thoughts and feelings down," Mehring says. "Journaling can bring relief and allow people to focus their thoughts on other important matters. Sometimes it’s easier to write down what you’re feeling rather than speak it out loud."
  • Accept help – People truly care and truly want to help; let them. Post on your personalized Web page what you need and let family and friends in your online community decide how and when they can help. One person might offer to help with transportation to appointments. Another may be able to help with babysitting or cooking meals. "View help as a useful expression of that person’s caring, not as a favor," Mehring suggests.
  • Relax - This is a stressful situation. Patients and caregivers need to take time for themselves. Meditate, do yoga, go for a walk, take time off from work, turn off your phone for a few hours or get a massage.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

For information about care and assistance for your loved one in the San Diego area, visit www.ageadvantagesandiego.com or call  619-660-8881.
 

Online Test to Screen for Early Dementia, Alzheimer’s Available in San Diego

Self-Administered Test to Screen for Early Dementia, Alzheimer’s Available Online

Ohio State Neurologist says it takes less than 15 minutes to complete, is a reliable tool for evaluating cognitive abilities

Senior citizens are besieged by cancer, heart disease and assorted chronic diseases, but what most of them fear most is Alzheimer’s disease or any loss of their mental abilities. Now a neurologist at Ohio State says he has developed a simple, self-test to screen for early dementia that he is making available online.

This self-administered test to screen for early dementia may help speed the diagnosis and subsequent treatment of memory disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease. It could also provide health care providers and caregivers an earlier indication of life-changing events that could lie ahead.

…continue reading!

Age Advantage helps many families care for their loved ones in the San Diego area. If you need information, please visit us at www.ageadvantagesandiego.com.

Making The Most Of Old Age In San Diego CA!

A Guide For Making The Most Of Old Age

Exercise, both physical and mental, has beneficial effects on people as they grow older.

Adopting healthful habits can significantly alter the course of aging, even if you don’t start until you are middle-aged or older, growing research suggests.

As more people live into their 80s, 90s and beyond, researchers are increasingly asking what it takes not just to survive but also to thrive in later years. Here is Consumer Reports’ guide to successful aging.

Exercise your brain.

Your brain needs a workout just as much as your arms and legs. Education and an active work life when you are younger can help ward off dementia later, perhaps by building a cognitive reserve so that small losses in function are not as noticeable. It may be equally important to stay mentally engaged after retirement. A study of about 500 men and women 75 and older published in the journal Neurology in 2009 found that they could delay cognitive decline by participating in mentally stimulating activities such as reading, writing and doing puzzles.

Strong social ties can also help.

Harvard researchers followed 16,638 adults 50 and older for six years. Those who volunteered the most and had lots of connections to family and friends were least likely to show declines in memory tests.

Read more… 

 

At Age Advantage of San Diego, we help many families care for their loved ones in the area. If you need help with care and assistance, please visit www.ageadvantagesandiego.com for more information.

Advances in Equipment Adapted for Elders in San Diego CA

Advances in Equipment Adapted for Elders

I’m thrilled by the recent advances in adapted equipment. Books, videos, Web sites, and pamphlets are out there for almost any type of elder care, handicap, or special need. They are more widely available than people think.

Once you determine your elder’s need, you should be able to find adapted equipment that will improve the quality of his or her life.

Adapted equipment draws from a wide variety of products that can help your elder function more independently and/or on a higher level. They can help your elder regain confidence in his or her abilities, and they can even alleviate your elder’s overwhelming fear of being dependent on others.

Along with advancements in medical technology and pharmaceuticals, adapted equipment has come a long way in recent years and can be a vital part of a senior’s later years.

Most people are unfamiliar with adapted equipment, but as a caregiver, you must become aware of this growing field. I’m talking about commonplace products like a wheelchair or an elder-safe stepladder, as well as more obscure products, like jar/bottle openers and grocery store scooters. Other examples include high curved bowls and large-handle eating utensils that help prevent food spills and modified “sippy” cups that prevent liquid from spilling. Anything that can help maintain dignity and independence should be integrated into your elder’s life.

One area that has been improved tremendously is transportation. Cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans can now be modified before they are purchased or on the aftermarket. No matter what your elder’s handicap may be, vehicles today can be adapted so that even a quadriplegic or paraplegic can operate them.
 

…continue reading HERE

If your family is needing help with the care and assistance of a loved one in the San Diego CA area, visit www.ageadvantagesandiego.com.