Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Celebrate National Senior Citizens Day

Asian FamilyWhen Tom Brokaw published a book in 1998 titled “The Greatest Generation,” he was referring to the population who grew up during the Great Depression, who went on to become the parents of Baby Boomers and the Grandparents of Millennials.  Brokaw coined this term for a reason; having survived the deprivation of the Great Depression, the battles of World War II and then returned home to help build America’s economy, there’s no denying that this generation certainly was great. 

And on August 21, we will honor them on National Senior Citizens Day.  

The Birth of National Senior Citizens Day

National Senior Citizens Day dates back to 1988 when President Ronald Reagan put forth a Presidential proclamation to set aside August 21 to recognize the contributions of older Americans to their country and communities.  In his proclamation,...Click to Read More

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

The Facts About Spinal Muscular Atrophy in Seniors

spinal muscular dystrophyFor many, spinal muscular atrophy beings in early childhood or even at birth; however, there are forms of the disease that begin in early to middle adulthood. The age of onset can play an important role when it comes to the severity of the disease, but regardless of when an older adult first sees symptoms, added care will be necessary in his or her later years. 

According to the National Institutes of Health Genetics Reference page, spinal muscular atrophy, also known as SMA or muscular dystrophy, is a genetic condition that affects the muscles and causes weakness and atrophy. This means that the size and mass of the patient's muscles is reduced. This leads to loss of control over certain muscle groups which in turn leads to loss of control over walking, swallowing, breathing,...Click to Read More

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

5 Items to Make a Bathroom Safe for Seniors

Adjustable Height Toilet SeatWhile no room in your home should lack protection from slips and falls (the leading cause of injury in the elderly), bathrooms understandably present a much greater risk for these types of accidents. Wet floors, tub bases, and shower stalls are akin to danger, which is why taking the proper preventative measure is essential for a safe living environment.

The market for bathroom safety products has grown immensely in the past decade, and this is perhaps in no small way a response to the startling statistics concerning senior in-home accidents. You can get everything you need to safety-proof your bathroom on the cheap, but of course no investment is too small when it comes to safeguarding the interests of your loved ones and yourself!

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Thursday, August 7th, 2014

When is the Right Time to Discuss Living Wills and Advance Directives?

living wills

If a loved one is in poor or failing health, discussions concerning their final wishes can often be uncomfortable for loved ones. However, it is very important that these wishes are carried with respect to the person’s desires.

The subject of living wills and advance directives can be a sensitive one for many families, and rightfully so. Advance directives are explicit written instructions that detail a person’s medical care preferences if they are no longer able to speak for themselves. These directives are prepared in advance of a major health event to ensure a person’s wishes are carried out.

By contrast to an advance directive, the concept of a living will concerns an individual’s ultimate decision when it comes to matters of their final care. It is a written, legal document that discusses what...Click to Read More

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

[Infographic] 10 Home Safety Tips for the Elderly

Aug14IGteaserWhile home may be where the heart is, it is also where most accidents happen. Anyone can have an accident, but for the elderly, a small accident can have serious and lasting consequences. The best accident is one that never happens.

With this in mind, please read the following tips, and review our infographic, which summarizes the tips. 

Falls

Very often, falls come to mind first when one thinks about home safety. According to the National Safety Council, 18,334 adults over the age of 65 died in 2007 as a result of falls. Elderly individuals can fall more easily than younger adults due to mobility issues and even some of the medications they take. However, taking a few simple steps can keep everyone a little...Click to Read More

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Caregiver Resilience: What It Is and Why It Matters for Family Caregivers

Elderly Home CareA young couple’s baby has Tay–Sachs disease that has no treatment or cure, and a life-expectancy of four years.  A veteran’s wife struggles to cope with her wounded warrior’s traumatic brain injury and PTSD.  A middle-aged woman tries to balance the needs of her aging parents with those of her growing family and her workplace.  An elderly couple does what they can for each other; his Parkinson’s and her pancreatic cancer are both advancing.

People of all ages care for loved ones and wonder how they will manage.  Fear, uncertainty, grief and exhaustion can be overwhelming.  How about you?  Are you sad, stressed or stretched by the demands of caregiving?  If so, building resilience can help. 

What is resilience and why is it important for family caregivers?

Resilience is your ability to withstand, recover, and sometimes grow...Click to Read More

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Bedsores: Care, Prevention, and Treatment

Talking Elderly WomanFor anyone involved with the long-term care of an older or infirm loved one, understanding how to treat and prevent bedsores can be paramount to their health and comfort. Although initially innocuous, with a lack of proper care, bedsores can become a painful, life-threatening condition for anyone who spends prolonged amounts of time at rest. Thankfully, all it takes is a little knowledge about the condition to make treatment manageable and to prevent your loved one from enduring any unnecessary suffering. 

Bedsores Explained

Bedsores are skin ulcers that occur due to immobility, most commonly among the elderly and bedridden. According to the University of Washington’s School of Rehabilitation Medicine, bedsores, sometimes known as “pressure sores,” usually develop on areas of the body where there is little padding, especially over bone, commonly including the lower back,...Click to Read More

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Cancer and Grief in Geriatric Adults

Man sitting at gravesiteThe death of a loved one from cancer can be a very painful experience and it can be especially difficult for older adults. As a person ages, it is more likely they will have to deal with loss and may be confronted with several losses during a short time span. Such losses can call attention to their own impending mortality, and, in turn, it can be a perfect storm for overwhelming grief. 

One of the most common experiences that cause an older adult to feel grief is as a result of watching a loved one die from cancer. As with cancer or other long-term illnesses, for the loved ones of the person afflicted, perhaps the hardest part is watching someone they love decline in health, even suffer, and living with the knowledge of the inevitable in the case...Click to Read More

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

The Sandwich Generation: Juggling Aging Parents and Finances

sandwich generationAs members of the Sandwich Generation know all too well, being in the middle can not only put a squeeze on your time, it can impact your finances, as well. If you are caring for your aging parents and your children all at the same time, you are part of a growing group of middle-aged adults known as “The Sandwich Generation.” These dueling demands can also come with added financial responsibilities, as well. 

According to a 2013 Pew Foundation survey, 15% of middle-aged adults are supporting their parents and children at the same time. Caring for not only your own children, but your aging parents who may have special needs can certainly put a sizeable dent in planning for your financial future. With that in mind, it’s important to make a sound plan for your future and your family’s...Click to Read More

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Respite Care: The Key to Caregiver Survival?

caregiver sleep tipsImagine running a help wanted ad for a caregiver with these requirements: “Caregiver wanted. Must work 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 52 weeks a year. No pay. No breaks. No vacation. No benefits. Apply in person. Bring a packed suitcase and plan to stay indefinitely.”

How many people do you think would show up? Not many, right?

We all know it would be impossible to hire someone to work 24 hours a day with no time off, regardless of how much money you offered. So, why, as family caregivers, do we think that we’re shirking our responsibility and acting selfishly when we take a little time for ourselves?

Here’s the bottom line:  If you want to avoid caregiver burnout and...Click to Read More