Caring for Elderly Parents from Afar

Caring for MomFamilies used to stay in the same general location. This made it convenient for grown children to keep tabs on their elderly parents and make sure that they were doing well and receiving proper care. Now that so many families are scattered across the country, it can be a bit more challenging to care for our aging loved ones. If your parents live in Phoenix but you are up in Portland, rest assured there are still plenty of ways to be an effective long-distance caregiver. Consider the following tips and ideas for caring for elderly parents from afar: Read More …

Home Safety Solutions for Independent Seniors

 

EDITOR: This  byline article from Medical Alert Advice is republished with permission
because an enterprising young girl brought it to our attention (story at end).

 

As a senior citizen, you have a variety of housing options available to meet your needs. Active and independent older adults sometimes choose to live in adult retirement communities that provide recreational and social activities, while seniors who might need some extra help at home may benefit from assisted living facilities. As your needs change, living arrangements that provide more assistance, such as an adult family home, residential health care facility, or nursing home, may also be available.

However, more adults are choosing to remain in their own homes or apartments for as long as possible. Seniors are becoming more independent and are living on their own longer than ever before. While this is great news, it is also important that seniors and their families ensure that their homes are safe. By following some simple tips, you can ensure that your home is safe and enjoy your independence for as long as possible. Read More …

Housing an Aging Population

U.S. Unprepared to Meet the Housing Needs
of Its Aging Population

Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies & AARP Foundation Release New Report

Washington, D.C. & Cambridge, MA (9/2/2014) – America’s older population is in the midst of unprecedented growth, but the country is not prepared to meet the housing needs of this aging group, concludes a new report released today by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies and AARP Foundation. According to Housing America’s Older Adults—Meeting the Needs of An Aging Population, the number of adults in the U.S. aged 50 and over is expected to grow to 133 million by 2030, an increase of more than 70 percent since 2000 (see interactive map). But housing that is affordable, physically accessible, well-located, and coordinated with supports and services is in too short supply.

Aging Brings Risks

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Convincing Mom to Exercise

 

Convincing Mom to Exdercise

Image credit: Healthways FIT

Since the day you were born, you’ve never won a debate with your mom. It didn’t work when you wanted that G.I. Joe. It didn’t work when you wanted to take a late night ride in Tommy Lombardo’s Corvette. And it didn’t work when you thought replacing your bedroom door with a bead curtain was a good idea.

But convincing mom to hit the gym is a fight you have to win. And here’s all the ammunition you’ll need to counter her arguments. Read More …

Top Home Tech for Seniors [INFOGRAPHIC]

Home Tech for Seniors and Caregivers infographic courtesy of Home Access Products.

With innovations in health care, medicine, and nutrition, it’s no surprise that Americans are getting older. By 2030, nearly 20% of Americans will be over 65– and nearly 90% of them want to stay in their own homes as they age.

As aging in place continues to rise, seniors are increasingly looking towards technology to stay safe and connected. From personal alert systems to cell phones and tablets, seniors are embracing technology and all of its benefits. Whether aging seniors are tech-savvy, or prefer simple ways of communicating at home, these products and services can assist seniors with safety, entertainment, health/wellness, communication, and assistance. Read More …

Can Fall Monitoring Technology Keep Elders Safe?

Falling DownBy Rein Tideiksaar Ph.D., PA-C

The most effective way for elders and/or their caregivers to address the issue of falling is to:

  • First, visit the doctor and find out why a loved one is at risk or why falls are occurring (remember that falls are not normal but may represent an underlying health condition requiring investigation).
  • Second, after fall risk factors and/or causes of falling have been identified, elders and their caregivers can address those risks by taking proper steps to avoid fallsRead More …

Caring for a Stroke Patient

Caring for a Stroke PatientBy Rohit Agarwal

Stroke also referred to as ‘Cardiovascular Accident’, is a type of a medical condition involving brain function disturbance due to lack of blood flow to the brain. There can be a number of causes that lead to a stroke, like blockages and hemorrhages.

This is a high level medical emergency that can be fatal. There is a high risk of a stroke to people of old age, diabetic patients, people who take high cholesterol diet, consumption of alcohol and smoking. Stokes should be taken seriously as it is considered to be the second leading cause of death in the world.

When a person survives a stroke there is always a risk of further repercussions that might include a second stroke, decreased brain functions, temporary loss of dexterity and paralysis. Hence, special care should be given not only in the hospital but at home as well, so we discuss home care tips for stroke patients. Read More …

A Guide for the Older Caregiver

Elderly woman in wheelchair walking with sonAccording to the Family Caregiver Alliance, a caregiving spouse who is between the ages of 66 and 96 and under excessive mental or emotional strain has a 63 percent greater risk of dying compared to those who are not tasked with caregiving. Family caregivers of all ages are less likely to take care of themselves due to the increased responsibilities and often don’t get enough sleep and exercise, eat poorly, and postpone their own medical appointments. It’s important to remember that taking responsibility for your personal health and well-being will allow you to better take care of your loved one.

If your spouse is contemplating major back surgery, this will entail recovery time you need to be prepared for. If minimally invasive surgery has not yet been considered, it may be an effective alternative. In recent years there have been many advances that have made this a more appealing option for those who have been diagnosed with damaged intervertebral discs, spinal osteoarthritis and other problems that cause back pain. The recovery time for a minimally invasive spine surgery is generally shorter than open-back surgery and is one of its significant advantages. Laser Spine Institute offers some of the latest minimally invasive procedures to patients across the U.S. Visit laserspinelocations.com to determine the nearest location to you and find out if this may be an option that not only helps your spouse find pain relief quicker, but eases the burden on you as well.

No matter what type of procedure your spouse undergoes, following these tips can help make a positive difference during your time as a caregiver. Read More …

Help Seniors Live Safely & Comfortably.

Portrait of a beautiful senior woman smiling at home

Help Seniors Live Safely & Comfortably
by Eliminating Safety Hazards at Home

Guest article by Anna Graves, a freelance writer
who lives on a farm in upstate New York.

Researchers from Colorado State University reported what most of us long suspected—the number one reason seniors fall in their home is tripping over something they didn’t see on the floor. The dangers don’t stop at the front door, either; uneven sidewalks, poor lighting and steep inclines present challenges for seniors. While you can’t remove every risk of a fall, you can explore your options to ensure your home (or the home of an elderly parent or friend) is safe.

First Things First

Every room in the home has potential dangers. Take a tour of the home with a friend or relative and look for hidden risks of a fall. Read More …

Don’t Look Back – the inspiring story of Danny & Shelly

Don't Look Back. Shelly now walks a mile three days a week using the gait trainer shown here.Danny Long became a 24×7 caretaker for his wife, Shelly, after a botched spinal cord operation in 2008. The surgery was supposed to improve the failing sense of touch in her hands and feet, but instead it left her a quadriplegic with no feeling at all, except the severe pain in her back.  Afterwards, no doctor would predict that she could ever walk again. But today, with help from her friends and faith, and the loving support of her creative and supportive husband, Shelly walks a mile every three days using the large gait trainer shown.

At some point, Danny decided to document her progress and their therapy journey in a series of videos. One showed how he adapted an old exercise bike to work for someone in a wheelchair. Another showed home-build parallel bars that Shelly used to practice standing and walking. And a third showed the walking harness he made to establish weight bearing safely. There are other videos on his Vimeo page, but the one I include below is a summary of their story.

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Housing: New Directions for National Policy

Mortgage ContractMore than five years after the collapse of the housing market, it’s all too apparent that current housing policy, and the institutions that support it, are outdated and inadequate.

That’s why a Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) Housing Commission of former Cabinet secretaries, former Senators and other leading housing and economic experts unveiled a new vision for housing policy that aims to further our nation’s economic recovery and improve the lives of millions of Americans. The recommendations propose scaling back the government role in the nation’s housing finance system and reforming housing assistance programs to better meet the needs of America’s most vulnerable households.

“Profound demographic changes are transforming the country and our housing needs. The aging of the Baby Boomers, the formation of new households by millions of young Echo Boomers striking out on their own, and the increasing diversity of the American population will present new challenges and opportunities for housing providers and policy makers.”

The Commission’s report, entitled Housing America’s Future: New Directions for National Policy, proposes a new housing finance system that calls for a far greater role for the private sector, a continued but limited role for the federal government, the elimination of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and reform of the Federal Housing Administration to improve efficiency and avoid crowd-out of private capital.

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Smart Car Features for Older Drivers

Nearly Nine in 10 Seniors Drive a Car that Doesn’t Fit their Aging Needs

AAA research helps “silver tsunami” match vehicle features to health concerns

Click to read about the future of driverless cars.

This photo by Henry Fountain pictures one of Google’s fleet of self-driving vehicles. The Lexus hybrid has a range-finder on top but otherwise looks reasonably conventional. We may eventually be able to buy cars that drive themselves (see comment below), and three states already license experimental models for operation on public roads, but until they’re commercially available, AAA offers advice on selecting car features for older drivers.

Washington, D.C., (Dec. 3, 2012) – With nearly 90 percent of motorists 65 and older suffering from health issues that affect driving safety, finding a car that not only adapts to conditions, such as lack of flexibility or muscle strength, while maintaining safety and comfort can be difficult. Data from a new AAA survey also reveals that only one in 10 senior drivers with aging health issues are driving a vehicle that has features like keyless entry and larger dashboard controls that can assist with such conditions.

To better equip the “silver tsunami” for driving safety and comfort, AAA has updated its Smart Features for Older Drivers resource to address a broader range of health conditions and include new data on 2012 vehicle features. As a leading advocate for senior driver safety, AAA launched Smart Features for Older Drivers in partnership with the University of Florida’s Institute for Mobility, Activity and Participation in 2008. In the update, Smart Features identifies vehicle features that optimize older driver safety and comfort, lists current vehicles with those features, and allows users to explore their individual needs through an interactive online tool.  Read More …

Before I die… Or before they do…

Before I die, from Candy Chang's TED talkToday I republish most of the content of a Huffington Post article that June Cohen wrote as part of TEDWeekends, a curated program about powerful “ideas worth spreading” each weekend.

The days between Thanksgiving and the New Year are always a time for reflection: On what’s been accomplished, on what remains ahead of us, and – most importantly – what matters most to you.

TED Fellow Candy Chang creates public art installations that explore the hidden landscape of near-death choices. Her work asks the audience, chalkboard-style, to fill in the blanks: “Before I die, I want to ________________.” Their answers have been, in turn: hilarious, heart-breaking, raw, real.

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How to Avoid Contractor Scams

Modern Health Talk is recognized this month for submitting the most articulate response to an eLocal.com poll on How to Avoid Scams after a Storm, which also applies to home remodeling and modifications for aging in place too.

Wayne Caswell, Modern Health Talk, wins eLocal's Most Articulate Award

We’re into Hurricane season, and Isaac just slammed into New Orleans, so this reminder about potential scams is timely, especially since local laws often favor builders, remodelers and contractors rather than homeowners (at least in Texas). Here’s some advice when hiring a contractor to fix your home or replace your roof.

 Avoid “storm chasers,” those unscrupulous Read More …

Friends from Beyond, and your Digital Will

Friends from Beyond is shown as an Internet cloud hosting email, social media and other websites.

By Wayne Caswell, retired IBM technologist, market strategist, and founder of Modern Health Talk

Friends from Beyond explores the role of social media and digital assets after death, and the need to think about this ahead of time, even creating a digital will to say who acts as executor and who takes ownership of the accounts, which ones get deleted, as well as if any should be preserved for perpetuity.

The article extends the thinking of last week’s post, The Legacy of a Digital Generation, which asked, What will be your legacy?

Will future generations remember you, what you did, and what you valued? Where will they go to reflect on your life? Will it be a grave site, a virtual memorial setup as a perpetual website, or your social media accounts? Read More …

Recalling and Recording your Life’s Story

Grandma was Quite a GirlTwo questions popped into my mind last week.

  1. What do we remember about our parents or grandparents years after their passing? AND
  2. What do we want to be remembered about ourselves?

The questions surfaced after meeting Lindsay Patterson last week. She’s a young lady fresh out of college who was promoting her new business, ReflectAndRecord.com. It’s a personal history business that specializes in multimedia memoirs, and it made me think back on the memories my mom left for me in a hand-written book, “Grandma was Quite a Girl.”

Mom never got into computers like I did. She worked her as a secretary with the British Navy in Washington, D.C. without ever touching a computer, so it seems fitting that she’d leave her legacy in that little book that prompted her to write her story in fill-in-the-blanks style, with photos added. In modern times she might have used a service to create a multimedia memoir that could be passed down electronically on CD or stored on a perpetual memory website.

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