Are Your Important Documents Safe?

Have you heard of Legacy Lockbox?

This is a unique way to keep all of your important documents safe and easily accessible should something happen to you.

Right now they are offering a Father’s Day special that can’t be beaten!

Save 10% now through June 16th
Use Coupon FD2019
Veterans receive an additional 10%

How to Make a Gift to Dad for Fathers Day:

  • Go to My Legacy Lockbox home page (button below).
  • Go to Get Started button in upper right corner.
  • Complete the membership form with Dad’s name and his email address.
  • Enter password happyFD
  • Use the coupon FD2019. Check YES if veteran for an additional 10%
  • Give Dad the website, sign in name and password for Fathers Day!

That’s all he needs to get started!

Don’t go it alone. The Senior Advocates of Assisted Living Made Simple are here to help. Call us or stop by our office for more information. Our services are always free to the senior and their family.

Protect Yourself from Falls

Did you know falls are the leading cause of death for people 55 and older? According to the Center for Disease Control, almost 3,000 adults over the age of 55 died from falls in 2017.

Here are the facts:

  • One out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury.
  • Each year, 3 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries.
  • Over 800,000 patients a year are hospitalized because of a fall injury, most often because of a head injury or hip fracture.
  • Each year at least 300,000 older people are hospitalized for hip fractures.

What Causes Falls?

  • Weakness
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Difficulties with walking and balance
  • Medications, tranquilizers, sedatives, or antidepressants. Even some over-the-counter medicines can affect balance.
  • Vision problems
  • Foot pain or poor footwear
  • Home hazards

Most falls are caused by a combination of factors. The more risk factors a person has, the greater their chances of falling.

Preventing Falls

  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your medicines to see if any might make you dizzy. Include all your medications including prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines.
  • Ask your doctor about taking vitamin D supplements.
  • Do yoga or strength and balance exercises.
  • Have Your Eyes Checked
  • Do a Home Safety Check including getting rid of things that can be tripped over.  Add assistance bars in your bathroom. Be sure you have railings on your stairs.

With some careful preparation and precautions, you do not need to be the victim of a fall.

Stand Up and Be Heard

I have been working in the Healthcare industry for the past twelve years.  My concern for our seniors is increasing daily.  Our hospitals are forcing people to discharge before they are ready, and that’s if they’re admitted at all.  The way healthcare is paid now is dictated by the insurance companies; they are dictating our care (without a medical degree). So the hospitals get penalized for re-admissions.  They are paid for bundle services as well, (hospital-owned home health company, rehabs, and hospices). It’s called one payer source; all the money goes to one source. 

People don’t know they have choices, they are told what and where to go. 

The social workers/case manager’s job at the hospital is to plan the patients discharge at the time the patient is admitted. The goal is a safe Discharge!! The case manger is pushed to get the patient out, sending them home or to a rehab under the illusion that it’s a safe discharge. The hospital systems will not allow the services or any community resources to help. They hand the family a list, or if the family is not in area they then send out an email request for a place/facility to take the patient.  

That takes them off the hook for the “Safe Discharge.” In the case manager’s defense, they are just doing what they are told, to keep their job. 

I’m writing this to ask people – doctors, professionals, and all human beings to get mad as hell and stand up for our future healthcare.  Write to your congressman, senator, and governor. Our healthcare is being managed by the insurance companies and lobbyists and it must end. 

Please stand up and be heard!!!!!  

Keep an Eye on Your Caregivers

5 ways to check on your older adult’s in home caregiver

1. Stay in touch by unexpectedly dropping in or calling
The simplest way to check up on your senior’s in home caregiver is to drop by unannounced for brief visits.

It’s wise to make this a habit, not just do it in the first few weeks after they were hired. That sends the message that you’re keeping a close eye on your older adult’s care.

While you’re there, look for signs that tell you how they’ve been spending their time. Is your older adult clean, fed, and in good spirits? Is the caregiver engaging them in conversation or an activity? Or is your older adult asleep in front of the TV with the caregiver focused on their smartphone?

Visiting in person is best, but if you aren’t able to drop by, call your older adult instead. Ask a few questions about what’s been happening to get a feel for how the day is going.

If talking to your older adult isn’t possible, it’s still worthwhile to call and chat with the caregiver.

2. Trust your gut instincts
You’ve probably heard this a million times: trust your gut. If something feels wrong, investigate further. Don’t dismiss your uneasiness as nothing.

A wrong feeling is a good enough reason to let someone go or to not hire them. Your older adult’s well-being isn’t worth the risk.

3. Ask for and listen to your senior’s feedback
Your older adult is an important source of information. Have casual conversations about how they feel things are going with the in home caregiver.

Listen openly and without judgement so they’ll be more likely to confide in you.

Even with older adults who might complain because they don’t want to have a caregiver around, you’ll likely be able to tell the difference between regular complaints or signs of problems.

If anything they say sounds odd or suspicious, take it seriously and investigate further.

4. Ask for a daily log
Ask the caregiver to write a daily journal that briefly documents how they spent the day.

This should include notes about your older adult’s mood, appetite, medications, and bathroom visits. They can also make notes of any problems, injuries, or questions for you.

5. Recruit neighbors to help keep an eye on things
If your older adult has kind neighbors that you trust, ask them to keep an eye out for any strange activity.

Or, after introducing them to the caregiver as a trusted friend, ask them to drop in once in a while to see how things are going.

Friendships are Important

Making friends can be challenging at any age, but even more so as we get older. The ways in which you previously met friends–usually at work or your children’s school–most likely have now changed. Many of our friends have moved or retired. As we get older adult we also become more selective about friend, and often older adults just enjoy spending time alone.

Maintaining friendships throughout every stage of life is important, but especially for seniors. Experts say having healthy, fun, and positive connections and social outlets as we age is vital to our emotional and physical health.

Friends may also extend your lifespan. In a 2010 research study (conducted by Julianne Holt-Lunstad, a psychologist at Brigham Young University in Utah) concludes that people with strong social relationships can increase their chance of survival, over a certain time period, by 50 percent. In addition, the study says that being lonely and isolated can be as bad for our health as smoking or being an alcoholic.

So How Can You Make Friends?

  • Go online. The internet can open up a whole new way to meet friends. For example, Meetup is a website which connects people with shared interests to face-to-face Meetup groups in your local area. There are hundreds of group available sure to meet any interest including hiking, creative writing, Sunday brunch, poetry readings, nature photography, and Reiki healing. If you don’t find the group you want, you can start your own. Membership is free. Go to:  https://www.meetup.com.
  • Get a dog. Owning a dog can help alleviate loneliness by creating opportunities for seniors to meet other people and socialize. Whether you are walking a pet in your neighborhood or going to the local park, a dog opens up your social world. The physical and psychological benefits of pet ownership can help keep you both happier and healthier as you age. According to the Centers for Disease Control, pets can decrease blood pressure, cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and feelings of loneliness.
  • Increase your social interactions & change your situation. The more opportunities for social interaction the more chance you have for making friends. If you are isolated in your home, it may be time to make a change. Consider moving to an apartment complex or independent senior living community to increase your social interactions and connections.

Contact the professional Senior Advocates at Assisted Living Made Simple for information on a variety of senior topics.

Disclaimer

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only about senior living topics. The information provided on this blog is accurate and true to the best of our knowledge but there may be errors, omissions, or mistakes.

Seniors May Need to Avoid These Medications

Stages of

For most adults, prescription and non-prescription medications provide safe and effective treatment and relief for a variety of medical conditions. However, for people over 65 some medications can cause serious reactions.

For example, your older mother pulls a muscle bowling and takes a muscle relaxant to help with pain. The next day she faints, hits her head, and the muscle pain and stiffness hasn’t gone away.

Or your 85-year old dad is having trouble sleeping. He takes an anti-anxiety pill to aid with sleep. Not only did he not get a good night’s sleep but now he is confused.

Unfortunately, seniors can have some bad reactions to certain drugs because their bodies process them differently.

As the body ages, changes in weight, a slower circulation system, and a loss of muscle mass can all  effect how an elderly person metabolizes medications.

In addition, many older adults regularly take several prescriptions and over-the-counter (OTC) medications which can interact negatively with other drugs.

Concerning side effects in the elderly to certain types of medications include: confusion; dizziness; blurred vision; behavioral problems, sleepiness; weakness; retaining urine or incontinence. In addition, some drugs are less effective in people over 65.

Side effects can lead to falls or serious accidents in our aging loved ones. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adverse drug events cause approximately 1.3 million emergency department visits each year.

About 350,000 patients each year need to be hospitalized for further treatment after emergency visits for adverse drug events. The majority of those admitted to the hospital from drug reactions are seniors.

Medications to Avoid

In 1991, geriatrician Dr. Mark Beers published a list of both prescription and over-the-counter drugs seniors should avoid.

This has become widely known as the Beers List which is now used as a guideline for physicians in treating patients over the age of 65.

For a complete list of medications on the Beers List click on the link above and be sure to talk to your health care provider. In general, older adults should be wary of the following:

  • Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS): Common names are Bayer, Bufferin, Advil, Motrin and Aleve. These may cause stomach bleeding, heartburn, and raise blood pressure increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke. Do not use for long periods of time or on a regular basis.
  • Other Over-the Counter Medications: Be cautious when taking medications that contain the ingredients antihistamines diphenhydramine and chlorpheniramine. These are commonly found in OTC products used for allergies, upper respiratory infections, and in OTC sleep products. Among the many known brand names are Benadryl, AlleChor, Chlor-Trimeton, Unisom, and Nytol. These medications can cause confusion, dizziness, hallucinations, dry mouth, drowsiness, and constipation.
  • Sleeping Pills and Anti-Anxiety Medications: In general, it is wise to avoid these medications since they can lead to confusion and fainting increasing fall risk.
  • Muscle Relaxants: Some common brand names are Soma, Flexeril, and Robaxtin. Muscle relaxants in seniors can cause confusion, fainting, dizziness, cognitive issues, and urinary problems.

Always talk to your medical professional about the OTC and prescribed drugs you are taking.


Disclaimer
All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only about senior living topics. The information provided on this blog is accurate and true to the best of our knowledge but there may be errors, omissions, or mistakes. Assisted Living Made Simple makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or information found by following any link on this site. The staff at Assisted Living Made Simple are not medical, psychological, legal, or tax professionals. Seek advice from a professional regarding your specific situation.

Are You Protected From the Flu?

Last year the flu season was one of the deadliest in decades. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports influenza killed 80,000 people. Millions more became sick from the respiratory virus and almost one million people were hospitalized. It’s a fact that older adults are at the greatest risk of serious complications from the flu. This is because seniors often already have weakened immune systems from other medical conditions and chronic illnesses.

Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people also may have vomiting and diarrhea. You can have the flu and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.

Flu Prevention

  • Get the vaccine. CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against the virus. Furthermore, the flu shot doesn’t just help you avoid the flu. It also minimizes your chances of secondary complications from the virus which include pneumonia, stroke, and heart attack. People 65 years and older should get a flu shot and not a nasal spray vaccine.  There are regular flu shots that are approved for use in people 65 and older and there also are two vaccines designed specifically for seniors: High-Dose Flu Vaccine and Adjuvanted Flu Vaccine. Ask your doctor which one is best for you.
  • Take action. A few simple measures like washing your hands throughout the day and using a tissue to touch your face with your hands can help reduce your chances of getting the flu. Try to avoid contact with anyone who shows any signs of a cold or flu. If you think you have the flu stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone (except to receive medical care).
  • Use antiviral drugs. Call your doctor once you develop symptoms of the flu. A physician can prescribe an antiviral drug which can help alleviate the severity of the flu and possibly avoid a hospital stay. These drugs work best when they are stated within 48 hours of getting sick. Antiviral medications are especially important for high-risk individuals like older adults.

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/takingcare.htm

Disclaimer

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only about senior living topics. The information provided on this blog is accurate and true to the best of our knowledge but there may be errors, omissions, or mistakes. Assisted Living Made Simple makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or information found by following any link on this site. The staff at Assisted Living Made Simple are not medical, psychological, legal, or tax professionals. Seek advice from a professional regarding your specific situation.


Why Use Assisted Living Made Simple?

Do you worry about an aging loved one/s? Do you want the BEST care available for them?

If this sounds like something you want/need, PLEASE give Assisted Living Made Simple a call today!

We offer the following services, just to name a few:

  • Personalized tours to facilities with our senior care advisors
  • Walking families through the health-care system
  • Assessing medical, financial, emotional, and social needs
  • Assistance procuring VA benefits
  • Alzheimer’s support groups
  • Out of State family representation with our senior advisors

We are here SOLELY for our community’s seniors and their care by providing a complete senior resource center.

Complimentary Service – 386-847-2322

Holiday Blues

The holidays can trigger sadness, loneliness, and depression in many adults, especially seniors. It’s not generally the holiday itself; rather, it is often a variety of things surrounding the events between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day that contribute to the holiday blues. The holidays not only remind them of loved ones they lost but also of another chapter closing in their own lives.
Loneliness during the holidays is intensified for seniors who are alone with no family or friends who live nearby. The holidays can be stressful for most adults; it is more so for seniors who may not have the health, energy, or means to enjoy all the festivities.

Signs of Depression in Seniors

The good news is that holiday blues is temporary and usually subsides after the start of the New Year. However, if you see any persistent symptoms in an elderly parent, this could be a sign of depression. According to the National Institute on Aging, depression is a common problem among older adults. Symptoms of ongoing depression include:

• Persistent sad, anxious, or empty mood;
• Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities;
• Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism;
• Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness;
• Decreased energy, fatigue, being slowed down;
• Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions;
• Difficulty sleeping, early morning awakening, or oversleeping;
• Loss of appetite or weight changes;
• Thoughts of death or suicide, suicide attempts;
• Restlessness or irritability;
• Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without an apparent physical cause and that does not go away even with treatment.

It is important to note that suicidal thoughts or actions should never be ignored and the following measures should be taken:

• Call your doctor.
• Call 911 for emergency services.
• Go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
• Call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255); TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (4889) to speak with a trained counselor at a suicide crisis center nearest you.

How to Help Seniors Cope with the Holiday Blues

• Include elderly loved ones in your holiday plans. Offer to provide transportation to and from an event, but also respect their need to relax. Let seniors know what the holiday plans are and let them decide what they would like to attend.
• Go out. It’s critical for seniors to leave the house and enjoy some fresh air every day, if possible. Take a senior out for lunch, a cup of coffee, or simply a ride in the car. Getting out of the house is a   great mood lifter!
• Talk to them. It is crucial for the elderly to share their thoughts about what they are feeling around the holidays. Give them a chance to express their thoughts and feelings. They will feel better, and their spirits will be lifted.

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/depression-and-older-adults

Disclaimer
All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. Speak to your physician or mental health provider for medical advice. Call the advocates at Assisted Living Made Simple for more information on senior resources in your area.