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Physical Function, Food and Falls

Posted by ComForCare on September 19, 2016 at 2:00 PM

You’ve likely heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” Research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital takes that concept further by supporting the notion, “You become what you eat.” The study, which compared diet quality and physical function in over 50,000 women, found that those who maintained a healthy diet over the years were less likely to develop problems with physical function as they grew older.

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Topics: Aging, Seniors, Falls

Recent Research on Dementia Gives Hope

Posted by Deborah Bier, PhD on September 14, 2016 at 2:00 PM

I wish I could tell you about new research that shows us exactly what causes Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia or provides a clear way to a cure, but I cannot. Nevertheless, some recent research offers hope to people living with dementia and their families. Here are a few studies worth learning about.

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Topics: Aging, Dementia, Alzheimers

How to Hang Out With Your Grandparents

Posted by Haley Kotwicki on September 9, 2016 at 1:00 PM

Planning a day out/in with your grandparents can be a vigorous exercise in creative thinking: What do you do? Where should you go? What do you talk about? Thankfully, my grandma and I had very similar tastes, such as window shopping and watching “The Nanny.” However, if you don’t have shared interests or actually know much about your grandparents, besides grandma bakes cookies and grandpa listens to baseball games on the radio, then you are going to have a difficult time. The added pressures of birthdays and getting them a gift is even more stressful. You can’t make macaroni art presents if you are an adult. Trust me.

So, what’s a grandkid to do? I have made the following list of fun activities to do with your grandparents with somethingeveryone will enjoy.

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Topics: Seniors, Caregiving, Grandparents

Are You Prepared for an Emergency? How to Help Yourself and Aging Loved Ones

Posted by ComForCare on September 6, 2016 at 2:00 PM

By Emily Lord, executive director, HealthCare Ready

The Louisiana floods in August of 2016 destroyed more than 60,000 homes and forced more than 15,000 people into shelters at the height of the disaster. These floods were not caused by a massive hurricane like Katrina in 2005 but by tons and tons of rain. No one expected rain to cause the damage on the scale it did. It is a powerful lesson that we need to always be prepared to protect ourselves and those we care for, especially the elderly who are more vulnerable than most because of limited mobility and additional health care needs.

While disaster preparedness sounds overwhelming and yet another thing to add to your to-do list, there are easy, low cost ways to protect the health of your family or those to whom you provide care. There are many organizations that provide preparedness training and toolkits, including the American Red Cross and the CDC, but they don’t always include health care preparedness. Here are a few key things to think about when planning.

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Topics: Aging, Seniors, Caregiving, Emergency, preparedness, Medical information

More Seniors Embracing Technology (Accept That Friend Request From Grandma!)

Posted by Anne Hein on August 31, 2016 at 1:00 PM

Every Saturday morning we have our routine. After feeding my two-year-old her second breakfast of the day, I patiently wait for the clock to strike 9 a.m. It’s now time to Facetime, aka video chat. We usually start with Claire’s great aunt Elaine in Kansas. Over Facetime, we review everything Claire has eaten that morning, her exploding vocabulary, her daycare antics and weekend plans. Auntie Elaine relishes every minute detail, but mostly she loves seeing her great niece. They blow kisses, wave hello and goodbye, and Claire gets a chance to show off her killer dance moves. It’s a win-win-win. Auntie Elaine gets to spend time with her great niece, Claire gets to interact with family she rarely is able to visit, and I occupy my rambunctious toddler for a few blissful moments.

Like Claire’s great aunt Elaine, more and more older adults are embracing technology. According to the Pew Research Center:

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Topics: Seniors, technology

Reducing Hospital Readmissions: How Home Care Can Help Improve Outcomes

Posted by ComForCare on August 24, 2016 at 2:00 PM

Did you know nearly one in five Medicare beneficiaries – approximately 2.6 million seniors – who are discharged from the hospital are readmitted within 30 days? These unplanned readmissions are not only costly (an estimated $26 billion dollars every year in the U.S.), but harmful for patients. Who wants to get out of the hospital and get worse instead of better?  Yet, research shows up to 75 percent of hospital readmissions may be preventable. 

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Topics: Seniors, Home Care, Hospital Readmissions

The Games in Rio, a Celebration of Achievement

Posted by Tano Pillot on August 18, 2016 at 2:00 PM

It’s time again for the world to come together and celebrate the spirit of sport. A competitive battle showcasing the power of dedication, focus and a will to achieve something great. While most of us never have, nor ever will achieve worldwide acclaim as an athlete, it doesn’t mean we haven’t achieved greatness in sports or in life. Whether it was participating in high school, collegiate, or recreational sports or arts; earning a degree; starting a business; or raising a family — hard work, focus, discipline and a drive to achieve a goal are the basic ingredients for success. What I enjoy the most about watching the games in Rio, is the reminder of what’s involved in accomplishing something great in life — even if it’s only great to you.

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Topics: Aging, Seniors, exercise

Reaching Out to Older Adults: How a Simple Conversation Can Be a Life Line

Posted by Helen Beamer on August 17, 2016 at 2:00 PM

Sometimes we avoid the most important conversations we should have with older adults. We think our deliberate silence may prevent hurt feelings, angry outbursts or uncomfortable, awkward moments. However, keeping quiet may pose serious risks to their health and safety.

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Topics: Depression, older adults, Suicide

The Dark Secret of Healthy Foods

Posted by ComForCare on August 10, 2016 at 2:00 PM

Eating healthy and clean has become a large part of pop culture since the organic movement decades ago. Articles are published every day about what the new super food is and what we should eat to cram our bodies with vitamins and antioxidants. Most superfoods do provide heaps of nutrients despite the hyperbolic ads and testimonials. Yet, there is a dark side to these superfoods for some people with chronic diseases. Here are 4 foods that can become villainous:

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Topics: Seniors, Healthy Eating, Medications

Older Adults and Substance Abuse: It’s Real

Posted by ComForCare on August 4, 2016 at 2:30 PM

Although not as severe or prevalent as substance abuse among younger people, substance abuse by older adults (65+) is happening and can create an equally negative impact on the older adult and their family. 

By the numbers

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s 2015 National Barometer Survey, 0.4 percent of adults age 65+ were dependent on or abused illicit drugs in 2013. To specify, examples of illicit drugs are marijuana, cocaine and prescription drugs (pain relievers, sedatives, tranquilizers and stimulants). In the same survey, 2.2 percent of people 65+ were dependent on or abused alcohol in 2013.

Looking back at the population from 2013, there were 44.7 million adults 65+. With some quick math, this means over a million seniors were having a substance abuse problem.

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Topics: Seniors, Caregiving, Substance Abuse

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