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Preventing Falls – In-Home Safety Checks and Assessments

Posted by ComForCare on September 29, 2016 at 2:00 PM

You noticed a bruise on your grandma’s arm. “It was just a little fall,” she says. Maybe she is right, it was a minor incident. But what about the next time? Falls can be serious, sometimes fatal, for older adults. According to the National Council on Aging, every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall and every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall. Even if someone isn’t hurt when they fall, they may become afraid of falling, which can have a big impact on their life. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found the fear of falling causes people to limit their activities and cut back on social engagement. When someone is less active, they become weaker, which increases their chances of falling. Research also shows falling just once doubles one’s chances of falling again.

It’s a common belief falls are just a part of aging – that it’s inevitable seniors will fall. That’s not necessarily true because most falls are preventable. Many ComForCare/At Your Side Home Care locations offer free in-home fall safety evaluations and fall risk assessments. Our home safety check evaluates all aspects of someone’s living conditions. A trained professional will look at things such as:

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Topics: Fall Prevention, Caregiving, Safety

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: Aging, Caregiving

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, Caregiving, Safety

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: Aging, Caregiving, Healthy Living

7 Ways to Pay for In-Home Care

Posted by Anne Hein on July 29, 2016 at 2:00 PM

paying-for-home-care.jpgAs you develop a long-term care plan for yourself or a loved one, several factors must be considered, such as one’s current and future medical needs, family support system and budget. Since 90 percent of people 65+ want to stay in their home as long as possible,[1] home care is a popular option.

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Topics: Home Care Planning, Caregiving, Finances

Summer Falls and Injuries

Posted by Haley Kotwicki on July 25, 2016 at 2:00 PM

For most people, summer is a time to be more active, such as taking a trip to the beach, strolling around town or gardening in the backyard. However, warm weather activities can provide opportunities for unintentional injuries and falls, especially for older adults.

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Topics: Aging, Fall Prevention, Caregiving

How to Talk With Your Aging Parents About Their Long-Term Care

Posted by ComForCare on July 21, 2016 at 8:00 PM

Maybe you’ve noticed Mom forgetting to turn off the faucet after washing dishes or Dad having difficulty using stairs. You think it might be time to talk to them about finding some additional help, but you don’t know the best communication techniques to use. If your aging parents are accustomed to living independently or are tenacious (to say it nicely), it can be challenging to convince them of the need for help.

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Topics: Aging, Home Care Planning, Caregiving

Meaningful Activities for Seniors, Including Those Living With Dementia

Posted by Deborah Bier, PhD on July 18, 2016 at 1:00 PM

For all us, the activities of daily living (for example: eating, bathing, dressing and toileting) keep us alive and safe. Including meaningful activities allows us to experience purpose and joy – vital to living the best life possible. What exactly are meaningful activities? These are activities based on the person’s interests, hobbies, skills and abilities – activities with purpose and joy make the day special.

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Topics: Aging, Caregiving, Alzheimer's and Dementia

Living Your Best Life Possible With Early-Onset Alzheimer’s

Posted by Deborah Bier, PhD on July 12, 2016 at 2:00 PM

We have a widespread idea in our culture that receiving a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is akin to the end of life itself. When it comes to something like early-onset Alzheimer’s, occurring in people typically in their 40s-60s, the pessimistic view about living with dementia is even stronger.

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Topics: Aging, Caregiving, Alzheimer's and Dementia

Intergenerational Summer Fun

Posted by ComForCare on June 28, 2016 at 2:00 PM

Summer days bring out the child in each of us. Whether you are young or old, or somewhere in-between, the hot days of summer can be filled with laughter, play and happy times together.

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Topics: Aging, Home Care Planning, Caregiving, Activities and Lifestyle

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