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Preventing Falls – In-Home Safety Checks and Assessments

Posted by Anne Hein 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

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

Keeping Safe at Home

Posted by ComForCare on May 22, 2016 at 8:00 PM

Home should be a place of comfort and safety. As time passes, however, we can become a little too comfortable in those familiar surroundings to recognize emerging safety concerns. For this reason, living safely at home can turn into a challenge for older adults. 

With increasing age, vision and hearing become less acute, balance is less steady and reaction time slows. Household and personal tasks that were once easy and safe to complete can turn into difficult and dangerous activities.

Make Necessary Repairs

Make it a priority to look around your loved one's home for potential safety hazards. Take time to check that all appliances, electrical devices and outlets are in good working order. If necessary, make repairs and replacements. It's important to personally assess the situation. Your loved one may be reluctant to bring any household problems to your attention due to concerns about costs, maintaining personal independence or simply not wanting to make extra work for you. 

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Topics: Aging, Fall Prevention, Home Care Planning, Caregiving, Safety

Spring and Summer Are Scamming Seasons

Posted by Haley Kotwicki on May 17, 2016 at 1:30 PM

Late spring and early summer mark the beginning of vacations for many people. However, while you are relaxing poolside, fraudsters are working hard to snatch your money. Here are four scams to beware during these vacationing months.

Phishing for a Plane Ticket

Have you ever received an email to confirm a purchase you made online? The same principle applies, except you never reserved a flight. Con artists create realistic email confirmations with an airline’s logo, PDF attachments, and links claiming to take you to the airline’s help desk or home page. You may be inclined to select one of the links or attachments to try to figure out this obvious error. However, once the link or attachment is clicked, malware infiltrates your computer and can gather personal or financial information. If you are concerned about a suspicious email, directly contact your airline. Delta Air Lines, for example, has a page on their website dedicated to combating phishing emails.

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Topics: Aging, Caregiving, Safety

Worried About an Older Driver? How to Have “The Talk”

Posted by ComForCare on April 14, 2016 at 11:00 AM

Worried About an Older Driver? How to Have “The Talk”

“When did a simple trip to the grocery store become so dangerous? Is that a traffic ticket on the floor? Oh no, she is using two feet to drive, and this isn’t a stick shift! Gosh, I haven’t stomped on the imaginary brake pedal this much since Jimmy was 15 years old and learning to drive. I can’t let her drive back home. Maybe she shouldn’t be driving at all.”

Have you ever had this experience? Family members often worry about their aging loved one’s ability to continue driving safely and with good reason. Based on a study by the Federal Highway Administration, there were about 23.6 million licensed drivers 70 and older in 2013. If your loved one’s driving skills have diminished endangering others on the road, you may need to have that talk. It can be uncomfortable and awkward. However, it’s worth it.

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Topics: Aging, Home Care Planning, Safety

Tax Season Is Prime Time for Scammers

Posted by ComForCare on March 10, 2016 at 11:30 AM

Tax season is upon us and so are the con artists. The most popular scam as of late is not a new one; it’s been happening since October 2013 and has collected about $26.5 million from their victims - the tax scam. In this hoax, a caller pretends to be an agent from the IRS, complete with a badge number. Even the phone number has a Washington D.C. area code. The phony IRS agent says you owe money and threatens arrest, court action, deportation or license revocation. They try to scare the person by reading off their address, Social Security number and other personal information.

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Topics: Aging, Caregiving, Safety

Swindling Seniors

Posted by Haley Kotwicki on January 25, 2016 at 10:08 AM

The Nigerian prince hoax is one of the most well-known scams in the U.S. The con runs like this: A royal family member in a faraway country asks the victim, through a letter or email, to transfer millions of dollars out of his or her country by depositing it for safekeeping in the victim’s bank account. The royal may even ask for money to pay a fee or taxes for the transfer. Either way the victim has money stolen from them.

This hoax may seem pretty obvious or you may think highly of others – people are intelligent enough to see through the deceit. However, scammers are still raking in the dough. According to the Financial Fraud Research Center, about $40-$50 billion are lost to scams each year. Con artists’ incomes depend on tricking everyone, even you, so they learned to be cleverer than the worn out prince scheme.

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Topics: Safety

Senior Safety in the Home

Posted by Helen Beamer on September 22, 2015 at 4:42 PM

Home should be a place of comfort and safety. However, as time passes, those familiar surroundings may pose safety concerns for elderly people. Due to increasing age, older adults see and hear less clearly, their balance is less steady, and their reaction times are slower. Household and personal tasks that were once safe and easy to complete can become difficult and even dangerous.

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Topics: Safety

3 Things About Safety Supervision for the Elderly You May Not Have Known

Posted by ComForCare on June 23, 2015 at 8:38 AM

As a senior care service provider, safety is a top priority. We want to ensure that you senior is as comfortable as possible while being safe and cared for. Some safety concerns are obvious, but other safety concerns may not have crossed your mind. Below are some in-home safety concerns you should keep in mind.

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Topics: Aging, Safety

Baby Boomer Driver Statistics

Posted by ComForCare on June 20, 2015 at 4:39 PM

Boomers face a lot of stereotypes, not the least of which being that they tend to be, let’s say, less than fantastic drivers.

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Topics: Aging, Safety

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