August 30, 2018

Elder Abuse: Live with Dignity and Security

Filed under: Elder Abuse,Seniors Health — Tags: , — seniorlivingguide @ 11:04 am

By: Darleen Mahoney

The elder abuse epidemic that continues to climb in this country is rarely addressed but is alarming. In the United States, more than a half a million elder abuse are reported while its estimated that millions more go unreported. Understanding the many faces of what elder abuse look like are the best forms of education on prevention. The more informed you are, the more you can do to protect yourself. Elder abuse is actual physical, emotional, and psychological abuse. These can be caused by neglect, abandonment, or isolation. Elder abuse is also found in identity theft and/or taking advantage of an elderly person financially.

The emotional treatment or psychological pain of older adults includes:

  • Yelling and Screaming through intimidation
  • Humiliation
  • Blaming
  • Ignoring
  • Isolating
  • Terrorizing

Elder abuse can truly happen to anyone and the abuser could be a friend, family member, caregiver or a stranger.  Many times, emotional abuse is conducted by the Stop Elder Abusecaregiver. For many caregivers a support system should be in place to help avoid this type of scenario.

Seniors that can be more vulnerable to elder abuse are one’s that live alone. If you live alone, do not isolate yourself and continue to be social with your family and friends. Get involved in your church, local community events, volunteering or senior centers. Keeping your mind sharp and being physically fit will help make you less of a target and vulnerable to elder abuse as well.

The most reported form of elder abuse is financial. You must limit the amount of information that you share with people, including on social media and personal information that you are filling out online. When you receive your bank and credit card statements, review them carefully to make sure that they are correct. Do not just throw documents in the trash, make sure that you shred all your important documents that have any personal information on them; including social security numbers, banking numbers, and any other personal information.

Everyone deserves to live in safety, security with respect and dignity. If you suspect that a senior or elderly person is at risk from neglect or is being abused, or preyed upon financially, speak up. To report abuse, many states have Elder Abuse hotlines or call your local law enforcement. Learn more about signs, prevention and how you can help educate and those abused at elderabuse.org .

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August 21, 2018

Advice for Seniors Looking to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Filed under: Seniors Health — Tags: , — seniorlivingguide @ 12:24 pm

Courtesy of Hazel Bridges

If you’ve ever laughed because your grandparents or elderly parents eat dinner at 4:30 p.m. so they can be in bed by 8:00 p.m., you may be unaware that physiological changes brought on by age may cause older adults to sleep less and on a different schedule than they used to. They may be up several times a night and sleep a lot during the day, but experts recommend seven to nine hours of sleep each night regardless of age.

If insomnia or some other cause of sleep deprivation is at fault, it needs to be addressed with strategies aimed at making it easier to get to sleep. There are many tips for improving your ability to sleep, and often the simplest ones are the most effective.

Warm bath

A good soak in a warm bath can help lower your body temperature and heart rate enough to make you feel sleepy. It’s a relaxing, soothing way to wind down as bedtime approaches, and scented bath salts can help augment the effect. It’s worth a try, especially if you’re used to pacing the floor and watching late-night television for hours on end.

Create a good sleep space

Setting up a proper sleep environment is essential for improving your night’s rest. Sleep for SeniorsThat means keeping the bedroom dark, cool (about 72 degrees), and quiet. Consider using blackout curtains if light from outside is a problem, or turning on a source of white noise, such as a phone app or a floor fan, to create a constant source of masking sound so the neighbor’s dog or passing motorcycles don’t jar you awake. Establish your bed as a place for sleeping only and try not to go to bed until you feel tired.

Winding down

Seniors who suffer from sleep deprivation often make the mistake of getting in bed whether they’re tired or not. Avoid vigorous physical activity an hour or two before bedtime and turn off all electronic devices, including the computer and television, at least an hour before going to bed. Winding down is about easing your mind and getting ready for sleep. Reading a book and listening to soothing music or a CD with sounds from nature can sometimes help overcome insomnia.

Avoid napping

The more you sleep during the day, the harder it may be to nod off at night and get the REM sleep your body needs. While napping is something many seniors enjoy during the golden years, don’t let it wreak havoc on your sleep. However, you should avoid taking stimulants during the day to stay awake if you’re used to napping, as they can affect your sleep at night as well. If necessary, establish a sleep routine in which you go to bed earlier than usual each night.

Avoid food and alcohol at night

It can be hard to sleep when your body is digesting, so avoid eating a meal or heavy snacks close to bedtime. Alcohol can also have an unsettling effect at night time and produce repeated trips to the bathroom. For the same reason, it’s a good idea to avoid drinking a lot of water before going to bed.

Exercise

Regular physical activity which increases your heart rate and metabolism will work to your advantage at bedtime. Walking, jogging, bicycling, or yoga can work your muscles and limbs enough to create a natural and healthy fatigue by bedtime, and are all safe and low-impact forms of exercise that are perfect for seniors. Avoid any such activity within three hours of going to bed so that you have time to come wind down and relax.

Sleep testing and Medicare

Sleep studies help doctors identify disorders and fashion treatment strategies for patients with chronic sleep problems. Such testing measures information while you sleep that can help in fashioning a diagnosis. Medicare may pay for “medically necessary” testing for seniors, while Medicare Part B may cover tests and devices ordered by a doctor to diagnose sleep apnea. Medicare may also cover a three-month trial for CPAP therapy.

Finding a way to get the sleep you need can be as simple as getting more exercise, or it could involve medical testing and a diagnosis requiring specialized treatment. In either event, it’s worth getting restful sleep that helps keep your body healthy and your mind sharp.

Photo Courtesy of Pexels.com.

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July 27, 2018

Making Lifelong Friendships in Retirement

Filed under: Seniors Health — Tags: , , — seniorlivingguide @ 9:54 am

By: Darleen Mahoney

Its happening, you are making the move from your family home and familiar neighborhood and friends to a retirement community, either active or assisted living. You have worked very hard to make sure that you are making wise decisions and you Making lifelong friendships in retirementknow what you want or need in the place you will be moving. You know that one of the main ingredients that you need for yourself is to continue to be as active and social as possible.  You know that you need to make new friends in your new living environment, as this is important to you. The good news is that it’s very possible.

For older adults, new environments and living spaces, new routines and new faces can be reason enough to become isolated from people and things that they enjoy, become lonely and feel depressed.

It’s important to acknowledge this as a possibility before making the move.  Planning ahead to make an effort to meet and interact with the other residents is important prior to the move. Look at the calendar of events and outings.  Go ahead and sign up for activities and clubs. Keep your commitments!

There are also other ways to meet new friends daily that share the same common interests. Check out the following:

  • Hobby focused groups
  • Book Clubs
  • Watch TV with groups vs. privately
  • Run errands with groups-Ex: grocery store
  • Support Groups-Ex: emotional, medical

If your community offers welcoming events for new residents, attend the event! Each new resident needs the same love and support that you did when you first arrived. If you don’t feel that you had a welcoming environment, be the one that makes the change! You never know who you are going to meet. You don’t want to miss out!

Be informed of what resources that you have at your disposal and take advantage of them. If you have a special interest and its not available, find out if you can start a new group.

If you feel like you are taking these steps on your own and you’re still struggling to make friends, confide in a caregiver to see if they can provide a solution. If you prefer, confide in a family member or someone that you feel comfortable talking about your struggle seeking their advice.

Actively taking steps to make new friends can be exhilarating and stressful at the same time. Maintaining healthy friendships in retirement is good for your mental and emotional health. It can help with anxiety, depression, and loneliness. Be happy and find your new found lifelong friendships in retirement!

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