October 18, 2018
By: Darleen Mahoney
As the hot days of summer fade away and the leaves begin to change and the weather gets crisp, the season of fall is most welcome. Fall is not the only season that arrives in October, but a most unwelcoming season arrives as well…. flu season. Flu season is most active between October thru May. As this season is upon us, its important to be proactive in flu prevention, symptoms and treatment. The flu season is not the only season you want to experience, but the one you want to avoid.
While a flu diagnosis is serious regardless of age, a flu diagnosis in Seniors carries greater risks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that adults 65 and older are at greater risk of complications from the flu because they may have weakened immune systems. The CDC estimates that between 70%-85% of seasonal flu-related deaths and 54%-70% of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations occur in those over the age of 65.
A flu vaccine is the best option in flu prevention. It is recommended that Seniors and their caregivers receive the flu shot every year. The best time to get a flu shot is October thru November, so mark your calendars! The CDC reports that the flu vaccination may reduce the risk of getting the flu by 40-60%. The CDC recommends that even Seniors with weakened immune systems receive the vaccines, the vaccine can still protect against the illness and can weaken the flu strain if the immune suppressed Senior comes in contact with the flu virus.
Other ways to avoid getting the flu:
- Washing hands and wrists/ Hand sanitizer when more convenient
- Avoiding people who are sick
- Get plenty of rest
- Eat healthy, boost immunity
- Getting exercise-this could reduce your risk by a third
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth-this is how the germs enter the body
- Sanitize your Mobile devices
- Adding Vitamin C-Boost your immune system
The onset of flu symptoms can happen very quickly, some people developing symptoms one to four days after exposure to the virus. Seniors may develop the flu and their symptoms look very different than typical flu patients. Therefore, Seniors who have the flu are misdiagnosed or delayed in their diagnosis and therefore can progress into a more serious health problem. Most flu symptoms include a fever over 100 degrees, many Seniors with the flu do not have a fever, cough, or a sore throat.
Symptoms in a Senior may include:
- General discomfort, knowing something is clearly wrong
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
- Abdominal Pain
- Flu-like symptoms that get better and then worse
- Swollen mouth/throat
If you’re over the age of 65 and experience any of these symptoms, visit your physician right away to reduce the potential risk of a flu diagnosis. If you see your doctor within the first 48 hours, your doctor may prescribe you an antiviral medication. When taken at the onset of the flu, this medication can reduce the symptoms and the severity of your illness.
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July 16, 2018
Courtesy of Janet Campbell
When you’re tending seniors, you want to provide the best possible care to ensure the best quality of life. In order to be effective and efficient it can help to create a checklist, whether mentally or physically, of the areas you should discuss on a daily basis. Follow these important guidelines to ensure you’re covering the crucial aspects of your senior’s care and making the most of home health care visits.
Sleep. As we grow older, getting sufficient sleep is an area in which many seniors struggle. It’s also an area that can have ramifications in other parts of life, contributing to a variety of mental and physical health concerns. According to The Guardian lack of sleep is linked to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, reduced ability to focus, poor memory and a shorter life span.
For seniors, the concerns are even more far-reaching, with some studies showing poor sleep quality contributing to dementia, depression and the decline of other mental faculties. These together can be a slippery slope. With health concerns mounting, some feeding each other such as obesity contributing to sleep apnea and heart disease, depression can then worsen, sleep can worsen and a vicious circle can quickly develop.
There are many ways to encourage better sleep quality. One idea is to establish a bedtime routine including a warm, relaxing bath to help unwind. Sunlight can help trigger healthy body rhythms, so spending time in the outdoors during the day can also be a boon. Physical activity can also help seniors sleep, so long as they avoid exercising within three hours of bedtime. Also offer an appropriate sleep environment, free of noise and lights. Seniors should have a comfortable bed that alleviates pain as well. For those who wake up groggy or achy, consider upgrading to a new mattress better suited for an aging body’s needs. It is best to replace your mattress every seven to eight years to get a good night’s sleep. If you dream of reducing the number of times you toss and turn each night, refer to this guide to choose a comfortable mattress.
Diet. Meeting a senior’s nutritional needs is another key way to enhance quality of life. As we age the body’s metabolism gradually slows, and as some experts point out this can mean less calories burned. Seniors should opt for foods that are nutritionally dense instead of consuming empty calories. The diet should be tapered down according to need, rather than adding the nutrient-dense choices.
The diet choices should be simple, satisfying and nutritious. Plates should be half-filled with fruits and vegetables, and whole grains should be the source of at least half of the grain choices. Whole grains include foods such as brown rice, whole grain cereals and whole grain breads. Seniors should avoid consuming excessive amounts of sodium. The diet should include healthy fat sources such as nuts, avocados, vegetable fats and fatty fish. Protein sources should include eggs, chicken, fish, beans and nuts.
Exercise. Getting sufficient exercise is another key component in maintaining good quality of life for seniors. OnHealth explains loss of muscle mass associated with aging contributes to the metabolic decline in seniors. Staying fit helps keep muscles and bones strong, helps maintain a healthy weight, and helps maintain or restore balance. Seniors who stay active can reduce their risk for health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, depression, obesity and back pain. A senior fitness program can enhance flexibility, memory function and improve mood as well.
Seniors can begin exercising at any age but should discuss a new exercise program with their physicians. Scheduling sessions can help stay on track, and celebrating progress can be an encouragement. Seniors should include aerobic, strength training, balance and flexibility exercises in their regimen. Gentle chair yoga is a good option for many seniors new to exercise.
Easing a worried heart. Has your senior been fixated or overly worried about life lately? Chatting lightly can begin loosening up a senior who has become wound too tight about the ups and downs of life. First and foremost you must listen – most folks benefit from a sympathetic ear even if their listener doesn’t give them a solution to their problem. But if there are recurring issues then you could begin gently guiding them to take some action towards acceptance, no matter how small it might be. It could be as simple as some advance planning for the inevitable, or volunteering part time.
Better health, better life. Helping a senior maintain a good quality of life is paramount. Check off these three things when visiting seniors: Ensure seniors get sufficient sleep, enjoy a healthy diet and participate in an exercise program. Make the most of home visits with these simple guidelines.
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February 20, 2018
By: Darleen Mahoney
I am on my own personal journey to discover what the best decisions are for my Dad. He is 71 years old and starting to decline both physically and mentally. He decided to be independent and retire in a 55+ restrictive community years ago, but I see the need for additional long-term services for him in the near future. On this journey, I found myself needing a clear vision on what are our options might be that would be best for him and his needs.
I started looking at continuing care community options – what they entail and if it would be a good fit. I regretted that this option was not considered years ago and wondered if it was too late for him to make this move.
Continuing care communities are independent living housing with all the perks of the social, recreational and other retirement community extras that keep independent seniors active. They also have two additional tiers of care available – assisted living and nursing level care. Later, if the independent senior’s health declines, they can smoothly transition to the assisted living tier, and then, the nursing side, if needed.
According to the AARP, “Nearly 90% of people 65 and older said they would like to ‘age in place.’ And yet the hard truth is that a beloved house in a familiar community can become both physically impractical and socially isolating over time”. http://time.com/money/4579934/continuing-care-retirement-communities-cost/
Once you decide that this is a viable option for you or your loved one to explore, it’s a matter of choosing which one would be right for you.
The AARP recommends that you take many steps to make this determination:
- Visit multiple residences
- Take a tour, talk to the residents, staff, and visiting family members.
- Ask staff members how long they’ve worked there; a good sign of quality is low turnover.
- Check with the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. Many assisted-living residences, nursing homes, and CCRCs voluntarily apply for accreditation, which means they meet many quality measures.
- Get clear information on financial arrangements and costs
- Discuss at length with your loved ones, they will help you make a good decision in your best interest.
Regardless of whether a continuing care community is right for you or your loved one, it’s always best to be informed and proactive when making plans of this magnitude. Their health and happiness in the long term is dependent on finding the best senior living arrangement.
When you’re ready to begin your search, remember SeniorLivingGuide.com – the nation’s fastest growing senior housing and services resource!
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January 22, 2018
By: Darleen Mahoney
Being financially prepared before and during retirement is integral in assuring a comfortable and less stressful “golden years”.
Knowing what your retirement bills will look like verses your work life bills and expenses are helpful in budgeting. You may save money on commuting expenses and buying expensive clothes, work lunches and multiple co-worker “life events” financial contributions, but what is the offset in your income?
The first thing you would want to do is assess your finances. Any good budget begins with understanding of your current income and expenses.
Your biggest expense in retirement will most likely be your housing. If you can pay off your mortgage before retirement this will eliminate your biggest monthly expense. If you are unable to do this, you might find it beneficial to downsize and decrease your monthly mortgage, cashing in on any equity to help build up your nest egg. You may also want to consider retirement living and active adult retirement communities as options as they can offer turnkey solutions for long term home stability.
The other biggest expense during retirement will be health care expenses. It is imperative to do a deep dive into what is available to you, especially if you retire before being eligible for Medicare. You may also want to consider budgeting and saving for long term care expenses, as you or your spouse may need them.
Tracking your expenses with online budgeting tools can also be a real eye opener on where your money may be going. Budgeting tools like Mint and You Need a Budget will sync with your bank account and will be able to track where your money goes. https://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/on-retirement/articles/2016-08-10/7-tips-for-budgeting-in-retirement
Additional recommendations you might want to consider:
• Have fun-watching TV is not a healthy way to live and these should truly be the years that you have worked so hard for!
• Emergencies! – Big ticket items like New AC, Car repairs, new refrigerator, etc.
• Avoid Debt!
Most retirees have a fixed budget where they may live on a month to month income, creating a budget and being prepared will allow you the opportunity to enjoy your retirement with less financial stress.
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January 15, 2018
By: Darleen Mahoney
Depression is a common problem in older adults. It may be difficult to distinguish the difference between a senior who is just feeling “sad” and one who is experiencing geriatric depression. Geriatric depression is a mental or emotional disorder affecting older adults. These seniors that are would fall under “high risk” might be those that have experienced strokes, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, diabetes, cancer, dementia, and chronic pain. There are specific signs that would tend to be lend more to geriatric depression over moments of sadness. It is important to be aware of these signs because there are also steps to take to help our Seniors, depression is not a normal stage to getting older. Their “golden year” should be just that…golden!
Some signs and symptoms to look for would include: decreased energy levels, more physical problems, such as arthritis and headaches. Other signs that need to be addressed quite seriously would be loss of self-worth, slowed speech, increasing alcohol intake or drugs, thoughts of suicide.
Because depression is not normal and addressing them with our elderly can be tricky, pay attention to signs other than verbal.
“Older adults often say, ‘I am not sad,” or ‘I am not lonely,’ because they do not want to be a burden on the family,”
“Instead, they show signs of distress by wringing their hands excessively, getting agitated or irritable, or having difficulty sitting still.” according to Dr. Strem (www.health.com/health).
Be vigilant of these types of communication signs as well as the physical signs to be more proactive in care and getting the help needed.
The good news is there is help! There are medications as well as lifestyle changes!
Medications Include: www.healthline.com/health/depression/elderly#treatment5
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
- Selective serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
Lifestyle Changes Include: www.healthline.com/health/depression/elderly#treatment5
- Increased physical activity
- Finding a new hobby or interest
- Having regular visits with family and friends
- Getting enough sleep daily
- Eating a well-balanced diet
If you think that you or your loved one is suffering from geriatric depression, encourage treatment and offer your support. If they are living in a Retirement community, Assisted Living facility, or any type of senior housing environment where you might have access to reach out for help, then please do so.
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January 9, 2017
Courtesy of –
Karina Tama – Rutigliano
Digital Marketing Manager
Caring People Home Healthcare Agency
Whether you are in your 60s or 70s, have you considered your future living arrangements? Perhaps you live in a multistory home with a tricky staircase and a bathroom only on one floor? If this sounds familiar, it’s time to put some thought into supportive homecare options for your future.
Do You Plan on Moving?
What would you do if you could no longer live in your own home? Do you have a child to live with? Of course, there are advantages to living with a child and it is certainly an option for homecare for the elderly. Two major benefits include:
- You are surrounded by loving family
- You have people you are familiar with, helping you with your daily tasks
However, there are disadvantages to this solution, too, such as:
- Losing the familiarity of your community and friends
- Your family’s home may also have steep staircases
- You may no longer be able to enjoy your independence
- You may have to throw out treasured keepsakes to make space for moving in with family
How About Aging in Place?
If you would much prefer to enjoy aging on place, but fear that your home is not up to aging with you and your new needs, there are a few things you can do to ensure you can continue to live comfortably in the embrace of your home, such as:
- Installing slip-resistant floors
- Widening doorways to accommodate wheelchairs or walkers
- Installing a stair lift if you have stairs
- Remote control lighting
- Installing rails and ramps
- Consider a walk-in shower
Besides those supportive homecare options, there is also the option of in home health care service. Professionals who are familiar with homecare for the elderly will ensure you get to live as comfortable a life as possible while maintaining your independence.
Supportive Homecare Options – the Benefits of an In-Home Health Care Service
- All the Comforts of Home
For many seniors, the feeling of being at home where they are close to their friends and family can promote independence and recovery from illnesses or operations. Homecare for the elderly is ideal for rehabilitation, and research has shown that people tend to heal quicker in the comfort of their own home.
- Personalized Care
Aging in place with the assistance of in-home healthcare means you can enjoy quality care and one-on-one attention to ensure you have a comfortable lifestyle.
- Peace of Mind for the Elderly and Their Family
When you and your family decide to employ the services of in-home care professionals for a senior family member, you’re doing more than just making sure you receive top-quality care. You are also ensuring peace of mind for your family members. Often, it is nearly impossible for family members to provide the level and range of care you need. With the responsibilities of jobs, children, spouses, and their own life to lead, it can be tough being responsible for an elder, too. With professional and supportive homecare options like in-home health care, your family won’t feel like they are giving up on you and you can rest assured that you are in good hands.
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May 10, 2016
Are you caring for a child, healing spouse, veteran, or senior adult?
This is the conference for you!
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November 25, 2014
Need mobile diagnostic services in the West Coast Florida market? Check out our newest advertiser – Global Mobile Diagnostics.
Global Mobile Diagnostics of Florida Inc. is a statewide mobile and portable diagnostic company. We provide the diagnostic services in the convenience of the Healthcare provider, online the SNF, capsule the ALF or resident home. We are only a script away therefore once receiving the “script or order” for testing, we will do the pre-auth, schedule the patient, notify the facility of the testing, provide the testing, provide the reports within 24-48 hours and do the billing. We provide an array of services unlike other diagnostic companies that are not mobile and offer key services mostly often needed.
Check out the full ad here.
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August 21, 2014
We have two FREE ads to announce today, ambulance the first is Solaris Health Network in Bonita Springs, sick Florida!
The Solaris Health Network was created to help reduce the time and stress associated with creating and managing a comprehensive purchasing strategy. Providing high-quality health care in a financially responsible and sustainable way requires new ways of working, treat thinking and connecting.
We offer our members the resources needed to effectively manage the procurement of contract services and provide access to a group of industry professionals that are dedicated to helping members improve quality of care and financial outcomes.
Check out the full listing here and request free advertising for your community or senior service by visiting www.seniorlivingguide.com/freeadvertising.tpl!
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August 19, 2014
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Our newest FREE advertising recipient listing is now live! SimonMed has a free listing in our senior services department and a banner that promotes their services to all who are looking for senior housing and services in the central Florida area!
SimonMed Imaging is the largest specialized outpatient physician imaging practice in the country. SimonMed is unique in having the expertise and best technology of the largest academic centers but with the affordable pricing and service of community based radiology providers.
You can view their complete listing here and request your own for your senior community or service by visiting www.SeniorLivingGuide.com/freeadvertising.tpl
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