Monthly Archives: August 2018

Top Four Home Safety Tips for Seniors

As we get older, it becomes increasingly more important to be aware of our surroundings and any hidden dangers or threats that may exist. Agility and reflexes, as well as the ability to bounce back from an injury with ease, have a tendency to dissipate with age, even if our minds feel as young as ever. This means that it’s essential for anyone above a certain age, especially if living alone, to be careful. With that in mind, here are five home safety tips for retirees that will help eliminate the risk for accidents.

1. Watch your step.

This can be taken literally and figuratively. Yes, you should look down when you’re walking, especially down stairs or off of curbs to make sure you don’t misjudge a distance. But from a figurative sense, think about making your home safe to walk around in. Don’t use slippery waxes when you clean your floors. Tape rugs down so they won’t slide, and avoid having rugs at the tops and bottoms of stairs, when the risk is highest and your balance may be shifted. Put grips in your tub and on the stairs to avoid slipping and clean up any spills immediately.

2. Make things easier for your eyes.

Why strain your eyes and/or make assumptions about contents when you can just label things better? Avoid confusion and the risk of making an error by using large lettering and labels for anything that might be dangerous. This includes making sure your hot and cold faucets are clearly marked, your medication is easy to differentiate, and you can identify what you’re seeing. That also means using bright lighting throughout your house, especially the kitchen, bathroom, and garage. 100-watt bulbs will keep everything well-lit, making it easier to read ingredients, expiration dates, and more. And finally, clearly mark the on and off switches on appliances like your oven and stove, so you don’t have to guess if you’ve turned everything off appropriately.

3. Fire bad. 

Just like Frankenstein’s monster, let’s try to avoid any fire hazards! If you’re a smoker, do not smoke in bed. The risk of falling asleep and having your sheets catch fire is higher than you think. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher and smoke alarm on every floor. If you use a kettle for tea or coffee, make sure it has an automatic shut-off, and the same goes for your clothes iron and curling iron. And finally, try not to wear big flowing clothes if you’ll be standing over the stove, especially if you cook with gas.

4. Be smart.

Make sure you keep any hazardous materials under the sink and away from food and drink. Check your expiration dates. If you need to reach something high, ask for help instead of getting a ladder. Don’t store anything heavy above waist level. Keep your knives and other sharp tools in blocks or drawers. And most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for help. There’s nothing wrong with having a companion or a caregiver to come to your house on a regular basis to assist with cooking, cleaning, bathing, or help with your medication needs. Another pair of eyes, especially when they belong to a trained caregiver, might make the difference in peace of mind or a devastating injury.

Compassionate Care provides a wide range of services for retirees and seniors that include skilled nursing, companion, and caregiver services. Call us today at 561-244-5098 or 888-814-3778 to find out more about the different ways we can help you.

Ancient Greek Karate Helps Expert on Aging Learn About Aging

A neurologist and expert in aging learns about healthy aging from his karate teacher. Check out this fascinating article!

“Dr. Kirk Daffner, 61, paused briefly to center himself before he began the first of more than 108 carefully orchestrated maneuvers. He lunged, rolled, did one-armed push-ups and slapped the mat with his open hand. He jumped in the air spread-eagled, touching his feet, then grunted as he kicked at an unseen foe, his hands balled into fists or fingers extended, chopping the empty air.

He, along with a handful of other men, have been practicing routines like this for more than 40 years, under the careful supervision of George Gonis, who runs the small, second-floor gym where they sweat off several pounds during each 90-minute session. All have been training in the ancient Greek karate style known as pankration with Mr. Gonis, some on and off, since their teens or early 20s.

Dr. Daffner, a neurologist and expert in aging at Harvard Medical School, considers Mr. Gonis a second father. He concedes that despite his degrees, years of training and global reputation, his karate teacher has always known more about healthy aging than he does.

“His views about how to maintain health and how to promote good aging were really decades ahead of his time,” said Dr. Daffner, chief of the division of cognitive and behavioral neurology and director of the Center for Brain/Mind Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Not just the physical exertion pankration requires, but also the mental fortitude and way of life the practice fosters — especially as done by Mr. Gonis — have increasingly been shown in studies to be vital for aging well. “I regret the fact that I wasn’t smart enough to listen to exactly what he was saying,” Dr. Daffner said.

The scientific world has finally caught up to Mr. Gonis, said Dr. Daffner…”

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Four Trends For Health-Conscious Seniors

Check out this great article on some of the healthcare trends that retirement-age adults have been incorporating into their routines to stay healthier, in addition to getting in-home assistance to help with maintenance, care, and medical needs:

“It goes without saying that with aging comes some level of declining health. However, new technologies and advancements in healthcare are changing the way people approach their health as they age, by allowing for more independence and control. According to statistics gathered by the American Hospital Association, by 2030 there will be more than 37 million people over age 65 in the United States. They are looking for ways to address their medical needs and maintain strong and good health as they age, and many of them are adopting these top health trends.

It’s exciting to see some of the trends in healthcare that can keep older adults feeling fit:

  • Coffee for brain health,
  • Increase in the use of non-physician healthcare providers,
  • Fitness and health trackers, and
  • Telemedicine to avoid trips to hospitals and nursing home stays.

#1 Senior Health Trend: Coffee for Brain Health
Seniors have taken notice of recent research that shows that consuming caffeinated coffee on a regular basis may improve mental health and delay the onset of neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

About 26 million people worldwide suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), and it is estimated that by 2025 about one in five people in developed areas, such as Europe and the United States, will contract AD. AD is a disease in which proteins called amyloids congregate in the brain to form knots and tangles that eventually fill the majority of the brain, destroying its cells.4 One study noted that drinking three to five cups of caffeinated coffee per day during midlife may decrease the chance of contracting Alzheimer’s later in life.4 Although not conclusive, the study’s findings are very exciting for those of us who worry about AD in ourselves and in loved ones – and especially for those who enjoy their hot cup of coffee in the morning!

#2 Senior Health Trend: Increase in the Use of Non-Physician Healthcare Providers
Many Americans over the age of 65 are turning to healthcare professionals who are not M.D.s for their healthcare needs. The growing demand for healthcare is increasingly met by Nurse Practitioners, or Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs). They are nurses who have completed additional training in fields such as Family Practice, Gerontology, Pediatrics, and Emergency Medicine.

APRNs have the additional training required to diagnose diseases, initiate treatment plans, order tests, and prescribe medication as a doctor historically would.

Seniors are also turning to Physician Assistants (PAs) for their healthcare needs. PAs play a similar role to nurse practitioners, but must work under a doctor’s supervision. PAs can diagnose disease, initiate a treatment plan, write prescriptions, and order lab tests in collaboration with a supervising physician.

Gone are the days when doctors were the only healthcare providers. Now, that responsibility is shared among a medical team that includes APRNs and PAs, and the result is an increase in the accessibility of healthcare to an aging population.

The availability of non-physician healthcare providers extends beyond traditional medicine and into integrative and functional medicine practices, as well. These practitioners treat the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – and seek to discover the root cause of an illness, rather than just treating the symptoms. The Institute for Functional Medicine website is a great resource to learn more about this aspect of healthcare, check it out to learn more about this topic.

#3 Senior Health Trend: Fitness and Health Trackers
Technology is not just for the younger generations. Seniors are increasingly using technology to monitor vital signs, such as blood pressure and heart rate.

Not only are blood pressure and heart rate being monitored through consumer devices, but respiratory rate, temperature, fitness metrics, and other indicators of overall health are quickly, and repeatedly, measured with devices that anyone can purchase and wear (aka “wearables”).

The flexibility and accessibility of high-tech solutions like Fitbit and Polar for health monitoring are prompting increasing numbers of older people to turn to technology as they age. One expert says that seniors are buying 17% of all wearable tech sold today. No doubt that number will rise as the numbers of seniors grow.

#4 Senior Health Trend: Telemedicine to Avoid Trips to Hospitals and Nursing Home Stays
Now, more than ever, the older people want to live fully independent lives, and the increased availability of telemedicine is helping them do just that.

Telemedicine enables patients to leverage technology, such as Skype and other video communication software, to consult with their healthcare providers virtually… without ever leaving the comfort of their home.

While some argue that the quality of care available in telemedicine suffers, because the doctor or another healthcare provider is not physically present, telemedicine has proven useful with pre-stroke individuals and in hospitals where a specialist cannot be on call, such as in rural areas8. Telemedicine can be used anywhere there is a phone or Internet connection, making it an affordable and efficient solution. Senior citizens for whom independence is key are gravitating toward telemedicine for many of their healthcare needs.”

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Want To Relax After Surgery? Schedule Post-Care Today!

If you have a surgical procedure scheduled sometime soon, have you thought about your post-care?

Chances are you may not have even considered what happens once you get home from your procedure. If you’re making the assumption that you’ll be able to care for yourself, or that a family member will be there for you the whole time, here are some considerations to keep in mind regarding your post-operative care.

Will your medical needs be met?

We have a network of skilled nurses who will help you through your recovery, from making sure that you are healing properly to changing bandages and checking for infections to helping you stick to your post-operative recovery orders. Trained specifically to help with post-care needs, your provider will be there with you to answer all of your questions.

Do you want to be a burden on family when there’s an alternative?

Having family and friends there to support you is wonderful, and can be the emotional help you need for optimal recovery, but caring for yourself after a procedure can be time-consuming, tedious, and sometimes even potentially embarrassing. One of our care providers can help with your needs while your family and friends can provide that necessary moral support.

Are you going to take care of yourself?

There are a wide range of ways in which our post-care services can help you if you’ll be alone, including helping you get home from your surgery, assistance with insurance companies and billing situations, getting you to your follow-up appointments, light housekeeping and cooking, and more.

The hardest part of a surgical procedure is the recovery, and it’s important for you to have the support and assistance that you need to heal properly. With Compassionate Care’s professional post-care program, you’ll be able to ensure that your stress levels remain low, energy remains high, and that your recovery is as optimal as possible.

Contact Compassionate Care today at 561-244-5098 or 888-814-3778 for more information and to schedule your post-care services!