June 7th, 2013
There are still many reports from the BBB and Attorney General about fraudulent telemarketing phone calls. LifeStation does not engage in telemarketing of this kind. You will never receive a recorded call from LifeStation as all of our customer service calls are made by live LifeStation representatives. If you receive a recorded call or a call from someone claiming they are LifeStation, ask for a call back number or call LifeStation Customer Service at 877.833.2020.
Due to the continued fraudulent telemarketing phone calls and other scams, we have compiled various resources that can aid you in spotting a scam or fraud and dealing with it.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has a page that links to a number of articles on how to spot and avoid scams.
They also have a list of the top 10 scams of 2012 so you can see some examples of scams from the past year.
The FBI has a webpage dedicated to helping senior citizens avoid fraud.
The National Crime Prevention Council also provides tips on keeping older citizens from becoming victims of fraud and identity theft.
AgingCare.com provides an article about protecting elderly parents from identity theft.
See LifeStation’s previous blog posts on internet safety for seniors and senior fraud protection.
May 22nd, 2013
A few days ago someone shared a great video on LifeStation’s Facebook page. Published by Suncoast Service Dogs, Inc., the video shows Gracie, a service dog being trained to operate LifeStation equipment. Gracie successfully operates a Wall Mounted Alert Button as well as the main table-top LifeStation Console. Thanks for sharing such an amazing story!
See the video here.
May 15th, 2013
Travelling by plane with elderly parents can be difficult and stressful. Due to the new regulations and security measures we now face when travelling, preparation is vital. We have compiled a couple of resources that can help make your travels easier.
Agingcare.com takes an in-depth look at traveling with the elderly. They talk about the many things you can do to plan ahead such as requesting special services, preparing the necessary documents and planning for security checkpoints.
The New York Times featured an article that goes into detail about booking flights, getting to the airport and checking in your elderly loved ones.
Caregiving Solutions explores traveling with the elderly and disabled. This resource focuses on issues such as medical clearance and certain medical devices that may impact your travels.
The AARP has a blog that provides tips for when your elderly loved ones travel alone. They put an emphasis on preparation and reserving the proper assistance.
If your loved ones are travelling for an extended period of time they can bring their LifeStation Medical Alert System with them. Just call LifeStation Customer Service so we know where you will be.
May 6th, 2013
LifeStation has recently learned of widespread fraudulent telemarketing phone calls. See reports of the fraudulent telemarketing phone calls here, here and here. The calls target seniors and claim to be offering medical alert services similar to LifeStation. Some LifeStation customers have received these calls. During some of these calls telemarketers will offer you a free medical alert system or incorrectly suggest that your medical alert system has been cancelled.
LifeStation does not engage in telemarketing of this kind, nor do our partners or distributors. You will never receive a recorded call (sometimes called a “robo-call”) or computerized call from LifeStation. All of our customer service calls are made by live LifeStation representatives.
If you are not sure about a call that you receive from a medical alert company, do not provide any personal information and ask for a call-back number.
April 30th, 2013
A recent article from the Washington Post explores an extremely effective care-management system company called Health Quality Partners. Care-management systems use medical information to create care programs tailored to the individual. These care programs involve regular contact and interaction between the caregivers and patients.
Health Quality Partners focuses on making the patients comfortable by visiting the patients in their homes. They feel there is a huge value in regular, personal visits with patients for a few reasons.
1. The patients feel much more comfortable in their own home.
The patients are not in a hospital talking to a doctor, but talking with a friend in their own home. This makes them more likely to open up to the caregiver, share information and ask questions.
2. There is much more value in visiting the patient in person as opposed to simply ‘checking in’ over the phone.
Most care-management systems rely on nurses sitting in call centers, checking up on patients over the phone. Health Quality Partners puts an emphasis on behavior and living environment. The personal interaction helps the caregiver better understand the patient’s needs and habits, which allows them to keep the patient healthier.
An independent analysis concluded that Health Quality Partners reduced hospitalization by 33% and cut Medicare costs by 22%. The effectiveness of the program paired with the cost savings could revolutionize the way care-management systems work.
April 18th, 2013
The United States has a diabetic population of almost 27% for those over the age of 65. Many caregivers work with elderly people who have diabetes; however, many don’t realize that the condition is unique to age. Dr. Medha Munshi, a geriatrician and endocrinologist who runs the Geriatric Diabetes program at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, Mass, says that “treating a 40-year-old the same ways as an 80-year-old is inappropriate.”
In order to properly help seniors with diabetes, caregivers must understand the different problems that seniors face. The American Diabetes Association offers a Senior Signatures Series that provides resources that can help caregivers and older adults understand geriatric diabetes and educate others.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has a number of resources that can help caregivers and seniors learn more about diabetes.
March 29th, 2013
There are lots of stories about grown kids moving in with their parents or grandparents because of the tough job market. However, the opposite is also happening: parents – especially elderly parents – are moving in with their kids.
The AARP has an article that helps you prepare for an aging parent moving in. It explores topics that one should consider before the move happens such as:
- Remodeling and renovation costs
- Cost of hiring medical or professional help
- Changes in government aid
- Tax breaks that become available
There are many difficulties and issues that come with helping an aging parent move. Luckily, there are senior move managers that specialize in the issues a senior will face when moving. The National Association of Senior Move Managers can help find a senior move manager near you on their ‘Find a Senior Move Manager’ page.
March 19th, 2013
Seniors are continuing to use Smartphones and tablets more and more. 12% of people aged 65+ have a Smartphone and 17% of people aged 55+ have a tablet. There are thousands of apps that people can download for entertainment or to make their lives easier. We have found a variety of apps that are specifically designed to aid seniors.
WebMD has a variety of apps that seniors can use to access information on common illnesses, first aid treatment, allergies and more.
The Mayo Clinic Health Manager app allows seniors to keep track of their medical records in an electronic format.
The Medwatcher app gives seniors easy-to-read descriptions of many medications as well as their know side effects.
There are two apps that utilize your phone’s built in features to calculate heart rate. Instant Heart Rate is an app that utilizes the camera on your Smartphone to detect the pulse from your fingertip while Heart-EKG measures your pulse using the microphone.
Another useful app for seniors turns your Smartphone into a well lit magnifying glass.
Phonotto is an app that simplifies your phone’s interface so it’s easier to use and the Big Names app makes your contact list much easier to read with big text.
February 27th, 2013
February was American Hearth Month. We have found some resources that can help seniors keep a healthy heart. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a page dedicated to Heart Month. It outlines the symptoms and provides many resources that can help prevent a heart attack.
The next resource we found contains tips on how to reduce the risk of heart disease as well as a video that outline a heart-healthy diet. Senior Care Corner outlines 10 ways to outsmart heart disease. Sutter Health has a number of tips including treatment options for a heart attack. You may be surprised to see that taking aspirin has been found to reduce fatality by about 25% in heart attack victims.
February 15th, 2013
Hoarding, behavior characterized by acquiring and failing to throw out a large number of items that would appear to have little or no value to others, is a problem that can affect people of all age groups. Seniors, however, tend to suffer from hoarding more frequently. Problems that come from aging, such as dementia and frontal lobe impairment, can bring on Diogenes Syndrome, or elderly hoarding.
While hoarding can be a tough subject to bring up, there are many ways that you can help seniors in your life deal with hoarding. The first step to helping your loved ones is to recognize the problem. It is important to look for the signs that the senior in your life may be a hoarder and to see how bad the problem is.
Once you have established that there is a problem, use these simple tips to start working towards a solution. You can also follow these steps to carefully address the problem without offending your loved ones.