Archive for November, 2010
Are you going away for the Thanksgiving holiday? Bring your LifeStation Help Button and console with you so you can enjoy the same peace of mind that you have at home, knowing that aid is just a button press away. (Make sure to pack up your power plug and phone cord as well.) When you get to your destination, call LifeStation Customer Support at 877.833.2020 to let us know your temporary address and phone number.
MetLife, the insurance giant, has a very helpful new downloadable workbook that helps seniors and their caregivers assess what types of adjustments and assistance are needed so that seniors can age in place in their own homes. The company’s Aging in Place Workbook covers several important areas including:
- Care needs
- Home safety as a care setting
- Home modifications considerations
- Developing a care plan
- Deciding if your home is a suitable care setting
- Alternative care settings
- Making necessary adjustments
The document discusses important assistive technologies including medical alert systems (also known as Personal Emergency Response Systems):
“If you live alone or are alone much of the time you may want to think about a Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) so that you can call for help in the event of an emergency.”
The workbook is available now on MetLife’s Mature Market Institute web site.
It’s very important that seniors eat right, but at some point, many seniors decide that they don’t want to or can’t cook anymore. Jim Miller, a syndicated columnist from The Savvy Senior, recently published a useful article detailing alternatives for seniors who want to live independently at home but who no longer prepare their own meals.
Miller’s suggestions start with community meal-delivery programs such as Meals on Wheels. These organizations can often provide meals for people with special needs, such as those who need a low-sodium or kosher diet. Many communities also offer hot meals in group settings.
For those who can afford it, Miller also suggest looking into personal chefs. Pricing for personal chefs can vary widely. Finally, there are companies like MagicKitchen.com that delivers frozen meals ordered online. This can be useful for caregivers who don’t live close to the people they help.
National Family Caregivers Month seems to be effectively raising awareness of the plight of those who have to care for elderly and ill relatives. We’re coming across many more articles on the topic than we recall seeing in the past.
In her recent blog post, Who Cares for the Caregivers?, April Rudin highlights a new organization, the Caregiver Relief Fund, that is focused on providing relief to those people who spend so much of their time providing help to family members. CRF’s mission is to “address the two major problems for caregivers: limited time and chronic exhaustion.”
Through donations, the organization provides vouchers to let caregivers get professional at-home care services to come help out so the caregiver can attend to their personal needs, whether it’s finally taking care of personal financial matters or simply getting a few moments to rest. CRF has also teamed up with hotel and travel partners to help caregivers really get time away. Caregivers need to apply for CRF relief on the organization’s web site.
For more information about the Caregiver Relief Fund, go to http://caregiverrelieffund.org/.
A LifeStation medical alert system also helps give many caregivers relief by giving them the confidence that the people for whom they care will always be able to get help at the touch of a button even when the caregiver is away. When a LifeStation user needs help, Care Specialists at our UL Listed monitor center will immediately contact the caregiver, emergency services and others on the user’s emergency contact list. Two LifeStation Care Specialists always handle each call so that one can stay with the user while the other arranges help.
In recognition of National Family Caregivers Month, we’re offering $2 off per month on your LifeStation medical alert system order. Enter code CG2010 at checkout.
The Visiting Nurse Service of New York has posted several very useful videos for staying seniors and their loved ones. Their video, How to Prevent Trips and Falls in the Home is packed with great tips, all very clearly presented and demonstrated. It’s well worth watching.
A medical alert system is invaluable for summoning help in the event of a fall, it’s important to take all steps to prevents fall from occurring in the first place. A recent study highlighted the significant risks that seniors face from even simple falls.
About a third of people aged 65 and older fall each year. Many of these falls, such as a little slip in the kitchen, may seem fairly insignificant. However, a new study published in the Journal of Trauma shows that the elderly are much more likely than others to suffer severe injuries and even death from seemingly simple falls.
The study, which was reported on at the web site, Science Blog, looked at what happened to more than 57,000 people who experienced ground-level falls between 2001 and 2005. A ground-level fall is one in which the person had both feet touching the floor prior to falling.
4.5 percent of seniors aged 70 and older died following their fall, compared to only 1.5 percent of younger individuals. While this is still a small percentage, it highlights the heightened risk of falling. Seniors for whom the fall wasn’t fatal tended to remain in hospitals and intensive care units longer. And significantly fewer of them were able to function on their own after release compared to the younger group.
The study highlights that doctors and hospitals need to take all falls seriously, no matter how innocuous the incident may seem. Seniors should also make sure they get attention as quickly as possible. A medical alert system can help, especially when the injured person can’t get to the phone.
Equally import is taking care of your home and yourself to reduce the risk of falls. This involves both “fallproofing” the home and doing proper exercises to improve strength and balance. Here are a few recent blog posts that can help: