Tips to Protect Your Aging Loved Ones from Injury

Tips to Protect Your Aging Loved Ones from Injury

Injuries are a leading cause of hospitalization for elderly people. These traumas are often caused by a fall. There are a number of inexpensive items available to help seniors avoid falls. Here, we will examine a few of these products.

Bathroom
The bathroom is a hot spot for injuries. It is often difficult to maneuver in and out of the shower/tubs and to transition to or from the toilet.

 

  • Shower/tub bench – these benches give your loved one a stable place to sit in the shower or tub.
  • Slip prevention – it is important to have a non-slip surface inside the shower or tub. This can easily be solved with a mat or non-slip stickers.
  • Grab bars – these bars are often installed near the toilet or shower to provide something for the individual to grab onto for stability.

Floors
It is crucial that the floor remains free of clutter and debris. Furthermore, keep an eye on rugs or mats that become frayed or create a tripping hazard. Wires should be kept out of high-traffic areas around the living quarters. If your loved one uses any type of mobility assistance device like a cane, walker, wheelchair, or scooter, make sure the environment is suitable for that particular aid. For example, a walker may easily get caught on rugs, so you would need to remove them or guarantee that the rugs were not causing an issue.

Emergency call systems
One of the best ways to protect your loved one is to use an emergency call system. Many assisted-living communities provide these safety measures. If your loved one is in an independent living community or still resides in their own home, there are products available for individuals. Many of these devices are non intrusive wearable products that simply provide an extra level of safety.

Bed
Bed rails are a very easy way to ensure that a person does not fall out of bed. Special bed alarms are available to let caregivers know if a person falls out of bed or needs assistance. Bed railing also offers some leverage and stability when transferring in or out of the bed.

These are just a few easy ways you can protect your aging loved one from injury.

Featured Daily Living Aid – Electronic Magnifiers

electronic magnifier

 

A significant number of elderly people are visually impaired. There are many low-vision aids to assist individuals in their daily living activities. One of the most useful devices is the electronic magnifier. Visually impaired people generally cannot read standard-sized print. These magnifiers allow people to read virtually anything. With a little practice, an individual can also learn to write using the magnifier. For instance, it can be used to fill out forms, write checks, and sign papers.

What is an electronic magnifier?

It is simply a camera that feeds into a screen. So whatever the camera “sees”, is fed into the screen. It is often an 18 inch or larger flat screen monitor. The image size can be adjusted, as well as contrast and color. 

How is this more beneficial than a handheld magnifier?

Handheld magnifiers are limited in their capabilities. It is very difficult to hold a magnifier steady to keep the image clear. Furthermore, they only magnify a small window of the overall text or picture. Additionally, it is nearly impossible to write while holding a magnifier in one hand and attempting to keep it steady enough for a clear image. Most electronic magnifiers are tabletop devices that remain in one place, providing a stable image. There are also no options to change colors and contrast with a traditional magnifier.

What is the cost of an electronic magnifier?

As with any product, prices vary by a considerable amount. The more features your magnifier has, the greater the expense. Generally speaking, prices range from $1,000-$5,000. A number of different companies sell these devices. A quick online search will reveal plenty of options.

Understanding the value of an electronic magnifier

It is helpful for sighted people to comprehend the immense positive impact these devices have on the lives of visually impaired people. Imagine your loved one being able to independently read recipes, the newspaper, a favorite book, or even look at family photographs. They can fill out their own paperwork, sign birthday cards and important forms. The person does not need to ask for assistance every time she has something to read or write.

 

If your family member suffers from any type of severe vision loss, consider this month’s featured daily living aid-an electronic magnifier.   

What is Memory Care?

What is Memory CareMemory care is a specialized type of assisted living designed for people with progressive cognitive impairments like Alzheimer’s and dementia. Residents are on a separate wing or floor of the community. It is also known as an SCU (specialized care unit.) Most memory care units are located within a larger assisted-living community. However, there are some communities solely dedicated to providing memory care assistance. Whether it is located within a larger community or stands alone, there are some significant differences between memory care and standard assisted-living.

Environment

Memory care environments are created with simplicity in mind. They are easy to navigate so residents can enjoy mobility with less confusion about their surroundings.

Security

Memory care generally has strengthened security measures. This may include emergency call systems RTLS, and surveillance equipment. There are also door locking systems to keep residents from wandering. Elopement is a serious concern, so these specialized units place a high priority on avoiding this type of problem.

Cost

As you might expect; the increased level of care comes with a higher price tag. Medicaid and Medicare will often help offset some of the cost involved in this type of care.

Memory care communities also provide all the services of a standard assisted-living community. These include three daily meals, transportation, 24\7 supervision, access to medical care, programs for socializing and entertainment.

Selecting the right community

When seeking the best community for your loved one, there are a few things to keep in mind. Ask about the training of staff to ensure they have qualified caregivers. Memory care requires specialized training, so you don’t want an untrained caregiver taking care of your loved one. Check that the community has specific security measures in place to keep residents safe. People with cognitive disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s have a tendency to wander. This can be very dangerous. It’s always a good idea to visit the community to get a feel for it. Your instincts are unfailingly the best guidance in determining the optimal community for your loved one.

 

3 Indications that Your Loved One is Ready for Assisted Living

 

Assisted Living

it is often difficult to know when it is the right time to move an elderly loved one into an assisted-living environment. Many people struggle with this decision. Sometimes, it is obvious that a person needs assistance. Other times, however, it is unclear whether an individual really needs consistent help. There are a some clear signs you can look for to determine if your loved one needs to be in assisted living. Here are three of the primary indications that a person is ready for assisted living.

Mismanagement of Medications

One of the first things you may notice is that the individual is skipping doses of their medication. They may also misplace bottles or forget that they have already taken a dose. This can become a dangerous situation as mismanaging medications is a serious health hazard. The best way to check that someone is taking their medication properly is to count the pills. Based on the date the prescription was filled and the number of pills that should be missing, you can easily determine if the correct number of pills have been taken.

Personal Hygiene

The main thing you are looking for here is a change in hygiene habits. For example, if your mother typically styles her hair every day, but she has not done so in the past few weeks, this is a red flag. You may notice your loved one has stopped brushing their teeth or washing their hair. Are they wearing clean clothes? Understand that it is likely not a lack of desire to perform personal hygiene activities, but rather a lack of ability to accomplish these tasks.

Housekeeping

This may be more difficult to observe in some people. If your dad has never been a great housekeeper, you may not notice that he has deteriorated in this area. Again, it is important to look for behavioral changes rather than specific tasks not being completed. Check for things that could be a serious health hazard like unwashed dishes that attract bugs. Cluttered spaces that are difficult to navigate create a safety hazard. A person may become unable to remove trash from the home which attracts all sorts of rodents. When you notice your loved one’s living conditions begin to deteriorate, it is likely time to consider assisted living.

There are many clues that a person needs assistance. These are just a few of the early indicators. The key is to observe your elderly loved one and take note of any changes. Look at the physical, mental, emotional, and social aspects of their lives. Unfortunately, there is not a line drawn in the sand that must be crossed before you know it is time to move a person to assisted living. More often, it is a series of factors that make this the right choice for your loved one.

 

Independent vs Assisted Living – Understanding the Difference

On your journey to find the right senior living community, it is useful to understand the different types of housing available to aging adults. Every community is unique and has its own characteristics, but there are some general guidelines that define the various types of housing. Here, we will specifically look at the differences between independent living and assisted living communities.

Independent Living

As the name implies; this type of housing is intended for seniors who are very independent and active. Residents have few medical issues and therefore, do not require much assistance in their daily living activities. These communities are also known as senior apartments or retirement communities. The housing units are equipped with a full kitchen, but meal plans are available for those who wish to purchase meal preparation services.

Assisted Living

This type of housing is best suited for those who are no longer able to safely live on their own, but do not require the extensive care furnished in a nursing home. These communities provide help with daily routines like medications, housekeeping, and meal preparation. They typically supply three meals per day in a central dining area. The housing units often have limited kitchens. Nursing staff is usually on-site at all times and available upon request.

The Similarities

  • Scheduled activities
  • Transportation
  • Private apartments with community dining//recreation areas
  • Landscaping, housekeeping, and meal preparation provided
  • Encourage socializing

Primary Differences

  • Level of care – Assisted living offers more hands-on care and support with things like bathing, medications, and daily activities. They also provide nurses on call 24/7 while independent living communities typically do not have medical staff available at all times.
  • Housing units – The significant differences in housing are in the kitchen and level of security. Independent living quarters often have a full kitchen while assisted-living units typically have a small kitchen or none at all. Assisted-living may also have more safety measures in place like security cameras, emergency call systems, and RTLS (real-time tracking location systems.)
  • Financial assistance – Because independent living communities do not provide medical services, there is no financial aid available. Assisted living communities do qualify for some financial assistance. However, it is limited.

Once you determine which type of housing is appropriate for your circumstance, it is important to thoroughly research each community that interests you. Not all senior living communities are created equal. A wide range of services and amenities exist. Cost also varies greatly from the high-end luxury communities to the more affordable standard communities. Take your time to research and select the perfect community for your needs.

What Is a Senior Care Consultant and Do I Need One?

senior care consultant

Elder care is a complex issue. It is often overwhelming for families to determine the best course of action for their elderly loved ones. Fortunately, there are professionals who can help.

What Is a Senior Care Consultant?

Senior care consultants are health service professionals with an express focus on aging and elderly care. They are also called geriatric care managers. Many of them have worked as social workers, psychologists, gerontologists or nurses.

Services Provided by a Consultant

  • Planning – The consultant will work with you to create the best plan of care.
  • Finding Resources – Services related to nursing, and elderly care are countless. The consultant will pinpoint the best options for your particular situation.
  • Senior benefits – A consultant will discuss with you things like Medicaid, Medicare, and other state and federal programs precisely designed to benefit the elderly·
  • Family Consultations – The consultant will assess your family circumstances. With this, she will be able to determine the level of care needed. She will also ensure that family members are in constant communication with her and with one another. Getting a consensus among members in making care decisions is one important task of senior care consultants.
  • Legal Matters – Consider hiring a consultant who works in partnership with an elder lawyer. Do you need assistance in legal matters involving your elderly loved one, such as advance directives, living wills, or estate planning? Guardianship and revocable living trusts are additional legal matters you may need to address.

Do I need a senior care consultant?

This really depends on your specific situation. Finding the best care is a time-consuming endeavor. If you have the resources and time available to navigate these waters alone, then you likely will not need a consultant. However, if you are a busy person or simply feel overwhelmed by all the information, a senior care consultant is a wonderful solution. Having a professional to help with these huge decisions relieves an enormous amount of stress from family members. We all want what is best for our loved ones. Evaluate your needs and decide if a consultant is right for you.