Yesterday family members were stunned to realize we had yet another challenge to face and decisions to make. From last Thursday through yesterday, we had a traumatic few days that came up rather suddenly. Here’s what happened.
Last Thursday, we received a call that Dad was finally going to see a wound care doctor late Monday afternoon. The doctor was a specialist that LifeCircles had wanted for some time, but was difficult to arrange. Every two weeks, a nurse specialist was checking out the increasing number of sores on his feet, most due to pressure from constant laying in bed. Having the doctor come in was a rare event. [Read more →]
Tags: Conditions and Diseases · Death and Dying · LifeCircles
October 19th, 2013 · 4 Comments
Sometimes aging seniors need support and assistance within their home, but they don’t necessarily need medical care. They or their family members are often looking for someone who can help with light housekeeping, preparing meals, bathing, and companionship.
Before my father went into a nursing home, we had aides coming in several times a week. They were responsible for bathing, light housekeeping (mainly his bedroom and bathroom), and some level of companionship. Most of them spent time chatting with him after his bath. That time with someone outside of his family helped cheer him up, and he looked forward to their visits. [Read more →]
Tags: Caregivers · Elder Care
October 18th, 2013 · 6 Comments
When I was old enough to be aware of the numerous activities my parents participated in, I realized how healthy and happy they were. They were far more social than I ever thought of being as they attended their clubs and meetings. They also spent hours outdoors in the summer and indoors during the winter months. Their activities included square and round dancing, roller and ice skating, riding three-wheel Honda’s with other relatives (still legal in those days), camping, walking outdoors or at the local mall, and much more. They were always on the go!
They rarely performed what we would consider an exercise routine, but they managed to stay healthy and in great shape. My mother died at the age of eighty due to complications from TIA dementia, but Dad just turned 91-years-old (today as I write this post). He currently resides in a nursing home, but attends a senior center three times a week. One of the activities he participates in is their exercise routines. We realize that the exercise he is getting does not compare with what he and Mom experienced over the years, but for his age he is at least trying to maintain some level of strength and wellbeing. [Read more →]
Tags: Activities for Seniors · Fitness and Exercise
October 17th, 2013 · 2 Comments
For the most part, my aging father has been blessed to receive good health care even as he has aged. Now ninety-one-years-old, he has entered a new phase of his life with increasingly numerous health issues he did not have to deal with even several years ago.
It is time for us as a family to consider whether he should continue to see general practitioners or move on to a geriatric physician. What is the difference and why would we consider changing to a specialist? [Read more →]
Tags: Conditions and Diseases · Health Care
October 16th, 2013 · 6 Comments
Statistics tell us that half of all of the 32 million Americans who have hearing loss are over the age of 65. What is ironic is that two members of our family meet the criteria. My 91-year-old father has had problems with his hearing for a number of years, and my sister who is just hitting her early sixties has also had hearing problems for many years. While the reasons for hearing loss vary, many people suffer noise induced hearing loss that happens over time which is what happened to Dad.
You may not be surprised to hear that blasting a radio or listening to music through headphones can damage the hearing, but you’ll probably be surprised to learn that everyday items such as blow dryers, blenders and lawn mowers can lead to noise induced hearing loss. [Read more →]
Tags: Conditions and Diseases · Healthy Lifestyle
October 15th, 2013 · 2 Comments
Making a decision as serious as whether or not to move into an assisted living facility or retirement home is tough. Making your decision even more difficult is figuring out which type of home is the best fit for you. Deciding the best choice for you will take a lot of research, preparation and thought. There are several things you should look for as you search for a new home. [Read more →]
Tags: Aging · Elder Care
October 14th, 2013 · 2 Comments
The numbers are staggering and increasing every year. According to recent estimates more than 30 million baby boomers provide countless hours of assistance to elderly parents at no charge, and that number increases every year. For caregivers who have, or are considering leaving the workforce to care for an ailing parent, the costs are over $650,000 in forfeited salaries, benefits and pensions. This stark economic reality shows only one dimension of the price caregivers pay for this act of love.
Caregivers pay with losses that extend well beyond their bank accounts. They often forego the activities that bring joy and richness to their lives, like meeting friends for dinner, or going out to the movies or taking family vacations. They pay with their time, the loss of professional opportunities and the erosion of personal relationships that result in isolation. [Read more →]
Tags: Caregivers · Elder Care
Elder abuse is one of the most detestable, degrading behaviors anyone can perform. It is as despicable as child or animal abuse. We recently came upon this list that caregivers and family members can use to identify whether their loved one is being abused. It is an important list that should be kept in a place where you and your loved ones can review the signs so that you can be mindful of the dangers of abuse.
A working definition of abuse includes the following: An attempt to cause physical injury to someone Attempts to terrorize, torment, threaten, or harass someone An attempt to persuade or convince someone to participate by using intimidation or strength, especially if the aging senior has the right say no Confining the movements of an aging senior without his or her consent Threatening an aging senior with violence [Read more →]
Tags: Senior Safety
Sometimes the media focuses too much on the younger age group or mid-life adults, but they don’t often mention seniors unless they are pushing some kind of liquid drink. Don’t they realize most seniors have teeth? Some may have artificial teeth, but many still have their original teeth and can eat almost anything they want.
Because they are still able to eat and to enjoy food, seniors need to be particularly aware of the nutrients contained in their daily meals. They may have to alter their diet a bit if they are diabetics or have other conditions that would prevent them from eating anything they want, but there is still a lot of food available for them to eat. [Read more →]
Tags: Food and Recipes · Personal Health
September 25th, 2013 · No Comments
We have written several times about my father, Lloyd Monroe, and his connection with LifeCircles. He has really enjoyed his time with them for social reasons and for the wonderful medical care they have provided. Now, however, his time there has changed a bit. In August, Dad had to have his left big toe amputated due to complications from his diabetes. The procedure was considered outpatient and the surgeon sent him home. Unfortunately, heavy bleeding from the wound made it necessary to go back to the hospital and then into a rehab program.
While the toe is finally beginning to heal, he developed two more areas on his feet that are of concern. If you are familiar with diabetes and how slowly wounds can heal, you will understand our concern and that of the professionals at LifeCircles. [Read more →]
Tags: Activities for Seniors · Conditions and Diseases · Elder Care
September 24th, 2013 · No Comments
As our population ages, the options in retirement living grows. The level of care for the elderly ranging from skilled nursing homes to assisted or independent living has increased over the years. This article isn’t about making a decision to go into a nursing home, but choosing where they want to live to ease the burden of taking care of the maintenance that owning a house would entail. When people retire, they sometimes chose to sell their long-time home and move into a retirement community that will provide what they are looking for without the burden of taking care of a house and yard.
While making the decision to move from the comfort of your own home into a retirement home is not one to be taken lightly, the benefits can outweigh the drawbacks. Each individual must give the decision much thought before they take such a step. You may want to consider the following before you make a decision. [Read more →]
September 23rd, 2013 · 2 Comments
Most people understand the benefits of exercising in order to keep their body in shape. What they may not realize is that increased exercise also slows the aging process and wards off such health conditions as type 2 diabetes.
For example, as you age balance issues can interfere with your daily activities increasing the likelihood of falling. Performing certain exercises on a regular basis can improve your balance and decrease your risk of possible cracked or broken bones due to a fall. Exercises such as switching weight from one foot to another, leg lifts, and performing certain yoga poses can improve your balance over time. [Read more →]
Tags: Activities for Seniors · Aging
September 16th, 2013 · 5 Comments
A stair lift is a mechanical device that helps people get up or down stairs when they are unable to walk. A platform or seat is mounted to the stair treads or the wall beside the stairs. The person sits on the seat and rides slowly in the direction they desire to go – up or down. Installing a stair lift in your home can provide mobility and independence to those who have not been able to get around a two story house. One woman said she had not been able to get downstairs for several months until her husband installed the lift.
As people age, they often have problems climbing stairs, especially if they suffer with arthritis, heart problems, or a physical disability. A quick check on Google revealed the costs range from just over $1,000 upward as high as $6,000 for a high-end version. Most, however, will cost you somewhere in the middle of those two price options for a good, solid lift. [Read more →]
Tags: Conditions and Diseases · Elder Care
September 10th, 2013 · No Comments
If you are anything like me, you love to spoil your grandchildren, and maybe even great grandchildren. I’m not at the latter level yet, but I do have a special grandson who has way too many toys, games, books, and DVDs. His mother has done a great job of setting up his bedroom, and we have our special storage areas at my home as well.
We especially have tried to give him age-appropriate games, toys and books, but sometimes he chooses for himself. And, that’s okay with us. He may enjoy something that is a year or two younger or a year or two older. As long as he plays with the toys or reads the books, we appreciate that he is learning within his chosen comfort area. [Read more →]
Tags: Activities for Seniors
Anti-aging is a term we have encountered more often in recent years. The overall definition means taking steps to increase our longevity through healthy living. We have heard many times about the increase in life span over the past couple of decades.
Studies show that making just a few lifestyle changes can increase our longevity by years. We have also seen the increase in aging seniors living into their 90s and 100s.
Have you ever wondered whether you can increase your years on earth? Actually you can. Here are a couple of suggestions that can possibly help you add years to your life. While we cannot predict the future, we can at least make a few minor changes that can give us a fighting chance. [Read more →]
Tags: Aging · Healthy Lifestyle