With a heated level of debate rivaling the Hatfields and McCoys, it seems impossible to come to a resolution in the issue of gun control. Yet no matter which side of the issue you are on, there’s one little-spoken-of situation which should cause us all to take pause: the worrying mixture of dementia and firearms.
About 33% of all older adults in the U.S. report owning a gun, and an additional 12% are living in the house of a gun owner. Bearing in mind that approximately 9% of individuals over age 65 have some kind of dementia (and that figure is expected to more than double by the year 2050), it equates to scores of seniors with dementia living with guns. Coupled with erratic states of confusion, aggression, and other difficult behaviors, having … Read More »
Do you remember that feeling as a young child when the school bell rang, indicating the conclusion of science and the start of the best part of the day: recess? There was an immense feeling of freedom bounding out onto the playground, leaving behind the pressure of school work for a quick period of unstructured play. Regrettably, for the majority of adults, this is just a happy but distant memory. Play for seniors isn’t usually something that’s considered by many adults. Nevertheless, is it possible, and even worthwhile, to recapture the enjoyment of playing?
We have all heard about helicopter parents, particularly when a daughter or son leaves for college, but what about a helicopter child? Truth be told, we may be guilty of hovering a bit too closely ourselves. Finding that optimal harmony between caring and overstepping our boundaries is not easy.
With over 328 million people residing in the U.S. alone, it is hard to believe that senior loneliness would be so prevalent. And yet of the number of older adults living alone, more than 60% of them report being chronically lonely.
A quick Google search for the word “aging” produces topics such as “coping with aging,” “what you can do about aging,” as well as “the cure to aging.” The pessimistic connotations to aging are, regrettably, so embedded in our society that it is estimated that by 2027, the aging care industry will be worth $83.2 billion. While it’s very easy to get caught up in the issues that may be realized in aging well – health concerns, the passing of family and friends, and cognitive issues – what’s getting lost in the shuffle are the remarkable benefits of growing older.
Senior falls are all too frequent and may have serious outcomes. Taking preventative measures is key, such as examining the house for fall risks like area rugs and various tripping hazards, inadequate lighting, and a lack of appropriate grab bars and railings. But there is also a new strategy being advised now: creating a fall plan of care, which, when utilized correctly, has been shown to reduce fall-related emergency room visits up to 40%.
So while we absolutely don’t want to plan for a loved one to fall, we are able to be better equipped by helping the person take the following steps:
Stay vigilant – Avoid letting your mind wander and instead maintain your full focus on your surroundings.
Check vision … Read More »
It’s a conflict that occurs for numerous families: seniors are adamant about wanting to age in place in their own home, while their relatives worry about their safety and well-being. And there’s an argument to be made in both scenarios. Seniors, specifically individuals who live alone, confront multiple risks: falls that could possibly result in significant injury, trouble in maintaining the lifestyle to which they’ve become accustomed as aging progresses, even a susceptibility to scam artists. Nonetheless, senior independence is one of the keys to self-worth.
Identifying a balance that fits the requirements of both sides may be challenging, but there are several important factors to consider that can make a difference.
Let go of ageism. While there is credibility to worries over safety for … Read More »
Of the many responsibilities a family caregiver faces, perhaps one of the more difficult is managing health concerns and knowing what questions to ask the Dr. as your parent’s caregiver. The National Council on Aging estimates that approximately three quarters of all seniors are clinically determined to have at least two chronic illnesses, and are seeing on average of four medical specialists.
Hired Hands Homecare, offering in-home care in Napa, CA and the surrounding communities, offers these simple tips to communicate effectively with those on the senior’s medical team:
Are all of the medications essential? With most older adults taking many medications, you’ll need to keep an in-depth list and review occasionally with the doctor along with the pharmacist, each of whom should be able to make … Read More »
More than one out of every three 60-year-olds is currently taking five or more prescription medications, so it’s no wonder that problems occur from overmedication. Polypharmacy in older adults is defined as “…when an adverse drug effect is misinterpreted as a new medical problem – leading to the prescribing of more medication to treat the initial drug-induced symptom,” and can cause a number of additional health risks or worsen existing health conditions.
It’s a good idea for older adults and their caregivers to work together on a plan of de-prescribing. These tips can help:
Compile a list of all medications the senior is taking, including prescription meds, over-the-counter meds, and vitamins/herbal supplements, and share with the senior’s physician and pharmacist.
Request an evaluation of the medications themselves as … Read More »
With many older adults taking multiple prescriptions, and with physicians adding and changing dosages and medications to determine the ideal solutions, it’s essential to know where to safely dispose of unused medications. There are several options:
Check labels. The medication’s label or informational literature might provide instructions on how to properly dispose of the drug. You could also consult the pharmacist for suggestions.
Participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. This is the suggested method to properly dispose of unwanted medications, and is held once a year in locations across the country by the United States Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration. Discover the location closest to you as well as the next date for the event here.
Exercise caution before flushing medication down the toilet. Flushing medications down the toilet … Read More »