Tag Archives: Aging

Yet another reason to age in place

High Tech High Touch.pptA good friend of mine who is a estate planner lawyer (Elizabeth Krivatsy) shared with me, this link via e-mail and call it “…Yet another reason to age in place…” The article refers to fatal cases in an assisted living facility in San Diego that raise questions about family choices, and state oversight. The article continues with a staggering statistic where “…at least 27 San Diego County seniors have died since 2008 from injuries and neglect suffered in the facilities…”

This brings up the recent “boom” of aging in place and although perhaps aging in place is not for everybody, it seems that 99% of us want to age in our homes.

The Center for Disease Control defines aging in place as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.”

In December 2011, AARP Policy Institute and the National Conference of State Legislatures released a report entitled, “Aging in Place: A State Survey of Livability Policies and Practices”to foster aging in place by giving state legislators examples of how laws, policies and programs can support this goal. In addition to such governmental initiatives, livability can be optimized through the incorporation of universal design principles, telecare and other assistive technologies. Assistive technologies include communications, health and wellness monitoring, home safety and security. Semico Research published a report in July 2013 claiming the health and wellness monitoring market for Aging in Place will reach $30 billion by 2017.

Purposeful aging in place has grown in popularity and celebrated by the National Aging in Place Week and the National Aging in Place Council that promotes the positive outcomes of older adults having a choice in their care and living arrangements. In addition to Home Care Agencies,  there are many more professionals trained to fill the growing need in this service model for older adults. Industries that have special programs or certifications include Real Estate, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Relocation specialists. Communities are now fully engaged and committed to exploring ways to better serve older adults by developing action plans that address future needs and ensure that the necessary services are in place when they are needed.Recognizing that a home is filled with memories and is more than just a place to stay, companies are engaged in accommodating the elderly for years of comfortable living. As they age in place and their needs evolve, companies adapt services to meet the changes so that the homes remain well-kept and comfortable. Living Well specializes in providing gero-technology with specialized care (high tech  and high touch) to keep seniors at home and although it is a no brainer solution for us, many elders and/or family members do not trust the new venue and find that the only option is to move away from home and then issues like the ones depicted in this article, which is not an isolated issue, make us think about how to make an effort to really give elders a choice and peace of mind to family members.

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Depression in older persons can be treated

forehead-65059_640Fortunately, the treatment prognosis for depression is good. Once diagnosed, 80 percent of clinically depressed individuals can be effectively treated by medication, psychotherapy, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) or any combination of the three. A novel treatment transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has been cleared by the FDA and may be helpful for mild depression that has not been helped by one medication trial. Medication is effective for a majority of people with depression. Four groups of antidepressant medications have been used to effectively treat depressive illness: selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and norepinephrine and serotonin reuptake inhibitors (NSRIs), and less commonly, tricyclics, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs),  Medication adherence is especially important, but can present challenges  among forgetful individuals. It is important to note that  all medicines have side effects as well as benefits., and the selection of the best treatment is often made based on tolerability of the side effects.
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Mental Illness in Senior Citizens

Mental illness affects one out of every five senior citizen Americans. Just a handful of the significant mental health problems that may occur during old age include delirium, dementia, depression, schizophrenia and psychosis. Older adults who suffer with mental health conditions often tend to have very abnormal behavioral and cognitive patterns that are many times associated with a decreased capacity for them to function properly.
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Before You Leave Your Home: Eight Questions To Ask Before Buying Into A Senior Community

In an article on Forbes USA, Ashlea Ebeling states that moving into a continuing care retirement community requires a big investment and a lot of research. She invites us to ask the right questions “…Are you (or your aging parent) the kind of person who likes to plan for all contingencies? Then you might want to consider a continuing care retirement community–a development that usually includes independent apartments or town homes for spry seniors; assisted living units for those who need some help; plus a nursing home…”

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Living Well Independently: 7 Ways To Talk To Your Parents About Getting Help At Home

Shannon Martin and Alex Chamberlain affirm how difficult it can be to acknowledge the fact that your parent needs some help with day-to-day activities, let alone introducing to them the idea of hiring a professional caregiver for help. They give us nice  and easy to follow advice on how to go about it. Their article on parentgiving 7 Ways To Talk To Your Parents About Getting Help At Home proposes that “…approaching the subject requires patience and tact. However, there are certain considerations to keep in mind that can help you approach a conversation about in-home care with your parent with greater success…”

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Not All Assisted Living Facilities Are Safe. A Report Describes How Elders Are Dying in Nursing Homes.

America’s largest elderly people live in California. 3.7 million over age 65. Most of these seniors live in institutions and although some of these facilities provide an outstanding care for many seniors,  a staggering number of others are being abused and neglected and even are dying on these residential care facilities. Some of these facilities are so eager to retain the residents that they ignore the issues that will need real medical care and well trained medical staff and keep the residents away from the needed care until it is too late.

Tanya McRae  conducted an investigative report on abuse and neglect of the elderly at skilled nursing facilities and nursing homes. In the video, one daughter shares her story of her mother’s horrific death, and attorneys explain staggering number of other criminal cases.

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House Safety: An Important Matter When Aging in Place

Our homes fulfill many needs for us. Often, the most basic need is for shelter from the elements and intruders. Once we are protected and secure, other needs can be met. Comfort and a place for self-expression are vital for our well-being. Home gives a feeling of independence. Our home should also be a place in which we can be safe from accidents and injuries.

Housing Safety Checklist for Older People prepared by Sarah D. Kirby, Extension Housing Specialist, and published by NORTH CAROLINA COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE. North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University commit themselves to positive action to secure equal opportunity regardless of race,color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, age, or disability. The guide-checklist stresses that “…Home accidents are a major source of injuries and can cause death. Older persons, whose bones are often less dense and more brittle, are especially vulnerable to serious injuries from home accidents. A simple fall that results in a broken bone can become a serious, disabling injury that limits one’s independence…”

On the guide, you will find a series of checklists. Use these lists as you go through your home. Make a check mark next to those items or behaviors that you already have. If there are items that you do not check, then your home is not as safe as it could be. By improving those items not marked, you can make your home a safer and more comfortable place to live. While the suggestions in this publication are for older people, they apply to all age groups as well.

To Download the guide, click here.