Tag Archives: Senior Citizens

Tip of the Week: Give the Gift of Connection.

This month our tip blogs help you complete your holiday shopping list for the special loved ones on your list. Think outside the gift box this year with gifts that carry special meaning.

One of the best gifts we can give to our loved ones can’t be bought at any store. Give the gift of connecting with your loved ones and making them feel as special as they truly are during the holiday season. Here are some easy ways to connect:

  • Show an interest in his or her life’s journey – Give your loved one a memory journal, for example. A memory journal is a book that contains all kind of memory-jogging questions about a person’s life, and makes it easy for a senior to write his or her life story by answering those questions right in the book. This is a great way for to record life stories and pass them on to the next generation.
  • Record a message – Another sentimental gift that grandparents will love to receive is a recordable book or card from their grandkids. Encourage a special child to read her favorite story or make up her own while you record it and then send to grandpa or grandma.
  • Breakfast or lunch out with a grandchild – Surprise a senior with a special breakfast or lunch out with her favorite loved ones.

How do you connect with the special seniors in your life?

Keep the discussion going with PBE Help on social media (LinkedIn and Google+).

Tip of the Week: Give the Gift of Health.

This month our tip blogs help you complete your holiday shopping list for the special loved ones on your list. Think outside the gift box this year with gifts that carry special meaning.

Everyone on your list could use help staying healthy in the New Year. There are so many unique options available depending on your loved ones’ needs. Here are some suggestions of our favorites:

  • Healthy food delivery subscription service – There are several different options to choose for having healthy food delivered on a regular basis. Eliminate grocery shopping or just help your loved ones add some variety to their diets with this gift. Or create your own food delivery service by cooking for your loved ones.
  • Sleep Sound Machine – Quality sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being. In fact, creating healthy sleeping patterns is just as important as eating right. Unfortunately, some of the most common problems the older generation experience are insomnia and sleep issues. An awesome gift that can help them deal with sleep disorders is a Sleep Sound Machine. Those machines play calming nature sounds that help people fall asleep faster, relax, or just block out distracting noises.
  • Light Therapy Light – These lamps mimic the brightness of the sun, stimulating the body’s production of vitamin D, and thus, boosting mood and well-being. In a way, they work like antidepressants, but without the side effects of medications. They can also help those who suffer from winter blues, which makes them great holiday gifts too.

Let’s make this holiday the healthiest one yet!

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Tip of the Week: Say Thanks with a Tip or Bonus.

November is a great month to be thankful. So this month, as the hustle and bustle of the holidays begin to pick up steam, PBE reminds you to take time out to thank all those who make your life and the life of your elderly loved ones more manageable.

Our tip blogs are all about unique ways to thank those who help us take care of the ones we love.

There are few more universal crowd-pleasing gifts than unexpected cold, hard cash. But while we are used to tipping hairdressers, taxi drivers, and waiters, we don’t always think about tipping our loved ones’ caregivers.

Here’s a handy quick guide for appropriate tips:

  • Housekeeper: A bonus of 50-100% of their usual fee along with a thank-you card or plate of cookies is a lovely gesture.
  • Dog-walker/pet-sitter: If you employ someone to look after your loved one’s dog or cat, show your appreciation for keeping the pet healthy and happy, when the family is unavailable to help out. The average tip falls between $35 and $60.
  • Senior Care Aide employed by agency: Make sure to check with the caregiver’s agency on their holiday tipping policy. If tips are not allowed, consider donating to a charity in your caregiver’s name or even giving directly to the agency itself.
  • Senior Care Aide employed by family: The standard etiquette for a caregiver employed by the family of an elderly person is to give one week’s salary as a holiday bonus. A gift card in that amount would also be appropriate.

Don’t forget to tip the ones who you appreciate the most during the season of thankfulness!

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It Takes a Community of Eldercare Professionals to Age in Place

As our loved ones get older, many choose to age in place doing everything they can to stay at home as long as possible. To truly thrive, though, the elderly need help with various
responsibilities like getting to medical appointments, shopping, socializing with friends, Give Thanks - Eldercarepreparing meals, cleaning the house, taking care of pets, etc.

So, during this month of thankfulness, let’s take time out to consider the eldercare community and all that they do for senior adults. After all is there any greater gift than being safe in the knowledge that someone is looking after the people we love?

A Changing Landscape

In the past, when most families lived together in the same communities for their whole lives, everyone was nearby to lend a helping hand. Neighbors dropped by to check on each other. It was common for elderly loved ones to move in with adult children as they aged. Doctors even made house calls.

Today, things are a bit different. We’re more likely to describe a good neighbor as someone who leaves us alone, than someone who chats with us over the fence. Children regularly grow up and move across the country for jobs and start families of their own. And far from making house calls, one in five Americans report that they had trouble getting in to see their regular, primary care physician in the past two years.

What options are available to you and your elderly loved ones?

Fortunately, several services have rushed to fill the gap that once was commonly filled by family members and a close-knit community. Here is a list of available services that might not be on your radar now and how to find these resources in the DC Metro area:

1. Adult Daycare Facilities

Adult daycare service centers are non-residential community-based facilities for elderly people. These centers provide opportunities for social interaction and sometimes health services for adults who need supervised care in a safe place during the day.

This is a good option for your loved one who is in need of supervision, but for whom employing a 24/7 home health care aide will not work. Perhaps mom lives with you, so you are there during the evening and nighttime hours. But while the family is out during the day, mom needs a place where she can be well taken care of and enjoy time with friends.

While services at different locations vary, generally speaking, adult daycare facilities offer social activities, therapeutic services, transportation, personal care, and meals for elderly adults.

For more information: If you are in Maryland, the Maryland Healthcare Commission has a helpful services search page. In Virginia, the Virginia Department of Social Services has a facilities search page and additional resources. Finally, for more information on adult daycare centers in the District, call the Aging & Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC) at (202) 724-5626.

2. Daily Money Management

A daily money manager (DMM) is a trusted, experienced professional who provides personal financial and bookkeeping services to senior citizens and others. These financial advocates can help organize your loved ones bills, budgets, and other paperwork.

Often money managers work through non-profit agencies to provide help at subsidized rates. The goal is to keep clients financially organized and independent. Typical services offered include reviewing mail with clients; deciding what to pay and what to stop paying; preparing bills for electronic payment or payment by check; bank statement balancing; making bank deposits; organizing tax return information; and setting up filing or electronic record-keeping systems. Daily money managers can also coordinate with your loved one’s attorney and investment or tax professionals.

For more information: Contact the American Association of Daily Money Managers to see a list of available professionals in your area.

3. Geriatric Care Management

Geriatric care managers (GCM) are health and human service specialists trained to help elderly individuals maximize their functional capacities. GCM’s are typically trained in a wide-range of areas including gerontology, nursing, counseling, and social work. This allows them to provide comprehensive advice as you help your loved ones transition smoothly.

A personal care manager will first evaluate your loved one using a care-planning assessment to identify potential problem areas. These care managers have extensive knowledge in the quality, costs, and available geriatric services available in your community, so that they can provide personalized solutions for individuals.

For more information: Search the Geriatric Care Managers Directory for GCM’s in the DC Metro area at AgingCare.com.

4. Interior Design/Home Remodeling

One of the most important factors in independent living for elderly individuals is creating a safe, secure, and easily navigatable space. To remain comfortably at home, hallways must be widened, ramps installed, kitchens remodeled, and bathrooms renovated.

There are contractors and home organizing specialists who are dedicated to helping your loved ones age in place by creating a safer home environment. Government assistance with home remodeling is available for veterans and other groups in need.

For more information: USA.gov has resources to find financial help with remodeling the interior of your home to accommodate your loved ones.

5. Lifestyle Transition Services

As we age, our needs and outlook on life changes. This transition period can be one of the toughest we make during out lifetimes. It’s important that you understand the emotional, physical, and financial needs of your elderly loved ones. It’s even more important that your loved ones understand their own needs so that they can learn to truly enjoy their golden years.

For more information: Contact the National Aging in Place Council for a complete list of services providers in your area.

There is no doubt that a network of professionals working to help you and your older loved ones can ease the stress, especially during the holidays. PBE Help would be honored to be a part of your personal network.

We firmly believe that having the right support system is crucial to the safety and health of your loved ones. Take a look at the products we offer to assist your loved ones in aging in place with safety and independence. This November let’s give thanks for those who make our lives fuller and happier!

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Tip of the week: Flexibility

When investigating transportation options there are a few things to consider before making a Transportation and the elderlydecision about what type of transportation will best keep your loved one connected to all of her activities. In our tip blogs this month, we’ll discuss the more important questions to ask.

The best transportation services are ones that are the most flexible. While some needs are predictable, like regular doctor’s appointments or monthly medication pick-ups, other needs arise somewhat spontaneously. Not everyone has the luxury of being able to plan out their days in advance and for the elderly, especially, it can be very helpful to have a service that is flexible enough to accommodate last-minute changes.

  • What is the procedure for setting up a ride?
  • Is there a fee for canceling?
  • How much time is required to schedule a pick-up or drop-off?
  • Does the service offer one-way rides, round-trips, and multiple-destination rides?
  • Are there any limitations on time spent at locations?

What methods of transportation work for you and your loved ones? Let us know on social media (LinkedIn and Google+).

Tip of the week: Affordability

When investigating transportation options there are a few things to consider before making a decision about what type of transportation will best keep your loved one connected to all of her activities. In our tip blogs this month, we’ll discuss the more important questions to ask.

Consider whether your loved one can afford the services available in her area. Try to nail-down a monthly transportation budget and if it looks like you can’t afford the services needed, seek out alternative funding sources. Ask the following questions:

  • What is the cost of the service?Transportation and Elderly
  • How are the costs calculated?
  • Is there a membership fee?
  • Are there any discounts available?
  • Can an account be set up in advance with the service?
  • Will my insurance pay for rides by this service provider?
  • Is my loved one’s or my income a factor for using this service?

For more advice and resources about finding affordable transportation options, follow me on social media (LinkedIn and Google+).

Tip of the week: Accessibility

When investigating transportation options there are a few things to consider before making a decision about what type of transportation will best keep your loved one connected to all of her Transportation and Elderlyactivities. In our tip blogs this month, we’ll discuss the more important questions to ask.

Accessibility is one of the biggest factors in solving transportation issues for elderly adults. Often family members are willing to help out, but they may not have a vehicle that can accommodate a wheelchair or they may have a vehicle that sits up too high off of the ground requiring a big step to get into the vehicle. When it comes to transportation accessibility consider the following questions:

  • What is the service area?
  • Are vehicles wheelchair accessible?
  • What time does the service operate?
  • Are door-through-door services provided?
  • Is a reservation needed and how far in advance?
  • Are rides provided in the evenings, on weekends, or on holidays?
  • Are rides provided for social as well as medical or shopping appointments?
  • If others will be riding in the same vehicle, what is the maximum length of the ride?

Follow me on social media (LinkedIn and Google+) for more information on accessibility and other transportation challenges.

 

Tip of the week: Eligibility

When investigating transportation options there are a few things to consider before making a decision about what type of transportation will best keep your loved one connected to all of her Transportation and Elderlyactivities. In our tip blogs this month, we’ll discuss the more important questions to ask.

Figure out if your loved one is eligible for transportation assistance at a discounted or subsidized rate by researching the following questions:

  • What is required to qualify for the service?
  • Can a family member serve as an escort if needed?
  • Is an evaluation (physical or mental) needed prior to using the service?
  • Are rides provided for wheelchair users or other persons with disabilities?

Follow me on social media (LinkedIn and Google+) for more tips and information about finding reliable transportation.

Tip of the week: Consider mental dexterity, not just mental effort.

Every September is Falls Prevention Awareness Month at PBE. This September we encourage you to consider the mental side of falls prevention (along with the physical side).

Our weekly tips will be all about ways to keep the brain active because an alert mind is better equipped to keep your body safe.

Truly improving your brain power to become more aware of your body and your physical  Meditation environment requires more than increasing mental exertion, it also requires having mental dexterity. Mental dexterity roughly means having the sharpness of mind to be able to think creatively and to express oneself quickly and easily.

The following activities increase mental dexterity:

  • Meditation: This doesn’t mean anything spooky, like being able to levitate or transcend space and time. It simply means to locate a quiet space where you can clear your mind for 10 minutes or more.
  • Learning a foreign language: Taking up a new language is guaranteed to give your brain a good workout. Children learn languages much more quickly than adults, so learning a new language is kind of like finding the Fountain of Youth for your brain.
  • Drawing, painting, and other crafts: These and other creative activities exercise the right side of your brain, which helps with problem solving. Creativity and intelligence are closely connected.

Follow me on social media (LinkedIn and Google+) for more tips and information to support your brain health.

Tip of the week: Read a great book.

Every September is Falls Prevention Awareness Month at PBE. This September we encourage you to consider the mental side of falls prevention (along with the physical side).

Our weekly tips will be all about ways to keep the brain active because an alert mind is better equipped to keep your body safe.

There is nothing like getting lost in a good book. Besides offering high quality entertainment, Falls Prevention - Brain Engaged regular reading offers so many benefits; for example, reading strengthens memory, expands vocabulary, improves analytical thinking skills, and increases focus and concentration.

Here are some easy ways to motivate yourself and your loved ones to spend more time each day reading:

  • Join or start a book club for seniors.
  • Checkout online book reviews, like NPR books or Goodreads.
  • Head to your local library, used bookstore, or thrift shop and browse the shelves.

A good biography can be really informative and transport you to a whole different place and time. Ron Chernow’s biography about Alexander Hamilton tells the story of a Founding Father who “galvanized, inspired, scandalized, and shaped the newborn nation.” You won’t be able to put it down!

What book are you reading now? Share with our community in the comments below or on LinkedIn or Google+.

Photo attribution: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ccacnorthlib/4131076475