Tag Archives: Senior

Tip of the Week: Give the Gift of Safety and Independence.

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.

Seniors (and everyone else, for that matter) highly value safety and independence. Maintaining personal independence creates a sense of achievement, which for older adults especially can foster a sense of self-worth and well-being. Show your loved ones how much you support them this holiday season by giving the gift of safety and independence:

  • For the bathroom – For seniors with mobility issues or difficulty bending down, bathroom accessories, like bathtub grips, can provide a sense of security when using the shower. The best ones are those that lock over the side of the tub. Make sure to offer to help install these handles for your loved ones.
  • For the kitchen – Cooktops and ranges are most frequently implicated in kitchen accidents. Elderly people are more likely to forget to turn burners off after removing pans, leave food unattended on the burner, or lose track of cooking times. Those who have arthritis or Parkinson’s disease can easily spill food and ignite a fire. So, an induction cooktop, which eliminates many of these issues, is another good, practical gift for your elderly loved ones.
  • For the home – PBE Help offers high quality products and services that keep your elderly loved ones safe both in and out of the home. Our Safe at Home service connects your loved ones to emergency services at the touch of a button 24/7. And our Safe Anywhere service uses the same technology as 911 to help your loved ones stay connected anywhere in the US.

Is there anything better than knowing your loved ones are safe everywhere and at all times?

For more eldercare advice and discussion, join the conversation on social media (LinkedIn and Google+).

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: Give the Gift of Technology.

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.

Technology can be a real blessing for families that are spread near and far. Brighten the lives of loved ones during the holidays and all year round with these helpful technology gifts:

  • Voice-activated home technology – Voice-activated, hands-free technology in the home allows you to do everything from turn on lights, to adjust the thermostat with just the sound of your voice. These devices make great gifts, especially for someone with mobility issues.
  • Electronic grocery and errand list organizer – Sometimes we all forget things, like what we want to buy from the store. This interesting gift option can help. A voice-activated organizer allows you to record items, categorize them, and print out your list when you’re ready to go. Hang it on the wall or keep it handy in your purse or bag.
  • Email printing service – An awesome gift idea for elderly parents who live away from their children, don’t use computers, and have no desire to deal with computers is an email printing service. This reasonably priced subscription service comes with a printer, which works without a computer. All you need to do is set up an account, plug the printer into a phone outlet, and it prints emails and photos from pre-approved senders, without the receiver being online.

Do you have any favorite technology gift suggestions?

Let us know on social media at LinkedIn and Google+).

Make Seniors Feel Special During the Holidays with These 5 Ideas

Coming up with gifts for the older adults in your life can be difficult. Many parents and grandparents already have a home full of family photos, personalized mugs, fuzzy slippers, and Holidays and Senior Citizenshomemade gifts. So, when it comes to material things, there is often little our elderly loved ones want or need.

But everyone wants and needs to feel appreciated, to feel like they belong, to feel understood, and to feel safe. So, this holiday season, instead of taking a trip to the mall or spending hours browsing the Internet for the “perfect gift,” why not focus on making your loved ones feel extra special by spending time doing more for and with them?

This year, give the gift of your time and make an effort to include seniors in your holiday festivities. There are many ways to make the holidays extra special for the seniors in your life. Here are a few suggestions:

Help put up decorations for the holidays.

If your elderly loved one lives alone or has mobility issues, she may feel that it’s too much trouble to put up decorations on her own. Of course, this doesn’t mean she wouldn’t love to see her home dressed up for the holidays. This weekend, gather the family, get a tree and some decorations and help get mom’s home ready for the holidays.

Feeling ambitious? Your loved one may remember homemade decorations from when she was young. Pick up some craft books from the local library or search online to find some easy holiday crafts that you can make together. Remember to take photos to capture the memory.

Have a family game night.

The holidays can be a lonely time of year for everyone, but especially for older adults who may have lost a spouse or friends through the years. Make your loved ones feel included by inviting them into your home for a family evens, like game night.

Family game night might seem simple or mundane to you, but for someone who spends a lot of time at home alone, being around the energy of a family can really lift the spirits. Don’t enjoy playing games as a family? How about singing holiday songs, watching a holiday movie, or telling entertaining stories around the fire with some warm and comforting refreshments?

Go to a holiday concert or pageant. 

There are so many fun concerts, plays, and pageants to attend around your local community this time of year. These events are often free or very inexpensive, so they are great ways to spend an evening with loved ones. Check event listings for local schools and colleges for ideas.

It is easy for those who have no mobility issues to take for granted having the ability to get dressed and rush out to events around town with little preparation or notice. But for many elderly individuals, even if they are looking forward to a fun event, when the big day comes, they may feel too tired, or unwell to get up and head out into wintery weather.

So, offering to pick up and drive an elderly neighbor to a community event is a great kindness. Knowing that a kind neighbor will knock on the door to pick them up at a certain time is a huge relief and good motivation to get out of the house.

Take a drive to see lights or holiday decorations.

Everyone loves seeing the twinkling, colorful lights all around town. Many seniors often miss out on this fun holiday tradition, though, especially if they no longer drive. Invite your loved ones to ride along with you as you drive through your community and neighborhoods. After your holiday light tour, stop off for a hot beverage and sweet treat.

Make sure your loved one’s home is safe.

In order for your loved ones to continue living safely and independently at home, it is imperative that their home is safe. Winter and the holiday season can be an especially dangerous time for elderly people living at home. Put everyone’s mind at ease by checking to make sure that both the interior and exterior of your loved one’s home is as safe as possible.

Inside:

  • Check for loose flooring, carpet, or rugs that could be tripping hazards.
  • Make sure nightlights in hallways, bedrooms, and bathrooms are fully functional.
  • Install secure grab bars in shower or bath areas and around toilets.

Outside:

  • Apply anti-slip strips to all stairs and check railings to make sure they are secure.
  • Make sure that exterior lights on stairways and walkways are in proper working order.
  • Offer to supply and sprinkle ice-melt on any surface where ice and snow accumulates.

For added precaution, PBE Help has easy-to-use products that help make your loved one’s home as safe as possible. Whether at home or out and about, with PBE’s devices your loved one has 24/7 access to emergency services.

This holiday season, forget the material and give special gifts that truly last. Let the elderly individuals in your life know how much you love and appreciate them.

Happy Holidays from your friends at PBE Help!

For more helpful tips for taking care of your elderly loved ones, follow me on social media (LinkedIn and Google+).

Tip of the Week: Say Thanks with Photos.

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.

The caregivers who spend the most time with your loved one often develop a deep bond with mom or dad. How touched would they be to receive a personalized collage or collection of photos featuring themselves with their special charge?

  • Help your loved one make a FREE collage of digital photos for her caregiver online using BeFunky or software from Smilebox.
  • You can also create and print a photo book using Walgreens Photo Center. Upload the photos online and have them printed to pick up or send.
  • Another way to capture great memories is by turning photos into customized, mail-able postcards. Zazzle is easy to use, inexpensive, and has many options to choose from.

For more unique ideas to say thanks this holiday season, follow me on social media (LinkedIn and Google+).

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: 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.

Ticket to Ride: 7 Transportation Resources for Seniors.

Have you ever considered what you would do without access to the transportation you use everyday? How would you keep up with your daily routine? Could you walk to a bus stop? Could you afford to take a taxi or Uber or Lyft on a daily basis? Who would you turn to for help?

While, for many of us, these questions are merely hypothetical, for many seniors, they are an all Transportation and elderlytoo real part of everyday life. For older adults who rely primarily on public transportation, getting to a single doctor’s appointment can take all day. In the icy winter months especially, this means appointments get missed, prescriptions can’t be picked up, and groceries have to stretch further, all because of a lack of access to reliable transportation.

In fact, with 8.4 million seniors currently depending on others for transportation, it is one of the biggest concerns for seniors living alone in the community.

What can you do to help the elderly loved ones in your life gain access to vital transportation?

Fortunately, there are transportation options available in your area. And doing just a little research, can make a big difference in the life of the elderly people you know. The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging is a good place to start your search for transportation resources.

Keep in mind that transportation options will vary depending on where your loved one lives and on her particular physical needs. For example, in Montgomery County there are relatively many options including buses, rail service, vans, taxis, ride-share programs, and even volunteer drivers. But even if you don’t live in an urban center, like the DC Metro area, there are options to explore.

Here is an overview with helpful resources:

  1. Public transit/fixed route service: Public transit systems provide bus and rail services along established routes with set schedules on a non-reservation basis. For older adults and people with disabilities, reduced rate fares and additional transportation services are available. Information about routes, schedules, fares, and special services are available through your public transit agency (in the DC Metro area).
  1. Paratransit Service (sometimes called “Dial-a-Ride”): The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that public transit systems provide door-to-door service for those who cannot use regular (“fixed-route”) services. Public transit service organizations, like the Metro, provide door-to-door or curbside transportation using mini-buses or vans (typically for transporting fewer than 25 passengers). Paratransit service often requires reservations, but still offers flexibility in terms of scheduling. These services offer reduced fares for older adults and people with disabilities. Contact your local transit office for more information and to apply for these services.
  1. Travel training: Public transit agencies and local elder care organizations often provide free, hands-on instruction to help older adults learn how to travel safely and independently within the public transit system. Here is a comprehensive guide listing the programs available in Montgomery County, MD. Topics discussed include the best routes to take to reach various destinations, hours of service, the cost of the trip (including available discounts), and how to pay for services (such as fare cards or tokens). Demonstrations on how to ride public buses and trains are provided. Additionally, the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center offers trainings and webinars on their website.
  1. Door-through-door (escort) services: Some agencies provide drivers or escorts who offer personal, hands-on assistance by helping passengers inside the doors of their residences and their destinations, as needed. The different levels of assistance range from opening doors and providing verbal guidance to physical support. Contact a local elderly care agency or your state’s affiliate of the Independent Transportation Network of America to find out how to access this service in your area.
  1. Volunteer driver programs (sometimes called “Share-a-Ride” programs): Local faith-based and nonprofit organizations often collect a network of volunteers who offer transportation for shopping, medical appointments, recreational activities, etc. In most cases, one-way, round-trip, and multi-stop rides are available on a reservation basis. These programs are provided free or for a minimal cost, usually by donation or through membership dues. Contact your state’s Medicaid office to find out more.
  1. Private Taxi Service: Traditional taxi services or private companies like Uber provide passengers with a ride between locations of their choice. Trips can be scheduled in advance or on the spot. Note that not all taxis are wheelchair accessible or meet ADA standards; so be sure to inquire with local taxi providers. Fares are charged per mile or per minute on top of a base fee for each trip, and may be payable through a transportation voucher program. These services tend to be the most expensive.
  1. Transportation voucher program: Area agencies on aging, aging and disabilities resources centers, and other social service organizations often provide fare assistance programs that enable qualified people (usually economically disadvantaged older adults or persons with disabilities) to purchase vouchers for transportation services from participating transportation providers, which can include public transportation, volunteer programs, or taxis and other private agencies. Applications for these programs are required. Participants are responsible for reserving and securing the services they need.

In addition, some communities have mobility managers who can guide you and your elderly loved one through the labyrinth of transportation resources and services that are available. Mobility managers know the community-wide transportation service network and understand how it operates. Their main job is to assist consumers in choosing the best options to meet their individual travel needs. Contact your local elder care organization or public transit agency to determine whether a mobility manager is available in your area.

At PBE Help, we support elderly individuals who want the freedom to age independently at home. Access to reliable transportation obviously plays a huge role in our clients’ ability to maintain their independence. Unfortunately, none of the above transportation options are equipped to help in an emergency situation. That’s why in addition to finding transportation solutions for your elderly loved ones, equipping them with PBE’s Safe At Home or Safe Anywhere emergency safety service will fill-in any gaps.

Both you and your elderly loved ones will sleep easier knowing that everyone’s transportation and emergency safety needs are taken care of. PBE Help has got you covered! Contact us today!

Do you have any transportation tips to share with our community? Let us know in the comments or on social media (LinkedIn and Google+).

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.