Articles Posted in Health and Wellness

Grandson and grandfather playing video games together.By Jill Brightman

As the parent of “older” kids – one a tween, and one a teen – I see daily their incremental physical and personality changes that signify to me, they are not babies anymore!

And, I fully expect (and reluctantly accept) that as my kids go headlong into their teenage years that they, as teens tend to do, will choose to spend the bulk of their time with their peers and have less interest in hanging out with mom and dad.

Contemporary retired woman using voice commands to control smart speaker, mature woman talking to the digital virtual assistant at home, asking a question or requesting to switch musicArtificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing industries across the board — from healthcare to transportation, investing to marketing. One perhaps unexpected area where AI shows tremendous promise is in improving the lives of older adults. 

Although emerging technologies are generally associated with the younger generations, the integration of AI technologies is becoming increasingly central in a variety of tools and software that help foster independence and enhance the quality of life for older adults. From assistive technologies to companion robots, AI is reshaping the way older adults live and interact with their environments.

While there are both pros and cons to using AI technologies, the consensus is growing that these innovations have the potential to significantly improve quality of life while giving older adults the independence to age in place.

AdobeStock_372942010-300x200This is the fourth and final installment for the empowered caregiver. This is about strategies for engaging in self care, even when that feels impossible.

When you are parenting your own kids, caring for the people who raised you, and also trying to hold down a job or build a career, finding time for yourself feels about as likely as winning the lottery. 

The reality is that caregiving quickly becomes a way of life, especially for caregivers who are part of the sandwich generation. It becomes second nature to put everyone else’s needs first, and after a little while you may stop even considering your own needs just to avoid disappointment. 

AdobeStock_136516459-300x208Being a caregiver to an aging parent is both an act of love and a journey of challenge. Even if your parent doesn’t have any major health issues, you will likely face a variety of situations that are entirely unfamiliar.

It’s easy to end up feeling overwhelmed, out of your depth, and at a loss about how to make the right choices. And if there is a health issue or crisis, the stakes are that much higher, and the scenarios that much more complex. 

If you have the means to pay out of pocket for supplemental support, a geriatric care manager can help alleviate your anxiety, cover gaps in your knowledge, and even manage coordinating family engagement with caretaking. 

AdobeStock_672884168-300x200
It’s February and therefore it’s time to celebrate National Senior Independence Month. Sadly, popular culture has never been kind to older folks.

From the loathly lady of Medieval tales to the aging (and therefore evil) stepmothers and hideous crones and witches of Regency and Victorian fairy tales to countless unflattering contemporary portrayals in films, tv shows, and books, characters of a “certain age” tend to be stereotyped, dehumanized, or completely absent. 

What does this have to do with the myths of aging?

AdobeStock_271339643-300x200Not that long ago it was commonplace for multiple generations of a family to live together under a single roof. Everyone from grandparents to grandchildren benefitted from close relationships, shared experiences, and diverse perspectives. 

Today, multigenerational households are an anomaly rather than the norm, and we tend to think of different age groups as very distinct populations that — best case — have little to do with each other, and — worst case — antagonize each other. (Think “Boomers” vs. “Gen Z.”)

This state of affairs is unfortunate for everyone, because — as it turns out — when people from different generations play and learn together, it’s really beneficial for everyone involved. 

AdobeStock_225690704-300x200The parent/child relationship is a complex one, and often becomes more so as the parent ages and the caregiver roles are reversed. It’s not easy to support a parent who is going through this experience. And it’s even harder when they consistently refuse help. 

When trying to persuade an elderly loved one to accept help — either from you or from a professional caregiver — you’ve probably found that navigating personalities, anxiety, shame, frustration, and plain old stubbornness can be exhausting and highly stressful.

However, there are steps you can take to negotiate a care plan that works for both you and your loved one. 

emptybench-300x200Few events in life are as difficult and overwhelming as the death of a spouse, especially in the first year after the loss.

Whether or not you consider yourself prepared – mentally, financially, and legally – the reality is that the loss of a spouse is a devastating event no matter how much advanced planning you have done.

In addition to the sorrow itself, the passing of your life partner can create a whirlwind of uncertainty that leaves you trying to figure out how to get through the first few days and weeks, then the first year, and ultimately, the path you want to take in the next chapter of your life.

watchstep-300x199“Ever since she fell it’s been downhill from there…”

We’ve heard this so many times!

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), of people 65 and over, more than one out of four of them fall. This equates to about 3 million people treated in emergency rooms and over 800,000 patients hospitalized annually due to complications from a fall.

While the majority of falls do not cause significant physical problems, approximately 20% of falls do cause serious injuries such as broken bones, head trauma, or simply increase both the fear and the likelihood of future falls.

Common Causes of Falls

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AdobeStock_109546247-300x216The bond between people and horses is a strong one. Over the millennia, this interspecies relationship has evolved from one of equine servitude as a beast of burden to one in which horses share our lives in a much more intimate and integral way.

Cowboys in the West still rely on their trusty Quarter Horses to wrangle livestock. Equestrians all across the world breed, train, and compete with their four-legged athletic partners. And young children still fall in love with the idea of someday having a pony of their very own. Even people who have never ridden a horse can enjoy the animal’s majestic beauty. 

Horses also often take on therapeutic roles. Dating back to Ancient Greece, equine therapy has long been used to treat a variety of physical ailments including cerebral palsy, behavioral tics, motor control issues, and coordination problems.

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