Articles Posted in Resources for Seniors and Caregivers

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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?

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Every so often, life has a way of throwing some curveballs.

Some are more minor in nature – a fender-bender when you are on your way to the store or a washing machine that suddenly stops working.

And, some are more serious such as a health scare or sudden death of a loved one.

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. 

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_265755506-300x200By: Beth Dance

As a working mom and active human being, I treasure blissful relaxation. Some nights it’s seemingly simple and I fall asleep within seconds of my head hitting the pillow. However, there are certainly nights where I lay awake excruciatingly long, drumming up to-do lists with my brain negating rest.

Recently, in an anxious and desperate moment, I think I actually googled the words “how to fall asleep faster” and what I found was an instant game changer.

AdobeStock_135156721-300x200If you use a wheelchair or are a caregiver for a loved one who uses a wheelchair, you already know that transportation can be a challenging issue.

While experts agree that riding in a vehicle’s regular passenger seat is the safest option, if it’s too difficult or unsafe to transfer someone from their wheelchair into the vehicle, it’s time to look at alternative options. But which options are best, and how do you even know what to look for?

Two organizations doing research and publishing information about the best ways to keep wheelchair users safe while in transit are:

AdobeStock_284813549-300x200If you could design the perfect retirement community, what would it look like? What kinds of amenities would you offer? How would you use technology to enhance safety and comfort? How would you support residents’ physical and mental wellness? 

These are questions that the designers of tomorrow’s senior homes and retirement communities are thinking about right now.

The senior housing landscape is undergoing rapid and in-depth transformation for a variety of reasons, and innovators are taking the opportunity to imagine a whole new kind of housing solution for the older generations. 

AdobeStock_84456420-300x200Becoming a grandparent is one of life’s most amazing experiences, and one many people look forward to with great anticipation.

Unlike parenting your own child, which tends to come with a healthy serving of self doubt, a mountain of responsibility, and the grind of the daily routine, grandparenting is usually a time of indulgence (for both the grandchild and the grandparent), harmless rule breaking, and general fun. 

But what happens when your journey into grandparenthood includes an unexpected element in the form of an autism diagnosis?

AdobeStock_92278099-300x212There are few experiences more transformational than travel. Visiting new places, whether near or far, has a way of opening our hearts and minds.

And when we travel with people we love, there is the added benefit of being able to share those memorable experiences. From a simple weekend road trip to a month-long journey exploring another country, travel can change your life and your relationships for the better.

Two of the things people missed most during the first two years of Covid were spending time with family and travel. Knowing this, it’s not that surprising that as Covid-related travel restrictions lifted more and more people started booking trips that included extended family. Multigenerational travel was a growing trend prior to Covid, and it has become even more popular now that—hopefully—the worst of the pandemic is over.

AdobeStock_255174366-300x134Death planning is a very personal topic, and one which most people find discomfiting. It’s hard enough to consider your own mortality as an abstract concept. It’s even harder to think in very specific—even graphic—terms about what will happen to your remains after you’ve shuffled off this mortal coil.

A growing number of people are seeking alternatives to the traditional burial, which typically involves embalming, concrete vaults, and other processes and products that are not friendly to the environment. An article in Scientific American put some astonishing numbers to the resource costs of this type of burial:

According to National Geographic, American funerals are responsible each year for the felling of 30 million board feet of casket wood (some of which comes from tropical hardwoods), 90,000 tons of steel, 1.6 million tons of concrete for burial vaults, and 800,000 gallons of embalming fluid. Even cremation is an environmental horror story, with the incineration process emitting many a noxious substance, including dioxin, hydrochloric acid, sulfur dioxide, and climate-changing carbon dioxide.

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