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Guest Blog: 5 Signs of Mental Health Issues for Seniors


When you’ve started to notice changes in an elderly relative, you may wonder if a mental health issue is the cause. While it is important a mental health professional diagnoses these issues, some signs exist indicating that the time has come to make an appointment.

Depression
Depression can occur for a host of reasons. Elderly individuals may be suffering from the loss of a loved one, or they may feel alienated, isolated or otherwise separated from their friends or from their interests outside of the house. Individuals who seem filled with sadness and negative emotions or who are hinting about emotional turmoil may need outpatient or inpatient treatment for depression.

Anxiety Issues/Bipolar Disorder
You may also notice that your loved ones are having heightened periods of elevation followed by periods of deep sadness. They could be suffering from bipolar disorder. Serious anxieties could begin to manifest at this age too. For example, you may notice that your elderly relatives always seem to be thinking about their own death or about expected loss of other loved ones.

Memory Loss
As people age, you may think that it is a normal occurrence for them to forget information that they would have once remembered. However, these early slips could be signs of a more serious problem that is coming into fruition. Your loved ones might now be forgetting about certain dates or social events, but these struggles could turn into failures to take medication or complete other necessary medical tasks.

Personal Care
If you notice that your loved ones are not taking care of themselves as they used to, this situation could also be a sign of mental health issues. For example, you may have noticed that your relatives are no longer brushing their teeth or bathing on a regular basis. Seeking professional help can uncover the root of the issue so that a plan of treatment can be devised.

Social Withdrawal
Your loved ones might also seem to not want to participate in social activities anymore. Whether they are constantly declining invites to attend family functions or they do not want to participate in community activities any longer, these decisions could be signs that a mental health issue is present.

As your loved ones age, you may be the lookout for physical health issues. While addressing these problems is imperative, so is watching for signs of mental health struggles. May is mental health awareness month, get involved to help bring awareness to this important cause!

By |2020-01-20T09:49:14-05:00January 25th, 2020|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: 5 Signs of Mental Health Issues for Seniors

Guest Blog: Four Easy Winter Safety Tips for Seniors

For many people, winter is a magical time. They get to play in the snow, celebrate holidays with family and friends, and cuddle up by the fire. But, for some, including seniors, winter can be a difficult and even potentially dangerous time.

Between the risks of slipping and falling and arthritis pain made worse by the cold weather, many seniors find themselves dreading the winter months. If you’re in this group, there’s no need to fear the cold and snow.

Read on to learn about four winter safety tips that every senior should keep in mind as the weather cools down.

1. Avoid Slips and Falls
Your chances of slipping and falling increase dramatically in the winter.

To avoid falls and potentially serious injuries, be sure to only walk on sidewalks and walkways that have been cleared and salted. If you’re not sure, err on the side of caution and take another route.

It’s also important to wear proper winter boots with non-skid soles. Replace the rubber tip on your cane, if you use one, too.

2. Drive Safely
You also need to take extra precautions when you drive during the winter months. Have your car checked during the fall or early winter to make sure everything is operating properly. Be sure to keep your cell phone with you whenever you drive, too.

Avoid driving on icy roads whenever you can, and stick to well-plowed, bigger roads when snow hits. They’re usually cleared more quickly than backroads.

3. Minimize Joint Pain
If you suffer from arthritis or joint pain, you mind find that it gets worse during the winter. Some things you can do to relieve your pain and stay comfortable include:

Dress warmly
Find ways to exercise indoors
Eat a balanced, anti-inflammatory diet
Use balms or creams to relieve knee pain
Soak in a warm bath or hot tub to loosen up your joints

4. Fight Seasonal Affective Disorder
Finally, keep in mind that Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD or winter depression, is also common among seniors, especially seniors who live alone and don’t socialize as much during the winter.

If you find yourself feeling depressed or isolated when the weather cools down, seek out new ways to connect with loved ones. Schedule daily or weekly phone calls, or arrange for family members and friends to come and visit you.

By |2019-12-22T17:57:49-05:00December 26th, 2019|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: Four Easy Winter Safety Tips for Seniors

6 Ways to Keep Seniors Safe During the Holiday Season


The holidays are just around the corner. While it can be the best of times for many, it can also be the worst of times for some. On the one hand Holiday Season means turkey, gifts and family. On the other hand, it can also mean cold, ice, darkness and loneliness.
Here are a few tips on how you can help your mom, dad or yourself stay safe during the holiday season.

1. Get the flu shot

Up to 85% of flu related deaths happen to those over the age of 65. The Center for Disease Control suggests get the flu vaccine is the best way for seniors to avoid getting the flu. It’s often free under Medicare, Medicaid, insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act and many private employer and school insurances.

2. Avoid isolation

Winter conditions have a tendency of keeping folks indoors, especially less mobile seniors, making isolation a real risk.
Check up on your parents frequently. Make sure they’re not missing any medical appointments, they’re getting their medications, their fridge is full and they’re connected to their support system. Arrange transportation if necessary.

3. Walk safely outdoors

Icy conditions and uneven walking surfaces dramatically increase the risk of outdoor falls. Consider crampons for extra grip and stay indoors during winter storms. You may also want to look into getting a medical alert system with GPS and fall detection to get immediate help in the event of a fall, injury or medical emergency.

4. Avoid depression

The winter blues are a real thing. Shorter days, lack of sunlight, cold weather can all lead to depression. Make your parent’s home a brighter place with therapy lamps. Stay in regular contact with them, include them in family plans, arrange for them to meet with friends and to exercise frequently.

5. Keep the heat on, but keep it safe

Make sure all heat sources are used safely.
Space heaters should have three feet of clear space around them – no curtains, blankets or clothing touching. Have the local fire department install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors – it’s often free!

6. Prepare for power outages

A power outage in the winter months can be especially dangerous for immobile seniors. Make sure your parents have a flashlight or battery operated lanterns. Arrange an alternate place for them to stay if they have no heat or light.

By |2019-12-22T17:57:29-05:00December 24th, 2019|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on 6 Ways to Keep Seniors Safe During the Holiday Season

Guest Post: Keeping Seniors Safe at Home

While there’s no 100% absolute way to ensure your elderly parent or loved one doesn’t fall,
there are things that can be done to help minimize the risk. I’ll give you a quick checklist of
five steps to a safer home for a senior. Likewise, click here for some alternative ways to
steer clear of falls.

1. Furniture, accessories, and narrow pathways:
Is there furniture crowding a room or creating narrow pathways? Are there inessential
items or decorations all over the house? None of us like to throw things away and we all
know seniors love to keep antiques and knick-knacks, but sometimes they can pose a
hazard to elderly home safety. That old rug underneath the coffee table can trip you easier
than you think. Make sure there is nothing impeding easy travel throughout the house. A
straight path is the easiest path so there should be no navigating around corners or edges.

2. Doorsills and steps:
Now, these two sound like obvious culprits, but you’d be surprised how often they’re
underestimated. A quick remedy is to paint doorsills a different color or buy reflective tape
for the edge as a reminder that they’re there. This goes for the edge of stairs as well.
Confirm that there’s no loose carpeting, unstable wood, or erosion of any kind on steps or
doorsills. Also, make sure any area with a step or uneven surface is very well lit.

3. Lighting:
This one is perhaps the easiest of all. Double-check that all areas of the house are well lit,
with bulbs at least 60 watts or higher in each socket. Remove all exposed cords and make
sure any lamp or light-switch is within easy reach. If the lamp closest to a favorite reading
chair is hard to reach while sitting, move it closer. Also, check that there is no risk of any
lamp falling or being tripped over. Again, lamps should remain within reach, but still out of
the way.

4. Telephones:
Keep a telephone, within easy reach, in each room. This prevents your elderly loved one
from feeling compelled to rush to a ringing phone. Not only can getting up too quickly cause
light-headedness or dizziness, but it can also cause an elderly person to lose focus on their
surroundings and mistakenly fall in an easily preventable situation.

5. Bathrooms:
Bathroom floors and shower tubs can get slippery, we know this. To combat slipping,
guarantee there are either bars affixed to the wall or a counter to grip while getting up and
down off the toilet and in and out of the shower. Also, purchase adhesive grip-tape for the
tub bottom and again, provide adequate lighting throughout the bathroom. Shower rugs
can also slip so place double-sided tape on the bottom of the rug to impede the rug’s
movement.

If you are worried about a loved one, these are very easy and painless steps to minimize the
risk of in-home falls. As mentioned before, however, there is no 100% way to prevent accidents so medical alert systems provide a great backup. Not only do they give you peace
of mind when you’re not around your loved one, but they make the wearer feel safe as well.

Jacob Edward is the manager of Senior Planning in Phoenix Arizona. Senior Planning is geared towards helping
seniors and the disabled with finding and arranging types of care, as well as applying for state and federal
benefits.

By |2019-12-14T11:16:12-05:00December 14th, 2019|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Post: Keeping Seniors Safe at Home

Guest Blog: How Seniors Can Reduce Financial Stress

 

Anxiety and worrying about financial problems is a common issue that seniors often face. Obviously, finding a reliable stream of income after retirement is not easy.

Well, one way to reduce mental stress is to visit retirement locations. Another method to alleviate financial problems is to invest in gold bullions at a young age by getting them from Gold Bullion Australia.

Let’s discuss some other techniques to cope with financial stress and live with a mind free from any worries.

Think Positive
Positivity is the key to bringing a healthy change in your life. If you are surrounded with negativity, either in the shape of people or in the form of thoughts, you cannot work on anything without stressing out.

Although it can be difficult to ignore or put your financial problems aside, you can adopt an optimistic approach every time you think about your economic condition.

Define a Budget
Emphasizing on a budget might look like adding more worries to your list, but it is an effective way to get a control on your financial stress. Defining a fixed amount will help you to decide how and when to spend cash.

A budget maintains a balance between savings and spending. When the amount you spend significantly limits the amount you save, you can cut down your budget.

Initially, it will be difficult to make a budget plan because it is not easy to determine how much to save and how much to spend. Once you get a grip of your financial plan, you can easily allocate your budget.

Start by saving on a small scale, and then each month cut down your spending. When you find a right balance, define a budget plan and follow that every month.

An Emergency Fund Can Come in Handy
The money that you set aside for emergency situations and unexpected accidents or incidents is an emergency fund. Allocate a fixed amount to put in the emergency fund box and don’t open that box to take out money until you really have a financial emergency.

This is an effective method to cope with financial stress since you know that you have some spare cash for an unexpected moment.

Although it is not easy to set money aside for an emergency fund, you should really adopt this technique to get out of any trouble in future without asking for monetary help for others or taking bank loans.

Getting Financial Help from Others
In case you are not able to handle your financial problems in spite of having an emergency fund, you might need help from others.

A bank loan or borrowing some money from your friends and family can work in this situation. Keep in mind that a bank loan has to be paid back with interest, while you might not need to pay extra money to your loved ones. So, choose wisely to avoid any financial stress in future.

By |2019-08-16T08:45:12-05:00August 22nd, 2019|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: How Seniors Can Reduce Financial Stress