Boomer’s Blog2018-05-18T08:58:16-05:00

Dr. Mauk’s Boomer Blog

Each week, Dr. Kristen Mauk shares thoughts relevant to Baby Boomers that are aimed to educate and amuse.

Dr. Kristen L. Mauk, PhD, DNP, RN, CRRN, GCNS-BC, GNP-BC, FAAN

Why Choose an Eco-Friendly Senior Living Community

You might be looking for a senior living community, either for your folks or somewhere to retire when you’ve hit that advanced stage in life. It’s more than looking for a location that will be your new home, and you deserve nothing but the best.

Some of the criteria include great amenities, an accessible support system, and social opportunities that are especially for the seniors living in it. One option is to look for eco-friendly senior living communities, upgraded areas that are not just focused on reducing the carbon footprint of its area. Its all-around approach to sustainability means that it can give you and your family an improved quality of life. To better appreciate this fast-rising alternative, here are a few reasons why you should choose an eco-friendly senior living community:

Reduce plastic waste

Although plastic waste reduction sounds like a vague and wide problem, it actually affects each of us in ways we’re not even aware of. Studies have shown how certain chemicals in plastic packaging can leech into the food and beverages wrapped within. This poses health risks that are only magnified with age.

Generally, an eco-friendly senior living community sources its needs from socially and environmentally responsible sources. This includes the preferences toward organically grown produce often delivered from the farm straight to their doorstep. These are fruits and vegetables that reduce the use of plastics that not only pose risks of contaminating food but are also disposed of afterward after only being used once.

Additionally, most of these communities have proper waste management plans that invite their members to participate in. Knowing that your wastes, plastic or not, is handled and managed well, assures you that less of these materials end up in landfills or worse, the oceans.

Better energy efficiency

Most green senior living communities have implemented the use of alternative energy sources such as solar or wind. To be honest, these options are might appear discouraging in the form of higher upfront costs. However, remember that these investments pay for themselves in the long run. In fact, the costs of renewable energy sources have plunged over the years and are expected to go cheaper in the future. A study showed that 62% of these energy sources were cheaper than the cheapest form of conventional fossil fuel use.

Other energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly alternatives also benefit the seniors that live in them. Stable and consistent geothermal heating and cooling allows near-constant access to these utilities at a lower cost and computed, low-flow plumbing helps preserve water and makes for gentler showers. There are even indirect energy benefits to choosing an eco-friendly senior living community, such as its sustainable sourcing options meaning less energy used for transport, processing, and packaging of the foods they eat.

Safer and for the residents

There are senior living communities, and there are eco-friendly senior living communities. By choosing alternatives that are good for nature, these locations are basically healthier for the people in advanced age living in them. You’ve probably heard of natural paint, or eco-friendly paint for some, which contains significantly lower levels of volatile organic chemicals (VOCs). These compounds have an effect on the air quality surrounding them, especially in rooms where people might spend most of their time. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has listed a number of short- and long-term health effects of these materials.

Aside from paints, the same applies to adhesives, sealants, and other substances used in finishing and furnishing houses. Also, you can expect these communities to make healthier choices in all aspects of lifestyle such as considerations on ventilation and air quality, and natural lighting for illumination. While these all sound like minor details, any of these factors could contribute to the difference between health and disease in an older individual.

Promote a healthier lifestyle

The human body is a complex machine made of too many parts, each of them requiring a specific level of care to maintain. As people age, they get weaker and require additional care to avoid any untoward events. Developers behind an eco-friendly senior living community are aware of this and try to provide as much encouragement and incentive as they can to get the seniors to move more.

In terms of encouraging physical activity, note how these locations have scattered green spaces all over the place instead of a singular area with trees. Additionally, there are roads intended only for walking or jogging, oftentimes bicycle lanes being separate. Also, a common amenities to this goal is the inclusion of regular exercise programs that not only invite the residents to exercise but also give them an opportunity to meet new people.

Conclusion

In looking for a senior living community, you deserve nothing but the best. Although it seems like the problems of the world are not our concern when looking for the perfect location, the benefits listed above show how our choices affect the environment and affect us in return. By going for an eco-friendly senior living community, not only do you help make the world a better place, but also provide the best option available.

By |January 19th, 2022|Categories: Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Tags: , |Comments Off on Why Choose an Eco-Friendly Senior Living Community

Guest Blog: How Wearable Technology Can Benefit Your Health

It’s no surprise that in the digital age, in addition to apps and online services, wearable technology is paving the way for better health outcomes for people of all ages. What exactly is wearable technology? Essentially any portable device which you can wear on your person, like a necklace, pendant, bracelet, clip, and so on, that serves a technological function like syncing fitness and medical data to the cloud, or sending alert signals to call for help.

Wearable technology continues to evolve and benefit people’s physical and emotional health. Check out how in this quick guide:

Medical Alert Technology
If you have mobility issues, have been hospitalized or gone to the E.R. in the past year, or simply suffer from a condition where you may require fast access to emergency services (i.e. diabetes, Parkinson’s), you may be looking into getting a medical alert system. While stationary medical alert systems in your home are helpful, so are wearable medical alert accessories when you head out the door.

Portable medical alert accessories may range from pendants to clip-ons to bracelets and serve a variety of purposes. Often most affordable but most overlooked is the novelty medical alert bracelets which feature a metal plate engraved with your personal and health information including an emergency contact. More technologically-advanced bracelets, however, come equipped with a discreetly hidden USB drive that stores all your personal health information. Other medical alert accessories feature buttons, on a necklace, for example, that can be pushed to give off loud alarm sounds and ward off potential attackers or call someone for help.

Fitness
Wearable fitness trackers like Fitbit, Bellabeat, and Motiv Ring all continue to be popular accessories among younger generations, however, they have their place with the senior demographic too. A wearable fitness tracker is typically like a watch, pendant, or piece of jewelry you wear that can track important health data based on the activity of your body. More closely monitoring your physical activity can help you better achieve your fitness goals and maintain a healthy weight.

Important information like the number of steps you take in a day, your pulse rate, sleep patterns, calories burned, oxygen utilization, and fitness goals achieved can all be tracked these days with this type of advanced wearable technology. If you would rather not wear anything additional and simply take advantage of the smartphone you carry around in your pocket anyway, looking into the Health app(s) available to you via your phone’s operating system or app library. You can both enter personal health data in there as well as track physical activity and more.

Posture
Are poor posture habits a pain in your neck (literally)? While “sitting up straight” might seem like your only course of action, turns out there are technological solutions designed to help you as well. Apps like Perfect Posture and Posture Zone can be downloaded to your phone and customized to alert you (via vibrations in your pocket) when you are slumping or slouching.

Wearable accessories like Lumo Lift Posture Coach are even more discreet, lightweight solutions you wear near your collarbone. This posture coach tool uses biomechanical motion sensors to track both your activity levels as well as your posture during the day. If you start to slouch or crane your head and shoulders forward, it gently vibrates to alert you to fix your posture.

By |January 17th, 2022|Categories: Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: How Wearable Technology Can Benefit Your Health

Guest Blog: Self-Care for Seniors: 4 Best Ways to Prioritize Your Health

The golden years come with their advantages. There’s the newfound freedom, for example, and the chance to relax and revel in all that you have accomplished. But your retirement years also bring age-related challenges that can really put a damper on enjoying them. It’s important for seniors to place high priority on their health and well-being, but it can be difficult to know where to begin. Here are four ways that you can place yourself first.

Social Well-Being
Although retirement usually includes the benefit of having more free time, having extra time on your hands can also have its disadvantages, especially if you live alone. Too much idle or alone time can lead to boredom, unhealthy inactivity, and even depression. Here a couple of activities to consider if you’re feeling isolated or unstimulated.

Get a part-time job
Finding a part-time job in retirement has its advantages. Not only will you have a little extra cash coming in, but you’ll meet new people and feel a sense of responsibility that you may be missing from your working years.

Senior Citizen Groups and Clubs
Joining and participating in senior groups, clubs, and organizations is often free or inexpensive, and some will even provide transportation. You can find groups that are general interest as well as others that focus on specific activities and niches.

Ensure Home Safety
Making sure that your home is a safe place to be is important for anyone, but it’s perhaps especially vital for seniors who are more at risk of falling as well as those who live alone. Here are four simple ways to make your home a safer place.

Bathing
Installing grab bars is one way to provide added safety when bathing. You can also invest in hands-free toiletry dispensers that save you the hassle of slippery bar soap or handling bulky containers.

Air Quality
It’s impossible to know exactly what toxins may be lurking in your household air, but there are steps you can take to reduce them. You can protect your home’s air quality by replacing air filters regularly and having your HVAC system checked by a repairman.

Natural Cleaning Products
Because of the current social awareness of toxins found in many cleaning and hygiene products, it has become easier to find brands that make products using only natural ingredients. You can also easily mix your own natural cleaning products using things like vinegar or lemon juice.

Maintain a Balanced Diet
There are a number of things that can hinder seniors from getting proper nutrition. These include a lack of transportation, dwindling finances, and medications that cause nausea or reduce appetites. It’s important for you to make healthy food choices at all ages. Try eating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and fiber, as well as drinking plenty of water.

Gentle Exercise
As a senior, it’s more important than ever to exercise regularly, and the good news is that you don’t have to put out a lot of effort. Just 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week will suffice. Walking, yoga, or swimming are gentle and effective forms of exercise for seniors. If you don’t have access to a pool at home and don’t have your own transportation, you may be able to find a senior swimming group similar to the ones discussed above that offers transportation. Then, your exercise regimen could include a social outlet as well.

By |January 15th, 2022|Categories: Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: Self-Care for Seniors: 4 Best Ways to Prioritize Your Health

Guest Blog: Choosing the Right Security System for Seniors

White clock with words Time for Action on its face

The market today offers a wide variety of security systems for home safety and it can be confusing to choose the right one. For seniors in search of the right security system, it’s important to find one that works reliably but is also easy to use. Thankfully, there are options out there that no only offer a secure feeling for the home, but that are also simple to use which not only ensures a safe home, but also cuts down on the unnecessary confusion of trying to work with a system that requires frequent handling or has many codes to remember to engage or disengage the system.

Another issue with choosing the right security system for seniors is finding a system hat does not require a hefty monitoring fee or a long-term contract. Unfortunately, there are some unscrupulous people in the world who will prey on seniors in order to convince them they must have their services. They often do this by elevating fear with tales of crime in the area and convincing the senior that they need the system that is being offered.

Home invasion and burglary is a crime that is worrisome to all people and not just seniors. For many seniors however, strict budgets or health issues or physical barriers can be a deterrent to some of the security systems available today. Even memory loss associated with dementia can be a deterrent.

Seniors who need a little help can consider the following when it is time to choose the right security system.

The Easier to Use, The Better
The best security system for seniors will be one that is easy to use and won’t cause confusion. A security system should have the following options:

• Crafted to automatically contact emergency services
• Simple on and off
• Wearable emergency button is advisable
24/7 live monitoring
• Not easy to accidentally set the alarm off
• Monitoring in all rooms of the home

When choosing a security system, it is important to read all documentation carefully. If you have a trusted family member to assist in the search, that can be beneficial. Checking out several systems is a good idea in order to find the perfect one. A good security system can not only help prevent crime, but it can also give seniors and their family peace of mind when they know the home is protected.

By |January 9th, 2022|Categories: Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Tags: |Comments Off on Guest Blog: Choosing the Right Security System for Seniors

Guest Blog: How to Move Forward After Losing Your Job to COVID-19

You can find this article and many other useful resources on the Senior Care Central website.

While the country has recovered just over half of all the 22 million jobs lost during the initial coronavirus outbreak, millions of people are still struggling to find work in the wake of permanent business closures. If this scenario hits home and you continue searching for your next full-time position, you must find ways to make ends meet.

Advance Your Education

If you’re feeling limited by your job options, expand your skill set by going back to school. Earning a degree will open the door to more career opportunities and higher pay, and can be a great investment in your future. For example, if you want to pursue a career in the tech industry, give yourself a head start with a degree in IT management. A couple of other possibilities include nursing or business. Earning your degree from an online school like WGU is ideal if you’re also working a part-time job!

Protect Your Financial Health

When money is tight, it’s important to reevaluate your spending. Ensure you have what you need to pay the bills and keep a roof overhead, even if it means cutting out nonessential luxuries like cable and takeout. If debt is a problem, stop using credit cards and go cash-only for now. You could also consolidate your debt onto a low-interest line of credit or a new credit card with a promotional rate.

Get a Part-Time Job

Need money right now? Get a part-time job! A temporary job may not be able to match the income of your previous position, but it will help you make ends meet while you continue your search. According to Fast Company, there are plenty of industries that require part-time workers right now, including grocery stores and delivery services.

Try Freelancing

Another way to earn money during the pandemic is to look for remote opportunities online. Selling your skills through freelance work is an excellent way to do this! You can freelance in nearly any industry, including accounting, writing, marketing, project management, and data entry.

The pandemic is tough for everyone, but for those who are still out of work, things may be looking especially bleak. Keep moving forward, whether it means going back to school, landing a part-time job, or starting a freelance career.

By |January 3rd, 2022|Categories: Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on Guest Blog: How to Move Forward After Losing Your Job to COVID-19

Guest Blog:The Advantages Of Hiring A Home Care Consultant For Your Business

Hiring a home care consultant for your business can make a huge impact on the credibility

of the services you provide. Home care professionals are highly sought after by people who need help with caring for their aging loved ones. As a business owner, you can build authority as a home care provider and subject matter expert by collaborating with a consultant.

Of course, not just any consultant will work for your business and its home care goals. There are different skills you want to look for in the person that you hire. But the skills that you settle on will ultimately depend on your business size, the breadth of your services, and obviously, your bottom line. That’s why you’ll want to properly vet your potential home care consultants before you bring them onto your team.

In this article, we will cover the benefits of hiring a home care consultant for your business. We’ll also make sure you’re clear on what to look for in a candidate and their background. Read on

to discover how a home care consultant can positively impact your business and the home care services it provides.

You Decide What Background You’re Looking For

There is no one-size-fits-all background to look for when hiring a home care consultant. In fact,

It’s a common misconception that home care professionals need to all have extensive medical backgrounds. This is not at all the case, although some quality home care consultants may come from a health-related background.

If you want to take a deeper dive into your candidate’s background, you can get in touch with your local licensing board that certifies home care professionals. Many of these licensing boards, what they ask for from a person looking to become certified, and their criteria to meet change, based on what state you’re in.

Whatever your candidate’s background looks like, though, there are still some key things to look for above all else. These qualities will ultimately benefit your company and your clients’ experience with your services. Good communication, empathy, patience, and dedication — these are just a few attributes in a candidate that will make a huge impact on your clients. Interview your clients – multiple times, if you’d like – to make sure that they have these essential qualities.

You Can Build Relationships with Consultants

Simply put, it’s easier to build a relationship with someone on-one-one, rather than indirectly or through a third-party like home care staffing agencies. Home care consultants bring personal-level traits like loyalty and empathy, without the bureaucratic baggage and extra steps that you deal with when hiring through an agency. Building a relationship with a consultant early-on is a great way to get a sense of their experience and quality of service.

Once you’ve gotten to know a consultant well, it’ll be much easier to introduce them to your potential and existing clients. It’ll be obvious that you have a trusted relationship with your consultant when you can introduce them naturally while still providing a lot of detail about what they can offer.

Another advantage of working with an individual consultant is meting out more manageable pay. It tends to cost a lot more to hire home care consultants through an agency or other third party. Since you’re only negotiating pay and setting rates with one person, the time from sourcing candidates to hiring them is usually much quicker. Think carefully about how much you can budget for hiring home care professionals — chances are, a consultant will make much more sense for your business’s bottom line.

You Can Easily Evaluate Performance

The last thing that you want is for your home care services to suffer without you knowing about it. When you hire a home care consultant, it’s much easier to evaluate their performance and track their growth than it is when working with an agency. With a home care consultant, you can coordinate a performance tracker with them to make sure they know how to satisfy your business needs.

You can start this process during the hiring phase when you outline with your consultant what your requirements for their performance are. After your consultant understands what your business needs are and what your clients expect from them, they can closely work with you to make sure they’re meeting your expectations. Remember, if you’re not clear with your consultant about what’s required of them early on, they’ll struggle to meet your performance standards.

A huge benefit to setting a one-on-one performance plan and schedule with a consultant is reducing your risk of time lost. It’s much more difficult to plan performance expectations through an agency, evaluate them as having met your standards, and confirm with the person being cared for that they’re satisfied. With a consultant, your business doesn’t risk wasted time, effort, and money on a home care professional that isn’t on the same page as you.

It Helps Make a Name For Your Business and its Services

Hiring a home care consultant of your own simply gives your business more credibility than hiring through an agency. When you work with a consultant, you directly coordinate the way they behave with your client, which means you’re responsible for determining what your client needs are, and making sure they’re met one-hundred percent of the time. If you go with the agency route, you’ll never be sure that you’ll have the same caregiver for any real length of time, which hurts your clients’ overall experience.

Go with a home care consultant to increase your chances of having someone reliable who can stick around for the long haul. All too often, hiring through an agency means you’ll get a rotating door of individuals with varying levels of experience and skills.

A home care consultant with whom you build up trust and a relationship will make a world of difference in the quality of care your business offers in the longer-term. Your clients will recognize your business as a reliable source of expertise, rather than an outsourcing agency that doesn’t understand what its clients really want from their home care.

 

 

 

 

 

By |January 1st, 2022|Categories: Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Tags: |Comments Off on Guest Blog:The Advantages Of Hiring A Home Care Consultant For Your Business