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

Guest Post: How to Reduce Loneliness for the Elderly in Your Life

Reaching the golden age does not always come only with a great life experience but also with reasons to make you feel lonelier than ever. Years have passed by and many of those people you encountered and loved so much may have passed away over time. This is something that remains in your heart forever.

Feeling lonely is not something to be ashamed of but also not something to control your life. Discover below the best ways in which to reduce loneliness for the elderly in your life. They deserve to live happy during this new stage in their existence. Help them rediscover the joy of living!

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 Develop a Strategy to Defeat Seclusion

If you have elder people you love, you must engage more in their life. It is unavoidable for them to feel lonely from time to time. This is why they need your love and support more than ever. Make them feel loved and an important part of your life. Offer them reasons to smile and continue every day. Do not forget about them or ever leave them feeling like no one has time for them anymore.

Allow Them to Feel Useful

Feeling like there is nothing left for you to do in life is the worst possible feeling. Older people should be treasured because they have a life experience to share. Learn to listen to them more often, spend more time with them and allow these amazing people to teach you what they know. Engage with them in activities that are suitable for their age and help them keep themselves active. Never leave them alone for too much time and always advise them on how to stay clear of sadness and depression.

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 New Bridge for the Generation Gap

The generation gap between young people and older ones is obvious. However, there should always be a bridge built with love, compassion, and respect or understanding to help keep these two generations together. Teach your children to appreciate the elderly. If they have grandparents, guide them towards building close relationships with them. Spending time together and sharing experiences will be a great way in which to reduce loneliness for the elderly in your life. It will also be a great life lesson for your children.

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To ensure a better life experience for them at this stage you can also consider professional help in care homes in Maidstone. The main stages of life are the same for all of us. We may go through them differently and face varied challenges, but we all get to the same place sooner or later. Let’s treasure the amount of experience and life stories these amazing people have to share. We will learn more from them than from any other experience in our life.

 

 

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By |December 28th, 2021|Categories: Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Post: How to Reduce Loneliness for the Elderly in Your Life

Guest Post: 5 Things to Do If You Fall

Not only are 1 out of 4 seniors experiencing a fall each year, but new data shows that more seniors are dying from falls than were a decade ago. While you can absolutely take steps to help prevent falls like decluttering pathways in your house, installing grab bars and safety rails around the bathroom and stairs, utilizing mobility tools and orthopedic aids, and exercising regularly to maintain balance and coordination, it is also critical that seniors and their caregivers know what to do in the event of a fall.

Keep these important steps in mind to limit injuries and prevent critical complications if you fall:

1. Check for injuries – when you fall, you may know right away if you have hurt yourself. Pain, discomfort, swelling, blood, and bruising will signal that there is an injury. Sometimes, however, you may not see or feel any of these symptoms immediately because your adrenaline is rushing or you are confused or disoriented.

It is key that you take a few minutes to calm your breathing and get back in touch with your body. Slowly move your feet, legs, arms, and hands. Do not attempt getting back up if you are dizzy.

2. Roll onto your side – this will allow you to rest briefly and double check you are not injured.

3. Pull yourself up onto your knees and hands – from this position you can crawl to a nearby piece of sturdy furniture or stairs on which you can pull yourself up.

4. Support your weight with your hands – place one hand at a time on a flat surface of the piece of furniture and lift your strongest leg up so your knee is bent and your foot is pressed to the floor.

5. Slowly rise to your feet – using your arms and legs, push up slowly bringing both your feet under you to stand up. Find something to sit on nearby, i.e. a chair, to rest and catch your breath.

If you are unable to get up after a fall, call for help right away. If no one is with you but you are able to safely use your mobile phone, call 911 for help. Any potential injury to your neck, spine, or internal organs does require immediate attention so it is absolutely ok to call emergency services for help.

If you fall and are both by yourself and without a phone or medical alert device, on the other hand, keep calling out for help as your energy allows, banging on a nearby wall if reachable, and keep your body moving, even if only slightly, to stay warm.

 

 

 

By |December 24th, 2021|Categories: Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Post: 5 Things to Do If You Fall

Guest Blog: How to Fight Check Fraud and Other Common Senior Scams

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Seniors grew up in a more polite time. They’re more likely to talk to strangers, they’re less likely to hang up on people, and they are often home during the day to answer their phones, making them tempting targets for fraud. Seniors over the age of 60 are the target of 49% of telemarketing scams involving medical care services and products, 41% of scams involving sweepstakes and prizes, and 40% of scams involving magazine sales. Unfortunately, it’s hard to spot it when it’s happening. Fraud can come at seniors in a variety of different ways: through the phone, mail, internet, and even in person.

 

Common Scams

 Grandparent Scams target seniors by calling up, pretending to be a grandchild, and admitting that they’re in distress and need money to get out of a tight spot. Scammers may claim to be in jail and need bail money, to have had an accident, or simply to have ended up away from home without the gas to get back.

  1. Fake Check Scams ask individuals to deposit a check, then send money to another location. Unfortunately, the check is fake, and ultimately, the bank wants their money returned. Alternatively, criminals will gain access to a seniors blank or canceled check and then proceed to siphon funds out of the seniors account—especially if checks do not incorporate security features that help combat counterfeiting and alteration.
  1. Medicare Scams get the senior’s Medicare number, then bill Medicare for high-dollar products—all while providing inexpensive substitutes to the senior who genuinely needed that product.
  1. Bogus Charities call up and solicit donations for foundations and charities that aren’t really charities at all. In many cases, they don’t even exist.
  1. You Have Won” Calls and Mail solicit personal information, including account details or requiring a “small payment” in order to collect the winnings.
  1. Living Trust Scams aim to convince people to create unnecessary living trusts, offering promises that they never follow through on. In many cases, callers will try to convince seniors to act immediately so they don’t have time to think it through.
  1. Imposter Scams work much like grandparent scams: they convince a senior that the individual on the other end of the phone is a loved one and ask them to send money.
  1. Advance Fee Scams promise high levels of rewards—either goods or services—in exchange for a “small” up-front fee.
  1. Phishing Scams ask users to “update” their personal information, thus providing that information to people who can then steal their identities or account information.
  1. Cashier’s Check Scams use fake cashier’s checks to pay for goods.
  1. Door-to-Door Solicitations force seniors to make snap decisions about overpriced services or goods, often those that won’t really be provided.
  1. Free Lunch” Seminars offer unsolicited, often unethical or illegal investments that are designed to part seniors from their money.
  1. Chain Letter Scams offer “get rich quick” opportunities that are really designed only to take money from gullible seniors and other individuals.
  1. Bank Scams are aimed at convincing seniors to provide bank account information to scammers. Seniors may also be asked to take a “friend” to the bank to cash a check, only to discover that the check wasn’t real and the money disappears from their account.
  1. Work-at-Home Scams indicate that they will provide seniors the opportunity to make some money while they work from home. Unfortunately, they have huge start-up costs and little reward.
  1. Home Improvement Scams tell seniors that they will complete work around the house, but never finish the job or offer shoddy work and low-cost materials.
  1. Investment Fraud convinces seniors that their assets are being invested when really, they’re disappearing.
  1. Medical Equipment and Quackery Scams offer seniors “medical equipment” or other remedies that ultimately accomplish exactly nothing.
  1. Nigerian Schemes are classic offers: “Send me this much money so that I can complete X task, and then I will make you rich for helping me.”
  1. Business Opportunity Scams offer investment opportunities that really offer the senior no return on their effort or money.

Avoiding These Scams

People who wish to avoid scams can follow several simple tips:

  1. First, never give away personal information. This includes checking out companies and their offers with the Attorney General’s Office and the Better Business Bureau before sending money. Credit card and checking account numbers should never be offered to other people, and your social security number should remain confidential. If you’re going to donate to a charity, take the time to make sure that it’s legitimate first. It can be useful to use independent sources to verify information from anyone who has reached out to you.
  2. Next, never deposit or cash a check for anyone. Non-cash payments like checks, money orders, etc. should be verified by either calling the bank where the check was issued or asking your bank teller to verify its authenticity before depositing. Check to make sure that there is nothing on the check to create a flag for fraudulent activity before accepting it.
  1. It’s also critical to avoid making snap decisions. If an offer is “limited time” and seems too good to be true, it probably is! If you’re being pressured to make an immediate decision, walk away. No legitimate opportunity is going to expire if you don’t make a decision on the spot. Keep in mind that con artists will attempt to create a false sense of urgency and a need for secrecy. High emotions are more likely to lead to poor decisions. If you’re getting a call from someone you think is a loved one, make sure to verify their identity: ask something only they would know, reference inside jokes, or refuse to keep their secret, insisting that you’ll need to share their story.
  1. Keep an eye on “confidentiality.” If you’ve been told not to discuss the offer with anyone else, it’s probably a scam. Con artists know that when you consult with someone you trust, they’ll be found out. Always take the time to discuss an offer with friends or relatives if you aren’t sure about it.
  1. Never pay a premium in advance. Handling charges and taxes shouldn’t be part of your responsibilities on winning a prize or being invited to participate in a business opportunity. Don’t accept work-at-home opportunities that require money in advance or wire transfers. If you don’t remember putting your name in for a contest, realize that you didn’t win it.
  1. Finally, get it in writing. This is especially important if you don’t understand what’s being asked of you or if the details seem murky. Scammers will be reluctant to commit their so-called promises to paper, which you can reference later and show to other people.

Scammers are eager to get their hands on any bank account they can. With education and prevention efforts, however, you can keep yourself safe. Take control and protect yourself and your loved ones by knowing what’s out there and how to avoid it.

 

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By |December 20th, 2021|Categories: Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: How to Fight Check Fraud and Other Common Senior Scams

How to Provide Care for Elderly and Disabled Persons

 

There are many factors to consider when it comes to elderly care or dealing with the needs of disabled people. First of all, you should understand that we are all placed in positions like this eventually so empathy is highly important. Caring for these individuals is about love and respect coupled with science, but also common sense depending on each situation. Each person is different, and understanding their specific condition is the first step towards proper care.

Learning about CPR Procedures for Emergencies

CPR is invaluable when working with anyone because you never know when certain ailments will sneak up on you. This is especially true for those dealing with unique conditions or old age which makes you susceptible to breaking bones easier. According to AED CPR, “Cardiac arrest may be reversed if cardiopulmonary resuscitation is performed immediately and a defibrillator is used to shock the heart and restore a normal heart rhythm within 3-5 minutes.” This is an amazing process even though it’s very frightening. You can get your online CPR renewal to stay updated and refreshed about this life-saving medical procedure. The reality is that someone is doing CPR right now somewhere in the world because heart attacks are common. The elderly and disabled are more likely to have increased frequency and severity of heart attacks because of age and underlying conditions.

Dealing with Resistance and Help Living Transitions

Sometimes it’s best if an elderly or disabled person is taken care of by professionals in a medical environment. Resistance is common for those who have been self-sustained their whole lives and many also don’t want to be away from their family. However, you have to do what’s best for your loved ones and give them a good balance of social interaction if they’re at a care facility. Frequent visits are advised so they don’t feel forgotten or unloved which is a response to the need for assisted living. There are many burdens and stresses involved with caring for them, and sometimes the right methods are outside your grasp. The best way to help people in the most severe positions is to find them a good facility.

Reduce any Background Noise and Distractions

One of the difficulties of getting older is having increased hearing difficulties. There are certain methods you can implement to help them feel more comfortable if you decide to take care of them at home. One of the strategies is to reduce any ongoing noises like the television set or radio. Repeating yourself is part of the process, and you should be kind and understanding of their position by raising your voice so they can hear better. Speak clearly and slowly so that communication with these individuals is easier. You also should be in a well-lit room so they can see your facial cues which become increasingly important.

Take Care of Them Yourself and Know Their Condition

Knowing how to take care of elderly patients is part of a nurse’s job description, and you can learn much from their process if you decide to undertake the responsibility of caring for a loved one. Knowing their condition is the first step to properly understanding what they need. No matter what setting, it’s critical they are accommodated and safe with the proper medication to alleviate any symptoms. Sometimes conditions stack up and cause complex situations, and they get more challenging usually. Gaining insight into the side effects of aging will help you develop a concrete foundation on how to address it. Always remember that their psychological well-being may depend on professional care based on the severity of their circumstance.

These Methods Will Help You Care for The Elderly or Disabled

As you can see, there are two possibilities for the elderly and disabled people who struggle to take care of themselves. Either a nursing home is necessary, or perhaps the family is willing to take care of their needs. This will vary depending on the severity of the situation, and sometimes it’s much safer for them to be placed in assisted living. The family can still support them there, and they get the consistent treatment needed in a professional and comfortable environment.

 

By |December 15th, 2021|Categories: Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Tags: , , |Comments Off on How to Provide Care for Elderly and Disabled Persons

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 |December 14th, 2021|Categories: Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on Guest Blog: Four Easy Winter Safety Tips for Seniors