Guest Blog: How to Make a Difference in the Lives of Seniors in Your Community

From the loneliness and isolation that many seniors face to the physical impairments or disabilities that may limit their ability to perform some daily tasks on their own, many aging adults could benefit from the assistance of other members in their community. If you’re interested in helping seniors living in your neighborhood, the following resources will familiarize you with the different challenges that many aging adults face, as well as some of the things you can do to help out.

The Challenges of Growing Older

There is a saying that growing older is not for sissies, and in a sense that is very true. It stems, of course, from the fact that the strength and vibrance of our bodies and minds can wane over the years. Being aware of the challenges older people face can help you recognize opportunities and define your responses to them.

  • Explore this comprehensive guide to issues facing seniors
  • Seniors who are growing older without partners or family close by face unique struggles
  • Growing older means coming to grips with one’s mortality; be sensitive to the spiritual needs seniors experience
  • Among their challenges, basic needs like performing household tasks and meal preparation can be difficult for seniors
  • Falling is a major health concern for seniors, even in their own homes

What You Can Do to Help

Sometimes finding opportunities isn’t the hardest part of assisting seniors; sometimes it’s finding practical solutions. Seniors face problems big and small that you can solve, though. Thankfully, most of those solutions are surprisingly straightforward, and really just require a little bit of thinking outside the box. Explore these simple strategies for some of the concerns you might realize are part of an older adult’s life.

  • Isolation is a common health issue for seniors but there are practical solutions
  • Being homebound is an issue for many seniors
  • Teaching technology to seniors is a great way to connect them with others and help them feel engaged, even if they are homebound
  • An Echo Dot is an affordable device for seniors that allows them to perform a variety of practical tasks
  • Most seniors can get comfortable with smart speakers like Alexa pretty quickly with a few pointers, and they reap many benefits
  • Taking quick, easy and healthy meals to seniors helps to ensure they receive proper nutrition
  • Another idea is to set up a senior with grocery delivery for fresh meals
  • Senior Care Central offers individualized care solutions for seniors

If your family is interested in giving back to seniors in your community, this guide will help you to get started. By sharing your time, helping a senior neighbor with housework, and cooking meals for aging adults in your community, you’ll be making a difference in the lives of local seniors.

By |2021-05-26T14:04:10-05:00May 26th, 2021|News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: How to Make a Difference in the Lives of Seniors in Your Community

8 Fun Activities for Seniors with Mobility Issues

Do mobility issues have your aging parent down in the dumps? Losing the ability to get around independently can definitely strike a blow to confidence and wellbeing levels. Mobility issues don’t need to stifle a senior’s sense of purpose or enjoyment of life though. Don’t miss these 8 fun activity ideas for seniors with mobility issues:

Board games – bring on the board games and give your loved one a cognitive boost. Everything from cards to Scrabble to Monopoly, Dominos, and Checkers is a great place to start. Stock up on gently used board games from local re-stores like Goodwill and invite friends and family to join in on the fun.

Puzzles – putting puzzles together stimulates critical thinking and problem-solving skills as well as engages spatial awareness and concentration. Don’t reserve your fun to jigsaw puzzles either; games like Sudoku and Jenga have similar brain-boosting effects too!

Cooking – maybe standing at the stove to stir a big pot isn’t feasible, but mixing a green salad at a lower table is. Or helping scoop cookie dough onto a baking sheet. Cooking with your aging parent not only gives them something fun to do but helps them feel like a productive contributor in the home too.

Chair exercises – routine workouts are critical for all older adults, even people who are limited to canes, walkers or wheelchairs. Physical fitness helps prevent unwanted weight gain and lifestyle diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Guides to chair exercises and exercises for those recovering from injuries like fractured hips can be found online.

Art project – get the creative juices flowing and find an art project geared towards your loved one’s interests. Perhaps it is painting on a canvas, collaging, knitting, coloring, making jewelry, or even simply framing family photos – the act of creating something can is truly invigorating.

Planting – potting plants is easy and accessible when your loved one can sit in a chair at a table. Mixing soil, placing plants inside pots, and even snipping dead leaves or picking herbs are monthly activities that your loved one can do with minor assistance.

Reading – Nothing beats a good book. If your loved one is unable to hold a book or see words on a page, audiobooks are a great alternative (and can be borrowed for free at your local library).

Video chatting – for seniors with mobility limitations, social isolation is a very prevalent and dangerous reality. Technology makes it easy, however, to connect with friends and family near and far via free services like Skype, Google Hangouts or Facetime. You simply need a smartphone or webcam with speakers for your computer.

By |2021-05-24T11:47:26-05:00May 25th, 2021|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on 8 Fun Activities for Seniors with Mobility Issues

How to Find the Right Senior Housing Community

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Guest Blog: How to Find the Right Senior Housing Community
By: Derek Hobson

First let’s tackle the basics. Many people are wary of senior care homes because there’s a stigma that surrounds them; people see them as gloomy, dreary, end-of-life communities. While certainly there was a time when this was the case (several decades ago), most communities have worked hard to battle this stereotype and they have succeeded.

Many communities have done away with “institution” or “hospital” –like settings. Even more have become increasingly lenient on policies regarding residents’ possessions; some facilities have been known to permit pets and even furniture to help it feel like home. So, when the time comes to transition into one of these senior care homes, the question becomes, “How do I find the right one?”

1. Find out About Affordability
This is usually at the top of everyone’s list and for good reason. Today, people are having children later in life. This isn’t a bad thing, but it means that around the same time their kids are going off to college, their parents are starting to need extra care. This can put a lot of stress on adult children, but some senior homes provide help.

Some Assisted Living Facilities will accept private pay for a period of time and then accept the rest through Medicaid. This way, your senior does not need to move and they won’t need to fear outliving their assets.

2. Visit the Community (Often)
If you think a community looks good for your loved one, then you should visit and revisit. You should tour the facility on different days of the week at different times. This way, you’ll get a much broader view of the day-to-day.

See if people are out and about, if engaging activities are going on, and if there’s a general feeling of community. If you show up to an elder care home that looks more like a ghost town, then it’s probably not the one for your loved one.

3. Talk to the Residents & Staff
This one is critical, as nothing quite beats a first-hand view into the establishment. Ask residents if they enjoy the community, what they do on a daily basis, and if they’re happy.

When asking the staff, of course they’re not going to disparage against the home, but one of the most important things to take notice of is how they interact with the residents. If they refer to them by name and have clearly established relationships with them, then this can be a huge indicator of the level of personal care your loved one will receive.

These are the three most important criteria to face when choosing an elder care community and they should give you a well-rounded idea of the facility you’ve chosen.

By |2021-05-02T08:41:16-05:00May 7th, 2021|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on How to Find the Right Senior Housing Community

Guest Blog: Budgeting for Seniors and Those on Fixed Incomes

Most seniors have a fixed, limited income. Even though it may not seem like a whole lot, there are ways to budget and make the fixed income work to your advantage. After all, you know exactly how much money you are going to get each month. You don’t have to worry about losing a job, or not getting a paycheck. Most of the time the money comes in on a predictable date and this is very advantageous because you know exactly when the money is going to get replenished.

Now to the budgeting. Most seniors have essentials such as paying for medications, food, rent and mortgage, transportation and of course incidentals. Figure out how much you have available after your rent/mortgage expense, medication expense, transportation expense and this is the amount you have for food and incidentals. Going out to eat can be a major expense so staying in might be a good idea for some.
Additionally, if you have money left over at the end of the month, you can save up for a vacation, or a one off purchase.

If you have debt, negotiating the interest rate with the bank or credit card company can save a lot of money. Monitoring utility usage and minimizing utility usage can also lead to a big savings. Leaving on the air conditioning or heat during the day when you aren’t home tends to add up over time. Even though this may amount to 50-100.00 per month, over the course of the year this equates to thousands of dollars.

It’s also worth mentioning that not all insurance premiums are created equal. Some people are unknowingly paying for services outside of Medicare that they may not need. Likewise, for those on an extremely reduced fixed income, it could be worth looking into Medicaid in your state. Each state has different rules, but here is a nationwide guide to Medicaid, which can help pay for regular medical expenses and long term care.

The last piece of advice is to track your not-so-necessary purchases. Write down each time you purchase something that is not essential and you will most likely be surprised. If you are not careful, a large amount of your budget could be going to non-essentials. Whether you use a pen and paper, or are using budgeting software, it is a good idea to keep track of all expenses. Click the lick to see a handy budget sheet created by AARP. This minimizes surprises and will lead to a much easier time getting to the next month’s income check.

Jacob Edward is the manager of Senior Planning in Phoenix Arizona. Jacob founded Senior Planning in 2007 and has helped many Arizona seniors and their families navigate the process of long-term care planning.

By |2021-04-17T17:10:54-05:00April 24th, 2021|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: Budgeting for Seniors and Those on Fixed Incomes

Guest Blog: Technological Solutions That Assist the Elderly

According to the Census Bureau, as of 2011, seniors make up 13.3 percent of the U.S. population. By 2060, seniors are expected to account for at least 20 percent of the population. For many centuries now, the needs of seniors have been taken care of accordingly.

They have doctors who look after them and a caregiver, nurse, or family member who helps ensure they can move around comfortably. However, seniors today are aging at the best time. Thanks to continued advancements in technology, staying healthier and more independent has never been easier.

Fortunately, technology help for seniors nowadays has never been better. For starters, the elderly now have access to a vast range of inspired and practical gadgets that are designed to meet their ever-evolving medical and emotional needs.

Fascinating Technological Solutions for the Elderly

Below are some of the fantastic technological innovations that have helped seniors live fulfilling, happier, and more active lives:

Intuition Robotics

Founded in 2016, this company aims to help older adults avoid feelings of social isolation and loneliness—issues that have been known to contribute to poor health. Their debut product is a robot called ElliQ, hailed as a “sidekick for happier aging.”

ElliQ is designed to initiate conversations that can help seniors engage in healthy behaviors (i.e., nudges to take medications), stay in touch with their friends and loved ones, and stay connected with the outside world.

ElliQ can also check the weather and can determine if it’s conducive for a walk. Loved ones and friends can also interact with ElliQ and can send photos through the app. The pre-order cost for the product is at $1,500 and the monthly fee is set at $30.

Neuro Rehab VR

Neuro Rehab VR was founded in 2017. Their primary goal is to provide a virtual reality experience for elderly patients that are undergoing physical therapy following a brain or spinal cord injury, stroke, and other degenerative diseases.

What makes the VR experience even more phenomenal is how targeted the technology is. By using machine learning, they tailor exercises based on the patient’s specific ability and therapy needs.

The bespoke virtual therapy exercises also record kinematic and physiological responses and quantify the patient’s progress with scores and metrics. Patients are also transported to a virtual world that covers a vast range of situations.

VitalTech

a cloud-based platform that specializes in patient wellness and health through connected care. Their latest offering, VitalBand, was launched in June of 2018. VitalBand is an emergency fall-detection and call-out watch.

VitalBand is also used to track vital signs like oxygen saturation, respiratory and heart rate, physical activity, and sleep quality. It also provides users with medication reminders.

If a fall is detected, an alert goes to a certified call center to dispatch emergency services. If the senior prefers that a loved one is notified first, the fall alert can be sent to up to five preconfigured family members through email or text.

Conclusion

With so many breakthrough technological innovations now designed to help the elderly, they can now look forward to a future where they can enjoy healthier, happier, and longer lives.

About the Author

Melissa Andrews is the Content Marketing Strategist for Paradise Living Centers, an assisted living center for seniors with locations in Paradise Valley and Phoenix, Arizona. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and going on hiking trips with her siblings and cousins.

By |2021-04-22T08:34:59-05:00April 22nd, 2021|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: Technological Solutions That Assist the Elderly