Archive for the ‘Senior Safety’ Category

Technology Changes the In-home Care Landscape

Posted on: June 25th, 2015 by Kim McCreery

Senior couple video conferenceTechnology has revolutionized in-home care, for patients, caregivers and loved ones. For decades, being “home” had the potential to become extremely isolating, as aging parents and relatives were often cut off from their families and social circles due to immobility and lack of comfortable access, transportation and support. However, with the proliferation of smart technology, social media and interactive telecommunications platforms, senior home care means more connection, comfort and engagement than ever before.

Many new technology entrants to the marketplace have infinite applications for home care services, from traditional medical applications to socially-driven engagement capabilities. Not only do these tools bring a much-needed peace of mind to seniors, their caregivers and loved ones, but more importantly, they enable more freedom, more independence and an increased quality of life. Nowadays, just because you’re home doesn’t mean you can’t connect, converse and feel like you’re a part of something outside of your immediate surroundings. And likewise, should a medical emergency arise, it’s these tech enhancements that keep loved ones safe and cared for. Here are a few favorites:

  • Webcams: Installing webcams throughout the home allows both family members and caregivers the ability to virtually check in on the senior at any time. Webcams also allow family members who live far way to video chat with their loved ones.
  • Sensor Monitors: In conjunction with webcams, sensors can be placed throughout the home to track movement. These are particularly handy for seniors with ambulation or wandering issues. Most sensor systems connect to a TV or computer monitor and an Internet connection.
  • Medical Alert Pendants: These handy devices have been around for a few years now, but continue to be updated to increase effectiveness. They are worn by the senior and the button is pressed in the event of a fall or other emergency, connecting the senior to 911 or another emergency response service.
  • Automatic Pill Reminders/Dispensers: These are perfect for patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. An alarm goes off, alerting the senior to take his or her medication by voice message, and dispenses the correct dosage. If the senior misses a dose, an alert is sent to the caregiver after 90 minutes.

At Home Solutions provides a monthly rental service for automatic pill reminder dispensers and medical alert pendants. There is no long-term commitment and there is always the option to purchase the equipment. Contact At Home Solutions today to learn more.

And don’t forget about some of the non-traditional medical and personal care technology—platforms like Facebook, Skype and Facetime as well as gaming platforms such as Wii Fit and Lumosity which add a much-needed layer of engagement, excitement and enjoyment to provide an overall greater quality of life.

Besides providing assistance with in-home technology for seniors, At Home Solutions provides a wide variety of home care services, including personal care, transportation, light housekeeping and specialized disease care management and education. At the core of these home care services is a commitment to creating an increased emotional wellbeing, added social engagement and the utmost in safety and security. Learn more about how At Home Solutions provides a different kind of home care in the Mesa and Casa Grande areas.

Road Safety for Wheelchairs and Mobility Scooters

Posted on: March 26th, 2014 by Kim McCreery No Comments

According to the Arizona Department of Transportation Bicycle and Pedestrian Program … a pedestrian means any person afoot. A person who uses an electric personal assistive mobility device or a manual or motorized wheelchair
is considered a pedestrian also.

Here are a few important points to remember when taking your wheelchair or scooter onto the road.

  1. Pedestrians are subject to ALL traffic rules.
  2. If sidewalks are provided, a pedestrian shall not walk along and on an adjacent roadway.
  3. If sidewalks are not provided, a pedestrian walking along and on a highway shall walk when practicable only on the left side of the roadway or its shoulder facing traffic that may approach from the opposite direction.
  4. Pedestrians have the right of way at crosswalks.
  5. Crossing at other than a crosswalk: A pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles on the roadway.

Excerpts from The Pima County Bicycle and Pedestrian Program, Matthew Zoll, Program Manager.

Additional safety tips for those using wheelchairs and mobility scooters

  • Always wear a seat belt.
  • Add a flag to increase roadside visibility.
  • If you must go out at night, add reflectors and glow-in-the-dark lights to increase visibility.
  • Read more about mobility scooter safety at: Mobility Scooter Safety

Your safety is always our concern!

Kim

 

Exercise for Seniors: It’s Never Too Late to Start

Posted on: December 30th, 2013 by Kim McCreery No Comments

“If exercise could be packaged into a pill, it would be the single most widely prescribed and beneficial medicine in the nation.”
Robert N. Butler, M.D.Former Director of The National Institute on Aging

National Institute on Aging (NIA) indicates that an inactive lifestyle can cause older people to lose ground in four areas important for staying healthy and independent: strength, balance, flexibility, endurance

According to a study performed by NIA for people age 75 and older:

  • 40% cannot walk two blocks
  • 32% cannot climb ten steps
  • 22% cannot lift ten pounds
  • 7% cannot walk across a small room
  • 50% of those who fracture hips never walk independently again, with many dying from complications

The Many Benefits of Exercise for the Older Adult

Cardiovascular: improves blood pressure; decreases risk of coronary artery disease; improves congestive heart failure symptoms and decreases hospitalization rate; improves lipid profileLady Lifting Weights

Type 2 Diabetes: decreases incidence; improves glycemic control; decreases hemoglobin levels;improves insulin sensitivity

Osteoporosis: decreases bone density loss in postmenopausal women; decreases hip and vertebral fractures; decreases risk of falling

Sleep and Moods: improves quality of sleep; improves cognitive function; decreases rates of depression, improves Beck depression scores; improves short-term memory

Osteoarthritis: improves function; decreases pain

Cancer: potential decrease in risk of colon, breast, prostate, rectum; improves quality of life and decreases fatigue

Other: decreases all-cause mortality; decreases all-cause morbidity; decreases risk of obesity; improves symptoms in peripheral vascular occlusive disease

Benefits presented in the article “Promoting and Prescribing Exercise for the Elderly,” by Robert J. Nied, M.D., Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan and Barry Franklin, Ph.D., William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Michigan of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).

 Before starting exercise, older adults and/or adults with chronic conditions should develop an activity plan with a health professional to manage risks and take therapeutic needs into account.                    

Activities to Improve the 4 Area of Fitness

  • Strength: resistance bands, weights, calisthenics, dancing
  • Balance:  yoga, chair exercises, dancing
  • Flexibility: yoga, chair exercises, dancing
  • Aerobic Endurance: walking, swimming, water aerobics, low impact aerobics, dancing, rowing

Consult your physician if exercise results in: chest pain, dizziness, cold sweats, extreme breathlessness, very rapid heart rate that lasts longer than 5–10 minutes after stopping activity.

Regardless of where you live, there are exercise programs suitable for all ability levels. Talk to your doctor, activity director, local community center or gym. Check out these online resources for more information.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/exerciseforseniors.html

http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/olderadults.html

http://www.helpguide.org/life/senior_fitness_sports.htm

Exercise doesn’t just improve physical well-being, it also provides energy, lifts our spirits, keeps us sharp, and helps us fully participate in all areas of life. Don’t forget, indoor and outdoor chores count as exercise too. The important thing is to do something on a regular basis. Move it, lift it, stretch it!

Kim

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Benefits of 24 Hour Live-In Care

Posted on: September 20th, 2013 by Kim McCreery No Comments

According to AARP, Nearly 90% of people over age 65 indicate they want to stay in their home as long as possible. 24 hour/Live-in Care allows those who require around the clock care; those who may be a fall risk; or those suffering from Alzheimer’s to do just that.

What services are available with 24 hour/Live-in Care?

  • Chronic disease management support for CHF, COPD, Heart Disease, Alzheimer’s and other Dementias, Arthritis, Stroke Impairment, Diabetes, MS, Parkinson’s, and Cancer.
  • Medication reminders and documentation
  • Bathing and grooming
  • Housekeeping, laundry, and meal preparation
  • Shopping, errands, transportation to doctor appointmentsclasped hands
  • Walking assistance and light exercises
  • Companionship and suitable activities
  • Relief care for families
  • Short-term or long-term care based on need

Who might need 24 hour/Live-in Care?

    • Clients whose family live out of town and cannot provide care.
    • Clients whose family caregivers need help, a break, or who are going on vacation.

 

  • Clients who wander and cannot be left alone.
  • Clients who pose a fall risk and cannot be left alone.
  • Clients who are recovering from surgery or illness and need constant care.
  • Clients who do not want to go into an assisted living, group home, or nursing home.
  • Clients who want to move back home from an assisted living, group home, or nursing home.
  • Clients who need 24 hour care in order to be discharged from the hospital.
  • Clients who need around the clock care in the hospital per the staff.

What are the Benefits of 24 hour/Live-in Care?

24 hour/Live-in Care offers one-on-one, personalized care in the comfort and safety of familiar surroundings. Caregivers are experienced, extensively trained, and supervised. 24 hour/Live-in care provides family members peace of mind that their loved one is in good hands.

Where can 24 hour/Live-in Care take place?

24 hour/Live-in Care can take place in a private home, apartment, assisted living facility, rehab/nursing home, or hospital room.

Why use At Home Solutions for 24 hour/Live-in Care?

Since 2001, Award-winning At Home Solutions has been providing professional care to seniors and adults with disabilities. Our caregivers are bonded, insured, and must pass criminal and MVD background checks. Caregivers are experienced, extensively trained and tested, closely supervised, and a care coordinator is on call 24 hours a day. At Home Solutions takes care of all payroll, taxes, and workman’s compensation. And, At Home Solutions coordinates with Geriatric Care Managers, Home Health, Hospice, Medical Equipment Suppliers, and other community resources to make sure all required services and supplies are in place.

To schedule a free care assessment, call 1-888-496-3983.

Kim

Grandma Needs Help: Eight Warning Signs That Care in The Home is Needed

Posted on: April 15th, 2013 by Kim McCreery No Comments

Many seniors want to stay in their homes as long as possible.They value their independence and their familiar surroundings. However, the challenges of aging pose real safety concerns. Read through the following list of warning signs to determine if a senior in your life needs additional assistance.

  1. She has experienced frequent falls or near falls; she has trouble getting around.
  2. She can’t remember when and how often to take her medications.

  3. She lives alone without a nearby support system.
  4. She has difficulty maintaining a clean house.
  5. She’s afraid to bath for fear of falling or because it’s too difficult to manage alone.
  6. She has expired food and or not enough food in the refrigerator.
  7. She can no longer drive safely.
  8. She has experienced one or more of the following: depression, confusion, forgetfulness.

If you

know or suspect a friend, relative or neighbor is experiencing any of these issues, that person’s doctor should be informed immediately. In-home care can help address many of these issues. For a free care assessment, contact At Home Solutions at 1-888-496-3983. Additionally, we work with trustworthy Geriatric Care Managers who can provide additionally care options.To download a printable check-list of warning signs, click here.

Kim

Eight Steps to Avoid the Flu

Posted on: January 24th, 2013 by Kim McCreery No Comments

Influenza (commonly referred to as the Flu) season is in high gear! Now is the time to take preventative action. The good news is that there are commonsense steps you can take to help avoid getting ill.

  1. Get a flu vaccination. It’s not too late.Vaccinations are available at doctor offices, pharmacies, and
    grocery stores.
  2. Wash your hands
    frequently, especially if you are out in public interacting with other people.Use soap and water or an alcohol-based rub.
  3. Disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
  4. Get adequate rest and manage stress levels. Our bodies are susceptible to illness when we are run down.
  5. Exercise. Regular exercise helps to keep our immune system strong.
  6. Drink fluids and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables every day.
  7. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands.
  8. Avoid close contact with sick people.

For more information on the Flu visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/preventing.htm

Kim

Aging Safely in Place

Posted on: January 17th, 2013 by Kim McCreery No Comments

Senior Resource reports that about 70% of people over 65 spend their remaining years in the house or apartment where they celebrated their 65th birthday. Why? When surveyed, 89% of people 50 and older expressed a strong desire to remain in their own homes indefinitely (AARP). However, this preference may pose a challenge as physical difficulties often accumulate with advancing age.

As a loved one ages, he or she may encounter balance issues, hearing impairment, limited reach, trouble bending and more. None of these conditions are life-threatening, however, they can present challenges to a safe and happy home life.

A concept called “aging in place”allows seniors to live in their own homes, using products, services, and conveniences which offer a safer living environment. Aging in place is more than simply “staying at home”. For the senior, it translates into independence, confidence and emotional familiarity. For the family caregiver, it means modifications and safety education may be needed.

Some of the most important features of an aging in place ready home include:

  • A master bedroom and bath on the first floor
  • A low or no-threshold entrance to the home with an overhang
  • Lever-style door handles
  • No change in levels on the main floor
  • Bright lighting in all areas, especially places like stairways
  • A low-maintenance exterior
  • Non-slip flooring at the main entryway
  • An open floor plan, especially in the kitchen/dining area
  • Handrails at all steps

If a home does not accommodate these recommendations, hiring a contractor trained in aging modifications is a great alternative. The National Home Builders Association (NAHB) reports that 75% of remodelers have seen an increase in requests for aging in place work, and 60% of remodelers already perform aging in place work.

Contractors are able to modify the home to accommodate impairments such as balance and coordination, hearing impairment, limited reach, limited vision, poor strength, poor flexibility, trouble walking and climbing stairs. Some common modifications that a contractor or family member are:

Flooring

Smooth, non-glare, slip-resistant surfaces, interior and exterior

Low (less than ½ inch high pile) density carpet, with a firm pad

Color/texture contrast to indicate change in surface levels

Stairways, Lifts, Elevators and Ramps

Hand rails on both sides of stairway

Increased visibility of stairs through contrast strip on top and bottom stairs, color contrast between treads, risers on stairs, and use of lighting

Counters and Cabinets

Accented stripes on edge of counter-tops to provide visual orientation to the workspace

Base cabinets with roll out trays and Lazy Susan’s

Pull-down shelving

Loop handles for easy grip and pull

Fixtures

Grab bars in the shower and/or tub with fold down seat

Curbless shower (a minimum of 36 inches wide)

Lighted shower stall with hand-held head

Higher toilet or height-adjustable toilet

An in-home care provider understand the needs of those aging in place and can provide a free safety

check along with recommendations for making the home environment as safe and comfortable as possible. Contact At Home Solutions at 1-888-496-3983 to schedule a free safety check in Southeastern Maricopa, Pinal, or Gila counties.

Kim