Staying Independent: Smart Speakers for Seniors

The US Census Bureau reports that the 65 and older population grew faster than any other demographic group between 2000 and 2010. Today, seniors are living longer and expecting more from their twilight years. Unquestionably, they are redefining the purpose and meaning of aging.

According to an AARP survey, an astounding 90% of seniors favor independent living. What’s more, they welcome the role of smart technology in facilitating this goal. Today, high-tech monitoring systems such as smart speakers are giving seniors the ability to preserve their valued independence.

Staying Independent: Smart Speakers for Seniors

What Smart Speakers Can Do For Seniors

Today’s smarts speakers are state-of-the-art tools. There are no wires, electrical plugs, or microphones to manage. Therefore, they are perfect for seniors who suffer from arthritis or other joint diseases. The speakers operate by voice commands. Once the activation word is spoken, the smart speakers can hear and respond to queries. This means that seniors can make requests from the comfort of their beds or couches.

Seniors can choose between Google Home, Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana, or Apple’s Siri. The choice of a digital assistant will depend upon personal preferences.

Today’s smart speakers can activate lights, change thermostat settings, or even turn off the oven. They can also remind seniors to take their medications, pay their bills, or check their stock portfolios. Seniors who have failing eyesight can rely on smart speakers to read their favorite novels to them. Most importantly, family members can monitor their loved ones remotely. In the event of an emergency, smart speakers can initiate 911 calls and alert the proper authorities.

So, which smart speakers for seniors should you purchase? Here are 3 industry recommendations that may interest you.

Top Smart Speakers for Seniors

Sonos One is Wired’s top choice for “best overall speaker.” It’s affordable, has excellent sound quality, and can connect to over 65 music and audio services. It also supports Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant and connects to many smart home devices.

Next, Wired ranks the JBL Link 20 as the “best portable speaker.” It’s waterproof, has a ten-hour battery, and is compatible with a number of streaming services and Google apps. This means that seniors can enjoy evergreen music through Youtube, Pandora, or Spotify. The JBL Link 20 also features Google Assistant, which plays Netflix shows and answers questions with expert authority.

The Wired choice for “best smart speaker with a screen” is the Amazon Echo Show. Amazon Echo plays Amazon Prime videos and daily news briefings. It also shows the lyrics to some Amazon Music tracks, and best of all, it supports video calls. This means that seniors can stay connected to their loved ones on a regular basis.

So, how do you like these choices? If you’d like more information about independent living and aging in place, we’re happy to help. Our health professionals can make recommendations about smart technology and ways to help your loved ones retain their independence as they navigate their twilight years.

For quality senior services, contact us. For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at (877) 216-7676. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best. We aim to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn. We’re happy to answer all of your questions.

Including Seniors On Family Vacations

If you’ve ever watched a parent age before your eyes, you know that it’s a terrible experience. Your grief overwhelms you, and you feel powerless. You want to help your parent, but you fear you have few options. You think a vacation might help, but you’re not sure it’s such a good idea. Like all concerned caregivers, you understand the importance of companionship. But, how does one include a depressed parent on family vacations?

Photo of a little boy and his grandparents having a picnic by the seaside. Seniors on family vacations concept

What Vacations Mean To Each Of Us

As we age, many of us lose the ability to engage in physical activities. We find it difficult to hike, swim, or bike. Exercising becomes an ordeal. However, many of us retain our love for companionship and traveling.

In fact, socializing and exploring keeps us feeling human. These activities make us feel worthy and happy.

Many seniors deteriorate physically and emotionally when left to sit at home. They eventually require more medications and more assistance. Their health is vastly improved, however, when they are included in family activities. They are able to maintain longer periods of mobility and are less likely to suffer dementia issues.

Unique Ways To Include Seniors On Family Vacation Trips

By making some simple adjustments, we can include seniors on family vacations.

If your loved one has mobility issues, call ahead to make sure that the hotel provides wheelchair-accessible accommodations. This can include anything from wheelchair ramps to wheelchair-accessible bathrooms.

Seniors also need to adhere to medication schedules on vacation. So, make sure that all medications are up-to-date and clearly labeled with the proper dosages and times.

Above all, make sure that your vacation schedule is flexible. Mom may enjoy vacationing with the family, but she may also appreciate a few quiet nights in her room. While she enjoys some downtime, everyone else can check out the latest hot-spots. A little flexibility can go a long way towards ensuring a stress-free vacation for everyone.

Last, but not least, you may also consider bringing a professional caregiver with you. A healthcare professional can be invaluable during vacations. He/she can assist with your loved one’s hygiene needs or provide assistance out of vehicles/wheelchairs. Additionally, an agency caregiver usually has First Aid/CPR certification. If your loved one is prone to falls or accidents, a professional caregiver can give you peace of mind when you travel.

At David York, we are all about compassionate care for seniors and families. For more information on quality senior services, contact us. We are happy to answer all of your questions. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on TwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

3 Historic Spas That Are Perfect For Senior Vacations

A vacation at a relaxing spa can do wonders for a senior’s well-being. Many spas are located at natural spring resorts that have benefited visitors for centuries. These resorts offer relaxing hydrotherapy baths in naturally heated pools. They also provide spa services such as rejuvenating massages, facials, and body treatments.

Seniors will appreciate the accessibility of the resorts. Many resort rooms come with wider doors and grab bars to accommodate guests with mobility issues.

Senior happy couple taking selfie at a hot springs mineral bath- Relax concept to Philippines wonders and active elderly traveling around the world - Warm afternoon color tones with tilted horizon

Roosevelt Baths & Spa At Saratoga Springs

Native Americans have long treasured the healing springs at Saratoga. For centuries, tribes like the Mohawk have harbored a deep reverence for the “place of swift water.” Eventually, white settlers descended on the region in the 19th century. Not long after, doctors began urging their patients to “take the cure” at the springs. Today, locals tout the spring’s beneficial effect for sufferers of bone, muscle, and joint ailments.

Did you know that the emerald color of the healing springs is derived from the water’s high mineral content? Guests at the historic Roosevelt Baths & Spa are treated to luxurious, sparkling baths in beautiful tubs. They also get to enjoy exfoliating skin treatments that rejuvenate, detoxify, and renew.

Seniors who enjoy walks will likely appreciate the nearby Saratoga Springs State Park. The park boasts a picturesque lake and one of the oldest outdoor pools in the state. In the summer, seniors can spend carefree days at the famous Saratoga Race Track.

The Greenbrier At White Sulphur Springs

This popular spring is located in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia. The Greenbrier has attracted former presidents and dignitaries to its therapeutic waters since 1778. Today, the modern Greenbrier consists of cozy cottages, resort rooms, and condominiums. Guests enjoy a variety of spa treatments and meditation therapies. They also savor full-body treatments and massage therapies.

The Greenbrier hotel has its own clinic in addition to the spa. The clinic offers a comprehensive wellness examination and cosmetic surgery for interested guests. Seniors who appreciate a variety of activities will love the on-site championship golf course and casino.

The Bedford Springs Resort

This historic spring is located in Cumberland Valley in Southern Pennsylvania. Dr. John Anderson purchased the property in 1796 and opened its first resort spa in 1805. Due to the popularity of the waters, Dr. Anderson built a hotel on the premises in 1806. It was called the Stone Inn and was the resort’s first hotel. Subsequently, he added an indoor swimming pool in 1905. The pool is fed by the property’s spring waters. Guests can enjoy the heated pool at any time of the year.

This hotel is now managed by Omni Resorts. Today, its Springs Eternal Spa offers therapeutic bathing, soothing massages, and beauty treatments. Guests can also play a round of golf at the resort, which houses the state’s first golf course.

At David York Agency, our priority is the health and well-being of our seniors. For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at (877) 216-7676. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best. We aim to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn

How Technology Can Improve The Quality of Life For Seniors

Technology can be a godsend for senior and caregiver alike as they seek to grapple with the negative effects of aging and their associated demands. We are always on the lookout for the latest trends in technology in order to keep our readers up-to-date and to encourage them to be early adopters if they feel it will help their families.

Senior man talking on phone and using tablet, sitting at desk at home. Modern technology, communication concept

One such devastating condition is dementia. It affects everyone connected to the patient. Family members struggle with the patient’s inability to remember shared memories. Meanwhile, caregivers experience feelings of anxiety, exhaustion, and frustration. Many even admit to suffering prolonged bouts of depression. In truth, caregivers feel isolated. They struggle alone and find it increasingly difficult to keep their loved ones safe. Fortunately, with ever-evolving technology, both caregivers and seniors can experience a better quality of life.

Of course, such a solution is not without its challenges. For example, many elderly patients doubt their ability to navigate new technology. They may experience feelings of inadequacy where technology is concerned.

 

In any case, patients need not fear. Many senior care centers now offer senior technology literacy classes. Additionally, more libraries are offering classes on Internet basics. Seniors can now learn how to navigate social media, download e-books, and use Google Search with confidence. Some enterprising libraries even offer help sessions, where seniors can get answers to their technology questions.

Cell Phones for Older Adults

The world of commerce has certainly taken note of this increased focus on seniors and technology. Many cell phone companies now offer mobile devices that are senior-friendly. These have large numerical displays and brightly lit, buttons. Some phones are even hearing-aid compatible. Furthermore, they may also have a larger font, one-touch emergency dialing, and built-in LED flashlights.

Personal Emergency Response Systems Saves Lives

Today, an increasing number of mature individuals choose to live in their own homes as they age. In this light, it is imperative that they have access to dependable medical emergency response systems (MERS). Caregivers can select MERS according to individual requirements. For example, they can choose MERS with fall detection and medical monitoring capabilities for loved ones who are prone to falling. Caregivers can also track loved ones on the road with MERS that have GPS tracking capabilities. It is worth noting that all MERS should connect to highly competent response centers. Ideally, response times should be in seconds, rather than minutes.

Medication Management For Seniors

Many seniors take medication on a daily basis. So, it is important that they have access to an effective medication management system. To that end, there are now smartphone apps that remind seniors to take their daily pills. Additionally, these apps even sound alerts when it is time to get a prescription refilled.

The Importance Of Social Media

Social media sites such as Facebook can be crucial to a senior’s well-being. Today, increasing numbers of the elderly live alone. They enjoy little social interaction with others and become persistently isolated. Eventually, they develop symptoms of chronic depression. Studies show that disconnected people are 3 times more likely to die than people who enjoy healthy relationships.

Unquestionably, we live in an advanced age. Today, seniors need not suffer alone. Instead, they can leverage modern technology to make daily aspects of their life easier and more fulfilling.

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For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at (877) 216-7676. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best. We aim to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn

Ketogenic Diets And Alzheimer’s

The Alzheimer’s Association reports that almost 6 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s. Additionally, someone develops the disease every 65 seconds. There is a dire need for solutions.

 

Particularly, a good support network is crucial to the management of the disease. To date, 16 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s. However, it is important to consider the terrible toll the disease takes on caregivers.

Yet, there is hope in more ways than one. Researchers continue to make new research advancements and to uncover promising developments in treatment options.

The Importance of Insulin

According to Clinical Neurology News, insulin plays a key role in brain function, glucose metabolism, and amyloid beta/tau regulation. Amyloid beta and tau buildup can damage brain cells responsible for memory and cognition. So, insulin plays a critical role in regulating the accumulation of amyloid and tau.

At the 2017 World Congress on Insulin Resistance, Diabetes & Cardiovascular Disease, Suzanne Craft, PhD explained the importance of insulin. After insulin crosses the blood-brain barrier, it binds to receptors and modulates important brain functions. However, it is now known that modulation malfunctions can result in insulin resistance and, ultimately, Alzheimer’s disease.

Today, doctors use intranasal insulin to treat patients with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. However, a new, non-pharmacological approach has also shown promise – the ketogenic diet.

How A Ketogenic Diet Can Help Alzheimer’s Patients

The ketogenic diet is a high fat, low carbohydrate diet. Its benefit are found in how it depletes the body of excess sugar. Many health experts argue that it should be an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, researchers speculate that the unique diet may be effective in treating Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Craft’s research team divided 87 middle-aged people into two groups. One ate a high salt, sugar, and saturated fat Western diet. Meanwhile, the other group ate a healthier diet.

Not surprisingly, those on the Western diet showed reduced memory and blood flow after 4 weeks. Meanwhile, participants in the healthy diet showed increased blood flow to several regions of the brain. They also reported improved memory function. The results were significant.

Personalized, Compassionate Care at David York Agency

At David York Agency, we understand the toll Alzheimer’s takes on caregivers. So, if someone you love requires full-time or part-time care at home, contact us. Our healthcare professionals can provide personalized, compassionate care to your loved one. They can assist with everything from meal preparation to companionship.

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at (877) 216-7676. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best. We aim to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn

Music Therapy and End-of-Life Care

Music Therapy is becoming increasingly popular for end-of-life care. Twenty years ago, music therapy was just starting to gain popularity. Today, it is growing throughout the nation at a rapid rate. Let’s take a look at why music therapy has become so popular so quickly!

treating elderly woman with music therapy

What is Music Therapy?

The American Association of Music Therapy, (AMTA), defines Music Therapy as “the use of music to help clients reach their goals in a therapeutic setting. Music can treat the emotional, social, and spiritual needs of patients.”

  • A music therapist uses music in the following ways:
  • Writing new songs with their client.
  • Singing songs from the client’s childhood.
  • Helping patients dance along to music.
  • Listening to music with patients.

What are the Specialties of Music Therapy?

This type of therapy can be useful to anyone. Children with disabilities learn new skills with the help of music therapy. Additionally, music therapy has helped treat PTSD as well as mental health issues such as depression.

One of these fastest-growing specialties is end-of-life music therapy. One therapist, Ms. Kelly, was featured in The New York Times. The article highlights how her treatments have helped her clients and their families. One family member said Ms. Kelly “brought life and energy back to his suffering mother in the last days of her life.”

What are the Benefits of Music Therapy?

Music therapy can’t extend our loved ones’ lives. However, the AMTA has done numerous studies that take an in-depth look at its advantages. It has been proven to promote peace, hope, and spirituality. Listening to and creating music has also been shown to decrease pain.

The AMTA wants to make music therapy as prevalent in end-of-life cares as chaplains and social workers. Their goal is to increase the quality of life for their clients in their last days with their families. Having an outlet for their emotions and spirituality can bring peace to our loved ones in their last remaining days with us.

Treatment Options From David York

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at (877) 216-7676. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best. We aim to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn

Enjoy a Safe Summer While Aging in Place

As the summer months quickly approach, vacations and outdoor activities are on everyone’s mind. Seniors who are aging in place while living far from family and friends know that the summer months are perfect for traveling. Take a look at these tips to ensure you and your elderly loved one are ready for a safe and enjoyable summer.

A mature woman in her 70's gets out of the car of a friend helping her with an airport drop off, the woman handing her her luggage at the departure car area. She has a cheerful smile on her face, holding walking cane for support. Aging in place travel day

Plan Summer Activities and Vacation in Advance

Start planning for summer activities and destination trips as early as possible. If you plan to engage in outdoor activities consider whether you will require assistance.  Keep a detailed schedule and make changes as necessary. Make copies of the schedule and keep one visibly posted for friends, family, and caregivers.

Discuss Your Summer Plans With Your Doctor

Discuss your plans to travel or engage in summer activities with a healthcare professional. Receiving a clean bill of health gives you peace of mind about participating in activities and traveling long distances. If you take prescribed medications, be sure to ask about refills and notable side effects. If traveling with a pre-existing condition, ask your doctor to write up your medical history and treatment instructions just in case.

Arrange for Special Accommodations Before Traveling

Make special accommodations for you or a senior loved one well in advance of your travel dates. Pre-boarding flights, special dietary needs, electric scooters, and cost-free wheelchairs are a few accommodations that are obtainable ahead of time. Note, summer is a popular time for traveling, so last minute accommodations might be refused by a hotel, airline, train, or car rental the day of travel or while en route.

Hire a Home Health Aide/Traveling Companion

Some seniors love to travel but have trouble doing so alone. Hiring a home health aide or travel companion is a great option. These hired professionals also help with numerous of daily living activities. Caregivers can also help schedule trips, make travel arrangements, carry luggage, and run errands.

Research Local Hospitals and Doctors

Create a list of the hospitals and medical centers that are closest to your vacation spot. Although summer vacations and activities are exciting, they can also cause stress and overexertion. Remember, it is best not to plan too many activities for one day. Space activities out and give yourself a chance to relax.

Stay Hydrated and Avoid Dehydration

Dehydration leads to all types of medical problems. Whether traveling by car, plane, train or engaging in summer activities, it is imperative to take in enough fluids. Always keep a couple of bottles of water on hand and sip constantly throughout the day. Don’t forget to calculate bathroom breaks when traveling by vehicle.

Contact David York Agency for Professional Caregiving

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, please contact us at 718.376.7755. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on TwitterGoogle+, or LinkedIn.

Summer Outings With Your Senior Loved One

Now that the warm weather is reliably here, your senior patient will be eager to get outside. Consult your calendar, have a discussion and plan appropriate senior summer outings that cater to your senior’s interests and mobility level. Parks are a popular choice, but there are many other venues that can provide a relaxing afternoon and even reduce caregiver stress!

Summer Outings with senior

Boating

If you are near a river or a lake, boat tours are an easy way to enjoy the scenery. Some include dinner and music. Large cities with a river often offer architectural cruises so you can enjoy the landscape and the skyline from the comfort of a boat instead of walking all over the city. If your senior enjoys fishing, now is the time to seek out prime fishing spots, either from a boat or from the shore. Many areas allow seniors to fish without a license.

Local Summer Festivals

Summer is festival season in many towns. Check your town’s website and to see if any festivals are of interest to your senior. Also, verify the physical demands of navigating a festival. How far is it from the parking lot? Are there ample benches and restrooms? Do they offer a trolley or golf cart service so you can get around the attractions? Festivals often include musical performances, so if the music is a genre your senior enjoys, find out the show times! Arrive at the venue early to ensure a good seat.

Outdoor Museums

A temperate day is ideal for enjoying an outdoor museum. Pioneer museums are popular with all ages, and many have volunteers who perform indoor and outdoor tasks such as soapmaking and butter churning. Most outdoor museums are ADA (Americans with Disabilities) compliant, so trails are manageable for people who have mobility problems. Most museum areas are wheelchair accessible, and stairs have slip-proof treads and handrails.

Enjoy a Picnic

Everyone loves a picnic, but find a spot with beautiful scenery. Ask your senior which picnic foods he or she prefers and try to incorporate those into your meal.

To ensure your senior’s comfort on any outing, bring an extra sweater for well air conditioned venues and an umbrella if the clouds begin to roll in. Take bottled water and snack food. Offer restroom breaks and time to sit and enjoy the surroundings.

Need Care? Contact David York Agency

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, please contact us at 718.376.7755. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on TwitterGoogle+, or LinkedIn.

Happy Fathers Day!

Happy Fathers Day

Some thoughts on Fathers Day

Happy Fathers Day!

Dad has traditionally been the rock of the family. Unfortunately, the sad reality of aging often means others must now assume that role. This can feel especially poignant on Fathers Day. You may feel the stress of caregiving combined with the sadness associated with this loss. Longing for the dad you used to know often leads to a feeling of sadness and bewilderment.

David York Agency can prevent you from feeling overwhelmed. We are totally acquainted with all the stages of aging and its associated care. We ease the way by providing compassionate, quality home health aides to the aging client as well as seasoned advice to family members. Our aim is to enable you to enjoy your elderly father as much as you can for as long as you can!

Call David York Agency for Help

Follow our blog for more advice on how you can care for an elderly loved one. For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, please contact us at 718.376.7755. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on TwitterGoogle+, or LinkedIn.