Checklist: 8 Steps to Ensure Successful Aging in Place

Would you or your loved one prefer to retain independence and age in place rather than live at a nursing facility? You are not alone. Successful aging in place is becoming more and more common. Just as the global population of older adults is growing at an unprecedented pace, so is the same population group in the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the American 65 and older population is expected to double over the next thirty years – from 48 million to nearly 90 million. Furthermore, global life expectancy is projected to extend an additional eight years within the same period.

Senior woman making a list at home

It comes as no surprise then that these demographic shifts have created demand for aging in place options. And with the call for older adult independence, comes the need to create a plan that includes the support and resources to address specific individual needs holistically.

Here is a checklist of the eight steps to create a solid plan that ensures successful aging in place:

8 Steps to Successful Aging in Place

1. Round-Up Important Information

Make a list of all assets, income, and expenses. Do the finances cover all costs of living, including medical? If not, find out if there are any assistance programs offered by the county, city, and or state.

2. Evaluate your Living Space

Determine if the home is suitable for all age-related needs. Are there any home modifications such as grab bars, walk-in tubs, or stair lifts that need to be made? Below, you’ll find a short list of other common alterations for successful aging in place.

  • Wheelchair ramps
  • Shower transfer benches
  • Non-skid strips
  • Push-button door openers
  • Roll out shelves
  • Climate controls.

3. Assess Your Health Needs and Coverage

Create a list of health issues and necessary medications. Does the existing health insurance cover everything? If not, are there any local organizations that can assist with these expenses?

4. Look Into Home Care

Determine which healthcare services and other types of care are needed at home, and which must be conducted a medical facility. Assistance with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating are quite common. Additionally, many organizations provide extended assistance with a variety of services from caring for medical devices to grocery shopping.

5. Transportation

Define transportation needs. If still driving, find out when your license expires as well as what age-appropriate requirements exist to renew. Additionally, make a list of frequent destinations. Do you require public transportation? If so, is it accessible for specific health needs?

6. Seek Out Senior Activities

Discover what senior activities are available within the community. Social interaction is key to good health as well as successful aging. Be sure to schedule regular entertainment and continuing education as well.

7. Plan for Every Scenario

Create an advanced care plan with loved ones. End-of-life issues and funeral services are difficult to discuss, but they are a necessary preparation.

8. Contact David York Agency for Professional Care

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+, and LinkedIn.

3 Senior-Friendly Vacation Spots In Europe

Millions of visitors visit the Eiffel Tower, Buckingham Palace, and the Louvre each year. Europe is undeniably one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Beautiful locations abound, capturing the imagination and delighting the senses. Above all, the vast continent welcomes people of all ages and from all walks of life. Whether you’re traveling alone or with a loved one, the European experience remains with you long after your trip is over.

Couple on a senior-friendly vacation in Europe

Family vacations should be all about inclusivity. Europe isn’t just for the young; it’s for everyone who appreciates unique experiences and incredible opportunities. Below are 3 of our favorite recommendations for a senior-friendly vacation.

Milan

Italy has a diverse landscape that provides a stunning backdrop to its deeply-rooted cultural traditions. It’s certainly a favorite with tourists. Of the many destinations in the country, Milan provides the highest level of accessibility for seniors. In 2016, Milan won the EU Access City Award for promoting Universal Design standards for public spaces. The iconic city was recognized for its exhaustive work in removing architectural and social barriers to independent living. To date, all of Milan’s modern subways are fully handicap accessible.

Berlin

This friendly city is a must for seniors who enjoy traveling. It is undeniably modern, yet rich in history and culture. Berlin received an extensive renovation after the bombing campaigns of World War II. As a result, the city’s state-of-the-art architecture is the envy of other cities in Europe. For example, there are elevators in most multi-story buildings. This increases the overall accessibility for seniors and disabled persons. Much of Berlin’s public transit system is also wheelchair-friendly. In 2013, Berlin won the EU Access City Award. Moreover, the city has committed to a 100% accessible and barrier-free environment by 2020.

Ireland

The Emerald Isle is a land of romance. Its lush landscape is flanked by scenic coasts and adored by those who treasure an excellent quality of life. In recent years, the country has increased its efforts to make the best of Ireland accessible to everyone. To date, Ireland’s National Journey Planner System provides travel information for those with mobility challenges. Additionally, many of Dublin’s public buses are wheelchair-accessible. There are even wheelchair-accessible taxis in the city!

As can be seen, Europe is an attractive destination if you’re thinking of traveling with seniors. With a little bit of planning, you can enjoy a relaxing, stress-free vacation.

At David York home healthcare agency, our focus is on improving the quality of life for seniors. If you would like more information on how providing care to your loved one can benefit your family, contact us today! 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.

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 more information about quality senior services, contact us. We’re 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.

 

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. So, if you want to learn more about how mineral spring spas can make a difference in your loved one’s life, contact us at (877) 216-7676. David York’s qualified, compassionate caregivers are on hand to address your concerns. Alternatively, you can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, and 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.

At this time, if you have any questions about how you can use technology to improve the life of your loved one, contact us. David York’s qualified, compassionate caregivers are on hand to answer your questions. Alternatively, you can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, and 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 718.376.7755. 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 TwitterGoogle+, 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.