Tackling Technology with the Elderly

senior and social media

For many seniors, learning how to use a new form of technology can be intimidating. A lot has changed since they were in their prime learning years. As such, many elderly individuals resist using technology at all. If your loved one is apprehensive about incorporating technology into their life, try to be understanding of their fears. Be supportive and encouraging. Ease them into it slowly, and most important, be patient.

If you yourself are having trouble explaining this technology to your elderly loved one, you may want to call in the grandchildren. Chances are, the grandkids will be far better teachers because they’re using social media and technology all the time.

Another idea is to enroll for one of the free computer training courses offered through senior centers, churches or the library. It is a good way to meet like-minded people who are curious and open to learning. If you are not into technology or don’t know someone who is, consider enlisting the help of a tech-savvy neighbor or a professional instructor.

If none of these are an option, you can go to YouTube or Google and search for videos on any subject you want to learn. In other words, you could search for “how to join Facebook” or “how to post on Twitter” or “how to use Pinterest.” Every search will bring up a lot of videos and you can watch several to learn what you need to know. The nice thing about watching videos is that you can watch them over and over and even pause them when you need to slow things down.

Of course, social media and technology aren’t replacements for real human interaction and care. If you need help caring for and accompanying an elderly loved one, it may be time to seek the help of an in-home health care agency. At David York Agency, we provide a variety of personal health care services that support both the mental and physical wellness of the elderly and infirmed.

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate home caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you with the assistance you loved one needs as he or she ages. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn.

 

Using Technology to Eliminate Loneliness in the Elderly

loneliness in the elderly

While winter is the season when people of all ages feel more lonely and cooped up due to the weather, for the elderly, loneliness is not just limited to winter. Loneliness can be a major problem all year round. With decreased mobility, less community engagement, and fewer visits from friends and loved ones, seniors can be left feeling forgotten and alone, which commonly leads to depression.

Fortunately, with today’s technology, there are more options for seniors to stay active, take part in the community, and maintain relationships with loved ones. Through social media and a variety of technological tools, the elderly can stay in touch with family and friends and feel more connected to the world as a whole.

Staying in Touch Through Social Media

Social media provides a way for seniors to connect with friends and family. It is also a way to meet new friends from around the world or to connect with long-lost acquaintances.

According to the latest Pew Research report on seniors and social media:

“Usage among those 65 and older has more than tripled since 2010, when 11% used social media. Today, 35% of all those 65 and older report using social media, compared with just 2% in 2005.”

Social Media Primer for the Elderly

But what exactly is social media? Well, social media is defined as online social communication. This communication takes different forms. Through Twitter, it takes the form of short messages (140 characters only) called tweets. Facebook allows the posting of pictures and longer-form status updates. Instagram and Pinterest are places where people post images and YouTube is a place where people publish videos.

With social media skills, seniors can not only communicate with and reach their friends and family, but they can also stay connected to the world.

Facebook is the most used social media platform. It allows connection with friends, families, and groups. Users can follow their favorite celebrities, news outlets, and loved ones to stay connected and up-to-date on what’s happening in everyone’s lives.

Twitter is for those who like to say things in a few words. For those who don’t like to type, or just want to say a short comment, Twitter is for you. If you want to connect with other Twitter users on a particular topic, use the “#” when searching for groups, such as #seniorcitizens or #recipes, to find others who are discussing that topic.

LinkedIn is a place to showcase online resumes and professional information. It is a place primarily for those who are still working. If someone is only semi-retired and still wants to connect with the business world, LinkedIn is a good social media network to join.

Video Chatting

Another technological tool that can make the elderly feel less lonely is online video chatting. Using any device that has a web-enabled camera, seniors can talk face to face with their friends and family. Applications like Facetime, Skype, and Google Hangouts are all easy to use and can be set up on smartphones, tablets, or computers.

Video chatting offers a more personal and intimate way to chat with loved ones and is the next best thing to actually seeing them in person. This can be an especially great tool if children and grandchildren are spread out across the country or globe. Even if loved ones aren’t able to come visit in person, they can connect through video chat with the click of a mouse.

Of course, social media and technology aren’t replacements for real human interaction and care. If you need help caring for and accompanying an elderly loved one, it may be time to seek the help of an in-home health care agency. At David York Agency, we provide a variety of personal health care services that support both the mental and physical wellness of the elderly and infirmed.

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate home caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you with the assistance you loved one needs as he or she ages. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn.

Creating a Care Plan for Alzheimer’s

planning for ill health

There are other circumstances that require a more urgent need for a long-term care plan. If a loved one has recently been diagnosed with a degenerative disease, such as Alzheimer’s, you will want to think about making plans as soon as possible, before their condition worsens.

Alzheimer’s disease is something that most people prefer not to think about. For those who have just been diagnosed with the disease, it is probably frightening and even difficult to think about the future. However, waiting to bring legal and financial affairs into order can lead to incomplete or inadequate care for patients down the road. That’s why it’s important to begin planning for ill health before Alzheimer’s disease starts to take its toll.

The National Institute of Aging recommends that families start their estate planning soon after an Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis. In these early stages, the patient is still able to be an active participant in legal, financial, and medical discussions. While the National Institute of Aging guidelines reference Alzheimer’s disease, the early planning that the institute recommends applies broadly to the care of anyone with debilitating disease. That planning includes home healthcare.

Families also benefit from these early discussions. When the patient participates in planning for his or her care, their family will have more clarity about the precise wishes of their loved one and will feel more prepared for the tough decisions that must be made in the coming years.

Planning for Alzheimer’s disease requires drawing up several formal documents, such as:

  • A Living Will: This document explains what the person wants for end-of-life medical treatment.
  • Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare: This documentation designates which person will make the health care decisions when the Alzheimer’s Disease patient can no longer make such decisions.
  • Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNR): This order directs medical professionals about what they should do if the patient’s heart or breathing stops.
  • Advance Directives: Financial planning must include advance directives, such as a will that establishes which people will receive a person’s assets upon death.
  • Durable Power of Attorney for Finances: Similar to the power of attorney for healthcare, the power of attorney for finances establishes who makes financial decisions for a person when he or she is no longer able to do so.

As you start to formulate a care plan for your aging loved one, you may want to consider including reliable elder care services. At David York Agency, we can provide a variety of in-home health care services to support the health and wellness of your loved one in every stage of life. If you’d like more information about your options, we would be happy to discuss how our services can fit into your plan.

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate home caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you with the assistance you loved one needs as he or she ages. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn.

Implement an Eldercare Plan Before the Need for Eldercare Services Arises

eldercare services

As your loved one ages, it becomes more and more difficult for them to think clearly about the care they will need in the future. Mental clarity and astuteness wane, unexpected health conditions arise, and before you know it, you could be left making decisions about the care of your loved one, without their valuable input.

Everyone deserves to have a say in how they will be cared for as they get older. That’s why it is so important for seniors and their loved ones to discuss a care plan for the future, before complications occur or elder care services are actually needed.

A care plan addresses the needs that may arise as someone grows older and begins to lose his or her ability to remain independent. A good care plan designates the different responsibilities that are specific to the care of the elderly person. This allows everyone involved to make rational, educated decisions that are in the best interest of their loved one.

There are four different scenarios that usually ignite the need for an elder care plan:

  • The elder is preparing for future situations.
  • The elder’s family is anticipating the need for certain resources in order to properly care for their loved one.
  • The adult caring for the elderly individual is searching for resources that pertain to elder care.
  • The elder has been diagnosed with a condition they know will require future care planning.

An elder care plan requires resources from a number of different areas, such as financial planning, healthcare, transportation, emotional management, social needs, and daily activities. It’s important to start thinking about the aging process well in advance in order to help your loved one maintain his or her quality of life for years to come.

Have a discussion that’s centered around the wishes and desires of your loved one concerning short-term and long-term care goals, as well as his or her physical abilities. As the needs of your loved one change, the resources you use will evolve accordingly.

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate home caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you with the assistance you loved one needs as he or she ages. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn.

5 Signs That It May Be Time For Senior Homecare

It is difficult to accept that a senior adult in your life is no longer able to perform the same tasks they once could on their own. You may have started noticing small signs that have raised concerns. At first, you may have even turned a blind eye, but when those signs become more frequent and more serious, it is time to pay attention and ask for help. Getting assistance for your loved one can help keep them safer, healthier, and living at home longer.

senior care

Here are some signs that it may be time to consider home care assistance for a senior in your life.

1. Piles of Unopened Mail

Most people open their mail every day. Traditionally, this is a way of connecting with friends and family members’ over long distances and staying on top of appointments and bills. If your aging parent has started letting their mail pile up, especially bills and letters from friends, this should be a red flag that something is wrong.

2. Spoiled Food in House

Everyone is guilty of letting food spoil in the fridge from time to time. However, if you go to a loved ones’ home and notice that most of the food or beverages have long-since expired, it may be a sign that their memory or eyesight is worsening. Having expired food in the house can be major health risk to seniors, who may not realize they are consuming spoiled food or may not be able to read the expiration labels.

3. Medications Not Being Taken

Your mother calls complaining that she has not been feeling well lately. You decide to make a trip to check on her, only to discover she has not taken any of her medications since your last visit—2 weeks ago. She argues that she has been taking them every day, but you know the truth because the pill bottle is still full, and right where you left it. Forgetting to take medications can be dangerous to the health of your aging parents, especially if they suffer from chronic health conditions.

4. Missed Doctors’ Appointments

Several missed appointments should raise concern regarding the safety and cognitive health of the senior. If your loved one is reminded at the beginning of the week about the appointment, and it is marked on their calendar, the appointment should not slip their memory. Missed doctor’s appointments not only jeopardize their health, but forgetting them can be a sign of early dementia and a signal that other important things are being forgotten as well.

5. Unpleasant Body Odor

If your parent or loved one is not properly attending to their personal hygiene and cleanliness, it may be a sign that they need some extra assistance around the home. Worsening mobility, strength and memory can often lead elderly adults to neglect their appearance and personal health. Home health aides are perfect for elderly care in these instances. The aide can help with grooming, dressing and keeping the home tidy.

It is important to understand that just because your aging loved one needs a little extra help on a daily basis does not mean they are ready for a nursing home. Most seniors simply need a little help because their mobility is becoming more limited, their vision is worsening, or their memory is becoming less sharp. Hiring home care assistance is the best way to ensure the health and safety of your loved one as they age. For more information about senior care for your aging loved one, contact us.

Demanding Dignity, Above All Else, in Eldercare Services

Aging and losing the ability to perform the day-to-day tasks that once defined us can be a tough pill to swallow. Relinquishing those responsibilities to someone else can be even harder. At David York Agency, we understand how important it is to find quality care when a loved one has reached a point in their life where they need additional support and assistance. But more importantly, we understand that dignity, above all else, is the key to good eldercare.

In her novel Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand wrote, without dignity, identity is erased.Thats why, at David York Home Healthcare Agency, we treat all of our clients with the respect and dignity they deserve.

Eldercare service is what we do. It is what we want to do. We care about our clients, not just for them.

Our dedicated staff members provides personalized care to every client.

  • We value your input and listen to your requests. We want our clients to feel involved in the decisions being made about their care.
  • We work to establish trust with every client maintaining confidentiality, without question and without exception.
  • We encourage our clients to remain as active as they are able and involved in their daily activities.

When a member of our staff is in the home assisting a member of your family, we guarantee:

  • Recognition that every client has different needs. By offering a personalized level of service, our staff members are able to give every client the best possible care.
  • Respect for privacy while assisting with bathing and dressing. This is something we hold in highest regard.
  • Sensitivity to issues of toileting and incontinence. We strive to maintain a sense of dignity at all times.
  • Preparing and feeding meals that cater to personal tastes and nutrition requirements.  

At David York Agency, we provide every client the same quality of care we would give to our own families. Along with our certified and licensed staff members, we choose this profession because we love helping people. We hope you will think of us as a valued friend, ready to help you and your family transition into this new phase of life. Contact us with any questions you have about home care services. We are always happy to help.

Overuse of Benzodiazepine in the Elderly

The New York Times recently reported that even after 30 years of warnings regarding the dangers it poses to the elderly, use of benzodiazepine, sedative-hypnotic drugs like Valium, Xanax, Ativan and Klonopin, rises sharply with age. A study in the February 2015 edition of JAMA Psychiatry reports that 9% of those between 65 and 80 years of age take them and the proportion is even higher among women at 11%. These are astounding figures for any class of drug.

The known adverse effects of these drugs include increased risks of falls and fractures, diminished cognition in terms of memory and other neuropsychological measures, as well as an increased risk for car accidents.

497526103Yet, doctors persist in prescribing them. Why?

Doctors like to prescribe them because they work fast for such things as insomnia and nervousness. Doctors encounter resistance to employing alternatives like meditation and talk therapy by their senior patients.

Seniors don’t want to give them up. They are addicted to either the drug or the notion that a magic pill will cure any symptom that ails them. Moreover, the withdrawal process from the drug brings on some of the same symptoms such as insomnia, sweats and nervousness that prompted their use initially and patients don’t want to go through it.

Doctors are afraid to fight with their elderly patients about discontinuing the prescription. They are also under the mistaken notion that the process is too daunting. A Canadian study has shown that even a brochure with a schedule for weaning can have a dramatic effect on those wishing to make the change.

There is plenty of support out there if you want to find it. Doctors and healthcare professionals need to be more motivated identifying potential abusers and heed the long standing warnings of over prescribing these drugs. The elderly need to be fully counseled on the associated dangers and assisted in weaning themselves off these drugs.

David York Home Healthcare Agency is fully acquainted with all factors related to eldercare services and is always available to set up a senior care plan taking the whole patient into account. David York Agency provides skilled home health aide services for the elderly in their home and is abreast of all the latest guidelines for seniors.  Contact us at 718.376.7755 and visit our website. A nurse is waiting to take your call. You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

 

Designing An Elderly Exercise Plan

Fact:   By 2030, 1 in 5 Americans will be older than 65 and exercise is crucial to their well-being.

The accompanying loss of muscle mass, strength, flexibility and bone lead to a loss of mobility and, therefore, independence. Regular exercise such as aerobics, strength training as well as balance and flexibility exercises can diminish their negative effects.Basically, you need about 30 minutes of exercise per day which can be broken into two 15 minute or three 10 minute intervals.

If someone hasn’t exercised in awhile, it is best to start slowly with shorter, more frequent periods of exercise. Be patient and remember it’s never too late to begin exercising since every movement leads on the path to optimal physical health.

Employing a trainer for at least the first few sessions will also help solidify the plan of attack and ensure that the exercises are being done correctly.

An exercise regimen incorporating goals specific to the elderly client while taking into account their specific deficits is the most constructive way to develop an effective program. This is best accomplished using a fitness trainer who is acquainted with the elderly and their special needs. These trainers have a sense of how much to push them to improve their strength, flexibility and mobility. Later, having videos available for ongoing use will reinforce what was learned and make sure that the exercise routine is appropriately followed.

Varying the exercises improves different areas and adds interest.

Activities should include some aerobic or cardiovascular work through activities like brisk walking, bicycling, swimming or even jogging. Strength training is great for enhancing balance to reduce the risk of falls and to help in general with getting up and down and generally all around. Yoga is a wonderful and relaxing form of exercise as is Tai Chi.   For those who are able to get out, strength training can also be done using machines in a gym.

Use these Exercise Plan Worksheets in conjunction with a medical or healthcare professional in addition to a fitness trainer experienced with the elderly.

My Exercise Plan” is a packet of worksheets provided by David York Home Healthcare Agency to be filled out and tracked in association with a Healthcare Professional, Fitness Trainer or Caregiver. It includes the following items:exercise in senior routine

  1. Physical Fitness Goals
    • Short Term Goals: List 2 or 3 things to accomplish over the next few weeks to help make exercise a part of your daily routine.
    • Long Term Goals: List 2 or 3 long term goals for your exercise plan such as specific physical improvements you would like to see.
  1. Specific Workout Activities
    • Use this form with your Healthcare Professional or Fitness Trainer to specify the activities for your personal workout routine while incorporating your long term goals.
    • Activities should address the following issues as well as suggest the number of minutes and times per week for each.
      1. Increased Mobility
      2. Endurance
      3. Upper-Body Strength
      4. Lower-Body Strength
      5. Balance
      6. Flexibility
  1. Workout Routine Monthly View
    • Once your Healthcare Provider or Fitness Trainer determines specific activities for your routine, schedule them by the month in the chart provided.
  1. Keep track of your daily and weekly progress and compliance with your exercise routine using the forms included. These specify the day of week, the number of minutes on each exercise, how the person felt doing them and any progress notes.

These David York Agency designed worksheets should ease the planning and tracking process. Please check out the packet on our website resources page. We hope they will help better organize those who have made this momentous resolution and ring in a New Year of true health. Good health and happiness to all!

David York Agency is fully acquainted with all factors related to eldercare services and is always available to set up a senior care plan taking the whole patient into account. They are healthcare professionals that provide skilled home health aide services for the elderly in their home and are abreast of all the latest guidelines for seniors.  When home healthcare becomes necessary, David York Agency provides skilled home health aide services. Visit our website at David York Agency attesting to our mission to provide the highest degree of personal service. Please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn.