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.

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.

Ageism: Lack of Smoking Intervention

When it comes to seniors, the medical community does less for prevention, intervention and aggressive treatment. Smoking is a sadly overlooked area of senior health. Aside from being directly correlated to other diseases, smoking has been linked to dementia and its progression. If we are serious about caring for our elderly, there must be a greater effort expended toward the elderly quitting smoking.

Smoking in the elderly

Smoking

According to the Center for Social Gerontology, 94% of the 430,000 annual smoking-related deaths in the US are people ages 50 and over. Beyond that, 70% are 65 and up.

Although smoking can be prevented, senior checkups do not fully address this issue. Doctors and patients tend to think the old habit cannot be broken. Also rampant is the mistaken belief that years of damage cannot be undone. Smoking is a bad habit, but ignoring it is not the answer to a healthier life.

Furthermore, these beliefs are untrue! The Journal of the National Cancer Institute reported that smokers aged 45 and up are more likely to quit smoking than younger smokers. In addition, circulation and lung capacity improved by one-third within three months of quitting, and the risk of heart attack lowers within the first 24 hours. Other problems caused by smoking, such as fatigue, coughing, congestion and more, also begin to subside in the first nine months.

 

Moving Forward

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that clinicians ask all adults about their tobacco use. Tobacco cessation counseling is covered under Medicare Part B for up to  eight visits with a qualified doctor in a 12-month period. We hope this information will help you and your loved ones pursue better health. Ageism in medicine is an unfortunate reality, but the right information can provide a path toward improvement. Seniors deserve to live life to its fullest, and prevention and intervention could help. The cessation of smoking could turn your life around!

 

When you or a family member needs help, our highly qualified caregivers can offer assistance. 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 Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.