Ride-Sharing For Seniors: Motivator For Technology Adoption

One of the sad facts of aging is that people lose the ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. This is largely due to deteriorating vision along with other health-related issues. Telling an aging loved one that he or she can no longer drive can be painful for all concerned (see our previous post Don’t Take Away My Car Keys, Yet!). Though it is a matter of safety it is also a matter of freedom. But ride-sharing for seniors offers freedom and safety at the touch of a button.

An elderly woman is smiling as she enters through the front passenger door of a car. Uber ride-sharing for seniors concept

Ride-Sharing For Seniors

The loss of mobility has been an unavoidable part of aging since the dawn of the automobile. Until recently, many elderly people depended on rides from friends, relatives 0r other community organizations (see our previous post No More Car for Dad or Mom, Now What?). However, technology is changing this old expectation. Ride-sharing services are now available in many communities, offering a cheap, easy, and reliable option for local travel. Offered by companies such as Uber and Lyft, ride-sharing is a convenient way for seniors to get around.

Ride-sharing for seniors ensures that your loved ones are not completely homebound or dependent upon others for rides. This option can also help lessen the blow of having to take away your loved one’s car keys. Thanks to ride-sharing services, the elderly no longer have to endure the loss of mobility that comes with age.

 

Teaching the Technology

Teaching your loved ones to use ride-sharing apps may be a necessary step to ensure their independence. Luckily, these applications they are simple enough for anyone to pick up with a few lessons. Also, they have the added benefit of concretely introducing technology to seniors and act as motivators for their adoption. Both libraries and senior centers offer technology classes to seniors, providing an excellent resource in this area. Additionally, home healthcare workers can help guide seniors through the ins and outs of the technology. With a little time and patience, you can get your elderly parent on the road in safety.

 

David York Can Help

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.

Loss of Vision and Hearing May Cause Cognitive Decline in Seniors

It’s not uncommon for seniors to experience hearing and vision loss. Sadly, these changes can cause both physical and emotional hardships. They may feel a loss of independence, an inability to do the things they love, and a disconnect from the world around them. Beyond these discomforts, with the loss of vision and hearing, they may experience cognitive decline.

Read on to learn more about how hearing and vision loss causes dementia and cognitive decline in seniors.

Senior woman inserts hearing aid in her ear learning about Cognitive Decline in Seniors from nurse

Vision Loss and Cognitive Decline in Seniors

The most recent study on the relationship between vision loss and cognitive decline looked at two datasets. This data covered 16 years and included more than 33,000 people aged 60 and up. Published in JAMA Ophthalmology in September 2017, it concluded that “vision dysfunction…was associated with poor cognitive function.”

This confirms a study conducted at the University of Michigan in 2010. This six-year study followed 625 elderly participants and had similar findings. These findings were published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, and concluded that “untreated poor vision is associated with cognitive decline, particularly Alzheimer’s disease.”

Hearing Loss and Cognitive Decline

Hearing loss also plays a part in cognitive decline in seniors. The reason for this is unclear, but there is speculation that  uncorrected deficits in vision and hearing may accelerate this.

The New York Times recently interviewed Dr. Suzann Pershing – lead author of the study and an ophthalmologist at Stanford University School of Medicine – to learn more. Pershing said that “this association doesn’t prove vision loss causes cognitive decline. Intuitively, it makes sense that the less engaged people are with the world, the less cognitive stimulation they receive, and the more likely their cognitive function will decline.”

A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine in 2013 observed 1,984 adults with an average age of 77. The study confirms that “hearing loss is associated with accelerated cognitive decline and incident cognitive impairment.” Also noteworthy, Adults with hearing loss will experience cognitive decline 30-40% faster than those with normal hearing.

A Causal Relationship?

According to Dr. Frank R. Lin, otolaryngologist at the Johns Hopkins Center on Aging and Health, said, “Older adults with hearing loss face an increased risk of dementia even when you control for diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure. So we think they’re causally related.”

There are a few reasons this may happen:

  • hearing-impaired people tend to become isolated and lack stimulation
  • hearing loss causes brain atrophy that affects memory and thinking
  • the brain has to work harder to understand muffled or distorted speech

But There is Hope for Improvement.

Dr. Pershing also said that cognitive function can be improved if vision problems are treated. Regular visits with your ophthalmologist can lead to improvement, and help prevent deterioration.

Almost two-thirds of adults over the age of 70 have hearing loss, yet they remain significantly undertreated. Hearing aids are affordable and accessible. Hearing is again possible with treatment.

Cognitive decline is a problem for seniors, but now that we know the causes we can help prevent deterioration. With this information, our elderly loved ones can live fuller lives, and tackle future health problems.

David York Agency Can Help

Cognitive decline in seniors does not need to be a continuing trend. With the help of trained healthcare professionals your loved ones can learn more about their wellbeing, and fight the problems that come with age. Knowledge and proper care are the keys to living a better life.

If you would like to learn more about David York, please contact us. Our healthcare services are the best available. We provide transportation, care, and companionship to the elderly, as well as specialty services.

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified and compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free consultation can help you decide what services will provide the assistance your loved one needs. Also, please like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. We hope to hear from you soon and look forward to providing the very best in care.

Make Healthy Living Resolutions in 2016 with the Best Home Healthcare Agency

home healthcare agency

It’s a new year and a great chance to help your senior loved one commit to a healthier lifestyle. It is never too late for your aging parent or a senior in your life to embrace a new attitude toward a better diet and exercise regimen. Here are a few tips that you can use to help them start 2016 with healthier habits.

  • Consult with healthcare providers.

    The first thing you want to do is to make sure the senior has a clean bill of health. Experts recommend that healthy adults exercise about 30-40 minutes a day for 3-5 days a week. But, it is important to discuss this with the senior’s physician before making diet changes and implementing an exercise program.
  • Plan to keep a record of all the changes that are being made in their diet and exercise.

    Track their progress, leave notes for other family members helping out with the plan, as well as make notes for physicians visits. You can use this handy David York Agency worksheet to help.
  • Monitor blood pressure, body weight, and blood sugar if needed.

    If your loved one is dealing with a chronic illness, it is imperative to keep track of these numbers.
  • Keep a variety of foods in the home on hand for preparation.

    Foods should include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. You should also encourage the senior to drink plenty of water. Purchase serving size water bottles so that it is easier for the aging adult to carry around.
  • Create a network of support.

    It is important to give your loved one as much support as you can. Studies show that people are more likely to be successful implementing lifestyle changes if they have support from friends, family, and health professionals. Healthier living goals appear more attainable to the person making the change too with the right support in place.
  • Consider hiring a home care aide to assist the senior at home.

    As a family member, you may not be able to visit as often as you would like with your loved one. Hiring a home care aide is the next best thing to being in the home yourself. The aide can assist with small household chores for the senior, as well as help them stay on track implementing positive lifestyle changes such as making better food choices and getting the exercise needed daily.

At David York Agency, we are committed to helping our patients live healthier, happier, more productive lives. Our team of home healthcare providers can help support the healthy new year’s resolutions of your aging loved one by assisting with the preparation of nutritious meals, providing safe transportation to the doctor, the gym, or the grocery store, and monitoring the physical and mental well-being of the patient.

To find out more about hiring a home healthcare agency to help with your aging loved one’s healthy living in 2016, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide 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.

Ultrasound Treatment May Improve Cognition in Alzheimer’s Patients

Ultrasound wave treatments given to mice with Alzheimer’s disease resulted in better performance on memory tests and less of the amyloid braid plaque that is typical of Alzheimer’s patients. Though studies in mice are tough to replicate in humans, it does give cause for hope, especially since drugs now in trial have not been successful in improving cognition.

What is new here is that the ultThinkstockPhotos-178438513rasound seems to temporarily open up the blood-brain barrier, not easily penetrated, allowing the protein albumin in to boost the work of the microglia cells that remove toxins from the brain. They can eat up the amyloid proteins that form the plaques on the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.

If successful, this has the potential to be much less expensive than many drugs on the market. At the moment, drugs used in treating Alzheimer’s disease can clear amyloid plaques, but have not reversed the debilitating symptoms or the cognitive deficits that wreak havoc on the sufferer’s improving quality of life for seniors .

Since the human skull is much thicker, it might be harder to penetrate with ultrasound waves than those of mice. So, the next step is to test the treatment in larger animals like sheep. This approach was tested as a stand alone, without any drugs.

David York Home Healthcare Agency is well versed in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease in the elderly and our home health aides and home healthcare team are adept at in home senior care. Please call us at (718) 376-7755 where a nurse is waiting to take your call. You can also visit us at our website www.davidyorkagency.com for more information about our elder care services. You can also like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn.

Senior Social Media Training for Senior Health

Social Media for the Elderly

A new study out of England and Italy finds that when the elderly are trained in the use of social media as well as Skype and email, they perform better cognitively and experience improved health. Ironically, social media for the elderly is a very good thing.

During a two year period, 120 seniors in the UK and Italy aged 65 and above were given specially designed computer training. They were compared against a control group that did not received any. Among those that used these tools, the mental and physical capacity improved. This contrasted with a steady decline experienced in the control group.

Humans Are Social Animals

ThinkstockPhotos-453532787

Hypotheses as to why this occurred include: “Human beings are social animals,” as stated by Thomas Morton who led the study out of the University of Exeter’s psychology department. It is amazing how satisfying our basic social needs can have synergistic effects for our overall health. One woman reported feeling “invigorated” rather than “slipping into a slower pace” and caring more about her appearance and losing weight. Three quarters of the test group with computer training found email and Skype useful, but fewer than half liked Facebook as much.

Elderly Internet Use

The Office for National Statistics in the UK reports that the elderly over 65 have increased their internet use. It rose from 9% in 2006 to an astounding 37% in 2013. With the elderly population in Europe set to grow from 17% to 30% by 2060. Therefore, marrying their well being with this ever growing usage of technology can have dramatic effects on their quality of life.

Those in the eldercare field feel that the computer could be a barrier to entry for many of the elderly. Moreover, even the use of that word makes them tense. Shifting the focus of technology adoption from the computers to tablets might be more effective since tablets tend to be more user-friendly.

Solution to Loneliness

A major problem of the elderly is a devastating feeling of loneliness and isolation. Therefore, encouraging new technology adoption as an avenue for its alleviation is a winning solution. Keeping in touch with old friends and relatives is one major benefit. Keeping current with the events of the day helps the elderly remain feeling vital. The counter intuitive marriage of the elderly with technology might be the perfect antidote to what ails them.

David York Home Healthcare Agency is very sensitive to the potential of feeling isolated and makes every effort to send caring and compassionate home health aides into the client’s home. David York Home Agency is well versed in the problems of the elderly and all factors related to eldercare services. We provide certified home health aide services for the elderly in their home. The agency is abreast of all the latest guidelines and trends for seniors.  We would be happy to discuss your case with you.  Please call for a free consultation today at (718) 376-7755 or visit our website.  You can also follow us on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

 

Is It A Heart Attack or Something Else?

As we age, our risk for having a heart attack grows. We all should be acquainted with the signs of a heart attack.

  • Chest pain or discomfort like pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
  • Upper body discomfort in one or both arms, the back, shoulders, neck, jaw or upper part of the stomach.
  • Shortness of breath either while resting or doing any physical activity.
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat.
  • Feeling unusually tired.
  • Light-headedness or sudden dizziness.

Heart attackThese symptoms vary from one person to another and they can come on slowly or all at once. Diabetics often have mild symptoms or none at all. A second heart attack in the same person doesn’t necessarily occur in the same way. Women are more likely to experience shortness of breath, extreme tiredness and nausea as pre-cursors of their heart attacks.

While we should never take the traditional signs of a heart attack lightly, there could be other explanations for those often frightening signs. The following are 7 alternative underlying causes for a racing heart, chest pains and sweating.

  • Panic Attacks: Arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm) can often accompany a panic attack making one believe they are having a heart attack.
  • Caffeine: It can stimulate the central autonomic nervous system which controls the heart rate. This stimulant can cause palpitations, lightheadedness or chest pain.
  • Decongestants: Those sensitive to these drugs can experience arrhythmia.
  • Dehydration: Serious dehydrations can lead to heart palpitations and muscle cramping. The resulting lowering of electrolytes also lowers blood pressure and an abnormal heartbeat.
  • Prescription Medications: Many, including those for asthma and thyroid regulation, can disrupt electrical conduction to the heart. It is important to read side effects for each.
  • Anemia: An iron deficiency means that there are not enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to your cells. A fast beating heart aids the delivery of oxygen, but may feel like a heart attack.
  • Heavy Metals: Long term exposure to mercury or other heavy metals can cause inflammation leading to thrombosis (blood clots), electrolyte imbalance and other heart related problems that cause heart palpitations.

In the event of a heart attack, acting fast makes all the difference. When in doubt, don’t hesitate to call 911 to get an ambulance, the best way to get to the hospital during a heart attack. It is always better to be safe than sorry. The emergency operator might be able to give you advice such as taking an aspirin while you are waiting for emergency service.

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.  At David York Home Healthcare Agency, we could provide direction as to how to manage the total care of your senior loved one. A nurse is waiting to take your call. Contact us at 718.376.7755 and visit our website. You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

 

 

New Blood Test for the Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s Disease Blood Test

There is exciting news in the field of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) research with the advent of a new blood test. This Alzheimer’s disease blood test can determine the presence of a key marker, brain amyloidosis. The buildup of amyloid proteins in the brain, as well as other blood proteins is associated with AD. Early detection of the disease can have implications in terms of benefiting from any current and new treatments, joining research trials underway and taking advantage earlier of any support services available.

Available Tests

T181985743he blood test can be administered after a clinical examination uncovers symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease including cognitive impairment such as dementia. This new blood test is safe, affordable and easy to administer in a variety of settings. Currently, the only definitive tests for AD either have major drawbacks or can only be done post mortem. The first method of extracting cerebrospinal fluid requires an invasive spinal tap. Furthermore, it carries the risk of nerve damage. The second is a PET scan testing for amyloids in the brain. It exposes the patient to radiation and is not usually covered by insurance. However, few centers have the technology. Autopsies can reveal brain beta amyloid proteins in the brain, a hallmark sign of AD, but, obviously, has no benefit to the sufferer at that time.

Benefits of the Blood Test

This new test also has the benefit of reducing the stress of not knowing for the patient and their loved ones. An important byproduct of the test is enhancing the integrity of research. It will ensure that only true AD patients are included in any treatment trials. These trials currently have an error rate of about 25% of non-AD patient inclusion.

Receiving a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is naturally extremely stressful to all concerned. Anticipating and planning for the eventual outcome of the disease is not easy. Please remember that David York Home Healthcare Agency can help. When home healthcare becomes necessary, David York Agency provides skilled home health aide services for the elderly and infirm in their home. We would be happy to discuss your case with you. Please call us at (718) 376-7755 or visit our website. Please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn.

 

Helpful Tips to Find the Right In-Home Care

There are distinct advantages to using a home healthcare agency, but how do you choose the right one for your situation? Deciding who will provide home care is an important decision and your loved one’s health and well-being is dependent upon choosing a professional who is qualified, capable and compassionate. Home healthcare agencies are there for you to make that process go smoothly. Here are some tips to help find the right home healthcare agency:

  • Create a lrighinhomeist of in-home care needsWhat does your loved one need on a daily basis? The more care providers know about the person they are caring for, the better care they can give. Creating a list of these needs will help you discuss your case more efficiently and intelligently with any agency you contact.
  • Check references of home health aide & home healthcare agency. The agency must check the references and certification of each and every aide. Some agencies will conduct criminal background checks. Ask if these have been conducted. It is also a good idea to talk to other clients of the agency to gauge their satisfaction with the service they received.
  • Consider medical needs. Although most agencies have an abundance of experience with the various diseases endemic to the elderly, not all aides do. Are they experienced in handling your loved ones’ specific conditions such as for Alzheimer’s or a stroke? Make sure the agency you are speaking to is mindful of your specific needs and that they take the time and care to match you up with a home health aide with the experience you require.
  • Personalize your loved one. Familiarize the care provider with past accomplishments, fond memories and other guideposts that are relevant to where the person with dementia’s current memory is strong. It will allow for a much greater bond to form between them. A really good agency will be eager to hear what you have to say and pass it along to the aide that they send.

 

David York Agency provides qualified and well-trained healthcare professionals and the details of your case are always managed by a nurse. The home healthcare agency provides caring and compassionate Certified Home Health Aides (HHA), Certified Personal Health Care Aides (PCA), Registered Nurses (RN), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN), full- or part-time, live-in or -out, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is licensed by the New York State Department of Health. They believe your loved one deserves the best care. Call for a free consultation today at 718-376-7755 or visit us at our website www.davidyorkagency.com. You can also like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google + or LinkedIn.

 

 

Getting Important Documents Assembled for the Elderly

So often, when crisis hits, a family can be caught unawares by this emergency situation. Adult children are blindsided by not knowing where to find critical documents necessary for deciding on the care for their elderly parents and they feel handcuffed by not having access to important assets or documents that are needed. However, it is never too early to start that ‘just in case’ file.

While the holidays are a wonderful time for family sharing and bonding, it is also an opportunity for adult children to help organize essential information for their elderly parents. I think that in addition to feasting and spreading joy this holiday season, all of us, whether we be seniors, caregivers or potential caregivers, should take the opportunity to get some ‘ducks in a row’ and organize those all important documents and bits of information. David York Agency has compiled a handy checklist and a small packet of worksheets to assist in this task. Both are accessible through these links or on the Caregiver Resources page of the David York Agency website.

Essential Documents & Emergency Information Worksheets (pdf version)

Essential Documents & Emergency Information Checklist (pdf versionDec newsletter

  • Professionals List – All Contact Information for:
    • Doctors: Primary Care and Specialists
    • Accountant
    • Attorney
    • Financial Advisor
    • Insurance Brokers
  • Important Documents Packet (Originals and/or Copies):
    • Social Security Card
    • Birth Certificate
    • Driver’s License
    • Marriage Certificate
    • Divorce Certificate
    • Passport
    • Medical Information
      • Allergies
      • Medications
      • Treatments
      • Major Operations
      • Immunization Records
    • Medicare/Medicaid/Insurance Card
    • Life Insurance Policies
    • Military Discharge Papers
    • Deeds
    • Titles
    • Tax Returns for last 6 years
    • Instructions on Location of all files
  • Financial Accounts List – All Contact Information and Account Numbers for:
    • Bank Accounts
    • Investment/Brokerage Accounts
      • Stocks
      • Bonds
      • CDs
    • Credit/Debit Cards
  • Financial Assets List:
    • Car Ownership
    • Mortgage Documents
    • Real Estate Holdings
    • Loans Owed or Owed to them
    • Tax Returns
    • Insurance Policies
      • Home
      • Auto
      • Health
      • Long Term Care
      • Life
    • Original Invoices for Important Possessions
    • Partnership Documents
    • Jewelry and Valuables
    • Safe Combination and Directions
    • Location of Safety Deposit Key
  • Sources of Income:
    • Annuities
    • Social Security
    • Pensions
    • Annual Distributions from Retirement Accounts
    • VA Benefits
    • Disability Payments
  • Recurring Bills:
    • Mortgage
    • Loans
    • Utilities
      • Telephone
      • Electric
      • Gas
    • Insurance Premiums (monthly & quarterly)
    • Car Lease
    • Annual Expenses (i.e. home alarm)
    • Deliveries (i.e. newspaper, milk)
  • Computerized Information:
    • Email Accounts and Passwords
    • Password for Computer
    • Recurring Online Billing
  • Estate Planning Documents:
    • Will
    • Special Instructions regarding personal property
    • Durable Power of Attorney
    • Advanced Healthcare Directive/Living Will
    • Healthcare Proxy
    • Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order
    • Retirement Plans
    • Disability Plans
    • Governmental Benefits for which they are eligible
  • End of Life Arrangements:
    • Cemetery Plot Ownership
    • Pre-Planned Burial Papers
    • Personal Statement regarding burial services

Most important is that all this information be easily accessible clearly labeled and a trusted person know its location. Also, if you choose to keep this all stored on a computer, make sure a back up is made and a print out is kept in a location known to a close friend or relative. Healthcare decisions are often quite pressing, so knowing where to find medical records and decision makers in time can be crucial. With respect to assets, at times the government takes possession of unclaimed assets and while you might be able to get a hold of something belonging to you that was overlooked, it is not always an easy process. It is best not to get into that situation and have everything organized ahead of time.
When home healthcare becomes necessary, David York Agency provides skilled home health aide services. David York Home Healthcare Agency can satisfy all your questions and would be happy to give you more information and discuss your case with you. Visit our website at David York Agency – providing healthcare professionals to the elderly and infirm, with the highest degree of personal service. Please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn.

Elder Proofing a Senior’s Home

Simple falls can have catastrophic effects on the elderly leading to disabling conditions, extended hospital stays and even death. These falls can be prevented and a good caregiver can minimize any negative long term effects if one does occur.  With most falls occurring at home while doing mundane tasks, “elder proofing” homes becomes critical to those seniors that are able to stay in their homes. David York Home Healthcare Agency is intimately aware of what a safe living space for an elderly person should look like and can help set that up.  That is why our aides are instructed frequently during in-service training about safe environments for our elderly clients.

The National Institute on Aging has a handy article about making a home safe for the elderly. Tripping hazards from carpets, wires, and clutter need to be removed.  Grab bars in places like the shower, tub, and toilet as well as proper lighting often prove essential.

Here is a summary:

Stairways, Hallways and PathwaysHandicap-Shower

  1. Keep electric cords and wires next to the wall and tacked down.
  2. Affix all carpets and area rugs firmly to the floor.
  3. Arrange furniture so there are clear paths for walking.
  4. Make sure sofas and chairs are the right height for sitting and getting up.
  5. Don’t walk on wet, newly washed floors.
  6. Keep often used items in easy reach.
  7. Don’t stand on a table or chair.
  8. Have a reach stick (obtainable in hardware stores) for hard to reach items.
  9. Know where your pet is before sitting or standing so you don’t trip on them.
  10. Keep emergency numbers in large print near the telephone.

Living Areas

  1. Have handrails on both sides of the stairs.
  2. Make sure there is good lighting,
  3. Keep the walkway tidy.
  4. Check that the carpets are fixed firmly.
  5. Don’t use throw rugs or small area rugs

Bathrooms

  1. Grab bars for the tub, toilet and shower.
  2. Place non-skid mats, strips and carpets.
  3. Place nightlights.

Bedroom

  1. Put nightlights and light switches near the bed.
  2. Keep the telephone on the night table.
  3. Have all remote controls within reach.

Source: National Institute on Aging: AdPage: Falls and Fractures; September 2012

At David York Home Care Agency, we could provide direction as to how to manage the total care of your senior loved one. David York Agency provides skilled home health aide services for the elderly in New York in their homes and is abreast of all the latest guidelines for seniors.  We would be happy to discuss your case with you.  Please call us at (718) 376-7755 or visit our website.  You can also like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.