Staying Independent: Smart Speakers for Seniors

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

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

Staying Independent: Smart Speakers for Seniors

What Smart Speakers Can Do For Seniors

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

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

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

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

Top Smart Speakers for Seniors

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

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

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

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

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

Aquatic Activities for Seniors

As we have discussed many times, seniors need exercise just as much as the younger generation. It’s so important that they find routines that meet their needs. Water-based activities are some of the best workouts seniors can experience. Aquatic activities for seniors are in high demand because they provide an excellent low-impact, low-risk exercise for seniors.

A multi-ethnic group of senior adults are taking a water aerobics class at the public pool. They are holding water weights and are working out.

For many seniors, pain can be an obstacle when committing to an exercise routine. Fortunately, aquatic exercise cuts back on the possibility of injury. Water’s buoyancy results in very little pressure on joints and muscles, but still allows for full range of movement. Stretching and resistance training can both be achieved in the pool with much less effort than on dry land!

Not only do water-based activities provide the exercise that senior bodies require, they also fulfill social needs. Because pools are typically available in shared spaces like community centers, these aquatic classes force seniors to socialize.

Senior classes meet the needs and safety concerns of seniors. Here are just a few aquatic activities that the elderly may enjoy.

 

Water Aerobics

Water aerobics classes provide fun social interaction and all the health benefits of aerobic exercise. Led by a trained professionals who are qualified in CPR, water aerobics is a great activity that keeps seniors in mind. Seniors-only classes are designed specifically for seniors, utilizing oldies music and simplified exercises to keep everyone happy and healthy.

 

Swimming Laps

Many seniors choose swimming as an option since you can do it at any time, you can go at your own pace and stop at any time. Like any new activity, if you are new to swimming or haven’t been swimming laps in a while, you may want to start by consulting a trained professional or take private lessons until you are comfortable in the environment.

 

Water Walking

Take your daily walk to the next level with water walking. In this activity, seniors go through the motions of their walking routine in the swimming pool. This activity is wonderful because you can do it alone or with a group. For an added challenge, add ankle weights.

 

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us online or by phone at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide how to provide your loved ones with the assistance they need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.

How Home Health Aides Can Prevent Foodborne Illness

preventing foodborne illness

People over 65 need to take special care to reduce their chances of contracting foodborne illness (i.e. food poisoning). Fortunately, home health aides for senior citizens can help.

Generally, food in the U.S. is usually very safe. However, food that has started to go bad or has been in a refrigerator too long may carry bacteria. This could cause illness in anyone, but is particularly dangerous for the elderly.

Toxins Especially Dangerous to Elderly

Older people process toxins in their body more slowly than younger people, so bacteria stay in their body longer. In addition, older people may have weaker immune systems, due either to chronic conditions or medications.

Seniors tend to live alone or with an elderly spouse. As such, food may often sit in the refrigerator longer and even go bad. Their lack of mobility and a normal concern about the budget on a fixed retirement income can contribute to the problem.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 48 million Americans become ill each year from foodborne illnesses. As many as 128,000 people are hospitalized annually, and 3,000 of those foodborne illnesses become fatal. Many of those affected are senior citizens or children.

Home Health Aide Can Prevent Illness

Here’s where a home health aide can help. As people age, their memory may gradually deteriorate and they may lose some of the acuity of smell and taste they once had. Smell and taste are the ways people can easily tell if food is no longer safe to eat. If an elderly parent, relative, or friend is dealing with a diminishment in those senses, a home senior care aide can examine fruits, vegetables, and meats to see if they are still fresh.

A home health aide who helps prepare food or provides company can be a safeguard against food poisoning. At David York Agency, we offer a number of home healthcare services to help ensure your elderly loved one gets the care and nutrition they need. Whether you just need someone to come over a few days a week to help prepare fresh, healthy meals or you need a full-time home healthcare assistant, we can help.

 

For more information about our qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you and your loved one with the assistance you need.

If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.

5 Simple Ways to Combat Senior Loneliness

senior loneliness

Isolation at any age can be detrimental to emotional health, but studies suggest that the effects of loneliness can be much more far-reaching. Dr. John Cacioppo of the University of Chicago Neurosciences program ran a 30-year study on the effects of isolation in seniors and his discoveries were startling. Loneliness affects mental health as well as emotional well-being and has proven to be a risk factor for cognitive decline, long-term illness, and a shortened lifespan. Unfortunately, senior loneliness continues to be a real problem. 

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that there are many ways to help isolated seniors socialize and have more human contact. A few simple solutions can reverse loneliness, improve long-term health, and create a happier tomorrow for you or your loved one.

1. Get Out and About With Available Transportation

It can be difficult to find convenient transportation, especially in small towns. In fact, 41% of seniors feel that transportation options in their area are inadequate to meet their needs. However, utilizing transportation when and where it is available can help you make great strides in feeling less isolated.

Even a quick cab ride to a park only minutes from your home can make a big difference. Take the time to learn or discuss with a loved one the public transportation routes in the area so you are familiar with them when you need them.

Contact your local government agency to discover transportation options for the elderly in your area. Many churches and other charitable organizations are also willing to help if you only ask. If these options do not appeal to you, consider asking family and friends to take turns helping you get from A to B. While it may be hard to ask, most people are more than happy to help.

2. Volunteer and Make a Difference

Seniors have a deep reservoir of life experience and talents which has the potential to make them incredibly valuable as caring volunteers. Not only does giving back help others, but it can help seniors too. Volunteering helps you create a growing social circle while improving your own mental health and well-being. It’s a win-win for everyone!

3. Get Moving With Exercise

Exercise is known to increase feel-good hormones and decrease anxiety. In fact, even 5 minutes of walking has been shown to decrease stress. The good news is, the longer you move the more benefits you will receive. From stretching to even seated movements, there are exercises for every fitness and mobility level that can be beneficial to your health—both physical and emotional. It’s even better when you get out to a class adding an important element of socialization to the mix.

4. Enroll in a Class of Any Kind

Studies reveal a surprising truth: one of the most effective ways to combat loneliness—at any age—is to join a class and improve education. Classes not only help you to interact with the world around you, but they also serve as a great way to improve cognitive function. Striving to learn something new every day keeps your mind active and you young and healthy. Even a class on a hobby like art or bridge or writing can keep you active and in touch with people of similar interests.

5. Consider Home Care

Home care agencies are much more than just helping hands. They also serve as a support system and window to the world for seniors and their loved ones. Isolation is becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s digital world. If a senior is isolated from the world, chances are their friend or family member who provides their care may be isolated too. A senior care expert can free up time for both seniors and those they love to make time for relaxing, getting out, or doing something fun for a while.

Loneliness is never permanent if we care enough to shed light on it. The solution doesn’t have to be difficult or require large amounts of effort. Efforts, even small, can make a huge difference and create a better, brighter, and happier future ahead.

Establishing the care needed and finding the right agency to supply quality assistance are two important steps to ensuring there is a high level of care administered in your absence. At David York Agency, we offer a number of home healthcare services. From home health aides to RN’s and LPNs, DYA will provide the level of home healthcare your loved one needs.

For more information about our qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best. Our aim is to provide you and your loved one with the assistance you need.

If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.

4 Tips for Traveling With the Elderly

traveling with the elderly

Family vacations can be a wonderful way to bring everyone together for some much needed rest and relaxation. But, when traveling with an elderly family member who has special needs due to debilitating disease or dementia, it’s important to plan ahead and take special care to ensure that everyone stays safe and happy during your trip.

Keep these tips in mind as you plan your next family vacation with your elder loved one.

  1. Make a Plan. Create a detailed itinerary of where you plan to go and what you plan to do throughout your trip, so your loved one feels more prepared. Go over the itinerary with them and keep copies on hand. If possible, choose a destination that is already familiar to them. This will minimize the stress and disorientation they feel.
  2. Be Prepared. When traveling with a loved one who suffers from dementia, be sure to have a bag of essentials handy at all times, including medications, a list of emergency contacts, your travel itinerary, water, snacks, etc. Be sure you’ve packed enough medication for their entire trip. Remember to include an updated medical record and any important legal documents.
  3. Consider Their State of Mind. When traveling with your loved one, be considerate of their mindset. Be patient with them if they get confused or overwhelmed. Also, be aware that being in an unfamiliar environment can trigger wandering behaviors in dementia patients. Keep your loved one close and take special precautions to make sure they stay there.
  4. Be Mindful of Physical Limitations. Traveling can be stressful for anyone, but especially for those who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s. According to an article from the Alzheimer’s Association, families should take care when deciding whether or not their elderly loved one can handle the challenges of travel. Consider the special needs of your loved one and also to what stage their disease has progressed. Early on, dementia patients may be perfectly capable of handling a vacation and could even benefit from one. However, if they already experience significant disorientation in their normal environment, dragging them along to an unfamiliar place may make things worse.

Decide if Travel is Right for Your Loved One.

You may need some additional assistance when on vacation with your senior loved one. That is when a home health aide can be a godsend. Consider taking your regular aide if you already have one or contacting a local agency to help provide one for you on locale.

At the David York Agency, we are dedicated to providing the resources, advice, and high-quality home healthcare services that can make caring for your aging loved one more manageable, whether you’re at home or on the road. For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers and how they can help your family, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best. Our aim is to provide you and your loved one with the support you need.

If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn.