Consulteering: A New Way to Enjoy Life After Retirement

consulteering

If you have retired or have retired early to take care of a loved one full-time, you might be interested in “consulteering.”

“It’s my trifecta. Paid work, giving back, and relaxation. I call it ‘consulteering’, said Dane Peters.”

Dane Peters, a seasoned educator and head of school who retired three years ago made up the word. He wanted to combine a life of consulting, volunteering, and leisure time to find a perfect work-life balance. Peters transitioned gradually from working full-time to building a rich, to lead a fulfilling life in his later years. He and others have made this ‘work a little, play a little’ philosophy work for them.

Retirement, even without caregiving, is an adjustment. If you miss your job and want to do some consulting or if you just want to try out a new job, part-time or volunteer work will keep you excited about life, consulteering could be the answer.

You may have some goals you want to pursue, such as getting in shape or just visiting and spending more time with family and friends. You really do deserve some time for you.

Taking care of a loved one full-time is a rewarding labor of love, but it can be all-consuming at times. Adding a little balance to your life is not only good for your own health and well-being but for the health and well-being of the loved one you are caring for too.

Those you care for love you. They want you to go fishing or spend an hour or two working in the garden. They don’t want you to miss your grandchild’s sports game or ballet recital. They want you to enjoy doing something that is meaningful and recharges you. Whether it is a part-time job, doing volunteer work, or just having fun, we all need a break, especially caregivers. As an added benefit, you will be able to come home with a new lens on life and window to the world to share with your charge. The updates get them involved and thinking about something other than their personal situation.

Consider exploring the life of “consulteering” while we watch over the ones you love most.

At David York Agency, we understand the commitment involved with being a caregiver for a loved one. You focus so much of your time and energy caring for others, and often forget to take time to do things for yourself. Our in-home health care professionals can be there to give you some extra time to pursue your interests or simply unwind a little.

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free consultation can help you decide which 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.”

Intergenerational Caregiving: It Takes a Village

intergenerational caregiving

In recent years, Americans have witnessed a drastic change in the way we care for our elders and our children. The average family size has become smaller, and many of us find ourselves living extended distances from our aging parents. Add to the mix the increasing number of households that require multiple full-time incomes, and it isn’t hard to see the challenges one may face when trying to provide safe and effective care for both children and elderly family members. These challenges can sometimes be best addressed through the concept of intergenerational caregiving.

What is Intergenerational Caregiving?

Simply put, intergenerational caregiving is the practice of bringing together children and the elderly for mutual benefit. And the list of benefits is impressive:

  • Improved memory and physical ability for the elderly
  • Decreased depression and anxiety for both adult and child
  • Decreased behavioral issues in children
  • Improved social development in children
  • Improved self-esteem for both adult and child

Real-Life Application

There are a variety of scenarios in which intergenerational caregiving can be successful. Grandparents caring for their grandchildren at home while the parents are at work, day care centers placed in assisted living facilities, the bringing together of elderly adults and adopted or fostered children—these are just a few of the ways to successfully bridge the gap between the elderly and our children.

Whether the elderly adult is a grandparent, a close relative, or simply a member of one’s community, it’s easy to see that intergenerational caregiving provides positive benefits to both the elder adult and the child.

If you have a senior loved one who is in need of light assistance around the home, they may benefit tremendously from the company and purpose caring for a child can bring. In some situations, though, your senior may need the help of an adult. A home health aide from David York Agency can provide high-quality, personalized care either on a full-time or part-time basis.

For more information on 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 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.

Visiting Seniors to Beat the Winter Blues

senior care tips

When seniors become stuck at home because of their age or physical limitations, it is easy for them to become bored and lonely. If you have a friend or a loved one who is cooped up inside this winter, you can help lift their spirits and provide some much-needed company by bringing the fun to their home.

Here are a few senior care tips to help you come up with a fun activity you can enjoy with a senior loved one this winter.

1. Ask Them About What They Enjoy

Don’t just assume your elderly friend or family member is eager to knit or play backgammon because you see it on TV. Talk to them about their life, what they used to do, the activities and sports they enjoyed in their youth, or what interests them today. While many of the activities they used to do may very well not be possible now, it’s a good conversation starter.

Based on your conversation, brainstorm some ideas of fun things you can do together that would actually interest and engage your senior friend or loved one. For example, if they were an avid basketball player, they may enjoy having you over to watch professional basketball games with them. If they love to bake, get together to make and decorate cookies. Get a feel for what they would enjoy most before you decide on an activity.

2. Let Them Do The Teaching

In your conversations, you may find that your senior loves to play a certain card or board game. They may also enjoy making handcrafted items. If one of their passions is outside your comfort zone or something you don’t know how to do, ask them to teach you!

If they are into knitting, crocheting, or sewing, request that they show you a thing or two. If your senior loves to cook, find out their favorite dish and bring the ingredients for you both to cook together. Even talking about your own issues in life and asking for their advice is a way to get seniors involved. Feeling useful and needed is a great way to cheer someone up and boost their confidence and sense of purpose.

3. Arrange Family “Socials” in the Home

Seniors, especially those who are widowed, may feel lonely much of the time. However, family members sometimes feel awkward visiting their elderly aunt or grandparent because they don’t know what to do or say, so they avoid them.

Ask your senior loved one if there is any family around that they would like to see, and get their contact numbers. Be proactive and invite these relatives over for a small get-together for coffee, lunch, or even just snacks. It may be easier for some members of the family to get together when they are in a group setting, rather than one-on-one.

Depression and loneliness in the elderly is an all-too-common issue that is often overlooked by friends and family members. You can do a world of good in the life of a lonely senior simply by giving them your time.

If you need a little (or a lot) of support caring for an elderly individual in your life, a home health aide from David York Agency can provide the high-quality, personalized care to help seniors through the challenges they face in the lonely winter months.

For more information on 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 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. To find out more about hiring an aide for your loved one this winter, contact us today.

 

Tips To Reduce Elderly Depression During The Holidays

Portrait of the old woman in the winter

By: Anita Kamiel, RN, MPS

Although we like to think of the holidays as a joyous time of year, not everyone feels that way. It can be a depressing and lonely time for seniors — especially for seniors who are separated from their loved ones. In addition, some seniors might be reminded of lost friends or family members or for the first time find themselves spending the holidays without their significant other. These losses bring on a lot of strong emotions and can be difficult to face alone.

Those of us that work with the elderly approach this time with trepidations. It is a period when they enjoy time with their loved ones, but may mourn all they have lost in terms of loved ones as well as physical capabilities. I have tried to put together some helpful tip sheets in addition to some concrete suggestions on how we can help the senior loved one, caregiver and their families navigate joyfully through this holiday season.

So, what can you do as a loved one of a senior who might be having a difficult time coping during the holidays?

1. Really listen to your senior loved one when they want to talk.

When your loved one talks, listen. Encourage them to express what they are feeling about the holidays, good or bad. If possible, just check in with them daily either by stopping by, calling or even using Skype to see how they are doing and to be there for them if they need to talk. Often, seniors just want to know that someone cares about them and that they are not alone.

2. Ask them for help and advice.

Seniors often get depressed because they feel they cannot participate in holiday planning the way they used to. If you are planning a holiday celebration, let them know they are a big part of that celebration. Ask for their advice or help preparing for the event. Even something as simple as asking them for a recipe can make them feel included in the process. Most importantly, remind them how much they are loved by everyone in the family.

3. Spend quality time with them.

Quality time with your loved ones is important all year long, but especially during the holidays. It can be a great remedy for seasonal depression in the elderly. Look at old holiday pictures, cards or videos with them. Leave them somewhere visible and accessible so your loved one can take a walk down memory lane when they are alone. Ask to hear their memories of the season or stop by to watch some favorite holiday movies.

4. Plan a family gathering.

There is no better way to brighten someone’s mood and show them how much they are loved than by surrounding them with family. Dedicate a special night for everyone to get together for dinner, view a family video or even enjoy a game night. Invite friends, family and anyone else you think your loved one will enjoy seeing. Conversely, let them have a say in which family gathering they would prefer not to attend.

5. Help them with their holiday planning.

Many elderly seniors cannot get out and shop like they used to. Depending on their physical health and age, they may no longer be driving or may not be able to move around a store or mall without assistance. Offer to take your loved one out to do their holiday shopping. If getting out is not feasible for them, bring over a laptop or tablet to help them shop online. It might be a fun experience for them. You can help them decorate their house, wrap gifts or even make gifts. Also, a little extra help baking or preparing meals might be really appreciated.

6. Help them keep to a regular schedule.

With all that is going on around holiday time, it can be easy to slip out of a regular routine. It is important that seniors stay on as much of their normal schedule as possible including keeping up with their medication, getting about seven to nine hours of sleep and eating their three healthy square meals a day. It is equally important to not overeat or overindulge in sweets or alcohol. Be vigilant or tell their caregiver to make sure they keep up their strength during the holiday season.

7. If they are mobile, take them out.

There is no better distraction than getting out of the four walls surrounding them every day. You can bring them to social activities they normally attend or forums for their hobby. Museums in small doses could be quite manageable and shows are even better since you get to sit down. You could even take them shopping if they are so inclined in the busy season. Even grabbing lunch in the neighborhood could be just the fun outing they need.

8. Let’s get physical!

In addition to all the other physical benefits, exercise is great for mood improvement. It can be as effective as anti-depressants without the ill effects and toxicity. There are plenty of exercises designed for the elderly to do at their level of ability taking any limited mobility and stamina into account. Yoga and Tai Chi are also excellent low impact alternatives. Exercise can enhance their weight bearing, balance and muscle density. A qualified personal trainer that comes to the house might be a good solution for those who are unable to get out to classes or a gym.

9. Get them an iPad.

There are many studies that demonstrate the cognitive and psychological benefits of the Internet for the elderly. It opens vistas for them in terms of connecting with the outside world and like minded people. It is also a great platform for connecting with grandchildren and relatives. Buy them an iPad if they don’t already have one, crack it open and sit together with them as they explore what is a new and exciting technology for them. They’ll learn a new skill that could spark some creativity for you both.

10. Consider getting a pet.

Don’t underestimate the value of pets in the life of a senior. Having a manageable, low maintenance pet can provide not only a much needed distraction and companionship, but a sense that seniors can still love and care for another living thing. These are important factors that can ward off the all too pervasive affliction of depression in the elderly. This is also an opportunity to employ an important form of therapy called therapeutic touch.

11. Arrange time for them to laugh and put on a happy face.

If your senior loved one is not up to going out, invite their friends in. Help them make it a pleasant experience by serving light fare and arranging an activity they can have fun with. Even watching a comedy can provide comic relief for all involved. Remember, positivity is infectious. If you’re able to keep a smile on, you’ll spread that holiday cheer to everyone around you, including your loved one who may be struggling with a bout of seasonal depression.

12. You’re never too old for a spa day.

Of course, there is nothing as relaxing as a pampered experience at the spa. However, that might not be feasible for your senior loved one. As the baby boomers age, house call businesses are burgeoning. You can get everything in the comfort of your home, from manicures to massages. Calling in some spa-like professionals could also be a fun activity with their friends.

13. Hire a home healthcare provider.

If you do not have the time to help your loved one during the holidays, consider hiring a home health aide. An aide can help them with errands, decorations for the holidays as well as preparing meals. Home health aides can also provide much needed companionship. You will feel more at ease knowing someone is covering for you and helping take care of your loved one during what might be a vulnerable time in their life.

Depression in the elderly is a serious problem that is far too often overlooked. If you feel the situation is really serious, consider bringing in a professional. There are support groups for all sorts of conditions which could be extremely helpful for appropriately directing your loved one to get insight and help from those facing the same challenges. One on one talk therapy and supportive counseling can help them work through their individual underlying issues without the risks and side effects of medication. However, when medication is deemed necessary, be sure to monitor their intake since the elderly metabolize medications differently than younger adults. You might want to explore some alternative remedies for depression such as omega-3 fatty acids, folic acid, SAMe or St. John’s wort. Also, be on the lookout for any warning signs of suicide. Tragically, when the elderly decide to take that step, they are much more ‘successful’ at it than their younger counterparts.

Anita Kamiel, RN, MPS, is the founder and owner of David York Home Healthcare Agency, licensed by the State of New York. She holds a master’s degree in gerontological administration and is fully acquainted with all factors related to eldercare services and the latest guidelines for seniors. Thirty years ago, she realized the need for affordable, quality home health aide services provided and supervised by caring individuals. You can contact her at 718-376-7755 or at www.davidyorkagency.com. David York Agency is also on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.

5 Qualities to Look for in a Home Health Aide

home health aideAre you looking for someone who can provide senior care for your elderly or disabled loved one? If so, you might be shopping around for a caregiver to ensure that you choose the right person. Here are five qualities that may indicate you’ve found a good match.

1. Patient

Caring for an elderly person can be a bit trying. They are used to being fully independent and often resent their diminished abilities to the point where they are irritable mush of the time. They may even take it out on those around them. This means that it’s important to look for a caregiver who is patient.

2. Reliable

If your loved one needs care on a regular basis, you’ll need someone who will be able to provide it, without a lot of excuses or the need for a lot of days off. The elderly person and their family are depending on the aide for essential help daily. Make sure they are the type that takes their job seriously and is reliable.

3. Pays Attention to Detail

Day-to-day care of someone else requires individualized consideration. They need to be mindful of the particular eating habits of their patients, be on top of their grooming needs as well as keep an eye out for even slight warning signs of any worsening of a condition they may have. You will want to find a caregiver who pays attention to detail.

4. Easy to Get Along With

You don’t want to bring someone into your loved one’s home who is not friendly or pleasant. After all, a caregiver is supposed to make things easier for your loved one and less stressful for the family. Someone who lets things slide will add positively to the atmosphere. It is best to look for someone who is easy to talk to and get along with.

5. Multi-Tasker

Someone who provides care for an older or disabled person has to know how to do a lot of things, such as light cooking, light cleaning, helping with bathing, and more. Look for someone who can juggle and “keep all the balls in the air”. You will want to make sure that person you hire does not get thrown by multiple responsibilities and is a good multi-tasker.

At David York Agency, we set the bar high and ensure that all of our home health aides offer these important qualities—and so much more. We look for people with common sense and a heart. We continually monitor them to ensure consistent, high-quality service. We do not send anyone to your home that we would not want in ours.

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 they need.

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

Senior Care: Art, Creativity & Dementia

art therapy

Dementia affects millions of Americans each year, but doctors have yet to find a way to prevent the onset of this disease. However, studies have shown that the use of art and creativity often provide solace to seniors and caregivers alike.

Art Therapy

Art therapy benefits seniors tremendously. Creative activities, such as painting, craft making, or collaging, provide a positive creative outlet to seniors living with dementia. They often recall pleasant memories from their past and feel joy in those moments. And, since loneliness and depression are common emotions for seniors both with and without dementia, the joy derived from a creative endeavor can be a powerful force for positivity in their lives.

Collaging

One of the best artistic activities for seniors is collage-making. Collages often expose parts of someone’s world and their perspective. Magazines contain images that can evoke emotions and memories. When one chooses an image to use in a collage, it reflects inner machinations of his or her world, inside and out. Consciously or unconsciously, seniors create more than a collage. They create both a window to their world – past, present and future – and a safe haven for themselves.

Naturally, assistance will be necessary for this activity. Seniors may have difficulty using supplies such as glue and scissors. But materials that stimulate sight and touch prove therapeutically beneficial to participants, so it is worth it to help with this activity.

It is highly recommended that caregivers be part of the creative process with their loved ones. It proves rewarding for everybody involved. When you create art with the special person in your life who has dementia, you not only help them create something new, you give them a way to connect to their past. When that happens, you can be on the spot to catch a glimpse. This will help you build a stronger bond with them and memories of your own for years to come.

Getting Help

At David York Agency, we understand the fears and challenges that dementia can bring, not just for the person diagnosed, but for everyone in their life. We provide families with the support and care they need during this particularly difficult time.

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free consultation can help you decide what services might be best 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.

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.

Steps to Healthier Eating Habits

Between concerns over diseases endemic to the elderly like diabetes or heart disease, catering to individual food sensitivities, and managing interactions with medication, a proper diet is essential to good health for the elderly. According to the National Institutes of Health, eating a well-planned, balanced mix of foods everyday may very well reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, bone loss, some kinds of cancer, and anemia. Also, for those who may already have one or more of these chronic diseases, eating well and being physically active may help better manage these conditions.

Beyond considerations of preventing or managing illness, eating well plays other important roles in the daily lives of the elderly, from maintaining a healthy level of energy to properly regulating weight.

HealthyEating

Energy level

With obesity rates in the U.S. skyrocketing, we hear a lot about eating too much; but eating too little, or not eating appropriate foods can also be a problem. Consuming enough calories gives the body the fuel it needs to not only perform physical tasks like walking, but mental tasks as well which means one needs to be properly fueled throughout the day for optimal cognitive function and memory. There are several factors that account for the number of calories needed: age, gender, height, weight, and level of activity.

Weight & Activity Level

Proper weight is a concern for most people throughout their lives, but it becomes especially important as the body ages and becomes more at risk for diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease, while excess pounds can wreak havoc on aging joints. Consuming not only the right amount of calories, but also the right kind of calories — a healthy blend of foods: fruits, grains, meat, veggies — help to control weight.

Eating more calories than your body needs for your activity level will lead to extra pounds. Many people become less active as they age, which equates to needing fewer calories to maintain a healthy weight. The NIH recommends choosing mostly nutrient-dense foods—those which have a lot of nutrients but relatively few calories—which can supply needed nutrients while keeping down calorie intake.

Taking small steps to improve eating habits is often the most effective way to make lasting changes. By starting with incremental changes—adding a new vegetable to the menu, or simply taking the salt shaker off the table—healthy habits become second nature, and easy to adhere to. Eating well is not about following a diet or losing those extra pounds; rather, it’s a way of living that can improve life exponentially.

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.  They offer the services of 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. 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. Please visit the website, like them on Facebook, or follow the agency on TwitterGoogle+ or LinkedIn.

 

 

Using Color and Contrast to Increase Safety in the Home

As your loved ones age, their changing physical needs also require a change in their physical environment – their home. Elder proofing a home is a way to make sure a senior’s home is safe and in many cases it requires only slight accommodations and a small investment. A simple, yet effective method is incorporating color and contrast to increase the safety and functionality of their home.

color and contrastThe use of color and contrast accommodates the aging eye which may lose sensitivity and have difficulty differentiating similar patterns and colors. Therefore, using bolder color contrast becomes crucial. “When we talk of color contrast, it’s the separation of lights and darks,” said Michael Pause, a professor who teaches color and light theory at North Carolina State. “It’s the notion of being able to distinguish between two surfaces.” For example, using different colors on kitchen countertops and cabinets can help people with declining vision discern where one surface ends and the next begins. Other areas of the home that can benefit from color contrast and make for easier navigating include baseboards, stair edges, ramp edges, door moldings and, in the bathroom showers and bathtubs.

According to the Healthy House Institute,

“If the color of a floor and wall are similar, low light conditions will make it hard or impossible to clearly see where the floor meets the wall. The result for eyes not adjusted to low light conditions can be accidental collisions into the wall perhaps by turning a corner before actually reaching it. High contrast or opposite colors on the floor and walls makes the floor visually ‘pop.’ These are visual cues, additional guideposts for the brain to navigate by.”

There are a myriad of ways to use color and contrast to increase functionality in the home. The Center for Universal Design at North Carolina State offers several ideas in its “Universal Design in Housing” guide.

• Use a contrasting color border treatment on between floor surfaces and trim.
• Add color contrast to differentiate between stair treads and risers.
• Emphasize lighting at stairs, entrances and task lighting which affords easy recognition of the junction of floor surfaces and walls.
• Create contrast between countertops and front edges or cabinet faces.
• Avoid glossy surfaces, which may reflect light and glare, potentially confusing the eye.
• To increase safety, install color contrasting faucet handles.
• Use contrasting colors on wall and casements when installing light switches and window hardware.
• Color can also be used for facilitating recognition of everyday-use items in the kitchen and bathroom as well.

David York Agency has done a lot of research about elder proofing homes and has compiled a concise, handy chart for caregivers to use which is available on the caregiver resources page of their website.

David York Agency provides qualified and well-trained healthcare professionals when you need them: 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. Licensed by the New York State Department of Health, we believe your loved one deserves the best care. Call for a free consultation today, at 718-376-7755.