Giving up driving adversely affects aging adults’ volunteer and work lives

For many senior drivers it is only a matter of time before
they are forced to give up their car keys due to failing eyesight or other
health issues. Now, University of Missouri researchers have studied how aging
adults’ driving cessation influences their work and social lives. The
researchers found that seniors’ loss of driving independence negatively
affected their ability to work and their volunteerism; the adults’ social lives
were not instantly affected yet dwindled over time.
“We found that seniors’ productive engagement, such as paid
work and formal volunteering, decreased when they stopped driving; however,
adults’ ability to connect with  people
in their immediate environments  was not
immediately compromised by their transitions to non-driver status,” said Angela
Curl, an assistant professor of social work at MU and the study’s lead author.
Planning for driving cessation should happen well before
older adults have to give up their car keys, and advance planning can help
seniors remain active in society after they quit driving, Curl said.
“Often when individuals stop driving, their health and
happiness decline,” Curl said. “For seniors, engaging more in their communities
is linked to maintained health, lower rates of depression and financial
benefits, and this is why adults need to better prepare before they quit
driving.”
For smoother transitions to non-driver status, Curl
suggested older adults think about alternative transportation options early on
and include their family members in the conversations.
“Older adults have a tendency to think about driving
cessation as something for other people, or they think of quitting as so far in
the future that they postpone planning,” Curl said. “Finally, when seniors do
start thinking about quitting driving it is too late, and they’re panicked and
overwhelmed thinking about all the freedoms they will lose.”
Many seniors lack appropriate driving alternatives, such as
finding rides or using public transportation; yet, Curl found that many older
adults will not ask their families for support during this time because they
don’t want to become burdens. Family members should offer their help to their
aging loved ones instead of waiting to be asked, Curl said.
According to Curl, one way for aging adults to help ease the
transition to not driving is to take public transportation once a month as
practice before completely losing mobility status or to relocate to a
retirement center that provides private transportation to its residents.

Source: www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/266312.php

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What is Caregiver Stress?

Caregiver
stress is the emotional strain of caregiving. Studies show that caregiving
takes a toll on physical and emotional health. Caregivers are more likely to
suffer from depression than their peers. Limited research suggests that
caregivers may also be more likely to have health problems like diabetes and
heart disease than non-caregivers.
Caring for
another person takes a lot of time, effort, and work. Plus, most caregivers
juggle caregiving with a full-time job and parenting. In the process, caregivers
put their own needs aside. Caregivers often report that it’s difficult to look
after their own health on terms of exercise, nutrition, and doctor’s visits. So,
caregivers often end up feeling angry, anxious, isolated, and sad.
Caregivers
for people with Alzheimer’s disease or other kinds of dementia are particularly
vulnerable to burnout. Research shows that most dementia caregivers suffer from
depression and stress. Also, studies show that the more hours spent on
caregiving, the greater the risk of anxiety and depression.
Women caregivers
are particularly prone to feeling stress and overwhelmed Studies show that
female caregivers have more emotional and physical health problems,
employment-related problems, and financial strain then male caregivers. Other
research shows that people who care for their spouses are more prone to
caregiving-related stress than those who care for other family members.
It is
important to note that caring for another person can also create positive
emotional change. Aside from feeling stress, many caregivers say their role has
had many positive effects on their lives. For example, caregivers report that
caregiving has given them a sense of purpose and say that their caregiving role
makes them feel useful, capable and that they are making a difference in the
life of a loved one.

Source:
www.medicinnet.com/script/main.art.asp?articlekey=47882

To reach one of our Advanced Senior Solution’s team members, either go to the Contact Us tab or call 727-443-2273. We’re here to help with all of your elder care questions, care needs, and much more! Call us today for a free no-obligation care consultation via phone or in person.

Who are our nation’s caregivers?

About one in
four American families or 22.4 million households care for someone over the age
of 50.
  •         About
    75% of caregivers are women.

         

  •     Two-thirds
    of caregivers in the United States have jobs in addition to caring for another
    person.

      

  •        Most
    caregivers are middle-aged: 35-64 years old.

Source:
www.medmicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=47882

To reach one of our Advanced Senior Solution’s team members, either go to the Contact Us tab or call 727-443-2273. We’re here to help with all of your elder care questions, care needs, and much more! Call us today for a free no-obligation care consultation via phone or in person.

Alzheimer ’s Disease: Caregiving Challenges

Alzheimer’s
disease can cause a person to exhibit unusual and unpredictable behaviors that
challenge caregivers, including severe mood swings, verbal or physical
aggression, combativeness, repetition of words, and wandering. These behavioral
changes can lead to frustration and tension, for both people with Alzheimer’s
and their caregivers. It is important to remember that the person is not acting
this way on purpose, and to analyze probable cause and develop care
adjustments.
Common causes
of behavior changes:
  •          Physical
    discomfort caused by an illness or medications.
  •          Over-stimulation
    from a loud or overactive environment.
  •          Inability
    to recognize familiar places, faces, or things.
  •          Difficulty
    completing simple tasks or activities.
  •          Inability
    to communicate effectively.

Tips for
responding to challenging behaviors:
  • Stay
    calm and be understanding.
  •  Be
    patient and flexible.
  •  Don’t
    argue or try to convince the person.
  • Acknowledge
    requests and respond to them.
  • Try
    not to take behaviors personally.
  • Accept
    the behavior as a reality of the disease and try to work through it.

Exploring
causes and solutions:
  •  It
    is important to identify the cause of the challenging behavior and consider
    possible solutions.
  • Identify and
    examine behavior:
  • What
    was the undesirable behavior? Is it harmful to the individual or others?
  • What
    happened before the behavior occurred?
  • Did
    something trigger the behavior?

Explore
potential solutions:
  •    Is
    there something the person needs or wants?
  • Can
    you change the surroundings? Is t he area noisy or crowded? Is the room well-
    lighted?
  •  Are
    you responding in a calm, supportive way?

Try different
responses in the future:
  • Did
    your response help?
  • Do
    you need to explore other potential causes and solutions? If so, what can you
    do differently?

Source: www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=23978

To reach one of our Advanced Senior Solution’s team members, either go to the Contact Us tab or call 727-443-2273. We’re here to help with all of your elder care questions, care needs, and much more! Call us today for a free no-obligation care consultation via phone or in person.

How does depression in the elderly differ from depression in younger adults?

Clinical
depression in the elderly is common. Although, that doesn’t mean it’s normal.
Late-life depression affects about 6 million Americans age 65 and older. But
only 10% receive treatment for depression. The likely reason is that the
elderly often display symptoms of depression differently. Depression in the
elderly is also frequently confused with the effects of multiple illnesses and
the medicines used to treat them.
Depression
impacts older adults differently than younger people, In the elderly,
depression often occurs with other medical illnesses and disabilities and lasts
longer.
Depression in
the elderly often increases their risk of cardiac diseases and increases their
risk of death from illness. At the same time, depression reduces an elderly
person’s ability to rehabilitate. Studies of nursing home patients with physical
illnesses have shown that the presence of depression substantially increase the
likelihood of death from those illnesses. Depression also has been associated
with increased risk of death following a heart attack. For that reason, making
sure that an elderly person you are concerned about is evaluated and treated is
important, even if the depression is mild.
In addition, advancing
age is often accompanied by loss of social support systems due to death of a
spouse or siblings, retirement, or relocation of residence. Because of changes
in an elderly person’s circumstances and the fact that elderly people are expected
to slow down, doctors and family may miss the signs of depression. As a result,
effective treatment often gets delayed, forcing many elderly people unnecessarily
struggle with depression.
Source:
www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp

To reach one of our Advanced Senior Solution’s team members, either go to the Contact Us tab or call 727-443-2273. We’re here to help with all of your elder care questions, care needs, and much more! Call us today for a free no-obligation care consultation via phone or in person.

7 Things You Need to Know about Osteoarthritis

To reduce your risks, halt the progression of the disease or
ease the painful symptoms, here are seven things you need to know about
osteoarthritis.
1.      
Osteoarthritis is not inevitable
Age is a risk factor in developing
osteoarthritis, but pain from osteoarthritis is not an inevitable consequence
of aging.
The thinking about osteoarthritis has also
changed, from simply a “wear and tear” disease triggered by the breakdown of
cartilage as we get older, to a condition that affects the entire joint, not
just the cartilage. This shift in thinking may help doctors diagnose
osteoarthritis before significant cartilage damage sets on, by looking for
other signs of the disease, including morning stiffness, gelling (stiffness
after rest and inactivity) and locking or buckling in the joint.
2.      
Early detection tests are in the works
Despite the prevalence of osteoarthritis,
the disease often goes undiagnosed until it is in advanced stages.
There is no Food and Drug Administration
approved diagnostic test for osteoarthritis, which means it can’t be diagnosed
with a blood test.
While it is possible to see cartilage on an
MRI or ultrasound, subtle changes to the soft tissue that occur in earlier stages
of the disease are hard to detect.
3.      
Technology to halt disease progression is on the
horizon
While osteoarthritis has been long thought
to be a disease of the cartilage, researchers at Johns Hopkins University
discovered that the bone underneath the cartilage reacts to damage by forming
new bone. This new, unwanted bone growth further stretches the cartilage,
speeding its decline.
The research, published online May 19,
2013, in the journal Nature Medicine,
found that injecting a beta inhibitor called growth factor- Type I receptor
into the bone could halt its abnormal growth.
Researchers are developing a clinical trial
and are expected to begin recruiting patient participants in 2014.
4.      
Exercise is one of the best treatment options
For people who suffer from osteoarthritis,
the idea of using exercise to reduce pain is often met with skepticism. Many of
them have experienced greater osteoarthritis pain when they’ve upped their
levels of activity.
Rebecca Manno, M.D., assistant professor of
medicine in the division of rheumatology at John Hopkins says, “When you rest
the joint, you tend to feel less pain, but the inactivity can ultimately lead
to more discomfort.”
Exercise, on the other hand strengthens the
muscles around the joint, which ultimately helps reduce pain.
Exercise also releases endorphins, which
moderate pain, and helps overweight patients lose weight and reduce the stress
on their joints.
Low-impact exercises like swimming, water
aerobics, walking, and biking will put the least strain on the joints. Yoga has
also proved beneficial for decreasing osteoarthritis pain and improving
patients’ quality of life.
5.      
Extra pounds can make things worse
Excess weight only puts extra pressure on
the joints and may also trigger inflammation and other changes that increase
pain and stiffness, said the authors of a March study in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
The researchers estimate that half the
cases of osteoarthritis of the knee in the U.S. could be avoided if obese Americans could
reduce their weight.
6.      
Some treatments may be a waste of money
After evaluating the evidence for a variety
of treatments for knee osteoarthritis, the American Academy of Orthopaedic
Surgeons said there was “strong evidence against” these remedies: acupuncture,
taking the supplements glucosamine and chondroitin, getting injections of
hyaluronic acid in the knee, and “knee scraping” surgery to wash and smooth the
joint.
David Jevsevar, M.D., an orthopaedic
surgeon and the chair of the clinical practice guidelines work group for the
AAOS, noted that a lot of these are “legacy treatments” that doctors continue
to suggest because they have been used for a long time, despite a dearth of evidence.
7.      
You can do something about the pain
Although osteoarthritis is a progressive
disease and there are no treatments to restore cartilage or reverse joint
damage, there are effective treatments to improve joint functioning and reduce
pain.
Over the counter medications like acetaminophen
and ibuprofen, along with topical application of anti-inflammatory gels can
offer relief, says Manno.
For more severe symptoms, doctors may suggest
cortisone inject ions.
For advanced osteoarthritis, where the pain
is disrupting sleep and normal daily activities, your doctor may recommend
joint replacement surgery.
“There are treatments we can use that could
make a difference in daily functioning and pain management,” Manno says. “You
don’t have to resign yourself to living with painful joints.”
Source:
www.aarp.org/health/comditions-treatments/info-09-2013/osteoarthritis-what-you-need-to-know.html

To reach one of our Advanced Senior Solution’s team members, either go to the Contact Us tab or call 727-443-2273. We’re here to help with all of your elder care questions, care needs, and much more! Call us today for a free no-obligation care consultation via phone or in person.

Long, Slow Walks Cut Stroke Risk

According to a new British study long, slow walks for older
men reduce their risk of stroke.
It wasn’t how fast the men walked, but how long and how
often they walked. Long daily strolls were much more important than short brisk
walks.
In the study of 3,435 men ages 60 to 80, researcher found
that walking for an hour or two a day (or eight to 14 hours a week) cut the
risk of stroke by a third, while walking three hours or more daily (about 22
hours a week) lowered the risk by two-thirds.
To put it another way, if you took 1,000 men who usually
walked 8 to 14 hours a week and followed them for 10 years, 55 would have a
stroke, compared to 80 strokes among 1,000 men who walked zero to three hours a
week, explained study author Barbara Jefferis, Ph.D., senior research associate
in the Department of Primary Care and Population Health at University College London
in the U.K.
The study also found that the pace of walking did not
matter, Jefferis added in a prepared statement. “The total time spent walking
was more consistently protective against stroke than walking pace; overall it
seemed that accumulating more time walking was most beneficial.”
She said that walking an hour a day, whether to do errands,
around the shopping mall or walking a pet, “Could be an important part of
stroke prevention strategies in older people.”
The study was published in the online edition of the American
Heart Association journal Stroke on
November 14, 2013.
Source: www.aarp.org/2013/11/18/don’t-rush-long-slow-walks-cut-stroke-risk/

To reach one of our Advanced Senior Solution’s team members, either go to the Contact Us tab or call 727-443-2273. We’re here to help with all of your elder care questions, care needs, and much more! Call us today for a free no-obligation care consultation via phone or in person.

6 Foods to Fight High Blood Pressure

New science is changing the way people 50 and older judge
their blood pressure, and new studies on foods and hypertension suggest it may
be easier than you thought to reduce high blood pressure.
1.      
Blueberries
Just one serving of blueberries a week can
help cut your risk of high blood pressure. Blueberries as well as raspberries
and strawberries, contain natural compounds called anthocyanin’s that protect
against hypertension, according to a recent British and American study of about
157,000 men and women publish in the
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
2.      
Cereal
Having a bowl of cereal, especially
whole-grain, high-fiber cereals like oatmeal, oat squares, bran flakes or
shredded wheat, can reduce your chance of developing high blood pressure,
Harvard University researchers recently found. Plus, the more servings of
cereal you eat a week, the greater the benefits.
3.      
Potatoes
A baked potato is high in potassium and magnesium;
two important minerals that can help fight high blood pressure. Research shows
that if Americans boosted their potassium intake, adult cases of high blood
pressure could fall more than 10%. As for magnesium, many older Americans fail
to get enough in their diet. In addition to baked potatoes, here are some other
foods high in both of these minerals: halibut, spinach, bananas, soybeans,
kidney beans, and plain non-fat yogurt.
4.      
Beets
Drinking a glass of beet juice can lower
blood pressure within just a few hours, according to a Queen Mary University of
London study published in 2010 in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension. The nitrate in the juice
has the same effect as taking a nitrate tablet. Beet juice can be found at some
health food stores and specialty groceries such as Whole Foods. Other
nitrate-rich foods include spinach, lettuce, cabbage, carrots, and of course
whole beets.
5.      
Skim Milk
Eating low-fat dairy products can reduce a
woman’s risk of developing hypertension. That’s the conclusion of a 2008 study
of nearly 30,000 women with an average age of 54. The women who ate the most
low-fat dairy products such as yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, frozen yogurt,
and skim or low-fat milk were 11% less likely to develop high blood pressure.
6.      
Dark Chocolate
Eating a one-ounce square of dark chocolate
daily can help lower blood pressure, especially in people who already have
hypertension, according to Harvard researchers who analyzed 24 chocolate
studies. Dark chocolate is high in flavonoids, natural compounds that cause
dilation of the blood vessels. Look for chocolates that say they contain 50 to
70 percent cacao.

Source:
www.aar.org/health/medical-research/info-04-2-11/6-foods-fight-high-blood-pressure.2.html

How You Can Protect Your Deceased Loved Ones and Yourself from Identity Theft

Each year
identity thieves use the identity of nearly 2.5 million deceased Americas to
fraudulently open credit card accounts, apply for loans and get cellphone or
other services.
Nearly 800,000
of those deceased are deliberately targeted- roughly 2,200 a day. The
identities of the others are used by chance. Crooks make up a Social Security
number that happens to match that of someone who has died.
It is called “ghosting,”
and it can take six months for financial institutions, credit-reporting bureaus
and the Social Security Administration to receive, share or register death
records, so the crooks have ample time to rack up charges.
Sometimes, crooks
glean personal information from hospitals or funeral homes. More often, the
crime begins with thieves trolling through obituaries. With a name, address and
birth date in hand, they can illicitly purchase the person’s Social Security
number on the internet for as little as $10.00.
During Tax
season, criminals may file tax returns under the identities of the dead,
collecting refunds from the IRS.
The only good
news here is that surviving family members are ultimately not responsible for
such charges, but ghosting can still cause plenty of angst. So protect yourself
by taking these steps after a loved one’s death:
·        
In
obituaries, list the age but don’t include birth date, mother’s maiden name or
other personal identifiers that could be useful to ID thieves. Omitting the
person’s address also reduces the likelihood of a home burglary during the
funeral (sadly, this does happen).
·        
Using
certified mail with “return receipt,” send copies of the death certificate to
each credit-reporting bureau: Equifax, Experian, and Transunion asking them to place
a “deceased alert” on the credit report. Mail certificates to banks, insurers,
brokerages, and credit card and mortgage companies where the deceased held
accounts. If you are closing an individual account, make sure the institution
lists “Closed Account Holder Is Deceased” as a reason. For joint accounts,
remove the deceased’s name.
·        
Report
the death to Social Security by calling 800-772-1213.
·        
Contact
the department of motor vehicles to cancel the deceased’s driver’s license, to
prevent duplicates from being issued to fraudsters.
·        
A
few weeks later, check the credit report of the person at
annualcreditreport.com to see if there has been any suspicious activity.
Several months late, go to the same site to get another free report from a different
credit-reporting bureau.
Source:www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/info-03-2013/protecting-the-dead-from-identity-theft.html