Transportation Options for Non-Drivers

Getting around is essential no matter our age. As we get older,
though, many of us may choose to stop driving or, as caregivers, decide it’s
best for our parent or loved one to no longer transport him or herself. Because
of this, transportation alternatives become essential.
There are a variety
of transportation options out there. The trick is figuring out which is the
best fit and which your loved one will feel the most comfortable with.
Location, cost, convenience (for both the person being cared for as well as the
caregiver), frequency and ease of use all become factors in deciding which
option is best. To help you get started, here is a breakdown of many of the
options.
Friends and Family
Often, the responsibility of transporting loved ones falls on friends and
family. For many, this works out to be the most trustworthy and cost-effective
solution. For others, however, schedules and distance will make this nearly
impossible. Because you and your loved one will know and trust the drivers in
this transportation network, this is also the least worrisome option. For those
of you who are willing and able to be your loved one’s primary means of
transport, be sure to have a back-up option should you get sick or need a
break. If you are unable to be the primary transportation option, hiring a
safe-driving family member or friend to provide rides on a regular basis will
help to share the load while providing them with added income.
Taxis
Whether the primary mode of transportation or a backup, taxicabs are a convenient
way to get your loved one to and from necessary destinations. There are pros
and cons, though. The pros of taxi service are that they are almost always
readily available and reasonably priced, depending on location. The cons are
that drivers usually don’t help passengers into and out of their destinations,
will most likely be unknown to the passenger and will not be consistent. Also,
if used frequently, fares can add up. Lastly, organizing rides may fall to you,
the caregiver, if your loved one isn’t able to or doesn’t like the idea of
making the reservations. As with all other services, make sure to go with a
reputable company to ensure the safety of your loved one.
Hiring a Private Car Service
If there is a need for transportation on a consistent basis and relying on
family and friends is not an option, a car service may be a solution.
Contracting with a reputable transportation service to take your loved one on
weekly errands may end up being cheaper — and more efficient — than using taxis
for every trip. Arrangements can be made in advance, the cost per trip may be
lower than using taxis and you might be able to request the same driver each
week. They may even be willing to escort your loved one into and out of their
home and provide assistance with carrying packages or bags. Be sure to ask
local senior services for recommendations so you make arrangements with a
reputable company — especially if you plan to have someone entering your loved
one’s home.
Residence Transportation Services
Many care facilities provide transportation for their residents. If your parent
or loved one is living in any type of care facility, check to see if they offer
this service. Many do, which is a great resource for caregivers who either
can’t provide regular transportation or need a break. Often, facilities will
arrange weekly trips to the grocery store and other destinations, as well as
schedule social day trips. Simply check with the front desk of the facility on
whether this is an option.
Volunteer
Drivers

Check with local senior organizations as well as your religious institution to
see if they provide volunteer transportation services. Often, churches,
synagogues and religious organizations, as well as senior centers, have
volunteers at the ready to assist older members of the community with errands,
appointments and other necessary trips around town.
Dial-a-Ride, Van Services and Ride Sharing
Many communities provide public ride sharing services, such as Dial-a-Ride,
that cater to older adults. Often, these services are run by local
transportation companies or nonprofit organizations and can be very useful for
getting around town. These vans and buses are unlike taxis and hired
transportation services in that they run along specific routes and usually
don’t cater to specific requests. Costs for these services vary by service and
location. To find a service in your area, check the phonebook or use the Eldercare Locater.
Public Transportation
Depending on your loved one’s health, level of comfort and location, public
transportation may be an option. This is a convenient way to get around
metropolitan areas and is a great option in those areas where it’s safe, easy
to follow and convenient. If you think your parent or loved one would take well
to public transportation, take him on a few test runs to ensure he’s
comfortable and finds his way around easily. Most major public transit systems
provide rate information as well as maps on their websites.
Paratransit
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), those with disabilities are
legally entitled to paratransit, as long as they meet eligibility. A system of
buses, vans, cars and trains, paratransit is a public transportation service
that caters to those who are unable to use regular public transportation. Those
interested — or their caregivers — must contact their local transit provider,
which will determine eligibility. For help with determining eligibility, visit
the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund.

Source: http://www.aarp.org/relationships/caregiving-resource-center/info-10-2010/pc_transportation_options_for_nondrivers.2.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.

Tips for the Long-Distance Caregiver

Caregiving from afar is no easy task.
Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind while contemplating caring for your
parent from a distance.
Create
a Contact List

Assemble address and phone numbers of friends, neighbors, doctors, faith
leaders and others in regular contact with your parents who can be reached in
the event of an emergency. Include at least one person close by who can easily
check in on your loved one. Consider giving this person a key to the home if
your loved one approves. If you don’t already know them, introduce yourself
during a visit to establish relationships should you need to reach out. Give
one copy of this list to your loved one and keep a copy for yourself. These
folks may also be able to help out with shopping, transportation or visits.

Collect
Important Information Before a Crisis

Keep the following information organized and easy to reach in the event of a
crisis.
Medical
  •         Medical records.
  •          Notes on their condition.
  •          A list of medications they take.
  •          Names and phone numbers of all
    doctors.
  •          Name and phone number of their
    pharmacy.

Insurance

  •          A list of insurance policies, the
    carriers and account numbers.
Utilities
  •          Company names and phone numbers for
    all utilities, including electric, phone, cable and Internet.

Financial

  •          A list of all assets and debts
    (include dollar values).
  •          Yearly or monthly income.
  •          Yearly or monthly expenses.
  •          A statement of net worth.
  •          Information on bank accounts, other
    financial holdings and credit cards.

 Legal

  •         Relevant legal documents your loved
    one has or wants to create (i.e. wills, advance directives, trusts,   power(s) of
    attorney).
  •          Location of important documents
    (i.e. birth certificates, deed to home).
  •          Social Security numbers.

Make Visits Productive

Visiting your parent or loved one should be an enjoyable event. But take
advantage of your time together to assess their changing needs.

·        
Before your visit, decide together
with your loved ones what needs to be taken care of while you’re there,
including scheduling any necessary appointments.
  •          Make a list of household items that
    need to be purchased and, if possible, go out and buy them.
  •          Allow time to go through mail and
    old papers. 
  •          Take note of anything out of the
    ordinary and of what they eat. Check to see what they have in their
    refrigerator and pantry and if it’s sufficient.
  •          Look out for safety hazards such as
    loose rugs, missing handrails or poor lighting.

During your visits, you may start to realize that more help is needed on a
regular basis. Think about your parent’s daily needs and whether they are still
being adequately met.  Are they:
  •          Socializing with friends and other
    relatives?
  •          Attending religious services or
    other regular events?
  •          Keeping up with chores or
    housekeeping?
  •          Maintaining their personal
    appearance and hygiene?
  •          Eating well with a variety of foods
    in the house?
  •          Opening and responding to
    correspondence from insurers, banks or others?
  •          Paying bills and balancing the
    checkbook?
  •          Scheduling and getting to doctor
    appointments or other important visits?
  •          Getting out to the store or
    recreational activities?
  •         Maintaining the home?
  •         Taking medication as directed?

If not,
consider additional resources to ensure your loved one is maintaining their
normal routine and staying on top of finances, mail and medications.
Be sure,
however, to spend time enjoying each other’s company, too. A visit that is all
business won’t be good for anyone.
Gather
Information on Community Services

Based on your observations and discussions with your parents, you may want to
look into services in their community that could help them.  Start by
using the Eldercare Locator to
determine which local agencies provide services where your parents live. It
will refer you to the area agency on aging in your parent’s community. Look for
services that fit the needs of your loved ones as well as an organization that
can work with you long distance. Take notes on the services offered, the
application process, waiting lists and fees. If an organization requires an
in-person interview with your parent, find out what documents you will need
prior to the meeting and whether copies will be sufficient. If you can’t be
with your parent at the meeting, consider having one of their emergency
contacts stand in for you. You might be able to join the conversation by
telephone. Make a list of questions you want answered and be sure to have a
contact person to follow up with.
Look
into Public Benefits Online

You can now go online and safely and conveniently get an idea of the different
public assistance programs for which your parents might be eligible. By using
Benefits QuickLINK you can
find helpful state, federal and private benefits programs available where your
parents live. By answering a few questions, you will get fact sheets,
applications and websites for programs that can help them save money and cover
costs of everyday expenses.
Get
Help with Managing the Care

Most communities have professionals who can gauge your loved one’s abilities
and needs and set up a plan for care. You can find this assistance through
government-funded programs by using the Eldercare Locator.
Another option is to hire a private geriatric care manager. A number of
employers are starting to pay for these services and, if your family member has
long-term care insurance, this might be covered under the policy. For a list of
local professionals, visit the National Association of
Professional Geriatric Care Managers or the National Association of Social Workers.
Keep
the Lines of Communication Open

Be sensitive to your parent’s view of the situation. At first they may not want
strangers in their home, or they may have trouble facing change. Maintain a
positive focus, explain how the services will work and that they are designed
to help your parent remain independent. If possible, offer to contribute to the
cost of care without appearing to offer charity. If your suggestions of service
are rebuffed, you can have an objective third party — such as a doctor —
recommend the service.
Don’t
Forget Your Needs

Recognize the strain that long-distance caregiving causes, and take steps to
reduce it.  Accept that it’s impossible for you to provide all the help
your parent needs. Give yourself credit for your efforts to determine needs,
coordinate services and offer support by phone and occasional visits. Ask for
help when you need it. If you don’t feel that other family members are doing
their share, consider a family meeting to help resolve any issues. Eat right,
exercise and get enough sleep.
Mail
Carrier Alert Program

In some communities, mail carriers or utility workers are trained to spot signs
of trouble through the Carrier Alert Program of the U.S.
Postal Service. They report concerns, such as accumulated mail or
trash, to an agency that will check on the older adult. This is a service of
the USPS and the NALC (National Association of Letter Carriers) in
collaboration with local non-profits. To find out if there’s a program in your
area, contact the local post office or
NALC branch office, or ask your mail carrier for information.

Source: http://www.aarp.org/relationships/caregiving-resource-center/info-09-2010/pc_tips_for_long_distance_caregiver.1.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.

What are some of the routine medical tests for seniors?

A wide range of screening and
preventive measures are available and recommended for people over the age of
65. These guidelines follow the recommendations by the U.S. Preventive Services
Task Force (USPSTF) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and are based on
extensive clinical data. 
The following lists some of the
important preventive and screening measures for seniors.
  • Influenza vaccination
  • Pneumonia vaccination
  • Vaccination against shingles (60 and older; some
    doctors recommend starting at age 50)
  • Colon
    cancer screening for adults between ages 50 and 75 (younger
    starting age in high risk groups)
  • Breast
    cancer screening with yearly mammogram
    for females between 40 and 75 (younger starting age for high risk groups)
  • Prostate cancer
    screening with annual rectal exam and PSA (prostate sensitive antigen) in
    males above age 50
  • Osteoporosis screening with bone
    density scan in women above age of 65
  • Lipid disorder screening yearly for men above 35 and
    women above 45
  • Diabetes screening in people with high blood pressure,
    high cholesterol, obesity,
    or previous high blood sugar levels with or without symptoms of diabetes
  • Blood pressure screening at least once a year
  • Smoking cessation counseling
Other screening tests may be
recommended by doctors are:
  • vision and hearing exams
  • skin cancer screening
  • cardiac stress
    tests
  • thyroid function tests
  • mental status exam
  • peripheral vascular disease screening
It is worth noting that even though
these are general health maintenance guidelines, primary care doctors may draft
an individualized plan for each person based on their personal history. 
Many of these tests are recommended
to be performed periodically. As people get older, the benefits of detecting
certain diseases may diminish, obviating the need for further screening.
Accordingly, the patient’s primary physician may help guide patients with their
decisions regarding recommended health screening tests. 
Sometimes the possible risks
associated with certain tests may outweigh the potential benefits. Therefore,
there are times when the right decision for an individual is to not have
further testing for certain conditions. 
Source:
www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=22405

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.

Is exercise important in health of the elderly?

Benefits of exercise in disease prevention
and progression cannot be overemphasized. 
Regular physical activity and
exercise can help manage or even prevent a variety of health problems in the
elderly. 
Heart disease, high cholesterol,
diabetes, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, certain cancers, depression, and stroke
are some the common medical conditions which routine physical activity and
effective exercising may greatly benefit the patient. 
Some of the numerous health benefits
of exercise for seniors include:
  • Weight maintenance and burning excess calories
  • Improving the ratio of good cholesterol to bad
    cholesterol
  • Building up physical endurance
  • Optimizing health of the heart, lung, and vascular
    system
  • Better delivery of oxygen and nutrients to tissues
  • Maintaining bone and muscle health
  • Reducing fall risks and arthritis
  • Mood enhancement
  • Better sleep quality and duration
Regular exercise 3-5 times a week
for at least 30 minutes is strongly advised for seniors. An effective exercise
is one which would increase the heart rate adequately to about 75% of maximum
heart rate. A person’s maximum heart rate is roughly calculated by subtracting
age from the number 220.
Walking, swimming, and exercise
machines are generally safe and can help achieve these goals. Balance
exercises, flexibility exercises, and resistance exercises (weight lifting) can also be beneficial.
As a general precaution, if symptoms
such as chest pain
or tightness, shortness of breath, or fainting or dizziness
occur during or after exercising, it is important for the individual to stop
the exercise and notify their physician promptly.
Source:
www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=22405

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.

What role does diet play in senior health?

A good and healthy diet has numerous
potential benefits in the health of seniors.
Heart disease, vascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, strokes,
memory problems, osteoporosis, certain cancers, skin, hair and nail diseases,
and visual problems are examples of conditions which can be impacted by diet. 
Proteins, carbohydrates, fats,
vitamins, minerals, and water are all essential nutrients that make up most
cells and tissues in human body. Thus, these essential components need to be
provided in moderation through the diet for maintenance of good health. 
A balanced diet consisting of fruits
and vegetables, whole grains, and fiber is generally
recommended to provide these necessary nutrients. Avoidance of saturated fats
(animal fat), supplementation with minerals and vitamins, and consumption of
plenty of fluids are considered an important component of a healthy diet. 
Although the quality of food is
important, its quantity should not be overlooked. A large portion of a very
healthy diet can still lead to a high caloric intake. Moderate portion sizes to
achieve daily caloric goals of 1500 to 2000 are generally advised. Avoiding
empty calories are also important. These are foods which lack good nutritional
value but are high in calories. Examples include sodas, chips, cookies, donuts,
and alcohol.
Special dietary restrictions for
certain conditions are also important to follow. Restricted salt and fluid
intake for people with heart failure
or kidney disease, or carbohydrate controlled diet for people with diabetes are
general examples of such guidelines.
Source:
www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=22405

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.

What are lifestyle changes seniors can make to lead a healthy life as they age?

A
balanced diet and participation in regular exercise are paramount in
maintaining a healthy life for people of all ages. Routine exercise and
healthy diet in seniors can have an even more noticeable impact in their
general well-being. 

Many
diseases in seniors may be prevented or at least slowed down as a
result of a healthy lifestyle. Osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease,
high blood pressures, diabetes, high cholesterol, dementia, depression,
and certain cancers are some of the common conditions that can be
positively modified in seniors through diet, exercise, and other simple
lifestyle changes.

In addition to diet and exercise, other important life style modifications to lead a healthier life in seniors include:

  • Limiting alcohol intake to one drink daily
  • Smoking cessation
  • Using skin moisturizers and sun protection
  • Brushing and flossing teeth once or twice a day
  • Staying proactive in own healthcare and participating in decision making
  • Going to the primary care doctor routinely
  • Reviewing list of medications with their doctor(s) often
  • Following recommended instructions for health screening, preventive tests, and vaccinations
  • Visiting a dentist annually or biannually
  • Following up with eye doctor and foot doctor, especially for people with diabetes
  • Being
    aware of potential medication side effects and drug interactions
    including over-the-counter drugs, herbals, and alternative medicine
  • Adhering to routine sleep schedule and using good sleep hygiene
  • Engaging in routine and scheduled social activities
  • Taking vacations

Source: www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=22405

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 can Social Issues affect the Life and Health of Seniors?

Social issues can have a significant impact on life and both physical and mental health for seniors. Some of the major contributors to social and psychological problems for seniors are as follows:

Loneliness from losing a spouse and friends

Inability to independently manage regular activities of living

Difficulty coping and accepting physical changes of aging

Frustration with ongoing medical problems and increasing number of medications

Social isolation as adult children are engaged in their own lives

Feeling inadequate from inability to continue to work

Boredom from retirement and lack of routine activities

Financial stresses from the loss of regular income

These factors can have a negative impact on overall health of an older individual. Addressing these psychological problems is an integral component of seniors’ complex medical care.

Source: www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey-22405

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.

What Changes Occur in the Body as we age?

A
wide range of changes can happen in the body to different degrees as we
age. These changes are not necessarily indicative of an underlying
disease but they can be distressing to the individual. Even though the
aging process cannot be stopped, being aware of these changes and
adopting a healthy lifestyle can reduce their impact on overall health.
 
  • Skin: With
    aging, skin becomes less flexible, thinner, and more fragile. Easy
    bruising is noticeable, and wrinkles, age spots, and skin tags may
    become more apparent. Skin can also become more dry and itchy as a
    result of less natural skin oil production.
  • Bones, joints, and muscles: Bones
    typically lose density and shrink in size making them more susceptible
    to fractures. Muscles shrink in mass and become weaker. Joints can
    suffer from normal wear and tear; joints become painful, inflamed, and
    less flexible.
  • Mobility and balance: A
    person’s mobility and balance can be affected by various age related
    changes. Bone, joint, and muscle problems listed above in conjunction
    with changes in the nervous system are the major contributors to balance
    problems. Falls may occur resulting in further damage with bruises and
    fractures.
  • Body shape: As
    a result of bony changes of aging, body stature can become shorter and
    curvature of the back vertebrae may be altered. Increased muscle loss
    and reduced fat metabolism can also occur. Fat can redistribute to the
    abdominal area and buttock areas. Maintaining an ideal body weight
    becomes more difficult.
  • Face: Aging
    changes also take place in the face. Other than wrinkles and age spots,
    the overall facial contour can change. Overall loss of volume from
    facial bone and fat can result in less tightness of the facial skin and
    sagging. The face becomes droopier and bottom heavy.
  • Teeth and gums: Teeth
    can become more, weak, brittle, and dry. Salivary glands produce less
    saliva; Gums can also recede from the teeth. These changes may result in
    dry mouth, tooth decay, infections, bad breath, tooth loss, and gum
    disease.
  • Hair and nail: Hair
    can become thinner and weaker as a person ages. Dry hair may lead to
    itching and discomfort. Nails may become brittle and unshapely. Nails
    can also get dry and form vertical ridges. Toe nail thickening (ram’s
    horn shape) is common. Nail fungal infections may occur frequently.
  • Hormones and endocrine glands: Hormonal
    changes are seen commonly in the elderly. Most common is the hormonal
    control of blood sugar and carbohydrate metabolism leading to diabetes.
    Thyroid dysfunction and problems with fat and cholesterol metabolism are
    also commonly encountered. Calcium and vitamin D metabolism may also
    become altered.
  • Memory: Problems
    with memory are common in seniors. However, it is important to realize
    that minor memory problems so not constitute dementia or Alzheimer’s
    disease. Simple lapses of memory such as not remembering where you left
    your car keys or whether you locked the door are a normal part of aging.
  • Immunity: The
    body’s immune system can get weaker with age. Blood cells that fight
    infections (white blood cells) become less effective leading to more
    frequent infections.
  • Hearing: Changes
    in nerves pf hearing and ear structures can dim hearing and cause
    age-related hearing loss. Higher frequencies become harder to hear.
  • Vision: Eyes
    can become drier and the lens can lose its accuracy as we age. Vision
    can be affected by these changes and can become blurry and out of focus.
    Glasses or contact lenses can help correct these problems.
  • Taste and smell: Sense of smell and less commonly, sense of taste may fade leading to poor appetite and weight loss.
  • Bowel and bladder: Bowel
    and bladder control can cause problems with incontinence. Additionally,
    bowel and bladder habit can change. Constipation is common in older
    adults, as are urinary frequency and difficulty initiating urine.
  • Sleep: Sleep
    patterns can significantly change with age. Duration of sleep, quality
    of sleep, and frequent night time awakening are commonly seen in
    seniors.
Source: www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=22405

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.

What are Some Common Facts about Health in seniors?

As people get older, physiological changes occur in their body as a mutual part of aging.

Physical changes sue to aging can occur in almost every organ and can affect seniors’ health and lifestyle.

Some diseases and conditions become more prominent in the elderly.

Psychosocial issues can also play a role in physical and mental health of older adults.

A balanced diet and regular exercise are strongly linked to better health outcomes in seniors.

A series of routine screening tests and preventative measures are recommended for the elderly.

Important preventative measures at home can improve the safety and health of seniors.

Geriatrics is a medical sub-specialty dedicated to the care of the elderly. Physicians who have specialized training in this field are known as geriatricians.

Source: www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=22405

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.