Staying on your feet.

Falls are common among older
adults and can cause a lot of problems. 

However, they can be prevented, and
usually without medical intervention. The CDC reported that one in three people over 65 falls each year, making it the leading
cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for the age group. Falling’s effects
can persist for a long time, making it harder to get around and easier to
suffer another injury.       
                                                   
Exercise should be the first
defense against falls. Some senior living communities offer workout and rehabilitation
programs that can help. Increasing balance with exercises like tai chi can also
have ancillary benefits like making it easier to get around and boosting
mood. Weight training will also increase muscle and bone strength, further reducing
injury
risk.               
                                                                                                                 
Keeping your eyes open and your legs moving should help you enjoy another safe
summer.

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.

4 Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Falling

1. Exercise
regularly, especially exercises that improve balance and coordination.
2.   
Review
your medications with your healthcare provider. Some medications can make you
sleepy or dizzy.
3.   
Have
your vision checked at least once a year, as poor vision can worsen your risk.
4.   
Have
your hearing tested annually and use hearing aids when recommended.

Did you know?
  •  Every
    15 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall.
  •   Every
    29 minutes an adult dies following a fall.
  •  People
    with mild hearing loss are nearly three times more likely to have a history of
    falling. The risk is greater with hearing loss. When people can’t hear well,
    they may not have a good awareness of their surroundings, increasing the chance
    of tripping and falling.

Source:
www.hihealthinnovations.com/page/fallprevention

The Common Issues of Aging

Due to new
medications and surgical procedures, people are living longer these days.
However, the body we had when we were 35 will be very different from the body
we will have when we are 75. Many issues, both genetic and environmental affect
how we age.
The most
widespread condition affecting those 65 and older is coronary heart disease,
followed by stroke, cancer, pneumonia, and the flu. Accidents, especially falls
that result in hip fractures, are also common in the elderly.
Most of our
elders are dealing with at least one of the following conditions:
  •          Heart
    conditions (hypertension, vascular disease, congestive heart failure, high
    blood pressure, and coronary heart disease).
  •          Dementia,
    including Alzheimer’s disease.
  •          Depression
  •          Incontinence
  •          Arthritis
  •          Osteoporosis
  •          Diabetes
  •          Breathing
    problems
  •          Frequent
    falls, which can lead to fractures.
  •          Parkinson’s
    disease
  •          Cancer
  •          Eye
    problems (cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration).

As the body
changes, here are some other issues to be aware of:
  •          Slow
    reaction time, which is especially important when judging if a person is
    capable to drive.
  •          Thinner
    skin, which can lead to breakdowns and wounds that don’t usually heal quickly.
  •          A
    weakened immune system, which can make fighting off viruses, bacteria, and diseases
    difficult.
  •          Diminished
    sense of taste or smell, which can lead to diminished appetite and dehydration.
    This is most common in smokers.

The list can seem
frightening, but with proper care, elders can have a life filled with joy.
Reference: www.agingcare.com/articles/common-issues-of-aging

Assistive Technology

Technology has come a long way
and can help many patients live in their homes longer. By using assistive
de-vices they can have a semi or fully automated living environment. This will
allow them to: decrease the risk of falls, which is the #1- 911 call in
Pinellas County, give them their personal freedom and independence back, and
increase the quality of life for themselves and their caregiver.
According to APD of Florida
2007 Statistics
, the average cost for
a disabled person living at home is $17,000 per year. The cost jumps to $48,000
per year living in a group home and over $83,000 per year in facilities.
Sta-tistics also prove people are happier and feel safer at home.
So how does technology help
them?
There are many solutions for
people today that can be customized to each individual situation. There are
controllers that use the person’s voice, touch, EMG (electromyography) breath,
and even Neural Impulse or thought controllers.
ECU’s ( Environmental
Control Units)
can control a few
things such as, open and close doors and windows, adjust beds, make telephone
calls, adjust thermostats, control stereos, computers, televisions and
emergency responses or even a whole home.
So how much do ECUs cost? Most ECUs have been very expensive and still are, $20k
to $30k. Now a local company, Environmental Controls For You LLC,
www.ecus4u.com, has ECUs that range for as little as $459-$5,700. They are
affordable easy to use and have an active life span of 15 to 20 years.
Does insurance cover the
cost?
Yes, insurance companies will
pay for ECUs with the recommendation from a PT, OT, or APT.
Does Medicare or Medicaid
pay for ECUs?
Medicaid Waiver covers
the cost but at this time Medicare does not.
How about other funding
sources?
FAAST (Florida Alliance for
Assistive Services and Technology) has an easy to use and qualify for program;
they have up to $30k per person.
Can this technology help a person go back to work? Absolutely,
ECUs can control computers, printers and other office machines where it will
make it possible for a person to start their own home based business or get job
with an employer. FAAST has funds for that also; up to $20k.
Written by:
Jerry MacDonald/President
Environmental Controls For You LLC www.ecus4u.com 727-216-6676