- Indifference to Aging in Car, Phone, Travel, and Packaging Design
Market indifference—the mobility gap: You've seen the driver—too short to see over the wheel, too timid to change lanes safely, maybe taking multiple chronic disease medications—and still driving. In 15 years, one of five drivers will be 65 or older. "The result is a 'mobility gap,'" according to Joseph Coughlin, head of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's AgeLab, which develops technologies aimed at keeping older people active.
- Dealing with Grief
Grief can be a hard subject to talk about. No amount of planning can eliminate the grief or loss associated with the death of an elder loved one—and it shouldn’t. Grief is an important part of death, and you need to allow yourself to feel it. It is a healthy and powerful way to show love. Grief is often internalized through thoughts and feelings, but you may also express grief in words and tears. We were given tear ducts to relieve the stress and pressure of our lives. Use them.
- Hiring a Geriatric Care Manager
When faced with caregiving, many of you will decide that you just can’t manage this process alone. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to—you just have to do all you can in the time allotted. It’s easy to become overwhelmed, but your elder’s final days depend on your focused attention and energy.
- Universal Design
With life expectancy on the rise, the need to make homes and facilities safer and more accessible for the aging population is a more crucial issue than ever before. One cutting-edge movement—universal design—is poised to alter the landscape of community interior and exterior architecture as we know it and will set us on a track to soften the impact of the geriatric tsunami headed our way.
- Current Technology to Prevent Wandering
Tracking people when they're gone—or noticing before they've left? I spent the weekend researching various technology offerings that might prevent an able-bodied 87-year-old person with dementia from wandering beyond a specified area in independent or assisted living campuses. I've looked into it and must say I'm disappointed. The hype exceeds at least my research reality.
- Long-Term Care Insurance
When I discussed Medicare a couple of weeks ago, you may have noticed that I didn’t cover long-term care. In general, people who require long-term care are not sick in the traditional sense; instead, they are unable to perform the basic activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, getting in and out bed, eating, and walking.
Here are some eye-opening statistics from the Long Term Care Insurance National Advisory Center:
- Advances in Equipment Adapted for Elders
I’m thrilled by the recent advances in adapted equipment. Books, videos, Web sites, and pamphlets are out there for almost any type of elder care, handicap, or special need. They are more widely available than people think. Once you determine your elder’s need, you should be able to find adapted equipment that will improve the quality of his or her life.
- Getting Help: Part 2
Once you’ve made the decision to hire someone to help take care of your elder and determined what level of help is required, the next step is to interview applicants. Always consider several candidates for the job. It’s the best way to find a good match. When interviewing prospects, ask the following questions:
- Getting Help: Part 1
Many of us have to ask ourselves this question in the face of our elder care duties: Can I do it all myself? Chances are, the answer is no. The first thing you must do is figure out exactly what kind of help you need. Often, your elder’s needs (as well as your own) can be met by tapping into your network of family and friends. Look into this before you hire anyone. Ask who’s available to help in your network. Don’t be afraid to ask. Some family and friends can offer financial help, transportation, food, cooking skills, or legal expertise.
- How to Care for Yourself While Caring for Others
I find it hard to believe there is actually a word in the English language that could possibly describe what caregivers endure. There can’t be. What many experience during the caregiving process is often a deep, emotional shift accompanied by confusion, frustration, and even resentment. Somewhere along the line, you lose yourself, and individuality blurs with the needs of the loved one.