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  • 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.

  • Elderly Drivers: Warning Signs and Safety Tips

    I’ve talked a little bit about driving and the elderly before, but this is a topic that has a lot of ground to cover. Here I’ll discuss some specific warning signs that may show it’s time to consider whether or not your elder should be driving. Be sure to keep in mind that not all older drivers experience deterioration in their driving skills. However, the changes that often come with age, including vision and hearing loss as well as slower reaction times, can affect driving ability.

  • Safety Outside the Home

    A couple of weeks ago I talked a little bit about how to keep elders safe while inside the home. However, keeping them safe while away from the home is equally important. Whether they’re out running errands or shopping, either alone or with a companion, there are good guidelines that should be incorporated into their routine. These are also useful while traveling.

  • Kitchen Safety for Seniors

    A kitchen can be one of the home’s most dangerous areas, especially for seniors. Cooking and electrical fires, spills, and spoiled food are just a few of the hazards your aging loved one faces. Luckily, steps can be taken in order to eliminate, or at least greatly reduce, the chance of an accident.

  • 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.

  • Beat the Heat

    Summer is here, and it’s time for some fun in the great outdoors. But if you’re a caregiver for an elderly loved one, you must remember that the heat can be a very serious issue. I once played a part in a close call. I’m happy to say everything turned out just fine, but it was scary.

  • Preventing Falls

    Preventing falls starts with being proactive. It’s important to get your elder physically stabilized. Most falls occur when they are stressed and tired or if their environment and/or mind are cluttered, so you have to make sure they stay as active as they can. Their mind, muscles, and bone structure all need to be working together.

  • PACE: A Team Effort

    PACE provides “one-stop shopping” for seniors’ health care and much of their social well-being as well. Every PACE client has an interdisciplinary team of professionals at the PACE Day Center that oversees the client’s well-being. This team includes a physician, registered nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist, recreational therapist, home health nurse, personal care assistant, social worker, and dietitian as well as mental health personnel and transportation staff.

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