Newsletter – November 2008

In This Issue

Greetings From A Servant’s Heart Care Solutions!

In this month of Thanksgiving, A Servant’s Heart Care Solutions wishes to extend early holiday greetings to you and your friends, families and co-workers. Our commitment to bringing you the latest and most important news in home care, home health care and elder care news continues. We recommend that you share this newsletter with others who might also be interested, and we thank you for your continued attention.

Please enjoy these articles in the spirit of community in which this newsletter was sent.

The Key to Alzheimer’s: Recognizing Symptoms and Seeking Early Detection

keyIn a new online survey conducted by Harris Interactive and commissioned by the Alzheimer’s Disease Screening Discussion Group (ADSDG) titled, “Alzheimer’s Disease: Current Attitudes, Perceptions and Knowledge,” it is reported that nearly 95% of the survey participants agreed they would encourage a loved one to seek early diagnosis if they suspected signs of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

However, the report goes on to state that of the 34% who previously thought a loved one had the disease, only about one-quarter prompted that person to take an AD screener test, and less than 40% encouraged initiating a conversation with his or her doctor.

Given the rise of AD as the baby boomer population ages – up to 16 million are estimated to have the disease by 2050 – these new survey results are particularly important. The ADSDG encourages everyone with a loved one age 55 and over to visit http://www.seethesigns.com if symptoms are suspected. The link has resources to learn more about the disease, its signs and symptoms, and has an online memory screener one can complete on behalf of a loved one.

Signs & Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

  • Problems doing simple tasks, such as getting dressed
  • Difficulty talking with others
  • Trouble with knowing the time, date, or place
  • Poor judgment, such as going out in the cold without a coat
  • Trouble solving problems
  • Losing things, such as keys, more than usual
  • Changes in mood and behavior
  • Forgetting both recent and past events

Looking Out for the Elderly with Financial Abuse Training

It is estimated that over 80% of incidents affecting millions of seniors who are the victims of financial exploitation each year go unreported. Seventeen states and Washington, D.C. have passed laws that require bank personnel to report suspected cases of elder financial abuse and hold banks liable should they fail to report suspicions of elder financial abuse. Another 33 states recommend that bank personnel report those suspected cases.

The Banker’s Academy is now offering training to bank personnel through a new program, Focus on Elder Financial Abuse, that teaches bank employees how to recognize the signs of elder financial abuse, in order to better protect customers.

For a full demonstration of Focus on Elder Financial Abuse contact the Banker’s Academy online here or call (888)-433-2666.

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: A 21st Century Common Family Scenario

grandkidsNow there is help for grandparents who are the surrogate parents to their grandchildren. A new audio tape series written by Nancy Kropf, PhD, from the University of Georgia’s School of Social Work is a series of 8 tapes, each containing a conversation. Some of the topics covered on the tape series are:

  • Taking care of your health
  • Being involved in relationships with family and friends
  • Addressing your legal questions and concerns like custody, guardianship, or having a will
  • Finding resources in the community for you and your grandchild(ren)
  • Making the best of your relationship with your grandchild(ren)
  • AND, taking care of yourself

View http://www.isd.uga.edu/production/letstalk.htm to order. For more information call CTL at 706-542-3456.

Gerontological Certifications Meet Demands of an Aging Society

Because the population of the United States is growing older, the increasing numbers of elderly persons will mean an increasing demand for individuals with the skills and insight gained from training in gerontology. 350 college and university programs now belong to the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, and offer a special course of study in addition to a traditional discipline resulting in a “certificate.”  Visit their Web site for more information.

Women at Distinct Disadvantage in Managing Independent Living as They Age

womanA new Web-based tutorial from the Kaiser Family Foundation, “Health Care and Long-Term Care Policy: Concerns Facing Older Women,” notes that older women are more predisposed to having limitations and needing assistance with activities of daily living as they age. This tutorial states that of the 65 and older population, women comprise the majority of home health users – 68% – and not only because they live longer on average than men. The Kaiser tutorial notes that almost one-quarter of older women have a cognitive or mental impairment.

The tutorial states that women are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to managing independent living as their health deteriorates because although there are about twice as many women over age 85 than men, women are twice as likely as men to be living alone in senior years. Due to lower average incomes during their lifetimes, significantly more older women have incomes less than $20,000 per year. Those factors make the costs of long-term care a particular burden for older women.

The free online tutorial is narrated by Alina Salganicoff, Vice President and Director of Women’s Health Policy for the foundation, and available free online here.

Webcast Resource – How Technology Can Help Aging Gracefully at Home

Parks Associates, a research firm, is featured in this Webcast, which outlines the latest information on the adoption of assistive technologies such as motion-detection sensors, health vital sign monitoring and medication compliance monitoring.

Parks Associates’ research shows that advanced health technologies will help senior citizens live more independently at home, perhaps more worry-free for their loved ones and with capabilities to be “always-in-the-know” for their caregivers. This Webcast features Harry Wang, Director of Health and Mobile Product Research for Parks Associates, and invited guest speakers who analyze the market needs and interest in these aging-at-home technologies, assess their market-readiness, and discuss current and future service and revenue models.

Find out more here.

Video Games Not Just For Kids!

video gamesNintendo has infiltrated the senior activity world with Wii. The buzz about Wii is spreading rapidly as it is not just a gaming console, but the device provides a reason to get together with friends and family to play today’s hottest video games. Seniors can enjoy electronic virtual sports like bowling that they can play by using subtle body movements, thus providing exercise as well as socialization. Want to get in the game? For more information visit http://www.nintendo.com/wii or ask your grandchildren.

Meet Your Robotic Caregiver, uBOT-5!

A new robotic assistant, uBOT-5, can call 911, remind people to take medications and navigate around the house to look for them by electronic command. Among other capabilities, it can carry a 2.2-pound package in its raised arms and offer a virtual visit with a grandchild via a computer screen. Doctors can conduct house calls through the uBOT-5’s secure Internet connection. The robot can even apply a digital stethoscope to the patient, relaying important medical information.

However, the uBOT-5 is not yet on the market. It was developed by researchers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and built to fill the specific need of acquiring, transporting, and placing objects — otherwise known as “pick-and-place” tasks.

Visit their Web site for more information, photos and details.

Virtual Visiting: Remote Safety Testing

Managed from a remote Web site, ConnectR can be told to navigate through a house to see if residents are safe. Other features: it allows real-time virtual visits with family and pets. A national testing program is being conducted now. For ConnectR’s progress in getting the product to retail, go to www.irobot.com.

To sign up for information, click here.

Beep Beep: Let Me Help You Find Your Glasses and Slippers

My name is Loc8tor, and I am an electronic device that is handheld and can help you locate items using radio-frequency identification tags attached (at a maximum range of 600 feet).

Visit their Web site for more information.

Man’s Best Friend Suffers from Aging Problems Also

These common problems that affect aging pets are offered with solutions that might help:

  • Dementia: Most pets suffer mild to severe dementia in their geriatric years. Drugs like Anipryl (selegiline) can be effective, as can behavior modification techniques your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist can prescribe.
  • Arthritis: Weight loss for the heavy to obese among us is imperative to arthritis patients of any species. But pets won’t lose weight if the pain keeps them from moving about. All arthritic pets will improve with pet-specific pain relievers, but be careful; individual tailoring of these drugs is a requirement.
  • Blindness: A large percentage of aging pets suffer cataracts. If caught in time, vision-saving cataract surgery can be done at a veterinary ophthalmologist’s practice. Ask your vet for a referral. Other highly treatable conditions such as ”dry eye” can also cause blindness. Diligent care will typically prevent vision loss in these pets.
  • Deafness: As with blindness, loss of a sense gives dementia a boost. That’s why it’s important to keep tabs on a pet’s hearing and let your vet know if it’s declining. While veterinary medicine has no good solution for most age-related hearing conditions, careful owners will help their pets adapt to this loss with a stricter routine and training solutions vets can recommend.

To learn more about keeping aging from affecting your pet’s quality of life for as long as possible, visit http://www.dolittler.com/ (a blog for pet lovers).

Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance Program

This month we’re bringing you information about our favorite pet-related charity, the Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance Program, also called FVEAP.  We encourage you to visit their website at http://www.fveap.org.  FVEAP is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable corporation. It is managed by a Board of Directors, each one of whom is committed to the welfare of all animals, but especially cats and kittens. Each of them has experience with rescue and Trap, Neuter & Return programs. The Chief Executive Officer is a volunteer who has experience as a no-kill animal shelter director and who manages the routine affairs of the FVEAP.   Please visit their website and keep them in mind for your annual donation plans!

MISSION

FVEAP is committed to HELPING YOU HELP YOUR CAT. The life of every cat and kitten is precious and the FVEAP members believe that it is their

mission to ensure that none die due to lack of financial ability to get necessary veterinary care.

GOALS

1) Provide immediate (within 24 hours) decision and response to assistance requests

2) Require minimum procedures and paperwork to get assistance

3) Provide comprehensive help to solve the problem through financial assistance, information and/or referral.

cat

National Family Caregivers Month

Visit A Servant’s Heart Care Solutions for more information and to download our free resources.

For more ideas on ways to research and make wise choices, we recommend the following resources:

Respite Tips for Caregivers

Brochure that encourages informal caregivers to consider using respite services and offers suggestions about ways to make their respite time most effective.

WebMD’s Caregiver Burnout Symptoms

Learn to recognize the symptoms of caregiver burnout through advice from WebMD.

Help Guide: Understand Respite Care

Learn more about the different types of respite care.

Celebrate National Family Caregivers Month

There are many ways to celebrate family caregivers and to take action and communicate the important messages of NFC Month. Check out these ideas and guides to help you create a successful National Family Caregivers Month in your community.

Taking Care of YOU: Self-Care for Family

An informative guide with valuable tips for keeping healthy while delivering care to others.

Achieving Emotional Distance from Overwhelming Caregiving Responsibilities

Learn a strategy to help a caregiver deal with feelings and be objective in providing daily care over the long-term to a loved one.

Workplace Programs for Family Caregivers

Provides information on workplace programs for family caregivers.

Family Caregiving Statistics

Great statistics on family caregivers and family caregiving, provided by the National Family Caregivers Association.

Tips for Surviving the Stressful Holiday Season

Here are some helpful tips from AlzOnline for surviving the stressful holiday season.

FAQ’s on Caregiving

Informative FAQ’s on caregiving from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Strategies for Employers to Support Working Caregivers

AARP offers information and retention strategies for employers to support working caregivers.

An Online Resource and Community for Family Caregivers

Strength for Caring is an online resource and community for family caregivers, helping them to take care of their loved ones and themselves.

An Interactive Social Networking Community for Caregivers

Revolution Health has developed an interactive social networking community for caregivers to meet others who share their interests, goals, challenges and more.

Originally posted 2008-11-01 13:22:34.

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Tim Colling

Tim Colling is the founder and President of A Servant's Heart In-Home Care, which provided in-home caregiving services in San Diego County, and also of A Servant's Heart Geriatric Care Management, which provided
professional geriatric care management services and long term care placement services in San Diego County. Tim has more than 30 years of experience in management in a variety of industries. He held a Certified Care Manager credential from the National Academy of Certified Care Managers. Tim is also a Certified Public Accountant (retired), and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from California State University at San Diego. In addition to writing blog posts here for the Servant’s Heart blog, Tim also is a regular contributor to HealthLine.com and to FamilyAffaires.com as well as blogs of other eldercare services provider companies. Finally, Tim is also the president of A Servant's Heart Web Design and Marketing, which provides home care marketing as well as website design and online marketing for those who serve the elderly and their families.

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