Alternative Transportation Options for the Elderly

Elder care transportationMany elders associate driving their vehicle as a sense of freedom and independence, just as it felt when we all got our driver’s license. As our senior parents or grandparents age, their driving skills may decline such as:

  • Worsened night vision at night
  • Slower reaction time
  • Tougher time judging the distance between oncoming cars

If you start noticing your aging family with any of these traits, it may be a good idea to either talk to them about transportation plans in the future or discuss options for them to get to where they need to go every day.

As the Department of Health and Human Services brochure, Before You Give Up the Keys Create a Roadmap for Transportation Independence states, there are these alternative options:

  • Public transit (such as the Metro bus or TANK bus)
  • Specialized transportation or paratransit for the elderly and disabled
  • Volunteer transportation
  • Transportation with assistance
  • Private-pay transportation ( such as taxis, Uber and Lyft)

Transportation is one of the biggest issues seniors face and our in-home senior care service can help. Family Bridges can not only provide care for seniors in the comfort of their home, but we also help provide light transportation if needed such as going to the grocery store or doctor’s appointment.

Contact us today at (888) 900-0048 to discuss how our caregivers can provide senior transportation services in Cincinnati, Dayton and Northern Kentucky.

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4 Tips to Improve Your Elder’s Life in Their Golden Years

How well seniors live the golden years of their life will be determined by how well they take care of themselves at the start and how well we as family take care of them when they need assistance. As the video states, the four things that medical doctors typically recommend are shown below:

  1. Regular physical activity. Seniors are never too old to participate in moderate exercise even if it is a short walk or stroll in a wheelchair. Exercise can reduce the likelihood of falling and fracturing bones in fact maintaining your fitness.
  2. Pay more attention to diet and nutrition. Controlling how much is eaten and the quality of food is extremely important. Before each meal decide the serving size needed and pay more attention to the FDA nutrition facts that are printed on the side of most packaged foods.
  3. Keep the mind active. By constantly learning and stimulating their mind can help them retain a healthy mind.
  4. Focus on improving their strength through light weights can help restore a sense of balance, strengthen the bones and maintain a healthy weight.

Family Bridges is a senior home care service that can work with your family to take care of an elder and focus on the important things in their life. Contact us and request more information.

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Basic Tips for Cooking for the Elderly

In this video, dietitian, Christine Marquette, talks about how to cook for an elderly person since they have unique nutritional needs.

It is important to note the following about elderly people:

  • Have a lower body water mass than a young adult so they are at a higher risk for dehydration.
  • Have a diminished sense of thirst so they may not always be aware that they are not drinking enough fluids. So you really want to push fluids, you want to encourage your elderly friend or relative to drink fluids throughout the day in between meals and when serving meals you want to include items that do have a high fluid content such as soups or stews, lots of fruits and lots of vegetables.
  • Some have special needs such as difficulty chewing or have dentures. In this case, you want to choose meats that are soft like ground meats, fish, or ground chicken. Also try finger foods for those people who may have trouble handling utensils, such as chicken tenders, string cheese, and sandwiches. If this person is still able to use utensils but they just still have a little bit of trouble say with their balance, choose some items that stick very easily to a utensil, things such as mashed potatoes, meatloaf, anything that is a very thick item and again make sure that you are really encouraging this person to drink fluids in between their meals.
  • Some have a lack of appetite or getting full very quickly so often it is best to have fluid in between meals, not exactly with the meal because they may get full on their beverage and not actually eat their food.

To summarize, be sure to encourage them to have fluids in between their meals, emphasize the fruits and the vegetables and make sure that they are able to handle their foods properly.

Our home caregiving services in Cincinnati, Dayton and Northern Kentucky can keep a close watch on your seniors by helping them with meal preparations and encouraging them to keep hydrated. Contact us here for more information.

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Importance of Good Nutrition for Seniors

Nutrition is very important for seniors, especially since they are known to have changes in their digestive systems. They generate less saliva and stomach acid as they get older which makes it difficult for their bodies to process certain vitamins and minerals.

In addition to this, dietician, Elisa Zied, MS, RD, says many seniors develop nutritional problems when they have some major life changing event. They may not be paying attention to their own nutrition and that’s where they can get into trouble.

As the 73 year-old in the video states, she resorts to what’s easy to make which is typically processed foods such as Mexican, Chinese and other take-out menus. This type of diet is a recipe for danger, cautions dieticians.

A recent study, showed that up to 16% of the nation’s seniors may be under-nourished and some seniors consume as little as a thousand calories without realizing they need more.

Here are a few nutrition tips from the video to help the senior in your life live healthy:

  • Aim for at least 1,600 – 2,000 calories per day. Seniors need an average of this amount to meet their needs.
  • Add supplements to their diet. It becomes increasingly important as they get older, especially for vitamin D because there isn’t enough in their diet.
  • Good nutrition will improve senior’s lives and reduce your stress. Remember to focus on good nutrition because it will make them feel better, give them more energy, be more mentally alert, keep their bones strong, and allow them to do more things throughout the day to enjoy life.

Family Bridges’ caregiving services can keep a close watch on your seniors strict diet by preparing meals, reminding them to take their supplements and accomplishing their tasks throughout the day. Request more information about our services here.

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How to Take Care of the Late-Life Elder and Taking the Stress Out of It

In this TEDx talk, Amy O’Rourke discusses three areas in lowering stress that deserves attention:

  1. Denial of Reality– many of us deny the facts of people getting older because we dislike the thoughts and become shocked at the amount of stress of dealing with an aging parent when it happens.
  2. Knowing Basic Ground Rules
    • Don’t reverse the parental roles and boss your elder around. This can create tension and more stress.
    • Older people in hospitals don’t tend to get along. Get them out of it if they aren’t having surgery there.
    • Aging is a one way transition.
  3. Accepting it as a Lifestyle change. Whether your aging parent lives in the same city or not, the responsibility is there. Those that accept this usually have less stress. Since we live in a busy society, taking care of elders can be a benefit for you to slow down.

Amy brings out some great points when taking care of your elder parent. Using a combination of these ideas, along with our home care services, can make this transition easier on everyone. Give Family Bridges, a Cincinnati home health care agency, a call to set up a consultation to discuss how we can help.

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Thinking Differently About your Relationship with an Elderly Parent

In this video, various sons and daughters discuss how their role changed as their parents became older with issues such as Parkinson’s disease, memory problems, etc. Many see their parent as more of a friend until they start to age into an elder.

As you can see, it can be a difficult time when you start seeing your parents become older, requiring more help through daily life activities. Some contemplate on what the next step should be in taking care of them.

You may see your relationship slightly change with your senior parent early on. When this starts to happen, it is important to start talking to them about a care plan for the later years of their life. It will make the transition much easier on you and them, so they know what to expect as they continue in that direction with time.

Family Bridges is a Cincinnati based senior home care agency with many years of experience handling these issues. When you start to see signs requiring assistance, please call us for more information on how we can reduce the stress for everyone.

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Tips for Caring for Aging Parents by Amy Grant

At some point or another, most people will be put into the difficult spot of taking care of an elder parent, grandparent or friend. Even Amy Grant knows the struggles of her and her sisters taking care of their aging parents. She provides these tips:

  1. Discuss Senior Care Early – start the conversation about senior care early, before their mental stability begins to slip.
  2. Healthy Meals are Important – Start making them nutritious meals even before their health begins to slip.
  3. Keep Them Active – keeping them active by playing games so they move their muscles will help their health. Even the little movements help.
  4. Keep Them Social – even when they can’t communicate as well, try to keep them social.

Family Bridges can help with items 2, 3 and 4 and think Amy Grant has hit on some of the critical topics.

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The Stress of Being a Caregiver for Family Members

This video episode by WGBH News discusses the stress of family members taking care of their elder parents or grandparents.

After spending time taking care of her 85 year old elderly mother, Evelyn realizes that the stress of caregiving was taking a toll on her. She discusses that caregiving was causing her own blood pressure to increase and was developing severe anxiety which required medication to function.

Dr. Ann Webster of Mass General Hospital states that a caregiver may also develop: insomnia, depression, hyper-tension, or even irritable bowel syndrome.

In the video, they state that research shows family members taking care of their elderly parents develop health problems such as:

  • Higher levels of stress hormones
  • Weaker immune systems leading to more sick days
  • Higher levels of obesity

Just as many other family members taking care of their elders, Evelyn was also trying to raise a family and work. After outsourcing care for her mother, Evelyn became healthier without the need for medication and developed a relationship stronger than ever.

If you are taking care of your family member, it doesn’t have to be stressful and time consuming with your busy daily lives. Contact us for more information of our home care services and let us take the weight off your shoulders.

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Family Bridges Home Care Fair! Hiring Multiple Positions with PTO!!

Family Bridges Home Care Fair! Hiring Multiple Positions with PTO!! STNAs, CNAs, & Caregivers – September 14th

Career Fair Description

Family Bridges Home Care and myCNAjobs invites you to attend an upcoming career fair with an on-the- spot interview.

Family Bridges Home Care will be interviewing STNAs, CNAs, and Caregivers Wednesday, September 14 to fill openings throughout the greater Cincinnati area.

As a company, we hold to the best business practices. Our strong commitment to hiring and developing only excellent caregivers has helped us become a leading provider of non-medical in-home senior care in Southwest Ohio!

Family Bridges Home Care offers flexible scheduling options and gives their team the opportunity to grow and succeed with ongoing training opportunities. At the event, you’ll have the opportunity to fill out an application, enjoy light refreshments, and meet our team during a full interview. It’s an opportunity for you to meet with our staff, learn about hourly full and part-time positions and get answers to your questions about working for Family Bridges Home Care.

Date & Time

Wednesday,  September 14th, 2016
9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Location

RSVP

Positions

  • Multiple Part-Time and Full-Time Opportunities!
  • Caregivers, STNAs, CNAs
  • Openings available throughout: Cincinnati, West Chester, Milford, Erlanger, Indian Hill, Montgomery, Cheviot, and many more.

What’s in it for you

  • Competitive Wages
  • Flexible schedules to meet your needs
  • Paid training
  • Referral Bonuses
  • Paid vacation
  • Short Commute Times – We will work to find a case close to your home!
  • Annual raises and bonuses based on performance
  • Retirement Savings Plan – 401(K)
  • We treat our Caregivers like our family!!

Candidate Profile

  • Minimum 1 year of experience or STNA certification
  • Valid Driver’s License, Auto Insurance & Reliable Vehicle
  • Will be required to take a background check and drug test
  • Compassion! We’re looking for reliable caregivers with a passion for service, family values, true desire to help the elderly and doing this for more than just a paycheck!
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Why Are Today’s Seniors Facing Opiate Addiction?

opiate-addictionI stood frozen in the doorway, unable to do even the slightest thing to help. She had run out of money and methadone at the same time — and would be unable to refill her prescription for another three days. Lying prone on her bed, she writhed, sobbed, and wailed in pain. Withdrawal was as cruel to her as it was to any addict; the difference was, this addict was my sweet, 85 year old grandmother.

If this were a normal day, she’d probably be baking my favorite apple cake. Instead, she was being forced to endure mind numbing pain thanks to an addiction to powerful prescription opioids given to her by a doctor. Like so many seniors, my grandma suffered from numerous aches and pains. Like so many of his colleagues, the doctor at the urgent care clinic had prescribed heavy duty opiates without even offering alternative treatments.

And now, here we were. My grandma was addicted to methadone and there was nothing we could do that wouldn’t cause her even more pain.

I wish I had known then, what I know now.

A Silent Epidemic

Seniors are rarely the first age group that comes to mind when you think of drug addiction in America. But, since one quarter of the prescription drugs sold in the United States are used by the elderly, the risk of addiction is always lurking. As it stands now, 20% of seniors wrestle with substance abuse.

According to USA Today:

  • From 2002 to 2012, the number of seniors who were misusing or dependent on their painkillers increased from 132,000 to 336,000.
  • From 2007 to 2011, the number of people aged 55 and older seeking drug rehab increased 46%.
  • In 11 years, the number of seniors dying of overdoses nearly tripled.

And seniors aren’t the only ones falling prey to opioids. Since 2010, opioid-induced overdoses have increased by 200%, resulting in half a million deaths. The numbers are not only staggering, they’re incredibly disturbing. But what is the root of this problem?

A Prescription for Trouble

Doctors are prescribing addictive drugs to America’s seniors at a rapidly increasing rate. Most complaints of pain are met with medications such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, and tramadol — especially when that pain is chronic. However, opioids aren’t meant to treat chronic pain; they’re meant to treat acute pain. As a patient continues to use opioids over time, tolerance is built, and more and more is needed for the same effect.

Because of its initial potency, it’s easy to understand why doctors prescribe these drugs for chronic pain, but they should not be the only solution offered. Non-addictive medications such as Cymbalta and Norpramin can be used to adjust levels of brain chemicals in order to control pain. There are also non-medicinal treatments available such as acupuncture, massage, and hydrotherapy.

What Are The Signs of Addiction?

Many seniors take a large number of prescription medications, so it may be hard to identify when drug use stops being medically necessary and becomes an addiction. Furthermore, the signs and symptoms of addiction can often be misinterpreted as manifestations of normal aging. It’s absolutely imperative you pay close attention to the behavior of the older adults in your life and their interaction with prescription medications.

Drug addiction may be the culprit if you see the following behavior:

  • Doctor shopping
  • Prescriptions for the same drug from numerous doctors.
  • Prescriptions being filled at multiple pharmacies
  • Taking more of a drug than is instructed on the label.
  • Becoming uncomfortable, defensive, or confrontational when asked about the medicine
  • Storing “extra” pills in various places
  • Sneaking or hiding medicine
  • Appearing over sedated, disoriented, or impaired.
  • Having major behavioral changes or mood swings.

If you believe an elderly loved one may have an addiction problem, contact the prescribing doctor and discuss your concerns. They should be able to determine whether a senior is abusing medicine or has become addicted. If they find this is the case, you can work together to come up with the next steps and treatment programs.

Liz Greene hails from the beautiful city of trees, Boise, Idaho. You can catch up with her latest misadventures on Instant Lo or follow her on Twitter @LizVGreene.

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