Archive for September, 2010

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Posted on September 29, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

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Return to a small town – this is my take

Posted on September 29, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

For my return visit to the small town when my children were young, I chose the perfect friend (she’s a good listener), walking shoes and a rainy day. A winning combination it turns out! I’m here to find businesses and places that remain.

The first business on North Harbor Drive is still a family owned market and grocery. It needs paint, has just a few parking spaces, and the daily “specials” are handwritten and taped out front. Remember that?

On the road to our old neighborhood, we pass Creek park where my husband and service club members built a big wooden play structure for local children. This is “our” neighborhood, lucky kids…..

I see more fences in the area, I’m guessing ‘city folks’ have moved on our street.

My slow drive along the eastside where my son delivered newspapers felt salty and private, just as I remembered.

The sand spit at the end of the road where my children played is now a paddle-in-picnic spot. It is a great place to tell my friend about the sly-a-kite day I declared in a rowboat in the bay with my kids. Is that allowed?

My favorite locally owned Bookstore in town would be an historic site, if made of bricks. The new owner is competing with the internet for sales. I lingered there and spoke softly, seemed the right thing to do. I must add here that later that day I saw the stores first owner, and we shared a great chat. She now owns a used book store nearby. Consumer trend?

Lunchtime – we headed for a locally owned waterfront legend. At a waterside table (remember the rainy day), we ordered the outstanding clam chowder. Service was excellent, too. Great dining can be budget friendly! As we headed uptown, I added to my register the fresh flower shop which looked exclusive to the area. Why buy stems in the grocery store? And I found the small local newspaper pressroom. A survivor – in the demise of printed news!

I did not find the old hardware store with wooden floors that squeaked. Maybe some new owner of the building didn’t see the value in something old. Ah…another subject.

Walking back to my car on the avenue, no parking meters, we drove to our final destination, the Orthopedic Guild shop to see a dear friend who was working there. Same shop, no frills, 30 years serving others.

I am thankful this community values and retains old places, in place.

With love-

**Linda is a freelance writer from Puyallup, Washington. She is a multi-tasking, experienced, fun-loving grandmother of five. With 48 years of marriage under her belt & going strong, and raising 3 brilliant children….”this is her take”. Look for more to come from Linda.


 

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Dementia & Alzheimer’s information can make your life easier-

Posted on September 20, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

By Senior Helpers – Solana Beach

Caring for someone with dementia can be one of the most difficult as well as one of the most generous things you ever do. In most cases, the person you will be caring for will be a loved one or family member. This can make the task even more challenging. The stress and pressure associated with being a caregiver puts you in a higher risk category for burnout or depression. Arming yourself with information and available resources can make a world of difference. The sooner you educate yourself the better. Try not to wait until you are panicked or have an emergency.

Your loved one’s doctor is a great source of information but doctors are generally very busy and may not have a lot of time to spend with you. Contact your local Alzheimer’s Association or go online to identify local support groups for information. You may even want to participate in an online chat group. It might be helpful to communicate with people in a similar situation.

Know where to turn to if you need some support help or down time. Perhaps the assistance of a Geriatric Care Manager could help you in identifying services available and appropriate for your needs (such as Crescent Geriatric Care Management, Inc.) and identifying reputable, licensed home care companies (like Senior Helpers) that service your area. Having a trained caregiver will provide you a much deserved break and allow you tend to your own affairs. Research adult day care in your area as well. Adult day care health care services provide a safe and productive destination for your loved one while allowing you some time off. Many adult day care centers also have support groups, which can be very helpful and reassuring.

As with most things you do in life, being educated and prepared will make things go smoother and more successfully. Caring for someone with dementia can sometimes seem endless and thankless, but it is so very giving and important. Understand and know what you are doing and identify your available resources and you will both benefit immensely.

BY: Senior Helpers – Solana Beach, CA 858.523.9170

 

 

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Fall prevention

Posted on September 14, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Approximately one out four senior citizens will have a fall this year. 1.6 million Seniors will go to the emergency room with a fall related injury. Falls are the number one cause of broken bones, loss of independence and accidental death among seniors.

Hip fractures are one of the most common injuries resulting from a fall and only half the seniors are able to return home without assistance afterwards.

The fear of falling actually causes many seniors to avoid physical activity such as walking or other exercise. This is unfortunate because physical exercise will in many cases help prevent falls. If someone is concerned about falling they should speak with their doctor and work on some physical therapy designed to prevent falls.

All falls should be acknowledged and discussed with your doctor. Even if you’re not hurt, a fall may be a sign of a risk factor such as changes in blood pressure, eyesight, diabetes or even a side effect from a medication you are taking.

In addition to health issues, other fall risk factors may be attributed to hazards in the person’s environment. Postural Hypotension is a condition where blood pressure drops when you get up from a lying or sitting position. This can cause dizziness and increase your risk of falling. Many things can contribute to postural hypotension such as dehydration, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, or an infection.

Some non-health risk factors include: unsafe footwear, insufficient corrective lenses, poor lighting or even loose or uneven rugs in your house. Certain types of floors may be slippery or cause you to trip. Remove any unsafe furniture or electrical cords. Handrails and grab bars should be installed in areas requiring balance or support. Seniors should never get on a ladder, step stool or chair to reach something.

Using a cane or walker can also help prevent falls. Your physician can assist you in identifying the proper device. In certain cases, purchasing a home monitoring system that you wear will allow you to call for help in the event of a fall.

Eating healthy won’t prevent falls, but maintaining muscle and bone strength can help prevent the extent of injuries resulting from a fall. Consumption of adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D is a good idea for people over 50.

Being aware of risks and taking a few simple safety precautions can help avoid falls and fall related injuries.

**Article written and provided by SENIOR HELPERS OF SOLANA BEACH 858.523.9170

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Should My Parents Still Be Driving?

Posted on September 13, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Many adult children are concerned about their elderly parents still driving with diminished capacities such as poor eyesight or reaction skills. Unfortunately, driving is one of the most difficult things for parents to give up. It’s usually second only to being forced to leave their home.

For older adults, driving plays an important role in maintaining an active lifestyle. Seniors strive to keep their independence for as long as possible and one way to do this is to maintain their ability to get around. While many older drivers resist ceasing to drive altogether, many will place self-imposed limitations on themselves as they age. Many will decrease or discontinue driving at night or on the freeway. They will drive at a slower speed and typically decrease the distances they are willing to travel. Fortunately, seniors are more likely to wear safety belts and avoid drinking and driving.

Unfortunately, seniors at age 80 and over have a higher crash death rate per mile driven than all but teenagers. Most car accidents involving seniors occur during the daytime and on weekends. Older drivers injured in car accidents are more likely to die from their injuries than younger drivers.

Deciding if and when your parents should discontinue driving is a sensitive subject for children to approach. It’s a good idea to watch for changes in your parents driving habits, general behavior and overall health status. If you have concerns, it’s a good idea to speak with their physician and have them validate or address your concerns. People will typically view physicians as an authoritative voice and take the pressure off the adult children.

Some helpful tips for older drivers are…

  • Stay physically active which helps with strength, coordination and flexibility.
  • Manage chronic conditions such as low blood sugar, fatigue or any medications that could cause drowsiness.
  • Schedule regular vision and hearing exams, which are common age, related challenges to drivers.
  • Monitor and understand physical limitations such as arthritis, back pain or nerve related pain.
  • Avoid driving at night, high traffic conditions or driving while tired.
  • Drive to familiar destinations or always have directions.
  • Take advantage of community organizations that offer refresher courses for older drivers

While statistical data highlights certain risks, every family has to address the issue of elderly family members driving on an individual basis. As an option, caregivers often drive their elderly clients as a routine part of their care plan. When hiring a caregiver to drive a parent, male sure you have a DMV check on their driving history. Make sure they have adequate insurance and add them to your parent’s policy.

**Article compliments of Senior Helpers, Solana Beach 858.523.9170

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Crescent Geriatric Care Management

Posted on September 9, 2010. Filed under: seniors |

Crescent Geriatric Care Management

via Crescent Geriatric Care Management.

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When my kids were young – by guest columnist Linda

Posted on September 8, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

On Tuesday, I plan to visit the small town where my children were young. Where my daughter belonged to a ‘co-op’ preschool, where my son played pee-wee sports, where my oldest son delivered newspapers in the neighborhood, where my husband was a service club member, where the old hardware store had wooden floors, the local grocery store had a ‘family’ name on it, and the building supply store too!

Where we attended a public ‘well child’ clinic, where the gas station was just…..well, a gas station. Where we actually tested a ships cannon at our neighbors house one New Years eve. Where my children rode their bikes without a helmet. Where I was a member of a free childcare exchange group.

Where I had a clothesline, a fireplace and firewood. Where there was ONE local newspaper, one local florist, one small family-owned bookstore, one homemade pastry shop, one outdoor summer theatre and one bowling alley (where a boy set the pins back up!).

I’ll be back there Tuesday, I wonder how it’s changed. Perhaps I’ll write a follow up here…..look for that to come.

**Linda is a freelance writer from Puyallup, Washington. She is a multi-tasking, experienced, fun-loving grandmother of five. With 48 years of marriage under her belt & going strong, and raising 3 brilliant children….”this is her take”. Look for more to come from Linda.

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