Archive for September, 2013

Older loved ones coming to visit? Tips to prepare your home…

September 26th, 2013 No Comments

NJ elder care tips: Older loved ones visiting

With the holidays coming soon, it’s time to start thinking about your holiday visitors. Perhaps you have older loved ones coming to stay with you for a short time. Take a look around your home, but through the eyes of an older person. What dangers or inconveniences do you see? While it may not be financially reasonable to make major home modifications—such as adding a wheelchair ramp, for example—you’ll want to make your home as comfortable and safe as possible at a low cost. Home modifications aren’t the only thing to consider; examine your lifestyle as well.

Low-Cost Ideas

  • Shower chair. For those who have trouble getting in and out of a tub, a shower chair is a back-saver.
  • Grab bars. Inexpensive temporary grab bars attach easily to a shower wall and will help steady your loved ones.
  • Tighten loose railings and/or steps. Have you been meaning to fix that loose step or stair railing? Go through your home and make sure these important items are tightened.
  • Area rugs. While these might be pleasing to the eye—or are covering up that old coffee stain—to an older person, they are trip hazards. Simply remove them while they’re visiting.
  • What’s for dinner? Know what special considerations your visitors may have, such as low-sodium or intolerance to certain spices, dairy, vegetables, etc. Don’t serve your famous super hot chili to Uncle Joe who has an ulcer. Ask them in advance what they like to eat.
  • Sleeping Conditions. Consider your bedding. Do you have an air mattress for visitors? Is it a tall bed? Many older people have difficulty either getting into a low or high bed. Make adjustments as necessary.
  • Noise. Is your house filled with crying or noisy children? Try to make your loved one’s stay as serene as possible. Don’t keep the kids away from their grandparents, but monitor the reactions of your loved ones. Know when it’s time to have the kids play in another room, for example.

The list could go on and on. The point is to take an objective look at your home and lifestyle and put yourself in your older loved one’s shoes. Enjoy the time you spend together!

Visiting Angels NJ welcomes new Care Management Team member…

September 25th, 2013 No Comments

Managing Director and Co-Owner, Nora de Cárdenas (L), and Sharon Liss (R)

Visiting Angels, serving Burlington and Mercer Counties, NJ, welcomes new staff member

Our main office in Lawrenceville, NJ was busy making preparations today to greet our newest elder care staff member. We’re delighted to welcome Sharon Liss to the Care Management Team. Sharon will be taking on various office responsibilities tasks, including becoming our newly titled “Happiness Advocate” for our new clients and home health aides. We’re excited about the value her skills and experience will provide our clients, aides, and staff!

Are your older parents eating right? Check out 6 ways to eat smart…

September 19th, 2013 No Comments

Improving Nutrition in Seniors

In the NJ elder care industry, we often see clients who don’t eat as well as they should. The American Dietetic Association has estimated 20-60 percent of seniors at home aren’t eating right and run the risk of malnutrition. Older people may have a variety of reasons for not eating well or enough. Depression, medications, and no desire to cook/prepare nutritious meals may all be reasons. We’ve listed some ways to help your older loved ones get the nutrition they need.

Six ways older adults can improve their senior nutrition:

  • 1. Take a daily multi-vitamin especially formulated for seniors
  • 2. Eat more fruits and vegetables–canned or fresh
  • 3. Select low-fat or fat-free dairy products–such as milk, yogurt, and cheese
  • 4. Eat less meat/eat more beans, fish, nuts, and seeds–the last three are rich in healthy oils
  • 5. Consume less saturated fats and trans-fats
  • 6. Get your Vitamin D–through exposure to sunlight or through a vitamin

At Visiting Angels, our aides can help your older loved ones eat more nutritionally with meal preparation. For more information about nutrition for seniors, visit our resource page.

What’s your idea of the “perfect age”? The answer may surprise you…

September 18th, 2013 2 Comments

What is the perfect age?

An interesting poll by Harris Interactive has just released its findings of what 2,242 adults reported as a perfect age. The actual question was: “If you could skip time and live forever in good health at a particular age, what age would you like to live at?” In this youth-obsessed culture, the answer may surprise you: it’s age 50.  Interestingly, in 2003, the answer was 41. The poll also asked questions regarding what each person viewed as their perfect age for various life events, including retirement:

  • Perfect age for graduating from college: 22
  • Perfect age for moving away from your parent’s house: 20
  • Perfect age for getting married: 26
  • Perfect age for having your first child: 28
  • Perfect age for retiring: 61

What’s interesting about the retirement age is that those over 68 cited 64 as their ideal retirement age. Although 61 is the ideal retirement age (and also the current retirement age, according to a Gallup poll), the retirement age is expected to rise. For those born on or after 1960, your Social Security benefits can start at age 62 for partial benefit, or wait until age 67 for full benefits. As people live longer and long-term elder care costs increase, many people may even delay retirement until their 70s.

Read more about The Harris Poll at

Are you a baby boomer? Get excited about products geared just for you (once they’re invented)…

September 17th, 2013 No Comments

Baby boomers to change products offered to seniors

The baby boomer market is about to pop wide open, according to a new article by With 8,000 boomers turning 65 each day, advertisers and product developers are on a quest to cash in on this burgeoning segment of the U.S. population.

This is an astounding statistic: in 2017, about half of the U.S. population will be over 50 and will control 70% of the nation’s disposable income. What does this mean for boomers who refuse to age the way their parents’ generation has? The product possibilities are endless. However, as the article states, it’s not been an easy path in developing products for this aging market–without developing products specifically geared toward seniors (canes, emergency alert pendants, grab bars, and adult incontinence products, for example). Emotionally, seniors don’t want–and will avoid–products that are made specifically for “seniors”.

Myths about older buyers

  • It’s a myth that older people don’t buy new products — more than 40% of Apple products are purchased by boomers)
  • It’s a myth that people over 50 are one big group — there’s quite a difference between a 55-year-old’s and a 95-year-old’s needs
  • It’s a myth that seniors don’t spend — as the boomers overtake the older, more frugal generation before them, they show no signs of giving up their spending habits

Read the full article on by visiting





Why reminiscing is an important activity for people with dementia

September 11th, 2013 1 Comment

Reminiscing: a key to help foster communication with someone who has dementia

If you know someone who has memory impairment due to Alzheimer’s disease or vascular dementia, you know it’s sometimes difficult getting that person to communicate. Reminiscing is an activity which has many benefits for these people. Because the information they’re recalling isn’t from their short-term memory, the memories they convey helps them feel a sense of well-being. As you speak with them about their past, they begin to feel valued, which helps them feel important and heard. Reminiscing is also beneficial for the NJ elder caregiver, friend, or family member, as well–it’s a chance to learn about another person’s life.

Ways to Reminisce

The five senses provide many opportunities for which the person with dementia may start to communicate.

  • Smell: Perfume, candles, flowers, and scented oils are all examples of smells that can evoke memories in individuals. “Smell kits” designed specifically for those with dementia have also been developed
  • Touch: Assemble a variety of objects with different tactile sensations: a soft blanket, sand, rocks, pets, pottery
  • Hearing: Listening to music or playing musical instruments
  • Sight: Looking at old photos, painting, looking at sentimental objects, baseball cards, sports memorabilia
  • Taste: Foods such as their mother’s famous pickles, candy from their youth, favorite dishes

Make reminiscing a positive experience for the individual. Try different methods at various times to learn what works best for each person. Encourage participation from family members. Never force the person who has dementia to participate, but do try again at another time. Always treat them with respect and patience.

Don’t miss our new issue of ‘Home Care News by Angels’

September 3rd, 2013 No Comments

Newsletter for seniors and caregivers throughout Central New Jersey

The latest issue of our home care NJ newsletter is ready! Don’t miss what’s inside this month’s issue:

Read the September Issue today!