Archive for May, 2017

Asthma Challenges for Seniors During Spring and Summer Months

May 31st, 2017 No Comments

 

Seniors with Asthma Visiting Angels Assisted Living Burlington County, NJMay is Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.

For asthmatics of all ages, the spring and summer months can be a challenging time of the year. More than two-million Americans age 65 or older have asthma, and if you’re a senior with asthma, recognizing triggers, warning signs of an asthma attack, and knowing when treatment needs to be adjusted are ways you can prepare for or prevent a full-blown asthma attack. As we age, chronic health issues can make it more difficult for us to live independently. Being able to safely manage chronic illnesses, such as asthma, is important in order to remain self-sufficient.

Asthma Challenges for Seniors

Asthma is a long-term, chronic lung disease that causes the airway to become inflamed, making it difficult to breathe. There is no cure for asthma, but the disease can be treated and managed over time. The best way to effectively manage asthma is to avoid triggers, take medications to prevent symptoms, and be prepared to treat asthmatic episodes. The changing needs of senior adults will make asthma care more difficult, often due to new sets of challenges that they will face as they grow older, including:

  • Increased risk of respiratory failure
  • Difficulty using inhalers due to arthritis
  • Confusion of medication and equipment needed for nebulizer treatments
  • Affordability of medications, inhalers or asthma supplies, which can keep them from staying on track with medications they need

Triggers

As a person who struggles with asthma, avoiding triggers is key. Some common triggers that should be avoided are:

  • Allergens such as mold, animal dander, pollen and dust mites
  • Tobacco smoke, air pollution, strong odors or fumes
  • Viral and bacterial infections such as a cold, flu and sinusitis
  • Sudden exposure to cold, dry air or weather changes
  • Emotional anxiety and stress
  • Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction

Warning Signs

As spring changes to summer, the hot, humid air can trigger asthma symptoms like coughing and shortness of breath. If you or your loved one comes in contact with a trigger, it can lead to the following signs of an attack:

  • Severe wheezing when breathing
  • Inability to catch your breath with rapid breathing
  • Tightened neck and chest muscles, known as retractions
  • Difficulty talking

Keep Track of Changes

If symptoms worsen even after the use of a rescue inhaler or medication through a nebulizer, emergency medical treatment should be sought immediately. Keep track of any events that show signs that asthma treatment needs to be adjusted. Senior asthmatics’ overall health is continually changing, and asthma care may need to change as well. Treatment might need to change even if your health is stable if:

  • Are refills needed on rescue asthma medication more than twice a year?
  • Did you visit the emergency room for asthma symptoms more than twice a year?
  • Do you wake up in the middle of the night due to asthma more than two times in a month?

Besides calling your doctor when asthma symptoms are no longer being controlled by medication, regular doctor visits are also necessary. Seniors who have moderate or persistent asthma should expect to visit the doctor quarterly, and possibly once a week, if their asthma is uncontrolled.

If you, your loved one, or someone you know has asthma and needs assistance managing their daily treatment regimens, contact Visiting Angels today. Our Angels provide professional, individualized, non-medical in-home care to adults and seniors in Mercer and Burlington Counties, New Jersey.

Beware of These Senior Scams in New Jersey

May 5th, 2017 1 Comment

Scams Seniors Should Be Aware of in New Jersey

Senior Scams in NJ: Beware!

Scams can affect anyone, but seniors are often the victims because they frequently live alone, are home in the day to answer the phone, are more trusting, and are less likely than younger adults to report the scam. If you live in New Jersey and you’re a senior or have a loved one who is, take note of these scams that are going around. Take a look at some of the most common scams, and then find out how to avoid them.

Call from the Sheriff’s Office

One scam starts with a call from the “sheriff’s office” in which the caller claims the victim owes a fine and needs to pay it now. But the call is from a scammer, not the sheriff’s office. If you get a call like this, hang up right away and call the actual police to report it. This way, if you’re not sure if it’s a scam, your local police can put your mind at ease and let you know you don’t owe any fines.

Threats to Cut Off Utility Services

Some scammers in New Jersey have been threatening residents with cutting off electricity, water, or other necessary services unless the victim makes a payment over the phone. This especially targets seniors because they often aren’t in charge of paying their bills, so they don’t know if they actually owe money or not. They may pay it because they cannot go without electricity or water. If you get a call like this and question if it’s a scam, hang up and call the utility company on your own to confirm whether you have a balance.

Requests for Ransom or Bail Money

Another popular scam that targets seniors is the “grandparent scam,” in which a fraudulent person calls seniors and tells them that their grandchild is in jail and needs bail money right away (they may even pose as their grandchild). They tell the victim not to tell the child’s parents, making it harder for the senior to verify the story before wiring money. A similar scam is when scammers call and claim they have kidnapped a relative of the victim and want ransom money. Once victims pay, they often find out their relative was never kidnapped, but has been safe at home all along. If you get a call like this, get in touch with the supposedly jailed or kidnapped relative to verify the story. Never be afraid to ask a friend or family member for their advice. Never send money without verifying.

Microsoft Scam

In this scam, scammers call the victim’s phone and say they are from Microsoft or an affiliate, and that the victim’s computer has a virus. The scammers’ goals are to either sell the victim virus protection, or most likely to have them install a program in which they can take over the victim’s computer. Once they have control of the computer, they can access financial and personal information, leading to all sorts of fraudulent activity. Note that Microsoft will never contact a user by telephone; if someone calls you and reports that your computer has a virus, hang up immediately.

If it’s too late–you or an older relative have already been scammed–contact the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs at 1-800-242-5846 to file a complaint right away. You can also alert the Federal Trade Commission of the scam by calling 1-877-382-4357.


Sources:

May issue of Home Care News by Angels

May 4th, 2017 No Comments

Visiting Angels NJ May Newsletter

In this month’s issue10 Ways to Keep Your Memory Sharp; Gadget Corner: Seedsheet and Banjee Wrist Wallet; Angels Who Soar: Gloria A. and Marie B.; Elder Care Strategies for Vision Impaired Seniors; Senior Humor: Stingy Old Lawyer; May Celebrity Birthdays; Angel Recipes: Bok Choy Salad; Client Testimonial: Krissa from Medford, NJ; Happy May from Max; May Community Resource Bulletin: Older Americans Month–Age Out Loud; Mother’s Day Trivia. Read the May issue today!

Did you miss an issue? Check out our Newsletter archive page.

May’s Employee ‘Angel’ Spotlight

May 4th, 2017 No Comments

Outstanding Employees at Visiting Angels of Mercer and Burlington Counties NJ

May Employee Spotlight

We appreciate and value our home care field employees! Every month we spotlight them as Angels Who Soar. This May, we are highlighting Gloria A. and Marie B.

Gloria A. just celebrated her 9-year anniversary with Visiting Angels. We congratulate Gloria on her many loyal years of service. She has always displayed kindness and love toward our clients through her words and sincere dedication. She’s a prime example of the kind of “Angel” we all would want with us.

Marie B. has been one of our lovely Angels since 2014. A client’s family gave her recent praise, stating: “Marie is extremely punctual, has a joyful spirit and a positive demeanor with an attentive approach in her one-on-one dealings with our mom. Marie is a consummate home health aide, one who is conscientious, taking pride in all that she does.”

Congratulations and thank you to Gloria and Marie!