Archive for the ‘Senior Safety’ Category

Seniors & Fall Prevention: How Can You Help Your Aging Loved One?

March 5th, 2018 No Comments

Fall Prevention

If your aging parents or older relatives still live in their own home, you may worry for their safety when you can’t be with them. This fear is understandable, as one in four older Americans experiences a fall every year. In fact, falls are the leading cause of physical injuries–such as hip fractures and broken bones–in adults over the age of 65. Falls are also the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries in people over 65.

In addition to the physical impact of falls, fear of falling can create intense emotional distress and even depression in many seniors. This can cause them to refrain from leaving their home or engaging in physical activity.

Is your aging loved one at risk of falling? Here’s how to help.

Do a Home Safety Assessment

It can be difficult to know which areas of your loved one’s home pose the biggest risk for falls. Many of us take a defensive position when it comes to home safety–we don’t correct an issue until a fall or stumble has already happened.

However, it’s important to be proactive when it comes to fall prevention and older people. A serious fall can lead to extreme physical pain, hospitalization or even prolonged disability.

A fall can also lead to psychological distress, including increased fear, anxiety, and uncertainty.  Fear of falling can also increase a senior’s actual fall-risk. Seniors who are afraid of falling exhibit less confidence in their movements and tend to withdraw from physical activity. Lack of physical activity then leads to muscle weakness and lack of balance. These issues compound to increase a senior’s likelihood of experiencing a fall.

A home safety assessment is one of the most effective ways to eliminate tripping and fall hazards in one go. Take a look at the home objectively and pay particular attention to potential fall hazards. You may need to rearrange furniture, enhance lighting, remove throw rugs and cords, or install railing in key spots to reduce or eliminate fall-risk.

Get Vision Correction Materials

Does your loved one have eyesight problems? Does he or she regularly visit the eye doctor and keep up-to-date on their vision prescription, glasses and contacts?

Vision impairment is one of the leading causes of falls by aging individuals in the home. Many older people don’t realize that their vision is worsening. If they are no longer driving or working, it can be difficult for them to gauge vision loss as it may have occurred gradually. It can also be difficult for them to keep eye appointments or make trips to an optical retailer.

Ask about their vision and current vision prescription. Arrange to take them to an eye appointment if they complain of worsening vision.

Improve Strength, Balance, and Gait

According to Institut Nazareth et Louis Braille, lack of balance, weak muscles and uneven gait are main contributors to falls in the home.

  • Many seniors experience muscle weakness and lack of balance as a natural part of aging.
  • Uneven gait is also common, as many seniors have experienced bone fractures or injuries that affect their posture and ability to walk.
  • It’s important to help your loved one stay active. A walk each day or other physical activity can help them build strength. Physical activity can also help improve balance.

If you worry about your loved one getting enough physical activity during the day, a home health care provider–such as professional caregiver employees from Visiting Angels–can help encourage your older parent to take frequent walks, do physical therapy exercises, and be more active overall, with confidence knowing they have a safety supervisor by their side.

Contact Visiting Angels today to learn more about our home health care and personal assistance services in New Jersey.

Is Someone You Love In Danger? In-Home Safety Supervision of Seniors

August 2nd, 2017 1 Comment

Is Someone You Love In Danger?

Seniors who live at home may enjoy having a feeling of independence and the comfort of being in their own space. However, sometimes being alone isn’t safe for seniors, and it can help to have someone in the house making sure that they are safe and healthy. One good solution for seniors living at their own homes is in-home safety supervision. People trained in safety supervision can ensure that seniors enjoy a feeling of independence while remaining uninjured or unharmed.

What Does Safety Supervision Entail?

Safety supervision can entail a number of services that help keep people independent. Some of the most common include shopping assistance (making sure a person is safe while shopping—such as reaching for items, walking to and from the store, carrying packages, etc.), assistance with transportation (helping a person in and out of a vehicle, for example), and supervision while cooking. Care providers also supervise trips to the bathroom, bath or shower time, grooming, and dressing. Safety supervision can also be helpful if a senior wants to exercise at home or is instructed to do physical therapy exercises as part of their recovery.

4 Reasons They Need Safety Supervision

Not all seniors need safety supervision, but there are certain signs for people that do. A senior may benefit from in-home safety supervision if they experience any of the following:

  • Frailty, which makes daily tasks difficult and falling likely
  • Mobility issues, which limit the ability to complete important routine tasks like getting to the bathroom
  • Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, which impair a person’s memory and keep them from remembering how to complete routine activities
  • A stroke, which can have after-effects that make living at home, caring for oneself and navigating a space challenging

Who Provides Safety Supervision?

In addition to the careful attention of family caregivers, safety supervision is a service that can be provided by home health care professionals. These people are trained to recognize the scenarios in which seniors might be at risk for injuries, and who know the typical daily difficulties people encounter as they age. Trained safety supervisors can make life safer, easier, and more enjoyable for seniors who live at home.

If you have a senior in your life who might benefit from in-home care, reach out to Visiting Angels at (609) 883-8188. Our trained and state-certified employee caregivers can help adults live safely and comfortably in their own homes, and they can help with safety supervision, housekeeping, personal care, and more.

Keep Safe This Summer!

June 21st, 2017 No Comments

Summer Safety for New Jersey Seniors

Today marks the first official day of summer, and the New Jersey weather is cooperating. It’s a beautiful day, filled with glorious sunshine. Along with sunshine, blue skies, and flowers, summer days bring summer hazards, too. This month’s Community Resource Bulletin focuses on summer safety for seniors, in recognition of National Safety Month.

Summer’s hazards include poison dangers, fireworks dangers, and falling dangers. In our Community Resource Bulletin, we give tips on what to look out for and how to prevent many of these summer dangers.

Download our June Summer Safety Month for Seniors Community Resource Bulletin.

Have a great summer!

 

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:

Winter weather is here again in New Jersey! Weather safety reminders you’ll want to review…

March 5th, 2015 No Comments

Winter marches on in New Jersey, so be safe!

It’s March 5th but watching the snow falling makes it seem like Christmas! While it may be picturesque, we are all ready for some spring weather here in our New Jersey offices. Since it hasn’t, however, we thought we’d post reminders about winter safety for seniors and their families from recent posts:

Winter driving safety: If you absolutely cannot stay home, follow these winter driving tips.

Snow shoveling safety: Older seniors shouldn’t shovel. For all others, check out these snow shoveling tips.

Winter home safety: Hopefully you’ve prepared a Senior Storm Safety Kit for older parents and/or for yourself. If not, read about what Senior Storm Safety Kits should include.

Winter isolation and depression: With the cold and snow, your older loved ones may be feeling the winter blues. These 8 Tips to Beat Winter Depression may help.

Do you have old, unused medicine? How to dispose of it…

May 16th, 2013 No Comments

For those of us in elder care New Jersey, we probably all have unused or outdated medications in our cabinets, but we’ve been warned not to just toss them out. So what’s the right thing to do with our unused drugs?

According to the FDA, precautions should be taken:

  • Don’t flush prescription drugs down the toilet unless the drug specifically says to do so
  • Take the medicine to a community take-back day when one is scheduled
  • If no take-back program is happening in your area and there are no instructions on the label to the contrary, you may dispose of them in the trash. Before placing in the trash,
    • Remove them from their container and mix them in with something unpleasant like cat litter or old coffee grounds; this will make it less appealing to anyone going through the trash
    • Place this mixture in a resealable bag to prevent leakage
  • On empty prescription containers, cross out any information which identifies you and your health condition
  • Never give you own medications to your friends or family
  • If in doubt about how to dispose of any drug, consult your pharmacist

Read more at the FDA: http://1.usa.gov/YMbuaw

Seniors, Check Out These 4 Tips For A Vacation Free Of Stress…

August 10th, 2012 No Comments

Now that you’re retired, vacation should be an especially relaxing time as you enjoy your loved ones. Unfortunately, a lack of proper planning can make vacations feel like you’re back at work. You can’t control flight delays or your 3-year-old granddaughter’s stomach flu, but several proactive measures in other key areas can relieve stress while vacationing.

1. Make Duplicates

At first glance, making copies of everything from your flight itinerary to your hotel reservation to a car rental confirmation might seem unnecessary. That conclusion may be true in many cases, but when things go wrong, these copies can be invaluable.

  • Compile all the important travel information in a binder and arrange it order of date. This will make the entire schedule smooth and predictable.
  • Keep the duplicates in a separate envelope inside your personal bag or purse.
  • Enter key contact numbers into your cell phone before leaving.

2. Protect Your Identity

Vacationers who unsuspectingly go online while sitting in a hotel lobby or an airport café are sitting ducks for cyber thieves. With Wi-Fi hotspots usually offering minimal security, it’s possible for anyone to steal your financial information, social security number and other sensitive data. Protect your identity before leaving home by enrolling an identity theft protection plan with a company like Lifelock. They’ll guard your personal information in all electronic forms, no matter where you pay your bills or check your bank account.

  • Identity theft protection companies also block suspicious, unauthorized use of your credit cards before the charges even go through.

3. Travel Wisely

Elder travelers must take greater precaution when embarking on a flight or long car ride. Safety is paramount, and a few key comforts can go a long way toward making your trip bearable.

  • Pack all medication in a carry-on bag, ensuring you’ll have the necessary remedy in the event of a medical emergency.
  • Wear loose clothing to limit heat-related problems and ensure comfort.
  • Arrange in advance for airport staff to assist you with your luggage and, if necessary, accommodate transportation within the airport.

4. Confirm, Confirm, Confirm

Confirming the specific criteria, date and location of all vacation reservations can alleviate stressful miscommunication.

Double confirm the check-in and check-out date of your hotel, along with any room requests you have. There’s nothing worse than arriving at your hotel after a long trip only to learn that instead of the villa with a view you reserved, they’ve booked your and your spouse in a junior suite tucked away from all the amenities.

  • Call and confirm not only that you have a car reservation, but that you’ve reserved the spacious, air conditioned sedan, for example.
— by John Scharff, Guest Author
John studied communication on the West Coast and now spends as much time as he can traveling.