Posts Tagged ‘aging in place’

7 Early Signs of a Heart Attack You Shouldn’t Ignore

February 17th, 2017 No Comments

American Heart Month Heart Disease and Aging Visiting Angels New Jersey

In 2013, New Jersey was ranked as having the 25th highest death rate from cardiovascular disease in the country. Although the ranking is now five spots from the previous year heart disease remains the number one killer in the New Jersey.  More recent statistics reported by the United Health Foundation for 2016, 3.7% to 4.2 % of adults in New Jersey reported that they had a heart disease or a heart attack by a healthcare professional.

The average age of a first heart attack is between 66 and 70, New Jersey families must recognize early signs of a heart attack to give themselves or their aging loved ones the best chance of recovery. February is American Heart Month–so it’s a perfect time to learn these symptoms.

1. Shortness of Breath

If your loved one is experiencing shortness of breath, they could be suffering from a heart attack. Shortness of breath may present alone or in combination with other symptoms, like chest discomfort.

2. Discomfort in the Chest

Chest discomfort is one of the earliest and most obvious symptoms of a heart attack. Of course, this discomfort can be a sign of several medical conditions. Since it’s the most common sign of a heart attack, though, it’s important not to waste time.

3. Nausea, Heartburn and Other Stomach Issues

Heartburn, nausea, indigestion and a variety of other stomach-related issues can accompany a heart attack. While these symptoms could point towards numerous issues, you should seek medical assistance immediately if your loved one is at an increased risk for heart attacks.

4. Pain in Other Areas of the Body

The pain related to a heart attack will often travel down the arms and even cause headaches and back pain. Although less common, some individuals have reported toothaches or jaw pain before having a heart attack.

5. Cold Sweats and Lightheadedness

Two other early signs of a heart attack are cold sweats and lightheadedness. These early warning signs won’t necessarily occur together or even at all. It should be noted that the American Heart Association says to seek medical help immediately if experiencing these symptoms.

6. Exhaustion

It’s common to get fatigued after doing certain activities, but if older adults experience unusual exhaustion during daily activities, it could be a sign of a heart attack. The important thing is to know your body and how it reacts to physical exertion.

7. Irregular Heartbeat

It’s completely normal for a person’s heart to occasionally speed up, slow down or even skip a beat. If this is happening frequently or for longer than a few seconds, though, you should seek medical attention. This could be a sign of several conditions, none of which you want to ignore.

To learn more about the what factors can put your loved on at risk for a heart attack, schedule an appointment with a healthcare professional.

If you have a loved one in need of in home care after a heart attack or stroke, contact Visiting Angels. Our Angels are well trained to assist your loved one in their recovery, manage their medications and help them get back to living the best independent life as possible. Call (609)-833-8188 to learn more about home care services today.

Read more about the risk factors of heart disease on our Community Resource Page. Our Community Resource Bulletin also offers tips on caring for an older adult or aging senior who has had a heart attack or stroke.

Getting ready to help your older parents downsize? You’ll want to contact a Senior Move Manager first!

March 27th, 2014 No Comments

Senior Move Managers Help With Moving ListsSenior Move Managers

A Senior Move Manager can be your best friend if you’re facing the daunting task of moving your older parents, helping them remodel their current home in order to age in place, or are preparing to sell/sort your loved one’s home and possessions after they have passed away. What are Senior Move Managers? They’re more than just movers. They help ease older adults and their families’ stress when dealing with the physical and emotional aspects of moving or creating a plan to age in place.

Read more about Senior Move Managers.



Safe Home Improvements for Aging Parents

April 17th, 2013 1 Comment

As your parents retire and begin to deal with the health challenges that come with age, you may find yourself pondering: “what would I do if something happened and mom or dad couldn’t live at home on their own anymore?” Do you have the extra space to have your parents live with you? Would it be an emotional and financial burden to move them into a senior care facility? How do they want to spend their golden years?

According to a recent study conducted by AARP, nearly all older homeowners surveyed want to stay in their own home for as long as they can. Along with home care NJ, you can help make your parents’ wish to stay at home a safe reality by making the following home improvements:

Update Light Fixtures

A recent article on notes research that shows by age 60, a person needs as much as 15 times more light to see things clearly than they did at age 10. To help your parents get around the house safely, update all light fixtures throughout their home. Replace fixtures with more bulbs or higher wattage capacity. Add wall sconces to light dark corners on the stairs or in the hallway. Get hallway night lights to illuminate the hallway without the glare of bright overhead lighting for late-night bathroom trips.

Install a Security System

Protect your parents from being the target of burglars and install an easy-to-use alarm system. Many systems don’t require professional installation and can be installed with a few basic tools in an hour or two. Find reviews of home security systems online to find which ones are most user-friendly for elderly homeowners. Whichever system you choose, be sure to place the security stickers and signs in prominent places around your parents’ home. Often just seeing evidence of an alarm system is enough to scare burglars off.

Remodel the First-Floor Bathroom

Give your parents’ first-floor bathroom a makeover. As your mom and dad lose some of their mobility, this will be the main bathroom that they use. Make sure it’s outfitted with all of the safety features necessary to prevent a fall and serious injury. Replace that outdated bathtub-shower combination with a handicap-accessible curbless shower that has a built-in bench. Place a non-skid mat in the shower for extra traction. Add a handheld shower head and grab bars inside and outside of the shower. Install grab bars near the toilet as well to provide extra assistance while getting up from the seated position.

Swap Out Door Knobs for Levers

Traditional door knobs can be difficult to use for seniors with arthritis in their hands or limited mobility. As a solution, replace knobs with levered door handles for easier operation.

Replace High-Maintenance Landscaping

For gardeners who adore their lush landscaping, but no longer have the energy to plant and weed the flower beds, eliminating high-maintenance landscaping may be necessary. Instead, plant low-maintenance greenery such as:

  • Boxwood
  • Dwarf Japanese garden juniper
  • Climbing hydrangea
  • Cinquefoil
  • Bird’s nest spruce
by Scott Michaels, Guest Author

Home Improvements to Prepare Your Home for Your Golden Years

March 12th, 2013 No Comments

Home Improvement Tips As You Age Burlington County, New JerseyIf you’re retired or nearing retirement, chances are you’ve envisioned the rest of your life. Do you want to travel the world with your spouse? Will you finally move close to the ocean and buy a beach house? Are you content with your life as it is and happy to stay in the same home you’ve lived in for decades, hosting weekly family gatherings for your kids and grandkids? No matter what your plan is, it’s unlikely that it includes moving to a senior living facility. In a recent AARP study, eight in 10 baby boomers reported that they want to stay in their current living situation as long as they can. Visiting Angels NJ can help make this possible with assistance from our qualified home care aides, combined with home improvements geared toward the aging in place philosophy.

How can you update your home to ensure that it’s a safe place for you to live for as long as possible? From adding a first-floor bathroom to updating the flooring, there are plenty of ways that you can update your house to make it safe for years to come.

Get Rid of the Carpeting

Is your carpeting ready to be replaced? Instead of getting new carpet in your living room and other high-traffic areas of the home, opt for hard surface flooring instead, such as hardwood or ceramic tile. While you may not have trouble getting around now, you’ll be glad that carpeting isn’t slowing you down when the time comes that you need the assistance of a walker to get around.

Install a Security System

It’s a sad truth, but the elderly are often targeted by burglars. While the aged may be more vulnerable, you can protect yourself by installing a home security system. Many home security systems are affordable with systems as low as $30 per month. Check out reviews of alarm systems online to find one that best suits your needs.

Widen Door frames

Just as it’s important to get rid of carpeting that makes it difficult to scoot around with a walker, it’s equally important to widen the door frames in your home. Buildipedia recommends opening up all doorways to be at least 32 inches wide, so that they are wheelchair-friendly. Even if you don’t eventually need a wheelchair or walker, you’ll appreciate having this extra space to get in and out of the rooms of your home.

Add More Lighting

As your eyesight worsens, it becomes more and more important to have a well-lit home so that you can see things clearly. Add various types of lighting, such as task, overhead and ambient lighting, in each of the most-used rooms in your house. Make sure there’s ample lighting outside your front door and in the interior entryway so you can safely get in and out on dark nights. Opt for multi-bulb fixtures so that you’re not left in the dark when a single bulb burns out.

Renovate or Add a First-Floor Bathroom

As mobility declines, a first-floor bathroom is essential. While it may seem costly to add one, it’s actually less trouble than installing an elevator or using a chair lift to get up and down the stairs. For those who already have a bathroom on the first floor or those who live in a ranch-style home, use this as an opportunity to give your bathroom a much-needed facelift and make it handicap accessible. Get rid of that tub/shower combo and add a curbless shower. If you have trouble getting up from a seated position, install an elevated toilet seat and grab bars on the wall for assistance.

—by Maria Thompson, Guest Author
Maria loves being a full-time freelance writer. She lives and writes with her puppy, Max Ernst.

Another survey confirms seniors want to age-in-place

October 23rd, 2012 No Comments

Approximately 8,000 people are turning 65 each day–and will be until the year 2020! The Urban Land Institue (ULI), in a recent survey, concluded that older adults in the U.S. want to grow old in their current homes. And those who do choose to move aren’t looking to live in retirement centers. Rather, they’re looking at town centers or cities where public transportation, health care, friends, and family live nearby. Regardless, home is where they want to be. As the population ages, home care NJ services will rise, allowing the resident to stay independent in their own home.

For more on the ULI study, read the article from at



What does it mean to “age in place” and is it really possible?

December 27th, 2011 No Comments

What does it mean to “age in place” and is it really possible?

Aging in place” is simply the concept of growing old in your own home. Your home is familiar, it’s full of memories, and it helps you feel secure. Yes, it’s definitely possible to safely age in place—with some modifications. For instance, your home might need adjustments to accommodate an aging body, such as shower handrails, even flooring, and additional lighting. You may also benefit from the services of a home care company, such as Visiting Angels NJ.

Seniors want to “age in place.” Read of a Verona, NJ woman who is doing just that…

November 22nd, 2011 No Comments

Most seniors want to age in place–stay in their own home and community as they grow older, rather than move into a retirement community. In order for people to do that, they need support and services such as transportation and home care. Verona, NJ, is a community rising to the senior’s needs. Read the story at

Keeping seniors in their homes: volunteers help to Age In Place

September 23rd, 2011 No Comments

As the boomer population ages and senior care is needed as a result, more and more innovative ideas and solutions will be created to help seniors happy and safe at home. A new volunteer organization called “Aging in Place in White Plans” has emerged as one such idea.

To help older adults stay at home longer, this group has assembled a collection of volunteers who will provide services such as driving people to doctor’s appointments, taking them to the grocery store, and even helping them operate their DVD player, among other helpful tasks younger people take for granted.

There are about 50 similar arrangements throughout the country. As the need for senior care grows daily, no doubt many more associations will materialize. Read more about the White Plains group by clicking on the full story by (

For more information about aging in place options, visit our Options to Age At Home resource page.

Design Your Home to Age In Place

September 16th, 2010 No Comments

One of the latest trends in home design is Universal Design—”the design of environments usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.” The videos we’ve spotlighted here all show examples. Universal design allows people to “age in place” by staying in their home as long as possible—an AARP study shows that 90% of people over 60 would like to remain at home. Wouldn’t it be great if your home could grow old with you?

Design tips from the videos:

  • Bathrooms: Choose single-handle lever faucets, seats in showers, high-seat toilets, slide bar shower heads with adjustable height controls, and curbless shower stalls
  • Doors: Use swing-away hinges to allow doors to open wider
  • Lighting: Add more light throughout the home with skylights and task lights
  • Flooring: Install smooth-surface flooring
  • If the house has 2 or more levels, install an elevator (