Stories & Tips

5 Strategies for Handling Resistance to Care

5 Strategies for Dealing With Resistance to Care

Probably one of the hardest conversations to have with an aging loved one is the “needing care” talk. A lot of the times the aging adult feels that help is unnecessary, and see it as a loss of independence. There are so many factors that come with resisting care. It’s important to try to see it from as many angles as possible. They could be scared that this means their life is ending, worried about being a burden, handling loss, and so much more. There are different ways you can handle resistance to care.

5 Strategies for Dealing With Resistance to Care

5 Strategies for Dealing With Resistance to Care

 

If talking it through the idea of care doesn’t work out, there are other strategies you can try.

1. Trial Run

Getting care can drastically change a person’s life, and that can be intimidating. Suggest a trial run and see how they feel after around a month. If there are any glaring issues, you can work together to figure out how to fix them.

2. Stay Positive

When talking about care, make sure to keep it positive. Mention activities they can do or creating a new friend with a home care provider.

3. Explain Why the Care is Needed

It’s not selfish to let them know that you also need the help and that having an extra set of eyes will make you feel better. Explain everything in an honest but considerate way, and they may be more willing to listen.

4. Be Upfront About the Costs

Costs can be a massive factor as to why they’re resisting care. Do research beforehand and explain that different types of insurance can help cover costs or go over the average prices of the kind of care you are hoping to use.

5. Be Patient

Remember, there’s a lot of emotion behind resistance to care. Try to be empathic to their point of view and focus on the big picture. You will have to make some compromises, but it will be worth it in the end.

Read more here.

The Government is Taking on Robocalls to Protect Seniors

Government is Taking on Robocalls

House lawmakers have announced a new bipartisan bill that will fight against robocalls. It’s not just that robocalls are annoying, but that many seniors fall prey to scams from these calls. That’s why the government is taking on robocalls.

Government is Taking on Robocalls

Government is Taking on Robocalls

 

The bill, called Stopping Bad Robocalls Act, hopes to outlaw a wide array of robocall practices that legitimate businesses and scammers use and will allow the government to give harsher punishments to callers who ignore the law.

Robocalls are not only frustrating, but they can overwhelm communication lines. There are five million robocalls a month. It’s not just the general public that has to deal with them; hospitals have reported an increase in robocalls too.

Plus, a lot of personal information is stolen every year from these calls. This is how many seniors end up getting scammed.

The bill would look into large telecom giants like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile and have them implement new tech to authenticate if calls are real or spam.

Read more here.

Active Aging Industry is Allowing People to Age Gracefully

Active Aging Industry is Allowing People to Age Gracefully

Did you know that adults age 50 and over create 7.6 trillion dollars in economic activity? That number will grow even bigger as the number of adults doubles by 2050. The active aging industry wants to help older adults age gracefully.

Active Aging Industry is Allowing People to Age Gracefully

Active Aging Industry is Allowing People to Age Gracefully

 

What is the active aging industry? It’s a relatively new field that entrepreneurs are entering and creating products like safety and smart-living technology, better remote care systems, and health and fitness tech. Basically, it’s whatever seniors need to enjoy their lives to the fullest to the very end.

New startups are appearing every day.

Embodied Labs

Created in August 2016, Embodied Labs created a program that uses virtual reality headsets. When used, they offer simulations that show what it’s like to be an aging adult. Such situations include people facing macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease.

Embodied Labs was created by Carrie Shaw, who cared for her mother after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She wanted a way to understand what her mother was going through. The simulations are meant to create more empathy among caregivers and family members.

Intuition Robotics

Intuition Robotics was established in 2016 to help people avoid loneliness and social isolation. Their first product is a robot ElliQ, which we’ve talked about before.

Ageless Innovation

Robotic pets have been popular for aging adults, and Ted Fischer noticed that while working for Hasbro. In 2018, he left and created Ageless Innovation to create robotic pets for seniors. Their goal is to make the pets seem as realistic as possible for their users.

Neuro Lab VR

Established in 2017, this company gives a virtual reality experience for older people going to physical therapy following a stroke, brain injury, or spinal cord injury.

Each experience is tailored to a patient’s needs and abilities. It records physiological and kinematic responses, quantifying the progress of the patient with scores and metrics over time.

Not just that, but it makes therapy fun and more like a game, therefore making it easier for patients to do full sessions.

Toi Labs

Who would have thought that the toilet could be improved upon? Apparently, founder Vik Kashyap did. He realized that what gets flushed away can help detect potential health problems. He created a toilet seat called TrueLoo.

It fits on any toilet and has sensors that can determine who the user is. It then scans the toilet bowl to figure out the size, color, consistency, and shape of bowel movements.

The information can be used to monitor health and can prevent hospital visits.

VitalTech

VitalTech is a cloud-based platform that improves health and wellness. It launched a new product in 2018 called VitalBand. It’s an emergency voice call-out and fall-detection watch. It can also track vital signs and physical activity.

Read more here.

Wells Fargo Bank Branch Manager Admits to Stealing from Seniors

Wells Fargo Bank Branch Manager Admits to Stealing from Seniors

Keeping track of aging loved one’s finances is so important. They are vulnerable to scams and individuals who want to steal all their money. A perfect example is a bank manager recently admitted to stealing from seniors. He took more than $500,000 from seniors after gaining their trust.

Wells Fargo Bank Branch Manager Admits to Stealing from Seniors

Wells Fargo Bank Branch Manager Admits to Stealing from Seniors

 

Fetehi Mohammed looked at which customers had enough money, and that wouldn’t notice his unauthorized withdrawals. He got customers to sign blank withdrawal slips and lied to bank tellers, saying he obtained a cashier’s check for the account holders.

He used his position to get close to elderly customers and offer them “help” with their banking. The cashier’s check was made payable to Navy Federal Credit Union, where he and his wife opened an account in 2014. Though he only used the account.

Before he started scamming seniors, he only had $193.96 in his credit union account. After two years of the scheme, he had 3,233.37.

He faces up to ten years in prison after admitting to one count of felony bank fraud and one count of engaging in monetary transactions.

Read more here.

Genetic Testing is a New Form of Health Fraud

Genetic Testing is a New Form of Health Fraud

Genetic screening reps have appeared at health fairs and senior communities to talk to seniors. They have a pretty sweet offer, find out if you or your family are at risk of developing cancer by doing a free cheek swab. As the old saying goes, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Investigators are saying that genetic testing is a new form of health fraud.

Genetic Testing is a New Form of Health Fraud

 

Genetic Testing is a New Form of Health Fraud

 

Genetic testing is bringing millions of dollars a year in unnecessary tests that target seniors. The Department of Health and Human Services has seen an increase in calls complaining about these tests. In 2018, they only got one or two calls a week. 2019 shows them getting as many as fifty calls a week.

More than three hundred investigations are working on genetic testing fraud schemes. The investigations started when people noticed unusual Medicare billing data patterns that began in 2015.

Medicare payouts for genetic tests jumped from 480 million in 2015, to 1.1 billion in 2018. These numbers don’t include any Medicaid payouts either.

What makes it a scam, though?

Marketers get seniors to turn over their Medicare or Medicaid info, then they will get a free cheek swab that will help them understand their risks and health secrets. Doctors sign off on the tests, and the genetic companies rake in the money.

The thing is, many of the tests aren’t relevant to the patient’s history. Sometimes doctors sign off on these tests without talking to the patient, either because there isn’t enough time or possibly getting a cut of the money from the genetic company.

Seniors get little to no benefits from these tests.

How to Prevent Getting Scammed

With the rise of many different genetic companies becoming mainstream, it’s easy to get scammed. Make sure that your doctor is the one that orders the test and don’t respond to any companies offering a test for free.

Read more here.

6 Ways You Can Avoid the Flu

6 Ways You Can Avoid the Flu

No one likes getting the flu, and sometimes, even when you get your flu shot, you still get sick. Aging adults are vulnerable to the flu, and medical complications can quickly arise. Sometimes the flu will turn into a hospital visit. Here are six ways you can avoid the flu.

6 Ways You Can Avoid the Flu

6 Ways You Can Avoid the Flu

 

1.  Get a Flu Shot Early

You shouldn’t wait until the middle of flu season when everyone around you starts getting sick. It actually takes around two weeks for your body to respond to the shot by creating immunity from it. Get your flu shot at the beginning of the season. That way, you are protected when it gets bad.

2. Always Wash  Your Hands

Wash your hands with soap and water:

  • Before eating
  • After blowing your nose
  • After going to the bathroom
  • After going shopping or being out in public
  • After using public transportation, elevators or railings of any kind
  • After flipping light switches or turning doorknobs
  • After using your phone or computer

If you can’t wash your hands, you can use hand sanitizer.

3. Don’t Touch Your Face

Rubbing your eyes, mouth, or nose can transport germs into the body through your respiratory system’s mucous membranes.

4. Drink Water

Staying hydrated gives your immune system energy to take germs out of your body.

5. Focus on Immune Boosting Nutrition

Eat more citrus, leafy greens, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and berries during flu season. If you have food restrictions, talk to your doctor about food that you can eat that boosts your immune system.

6. Get Enough Sleep

Sleep deprivation can weaken the immune system, so make sure to get plenty of sleep. If you have a hard time sleeping, try relaxing nighttime rituals. Creating patterns before going to bed has shown to help improve sleep.

Read more here.

Best Buy, Amazon, and Walmart are Going into Home-Based Care

Best Buy, Amazon, and Walmart are Going into Home-Based Care

As more adults grow older, the more interest large retailers have in getting into home-based care. Familiar names like Walmart, Amazon, and Best Buy are entering the home care industry.

Best Buy, Amazon, and Walmart are Going into Home-Based Care

Best Buy, Amazon, and Walmart are Going into Home-Based Care

 

Hopefully, this means more accessible products for everyone.

Best Buy

Best Buy announced that they would be looking at senior care as a way to grow in the future. Their goal is to give five million seniors health monitoring services in the next five years.

Best Buy actually bought GreatCall in 2018, which makes and sells smartphones, medical alert devices, and other tech to help seniors age at home. They also bought Critical Signal Technologies, a company that helps seniors age in place.

Amazon

Amazon is going in a different direction, by testing out the home care field with their own employees, using Amazon Care. Amazon Care is a virtual care pilot that allows users to talk to a doctor remotely through text or video. You can also get in-home follow up care and get prescriptions delivered to the house.

If the test goes well, they’ll expand it to the general public.

Walmart

Walmart is trying a new health clinic that has Amedisys Inc. kiosk that is supposed to help customers learn more about home health services.

The first location is in Dallas, Georgia, right next to a Walmart and is 10,000 square feet. Customers can learn about a variety of services like home care, hospice, and personal care.

Read more here.

7 Ways for Non-physician Caregivers to Help Seniors With Their Cognitive Functions

A Healthy Mind Creates a Healthy Body

Sometimes it can be hard to tell whether a senior’s forgetfulness is something to worry about or not. You don’t want to make any assumptions, especially if you aren’t a doctor. You will want to get a second opinion, but it can be hard to get a senior to a doctor. There are some ways that non-physician care providers can help seniors with their cognitive functions.

7 Ways for Non-physician Caregivers to Help Seniors With Their Cognitive Functions

7 Ways for Non-physician Caregivers to Help Seniors With Their Cognitive Functions

These are seven ways you can talk about a senior’s cognitive function and possible decline, notice any deterioration, and support the senior in your life.

1. Have All the Info Needed

Everyone needs to have all the necessary information. A caregiver should give information about the brain and cognitive decline to you and your senior. They will even refer you to a doctor if it’s needed.

2. Know the Signs and Symptoms

Everyone must know the signs and symptoms of cognitive impairment. Especially the people in charge of the senior. They should be trained to know that these signs may not be enough for a diagnosis, and a doctor needs to do an official evaluation.

3. Be Aware

It never hurts to be aware. Listen for concerns about cognition; look for any signs or any changes that happen slowly over time. This is something that both professional and family members can do.

It’s good for both the family and the professionals to talk to each other as well. Together you will be able to create the whole picture.

4. Create a List of Procedures and Referrals

It’s good for professional non-physician caregivers to develop a system to detect any changes in cognitive functions. It’s also good to have a list of doctors that can evaluate the brain if and when it’s needed.

5. Mental Status Test

Non-physician caregivers should use a test to detect cognitive impairment only if

  • this type of testing is within the scope of practice of the non-physician care provider
  • The non-physician care provider has been trained to use the test
  • Everyone consents to the test
  • There is a procedure for offering a referral for people who score poorly on the test to a doctor for an evaluation

6. Encourage Seniors to Listen to Their Doctor

If a doctor comes up with a game plan for a senior, it’s up to the non-physician care providers to work with the senior and their family to follow it. You can also encourage the family to get additional info from the doctor if it’s needed.

7. Be Supportive

Getting a dementia diagnosis can really shuffle up a person’s life. The senior and their family will be looking for support. Talk to them if they don’t understand the diagnosis and encourage them to talk to the doctor that gave the diagnosis.

Read more here.

“Rational” Suicide is on the Rise Among Seniors

"Rational" Suicide is on the Rise Among Seniors

Seniors across the country are thinking about “rational” suicide. These people aren’t depressed, or at least most aren’t. They don’t even want to end their lives soon, but they see it as a way to avoid declining health in their later years.

"Rational" Suicide is on the Rise Among Seniors

“Rational” Suicide is on the Rise Among Seniors

 

How can suicide be rational? Well, to some people, it can’t be. It’s easy to see why: it goes against societal norms and even the work of people who work in suicide prevention.

The idea of rational suicide is not to end your life because you are miserable, but to prevent yourself from slowly declining into misery due to age-related conditions.

The idea is particularly popular among the Baby Boomer generation because they value autonomy and self-determination. While modern medicine is keeping their bodies alive longer, it’s still struggling to keep the minds healthy longer.

A Kaiser Health News investigation found that at least a few hundred older Americans are killing themselves while living in or transitioning into long-term care. While many of the cases involved depression or mental illness, it’s unknown how many involved clear-minded people making a “rational” choice.

While a lot of people see suicide as a tragedy, these seniors interested in “rational” suicide see it as a way out.

Many people cared for their aging parents and watched them decline due to a variety of conditions. Many say that they would rather end their life than go through that or put their family through it. While they keep quiet about it, discussing this idea is rather popular among those in long term care.

One school of thought is this idea is similar to a person ending their dialysis care, which usually means they will pass away within weeks. The problem other people have with this thought is that if you don’t have a terminal illness, wouldn’t that person be throwing their life away?

Doctors Are Unsure How to Handle It

Doctors have little to no training on how to handle a talk like this. It’s important to acknowledge this as a possibility for seniors that are considering this path. This way they can talk to a professional. Dr. Yeates Conwell, who is a psychiatrist and leading expert in elderly suicide, wants to have these conversations with seniors. Conwell says,

“The balance between the wish to die and the wish to live is a dynamic one that shifts frequently, moment to moment, week to week.”

If you or someone you love are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or use the online Lifeline Crisis Chat. Both of these options are available 24/7.

Read more about this subject here.

Adult Day Center Opens in Center Conway

Adult Day Center Opens in Center Conway

It can be hard to get care in Northern New Hampshire, but the Mount Washington Valley Adult Day Center in Center Conway is changing that. It’s a safe haven for both seniors with memory loss or chronic health illnesses and their caregivers.

Adult Day Center Opens in Center Conway

Adult Day Center Opens in Center Conway

 

The Center has areas for social interactions and artistic endeavors. There’s also a cafe, a library, outdoor gardens, a spa, and a big-screen TV for watching. There will be different kinds of classes that people can take and even music and dance performances. There are indoor and outdoor walkways that are circular for easy walking. There are 1,400 plants of over 300 species throughout the garden.

The designers took bits and pieces from other similar centers around the country. The idea is the center gives a more relaxed vacation vibe instead of healthcare.

“The model is a hospitality model, not a hospital model. The folks who come here are the guests. We’re doing anything we can to break that institutional feel.”  Norman Cloutier

It can have up to sixty people for five-hour blocks. It’s open from 7:30 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday. It costs seventy-five dollars.

The Center is working on finalizing insurance coverage. People can pay through private pay, long term care insurance, VA benefits, and Medicaid options. Subsidies could be available through the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services’ Choices for Independence. The department gives respite grants for NH people who live at home and are eligible for nursing-home care.

Read more here.