5 Tips to Use When Talking to Your Parents About Long-Term Care Over the Holidays

5 Tips to Use When Talking to Your Parents About Long-Term Care Over the Holidays

Have you considered that one of the most common side effects of aging parents seems to be an inevitable change in family dynamics? After being taken care of by your parents your entire childhood, followed by enjoying a beautiful co-existence with them as adults, it may now be time to take care of your parents. This can be a daunting task, but one thing may be certain in all of this. Planning for long-term care will likely make everything go smoother. With the holidays and family time approaching, it may be a good time to begin the conversation of long-term care planning. When talking to your parents about long-term care over the holidays, try to use these 5 tips: 

  1. Remember this is likely as challenging for them, as it is for you. As people age, there can often be a lot of fear surrounding the loss of control and independence. There may also be feelings of embarrassment with their children they always cared for now caring for them. Since you will likely have spent time thinking and preparing for the conversation, extend your parents the same courtesy by not ambushing them. Consider calling or sending an e-mail a few days before your visit, letting them know you would like to talk about their long-term care plan. 
  2. This is about their wishes too. While you may have your own ideas about what is best for your parents, allowing them to participate in the decision making process also allows them to retain their dignity. 
  3. Provide information. Your parents may want to do long-term care planning, but have found the entire process overwhelming. If you have done some research on wills, long-term care insurance, life insurance, and Medicaid planning, you may be in a good position to help them understand some of the basics.  
  4. Offer to assist. Instead of just providing information and leaving your parents to do the rest, offer to see the long-term care process through with them. For example, you can assist them in locating an elder law attorney and attend the appointments with them. 
  5. Consider another messenger. You know the old saying about lashing out at the ones you love the most. If the talk does not go as planned, consider having a more neutral party, such as their physician, broach the topic, and then, you can step in to assist. 

While discussing long-term care planning with your parents can feel uncomfortable, you can take comfort in knowing they can relax in their golden years, once they have a secure plan for long-term care. For assistance establishing a long-term care plan, please reach out to our office to schedule an appointment.

 

5 Things Seniors Need to Know About Medical Alert Systems

5 Things Seniors Need to Know About Medical Alert Systems

Did you know that August is National MedicAlert Awareness Month? In observance of how medical alert systems have helped countless seniors survive emergency health situations, we wanted to make sure you and your loved ones were informed about this particular safety measure.

Here are five things older adults need to know about medical alert systems.

1. Options

Traditional alert systems were limited to a senior’s home. In the event of an emergency, a user would press a call button on a bracelet or necklace, which would then alert an emergency monitoring agent through a home-based central unit. The connection was facilitated through land phone line. These systems are still effective, but medical alert options have expanded in recent years to include items such as:

  • Daily electronic check-in services with live care center agents
  • Activity monitoring features like motion detectors 
  • Home security sensors for smoke, carbon monoxide, and other hazards
  • Digital medical add-ons that monitor health vitals
  • Fitness trackers on wearable alert devices that record physical health information

2. Mobile units

Technology advances have enabled medical alert systems to serve seniors at almost any location through wearable mobile devices.

Rather than rely solely on a home-based unit, mobile alert devices connect directly to emergency response centers or pre-programmed contacts by utilizing nationwide cellular networks, similar to smartphones.

3. Fashionable Choices

Medical alert devices do not have to look like standard medical equipment.

There are plenty of user-friendly, attractive accessory devices to choose from, including necklaces, bracelets, and pendants. They also come in various styles for women, men, seniors, and even children. 

4. Monitored vs. Unmonitored

Home-based and mobile alert systems can be either monitored or unmonitored, depending on a user’s needs. Monitored systems connect to a live dispatcher at an emergency control center, whereas unmonitored systems will call pre-programmed contacts, such as adult children, neighbors, or 911. 

5. Costs

The costs of medical alert systems vary based on type, service options, and features. They typically fall in the range of $30 to $90 per month. Reputable companies should offer price plans that do not involve long-term contracts and hidden fees. 

These are just a few things seniors need to know about medical alert systems. Your senior loved one’s safety is important to us. If this article raises more questions than it answers for you, we encourage you to contact our office.

National Nutrition Month Tips For Seniors

National Nutrition Month Tips For Seniors

This March, we are celebrating National Nutrition Month. We all know how important a balanced diet and frequent exercise are to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but did you know that certain foods and exercise have even more benefits for aging adults? As we age, our bodies change, as do our needs. In fact, as we get older, our metabolisms slow down and we are more at risk of developing chronic diseases. We know that getting into a routine can be challenging at first, which is why we want to share with you a few tips to help you get started on your health and wellness journey.

First, consider your daily diet. The National Council on Aging suggests that aging adults consume a balanced amount of lean protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and low-fat dairy products. Planning your meals a few days or a week in advance can help you stick to that diet. If you neglect to plan in advance, it is easier to fall into the habit of missing meals or reverting back to unhealthy food options. Reducing salt and sugar intake have also been linked to lowering high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, decreasing your risk for cardiac-related diseases. Further, certain foods, such as blueberries and sunflower seeds have been shown to boost brain health and decrease memory loss.

Next, we encourage you to implement a regular exercise regimen. If it has been a while since you have been active, it is important to start slowly and work up to a preset goal. We know that being physically active can present some unique challenges if your mobility levels are low. There are, however, various activities that can be effective and accommodated to fit your needs, such as raising your arms or legs up and down on a frequent basis. When creating the exercise regimen that works for you, consider activities that will help improve your endurance, balance, muscle strength, and flexibility.

Finally, it is important to check in with your doctor before changing your diet or becoming more physically active, especially if you have a pre-existing or chronic health condition. Your health care provider may be able to recommend various activities and diet plans that are best for your individual situation and can work around any limitations you may have.
These are just a few tips to help you make better food choices and establish an exercise regimen to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle as you age. Do you need more ideas? Are you ready to create a plan for your long-term care? Do not hesitate to contact our office to set up an appointment.