Aging with Purpose

Written by: Lisa Dunn
When you ask someone, “What gives you a sense of purpose?” you often hear that others find meaning in important relationships, spiritual growth or work success. As we age, life begins to re-focus, and it can often be a good opportunity to take a step back and evaluate what makes us tick, where we find our purpose, and how we can continue to contribute based on that vision. Recent research from The University of Rochester Medical Center reported purpose in life as a predictor of mortality across adulthood and suggests that you can live longer, the longer you have purpose in your life.

Another 2012 study at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago reported that those, at retirement age, with the highest sense of purpose were half as likely to develop Alzheimer’s Disease after 7 years. Remarkably, this study also showed that those who scored high were just as likely to have plaques and tangles in their autopsied brains. However, despite the similar physical findings, those with a strong sense of purpose in life tended to score higher on testing of memory and cognitive function. Unfortunately, research also shows that adults tend to feel less and less purposeful as they age, especially in western society.

Some questions we can ask ourselves, to help us consider our purpose in aging might be:

  • When was I happiest in my life?
  • What was I passionate about?
  • What can I do to teach those younger than myself?
  • What talents do I have, and where can I contribute based on those talents?

If you enjoy writing, you might consider starting a blog or commenting on blogs. If you are happiest nurturing others, you might find organizations where you can volunteer to help others. If you excelled at math, you could tutor younger students struggling in the subject. If you are unsure of your purpose, you may find direction by keeping a notebook over a month or so. Record activities or feelings that promote a sense of wellbeing. Those things can be a catalyst for directing you to what nurtures your passions and points you toward your purpose.

It’s no wonder that the book Purpose Driven Life, by Pastor Rick Warren, has sold more than 30 million copies. Asking about purpose in life is something we can all do, no matter our age, and in that find meaning, motivation and longevity. Cheers to all three, as we begin 2018 with a fresh sense of purpose!

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By: Denise Karas, CSA

Senior Monitoring Win/Win

The decision to move yourself or a senior loved one in a care facility is often a difficult and stressful process.  The tendency is to breathe a sigh of relief after the placement is made and assume all is well.  In order to make sure the move and placement are successful, and the care is top quality, ongoing and intelligent monitoring is essential.

Independent Care Monitoring services can be helpful for both the family and the senior.  With family members juggling full time jobs and raising their own family it is often difficult to stay informed and visit senior loved ones in person.  A senior resident is likely to feel dependent both physically and emotionally in their new home.  Dependency sometimes puts them at a real disadvantage when assertiveness might be in order.  This can range from not wanting to ask for assistance for fear of “annoying the staff” to being afraid to report serious complaints for fear of reprisal.  The senior may not want to burden the family with their concerns.

Most family visits occur on the weekend at the same time every week.  Maybe you call every evening, but are you getting the full story from your loved one?   A regularly scheduled, once a week visit is not enough to give you a true picture of the care that is being provided. Unfortunately care facilities face staffing challenges.  For example, if the facility has 2 caregivers call in sick on a Wednesday, and they are unable to get extra help, caregiver resources then have to stretch further by taking on extra residents that they normally don’t care for.  The caregiver will cut corners to make sure they can get to everyone.  If they know you won’t show up until Saturday, that shower your loved one gets every Wednesday might be put off.  What if they don’t have time to clean that spilled water off the floor?  Not a big deal you might be thinking but that is a fall hazard.  What other corners are they cutting to make sure everyone is seen?

Families have important expertise – knowledge of the individual, family history, and emotional ties that are important ingredients in successful care. The other important care ingredients are the caregivers and the facility.  The care monitor partners with the family to establish clear communication with the facility that is ongoing and focuses on the quality of care/care needs of their loved one.  Monitoring takes place at different times and on different days, random visits.  The focus is on the health, well-being and safety of your loved one in addition to maintenance, supplies and staffing.  You get a detailed report and can customize the frequency of the visits. If an issue arises, the care monitor works with the client family and facility to resolve the issues. Care monitoring focuses on the unique routine and care plan of your family member to make sure the facility is compliant.  The care monitor is also on the lookout for reassessment points, are they falling more frequently, having trouble with grooming, becoming more socially isolated, etc.  Management and staffing changes can also have an impact on care and may need to be addressed.

The objective of care monitoring is to keep your senior loved one on track, successful in their senior community and happy with their home.  Through care monitoring, both the family and the senior, learn how to be better consumers of care. Family members don’t worry about what goes on in between the visits because the care monitor keeps them informed. When family members do go and visit, they are relaxed and focused on making and sharing more memories with their senior loved one.  That’s a win/win for everyone! For more information, please contact Karas Care Associates, 972-841-8602, KarasCareAdvocates.com.

HELO Health Wearable

The HELO smart wrist band is a sleek, revolutionary, health and fitness bracelet.  Created by and sold exclusively by Wor(l)d Global Network, it is powered by Toshiba’s cutting edge, state-of-the-art advanced chipset for wearable technology. This is the first fitness band to combine the science of active sensors and incorporate them with the beneficial health effects of natural mineral stones. Coupled with real time health monitoring, it provides the wearer with continuous health status feedback, 24-7-365.

For more information, please contact:

Denise Karas, CSA

KarasCareAdvocates.com

When to Make the Move to Assisted Living

By: Katie Lawrence

Making the decision to move an aging parent to an assisted living facility can be difficult. It’s understandable to want them to feel comfortable and remain in their home, however it’s important to know that they are safe and healthy. When trying to make this difficult choice, consider the following:

Recent accidents – Has your loved one recently had a major accident such as a fall or a medical issue? Think about who responded and how long it took them to get there.

Slow Recovery- As humans age, the body takes a lot longer to recuperate from illness such as the flu or the common cold. Not only that, but the common cold can easily turn into pneumonia which in some cases can be fatal.

Difficulty Completing Daily Tasks- Things that many take for granted every day, such as getting dressed or doing laundry, can get increasingly difficult with age. In a lot of cases this can be remedied through in-home care.

Personal Hygiene Problems- Does your loved one have problems remembering to bathe or change their clothes? Or are they able to get in and out of the shower without risk of injury? Ritualistic tasks such as these can be difficult for the elderly, yet they are very important to maintain in order to remain healthy.

Medication- If your loved one has to take medication daily, it can be hard to remember when to take their pill and more importantly, the correct dosage. Mistakes when taking medication can have serious adverse effects. Once again this can also be remedied through in-home care.

 

If you have decided your loved one is in need of care, our caregivers would love to assist you. Whether you need small tasks such as laundry or round-the-clock supervision Mom’s Best Friend is here to help.  To learn more visit our website!

Safety Tips for Seniors Living at Home

By Katie Lawrence

For Seniors, remaining independent in their home can be a challenge; however there are many resources Seniors can use to remain comfortable in their own homes. Here are a few safety tips to keep your loved ones safe!

General Home Safety

  • Avoid hazardous items in high traffic areas such as electrical cords or area rugs that are not tacked down
  • Consider using a medical alert device
  • Do not wax floors with products that would create a slick surface
  • Make sure all areas are well-lit during the day and use night lights at night

Bathroom Safety

  • Use non-slip mats in the shower to avoid falls
  • Install hand rails in the bathroom to assist with stability
  • Make sure bathroom rugs are secured to the ground
  • Consider a raised toilet seat

Kitchen Safety

  • Place all large items such as pots and pans at waist level to avoid heavy lifting
  • If necessary, use a step stool with handrails to reach high places
  • Regularly evaluate food and throw out any past expiration
  • Keep a fire extinguisher in close proximity to the stove and other fire hazards

Mom’s Best Friend caregivers can provide peace of mind when concerned about a senior loved one. If you are looking for a trusted caregiver to keep your loved one safe and secure in their home, we can help! We can customize care to your individual needs.
Call us at 972-446-0500 for more information!