Monday, October 9, 2017

Solutions for Seniors and Their Families.

Did you know that 1/4 Americans age 65 + fall every year?
Some of the Contributing Factors to falls are:
·       Weak muscles in legs
·       Poor balance
·       Sudden drops in blood pressure
·       Poor Vision
·       Slower Reflexes
Reasons to Have a Home Safety Check:
Falls can be Fatal.
Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans.
Falls are Costly!
The national cost for hip surgery ranges between $65.000 and $68.000 per patient.
In 2015, Medicare exceeded thirty billion dollars in costs for hip surgery procedures.
Post surgery, skilled nursing services can cost upwards of $65.000 per year.
Falls can Result in a Major Decline in Independence
Older Women who break a Hip are five times more likely to die within a year after the break.

Disaster Preparedness:
Are You and Your Loved Ones Ready?

Preparing for major disasters such as terrorist attacks, natural disaster, and other kinds of emergencies makes sense for older Americans.

The likely-hood of recovering from an emergency tomorrow depends on planning and preparing today.

   Our Emergency preparedness services include:

·      Making a plan for what you will do in an emergency
·      Creating a personal support network
·      Preparing and securing emergency documents
·      Developing a family communication plan
·      Evacuation plan for pets
·      Preparing medications and medical supplies for swift evacuation
·      Preparing “To Go Bags”.

Allow Errands & More to get you ready today for what may happen tomorrow.

Lower your Risk of Disease with Healthy Eating.

Eating a well-balanced diet is a vital part of staying healthy as we age. So why aren’t our seniors eating healthy?
Some reasons are:
·      Eating patterns change as we age
·      Depression in seniors causes a lack of motivation to eat healthier
·      Loneliness and isolation can cause lack of appetite
·      Our senses change
·      Disinterest in cooking
·      Unable to cook
·      Some seniors are unable to shop for groceries

Let Errands & More’s concierge meal preparation services get your diet back on track.

 The Sandwich Generation:
Easing the Squeeze
Are you between the ages of 40 and 60, working full or part-time, and feeling pulled between your aging parents and your children? If you answered yes, you are not alone! You are part of a category dubbed the “Sandwich Generation”, referring to the feeling of pressure from the generations above and below you. Add caring for grandchildren into the mix and you become the “Club-Sandwich Generation”.

Multigenerational caregivers often have high levels of stress, great financial hardships, and may also suffer from depression.

70 % of the “Sandwich Generation” experiencing work-related difficulties may switch to less demanding jobs, reduce their hours, or quit altogether. They often suffer from loss of wages and social security benefits upwards of $300.000. Women are affected by this kind of caregiving the most.
The advantages of hiring Errands & More Concierge Services:

·      We save you money
·      We save you time
·      We offer peace of mind
·      We allow more quality time with your loved ones and downtime for you!

Solutions for Seniors and Their Families.

Errands and More Senior Concierges, LLC offers preventative services and provides solutions for everyday living for our senior community. 

We provide solutions for aging seniors and their families that help save time, money and lessen the stressors caused by multigenerational caregiving.  We oversee and help organize daily activities and tasks allowing the seniors to remain in control of their day, and regain a level of independence, all the while offering their adult children the gift of time. Our eyes and ears services include companionship, safety checks, and emergency preparedness. These services offer the adult children peace of mind knowing that their loved ones are checked on and counseled on issues of safety.

In addition to peace of mind, there can be a major economic impact for those known as the sandwich generation, the adult children caring for children, their parents and working part or full time. The cost of lost wages a due to caring for the family a member is upwards of $ 300.000 in wages and social security benefits. Our Errand services can help save hundreds of dollars in lost wages for the caregivers, and offer the senior flexibility to manage their own schedules.

The emotional toll of this kind of caregiving can be stressful and draining. There are 24 hours in a day, and no matter the load, that number will never change. Errands & More can share the load by providing concierge services customized to your loved one's lifestyle needs, and give you the freedom to make plans according to your lifestyle, knowing that your loved one's needs are met.
In multigenerational caregiving both the caregivers and those that are cared for, need support and respite. We offer support for the entire family by filling in the gaps when the families cannot be there. Do you need help with your help? Just ask! We are here for you too!

Our mind, body, soul services address nutrition, exercise, and emotional well being. We prepare healthy, well-balanced meals and discuss the importance of low-level exercise, and the importance of keeping the mind sharp through music therapy, art therapy, puzzles, and reading.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Danger of Aging Drivers. Signs Your Senior May be too old to Drive.

There's no way around the fact that a senior having to give up their drivers license is often far harder than we understand. Talking to your parent or loved one about giving up driving is a sensitive topic. Just imagine if you were no longer able to go anywhere you wanted to.  Being able to drive allows our seniors to stay independent but sometimes it is best for all involved to take away the keys. Be diligent and look for tale tail signs that driving may have become dangerous.

To get a clear picture of your seniors driving ability, take a ride with them.

·        Are they speeding?
·        Tailgating?
·        Reacting slowly?  
·        Swerving?
·        Hitting curbs?
·        Are they unable to park straight in a designated parking space?
·         Do they have difficulty in turning their head, neck, or body while driving or parking?
·        Do not have enough strength to turn the wheel quickly in case of an emergency?
·        Become angry and frustrated easily while driving?
·        Do they fail to yield to pedestrians or motorists who have right of the way?
·        Do they get lost in familiar neighborhoods?
·        Do they find it difficult to drive with glare from oncoming vehicles or other bright or shiny objects?
·        Are there unexplained dents or damage to their vehicle?
       All of the above are signs it may be time to stop driving.

Poor muscle strength makes it difficult to maneuver and steer the steering wheel. Slower reflexes can cause slower time to react to pedestrians or traffic signs. Side effects from medication may cause sleepiness or confusion while driving and loss of clarity, vision or hearing due to aging.

 If you have concerns about an older adult's driving address this topic quickly. If not addressed, it could be a matter of life and death.  It is a touchy topic to talk about but think how you'd feel if your procrastination ended an automobile accident that resulted in injury or death
Sadly, when it’s time to park the car it can be very traumatic. For some seniors, they made need time to grieve the loss independence.  If it’s time to take away the keys, be ready to support your loved one and be involved in solutions for transportation.
Don’t push them into to selling their car if they are not ready, keeping the car will allow time to let go of the idea of driving and when it is time to sell he or she will be ready.
Help find other resources for transportation.  Prepare a list for your senior that is in large bold and easy to read. Keep in mind in severe circumstances such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, traffic accidents or tickets you may have to make an executive decision.
Considering the possible outcome should help you overcome your hesitation -- but that doesn't mean it will be easy. It's awkward and painful to have to inform older adults that they aren't capable of doing something as basic and essential as driving the car. For them, it's another humiliating reminder of their growing inability to take care of themselves and manage the tasks of daily life.
As difficult as it is, if you have reason to believe that the person in your care could be dangerous behind the wheel, it's important to deal with the issue sooner rather than later -- because later could be too late.
When you introduce the subject, don’t come on too strong, instead listen carefully to objections. You may feel a sense of urgency, but be tactful, you senior likely knows it is time to give up driving. Remember, that if you've noticed that their driving has grown messy, they are noticing it too.
Don’t dictate! Be helpful and work through any concerns. Initiate a conversation with a question such as “how are you doing with driving? Are you struggling at all? How is your vision at night?
It is unlikely a single discussion will solve the issue. Think of your first discussion as a precursor to a final decision that may require many more conversations. Be respectful of his or her right to make their decision. Allow time for a lengthy conversation. Your senior may begin a trip down memory lane of days gone by when driving was not an issue. Reliving memories may help them come to grips with this huge transition.
If your loved one is throwing up reasons why they can’t stop driving, listen and support their concerns, discuss the source of the problem. If night driving is the issue, suggest they limit driving during today time hours. If they insist on driving at night, suggest a refresher course through AAA or AARP driving school. Then, revisit the conversation at an agreed upon time.
Here are a few ways you can help your loved one stop driving.
1.      Check in on them often. Just to chat.
ff     Offer to drive them to the activities they enjoy -- or help them find someone else who can take them.
3.     See that they're included in family outings, like their grandchildren's school events or a day at the beach
.        Help them to create new routines, like walking or gardening. 
If your senior refuses to quit driving, the solution may be to suggest a visit to their family doctor who can perform a medical evaluation, and if warranted, “prescribe” that she stops driving. Older people will often listen to their doctor before they will listen to their own family.
If she still refuses, contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles to see if they can help. Or, call in an attorney to discuss with your mom the potential financial and legal consequences of a crash or injury. If all else fails, you may just have to take away her keys.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Embracing Technology.

Can you teach my mom?”
That’s the first thing people ask me after I tell them I develop programs that teach seniors technology at Brookdale Senior Living.  In today’s increasingly digital world, many visits with parents or grandparents are punctuated with questions about technology. I was reminded of this just last week when visiting my own grandmother at a Brookdale community in California. After spending nearly an hour searching for her current Gmail and Apple ID passwords, we realized that my grandmother’s iPad wasn’t even connected to WiFi!
You’ve likely been through a similar routine if you have a new tech inquisitive senior in your life. Before your next visit, consider arming yourself with the following 10 tips for teaching technology to seniors.
  • When introducing new tech concepts, build on existing knowledge. Comparing a new technology concept with something the senior is already familiar with will make it easier for them to understand. When we introduce web browsing in Brookdale’s tech programming, we compare web addresses to street addresses. This helps reinforce the idea of web navigation in a way that is intuitive to our residents because they can think of it like navigating a row of buildings.
  • Explain the relevance before going into detail. Before launching into the mechanics of how to use today’s trending gadget, explain how the senior might benefit from using it. If you’re introducing someone to Facebook, start by showing them pictures of their grandchildren they might not have seen. Once they see how easily accessible the pictures are, they’ll be more patient with the process of setting up an account and exploring their newsfeed.
  • Avoid technical words and use consistent language. Now that words like emoji and selfie have been added to Oxford Dictionary’s lexicon, tech speak is becoming a part of everyday language. As you talk tech with seniors, be mindful of the words you use. Many tech-related terms may be unfamiliar to them. When there are multiple terms that can be used to describe something, choose the simplest option and be consistent.
  • Watch your pace. This may seem obvious, but it’s important to remind yourself not to move too quickly when introducing a senior to technology. Pause between each step to give them a moment to process what they’ve just learned. If you’re not sure whether or not you are moving too quickly, ask the senior how they are feeling about the pace.
  • Repeat key concepts. The sheer volume of new information they are taking in can easily overwhelm seniors learning technology for the first time. Repeating key concepts will make them easier to remember and will reinforce the most important takeaways.
  • Build in regular time to ask questions. Be sure to build in regular time for questions before moving to new concepts. Some seniors may be reticent to interject with a question. Providing a specific moment where questions are expected may help make them feel more comfortable. It will also give you an idea of what concepts you need to spend extra time on.
  • Let the resident actively practice the new tech skills. When watching a senior struggle to navigate on their device it may be tempting to take matters into your own hands, but the time saved in the short term will not yield good learning results. Seniors need to take an active role as they learn new technology so they can become accustomed to the tactile nuances involved in tapping, clicking and button pressing.
  • Direct them to senior specific tech resources.  Encourage the senior to utilize tech resources for seniors between your visits. If they live in a Brookdale community, speak with the Resident Programs Leader and ask about Broodale’s iPad Program and any other regularly scheduled tech activities. Be sure they know how to access resources available online such as TechBoomers and AARPTek which offer excellent free tech tutorials designed specifically for seniors.
  • Validate expressions of confusion, but reinforce that they can and will learn. Seniors are used to being more knowledgeable and competent at most of their endeavors by virtue of the fact that they have more life experience. It may have been years since they were a novice at something, so when they express frustration, be sure to validate the difficulty of learning technology for the first time. Reinforce that learning something new is always hard but that with practice they will advance. It may also help to share any difficulties or confusion you’ve experienced when learning technology in the past.
  • Seek Out Wow Moments. For everyday technology users, it’s easy to forget just how amazing technology really is. Be sure to create opportunities for technology to wow the senior, like showing them their childhood home on Google Earth or FaceTiming with a close friend they haven’t seen in years. The more they see the incredible things technology enables them to do, the more they will engage with it which will make mastering it a breeze.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Why I do, what I do.

Today, a lady I was networking with asked me to send her an email and explain why my services are different than the other agencies that offer similar services.
At first, I was going to direct her to my website; after all, it has a " why chose Errands & More button". She could find out about me there. Good enough, right? But something told me to elaborate as to why I do what I do.
I didn't really realize that reaching down to the core of what I feel inside is difficult to put into words. But after a bit of soul searching, this is what I came up with:
In answer to your question, 'Why am I different?', here you go!
When I interview a client, I look at the entire picture: mind, body, and soul. I believe that a balance in this area of life is essential in order to age well.
I address what their immediate needs are (transportation, companionship, errands, etc.) and as I spend time with them, I am able to observe other areas of their lives allowing me opportunities to make suggestions for healthy eating, exercise, and diet.
I may suggest doing things that nourish their souls, such as (if the client is mobile, and desires to do so) introducing them to areas in their community where they can participate in, such as reading books to children at the boys and girls club or local libraries, or helping them find a sense of purpose that so many others have lost.
Whenever I have time with them, I plan to help keep their brains active and alert with music and stories.
I plan to advocate for them when they need household repairs, auto repairs, or home maintenance. I will take measures to ensure they are not taken advantage of.
Here are some of the many reasons I am different, but by far the biggest reason is my desire to make a difference. My wish is to keep my clients at home, thriving and feeling fabulous for as long as possible. I want to help them feel needed, confident and purposeful again. Depending on the individual personalities of each client, it may be harder to achieve this with some rather than others, but with the gentle and loving nature of myself and this company, we will do our best. Our seniors deserve nothing less.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Graying in America..

The growth of our senior citizen's population has outpaced a number of resources available.
Due largely to modern medicine life expectancy is taxing our system that simply cannot keep up with the growth. Todays, seniors have fewer children that their families before them. Leaving a less of adult children to help carry the load.  
See the article below written  for the New York Times, by Allison Arieff
Last fall, I had to take the car keys away from an elderly relative who lives alone. This intervention should have happened much earlier, but when the day came it was one of the more emotionally wrenching things I’ve ever done. “Don’t take my car away,” he pleaded. “Without my car, I don’t have a life.”
       The fear he expressed is one shared by many older Americans, who, overwhelmingly, live in places where car travel is a necessity. And that number is skyrocketing: The population aged 65 and over is expected to grow to 79 million from 48 million in the next 20 years, and by 2035, one in three American households will be headed by someone 65 or older (and 9.3 million of those will be one-person households like my relative’s). A report just out from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard, “Projects and Implications for a Growing Population: Older Households 2015-2035 Housing,” reveals that this demographic shift will increase the need for affordable, safe housing that is well connected to services way beyond what current supply can meet.
My now-car-free relative is not the sort to sign up for one of those 55-plus communities promising sunshine, gardens, and golf. Retirement was an eventuality that inspired in him not relief but dread. Fiercely independent, an old-school intellectual and, frankly, a bit of a loner, he insists on remaining in his suburban home (“I will die in this house” typically ends any conversation in which I suggest a move) — even if that home is slowly becoming a dangerous place for him to be in.
A new study from the Urban Land Institute’s Terwilliger Center for Housing, a nonprofit research group, shows that suburban areas surrounding the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the United States make up 79 percent of the population of those areas but accounted for 91 percent of population growth over the past 15 years (and three-quarters of people age 25 to 34 in these metro areas live in suburbs).
But suburban homes were originally designed, and for the most part still are, for young families — and for drivers. They are typically surrounded by other single-family houses. Lacking a fitter partner or a network of helpful neighbors and caring family members, older residents can end up feeling isolated, unable to do basic errands or keep up their property. Further, most suburbs are zoned to prevent any non-single-family housing from being built, whether multi-unit projects or the seemingly benign granny flat.
We’ve got to change this paradigm.
Before she died, way too young, of breast cancer at 60, my mother used to say to me, only half-joking, “You promise you’re not going to put your mother in a home, are you?” She had vivid memories of her grandmother’s generally miserable experience at an old-age home.
Decades later, some progress has been made in rethinking these facilities (and they tend to be called “communities” now rather than “the home”), yet the unease about where one will end up as one ages is not at all unfounded. Better housing for older people exists at the lowest and the highest ends of the economic spectrum — for those who can afford luxury options and those who qualify for aid.
Really good options are limited, particularly for the middle class. A colleague of mine, bemoaning the lack of attention and care at his father’s pricey assisted-living center, put it this way: “It’s not like they’re worrying about cultivating repeat customers.”
Thoughtfully designed housing for older adults is not being created on a scale commensurate with the growing need. It’s not a market many architects or developers have embraced. Conversely, a disproportionate amount of attention has been focused on the presumed desires of millennial. We hear all the time that it’s that group that craves walk ability, good transit, and everything-at-their-doorstep amenities and that only cities can provide it.
But what if these offerings weren’t exclusively urban? What if suburban communities could provide some of them? And what if more communities weren’t so keyed into specific demographics, maybe even aiming instead to serve multiple generations? Professionals are starting to pay attention, with some suggesting that the housing industry ditch the term “senior” altogether.
NORCs — naturally occurring retirement communities — are found most often in dense and vibrant cities like New York, and demonstrate how well cities can work for older people. But less than a quarter of older adults live in high-density areas, so demand is likely to increase for new housing options within existing suburbs and rural communities. While it wouldn’t be impossible for suburbs to morph into NORCs, it wouldn’t be easy. Zoning precludes a lot of the mixed-use (stores, restaurants, multifamily housing) that is required, as does Nimbyism (the “not in my backyard” syndrome). But we already have many of the tools for incremental transformation.
The social safety net that helped provide so much of what we’re talking about here has evaporated; it has to re-emerge in new ways. As I’ve observed over the years when writing about topics from communes to urban agriculture, much of this is so old-fashioned as to seem innovative.
New York University recently announced an initiative that matches students in need of housing with older people who have rooms to spare. Programs like Marin Villages, in Northern California, put together networks of volunteers to organize activities, cultivate community and supply rides and other services to seniors, though it does not offer housing.
Cohousing, if it can shed its 1960s hippie commune associations, which doesn’t square with how these communities operate today, is another path toward providing community and care for all ages. The homebuilder Lennar is offering houses with a range of floor plans to accommodate varied family stages and needs. De-stigmatizing housing for older people through good design, as architects like David Baker and Anne Fougeron are doing in California, is also heartening, as is Perkins Eastman’s recently released report on biophilic design in senior housing (in non-architect-speak, integrating nature into architecture).
Technology can be part of the solution, though not without some tweaks. I’ve been engaged in a slow-moving campaign to convince my newly non-driving relative of the safety, convenience and economic savings of using the car services Lyft and Uber, but the transition isn’t an easy one. Summoning these cars is a no-brainer for heavy users of smart phones, but for older people with declining vision and motor skills, it’s a puzzle. (Why is it nearly impossible to telephone one of these services? It shouldn’t be.)
On-demand delivery services (meals, groceries, medicine) can also help bridge the gap, with the caveat that receiving everything at your doorstep can increase isolation (that goes for all ages). Expect a slew of “smart” products to hit the marketplace soon, some actually smart (some probably really stupid) that include “time to take your medication” notification systems, wearables that deploy airbags in case of a fall or aid in walking and sitting.
 The difficulties inside the home are significant, and homes themselves must evolve and adapt to their resident's age. And again, there are existing fixes: universal design elements such as step-free entrances, single-floor living, under-counter appliances, and halls and doorways that accommodate wheelchairs. Many of these could be standard, yet, typically, they’re renovations done after the need for them arises.
Every day for the next 19 years, 10,000 people will reach age 65. Those companies aren’t scrambling to exploit this market is not only unfortunate for their bottom line but almost certainly treacherous, eventually, for all of us. 

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Friday, September 1, 2017

Spotlight! Fabulous Wanda!!

 Meet Ms. Fabulous Wanda!

Ms. Wanda it 96 years young! 

How often do you bake?  
often and bring things for the seniors to enjoy for desserts.

What is the name of your cookbook?  
Wanda Duncan's best bites

Are you a native to California? El Dorado County?  
No, I was born in Iowa and moved out to California to marry my sailor.

How many children, grandchildren, great grandchildren do you have? 

Three children,  seven grand children, and seven great grand kids.

How long were you married?  
24 1/2 year and he passed away at the age of 44

What is your favorite movie? 
Dr. Jivago

Favorite song? 
Big Band Music

Favorite food? 
Strudel..... and so is everyone else's and Chinese Chicken Salad oh Chinese Food is wonderful

What other activities do you enjoy besides baking?
Traveling, planting seeds for the next year, gardening and watching grand kids events and spending time with family and friends. Socialize with other seniors

And anything else you would like me to share.  

I taught country school in Iowa, Went to the University of Ames Iowa, cooked at lots of Church Camps, enjoy being and sharing recipes .

Words of wisdom:
Take one day at a time and smile, and be there for each other. 

Solutions for Seniors and Their Families.

Did you know that 1/4 Americans age 65 + fall every year? Some of the Contributing Factors to falls are: ·...