Most people are aware that there are people in the world who have no issues with taking advantage of and specifically targeting senior citizens using fraudulent tactics or schemes. When a senior is home alone for periods of time, they may be especially vulnerable.
Why are seniors targeted so much more frequently?
According to research, those over the age of 65 are more likely to have taken a financial loss due to a scam than those that are in their 40’s, but why?
Seniors are more likely to have excellent credit, to have a savings build up, and to own their home, which are all reasons that make them more susceptible to becoming the victims of fraud.
They also are less likely to report fraudulent activity, whether it’s due to shame or embarrassment, confusion about what happened or where and how to report it, memory loss, or the fact that they are just unaware that they have even been the victim of fraud in the first place.
Here are some practical tips for protecting your senior parent or loved one from becoming another unfortunate victim of fraud.
Invest in a shredder.
It is important to protect your senior’s personal information and one way to do so is by purchasing a shredder. You can find small, inexpensive, and portable machines and we recommend keeping it in an area where it will be more likely to be used, such as wherever your senior opens their mail or near the trash receptacle. Show your senior how to use it and err on the side of caution, shredding anything that isn’t of importance but has their name, address, or any other sensitive personal information.
If your senior spends time at home alone, and especially if they are experiencing any cognitive impairments such as dementia, hiring a home care company to provide the assistance of caregivers is a way to be sure that your senior is safe at home from people that want to take advantage of them. A home care aide can make sure that any unsolicited visitors don’t gain access or information from your senior and they can also monitor any phone calls that are made or received by them.
Take over finances.
Another way to be on the front lines against elder fraud is to be active with their finances. Taking control of any checkbooks or credit cards, and having your name added to their bank accounts might be one way to help prevent money from being used in ways it shouldn't. It’s a good idea to regularly monitor your senior’s bank accounts so that you can have an idea of incoming and outgoing funds and can catch any fraudulent activity right away.
Talk about it.
Don’t forget to talk to your senior about identity fraud and tactics that are used against the elderly to gain access to their information and funds. Explain why they need to be careful and tell them that you are looking out for their best interests as they get help with their home care.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Glenview IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
Staying safe while your elder is walking is one of the most important parts of a new exercise routine. These tips can help, especially if your senior likes to walk outside.
The Right Gear Matters
Your senior doesn’t need special gear in order to get a walking workout in, but the right gear can help her to stay safe. The most important gear is the right shoes. They need to fit well, with no gaps or sliding. They should also have a non-slip sole and they need to be comfortable. Getting a blister or other type of sore could present much bigger problems. Other than that, comfortable clothing and items like hats that can protect her from the sun are also good ideas.
Lights, Signals, and Signs Can Keep Her Safe
There are so many different types of signals, signs, and lights that are out in the wild of the pedestrian landscape. Many of them are meant for drivers, but pedestrians need to understand them, too. Make sure that your senior is aware of where to safely cross the road and what all of the various signs and signals in her area might mean for her as she walks.
Make Sure She Looks Before Stepping
Your senior probably already knows to look both ways before she crosses any intersections, but depending on how fast she walks and whether she uses any assistive devices, she might need to look more than that. Encourage your elderly family member to take her time when she’s getting ready to venture off a curb or into a crosswalk. She needs to make sure that if there’s a light, she’s got the right of way. Even if she does, though, she needs to look at least twice before she proceeds.
A Walking Buddy Can Help
It might be a good idea for your senior to walk with a buddy every time she goes out. That might be something that you two can do together, but it’s not always possible. If she has a friend or neighbor to walk with, that can help. Some seniors don’t have anyone to walk with, though. That’s when elder care providers can fill in as excellent walking buddies. The bonus is that elder care aides understand your senior’s unique needs.
If a walking routine is new for your senior, make sure that you talk with her doctor about whether it’s a safe form of exercise for her. Starting out slowly and with shorter walks is a good idea, because she can always work up to more strenuous walking plans.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care Services in Chicago IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
Caregiving asks a great deal from you constantly. You may find that your social life is one of the first casualties, but other areas of your life can suffer, too. If you’re a sole caregiver, trying to keep doing everything completely on your own, that takes an even bigger toll on you. There’s help available, but you might have to look for it.
Asking for Help Makes You Stronger
Lots of people believe that asking for help means admitting weakness. But it doesn’t have to be that way at all. When you ask for help, you’re admitting that you need to reach out. It takes a lot of courage to do that and it can give you connections and tools that you didn’t think were available to you. All of that is valuable and can make you a stronger caregiver.
Other Caregivers Can Have Advice
When it’s just you, caregiving feels lonely and isolated. But when you meet other caregivers, people who are in situations just like yours, you realize that you don’t have to feel isolated and alone. The best way to meet other caregivers is to join a caregiver support group in your area and to attend meetings. You’ll be able to learn from their experience and share what is giving you the most trouble.
There Are Other Sources of Help, Too
There may be other forms of help available in your area, too. Start out by talking to your senior’s doctor about her needs and it’s possible that you can get a list of sources. Another option is to hire homecare providers. They have a wealth of experience that you can tap into on a daily basis. Homecare providers understand the types of challenges facing you and facing your senior.
Regular Respite Time Matters
Having regular time away matters immensely when you’re a sole family caregiver. It’s impossible to keep pushing yourself constantly, day in and day out, without any sort of break, you’re going to eventually reach a breaking point. Respite time gives you a chance to recharge yourself and to recover from everything that you go through on a daily basis.
Lots of caregivers don’t have a large family or a lot of friends on whom they can rely for caregiving assistance. But that doesn’t mean that you have to keep forging ahead completely alone. Often learning to ask for help is the most difficult part.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Homecare Services in Evanston IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
According to an article posted on the WebMD website, about 100 million people in the United States suffer from chronic pain of some sort. Many more have short-term aches and pains, too. Being in pain can significantly affect your aging relative’s quality of life. It can keep them from being able to perform daily activities and cause them to withdraw from social activities. Pain can also keep them from getting enough physical activity, which can negatively impact their health in other ways.
If your older family member has aches and pains, there are ways to help them feel better. Below are 5 things to try that can ease the pain.
#1: See a Doctor
If the older adult has not talked to a doctor about the pain they are experiencing, it’s important that they do so. Pain is an indicator that something is wrong and needs to be treated. The doctor may be able to prescribe medication to reduce pain or refer the senior to a physical therapist.
Exercising can reduce chronic pain because it strengthens muscles. Stronger muscles help to support joints damaged by arthritis. In addition, exercise increases blood flow around the body, which can help with healing. To get the best results from exercise, older adults should include both aerobic exercise and strength training in their routine.
#3: Improve Sleeping Position
Pain can keep your aging relative from sleeping well at night. A lack of sleep can then make them feel worse. By improving their body position while sleeping, seniors may be able to reduce their pain. Purchase some extra pillows to support the body. One of the most important things is to keep the neck in a neutral position. Avoid putting too many pillows under the head so that the neck is bent. It can also help people who sleep on their side to place a pillow between their knees. Those who sleep on their back may be able to relieve back pain by sleeping with a wedge under their knees to reduce pressure on the back.
#4: Use Over-the-Counter Pain Killers
Taking over-the-counter pain killers can reduce pain. However, it’s important that older adults talk to their doctor about which pain killers are right for them. Some kinds of over-the-counter medications can interact with prescription medications or should not be used if a person has certain conditions.
#5: Use Home Care Services
Home care services providers can assist with pain management in several ways. A home care services provider can remind the older adult to use medications recommended by the doctor. In addition, a home care services provider can give the senior a gentle massage to relieve pain. They can also take on household tasks, like cleaning and cooking, so that your older family member can rest and reduce the risk of aggravating the sore area more.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Northbrook IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
All sunscreens are not created equal, but to know which one is best for their elderly relative, caregivers need to be able to read and understand the information on the label. Unfortunately, a study conducted in 2015 found that only about 43 percent of people who responded to a survey didn’t have a clear understanding of what SPF means. If you’re not sure how well you understand the information on sunscreen labels, learning more can ensure the one your elderly family member uses is right for them.
Below are the basic parts of a sunscreen label and what you need to know about each.
SPF stands for sun protection factor. It provides information about how much of the sun’s rays the sunscreen filters out. Sunscreen with an SPF of 15 filters out 93 percent of the sun’s rays. SPF 30 blocks 97 percent. The SPF can give caregivers some idea of how long their aging relative can stay out in the sun before a sunburn will begin. According to the skin cancer foundation, if the senior’s skin starts to get red in 20 minutes, using an SPF 30 sunscreen lets them stay outside 30 times longer. However, they also caution that those numbers are determined in a lab and not in real world situations. Sunscreen should be reapplied every 2 hours or sooner if the elderly adult has been swimming or sweating.
Waterproof or Water Resistant
If a sunscreen claims to be waterproof, don’t believe it. Sweat and water will eventually wash the sunscreen away. In fact, the FDA does not allow manufacturers to use “waterproof” on labels anymore. Instead, labels should use the terms “water resistant” and “very water resistant.” Sunscreen that is water resistant can last 40 minutes in the water before it needs to be reapplied. Very resistant sunscreen must be reapplied after 80 minutes in the water.
Caregivers should choose sunscreens that offer broad spectrum protection. That means the sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Both of these kinds of rays can damage the skin and lead to skin cancer.
When reading the label of a bottle of sunscreen, caregivers may notice they use different kinds of active ingredients. There are two kinds of active ingredients used in sunscreens: physical barriers and chemical barriers. Physical barrier sunscreens are those that use zinc or zinc oxide. They are like a shield, physically blocking the rays of the sun from reaching the skin. They work well for people with sensitive skin. Chemical barrier sunscreens use oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, or octinoxate. They absorb rays from the sun before they can reach the skin. This kind of sunscreen is usually easier to rub into the skin and doesn’t leave the skin with a layer of white cream.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elderly Care Services in Highland Park IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
AB called to report they had a terrific birthday lunch for their aunt today and our caregiver was WONDERFUL. The family is so thankful and couldn't have been happier with our services. They will plan to use us in the future when the needs arises.
Shared this with E and thank her for doing a lovely job.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Caregiver Services in Deerfield IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
Memory concerns are a big deal for your senior because they can hinder her ability to do a variety of things. They can also be creating big safety issues for her.
Her Fridge and Freezer Are Full of Bad Food
Food inevitably goes bad. If your senior is keeping up with that fact, though, she’s going through her pantry, her fridge, and her freezer regularly and cycling through the food that has spoiled or is about to spoil. Memory issues make that task infinitely more difficult for your senior. She may forget to do this at all or she might forget that food does spoil. Regardless, food that is not good any longer is a significant health risk for her.
She’s Missing Appointments More Often
Appointments can be another red flag, especially if your elderly family member has always been a stickler for being prompt. Even with all the right tools, like a calendar or a digital app that sends her reminders, your elderly family member’s memory might keep her from getting to all of her appointments. This is especially a problem when it comes to medical appointments that she needs to get to regularly.
She’s Hiding or Ignoring Mail
Your senior might not like what’s in her mail, especially if she’s finding a lot of bills or mail that makes her feel uncomfortable. A big cause for this is that memory problems can make her feel anxious or as if she’s not able to do what she needs to do with the mail. Best-case scenarios usually involve her leaving unopened mail in a pile out in the open. But in a worst-case situation, she might be hiding her mail.
Prescriptions Aren’t Being Filled Regularly
Your senior might rely on some very important prescriptions, but if she’s not keeping up with getting them filled, that’s a problem. She can’t take the medications regularly if they’re not there for her, regardless of whether she remembers them or not. Automatic refills can be an option here, but it’s a good idea to have a fail-safe notification system set up so you’re aware, too.
If your senior is having significant memory issues, talk with her doctor. It might also be a good idea to hire homecare providers who can take care of some of the situations she’s not able to manage on her own. This is an especially important step if you’re not able to step in for your senior yourself.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Homecare Services in Wilmette IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
Your senior’s living space can tell you a lot about what’s going on with her, even when she’s reluctant to share the same information. As a caregiver, you’ll find yourself looking for clues to help you understand what your elderly family member needs and how to best help her.
Lots of Little Things Haven’t Been Handled
Whether your senior owns her home, lives in an apartment, or has some other arrangement, there’s some sort of maintenance that needs to happen on a regular basis. Some of that may be things she’s been handling on her own, but if you’ve noticed that’s falling by the wayside, there might be other issues. Look for simple maintenance that is really important, like light bulbs that have burned out. When those are in easy locations to change, it doesn’t make sense for them to be ignored unless there’s something else going on with your elderly family member.
Cleanliness Is a Problem
You have a good idea how clean your elderly family member’s home has always been. If her standards are slipping now, that might be because she’s unable to keep up with those standards with her current health issues. Talk to her about what might be happening and whether you or senior care providers can pick up the slack for her. If she’s open to that solution, she can take that energy and put it toward activities that she’ll enjoy a good bit more.
Odd Smells Are Another Problem
Odd smells are a combination problem. They can show up with maintenance issues, like leaks behind walls or appliances that aren’t working properly. But they can also be an indication that there are cleaning problems. If your senior has been stockpiling food in the freezer for instance, it can still go bad over a long period of time. It can eventually create a stench that won’t be solved until that freezer is cleaned out. There may be other similar causes around your senior’s home that need deeper investigating.
Your senior might not be willing to accept your help, but if she’s facing these issues, she needs help from someone. Very often aging adults are more willing to accept assistance from senior care providers. They might worry that family members will be more judgmental or will be more willing to make them move. Look for answers that help your senior without creating anxiety or hard feelings.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Senior Care Services in Arlington Heights IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
Gentle Home Services is so pleased to announce that their dynamic team of Business Development Directors received recognition in various positions.
Colleen Muscarella (pictured on left) joined Gentle Home Services over two years ago and continues to serve on the Deerfield Bannockburn Riverwoods Chamber of Commerce. Colleen also chairs the Health and Wellness Lunch and Learn Networking Group on the North Shore. The group is designed for Professionals in the Healthcare Field and provides a platform for networking, education and referrals.
Susan Scatchell (pictured on right) joined Gentle Home Services in 2017 and quickly jumped into the Home Care Association of America IL Chapter as the Subcommittee Chair for Advocacy and Communications and Continuity of Care Chicago Chapter secretary. Later this summer, Susan will assume the role of the State Treasurer for the Continuity of Care State board.
The Home Care Association of America is the single largest professional organization for home services and home nursing care providers. The association encompasses a broad range of services that supports seniors' well-being, protects their interests and sets the standard to deliver high-quality care. There are over 175 members in Illinois and we are fortunate to have a voice in the leadership for Illinois.
The Continuity of Care Organization exists to enhance the concept of continuity of care as both as essential part of the health care continuum and as integral to total patient care. It serves as an advocate for legislative and community related health concerns and issues by identifying and communicating them to the members, working in tandem with other allied organizations, and supporting standards of professional competence which identify, structure, and promote a multi-disciplinary approach to continuity of care.
"We couldn't be more pleased with how Colleen and Susan represent Gentle Home Services and find creative methods to advocate for older adults through education and advocacy programs like Continuity of Care, our local chamber and the Home Care Association", said Michael Berliant, co-owner and President.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Health Care Services in Deerfield IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
Friend Center Memory Café
Dancing Through the Centuries and Alzheimer’s Research
Thursday, July 11, 4 pm, Deerfield
Ariele Riboh, LCPC, NCC, R-DMT
Owner, Moving Toward Health
In dance/movement therapy we utilize movement as a means of creativity and self-expression. Through an exploration of music and dances of our past, we will seek to remember, connect, move and have fun.
The Memory Cafe is sponsored by Gentle Home Services and CJE Senior LIfe
on the Thursday every month.
For More Information Click Here
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Deerfield IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.