Home Safety Checklist for Seniors

For most families, there comes a time when they must decide whether their aging parents are capable of living alone or if they should be moved into an assisted living facility. First and foremost, the health and functional capabilities of your elder play a large role in this decision. If they are healthy enough to live unassisted, then making sure their house is in top safety conditions is the next step. Here are some things you should check out when it comes to the safety of seniors in their home:

  • Is there enough lighting?
    Each room should be well lit so your elder can easily navigate through the house in the dark. We all know that our night vision gets weaker as we age, so adequate lighting throughout the entire household is a must. Adding nightlights to hallways or frequently visited rooms at night, like the bathroom, is also a good idea.
  • Are there smoke detectors?
    Make sure there are working smoke detectors in the house and follow the recommendation of changing the batteries yearly. You should also make sure there is a carbon monoxide detector as well.
  • Are there handrails along the staircases?
    Wherever there are steps, there should be sturdy railings. Senior citizens often struggle with maintaining their balance, and handrails help to make getting around easier. Make sure they are properly mounted and if it is applicable to have one on both sides of the stairwell, install them both. If necessary, having a stair lift installed is a great safety feature for senior citizens.
  • Is there a bathmat/handrail in the shower?
    Staircases aren’t the only place that require handrails. The shower should have one too. This will help your parent keep their balance while bathing and give them something to hold onto while they enter and exit the bathtub. There should also be a bathmat in the tub to help prevent slips and falls.
  • How are the floors/carpets holding up?
    If there are hardwood floors, are there loose boards? If there are carpets, are there rips and  tears? The floors should be an even, clean surface. You don’t want anyone to trip or stumble over any loose boards or lifted parts of the carpet. This also means that there should not be clutter, cords and other random objects on the floor that can get in someone’s path. Even throw rugs are a potential hazard due to their likelihood to move around. If there are throw rugs, secure them to the floor with double-sided tape.
  • Where are items that need to be reached daily located?
    If you are in the kitchen, how high are the cabinets? Where is the medicine kept? If anything is too high up for them to reach without assistance, this could cause problems. Is a stepstool needed? If so, make sure it does not wobble at all because you do not want someone to fall off of it. Try and put items that are frequently used in places that are easy to get to and do not require additional equipment to access.
  • Is there a fire extinguisher in the house?
    Hopefully they will never need to use a fire extinguisher, but accidents happen and there should be one somewhere in the house. Forgetting to blow out a candle or a mishap in the kitchen could cause a small fire and your parent should be prepared to put one out if this is the case. Also, make sure they are aware of how to use the fire extinguisher just in case one of these scenarios arises.
  • Is there a phone or emergency alert system accessible?
    Phones are absolutely necessary when someone is living alone because if there is an accident, they will need to call for help. Getting your parent a cell phone would also be beneficial, if they keep it on them, in case something happens when they are out of reach of the landline. If they are completely phoneless, they need an emergency alert system, no questions asked. An emergency alert system can be the only life saver in a situation where there is no phone available or they cannot get up to even get to the phone.

If your senior citizen has the physical strength and ability to maintain their memory and care for themselves on a daily basis, living alone is a possibility. Take the right steps to avoid even the most minor accident, as it can become more damaging if they are not properly prepared. Use this home safety checklist to make sure your loved one’s home is safe from top to bottom.

About the Author

Ruth Folger Weiss loves writing for Willow Spring Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center, a sub-acute rehabilitation center in Center Brick, NJ.

Reverse Mortgage Pros & Cons

For many seniors, retirement is a beautiful stage of life.  It is a time when your everyday professional obligations are over and you have more time than you’ve ever had before to enjoy life’s pleasures.  With this extra time, you have been able to babysit the grandchildren, and have enjoyed taking them fishing or baking cookies with them.  Or perhaps you have finally been able to take that sewing class or visit that antique car show that you were always curious about.  Maybe you have more time to meet some old friends for chess games in the park or Sunday morning brunches.  However, with this newfound freedom from not working comes a tradeoff: you may need to supplement your regular fixed income.  Fortunately for you, having a paid-off, or nearly paid off, home means you have an asset in the form of home equity that can help increase your cash flow.  All you need is the right tool to access it.

The Reverse Mortgage Loan

As many retirees have already discovered, a reverse mortgage is one such tool.  Defined as a mortgage loan for senior homeowners age 62 and older, this option allows its borrowers to access a portion of their home equity.  Although other options of accessing equity are available, such as selling the home or assuming a second mortgage, only a reverse mortgage loan allows borrowers to remain in the home without a monthly mortgage payment.  This is due to the fact that with a reverse mortgage loan, payment is deferred until a borrower permanently leaves the home.  Until then, no repayment is required unless the borrower defaults on loan terms.  For certain borrowers, the chance to age in their home combined with the ability to access equity without a required monthly mortgage payment is exactly what they are looking for.  But like any financial product, it is always intelligent to learn about both the disadvantages as well as the advantages.

The Pros & Cons

The pros and cons of a reverse mortgage can help you determine if this loan can benefit you.

The Pros of a Reverse Mortgage

  • The lender does not take ownership of your home as long as all loan terms are met.
  • Funds can be used as you wish, such as to cover daily expenses or pay off bills and credit card debt.
  • The Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) reverse mortgage is insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and has numerous consumer safeguards.
  • The loan is non-recourse, meaning that the home is the only asset that can be taken to repay the loan.
  • Insurance also protects the consumer from owing more than the value of the home when sold.

The Cons of a Reverse Mortgage

  • You may not live away from home for more than 12 consecutive months.  Your home must be your primary residence.
  • Because the loan’s repayment is deferred, a lien is placed on the home until repayment.
  • If your heirs wish to inherit the home instead of selling it, they must find another way of repayment, such as refinancing into a traditional mortgage.
  • The loan becomes due and payable if you do not fulfill the obligation to pay your property taxes, homeowners insurance and basic home repairs and maintenance.
  • Some borrowers who get a HECM reverse mortgage may be required to set-aside some loan funds to fulfill financial obligations during the loan.

Is This Loan Right for You?

These pros and cons can help you make a determination about whether or not this loan is right for you.

A reverse mortgage may not be right for you if:

  • You foresee leaving your home for more than 12 consecutive months, such as in a nursing home, a family member’s home, or in a second home.
  • You want to leave a free and clear home to your children as an inheritance.
  • You would prefer a loan without the protection of government insurance and the premium that comes with it.
  • You are unable to continue to pay the property taxes, insurance and regular maintenance of the home in order to meet the financial obligations of the loan.

However, a reverse mortgage may be right for you if:

  • You have no plans to move away from your home or sell it.
  • You prefer to age in place.
  • You want to access a portion of your home equity.
  • You don’t want to pay a monthly mortgage payment.
  • You have no heirs, your heirs are not interested in your home, or they don’t mind refinancing the reverse mortgage if they inherit the home.
  • You appreciate the protection that federal insurance this loan gives.
  • You like how the loan is non-recourse, which means no other asset except the home can be taken by the lender to repay the loan.

Armed with the knowledge of both the pros and cons of reverse mortgages, you can objectively decide if you would find this loan useful for your needs.  Calling a reputable lender and speaking with a reverse mortgage professional can also be a significant source of information for you, as you will get the chance to determine this loan’s benefits based on your personal situation.  For many senior homeowners, this loan has been the perfect fit to accomplish what they wanted in retirement.  With the right research, you are on your way to finding out if a reverse mortgage can work for you as well.

About American Advisors Group

American Advisors Group is the nation’s leader in reverse mortgage lending, and is dedicated to helping American seniors convert a portion of their home equity, a largely untapped asset, to help fund their retirement needs.  To check how much you may receive from a reverse mortgage, visit https://www.aag.com/reverse-mortgage-calculator/ for the American Advisors Group Reverse Mortgage Calculator.

American Advisors Group holds an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, has a 97% customer satisfaction rating and is a proud member of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA). To learn more about American Advisors Group and reverse mortgages, please visit the company’s website at www.aag.com. 

About The Author

Alberta Lim is the Digital Content Writer for American Advisors Group, the #1 Reverse Mortgage company in the nation. Writing content for the company’s website, news and updates, and newsletters, plus being surrounded by the top Reverse Mortgage Professionals in the industry, means that she is no stranger to Senior Retirement Planning and Living.


“Do I Qualify for a Reverse Mortgage?  The Questions You Should Ask and the Requirements You Need to Know.”  Homefinder.com.  ND.  NP.  Web.  28 July 2015.  http://www.homefinder.com/research/reverse-mortgage-requirements

Lim, Alberta.  “Debunking Myths about Reverse Mortgages.”  Equities.com.  18 June 2015.  NP.  Web.  28 July 2015.  http://www.equities.com/editors-desk/personal-finance/real-estate/debunking-myths-about-reverse-mortgages

Lim, Alberta.  “What Seniors Should Know About Reverse Mortgages.”  GriswoldHomeCare.com.  23 July 2015.  Griswold Home Care.  Web.  28 July 2015.  http://www.griswoldhomecare.com/blog/what-seniors-should-know-about-reverse-mortgages/

Understanding the Pros and Cons of a Reverse Mortgage.”  AAG.com.  American Advisors Group.  ND.  Web.  28 June 2015.  https://www.aag.com/news/the-pros-and-cons-reverse-mortgages

What is a Reverse Mortgage?

According to a survey by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), almost 90% of senior homeowners would prefer to age in the familiarity and comfort of their own homes.  This is not surprising, as many seniors have built their lives around their home.  Fortunately, a majority of seniors have also built equity in their homes, having diligently paid their mortgage every month for the last few decades.  Because of this, many seniors over the age of 62 will be eligible for a retirement planning loan product called a reverse mortgage.

Reverse mortgages have already helped thousands of seniors across the country to continue living in their homes for the rest of their lives, all while receiving their equity without having to pay a monthly mortgage payment, as long as all loan terms are met.  Reverse mortgages have been gaining popularity in the last half century, but for many years before, senior homeowners had a hard time finding the solution that would let them access their home’s equity while still living there.

The History of Reverse Mortgages

Before reverse mortgages were first offered in 1961, senior homeowners had very few options if they wanted to access their equity.  Liquidating equity usually meant having to sell the home and move out, thus defeating the purpose of aging in place.  However, the idea of a loan for this purpose gained traction at a congressional meeting in 1969, when the Senate Committee on Aging expressed interest in “an actuarial mortgage plan that would allow homeowners to stay in their homes while enjoying their saved home equity.”

Interest in this product only continued to grow.  In 1987, Congress passed an insurance bill called the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage Demonstration, which became the reverse mortgage pilot program.  The following year, President Ronald Reagan signed the Reverse Mortgage Bill into law.

What is a Reverse Mortgage Today?

Since then, reverse mortgages have continued to evolve.  There are multiple kinds of reverse mortgages, including the federally-insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM).  There is also the HECM for Purchase, which is the version that helps senior homeowners accomplish, in just one transaction, the closing of a reverse mortgage along with the purchase of a new home that is more suited to their needs.

Today, when a borrower works with a reputable reverse mortgage lender to close a loan, they are provided with a personal reverse mortgage professional to cater to their needs in the loan process.  This expert will use their experience to serve as a knowledgeable resource who will ensure that the reverse mortgage process goes smoothly.  For many senior homeowners, reverse mortgages of today are providing them with a solid retirement.

Who is Right for a Reverse Mortgage?

Reverse mortgages are designed for senior homeowners ages 62 years and older who own their home and live there as their primary residence.  Although it may not be right for everyone, reverse mortgages can be the perfect solution for many.  Is a reverse mortgage right for you?  It may be if:


  • You want to access your equity while aging in your home
  • You plan to live in your home as your primary residence
  • You want to pay off your existing mortgage, your credit card bills, or any medical expenses
  • You want to eliminate a monthly mortgage payment
  • You need to tap into your equity now
  • You want to continue your financial independence
  • You want a line of credit for emergencies
  • You are confident in your ability to continue payments of property taxes and homeowners insurance

With all the benefits a reverse mortgage offers, it is not hard to see why this loan product has grown so popular since its beginnings in the early 1960′s.  To learn if a reverse mortgage would be right for you, it is most helpful to speak with a reverse mortgage professional.  These experts can answer questions you have that are particular to your situation.  If you determine a reverse mortgage is right for you, you can begin to take advantage of a loan product that is already helping many senior homeowners achieve a financially comfortable retirement.


“The History of the Reverse Mortgage.”  www.AAG.com.  NP.  ND.  Web.  20 July 2015.  https://www.aag.com/news/history-reverse-mortgage

Lim, Alberta.  “Debunking Myths about Reverse Mortgages.”  Equities.com.  18 June 2015.  NP.  Web.  1 July 2015.  http://www.equities.com/editors-desk/personal-finance/real-estate/debunking-myths-about-reverse-mortgages

“What is a Reverse Mortgage?”  FamilyMoneyValues.com.  19 March 2015.  NP.  Web.  1 July 2015.  http://blog.familymoneyvalues.com/2015/03/what-is-a-reverse-mortgage/

“The Truth About Reverse Mortgages.”  Thousandnaire.com.  ND.  NP.  Web.  1 July 2015.  http://www.thousandaire.com/the-truth-about-reverse-mortgages/

“Do I Qualify for a Reverse Mortgage?  The Questions You Should Ask and the Requirements You Need to Know.”  Homefinder.com.  ND.  NP.  Web.  1 July 2015.  http://www.homefinder.com/research/reverse-mortgage-requirements

About American Advisors Group

American Advisors Group is the nation’s leader in reverse mortgage lending, and is dedicated to helping American seniors convert a portion of their home equity, a largely untapped asset, to help fund their retirement needs.  To check how much you may receive from a reverse mortgage, visit https://www.aag.com/reverse-mortgage-calculator/ for the American Advisors Group Reverse Mortgage Calculator.

American Advisors Group holds an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, has a 97% customer satisfaction rating and is a proud member of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA). To learn more about American Advisors Group and reverse mortgages, please visit the company’s website at www.aag.com.

Author’s Bio

Alberta Lim is the Digital Content Writer for American Advisors Group, the #1 Reverse Mortgage company in the nation. Writing content for the company’s website, news and updates, and newsletters, plus being surrounded by the top Reverse Mortgage Professionals in the industry, means that she is no stranger to Senior Retirement Planning and Living.

3 Ways Good Design Can Help People Who Have Dementia

The design of the environment we live in has a profound impact on our mood and wellbeing, especially for people living with dementia. In this post, we’ll look at some ways that good design can make an impact, from the use of colors and lighting, to making it easy to perform daily tasks, helping you to plan a suitable environment for your loved one, or to identify a care home designed for the needs of people with dementia.

Good use of color

Color choices play an important part in ensuring people with dementia can navigate their surroundings, identify familiar places and affect their mood. Firstly, contrasting colors can be used on furniture, fittings and fixtures to help people navigate and interact with their surroundings. For example, using a light switch that contrasts in color to the wall it’s on can make it easier to identify, avoiding confusion. Similarly, utilizing handrails that contrast to the walls their mounted on makes them easier to find, encouraging people with dementia to explore their surroundings without fear of getting ‘stuck’. Ensuring furniture is a different color to the floor also makes it easier for people to negotiate the room without fear of tripping up, while also making it easier to identify where they are and find their way around.

Using different color doors is another good way to help people with dementia identify different rooms. For example, painting bathroom doors a different color to other doors can help people identify what’s inside them. Colored doors are also used in care homes for residents’ rooms, helping to make them more recognizable and making it less likely for residents with dementia to get lost and enter other people’s rooms accidentally.

Before painting any walls or changing fixtures and furniture, it’s important to remember that color can affect mood. Be aware of any preferences that your loved one may have, for example if they have eye conditions, yellow, orange and red can be easier to see. Others may prefer darker colors like black or dark blue against light backgrounds.

Using lighting correctly

If lighting is not used correctly, it can make it harder to identify objects, create shadows, and change perceptions of the passing of time, all of which can cause confusion and distress for people with dementia.

Natural light is the first important consideration. Not only does natural light provide higher levels of diffused light, which creates soft, unnoticeable shadows, it also helps to show the passing of time as the light source changes throughout the day, making it easier to stick to natural sleeping patterns.

Artificial lighting also plays a part as it can help compensate for poor eyesight, helping people find their way around their home. For example, additional artificial lighting can be used to make it clear that corridors and pathways around rooms are clear and unobstructed, avoiding confusing shadows. The position of lighting needs to be considered, for example to avoid bright light directly over beds, which can make it difficult for people to rest. The choice of lampshade is also important, as these can be used to create diffused light, reducing shadows and creating a uniform level of brightness around a room.

Make it easy to perform day to day tasks

Interior design also plays a part in making day to day tasks easier to perform for those with dementia. Lighting can again play a part here, for example by illuminating the insides of drawers and cupboards when they are open, making it easier to find things.

People with dementia can also struggle to remember where things are kept, for example in the kitchen. A solution is to use transparent cupboard doors allowing the contents to be seen, or use labels to mark what’s inside. Pictures or icons are a good idea, as it can be easier to remember the look of an item than its name.

Icons and signs are also a great way to direct people to certain rooms. For example, signs leading to the bathroom may include pictures or icons representing a shower, toilet and washbasin, to remind users what the bathroom contains. Meanwhile, the dining room door could feature an icon of a knife and fork to represent eating, providing a visual clue to what can be done in this room.

In conclusion

If you’re making changes to someone’s living space or finding a new home for them, it’s important to remember that everyone has different abilities and needs which can change over time. It’s important to take a person-centric approach as a result, ensuring your loved one continues to be able to make their own choices and uphold their dignity.

About the author

Seb Atkinson works for Hallmark Care Homes, a leading provider of dementia care.

15 Tips on Providing In-Home Health Care

Providing in-home health care to someone, especially a loved one can be a stressful and challenging experience.  Preparing ahead and considering these fifteen tips can help to make the transition into in home care less stressful and easier on you and the individual requiring care.

  1. Impact on Person Needing Care – the individual needing care will need some time to adjust to the new arrangement.  They may have recently lost a loved one or they may have had an injury or major medical event that has prompted the change.  Any of these changes can cause stress, anxiety or even depression so it’s best to give that person some time to adjust.
  2. Impact on You – As you will be the one giving care, a significant amount of your time will be required.  You will need to consider if this is something you are willing to do and how it will affect your job and family life.
  3. Impact on Your Family – It will be important for you to discuss your decision to provide in home care with your family.  The decision will directly impact them and your way of life.  Carefully consider everyone’s opinions and concerns prior to making a full commitment.
  4. Staying on Top of Appointments – Once you start providing in home care, you will need to stay on top of appointments that will need to be kept such as going to the doctor, physical therapy, etc.
  5. Questions to Ask the Doctor – The more care you provide, the more involved you will be with monitoring the daily activities of the individual.  You will want to ask specific questions of the doctor if you notice any concerning behavior or changes to the health or mental state of the patient.
  6. Medicines – Along with providing in home care, you will need to keep track of any medications, when they need to be administered and any dangerous side effects or interactions with other drugs or specific foods.
  7. Meals – Providing regular and nutritious meals will be a major part of your responsibilities and it will have a major impact on the health of the person requiring care.
  8. Exercise/Physical Therapy – Depending on the mobility of the patient, you may need to ensure that they participate in some type of physical activity to keep them mobile.  This may also involve bringing them to the gym or to physical therapy appointments.
  9. Keeping Minds Active – If the patient is limited in activity or confined in any way, it may be helpful to make sure they keep their mind active in addition to their body.  This can be done by providing them with reading materials, thought-provoking games or puzzles.
  10. Eliminating Dangers in the Home – Keeping pathways clear and removing clutter in the home can help to prevent any accidents or injuries to the patient.
  11. Making Adjustments to the Home – Consider if your home may require adjustments such as ramps, railings, stair lifts or larger access points into and out of the home.  You may also need to make changes to furniture and fixtures such as chairs, beds, or bathtubs.
  12. Additional Cost for Caring – The cost of providing in home care can be significant.  You will want to consider if you need to reduce hours at work or stop working altogether in addition to the cost of additional food, transportation and potential renovations to your home.
  13. Liability Insurance – While most people provide in home care to a loved one, you may want to consider adjusting any liability insurance on your home.  Any additions you make to your home may require additional coverage.
  14. Taking Care of Yourself – One thing that most caregivers neglect while they are providing care is themselves.  Make sure you are eating right, getting enough sleep, and getting a break from time to time as care giving can be a demanding task even if you are helping a family member or loved one.
  15. Know When to Admit You Need Help – At some point, providing in home care may become so overwhelming or even impossible that you may need to consider getting additional help or stopping in home care altogether.  Having an idea of what your options are under these circumstances will help to ease the transition especially if something changes with the patient unexpectedly.

By taking these tips into account, you can avoid any potential problems or conflicts as you transition into providing in home care.

 About The Author

Catherine Reeson is certified medical assistant, and has worked in various caregiver roles for several years. She aims to write about topics that will help beginner caregivers avoid some of the hurdles she’s faced in her tenure.

Helping Senior Loved Ones With Downsizing

A lifetime of memories – and the possessions to prove it – are preserved in the homes of many senior loved ones. The time eventually comes when they must downsize, but most people will need help and support during this difficult and emotionally trying process.

With our many years of experience helping seniors and their families with eligibility for Medicaid sponsored long-term care and nursing home placement, the downsizing dilemma is nothing new to us and we’d like share some tips on what to expect and how to deal with the situation.

How to Know When It’s Time

It’s usually time to consider downsizing for your loved one when the situation falls into one of the following scenarios:

  1. The amount of possessions has become too much for your loved one to manage as their age advances. Large amounts of possessions may be posing a hazard to their health, the quality of their life, or to the upkeep of their home. In some cases, years of hoarding may be taking it’s toll and it’s time to clear out items for both health and mental health reasons.
  2. Your loved one needs to move into a smaller home. This may be a care facility, a senior living complex, or even a smaller home that is better suited to mobility limitations. The amount of items in the family home, accumulated over a lifetime, is too much to move into the new, smaller dwelling.

Start the Conversation

Broaching the subject with your loved one is often the most difficult part of the entire process. Most seniors know they need to downsize, but decluttering seems overwhelming. It’s not just the physical work of downsizing, but also the emotional stress of parting with a lifetime of memories. This can make your loved one defensive, or even angry, when you bring up the subject.

You can ease the conversation by having a plan. Be willing to help and be present throughout the entire process. Come up with a strategy for dealing with hard-to-part-with items. This could be as simple as donating mindfully to those that would appreciate the items most, to creating photo-documentation of the sentimental items that your loved one can keep in an album after the physical items have moved on.

Help With the Downsizing Process

The most important thing you can do during this difficult time is to be there for your loved one every step of the process. Bring in trusted family members and friends to help, when possible, to help set your loved one’s mind at ease. If you must bring in outside help, make sure you are there to help manage and monitor the process, and step in if you see your loved one becoming upset.

Get on Top of Out-of-Control Clutter

The process is made more difficult if the clutter is out-of-control. Begin by helping your loved one create an inventory of their items. This can be on paper, or you can work room-by-room and lay everything out so it’s visible.

As you list items, separate them into categories – keep, donate, undecided. Get donations and trash items out of the house daily so they don’t accumulate and lead to second guessing. On undecided items, you may need to take a hard line approach and insist that some things must leave. If your loved one is emotionally attached, find a compromise – such as passing the item on to another family member or adding it to the photo book.

Although this can be a difficult time, it shall pass. Your loved one will eventually feel better with less things, and it will be easier to tend to their evolving care and home requirements as they continue to age.

About The Author

Benjamin Lamm is a communication specialist and blogger at Senior Planning Services, a Medicaid planning company guiding seniors and their families through the Medicaid process. Ben enjoys playing the guitar, spending time with family and social networking.


Help Your Aging Parents Regain Their Health And Self-Esteem With Home Care Services

These days most people are required to live overseas, far away from their aging mom and dad, or are too packed with their job owing to which they do not have time for looking after their parents at home. This leaves them worried about the senior citizens who stay all alone at home or require an extra hand. In all such cases home care is what they are looking for.

Keep away from this one big mistake

Self esteem is one of the biggest factors for one’s aging parents. Often one gets frustrated and loses their temper due to their parents’ stubbornness and tenacity, not realizing the fact that they are behaving so because of a purpose. At one point of time they were the family head or key decision maker and all of a sudden with the coming of age they have become immobile and incapable to handle their own duties as a result of which they vent out this deeply frustrating feeling. And especially when they are told to leave their own home and get admitted to a nursing home for their treatment their morale is automatically doomed. For them their home is always the biggest source of strength. Although it is age that has made them dependent but it is solely family members’ companionship that can work wonders in helping them fight with their bodily incapability. Often people admit their parents in hospitals thinking that it is here where they will be taken utmost care of but the truth is in 90% cases the after effects are fatal. They give up their urge for living and as a result one tends to lose their loved one for this one big mistake. In this regard in-home care acts as the greatest reprieve.

Knowing what exactly aging parents need is essential

It is very easy in getting irritated with aging parents and grandparents but one should be calm and read their minds and understand what exactly they need and offer them help accordingly.

  • Medical attention- Taking into consideration what illness they are suffering from one should decide the type of medical help. For instance, if they are suffering from a chronic ailment a better option will be to take the help of nursing homes. On the other hand, if they are suffering from Alzheimer’s or Dementia, home care is what they need
  • Daily chores- It is every child’s responsibility to find out the root cause of the problem that their parents are facing. Is it that they need support for their day to day chores such as toileting, bathing, grooming, grocery shopping, washing clothes, making beds or meal preparation? If so, then hiring the services of a home caregiver will be the best choice
  • Security- If one has to work late nights or are leaving the station for a vacation and need a support for looking after their aging family members for a specific period of time, then also opting for in-home care services will be a wise choice

Track every progression of an aging adult with infallible awareness

The trained home caregivers give one-on-one attention and care to the senior citizens that they deserve. Under these professional and safe hands one can be stress-free about the health and care of their aging parents. This indicates that irrespective of the specific impairment or disability in question, their dear ones’ can remain independent within the confines of their own home as far as possible. Being professionals they are adept at observing every small change with respect to the behaviour of the patient and keep a track of their progress with infallible awareness. By viewing these current changes they can help the patient in regaining their health and self-esteem. They are well aware of the job they are doing and are swift at implementing changes. The list of home healthcare facilities that they offer include yet are not restricted to,

  • Meal preparation
  • Transportation
  • Companionship
  • Personal care
  • Shopping and errands
  • Ambulation and transfers
  • Housecleaning
  • Pet care

These in-home services vary from long-term to temporary and can be for 24 hours, twice a week or just a few hours as per one’s needs.

About the Author

Scott Fagan having profound knowledge in the medical industry has highlighted the different vital prospects associated with home care services offered by CommonWealth Caregivers through the medium of this article.

Tips for Assisting an Elder with Dental Care

If you are looking after a loved one, helping to maintain their dental health can be a difficult subject to broach. Tooth loss and dental disease, along with decreased finger dexterity and general mobility which makes it difficult to properly clean teeth, can all take a toll on an elderly person’s dignity.

Whether you are a family caregiver or a professional carer, you may encounter a bit of resistance initially. However, ensuring oral health is an essential part of caring for an elder’s overall health. Poor oral health has been linked to higher incidence of lung infections and can aggravate existing conditions like diabetes and heart conditions.

Here are a few practical guidelines to help ensure the oral care and support you provide is both effective and kind.

1. Look out for any existing oral conditions

Mouth or tooth pain can leave anyone feeling poorly. In addition, a host of medications can dry out the mouth, adding to the overall discomfort. On the other hand, a healthy mouth means tastier food, better appetite and usually also improved communication.

As you provide support with tooth brushing and dental hygiene, keep an eye on any changes in gum and tooth health. Any bumps, swellings or lesions that do not heal in two weeks, or bleeding and loose teeth are cause for a trip to the dentist or at least a call to your dentists’ practice to seek advice. Regularly ask your loved one if their teeth are sensitive and note any difficulty they may experience when chewing or swallowing.

2. How to help with teeth brushing

Though the level of support you may need to provide when brushing teeth will vary, it is important to make the experience as pleasant and comfortable as possible.

Your loved one might be able to brush their teeth at the sink. In that case, ensure you have a chair positioned in front of the sink and a towel and cup handy. Brushing teeth can easily be done simply sitting up in bed too and rinsing into a cup.

Brush: Using a soft bristled brush, use small round motions to clean each tooth. Also gently clean the tongue. Consider an electric toothbrush as they can be a good option for providing thorough care.

Floss: Floss each tooth, implant and dental bridge. Normal dental floss should work fine but you could also try spongy floss or floss picks to see which works best.

Rinse: Use an antibacterial mouthwash to finish. If the elder you are caring for is unable to rinse with mouthwash, just ask them to spit out any toothpaste into a cup. Don’t worry about remaining residue. If it’s fluoride toothpaste this will actually benefit the teeth.

Dentures: Dentures should be removed at night and cleaned thoroughly daily.

3. Cleanliness after meals and throughout the day

Having frequent sips of water during the day is a great way of keeping the mouth feeling fresh and moist. After meals ensure all food is wiped away and ask your loved one to rinse into a cup to remove any remaining food from their mouth. You could also offer xylitol gum for chewing in between meals.

4. Don’t forget about the dentist

Most dentist recommend that seniors pay their dentist a visit every six months for a checkup and thorough clean. This is a good time to raise any general dental health questions you may have, but don’t wait for the bi-annual visit to address any serious dental health issues.

5. A few notes on diet

Often foods that are easy to prepare, eat and chew are also high in sugars and refined carbohydrates. These can not only increase the chance of cavities but will also aggravate other conditions like having a dry mouth. Thankfully there are quite a lot of teeth-friendly and generally more healthy foods options out there.

It’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with elder nutrition guidelines and where relevant to work with the care facility.

About the Author

Emma Harris lives in Cuffley, Hertfordshire, where she writes for her local dentist, Cuffley Village Dental Practice who have extensive experience providing dental care to elderly patients.

Using Home Health Care to Facilitate Independent Living

When faced with the choice between living in an elderly care facility or aging as independently as possible at home, home health care is almost always the more desirable choice. Still, it’s not always easy to build a feasible support system for aging seniors who wish to retain as much independence and dignity as possible by continuing to live in their own homes.

Understanding the unique needs of an individual patient and the level of care required to help them stay in their own homes doesn’t have to be complicated. With the right assistance in place and a plan of action, it’s very possible to help your loved ones retain some semblance of an independent, healthy lifestyle well into their golden years.

Realistic Evaluation of Need

To create a plan for an extended aging-in-place arrangement, it’s imperative to objectively take stock of your loved one’s needs and requirements. Some seniors will require little more than a few hours a day of supervision, which includes assistance with housekeeping and management of medication or physical therapy. Others may require more intensive services and direct medical care, transportation to and from appointments with physicians or daily living task assistance like bathing and dressing, which will typically require several hours or even round-the-clock care. Whether your loved one falls at one end of the spectrum or the other, or somewhere in between, enabling them to maintain as normal a routine as possible will require you to have a clear understanding of their needs and the necessary level of care.

Benefits of Home Health Care

Data from current research indicates that seniors who are encouraged to maintain a high level of independence through home health care also show higher levels of mobility, bladder control and emotional well-being. These patients are also less likely to require urgent, unplanned care as a result of injuries, falls or accidental medication mismanagement. Transitioning to a residential care facility may often leave your loved one with less independence and less freedom, which has been linked to higher levels of depression and anxiety. In the vast majority of situations, aging in place with home assistance is the most effective and comfortable solution for all involved parties.

Facilitating a successful home health care plan will allow your aging loved one to retain more control over their daily activities, while helping to prevent injuries, medication mishaps and even problems like malnutrition. Living at home, even with a chronic illness, a disability or an age-related reduction in mobility, is often the best possible option for both the physical and emotional health of a senior citizen. Home health care also helps to stave off feelings of loneliness and social isolation, which are relatively common among seniors.

Creating a Feasible Alternative to Facility Living

Families committed to helping their aging loved ones to live out their remaining years in dignity and the best possible health may know how important aging in place is to their family member’s emotional and physical health, but not how to execute a feasible plan for facilitating such an arrangement.

After assessing your loved one’s level of need, it’s time to determine the best way of building a support system to meet those needs. Family care can be a far less expensive alternative in some situations, but isn’t always feasible. Unless someone is able to dedicate some time each day to the management of medication and nutrition, along with basic daily needs, it may become necessary to work with a professional care provider. For some families, an ideal arrangement may consist of primarily family-driven care, with supplemental assistance from a professional caregiver or home health care provider. Because every situation is unique, your plan for enabling your loved one to age in place must also be customized to fit the existing level of need. Maintaining an open line of communication with your loved one’s primary care physicians and other medical care providers is one of the best ways to determine the most effective course of action, especially when aging in place is the preferred option.

About the Author

Selwyn St. Louis is the Director and CEO of Better Living Senior Services, located in Tampa Bay, Florida. Since 2009, Selwyn has been on a mission to help those in need with home health care options for the elderly.