Tag Archives: Seniors

Healthy Benefits of Gardening


Helping Your Loved One To Carry On Gardening In Later Years

If you are caring for someone in their twilight years, you will know just how important hobbies and recreation are for them, and indeed for you as the caregiver. It’s not just the fact of getting out in the fresh air and having something to do – although this is, of course important. The CDC has carried out research and found that just two hours of gardening per week can have a profound effect on health issues that include blood pressure, depression, maintaining a healthy weight, osteoporosis, and many other conditions.

Clearly, there are plenty of reasons for your loved one to want to carry on gardening for as long as possible – even if they have reduced mobility or other physical or medical conditions that might mean they cannot do quite as much as they used to. How can we make it easier for them?

Choose your battles

There are some activities that are clearly going to be outside the scope of someone who is frail or has restricted mobility. Trimming hedges and cutting grass are prime examples. Outside assistance is going to be necessary with the labor-intensive tasks, and you might consider weighing up the benefits of doing away with the lawn entirely in favor of artificial grass.

Maintaining flower gardens and tending vegetable beds, however, are activities that anyone can enjoy. And if you invest in a few handy tools and accessories, there is nothing to stop your loved one from continuing to enjoy his or her hobby.

Useful tools

Vertical planting beds are ideal, as they negate the need to bend or crouch down. Alternatively, raised beds have a similar effect, and can easily be made from simple containers. Even better, you can put them on casters to make them easy to move around. Also, look out for lightweight gardening equipment such as shears and clippers, or ones with easy-grip handles. These are particularly useful for those with arthritis. At a push, you can adapt existing tools using plastic tubing, foam, and tape.

Stay safe, and enjoy the garden

Take care to keep walkways clear, and sweep them regularly to avoid slip hazards. Make sure there is plenty of shade for those hot summers days, and ensure any injuries or even minor scratches are treated promptly. Finally, provide plenty of seating, so that your loved one can take time to rest and enjoy the garden – it doesn’t all have to be work, work work!

Jess Walter  is a freelance writer and mother. She loves the freedom that comes with freelance life and the additional time it means she gets to spend with her family and pets and can be reached at jessalterwriter@gmail.com

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7 Ways to Care for Someone in a Way That Improves Their Wellbeing


Out of the many things that human beings deeply desire, being cared for is likely to be on most people’s list, especially as they grow older. There are times in your life when you may not be able to care for yourself, and this could be as a result of sickness, disease, or disability. In moments such as these, vulnerability is often inevitable, and a helping hand is needed. Whether you happen to be a caregiver or you’re looking after someone you love, there are ways that you can care for them that will help them mentally, emotionally, and physically. This article will explore 7 ways that you can care for someone in a way that will improve their overall wellbeing.

Suggest Healthy Eating

When caring for someone, you often think about ways that you can help them feel and look better. Although there are numerous ways to make this happen, healthy eating is also a proven method you could encourage. Whether someone is suffering from an illness or healthy, choosing the right foods and drinks to consume can enhance their wellbeing. Some diet suggestions to think about include picking lean meat instead of fatty meat, opting for non-fat or 1% milk, choosing breads and cereals made from whole grains, and, of course, drinking plenty of water. You should make a note that not all foods that have fat, cholesterol, and sodium are bad. It is more about being able to strike a balance and not overindulge. Some of the positive ways that eating healthy can improve wellbeing are by making ones physical, mental, social and intellectual health better which could ultimately help improve their quality of life.

Encourage Regular Exercise

Similar to healthy eating, regular exercise has the potential to improve the holistic wellbeing of someone you’re caring for. There are so many different types of exercises they can engage in, so consider exploring a variety of them until you find one that they enjoy. If you’re thinking about what type of exercise to try out, jogging, going for long walks, yoga, stretching, swimming, bike riding, or playing a sport with low impact is ideal. The primary objective is to ensure they remain active and keep their organs healthy. Seeing as the four most important exercises are said to be aerobic exercise, strength training, stretching, and balance exercises, you could find an exercise routine that incorporates all four. Additionally, you should avoid encouraging strenuous exercises if the person you’re caring for isn’t physically well.

Aside from regular exercise, if your loved one is recovering from an injury or looking for natural ways to treat a disease, you should click here to explore possible physical therapy solutions. No matter what the status of the person you’re caring for is, if they’re capable of exercise, because of the many benefits, it is something that should be encouraged.

Help Them Find Hobbies

When caring for someone, keeping them engaged from time to time is key. This is because spending large amounts of time with anyone and doing the same routine on a daily basis can become tedious and cause unnecessary tension and frustrations at times. One way to avoid this and keep both of you engaged and in high spirits is by suggesting hobbies that they can do on their own, with you, or with a group of other people. If you don’t already know, find out what their interests are and see how they can turn that into a daily or weekly hobby they use to fill some of their free time. One way that you can help them find a hobby that they will enjoy is by asking them specific questions. Some of them include whether they would like more independent or social hobbies, what they enjoy, and what their budget is. Once those things are determined, you can help them overcome any fears they may have about starting and keep trying until they find one that sticks.

The benefits of finding a hobby include helping to better cope with stress, keeping them mentally engaged, the opportunity to make social connections, and also bringing feelings of happiness, even if it’s only momentarily.

Help Them Maintain Relationships

Relationships are one of the things that give many people’s lives meaning. Even if you only have one consistent relationship in your life, it can go a long way. In this light, encouraging someone you care for to maintain positive relationships is something that you should consider. It can be so easy to become busy with life or become overwhelmed with self-pity, grief or sadness especially when suffering from a disability, injury or illness. These negative feelings can often become a hindrance to maintaining relationships with family and friends. Typically, this is because they can begin to become withdrawn and sometimes even reclusive. You, however, can suggest that they spend a few hours a daily or monthly with people who make them feel happy and good about themselves. They could spend this time indoors, or they may choose to go somewhere fun where they can talk, laugh and forget about their worries. Doing this should help them feel connected, loved, and also significant. Sometimes, positive relationships help people remember that they are important and also needed. You could also suggest that they spend a few minutes a day calling or texting people who are important to them to help their emotional wellbeing,

Make Sure They Get Regular Check-ups

Not everyone is a fan of doctors, hospitals and needles. Part of helping someone live their best life and improve their wellbeing is ensuring they are healthy. You should suggest regular check-ups with the doctor, dentist and a psychiatrist where needed. This should ensure that they’re okay and there is nothing going on that is undiscovered. If the person you’re caring for is sick, it is likely that they get regular check-ups anyway. On those premises, you can ensure they keep up with their medications and subscriptions and are taking the correct dosage at the right time every day. If they’ve opted for more natural remedies in terms of treatment, then the same applies in terms of ensuring they’re keeping up and you assist them in any way that you can.

Get Some Fresh Air

You’d be surprised at what good some fresh air could do for someone that you’re caring for. If they happen to be disabled, on bed rest, or sick, you may find that you happen to spend a lot of time indoors. It can get stuffy, boring and sometimes even depressing when you look at the same four walls on a daily basis. For this reason, you should think about taking them for a walk regularly even if it’s just around the neighborhood. As long as they’re able to change their environment and stretch their legs, then it is a job well done. You could decide to find different places to go such as the park, a museum, or to the mall to have a look around if that’s possible. The reality is that getting some fresh air may boost their mood, make them feel livelier, and also give them a deeper sense of appreciation for life and their circumstances. In case you didn’t know, there are also several health benefits of getting fresh air which include boosting the immune system, increasing happiness, providing boosts of energy, helping the digestive system and cleaning the lungs.

Communicate with Them Regularly

Talking is an important aspect of caring for someone as it’s a form of communication. As well as showing someone that you care, telling them is also important. You can do so by saying kind and encouraging words to them regularly. You can also commend them for areas that they’re excelling in to help boost their self-confidence. Additionally, it is also important that you get them to talk about how they feel. Although some people are more open than others are, using different techniques to get them to open up is imperative. Some techniques to consider are promoting trust, respect, safety and openness, being patient, stating your intentions where necessary, and being open yourself. In regard to the last point, you may find that your loved one is more inclined to open up when you are free and tell them how you’re feeling on a regular basis. Getting them to talk is so important because keeping things bottled inside can create sadness, anxiety and depression, which are mental health illness that need proper treatment.

Caring for people can be a demanding thing to do. It can also be equally rewarding. This is especially true when you’re able to see noticeable levels of growth, progress and improved health in the person that you care for. A large part of life consists of the connections that you make with other individuals and caring for a person is just another means of connecting. Every individual has their unique needs when it comes to how they would like to be cared for, but when it comes to improving a person’s general wellbeing, health, happiness, and connecting to those who matter are usually effective ways of going about it.

Author: Maggie Hammond is a retired nurse and freelance writer, exploring and writing in the U.S. in retirement. An advocate for public health and nursing qualifications, she feels passionate about raising awareness of the current strain on public health organisations.  Contact Maggie at  maggiehammond57@gmail.com

 

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Seven Ways Caregivers Can Care For Themselves


As the world’s population ages and diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, dementia, and various forms of cancer – as well as many more conditions – become more prevalent, so more and more people are becoming caregivers for their loved ones. This is a hugely selfless and difficult thing to do, and it is essential that anyone who is looking after someone else also takes care of themselves. The following tips should help anyone who is feeling stressed, exhausted, and overwhelmed feel more like themselves again.

Find Emotional Support

Going through the caregiving journey alone is a difficult decision to make, and one that should ideally be avoided for the sake of your mental and even physical health. You cannot effectively care for a loved one if you yourself are unwell. Therefore, it is a good idea to talk to friends and family about what you are going through if you can and listen to their advice. Even just using them as a sounding board can be a good thing for you. If there is no one close to you to talk to (or whom you feel comfortable discussing things with), then see if you can join a support group. You can do this in person or online, and it can make a world of difference when you realize other people are going through the same things you are.

Prioritize Good Habits

When you are a caregiver, it is easy to ignore your own needs because you are so focused on looking after someone else’s. Although that is admirable, it isn’t sensible. You need to be as fit and healthy (and happy) as possible in order to give the best level of care. That means getting as much sleep as you can (at least seven to eight hours if at all possible), exercising regularly, and eating properly. Don’t grab snacks on the run and prepare as much food as you can in advance, and this will help you to be healthier. If you are in pain and suffering, then don’t put off going to see a professional such as Smith Chiropractic about it or you could risk becoming more unwell.

Ask For Help

When you need help, don’t be too proud to ask for it. When you are offered help, don’t be too proud to accept it. People around you will often want to help you out, but they may not know how best to do it. That’s why, when you need something, you should ask for it – there will be someone willing to assist. Whether it is running to the pharmacy to pick up some medication, looking after your loved one so you can head out to the store, the library, an exercise class, or just for a walk to clear your head, or even just coming round for a chat and a cup of coffee, someone will be glad to oblige. It will make them feel better because they are finally doing something for you, and it will help you out at the same time. If people want to help, let them – it’s a golden rule when it comes to caregiving. You really can’t do it all by yourself, and you shouldn’t have to.

Get The Training You Need

Having the right kind of professional training can help you to give the care you need in your role as caregiver. Workshops, online courses, and one to one training sessions in the home can all be advantageous in teaching you want to expect. It will depend on what illness or condition your loved one has as to what you are going to need to do for them, so picking the right kind of training will help you out. If you can’t find any personal training, then look online for resources or ask at your local library for books and information that can help you.

Manage Your Emotions

Caring for someone you love, especially if their illness or condition means that they are in pain and suffering, is difficult. You will often feel emotional, and that is perfectly normal. It’s what you do with those emotions that is important. Next time you are feeling angry or sad or low in general, take a moment to step back and discover what caused those feelings if you can. Once you know, you can better manage the situation and the emotions that are caused by it. That will make both you and the person you are caring for much happier.

Take A Break

You will not be able to just keep going forever. Sooner or later you will feel tired (even bone weary exhausted), emotionally drained, absolutely overwhelmed by the enormity of what you are doing. Taking a break can help to re-set you, enabling you to be a better carer in the end. This could be as little as a 15-minute walk around the block or a power nap, or it could be a vacation where you really do get away from everything for a week or two. If this latter idea appeals, you will need to look into respite care or find someone else who can come into your home and look after your loved one while you are away, of course. Once that is organized, you can go away and really relax, coming back happier, healthier, and ready to continue your caregiving duties.

Find A New Normal

As the health of your loved one declines, the way you live your life will change. If you worry about those changes and constantly think back to your old life with regret, missing what you used to do and have, you will be unhappy with the present, and this can lead to serious issues such as depression. It will also mean that you begrudge your caring duties and start to resent your loved one. Instead, you need to look for the new normal and go along with the new ways of living. Understand that life changes for everyone, not just for carers, and that going with the flow is the calmest, safest, easiest thing to do – it will keep everyone much happier.

 Author’s bio: Maggie Hammond is a retired nurse and freelance writer, exploring and writing in the U.S. in retirement. An advocate for public health and nursing qualifications, she feels passionate about raising awareness of the current strain on public health organisations.

Email address: maggiehammond57@gmail.com

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Identifying Scams


The Purple Jacket is excited to share a post about how everyone can identify scams – make sure to check out the info-graphic below!

Everyone but especially caregivers should be focused on identifying scams, because they’re proliferating yearly and often target the elderly. In fact, as identified in the graphic below, a full 80% of telemarketing scam victims are seniors! The goal of these scams is usually some form of identity theft. If you’re unaware of what identity theft is, here’s a great resource with additional information on the topic. Once you understand what identity theft risk is, you’ll be more apt to stay vigilant and make sure you’re minimizing the risk of yourself and those you care for in any way possible. This info-graphic really helps with that goal in mind.

 

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Be Part of the Solution: Become a Senior Home Safety Specialist!


One of the things I value the most is my friends and colleagues. So when I come across something that has impressed me, I want to share it with my trusted friends and colleagues. As part of my continued advocacy for family caregivers and seniors, I recently I had the opportunity to take and review The Senior Home Safety Specialist™ course from Age Safe America. I was quite impressed! Here is my review of the course:

” The Age Safe America course is extremely well organized and informative. The instructors are knowledgeable and provide clear examples for the student to achieve success. There was not one glitch with the software which is amazing considering the amount of audio and video files attached to the training course. The idea of the point system and badges is brilliant because it provides the user with visual goals and a sense of accomplishment. Well Done!”.

Christopher MacLellan, M.A., “The Bow Tie Guy” Caregiver Advocate, Founder of the Whole Care Network

Below is a more detailed description of the course.

The Senior Hsenior-home-safety-specialistv2-1ome Safety Specialist™ course empowers participants with actionable ways to better help educate clients, older adults and their family members on the serious issues of home safety, fall prevention, financial exploitation and personal safety. This comprehensive 6-hour self-paced audio/video course offers the only certificate of its kind to individuals within the senior services industry. This important training consists of a 10-module self-study educational program with a quiz after each section that participants must pass in order to continue. Upon successfully completing the entire course, you will receive an attractive Certificate along with a digital copy of the Senior Home Safety Specialist™ emblem to use in your own marketing efforts.

Approximately one-third of adults age 65 years or older fall in their home each year, resulting in injury, long-term disability and and premature loss of independence. By the year 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the cost related to these kinds of injuries to be nearly $60 Billion annually. In an effort to help reduce and prevent falls and their associated costs Age Safe America now offers the Senior Home Safety Specialist™ course.

In an effort to help reduce and prevent falls and their associated costs Age Safe America now offers the Senior Home Safety Specialist™ course.

What is Covered in This Online Course: 

– Fall Prevention Myths and Solutions

– Fire Safety Precautions and Solutions

– Aging-in Place Home Modifications

– Mobility and Accessibility Issues

– Home and Senior Safety Technologies

– Considerations for Alzheimer’s/Dementia

– Crime Prevention and Personal Safety

– Senior Exploitation, Identity Theft and Scams

– Communication with Older Adults and Family

– Performing a Complete Home Safety Assessment

No matter what role you might play in serving caregivers and seniors, I highly recommend you taking the Senior Home Safety Specialist™  course!

To learn more about Age Safe America and how to register for the Senior Home Safety Specialist™ course follow this link https://agesafe.talentlms.com.

Be sure to enter Coupon Code “bowtieguy” to save $20.00 off the cost of the course.

Have a group that wants to take the course? Contact Steven Bailey at Age Safe America directly at Steven@AgeSafeAmerica.com for special group rates. Be sure to tell them the Bow Tie Guy sent you!

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How to Help Your Loved One Overcome the Fear of Asking For Help


We welcome back our guest writer Trevor to “The Purple Jacket”

Overcoming obstacles in life is only half the battle. The other half is living and functioning after the obstacle has been overcome. Addiction is a complex disease that individuals can violently be sucked into, without any recollection or realization that a substance or behavior has suddenly defined their life so dramatically. Pulling oneself out of addiction is a process – a journey that takes almost a lifetime to conquer. The desire to end an addiction is self-respect, but seeking help itself might possibly be the most frightening step, but the most courageous one and a mark of strength.

By seeking guidance outside of their own opinions, an individual with addiction is completely opening up their emotions and memories, leaving an incredibly personal part of themselves vulnerable to criticism – by no means is that a walk in the park. The fear in asking for help is completely valid and should never be something seen as humorous or a disposition to be taken lightly. Asking for help is always the hardest step. As the supporting friend, family member, or spouse – you are an assurance to your loved one that there is value in seeking help. You are their support system that provides positive affirmations and actions. Not to mention, you also remind your loved one there is a meaningful life outside of addiction, and they have so much to experience that makes life worth living, and that it can be done without unhealthy coping mechanisms and tendencies.

 First, sitting down and having an honest, raw conversation with your loved one sets everything on the table and gives you both an opportunity to share how you feel. You are able to learn why they want to take this journey. On the other hand, your loved one will always remember that someone understands their circumstances to the best of their abilities and is willing to be supportive. The utter transparency between you both is a solace, and may even make your loved one speak more easily and freely to a professional therapist or support group in the future. By your encouragement and love, it can give a loved one a little push to take the initiative to find help on their own. You can hold them accountable but also encourage their independence – because self-reliance is all that is necessary. Remember when you asked for help once? It was monumental to feel acknowledged by another human being.

 If your loved one wishes, go with them to support groups, wait in the seating area of a psychiatric office, or attend an event with them that will be a bit more bearable with a person by their side. The actual presence of someone during a difficult moment can make all the difference in the world. It is natural to be hesitant doing certain things alone, especially when particular moments require openness.

Besides meaningful conversations and formal treatments to addiction, simply having fun with your loved one is a break from anything disheartening in life. By experiencing the world outside of addiction, your loved one can see that there is truly an end-result to the recovery process. It is easy to lose oneself in addiction, question self-identity, and spiral into a dark place. But by enjoying themselves and letting go of pain – even just for a few minutes – your loved one can find pleasures in things and hobbies that they once loved, or will come to love.

 If there is one last thing that helps your loved one, it is never losing a sense of purpose from the trials of their mistakes and relapses, triumphs, and self-doubt that gives them the courage to ask for help. Life isn’t a race to see who can get to the finish line with the least amount of trauma and scars. Life is what they make it, and you hope that even through unexpected and painful bumps along the way – there is not an end, but a never-ending opportunity to give themselves an existence they have always wanted.

Trevor is a freelance writer and recovering addict & alcoholic whose been clean and sober for over 5 years. Since his recovery began he has enjoyed using his talent for words to help spread treatment resources and addiction awareness. In his free time, you can find him working with recovering addicts or outside enjoying about any type of fitness activity imaginable.  Trevor can be reached at 

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/trevor-mcdonald
Website: https://about.me/trevormcdonald
Email: trevorc.mcdonald@gmail.com

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Loneliness and Depression in Caregiving


Today we welcome guest blogger Samantha Stein to The Purple Jacket.

Stop Saying I Should Get Over It: Loneliness and Depression in Caregiving

Inevitably, our bodies will fail us. It may happen naturally through aging, or it may be because of an illness that overtook our bodies. However before the time comes, have you stopped to consider who is going to provide the caregiving that you need? And what are we going to put them through when they become our caregivers?

Who Are Today’s Caregivers?

For so long, the image of a family caregiver in the United States, and perhaps across the globe, is a 49-year old woman, juggling employment and her family’s needs. She is often perceived as caring for her 60-year old mother who does not live with her. For the older generations, this remains true as the demographic average of a family caregiver.

For the younger generations, however, the average caregiver is shifting to something different. In a joint study done by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, they discovered that the millennials (age 18 to 34) have a unique take on caregiving.

Unlike their predecessors, millennial caregivers are typically 27 years old and equally likely to be male or female. The study further shares how these individuals are most often caring for their mother or grandmother. They also noted how millennials are more likely to report emotional or mental health conditions that their loved ones may be experiencing.

It is no secret that family caregivers often sacrifice their own emotional and physical needs for the well-being of their care recipients. As explained Family Caregivers: The Everyday Superheroes, caregivers go through so many life changes and expose themselves to so many different types of stress to provide the care that their loved ones need. But no matter how strong a person is perceived to be, constant feelings of stress, anxiety, exhaustion, isolation, loneliness, and all other negative emotions associated with caregiving will eventually take its toll.

 Because of a plethora of factors, family caregivers are very much susceptible to depression, loneliness, and isolation. And no should take any of these lightly.

Loneliness and Isolation

Depending on the extent of care required by their recipients, some caregivers provide care on a 24-hour basis. With this in mind, many caregivers undergo drastic changes in their lives. Their lives are dominated by the responsibility of providing care for their ill loved ones. This leaves little to no room for the much-needed me time. They are often boxed into the situation.

Often, loneliness and isolation are brought about by the withdrawal of past habits and lifestyle. Imagine watching your friends go about their lives, enjoying activities you used to do together, while you are left alone to fulfill your caregiving duties. It creates a wall between caregivers and their social circles. It may put them in a situation that lacks social interaction and stimulation from other people other than their care recipients.

Depression in Caregiving

Depression may also come into the picture. A conservative estimate states that 20% of family caregivers — twice the rate of the general population — suffer from depression. 60% of California’s Caregiver Resources Centers’ clients showed signs and symptoms. However, not many people recognize these signs or are too ashamed to admit it.

Despite all the awareness campaigns involving depression, many caregivers still see it as a sign of weakness and are too embarrassed to voice it out. Somehow, they feel guilty for being ill and taking the care and attention away from their loved ones. To make matters worse, a handful of individuals say “get over it” or “it’s all in your head” as if it is not a condition that needs to be addressed.

Depression is a complex condition, and you cannot simply “snap out of it.”

Signs to Watch Out For and What to Do about Them

Family, friends, and even the caregivers themselves must be able to pinpoint the signs and symptoms and then address them quickly.

Depression is different for each person who experiences it. The signs vary, and what many might perceive as nothing may be symptoms in actuality. To help matters, however, here are a few symptoms that might be able to pinpoint cases of depression:

  • Changes in eating habits (overeating or loss of appetite)
  • Changes in sleeping behavior
  • Feeling numb
  • Trouble focusing
  • Lack of motivation to do anything
  • Frequent mood swings

So what can we do it to address the issue or ease the risk?

  • Respite Care – These services help caregivers have time to themselves while still ensuring that their loved ones receive the necessary care that they need. It provides the relief that many caregivers do not get often.
  • Let Your Friends and Family Help You – If respite care is too costly, then share the responsibility among family members.
  • Find Support – Online communities are great venues to find people going through the same challenges and issues. Individuals in these groups help each other in facing their problems because they know exactly what it is like to go through these situations. It provides a sense of comradeship that is beneficial to the caregiver’s health.
  • Get Treatment – Depression is an illness, and it needs to be seen as such. Similar to diabetes or high blood pressure, depression needs to be brought to the attention of a professional. Bear in mind that this should not be something to be ashamed of.

Thank You Samantha for a very informative blog post on a difficult topic! chris@thepurplejacket.com

Samantha Stein is an online content manager for ALTCP.org. Her works focus on key information on long term care insurance, finance, elder care, and retirement. In line with the organization’s goal, Samantha creates content that helps raise awareness on the importance of having a comprehensive long term care plan not just for the good of the individual but for the safety of the entire family.

 

 

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An Overlooked Issue: Alcohol and Drug Addiction Among the Elderly


Today we welcome guest blogger Trevor to The Purple Jacket. 

When you think of substance abuse, you may think it’s a problem for the young. But the stats show that teens aren’t the ones at greatest risk for addiction. In fact, it could be their grandparents.

As Baby Boomers approach their senior years, they may be bringing some demons of their past. One study published by the Society for the Study of Addiction showed that marijuana use of adults over 65 grew a startling 250 percent from 2006 to 2013.

Another study found that older women and Hispanics are having more issues with alcoholism than ever before.

Why is this so alarming? Well, we know that substance abuse is harmful at any age, but it can cause more serious problems in the elderly. The risks associated with alcohol and drug abuse are much greater in your senior years.

Diagnosing the problem

Symptoms of substance abuse often mimic other symptoms that are related to the natural aging process, so alcoholism or drug abuse can easily go undetected. Many health practitioners are also unaware of the depth of this problem, and so they are unlikely to ask the right questions or run the appropriate tests.

The hidden dangers of senior addiction

As we age, our bodily functions begin slowing. This includes liver and waste removal functions that help rid the body of toxins like alcohol. When a senior consumes alcohol, it is likely to affect them faster and stay in their system longer than someone younger.

Seniors are also more likely than any other demographic group to take multiple prescription medications daily. And many common prescription drugs are dangerous when combined with alcohol or other drugs. Even over-the-counter medicines can pose a danger when combined with alcohol, so it’s important pay careful attention.

How to spot substance abuse in seniors

Although it’s more difficult to spot the signs of elderly drug and alcohol addiction in seniors, there are some red flags that can help identify a problem. If the senior in your life is exhibiting the following behaviors, it may be cause for concern.

Substance abuse warning signs

  • Desire to spend time alone – This could be a sign of secretive drinking or substance abuse.
  • Drinking rituals – Although having a little wine with dinner isn’t a crime, if it is consistent, you may want to look for other warning signs.
  • Slurred speech – If slurred speech is out of character and not related to a medical problem, there’s a possibility of substance abuse
  • Depression – A person who is depressed is more prone to substance abuse, and substance abuse may also cause depression. So if you notice that your loved one is frequently depressed, this could signal a larger problem.
  • Increased falling/balance loss – This one can be tricky because it’s not uncommon for seniors to have balance issues, but if it seems to come out of nowhere and/or is combined with other warning signs, there may be a substance abuse problem.
  • Doctor “shopping” – If the senior in your life changes doctors frequently, this is a red flag. It may be a sign that they are shopping around for multiple prescriptions.

Treatment options for senior substance abuse

Identifying the problem is the first step, but how you handle it is just as important. Communication is of the utmost importance. When you broach the subject, do so with empathy and respect. You’ll want to send the message that you’re coming from a place of love and understanding.

In many cases, older adults aren’t aware of the increased risk of senior substance abuse. Sharing this knowledge can be helpful.

There are many support groups available for helping older people remove substance abuse from their lives. These are also places where they can find the kind of fellowship that they may be missing. It’s always beneficial to have the support of people who are in a similar situation to your own.

Therapy is always a good option too. It can help him or her get to the root of the problem and begin to find solutions.

Elderly substance abuse is a growing problem that can affect any of the seniors in our lives. Look out for the warning signs to help keep your loved ones safe.

Bio:

Trevor is a freelance writer and recovering addict & alcoholic whose been clean and sober for over 5 years. Since his recovery began he has enjoyed using his talent for words to help spread treatment resources and addiction awareness. In his free time, you can find him working with recovering addicts or outside enjoying about any type of fitness activity imaginable.  

You can contact Trevor via LinkedIn or his website Website

 

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Preserving Our Legacy


The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Bertrand Russell

2016-10-27-3I am often inspired by family caregivers who share their story; I find story sharing to be healing.  One of the reasons I started to blog about our Caregiving experience was to have an outlet to share our story.   When we share our story, there is a sense of relief that you have been heard, that your experience might be of help to someone.

Mike Stith from One Legacy has a passion for sharing inspirational stories.  Mike has helped families preserve their family legacy through story telling that he captures in a variety of ways.    Mike believes that in sharing stories, On Legacy is adding a special piece of history for future generations.  I think he is right on target with that assessment.

I did not have the opportunity to meet three of my four grandparents, however I do remember my five older siblings talking about all four of our grandparents with fond memories.  How I wish we would have been able to capture my grandparents legacy so that I would have had a better sense of my grandparents.  One Legacy is preserving family stories for future generations in a way will capture the hearts of future family generations.

Don’t just take it from me, listen in and learn how Mike Stith from One Legacy is creating Healing Ties all around us!

To learn more about One Legacy visit them on-line at http://onelegacy.com/

You can reach Mike Stith via email at mstith@onelegacy.com   Twitter https://twitter.com/one_legacy_com  Facebook https://www.facebook.com/onelegacyllc

Chris MacLellan is the author of “What’s The Deal with Caregiving” and the Host of  Healing Ties Radio

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Caregivers: When You Need A Lyft!


Man is free at the moment he wishes to be. Voltaire

Have you seen a car driving down the street a featuring a pink mustache on the front of the hood, or maybe resting on the front of a windshield?  Those pink mustaches would be your next LYFT,  arriving to pick you up to take you to your next destination.

Dan Trigub

Dan Trigub

While attending the Florida Council on Aging in Orlando, FL I had the opportunity to visit with Dan Trigub Strategic Account Executive at LYFT.  Dan and his team at LYFT recognize the need for Caregivers and their Caree’s to have safe and adequate transportation to help make their caregiving day just a little easier.  Transportation is one of the biggest issues family caregivers face when juggling their caree’s appointments.  I know from personal experience, finding a ride in order for Richard to go to radiation was challenging.  My time spent on the road, driving back to the house, then to the doctor’s appointments…Whew…I spent quite a bit of time on the road that no can be eliminated with a LYFT!

LYFT recognizes the need for Caregivers to have additional transportation assistance, and they are doing something about it.  Don’t just take my word for it, take it first hand from Dan.

On this episode of Healing Ties, Dan Trigub and me chat about LYFT, the  pink mustache and how LYFT can make a Caregivers day just a little lyftless stressful.  Listen in and learn how Dan and the entire staff at LYFT are creating Healing Ties all around us!   

Just as Voltaire said, “Man is free at the moment he wishes to be”  LYFT free’s up a Caregivers moment, in order to make the Caregiver’s life just a littler easier.

 

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Chris MacLellan is the author of “What’s The Deal with Caregiving?” and the Host of Healing Ties featured on Spreaker, iTunes, iHeart and UK Health Radio.  Healing Ties and The Purple Jacket are a part of the Whole Care Network, Inc

Join us in Chicago for the 1st National Caregiving Conference hosted by Denise Brown from Caregiving.com.  Now through August 25, register to win cash prizes to help with your travel cost to the conference.   Visit our conference hub by clicking here.   Contact me direct about becoming a sponsor or exhibitor at the conference! National Caregiving Conference (1)

 

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