Featured in a recent Los Angeles Times article, recently published research reports that social isolation can accelerate the aging process, thereby likely leading to an early death among the elderly.
According to the National Academy of Sciences, the seven yearlong British study, involving 6,500 participants, showed that when physical and mental health issues were taken out of the equation, a deficiency of social contact made a huge overall impact on the state of health.
Many think that as we get older, the need for sleep decreases but results from research are saying otherwise. While it is true that seniors’ sleep patterns change over the years, a full night’s sleep (7.5-9 hours), undisturbed, is as important as the emotional and physical state of their life.
Sleep helps the memory process, allows for cell regeneration and strengthens the immune system.According to the article “Sleeping Well as You Age”, many physicians usea senior’s ability to sleep as an indicator of his or her health status. With reduced sleep, there is a greater concern about the onset of depression, memory problems, excessive daytime sleepiness, weight problems, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even breast cancer in women.
New Elder Communities Take Root Where We Already Live.
Christopher Van De Moortel, President
Aging in Place and Senior Villages are beginning to sweep the country. Each “village” may vary slightly in their approach to helping seniors remain in their homes, but most have a combination of volunteer services and third party providers. From roofing contractors to picking up a prescription, their mission is to redefine how we live out our days: at home, in our homes, and not in nursing homes.
Compulsive Hoarding Syndrome is often associated with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). It is a complex disorder, however – many hoarders suffer from other comorbid problems such as chronic depression, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD), dementia, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social phobia, or schizophrenia/paranoia.¹‚ ²
Hoarding is neither simple, nor benign. As we talked about in an earlier installment, “Hoarding: Time to clean out the house,” hoarding can kill.
Home care for seniors continues to become more popular than it was 10 years ago, let alone a generation ago. As assisted living costs increase, so does the desire of the elderly and disabled to reside in an independent living environment; to age in place in their own homes, not some retirement community. Non-medical home care costs have been in line with institutional care for some time now, so why don’t more families choose independent living over nursing homes and retirement communities? The answer in many cases is that their homes were not designed to be accessible to seniors, the frail, or persons with disabilities. Although Adaptive technologies to help senior citizens age in place are increasing every day, understanding universal design, or accessible design, means understanding our entire environment. Adaptive and assistive technologies inside the home are only the first part of the equation. The second part is our community, both physical and social.
Care for You has long believed in medical benefits of non-medical care, whether that care is delivered through simple companionship, household activities or cultural experiences. The Company provided anecdotal evidence of this in a paper, “Why Stay At Home?”.
A study, “The Impact of Professionally Conducted Cultural Programs on the Physical Health, Mental Health, and Social Functioning of Older Adults,” complete with its outcomes, was published in The Gerontologist, Vol. 46, No. 6, 2006. Gene D. Cohen, MD, PhD, was the lead investigator on this study.
Compulsive Hoarding – Getting Through to Mom that is Unsafe
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Getting parents help when they need it is part of being an adult child and a caregiver. We have to be their advocate when they cannot, or will not, be one for themselves. At the same time, we have to create healthy boundaries for ourselves. It is possible that you will eventually decide sharing a home is not the best situation for the two of you.
“I like the way you described your mom — funny, generous, and great company.” That’s a good place to start, focusing on what’s good about her and her life. Thinking about the ways she benefits you even now helps especially when things get harried and you get overwhelmed with all that “stuff” around you.
Caregivers for Seniors – A Guide for Planning
Have you ever said or heard others say, “I don’t ever want to be a burden to my children”? It is a common thought, but what have you done to insure that you will not be? If your parents share these sentiments, now is the time to initiate dialogue with them before it is too late. The inevitable future includes aging for all of us.
Compulsive Hoarding: Time to Clean Out the House
The hallway looked like any other. But the smell was overpowering the moment the elevator doors opened. Getting into apartment 411 was like going into another world. The stacks of garbage and trash were so tall and so closely crammed together that there was almost no way to open the front door. Hundreds of soda bottles filled with a gold liquid were throughout his home – it wasn’t soda….
Irritability, anxiety, exhaustion – continual and unrelenting. Eating way too much, gaining weight – or too little, having trouble keeping food down, losing weight “without trying.” Sleeping “all the time,” sitting down and “out like a light” – or can’t go to sleep, can’t stay asleep. Can’t focus, can’t concentrate, can’t make one more decision, forgot to feed the cat, brush teeth, take out the garbage, pay the bills, again. No energy, no motivation, just don’t feel well. Ambushed by weeping, the simplest thing…never know when….