Monthly Archives: April 2014

Senior PainPersonal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) have been increasing during the last few years because of the rising age of the elderly. Approximately over 13 million seniors fall every year with over half not able to get up on their own. Due to the rising number of older people in their own homes, these response systems play a major part in saving lives. By demand, Safe Harbor has come up with important information about (PERS) for the elderly and your loved one.

Personal Emergency Response Systems, also known as Medical Emergency Response Systems, let you call for help in an emergency by pushing a single button. A PERS contains three mechanisms: a small radio transmitter, a console connected to your telephone and an emergency response center that monitors calls.

Transmitters are usually light in weight, and are battery powered devices. You can wear one around your neck, on a wrist band, on a belt, or in your pocket. When an emergency has occurred, you just press the transmitters help button, which will send a signal to the console. The console automatically calls one or more emergency telephone numbers. Today most PERS are programmed to telephone an emergency response center. The center will try to figure out the nature of your emergency. They will also review your medical history and check which family member will be notified.

When it comes to buying a PERS, you can purchase, rent or lease a device. Remember, that Medicare, Medicaid, and most insurance companies normally don’t pay for the equipment, and few require a doctor’s recommendation. Most hospitals and social service agencies might fund the device for low-income users. If you purchase a PERS, expect to pay an installation fee and a monthly monitoring charge. Rentals are accessible through national manufacturers, local distributors, hospitals, and other social service agencies and fees often include the monitoring service.

For a list of systems available in your area, contact your local agency on aging. Once you have found a list of agencies you’re considering, check with your local consumer protection agency, state Attorney General, and Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed against them.

For more information about PERS contact us at 718-979-6900 and we will gladly assist you in answering any questions you have.

Pretty nurse and senior patient in a wheelchair looking at camerReturning home from the hospital can be a traumatic experience for the elderly for many reasons. In most cases the patient has been 100% dependent on hospital staff and the transition to life with less help at home can be a challenge. Assistance may be needed in the home because the elderly person may need help or supervision with certain activities. While many people can provide a certain amount of care themselves, they may need assistance part time or with certain tasks. The need of a registered nurse may also be necessary.

In the case of a fall in the home that leaves a person with hindered mobility, assistance with moving a patient and catering to their needs is essential, and can help to prevent additional injuries. Each year one out of every three older adults (aged 65 or older) falls. Falls are the leading cause of death for people 65 or older. The good news is that many falls are preventable. The elderly should exercise when possible to increase balance and leg strength, have vision checked periodically, and safeguard their homes from falling hazards. Some medications do not work well together and can increase the likelihood of falling.

Alzheimer’s patients might need assistance in tasks such as cooking, bathing, dressing, as well as supervision and all around care. 5.2 million people over the age of 65 in the US have Alzheimer’s, and 70% of those people are cared for at home.

Stroke victims may need help with day-to-day tasks. 40% of all stroke victims will fall in the home within a year of the stroke. Over 750,000 Americans suffer from stroke each year. It is the fourth most common cause of death. On average, a stroke occurs in America every 40 seconds. Stroke victims can develop dysphagia, which makes it harder to swallow. With dysphagia, victims may inhale food/drink into the lungs and airways, causing asphyxiation. Pneumonia can develop from this as well. Speech-language pathologists should evaluate the victims ability to swallow and talk. Rehabilitation should be considered for stroke victims, as they will need to restore muscle function and strength for everyday tasks. For these reasons qualified supervision is prudent.

When returning from the hospital the addition of certain items can make home care easier. The installation of a portable toilet containing a bucket, grab-rails, and raised seat in the bedroom can make things accessible. Moreover, the use of adult diapers can help alleviate accidents. When taking a shower or bath, make sure the levers or knobs are clearly labeled and elongated for easy use. Additionally, rubber mats in the shower as well as shower chairs can help prevent falls. For the main bedrooms insert a light switch or lamp near the bed to illuminate the room to prevent falling in the dark. If you are using the stairs in your home, install and check the handrails annually. Furthermore, if you use the stairs multiple times in the day, consider adding a stair-lift inside your home. Lastly, all of these excellent items can make home care easier for you and your loved one.

For more information contact Safe Harbor at (718)-979-6900

18In-home care and assisted living facilities has been an increasing segment of elder care in the past decade. Approximately more than 1.8 million people live in nursing homes today and will gradually decrease in years to come. Statistics have shown a slight decrease in the number of seniors living in nursing homes for every year that goes by and medicine seems to play a major role for these results. The improved health of seniors, more choices for the elderly and the rising costs of health care today all contribute to this new trend.

Elder care is of the utmost concern now as 79 million baby boomers turn 60 and over.  Of course, the preference both personally and financially is to remain at home as long as possible.  

Many elderly people today have managed to remain living in their homes with community support services and these systems are becoming a worldwide trend as populations age. Adult children seek viable and reasonable choices for taking care of their elderly parents. As such, home care is the most flexible choice.  There are many community support system options for your older loved one including:

Adult Day Care: is non-medical care with community based programming to meet the needs of adults with disabilities

Chore and Personal Care Assistance: Service is provided by individuals to elderly people who need help to maintain independent life. Personal care offers assistance to maintain bodily hygiene, safety and daily activities for every-day life. A personal care assistant can do what your elderly loved one can’t.

Care Management: Helps clients gain access to waiver and other local services. Care managers are responsible for ongoing monitoring of the clients plan of care and oversee the process of the level of care.

Housing Assistance: Includes provision of physical devices, emergency assistance situations that require relocation.

Meal Services: Includes meals that are served and delivered to the house.

Protective Supervision: Provides supervision to people in their homes that have weak and frail or may suffer a medical emergency.

Respite: Supervision and care for a loved one while the family takes a short-term relief or respite.

Social Services: Social reassurance/ friendly is able to visit, group or individual counseling, and money management.

Transportation: Offers access around the community and special events for clients who don’t own transportation.

For more information contact Safe Harbor at 718-979-6900

Laughing With Elderly LadyToday, many people don’t understand the difference between Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. By knowing the meaning of both terms you will be able to determine the correct symptoms for you or a family member.

Dementia refers to a set of symptoms, not the disease itself. Some of the symptoms include: memory loss, personality change, and impaired intellectual functions, trauma to the head, brain tumors, stroke or diseases like Alzheimer’s.

These cognitive problems are an obvious change compared to the person’s cognitive functioning earlier in life and are severe enough to get in the way of ordinary daily living, such as social and occupational activities.

A perfect analogy to term dementia is “fever.”

Fever refers to a higher temperature, specifying that a person is sick. But it does not give any evidence about what is producing the sickness. In the same way, dementia means that there is something wrong with a person’s brain, but it does not deliver any information about what is causing the memory or cognitive complications. Remember, dementia is not a disease; it is the clinical presentation or symptoms of a disease.

There are many probable causes of dementia. Some causes are reversible, such as certain thyroid conditions or vitamin deficiencies. If these problems are recognized and treated, then the dementia reverses and the individual can return to their normal functioning.

Nevertheless, most causes of dementia are not changeable. Rather, they are worsening diseases of the brain that decays over time.

Conversely, Alzheimer’s is a specific disease that attacks the brain. It is considered the most common form of dementia and causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually grow slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.  In its early stages memory loss is mild, but with late-stage Alzheimer’s individuals lose the ability to convey on a conversation and respond to their situation. Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Those with Alzheimer’s live an average of eight years after their symptoms become noticeable to others, but survival can range from four to twenty years, depending on age and other health conditions.

Alzheimer's is not a typical part of aging, though the greatest known threat factor is increasing age, and the majority of people with Alzheimer's are 65 and older. But Alzheimer's is not just a disease for older people. About 5 percent of individuals with the disease have early onset Alzheimer's (also known as younger-onset), which normally appears when someone is in their 40s or 50s.

Alzheimer’s has no current cure, but treatments for symptoms are accessible. Although current Alzheimer’s treatments cannot stop Alzheimer’s from developing, they can briefly slow the worsening of dementia symptoms and improve quality of life for those with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.

When it comes to screening for Dementia or Alzheimer’s there is no substitute for a thorough examination by a skilled physician.

For more information on care for a loved one suffering from these illnesses contact Safe Harbor at (718)-979-6900.