Posts Tagged ‘Independence’
Tuesday, October 19th, 2010
Elderly citizens age 60 and over should receive a vaccine to protect them against shingles, or herpes zoster. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta recommends a single dose of the zoster vaccine, Zostavax, for adults age 60 and over. This is even if they have had a previous outbreak of shingles.
A new recommendation that was published in the CDC’s Mortality and Morbidity recently replaced a former provisional recommendation made in 2006. This provisional recommendation was made after the vaccine was licensed by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
In those ages 60 and over that received the vaccine, the occurrence of shingles was reduced greatly. Particularly with those ages 60-69, it reduced the occurrence rate by 64 percent.
Side effects of the vaccine from those that had it seem to be redness, pain and tenderness, swelling at the injection site, itching and headache.
It is reported that half of the people living to age 85 have had or will get shingles.
Shingles is characterized by clusters of painful blisters which develop on one side of the body in a band-like pattern and can cause severe pain that may last for weeks, months or years. Shingles is caused by the childhood disease chickenpox that becomes dormant within the nerves and reactivates later in life. It is said that over 95 percent of people are infected with the varicella zoster (chickenpox) during their lifetime. About one in three persons will develop shingles during their lifetime, resulting in about one million cases of shingles per year.
Chickenpox is usually mild, but it can be serious, especially in young infants and adults. The risk of contracting shingles increases with age starting at around 50 and is highest in the elderly.
Monday, October 18th, 2010
There are many senior citizens who want to work again despite the limitations that society imposes on them. While there are physical limitations to the kind of work that they are able to do, elderly individuals must be permitted to take on jobs that will help them to continue to lead a happy, productive life. With the current state of the economy, jobs for anyone are hard to come by or find, but that is not saying that it’s an impossible task to accomplish. Work for the elderly is more difficult due to limitations and age, however, jobs for the elderly can be found if you know where to look.
For the most part, elderly work should be free from strenuous activities. This includes jobs that require a lot of movement, lifting heavy objects, or stay up until the wee hours of the morning. Physical exhaustion and too much effort would not be conducive to a job for an elderly individual.
What sort of work would then be appropriate for an elderly individual given these conditions? This job should not only be physically mild but also it needs to be meaningful. A job for an elderly individual does not need to be monotonous or absent of emotion to be a good fit for them.
The elderly could work from home and earn money and feel fulfilled without leaving home. There are many job opportunities out there for those who want to work without leaving home. These types of jobs can be based on previous employment such as tutoring, teaching piano, or a craft.
Many elderly want to reach out to others and often either volunteer for charities or non-government organizations. There are many opportunities for elderly social work that is open for employees as well as volunteers. This can be a rewarding experience.
Leading a happy and fulfilled life does not stop at retirement. There are plenty of work opportunities for the elderly that will allow them to earn a bit of money and feel productive as well as feel good about themselves by helping their community. Being happy, productive and fulfilled can lead to a healthier mental well-being.
Sunday, October 17th, 2010
For the most part, Thanksgiving is a day where family and friends travel far and wide to celebrate the day with a huge feast of traditional favorites like turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing, gravy and pumpkin pie. For senior citizens, this day often means loneliness.
Each year, many elderly rely on community outreach programs such as Meals on Wheels, the Salvation Army, and many local organizations to celebrate Thanksgiving. These elderly face many challenges such as being unable to cook a large meal, no family or family that is too far away, as well as other issues.
Below is a small sampling of organizations who help with a Thanksgiving Meal:
- Self-Help for the Elderly, who opened their doors in 1966, has a Thanksgiving Luncheon at 3 locations. They also deliver meals. Please click here for more information.
- Glide Memorial Church operates one of the largest free meal programs in San Francisco. The church is located at 330 Ellis Street in San Francisco. Call the church to find out times and days.
- Tenderloin Tessie’s is one of San Francisco’s oldest community meals. Last year was its 32nd year and the meal was served at the First Unitarian Church at 1187 Franklin Street. Call the church to find out times and days.
Holidays are times to be spent with family, friends, and those you love; the elderly often are unable to do this. These community organizations mentioned as well as many others, help to make the holidays a bit brighter. Please consider donating or volunteering.
Friday, October 15th, 2010
The Christmas season is a beautiful time of the year full of friends, family, presents, and yummy goodies. In the hustle and bustle of this busy season, the elderly and shut-ins are often overlooked. There are many ways to squeeze in a little time to share with an elderly neighbor and make their holidays just a bit brighter.
Here are a few ideas but the sky is the limit!
- Take a senior out to a special dinner. Check out local festivals, plays, tree lightings, or parties. Go tree shopping—an elderly person might enjoy helping you shop for a tree or even their own. Take them on a drive and look at the Christmas lights. Many areas have a ‘festival of lights’ show through a local park. Make sure on any outing that you consider any special needs and be sure you can
- The elderly enjoy shopping; however due to no longer driving or mobility issues, they may not be able to get out much so taking them shopping could provide a nice service for them.
- Help them do things that they are unable to do for themselves such as shoveling their sidewalk if it snows, helping them decorate the tree or how, or anything else they might need you to do for them.
- Hugs and lots of them. Who doesn’t need a hug? For some reason, the elderly aren’t often touched and would welcome a genuine, heart-felt hug at Christmas.
- Visit an elderly person in a nursing home or simply someone who is a shut in and bring them a Christmas card or a small gift.
- Help the elderly through a local charity that supports seniors at the holidays. Charities are always looking for volunteers and can help you to find somewhere to volunteer your time.
The elderly are thankful for being remembered at Christmas and you will feel warmth in your heart for helping to make their holidays a bit brighter!
Thursday, October 14th, 2010
Elderly grocery shopping is so much different than shopping for a family. When grocery shopping elderly style, you are no longer buying in large quantities as you would for a family. Instead, you are looking for products that are easy to open and handle and in smaller sizes.
Here are some guidelines for your shopping trip:
- Easy to Handle Products: Seniors do not have neither the strength nor dexterity as they did when they were younger. Lifting bottles of cleaning supplies, milk, juice, or other items found in large, bulky containers, are awkward. Smaller containers may cost more; however they are easier to lift and carry. Buy milk and juice in quart bottles, coffee in 1 lb cans, ketchup and mustard in small bottles as well as mayonnaise, salad dressing, laundry detergent and cleaning supplies.
- Easy to Open Items: Make sure asprin and all over-the-counter medications are in easy to open bottles instead of child proof bottles. When purchasing cans of soup, vegetables, fruit and meat, look for the pop top cans so that the elder doesn’t have to use a can opener.
- Smaller Portion Sizes: Think smaller when it comes to food that can go bad. For example, ask the butcher at the grocery store to package just 1-2 chicken breasts, pork chops, or steaks. Look for canned food in small cans. Many vegetables have the single-serve portions available.
For elderly shopping, it isn’t so much about buying in quantity to save money; it’s more about convenience and ease. With a little bit of practice, you can learn to shop for the elderly. And trust me; they will let you know when something doesn’t work for them.
Information in this article obtained here
Monday, October 11th, 2010
For many elderly, the idea of living alone can be scary, especially if it is the first time. Some elderly haven’t ever living alone and have oftentimes relied on others to do things like the household budget. Other are having problems with health issues and one fall could be scary, or even life-threatening.
It doesn’t take a whole lot to insure that your elderly relative or friend is safe.
Use the following as a check-list:
- Lighting is important to insure that those with problems seeing can motor through the home easier. Nightlights are a great way to light up the floor.
- Consider moving their bedroom downstairs; stairs can be hard to maneuver if the elderly has mobility problems like arthritis. If stairs just can’t be avoided, insure that the handrails are sturdy and useable.
- Test all smoke alarms on a regular basis
- In the bathroom, use non-slip mats and grab bars for ease of getting in and out of the shower; a shower chair could also be considered.
- Insure that all electrical cords are out of the way safely. This could be a trip hazard.
- Consider putting a timer on small appliances; the elderly can forget to turn things off and these timers could save their life in the long run.
- Have an emergency escape route planned so that in the event the normal route is unable to reached, that they can get in and out of the house safely.
- Help make a list of emergency numbers and have them posted by a phone. This list should include doctors, hospital and nearby family and friends.
Planning ahead for a possible emergency eliminates a rush in the event of one and could save a life or lives.
Friday, October 8th, 2010
The incidence of elder abuse can be reduced, but it will take more time and effort that we are making right now. Preventing elder abuse means doing three things:
If you are a caregiver and overwhelmed by the demands of caring for the elderly there are a few things you can do as well to prevent an abuse of elder incidence:
- Request help when you need it so you can take a break
- Find an adult day care program
- Stay healthy
- Seek out therapy for depression
- Find an elder caregiver support group
- Seek help for drug and alcohol abuse
Remember, elder abuse hotlines offer help for caregivers as well. Call a help line if you think that there is a possibility that you could cross that line and commit elder abuse.
As a concerned family member or friend, you can also help by:
- Watching for warning signs and if you suspect abuse report it
- Keep watch on the elder’s medications; does the amount in the container match up with the date of the prescription?
- Watch for possible financial abuse; ask if you could scan the bank accounts and credit card statements for possible unauthorized transactions
- Call and visit as often as you can
- Offer to stay with the elder so that the caregiver can take a break
If you are an elder, there are ways you can protect yourself against elder abuse. Here are some ideas:
- Make sure your financial and legal affairs are in order. If they aren’t, seek professional help to get them in order, with a trusted friend or relative if necessary.
- Keep in touch with family and friends and avoid isolation.
If you are unhappy with the care you’re receiving, whether it’s in your own home or in a care facility, speak up. Tell someone you know and trust and ask that person to report the abuse, neglect or substandard care to your state’s APS (Adult Protective Services) office, or make the call yourself.
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800 799-7233