Idea: Revive Old Holiday Traditions in Memory of Mom

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Sometimes good smells around the holidays bring back memories, or songs on the radio, or old shows on TV. Suddenly, you might find yourself catapulted into some cozy point in your childhood that made for special memories.

You might recall a tasty treat that your mother always used to make, or a cute holiday special your family would gather round the sofa to watch every year. There might be some kind of craft your household made a group project of to decorate your home in a unique way. As family dynamics change over the years, many traditions fall by the wayside, and new ones often take their place. But sometimes, it might be fun to revive something fun and nostalgic this year.

Even if your dear mother has passed away, or lives too far away to visit this holiday season, then reviving an old family tradition from your own childhood might be a great thing to do in her honor. You can introduce the grandkids to things you used to love and made your childhood memorable. The best traditions are ones that everyone can be a part of. Get out Mom’s old recipe book and let the young’uns have a blast making a happy mess garnishing grandma’s famous Christmas cookies with bright colored frosting. The best tasting holiday treats are made with love, and so are the best memories.

Apart from your own beloved traditions you remember growing up, ask your spouse what he or she can remember from their own childhood. You both might collaborate to come up with an amazing holiday tradition that works for your own family. My dad had a tradition of putting elves on the shelves back in his childhood, and my mom’s family always popped real authentic popcorn the old fashioned way over the fireplace. These traditions were brought into our household when I was a child. While other traditions from their young days were scrapped.

Who knows what I’ll decide to keep for my own family when the time comes to start a family. But I’ve got a great wealth of traditions to choose from, and I’m sure you do too.

Why Do Senior Care Costs Rise?

Saving money

 

The need for senior care, assisted living, skilled nursing is not always anticipated and can be thrust upon a family quite suddenly. Budgeting can be very challenging, especially since the costs of senior care typically trend steadily upward over time.

 

To help you and loved ones prepare for and anticipate the factors of rising senior care costs and plan accordingly, we will list the five main reasons why more money is often needed to cover senior care as time passes.

 

  1. More Assistance and Monitoring is Needed

Seniors often prefer to retain as much independence as possible for as long as they can. When a senior’s need for assistance is fairly minimal, he or she may opt to reside in an independent living community. Independent communities are where seniors may still enjoy the freedom of maintain their own schedules, cooking for themselves, and keeping track of their own medical needs with just a small amount of monitoring or checking in from the staff.

However, when a senior’s health condition worsens, the option for independent living becomes diminishes and more assistance with daily tasks such as dressing, getting out of bed, dining, toileting, and administering of medication may be required by nurses. Increased need for assistance may lead to increase cost.

  1. Health or Mobility Declines

As health conditions worsen or become more complicated, new medicines may be added to the daily regiment. And unfortunately add to the cost of senior care as well. Fortunately, many assisted living facilities provide price scales based on the health condition and specified amount of care that is needed. When a senior abruptly transitions into a category of care that is more extensive, then the price for remaining in that same facility can increase. For instance, incontinence assistance may be part of a more extensive care price point than the one a senior is used to when incontinence assistance becomes a new need.

  1. Extensive Memory Care May Arise

Memory care needs of seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia can be very extensive. Sometimes seniors with memory impairment may require round-the-clock monitoring to ensure their personal safety. At first a memory issue may not be bad, but the condition may worsen over time, and consequentially the amount of paid hours a nurse needs to watch out for a senior loved one. A senior may have to move to a specialized memory care facility, which, depending on the location may be a cost increase for the budget as well.

  1. Average Price of Senior Care is Rising Each Year

Economic factors like the cost of living and inflation may drive the rates up for a senior living community when it performs its year-end cost evaluation. A recent study has shown that the price of senior care has steadily risen every year for the last several years. In the last decade the cost of assisted living has risen almost 5%. However, the price of in-home care has reportedly stayed mostly unchanged. For seniors meticulously budgeting their care plan, it may be wise to consider whether or not senior in-home care is appropriate for their personal needs.

  1. New Medical Needs Emerge

Accidents and emergencies happen. In addition to the possibility of an existing condition worsening, there is always the chance of the unexpected occurring. A sudden fall or new diagnosis may develop, and it is always a smart idea whenever possible to have some funds planned into the budget for unexpected needs that may emerge and increase the cost of senior care.

Christmas with Alzheimer’s

Happy senior man getting Christmas present, satisfied

 

The holidays are the time of year where families make it a priority to get together and celebrate. However, for millions of Americans, the cheer of the holidays becomes a little complicated when an elder loved one has Alzheimer’s. It can be painful and disheartening for members of the extended family to become slowly forgotten by someone who has been so dear to them throughout their lives. When the differences and changes in a senior’s personality become apparent, the question for everyone becomes how best to handle a Christmas with Alzheimer’s.

There are still ways that a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s disease can be included and participate in the family cheer. Some adjustments or special accommodations may need to be provided in order to allow the family congregation to go smoothly.

The first thing that needs to be done is preparation.

A bustling house full of merry and rowdy guests may be overwhelming for seniors with dementia, depending on which stage of Alzheimer’s your relative is in. If you serve as your aging parent’s primary caregiver, then you will be well acquainted with their specific comfort levels for participating in daily events, and make plans accordingly.

If you are not your senior loved one’s routine caregiver, it is best to have a talk with the person who assumes that duty, to gage how best to accommodate your loved one spending Christmas with Alzheimer’s. Understand their limitations of the extent to which he or she can be involved with the activities and conversations with others at the dinner table or socializing in the living room, etc.

It is imperative to make certain that the other family guests are on the same page regarding your senior’s Alzheimer’s condition, and understands their role in helping and being supportive. Take the time to have a call or send an email to the extended family coming for Christmas, so everyone has an idea of what to expect and how to behave to avoid any embarrassing incidents of frustration or confusion among the family.

Ensuring that everyone is prepared and educated about their senior loved one’s dementia will relieve anxiety, stress, and uncertainty for everyone involved in the family reunion, and help with better enjoyment of the holiday. It is key to try and act as normal as possible, and allow everyone to be relaxed and comfortable. If any outbursts or episodes are likely to occur for a family member with advanced Alzheimer’s, then make certain to have a plan for mitigating the situation as casually as possible. If there is a comforting place where your senior having a panic episode can go to calm down, then make sure the room is ready and easily accessible at all times. Incidents of confusion can be more likely to occur when the house is busy and filled with people an Alzheimer’s senior may not recognized. It may be further awkward for elders to experience many unfamiliar people directing a lot of attention on them.

Try to plan for the possibility of hiccups when scheduling your reunion. It is best to make your schedule as dynamic as possible, flexible enough to set aside time to attend to any difficulties that the stress of spending Christmas with Alzheimer’s may bring. The party may have to slow down at times, but it is worth it to everyone who wants to do all that is necessary to be inclusive of a struggling loved one with dementia.

Helpful Senior Marriage Advice

 

It is often surprising to young people today when they ask a senior married couple how long they have been together and get an answer like 50 years! In our modern society, nearly 50% of marriages end in divorce, it is not uncommon to be remarried several times. Young men and women who want to create a successful marriage for themselves can look to lasting senior marriages to find the key to staying together.

 

Focus group questioning of seniors who had been married for 30, 40, 50 years and above has provided us with their answers for what it takes to maintain a healthy and enduring marriage. This list of senior marriage tips outlines some of the principles and habits that are most been useful and effective for seniors to maintain strong marriages, and can also be applied for seniors looking to find new senior relationships later in life after a loved on has passed.

 

Our senior marriage advice list focuses much on attitude and interaction tips for building an encouraging routine and also warns of potential pitfalls that consume many marriages. There is no such thing as a perfect, effortless marriage. It is a commitment that will always take work and adherence to these principles, regardless of the amount of years you have been together.

 

  • Choose Your Battles Wisely
Not every minor dispute needs to escalate to a big argument. Statistics actually show that fighting is an aspect of a healthy marriage, instead of merely bottling up emotions, opinions, and wants then not communicating. Although, too much bickering can create an atmosphere of resentment in the home. Not every argument has to be heated; there can be room for compromise on issues that aren’t crucially important to you.

 

  • Don’t Be Spiteful or Vengeful
    There will surely come times when your spouse crosses a line, forgets something important, does something selfish, etc. It can be tempting to hold a grudge, seek revenge, or give a cold shoulder to punish them. Spite cripples a relationship dynamic. Communicating your grievances sincerely and accepting apologies when they are earnestly given can be most effective at mending wounds. Make an effort to resolve issues both respectfully and promptly to avoid long-lingering bitterness at home.

 

  • Jealousy and Insecurity are Damaging
    Trust is as critical a factor of importance as love. Many people drive themselves crazy by obsessing over all the friendships and work associates in a spouse’s life, but it is important to stay trusting until you are given a good reasons not to. A little bit of jealousy is healthy—it shows you care. However, obsessive jealously can make life a drudge for both spouses.

 

  • Understand Your Spouse’s Love Language
    Everyone expresses love a little differently. Affection assumes many forms, and there are certain romantic gestures that garner a better response than others. The five primary love languages are listed as, “words of affirmation,” “acts of service,” “receiving gifts,” “spending quality time,” and “physical touch.” To an extent, relationships requires giving and receiving all of these things, but you must find out which love language your spouse responds to the best.

 

  • Prioritize Your Commitment to the Marriage, Not Just Your Kids
A phrase you hear too often is, “we stayed together for the kids,” and while that may seem noble on the surface, it is not a good mantra for a healthy marriage.   Putting your children as the centerpiece of your lives will detract considerable from your prioritizing each other and diminish your quality time together. In addition to meeting your kids’ needs, be sure to arrange for occasions where you can have a life with each other—That’s what baby-sitters are for!

 

  • Kisses May Mend Relationships, As Well As Boo-Boos
Kissing one another saying hello and goodbye serves to build intimacy in the marriage dynamic. The morning routine rush or leftover bad moods from recent argumentative can reduce the motivation to kiss, embrace, or be intimate until it is suddenly out of the routine all together. However, allowing this important personal connection to slip away from the routine will hurt a marriage.

 

  • View Divorce as a Last Resort and Don’t Use it as a Threat
Divorce may sometimes be the only solution to very serious circumstances; but too many couples these days view the first seasons of unhappiness or marital conflict as an excuse to press the divorce-button. When inevitable issues come up, it may be appropriate to take a moment and reflect on why you made your marriage vows in the first place, saying, “Til death do us part.” Divorce doesn’t only wreck a marriage, but also a family, finances, property, lifestyle, etc. It should be considered as a last resort when all else has failed. If two people enter into a marriage agreeing that divorce is no casual option, then those people might have greater commitment to each other and working out problems.

 

 

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Tips That Help Keep Couples Together In Assisted Living

Alzheimers Assisted living

Life expectancy has steadily increased over the recent decades in America, and marriages are lasting and going strong well into couples’ golden later years. As a result, when it comes time to decide upon a needed assisted living arrangement or relocation, fewer seniors have to enter into this next phase of life alone.

Senior couples may have to decide together where to situate themselves in order to live comfortably and get the medical care they need. This can also be tricky as both spouses may have very different health care requirements or varying requirements for assistance. Both spouses will surely want what is best for the other, but sometimes that becomes complicated when one spouse suffers from dementia or Alzheimer’s, and the other has taken it upon his or herself to stay and assume a care taking role.

Here are a few helpful guidelines for couples selecting the most appropriate assisted living option available.

Do Your Research Early

Couples can save a lot of stress by getting ahead of the game by doing a little research before assisted living becomes a pressing issue, talking it out and agreeing on a place. Knowing what you’re getting into and having a secure plan before any sudden accident or unexpected problem forces you to think fast or limits your insurance options can make the idea of assisted living much less scary or confusion, and might even give you something to look forward to as a couple if you find somewhere that seems to meet all of your mutual requirements.

Managing Finances

Having a long-term plan for security is part of being prepared and thinking ahead. This entails planning in advance, maybe setting aside some money, saving, or doing whatever else you can to be in a financially secure position to be ready for any possible future adjustment to assisted living.
Residential couples are often charged for one room, with fee lodging for the second person. The average cost per month for room and board is around $1500, plus charges for any extra care as needed. And many senior care communities allow couples to receive and be charged only for the care they need on an individual basis, instead of charging an overall blanket to cover both spouses. Pricing levels are tiered, with lesser-needed assistance on the lower pricing tier. For those seeking a more high-end lodging experience, private one-bedroom apartments for assisted living go for a median rate of $2,575 a month according to the Assisted Living Federation of America. Two-bedroom apartments and multiple bedroom suites are offered at some more luxurious facilities as well for those with greater space needs who can afford an upcharge.

Prepare For the Changes

Making the transition as a couple, to a new life at a senior care facility will require mental preparation and some lifestyle adjustments to anticipate. Modern assisted living communities aim to preserve a sense of independence for their residents, however there will certainly be some changes to adapt to with new routines and social spheres present in this next phase of life. It is imperative to become versed in the routines, regulations, and rules of the land for your prospective senior care facilities when doing your research. A senior couple may enter a facility knowing no one but each other, so socializing and making friends will be necessary to budding into the community. Most senior care residents are widowed, so couples starting a life in assisted living together are fortunate to have someone to have to talk to from the start. But senior care communities are generally quite friendly and sociable with people entering from all walks of life to share rich stories of life’s well lived.

Consider Both Partners’ Needs

When researching prospective facilities, a senior might discover one that’s perfect for him—but maybe not his wife so much, or vice-a-versa. Selecting an arrangement (like every other major decision in a marriage) may require some compromises on both parts to accommodate the preferences and comforts of both partners to call a place home. Please be considerate of the personal and shared needs (emotional, physical, privacy, hobbies, relational, sociable) for both spouses. It is also helpful for couple to look into finding activities or things they can do together, like fitness programs or available interest-clubs.

Range of Senior Living Options 

There are several types of senior care options that vary in the degree and extensiveness of care and independence available for residents. Overview these terms when doing your research regarding the sort of assisted living you as a couple are looking for.

  • Independent Senior Living – An option for couples who require little-to-no assistance with daily activities (driving/medicine/food).
  • Assisted Senior Living – An option for couples looking for a maintenance-free life-style, but can see they might need a little help now or in the future. This option is a combination of amenities and hospitality services, along with basic care services such as medication management and personal assistance with daily activities such as dressing or showing, as well as basic nursing and dementia care.
  • Continuing Care Retirement Community– allows seniors to live independently in single-family homes, apartment, condos, and then transition into a assisted living centers when it becomes necessary.

 

While it may for the moment be a touchy subject, and a little inconvenient it is best to be prepared and educated on assisted living options for the future. Try not to leave the responsibility of relocating entirely in the hands of your children, so you can have some say in choosing a living arrangement that is better suited to your preferences and level of comfort as a couple.

Pet Friendly Assisted Living

Pet Friendly Assisted LivingThere was an episode of the Twilight Zone in the 50’s where a senior man refused to walk through the gates of heaven if they wouldn’t let him bring his dog in with him.  Fortunately, they did let him, and it is certain that many senior citizens feel just as strongly about wanting to bring their beloved pets with them while transitioning to their next stage of life— assisted living.  Many communities today have taken into account the benefits that owning pets can provide, such as stress relief, happiness, and feelings of companionship.  Studies have even found medical benefits such as lowered blood pressure and heart rate to be attributed to pet owning.  In response, many senior care facilities are now not only pet friendly, but also offer nurturing, grooming, and pet sitting services for the resident’s four-legged roommates— assisting their living too!

When searching for your ideal assisted living option, make sure to investigate some of the following factors regarding their policies on pets:

• Does the assisted living community allow pets in the first place?
• Is the weight or size of your pet an important factor?
• Does the senior care community make restrictions to certain breeds?~Is more than one pet allowed?  If so, how many?
• Are there exceptions or special cases where a pet-restricted community may allow pets?  Such as comfort animals, or seeing-eye dogs?

Read: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Assisted Living

Once these matters have been addressed, potential assisted living residents can explore what other services, programs, or pet friendly options are available for their domestic animals. Some communities, even provide the services of Pet Coordinators to keep an eye on resident’s pets, safeguarding any registered animals and making sure they are receiving proper medications, food, and physical activity.  Be sure to go over these prospects when consulting your assisted living options, if the idea of living arrangement without your pet does not sound like heaven.

 

Senior Driving Tips That Can Save Your Life

I want to make memories all over theAs seniors fear having cognitive function or blurred vision for their comfort’s sake, another prime reason to fear these issues is that their keen driving abilities have decreased as well. You need to be sharp mentally and physically to hit the road at all times. These two reasons, along with side effects from prescription medications, are the leading three reasons that seniors are in auto accidents.

According to the CDC, “Per mile traveled, fatal crash rates increase starting at age 75 and increase notably after age 80.” So aside from wearing your seatbelt, here we review a few senior driving tips that can save your life and others.

1, Take a Driving Improvement Course

Did you know there were driving improvement courses specifically for seniors? Talk to your insurance agent as they may offer a course or can refer you. These courses are offered online or in a classroom setting. As the technology implemented on cars increases, you’ll learn all the latest driving techniques to handle them. In the end, you may even receive an additional insurance discount. Wouldn’t that be nice?

2. Know What You Are Comfortable Handling

Some seniors feel they always need to prove themselves. It’s either proving to your loved ones that you are in total control or proving to yourself that you are not old as everyone thinks. However, this frame of mind can surely be dangerous.

You should never put yourself in an uncomfortable situation. If you know your eyesight is not as well during thunderstorms or snowstorms, you should opt out of driving at that time. Many young adults have difficulty, so there is no shame in doing so. If you are uncomfortable driving fast and keeping up with traffic, avoid highways and find alternative street routes. Leave early enough to allow yourself plenty of time to get to your appointments.

3. Work With an Occupational Therapy Practitioner

As the founding organization of Older Driver Safety Awareness Week, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) knows how to keep seniors safe while on the road. They strongly believe that through occupational therapy, seniors will be able to learn the skills they need to tackle the roads today.

Typically, you’ll find an occupational therapist at a senior’s home, providing rehabilitation services and helping them move around their home safely. The same holds true with the rules of the road. They can help them find out the necessary tools they need to survive, keeping themselves and others safe.

Read: 4 Cell Phone Plans For Seniors

4. Keep Regularly Scheduled Exams

You should have a close relationship with your physician and eye doctor. It’s important to know you are healthy when getting behind the wheel of a car.

Your physician will help gauge if you are healthy enough to drive. Sometimes seniors have too many issues such as diabetes or blood pressure that cause being behind the wheel too dangerous for themselves and others. It can, of course, be controlled with medications, but you’ll never know unless you visit your doctor.

Your eye doctor will help determine any early signs of cataracts, glaucoma, or macular degeneration. They can help you with the perfect eyewear, for daytime and nighttime driving. You need to be able to read all highway and street signs as well as determine traffic-light colors. More than your own life depends on your accuracy.

5. Avoid Taking Medications While Driving

Another thing to consider is taking medications and driving. Even if it does not state it will make you drowsy, take a prescription a few times to see how your body reacts to it.

6. Use Your Mirrors and Signals

There is no excuse to not use your vehicles safety features. For one, make sure you realize, it’s not just you on the road. Use your turning signals to let other travelers know your intentions. Before pulling off each time, ensure your rear and side view mirrors are adjusted well. It’s the little things such as a change of coat or different shoes that can change your normal view.

7. Use Adaptive Equipment When Necessary

There are many changes that affect your body as you age. This in turn can affect your driving skills and mental awareness of your surroundings.

Some impairments can be overcome with a few adaptive equipment pieces. For example, hand controls are available for those who have trouble using the foot pedals. A siren detector is a good tool to have for those whose hearing is not as good as it once was.

This excellent podcast found on the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. website reviews equipment that can make seniors driving safer and more comfortable. Below are a few examples.

• Low effort steering
• Handybar
• OnStar
• Extra or extended mirrors
• Swing-out seat
• Traction control sensors
• Backup camera
• Seat cushions
• Foot pedal extensions

The above seven tips are easy to implement and a great start towards saving your life. Do you have any additional tips you’d like to share?

How to Handle the Death of a Loved One

Don't lose hope. When the sun comesThe death of a loved one is quite possibly one of the most difficult things you will ever experience. Most people find that when a loved one dies, they are met with high levels of grief, and try and find out how to handle the death of a loved one. When you experience the death of a loved one, there’s no easy way to get through the process, but the following tips may help you better cope, allowing the process to be easier on you.

Understanding Grief

One of the first emotions you’ll often experience upon the death of a loved one is grief. According to experts, grief comes in stages, but regardless of the stage you’re in, it’s still just as difficult to cope with. Some people may tell you that you need to move on with your life, or the time has come to let go, but grief can last for many years after the death. In order to go through grief in a healthy way, you need to let your feelings be felt completely. Even if you feel like facing reality will make things harder on you, it will actually benefit you in the long run. You need to feel grief completely, let your emotions take hold, and know that this feeling is completely healthy and natural. The more you allow yourself to feel, the easier it will be for you to move out of the stage of grief and into acceptance. It’d also important to remember that everyone grieves in their one way, and for as long as they need. Don’t try and push yourself through this stage, simply allow it to come naturally.

Connect with others

When you lose someone you love, it’s easy to feel alone, and as if no one in the world understands what you’re going through. However, you’re far from alone. Most people have experienced a death of someone they love in the past, and they can completely relate to your pain. Keeping all of your pain inside will actually cause it to get worse, or possibly suppressed. When your feelings are suppressed, they can come out in different ways, having a negative impact on your life.

You can talk to those close to you, those going through the same loss, or even join support groups that will help you talk to others about your loss in a healthy manner. Each of these routes provides the same benefits.

Read: Hospice Care: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Reduce the physical effects

Grief can lead to high levels of stress, which appear not only in mental ways, but in physical as well. You may feel shaky, have stomach issues, suffer from migraines, and experience similar symptoms as a result of your loss. Using relaxation techniques is the most effective way to cope with the physical effects.

Some people find deep breathing techniques to be effective. You want to take a deep breathe into your nose, hold it for five seconds, and then slowly exhale out of your mouth. This should be done in sets of three to five, and on a daily basis in order to get the best results.

Meditation is another effective technique for ridding your body of stress. Many people think that meditation takes years of practice, but you can actually learn this technique in no time at all. The best way to start is to take deep breathes in a quiet space, and work to clear your mind of all of your thoughts. Whenever you feel a thought some in, recognize it and then let it go.

Taking care of yourself

Because of the feelings that arise when a loved one dies, it’s easy to stop caring for yourself. Many people lose sleep and avoid eating all-together, but these two acts will make it harder for you to recover. It’s important that you try and get as much sleep as possible, and if you’re experiencing difficulty, your doctor may be able to provide you with medication to help you short-term.

Eating healthy is also important. Even if you find eating difficult because of the vast array of feelings you’re going through, snacking throughout the day will provide your body with the nutrition it needs to remain healthy and help you to deal.

Conclusion

While the healing process can be a long one, these tips can make it go smoother for you, and will allow you to eventually move past the loss, and remember your love one with love in your heart.

 

Signs of Elder Abuse in Senior Care Facilities

AbuseIt’s nowhere in writing; however, we have a responsibility to protect our elders. They’ve made our lives comfortable as we know it today. Unfortunately, greed has taken over many that work directly with our elders. Each year, 2 million seniors become victims of abuse or neglect. It’s important for you to recognize the signs and symptoms of elder abuse in senior care facilities because you may be the only voice they ever have.

Why It’s Difficult Determining Elder Abuse

It is easier said than done to recognize the signs and symptoms of elder abuse. Even when a senior breaks down and tells about their situation, it’s often hard to believe. That could be because it sounds so outrageous, and the senior care facility seems so warm and loving looking from the outside in. Some of the abusive signs may mimic signs of dementia. Hopefully, this article will bring out the awareness you need to keep an open mind and heart.

The Types of Elder Abuse in Senior Care Facilities

The New York Times published an article in October 2000, Congressional Investigators Cite Safety Violations at Nursing Homes. This listed many tragic incidents reported throughout the United States of senior victims. Violations were found such as:

• Restraints found on residents
• No one responding to a resident’s plea for help
• Being bathed with soiled towels
• Ants crawling around the face of an elderly resident
• Residents are physically abused by other residents
• Molestation while bathing residents

There are many other terrible situations. The thought of these heinous actions is a cause for alarm. And, while some manners are nowhere near as serious as these, they are still minimizing our elderly’s dignity, freedom, and quality lifestyle. Below we discuss five common types of elder abuse in senior care facilities and how to recognize their signs.

Recognizing Financial Abuse

One of the most common forms of elder abuse is financial abuse. An elder’s money or property is misused or taken from them, including clothing, jewelry, and checks. You’ll notice this happening to your senior loved one if they have many unusual bank withdrawals, property no longer in their name, revisions to their will or trusts, or new credit lines opened.

Recognizing Physical Abuse

Sometimes physical abuse is easily recognized such as bruises on the arms and legs, bedsores, or broken bones. However, other things such as being slapped, pushed, shaken, forced fed, or not fed at all are not as easy to detect. Even when you do see these things, being in a senior care facility, a caregiver can fabricate “reasonable” explanations for it all. Things can be said such as “They fell off the bed, slipped in the tub, or had a bad night and dreamed it all” can be phrased in such a way, it’s believable. Other things to watch out for include sudden weight loss, dehydration, or always heavily sedated.

Recognizing Sexual Abuse

Unfortunately, sexual abuse is defined as any form of sexual activity in which one party involved does not give consent. However, being in a care facility, no employee or volunteer should be engaging in this conduct, even with a willing senior. Sexual abuse comes in many forms, including rape, fondling in the bathtub, sexual comments, exposure of genitals, and sexual harassment. A few signs you’ll notice are bleeding or bruises in genital areas, torn underwear, or having a sexually transmitted disease.

Recognizing Emotional Abuse

Emotional or psychological abuse inflicts fear and minimizes the feeling of self-worth and dignity in seniors every day. Emotional abuse includes:

• Ignoring a senior
• Calling them names
• Shouting at them
• Threatening
• Humiliating
• Placing them in isolation
• Stripping them of making decisions

Senior victims of elder abuse exhibit signs of depression, often mumbles, are fearful and blame themselves consistently for minor problems.

Recognizing Isolation and Neglect

In senior care facilities that are understaffed and underpaid, isolation and neglect are a common occurrence. Staff may not want to be “bothered” with residents and lock them away in a room, unable to access their crutches or wheelchair. They may strap them down to their beds to prevent them from “hurting” themselves. They have no social interactions with other residents or staff.

Neglect of a senior is when a caregiver does not meet the senior’s needs. They won’t provide them with the food and beverages they need to sustain themselves, won’t properly bathe them, nor provide accurate medicines for pain and stability. You’ll notice signs of isolation and regret in seniors:

• Dressed in soiled clothing
• Living in unsanitary and unsafe living environments
• Appear malnourished
• Given frequent sedatives
• Show marks on their wrists and ankles, indicating they’ve been restrained

It’s hard to believe that any of this could go on inside a senior care facility. After all, they are supposed to be cared for. In these times, no one should be underestimated. For more information on how you can detect and stop elder abuse, visit the National Center on Elder Abuse website at http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/

Understanding Generational Differences

Generational differencesOne of the biggest issues seen between the different generations is lack of understanding. The times have changed greatly since senior citizens were in their younger years, and each generation has, it is set in stone that they are the ones that are right, and their way of living is the only way to be. The truth is, there’s no right way or wrong way, and in order to live in harmony the most important step each generation can take is to gain an understanding of their differences and how they impact the world around them in today’s society.

What is known as the ‘generational gap’ is the major issue that occurs in people throughout the many different generations. The younger generations and the older generations have experienced much difficulty in filling this gap, and it’s occurred all throughout history. It’s nothing new, and everyone understands that this gap exists, yet there is not much understanding as to why. Only by understanding generational differences can the gap be sealed, and people of all ages can come together as one in order to help society prosper.

Why the generational gap exists

While it’s true that generational differences have occurred throughout history, they are actually attributed to the cultural changes that have occurred overtime. The generations have changed their cultures terms of fashion, politics, music, and technology. According to sociologists, the way each generation rebelled against social norms is the main reason behind the generational gap. It all started in the 60’s when children and young teens began to rebel against politics, but today’s children rebel in many different ways, including against their own peers and parents.

While the older generations learned much of their behavior from their parents, today’s actions are determined based upon the school, daycare centers, their parents, and work environments. Seniors are also impacted by their environments, which include retirement homes, nursing homes, and similar senior care facilities. The institutions that each generation spends their time in plays a huge role in how they interact with people of other generations. Experts believe that intervention is key, meaning that by stopping the isolation in each generation based on their environment, unity may occur.

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Ways to bridge the gap

Each generation is set in their own ways. This isolation keeps the large bridge, and most of those within different generations are unable to step over this gap because they stay within their own generation and are hesitant to veer off. You may have heard seniors state that the younger generation is out of control. Yet, the younger generation says that seniors simply don’t understand the changes that have occurred in society, and refuse to comply with these changes, as they are set in their own ways. While one or both may be true, the longer this lack of understanding occurs, the bigger the gap will be.

What people don’t understand is that if all generations were to bond together, they could use their positive qualities to help better the world and each generation, rather than focus on the negative qualities. The following tips could be used to bridge the gap, and help each generation come together, rather than use these differences to pull further away from one another.

Tips for the younger generation

• Volunteer at a nursing home. Listen to stories and put yourself in their place to gain an understanding of why they’re enjoying those years.

• Ask your grandparents about their youth and how their generation was different than yours

• Partake in activities that your grandparents or parents had, and understand why they enjoyed these activities.

Tips for seniors

• Attend a college class with people from the younger generation

• Use one new piece of technology and try to understand why this is popular among the younger crowd

• Learn about social media and why the younger generation is so involved. You can even get on social media yourself to gain a better understanding of the process and may even find that you enjoy it.