Age Safe® America 5-Year Anniversary
This Independence Day, Age Safe® America Celebrates 5 Years of Service. Never before has home safety and independence been more top of mind than right now. Now more than ever, the dedication to our mission and vision is vital. Every day we work to train and empower professionals, entrepreneurs, seniors and caregivers with essential knowledge and skills necessary to better help clients or themselves. We continue to be a trusted name for all those choosing to “age safe at home”, and a source of confidence and peace of mind to their family members.
Taking the long look at safety, housing choices, challenges with health, desires for independence and finances can all be quite overwhelming. The population is aging, the challenges are growing, the need for businesses to support our seniors and their families who face housing decisions that are harder than ever, has never been more important. Age Safe America is empowering professionals to serve clients and provide the solutions. Our soon to be released consumer course will help to support families and caregivers navigate their world view and challenges.
“We are coming into a senior population explosion that is unprecedented in history. We will need an army of trusted and compassionate advocates to assist them with dignity and integrity. In our first 5 years Age Safe® America has become a leader in Senior Home Safety education and training. We have a big vision and a big opportunity; I look forward to the next 5 years!” – Steven Bailey, Founder/Managing Director
Accidental falls among older adults have become epidemic in America. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the cost related to these kinds of injuries to be nearly $67 Billion annually. In an effort to help reduce and prevent falls and their associated costs Age Safe® America developed the Senior Home Safety Specialist™ certification for providers. The course empowers professionals 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. Launched in 2017 the Senior Home Safety Specialist™ certification has helped to position Age Safe America as a training and consulting leader in the aging-in-place space.
We have trained Healthcare Practitioners, Care Managers, Social Workers, First Responders, Entrepreneurs, Executives, Home Care Agencies, Senior Living Communities, Realtors, Contractors, Remodelers, Home Inspectors, Handyman Services, Non-Profit and Fortune 100 Companies; all responding to the growing population demands for services. To date we have trained professionals in all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, Europe and the Middle East, so we know the message and the impact of aging and staying safe in a persons home is both a national issue and an international concern. We also launched Age Safe® Canada in 2015, and this year has been our most successful in terms of numbers of both Canadian Senior Home Safety Specialist™ certifications, and new Advisor Members. Along with Canada we have been in talks to bring Age Safe® to other possible countries.
Our full Advisor Member Training and Coaching Program is demonstrating to professionals from all disciplines and backgrounds the real opportunity to participate in the $7 Trillion Longevity Economy. Typically these individuals have already decided this is their career path and/or adding an additional revenue stream to an existing aging services business. This program offers the real life; best practices marketing and networking strategies, client messaging, tools and resources many are looking for to effectively engage this growing market, and enhance lives of clients of all ages. To quote our friend Patrick Roden, RN, PhD, “If you want a BIG Opportunity, find a BIG Problem…and Aging in Place is both.”
Over the past 5 years we have partnered with many industry innovators, leaders and organizations, such as the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) and the Home Care Association of America (HCAOA), and franchise organizations like TruBlue Total House Care, to expand our Aging Services Registry of vetted and ethical service providers. Many other groups, such as NIH through the Go4Life program and the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), have joined with Age Safe® America to promote safe and healthy aging.
Fritzi Gros-Daillon, Age Safe America’s Director of Education, continues to share her training and coaching skills with individual members and groups, as well as speaking at special events like the “Home Care 20/20 Lead With Vision Summit“, and the “2020 Western Regional OT Spring Symposium (WROTSS)” in Las Vegas, where Age Safe® America was a proud sponsor. This January Fritzi was honored with the NAHB 2019 Educator of the Year award at the 2020 NAHB International Builders Show®. Fritzi is also the Chairman of the NARI San Diego chapter and founding member of San Diego NAIPC chapter.
Late last year, Kristopher Rench, OT, SHSS was appointed Director of Health & Safety Product Sales for Age Safe® America. Kris oversees all our technology partners and product sales. Kris is a brilliant Occupational Therapist with 17 years experience as a clinician, manager, and clinical trainer in various geriatric settings. Age Safe America is the Senior Master Dealer for Electronic Caregiver™ offering innovative 24/7 Telehealth and Medical Response Systems for Seniors, including artificial intelligence (AI), at unbeatable rates and a handsome compensation plan for providers.
“Throughout the US, and the other countries in which we have trained professionals, the need for safety in the home for seniors has never been more dramatic than right now, at our 5-year anniversary. We work diligently to bring new tools, resources and training to our members, clients, partners and all the families they serve. ”- Fritzi Gros-Daillon, Director of Education
For our seniors and caregivers (both family and professional), we continue to provide training and tools to make the best decisions for home safety so they can maintain their freedom and independence. Our vision is to affect the safety, security and longevity of the world’s aging population. Today, we are leading through the current challenges to ensure that the next five years will bring proactive change to homes for the safety of older adults, those with disabilities, and families of all ages.
We are here to help you make a difference.
Age Safe® Live Well.™
Symptoms of a Heart Attack
It’s your heart. Don’t hesitate. If you’re experiencing symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, doctors urge you to not delay seeking treatment because of COVID-19 concerns.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, doctors across the nation are reporting a sharp decline in patients coming to the hospital for heart attacks and strokes. These conditions don’t stop during a pandemic, and the decline has doctors worried that many people experiencing symptoms may not be seeking treatment, or that they are seeking treatment only after their condition has worsened. Delaying care could pose a significant threat to your health.
“Heart attacks and strokes required emergency care before the COVID-19 pandemic, and they continue to require emergency care now,” said Sean D. Pokorney, MD, MBA, Assistant Professor of Medicine in the division of cardiology at Duke University School of Medicine. “If you are experiencing symptoms, contact your doctor or call 911 now, as you may need immediate care to save your life.”
Contact your doctor for these heart attack & stroke symptoms
You may be having a heart attack if you have symptoms such as:
* chest pain
* difficulty breathing
* discomfort in your chest, arms, back, neck, shoulder or jaw
You may be having a stroke if you are experiencing:
* numbness, weakness or loss of movement in your face, leg or arm, especially on one side
* loss of balance
* confusion, including trouble speaking or understanding
Health experts urge you to contact your doctor or call 911 if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
Hospitals have safety measures in place to protect you
Patients may be understandably nervous about going to a hospital during COVID-19, but hospitals have implemented many safety measures to protect you from coronavirus. These facilities are ready now to safely care for you if you are experiencing serious health issues.
“Hospitals are doing everything possible to ensure the safety of patients who need critical care,” said Pokorney. “With all of these measures, going to the hospital is probably at least as safe as going to the grocery store. Certainly the consequences of not seeking timely care for heart attacks and strokes are far greater than the risk of COVID-19 exposure in the hospital.”
Facilities have implemented routine screening procedures to evaluate if any visitors entering the facility might have a risk of COVID-19 exposure, even before they step foot inside the building. Many facilities are separating COVID-19 patients into separate wards or buildings to ensure other patients are protected and not exposed. Routinely checking temperatures, masks and protective equipment for healthcare workers and other staff are some of the other measures that help to ensure a safe environment.
Waiting now can cause complications later
Bad news doesn’t get better with time. Delaying treatment for a heart attack or stroke can have serious consequences, causing a bad condition to worsen and making recovery more difficult. For some patients, postponing care can be the difference between life and death.
“I’ve talked to patients who are experiencing symptoms of a heart attack or warning signs for sudden cardiac death and some are choosing to take their chances at home,” explained Pokorney. “The unfortunate result is that those patients may die at home or have worse long-term outcomes from the delays in care – and that’s avoidable.”
The recovery period after a heart attack may also require critical care. “A heart attack is a potential risk factor for sudden cardiac arrest, a life-threatening condition that occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating,” said Mary Newman, Executive Director of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation. “If you’ve had a heart attack, your doctor can help to determine if you are at risk and can discuss treatment options to keep you safe. But they can only help if you follow up on your symptoms.”If you are having symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, getting care quickly is critical to your treatment and recovery. When you seek help immediately, the care you receive is more likely to be lifesaving, you can likely get better more quickly, and you can limit the damage to your heart and your overall health.
Being diagnosed with dementia is life altering, not only for the one who has the disease, but also their friends and family. Most people are overwhelmed with all the new precautions and information they are given at diagnosis. We’ve done the research for you to help make this difficult time just a bit easier. Here are tips for caring for loved ones with dementia, and memory care activities for seniors.
Try to Ease Frustrations
One of the side effects that is common with dementia is increased agitation and frustration. Mayo Clinic gives essential tips on how to help alleviate these side effects.
Make a daily routine- By maintaining a daily routine such as waking up and going to bed around the same time, this can help limit confusion among your loved one. Also, notice when your loved one is most alert and try to schedule doctors appointments or bathing during those times.
Be patient- Simple tasks may become longer than they used so make extra time when scheduling out your loved one’s day. And always try to be patient, you have to remember this is a difficult time for your loved one as well.
Give independence- Try to allow your loved one to do daily activities or tasks by themselves, or with little assistance, if they are able to. This can be done simply by laying out their clothes and having them dress themselves. This will help bring some normalcy to a difficult time.
Avoid napping- Your loved one may often be exhausted and want to lay down for a midday nap. Do not let them do this. This will disrupt their sleep cycle and leave them feeling restless at night. Perhaps try to recommend doing activities, such as going for a walk instead of taking a nap.
Give choices- Allow your loved one to make some of their own choices, however, be supervised by you. For example, give them two choices of outfits and they can choose one they want to wear. Or you can have them choose between going for a walk or playing a board game.
Seniors with dementia may often forget about activities they once used to love. As a caregiver, try your best to incorporate those activities back into their everyday life, as they can help stimulate their memory and emotional connections. Here are some activities your loved one can do:
- Read Books, Newspapers, Magazines
- Arts and Crafts
- Take long walks
- Sing and Dance
Make their environment as safe as possible
Dementia also affects one’s ability to make judgements and their problem solving skills. These losses can often lead to an increased chance in one being harmed if precautions aren’t taken. Mayo Clinic provides some guidelines to help ensure your loved one is protected while at home.
Try to prevent falls- Loss of stability can be common in dementia, therefore making extra precautions to avoid falls is highly recommended. Put handrails and grab bars in areas where your loved one may be prone to fall i.e. the bathroom, shower. Check out these home safety tips for seniors from Age Safe® America.
Install locks- Place locks on doors leading outside. This will help prevent your loved one from wandering off when you are not home or when you are in a different room. It is also important to place locks onto cabinets that contain items such as sharp utensils, alcohol, or medicine, that can cause harm to your loved one.
Don’t Forget to Take Care of Yourself
It is very important to not neglect yourself while caring for a loved one with dementia. HelpGuide notes to create a personal support plan so you don’t neglect your own health while caring for someone with dementia.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help- Reach out to family and friends if you are needing some help or simply just need a break. Try to schedule breaks throughout the day for time for yourself. Incorporate hobbies and activities that you enjoy into your daily routine to help boost your mood and health. It is also important to remember that you are not neglecting your loved one by taking care of yourself. You need to take care of yourself to better take care of your loved one.
Join a support group- It is integral to remember that you are not alone during this time. There are other caregivers out there who are willing to help and give tips and advice on caring for a loved one with dementia.
Plan your life outside of caregiving- Schedule time for your family. It can be easy to forget to spend time with family and friends while you are caring for a loved one with dementia. Make time and plan activities with your friends and family outside of caregiving to maintain your health.
Exercise- Try to exercise at least 30 minutes each day. Exercising can help increase endorphins, thus boost your mood throughout the day.
Relieve stress- Don’t bottle up all your stress. Talk to someone about what you are going through. This could be a friend, family member or a therapist.
Caring for a loved one with dementia can be scary and uncertain. But there are tips out there to help you alleviate some of the stress that comes along with being a caregiver, as well as help your loved one with their cognitive skills. Make sure to take extra precautions and to always make some time for yourself.
Melissa Andrews is the Content Marketing Strategist for Paradise Living Centers, an assisted living center for seniors with locations in Paradise Valley and Phoenix, Arizona. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and going on hiking trips with her siblings and c
National Nurses Week
National Nurses Week starts May 6 and ends May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale. The purpose of National Nurses Week is to raise awareness of the value of nursing and educate the public about the role nurses play in health promotion, disease prevention, and treatment of chronic and acute illnesses.
As if every week is a not a good reason to honor the hard work and dedication of our nurses, this recent national emergency has truly brought their selfless frontline efforts to light in a big way. Over the past couple months, our nurses have worked heroically on the Coronavirus response. During National Nurses Week , we honor and celebrate the extraordinary men and women who devote themselves to this vital and noble profession.
It is an entire week dedicated solely to the professional nurse – honoring them for the work they do, while also educating the public about the very important role nurses have in healthcare. During this week, healthcare organizations around the country will be honoring their nurses through various events and activities.
The nursing profession has a long and important legacy in our nation’s history. From the moment a patient walks into a healthcare facility to the moment they leave, nurses are on call, tending to every need, comforting and healing to the best of their abilities and delivering compassionate care. However, for all nurses do each and every day, they don’t always get the recognition they deserve.
Many have taken to Twitter using the hashtag #ThankYouNurses to show their appreciation.
National Aging Life Care Month
Age Safe® America recognizes the Aging Life Care™ Association (ALCA) as it celebrates the profession during the month of May. While the practice and profession of Aging Life Care is not new, there is more attention being paid to the impact our aging population has on communities and resources. Aging Life Care professionals, formerly known as geriatric care managers, are prepared to help aging adults plan for and face age-related challenges.
Aging Life Care is a holistic, client-centered approach to caring for older adults or others facing health challenges. The Aging Life Care Professional is a health and human services specialist who is a guide, advocate, and resource for families caring for an older relative or disabled adult. Working with families, the expertise of Aging Life Care Professionals™ provides the answers at a time of uncertainty. Their guidance leads families to the actions and decisions that ensure quality care and an optimal life for those they love, thus reducing worry, stress and time off of work for family caregivers.
The association was formed in 1985 by a group of about 50 members – mainly social workers and nurses – who came together to build a profession from the ground up. The Association has grown to over 2000 members. Aging Life Care Professionals throughout the country will celebrate National Aging Life Care Month by providing seminars, webinars and special events for the public in the new virtual environment.
The Senior Home Safety Specialist certification offered by Age Safe America is now part of the continuing education program offered for ALCA professionals. This valuable course provides holistic curriculum to enhance the skills and knowledge offered by ALCA professionals to their clients.
COVID-19 and Caregiving
COVID-19 has dramatically shifted daily life for many people around the world. Nobody is immune, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and older adults and individuals with chronic health conditions are at higher risk of getting very sick from the Coronavirus.
To protect vulnerable individuals, many nursing homes or assisted living facilities are banning outside visitors temporarily in hopes of limiting residents’ exposure to someone who may be infected with the virus. Additionally, many individuals who need care and are currently living in their own homes are feeling isolated and anxious about how to stay healthy and safe.
Caregiving is now taking center stage. With already more than 40 million unpaid family caregivers helping loved ones in the U.S., experts expect the virus to increase the number of people providing short-term or long-term care to an older or aging loved one.
AARP offers guidance to family caregivers with vulnerable family members, especially those who might be new to caregiving because of Coronavirus and its impacts on older populations.
Make it a team effort
While there may be one primary family caregiver, identify other family members, friends and neighbors who can check in or help with shopping and important errands. It’s important that the person you’re caring for doesn’t leave their home and stays out of public places.
Create a list with contact information of friends, family and services in your community that can help you perform key caregiving tasks. For example, find out if services such as Meals on Wheels can help deliver meals, or if there are other local services to help with food or medication delivery.
Inventory essential items
It’s important to figure out what you have so you can determine what you need. Inventory how much food, medication and basic supplies the person you’re caring for has currently. Then make a list of what you need and how often you need to replenish it.
Many older individuals often keep minimal extras on hand because they are on a strict budget and are used to regular grocery or medication refills. If possible, help them have a two-week supply of food, water, house cleaning supplies, and medical equipment.
Get medications in order
If you don’t already have one, create a list of medications, medical contacts, and important information like allergies for easy access. If there are upcoming non-emergency, routine medical appointments, reschedule those or, if possible, switch to a virtual visit to receive telemedicine.
Ask your pharmacist or health care provider if you’re able to have an extra 30-day supply of essential medications on hand. Don’t forget to stock up on over-the-counter medications like cough suppressants and fever-reducing drugs like acetaminophen.
With current social distancing recommendations, strict isolation will impact many older individuals. To keep connections strong, set up communication using a variety of technology such as FaceTime or Skype, smart speakers, or simply phone and text. Use these to stay connected with your caregiving team as well as your older or aging family members.
If your loved one lives in a long-term care facility, see if they have accommodations for online visits and how they plan to communicate with families. If they can’t support visits via technology, send in cards, letters, magazines, puzzles or other items you know your loved one would be grateful to receive. Talk with your facility management about the safest way to deliver items.
Maintain personal safety and self-care
In order to help slow the spread of Coronavirus, limit physical contact with others, stay in as much as you can and continue to follow guidelines from the CDC. While you are likely very focused on the person you’re caring for, it is essential to also care for yourself.
For high-risk individuals, such as those with dementia and underlying health conditions, consider having the primary caregiver self-isolate with the care recipient. Then, have a back-up plan if the primary caregiver becomes ill. It’s best to be proactive and not have to use plan B, rather than being caught off guard without options.
For more information about caregiving and important considerations in light of COVID-19, visit aarp.org/caregiving and aarp.org/coronavirus.