Seniors, family members and homeowners are looking to Age Safe America for trusted information on home safety and aging-in-place solutions.
Age Safe America, LLC and Home Care Association of America (HCAOA) have negotiated an opportunity for all HCAOA Members to be preferred home care providers on the nationwide Age Safe® Services Registry. The Registry refers vetted professionals to aging Americans and their families. Members of the Age Safe Services Registry undergo a “best practices” background screening by their US based partner and/or belong to a reputable industry association and/or carry recognized professional credentials.
The Age Safe Services Registry is the only national network of Senior Home Safety Specialists™ and Aging Services Providers with a focus on home safety and independent living. As a trusted source, Age Safe America receives inquiries from seniors and their adult children looking for a myriad of services, products, recommendations and solutions to successfully grow old in the place they choose; which for 9 out of 10 older Americans is their own home.
The Home Care Association of America is the leading trade association for the home care industry. Since its founding, HCAOA has made standards of care and patient safety central to its mission. Through its Standards and Ethics Committee, HCAOA has developed guidelines for the hiring, screening, training, and supervising of caregivers at all levels, often going beyond what is required by state regulations.
HCAOA membership eligibility requirements highlight the values and practices that separate HCAOA members from other providers in the home care market. For example, HCAOA members are required to hire their caregivers as W2 employees, rather than independent contractors. While families may be tempted to hire caregivers working as independent contractors because they generally work for a lower hourly rate, they often fail to understand that their liability exposure can be even greater as they essentially become their caregivers’ employer.
“Quality home care services is an essential part of a successful aging in place plan, and Age Safe America’s vision and core values align well with HCAOA,” said Phil Bongiorno, Executive Director of Home Care Association of America. “This partnership represents a leap forward in access to full-service care for the millions of seniors choosing to age at home. Our member providers will be able to forge new partnerships with other key service providers, and the Age Safe® Services Registry will benefit from a wider array of home care providers.”
Age Safe America was created in an effort to help reduce and prevent falls and their associated costs. They have positioned themselves as training and consulting leaders with their Senior Home Safety Specialist™ certification. Since 2015 Age Safe America has trained professionals throughout North America, Europe and the Middle East to meet the growing need for home safety assessments and aging in place home modifications. The company has trained healthcare professionals, home care providers, case managers, social workers, first responders, entrepreneurs, industry executives, assisted living communities, realtors, senior move managers, contractors, remodelers, home inspectors, handyman services, as well as staff and leadership of non-profit and Fortune 100 companies.
“We are very excited to initiate this partnership with the HCAOA and its quality membership. So far this year the Registry has seen considerable growth. Currently we are working with other leading industry associations and organizations with the same high level of standards to continue building the Registry nationwide,” said Steven Bailey, Managing Director of Age Safe America, LLC.
About Age Safe America, LLC
Age Safe® America is a national membership, training and advocacy organization. Since 2015 the company has been directed by recognized experts in fall prevention, senior home safety, aging- in-place, universal design, home modifications, environmental assessment, and marketing to seniors and aging boomers. They provide training, consulting, certifications, product reviews, tools, resources and support to businesses and organizations providing products and services to seniors and their adult children.
About Home Care Association of America
Founded in 2002, the Home Care Association of America (HCAOA) is the industry’s leading trade association – currently representing nearly 3,000 companies that employ more than 500,000 caregivers across the United States. HCAOA serves as the home care industry’s unified voice. Representing a diverse number of small, mid-level and large corporations, HCAOA unites the industry through speaking with one voice in Washington, D.C. and state capitals across the country. HCAOA protects industry interests, promotes industry values, tackles barriers to growth and takes on industry-wide issues.
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Are you a caregiver providing support for a spouse, friend, or relative? As we say in the Family Caregiver ESSENTIALS™ course, taking care of yourself is one of the most important things you can do as a caregiver. Even though it can be a challenge, take sure you are making time for yourself, eating healthy foods, and being active. Finding some time for regular exercise can be very important to your overall physical and mental well-being.
Physical activity can help reduce feelings of depression and stress and help you improve your health and prevent chronic diseases. Making a plan and getting exercise onto the schedule with all the other activities can help make it happen.
Here are some ways for caregivers to be physically active:
- Take exercise breaks throughout the day. Try three 10-minute “mini-workouts” instead of 30 minutes all at once, especially to get the reminder of its importance.
- Make an appointment with yourself to exercise. Set aside specific times and days of the week for physical activity.
- Exercise with a friend and get the added benefit of emotional support.
- Ask for help at home so you can exercise. Getting the respite for yourself is invaluable.
- If possible, find ways to be active with the person you’re caring for. Both of you can benefit from physical activity!
Time to move in the right direction this spring season! Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Now that spring is here, it’s a great time to get outside. Try these fun activities from Go4Life to get moving that won’t cost you a dime.
- Spring is a great time to get outdoors! Find new, safe, fun activities fromGo4Life.
If you have encountered a rehabilitation team during your life, whether it is for your loved one, or for yourself, you have experienced them issuing a walker or a cane to assist with balance during recovery of injury or illness. As we age, it may even become part of our everyday existence, first a cane for outside, then a rollator, then progress to a rolling walker even when inside. Heck, they even come in stylish designs and have all sorts of accessories for storage of personal items, or food trays. However, when a person is diagnosed with dementia, does this continue to be the safest option? After all, these mobility aids are meant to aid you in not falling.
Why does this become a dangerous idea for them? For an answer, I referenced Physical Therapy professor Susan Hunter. She believes that using mobility aids are a far more complex cognitive activity than we initially believed. Credit: University of Western Ontario
It seems counterintuitive that the using a mobility aid, such as a cane or a walker, can actually increase the risk of falls in older adults. Yet in individuals with dementia, that’s exactly the case. In fact, people with dementia are three times more likely to suffer a fall when using a mobility aid versus not using one at all. By using a mobility aid a person needs to have a lot more cognitive fitness and capacity. You now have one more object to maneuver around obstacles. This can be compared to texting while driving…how many things can you do at the same time to not cause an accident.
Professor Hunter has studied this question consistently in her academic career and she has found that using a device only increases the cognitive work slightly in healthy adults. The work load increases up to 40% for people with dementia. This is staggering. Does the extra brain work result in increases of instability? Does the patient actively use the walker without extensive cues? Do they forget to put it away, adding another tripping hazard in a hallway or kitchen?
It is important to assess for reasoning skills when a person is using an ambulation device. If a person with dementia is provided with a mobility aid to help physical support, but, this has become a new complex task, does it make them safer and less likely to fall? Can we do a better job of training our caregivers in the use of these aids?
Much of my practice involves safety strategies. I am passionate about fall prevention and accommodations to enable people to remain home. Sometimes this means adding items, grab bars, raised toilet seats, stair lifts, etc. Sometimes this means deleting items, throw rugs, movable obstacles, too many kitchen items for people to manage, etc. If a person is not able to successfully demonstrate reliable, consistent, proper use of a mobility aid, perhaps it is time to rethink the use of it for them.
Kristopher Rench, OT, OTD, OTR/L, CLVT, CMT II, CSHSS
CEO, SeniorSAFE, LLC
Age Safe America Advisory Team Member
Every May, the Administration for Community Living leads the nation’s observance of Older Americans Month (OAM). The 2019 theme, Connect, Create, Contribute, encourages older adults and their communities to:
- Connect with friends, family, and services that support participation.
- Create by engaging in activities that promote learning, health, and personal enrichment.
- Contribute time, talent, and life experience to benefit others.
When Older Americans Month was established in 1963, only 17 million living Americans had reached their 65th birthday. About a third of older Americans lived in poverty and there were few programs to meet their needs. Interest in older Americans and their concerns was growing. A meeting in April 1963 between President John F. Kennedy and members of the National Council of Senior Citizens led to designating May as “Senior Citizens Month,” the prelude to “Older Americans Month.”
Historically, Older Americans Month has been a time to acknowledge the contributions of past and current older persons to our country, in particular those who defended our country. Every President since Kennedy has issued a formal proclamation during or before the month of May asking that the entire nation pay tribute in some way to older persons in their communities. Older Americans Month is celebrated across the country through ceremonies, events, fairs, and other such activities.
Communities that encourage the contributions of older adults are stronger! By engaging and supporting all community members, we recognize that older adults play a key role in the vitality of our neighborhoods, networks, and lives.
Throughout the month of May 2019, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living (ACL) website https://acl.gov/oam/2019/older-americans-month-2019 will promote #OAM19 with materials to help you #ConnectCreateContribute.
It’s a big holiday weekend here in the United States and Canada with Easter and Passover underway. All of us at Age Safe® America and Age Safe® Canada send blessings of joy to you and your families!
Why We Celebrate Easter
Easter is the most important feast day on the Christian calendar.
Regularly observed from the earliest days of the Church, Easter celebrates Christ’s resurrection from the dead, following crucifixion. It marks the end of Holy Week, the end of Lent, and the last day of the Easter Triduum (starting from the evening of Maundy Thursday, through Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday), as well as the beginning of the Easter season of the liturgical year. The resurrection represents the triumph of good over evil, sin, death, and the physical body.
In 2019, Easter falls on Sunday, April 21st. You probably already knew that Easter falls on a different date each year… but why? According to a Fourth Century ruling, the date of Easter is set for the first Sunday following the Paschal Full Moon, which is the first full Moon of Spring, occurring on or shortly after the Vernal Equinox. March 22 is the earliest Easter can occur on any given year, and April 25 is the latest.
What Is Passover
The eight-day festival of Passover is celebrated in the early spring, from the 15th through the 22nd of the Hebrew month of Nissan, April 19 – April 27, 2019. Passover 2019 begins at sundown on Friday, April 19, and ends Saturday evening, April 27. The first Passover seder is on the evening of April 19, and the second Passover seder takes place on the evening of April 20.
Passover (Pesach) commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. Pesach is observed by avoiding leaven, and highlighted by the Seder meals that include four cups of wine, eating matzah and bitter herbs, and retelling the story of the Exodus. In Hebrew it is known as Pesach (which means “to pass over”), because G‑d passed over the Jewish homes when killing the Egyptian firstborn on the very first Passover eve.
While it’s important for seniors to remain connected, entertained and active through the use of technology, it is equally important for them to exercise caution and interest safety. None of us are exempt from Internet scams, but unfortunately, many scammers specifically target senior citizens. Senior citizens are often at an increased risk for Internet scams and fraud due to a variety of unique vulnerabilities. Lack of computer skills, limited Internet skills, and being more trusting and generous are just a few of the factors that put seniors at risk of falling victim to elaborate online scams.
Here are some helpful tips for ensuring you practice Internet Safety 101:
Keep your computer properly secured. Ensure you install reliable security software, set up automatic updates, turn on a firewall, and use secure passwords. You may need to hire a computer technician to get this setup, but exercise caution anytime you give access to your computer to an outside company. Ensure you choose a reputable company who is fully licensed and bonded. Beware of anyone who contacts you to inform you there is something wrong with your computer – even if they claim to work for Microsoft, Dell, Apple, or other common computer companies. NEVER give anyone remote access to your computer who has contacted you offering “help” or warning of a security breach; hang up your phone and take your computer to a reliable technician to have it looked at instead.
Don’t overshare. Social networking sites and sites who cater to older users are often targeted with quizzes and surveys that are in fact scams; these quizzes often ask invasive questions about private information such as health, wealth, assets, income, number of children, and family names. While some of these quizzes may not be scams it is best to exercise caution anytime you are dealing with the Internet and stray away from giving out any personal information about yourself or your family on an online quiz or survey.
Exercise caution with online dating. Online dating is becoming increasingly popular for senior citizens. Many seniors have lost their partner to death or divorce and may be lonely. Online dating is an excellent way to meet new people, and many people find success with it. Online dating is also an easy way for predators to find potential victims for their scams, most often with the goal to get money from them. Therefore, if engaging in online dating ensure you exercise some basic precautions: NEVER wire money or mail cash to someone you’ve met online – no matter what sob story they give you, if you decide to meet in person ensure you do so in a public place and also tell your loved ones when and where you will be meeting, never give out your address or personal phone number unless you have built a great rapport and are ready to take your online dating relationship to the next level with in-person dating.
Other Key Internet Safety Tips for Seniors:
- Don’t trust a link sent to you by someone you do not know, and DO NOT click on it.
- Never trust an email asking for account information or credit card information.
- If a deal is too good to be true, IT IS NOT TRUE!
- Never send money to another country, state, or a stranger.
- The best scams warn of fraud and offer to help save you from fraud. If you are concerned your computer, email, or online account has been compromised reach out to someone you find that is reputable – don’t trust someone who reaches out to you.
- If you did not enter the lottery or a sweepstake than you did not win a lottery or sweepstakes. Do not believe that if you give a little money to claim your prize you will get a lot of money back – true lottery winners do not need to pay anything up front to claim their winnings.
Sources (more info for Seniors!):
Online Safety Resources – https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/digital-skills/online-safety-resources
Internet Safety for Seniors – https://www.atg.wa.gov/internet-safety-seniors
How Technology can Give Seniors More Independance – https://telemedicine.arizona.edu/blog/how-technology-can-give-seniors-more-independence
The Benefits of Social Technology Among Older Adults – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5312603/
Pew Internet Research – http://www.pewinternet.org/2017/05/17/technology-use-among-seniors/