Age Safe® Announces the Home Care Association of America as a Preferred Partner

 

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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World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD)

 

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) was launched by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations. The purpose of WEAAD is to provide an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect.

Every year on June 15, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is commemorated in America and around the world. Through WEAAD, we raise awareness about the millions of older adults who experience elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation. As many as 1 in 10 older Americans are abused or neglected each year and only 1 in 14 cases of elder abuse ever comes to the attention of authorities. Older Americans are vital, contributing members of our society and their abuse or neglect diminishes all of us. WEAAD reminds us that, as in a just society, all of us have a critical role to play to focus attention on elder justice.

 

The Administration for Community Living (ACL), along with federal and aging partners, invite you to join them in Lifting up Voices for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2019, a theme that is centered on unifying the shared values of elder justice and responding to violence against women to bring to the forefront the lived experiences of older people around the globe. This year, we invite you to join us and other organizations and communities across the country in using the collection of special Lifting up Voices outreach and campaign tools (including an action guide with sample social media posts and graphics), incorporating the Lifting up Voices theme in your community.

 

The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) serves as a national resource center dedicated to engaging and empowering older people so that they may be an advocate for themselves and their communities. We recognize that it is up to all of us, as a community to ensure the right social structures are in place so people can remain connected to their communities and to society as a whole, reducing the likelihood of abuse. Through evidence based policies, initiatives, education and civic engagement, we can create a sturdy social structure that can support us as we grow older. First established by the U.S. Administration on Aging (AoA) in 1988 as a national elder abuse resource center, the NCEA was granted a permanent home at AoA in the 1992 amendments made to Title II of the Older Americans Act.

To carry out its mission, the NCEA disseminates elder abuse information to professionals and the public, and provides technical assistance and training to states and to community-based organizations. The NCEA:

  • Makes news and resources available on-line and an easy-to-use format;
  • Collaborates on research;
  • Provides training;
  • Identifies and provides information about promising practices and interventions;
  • Operates a listserve forum for professionals;
  • Provides subject matter expertise on program development.

 

 

 

 

Memorial Day 2019

Memorial Day 2019 occurs on Monday, May 27. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Memorial Day is much more than just a three-day weekend, an excellent occasion for a backyard barbecue, and a chance to get the year’s first sunburn. Memorial Day is where we honor and pay tribute to the many brave generations who have fallen. All gave some, some gave all.

Memorial Day is a time to remember and honor those many heroes who have given so much to secure the freedoms we today take for granted here in the U.S. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.

 

Have a safe, happy and meaningful Memorial Day weekend, from Age Safe® America.

Starting a Walking Club for Older Adults

 

Please check out the just released Walking Clubs Toolkit from Go4Life which provides tips and techniques to help start and sustain a walking club for adults 50+.  Walking is a wonderful way for older adults to be physically active! It’s easy, it’s free, it’s relatively risk-free, and it doesn’t require costly equipment, a gym membership, or training. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more people than ever are walking for physical activity. Walking is the most popular aerobic activity.

 

Walking is great exercise and when done briskly over time, it can build endurance—helping older adults walk farther, faster, or uphill. It also may make everyday activities such as gardening, shopping, or playing a sport easier. The goal is to achieve at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity endurance activity on most, if not all, days of the week.

 

Benefits of Walking Clubs

By starting a walking club, you are offering numerous benefits to older adults.

  • Health Benefits! When done regularly, walking at a brisk pace may offer these benefits:
    • lower the risk of high blood pressure
    • strengthen bones and muscles
    • burn more calories
    • lift moods
  • Accountability! Membership in a walking club may motivate older adults to stick with this form of exercise because they know others are counting on their participation.
  • Social connections! The social connections made in walking clubs can also offer older people a sense of wellbeing, emotional mental health, and a way to avoid a decline in overall health that can come with loneliness and depression (PDF, 2.6MB).
  • Safety in numbers! A walking club may also provide a way to be active for older adults who are reluctant to walk alone.

This Go4Life Walking Clubs Toolkit provides tips for those interested in starting and sustaining a walking club for older adults. The recommendations presented here were obtained from a variety of trusted sources at the National Institutes of Health, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US Surgeon General, and our national and local Go4Life partners with expertise in developing and conducting walking clubs. A list of these resources may be found under the “Helpful Resources” section of this toolkit.

 

The toolkit incorporates the ideas and suggestions of partners who volunteered for the Go4Life Walking Clubs mini-project last fall, and it’s a wonderful example of partner collaboration and input!

The following Go4Life partners provided input into the development of this toolkit.

 

Please consider using the toolkit as a guide to start a walking club in your community. In fact, starting a club might be a great way to mark Go4Life Month in September.

 

CLICK: Sample Workouts: Getting Fit for Life

 

 

 

Caregivers and Exercise – Take Time for Yourself

caregivers exercise

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Canes and Walkers Make Falls More Likely As Dementia Progresses

 

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.

 

by:

Kristopher Rench, OT, OTD, OTR/L, CLVT, CMT II, CSHSS

CEO, SeniorSAFE, LLC

Age Safe America Advisory Team Member