Adults aged 65 and over are the largest and fastest growing age group in our society. Historically, older members of our society were valued for their vast knowledge and contributions to society. Unfortunately, older adulthood is not universally celebrated and valued here in the US. Ageism (negative attitudes and behavior toward older adults) continues to be a serious national problem. Senior Citizens Day was created as a day to support, honor, and show appreciation to our seniors and to recognize their achievements. President Reagan established this day in 1988 and the Proclamation is still relevant today.
“Throughout our history, older people have achieved much for our families, our communities, and our country. That remains true today, and gives us ample reason this year to reserve a special day in honor of the senior citizens who mean so much to our land.
With improved health care and more years of productivity, older citizens are reinforcing their historical roles as leaders and as links with our patrimony and sense of purpose as individuals and as a Nation. Many older people are embarking on second careers, giving younger Americans a fine example of responsibility, resourcefulness, competence, and determination. And more than 4.5 million senior citizens are serving as volunteers in various programs and projects that benefit every sector of society. Wherever the need exists, older people are making their presence felt — for their own good and that of others.
For all they have achieved throughout life and for all they continue to accomplish, we owe older citizens our thanks and a heartfelt salute. We can best demonstrate our gratitude and esteem by making sure that our communities are good places in which to mature and grow older — places in which older people can participate to the fullest and can find the encouragement, acceptance, assistance, and services they need to continue to lead lives of independence and dignity.”
In honor of this day, call your grandparents, mother, father, brother, sister, or old high school teacher; and tell them that you appreciate everything they have done for you. Today is also a great day to volunteer at a retirement home and visit someone who may not receive many visitors.
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.
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.
Coronavirus Concerns: Get 24/7 Chronic Care and Monitoring System
This is truly proving to be a once in a lifetime reaction to an illness! Worldwide we are witnessing quarantines, social distancing, food and supply shortages at grocery, overworked medical staff, shortages of medical supplies, and closed restaurants and shops. The physical, mental, emotional and economic impact of coronavirus concerns on all consumers and businesses will prove trying in the coming weeks. The most vulnerable group of people are seniors. Seniors in Nursing homes are not allowed to discharge. Visitation is significantly restricted. It is advised to not visit them at their homes if you are potentially exposed to the virus. Homecare agencies are being tasked with increasing their caregiving needs, however, they already have a shortage of staff before this! Visiting nursing agencies, who are attempting to provide that bridge of medical care to recently returning ill and seniors are being told to hold their visits for several weeks, or to discharge their customers entirely by family members.
This lack of monitoring for our most vulnerable is deeply concerning to professionals and to our loved ones! Remote monitoring of people is an option. Please consider the Electronic Caregiver’s Pro Health system. Pro Health is a comprehensive public health and safety monitoring system. Some of the reassuring features are:
-24/7 powering by Amazon Web Services and AT&T Wireless -24/7 Health Emergency Wearable Pendant -Monitored body temperature vital device and daily reminder -Voice controlled virtual health assessment -Monitored medication reminders -24/7 physician on demand service-PocketMD -Remote monitoring app for loved ones and professionals
Telemedicine such as Pro Health isn’t just a wonderfully convenient way to get the care needed, it’s also a way to slow or prevent the spread of COVID-19. Seniors don’t have to go wait for hours in clinics and ERs that are increasingly crowded due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They don’t risk catching COVID-19 from others – or spreading it. Pro Health helps them take care of their health. Electronic Caregiver® is right there with you, night and day. Those who need to know will be notified, and you will receive the excellent and professional monitoring that will give you true peace of mind.
This system is able to replace worry with care and is very low cost for the peace of mind offered.
Trying to contribute in small ways to keep our most vulnerable safe we have arranged a substantial savings on this system with Electronic Caregiver®. Age Safe® America is able to offer an additional 25% off this product for all individuals or businesses who obtain this system through the process below.
Age Safe® offers an additional 25% OFF the regular price above.
Gratitude is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
Going around the table asking family members what they’re thankful for may be a tradition in your household, and there are a number of reasons why doing so feels so good. Giving thanks, it turns out, has some major health benefits. Research has linked gratitude with an increase in self-esteem, resiliency and overall life satisfaction. It can also help you build new friendships and strengthen the relationships you already have. Researchers are investigating how positive emotions can lower disease and mortality in older adults. Even among people with serious illnesses like heart disease, those who practice gratitude tend to be less depressed than those who don’t.
Science has discovered that people who practice gratitude experience the following:
Grateful people are 25% happier than those who do not practice gratitude.
Being grateful and happy can add as much as 9 years to your life!
When practicing gratitude, you will experience higher levels of positive emotions such as love, happiness, and optimism.
By writing down thoughts of gratitude each day, you will have fewer illnesses because gratitude strengthens the immune system.
Expressing gratitude will restore the natural rhythm of your heart.
When we are grateful, we “bounce back” from stressful situations faster.
You can make gratitude part of your life by being thankful to those who help you, and by being mindful and appreciative of what’s important to you. Although it may feel strange to “practice” gratitude, over time it becomes a natural part of life. Don’t worry if gratitude doesn’t come naturally. In the same way you work out to build stronger muscles, you can also strengthen your gratitude muscle by
keeping a gratitude journal or meditating briefly on what you’re grateful for
concentrating on the good in your life
reaching out to thank friends and family for being there, or for gifts or favors received
starting a family gratitude ritual: have everyone list something they’re thankful for that day
thanking strangers who have done something nice
Many Blessings from all of us here at Age Safe®America!
The annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day raises awareness about how to prevent fall-related injuries among older adults. We have heard the statistics over and over. One in 3 Americans over the age of 65 will fall this year. One in 2 Americans over the age of 80 will fall this year. Falls account for 40% of nursing home admissions. It doesn’t have to be this way! As our population ages and the demographic studies tell us that the longevity for the current generations is greater than any other time in history, then this is the opportunity to change the statistics. Ten years from now, the fall rate among Americans can be significantly different. But in order to do so, we must take the action.
The social activism of the 60’s needs to translate into personal activism to maximize the independence and control we can exert in our lives. This generation took the action 50 years ago to affect military policy, civil rights and the creation of Older Americans Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. There are too many stories of people moving into assisted living communities or long-term care, not by choice but by necessity. We all know an individual, family member, friend, member of our social circle or faith community who has not had the chance to remain independent.
You must be the change you want to see in the world….Gandhi
Be the change—-get a professional home safety evaluation. A trained specialist can identify the opportunities and changes that we don’t see for ourselves. They may suggest to add the grab bars and motion lights, clear the pathways and make sure our entrances are safe and easy to navigate. (The extra benefit of a safe entrance is a safe exit during an emergency or natural disaster!) You can make an appointment get your eyes checked, mark your calendar and get it done! On the next visit, take your list of questions and review your meds with the doctor. Exercise can be as simple as a short walk or stretch or taking a class in person, by video or on TV.
We cannot look back and wish we had our home evaluated or our eyes checked.
Our future selves are relying on our taking the steps today to change the trajectory of our lives and change those awful, realistic statistics. Take a step today to Age Safe® and Live Well!
Change the Statistics, Make a Difference.
Plan for independence!
We all want to live safe, independent and comfortable, regardless of our age or ability. Unfortunately, many homes were not designed to give you freedom as you age. Whether you are living by yourself or with a family member, you can design your own additions or home modifications that will help you continue living independently. Trained advisors and qualified contractors are available to help you plan and create the safety, comfort and flexibility in the home that you want and need. Age Safe®Live Well.
Join NCOA for Falls Prevention Awareness Day 2019 events! #FPAD2019