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There are more 65+ Seniors in the US than ever before!

 

Washington (CNN) — The Census Bureau released data Wednesday that shows there are more people 65 and older than ever before in the United States.

According to the 2010 numbers, there are 40.3 million people age 65 and older, an increase of over 5 million since the 2000 Census. The older population grew at a faster rate than the population as a whole.

But the best news might be for older males.

“Males show more rapid growth in the older population than females over the decade,” said Carrie Werner, a statistician at the Census Bureau. “While females continue to outnumber males in the older ages, males continued to close the gap over the decade by increasing at a faster rate than females.”

The 2000 Census showed that there were just over 88 men to every 100 women age 65. In 2010, there were just over 90 men to every 100 women at that age.

Geographically, the South has more people 65 and older, followed by the Midwest. On the state level, only Rhode Island experienced a decline in population of the 65 and older set. The District of Columbia also experienced a decline.

The 2010 Census also showed a jump in the number of centenarians in the United States. There were 53,364 people who were 100 years or older in 2010, an increase of 5.8 percent since the 2000 count.

As the Baby Boomers reach retirement age, the numbers of older men and women should continue to go up, according to Werner.

“Future growth of the older population is both highly probable and unprecedented in the United States,” she said.

8 Tips for The Long-Distance Caregiver

Caregiving is never easy, but there are several steps we can take to make it less burdensome and more rewarding. I asked Marion Somers, Ph.D. (Dr. Marion), a geriatric care manager with 40 years experience under her belt, for some advice—particularly for those who care for someone who lives some distance away. Dr. Marion is the author of Elder Care Made Easier as well as a suite of free iPhone apps for caregivers.

1. Be realistic. Before you take on the role of primary caregiver, you need to determine how much time, energy, finances and emotional resources you can afford to give. “Some caregivers also have children at home or a sick husband,” advises Dr. Marion. “They have to be careful not to overcommit.”

It helps to have a heart-to-heart with the person you’ll be caring for—assuming, of course that they are competent to have such a discussion. Find out what level of support they think they need.

2. Accept your role. A lot of us are caregivers and don’t know it. Or rather, we may know it somewhere deep down, but we’d rather not think about it, according to Dr. Marion. If anyone asks, we’ll say, “Well, yes, I’m kinda responsible for my aunt Zelda,” but we don’t quite want to take the mental leap and say, “Yes, I’m her primary caregiver.”

“People need to wake up to the facts. Only when you wake up can you take charge of the situation,” says Dr. Marion.

What are the facts? Back to Aunt Zelda for a moment. Is it the same Zelda who lives three states away, but whose doctors’ appointments you schedule, whose neighbors you’ve organized into a support brigade, and who calls you every day when she wakes up (at 6:38 AM)? Do you have responsibility for her finances? For seeing that her house gets cleaned? Look in the mirror. You’re her primary caregiver.

What does acceptance of your role do? For starters, it helps you get results. “In a crisis, professionals in the field will defer to someone who identifies themselves as the primary caregiver,” says Dr. Marion. “They’ll listen to you. That’s a term that has meaning in the profession. Calling yourself the neighbor, the friend, even the relative, won’t get you the same treatment or the same access.”

3. Don’t neglect your own needs. Caregivers have a higher rate of illness, depression and dementia than the population at large. The burden is huge, and it takes its toll.

“Before they took on this responsibility, caregivers had full lives,” says Dr. Marion. “Maybe they had a book club, maybe they exercised regularly. But now, they stop doing the things that support them and provide them with psychological wellbeing. With all that energy going out, that means they’re not replenishing themselves. Think about it. If they get sick, that’s a double whammy for the person they’re caring for.”

The solution is to find some backup help so you can schedule regular breaks for yourself. Rejoin that book club; take a vacation; join a card game. The person you’re caring for will be better off for it.

4. Get regular feedback. “It’s essential that whenever you make suggestions, you check in first and ask, ‘What do you think? How do you feel about this?’” says Dr. Marion.

She describes a classic example of not getting feedback: A caregiver who lives two hours away from the person she’s caring for knows the person is running low on groceries. So she drives two hours to the supermarket, takes them to the person’s house and loads up the refrigerator. Then, pressed for time, she jumps back in the car and drives two hours home. Now she’s spent four-plus hours getting groceries and the person she’s bought them for is acting resentful. What went wrong?

“Sure, you did a wonderful deed,” says Dr. Marion. “But maybe you bought the wrong brand of cereal. Maybe you put the milk on the top shelf and she always puts it on the bottom shelf.”

This common conundrum is easy to prevent. All it takes is asking some questions before you do the shopping. “If you simply barge in and stack the groceries willy nilly in the ‘fridge, the person is not going to be grateful to you for devoting the better part of a day to helping them. Instead, they’re going to think you aren’t very considerate.”

5. Help maintain a familiar routine. Similarly, should you need to hire a caregiver or a health aide, make sure you tell them the routines the person likes to follow. Does she like to shower at night or bathe in the morning? What does she like to eat for breakfast? “If you ignore these basic preferences, and let outsiders set up their own schedules, the person feels diminished,” says Dr. Marion

6. Use the “I” word. When important decisions are being made, it’s critical to get the person’s buy-in. “Never just tell someone that you’ve decided to do something, whether it’s hiring an aide or making a doctor’s appointment,” says Dr. Marion. “Ask them what they think. Then be sure to say how you feel as you explain your point of view. For example, ‘I’m really worried about you and I’d like you to consider having someone come in to help with the washing/cooking/cleaning.’ The ‘I’ word is vital to expressing empathy and getting buy-in.”

7. Encourage outings. As people get older, they start limiting social activities, because they feel it’s too exhausting. But once they get out of the house, they interact with other people. “That’s very important. It keeps them intellectually and emotionally stimulated,” says Dr. Marion.

Yes, it’s complicated to help them out of the house, but worth the effort. “Their social life can’t be just doctor visits,” says Dr. Marion. “Take them to the senior center. There are games, conversation, snacks, plus they have to dress up a bit.”

8. Don’t try to “parent.” This is a big one, and it flies in the face of instinct. Here you are, taking responsibility for a person’s life. It feels a little like the parenting you did when your children were small. But there’s a big difference. “These are adults. They have lives,” says Dr. Marion. “You cannot go in and take over another person’s life. Even when what you’re trying to do is for their benefit, they’re going to look at you as a busybody, and they’ll resent it.”

What it all boils down to is respecting a person’s needs, life experience and habits. Taking a little extra time to make sure the person you’re caring for feels engaged and in control of his or her life will pay back rewards many times over in terms of cooperation and positive feeling.

–Steve Slon

Steve Slon is a writer specializing in health and aging. He is the former editor of AARP The Magazine.

Happiness is Pets!

Many Senior Citizens and the baby boomer generation will exclaim that "Happiness is Pets"!

There is a good reason for that statement. Aging pet owners experience physical and emotional health benefits from having a pet that they may not even be aware they are experiencing.

Here are just a few of the health benefits of having a pet:

Reduces stress and anxiety — pet owners, even without research studies will tell you how great they feel when they are greeted and spend time with their loving pet. Pets show unconditional love. Our pets are there for us when we need them, even when others in our life can't be there for us. We can talk to our pets, share our innermost thoughts and feelings and not worry about rejection. The mere act of petting releases naturally occurring chemicals into our bodies that calm and soothe our nerves.

Lowers blood pressure — the same chemicals that are released when we pet our faithful companions are also the ones responsible for helping lower your blood pressure. In fact, one study found that pet owners on medication for high blood pressure, were less likely to experience spikes in the blood pressure and heart rate, than those that did not have a pet at home. Maintaining a steady and healthy blood pressure and pulse decreases your risk for a heart attack or stroke. Research has also shown that those individuals that experienced a heart attack had a longer survival rate if they had a faithful and loving pet they had bonded with when they returned home.

Improve your mood–pets become part of the family. They provide companionship and help to alleviate loneliness and depression. It is hard to be in a bad mood when you have a pet. Every time you enter your home, or even a room, your loving companion will greet you. Even if it is just to look up and acknowledge you are there! They keep you company and keep you active. Having a pet means taking care of your friend. That may mean anything from walking, feeding or even just cleaning out the litter box. What ever the activity, the animals in your life, make you take an interest in living. Even if it is just caring for them. Pets never hesitate to show their love or appreciation of the care you give them. Some show it more enthusiastically than others.

More of why "Happiness is Pets" to Senior citizens and the baby boomer group

Promotes heart health–having pets decreases stress, anxiety and depression. A pet in your life also promotes physical activity and emotional well being. The companionship of a pet promotes emotional and psychological stability. There is a link between the chemicals released when enjoying your pet and the lowering of cholesterol and triglycerides. Studies show there is a link between pet owners and a decrease in heart disease versus non pet owners.

Enhances your immune system— pet owners experience decreased stress, improved mood and emotional well being. This causes an increase in your ability to fight off or prevent illness. Research studies show that pet owners are less likely to make a visit to their doctor or health care professional for the less serious sicknesses they may experience. The study did not address if the aging seniors with pets were sick less often or just did not see the need to seek medical attention for their minor illnesses. There are insurance companies that now include asking if you have a pet for their clients over seventy five years of age as part of their pre screening process. Surprisingly, if the answer is "yes", the insurance company looks more favorably on the senior with a pet than one that does not have a pet.

Provide balance in life— pets offer intangible benefits to our lives. They offer social interaction, even if it is just between the aging senior and the pet. If a senior is walking a pet, it is not unusual for someone to interact with the aging senior to ask about their furry companion. They offer relief from loneliness and promote physical activity as well as mental stimulation.

There may be skeptics out there that believe that pets do not make you feel better. Science now confirms that having a pet enhances the physical and emotional well being of the owners. It is easy to understand why many senior citizens exclaim "Happiness is Pets!"

 

 

 

Diane Carbo Registered Nurse has more than thirty five years in the nursing field. Her experience as a geriatric care manager, makes her uniquely qualified to help those who want to live out their lives in their own homes. That decision may be made when you are 20, 30, 40 or in fact at any age, with sooner rather than later being ideal. Diane has developed a web site to make people aware of issues and options. You will find extensive helpful information that will be continually updated. Please visit Diane's web site for more information on pets While there sign up for The Caring Advocate her free newsletter and take advantage of her complimentary e-course on Health Care Advocacy.

 

 

 

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Diane_Carbo

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2318417

Caring for the Combative Client

 

Who is the “Combative” Client?

Combative or aggressive behavior may include verbal attacks, such as yelling, cursing, and making threats. Non-verbal or physical behaviors may include hitting, pinching, spitting, pushing, kicking, or throwing things. Often, a fairly predictable progression of behaviors can be seen. For example, the client may start by becoming tense and irritated, followed by verbal complaints, such as “You’re always after me to take a bath!” This may progress to cursing, threatening (“Get away from me or I’ll hit you.”), and finally to physical forms of aggression, such as hitting or kicking.

 

Preventing and Managing Combative Behavior

The best way to manage combative behavior is, of course, to prevent it. While this is not possible in every case, proper client management can often significantly decrease aggressive incidents. If you are working with a client who has a history of aggressive behavior, get as much information as you can.

  • What triggers the aggressive behavior?
  • What early signs of aggression does the client display?
  • Does the client’s behavior progress to physical violence?
  • What helps the client to calm down?

 

When working with your clients, maintain a constant awareness of their mood and affect. Even subtle reactions, like a stiffening of the body or clenching fists when you perform certain actions, can give you clues that they may have difficulty coping. Watch for these early signs of possible aggression:

  • increased activity, such as pacing
  • a frightened or angry look in the eyes
  • tensing of the body, such as clenched fists
  • increased respirations
  • flushed face

 

The Caregiver’s Role

Your behavior toward clients can greatly reduce the risk of aggression. The vast majority of our communication with others, about 93%, occurs nonverbally. This means that our messages to others are conveyed mainly by factors such as our appearance, body language and tone of voice.

  • Act in a kind, calm, manner toward your clients
  • Handle them gently, and speak in a calm tone
  • Avoid hurrying or pressuring clients, or appearing impatient or annoyed, as these behaviors may trigger a combative reaction
  • Provide a predictable, calm environment
  • Make sure that the client’s needs for food, rest, comfort, and social interaction are met
  • When working with clients who have dementia, tell them frequently who you are, to avoid fear and possible mistaken identity.

 

Managing a Combative Situation

If a client you are working with becomes combative, your goal in this situation is de-escalation— attempting to reduce or “bring down” the client’s reaction. Verbal and non-verbal de-escalation techniques can be very effective in reducing agitation. Non-verbally, your goal is to project a calm, yet attentive, facial expression. Excitement is contagious, and the client is likely to become more agitated if you react by becoming agitated yourself.  Here are some tips on how to de-escalate a situation:

  • Keep your body loose
  • Avoid aggressive signals such as clenching your fists or crossing your arms
  • Maintain caring eye contact, but don’t stare aggressively at the client.
  • Remember to breathe slowly and deeply, as this will help you to relax
  • Stand with your body at a slight angle, rather than fully facing the client. This not only puts you in a better position if you need to exit quickly, but protects your chest and abdomen if the client suddenly hits or kicks
  • Stand at least two arm lengths from the client, so that he doesn’t feel as threatened by you and cannot hit or kick you
  • Always keep the nearest door open, and position yourself between the client and the door, so that he is not blocking your exit if you need to leave quickly
  • If possible, position yourself so that there is a piece of furniture between you two, for further protection
  • Speak to the client in a firm, calm voice. Watch the tone and volume of your voice. Keep it low, as most people tend to raise both their tone and volume when excited or threatened, resulting in high-pitched yelling
  • Say something that helps the client to know that you understand his feelings… “Mr. Jones, I can see that you’re very upset, and I want to help.”
  • Treat the client with dignity and respect,
  • Never threaten or belittle him for his behavior
  • Do not argue or try to reason with the angry client, such as saying, “I do not always forget your coffee.”

 

If possible, try to “undo” whatever has made the client agitated. For example, if combative behavior resulted when you approached the client to give him a bath, back off and leave him alone for awhile. If the client has dementia, distracting him with a favored activity can also be effective… “Mr. Jones, your favorite TV show is on now—would you like to watch?” When trying to de-escalate a client’s it is helpful if only one person talks, to avoid confusing or frightening the client.

 

Proper Procedure

Safety is the top priority when dealing with a combative client. If your safety is threatened, leave the area immediately, and get any other persons to safety if needed, and immediately call for assistance. As always, be familiar with and follow agency policy in dealing with emergency situations. If the situation is extreme enough that you cannot effectively handle it, the police should be promptly called to assist.

By acting in a caring and compassionate manner, and staying attuned to your client’s reactions, you can help to prevent and effectively manage combative behavior..

Once the incident is over, be sure you document it in a clear, objective manner. Also, it is very important to report any type of combative behavior, as this may be a sign of illness or medication reaction.

About Senior Care

Finding the right in home health care agency that provides senior home care can cause stress and anxiety to a family caregiver. Many times the home health care provider is set up by the discharge planner or social worker at the hospital. There are also times when a family care giver wants to make arrangements for in home health care.

Many family members providing care for elderly in home settings find a need for outside help. Family caregivers are often reluctant to have inside help, because they fear that they will not be able to find good help. I think that it is important for family caregiver to understand that in home health care can be a blessing and give you peace of mind. Everything that has so many pluses also has some minuses. Education is the key to preventing mistake.

I am here to help you prevent making mistakes and enjoy the benefits of senior home care. I have created a list of over 30 questions to ask, I will share 10 of them with you today. I feeI I must first address that there are two categories of in home health care as determined by Medicare guidelines.They are skilled care or custodial care.

Skilled care requires a doctor's order and refers to a medical or more intense need such as nursing, social services and therapy (physical, occupational or speech). Custodial care refers to help with bathing, dressing, and cooking, cleaning and shopping or even companionship. There is a different type of home health care provider for each level of service needed.

How is the agency licensed or accredited? I like to ask this question because accreditations are the organizations that set the standards for the industry. Many organizations must have these accreditations in order to receive reimbursement by long term care insurance providers. I will tell you not all agencies are accredited even though they meet all the requirements. Some agencies choose not to go through the process as it is time consuming and very expensive. I would not rule an organization out if the rest of the interview goes well.

 

More of the top 10 questions to ask an in home health care agency about senior home care

 

How long has the in home health care agency been in business? It is important that you deal with an organization that has a solid reputation and the people that work in that organization are individuals that belong and are know to the community.

What kind of criminal background checks are performed for prospective employees? Are employee references checked? How many? Are personnel files updated annually? These are very important questions. Too many times agencies hire employees and allow them to start work before their background checks have come back to meet the demands of the industry. This can be disastrous.

Are the employees bonded and insured? Does that protect the family in case of theft or accidents? What type of training does the company provide to employees? This is an important question if you have an aging senior with a disease specific diagnosis such as dementia, vision or hearing impaired, diabetes etc.

Does the agency offer a free home health care consultation by a registered nurse prior to start of service? If you are considering custodial services this may not be considered part of the services offered. When it is, consider it an extra bonus. A professional nurse adds a different perspective and may be able to recommend a higher level of care when needed.

Does the agency provide a plan of care in writing for clients? How much say does the family have in the plan of care? These two questions are very important on many levels. A written plan of care gives everyone goals and expectations. The family involvement in developing the plan of care gives the aging senior and caregiver a sense of control over the situation. This also gives the family a clear understanding of the expectations of the duties that will be preformed and something to refer to so that there is no confusion about those duties.

 

There are many questions to ask an in home health care agency about senior home care. Asking those questions Taking the time and investigating resources can keep the aging senior in your life at home for as long as possible.

 

Diane Carbo Registered Nurse has more than thirty five years in the nursing field. Her experience as a geriatric care manager, makes her uniquely qualified to help those who want to live out their lives in their own homes. That decision may be made when you are 20, 30, 40 or in fact at any age, with sooner rather than later being ideal. Diane has developed a web site to make people aware of issues and options. You will find extensive helpful information that will be continually updated. Please visit Diane's web site and learn more about questions you should ask the home health care agency. Sign up for "The Caring Advocate" her free newsletter and take advantage of a complimentary e-course Advocating For Yourself and Others

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Diane_Carbo

 

What is Alzheimer's Dementia?

What Can Family Members Expect?

What is Alzheimer's dementia is a common question. Once the diagnosis is given, many family members feel a sense of relief that there is a name for what is happening to the aging senior in their life.

Once a diagnosis is given, that is when the medical or health care delivery system really fails their patients and family members. Over time, family caregivers will feel a sense of disappointment and disconnect from the health care professionals. While the health care professionals are able to diagnose and prescribe medications, they are not seeing and experiencing what you are at home.

I cannot tell you how many times family caregivers have been overwhelmed and frustrated with a situation and behaviors exhibited at home, only to be told that is part of the disease. There was no offer of a solution or a referral to a community resource made that would be beneficial.

Alzheimer's is a progressive form of dementia. It is the most common of all dementias. Although there it is not understood what causes Alzheimer's, scientists have found that this disease causes severe damage to the brain cells.

There are two types of brain cell damage that occurs in individuals with this dreadful disease. Plaque build up, of a normally harmless protein, interferes with the brain cells communications resulting in cell death.

Unnatural tangles of the brain cells occur causing them to become twisted and die. As the disease progresses, and the brain cell death increases, the behaviors and physical abilities as described in the stages of Alzheimer's occur.

 

More on what is Alzheimer's Dementia? We have a diagnosis, what do we do now?

 

The progression of this disease gives families time to educate and prepare for what lies ahead when a diagnosis is made. There are seven stages of Alzheimer's. These stages are based on the behavioral, physical and cognitive changes that may be exhibited as the disease progresses.

It is important to understand that while the stages have behaviors and physical changes that occur at each level, every individual is different and will not exhibit a clear cut pattern specific that is specific to each stage.

What I mean, is a person will not display all the behaviors or physical changes listed. Nor will an individual consistently go by the book, as far being in one stage at a time. Many individuals will display a range of behaviors in two or three stages at a time.

There are times when an individual will stay in one stage and stabilize for a long period of time. Other times, there may be a rapid deterioration that occurs and an individual may appear to skip a stage.

It is important to start preparing for the future care needs of the aging senior with Alzheimer's as well as for the family care givers.

In most situations, I find that there is one primary care giver, a spouse or an adult child that carries the responsibility of providing the care for the aging senior. The family caregiver often does not initially realize that this care giving journey could last as long as 20 years or be as short as 3 years.

So it is very important that the family caregiver become the primary focus along with their aging family member with Alzheimer's dementia. The emotions of care giving will encompass chronic grief, depression, anger, frustration and social isolation. Care giver stress is very real and has severe health consequences, when left untreated, for the care giver.

It is never easy when you receive the diagnosis of Alzheimer's dementia. It is important that when you or a family member does receive that diagnosis, you immediately take action and make plans for future care needs.

That would include the family caregiver learning as much as they can about the disease, the exploring and joining the support systems such as the Alzheimer's organization to help guide and prepare you for this unknown journey.

 

 

Diane Carbo Registered Nurse has more than thirty five years in the nursing field. Her experience as a geriatric care manager, makes her uniquely qualified to help those who want to live out their lives in their own homes. That decision may be made when you are 20, 30, 40 or in fact at any age, with sooner rather than later being ideal. Diane has developed a web site to make people aware of issues and options. You will find extensive helpful information that will be continually updated. Please visit Diane's web site and learn more about the question what is Alzheimers. Sign up for "The Caring Advocate" her free newsletter and take advantage of a complimentary e-course Advocating For Yourself and Others

 

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4274365