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Travel Tips for Seniors

Travel Tips for Seniors

travel tips for seniorsThe Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Year’s holiday periods are among the busiest long-distance travel periods of the year. During the 6-day Thanksgiving travel period, the number of long-distance trips (to and from a ­destination 50 miles or more away) increases by 54 percent, and during the Christmas/New Year’s Holiday period the number rises by 23 percent, compared to the average number for the remainder of the year. And although heavy media attention focuses on crowded airports and bus and train stations on the Wednesday before and Sunday after Thanksgiving, when personal vehicle trips are added to the mix the National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) reveals that Thanksgiving Day is actually a heavier long-distance travel day than Wednesday.

But, getting older doesn’t mean you have to stop traveling. Now is probably the best time for you to get out there and see the world. There are many discounts you can take advantage of at museums and other attractions. Traveling through the airport is now easier than ever, especially with the added convenience of wheelchair assistance. You can book your whole trip online or contact a travel agent to assist you. Here are some travel tips for seniors on how to maximize your experience other cities, states, and countries.

  • Check out elderhostel.com. This is a budget friendly site offering affordable rooms during your travels.
  • Utilize sites like Kayak and Hipmunk. These sites allow you to compare different airline costs, getting you the best deal for your flight.
  • Medication. Be sure you are well-stocked for your medication.
  • Rolling luggage. If you are worried about lugging bags through the airport, make sure you get one on wheels.
  • Request a wheelchair. If you have a hard time walking long distances, it is a good idea to request a wheelchair at the airport. Wheelchairs also have the added benefit of allowing you to skip security lines.
  • Ground-Floor room. If you have difficulty walking up and down stairs, request that your hotel put you on the ground floor when you make your initial reservation.
  • Take advantage of discounts. Many activities like museums, plays, and tours offer discounts for seniors. See if you can snag some for your trip.
  • Don’t overexert yourself. You just got to a new country and already want to see and do everything. Pick your top three or four activities and focus on them first. This way you won’t tire yourself or your companion(s) out just on the first day. If you feel weak, be sure to sit and rest for a while
  • Drink water. It is important to stay hydrated while you travel. In other countries, the water may not be as safe as you’d like. In these instances you should purchase only bottled water.
  • Travel Insurance. If you want to be extra cautious, you may want to invest in travel insurance. This can be a lifesaver in the event of an emergency. Some of these plans will pay for emergency evacuation by air back to your home country. Without insurance this evacuation can put you in debt.

If you have some travel tips for seniors feel free to share!


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The Age Factor: Changes in Nutritional Needs for Seniors

Lots of different factors make it difficult for seniors to eat healthy. Changing taste buds, medication side effects, and a lack of interest in cooking for just two people are all reasons that play a role. On top of that Seniors have different nutritional needs than younger people. Eating well is important at any age, but even more necessary for seniors because nutritional needs change as we age.

According to Dr. Lindsay Jones-Born, a licensed naturopathic physician, 3.7 million seniors are malnourished in America today. Dr. Jones-Born provides some great insight into why seniors have different nutritional needs:

How Do Our Bodies Change As We Age?

There are many reasons our bodies change as we get older, including physiological, perceptual and and general age-related conditions—such as gastrointestinal or dental conditions. These changes all influence the performance of our body as a whole, which in turn, influences our eating, nutritional intake and overall health.

Physiological Changes 

One reason nutritional needs change is due to physiological changes that occur later in life.  Energy expenditure generally decreases with advancing age because of a decrease in basal metabolic rate and physical activity, thus decreasing our caloric needs. Our bodies also begin to experience a decrease in kidney function, re-distribution of body composition and changes in our nervous system.

Perceptual Changes 

Perceptual changes later in life can also influence our nutrition, such as changes in hearing, taste, smell and vision.  One of the most common complaints is in regards to the diminished taste in food. As taste buds decrease, so does our taste for salty and sweet—often times making food taste more bitter or sour. Diminished or loss of hearing also affects our nutrition and food experience.  The difficulty and frustration from the inability to hold a conversation with our eating partner out at a restaurant or at a social function can limit one’s food experience.  And the loss of smell can also have a huge impact on the types of food one chooses to eat as there is a loss of satisfaction that can lead to poor food choices.

Other Aging-Related Changes 

Other changes in body function may impact nutritional intake, such as dentition, or the makeup of a set of teeth (including how many, their arrangement and their condition). The loss of teeth and/or ill-fitting dentures can lead to avoidance of hard and sticky foods. Gastrointestinal changes such as chronic gastritis, delayed stomach emptying, constipation and gas may lead to avoiding healthy foods, such a fruits and vegetables—the food categories that should be more emphasized rather than eliminated.

These factors alone may contribute to why 3.7 million seniors are malnourished and shed light on the importance of educating caregivers and aging seniors as to specific dietary need options, as well as, catered senior diets and nutritional needs.

Senior Citizens, Malnutrition—And  Vitamin Deficiencies

Malnutrition is seen in varying degrees in the elderly, along with varying vitamin deficiencies.  Malnutrition is due to under nutrition, nutrient deficiencies or imbalances. Most physicians do not see frank malnutrition anymore, such as scurvy; but more milder malnutrition symptoms such as loss of appetite, weight loss/gain, general malaise or lack of overall interest and wellness. Common nutrient deficiencies of dietary origin include inadequate intake of vitamin A, B, C, D, E, folic acid and niacin.  Malnutrition may also be the result of some socioeconomic risk factors, such as the following:

  • Loss of a spouse or family member
  • Lack of interest in cooking or eating alone
  • Fear of personal safety (which affects their ability to go grocery shopping)
  • Financial concerns
  • Institutionalization or hospitalizations (that do not ensure adequate nutrition)

Clearly nutrition plays a vital role in the quality of life in older persons. This is why preventative medicine and focusing on good eating habits is crucial. It is recommended to follow a preventative health maintenance nutritional program, such as the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which describes two eating plans.

  1. The USDA food patterns
  2. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Eating Plan

*DASH is a lot like the Food Patterns, but focuses on lowering blood pressure.

The USDA food patterns suggests that people 50 or older choose healthy foods every day from the following:

  • Fruits—1-1/2 to 2-1/2 cups
    What is the same as 1/2 cup of cut-up fruit? A 2-inch peach or 1/4 cup of dried fruit
  • Vegetables—2 to 3-1/2 cups
    What is the same as a cup of cut-up vegetables? Two cups of uncooked leafy vegetable
  • Grains—5 to 10 ounces
    What is the same as an ounce of grains? A small muffin, a slice of bread, a cup of flaked, ready-to-eat cereal, or ½ cup of cooked rice or pasta
  • Protein foods—5 to 7 ounces
    What is the same as an ounce of meat, fish, or poultry? One egg, ¼ cup of cooked beans or tofu, ½ ounce of nuts or seeds, or 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
  • Dairy foods—3 cups of fat-free or low-fat milk
    What is the same as 1 cup of milk? One cup of yogurt or 1-1/2 to 2 ounces of cheese. One cup of cottage cheese is the same as ½ cup of milk.
  • Oils—5 to 8 teaspoons
    What is the same as oil added during cooking? Foods like olives, nuts, and avocado have a lot of oil in them.
  • Solid fats and added sugars (SoFAS)—keep the amount of SoFAS small 
    If you eat too many foods containing SoFAS, you will not have enough calories for the nutritious foods you should be eating.
Learn more about the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services DASH eating plan to decide whether it’s right for you or a loved one.

Dr. Lindsay Jones-Born, Naturopathic Physician

About the Author:

Dr. Lindsay Jones-Born is a licensed naturopathic physician in California and Connecticut, and is an active member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. Born Naturopathic Associates, Inc. is the prime location in Alameda, CA for integrative medical care for patients off all ages and genders, for acute and chronic conditions. 


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Calculating the Cost of Home Care Infographic

Delivering care to an ill or elderly loved one in their own home ensures their safety, preserves their independence and accommodates hardworking families who are unable to personally address all of their loved one’s needs. As a result, more families are finding that home care is the option their loved ones prefer and their budgets support.

At Just Like Family Home Care, we take pride in aligning the right star with each clients personalized preferences. We believe it is important, as a Naples home health care company, to maintain our clients lifestyle in the comfort of their home, hospital or facility.

Calculating the cist of at home care


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11 Reasons Why Seniors Should Care About Social Media

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At Just Like Family Home care we are affected by the ever-changing world of social media on the Internet. Sites such as, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest used to be a “young mans game.” However, the demographic in our society is changing drastically: 1 in every 4 people over the age of 65 is on a social media site. With technological advances happening everyday, we at Just Like Family Home care feel it is vital for seniors to be a part of social media. Behold 11 benefits to seniors being on social media:

1) Keep in Touch 

Social Media is an incredible tool for keeping in touch with others. Not only can seniors keep in touch with their kids and grandkids, but seniors are finding their best friends from high school, college roommates and old elementary school crushes. Social media allows us to read blog posts, view pictures and videos, and have conversations with people we never thought we’d see again.

2) Research 

Seniors use social media tools to learn more about topics that interest them. In some cases it can lead them to cultivate hobbies and business ideas, and in other cases, such as with all the inaccurate health information available, it can be a confusing mix of resources. However, the Internet is enabling the over 50 crowd to learn more about new products, work on their genecology, and learn something new.

3)  Ask questions

I don’t know about you, but I get frustrated navigating the phone menu to nowhere, and so do so many others. By using the online tools available, many senior citizens can reach out via Twitter, Facebook, videos, blogs and live chats. Being able to talk to representatives and have all their questions answered, without being intimidated by voices, attitudes and a phone menu that doesn’t seem to lead anywhere, gives folks more confidence in a product.

4) Entertainment
Senior citizens can watch old television shows and movies, as well as find videos from “back in the day.” They can read ebooks, articles and blog posts, find song lyrics and find out what their favorite entertainers are up to. They can play games, either by themselves or with family and friends. Shut ins or those who can’t get out and around as well as they used to no longer have to feel lonely when they’re home alone.

5) Start a new business
Being online allows folks of all ages to start a new business. Perhaps they can sell crafts or give coaching advice. Or maybe they want to get into freelance writing or some sort of consulting. Many senior citizens would love to work but companies don’t want to hire them as they feel they’re “too old.” With social media and so many online productivity and networking tools, senior citizens no longer have to be forced into retirement.

6) Grow an existing business
Seniors who are still in business need to keep up with new programs and technologies. Social media enables them to stay in the game and compete with younger businesses. Use social media tools to connect and share. Answer questions, promote events and sales and more.

7) Learn
Just because one is retired or out of school doesn’t necessarily mean one wants to stop learning. Seniors are now taking courses online and reading online books, posts, articles and more to keep their minds active. Because seniors are now better able to keep up with emerging technologies, they don’t have to be considered “old and out of touch” and can hold their own in a conversation.

8) Share
Senior citizens aren’t merely people who are older than us. They’re also people who have been in the trenches. They have amazing stories and brilliant ideas. Through social media they can share all that good stuff with others. Seniors can blog about how life was when they were growing up or how things have changed during their lifetime. They network online and offer advices and mentoring to younger people and students and they can start Facebook pages to talk to others their age.

9) Meet others
The social networks allow us to meet others, for both business and pleasure. From online meetings seniors can plan offline meetups and networking events with like minded people and people their age.

10) Find work
65 is no longer the age of retirement for active seniors. Many would like to continue working, if not full time with an established business, they can also consult and freelance. Various networks enable them to find opportunities, post online resumes and view and apply for job listings.

11) Take advantage of sales and online opportunities

By following their favorite businesses and brands, seniors can save money by taking advantage of promotional opportunities. Many times freebies and discounts are only available via a Facebook page or for Twitter followers.

For more information on places to get “social media training” call Just Like Family Home Care at 239. 431.6661


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Celebrating our Seniors

This May we are celebrating Senior Citizens at Just Like Family Home Care as May is Senior Citizens Month. The history of Senior Citizens Month goes back half of a century.

According to the Administration on Aging, when Older Americans Month was established in 1963, only 17 million living Americans had reached their 65th birthdays. 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, however. In April of 1963, President John F. Kennedy’s meeting with the National Council of Senior Citizens served as a prelude to designating May as “Senior Citizens Month.”

Thanks to President Jimmy Carter’s 1980 designation, what was once called Senior Citizens Month, is now called “Older Americans Month,” and has become a tradition.

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 JFK has issued a formal proclamation during or before the month ofMay asking that the entire nation pay tribute in some way to older persons in their communities. Older Americans Month is celebrated across the Coun
try through ceremonies, events, fairs and other such activities.

The older population–persons 65 years or older–numbered 39.6 million in 2009 (the latest year for which data is available). They represented 12.9% of the U.S. population, about one in every eight Americans. By 2030, there will be about 72.1 million older persons, more than twice their number in 2000. People 65+ represented 12.4% of the population in the year 2000 but are expected to grow to be 19% of the population by 2030. 

At Just Like FamiImagely, we see the growth first hand and we know many of our local Seniors are in need of more than just caregivers. They need everyday toiletries, clothing, cards and more. Join us Wednesday May 14 from 5-7:30 p.m. for a Celebrity Bartender Night at Noodles Italian Cafe & Sushi Bar in Naples to celebrate Senior Citizens Month. A $20 donation at the door will provide you with a drink ticket and food.

 


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Infographic: The Costs of Falls and Injuries

It’s been a while since we’ve shared an infographic, so the time has clearly arrived.  This infographic explains, in detail, everything you could ever want to know about the costs of falls and injuries to senior citizens.  It’s really interesting, and was originally produced by Bay Alarm Medical in California.

The-Risks-Costs-of-Senior-Fall-Injuries-Infographic